SKIN IN THE GAME… When looking at the legislative accomplishments of Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, over the past few months, Squid gets a sense for the things Alejo holds dear: allowing undocumented residents to apply for driver’s licenses. Increasing minimum wage and improving access to workers’ compensation. And skin. Alejo loves reptile skin.

For those who may have been worried about the impending sunset of a bill allowing the import of crocodile and alligator products in California, keep your boots on – Alejo is on the case. He authored a bill extending the sunset to 2020, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it Sept. 19.

The alligator and crocodile trade is worth about $1 billion a year globally, and a statement from Alejo’s office frames the bill in dollar signs. “[This bill] will help secure our economic recovery while keeping the strong conservation safeguards in place for the alligator and crocodile species used in the trade,” it states. “This bill makes sense.”

Squid’s not so sure California’s economy hangs in the balance of the reptile skin trade. Squid senses that for Alejo, this bill is about the right of every man, woman and child to add a little flash to their wardrobe. Squid’s guessing Alejo might have a few pairs of slick alligator boots in his own closet, and is perhaps eyeing a few more.

SURVEY FAIL… Online quizzes help Squid learn valuable things about Squidself. Like, if Squid were a My Little Pony, Squid would be Applejack. (The Bronyland question that cinched it: “Can you keep secrets?” Squid’s answer: “Probably, maybe… but if it’s really funny… I just have to tell someone!”)

So it was with glee that Squid turned to the Monterey County Parks survey, running online through Sept. 30. Squid couldn’t wait to find out which park Squid would be. But Squid’s enthusiasm dried up likeLake San Antonio as Squid started clicking through the bilingual survey by Management Partners, part of the cash-strapped department’s strategic planning process.

As tireless cycling advocate Mari Lynch points out in a letter to county officials, the survey limits comments on each park to 50 characters. That’s about one-third of a tweet – only long enough for Squid to write, “There should be some glittery ponies @Laguna Seca.”

The survey also asked Squid to rank risks to the parks. Among the options: climate change. Not an option: privatization – the kind that’s had County Parks staff contemplating league softball fields at Toro.

The worst part? The survey didn’t even reveal Squid’s park personality. Since Squid took the Spanish-language version, Squid’s guessing Squid would be Manzanita. That’s pretty close to Applejack.

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