The Weekly Dump 4.12.19

Another Woman Dies in Camp Bernal

Another woman died in Camp Bernal on Monday and the non response from the city manager and the city council was basically a collective shrug. Oh well. Collateral damage to propping up our idiot compassion. I heard she was actually living in some kind of Tuff Shed there. I guess you’d need a pretty tough shed to deal with the third world conditions that exist there. She may have been suffering from severe asthma related issues recently according to witnesses. Apparently, the woman’s husband also lives in the camp. During their search, police also found drug paraphernalia inside. Four deaths in 5 months. Hard to argue that this place isn’t literally toxic and killing people. The facts speak for themselves.

Novice Distracted Driver Sends Pregnant Mom to Trauma Center

Thursday afternoon, CHP Officers responded to an accident between a Kia and a Range Rover on Highway 17 near the Pasatiempo exit after a 17 year old newly licensed driver from San Jose was distracted as he was driving a few of his teenage friends to the beach. After he looked down to adjust the volume control on his steering wheel, freeway traffic was backed up and he rear ended a car, resulting in several injuries including a pregnant mother who was transported to a trauma center over the hill.

Watsonville Gang Members Arrested in Monday Night Shooting

Monday night around 11:30PM, Watsonville Police responded to reports of shots fired in the area around Rodriguez and Fifth Streets. While police were searching the area, two men in front of a home ran from them and after a short chase, they found an 18 year old man hiding under a car. A second man, who was also a convicted felon, was seen jumping fences and running toward Kilburn Street where officers were waiting for him. After a brief struggle, he was detained and arrested. He also had a loaded pistol on him, which police think was the same gun used in the shooting. The 18 year old man was booked on charges of delaying a police investigation and participating in a criminal street gang. The other man was booked for being a felon in possession of a firearm, participating in a criminal street gang and resisting arrest.

Suspected Meth Dealer Arrested in Live Oak

Sunday afternoon, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a driver in Live Oak and while searching the vehicle, they found nearly a half pound of methamphetamine. The man was arrested and taken to the county jail.

Watsonville Teen Arrested With Assault Rifle at Homeless Campsite

Monday afternoon, Watsonville Police arrested a 19 year old man at an illegal campsite near the dead end of Rodriguez Street at Rodriguez Way in Watsonville after he was caught carrying an assault rifle in his backpack. According to Watsonville police, witnesses reported seeing the man carrying a rifle barrel between his back and his backpack. Further investigation revealed the remaining parts to the rifle in his backpack. He was arrested and booked into county jail on suspicion of being in possession of an assault weapon. Suspicion? How much more proof do you need here? You caught him carrying the gun! Apparently, it was the sixth firearm that Watsonville police have taken off the streets in less than a week. Local gangs are busy! Gotta keep Camp Bernal fed!

Another Post Release Community Supervision Success Story!

Last Saturday, SCPD responded to a report of a man with a gun driving a silver Nissan sedan in the downtown area. They quickly located the vehicle and conducted a high risk stop where they arrested a man for possession of a loaded handgun, cash and having a variety of narcotics including heroin and methamphetamine. Back in September of last year, the same guy was arrested while on “Post Release Community Supervision” for narcotics sales. County Probation! Our number one public safety hazard and number one contributor to criminal recidivism in the city. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Busted in Drug Camp Bernal

Last Thursday around 4PM, a homeless man was arrested after officers found heroin, methamphetamine, and about $1300 in cash inside his tent at Camp Bernal. Officers from the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team’s Gang Task Force were conducting foot patrols when they came across a 43 year old male they knew was on probation with search terms. After checking his tent, they recovered 69 grams of heroin, 42 grams of methamphetamine, and a digital scale along with more than $1,300 in cash. He was arrested for narcotic sales and probation violation and taken to jail.

Santa Cruz City Council Votes to Continue to Do Nothing About the Homeless

In some of the least surprising news this week, the Santa Cruz city council continues to look for a spine. Or a real leader. What we have are a collection of misfits, being played by people in the county like Ryan Coonerty and the other people we elect (and pay too much) to actually deal with this. They had the chance to close Camp Bernal again. They refused for any number of dubious reasons. They’re scared. They have no backbone. Some of them are trying hard. I have to give Donna Meyers some respect here. She was asking hard questions, and was calling out their bullshit as applicable. Everyone is way too passive here. Dr. Do Little (Cummings) seems to again be the one holding it all up. A REAL doctor would see what public health and safety hazard it is, would actually say it publicly (see Dr. Leff), and they would shut it down. Cummings and Company is trying to figure it all out as he goes along. It’s not brain surgery. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense and we are failing miserably at it. And don’t get me started on Sweety Muffin Top. The whole things is a mess. And the crowd was even crazier than the normal brand of 5150 we’ve come to expect from Norse and his magic bus of misfits. We had the guy who isn’t a Jedi. We had another guy who just wanted to preach to the audience and the mayor, who claims to run such a tight ship with her meetings, just let this fool fly his freak flag for 3 minutes. Twice!

Life is cyclical. I sure as hell hope we’ve hit rock bottom here so we can start going back up again, but given the players, I think we still still have a ways to sink and stink.

Juvenile Arrested With Gun at Davenport Beach

Wednesday night around 6:30PM, a juvenile who was apparently drunk was arrested at Davenport Beach for possession of a loaded handgun with the serial number removed. The gun was loaded with a high capacity magazine. The juvenile had been drinking alcohol. He was booked into juvenile hall.

Tasers and Alcohol Don’t Mix

Monday night, Scotts Valley Police officers stopped a car for driving without its headlights on. After finding out the vehicle had been reported stolen out of East Palo Alto, a search turned up a Taser and several bottles of alcohol which had been stolen from a nearby Safeway. The juvenile driver from East Palo Alto was arrested and booked at juvenile hall.

Drunk Driver on the Railroad Tracks

Wednesday night, a suspected drunk driver was caught driving on train tracks in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies and the CHP got a call from witnesses and were able to find him shortly after.

Bike Thief Evades SCPD in Neary Lagoon

Thursday afternoon around 3PM, SCPD was chasing some guy around the water treatment facility and Neary Lagoon after he reportedly stole a bike and resisted arrest. The suspect ducked into the bushes and brush of the lagoon and park and SCPD set up a perimeter of the area but were unable to flush him out (bad pun intended).

That’s a Wrap!

Thursday night around 9PM, there was kind of disturbance in the parking lot behind the Catalyst. The female was combative and fighting with police and they had to use a Wrap (full body restraint) to subdue and restrain her. Shortly after that happened, another male went nuts and had to also be restrained.

Ryan Coonerty Weighs In on Critically Important Stuff

Ryan Coonerty made a rare public statement this week over a growing concern over “preserving our ability to protect local business and residents”. Was he talking about Drug camp Bernal and the massive, out of control homeless issue he’s been ignoring? Nah. Public safety and the lack of it in Santa Cruz? Nah. He was discussing how the county joined a coalition of 25 local governments in filing a lawsuit against the California Bureau of Cannabis Control in an effort to invalidate regulations allowing delivery of commercial cannabis statewide. Attorneys for the coalition say the lawsuit was filed last Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court. I’m curious. Did Monterey County waste their time here? No. Santa Clara County? No. San Mateo County? No. San Francisco County? No. Alameda County? No. Contra Costa County? No. Such a critically important issue. Thank God we have Ryan on top of it!

More from KION.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Announces Summer Concert Series

This week, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk announced this year’s lineup of bands for their summer concert series of shows on Friday nights at the Boardwalk. Bummed there’s no Los Lobos but we have been spoiled the past few years. And wheres the BOC?

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!

Check Out Our Twitter Feed for More Mierda!

Be sure to check out and follow our Twitter feed for even more mierda! Even though the Dump only comes your way once a week, I try to post breaking news and updates on other days as well. So check us out and follow us on Twitter for even more updates about real time news in Santa Cruz you might not otherwise hear about.

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  1. I really appreciate your coverage. I think now is a good time, seeing as a giant population of drug dealing thieves are in one place, to do a sweep and clean that up. I read your news weekly, appreciating the raw reality. Thank you.

    • doobie brothers

      yeah i agree. the homeless census shows a huge percentage of local transients claim a disability of drug abuse. that should be enough probable cause for any officers to have a k9 trained to locate narcotics on them every time they are visiting the camp(s). that is an inexpensive way to start combatting the local drug disability.

      when word gets out that anyone squatting in a tent or a camper van gets their drugs confiscated once a day by local law enforcement, a lot of transient people will close up shop. have to start somewhere! get the meth, heroin, cocaine and whatever else out of here!

      • You would think a regular search and confiscation rule to the camp would close shop for dealers, but unfortunately most dealers deal in the surrounding areas of the camp. And the ones that do will just find clever hiding spots for their drug stash, like burying it in the ground, or hide it in area shrubbery and trees. If they can’t keep drug and weapons out of prisons, it certainly won’t work in an open camp. The only answer here is disbandment of the camp. Anything else is a waste of taxes and time. If these people want help, it’s out there. Thay just dont want it.

    • doobie brothers

      if the census isnt enough probable cause, the 300-600 needles a day we paid for should be!!!

      • … or how about 5 deaths in a four months? Have you ever heard of any place -camp or otherwise- that wouldn’t be investigated, shut down and people in charge possibly jailed, getting away with those numbers? I think even a nursing home would look suspicious at this rate.

  2. City Council Votes to Continue to Do Nothing:

    I agree with you Ben, we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. But I trust that we have the right people in local govt to see that we’ll get there.

    • I keep thinking that it can’t get worse, but is clear I just lack the proper imagination. 🙁

    • Anyone who believes the city hasn’t hit rock bottom. I invite you to spend a week with me working at gateway plaza. I’ll introduce to “not so bad”.

  3. Has anyone ever tallied the collective number of hours this City Council has spent in meetings on homeless issues? And after all those hours, they pat themselves on the back because they’ve decided to form a committee to address the issue? Saturday Night Live couldn’t produce a more ridiculous scenario of city “leaders.”

    • That’s what I can’t understand. The council seems to reach a point where the only thing they can do is appt a committee to look for a solution. It’s like the merry-go-round on the boardwalk. Only there’s no music and it never stops so you can get off.

      • Hey Nikto. Your reply is here. Usually, the first time anyone comments they get moderated. Just an FYI. If anyone posts a comment for the first time, or uses a different IP address than they have used before when commenting, it doesn’t just post. It gets moderated and I have to approve it. Thanks.


    You can see that tuff shed popping up out of the tents… I’ve often wondered how it got there.

  5. Reality Check

    “And wheres the BOC?”
    Perhaps they should have feared the Reaper.

  6. JFC, people are dropping dead in Ross Camp and Overdoses occur daily. It’s infested with Rats, and nasty diseases and Clueless Coonerty is filing a lawsuit about cannabis delivery. WTAF? Does he see what’s happened to this shithole of a town under his watch? He witnessed daily Overdoses from his office by the Benchlands. Not a whisper! Does the dude have a pulse?

  7. Cummings is the softer gentler, well educated version of the same old problematic idealist that seems to always get elevated to the council level. That’s where the most change should take place as we already know the names of those, waiting in the wings for their chance.

    I sure wish a few of the low polling anti M candidates would have dropped out in the last election as even one more level headed council member would be of great benefit rather than the current block of the Fabless Four.

    • The only fault here lies with the idiot voters that put them there. Blaming anyone else for this is missing the obvious.

    • We had at least 8 YEARS of a “moderate” led city council and they couldn’t accomplish shit with regards to better managing the homeless. Hell, THEY are the ones who created this never ending shithole in the first place. The group we have now inherited this mess. Fire Bernal. Nobody has the spine to do it.

    • “the Fabless Four”…hah! More like the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse.

      Santa Cruz, both the City and the County, have suffered from a collective excessive permissiveness and a loss of pragmatism since the mid-1970’s. The political faces change (mostly), but the hand-wringing endless-arguing do-nothing approach has pretty much stayed the same. We have been warned about the current outcome for nigh on 40 years, but we simply cannot create and execute any plan or set of policies that will reverse this nightmare. At this point the solutions are so far out and expensive that they seem to insurmountable for this community and its collective lack of willpower and discipline.

      • Very well said!

      • The city council will show its true ineptitude when the first dozen DHS buses with Central American immigrants start showing up. Do you believe there are groups in town actually wanting to resettle more people here – who have no money no jobs. Where are they going to go?

  8. I caught your 3 minutes. You were great!

  9. I’m pretty sure Sheriffis were cleaning and removing more homeless by Jefferies the other day, as if the Homeless camp has any more room. But I’m sure they will squeeze them in.

  10. The kid with the rifle in his backpack is an interesting situation. So technically, and I know this sounds absurd, since it was disassembled it cannot be considered “semiautomatic” since it can’t be fired. By definition a California Assault Weapon is a “Semiautomatic Firearm with one or more features…”. Instead it is just a “firearm”. Now whether it was a felony because it was concealed in his backpack is another question, as well as the fact it was not registered to him. In general when transporting firearms they must be in a locked case, except for very few circumstances (such as camping where your campsite is considered your temporary “home or residence”). So this is a weird case, as he may be looking at constructive possession of an assault weapon or merely possession of a concealed “long gun” not registered to him. It is legally possible to have owned a long gun in California prior to 2014 without it being registered to you, however since he’s 19 I don’t think that’s going to work for his defense. What would work for his defense is if the campsite is considered his “home”.
    Either way you’re a moron if you walk around with a barrel poking out of your backpack especially with a firearm not registered to you.
    Also I am not a lawyer so take this with a grain of salt.

  11. Mr_Pedals – I was thinking the same thing. Dumb to be walking around in this area like that. But, they don’t say what type of long gun it was so it might not have been an assault rifle by definition . If it wasn’t, and it was a “nonconcealable” firearm, then it doesn’t need to be in a locked container, just not concealed and must be unloaded On a side, I wonder how the recent overturn of CA magazine capacity rules will affect the definitions?

  12. Keith Hearon

    last week I saw a guy beating on one of the security guards from the bay fed cred union near the homeless camp . I tried to intervene but, the guy shoved the officer into a lady’s car scratching and denting in the hood a bit . she was in the car , very startled and called the police. the homeless guy popped the officer in the face, and I was able to get rid of the guy while the bank cop was flattened to the ground. the guy went off in the direction of downtown. I hoped to read here that he had ben captured. what happened???

    • I hope nobody tried to have me captured! Hopefully that’s a typo. I had heard a story about something like this but the details were few. And it was otherwise, a pretty busy week. Thanks for updating us.

  13. How cynical can you get? By Christoper F. Rufo, City Journal, the publication that exposed Seattle’s $1 biilion per year homeless costs:
    “In Seattle, people are losing patience with city leadership over the homelessness crisis, but the frustration is running in both directions: the city’s political, cultural, and academic elites are conducting their own revolt—against the people.
    Since the release of Eric Johnson’s documentary Seattle Is Dying, which depicts an epidemic of street homelessness, addiction, crime, and disorder, city elites have launched a coordinated information campaign targeted at voters frustrated with the city’s response to homelessness. Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed that a group of prominent nonprofits—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Campion Advocacy Fund, the Raikes Foundation, and the Ballmer Group—hired a PR firm, Pyramid Communications, to conduct polling, create messaging, and disseminate the resulting content through a network of silent partners in academia, the press, government, and the nonprofit sector. The campaign, #SeattleForAll, is a case study in what writer James Lindsay calls “idea laundering”—creating misinformation and legitimizing it as objective truth through repetition in sympathetic media.”

    Look for similar efforts here in Santa Cruz? The full article can be found here:

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