New Coronavirus Restrictions For Santa Cruz County Announced
The Santa Cruz County Public Health Department announced new coronavirus restrictions this past Thursday that go into effect next Tuesday and will bring the county into alignment with state orders. The new order allows the reopening of some types of office work, pet grooming, car washes, more child care and more outdoor activities, such as landscaping. Beach restrictions will remain unchanged. Beaches are closed to the public for all activities between the hours of 11AM and 5PM. Activities such as surfing, paddleboarding, boogie boarding, swimming, snorkeling and kayaking will not be impacted by the order.
Arrests Made in Santa Cruz Kidnapping and Murder Case
Late Tuesday, four men (I use that term loosely here) were arrested as suspects in connection to the kidnapping and murder of a local Aptos businessman. Tushar Atre was kidnapped at gunpoint from his Pleasure Point home last October before his body was found near a remote property he owned in the Santa Cruz mountains. He was shot to death. Investigators say the motive was robbery. Three men from Lancaster, California were booked into the Santa Cruz County jail, each charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery. Another man involved was also arrested in Michigan. He will have an extradition hearing before being brought back to Santa Cruz County. No bail has been set for any of the men. At least two of the men knew the victim and worked for him at some point recently.
Bring Out the Bearcat!
Around 1PM on Thursday afternoon, an SCPD officer spotted a stolen white SUV with a woman inside parked on the 2900 block of Gilbert Court. More officers showed up and conducted a high-risk stop but the woman refused to exit the vehicle. SCPD Crisis Negotiation Team members spent 90 minutes trying to convince the woman to cooperate and to come out of the car but she still refused. So they shot out her window with a 40mm non-lethal projectile and she still refused to cooperate. So they sent in the dog. And she still refused to cooperate! So they finally dragged her dumb ass out of the SUV by force (which they should have tried first). And she still resisted arrest. At this time, they still don’t know her name but apparently she’s sitting in jail! The BearCat was used as a layer of protection for officers and the public. There was a possibility of weapons inside the car, and it prevented the suspect from driving away and using the stolen SUV as a weapon.
Laziest Thieves of the Week
Last Friday between midnight and 1:30AM, someone broke into the carport that goes under the county building and courthouse and stole a tent and a couple of bikes belonging to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office. They didn’t have to go far to find the thieves. They found them and the property squatting in the tent village in San Lorenzo Park. One male was “cited” and the other was taken to jail. The chump they arrested was charged with 2 counts of burglary, being drunk in public, and violating quarantine. Yeah, I’m sure this guy is paying his $1000 ticket here. But last check, he’s still in jail!
Burglary Suspect Arrested in Downtown Santa Cruz
Saturday night around 11PM, SCPD responded to the 300 block of Lincoln street where they responded to a report of a residential burglary. After they arrived, they detained a 19 year old Watsonville man at gunpoint. He was arrested on burglary and trespassing charges. Last check he was still in jail on a $25K bond hold.
Mugging in West Santa Cruz
Thursday night around 9:30PM, a man was apparently mugged by a group of people near Almar and Herbert streets on the west side of Santa Cruz. The victim suffered serious facial lacerations and required EMR care. The suspects were quickly located hanging out at the Circle Church. All three suspects were on probation. Not sure if anyone was actually arrested here.
Hardly a Majority Opinion Here
Last Friday, a handful of people decided to “protest” their right to sit on their collective fat asses on the beach anytime they want to. Local police and rangers dispersed them pretty quickly, but not before they bleated all over social media about their “rights” being trampled. A handful of people making a big stink about something most people are accepting for the better good of the community. Sounds like Santa Cruz!
Why the High Attrition Rate at SCPD?
So I heard some disturbing numbers the other day and honestly, I have no reason to doubt them. First let me say that anyone who reads this column with any degree of regularity knows I fully support the rank and file of SCPD. I’m a cheerleader and advocate for them. My issue is almost always with “management”, or in our case the city bureaucracy and how it seems to be more important to be politically correct than pragmatic about law enforcement. The bottom line is we are very subjective about what we choose to enforce here. And that has rubbed a lot of people (including me) the wrong way. It’s bad for morale and leads to attrition. And have we seen attrition at SCPD? Since the current chief took office, 18 police officers have left SCPD, including one lieutenant and four medical retirements. That number represents about 20% of the police force. Something’s wrong here. Why does SCPD have such a high rate of attrition? If I had a vote here, my vote would be “no confidence”. And that doesn’t just apply to the chief, it applies to his boss too (Martin Bernal).
Coronavirus Kills Paradise Beach Grill in Aptos
Capitola’s Paradise Beach Grill is permanently closed according to the owners of the restaurant, who thought about reopening but decided restrictions on local restaurants made it impossible for them to continue to do business.
Get Your Swagger On!
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Hardly a Majority Opinion Here
Committee to reopen Santa Cruz is the group. 55+ people and growing attended a beach day protest on Cowells beach last friday. They were Not dispensed. The officers gave up. They are doing it every friday until beaches are opened up
Wow 55? Really? Impressive in a city of 65,000. That isn’t even “statistically significant”. But someone call KSBW and the Senile!
I have nothing to do with that group, but my understanding is that the virus primarily propagates indoors, with no known instances of open air contagion. Furthermore, it mostly affects the very elderly and persons with existing, serious health problems. The beach restrictions are ludicrous, except insofar as they wisely discourage groups of unrelated people from carpooling here (because the car is essentially an indoor environment). I also note that many folks who have guaranteed government jobs have an incentive to represent themselves as courageous martyrs, for use in later pay negotiations. And finally, I note that persons involved in computers (such as BG) and non-touring entertainment (Hollywood types) have a financial incentive to exaggerate the virus. I hope that Fauci’s family stock portfolio is subpoenaed by the Senate.
Thanks again for the real news…
Ben – in one part of your column you diss on people who want to go to the beach but then later you report the permanent closing of the Paradise Grill. I hope you can see the link between the two. The lockdown is killing off businesses and forcing families into bankruptcy in a county with only 2 corona deaths. Love your column but I’m not on board with the suspension of people’s rights to go to the beach or open their business. Its not whining to say that our rights are being infringed on. When you restrict people’s movements and ability to work I think that’s a pretty big infringement of our constitutional rights. Our community – or at least our police and elected clowns – tolerate any sort of truly criminal behavior by gangs and the homeless but has become strident enforcers of what has become a no longer sustainable lockdown. I respect your right to support the lockdown but please don’t forget how bad this is going to be for our community for years to come. A lot of the local favorite businesses won’t be around whenever reopening happens.
You rock! Keepin’ it fur reals!!!
I know you are a law and order guy, and we might disagree there about some of these, especially Covid regulations, which are more odor than order. I see the council is going to reduce Covid violations from a misdemeanor to infraction with sliding $100,$200,$500 1’st, 2’nd, 3’rd offense , if they feel like it, otherwise misdemeanor if they feel like it. Something is hinky there as theoretically that goes from $100 fine to a year in jail. I wonder if a jury would find someone guilty for a walk alone on the beach at 4:59pm. A lotta hung juries I think and if it’s not worth the cost of prosecution, it’s not a good law.
I’ll spare the 101 rationals that say the Covid response might be a crime against humanity.
But at least they will be hanging LGBTQ and Trans flags inside the council chambers, permanently in the month of June, like forever. Apparently they have no better business to discuss at meetings like getting everyone back in business which doesn’t appear on the council agendas business.
No way our District Attorney’s office is going to file or prosecute any of those SIP quarantine tickets. He won’t file or prosecute for worse crimes.
Ben, this is vaguely related, but probably of interest to you: It seems that San Francisco has established a formal homeless camp, complete with reserved spots and facilities, near its city hall (at U.N. Plaza). Others will follow. The kicker: The spots go to “established” homeless street campers in the same vicinity. What?! I thought SF was a wecoming place! Since when is it “locals only”?
I also wondered about that…$1000 tickets were being handed out a few weeks ago (or so I read) and now it will only be an infraction? Seems like some people should get a refund….Were those tickets given out by the County Sheriff or City Police? Or both? I agree also that it seems ridiculous for the Council to be spending time discussing whether to hang the flags of LGBTQ and trans groups for a month, and declaring May “Affordable Housing Month.” There are more urgent matters to discuss.
10 new cases of Coved in the county in the last 2 days. Check out santa cruz health org.. 80% of new cases are 18 to 64 year olds, not just the elderly and infirm. We’re all in this together people! The earth is round and science is real. Stay safe.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html. Current base case CDC scenario is a case fatality rate of .40%. Based on the rate of asymptomatic individuals, you get to an overall infection fatality rate of .26%. I’ve also seen some other figures based on the same information there’s about a 33 out of 100,000 chance of dying from it if you’re under age 65.
Due to large family gatherings, such as for Mother’s Day, often involving visitors from out of state. We are NOT in this together.
I thought you might mention the Mission Street 7-11 employee caught selling meth in the parking lot of his work.. guess that’s pretty standard stuff around here though..
Doh! I totally forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder. “Dump Worthy” for sure.
I’m with you on taking back Santa Cruz from certain over-reaching & a bit too arrogant local politicos, so I’m wondering why the ridicule of locals trying to take back our beaches from the over-reaching and beyond arrogant (and wildly unconstitutional) elite Gov. Gruesome. The beach is the safest place to gather. Lots of room to social distance. No need of a mask ’cause the SCIENCE proves that the virus dies in sunshine & moist air in 90 seconds. And lots of smiles. And if the police continue to engage respectfully, these next few weeks may be the only opportunity for locals to enjoy their beaches until the throngs of tourists inevitably return again. And, as we’ve learned from the many videos posted online of police throughout America chasing down lone beachgoers, there is always safety in numbers. The next “Beach Day” is Saturday, May 30 @ Cowell Beach by the Wharf. Not sure of the time but their FB page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/CommitteetoReopenSantaCruztoSaveLives/ .
You might want to check your “SCIENCE” info regarding the lifespan and ability of this virus to survive. We’ll know in a few weeks the outcome of this holiday. Right now the beaches and the wharf are packed, little to no social distancing at all. I doubt they are all self-righteous locals demanding their personal freedom (to the detriment of anyone else). Just take a look at the infection rates after St. Pat’s Day in New York or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This still has the ability to spread fast. If you don’t care about your friends, family, or community that is your right. Just stay away from my friends, family and community. Great photos this week, by the way. Love the S.C.P.D. dog waggin’ his tail!
SCIENCE? I see signs around town, with “Science is real.” Too bad the other listed items may not be real.
This morning (Sunday) just after 11am, a low-flying helicopter passed along the beach. I wonder if it was taking a video for subsequent counting? That would be science, if it also takes groups vs. solos into account, and also compares to traffic from over the hill.
Now, who would be at the beach on a very crowded weekend? Would it be locals who lost their jobs? Or would it be government workers and cubicle types from elsewhere, who have jobs (with medical leave, if necessary)? In other words, who is spreading this virus? Is it the people most affected by the economic consequences, or by those least affected? Scientific minds want to know!
Do you really know the facts? Cdc- masks don’t work. WHO-not spread human to human. Cdc- spread by surfaces. CDC- not spread by surfaces. None of us knows anything more than our neighbor, including the experts. Why do you assume those protesting totalinariasm don’t care about their loved ones and community? Do you assume that?
Well put, Eugene. Let me cool down this discussion a bit: We don’t know all the facts, or even all of the theory. But a hope that we know the relationship between ouselves and others, even though we apply different weighting factors to each. In the year 2200, all of us will be history.