Thursday, October 6, 2005
WHO NEEDS LETTUCE, ANYWAY…Once again, the Monterey County Supervisors, in their infinite wisdom, gave away the farm, so to speak. Last week, the Supes voted 3-1 (no surprises here—Dave Potter was the lone dissenting vote) to approve General Plan and zoning changes that will allow the Tanimura family to build houses on farmland. It may be the final battle in the ongoing war over a disputed subdivision on tiny Spreckels’ western edge.
The long-running controversy has centered around 73 undeveloped lots on a 1907 map. Lettuce king Gary Tanimura wants to build homes on those lots. But according to a 1992 letter from former County Supervisor Tom Perkins, the Tanimura family traded away the development rights to the lots in 1986 for the right to develop T&A’s lettuce-cooling facility on the east side of town.
In August, a superior court judge ruled that the Tanimura family does have the legal right to build on those lots. Spreckels residents have until mid-October to appeal the ruling.
Here’s the part that bothers Squid: the blatant disregard for truth-telling.
In 2002, Gary Tanimura told the Weekly: “I don’t plan to build. I just want to retain my property rights.” A year later, he had a different story. “The only way to have my lots recognized was to start the building process,” he said, in May 2003. “Plus, there’s a big housing shortage in the county. We employ about 3,000 people here at Tanimura & Antle, and people that work for the company would love to have housing here.”
When asked about the pricing of the yet-to-be built Spreckels homes, Tanimura’s PR flak, Jessica Spitz, said: “I believe they will be market-rate homes.” In Monterey County, the median home price has hit $610,000—a little bit out of reach for most of T&A’s employees. Still, using the old we-need-homes-for-working-families mantra, they were able to pull a quick one on Supe Jerry Smith, who cited the demand for affordable homes, and called Tanimura’s houses “desperately needed.”
Um, okay, Jer. Whatever makes it easier for you to sleep at night.
SOUP’S ON SQUID…A few chilly nights ago, Squid thought there would be nothing cozier than a nice bowl of organic soup. So Squid headed to Whole Foods, and started to ladle a cup of turkey noodle. As another customer wiggled next to Squid, Squid became distracted and sploshed soup all over Squid’s tentacle. Before it registered, layers of skin were peeling off.
Squid rushed to the back of the store and ran the water fountain over Squid’s poor tentacle, while well-meaning customers sprang into action. One demanded to know the flavor of the soup (are there different treatment plans for mushroom soup burns?). Another raced around the store pulling samples of body oils off the aisles, insisting that cold water was bad for burns. (?) Finally a store manager tested the soup’s temperature (four degrees too hot) and offered Squid some burn cream on the house. Squid was dazed—but accepted the cream and a free dinner.
Squid turned down the soup, and went chicken instead.
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