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.
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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