Of Meat and Men
Thursday, September 3, 1998
Old Monterey Business Association (OMBA) Executive Director Jane Harder was on a roll last week. And we''re not talking sausage rolls here folks. Somehow, she got it in her head that OMBA members work for her, instead of the other way around.
In case you haven''t heard about the ongoing saga of Harder versus the Sausage Man, it seems the association''s fearless leader told Joseph Bianco that he couldn''t sell his sausage sandwiches at Monterey''s Tuesday night Marketplace on Alvarado Street.
Being an enterprising young man with a deep yearning to share his sausage with the masses, he was undeterred. Bianco approached Goomba''s Kitchen and Deli, an association member that hired him to sell sausages in their booth. But by this time, Harder had developed what looked to Bianco like a sausage aversion.
When Harder found out about the Goomba-Sausage combo, she demanded the Goomba''s owners ditch Sausage Man or she would take away their booth. Nice guys who don''t want to rock the boat, the Goomba''s owners acquiesced.
Is Jane a strict vegetarian? One of my sources said, frankly speaking, that she was acting like a big weenie.
But that wasn''t the last we heard from (or about) Harder, who spoke at last week''s League of California Cities conference in Monterey.
"Monterey is a very small, provincial area, and I can say that because I''m not from Monterey," Harder told the gathering, as she explained how she used her big city experience to fashion a close relationship between the city and business community.
In case you don''t have a dictionary handy, provincial means "limited in perspective; narrow and self-centered," or "not fashionable or sophisticated." There aren''t any definitions with positive connotations.
Even Harder''s colleagues from other jurisdictions expressed surprise at her tone and comments, which also included the observation that the market is better than your basic farmers market, since it brings in $140,000 to the city--"better than a few lettuce leaves." Odd comments from the representative of an organization showcasing itself at a state convention.
Asked about the sausage controversy, Harder this week said, "I have absolutely no comment."
That''s fine with me, but there are probably members of the OMBA who''d like some explanation about Harder''s comments last week and about why she should even care who Goomba''s gets to peddle their wares on market day.
Farr Far Away
We all knew Republican punching bag Bill McCampbell is unelectable, especially against popular Congressman Sam Farr in this safe Democratic district, but we didn''t realize he was delusional until this week.
It''s bad enough this three-time electoral loser is offering himself up for the slaughter yet again, but McCampbell is actually under the impression he can win this time.
How? He''s predicting to local reporters that the Clinton-Lewinsky matter will tarnish all Democrats enough that he will overcome the seven-point whumping Farr delivered in 1994, a banner year for Republican congressional candidates nationwide.
"Oh, yeah. There''s no question," McCandidate told the Herald.
Sure, Bill. The nation has already concluded that all Democrats are vile sex fiends, unfit to hold office, simply because a president nobody ever considered a model of high rectitude decided to share his sausage with the masses...er, misses.
Clinton''s actions were wrong, and perhaps he''ll even make Tricky Dick a little less lonely in the Resigned in Disgrace Club, but to think it will drag down Farr is as implausible as Lewinsky being named our new ambassador to Russia.
It''s been a bad season for Monterey County Water Resources Agency (MCWRA). First came a front-page article in the San Francisco Chronicle noting contamination of the Salinas Valley by seawater and nitrate contamination. "The situation has gotten so bad that the state water board is poised to intervene" read the article--delivering news that to local residents is about seven years old.
Then--seemingly in the face of all logic--comes the edition of Water Resources Quarterly put out by MCWRA and inserted in the Herald proclaiming that post Prop. 218 budget measures have cut water quality and water conservation programs. "The Agency''s ability to track seawater intrusion and monitor the quality of drinking water and nitrate contamination...will be stretched to its limits," proclaims the Quarterly.
Nice choice of program cuts. Sounds like something the state might finally want to consider.
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