Another very busy week in the land of the Holy Cross, but it’s not all bad news! I’ve got at least 3 fun, free things to do this weekend! But before I get there, we gotta drive through some mud, and did you know that now that summer is over, the city manager and the chief of police said it’s ok to camp for free on Main Beach! Talk about rolling out the welcome mat! We also mourn the loss of our friends and neighbors in the tragic dive boat fire in Southern California. We’ve got what seems like a weekly shooting, this time along Highway 9, we’ve got a human dumpster fire on Jessie Street, a Dominican nursing assistant charged with sexual assault, a child is abandoned after the parents beat each other up downtown, Camp Bernal rises from the ashes and sets a tree on fire, the gift that keeps on giving, SCPD actually arrests a drug dealer, Aptos man creates chaos in Oakland, home invasion burglary broken up by SCPD, Aptos woman charged with assault with a deadly weapon, Pono gets their door smashed in again, Watsonville man arrested for sexual assault, porta-potty torched near Emeline, teen gang member arrested, Duke goes for a spin, thief steals gun from parked car, district elections, Kevin Vogel on Common Sense, where to sign the recall petitions this weekend, Santa Cruz Greek Festival, Mole and Mariachi Festival, and mimes take over San Lorenzo Park this weekend. Is that enough for you?

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Apparently You Can Camp For Free on Main Beach Now!

At least that’s the nonsense that seems to be coming out of the city manager’s mouth recently! In the latest episode of “We Can’t Get Out of Our Own Way”, a group of homeless squatters have decided to make Main Beach in Santa Cruz their new home, with the apparent blessing of Martin Bernal and Chief Mills. JFC. Haven’t we been down this road before? Like a few months ago? Didn’t these dopes learn anything from Camp Bernal? Or Camp Coonerty before that? It’s interesting that ever since Mills was hired, we’ve had one big, ongoing, overlapping Camp Clusterfuck after another.

Here’s a story that was picked up by Fox KTVU based in Oakland.

And here’s another story from CBS KPIX5 News:

Where do you think these people go to the bathroom at night? (hint: on the beach somewhere). Watch where you step! Can’t even walk barefoot on Main Beach anymore without fear of stepping on a needle or a turd. How sad is that?

Santa Cruz Mourns Local Victims From Southern California Dive Boat Fire

As news reports emerged about the tragic dive boat fire in the Channel Islands in Southern California, Santa Cruz is mourning the loss of a number of local victims in the fire. Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz says two of its students and one of the students parents were on board the boat that caught fire in Southern California. And a woman who ran a local dive company was also killed in the fire. Such a tragic loss and one that saddens and effects so many local residents.

Shooting Along Highway 9 Sends Man to Trauma Center

Sunday afternoon, at least one man was shot along Highway 9 near Vernon Street in Santa Cruz. Investigators said two men were out along the road in some sort of altercation. By the time officers arrived on scene, both men were gone. A short time later, officers say a man with a gunshot wound in his shoulder arrived at Dominican before being transferred to a trauma center in San Jose. Highway 9 was briefly shut down for the investigation. Police were not able to locate the suspected shooter.

Human Dumpster Fire Sends Two to the Hospital

Wednesday morning around 9:30AM, SCPD and Santa Cruz Fire responded to the the 300 block of Jessie Street for a report of a domestic disturbance involving a male and female. When they arrived, they found a fire on the first floor of an apartment complex with a woman trapped inside. She was rescued and taken to the hospital for her injuries. A Santa Cruz police officer was also taken to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation. A man who apparently refused to leave the scene or possibly the apartment was tased multiple times before being arrested. Two people were detained by police for potential involvement in the incident.

Dominican Nursing Assistant Charged With Sexual Assault

This Wednesday, a 46 year old man who worked for Dominican Hospital as a Certified Nursing Assistant was charged with sexual assault. His bail was set at $100K. He is charged with assaulting a female patient in March while working in the emergency department. Charges against him include assault with intent to rape, sexual assault with force, and oral copulation by force. Dominican Hospital reported he has been placed on administrative leave, and his arraignment has been continued to September 11th.

Child Abandoned After Mom and Dad Fight on Water Street

Saturday around 3:30PM, SCPD responded to a report of a physical fight near Poplar and Water streets. Witnesses reported seeing a man hitting a woman and a 2 year old child. Multiple SCPD units were sent and traffic was shut down briefly while SCPD dealt with the disturbance. Fire and medics responded to the scene for the suspect who had a bloody nose. The female apparently left her kid behind and fled the scene but was later arrested on Water street. Child Protective Services was also called for the chid’s welfare. The vehicle of the couple was registered to a male in Auburn. The 34 year old male was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, battery, false imprisonment, and child cruelty. The 31 year old female was later picked up and arrested and charged with child cruelty. SCPD called Child Protective Services who dealt with the infant child.

Homeless Camp Fire Torches Eucalyptus Tree at Former Camp Bernal

Wednesday morning, Santa Cruz Fire and SCPD responded to a tree on fire at the former Camp Bernal location near the intersections of Highways 1 and 9.

Didn’t this crap just get cleared out? Good Lord. We just don’t learn from our mistakes and we can’t get out of our own way.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving!

Monday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies noticed a suspicious vehicle parked near Rancho and Buena Vista roads in Watsonville. A man sitting in the vehicle was on probation. After a search, Deputies quickly found a loaded revolver on the seat next to where he had been sitting. He was also in possession of heroin and under the influence, so he was placed under arrest for a variety of weapon and drug charges. He’s been arrested 6 times since 2016. I’m seeing a pattern of bad decisions here. By county probation.

SCPD Arrests a Drug Dealer!

Last Saturday, Santa Cruz police arrested a 44 year old man after a traffic stop revealed he was in possession of more than a pound of methamphetamine. He also had almost 2 ounces of heroin, psychedelic mushrooms, drug paraphernalia and $2,700 in cash. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this guy is a drug dealer! He also had a felony warrant for his arrest from Santa Clara County. He was arrested on 14 charges including possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Can we ship him back to Santa Clara? or better yet, send him to STATE prison?

Aptos Man Creates Chaos in Oakland

In the latest nutty story involving someone from Santa Cruz County, last Sunday a man who police tried to stop for running a stop sign near the Oakland airport drove his truck through a locked gated fence and drove onto the tarmac. Police said the truck was registered to someone from Santa Cruz County. Deputies searched for him with dogs, boats, helicopters and drones. After ditching his truck on the tarmac of the airport, the man jumped into the bay and later drowned. His body was found Tuesday morning. The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau later identified the man as a 42 year old male from Aptos.

Home Invasion Burglary Broken Up By SCPD

Saturday morning around 1AM, a transient male broke into and attempted to burglarize a home on the 700 block of Meder Street in Santa Cruz. SCPD arrested the 38 year old Watsonville man and last check he’s still in county jail, charged with first degree burglary.

Aptos Woman Charged With Assault With a Deadly Weapon Downtown

Sunday morning around 3AM, a 25 year old woman from Aptos was arrested on the 1000 block of Cedar Street in Santa Cruz and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. She was released on bail a few hours later.

Pono Deals With Another Smash and Grab Late Night Burglary

Wednesday morning around 12:30AM, a thief rode a bike up to the front door of Pono, shot out the front window with a gun, and walked inside, where the thief spent about a half hour inside before stealing two cash registers and other stuff. Ok, is it just me asking this but did SCPD really not respond to a smashed in local business window at 12:30 in the morning, when downtown bars (like the Red) are still open and people are still out and about? How in the hell does this guy spend a half hour inside Pono and nobody from SCPD responded during that time? Hello Chief Wiggum?

You can clearly see a gun in his right hand

There was no cash in either register. Apparently he stole a case of to-go bags, some chips and a few brownies. Pono’s owner reported to local news media its the eighth time his business has been burglarized in the past five years. The owner said in the eight years he’s been in business downtown, he’s spent thousands of dollars on security upgrades and vandalism repairs. In 2017, a man threw a keg through a window and stole $8,000 after ripping a safe out of the wall. In 2016, thieves drove a white van through the front doors and took off with an ATM.

Watsonville Man Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Teen

Last Thursday Watsonville Police arrested a 34 year old man accused of sexually abusing a teen girl. The case was originally reported to SCPD but was later forwarded to Watsonville Police after detectives determined the abuse happened in Watsonville. The suspect is in Santa Cruz County facing several charges related to the sexual abuse of a minor.

Porta Potty Torched Near Emeline Campus

Last Friday, Santa Cruz Fire and Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 1000 block of Emeline Avenue for a report of a porta-potty on fire. A witness reported seeing a woman in dark clothing leaving the scene and running up El Dorado Avenue, but nobody was arrested. The fire department declined to call out an arson investigator. I’m sure that guy was happy. You know who wasn’t happy? The nearby residents and neighbors who had to deal with the smell of burning mierda and plastic. And people wonder why we can’t have 24/7 public bathrooms in Santa Cruz? We can’t even have 24/7 porta-potties without having some pyro kook on drugs setting them on fire.

Watsonville Teen Gang Member Arrested With Drugs and Gun

On Wednesday, Watsonville police and the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force served a search warrant on a residence on the 800 block of Vista Montana Drive, where they arrested a 16 year old male with a a loaded handgun and drugs packaged for sale.

Duke Takes the Car For a Spin

Neighbors say “Duke” was in the car waiting for his owner when somehow his leash managed to get tangled on the shifter and pulled the car into neutral. Witnesses say the car then rolled down the street and hit the retaining wall of a neighbor’s home. No one was injured, and the dog appears to be doing great.

Thief Steals Gun From Car Parked at Local Motel

Santa Cruz Police are looking for a man officers believe stole a gun from a car at a motel. Police say he stole a gun from a car at a Super 8.

District Elections Are Coming

The city of Santa Cruz was notified in July in a letter from a Santa Barbara law firm (who has a perfect, successful record with these cases) that they violated the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 by not having district elections for city council, and that the city of Santa Cruz has a system of elections that doesn’t adequately represent Latinos in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Local just did a pretty good podcast and write up on the possible effects of district elections in the city of Santa Cruz. I really recommend checking it out when you have a chance. Factual and unbiased, it’s a good starting point to get informed about the issue. Good Times also ran a story on district elections recently. So it’s a hot topic on the community radar. Personally, I’ve always supported the idea. I’ve been running a poll here about it for some time to gauge public opinion, and I did a podcast focused on my thoughts about it. It’s coming. It’s pretty inevitable. It’s good to be informed about it.

Former SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel Sounds Off on Public Safety

This week, my friend Ashley had retired SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel on her weekly radio show Common Sense on KSCO. If you missed it, you can listen to it here. It was a great show and interview, and I have much respect for Kevin. I found myself nodding my head in agreement so many times during this show. His pragmatism and (at the risk of sound cliche) his “common sense” is sorely missed in the city of Santa Cruz.

Where to Sign the Recall Petitions This Weekend!

Upcoming signing events are:

  • Friday, 9/6, Whole Foods, Soquel Avenue, 4:30-6:30 pm
  • Saturday, 9/7, West Cliff surfer statue, 7:00am to 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, 9/7, Harvey West soccer fields, 8:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sunday, 9/8, Whole Foods, Soquel Avenue, 9:00 am to 6 pm

Santa Cruz Greek Festival in Downtown Santa Cruz This Weekend

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we’ve got the annual Santa Cruz Greek Festival taking place on Church between Center and Cedar streets in downtown Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Greek Festival is the longest running cultural festival in Santa Cruz County, growing from a small celebration in the church courtyard to a street block party. It’s a showcase of authentic Greek food, pastries, spirits, live Greek music by The Spartan Band, folk dancing and more. And get a buck off anything to eat or drink here! More info here.

Mole and Mariachi Festival at Mission State Park This Saturday

This Saturday, we’ve got the Mole and Mariachi Festival taking place at Mission State Historic park near downtown Santa Cruz. The Mole & Mariachi Festival is a benefit for nonprofit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in support of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. Proceeds from the festival fund educational programs, visitor services and restoration at the Mission. This year’s mole chef competition will feature sauces by Margaritaville, Chef Ana Mendoza, Taquitos Gabriel’s, D’La Colmena, La Cabaña, Sason Mexicano, Tacos Don Beto and El Jardin. Food vendors this year will include the Penny Ice Creamery, Bella’s Fruit Cocktails, Chef Ana Mendoza, Taquitos Gabriel’s, Lidia’s Taqueria, Aparicio’s Corn, Sason Mexicano, Tacos Don Beto and churros. Free admission with $10 tasting kits. More info here.

Mimes Invade San Lorenzo Park

This weekend brings the San Francisco Mime Troupe to San Lorenzo park for 2 free shows, on Saturday and Sunday, both shows beginning at 3PM each day. More info here.

The Weekly Seen

Wow, who’s the creepy guy taking pictures inside the women’s bathroom at Louden Nelson Community Center and posting them online? Oh, it’s just the same guy who was arrested for kicking a woman in head so hard she blacked out.

Weekly Shoutouts and Thanks!

I just want to thank Surf City Barber Shop, Stockwell Cellars, Central Coast Welding and Fabrication, Java Junction Coffee Roasting, Union Foodie Truck, KSCO, Bone-A-Fide Dog Care, Brooks Properties, Carolyn Livingston Campaign Services, Damon Bruder Construction, Biomarcommunications, Jane Becker, and all the other local businesses and business owners who are actively supporting the recall efforts. Please support these brave local businesses, who are being stalked and harassed by recall critics for simply exercising their first amendment freedom of speech rights. They deserve our ongoing support and our business.

Also thanks and kudos to David Plumlee, Terry Spodick, Don Reimann, Robert Stone, David Quesada, Scott Richards, Elizabeth Clifton, Carol Polhamus, and everyone else who has donated their time and money to the recall campaign. Your contributions are very much appreciated!

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.

Get The Dump Delivered Each Week!

Don’t forget you can sign up and have the Weekly Dump automatically delivered to your email each week! Just click that little box in the bottom right corner of any page that says “Follow the Weekly Dump!” and sign up! All we need is an email.

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26 Comments

The Weekly Dump 9.6.19

    1. Calling bullshit on the dog putting the car into neutral. That looks like a 4th gen s-class, which did not come with a stick shift. It is impossible to pull an auto shifter out of park without pressing the brake. So the owner likely left it in gear, and then blamed the dog for the damage.

  1. The interview segment with Chief Mills was priceless – “What do we want as a City….” Um, enforce the laws, keep the needles and turds off the beach and the streets. I think the “mandate” is pretty clear if the recall movement is any indicator.

    Why do we bother having laws and codes? It seems like the City of Santa Cruz selectively avoids enforcing them. Just scrub the ones off the books that aren’t being enforced. I wouldn’t mind camping on the Main Beach now and then – I could make my own tacos and margaritas and ride the carousel. 🙂

    I am still wondering why the California Coastal Commission hasn’t gotten involved with coastal issues – i.e. parking and camping illegally on the beach and at the bluff, littering, illegal blackwater and graywater dumping, needles, etc.

    Maybe somebody should apply for some non-profit funding for a traveling vagrant outdoors hostel. The only requirements to participate will be addiction, a willingness to poop whenever and wherever the moment “moves” you and a sense of outrage at all those silly rules and laws that society attempts to impose upon you. Oops – that wouldn’t work I guess, since the requirements could be construed as rules.

    We get what we tolerate. One might even say we deserve what we tolerate. Have we hit rock bottom? Not yet apparently.

  2. The behavior of many homeless will conflict with tourists and other beachgoers such as the beach volleyball players. The homeless behaviors such as using the beach as a toilet, a dump for all their trash including bio-hazardous syringes and theft will probably end up with conflict. We counted 20 tents on the Main Beach, but that could grow to 200 + as the word gets out nationwide about legal beach camping in Santa Cruz.

  3. Evidently people are starting to put up tents along Delaware. An RV encampment has already been established on Delaware. I live on Swanton Blvd and wake up every morning to many vans, cars, and RVs with campers in them. I have been fighting this for a very long time, but because of Chief Mills it is a losing battle. I am now 84 years old and seriously thinking of moving from the city and home that I thought would be my last home.

    Thank you for your great reporting.

  4. Don’t think that because the Boardwalk is a big draw that it always will be with increasing social problems. Growing up I saw two very popular seaside amusement parks become ghost towns as the areas and the parks degraded. One was torn down and the other redeveloped, the other had a rebirth decades later. This will be devastating if not ended.

  5. I know I am at Whole foods from 11-1 pm Saturday and recall signing hours are expanding at all locations. The surfer statue is the go to with the most manned hours. I wish I had details for you, I don’t. The recall has a phone number now, 831-245-0518 that is on the new business cards we hand out. I do not know if they have all the answers to all questions, but that number is now out there.
    A 6 month prohibition of overnight camping between 12am -hour before sunrise at main beach is on the 7:30 council agenda Tuesday.
    I see it wasn’t the council’s idea, but police/city manager, big surprise, and better something than the usual nothing. Too bad it’s not all beaches as the squatters will just move to another beach tide permitting. That daytime camping at the cities main tourist attraction is still allowed isn’t great is it?

  6. i listened to that interview with the former police chief. man too bad we dont have someone like that right now. did he say most criminals in the county are actually funneled through the jail that is near downtown?!?! im not sure if i heard that right. was up listening to the interview until 2am..

    it would be nice if cities could declare certain areas as safe zones. i.e. downtown is a major attraction for families and children- or even many young women who work in the shops- so it shouldnt also be an area where a county/city releases every single criminal they refuse to punish.

    same with the beaches, parks and boardwalk. these are major family attractions for residents and the entire bay area. it is inappropriate to allow transient camping there. the homeless census shows most of the population is middle aged men with a disability of drugs and alcohol. put a 40 year old white male meth addict in a tent on the beach next to women and children and call it a day? its just wifebeater central. and in the name of being p.c. ??

    i really dont know if a lot of those transients were abused as children. the statistics seem to show a lot of men in jail were abused that way. there is so much rape in prison, it makes you wonder if they are reliving childhood trauma?

    apparently childhood abuse causes an addictive personality- because as disgusting as it sounds, the child’s body became addicted to the massive amounts of different hormones the abuse caused. men arent processing this type of abuse the same way women do from what i have read. estrogen works in the brain in a way to enable more abstract complex problem solving and dealing with complex emotions.

    i guess testosterone can cause some tunnel vision, like the ability to tune out a massive natural disaster and put one foot in front of the other to save individuals. but the research says most men try to bury this abuse or relive the trauma. testosterone is also linked to adrenaline, and many children become addicted to the adrenaline from abuse.

    i dont know how much of that could be influencing the crisis we have here with addiction and violence. but if places like santa cruz and the state of california are in an addiction crisis, and if the root of a lot of that addiction is child abuse- people need to attack the root of the problem. encouraging a violent main beach and a violent downtown will only lead to more victims of child abuse!

    i always thought alot of the drug abuse from survivors of child abuse was a way to numb the pain. i guess there is also a trauma bonding hormonal roller coaster that forces them into addiction at a young age. its pretty sad, if that is even 25% of the men caught up in the prison system (some articles say 60%!!) they need some other type of help to break that cycle of violence and addiction.

    1. Interesting speculation, though you single out the Obligatory White Male as the problem:

      “…white male meth addict in a tent on the beach next to women and children.”

      1. Just don’t go there. You (and a couple others) are on a short leash. Please keep the comments to topics and points raised in the Weekly Dump that week. You’re doing ok so far. Let’s just stay on point. Thanks.

      1. sorry im trying to figure out the addiction crisis and that seems to be a recurring theme here – the drugs and addiction… it seems like all the tactics people are using to fight addiction arent helping that much … when i stumbled across these statistics from speaking with someone with these problems, i thought it was worth sharing.

        there are a lot of well meaning people in santa cruz and california, and if they tackled the portion of this drug addiction that was a direct result of child abuse as opposed to just saying its all drug addiction– it seems like some change could happen. sorry for making the race/gender comment again it just seems to show the local crisis is a mix of scammers and actual addicts not only addicts.

  7. one article i read said of the average man, 11% will wrestle with alcoholism. but it said out of men sexually abused as children, 80% will wrestle with alcoholism. im just wondering how much of the crisis is scammers preying on addicts, how many are pure drug addicts, or how many are dealing with unprocessed child abuse- like the worst kind, and the addiction that causes.

    its hard to look at the data, and the mess in front of everyone, and wonder- why doesnt that guy just work in construction and rent a room for 800$ a month? just oversharing what i have been reading lately- i know some criminals really are narcissistic sociopaths. its just if some really are victims of child abuse it would be nice to make a dent in that part of the prison population. get those guys the help they need. have a few resident therapists for trauma counselling at each prison?

  8. Smiling at the thought of the arson investigator happy that he was not called out for the porta-potty fire.
    Great reporting Ben, as usual.

  9. Why do we not move many of the homeless services (and perhaps the jail and criminal courts) down to the Buena Vista area? There’s more space and there are employment opportunities in Watsonville (we tend to forget that Watsonville is part of Santa Cruz county.)

    1. Agreed, and thank you Ben for your moderation of the site. Unfortunate that so many social media sites are populated, and eventually destroyed, by people who don’t seem to have the ability to moderate themselves.

  10. Drew Glover apparently thinks that rape jokes are worth repeating and publishing on his YouTube Channel:
    Drew Glover has a YouTube account named “VideosbyMuffin,” referring to his rave-culture alias, “Sweety Muffin Top.” One video on that site contains jokes about rape that Glover apparently feels worth both posting and maintaining on his web site.
    To find the video, go to Youtube.com, search for “videosbymuffin,” and scroll down to video entitled 542. The link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpaNVvuvSuo
    Here is the offending content:
    Dan: We’re older, but these kids have to have a good time too (murmuring) that’s what I’m about. I’m about sportsmanship. Good game, good game team…Smack you on the ass, here’s a candy in my pocket little girl, come and get it, Trick or Treat!
    Female Voice: Stop talking Dan, that’s horrible! Oh my god, you’re a fucking rapist.
    Dan: Whatever, all good.
    Female Voice: I’m gonna call you “molester”
    Dan: No, they want to just munch me.
    Female Voice: Oh my god
    Unidentified man in car: It ain’t rape if you yell “surprise!”
    Dan: It’s not rape unless they’re crying.
    Drew Glover (laughing): God Damn!

    The above dialogue starts at 7:53 in the video.

    The video is apparently filmed by Drew Glover himself: At 0:42 a subject named Dan addresses the man holding the camera, calling him “Muffin Top.” As indicated, Drew Glover (formerly Dru Glover) identifies himself as “Sweety Muffin Top” https://www.facebook.com/thatoneguymuffintop/

    1. Iam- using you link and timestamp, I was able to view (with horror) that conversation. You’re transcription was bang-on accurate. Glover has to go. Thanks for posting that.

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