What the Hell Blew Up in Santa Cruz?
Thursday night around 7PM, a large explosion seemed to rock Santa Cruz. I heard it and it sounded like a building exploded, or possibly a sonic boom of some kind. Reports came in that it could have been a meteorite. Witnesses from as far away as Sacramento and Napa reported seeing a bright object flash across the sky around the same time. I still haven’t found any official reports on the mainstream news about it. But lots and lots of people heard it!
Hit the Road Jack
This past Monday, CalTrans finally told the group of transients squatting on their property along the Mission Street bypass near Highways 1 and 9 to GTFO. And they mean it this time! I hear people say “where are they gonna go?”. How about the last place they were before they ended up in a muddy ditch along a freeway? Let’s start there. Caltrans gave notice to more than a dozen homeless people who had been illegally squatting along Highways 1 and 9 in advance of road work set to take place there, which includes road widening and bike lane construction. Eight California Highway Patrol officers were on hand Monday to support Caltrans clear them out. The commotion backed up traffic along Highway 1 and Highway 9.
The Forecast Calls For Rainclouds
This past Sunday, SCPD responded to the 800 block of Water Street where they arrested a wanted felon who tried to use a victim’s stolen debit card to make several purchases at local businesses. When they made contact with the suspect, he had a concealed and loaded pistol in his front pants pocket. He was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, identity theft, credit card theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Last Friday morning around 2AM, SCPD responded to the 700 block of Ocean Street where they picked up a who had a bunch of outstanding warrants, but he was also arrested for flashing a weapon and battery. If he didn’t have the outstanding warrants, he’d have gotten penny bail and would be hanging out over in San Lorenzo park kicking back with his buds planning their next mischief. But he’s still in jail for now because of the previous outstanding warrants.
Penny bail. Explain how this improves public safety within the community at large.
Santa Cruz Man Arrested in Monterey After Stealing Police Car
Tuesday morning around 11;30AM, Monterey Police saw a man and woman removing property from a white BMW vehicle which appeared to be stolen on Alcalde near North Fremont in Monterey. After making contact with the female driver, she refused to exit the car and fled from officers in the vehicle and apparently got away. Police saw the male suspect leave a nearby motel room and they arrested him as he was trying to run away from police. While being transported to the Monterey County Jail, he somehow managed to escape from the patrol car near Abrego and Fremont. After leading police on another foot pursuit, the suspect stole the police car and drove toward Veteran’s Park. The vehicle was found abandoned nearby and Monterey High School and Colton Middle School were told to shelter in place. Around 1:30PM, police got a tip the suspect was in the area of Harrison and Bowen, where they found him hiding on a rooftop. he tired to run away again but didn’t get far and finally ended up in the Monterey County Jail. The 33 year Santa Cruz man was charged with resisting arrest, accessory possession of methamphetamine, identity theft, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jail Escapee Arrested
Last Friday, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department arrested a 24 year old male who had apparently escaped from the Santa Cruz county jail sometime recently, since that what he was charged with. That along with outstanding warrants for carrying a gun in public, being a felon in possession of a gun, robbery, and a dozen other charges. Last check he’s still (currently anyways) in county jail on a no bail hold. He was arrested last year after SCPD responded to a reported DUI driver near Seabright Avenue and Murray Streets. After attempting to evade police, he crashed his vehicle after hitting parked cars and a street sign near Riverside and Soquel Avenue, leaving his male passenger with a leg injury. He got out of the car and ran to the east levee toward San Lorenzo Park before being detained by Rangers.
The Latest COVID Numbers From Santa Cruz County
There have been 16,246 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Santa Cruz County, according to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, with 101 known active cases. 205 people have died, 495 have been hospitalized, and nobody is currently hospitalized. 15,940 people have recovered from the disease. A total of 134,958 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 1.5, and it needs to be at 1.9 or below to move up. It also has a 0.5% positivity rate, and that needs to be at 1.9% or below to move up.
The Slow Slog Towards Santa Cruz City Council District Elections
It’s been kind of forgotten in all the drama with COVID, crime, and homelessness but the city of Santa Cruz is still crawling towards district elections for the city council. Currently, all 7 Santa Cruz city council seats are considered “at large”, meaning they represent the entire city and anyone registered to vote within the city can vote for any of them. This differs from “district” elections, where people are elected from different districts and only the people living in those districts can vote for anyone running in their particular district. The most obvious local example of “district” elections currently in use locally is for the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. each of the 5 supervisors on the BoS represents a different district within the county, and only people living in a district can vote for anyone running in that district. So the concept isn’t new, or novel, or revolutionary. It’s just that the local political “machines” are fighting losing their power and influence over who gets elected. So the “status quo” machines aren’t particularly fond of the change to district elections here. But it seems the writing is on the wall. Literally. It’s on the city’s website.
Zooming in on the Santa Cruz City Council
The Santa Cruz city council had another virtual meeting remotely on Zoom this Tuesday. First let me say, I really don’t miss the clown car parade during “oral communications”, and I certainly don’t miss the same handful of kooks who feel the need to chime in their opinion on every topic on the agenda. People wonder why local government meetings like this run 10-12 hours or longer? I’d argue more than half that time is made up of public bitching, or the public speakers just talking about whatever they want. It’s why the homeless needle (pardon the pun) never moves here. It’s a really divisive issue just among local Democrats on how to deal with it, never mind the “Republicans” that seem to be quietly sitting this fight out. It’s the same kind of ideological battle we’re seeing in Washington between Team Biden and the AOC crowd. Overall, I think we have a pretty good, pretty pragmatic city council right now. I think even the weakest link for me (cough Sandy Brown…) isn’t doing a terrible job since Lloyd and Harry got recalled. She still makes her occasional stand, usually on principle to the progressives that voted for her and still support her, but she also knows how to count, and can figure out that she (and Justin usually) are on the short end of the stick when it comes right down to a vote. And I’m fine with the other 5 women so far! It’s a terrible time to have to run this city, and honestly I’m glad the power is in the hands of smart, local, pragmatic women right now. That’s right, the women are smarter.
This week, they unanimously voted to advance a plan to transition to district elections by the November 2022 election. The move from “at large” elections to district elections is being done now after the city of Santa Cruz was threatened with litigation by a law firm that claimed the district elections for the Santa Cruz city council violated the California Voting Rights Act by not adequately representing Latinos in the city. A draft map of the districts is due in November. It will be based on 2020 census data and public comments. Several public hearings will be held before then to get community feedback on the maps and election schedule for any districts. The city council also requested staff research other related issues, including a mayoral election and ranked-choice voting.
They also considered an alternative ordinance to the previous “TOLO”, which crashed and burned into a humiliating failure to the city after the community at large raged back about any kind of camping in neighborhoods or along sidewalks. The new “Camping Services and Standards Ordinance” ordinance would prohibit most camping in the city, as long as the city provides alternative places for homeless people to sleep and a place to store their belongings during the day.
According to a city spokesperson, “In reality, we’re several months away from being able to enforce an ordinance”. And what difference will any of this make? I walked along River street near Trader Joe’s on Thursday and there were people still camping all along the San Lorenzo river bank, well established camps, right next to the pedestrian bridge.
Someone actually drove a car down there and set up a car camping spot. Is that allowed now? Rules don’t mean shit if:
- You don’t enforce them
- The people being punished don’t care about the punishment
- There’s no actual repercussions for the punishment
I know the city needs to do something to prevent large homeless camps from congregating. THAT’S WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. That’s me cutting through the BS here. People have been renegade camping in the city for years! I know one guy, forever homeless by choice, total jerkwad pain in the ass whose name I won’t mention, I see him all over town all the time. I never see him get arrested. He knows how to work the local scene and stays mostly out of trouble, and tries to keep a low profile. Police don’t hassle this guy, yet they know he’s been camping in the city for years. Then you have the drug camps, the same camps that prey on the mentally ill too unstable to care for themselves, where people steal their meds or the scripts and sell them for a fix. You can’t let the homeless create “camps” without enforceable rules and a way to enforce them. It’s not the Lord of the Flies here.
Pablo Cruising at the Dream Inn
Pablo Cruise played the pool deck at the Dream Inn last week. What an amazing backdrop the wharf and Cowells are here with the sunset! They should be making this concert for the guests a regular thing, or at least a few times a summer thing. I miss the Boardwalk concerts!
Handicapping the Rumors For Ryan’s Seat
Odds based on nothing more than random rumors I’ve heard, innuendo, and gut feelings. New odds this week! I was told by a pretty rock solid source that Cynthia Mathews is out. And I believe it, but she’s still staying as a long shot.
- Steve Pleich 1:1 (hell we all know he’s gonna run again….)
- Gail Pellerin 3:1
- Hilary Bryant 3:1
- Donna Meyers 3:1
- Justin Cummings 3:1
- Martine Watkins 5:1
- Chris Krohn 5:1
- Kayla Kumar 5:1
- Sandy Brown 10:1
- Renee Golder 10:1
- David Terrazas 10:1
- Sonja Brunner 10:1
- Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson 10:1
- Brent Adams 10:1
- Bad Mom 25:1
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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