Five more weeks until the election and then we’ll stop seeing all the election campaign noise everywhere. In the mean time, we’ve got more local election coverage! We’re also talking about what seems to be a local arsonist on the loose near downtown, a creeper arrested near Santa Cruz High School, a Watsonville stabbing suspect is arrested, just another manic Monday, breaking bad, thieves steal a running generator, bad behavior at BSSC, motorcyclist pinned under vehicle seriously injured, Saturday night’s alright for fighting, probation is the gift that keeps giving, Aptos woman killed in rollover DUI, when it rains it pours in Scotts Valley, Soquel flasher taken down, asleep at the wheel, El Circo del Ayuntamiento, The Happy Story of the Week, and don’t forget to register to vote!
Suspicious Fire in Depot Park Almost Torches Nearby Homes
Saturday morning around 3AM, people living next to Depot Park were rudely awakened by flames after some asshat arsonist set the sandstone cliff along the bike path on fire. The cliff has long been covered by various plant scrub like blackberry, poison oak, and other overgrown brush. Some time around 3AM, someone set this on fire, with 20 foot flames reported by nearby neighbors. Apparently this is also the 2nd fire in 3 days in the same general location behind a group of our homes in between depot park & the trestle bridge. Santa Cruz Fire quickly responded and put out the blaze but this is pretty scary, and so easy to avoid. We’re basically letting people “camp” (and set “warming fires” or “cooking fires”) in a grove of Eucalyptus trees. Are we really that stupid? Yes we are! Self inflicted.
Wildland Fire at the Felker Footbridge
Then later the SAME night around midnight, I heard a report about a wildland fire at or near the Felker footbridge and the east levee. Witnesses reported seeing a building at the end of Felker on fire and hearing a hissing noise thinking it might be propane. The building actually didn’t catch fire but it was pretty close, and nearby brush did catch fire and burn. I heard a report that a transient female was later seen in the vicinity screaming she was going to “burn everything down”, and SCPD seemed to investigate but didn’t appear to treat her as a credible threat or suspect in the recent rash of fires set near the downtown area.
Creeper Arrested Near Santa Cruz High School
Thursday afternoon, a 29 year old creeper was arrested near Santa Cruz High School for taking inappropriate photos of female students. The suspect was seen near the school campus several times by a female student who said he had photographed her and a number of other female students inappropriately. She took his photo with her phone and called SCPD. Detectives investigated the report and after contacting the suspect, he admitted to secretly photographing and videoing girls, with some of the victims thought to be as young as 16. He also admitted to doing this at Santa Cruz High, the Santa Cruz Main Beach and, Downtown Santa Cruz. A search of his phone revealed numerous photos and videos which appeared to be taken without permission.
Watsonville Stabbing Suspect Arrested
Tuesday morning, Watsonville Police, California Highway Patrol, and the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office arrested a 29 year old man at a home in Las Lomas on suspicion of stabbing a 23 year old man in the chest at a restaurant on the 100 block of Main Street in Watsonville at around 1:30AM on Sunday night. The victim was flown to a trauma center for treatment and has been released from the hospital. The suspect was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail with bail set at $375,000.
Just Another Manic Monday
- Monday morning around 10AM, a 40 year old male was arrested for having several outstanding warrants (outside the county) and for possession of heroin.
- Monday morning around 11AM, SCPD responded to the 300 block of Dakota and arrested a 36 year old woman for disorderly conduct and being under the influence of drugs after receiving several reports that she was wandering into neighbors yards and causing a disturbance.
- Monday morning around 11:30AM, SCPD responded to the Safeway on Morrissey for a report of drug activity and arrested a 20 year old male for having outstanding warrants and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Monday afternoon around 2PM, SCPD arrested a 48 year old man on the 100 block of Coral for several outstanding warrants (outside the county).
- Monday afternoon around 2:30AM, SCPD responded to the Safeway on Morrissey and arrested a 29 year old male for for disorderly conduct and being under the influence of drugs.
Breaking Bad in Santa Cruz
This past week, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a complaint about a vehicle that was parked with people doing drugs inside. When deputies arrived, they found 2 women and a man sitting in the vehicle parked on the 2000 block of Ocean Street Extension with methamphetamine, heroin, scales, and drug paraphernalia. All three were arrested on drug charges and booked into jail.
Thieves Steal Running Generator From Local Food Truck
Talk about criminals feeling emboldened to steal from us here. The Union Foodie food truck was parked in the parking lot of Haut Surf shop on Swift and Delaware when a car full of thieves pulled up and stole a generator they were using outside the truck. While it was running and powering the food truck. So now a local business is out a $3K generator thanks to our lax sense of urgency about punishing criminal behavior. Why should we tolerate this? Is this the kind of behavior you want for “status quo” in Santa Cruz?
Maybe He Was Looking for a Book on Anger Management
Sunday night around 8PM, I heard a report of a man having a major meltdown inside Book Shop Santa Cruz. Apparently, the manager had to call SCPD after someone who was prohibited from being in the store refused to leave. So he started yelling and having a toddler like meltdown in the store. SCPD was familiar with the guy (of course they were!). The manager didn’t care and wanted him cited for trespassing. Good! No idea if he actually was.
Motorcyclist Pinned Under Vehicle on Melrose
Saturday night around 8PM, I heard multiple reports that a motorcyclist had collided with a vehicle at Melrose and Morrissey and the victim was actually pinned under the vehicle. The victim reportedly suffered major injuries and was flown to a trauma center by life flight. No updates on the victim’s condition. Hell, no story about this at all in the local media but why am I not surprised by that.
I’ve Had it With Your Discipline
Saturday night around 11:30PM, I heard about some kind of physical fight or altercation between 2 people on the 900 block of Cayuga. At least one person required medical attention for cuts to their face. Don’t give us none of your aggravation!
Probation is the Gift That Keeps Giving
Saturday night, a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department Deputy stopped a man in the Soquel Village area who is on probation for narcotics and weapons related offenses. His probation conditions allow police officers to search him and his belongings, and when they did they found heroin, needles, a BB pistol with a laser sight, a concealed knife and bolt cutters. He was arrested for various charges and was booked into jail. Is he out yet? Probably.
Aptos Woman Killed in Drunken ATV Accident
Saturday night around 11:30PM, a woman was killed after the ATV she was riding on crashed near Redwood Heights Road in Aptos. A male was driving the ATV with two passengers on a private road when he lost control and flipped the vehicle, throwing everyone off. the driver and another male passenger found the 3rd passenger, a woman in her mid twenties, unconscious and unresponsive. They performed CPR until friends drove them to a nearby house on the property, where CHP, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies, AMR and Aptos Fire met the group. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was arrested after being treated for minor injuries and was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on felony DUI charges. Uh, I hope there’s a bit more coming here! Gross vehicular manslaughter? Hello?
When it Rains it Pours in Scotts Valley
Friday night, after Scotts Valley Police conducted a registration check on a vehicle, they found that the license plate had been reported stolen. After stopping the vehicle, they found the driver from Redding had a suspended drivers license. As they searched the vehicle before having it towed, they also found two firearms and ammunition inside, with one of the guns reported stolen out of Redding. The man was arrested and booked for possession of a stolen firearm and driving on a suspended license.
Flasher Gets Taken Down in Soquel
Saturday afternoon, a seventeen year old girl was trying to enjoy her day in Lions Park in Soquel when some creeper decided to pull down his pants and flash his genitals at her. What he probably wasn’t expecting was for her to flag down a good samaritan who basically detained the pervert until Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies arrived. He was placed under arrest and booked into the County Jail for indecent exposure.
Asleep at the Wheel
Thursday night, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies were in Davenport following numerous reports of people partying on the beach. After checking out the beach, they noticed a man asleep in a vehicle that was parked in the large main parking lot everyone uses for accessing the beach. After waking him up, they found he had almost 2 ounces of methamphetamine, a gram of heroin and various items of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested for possession of narcotics for the purpose of sales.
El Circo del Ayuntamiento
We still have at least one more public candidate forum coming up and I highly recommend going to one if you haven’t had the opportunity to hear the candidates speak for yourself.
Upcoming Candidate Forums (that I’m aware of):
These are all open to the public. Mark your calendars!
So this week I’m skipping the usual “line up” profiles I usually do every week and instead, I’m gonna talk about the hot mess known as the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum, which took place this past week at the Kaiser Arena. First, let’s talk about the event itself. A weekday afternoon? What are they thinking? Obviously (like the small crowd), not much. The Kaiser Arena holds about 2500 people. There were maybe 100 people there for this forum, and that’s being kind. At least getting in was painless (unlike the actual event which was pretty painful at times). They had everyone basically sitting on one side of the bleachers and everything else was closed off, with a table on the basketball court facing everyone where the candidates would sit. At least one candidate wasn’t given a name tag, which was resolved after she had to make one herself when the organizers forgot to make one for her. The two guys they had moderate, apparently both “political editors” from San Jose seemed kind of clueless at times, fumbling with questions, mismanaging time to the point of putting people to sleep, and they had a terrible PA system so almost all of the questions (and many of the answers) were indecipherable. And they had a lot of topics that were kind of irrelevant to the responsibilities and what we expect from a city council member.
At least the candidates showed up (everyone but Dave Lane anyways). They all did ok given the circumstances. If I was giving out grades on strictly “performance at this event”, here’s my report card:
Ashley: She really was the star of this particular show. She’s an excellent public speaker, very well prepared, and she knows how to hit on “pain points” for people. She completely turned the question about the gas tax on it’s ear and had every other person back peddling on their answers. She was clearly able to differentiate herself from everyone else in a very strong, positive way.
Richelle: Richelle can do this in her sleep. She’s incredibly well prepared, and she’s been doing this job now for the past 4 years, so she knows the subject matter very well. And she’s a good public speaker. She’s confident with her answers, but sometimes it seems like she’s sleepwalking though it. She can match Ashley as a speaker but Ashley seems to have more passion for it. Maybe 4 years of actually doing this job will suck some of the passion out of it for you. But she still did great.
Justin: Justin comes across as mostly soft spoken and likable. I completely disagree with him on pretty much every topic, but he did well here. He’s a good public speaker, and he doesn’t come across as condescending when discussing topics and ideas. Given the fact this really for the most part “wasn’t his crowd”, he did better than I expected.
Philip: Philip has definitely grown on me personality wise. I have a couple friends who like to say he’s “cranky”, but hell I’m cranky! He held his own here, and came across as relatable and knowledgable.
Drew: Like Justin, Drew was facing a tougher crowd than he would probably have liked to face. He’s always been a pretty good public speaker. I think he can tend to get stuck on positions, and when he tries to pander or back peddle it seems mostly insincere or not well thought out. I think he has lots of big ideas but he has no idea how to actually pay for any of it.
Paige: Paige seemed to struggle a bit with a couple questions, but in all fairness, the clowns for moderators made it difficult to hear and understand the questions. But she did ok. She’s very reserved when she talks, like she’s choosing her words carefully. And I thought Drew took a cheap, personal shot at her near the end. She didn’t back down.
Greg: He didn’t do bad, he didn’t stand out. I think he suffers from a couple things beyond his control. First, and this isn’t an insult, the optics of old, white guys running for office is really tough right now. It’s even worse if you brag a lot, which could come across as “mansplaining”. I don’t question his background and experience, and I don’t doubt his passion or motivation for running. He just really wants to win, and he’s spending a LOT of money, much more than anyone else to try to accomplish that. That might be a big deal for some, or a barometer for others, but for me, it just shows you’re good at raising money. It doesn’t really tell me much else. You’re obviously doing something right to get people to give so much money to you.
Cynthia: She didn’t do bad, she didn’t stand out. I can appreciate her experience but I’m not really seeing a lot change with her. I don’t know what she would do differently about public safety for example. I know she cares about women’s rights and she organizes marches. How does that translate into success as a city council member?
Donna: She didn’t do bad, she didn’t stand out. I like Donna. She seems very nice and personable. And kind of boring. It’s not that boring is bad. In many ways, boring can be very good. But like with Cynthia, I have no idea how she helps improve public safety, and that’s still (and always has been) my number one filter.
Dave: He didn’t show up.
Overall, I’d give Ashley and Richelle both an A. I’d give Justin a B and everyone else a C. Nobody did bad, but Ashley really stood out and Richelle was typically very good. Justin was a little better than everyone else.
The Happy Story of the Week
It’s the return of the Happy Story of the Week! This week, we bring you Anthony Arya, a 15 year old singer and guitarist from Santa Cruz, who made a fanboy out of Adam Levine. Good luck Anthony! You’re making your home town proud.
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