Thursday, August 31, 2000
But this one, which came to me via email, beats all I ever saw. "Save money today and help elect Republicans like George W. Bush..." the message read. How could a squid possibly resist the temptation to impulse shop and help fatten up George Dubya''s campaign coffers?
And how does one accomplish such a feat? By shopping online at www.republicanshopping.com. On this innovative website, one can purchase anything from a diamond tennis bracelet and a bottle of Dom Perignon to a new computer and school supplies for the kids. Virtually slap down, so to speak, your platinum card, and a percentage of the purchase price goes to the California Republican Party.
It''s such a stroke of genius that the site caught the attention of the LA Times. In an article on Monday, Times staff writer Karen Kaplan wrote this flattering assessment of the site: "RepublicanShopping.com is the high-tech equivalent of selling Girl Scouts cookies. Like the Scouts, the GOP is hawking merchandise made by others and pocketing a portion of the profit, which it will use to support its political candidates."
It''s that easy. No more $1,000-a-plate rubber chicken dinners. Just buy, buy, buy your way to a Republican-controlled White House, senate, and state legislature without leaving the comfort of your own home. Ain''t the Internet a grand old party?
Update Your General Plan, Or Else
Squid sympathizes with the city of Marina, which suffered a recent scolding from the state of California. Last week, the city received a three-page letter from state Attorney General Bill Lockyer urging the city to update its general plan, now eight years out of date.
Apparently unbeknownst to Lockyer, the city has been updating its general plan since 1992. For years, countless buckets of blood, sweat and tears have been shed by Marina city staffers, commissioners, councilmembers and residents scrapping out a new general plan that will guide development in the city for the next 20 years.
Why has it taken so long? In between bursts of industry, Marina folks were forced to sit on their hands while the Fort Ord Reuse Authority finished its reuse plan, which affects the shape of Marina''s general plan.
Lucky for Lockyer, Marina Mayor Jim Perrine good-naturedly shrugged off the reprimand, dismissing the missive as an official "form letter." Tough skin on that Perrine character.
Next Time, Keep Your Mouth Shut
Squid''s happy to report back to readers with a success story of sorts. Last May, I wrote about activist David Dilworth''s tirade over incongruous fees required by Monterey County to appeal planning decisions. The county requires $671 to appeal decisions handed down by county Zoning Administrator Dale Ellis. Yet appeals of county Planning Commission decisions, which deal with larger scale developments, cost a mere 50 bucks.
Recognizing the inconsistency, Ellis recommended that the county Board of Supervisors make all appeals of land-use decisions $671. And that they did at Tuesday''s meeting.
You got to give it to the county--they fixed the problem, all right. But don''t worry, Dilworth, the Planning Department retains the authority to waive appellant fees. Surely they''ll cut you some slack.
Send Squid some thin mints: Squid@coastweekly.com.