Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA, for May 24, 06
Yin & Yang
Help thy brother’s boat across and Lo! thine own has reached the shore.
Ron Crawford, former Bay News editor, has maintained a blog at http://www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com/ and has recently posted a stunning piece of blog theatre, titled “Contrast.”. If you ever wanted to know what some of your neighbors thought of you and moved heaven and earth to attempt to get rained down on your heads, do log on and take a gander at the nice selection of crunch and bite that Ron’s assembled for you. Selected readings for your contemplation. Bon appetite!
At my own blogsite (http://www.calhounscannon.blogspot.com/), a dedicated band of Sewergeeks have turned the Comment section into something akin to the old country store, with folks gathered around the internet’s version of the pot-bellied stove to yak and natter. But we were all brought up short by an anonymous cri de coeur posted by someone called “CDOer.”
Whether through denial (it won’t happen to me), or ignorance (what’s a CDO?), or fantasy (dissolution and “The County” will save me -- Wrong, it won’t, and the County refused to help you, even as an “Interested Party”), or apathy (I’ll think about that tomorrow), 45 of your friends and neighbors who have been randomly targeted for political punishment using Cease & Desist Orders by an incompetent, inappropriately emotionalized, ill-prepared, out-of-control Regional Water Quality Control Board, have spent months doing the heavy lifting for the whole community – that’s you, dear and gentle reader. “CDOer” had a few things to say to my blog kibitzers that bears repeating in this column. Please pay attention: The shoes this writer is walking in are your shoes.
“If I were a Zen master, I would whack you between the shoulder blades to bring you into the present and out of the daydream that prevents you from addressing the issues in front of your face.
“[when the 45 CDOs were issued] . . . You and every other citizen in Los Osos had the opportunity to request Interested Party status from the RWQCB in the matter of the CDOs. Designated Parties [The Los Osos 45] and Interested Parties have been meeting every week for months to invent the wheel, educating ourselves and supporting each other, as well as reaching out to the community with information and to ask for support. Remember the door hanger you got just before the [April 28 ] hearing? We who have much better things to do distributed 5,000 of those on foot [and], by hand.
“Had you been attending those meetings, you would know what Los Osos can do right now. As it is, everyone who comes after us with their own CDO will have to re-invent the wheel or beg us to please assist them, and we are so tired. You won’t know how tired that is until you have had your CDO for three months, [attended] meetings, research[ed] hundreds of pages of documents, walk[ed] door-to-door to 5,000 [Prohibition zone] homes, [spent time] writing legislators, writing objections . . . writing briefs.
“What can Los Osos do RIGHT NOW? Attend every meeting you can find – CSD meetings and sub-committee meetings. PARTICIPATE. . . .Los Osos has too many citizens sniping from the shadows. . . . Stay out of the back door. Walk in the front door. Show you face. Have the guts to attach your name to it and face those you disagree with. . . . Find out who your CDO neighbors are. Attend any community meetings you can find . . . Contact the [CSD] board members. . . . Try engaging instead of confronting. . . . And most importantly of all, start educating yourself for [your] CDO days to come.”
Right now, the CSD is in the process of formulating a Septic System Management Program that can offer to the RWQCB more effective interim mitigation options than the wrongly applied CDO plan calls for. A SSMP is a program that the RWQCB and the County have failed to implement for 20 years. But only the CSD and informed and engaged citizens of Los Osos can now finally make that happen.
Another informational meeting for the Los Osos 45 is planned for 7 p.m. on June 12 at Sunnyside School. For further information, call Rob Shipe at 528-6772 or Bill Moylan at 528-2324.
In all matters Sewerish, CDOish, and SSMPish, getting actively and openly involved in helping your friends and neighbors isn’t altruism. It’s pure enlightened self interest.