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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Unholy Alliance: Local Police Bureaucrats and Promo-types

It's Friday and the wife and I are headed to our favorite local sushi restaurant (Bonsai, in the same building as Cafe Barrone and Kepler's in Menlo Park; there's also a new Bonsai in Redwood City on ECR).
We're heading south on ECR when the traffic slows, slows and finally stops. Not long-stoplight-stop, but accident-ahead-type stop. My wife sticks her head out the window and sees the flashing lights of a Redwood City PD SUV.
"Must be an accident," she says. I turn up Beck's "Guero." We chill. Good thing, too, because it takes us several minutes to go 100 yards.

When we finally get up to where the coper's SUV is just a few yards ahead of us, we see what's REALLY going on and a string of epithets -- many of them coming from the mouth of my small, petite blonde wife.

Turns out that an entire lane of traffic on ECR -- one of if not the main thoroughfare's on the Peninsula -- is shut down. Closed. Why? So that the brand new Ferrari-Lamborghini dealership can allow potential clients to park their cars. There are kids in t-shirts running around so it appears the dealership is allowing the hoi-paloi in. (Probably just to give the impression of a big crowd.)

My wife and I are incensed. As cynics know, publicists believe all PR is good and that crowds tend to grow geometrically if even a small crowd can be formed and a cop SUV with flashing lights is added. My wife and I are cynics. We both instantly recognized that the dealer called the Redwood City Police ahead of time, saying they expected a big crowd. RCPD respond by actually sending uniformed officers to "handle" this situation. (The cops were probably sitting inside drinking espresso.) Outcome: a big crowd forming to see why a big cop SUV has its lights flashing. All the beautiful rich white people inside feel special because they actually part of an "event."

Coincidentally, that same day we received ballots for an upcoming local election with a measure seeking to tack on $85 a year to our property tax in order to boost funding at local schools.

Perhaps the backers of this measure should seek out the publicist for the new Ferrai dealership.

I've been finding almost all of my sushi riverside here
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