Thursday, June 15, 2006
ONCE AGAIN, WITH FEELING… Squid’s heard it all before: Monterey County is the most expensive place to live in the US, the rich keep getting richer while the poor (and middle class) get poorer, blah, blah, blah. Bor-ring, thinks Squid, sipping Squid’s $20 Bellini on the patio of a posh restaurant, reading a new report by the PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA.
According to the report, titled “POVERTY IN CALIFORNIA,” poverty in recent years has been a little higher in the state than in the rest of the US: 13.3 percent compared to 12.7 percent in 2004. But this official statistic doesn’t take into account California’s high cost of living. Once one adjusts for costs, based on rent, California’s poverty rate skyrockets to 16.1 percent. Additionally, a few select counties—including MONTEREY COUNTY—have poverty rates of about 20 percent, which is in the range of the 10 highest poverty counties in the US. We win. Again.
While Squid does find some satisfaction in that fact, Squid has to wonder: So what? It’s way too expensive to live here. Poor people are suffering and thousands of kids don’t get enough to eat in our own backyard. Yawn. Does anyone care?
OFF AND RUNNING… This one from a tipster: “Supervisor JERRY SMITH should receive the OPPORTUNIST OF THE YEAR award for managing to get photographed in the win photo with Sheriff MIKE KANALAKIS (see “Sheriff Re-Elected,” Salinas Californian, June 7) and the photo of the NANCY KOTOWSKI win (“Kotowski is Big Winner for School Superintendent,” Monterey County Herald, June 7). How’d he do that anyway?”
Hmmm, thinks Squid, either Smith has the ability to be in two places at once or it’s already campaigning-for-reelection time.
POOR LITTLE RICH CITY… Look out, Carmel needs money and it’s got its beady little eye on you.
Squid’s going to be a little more careful when driving around Carmel if a new round of fee hikes is approved in the next fiscal year.
For example, parking tickets may go from $20 to $30, parking rates may go from two dollars to three in select areas; and planning fees could increase from $25 to a whopping $800.
Apparently, the city can generate $150,000 in new revenue this way. Gets Squid thinking where Squid can chisel a few more bucks.
Hmmm…problem is, Squid doesn’t own anything of value. Oh well. The City Council will vote on the budget items in the next three weeks.