Thursday, May 21, 2009
FUNNY IN SEVEN LANGUAGES… He started the gig five months ago, and on May 16, Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy was formally inaugurated as the 13th president of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Yes, even in today’s world of texting and tweeting, academia moves at its own pace, says MIIS Trustee David Benjamin. (Squid’s note: Multiple arms make multi-tasking much easier. Things get done. Humans should look into this.)
A day earlier, Ramaswamy was toasted (or roasted?) by friends and colleagues at a brunch at Ferrante’s at the Monterey Marriott.
MIIS’ new fearless leader showed he’s got smarts and a sense of humor, with his Top 10 Reasons Why I’m the President of MIIS:
“No. 9, the Board of Trustees gave free passes to the Aquarium… No. 5, I thought this was the DLI… and No. 1, I always dreamt of one-upping David Letterman by having my Top 10 list simultaneously translated into seven languages.”
WATER WARS… Last month, Squid watched in awe as County Supervisors stood ready to work with other local agencies on a water-supply project for the Peninsula. The “regional project,” an alternative to California American Water Company’s proposed Moss Landing desalination plant, would include a desal plant near the dunes in North Marina and recycled water. On April 28, the Supes were slated to approve the Monterey Regional Water Projects Planning MOU.
Until opponents – from LandWatch to Farm Bureau – came out of the woodwork, threatened lawsuits, and the Supes stalled, voting to reconsider the MOU at the May 19 meeting.
Now, however, the item was continued to a date uncertain. So what gives?
Back at the BOS meeting in April, Mark Del Piero, an attorney for Ag Land Trust, told the Supes the Trust “unanimously and vehemently objects to the proposed MOU” because the Trust owns the North Marina ranch between the ocean and planned “well field;” therefore “the proposed MOUs, and the projects which they include, violate and will result in an illegal… unlawful taking of our percolated overlying groundwater rights.”
“There might be some truth to that,” Supervisor Dave Potter says. “They need to determine if those wells are going to be taking Salinas Valley water, and have to take some time for further examination.”
Here’s what Squid wants to further examine: Del Piero used to represent Pajaro-Sunny Mesa Community Service District, which had its own (now long dead) competing desal project to provide drinking water for the Peninsula. Del Piero didn’t win that battle – is that defeat really water under the proverbial bridge?