It’s gonna be a scorching hot weekend, so stay cool out there! In the latest Weekly Dump, Berkeley mayhem could come to Santa Cruz, man pulls gun on housemate, morning gun scare at SCHS, Scotts Valley pair arrested with meth and fake credit cards, Aptos man shoots himself in the leg, water rescue on the westside, cliff rescue off West Cliff, beach rescue in Davenport, fire at Chestnut Street apartments, county crimes statistics from 2016, bail reform bill fails in the state legislature, recreational weed is coming next year, former Capitola police chief takes over at Janus, new Hyatt prepares to open on Broadway, Oh My!, Papa Do Run Run closes Boardwalk concert season, and more!
Far Left Can’t Grasp Concept of Free Speech
Berkeley. The “birthplace” of Free Speech. Mario Savio is rolling in his grave right about now. Thousands of demonstrators carrying signs with slogans like “Stand Against Hate” descended on Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park on Sunday for what many hoped would be a peaceful march against bigotry and Trump. But all it took was a few minutes for “antifa” to basically show the hypocrisy of their supporters. A number of “counter” protesters, wearing black and with their faces covered, chased or beat Trump supporters and organizers. Berkeley Police, as well as other counter-protesters, stepped in to halt the violence or escort the victims away from the area. Officers reported 14 arrests, many of them for violations of the city’s emergency rules banning masks, sticks and potential weapons inside the demonstration area. Kooks are kooks, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. If you show up to a “rally” wearing tactical riot gear you bought online, or you show up with a bandana over your face, you’re a kook. Settle down. Or better yet, GTFO. You turn the opportunity for civil discourse into a WWE spectacle.
Think this couldn’t happen here? Think again! It happened at a well known, very liberal UC school, in a very liberal town known for it’s tolerance. We are a very liberal town known for it’s tolerance, and yes, we also have a well known, liberal UC school here. My bigger concern is COULD SANTA CRUZ HANDLE SOMETHING LIKE THIS? I’d say HELL NO. SCPD is already short staffed, under funded, and on a very short leash with our liberal electeds.
The last thing I want to say about all this is it baffles me how a MASSIVE natural disaster in Houston can bring out the best in people (and we’re seeing this play out in real time even now), while politics continues to bring out the worst in people. In Houston, rescuers don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. That has no bearing on whether or not you get rescued. Nothing like stupid, political, ideological rhetoric to drive a wedge between us all and turn people into raging idiots. Let that sink in.
Man Brandishes Gun at Housemate
Tuesday around 4PM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on 38th Avenue near Bramble Lane after an agitated man brandished a gun at his housemate and barricaded himself inside, refusing to come out. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies blocked off traffic at Portola Drive. Apparently the suspected gunman got into an argument with his housemate. The housemate left before law enforcement arrived on scene. Deputies at the scene said the man made hostile statements against them, triggering a larger response. Neighbors received a reverse 911 call telling them to shelter in place. Around 5PM, the man surrendered and was arrested without further incident. Nobody was injured.
Morning Gun Scare at Santa Cruz High School Prompts Police Response
Thursday morning during first period, SCPD responded to Santa Cruz High School after administrators received a report that a student had a gun on campus in one of the classrooms. Students in that classroom were removed one at a time and searched, as police searched backpacks. Two Airsoft BB guns were found and two students were taken into custody. Teachers also made an announcement to their classes letting the students know what had happened and the counseling team debriefed the students who were in the classroom.
Pair Arrested in Scotts Valley With Meth and Fake Credit Cards
Wednesday night, Scotts Valley police spotted a suspicious couple loitering near a pickup in the Safeway parking lot. After they made contact with the pair, they learned the female had an active warrant for her arrest so they detained her. The male told officers he was doing nothing wrong, but a K9 on scene alerted SVPD to the presence of drugs in his vehicle. When they searched the pickup, they found nearly 11 grams of methamphetamine, as well as equipment to manufacture fraudulent credit cards. Over 400 fake credit/debit cards, as well as various items of suspected stolen property were confiscated. Both people were arrested and taken to county jail.
Aptos Man Shoots Himself in the Leg
I heard a report on Tuesday that an Aptos man apparently shot himself in the leg. This happened on the 500 block of Monterey Drive, near the corner of Alta. The gunshot wound apparently wasn’t life threatening, but the victim required medical attention and Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the scene.
Water Rescue on the Westside
Tuesday night around 6:30PM, there was an apparent water rescue that involved 2 people that took place somewhere on the westside near West Cliff drive. The rescue involved SCPD, Santa Cruz Fire, and the Harbor Patrol. The victims were transported to the harbor where an ambulance was waiting to transport them to Dominican. No word on the extent of the victim’s injuries. Then a few hours later……
Man Falls From Cliff Off West Cliff Drive
Tuesday night around 10:30PM, reports came in that a man had fallen about 20 feet from a cliff to a ledge at West Cliff Drive and Stockton Avenue. He was injured and unconscious when he was found by members of the Santa Cruz Fire Department. The man was eventually rescued and brought to the top of the cliff, where he was transported by Cal Star Air Ambulance to a trauma center in Santa Clara County. No word on his condition.
Stranded Man Rescued From Davenport Beach
Wednesday night, reports came in that a man was stranded by the incoming tide on a beach near Davenport, and was trapped in a cove surrounded by high cliffs that he could not climb. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and Cal Fire both participated in a late night cliff rescue in the dark to save the man and bring him to the top of the cliffs to safety. Nobody was hurt, although the man’s pride was likely damaged. Well done SCCSO and Cal Fire. Having a satellite office in Davenport now likely helped expedite this rescue and may have saved this man’s life.
Kitchen Fire Displaces Five People at Chestnut Street Apartments
Tuesday night around 9:30PM, a kitchen fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to an apartment in Santa Cruz, displacing 5 people. Firefighters responded to the 100 block of Chestnut street and found the fire had been extinguished by sprinklers in the apartment before they arrived. They turned off the sprinklers and helped residents salvage their belongings while removing water from the apartment, as well as two units below it according to fire officials. The fire was apparently caused by cooking oil that ignited while someone was frying food, according to the fire department. No injuries were reported but the fire has left five people displaced.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Releases 2016 Crime Statistics
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart recently released the county wide crime statistics from 2016. Yes, I know we’re almost done with 2017. Better late than never. Keep in mind these are COUNTY WIDE figures and not CITY figures. Here’s the county press release.
No Bail Reform in California in 2017
An ambitious proposal to overhaul the bail system throughout California will not get a vote in the Legislature’s final weeks. Governor Jerry Brown has been pushing hard advocating for this proposal to a reluctant State Assembly, which rejected an identical bail bill this past spring. Critics of the bill called it extreme and issued dire warnings about compromised public safety. The biggest concern appears to be that it risks public safety by allowing criminals back into our communities with no accountability.
Santa Cruz County Prepares for Recreational Marijuana
Beginning January 1st of next year, anyone over the age of 21 will be able to buy marijuana in unincorporated Santa Cruz County legally. The county has been working with about a dozen retail pot shops and believes they are on schedule for Jan. 1st. Since the passage of Prop. 64, medical marijuana dispensaries have been getting calls about whether they’re selling recreational marijuana. The answer is no, at least not until the first of next year. Prop. 64 allows recreational use and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, as well as the legal right to grow up to six plants at home. It will be interesting to see what type of response we get locally here. Locally, marijuana is so ubiquitous already. It’s pretty easy to get if you want it. The bigger question will be are locals willing to pay more for it in a store than they are paying for it on the street now. The retail shops will almost certainly be a more expensive option, as it will include taxes. It will be more convenient for many, and will almost certainly be a hit with tourists visiting Santa Cruz who might want to score some weed for their vacation.
Former Capitola Police Chief Named New Head of Janus
Beginning in early October, former Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante has been named the new CEO at Janus of Santa Cruz, a local nonprofit focused on substance use disorder treatment services. He has been the Chairman of the Janus Board of Directors for the past 8 years, and succeeds Rod Libbey who is retiring. In 2016, 34 people died of an opioid overdose in Santa Cruz County, which has one of the highest overdose rates in California. Janus is working with local doctors and clinics to expand opioid treatment services armed with $4.6 million in state grants. Escalante retired in 2016 as Capitola’s police chief. He has a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State University and has been on the Janus board for 20 years. I think this is a good hire. Rudy Escalante has a fine reputation locally, and he’s well liked. I can also appreciate having a former member of law enforcement leading the effort here. He can bring a much more balanced perspective than say someone like Arnie Leff (who currently runs the county health services department and is a staunch supporter of handing out hundreds of thousands of needles, with little to no concern for the “collateral damage” to the community at large).
Hyatt Hotel on Broadway Prepares to Open
I heard that the city’s Building & Safety department just issued a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the Hyatt hotel located on Broadway at Ocean street. This brand new hotel, with 4 stories and 106 rooms, also has an underground parking garage to mitigate parking concerns from local neighbors. They expect to be welcoming guests by the Labor Day weekend. I know a lot of neighbors have concerns over traffic here (justifiably so). But this corner needed an enema to rid itself of all the crime and vagrancy nearby, so hopefully the new Hyatt’s management will increase security patrols in the area, as well as prosecute bad behavior. Just a few years ago, a woman was murdered across the street at the 7/11, which seems to be a spot local transients like to congregate. Hopefully this is just the start of cleaning up Lower Ocean. After the Unity Temple church left this location, the area became a big, homeless camp due to property neglect (and the city looking the other way). Neighbors would often find needles all over the place.
Local Chinese restaurant O’mei on Mission street is currently closed after a boycott of the restaurant was started when information was released about it’s owner contributing money to a former Ku Klux Klan leader running for Congress in 2016. Owner Roger Grigsby admitted that he made several donations adding up to $500 to the U.S. Senate campaign of Louisiana’s David Duke during his unsuccessful 2016 run. Duke served as a Ku Klux Klan leader from 1974 to 1978. Grigsby also made several donations to the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee,” according to public campaign disclosure listings on the U.S. Federal Election Commission website fec.gov. He actually defended his support of Duke’s campaign.
“He is defending the civil rights of European-Americans, whites, defending them from attacks against them,” Grigsby said of the former KKK leader. “If you can’t see that in the media, I don’t know what to tell you. The very word, ‘white supremacist’ is an attack. Nobody calls Mexicans and blacks and Chinese ‘Nazis.’ They only call white people ‘Nazis.’ The idea there is to make guilt by association of two words. White people and evil Nazis.”
Wow. This guy is pretty repulsive and isn’t the least bit concerned here. I’ll bet he’s concerned now that his restaurant is shut down. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for about 15 years, and I can say I’ve eaten at O’Mei once. It was ok. The food was tasty, the service wasn’t great, and honestly I won’t miss O’Mei. I do feel bad for the staff who are now all out of a job. And I am concerned about the angry mob mentality of shutting him down (even though he deserved it). What if the “fact” was just a false rumor, and people started stalking and harassing an innocent business owner? It’s a dangerous can of worms. I’m sure some people feel great for shutting him down, but personally, I think it’s a troubling trend I’m seeing here. Most likely at least a dozen people are unemployed now. That sucks. Still, I’m glad in this case it was proven to be fact, and I would never support his business based on this information.
Papa Doo Run Run Closes Boardwalk Summer Concert Season
As they annually do, Papa Doo Run Run will be closing this year’s summer concert season at the Boardwalk. Formed in Cupertino in 1965, the group has toured with surf music icons Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys, and served as the “celebrity house band” at Disneyland for an unprecedented 15 years, from 1975-1990. The last free concert of the season has shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM. And thanks to Kris Reyes and the Seaside Company for another fine year of free entertainment by some terrific bands. Keep bringing back Los Lobos! Make it an annual thing!
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