Squid Fry 11.08.12
10 : Number of American Red Cross Monterey Bay Area Chapter volunteers deployed to the East Coast for Superstorm Sandy disaster relief. Source - American Red Cross.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
URINETOWN… Squid’s always known the Peninsula was short on water, but Squid never expected it to get so bad officials would fight over sewage.
As the Weekly first reported Oct. 31, the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency board shot down its own groundwater replenishment project. The tie vote, which meant denial of the project’s budget, pitted Salinas and North County pols who want more recycled water for ag irrigation against Peninsula reps who want it injected into the Seaside aquifer.
In other words, they’re fighting over the right to wastewater from the county’s toilets, bathrooms, sinks, storm drains and crop fields.
Salinas Councilwoman Gloria De La Rosa’s weighted vote is what really doomed the groundwater project, prompting Monterey Councilwoman Libby Downey to threaten: “Does the Peninsula have to stay in this organization? Could they pull out and take their effluent with them?”
Now, there’s a thought. The Peninsula cities could build their own plant and recycle their own toilet water, while the growers recycle their own runoff. But Squid hopes a truce can be forged across the lettuce curtain. The Peninsula’s hopes to replace state-ordered cutbacks of the Carmel River depend, in part, on recycled water. Even our piss is precious.
FREAK OUT… As anyone who’s seen Squid under a drop-dead deadline – rabidly spraying ink and vitriol – knows, panic isn’t pretty.
That was true last week as a young but storied community tradition, The Independent Marketplace, wrestled with themes of community, identity and profit.
First came ugliness on Facebook as the Weekly reported the monthly farmers-market-meets-arts-festival would start charging a $5 cover. Asked if they’d pay, readers replied: “Pay money to spend money? Swell marketing concept. You don’t come off greedy at all,” and “Nope. Lame.”
Suddenly the organizers were asking Squid for advice, and Indy co-founder Patrick Orosco posted a Facebook plea the length of 60 tweets. “A $5 cover gets you 5 hours of live music, movie screenings, child care/games/activities, fire dancing, hula hooping, libations, storytelling and the yummy womb of goodness that occurs inside!” he wrote.
Despite rains, the cover and a competing Big Sur Food & Wine kickoff, the market vendors did as well as any month so far – and were eager to offer deals for the tokens that came with the cover (and were exchanged for Happy Girl lemonade to start). A groundswell of volunteers signed up. Ticket sales totaled around $2,500. The lessons: Keep communications open. Trust community. Love your volunteers. And don’t panic.