Does Mother Calhoun Have To Explain It All To you, AGAIN?
The following letter was sent to Los Osos Sheriff Commander Hall, with ccs to The Bay News, and the CSD and thanks to the miracle of email, it’s now all over every known email list serve from here to Outer Mongolia. It’s from Joyce Albright, who’s involved with the group of folks who are working to gather signatures to dissolve the CSD. (apologies if the paragraph breaks end up not working: the blog and/or my computer seem to be having hissy fits)
The letter is reprinted STET.
Dear Commander Hall:
I represent Ta! xpayers Watch, an organization that is collecting signatures for a petition to dissolve the Los Osos Community Services District.
Our supporters currently collect signatures at both of the grocery stores, and at Farmers Market on Monday. They are encouraged to behave in a civil, courteous manner at all times, and not to respond to hecklers.
However, Joey Riccano has become very intimidating to our sitters on three occasions that I know of. They have actually called me at home from the markets and said they were frightened. S! ome our sitters are women and reserved gentlemen and Joey is a very big and loud man. The last report indicated that he actually FOLLOWED a woman who had signed our petition, pestering her about why she signed. There have been incidents with other very rude men and women who represent the opposition.
What can we do about this situation without endangering our right to collect signatures? We don’t want to be thrown out because of disturbances caused by Joey and others who are threatening our people.
We hope you can help us.
Cc: Bay News
Lisa Schicker, President, Los Osos Community Services District
O.K., children, listen up. Mother Calhoun has some rules for you:
#1. Karma. That inexorable law of return – what you put out there, gets back to you somewhere along the line. If, for example, you use your public comment time during CSD meetings to forcefully and nastily Denounce The Wickedness of the CSD Board (both old and/or new) or spend your time reading carefully written opinion pieces positively filled to the brim with dazzlingly polished vitriol and thoroughgoing nastiness aimed at Whoever Disagrees With You, (New Board, Old Board, Fellow Citizens, Whatever) you should expect that Some People will not think kindly of you and will positively delight in sticking pins in you whenever they get the chance. It’s a sad fact of life that if you stick pins yourself, you’ll surely get stuck back. It comes with the territory. Deal with it.
#2. So far as I know, the Constitution does not grant police protection from people who are “big and loud.” Lord, that it were so. Big, loud, annoying, “intimidating” people are part and parcel of the Free Marketplace of Ideas. If people are “women and reserved gentlemen” who are frightened of Big & Loud &amp;amp;amp;amp; Annoying & Edgy & Irritating & Infuriating & Nasty & Stupid & Rude & Silly, then they need to stay home with their doors locked and beeswax in their ears.
On the other hand, the law is very clear on interfering with the right of free speech, right of assembly, right to petition, and the right NOT to be actually threatened, harassed or intimidated by any real action –not just the feeling of “being uncomfortable.”
#3. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Big & Loud & Annoying & Edgy & Irritating & Infuriating & Nasty & Stupid & Rude & Silly is vinegar and is always counterproductive to whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. So, knock it off.
#4 Here’s a useful a middle ground: MIND YOUR MANNERS!
It’s a sad fact of our civic life that Los Osos has a LOT of people in it who have been so polarized and angered and frightened by The Hideous Sewer Wars that they’ve lost sight of the fact that this is an Issue, not a Personal Vendetta. So, lighten up, everyone. Please.
If you believe that dissolving the CSD will put us in the arms of a Loving County That Wishes The Best For Us, then by all means, sign the Dissolution Petitions. If you believe that signing the Dissolution Petitions will somehow stop the RWQCB’s most recent Cease & Desist Order, the conflation of which appears on the latest mailer I received from the Taxpayers’ Watch group, then I would beg you to do your homework. One has nothing to do with the other and the conflation of the two is dishonest spin designed to mislead the public. (Unless, of course, there actually IS illegal and secret collusion between the RWQCB and the Dissolvers? In wich case, that's a matter for the District Attorney or Attorney General, not Mother Calhoun.)
As with all things Sewer, hard as it is to do, it’s critical that you get as much FACTUAL information before you jump off any more cliffs. We’ve had enough “spin” and conflation and Madison Ave manipulation on this matter to last a lifetime.
And if you oppose the dissolution of the CSD, set up a table of your own and pass out information of your own explaining why you believe that there is no way in hell that The SLO County Board of Supervisors will ever vote to take back what the Bay News editor used to refer to as, “The County’s Red Haired Stepchild,” i.e. Los Osos.
AND THEN EVERYBODY CAN LEAVE EVERYBODY ELSE THE HELL ALONE. Please. Thank you.
On another note:
Ron Crawford, over at http://www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com/, has posted an amazing litany of “facts” that acts as a kind of “time line” showing clearly some of the ways where this entire Sewer Train started going off the tracks from way back. Read it and weep.
And for an update of Tree Man, i.e Joey Racano, who was arrested for tree sitting during the groundbreaking ceremonies on the Tri-W site, to see his version of his day in court, go to his blogsite at http://www.stopthewaiver.com/.
Ah, so much drama. My beloved Bangladesh By The Bay puts Desperate Housewives and Payton Place to shame. Bring on the dancing bears!