Squid Fry 10.04.12
Thursday, October 4, 2012
TEN-HUT… Squid has lots of surprising habits – like skeet shooting and chess-boxing. Another one that catches other creatures off guard: Squid’s penchant for reminding people how central the military is to Monterey County’s economy.
And then there are times when Squid doesn’t have to. The weekend closure of the Presidio of Monterey’s Franklin and Taylor gates near Duffy’s Tavern and Compagno’s Deli, respectively, are doing that in an ugly way. They’re closing this weekend and each weekend thereafter until there’s a better budget picture. That means the only access on weekends is Bolio Gate down by the Coast Guard Pier, where exiting vehicles can only turn north toward downtown Monterey. That means a whole fleet of businesses stretching from Forest Hill to Cannery Row are likely going to see their revenue dip, and adjacent spots like Duffy’s and Compagno’s will be brutalized. Squid doesn’t have to be a five-star general to think somebody didn’t think this all the way through – in terms of lost business, soldier convenience, community relations or traffic.
Presidio spokesman Dan Carpenter says low budgets mean fewer guards at the gates. “We can’t spend more money than the Army’s giving us,” he says, and adds they’re “working on creative solutions to hard choices.”
Squid is glad there are pedestrian openings at those gates. Now that Squid doesn’t have to remind people how important the military is, there’s more time for insane hobbies like chess-boxing.
FEES FOR TOTS… Squid prefers to sidle on over to Pebble Beach in biped fashion, leaving the jalopy at home to avoid pesky gate fees. So Squid was at first tickled to see that when Pebble Beach Company paid its quarterly Transient Occupancy Tax a week late, County Treasurer-Tax Collector Mary Zeeb slapped the golfing enclave with a $130,000 fine. That’s the standard 10-percent fee that Zeeb’s only had to dole out every now and again. What made Pebble Beach a trailblazer is that they fought back, filing the first-ever TOT penalty appeal anyone can remember.
Pebble Beach has what sounds like a heart-wrenchingly legit excuse: The accounts payable manager was out for three weeks after she was injured in a car accident and suffered a miscarriage.
“I’m pretty much a straight shooter,” Zeeb says. “I will give people the benefit of the doubt if it’s warranted.” But Squid couldn’t help but nod when PBC VP Mark Stilwell said, “If this circumstance didn’t qualify, then what would qualify?”
The supes are slated to hear the matter in November – conveniently on Election Day, for anyone who might want to cozy up with the Pebble Beach crowd before then.