Public Safety Rally Planned For Downtown Santa Cruz
In response to the recent attempted rape in broad daylight in a crowded downtown Santa Cruz, a number of businesses, community groups and activists have joined together to organize a rally and safety walk through downtown Santa Cruz. Organizers are inviting the community to peacefully assemble to support each other and our local businesses in taking back our streets for a safer downtown. They seek to bring attention to the issue of violence against women in the Santa Cruz, and to compel the County of Santa Cruz to release millions of dollars of unspent mental health funds to help address the ongoing mental health crisis facing the City. The event will begin on Friday at 7:00PM at the Town Clock in downtown Santa Cruz, where participants will gather at the Clock, then walk together along Pacific Avenue, ending at the Santa Cruz Police Department on Center Street. The recent attack is one of numerous unprovoked attacks on women in Santa Cruz over the years, the most tragic being the murder of local businesswoman Shannon Collins in 2012. Almost 2,500 signatures have already been collected on a petition demanding accountability from the County, which is responsible for Health & Human Services, including mental health care. If you haven’t signed it yet, there’s a link on the right sidebar of this page to it. Please sign and share. And come out this Friday and support public safety downtown! Show our supposed city and county leaders that this is a discussion that needs to get more than just passing lip service during election campaigns. If these people won’t do that, then get rid of them.
Morning Bomb Threat Locks Down San Lorenzo Valley Schools
Around 10:30AM on Wednesday, San Lorenzo Valley Middle School was evacuated to investigate a bomb threat, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The middle school was evacuated, and children were diverted to a nearby football field. San Lorenzo Valley elementary and high schools were also put on lockdown. Students were allowed to return to class after no suspicious items were found. Authorities cleared the scene about an hour after the initial call.
DNA Evidence Links Suspect to Multiple Capitola Rape Cases
Jury selection begins next week in the trial of a 50 year old cab driver facing 11 charges, including three charges of forcible rape, kidnapping to commit rape, false imprisonment, sexual battery by restraint, assault with intent to commit a felony, attempted rape, attempted rape of an intoxicated person, attempted rape of an unconscious person and sexual battery, according to court documents. The charges accompany special allegations of great bodily injury, kidnapping for sexual purposes, aggravated kidnapping and violent sex offenses. In 2014, the suspect was arrested in connection with attempting to rape a woman heading home from Capitola Village. After his arrest, officers found DNA evidence linking him to another 2004 case. The suspect remains at Santa Cruz County Jail this week, with bail set at $450,000.
Squatter Arrested for Possession of Guns and Drugs
Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a Boulder Creek squatter for possession of loaded guns and drugs among other charges. After hearing noises at a vacant house off Deer Creek road, a neighbor called deputies. When Deputies arrived, they found a man with loaded guns, ammunition, body armor and drug paraphernalia watching TV in the house. One of the guns found had also been earlier reported stolen. The man was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
Burglary Suspect Arrested on 41st Avenue
A Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputy made contact with a man at the bus stop in front of Home Depot last Sunday night. They found the man in possession of a wallet, car keys, and several credit cards not in his name. The Deputy quickly learned the name on the cards belonged to several recent burglary victims in the city of Santa Cruz. One victim was able to identify the wallet and car keys the suspect had in his possession as being stolen from his home. The suspect was booked into jail for possession of stolen property and identity theft. An officer from the Santa Cruz Police Department took over the burglary investigation.
No Wonder They’re Starving
Around 11:30AM on Thursday morning, reports came in that a guy walked into the Starving Musician on Pacific, took an acoustic guitar, and left on a skateboard headed towards the levee. An employee started to chase him but eventually stopped. SCPD was told to be on the lookout for the guy. It sounded like the shop might have gotten the guitar back, but it didn’t sound like anyone was caught or arrested.
Meltdown on West Cliff
An alert Dump reader contacted me about an incident that happened this past week along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.
“After dropping off my daughter at school, I did my morning surf check at about 8:20. Coming from Bay I could see police lights on West Cliff in front of the Cowells mini parking lot. Homeless guy had tons of shit scattered everywhere and was ranting. SCPD seemed to be taking it as seriously as they take their cardio workouts. I drove home and did my second morning surf check with dog on my cruiser (which is new because a methhead stole my much beloved old school cruiser out of my driveway last summer … even though it had a flat tire … but whatever). At 8:40 the cops are still standing around watching the guy be crazy AF. He was ranting and dumping water on his head. Clearly out of his mind and unsafe. Folks on West Cliff mentioned that he had been there since last night and SCPD had come by. Someone said the bum’s car got towed and he had pulled all this crap out of the car. Then the guy gets up and walks away. Just walks away as the cops do nothing. The guy was clearly out of his mind and a threat to himself or someone else. But he’s GONE. Then one of my neighbors, a homeowner two blocks away who grew up on Lighthouse Ave., tells SCPD that the bum threatened him with a hammer. It takes them 10 minutes to take the report and then they drive off in search of the guy. They find him at the Lighthouse Field bathroom cafe. I saw them arrest the bum about 9:15 or so.”
Ah, West Cliff drive. The million dollar views clogged up by guys like this. Tourists come from all over the world to drive this stretch of road, or maybe walk this stretch of sidewalk, and this is the kind of lively entertainment the city treats everyone to free of charge every day! Never a dull morning here!
Oblivious or Willfully Ignorant?
Neither one is a good luck here. I know it seems like I pile on Ryan Coonerty, but it’s only because I feel he’s one of the biggest reasons we continue to spiral down our rabbit hole here year after year. Honestly, his father was arguably worse. When Ryan took over from Dad, people were guardedly optimistic. Now 4 years later, we can see he’s a chip off the old blockhead. Someone sent me a copy of his newsletter he blasted out tooting his horn while looking for donations, and never once mentions the attempted rape downtown, which of course happened in his district, maybe a hundred yards away from his family’s downtown business.
And if you missed it, there was a great interview on KSCO where Rosemary Chalmers talked to a couple people organizing Friday’s public safety rally downtown. The show was from May 3rd and it’s probably in their archive in case you missed it. They talked about Ryan’s newsletter as well, even calling it “phony”. That’s sort of the general consensus of opinion I’ve gotten about it too. I don’t know about phony (it seems like something he would write), but it’s just the overall tone deafness that offends me the most. Don’t waste 4 more years here.
Normally I stick to Santa Cruz matters here but hey, Mierda is half of our name here! And this story is too funny and nutty to not share this week. Police in Holmdel, New Jersey, solved the mystery of who was taking a daily crap on the high school track and football field. Surveillance finally caught 42 year old Thomas Tramaglini taking care of business while he was running on the Holmdel High School track this week. Tramaglini lives a few miles from the school and is the school superintendent in nearby Kenilworth. He was arrested Monday and charged with lewdness, littering and defecating in public.
The Happy Story of the Week
Stripe downtown will be hosting Downtown Streets Team members at a First Friday artist reception from 5-9PM at their store at 107 Walnut Ave. The Downtown Streets Team is made up from local homeless men and women who are working to beautify the community as they work toward finding employment and housing. Speakers will share their stories around 7:30 p.m. This month features artists Jodi Lyford and Dan Wysuph, two tattoo artists based in Santa Cruz. Complimentary cocktails will be served!
The Weekly Seen
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If you haven’t heard it yet, here’s the great KSCO interview from earlier Thursday morning:
(Starts exactly at the 118:00 mark)
Ben – the link below is more info on the Holmdell super pooper – including mugshot. I’m glad you found this worthy of reporting this week. It goes to show how bizarre life can be! Imagine how many strange things like this might be going on in Santa Cruz that we just don’t know about?
New Jersey superintendent defecated on high school football field ‘on a daily basis,’ cops say.
I’m sure New Jersey could give Santa Cruz a run for keeping it weird! Thanks!
That Coonerty cartoon is the best thing I’ve seen all week.
I agree, too bad Sentinel/local politicians was too thin skinned for DeCinzo, who was the best political cartoonist Ive ever seen. He was hilarious.
I ran some of his old stuff when I started this almost 2 years ago. Search his name in the search box and you can pull up some of his old stuff here.
If the mental health funds are released, I can see the benefit of spending a portion on some elected officials who clearly need to have their heads examined for allowing much of the anti social behavior to flourish in Santa Cruz.
I’ve missed DeCinzo! I was just thinking last week that you and DeCinzo would be a great match.
haha, he was definitely an early muse for me in the beginning here. I miss him too.
Naked people hallucinating could be the town motto.
Man you know you had a shitty week when you are the “One victim” referred to in the Weekly Dump.
Yep I got the call from the Deputy at 3:30AM asking if I had lost my wallet or if it were stolen. STOLEN when the thief tried to make off with 4 of MY bags loaded with my music studio equipment the night before. I chased him down and got my bags back but he obviously had my keys and wallet in his pockets.
If you live in this area, DOUBLE CHECK YOUR LOCKS on cars and home. Get video cameras. Hell, hire First Alarm to patrol your hood. The theft in Santa Cruz is out of fucking control.
Ugh. So sorry dude. It seems to be a never ending battle (and of course, that’s self inflicted). Thanks for reading and sharing your story.
Wasn’t it true that the Clock Tower rapist was just arrived here in January, that bystanders didn’t do much to help her fight off the rapist who had done some work for Strip earlier in the year? Just curious but aside from fun and feel good, what efficacious result is generated by another rally?
He had just recently arrived in town, and was camping in the city’s River street camp. As for what good will come from the rally, what good is sitting around doing nothing and staying quiet about it? Or voting for the same do nothing asshat every 4 years. The rally is about effectively communicating the growing anger and dissent within the community. The ability to do this is what makes America great. It’s not a freedom to take lightly.
I would agree with you if thats what the rally did, but did it? I was working and not there. The Sentinel coverage (a poor source but the only one I have) portrays it as basically being co-opted by the spin the real problem is lack of county mental health spending, which serves the purposes of a city that doesn’t want to engage in more enforcement or stop attracting new problems with endless handouts. I would also question exactly why more funds for mental health issues would be such great progress when the pool of people to be drawn here by the lack of enforcement and handouts would easily dwarf even the most impressive county spend on mental health over time. Then there is the admonishment we all need to not be cowed and feel safe to travel all parts of santa cruz. Do we? Even if its not about safety and more juat about stink, garbage, and Hep A in the tweaker paradise, why should we go there? Why should we support the continued failure of the city and police chief? Boycotts have a long history because they are often effective and not sure how much is just bad sentinel spin but wondering how a “Take Back” rally became co-opted into the mental health funds are the answer and the suck it up and patronize mantras of the failed city establishment. Maybe that is the general position of “Take Back” (don’t know, not a member), but mental health funds wont solve, or even help much, of anything without less handouts and more enforcement to diminish the flow of criminals and the mentally ill into town and strengthen the determination to stay here. And the idea we are obligated to keep supporting wilful failure seems absurd.
If you were present please correct the sentinel and improve my day by letting me know there was some speech on more than mental health funds and “carrying on” in the face of the worsening quality of city public spaces because thats not taking back anything.
Good spot on points.
You didn’t mention the discussion of moving the river st camp to the armory.
Ditto about the armory.