Thursday, September 27, 2012
BRIGHT AS NEON… Squid is the exception to the rule when it comes to big, brutish ocean predators. Many, like the sperm whale, white shark and orca, are mysterious. Scientists hustle to tag and track them but still know relatively little. Not Squid, who tells you what Squid sees and does and thinks and inks, whether you want to know or not.
Now Neon Energy Corp. is slapping itself into the former category of predators after trumpeting its love of otters as a means of getting its drilling permit approved.
Neon is trying to remove some heavy oil from its Paris Valley Oil Field near San Ardo. On the third page of Neon’s application letter to county planner Taven Kinison Brown, Neon inserts a picture of a raft of otters, the usual “see how cute I am” looks on their furry faces. “Monterey County sea otters [are] at risk from increased oil tanker traffic,” the letter states. Commercial oil production in the Paris Valley Field, Neon reasons, will reduce California’s dependence on foreign oil and reduce shipping traffic – and help keep the otters safe!
Oil drilling as a means of protecting wildlife and saving adorable little otters? Count Squid in! But first, where did Squid leave that “BP Cares” t-shirt left over from the Deepwater Horizon disaster?
LOUSY LOUDMOUTHS… Squid loves election season. Collecting campaign buttons and attending events give Squid something to do with the off hours. So Squid was excited to hear the Tea Party-esque Salinas Taxpayers Association was holding a mayoral candidate forum (with free pizza and hot dogs!) at the offices of the Executive Security Agency, Salinas’ answer to Haliburton.
Squid decided to grab a nosh and see who would outcrazy the others. Surprisingly, the candidates were well behaved, but Squid can’t say the same thing about the media.
KSBW reporter Tom Miller was doing a live standup report at such a high volume while the beleaguered Rick Phinney was trying to answer a question that it brought the event to a dead halt as the audience asked a collective “WTF?” On the second round of questions, it happened again: Right when Phinney opened his mouth, so did Miller.
That prompted perennial U.S. House candidate Jeff Taylor to rush over and tell Miller to pipe down. One audience member preferred to do the same from the comfort of his seat, opting to yell the word, “Rude!” Miller lowered his voice to tell someone at the mothership the audience was freaking out, and KSBW news director Lawton Dodd arrived a few minutes later. But whether he was there to keep the mob from attacking Miller or to grab a hot dog, Squid can’t say for certain.