SEA SICK… When Squid wants to do some whale watching, Squid simply calls up Willy or Shamu or Moby Dick’s great-grandchild Patrick and invites them over to the lair. But Squid would argue that the human obsession with cetaceans is a little misplaced. With their undulating fins and jet propulsion capabilities, cephalopods are clearly the more remarkable species. Those buoyantly challenged humans – what do they know anyway? It was a recent whale-watching incident that reminded Squid just how incompetent they can be in the water.
Around noon on Sept. 8, U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey received a distress call from thePacifica, one of three boats in the Discovery Whale Watch fleet, which was cruising around Monterey Bay. They had a sick passenger on board and the captain decided to request a medevac.
The Coast Guard dispatched one of its 47-foot motor lifeboats, which the service refers to as “the ideal platform for operations in extreme sea and weather conditions.” Well, the conditions were rough that day as the rescue boat prepared to line up next to Pacifica to transfer the sick passenger. But the officers mistakenly angled their boat wrong and collided with the 50-foot Pacifica, according to John Mayer, co-owner of Discovery Whale Watch. This “bump” caused several thousand dollars of damage to the fiberglass and metal railings of the Pacifica.
“Mistakes happen,” Mayer says. “I just hope they do the right thing and cover the costs.”
ROCK THE VOTE… Squid respects voters’ rights. In the 1990s, activists in Salinas and Watsonvilleadvocated to transition from at-large to district elections for city council seats, leading to better representation for disenfranchised communities. Squid wasn’t surprised activists are targetingMarina for district elections, but Squid was surprised to hear how they botched the first attempt.
On July 18, Santa Barbara-based attorney H. Fredrick Seigenfeld sent the city a notice of violation of the California Voting Rights Act, in which he named the California Voting Rights Project as his client. Election code requires a plaintiff to be a voter. As Assistant City AttorneyDeborah Mall wrote Seigenfeld, “As far as I can determine, (your client) is an arm of theAmerican Civil Liberties Union, and not a voter in Marina.”
On Aug. 28, Seigenfeld sent word: He had found his potential plaintiff, Dan Cagape. And he urged the city to implement district elections in 2020, or reach a settlement to do so in 2022 – and pay him $30,000. He also included a sample lawsuit against the city, dated Oct. 15.
So far, nobody can prove whether Dan Cagape is a registered voter in Marina – a number Squid called goes straight to a voicemail that doesn’t work. But that may be irrelevant. The city has issued a notice of intent to transition to district elections, and will vote on Dec. 4.