Squid Fry 03.21.13
3.5 Cents: Increase of the gas excise tax, effective July 1, bringing the total to 39.5 cents per gallon.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
SCRUB A CLUB… When Squid gets an itch to dance, it can be a challenge to contain all that tentacle energy. Ever since downtown Monterey lost its best venues for late-night grooving, Hippodrome and Luxe Lounge, Squid’s been patiently waiting for the Monterey Planning Commission to lift Mucky Duck’s 10pm live-music curfew.
But Squid’s giving up hope, since on Feb. 26 the commission signed off on plans to convert what was once a bumping dance floor at Hippodrome into 22 apartments, aka Paseo de Alvarado.
The proposal went to City Council March 19. One issue a staff report cites: noise from live music at Cibo on the ground floor. Funny that noise surrounded by white tablecloths is OK, but noise surrounded by sweaty dancing younguns is not. (Also, Squid notes, all the units will be market rate, meaning most folks who partied at the ‘Drome probably couldn’t afford to live there anyway.) “The mixed-use project fulfills the City’s General Plan to encourage mixed-use development in downtown Monterey,” according to the staff report recommending approval of the project. Apartments where there used to be a night club counts as mixed use? Squid thinks downtown could use more mixology.
BROWN ACT BERETS… Squid’s a loyal fan of both the Giants and the California open-meetings law, which provides just as much sporting entertainment from Squid’s place in the peanut gallery. And who’s emerging as the most scandalous player of the year in this Brown Act ballgame? It just might be the city of Seaside.
First there was the flopped effort to create “guiding principles” for the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, wherein Seaside City Manager John Dunn and Deputy City Manager Diana Ingersoll helped craft rules that would have conveniently given Seaside more FORA voting power – if the whole thing hadn’t imploded when the District Attorney chastised the participants for blatant Brown Act violations.
The latest play: the Seaside City Council’s March 18 special meeting, which saw a double Brown Act foul – at least in the eyes of Keep Fort Ord Wild attorney Molly Erickson, who’s representing activists opposed to the location of the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery. On the agenda: a three-way agreement, including the county, to transfer 78 acres of the cemetery parcel from FORA to the state. But supporting documents were nowhere to be found until the meeting itself, when the council was provided with a different item: a two-way agreement, sans county, to transfer 32 acres. County Counsel Charles McKee’s request that the city leave the county out of the blatantly rushed vote might have something to do with that.