Mother Nature Isn’t Politically Correct
For the better part of this past week, Santa Cruz has been getting hammered by rain and wind. I’m talking gale force winds above 50MPH and sustained sheets of rain. You can’t can’t help think about (and at least I feel mostly sorry for) those poor huddled masses in their tent tarps over in Camp Bernal. That river next to them has been rising steadily as rain continued to pummel the Santa Cruz mountains and downtown Santa Cruz. As of Thursday afternoon, the San Lorenzo River was running a consistent 15 feet or so. Normally it runs about 3 feet. And flood stage for downtown is around 20 feet, but Paradise Park upstream from downtown has flooding at around 16 feet. All that rain is making its way down the mountains and into the river and eventually through downtown.
I really hope someone has some sort of evacuation plan in place in the event Camp Bernal has to be evacuated. I’m not real optimistic since they haven’t had any real plan here to this point. We don’t plan. We react. And we don’t even do that well.
Separate Fatal Accidents Shut Down Highway 17
Thursday afternoon around 4PM, two separate fatal injury accidents near Summit Road and Redwood Estates closed Highway 17 as a tree also fell across the roadway and shut down traffic in both directions. It began after a car flipped in the northbound lane around 2:30PM, and in the same area a tree on the southbound side fell and hit a car in the northbound lane around 4PM, causing the driver to pass out and hit several other cars. CHP reported that both collisions involved fatalities.
Woman’s Body Found at La Selva Beach
For the second time in as many weeks, a woman’s body was found on a local beach. Around 7AM on Friday morning, a woman’s body was found on La Selva Beach near Aptos. It was found washed up on the shoreline near the train trestle. We still haven’t heard about any cause of death. Both times, the victims were older women. Are the two incidents related? Nobody’s saying. But nobody ever tells us anything anyways.
Feeling Good in the Neighborhood
Last Sunday afternoon, Watsonville Police responded to an an Applebee’s on South Green Valley Road after receiving reports of a man with a gun outside the restaurant. Officers arrived and placed the restaurant on lockdown. A 32 year old convicted felon was arrested as he tried to walk away when police arrived on scene. After a search of the man, officers found a gun in his waistband and cocaine in his pocket. Police said the suspect also had two loaded magazines in his car. He was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and possession of a controlled substance. His bail was set at $25,000.
Man Threatens Woman With Knife on Western Drive
Thursday afternoon around 4:30PM, SCPD responded with multiple units to the 300 block of Western Drive for some sort of confrontation involving a woman inside an apartment and a male outside threatening to kill her with a knife. So it didn’t sound random but personal. The man was arrested without further incident.
Bum Threatens to Shoot Gateway Shopping Center Employee
Saturday night around 9:30PM, a 43 year old bum threatened to shoot an employee at the PetSmart store in the Gateway shopping center. Let me guess. He was camping next door? He was arrested for making criminal threats, possession of drug paraphernalia, and battery on a public safety provider. He’s been arrested 20 times locally. I’m seeing a pattern here!
Man Arrested For Trying to Break Into County Jail
Thursday morning, a man climbed onto the roof of the county jail in downtown Santa Cruz in an apparent attempt to break INTO the jail. Keep in mind the jail wasn’t actually closed or anything. He could have walked in the front door. Or just gotten himself arrested (but as we know too well, that usually doesn’t actually work!). Apparently he was high on prescription meds of some kind, at least that’s what he told deputies at the jail who arrested him. Arrested 16 times since 2015! He was just trying to go home!
Kayakers Rescued From San Lorenzo River
Saturday night around 5:30PM, a pair of kayakers had to be rescued from the swollen and fast moving San Lorenzo River near Paradise Park after they both fell out of their kayaks. One person was trapped underwater for a short time and was given CPR by the other kayaker at the scene before help arrived. Rescue crews and first responders had a difficult time finding the pair due to steep terrain, fast moving water and the darkness, but eventually crews used several rope rescue systems to get the kayakers out safely. One kayaker was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Santa Cruz Deputies Chase Old Man Through Soquel Creek
A 61 year old man with an outstanding arrest warrant jumped into Soquel Creek Friday morning as he somehow managed to evade Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department deputies. Soquel Elementary School was placed on a temporary lockdown while all this was going on. The Sheriff’s Office said the suspect somehow managed to break through their perimeter and was last seen on Soquel Drive before the search for the suspect was called off. Oh well. We give up. You can open the school again. We didn’t catch him but all is good! I’m sure he’ll turn up soon. He’s only been arrested 14 times so far. And look at this guy. How does this guy manage to evade a perimeter of deputies? This guy doesn’t look like he could evade incoming traffic. And then I heard they finally caught up to him on Sunday morning after getting a tip to his location, where he was arrested without incident.
Didn’t Pass the Sniff Test
Tuesday night, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies noticed a couple of convicted felons sitting in a car in a parking lot near Water Street and N. Branciforte Drive. After K9 Colt did an exterior sniff of the vehicle and made numerous alerts, deputies searched the car and found a firearm hidden inside the center console, along with ammunition, pepper spray, methamphetamine, pills, and drug paraphernalia. Both suspects were arrested for a variety of charges including felons in possession of a firearm.
Frequent Flyer on the County Shuffle
Last Friday night around 9PM, a transient bum was arrested at the Parrish on Almar for assaulting someone and trespassing. He was arrested but released around 7AM the next morning. He knows how the system works here. He’s been arrested 14 times in the past year and a half.
Cut to the Chase
Tuesday afternoon around 3:30PM, reports came in about a woman on Pacific threatening people with a pair of scissors near the Metro Center. She may have earlier had some kind of incident with a Metro driver. After a short chase through downtown, she was eventually arrested without further incident.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Tuesday night around 6:30PM, a 30 year old male transient on probation with search terms was approached by Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies while sitting in a car at DJ’s Mini Mart on the 800 block of Water street. When they searched him and his vehicle, they found an unloaded revolver, ammunition, pepper spray, drugs and drug paraphernalia. He was arrested and taken to jail. Since 2013, he’s been arrested locally a whopping 28 times! His bail this time is set at $25,000 and he still appears to be in jail last time I checked.
Busted For Passing Gas
Last Thursday night, surveillance cameras captured a man prowling around Mt. Madonna School on Summit Rd. Security guards contacted the Sheriff’s Office and reported that they saw a male walking around the campus with gas cans after getting out of a white sedan. When Deputies arrived, they found the man with about 10 gallons of gas he had siphoned from school vehicles. He also had a couple of outstanding arrest warrants. He was arrested for theft, trespassing, and his warrants.
Vodka For Breakfast
Around 11:30AM on Tuesday morning, a suspected drunk driver evading the CHP crashed his car on Ohlone Parkway in Watsonville. The chase began on San Andreas Road and ended after the 25 year old male hit a curb and wrecked his car. He was arrested for evading, DUI and possession of an open container of marijuana.
Pedestrian Killed Near Highway 9 in Brookdale
Tuesday around 2:30PM, a man was hit and killed by a truck off of Larkspur Drive in Brookdale. According to reports, the man was passed out in the middle of Larkspur Street when a truck ran over him. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
Plane Crash Near Watsonville Seriously Injures Two People
Saturday morning, two people were seriously injured after their small plane crashed near the Watsonville airport. The female pilot and the male passenger were air transported to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. The plane crashed under unknown circumstances while attempting to land near the Monterey Bay Academy Airport, according to a spokesperson for the FAA investigating the accident. The plane’s nose and left side were damaged when it landed on the runway next to a farm field. Firefighters cut off the right wing while trying to pull the pilot and passenger from the fuselage. The NTSB is leading the investigation. Other responding agencies included the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office, Cal Fire, Santa Cruz Fire, Watsonville Fire, Aptos/La Selva Fire, and AMR Paramedics.
Juego de Payasos
Wow, what a nutty city council meeting that was this week, even by Santa Cruz weird standards. At one point, the mayor publicly, on record, accused Chris Krohn and Sweety Muffin Top of bullying her. She read a prepared statement in front of the peanut gallery, captured in all its glory on CTV and shared all over the local social media circles. And while she read her statement, what are these two dingleberries doing? Listening? Paying attention? Acting professional? Oh hell no. Are you kidding me? They were chatting with each other. Getting up and bothering the city attorney (who probably told Krohn to sit down and shut up). The smug, smart ass look on their faces said it all for me. It’s like we have to deal with Man Child and Man Child in Training. At least Justin Cummings was smart enough to stay out of it all and act like an adult. Same with Sandy Brown. Those two dopes were on their own little bro island here. And it was a bad look. The Fabless Four aren’t looking so fabulous. Or four.
So was it another long, overly dramatic, contentious meeting where little to nothing gets done? Of course it was! Are we seeing a pattern here? The meeting basically ran from the middle of the afternoon until almost midnight. And how much of that time was wasted by rhetorical dialogue from either the public or the clowncil? Probably at least half. It’s torture to watch. I can’t watch for more than 5 minutes at a time. I can’t imagine having to sit and suffer through the entire meeting, but if I can’t convince people that it’s time to replace the city manager and the city attorney, the next best thing is watching them have to suffer through an entire meeting. Although they are both very well compensated for it. In fact, I’d say together, they both make more in a single hour than the entire city council makes for the entire night. You can take that to the bank.
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a couple grown dudes bullying the mayor?! .. and on the week of valentines? i know 4 year olds w better manners than that. sending symbolic hearts, chocolates and flowers to the mayor… i would send real ones but im busy eating them all 😀 happy valentines ♡♡♡♡
Dear god, Santa Cruz is truly no longer livable.
I don’t know who you are or how you got on my email, but YEA!
haha, I don’t know who you are either, but if you got this through your email, you had to have signed up for it. I don’t know your email. Thanks for reading though!
“Clowncil” is such a perfect word Ben.
Did you just invent this word? It was the first time I heard it.
No idea. I’ve been saying it for a while. Maybe I say it more than I write it. Glad you approve!
Found out today that all the remaining funds for security and maintenance of our open spaces (i.e. Moore Creek, Neary Lagoon, Arana Gulch) is all being siphoned off to clean up Camp Bernal! $30,000!!!!! Good luck walking through those areas in the near future! And yes, “clowncil” is an epic moniker!
Absolutely ridiculous. We have no vision. We have no plan. We react. Poorly. And the community suffers for it.
He’s been arrested 20 TIMES, now threatening someone with a gun. Something is wrong with the city counsel or the police.
Does anyone know what happened at Cayuga and windham last night?
Around 4am there were explosions and I could see from my back window there were already cops on the scene. I also heard someone talking over a loud speaker in Spanish for about 15 minutes. Maybe the cops trying to talk someone down?
Thanks again for your weekly updates Ben!
I’ve seen a lot of people asking about this. I wonder if it was possibly ICE related. Which would explain why it would happen around 4AM with flash grenades. Or it could have been county deputies serving a warrant but my money is on ICE.
Hi Ben, There are 55 column inches on a first-page Saturday 2/16 Senile article (today) that explain it was Homeland Security (different from ICE) on a criminal matter (not an immigration matter). This was very definitive and the FEDS noted that there would be additional information forthcoming but the Santa Cruz Police Department interrogation room was used for hours during the investigation over the protests of Sanctuary City Protector-in-Chief Handy Andy Mills. Senile reporter Michael Todd jumped right on this and dug out all kinds of information although no one was really talking . He noted that the Raid was likely to be an investigation related to the recent cold blooded murder of police Corporal Ronil Singh by an illegal immigrant. Corporal Singh’s funeral service drew law enforcement representatives from all over the country both state and local in sadness and outrage. There may have been some illegal immigrants swept up in the raid as is perfectly legal for Homeland Security to do. The feds of mentioned there will be more information forthcoming but in the context of Corporal Singh’s Murder, the massive amount of force and flash bangs and armored vehicles and police cars and loudspeakers used to effect this arrest was a message by federal law enforcement to City Clowncils everywhere that Sanctuary City policies are useless when it comes to protecting legal or illegal immigrants who aid and abet the murder of policemen anywhere.
I see this as a trend to the Senile becoming more responsive because there were two excellent articles by Jessica York earlier this week on our City Clowncil’s ineptitude. We really need to impeach a bunch of those jerks.
As I have mentioned before most problems that you write about are related to drugs with the drugs being sold by immigrant drug cartels with the only people doing anything about getting them out of here are the feds such as when they last snatched 12 MS 13 criminals (which is also discussed by Michael Todd today.)
My hope is that if you and the senile reporters keep hammering away at the symptoms long enough, someone is going to connect the dots and see that the root cause of all of our drug problem is the City Clowncil and the stupidity of their Sanctuary City ordinance which in turn has asshats like Mills make our city unsafe through his refusal to cooperate with the feds
The best thing my friend Ashley did (besides running for city Council) was to send me a link to the weekly dump. I look forward to it every Friday morning and I just wish I had done it sooner. I also just listened to your podcast and I’m sure I will be listening to that to every week. Keep up the great work Ben we need more voices like you.
Thank you Janet! Your comment made me smile.
Thanks to both of you!
City Clowncil – wonderful. Thank you.
Thanks for the dump. and the research on prior arrests. eye opening to see the # of prior arrests. We need to change the laws that allow these petty repeat offenders back on the streets.
There’s a lesson here for those who envision a future where the government is in charge of everything (socialism). Look how well your elected officials and police are dealing with the homeless crisis. A police chief who loves bums so much he brought them in from everywhere to show how “welcoming” our town is and a city council that dithers around while crime and drug use is rampant. And a court system that keeps turning these criminals loose on the community so we can be victimized over and over again. Do you really want these guys running your whole life?
“possession of an open container of marijuana”
That’s a thing?
I was wondering the same thing. What would happen if the container was “closed”?
I do think it’s a “thing” but obviously a minor thing. I have no idea what the rules on transporting weed is these days.
I watched that clown show otherwise known as a City Council meeting on TV the other night. What a disgrace. A shameful display lacking any respect, decorum, logic, and common sense of council members and the public. Isn’t it ironic that the endless parade of residents of Martin Bernal’s front yard coming before the council yelling at them to keep the camp (on private property mind you) are not residents, or citizens, or registered voters of the City before which they are yelling at? Who are they to tell the City Council I elected (I did not vote for the hippies…BTW)? What right do they have to tell the Council what the Council should be doing on our behalf? Who exactly are they representing?
The hippies on the Council have been smoking too much weed and have this undying belief they can magically fix this homelessness disaster (Donald Trump’s words not mine) by throwing more property, money, and “services” at them. Really? Where are the hippies beating down the doors of Santa Cruz County to get off their ass to use their legal authority, funds, and their pieces of dirt to do something about the problem?
Easy now. I’m an old hippy. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Love your writing except when you call a 61 year old man old??!!Not so. 80 maybe.
haha. Thanks. I’m younger than that and I call myself old.
Ben, the county is finally doing something about the repeat offenders the Dump has written about for years and years. It’s called the FIT program which stands for Focused Intervention Team. Nicholas Ibarra and Michael Todd have both written excellent pieces on the first page of today’s Senile. As an important point, there is a behavioral health specialist working for the county named Kurt Churchill who is quoted as saying that meth is definitely a part of the problem and that “this community has been accepting of drug and alcohol use for 50 years”. So is it not logical to jail the drug cartells who sell the meth to help a abate the problem – instead of protecting them in a Sanctuary City?
Keep up the good work Ben. You are causing the City and County to change their behavior with the Dump reporting how outrageous the Clowncil’s acceptance of ongoing repetitive drug and alcohol bum behavior really is.
Thanks Gracchus! The FIT program sounds an awful lot like the old Bob Lee PACT program the BoS killed off. This time there’s no city collaboration. That could be a good or bad thing. Time will tell. And where’s probation? The “gift that keeps on giving” as I like to say here. Are they even involved with a dedicated case worker? If not, I see a red flag.
For more antics the Santa Mierda log should note , please see behaviors unbecoming on Soquel Avenue near Frederick, Pacheco , San Juan, Marnell and Trevethan Avenues.
It’s like Pacific Avenue is in the Eastside now!!
If you are going to call a 61 year old an “old man,” perhaps you would like to publish your scale of age related categories that define people as such.