You Know It's a Small Town When...
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Pacific Grove really knows how to pack in the excitement. The latest flap took place outside last week''s city council meeting. Seems council candidate Dan Miller took exception when attorney Mary-Margaret O''Connell implied that Miller''s brother, P.G. Police Chief Scott Miller, is a blabbermouth who talks personnel matters out of school.
In a show of brotherly love, Dan gave O''Connell a piece of his mind. Miller says he yelled across the courtyard and never came closer than 12 feet of her. But O''Connell says she felt threatened by the incident. "His body language was menacing and inappropriate," she says. "I was concerned for my safety."
Last Thursday morning, O''Connell filed a police report with Officer Larry Fry. But lo and behold, when she went to check the police log the next day, her report was missing and her criminal case number had been assigned to another call. After she complained to the city manager and city attorney, the log was corrected, but...
Was the police chief trying to protect his sib? Dan says he did call his brother after Fry interviewed him. "Then I call my brother and ask, ''Why the hell is Larry Fry knocking on my door?'' and he said, ''This is unbelievable,''" says Dan. The chief declined to discuss the matter, but Captain Carl Miller (no relation) says, "We decided for a multitude of reasons we were not the best department to investigate the complaint."
Turns out not only is Dan the brother of the police chief, but Fry is good friends with Rhonda Ramey, whom O''Connell represents in a current criminal investigation. In light of the incestuous tangle, the department referred O''Connell to the District Attorney''s office, which followed up. Nevertheless, O''Connell is peeved that a citizen could file a complaint with her local police department that never makes it onto the log. "You don''t just undo it and disappear it," she says of her un-report.
Who Put the Baby Ruth in the Bay?
Last week, Squid got bamboozled into taking the neighbors'' dog down to my favorite little beach in front of Heritage Harbor. After Spot nearly dislocated my tentacle dragging me down the hill, I jumped in and commenced frolicking joyfully in the waves with Spot, a group of kayakers-in-training nearby.
The fun ended when a Monterey County Parks officer rushed up and asked in horrified tones, "Didn''t you see the sign? This beach is closed because of high bacteria. You should go home immediately and wash your dog. Those kayakers shouldn''t be here, either."
Well, isn''t that just peachy? An afternoon bathing Spot. I marched back up the bluff to check out "the sign" for myself. All I found was a sheet of red paper, 8.5 X 11, posted on a utility pole by the rec trail warning of a beach closure due to high bacteria levels. A mighty small sign for such a big mess.
You better believe I called Walter Wong, head of the county''s environmental health department, to find out what exactly I had been swimming in. Wong said a restaurant on the wharf had a plugged sewage line that overflowed into the Bay. "When we have a sewage spill, it''s more of a quarantine than an advisory because it has human bacteria that causes disease," Wong said. "When it''s a closure we use red. When it''s just an advisory, we use yellow."
Squid suggests something a little more obvious and direct, like a banner saying, "STAY OUT OF THE WATER. IT HAS UNUSUALLY HIGH LEVELS OF DOODOO IN IT"?
Give Squid a sign: email@example.com.