Thursday, March 31, 2005
CALL HIM CRAZY… But he was right, dammit. Back in November 2003, PG filmmaker Bob Pacelli lost his bid to sit on the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District Board of Directors. Some said he was a kook—albeit a lovable kook, Squid might add—with ridiculously out-there ideas about how to solve the Peninsula’s water shortage.
At the time, the Weekly wrote, “his specific ideas are either pipe dreams or visionary…He talks about osmosis, conservation and water storage. ‘What if every hotel in Monterey used recycled water to wash their dishes?’”
Fast forward to March 2005, at last week’s water board meeting, with Sand City Mayor David Pendergrass, who also sits on the MPWMD Board of Directors, describing a proposal from the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency to treat wastewater to drinking water standards, “a splendid proposal.”
Huh? Is it Bizarro’s World? Nope, just another normal day in the life of Peninsula water politics. Although the last time Squid saw Pacelli, he was chasing a Weekly scribe around September Ranch, yelling, “Bob was right!”
THE MADNESS NEVER ENDS… Speaking of September Ranch (or is it Bizarro’s World?) Squid saw something strange at the recent Monterey County Planning Commission “special meeting field trip” to Carmel Valley’s September Ranch. No, not Assistant Planning Director Alana Knaster singing “Wheels on the Bus” en route to the planned development site. Weirder. Squid spied agro-environmentalist David Dilworth riding shotgun with attorney Tony Lombardo, developer’s best friend. No punch line needed…
DON’T CALL IT A LATE FEE… Squid’s not much of a gambler. It’s the thought of loan sharks circling. The mere hint of strong-arm tactics unnerves mollusks. And Squid’s had a taste of what that must feel like. Take Blockbuster Video, for instance—Squid’s been the recipient of more than a few threatening demand letters from the video store.
That was enough to keep Squid away. But Squid was intrigued by the new ad campaign: “No more late fees!” That would mean no more mean letters. Squid returned to Blockbuster and rented. And rented. Until last weekend, when Squid tried to rent again. “You have a balance of $1.25,” the clerk said. Squid cocked an eyebrow. Balance?
The clerk explained that since Squid was late returning a movie, the entire cost of the cheesy DVD ($29!) had been charged on Squid’s credit card. The $29 was credited back to Squid’s card on returning the movie, with another fee taking its place.
“If you’re late, we charge the whole movie on your card. If you bring it back within 30 days, we charge you a restocking fee.” “Restocking” fee sure sounded like a late fee to Squid.
The clerk chuckled. “It is a late fee. We just don’t call it that anymore.”
Didn’t sound very funny to Squid, nor apparently to the countless others who have filed suit claiming fraud and false advertising.
“We’re looking into it,” said a rep when Squid called last week. Hope he hurries. All those lost customers are sure to rack up into one hell of a late fee.