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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hello? HEL-OOOOO? Wake up! Yoo0-Hoooo! HEY, Los Osos . . Friday, July 7, 7 pm at the Los Osos Community Center: Ripley Team Wastewater Alternatives Update, including: (1) Hydro-geology of the Los Osos Water Basin by Ken Schmidt, Hydrologist, Nitrate & Groundwater specialist and Professor from Fresno with 40 years experience monitering effluent in the Fresno Basin. (2) Collection Systems Alternatives, by Joe Leach, civil engineer, including preliminary feasibility, cost estimates, exhibits, fee calculations, drainage design, storm drainage basin design, etc. (3) Treatment System Alternatives, by Dana Ripley, Lead Consultant and Project Manager, expert in zero discharge and sustainable design and (4) Site election for Treatment Plant location, by Dr. Bahman Sheikh, Water Resource and Reuse Specialist from the Bay area. So, HELLO, HEY, YOU THERE, YES, YOU. Out of your Barcalounger. No more sitting in front of your computer reading and commenting on this blog. Time to get up to speed, else you'll be left in the dust, chuga-chugga. Elvis AND the train are leaving the building.

19 comments:

Shark Inlet said...

Might I humbly suggest that becuase of AB2701 and because of the bankruptcy of the CSD and because of the LAFCO hearing, none of this matters.

However, my pet peeve...

Even if Bahman Sheikh has the "best" site (based on the assumption of 100% ag-exchange and STEP and on ponding but without the input of the RWQCB), unless he incorporates realistic importance weightings that are relevant to our community, his site selection will be bogus. For example, if we gave folks an option of $300/month for gravity/MBR/TriW or $400/month for STEP/ponding/out-of-town (not that the RWQCB would approve of such a plan anyways), it would be interesting to see where the chips would fall. If Sheikh's metric doesn't include realistic information about inflation and the delay associated with re-inventing the wheel, the only way one could get any information from the report is to take his numbers and to re-weight them appropriately. This, actually, would be a good exercise.

Spectator said...

It would be a good idea to see what Ripley says. It would be nice to see what the money that put us into insolvency bought.

Had the LOCSD been truthful with us and had projections of insolvency, I doubt Ripley would have been around. No wonder they had their payment put into an escrow account. Apparently Ripley had an idea of what was coming, and the negotiations were in "bad faith". But that is for the court to decide.

PublicWorks said...

Legal, consulting, and management fees unrelated to Ripley are what has put the CSD on the brink of insolvency. Lack of financial planning has put the LOCSD on the brink.

Had the LOCSD been truthful about all the costs associated with re-starting from scratch, voters could have made an informed decision. Had the LOCSD proposed a special tax to pay for all those costs, there could have been a choice. Now the choice may well be made for us.

Why do voters in Los Osos always seem to think they'll get something for free??

Anonymous said...

Hi. Does anyone have anything to report from the LAFCO hearing this morning? Would appreciate it if anyone who was there could relay the information. Thanks.

Ron said...

Damn, I can't make it to the meeting tonight. Pleeeeease, someone do me a huge favor -- ask Ripley why they didn't identify a "project objective for centrally located community amenities?"

Anon said:
"Does anyone have anything to report from the LAFCO hearing this morning?"

Here's the link to the Trib's story.

Shark Inlet said...

Why didn't Ripley add a park as part of site selection decision? Because the LOCSD board didn't ask him to. Why does Ripley's site selection decision presume that we'll use 100% of the treated wastewater for ag-exchange (even thought this might be costly and even though we don't actually know that there is this much demand for treated wastewater)? Dunno.

The point, Ron, is that there are always decisions made during the site selection phase which are open to criticism. If you're going to take the attitude that the park drove the selection of the TriW site (even though you've never shown this to be the case, you've just suggested as much but you don't have any proof) and if you're going to say that such a choice was wrong becuase the people don't want to pay extra for a park ... then logically you've got to take the same attitude about Ripley's site selection. We've never been asked in any way whether we want ag-exchange instead of directly pumping treated wastewater into the ground at Broderson. Why should we have to live with Ripley's choice of sites and pay extra for it just because it was presumed best before studying alternatives?

Which is it Ron ... was TriW+park fine or is the "out of town" conclusion so far fatally flawed? You can't say that one was right and the other wrong. The new board is doing just as much slight-of-hand stuff (if not more) than the old board.

Why the bias, Ron? Maybe you prefer the new board simply because you've not yet dug into the story. Maybe because you are friends with one or more of the boardmembers. Dunno.

Ron said...

Shark said:

"If you're going to take the attitude that the park drove the selection of the TriW site (even though you've never shown this to be the case, you've just suggested as much but you don't have any proof)"

Shark, here's Coastal Commission staff member, Steve Monowitz's phone number:
(831) 427-4863

Please call him and ask him this question:

"Ron keeps saying: 'No park. No Tri-W.' Is he right?"

(Actually, the better question is: "Ron keeps saying: 'No "strongly held community value" that any sewer plant in Los Osos must also double as a centrally located "recreational asset," no Tri-W.' Is he right?" But: "No park, no Tri-W" sounds cooler.)

Please do that. You're not going to find a better source than Steve to answer that question. That way, every time you bring up that horrible take above, and you do it all the time, I won't have to reset all that crap again, and I can just simply say, "Did you call Steve?"

Just because you are unable to comprehend my arguments, doesn't mean I haven't proved them, as you will instantly find out if you make that phone call... or attend the revocation hearing, if it comes to that.

And, oh, yea, that reminds me... please, PLEASE get Tri-W back for the sole reason of my revocation hearing. That'd be mighty swell of ya. 'preciate it.

"Why the bias, Ron? Maybe you prefer the new board simply because you've not yet dug into the story. Maybe because you are friends with one or more of the boardmembers. Dunno."

Earth to Shark... you seem to be low on oxygen. Now back away from your worn out keyboard and attend that meeting tonight. Something tells me you're going to see the project that should have been selected the minute the Solution Group's plan predictably flamed out in 2000.

Anonymous said...

Ron, you really ought to see somebody about your "park" obsession! Maybe you didn't get to the "park" as child?

Mike Green said...

Ron, will do. although I might bite my tounge.
Jon, It was an honor meeting you last night! The visit from Sam was icing on the cake!
Hope the pants fit!

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"Even if Bahman Sheikh has the "best" site (based on the assumption of 100% ag-exchange and STEP and on ponding but without the input of the RWQCB), unless he incorporates realistic importance weightings that are relevant to our community, his site selection will be bogus."

If you had attended the meeting, you would have heard Mr. Sheik state that WMH used 3 siting criteria while they used something like 16, most of which were based not on "opinion" but hard, verifiable data, i.e. depth to groundwater, closeness to earthquake faults, prevailing winds, actual measurement of distance to nearest neighbors.

and so forth.And, Inlet, I hope you'll track down the tape of the last Wastewater meeting (on Channel 20 I think) wherein one of the committee members describes just what happened at the meeting wherein the Tri W site was selected. His description of the methods used at that meeting gave me a sudden attack of nausea. I hope you'll watch it and then go talk to the gentlemen telling the committee what he witnessed Lo, these many years ago.

Anonymous said...

That was Gordon Taylor, he tells the story well. Pay very close attention, I was there, saw it and can verify the commputer had a glitch and the whole thing shuffled.

Anonymous said...

Churadog, what could possibly been said that gave you a sudden attack of nausea? Does this not fall into the range of hear say? I though hearsay is not considered evidence?

Shark Inlet said...

Sure Sheik had more criteria ... but did he have the right ones? Did he have the criteria weighted correctly?

If, for some reason, TriW/gravity/MBR/Broderson would only run us $250/month but out-of-town/STEP/ponding/AG-exchange were to run us $400/month, I suspect that many of us would say that Sheik's weighting should be thrown out the window if TriW didn't come out as the top site.

The point here is that it is the entire package ... site and all associated costs ... that should be evaluated.

Again, after seeing what Sheik told us, it is very clear that he didn't include any reasonable estimate of the time to starting the construction on the out-of-town plant and he didn't include any reasonable estimate of the interest in construction costs. Thus, any site he says will be best is only best in a limited ... not including any financial considerations sort of way.

You promised us back after the election that the new board would study all options, that WillDan would verify that continuing with TriW was worse than the alternatives. After WillDan didn't do anything, Ripley got a very limited contract to study a few options and it appears that they've done so in such a way that stacked the deck against TriW. No big deal ... really ... because the County is taking over and they'll do what is best, not what Ripley says is best after they they make tons of non-verifiable assumptions or what MWH says is best after they make other questionable choices.


As to Ron ... he clearly was responding in haste because he didn't address the key issue. I claimed he hadn't shown the Park to have dictated the TriW location. His response was to refer me to a CCC staffer who could (presumably, I haven't checked yet) tell me that ammenities was part of the TriW selection criteria. We all know that. What we don't know is what site would have been chosen if the park hadn't been included as a criterion.

Along those lines, if we were to follow Ron's logic, if we end up with an "out of town" site because we'll be using Ag-exchange or because we want ponding and if ... later ... we don't end up using ag-exchange or if ponding isn't the method we use, we ought to start over at square zero on the site selection question.

This is all to say ... Ron should now be railing against the Ripley analysis (so far) becuase it includes lots of assumptions in the site selection discussion that aren't based on any community input at all (like ponds and ag-exchange). However, he is quiet about these issues which are logically identical to the things he found so objectionable a few years ago. So ... why the double standard? I've suggested it might be because he is simply biased. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me like he cares deeply about the WWTF location and, like Ann, seems to support anything that will work to hurt TriW and seems to oppose anything that will work to help TriW.

Frankly that is saying the ends justify the means.

I, on the other hand, care about the costs and doing whatever will keep the costs the lowest. With the Blakeslee proposal we have a chance to get our costs back down into the "reasonable" $2-300 range. Good thing!

One thing that has also troubled me a bit about this matter is that Ron and Ann, after having been asked repeatedly over many months to investigate and discuss the financial considerations can only say things like STEP is "waaaaaaaay cheaper" and that "I'm not good at math". Even though I am not an accountant or an engineer, I think it is worth learning a bit about some of the key issues our community is facing before weighing in with strong opinions. So ... I looked into the numbers and some of the technical issues (probably not as much as Publicworks, but enough to reach what seems like a solid conclusion). I would have expected more from columnists who claim to have done their research.

Anonymous said...

I believe there was a lot of community input for "out-of-town" and "ag-exchange" and "ponds" when the recall went through. We wanted ponds in 1998 when we voted for them and we want ponds in 2005 when we voted for them. I'm having a hard time understanding what is so difficult to decipher here?

Shark Inlet said...

Um...

The point I was making to Ron is that he's harped on the lack of any formal vote for the inclusion of a park at TriW.

Along those lines we have NOT had any similar formal vote for out-of-town, ag-exchange and ponds. If you would like to interpret the recall vote as vote for these things, let me remind you that there were other issues as well that were part of the campaign and we cannot nicely attribute the recall to any one issue.

In fact, one thing Ann and I agree on is that if the recall election were scheduled for before the start of construction the recall would likely have failed. We both met many people who were reluctant to vote for a recall until after the dates were set. Personally I think that this is a really stupid reason to vote for the recall, but it was the reason many folks gave when asked.

So ... back to the issue at hand. While ag-exchange might be a really good thing, but it hasn't been shown to be either cheapest or something that our community as a whole would back up. From folks I talk to it seems that they vote their pocketbook more than anything else. The bulk of those supporting the new board seems reluctant to consider cost questions. Had the recall campaign promised HIGHER costs but to move the plant out of town, would they have won?

What's your opinion? Would you rather TriW and $225/month or out-of-town/ponding/step/ag-exchange at $325/month? If you are willing to pay more and if the bulk of our community agrees the choice seems pretty much a no-brainer. If the bulk of us don't want to pay any more, TriW might be the best choice for us all.

Anonymous said...

Shark, When will you add inflation to the Tri-W project, if the LOCSD said go back to Tri-W on Monday, I'd bet my eye tooth it would take 6 months or more to breathe life back into that project, not to mention the new problems that have arisen since the suspension..."Lake Pandora" is a problem, a real one. Digging that hole, designing a plant for that site was a huge mistake.

Shark Inlet said...

If we don't add inflation to TriW it makes for a fair way of evaluating the actions of our board. If we add inflation to TriW (and I did that ... just check the most recent version of the spreadsheet I posted at the Tribune website ... right-click and open in a new window).

The key point here ... delay hurts us. The short delay for TriW (should the County pick up on the project and get the SRF back and all that good stuff) will only cost us some $50-$75/month but if we choose to go with out-of-town it will run us even more.

As to "Lake Pandora" ... it is hard to tell what the situation would be like after storm drains are added to take care of the runoff from Broderson and Bayview heights.

Churadogs said...

Anony sez"Anonymous said...
That was Gordon Taylor, he tells the story well. Pay very close attention, I was there, saw it and can verify the commputer had a glitch and the whole thing shuffled.

12:57 PM, July 08, 2006"

The computer had a glitch, the whole thing just shuffled weirdly and nobody noticed the glitch and so Tri-W was sited on the glitch of a computer? Is that what you're saying?

another Anon sez"Anonymous said...
Churadog, what could possibly been said that gave you a sudden attack of nausea? Does this not fall into the range of hear say? I though hearsay is not considered evidence?

2:27 PM, July 08, 2006 "

I HEARD what Gordon Taylor had to SAY. I suggest you do the same.

Shark Inlet said...

I find two things interesting here a full week after the last comment.

First, we were told about a computer glitch and Gordon's verification ... but you are not describing the computer glitch very well. I don't remember any such glitch that would cause the one site to jump to the forefront when it was destined to be at the back of the line. Any such computer glitch would likely have been behind the scenes and buried in such a way that it would be difficult to ferret out. Any such computer glitch that would occur during a committee meeting would have been just that ... a computer glitch and nothing more. If there was really an error in the site rankings for the TriW selection, it would be nice if you all could dig up any documents or weightings or computer programs done by Bruce or MWH or whomever that show what was done and compare it to what should have been done.

Along those lines and likely more importantly, Ann has not weighed in on the key issue about site selection in the last ten days. The questions are whether Ripley/Sheikh are stacking the deck in their site comparison and whether they are doing this because they were told to only investigate STEP/ponding/AG-exchange. Essentially when one looks at only a small subset of the possible options (um .... one) it makes the comparison easy ... but worthless.

If we ever see the basis for Sheikh's site comparison (hint: it has not been revealed to the public at all in any detail) it will likely be after Lisa tells us that the conclusions are solid and that the "prove" that TriW is the worse choice.