In The Spotlight
Thursday, September 23, 1999
Honey, Can You Give Me A Lift?Remember Orville and Ellina Golub, those 80-something rebels who dared to defy the city of Carmel by asking for a height variance and an elevator for their retirement home? Their case made it all the way to trial court, where Judge William D. Curtis ordered the city to allow the couple to install their elevator and a 28-foot-high addition.
Not to be told by some mere judge how to run their fair little village, city officials forged ahead with their battle against the stubborn octogenarians, whose addition would stand a horrific four feet higher than what sacred city code allows. Seeking to defend restrictions that "preserve the world-renowned and much-acclaimed charm and beauty of Carmel," the city appealed.
Well, I'm here to report that the Court of Appeals shot Carmel down earlier this month, forcing the city to allow the couple's height variance and elevator. The court apparently agreed with the Golubs' attorney, Vanessa W. Vallarta, who wrote to the court: "Like all obsessions, those with 'charm' and 'beauty' in excess redefine their focus, at first becoming just 'cute' and 'precious' until they cross the line to suffocate and abuse.
"What the city really argues for here," she continued, "is preservation of zealous inflexible prerogative."
"...zealous inflexible prerogative..." Hmmm... Such eloquence. Such diction. Such wit. Such cleverly composed contortions of the English tongue. As much as congratulations are in order for the victorious Ms. Vallarta, her verbosity makes one wonder why she's limiting herself to the legal backwater of Monterey County.
Think big, Vanessa. Miami! L.A.! The Big Apple! With a pan-ethnic, alliterative name such as yours, and given your seemingly instinctual ability to snare such publicity-craving lawsuits as "The Case of the City that Didn't Care," face it girl, you're limiting yourself.
Take it from Squid, a legendary media scrounge if there ever was one: Hire an image consultant, find a plastic surgeon (no offense, honey, but everybody needs a little help in this department), and take your act to the big time. And when you make it, don't forget the little sea creature who helped you get there. Elevate me, too!
It Must Have Been Those Bright City LightsEveryone knows a good squid is attracted to bright lights. But now Squid is not alone.
Maybe because he was being interviewed by the big-city San Francisco Chronicle he was awed into forthrightness. Whatever the case, Pacific Grove Police Chief Scott Miller didn't seem to have any difficulty acknowledging to that newspaper that, yes indeed, his department knows all about the plucking of legally protected, exotic sealife at the Point Pinos tide pools by insensitive beachcombers.
"Almost any time you go there," the chief was quoted in the Sept. 17 Chronicle, "you will see people emptying the tide pools of starfish, limpets, snails, whatever they can get their hands on." Now that you've publicly admitted there's a problem, Scott, do your job: Pluck the pluckers.
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
Squid can give a compliment. Really. Let me say what a joy it is to attend Monterey Planning Commission meetings now that Mary Kracht is chair. What politeness! What patience! How much nicer than suffering through former chair Bill McCrone's sarcasm and interruptions; that irritated dead stare; those embarrassing spats between McCrone and activist Molly Erickson; the red-faced head that looked ready to explode if another commissioner rambled on for one more moment. See, told ya I could be nice.
--Shine the light for Squid: firstname.lastname@example.org