Thursday, September 19, 2002
SQUID IN 2004 Squid's found a new way to raise money to fund Squid's mayoral campaign: sue the city--and then sell your domain name for $5,000. Squid''s taking lessons from cyber gadfly BRIAN BAUGHN, who in June filed a legal complaint against the city of Salinas in Superior Court for unspecified "damages for violation of free speech rights." Baughn says the city threatened him even after a panel of judges ruled that he was the rightful owner of CITYOFSALINAS.COM. Baughn used the site to rag on the auto mall and city taxes, to call for a new city manager and mayor and to post general gripes about the city. Salinas'' Deputy City Attorney CHRISTINE DAVI told Squid the city has agreed to pay Baughn $5K for cityofsalinas.com, cityofsalinas.net and cityofsalinas.org.
Oh, and by the way, Baughn''s running for Salinas City Council.
Squid loves a fellow malcontent, and used to be Baughn''s Number One fan. Until he became a council candidate, and decided he was too good for the little mollusks, that is. He doesn''t write, he doesn''t call--he won''t return any of Squid''s voice mails or emails asking, nay, begging to talk about his campaign. Maybe it''s because Squid fancies using Baughn''s good buddy and utility tax repeal author MARK DIEROLF as Squid''s punching bag in print? Whatever the reason, Baughn''s quickly loosing this cephalopod''s vote.
Still, Squid''s curious to hear Baughn''s ideas about affordable housing, gang violence, city-centered growth and all those other election topics that politicians like to spout off about. But what''s Squid''s really wondering is when will Baughn take that god-awful "heartfelt sympathy" to the victims of last year''s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon off cityofsalinas.com. Brian, baby, puh-leaze. It''s been over a year, don''t you think it''s time to get back to what you do best: dump on the city?
WHAT''S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?... Regular, self-administered doses of gallows humor saves Squid from spinning into a sensory overload oblivion. Standing in just the right spot in 2002 invites pummeling waves of news, opinion, schlock, fluff and advertising. So it''s when Squid comes across the strange intersections of news and history, the predicted and the scheduled, the confident and the unlucky that Squiddy''s smirk stretches. One of those odd twists, one of those ironies, brews in Monterey this week.
Some might call it fortuitous and some might call it sad that on Sept. 18, one of the hulking, white cruise ships awaited with bated breath in these parts was set to arrive in Monterey Bay. On that very day the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary celebrates 10 years as a government-delineated "haven" for sea creatures of all kinds. A cruel joke or merely happenstance?
For some, the simultaneous ship arrival on a day marking the Sanctuary''s birth is a bit much. KAITLIN GAFFNEY, local representative of the environmental protection group the Ocean Conser-vancy, found the coincidence hard to swallow.
"To me, the take home message is the Sanctuary is still not safe," she says.
Cruise ships are just fine if people never board them, they remain in dry dock, and are then salvaged for the steel. In recent years, several cruise ship companies have found themselves in serious trouble with the federal government for hiding their discharges of oil and other nasty goo into the ocean, then lying to the Coast Guard about it.
The stained reputation of cruise lines, coupled with the lack of rules against dumping sewage in Sanctuary waters, meant the scheduled arrival of three cruise ships in Monterey Bay this year caused environmentalists to demand action, which they got from the Monterey City Council.