The Weekly Dump 5.10.19

Adios Camp Bernal

Last Friday, The City of Santa Cruz FINALLY shut down Camp Bernal, the homeless camp behind the Ross department store off River Street in the Gateway shopping center. The site was fenced off, and crews first cleared all the people out, before donning HAZMAT suits to tackle the tons of trash, needles, feces, and other hazardous materials. Numerous propane tanks littered the area.

What a nasty, toxic shithole this place has been for the past 6 months, and the most pathetic part is none of this ever needed to happen. At least 6 people died here, maybe more. It was a DRUG CAMP. This happened because the “leaders” running our city let it happen. Next year when people are running for re-election (Hello Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown!), we’ll remember your willful ignorance in dealing with this self created man made disaster. We’ll remember how much you cost the taxpayers here. You can bet I won’t forget. “Remember Camp Bernal”. You’ll have to answer for it to the other 85% of voters that didn’t vote for you.

Explosion Rocks Camp Bernal on Eviction Day

Around 8AM on Friday morning, an apparent explosion inside a tent in Camp Bernal sent shrapnel through a tent which projected almost 30 feet, according to Santa Cruz Fire Chief Jason Hajduk. He said the explosion was intentional after a can of flammable liquid inside a clay pot was used as an explosive device. SCPD even arrested a guy later that day but then let him go. They said it was a cooking accident and a can of beans exploded. So just like that, it went from a possible bomb to a can of beans. Yeah right.

The City of Santa Cruz is More Than Three Million Dollars in the Hole

The City of Santa Cruz is looking at a $3.2 million deficit for its 2019-2020 budget and the city council has been meeting to discuss ways to reduce that number. Here’s a suggestion. Stop funding stupid shit. Let me remind everyone that if the city “leaders” had any kind of spine, this festering drug camp would have never happened. And all the money wasted to prop it up and now clean it up. Guess what? We’re talking millions of dollars.

Now the city is looking at cuts in city services and hiking fees and rates for residents. According to the city’s finance director, much of the blame is due to a decrease in sales tax funds because people are buying more online. That’s why the city thinks sales taxes are down? Talk about oblivious. People don’t shop downtown because they don’t feel safe and it’s full of transients acting badly. The city was fine with allowing a huge drug camp literally next door to Gateway Plaza, a shopping center! Own your dumbass decisions here! He also blamed the gasoline tax money being down as electric cars have reduced fuel sales. Seriously? Give me a break. Tax revenues are down across the board because the city has allowed local anarchists to take a colossal dump on this town. And this is the result we all could see coming.

Possible cuts include a delay of Santa Cruz Wharf and Museum maintenance; raising parking meter rates in the beach area; raising the cost of residential and guest permits, and cutting the city’s Open Streets program. Other considerations are for police and fire to look at implementing a first responder fee and reducing the use of private security patrols. The city is also being asked to increase its reserve funds, which are set aside for insurance against natural disasters and fires that could be catastrophic. A final decision is scheduled for June 11th. Currently, the proposed budget doesn’t call for any city layoffs.

Downtown Loser Punches Innocent Woman in the Face

SCPD just released video footage of some local transient loser punching a woman in the face downtown. Apparently it happened almost 2 weeks ago! And we’re just hearing about this for this first time now? Why is this Chief Mills? Bad publicity? That’s my guess.

It happened near Pacific Avenue and Birch Lane on April 27th at around 2:30PM. Police said the man seen in the video walked up behind a woman and tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around, he insulted her before punching her in the face. She had injuries to her nose and forehead as a result of the assault and was taken to the hospital. Gee, we’d love to help, but maybe next time, let us know sooner than 2 weeks after it happened? And then later that day, SCPD arrested a guy for it. Hours after posting the video, they arrest the guy. 12 days too late! I hope he didn’t punch any other women in the face during that time. Maybe we’ll hear about those next week.

More from KSBW.

Ace is the Place!

Around 4AM on Thursday morning, a man with a knife who was high as a kite on a variety of drugs, including Molly, Cocaine, and Meth, climbed on top of the Ace Hardware on the 800 block of Almar Avenue. SCPD and Santa Cruz Fire responded with a big ladder truck and a 40mm non lethal to help facilitate getting him down. After a long chat, he eventually surrendered peacefully.

Car Reportedly Goes Over Cliff Near Scotts Beach

Around 5:30AM on Thursday morning, reports came in about a car that went off the road and over a cliff on Highway 1 about a mile and half north of Scotts Beach. CHP and Santa Cruz Fire responded to the scene but I don’t have any information on the condition of anyone inside the vehicle.

I’d Hate to be Their Neighbors

Thursday morning around 2:30AM, Santa Cruz Fire was called out to the 100 block of Highland Avenue to help get a woman inside of her house. Earlier in the week, SCPD also responded to a report at the same address that a woman hit a man over the head with a bottle. It sounded like both parties were drunk, and SCPD was apparently very familiar with this couple. The woman apparently passed out in the front yard last week as well and police were called.

Slugs and Drugs in Soquel

After an investigation in narcotics dealing on campus by UCSC police which lasted months, a number of people were arrested Tuesday morning after search warrants were executed at a home in the 3500 block of Chardonnay Road in Soquel. Investigators found more than 30 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDA and equipment to manufacture butane hash oil. Three people were arrested for various narcotics charges and conspiracy to distribute narcotics. Another person was arrested for possession of equipment to manufacture butane hash oil.

Big Rig Rollover at the Fish Hook Shuts Down Highway 17

Tuesday afternoon, a big rig semi trailer carrying garbage rolled over on the ramp from southbound Highway 17 to southbound Highway 1, shutting down the freeway and causing major traffic backups and delays around that area of Santa Cruz. The 45 year old driver sustained minor injuries in the accident.

Overdose at India Joze

Friday night around 7PM, I heard a report of someone who had overdosed in the parking lot of India Joze on Front street. Fire and medics were performing CPR and had given the victim Narcan before SCPD arrived on scene.

The Shittiest Parents of the Week Award

Friday night around 6:30PM, a I heard a report of a disturbance between a male and female walking along Chestnut street near Depot Park. At least one witness reported seeing a physical altercation between the two people, with possibly a weapon involved. Both people were arrested and SCPD had to take the infant back to their main station until CPS could come out to take care of the infant.

Paint it Black

Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies have been investigating reports of scam artists offering to “resurface” driveways for local residents. Apparently, the “resurfacing” is just black paint that washes away. Last week they caught a grift in progress at a home in Soquel. One man was questioned about operating without a contractors license, and since he had no identification, he was taken to jail.

Late Night Vagrancy Downtown

Last Saturday just after midnight, I heard a report about a disturbance in the area of Pacific and Walnut involving a drunk transient, who apparently flashed a gun (or a replica) and possibly assaulted a first responder. After a brief chase downtown, the 34 year old man was arrested on a number of charges, including exhibiting a firearm while resisting arrest, drunk in public, assault on a peace officer, and more. Last check he’s still in jail.

Don’t Forget to Sign the Petition!

If you haven’t signed it yet, please sign this petition to stop a ragtag, volunteer group of amateurs from enabling local drug addicts by handing out thousands of needles. Almost 3000 people have signed it to date.

DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo

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 Sharon. 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!

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  1. You are the voice of reason in Santa Cruz – thank you!

  2. Omg! Is that an old de cinzo cartoon?
    I hope not. Please tell me he’s back.

    • It is old. He’s gone but not forgotten.

      • Is he in a reeducation camp? JK
        That is so sad he stopped working his talent.
        I hope he gets revenge by being happy wherever he is.

        • I’m not sure what happened to him. I know after he left Santa Cruz, he was in San Jose for a while. I think he might have moved to Europe. I’ve rerun a number of his classics here. You can probably find them by doing a search on his last name. Nobody did it better than DeCinzo. He is sorely missed. He would be having a field day right now.

          • The ultimate irony is that his old time comics were spot on then, as well as a decade or two later. Nothing truly changes in Santa Cruz.

  3. Note on the “Late Night Vagrant” he’s an SO FIT criminal, now looking at a felony. Laugh now- cry later

  4. Anyone looking forward to a super yard sale of stolen used bike parts from Camp Bernal?

  5. william langshaw

    > Now the city is looking at cuts in city services and hiking fees and rates for residents. According to the city’s finance director, much of the blame is due to a decrease in sales tax funds because people are buying more online. That’s why the city thinks sales taxes are down? Talk about oblivious. People don’t shop downtown because they don’t feel safe and it’s full of transients acting badly

    In my own personal experience and that of my friends this is not true. We buy online because sometimes there is no local source. I am definitely not afraid of going downtown and this is fear mongering. Recently I needed some kitchen equipment and while I could get it online I purposefully chose to buy from the cooks store downtown. Its not as black & white as you make it.

    In terms of raising funds by virtue of increased parking meter (costs) — I am all for it! Parking is almost too cheap downtown. Please increase it!!!!!!!

    • So because nothing bad has happened to you or your friends I’m fear mongering? Ok.

    • I don’t like going downtown. I see beano (posted below) doesn’t either.

      The things that happen in the late morning hours (around 10 or 11 a.m.) are disturbing, disgusting, and out of control at times. Cops. Flashing lights. Fire trucks. Screaming people who’ve lost their minds. Not kidding. Frequently.

      That is not fear mongering. It happens more than you know.

      • I only scratch the surface on what I report. Getting arrested for being drunk in public downtown happens so often, multiple times a day, I usually don’t even report on it unless there’s more to the story.

    • Maybe if you had shopped at gateway plaza the past 10 months instead of on your computer l, safely in your house, you wouldn’t be so isolated as to the reality of our city

    • Do you have small children? I definitely don’t feel safe going downtown & especially with my kids!!!

  6. Doug Jones

    I was hoping to see you include this comment from Denise to KION, “”There had to have been hundreds of thousands of syringes used at that camp in the last several months,” said Elerick.” As always, thanks for getting to the bottom of the mierda!

  7. peggy flynn

    Here’s my new slogan: Recall Them All

    • Hard to argue that all of them aren’t culpable for the Camp Bernal fiasco. And there should be repercussions for doing a lousy job and costing the city millions of dollars.

      • The citizens should demand to know the final price tag of Camp Bernal from start to finish, after all the service invoices and cost of disposing of the hazardous waste has rolled in. That number should be held on to until the next election and then incumbents should be hammered with it repeatedly. The City would not likely be in the red if it hadn’t been for the Council’s decision to let Camp Bernal/Ross fire up and then fester for six months. Frankly, you should probably throw in the cost of hosting the prior penal colony at the San Lorenzo benchlands too, since it was the same concept and ended up having associated costs.

  8. I definitely don’t shop downtown (or Ross area) because of the danger factor. I have a young child. I would like to take her out to dinner, and first fridays, etc, but with just me and her, I don’t feel comfortable putting her in harm’s way. I mean, a guy punched a stranger! I’m horrified enough because my neighbor’s 4 year old found a needle in our yard. Enough is enough.

    I’m tired of the folks with addiction problems and criminals getting the run of the town. We are forgetting that the vast majority do not have those problems, are working our butts off, but are footing the bill, and losing the law and order, quality of life, and SAFETY we should expect, especially for those that can’t care for themselves (young, elderly, etc).

    I want to know the numbers. Where is the camp and cleanup money coming from? How much does it cost to bring the fire truck out to coax the tweekers off the rooves. Would it cost less to handle them in another way? How is it impacting the budget.

  9. Barry Clark

    Do you think we will ever know the REAL costs of Camp Bernal? The calls for service, the labor to clean this wasteland up (since it was all-hands-on-deck will the labor from other agencies be included in this cost?), the frivolous lawsuit against the city, and lets not forget the costs to store all of the debris and stolen goods from the “residents” who somehow have “tenants rights” before it can be disposed of.

    • I honestly doubt it. The city constantly robs Peter to pay Paul. Money is constantly being diverted from city departmental budgets to cover their losses.

      • Since over 1/2 of all police & fire and parks “on-the-job time” is spent on homeless crimes, would we not reduce the $3M spent on police and fire overtime by at least $2M by getting the homeless off the street?

        This would pay for a lot of hotel vouchers for the truly downtrodden and also pay for increased “detention center capacity “to “”house” the addicts until they are completely clean and sober.

        How absurdly stupid is it that the city BUDGETS [as in plans for] $3M in police, fire and parks overtime?And then turns around and talks about a budget deficit of about the same amount? They should fix the homeless problem to stop the whole phoney budget deficit cycle in its tracks and pay for it with the police fire and Parks overtime budget since these people would all of a sudden be working half as hard as they currently do with no homeless crimes to attend to.

        You never hear this mentioned because the homeless are the police fire and Parks Department’s biggest customers. Disgusting.

    • I spoke with someone who’s knowledge of city operations is very good. She told me that Camp Bernal was costing the city $8,000 a day. This included police time, fire fighter responses, medics, ambulances, clean up etc. God only knows what it cost the poor merchants at Gateway Plaza. The $3.2 million shortfall — I have no doubt that all the costs will come to somewhere in that area, if not more. If the city goes through another poor us, we’re broke again song and dance, citizens need to stand up to new fees and taxes with a resounding no. Get your act together, and spend our money wisely. Quit foisting your out of control staffing and \spending on taxpaying citizens.

      • There’s weird stuff going on.
        New words to look up:
        Pathological altruism
        Narcissistic altruism

        These are the forces operating at this time (just my opinion).
        You are correct to start fighting back.

      • I wonder if this was budgeted item. Isn’t there a limit to what a jurisdiction can spend without getting formal budget approvals during public hearings?

  10. Marcia White

    Downtown Wednesday afternoon…parked in city garage and waited while 3 in front of us worked/got ripped off by the parking machine…the whole time we all complained about coming to downtown Santa Cruz – the weirdos, the parking, the filth. Partial solution is shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Capitola and buy online to avoid the City mess.

    Sorry for the merchants, but they should have started protesting years ago.

    • Remember when the city actually had free parking in the downtown garage? I do. It wasn’t that long ago. Now the city uses parking garage revenue like a personal ATM to help fund their vanity projects.

    • Marcia – the merchants have actually been complaining for close to 40 years. I think at this point it has become so institutionalized that it just seems normal.

  11. Greenweenie

    Of course Chief Mills downgraded the explosion at the Ross drug ghetto from an explosive device to a “cooking accident”. That way he can pad his “crime is down in Santa Cruz” reports. Talk about “cooking” the books.

  12. I believe our elected officials are representatives, not leaders. And I believe that they should be reminded of this fact at every opportunity.

  13. Wow, have you seen how many commercial burglaries have happened along and in Soquel in the past 2 months. We have a crime wave going on.

  14. Crime is down according to official statistics! 🙂

  15. Cooking “beans” has never been this lucrative…

  16. Patty King

    I’m not willing to come to the downtown Santa Cruz area, and especially not alone. I warn our visitors to stay away from the downtown and from the wharf. I shop locally as much as I can; I often end up spending my money in Scotts Valley, Felton, Capitola in order to avoid the Santa Cruz chaos. I am simply not interested in subjecting myself to the potential for thievery, assault, harassment that comes with being in downtown Santa Cruz. I get that the criminal justice system contributes to the problems, ie not holding people in custody, lots of plea bargains, the need for additional probation staff, etc. However, the City’s problem is still the City’s problem. If the city wants us to shop locally (thus availing themselves of much-needed tax revenue), they should make it a safe option for us.

    • Agree.
      The City really only cares about the tourists though. The conflict, IMHO, will come for the City when the tourists and the criminals and high/drunk people (of whom we have an abundance on the streets) come in contact with each other. That tourist wallet will snap shut and do a sprint out of town and never come back. Not only that, they get on social travel sites and the word spreads.

      This is going to get interesting because we don’t have the big money from huge corporations that say Seattle and Portland have to sustain what’s going on.

  17. And we’re just hearing about this for this first time now? Why is this Chief Wiggum? Bad publicity? That’s my guess.

    FIFY. And Yes.

  18. Greenweenie

    There is an article in the Sentinel regarding the future of the Camp Bernal site. Some are suggesting that a sign or memorial should be erected so that residents don’t forget what transpired there. One of the commenters wrote the most appropriate memorial would be a giant bronze statue of a hypodermic needle stuck in a turd. Priceless!!!


    The driveway scheme is decades old, favorite of “Irish travellers”. Never go for it.

  20. Interesting article on the state of California’s mental health situation. It’s only getting grimmer:

    from Calmatters.

  21. Hi Ben,

    You’ve probably heard the news. But, in case you haven’t ….
    The Syringe Roadshow’s application to expand into Felton and Watsonville listed the Salvation Army’s location at 214 Union Street in Watsonville and another location in Watsonville that is actually located in Monterey County. This info comes from Cruz Needles FB page.


    We have confirmed with Monterey County District 2 Supervisor John M. Phillips’ office that the second “Watsonville” site is actually located in the County of Monterey, not the County of Santa Cruz.

    Furthermore, the first time their office heard about a proposed needle distribution site in their jurisdiction was YESTERDAY when some of our lovely readers contacted their office. (Thank you readers!).”

    2. The Harm Reduction Coalition listed Salvation Army, 214 Union Street, Watsonville as a distribution site on its application without obtaining permission from the Salvation Army. From the Corps Officer / County Coordinator for Salvation Army Santa Cruz County:

    “The Salvation Army will NOT be a distribution site for any needles in any part of Santa Cruz County. The Salvation Army has asked The Harm Reduction Group to remove our name and address from their application. The group did not have permission to distribute needles from Salvation Army properties.”

    • greenweenie

      Apparently lying is the new golden path to harm reduction.

      • Yep. And, it is one of the criteria for having the application denied. The application is now “inaccurate.” The CDPH has been notified. So, the Syringe Roadshow has met all three criteria for denying the application.

        • greenweenie

          Seems like the next step would be to contact one of the Sentinel reporters and see if they willow follow up on this.

          • KION has been doing a great job of following up on the Ross Camp, the new camps, and the Syringe Roadshow. I guess the Sentinel is too short staffed to follow the ins and outs (details) of the approval process for the expansion of the syringe roadshow. It is important that the CDPH Office of AIDS be made aware of these new developments (which has been done) because there is one person who decides to accept or deny the application. If anyone else would like to contact them, the email address is and reference the the Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County
            re: 17 CCR § 7004
            § 7004. Standards for Refusal to Certify an SEP Application.
            An applicant whose application contains the deficiencies in this Section shall receive department notification to re-apply to address the deficiency and the applicant shall have 60-days thereafter to do so. The department shall reject an application if any of the following deficiencies exist:
            (a) Information submitted in the application is incorrect or incomplete.

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