Squid Fry for Apr 15, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
RIPPLE EFFECTS… After months chomping cigars in smoky back rooms – or so Squid imagines, since the agreements governing the Regional Water Project were hammered out in state-ordered confidentiality – the details of the Peninsula’s proposed future water supply are finally public. So why are the deal-making agencies still acting shady?
Squid was surprised when the Peninsula water board backed up the agreements March 25, since it was offered no decisionmaking power on the project save a booby-prize advisory role. Odder still, the district board held a special 7am meeting on the Monday after Easter to reconsider its vote. Word has it pro-deal directors Bob Brower and Dave Potter were out of town; a miffed Potter just barely made it back for the evening reconvene, when the three anti-deal board members convinced Director Regina Doyle to switch her vote. With the district suddenly opposed, Potter said the Peninsula runs the risk of losing that symbolic seat on the toothless advisory board. By the time the Public Utilities Commission got the list of agreement signatories, the language had been changed to boot the Peninsula water district off the advisory committee – but no one seems to know who made the sneaky edit.
A few days later, on April 13, the Marina Coast Water District board held a special re-vote of its own, even though its signature supporting the deal had already been delivered to the PUC. Squid’s birdie says the law offices of Michael Stamp called MCWD out on Brown Act violations in its earlier vote. Oopsies. After months of secret negotiations, the district may have become too comfortable with the idea that the public has no voice in the fate of the county’s coastal water supply for the next century.
LIQUIDITY CRISIS… Grand Opening! Squid heard. Whoo-hoo! Free food and wine, right? Uh, not exactly… but if you had a powerful thirst recently, you could’ve come on down to Fine H2O, Carmel’s brand new premiere water boutique on San Carlos between Seventh and Eighth, where the staff was not only pouring but suggesting fine pairings – of food and water, that is. May we offer a sparkling Smeraldina to accompany your appetizer and then a lighter water – perhaps an Elsenham – at $7.50 for less than a liter – for the main course? Company spokeswoman Elizabeth Raj says it’s no longer good enough for fine establishments to employ sommeliers; an in-house water guru is also de rigueur. Hmm, if Squid were a conspiracy theorist, Squid might figure Carmel’s Fine H2O is a clever ploy by water authorities to make local water rates look cheap by comparison – even when they double to pay for that new high tech desal plant.