Have a Safe and Happy Cuatro De Julio
Let’s keep it safe and sane out there folks! And I don’t mean the fireworks type, I mean that literally. I’ve never understood why the city/county of Santa Cruz doesn’t just hold an “official” fireworks display over the bay and pay for it all with vendor licensing fees and sponsors. It would at least keep the local fools from setting off fireworks in every neighborhood. But every year it’s the same old story, and the same old BS fed from the city and county about how this year will be different. It’s not gonna be different. It’s gonna be the same if not worse. And please keep your pets indoors after dark. The noise freaks them out and they are prone to running away.
Grand Jury Report Criticizes County’s Free Needle Giveaway Program
A report released last week offered up a scathing review of the county’s free needles for junkies program (otherwise known as the “SSP”). Among my favorite quotes from the report:
- A lack of transparency between the SSP and the public has created an atmosphere of distrust.
- The SSP, run by dedicated professionals from the HSA, operates without a budget or permanent staff. Staff are pulled from HSA Clinic Services and other public health divisions, providing temporary personnel. Frequent rotation of staff makes it difficult to develop rapport and trust with clients. This creates yet another challenge to transitioning clients into rehabilitation, and as a consequence the SSP is unable to meet their goals.
- There is controversy about whether the policy of a one-to-one needle exchange is currently being enforced. Our investigation revealed that this policy is inherently difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. To increase the safety of staff and clients, staff are instructed to never touch used injection equipment or the containers they arrive in. As a result, they are unable to ascertain the exact number of syringes returned by a participant and must rely on a visual estimate.
- Because some clients are unable to travel to either site, the Policy and Procedures allows for needle exchanges on behalf of others. These exchanges are limited to 100 syringes per visit, unless approved by the County Health Officer.
- Other than an annually scheduled community clean-up day and three kiosks placed throughout the county, we can find no other HSA or county initiated clean-up effort instituted since the inception of the program.
- The SSP leadership creates an atmosphere of poor communication and a lack of transparency by not holding public meetings or forums for community input.
- The strict one-to-one needle exchange policy can’t be followed as the SSP policy prohibits the actual physical counting of syringes.
- There is no combined syringe clean-up effort between local agencies to protect the public.
- The community is at risk with syringes found in public and private spaces throughout the county.
You can read the full report here
Accused Child Rapist Offered Bail
Shame on the Santa Cruz courts and Judge Salazar. Members of the community turned out to protest this decision. Of course, this is Santa Cruz so I heard about at least one local birdbrain progressive idiot who publicly DEFENDED this guy’s right to be released on bail. Despite the mountain of evidence. Despite the fact he’s rich as hell and will probably try to flee to Mexico. He’s got the means now and he’s certainly got the motive. He’d never survive prison, at least not in the general population. Raping children makes you a marked man by itself. Mexico looks pretty good compared to that.
Tent Thief Nabbed
Last Saturday, a Santa Cruz firefighter observed a group of people with brand new camping gear that did not appear to belong to them. He called SCPD. The unique type of camping gear came from a Tepui Tents store in Soquel that reported two burglaries in the last week. SCPD responded and detained three suspects. Information gathered from the suspects at the scene led officers to contact a fourth suspect who had sold them the gear. The fourth subject possessed even more of the stolen property. SCPD arrested a 39 year old male from Santa Cruz for felony possession of stolen property.
Knife Attack on the Levee
Monday afternoon around 1PM, I got a report of a possible assault and/or attempted robbery with a knife near the 200 block of Beach street. Suspect was last seen leaving the scene towards the levee on a bike. SCPD sent multiple units but he got away.
Gangs Beefing on the West Side
Saturday night around 7PM, four males described as “likely gang members” were yelling and swearing at each other near the intersection of Swanton and Modesto. Two of the suspects were in an older model flatbed truck, the other two suspects were in a vehicle described as a Toyota SUV. According to a witness, one of the suspects lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun in his waistband. SCPD sent multiple units to the area to look for the vehicles.
Gun Found at Local Homeless Shelter
I got a report on Friday night that a gun was found in a locker by an employee of the Homeless Services Center. I don’t have a lot of details other than a gun was found by an employee, and the employee called SCPD to come pick it up. Apparently the “client” (are we really calling them that?) was taken to the hospital and the staff person was cleaning out the area. Sure they don’t know the person’s name. They don’t admit them anonymously. But no report was filed other than a found gun (property) report. You’d think the HSC would want to find out the name of the person who brought a gun onto their gated “campus”. Maybe not allow them on the property in the future? NAH. They don’t know their name.
Couple Passed Out in CVS Parking Lot
Sunday night around 8:30PM, a report came in that a couple was passed out in a silver Lexus SUV in the parking lot of the CVS on Front street. The registration on the car was expired since 2007, and the car was registered in Los Gatos.
That Helmet Helps Keep Your Brain Inside Your Skull
Saturday around 7PM, a male was found unconscious and bleeding from the head and face on West Cliff Drive near David Way. Fire and ambulance were sent, along with multiple SCPD units. Witnesses reported it could have been a solo bicyclist (who wasn’t wearing a helmet) face planting into the pavement. Probably on the walkway along West Cliff.
Just Another Passed Out Junkie with a Needle Sticking Out of His Leg
Sunday night around 10PM, I got a report of an unconscious male in the entrance to Riverside Lighting on Soquel and Dakota, who was passed out with a needle sticking out of his leg. Was there something stamped on the needle that said “Courtesy of the Santa Cruz County Health Services Department” because we KNOW it came from them. SCPD sent a unit down there, along with fire and medical, where they were able to wake the guy up. When I looked him up, he only had 14 mugshots since 2014. He’s also on county probation, for whatever that’s worth (nothing). It’s worth yet ANOTHER ride on the county shuffle. Here’s your County substance abuse program. The County Shuffle™. The Jail.
Thief Busted in Aptos With Stolen Trailer
Sunday morning around 2AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies stopped a truck and trailer leaving the Deer Park Center off Rio Del Mar Boulevard in Aptos. The driver from Salinas claimed he just picked up the trailer for his boss with instructions to take it to Fresno. Deputies figured the man was lying after the driver failed to mention that he needed bolt cutters to get through the fenced off area where the trailer was located. A passenger in the truck claimed to have no knowledge of the trailer and claimed he had been sleeping in the passenger seat since that afternoon. It took several hours but deputies were finally able to establish that the driver had just stolen the trailer. Also in the truck, deputies found burglary tools, shaved keys, drugs, and other contraband.
Trying to Catch Fish in a Barrel
Monday afternoon around 1:30PM, a report came in that a man who evaded SCPD earlier in the day was spotted near the corner of Ocean and Barson. Apparently, he had 4 outstanding warrants (only 4?). Multiple units fanned out in the area looking for him. Playing Whack-a-Mole with public safety. Even if they catch the guy, the county will release him on his own recognizance hours later. What’s the point of catch and release?
City Council Meeting: June 27, 2017
Item 7 on the consent agenda was a resolution in support of a congressional investigation on impeachment of Trump. Council adopted this resolution and Santa Cruz is now the 11th city in the state to do so. The gentleman that presented on this item did so eloquently and got a fist pump from me. I am not sure how much good all of these symbolic resolutions are doing but this one did not suck up too much of the council’s time. What is truly sucking up council’s time is Khron pulling items off the consent agenda for further discussion at EVERY SINGLE MEETING. Item 26 on the agenda drew in a number of people. There was an appeal to the permit to demolish a 20 room hotel (Lanai Lodge) and replace it with a 60 room hotel. This is right near Sunshine Villa a senior assisted living facility. The new hotel would block the view and sunlight from the facility. I really felt for the residents, staff and families. Santa Cruz definitely needs more hotels. Lots of back and forth on this one end result is moving forward with demolition and rebuild of hotel.
Another popular item was the proposal for construction of a 100% affordable housing project consisting of 41 units (with 8 guaranteed units available for people with developmental disabilities) was discussed. Several neighbors spoke to legitimate concerns of parking and safety on an already unsafe street. The funding for this project would be coming out of HUD funds, City’s housing trust fund and money left over from the redevelopment agency. Khron made an especially snarky comment to Carol Berg when she was talking about the funding being extremely tight on this project. “We just bought a deck at De Laveaga Clubhouse that cost $270,000” She looked at him baffled. Hey Khron, that $ came from an entirely different funding bucket. Do you understand how that works? Seriously. Do you? Khron was supportive of this project yet SERIOUSLY critical of it. It passed unanimously with a bitter faced Khron. Evening session took place at the Civic and was not televised. US Housing and Urban Development and Santa Cruz Housing were discussed. I heard that Khron read out of the Dr Seuss book The Lorax and then quoted Malcom X.
Free Friday Concert at the Boardwalk
This week features Great White, legendary big hair band from the 80’s and 90’s. They’ve sold over six million records. They’ve been nominated for a Grammy and earned a double platinum certification for “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” Two shows, one at 6:30 and one at 8:30PM.
The Weekly Seen
CHP arresting someone at gunpoint on Highway 17 near Los Gatos
A weekly shoutout to Rosie at KSCO, who I was told shared some of last week’s featured stories on the Dump on her radio show. Thanks for sharing! Weekly shoutouts to all the fine folks who showed up way too early in front of the courthouse to protest Judge Salazar’s decision to allow a rich child rapist to go free on bail.
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