The Weekly Dump 11.3.17

Halloween Brings Crowd to Downtown

Downtown Santa Cruz survived another Halloween. An estimated 9,000 people came downtown Tuesday afternoon and evening to celebrate what has become the biggest informal gathering in the city every year. SCPD announced this year’s event came and went without any significant incidents of violence. From the morning of Halloween until the next morning, SCPD had a total of 342 calls for service, with 18 Arrests for public intoxication, warrants, or drugs. They gave out 42 citations, including 15 for triple fine violations. Most of these were for open containers of alcohol and public urination. By comparison, in 2016 there were 20 arrests and 40 citations. It certainly helps to have Halloween on a Tuesday instead of the weekend. I was down there earlier in the afternoon and was happy to see thousands of kids and their parents doing the trick or treat walk along Pacific, with pretty much every business handing out candy to the kids. And given the recent act of terrorism in NYC, law enforcement did a great job protecting the public from the possibility of a similar event happening here. Great job to all the public safety groups working that day downtown, and to the businesses that created a fun and festive environment for kids and adults alike.

San Lorenzo Park Now a Homeless Campground

As if we needed more proof about how spineless (and clueless) city manager Martin Bernal and our city “leaders” are, San Lorenzo Park has been turned into a makeshift homeless campground with the full blessing of the city manager and SCPD. They were obviously tired of seeing them in their front yard at city hall. Not in my front yard! They were tired of seeing them parked along the sidewalk at the Post Office. So let’s just dump them down by the river along the levee. What a “progressive” solution we have from the dimwits running this town. The only redeeming part of all this is the city basically moved the issue to the backyard of the county building, where Ryan Coonerty and his clueless peers on the Board of Supervisors can see it daily. Never mind the environmental impact this causes to the river and the levee. Never mind that 99% of Santa Cruz can’t enjoy San Lorenzo park right now. Never mind that in the coming weeks, the rain will make this “solution” a swamp with feces and urine running into the river. Out of sight out of mind! I know a lot of people want to blame Chief Mills for this, but shit rolls downhill (literally) and he’s just taking orders from his boss (Martin Bernal) here. He may have signed off on this, and yes, that’s pandering and pissing a lot of people off. But he doesn’t set city policy. Can we all just agree that these people don’t have a clue how to effectively deal with this problem? A problem created by the same people now scrambling to find a solution to 30 plus years of idiot compassion.

Driver Rams Car Head On Into CHP Vehicle

Last Monday around midnight, a driver intentionally rammed his Jaguar head on into a California Highway Patrol officer’s vehicle, according to CHP reports. The 39 year old man from Santa Maria was stopped for a traffic violation and fled when CHP officers tried to pull him over. In the ensuing chase, the suspect drove into a parking lot on Capitola Avenue. When the Jaguar came to a brief stop and the officers exited their patrol vehicle, the suspect accelerated toward the right side of the patrol vehicle. One officer had to jump back inside his car to avoid being struck. CHP continued their pursuit when the suspect accelerated toward the patrol vehicle and collided with it head on. The suspect was arrested after a physical struggle with officers. He was treated for injuries at a hospital before he was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail. The CHP officers suffered minor injuries and they were also treated at a hospital. The suspect’s bail was set at $100,000. That’s Santa Cruz for you. $100,000 bail for attempting to kill a peace officer. What a bad joke.

Knife Fight at Super Silver

Monday night around 8PM, I heard a report of a fight at the Super Silver store on Pacific, where at least one suspect pulled a knife. The suspect with the knife took off running downtown with the knife in his hand. Apparently nobody was stabbed in the fight. Reports indicated he punched the victim and then pulled a knife on him. The victim followed the suspect to 99 Bottles where SCPD met up with him. No report on whether they actually arrested him.

Transient Threatens Staff at Homeless Services Center

Thursday morning around 8:30AM, I heard a report of a transient male threatening the staff of the Homeless Services Center at 115 Coral street. The HSC staff reported that he has a history of stabbing people. If he has a history of stabbing people, why the hell is he wandering our streets? Just another wake up call that goes unheard. And of course, he ends up at the epicenter of homeless enabling at the corner of Highway 1 and River street. I feel for the HSC staff. They are trying to help vulnerable people in need and they deal with this kind of criminal vagrancy every single day. And the city blesses this with more funding every year, with no accountability from this non-profit. Let’s not forget the city owns this piece of property, and gave this non-profit the mother of all sweetheart lease agreements. I complain about slumlords, but let’s face it, the city is the biggest slumlord of them all with regards to this parcel of property.

Bum Slugs Dream Inn Employee

Tuesday afternoon around 1PM, I heard a report that a transient male dressed in a hoody and pajama pants slugged an employee of the Dream Inn after he was asked to leave and refused. Two other staff members physically held him down until SCPD arrived. When SCPD arrived, they also confirmed the same suspect had been causing trouble earlier on Bay street, which required SCPD to respond and intervene. Hey, I’m sure he was just sleeping and minding his own business on private property! I’m sure he was expecting the usual level of coddling from the Dream Inn that he gets from SCPD and the city. Maybe he was outraged at the lack of service by Dream Inn employees for waking him up and not bringing him a coffee and donut.

Twenty Seven Times and Counting!

Tuesday afternoon around 1:30PM, reports came in that a bum was screaming and throwing stuff at people on the 600 block of Front street near Soquel. Downtown Rangers and SCPD eventually caught up with him in the alley next to the parking garage. Witnesses said he threw a bottle at a passing vehicle and threatened another person in the nearby parking lot. I looked the guy up. He’s ONLY been arrested 27 times locally. Instead of arresting him yet again, SCPD gave him a warning and sent him on his way to continue causing trouble downtown. That’s how we roll when it comes to public safety in Santa Cruz! Why do we even have police here?

Bozo the Bum Terrorizes Local Kids

Last Monday night, I heard a report of a “possibly drunk man” in a green wig and mask with his pants falling down throwing candy at and yelling at nearby kids on the 500 block of Frederick street. The suspect reportedly was found passed out in the parking lot when SCPD arrived. Didn’t sound like he was arrested.

Two Bodies Found in Boulder Creek Cemetery

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Cemeteries are full of bodies, usually more than two. But these two bodies were found above ground, not below it. Saturday morning, two bodies were found close together in what was described as “a bloated, decomposing state” by a volunteer caretaker, who also stated they saw a handgun and a handwritten note nearby. Investigators with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Another witness reported seeing a sheriff’s coroner vehicle and forensics team at the cemetery.

Guns From Markley’s Burglary Recovered in Watsonville

Watsonville Police and the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Reduction Enforcement Team served a search warrant last week on two residences in Watsonville and confiscated a small arsenal of guns, some of which were stolen from Markley’s Indoor Range and Gun Shop last month. They also found and confiscated a bunch of stolen property and drugs in the search.

In the initial search, Officers found 9 guns, body armor, and a high capacity magazine. They also found suspected stolen property, including expensive bikes, clothes, and electronics. They also seized 20 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale. A second search was done at another house of the suspect. There they found 21 guns. These included a high powered rifle, illegal shotgun, taser, and several handguns. One handgun was already outfitted with a homemade silencer. More drugs and suspected stolen property were also found, including more marijuana, meth, and suspected stolen construction equipment. Police confirmed some of the guns that were found were stolen from a house that was burglarized last week and from Markley’s Indoor Range and Gun Shop earlier this month. Markley’s was burglarized in the early morning of October 4th. This prompted a 17-hour SWAT standoff as police believed someone was still inside. Officers determined no one was inside and no arrests were made at the time.

The suspect was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on 8 separate charges, including possession of stolen firearms, possession of stolen property, and possession of burglary tools. The Watsonville Police Department intends to hold a public viewing of the suspected stolen property to give theft victims a chance to claim their items.

Santa Cruz Warriors Return This Saturday

The Santa Cruz Warriors make their season home opener this Saturday against the South Bay Lakers this Saturday night at 7PM at the Kaiser Arena in downtown Santa Cruz. Tickets are available here. I still haven’t heard anything recently about a new permanent arena for the Warriors being built downtown, so it’s the Permanente for at least another year. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Día de los Muertos Community Festival This Saturday

This Saturday, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History will be hosting the Día de los Muertos Community Festival at 705 Front street in downtown Santa Cruz. There will be dance performances, face painting for kids, and lots of delicious food. It’s presented in partnership with Senderos, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks. More info here.

Dunkin’ Donuts Opening on Ocean Next Week

Dunkin’ Donuts will finally be opening its first Santa Cruz location next Tuesday. Located at 1314 Ocean street, they’re hosting a grand opening celebration with free samples starting at 5AM, with giveaways to the first 100 people in line. The first person in line receives a $250 gift card! I’ll bet there’s a homeless person lined up already. They will be open daily from 5AM until 10PM and offer free wifi to go along with donuts, bakery goods and sandwiches, hot and iced coffees, espresso drinks, teas, smoothies and cold brew coffee. Maybe this will spell the end of Ferrell’s Donuts across the street, which has a long history of coddling vagrants and drug activity in and around their parking lot. I think most locals won’t be sad to see Ferrell’s go away. The owners have had years to clean it up but it’s been nothing but a convenient place for transients to terrorize locals and tourists staying at the nearby hotels.

The Weekly Seen

Just another day downtown. Gives new meaning to the expression “urban sprawl”

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  1. Jim Northcutt

    Unfortunately it’s been years since San Lorenzo park was accessible to the residents of the county. And since they crap in the river from the boardwalk to Hwy 1 I doubt they’ll cause any further damage.
    Keep up the honest reporting. It’s all we get in this senile town.

    • Thanks Jim. Every year, the rains work wonders for flushing the garbage out of the river and the levee. This year will be no different. What irritates the hell out of me (and just about everyone I know) is the fact the city and county know this. Yet, this is their “solution” to getting homeless campers off the streets of downtown. It’s short sighted and just plain stupid. Where are they going to go once the levee turns into a swamp? Back downtown. Martin Bernal and his “whack a mole” policies need to go. It’s time to bring in some enlightened leadership for a change. Santa Cruz needs to stop electing the same status quo people who are afraid to rock the boat here. And that’s especially true at the county level, where Ryan Coonerty will attempt to bully his way to another term off the family name.

  2. Whoever set that $100,000 bail should be ashamed. That’s an insult to our local police.

  3. Great reporting Ben. As always. The topics are very disappointing but you’re journalism is hard to top. “30 years of idiot compassion” captures Santa Cruz perfectly.

  4. Okay too piss and shit in the river; but God forbid, no paddleboards or canoes! Can’t have that!

    • Truth. The city and county is all concerned over recreational impacts on the river and the levee, unless it involves the local homeless campers. Then it’s no problem. What a bunch of typical hypocritical BS. Thanks Ray.

  5. Thank you !

  6. How did I just now hear about this gem of a news site? Thank you for your reporting. I really appreciate that you have this going. So many good points made. I am a life long, 3rd generation Santa Cruzan, husband is 5th generation, but my children might be the last; it’s just getting too crazy politically here. And expensive. And dirty. And full of homeless, mentally ill, drug addled, gang members. Either that or I somehow get myself elected to city (shitty) council, which would actually suck, but if not me then who?

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