This week was actually kind of quiet and uneventful but it wasn’t without a few cringe worthy moments. The high school closed due to a power failure downtown and fire at the school, AJ Gonzalez was back in big boy court, Bins for Bums, moving the downtown farmers market, Kaiser survives another 2 years, post release community supervision, making it rain in Aptos, let sleeping bums lie, squatters at Fairy Tale Farm, Hugh’s News, downtown library committee meeting, lighted boat parade returns, the Weekly Seen, and more!
Fire at Santa Cruz High School Shuts Down Wednesday Classes
An early morning power outage and fire caused Santa Cruz High School to cancel classes this past Wednesday. The power outage began around 3AM, leaving about 3,000 PG&E customers without power for about five and a half hours. Downed power lines on Beach and Third Streets caused the power outage. Shortly after power was restored, there was a report of a fire in the main school building which was apparently sparked from an electrical motor in an elevator. There was no major damage to the school and fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire without incident.
Gonzalez Back In Court
Adrian Gonzalez made his first appearance in “adult” court this past week. Gonzalez, who was moved to the Santa Cruz County Jail last month, did not enter a plea. His lawyer says he needs more time to appeal the judge’s ruling to try Gonzalez as an adult. Gonzalez has spent the past month at the Santa Cruz County Jail.
He is accused of killing and sexually assaulting his eight-year-old neighbor Maddy Middleton in 2015. District Attorney Jeff Rosell charged him as an adult and the trial was scheduled to begin in February, but the passing of Proposition 57 now requires a judge to decide which court to try juveniles. Judge John Salazar recently ruled that Gonzalez should be tried as an adult. Gonzalez’s arraignment is scheduled to continue on February 20th. It’s not clear when his lawyers will file the appeal or what kind of delay that might create.
Santa Cruz Begins Bins For Bums Program
Brent Adams got a job! With the city of Santa Cruz! That pays money (I assume). The city is soft launching to the public something called the “Day and Night Storage Program”, contracting out with local gadfly activist Brent Adams and his “Warming Center Program” to operate the project. As proposed, the new city program will run at least seven months at a cost of $20,000, and utilize two large walk-in cargo containers set up at 1220 River Street. “Program participants” will be able to leave possessions that are not “illegal, perishable or wet” inside their own large heavy-duty plastic tubs bins for up to 30 days, or on a more regular daily rotation. No mention about “stolen”. Free self storage! Why pay for a self storage unit when you can store stuff for free thanks to the city? What else can we give away for free on the local taxpayer’s dime? The staffed site will have 150 bins available, and be open for about two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, Monday through Friday, and each bin will be sanitized between uses. More in the Senile.
I know I snark on Brent a lot here, but honestly, I’m actually kind of happy for the guy. I know he’s a huge narcissist (and opportunist) but at least he walks the walk with the local homeless in ways many others don’t. I know he craves validation from “official” people like the city and county and he gets a bit of dap from the city here. I know a lot of people who will never let his water flow under their bridge since he burned that bridge long ago. I will give him credit though for already accomplishing more locally than Robert Norse or any of the other local “lifer” activists have managed to achieve that correlated to directly helping the local homeless and not just using them to promote a personal or group agenda. If Brent is reading this, here’s your chance, your foot in the virtual doorway of credibility with the city. Don’t blow it.
Moving the Downtown Farmer’s Market
The weekly Downtown Farmers Market may be relocated to a new area on Front street, gaining a public bathroom and pavilion as part of the city’s long term plan to develop the Front street corridor. At last week’s city council meeting, city manager Martin Bernal updated the Santa Cruz City Council on developing design plans for potentially moving the market to a more permanent location at city owned lots at Front and Cathcart streets, behind Kianti’s Pizza, Assembly and Pizza My Heart. The property adjacent to the San Lorenzo River could include a public plaza area with pavilion roof-top solar panels, according to Bernal. The permanent home for the Farmers Market remains two or three years in the future and could cost the city approximately $5 million to $6 million for the new infrastructure.
I’m a huge fan of the Downtown Farmers Market. Anyone who lives downtown knows what a jewel it is for the city. It’s kind of grungy and kind of funky and always a scene, but a great scene. A lively and “vibrant” scene. Especially since they expanded the food pavilion area a few years ago into the 2nd lot. I’m never a fan of fixing something that isn’t really broken. The farmers market isn’t broken and I worry about “fixing” it by moving it. But I do like the idea here, and I like the potential of the new location, and I like the idea of a full time downtown farmers marketplace, so there’s a lot to like about the idea. This new “market pavilion” could be a key anchor to cleaning up (yes, gentrifying) that block of Front street, which right now is just a set of dirty parking lots behind Pacific Avenue facing commercial fronts. As The Dude would say, this could be the rug that really ties the room together.
Kaiser Arena Gets a Two Year Extension on Life
The city council unanimously voted to approve a package of agreements between the Gatorade League Santa Cruz Warriors basketball team and the Santa Cruz Seaside Co., which owns the property where the team’s temporary Kaiser Permanente arena sits on Front Street. Santa Cruz city officials said they will need longer than the original 2019 agreement expiration to move forward on finding a permanent arena for the Warriors. In city discussions about building a permanent arena, the council has favored locating the permanent facility on an expanded footprint of its existing site. Consultants have recommended the new facility be a 3,000-4,000 seat sporting arena focused on local use with the Warriors as an “anchor” tenant. The construction cost is estimated to be $30 million to $40 million. I’ve been a huge fan of the Warriors in Santa Cruz. It’s actually one of the few projects the city has actually gotten right in the past 10 years or so. It’s revitalized a blighted section of Pacific Avenue, it brings lots of money and business downtown during the “off peak” season, the team does lots of great community development work, and it’s a safe, fun, place for local families to bring their kids. Just don’t stick a new arena on top of Depot Park. I will fight that idea hard.
This is What “Post Release Community Supervision” Looks Like
A known recidivist from Santa Cruz was arrested last weekend after officers found the 41 year old burglary suspect in possession of stolen credit cards and other items. The suspect was seen walking through a parking lot in the 900 block of Soquel Avenue around 8PM last Saturday night. He was on something called “post release community supervision”, whatever that is. SCPD found a large box of antique coins and stolen credit cards in the suspect’s possession. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on multiple felony charges, including possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, possession of personal identification with intent to defraud and a probation violation.
Making It Rain in Aptos
Some time last Sunday, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a domestic dispute at the Rio Sands Hotel in Aptos, where they found more than $1,000 in counterfeit money. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, deputies found more than $1,000 of fake money, along with a printer set up to print $100, $10, and $5 dollar bills. The woman had a warrant for her arrest out of Solano County. Both suspects were arrested for forgery and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
Just Let Sleeping Bums Lie
Last weekend, I heard SCPD got a call from someone at the Taco Bell on the corner of Pacific and Laurel because a bum who was sleeping in the middle of the drive through lane refused to get up and move along. Apparently he had already been arrested twice that day. Just twice? A witness working in the nearby area reported he was hustled off to county jail for the 3rd time that day. And Taco Bell could resume their drive through line!
Woman Driving With Man on Hood
Thursday night around 6:30PM, I heard reports of a woman driving along Mission street with a man on the hood of her car, trying to rip the windshield wipers off a silver Mercedes SUV. She reportedly pulled over near Bay and Mission, and SCPD pulled the suspect over at gun point near Bay View Elementary school. The suspect apparently had a couple of outstanding warrants as well.
Squatters Invade Fairy Tale Farm
I heard the Wades had to deal with a local squatter at their soon to be former home next door to Micah Posner. Here’s the story I got after contacting the Wades. “So here’s the story. We went to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter in SF, left around 2 in the afternoon on Thursday, came back the next day around 5 pm. So barely gone 24 hours, and I came back home and noticed both doors were closed, but unlocked. I then noticed a text from my neighbor (no confirmation if this “neighbor” is Micah – BD) saying he thought he just saw someone stealing my bike. I’m assuming he called the police. When we got inside, it was obvious a woman had been in there, since she had gone through my clothes, left her make-up, shoes, some clothing, and had ransacked some rooms. She ate some of our bread, brushed her teeth, used our shampoo and conditioner, and looked like she slept in our beds. She left her needle stash, and stole some of mine. (I have a disease that requires IV infusions.) She also stole all our spare keys, including to the car. The police came and took photos and evidence, then left. My husband tried to go to Home Depot to get new locks for the whole house, but they were closed. He came back, backed the car way down the driveway and locked the gate, so no one could come back for it. Then I noticed she had also stolen my huge file with all my checks, bills, legal documents, and credit card/banking information. My husband thought he’d walk down to Riverside Gardens Park just in case the box had been tossed through and we could recover some of our files. A few minutes after he left (while I am calling credit cards companies, and bleaching the whole house in case of hepatitis), I hear my door being unlocked slowly. I came up to the porch and looked through the window, and there was a woman trying to get into my house. She gestured towards the back bedroom and said “I need to get my stuff”. I re-locked the door and called 911, intending to walk through the house to the backyard and get out through the gate while she was inside. Unfortunately, my husband had locked the door to the back bedroom and hidden the keys, so I effectively blocked myself into a “closet” in the kitchen, with an unlocked door between me and the intruder, and a locked door blocking my way out. So now I felt like I was in a movie plot, leaning against the door with all my might, pleading with 911 to get the police the hell over here now, and thinking about how much force it would take to break down the other door. I was sizing up whether I could fight a junkie coming back for her fix. She was shorter than me, but mean looking, and stocky. I’m almost 6 feet tall, but have never fought anyone, have a herniated colostomy, and wasn’t really wanting to expose my immune compromised self to a junkie. I also was afraid she may have a gun. I texted my husband to come back while I was talking to 911, making sure the dispatcher told the cops not to fire their guns in my direction. Cops came, but she hadn’t actually come in the second time while I was terrified and in the closet, and they couldn’t find her around the neighborhood. But after my description of her, they came back with a photo line-up of mug shots, and both me and my neighbor who saw her steal my bike identified her. After that, we decided to stay awake in shifts. So my husband waited in the front porch in the dark, and sure enough, after midnight, she came back. This time, she knocked on the door, but after she left, the police found her down the block, with a shopping cart full of our stolen belongings. She was arrested and charged with a felony, so hopefully won’t be right back on the levee again. We were broken into last July while we were asleep and at home, and we’d locked up most valuables after that, so we didn’t have a lot left to steal. Our house is half empty since we have sold it and are moving out in a few weeks, so I’m sure we’re more of a target. But it’s been a really bad year, and we can’t wait to get the hell out of this house!
However, Fairytale Farm is resilient, and we are channeling the horrible experiences of these last 2 years into our final party! This Saturday, Dec. 2nd, from 2pm to 10pm, we have turned the garden into a giant labyrinth, and invite the public to walk the labyrinth, leave behind the people and parts of life that are toxic, and welcome the new. We will have a potluck from 5 to 8 pm, two fire pits, music, and will light up the labyrinth at night. We’re still collecting legal funds on our gofundme, and will have 2018 planting calendars for sale, recipe books, and free seeds to give away. No purchase is required, and the event is family friendly. Help us move on and start anew!
City Council Meeting: November 28th, 2017
I wonder if I am in denial. Am I getting soft? Not one council member irritated me this week. This was one of the most functional council meetings I have witnessed. Nice presentations, everything had a pretty natural flow. Council voted to restrict the use of pesticides containing glyphosate based on a presentation that was given. People if you use roundup to fight pests just STOP. It is horrible for the environment and for you. Council also agreed to extend the Santa Cruz Warriors temporary arena lease by two years. Members of the public as well as council members only had positive things to say about the city hosting the Santa Cruz Warriors. I recently went to a game myself. I felt a deep sense of gratitude and a strong sense of community attending that game. I had so much fun. I had parked my car downtown, had some dinner and walked to the game. It was great!
The venomous and hateful shell of a human showed up for oral communications and called out Ben! Apparently our resident racist shitbag found the Santa Mierda on line. He was unhappy that “Ben” called him a coward amongst other things in a previous edition. My name is Hugh Jorgan. I cover the City Council meetings. Ben Dover is the the Editor in Chief and creator of the Santa Mierda. Ben is my friend and also thinks you suck. You say you want to have a discussion with me. Here is a list of things I would rather do than speak one on one with you. Pull out my own teeth, shove a knitting needle into my eardrum, have Food Not Bombs supply meals to me for the rest of my life, get a barium enema, watch Fox news, plunge head first into a pile of pig shit, take my drivers license pic sporting man bun, drink levee water and sit in a hot PT Cruiser with all the windows rolled up eating a warm liverwurst sandwich with a needy emo wearing too much patchouli. So the answer is no.
Meeting to Discuss Downtown Library Options This Weekend
The community is invited to a meeting of the Downtown Library Advisory Committee, which will be discussing four building options currently under consideration for improving the Downtown Library with Measure S funding. The meeting will be this Sunday, December 3rd from 1-3PM at the Downtown branch. Participants will have the opportunity to meet some of the citizen members of the Downtown Library Advisory Committee and hear about the work they have been doing. Click here for more information about past meetings and Measure S building projects.
Boat Parade Returns to Harbor
The 32nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade will take place this Saturday at 5:30PM at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor’s south harbor. Harbor slip renters are urged to decorate their boats with Christmas lights. More info here.
The Weekly Seen
Seen off West Cliff Drive. Nice fanny pack!
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