The Weekly Dump 4.13.18

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.

Hugh’s Views

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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  1. Paige Concannon

    As always, I love all the information !! I especially love the “sugar coated bullshit” !! Yes, it is so true that the harm reduction person should NOT EVER be a spokesperson or involved in anyway.
    Thank you for another fabulous Dump !!!

  2. thanks for posting your personal stories about your family. so tragic – but good to hear your perspective and what you learned. i have people in my family who i refuse to talk to because they are addicted to money, power and torturing other people for a power rush. it is all based on a dellusional sense of power and an addiction to that adrenaline rush. doesnt sound as ugly as heroin addiction, but when that abuse drives your stepbrother to suicide you have proof to show others how ugly it is.

    having long term ugliness and trauma like that in your immediate family is very difficult. i think the best thing people can do with first hand tragic stories like that is have the courage to share them and learn from them. so thanks again for sharing your experience.

    i will try to have more sympathy for some of the people battling addiction in this town. it is difficult when it makes the city feel so dangerous. i also appreciate the facebook story you linked to because it makes it ok to continue to believe these extreme drugs are horrible and to want to get rid of them/enforce the law.

    maybe it really would work to devote more resources to getting rid of the deadly drugs, and then people would sober up and be more likely to want to get off of the streets.

    • Thank you Kris. Having compassion without enabling is a lot of hard work. I had to learn to love some folks from a distance.

  3. and way to go to the people helping keep santa cruz clean from garbage- i helped a lone wolf guy pick up garbage on west cliff one day, but it would be nice to join a bigger group- im going to see if he knows about these guys

  4. ok just read up on the downtown streets team- anyway great to see what those guys are accomplishing and good to know i sound like an idiot sometimes LOL

  5. THIS >>>>>> The city (and COUNTY) leadership needs to start treating heroin and other hardcore drugs like the devastating and vicious, soul-crushing toxic poisons they are, rather than another legitimate lifestyle choice. The City (and COUNTY) needs to expect that a person follows the rules of safe society, rather than ignoring its own rules while upsetting the bulk of the population who refuses to lower our standards along with them. And, finally, Seattle (SANTA CRUZ) voters need to elect leaders with enough integrity to enforce those standards. This should all be done with a firm compassion, knowing that the actively-using addict lives on the brink of total emotional collapse every day. Because while our leaders refuse to sentence the addict to jail or prison for their crimes, they (DENISE ELERICK AND MARK STONE) are instead sentencing them to a slow and vicious suicide.

  6. Dr. Leff…….One of the main proponents of Harm Reduction, or as I call it “Harm Enabling” stated on T.V several years ago how much he loved the needle distribution program as the county health dept. , with whom he was associated, would give the van to volunteers, with no oversight but he liked that it saved the county money. Without landlord knowledge they parked at the laundromat on Ocean and over time via handing out unlimited syringes, harmed the neighborhood. Neighbors got the van expelled and along with the van went the prostitutes, junkies and problems to the Emeline area. Dr. Leff continues to be wrong.

    On the Coastal Commission decision to restrict un-hosted rentals, they are kidding themselves if they think these homes will return to full time rentals. The just eviction, rent control board and rent control issues that if passed in total are extremely punitive and expensive for landlords, very restrictive and are forcing people to sell rather than rent properties. Why operate a business in a hostile environment? Rent control reduces housing inventories and forces landlords to raise rents as high as they can because of the end of lease termination suspension and giving owner rights to tenants. Some don’t realize that rent control for many has been in place already via many mom and pop landlords who have been already charging under market rents.

  7. Thanks for the dump! Hoping we can make our town less turdaliscious with each passing day.

  8. Regarding the story of the needle found at HWP and the statement: “Our FIRST PRIORITY should be the safety & welfare of our children”, I wanted to share the following:
    The Afternoon of Wednesday April 11, I was driving home and saw a homeless person/his shopping cart passed out/parked on the Morrissey overpass. This person was also present the following Thursday morning (3/12) as I was dropping my son off at school.
    I went to Cal and lived in Oakland 20 years. I’m pretty tolerant of homeless folks; however, I am NOT OK with unnecessarily endangering people, especially children.
    The Morrissey overpass is a direct link for students walking& biking to & from DeLaveaga Elementary & Branciforte Middle Schools. Kids and families walking/riding to school had to navigate around this person, putting them along the outside edge of the sidewalk, next to an overpass lane that has no shoulder between it and the sidewalk.
    I immediately called in to SCPD. I explained the dangerous situation and asked for the person’s removal. Driving home Thursday afternoon (3/12), the person was still sprawled out across the sidewalk which meant kids had to once again walk around him to get home.
    Is anyone familiar with the old punch line: “Sheeeeeeeeeiiiiiit, if it’s going to be that kind of party, I’m gonna stick my dick in the mashed potatoes!”?
    If our problems in SC are so great that protecting kids has been de-prioritized for the SCPD, we have already allowed this community to become “that type of party” for our residents who are completely self-absorbed refuse to consider anyone beyond themselves.

    • I am not familiar with the dick in the mashed potatoes line but you can bet your ass I am going to say that at least twice this weekend!

      • “That Ain’t My Finger” (1965 Comedy Album) – Mantan Moreland
        You can YouTube the original recording.
        Not usually said in mixed company, but it goes through my mind a lot when I see some of the abhorrent behavior in our community.
        If I didn’t try to laugh, I’d cry…

    • Children are not a high priority in Santa Cruz. City progressives will claim up and down and a 100 ways to Sunday that they love, love, just love and cherish our children. And yet, over and over again, they let them be placed in difficult and frightening situations.

    • I saw a cart on the Morrissey overpass too this week; didn’t see a person, but it sure seemed like an undesirable place to “set up camp” for all concerned.

  9. Thanks for being the voice of sanity in this town. I have come to rely on your blog for the real news of the goings on here in Santa Cruz! I have lived here over 25 years and what people like Don Lane, Coonerty, et al. have done is a travesty. It offends me to no end that Don Lane and his cronies claim we are not being compassionate. I am disabled and no longer go downtown bc I feel so unsafe. The new Chief is a clown.
    And thank you CM for your insightful, honest comment!!!

  10. Paige Concannon

    Marie !! I will not let an injection site get here !! I will absolutely fight it with everything I have in me ! Paige

  11. I thought this was a breakthrough in the history of the thread because we’ve got someone other than Ben commenting on the post. Of course I’ve been blocked by Ben because he doesn’t like my politics just like Facebook blocks people they don’t like to hear from!

    • I didn’t block you. Your comments were flagged as spam. It’s not that I don’t like your politics. I really don’t care about your politics. Maybe I should have left this one as spam too, but I just wanted to point out you’re not blocked. So maybe adjust that tin foil hat and try harder!

  12. Marie…..If another UCSC based professor or out on the fringes socialist or anarchist espouser never made it onto the city council again….that would be too soon. This town needs pragmatic problem solvers who are not afraid to say no to dumb ideas instead of worrying about how “inclusive” we all are.

    • i agree blue- ive considered myself just left of center politically for a while- but seeing the extreme left in this city makes me sick. no concern for the welfare of the average family- trashing the whole city in the name of a very small percentage- and not even helping that small percentage-but just enabling criminal behavior- its horrible! i hear what jennifer is saying about downtown- it is that smarmy. sick of it!

  13. Just to be clear, nobody is blocked from visiting this website or commenting. Comments occasionally are flagged by a spam filter, and I do moderate some comments on occasion, especially if I feel they are trolling or spamming the group and the site. Of course, some people will feel entitled by their “right” to comment here. This is after all Santa Cruz! And if anyone wonders why I comment so much, let me remind those folks. It’s my site. It’s mostly my opinion. I respond to people that take the time to share their feedback here. If that bothers anyone, feel free to quit reading.

  14. I agree that we need to help addicts and alcoholics but I think we need alternatives to 12 Step programs. How many of these bums have sentenced to treatment or aa meetings 10x or more? There is no evidence that these programs are effective and we should be looking closely at alternatives instead of probation giving these guys slips to get signed at aa meetings

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