THE OTHER BAY… Squid’s lair sometimes smells like fish, prompting Squid to peruse Craiglist. Usually it makes Squid feel like there’s no hope for an upgrade, with high rents and limited openings (maybe they’re all on Airbnb).

Then Squid saw a house for rent in Marina’s shiny new development, The Dunes of Monterey Bay, and Squid thought, maybe those new homes will help alleviate the housing crunch. Then Squid got an invitation to attend a media luncheon and tour Sept. 28 at The Dunes.

“Experience what’s next in quintessential Monterey Bay living,” the invite reads, “as outward migration of San Francisco Bay Area residents hits an all-time high.” Turns out The Dunes isn’t really here to help solve Squid’s housing problems – it’s here as a bedroom community for Squid’s neighbors in the other bay. “Many Bay Area residents are searching for homes in the Monterey Bay area. With about an hour’s drive from Silicon Valley, this area makes for an ideal coastal lifestyle of recreation, comfort and convenience,” the invitation continues.

Apparently, “quintessential Monterey Bay living” is now sold as quintessential San Francisco Bay living – sitting in traffic for a long commute to somewhere else.

SHAKE SHAKEDOWN… Squid oozed down to Fisherman’s Wharf before the Monterey City Council on Sept. 20 to sample free clam chowder at Old Fisherman’s Grotto. But when Squid arrived it was closed. Squid turned around to only see that Scales Seafood and Steak – another Shake family establishment – was also closed.

Squid then heard chants of “Save our Wharf!” in the distance. Following the sound, Squid slimed down Pacific Street toward City Hall and ran into a group of nearly 100 holding signs slamming the city. “Wharf Lives Matter,” one claimed. More than a few protesters still wore restaurant uniforms from the Shake-owned restaurants.

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It was a paid vacation, or at least some of them thought so, though Squid is dubious of how free their speech is when protesters are on the clock. The restaurants shut down for the evening – along with Liberty Fish and The Coffee Shop – to join a permitted protest at City Hall to decry what they call the city’s attempt to steal property from wharf business owners in lease negotiations.

A snazzy flyer and Facebook page for “Save Our Old Fisherman’s Wharf” show their doomsday depiction of the wharf of the future, with McDonald’s and Hooters.

Squid can smell PR guru David Armanasco all over it. The local spin doctor extraordinaire doesn’t come cheap. Squid knows the money isn’t coming from Liberty Fish, which claims it can’t afford to pay the city of Monterey more than its current $406.20 monthly rent. Maybe whoever’s paying for PR can help Liberty Fish find the financial freedom to make next month’s rent.

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