Thursday, February 14, 2013
A MOMENT OF SILENCE… Squid is a creature of habit, accustomed to welcoming each day with a lox-schmeared bagel and a cursory glance at the county’s two daily newspapers. So when The Californian failed to arrive Feb. 13, Squid called to find out what’s up – and was told, “The paper arrived late, so we’re delivering them tomorrow.” As the definition of “daily” has apparently changed, Squid’s logging an entry at UrbanDictionary.com. “Dailyish (adj): Once-robust daily newspapers that – worn down by competition and consolidation, and unable to keep pace with the digital revolution – figure no one will notice if they skip a day now and then.”
Folks at The Californian can be glad that at least they didn’t defect to Monterey Bay News & Views, the twice-monthly vanity publication put out by former Register-Pajaronian managing editor Jon Chown. In an online post Feb. 11 – a year, almost to the day, from the paper’s February 2012 launch – Chown announced the paper’s bankroller, Monterey real-estate mogul and collector of nymph figurines Nader Agha, has pulled the money plug. The paper will not print as scheduled on Feb. 14. “Unfortunately, unless more financial backing can be found, my attempt to bring this about will be restricted to the Internet on this site,” Chown wrote.
Squid sheds a single melodramatic tear for the demise of the young paper which, while not good for much actual news, was a helpful glimpse into the pet causes of the Agha empire.
WEST OF SALINAS… Speaking of the Lettuce Curtain, a young Salinas-born John Steinbeck had no trouble crossing over it, spending a good portion of his adulthood in Monterey and Pacific Grove. Colleen Bailey, executive director of the National Steinbeck Center, is using that evolution as a metaphor for the organization’s own – she’s negotiating with the Cannery Row Company to lease a Cannery Row location.
Bailey assures fans this is no replacement, but a site-specific supplement; the Oldtown Salinas spot will remain the definitive destination. But market research shows tourists just aren’t pulled from the gimmicky charms of Cannery Row’s T-shirt and candy shops to learn about literary history.
Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects, led by MacArthur Genius Award-winning Jeanne Gang, are headed here in April to start planning. If all goes well, Bailey hopes to open in summer of 2014.
Bailey says the spot will serve as a throwback of sorts: “There was not, in those days, a divide between Monterey and Salinas.” Workers of all races coexisted, often settling in Seaside for seasonal ag and off-season cannery jobs. “Those diverse communities found a way to work together,” she says. If only everyone else could take a clue.