Squid Fry:

HOLIDAY SPIRITS… Squid hates to be a Scrooge, but Squid’s relieved the holidays are just about over. Squid’s spent from all of the holiday parties, and Squid’s had a headache mostof December.

To top it off, cab fare is getting expensive. After all, Squid’s a responsible sort of mollusk who’s listened to California Highway Patrol ads for years.

Scotch and soda mix. Tequila and lime mix. But drinking and driving? Ixnay on the ixmay. Squid gets it.

Well, at least until Squid opened up a gift from a hottie on Squid’s naughty list. Now Squid’s just baffled.

It was a key chain, an official trinket of the CHP. One end says “Designate before you celebrate. CHP” And, of course, the key chain is where one would normally put, say, keys to something like, oh, maybe a car. The topper? The other end of the key chain is a claw-like thing that looks suspiciously like a bottle opener. Wait. It actually is a bottle opener.

Maybe it was a checkpoint handout. “Thank you for not drinking and driving. Here’s a bottle opener to show our thanks.” How sweet. Heck, forget mixing eggnog and brandy. How passé. This season, the real mix is in CHP’s message.

— — —

BE AFRAID… Change is good, according to Rancho San Juan supporters and Vincent Guarino Public Relations experts. “Don’t fear change,” they told us, over and over again during the RSJ public hearings. (Apparently they don’t fear gnarly traffic jams, either.) By the end of it all, Supervisor Lou Calcagno was even singing their tune. Sure, he voted against the development, but he did tell the TV news crews that not all change is bad, or that Monterey Countyites should welcome change, or something to that effect.

But there will be one change in 2005 that’s sure to bring a tear to Squid’s eye, and an ache to Squid’s heart. On Jan. 4, long-time District 4 Supervisor Edith Johnsen will hand the reins over to former Seaside Mayor Jerry Smith. And while open space and farmland and water will likely be the better off for her leaving, Squid’s still a little shocked that there won’t be a single woman on the Board.

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It’s like Ken Wright told the Weekly last spring at Supervisor Dave Potter’s victory party. In the District 4 race, which Smith would ultimately win, Wright said he was rooting for a runoff between Jane Parker and Darlene Dunham.

“We do not need an all-male Board,” he said. “That’s the trouble with the world today—all men running it.”

At her final Board of Supervisors meeting on Dec. 14, Johnsen said she tried to find “the middle” when it came to policy decisions. But from where Squid sits, Johnsen seemed to move more to the right during political tenure, which makes Squid wonder if there’s another change in store for the registered Dem.

In 2005, will Johnsen jump parties—á la Smith, who she endorsed in the supervisorial race—and become a Republican, possibly seeking a state office? Some change may be good, but others are downright scary. And it’s gonna take more than a slick PR prezo to change Squid’s mind.

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