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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Calhoun’s Cannons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA for July 19, 2006

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad B-Word?

Well, the spun cat’s out of the bag here in Sewerville: Bankruptcy, The Big Bad B-Word. Before the CSD has even had a chance to officially bring the issue to the public for comment, the Sunday Tribune has already boldly concluded in breathless front-page headlines that “BANKRUPTCY MAY BE A WINNER.” The figures the reporter used to come to that “winning” conclusion had to be “estimated,” since actual figures from the CSD itself were not available and checking actual figures might have delayed the story until, oh, Monday or Tuesday, or changed it all together.

Well, no matter, I can only hope the spin-shaping story didn’t unduly scare heck out of an already shell-shocked community (OhMyGawdWe’reAllGonnaDieTomorow) because there are a number of complex tasks now underway, the success of which depends on everyone getting actual facts instead of “estimated” ones in order to avoid another engineered train wreck.

It is no secret that a certain number of folks here in Sewerville want this particular CSD as dead as a doornail for very personal reasons that have nothing do with their mantra of “simply looking out for the good of the community.” (People who actually care about their community don’t email regulators demanding financial wrack and ruin be brought down on the heads of their neighbors.)

There are also a goodly number of folks here in Sewerville who couldn’t care less whether they ever had or will continue to have a CSD. For them, it was and is, Easy come, Easy go.

Finally, toss in a small group of My Way Or The Highway monkey-wrenchers, and you end up with a pretty large group of disparate players whose various agendas don’t really have room for considering “the best interests of the whole town.”

Right now, a series of delicate, intermeshing possibilities are in play, from the proposed Blakeslee Plan, to the LAFCO Dissolution hearing, several critical lawsuits challenging the breach of contract issues with the state, the speculation about a possible municipal CSD bankruptcy and reorganization, and, most important of all, a sewer update that will be ready for review on July 28th.

All of these complicated issues hinge on the CSD and the community remaining fully engaged, accurately informed with actual facts, and clear-headed about choices and consequences, especially unintended consequences. Hidden agendas, personal vendettas, back-room maneuvering, media spin, and all the monkey-wrenching in the underbrush are nothing but hindrances. It’s time to put the knives away and get everything out on the table.

I read once of an old, battle-scarred veteran who said, “In a war, the main thing is not to take your eye off the main thing.”

In the midst of what may look like the “fog of war,” the first order of business facing this community is to see through to completion a process already started that will result in a sustainable, energy efficient, water-solving, wastewater project that the majority of property owners will support, no matter who’s in charge of the thing. That is the one priority this community can’t lose sight of because a proper process that is heading in the right direction will also allow a number of now hopeless-looking Gordian knots to be untied.

Next, the community has to decide if it wants “local control.” Does a CSD, even one being reorganized under a bankruptcy court, still give the residents a stronger voice in solving their local problems than giving all control back to the county? For example, the Blakeslee Plan could allow for the possibility of the CSD to enter into some sort of MOU/ Inter-Agency Agreement with the County that would allow input on developing the wastewater system. No CSD, no MOU, no input. Ditto for challenging various court cases, like the ACLs, CDOs and the breach of contract suits still in the pipeline. In short, does the community still believe that a CSD (no matter who’s on the Board) inherently has a stronger vested interest in serving and protecting its citizens than does The County?

Those are just two critical choices that require an answer from this community and this CSD board. Your answer and theirs will begin to open a path out of the woods or close it forever. So, what’s it to be, my fellow Ursidaeans: Off another cliff or out into the sunny meadow?

53 comments:

PublicWorks said...

Ann,

could you elaborate a little more on the "into the sunny meadow" option.

Since you brought it up, please provide some details about what that entails.

sure sounds nice,

looking down from the cliff, it's hard to determine where the best place to dive is, as the depth to hitting rock is really hard to determine, especially if you suspect someone advising you is an ambulance chaser

So if you know of where the "sunny meadow" lies, please give the info. Don't hold back.

Churadogs said...

Homework for everyone after reading today's Tribune headline story:Download the pdf file listed at sanluisobispo.com. Go tot the CSD office and get a copy of the handout (Memorandum: Legal Analysis AB 2701, dated July 6 from Biggs that was handed out at the July 13th CSD meeting and discussed at that meeting. Watch the tape of that meeting and the discussion of the Memo. Then do a side by side comparison of the PDF file and the July 6 memo and red-flag every shocking disclosures mistakenly disclosed, Oooooo, that the Trib story implies are to be found therein. I plan to do that this morning. If memory serves, I'll be shocked to find any since the various options presented on the 13 included most of the, well, various options open to the board, including selling Tri-W & etc.

So, we should see if the Tribune is engaging in more spin and hype? Like they did with the "B-for Bankruptcy A WINNER" story? Shall I hold my breath?

The sunny meadow lies in everyone keeping his or her cool and keeping their eyes on the PROCESS that will ensure a sustainable, water-smart, energy-smart project that the majority of the homowners have a say and a stake in and a vote on. The cliff is to simply repeat the Tri-W-type trainwreck. Right now I see a whole lot of people squabbling and fighting while the train is heading for the cliff and taking the community with it.

Time to wake up and take a deep breath and PAY ATTENTION, not to Tribune hype and spin or to personal hidden agendas and other distractions. I have said before and I'll say again: This is not rocket science. But it IS science and given an open, fair process, it is solvable without more train wrecks.

Anonymous said...

Ann says pay attention. I ask: to whom, Ann. The CSD? These people are more secretive and less trustworthy than the Bush White House. The local paper? Your blog? (oh yeah, when people aren't saying "fuck you" to each other?).
This "trainwreck" has Lisa Schicker, Julie Tacker, and their 3 flunkies at the helm. And yes, it's going over the cliff. I'm pretty certain the community (and I mean the community at large, not just those 19 or so CSD devotees who attend meetings and call themselves the "community") has had enough and wants no part of local control ever again.

Anonymous said...

And can anyone tell me why, if the CSD is making a "counter proposal" for the Tri-W site, their latest closed sesssion agenda stated, concerning the sale: "parties with whom negotiations may occur are as yet unknown."

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you will find tonights meeting interesting, so you had better go and see another case of "my way, or the highway" as far as Sam wanting any input/modifications from anyone.
I hope Lisa describes how the meeting last Fri. went with Sam.
She might not, because she is respectful of her enimies, taking all the flack from the many critics upon herself.

Anonymous said...

....forgot to say, don't have the mistaken idea that Sam is a "friend" of the CSD.

GO TO THE MEETING TONIGHT

Shark Inlet said...

Maybe Sam just saw the writing on the wall the way that 49% of Los Osos voters did back in September. Maybe he realizes that if he doesn't jump in and take control away from the LOCSD that the situation will get even worse. Maybe he wants us to be able to get the least expensive and best possible sewer built and a large part of that is a SRF and getting the RWQCB to back off.

Sounds pretty wise to me...

Here's a thought ... if TriW is really as bad as LOTTF/CASE/CCLO say it is and if there really is a far less expensive option that is in a better location, AB2701 will allow the County to choose it. Heck, the County will want to choose it.

If, on the other hand, TriW really is the least expensive and best option the County will go with it.

If you really believe the rhetoric from this board that out of town and cheaper is possible, you should celebrate Sam's proposal. Even if he's not too interested in LOCSD input, it will help you accomplish your goals of an out of town plant.

If Lisa tells us how horrible Sam was, she's shooting herself in the foot. This is already over. The LOCSD counsel memo (from the Trib website) makes it clear that the new board has essentially failed.

Again, if you really believe that TriW is as bad as you say it is ... why worry about the County's choice?

Anonymous said...

Franc (Anon 10:39):
I'm confused, so maybe you can clear this up for me. If Sam is an "enimy" (your spelling), why did Lisa approach him oh so long ago, and why was he hailed as a hero: the only higher authority that would touch Los Osos, by the CSD's supporters? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

The financial projections come from the CSD's own financial report. The future expenditures are KNOWN, FIXED PAYMENTS due in the near future. There is nothing speculative about the fact that the CSD has more payments due than revenue. Which part of this doesn't Ann understand?

PublicWorks said...

If you are on a cliff, with deep drops & water on all sides, and someone thinks there is a sunny meadow in the vicinity, what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

This whole exercise in so called "local government" only goes to prove that the citizens of Los Osos are not capable of governing their own community. You have warring factions everywhere, and you and this deranged BOD have continued to smile indulgently at those bullies in the back of the room, who have made community participation seem like some bad B-movie on TV. We need the Sheriff's office back in the BOD meeting, we need NO MORE of the bullies who can only go after those who are elderly or on crutches, and we need a neutral atmosphere where decent folks can step up to the microphone and say what they want to, without having to avoid Kieth, Al, or Margetson jeering and generally acting like a bunch of 7th grade bullies.

I for one do not want to be assaulted on my way to my car. I am 79 years old and have physical problems. I shouldn't have to stay at home because those bullies are at the meetings.

Anonymous said...

Screw you annon 11:28 so I don't spell so good sometimes. who or what is a "franc" Is he the paranoid 79 year old?

Sewertoons said...

I had to laugh at Lisa's statement at tonight's meeting, held in the parking lot. The story was to hold it there to save the community some money - but there was Biggs and Onstadt racking up - oh, what is it - $240 hour? The meeting ended I believe at about 7:15. So we saved a few bucks to not pay for the community center or Sunnside, but spent about $600 on lawyers.

Now THAT is what this CSD is all about.

PS, I don't think the $100 WE SPENT on each director was worth it either.

Sewertoons said...

Well, today's Trib reports the room fee as being $500. Not chicken feed after all. But then I didn't count travel time or the hours in closed session billable by the lawyers either.

And is the spelling "Onstat?"

Guess it's the parking lot as long as this fiasco lasts.

PublicWorks said...

Just imagine that it's a "sunny meadow" and click your heels, the experience becomes much more enjoyable.

Churadogs said...

Sewertoons sez:"..
I had to laugh at Lisa's statement at tonight's meeting, held in the parking lot. The story was to hold it there to save the community some money - but there was Biggs and Onstadt racking up - oh, what is it - $240 hour? The meeting ended I believe at about 7:15. So we saved a few bucks to not pay for the community center or Sunnside, but spent about $600 on lawyers."

Except for the agenda item to set the CSD elections on the same date as the regular Nov elections, the CSD meeting was all closed session and so the attorneys were there, I have no doubt, to discuss closed session items.

An Anonymous sez:"Ann says pay attention. I ask: to whom, Ann. The CSD? These people are more secretive and less trustworthy than the Bush White House. The local paper? Your blog? (oh yeah, when people aren't saying "fuck you" to each other?).
This "trainwreck" has Lisa Schicker, Julie Tacker, and their 3 flunkies at the helm. And yes, it's going over the cliff. I'm pretty certain the community (and I mean the community at large, not just those 19 or so CSD devotees who attend meetings and call themselves the "community") has had enough and wants no part of local control ever again."

This "trainwreck" has Pandora, Stan, LeGros, Hensley et al also written all over it. This train started heading for the cliff a long time ago while the community snoozed.

Pay attention to whom? Anon asks: How many of you folks who log on to comment have actually read the Blakeslee Bill and read Biggs analysis and discussion of same that the Tribune posted? How many have attended, for example, Wastewater Committee meetings for the Ripley updates, or gotten copies of the Tech reports available at the CSD office? How many of you attended the ACL hearings, the CDO's hearings, attended the various CDO Los Osos 45 meetings? How's about the Blakeslee Proposal "amendment" meetings wherein various citizens got together to see if they could offer amendments that would make the bill "better."

There's lots of direct documents available and committee meetings open to the public, indeed this is a community AWASH in direct information. You don't have to rely on the Tribune or this blog or anything else.

One of the problems with "local control," is local people have to take control. Or they can turn all control over to Uncle Big Daddy and let him make all their decisions and send them a bill. What becomes phony is people who whine about things done to them by others yet who refuse to get off their duffs and make the changes they want to see happen.

The key point of my last column was to remind "the community" that they'd better wake up and keep their eye on the main thing and make some serious decisions. The first is: We need some sort of wastewater/water management project. What kind, where, how,how much are all decisions that have to be made with input by the community or else somebody else will make all those decisions for us and just send us the bill and we'll be back on square one, whining, "Jeeze, that's not what we wanted, boo-hoo." July 28, the project update will be ready. I suggest the "everyone" you posters keep talking about, shows up to see what's now on the table and then start thinking about which, what, where, how to make it happen.

Next up, the "everyone" you posters keep talking about, needs to make some decisions about "local control." Want a CSD? Or Not? It's up to the "everyone" that the posters keep talking about. Again, if they don't get informed and involved, then they'll just get handed whatever "somebody" decides for them. It could be LAFCO or the CSD Board, or . . . If they refuse to get into the loop and refuse to participate in "their duly elected government" then they will get exactly what "somebody" wants to hand to them. Followed by the bill.

Right now I see a minority of Sewer Jihadis on both sides of this issue slashing at each other with knives, while a majority sit silent waiting for "something to happen," or "waiting for somebody to do something and make some decisions for them."

O.K. if that's what the "majority" of this community wants to do, fine. Then, when "somebody" or "somebodies" make decisions for them, I don't want to hear boo-hooing later.

Participatory democracy ain't for sissies and can't work with "everyone" sitting on the sideline kibbitzing or twiddling their thumbs at home.

So, I want all you posters to this blog to be at the July 28 meeting. Take a look at the actual documents presented, speak to the actual engineers, ask actual direct questions of same, don't just get information filtered through the Trib's eyes or mine.

Then start thinking seriously about, O.K. What NOW. Make your choices, then get off your duffs to make that happen.

For example, 3,000 letters from homeowners to Sam Blakeslee with ccs to County Engineering, RWQCB and the BoS, saying, "We've looked at the Wastewater Update Plan A, B or C, and we want Plan B and we've also looked at the legislation as written and find some serious holes in it and so support the following amendments, X,Y,Z." will go a long way towards getting something done.

Sitting on your hands, doing nothing except whinning, waiting for somebody to do it for you, gets nobody anywhere and absolutely guarantees another trainwreck that accomplishes abolutely nothing.

Various posters and several folks who, for example, came to last night's Parking Lot meeting, rose to speak of "the majority of the community." Fine. Where are they? Time for them to step up. Crunch time's here. Party starts. The "Everybody" the speakers refer to need to show up and check in.

Lecture over.

Shark Inlet said...

Train wreck is in the eye of the beholder.

Some would see TriW as a train wreck, as such poor choice for our community that it is worth considerable delay and considerably higher bills just to avoid it.

Others would see the choice to stop construction on a fully designed, permitted and funded WWTF as a train wreck.


Come on Ann, read Julie Biggs' analysis for the LOCSD. She says that the LOCSD will be losing control of the project and that we won't be able to cover our bills. She advises the board that if they feel that TriW is really bad, they can sell the property so that they can cause additional delay and costs if the County would have the inclination to go with TriW.


What's best for Los Osos?

I would argue that if one feels it was a mistake to "pound money into the ground", one should view the recent actions of the current board as just as short sighted. Any choice to sell TriW just to make TriW harder for the County to adopt is just as much a "scorched earth" policy. The current LOCSD board seems to care far more about stopping TriW at all costs than in what is best for our community.


Again, if the County is going to take the project over ... and everyone knows they will ... and if you really believe that TriW is that bad ... the County will not want to touch such a project.

Anonymous said...

Churadog,

I believe you vastly under estimate the knowledge being gathered by the local population that do not attend the "open" CSD meetings.

With the advent of internet technology and television broadcasts (and web steams) one does not have to "be at" the meeting to see and hear and read what is going on.

It is very similar to attending a professional football, basketball, and so on versus watching it on live television. You lose the "atmosphere" but view the play in fine detail (and repeats for the really key plays).

The CSD meeting "atmosphere" lends nothing to understanding. The "atmosphere" seems to be a hyper emotional cathrasis for the same collection of speakers week in and week out.

All the meaningful information is contained in documents available from the governmental and news web sites including the CSD's (though they only provide what they deem "educational" for the masses, e.g. Ripley stuff)

If the CSD was truly neutral, they would provide meaningful minutes for the meetings like you get at the other agencies' web sites.

The bottom line: many people have the same fervor that the "Activist 19" have but just choose to avoid the meeting "circus".

WEIGHTED votes by Property Owners (currently just PZ) decide the fate of any solution, not how many CSD meetings or committee meetings one attends!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:32:
Excellent post.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:23 and 10:00

You would do better to listen to CHURADOGS "lecture". You are both the ones she is referring to, TV watchers whose only input is to criticize people who are participating in their government, then whine and complain over their actions.
Poor Shark....he will die with the words "TRI-W" on his lips. Such dedication towards an all but dead issue would be better spent on helping with an alternative plan.

Sewertoons said...

Anon 12:21,

It's dead when it's dead. Hasn't happened yet, but if it makes you feel better to think so…

Anonymous said...

I find Ann's new shift absolutely amazing to read. When the recall and Measure B passed, all we heard from Ann and her CSD supporters were "the people spoke." "The will of the people." "Democracy in action." yada yada yada. But now that the ship is sinking, if not sunk already, because of the actions of this board and their few supporters, what we hear now is the people are ignorant. Wow. Simply amazing. I guess when you run out of people to blame, from the state water board to the regional water board to the old board to the contractors to Taxpayers Watch to Sam Blakelee, blame it on the ignorance of the people of Los Osos. Tell me Ann, did you not think the "people" were well-informed when they voted for the recall?

Anonymous said...

Allow me to clarify my above post. When I say "ignorant," I mean ignorant on sewer issues. I believe this is what Ann is saying, not that people of Los Osos are ignorant as a whole. Sorry Ann.

Anonymous said...

Re: Sewertoon's 6:51am post -

They can pay Blesky $140 per hour to stand in the parking lot and smoke, but they won't pay $500 for for the Community Center to conduct an actual business meeting. Go figure.

oxpictus said...

LOCSD Directors make $100 per BOD meeting, and $50 per committee meeting, capping out at $600 per month.

If these are truly civic-minded citizens, it would seem obvious that they should donate their stipends, so that meetings can be held in a building, with walls, lights, chairs, etc.

This "grandstanding" photo-op was nothing more than that. (Gee, look at us! We're meeting outdoors amidst fog and wind, because WE are trying to save MONEY. WOW!)

What complete balderdash.

This BOD, drunk with power, and thinking that the funds available in the LOCSD coffers were endless, have spent wildly on overpriced and ineffectual attorneys, an Interim General Manager not worth minimum wage, and those $54,000 per month WRA & Associates (contract guys) upstairs, who haven't done enough to put into a thimble since they have been here.

AND NOW, this big GESTURE of having BOD meetings OUTDOORS?

Come on.

This is pure LO effluent, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21 AKA (Julie Tacker) says:

"Anon 9:23 and 10:00

You would do better to listen to CHURADOGS "lecture". You are both the ones she is referring to, TV watchers whose only input is to criticize people who are participating in their government, then whine and complain over their actions.
Poor Shark....he will die with the words "TRI-W" on his lips. Such dedication towards an all but dead issue would be better spent on helping with an alternative plan."

Please enlighten the readership as to the whine and the criticism in the two posts. The gist of the post was that information is obtainable without ever physically attending due to modern technology.

Julie, I do not like the STEP/STEG solution being pushed by the Ripley team. Are we encouraged to communicate disagreements or only total agreement?

What is the difference between posting this to you here or via your CSD email or at one of the CSD meetings? Will the boards direction be changed at all? Not likely, IMHO!

If you truly want input from all community elements, then give some attention to the issues raised on the blogs. For example, I'm opposed to STEP/STEG because of the cost of septic tank replacement, cost of on going energy usage on my electric bill, the fragility of the monitoring system, the years of continued delays to acquire property, fight litigation, design, etc. With inflation rising there is no containment on costs it seems to me.

Tell me where I'm mistaken without the catch all "WHINE" phraseology you favor.

It is quite ironic that you said: "Poor Shark....he will die with the words "TRI-W" on his lips" when at a recent CSD meeting you said something about ..."going to your grave before a sewer is built at TRI-W".

Speaking of which, Is Edwards's company really able to get a clean title on TRI-W? How is this possible?

What about the assessment money used to buy the property. What happens to the pre-paid people and for that matter, the rest of the liened PZ property owners? Do they continue to pay for the next 28 years?

Julie, you have an opportunity to engage in a dialog; what is it going to be?

Sewertoons said...

Probably, pitifully, silence.

not afraid to be nobody said...

I want to thank the Bay News for it’s courageous printing of my critical letter.
Now, “ON GUARD”...........

Let’s see if they print this...............

To The Bay News
A letter to the Editor
by Michael Jones, Los Osos

First, I would like to thank the Bay News for printing my letter that was critical of their rumor based reporting. Reputable and newsworthy organizations do not fear criticism. They engage it.

Neil Farrell responded with the following Editor’s note:

“Tabloid newspapers make things up or distort the truth, and then print it as fact. We sought to do the opposite, to ascertain truth from the numerous rumors that have been spreading through the community. We vowed to do a story regardless of whether our investigation found serious wrongdoing, something many newspapers will not do. We believe and still do believe the CSD board members deserved to have the truth be told.”

Funny, I live in this community and I was unaware of these “rumors” until the Bay News decided to write an article about them.

I really know nothing of Jack Beardwood. He’s approached me twice for comment (once at a CSD meeting and once at the CDO hearing). This is all I know of Jack Beardwood. So, hypothetically and for the sake of argument, let’s say there were numerous rumors milling about town that Jack Beardwood was a drunk and an alcoholic. Most reporters are...(kidding). I'm guessing Mr. Farrell, based on your journalistic standards, that the Bay News would run a complete and full investigation on this rumor. Then, write an article either condemning or exonerating Mr. Beardwood of allegations that were based on this RUMOR. Right?

Give me a break Neil. You are very right. This is something that most newspapers will not do. All I'm asking is that the Bay News base it’s reporting on FACTS, not rumors.
Is this too much to ask?
If it is, I've heard all kinds of rumors that the “Bay Enquirer” might be interested in reporting on.

Michael Jones, Los Osos

Churadogs said...

"An Anonnymoose sez: "I find Ann's new shift absolutely amazing to read. When the recall and Measure B passed, all we heard from Ann and her CSD supporters were "the people spoke." "The will of the people." "Democracy in action." yada yada yada. But now that the ship is sinking, if not sunk already, because of the actions of this board and their few supporters, what we hear now is the people are ignorant. Wow. Simply amazing. I guess when you run out of people to blame, from the state water board to the regional water board to the old board to the contractors to Taxpayers Watch to Sam Blakelee, blame it on the ignorance of the people of Los Osos. Tell me Ann, did you not think the "people" were well-informed when they voted for the recall?

12:55 PM, July 21, 2006 "

You didn't read my last "Cannon" or my "lecture." (Nor, I suspect, any other previous Cannons on Sewerish issues.) I am lecturing to the "commentors" on this site who whine and snivel because I am not "answering their questions." Not my job to answer THEIR questions. That's THEIR JOB, to ask their elected officials directly, not sit in front of a TV or a computer and lob rhetoric.

For example, a poster just logged on to complain that he/she didn't like Step/Steg because of the cost of electricity. Did this person attend the last wastewater committee meeting? If he/she had, Ripley had power use costs penciled out and comparisons based on the (power)cost of running the Tri W plant with his entire proposed Step system. The poster, had he really been interested in getting information first hand, instead of simply expressing an uninformed opinion, would have had an opportunity at that meeting to get a copy of the numbers and ask questions directly. That was the point I was trying to make, a point that obviously got missed.

As for "the people" not being informed, I have been hollering in my columns for years for people to wake up! Pay attention! If they had, they would have started asking questions early on regarding Tri W. Some time ago, a poster nailed it on the head, regarding "The People" and Tri-W and The Old Board: The people were asleep at the switch so the old board only heard from a handful of the same old folks and soon totally disregarded what they had to say, labeled them a minority of crazy malcontents, assurred the state powers that they should pay no attention to those loonies behind the curtain, and dismissed them out of hand. Only at the last minute, did "the people" wake up and look around and say, Hey, uh, jeeze, Two Hundred a month???? Whaaaaattt??? You're actually gonna build a sewer plant in the middle of town? Huhhhh???

Now, I ask you, if those thousands who voted for Measure B, for example, and the thousands who voted for the recall candidates had actually gotten off their butts and showed up by the HUNDREDS at each CSD meeting, and, for example, demanded a real, HONEST side-by-side comparison of costs for in-town/out of town, and a chance to cast a vote on which system they wanted to buy (something I called for years ago) would the old board have realized that they weren't just dealing with a handful of same old/same olds and would have understood that maybe they needed to re-think what they were doing? Would that have avoided this train wreck?

Right now we have no way of knowing what level of information "the people" are getting or not getting because there have been no surveys done, no elections to have people "vote" on something. The weird spin the Trib stories put out there would be very interesting to track. For example, how many people in the community think that the CDOs have "gone away?" Or that the Blakeslee Plan will "save the day,"

My last column (again)called on people to wake up and keep their eye on the main thing and go get actual information from actual sources. This community will have to make some choices soon -- and while doing nothing actually IS a choice, we've seen where that can lead -- and if the level of actual information is the same as what I see from some posters to this blog site, then clearly this community is gonna be in for a heck of a surprise.

As for Mr. Jones' irritation at the Bay News story on the CSD being NOT GUILTY of something or other. For better or worse, we live in the era of Tabloidization of the News. According to the story, this wasn't just gossip or rumors. The paper "learned of a [formal, official] records act request made to Caltrans by former CSD director Gordon Hensley, now of Los Osos Taxpayers' Watch, a citizen group that opposes the actions of the current board and seeks to have it dissolved. It was one of many such requests taht have been filed with various agencies, including the CSD istelf -- by citizen groups and the media."

Taxpayers' Watch are the same folks who ask you to get the TRUTH and FACTS, so this certainly was a "story," since their mantra is FACTS and TRUTH, and they had to take formal, official action to fill out requests, asking for certain documents, which meant they were alleging certain improper or illegal actions had taken place,so the Bay News sensed a story there, and also made inquiries, reviewed the documents in question,concluded that there was about zip fire or smoke and printed same. (I agree that the story was a bit of the old, "Have you stopped beating your wife?"type.

What the Bay News didn't do is a follow up story as to just WHY Gordon Hensley would even think to file such requests. I mean, by way of comparison, when Gordon and Rose were on the Board, for example, never in a million years would it have occurred to me to demand their emails to make sure that Rose wasn't using Cal Poly (state) computer time at her work for CSD related matters, or Gordon wasn't mixing in a little face time for his own private consulting business while he was on the CSD clock and so forth. Hence the crack I made about only a person who's hidden under the bed himself would think to look there first.

But the official RFD by Gordon and Taxpayers Watch does indicate to me a level of, uh, what would be a good word here? "vindictive nastiness?" "excessive sour-grapism?" "Medeanism?" "Freudian projection?" "Typical fallout from recalls?" Whatever's going on with Gordon and TPW is where the real story lies. And it's a story I find both sad and interesting.

In the meantime, the search for the Spaulding Document continues and I still want every one of you at the July 28th meeting. Go grill Ripley yourself, in person.

Spectator said...

Ann:

The old board got us a fully permitted financed sewer system. The new board has come up with the Ripley proposal for which I await cost analysis, AND TIME analysis. In the meantime, regardless, the LOCSD can do absolutely nothing to implement ANY system. It will NEVER be able to implement any system.

When, in a representative democracy, we elect representatives based upon campaign promises and suspected intelligence, we should not expect them to lie to us to obtain office. We expect them to be educated on the problems at hand, and if not, to obtain education from numerous sources.

The current board has not made ANY right decisions, has never listened to intelligent outside parties, and only spun blame for their actions upon others. You and others have joined them with your defensive, blaming spin, and in spite of THEIR actions, continue to do so. This is simply an effort in redirection. Proof? Current fiscal difficulties. Outside meetings? Boggles the mind!

At this point it is best for the board to pressure LAFCO for dissolution, and hope dissolution is implemented before the Blakeslee bill passes. Somehow the cost of ANY sewer system, and our debts need to be spread around, because the stakeholders in Los Osos cannot bear this burden.

The board needs to take a hard dose of fiscal reality which they have been unwilling to do in the past, and consider the plight of the stakeholders. Thereafter, upon dissolution, they should spend their time with learned counsel and develop a strategy of defense to keep themselves from possible large fines and highly possible JAIL!

It is absolutely clear that this board has betrayed the stakeholders in our district. Every property owner in the PZ faces sanctions of one form or another if a sewer is not implemented quickly, and ANY sewer gets more expensive by the day. There are bond defaults on the horizon, moving closer and closer daily, that will wound property owners severely. There are CDF payments which must be made.

The property owners are involved in an impossible situation, and the LOCSD is on the eve of destruction. Action is required NOW!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28

Julie didn't make the remark about Shark.....I did, and I ain't Julie and either am I.


Alfred E. Newman

Shark Inlet said...

Ann is downright funny.

She complained that the first group didn't give us all the options and that they didn't allow us to vote.

She campaigned for the replacements who she said would give us options and allow us a vote. She still supports them even though they didn't explore all the options. She somehow thinks the Ripley report is fair. Reading Sheikh's details (the ones not on the web but the documents you have to ask for) it is very very clear that the entire site selection analysis was driven by a few assumptions (100% ag exchange, no dinitrification requirement, 50g/person/day) that may not be reasonable.

Let's just look at one of Sheikh's site characteristic measures, view. Somehow if a plant were to be built at TriW, it is presumed that a view would be destroyed, so we shouldn't build there. What is funny about this is that the original TriW plan had a park (which would be somewhat attractive) but Sheikh didn't include in his analysis the fact that if the plant were built out of town, a view, the TriW view would be destroyed by a Jeff Edwards development. Which is a worse combination from the point of view of a view ... a plant and park at TriW and no development at Giacomazzi ... or a strip mall at TriW and a plant at Giacomazzi which is not visible from LOVR or from any home? It is pretty clear that adding a mini-mall at TriW must be counted as a negative for other sites ... at least insomuch as a strip mall would be less attractive than the TriW plant/park combination.

So, the new board isn't really exploring all options either. How is this better, Ann?

Shark Inlet said...

On another matter, Ann ... how are you so sure that people didn't call Cal Poly to complain about Rose? I am surprised that you are so willing to speculate this didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

How does anyone "know" that Jeff Edwards is going to build a strip mall? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Edwards is just an interim go between to provide some money for the CSD to keep the lights on and to force re-permiting , studies,etc to delay any sewer! Post sewer install, the backers will reap the increased profit and we the tax payers will have financed this current version of the "switch and bait". Quit clever if it wasn't so morally detestable!

Anonymous said...

As in...The CSD sells TRIW to Edwards, and then Edwards sells TRIW to the County? This is what I think may be going on...what does everyone else think?

PublicWorks said...

Remember 1998, Edwards ran for a spot on the CSD.

Guess things have come full circle, and he's got his wish, he's running the CSD.

Sewertoons said...

I thought Biggs was running the CSD - but maybe it is Edwards AND Biggs!

Shark Inlet said...

Um ... whether strip mall or "business park" the land is zoned for development of a non-residential variety.

Do you really think the view will be better if it were an office building than if it were a park with sewer plant behind a "wave wall"?

Honesty counts here, guys ... no posturing based on what you want to occur.

Anonymous said...

Edwards should buy it from the CSD (save us) and then sell it to the County for a park that contains an aquatic center. Put the sewer out of town and (almost) everyone is happy.

Sewertoons said...

Why would any of the people out of town be happy?

Cheaper is not out of town either, I'm afraid. Cheaper is ALL that will make many people happy.

(I vote wave wall. At least we know how high that will be.)

Shark Inlet said...

The problem here is that we have maybe four groups in Los Osos.

Group 1 will not be happy unless the thing is out of town. They are willing to pay extra to get it out of town.

Group 2 will not be happy unless the thing is cheaper than TriW or at least no more expensive than TriW. They will fight to accomplish that goal.

Group 3 feels that there is a trade off where out of town is better and they are willing to pay a bit more for it, but not that much. I am in group 3.

Group 4 has tuned out the debate because they've realized that the best way of predicting the next turn in the Los Osos sewer saga is with Murphy's Law ... you know, "if it can go wrong, it will." They are too frustrated with the folks like the Solutions Group and CCLO making choices which appear, in retrospect seem to have only raised our bills and put a plant in the middle of town.

Group 4 is the largest by far. Group 3 is the smallest. Reading the papers and talking to folks I get the feeling that Group 1 is also pretty darn small at this point in time.

Perhaps it should be said that the previous LOCSD board should have abandoned the TriW site once they knew their original ponding idea wouldn't work there. However they had already invested considerable time studying that site and there was public opinion that said we wanted a plant with a park at that site. Sounds like I agree with Ron to some extent, even if considerably less ... um ... angry about it.

However, just because TriW wasn't necessarily the best site at 2001 when the site decision was pretty much settled doesn't mean that it isn't the best site now. The costs associated with getting TriW designed and permitted were huge and the costs of inflation make any other site just plain more costly. Even though Ann won't admit it, she's published a letter from Bo Cooper recently that shows even the anti-TriW folks know that out-of-town will cost more.


Then there is the question of what should happen today. Do we want the County to take over by dissolution, bankruptcy or AB 2701. Considering the County will be calling all the shots soon, what should the LOCSD do until then? Would selling TriW be best for our community? Tough questions, these.

Anonymous said...

Notice I said ALMOST everyone would be happy. (Because I realize the folks outside of town probably don't want the sewer facility out there.)

Sewertoons said...

I think the most important issue on the out of town placement is the smell. All the fancy reverse pressure air gadgets included to eliminate the smell at Tri-W will be abandoned because of cost. So do we have it odorless in town - or ship it to stink up out-of-town. If I lived out there I guess I'd feel pretty hostile, as the "matter" raising the stink does not belong to the people out there, and we would be doing nothing to make it less obnoxious for them. Seems kind of arrogant of LO IMHO.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"On another matter, Ann ... how are you so sure that people didn't call Cal Poly to complain about Rose? I am surprised that you are so willing to speculate this didn't happen.

10:45 AM, July 23, 2006"

You have any evidence of a formal complaint being made at Cal Poly? Or a request for documents filed with the CSD asking specifically for certain emails? Heard any "rumors" that that happened?

Inlet also sez:"So, the new board isn't really exploring all options either. How is this better, Ann?"

I'm waiting to read the Ripley report. We have the (partial) numbers on Tri W. The repliminary report by Ripley shows he's looking at the project from a water managment point of vew, not just a sewage disposal point. If I understood the original plan, it was to update the report to include an evaluation of the various options vis a vis cost. Because the wastewater fund was frozen, the scope of the work requested had to be limited. So, we'll see just how much gets included. Inlet has always keyed his preferences on monthly cost. Seeing Ripley's initial numbers, it's clear that he's coming at this also from long term costs, but doing it on a basis of price per acre feet of water. At last week's wastewater committee meeting presentaiton, the cost of delivering clean water via Tri W was X amount per acre feet; the cost of Ripley's preliminary proposal about 1/3 of that. So, we'll see how that pencils out with the final report.

I think the most important issue on the out of town placement is the smell. All the fancy reverse pressure air gadgets included to eliminate the smell at Tri-W will be abandoned because of cost. So do we have it odorless in town - or ship it to stink up out-of-town. If I lived out there I guess I'd feel pretty hostile, as the "matter" raising the stink does not belong to the people out there, and we would be doing nothing to make it less obnoxious for them. Seems kind of arrogant of LO IMHO.

Sewertoons sez:"I think the most important issue on the out of town placement is the smell. All the fancy reverse pressure air gadgets included to eliminate the smell at Tri-W will be abandoned because of cost. So do we have it odorless in town - or ship it to stink up out-of-town. If I lived out there I guess I'd feel pretty hostile, as the "matter" raising the stink does not belong to the people out there, and we would be doing nothing to make it less obnoxious for them. Seems kind of arrogant of LO IMHO."

Did you attend the last, I guess, official workshop and look at the map. Right now, the prefered out of town site has nobody living where the prevailing winds blow. Nobody, except some cows. Unlike Tri W, where the plant was surrounded with homes. Whatever treatment system is picked, "smell" will be one of the controling factors that legally must be dealt with. The difference between Tri W & Out of town is one of nexus and numbers: thousands of people in close proximity vs 1 or two homes possibly nearby if the Santa Anas blow & etc."Smell" only travels so far before it's dissapated to the point where dogs might smell something, but humans don't The distance it has to travel to hit a nose is the critical (and legally controlling) factor. Tri W had no wiggle room at all. Several prefered out of town sites have plenty of wiggle room. Both sites are still under legal constraints vis a vis "allowed" smells.

Shark Inlet said...

I have no evidence of any complaints about Rose. However, because you hate to speculate it seems really silly of you to speculate that only one side had made complaints. Maybe you should just give Les a call and ask him whether there had ever been complaints. If he tells you that there had been you should just get off your the evil TPW group is playing unfair kick. If he tells you that there never had been complaints you can get back on that horse in good faith knowing that you had done due diligence.

As to the Ripley report ... are you telling me that the Ripley report will include the analysis of options that the LOCSD didn't ask them to discuss? I find it difficult to believe that an engineering firm would do $1M worth of work when only being paid $500k. Recall this last Spring when the LOCSD board selected Ripley and then Blesky (I believe) said that the scope of the study could be limited to save money. If you're going to re-invent the wheel it would be penny-wise and pound-foolish to study only spokes.

If the wastewater fund was frozen and we could not afford this study it shouldn't have been done without a 218 vote to authorize new funds to study the issue. Borrowing money from other accounts only to result in bankruptcy doesn't speak well to the financial acumen or wisdom of the board or GM.

Nope, this board chose to spend their funds (actually it was the state's money, it was gotten by a bait-n-switch ... hell ... it was outright fraud ... this board chose to keep the SRF money rather than to give the state back their funds or to pay contractors for work already done) on legal fees and tons of pep-rally meetings and other stuff. If they had some $4M in the bank, they could have authorized such a site and technology comparison study right off the bat. They promised us they would.

Whether you like lifecycle costing approach or not, if you calculate the lifecycle costs, including capital costs and inflation for only one system it does make it awfully hard to compare. Nice that the cost per acre/foot is lower with the Ripley plan. However, please remember that the Ripley plan assumes 50g/person/day and the RWQCB will never sign off on it. Please also remember that the Ripley ag-exchange plan assumes that the water flows through the aquifer rather quickly, far more quickly than one could reasonably assume, even for sandy soil ... nope, the RWQCB will not sign off on the Ripley plan as proposed. Those changes necessary to get this new idea up to snuff will increase our costs. The dance to bring Ripley's design into compliance will take time as will the lawsuits. Once the time/inflation factor are added in as well, I'll bet the Ripley plan looks even more expensive.

Didn't you recently post a letter from Bo Cooper who said the costs will be over $200/month? I thought the recall board members had a plan that would save us money. I thought that the Ripley plan would save us money. What happened?

PublicWorks said...

Ann sez,

"At last week's wastewater committee meeting presentaiton, the cost of delivering clean water via Tri W was X amount per acre feet; the cost of Ripley's preliminary proposal about 1/3 of that. So, we'll see how that pencils out with the final report."

Really?? ALL costs were presented?? Are you sure you're making an accurate assesment when you say 1/3? You wouldn't want to mislead now would you Ann??

Sewertoons said...

Tri-W = zero smell. Out of town = smell. I used to live a mile or so away from a brewery. On some days I just about passed out from the smell of just HOPS - not sewage. On other days I could smell nothing. Prevailing winds do not always cooperate, and some days, when the moisture content of the air is just right, smell gets a lift and travels a whole lot further. So it is just a question of not many people being affected? They are not enough to count? What about people driving into town? Nice aroma to promote Los Osos.

Churadogs you say,
"Both sites are still under legal constraints vis a vis "allowed" smells."

Yeah - Tri-W zero. Ripley has not yet stated the "allowed smell factor" for out of town, just that it WILL smell.

Anonymous said...

sewertoons..........
have you been to the wastewater treatment facility in Pacifica?
it's very close to the same design as the Tri-W project. I have friends that live in Pacifica. Guess what sewertoons? When you stand within 6-8 hundred yards of the Pacifica wastewater treatment plant, it smells like SHIT. Fortunately, their plant is on the OUTSIDE of town. And you, being the ignorant and stupid bitch that you are, want this SHIT smell right in the center of our town. So, sewertoons, in the words of Dan Akroyd.....you ignorant bitch, until you drive to Pacifica and take a nice deep whiff....i don't want to hear anything about smell from you. As a matter of fact, why dont you go tomorrow. in this 115 degree weather, i'm sure that wastewater treatment facility is oder free. i'm sure it smells just fantastic right now. NOT!!!!!!
Yes sewertoons, go tomorrow. if you don't pass out and die from the smell, come back and tell us all about it. I really hope you don't die though. it would be a shame not having an idiot like you to expose in this blog. Like i said, i have friends in Pacifica. fortunately, they cant smell the sewer from their home cause it's on the EDGE OF TOWN!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. in los osos the wind blows from west to east 364 out of 365 days a year. i know this cause i ride my bike on LOVR almost every day. i NEVER have the wind at my back when i'm riding from slo to los osos....NEVER. of course there is that one day every five years that we may get an offshore brease. on that one day we may have to deal with some dissipated smell from that OUT OF TOWN wastewater facility that's 2 or 3 miles away. oh shit, we don't want that. we don't want the shit smell 2-3 miles outside of town. we want it right here in the center of town. wait, just a second, i've got even a better idea. let's put our shit right in the center of our town and have stinky sludge trucks that get 3 miles to the gallon pay $3.50 going to $4.00 a gallon to haul our shit to santa maria and bakersfield.......yes, you're right. we don't have enough problems with our water pollution we need more air and noise pollution too. let me apologise sewertoons. you're not an idiot. you're a fucking genius. you're mensa aren't you. NOT. in all seriousness, you do have to be the biggest fucking idiot in town. anybody that thinks the middle of town sludge factory wont smell is dumb as dirt and stupid as shit. anybody that thinks it's a good idea to have shit dripping sludge trucks hauling our shit at $4 dollars a mile is a moron..........

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:37 says too many things to quote. But aside from his not very subtle choice of words, provides no references to substantiate his claims.

Who are these friends that will verify the problems in Pacifica?

A quick Google search verifies that their regional water board issued them a CDO in 1993 for their failing WWTP; subsequently they have built a new plant that is modeled more or less in the eco friendly style. In fact, the plant has won some awards.

Maybe these friends live near the old plant?

If anything, you should be touting Pacifica's new and operating plant, it is considered GREEN.

You wouldn't be "spinning" in your anger would you? Or, maybe choose different "friends"!

Sewertoons said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sewertoons said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sewertoons said...

Phew, anon 7:37 - guess I hit a nerve!! All hostilities aside, could we be talking about the same Pacifica? And what year are you talking about - pre- 2000, or post 2000?

http://www.cclr.org/press2.htm

The Pre-2000 Pacifica, California site that I Googled is awash with violations and does not resemble Tri-W in the least. if you don't believe me, which I am sure you don't, read below.

http://www.sfei.org/camp/servlet/DisplayProgram?which=General&pid=SFCA0037494

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:zhvOPVXjH_oJ:www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb2//Agenda/09-19-01/09-19-01-ACL01-089.doc+wastewater+treatment+california+%22pacifica%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6

The post 2000 plant is wetlands with solar disinfection.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/localnews/ci_4035780

So how are Tri-W and Pacifica similar?