City of Santa Cruz Officially Evicts Camp Bernal
It’s about time right? This past Friday morning, the city of Santa Cruz gave formal notice on all the people currently squatting in Camp Bernal by posting what amounts to a 30 day eviction notice. Everything basically needs to be gone by March 15th, exactly 30 days from when they posted the notice. So here’s the 10 million dollar question. Why now? Mind you, I’m not complaining. Well maybe I’m complaining it took this long. But again, if they can do this now, why couldn’t they do this in November? I think we will never get an honest answer from the city to that question.
DHS Drops By For a Visit and Nobody Blinks
Around 4AM last Friday morning, numerous people reported hearing some kind of blasts or explosions, as well as a recording or an amplified voice speaking instructions in Spanish. I read lots of chatter about this on social media. Turns out it was the Department of Homeland Security, dropping by to snatch someone wanted on a Murder warrant in the middle of the night when all the progressive kooks are fast asleep. It helps keep the rhetorical fear mongering from reaching a steaming point. They woke a few people up, they got their guy, we have one less bad guy doing bad things here. Veni Vidi Vici. They came, they saw, they kicked some ass. And then they left without incident. The early morning arrest on the 500 block of Windsor Street reportedly had nothing to do with immigration enforcement. More than a dozen unmarked cars and vans and a team of officers were brought in to enforce an arrest warrant. This guy doesn’t sound like a choirboy. A Watsonville attorney in contact with the family of a couple brought in for questioning thought the investigation was linked to the killing of a 33 year old police officer in Stanislaus County last year. Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills said SCPD was notified about a search warrant being served in the city but they did not participate or help. Which is probably just as well.
Drugs Not Slugs
This is such a crazy story. The level of entitlement, the narcissistic self centered stupidity, and the complete lack of fear of any sort of possible punishment is just so Santa Cruz. In a story that seemed to make national headlines (and keep us looking weird), an 18 year old freshman was arrested for dealing drugs at UCSC. He created an app to deliver them around campus. The “Banana Plug” app let customers place orders for cocaine, ecstasy, meth, and mushrooms through their phones. The suspect then communicated with buyers through Snapchat to set up the sale, according to authorities. The suspect even had the gall to put up posters advertising the service around campus. Eventually, campus police caught on, made a couple buys, and busted the boy genius.
The Department of Justice even put out a press release about it! I’m sure the UC Regents are loving this press.
SCPD Has Dirty Laundry Aired
New public records disclosures have recently revealed that a 44 year old veteran patrol officer with SCPD from Salinas was fired last year after being accused of fondling three female police officers and another former female sworn colleague. According to court documents, he’s been charged with four misdemeanors of sexual battery by touching. He served for 19 years before he was fired in May of 2018. He was arraigned in November of 2018 and pleaded not guilty in December after being released without bail, according to court documents.
FIT to be Tried
Last Friday around 1AM, SCPD arrested a member of the county’s “FIT” program on the 2200 block of Mission street for being drunk in public, vandalism and defacing property, theft, and having an outstanding bench warrant for a felony out of Los Angeles. Outstanding. I can see this program is paying for itself! Last check he was still in jail.
The Truth Can Be Offensive
Thursday afternoon, I saw a video that was posted over on Facebook that was shot by a guy who won’t be mentioned (since I can’t share the video anymore) that showed a pretty graphic (and slightly hilarious) bum fight in Camp Bernal. One of the locals was being “interviewed” when suddenly, out of camera range there was a commotion and the camera pans to three bums brawling, falling into somebody’s tent, before a 4th bum takes a crack at the pile with a 2×4. That’s when the video ends. So I have no idea how the brawl ended. Well, I know exactly how it ends. The same way this story always ends. It doesn’t.
The Garden of Low Hanging Fruit
Saturday night around 7PM, a 37 year old male transient was arrested on the 100 block of Coral street (otherwise known as “skid row”) on a variety of charges, including brandishing a gun, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and more. He was actually arrested at the Homeless Services Center on all these charges.
Sunday night around 7:30PM, a woman was arrested on a variety of charges at the Dream Inn, including willful child endangerment, domestic violence on a spouse, and assault with a deadly weapon.
A Royal Flush
This past week, Watsonville Police and the Santa Cruz County Gang Task-force arrested a suspected drug dealer on Hillcrest Road in Royal Oaks. While serving the warrant, the suspect threw a handgun out of a window and during the search, officers located two more handguns, a shotgun and a disassembled assault rifle. They also found heroin and methamphetamine.
Medical Emergency Causes Highway One Crashes
Tuesday morning, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an SUV plowing through slow traffic on northbound Highway 1 near Freedom Blvd. where a driver collided with several vehicles and kept driving. The driver was found to be suffering from some sort of medical emergency and received medical care at the scene.
Gang Fight Near Capitola Mall
Monday afternoon, Capitola Police responded to a report of a fight in the area of 41st Ave and Clares street. During the fight, a handgun was reportedly flashed and deputies along with K9 Colt searched the area and found a handgun hidden in a bush in a parking lot. Three others were also arrested in the incident.
It’s Just Water Under the Bridge
Wednesday morning around 9:30AM, reports came in about a male transient out of control yelling threats at SCPD under the Water street bridge. Multiple units responded to the scene and the bum eventually complied peacefully.
The Weekly Seen
Camp Bernal. Literally a “free for all” of needles, trash, and idiot compassion.
Never Forgetting Our Fallen Heroes
Next Tuesday will mark the 6 year anniversary of the tragic deaths of Sergeant Detective Loran Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler of the Santa Cruz Police Department, who were ambushed and killed in the line of duty. They were standing on the doorstep of Jeremy Goulet’s house in the 800 block of North Branciforte Avenue on Feb. 26th of 2013 after going there to interview him following a sexual assault claim. After talking to him through the front door for about 10 minutes, he closed the door, went out a back door, and came around the front and shot and ambushed both of the officers. After stealing a police car and their weapons, he engaged in a shootout with authorities along a nearby street where he was shot and killed.
The Santa Mierda Podcast Network
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Tonight on the KION news Camp Bernal longtime resident Michael Sweatt is interviewed and says he has no intention of moving out of the camp. He says no one has to because of the court ruling and that there are lawyers ready to defend their right to stay.
March 15 should be interesting, to say the least.
Poor deluded soul, as are the people spouting this legal nonsense. It’s major b.s.
More on Mr. Sweatt, the Camp Bernal spokesperson’s resume. He has 43 court cases in Superior Court starting in 1996 up to January 22, 2019. Including a number of felony counts in March of 2018 including robbery, making terrorist threats and dissuading a witness, which were somehow dismissed last June by a motion from the DA.
I believe that the city is evicting people from Camp Bernal, due to tourist season starting up. Can’t see/show tourists our dirty nasty entrance. The one who is talking for the camp should probably read what he is spouting about. Just seems like the city/town gets worse by the minute. So disappointing!
Agreed Paige, the City Council is making one astoundingly horrible decision after another. Paid for by us tax payers and property owners no matter how much we protest!
With all the time, money, effort and attention given to homeless issues, you’d think that was the only problem in Santa Cruz. Our education system is perfect, there’s no crime, roadways are in need of no repairs… I feel like no one else counts or is listened to. And shout-out to the Park Rangers who have to deal with the mess left behind, you deserve a raise.
So of course I remind everyone of an important anniversary and what do I do? I get the date wrong. It’s NEXT TUESDAY, February 26th. Thanks for the catch Joe. If you get a chance or happen to be in the neighborhood, stop by the memorial garden in their honor in the courtyard at SCPD.
The River Levee -Trail has been christened: “Santa Cruz’s World Famous Bum-Haven Trail”
and is living up to its reputation. Wonderful place to stroll with Out-Of-Town Friends and Family!
Time to move the gang out to a Santa Cruz version of the Field of Dreams: “If You Build It They Will Come.”
Did anyone else hear about the the city council members at a recent meeting wanting to vote to *not* to have “Camp Bernal” closed on March 15? Here’s what was recently sent out by the SC Chamber of Commerce:
During the last City Council meeting, Councilmember Glover authored a Motion on Homelessness. According to background summary, the Motion was co-sponsored by councilmembers Brown and Krohn. The thoroughly defined motion was produced by Glover and fellow councilmembers, with assistance from student interns and input from advocates, community leaders, people experiencing homeless, residents of Ross Camp, and people living in cars. This Motion was approved to be discussed and reviewed at the Feb. 26th Council meeting.
Some of the proposed City ordinance changes would have a dramatic effect of the rule of law, public health and safety, safe neighborhoods, use of public sidewalks, city parks, street parking, overnight RV camps and a host of city ordinance about behavior in public. A point by point of this very detailed Motion is summarized in no specific order:
• The State has sent Santa Cruz County nearly $10 million to address our homeless needs. The City & County staffs produced a homeless policy plan to seek immediate solutions to address homelessness. The co-agreed plan passed the Board of Supervisor unanimously — with specific timeline (March 15) to close an unauthorized and uncontrolled Ross Homeless encampment with 150-200 people camping on the corner of the Gateway entrance to the City. The BOS also provided immediate funds for homeless bedding, blankets and supplies, and authorized $500,000 grant to the Salvation Army to run a homeless shelter.
• The City Council (now controlled by the progressive majority) said we support closing the encampment but not on any specific date. Instead the majority of the council demands the staff to report back the progress at the next two City Council meetings (2/26 and 3/5) before moving out these people and produce a report to enact the following:
Proposed City Council Direction
The Majority of the city council stated the following:
1. Bring back a Resolution that the city council and the City proclaim a local homeless state of emergency, identify a property where these homeless will move.
2. Remove the ban on overnight camping on a major street (Delaware Avenue between Swift and Swanton) where RVs can be parked without citation
3. Direct City attorney and staff to remove the ban on sleeping in public right-aways (sidewalks and benches), public parks
4. Remove the ban of trespassing on property, urination and defecation in public
5. Report a timeline to enter into negotiations with UCSC with the intention of leasing the vacant parking lot at the rear of UCSC Administration building at 2300 Delaware Avenue
6. And organize a format and the following ordinances to allow the council and community (not the police and public safety officers) to monitor the potentially disproportionate impact ‘residents’ without homes. The data report shall include the address of the race, gender, person cited, location, date and charge by the arresting officer — this includes the following: stay-away orders, length of tie of a stay away would include: conduct in parks, obstruction of sidewalks and benches, obstruction of sidewalks and benches at dark, sitting, lying or stooping, smoking ban in public places
7. Anyone arrested 3 times without a warrant, grant city attorney the authority to reduce misdemeanors to avoid due process
8. Allow open containers in public, Parking Garage loitering, median of a street loitering, safety zones, youth curfews, aggressive solicitation
UPDATE – 02/21/2019
The following press release was recieved this morning.
“COUNTY AND CITY REPORT PROGRESS ON EMERGENCY HOMELESS EFFORTS
Santa Cruz (February 21, 2019) – The County and City of Santa Cruz have embarked on a joint emergency effort to address the local homelessness crisis. The plan includes an increase in health and safety measures at the Gateway-area unsanctioned encampment and an immediate increase in emergency shelter beds to accommodate the eventual March 15 closure of the Gateway encampment to protect public health and safety. Since the February 12 approval of the plan, the County and City have made the following progress:
1) An additional 40 shelter beds for families with children, women, and disabled persons opened at the Salvation Army Community Center on Laurel Street.
2) Extensive outreach at the Gateway homeless encampment to advise residents of the March 15 closure and convey shelter options. Eighteen Gateway residents accepted vouchers to move into existing shelter at the VFW Post 5888 in Live Oak.
3) Initiated site planning for a potential sanctioned camp at 1220 River St., including identification of potential camp operators.
4) Increased secured storage capacity for possessions of homeless persons.
5) Increased security at Gateway Shopping Center to 24/7 coverage. SCPD mobile command unit has been stationed on the property.
6) Relocated fencing to increase the buffer zone along the San Lorenzo River levee pathway.
7) County and City staff continue to review additional spaces for indoor shelter, safe camping, and safe parking program.
County and City staff have collaborated on outreach and communications with the homeless community, as well as with nearby neighborhoods and other stakeholders. The City continues to deploy resources for waste removal, hygiene stations, camp and neighborhood security patrols, while the County continues to provide health and safety monitoring and resources.”
Any effort to address our growing homelessnes crisis (an issue that many cities in California face currently) should not divide our community. It is a rallying cry for collaboration,consensus driven discussion, and decisions that do not disrupt the economic vitality of our community.
RECALL!!!! wth? this city council is a nightmare. thanks for posting all this info.
Agreed. Recall, what a joke this all is.
Any news on the investigation of the two women that were found dead two different beaches? Within two weeks of each other, are they linked? The cause of death for either has not been made public. One woman was a public figure the other?
In the first incident, I’ve heard through the grapevine and read accounts that it was likely a suicide, as apparently a note was found. I have no other details. So I don’t think they are related and at least in the first case involving Cowells Beach, it doesn’t appear to be criminal. I have heard nothing about the woman found on La Selva Beach. But bottom line is they don’t seem to be related cases.
“skid row”? 100 Coral Street…How about one of the Bright Star Points on the Heroin Highway?
2X4 homeless cage fighting videos, DHS Commando Night Raids, “Fit Failures”, and Solo Water Street Bridge Serenades exemplify your witty rich journalistic style and are well appreciated from a SCruz ExPat.
Hopefully someday, as these sickly compounding tragedies strike over and over again, the Self Righteous Delusional War on Drugs Mentality will be able to connect the dots…Legalize/Rehab/Support is the only True Hope, the only True Humanitarian Solution.
I wonder if UCSC wouldn’t be a great place for a homeless encampment? There is land and public bathrooms and a heated library…it might be a perfect fit….just saying…
It would be a great place. But they won’t even set up space on campus for their homeless students. And why are they accepting students with no place to live? Having a place to live should be conditional upon being able to actually register. And yes, a room counts. If you can afford to attend UCSC, you can afford a room to live here. If not, find a different school where you can actually find a place to live. Thanks Leigh.
Hey Ben have you seen the rain forecast for today? The Clowncil will be deliberating on homelessness while there’s an inch of rain falling on Camp Bernal. My prediction is that this will be one of the hottest Clowncil meeting ever especially with a new group of women that’s supporting the mayor and dividing the Clowncil on gender as their piece in the Senile brought modern day feminism to new lows.
It’s gonna be a circus side show for sure. No shortage of weird (or weirdos).
Link to the piece? Women’s March Feminism is a mess and not very inclusive (especially as they align with Farrakhan) but I gotta admit, the optics of this comment aren’t very good lol. Feminism is definitely a necessity – in this exact article we have a police officer, a man who was sworn to uphold the law, assaulting fellow peacekeepers.
People already squat in upper campus just to shoot up heroin and live in the woods up there, especially because it’s Pogonip Adjacent. I’ve ran into quite a few abandoned tents and places myself.
Anyways, I don’t think UCSC is a permanent solution, especially since UCSC is a huge contributor to the homeless/rent increases in the first place by over-admitting students until the demand dwarfed the supply. In an ideal world, the UC Reagents would provide some money for the homelessness crisis they created, but it’s much easier for them to line their pockets and destroy the lives of everything around them. My heart really goes out to the students and the locals, you poor folks are really being forced to eat the shit sandwich here. UCSC has spent almost 2 million dollars to protect sexual predators, methinks that money should go towards homelessness instead (and also, I don’t understand how they could vote to give themselves raises while they essentially force a town into poverty but that’s another story).
I’m not a fan of having a place to live being conditional upon registration, but mostly because I don’t see any feasible way to have that happen and I can’t imagine the obnoxious wealthy kids that would be the only demographic in this town if UCSC went full cost gatekeeping