The Weekly Dump 3.8.19

Two More Bodies Found in Camp Bernal

Two bodies in two days were found inside Camp Bernal this week. The deaths were both unrelated to the fire on Tuesday but completely related to the drugs that are so easily accessible there. In an open air drug market like we have here, you can expect to find an occasional body or two. Call it an occupational hazard. I call it willful ignorance by the city and county to just let it grow and fester. This week, a 57 year old woman, originally from Idaho (not Santa Cruz), was found dead in Camp Bernal on Monday. This was the third death in the camp since January. And the 2nd in a 48 hour period. Another male was found dead on Sunday. I’ve heard both deaths were overdoses, though the city and the mainstream news won’t actually call it that. “Natural causes” my ass. Injecting drugs into your body isn’t “natural”. And some people are too happy to prop it up, enable, put the idiot and ass in idiot compassion. “harm reduction” is a joke when you are basically helping people die faster in order to placate your fat, misguided ego. This town rips the bones from your back. It’s a death trap. It’s a suicide rap. We gotta get out while we’re young. Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run!

Nylon is Easily and Very Flammable

Given the circumstances, this was only a matter of time. Tuesday morning around 9AM, a fire broke out in the middle of Camp Bernal after some fool thought cooking with a hot flame inside their tent was a good idea. The tent went up in flames, and the Iron Chef was treated for minor burns to the hands and smoke inhalation. Thankfully nobody else got hurt but this could have been a real human tragedy instead of just being a nasty mess for someone else to clean up. The “Lord of the Flies” approach to homelessness. Put them all on an island (or a fenced in “camp”), let them self govern, and they will ultimately destroy each other. That’s what we have here.

Making a Wave When You Can

Good Times! Our local weekly rag had a really good, trashy story this week on the dysfunction at city hall, with a focus on the bullying accusations leveled at both Drew Glover and Chris Krohn. It’s definitely been a hot topic lately, with numerous letters written to the Senile, mostly in support of the mayor. I think it’s worth noting the sheer number of people coming out and publicly naming these two now, including former Mayor Cynthia Chase who had some pretty disparaging stuff to say about Krohn. We all have eyes. Anyone who watches a city council regularly can see the bad behavior from these two. They don’t represent the city as a whole, and they aren’t looking out for what is best for the city as a whole. They represent their little fringe 13% of the voters, their special interests, and they don’t care about the community as a whole. They care more about being right (even when they are obviously wrong) than they care about the community as a whole. I say it all the time. We get what we are willing to tolerate. And Watkins and others have obviously tolerated enough of the bully boys club. Here are a few choice cuts from the article:

“One council member has filed a formal complaint against Glover, who took office in early December, under the Respectful Workplace Conduct policy, which the council adopted two years ago. GT made a request under California Public Records Act for complaints against council members under the city’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy, approved by the council less than two years ago. Records Coordinator Kelly Thompson says in an email that all relevant records are currently in draft and note form and therefore not public. “The public interest in withholding the record clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure due to the particular details and nature of the records,” she writes.”

and there’s this!

“Chase does not look back on certain aspects of her four-year run on the City Council—which ended in 2018—fondly. For one thing, she says she recalls Krohn putting constant pressure on her to do what he wanted, demanding long meetings with her every week and talking over her in City Council meetings.

“His behavior was incredibly aggressive—very harassing, bullying—to try to get his own agenda to happen,” says Chase, acknowledging that she wasn’t always able to get items heard at Krohn’s preferred meetings. “For me, it’s never personal about those things. I’m always trying. Nobody gets special treatment. We’re trying to do the business of the city, not no one individual’s agenda.”

She adds that the behavior of her former colleagues, Krohn included, was one reason she decided not to run for re-election last year.”

More from Good Times!

Gang Member Leads Santa Cruz Deputies on Chase Before Crashing

Last Friday afternoon, a 33 year old alleged gang member wanted in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties for being a felon in possession of a firearm was arrested after crashing into several cars in front of Manresa State Beach. This followed a car chase through Watsonville, where he attempted to evade police near Alta Vista. After crashing his SUV, the suspect ran from police but was stopped by THE DOG (I love me some K9). He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. I’m guessing for a few good nibbles in the ass. Watsonville Police believe the same man could be connected to other armed robberies in Watsonville and across the county.

Fallen Tree Causes Crashes and Closes Highway One

Around 5AM on Wednesday, a tree fell across northbound Highway One just past the Park exit in Capitola, causing a couple of drivers to hit the tree. Nobody was seriously injured but the tree shut down the highway for a short time as crews worked to remove the tree and the damaged vehicles.

Just a Couple of Bums Horsing Around

Last Thursday night around 10:30PM, I heard reports about one man who had lost his pants and was vomiting all over himself who was apparently fighting or in some kind of disturbance with another person who was bleeding from the head behind Horsnyders on Soquel. I’m sure the guy with no pants who puked on himself was easy to spot. I wonder who the lucky person from SCPD was who got to transport him to jail. Not in my patrol car!

Not So Safe Way

Last week, a man approached another man in the parking lot of the Safeway on 41st avenue about some kind of derogatory messages he sent his girlfriend before brandishing a knife and stabbing the back of his car. The suspect made criminal threats towards the victim. I’m not sure if the suspected car stabber was actually arrested, but maybe quit talking smack about his girlfriend.

Tire Slasher Arrested Two Weeks Later

Back on February 16th, 25 tires were slashed on the 2800 block of Soquel Avenue. This wasn’t “newsworthy” enough to make the mainstream news, I only recent heard about it. Then it was announced this week that deputies found and arrested the female suspected of doing it on West Cliff Drive. The woman is facing felony vandalism charges. What goes into someone thinking “hey I think I’ll slash 25 random tires tonight”? I know what the victims are probably thinking.

Twenty Two Times and Counting

This past Friday morning, SCPD arrested a serial thief on the west side yet again. The 51 year old man stole at least 4 surfboards and a $2600 mountain bike. Some of the stolen items were returned to the rightful owners and the thief was arrested and taken to county jail on multiple felony charges. He’s been arrested 22 times here since 2013. He’s another serial transient recidivist who makes a living stealing from us. And the city and county have been propping him up for at least 6 years and counting. “Multiple Felonies”. Is he out of jail yet?

Run For the Border Next Time

Last Saturday, SCPD responded to a report of a bike theft in Depot Park. Thanks to a good description by a witness, they found the bike and thief a short time later. Where was he? The Taco Bell on Pacific and Laurel. The black hole of bad behavior. Between Taco Bell and Bonesios, the trouble is always open for business.

Car Plunges Off Highway 17

Sunday night around 5:30PM, a car plunged about 100 feet down a cliff after driving off of Highway 17 near Summit Road. Three people survived the accident and only minor injuries were reported.

The Usual Rainy Day Madness on Highway 17

Here are a few photos I found online of the numerous accidents which took place along Highway 17 in the rain on Thursday.

Here’s one on north 17 just past the summit:

Here’s another which looks to be southbound headed up from Los Gatos:

and one more I think is southbound just past the summit:

Slow down when it’s wet! Don’t be the fool on the hill!

The Santa Mierda Podcast Network

Be sure to check out the Santa Mierda Podcast Network! We’ve got the latest “Unfiltered” by yours truly, as well as a new podcast, “Untreated” from Sharona. You can find the Santa Mierda Podcast Network on SoundCloud. And Apple Music. And Spotify. It’s free so check it out and give it a listen! Next new podcast should be coming this Sunday night!

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  1. This is possibly your best yet Ben! But then again you have such a rich and colorful fact pattern to report on this week, that it must have helped with your excellent reporting.

    Let me say again that it is my hypothesis that the drugs kill the people and cause the crimes AND that the drugs are sold by cartels that are protected by our Sheriff in a Sanctuary City that’s got everything but Neon Lights welcoming people into town to tell them exactly where they can go to get free money and free needles and drugs so they can provide more Mierda weekly.?

  2. Veronica Sawyer: All we want is to be treated like human beings, not to be experimented on like guinea pigs or patronized like bunny rabbits.
    Veronica’s Dad: I don’t patronize bunny rabbits.

  3. Hey Ben,
    Yes, three people died in Camp Ross this year. Call it one a month (yes the month is still young) but 55 homeless folks died in Santa Cruz County in 2018–almost five a month. Of course, no one ever hears about these folks because the coroner (or maybe it’s the main-stream-media) doesn’t publish death notices. Publishing an obituary in the Sentinel costs around $400 ! I know, I did it twice for my parents.

    But given the notoriety of Camp Ross, we’re definitely going to hear about any deaths that would ordinarily go unnoticed and unreported.

    Now I kind of lost track of what my message is…oh yes, don’t blame the camp or letting it expand as a cause of death; its just the natural rhythm of life that homeless folks anywhere face.

    • Except it’s not one a month. It’s 2 in 48 hours. The main reason we rarely hear about any overdose deaths is due to “HIPAA issues”. I’m not blaming the camp or it’s expansion for anyone’s death. People are free to leave there. It’s not a prison. The people there now choose to be there. For a reason.

  4. Brandon Clifford

    “Natural causes” is a manner of death, not a cause of death and usually associated with illness. With the camp allowed to continue and with zero enforcement of laws that seem to govern everyone else in the county except the transients in tent city, the drug sales/use will continue and sadly (for the individuals, their families, the first responders who have to handle it and the others who have deal with the aftermath) so will the ODs.

    • Actually, you bring up an interesting point about “natural causes” and manner of death. The camp has to be so full of disease by now, it’s possible older people living in such deplorable conditions are especially vulnerable to dying by some infectious disease like staph infections, pneumonia, etc. Imagine how fast the measles could spread through that place. It only takes one. Thanks Brandon.

  5. Thanks for the mierda and filling in the blanks left by other media sources.Please keep it up! Sure hope things get better around here soon. Disappointed, to say the least, in city council.

  6. Excellent news reporting this week.
    Iron Chef! Still belly laughing.

  7. oh yeah and quit harassing female mayors in the workplace!!!!

  8. I am happy to hear from Cynthia Chase as to what we watch every other week. It is very validating to hear what we are watching, seeing and hearing. I also wrote a letter to Mayor Watkins about the bad behavior and bullying to myself and my friends during the campaign. It blows my mind, as I see the same behavior over and over. I am absolutely thrilled that someone has filed a complaint. I think we can all take a guess or two who complained. We don’t really need to know. We just need to support it. Thank you to Jake at Good Times, for exposing more of our reality !!
    The mess of Santa Cruz is just that, a mess. Camp Bernal sure has taken a ugly turn. The fire chief called it. It is a sad situation that keeps being enabled. Why oh why is the enabling continuing. Sweetie Muffin Top took a little trip over there and someone asked him for Band-Aids not apples, needles,or water, band aids. I wonder why he could not have sent an intern to go get some? Instead he posts bait and switch mierda! Narcissistic behavior.
    The criminals and all that goes with it is sickening. Over and over and over again. If you or I did anything like what is going on, we would be sitting in jail for sure” because we can afford it!” When is enough, enough?? I have had enough !!
    Thank you for being on top of things!! I wish we could get the Police, Sheriff, City Manager and City Council to agree enough is enough and do something about it!!

  9. Your Hwy 17 slogan of “Slow down when it’s wet! Don’t be the fool on the hill!,” is right on, and
    should be lit up on the highway’s electronic message boards in Scotts Valley and at the Summit!

    • Eastside caretaker

      Did you happen to notice the last of the three photos of crashed vehicles on 17 was a Hummer? Oh, please..

  10. Great column as usual. I knew the deaths in Camp B would hit your sweet spot. I heard on the news and you probably did too, that there is a “back story” about that crazy woman who slashed all the tires. Really just crazy! Also, I am appalled at what you write about the City Council meetings and members. Why isn’t the whole city up in arms about such behavior? Oh wait, look at out national politics? You get the government you deserve and if we want it better, we need to raise our voices and mainly get out and vote. It must be so discouraging to be a first responder and have to deal with stuff and then the general public seems not to care or support their efforts. Like the pantsless-vomit guy, I agree, “not in my patrol car”…get the hose…..

  11. Richard Kuechle

    Tent City!!??Deja Vu all over again. Trying the Tent City again? Cerca 1986 the same thing was tried at the now Santa Cruz Shelter site on Coral St. Same result. Lets move out say 15 years (bad things seem to happen more quickly so we won’t go out 30 years.) The last merchants have moved out of the Downtown Mall and Pacific Ave is now home to The Asphalt Santa Cruz Tent City. County has purchased the remains of Trump’s Border Wall and erected them along both sides of River St. to the New Freeway Pedestrian Overpass to the 20 story Coral Street Shelter.

  12. The City’s response to GT’s Public Records Act request is sad, not to mention legally wrong. When did Martin Bernals office decide it isn’t subject to Califiornia law? News alert to city staff: the PRA requires that you turn over what you have, notes included. You don’t get to decide what’s in the “public interest”. Such blatantly offensive behavior.

  13. Ben, here’s what I heard about the tire-slasher…..she was living in her car and took it to a shop, (not sure which one or where but somewhere on Soquel Ave I think…..anyway, she never could pay for her repairs and just left her car at this shop for ages. They asked her repeatedly to move it and offered to help her move it but she refused. Later, all the businesses had multiple tire slashings….only HER vehicle was spared. Hmmmm

  14. The council is at it again. Trying to take away CEQA and Coastal Commission protections in their knee jerk search for endless compassion. Exit strategy? In a park next to you? or a church parking lot with kitchen? Don’t like camping in RVs along Delaware? Well, we’ll really show you. Read the council agenda item no. 1 on March 12 agenda. It will be city wide if we don’t stop it.

  15. Where are we going to find camping facilities for the coming wave of Central American immigrant – when we can’t even find space for our homeless people?

  16. Link to Council agenda for 3/12/19 meeting –

    “…Review and refer to the Planning Commission for consideration and recommendations an Ordinance adding Part 19 “Transitional Encampments and Safe Sleeping Programs” to Chapter 24.12 “Community Design” and adding Section 24.22.858.5 “Transitional Encampment” to Chapter 24.22 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code…”

  17. Robert Norse, Brent Adams, Krohn and Glover — all males middle aged or older, 3 out of 4 are white. these are the guys leading the crusade to trash santa cruz past the tipping point. they have no idea what it is like to be female in a town full of middle aged male alcohol and drug meth abusers who have absolutely no accountability to the law.

    this town thinks its far left and super politically correct but it is one of the most misogynistic communities in the country and the crown jewel in enabling the middle aged white male to rig the system! the alt left wants to complain about white males and the white gentry and the history of oppression and exploitation and then they take one of the most beautiful beaches in the country and fill it with a bunch of middle aged white males drunk and high on meth with repeated offenses- allow them to claim disability and then try to hand them all the parks and rec?

    i read this from a recent email about santa cruz city staff :

    “The staff have drafted a “Transitional Encampment & Safe Parking” Ordinance

    with the following provisos:

    Temporary Use – 1 year initial term, extension for 1 year.

    25 foot setback from any residential property

    ¼ mile from any encampment or safe parking area

    Outreach meeting before application

    Formation of a community advisory committee

    Maximum 50 occupants

    Administrative Use Permits are appealable to the Planning Commission and city council

    (the appeal costs $600.00)

    NOTE: Administrative Use Permits require no hearing in advance!”

    25 feet from a residential area?!

    you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. i hope karma catches up with you quick enough to save santa cruz for the people who work to keep it going and do their best try to play by the rules. most areas give this city a F for flunking when it comes to crime… wish we could just fail these guys out of here. pass… NO PASS.

    • Well said Kris, absolutely spot on. As a now sixty year old woman I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood or going downtown. I have had young men in my face screaming at me because I didn’t give them money. Now I carry pepper spray, a military grade flashlight and next I will get a personal alarm. How progressive is that?

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