GONE FISHING… Squid’s been on a fishing trip or two, and is pretty good at clamping down on slimy critters with far-reaching tentacles. So Squid had a good laugh when Deputy County Counsel Irv Grant claimed Monterey Coastkeeper went on a fishing expedition by requesting documents pertaining to litigation with Monterey County Water Resources Agency over polluted runoff in the Salinas River watershed.
Grant says the case is bogus, but Superior Court Judge Lydia Villarreal disagreed when the county tried to get the lawsuit thrown out last spring. Still, the county persists in acting dodgy: In court docs filed this month, Grant denied some of Coastkeeper’s info requests on grounds they would “waste paper,” “serve no purpose,” and constitute “an attempt to harass MCWRA.” Last week Coastkeeper’s attorneys at the Stanford Law School clinic shot back with their own requests, asking the judge to compel the county to fork over data. Part of their reasoning: “MCWRA’s evasion and refusal to provide support for its denials… will drive up the costs of this case.”
What info the county did provide came in the form of a dozen boxes of disorganized hard copies. Coastkeeper paid a copy service to transform those into searchable, electronic files. Turns out the county agrees that’s a good idea; they offered to split the bill, paying $1,200 to access their own dusty stores. A better use of taxpayer dollars might be implementing water quality improvement measures, Squid thinks.
ZIPPITY DON’T… Tentacles streaming through the moist forest air among soft-pelted ancient trees, Squid decided ziplining is very fun indeed. But that was Mount Hermon Redwood Canopy Tours up the coast. When it comes to Ziptrek Ecotours’ proposal to put a zipline course in Squid’s own Jacks Peak County Park, some local elders are not amused.
Carrell Zaehn, who first learned about the proposal in the Weekly, is concerned about younguns zipping down Martin Canyon and landing right next to her senior living center. So she’s circulating a petition asking for a full environmental impact study. “This canyon is one of the few existing stands of Monterey pines left in existence,” Zaehn says. “Not only are the pines the last stand, the people who live at Pacific Meadows Senior Community are also on their last stand in that many are handicapped, recovering cancer patients or dying. A zipline is not conducive to healing.”
Squid is torn. A thousand-foot zipline through the gallant pines of Jacks Peak and into the fertile frontier of Carmel Valley sounds damn fun. Visions of Squid’s grandma losing much-needed rest over it – and rare pine forest being trammeled – is not. A little more study by the county shouldn’t hurt.