Well we kind of officially have a new President. Love him, hate him, ambivalent about him, at least he’s DIFFERENT, and we need to try something different here. We are basically a 50/50 nation. And neither side likes the other side very much at all. Will this change bring new civility or create more divisiveness? Only time will tell us the answer to that. I rarely talk about national politics here, and I’m only making an exception today because today is a big deal. I do feel like we turned a corner today. I just don’t want to keep spinning circles. I hope we can bring back the “united” part in United States. We as a country love to loudly proclaim how inclusive we are, how racism and bigotry is bad, yet we as a country can’t seem to practice what we preach. Don’t hate someone because they are black. Don’t hate someone because they are Jewish. Don’t hate someone because they are gay. But hate all you want if they happen to be a conservative who votes Republican or a liberal who votes Democrat and they don’t think like you? That’s the hypocrisy we face going forward. That’s the new “black and white” version of America. My way or the highway. Where’s the diplomacy? That’s the challenge we face in the next 4 years. While trying to stop a deadly pandemic.
There’s plenty of blame to go around from both sides. While working class stiffs are STILL WAITING for another stimulus check from the feds, the millionaires in Congress squabble over ideology and the need to win. There’s a massive disconnected void between Congress and the American people right now. There’s a severe lack of trust. There’s rampant corruption at every level of government: federal, state, and local. We still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go. But this week we celebrate. For me personally, it was a pretty good week at the polls.
Winners and Losers
So who are the winners and losers this week?
Winner: Local Moderates
Locally, we saw a long overdue change as Manu Koenig took down John Leopold for the Board of Supervisors 1st District seat. This was a blow to the status quo. Leopold spent 12 years basically coasting on progressive platitudes. Manu brings fresh ideas and vision. Leopold brought us literally tons of dirty needles. We also saw the 3 more moderate women candidates (Martine, Shebreh, and Sonja) taking 3 of the 4 open seats on the Santa Cruz city council. Sonja was the overall top vote getter, with Sandy Brown rounding out the top 4. The new city council will have a much more moderate tone going forward. Adding Donna Meyers (expected to be named the next mayor) and Renee Golder to Martine, Shebreh, and Sonja creates a pretty solid 5 moderate majority. Of course “moderate” is subjective, and I’m talking “moderate DEMOCRAT” here. I grade on a pretty large curve.
Loser: Local Progressives
For every winner there’s a loser, and we’ve got plenty here. Leopold was a progressive darling and many of his fans are really butt hurt at the loss to Manu, who by the way is a well liked, stand up, compassionate guy. He’s just not their guy. And if you consider all the effort and resources that went into the progressive “slate” of Sandy/Kayla/Kelsey, it has to been seen as an unmitigated failure when only one of your candidates can crack the top 4 and finish only 3rd as an incumbent. Having no UCSC students to grift votes from hurt that side considerably. And if you include the most recent election losses (in the recall election), the progressive machine seems to have run out of gas.
Loser: Local Supporters of Rent Control
Prop 21 would have allowed local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. It failed. Local progressives have been trying to get the city to pass rent control for years. Last time it made the ballot, it failed miserably.
Winner: Former Felons
Prop 17 restores voting rights to former felons upon completion of their prison term.
Winner: Gig Drivers
Prop 22 was a way for Uber and Lyft drivers to bypass the recent AB5 reclassification of their employment status from independent contractors to full time employees. I’ve talked to a number of drivers who hated AB5 and were solidly for Prop 22. AB5 had the potential to eliminate literally thousands of California jobs. This prevented that.
Winner: Bail Bond Companies
In a surprising vote (for me), voters decided to keep the current cash bail system we have in California. Not like we’ll see any change locally. Our local sheriff already treats cash bail like it’s COVID. He’s found plenty of loopholes and end arounds already to make his “get out of jail free” program the number one public safety hazard in Santa Cruz.
It was announced this week that the current homeless camp squatting in San Lorenzo park is being moved to DeLaveaga Park in Santa Cruz. The current Camp Coonerty has been polluting San Lorenzo park and the San Lorenzo river (with the city and county’s blessing and support) for over 6 months. Squatters were informed of the plans on Wednesday, and the county anticipates the move to begin on November 15th.
A county spokesperson said “permitted camp residents” will be given food, security, transportation and staffing. Will they have concierge service too? Free backrubs? Free chop shops for stolen bikes? The new homeless camp will be located outside the National Guard Armory on property the City of Santa Cruz is leasing from the state. The armory space has been used continuously as an indoor homeless shelter since January, when a Salvation Army-run outdoor managed camp at 1220 River St. was shuttered for the winter. A spokesperson for the city of Santa Cruz said the city and county continue to partner on researching multiple locations for outdoor homeless encampments.
COVID-19 Updates for Santa Cruz County
According to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, there have been 3,074 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County. 26 people have died, 197 people have been hospitalized, and 2,723 people have recovered. A total of 62,776 people have tested negative. Santa Cruz County is in the orange tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning some indoor business operations are open with modifications. Its adjusted case rate is at 4.5, and it needs to be below 1 to move up. It also has a 2.2% positivity rate, and that needs to be below 2% to move up. The county needs to meet the criteria for three weeks before moving to the yellow tier.
Checking All the Bad Behavior Boxes
This week, a Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputy pulled over a driver in a stolen vehicle. The driver was a convicted felon with an out of county felony warrant. He was also in possession of a dozen cell phones, shaved keys (which can be used to gain entry into cars), burglary tools, a short barreled shotgun, stun gun, drugs and drug paraphernalia. He went to jail and is being held on $25,000 bail and a felony warrant.
Carjacked on Felix Street
Last Sunday morning around 1:30AM, SCPD responded to the 200 block of Felix Street for a reported carjacking. The victim told police the suspected thief flashed a firearm at them before stealing their vehicle. Nobody was arrested.
We Get What We Are Willing to Tolerate
Just after midnight this past Tuesday, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy made a traffic stop involving a driver on the 1800 block of Freedom Boulevard in Watsonville. During the stop, the driver was found to be in possession of meth for sale, burglary tools, and had a stolen laptop from a local school. You’d think he might go to jail for all that stuff. NAH. It’s Santa Cruz. He was cited and released. I hope they at least took his meth away!
Sunday night around 7:30PM, a 40 year old male was arrested on the 300 block of Raymond Street for making unwanted sexual advances towards a 13 year old girl. He was apparently arrested but he’s out of jail already.
Boardwalk Partially Opens
This week, the Seaside Company announced they would be partially re-opening some of the rides on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The Boardwalk will become the first amusement park in California to reopen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was made possible after the county moved into the orange tier of California’s blueprint for a safer economy. Rides can continue to operate as long as they don’t go back into the red. Admission to the dedicated ride area will cost $25 per person and provides access to a two-hour reservation window, which caps at 300 people per session. Rides will operate on weekends. All guests who enter the dedicated ride area will have their temperature checked and also undergo a COVID-19 health screening. Only Santa Cruz County residents can go on the rides. Reservations can be made here.
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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