Stopping Bad Ideas Before They Manifest Themselves
It’s not something we are particularly good at in Santa Cruz. We seem to be more the kind of group that embraces bad ideas, despite obvious evidence to them being bad ideas, and do them anyways. Then we spend years trying to extricate ourselves from our bad idea. You don’t need to look any further than Chief Wiggum’s decision to stop enforcing the law and allow criminals to first take over San Lorenzo Park, then take over the area behind Gateway Plaza with zero repercussions. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also had no problem with random people just showing up and handing out hundreds of free needles daily. We all know where most of those needles end up. On the ground somewhere. Or in the river. Or in the bay. Or on the beach. Dirty needles have been a plague of Santa Cruz for more than 10 years, and the problem gets worse daily.
So when it was brought to my attention recently that the same group of kooks currently handing out those hundreds of free needles to the junkies in Camp Bernal wanted state approval to keep doing it, this required more than just me complaining about it. It required action. And when motivated, I’m all about action. So that’s what I did. I leveraged the platform I’ve spent 3 years building, 3 years trying to reach and maintain and keep interested. I put my speedy delivery hat on and set up an online petition that made it easy for people to get involved and take action. And to say it worked is an understatement. It steamrolled the message into the collective inboxes of the state, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors, and the head of the County Health Services program at a rate of more than 700 emails and signatures in the first 24 hours.
And in late breaking, stop the presses news, I received a copy of a letter from the Board of Supervisors explicitly stating opposition to the application, signed by Ryan Coonerty and Bruce McPherson. Two is good. Three would be better! Leopold is an insufferable lost cause here, so that leaves Caput and Friend. So now is a good time to ask publicly. Is he a friend or is he a foe?
K9 Colt looks pretty proud of his haul here. He joined his partners with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office Gang Enforcement Team when they stopped a car last week. Colt alerted them to narcotics inside the vehicle, where deputies found nearly 7 ounces of heroin, along with a large sum of probably drug cash, indicative of narcotic sales. The guy was arrested and taken to jail.
Drunken Broken Bottle Brawl on Pacific Avenue
Wednesday evening, reports came in about a couple of drunken, drug addled transients brawling in front of O’Neills on Pacific and Cooper. One was apparently using a broken bottle as a weapon. SCPD sent numerous units down there. I know one guy needed medical attention for a lacerated hand, but I have no idea if anyone was actually arrested. And even if they were, they were most likely driven a couple blocks to the sobering center before they were kicked to the curb yet again.
Robbery and Stabbing Outside 7/11 on Ocean Street
Monday morning around 2AM, someone was reportedly stabbed and robbed outside the 7/11 on Ocean and Broadway. Apparently nobody was arrested and SCPD has no suspects. That sounds familiar. Does that mean crime is down when nobody gets arrested and there aren’t any suspects? I noticed the victim self admitted themselves to Dominican with multiple stab wounds and told staff he was stabbed in the city of Santa Cruz. So I know it happened. There’s a public record, even if they don’t want to tell us about it.
Three Aptos Businesses Burglarized
Tuesday morning between 3 and 5 AM, three local Aptos businesses located on Soquel Drive were vandalized and robbed. Burglars broke into Sid’s Smokehouse, California Coffee and Valero by breaking door locks or shattering the glass to the front door and targeted ATM machines and cash registers. Thieves made off with about $1000 from the combined burglaries while doing over $1000 in damages. All of the businesses have security footage they gave to the sheriff’s office. The suspects, if they are ever caught, are facing felony commercial burglary charges.
Stabbing Yourself in the Armpit Hurts
Wednesday morning around 5:00AM, SCPD responded to Camp Bernal for a report of a 31 year old man who “slipped, fell, and stabbed himself in the armpit with a knife”. A likely story. But lacking in so many other cutting edge details. SCPD cleared the call about a half hour later. No word on the condition of the victim.
Monday morning around 1AM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies were involved in a pursuit of a stolen car near Freedom Boulevard in Soquel. Two people were eventually caught and arrested on a laundry list of charges. A 29 year old female, whose address was listed as “Transient, California”, was arrested on 9 separate charges, including theft and DUI, as well as having 2 outstanding warrants from Santa Clara. An 18 year old male was also arrested on 6 similar charges. Both were still in custody last time I checked.
Rude Wake Up Call for North Coast Transient
Monday morning around 7:30AM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies arrested a transient parked on the 600 block of Coast Road who had an active felony warrant, a suspended license, and was in possession of methamphetamine. They took him to jail, where last check he still sits.
We Have Hobbits in Santa Cruz!
Last Friday around 6PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to a person living in a large, illegal campsite dug into a hillside in the Pogonip. The man told deputies he had been living there for three years. He was arrested for having outstanding warrants and illegal lodging and taken to jail.
Butts on the Beach
Allison Hack, a member of the Downtown Streets Team of Santa Cruz, earned a bronze level award in a statewide tobacco awareness photography contest for her image depicting a cigarette butt littered beach and sand castles. Lovely composition! Vibrantly honest! But where’s the random dirty needle?
Helicopters Invade Santa Cruz!
I’m sure people were freaking out but it apparently was only a movie shoot. Or so they tell us! Maybe it was the Department of Homeland Security? It wasn’t. But given the way certain people love to fan the rhetorical flames of fear for attention, I’m sure some local folks were buzzing with conspiracy theories about ICE raids and round ups. Maybe it was a movie about that stuff!
Listen to the Experts
When it comes to mental heath issues, we should be listening to experts in the field. Dr. Drew Pinsky is an expert in the field. He wrote a really excellent column last weekend about mental health issues within the homeless community, and how appalling the state (and other elected officials) are currently dealing with it. And failing miserably.
I wanted to give a shoutout to Janet and Julie and all of the other Leveelies who have quietly been fostering and caring for “Maddy’s Garden”, a small memorial garden area near the Riverwalk pedestrian bridge to San Lorenzo Park. Several members have been working on this garden over a year now, planting California Native plants as a memorial to Maddison Middleton and to beautify the area. Thank you Leveelies for all you do (and have done) for the city to make it a better place.
Who Bought Red, White, and Blue Beach?
This week it was announced that a private buyer purchased the 170 acre property around Red, White, and Blue beach in Santa Cruz, possibly creating access issues for the public. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County wanted to purchase the property off of Highway 1 and Scaroni Road and open it up to the public as a campground, but a different private owner was selected instead. The Land Trust bid $17.5 million for the property, but a private buyer offered more than $23 million for the property, and that bid was ultimately selected. The new buyer is unknown and it is unclear what they will do with the land.
Weekly shoutout to Melissa and Big Joe and Sharona for helping hammer out a plan of resistance with me and others (who I’ll keep anonymous but whose help is really appreciated, you know who you are). And a big shout out to Ryan Coonerty and Bruce McPherson. I know I pick on Ryan a lot. But what he did today was a big deal. He went public with it. And as a small token of appreciation, I’ll probably go easy on him for awhile. He earned some brownie points today.
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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