Mechanical Failures, Pacific Grove Daisy Heist
Thursday, February 7, 2002
MECHANICAL FAILURES In case there''s not enough mud flying overhead at the Monterey County Sheriff''s Department in preparation for the March 5 election, allow Squid to sling some. So riddle me this. The sheriff''s parking garage: squad car motel or final resting place?
One tenacious tipster tells Squid it''s the latter.
This watchdog says there are so many broken patrol cars that on any given night with five officers on duty, there are often only two cars available, forcing deputies to pair up in the two cars while the fifth wheel stays at the office-until the previous shift gets off duty and frees up some cars. This leaves two cars to cover a huge area, Gonzales to Pajaro--40 miles, as the Squid swims.
Sheriff Gordon Sonne,however, isn''t missing any wheels. He has a nice, new Ford Expedition with leather interior. He gets a new car every year.
Squid thinks a priority check may be in order.
"I don''t have the slightest idea what they are talking about," says Sgt. Chris Pascone. "Two cars out on one night? That''s not safe. That doesn''t happen. We have a vehicle coordinator here who works with the sheriff''s department. He''s really diligent with sending cars over to the shop and getting them fixed."
Squid''s fellow cephalopod simply points a slimy, snakey leg at the parking garage.
"It''s like a graveyard for Fords down there. No last rights, no rosary, no proper burial and more often than not, no hope for reincarnation.
"And another thing: Who had their head on straight the day the department decided to implement a boxing program in it''s Kids at Risk program? Were they out of art teachers?"
Pascone tells Squid it''s good, wholesome fun.
"There isn''t a whole lot of things for youth to do in this area," he says. "In my opinion, anything that could be used as a way for them to release some energy in a positive way, whether it''s other sports or whether it''s boxing, is a positive thing. Anything to keep them away from gangs, drugs."
So long as they pound each other in a supervised environment. Squid''s tipster takes a more cynical approach: "Brain dead, I tell ya. Brain dead."
PACIFIC GROVE DAISY HEIST...One of Squid''s local peepers was out for a walk not too long ago, a pleasant daylight stroll along the rocky shores of Pacific Grove. His reverie was interrupted when he saw what looked like a plant molester digging up a bunch of fancy purple daisies. On closer inspection, Squid''s spy discovered the man to be a Pacific Grove city employee, driving an official Pacific Grove truck. And the plants, the fancy purple daisies, were planted at Asilomar State Park, and therefore the property of the people of the state of California.
Was the city guy really just trying to find out the state''s secret for growing such nice flowers? He was taking a soil sample to test for additives! That''s it! Science!
Sure enough, further on down the path, the peeper found a state parks worker who''d caught the "suspicious" digger earlier.
Seems there had been all kinds of excuses provided, including an assertion that the city guy was trying to gather seed so the city could have flowers as pretty as the state. Hogwash. According to Squid''s sources, an investigation has ensued but the upshot is not yet clear.
Whatever was actually happening, the peeper is convinced of what he saw.
"I''m paying this guy''s salary to go out and steal the state''s plants," Peeper says. "This is pretty outrageous."