PARTY LINE… Squid jumped off the Monterey Bay Sea Creatures Council Zoom meeting on April 14 after getting fed up with the mola representative being told for the upteenth time to unmute. Squid wanted to tune into the virtual Carmel Planning Commission meeting that afternoon, anyway. So Squid went to the city’s webpage, and copy/pasted the Google Meet link into Squid’s browser and logged in.

Things had barely started when Chair Michael LePage and Community Planning & Building Director Brandon Swanson started getting texts and calls from residents frantically asking how to log in. They had used the link printed on the agenda itself and found themselves in a virtual room with only each other – no planning commissioners, and not Squid. Those who tried the phone number on the agenda also arrived nowhere. LePage called a 10-minute tech break. Former planning commissioner Ian Martin was one of the first people to successfully log in after LePage told him what the discrepancy was, via cell. “OK everyone listen up!” Martin, unmuted, called out into the momentary chaos. He read the correct meeting link address, and the meeting continued on – for another five-plus hours.

Squid thought the Sea Creatures Council came with small-town tech challenges, but it’s got nothing on Carmel. Not to mention that Carmel’s meeting was far more entertaining – and at least no one was on mute.

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF… Squid has never been much of a joiner, despite requests to join groups like Cephalopods for Invertebrate Equality and Shrimp Fans Anonymous. Squid prefers to watch from the outside. Same goes for the various water-related groups in Monterey County, which are always at war with each other – and, sometimes, themselves.

This weird twist began on April 12, when Margaret-Anne Coppernoll of Marina filed a 125-page petition with the California Public Utilities Commission seeking the modification of Decision 18-09-017 – code for California American Water’s proposed desalination plant in Marina – asking the CPUC to backtrack on its prior approval. The petition was filed on behalf of Citizens for Just Water.

Only problem? Coppernoll is apparently not a member of Citizens for Just Water, per an April 19 follow-up letter sent to the CPUC, from chair Liesbeth Visscher and representative Lisa Berkley. “Since Sept. 25, 2017, Margaret-Anne Coppernoll no longer is a member of Citizens for Just Water,” they wrote. “This petition has not been authorized by Citizens for Just Water.” (The CPUC rejected the petition.)

Squid’s colleague reached out to Coppernoll, to no avail. Unlike Squid, maybe she didn’t like the sidelines so she wanted to join the fray. Only she missed a step – the part where you join first.

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