SURVEY SAYS… In the gearup to Car Week, Squid hunkered down and caught up on shows stashed on the DVR – back episodes of the Real Housewives of Corral de Tierra make Squid wistful for plastic surgery, and back episodes of Live PD make Squid wistful for a City Council not so intent on having their city portrayed as a crime-ridden shithole on national TV.
Salinas is one year into a two-year agreement with Live PD’s producers that has camera crews embedded with members of its patrol division seven nights a week – two of those nights are “live” and feature calls in progress. And while Live PD has shown the city has an ultra-professional department, it also shows some unpleasant stuff – domestic violence calls, homeless people using trees as toilets because there aren’t any public restrooms. Some people have complained about the portrayals, and have wondered if the filming should continue.
Enter the Salinas PD, which on Aug. 11 posted a survey on its Facebook page. Squid took the survey and gave the department high marks for the professionalism of the officers, good marks for transparency (although Squid thinks it’s a dumb question because the watch commander police can kill any footage they don’t want, 10 minutes before it airs) and a minus-10 for how it portrays the city.
Salinas Police Chief Adele Fresé tells Squid’s colleague that since the survey went live, it’s received about 1,600 responses, 90 percent positive. Squid finds it puzzling that city officials are on board with showing the seamy underside of things. Then again, Salinas has long been Charlie Brown trying to kick that ball through the goalposts.
Maybe Squid should watch cartoons instead. Less depressing that way.
SPUTTERING ON… Squid puts the jalopy in park every year at Car Week, considering all the traffic. Easy to do when Squid has parking right outside the lair. Less easy for the homeless people who live in their cars and drive around looking for a secluded place without overnight parking restrictions to call home every night, bedding down after dark and waking before dawn.
Seaside is joining the county in attempting to change that, and on Aug. 15, Seaside City Council is scheduled to consider whether to approve a safe overnight parking program. Per the draft ordinance, people would be allowed to park and sleep from 10pm to 6am at a location with a bathroom and trash cans. Locations (which remain TBD) would be managed by social service providers, who would apply to the city for licenses to operate.
Seaside has been a leader in the region when it comes to the homelessness crisis. Squid finds it ironic that council is considering this next piece of the puzzle during peak Car Week. Maybe someone can spare a little pocket change for those in need – or a Lamborghini or a Rolls to sleep in?