Squid Fry 08.18.11
Thursday, August 18, 2011
SHINE A LIGHT… The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency – usually a bunch of goodniks pursuing vital work in Monterey Bay – seems to share Squid’s belief that government should be transparent, that there should always be bright lights shining around government activities. But NOAA’s noble pursuit of illumination recently went awry. Literally.
Squid is speaking about the twenty-foot parking lot lights NOAA installed last year in the lot of its PG offices. Not only did NOAA not go through the proper local permitting channels to get the wickedly bright lights approved, but now they seem to be insinuating that they don’t have to go through architectural review or local planning approval because theirs is federal land. Don’t ask Squid why, but the state Coastal Commission seems to be agreeing. Richard Nixon would be smiling. For younger squids, former president Nixon had a lot to do with creating the momentum of open government, but let’s just say that was rather an unintentional consequence. So in true Nixonian fashion, NOAA is arguing their unilateral decision is privileged. And folks wonder why there is a growing anti-government movement? NOAA, do the right thing. Get your drawings done, pay your fee and get in line. Squid needs ’ya.
POTTY HUMOR… Squid gets a kick out of a good toilet joke, so you can imagine how tickled Squid’s tentacles were upon hearing the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District removed all the plumbing fixtures – toilets, sinks, the whole shebang – from the former Bay View Elementary School, which closed in June. This juicy rumor, repeated by several people in several venues, seemed to good to be true. District Superintendent Marilyn Shepherd, revered and reviled in equal measure by employees and Peninsula parents, refused to let the newly formed Bay View Academy charter school rent the old site, instead forcing them to share space with the Monterey Adult School in Casa Verde Way. So if what some see as Shepherd’s hostility toward the charter school crowd was strong enough to compel her to trash toilets in the building they longed to lease… well, something didn’t small right and Squid was going to get to the bottom of it.
While at least one member of the committee that decides the fate of unused school spaces said the toilet toss had come up – and MPUSD staff didn’t refute those rumors at the time – Interim Associate Supe Dan Albert told Squid’s colleague the story didn’t hold water: “There are no plans to move anything permanent from the building.” There goes Squid’s scoop, along with the great rumor mongering, straight down the drain.