Thursday, July 7, 2011
ON THE [WITCH]HUNT… Even with eight tentacles, Squid can’t keep up with humans and the 10 fingers to point at you with, and also to show you the door. And that’s what any Monterey County Republican Central Committee member who “intentionally causes embarrassment” to the grand ol’ party could encounter if the Committee approves new bylaws at a July 21 meeting. A new “censure and removal” provision would establish a process for giving the boot to any committee member (“the accused”) who divulges confidential information – like, say, maybe the draft bylaws. (Back in February, the Committee refused to provide a copy of its bylaws to Squid’s colleague, who was reporting on a Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into $500,000 worth of unreported contributions.)
This update, the first in two and a half years, also creates a Financial Operations and Compliance Committee – to “review and monitor” big sums.
“There’s nothing crazy about those bylaws,” Committee spokesman Paul Bruno tells Squid’s colleague. “I think they’re beautiful.”
Beautiful like… cash. Dollars retain their sacrosanct pseudo-confidential status even with what Bruno says is an improvement in transparency. The new bylaws would make financial reports “available for review during the [regular monthly] meeting, but not distributed.” A step in the right direction, but Squid suspects anyone who asks to see the report is slated for a Salem witch trial sink-or-float test. This buoyant cephalopod wishes them luck.
RELAX, MAN… Squid was hunched at Squid’s desk, full of unmassaged tension and dreaming of cliffside hot springs, when Squid got a call from a tipster claiming something was afoul with Esalen. They were digging up a sacred site, he fumed.
Wha? Squid’s tentacles tapped out the number to the county planning office. Turns out the tipster had gotten to planner Liz Gonzales too. Yep, she said, Esalen is a rich archaeological site, which is why any construction they do has to be monitored by an archaeologist. And yep, Esalen had been digging without one. “All that land down there is very rich midden soil that could contain anything,” she said.
Squid stiffened. What sort of neo-hippie bait was worth potentially desecrating indigenous artifacts?
An ADA-compliant parking space, apparently. So after a call from the county code enforcement mistress, Gary Breschini of Salinas-based Archaeological Consulting hustled down south to check it out, Gonzales said.
Breschini found: nothing of concern, and Esalen proceeded with its accessible parking space. Which is great, ’cause it means Squid can finally slither cliffside and unwind.