PARTY POOPER… As Squid watches the Trump Show devolve, the Amazon burn and the polar ice caps melt, it makes Squid think more wine is on order – a lot more wine. Squid was excited to hear about “Salud Pacific Grove,” a new wine and food party scheduled for Nov. 2. The plan by the Pacific Grove Economic Development Commission is to close Grand Avenue, string some lights overhead and hold a pop-up dinner for 150 people. The goal is to make it an annual event showcasing local restaurants.

City Manager Ben Harvey asked the Pacific Grove City Council on Aug. 21 to approve it as a city-sponsored event. Councilmembers insisted it instead be “full cost recovery,” meaning no money out of city coffers. Most council members were excited – Nick Smith said the title had some “pop,” and Amy Tomlinson pledged to volunteer.

Then Mayor Bill Peake spoke up, and the wine Squid imagined flowing that night turned to vinegar. Peake wanted further study by an additional city commission and he wanted the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce involved. Those ideas would have pushed the event into 2020. Councilmember Joe Amelio joined Peake with a “no” vote, but thankfully the five other members voted “yes.”

Tentacles down to the two killjoys, with one tentacle raising a glass high to the rest of the council. To them Squid says, salud!

U PICKET… Squid got ready for Labor Day weekend in the usual way: Watching Norma Rae and organizing the cephalopods at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (working chant: “Two-four-six-eight, otters cannot undulate!”). For inspiration, Squid oozed over to the Aug. 27 Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Members of the SEIU Local 521 have voted to authorize a strike against the county if the supes don’t cough up another percent in wage increases – the union is asking for 5 percent over two years, the county is offering 4 percent. Neither amount will keep up with inflation. One speaker, county social worker David Rosen, pointed out that it’s always swell to see management acknowledge workers during negotiation time. “My manager is suddenly super nice, ‘Oh, David exists!’” And, Rosen said, if the 3,100 members of the SEIU strike, 30,000 local members of theCalifornia Teachers AssociationUnited Farm Workers and the Teamsters have promised not to cross the picket line.

On the agenda inside, the supes were going to rubber stamp an increase for the attorney negotiating with SEIU on behalf of the county, from the current $90,000 to $200,000. Supervisor Jane Parker moved to increase the contract by only $50,000, and that was quickly approved.

Negotiations with the negotiator? Easy. Negotiations with the union, however, continued past Squid’s deadline.

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