SMALL TOWN… Squid experiences firsthand the highs and lows of living in a desirable, beautiful place: It feels like everyone wants to live in the Monterey Bay area, and they bring their own ideas with them – sea stars new in town want to open a mollusk buffet, while Squid’s friend Sammy the Snail is opposed.
In Carmel, the Carmel Residents Association is taking a hard line on who calls the shots. In the group’s May-June newsletter, The Voice, the entire front page is devoted to slamming “Mr. Recent Arrival” for asking questions about street lights (non-existent), street addresses (non-existent) and sidewalks (mostly non-existent). Anyone new who dares ask about these weird Carmel customs is the bad guy. “Why would we want to challenge the quality, the uniqueness, the charm of where we live?” it asks. Squid can think of a few good reasons, like, say, trying parklet restaurant seating, which the CRA successfully lobbied Carmel City Council into squashing.
What’s especially weird is that CRA is proud of its provincialism. “Chauvinism? Probably… some of us wear it as a badge of honor.”
Squid’s seen places evolve and grow, and also knows of a few gated communities where Carmelites might sequester themselves if they want to live somewhere sans sharing. Last Squid checked, Carmel – and all its quirkiness – is open to all.
WINNER TAKE ALL?… Squid lives in a competitive environment (see: food chain). Maybe that’s why Squid is comfortable with politics, where anyone can play, and most will lose.
Reading up on the candidate statements in the voter guide, Squid is amused by some newbies running for big seats, like the 22 people facing off against incumbent Alex Padilla for U.S. Senate. There’s this circular logic: “America must be revived from collapsing. Therefore, electing Dr. Akinyemi Agdebe is the answer.” In the 26-way race (including Gavin Newsom) for governor, there’s Mariana B. Dawson, whose statement is simply: “F all politicians.” At least she’s brief and to the point.
Some in politics are a bit less to the point. Consider Fred Keeley, a former assemblymember, who endorsed two candidates – Jon Wizard and Dawn Addis – for Assembly District 30. “When I meet good folks, with something to say and do, I will endorse,” Keeley says. “If both make it through the primary, a more difficult situation arises for me.” Yhe reality for voters – Keeley included – is that the difficult situation is already here – they can only pick one.
In Congressional District 19, heavyweight endorsers are divided between the two Republicans on the ballot: Carmel City Councilmember Carrie Theis endorsed Dalila Epperson, but is hosting a fundraiser for Jeff Gorman. “I wish them both the best of luck,” Theis says. Funny part is, they’re running against each other.