Well the rain didn’t wash away the pain this week. It probably flushed all kinds of unmentionables into a tsunami down the San Lorenzo river and out into the bay and ocean. Where’s the environmentalists and their outrage? In addition to the giant flush, we had lots of other stuff happen. Someone got stabbed in front of their kid in Depot Park. We’ve got another one of those horror stories you never read about in the local news. A house blew up in Felton. I’m just getting warmed up here. More gifts from county probation, Aptos burglars caught with funny money, the county shuffle in action, dumb drunks in Aptos, a brawl on the boulevard, a year too long for her, an attempted carjacking and stabbing in Watsonville, a slightly disgruntled employee, hitting close to home, possible warming fires, a day in the life of the day shift, homeless solutions, more Games of Krohns, it’s time for a parade or two, Bite Me, and more.
Man Stabs Parent in Front of Child in Depot Park
So last Tuesday, a bum stabbed a parent in front of their kid in Depot Park. Of course, we didn’t hear about it until a couple days after it happened (and probably only because they actually arrested someone). That’s why it didn’t make last week’s Dump. According to SCPD reports, the 30 year old transient confronted the victim and asked them a question before swinging his knife and stabbing them in the arm. He then ran away on foot. The victim drove themself to the hospital and later identified the suspect by looking through online booking pictures. The suspect was arrested the next day for Assault with a Deadly Weapon. This guy was on probation at the time through the always dubious, laughably named “Post Release Community Supervision”. He’s out, can you watch him for us? He’s got 18 local mugshots that date back to 2013. Obviously, county probation can’t seem to keep this guy in jail. And here he is, stabbing parents in our public parks. Which aren’t safe. Time to close our parks until we can actually make them safe again.
Another One of Those Stories You Never Hear About
I found this as I was doing some research for this week’s Dump. It’s pretty horrific. Sexual abuse of children. 9 charges. Arrested on Tuesday according to jail records, the accused is apparently still in the county jail. For now. $200K bail. That’s some really horrible stuff for only a $200K bail hold. But this is Santa Cruz. And I know, some people are probably thinking, “is he here legally?”. I honestly don’t know.
House Explodes in Felton
Tuesday afternoon around 1:30PM, a large explosion from what turned out to be a honey oil lab blew up a home on the 300 block of Creekside Way in Felton. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a large explosion and possible structure fire and found a 38 year old resident suffering from injuries. The blast blew out several walls and left the interior of the home exposed. After Investigators searched the home, they found several large butane tanks and other manufacturing equipment, in addition to more than 270 POUNDS of processed cannabis and finished butane honey oil product. The resident was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. What’s missing here? Oh right, no mention whether anyone was actually arrested!
County Probation: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Early Friday morning, SCPD conducted a vehicle stop at Laurel St and Center St. The 31 year old driver was on probation and was in possession of a fake gun, numerous bump keys, a bolt cutter, a baseball bat, additional ignitions, burglary tools, and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and his vehicle was towed and probation placed a hold on him.
Funny Money Takes Down Aptos Burglar
Last Friday night, residents of a home in Aptos were tired of being robbed and burglarized so they decided to take matters into their own hands. The owners of the home have a guest house that was repeatedly being broken into and burglarized so they set a trap to catch the thief, who they suspected might be a former tenant. They set up motion sensor surveillance cameras and placed fake money inside of the locked guest house. When they were alerted by the motion sensor of the video, they observed the thief in the act. After calling the Sheriff’s Office, deputies surrounded the area and located the burglar hiding in his vehicle down the street with the fake money in his possession. He was arrested for burglary and booked into the County Jail.
The County Shuffle in Action
Monday night around 9:30PM, I heard a report about a person who was at Dominican and was being discharged for unknown reasons, but staff at the hospital reported the person was too drunk to take care of themselves. AFTER they were getting out of the hospital. Isn’t that why they are taken there in the first place? Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the person and took them to county jail. Then what? They kick them back to the curb within hours and guess where this person ends up? DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ.
Aptos Drunks Report Fake Shooting to Distract Police While Being Pulled Over
In this week’s laughably stupid moment of the week, an Aptos man and his passenger were driving a Cadillac Escalade erratically through Capitola around 2PM on Saturday afternoon. They reportedly ran several stop signs, weaved in and out of traffic, and sped through town before police stopped the car near Opal Cliff and Court Drives. As officers investigated the driver, who appeared to be intoxicated, deputies were called to respond to reports of shots fired and a person down call. It was later determined that the passenger in the Cadillac was placing false 911 calls in an attempt to distract CHP officers from their DUI investigation, according to reports. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence and for calling 911 to falsely report a shooting nearby in an attempt to get out of trouble. The passenger was also arrested for making a false report of an emergency.
Brawling on the Boulevard
Friday night around midnight, I heard 4 guys were brawling out on the 100 block of San Lorenzo Boulevard. All four were arrested for assault and battery and taken to jail. No idea if it was gang related but it’s certainly possible given the location.
A Year Too Long For Her
Tuesday around 2:30AM, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office responded to a domestic disturbance on Ocean Street extension involving a male and a female. The pair, who have been in a relationship for the past year, got into some kind of argument and confrontation and the male kicked the female in the head, causing her to black out. He was arrested for aggravated assault and was basically kicked back to the curb hours later by the County in downtown Santa Cruz.
Attempted Carjacking and Stabbing in Watsonville
Monday morning, an attempted carjacking and stabbing reportedly happened near the near ES Car Wash on Main Street in Watsonville. The victim drove himself to a nearby hospital with non life threatening injuries. Watsonville Police are still looking for the suspect.
I’m Guessing He Was Slightly Disgruntled
Tuesday morning around 3:30AM, I heard a report about a man setting a fire inside the 24 Hour Fitness on the 1200 block of Soquel Avenue. The 24 year old employee (I’m guessing former by now) of the fitness center set fire to an exercise mat in the group exercise room on the first floor, according to police reports. When another employee rushed in to put the fire out, the suspect threw a fire extinguisher through a window before barricading himself inside the room. Police searched for the man while Santa Cruz Fire extinguished the fire and tried to clear the smoke. As this was happening, the suspect ran out a side door before struggling with officers outside, who arrested the man. He was booked into jail for arson, vandalism, and resisting arrest.
Hitting Too Close to Home
Thursday around noon, a report came in about a possible home invasion and burglary in progress at a home on Grandview. SCPD responded with multiple units, because apparently a couple of kids were locked in an upstairs bedroom with their dog while all this was going on. And I also heard that an SCPD officer might have been the victim (and father to the kids) here. Talk about picking the wrong house. SCPD surrounded the home and made a high risk entry. It all seemed to end well (I guess that’s a relative term) but I didn’t hear about an actual arrest.
Maybe it Was a Warming Fire
Wednesday night, SCPD responded to Laurel Park for a report of a fire along the fence near the basketball court. Did they walk across the street? When they got there with the fire department, two rolling carts full of stuff were fully engulfed in flames on the sidewalk. After putting the fire out, they were unable to find anyone who claimed they owned the property.
A Day in the Life of the Day Shift
Thanks to Sgt. Hoppe for these soundbites of bad behavior! All from the Wednesday morning day shift at SCPD. I read the news today oh boy…
- A person walking their dog found a Ruger .357 handgun lying near a pathway at the south end of Oceanview Park and turned it in as found property. The gun isn’t registered or reported stolen so SCPD is looking for the owner. Let them know if you might be missing your gun.
- While conducting “an extra check” at Ferrell’s Donuts on Mission Street, SCPD arrested a 37 year old transient for possession of a concealed dagger. An extra check at the donut shop. The jokes write themselves here! Kidding aside, Ferrells is a magnet for bad behavior.
- SCPD arrested a 33 year old male for a narcotics violation near Riverside Ave and Barson. Probation agreed to place a hold on the man and police arrested him for the narcotics violation. We know how well County Probation “holds” people here.
- SCPD observed a 35 year old transient driving on the 100 block of Coral St (aka “skid row”). Knowing he had an outstanding felony warrant, they conducted a traffic stop and arrested him for his warrant. They also found drug paraphernalia and a replica handgun in his possession.
We Could Shut Down Camp Bernal and Have $9 Million Dollars Left Over
Big story this week from KSBW talking about how Santa Cruz is getting $10 Million dollars to spend on making the homeless less homeless. We could probably put every one of these “campers” into an actual group house or apartment for a year with that $10 million dollars. Figure about $30K per year for a 4BR house (at $2500/month market rate). $30K to house 4 people for a year. Let’s say there’s a hundred people camping here. That’s a total cost of $750,000. For $750,000, you could house a hundred campers, 4 per house, for an entire year at a cost of $750,000. And you’d still have more than 9 MILLION DOLLARS LEFT OVER. But no, we’ll blow that money on more, redundant SUPPORT services instead of actually getting people off the street and into housing. Don’t tell me this problem can’t be better managed. It can be so much better managed than it is right now.
Well This Should Be Interesting to Follow
I checked out the latest “city manager report” posted on the city’s website. I haven’t read one in a while, mostly as it’s like the city manager. Lots of fluff. But there was one item that was kind of buried in the newsletter. Here’s a bit I copied from the report:
314 Jessie Street
On December 18, 2018, MidPen Housing submitted an application for Pre-application Review of a 27-unit, 3-story, 100% affordable, residential development to create supportive rental housing on two parcels located at 314 Jessie Street. The property is currently developed with a permitted, 14-unit residential building that houses referral patients from the county mental health facility. The proposal includes demolition of the existing building; however, the tenants within the existing 14 units would continue to be housed at the site within the new building. The proposal includes 16 studios which range between 367-378 sq. ft., and 10 1-bedroom units, which range between 599 and 691 square feet. The project also includes an additional 616 sq. ft., 1-bedroom managers unit as well as residential amenity space and office space for counseling and other tenant services. It is estimated that the project would require a recommendation of approval by the Planning Commission and approval by the City Council of a Rezoning (R-L to R-H), a General Plan Amendment (LM to H), a Residential Demolition Authorization Permit, a Lot Line Adjustment to combine the two parcels, a Coastal Permit, a Design Permit, and a Slope Variance. As the site is in the Coastal Zone, changing the underlying Zoning and General Plan designation would also require approval by the California Coastal Commission.
First, let me just say “santa mierda” at that ridiculous amount of permitting and approvals? Does anyone wonder why nothing new ever gets built in this town? It’s a dysfunctional, permitting nightmare from hell. So why is this interesting?
It’s interesting because one of the neighbors to this project is city council member Chris Krohn and his wife. I remember years ago hearing about how they were fighting to STOP the expansion of this project. That’s right, they didn’t want this project in their backyard. Why? Because they care more about the Jessie street swamp. They care more about a swamp than they care about expanding affordable housing for some of the most vulnerable folks in Santa Cruz. Watch the Krohns closely here.
I asked a friend who used to work for the city and would know all about the back story on this one. Here’s what they told me when I asked them to validate that story:
“The story is correct. That complex is for people who are mentally disabled. Twice I met with Mid-Pen housing, the non-profit who runs that complex. Krohn’s wife started putting roadblocks in front of them, constantly claiming the development would hurt the Jessie Street marsh. The new height would cast shadows and they demanded there be a full EIR (Environmental Impact Report) done. The current building was originally a motel built in 1940. They wanted to add a community space for 12 step and other meetings and a couple of rooms that would allow people to be treated onsite. The Krohns actually brought up cars and parking, but almost all the residents don’t have cars. Bottom line, the Krohns just don’t want more housing.”
At least they don’t want any in their backyard! Even if it’s for mentally disabled people in the community. The hypocrisy here is so predictably laughable.
It’s Parade Season in Santa Cruz
We’ve got a couple parades coming up soon. We might disagree on everything in Santa Cruz but I think we can all pretty much agree Santa Cruz loves our parades. This Saturday, people will gather at Pacific and Cathcart for the Santa Cruz Women’s March (is it an annual thing now?). Check out this flyer for more details.
I’ve walked the last 2 years and it was fun. Check it out.
March For the Dream Takes to the Streets of Santa Cruz
Then two days later on Monday, SCPD is supporting the MLK March for the Dream. Again, Pacific and Cathcart.
Just a few quick local bite sized thoughts about the downtown food scene this week. I was sad to see the Indian buffet place shut down on Pacific. I actually really liked that place. And while I haven’t had the chance to try it myself yet, I have numerous friends who’ve been to the new Alderwood in the old Erik’s Deli building on the corner of Walnut and Cedar in downtown Santa Cruz and I haven’t heard anyone say anything bad about it. Lots of good.
I had lunch Tuesday at HOM Korean Kitchen downtown. It was around noon and the place wasn’t crowded so I expected a quick in and out for my to go order. Wrong. They looked they might have been training some new staff, which is fine. I understand that requires patience. But what chafed me was the manager guy who just stood behind everyone and watched with his ever keen eye as his new employees fumbled around. Dude, did someone cut off your hands? Are you mute? You sure set a poor example for customer service. Here I am a regular customer, I’ve even praised the place publicly here. But today your service was crap, and that’s not on the new folks, that’s on “management”. I’ll be taking a time out from HOM. The food is tasty but you guys need to get your act together. Too many other options for my money nearby.
Check out the new podcast, available on SoundCloud. Next new podcast should be coming this Sunday night!
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