The Weekly Dump – 3.22.24

Comerica Bank Robbed in Downtown Santa Cruz

Wednesday afternoon around 5PM, the Comerica bank in downtown Santa Cruz was robbed. When SCPD arrived, they determined that a middle aged Hispanic male handed the teller a note saying he was armed and needed money. The teller complied and gave him an unknown amount of money. The man left the bank on a bike. A short time later, police recovered the suspect’s clothing and some of the money in a nearby parking garage. As far as I know, nobody has been arrested. I was hanging out enjoying a nice day downtown blocks away about an hour earlier and had no idea this happened until later that night when someone told me about it. 

Cruising and Losing in Capitola

Last Friday night, Capitola Police arrested two men on gun and drug charges after a welfare check on two guys sitting in the front seat of their van. After searching the vehicle, they found a gun and a large amount of methamphetamine. Along with the gun and drugs, stolen property from the Central Valley was also recovered. Both men were arrested for possession of stolen property, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of drugs for sales. 

Prioritizing Bums Over Kids

That’s what the city of Santa Cruz is doing with Harvey West Park now. 

The ongoing shigellosis outbreak has expanded to 36 confirmed or suspected cases and affected yet another community event. The Santa Cruz County Deputy Health Officer said last week that cases have climbed in the past few weeks, with 20 confirmed cases and at least 16 probable cases. He stated that at least 90% of those cases are among the homeless. The outbreak is believed to have originated from the Friendship Garden homeless encampment in the Harvey West Park area of Santa Cruz. The outbreak has forced the cancellation of numerous local community events that organizers had planned to hold in Harvey West Park.

Nobody disappoints local kids like the city of Santa Cruz does.

Last month, organizers of the Santa Cruz Cookout had to postpone their event because of the outbreak. Now, the Santa Cruz chapter of Omega Nu said that this year’s Ducky Derby event, scheduled for April 27th, will have to be “virtual” because of the outbreak. In 34 years of having the event at Harvey West Park, this will be only the second time that the fundraiser has been held virtually, with the other being in 2020 during COVID restrictions. At the event, thousands of rubber ducks are sent down a waterslide in a race to raise funds for scholarships, educational materials and community programs. Omega Nu considered delaying the derby until summer, but there was no guarantee that the outbreak would be adequately resolved by then. 

Take a Page From the Tenderloin

I read this week that businesses and residents of the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of San Francisco for not keeping them safe. Why did this take so long? And can we apply the same logic locally? I’ve always thought a class action suit against the city and/or county for failure to keep the public safe would be a good idea. The city hates lawsuits, especially those with some merit (or precedent), and would likely cave in before going to court. That’s exactly how we ended up with district elections for the Santa Cruz city council. A lawsuit was threatened, the city could see it was liable, and they settled before going to court. 

“They demand an end to the rampant illegal street vending, and from the squalor and misery that exists throughout their neighborhood because the city has decided that people in the throes of addiction can live and die on the Tenderloin’s streets,” said Matt Davis, one of the attorneys, in a prepared statement.”

Why can’t we (the city) sue the county for the same reason? Why can’t the quote be something like this?

“The city of Santa Cruz demands an end to the rampant illegal street vending, and from the squalor and misery that exists throughout city streets because the county has decided that people in the throes of addiction can live and die on city streets,” 

Any lawyers out there want to take a stab at this?

Passing Gas

The city of Santa Cruz is considering prohibiting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers within city limits and is seeking the public’s feedback about its draft ordinance through an online survey, with a deadline of Sunday for feedback. If there’s anything I hate more than bums, vagrants, fentanyl dealers, and dysfunctional government, it would be GAS POWERED LEAF BLOWERS. BAN THEM! Click here to fill out the very short survey online (you might have to scroll up after clicking that link).

Highway 1 Closure Delayed

The Highway 1 closure planned for this weekend has been postponed until next month, due to the threat of rain this weekend. 

The Community Speaks!

This week it’s all about ice cream. I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream. I gotta say there are a lot of Marianne’s fans here, the overwhelming favorite in this weeks Question of the Week:

“Best ice cream and favorite flavor in Santa Cruz?”

“Penny Ice Creamery vegan chocolate sorbet!”
– Valerie

“My friend Steve makes the best homemade ice cream with the fruits of the season or leftover pieces of pie he may happen to have on hand. If you are reading this Steve…help a sister out! It has been a while! His strawberry is to die for! Marianne’s Northern Oregon Blackberry is a close second.”
– Lisa

“Can’t go wrong with anything Marianne’s… Especially the Pup Cups!”
– Shawna

“Marianne’s Toasted Almond is to die for!”
– Steven

“Marianne’s Spumoni”
– Angie

“Polar bear ice cream sandwiches. Only see them at Engfers anymore. So good”
– Seanna

“Strawberries and cream milk shake from Marianne’s!”
– Andrea

“Marianne’s caramel fudge crunch”
– Sarah

“Marianne’s German Chocolate”
– Julianne

“Marianne’s Macapuno”
– Pamela

There are some really good ice cream options locally. I really like Mission Hill Creamery downtown, Penny Ice Creamery, Polar Bear, and of course Marianne’s. And I can make some pretty mean homemade ice cream. Just ask anyone who’s ever had some!

Tom Waits – Ice Cream Man

Boardwalk Opens for Spring Break

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will be open during Spring Break, from March 23rd until April 14th. They’ve got all kinds of fun stuff going on, a run, live music, magic shows, and of course the usual rides and games. More info here. Can someone let Kris Reyes know I really miss the Friday Bands on the Beach! Please bring them back! It was a such a great gift to the community. 

Pain in the Aptos

A new Auxiliary Lane project, part of a road widening project to reduce traffic congestion along Highway 1 near Aptos in Santa Cruz County, now faces a lawsuit. County officials say it would allow vehicles more space to merge and speed up traffic. Critics say it’s bad for the environment. The majority of the construction would take place between State Park Drive and Freedom Boulevard. The Campaign for Sustainable Transportation, along with the Sierra Club, filed the lawsuit. Caltrans said the project is continuing as planned. Trees vs. Traffic. We’ve got a lot of both. I think the lawsuit won’t really have any traction or bearing on what Caltrans does here, it might slow the project down temporarily but probably won’t stop it. I hate killing trees. 

You’re Making Me Hungry

Friday lunch with my BFF downtown, and this week it was Zoccoli’s, a beloved Pacific Avenue institution and lunch destination. The line was humming and the service was brisk. I got a meatloaf sandwich and ma boo got a shrimp salad sandwich. Both were mouth watering and messy good. You can’t go wrong with a sandwich from Zoccoli’s. 

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  1. John Dugan Santa Cruz, California

    Thanks for the’s the only Dump in downtown San Cruz you can be sure is safe…..

  2. That shrimp salad sandwich looks amazing. Zoccoli’s also has some darn good cannoli as I remember.

  3. Terry Maushardt

    This issue is impressive. Solid community journalism and commentary.
    Your reporting on the cancellation of the Duck Derby is accurate and unsensational. It’s a tradition. We need to reinvest in valuing cultural norms and traditions. Santa Cruz not only has a uniquely beautiful environment, it has a wonderful cultural history as well. The law suit filed by the residents of the Tenderloin in SF is a good model for responding to the problems we face here in the city of Santa Cuz.
    The other community news is timely and informative and there is a good balance between local news, opinion, human interest and lifestyle and entertainment.
    I’m glad you were able to resolve the technical issues. I’m going to subscribe.

  4. Mike Becker

    Banning gas powered blowers is clearly discriminatory and unequal treatment under the law. Gas string trimmers, gas edgers, gas hedge trimmers and gas lawn mowers are united in their defense of their brother and sister gas blow hards and are contemplating a law suit with the help of the Santa Cruz branch of the ACLU.

  5. We should keep focused on the main and ONLY REAL PROBLEM SANTA CRUZ HAS AND ALWAYS HAD. Criminals and criminal drug addicts allowed to do as they please and when they please and where they please and rarely getting arrested and actually staying in jail. The more we get sidetracked with tree hugging and complaining about gas leaf blowers and what to eat the more criminals get comfortable doing as they’ve always done in SC. It’s like letting you dogs pee and poo and biting guests in the house and worry about remolding and what’s for dinner. And what cultural history does Santa Cruz really have and why even celebrate the history of SC when what it’s been since the 60’s is a drug addicts grace land with roller coaster rides and beaches. Drive around from 2am-5am in down town SC and see if you feel comfortable leaving your car parked while you walk around for at least on hour by yourself. Will you be concerned about leaf blowers and hugging a tree or what to eat… especially when you come across a person walking around with a machete or baseball bat or a few guys carrying…. I did security down down seeing this would be a regular night. Police won’t do anything about it btw.

  6. Dude, you’re being bashful here, show us your meatballs! That shrimp salad looks about perfect, I need to get out to Zoccoli’s more often.

  7. Im all for suing the city/county for the abysmal failure to keep citzens and children safe here… especially downtown and Harvey West.
    There isnt a single place you can visit here where you are not accosted (physically or visually) by zombies.
    Hell, you cant even drive here without having some zombie standing in traffic or on the center divide come to bang on your window demanding money while you sit at a red light.
    Are we all going to be forced to see below rock bottom before things actually change?

  8. Ben,
    I’m soo… delighted your back and I know you know Gracchus is as far right of center as you are left of center which is not extreme for either of us. We can certainly agree on your Prioritizing bums… piece because that’s what happens when the far lefties in town allow water to get poluted and the citizenry exposed to the poop party that is going on due to the bums. Not everyone knows what you’re talking about so I provide this helpful quote……. “Shigella is found in the intestinal tract (bowels) of infected people and is shed in their feces (poop). People get shigellosis by putting anything in their mouth that has touched infected feces or by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the bacteria. It can also be spread sexually by oral-anal contact.”
    Keep up the good work of exposing the nut job far lefties that allow this stuff to continue.

  9. Thank you for alerting us to the leaf blower info!!!

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