Santa Cruz experienced a red hot heat wave last weekend. It was ridiculously hot pretty much everywhere. Santa Cruz hit 105 degrees on Friday (that’s not a typo), beating the all time record for that date set on Sept. 1, 1955. Temperatures began to heat up last Thursday, with the worst of the heat wave hitting the area on Friday and Saturday. Nah, no such thing as global warming right? It was just sweltering. And who has air conditioning in Santa Cruz? Hardly anyone. I didn’t hear of any locals dying from heat exposure, so that’s good. Hopefully, the local animals fared ok as well. Let’s hope we never see heat like that here again.
Donald Trump Continues to Bring Shame to America
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”
I thought Mark Morford’s take on this was spot on. I support DACA. My contempt here goes way beyond party lines. This is an overwhelmingly successful program, but this asshat can’t see past the fact that it was Obama’s program. History will not be kind to his legacy. And his party and Republican members of Congress continue to kowtow to his every hateful word and action. Hopefully the voters will remember this next time they are up for re-election. I’m sure whoever runs against them won’t let them forget.
Hepatitis A Outbreak Hits Santa Cruz Homeless
According to the Santa Cruz County health department, the Public Health Division in the County of Santa Cruz has been investigating an increased number of Hepatitis A cases. Since April of this year, the County has counted 62 confirmed cases. Normally, they have 1-2 confirmed cases per year. According to Dr. Arnie Leff, the investigation is ongoing and “challenging” because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty in contacting many individuals sickened with the illness who are homeless and/or illicit drug users. According to Dr. Leff, no common source of food, beverage, or other cause has been identified to date and as a result, the source of the outbreak remains undetermined.
Is this guy the biggest buffoon in the entire county? I have 3 words for the possible “source” here. FOOD NOT BOMBS. The county was been willfully ignorant in shutting down this illegal food handout, which happens at least twice a week, and feeds the homeless (many who are “illicit drug users”). The answer is staring them right in the face here. Yet, the county does NOTHING TO SHUT THIS SHIT SHOW DOWN. Here’s a photo of volunteers, none of who have probably had proper food handling training or permits, prepping a meal OUTDOORS, in a filthy parking lot. Notice the lack of gloves on many of the volunteers here and the nasty slop buckets. If a restaurant was doing this, it would be shut down within a day. Food Not Bombs seems to get a pass here. Why? Maybe the county is afraid of them. I’m sure the county is afraid of looking “uncompassionate”. But how can the county health department be SO COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to not investigate them as the source. At the very least, they should be shut down immediately until they can be ruled out as the source. More on this story in the Senile.
Man Crashes Car Into Tree on Bay Street
Saturday night around 11PM, a 21 year old man from San Jose who was driving a white Lexus crashed into the front yard of a home on the 1600 block of Bay Street. The male driver apparently struck the curb line of Bay Street and then collided with a tree, a “No Parking” sign, another tree and then ended up in a fence. He was also in possession of a large amount of marijuana, cocaine, and SCPD found several used whip-it (nitrous oxide) canisters on the floor of his car. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Nobody was injured but the Lexus appears to be a total loss.
Car Hits CHP Motorcyclist Standing Along Highway One South Onramp
A 43 year old San Jose man who was driving his Mercedes way too fast crashed into a California Highway Patrol officer who was standing on the shoulder of Highway 1 near the fishhook in Santa Cruz Wednesday afternoon. Apparently the CHP officer had been talking to a pedestrian who was illegally walking on Highway 1. The driver of the Mercedes crashed into a Jeep Cherokee, then spun put of control and hit the CHP officer, who was thrown over a guardrail, according to CHP reports. The CHP officer and the Jeep Cherokee driver were transported to Dominican Hospital to be treated for their injuries. The Highway 1 onramp at River Street was shut down, and southbound traffic gridlocked. Witnesses reported both vehicles involved in the collision were totaled. The CHP did not release the severity of the officer’s injuries.
Thief Stealing From Wharf Business Caught on Video
Saturday morning around 2AM, I heard a report of a man breaking into Ports of Call, a retail shop located on the Santa Cruz Wharf. He was captured on their security cameras stealing over a thousand dollars in merchandise. He stole a pair of Reef shoes, several hats and hoodies with the Santa Cruz dot logo, an NHS Skateboard, and several dozen pairs of Spy Sunglasses. Apparently, he also stole their sensor pin remover and tried to rip the alarm panel off of their wall while trying to dismantle their surveillance cameras. Unfortunately for him, the cameras got a pretty good shot of this bum’s face. Please call SCPD if you recognize the jerk in the photo above.
Bum Passes Out in Portapotty Downtown
Sunday afternoon, Santa Cruz Fire and Rescue were called out to the corner of Laurel and Front after a man was reported to be passed out and hanging half way out of the portapotty on the corner of Pacific and Front. And people wonder why we don’t have 24/7 bathrooms available downtown? This happened in the middle of the day, on a Sunday afternoon, at one of the city’s busiest intersections. It illustrates why we can’t have nice things in Santa Cruz.
Man Assaults Victim With Stun Gun
Last Thursday around 11:30PM, a report came in that a man had used a stun gun on another person on the 100 block of Market street in Santa Cruz. The 57 year old man caused visible injuries to the victim, and was arrested by SCPD for assault with a deadly weapon.
Man Kicked in the Head During Fight Downtown
Sunday morning around 2AM, a report came in that a man was kicked in the head during a fight downtown on the 800 block of Pacific Avenue, near the intersection of Pacific and Laurel. The suspect who kicked the victim in the head was apparently able to evade the police, and nobody was arrested in the incident.
Shots Fired on Felix Street
Tuesday morning around 1:30AM, reports came in that shots were fired at an apartment complex on the 100 block of Felix street in Santa Cruz. There did not appear to be any obvious gunshot wound victims and no arrests were made, although SCPD did find broken glass and bullet casings at the scene.
Bum Fight Outside India Joze
I was walking downtown Monday afternoon and as I passed the Metro station, I noticed lots of people standing on Pacific and at the bus stops looking over towards Front street. Naturally curious, I walked over and right as I was arriving on Front, 3 SCPD units showed up with lights and sirens blazing. Apparently, there was some kind of bum fight in the parking lot next to India Joze restaurant, the area where Food Not Bombs weekly preps their slop to feed the homeless. I saw SCPD load a shirtless guy into the back of one of the units, while the victim remained in the parking lot talking to SCPD. So it appeared one attacked the other for some reason. The victim was older and possibly disabled. No word on any charges, but there didn’t appear to be any serious injuries to the victim.
SCPD Snares Five Local Businesses for Selling Alcohol to Minors
SCPD conducted what they are calling “minor decoy operations” on 18 local businesses last week. Five businesses had employees that sold alcohol to the minor decoys:
- Safeway – 117 Morrissey Blvd
- Walgreens – 201 Front St
- Valero Corner Store – 1319 Ocean St
- 7-Eleven – 602 Laurel St
- Hernandez Market – 525 Laurel St
The other 12 businesses asked for identification and declined to serve the decoys. The businesses who sold alcohol to a minor will have administrative action taken against them according to SCPD. That action may include a fine, a suspension of their liquor license, or the permanent revocation from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Is it just a coincidence that the 5 businesses are among the most notorious locally for calls to service for bad behavior? The Safeway and Walgreens are among the worst offenders for service calls from SCPD of any business in the city. I’m kind of willing to give Hernandez Market a pass on this. Many of their staff don’t speak English well, and it’s a pretty nice market. But lately there have been lots of vagrants that hang out in front of their store, and in the alcove between them and the laundromat. It’s gotten worse since AlphaGraphics packed up and moved to Scotts Valley after being on the corner of Laurel and Chestnut for MANY years (since 2003). Another local business decided to up and move away to a location that was less problematic with transients and bad behavior. And the 7/11 on Laurel and Chestnut is a constant shit show and magnet for bums and transients, who regularly congregate out front or to the Chestnut street side of the business.
David Terrazas Speaks the Truth
In a recent letter to the Sentinel, Vice Mayor David Terrazas really stepped up and spoke the truth that so many others are afraid to say. I know a lot of folks think talk is cheap (like me). But I gotta respect DT for calling out the county (as in the Board of Supervisors and our useless city rep there) and the state. The state passes the buck down to the county (in order to avoid a federal lawsuit for prison overcrowding). The county passes the buck down to the city (because it can with zero resistance from Ryan Coonerty). And the city is left to deal with the collateral damage of the stupidity of both. As long as inmate numbers in state prisons are reduced, the state doesn’t care what happens to them. As long as the county continues to hand out hundreds of thousands of free needles to junkies, they don’t care how they get the cash to fill those needles. Mierda rolls downhill, and the city is too afraid to push back. At least David isn’t afraid to push back here.
The City of Santa Cruz and SCPD Continue to Lack Transparency
I’ve had a number of people contact me recently asking me about why the SCPD online scanner is not working. I don’t have any answer for that, other than the city and SCPD probably doesn’t want the community to know about all the rampant, daily criminal activity that takes place within our community. It’s bad enough that they selectively enforce the laws as it is, but to shut down one of the few resources the community has to actually learn about the DAILY, RAMPANT CRIME that takes place within the city is just shameful. It has NO bearing on this weekly column whatsoever, but I do think it’s a terrible look for the city and SCPD here. It reinforces a perceived level of incompetence and just reaffirms the lack of trust within the community towards both the city and SCPD. Ignorance IS NOT bliss when it comes to public safety. Apparently it’s been 3 weeks since it’s been down, and I know for a fact SCPD and Martin Bernal are both aware of the issue and continue to do nothing about it.
Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
A new Transformers movie will be shooting scenes locally in Santa Cruz, according to Paramount Pictures officials. They are seeking extras for the film, which will be called “Brighton Falls” and will be shooting in the Boardwalk area from September 20th through the 22nd according to their casting coordinator. Extras will be paid $104 for eight hours plus overtime, but must be available on all three days.
Dignity Health Wants to Demolish and Replace Building at 610 Frederick Street
Last week, the county planning department received an application for a Design Permit from Dignity Health to demolish an existing 58,000 square foot, three story building at 610 Frederick street and replace it with a 60,000 square foot two story medical complex. The new building would go behind two office buildings that flank the driveway into the current complex. Because the proposed project is in the “Professional and Administrative Office Zone” District where medical offices are principally permitted, the design permit can be administratively approved by staff without a public hearing.
Greek Festival Downtown this Weekend
The Santa Cruz Greek Festival takes place September 8th, 9th, and 10th at 223 Church Street, between Church and Center Streets, downtown Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Greek Festival is the longest running festival in Santa Cruz County, growing from a small celebration in the church courtyard to a huge block party. Authentic Greek food, pastries, spirits, live Greek music by The Spartan Band, folk dancing and more, it’s been voted the “best street festival” in Santa Cruz County. They’ll be serving up moussaka, souvlaki, roasted lamb shanks, gyro, calamari, pastitsio and many other dishes including a wide variety of vegetarian selections. Greek dancers from all over the Bay Area will be dressed in traditional costumes and performing a variety of folk dances that have been handed down for hundreds of years. It’s a fun and very tasty event. More info here.
Mole and Mariachi Festival Returns to Santa Cruz
The Mole & Mariachi Festival returns to Santa Cruz on Saturday, September 9th from 11AM until 5PM at the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, located at 144 School street. Admission is free and tasting kits are $10 for six or $15 for ten. Local chefs will prepare mole, a traditional Mexican sauce sometimes featuring chocolate, for attendees and judges to sample. Competitors include Margaritaville, Mickey’s Catering & Café, Cacoco, El Chipotle Restaurant, Taquitos Gabriel Chef Emma Pinto/Mama Marquita, Lidia’s Taqueria, Chef Zack Mazi and Chef Ana Mendoza/Moles & Oaxacan Cuisine. There will also be beer available from Discretion Brewing, wine by Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, as well as chavelas (a drink made with beer, tomato juice and spices) and aguas frescas. There will also be plenty of kids’ activities, Mariachi music and Folkorico dancing. Visit here for details. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in support of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.
The Weekly Seen
The female driver was passed out in the driver’s seat with a needle on her lap according to the person who took this photo. Good morning Santa Cruz!
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Ben! Great work pal. Love that you had a piece on DT’s letter. I hope he can back it up. From what I’ve seen so for- Noroyan will be the only one to have his back.
Thanks Big J. I hope so too. I do have faith in Richelle and DT. Everyone else not so much. I would hope that Cynthia Mathews and Martine Watkins will support him as well, but they haven’t impressed me making public safety a priority and not just a lip service afterthought. Chase is pretty clueless (let’s have a coffee klatch and talk about it!) and Krohn and Brown are beyond hope here.
I hope DT brings all the DT’s (delerium tremens) to all those degenerates here in Santa Cruz.
Thanks Bob. His letter is a start anyways. He’s keeping it “vibrantly honest”. I can appreciate that.
Great job once again Ben in your reporting of the continued BumaRama saga on the streets of Santa Cruz and telling reading the places you really dont want to frequent because they are loaded with BUMs hanging out…
Thanks Johnny. And to anyone offended by the use of the word “bum”, too bad.
This newsletter is a breath of fresh air. Thanks for all the hard work and keeping us so well informed.
I live near Spruce St. and Pacific. After the recent shooting (I recognized one of the perps as one of the regular drug dealers who have offered me “anything I want” on my way home) there was an increase in police presence in the area. If you’re not familiar with the spot its fascinating. There is a 60-65yo lady who lives on the sidewalk of Spruce/Pacific. She is mentally unstable but the same group of black dudes in SUV’s always seem to be interacting with her and parked right next to her sidwalk spot. Theres also a white VW Jetta that is on the street constantly. I have seen at least 5 junkies in the passenger side nodding off (I know my anatomy of a junkie, the retracted meth jaw line, etc). The driver of the Jetta is quasi-homeless and seems to be the head dealer for the street. I haven’t even mentioned the amount of obvious deals I’ve seen in the morning bum will walk up to the corner. A guy on a beach cruiser magically shows up with a backpack. Opens backpack. Quick exchange. It’s fucking ridiculous. It’s the only area of town I could afford to rent in and it’s beyond shady and I’ve got to live near shit-stained sidewalks that get more tent-like by the day. If any SCPD are on here just park a police car on any connecting street of Pacific/Spruce. It’ll be worth your time.
Hey your last name isn’t Mills is it? Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully the Chief is reading this.
Meanwhile, the Senile continues to be in LaLa Land!
At City Council Tuesday at 5:25, Barry Swenson Builders is ready to invest $79 Million in the Town Clock project – and these fuckers were trying to give him 2 minutes. Do you believe it!? Hugh should have a blast on this one.