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Saturday, May 13, 2006

I OBJECT!

In which Los Osos 45er, Beverly A. De Witt- Moylan, submitted Procedural Objections to the RWQCB at their May 11th procedural hearing. Bet you and all normal people in Los Osos, living your busy lives and going to work and raising your families, thought the CDOs and all things CDOish had been postponed pending getting a new prosecution team & etc. Bwahahahah. Nope. That’s how government agencies go about fooling all the people all of the time, when they wish. It’s called “fine print bureaucratic argle-bargle” and if you don’t understand it, you can have your rights slipped right out from under you and when you complain you’re told, “Oh, too bad, please see page 922, sub paragraph 27A, you had a chance to comment or amend or submit procedural matters but you didn’t show up so it’s now too late, heh-heh.”

Bev noted in an email that she, like most everyone else, also didn’t understand that the meeting was still on and so had to rush in her objections. Wrote Bev, “According to Bill, [her husband], Jeffery Young tried to get him to stop, but Bill continued to read my objections till he was done. Bill said about 35 people were in attendance . . . If I had more time,” said she, “I would have thought of more.” Duh.




RWQCB HEARING

PROCEDURAL OBJECTIONS


-I OBJECT TO THE RWQCB’s UTTER FAILURE TO PROPERLY NOTIFY ME OF A PROPOSED CDO, MAILING IT INSTEAD IN A PLAIN MANILA ENVELOPE THROUGH REGULAR MAIL WITH NO INDICATION THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT AND NEEDED TO BE OPENED IMMEDIATELY.

-I OBJECT TO BEING THREATENED WITH FINES OF $1000 PER DAY FOR NOT REVEALING THE NAMES OF EVERY RESIDENT AND TENANT ON MY PROPERTY WITHIN 5 DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE PROPOSED CDO.

-I OBJECT TO BEING DENIED MY RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS BY BEING DENIED AN INDIVIDUAL HEARING

-I OBJECT TO BEING GIVEN NO MORE THAN 15 MINUTES TOGETHER WITH MY HUSBAND TO PRESENT OUR DEFENSE, WHEN THE DOCUMENTS WE RECEIVED STATED THAT EACH CDO RECIPIENT WOULD HAVE 15 MINUTES TO PRESENT THEIR CASE.

-I OBJECT TO ANY TIME LIMITATION ON OUR PRESENTATIONS GIVEN THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION, NAMELY THAT, IF NO WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM IS AVAILABLE ON JANUARY 1, 2010, “YOU WILL HAVE TO VACATE THE PREMISES.” –Matt Thompson, April 28, 2006

-I OBJECT TO THE CHAIRMAN’S RULING THAT THE PROPERTY IS THE CDO RECIPIENT AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR COMBINING PRESENTATIONS BY SPOUSES. ACCORDING TO THE DOCUMENTS, THE PROPERTY IS NOT THE DEFENDANT, THE PROPERTY IS NOT THE POLLUTER, THE PROPERTY WILL NOT BE PAYING FOR BIMONTHLY PUMPING, THE PROPERTY WILL NOT “HAVE TO VACATE THE PREMISES.”

-I OBJECT TO THE GENDER BIAS BEING DEMONSTRATED BY THIS BOARD IN THAT ALL CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE RWQCB IS ADDRESSED TO MY HUSBAND ONLY. IN THE EVIDENCE I SUBMITTED PRIOR TO THE APRIL 5, 2006, DEADLINE I IDENTIFIED MYSELF BY MY FULL, LEGAL NAME. AT THE APRIL 28, 2006, HEARING I IDENTIFIED MYSELF AT LEAST THREE TIMES FOR THE RECORD BY MY FULL, LEGAL NAME. I HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED ONLY BY MY HUSBAND’S NAME, AND THE TWO MOST RECENT COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE RWQCB TO OUR PROPERTY HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED TO MR. BILL MOYLAN ONLY. NOT ONLY AM I COMPLETELY OVERLOOKED AS A CO-OWNER WITH MY HUSBAND OF THE PROPERTY, BUT THE RWQCB STAFF HAS ALSO DROPPED THE USE OF MY HUSBAND’S LEGAL NAME, AS WELL.

-I OBJECT TO BEING CALLED AWAY FROM MY JOB SERVING BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTY, BEING UNABLE TO GET A SUBSTITUTE BECAUSE OF THE SPECIALIZATION OF MY CREDENTIAL, YET SUFFERING THE PENALTY OF FORFEITING ANY DEFENSE IF I DID NOT APPEAR.

-I OBJECT TO BEING ADVISED THAT MY HUSBAND COULD REPRESENT ME IN THE EVENT I COULD NOT APPEAR, WHEREAS, WHEN MY HUSBAND TOLD THE CHAIRMAN THAT HE WOULD BE OUT OF TOWN WERE THE HEARING TO BE CONTINUED INTO THE FOLLOWING WEEK, THE CHAIRMAN AGREED THAT WE COULD PRESENT AT THE BEGINNING AND DID NOT ASK HIM IF I WOULD BE AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT HIM. THE DOUBLE STANDARD FOR ONE SPOUSE REPRESENTING ANOTHER IS EVEN MORE EVIDENCE OF GENDER BIAS ON THE PART OF THE RWQCB IN DEALING WITH MARRIED COUPLES.

-I OBJECT TO BEING DENIED MY RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW IN BEING SINGLED OUT AS A TEST CASE FOR PROSECUTION WITH 44 OTHER FAMILIES WHO WILL HAVE TO PAY OUT MORE IN PUNITIVE COSTS, IF ANY ARE IMPOSED, THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE PROHIBITION ZONE AND WHOSE SEPTIC SYSTEM WILL BE MORE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY PUMPING THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE PROHIBITION ZONE.

-I OBJECT THAT I HAVE NOT BEEN OFFERED THE SERVICES OF A PUBLIC DEFENDER.

-I OBJECT TO BEING REQUIRED TO DEFEND MYSELF AGAINST UNSUBSTANTIATED CHARGES AND BEING CRIMINALIZED FOR LIVING IN A SECTION OF LOS OSOS ARBITRARILY DEFINED BY THIS BOARD AS THE AREA WHERE THE POLLUTERS LIVE WHILE EVERYONE ELSE OUTSIDE THIS ZONE IS DEFINED AS CLEAN.

-I OBJECT TO THE AMOUNT OF MISINFORMATION, CONFUSING COMMUNICATION, CONFLICTING COMMUNICATION, REVISIONS TO COMMUNICATIONS, AND INCONSISTENCIES IN COMMUNICATIONS FROM THIS STAFF, INCLUDING OUR INABILITY TO GET A SIMPLE, CONSISTENT ANSWER REGARDING THE DATE THAT EVIDENCE WAS DUE IN SACRAMENTO.

-I OBJECT TO DISINGENUOUS STATEMENTS MADE BY THE PROSECUTION STAFF IN ITS REBUTTAL TO THE EVIDENCE THAT THEIR DOCUMENTS IN EVIDENCE WERE AVAILABLE DURING BUSINESS HOURS AT THEIR SITE. THE DELIBERATE INCONVENIENCE AND LACK OF AVAILABILITY OF THESE DOCUMENTS WITH NO CITATION OF RELEVANCE OF INDIVIDUAL DOCUMENTS FORCED CITIZENS TO TAKE TIME OFF WORK OR AWAY FROM FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES DURING BUSINESS HOURS TO REVIEW IN LIMITED TIME THOUSANDS OF PAGES STORED IN A BACK ROOM IN A CARDBOARD BOX. AT THE SAME TIME PROSECUTION STAFF REQUESTED THAT OUR DOCUMENTS BE SUBMITTED IN PDF FORM, OSTENSIBLY SO THAT THEY COULD PERUSE THESE DOCUMENTS AT THEIR LEISURE.

-I OBJECT TO AND AM DISTURBED BY THE RWQCB SUBMITTING REVISED CDO’S ON THE DATE OUR EVIDENCE WAS DUE, WHICH WE DID NOT RECEIVE IN THE MAIL UNTIL APRIL 11, 2006.

-I OBJECT TO THE RWQCB’S SUBMISSION OF FURTHER REVISIONS TO THE CDOs, WHICH WE RECEIVED BY COURIER ON APRIL 26, 2006, LESS THAN TWO DAYS BEFORE THE HEARING, AND TOO LATE FOR US TO RESPOND TO, SINCE ANY EVIDENCE WE MIGHT HAVE PROFERRED WAS DUE NO LATER THAN APRIL 5, 2006, AND NO REVISION TO THAT DATE WAS FORTHCOMING.

-I OBJECT TO RECEIVING THE RWQCB OBJECTIONS TO EVIDENCE BY EMAIL TRANSMISSION LESS THAN 24 HOURS PRIOR TO THE HEARING AND BY HARD COPY THE DAY OF THE HEARING. RULES OF EVIDENCE FOR PURPOSES OF THIS HEARING IN WHICH 45 LEGALLY UNSOPHISTICATED FAMILIES WOULD BE PRESENTING THEIR EVIDENCE OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN CLARIFIED UPON ISSUANCE OF THE CDOS. SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS OF MAINE RECENTLY STATED THAT “THE FIRST OBLIGATION OF GOVERNMENT IS TO PROTECT OUR PEOPLE.” IN THEIR ZEAL FOR PROSECUTION THIS BOARD HAS COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN THAT THE CITIZENS LIVING IN THE PROHIBITION ZONE ARE “OUR PEOPLE.” THIS BOARD HAD AN OBLIGATION TO THE HARD-WORKING CITIZENS OF LOS OSOS WHO HAVE HAD TO MOUNT A DEFENSE IN WHATEVER SPARE TIME THEY MIGHT HAVE HAD BETWEEN WORK, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY OBLIGATIONS. THIS BOARD OWED THE CITIZENS OF THE PROHIBITION ZONE THE COMMON COURTESY TO PROVIDE THEM WITH CORRECT INFORMATION AT THE OUTSET OF THIS ACTION, SO THEY WOULD NOT SPEND TIME ON EVIDENCE THAT WOULD BE REJECTED BECAUSE OF ITS SOURCE OR FORMAT.

-I OBJECT TO THE USE OF BIMONTHLY PUMPING AS THE REMEDY OF CHOICE WHEN, ACCORDING TO A PROSECUTION STAFF STATEMENT AT THE INFORMATIONAL MEETING IN FEBRUARY, THIS CONCEPT IS “UNHEARD OF.”

-I OBJECT TO THE WATER BOARD’S RECOMMENDATION OF A SOLUTION WHICH, IN THE WORDS OF ITS OWN STAFF, HAS NEVER BEEN TRIED AND YET IS BEING PROPOSED WITH CONFIDENT VEHEMENCE BY THE PROSECUTION AS THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY TO KEEP UNSCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN POLLUTION FROM CONTINUING TO AFFECT THE GROUNDWATER.

-I OBJECT TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE RWQCB REBUTTAL ON PAGE 7 OF THE LEGAL OBJECTIONS STATING THAT “TAKING ENFORCEMENT ACTION IS APPARENTLY THE ONLY WAY THE WATER BOARD CAN PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THIS CASE, GIVEN THE COMMUNITY’S “RAMPANT AND LONGSTANDING DISREGARD OF THE PROHIBITION.” THIS HYPERBOLE IS QUITE THE OPPOSITE OF THE WATER BOARD’S POSITION IN ITS STAFF REPORT FOR REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 9, 2004 IN ITS BACKGROUND SECTION WHERE IT CITES NUMEROUS CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH PUT OUR TIMELY CONNECTION TO A WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM OUT OF OUR HANDS. ON PAGE 2 OF THIS DOCUMENT THE RWQCB INDICATES THAT, “PROJECT DELAYS, AND NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE TIME SCHEDULE ORDER, ARE CLEARLY BEYOND THE LOS OSOS CSD’S ABILITY TO CONTROL”. ON PAGE 3 “INDIVIDUALS HAVE VERY LIMITED MEANS OF EFFECTIVELY CEASING DISCHARGES UNTIL A COMMUNITY SEWER SYSTEM IS AVAILABLE.” AND ON PAGE 4 “IT SHOULD BE NOTED, HOWEVER, THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF VOTERS IN LOS OSOS HAVE SUPPORTED THE PROJECT AT EVERY STEP.” I OBJECT THAT IN 2004 THE WATER BOARD REASONABLY AND PRUDENTLY ACKNOWLEDGED THE MANY OBSTACLES PREVENTING BOTH THE CSD AND INDIVIDUALS FROM SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING A WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY, YET JUST TWO YEARS LATER RESIDENTS OF THE PROHIBITION ZONE ARE DRAMATICALLY CHARACTERIZED AS HAVING DEMONSTRATED “RAMPANT AND LONGSTANDING DISREGARD OF THE PROHIBITION.” THIS STATEMENT IS OFFENSIVE AND PATENTLY UNTRUE.

26 comments:

Sewertoons said...

I OBJECT to the present CSD, who having been elected on promises of getting a sewer for $100 a month, (which could NEVER have occurred then and certainly not now), stopped the building of a funded and permitted project that CAUSED this this very debacle that Beverly De Witt-Moylen protests against.

This mess only came down after the project was stopped.

I don't care that the water board may be pissed off at town that was almost off their backs as to huge compliance issue and was quite disappointed as to the reversals of the project. They probably felt jerked around by the "let's do a sewer, let's not" stance of Los Osos.

I do care that there is something that we can do about it and we are not doing it.

Plenty of fancier places than Los Osos have WWTF in their midst with no notice or objection. The project would have come in cheaper if the NO SEWER crowd hadn't threated the contractors. The middle of town objection just doesn't float in the light of the troubles and fiancial wreckage this decision to stop the project has brought.

The present CSD cannot get us out of this mess. As the cause of it, they are only prolonging and intensifying it.

The water board can do what it likes. Fat chance that little, divided Los Osos can fight them and win. All we can do is get them off of our backs as soon as possible by restarting the project, with or without LAFCO's help.

Anonymous said...

Sewertoons...here 1 year, and has all the answers. How about some compassion for the residents of this town who have legally owned their homes for many more years than YOU have even been here who now faced with these draconian CDOs. I guess it is more important to kiss Shark Inlet's butt whenever possible...

Anonymous said...

Sewertoons is a good name for someone like you. A joke. Have you no compassion for average folks being bullied like this?

Anonymous said...

Sewerwatch alert! Ron has a great posting today (Sat.) Check it out.

Spectator said...

Well, the lady has a fine list of objections. It also seems to me that the CCRWQCB has not been consistant.

It also seems to me that we are a nation of laws, and these laws are ment to protect us from bureaucrats and autocrats.

However, I see no laws to protect poluters from the consequences of poluting. I feel sympathy for all of us, especially for those duped by the LOCSD, who was warned many times of the consequences of future actions by the CCRWCQB and continue to support the LOCSD in the aftermath.

I say to all: Read the water law, read it and weep. It is the law.

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez:"It also seems to me that we are a nation of laws, and these laws are ment to protect us from bureaucrats and autocrats.

However, I see no laws to protect poluters from the consequences of poluting. I feel sympathy for all of us, especially for those duped by the LOCSD, who was warned many times of the consequences of future actions by the CCRWCQB and continue to support the LOCSD in the aftermath.

I say to all: Read the water law, read it and weep. It is the law."

Something here is a puzzle to me: If I understand correctly, RWQCB fines are not supposed to be used to "punish" polluters, but are used to match the crime and to force abatement and clean up and etc. The average nitrate level in the upper aquifers has consistently been about .4 over the 10 allowed by the state. .4? Also, what would happen if you compared the level of pollution under the firehouse, for example to the fines asked for in the ACL and compared that to any one of a dozen cases settled for HUGE amounts of pollution which were fined 1/3 less than the CSD. Ditto for the cost being considered to be levied on homeowners for this mad pumping scheme (with threatened $1,000 a day & forfeiture of your home & etc) and ask yourself: Does the punishment fit the crime? Where is the equal treatment under law? At the last CDO hearing, two words were bandied about: "cooperative dischargers" and "recalcitrant dischargers" In law (water law) do those words have any meaning? How's about "real" law? Something is so out of whack here.

PublicWorks said...

Ann, the Nitrate level has been over the limit for almost 20 years.

If you have 'polluted' for 20 years, you have 'benefited' from polluting by not paying for 20 years.

That's a benefit (@$50/month) of $12,000 (or more with interest). That is a consideration of any enforcement action.

And if the estimate is $200/month (the only known real cost estimate for complying), then guess what. Do the math for waiting until 2014 to hook up.

Ann, what is a deliberate act? Is stopping construction a deliberate act?

And please don't bother with the silly 'standby clause' party line. Standby, coupled with either no intent or means to resume at Tri-W, is effectively stopping progress.

Ann, I think you should research with both eyes open a little more, so that you inform your readers on the ENTIRE perspective of regulators and to understand ALL consequences of violations as they exist under water law.

Shark Inlet said...

But Ann, you forget that the CDOs are not fines. They are requirments to take partial steps towards what has been banned already for some 20 years. The average household in the PZ has already put over a million gallons of partially treated sewage into the ground in the last 20 years. (Visually, that's a 100 foot cube, roughly the size of a Ralph's.)

Somehow that puts things in perspective. You've been required to stop, yet you've continued to pollute a million gallons worth.

Now, how would that be unreasonable ... to ask such habitual polluters to slow down their rate of pollution?

By the way, the threatened $1000/day (and loss of home assuming you can't pay) would only happen if a person chooses not to follow the RWQCB orders. If you choose to break the law, you are also choosing the consequences for doing so.

If you're going to start to compare fines, why not start with what the Monarch Grove HOA had to pay for their water quality violations ... in dollars per gallon, I suspect their fines would far exceed what the CSD was fined during the ACL. I know that you're a commentator, not a journalist, but I am sure that you know a few journalists and could go do some investigation.

Sewertoons said...

Anon said:
"Sewertoons...here 1 year, and has all the answers. How about some compassion for the residents of this town who have legally owned their homes for many more years than YOU have even been here who now faced with these draconian CDOs. I guess it is more important to kiss Shark Inlet's butt whenever possible..."

How do you know I am not one of the 45?

I don't believe I wrote anything to say whether or not I had compassion. Just because I didn't mention it here, doesn't mean I don't have any. I especially have compassion for people who believed the $100/Measure B lie. They must be feeling sad and betrayed and embarrassed right now.

Also, do you mean to say I illegally own my home?

And what does one year have to do with it? All my money is in this house in Los Osos. You think I don't feel threatened? How could I even manage to leave in the middle of this mess without taking a loss? As to the emotional side, I agree, I do not have the emotional attachments that longer residents would have.

I don't have all the answers, like how to bring people back together again who have been on opposite sides of this thing.

I think sharkinlet is very astute, and I admire his sensible posts. He is on the side of reason. I have never met him, so why it would be important to me to praise him - I am an invisible poster in here - what does it matter what he thinks of me? So say whatever crude thing you want to Anon. It only reflects back poorly on you.

Anonymous said...

Well said Sewertoons!

CDOer said...

It is amusing and amazing to read all of this academic posturing for and against, as though pro and con a sewer is what we are all about right now. It is the same kind of ducking and feinting the Trib did when faced with a challenge regarding their reporting of the RWQCB hearing - just change the subject. Let's harp on something else. Let's not talk about CDOs and the water board's complete lack of research into the longterm effects of pumping as a short term solution. Oh, and the "unintended consequences." Let's just ignore the CDOs altogether and continue to scrape our fingernails on the chalkboard of who was right and who was wrong in the vote to move the sewer and throw out the CSD Three. Let's not mention the fact that the water board had years to address mitigation, had years to research many methods of working with the community to clean up the basin, yet waited until a specific point in time following message after message telling them to take action swiftly. Who uses the word SWIFTLY in common parlance? Apparently people with personal ties to the water board do. In any case the topic of CDOs has given you endless excuses to wring out the same tired, dissociated pro/con sewer rhetoric that has nothing to do with the subject at hand - CDOs and the complete dispassion with which they were issued, with malice aforethought, in an obvious spirit of punishment, just watch the 4/28/06 hearing and pay close attention to Matt Thompson's testimony. The topic is "what CDOs are doing to the people of Los Osos today." Not last fall in the recall vote. Not when the water board finally hands down the convictions after each defendant gets his or her 15 minutes of due process. TODAY. It is obvious that none of you has a CDO. If you did you would be living completely in the present. Instead you play your trivial word games, perhaps in the smug security of living OPZ (Outside the Prohibition Zone) while human beings you don't know, who live all around you, wait for the ax to fall on January 1, 2010. This is not about who lives OPZ and did not want to drive past a sewer plant on their way into town, so voted to move the sewer, condemning the rest of us to CDOs. We don't know who voted for or against, and guess what, it doesn't matter anymore. Try to keep your mind on topic and see where it leads. Unless you actually have a CDO, though, and have earned the right to be in the discussion, you might try sitting back and listening, opening your mind to what is all around you right NOW, and just thinking. Listening and thinking. What a change of pace.

Dogpatch Refugee said...

"It is obvious that none of you has a CDO. If you did you would be living completely in the present. Instead you play your trivial word games, perhaps in the smug security of living OPZ (Outside the Prohibition Zone) while human beings you don't know, who live all around you, wait for the ax to fall on January 1, 2010."

well said cdoer...

Sewertoons said...

CDOer,
You probably realize that Los Osos stopped the county from building a sewer because they wanted to do it themselves. And the Water board was a paper tiger for years and has now grown some very ugly teeth. You speak well - what is your advice as to what Los Osos should do next - I mean right NOW. I live in the PZ. What to do NOW?

cdoer said...

Who am I addressing when replying to "anonymous?" How many anonymouses are out there, and am I addressing the anonymous who asked the question or some other unassuming anonymous who just happened onto the site and is not interested in me or anything I might have to say in response to an anonymous question?

At the risk of insulting any other anonymouses, or is that anonymice, I will proffer a response to the above anonymous comment:

YOU AREN'T LISTENING... THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE SEWER - NOT THE ONE YOU WISH WE HAD NOR THE ONE THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE! The saddest part about your comments is that you don't even know that you are not listening - and thinking. This is why you are no help to us, and I do not hold out much hope that you could ever be.

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.

With all the work I have done and all the work ahead, and the fact that I have to get to my regular full-time job in a few minutes, my taking time out to educate you when you could have been educating yourself all along is a gift I am giving you right NOW.

For purposes of instruction only, allow me to refer to the recent past and the near future. First, the recent past, when you and every other citizen in Los Osos had the opportunity to request Interested Party status from the RWQCB in the matter of CDOs. Designated Parties 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 hearing? We who have much better things to do distributed 5000 of those on foot, 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, attending meetings, researching hundreds of pages of documents, walking door-to-door to 5000 PZ homes, writing evidence, writing legislators, writing objections - our next assignment is to submit a brief to the RWQCB to be ready by June 21, except the water board has posted no info regarding these briefs on their web site yet. If you did not attend the poorly noticed May 11th Procedural Hearing, you wouldn't know about this latest development. There is absolutely no assistance - yet - in writing these briefs. You do know how to file a brief... ? With your very own CDO, you will find yourself in a crash law course, becoming your own lawyer in three months.

What can Los Osos do RIGHT NOW? Attend every meeting you can find -CSD meetings and sub-committee meetings. PARTICIPATE. Back in the 60's the saying went, If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I believe that. It has always been my belief that an honorable person should be willing to go to the wall for what they believe in. This CDO is giving me the opportunity to do just that. On this site I have a pseudonym, but in public I have been unafraid to speak out, attaching my face to my name.

Los Osos has too many citizens sniping from the shadows. Open discourse is healthy. Sniping, grousing and complaining especially through surrogates, are dysfunctinal and antisocial.

I am truly too busy keeping my head above water to concern myself with "what Los Osos should do right NOW" If they don't know, I certainly can't help them. But for purposes of instruction I will say these things:

Stay out of the back door. Walk in the front door. Show your face. Have the guts to attach your name to it and face those you disagree with. Go to meetings. Engage with those with whom you disagree. And most importantly of all, start educationg yourself for the CDO days to come. Go to the water board web site. Find out who your CDO neighbors are. Attend any community meetings you can find, and if you cannot go to the CSD meetings, watch them on TV. Contact the board members. Try engaging instead of confronting. Try communicating adult to adult in a rational exchange. Move beyond the dysfunctional and antisocial. It is in your hands. It is a choice you have and a choice you have to make.

Churadogs said...

AMEN to whoever post this. Amen!

Shark Inlet said...

CDOer,

I appreciate your comments.

My question, however, is what if the CSD board blows me off? What if my participation is not valued?

What should I do if I disagree with CSD strategy for dealing with the CDOs? My personal oppinion is that the most effective strategy is for the CSD to adopt a resolution that indicates they will move forward on TriW unless the Ripley study shows a clear financial or environmental advantage of STEP/ponding ... if the CSD were to do this and request the RWQCB table the CDO question until at least September, I think the RWQCB would be receptive ... the RWQCB just wants to see Los Osos is not pursuing something unrealistic. Even if the RWQCB were not receptive to such a CSD opening, at least the CSD would be setting some finite time limits on the CDOs ... only until construction was completed ... in other words, the CSD could choose to limit the impact of the CDOs even if the RWQCB was unresponsive.

This is essentially a pissing contest between the LOCSD board and the RWQCB board. The LOCSD board came into office saying that they intended to not follow through on the agreements made between the LOCSD and the RWQCB. It is understandable that the RWQCB would want to take some enforcement action. When the LOCSD attorney told the RWQCB that they shouldn't fine the LOCSD because it wasn't permissible, the RWQCB chair asked what enforcement actions would be permissible under the law and the LOCSD lawyer said individual CDOs were. If Ron wants to blame Pandora and Dreamers for writing letters encouraging the CDOs, Ron should not forget to blame the CSD's advocate arguing for the same action.

The situation we find ourselves in is this. We can decide whether we want to continue fighting the state government or not. The main problem in my mind with continued fighting is that it is costing us far too much money. CDOs and higher interest rates and inflation are making irelevant any advantage of an out of town site.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you shark. You outline the real situation perfectly.

To some anon or other:
IT IS ABOUT A SEWER!

CDOer,
I have been to CSD meetings, I watch the ones I don't attend on TV. Shark is right. If you do not agree with the present CSD's agenda, you are not listened to by the board, and your ideas are booed by the riff-raff at the back of the room. If you have not seen this in action, you have not been there. How does that support listening to the whole community? I am not a person who enjoys being yelled at in public, and I shouldn't have to put up with it either. Madam President will not control the audience as it is not in her best interest to do so.

What Los Osos can do right now is not necessarily what the CSD is doing right now.

Why have you done all of this work? Are you so dedicated to this board's thinking that you could not see that there is another way out? Are you so opposed to Tri-W, that you will go through all of this so you can have a possibly more expensive plant out of town? Or are you just more interested in being part of a movement that is fueled by people that need angry people to work for them in a group? It is YOUR money, particularly if you own a house, you can do as you like.

My participation is quite different than yours. I want a WWTF as fast as possible, as I will not be able to continue living here if the costs get any worse. Shark is right about the money.

So why CDOer are you fighting all of this? Is it just that the water board shouldn't make these CDO's so - PERSONAL? Do you just not want a regulator telling you what to do? Do you want this board's idea of a WWTF? What do you believe in? You are going to the wall - why?

cdoer said...

First let me say that I am sorry to those of you who believe you are marginalized by the current board. It has been my experience that the president repeatedly invites everyone to participate. Sometimes participants are not as civil as they might be, and that can be difficult. It isn't easy being in the minority. I know. But an honorable person is willing to go to the wall for what he or she believes in. Lisa Schicker has never in my experience used a gavel on anyone, which is quite different from what we've been accustomed to with other boards. If you believe you are being unfairly treated and abused by the board and citizens, have you ever had a personal conversation with any of them to bring this point up? Adult to adult? Have you ever brought it up in public comment, stood up for yourself, adult to adult? Perhaps you have, and are still dissatisfied. I am sorry if that has been your experience. Individuals are responsible, however, for their own feelings and experiences and for addressing directly the reasons for those experiences with the pertinent individuals

Aside from the CSD meeings, there are many other committee meetings taking place, as well. Check the CSD web site for those. They are always looking for participants.

Speaking of the real issues at hand, let me try this one more time. On December 31, 2009 I will have to be either hooked up to a wastewater treatment system or move out of my house. Because on January 1, 2010 I must CEASE AND DESIST (hence the CDO) flushing my toilet or pay fines of $1000/day. I am not fighting for or against YOUR wastewater treatment dream. I am not fighting for or against the CSD board's wastewater treatment dream. I invite you to read the Proposed Cease and Desist Order. On the water board web site it is all spelled out in black and white. My fellow CDOers and I are fighting for YOU and your property rights, as well as our own. If we lose, you and all PZers lose. If we walk away on December 31, 2009, so do you, if you are a PZer. Of course, maybe you have $1000/day to send off to the water board until a wastewater treatment plant is functional.

I am fighting to keep my home. There are realtors waiting in the wings (see emails to Roger Briggs) for me - and you, unless you are OPZ - to sell cheap and walk away.

Listen and think. It is not about your sewer or my sewer, his sewer, or her sewer. THAT DOES NOT MATTER ANY MORE. IT DOES NOT MATTER ANY MORE. IT DOES NOT MATTER ANY MORE. These CDOs are in effect whether we go to TRI W or not. Once the water board imposes CDOs they are in effect until the water board decides in their own sweet time to rescind them - TRI W or no TRI W. Unless, of course, those citizens in Los Osos who have close ties with the water board decide that CDOs are not doing what they thought they would. Then maybe they will use their influence to get the water board to rescind the CDOs. Is this where TRI W fits in? Perhaps the CDOs are doing exactly what those influential citzens want. What was that about "changing the political will" of this town?

Please do me a favor and study up on CDOs. It will save me a lot of time that I need for researching water rights and water code right now. I'm fighting to save my home from the vultures.

For what it's worth, I've been waiting 24 years for a wastewater treatment system, so I could plant a tree in my front yard and not have to dig it up to connect to a pipeline. Please don't take this personally, but it is not about YOU. It is not about a sewer. It is about losing your home because the water board forgot to reasearch the unintended consequences of CDOs. All of them. See Roger Briggs and Matt Thompson's 4/28/06 testimony.

Please do yourself and me a favor. Start reading up on CDOs and what they mean, so that I don't have to use any more time tying myself up in this sewer cat's cradle with you. It is a red herring. It is beside the point. I do not know how this can be any plainer. If you have not begun your CDO research, you really need to get on it. This affects you.

Go to the water board web site and read the Proposed CDO text. Read the water board's evidence. Of course, you'll have to go during business hours to the water board headquarters in SLO, where 8000 pages of documents are stored in a cardboard box in a back room for your perusal.

Read the evidence submitted by your CDO neighbors. Oh yes, we have lost all privacy. It is all there on the web site, and yours will be, too, when they get to you after they have chewed us up. Remember, they have almost 5000 of these to go through. Do you know how to write a brief??????????? Best get on it.

I will be happy to respond to any comments you may have about CDOs and their effect on individuals in Los Osos. As a CDO recipient, I believe I owe you that. I will not, however, engage in any more discussion pro or con sewer or pro or con CSD Board. It is beside the point, and I am just plain tired of the same, old repetitious gnashing that substitutes for thoughtful discourse on the topic at hand.

P.S.
The reason I logged on initially was to post one more thing citizens of Los Osos can do NOW to assist in the CDO defense of their property.

Please contribute to the Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund (PZLDF). It funded our door hangers informing PZers and others about the 4/28/06 hearing. The funds spent so far are very small and judiciously considered. It will fund our appeal, once we have exhausted the administrative remedies, as required by law. We have about $11000, but no law firm will touch us for less than a retainer of $20000. And that's a discount and just a retainer. We can use any help. This appeal will help everyone if it succeeds. If it does not, let the EXODUS begin. The account is at Coast National Bank. People can walk in to donate or send to P.O. Box 6095 Los Osos, CA 93412. Bill Moylan is the president of PZLDF, and he is in the book. You can call him with questions.

Shark Inlet said...

Two issues, CDOer,

When Lisa says she wants to work together and when she invites participation it seems very conditional. She wants to work together with the people who oppose TriW and she seems very unwilling to compromise with those who she sees as opposed to moving the sewer. A while back I made some suggestions for ways that the board could make some first steps toward compromising with property owners (the group they most need thesedays if they want their plans to fly) and they were essentially only things that the board had already agreed to do a few months back. However, the LOCSD board chose not to offer any olive branch to the property owners but instead they chose put TriW on the market.

Second, are you sure you read the CDO right? I read it (at least the 1st version) and it said that as of Jan 1, 2010, one would need to disconnect one's leach field and exclusively pump. The $1000/day fine is only for those who don't pump exclusively or who don't provide evidence of such frequent pumping. Not that pumping every three weeks (which some could probably do) is cheap, but it doesn't run $30000/month.

In any case, I hope you understand that some of us feel that the offers to "work together" are just talk and I hope that you understand that some folks feel that it is safer to work towards dissolution because if the CSD is dissolved the County could simply put a plant at TriW and that ultimately it would be far less expensive than the CSD's plan. If nothing else, the same logic that says it is lunacy to start construction right before a recall election would say that it is lunacy to sell TriW shortly before any dissolution hearings or even before the November elections when a new majority may be in place.

Sewertoons said...

I think the water board is as unhappy with this thing as we all are. They seem to be in over their heads and are floundering, as I would bet the whole intent of their plan was to get Tri-W started again. I would bet that they wish the whole thing would go away too.

If the CSD is gone and the county takes it over to build the WWTF, do you really think that the water board has the money, time, energy and the will to pursue this? I don't.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment on the CDO. Please look up the water board web site and read the CDO, as well as watch Matt Thompson's 4/28/06 testimony. CD copies are available for purchase and the entire hearing is also available for download. When asked in reference to the language of the Proposed CDOs what the water board expects Designated Parties to do on Janury 1, 2010 if no wastewater treatment system is available, Matt Thampson said, "Vacate the premises." He could not be much plainer than that. I cannot be much plainer than that. Please investigate primary sources, if you want to know what is going on.

Shark Inlet said...

See the CDO where section A paragraph 4 makes it clear what is required should no sewer be online by Jan 1, 2010 ...

The property owner must essentially not discharge and submit a plan that would show they won't discharge. Moving out would be one such possible plan. Another one that would appear to work just fine would be to simply disconnect the leach field from the septic tank and to pump the tank out every time it fills up. Sure it is expensive, but there is no mention of $1000/day anywhere in the current CDO. (I do remember it mentioned in the earlier version, but only as a penalty for not providing proof of bimonthly pumping.)

Maybe Thompson was just being a bit of a dick. Certainly "vacate" is not mentioned as a requirement anwhere in the document.

cdoer said...

Okay, get out your septic tank book and read how septic tanks work. A septic tank works by overflowing. Essentially, on 1/1/10, your septic becomes a holding tank. This means that you would have to pump it every day to prevent discharge. And have it inspected constantly to be sure it isn't leaking. Or stop flushing your toilet altogether. Or have an on-site system in place, none of which the water board has approved. The water board has told us that compost toilets are not allowed in Los Osos. Choose your poison.

Another CDOer just had his tank pumped two weeks ago. He dug out the tank, so that all Al's had to do was backfill when they had finished their work. This pump cost $385. If they had had to dig it out, too, it would have cost about $75 more for labor, since they charged $75 just to backfill. So that brings the cost to about $460, if you have Al dig up the septic. Of course, with all the pumping going on, it would be most cost effective and easiest on your back to just install a riser on your tank - a nice addition to your landscape, but it would pay for itself in digging costs pretty quickly. Unfortunately, though, to offset the big, BIG savings! from installing a riser, Al has passed along the info that as of June first his prices are going up because of the cost of fuel and other increases he has incurred, as well as another $55 to fill out the paperwork the water board requires, should pumping be implemented as an interim measure prior to the Cease and Desist deadline. So you can do the math on that... .

If you are pumping every day to keep from discharging effluent into the aquifer as required by law, yes, that IS expensive. As Sorrel Marks said, "It isn't punitive, but it IS expensive." Of course, it would also be impossible, since the trucks would also be servicing all the other homes which had to pump every day. So it looks as if Matt Thompson was right after all - about this at least.

As far as the $1000/day fine for discharging into the aquifer is concerned, maybe you've got me on that. I'll have to look at it again. You have so little to keep in your head, and I have so much.

Well, it looks as though my work here is done. But before I go, I just want to mention that CDOs, like politics, make strange bedfellows. We are Republicans and Democrats, and we are on all sides of the sewer and CSD issues. We have spouses who are on opposite sides on lots of issues. But when we come together in those rooms to help each other through the CDO maze(which changes sometimes daily)we are united in our predicament and purpose as we are set apart from all the rest of you. Out of necessity for our own survival in this town we have learned to work together and value each other.

Thank you for allowing me to insert myself into your discussions to broaden your perspective on CDOs. I hope you have learned something, as I have, and I do hope you will continue to educate yourselves on the ramifications of CDOs, participate in the open, and contribute to the PZLDF. Thanks.

cdoer said...

P.S.
Don't you hate it when someone leaves for good and then comes back?

It occurred to me that the hyperbole of pumping every day wasn't really as factual as I like to be, and I was simply using that as a case in which you could absolutely ENSURE that you were not discharging. The actual schedule would be every few days to every week, depending on the size of the household. Now THAT's a savings. BYE.

Shark Inlet said...

CDOer wrote "As far as the $1000/day fine for discharging into the aquifer is concerned, maybe you've got me on that. I'll have to look at it again. You have so little to keep in your head, and I have so much."

Um ... I am sure that you didn't mean it the way it sounds, but just because you've got some CDO issues in your mind just now doesn't mean that others without CDOs (yet) don't have those same concerns you do and possibly even far greater concerns based on other life circumstances.

I appreciate your correction on the daily pumping. Daily pumping versus every week is a huge savings ($385 times six fewer pumpings per week times 31 days per month over 7 days per week is $10k less per month). Essentially if one disconnects the leach field one doesn't discharge ... but you then need to make sure that you pump before the thing fills up. Yes, it will be very very expensive. In my mind this is yet another reason for the LOCSD to quickly re-start the TriW construction. Even at higher interest rates than what we would have paid before the work stoppage, it will still be less expensive than "out of town" ... especially if you keep pumping costs in mind. TriW could be completed before 2010, "out of town" cannot.


Seriously, I appreciate your opinions. It is a real mess we're in. I think that the discharge prohibition many years back was reasonable ... and assuming we were working on a solution (read "a sewer" ... or perhaps an onsite sort of thing, if it could be monitored closely so that nitrate levels in the discharge are dramatically reduced ... but even then the saltwater intrusion issue wouldn't be addressed) no actual enforcement action necessary.

The problem here is that we, through the ... cough ... wisdom of our elected officials, chose to stop working on a solution. The LOCSD put the RWQCB in a tough spot, a place where they are pretty much required to issue CDOs (or worse) or to admit that essentially they don't care about enforcing the law. Considering the RWQCB told us pretty clearly in advance that electing a new board and the Measure B didn't justify stopping, we should have known that the fines and CDOs were coming. The only people surprised by these actions are folks who don't pay attention and supporters of the current board majority who denied that the RWQCB would take action.

I would rather the RWQCB not have taken this action, but I do have to say that they probably felt pushed into it by the LOCSD essentially telling them "we don't care what you say, we're going to do it our way."

Anonymous said...

Has anybody else heard about Al's IPO? Is this for real? How do I get in on it? TIA