The Weekly Dump 11.9.18

Welcome to the Machine

At last the election is finally over. Or is it?

Leave it to the county to muck this up somehow. KSBW recently reported the county had “misplaced” about 3500 mail ballots, which they then found and updated the numbers again. After they said there “wouldn’t be another update this week”. Oops.

Winners: Everyone living in Santa Cruz. No more having to dump endless piles of mailers, flyers, door hangers, and other paper based garbage into my recycling bin unread. Property Owners. It appears at least that Measure M (and rent control) has been defeated not only locally but on a statewide level as well. The status quo. The final numbers still need to be counted but it looks like at least 2 candidates financed by Bank of Coonerty & Friends will succeed in winning a seat. The real question becomes will we get a “Machine slate sweep” or does Cummings manage to hold on.

Losers: Everyone living in Santa Cruz. We’re stuck with Mark Stone for another term. We get basically machine fed and bred new council members. The top 4 candidates are still pretty much jockeying for 3 spots, and until the county FINALLY lets us know the results (hopefully this year?), I’m making no predictions on who wins or the order. Given the lead Meyers currently holds, I’d say she has a very good chance on not dropping to 4th. But the other 3 spots are still too close to call. Rent Control Fans. The resounding No on M vote pretty much shut that down and shut that group up. Local EMTs. Prop 11 passed on propaganda fed by special interest money.

Other random but semi related thoughts about the election:

  • I was obviously wildly wrong with some of my picks and predictions. Not wrong for voting that way. Just wrong thinking others would too. Next time I make predictions, you might want to bet the other way.
  • The 2 biggest surprises for me are how well Meyers did and how many people didn’t come out for Richelle. Lots to read into that. Richelle was the only incumbent and carried all of the current city council’s baggage and dirty laundry. Rent control? She’s the only one who actually had to vote on it. Usually, being the incumbent works in favor of the candidate, but here it seemed to be a cross she had to bear. Is that a repudiation of the current “status quo”? On the surface, I might say yes, but then we elect more of the same, tepid, bland gravy. Donna Meyers is safe. That’s it! She won’t rock the boat. And that seems to be exactly what people want. Richelle on the other hand can be tough, ask tough questions, take tough positions, takes on popular supervisors who are supposed to be representing the city. And that apparently scares people. Ask yourself. Do you want “tough love” or do you want the same, tepid, weak sauce approach? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we can’t get out of our own way.
  • At some point after the final numbers are in, I’m going to calculate what I’m calling a “Cost Per Vote”, which will basically just calculate how much each candidate spent to get the number of votes they ended up getting. It should be an interesting comparison to see how much was spent by each person, and how wisely it was spent.
  • I’m thinking we need to build a new machine. I’m thinking maybe that’s my next project. Help build a new machine.

Pink Floyd – Welcome to the Machine

Wildfires. It’s What’s For Breakfast

Around 7AM on Wednesday morning, firefighters from CalFire responded to reports of a vegetation wildland fire behind UC Santa Cruz. Seven fire engines, three water tenders, and two crews from Santa Cruz Fire, Felton Fire, Branciforte and Central Fire responded to the scene and assisted CalFire. The fire was reportedly burning near the north campus and Pogonip Park and grew to about 4 acres before fire crews stopped forward progress. No structures were threatened and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Woman Goes Missing After Walking Into Ocean at Main Beach

U.S. Coast Guard and Santa Cruz Fire search crews worked late into Monday morning looking for a woman who was reportedly seen walking into the ocean somewhere along main beach. A Coast Guard spokesperson said the woman was in “emotional distress” and wrapped in a blanket when she entered the surf on Sunday. Witnesses called 911 but lost sight of her. Search teams called off their search around 2:00AM on Monday morning but they resumed the search early Tuesday. I don’t think she was ever found.

Burning Water Tanker Starts Wildfire in Felton

Tuesday night around 10:30PM, a large water tanker truck apparently flipped over and burst into flames off of San Lorenzo Avenue in Felton, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. When crews arrived from Felton Fire, CalFire, and other agencies, they found the truck unoccupied and the nearby forest on fire. I don’t think it just rolled itself down the hill, but I’ve heard no information about any suspects or arrests.

Saturday Afternoon Chase Ends With Wrecked Porsche

Saturday afternoon, a high speed police pursuit that began in Scotts Valley ended in a crash and arrest in Capitola. Scotts Valley police tried to stop a 37 year old man for driving erratically on Mt. Hermon Road when he led police and CHP officers on a high speed chase onto Highway 17 and southbound Highway 1. Police later found the suspect involved in a crash with a Porsche at Bay Avenue and Hill Street in Capitola. After a brief foot chase, CHP officers arrested the man  The suspect, his passenger, and the occupant of the Porsche were taken to local hospitals for their injuries. After being released from the hospital, the suspect was arrested on several felony charges and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Wildfire Torches More Than 20 Acres Near Paradise Park

Cal Fire reports that a fire which began Saturday night near Paradise Park quickly grew from a half acre vegetation fire to more than 20 acres. Calling it the “Rincon Fire”, 5 engines, 4 hand crews and a helicopter initially responded to the fire. An evacuation advisory for the north part of Paradise Park was issued and Highway 9 was shut down temporarily between Paradise Point and Felton. Cal Fire reported that a first responder was injured battling the fire.

Scotts Valley Wildfire in Lockhart Gulch

Sunday morning, fire crews from Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Aptos, Boulder Creek and Cal Fire fought back a vegetation fire in Lockhart Gulch in Scotts Valley. An air attack unit was also dispatched to the scene for the 2 acre fire.

Attempted Burglary on Soquel

Saturday night around 10:30PM, I heard a report about a male suspect seen on video attempting to break in and burglarize a business on the 1400 block of Soquel. The suspect was seen with a drill in his hand by a security guard on the property. Multiple units were sent to the area to look for the suspect.

Van Hits Pole on Laurel Street

Saturday night around 8:30PM, I heard a report about a mini van that hit a pole on the 600 block of Laurel street near the 7-11 in downtown Santa Cruz. I heard there were 6 kids in the van. There may have been a couple of minor injuries as medical responders were called, but I have no report of the extent of their injuries.

Lee Street Crash and Burn

Last Saturday around 3:30PM, reports came in about a van that had crashed and was on fire on Lee Street in Santa Cruz.  CHP, SCPD, and Santa Cruz Fire all responded. The van appeared to be a total loss, with the fire appearing to come from inside the van, possibly from a mattress. Witnesses also described lots of empty Tecate cans littering the van and the street after the fire. See, this is why we don’t want “van dwellers” just parking their hole on wheels anywhere they want. Stuff like this never ends well for anyone.

Dirt Clod Arrested in Soquel

Friday afternoon around 2:30PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to several calls about a man throwing stuff at passing motorists in the area of Soquel Avenue and Capitola Road Extension. When the arrived, they observed a bum transient throwing rocks and dirt clods onto Soquel Avenue from the hillside above the Harbor High School football field. When a deputy tried to detain the bum, he ran up a nearby hillside, hopped over a fence and onto Soquel Avenue before finally being detained with the help of several other deputies. He was booked into County Jail for resisting arrest and a probation violation. Probation! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Fire at Vapor Cleaners

Around noon last Thursday, a 31 year old transient was seen intentionally setting a fire outside of Vapor Cleaners on Water Street. Several correctional officers from the Main Jail next door responded and immediately tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. They also went inside the business and evacuated the employees, who were unaware the building was even on fire. Several more correctional officers responded before Santa Cruz Fire Department arrived and was able to quickly contain the fire. Great job to the correctional officers from the county jail! After detectives recovered video surveillance from several nearby locations, a Santa Cruz Ranger spotted the suspected arsonist along River Street. SCPD took the suspect into custody, where during an interview he made incriminating statements and was booked for arson.

The Warriors Are Back!

The Santa Cruz Warriors held their first home game of the season this week. They even brought down some heavy hitters from Oakland for the opening debut. Stephen Curry, Quinn Cook, and Demarcus Cousins from the Golden State Warriors were seen enjoying the game (and Santa Cruz) from courtside.

They’re not ringers. They’re spectators. 

It was quite the entertaining game too. Santa Cruz scored 79 points in the first half and never trailed the Stockton Kings in their 123-104 home opener win at Kaiser Permanente Arena on Wednesday night. And I really hope we get to see Boogie rehab a couple games with the Santa Cruz Warriors. That would be a gas.

DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo

Thank you David Terrazas for serving your community well for the past 8 years. Your pragmatic approach and your level headed leadership will be sorely missed. I wish you well in whatever you decide to do in the future. Keep me in the loop. You know how to reach me (the batphone).

Weekly Shoutouts

I almost forgot but I wanted to give a shout out to Theodora, a very nice lady I met outside my voting spot on election day. We started chatting and she told me she got her voting information from “the Santa Mierda voting guide”. This was before she knew I wrote it. Yes, I told her I was the guy who wrote it. Thanks Theodora, you made my day and it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you.

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  1. It’s not just Santa Cruz County that is having difficulties counting ballots. San Luis Obispo County is also overwhelmed.

    • I just wish the county had been more transparent about the number of outstanding ballots from the time the polls closed. People kept watching the numbers hourly for updates. Yes, ultimately the final numbers will be revealed and the delay didn’t influence any voters. But as usual, the county is reacting to an issue they might have been able to avoid if someone had proactively planned better. It’s the sheer number and the lack of county transparency (as usual) I have issues with. Thanks Ike.

  2. Desiree Netto

    Several of us used your voter guide. Thanks!

  3. Paige Concannon

    New machine !

  4. Looks like Santa Cruzans are happy with crime, filth and junkies. Chief Mills can breathe a sigh of relief that no real adults will be on the council so his job is secure.

    • At least that 18% majority margin must be. Is the glass half empty or half full? It is a mess, a self made mess, and we need to own it. People can blame any one individual all they want, blame me! But the truth is obvious. I’m part of the 82% here. I didn’t vote for this. But I’m still optimistic that love will find a way (see what I did there?).

  5. And the “soft on crime” revolving door of drug addiction continues unabated in Santa Cruz. What a joke.

    • This is why someone, anyone, needs to go hard and relentless at the Board of Supervisors. Honestly, why the hell isn’t Chris Krohn leading the effort here? The county needs to do more on the mentally ill homeless issue (and the lack of county treatment options and funding). Where’s the loud mouthed progressives demanding more from the county here? I’ve seen David and Richelle push back, I’ve seen Greg Larson push back, but I’ve NEVER seen Krohn, Sandy Brown, Poser, Don Lane, or anyone else actively push back. Actually, there is one progressive who has fought hard. Steve Pleich. But he is an outlier here. The county gets an ongoing pass and the city pays the price. That’s what has to stop. This is the number one public safety issue in Santa Cruz right now. Fix this and you will be amazed at what happens. Ask anyone who lives near Grant Park how nice it’s been in their neighborhood since the city CLOSED it. The neighbors don’t even want their local park re-opened. How freaking sad is that?

  6. blargh, so glad they caught that arsonist…

  7. I don’t think your Twitter link works (at least it doesn’t for me).
    I think people probably didn’t think as hard or know as much about the City Council as you’re giving them credit for. I think it’s probably a lot more random than that… but who knows.
    Oh, and speaking of business break-ins, I noticed Tacos Morenos had a plywood door the other day and when I asked them about it, they said it was their 2nd replacement door after a break-in recently (I’m not sure of the time period).

  8. Santa Cruz, CA: Keepin’ It Real did a nice write up on the history of the “Dirt Clod”:

    Nothing unusual about his situation or our continually releasing and unleashing him repeatedly on the public here in Santa Cruz. Business as usual in the courts and evidently, post election, on the City of Santa Cruz Council too. How do we build that new custom machine tailored to our needs and desires for safety?

  9. Thanks to everyone who pointed out my Twitter feed issue! I changed it recently so the old address is outdated (and I need to remember to fix the link in the bottom of each new post).

    The new feed is here:

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