The Year in Review
You know how a lot of websites and TV shows get lazy in the final weeks of the year and package up some kind of pre-made “year in review” or “best of” list of notable things from the past year? Well this website covers “the week in review” every week here, so if you want the year in review, go here. Now, on to what happened this week….
I Got 99 Problems….
Monday night around 8:30PM, I heard a report about a disturbance at 99 Bottles of Beer. A witness reported that there were a number of transient people panhandling out front and yelling, when one of the females came into the business screaming and spitting at the witness, then mooned them before leaving. I don’t think anyone was arrested.
I Sometimes Growl at People in the Morning Too
Wednesday morning around 7:30AM, I heard a report about a homeless woman refusing to leave the public bathroom near the Ideal on Beach street. The report was made by a parks employee who was trying to access the bathroom to clean it. The woman refused to leave and had her belongings spread out and was camping inside the bathroom. When the employee asked the woman to leave, she reportedly growled at him. So he called SCPD to deal with clearing her out.
Pinky Fingered as Suspect in Robbery Near Camp Coonerty
Wednesday morning around 3:30AM, I heard a report about a robbery that took place near Dakota and Soquel. The victim had his wallet and iPhone stolen, possibly at gunpoint. The suspect, who had facial tattoos and who SCPD knew by the name of “Pinky”, left on foot and ran towards San Lorenzo Park. SCPD thought “Pinky” may have hidden himself among the people living in Camp Coonerty.
Fire Along Railroad Tracks
Tuesday night around 9PM, I heard a report that some bum set a pallet on fire along the railroad tracks near the Homeless Services Center on Coral street. Santa Cruz Fire responded to put the fire out. SCPD seemed pretty nonchalant about dealing with the arsonist who lit the pallet on fire. It wasn’t any kind of priority for them.
Man Found Unconscious With Head Wound Downtown
Thursday afternoon around 4:30PM, a male victim was found unconscious but breathing and bleeding from the back of his head near River and Soquel. Fire and rescue were called and SCPD also responded. The victim was found lying near some cement blocks. SCPD was flagged down on the West levee side near Soquel by witnesses who found the man.
Smash and Grab at Mission and Bay
I heard a report of a smash and grab from a car parked in the Burger parking lot on Tuesday night. This happened around 6PM. A witness described seeing a male smash a car window and grab a backpack out of the car, then take off in a newer model Dodge Challenger along Bay street. Then around an hour later, I heard a report that a couple customers of Mission Street BBQ apparently had their cars broken into. That’s what, a half a block away from Burger?
The Dog Can Be Very Persuasive
Last Friday night around 11:00PM, members of SCPD’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team responded to reports of suspicious activity from a hotel room in the 600 block of Riverside Avenue. Officers found a suspicious vehicle associated to the room in question and identified one of the occupants as a 32 year old Santa Cruz resident who was on probation (Probation!). As they attempted to conduct a probation compliance check, the occupants locked the door and refused to allow the Officers to come in. SCPD, with help from their K9 Luna, forced entry into the hotel room, where officers arrested the man as well as a second male suspect, a 21 year old resident of Felton who was also on probation (Probation again!). Both men were charged with resisting, obstructing and delaying a peace officer, and probation violations. Further investigation revealed that both men were also in possession of methamphetamine, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia. They are believed to have disposed of a large quantity of methamphetamine before SCPD made entry to the hotel room. Both men were additionally booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on several other related charges, including maintaining a place where drugs are used or sold, and possession of potentially stolen property with the serial numbers removed.
Torched Car Burns Along Highway 9
Sunday morning around 9:30AM, a report came in about a car on fire along HIghway 9 near Harvey West park. The caller reported seeing a car engulfed in flames at Highway 9 and Golf Club Drive. The vehicle had reportedly been abandoned in the same spot for days according to a witness, who said they saw a male transient set the car on fire.
Belligerent Drunk Trashes 7/11
Saturday night around 10PM, I heard a report of a male causing a disturbance and refusing to leave the 7/11 on Mission and Swift. He was reportedly harassing customers and throwing stuff around the store according to the employee who phoned it in.
Saturday Morning Fight at Best Western
Saturday morning around 10:15AM, multiple reports came in that a man and woman were involved in some type of altercation in the lobby at the Best Western at Plymouth and Ocean. Witnesses described it as a physical fight, and the male suspect, described as about six foot six and bald, was seen running away from the hotel with black pants and no shirt. Both the male and female were apparently on probation and the male suspect reportedly had outstanding warrants, as well as a restraining order against the woman he beat up here. Considering it was about 40 degrees outside, he should have been easy to spot but he evaded SCPD. The suspect ended up texting the victim that he was near the courthouse, so numerous SCPD units headed over to Camp Coonerty to try to find this guy. Because where better to hide and blend in with the crowd than Camp Coonerty? SCPD reported he may have picked up some clothing in Camp Coonerty to change his appearances in order to avoid detection by SCPD.
Bat Swinging Transient Downtown
Saturday afternoon around 4PM, a Jamba Juice employee witnessed a transient swing a baseball bat (and nearly hit a child) while threatening people along the 1500 block of Pacific Avenue. SCPD followed the guy until they could send more units to confront and arrest him in the parking lot behind Motiv. The suspect was apparently from Marin County and had a history of run ins with police.
Santa Cruz COE Approves Narcan Distribution in Local Schools
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education Board of Trustees has endorsed training and arming its district employees with Narcan, an opiate overdose antidote. When Narcan is administered to people who are having an opioid overdose, it stops the opioids from working.Santa Cruz County Superintendent Michael Watkins is urging fellow school districts to follow suit. He said he will seek to acquire the nasal inhalant form of the drug. Assembly Bill 1748, signed into law Sept. 24, 2016 authorizes pharmacies to provide schools with naloxone hydrochloride, known by its brand name Narcan, to properly trained personnel. Santa Cruz County has one of the top 10 highest rates of opioid overdose deaths in California, according to the state health department. From 2011 to 2016, the county had 130 deaths and 700 nonfatal emergency room visits related to opioid use. Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent Kris Munro said her school board approved adding similar language to the school’s medication dispersal policy shortly after the state bill was approved.
Santa Cruz Prosecutor Appointed to be Monterey Judge
After spending the past 7 years as a prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney with the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office, Rafael Vasquez was appointed last week by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as judge in the Monterey County Superior Court. He’ll fill the vacancy left by Judge Albert Maldonado, who retired in June. Locally, Vasquez has been assigned to the felony division and has prosecuted a number of high profile cases, including the recent AJ Gonzalez case.
New Highway Safety Law Reminder from CHP
The CHP is reminding us about a few new laws that take place starting on the first of January. So I’m here to remind you!
- Smoking or ingesting cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle is prohibited. It’s similar to current laws against drinking while driving. I assume this means vaping too. So don’t do it in the car or while you drive.
- No open containers or bags of marijuana or any edibles can be in the car. They have to be packed away in the trunk of the car.
- AB390 allows “a pedestrian to begin crossing an intersection while facing a traffic signal displaying a flashing “DON’T WALK” or “Upraised Hand” symbol if the traffic signal includes a countdown timer and the pedestrian can complete the crossing before the traffic signal phases to a steady “DON’T WALK” or “Upraised Hand.”
- If the bus is equipped with seat belts, passengers have to use them or face a fine. CHP says if someone is busted, the passenger would face a ticket, not the driver. There are exemptions for school buses and transit buses.
Safety Enhancement Zone Rules For Downtown on New Years
All available SCPD personnel will be patrolling downtown this New Year’s Eve. It’s a long standing holiday tradition to count down the new year at the town clock. Crowds will gather starting around 11:30PM Sunday night. Fines will be tripled from 5PM Sunday night to 5AM Monday morning in a “safety enhancement zone”, an area where roads will be closed west from Center Street to the San Lorenzo River and north from Sycamore Street to the intersection of River Street and North Pacific Avenue.
Triple Fines and Court Fees:
- Possession of an open alcohol container: $480.
- Consuming alcohol in public: $480.
- Littering: $288.
- Graffiti: $576.
- Trespassing: $576.
- Urinating or defecating in public: $576.
- Trespassing on public transit facilities: $480.
- Defacing sidewalks: $576.
- Mutilating a tree, plant or lawn: $1,056.
- Discharge of a firearm: $1,440.
- Noise control: $576.
- Traffic violations: $192 to $960.
- Improper parking: $576.
About 2,000 people celebrated the new year downtown last year, with 12 arrests and 11 triple fine citations issued. There were about 3,500 revelers downtown in 2015, when there were 28 arrests and 27 triple fine citations issued, according to a police statement.
- Knight Street: 8 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday.
- Bulkhead Street: 10:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday.
- North Pacific Avenue between River and Water streets: 10:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday.
- Water Street between River and Center streets: 10:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday.
Tow Away and No Parking:
- Front Street between Water and River streets: 10:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday.
- The 1500 block of Pacific Avenue between Locust and Water streets: 10:30 p.m. Sunday to 12:45 a.m. Monday.
My Wishlist for 2018
I don’t really make resolutions and if I do I don’t tell anyone about them. So instead of resolutions for 2018, I’ve put together my “wish list” for Santa Cruz for 2018. It’s not what I want for myself. It’s what I want for my town.
- I Want the Mayor to Impress Me With a Paradigm Shift of Epic Proportions
I like David Terrazas. I consider him to be one of the more pragmatic city council members we have. I really want him to “go out with a bang” as he terms out as Mayor. Burn some OG, status quo figurative bridges if need be if it better serves the community. I want to see him create a legacy of change (for the better) in Santa Cruz. If that means replacing the city manager, well I’d be fine with that. I at least want him to remind Bernal et al of who’s the boss. Stop letting the tail wag the dog already. I really hope he asserts himself (and his will) on the city council in 2018, and creates more balanced, pragmatic policy within the city government. End the dysfunction. That would be a huge start. Use the moderate majority voting block (Noroyan, Mathews, and Watkins) to get our house in order. Focus on local issues and not global issues. There will never be a better time to lead by example here, and anyone who reads the comments regularly in the Senile understand the way the wind is blowing here ideologically.
- I Want Someone to Run Against Ryan Coonerty for the Board of Supervisors
I’m not talking about a retread or a flake, I want a real, moderate, option that can beat him. At this point, I would support almost anyone but Ryan Coonerty. No more status quo from the Board of Supervisors. No mas to “Camp Coonerty”.
- I Want Some Moderate Candidates to Run for the Santa Cruz City Council
I’m not asking for any more left of left kooks or progressives to run. There’s never any shortage of them running. I’m asking for a few good, normal, moderate, pragmatic people to run. People with fresh, new ideas. People who are fed up with the status quo here. People who are willing to make a difference through community service. People who aren’t self centered narcissists. Yeah, I knowing I’m asking for a lot here.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year!
As we bid goodbye to arguably not one of our better years as a country, we’ll be flocking to downtown to celebrate the coming of a new year along Pacific Avenue with the midnight countdown at the clock tower. Be safe, have fun, don’t be stupid and do something you’ll regret the next day.
See you next year!
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