Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA
for May 12.06
No, Thanks, I’ll just stab myself in the eyeballs for 12 hours instead
To be persuasive, we must be believable. To be believable, we must be credible. To be credible, we must be truthful.
Edward R. Murrow
If you want to understand how a scientifically challenged staff of a government agency planned to paralyze then destroy a whole community with a scientifically unsound, poorly planned scheme, and if you missed the actual hearings, then tune into Channel 20 for the 12 hour film entitled, “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Meets The Bataan Death March” aka “The CDO Trial of the Los Osos 45,” now being held-over by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
You, too, can watch and wonder, as I did sitting in the audience, how in living hell they’re going to process and hear from 5,000 people at 15 minutes each, plus cross examination and questioning witnesses and you do the math in your head or on a little scrap of paper and it comes out a minimum of one hundred twenty five 10-hour days and you say, Sweet Jesus, didn’t RWQCB CEO Roger Briggs think about all this when he cooked up this insane scheme and realize he’s screwed up big time, especially when the Air Pollution Control Guy showed up to say, Nuh-huh, ya gotta do more research on all those diesel trucks, 82 pumps a day, 6 days a week, all going chugga-chugga, but then when he’s asked if he intends to continue processing not just the 45 but the whole town and his eyes squint down and he says Yes, thereby proving he is incapable of dealing with reality checks or informational feed-back loops, so you pray his Board will have enough sense to burst out laughing or jump up and cry THIS IS INSANE, STOP IT RIGHT NOW, WHO THOUGHT UP THE COCKAMAMIE SCHEME, ANYWAY, but they don’t, so they sit there hour after hour after hour, Prisoners of Folly.
Tune in to see the RWQCB’s own Mr. Staff Science Guy, whose lack of training on anything septic is cringe-makingly inadequate, whose grasp of the Los Osos water system makes it clear he thinks we’re all rolling around out here with pigs, like Moonbeam McShine, swilling down nitrate-laden drinking water that violates state standards, (it doesn’t, we aren’t), then watch in amazement when RWQCB’s CEO Roger Briggs is asked, under oath, if he has any direct empirical evidence (you know, like isotope tests) showing that the Los Osos 45 are actually polluting the waters of the State of California and he says, no, no actual, empirical evidence, he’s just acting on “presumption” and “common knowledge,” like in the old days when it was “common knowledge” that witches soured milk in barns so it would make sense to spend $200 million to string a witch-catching net all over a town, until Dr. Wickham, B.S. M.S. Ph.D, owner of ABG Wastewater Solution, the outfit that’s installed the Pirana System of bio-remediation at the firehouse, gets up there and blam-blam-blam, the Board and audience gets a non-stop detailed lecture on all things septic, including Dr. Wickham’s observation that pumping tanks 6 times a year will end up destroying the mature biological colonies that make the system work properly, that pumping that frequently will make discharges worse, will have no appreciable effect on the groundwater, will lead to leach field failures all over town within two years, and when asked if there were a safer plan than pumping, replied, Yes, NOT pumping.
And then a member of the RWQC Prosecution Staff asks, Are there any cost-comparable onsite systems that could be used to achieve a similar nitrate load reduction that pumping was supposed to achieve and he cheerfully replied, Oh, yes, many, and I had to ask myself, Why is that question being asked NOW?
Is it possible the RWQCB staff never asked and answered that question BEFORE terrorizing this town, before wasting gazillions of hours of taxpayer’s time and money, before wasting their Board’s time (twelve hours so far, ten years to go), and instead just ran with the stupidest, most destructive, most scientifically unsound, indefensible cockamamie scheme that popped off the top of their Mad Hatter heads?
The answer to that question is why you need to watch the proceedings. Pay attention, Los Osos, you are being played for fools by a dangerous, out-of-control, incompetent, ill-prepared regulatory staff playing at personal politics instead of acting on sound science and prudent public policy.