ROAD TRIP… The other day, Squid was driving through East Garrison. From Lee Avenue, Squid turned left onto Wilcox Street, made another left on Breckinridge Avenue, passed Mahone Street, made a right on Morgan Street, a U-turn at Watkins Gate Road and back to Breckinridge, and then passed by Alexander Lane, Early Lane and Pickett Lane.
Squid thought maybe Squid was lost and had arrived in the Civil War South. East Garrison is teeming with streets named after Confederate military leaders, from Robert E. Lee to George Pickett. (There are also many streets named after Union Army generals.)
Somehow, these street names have largely evaded notice, even as other Confederate symbols in Monterey County, like a plaque in Monterey and an intersection name in Salinas, have been targeted for removal. What’s even more strange is that these Confederate symbols are only a few years old and the East Garrison subdivision is still in progress.
Squid’s colleague checked in with the Southern Poverty Law Center just to make sure Squid isn’t missing anything. Squid is not. Seth Levi, a strategy officer with the anti-hate nonprofit, says that street names are fundamentally the same as monuments. “Our position is that we shouldn’t pay tribute to those who fought to preserve slavery,” he says. Amen.
FIRE SALE… Squid has been obsessed with real estate lately, and while scrolling through the ads, came across one listing that – if Squid had eyebrows – would have raised them. The Dick Bruhn Building on Main Street in Salinas is up for grabs for a cool $1.8 million. It’s 100-percent leased, the ad from Cushman & Wakefield states, with structural columns, historic facade and foundations in place for a new mixed-use development.
Foundations are good. Columns are swell. Historic facades are awesome. But nowhere does the ad mention that the facade is about all you’re getting – the Bruhn Building burned in 2016. And other than pigeons that have taken up residence, that building hasn’t been occupied since long before the fire.
Speaking of flaming piles of controversy, Salinas has moved to take the Bruhn building into receivership owing to the fact that owner Gerry Kehoe and his Berkley Inc. have let the facade sit there since the fire, blighting a prime downtown corner. On July 17, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Marla Anderson said if a proposed sale isn’t accomplished by Aug. 7, she would appoint a receiver and move the process forward. If the city succeeds in taking the building, it means Bruhn will be cleaned up and sold, or sold to someone with the wherewithal and funds to clean it up themselves.