Thursday, June 21, 2012
DOLLAR DOWN… Squid could never quite decide if redevelopment agencies were a Ponzi scheme or a real solution to blight. But considering how many decrepit buildings are still festering on the ol’ Fort Ord, Squid can’t help but think maybe we’re all better off without them.
It seems the erstwhile champion of the now-defunct Monterey County Redevelopment Agency, Jim Cook, felt the same. Cook was slated to lose his job when redevelopment went poof, but he narrowly hung on by sliding over to the county Economic Development Department, directing its $26 million budget and 14 employees.
And there he lasted for a mere six months before he cracked under a budget tiff and laid his job on the line, as the story goes. Cook’s not answering Squid’s calls, but Squid hears Cook threatened to resign if the county didn’t pony up more dollars for his department. According to Squid’s insider, the county said, “See ya.”
“After careful consideration, I have decided to retire from the County of Monterey. The decision was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made,” Cook wrote in a June 13 email to colleagues.
Somehow that memo didn’t get to county spokeswoman Maia Carroll. “To my understanding he did not resign,” she told Squid. “He is still on staff.” Maybe she’s seen him around the EDD’s job placement centers.
PISSING AND MOONING… Squid is constantly editing Squid’s BFD list: Best Film Directors, currently topped by Martin Scorsese, Hayao Miyazaki, Sofia Coppola, Charlie Kaufman and James Cameron (who recently paid Squid’s deep-sea cousins a visit in the Mariana Trench). So when Squid went to see Wes Anderson’s new one, Moonrise Kingdom, at Osio Cinemas, Squid was amped for Anderson’s meticulously blocked shots and quirky cinematography.
What Squid got: a picture projected a bit off the screen and onto the bunting beneath, with some of the names on the opening credits not discernible. Squid’s companion notified theater personnel, but nothing happened. For the rest of the movie, the bottom of the frame – maybe the most important in Anderson’s wide shots and landscapes – remained obscured.
The movie ended with a couple of words in the bottom of the parting shot. Those words are lost on Squid. What isn’t lost is that the Osio – probably the Peninsula’s hippest movie theater, and one Squid wants to stick around – has competition for its audience. (Though movies don’t discriminate; one couple walked out of Rock of Ages at a multiplex, saying they were “just looking at shit.”) Squid hopes subsequent audiences get to savor the full Moonrise.