Thursday, August 17, 2006
BURNING MONEY… Squid doesn’t often swim far south of Salinas (swimming up the Salinas River is not easy, even in a wet year), but Squid would have made an exception to attend the “neighborhood afternoon tea” Aug. 16 at the Windmill Restaurant in Soledad. Squid would have—but Squid wasn’t invited. Apparently Squid wasn’t the only one.
Green Square Properties, a company based in the Philippines, wants to develop 5,000 acres of land between Soledad and the Pinnacles National Monument, and wants the city to annex the land. The plan includes an 830-acre college, 1,300 acres of residential development, two acres of commercial development and a 20-acre retirement community. It would also involve an extension of Highway 146 to connect Highway 101 with Highway 1 across the Santa Lucia mountain range.
In early August, representatives for Green Square’s owner, Romeo Roxas, invited some property owners to the tea party. According to the invitation, Soledad Mayor Richard Ortiz would be a special guest. On Aug. 12, Squid got a fax from Lucy Jensen, who lives near the site and wasn’t invited to tea. She said her neighbors on Metz Road and Highway 146 “whose lives would be eternally impacted if this wealthy foreign developer is allowed to move forward with his preposterous proposal,” were not invited either.
Sadly, Squid didn’t make it to Soledad. But then again, neither did Roxas, which might have been a good move on his part. According to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Roxas enjoys shocking crowds at public meetings by setting fire to crisp peso bills. Burning money usually doesn’t go over so well at public meetings in Monterey County.
NEW BOSS, OLD BOSS… Salinas mayoral candidate Dennis Donohue’s first big post-primary-election bash is going to be held at none other than Chapala Restaurant in Old Town. That’s handy, because the Squidmobile’s navigation system already knows how to find Chapala. The place is catalogued in the navigator under “Mayor Party Bash Hot Spot” for years, since current-mayor Anna Caballero virtually used the place as a home away from home.
Chapala owner Lucy Pizarro and Caballero were joined at the hip. “We’re just the best of friends,” Caballero said.
Squid’s no dummy. Squid knows Donohue busted his radicchio-decorated ass to get into the permanently-reserved party spot, campaigning hard for Caballero in her bid against Ana Ventura Phares for the 28th in the June primary. Squid thought Donohue just wanted to slide into Caballero’s spot at the Council table. Now Squid knows better. Donohue wanted Caballero’s spot at the dinner table.