This week, we’ve got our first murder of the year in Santa Cruz, in addition to the usual onslaught of weekly bad behavior. We’ve got a woman on probation busted for why she’s on probation, visiting middle schoolers get ripped off by local bums, get out of my Uber, a bunch of drunk driving mayhem, missing man turns up drunk at Starbucks, this week’s Emergency Du Jour in Santa Cruz, fights and chases at local UnSafeways, Hugh’s Views, Coastal Commission backs new Santa Cruz rules, Boardwalk summer concert series announced for 2018, the Happy Story of the Week, and more!
Man Murdered in Soquel on Sunday Night
Sunday night around 10PM, a 26 year old Santa Cruz man was shot to death while sitting in front of the Emerald Bay Apartments complex on the 2500 block of Soquel Drive. Witnesses described seeing a young Hispanic male leaving the scene headed towards Thurber Lane. Neighbors believe the victim was followed home from a local 7-11 before he was killed. In the past, the Emerald Bay Apartments had a reputation for gang activity. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this first murder of the year. It doesn’t appear as if any suspects have been arrested or even identified here. Unfortunately, I’ve heard very little local news about this tragic story.
Woman on Probation For Stolen Property and Burglary Tools Arrested For the Same Thing
Last week, Neighborhood Policing Teams with the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Office did a probation search of a 35 year old woman at a storage unit on the 3000 block of Soquel Drive. Inside the unit, they found 30 stolen items. Guess what? The woman was on probation for possession of stolen property and burglary tools. We really can’t get out of out own way here. The suspect was also in possession of an electronic automotive key programmer worth over $3,000, which had been reported stolen from a local towing company, according to reports from the Sheriffs office. Back in 2014, the woman was also arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and heroin, possession of stolen property and attempting to bring narcotics into jail.
Visiting Middle Schoolers Get Ripped Off By Local Bums
Thursday afternoon, a report came in that a number of middle school children were staying at a local hotel on Ocean street when apparently someone stole some of their belongings (like backpacks). A service worker at the hotel reported seeing a homeless person hanging around the area, possibly with some of the missing property. Someone was possibly seen with some of the missing property over by the Riverside Garden area, so SCPD sent a number of units out there, where apparently a large gathering of vagrants were loitering in the area.
At Least He Called Uber Instead of Driving Drunk
Friday night around 10PM, I heard a report about a man who was apparently drunk and refused to get out of an Uber car at the Ocean Pacific Lodge. When SCPD arrived on scene, his girlfriend was trying to extricate the drunk man from the Uber, while the Uber driver was inside the business calling SCPD. The girlfriend managed to get him back to his room so it didn’t sound like he was arrested. Unlike the antagonist in the next story…
Be On The Lookout For Obvious Drunk Driver
Friday night around 10PM, reports came in about a male driver who was reportedly passed out and slumped over the wheel of a black Honda Civic near the intersection of San Juan and Soquel. Fire and AMR were also called to the scene. There was also a BOL for a drunk driver last seen near Taqueria Agave on the 1800 block of Soquel. Which was 3 blocks away from where he passed out. I guess “BOL” means something other than “Be On the Lookout” if he was reported to be driving drunk, then later found 3 blocks away passed out in the middle of the road.
DUI Driver Causes Early Morning Mayhem on Soquel
Early Saturday morning, an apparently drunk driver ran over a fire hydrant with his Jeep on the 300 block of Soquel avenue near Dakota before crashing into a local business and ending up on it’s nose leaning against a phone pole. SCPD, PGE, and others were out early cleaning up the mess, which blocked streets in the area for a short time. The impact sheared the hydrant and the driver was stuck in the vehicle a few feet in front of Riverside Lighting. The driver was not hurt but he was drunk and was arrested for DUI.
Just Another Half Naked Guy Causing Trouble on Ocean Street
Monday night around 9PM, a male was reported to be staggering around half naked inside the Starbucks on Ocean. One person thought the man was the same suspect who had attempted to break in a nearby home earlier in the evening. Apparently, this is also the same guy who’s wife called about a half hour earlier to report her husband “missing”. She reported he had been let out of jail that morning and never came home. I guess they found him! Drunk and disorderly at Starbucks! SCPD took him ACROSS THE STREET to the sobering center. How convenient. What a ridiculous shitshow cycle we endure here on a daily basis, and this pretty much sums it up.
Water is the Emergency Du Jour in Santa Cruz
On Tuesday night, the Santa Cruz City Council met with the City Water Commission for a water supply study session. The goal was to set the level of the city’s water emergency status. Water Department officials are recommending the council establish a Stage 1 water shortage alert, beginning on May 1st. Stage 1 calls for both voluntary and mandatory measures aimed at achieving a 5 percent reduction in consumer demand. City officials are recommending waiver of the city’s drought cost recovery fee, seen on customer bills.
Fight at UnSafeway
Friday night around 8PM, I heard a report about a fight at the Safeway on Mission and Almar. SCPD was apparently too busy to respond (we’ve all been down that road) and asked the UCSC police to handle it if possible. Apparently the fight involved some guy who was getting into his car when he was shoved from behind and it turned into a physical fight.
Car Chase Ends in Capitola Safeway Parking Lot
Thursday afternoon, a 24 year old man from Ben Lomond was driving and yakking on his cell phone when a CHP officer attempted to pull him over as he was driving in Soquel. The man sped off and officers soon called off their pursuit. The suspect ended up crashing into a blue van on Porter Street, near Old San Jose Road. A woman who was driving the van suffered minor injuries, according to the CHP report. The man fled on foot but was found hiding in the parking lot of the Safeway on 41st Avenue in Capitola, and was arrested on felony evading charges. Officers also found the suspect had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest in Napa County.
I am going to skip reporting out on the City Council meeting this week because it was a real yawner. I would however like to take a moment to address the issue of “harm reduction”.
First off let me say that my mother has been clean for decades, I grew up in 12 step meetings, and I have firsthand knowledge of what it is like to live with addicts in and out of active addiction. My entire family tree is peppered with alcoholism and drug addiction. I am so grateful to the 12 step community for helping save the lives of millions. I for one have never been against a true one to one needle exchange, nor am I opposed to the distribution of Narcan.
The current mindset however, with at least some local harm reduction advocates, is that they treat active addicts like babies in need of swaddling. One of the worst things you can do for an active addict is to send a message that shooting drugs is ok or acceptable. It’s not. Shooting meth and/or heroin is bad. Treating it as the norm and eliminating the natural consequences of someone’s unacceptable behavior is enabling. I think probably each one of us can think of someone we love that is afflicted with alcoholism or drug addiction. I know what it’s like to grow up in an extremely dysfunctional home. I know what it’s like to watch someone die a slow and painful death due to liver disease. I know what it’s like to watch someone I love shoot drugs into their neck and nod out. I know what it is like to want with every fiber of my being for people I love to not suffer from the effects of addiction. The absolute truth is they will continue to suffer until THEY change their minds and decide they no longer want to suffer.
I understand the intent behind harm reduction, I also understand some advocates are well meaning but very misguided. By creating a safer, more comfortable atmosphere for people to shoot drugs, we are prolonging their suffering. When we make using easier for someone, it is like feathering their nest. Why would they want to change if things are more comfortable? Making things more comfortable for someone in active addiction is actually prolonging their suffering. It’s assisting them in their committing suicide on the installment plan.
I actually saw a “Better Language” list on Facebook recently in reference on how to address addiction issues. Take a look at this sugar coating bullshit.
Use: “person who uses drugs” Don’t use: “drug user” Use: “person with drug dependence” Don’t use: “addict” Use: “abstinent/person who has stopped using drugs” Don’t use: “clean” Why would you want to replace the word clean? Why would you want to replace the word addict? For people that have suffered in addiction that now can say they have been clean for 30 days, 6 months, 15 years etc. is badge of honor. Clearly the person who “authored” this list has zero working knowledge with recovery. This person should not EVER be the spokesperson or be in any kind of service to those in active addiction or to those seeking treatment. These people are the grim reaper in disguise.
This is a great read if you haven’t seen it yet. It was originally posted on Facebook, but I thought it was important to have it available for anyone to read (not just Facebook members). Replace the word “Seattle” with the words “Santa Cruz”. Nails it. – BD
The Weekly Seen
From a local NextDoor group. Is anyone surprised by this? Stop re-electing the same people who choose to allow this behavior to happen. Don’t vote for Ryan Coonerty this fall. It’s been on his watch for the past 4 years and he does NOTHING. Don’t vote for Cynthia Chase this fall. We know she voted against safety zones in public parks for local school kids. People like Coonerty and Chase are the reason we have to tolerate this type of behavior in our town.
Coastal Commission Rules in Favor of Santa Cruz
This Wednesday at its meeting in Redondo Beach, the California Coastal Commission vote to uphold new rules by the city of Santa Cruz to place a hard cap on hosted rentals at 250, and phase out non-hosted rentals. The Santa Cruz proposal was adopted by the City Council after a year of public input and in-depth study by an 11-member citizens committee. Eight of the commissioners supported the Santa Cruz ordinance, two supported the staff recommendation to reject that proposal, and one abstained. The city has about 330 short-term rentals with permits, but officials estimate the city has had closer to 600 short term rentals when you factor in AirBnB and other un-permitted short term rental units.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Concert Series Lineup Announced for 2018
The Boardwalk recently announced their 2018 lineup for the free Friday summer concert series. Notably, Los Lobos is playing on June 29th. Full lineup is here.
The Happy Story of the Week
The Downtown Streets Team, one of the better stories to come out of Santa Cruz in the past couple years, are expanding beyond downtown and are now down by Main Beach keeping the area clean and free of litter. What a terrific program Chip and others are doing here, and big props to the team members themselves. Thanks for your service to the community!
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