What else can go wrong here? We’re still dealing with a massive fire in the middle of a massive pandemic. But the fire seems to be coming under control as the weather cooperates. I’m not gonna kid myself. We’re getting the shit beat out of us right now here in Santa Cruz by forces beyond our control. Life is cyclical and we will bounce back, just not equally. My heart hurts for everyone effected by this fire.
Massive Fire Continues to Burn in Santa Cruz Mountains
Fires from the “CZU Lightning Complex” fire continue to burn in the Santa Cruz mountains this week. The fires began on August 16th after the Santa Cruz area was hit with numerous lightning strikes and bad weather. As of Thursday morning, the fire has burned nearly 82,000 acres, 735 structures have been destroyed in Santa Cruz County and the fire is 24% contained, according to a recent CalFire update. At least one person has been killed by the fire. The body of a male was recovered in the area of Last Chance. More than 1300 firefighter personnel have been involved in fighting the fire. Bonny Doon, which has been evacuated, was hit especially hard by this fire, as well as areas along Empire Grade. The towns of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Felton, and Scotts Valley were also evacuated. Scotts Valley residents got permission to return on Thursday afternoon.
Looters Arrested in Evacuated Fire Zone
Last Saturday, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies arrested five people for suspicion of looting in the Fall Creek Drive area, a spot where evacuation orders are in place for the CZU Lightning Complex fire. They had received reports of looting and stopped two cars in the area. Both vehicles were full of stolen items. One driver stopped, but the other took off and ended up in a ditch. Deputies arrested one male and four females and charged them with looting, grand theft, conspiracy to commit a crime and burglary. Their bail was bumped up to $100K each.
Wallet Thief Arrested
Reports came out last week that a Cal Fire ground commander’s wallet was taken and his bank account drained while he was directing fire fighting crews. Credit cards were used at a gas station in Capitola and Thursday the Sheriff’s office announced they had made an arrest of the thief.
The Silence of the Lambs and the Local News Media
This Wednesday, Santa Cruz Police arrested a 37 year old male and charged him with kidnapping, stalking, false imprisonment, battery, and drug possession. Last check he’s still sitting in county jail on a $75K bond (which was increased obviously to keep him in jail). He’s got a local rap sheet that goes back to 2014. Would Hannibal Lechter even make the local news here anymore? Do we even have local news here anymore?
Maybe God Will Protect Us
Last Saturday night around 8:30PM, Santa Cruz Police responded to the 100 block of Trinity Street where they arrested a 33 year old male and a 21 year old male and charged them both with battery, flashing a weapon, making criminal threats, and trying to dissuade a witness. You’d think that might be enough to warrant a stay in jail for a little while anyways. You think these guys are still in jail. Not in our jail.
Stunning Apathy Towards Public Safety
Monday morning around 3AM, SCPD responded to the 2300 block of Mission Street where they detained a 36 year old male for being a felon in possession of a stun gun. Did hey arrest him? Of course not. They gave him a ticket. I hope they at least took the stun gun away from him but hell, this is Santa Cruz so I’m not making any bets here. His local rap sheet goes back to 2014 so they probably knew him on a first name basis.
Santa Cruz City Council Candidates
Given the fact that we’re still in the middle of a raging pandemic which has significantly changed our way of life, Santa Cruz is on fire and doing a slow burn, schools are closed, businesses are closed (and sometimes closing for good), does anyone really care about the local city council race? My apathy level is off the charts here. I’m just not feeling it right now. The Zoom meetings are pretty awful, and the council itself has basically abdicated most of their decision making power right now to the city manager and Master of Disaster Martin Bernal.
But the race goes on. I’ll keep it simple and brief. I’m not a huge fan of any of the people running. For me, it mostly boils down to “who is least likely to fuck things up worse here?”. All of the women running (with one obvious non-notable exception in Bad Mom) seem like nice people with good honest intentions. There’s a lot I don’t agree with. There’s a lot I don’t like. There’s nothing I really like. It is what it is. 2020. Say no more. It’s been one of those years. So the women I support here I’ve come to the conclusion will be the least likely to make matters worse. Which I suppose is a good thing.
People I’ll probably vote for:
- Martine Watkins
- Sonja Brunner
- Shebra Kalantari-Johnson
I’m not big on any of them. Doesn’t mean I don’t like them. Doesn’t mean they won’t end up doing an effective job. I’m just not sold and right now I need some selling. I do feel all 3 of these women are smart, pragmatic, and will get along fine with Cummings, Meyers, and Golder. And right now we need a strong, unified voice here. A moderate voice. It’s not to say these women aren’t progressive. They are. They are moderate progressives. That’s about the best we can actually hope for here. These three women are the “safe bets” to not fuck things up worse. That works for me.
People I won’t vote for:
- Everyone else
All of the other “serious” candidates just lean way too far to the left for me. Sandy Brown is a loon and none of the others have any background or experience doing the job here. And the last thing we need right now are novices with a pre-conceived agenda. That’s what everyone else is. Sandy Brown and the Novices aren’t prompting me to raise my lighter in the air here. Hell I can’t even pick a 4th because I just can’t choke down voting for anyone but the three I mentioned above.
Weekly Shoutouts and Thanks!
First of course, all the firefighters out on the front lines of the fire, you’re all amazing heroes. And the same goes for the “unofficial” volunteers out fighting the fires on their own in Bonny Doon, Boulder Creek, and all the other communities being effected by fires in the Santa Cruz mountains. You guys are rockstars in your communities and you should be celebrated with parades as local heroes. To all the public safety personnel working tirelessly on the fire, to all the volunteers working in the shelters, and all the community members offering donations and places for evacuees to stay, thank you for being amazing neighbors and making Santa Cruz strong.
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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