Waiting For Our Next COVID Spike to Arrive
Santa Cruz has recently improved on Governor Newsom’s new color block scale, to the point of re-opening previously closed businesses with restrictions. This is the good news. However, many people who follow this sort of stuff are predicting a local spike, in part from the recent fire evacuations and bringing people who otherwise might not be in close contact with each other together. In addition to the obvious evacuees who had to stay at local shelters and evacuation centers, we had numerous people staying with friends, neighbors, relatives, etc. And despite our efforts to close our local beaches, people still came here and went to the beaches over Labor Day weekend, and we haven’t seen the fallout there yet.
There have been 2,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency. 7 people have died. 1,769 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 41,715 people have tested negative. 132 have been hospitalized in total. According to a state count, 12 people are currently hospitalized and two are in the ICU. Santa Cruz County is in the red tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning many non-essential indoor businesses operations are closed. It is at 5.3 new COVID-19 positive cases per 100,000, and it needs to be below 4 to move up. It also has a 3.8% positivity rate, and that needs to be below 5% to move up. The county needs to meet the criteria for three weeks before moving to the red tier.
Local Fire Containment Grows
In a press conference on Thursday, Cal Fire reported that the CZU Lightning Complex Fires have burned a total of 86,509 acres, with containment now up to 84%. The expected full containment date is still to be determined.
Twice the Trouble
Last Thursday night around 7PM, Watsonville Police arrested 27 year old twin brothers and charged them with attempted murder with gang enhancements. Watsonville Police believe the men stabbed two men on Grant Avenue on Aug 30th. Four days after the stabbing, the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force arrested one of the brothers in Watsonville. The other brother was arrested on Thursday in San Jose after Watsonville detectives worked with the San Jose Police Department to find him. Both were booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on attempted murder charges. Their bail has been set at $250,000. The victims have been released from the hospital.
Tased and Confused
Monday afternoon, Santa Cruz Police responded to a man brandishing a knife and making suicidal statements in the Staff of Life parking lot. The highly intoxicated male refused to drop a knife while challenging the officers to kill him. He was eventually tased and subdued without further incident.
Felons With Guns and Drugs
Thursday night around 10:30PM, SCPD patrol officers responded to the 100 block of Wave Crest where they arrested a 50 year old male convicted felon in possession of an assault rifle with multiple high capacity mags and a Glock pistol. He was charged with 9 charges total, including weapons and drug possession charges. For all 9 charges, his bail was set at $25K and he bonded out of jail already. Back in 2014, he was part of a group that got busted with drugs and weapons in Santa Cruz. His local rap sheet dates back to 2013. I guess he hasn’t learned his lesson, or we haven’t learned how to keep this guy in jail.
Watsonville Gang Member Arrested with Stolen Gun in Aptos
Last Friday around midnight, local CHP stopped a 21 year old Watsonville man near Moosehead Drive and Winfield Way in Aptos and arrested him on a number of charges, including being a felon in possession of firearm, carrying a concealed weapon in his vehicle, possession of a stolen gun, being in a street gang, resisting arrest, and drug possession. And he was drunk in public too. Last check he’s still in county jail after his bail was bumped up to $100K.
Sunday afternoon, Santa Cruz Police responded to the 1000 block of Cayuga for a report of an attempted robbery and carjacking. After arriving, they found the 57 year old male suspect hiding behind the Pacific Garden Chapel Funeral Home. He was arrested after he ran from police and tried to climb over a fence. He was charged with robbery, kidnapping during an attempted carjacking, and resisting arrest. Last check he’s still in county jail on a $50K bond. He’s been arrested at least 8 times in the past 2 years.
Beats a Penny
Last Thursday morning around 5:30AM, SCPD arrested a 43 year old Boulder Creek woman near Mission and King streets and charged her with reckless driving, possession of burglary tools, misappropriation of “lost” property, possession of nitrous oxide, and being drunk. Her bail? $500. No I didn’t forget a zero. She’s out of jail.
Hanky Panky at the County Jail
Last Friday, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies picked up one of their own after a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s correctional officer was arrested and is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with an inmate. The 31 year old female was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with an inmate, assault by a public officer and unauthorized computer access. Detectives began investigating after they received information about an inappropriate relationship with an incarcerated person who was serving their sentence through a supervised release program. The female suspect has been with the sheriff’s office since 2015.
Watsonville’s Dumbest Criminals Get Caught
Tuesday afternoon, Watsonville Police were patrolling the levee near Main Street when they came across a group of men with open beer containers. As officers approached the group, they took off running, attempting to get rid of their guns while they fled. Officers eventually caught up with and detained the suspects, and located their guns following an area search. A backpack full of drugs, cash, and drug paraphernalia was also found. In total, they recovered three guns, 126 grams of methamphetamine, 38 grams of heroin, and prescription pills. How stupid can you be? Sitting around with open containers of alcohol while carrying guns and enough drugs to stock a pharmacy makes you the dumbest criminals in Watsonville. Might as well tattoo arrest me on your forehead.
Santa Cruz City Council Candidates
Martine. Shebreh. Sonja. Pick those 3. Skip the 4th. There is no good 4th. Just remember those 3 names on the ballot. Martine. Shebreh. Sonja. Don’t worry, I’ll keep reminding you.
Manu For the 1st District
And since I’m plugging local candidates who didn’t ask me to, vote Manu for Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors if you live in the First District.
The Day the World Changed Forever
On this day in 2001, a series of terror attacks created chaos and devastation across the United States. Four airplanes were hijacked that morning. Two of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, causing both towers to burn, implode and collapse. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and a fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers fought back against the terrorists. The attacks, carried out by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. At the risk of sounding old, it’s hard for me to believe there are people who don’t remember 9/11. It’s still the most shocking single day in my life, a day I was truly terrified. The world changed that day forever.
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
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Hey Ben, I think SCruz County are in red already.
Appreciate your research in rap sheets for the criminals. Bring attention to the turnstile. Hope things improve here. “How could things get worse” (A phrase I try not to say these days) …
Why not start a write in campaign for the 4th City Council seat: Richelle!
Curious regarding the dumb ciminals with guns, drugs, and open beer. Just wondering if law enforcement already had them under observation, and used the beer as an excuse. Don’t know the details, but it seems to me that if the nogoodniks were standing on (private) farm property, rather than public property, the beer would be OK.
On another note, I was just looking at a chart of COVID total economic costs. Seems that folks who are in the habit of calculating things have a way of measuring the value of lives, and thus can calculate the value of lives lost versus the value of economic loss fromn trying to save lives. Compared to European nations (not worldwide), the US is in the middle, similar to Sweden in total value per capita. Some nations chose less restrictions, some more. Germany and Austria fared best, UK fared worst. It was not necessarilt the case that stricter measures were better. I’d provide a link, but the same web site also has political news, which is inappropriate here.
As for the Labor Day beachgoers: If the folks from elswhere congregated only among themselves, then it should have little local impact.
Agreed. I think with the covid restrictions, we’ve only proved that theres no hiding. We have to live our daily lives to survive… to survive more than just a virus.
There will always be other distaters which prevent us from choosing the ideal version of avoidance.
Which brings me back to the theory that herd immunity is the only logical, sane way to handle this.
To sum it up, were cutting off our nose to spite our face, when most of us dont need to.
It’s fine if you want to talk about 9/11 but when you drag race and BLM into your comments you failed. Keep race discussions (and yes that includes any conspiracy theories about BLM) out of my comments. NO RACIAL PISSING MATCHES IN MY COMMENTS. Repeat violators will be blocked from future commenting.
I was home at the time of 9/11 and watched every minute of it from the very first news blast. Surreal and uncertainty on steroids. It took awhile for anyone to figure out it was an attack, and I will admit I sure didn’t see the tower collapse coming and it sent the shock waves of disbelief even higher, despair even lower. That was on top of the fact I had quit a job without actually having another one lined up just yet, although the only good part of that was I had by then exited the stock market and didn’t have that extra whammy to consider. I had nothing to do but watch in horror. What followed was the horror of G.Bush in charge of fixing it after sitting transfixed watching a children’s school event probably thinking What the hell am I gonna do now.
To this day of course we have been at war, EVERY DAY, and every single teenager in America has not lived a day without the USA at war, something you must admit Trump has been trying to fix with a little success, and a big plus we have’t started a new one.
If we’re lucky, those who have long wanted a new war — with Iran — won’t get their way.
???? I just can6t roll my eyes enough with disbelief. Why do we keep putting up with this ?? Never mind, I know why, I am disgusted by it all !! We all should be disgusted !!
Santa Cruz can do so much better!
Please take a look at my post on Nextdoor. It’s an ongoing issue that is increasing due to the lack of “Resources” (that’s rich) I’m assuming that’s going to be the response if this topic ever gains enough speed to reach our city leaders.
Thank you so much for your time
Yet another murder involving vagrants at Depot Park. Right next to the playground.Let”s get rid of the Rangers. Great idea.
Hold on… Although attribution to vagrants seems most probable, we don’t know that. The police are keeping a tight lid on this, apparently to ensure that the captured suspect is the right guy, not just someone who was wandering around at the time.
In normal times, 3am Sat/Sun is a time when drunks are out there, the bars having closed at 2. It has been my observation that habitual barflys keep the same hours, and drink the same, even with the bars closed due to COVID. So it is at least possible that the victim and perp are locals who had been drinking, and happened to take their argument outside.
We’ll see. Vagrants or not, the best bet is that this involved drugs.
Update: One of the online news agencies leaked a name. The suspect has (we knew this) a long arrrest record, generally involving drugs. Turnstile. Age 34. But although I could not verify one way or the other, it looks like he’s not one of those camp-out vagrants. We’ll see. It may be that the police are being cagey, only because the guy has a long record of not stabbing people during drug deals.
Ben: I am sure that you will report the Depot Park killing in your 9-18 dump. I have been following this closely, as the park is a recreational area. FYI:
In a press conference yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, SCPD named the victim and the suspect. The suspect was not charged with murder, due to further investigation, and due to being a probation violator (of course) so they can keep him under wraps awhile. Whether there will be further charges, and what they might be, has not yet been determined. Apparently a lot of this depends on unreliable witness statements.
As for the victim, he “recently arrived” in SC from Coloroado. Doubt if it was to begin Ph.D. studies in Astroyphysics at the university! Unfortunately, his name is sufficiently common that searches only revealed persons who could not be the victim. His name does not appear on county court records.
All this, and the Bonny Doon fire, caused me to have a wonderful dream last night: I stole a fire engine. Nobody noticed. But I had an appointment in Monterey, and thought that driving there in the fire engine might be suspicious. So I parked the fire engine near Depot Park, and tried to hitch a ride. No luck, becuase the locals were demonstrating. When I walked back to the fire engine, a meter maid was issuing a parking ticket. Now, that could be a problem. End of dream.
Love your column Ben. I got bumped last week for advocating for Leopold so I won’t do that again but would sure love to know why you are supporting Manu. He sounds like a liberal dillitante to me. Hope you answer. And Keep on keeping on.
It was just brought to my attention that the “Follow the Weekly Dump” subscribe button was accidentally turned off. It’s back on now. Thanks Sirleen!