West Cliff Robbery Leads to High Speed Pursuit Through Downtown
Friday afternoon around 12:30PM, SCPD responded to an apparent robbery that took place near West Cliff and Swift. The suspected robber approached the victims while they were sitting in their vehicle, held a knife to one of the victims, and robbed them of their iPhones and clothing, before driving off in a dark blue Toyota 4-Runner with a dog inside. Minutes later, SCPD picked up the suspect’s vehicle near Mission and Laurel Streets. An SCPD officer tried to initiate a car stop near the 1100 block of Laurel Street but the suspect sped away and he lead SCPD all over town on a wild police chase. The high risk pursuit, including a chase down the wrong side of Mission street as well as through downtown streets and along Highway 17, finally ended on the 4100 block of La Madrona Drive in Scotts Valley when the suspect collided his truck into a large boulder and a wooden post before fleeing on foot. With assistance from CHP patrol units and air support, the suspect was arrested in the rear parking lot of the Scotts Valley Hilton.
The 44 year old suspect from Santa Cruz is on probation (of course he is!) and has a history with law enforcement (of course he does!). He was charged with armed robbery, violation of probation and felony reckless evading.
Serial Pain in the Ass Criminal Finally Arrested
Last Friday, the guy who rammed an SCPD car and evaded seemingly every cop on duty at the time was FINALLY arrested by detectives in a hotel parking lot in the 500 block of Ocean Street after a lengthy crime spree. How many weeks did it take them to catch this guy (see “Another One Gets Away” Answer: Almost a month. Original incident was on July 13th)? And he was right in front of us, at some fleabag motel on Ocean street. Is SCPD really this oblivious? Why wasn’t he arrested the same day? Or I don’t know, the next day? A few days later? He was here the whole time. Nope, it took WEEKS to catch this guy, who was apparently right here the entire time, having a blast ripping off the community and acting like the law doesn’t apply to him. The man was wanted in connection with two residential burglaries, stealing a Mercedes, felony vandalism for ramming a detective’s car, drug sales, and destruction of evidence. Those are the recent charges!
A detective spotted the suspect sitting in another stolen vehicle parked in a hotel parking lot. He was successfully blocked in this time and was arrested. Detectives searched the stolen van and found about $10,000 dollars in property that had just been taken in a different burglary in Boulder Creek. See what happens when you can’t catch this guy? He continues his crime spree. Why the hell did it take weeks to catch this guy, who seemingly never left town? I’d love an answer to that question. He was booked on numerous charges and much of the stolen property was apparently returned to the rightful owner. Can we keep this fool in jail already? If county probation calls, DON’T ANSWER. We know what they will do with this guy. Send him back on another crime spree.
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Wants to Increase Your Taxes
It’s as simple as that. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support raising your taxes. Well isn’t that special! Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved putting a multi million dollar affordable housing TAX (let’s call it what it is. A bond is a tax) on the November ballot. Former Santa Cruz mayor Don Lane, one of the co-authors of the bond, says he’s been working on this for the past two years since leaving office. Lane says 75% would go towards preserving and creating new affordable rental housing for local working families, it would also help vulnerable populations like seniors, people with disabilities, and low income residents. 15% would go to shelter and housing for people experiencing homelessness and 10% would go toward first time home buyers programs. The bond money would be paid back by County homeowners over a period of 30 to 40 years by an increase in property taxes. More on the story from KION. Don Lane loves to spend your money! Even after he’s no longer on the city council, he’ll find a way to spend your money for you!
And we welcome Don back to the Weekly Dump.
Santa Cruz City Council Does the Right Thing!
After they did the wrong thing of course. The Santa Cruz City Council held a special meeting this past Tuesday night, to discuss and take action on a couple things. One was to pull their proposed “sugary drink” tax, which was basically neutered by Jerry Brown signing a law prohibiting cities from passing similar types of measures. Thanks Jerry! The other, bigger, more contentious item, involved a clerical error (on the city’s part) that created confusion about a deadline to submit an argument for or against the local rent control measure. One side missed the deadline as a result of the confusion. Seems simple enough. The city messed up. Fix your mess. Three council members (Terrazas, Mathews, and Krohn) had to recuse for various reasons so the debate was basically heard by the remaining 4 members, 3 of which seemed to obviously support the rent control side either from public statements or other implied support in the media. The place was packed with people from both groups. One group seemed mostly focused on the error and fixing it, while the other group mostly complained about their opponents (and how much money they’ve raised) and greedy landlords, as well as some seriously dubious “legal” interpretations by a couple of what I think were UCSC students about even having to discuss the city’s error. The REAL legal interpretation to consider here would be the city opening itself up to a lawsuit by one side over a politically motivated vote here. So they did the right thing. They unanimously voted to allow both groups to re-submit their arguments with a new deadline. So a lot of rent control supporters went home unhappy, but ultimately we all win here. The open discussion of the issue should not be suppressed by a clerical technicality, certainly not one that originates from the city.
Soquel Creeper Arrested
After an investigation lasting several months, Santa Cruz detectives arrested a 55 year old Soquel man for attempting to have inappropriate and unlawful sexual contact with a juvenile under the age of 16. He was arrested at his residence and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on various charges.
Not the Batman
Monday afternoon around 4PM, a report came in about a man brandishing a knife in front of Abbott Square. The suspect was described as a male transient in his seventies wearing a black cape. Rangers spotted the man on Cooper and Pacific. He’s only been arrested 20 times locally. He wasn’t arrested because the victim couldn’t be found. So he walked. As usual.
Maybe It Was Fast Food Coma
Friday around 4:30PM, I heard about 2 different calls for people passed out behind the wheel of their cars. One was parked in the Taco Bell parking lot on Mission. One was parked in the McDonalds parking lot on Mission. How convenient. Right next to each other. They share the same parking lot.
Not Such a Grand View From Here
Friday night around 5PM, reports came in that SCPD had 3 men detained at gunpoint near Grandview Park on the westside of Santa Cruz. Not sure what all the commotion was all about. I heard from a witness who spoke to an officer in the gang enforcement unit who told them that the 3 men arrested were possibly part of a gang on the westside.
Asleep at the Wheel
Thursday night, Scotts Valley Police responded to a welfare check for a woman who was seen slumped over the wheel of a van. While they were talking to her, they discovered that the van was reported stolen in Los Gatos. Two other people who were with her were also detained for the van theft. During a search of the vehicle, police found drugs, stolen credit cards, checks and fake IDs. Two people were booked into jail.
Needles Courtesy of Your County Tax Dollars
Friday night, someone called the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office to report a man and a woman in a car shooting up drugs in downtown Felton. Several deputies arrived and found a man and a woman in the car. After the woman admitted to having drug paraphernalia in her purse, Deputies searched the car and found almost an ounce of methamphetamine hidden behind the glove box. Two fake guns were also found in the car, as well as identification cards and passports that did not belong to either one. Both were arrested for possession of drugs for sales and other related charges.
Boulder Creek Car Fire Sends Victim to the Hospital
A car fire on Harmon Gulch Road in Boulder Creek sent one person to a San Jose burn center on Sunday afternoon, according to reports from the Boulder Creek Volunteer Fire Department. The fire spread to nearby brush, but fire crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames.
Eagle Rock Lookout Burns Down
The decommissioned Eagle Rock Lookout in the Santa Cruz mountains burned to the ground last Saturday afternoon. Cal Fire says the structure fire was reported around 4:30PM, and smoke was seen billowing from the area. The fire spread to vegetation grew to about an acre in size. Ground and air resources responded to the fire.
Settle Down There Chief
Saturday morning around 10AM, a report came in about a man with a beard “covered in warpaint”, who was throwing things at people passing by Ferrari’s Florist. SCPD found the guy walking calmly down Soquel. Oh sure, he acts all calm when SCPD shows up. He’s covered in war paint. Nothing to see here.
El Circo del Ayuntamiento
More new blood! This week, we welcome Greg Larson to the circus. You can read more about him below, along with the others. What’s interesting is Greg appears, at least on paper, to be a very serious candidate here. I’m kind of actually hoping he loses and we hire him as the new city manager instead. I’m starting to get dates for upcoming forums and public meetings with the candidates, and I’ll share those dates and events soon. I encourage all registered voters living in the city of Santa Cruz to try to attend at least one event! I think it’s critical you see these people in person, that you hear their words with your own ears, that you meet them and chat with them, and don’t be swayed by how this group tells you to vote, or that group tells you to vote. Think for yourself! And it’s actually quite entertaining. I plan to be at a number of them, and who knows you might run into me. I will be covering all the action here if you can’t make it, but please try to come to at least one. I’m also including a link to candidates websites as I become aware of them. You can read more about their profiles, experience, platform at those links. If they have a current website, their name will be a link. I encourage you to check them out and get to know them.
Open feedback to Craig Bush, Phillip Crawford, Justin Cummings, Dave Lane, Michael Mahan, Greg Larson, and anyone who might know them: You guys (and yes, I can say that since they’re all guys here….) need to step up and get your mierda together! No websites for some of you, no social media presence for some of you, neither for some of you. We’ve got 5 women running and they are ALL dialed in. They are schooling you guys here. If I can’t find much info on you, neither can anyone else. Procrastination is not a good look here. Taking charge is.
The Line Up (listed alphabetically)
Craig unsuccessfully ran for city council in 2014. I remember him from back then. His big thing I think was water, and of course back then desal and water were pretty hot topics. And if I remember correctly, he had this really cool beard and great baritone voice. I have no doubt he’ll break up the monotony with his presence.
Paige is a former cook for the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall who has been volunteering at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen for 10 years and counting. Known by her neighbors as the “Mayor of Seabright”, Paige is focused on improving public safety. I’m all for that! 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 she won’t be bullied by the status quo, and I don’t think she’s afraid to try to rock the boat here. 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.
Phillip J. Crawford
Phillip J. Crawford unsuccessfully ran for judge on the Santa Cruz Superior Court in 2010, so he’s familiar with the numbingly dysfunctional Santa Cruz political scene. Just the fact he actually ran for judge intrigues me instantly. According to some simple research on Google, Crawford has served as a police officer and sergeant, professor of law and justice, attorney, court executive officer and a justice system consultant. He sounds like my kind of guy so far! Looking forward to hearing more.
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. I did notice that apparently Justin and Drew won the hearts and minds of that fake “Santa Cruz for Bernie” group that doesn’t really represent the majority of former local Bernie supporters. And honestly, I think a lot of local Democrats BLAME Bernie for Trump winning the election. And let’s not forget, the guy behind the fake Bernie group? He’s the same clown behind the rent control initiative. This is what I mean by “SPECIAL INTERESTS”. We have enough of that crap going on already.
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. I ran into a couple of Drew’s volunteers the other day at the Church Street Fair. Really nice, sweet, idealistic kids who don’t have a clue. One of them told me about Drew’s big idea for subsidies and housing vouchers for low income housing residents. I explained we already have a program like that, it’s known as “Section 8”, and it comes from the federal government, who has a lot more money than we have. He seemed shocked at my answer, like he had no idea what to say. So there you go. When I explained that if rent control passes, he and his friends probably won’t be able to find housing, he couldn’t quite grasp that concept. Given the Kool-Aid these kids are drinking about rent control, I’m not surprised when they can’t grasp the truth.
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 still don’t know much about her. I’ve heard from numerous, unconnected people that she’s apparently “difficult to work with”. Great! Like we don’t have enough of that already. I’m not particularly inspired to learn more here.
Dave is a retired UCSC auditor who 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!
Greg is one the newest entries in what is fast becoming a crowded race. On paper (meaning given his background and experience), he looks like an excellent candidate. He’s not a career politician, but he’s had a career working in city and state governments, including a stint as the city manager of Los Gatos. His entry definitely moves the needle for the moderates here in a good way. The real question for me is not if he’s qualified here. He obviously is. The question for me is always going to be how bought and paid for are you? I want 2 things from my candidates here. I want them to be “moderates” and I want them to be willing to stand up and fight the county (and Ryan Coonerty, who is supposed to represent us in the city) for better support, more resources, more accountability, etc. We won’t get that from any candidate willing to kiss his ass for an endorsement. I feel you have the first box (moderate) checked. Not so sure about that equally important second box. I’m obviously intrigued, but not enough to jump on your bandwagon yet.
Michael is a Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney. 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 is apparently interested in getting housing programs working, addressing social service issues and making sure local infrastructure is ready for global warming related changes. And if you want to know what the “status quo machine” looks like (and who they back), look no further than Donna! Do you really want 4 more years of the crap we have now? I sure as hell don’t. Talk about being part of the Connerty Kool Kids Clique here. This is it. It’s time to end this madness. No mas. Nothing personal. I’m just tired of electing ineffectual puppets here. Do we really want to elect people who Ryan endorses (because he knows they won’t stand up to him and the county)? How can we seriously expect “friends of Ryan” to stand up to him and demand more from the county? We can’t. Sorry Donna. Nothing personal. I’m judging you by the friends you keep here.
Richelle Noroyan is the only incumbent candidate running, and works in community relations at UCSC. She’s arguably the most moderate current city council member (along with David Terrazas, who is being termed out and replaced). I’ve definitely had my differences with her. I think she sometimes worries too about being liked (don’t we all?), so she panders sometimes. But she can usually be counted on to do the right thing when it counts. And she’s often the one asking the tough questions everyone else is too afraid to ask. For that alone, she’s worth it. I voted for her last time and I’ll vote for her again. She’s good for Santa Cruz.
Ashley 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. She recently helped organize a community rally in downtown Santa Cruz to support women victims of violence. Her family has a long history in Santa Cruz, owning the Dolphin Restaurant at the end of the wharf for 70 years until 2009. Ashley attended Westlake Elementary, Branciforte Junior High, and Harbor High School before attending UC Santa Cruz. She checks all my boxes here. She’s smart, articulate, and fiercely determined. She’s a straight shooter in a town that can’t shoot straight. Ashley was on KSCO last Friday night, talking local housing issues with Robert Singleton and Mike Young of KSCO. And I caught her speaking about housing at the city council meeting. She’s out and about.
Times Like These
“I’m a little divided. Do I stay or run away and leave it all behind?” No Mas.
I’m Burning For You!
We’ve got rock legends Blue Öyster Cult back at the Boardwalk for 2 free shows this Friday night at 6:30 and 8:30PM. This is one of my personal favorite shows each year, and I’m glad to see them back as kind of late add to the summer lineup. I think I’ve probably seen them at least 10 times now at the Boardwalk. I never get tired of seeing them. It’s not that I’m a huge fan of the band. It’s just that the original members (both singer/guitarists) have been playing together for like 50 years now (since 1967 so 51 actually). So these guys are always in the pocket.
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