What's in a Date? Or, Why IS 1998 more important than 1999 to the good folks of Los Osos?
If anybody in Los Osos, which is now engaged in the Hideous Sewer Wars, read Gary Karner's "Viewpoint" in the Sept 7, 2005 Bay News, they might want to click over to www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com and read Ron Crawford's rebuttal to that viewpoint. According to Ron, the Bay News declined to print his rebuttal in favor of another opinion piece by the Karners. Which is a shame -- and a puzzle -- because that date does need a rebuttal of its own.
The frontspiece of the Coastal Commission's report in question has printed right on it the date, October 23, 1998. One year before Mr. Karner says the proposed Ponds of Avalon were critiqued by Questa Engineering the the California Costal Commission.
Why is that important to understanding the history of this hideous sewer project? I suggest you click onto Ron's blog and find out. Makes for interesting reading and I sure hope Mr. Karner can explain the discrepancy and answer Ron's basic question: Did the (faster! better! cheaper! "Solutions Group" know, a year in advance, that their Ponds of Avalon wouldn't work? I sure don't remember hearing anything at the time about this report. Do you? So, what gives?
[UPDATE: From a 9/17 email clarification by Ron Crawford: "The Questa Study was actually completed in June of 1998" . . . [It can be downloaded from Ron's website, I believe] . . . " -- very interesting document). The October 1998 study was the CCC's [California Coastal Commission] own comparison that corroborated the Questa Study. Also, something called "The Working Group," that included members of the CCC, the county, the RWQCB, and, of course, The Solutions Group, met several times throughout 1998. All those people, with the exception of the Solution Group, were extremely critical of the Community Plan.
" . . . the Community Plan fell apart for the exact same reasons that all of those credible, professional people said it would. But not before the Solution Group sold it to Los Osos in the run-up to the election, then the initial CSD Board, that included 3 Solution Group members, wasted two years chasing it."
Again my question: Do you remember anyone talking about these reports BEFORE the CSD formation election? Any mention that the Solutions Group Plan was estimated to be $78 million (versus the County plan's $85 million cost. ? $78 million? I don't remember that figure. I do remember being repeatedly told $35 million. Ah, that magic number.
Which makes me wonder. If the ad campaign that linked the $35 million affordable system to the formation of the CSD left someting really, really important out -- i.e. the critical Studies and costs mentioned above -- who ran that campaign? Would it be fair to say they were less than honest with the community vis a vis full disclosure? Are any of the players involved with that original CSD formation election campaign also involved with the Save the Dream campaign?
Misleading once? Misleading twice?
Maybe people in Los Osos should start wondering about the "Truth" they're being told to "Trust." Then start counting the silverware.