Dead Body Pulled From San Lorenzo River Downtown
Thursday morning around 10:30AM, a man’s body was found in the San Lorenzo River in downtown Santa Cruz. SCPD found the body in the water along the west side of the river near the Kaiser Arena. After members of the Santa Cruz Fire Department pulled the body out of the water, it was taken to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death. According to SCPD, the body is that of a 70 year-old man believed to be a transient.
Shelter in Place in Aptos Thursday Morning
Thursday morning around 11AM, Aptos residents got a reverse 911 call asking them to shelter in place. Apparently, there were 3 armed and dangerous juveniles (can we call it a boy bun?) loose in the community somewhere. The shelter in place was lifted about an hour later, but it’s uncertain if the boys were caught or if they got away. Hell, I know almost nothing about this thanks to the lack of updates from the county and local media. But I know something happened that required a shelter in place, it involved 3 possibly armed and dangerous boys (boy bun alert!), and the local news around here pretty much sucks.
And in late breaking news, I heard the shelter in place was for an attempted robbery that occurred along the cliff line of Seacliff Drive at San Benito Avenue. Deputies were looking for three suspects who ran off on foot. A perimeter was set up and a K9 unit was deployed, but apparently the suspects were not located.
Three More Teens Arrested in Aptos Hammer Attack
According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, three more teenagers were arrested in connection to the recent Aptos hammer attack. The teenage victims had been sleeping in a home garage on Monte Vista Drive when they were attacked by a group of masked, hammer wielding boys who broke in. One boy was so badly beaten in the head, doctors put him in a medically induced coma while they operated on his skull. A 15 year old Watsonville boy was arrested on charges of attempted murder, robbery, burglary, and conspiracy. Two more 16 year old Watsonville boys were also arrested for burglary and conspiracy, while a third 16 year old boy was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and burglary. After detectives served several search warrants and obtained more information about the suspects and the circumstances of the assault, they identified the motive as an attempt to steal marijuana and cash.
Another One Gets Away
Early Friday morning, detectives found a known felon wanted for outstanding warrants sleeping in a stolen white Mercedes on Noble Drive in Santa Cruz. Detectives boxed in the stolen vehicle, but when the suspect woke up, he started the car and rammed one of the detective’s vehicles. The stolen car struck a tree and rock retaining wall as the man drove up on the sidewalk and managed to escape. The vehicle was disabled a few blocks away where the suspect fled into the neighborhood near Sherman and King Streets. Santa Cruz Police Department helped with a perimeter and search using a K9 but the suspect got away and was not arrested. They had this guy physically boxed in with their vehicles and he still got away! Amazing. Was it rocket science? Or too much “de-escalation” and “compassion” here?
The man has a felony warrant and is wanted for a recent residential burglary. There will also be additional charges from this incident, including evading an officer, possession of a stolen vehicle, vandalism, and possession of drugs for sale (if they ever actually catch they guy). This guy is a real piece of work. He was arrested in March of last year. That didn’t keep him from from getting arrested again in December. Merry Christmas! And now this. The courts and the county just can’t manage to figure out how to keep this guy in jail. And SCPD obviously can’t figure out how to put him in jail.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
A Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputy pulled into Scott Park in Watsonville to conduct an area check when dispatch put out a description of a recently stolen RV. By coincidence or good luck, it was parked right in front of the deputy. The deputy also observed a red truck parked in front of the RV and after running a registration check on the truck, determined it was also stolen. More law enforcement support responded to assist. One man was contacted inside of the RV and was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle, as well as a restraining order violation. Another man was inside of the red truck and was arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle along with drug paraphernalia. Both men apparently knew each other. Imagine that!
Surfer Seriously Injured at Steamer Lane
A well known Santa Cruz surfer was seriously hurt while surfing at Steamer Lane last weekend. He was apparently thrown by a wave into a cliff on Saturday, and was unconscious and not breathing when he was rescued by fellow surfers. He broke his neck, collarbone, ribs, back, and ankle. His teenage son is a professional surfer and a local star in the surf community. Surfers described the incident as one of the worst surfing injuries they’ve seen in years. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for medical bills and expenses. Click here to donate.
Big Rig Fuel Spill Closes Mission Street
Wednesday afternoon around 2PM, a big rig truck leaked diesel fuel along a long stretch of Mission street in Santa Cruz, forcing a temporary closure and snarling up traffic for hours on one the worst roads for traffic in the city. The truck’s driver apparently did not know he was leaking fuel, and 200 gallons spilled between Western Drive and Bay Avenue. Every time the driver stopped, he leaked diesel fuel onto Mission street. One motorcyclist was reportedly injured when his motorcycle slid out from under him.
He Was Just Waving To the Tourists
Around 2PM on Sunday afternoon, a report came in about a man flashing cars on the 1100 block of Ocean street. By the description, he seemed like the typical transient drunk that hangs out in that area. Can you imagine that family from Iowa coming off 17 with their kids and making their way into Santa Cruz for the first time and seeing this? Lovely! You get one chance to make a first impression and this is what we can expect here.
Goat on the Loose!
Tuesday, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputies responded to a report of a loose goat wandering in the road near 7th Avenue and Soquel. A person driving by managed to stop and guide the goat back onto the adjacent hillside where a group of goats were grazing. Thank God nobody was hurt here!
Maybe Aptos Isn’t So Bad After All
More Low Hanging Fruit Picked Up In Watsonville
Several parolees are back behind bars after a multi agency operation across Santa Cruz County. Watsonville police officers along with Santa Cruz County probation, the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Corrections searched more than a dozen homes in Watsonville last Thursday. Five parolees were arrested for violating parole. Officers recovered drugs, guns, gang material, and child pornography.
Rent Control Opponents Miss Key Deadline
Opponents of the “Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act” missed the city deadline to place their argument on the November ballot, according to the City Clerk. Well that’s a huge fail on somebody’s part! How do you mess this up?
The Movement for Housing Justice is the group that submitted the ordinance for the ballot. They seek to change the city charter to create a rent board, apply just-cause eviction rules to rentals, and require six months of relocation assistance for tenants. Supporters submitted a 300-word ballot argument by the deadline. Santa Cruz Together (SCT) is one of the groups opposing the ballot measure. The group’s apparent leader said she thought the deadline was Aug. 16th.
I’ve heard behind the scene a lot of typical, Santa Cruz bullshit business as usual politics was behind some of this fail. I’ve heard that certain people associated with a certain local “Womens Club for Democrats” have been so busy browbeating the SCT group over a certain leader and organizer of their group, who just happens to be running for the city council, and wasn’t on the unofficial “Coonerty Machine™ list of approved candidates”. After they seemingly, amicably (at least publicly) parted ways, that was when the SCT group seemingly dropped the ball on submitting this rebuttal. Were they too distracted trying to be politically correct and placating people they should just be ignoring? Maybe they should focus on the rent control ballot measure issue and not who’s running for the city council. As it stands, I still think rent control is a shortsighted, stupid idea that will ultimately hurt renters. So I agree with many people in this SCT group, and continue to have friends over there I support. But I’m throwing the current “leader” of the group a virtual side eye over this political BS that might ultimately cost the group a successful “no” vote here. Points for trying, and I know it’s not the only group trying. But stick to the issue next time.
In an opinion piece in the Senile, Mayor David Terrazas outlined why he does not support the rent control ballot measure. City Attorney Tony Condotti filed an impartial analysis of the ballot measure, which will be sent to voters. The city attorney’s analysis of the ballot measure noted:
• A separately elected rent board would function independently of the City Council, city manager and city attorney, hiring a paid executive director, staff and hearing officers, deciding board member compensation and billing residential landlords to pay for its costs.
• Annual rent increases would be set at the consumer price index, with rent as of Oct. 19, 2017 as the starting point.
• Accessory dwelling units would be subject to rent control and just cause eviction rules.
• Repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Act on the November state ballot would allow the rent board to apply rent control to apartments built after February 1995, condos and single-family homes. A Costa-Hawkins repeal also would allow the rent board to restrict landlords from increasing rent to market rates after tenants vacate.
• Landlords could not evict tenants except for certain reasons, including failure to pay rent and permitting a nuisance.
• Tenants evicted for reasons other than their conduct would be entitled to six months’ relocation assistance.
• As a charter amendment, the measure could not be repealed or amended without voter approval.
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.
My Message to Ashley and Paige in Three Words
Free Los Lonely Boys Shows at the Boardwalk
Los Lonely Boys plays a style of music they call “Texican Rock n’ Roll,” combining elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country, and Tejano. Propelled by its No. 1 single, “Heaven,” their first album wound up selling over 2 million copies, spending 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and earning them a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group. Two shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM.
The Weekly Seen
West side of San Lorenzo River, between Water street and Highway 1. Downtown Santa Cruz. What a vibrant montón de mierda! I wonder if the body found today floated down from here. How is this “status quo” acceptable? Time for a paradigm shift on illegal camping in the city. Elect the right people this fall.
The Happy Story of the Week!
She was found alive! In a truly amazing story of good luck, perseverance, and survival, CHP is reporting that the Oregon woman who was missing for a week swerved to avoid an animal in the road. Her car was found over the side of a cliff. She had a concussion as a result of the accident and survived by drinking water from her car’s radiator. She was found by two hikers with injuries to her face and signs of exposure to the elements. She is currently being treated at a hospital in Templeton, south of Paso Robles.
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