Thursday, October 18, 2007
FLAPPING ABOUT… About two months ago, a mottled beige moth fluttered onto Squid’s desk. By the next morning, it had poetically expired right there. The deceased’s family has not shown up to identify its remains, but Squid suspects it was the loathed light brown apple moth being its usual dramatic self.
The debate over the anti-LBAM spraying has all the elements of great drama: power, money, scourge, sex. But Squid senses that both poles of the controversy are taking too much poetic license. They should argue that LBAMs are flying in the sky, or that a moth mating musk is falling from it. But both the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Helping Our Peninsula’s Environment lose credibility when they insist that the sky is falling.
CDFA officials describe the moth as an entomologic bogeyman that will chew up the state’s crops with the efficiency of Nile locusts. They say their silver bullet, the pheromone spray, will have virtually no impact on public health or the environment – despite evidence to the contrary. HOPE activists portray LBAM as a gentle, misunderstood moth who was been here for years and harmed nary an apple, and the spray as a nefarious agent that’ll poison people and wildlife – despite evidence to the contrary.
LBAM is a new problem in California, and the pheromone products have never been sprayed over a residential area before. So this is an experiment. Squid suggests ditching the fear-mongering and letting independent researchers do a complete, public analysis of all of the ingredients in the spray. Before officials douse half the state with it.
UNORGANIZED CHAOS… Squid thought the Pope was visiting. But nope – it was the grand opening of the new Del Rey Oaks Safeway, just a few blocks from its Monterey predecessor. Squid cruised through on Squid’s way to the Farmers Market, hoping to get cash back on a candy bar so that Squid could stock up on the local, fresh stuff at Monterey Peninsula College. But the scene at Safeway was chaotic: parking spaces full and drivers acting like wolves fighting over the last remains of a slaughtered buck.
A few days later, craving organic cookies, Squid returned by bike. Squid circled the newly renovated building twice – but there was nary a bike rack, provoking Squid to take a young sapling hostage.
At a time when most California cities are paying some sort of lip service to green development, and Al Gore gets a Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of global warming, where’s the action in Del Rey Oaks? Squid isn’t even asking for LEED design elements or some natural cookies (though that would be damn nice) – just a store that Squid can bike to without becoming calamari.