Squid Fry 01.10.13
Squid Speak, Spoken Here
Thursday, January 10, 2013
CATCH AND RELEASE… Squid’s in favor of people eating less calamari; it gives other ocean species a chance to be consumed with lemon and tartar sauce. Still, Squid was sad to see the Salinas Valley Fish House (which did an excellent calamari) dim its lights for the last time on New Year’s Eve.
After 15 years in business, owner/general manager Tony DiGirolamo and his cousin/co-owner/chef Steven Kubota called it quits. And the reason being bandied about Oldtown Salinas has something to do with the parking debacle that’s resulted from construction next door to the Taylor Farms headquarters. When the Lettuce Kings of Salinas decided to build new offices on Main Street, it gobbled up a hundred-plus parking spaces. According to one Oldtowner In the Know, the Fish House took a 15-percent hit to its bottom line, and that was enough to do it in.
Merchants, meanwhile, say they’ve had to battle with the city for customer parking permits. (And speaking of internecine warfare, some of those merchants are now sniping about parking on the street – thus taking away spaces from potential customers – instead of hoofing it from the city garage.)
At the rate they’re going, the Taylor Farms project should be done in the next decade. Maybe they’ll put a salad bar where the Fish House used to be.
ONCE AND FUTURE MAYORS… The boxing match between Seaside Mayor Ralph Rubio and Felix Bachofner – whom Rubio ousted in November, and who ousted Rubio in 2010 – slogs on. In this round, the contenders do a budget balancing act.
Bachofner maintains Rubio only balanced the 2010-11 budget by drawing down the city’s reserves, which Bachofner built back up with spending cuts. Now he worries Rubio will bankrupt the city by summer. “I have some plans on not letting Seaside devolve,” the unseated mayor cryptically told Squid in December.
Rubio, in turn, alleges Bachofner’s 2012-13 budget isn’t really balanced either: It assumed city unions would offer $1.6 million in concessions, and they haven’t. The firefighters gave up a little less than the 12 percent asked of them in a closed-session negotiation the night of Rubio’s swearing-in. That made the other unions adopt a me-too posture, Rubio says, and the numbers have stayed red since July 1. (Squid notes Rubio voted to finalize that firefighters’ contract; the only no vote, in fact, was from former firefighter Alvin Edwards.)
“Without a balanced budget, we wouldn’t be able to sell a popsicle stand,” Rubio says. But hey, even if Seaside’s helado carts go down, at least Squid can at count on fireworks – both the safe-and-sane Fourth of July ones, and the insane political ones.