The story claims that since Keil joined the paper in 1997, the Herald''s "circulation and advertising market share have grown steadily." Not even close. Squid happens to enjoy perusing the Audit Bureau of Circulation numbers over coffee on occasion, and can deliver the sad truth: In March, 1997, the Herald''s weekday circulation was 35,065 and the Sunday number was 39,111. Today, weekday readers number 34, 813 while the Sunday paper draws 38,330 pairs of eyeballs. You don''t need to be a reporter to know that these trends do not define "growing steadily." As for the "advertising market share," that must refer to the fact that ad rates have gone up 23.9 percent. Squid''s brow furrows: hmmm...fewer readers; higher prices. That must be what earned Ms. Keil a promotion!

SQUID SAVES TORO! It''s a good thing County Supervisor FERNANDO ARMENTA reads Squid. Otherwise, Toro-area residents would be busy baking cupcakes in anticipation of the hundreds of homes along River Road. But obviously Armenta didn''t want to face the wrath of the mighty cephalopod. So he decided to vote no on a series of rezoning requests at the Nov. 26 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Sure, Armenta says he met with Supervisor Lou Calcagno. He says Calcagno convinced him to back off some of the more contentious proposals--including a plan to build 325 houses, equestrian facilities, a golf course, a wedding chapel and a wine-tasting room on 875 acres of farmland along River Road. Then Calcagno and Armenta met with County Administra-tive Officer SALLY REED to determine which requests the entire Board could support. Or so the story goes. Squid knows the truth. They met in a dark, secret room and read Squid Fry.

Squid''s disappointed that Reed recommended approving requests that planning staff and the Planning Commission gave thumbs down to, but Squid takes some of the blame. Squid didn''t mention these proposals by name.

PAY ATTENTION! If there is one group that Squid really can''t stand, it''s stupid people. Lately, they seem to be breeding, although Squid shudders at the thought. Aren''t they supposed to improve the gene pool by dying off?

A poster girl for stupid people showed up a recent Monterey Peninsula Water District Board meeting. "I''m glad voters dissolved the water district," she said. "Now the water board will stop allowing those illegal water credit transfers."

Squid thinks it''s bad enough that CAL-AM wrote a $10,000 check to the Stop the Out-Of-Control! Water Board--Yes on Measure B campaign. And that certain developers, Realtors and other anti-water board types spent more than $60,000 on Monterey Mayor DAN ALBERT''s campaign to flush the district--including a barrage of mailings to voters that at best, stretched the truth about the water management district.

Now Squid is faced with the knowledge that there are really, really stupid people out there who A) think that the water district is no more; and B) think the board supports water credit transfers.

Note to stupid people: Only the state legislature can dissolve the district. In February, by a 4-2 vote, the water board approved a ban on the controversial transfers. This is exactly what sparked Albert to wage war on the district. Hence, Measure B.

Where''s Darwin when you need him?


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