The Weekly Dump 3.12.21

Arrest Made in San Lorenzo Park Homeless Camp Beating

And to virtually nobody’s surprise, the person they arrested was a transient living in the park. But that didn’t stop at least one local dimwit from fear mongering the beating into something it wasn’t in order to promote her low hanging fruity grift.

“Reported to me”. Like she’s “reporting” this as “news”? Sounds like the definition of “hear say”. Yet there she is, promoting a lie that she knows will create fear, hysteria, and a negative (and usually aggressive) response from people who are homeless, from local homeless advocates, and from people who are just “idiot compassionates”. There’s not a lot of them, but once they start spreading their misinformed lies to their friends on social media, it becomes infectious stupidity like only Santa Cruz knows how to do.

Santa Cruz City Council Slowly Tries to Extinguish Their Dumpster Fires

In the latest city council meeting that took place on Tuesday, they approved by a 5-2 count moving forward with some form of “camping reform”. But they also punted it down the road by at last a month because despite having an obvious 5-2 majority, they still couldn’t agree on the terms. Maybe have the 5 set the terms and everyone else can pound sand on Main beach? And can someone tell Justin his relevancy ended in January?

We could have avoided all of this stupid homeless gerrymandering if the (soon to be former) city manager had enough common sense to just provide a list of places people COULD camp, instead of creating a nebulous, constantly changing list of places they can’t camp. The whole thing is just ass backwards in the most predictably Santa Cruz kind of way. But good luck creating a list of places people can camp. Any list like that will be met by swift and angry resistance by people living nearby. So instead of facing the music of the angry community, they took the chicken shit approach of trying to outlaw it everywhere except seemingly where people don’t live (like the local green spaces). And that was still met with fierce resistance. For good reason! It’s called bum fires in the woods that start wildfires that are difficult to fight and cost lots of money to deal with.

So it’s the usual step forward and two steps back. And I’m sure a decision is coming soon about the Great San Lorenzo Park Squat. That’s going away real soon. Where they go who knows? The city doesn’t seem to know. The fact that we even have to have this discussion speaks volumes about how dysfunctional we are as a city, county, and state.

And in one of those little easily overlooked consent agenda items, the city approved spending just over a million dollars for three new garbage trucks.

And these are just replacements. We wore the last batch out. We’ve got a lot of trash we need to pick up here!

We’re Back in the Red!

Santa Cruz County moved to the “red tier” on Wednesday, meaning a number of indoor businesses can again welcome customers indoors with restrictions. This includes indoor dining, aquariums, museums, dance studios, gyms and movie theaters. Outdoor amusement parks like the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will be allowed to bring back customers next month, as restrictions are modified for outdoor events, including sports and performances. New guidelines from the state will allow live performances, outdoor sport events, and amusement parks to partially reopen as of April 1. Masks will always be required, and the number of people who can be present will be determined by a county’s tier. The move also means local middle and high schools could start bringing students back to the classroom. In Santa Cruz County, 187 people have died from Covid-19. There have been 14,790 known Covid-19 cases in Santa Cruz County, of which 342 are known active cases, according to information last updated Thursday by county health officials. The latest state data shows 10 people are currently hospitalized for Covid-19 in Santa Cruz County, with three patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). That leaves seven ICU beds available. Statewide as of Sunday, there have been 3,504,652 Covid-19 cases and 54,224 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health. Over 10 million vaccines have been administered in California. So far, there have been 96,520 vaccine doses administered to Santa Cruz County residents.

The Parks and Rec Guy Has a Few Issues With the San Lorenzo Park Human Dumpster Fire

The city’s Parks and Recreation Director gave a sworn deposition in the recent court case involving the human dumpster fire burning in San Lorenzo Park. Here’s what he had to say about conditions his staff faces daily:

  • On December 28, 2020, during the City’s effort to clear the camp in San Lorenzo Park, three Parks staff members were verbally harassed by protesters and encampment occupants. Police officers asked a Parks staff member to open a lock on the Duck Island Stage. While undertaking this task, the officers and staff member were surrounded and jostled, and protestors knocked the Parks staff members phone out of her hand. The staff member verbally reported to me that even after the phone was knocked out of her hand, protestors continued to put their hands on her.
  • On December 29, 2020, I received reports that protestors went to two lower level Parks staff members’ personal homes at night to harass and threaten them. The protestors shouted profanities outside of the employees’ homes for at least 15 minutes. The protestors claimed that they have all Parks employees’ home addresses.
  • On January 5, 2021, a Parks staff member was attacked while in his work truck on the San Lorenzo River levee near the Boardwalk. An unknown individual said “fuck you guys” and began punching the Parks employee in the face. The employee sustained injuries to his mouth.
  • On January 6, 2021, a Parks staff member working on Pacific Ave and Water St. (a
    short walk away from San Lorenzo Park) reported that a man who appeared to be homeless entered staff’s work area and used a skateboard to smash the taillight of the Parks truck. The man said some profanities and left the scene.
  • Since the date of the TRO extension (January 6, 2021), the Parks and Recreation Department has received additional reports of at least four incidents of violence, retaliation, or vandalism in San Lorenzo Park or directed toward Parks staff.
  • On January 6, 2021, a Recreation staff member reported having his personal vehicle broken into in the area of San Lorenzo Park. Two sets of Parks & Recreation facility keys were stolen.
  • On January 7, 2021, Parks staff reported that several City-owned tools and supplies had been stolen earlier in December from San Lorenzo Park. Items included fence screening, a table, and waders.
  • On January 7, 2021, Parks staff reported that the San Lorenzo Park restrooms had been broken into. The lock on the door was opened by an unknown party. (All restrooms across the City park system have been closed for several months due to staff shortages resulting from COVID-19 related budget cuts.)
  • On January 11, 2021, the San Lorenzo Park restrooms had once again been broken into. The new lock was cut and the door latch was cut with a grinder or similar power tool. Parks and Recreation staff member took photographs on the morning of January 11, 2021 which accurately depict the extent of the damage done to both the men’s and women’s restroom doors.
  • Furthermore, during my walk-through of the park on January 11, 2021 at 7:30 a.m., I observed the current condition of the park, as follows:
  • Large amounts of trash throughout the park, especially near the lawn bowling green (west fence line). This area is most densely packed with tent structures
  • Significant damage to the lawn, landscaped areas, and trees
  • Trash and debris floating in the duck pond among swimming ducks; and a lack of mask wearing and social distancing amongst individuals living in the park.

The conditions at San Lorenzo Park have continued to negatively impact and deteriorate the park. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on January 12, 2021.

Serial Sprayer Arrested 

Last Friday night around 11PM, SCPD responded to the 2200 block of Mission Street after getting reports about some kind of possible assault. After they arrived, they determined a female transient had pepper sprayed some guy in an RV. Police quickly located her and arrested her. They were familiar with her because she had pepper sprayed someone else the night before at a nearby location. She was charged with being drunk in public, being a felon in possession of tear gas, and of course, the usual probation violation. Last check she’s still in jail on a $25K bond.

The Turnstile Got Stuck Here

Monday morning around 3AM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Felix Street after getting reports of a possible prowler. They located a 37 year old male in one of the back yards and charged him with burglary, as well as 4 felony violations of his parole. He’s currently on a no bail hold at the county jail.

Flash in the Can

Last Saturday around 4PM, Watsonville Police responded to the 100 block of East Beach Street where they arrested a 33 year old male and charged him with 2 counts of robbery and flashing a weapon. His bail was set at $50K and last check he’s still in jail.

Cars Are Deadly Weapons

Sunday afternoon around 1:30PM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of River Street for a reported hit and run. They arrested a 22 year old male and charged him with vehicular hit and run, making criminal threats, and assault with a deadly weapon after he apparently tried to run someone over. His bail was increased to $100K and last check he’s still in jail.

Police and Thieves in the Street (oh yeah!)

Last Friday around 6PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 21600 block of East Cliff Drive where they arrested a 29 year old man for vehicle theft and assault with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $25K and he remains in custody last time I checked.

Phone Thief Arrested Downtown

Sunday morning around 7:30AM, SCPD responded to the 300 block of Locust Street in downtown Santa Cruz for a report of a robbery. When they arrived, they found a victim who had been robbed of her cell phone. They ended up arresting a 43 year old woman and charged her with robbery. Last check she was still in jail on a $50K bond.

The Village Idiot

Last Saturday around 10AM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 100 block of Aptos Village Way, where they arrested a 22 year old male and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $25K and last check he was still in jail.

FBI Raids Santa Cruz Offices

Last Friday morning, a team of FBI agents and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office deputies served search warrants on a downtown Santa Cruz office building Friday morning, seemingly interested in the Media Rights Technology office located at 55 River St. The FBI’s San Francisco communications office confirmed the activity involved conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity but refused to confirm details. Several tenants in other offices at the building waited outside while law enforcement officers went in and out of the building. No truth to the rumor that they were looking for a couple of people with the last name of Colby.

The Felon Farm

Saturday morning around 9:30AM, SCPD arrested a 22 year old male in the area of Delaware and Natural Bridges who was wanted for having two outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. He was taken into custody on 2019 charges of vehicle theft and burglary. Looking for a felon on the run? Look no further than Delaware and Natural Bridges.

The Weekly Seen

ACE is the Place!

This Monday, a new ACE Hardware store opened up in downtown Santa Cruz. Zaremba Hardware opened their third local ACE Hardware store at 201 Front Street, at the corner of Front and Laurel. The local owners said they plan to hire 30 people at the new location.

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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  1. Thanks for the update Ben (always informative, but always painful). Santa Cruz is a never-ending freak show. It would be interesting to put together a list of cities in California that have roughly the population of Santa Cruz, but few of its freak-show problems.

  2. Interesting that Jessica York Sentinel reporter again watered down the report of assault in the park. She left out the fact he was a transient.
    How predictable

  3. I am blown away by the magnitude of many crimes where they are immediately released or have to come up with $0.01 bail……on the other hand if you steal someone’s cell phone you get a $25K bail……go figure.

  4. I routinely wonder if you make this up Ben. I left SC about two years ago when I became fed up with the show. I moved to Az. but still follow your local news as I have family in the area. Following the local news on KSBW just isn’t the same as reading the Dump! Unbelievable what the citizens will tolerate! The reality is it’ll never be worth a damn again. It’s been lost to the socialist forever.

  5. MuyDeplorable

    I am sure Ben does not make things up. Random thoughts:

    Some years ago (twenty?) the county tried a program whereby homeless but non-problem people could stay in State Park campgrounds (such as Brighton) during non-crowded times of the year. In Monterey County, a local do-gooder organization helped non-problem homeless use a local campground. And a certain organization, which I shall not name, asked its members whether non-problem homeless could book rooms normally assigned to young foreign tourists during the off-season. Response: Hell no.

    None of it worked out. The non-problem homeless would probably not have been a problem in a real homeless shelter. Not druggies or bums, just homeless. The catch was that it developed into a lifestyle for them, which was incompatible with the expectations of tourists. That is, if I am a foreign (or from elsewhere) visitor touring places, I behave a certain way. But if it is my temporary home, I behave a different way. This is a lifestyle incompatability that do-gooders do not seem to understand.

    I have met a few non-problem homeless, in this county and elsewhere. You would hardly notice they exist, even if they are camped out. The common themes seem to be some minor disability that makes them hard to employ, and a small pension that means they do not need to beg [if they are not paying rent], and a self-realization of the way things are.

    Alas, the problem is the problems. Big time. And the do-gooders. Big time.

  6. There’s a tangible edge to the city. We’re
    tired of a seriously ineffective, bloated
    city hall and a police department that is overloaded and out of focus. We have an entrenched homeless services sector which goes through millions of dollars yearly with little to show for it. Criminal transients have commandeered a local park and are hell bent on mayhem, murder and destruction. And the list goes on. It’s one hell of a shit show.

    • If by “local park” you mean the entire City of Santa Cruz and beyond, I agree! If you pull back the bushes at every arroyo crossing in the City as well as Live Oak, you will bear witness to piles of trash, bike parts and perhaps even a “levee flower” or two.

      Sometime in the future the criminal element will outnumber everyone else and you could just erect a fence around it and make it a penal-colony-by-the-sea.

  7. All I know is the longer I live here, the worse it gets. And this focus on covid means tax paying ppl are home more which means homeless are out more.
    I remember a time where I could walk downtown and not have to hopscotch over needles, trash and bodies. Not to mention the begging and sexual harrassment I have to endure as I walk past. And dont get me started on the hypocrisy… “we care about the environment” yet the trash in the river and beaches they’ve allowed to accumulate say otherwise.
    I’m saving to move. Between living and working downtown for 10+ years, it’s clear to me the ppl in charge here either are too scared, stupid or plain lazy to do what it necessary to end this shit show. Probably start by moving out of county and eventually out of state.
    Sad, that one of the most beautiful places in california has become one of the ugliest and uncivilized.

    • It’s been getting worse for over 50 years. But when you talk to the people who made it worse, they will all tell you that they only want to help. Every single one of them. That proves that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Jane Imler is dead. Her ideas failed 35 years ago and nobody else has had any new ideas since. All that happens is more civic money gets thrown away and more homeless show up to mooch.

      • ERIK N ZINN

        “It’s been getting worse for over 50 years. ” No argument about that here. The 1970’s and 1980’s in Santa Cruz now seem timid and tame compared to now. But in some cases, literally the same group of people continue the same saw from the 1970’s.

        Does anyone remember the old Civilian Conservation Corps, established in 1933? That was a very deft political move to help people out with education and training, a small paycheck and some honest work during the Great Depression, all the while helping to improve American infrastructure. Some of the work done by the CCC still stands today. What are the odds that something like this could be established by Santa Cruz County or California?

  8. The City Insider

    As someone that has worked for the City of Cruz for decades….my biggest observations?

    The City created this shit show…. The county giggles because they are all talk NO action.
    Where does Zach Friend live?? Exactly.

    People are NOT entitled to live here and get a free ride…needles. cash. Sympathy.
    Young LAZY clowns from all over the country come here. This is the KNOWN destination to steal …pay a penny bond and start all over again destroying the environment and our Sanctuary.

    If all those squatters are NOT willing to get their act together… then WHY are we allowing it??

    Shocker! No you’re not entitled to a free house just ’cause. How about getting off your asses and actually work…? That’s what the rest of us do.

    Activists don’t run this town…LOL

  9. I used to get worked up when I read the dump each week and would have hopes that Santa Cruz was one more SERIOUS crime away from not putting up with scum bags/ scum bag drug addicts and the rest of the Aholes that we speak about here anymore. 3 years since I discovered the dump AND ITS WORSE in SC then ever but then just wait a week.

    I go back and old dumps and just shake my head it’s been the same hot diarrhea hurricane in SC way to long. I like the comments section it has always had good insight,ideas and crazy stories and facts/opinions, some a Lil…. eh. And I find it funny nobody from the city council or a mayor or chief of police /sheriff or you know anyone in power commenting. I’m pretty sure they know of the dump. Maybe they have I haven’t read ever one. Yet.

    So it’s not for lack of the COMMUNITY AND POLICE trying to rid SC of all the crime and drug use/violence. Its WHOEVER/WHATEVER is in charge of SC to blame for what happens in SC ever minute. Scotts Valley, Capitola and Watsonville any many other “not Santa Cruz places” that won’t put up with mass groups of scum bag people living in there towns and openly doing and selling drugs and doing crime 24/7 then assaulting anyone who opposes that lifestyle, or especially city workers. And don’t get me started on the queen scum who uses the Santa Cruz scum as her personal army.

    Anyone who has lived in SC or has spend enough time in SC knows what kind of “Scum Bag” individuals thrive here and know what there about and how SC treats them like there a protect nationality/endangered species and we as “regular people” must leave them alone even if there breaking into your home or stealing from the store you own. WHY CAUSE THERE DRUG ADDICTS!?!?!? It’s no mystery what Santa Cruz is and how long it’s been going on. So it’s pointless trying to do anything directly to the scum bag(s) they beat on each other enough as it is so There used to it that stuff, can’t win the worlds war on drugs here in SC.

    So only thing I can think of that would work is do the opposite of what SC has done/built/and plans to keep doing and build undo do all that and just adopt our neighboring town/city’s practices that keep them what they are today-NOT SANTA CRUZ CA. I’d like to see regular people protesting to to change, putting up signs and picketing to warn tourists and those people who want to move to SC of what SC is. But those people would be arrested and told to move on cause SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA BELONGS TO DRUG ADDICTS AND ANY SCUM BAG WHO WANTS TO LIVE HERE. It’s your fault if you as a regular person doesn’t like it. A big RIGHT ON! To those who are commenting this week. Oh and I love how mugshots SC is still down and looks like it’ll never come back. I think it’s our right to know who isn’t obeying the laws we are all supposed to follow and keep track of all the scum bags as they keep waisted our tax dollars and police efforts cause of a city that insist that it’s population be mainly drug addicts and criminals.

  10. MuyDeplorable

    And in other news… Despite being eligible, I have not been able to locate a COVID vaccination in this county. Not my normal health care provider (I am almost never ill), not others, not even the county. Nada. On the two occasions where some vaccine was (temporarily) available, it was being offered at a drive-in. (Yes, drive-in. Car needed.)

    Someone whom I know told me that it was possible to cheat the system by claiming to be “essential” and moving to a higher priority class. Might be an urban legend. But apparently there are places willing to temporarily “hire” people for “essential” work, just so they can get on the list. Think “medical” marijuana. If true, would not surprise me. When this plague first ramped up, a year ago, a lot of folks had those 95-class masks, despite no masks of any kind being available. They got them via friends in businesses that regularly dealt with dust, so there were boxes of the masks in the back room. Of course, if you work over the hill, you can get the vaccine there.

    As long as everyone around me has been vaccinated, that works too. Besides, I already got my $1400 electronically deposited. If I feel a cough coming on, I’m going to spend it quickly and have a good time.

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