Thursday, June 1, 2000
Squid is sighing with relief now that the Monterey Peninsula Hotel has leaped through the last of the Monterey Planning Commission''s hoops. With final approval by City Council expected this month, the boys from Cannery Row Company, which owns the property, and Woodside Hotels, the project''s builder, can finally rest easy.
I myself am glad that after 17 long years, the view from my rock in the bay will soon improve. I''m sick of gazing across scenic Cannery Row at sunset only to have my view spoiled by exposed rebar and concrete rubble. A wall of hand-painted murals on the street side masks the ugliness for the tourists'' benefit, but it hasn''t helped my view any.
In case you''ve been living under a rock yourself, the Monterey Peninsula Hotel has been in the works since 1983, when it was first approved. But lacking a developer with enough cash to see it through, the project has stalled all these years, so the trick has been to keep the use permit alive by making just enough progress to call for a city inspection every six months.
And it hasn''t been an easy row to hoe. No sirree. Squid reads with amusement a Jan. 18, 1990 letter to the City Council from then-Assistant City Attorney Bill Conners accusing the project''s builders of proceeding "at something less than a snail''s pace in order to keep the building permit alive... [W]e now believe it is possible to force completion of the building in a reasonable time or declare the building permit abandoned."
Ten years later may not be a "reasonable time," but completion appears at least to be on the horizon. Finally, all that frivolous bulldozing seems to be paying off.
First We Take Manhattan
It has come to Squid''s attention that there are people among us who take a vital interest in affairs that are not so close to home--namely the race for U.S. Senate in New York. And being a busybody by nature and profession, Squid has seen fit to ferret them out and ask them a)why they care about this race in the first place and b)why they care enough to have sent money to a certain ailing, philandering, stridently conservative New York City mayor who is now most kindly described as a former candidate with a gland problem. And, Squid suspects, an alimony problem.
The departure by Rudolph Giuliani from the senatorial race against Hillary Rodham Clinton, which followed hard upon the announcement of Giuliani''s prostate cancer and imminent divorce, has left political analysts muddling over how the once-clean lines of the race will be redrawn now that the more centrist Rick Lazio is on the scene. But no such ambiguities cloud the thinking of Carmel resident Richard Spencer.
"I don''t like the Clintons,"he growls. "In my opinion they''re the worst people in the world as far as violating what the people in this country believe in."
According to Federal Election Commission records, Spencer contributed $500 to the Friends of Giuliani exploratory committee in October. Two other citizens, Peter Marble of Pebble Beach and Frank West of Carmel, also sent money to Giuliani, but Squid was unable to reach them.
What will Spencer do when the Friends of Giuliani return his money?
"Then I''ll turn right around and give it to the one who''s running against [Hillary Clinton]," he replies stoutly, adding that New York is just a stepping stone to the White House for Hillary. "I think she''s more dangerous than he is."
Guess we''re lucky we have such courageous contributors in our midst.
Make Squid dangerous: firstname.lastname@example.org.