As we close out another summer in Santa Cruz, I’ve got the latest in vibrantly honest news and views. This week, the state gives us the shaft yet again, the never ending Hobonip lives on with no end in sight, bring in the dog, road raging car thieves, dumpster brawls, the usual Starbucks drama, Watsonville schools Santa Cruz on the homeless, road rage assault on B40, reporting dump sites, Joe Heston nails it, the return of Hugh, El Circo del Ayuntamiento, don’t forget to register to vote, and thank you for letting me be myself again.
The Endless Bummer
Well this Labor Day holiday weekend officially marks the end of the summer “season” in Santa Cruz. It’s time to let the cash cow (The Boardwalk) graze for the winter. This Friday night, Papa Doo Run Run closes out the Boardwalk concert series for something like the 50th time. And then something magical happens. We get the beaches to ourselves for almost a month! The UCSC kids don’t return until the last week of September. Maybe crime will really drop now that we have thousands of fewer tourists here every day. At least SCPD should see a reduction in service calls given there are thousands less people here now. Will it make Santa Cruz safer? Time will tell!
Get Ready to Watch Us Bottom Out
California will become the first state in the country to eliminate bail for suspects awaiting trial under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill will replace bail with a “risk-assessment system” that the state has yet to figure out. It is scheduled to go into effect in October 2019. Each county will use the state’s Judicial Council and their framework as a basis to set county procedures for deciding who is eligible for release before trial. Under the framework of the new bill, most suspects arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors will be released within 12 hours of being booked. Those facing serious, violent felonies will not be eligible for pretrial release. People arrested for crimes that would require them to register as sex offenders would have to stay in jail until they see a judge under an addition to California’s new law eliminating bail. It would make anyone arrested for crimes under the Sex Offender Registration Act ineligible for release before they see a judge.
Did Anyone Really Expect Any Kind of Different Outcome Here?
I sure as hell didn’t. Who really thinks spending $96,000 a month on supporting 50 or so people camping on a city owned dirt parking lot makes any kind of fiscal sense? It serves nobody well to continue to just basically throw money into a fire pit every month and get nothing but ashes back in return. Down in Watsonville, they just partnered with the Salvation Army (who the county partnered with for the winter shelter program here in the city last year) on their new homeless services center. Down there, they will offer showers, bathrooms, storage lockers, computers and internet access, postal service and laundry facilities, in addition to 32 beds available. Do you know what the operating cost for all this is? It is estimated it will cost the Salvation Army about $93,000 ANNUALLY to operate the day center and that the organization has raised about 70 percent of its first year’s operation expenses. AND WE ARE PAYING $96,000 A MONTH FOR A FREAKING DIRT PARKING LOT WE ALREADY OWN. Truly, I can’t make this shit up. The sheer level of dysfunction and idiocy in our city administration is staggering.
Bring in the Dog!
Wednesday night, SCPD was on patrol in the Harvey West park area when they spotted a 34 year old man who was known to be wanted for domestic violence and selling narcotics inside a vehicle. They brought in a K9 unit, where Luna located almost an ounce of heroin, a half ounce of methamphetamine, morphine, a scale with narcotics residue, packaging material, and a bunch of 9mm hollow point bullets hidden inside the vehicle. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County jail for being a felon in possession of firearm ammunition, transportation and the sales of narcotics, and domestic violence charges.
Car Thieves Road Rage Leads to Arrests
A couple was busted this past week in Santa Cruz for driving around in a stolen vehicle after a woman rammed the car she was driving into a stolen car her boyfriend was driving in some kind of road rage incident between the two after arguing. A deputy located both of them on Research Park Drive, and took them to jail for various charges.
Dumpster Diving at Foster Freeze Leads to Fisticuffs
Monday night around 10PM, I heard about a bum fight at the Foster Freeze on Laurel. Two men were apparently arguing and fighting over trash in the dumpster. SCPD responded and pretty much told them to knock it off.
Probably a Nightly Occurance
Monday night around 10PM, I heard a report about a man who locked himself in the women’s restroom at the Starbucks on Ocean and Water and refused to leave when the staff tried to close the store for the night. Was he still alive in there? We all know how local bathrooms are de facto shooting galleries for junkies to shoot up in. It’s probably the number one reason we don’t have 24/7 bathrooms in downtown Santa Cruz.
Watsonville is Stepping Up to Help the Local Homeless
Watsonville has just opened their very first day services center for the homeless. Great! It’s about time! Working with the Salvation Army, the center is located on Grant Street near the Watsonville Police Department. The center has washing machines, showers, lockers to store important belongings, mailboxes, and computers with internet access. The center is now officially open for services and is open Monday-Friday from 9-5. In November, it will also serve as a winter shelter with overnight services seven days a week.
Road Rage Leads to Assault
Sunday night around 9:30PM, I heard a report of a road rage incident of some kind near Branciforte and Goss. The official charges would have been hit and run and assault with a deadly weapon if they had actually caught the suspect, but I don’t think anyone was caught or arrested. What’s with all the road rage people? Simmer down already!
Just Don’t Report Me!
In response to numerous local complaints, Santa Cruz County has launched a new website and phone app that allows people to report dump sites. Once a site is reported, the county’s response team is notified and will supposedly assess the situation within 24 hours. Is an abandoned homeless “camp” full of garbage and crap considered a “dump” for reporting purposes? Inquiring minds want to know! I encourage every Weekly Dump reader to try this out and report back to me what kind of county response you get.
Joe Heston Nails It!
Joe Heston of KSBW weighs in on last week’s grand jury indictment of MS-13 gang members that were rounded up in Santa Cruz last year, setting off a pathetic string of pandering apologies by local police and city council members and the city manager. Of course he throws them some shade too.
(Hugh is back after a self imposed, extended sabbatical. He was kind enough to cover the DWC forum for us. Hopefully he’ll come around more often again. – BD)
The Democratic Women’s Club candidate endorsement forum took place on August 25th. Candidates for City Council, Board of Supervisors, Water District and more gathered in the SCPD community room, along with every white haired Progressive from North to South County. I had a complete PTSD moment when a woman about 4’ 9” yelled at me to get away from the ballot box. I was just trying to get a goddam muffin, lady! I didn’t even know the ballot box was there.
Board of Supervisor candidates were supposed to appear first but neither of them was there, so newly elected Judge Syda Cogliatti called forward the Santa Cruz City Council Candidates. There are 10 candidates running; however only 8 appeared. They squished in very close to each other and were asked to give a 2 minute “who are you” introduction, answer two questions and give a brief closing statement. Here is a very brief synopsis of each candidate. I am listing them in the order they were sitting in. Left to right.
Phillip Crawford – Phillip is a community college professor and is retired law enforcement. He has been a Santa Cruz resident all of his life. Phillip spoke of affordable housing and is not a supporter of Measure M (rent control) as it is written.
Justin Cummings – Justin was born in Chicago but has been a relatively long time resident of Santa Cruz. He currently lives in the Beach Flats. He is a biologist and an environmentalist. He wants to help the unhoused, supports affordable housing and wants to protect local businesses. He supports Measure M (so he is pro rent control). Justin seems like a very humble, kind and approachable man.
Cynthia Hawthorne – is the self-proclaimed “most experienced” candidate of the bunch. She also claims to be the first “out lesbian” running for Council. Ummm…one of the other candidates is out too, just so you know. Cynthia organized the Santa Cruz Women’s March which of course was a huge undertaking and very successful. She wants to be sure that the vulnerable are cared for and has 30 years experience of social activism. She does not support Measure M the way it is written. Good call Cynthia. Word of advice though – before you make big claims like “I have the most experience”, or “I am the first out lesbian” check your fellow candidates out. Cynthia came off as an egotistical know-it-all.
Dru Glover – was born in Santa Cruz and is President of the United Nations Association of Santa Cruz County, the Youth Program Leader and NonViolence trainer at Resource Center for NonViolence, Chair of Santa Cruz County Poor People’s Campaign, and founder of Project Pollinate. Dru is a supporter for Measure M/rent control which of course is not surprising. Dru is also a Commissioner on the SC City Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. When the topic of high density housing came up Dru claimed the public was not invited to any planning meetings. FYI Dru: there were 18 (yes 18!) meetings the public was invited to. So there’s that.
Greg Larson – Greg has a lot of experience running cities. During his tenure as the City Manager of Los Gatos, no employees were ever laid off. He is a Democratic activist and is on the Board of Directors of the Coastal Watershed Council. Greg said he both loves and worries about the City of Santa Cruz. Greg does not support Measure M as it is written. He wants safe neighborhoods, affordable housing and a clean river. Greg has a long list of endorsements and seems very sincere in his devotion to the environment, public safety and the river.
Donna Meyers – I am hearing a lot of people say “She will just be part of the Machine.” Even though my first response to that is “EW!”, I do appreciate that she too is an environmentalist and has worked very hard for the environment over the last 25 years. She currently serves as City Parks and Recreation Commission Chair and is President of the SC Museum of Natural History. She also wants to work on affordable housing and help out local businesses. She does not support Measure M as it is written.
David Lane – David spent summers in Santa Cruz as a child and has lived here since 1992. He was an internal auditor at UCSC for almost two decades and feels departments within the city offices need to be looked at. David mentioned lack of water on several occasions as it related to high density housing. He said he isn’t necessarily opposed nor unopposed to Desalination and that it is a matter that should be discussed if we are going to build high density housing structures. He is opposed to Measure M as it is written. Seems like a good guy, not a whole lot of stage presence though. Picture Charlie Brown’s teacher.
Richelle Noroyan – Richelle is the only incumbent running this year. Richelle is a lifetime Democrat, worked on the Clinton campaign, started a Democratic club in college and has been a member of the Democratic Women’s Committee since 1992. Several years ago Richelle started a crusade to clean up Main Beach. A concerned citizen alerted her that garbage was flowing into the ocean at Main Beach when the tide came up. Richelle went to the beach with her grabbers and started to clean nightly. She was astounded at the amount of garbage and worked together with Seaside Company and City to have the beach maintained more effectively – and it worked. Richelle wants to continue to work on affordable housing, safety on our streets, and the environment. She does not support Measure M as it has too many unintended consequences.
El Circo del Ayuntamiento
This week, there was at least one more candidates forum/debate that took place last Saturday morning at the SCPD community meeting room. It was organized by the Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz. Did I go? No. Did I have a friend there giving me the details? Of course I did. See Hugh’s write up above.
Upcoming Candidate Forums (that I’m aware of):
These are all open to the public. Mark your calendars!
- September 12th: Santa Cruz Neighbors Candidate Forum
- October 2nd: Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum
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 going to skip my usual bio profiles this week because Hugh covered them all individually above. Actually, I just realized that both Paige and Ashley were EXCLUDED from participating in the forum for basically dumb reasons (although I can see their angle, it’s still a dumb reason and stifles free speech). So because they got EXCLUDED BY THE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S CLUB OF SANTA CRUZ (yup, 2 women candidates were excluded here for preconceived “political” reasons), I’m giving them the exclusive space I’d normally share with everyone else running. Oh by the way, do you know how many votes were cast at this all important, critical, DWC endorsement meeting? 22 votes. 22 votes!! Wow, talk about influence! Talk about a powerful voting block! I usually get that many comments here each week. 22 votes. Why is this even newsworthy? I could start a group tomorrow called the “Democratic Men’s Club of Santa Cruz” and pull more than 22 voters in my sleep.
The Women Candidates Excluded by the Petty Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz:
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 was on the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Advisory Board and a neighborhood watch commander for the Seabright beach area. She’s not easily intimidated by people, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She probably rankles the local machine and the local status quo, so that’s something I obviously approve of. She is busting her ass out there every day trying to make the community a better place, and she’s busting her ass trying to get noticed in this city council race. The least we can do is pay attention to her.
Ashley is a long time local who has worked with Metro Santa Cruz, Good Times, and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, helping launch Santa Cruz Magazine. Her family used to own the Dolphin Restaurant at the end of the wharf for something like 70 years. She has 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. She’s smart, articulate, and fiercely determined. She’s a straight shooter in a town that can’t shoot straight. And she can’t be controlled by people who think they can just rig the election by limiting the choices we have. The more I learn, the more I realize we have some strong, motivated, passionate, independent, seriously kick ass women in this race. We have the machine too, but we have a choice here and the choice should be obvious. Women who think for themselves or women who don’t.
Don’t Forget to Register to Vote!
You can register online here! It only takes a few minutes, and really, there is nothing more important you can do to help elect a candidate than register to vote! It’s starts or ends there. What is key this November is to register as many new, like minded, previously unregistered people to vote as we can. It’s much easier to register a new like minded voter than it is to convert an already registered (and likely set in their ways) voter. So if you know anyone who likes the Weekly Dump, get them registered to vote now! We need their votes!
Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself Again
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