NAME THAT FLICK… Squid is a film aficionado, and a huge fan of guessing games too, which makes the free movie nights at the Marina Library double the fun. Though the Marina Library is part of the Monterey County Free Libraries system, it benefits from site-specific programming from groups like the Friends of the Marina Library, which stages events including well-run book sales and free movie nights. Funny thing, though: Due to licensing issues nearly as convoluted as the plot of a Charlie Kaufman film, the group isn’t allowed to disclose to any mass media the names of the movies they’re going to screen. So the notice for their last movie night on Nov. 19 – the third in this recent series – read: “This highly acclaimed Steinbeck classic, set in Monterey and Salinas, showcases a Hollywood legend in his first and possibly most powerful film performance of an all-too-brief career.” Um, what is Sleepless in Salinas? Anyway, 12 high fives to the Friends, especially Grace Silva-Santella and her husband, Brian, for their above-and-beyond efforts in the affair. Meanwhile, the library will keep rolling out events, and the Byzantine movie license thankfully expires next year. (Spoiler alert! The Nov. 19 film was East of Eden.)
FOOD OF THE GODS… Monterey-area hotelier David Fink is known for running classy joints and working with top-notch chefs. He and winemaker Bill Foley closed in October on the purchase of Healdsburg’s Hotel Les Mars, home to the two-Michelin-starred Cyrus restaurant. And the fighting, it seems, began almost immediately. Cyrus chef and co-owner Douglas Keane told The San Francisco Chronicle he and his partners weren’t informed of the ownership change, didn’t know where to pay rent and threw the dollars into an escrow account to await further instruction, but were served with a “pay rent or quit” notice. Keane also intimated that Fink wanted to gain control of his restaurant. Fink says publicly and in print that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. But Fink’s friends say he is fuming that Keane had been combative from the start. Squid wonders if maybe a taco truck is in Chef Keane’s future?
Mean Streets… Salinas finds itself the recipient of a dubious distinction: Number 57 on a list of the highest-crime cities in America, according to publisher CQ Press, which compiles its lists using FBI statistics. Only problem is, a disclaimer on the FBI website says use of the crime rankings can lead to simplistic or incomplete analyses. Even with Salinas in the midst of a series of gang-related shootings (six shot, two fatally) the week before Thanksgiving, Squid thinks the data deserve a closer look.