KOWTOW KAPOW… Squid is easy to please, no special orders made of restaurant servers, unlike Squid’s former bestie Flapjack the Octopus. Flapjack’s dinner orders were excruciatingly exact and multiple meals were sent back, causing Squid to squirm. At the Monterey County Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 21, Squid couldn’t help but notice the reverse special order that went down, where it was hospitality ordering something back.

Specifically, the Monterey County Hospitality Association asked supervisors to add language to the mask mandate ordinance – preliminarily passed by a three-vote majority on Sept. 14 – that would exempt certain meetings and conferences from the mandate if attendees either show proof of vaccination or, if unvaccinated, wear a mask at all times. So instead of passing the ordinance on Sept. 21, the supervisors agreed to add the language and bring it back on Sept. 28. There were other concessions for businesses: Instead of requiring owners to enforce the mask ordinance on customers, they’ll only require masks of employees.

The ordinance, pushed by supervisors Wendy Root AskewMary Adams and Luis Alejo, only goes into effect over a month later if the county’s transmission rate is “substantial” or “high” by Centers for Disease Control metrics. And if cases soared again, wouldn’t Health Officer Edward Moreno have the data he needs to issue a mandate? It’s all a big shrug for Squid.

ODD MAN OUT… Don’t be fooled by Squid’s gelatinous body. Squid does not go with the flow, but uses Squid’s arms to propel Squidself around where Squid wants to go.

Assemblymember Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, takes that tendency to a new level. It’s not a surprise to Squid that Stone casts a lonely vote here and there, with little interest in what the lobbyists have to say. But it did surprise Squid to see him cast the singular no vote in the entire California Legislature against Assembly Bill 1506 on Sept. 10. It passed overwhelmingly, 38-0 in the State Senate and 73-1 (yep, that lonely 1 is Stone) with a total of eight lawmakers not voting. So make that 111-1.

AB 1506 is an answer to the Legislature’s earlier (and overzealous) attempt to regulate gig workers like Uber and Lyft drivers. Lots of people do totally fairly compensated work as contractors, not employees, and this bill created a caveat for many of them – surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, psychologists – and, yes, newspaper delivery workers.

Squid knows Squid is self-interested in this legislation, because otherwise how would Squid’s ink make its way to you? But Squid is also capable of seeing a bigger picture. Sometimes it’s about standing up for what’s right. Sometimes it’s about swimming against the current just for the sake of it. Squid’s arms would get very tired doing that.

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