The Weekly Dump 5.11.18

National Guard Shuts the City Homeless Plan Down

According to Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal, Col. Darren Bender of the California National Guard told the city this week that the National Guard has scheduled renovation work at the Armory this fall, making it unavailable for the city to consider as a possible location for a new homeless shelter. The news was revealed at this week’s city council meeting. When asked for an update on negotiations with state officials for lease of the property last week, Bernal and Assistant City Manager Tina Shull said they were aware that site renovations were planned, but did not have details on its timeline.

Other previously identified sites included a field (yeah, a field!) in the Pogonip, property adjacent to the city dump on Dimeo Lane (a field at the DUMP!), and on land next to the county’s Emeline Center health and human services complex (conveniently located next to the county’s free needle dispensary). All of these other “identified locations” received significant blowback from loud and vocal neighbors when Bernal originally suggested them at a previous city council meeting. Which is probably why he favored the Armory, which wasn’t listed as one of the original 3 locations identified by city staff in their report, and as a result had no real vocal opposition when it was announced as the “favored” location at the city council meeting (big surprise there right!). Of course it’s the only option they neither own or control, so of course, it was their first choice. The dysfunction never ends here. City officials will provide the council an update on the city’s next steps during its May 22 meeting, Bernal said.

Not In My Back Yard!
(featuring a pop up Bianca Beltran!)

Public Safety Still Mostly an Afterthought in Santa Cruz

Last Friday, a bunch of people held a public safety rally at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz. It was a nice gathering. It wasn’t huge, but of course, this is Santa Cruz, where “public safety” isn’t just a bad word, it might get you stalked and harASSed by local dimwits, self proclaimed “social justice warriors” who exhibit the kind of delusional, sociopathic behavior that warrants a 5150 (or at least a family “intervention”). That’s right. Supporting public safety in public in Santa Cruz is itself a public safety hazard. Perfect. The idiocy knows no boundaries here.

But the event itself was nice, pretty low key, and it was all about showing support for Sarah, the recent victim that was almost raped at the clock tower. A few people spoke and it was actually pretty moving at times. I think the people that were there were both inspired and motivated to do more by some of the speakers. Chief Mills gave a short speech (he looks tired), but none of the city council members showed up. And of course, Ryan Coonerty was nowhere to be found (but it was nice that Steve Pleich, who is running against him, was there to support the victim). After a few short speeches and thank yous, people walked peacefully through downtown with signs in support of public safety to SCPD. They walked right through all the First Friday folks, and got a lot of good support and attention there. It was nice to see. If you weren’t able to attend, and you’re curious how it went, there’s a video of it on YouTube. Thanks to whoever shot this video!

UCSC Cancels Monday Classes

Custodians, security guards, gardeners and other service workers at UCSC had a three-day walkout to address gender pay inequalities and demand higher wages. The strike was called after their union and the university couldn’t agree on a new contract. In response, officials at UCSC cancelled all morning classes Monday. Two UCSC students were arrested on Monday. One student was arrested for assault on an officer, while another student was arrested for obstruction.

Another Murder Suspect Arrested in Live Oak Homicide

A second man has been arrested in connection with a recent Live Oak homicide. Last month, a 26 year old man was murdered outside of the Emerald Bay Apartments on the 2500 block of Soquel Drive. A 15 year old boy was arrested on April 19th and charged with the murder. Now, a second suspect has also been arrested. The 19 year old male suspect from Hollister was arrested around 12:30PM on Wednesday. He was booked on charges of murder and participation in a criminal street gang. His bail was set at $1.5 million.

Watsonville Man Arrested on Attempted Murder Charges

Tuesday morning around 1AM, a 31 year old Watsonville man was arrested on attempted murder charges after he followed his ex-girlfriend and shot at her from a vehicle on Riverside Drive. The gunman and victim have a 4 year old son together. Watsonville police went to the suspect’s home and found his vehicle parked there. The victim told officers the suspect had custody of their son at the time of the shooting but she did not know if her son was in the suspect’s vehicle at the time. Police established surveillance around the suspect’s residence, and nearby Ann Soldo Elementary School was placed on lock down Tuesday morning. Around 9:30AM, the suspect walked out of his home and police took him into custody. Police found the child safe inside the man’s home and was placed back into his mother’s custody. The suspect was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

It’s Just a Another Transient With a Knife

Tuesday afternoon around lunch time, a group of students from Harbor High School were using a walking path which leads from the school campus to Soquel Avenue when they reported they encountered a male transient who was holding a large knife. The School Resource Officer (SRO) investigated the area with the campus supervisor but they could not locate the person.

Tweeking at the Elementary School

Wednesday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputies were patrolling in Scotts Valley when they noticed a Dodge pickup truck parked in the parking lot of Brook Knoll Elementary School. Deputies found a man and woman nearby. After searching the truck, deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The woman was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and the man was issued a citation for trespassing on school grounds.

Truck Thief Arrested at Kmart

This past week, a Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputy was on patrol looking for a white truck that had been reported stolen from a tow company in Watsonville. After locating the truck, he stopped it in the Kmart parking lot. The driver was arrested for stealing the truck and breaking into the tow yard.

Local Convict Actually Denied Parole!

Amazing right! A man convicted of a brutal murder in Santa Cruz County back in 1995 has been denied parole. Almost 23 years ago, Israel Garcia violently murdered his 77-year-old landlord with a razor blade. On May 10, 1995, Garcia knocked on his landlord’s door pretending to visit him. After chatting for about 20 minutes, Garcia suddenly slashed and stabbed his landlord 44 times with a 2-inch razor blade. Garcia was sentenced to prison in 1996. During his first 18 years in prison he committed numerous crimes, including drug trafficking and slashing an inmate in the face with a razor blade. In 2014, Garcia began self-help programming in prison, wrote an apology letter to his victim and has been crime free for the last four years. The Parole Board found the vicious manner in which Garcia killed his landlord demanded a lengthy period of rehabilitation which had not yet been achieved. The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office called the murder one of the most heinous in the county.

Living Up to Our Image Here

It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard Santa Cruz and it’s dysfunctional blend of stupid called a “Dumpster Fire”. So I had to laugh at this story. Wednesday morning, Santa Cruz Sheriffs deputies went to the county complex on Emeline after a report of a dumpster on fire. Deputies found a male suspect nearby and identified him as the one who started the fire. During a search of the suspect, deputies located several bicycle locks and a propane torch. The locks had been stolen from the employee bike lockers on the campus. 

Like a Good Neighbor?

Tuesday night around 8:30PM, multiple reports came in about a man racing his car near the 300 block of Oxford street on the west side of Santa Cruz. The suspect was racing up and down the street in his Lexus yelling at his neighbors. SCPD was previously out dealing with the same clown earlier in the day apparently for some sort of domestic disturbance. I’m guessing with his neighbors!

Motorcycle Accident Briefly Shuts Down Highway One

Last Saturday around 5:30, a solo motorcycle accident shut down Highway 1 for about 15 minutes near Wilder Ranch. The highway was shut down briefly to accommodate a Life Flight helicopter and transport an injured motorcyclist to a trauma center over the hill.

Seabright Beach Has a New Friend!

The Satanic Temple of Santa Cruz announced recently they have “adopted” Seabright State Beach in Santa Cruz through the ‘Save our Shores’ program. In order to adopt a beach through the program, the Satanic Temple will act as a caretaker for a year by holding monthly cleanups and removing debris and trash. According to their website, The Satanic Temple-Santa Cruz is “committed to fostering a Satanic community in the Santa Cruz area, promoting critical thinking, reason, and equality.”

Mierda Agitador!

A faithful Dump reader sent me this picture. I do kind of stir the mierda around here.

Registration Open for Teen Public Safety Academy

Registration just opened for the Teen Public Safety Academy, which runs from July 16th through July 20th, and is limited to just 20 kids. Teens between the ages of 13 and 19 will get firsthand experience of what Santa Cruz Police and Fire do on a daily basis. Teen Academy recruits will have a total public safety experience in action packed week learning police and fire training, tactics and job duties. Contact Officer Leo Gomez (831) 420-5952 or

Click for an application and additional details here!

The Happy Story of the Week

There will be a FREE community street fiesta from 5-7PM on Saturday along Cooper street in downtown Santa Cruz. Who doesn’t love a free fiesta downtown! Hosted by the Senderos community, Santa Cruz City Arts and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, the fiesta includes music by Banda de Viento (a traditional Oaxacan wind band), as well as students performing dances and providing music. Senderos will be selling Oaxacan food to benefit its youth programs. Check it out!

The Weekly Seen

Thanks to Chief Mills for sharing this. Another cute picture of ducks safely crossing a busy street! Let’s end this week on a happy note!

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  1. I am braving the insanity and have thrown my hat into the ring of becoming a city council member. I am tired of banging my head against the wall. I want change and I want Santa Cruz to be safe !! So this is the only thing that makes sense to me. We want change so let’s make the changes. Vote for new people (me). We need some hard charges for our city/county. It won’t come by voting for the same people over and over. Let’s move on to some new people and new ideas to tackle the many issues we have. #ENOUGH

  2. Way to go Paige!

  3. lol @social justice warrior video

  4. I love your articles. Thank you for making me laugh and sorting through the shit.

  5. Hey Ben, Do you know how why Santa Cruz reporters never mention the NAME of the street gang that’s involved in a story? It’s always the generic use of the word gang or street gang?

    • They probably don’t want to bother with that level of detail, or possibly getting it wrong. It’s easier and cheaper to just call it “gang related”. And this seems like a good time to just clarify why I rarely publish names in the stories I talk about (unless of course they are “public figures” like city council members, county supervisors, or long time human barnacles pretending to be activists). I do still believe in that old “innocent until proven guilty” stuff, and want to give even those arrested locally a fair shake. I’m not really interested in bringing shame to the individual here. I’m interested in bringing shame to the process (or lack of), the principal players (city and county management among others), and to the people that keep voting for the status quo here. Thanks.

  6. I remember last City Council election cycle and people were encouraged to tell the candidates/surrogates campaigning that public safety was what we were looking for. Well, in the intervening years, things have only gotten worse downtown and in the neighborhoods, much induced by police writing lenient policy and lack of any kind of interest in moving people along or dealing with clearly psychotic people. So, once again, I will be mentioning public safety to those campaigning. Also, I was at the clock tower last Friday to show my support and had hoped to see more involvement by UCSC and young people around town. Lastly, just imagine if this would be rapist/public masterbater had tackled someone older and more infirm and had broken someone’s hip. Could have resulted in a death. Thanks for your column.

    • the main thing my mom tried to teach me growing up was to think for myself. she said if you value any of your teachers, the best compliment you can give them is to listen to what they say and then question it. she said if they dont want to listen to an opinion that is different than their own, then they are a bad teacher..

      this doesnt seem like the culture at the uc schools. i think some of the professors are committed to their ideas like a religion. students arent going to get behind a movement unless their professor tells them to back it first. way too hierarchy obsessed. students should be encouraged to think for themselves. otherwise we end up like a bunch of lemmings following orders from above– same thing with this needle “exchange” — people blindly support it as some intellectual form of altruism and refuse to look at the actual results.

    • Things have gotten worse and the city government only pays lip service, if that. Our city manager is in over his head and only marginally competent, city council not much better. We have a police chief who panders to the left of left long time locals. A young woman is assaulted downtown and no one is asking how do we stop the inflow of transients who are here to cause harm. WTF do we do now?

    • Thanks! I agree with everything you said.

  7. Good stuff as always! On the subject of “gang related” I had to laugh at the Sentinel article on the 2nd arrest made in the Emerald Apts murder. They said it was a “ random gang motivated shooting”. I maybe wrong but doesn’t it have to be one or the other ? Is it random or is it gang motivated ? And also on the topic of “ innocent until proven guilty “ above you talked about the guy that was arrested for firing a gun into his ex’s car who he shares custody of their son. The info I read the other day on the case is that she said he shot at her car yet there were no witnesses,no bullet holes in her car and no shell casings found at the supposed location of the shooting . And then they go to the home and he is in the home with the child. And he is arrested and his bail is $500,000 . What grounds are the arresting him on ? Something doesn’t add up there ! Did they find a freshly fired gun at 9:30 am some 8 hours later or did he confess to it ? Keep up the good work!

  8. Just the Facts

    The way you become a lifetime member of most street gangs is to kill someone. Anyone! Preferably a rival gang member but anybody will do as long as you get the “props” and recognition. Thats why they don’t mention the gang affiliation in the paper or on the news, it only gives them more “cred” with their fellow gang members!

  9. I think the reason no reporter mentions a specific gang affiliation is because they’re afraid of getting their ass shot. Like in Mexico where reporters and politicians are killed with great regularity.

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