The Weekly Dump – 5.10.24

Earth Bombarded by Solar Flares

You gotta admit that’s a great headline if you can write it while you’re still alive. This past Friday, the sun burped and sent crazy blasts of radiation and solar flares headed towards our little planet. Thankfully, we have our own natural “iron dome” protecting us (something called an atmosphere). So we as a species weren’t in danger of extinction (this time), but it made for some cool images of aurora borealis extending as far south as right here in California. 

Bonny Doon, CA. Photo: bungee33 on Reddit

SUV Goes Over West Cliff Drive Killing Driver

Friday night just before 9PM, a California State Parks vehicle was in pursuit of an SUV on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, when the vehicle drove off the road and over the cliff, crashing on the rocks below. The SUV went off the road near the corner of West Cliff Dr. and De La Costa Avenue. A solo driver died in the crash. It started near Natural Bridges after the same SUV nearly ran over a group of people. That led to a very slow (5mph) chase and pursuit along West Cliff Drive until the driver just suddenly veered and drove off the cliff. The SUV fell about 20 feet before crashing on its roof on a rock below, killing the driver. Sounds like alcohol might have been a contributing factor. Thankfully nobody else was injured or killed. 

Coastal Commission Gives the OVO the Official OK

This Thursday, the California Coastal Commission denied an appeal regarding the city of Santa Cruz’s oversized vehicle ordinance, while changing the permit extension from five years to two years. Commissioners said that it will be up to the City of Santa Cruz to enforce the ordinance. The city’s Oversized Vehicle Ordinance restricts street parking on RVs and other oversized vehicles from midnight to 5 a.m. daily. So the law stands. Enforce it! And while you’re at it, get the weekly street cleaning going and ticket and tow those that park illegally in the street sweeping zones. How do you beat a public nuisance? By making yourself a bigger nuisance back. The city is playing with house money here. Enforce the laws. 

Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office Creates a Fentanyl Task Force 

Just what we need ! Another task force! Last week, the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Office announced that they would be forming some kind of “Fentanyl Task Force “.  Apparently this involves taking action by hiring more people on their narcotics team, and partnering up with a non-profit to treat people with addiction. You know what “action” would make the most sense? Getting rid of the drug dealers. Make their life such a bitch here that they leave and go somewhere else. Somewhere more tolerant than we are. According to the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office, in 2023, 133 people died because of fentanyl in Santa Cruz County. This is more than double the number of homicides, suicides, and deadly traffic accidents combined. The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office says they have doubled the size of their narcotics team and have a drug detection dog. Double the size of their narcotics team? What does that mean specifically? Did it jump from 1 to 2 people now? And you got a new drug sniffing dog? That’s the task force that’s gonna beat the fentanyl crisis here in Santa Cruz? How about inviting the feds back to arrest and deport arrested drug dealers when they leave jail but before they hit the streets again? Is that too harsh for Santa Cruz? 

UCSC Housing Project Moves Forward

A UCSC housing project slated for the westside of Santa Cruz is going forward, as the university seeks to expand their student housing stock. The new housing project will ultimately house 400 upper-division undergraduate students and more than 60 employees. The new complex will be constructed near the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Swift Streets. The location is currently an open field lot. Pending final approval, construction is expected to start this summer and be completed by fall of 2026.

Second Hand News From Watsonville

This past Wednesday, Watsonville Police responded to a call of a burglary happening on the 500 block of Main Street. When they arrived, two suspected thieves were still inside the second hand store, and officers surroiunded the store and arrested the men without further incident. The suspected thieves caused more than $1,000 in damages to the store, with one of the men confessing to officers that he had stolen from the same store earlier that day. Both men were taken to the Santa Cruz County Jail where they’re facing charges of burglary and conspiracy.

Pouring a Few Out in Felton

This past Thursday afternoon, members of the Felton Fire Protection District responded to reports of a vehicle that drove into a building at the Felton Faire Shopping Center on the 6000 block of Graham Hill Road. When they arrived, they indeed found a car sticking out of a building. Thankfully nobody was injured and damage to the business was limited to the front of the building and a few broken bottles of wine. The California Highway Patrol said that drugs or alcohol do not appear to be contributing factors.

Redwood City Knows How to Reimagine Their Downtown

This past week, Redwood City announced that they would be permanently closing a few blocks of their downtown and turning it into a pedestrian mall. Have they been reading my mind here? What’s good for Redwood City is good for Santa Cruz!

From a recent article in the Mercury News:

“The Redwood City City Council voted unanimously this week to permanently close Broadway to vehicles, a decision that follows a temporary street closure pilot program that began during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 6-0 vote was delayed by a month to give more time for public comment after more community members aired concerns over the loss of parking spaces, which some believed could drive parking costs up. City staff recommended making the pedestrian mall permanent, citing its continued overall benefits to the economy and community. Staff also concluded that concerns raised by some community members against the project were “unrelated” to the road closure.”

They know the value of creating a community hub. Speaking of community hubs…..

The Weekly Stroll

Just another fun Friday night at Abbott Square this week. Packed with all kinds of people, inclusive, dare I say “vibrant”, a community hub!

Abbott Square, downtown Santa Cruz, California – May 10th, 2024

Weekly Shoutouts!

Shoutout to everyone over at Lookout Santa Cruz foir winning the Pulitzer Prize. THE FREAKING PULITZER PRIZE! Well done. You guys are doing a fine job covering the local news here. 

In My Ear

Back when I was in college, my friend Charlie would come barging into my room and put this song on blast and we would bounce around the room to it. It’s still a great song, my favorite REM song. That’s Santa Cruz for you – a carnival of sorts!

Carnival of Sorts – REM

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)

Check Out Our Twitter Feed for More Mierda!

Be sure to check out and follow our Twitter feed for even more mierda! Even though the Dump only comes your way once a week, I try to post breaking news and updates on other days as well. So check us out and follow us on Twitter for even more updates about real time news in Santa Cruz you might not otherwise hear about.

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12 Comments

  1. Judi Grunstra

    Wow, will that student housing project on Delaware/Swift have parking spots? I can’t wait for 400 more cars added to Westside traffic. Or maybe there will be frequent bus service to and from campus, or one of those campus-bound bike hauling vehicles so students can coast downhill after class.

    • It apparently is on a regular bus line to UCSC, and there’s plenty of room for parking in that giant field they want to put this on. I’m ok with this. I’m definitely ok with UCSC increasing their housing stock, even if it’s not actually up on the hill. UCSC has had a pretty big footprint in that area for many years now. Thanks Judi!

  2. Re: “Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office Creates a Fentanyl Task Force”

    Usually, when one hears about idiotic and/or harmful decisions made at the top, there’s a simple answer: “Follow The Money”.

    The thing that baffles me about Santa Cruz’s history of politics and policies is that they don’t seem to follow the money. I’m starting to think that it’s more about delusions of grandeur. “We’re a force for good!!!”. Thus, any money that corrupt officials may be pocketing is a side effect. The most significant results come from blindly repeating the mistakes of the past over and over again, harming the less fortunate, enabling criminals, and screwing taxpayers and local property owners. Reducing property values by making SC a a less desirable place to live is not the best policy to keep taxpayers local.

    (I know, the property owner issue is a first world problem. But it affects everyone. Who will fill City coffers when property owners leave?)

    Meanwhile, leadership is smug as a bug in a rug.

    Hurting oneself while hurting others is the very definition of “stupid”.

    • The “money” is what props up the “Homeless Industrial Complex” locally. It is about the money. This group doesn’t want to eliminate or even reduce homelessness locally. It wants to service them. Coral Street is now a “campus”. The homeless are their market. No market no need for funding. Thanks Jon!

  3. You know who

    I’m not feeling the positive Lookout review. I attend many of the same meetings they do, and when I read the coverage they put out afterwards, I’m like, “Wait! What???”. They seem to see things very differently than I do. For example, the coverage about the Coastal Commission meeting about the OVO. They say Justin Cummings demonstrated “leadership” and “negotiated the compromise”, more like he torpedoed the whole thing with zero facts and a bunch of political BS. Lookout proves time and again to be biased toward the “progressive” agenda.

    • Ha, I agree with you about Justin Cummings. It feels to me like he’s the last best hope for any kind of “progressive” policy right now, with Sandy Brown terming out. He’s just shamelessly pandering for their vote and support. As for Lookout, they won for their breaking news coverage of last years storms. I’m happy for them. I support anyone who wants to increase local news coverage beyond an aggregated, syndicated news level (see the Senile). Lookout and Santa Cruz Local (who tries hard to remain neutral) still have to please the local base, and we have a lot of progressives that live here, so I get the slant. I’m the anti-slant! Thanks!

  4. Yes! It’s OK to call Abbott Square “vibrant” because it truly is and it’s not an odd description in this case!! Abbott Square is one of the best things to happen to Santa Cruz in the past decade.

    • Thanks Richelle! I agree! I also remember the battle to get it built, and how it required a showrunner (Nina Simon) with vision and guts to fight to make it happen. From 2017: “Instead, we’re spending five million dollars to take our museum outside. We’re transforming an underutilized downtown plaza next to the MAH, Abbott Square, into a creative town square. We’re gutting an adjacent office building to host a new public market with five mini-restaurants and two bars. We’re planting gardens, painting murals, chalking out performance stages, and hanging market lights. The goal is for Abbott Square to become a new creative heart of our county, a town square that brings together art, history, food, play, and community.”. A town square. A COMMUNITY HUB. Her vision came to fruition. https://www.santacruztechbeat.com/2017/06/22/nina-simon-abbott-square/

  5. Mike Becker

    If anyone wants to see the California Coastal Commission meeting where they rule on the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance, it can be seen at the below website starting at hour mark -1:17:25.
    https://cal-span.org/meeting/ccc_20240509/

  6. For some reason I don’t get a comments back from you Ben. back when I was a security guard a few years ago Fellow commenters liked hearing from me and even mentioned maybe I could be apart of the Dump. I got put the the wringer defending my post at the Galleria and have videos to prove it. Did you forget me or is my point of view to direct cause I want downtown SC to be a decent place. I will stop commenting if you wish.

    • First let me say thank you for reading and the support. You’re welcome to leave comments like everyone else if you like. I do remember you from back in the day, been a few years, I took a few years off. Hope you are doing well. If you want Santa Cruz to be a decent place, then we both share that view. But I don’t hate Santa Cruz, I love Santa Cruz. I’m not interested in 5 year old videos, because they’re 5 year old videos and they aren’t relevant to Santa Cruz today. They’re old news. Do we still have issues? Of course. But I’m not interested in highlighting them. I’m not hiding from them either. Like I said, thanks for the support, and feel free to keep commenting (or not), but either way I’m gonna do me (whatever that is) and if that disappoints anyone…..sorry!

  7. We had the Pacific Garden Mall on Pacific Ave. In the past…70’s or 80’s and it was great!! Totally without cars and it was friendly and comfortable…and the parking elsewhere worked out!! Jas everyone forgotten that time?? Then it was deemed inefficient and the concept was stopped with some idiot deciding the street would be one way but change the direction for the last 2 blocks just to confuse everyone, especially visitors!! Most of yhe small, local shops and larger stores sre long gone and restaurants come and go like sun rises and sunsets!!! Piss poor planning all the way around!!! My poor little town!!

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