Time for the latest Weekly Dump! This week, we’re stuck on stupid, the revolving turnstile at the county jail, Watsonville man arrested for gang shooting in Santa Cruz, Rambo goes down in Live Oak, Atlas shrugged, motorcyclist killed on Soquel, poster kids for county probation, knife fight at the Red Room, Public Safety Committee gets an earful, city calls out dubious county spending on mental health, and more!
Stuck on Stupid in Santa Cruz
This week, the city of Santa Cruz wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars cleaning up after the bums squatting in Camp Coonerty. THIRTY park rangers were called in to clean up after these slobs. They removed 2.5 TONS of trash in the one day cleanup. Watch the video. Did you see the guy in the full HAZMAT suit? This is what the city manager and chief of police are allowing to happen in a community public park with the tacit approval of the city council. They’re all fine with obvious HAZMAT leeching into the San Lorenzo River daily. With no end in sight. SEVENTEEN TONS of trash have been removed by city workers, on the taxpayer’s dime, from this illegal bum squat thanks to Martin Bernal and Andy Mills. How much did that cost us in actual dollars? It’s gotta be hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point.
And now that they’ve cleaned up after all the bums they allowed to pollute the San Lorenzo River, are they finally gone for good, banished to the new “Camp Bonehead” on River street? Oh hell no. That would make too much sense. No, they let them move back in to repeat this pointless, idiotic cycle all over again. Can we just fire the benevolent Bert and Ernie who started this mess with no exit strategy?
We have heavy machinery filling dumpsters with 17 tons of trash left behind by homeless campers in a single downtown public park. That’s not a problem. That’s an unmitigated disaster, thanks to the city manager and the chief of police. And has anyone seen Ryan Coonerty lately? Or is he still ducking all this mierda?
The Revolving Turnstile at the Santa Cruz County Jail
This past Tuesday night around 11PM, SCPD responded to a burglary in progress at the Computer Zone on the 300 block of Laurel Street. Hopefully they didn’t have to go far since the business is almost directly across the street from the SCPD main station. How bad is crime when people have nothing to fear from breaking into a computer business across the street from the police station? SCPD’s K9 Team of Hansen & Cash tracked and located the suspect hiding in the bushes. All of the stolen laptops were recovered, in addition to items stolen from a neighboring residence. This is the same asshat that was caught stealing almost $6000 worth of merchandise from Down Works last week! What does it take to keep someone in the county jail? Apparently stealing almost $6K worth of inventory from a local business isn’t good enough.
Watsonville Man Arrested For Santa Cruz Gang Related Shooting
An 18 year old Watsonville man has been arrested for allegedly shooting at three people in a car near the intersection of Soquel and Branciforte Avenue about a week and a half ago. I covered this story last week (see “Shots Fired Near The Buttery”). Around 2PM on January 20th, SCPD arrived and located a car that was struck by two bullets. Three people were inside the car but none of them were hit. Witnesses reported seeing a white VW Jetta with multiple occupants fleeing the scene on Soquel Avenue. The 18 year old man was booked into county jail for multiple counts of attempted murder, along with a gang and firearm enhancement. Oh, and look what Chief Mills tweeted about 30 minutes before this went down just blocks away from downtown, where a march was taking place. Close enough the Chief probably could have heard the shots (if he was listening).
No problems? Is this really what a healthy community looks like? You decide.
Rambo Finally Gets Taken Down in Live Oak
A Live Oak house was swarmed and surrounded by the SCPD Bearcat, a CHP helicopter, a Sheriff’s K9 unit, and more than half a dozen other officers Saturday night during a tense standoff involving a man who left the scene of a hit and run and barricaded himself inside his house. The 35 year old man, who lives at the home on Capitola Road near 7th Avenue, is apparently a U.S. military veteran with elite combat experience. The suspect kept police at bay for about an hour, before stepping outside around 11:30PM, while throwing his arms up in the air and screaming at the law enforcement officers. When a K9 was sent in to neutralize the suspect, he neutralized the dog instead by choking it. Officers then fired multiple Tasers, which also failed to stop the suspect. When he began running back into his house, a CHP officer stopped him by tackling him in the doorway. Two loaded rifles and a loaded shotgun were found inside the home. The incident began earlier that night when the suspect crashed his Ford pickup truck and fled the scene, the CHP said. CHP officers later found him in his driveway next to his truck. The suspect was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of DUI, hit and run, battery against a peace officer, and making criminal threats.
Scotts Valley Police arrested two men last week for having an unregistered gun and drug paraphernalia. Police spotted them sitting in a parked car in a loading zone. The men refused to identify themselves. Police determined the owner of the car had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and the passenger was a convicted felon. Police enlisted K9 “Atlas” to conduct a sniff of the vehicle, which resulted in a positive alert to narcotics according to Scotts Valley Police. They searched the car and found an unregistered 9 millimeter handgun with a loaded magazine and extra rounds of ammunition. Both men were arrested for possession of the gun and drug paraphernalia.
Motorcyclist Killed on Soquel Avenue
Wednesday night, a 22 year old man from Soquel died after colliding head on with a vehicle at the intersection of Soquel and Chanticleer. CHP officials say the victim was riding a motorcycle eastbound on Soquel Avenue when a 71 year old male who was driving his van westbound tried to make a left turn. The victim traveled into the path of the van and collided with it. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Witnesses described seeing the motorcyclist passing cars over the painted solid double yellow lines at a high rate of speed. The intersection of Soquel and Chanticleer was closed for over 3 hours during the investigation.
Probation is Another Word For Do Whatever You Want in Santa Cruz
During a probation search this week on a man and woman at a local Santa Cruz motel room, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies found a serving tray covered with approximately six ounces of methamphetamine. Deputies also found heroin, Xanax, drug paraphernalia, and over $8,000 in cash. Both were arrested for possession of narcotics for sales and booked into jail. So let me guess? They’ll get probation? Criminal justice reform at it’s finest in California!
Another Poster Boy For County Probation
Wednesday night around 8:45PM, SCPD made a traffic stop on the 100 block of Grant Street on a 46 year old male driver from Santa Cruz. During the stop, it was discovered the driver had outstanding felony warrants. He was also on probation with search terms (there’s that word PROBATION again), and when he was searched it was determined he was in possession of a bindle of methamphetamine, Xanax pills, and other assorted drug paraphernalia in his pockets. The SCPD K9 team of Hansen & Cash searched the vehicle and found a bag containing over 2 ounces of methamphetamine, along with more than $2,300 in cash and drug packaging materials. SCPD arrested the man for possession of narcotic controlled substances, outstanding warrants, and driving with a suspended license. How’s that probation working out for you Santa Cruz?
Knife Fight at the Red Room
Around 11PM on Friday night, a heard a report of a fight at Red Room. It apparently started after someone assaulted a bouncer, and in the resulting scuffle someone threw a knife at another person. Reports indicated 5-6 people were involved. After a short chase, the knife throwing suspect was located and arrested in front of the downtown library.
Public Safety Committee Gets An Angry Earful From Residents
City residents aired out their ongoing concerns and beefs about Camp Coonerty (and the kooks within the city government who continue to prop it up) at Monday’s Santa Cruz Public Safety Committee meeting.
The President of the Santa Cruz Junior Guard Booster Club said she is worried about homeless encampments in areas where children play such as a Cowell Beach. She asked for police to make more sweeps of the beach and parks to clear people out. Another Seabright neighborhood resident said she has witnessed property theft, drug dealing and drug use and wanted to know how she can have better contact with police, particularly access to a department Neighborhood Enforcement Teams devoted to her area. Deputy Chief Rick Martinez confirmed observations about growing homeless camps along Highway 1. He said there are hundreds of people where once there had been about 10. Now six months into his first year as police chief, Mills told the committee and audience that things are about to change.
“We’ve gone through six months of listening,” Mills said. “Now, the listening’s over and it’s time to get at it.”. Oh you think Chief? Can we start “getting at it” now? Now that the listening is over? Talk is cheap. Put up or shut up already.
Mills also stated that police citations are down, particularly related to overnight homeless camping violations. But this claim is pretty misleading since the chief has publicly stated he’s stopped writing tickets for overnight camping violations. When you do something like that, yeah the number of citations go down. To zero. And he’s not including (or mentioning) the fact that the city’s park rangers are now tasked with writing many of these park nuisance violations downtown, and their numbers are conveniently not included in the chief’s numbers.
Mayor David Terrazas asked if there is any way to tell if Santa Cruz’s homeless population is largely local, or coming from out of town. Mills said he had asked his officers to undertake an unscientific collection of homeless people’s residence history, as they come in contact with people. So in other words, they don’t know. They don’t have a clue. They really don’t have a clue here.
City Calls Out the County’s Dubious Spending Decisions on Mental Health
I don’t need more studies to tell me what my eyes tell me every day. We have a serious problem locally with treatment options for the mentally ill, and specifically people who are homeless and suffering from mental illness. The City of Santa Cruz has made a records request to the county for an accounting of millions in state dollars designated for mental health services expansion. Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health is a county department with about 250 workers and a roughly $60 million budget. At the end of last year, Santa Cruz Mayor David Terrazas filed the request over concerns about how the county informed the public of plans to spend the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) money over the next three years. The state generates MHSA revenues by taxing 1 percent of personal income exceeding $1 million, according to California Department of Health Services. Every three years, the county must approve a plan to qualify for $11 million to $14 million in annual MHSA funding. MHSA money represents about 22 percent of the department’s budget. The county said last week they did not know the amount of unspent MHSA money. The county has a “reserve” MHSA fund saved for potentially “difficult economic times.” At its meeting last week, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors directed the county administrative officer to respond to issues raised in a letter by Terrazas challenging the draft of the 2017-2020 Mental Health Services Act plan. Terrazas said he was surprised the city had to file a formal public records request for a list of county MHSA expenditures. The documents are expected to be released in February.
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