Thursday, January 22, 2004
FIELDS OF GOLD…Now the million-dollar “affordable” homes are finally starting to make sense. According to the latest campaign disclosure statements filed by the Monterey County supervisorial hopefuls, Jerry Smith (the Democrat-turned-Seaside-Mayor-turned-Republican-turned-candidate for County Supe) was the lucky recipient of a big, fat, $1,000 check from Seaside Highlands developer Danny Bakewell, Jr. Yup, the same Danny Bakewell who, along with KB Home, paid mere pennies for the land on the former Fort Ord, promised to price homes at below $200,000 and now is selling them for more than half-a-million. Some Seaside residents aren’t too happy with the deal, but Squid hasn’t heard any complaints from Smith.
OPINIONS TO SPARE…Squid supposes Squid really shouldn’t be surprised—after all, isn’t it the same daily rag that now makes poor, grieving family members pay to run obits about their deceased (see below). In a recent op/ed page, the Herald published a “suggested letter topics” column, just in case the Herald’s readers aren’t smart enough to come up with their own ideas and opinions. “To spur discussion about a wide range of issues, here are some suggested topics for letter writers,” it says. “What’s your view of Gov. Arnold Schawarzenegger’s performance? [Squid’s note: Yes, Squid knows that the Governor’s name is spelled Schwarzenegger.] How should Monterey County meet the health-care needs of Natividad’s patients? How should the United States respond to rogue nations? Should Viggo Mortensen and other movie stars leave politics to the politicians? Is Pete Rose fit for the Baseball Hall of Fame? If Martha Stewart is found guilty, what should be her punishment?” Squid finds it all very sad, not to mention pathetic. It’s no wonder some Monterey Countyites consider a certain weekly paper the paper of record. Now if you’ll excuse Squid, Squid must get back to writing. The topic du jour? How should Squid respond to rogue letter writers—the ones who want to come up with their own letter topics?
DEATH BECOMES HIM…And speaking of the Herald’s hijinks, and its new, wacky obituary policy (the one where people can include every detail they want, as long as they have the money to pay for it), here’s a shining example of journalism at its finest: On Jan.17, the Herald ran an obit for a guy named Johnson who, according to the date in the “memorial ad,” would die the following day, Jan. 18, 2004. According to a fellow cynically-minded mollusk: “You’ve got to hand it to Knight Ridder for coming up with what will no doubt be a real money-maker: the Predictive Obit. Just send in your money and we’ll run your obit in advance—you’ll not only see exactly what your friends will read after you’re dead, but you’ll also find out when you’ll die so you can hurry and use up all the leftover dining-out values in your Herald Press Pass.” Hmm, good point. The Squiddly tipster concluded: “I guess this kind of naked greed is what KR meant when they told us in 1997 that they’d give the community an improved product?” Ouch.