The Weekly Dump 11.17.17

Camp Coonerty Continues to Pollute San Lorenzo Park and River

After the word got out about the ridiculous, complete failure of forethought from the city and county, otherwise known as “Camp Coonerty in San Lorenzo Park”, it seemed that more moderate (and smarter) voices began to pop up and question just what in the hell was going on here and why. I think one interesting fact that came up among my many discussions this past week was regarding the city council’s “homeless solutions committee” final recommendations and report, which the city council unanimously approved. There’s absolutely no mention of using San Lorenzo Park as a de facto, makeshift campground, or temporary “solution” anywhere within the report. So how did we get here? How bad is the tail wagging the dog when the city manager and the Chief of Police go rogue on the city council’s recommendations (or lack of them) and just decide to violate existing ordinances and take over a city park without any kind of approval from the city council or the residents of the city? From a top down perspective, the “official” pecking order from top to bottom goes The voters of Santa Cruz>The city council>The city manager>the Chief of Police. So why do we seem to be working backwards here? And why is this ok?

So back to saner heads. I was pleased to see Greg Pepping take a more proactive position calling this failed experiment out and to task publicly. I know he’s biting the hands that feed him, but he knows it’s the right thing to do. Check out his petition here. I support his efforts here.

And now apparently, the county and the Board of Supervisors want some answers here! The jokes just write themselves. The county and the Board of Supervisors are the people responsible for county wide social services, which includes homeless services. They’ve done nothing about it but let the city run interference for them on this issue, spend the city’s money on dealing with this issue, as county dingleberries like Ryan Coonerty and John Leopold feign ignorance while demanding “answers” here. These county leaders are a joke. Clueless, spineless, and willfully ignorant. Think about that when Ryan wants you to vote for 4 more years of his status quo bullshit next year.

Local Transient Terrorizes School With Machete

A well known local transient criminal recidivist was arrested (yet again!) on Tuesday morning after he entered Natural Bridges High School with a machete, causing the school and at least 2 other nearby schools to go on lock down as SCPD circulated throughout the area looking for him. The same male was previously arrested in September for walking around downtown Santa Cruz with a large knife in his hands. In that incident, the same suspect actively resisted and tried to pull the knife on arresting officers, who then tased him when the suspect posed an immediate threat to their safety. Back then he was arrested for outstanding warrants, carrying a concealed dagger, resisting arrest, and assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer. And less a month later, here he is walking through a local high school with a machete! WTF is wrong with this picture people? What does it actually take to put someone in prison here?

Local Teenager Busted For Drugs and Gun

Saturday afternoon, SCPD arrested a 15 year old male in Santa Cruz after being caught with a gun and drugs. Officers were patrolling the Beach Flats neighborhood when they saw the teen run across the street in front of them on Park Place. Officers quickly stopped to avoid hitting the teen and tried to contact him, but he ran away. Officers then chased after the boy and he threw a backpack. They found the teen about two blocks away along with a .25 caliber firearm and more than an ounce of marijuana in the backpack. They also found evidence of the teen being involved in a local gang. The teen was being housed at Juvenile Probation and is facing several charges including possession of a concealed firearm and participation in a criminal street gang. There is no record association to the gun.

Blame the Tourists!

Last Saturday night around 10:30PM, a 35 year old male from Truckee was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on felony drug sales charges. Officers from the SCPD Neighborhood Enforcement Team noticed the man was using methamphetamine inside his vehicle as it was parked in the 800 block of Water Street. As they spoke with the suspect, he attempted to conceal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in his hand. In the subsequent search of the suspect’s car, SCPD Officers located more than 60 grams of methamphetamine and more than 15 grams of heroin that were packed for sales. The suspect, who was also was on probation (out of Alameda County), was arrested without incident for possession of a controlled substance. So here’s the quick version: Bum drug dealer from Truckee, on probation out of Alameda County, is caught smoking or shooting meth in Santa Cruz while carrying 75 grams of heroin and meth. This is what we are willing to tolerate.

He’s Burning For You

Monday afternoon around 4PM, I heard a report that a transient male described as “out of his mind”  was standing next to gas pumps at Valero station on the 1500 block of Soquel avenue with a lighter in his hand threatening to set them on fire. SCPD seemed to know the guy by name and eventually told him to knock if off.

Just Another Morning Transient Fight Along Mission Street

Around 11AM on Thursday morning, there was a report of a disturbance on Van Ness near Mission. A man and woman were throwing stuff at each other in a former church parking lot. At least one of them was determined to be “5150”. SCPD responded with a couple of units and one of the local mental health ride alongs that accompanies some of the patrol units, especially around the downtown areas.

More Oh No From Pono

Early Monday morning, we heard Pono was robbed again, the second time it’s happened in the past three weeks. Located at 120 Union Street, the restaurant was burglarized around 4:30AM where surveillance video captured what looks like a male suspect using a keg to smash a window in the back of the restaurant. Once inside the restaurant, the burglar stole the restaurant’s bolted down safe. The restaurant does have an alarm system through ADT but it didn’t sound off during the break in Monday.

“We are feeling very helpless and defeated as there’s not much that our local law-enforcement has been able to do. Crime just seems to be increasing in the downtown area and surrounding areas as well. It’s really a bummer,” said owner Timmy Hunt in a recent statement.

Drive By Shooting Near Depot Park

Friday night there was a report of a drive by shooting near Depot Park after two or three men opened fire at two people on the 100 block of Chestnut Street. A shell casing was found in the street and SCPD was looking for a car described as a light, 4 door sedan.

Fight at the Regal Cinema

Sunday night around 8:15, I heard a report of a disturbance at the Regal Cinema downtown. Apparently a female patron hit a male patron, and after SCPD arrived, it got more confrontational to the point where they had to send more units.

Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day

Sunday morning around 10:30AM, I heard a report of an evicted tenant that was causing a disturbance and threatening other tenants on the 100 block of Ocean street near Limos. The man claimed he had a shotgun in his car that may have been stolen after he also claimed someone broke into his car. Apparently the man also had a couple of prior 5150s, as well as a couple of guns registered to his name. Hey, that’s a frightening sentence! When SCPD, arrived he was found on a neighbors front porch playing a flute. He was taken into custody without incident.

Opportunity Knocks When Nobody’s Home

Saturday night around 7:30PM, I heard a report that a possible larceny was taking place on Colson street near May. A neighbor reported seeing a truck full of furniture parked in the driveway of a house that had a sign on the door saying it was under police investigation. No idea how this one turned out but I just thought it was funny how bold someone must be to rip off someone’s furniture from an active crime scene.

Morning Bum Fight Near Depot Park

Saturday morning around 8AM, there was a report of a screaming man with a knife somewhere along the railroad tracks near Depot Park. SCPD sent a couple units out to the scene. It turned out a couple of transients were fighting. One of them fled the scene before SCPD got there, but the other one was arrested.

Hugh’s News!

City Council – November 14, 2017
Council meetings have been starting at 12:30 lately. That’s an hour earlier than before. I have to question if this is because Khron takes each meeting hostage with dramatic readings and asking for clarity every 10 minutes. At one point I was yelling to the TV. 12 you dipshit! She said 12! Oh and it’s on the power point slide in front of you.

November 14, 2017 has been declared Leveelies Day! Janet Fardette and the Leveelies received a Mayor’s Proclamation, hats from Parks and Recreation, kudos and a standing applause from Council. Go have some fun Leveelies, you deserve it. Thank you for all your years of service. Discussion about the current legal encampment at San Lorenzo Park bench lands was discussed during City Managers report. Crime has decreased downtown, the library has had fewer incidents, no one camping around the post office and merchants downtown are noticing a difference. All of this is fantastic. KSBW reported that when the bench lands were cleared out last week for 24 hours for cleanup and maintenance that over 100 needles were found scattered about. The big red needle kiosk is right there on Water St. Literally could not be closer. As someone said on social media “you got one job to do…. Throw away the needles in the kiosk next to your tent”

A representative from Coastal Watershed Council spoke to the impact on the river and its inhabitants. That yes, these people need a place to be but a muddy park next to a river isn’t the appropriate place for people to live. A few council members have been to the bench lands and all agree that the vibe out there is generally good. Terrazas and Noroyan both called out the county. The county receives millions of dollars for mental health services. The city does not. It is time for them to step up and step up now. There are “2×2” meetings taking place between 2 council members and 2 board of supervisor members. My hope is that they come to solution soon. The camping at bench lands is a temporary thing according to our new Chief of Police. The winter shelter opens on November 15 and the bench lands are supposed to be cleared by December 15 or “sometime in December” and apparently there are plans for an indoor day center as well. So folks, we just have to wait and see. In the meantime, please go downtown and support local merchants. They have been paying the tab for a lot of the dysfunction in this town for a really long time. We have some incredible stores, restaurants, hair salons and coffee houses downtown. Abbott Square is about the coolest place ever and we have the Museum of Art and History. People are working their asses off and deserve our support.

The aging flaccid Anti Semite slithered in and out of the meeting last night. I think chambers needs a good smudging after he leaves. I am grateful for oral communications and the ability for folks to speak to what is important to them. I love hearing about tandem bikes for cops, I don’t mind hearing about the dangers of cell towers or how there aren’t enough bathrooms downtown. Bring on the announcements for fund raisers, beach clean ups, or rantings about the sidewalk vendors. I just wish this particular person would find something else to do at 5pm on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

The “we need more housing but we are anti-growth” wingnuts weighed in on several items on the agenda. There was also a presentation on a Draft Cannabis Ordinance. I never thought I would see a power point presentation with little pot leaves on each page. It was kind of awesome.

City of Santa Cruz Releases October Crime Statistics

The city of Santa Cruz recently updated their website with the monthly crime statistics for October of 2017. These numbers reflect the 31 day period of October 2017 and are for the City of Santa Cruz only. They are a synopsis of the full report, which is compiled and published by SCPD and posted on the city’s website.

  • Homicide: 1
  • Rapes: 2
  • Robberies: 4
  • Aggravated Assaults: 16
  • Burglaries: 39
  • Larcenies: 222
  • Auto Thefts: 19
  • Arson: 2

Downtown Streets Team Needs Your Help!

I got word that the Downtown Streets Team is part of the “Santa Cruz Gives” campaign, and they’re currently trying to raise $5000 in order to get a matching grant of $5000. I think it’s a great group and hope they can meet their match here. Click here to donate!

Curry and Durant Attend Local Warriors Game

I heard that both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were in Santa Cruz last Friday night to watch the Santa Cruz Warriors game at Kaiser Arena. Pretty cool that they’d take the time to come down and support the local home team!

Weekly Shoutouts

Weekly shoutout to Rafael and the staff at Santa Cruz Pipefitters. If you need a local plumber, call these guys!

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  1. “When SCPD, arrived he was found on a neighbors front porch playing a flute.” WTF?! You can’t make this mierda up.

  2. Someone should call the coastal commission. Sounds like the county/city has “developed” the park without a proper development permit. Maybe the CCC can start fining the city $10k a day like they do everyone else.

  3. Camp Coonerty. Excellent Ben. Sounds like something from South Park. What a joke this town is.

  4. Camp Coonerty- Sounds like the city/county talks are going well. The BoS voted unanimously on Tuesday to send a formal letter to the city asking them for clarity on (camping) policy! Lol Apparently Leopold isnt enjoying the view out of his county office window anymore.

    • It’s a great big dysfunctional tug of war over who’s actually responsible for the homeless (the city or the county?). Mostly who pays for it (it’s always about money somehow) and who looks bad in whatever fly by the seat of their pants exit strategy that Bernal and/or Mills has concocted here. The county doesn’t want the aggravation of dealing with the local homeless (and they let the city take all the grief for not doing enough when it’s completely a county responsibility). I’m sure Ryan and Johnny Leopold hate staring out their office windows at the growing human sewer in the park almost as much as they hate being called out for the fact they don’t do jack shit about it while it’s at the core of their civic responsibilities.

  5. OMG Ben! the Semile has a front page story today about Camp Coonerty. CC is under fire for the fool’s they are. Apparently the city thought the camp would dissolve on its own when the rains cam, but some campers have been interviewed and they’re refusing to move. Step right up folks — it’s the show of the century — just one thin dime one tenth of a dollar — welcome to Santa Cruz…..

  6. Just the Facts

    The city went through this when camp “Paradise” was around. Council, and especially Krohn , who was Mayor at the time , were stopped by the cities lawyers from allowing a campground at Harvey West. No can do without the permission of a city charter change. This is all in the Senile’s archives.

    • What’s the new charter say “Free for tweakers, expensive for the rest of us.” “Come enjoy city parks, and get a free dose of heroin and hepatitis?”

    • There’s just so many layers and layers of dysfunction in the city’s departments, and people from the county play on this dysfunction to get the city to do it’s unglamorous slop work (like sheltering the city’s homeless). Ryan knows how to play the game, and he and the board of supervisors (along with the CAO) game the city, the city council, and the city manager over and over. Why should the county have to pay for homeless services (or find them shelter out of the rain) when the city is so willing to step up and offer an overabundance of redundant, social service programs designed not to eliminate homelessness locally but to serve them locally? It’s a cottage industry here and it needs to be fed as much if not more than the actual homeless they claim to serve.

      • I find it really interesting that the city council declared an emergency ordinance to stop the 300 vacation rentals in this town from growing due to a imminent danger removing housing stock, and yet these council jokers can’t even declare an emergency when this insanity situation arises? Crazy!

      • That’s Cutting Edge journalism to think of the homeless as a cottage industry with a bunch of constituents – Ben because it sure is a cottage industry with everybody on the milk cow teat from Handy Andy to Janus. Do you realize there is about 4 million dollars worth of overtime for police fire and Parks each year And because 50 to 70% of all police fire and parks time is spent on homeless crimes all of our police fire and Parks people look at the homeless as a way to increase their income annually for the overtime that it creates for this multi-layered government of incompetence. So police fire and Parks and Rec look at the homeless as customers for the extra income they produce! Ben, – you should run for mayor! You’d be elected in a heartbeat because you have this whole interlocked back-scratching Santa cruz sideshow so dialed, no one could possibly argue with you?

  7. I meant to say unsanitary not insanity, but really they both work!

  8. Camp Coonerty had several police cars and a firetruck at 8:30 this morning. What were these fine people up to, one wonders.

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