The Weekly Dump 12.18.20

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

A state mandated stay-at-home order issued earlier this month took effect at midnight on Thursday night in Santa Cruz County, shutting down local businesses and forcing residents to stay inside over the coming holidays. This happened after the Bay Area region’s intensive care unit capacity dropped below the required 15% threshold on Wednesday. The state order groups Santa Cruz County with 10 other San Francisco Bay Area counties. The region’s intensive care unit capacity has dropped from 25.3% two weeks ago to 12.9% on Wednesday. Tuesday, there were 54 COVID patients in Santa Cruz County hospitals. Intensive care units in Santa Cruz County had 10 COVID patients and two ICU beds available, according to state reports.

The order states:

  • Residents must not gather with people outside their household.
  • Residents must stay home unless they are working in “critical infrastructure” defined by types of businesses.
  • Shops cannot operate indoors at more than 20% capacity.
  • Schools already open for in-person instruction may remain open.
  • Child care and non-urgent medical and dental care may remain open, with precautions.

The order lasts for at least three weeks and will continue until state four-week projections of the region’s intensive care unit capacity is 15%.

What businesses and activities will be affected?

  • Outdoor recreational facilities, including gyms: Outdoor operation only, without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Campgrounds will be closed.
  • Retail: Indoor operations allowed at 20% capacity, and 35% capacity for grocery stores.
  • Shopping centers: Indoor operations allowed at 20% capacity.
  • Hotels and lodging: Out-of-state reservations for nonessential travel not allowed, unless the reservation is for at least 14 days to allow quarantine.
  • Restaurants, including coffee shops: Only pickup or delivery.
  • Offices: Only open for critical infrastructure sectors in which remote working is not possible.
  • Places of worship and political expression: No indoor activities allowed.
  • Hair salons and barbershops: Closed
  • Personal care services such as nail salons, skin care spas, tattoo parlors and massage studios in non-healthcare settings: Closed
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums: Closed
  • Movie theaters (except drive-in): Closed
  • Wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries (with exception for production, manufacturing, distribution, and retail sale for off-site consumption): Closed
  • Family entertainment centers: Closed
  • Cardrooms: Closed
  • Live audience sports: Closed
  • Amusement parks: Closed
  • Youth sports: Outdoor operation only with restrictions.
  • Farmers markets: May remain open with modifications.
  • Libraries: Considered retail and should follow capacity limits.
  • Pet grooming: Closed
  • Residential and janitorial cleaning services: May remain open.
  • Funeral homes: Considered critical infrastructure and may remain open.
  • Real estate: May offer in-person showings to individual prospective buyers only. Open houses not allowed.

The order allows people to leave their homes, as long as they do not gather with people from other households. Enforcement is up to local authorities. Beaches, parks and playgrounds would remain open, unless county officials issue a separate local order.

The Latest COVID Numbers From Santa Cruz County

There have been 6,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, and 1,724 are active cases. 270 people have been hospitalized and 64 people have died. According to a state count, 58 people are currently hospitalized, and 11 people are in the ICU. 4,667 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 85,943 people have tested negative. Santa Cruz County is in the purple tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning many non-essential indoor business operations are closed. Its adjusted case rate is at 18.7, and it needs to be at 7 or below to move up. It also has a 6.5% positivity rate, and that needs to be at 8% or below to move up.

First COVID Vaccines Arrive in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County health officials announced this week that they have received their first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, with emergency medical personnel first in line to get the shots. The 1,950 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will be distributed to Dominican Hospital and Watsonville Community Hospital, the county’s two acute-care hospitals with ICUs and emergency departments. The doses will be stored in county freezers at “dry ice-cold” temperatures until they are administered to frontline health care workers. ICU and emergency department staff will be first vaccinated, followed by the rest of the medical personnel and support staffers at the two hospitals.

Camp Coonerty/Bernal/Duh Shut Down Yet Again

City Manager Martin Bernal issued an Emergency Executive Order on Thursday to shut down San Lorenzo Park and the Benchlands area due to “unmanaged homeless encampments”. This latest closure is scheduled to be done in phases, starting with a notice at 8AM on Friday morning. Will that include breakfast and a back rub too? They expect to start clearing the first areas sometime this Monday, December 21st, and have the entire park closed by January 6th. The closure would end on January 31st, unless it is extended. The City says they intend to keep the bocce court, playground and riverwalk path open. In the order, the city describes “unmanaged” encampments that remained in the area after they relocated their “managed” camp program to the Armory in November. The city says conditions then deteriorated at the location, posed a fire threat, became a COVID-19 hotspot and danger to city staff and the public. Haven’t we heard this before? Like EVERY FREAKING YEAR THIS HAPPENS. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Why is the city in the business of managing a human pig sty when it’s the county’s responsibility to provide social services to the community?

More from KION.

Squatters Burn Down the Former Sobering Center

Wednesday morning around 3AM, Santa Cruz Fire responded to a structure fire at 265 Water Street, which is basically the address of the Santa Cruz County main jail. When fire crews arrived to the blaze at a county owned building adjacent to the main jail, they found the rear of the building on fire and one person exiting the burning structure. Between two and six people were inside the building at the time of the fire, according to reports. The county owned building was a former “sobering center” run by Janus of Santa Cruz. The building was used as basically a “drunk tank” as an alternative to booking drunks into jail. It was shut down earlier this year by the county because of budget cuts and the building had been boarded up to prevent people from squatting in it. Firefighters later found a woman dead inside. One firefighter sustained minor injuries and was treated at Dominican Hospital and later released. The 43 year old deceased victim was a transient, who had been arrested two weeks earlier for being drunk in public, drug possession, and possession of stolen property. Two weeks before that she was arrested for being drunk in public and battery on Ocean Street.

This is how the county deals with their problems involving drug addiction, the mentally ill, and homelessness. They ignore them and hope they go away, and when they don’t, when they burn down buildings and kill people, the county washes their hands of it. The county is CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT AND LIABLE for the death of this woman here. They own the property. They knew people were squatting there. They knew it was a fucking public safety hazard. And they DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. It’s literally next door to the jail. It’s literally across the street from the courthouse. Willful ignorance isn’t going to fly here.

Fast Food Fisticuffs Lead to Fatality in Watsonville

Watsonville Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the death of a 43 year old Watsonville man, who died after being punched at a local fast food restaurant. The 30 year old male suspect faces manslaughter charges after he was involved in a physical altercation with the victim about two weeks ago. In that incident, police responded to a fast food restaurant on the 100 block of Main Street for the report of a fight that left a man lying on the ground. When officers arrived, they found the victim unconscious with a severe head injury. The suspect had already left the scene in a vehicle when police arrived. Surveillance video at the scene captured a single deadly punch being thrown by the suspect and the victim immediately collapsing. Detectives also found forensic evidence at the scene, which was analyzed and led them to identify the suspect. He was arrested on December 9th and was booked into county jail. An autopsy performed this week revealed the victim died from blunt force trauma to the head. The suspect has been charged with voluntary manslaughter and other assault-related charges and is out of custody after posting $50K bail.

We Get What We are Willing to Tolerate

Last Thursday around midnight, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office responded to the 2200 block of Byer Road. They arrested a 23 year old male for being a felon in possession of a handgun, drug possession while armed, carrying a loaded and stolen gun in a public place, and of course the ever ubiquitous felony violation of parole. Bail was set at $275K but he’s on a no bail hold for the felony parole violation. He was arrested at least 4 times locally between 2015 and 2016. Back in 2015, the same guy was arrested with a loaded gun tucked under his shirt after threatening someone in Laurel Park. The night before that, he was being investigated for two other incidents from the night before, where a victim was physically assaulted with a baseball bat and another victim had their tires slashed.

Watsonville Man Arrested For Attempted Murder

Last Thursday, Watsonville Police arrested a 24 year old male wanted in connection with a stabbing that happened last month in the area of Maranatha Drive. A search warrant was executed at his home and he was taken into custody without further incident. The suspect is accused of stabbing a 21 year old man on November 30th. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition but has since recovered. Watsonville Police think the stabbing was a result of a personal beef between the suspect and the victim.

Live Oak Man Arrested For Battery and Resisting Arrest

Monday night around 11PM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s office responded to the area of Glenwood Drive near the cut off road in the Santa Cruz mountains where they arrested a 36 year old Live Oak man and charged him with multiple charges of resisting arrest and battery. Last check he’s still in county jail on a $10K bond.

Still Beating Women and Stealing Their Kids

Sunday afternoon around 4PM, Watsonville Police arrested a 30 year old male and charged him with child abduction, domestic violence, and felony violation of parole. Back in 2016, the same guy was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he beat another man with brass knuckles while shouting gang slogans at him. Four years later, he’s beating women and stealing their kids. His bail was set at $25K but because of the felony parole violation he’s on a no bail hold.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Last week, Watsonville Police picked up a 27 year old male and charged him with resisting arrest, indecent exposure, sexual battery, and false imprisonment. He had just been arrested less than two weeks ago, his bail was set at $5K, and he was given a get out of jail free card by our sheriff. The good old “PTA”. Now he’s back in jail with bond set at $250K. That didn’t take long.

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  1. All the newspaper articles report that the sadly deceased fire victim was from Santa Cruz. A quick search of her name and birthdate show that she is from the Placerville, El Dorado County area.
    The human story behind this tragedy is why and how this person from out of the area ended up here and staying in a boarded up death trap owned by the county.

    • The family of this woman should lawyer up and sue the county. The county was negligent, they owned basically a slum property they knew people were squatting in, and that negligence led to her death. It’s easy money in civil court. And it might teach the county a lesson about willful ignorance.

      • Paige Concannon

        Such a sad story, regarding the woman in the boarded up building, in front of the jail. Holy hell !!
        Another lock down, great!!!! Just when you think things can not get any worse, It does!!
        Will the powers that be, ever get out of their own way, this rinse and repeat of the benchlands, aka San Lorenzo Park hasn’t worked for the last three plus years!! LookWhat makes this any different this time?? Just ridiculous!!
        We don’t want to tolerate this Mierda but we have zero choice!!! When is enough, enough????
        Thank you once again for all the information!!

  2. So, how many ICU beds did California require private hospitals to create back in March when it was apparent that Covid-19 was highly infectious? We were hearing about the coming second wave of infections back then too, as this was also experienced in the 1918 flu pandemic. It wasn’t as if they didn’t have time to increase ICU capacity. Perhaps sending the federal hospital ship with 2000 beds away was a poor policy decision too, but when you have single party government in charge with a dictatorial governor making unilateral health policy, you get to live (or die) with the results.

    • I think we know what party to blame for the Covid outbreak in this country. The party that was in control of the senate and executive. The party that denied science and called the virus a hoax. The party that refused to do anything about the virus. The party that sold tons of our PPE to China. The party that horded what was left of that PPE. The party that promotes “herd immunity”. The party that would rather play golf that deal with doing their job. Our state is much better off not being of a member of the party I am talking about. Would we have better results with Kristi Noem as our governor? I am not saying Newsome is perfect. I am saying that the party he is a member of has actually aligned with science and reality, where the alternative facts party has not. Do you think CA would be better off with Republicons in charge?

      • Um… Would that be the party that controls the State of California, which is primarily responsible for such details?

        • I also find it ironic that with the “surge” in covid, all the blame goes to a few teenagers, ppl who dare to have family over, and the ever so despised right wings…
          No blame for the needle sharing, garbage diving, no mask wearing, public shitting, pissing and puking, drinking and gathering, bottle necked into shelters, constant yelling, spitting, fighting, trash dumping, “highest riskees” in the city…
          If you ask me… the best vaccine from covid, personal responsibility or justice…
          become a bum in Santa Cruz.

          • Actually, the transmission rate among the local homeless has been surprisingly (shockingly) low according to published data. That could be a result of any number of things, including lack of testing. But county EMS and medics respond to tons of local service calls for the homeless so they are being seen pretty regularly (some of them anyways). I definitely don’t think the homeless are responsible for the majority of cases. But I could be wrong.

          • An EMT showing up to give bums a narcam shot (usially what I see is the ambulance comes, and they refuse care unless they’re unconscious) doesnt equal regular healthcare nor does it stop covid in any way.
            And the fact the most likely group of superspreaders not being a factor in the surges doesnt ring any alarm bells??
            Could it be politically motivated to hush it because the homeless being one of the highest risk is taboo topic among the left given the abysmal management of them is this state??
            And speaking of testing, I see charity’s donating, food, blankets, etc to help enable the professional homeless lifestyle, yet not one van with a nurse giving free covid tests to them…?
            And were supposed to worry about EVERYONE spreading, right? Even Newsom didnt get a pass at the French Laundry Maskless Party.
            So why are the homeless void of regulations and mandates??
            Then again, hypocrisy is rampant in the covid rules, so I’m not surprised.

          • Your my Hero Spooky. Stick to your guns you just made a super good point. In SC your either apart of the Problem or Solution. Clean,cut and dry. And what I mean about being apart of the problem also includes not reporting things (cause you can’t be bothered) or pretending that SC is a good place to live and visit. Watched a “homeless” “LADY??” Poop on the property I Guard, people could see here cause where was she ON PACIFIC AVE! While droppn a deuce she was screaming ranting and raving-She could be a Mascot For SC. Well I’m sure here turd will still be there when she comes back. At least her Poo doesn’t have to be apart of her anymore. Ya I have more respect for the Poo then the individual cause at least the Poo isn’t blaming the world and everything in it for its problems and causing damage and can be easy thrown away where it belongs. IH8SC!!

          • Ben’s comment of Dec 19 is correct, AFAIK. Same in some (not all) other areas where homeless congregate. There are several scientific speculations as to why that might be the case. My favorite guess is that anyone who survives living on the streets for years, is medically tough.

            Anyway: Reports from England indicate that a new COVI?D strain propagtes more rapidly than before. So, let’s take this seriously, instead of blaming. Fortunately, the vsccines still work against the new strain.

      • I completely agree with you that on the Federal Level it was a complete disaster and we all know who was in charge of the response… Basically EVERY state is on a crazy surge and you can’t solely blame the president or the governors. However, it makes it a lot harder on states when the you got the federal government, who has way more resources, isn’t showing up to help with a national response.

        Also, link below is an interesting read from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on this subject:

      • It’s possible you’re both right. On the National level, blame the party in charge. On the state and local level, blame the party in charge.

      • I’m pretty sure that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. At least that’s what I was taught in our state run schools. Maybe you were absent that day and missed the lesson.

        But what it means is that matters of health and safety are state issues and the policies put in place by the states determine the outcomes. California has now surpassed New York as the number one hotspot for covid-19 infections and deaths in the world. You can and will wear the results of your favorite policy makers proudly, because there is really no one else to blame no matter how hard you try.

        • Through the Commerce Clause, the feds have broad authority to quarantine and impose health measures to prevent the spread of disease from other countries, as well as between states.

          Also, the federal Public Health Service Act allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to lead federal public health and medical responses related to public health emergencies.

          Soooooo both levels of governments have responsibility and cooperation is needed. Blame the feds. Blame the state. Blame locally. Blame oneself.

  3. Ah it’s almost winter solstice and the smell of feces is in the air at Camp Coonerty/Bernal. Love the quote: “The city says conditions *then* deteriorated… (asterisks added for effect).

    I guess they’ll just head for the Homeless Rookery on the State Highway One Riveria. Because conditions there clearly have not deteriorated, at least by the owner’s (State of California) standards.

    As pointed out in the article, this is now an annual Whack-A-Hobo event, whereby they are “evicted” from one place and shuffled to another. I guess nobody wants to set guidelines for the camps and then enforce them with singular evictions for those that can’t handle guidelines. The great Hobo drive of 2020 has started and will result in an empty park for a month (!) until they come back again, just like the swallows of Capistrano. Soap, rinse, repeat.

    The road goes on forever, but the party never ends as Robert Earl Keen Jr. sang in a song with a similar title. Nothing ever does actually change in the City of Santa Cruz, except for a rise in sales taxes, assessments and fees.

    • And the rise in the number of homeless! Like death and more taxes, it’s inevitable living here.


      • Thanks IH8SC! You guys who have to regularly babysit and roust these bums are who my heroes are.
        Ive had to kick out of my work several of these tweakers, and, have even been assaulted… I cant imagine doing the job you do eveyday for the small pay and medical insurance (or lack thereof) you guys get.
        Speaking of the public not getting involved when things happen… I cant tell you how many times I, as a female, have had to 86 these guys while ppl… and men… around me stood by and watched, not helping me at all.
        I applaud you for waking up every morning and going to work knowing that at anytime your life could be threatened or ended.
        It sounds dramatic, but sadly it is not.

  4. Wasn’t there a program in place to house the homeless in local hotels during Covid?

    • Yes. I think we can all use our imagination on what went wrong with that…
      1000’s of rooms destroyed, constant police and fire calls for fights and Ods, scaring away any hope for renting rooms to respectable customers… and the best part… the hotel owners are still cleaning up with little to no reimbursement from the city that handed out vouchers (and counterfeit vouchers) to these scum.

      • I’m interested. Do you have any details and particulars, say, that police have gathered like arrests and complaints? (i.e. 1000’s of rooms destroyed, constant police and fire calls for fights and OD’s, no reimbursement, counterfeit vouchers) ?

  5. Just the Facts

    I love watching the drug dealers pull up to the Hwy 1 and 9 cesspool. It reminds me of those lazy days of June when the ice-cream man rolled into the neighborhood. To bad they’re slinging bindles instead of popsicles. To bad for the Parks Dept. as well. First fire all of their Ranger support, then spend weeks (and our tax dollars) cleaning up Heroin Hill and Sycamore Grove, then make them go and clean up yet another shit-show squat in San Lorenzo (again, our tax dollars ). I wonder where all those addicts and vagrants will go? Hhhhmmmm………. where could you find a nice clean camping spot with no law enforcement? I hope Bad Mom shows up with her bullhorn for some comic relief!

    • In the Gateway Plaza (hwy1 and river) there are spots dedicated to curbside pick up for each of the stores…
      There are 2 spaces near to Ross facing the levee where drug addicts park and wait for their dealers to meet them… I’ve been tempted (as a joke) to put up a sign:
      “Reserved for Meth/heroin curbside pick up 12am-12pm daily”

    • Give them the addresses of all those who Support the “homeless” here in SC and don’t give a crap about the rest of the world.

  6. Hey, easy on the Trump blaming Covid on. The Chinese CCP are plenty to blame. They covered up, and scooped up the PPE before anyone knew much. It was Obama admin that let the stock piles of PPE dwindle. The mask thingy is a hoax. You’re at risk, period. If you’re not sick, you are no risk, period. The little in between those statements are irrelevances. Also the swamp is deep and wide. One man can’t do much about it and when a swamp thing like Biden gets control, we will find out just how deeper and wider it can get.
    The city council had exactly ONE general business item last meeting.. the 200 year old stale grievance of Juniper Serra bashing by the local indigenous crowd offended by El Camino Real marker bells as “glorification symbols of indigenous oppression/genocide”. I guess hassling the council to remove them beats getting arrested for the hate crime of tearing down a Father Serra church statues, or maybe their just aren’t any left to tear down? The air always gets sucked out of the room by stuff like that and I’d swear there are issues in the here and now that need attention.. apparently not!

    • “The mask thingy is a hoax”. You are a joke. Good luck to you.

      • MuyDeplorable

        Partial hoax, maybe. Certainly high-filtration masks help. But many of us wear “masks” that are better suited to a bank robber, with little filtration. So, although that might be better than nothing, it is not fantastically better. I wear one to keep my nose warm. Also makes it harder to tell if I am laughing at others.

        Reminds me of a campaign to encourage community college students to take more math courses. Seems that a public survey showed that most respondents said “math” was an important part of their jobs. What was not mentioned was whether the “math” was counting change at a fast food outlet, as opposed to calculus.

      • Plenty of scientific peer reviewed studies say they don’t protect at all, never have (for virus like Covid), of course zero risk from disease free people, and even the WHO says transmission from asymptomatic people is “rare”. It’s the SICK people walking around, mingling with a false sense of security with the other people with a false sense of security that is a problem.
        JFK Jr had a nice video explaining the masks and vaccines are not much different than the Nazi’s doing experiments on prisoners that led to the universal world wide bad on medical procedures without informed consent. He points out the science of masks has NOT been explained (i.e. what about rebreathing what your body expels), the safety of rushed vaccines not fully explained or proved, and you know it will be mandatory one way or the other or no one will be allowed to do squat without.
        Good Luck to you taking that first vaccine and rebreathing your waste products.

  7. Thanks to Ben’s hard work. He has been cataloging Santa Cruz’s dirty laundry so it can’t be denied and forgotten and it would be nice to know how many real people support Ben even if we don’t agree with each other here in the comments we all agree SC needs to do an Epic 180.

    • That would take an entire purging of leadership and frankly, a little shifting of politics too.
      For all the complaining about the right wings, it’s not thier leadership endorcing the cesspool we’ve seen Santa Cruz become. Theres a point where tolerance becomes enablement.
      We’ve spared the rod… and surprise, surprise… we’ve spoiled the child.
      The public would also have to play a part… enough of this bleeding heart, look the other way, “I don’t want get involved” attitude.
      Real change doesnt happen simply wishing it so.

  8. If you want to deflate smug “progressives” yapping about how they have “science” on their side, simply ask them:

    “How are we going to reduce our carbon emissions while we invite everyone on Earth to move (aka ‘open borders’) to its most notorious carbon emitter??”

    • …Or perhaps ask them why we shut down small/local businesses (who follow all mandates and have low risk of spread) until they are so broke they go out of business permanently,
      but DONT temporarily suspend packed, closed quarters international flights from England …the country which has shown to have a new more contangious strain of covid??

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