The Worst Weekend of the Year for Traffic in Santa Cruz
It’s here! Otherwise known as “UCSC Graduation Weekend”, it turns our little town into a complete clogged toilet as far as traffic goes. And don’t even bother trying to go to the grocery store on Friday, or any local restaurants downtown at any point this weekend. Compile all that family visitor traffic with the usual onslaught of over the hill beach trekkers to the Boardwalk, and you get a complete mess. I make a point to do all my shopping early in the week, and hopefully I won’t have to drive my car anywhere this weekend. So if you gotta drive in town this weekend, be patient. I would avoid Mission and Ocean streets at all costs if you can avoid them.
Menace to Society Arrested Yet Again
Tuesday afternoon, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputies got a call about a female trespassing at a home in Ben Lomond. When Deputies arrived, the woman had reportedly left in a Lexus (which was later determined to be stolen), abandoning her dog at the scene. When deputies attempted to stop her, she failed to pull over and tried to evade them at a high rate of speed. Fearing for public safety, deputies ended the pursuit as it neared Brookdale. The Lexus was again spotted by a Deputy in downtown Boulder Creek, who also attempted to pull the woman over. During the second pursuit, deputies determined that the woman had stolen firearms and other property from the house in Ben Lomond. After the woman evaded the deputies a second time, they learned that the woman had been filmed during the burglary. The abandoned dog was found to be registered to a 32 year old woman, and after viewing the footage of the burglary, deputies positively identified her as the suspect.
Later that night, residents on Branciforte Dr. reported a Lexus blocking a driveway and a woman walking door to door asking for gasoline and asking for the residents to not call the police. You can’t make this stuff up. We have some of the dumbest criminals locally. When deputies and other officers from other agencies responded to the area, they found a 45 year old man with the Lexus, who confirmed that the woman he was with was looking for gasoline. All the stolen property from the earlier burglary was located in the Lexus, including the firearms. A “shelter in place” reverse 911 call was made to the area, and deputies and officers began searching the area.
Further south on Branciforte Drive, neighbors called 911 to report a woman had been seen attempting to get into parked vehicles in the area. A resident saw the female suspect climb over his driveway fence and approach his house. The resident, who had armed himself with a handgun, shouted for the woman to stop but she continued towards him, challenging him to shoot her. When the resident fired a single warning shot into the dirt in front of his porch, the woman dropped to the ground and finally took it all seriously. Deputies arrived moments later and took the woman into custody. She was found to be in possession of the keys to the Lexus as well as vehicle keys from another Branciforte Drive address. She was booked into County Jail for numerous felonies, including residential burglary, felon in possession of firearms, vehicle theft, and reckless evasion. The male was booked into County Jail for narcotics and stolen property charges. There are no charges being sought against the homeowner who assisted in the capture of the female suspect. Apparently, she’s also a frequent flyer on the county bus to and from jail. She’s been arrested something like a dozen times locally in the past couple years. What the hell, what’s one more time here!
HAZMAT Concerns Shuts Down Block of Pacific Avenue
Wednesday night around 8PM, SCPD shut down an apartment complex and the adjacent streets on the 600 block of Pacific Avenue near the Kaiser Arena because of a hazardous material incident. No one was hurt and the materials were contained.
Drunk Angry Spitting and Kicking Women Arrested
Hey ladies! According to recent CHP reports, a 28 year old woman was arrested for driving under the influence on the 200 block of Westridge Drive in Watsonville last Friday. While being taken into custody, she allegedly kicked the arresting officer in the chest.
Then on Sunday, a 22 year old female was arrested for DUI on Mattison Lane at Soquel Drive. CHP said the woman resisted arrest, kicked an officer in the leg, spit on another officer and kicked a patrol car. The woman continued to be combative when taken to the hospital for chemical testing, being combative towards medical personnel and attempting to spit on a nurse.
Somebody Needs a Serious Time Out
Some time on Monday night, a woman in Soquel was arrested for suspicion of DUI and for assaulting a CHP officer, after she was pulled over in the parking lot of the Home Depot on 41st Avenue. After being placed in a patrol car, the woman tried to kick out the windows. When an officer opened the door, the woman spit on him. She had to be put in leg restraints and was taken to Dominican hospital for medical clearance. While in the hospital, she continued to fight by screaming and thrashing around, so she had to be restrained again. The woman was eventually booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
Teens Crash Stolen Car Which Starts Wildfire in Watsonville
Five teenagers crashed a stolen car on Wednesday afternoon on Old Adobe Road, sparking a wildfire. The boys, who were between 14 and 15 years old, were driving the stolen Chevy Sonic between Aptos and Watsonville when they tried to turn around on a narrow section of roadway with flat tires when they hit a GMC pickup truck and fled the scene, abandoning the car, which had been stolen from a home in Watsonville the night before. This sparked the wildfire. Investigators think the rims on the stolen car created sparks while the teens were speeding away, and flames quickly spread into nearby brush on Larkin Valley Road. The car was engulfed in flames as the teens fled on foot. Residents helped firefighters battle the brush fire, using a nearby tractor to carve a fire break. This helped prevent the wildfire from spreading out of control. The five boys were found soon after in the neighborhood and were taken into custody. The teens face multiple charges, including possessing a stolen vehicle.
Taking Out the Trash
Friday afternoon around 2:30PM, reports of a storage unit burglary prompted a response from the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs department. Deputies spotted a felon known to the deputies running across all lanes of Soquel Drive toward a commercial businesses. Deputies quickly set up a perimeter on the streets adjoining the business complex with a K9 unit. The suspected felon was found hiding in a dumpster behind a business. The man faces drug related and obstruction charges, while his involvement in the burglary is still under investigation.
Local Gang Member Busted With a Weapon and Drugs
Wednesday night, a Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputy stopped a known gang member at the 76 Gas station on Soquel Drive. After giving the deputy someone else’s name, the deputy quickly learned his true identity, and the fact he was on probation. He was also found to be in possession of a concealed fixed blade knife, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and booked into jail for a variety of charges.
Depot Park Chop Shop
Wednesday night around 11PM, someone called in a disturbance in Depot Park about an ongoing chop shop, with 6-8 people taking bikes apart in the area next to the bike park. SCPD sent a couple units out to break it up but I don’t think anyone was arrested. As usual.
Wrecks on the Beach
Tuesday night around 5:30PM, a report came in about a vehicle that drove off the road at Cypress and East Cliff and was driving on the beach. Witnesses reported seeing it strike a concrete rail before getting stuck in a ditch. SCPD believes a medical emergency may have caused the crash.
Just Your Usual Downtown Bum Fight
Some time after midnight on Wednesday, a report came in about 3 guys pummeling another guy on the ground on the sidewalk on the 100 block of Elm street. Apparently, at least one man so drunk he couldn’t stand up. SCPD showed up after the fight ended and nobody was arrested but the drunk guy who got pummeled and couldn’t stand up required medical attention.
More Bums Behaving Badly Downtown
Thursday night around 7PM, a transient bum came in to the Jamba Juice on Pacific Avenue and tried to steal the tip jar, then threw trash around and at customers before exiting out onto Pacific Avenue. SCPD seemed to know the guy by name.
Wednesday afternoon, deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Team spotted two men and a woman tagging a building along the railroad tracks between 17th and Chanticleer Avenue. The female still had paint on her hands when she was detained. All three people were placed under arrest for vandalism and other felony charges.
Another Poppy Grow Field Found in Watsonville
This Tuesday, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputies were notified about an opium poppy grow on the 1000 block of Riverside Drive in Watsonville. Apparently, this particular property is bank owned and has been vacant for more than 90 days. Deputies found about 400 opium plants, which were planted in between other weeds and plants to disguise them. The Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Team responded to the property and the investigation is still ongoing. Recently, there have been other large scale opium poppy grows found in Moss Landing, Royal Oaks, and Aromas.
Controlled Burn in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Crews from California State Parks and Cal Fire conducted a 14 acre prescribed burn in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park on Thursday morning. The burn area is off of Graham Hill Road, near the campground. Pine Trail from Ridge Road down to Powder Mill Road was closed during the fire. Fire officials said the burn is part of a long-term strategy to reduce the threat of a wildfire and to maintain the Sandhills rare habitat.
Where There’s Smoke There’s Usually a Fire
In this case, it’s more like a dumpster fire. And this dumpster fire is called “County Health Services”. Good write up in the local Good Times about the county and their lack of transparency within the health services department. This as been an ongoing problem and issue for YEARS. Even the Grand Jury has pointed this out more than once. Yet the county does nothing, and the Board of Supervisors continue to perpetuate and prop up a local administration we can’t trust. I’ve been bitching about this issue for years, and I’m gonna keep bitching about it. Good job Good Times.
“With a total of 16 beds, Santa Cruz County has only six beds per 100,000 residents. That is half of California’s average“. Pathetic. Self inflicted. Hardly “compassionate” or “progressive”.
City Council Considers Voting Reform Measures
The Santa Cruz city council is considering a couple of voting reform measures. One would be the direct election of the mayor. The other would be to have what’s known as “district” voting, much like the way the county Board of Supervisors are currently elected. This is really just the beginning of this discussion, and nothing really tangible or meaningful was passed at the meeting. But it was interesting to see the various reactions here. And huge props to the mayor for putting this on the agenda and just opening up a broader discussion about it. It rocks the status quo, and I’m all for that. Maybe it’s because he’s terming out and doesn’t care about the political “fallout” from the local Progressive Machine that keeps dinosaurs like Cynthia Mathews in office year after year. It wasn’t lost on me how she did a slow burn during the discussion about district elections (she apparently hates the idea given her sour body language and patronizing comments during the discussion). This is a topic that has been kicked around locally for many, many years, and never seems to have the traction to make the city council’s agenda. Gee, I wonder why? It’s called STATUS QUO. And having a direct elected mayor, and/or district elections would rock the status quo boat (and rankle long time benefactors like Mathews and Coonerty). So consider all that moving forward. This is a discussion that isn’t going away, now that David Terrazas opened this Pandora’s Box of possible election reform and impactful changes to the city charter (and basically how we do business here). Stay tuned!
Happy for a D
According to the latest report from Heal the Bay, our own Cowells Beach made it’s ninth straight appearance on the “Beach Bummer” list, coming in 8th place this year. This comes after three years of claiming the top spot, and dropping to number 3 in 2017. The reason we keep hearing year after year is poor circulation and runoff from polluted rivers or storm drains. Heal the Bay’s rankings are based on levels of weekly bacterial pollution measured by county health agencies.
Scotts Valley Wildfire Contained to Three Acres
A fire near Hansen Quarry in Scotts Valley burned about three acres on Sunday afternoon. The fire near Mt. Hermon Road and Conference Drive was first reported around 2:30PM and Cal Fire had the fire out by about 5:30PM. They reported no structures were burned.
Juneteenth in Laurel Park This Weekend
Santa Cruz Juneteenth 2018 will take place from noon to 5PM this Saturday at Laurel Park next to the Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St. This year’s performers include Rich Tycoon, Joint Chiefs, Gregory Speed, Lee Earl, Michelle Miracle, DLabrie and 3-Headed Dragon. Brett Taylor will be the MC. There also will be a fitness session with Trenise Pot, soul food, arts and crafts, a basketball skills contest and a sack race.
Free Friday Concert at the Boardwalk!
This Friday marks the start of the Boardwalk’s free summer concert series! This week’s band is Los Angeles-based synth pop group and 80’s MTV favorites Berlin. Free shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM.
The Happy Story of the Week
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If we have a direct election for mayor, then no need for City Manager Bernal, right?
I would be fine with the idea of a direct elected, full time mayor, who would essentially replace the city manager (and get his salary). Make that person accountable to the voters, not to a city council that panders to his requests and rubber stamps his performance evaluations in closed sessions, where the public has no input and can’t see how his performance is evaluated by the people we elect.
So agree with this!
But here’s the thing—-would a direct elected mayor become a political tool of the local one-party machine and hold influence over the council? Discuss:
You’re on to something there, Don. There are social designers en-force within the helm of government already. A faction war is clearly on the horizon.
glad people are being charged with felonies – thank god they are getting rid of the poppy fields, and that voting reform sounds like a good idea.
that hazmat thing was a guy trying to make ecstasy – a social worker was there and thought the chemicals were for a bomb and called it in – someone described him as a really smart young guy…
im surprised these extreme drugs are glamorous in an “intellectual” health nut town like this- no one worries about the health of their brain chemistry lol? just take it for granted- nothing bad could possibly happen by messing with your serotonin levels and doing permanent damage to your neurotransmitters? party on wayne
Thanks for mentioning the HAZMAT ecstasy lab connection. I also heard this after I published, from the landlord of the building apparently (so the source seems reputable). And I’m sure as hell not surprised they found another poppy field. I called it here that there were more out there (and undoubtably still are). And of course the ultimate goal here is for local opium/heroin production. We’ve already got labs in the foothills (and in a few RVs most likely) cooking meth, and here we’ve got an ecstasy lab a block from downtown. We’re cooking other drugs here already, it makes sense people are cooking opium and heroin, given the market that exists here.
There are FDA approved legal drugs that your doctor will happily give you, which are far worse for you.
Hazardous material? Uh, no. The resident at 690 is making bombs. The same guy who threatened to shoot us UCSC and the IRS building in Salinas.
yeah, just the fire threat from the labs – hope law enforcement keeps up the fight
i meant to say permanent damage to the synapses – not the neurotransmitters- people need to look around at what extreme drugs are doing to this city and make the connection. it isnt glamorous.
who cares if someone has a beer or a joint at the end of the day… but the rest of it is garbage. thanks for all the news again!
Ah, Santa Cruz: the Florida of California!
i dont take those either joe- i wouldnt recommend being doped up on vallium or mdma – or even being an alcoholic or smoking a pack a day. the drug use here is disgusting.
fred the landlord said he was making ecstasy- who are you talking about? why would someone be able to make multiple threats like that and be out in public again?! is that why a social worker was visiting??
I added a couple of new polls to the right sidebar of the homepage. Check it out and vote! I’m interested in gauging public opinion on this. Thanks!
Great reporting as usual. Sounds like it was ladies night all week long. Seems like it is always the girls who kick and spit. This week alone could be several episodes of “Cops”. And thx for the conection to the Good Times article, it was interesting. I always wonder if anyone, anywhere in the hierarchy actually knows anything about the “budget”. Does it really even exist somewhere? I wish there was some great fix for homelessness and mental illness, but at least some folks are still out there trying to help. They are the unsung heroes and heroines of our community. IMHO.
I found this funny, I think you will too.