Outstanding Warrants Out Standing Outside the Homeless Services Center
Around 3:30PM on Thursday afternoon, a report came in about a man with outstanding warrants for felony domestic violence who was seen outside the Homeless Services Center on Coral street. SCPD sent multiple units over there to try to track him down among the human refuse pile squatting at Coral and Limekiln. As soon as he saw SCPD, he took off running along the railroad tracks towards Pioneer street. A staff person at the shelter also called to warn SCPD the guy might be armed.
Yup. This is the rotten, low hanging fruit we coddle to here. The suspect ran up into an area of the Pogonip that is known for having a number of large homeless camps. After a pretty half assed effort, SCPD gave up chasing him. They said they didn’t want to venture up into that area if he might be armed. Good thing we have them to protect us here! I’m sure the kids at the Kirby school and their teachers are pretty used to this by now. No arrests were made.
It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Last Thursday, a Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputy stopped a speeding truck on Soquel Drive with a registration that had been expired for almost two years. The driver was also driving on a suspended license. Think he’s asking for trouble? He got it. Deputies searched the truck and found 105 grams of methamphetamine and $1,500 in cash. He was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for the meth and driving on a suspended license. Since he was already out of custody on bail, the judge increased his bail to $250,000.
Local Toker Blows Up the House
Tuesday around 4PM, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office reported a man was smoking marijuana inside the home he was renting on Main Street in Soquel when it blew up in an apparent butane honey oil lab explosion. Gives new meaning to the expression “Hot Box”. Three people inside were seriously injured in the explosion, which was so intense it blew out a wall of the house. The renter is reported in critical condition and will be arrested once he recovers. Talk about bad housemates.
Give That Dog a Biscuit!
This Monday night around 9:30PM, an SCPD unit was on patrol in the Harvey West area when they came upon a 36 year old previously convicted felon on active probation in a van with an expired registration. SCPD requested to have a K-9 Unit respond to the scene to conduct a sweep of the man’s vehicle per his probation terms. K-9 Luna alerted officers to two locations inside the vehicle, and both locations turned up drugs and weapons. They recovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, along with several weapons. This violated the terms of his probation and SCPD took the man to jail and had the van towed. Keep picking up the trash in Harvey West Park.
Shooting at the Metro Center?
Last Saturday morning around 12:30AM, I heard a number of reports about some kind of assault with a deadly weapon and felony vandalism. Apparently, there was some kind of shooting at the Metro Center from behind a van parked in the street. I didn’t hear about any of it on the local news or from SCPD, so I have no idea if anyone was actually caught or arrested here. But SCPD spent a number of hours around the Metro collecting evidence and reviewing video camera footage.
Who Said Scotts Valley is Boring?
Last Saturday, Scotts Valley Police arrested a Goleta woman after finding her driving a stolen car, while in possession of stolen credit cards and a dead owl. Officers noticed that the front and back license plates on her car did not match. Gee, that’s kind of a red flag. When they ran the vehicle registration, they found that the car had been reported stolen from Santa Barbara earlier that day. When they searched the vehicle, they found the victim’s stolen credit cards that had been used, various stolen items and a dead owl. The woman was arrested and charged with possession of a stolen car, fraudulent use of a credit card and possession of a dead bird of prey.
Wednesday night around 11:30PM, a local drunk was arrested at or near the Castaways bar on Portola for being drunk in public (naturally). Deputies from the Sheriffs office tried to take him to the sobering center but apparently he caused some sort of disturbance there and was kicked out. So I guess he caught the County Shuttle™ to jail.
Well Known Local Drunk Accosting Downtown Visitors
Around 4PM on Thursday afternoon, a report came in that a drunk was accosting people downtown on Pacific avenue near Cathcart. SCPD knew the guy by name. I guess you could call him a “frequent flyer” on the County Shuttle™, since he’s been arrested 13 times locally since 2015. Business as usual.
Wildfires Burn Near Natural Bridges on Wednesday
Wednesday afternoon around 1PM, firefighters from the Santa Cruz Fire Department and Cal Fire responded to a couple of wildfires in Natural Bridges State Park. The first fire consumed about an acre of grass and brush, and firefighters spent almost 3 hours fighting it in strong wind conditions before they were able to bring it under control and extinguish it. State Parks and SCPD helped evacuate the park and search for fires and suspicious activity. About a half hour later, a second fire was discovered about 400 feet away downwind from the first fire. That fire consumed about a quarter acre and was quickly put out by 4WD fire engines.
El Circo del Ayuntamiento
It’s July, and that means the candidates running for the city council will become much more visible soon. You’ll start seeing their signs popping up around town. You’ll see them at community forums debating local topics. Filing dates for candidates begin July 16 and close August 10th.
A couple years ago, when I first started doing this weekly gig, I profiled the people running with some background information and what I generally thought of them. I think enough people have “declared” that I can start doing that again. Keep in mind my overall political views are what most people might label “moderate”. Basically, I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I try to espouse the best of both parties and temper the hard core, dumb stuff. So the race usually involves lots of far left, progressives and maybe a couple of moderates. And it appears this year is pretty much business as usual.
The Line Up (listed alphabetically)
Paige is a former cook for the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall. She’s been volunteering at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen for 10 years. Known by her neighbors as the “Mayor of Seabright”, Paige is focused on improving public safety. I’m all for that! I also know Paige is a regular reader of yours truly here, and I’m thankful she’s running and look forward to hearing more from her in the coming months. I know a few things. She’s not easily intimidated by people, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, she’s blunt to a level that makes certain people uncomfortable (and probably should), and I think she just “gets it”. She won’t be bullied by the status quo, and I don’t think she’s afraid to try to rock the boat here. And I’ve always felt we’ve needed a bit of boat rocking locally. I think she’s a very interesting (and rare) case of someone who has walked the “progressive” walk locally, but understands the limits and impacts of overdoing it, or doing it the wrong way. She won’t represent “special interests”. She’ll represent “real folks”.
Justin is a UCSC graduate and works for UCSC. He apparently moved to Santa Cruz 11 years ago from Chicago and lives in the Beach Flats neighborhood. He worked on the rent control ballot measure and said he is interested in addressing the city’s affordable housing shortage and general city safety and security. Well, since I think rent control is an incredibly dumb, short sighted, and naive idea here, I’m guessing we don’t see eye to eye on that one. The only thing that can really address the “affordable housing shortage” here is the market, increase supply to reduce demand. Something like that. Basic economics. As for general city safety and security, I’ll keep an open mind on his ideas there, since I have no idea what they are.
Drew lives in the Eastside/Seabright neighborhood, and his major themes include vague cliche stuff like “sustainability, a climate of compassion, inclusive representation in city politics, transparency and accountability”. Nothing tangible like public safety, balancing an out of control city budget against rising pension cost obligations, better accountability of the city manager, you know, important stuff like that. Glover ran unsuccessfully for the city council in 2016. He’s basically running on the same old, tired, progressive ticket that got Krohn and Brown elected two years ago. Would he try to rock the boat? Probably. The wrong way. I still think he’s bad for the city council. He would take us down the wrong road here.
Cynthia is a psychotherapist who apparently helped organize the last two women’s marches locally in downtown Santa Cruz. She previously served on the Santa Cruz City Schools board. I don’t know much about her, but she seems pretty tapped into the local Democratic machine. Which means local “Geppetto” (Ryan Coonerty) is probably trying to “pull strings” for her. When she trots out his endorsement, we’ll know for sure.
Dave is a retired UCSC auditor who wants to bring a new level of “austerity” to the city budget. He wants to cut back the police budget and reverse course on any goals for low income, high density housing. Cut back the police budget? GTFO. Next! (No idea if he’s related to Granny Lane but he sounds like it)
Michael is a Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney, who works on domestic violence cases. He wants to help the police in prioritizing a crack down on serious crimes, as opposed to petty offenses. Aren’t we already doing that? And how well is that working? It’s not. Next!
Donna lives on the lower west side and is on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. She is apparently interested in getting housing programs working, addressing social service issues and making sure local infrastructure is ready for global warming related changes. Global warming related changes? In our lifetime? We don’t have anything that requires a bit more sense of urgency and need for attention here? She sounds like another social justice warrior that wants to change the world locally while ignoring the shit show in our own back yard. Wait, she sounds like someone Ryan Coonerty would support? “Addressing social service issues”? So Ryan won’t have to? No thanks. Next!
Richelle Noroyan is the only incumbent candidate running, and works in community relations at UCSC. A moderate on the council, she pushed for more rigorous Cowell Beach cleanups and served on the Homelessness Coordinating Committee. Full disclosure: I know Richelle and I personally like Richelle. I voted for her last time and I’ll vote for her again. She’s good for Santa Cruz. I don’t always agree with her, and on many social service related issues I don’t. Personally, I wish she would run against that knob Coonerty but I’ll save that story for another time.
You might be wondering who Ashley is. Who is this new name in the local political scene hoping to help our community? Again, full disclosure: I personally know and like Ashley. I was pretty thrilled when I heard she was planning to run. The Scontriano family has a long history in Santa Cruz. From 1939 until 2009, her family owned the Dolphin Restaurant at the end of the wharf. Ashley attended Westlake Elementary, Branciforte Junior High, and Harbor High School before attending UC Santa Cruz. She has worked locally with Metro Santa Cruz, Good Times, and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, helping launch Santa Cruz Magazine. She has also worked in fundraising at UCSC for both the Arts and the Humanity Divisions. She is now a local small business owner and is interested in improving community safety, addressing housing shortages, and supporting business growth locally. I know she is also not easily intimidated or bullied by certain people who want to protect the “status quo”, people who feel entitled enough locally to try to decide who runs and who doesn’t. She doesn’t suffer bullies gladly, no matter how well known your last name is locally. And she also “gets it”. She knows what needs to be done to get us back on the right track here as a city. Remember her name. Check her out. She’s impressive.
Jim Hart Wants Your Advice
Want to advise the sheriff of Santa Cruz county? Here’s your chance! The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is looking for new members for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Advisory Team. Applications are due August 8th. The team is made up of 18 people who work or live in the county. Members meet from 6 to 8PM on the second Wednesday of each month and are joined by Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart to discuss law enforcement issues that are impacting the county. Members serve one year and start in September. Applications are available here.
Jerry Brown Screws Over the Santa Cruz City Council
Sorry, but I couldn’t resist the shock and awe value of that headline. So Governor Jerry Brown last week signed a new state bill into law. It basically prohibits cities in California from passing “grocery” taxes for the next 12 years. It’s pretty much aimed at cities trying to make a cash grab by taxing sodas and other sugary drinks themselves, by getting something on the November ballot without needing the requisite number of signatures, and only requiring a simple majority to approve.
So how does this screw Santa Cruz? Well at the last city council meeting, they basically tried to railroad a soda tax through to the ballot, in a move this new bill is exactly designed to prohibit. The city was prepared to raise a cash windfall of likely a million dollars next year if this passed, money that would almost certainly get sucked into the general fund and wasted on social experiments like the “need” for a new homeless shelter in the city limits. Now that agenda item can be tossed out like last week’s trash.
Happy Friday the 13th
Free Smash Mouth Shows at the Boardwalk
Bay Area locals from over the hill in San Jose, Smash Mouth has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Along with their hits “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “All Star,” they even covered the classic “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees for the Shrek film soundtrack. And they love the Warriors! Two shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM.
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Re second fire…perhaps 400 yds away..(vs feet)
On the day, I had assumed it to be arson!
No real determination of cause was given that I’m aware of. But that area is riddled with homeless camps. Just saying.
I’m looking forward to having a “Vote for Paige” sign in my front yard. The idea of Drew Glover on the city council makes my skin crawl. FFS do we need more Krohns? Ps keep up the good work. I love your snark.
Thanks Jane! Since Paige is a regular here, hopefully she’ll see your sign request!
I love your writing style. Informative yet entertaining. Thank you!
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Another thumbs up ? on style and snark. Equally spread out, no less.
Thanks Laurie! I’m an equal opportunity snarker.
Your sign will be in my front yard too Paige. Good luck!
Thanks again for seeing Santa Cruz as it is.
No more Status Quo for sure, it is absolutely NOT working!!
I truly believe myself, and Ashley can get the job done. We are not afraid to do what is right!! We believe that we can bring Santa Cruz back from zombie land and start holding people accountable for their actions!!
The people who want signs, as soon as I get some funding you will get that sign! Thank you Again Ben!! Love the dump!!
Good luck Paige!
Thanks for the Stevie Wonder clip – it was like a breath of fresh air on this foggy Friday morning.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
Yes to Paige Concannon, a woman with a big heart who can kick ass. Interested in learning more about Ashley Scontriano. I’ve been disappointed in Noroyan’s view on social services, but at least she tries to balance out Krohn and Brown. Thanks Ben!