Squid Fry 08.04.11
Thursday, August 4, 2011
DO UNTO OTHERS… Squid’s been known to pick a fight every now and then, but Squid’s squabbling shenanigans don’t hold a candle to the antics of the board at Marina Coast Water District. After board member Jan Shriner was accused by MCWD General Manager Jim Heitzman of creating a hostile work environment with her incessant questions about board documents and processes (the nerve!), an outside attorney recommended conflict resolution training. Always a fan of a good three-ring circus, Squid oozed over to the board’s most recent training last Friday, sat back and enjoyed the show. In one corner: cuddly-as-a-cactus Ken Nishi, calling for cordiality and equity in board proceedings. “I’m not selective in who I criticize,” he claimed. “Maybe I don’t understand what ‘respect’ looks like from other people,” Shriner piped up from the other corner. Nishi quickly changed his tune: “Unlike some people,” he growled, “I’m not perfect all the time.” Howard Gustafson, after declaring that the board was the most transparent group around, responded to grief from his colleagues about holding meetings at a restaurant a friend owns by giggling and saying, “Oh, no! I’m like Steve Collins!”
The snark continued for hours, at which point Squid peaced out – but not before crossing paths with the frustrated facilitator. “It’s the great work of my life, working with this group,” he said. Squid’s pretty sure that’s some dead-on deadpan.
GIVING GAFFE… In early April, a beautiful thing happened. A group of proactive locals, including 831 Magazine chief Ryan Lama and Doggie Stylez pointman Domingo Rivera rallied a big-hearted benefit at Cannery Row Brewing Company in the wake of the earthquake-tsunami-meltdown disaster in Japan. Squid had Squid’s people there, and they came away impressed with not just the energy, but also the big and youthful turnout. Photographer Michelle Magdalena’s recent journey to capture some of the fallout and the recovery (see cover story, p. 22) inspired Squid to see how the benefit ultimately translated on the ground. First came good news: The benefit netted $11,776. Well, konichiwa. Then the bummer: The money hasn’t left Monterey County. Imaimashii. Lama tells Squid’s colleague that he didn’t want to give to a huge nonprofit, instead wanting to find a “temple-level” place for the dough. But he also says he’s been too consumed by other things to seek out any group or agency. He adds, though, he plans to meet with Magdalena to pick her brains for ideas, and welcomes other input as well. “It’s everybody’s money,” he says. “I’m just the caretaker.” Here’s hoping he takes care of getting the cash where it’s meant to be.