Thursday, September 22, 2005
RUN, DON’T WALK…
Slavishly obeying Squid’s caffeine jones, Squid ambled down Canyon Del Rey Boulevard toward the new Starbucks drive-thru on Del Monte one day last week. Drivers gawked and pointed—not just because Squid’s multi-legged gait is so distinctive, but because the sight of a pedestrian on this street is so unusual.
At the corner, Squid was reminded why walkers avoid this unpretty stretch of concrete ‘n’ asphalt. Squid gazed across six lanes of traffic at the Starbucks, where a nice iced coffee waited, and pushed the button to activate the crosswalk. And waited. And waited. Until finally the walk sign lit up and Squid raced across the busy street, eliciting scowls from anxious drivers waiting to make the right-on-red.
Meanwhile, a line of cars sat on Canyon del Rey, blocking traffic as they waited to get into the drive-up lane.
Inside the Starbucks, Squid again was forced to wait while the employees hurried to fill the orders of the drivers circling the building. Squid couldn’t blame them—pandemonium was threatening to erupt in the street outside.
So here’s the irony: Squid recalls that this very corner was once cited as a possible location for a train station, to serve the long-dreamed-of modern revival of the old Del Monte Express. Instead, it now houses an auto-centric enterprise that can’t help but add to traffic congestion.
Squid looks on the bright side: $3-a-gallon gasoline could
alleviate the problem—even as it hurts our local hospitality
industry. Then maybe we’ll put up the train depot, and invite
Starbucks to install a walk-up café inside it.
BITING THE HAND…
Abel, Abel, Abel. It’s not that Squid enjoys picking on you—it’s just that you make it so easy. It’s kinda like you’re dangling a beer-battered piece of calamari directly in front of Squid’s cannibalistic beak.
In June, seven months after being elected to his first term in the California Senate, Abel Maldonado, a Republican from Santa Maria, announced he will run for state controller in ‘06. And now, in an ironic twist of events, he’s supporting Proposition 77, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiative to reform redistricting on the November ballot.
If Prop. 77 does pass, the state legislature would appoint a panel of retired judges to draw up district boundaries for the state. Squid finds this interesting because, in 2002, Maldonado also supported the Senate redistricting plan that sliced up Monterey County, drew then-Assemblyman Fred Keeley out of the state Senate seat he could’ve won in a walk, and helped elect Maldonado to represent the 15th District.
Maldonado liked the gerrymandering that got him into the Senate—and paved his way to run for a bigger and better Sacramento seat in ‘06—but now he’s willing to toe the Gov’s line and support Prop. 77.
<>In an earlier press release, Maldonado stated: “I represent the >poster child district for redistricting reform. My senate district (SD-15) encompasses seven assembly districts, eight congressional districts, five counties and stretches from Santa Maria to San Jose. This is not good government.” He’s got that right.