The Weekly Dump 5.8.20

More Local Businesses Are Allowed Restricted Openings

The governor is set to allow certain retail businesses to reopen with restrictions as early as this weekend as part of a state wide “phase 2” response to the coronavirus pandemic, and Santa Cruz County is one of three Central Coast counties following the state’s lead. Businesses including bookstores, sporting goods stores, and florists are some of “non essential” retail businesses that can reopen under certain restrictions. Barbershops, nail and hair salons, shopping malls, and restaurants are still ordered shut. The order still doesn’t allow for large gatherings at movie theaters or live music.

Meanwhile, beaches are still closed from 11-5 daily and only available for limited use at other times. And the Boardwalk announced this week that their Friday night summer concert series has been cancelled for this summer. Endless bummer. There’s no way they’re opening the Boardwalk this summer. And that’s gonna hurt the city, county, and lots of local businesses who serviced the thousands of tourists who visited Santa Cruz daily during the summer. Everyone is gonna feel this pain locally. Now we get to see how good the city council and the city manager are at saying no to every progressive handout that comes their way.

How About Some Felonious Domestic Violence For Breakfast?

Monday morning around 7AM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Ocean Street where they arrested a 19 year old woman for felony domestic violence. I use the term “arrested” loosely here, she’s not in jail and I’m not sure if she ever was. But that’s how we roll now. The new normal.

San Jose Carjacker Arrested in Beach Flats After High Speed Chase

Saturday night night around 10:30PM, SCPD located a stolen car that was carjacked in San Jose earlier that day traveling at a high rate of speed. They attempted to stop the driver, who led them on a high speed chase along Highway 1 to Capitola and back again, before crashing at Cliff and Second Streets. The driver ran from the car but was quickly detained. He admitted a to SCPD he stole the car. The 38 year old man from San Jose was arrested and booked into jail for carjacking and felony reckless evading.

Wanted Suspect Found and Released Again!

Monday morning around 9AM, SCPD made a high risk traffic stop on Button, shutting down traffic near Plymouth and Lee streets, after they located a man driving a car who was wanted for assault with a deadly weapon in a prior case. He was arrested and booked into jail. His female passenger was also arrested for possession of burglary tools and drug paraphernalia and was cited at the jail and released. According to jail records, the male is out of jail already.

Sounds Like a Swell Landlord!

Monday night around 6:30PM, SCPD responded to a home on the 300 block of California for a report of a battery. It sounded like it involved a landlord or property owner who might have spit on a woman and threatened her with a bat. According to police reports, they cited a 64 year old male but nobody was arrested.

Turnstiler of the Week

Last Friday afternoon around 4:30PM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Coulson Avenue where they arrested a 42 year old female transient for multiple felonies, including residential burglary, looting, and carrying a concealed weapon. She’s been arrested 25 times locally since 2013 and that makes her our turnstiler of the week! And here’s some food for thought. This woman is obviously mentally ill. She needs treatment. She was breezing through our local jail’s turnstiles LONG before the coronavirus mandated loosening bail restrictions. Jim Hart has been loose for YEARS! This is how the county deals with mentally ill homeless people in Santa Cruz. They run them through the turnstiles.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving!

Monday afternoon around 3PM, SCPD arrested a 34 year old Watsonville man for being drunk in public, resisting arrest, and three probation violations. He’s been arrested 56 TIMES LOCALLY SINCE 2013. County probation! Jim Hart! The gift the keeps on giving! The coronavirus wasn’t even a word in 2013 when Jim Hart started letting this fool out of jail on a regular basis.

Bum Arrested For Skid Row Assault

(thanks to Big Joe for posting that video)

Last Wednesday, an innocent woman was assaulted by a random homeless tweeker as she washed her car. SCPD got around to arresting the asshole who beat her up and put her in the hospital. The 25 year old, who has a long local history with law enforcement and is currently on PROBATION (there’s that nasty word again) was arrested and booked into jail for various charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, felony battery, making terrorist threats, and mayhem. Mayhem! That’s the perfect word to describe public safety in Santa Cruz right now.

Needles Almost Certainly Provided by the Oracle of Aptos and her “Harm Reduction Assholes of Santa Cruz County”. 

It Goes Over the Nose and Around the Ears

Maybe someone can enlighten him?

Thelma Gets Arrested

This past Monday, the local CHP arrested a 25 year old woman on Soquel Drive in Aptos after she broke into a residence causing more than $10K in damage, burglarized the residence, stole a car, and was caught by the CHP driving around while smoking a joint. The CHP asked a judge for a bail increase and last check she was in jail with bail set at $50K.

It’s a Strange New World!

Weekly Shoutouts

RIP to Rick aka “The Bread Guy”. Hopefully you’re in a better place now.

Some Comments About Comments

So some of you may have noticed the comments from last week were turned off. That happened for a number of reasons, some technical and some not. I’m not going to get into that but I want to set some rules and parameters for comments on the Weekly Dump going forward. First, let me say I love having people comment! So I encourage everyone to keep leaving me your feedback. And that’s what I’m looking for in the comments. Feedback. On what is being discussed that week. That’s how comments work. It’s not a soapbox for people to just rant on. If people have something to say about something I said, I welcome your comments and feedback. You can even comment about how you feel about this! But please stay on topic or your comments will get moderated out. As for the technical stuff, I have filters set up that get triggered easily. So please keep your comments fairly short (a paragraph or two is fine but there is a word count where the filter triggers it as spam) and don’t post multiple comments, figure out what you want to say and say it once (again spam filter gets annoyed by multiple comments from the same IP address on the same week). This isn’t about any one person doing anything wrong, so nobody needs to apologize for anything. This is about making things easier for me to deal with. Thanks!

Get Your Swagger On!

I have swag! I’m working with Spreadshirt and have my own shop. I just put some basic products up to start with for now with the new logo. You can also click “Customize” and “Products” and pick from other products not currently available in my store. Contact me with any questions or issues. Nothing would make me happier than to see people out and about with my swag. I want photos! I’ve never asked for money, and I still plan to continue to do the Weekly Dump each week and make it available for free, without any paywall or ads or spam (or salary). Think of this as a way of donating to the effort and getting something back for your donation (I only make a few bucks on each item sold). I’d love to do more with Santa Mierda if I had the means to do so. This will help provide the means to do so. And it helps get the word out. The hell with the coronavirus, let’s make this viral. Being stuck inside is the perfect time for online shopping! I’ll love you long time if you buy my swag.

The Santa Mierda Podcast Network

Be sure to check out the Santa Mierda Podcast Network! 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!

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  1. Add face masks to your swag. Would love that so much to have in our “new normal” ?

    • I have bandanas but they seem to sell out quickly. Thanks!

    • He has bandanas – you could use one of those in a pinch.

      • Oops! Forgot to refresh before commenting. Anyway – Ben you could always set up a booth to sell your swag in the summer for tourists (if we’re still getting any after we open up again.)

  2. Moes Lee Dunn

    You typically do a great job, but kind of a cheap shot at Mills. He’s trying to eat and probably got called over for a photo. And it doesn’t go around the ears. That is a different style mask. The straps go around the head and around the neck. I’ve used those for years. There’s plenty to legitimately criticize, but not this.

    • Is he trying to inhale his brisket? I take cheap shots when he serves them up as part of his PR campaign. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Agree. Given the damage that Mills has done to this community there’s no such thing as a “cheap shot” when it comes to him. He’s a clown and we’re paying the price for his alleged compassion.

  3. Please tell u about the photo at the top of the page. Thanks.

    • The photo at the top of the page is “Rick (the Bread Guy)”, who passed away recently. He used to stand out on that corner for hours selflessly holding that sign. He wasn’t a grifter. Just the opposite.

  4. Ben, please comment on this.
    You regularly cite Jim Hart as the cause for all the criminal jerks who are arrested and right back out on the streets with no jail time. My understanding is that it’s the judges, not Hart, who set bail and probation terms and therefore are responsible for the this turnstile mess. Maybe you know something else that’s taking place behind the scenes. If so, could you please pass it along?

    • Right now the bail schedule has been altered, and that decision came down from state judges and others. My point is Hart has been doing this for YEARS, and now he gets the convenience to hide behind a pandemic as justification. His turnstile approach to clearing the jail and playing loose with probation didn’t just start when the coronavirus hit, it’s been going on for years.

      • Yes, thanks. I agree with you, and this certainly does predate the virus. But isn’t it the judges who run the show here and Hart takes orders from them? What I’d really like to know is who is the head honcho in all this mess? Who sets the policies?

        • Reality Check

          I think a big issue is the probation department, and Hart’s most recent releases on “SOR” (Sheriff’s Own Recognizance), where’s he’s letting people out even if the judge “allows” them to be detained.

          • RC is right. Hart is the Sheriff, he runs the jail, and he runs county probation. Having him in charge of all 3 is problematic as he gets to “shuffle the deck” so the jail isn’t full, and probation is the way to keep that from happening. Long before COVID-19, we would see serial recidivists released on their own recognizance (without bail), or he would designate them “PTA” (something called “Pre Trial Assessment”) meaning they didn’t deem the person as a threat so they let them out for free. It’s only in the past few months he’s found a way to “validate” it now. All anyone has to do is look at the completely ridiculous number of times some people have been arrested locally.

          • I’m somewhat confused Ben and perhaps you can help me out. I know that there is a Statewide proposition on the ballot this November 3 which will allow voters to decide whether cash bail should be replaced by so called “risk assessment” which is supposed to be done by judges not unilaterally by sheriffs or probation departments.

            So as far as I’m can see it appears Hart is implementing the SB10 “risk assessment” before the citizens get to vote on whether cash bail should be eliminated. It could be there’s some local rule because I did read that the county clerk Alex calvo worked with 12 judges and came up with some way to implement SB 10 in Santa Cruz that effectively did away with cash bail.

            I think there may also be some covid-19 exception that the State Judicial Council allowed local sheriffs and courts to use but that’s all I can think of. Normally bail is assigned in a formulaic way which assigns a dollar amount to the particular misdemeanor or felony that is charged with any enhancements adding to the underlying dollar amount. If you search online you can find an April 2020 schedule of bail for Santa Cruz County which lists all of this in detail but it’s certainly to be a formula. So I know for sure the Santa Cruz County bail schedule exists and is recent but how these people get turnstile. Out of jail so quickly is what the mystery is especially since we haven’t had the November elections yet

            Somehow Hart is either 1) not charging or instructing his officers to not charge felonies, 2) using some loophole related to covid-19 or 3) dismantling the cash bail system on his own pre the November ballot initiative to let tha voters decide or 4) there is some local bail rule that is being treated as a priority over the state law.

            Ithink it’ll take someone with a deep knowledge of what Hart’s really doing to explain all this. But I’m going to continue to try to figure it out. Thanks for any info you’ve got Ben.

          • Upon further research it seems that the probation department’s. PTA program is a main cause of our “turnstyler” problem. Here is an excellent link describing it.


            Another problem is very likely the fact that the criminal code allows Hart’s officers to cite and release offenders if their bail would be less than $5,000.

  5. Austin Twohig

    “It Goes Over the Nose and Around the Ears.”
    Actually it doesn’t go on at all when you’re eating…sigh.


    Agree with everything you said Pablo.
    Ben, for someone who describes themselves as fiscally conservative I’m surprised you haven’t been more critical of this lock down. Fiscally speaking, I think we are in for some very hard times.
    As always, thanks for the real news and excellent reporting.

  7. Is it getting worse, or is it just me??
    I look at all the things happening here and just shake my head. It is a crazy world we live in. I am sad about Friday night bands at the boardwalk but on the other side of that maybe we won’t have garbage and parking spot fights in the neighborhood. Thanks for always telling it like it is. I appreciate all you do along with Big Joe!! You guys are awesome!!!!

    • Thanks Paige! The “silver lining” in all this (if there is one) is we’ll have the beach to ourselves all summer. I would say a summer off might heal the environmental damage we’ve caused to the San Lorenzo river and the bay and ocean but then I walk over the Water Street bridge and see all the tent squatters in San Lorenzo park, and all their pollution and feces leeching into the river, and bay, and ocean. We never learn from our mistakes. We just repeat them over and over hoping for a different outcome. That’s called “insanity”.

  8. The new “comments rule” has absolutely nothing to do with me disagreeing with anyone or anyone in particular. It’s about protocol. If you can’t follow it, don’t comment. It’s that simple. It’s my page, my website, my time and effort goes into putting it together every single week (for no compensation) and anyone who doesn’t like it can talk to my fucking hand.

    • MuyDeplorable

      Well put! Just because the public can read it, and maybe comment, does not make it public property.

  9. Well, they finally put up NO PARKING from 12pm-6am at Garfield Park to dissuade the RV homeless, but so far they aren’t going anywhere (I’m not up at 12pm-6am to check, but wonder if it’s all show and no citation).
    As far as the government’s Covid response, and I suspect maybe Ben doesn’t agree, but if it turns out they are making the biggest policy error ever, I really doubt they will fess up and change course. It is after all essentially house arrest without due process for healthy people that have done no wrong and are no threat.
    I have a bad feeling history is not going to be kind.

    • Time will tell and judge on policy decisions. But we’ll never what could have happened if we didn’t respond as we did. I’m not against businesses reopening, or people going back to work, if it’s done in a pragmatic, safe, well thought out manner. That’s what the state is trying to do. Of course not everyone will agree with how they are doing it, just like not everyone agrees with me. I’ll stick with my bandana over the tin foil hat for now.

      • I agree, but you must admit this approach of quarantining healthy people does not build herd immunity very fast, is legally questionable, and actually exposes vulnerable people for much longer than they would ordinarily be. I doubt very much had they just protected the vulnerable and other people left to their own safety (perhaps banning mass gatherings for a month), it is entirely possible we would have been done with this by now, and economy mostly intact. The math has not been done on “deaths of despair” so far, but it was done in the financial crisis which was a cake walk compared to this. The number was 55.5/100,000. In SC, with 2 Covid deaths per 277,000, that number is so far 0.72/100,000, and recall 154 people died in auto accidents last year. It’s over done, WAY overdone, to me. You know they are going to hunt suspected contacts down of people who tested positive and somehow test them (hold them down and take blood?), and if anyone in the household test positive, they will be force ably removed if the situation doesn’t meet their criterion WHATEVER that they define is. I’m not for that, or the business shutdown at all at this point. They are all essential jobs.

        • Agreed. What also scares me is the idea of a forced vaccine (assuming one is made in the next 5-10 years) just to fly, or maybe as far as to return to work.
          Because we all know how safe rushed vaccines are for a virus we know little about.. a virus which also affects ppl differently (some ppl have ARS symptoms, others have altitude sickness symptoms, children with completely different symptoms all around).
          But yeah, shoot me up with a concoction that very well may end up worse than the disease and end up giving me some mutated cancer in 10 years to which I have to legal repercussion.
          I believe I will take the chance of catching/ possibly already having covid with a recovery rate that far exceedes the death rate… thank you very much.

  10. That’s my video. Looks like the clip that was on SCPD’s facebook pate. It’s only about a third of the whole incident. Fortunately the woman is well-trained in martial arts and she was able to get him in a chokehold about 10 seconds after that video ends. The felon gave up and she retreated. I felt terrible knowing that this happened right outside of the back door of my shop while I was on the phone with a customer.

    You missed the Coral St transformation that happened on Wednesday. It’s pretty crazy. They took all of the sidewalk dwellers who were willing to be registered with Housing Matters and put them in tents with 12 x 12 campsites in the alley between Coral and Fern Streets. They are now just a few feet away from the driveway where the assault occurred. It seems to have brought a strange calm to the street so far. Let’s see how it goes.

  11. Pat Kittle

    Hey, how come the bum (bummette? bumtresse?) who’s “been arrested 25 times locally since 2013” won “Turnstiler of the Week” — when your very next story reports a bum who’s “been arrested 56 TIMES LOCALLY SINCE 2013”??

  12. So I see coonerty has used his city strings to pull off having the yellow loading zone in front of his bookshop be blocked off so it’s now “bookshop curbside pick up” only…
    Since when has public parking become a private curb side pick up for a private business?
    Has anyone seen other businesses be able to do this???
    Is that not the definition of corruption of city leadership?

    • MuyDeplorable

      Not unreasonable. If not for curbside pickup, why else park downtown? To distribute meth?

      I have seen something similar here and there, and doubt if city contacts were necessary. Of course, they sure don’t hurt.

      • I wasnt aware that parking downtown was only for distributing meth… and most meth dealers I see are on foot and sell at the levee.
        You are aware there are coffee shop/restaurant customers, post office, employee and residents that all need to park?
        Not to mention when you are a delivery driver with a big truck trying to drop off to shops, it’s hard enough finding a clear loading zone (while on a time restriction) so what are these delivery drivers supposed to do… sit in the middle of the street until the line of curbside people to move???
        And it’s about the principle. What’s good for the goose ought to be good enough for the gander.

  13. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to stop receiving comments emailed to me. What am I doing wrong? I keep “unclicking” the box, but I still get email comments. Thanks!

    • I have the opposite problem. Lol

    • So I’m not sure how to fix your issue (since nobody has ever brought it up before) but what I did was “unsubscribe” you from the email notifications list, so hopefully that will stop now. But you’ll have to subscribe again if you want to receive future Weekly Dumps by email. Thanks.

  14. It seems that for turnstilers of the week, we are all blind men touching an elephant and knowing a little bit about some aspect of probation and bail, etc. but nobody knows the full story. I wish I had answers instead of just questions. Thanks for another great column.

    • So here’s how the “turnstilers” feature works. As I’m working on stories for the week, I usually cross reference arrest log information with I’ll cross reference every story I use and occasionally someone will stand out as a frequent flyer. That person becomes the “turnstiler of the week”. Sometimes someone with more mugshots will come up, and I might swap them out, or I might not. There’s no method to that subjective choice. Some people (more than 50 mugshots) might be “Turnstiler All Stars” but might not win the title on a a particular week. I try to be unpredictable.

  15. Please keep doing what you do, I will buy swag to help. NO ONE is publishing this news besides you. Have you tried applying for a MacArthur grant?

  16. Just the Facts

    The vagrant and his minions who had been squatting on main beach for nearly a year are finally gone! I guess all those pictures of the “beach rules” sign with his homestead in the background finally had an effect. If your going to pass a law, or rule, enforce it equally. Your economic status does not counter the need for public safety. Nor does your political affiliation. We are all in this together folks. Read what happened during the second wave of the flu in 1918. We are not out of this yet. Stay safe.

    • Was that the kook who kept digging in his vinyl teepee at the high tide water line? That chump was persistent!

  17. Someone should photograph all the ironies and hypocrisies of Santa Cruz and wall paper city hall with it.

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