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.
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.”
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.
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