Some are up in arms over one town's decision to spend COVID relief money on a 43-foot giant statue of a squid.

According to the story in the NYT, the town of Noto, a village in Japan north of Tokyo, received over $6,000,000 in COVID relief funds, and around $230,000 of that went to build the statue.

The town (which, according to the story in the New York Times, had recorded only 30 cases of coronavirus) still had some of the relief money left over after building the statue and spending $2.5M on controlling the spread of the coronavirus and $1.3M on commerce/employment. After you do the math, it means that the town still has over $2,000,000 in relief funds at its disposal.

Now, let's get to the "why?" of the giant statue: Noto is a fishing village that harvests squid, and proponents of the statue say that the squid will help attract tourism.

The 43-foot, 5.5-ton "flying" squid is situated right outside of a seafood restaurant that serves the squishy fishy (is a squid even a fish?), which is in close proximity to the tourist center for the area.

So, let's put this in local terms: if Lafayette's Mayor/Prez Josh Guillory had received $6.2M for coronavirus relief, and he used $230,000 to build a statue of a big crawfish to put up outside of city hall, what would you think?

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Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

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