Never a dull moment in the land of the Holy Cross. This week, Santa Cruz picks a new police chief, county supervisors continue to dismiss public concern over dirty needles, ICE is back and doesn’t care about our Sanctuary City status, machete wielding junkie on Ocean, drunk driver wrecks Range Rover and nearly kills companion, the neighbor from hell, S&R finds missing disabled man, broken fire hydrant floods Ocean, arsonist torches van on Broadway, Hugh’s day on the Riverwalk, RIP Jack O’Neill, the city celebrates PRIDE, new tenant for vacant Sports Authority on River, WaterSHRED, The Weekly Seen , Guerreros, Weekly Shoutouts, and more!
Santa Cruz Selects a New Police Chief
The city of Santa Cruz has selected the soon to be former Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills to become the city of Santa Cruz’s new police chief. Mills will replace the popular former Chief Kevin Vogel, who recently retired. Mills has been the Chief of Police in Eureka since October of 2013. I think the choice here surprised many people in the community, who thought Dep. Chief Rick Martinez would be the choice from within the department. Apparently many people, including a number of my friends, are upset at the city for hiring outside the department. I’m not. I advocated it. Nothing against Rick or anyone else at SCPD. We’ve just seen over and over that nobody at SCPD has the cajones to actually assert themselves and push back on city manager Martin Bernal or worse, the city council. We have knobs like Chris Krohn who do everything they can to undermine the effectiveness of SCPD, thereby undermining local public safety. I don’t want a soft on crime Chief. I want someone who will “serve and protect” the community. Someone outside the political dysfunction locally. Someone who will come in and shake things up. And based on what I’ve read about Mills, he seems like an excellent choice. So to his critics, I say give the man a chance. He’s not the “status quo”. He’s above the dysfunction brought on by local “electeds” here. And if he doesn’t perform well, he’ll probably retire within the next 10 years (or maybe sooner given the way the city council abused the last chief) and people can judge him then. But I’ll take 5-10 years of Mills over another 5-10 years of “status quo” here.
Santa Cruz County Supervisors Continue to Dismiss Community Concerns Over Dirty Needles
Check out this video from KSBW. I got a huge laugh out of the Big Bird idiot from Aptos talking about painting flowers and unicorns farting rainbows on sharps boxes. YES! That’s what we need! Prettier looking sharps boxes. That will get the junkies baked out of their brains on heroin to use the sharps boxes to dispose of their dirty needles. This is the level of stupidity we’ve come to accept and expect not only from County Health Services and the willfully ignorant Board of Supervisors, but from local progressives with ZERO expertise on the subject (like the kook in the video who thinks prettier sharps boxes will fix the problem). And check out Arnie Leff having what appears to be a “senior moment” when he says “If anything we’re collecting a lot more syringes than we’re giving out” (as he’s shaking his head NO while he says it). Is that some kind of subliminal call for help? I wonder if he’s been brainwashed by John Leopold and others at the county?
ICE Raids Continue Across Central Coast
Despite meaningless declarations that just basically pander politically to the local Hispanic communities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have been rounding up and detaining illegal immigrants this week. How’s that “Sanctuary City” status working out for you? ICE agents went to homes in King City on Monday, Soledad on Wednesday, Santa Cruz on Wednesday night, and Watsonville Thursday morning. There were also detentions in Salinas. Local police forces and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office are not cooperating with federal authorities or participating in the detentions. But who cares? It’s happening whether they help them or not. According to ICE spokesman James Schwab, the agency’s goal is to remove dangerous criminals who are a threat to public safety. ICE is not providing police departments or the sheriff’s office with any information, other than to say, federal agents are here and working in the area. See what happens when you don’t cooperate with ICE? They don’t cooperate with you. Anyone seeking to find out what happened to a detained family member or friend should call ICE. Schwab declined to say how many illegal immigrants were detained on the Central Coast this week.
“ICE deportation officers conduct enforcement actions every day around the country and here in Northern California as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to uphold national security, public safety and border security. The agency’s operations are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. For operational security reasons, however, we don’t discuss ongoing or future operations publicly,” Schwab said.
So all these “Sanctuary Cities” have publicly declared they won’t help ICE. And ICE is publicly declaring they really don’t care. They’re gonna do their jobs with or without the help of local law enforcement. If anyone really thought a pandering, unenforceable, meaningless declaration from local officials is going to stop the feds from protecting the public (where local law enforcement refuses to do so), dream on.
Machete Wielding Junkie Stopped by SCPD From Possibly Killing Anyone
Last Friday afternoon around 3:30PM, the Santa Cruz Fire Department requested a high priority response from SCPD to the area of Highway 1 and Ocean Street. A woman obviously out of her mind on drugs was screaming and swinging a machete at people. The woman, a 36 year old transient “from” Santa Cruz, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, an outstanding warrant, brandishing a deadly weapon and assault on a firefighter.
This woman is the poster child for the county’s “syringe services program” otherwise known as the “let’s hand out over a half MILLION free needles in just 2 years to local junkies to help them die faster” program. We gave out OVER A HALF MILLION FREE NEEDLES TO JUNKIES HERE. That’s not a typo. Now you know why we find so many of them on the beach, in the park, in the streets, in our yards. There’s only a HALF MILLION NEEDLES THEY GAVE OUT that we have to deal with the “collateral damage” over. We’re “crazy safe!” here! (according to at least one local pain in the ass progressive know it all). CRAZY indeed. Hardly safe. The suspect here has ONLY been arrested 7 times since 2015. That’s actually not bad for the County Shuffle™.
Drunk Driver Wrecks Range Rover on Highway 1
Sunday morning, a CRAZY (but hardly safe!) accident ended up turning Highway 1 south into a parking lot for most of the morning and early afternoon from the fishhook to Soquel avenue, where the accident took place. A 26 year old woman who was visiting Santa Cruz with hopes of learning how to surf was critically injured in a DUI crash. The woman from Arizona was visiting 38 year old Kristofor Benson of Santa Cruz. The pair were wearing wetsuits in a black Range Rover while on their way to go surfing when the male driver, who was drunk at 10AM in the morning, crashed into a power pole in Scotts Valley. The force of the accident was so great it knocked the power pole to the ground, and the woman was thrown against the windshield because she was not wearing a seatbelt, according to CHP reports. Benson then attempted to drive his critically injured passenger to a Santa Cruz hospital. Witnesses said Benson drove his partially wrecked Range Rover, driving on a tireless rim and with a passenger side door nearly sheared off, nearly 100 mph on southbound Highway 17 and Highway 1. Several drivers called 911 to report an erratic driver. Benson then crashed a second time on the Soquel Drive off-ramp of Highway 1. Witnesses and emergency crews performed CPR on the woman. She was airlifted to a Bay Area trauma center to be treated for life threatening injuries. Benson suffered minor injuries, and he was arrested on felony DUI charges.
The Neighbor From Hell Strikes Again
Around 10:30PM on Sunday night, reports came in that a man was trying to break in his neighbors house on the 100 block of McPherson near Fair. SCPD sent multiple units to the address and searched the yard as well as the surrounding area with a K9 unit. Turns out the neighbor, a white male in his sixties, was in his house. SCPD was able to talk the guy into coming outside where he was arrested. Sounds like a beef between neighbors. The neighbor might have videotaped a DUI incident with the suspect recently, apparently angering the suspect into confronting the neighbor by trying to break in his house. Shows you the local crazy doesn’t just happen in the flats and along Ocean. West Cliff pulls it’s fair share of crazy locally.
Search and Rescue Volunteers Find Missing Disabled Man in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Saturday around noon, a disabled man walked away from his home near the 3400 block of Glenwood Drive. The 32 year old man has a medical condition that requires that he drink a lot of water, and his mental capacity is that of a juvenile, so authorities brought in Search and Rescue to help in the efforts to find him. The SAR team members hiked, biked and used ATVs to search some 120 acres of property full of trees, shrubs, creeks and steep hillsides. Around seven hours later, they located the man down a steep hillside in a ravine. Their efforts resulted in his rescue and return home to his parents. I love happy endings!
Another Story About Drugs, Guns, and Felons
I know. It’s a weekly thing. Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputies were investigating a suspicious vehicle with expired registration tags on Saturday when they discovered an illegal assault rifle and ammunition. Syringes and other drug paraphernalia were also found inside the car. A 28 year old Ben Lomond man was arrested for a variety of felonies, including possessing a short barreled assault rifle and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Just Another Junkie Passed Out in San Lorenzo Park
Saturday morning around 9AM, a report comes in about a person laying under a blanket in the park near the lawn bowling area, passed out surrounded by multiple needles. I wonder where they got those needles? From the county of course! For free! What’s more pathetic here? Coddling junkies with free needles or having them pass out after shooting up in San Lorenzo Park at 9AM on a Saturday morning? Pick your poison.
Downtown Thieves Caught Red Handed
I heard a report that last week, SCPD made contact with a couple sitting underneath a “No Trespass” sign posted near the 300 block of Locust Street. Let me just say that sitting under a “no trespassing” sign isn’t really making yourself inconspicuous. Especially if you’re a local bum stealing from people downtown. Among the scattered belongings strewn out in a pile were various documents, ID cards and a backpack belonging to neither of the two people. A victim had reported the same red backpack and wallet as stolen just a few hours prior to SCPD finding it here among the bum’s stuff. SCPD arrested the man, a 52 year old transient from Santa Cruz for theft. Officers located and returned the backpack to the actual owner. I’m sure the thief was released on his own recognizance here. The PD and the courts know all the local bums on a first name basis. The County Shuffle™.
Broken Fire Hydrant Floods Ocean Street
Sunday night, a fire hydrant was either run over or broken but somehow destroyed along Ocean street between Soquel and Broadway, sending a huge geyser of water into the air and flooding Ocean street. Since it happened on a Sunday night, the Water Department was slower than normal with their response time, as SCPD had to try to reach someone on call to come out and repair it, or at least turn the water off.
Van Torched on Broadway
Last week, reports came in that a van was torched on Broadway near Frederick street. Apparently this happened in the middle of the night. The van belonged to an elderly man who lived in the house.
Just Another Day on the Riverwalk
This first hand account (and photo) comes direct from our own Hugh Jorgan. Notice the knife in the DOPE’s right hand – BD
“So I am enjoying a beautiful afternoon in downtown Santa Cruz. I go back to my car on Front Street and notice 3 sketch looking guys on the River Walk. One of the guys had a lovely tank top that had the word DOPE written in big bright letters. Suddenly a fight breaks out. Two against DOPE. One guy starts swinging a skateboard and smacks DOPE on the head a few times and then DOPE pulls a knife. 3 police officers showed up within minutes but the douchebags had all scattered. What sucks the worst about this situation is that it is such a common occurrence. It was 1pm on a week day in a very public space. This keeps occurring because there are simply no ramifications for this kind of behavior. Police may arrest them but we all know they cycle out of jail within hours. The system is broken. We need to make this area uncomfortable for people that are participating in criminal activity. This sort of thing does not make me want to avoid the area it makes me want to be there as much as possible. If more people show up there to walk dogs, bicycle ride, jog then perhaps people won’t feel so comfortable “handling business” there.”
RIP Jack O’Neill
Santa Cruz lost a local treasure this past week. Last Friday, word spread pretty quickly around Santa Cruz circles that Jack O’Neill had passed away peacefully at his home overlooking Pleasure Point, surrounded by friends and family. Jack O’Neill was the best ambassador Santa Cruz ever had.
Santa Cruz Celebrates Local Diversity With Pride
Last Sunday was the annual Pride Parade in downtown Santa Cruz. It’s always a nice little party that brings out the local flave. This year brought nice weather and lots of old hippies (as usual). Of course there were young people, families with their kids, and a melting pot of cultures and diversity beyond gender identity or sexual orientation. It’s a party! People get to dress up and get their freak on safely. And it’s a scene to be seen (of course). I passed through on my walk to Trader Joe’s and it was nice to see so many folks enjoying downtown the way it should be enjoyed.
New Tenant Found for Vacant Sports Authority Building
I learned this week that a new tenant has been found for the old Sports Authority building at 111 Madrone (at River). It’s been vacant for the past year since the Sports Authority went out of business. Dignity Health is proposing a new clinic, which includes rehabilitation for seniors and pediatric patients, as well as offices for specific disciplines such as speech therapy and pediatric occupational therapy. So it sounds like the former retail space will find a positive future use as a health care clinic. Beats another vacant building!
WaterSHRED along the San Lorenzo River
More info here.
The Weekly Seen
Sugar Mama gets arrested while Sgt. Schultz films it. He knows nothing!
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors are making short work of the Cavaliers in these NBA finals. Last Sunday, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry just took over game 2. LeBron James might be the self proclaimed “King” but it appears more and more likely that Durant and Curry and Company will wear the ring here. Of course, the warriors were pretty much in the exact same position last year as they are now. Except last year we had this nice, serviceable role player and this year, we traded him in for arguably the best player on the planet right now. Someone actually better than Curry, the 2 time reigning back to back MVP. So as much as things might look the same, things are very different this year. And Kevin Durant is on a personal mission to silence his critics by not only winning his first ring but winning finals MVP too. Game 3 in Cleveland was a much closer game, with the Cavaliers actually leading into the final minute of the game. But the Warriors, led by Durant, went on an 11-0 run in the final 2 minutes to take the win and go up 3-0 in the series. Sweep! Game 4 is Friday night in Cleveland, where the Warriors will try to close this out and win their 2nd title in the last 3 years. I wonder if the visitors locker room in Cleveland still smells like champagne like it did after their 2015 title win there. If it doesn’t, it probably will after Friday.
Upcoming games this week: Game 4 is Friday night in Cleveland. I doubt there will be a Game 5.
Weekly shoutout to all the fine folks from the volunteer search and rescue that helped locate the missing man near Glenwood. Weekly shoutout to our new police chief Andy Mills. Good luck! You’ll need it!
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