New Years Day! Welcome to the new year. 2020 sucked pretty bad. Arguably the worst year ever. Just surviving it intact with some degree of sanity is a milestone achievement worthy of a sheltered in place new years celebration. Let the 2020 hangover begin! We’ve also got some good news about that mountain lion roaming around downtown, bungle in the jungle, turnstiler of the week, free beer?, bringing pepper spray to a knife fight, I hear you knocking, bums with guns for breakfast, the wrong place to spend Christmas Eve, truck drives off cliff, pallet houses for the homeless, dysfunction junction, giving Ron his It’s a Wonderful Life moment, and U2 remind us nothing changes on New Years Day.
Let the 2020 Hangover Commence
Happy New Year? I guess a question mark seems more appropriate right now than the usual exclamation point. I think we’re turning a corner. I’m an optimist. It’s not gonna happen overnight. It might take all of 2021 just to recover from 2020. But I don’t see it continuing to be the bitter, divisive, free fall of epic proportions that defined 2020.
Local Mountain Lion Captured Near Downtown
This week, the State Department of Fish and Game captured a mountain lion that was roaming around near Neary Lagoon over the past week. Neighbors were on high alert after multiple witnesses spotted the big cat in the nearby neighborhoods. Officials think the animal might have been sick or eaten some poison. They captured the lion without incident and it will be medically evaluated before being relocated and released.
Bungle in the Jungle
Walking through forests of palm tree apartments
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday
Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows
They’re fast but they’re lazy, and sleep in green meadows
This week, the city of Santa Cruz tried to remove all the bums living in San Lorenzo park. These are the dregs of people that basically refused to leave the park after the city closed and shut down the original dumpster fire with fencing a couple months ago. The city tried to do it the official way, got their asses handed back to them, and had to retreat in shame. At one point, they all had to walk back through the park towards Dakota while dozens of social justice warriors threw down chants of shame. It reminded me of the classic Cersei’s walk of atonement scene from Game of Thrones.
Then, to muddy things up (pun intended) and make matters worse for the city, that fool, third rate Saul Goodman wanna-be lawyer from Sacramento Tony Baloney filed a TRO against the city to stop the removal of the bums squatting in the park. Just delaying the inevitable. And using the poor, vulnerable homeless as pawns to feed your grift. Anyone who uses the homeless as some kind of narcissistic fuel to feed their ego is truly a despicable piece of shit. The wolves in sheeps clothing are more dangerous than critics like me.
Turnstiler of the Week
This past Tuesday night around 10:30PM, SCPD responded to a possible home invasion burglary after a caller reported two males were prowling and attempting to break into a home. A resident of a nearby apartment caught one suspect and pinned him down until SCPD arrived. The 2nd suspect evaded police and was last seen near Outdoor World. The guy they arrested has been arrested locally at least 20 times since 2013. We don’t punish. We coddle.
Monday morning around 11AM, reports came in that a transient male from Arizona walked into the CVS on Soquel and Front streets and walked out with a 12 pack of Lagunitas without paying. Police were already downtown and spotted the guy behind New Leaf in the parking lot. He’s got good taste in beer. Police recovered the beer (all of it?) and arrested the guy.
Bringing Pepper Spray to a Knife Fight
Thursday afternoon around 4PM, SCPD responded to a report of a fight between two males in the alley near Commerce and Church streets in downtown Santa Cruz. Witnesses told police that one man pulled a knife on another guy and he was pepper sprayed as a result of pulling the knife. SCPD arrived quickly and detained at least one guy in handcuffs. Medics responded to deal with the guy who got pepper sprayed.
I Hear You Knocking But You Can’t Come In
Last Friday night around 10:30PM, SCPD responded to an apartment on the 300 block of River Street after getting a report of a possible home invasion burglary. The report came from the person who lived in the apartment, who came home and couldn’t open the front door because someone was inside blocking it. SCPD sent multiple units to the scene and surrounded the apartment before getting the suspect to come out peacefully.
Bums With Guns For Breakfast
Saturday morning around 8AM, SCPD responded to the area near Ocean and Barson after getting reports of someone pointing a gun at another person. The witness, who didn’t stick around, reported seeing this happen near the mini mart. SCPD got a good description of the suspect, who was later found in a tent near the river levee. Police found an airsoft pistol in his tent. Not sure if anyone actually got arrested.
The Wrong Place to Spend Christmas Eve
Thursday night around 11:30PM, SCPD responded to the Holiday Inn Express on the 1400 block of Ocean Street where they made a high risk stop in the parking garage after a stolen black BMW was flagged there while it was parked and occupied. One person was detained. The car was reported stolen out of Scotts Valley.
Truck Drives Off Cliff
FIRE CZU says they have rescued two people after their truck went over a cliff on Felton Empire Road Saturday evening. Fire officials say both people have major injuries and are being transported to a hospital via air lift. It all happened around 5:30 p.m. One patient is in critical condition. CAL FIRE CZU adds that the truck fell about 100 feet.
Turning Pallets Into Transitional Shelters For Local Homeless
Here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about for some time. A local guy (Alex) has been “field testing” his concept of a new type of transitional shelter for the local homeless to use this winter. While I can appreciate his effort and enthusiasm for the project, his product frankly looks like crap. Some of his (jealous) haters have compared his structure to a coffin. There’s some undeniable truth there. If we allow these things to just pop up anywhere, and someone uses one to shoot up and they overdose inside, and nobody knows about it. It will be a coffin for someone.
And my main beef as always is we as a society of civilized people can do much better. And before anyone wants to lay out whose fault it is that we have more homeless living in our open spaces than poppies, keep in mind there’s really only one answer here. IT’S THE COUNTY. It’s the county’s fault. Period. The COUNTY is responsible for social services for all the citizens of the county, of which the people living in the city of Santa Cruz are all part of. We have a weak County response because we have had and continue to have a weak Board of Supervisors who have punted this down the road (or back to a willing and eager city council ready to take on a responsibility that isn’t theirs). Why does the city constantly pick up the county trash for them? It should be obvious to anyone who watches local politics. It’s an ego thing! It’s a contest to see who can look the most “progressive” and “compassionate”.
So back to my original headline and idea here. Pallets. They’re everywhere. They can be gotten for basically free. And they can be turned into modular transitional tiny homes with a small group of people using hand tools. And the result isn’t some butt ugly bivy. The result is something the rest of the community could actually live with (at least aesthetically). And it’s using recycled materials.
Where do you put it? On COUNTY land somewhere. Make the COUNTY manage it. But you have to be willing to actually partner with the county on this idea. It needs a show runner. Hello Manu? It’s got your name written all over it.
Check out this video. The final product is actually pretty nice.
Living Up to the Dysfunction Junction Label
I heard a pretty credible rumor that local law enforcement is still waiting to be vaccinated for the COVID-19. Other first responders like medics were apparently given the vaccine this week. But not the police? I’m hearing our local county health director has been a roadblock in getting this done. She’s proven herself to be a road block before. I heard she also threw a party during the lockdown this past spring, and deputies from the sheriff’s office had to break up her party. More hypocrisy?
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Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day
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