Santa Cruz Remembers George Floyd
What happened to George Floyd is tragic. And it seems to be part of an endless cycle where we just don’t learn from our mistakes. The problems of racism and police brutality is systemic in this country, and we’ve watched that play out over and over this past week on social media and on tv. It’s not just one bad police force in Minnesota, or one bad bunch of cops. It seems to be everywhere, in every police department in this country, and it’s being exposed by video shot by people on their cell phones. It’s pretty scary to think how long this has been going on, and the endless coverups. And don’t get me started on Trump pissing his gas all over the dumpster fires in America right now.
I know Santa Cruz is different, and I know SCPD is different, and I find some comfort in knowing our police department is better than that. I know some people wish they were not so different, wish they were more aggressive, so they could could push their stupid, we hate cops narrative. But I respect our police department. And I respect what Cummings and Mills are trying to do to keep and maintain the peace for all of us.
Saturday morning, hundreds of people gathered on Pacific Avenue downtown, taking a knee together to honor the memory of George Floyd and bring attention to police violence against black people in this country. I know there’s a photo making the rounds on social media, taken by a Senile photographer, of the mayor and the police chief kneeling in solidarity at the corner of Water and Pacific. It was a nice photo. It was convenient that the Senile photographer was camped next to them. I know I sound cynical. I am cynical. I know how much these guys like a good photo op, or an opportunity for one. It was still a nice gesture, a money shot pic, and it made the city look good and more “woke” than some of the other cities (and their police forces) experiencing more city like problems with looters and rioters.
There was also another protest/march on Sunday afternoon as well. This one took place along West Cliff drive and was also large and mostly well behaved.
Then Wednesday night, the good vibes of the bent knee wore off and we were back to the usual pissed off and destructive kind of protest downtown. So much for taking a knee here. SCPD let this happen to their door.
while a mob was standing in front of it. They even have the guy’s face on video.
And if Wednesday night wasn’t bad enough, they were back for more on Thursday night too. Less destructive, probably because PD was much better prepared, but still angry mobs of people blocking traffic with little interference from PD.
Shooting in Downtown Santa Cruz
Wednesday night around 7PM, while a protest was going on just blocks away at the police station, there was an apparently unrelated shooting in downtown Santa Cruz. It happened on the 400 block of Cedar Street, and involved a victim who was sent to a San Jose trauma center for their injuries, and at least 3 suspects. Two of the suspects left the scene in a car while the other fled into the neighborhood on foot. A Project ROPE was initiated but I don’t think anyone was caught or arrested. They did have some good security video to work with so they may have suspects.
Three Arrested in Stolen Truck at New Leaf
Saturday afternoon around 3:30PM, SCPD responded to the parking lot of the New Leaf grocery store on the 1100 block of Fair Avenue, where they stopped 3 people at gunpoint for driving a stolen truck. The driver of the truck was passed out when SCPD arrived, and two others were in the vehicle.
Johnny Law Meets John Deere
Sunday night, CHP officers in Santa Cruz were kept busy after spotting a John Deere tractor on Highway 17. Officers say it was going 15 mph with no lights on. They say the driver refused to pull over and a “very low speed pursuit” ensued for about 10 minutes. When the driver stopped, he was arrested for DUI and tractor theft.
Not Getting Out of Jail So Freely
Just after midnight this past Thursday evening, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to East Cliff Drive where they arrested a 32 year old male transient for kidnapping and battery on a peace officer. He’s still in county jail on a $25K bond.
Not Getting Out of Jail So Freely Redux
Sunday morning around 9AM, SCPD arrested a 41 year old male on the 300 block of Ocean Street for robbery, drug possession, and being drunk in public. His bail was set at $50K and last check he was still in county jail.
Name This Douche
White. Female. Dumb glasses (the giveaway). Easily triggered. Looks familiar!
The Boardwalk is Still Closed
The summer concert series was cancelled last month. Employees have been laid off. 1097 jobs have been furloughed in the past 2 weeks. It’s a tremendous financial hit to the community. As we slowly see restrictions ease on the coronavirus threat, as the state slowly begins to allow public gatherings with restrictions, the million dollar question will not be can the Boardwalk open but will they even want to open this year?
They’re not in the business to lose money. Restrictions will almost certainly impact their “capacity” to do business. How does the Boardwalk accommodate any social distancing requirements without losing the capacity to do business? And how much capacity are they willing to lose? Obviously there’s a hard line in the sand somewhere on their P&L sheets that will determine if the capacity they are allowed under state and county restrictions is enough to facilitate making a profit or not. If they can make a profit, they MIGHT open (still a big if). If they can’t make money, there’s no way in hell they open. They might open some “self contained” stuff, like the arcade or the bowling alley, but the main rides and concessions aren’t opening unless they can serve a number of people at any given time. So just because they can open doesn’t mean they will open. And if the city is waiting for them to open this summer and bring the magic TOT revenue streams back and turn the tourist tax faucet back on, it’s very wishful thinking.
Board of Supervisors Hold Special Community Input Meeting on COVID-19 Restrictions
The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors had a special meeting last Friday to get public input about opening up more business and community facilities in Santa Cruz County. At one point they cleared the public from the room after a speaker approached the Santa Cruz County Health Officer “to confirm who she was by reading her name tag”. No citation was given to the man and the supervisors continued the meeting but in a closed boardroom. Members of the public were allowed to speak from a community room downstairs. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the variance which could be submitted Friday and could take up to a week for review.
Capitola Mall Reopens
Does anyone really care? The place was a ghost mall since long before the coronavirus hit. The “food court” is a joke. I guess if you work there you care. With the new hours, the mall is open from 10AM to 6PM Monday-Saturday and 11AM to 5PM on Sunday. Let’s face it. Capitola Mall is past their expiration date as a useful shopping destination. It’s time for one of two options here. Raze it or redevelop it. Razing it would be the easiest option so I’ll save talking about for later.
Instead I want to talk a little bit about redeveloping the mall. I know the local, progressive knee jerk response is going to be “create low income housing for the homeless” and I’m sorry, that’s just not happening here. The people of Capitola have no desire to turn Capitola Mall into a low income housing project, and it would make no money for any developer. So let’s talk about a more pragmatic idea for the mall. Yes, develop into housing. For seniors. For the disabled. And sure the homeless can be part of it too, but it can’t be stigmatized with a “homeless low income” label for a developer to even want to get involved. Converting the mall into senior housing, basically reconfiguring the majority of retail space into studio, one and two bedroom apartments. And have “amenities” that are needed and wanted by seniors as co-tenants in the mall. Make it safe as hell. Visitors have to check in and out through a single entry/exit. Keep the food court and expand it. It can work.
“With the senior population and demand for senior housing guaranteed to grow over the next 20 years, yesterday’s offices, hotels, schools and commercial buildings can be repurposed into the senior housing of tomorrow. Developers are embracing adaptive reuse as a way to combat a lack of available land and rising land costs that make it hard to secure prime sites.”
From Sears to Seniors: Mixed-Use Project Will Turn Mall Into Senior Housing, Care Site
Life Hacks With Abuela
During these difficult times, Santa Mierda’s very own Abuela offers up simple, free (mostly) life hacks to just make life a little better and more tolerable. In this installment, we talk about towels.
Towels. So taken for granted. But if you want to make your life just a little bit better, and you happen to own a dryer, toss a towel in the dryer on warm for a few minutes BEFORE you plan to take a shower. Then when you’re ready to jump in the shower, take the newly warm towel from the dryer, fold it nicely, and place it next to the shower. Instant spa treatment! Because drying off from a shower with a nice warm towel is one of life’s hacks.
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.
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There were a few community meetings with the company who will be redeveloping Capitola Mall. The plans so far could stand some improvement. Any place there is housing for seniors should include RELIABLE public transportation, for those no longer driving. We really need a decent bus system around here.
I agree. And the mall has an easily accessible Metro stop at it’s front door now. The same area could be used for private shuttles for seniors too.
Yeah, but isnt public transportation a bad option right now if you’re want the frail to avoid covid exposure?
Another view regarding police, from a reasonably repuable but locally unknown essayist: He assigns blame to public employee unions. Police are usually unionized. They defend their own kind (the union). He noted that the offending officer had been the subject of more than one disciplinary complaint, all for naught.
I note that elsewhere today, an entire police department has “resigned” (they’ll be back, I’m sure) over discipline applied to one of the union members.
Nobody seems to have noticed, or they pretend not to notice, that of the three bystanding officers, two were not white. Race, by itself, is not the issue.
If a particular force has historically had thugs, then the thug culture will recruit new thugs when the old thugs retire. Do all the “diversity” you wish, but to no avail. You will just get a more mixed group of thugs. As far as I know, among modern nations that are more uni-racial than us, you can find white nations with thug police, black nations with thug police, brown, yellow, whatever.
Indeed, if a force is recruited by quotas (favored by the left) that may actually decrease the odds of getting new recruits who are not thugs.
The solution is alternative training and deployment, in a manner that discourages thugs from applying.
ME: All lives matter.
ME: Very well. Progressive lives don’t matter.
PROGRESSIVES: That’s better.
I heard the Buffalo PD officers didn’t resign from the force but from that particular special unit. But I could be wrong. But you bring up some good and valid points. Thanks!
You are correct. Just that special unit.
Years ago (15-20?) one of the Cabrillo College faculty department heads resigned her position (as department head) in protest over something or other of a general political nature. Martyr for a cause? Hardly. Nobody asked her to resign. But she was still a full-time tenured faculty member, with same pay and same seniority. All it meant was that instead of teaching N classes with additional duties, she went back to teaching N+1 classes. In any case, it was a rotating position, so she would have not been department head a year or two later. My point: the mindset.
I have been anxiously awaiting your column and opinion this week and I could not agree with you more. Some contributors…not so much. My opinion is that we are very blessed in this county with our Sheriff’s as well as MOST of the city departments. Racism in any organization comes from the top. People want to please the boss. The Chiefs are setting the tone, and the officers can tell easily what it is that the chief expects and values. If every protester registers and votes in November we will see real change. Racism is worse now than ever. At least people used to be ashamed to be a racist. Real change is coming. Vote out racism forever.
May I inject some lightness into this otherwise dreary discussion? Even Shakespeare wrote the occasional comedy, among all the tragedies. The above post, regarding pool opening, reminded me:
My late father’s best friend, whom I knew, received a WWII Army pension for being legally blinded in combat. Actually, he could still read books, with appropriate glasses, and did not need a cane or guide dog. There is some criterion for what “legally blind” means.
He had one boy, but his wife died young, making him a widower, so he got the proceeds of her life insurance policy, plus another subsidy. With all that, back in the long-gone days when you could actually buy a home, he moved from a high-cost Northeast city to a low-cost place in an obscure part of the Florida coast. There, he could buy a small single-family bungalow on a large lot, for cash, and still have his pension for support.
Turned out that the nearby ocean was almost always flat, except in face of an oncoming hurricane. So the surfers couldn’t surf when it was flat, and the town would not let them surf without a lifeguard on the beach. But no lifeguard could be forced to work in the face of a hurricane.
The “legally blind” man passed lifeguard training, and volunteered to the duty, so that the surfers could surf. Imagine sitting in a raised lifeguard chair with a steady 40MPH wind (the hurricane is far away). That’s what he did.
When he died years later, the surfers provided a magnificent luau on the beach, followed by official burial at sea.
Great story, and an idea, but some of the other restrictions are only 1 person per/300 sq ft, no hanging out around the pool. I think that works out to 2 people in the pool at once. Yeah, maybe 3 people could take turns being the lifeguard?
Thanks for your insightful and cogent comments. These have been in short supply.
Yes thank you.
I thought this was very good and insightful feedback (for me) since you do have police in your family. But my observation is that the violence begins when someone does not follow police orders and starts to act out or destroy property AND NOT by police reaction. Anyway it’s great that we’re having this conversation and hopefully something positive comes out of it. I like your idea of increased police funding for the reasons you cite.
Nothing changes but it stays the same…
Thanks for this comment Spooky.
I was right there when Mills and Cummings took a knee. It was definitely not a photo op. Sorry to hear your cynicism Ben; it speaks more about you than what was happening at that moment.
I already said I was cynical. Do you need me to say it again? I’m cynical!
“how you can say you respect Santa Cruz police and what Mills and Cummings are doing to keep us safe… and then slam them for the photo taken at the protest, all but call it a PR scam…?”. Uh, they aren’t mutually exclusive. Both can be true.
Well said Spooky. I have had cops in my family and as friends as well. And just like the mail-carriers there are good ones and bad ones. Just as there are good citizens and bad ones. The few wanna-be anarchists who derailed the protests should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest, but we know here in S.C. that won’t happen. The graffiti downtown and at SCPD bore a remarkable resemblance to that at the surfer statue, bathrooms, and our lighthouse. Same handwriting and phrases. It also bore a striking similarity to the graffiti done by the UCSC Grad students who ultimately were fired for not doing their jobs. The damage to our city was not perpetrated by our permanent residents, black or white. Nice going children, please go home to your mommies and daddies. We’re tired of you.
I think you hit the nail on the head.
Ben have you noticed The shooter in Paso Robles is one of our turnstilers.Even wrote a book set in Pogonip
Indeed. When the news media reported his capture, they showed his photo from Mugshots Santa Cruz!
Do it somewhere other than here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for the last time. Stay on topic. I’m not going to allow my comments to turn into a “black vs. white” discussion about race. If anyone wants to try my patience here, it will be bad for you.
This is the last fucking time I’m going to say this. DO NOT TURN MY COMMENTS INTO A DEBATE DISCUSSION ABOUT RACE. It’s OFF TOPIC. You do it, I will delete at my discretion and block you from commenting in the future. Final warning to all.
Don’t like it? Too fucking bad. It’s my website. Don’t comment then.