Time for the latest Weekly Dump! This week, I’ve got the latest COVID-19 numbers, tragedy hits too close to home, drive by shooting in Soquel, new Riverfront project sets the green light, squatters get another week in the park, swells in the harbor, soquel motorcycle crash, burning golf carts, reducing homelessness instead of just servicing it, and saying goodbye to Ari.

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The Latest COVID-19 Numbers From Santa Cruz County

There have been 11,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, with 2,811 currently active cases. 111 people have died and 337 have been hospitalized, with 79 people currently hospitalized, and 14 of them in the ICU. 8,525 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 101,037 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 53.2, and it needs to be at 7 or below to move up. It also has a 12.3% positivity rate, and that needs to be at 8% or below to move up.

Trying to Pick Up the Pieces

There was a nice story in Lookout Santa Cruz about my friend Gus, who tragically lost his father to COVID recently. Wallace Baine is an excellent writer who pays a nice tribute to Gus’s father and talks to Gus about the struggles of trying to mourn with your family during a pandemic. Gus is a terrific guy who does a lot for the community, and I encourage everyone to read this story and learn a bit about Jorge and what a great guy he was.

Drive By Shooting in Soquel Sends One Person to Hospital

Wednesday afternoon, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Soquel Avenue between Chanticleer and Winkle after getting reports of a drive by shooting. According to witnesses, four shots were reportedly fired from a vehicle, hitting at least one person who was taken to the hospital for their injuries. The suspected vehicle was later found on McGregor Avenue in Aptos. No arrests have been made.

Santa Cruz City Council Approves Downtown Commercial Development Project

After more than two years of staff reviews, environmental studies and input from residents and the Coastal Commission, the City Council approved a new riverfront development project that would add 175 condominiums, new commercial space and a basement and ground-level parking garage to the area of Pacific and Front streets between Laurel and the Metro station. Developers plan to demolish 3 existing buildings and build 3 seven-story buildings on the east side of Front Street near the San Lorenzo River levee downtown. The upper, residential portions of those buildings would have 175 condos — 53 studios, 89 one-bedroom units and 33 two-bedroom units. To satisfy affordable housing requirements, 15 of the units would be rented to very-low-income residents, and five would be rented to low-income residents. At street level, the development would include eight commercial spaces, and more than 15,000 square feet of “new public space” in the form of outdoor pathways and plazas between buildings. The goal is to attract restaurants and retail to the area, and maximize the San Lorenzo River as an attraction.

Sacramento Judge Gives Park Squatters Another Week

This past Tuesday, a Sacramento judge extended a “temporary” restraining order allowing the camp to remain in place until at least Jan. 20. The extension came one day before the previous order was set  to expire and one day after the city of Santa Cruz asked to file more evidence in the case. The city was to submit additional evidence on Tuesday, and the homeless residents suing the city in federal court had until Thursday to file their response or extra evidence. So the original “temporary” restraining order was filed on December 30th, and now it’s dragging on another week? It gets less temporary by the day.

Large Surf Overturns Sailboats in the Harbor

Sunday afternoon around 4:30PM, a group of 12 children had to be saved by rescue teams after about a half dozen small sailboats overturned near the entrance to the Santa Cruz harbor. Santa Cruz Fire said the accident left 20 people in the water, including 12 children that required rescue. Officials say all children and passengers were rescued after a 20 minute rescue operation. There were no injuries. The National Weather Service had issued high swell warnings earlier that morning so I have no idea what kind fo stupidity went into deciding to let kids go sailing in tiny sailboats in a huge swell. This could have been tragic, and thankfully wasn’t. Thanks also to the nearby surfers who were first on scene and helped rescued numerous kids on their surfboards by paddling them in.

Soquel Motorcycle Crash Sends Victim to Trauma Center

Last Friday morning, a woman was driving an Audi northbound on North Rodeo Gulch Road, south of Rodeo Ridge Road when she crossed into the lane of incoming traffic, crashing head on into a Triumph motorcycle driven by a a 55 year old male, who suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a Santa Clara County hospital. The driver of the Audi was arrested on DUI charges for suspected drug use.

Golf Cart Combusts Near Lower Ocean

Wednesday morning around 8AM, an electric golf cart apparently burst into flames and melted at the intersection of San Lorenzo Boulevard and Riverside Drive in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Fire and SCPD responded and found the cart was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire due to the small size of the vehicle and the amount left of it by the time they got there.

Reducing Instead of Just Servicing Local Homelessness

Nice story about people actually doing something to REDUCE local homelessness instead of just endlessly barking about it or servicing it. I’d be fine with something like this on COUNTY property, run by the county or a group including the county as the managing partner. This idea beats the living hell out of the stupid “Camp Coonerty III” in San Lorenzo Park and along the river levee. To all the local homeless activists: This is how you do it. Through cooperation and community engagement, not by shoving it down our throats with no plan from the county (the people ACTUALLY responsible). It took them 5 years but they made it happen and should be proud of their accomplishment.

From their website: “In January of 2016, youth at YSA initiated a community organizing campaign to build a Tiny House Village for homeless youth in the San Francisco East Bay Area. As of 2021, we’ve built 26 beautiful, youth-designed houses with the help of over 2,000 volunteers in Habitat-for-Humanity-style builds. We plan to open the Tiny House Empowerment Village in early 2021! We’re working in partnership with non-profit developer Housing Consortium of the East Bay and the local interfaith community to complete a multi-faceted, community-led Village that is designed by the young people it will benefit.”

RIP Ari

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that their retired K-9 Ari had died. Ari, who was assigned to Deputy Smith, served for six years with the SCSO. According to the department, Ari excelled in tracking, narcotics detection, apprehension and chewing water bottles. Ari retired four years ago and had been living with Deputy Smith during that time. Thank you for your service to the community Ari. You were loved by many.

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

Be sure to check out the Santa Mierda Podcast Network! You can find the Santa Mierda Podcast Network on SoundCloud. And Apple Music. And Spotify. It’s free so check it out and give it a listen!

Check Out Our Twitter Feed for More Mierda!

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Categories: The Weekly Dump

24 Comments

The Weekly Dump 1.15.21

  1. We need those little houses here in Santa Cruz County. Or a big warehouse. Pushing around tents from here to there as we’ve been doing isn’t a solution. We need some real leadership around here.

    Also, those pre-teen/early-teen sailors weren’t in nearly as much danger as some jump to the conclusion of. They practice getting dumped over in a boat so they knew what to do. (Sooner or later, it happens to all sailors.) Local sailors know the real scoop of the situation. It was bad, but there was not really much risk of tragedy even without the surfers. It was overblown.

  2. Every picture tells a story. Like the one that clearly proves that all those needles being handed out are not being disposed of properly. Let’s help, not enable. Watch the dealers work the junkies at San Lorenzo and the shelter. Easy pickings if we had a real police chief who would allow our cops to actually enforce our laws.

    1. Agreed. If the average citizen can see the drug dealers in action you can be certain law enfocement sees them and knows who they are. Years ago in the city of East Palo Alto, law enforcement from other jurisdictions and the state went in and conducted massive busts of the dealer community. Maybe that would work here, bypassing the pathetically inept city police. That, combined with lengthy incarceration of drug dealers might be a solution.

    2. No no, allowing police to arrest heroin dealers that sell Mexican brown heroin is dangerous, racist and spreads covid-19. Its better to have the police chief march in unity parades and judge clam chowder cookoffs to show how concerned he is than to have him enforce any racist laws. After all, this is exactly the kind of leadership that city manager Bernal purposely sought out after Kevin Vogel retired.

    3. Being that I work on river st and see them daily, I could tell the police every single dealer, customer, where they use, when they use, etc.
      I could plan their entire sting for them and have most of them arrested in one day.
      😄

  3. Gosh, don’t like to disagree with another’s comment, but we were standing there watching the sailboat capsize in big waves, waves that damaged pilings and docks in the harbor. Waves that crashed on beaches with thundering roars and big fountains of spray. No way to swim just to the jetty, they’d have been smashed into the riprap, and getting onto the beaches was also tricky. If the surfers hadn’t been there, could have easily been a tragedy. It was in no way overblown!

  4. Since Santa Cruz is set to gentrify the San Lorenzo River with 7-story luxury condos (and a few token affordable units), it’s only fair that newbies to the area who are considering relocating there are forewarned about the dirty underbelly of Santa Cruz. I suggest that the needle pic should be blown up onto a big banner and hung from the overpass where Hiway 17 spills onto Ocean St., thereby alerting tourists and locals alike to the out of control mess this city is enmeshed in.

  5. Whether it’s high rise condos, or tiny houses, the homeless population isnt gonna change until the ppl who call themselves leaders of this city realize you cant cure a long term problem with short term solutions.
    Giving free small housing to homeless here will just be a repeat of what weve seen them do to free hotel rooms, or free park space, or state land behind Ross.
    Building expensive condos also is just dressing a pig in a silk hat… last I checked, the majority of locals we used to have either moved to another part of the county that didnt put up with the zombie bum mass and their entitled tantrums , or moved to another state altogether.
    And the ones who do move here have no clue what the average worker (like me) deal with on the daily, and only change laws for the worse so we as citizens here become more vulnerable to the violence and biohazard like the pictures and stories you see here each week.
    I say, if you really expect anything to change, start by looking in the mirror, and stop our leaders from allowing this city to degrade into what it’s become because you’re so afraid of looking “politically incorrect”.

  6. Heres an idea… since the leaders that be seem so infond of keeping bums in jail, how about after arrest, they be sentenced to clean up their own (and their buddies) bottles, trash, needles, feces and general garbage they leave everywhere they go.
    Since Ron has been doing this all along and knows the area, he could be paid to be director of the whole thing… give him 80k year salary, 5 uniform police gaurds, 2 civi plain clothes on duty for safety during clean up.
    Let these bums give back (or rather take back) to the community what they’ve made us clean up and deal with all this time!!!

  7. Coming: 175 condos — 53 studios, 89 one-bedroom units and 33 two-bedroom units. On the one hand, the population-limits side of me applauds the likelihood that these are not designed or intended for those who wish to raise families. On the other hand, the traditionalist side of me weeps.

    Lately, being retired and bored, I have been taking a friend’s elderly pit bull for long, slow walks on the west side of Santa Cruz. There’s nothing like slow-motion walks to become aware of the mixture of shacks and mansions there. But the need for dog poop bags gave me an idea: Now I carry “Happens” brand poop bags with me at all times (the product logo resembles the logo for this web site). If a progressive says something silly, I pull out a bag and scoop it out of the air.

  8. Get them to work? Give back to the community that hands them free everything and then cleans up for them? In the real world, yes. But here in Santa Cruz we can’t get our local vagrants to do ANYTHING. At last check none of the “Streets Team” are from S.C. They may live in the park. but they’re from San Jose. And they do a great job. Just try and get any of the local junkies to do anything but pile their trash up for someone else to deal with it. Camp Parasite, the Occupy debacle, and Slum Lorenzo I and II should have been lesson enough. The hardest working folks at the camps are Ron and the dealers.

    1. I never said they would do it willingly…
      Perhaps you missed the part of my comment when I said the clean up would be part of a sentence… as in punishment after arrest…?
      Like when prisoners are forced to do punitive labor or community service.
      I’ve noticed a lot of griping on here about problems, but yet no viable solutions… but hey, if you think forcing them to clean up their own mess instead of sitting in a jail cell they will just be released from isnt a good idea, I’m all ears for your innovative and realistic solutions and waiting to hear them.
      👂👂👂👂👂

    2. “Slum Lorenzo” almost made me spit coffee on my keyboard from laughing so hard. That is the best misnomer/not a misnomer of the week.

  9. Since it’s the same Mierda HERE IN SANTA CRUZ- decade to decade year to year month to month day by day hour by hour minute by minute and SECOND by SECOND. I’ll just cut and paste what I said a few weeks ago here as well cause nothing changes here in SANTA CRUZ. and it’s seems to many individuals like SC exactly the way it is…LAME!!
    It doesn’t matter what resources SC does or does not have/provide for those who “do” or “don’t” “deserve” it. The thing is there are individuals who just simply insist on living on the streets no matter what they are literally handed/provided they just insist on being on the streets to – do drugs, drink Alcohol,do crime(s) but some individuals don’t do any of those things but still insist on living on the streets. But it seems every minute of everyday Santa Cruz’s leaders just want to keep SC the same Drug Addict Criminal Mecca that it’s always been. Keep in mind it’s not the old people male/female you see on the streets caring everything they own like turtle/Gypsy’s. It’s the younger male/females that walk/bike/skateboard all over town 24/7 that do most of the crime/theft/property damage, DRUG DEALING, harassment and assaults not hard to figure out but it’s those individuals that go around with basically “ diplomatic immunity” they even group up along Pacific and roads off of it especially at night and all just hang out play music smoke and drink what they want DO DRUGS AS WELL at all hours of the day and night and police just act like there not there and when they do commit crime it’s basically the victims fault for report them. PLEASE I BEG REGULAR CITIZENS TO START TO REALLY EXPOSE SANTA CRUZ FOR WHAT IT IS- punk druggies can do graffiti and scratch windows and police and city Council will blame a citizen for reporting it but that same citizen puts up posters exposing Santa Cruz and I bet my bottom dollar that citizen won’t just be let go like our lovely criminal drug addicts do for doing FAR FAR FAAAAAAARRRR WORSE. Cause dam anyone who doesn’t like criminal drug addict Mecca Santa Cruz California. We regular working class LAW ABIDING CITIZENS don’t deserve to be exposed to dangerous human trash cause WE ARE BETTER THEN THAT. Bring in the dam military and clear out ever last drug addict criminal who thinks Santa Cruz California is where they belong. And the ones in power who ALLOW ALL THIS TO HAPPEN. you Rock Spooky!!¡and tell the truth.

  10. Don”t get me wrong, I agree with you Spooky. Our town is going down fast. Most viable solutions have been dismissed over the decades by so called progressives, and yet work in other communities our size. For starters, have the County maintain ONE location for services. Food, medical, mental health, addiction treatment, counseling, etc. One site. If Food Not Bums wants to have a feed, you do it there. Same goes for all the other groups enabling. Other communities have ordinances that work regarding the distribution of aid. Stop the use of City property for squatting. No more Hoovervilles. The laws are on the books. Enforce them. I.D. cards for all who want services. Sorry progs, this is legal. This will hinder the influx of criminals. Got a warrant, sorry, no free stuff. Help the locals first and foremost. 86 all the vagrants and narco-immigrants who just happen to run out of gas here. Go home, we’re not your parents. Most of them are adults, grow up or move out. Anti-vagrancy laws are on the books all over. The lie that the majority of them are locals is just that. A Coral St. address doesn’t count. I.E. Bad Mom. Most of all you need a community willing to make tuff decisions. You need people in leadership willing to enact and enforce laws. It can and should be done. Cities our size fail. We are pissing away tax dollars on a problem we have created. Time to change.

    1. You said it Just The Facts. It’s not hard to see new “undesirables” come to there promise land and get right to getting comfortable especially after there 10th OR MORE arrest in a year with absolutely no fines or jail time or maybe a few overnighters (big whoop) wouldn’t doubt they send for there buddies[more “undesirables”] once they realize just how much Santa Cruz caters to UNDESIRABLES- Tents,camping gear,food that can be sold and traded for drugs until you can get welfare or unemployment or social security,Cash Benefits [weather you deserve it or not]or all the above so all you need is a place to get your checks and BOOM! your now a protected individual as far as Santa Cruz California is concerned. not to mention most of these teens-adult “undesirables” harass and assault each other and our real Local “Homeless” Not to mention everyone else, cause I guess as an undesirable the Goal is the be the biggest P.O.S you can be and with SC basically enabling bad behavior from anyone living on the streets on Santa Cruz California it’s going to get worse before it gets better….. IFFFF!? it ever gets better in SC that is. With all that Ben has been reporting and all the comments I hope sooner then later it all adds up to some real momentum to change Santa Cruz California to “Scotts Valley/Los Gatos/Watsonville /Monterey Status. No more Enabling-Criminals,Drug Addicts and DRUG DEALERS a completely safe place to DO DRUGS AND SELL DRUGS-This is why Santa Cruz California is exactly the way it is today,right now.

  11. I’ve been lazy about moderating but I’m starting to get itchy fingers. Stay on topic and stick to commenting about what’s being discussed in this particular Weekly Dump. The space is for “comments” about the column, not comments about anything you want to talk about. Only warning. I’ll just start deleting next.

    1. Good idea, Ben. I won’t be there, but others should. If I happen to stray, feel free to delete me. It is YOUR web site. Had one myself, years ago, but it was strictly informative and non-political, without comments.

    1. Really? After all the fucking BULLSHIT I’ve allowed you to post freely here? Fuck you too asshole. Get lost. You are done.

  12. I’m done playing nice. Starting next week, any future comments unrelated to material posted in that week’s dump will be removed. You can thank Garrett for that. This isn’t his fucking soapbox. It’s mine. Anyone who doesn’t like it can go build their own soapbox like I did.

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