City Cries While the Community Cheers Public Art Modification
The “fishing rod” public art display along the Water street bridge was transformed into a public art protest of the city’s ongoing willful ignorance of dealing with the thousands of dirty needles found daily in and around the San Lorenzo river and the river levee. The area is a known shooting gallery for local homeless, who hide in the weeds and high brush and shoot up in illegal camps that destroy and pollute the river and make walking through the park and levee a public safety hazard. Some local artist (or artists) attached oversized hypodermic syringes to the hooks on the fishing poles. I just have to say I thought it was brilliant and hilarious. Of course the city cried foul (and vandalism), but it was easily fixed and remedied and didn’t permanently deface anyone’s art. Many just believe it was a way to bring more attention to the THOUSANDS of used drug needles being littered in public spaces like our local beaches and parks. And in a related KSBW report, 10 actual used syringes were found at a bus stop less than 20 feet from a red sharps container located at the end of the same bridge near the courthouse. Apparently the city wasn’t too pleased and someone directed the Rangers to tear it down and haul it away. Speaking of needles…..
West Side Business Owners Meet With Chief Mills to Discuss Concerns
This week, Chief Mills from SCPD met with a handful of Westside business owners to talk about their growing safety concerns. Can anyone guess what those “growing safety concerns” were? Earthquakes? North Korea? No. The top three issues discussed were homelessness, needles, and petty theft. IS ANYONE REALLY SURPRISED HERE? Santa Cruz has turned itself into a homeless mecca, with it’s redundant social service programs competing to see who can best serve the homeless (not eliminate homelessness, we know that’s not happening here), it’s soft on crime stance towards petty theft, and it’s willingness to allow the county to distribute HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF NEEDLES into our community with little to no oversight, accountability, or transparency. I’m not only glad to hear he’s meeting with local business owners effected by these ongoing, spiraling out of control issues mentioned, but I’m also glad to hear that local business owners are FED UP with these issues. I’m fed up here. Everyone I talk to is fed up here. But nobody seems to be hearing it at the city and county bureaucracy level. It’s refreshing to at least think the new Chief cares here. I’m not sure what he can do about it, but he seems to be trying hard to reach out to the community and listen.
Man Dressed in Pirate Hat Groping Passing Women Along Pacific Avenue
Tuesday morning around 11AM, reports came in that a Hispanic male described as “wearing a pirate hat” was grabbing and groping women walking along Pacific Avenue. SCPD caught up to the suspect in front of the Blue Lagoon. Pirates at the Blue Lagoon? How fitting! When SCPD ran his name, the suspect came up listed as a registered sex offender. During his morning reign of terror, he also reportedly kicked a dog and apparently stole a 12 pack from Bonesios. Multiple victims and witnesses were reported. The man was arrested for multiple counts of sexual battery among other charges.
Chain Swinging Transient Arrested Near Downtown
Monday night around 8PM, reports came in that a male transient was swinging a chain at passing cars near Water and River streets. He then began chasing a group of students while yelling something about a social experiment. SCPD found him running down Water street where they quickly caught up to him and detained him in handcuffs.
Two Arrested With Firearms in Stolen Car on North Coast
I heard reports that last week, a Deputy from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling along the North Coast when he came across a stolen Toyota 4-Runner. A man and woman were in the vehicle during a search, which turned up a loaded revolver and a loaded shotgun (both unregistered), along with ammunition. Both the man and woman were arrested and booked into County Jail.
Third Person in Local Pedophile Case Arrives For Arraignment From Arizona
Last Friday morning in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, 30 year old Emily Stephens of Tucson, Arizona made her first appearance on charges linked with Dr. James Kohut. She is accused of conspiring with him and a nurse from Watsonville in a string of sex related crimes involving children. Stephens pleaded not guilty to nine felonies linked with sodomy, lewd acts and copulation with children. ADA Steven Moore asked for bail to be set at $6 million. He said Stephens exhausted all resources in attempts to oppose her transfer from Arizona. Judge Stephen Siegel set her bail at $600,000. She was not accompanied in court by the other defendants. According to court documents, Kohut faces 10 felonies alleging he engaged in oral sex, intercourse and forced lewd acts on children. Six of the charges can bring life sentences if convicted. Kohut is accused of having sex with a boy and girl younger than 10 years old, and a boy younger than 14 years old. Brandon faces eight felonies linked with child molestation.
Chief Mills Literally Cleans Up the Levee
This past weekend, Chief Mills spent some time cleaning up bum trash along the San Lorenzo river levee with the Leveelies, the awesome group of volunteers that are out there weekly doing the same. No, this wasn’t just some “photo op” where he shows up for about a half hour, glad handles everyone, then leaves early after doing a minimal amount of work (I remember when Supervisor and Chief Needle Apologist John Leopold did that years ago, funny stuff! – BD). He stuck around for a few hours. Someone get that man some gloves!
Online Petition Asks For Maddy Middleton Accused Killer to be Tried as an Adult
I’m not sure how much weight this will actually carry with regards to the judge’s decision.
You can read and sign the petition here.
San Jose Restricts Tiny Homes for the Homeless
I bring this up mostly since “affordable housing” is such a hot button topic (at least for those that read the politically correct barometer daily like our mayor seems to do). That and “homelessness” are 2 of the most popular local issues those in office (and those running for office) love to pander on and on about. And this original San Jose “tiny homeless village” plan has been propped up by some locally as the model that Santa Cruz should be following. Except for one problem. Where to put it. None of the neighbors in San Jose want it in their back yards. The issue would be the same here.
City Council Meeting 8/22/17
Chambers looked pretty empty throughout the meeting which I am sure pissed off one person dressed in a silk robe. It is Summer after all. Only 5 council members this evening as Brown and Chase were absent. Item 10 – City Wide Security Platform was pulled from consent agenda by Khron for discussion per the request by the gentleman in the silk robe. Basically some of the current security systems including cameras around the city are antiquated and in need of upgrading. Silk robe accuses the city of violating people’s rights, it’s big brother watching. A city employee explained that if a crime took place in a parking garage for instance, let’s say a break in, police would have surveillance tape. Incidentally, for those paranoid about security cameras around the city. You do not have to be concerned with them if you are not breaking the law. Anyone with a security camera does not give a shit about you otherwise. Get over yourselves. Motion passed.
One item of interest was the property on 358 Ocean St near the lovely Santa Cruz Motel (side note, if you are bored read the Yelp reviews on Santa Cruz Motel, you’re welcome) The dilapidated buildings on this property have been an eyesore and magnet for crime for years. A 63 unit affordable housing project is slated for that space but currently all the units are boarded up and neighbors are experiencing more rodents and more crime due to squatters. It’s time to get the demolition started. A woman compared it to the Unity Church property before that was demolished. Remember that? I do. It was horrible. Garbage, feces, rats. It became a small dump. Let’s give this neighborhood the TLC it deserves and level that place ASAP.
School Safety Enhancement Zone Ordinance was next on the agenda. So basically if you are breaking the law in a park and are given 3 citations you are then given a stay away order. This now includes schools in the vicinity of parks. Because it is a good thing to keep children safe. There were a few people upset during public comment even going as far to say that council was using children to further their anti homeless agenda. Ummm no. A woman stood up to say her grandchild was baffled that the park they were in didn’t have any kids in it. Just a bunch of old guys laying around on the grass. Another woman said that there was a stabbing in front of Kirby school last year when two transients from a nearby encampment got in a fight in front of the school. Child safety is important. If you do not want to get citations or stay away orders from parks DON’T BREAK THE LAW. You won’t be cited for relaxing. You won’t be cited for hanging out. You will be cited for drinking, smoking and acting like an asshole.
Since the majority of these citations are written up by park rangers I just want to take a moment to give them a shout out. Thank you. I hope too that the County steps up some more. Let’s start these 2×2 meetings you all have been talking about. 2 Board of Supervisors members and 2 City Council members. It’s solution time! Long time hate monger racist douchebag made an appearance during oral communications hailing white supremacy. A woman flipped him off in the background. After oral communications was over, Richelle Noroyan spoke out saying that she hoped that awful little man would never come back but she knew he would, he gets to speak freely and so does she. She denounced white supremacy and said he was a horrible human being. Thank you for having the courage to say that out loud and publicly Richelle. It needed to be said.
The Weekly Seen
No, he’s not dead. Just passed out. The Chief might have even been the one to wake him up!
Free Smash Mouth Concert at the Boardwalk
Formed in 1994 and hailing from San Jose, Smash Mouth has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Their number one hits “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star” are radio staples. Shrek would approve. Two shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM.
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Thanks for reading and commenting!
Hugh’s News needs to be broken into paragraphs for readability. As always, keep up the good work.
haha, blame me for that one! I fixed it. Thanks!
It really isn’t all Ben. I tend to write the way I talk. Well, minus about 20 cuss words. Thanks for reading Knot!
Isn’t it sad to receive notification of the fresh mierda and think “oh goodie”?
I thought so too…
It doesn’t really surprise me that locals are hungry for the “vibrant” truth here, considering how often they’re lied to or ignored by the city and county. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Whatever happened to the Take Back Santa Cruz group? I’m not on Facebook or Twitter.
They are still around, doing good work in the community. You can keep up with them here if you’re not on Facebook or Twitter. http://takebacksantacruz.org/
Firstly, thank you for all your efforts on this blog.
I have dutifully read it weekly since I found it well over a year ago. I cannot say that I agree with all the opinions you express; however, your comments ALWAYS make me think and (re)evaluate the reasons for my own beliefs.
For that, I thank you, and consider SM to be a wonderful community service project.
I would like to share a recent experience that brought me to a truly sad realization:
I read this blog through an RSS feed. A few weeks ago, I read through all the crime reports and city council meeting notes before realizing for some reason, instead of the current dump, my SM feed pulled a post from exactly a year before (from the summer of 2016).
It depresses me to realize that our community has the same exact crimes being committed and city council shenanigans occurring, week after week after week to the point I have trouble distinguishing one SM report from another.
Despite this current sad reality, please keep up the GREAT work.
Thanks CM! I’ll quote a smart guy named Einstein here: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. That’s our city leaders! Thinking they can solve the world’s problems locally, while continuing to see the same failed results year after year.
This is so true
This is the kind of thing we need as a community! To share our thoughts with each other and debate. We can learn a lot by doing that, we can evolve. I too do not always share Ben’s opinions but facts are stubborn things and at the end of the day we are all facing the consequences.
I’m fine with people not sharing my opinion. Sometimes, those differing opinions will change mine. Having a platform to engage in respectful dialogue, in a civil manner as we do here, is lacking locally. Anything to the right of the far left is often dismissed with criticism, and often in a hateful manner. And sometimes, the “haters” stalk and harass you for having an opinion they don’t like. I’m aware of a few derelict losers locally (who won’t be named) that feel the need to stalk and harass me (and my friends) for having this website. It just motivates me more. For a city that likes to label itself “progressive”, I’ve never lived anywhere where so many on the “left” were so full of themselves.
The news of this week locally has me so dispirited. The “trial” of the murderer of an 8 year old girl, more news of the murderer of his mother downtown, unspeakable acts against children by several adults in two cases, a demented groper downtown, let alone the ongoing crime in our neighborhoods of property theft and vehicle break-ins (ever wonder how much a broken car window costs to repair?). The solutions to these problems lay with the Council and the Chief of Police. The community needs to show up to the meetings with signs demanding action. At every meeting people need to hold up signs demanding more police patrols, police intervention where someone has multiple bikes in tow, police intervention at 2 and 3 a.m. in our neighborhoods of people checking to see if car doors are locked. We need to know who populates our city and encourage those that are here to cause problems to move along. Can we start showing up at oral communications on City Council days to demand some action from the Council? It is usually at 5 p.m. (sometimes earlier or later depending on how quickly they move through items). Let’s show our strength in numbers. Please folks, stop overlooking this and thinking that someone else will complain to the Council. Do the good people reading Santa Mierda agree?
I agree! I didn’t even mention this week about the guy who murdered his mother at the St. George (he was back in court). I covered the story last year when the mainstream media and SCPD were silent about it. Thanks Ed.
Here’s the story I covered last year about the St. George murder downtown. http://www.santamierda.com/2016/09/30/the-weekly-dump-9-30-16/
Ed, Ben, I too support showing up at oral communications but I’m afraid that talking to the CC would be like talking to a brick wall. Chief Andy should tell us how his gang unit is targeting the prison run gangs that sell the drugs that cause the crime The Dump writes about.
I think it is worth a try if all of the residents, beach flats, east side, west side, downtown and business owners show their signs from 4-5 p.m. on Council meetings days. Print on your sign what neighborhood you are from. Oral communications is at approx. 5 p.m. If not all get to speak, at least our signs will tell the story and show what is our issue.
I think the needle prank was extremely clever. I do have to admit I needed it explained to me. I thought the they were actually some sort of additional fishing tackle. Not that it should be done ever again, but the dollar store sold a pretty good Sham Wow, car drying rag knockoff. it came in a clear plastic cylinder with removable ends…I realize when you know your are will be discarded (I know that feeling) you don’t have much incentive to spend a lot on time and materials. Still, I always like to encourage real art when I see it, so, legality aside, I doff my cap the artist in hiding!
The needles from the bridge obviously struck a nerve with many people. Every single person I spoke with loved it, but of course the city got defensive and hated it. And yet, the issue (needles in the river levee and river) continues unabated and without any plan to stop the madness. Thanks Ryan for all you FAIL to do here for the people in the city YOU represent.
Is this two for one comment day?
Regarding the Police Chief you pondered:
” It’s refreshing to at least think the new Chief cares here. I’m not sure what he can do about it, but he seems to be trying hard to reach out to the community and listen..”
He can do a lot. Because the police officers look to the Chief for what kind of policing they are encouraged to pursue. I don’t know what to hope for. The issues are complex. But simply listening and trying something new could go a long, long ways!
Thanks Art! I agree listening is vital. The main reason I’m concerned about how much he can accomplish has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with Martin Bernal and people like Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown (is she still on the city council? I haven’t seen her in months!). They are the people who have him on a short leash.
Thanks for another great report Ben.
The needle “art” was genius. It was a brilliant non-violent way to protest and bring attention to one of the many issues plaguing Santa Cruz.
Lastly, Im sorry you have to deal with stalking and harassment. Some people can’t deal with opinions that aren’t theirs.
I for one read your report every Friday and greatly appreciate it. I have many friends that do as well.
Thanks Austin! I knew I’d have to deal with a handful of crazy morons with too much time on their hands (ever watch oral communications at a city council meeting?) stalking and harassing me when I started this. Call it an “occupational hazard”. But it’s people like you that read it regularly and appreciate the effort to bring better balance to the lack of concern (and priority) for public safety that offsets these marginalized “sore losers”. I’m always gonna have both fans and critics, hopefully more fans than critics. I have over a thousand “subscribers” to the Weekly Dump now, so the fact that over a thousand people like it enough to want to have it delivered to them every week, well that more than validates the effort for me.
Ben &Hugh- Great Work as always. Freedom of the Press at its finest!
Ps- loved the needle art on the water st bridge but loved the mayor’s response more! #clueless