Thursday, October 7, 2004
FLIP-FLOPPER… Poor Jerry Smith (the Democrat-turned-Seaside-Mayor-turned-Republican-turned-candidate for County Supe). He seems to be missing his roots these days. Or at least it looks that way, according to two Democratic slate mailers, the Democratic Voter’s Choice and the Voter Information Guide, coming soon, to a mailbox near you.
The mailer encourages recipients to vote Democrat: John Kerry for President, Barbara Boxer for US Senate, Sam Farr for US Congress, Peg Pinard for state Senate, and…Jerry Smith for County Supervisor? Do Squid’s enormous eyes deceive Squid? Everyone knows that Smith turned Republican shortly after being elected to a second term as Seaside Mayor. Perhaps he’s seen the error of his ways and decided to turn away from the Dark Side, Squidthinks.
“We put our campaign spots on every mailer that’s going out because we look at this as a non-partisan race,” Smith says. “I don’t consider it sneaky. This is a non-partisan race, correct?”
Correct, sighs Squid.
“Alright, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t mistaken,” Smith says.
Maybe snide would be the more appropriate word…
TOUGH ON TERRORISM… So there Squid was, browsing the Monterey County Sheriff’s new Web site, admiring its pretty colors, Sheriff Mike Kanalakis’ mug, and all the cool little links. Squid was having fun pointing and clicking, navigating Squid’s way through the site and getting a good laugh at the cops’ log of daily calls.
Things took a more serious turn when Squid noticed the link to a “Terrorism Update” on the site. Squid could hear the crescendo of scary music in Squid’s big little head, and a brick of fear nearly smashed into it. Squid looked around suspiciously, found no one watching, took a deep breath and clicked. Lickety-split, the “terrorism update” bounced Squid on over to the Office of Emergency Services’ site where the top terror update was (hold on to your britches; this is where it becomes riveting) the Parkfield earthquake. Followed by none other than—dun, dun, duuun—an update on West Nile Virus.
Now, Squid has made the Earth move for a lucky few, even nibbled on a couple of them like a pesky little skeeter. But terrorist-generated earthquakes and mosquito-spread viruses?
While the folks over at the Mosquito and Vector Control Association blew Squid off, Squid scored a homer with USGS seismologist Steve Walter. “No, it’s true; man can make quakes,” Walter says.
Well, shiver Squid timbers. Mosquito bites. Earthquakes. Terrorism. Squid was making the correlation, just like Sheriff Mike. “No, no,” Walter reassures. “Those little manmade ones would register maybe ones and twos on the Richter scale. The Big Ones like Parkfield originate much deeper, seven to 12 miles. Even if you could get that deep, it’d be like sticking a needle into a dam and expecting the dam to fail.”
Squid’s not touching that analogy but still thinks there’s a lesson in there. If it shakes, hold onto it. If it bites, swat at it. And for goodness’ sake, don’t drill near cracks.