The Weekly Dump 4.6.18

All Aboard the Pineapple Express!

If the National Weather Service forecast models are anything close to correct, April showers are about to slam the Bay Area with what’s known as the “Pineapple Express”. A ‘Pineapple Express’ is a long and narrow atmospheric river that forms in the tropical Pacific, according to the National Ocean Service. The storm is forecast to dump three to four inches of rain in the North Bay. San Francisco could get up to two inches. And the Santa Cruz mountains and the communities in them like Ben Lomond, Felton, and Boulder Creek could see up to six inches or more from this rain event, which will probably last all day Friday and into Saturday. If you don’t have to drive over the hill on Friday, I’d highly recommend avoiding 17 at all costs. It will inevitably turn into a mess, either from mudslides, fallen trees, or accidents (or all of them).

Gang Shooting on Riverside Avenue Leaves Man in Critical Condition

Saturday morning around 1AM, reports came in about a shooting on the the 600 block of Riverside Avenue. SCPD responded to reports of multiple gunshots and found a 26 year old male victim suffering from a number of gunshot wounds. Police believe the attempted murder is gang motivated. The victim was last known to be in critical condition and was treated by the SCFD and AMR, and was later flown to a Bay Area Trauma Center. Nobody was known to be arrested. Hell, almost NOTHING is known about this. NOTHING from SCPD or Mills about this. Of course, I’m not surprised. He’s too busy with his social experiments.

Please Don’t Throw Your Firearms Out Your Car Window

Wednesday night, a Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputy attempted to stop a truck on Highway 9 near San Lorenzo Valley High School when a male driver failed to pull over and led the officer on a short, low speed pursuit through Ben Lomond. While this was happening, his girlfriend in the passenger seat started throwing items from the truck, including a a loaded .25 caliber handgun and narcotics which were later recovered. The vehicle finally came to a stop and both were arrested. The driver was arrested for possessing a loaded firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, destruction of evidence, DUI, and other charges. The girlfriend was arrested for destruction of evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Drive Like Your Kids Live Here

A Santa Cruz driver crashed Wednesday into a utility pole where a sign reading “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here” was posted, according to the California Highway Patrol. The 31 year old man from Santa Cruz was reportedly under the influence of drugs when he lost control of his Volvo on Eaton Street as he was attempting to drive to court, according to the CHP. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Now That’s What I Call a Drive Thru Window!

Sunday night around 9:30PM, a report came in that a car had driven through the front window of the Kwik Serv gas station on the 2000 block of Mission Street. The drive apparently backed out and left the scene after crashing through the front of the store. Nobody was injured, but the clerk was concerned about being able to close the store.

Now That’s What I Call Hauling Ass!

I got a report from a friend who works over in the Harvey West park area. They were driving to work on Harvey West this past week and as they turned onto Dubois, they almost hit some bum having a meltdown out in the middle of the road. Apparently, there were five SCPD units and a couple of tow trucks on scene. The reason he was melting down in the middle of the road was because he apparently had three or four vehicles parked in that area and all of them were getting towed. Word is he’s well known and “difficult”. He reportedly has been tased before after threatening at least one person with two frying pans filled with bacon grease. What a lovely guy to have as a “neighbor”!

Don Lane Wants You To Pay More Taxes

Former Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane is the show runner for something called the “Santa Cruz County Housing Initiative”, which held a press conference on the steps of city hall to announce their plans to try to put a $250 million bond measure (WARNING: TAX!) on the November 2018 ballot. The funds would come from an increased commercial and residential property TAX in Santa Cruz County, but it is not yet clear how much the TAX would be. They want to TAX but they don’t know how much. Isn’t that kind of putting the cart ahead of the horse? I know the answer though. “As much as possible”

Lane mentioned that there will be a series of meetings around Santa Cruz County in April and May for the community to give their input. The proposal will first need a majority vote from the board of supervisors to be put on the November Ballot. It would then need a 2/3 yes vote from voters.

More new taxes? HELL NO. The city and county can’t even spend the money we already give them effectively or with any resemblance of fiscal responsibility. Measure S? Hell no. Whatever this ends up being called? Hell no. NO NEW TAXES IN SANTA CRUZ CITY OR COUNTY.

Santa Cruz Parks And Recreation Director Retires

Apparently, Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Director Mauro Garcia quietly retired late last month after just two years on the job. Before taking over as Director in 2016, Garcia spent five years as a parks superintendent for the city. Parks and Recreation Superintendent Carol Scurich has been selected to serve as acting director while the city searches for Garcia’s permanent replacement. Other management-level vacancies in the city include two positions in the city manager’s office. The Deputy City Manager position has been vacant since Scott Collins left to manage the city of Morro Bay last November. The City Clerk Administrator position has been unfilled since former City Clerk Bren Lehr left the city to work for Monterey Bay Community Power in December of last year.

Apparently savings from the deputy city manager and city clerk positions are, in part, paying operational costs to run the city-operated homeless River Street Camp for four months. So now we know where the city is coming up with that $270,000! They just eviscerate their own staff and don’t replace them. What loyalty! Now I can see why Garcia “retired” early.

Accused Child Molester Trial to be Rescheduled

A former Girl Scouts troop leader, foster parent, and Scotts Valley Unified School District employee is scheduled to appear in court at 8:15AM on May 9th in front of Judge Stephen Siegel to have his trial rescheduled, after his last trial in the case was interrupted by allegations of a new victim. Carl Guerin of Live Oak faces 16 felonies in connection with lewd acts with children and attempts to dissuade a witness, according to court documents. The alleged victims included one of his foster children and a girl he knew through a Girl Scout troop, according to prosecutors. Guerin faces life in prison if convicted.

Monterey County Understands What Santa Cruz County Never Will

This makes too much sense for Santa Cruz. And it happened because Monterey spent more money expanding their county jail. Build it and the state will pay for it. Santa Cruz is too frightened of the “optics” to spend more money increasing jail capacity. This is how you reduce recidivism, at least from those with serious, untreated mental health issues. Instead of just cycling them through the system over and over, week after week, you treat them.

More on this story from KSBW.

Brawl Next to Birch Alley

Sunday night around 10:15PM, a report came in about a brawl in Birch Alley off the 800 block of Pacific involving at least 5 people. A witness reported it may have started over a cell phone. By the time SCPD arrived, it was much ado about nothing. I think it was closer to the Graphix parking lot than the Poet and Patriot. It sounded like a bum fight.

Don’t Get Squeezed Out Pulling Mussels From a Shell

The California Department of Public Health has issued a warning to the public not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops harvested from Santa Cruz County. Health officials warned that cooking does not destroy the toxin. The warning does not apply to commercially sold seafood from state-certified harvesters or dealers that are subject to frequent mandatory testing.

“Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from this area. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death in humans,” according to a statement from CDPH officials. I like mussels but not enough to die for them.

I Heard Thomas Bigbee Endorsed Ryan Coonerty

Why wouldn’t he? It’s Ryan (and his daddy before him) who have propped up guys like Thomas Bigbee at the expense of the community at large for the past 30 odd years at least. Want more Thomas Bigbee? Vote for Ryan for 4 more years of Thomas Bigbee terrorizing Santa Cruz. That’s what happens when you vote the “Status Quo” ticket here. Speaking of Tom, I heard he’s been hanging out around Lulu’s on Soquel, doing Thomas Bigbee stuff.

Thanks Folks!

An avid reader noticed this mugshot posted recently. I got a chuckle. I hate his commercials.


Happy Story of the Week!

This week’s Happy Story of the Week comes courtesy of the fine folks from the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook group, where people posted and shared information about a local homeless man named “Randy”. A woman posted something over there about a missing person, her brother in law named Randy, who had been recently arrested in Santa Cruz and was known to be homeless and probably in the area. Apparently Randy, who chooses to be homeless, also suffers from mental illness, and his brother was concerned that something bad may have happened to Randy. But thanks to the efforts of a number people who saw him and even engaged with him, they helped the family locate Randy, who was found safe.

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  1. I was counting on Santa Mierda, to tell me why all the cop cars with lights flashing were in the Shoppers Corner Parking lot for at least one hour one evening early last week between last weeks issue and this weeks SM. Since I live within sight of the parking lot I was kinda interested in what happened. Seemed major. But no one knows… not even the employees who were working that night. We are depending on you SM, kinda let us down.

    • I let you down? Gee, I’m so sorry. I’ll try harder next time.

    • Get radio scanner that can pick up the frequencies that scpd and sc sheriff use. Readily available online. You can listen to the dispatch all day long.

  2. On top of the unfilled city staff positions, the city is also saving a bundle by not hiring all their budgeted police officer positions. This is either 4 or 9 sworn Officer s depending on if you count the city’s overstaffing directive. This to the tune of $183,000 a year per unfilled position. Also they haven’t promoted at least three officers into openings in the Sargents rank, for a savings of about $30,000 per budgeted.position.

    • What we most need is more LE, it’s insane that these positions are not filled. If the SCPD could find 4 stolen cars in one night imagine what could occur if it was fully staffed.

      • Eliza speaks the truth. Obviously, we aren’t trying hard enough to fill those positions. Why not? Isn’t that obvious too? It’s Martin Bernal’s way of “funding” the city’s budget shortfall. A budget shortfall that was and is a result of POOR city management. From the city manager. Martin Bernal. Talk about covering your ass and your shitty job performance here. He guts his staff to pay for the new Hobonip camp on River street. He shortchanges SCPD to cover other rising costs within the city (such as increasing pension costs). Fewer cops on the street LITERALLY translates to compromised public safety. He really needs to go.

  3. maybe someone called the cops because shoppers corner charges $6.50 for an organic bottled latte? i wanted someone to get arrested when i saw those prices … :/ ha ha ha

  4. oops that was staff of life lol

  5. Austin Twohig

    Ben, it seems that our choices for supervisor in the upcoming election are Ryan Coonerty and Steve Pleich. Is there a third option?

    • Nobody else that I’m aware of, but hopefully more options will emerge here. It would give me a chuckle if “Ben Dover” received a few write in “protest” votes here, but that would be kind of wasting your vote (although one could argue that voting for either Coonerty or Pleich is wasting your vote anyways). I know one thing for certain. I won’t be voting for Coonerty under any circumstances.

  6. Ivana Dump

    Thanks for the Frank, humorous report. Sad state of affairs we are in, on many fronts!

  7. $250 million bond for affordable housing?

    • It’s a county wide initiative, and yeah, it’s basically asking for the county to “subsidize” some form of lower cost housing they can tout as “affordable”. Among other stuff they want to tax us for.

  8. I heard from my brother who lives in Santa Clara County that there were three lines to pay taxes at City Hall.
    1…credit card
    Does anyone else find it interesting that a CASH line exsists?

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