Child Rapist and Murderer Sentenced
Adrian “AJ” Gonzalez, who pled guilty to all charges related to the murder of Maddy Middleton in Santa Cruz, received his sentence during a court appearance Tuesday. A judge sentenced Gonzalez to the maximum term he can receive in juvenile court, so he could be released when he is 25 in four years. Let’s remember what he did to her here. He tried to rape an 8 year old girl before he strangled her and threw her body in a dumpster. Then he hung around and watched police look for her thinking she was missing. He’s a fucking psychopath. If anyone deserves the gas chamber it’s this guy. And here in California, we’re too fucking lame to mete out justice here. His time will come. Karma will have the final word here. I’d be fine tossing him in genpop and letting them have their way with him. But since none of that will happen, I just hope that one day proper justice will be dispensed on this piece of shit.
Ryan Coonerty Waves the White Flag
This week, 3rd District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty announced that he would not seek re-election in 2022. Talk about a “santa mierda” moment for me! Lots to say about this but i’ll keep it short this week. Here’s his statement:
So some quick observations:
- Who just walks away from a cushy job that pays north of $100K, with great benefits, with nothing else lined up? Ryan? I doubt it. There’s gotta be more to this story about why he’s leaving and what he has planned next. I’ve heard rumors he wants to run for state senate for the seat currently held by Mark Stone, who is terming out. If he ran for re-election and lost, he could kiss that dream goodbye. And let’s face it, there’s no guarantee he’d win. I’m sure John Leopold thought he would win easily too and now he’s on the outside looking up at Manu in his old seat.
- The race for his seat is wide open now. Not having an incumbent run basically levels the field to anyone wanting to run here. It won’t be truly level, some candidates will have more experience and name recognition than others. And someone will eventually get Ryan’s actual endorsement, for what that’s actually worth.
- Ryan alludes to wanting to see a woman successfully run for his seat. So I’d wager he already has a woman he’s ready to endorse here. I’ll make a prediction who that is: Cynthia Mathews.
Triple No Still Amounts to Yes
After getting numerous calls from nearby residents of drug activity taking place in their neighborhood, SCPD stopped a woman on Dakota Avenue for selling drugs out of her vehicle. In one of those hardly a coincidence moments, the same woman was recently arrested for drug sales and was out on her “own recognizance”, otherwise known as a “get out of jail free card”. As part of the conditions of her release, she was subject to search terms. K9 Parker was on scene and alerted on narcotics and drug paraphernalia in her possession. She was arrested for drug sales again. The arresting officer contacted a Judge, who revoked her OR privilege and ordered a “Triple No” release, whatever that means. Is that like double secret probation? By the way, she’s out of jail already.
Turnstiling at the County Jail
During a traffic stop for a violation on Monday, deputies stopped a male driver on probation with search terms. During a search of his vehicle, deputies found over an ounce of methamphetamine packaged for sales, digital scales, a loaded handgun, and part of a Harley Davidson motorcycle in the back of the vehicle. The driver was arrested and booked into the County Jail for being a felon in possession of a firearm, being in possession of a loaded firearm while in possession of narcotics, transportation of methamphetamine, and being in possession of a concealed and loaded firearm while not the registered owner. He was in jail for less than 24 hours. He’s out already.
Here’s his rap sheet since 2017.
They “revoked” his probation 4 separate times in 4 years. County probation. The number one public safety threat in Santa Cruz.
Bum Rolling on Ocean Street
Friday night around 8:30PM, Santa Cruz Police responded to the area of Ocean and Hubbard after getting reports of an assault with a deadly weapon and battery. Witnesses described seeing two males beating up another guy with a piece of wood and trying to push him into Ocean Street traffic. By the time they arrived, everyone had left.
Welcome to Paradise
Last Friday morning around 2AM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department responded to the area of Highway 9 and Golf Club Drive where they arrested a 23 year old male and charged him with burglary, making criminal threats, being a felon in possession of tear gas, vandalism, drug possession, theft, and vandalism. He’s currently still in jail on a no bail hold.
The Always Predictable Probation Violation
Wednesday afternoon around 12:30PM, SCPD responded to the 1300 block of Ocean Street for a report of a disturbance. After arriving, they arrested a 35 year old male, but not before he resisted arrest and battered a peace officer in the process. He was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, and trespassing. And of course the ever present, always predictable PROBATION VIOLATION. His bail was st at $25K and last check he was still in county jail.
We Know How Serious Violating Probation is in Santa Cruz
Last Friday afternoon around 3:30PM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department arrested a 28 year old male on the 700 block of Ocean Street and charged him with making criminal threats, domestic violence, and numerous probation violations. He’s currently being held without bail in county jail. Here’s his rap sheet:
Somehow we can’t seem to manage to keep this asshole in jail. What’s the number one public safety threat to Santa Cruz? County probation of course.
Playing in Traffic Along Mission Street is a Bad Idea
Friday night around 9PM, a transient was running in and out of traffic near Miramar and Mission streets when he was hit by a passing truck. He seemed to take the hit pretty well, since he apparently bounced up and walked over to the Valero on Mission. SCPD responded with medics but the victim was uncooperative and began fighting with police while resisting arrest. The truck driver stayed on scene. Numerous witnesses reported the man was running in and out of traffic kicking cars before he was hit.
Brawl at Safeway
Thursday night around 10PM, reports came in that a male and female were physically fighting at the Safeway on Morrissey. Witnesses reported seeing a female pepper spray a male before apparently trying to hit him with her vehicle. This seemed to escalate into a physical brawl between two males and two females. The pepper spraying female took off in her vehicle before SCPD arrived. They caught up to her but apparently let her go after the victim didn’t want to press charges.
A former UC Santa Cruz student was sentenced to ten years in prison this week after being convicted of using an app to sell drugs to people on and around the campus. On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced the 26 year old male from Soquel for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The US Department of Homeland Security, San Jose police, UC Santa Cruz police and other agencies worked together to investigate the case. The investigation began after discovering an app named “Banana Plug” was being used to sell drugs to students on and around campus. When investigators served a search warrant at the suspect’s home, they said they seized three guns, rifle magazines, ammunition, more than $17,000 in cash, 32 pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, 454 grams of crystal MDMA, 549 grams of LSD, 189 grams of suspected ketamine, more than 8 pounds of honey oil, about 60 pounds of marijuana and unidentified tablets and pills. During a search of a storage unit, investigators said they found 410 grams of concentrated cannabis, 4 grams of LSD, 90 grams of liquid Valium, a short-barreled rifle with high capacity magazines, a shotgun, ammunition, ballistic vests, a cash counting machine, a digital scale and drug testing kits.
But Andy tells Me Crime is Down!
“With a crime rate of 57 per one thousand residents, Santa Cruz has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 18. Within California, more than 98% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Santa Cruz.
Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city’s crime rate with those of similarly sized communities – a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 64,608, Santa Cruz has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether Santa Cruz does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Santa Cruz.
Now let us turn to take a look at how Santa Cruz does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Santa Cruz.
For Santa Cruz, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Santa Cruz is one in 160.
In addition, NeighborhoodScout found that a lot of the crime that takes place in Santa Cruz is property crime. Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Santa Cruz, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 20, which is a rate of 51 per one thousand population.
Importantly, we found that Santa Cruz has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to our analysis of FBI crime data. This is compared to communities of all sizes, from the smallest to the largest. In fact, your chance of getting your car stolen if you live in Santa Cruz is one in 215.”
Watsonville Man Wanted For Attempted Murder Arrested in Bakersfield
This week, a 31 year old Bakersfield man wanted in connection to an attempted murder in Watsonville was arrested in Bakersfield and extradited back to Santa Cruz County. He is the suspected gunman from a late February attempted murder that took place in a parking lot on the 300 block of Bree Lane in Watsonville. The 24 year old victim was shot multiple times but has since recovered from his injuries. His bail was set at $375K and last check he was still in county jail. He was also arrested back in January (before the February shooting) by Bakersfield Police for being a felon is possession of a firearm and other weapons charges. So he gets arrested for being a felon in possession of a gun, and within a month her goes out and shoots someone in Watsonville. Who let this guy out of jail in January? I’m sure the guy who was shot a month later would love to know.
The Latest COVID Numbers for Santa Cruz County
There have been 15,984 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, with 144 currently active cases. 204 people have died, 486 people have been hospitalized, 3 are currently hospitalized, and none are in the ICU. 15,636 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 131,721 people have tested negative. Santa Cruz County is in the orange tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Its adjusted case rate is at 2.1, and it needs to be at 0.9 or below to move up. It also has a 0.8% positivity rate, and that needs to be at 1.9% or below to move up.
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Probation violators: The new protected class.
So in other words, your chance of being a victim of violent crime in Santa Cruz is higher than your chance of dying from Covid.
Ben, thanks for publishing the awakening analysis of Santa Cruz’ crime rates. Very informative of the current state of conditions here and what people are willing to accept as normal from their leaders. Of course, you will never see this published in the Sentinel, or spoken about by local politicians.
Off topic (so forgive me) but still pertinent to Santa Cruz where environmental emotions are high, Joe Biden last week has proposed a new CO2 emission goal for the United States. This goal would be to eliminate half of the US 2005 CO2 emissions by 2030.
Since Santa Cruz County receives all its power from fossil fuel, minus a few megawatts from rooftop solar, this may be of interest to your readers. If inappropriate for your blog, remove it, the Sentinel won’t publish it either.
In 2005, the US emitted 6,000 megatonnes (MT, a million metric tonnes) of CO2 from energy usage. US CO2 emissions have been dropping since 2005, and the US is currently emitting about 4,900 MT per year. So to meet Biden’s goal, we’d need to reduce our CO2 emissions by another 1,900 MT of CO2 by 2030. Notice that current US policy has already accomplished reducing US emissions by 1100 MT per year in those 16 years, mostly by eliminating coal and switching to natural gas. So the low hanging fruit has mostly been picked.
Currently, the US emits about 213 MT of CO2 per petawatt hour (PWh, or 10^15 watthours) from fossil fuel used to produce energy. This means under Biden’s plan, we need to replace another 1,900 MT CO2 / 213 MT CO2 per PWh or approximately 9 PWh of fossil energy by 2030 just to remain even with US 2021 energy demand.
There is only one known CO2 emission-free energy source that can provide this amount of power and that’s nuclear energy. So, we need to consider that and calculate what nuclear generation capacity is needed. To do that, we divide the 9 PWh/year of power we need to supply by the number of hours per year, 8,760. This gives us about 1,030 GW (gigawatts, 10^9 watts) of new nuclear generation capacity.
That’s an average generation capacity, but we need enough generation capacity for the peak times and a growing population. As a result, rather than 1,030 GW of new nuclear generating capacity, we need about twice that, or 2,060 GW of new capacity. From April 30, 2021 until January 1st, 2030, when Biden’s plan requires our emissions to be down to 3,000 MT of CO2 per year, there are about 453 weeks.
That means that in order to accomplish Joe Biden’s plan, we need to identify the sites, do the feasibility studies, obtain the licenses and the permits, do the construction, order the components, manufacture the components, install, test, and commission two 2.25 gigawatt nuclear power plants every week until 2030, starting this week, just to meet our nation’s current energy demand.
The math is clear and the data is federal, so under Joe Biden’s energy plan, be aware of what he is actually calling for.
I missed the part where I talked about Biden’s CO2 emissions. Oh wait. I never mentioned Biden. Let’s all try to stay on topic and not turn the comments into a general free for all. Thanks!
Doonman, i am a great fan of your local political commentary (and have been for a long time). I look forward to it.
Those hard-working folks in the photo of San Lorenzo Park are probably just worn out from job hunting all day long. Anyone want to place a bet on when it will transform into the drug-fueled, chop-shop, dumpster fire it has the last three times it materialized? Who is “in charge” of running the circus this time?
I heard over the SCPD Blue Channel a while back that County Probation has a “Letter of Authority” (LOA) filed with the Santa Cruz Police Department authorizing them to remove, y’know, people on probation who are millin’ around their offices at 303 Water St. True story.
Those who have the power/make the decisions in Santa Cruz should be ashamed of themselves and should be relived if there position(s). Arrested and fined IMO. Citizens should take over, but first the military and or national Gaurd to clear the violent drug addict scums bags from there rent free home called Santa Cruz. So in the near future whenever a scum bag (of any kind) finds there way over here and they try to commit a crime,try to buy or sell drugs they will be arrested “no penny bail BS!!!” And once there sentence is up they will be bused,driven or flown back to where they came from. If there an actual resident of SC well in all reality if we got rid of all the out of town scum that finds its way here dealing with local scum only won’t be to bad especially if the population is kept to a bare minimum Scotts Valley allows maybe 4 “homeless “ guys to roam around and one of them still frequents the Shell gas station on mount Herman and harasses employees. But in SV police don’t treat drug addicts criminal scum bags like Ol buddy’s they treat them accordingly. What a crap show this week!! Eh but my prediction is-SC WILL ONLY GET WORSE THOSE IN POWER IN SC MUST REALLY HATE THE REGULAR CITIZENS OF SC OR ELSE WHY ESLE WOULD CRIMINALS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS?!?! I don’t comment much as I used to cause well. Like I just said SC WILL ONLY GET WORSE!
This is “on topic”?
Stayed on topic with my last comment but it didn’t get posted. Another reason I don’t comment here much anymore
Yet here you are posting twice. Thanks as always!
Last time I’ll comment or visit here. Thought you were… never mind
Ben: I hope you read this before today’s posting.
This morning (Friday, May 7) my bus passed the noth entrance (along Delaware) to Natural Bridges State Beach, and I noticed that there were signs declaring that the area was closed, no entry.
Unlikely to be virus-related. The State Parks web site says nothing about it. One possibility is maintenance. Another possibility is to discourage the numerous camper-shell types who lurk along Delaware. Do you know anything about this?
Never mind. Same afternoon, signs gone. Must have been maintenance.