Thursday, December 7, 2006
DON’T FIGHT CITY HALL… Squid likes big, pretty buildings—especially ones that don’t flood or contain asbestos. This is why Squid wasn’t too happy when, in August, the MONTEREY CITY COUNCIL voted to scrap plans for a $14 million CIVIC CENTER. The vote came after a group called LET THE VOTERS DECIDE, led by mayoral hopeful MIKE DAWSON, collected enough signatures to put the project on the November ballot. In November, voters said no to Dawson—who lost to Councilman CHUCK DELLA SALA—but voters didn’t get a chance to weigh in on the new city hall. Squid’s guessing that the Council is second-guessing its action right about now.
During the Thanksgiving weekend, a water pipe broke in the city building at 399 MADISON ST. For city employees, this means cramped quarters got a whole lot more cramped. Human resources employees are sharing space with police investigators and City Attorney DEBORAH MALL is occupying Mayor-elect Della Sala’s office. According to a report in the Herald, Finance Director DON RHODES is homeless, err, officeless. Other city departments remain spread about the city. Dawson’s probably glad he lost.
DIRECT FLAIL… The headline about recent troubles at the Herald might be: “Daily Newspaper Wages War Against Junk Mail—Junk Wins.”
For the third time in as many weeks Squid was spied by the neighbors this past Sunday slithering around in Squid’s PJs looking under cars and in bushes for the Herald. The paper was not to be found. Instead Squid found 37 sales circulars from Wal-Mart, Toy R Us, Circuit City, etc., etc., all neatly packed inside the typical Herald cellophane bag. No front page, no local section, no Seaside vs. PG football story—just flyers from big box stores being delivered without the editorial content that daily newspapers proclaim as their competitive advantage over junk mail.
Squid wondered how the Herald would make good to those 37 big retailers who paid to be in the Sunday paper. Squid called the Herald’s home-delivery hotline, where an automated message said the paper should be arriving before noon. That was not going to help Squid. Squid has a routine—Sunday morning is when Squid likes to get the news and scores (and heave 80 percent of the “Sunday paper”—the ad circulars—into the recycling bin). The local daily doesn’t fit into Squid’s Sunday afternoon routine.
So how could the Herald completely miss its delivery deadline three times? Three Sundays ago, page B1 had a note from the publisher(!) explaining that a “perfect storm” of problems and malfunctions was to blame. Ouch. Squid likes stormy weather, but not incompetence (or tired clichés).