It’s raining! It’s pouring! Santa Cruz is never boring! This week, we’ve got lots of rain and the usual mayhem that comes with it, the Board of Supervisors declare war on mini shampoo bottles, pedestrian killed on Highway 1, fire prompts evacuation at SCHS, city settles wrongful death suit, making the Baby Jesus cry, Live Oak residents sleep through home invasion burglary, pulling weeds, some people can’t take no for an answer, Watsonville child rapist sentenced, less than Swift response, morning fun at Camp Bernal, Privates Beach gets less private, California has gotten progressively more dangerous, the Weekly Seen, and more!

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First Rains Bring Lots of Accidents on Highway 17

California Highway Patrol responded to six accidents on the Santa Cruz County side of Highway 17 last Friday morning. One crash near Pasatiempo Drive ended with a car down an embankment. The driver apparently hit a water pocket in their truck and swerved off of the freeway and over the embankment. A woman and her 8 year old daughter were in the vehicle but managed to escape injury. Earlier on Thursday afternoon, a drunk woman drove the wrong way on Highway 17, causing a major traffic accident. Happy Thanksgiving! This happened around 4:30PM north of Mount Hermon Road. The CHP received multiple reports of a car driving southbound in the northbound lanes near Granite Creek Road. While they were responding, a 40 year old drunk woman from Los Angeles crashed into a 69 year old Santa Cruz man’s car. The man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The drunk woman’s car rolled over, but she only suffered minor injuries and was arrested for DUI.

Santa Cruz County Declares War on Mini Shampoo Bottles

I have to admit I love that headline in the Chronicle. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors last week approved an ordinance banning mini, “single use” plastic toiletry bottles effective Dec. 31, 2020. Instead of offering the small, disposable bottles, Santa Cruz County hotels must stock rooms with larger bottles or dispensers. The ban won’t go into effect for two years to give hoteliers a chance to use up existing inventories. Hosted rentals, where the owner is present on the property, are exempt from the ban. Thank God the Board of Supervisors has nothing better to do!

Pedestrian Killed on Highway One

A 44 year old Watsonville man died after being struck by 2 vehicles on northbound Highway 1 at around 4:30AM near the Emeline Avenue exit. According to CHP reports, a 27 year old driver from San Jose and a 43 year old driver from Santa Cruz were not injured in the accident, and neither drugs or alcohol were considered factors. Northbound lanes of Highway 1 were closed for almost three hours while authorities investigated the incident.

Fire Prompts Evacuations at SCHS

An apparent electrical fire in an elevator prompted early morning evacuations at Santa Cruz High School on Monday morning. Santa Cruz Fire responded quickly and extinguished the fire before allowing students, teachers, and staff to re-enter the school building.

City of Santa Cruz Settles Wrongful Death Suit

It was announced this week that the city of Santa Cruz has settled with the family of Sean Arlt, who died after being shot by police in an incident last year. I think it’s important to note that the settlement amount doesn’t come from the city’s general fund. In fact, the city isn’t paying the settlement, the city’s insurance carrier is paying the settlement.

Making the Baby Jesus Cry

Saturday morning around 11AM, a witness saw a male suspect break a window at the Congregational Church of Soquel and break in. When Deputies arrived, the suspect had fled out the back door but an alert UPS driver reported seeing the suspect run across Center Street and up a nearby steep hillside. The suspect was then seen in the front yard of a residence on Hannan Lane, where Deputies were finally able to arrest him. The suspect also apparently left personal belongings behind when he fled out the back door which placed him at the scene. He was booked into County Jail on Burglary charges.

Live Oak Residents Sleep Through Home Invasion Burglary

Early Friday morning, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies took a report of a burglary at a home in Live Oak. Apparently someone broke in a residence and stole cell phones, car keys, and other items. They also stole the victim’s vehicle. When the residents of the home woke up, they noticed their belongings had been stolen and their car was no longer where it should be. Using GPS in one of the stolen phones, Deputies tracked the phone to the general area of Harvey West Park. Go figure! You don’t say! Deputies searched the area and found the stolen vehicle parked in a parking lot, and found some bum in the car with one of the missing cell phones. Other stolen items were also found in the car. The man was arrested for various theft related charges. And before anyone gets upset over me calling this frequent flyer a bum, his history here speaks for itself.

Pulling Weeds

Friday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies located a man with an outstanding warrant for his arrest. When deputies arrives at the Aptos address he was located at, he jumped out of a window in an attempt to evade deputies but was quickly arrested. Another man at the same location was arrested at the door for three warrants, and a third man was a parolee at large who was found hiding in the closet. All three were taken to jail.

Some People Just Can’t Take No For an Answer

After the resounding failure of a citizen rent control ballot initiative earlier this month, the Santa Cruz city council just can’t take no for an answer. At this week’s city council meeting, they discussed requiring landlords to pay relocation fees to tenants if they increase rents beyond a certain threshold. After nearly four hours of bitter, divisive, community feedback, they voted to expand current tenant relocation assistance law, setting triggers that include rent increases of 5 percent in a single year or a combined 7 percent in two consecutive years. Tenants evicted for reasons other than the end of their lease or breach of their rental agreement also would be eligible for the relocation assistance, under the updated ordinance. If approved by the council with a second vote on December 11th, the new law would apply retroactively to rent increase notices issued since Nov. 27th. The council did not consider extending a city designed rent increase freeze and just cause eviction rules, which were similar to the language in the recently defeated Measure M. During a special meeting set for Dec. 6th, the council also will consider establishing an emergency ordinance requiring landlords to give tenants 90 days’ notice with an eviction.

Watsonville Child Rapist Sentenced to State Prison

A 45 year old Watsonville man pleaded guilty to forcibly raping a child over a three year period and will be sentenced to a stipulated term of 34 years in state prison. In 2017, the victim told a friend about the abuse and the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case in April of 2017. When investigators served a search warrant at the suspect’s home, they found 17 used condoms containing DNA from the suspect and the victim. A hearing has been set for Dec. 21, 2018.

Less Than Swift Response

Wednesday night around 8PM, I heard a report about 2 people who were reportedly passed out in a car in the parking lot near the 7-11 on Mission and Swift. When the driver woke up, he apparently drove off down Swift. SCPD was called but I’m not sure if they ever caught up to the guy. The registration from the plate came back to a PO box in Capitola. It was dark, raining, and this asshat is driving around ready to kill someone.

Morning Fun Outside Camp Bernal

Tuesday morning around 9:30AM, I heard multiple reports about SCPD being involved in some sort of high risk stop on a car where someone in the vehicle tossed a fake gun out the window. Where did this happen? Gateway Plaza of course. “Camp Bernal”.

Privates Beach Gets Less Private

Both Santa Cruz County and the Opal Cliffs Recreation District, who had been fighting to keep the park and beach private against California Coastal Commission law, have reached an agreement which will give the general public free access. The park district plans to apply for a new Coastal Development Permit, which would include a new retractable gate limiting access into the park. The gate and the park will be open from sunrise to sundown and will be free to the public year round. Paid keycards and a gate attendant will be eliminated. The agreement calls for the gate to close during off hours to keep the park secure, and the new gate is expected to be in place by next Memorial Day.

California Has Gotten Progressively More Dangerous

It’s pretty obvious to me anyways that California has gotten progressively more dangerous under the reign of Governor Moonbeam. And I don’t see that changing much under the Gavinator. State Propositions 47 and 57 and AB 109 are his legacy. Call it compassion or call it senility, I call it a big mistake. I read a terrific write up recently that perfectly articulates the issue for me.

The Weekly Seen

Slow down out there on those wet roads. Nobody wants to be stuck behind the fallout from your stupidity. 

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22 Comments

The Weekly Dump 11.30.18

  1. So I was told by a Dump reader on Twitter that the city may in fact be on the hook for some of the Sean Arlt settlement (thanks John K!). The settlement was for $1.6 million. John mentioned the city being “self insured”, so I’m not sure how that impacts the general fund in this particular case or settlement. If anyone else has info, feel free to share.

  2. Ben you won’t believe this but I awoke today to a double-barreled “Only in Santa Cruz” moment for my reading entertainment!

    I started reading page A1 in the Senile about how Camp Bernal now greets everybody coming into or leaving town, and what a fiasco the River Street Camp closing has turned out to be. On Tuesday apparently, Krohn and Brown were wondering how none of this musical chairs entertainment conformed with Bernal’s 3-point February plan for an orderly transition to a permanent location.

    However, halfway through the article [which was well written and probative by Jessica York], I’m directed to page A2. So I turn to pahe A2 of the Senile and I’m greeted instead with page B2 of the Home and Garden section of the Sentinel with no sign of the “Tent Camp Closure” since A2 and B2 were mixed up.

    So can you imagine the irony of the Senile writing about Bernal’s incompetence when all of a sudden the Senile’s own pressmen added some incompetence of Their Own by mixing up the A2 and B2 plates for printing. Fortunately I’m not the only one who was entertained by this because this historic misprint was sent out to the entire Senile readership.

    I suggest you might want to get a paper today [Friday November 30th] to your “Only in Santa Cruz” scrapbook.

    Double your pleasure double your fun!
    😂

  3. Ben, heard Ashley Scontriano on Flight 1080 yesterday/Thursday, KSCO’s afternoon drive-time show which regularly includes guests from the community sharing what they’re up to. It occurred to me that you would be an excellent guest and listeners would definitely be interested in learning about Santa Mierda. I’m sure you’d be rewarded w/ new subscribers/readers. The program’s host is Dave Michaels (dm@ksco.com). Ashley could also connect you since she did quite well as the guest host, and I’d think her suggesting you as a guest would be well received. By the way, I’m Theodora, the reader who met you outside the Depot Park polling center on election day, letting you know that you/Santa Mierda had influenced my vote for Ashley.

    1. Thanks Theodora! I enjoyed our chat that day. I did hear about Ashley on KSCO. As for me going on KSCO, who knows? Maybe I’ve already been on once before.

  4. Bum is PC. I prefer the terms “hobo” and “troll” myself. If the term “transient” applies to someone staying the night in a hotel, then one must boost the lexicon in order to convey information accurately.

    SJW’s need not respond.

    1. I feel like this comment is just as instructive and pedantic on terminology as a lot of SJWs are. Maybe it’s because I moved out of Santa Cruz, but I’ve never heard of bum being described as the PC term you must use.

  5. I am still smiling following the item about the stolen phone’s gps turning up at Harvey West!!! Where else? Of course. Love your column.

  6. Camp Bernal sounds too official to me… I realize it’s the name of the strip mall there, but it’s soon going to become the official name of the “official” hobo encampment there. We need to call that encampment something else.

  7. “First Rains Bring Lots of Accidents on Highway 17” ?
    Actually that was just shitty drivers that brought Lots of Accidents.
    The rain brought welcome relief.

    1. There’s never any shortage of shitty drivers on 17. It’s not the usual abundance of shitty drivers bringing lots of accidents. It’s the usual abundance of shitty drivers in the rain bringing lots of accidents.

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