Last week was short, this week is long, go figure! It’s the rollercoaster nature of Santa Cruz. This week, we’ve got five years of status quo failure in five minutes, lower Ocean shut down over false alarm, child ejected in rollover crash on Highway 1, a bunch of burglaries and probation failures, the effect of vagrant recidivism on downtown merchants, just what I expectorated, Aptos woman sentenced for DUI death, flipping the city the Bird, mail thieves busted in Soquel, talk like a pirate day, El Circo del Ayuntamiento, and more!
Five Years of Status Quo Failure in Five Minutes
I think this video, first published a little over 5 years ago, sums up our local systemic leadership failure in a nice little, succinct, 5 minute package. Ask yourself. What’s changed here? Has anything really changed here in the last 5 years? Has it gotten better? The city council has changed significantly in that period. The police chief has changed. I’ll tell you what has not changed. The city manager has not changed. He has not changed at all. When we talk about frustration with the status quo, that begins at the top with the city manager. Isn’t it time for a change here? Who on the city council (or among those running) has the cojones to make this particular change? Speak up. I can’t hear you.
You know what else hasn’t changed? Ryan Coonerty sitting on the Board of Supervisors. Our city rep! Our chief advocate at the county. We continue to re-elect do nothing knobs like Ryan for another 4 years of what you see above. Where’s the COUNTY drug treatment programs? Where’s the COUNTY mental health treatment programs? Where’s the efficacy of anything COUNTY health services is doing right now with their multi million dollar budget? We know they’re good at giving out free needles which end up all over the city. How has Ryan done anything to address the issues we see in the video from 5 years ago? Why should we have any faith in the people making empty promises they have no intention to keep? Why would anyone support someone “endorsed” by him? Is that what you want? An “endorsement” of his failure to achieve anything meaningful here?
Lower Ocean Street Shut Down Over False Alarm
Wednesday afternoon, seemingly every cop in Santa Cruz responded to a call about a man threatening people with a gun in a house on the 100 block of Ocean street. SCPD responded with at least 6-7 units and shut down Ocean Street while using a bullhorn to order people to evacuate the house. According to SCPD reports, officers responded when they said they heard screaming coming from inside the house. The call turned out to be a hoax and one person was reportedly placed on a 5150 mental hold. SCPD is investigating it as a false report of an emergency.
Child Suffers Major Injuries in Rollover Crash on Highway One
A 5 year old boy suffered major injuries after being ejected from a truck on Highway One near Park avenue at around 9AM on Tuesday morning. Apparently the distracted driver crashed into the center divider while talking or texting on her cell phone, which caused her Toyota Tacoma to roll over multiple times. The boy was not properly secured in any kind of child safety seat and sustained major injuries and was air lifted to a trauma center. No word on his current condition. The accident shut down sections of Highway One for a short time.
Burglar Interrupted and Arrested
Monday night around 7PM, SCPD responded to an interrupted burglary in progress on the 500 block of Market Street. Shortly after a passing motorist spotted a suspicious male with a large screwdriver in one hand standing next to a broken window outside of a home on Market Street, the homeowner discovered the broken window and a man trying to break in his house. Outside the home, the suspect threatened the homeowner in his attempt to flee. SCPD set up a perimeter of the area and within minutes, arrested a 42 year old transient near Goss Avenue and North Branciforte. He was booked into jail for assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.
Probation is the Gift That Keeps on Giving!
Monday night around 9PM, SCPD responded to a report of a man trying to break into a commercial building on the 1100 block of Ocean Street. Witnesses reported seeing a man pulling on a door handle and using a tool to force it open. SCPD responded and found a 27 year old transient in the back parking lot of the business. A probation check determined the man is on probation for burglary tools, and other various crimes. In his possession, officers located burglary tools and drug paraphernalia.
Someone Was Actually Arrested on Coral Street!
I know. Hard to believe right? I didn’t actually witness it, but I heard a report that Tuesday night, SCPD was doing a “foot patrol” of Coral street (seriously!?!) when a couple of SCPD’s finest rolled up on a guy with a known warrant as a parolee at large. The 50 year old man was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, heroin and a fake gun. He was reportedly arrested for his felony warrant and other various narcotic charges.
Downtown Vagrancy Forces Pacific Avenue Businesses to Temporarily Shut Down
More than 40 percent of businesses with the Downtown Santa Cruz Business Association said they’ve had to close their doors because of threatening behavior from individuals near or in their store. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office conducted a survey asking businesses about some of the issues they see. Forty-three percent said they have had to close temporarily because someone was acting aggressive or threatening them.
Just More Downtown Vagrancy
Tuesday afternoon around 1:30PM, I heard a report about a burglary or theft at or near an office on Front street near the Las Palmas Taco Bar. SCPD chased a suspect on foot through Depot Park before catching the guy near the trestle along the bike path from Depot Park towards the Boardwalk. The suspect may have also been involved in a possible bag snatching earlier near Pacific and Water streets. I think this is the “surfer helps SCPD” story that’s been circulating recently. I think a surfer might have helped them catch the guy near the trestle bridge.
Downtown Prowler Arrested for Burglaries
This past Sunday around 5:30AM, an SCPD patrol unit was in the area of Maple and Myrtle for a report of a disturbance when a prowler was observed in a nearby yard. The man took off running after being spotted by the officer before being stopped by another patrol unit in the area. The 21 year old Watsonville man was arrested and found to have an additional outstanding warrant for possession of burglary tools. A follow up with neighbors determined that two more burglaries had occurred, including one at the residence where the man was first spotted. During an interview, the suspect confessed to the burglaries.
Just What I Expectorated From These Rent Control Supporters
I saw this on social media this week. A couple of local kooks see a “No on Measure M” sign and one of them not only feels an overwhelming urge to rip it out of the ground, she even gives it a spit shine before leaving. How pleasant. The pro rent control kooks are some of the nastiest, most vile, awful people in Santa Cruz. It’s not that I’m all gung ho for the “No” team. I’ve always made it clear from day one, before the ballot measure had the signatures, that rent control is an absolutely idiotic idea. But the lack of civil discourse from it’s supporters is so predictably stupid and so predictably Santa Cruz.
Aptos Woman Sentenced For DUI Related Hit and Run Death of Pedestrian
An Aptos woman was sentenced to 11 years in prison this week for the DUI death of a woman in December of last year. She was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She had reportedly been drinking all day with a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit when she hit an 86 year old woman who was crossing Soquel near the intersection of Rosedale Avenue. After leaving the scene, she went home and was later arrested. At the time of the accident, the woman already had two alcohol related driving offenses in 2017, and was still on probation for one of them.
Flipping the City the Bird
Thursday morning, we woke up to some kind of new illegal scooter program in Santa Cruz. Bird, a motorized scooter company, apparently launched their new program locally without getting the city’s permission. Talk about a bold launch! Because the company didn’t get proper permits, the city sent Bird a cease and desist letter when they found out what happened. Bird said they’re willing to work with the city (yeah right!), but if no agreement can be reached, the scooters will be impounded and the company will be responsible for the costs according to the city.
Probation is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Redux!
Last Thursday night while on patrol, two SCPD Officers stopped a driver for a vehicle code violation and found him to be on Post Release Community Supervision for narcotics sales. A K9 Unit responded and K9 Cash located over 3 ounces of heroin in the vehicle. Good dog!
Mail Thieves Busted in Soquel
This past Monday, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a suspicious car parked on Putter Drive in Soquel. Inside the car, they found a large amount of stolen mail and checks belonging to at least 17 victims, as well as narcotics. A man and woman were arrested for a variety of charges.
Next Time Steal a Better Car
Wednesday night around 3:00AM, SCPD stopped a car for a vehicle code violation near May and Hubbard. The car also happened to be reported stolen out of San Jose. The 37 year old female driver was arrested for possession of the stolen vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia.
It Was Talk Like a Pirate Day
Wednesday afternoon around 1:30PM, I heard a report of a man in a pirate hat with a knife at the Taco Bell on Pacific and Laurel seen waving it around and stabbing the air. SCPD caught up with the man in front of the Del mar theater and took the knife away from him.
El Circo del Ayuntamiento
A couple more candidate forums took place this past week. One by the dubiously named “People’s Democratic Club” (uh, no thanks says this registered Democrat). I got nothing for them. Another was focused on transportation issues, I forget the group that organized that one but I heard it was a small but civil group of community members that attended.
Upcoming Candidate Forums (that I’m aware of):
These are all open to the public. Mark your calendars!
- October 2nd: Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum
I also wanted to mention that I know I floated the idea of producing a candidate forum here, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen unfortunately for a number of reasons. Mainly, I think we’ve had a number of forums already, the Santa Cruz Neighbors forum was very good and very well attended, and I think by the time the middle of October rolls around, people will be pretty burned out on all the election materials and messaging. But maybe some time in the future, I’d still like to possibly do one. Thanks to everyone that supported the idea. It’s just the timing wasn’t right this time. And you can still attend the Chamber event (listed above) which should be very good as well.
The Line Up (listed alphabetically)
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.
Phillip J. Crawford
Philip has been making the rounds at the forums and events and personally, I think he’s done well and I like the guy. He has a great background and his public safety experience is arguably better than anyone else running. I still haven’t found a website for him, so I’m not sure who else supports him. I did notice a couple of ways he’s trying to raise money (Paypal, GoFundMe) but I haven’t seen a website, I haven’t seen a Facebook page. And I haven’t seen any yard signs yet. I know he’s a long shot but I still like him.
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 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, people that support rent control, people that want lots of new social service programs with no concept of how to pay for them.
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.
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.
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”.
So I got a call from someone I know and respect who nicely mentioned that I forgot to include Greg’s profile in this week’s edition of the Weekly Dump. After being a bit flattered he was a regular reader, I said it was an accident and then we chatted for a bit about Greg and the other candidates. I still think the petition is a bad look but what do I know. But we both agree that Larson’s background and experience make him a very good candidate. He mentioned one good point I hadn’t considered much until he mentioned it. Larson has the knowledge to navigate and fix the constant stream of bullshit that comes out of the city manager’s office. We need someone to get the tail to quit wagging the dog. I also asked if he thought Larson would stand up to Coonerty and the county, despite being endorsed by him. He said yes. He probably knows better than I do the answer there.
Donna apparently has 25 years of experience in community and environmental projects. She currently serves as the City Parks and Recreation Commission Chair. 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?
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.
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 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.
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