The Weekly Dump – 3.29.24

Expanding is the Opposite of Reducing

This Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors discussed an expansion of funding to support a year-round shelter bed system in the county. As voters approved Measure K, the Board will consider a model that will use additional County general fund dollars to sustain a planned expansion of the County’s growing shelter network (Ok, the words “growing shelter network” are a big red flag for me – BD). The additional funding would help the County and their partners’ efforts create three “low-barrier, service-enriched” shelters across the county. (Ok, the words “low-barrier, service-enriched” are a big red flag for me – BD). The County would invest $1 million annually in Measure K revenues toward an expanded shelter system. New upcoming shelter projects include a 34-unit “bridge” housing site in Live Oak, a 34-bed South County facility in partnership with the city of Watsonville and County of Monterey, and plans for a 100-bed facility at the Coral Street campus in partnership with the city of Santa Cruz, Housing Matters and Santa Cruz County Health Services. It’s a freaking campus now. 

Once the projects are fully funded, this would expand local shelter capacity by more than 150 beds according to the county. Expanding is not reducing. Yes, I get it. You claim you are reducing actual homelessness by expanding shelter options. And yeah, that is a good thing in theory. It’s needed to legally clear camps apparently. And at least the expansion is taking place in other parts of the county other than the city (with the obvious Coral Street exception). Coral Street is ridiculous. It’s a dumpster fire today. It’s been a dumpster fire for over 20 years. And the city wants to put out the dumpster fire by pouring gasoline on it. 

He Bit Off an Old Man’s Toe

Last Thursday around 9PM, the Ben Lomond Volunteer Fire Department, Boulder Creek Fire Department and California State Parks, all responded to a report of some sort of domestic violence issue. When they arrived, they found that a 34 year old man had bit off the toe of an elderly/dependent and had fled the scene. A perimeter was set up and the suspect was arrested around an hour later by Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies. He was booked into county jail for mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm), causing injury to an elderly/dependent adult and obstructing a peace officer.

Greed Kills the Live Oak Farmers Market

For the past 22 years, the Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Markets have held a farmers market on Sunday mornings in the parking lot of the East Cliff Village shopping center in Live Oak. But after the parking lot owners decided to raise their rent, the market decided to shut down at that location. Organizers were unable to renegotiate a new lease with Swenson Builders. It was just announced that April 31st will be the last market at that location. The market has operated on a month-to-month lease for almost two decades. Earlier this month, the market was presented with a new lease that included a significant rent increase. Market organizers said the new lease would have increased the current rate by 500%. There are currently no active development applications on the East Cliff Village shopping center, according to the Santa Cruz County Planning Department.

Active Landslide Isolates Santa Cruz Mountain Community

Mountain Charlie Road residents remain isolated and cut off after an active landslide washed out a large section of the road. Story from ABC7 News. 

Massive landslide in Santa Cruz Mountains isolates community with years of repairs expected

With more rain coming in this weekend, I hope the slide doesn’t get worse or trigger more slides in the area.

The Community Speaks!

So I mentioned in the last Weekly Dump how much I miss the free Friday Night Bands on the Beach at the Boardwalk. So with that said….

Question of the Week: Favorite band you ever got to see at the Friday Night Bands on the Beach at the free Boardwalk concerts?

“The Drifters, Eddie Money and Peter Noone”
– Anna Marie

“Loverboy, Berlin, Blue Oyster Cult”
– Maura

“Eddie Money of course and The Romantics. Didn’t Brian Howe of the Paul Rogers-free Bad Company play once?”
– Darius

“During the time that my life partner had a major stroke and was in a coma, I found solace in my backyard garden. I will never forget hearing Eric Burdon and the Animals playing House of the Rising Sun, loud enough on that boardwalk stage, so I could hear it a mile away in my backyard. A very special memory. My partner and I now often play House of the Rising Sun while enjoying our garden together”
– Judy

“Chubby Checker, yes I’m old. We would go down on lunch break to set our beach chairs in front of the bandstand. Those were the days!”
– Crackers (Happy birthday!)

“AWB and Starship”
– Dee

“Gin Blossoms”
– Marc

“Y & T !! Miss The Bands on the beach too!!
– Allison

“I use to walk down to the Friday night concerts. It was like local night for the Santa Cruz residents. My favorites were Y&T and Blue Oyster Cult”
– Lori

“Loved the English Beat and Blue Oyster Cult.”
– Valerie

You can read all the responses here!

For me, it would be Los Lobos and Blue Oyster Cult.

Los Lobos – Chuco’s Cumbia at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Man I miss these days. Summers at the Boardwalk just aren’t the same anymore. I was probably one of the guys in the pit. 

Trash Talking With Ron

Ron is The Hardest Working Man in Santa Cruz (a title bestowed on him by yours truly). Ron has arguably picked up more trash in Santa Cruz than any single human being ever has. He’s worked for both the city and county, contracting out to clean up homeless camps and other dump sites. He’s the Godfather of Garbage. The King of Crap. The Michael Jordan of Mierda. And he does it all with a big smile and a positive attitude. – BD

It all started back in the summer of 1978, a group of close friends and myself headed to the banks of the San Lorenzo River, right above the cemetery. We were all enjoying the sunshine, and beautiful Santa Cruz weather, when we happened upon a very large pile of dumped trash, spread everywhere, like a mini landfill. Well, I wasn’t having it. At the time, I was employed by the City of Santa Cruz. I borrowed a street department dump truck and headed back to the site, loading up everything I could. That truck was packed! In my world, this shouldn’t, or wouldn’t be allowed to happen.

So there it began, in my idealistic young view of the world, I wanted to make a difference, a real difference. That difference took the form of volunteer groups that tackled garbage in open spaces, hiking through the waterways, and open spaces of Santa Cruz, where I soon learned that there was plenty to do. I found plenty of open spaces, where I had built forts as a kid, that were over run with trash, and I didn’t want to see wildlife suffer, either. Trash & debris that we can’t capture on land, invariably end up in our ocean, traveling there via our waterways. Every time I clean a waterway, pull destructive plastic trash out, most often I see wildlife return immediately. I cleaned in the ravines, mountains, open spaces, what have you, and still do.

It’s not about me, though, like I have said many times, I have met great people, all along the way, and I am very grateful! So, if anyone wants to talk trash, tell me about trash piles, where ever they may be, Please feel free to add your comments, I would love to hear from every one! If you have trash issues, I would like to find good solutions for you, many folks are not aware of options government and local trash haulers provide, Thank you for listening!

You’re Making Me Hungry

My planned weekly lunch date got washed out this week. Still a guy’s gotta eat! So I stopped in on one of my regular jaunts downtown to the downtown institution known as Pizza My Heart. I remember when Pizza My Heart was the size of a walk-in closet, always packed with a line out the door. Today, the space is about 10 times bigger and there’s still almost always a line out the door. It’s the pizza. I think they have the best pizza in Santa Cruz. I’ve probably tried pretty much every other option and it’s still always a PMH slice as my first choice. They have a lot of different options, but I usually stick to the pepperoni, pesto, or the chicken with bacon in cream sauce. And as any good tourist knows, you can get a slice and a PMH t-shirt for something like $8. Yes, I have a few of those shirts. The pizza at PMH is not a thick crust pizza. It’s hand tossed and runs on the thin side of crusts. They also have an excellent basic red sauce, not too sweet with a hint of spice, and the sauce to cheese ratio is spot on. Plenty of good slice options, a good selection of local microbrew beers on draft, lots of space with comfy booths and surfing and sports on the big screen tvs. It’s one of my go to places for a quick bite downtown. 

The Weekly Stroll

Each week, I’ll take you on a little virtual stroll through Santa Cruz (or the surrounding areas). I’ll keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself since I want to try to capture what I’m seeing and hearing myself.

A short sunset stroll along Pacific Avenue through downtown Santa Cruz on a quiet Tuesday evening.

Sidewalks are Made For Walking

Isn’t that obvious? Yet, I still seemingly have to navigate a medley of cars blocking the sidewalks, junk sellers blocking the sidewalk, tents blocking the sidewalk, etc. It’s gotten ridiculous. So yeah, I don’t think motorized vehicles should use the sidewalk. Even those power chairs and scooters can be a menace when they’re revving down the sidewalk freaking out people walking their dogs. Stay off the damn sidewalk unless you’re walking (or moving slowly in a wheelchair). Even regular, non-electric bikes should ride in the road, use the road, obey the rules of the road. West Cliff is a mess when it comes to this. 

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval this week to an updated ordinance restricting electronic bikes and scooters from most sidewalks and parks. The supervisors felt the changes were necessary given the growing number of electronic bikes, scooters and skateboards being used now in the community. The new law would restrict e-bikes and other devices from being ridden on sidewalks unless there is no available bike lane in the location, an exception designed to make riding safer for younger bicyclists who can’t ride with traffic. Electronic bikes would also be banned from use in county parks, unless explicitly allowed by the Parks Department. The change to the county code was proposed by Supervisor Manu Koenig, and co-authored by Supervisor Zach Friend. The draft ordinance was approved unanimously and will be taken up again for a final vote at an upcoming meeting.

Local Crabs Get a Reprieve

It was just announced this week that the dungeness crab fishing season will end early, due to concerns over whale migration. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced fisheries using vertical line gear off the central and southern coasts from south of the Sonoma/Mendocino County line will have stop fishing for crabs starting April 8th. The crab season seems to get shorter each year. And I love me some dungeness crab. I usually buy it live from Stagnaros on the wharf, bring it home, clean it, steam it with some Old Bay, and lay out the newspapers for a cracking good time! I feel bad for the local crab fishermen trying to make a living here. We can’t lose our crab! 

New Santa Mierda YouTube Channel!

I started a new YouTube channel for the Weekly Dump. It will host all my videos going forward. I’ll also put the podcast over there too if I can ever get that going. Go check out some videos if you haven’t seen them yet, and thank you to all the subscribers! (you can subscribe over there)

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  1. Dammit, not again! “Expanding is the Opposite of Reducing”, indeed. Made me think of a few quotes.

    – If you build it, they will come.
    – Expenses expand to fill the available budget. (Or surpass it. So many other things we could do with the money we’re wasting.)
    – It’s easier to destroy than to build.

    It’s like that original Hulk movie with Eric Bana. Every time he was attacked, he grew even bigger and stronger.

    When will we learn?

  2. ^^^ I meant “when”, not “what”.

    Need more coffee

  3. I enjoy and agree with your comments on what’s right and wrong with santa Cruz these days. Stop by the wharf and talk to the superintendent Britt Hoberg, if you’d like further clarification of santa Cruz problems, he has lived here all his life.

  4. In regards to the farmer’s market at East Cliff, I think something else is being planned in terms of development. It doesn’t make sense to price out the farmer’s market with nothing else going on in that space. However, insurance costs have been increasing so there could be a reason for the increase. Hmmm…….

    • According to the planning commission, nothing is in development from Swenson there. I get they might want market rates, but that’s just a strip mall in need of a face lift. The market is as much a community service as it is an actual market. Thanks Richelle!

  5. Live Oak Farmers’ Market:
    Greed may have killed the market, but who was greedy? Is the new rent rate excessive because the lot owners were asking too much or was it because the Market was unwilling to pay a rate commensurate with current expenses? Or were both parties both greedy? Or was this just an excuse to get out of the business?

    • Market organizers plan to keep the market going somewhere in Live Oak. According to reports, the re-negotiated rate for rent was too high to keep the market going in that location. It’s a farmers market. Nobody’s getting rich there, including the organizers. You know who is rich? Barry Swenson. And is it Eb or E flat? Either way thanks!

  6. How do we contact Ron King of Trash to let him know where trash is? And does he come up to SLV, or know a local King of Trash up here? We gets lots of trash dumped all over the place.

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