SURELY SHIRLEY… Squid often pines for the pre-internet days, when people had to pick up a book or a newspaper to learn things, or even – get this – do research at a library! Another thing Squid misses about that era is its politeness relative to 2021, where it seems like every day there’s a new cell phone video surfacing of an unhinged yahoo yelling at a stranger.

So Squid was tickled nostalgic when tuning into the Aug. 24 Del Rey Oaks City Council meeting where, near the end, the council discussed the wording of a draft letter to Gary Cursio, chair of the Monterey Regional Airport District board. Recently, relations between the airport and the city have cooled, and city officials have had no success reaching out to discuss residents’ concerns over low-flying planes and the like.

During public comment, Jim Clark, husband of former councilmember Kristin Clark – who was unseated in the 2020 election by Kim Shirley – chimed in to suggest “edits” to the draft letter, suggesting that Mayor Alison Kerr and Shirley apologize for their actions during that campaign, where there was a focus on blocking a potential road connecting the city to the airport. “We shouldn’t have been so single-minded and closed-minded,” he proposed the letter read, and on and on he went.

It was old-fashioned shade, and to their credit, Kerr and Shirley took it in stride.

PHOTO BOMB… Squid thought by now, out of unfortunate necessity, most of us are educated about symbols of white supremacy. Yet racists still flash them in public, smugly thinking they’re getting away with something clever. Squid thought law enforcement types would also be in the know, but Squid was wrong.

On Labor Day, the CSU Monterey Bay Police Department posted a photo to Instagram of one of its officers for a message about impaired driving (see related story, p. 12). Commenters cried foul because of the unnatural way he’s holding his pen. Instead of the way most humans hold one, between thumb and forefinger with three fingers cupped inward, his three fingers are outstretched. The result is something similar to the “OK” white power symbol. Squid agrees it looks fishy.

We’re misconstruing something entirely innocent!, CSUMB flak Walter Ryce tells Squid’s colleague. The impromptu photo was taken as the officer was writing up an earlier arrest; “It was a picture of an officer doing a good job.” The post was removed when “a positive message about staying safe was being lost to a misinterpretation.”

If it was innocent, Squid thinks the misinterpretation is lost on the department for not being savvy to bad optics, or maybe just bad at picking photos of police officers doing a good job at not flashing white power symbols, unintentionally or otherwise.

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