TRASH CAN’T… Squid doesn’t frequent Carmel’s Cantinetta Luca – Squid’s close cousin the octopus is served – but Squid hears good things. Squid was also hearing things about ownerDavid Fink’s quest to build a condo on top of the restaurant. Fink won Carmel Planning Commission approval Nov. 8, but then Mayor Steve Dallas and Councilmember Carolyn Hardyappealed. Fink objected, saying he could not get a fair hearing before City Council. City Attorney Glen Mozingo agreed, and the appeal was withdrawn.

But that wasn’t the end of it. On Feb. 6, the council was set to vote on a trash enclosure in adjacent public courtyard Piccadilly Park. It’s an enclosure Fink built – 12 years ago. The Planning Department determined he’d not received proper permits back then – never mind that the department had authorized the construction, and it’s been there 12 years, decorated with trellises with no reported issues.

Fink, naturally, objected again. Hardy voiced concerns that if the city gave away public space to Fink, they’d have to give it to every restaurant. She moved to deny the permit for the 12-year-old enclosure, and the motion nearly died for lack of a second – until Dallas spoke up. Just “for the sake of discussion,” he said, he would second the motion. It passed 3-1, and now Fink has 60 days to figure out where to stash his restaurant’s trash.

Squid says something smells, and it’s not the trash.

BUZZ KILL… Increasingly, Squid is getting the sense we’ve crossed into some kind of alternate universe. President Donald Trump and the GOP – formerly the law-and-order party – are attacking the FBI, the nation’s top law enforcement agency, because of a special investigation into whether Trump and his associates helped Russia interfere with our democracy.

Meanwhile, the nation’s top law officer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, had to recuse himself from that investigation because, you know, he met with Russians during the campaign and then lied about it to Congress while he was under oath.

But there are at least some laws Sessions still holds dear, and among them is the federal prohibition on cannabis: On Jan. 4, Sessions rescinded the Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from seeking cannabis-related charges in states where it’s legal. The only impact that’s had so far locally is that on Jan. 17, Marina City Council voted 4-1 to delay moving forward with cannabis dispensaries until Assistant City Attorney Robert Rathie could further research the matter. The council, which includes three attorneys, is intelligent and usually leans progressive, but on this issue they were firm – Councilmember Frank O’Connelleven threatened to possibly resign if the city flouted federal law.

It seems to Squid they need to lighten up a little bit, relax. Squid knows just the thing.

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