Ok, I’ll come clean and admit it. I’m the anonymous op/ed writer in the NYT piece. Closer to home, time again for my weekly news and views dump. This week, we had some kind of incident involving Concord police making a high risk traffic stop (and getting hit by a car), a carjacker was arrested on Soquel sitting in the car he jacked, Capitola man barricades himself, tragic accident in Ben Lomond, jaywalker hit by car on Ocean, Ranger Danger gets his man, Motivated to fight, woman punched in the face at Bonesios, meth makes you do dumb things, keeping Santa Cruz weird, wildfire at Ocean and Highway 1, prowler on Frederick, not in their back yard, park and deal, Joe nails it again, the return of The Dumpster Report, El Circo del Ayuntamiento, help change the city charter, Bite Me!, the Weekly Seen, and more.

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Concord Police Officer Seriously Injured Attempting High Risk Stop

Wednesday afternoon, a Concord police officer was struck by a passing car on the 300 block of Ocean Street at Broadway in Santa Cruz while attempting to arrest two wanted felons from Alameda County in a high risk traffic stop. One officer suffered serious injuries while his partner suffered minor injuries after their patrol car was struck by another passing motorist. The most seriously injured officer was standing outside of his patrol car when he was struck. Two men were taken into custody for unknown reasons.

Carjacker Arrested on Soquel Avenue

Friday night, I heard about a reported carjacking of a white VW Passat that happened the week before. Around 5:00AM the next morning, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed  the car was parked on Soquel Avenue with the suspected thief siting inside. The man was arrested on carjacking charges as well as multiple other warrants. Another man in the back seat of the car and was also arrested for outstanding warrants.

Capitola Man Barricades Himself in Home

Saturday morning around 8:30AM, I heard a report of a man who was involved in some sort of physical disturbance with a woman on the 900 block of Sir Francis Avenue. Witnesses reported seeing a swarm of sheriff’s deputies at the scene after a man reportedly barricaded himself inside a home. The standoff seemed to resolve itself peacefully after an hour or so.

Child Dies After Being Hit By Car in Ben Lomond

Monday afternoon around 2:30PM, a child was killed after being struck by a vehicle at a location on Newell Creek Road in Ben Lomond. In what appears to be a tragic accident, I heard a report that someone was leaving a family gathering and inadvertently hit the girl who was behind the vehicle at the time. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family out.

Vehicle Hits Pedestrian on Ocean Street

Sunday night around 8:30PM, I heard a report of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian on Ocean street between the Santa Cruz Diner and Water street. The female driver of the car did stop and cooperate with authorities. The 66 year old male victim was taken to Dominican and was last listed in serious condition. The victim was possibly intoxicated and jaywalking into traffic on Ocean street when he was hit. The driver has not been charged.

Ranger Danger Gets His Man and His Due

SCPD recognized the quick thinking and actions of “Ranger Danger” this week. Friday morning, RD got a description of a man who apparently robbed the downtown CVS at knifepoint and ran out of the store with stolen liquor on Thursday night. Later on Friday, RD spotted the 25 year old suspect at Mission Plaza Park. After confirming the identity of the suspect, he called SCPD patrol partners for support who arrested the guy and hauled him off to jail.

I Wonder What Motivated This Fight?

Saturday morning around 1AM, I heard a report of 3 males fighting behind Motiv on Pacific Avenue. The bouncer apparently called it in, but the scrappers jumped into separate cars and sped off before SCPD arrived.

Woman Punched in the Face at Bonesio’s Liquor Store

Friday night around 11:30PM, I heard a report that a woman was punched in the face by the clerk at Bonesio’s liquor store on Laurel and Pacific. SCPD made contact with both a First Alarm guard on scene and the clerk before meeting the woman, and it sounded like the woman may have instigated it, but apparently the clerk did clock the woman.

Meth Makes You Do Stupid Things

Last Thursday night, a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputy was driving through Watsonville when he noticed the license plate of the car in front of him had been completely covered with spray paint. Nothing says “pull me over” like that does. When the Deputy stopped the car, the driver appeared very nervous. And for good reason! The Deputy saw what appeared to be a handgun partially exposed on the passenger seat. Backup was called and when they arrived, it was determined the gun was an airsoft gun with the orange tip removed. The driver was under the influence of methamphetamine and also had a meth pipe and a small amount of meth with him. He was arrested for a variety of charges.

Just Keeping Santa Cruz Weird!

Around 6PM on Saturday, I got a message from Hugh about some kook that was on the roof of the Watering Hole on Mission street on the west side of Santa Cruz. Witnesses reported seeing a man wearing a spandex blue onesie with yellow socks waving bottles in his hand and yelling at people from the roof. He was last seen running down Fair Avenue.

Wildfire Reported Near Highway 1 and Ocean

Sunday night around 8PM, I heard a report of a wildfire in the area of Highway 1 and Ocean street. Oh, you mean the area where the big, illegal homeless squatfest goes on daily? Santa Cruz fire responded. No word on any injuries or how much damage was done.

Prowler On Frederick Evades Police

Monday night around 10:30PM, I heard a report of prowlers in the back yard of an unoccupied home on the 100 block of Frederick street. Multiple neighbors reported seeing at least one young male suspect prowling around in their neighbor’s back yard. SCPD sent a couple units out but nobody was caught.

Not in Their Back Yard

Around 7AM on Thursday morning, a neighbor called 911 to report witnessing someone breaking a glass door and making entry into an apartment on Chanticleer Avenue, about 300 yards from the Sheriff’s Department headquarters. Several deputies just starting their shifts responded quickly and were able to apprehend and arrest the suspect for residential burglary as he left the apartment.

Park and Deal

This past week, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a man near the Pasatiempo Park and Ride who was in possession of almost 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine, a gram of heroin, scales, and $1,100 in probably tainted cash. He was arrested for narcotic sales and booked into jail. “Booked”. He’s probably already out.

Joe Nails It Again

Editorial: No Bail and those Devilish Details

The Dumpster Report

“The Dumpster Report” irregularly features letters to the city from the community at large or op/ed letters from the community sent to me here at Santa Mierda! This one comes to me by email from Chris from Felton. Thanks Chris! – BD

AB1810 Has Jumped the Shark
Finally the saga of Propositions 47/57 and AB109 has reached the final season. In this week’s explosive episode we see our duo of legislators Mark Stone and Bill Monning achieve their biggest victory yet over their constituents by supporting Assembly Bill 1810. Without giving away the plot, let’s just say the opportunity for anyone to get their very own get out of jail free card has arrived. Sexual assault, murder, battery, and other violent felonies join the lowly club of non-violent misdemeanors in being eligible for deferred action or even dismissal under the new law. You simply need a mental health “expert” certifying you as competent. Victims voices and the ability for prosecutors to have an opinion in the process have now been completely bypassed. This is shaping up to be a real nail biter. Will Bill Monning and Mark Stone keep their seats? Will Santa Cruz continue to tolerate these antics?

El Circo del Ayuntamiento

So we’re now about 8 weeks out from the election, we’ve seen the candidates out in public doing forums and making public appearances, and people are starting to form opinions of the candidates. Lots of the typical label slinging both ways (guilty as charged). We’re not really seeing a very distinct “slate” either way so far this time.

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.

And this week, I’m adding “My biggest constructive criticism” for each candidate. It’s a bit of honest feedback. And I’m trying to be nicer to everyone starting this week. I’m gonna work on my niceness here. The snark isn’t going away, I’m just trying to bring better balance in the name of peace, love, and understanding. I do respect and appreciate every single person running for city council here. It’s a very difficult job, it’s a very difficult process getting there, and it’s very thankless once you get there, so thanks to all of you for running.

The Line Up (listed alphabetically)

Paige Concannon
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. 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. Known by her neighbors as the “Mayor of Seabright”, Paige is focused on improving public safety. I know Paige had a meet and greet on the beach at Seabright this week, and I heard it was a nice event.

My biggest constructive criticism: Do more outreach towards “moderate liberals”. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but what I mean is do more outreach to the progressives. They can’t help but like your background in public service and helping the poor and the homeless. Play up your background more. 

Phillip J. Crawford
I pulled this from a recent profile on the Chamber of Commerce website promoting their October forum event. Crawford wants to “create affordable housing opportunities, expand public and alternative transportation, achieve a sustainable budget, protect our environment and provide responsive city government”. He goes on to say “Specifically, I will work to identify home ownership opportunities for veterans, teachers and city workers, make the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, improve transportation connections between people and jobs, ensure that any new development enhances our quality of life, protect residential zoning and our treasured coastline, and promote “green” buildings, renewable energy and open space”. Still know very little about him.

My biggest constructive criticism: I know next to nothing about you. If you expect to compete against people that are well known locally, you need to up your brand awareness. Hit the street and social media or risk fading to irrelevancy fast. 

Justin Cummings
Justin seems like a pretty smart guy, he’s got a PhD with a science background, and he’s done a lot of conservation work to protect the environment. His main talking points seem to be “increasing community stability and safety, promoting affordable housing measures for working families, supporting local businesses, making new development affordable and eco-friendly, taking into account the voices from affected neighborhoods”. He also wants to “work to preserve our natural environment and collaborate with appropriate agencies to protect our most vulnerable residents”. He rents and he strongly supports rent control. He seems to have the mostly unified backing of the Left Of Left (from now on I’m justing going to call them the “LOL”) progressives, basically people that support Drew, people that support rent control, people that want lots of new social service programs with no concept of how to pay for them.

My biggest constructive criticism: From my various sources that have seen you speak publicly, they mostly like you. That can be an advantage for you. Try to reach beyond your obvious base and more towards the middle. Lean in. And try to create your own identity apart from Drew. Otherwise, you sink or swim with him and I think you’re too smart to just be a tag along. 

Drew Glover
According to his public statement on the city website, Drew is “dedicated to doing more with less; prioritizing our city budget to benefit the public, fighting for strong union contracts, promoting local solutions to address climate change, implementing proven housing and transportation solutions while funding programs that build a stronger, more connected community”. Drew seems to be the best hope for the LOL progressives. He’s rented locally for the past 14 years, and he strongly supports rent control.

My biggest constructive criticism: I actually don’t really have much here. If anything, try to do a better job educating your UCSC volunteers on positions. They have passion but when pressed they seem a little over their heads. Try to build bridges instead of fences over divisive issues like rent control. 

Cynthia Hawthorne

Cynthia Has been a school board trustee and president of the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. She likes to remind us how she helped organize a couple of local women’s marches. She thinks our “most pressing issues are to address our severe lack of affordable workforce housing, foster a strong local economy, ensure safe and vibrant neighborhoods, and sustainably support community members in greatest need”. Meh.

My biggest constructive criticism: What makes you different? I still don’t know. 

Dave Lane
Dave is a retired internal auditor from UCSC. He also is looking for a location to open a microbrewery. He hopes to use his auditing experience to “ensure the city exercises sound financial management and employs efficient operations and good internal controls”. Now Dave is a real wildcard here! He just happens to share the SAME LAST NAME as former mayor and progressive barnacle Don Lane. Will the lemming voters of Santa Cruz confuse them? Of course they will! You know they will! It’s how Sandy Brown got elected (ask JM Brown).

My biggest constructive criticism: Who are you? I still don’t know. 

Greg Larson
Hey, he finally got a website up! Greg looks great on paper. He’s moderate. I know he had some kind of campaign launch party this week over at the Tannery. He has a lot of support from the machine, and he appears to be one of the chosen few to make the “Machine Team” this time around. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing for him and his efforts remains to be seen, but I guess if they’re helping bankroll the mountain of yard signs we”ll soon be seeing, it helps get your name out there.

My biggest constructive criticism: I care less about who likes you and more about what you would do differently, better, smarter, more efficiently here. So far, your “platform” just seems to be a laundry list of names. Why should I vote for you? I’m still not sure. 

Donna Meyers
Donna apparently has 25 years of experience in community and environmental projects, as well as a Masters in City and Regional Planning and professional experience with local government, the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, and the National Marine Sanctuary program. She currently serves as the City Parks and Recreation Commission Chair and as Board President of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. She obviously has a lot of experience with public service locally. That’s terrific. But what would you bring to the table as far as the future goes?

My biggest constructive criticism: Show you’re not a pawn being bankrolled by the machine. Keep me from confusing you with Hawthorne. 

Richelle Noroyan

I know and like Richelle, and will almost certainly vote for her. She’s been one of the only steady moderate voices on the city council the past 2 years (along with David) and she’s not afraid to ask hard or uncomfortable questions. I know a number of people who have recently told me they’re disappointed in her for various reasons, “she’s part of the machine now”, she supported rent control, etc. So she’s arguably lost some of her initial shine. Last time she ran, she was the outsider, now she’s the only incumbent. And probably, unfairly, will bear the brunt of criticism directed at the “status quo”.

My biggest constructive criticism: Reach out and try to make amends (and peace) with people that have supported you in the past but waver on their support now over previous votes and decisions you made on the city council. I don’t see any major red flags but I do see and hear people sniping. 

Ashley Scontriano
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.

My biggest constructive criticism: None really! Maybe I’m tired and you benefitted from being the last on the list. I think you’re doing fine. Maybe try to get more volunteer help like I’ve seen from others. 

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!

You Can Help Change the City Charter!

I saw the mayor posted this on his Facebook page:

“On August 14, 2018, the City Council created the Charter Amendment Committee, tasking the Committee with reviewing and making recommendations on potential changes to the City Charter in several specific areas. Please fill out and return the questionnaire at the link below and return – no later than Wednesday, September 19th!” The application for at-large appointments was recently released and can be found here!

Return it to Casey Hemard, Principal Management Analyst
via e-mail: chemard@cityofsantacruz.com
or mail:
City of Santa Cruz
809 Center Street Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Attn: Casey Hemard

Charter Amendment Committee candidate interviews will take place at the evening session of the Council meeting of September 25th, with final appointments expected at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 9th.

Bite Me!

Mobo Sushi

Mobo has been serving up their delicious sushi to Santa Cruz patrons for 30 years now. And they’re as popular as ever. I’m pretty particular about eating sushi. I always love to start out with a bowl of hot and tasty miso soup ($2.95). Then I usually order a combination of maki and nigiri sushi. I like the simplicity of kappa maki ($5.50) so that’s usually a standard palette cleaner. It’s like ordering a margherita pizza. You judge by how well you do the simple stuff. I usually add a soft shell crab maki (the $10.95 “Scooter” roll) and an order of nigiri, usually either unagi ($9.95) or smoked sake ($7.95). Mobo always nails my order. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for almost 15 years, eaten here many times, and I’ve never had a bad meal here.

The place can get very crowded on weekends. Locals love this place for good reason. They also have a nice little outdoor back patio that faces into the courtyard. And they have a full bar, with sake bombs. They’re kind of famous for their sake bombs. I’m not big on sake so while I find it entertaining, I ain’t drinking it.

151 Sake Bomb Domino at Mobu Sushi (warning LOUD crowd noises)

Hey, nobody said sushi is cheap! And for my money (and my stomach), the last thing I want to eat is cheap sushi. I don’t think Mobu is expensive. It’s quality sushi. I can’t say it’s the best in Santa Cruz because I generally don’t go anywhere else so I wouldn’t know. I know it’s the best for me anyways.

Mobo Sushi
105 S. River Street
Santa Cruz

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10 Comments

The Weekly Dump 9.7.18

  1. Great Dump this week, thank you for the constructive criticism of the candidates, very insightful. As to Mobo Sushi, I haven’t been there in a long time, I thought they went down hill when Suki owned it. I will need to try them again. However Sake on Water is awesome too. My brother who is a frequent traveler to Tokyo where sushi and sashimi are king and lives in Playa Del Rey, said that Sake’s was the best sushi and sashimi he had since he had been in Japan.

  2. It’s no mistake that the overwhelming majority of candidates are not backing Measure M rent control and that is because it is a very unfair measure that has been causing rental housing to be sold off at accelerated rates, establishes a very expensive and unneeded rent control board that answers to no one and can make up whatever rules and fines it wants as well as demand it’s own expensive salary from the city. The measure was put together by some of the most extreme thinkers in the community and opens the door for overcrowding in dwellings, loss of street parking and demands property owners pay 6 months relocation rent to existing tenants if the homeowner has a life change and needs to move back into his or her home. This is completely unaffordable for most landlords and property owners.

    For anyone to support Measure M now, when the city council is introducing an alternative measure at this next Tuesday’s meeting that restricts large rent increases, protects tenants and has provisions that don’t punish good landlords with the bad ones, like Measure M does. Yes there are good and bad landlords just like tenants.

    My understanding is that Justin Cummings and Drew Glover are the only candidates out of 10 that back the current rent control Measure M at it is written, so they do not get my consideration for council unless they come out in favor of the new measure. With the new city council version accomplishing what renters have asked for and will be instantly installed once measure M fails, a no vote in Measure M is what’s needed.

  3. You are our local lodestar, Ben!

    As for measure M, my landlord has already said if it passes he’s going to sell off his property. I can’t say I blame him.

  4. Thank you for you again for a great dump !
    I appreciate your words of wisdom !!
    So much has happened this last week, it is totally insane, almost like the twilight zone.
    I am, and have been, since July 16, a candidate that has a NO vote for measure M, no vote for rent control, just in case anyone was wondering.
    Thank you again !!!

  5. so let all of the rapists and murderers run free, and then when they land here we can give them all free tiny homes! public transportation will be even more fun then! can the metoo movement do something about this? bunch of commie crap!

    is it illegal to be, law abiding, employed and have a net worth higher than 500 dollars?! this place is making florida or texas look like a good idea! left of left lol.

  6. Ben, you may be snarky, but damn, you do such a great job on keeping us informed and entertained. Not to mention that you are a voice of sanity, and a much needed respite from the LOL voices. Thank you for all you do.

    1. Monning and Stone suck!—thanks a lot for Bill 1810. What kind of ivory towers do these guys live in that makes them immune to the crap that the rest of us lowly citizens endure?!

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