Happy Valentines Day! Can you feel the love? This week, UCSC grad students and their friends throw an extended pity party, Justin Cummings sandbags for bullies, Ryan Coonerty drops the mic, traveling riverside blues, eating the wrong kind of edibles, that ain’t junk in the trunk, whip it good, return to sender, the usual public safety dysfunction from the county, judging idiot compassion, give it away now, a lovely role model, Santa Cruz is SARTifiable again, district elections are coming, the Santa Cruz Seaweed, and more!
UCSC Graduate Students Throw a Pity Party
Seventeen demonstrators were arrested on Wednesday as UCSC graduate students demanded a cost of living adjustment increase to address the extreme high cost of housing. According to UCSC police, 17 people ignored repeated orders to get out of the busy intersection of Bay and High Streets after reportedly locking arms and sitting in the middle of the road blocking traffic, leading police to detain them. Graduate students are demanding they get an additional $1,412 per student. Meh. I’m really tired of these people and their “demands”. Making your problem my problem by shutting down traffic in a busy intersection isn’t making you any friends outside your little circle jerk. They want attention. This is all they get from me.
Justin Cummings Sandbags For Bullies
This past Tuesday, the city council had what appeared to be a relatively uneventful evening session until all of a sudden shit got eventful! During oral communications, three different women all got up to talk about the fact that the mayor and his Krohnies had been sandbagging and sitting on a report from last year that outlined new charges against Drew Glover.
In November 2019, Glover posted on social media criticism of the former Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission For Prevention of Violence Against Women for resigning, leaving the commission without a quorum. Glover called the Chair a “hypercritical white man.” An independent investigation concluded the post was retaliatory action on the part of Glover. Back in December of last year, the Santa Cruz City Council received the findings of an investigation made by an independent attorney which concluded Drew Glover had again violated the city’s respectful work place conduct policy.
The report was made public in January, but Mayor Justin Cummings has refused to place the item on the council agenda. This would allow the council to publicly discuss the findings and what action should be taken. At least two current council members have been trying to have the results of the report placed on the city council agenda, but that attempt at transparency has been stalled by Cummings, Brown, Krohn, and Glover until after the March election. (why does Glover even get a say in the matter? He should have had to recuse himself)
They ultimately decided to agendize the discussion at the first meeting in March. AFTER the recall election. It won’t matter by then. Glover will be gone. So will Krohn.
More from KSBW News. It was the lead story on the 6PM news tonight! Probably not the kind of attention the narcissist is looking for though.
A Long Slow Clap for Ryan Coonerty
I’m giving Ryan Coonerty a long slow clap this morning. He nails it.
The Recall and Us
By Ryan Coonerty
For months, I’ve stayed out of the debate about the recall of Councilmen Chris Krohn and Drew Glover. My reasoning was that I, as a County supervisor, must have relationships with all council members to serve our city. And, to be honest, I didn’t want to get caught up in a nasty political fight.
That changed last week when I read the report from the UCSC Democrats’ meeting about the recall. You can read it on Facebook, but it boils down to Glover attacking a female student for asking about his multiple charges of harassment and bullying of female city employees. Glover responded that the victim was “playing the woman card” and then attempted to bully and silence the students. The group, which had overwhelmingly endorsed Glover just last year, is now supporting his recall because: “His behavior was unacceptable and showed us it is not a stretch to believe that he has acted this way previously, and to believe the women who have come forward accusing him of bullying and intimidation …We believe the women who have come forward. We witnessed his bullying of women firsthand, and find that behavior intolerable for an elected official.” Watching these young leaders take a brave stand, I can no longer justify my silence, especially when many of the victims of Krohn and Glover are excellent public servants and valued community volunteers. The victims didn’t complain because they disagreed with the policies of the council members, rather, they did so because Krohn’s and Glover’s behavior was egregious. And for every one person that came forward, many more did not out of fear of reprisals.
So, following the College Democrats’ courageous act, here are some thoughts from my front row seat to the recent deterioration of our civic life:
• Many leaders of the antirecall campaign agree with the UCSC Democrats. They’ve told me privately that they think Krohn and Glover are “a–holes,” “incompetent” and worse. They are holding their nose to maintain a “progressive majority.” The irony is that if these progressive leaders (especially Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown) simply spoke up, honored the victims, and censured Krohn and Glover for unacceptable behavior, there would not have been additional victims or the need for a recall.
• This election is not about rent control. Both sides are using this issue to rally their base, but the reality is that the current council majority (Krohn, Glover, Brown and Cummings) are not going to pass anything that substantively helps renters. They had a full year to take action, talked about it once, tabled it and have made no effort to bring it back because it’s a politically hard, complicated policy that has largely been preempted by the state.
• There is no “us” and “them.” The unending attacks on Cynthia Mathews, Donna Meyers and Martine Watkins are lies. These women are effective progressive leaders, who have consistently fought for equity, the environment and our community.
• In addition to harassing and bullying, Krohn and Glover’s mistake has been to wrongly assume that they were elected with a mandate. They weren’t. Under our at-large, multi-candidate system, no council member does. Whoever wins this election should remember that and start working collaboratively to solve our problems.
• The toxic atmosphere at Council meetings is intolerable. Many community members have told me that they won’t get involved or attend council meetings because they fear for their safety and the palpable antagonism toward people with views who do not align perfectly with the majority’s. We cannot drive people away from the democratic process.
• The Council sets policy, but city staff implements it.
Key staff because the Council majority has tolerated behavior that would cause anyone else working for the city to be fired or disciplined. If a recall doesn’t pass, the city will see more talented people leave and will be unable to recruit good people who keep the city running.
• Finally, behavior matters. Krohn and Glover have crossed too many lines. Every other Tuesday, for more than a dozen years, I’ve served with elected officials of all stripes making hard, controversial decisions. Many times, I’ve been frustrated both personally and politically with them as they have with me. Despite this I’ve never supported a recall before. The unacceptable behavior of Krohn and Glover is of a different magnitude and the community needs to say so.
This isn’t just about Glover and Krohn. This isn’t about politics. This is about us. How will we interact, govern and determine the future of our community? We simply cannot survive or thrive in the current toxic environment. Please vote “yes” on the recall.
Originally published this week in the Senile. Ryan Coonerty is a Santa Cruz County supervisor and two-time former mayor.
Traveling Riverside Blues
Last Sunday around 5:30PM, Santa Cruz Police responded to reports of a reckless suspected DUI driver in the area of Seabright Avenue and Murray Street. They caught up to the suspect near Broadway and San Lorenzo Boulevard and when they attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the driver pulled over briefly before speeding away. A brief pursuit ended when the suspected drunk driver struck several parked cars and a street sign at Riverside and Soquel Avenue. The driver then fled on foot to the east levee towards San Lorenzo Park before two SCPD Rangers patrolling the park quickly detained him. The 23 year old driver from Salinas was also a convicted felon and had a loaded and stolen 9MM handgun in his center console. He was also wanted for robbery out of Salinas and has a DUI warrant from Morgan Hill. A passenger in the car was injured in the crash but cooperative and later released. The driver was arrested and charged with evading an officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, vehicle hit and run involving injury, DUI causing injury, possession of stolen property, outstanding warrant for robbery and warrant for driving under the influence.
Eating the Wrong Kind of Edibles
Tuesday night, Scotts Valley Police officers observed a vehicle on Highway 17 without their tail lights on and with a bad registration so they proceeded to conduct a traffic stop. During the stop, they found the driver had an outstanding warrant and a suspended license so he was arrested. As they spoke to the passenger, he gave multiple variations of false names that did not positively identity him. During a search, they found 10 grams of meth, and police said the man told them he thought he swallowed all of the meth and heroin before police contacted him. The passenger was taken to the hospital and treated for a potential overdose. Police said he was later stabilized and taken to jail, where he will stay until they can identify him.
That Ain’t Junk in the Trunk
This past week, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about a man actively stealing items from the trunk of a car in Freedom. It’s Freedom right? Doesn’t give you the freedom to steal. After the victim called 911 and confronted the suspect, deputies arrived and arrested the man with about $1,800 worth of power tools owned by the victim. Additional witnesses and cell phone video of the incident verified it and the male was booked into jail for grand theft.
Whip It Good
Last Saturday night around 6PM, SCPD responded to the 700 block of Riverside Avenue in Santa Cruz where they arrested a 22 year old woman for being under the influence of nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas”. Who’s laughing now?
Return to Sender
Friday morning around 11:30AM, SCPD picked up a guy on Skid Row (the 100 block of Coral Street) for drug possession, and he was wanted back in San Luis Obispo for resisting arrest and failure to appear. And they want to come get him. Please take him back and get his bum ass out of Santa Cruz! Last check he was still in OUR county jail awaiting a ride back to SLO. He’s been arrested 15 times here since 2016.
The Usual Public Safety Dysfunction From the County
Last Saturday around midnight, SCPD arrested a 39 year old female transient near the area of Mission and Western drives in Santa Cruz for. She had been previously arrested on Christmas Eve on charges of arson and vandalism, and had been released from jail by the county with a get out of jail free card after she “promised to appear”. That seems to be what has replaced bail in the county now. Is that official? When she fail to show up for her pre trial arraignment, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. And now she sits in county jail on a $25K cash bond, where she should have been all along.
Idiot Compassion From Our Local Judges
Last Saturday night around 6:30PM, a 34 year old woman led Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies on a chase around east Santa Cruz before finally arresting her along Opal Cliffs Drive. She was charged with contempt of court and disobeying a court order, DUI, evading police, reckless driving, resisting arrest, and of course, a probation violation. This woman is a mess. She was in court before a judge just two days earlier to answer to domestic battery and false imprisonment charges against her. She’s been arrested 7 times locally since 2013, three times in the past two months. So she was arrested last Saturday for all these charges and on Monday she was released with no bail. She’s out already.
Give It Away Now
Last Friday, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at an address on Madison Street in Watsonville where they turned up a little more than 5 ounces of meth, in addition to heroin and cocaine. A 38 year old male was arrested on drug trafficking charges and last check he’s sitting in county jail on a $100K bond. He listed his occupation as “caregiver”. I doubt he gives anything away!
What a Lovely Role Model
Last Saturday morning around 5:30AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance on Baffy Court in Soquel where they arrested a 34 year old woman for violating a court ordered restraining order. As deputies tried to arrest her, she resisted arrest and spit in one deputy’s face while stomping on another deputy’s boot. Five minutes on Google told me she’s apparently some kind of kid’s dance teacher. Last check she’s still in jail so the kids are safe for now.
Santa Cruz is SARTifiable Again
This past Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved an in-county facility so that rape and sexual assault victims will no longer have to travel to San Jose for examinations. It’s been more than two years since Santa Cruz County has had a local facility to treat survivors of sexual assault. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, there were roughly 60 victims of sexual assault survivors in the past 2 years who had to travel to San Jose for tests. The program is an agreement between Santa Cruz County and Santa Clara County Valley Health Systems to now provided exams at Dominican Hospital. Dominican Hospital will provide the exam facilities, while Valley Medical Center in San Jose, will provide the nursing staff. It will also mean, rape kits will be turned over more expeditiously to law enforcement for analysis. The S.A.R.T. program is expected to be up and running by April in Santa Cruz County.
I gotta give shoutouts to my friends Joe and Melissa, who have been pushing the Board of Supervisors pretty hard over this for the past few months. Well done to all involved in making it happen.
District Elections Are Coming!
This week, a group calling itself the California Voting Rights Project held a press conference at city hall, where they declared they will be giving the City of Santa Cruz a Notice of Violation of the California Voting Rights Act. The group claims the city’s use of at-large elections violates the California Voting Rights Act because it results in racially polarized voting. A report released by the CVRP said Santa Cruz’s population was about 36% residents of protected classes in 2017, and that includes more than one-fifth Hispanic or Latino, but since 2000, Latinos have accounted for only 9.4% of all votes cast for city council. Only two Latinos have been elected to the city council in that time. “Racially polarized voting characterizes elections in the City of Santa Cruz. Latinos have been underrepresented in candidacies, elected candidates and votes received, as have members of most protected classes” the report said.
It’s the Santa Cruz Seaweed!
The Santa Cruz Seaweed are the newest team in the Pecos League. The Seaweed are an independent professional baseball team that will call Santa Cruz and Harvey West Park home beginning June 1, 2020. The Seaweed will play in the same league as the Monterey Amberjacks. Team information can be found here.
Happy Valentines Day!
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Support the Recall Effort!
The recall effort was successful at getting to the ballot but the real work has begun to see this effort to the finish line. Please consider a donation to Santa Cruz United, the group that worked to organize the recall effort. I support their efforts as a group, and I pledge to provide my services pro bono to the recall effort. If we all step up, we will finish this effort successfully and bring function back to a completely dysfunctional city hall. Thanks!
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