Thursday, August 12, 1999
Squid was shopping for a new beach towel last weekend in Del Monte Center when I was affronted by a very peculiar sound whirling about the housewares section of Macy''s--Christmas carols. Displayed in the department store''s basement was a mechanical Santa Claus dancing a jig as holiday tunes wafted from his...but wait, Christmas carols in August? Ugh! With the sound of "Jingle Bells," in rushed all those hopeless holiday anxieties, like "what in the hell am I going to get Uncle Calamari?" and "oh god, I haven''t even finished paying off my credit cards from last year!"
Geez, what a slap in the face to be attacked with the most grossly commercialized shopping event of the year while we still await the coming of summer here in MoCo. It''s a given that the season to be jolly comes earlier each year, but isn''t there some unwritten rule that we be spared the agony at least until after Labor Day?
It Takes Money to Spend Money
The big buzz on the bay this week comes from Marina, where city officials are in the process of hiring a base-reuse consultant to help with Marina''s grand redevelopment plans on Fort Ord.
The six-month position will cost the city about $30,000 in hard cash, a rather substantial and somewhat premature outlay, say critics of the proposal, given the fact that the city currently has no economic development conveyance application before the Army. Without a specific reuse plan in place, the Army will not transfer its holdings to Marina.
What makes the City Council''s proposal even more confounding, sources tell Squid, is the fact that retired Fort Ord base commander and current Marina Councilmember Ila Mettee-McCutchon has volunteered her expertise, free of charge, to help Marina with its reuse goals. Apparently, the rest of the council is saying thanks, but no thanks.
To top it all off, it turns out that the leading candidate for the position is a former base transition coordinator who was prematurely discharged by the Army for a less than stellar job performance. Squid admits it''s oftentimes hard to fathom the minds of city politicians, but in this instance, it sounds like Marina city councilmembers are more concerned about protecting their own political turf than promoting the greater good for their fair city.