Camp Coonerty Dies a Slow, Miserable Death!
Much like the 4 people who actually died there of various drug overdoses over the past few months, Camp Coonerty has officially died a slow, miserable death. All day Wednesday and into Thursday morning, the city of Santa Cruz sent a massive presence down to San Lorenzo Park to literally give squatters the “bums rush” out of the park. It only happened about 3 and a half months too late, ended up costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted city employee services here, and what do we have to show for it all? A muddy mess of hazardous materials, urine, human feces, and used needles. And it’s not like the problem went away. It just moved down the road a couple miles to a fenced with barbed wire, dirt parking lot that we now pay about $100K per month just to babysit the bums squatting there. And that’s a conservative estimate when you consider the First Alarm 24/7 security, the additional SCPD presence required, etc.
Once a beautiful park. Today a muddy, contaminated shithole. Well done City of Santa Cruz.
I was talking to a friend recently after the last city council meeting. In January, the city council declared a “Homeless Emergency“. In February, the city declared a “Housing Crisis” that required “emergency”, stop gap measures designed to prevent “greedy property owners” (in their eyes) from gouging tenants as they attempt to gain enough signatures to put rent control on the ballot. Talk about pandering to special interests here. And I know personally of at least one case where a friend had to move because their property manager anticipated the city council doing something stupid here, so they pre-empted the vote and jacked her rent up anyways. Way to go Santa Cruz. Keep spitting into the wind here. And now, we’ve got the “Sweet(heart) Tax” on soda designed to make up the budget shortfall “Fiscal Emergency” created by years of city leadership failure and incompetence. I’m officially declaring a “Leadership Emergency” here. And I’ll just say it now. Vote NO on ALL of these tax measures. Make the city responsible for it’s failures, and don’t let them keep passing the cost down to you in the form of more taxes to cover their failures. Balance your damned budget already.
Oh, and by the way, SCPD arrested 28 people in the mass eviction of Camp Coonerty. That’s about 30% of the “hundred or so” squatters they regularly claimed occupied the space. Take that number in for a minute and let it digest. 30% of the squatters were arrested today, while we paid to have the city move the other 70% down the road. That’s just ridiculous. 89 citations issued. That’s about one for each squatter. Ridiculous. More from KSBW.
Woman Stabbed in Live Oak
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a stabbing on the 1200 block of 7th Avenue. Deputies arrived at the scene and found a woman suffering from at least one stab wound. The woman was airlifted to a trauma center over the hill. No report on her condition or if anyone was actually arrested here.
Drive By Shooting Outside Dominican Hospital
Monday night around 8:15PM, there was a drive by shooting outside Dominican Hospital on the 2900 block of Soquel Avenue. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for the person who fired a gun at two 16 year old juvenile males, injuring one and sending him uh….to the hospital. I heard the suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his twenties with lips tattooed on his neck. As far as I know, nobody has been arrested.
Bum Stabs Another Man in the Back in Line at Homeless Shelter
A 51 year old man was stabbed in the back multiple times early Monday morning during at altercation at a temporary homeless shelter in Live Oak. The stabbing victim was staying at one of the Santa Cruz County winter shelters, hosted at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7263 building on 7th Avenue. The victim and assailant reportedly got into an argument over one of them cutting in front of the other in the meal line. The two took their disagreement outside where one man stabbed the other in the back multiple times, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The victims injuries were reportedly not life threatening. In the past 12 months, the Sheriff’s Office has responded to 39 calls at the site for incidents such as disturbances, fights, threats, drunk in public and drug activities. Capitola Police later arrested a 56 year old man from Live Oak, who was being held at the Santa Cruz County jail on a $25,000 bond on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Creeper on Carbonera Attempts to Invade Home
SCPD is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who tried to force his way into a house on Carbonera Drive last Thursday around 4PM. The suspect reportedly knocked on the victim’s front door wanting to talk about “the good book.” During the ensuing conversation, the suspect asked to come inside and the victim said no and tried to shut the door. When the suspect used both hands and tried pushing the door back open, the victim screamed and called police. The suspect took off running towards El Rancho Drive. The suspect is described as a clean shaven white man, medium to heavy build, wearing a light blue dress shirt and black jacket.
Breaking Bad in Santa Cruz!
While on patrol Thursday night, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy contacted a woman who was illegally camping in a motorhome along Highway 9. While speaking with the woman, the Deputy spotted drug paraphernalia out in the open, and a further search of the motorhome found almost 10.5 ounces of methamphetamine, heroin, a digital scale, and cash. She was placed under arrest and booked into county jail for possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Woman Assaulted and Robbed on Pacific Avenue
Monday afternoon, a woman was apparently assaulted and robbed by 2 men on the 1200 block Pacific Avenue, near Walnut. SCPD responded pretty quickly according to multiple witnesses, who described seeing at least one of the men caught and detained by police.
Aptos Cab Driver Gets the Wrong Kind of Tip
Thursday night in Aptos, a cab driver gave a man a ride to the Park Avenue area and upon arriving and stopping, requested that the man pay his fare. That’s when the man allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened the driver. The cab driver ran away while calling 911, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy arrived and spotted a man who matched the description of the suspect. When they stopped and searched him, they found a knife concealed inside his jacket. The cab driver was able to identify the man as the suspect. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on weapons and threat charges.
Is a Wrap like a Chalupa?
Friday morning around 10:30AM, there was a report of a fight in front of the Taco Bell downtown on Laurel and Pacific. SCPD sent multiple units to deal with an apparently agitated and angry tweeker who was resisting arrest. It even required something called a “wrap”, which I think is sort of like a full body straightjacket. Or maybe it’s a kind of Chalupa.
Bum Fight in Front of Bay Photo
Monday night around 9PM, I heard a report about a homeless man and woman physically fighting, kicking and punching each other on the 700 block of Soquel in front of Bay Photo. The woman claimed the man stole $8 and a bag of weed from her. She declined to press charges and walked away so SCPD let the man go as well. Just a couple of bums behaving badly. Nothing to see here.
Man Arrested For Attempting to Sell Stolen Property to Victim
A 46 year old man was arrested last Thursday after he tried to sell stolen tools to the victim, who aided by deputies, responded to a Craigslist ad selling the victim’s tools, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The tools, valued at over $5000, were apparently stolen during a burglary at the victim’s home last year. The suspect was also convicted in November for theft by use of an access card, according to Santa Cruz County Superior Court records. Maybe he was trying to sell the stolen stuff to pay his legal fees from November.
City Council February 27, 2018
Apparently there was a performance review of City Manager Martin Bernal during closed session. Wouldn’t it be fun if there was public comment on that? Feel free to share your performance review of Bernal in The Dump comments section!
The city manager’s report included an update on the River Street campground. The camp is now open and at capacity. 61 people (in groups of 10) started moving in on Monday. Campers are expected to keep their area clean, to connect with outside services that are available to them, and to not drink or use drugs in the camp. It’s pretty clear this situation will not work for everyone and as those individuals leave, others can come in. Intake services will take place at the downtown library. February 28th was the deadline for the benchlands encampment to be cleared out but that has been extended by a few days. Krohn told Bernal that he hoped everyone remembered that this is the most vulnerable population and that they should be given a few extra days transition. Signs were put up; outreach workers as well as rangers have been there every single day informing people of the River Street camp as well as the exit plan for the benchlands. While some folks were very interested in the camp, others simply walked away and wanted nothing to do with it. Krohn also asked if people would be permitted to camp under the Water St Bridge. Bernal said no. I don’t like much of what Bernal has to say but the word no was music to my ears. The winter shelter is usually only at 75 to 80 percent capacity, there is also the Warming Center but some folks for whatever reason chose to not go.
A transient was arrested yesterday over by the soup kitchen for sexual battery and child cruelty. He is on the Megan’s Law website, has past convictions of sodomy and has served time in prison. I do not consider rapists the most “vulnerable population” no matter what their housing status is. Amongst those that have fallen on hard times and truly are vulnerable, there are people that are dangerous and want nothing more than to take advantage of every person and every situation that they can. Is the camp doing background checks? Someone please tell me that they are. For the amount of money this camp is costing I certainly hope there is a light at the end of this tunnel and that it isn’t a train.
Meet the Violent Inmates Getting Released from Prison
Thanks to the The Association of Deputy District Attorneys. No thanks to Governor Moonbeam, Gavin Newsom, and the California Democratic Party for their roles in making this nightmare a reality. Read all about it here.
Study: California Has the Worst ‘Quality of Life’ in the Country
It’s official! The annual “Best States” ranking was part of a study that scored all 50 states across eight different categories: health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability, and quality of life. The data was derived from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company‘s Leading States Index.
Overall, California ranked 32nd. California scored high in state economy (4th), but failed miserably when it came to citizen opportunity (46th), fiscal stability (43rd), and quality of life (50th, dead least). More on this story here.
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