Thursday, June 24, 2010
IMAGINE THAT… What with the 100th anniversary of the California Rodeo coming up in Salinas shortly, Squid is all in favor of branding. But these days, the town that is perennially in the process of trying to re-invent itself, is still trying to rope others into finding a way to get past its crime-ridden image. The City Council recently picked up on the suggestion to look for bids from national marketing firms on a branding effort – OK, make that re-branding – that would improve the way people look at the town. No city money will be spent on the effort, which was approved unanimously by the Council. But somehow Squid doubts that a new slogan alone will do the trick. Squid remembers Mayor Dennis Donohue’s old slogan: Imagine a Great City. Squid loves Salinas, and hopes the latest effort helps. But this is one case where imagination and reality may be on a collision course.
PINING AWAY… Squid hates to pick on the people of the press at the Carmel Pine Cone, but even Squid’s oceanic sojourns experienced some turbulence recently with the publication of two front page articles that skirted the elusive bounds of good taste. A piece on Peter Douglas, the director of the California Coastal Commission, the Pine Cone’s long-time nemesis, somehow found a newsworthy component to his medical condition. “The man who is revered by environmentalists and reviled by property owners for his zealous enforcement of the California Coastal Act during the past 25 years is setting aside his regular duties, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times,” the publication opined, before going on to “report” further about Douglas’ ongoing battle with throat cancer. Nice. The bounds of journalistic courtesy, and standards, were stretched once again the following week, with another “scoop” about how everyone isn’t always as nice as they could be to the good members of the Tea Party Patriots of Monterey County. “They’ve been pelted with trash, threatened with injury and called a cornucopia of bad names, but that hasn’t deterred a handful of county residents from showing their support for Arizona’s new immigration law,’’ according to the sympathetic account, which went on to say: “When Pine Cone reporters were interviewing the group in Monterey… most people honked their car horn in support. One white man in his 30s walked up to them and said, ‘Keep up the good work; you’re making a difference.’” Hey, Squid’s all for free speech, but somehow this doesn’t qualify as stop the presses front page news. To each, his or her own cup of tea, one supposes. Squid prefers cannabis.