Thursday, March 25, 2010
CARMEL CONFLICTS… Squid’s inky comrades at the Weekly uncovered less-than-legal doings at Carmel City Hall, what with the city having signed an $80,000-plus yearly contract with city Treasurer Dewey Evans and his associate, Laura Dadiw, a conflict of interest according to state law and the city code. Uh-oh, Evans says. Must have been an oversight. Not so fast, Carmel’s legal eagle Don Freeman chimes in. It turns out the city forgot to sign Evans up this year as treasurer after all, even though he’s been doing the job all along. Poof, Freeman says, goes the conflict of interest! For once, Carmel’s City Hall chaos seems to pay off. Still, at a special March 23 meeting, the city gave Evans a new treasurer contract and granted Dadiw, who was already on contract for the day-to-day work, the financial management gig. Hmm, thinks Squid, if Dadiw – who earns half of Evans’ $50 an hour rate – was qualified for the management job, why didn’t she get it in the first place? And, in the all-for-one-and-one-for-all department, seems Mayor Sue McCloud and City Councilwoman Paula Hazdovac weren’t entirely pleased with the Carmel Firefighters’ endorsement of them because the union chose to back City Council candidate Jason Burnett instead of incumbent Councilman Gerard Rose. After the endorsements were in, the firefighters changed their minds and decided to endorse everyone. Fire Captain Ian Watts says the rumors are all wrong, and that the mayor twisted no arms to get Carmel’s firefighters to change their minds. But Squid will keep Squid’s tentacles up to get to the bottom of yet another trans-oceanic dispute in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Meanwhile, locals are hedging their bets on the election results. Former venture capitalist Stanley Meresman and his wife, Sharon, contributed $1,000 to McCloud, and Sharon gave an additional $1,000 to council challenger Burnett.
JELLY MOB… As a young mollusk, Squid once got a tiny tentacle stuck in a vending machine. The coveted prize: a jelly bracelet in an orb of plastic. Yes, those were the days before Squid knew plastic to be the plague of the sea, when jelly meant a super hip material (preferably glittery) to wear on Squid’s feet and wrists. Now Squid is old and jaded, but jellies are back. The real kind. In force. Fishermen are pulling them up by the netful, and beach-goers around the world are shrinking from the gelatinous, stinging strings in the waves. Steve Haddock at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is embarking on an effort to track jelly blooms – as well as red tides, mass marine animal strandings and spooky no-jelly moments – at www.jellywatch.org. Squid will keep the URL handy, but maintain a safe distance from the blobs.