The Weekly Dump 10.9.20

Well That’s What I’d Call a Spike

This past Wednesday, Santa Cruz County announced 46 Watsonville Post Acute Center residents and 15 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, with nine of the residents dying from the virus. The nursing home deaths account for more than half of all reported coronavirus deaths in the county. County health officials are working with the facility on a daily basis to review protocols on isolation, quarantine, testing, and screening, as well as resource requests for staff and supplies critical to resolving the outbreak. The California National Guard is providing staffing support to the facility.

The Latest County COVID Numbers

Andy Mills Throws the Rangers Under the Bus

Thursday night, as the Santa Cruz City Council finalized nearly $6 million in budget cuts, SCPD Chief Andy Mills threw the Santa Cruz Rangers under the bus and drove over them a few times for good measure. The hypocrite, who constantly blathers on about brotherhood in the department while attrition is rampant and morale sucks, decided to eliminate 12 police Rangers and several other positions in the department. The Rangers have apparently been “invited” to apply for 6 open Community Service Officer positions. What a load of political bullshit this is. Who will replace them Andy? Crickets? NOBODY will. Go take a walk downtown where the Rangers USED TO patrol. It’s a human dumpster fire. You think any union guys are gonna patrol down there? GTFO. Andy Mills bends his knee to the POA (Police Officers Association, the union). While he’s down there he can besa mi culo. Public safety is just lip service when it suits the lip.

Our Gateway Into Town

Last Friday around 11:30AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 700 block of Ocean Street where they arrested a 54 year old Watsonville man for vandalism, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle. He’s currently in county jail on a no release hold.

More Mischief on Ocean Street

Last Friday around 3:30PM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 700 block of Ocean Street where they arrested a 29 year old Watsonville man on a laundry list of bad behavior. He was arrested on 14 charges, 11 felonies including domestic violence, drug possession, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and being a felon in possession of a machine gun. Bail was set at $275K. Somehow, he’s out of jail already. What is it with the 700 block of Ocean Street?

Double Shooting in Watsonville

Watsonville Police are investigating a double shooting that happened Sunday night near the Pajaro River levee. Police said two people were shot at the dead-end of Walker Street around 8:00 p.m. and were taken to a trauma center. Police said one person is in critical condition.

Fighting With a Gun While Driving is a Bad Idea

This past week, there was a crash and shooting along Highway 1 near Watsonville that shut down the freeway for a brief time. CHP officials closed Highway 1 at Main Street after an incident that involved two people in a truck. Apparently there was some kind of disagreement inside the vehicle and one man shot himself in the face. CHP reported the victim had significant wounds but was expected to survive.

More Sordid Sex Tales From the Santa Cruz County Jail

This week, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Officer was arrested for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with an inmate. This is the third officer arrested for sexual misconduct at the county jail in the past 3 years. The 35 year old woman was arrested for sexual activity with an inmate, assault by a public officer, and bringing contraband into a detention facility. An investigation was launched in May after detectives received information of her inappropriate relationship, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail. The suspect began working for the Sheriff’s Office in 2008 and is no longer employed with the department. She’s facing a total of 10 charges. She’s not in jail anymore. Her bail was set at one cent. Penny bail!

Tased and Confused

Tuesday morning around 9:30AM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Dakota Avenue for the usual issues of transients causing some kind of disturbance. They ended up arresting a 61 year old male for a felony bench warrant, being a felon in possession of a taser. A 38 year old female was arrested with him and charged with drug possession. The woman is out of jail and the guy would have been kicked to the curb with her if he didn’t have the felony bench warrant. As of Thursday he’s still in jail.

Turnstiler of the Week

Tuesday night around 7PM, SCPD responded to the area of San Lorenzo Boulevard and East Broadway where they arrested a 52 year old male for making criminal threats, flashing a weapon, and being drunk in public. Last check he’s still in jail on a $5K bond. He’s been arrested at least 47 times locally since 2013. That makes him our Turnstiler of the Week!

The Ballots Are Dropping!

Less than a month to go until the election! I got my ballot in the mail this week. I’ll share my ballot after I have a chance to do it. But remember for the…….

Santa Cruz City Council Race

Martine. Shebreh. Sonja. No fourth.

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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  1. Whoever bought a hoody from the shop tonight…..thank you!

  2. re Andy Mills Throws the Rangers Under the Bus:
    On May 31, The Chief of Police for the City of Santa Cruz published this statement:
    “I genuinely love being a cop. Now, I am honored to serve the men and women who protect Santa Cruz.”

    When I reminded him of his sworn duty to protect and serve the community, he got kind of rude and doubled down on his “leadership” philosophy of serving his officers first. I believe this is why the Ranger program is in peril: Mills’s obvious bias towards the SCPD’s POA has compromised the integrity of the position of Chief of Police. He has in effect perverted it into some kind of subservient role rather than an objective overseer.

    This kind of flawed approach to administrative responsibility can not be “untaught.” Unfortunately, as long as this person holds the position of Chief, the city will lose. The approach he should have taken was to offer the POA a choice: either accept the furloughs, or face a department wide “Last in- first out” downsizing until the magic budget numbers are reached.

  3. Just the Facts

    Hope they order a big load of metal fencing like they did for Grant and Laurel Park. They”re going to need it for what were once our”community” parks now that the Rangers are gone. The “Adopt a Park” program should be renamed “Reclaim a Park”. Mills should be ashamed.

  4. Sad times , when we can not even keep our rangers !! Our city just can’t get out of it’s own way !! Seems to me the paper pushers don’t get it! They will get it, when they call for help and there is no help and no one to respond.
    The Sheriff’s Department is having some BIG problems in their jail. Do we know if DOJ is coming to the jail?? If not, I bet they will soon!! They need to take a hard look at what is happening in there.
    Thank you for all your hard work!!
    I appreciate all the information, as we just don’t get any from the powers that be !!

  5. I don’t really go downtown, so can’t comment on the rangers activities there, but as we know, the homeless hang out on public property (mostly), and that property includes the parks. It’s only a feeling, but just knowing the rangers can and did roll into the parks and check things out without notice seemed to put a check on bad behavior (not that there wasn’t some like doing laundry in sinks, drinking fountains, pouring buckets of water over themselves taking public “baths”, etc). Without that presence, well we’re gonna find out as they say the hard way what happens now.
    Not to be picky, but there are only five positions of CSO’s replacements available, not 6, the 6’th already taken by preserving the “victims advocate” position.
    I did not prepare for my remarks at that cc on the matter, but I again think there are others areas they could have cut. It comes from my belief that the city should be 100% focused with providing general, available to all, public services and not social justice warrior-ing , at least with general funds. The climate action manager highly paid position is essentially a staff climate activist, and we get zero value for it because believe or not, there is no science that can predict climate, no human power that can control it, no ability to measure what if anything we do has the desired climate effect, and puny Santa Cruz’s efforts amount to a fraction of that nothing. It is mostly a radical almost religious fanatic movement that thinks man is bad, any effect of man on the earth is bad, less people would be better, and the deity they worship is an earth without man’s foot prints. There are exactly zero cc meetings where 3 or 4 items are not all out SJW’ering of the radical leftist variety devoid of public service content. This election is a referendum on the far left. Choose carefully as it may well be the last time to get to choose. You can only vote in socialism once, then that choice never appears again. I throw this also in, I’m voting NO on every single proposition. Consider also that every time taxes are raised, you end up with a more powerful, expensive government that never seems to function any better.

    • The city has a well paid climate action manager? What do they do, exactly?

      • MuyDeplorable

        This is ultra-progressive Santa Cruz. If you do not know what a climate action manager does, it must be because you are some kind of hater. That calls for an increase in sales tax, because the climate action manager needs a pay raise for having to deal with all the haters. Or something like that. Never understood it, myself.

      • The city needs a climate action manager to manage the 15 square mile area of climate action in Santa Cruz City limits. Without him, we would have to manage it ourselves and everyone knows that the citizens of Santa Cruz are too stupid to do that without his help. The fact that climate is global and the earth has 197 million square miles with 7.6 billion people has nothing to do with his ability in helping Santa Cruz achieve meaningful climate action.

      • Seriously, the climate action manager is a woman who has a phd, gets paid “mega” bucks and has two main functions. One is to rubber stamp her supposed expert approval with any leftist enviro-wacko thingy the council comes up with, i.e. banning nat gas in new home construction etc. The 2’nd is to manage the “resilient coast”, a year long research project of coast line preservation. Now this sounds good, but actually climate changes VERY slowly despite predictions of doom. As of the the 1’st update on that, she wants to measure sea water intrusion and if it passes certain “trigger” points that calls for “action”. Now I’m not sure what action that is, I’m sure she doesn’t know either. The sea will rise, I suppose like it has in the last 100 years about 6-8inches/100 years. An emergency it’s not. I liken it to the homes on the Pacifica cliffs. You build on top of a landslide, some day you lose your house, oh well. We could lose that position for a couple years and no biggie. No one has figured out a better solution to erosion than rif-raf, she doesn’t know any either.

  6. Voting is our only chance to have a say at all. Voting “no” on all props is just lazy. Do your homework and vote responsibly.

    • I have to reply. I read them all, every word of them. It’s NO on all of them. Do I seem civically LAZY to you? I read every word of every council agenda item every 2 weeks, and speak on many of them.

  7. MuyDeplorable

    I presume that those 15 COVID-positive nursing home staff members wore high-quality masks, all the time while on the job.

  8. Beached Whale

    Repeating myself from a month back.

    Current leadership (and the council that has more or less rubber stamped them for decades) can’t even comprehend how overstuffed City Hall has become.

    There’s been no sustained effort to automate repeat processes / billing (other than utilities). I can’t think of single effort in decades to pare back programs or shelve old plans. The staff has spent most of the last 20 years creating excess red tape (i.e. no natural gas, required green building points, sewer lateral upgrades) and hiring outside firms and consultants to do what used to be City jobs (road repairs and plan check) while paying 80k minimum per analyst to “manage the contact.”

    There are 32 positions in the 2020 budget in Finance alone. The department carries a separate lease in the NIAC building. They don’t even fit in City Hall.

    There are 25 positions in IT including a full time position to manage the phone system.

    There are 40 positions in Planning. Most Cities of our size have less than half of that. We have not only climate action, but a half dozen people in “future planning” whose sole focus seems to be imaging a utopia of urban development that will never, ever come to pass (while simultaneously tying the shoelaces of any developer dumb enough to try anything).

    There are 12 positions in Economic Development. They are structurally disempowered to push back on the other departments interpretation of the muni code. The best they can do is share their sincere best wishes as half the businesses downtown close down.

    It’s a crisis Martin. Focus on what’s important. The service portfolio has to shrink.

    Police, fire, utilities, parks, street maintenance, building safety. Trim the management layers. Merge departments and let some dept. heads go. Put a pause on council-led ambitions to mitigate every societal problem at the local level.

    The City (across all funds) has $400 million in spending power per year.

    Do less better.

    • Thank you for this cogent, concise and accurate assessment.

    • Thank you. This is so illuminating and helpful.

    • Let’s do a simple comparison and see where we fit in.

      The City of Santa Cruz had a 2020 budget of $263 million. It is a Charter city, the County seat, with a population of 65,000. It has an area of 15 square miles.

      The City of Salinas had a 2020 budget of $196 million. It is a Charter city, the County seat, with a population of 158,000. It has an area of 24 square miles.

      Salinas knows how to run its city for $1240 per citizen per year.
      Santa Cruz knows how to run its city for $4046 per citizen per year.

      I’ll leave any questions of competence up to the readers.

  9. Just the Facts

    Let’s not forget the other sacred cash cow, the library. Full disclosure, I love libraries , books, and literacy. I worked in a university research library. But with the steady decline of library patronage combined with the rise of the internet, why build new expensive facilities that few will use. Upgrade and modernize what you have. And stop using them as daytime shelters. That only drives more potential patrons away. Spot on Beached Whale!

    • MuyDeplorable

      Indeed. I myself use the UCSC libraries, even though I am not a student. But I pay them for a library card (many people do not know about that). It’s not for admission to the building. Rather, I can check out some books (among the few books left), and log into most of the online research database. Not of interest to the general public.

      But ordinary public libraries also have meeting rooms and special activity areas. Really, that’s useful for a variety of groups. Books are of secondary importance. Besides, there a lot of really awful books, especially nowadays.

      I imagine that the city of Santa Cruz wants to convert nearly all of downtown into high-density housing (condos) with street-level places for the yuppies to patronize, and the library as a meeting hall.

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