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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mirror Image

There is an old saying that when you point a finger at somebody, if you look at your hand, you’ll see 3 fingers pointing back at you.

This folk wisdom came to mind reading the latest issue of the Bay News announcing the “Deadline Approaching for CSD Election,” a story about the “ . . . only political neophyte Maria Kelly [who]has [actually] filed a declaration of candidacy for the Nov 7 election for the Los Osos Community Services District Board of Directors. Four other familiar faces in the town’s sewer wars – none representing CSD opponents – have said they intend to run for the three open seats. Kelley, who has lived in the community for just over a year, . . .” has announced she’s going to run for the CSD seat that may be vacated by John Fouche. So far, Ms. Kelly is the only one whose actually taken out filing papers – for now – although several other folks are planning on running as well (Dave Duggan and Al Barrow, among other possible candidates.)

The story continues with a real howler: “When asked why no one from Taxpayers Watch had come forward, group president Joyce Albright said, ‘Nobody wants to run actually, because they don’t want to put up with the pain, the insults, the slander. Nobody wants to be abused like that. It’s gotten crazy, you’ve got to admit.”

Ah, Joyce, Joyce, truer words have never been spoken. Indeed, I find it “crazy,” for example, that a former recalled Board Member would sue the very CSD he served for “wasting money” on, among other things, frivolous lawsuits and lawyers and court cases, by – filing a lawsuit that did nothing but waste MORE money, paid for by the very citizens this former member irreparably harmed by voting to pound millions of their tax dollars into the ground only weeks before a recall. Crazy stuff all right.

And as for “insults, slander, pain . . .?” Oh, Gosh, Joyce, you’re absolutely right! One of the more interesting performances at the CSD meetings is when Joyce arrives to deliver her previously written, carefully honed and polished 3-minute Smack-Down of the Board and all their heirs and assigns, a carefully delivered, premeditated exercise in the measured infliction of pain, one that leaves the Board members dripping with vitriol. In its sheer measured calculation, it’s always a breathtakingly good performance!

Unfortunately, the skin-crawling, hair raising effect for me is too often obliterated when Joyce returns to her scooter to be greeted by her darling little white dog waiting there in the basket and as she drives away the unbidden image of Margaret Hamilton on her bicycle flies into my mind, complete with a high-pitched cackle ringing in my ears: “Heee-Heee-Heeeee, I’ll get you AND your little dog . . . .”

Suddenly, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Not, I’m sure, what Joyce had in mind.

Well, newcomer Kelly will discover there are many surprises here in Sewerville. But bless her and everyone else who decides to run. If/when the county takes the sewer project over, I can only hope that the Sewer Jihadis on either side will put a sock in it for a while, in order to let the process operate as promised. There will be plenty to do to repair the damage done by previous boards who accidentally and on-purpose ran this train off the tracks. And it will be critical that there are lots of eyes on the proposed project to spot the old sly, finger-on-the-scale manipulation that's going on even as I type.

Which means that besides whoever gets elected, it’s the ultimate responsibility of this community to stay awake during the process to make sure they don’t get fooled . . . again.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Which means that besides whoever gets elected, it’s the ultimate responsibility of this community to stay awake during the process to make sure they don’t get fooled . . . again."

Couldn't agree more Ann! "We've got a plan. It's ready to go. Under $100.00 per month. We won't get fined. We won't lose the SRF loan......." Yep, let's all hope the people of Los Osos don't get fooled again!

Ron said...

Anon said:

"Couldn't agree more Ann! "We've got a plan. It's ready to go. Under $100.00 per month. We won't get fined. We won't lose the SRF loan......." Yep, let's all hope the people of Los Osos don't get fooled again!"

"We've got a plan." Yep... Rip's, lean, mean, logical, efficient, downwind, out-of-town plan. It makes a lot of sense, if you ask me.

"It's ready to go." The Coastal Commission's stamp is dripping ink , waiting to approve an "environmentally preferred" location. They've always hated Tri-W, and were "duped" into approving it. And, as their brilliant staff has told me, they're pissed.

"Under $100.00 per month." Depending on how the numbers are twisted, that sounds about ballpark-ish.

"We won't get fined." Maybe you wouldn't have if some of your neighbors didn't aggressively lobby the RWQCB to fine you. By the way, the "Dreamers", before the election, said that fine was going to be $11 million. It was just over $6 million. Apparently, the new guys saved you $5 million... well done. And since Rip's plan is estimated at $79 million cheaper, it sounds like you can now afford that $6 mil.

"We won't lose the SRF loan." You lost that SRF loan. Have you contacted the SWRCB and supported the CSD's application for a new SRF loan? That would help a lot in getting that loan back.

I just don't see it. What has the new board done wrong? Paid attorneys to settle lawsuits? That can be argued that it saved your community millions in the long run.

What have they done wrong? They said if they were elected they would stop the Tri-Dub project. They got elected and stopped the Tri-Dub project. Sticking to campaign promises is a good thing.

Then they hired a reputable wastewater engineering firm that quickly came up with an elegant solution to your water quality problems.

By the way, Ann, I agree. That little white dog is adorable. She stopped and let me pet it at a RWQCB meeting last December (I believe). Cute little guy.

Shark Inlet said...

Here's the funny thing.

Many in our community knew that the $100/month claim was pretty much somewhere along a sliding scale between hopefully optimistic statement and baldfaced lie just to get elected. Might I refer you to my comments in this blog before the election. By the way, Ann eschewed those comments as just speculation and not worth the paper they were written on ... um ... as it were.

We now know that their plan wasn't a plan in any technical sense but rather a plan to hire someone with technical knowhow to explore the possibility of an out of town plant. Where the cost estimate came from is unknown. Certainly the cost of the Ripley plan, even if Ripley was right and there is no inflation in construction costs will still run us at least 50% more than what the candidates told us.

Nope, the dreamers and all those campaigning against the recall were right. Pretty much everything predicted by our side turned out to happen. Pretty much nothing predicted by those who won and those campaigning for them.

Considering the track record of our CSD board and their supporters (count the number of lawsuits they've won without settling them under the table ... count the number of predictions they've correctly made ... count the number of facts they've told us that turned out to be un-factual) one would wonder whether our community would realize yet that Al Barrow and Dave Duggin would be just about the worst thing to happen to our CSD. At least John, Chuck and Steve are coherent and can focus on the issues (why, by the way, aren't they running for re-election ... one has to wonder ... and why if they aren't running for re-election, why aren't there LOTTF/CCLO candidates for their seats ... one would think that Keith and Linde would run?). If they are two of the three candidates running for the seats I can't think of a better argument for dissolution.

Here's my question for you, Ann ... would you be willing to go back and re-read what you wrote and what the dreamers wrote during the campaign period and evaluate who was closer to correct? I would think that such an exercise would be somewhat eye-opening.

Shark Inlet said...

By your logic Ron:

"What have they done wrong? They said if they were elected they would stop the Tri-Dub project. They got elected and stopped the Tri-Dub project. Sticking to campaign promises is a good thing."

The previous board should be applauded. The Solutions Group was elected on a platform of putting a sewer and park in the middle of town and the support was overwhelming.

The RWQCB changed some things in the Solutions Group plans but they stuck with their campaign promise and tried their best to put a sewer and park at TriW.

I disagree with your logic by the way. The board is elected to represent the community. They are given the right to make certain decisions for us. They are elected to govern responsibly. Situations change. If the RWQCB has some authority over the CSD (instead of the other way around) some campaign promises may simply be impossible.

We'll see about TriW. The County might like the ready-to-go TriW project more than the Ripley brainstorm. They might (after doing a reasonable cost estimate and engineering analysis) might think that TriW is better than Giacomazzi. They might choose out-of-town over TriW. We don't know.

As to your "ballpark-ish" comment ... it sounds rather "bait-n-switchy" to me. If I'm told that I'll only have to pay $100/month if I vote for John, Chuck and Steve but then I find out that they propose to charge me $150/month and that they've underestimated those costs considerably (did you go to the meeting where they told us that greater water use and nitrate removal and tertiary treatment would mean higher costs?) I feel as if they lied to me.

Considering you don't live in Los Osos you have the luxury of saying "ballpark-ish". We who live here are reading the numbers far more carefully and it seems that Richard has done the most careful analysis. Does the $275/month he thinks is the best case scenario for Ripley sound "ballpark-ish" close to $100/month to you?

Shark Inlet said...

I stand corrected. Steve and Chuck have filed paperwork to run. So far the list includes:

Chuck Cesena, Steve Senet (the incumbents)
Al Barrow, Dave Duggan (the nutjobs)
Maria Kelley, Lynette Tornatzky (the opposition candidates)

See the "Candidates list (local)" on the County Clerk-Recorder page for the Nov 7 election (right-click and open in a new window).

Spectator said...

After reading the comment above by Ann, I find nothing but twisted logic to support her opinion. I also feel she has been grossly unkind to Joyce Albright. Nothing but vitriol. Shame on Ann. Shame!

Ann, do own a home? Ann, do you respect the majority of the people who are going to pay for this sewer system? Do you realize that we have been forced to build this sewer, any sewer. Do you realize that ANY LOCSD will require a 218 vote to remove their debts to get out of bankruptcy? Do you realize that ANY board of directors will be spending 90% of their time dealing with stopgap measures to fix problems with NO money? Where will they find vendors, loans, etc.? They are going to have to increase garbage rates and water rates drastically. Without a 218 vote to get them out of bankruptcy absolutely nothing will happen except dissolution. No one will loan or advance any credit to a district in bankruptcy. They will have to pay cash. True, they will get property taxes, fire taxes, etc. But the debts will have to be paid off. If the debts stay the same, it will be many many years before they are paid off. OUR DISTRICT cannot stay in bankruptcy forever. We will be required to accept very minimal services, despite still paying the same amout of taxes. Who will support the continuance of ANY LOCSD and self rule by voting to assess themselves for the debts incurred since this board took power?

This will have to occur before the LOCSD can come out of bankruptcy. The LOCSD will be dissolved, and I await the decision of LAFCO after the Blakeslee bill goes through and is signed. Aug 17th will be a terrific meeting, if they do not decide to push it off again.

The fools on this board, who stopped a mandated sewer, and put us into insolvency, AND WHO YOU SUPPORTED, have caused the destruction. Our train was on track.

Why do you not run with Al Barrow, with the logic of your last commentary you sound like him. While I support your right to your opinion, I have always questioned the eccentricity and emotion behind it. How come you only hear what you want to hear, and see only what you want to see? And you wish respect for your opinions? Like this LOCSD board, crawdaddy, and Al Barrow?

Use intelligence and not emotion to back your opinion. Apparently, even without 20/20 hindsight, you still cannot see, and simply because YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE. You have deligated yourself to be an apologist for actions that are beyond appology, and, possibly may be found criminal.

Your personal attack against Joyce Albright is not appreciated. Pick on Al Barrow and the other assorted nutjobs (courtesy El Tiberon) instead: You know, the great minds and legal experts who have put us in this position.

Be careful Ann, I am sure you do not want to be considered a nutjob.

So far, I have not worn stripped socks........................

Anonymous said...

shark inlet said... "Here's my question for you, Ann ... would you be willing to go back and re-read what you wrote and what the dreamers wrote during the campaign period and evaluate who was closer to correct? I would think that such an exercise would be somewhat eye-opening."

There certainly are a lot of things IN THE PAST that would be eye opening... but arent you the biggest proponent of looking forward and forgetting the past... or is that only when it serves you.

You are such a hypocrite... I'll be watching you.

Anonymous said...

Ann,

I, too find your remarks hypocritical. Where were you when the prior board members were being attacked? When Sylvia Smith was attacked by Julie Tacker? When Rose Bowker was being attacked for trying to restore order to the meetings? When ugly insinuations were being made about Gordon Hensley or about how Stan Gustafson treated his mother? Joyce Albright doesn't get personal, she just draws attention to what she believes (as do many of us) are the faulty decisions being made by the current board.

The only thing the prior boards did was try to comply with the law, and come to think of it, I don't recall you complaining too much when you thought you would get a dog park at TriW.

How can you continue to defend the current board? I used to respect your brilliant mind and clear perspective. These days you are nothing but a pot stirrer, Ann. Nothing more, nothing less. If this issue gets resolved tomorrow, what will you write about?

Spectator said...

To anon: 2:20 8/10/06

Hypocrite? Sharky? Not likely! And if you have been reading him in the past, you could never come to this conclusion, especially if you have read CCRWQCB discourses, or legal briefs, finantial analysis, or everything else pertinant to this discussion.

And the fact that you are anonomyous means that you are not proud of anything you write, but are simply a drive by hit man, without documentation or logic. And you SHOULD be "watching him" so you can learn something.

We are all blessed with 20/20 hindsight, so WHAT things in the past would be eye opening? You write like franc3. Are you not going to sign up for the blog, get a name, sign your name, and answer questions with facts? We can learn to respect your intelligence, if it exists.

And that brings to mind a long dissertation about "smart pills", but there was no foul language used above, just "hypocrite".

Shark Inlet said...

To my anonymous watching critic ...

Glad you're watching.

I am not saying that we should look to the past because we can return there but because we can learn from our mistakes. In this case I believe that Ann has made some mistakes in the past by supporting the recall. Perhaps if she re-reads what she predicted and what others predicted and their reasoning she can learn that a sound financial analysis (even one with some assumed numbers) isn't just "spectulation" to ignore but worth paying attention to. Had the LOCSD board done a cost-benefit analysis of stopping the TriW project beforehand they would have paused before taking an action which could increase our costs in a horrible fashion. They chose not to and Ann cheered them on all the way.

What do you propose we do with the past? Ignore it or use it to blame others?

Myself, I propose we use it to learn.

Anonymous said...

Blame the present, blame the past. Neither gets a sewer built. Tit for tat ain't where it's at!

Anonymous said...

Shark said... "I am not saying that we should look to the past because we can return there but because we can learn from our mistakes."

This is the best line that ever came out of you. I am going to keep this quote permanantly on my clipboard so I can ctrl-v it every time you jump on someone for criticizing what the old CSD board did.

You are a hypocrite sir... for the simple reason that you criticize everyone that mentions the old board, and blames them for where we are now... yet you do the same all the time... the ol' double standard... and that my friends, is the exact definition of a hypocrite.

I could go back and find every axample of you doing this on this blog... and paste this quote next to it... but I dont have the weeks it would take to find all the times you contridicted yourself... there are plenty.

On to more important issues...
Shark said... "Had the LOCSD board done a cost-benefit analysis of stopping the TriW project beforehand they would have paused before taking an action which could increase our costs in a horrible fashion."

This is such a fallacious statement... you propse that the new CSD board, upon being sworn in should have continued construction... and the resulting spending,digging, and DEstruction while they studied their options.

This is rediculous on two counts.

First, if you really think there was no reasonable reason for moving the sewer because the old csd board had moved us too far forward to move back, then there should have been no reason to even look at their options... they should have just allowed the completion of the project... if that really is how you feel, then why now do you suggest that they should have wasted their time and money on a cost-benefit analysis? That seems to contradict your position.

Second... if you support even the possibility that there were options at that time to move the sewer, or alter it in any way that could benefit the citizens of Los Osos then why would you continue to pound milions of dollars into the ground while you studied these alternatives? Please give me a good reason to continue down that road if your goal is to see if it is possible to save money and/or move the sewer.

If your position is the first scenario then stick with that argument and quit coming up with things the board should've, could've, would've done. Just say you think they should have never stopped construction and should've completed the project. Leave it at that and move on to what you think they should do now (again, the future not the past).

If you agree with scenario two I look forward to an answer to my question.If you dont have an answer then consider the fact that SUSPENDING the project was the smartest thing to do while they studied their options.

Unfortunately, they immediately came under seige and were never even given the option to restart the project. I am not saying they would have or wnated to, but even you have to agree that they would never have been able to restart EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO.

Maybe you can explain the wisdom of the waterboards in painting Los Osos into that corner.

Anonymous said...

Shark Inlet =Troll Cove
& the entourage...
Ann, you are too patient with these bastards tooo long.
Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury, raise the double standard.
Mud sharks are bottom feeders.
Gary Karner's wife does Los Osos.
the Tribune is a corporate, realtor driven hack rag.
The democratic voice in Los Osos is drowned by big dollar, routine California water politics.
Kalifornia Ubber Alles.
Albright macht frei.
another anon watching and making ready...

Mike Green said...

Spectator speculated:
" . I also feel she has been grossly unkind to Joyce Albright. Nothing but vitriol. Shame on Ann. Shame!"

Uh Jon, maybe you are forgetting all of Joyce's vitreol, insulting letters to the Triv?.
Maybe you didn't take offence at her personal attacks on good people that were (regardless of what we may think about the outcome)just trying wholeheartedly to do their best.
No, Joyce deserved it. shame on her.
And now cowering behind weak statements of "its too much trouble"
Jon, I respect you to no end, but Joyce is below contempt to me.
I'm going to write you in! Like it or not!

Mike Green said...

And then I'm going to Panama.
going to check it out, can't let you have ALL the fun!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:58 PM, August 10, 2006,

says among much muck:

"On to more important issues...
Shark said... "Had the LOCSD board done a cost-benefit analysis of stopping the TriW project beforehand they would have paused before taking an action which could increase our costs in a horrible fashion."


Does this anon have any understandng of what a cost benefit analysis is? It is comparable to looking down first, before you blindly jump over a small rise and find yourself unexpectanly hurdling down the Grand Canyon and wishing you had that parachute.

Rocket science (as Santa Margarita Ron would say)is not required to realize that cancelling multi-million dollar contracts, spending state loan money, promised fines being pressed, yada yada would be considerable less than a brilliant strategy.

Truly, a blind man could see that stopping a project with its millions of dollars of already incurred or contracted costs being added to an unknown, undefined, unscheduled future project, would not likely lead to a less expensive resolution. Any other conclusion is simply denial of reality!

Anonymous said...

"Shark Inlet =Troll Cove
& the entourage...
Ann, you are too patient with these bastards tooo long.
Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury, raise the double standard.
Mud sharks are bottom feeders.
Gary Karner's wife does Los Osos.
the Tribune is a corporate, realtor driven hack rag.
The democratic voice in Los Osos is drowned by big dollar, routine California water politics.
Kalifornia Ubber Alles.
Albright macht frei.
another anon watching and making ready..."

Could someone translate this into something intelligable?

Is this the infamous "snake man"?

Shark Inlet said...

To our anonymous troll friend ...

Some of what you wrote (in italics)

The democratic voice in Los Osos is drowned by big dollar, routine California water politics.

No, the democratic voice in Los Osos was drowned by Recall candidates who lied about having a $100/month plan. Had they told the truth ("we're going to put a sewer out of town and it will cost you more than TriW") they would not have won.

Kalifornia Ubber Alles.

If you are going for the German or for the Dead Kennedys you got it wrong. Auf Deutsch it would be "Kalifornien uber alles" and according to our friend Jello Biafra it is "California Uber Alles."

Albright macht frei.

That was funny!

Now go away.

Spectator said...

Mike:
Things must have passed me by, but I never read anything or heard anything attributed to Joyce like a personal attack. It always seemed to me to be a war of ideas.

You need to go to the Tribune blogs and check out the record of personal attacks. There is a big difference in calling a person or blogger a hypocrite or Julie Tacker and Lisa Schicker fat, stupid, etc. or Stan a grafter, in a personal attack than saying a group of people were lied to by proponents of a recall election. And please consider the personal vitriol against Pandora Nash-Garner, rather than her ideas.

So Joyce has insulted the ideas of a group of people? But please show me where she has personally attacked any individuals. The former board members were constantly attacked personally. Joyce has been constantly attacked personally, and she really did not start being attacked until Taxpayers Watch was founded, and it was founded as an aftermath to the "gift of public funds to the lawyers", and the discussion of the settlement by (McClendon?).

This is what has made this a very difficult situation: nobody listens to someone who attacks them personally, they either ignore them or strike back. Maybe the former board should have listened to the attackers. Yup, listen to the brillience and intellect of the attackers.

Take a look at anon 7:08 PM 8/10.
Just above you. And you want to write me in? Go ahead, waste your vote. Ha! In the meantime we gonna pay, and there is nothing a LOCSD board will be able to do.

And you think the current board is composed of good people? Nice maybe, but absolutely no good for the taxpayers of this community.

Hell, I just want my real estate to go up like everyone else. I do not want to pump and smell the constant stench of pumping, I just want a sewer and closure to this mess.

I just want to get beat up by marlin, tuna, sailfish, and wahoo. And when it is too rough to go outside, snook and tarpon.

Spectator said...

And I was too tough on Ann: I struck back! I appologise, two wrongs do not make a right!

Anonymous said...

Truth be told, when Joyce Albright appears at CSD meetings I squirm, kinda like when you watch a comedian on stage bombing and you get that uncomfortable, embarrassed feeling. But that feeling is nothing compared to how I feel when an Al Barrow comes up, screaming “Commie!” or whatever his shtick of the day is, behavior that has been tolerated from day one from this board. Behavior that was rewarded with a gift of public funds for his attorneys from this board. Or when Keith Swanson or Richard Margetson or David Dugan or Linde Owen come up, reeking of sarcasm and contempt for all those who might not agree with them. Or when Joey Racano comes up, dressed in full businessman regalia when the whole town knows just who he is. Or Ron Crawford, who is obsessively stuck in the past and who, jeeeez, doesn’t even live here! Or when Gail McPherson proclaims “Tri-W is dead, get over it.” A Johnny-come-lately from out of town whose transgressions in Riverside are well documented and has the gall to pass herself off as a community-minded civic leader. Who now reminds me of an over-caffeinated nervous wreck at meetings now that her potential for power is slowly eroding. And the list goes on.
There’s no shortage of characters to add to the list, Ann. Joyce simply represents the yin to all the other’s I mentioned above yang. Just another of the radical fringe of sewer players who have hijacked this community for years now. But for me, the difference is, Joyce Albright isn’t costing me any money (you can’t possibly in good faith blame her 2 lawsuits out of what, 12? 14? for the financial difficulties of the CSD, can you?) . But Al Barrow has cost this community plenty. And all the rest of the obstructionists, the old “no-sewer” guard; those who now call themselves “move-the-sewer” folks; the Tri-W paranoids; the "Tri-W or die" protagonists; who all sadly I presume will continue to obstruct well into the county’s takeover of the project, are costing me, and this community, dearly. Each and every day. And worse still, they have a “leader” in Julie Tacker who will no doubt sell this community down the drain to “prove” that she is right..
The problem as I see it is that this community has indeed been hijacked by the radical fringe on BOTH sides for far too long. And my gut tells me that the majority of Los Osos is simply caught in the middle, flailing along waiting for something to give. But I take great exception to your constant harping, Ann, about the community not taking an interest in this frustrating endeavor. I think many people, like myself, are just busy, well, living, while hoping our elected leaders can do the task they were elected to do. I spent my time in the 1980’s throwing myself in front of trucks, and arrested, protesting the horror of Diablo Canyon. I attend every protest within traveling distance to lend my voice to the irrationality and immorality of the war in Iraq. I spend countless hours e mailing every member of Congress voicing my concerns about the direction of this country. And Los Osos can’t build a sewer???!!! C’mon.
Let the county have this project. Let Tri-W stand on it’s own. If it is as bad as people say it is, then trust that you are all wise and let it be shown that it is, indeed, a bad project. But to all the radical fringe of this sewer debacle I say, get your hands out of my pocket. Stop cloaking yourself in “what’s best for the community” while you continue to run up the cost and threaten our investments, and without being too dramatic, our very lives. Get some perspective. And build a damned sewer.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"Ann,

I, too find your remarks hypocritical. Where were you when the prior board members were being attacked? When Sylvia Smith was attacked by Julie Tacker? When Rose Bowker was being attacked for trying to restore order to the meetings? When ugly insinuations were being made about Gordon Hensley or about how Stan Gustafson treated his mother? Joyce Albright doesn't get personal, she just draws attention to what she believes (as do many of us) are the faulty decisions being made by the current board."

Hmmm, an Anonymous posting, eh? I think you missed the point. The humor I found in Joyce's comments were in her public statements to the Bay News decrying the very thing she's also engaged in. If Al Barrow had been quoted in the Bay News as decrying the awful buse members of the public dump on board members, etc. then I would have gleefully pointed out his own Mau-Mauing (as I did in a previous blog entry, which you probably missed)

"The only thing the prior boards did was try to comply with the law, and come to think of it, I don't recall you complaining too much when you thought you would get a dog park at TriW."

If you had bothered to read my columns on the sewer issue over the years, you would have read continuous questioning of what the previous board was doing.

As for the dog park? I was and am on the Board of Slo-4-Pups, the group that got the first off-leash dog park up and running at El Chorro. Our Board was asked by Bruce Beul to do a report on putting a dog park next to the sewer plant. Our board discussed the problems associated with same, expressed a reluctance to be involved in anyway with such a project,but the Board voted to hold public input meetings and then prepare a report, based on our experience with El Chorro. Personally, I felt and still feel the site wasn't particularly suitable -- too small, parking problems, etc. But, if the community really wanted a dog park and a tot lot and all the other "strongly held community values" items next to a sewer plant, then our Board prepared and turned in a report, held public comment meetings, etc. as we were asked to do by the Buel/CSD.

"How can you continue to defend the current board? I used to respect your brilliant mind and clear perspective. These days you are nothing but a pot stirrer, Ann. Nothing more, nothing less. If this issue gets resolved tomorrow, what will you write about?"

Oh, lordy, Anonymous. Apparently you haven't been reading my columns over the years. For every sewer issue I've written about, there's been, what? dozens of columns on other issues. Dozens. If the sewer is front and center now, it's because, well, it's front and center right now.

Anonymous sez:"The problem as I see it is that this community has indeed been hijacked by the radical fringe on BOTH sides for far too long. And my gut tells me that the majority of Los Osos is simply caught in the middle, flailing along waiting for something to give. But I take great exception to your constant harping, Ann, about the community not taking an interest in this frustrating endeavor. I think many people, like myself, are just busy, well, living, while hoping our elected leaders can do the task they were elected to do"

Someone, also Anon, I think, posted some time ago something that bears repeating. If 1,000 citizens had gotten off their behinds and shown up before the Old Board (maybe around the "bait & switchy" de novo hearing before the CC) and demanded a side-by-side comparison of in-town, vs. out of town, with honest prices and a demand for a 218 type vote for which project they wished to buy (an idea I suggested in a column years ago, the Chinese Menu method) would the Old Board have stopped in their tracks and said, "Jeeze, I think we'd better re-think this whole thing."? But 1,000 citizens never showed up.

Instead the same handful of people showed up, raised serious, serious questions, (via the TAC, as well) but were dismissed as a bunch of radical cranks, and the train was kept on track -- heading for the cliff.

Scarier still, the Old Board apparently did not understand that people HATE recalls. HATE THEM. Espcially in small towns. When that recall got enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, my blood ran cold. (I had witnessed and written about good old Hideous SLO Coastal SchoolBoard wars, so I knew how imposible recalls are to pull off) I knew the CSD was in real trouble. They, apparently, didn't. Train wreck ahead.

In short, the citizens get the government they deserve. If you snooze, you get whatever a small handful of people wish to give you, followed by the bill. I have been writing that warning for years and, need I say it?, that warning has been ignored for years.

Hate it as you will, resent it was you will, that's simply the way our system works. And that's why I closed this blog entry saying that maybe THIS TIME the citizens will wake up and make sure their eyes are on the project at all times and if they see monkey wrenching or sly thumbs on the scale, they'd better show up 1,000 strong in the BoS chambers or they're gonna get screwed . . . again.

Ron said...

An Anon said:

"Or Ron Crawford, who is obsessively stuck in the past and who, jeeeez, doesn’t even live here!"

I see that "doesn't live here" take a lot, and it makes no sense to me.

Look, I do live in this county, and I do live in California and that means my takes are as relevant as any Los Ososan's on this subject, and considering many of your were asleep at the wheel, along with the Tribune, while I was reporting my ass off on this from 1997 to today, more relevant.

So, as long as CSD Boards are going to needlessly pound millions of dollars of state taxpayer money into the ground while other cash-strapped California communties like Mariposa can't get a penny of SRF funding for their reality-based (read: non-amphitheater) sewer plants, I'm going to cover that, because it's a great story, with serious implications outside of Los Osos. However, I know many of you aren't going to see that because you're wearing your thick Los Osos blinders.

As for stuck in the past... remember my comment in Ann's previous blog where I asked for a pdf version of the 2001 "Statement of Overriding Considerations?"

Well, I got it, and wait until you see my report on it. As usual, Ann's 100-percent right, again.

Los Osos, you got screwed.

Anonymous said...

and we continue to get screwed each and every day Ron....to the tune of at least $10,000 per......your avoidance, along with Ann's, to address the current CSD's culpability in this mess goes directly to both of your credibility........

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

What you never seem to get is that even if you and Ann are 100% right about the past (it doesn't mean that today the best solution is to start over from square one). The point of the poem you keep quoting is that it is important to do it right the first time and to not rush. However, this point is only really worth making in situations where time doesn't matter too much. Here time is money ... huge amounts of it.

Not only did Los Osos get screwed, the County got screwed and the State as well. The extra costs because of the actions of Julie Tacker and those who agree with her will mostly affect us in Los Osos. However, because you are so concerned about Mariposa, please remember that the Los Osos sewer will now take up an even larger share of the limited SRF funds (assuming they fund the full project) because of the increased costs. Ron, if you really cared about Mariposa you would have wanted the Los Osos project to be as cheap as possible. The County will also have to pay. They've agreed to invest $2M toward the study of various possible projects and the like before any possible project would go to Los Osos property owners for a vote. It is not clear that even if the vote is successful that the County will get paid back for that $2M investment.

You may point out (perhaps even correctly) that the Solutions Group and the initial LOCSD boards made some unwise decisions back in 1997-2000 that set the stage for this nightmare. Even if this is the case it doesn't mean that the best choice today isn't the TriW plan, as developed by those same boards.

You doubt that the costs are going up but you've never given us any reason for your doubts. The fact that there are several good analyses that show clearly that costs are likely to increase makes me think you simply don't care about the money issue.

Fine ... just please realize that you are asking everyone ... Los Osos, the County and the State ... to pay more simply so that you can get your way in a town you don't even live in. Maybe if you lived here you would show that you have seriously considered these issues.

Again, I raise the question ... if out of town is better (and I think it would be, all other things being equal) ... how much more would we be willing to pay to achieve that goal?

Is it worth an extra $75/month? Is it worth an additional 5 years of pollution at a million gallons per day? Is it worth an additional 5 years of saltwater intrusion into our aquifer?

Those of us who value the environment and those of us who value the costs our friends in Los Osos will have to bear have consistently answered "no" to all three questions.

*PG-13 said...

What a difference a week makes, eh? Remember last Friday? We were all being lulled into la-la land by Spectator's musings on Panama, life and everything. Just last Friday I wrote ...

*PG-13 > Imagine having few sewer-related thoughts and even less sewer-related contact for many weeks and then, when you finally do plug back in for just a peek, you land on this thread? Maybe its just me and the distance and the time but it seems the animus is down and there is a little more civility if not some understanding and appreciation. Not sure what to make of it. Is this just a lull in the storm? Have the sewer wars reached an impasse where the sides get to take a little break and breathe and enjoy the beauty of the battlefield? Is the sewer now so far beyond any local control that its fate is no longer ours to manage and argue over? There is still a good deal of heated discussion certainly but the temperature feels a little cooler, almost refreshing.

Silly me. It was a nice respite but I think everybody's back in form now and working up a fine spittle. We're back to sticks and stones again. Was it only last Friday Ripley presented the long awaited report.The one that FINALLY gave us at least one other option to compare Tri-W to?

shark inlet > Perhaps if she re-reads what she predicted and what others predicted and their reasoning she can learn that a sound financial analysis (even one with some assumed numbers) isn't just "spectulation" to ignore but worth paying attention to. Had the LOCSD board done a cost-benefit analysis of stopping the TriW project beforehand they would have paused before taking an action which could increase our costs in a horrible fashion. They chose not to and Ann cheered them on all the way.

Well, yeah, sort of. A cost-benefit analysis of stopping Tri-W immediately after the recall probably would have shown that stopping construction of Tri-W would add to the eventual cost of Tri-W if, IF, Tri-W was ever eventually built. May I also suggest that had the LOCSD board done a cost-benefit analysis of more than one plan (Tri-W) they just might have never begun Tri-W in the first place. To me that's what the recall was all about. I appreciate there were other agendas playing out then too. I honor there have been (and still are) loads of issues and ramifications and powerful special interest pressures (both internal and external) weighing in and forcing action in certain directions. This whole sewer thing has been a terribly messy affair from the get-go. It seems ludicrous to me that anybody would choose to pick a place to stand anywhere along this timeline and call it higher ground. Still, ya gotta stand somewhere. Standing somewhere doesn't give the right to write revisionist history. Of course we all know history is relative and is written by the winners. What am I saying here? Heck, I don't know. Only that I think Jean-Paul Sartre would have gotten a lot of mileage and inspiration out of these Los Osos sewer wars.

> Albright macht frei.

Yeah, that was funny. In a macabre kind of way. I think that might well be one of the single most recognizable place signs in history. In my youth I walked under that sign and I've been split ever since about how it should be referenced. Still, I chuckled. Hopefully that translates to just a short stay in purgatory.

Or maybe all of this actually is purgatory? A strong case can be made.

Shark Inlet said...

That is a good point, PG ... that if ultimately TriW is the chosen site by the County, the LOCSD action of stopping the construction was a huge mistake ... but that if the County chooses another site, the stopping was a good idea.

However, I would still suggest that any cost-benefit analysis which gives reasonable estimates of the likelihood of various actions by the SWRCB, RWQCB, contractors and the like would still conclude stopping was a huge mistake.

*PG-13 said...

I'm feel'n lucky today. Can't get to Vegas so maybe I can corner some action here. Anybody wanna bet donuts?

Seeing how so many bloggers are being held accountable for their past public stands and prognosis's and noting how middle-of-roadish I've tried to steer I feel compelled to wander out into the commons and yell forth my position. I am somewhat hesitant to do this cuz I have no supporting spread sheets and numeric analysis to support one bit of this. This is crystal ball gazing pure and simple. Call it inspiration. Or a delicious dream.

Assuming BPP/AB 2701 flies (which I sincerely hope it does cuz I see that as the best (read: only) solution right now) I wanna bet a pastry that the county takes over, looks over the battlefield and note's the carnage then floats a prop 218 election which specifies an assessment but not a specific design. After which, assuming 218 passage, a sewer design will be identified and built. The assessment begins immediately after the election and the sewer design and construction will begin later thereby mitigating at least some of the cost of the delay. The solution will not be the Tri-W sewer. That isn't to say some part of the Tri-W site or already buried infrastructure won't be used. The design will address valley-wide issues and not just PZ concerns. It will address tertiary treatment for some but not all of the outflow. It will include some ag exchange/nitrate recycling and may or may not include some water banking/holding ponds. (I hope it does.) Is that enough to find some action?

No? OK, here's the rest of the dream. The CDO's will be suspended pending good faith county managed development. Some of the fines will be discounted while others might be weighed and re-directed to a fund for funding the sewer. The LOCSD will NOT be dissolved, disbanded, marched off a pier or shot - unless A.B. is elected whereupon I wanna fold and walk away (from this bet as well as the town). (Hey, I LIKE the guy's spirit, even his philosophy, but not his argumentative and litigious ways.) The assessment will be under $200/mo. Probably closer to $150. To be scheduled over 20 years but will be paid off sooner. Say $15 years? The system design will comprehend ag re-use, clean water re-charge, valley build-out and future energy costs and O&M expenses. The op design will minimize sludge and additional water input. I think the various boards & county would prefer anything but on-site pre-treatment but they want the products which come from that so if that's the only way to get them then they'll suck it up and go with STEP/on-site. New development will pay a higher rate for sewer connect and service (but, as usual, still not pay for itself across the board). < sigh > There will be a building boom and property value escalation in Los Osos as soon as the sewer is on-line (see new development and pay off schedule above). Some early spec development may even precede the opening of the sewer. (Pay to build!) A primary purpose for the LOCSD will be to manage the build-out and associated fee collection. They will also serve as spear catchers for the rest of the project.

I'm sure there are lots of details I've minimized or ignored here. But you get my drift. And I'm sure many of my fellow bloggers will point these out. A good deal of this fantasy is predicated on good-will as well as the hunger (read: greed) of new development in and around Los Osos.

The two most significant jokers in the deck are AB 2701, passing prop 218 and the new LOCSD elections. Any of these could crash the train. Oh, we're back to the train-running-wildly-off-the-cliff analogy. Please fasten your seat belts and remain seated for the duration of the ride. See ya at the end of the ride.

Mike Green said...

OK. I love betting, even if I loose.
One Glazed Doughnut. (I'm already possibly on the hook for a dozen, so I have to go cheapo here)
The BBP gets stuck in the legislature.
The Water Gods Complete their sacrafice of the Doomed 45 and call for more victims.
The CSD goes bankrupt and is dissolved.
The County restarts work on TriW.
Ron gets the permit revoked at the Coastal Commission.
The Water Gods fine the county a trillion dollars for delaying a sewer.
It is found that it would be more cost effective (by old El Tiburon) to just eminent domain all the homes and bulldoze them under.
Panama offers refugee statis to the inhabitants of Los Osos, through the pleading of one of their newest citzens (Spectator)
The wasteland goes back to seed (just like Montana De Oro) and becomes a State Park.
Snowy plovers and dune snails frolick in the woods and Joey lives in a tree.
Al Barrow gets the janitor job at the park restrooms (which are ironicly pit toilets)
Deal?

Mike Green said...

Oh! and Trivial Tribune headlines a story about returning sophmores!!!

Churadogs said...

Spectator sez:"After reading the comment above by Ann, I find nothing but twisted logic to support her opinion. I also feel she has been grossly unkind to Joyce Albright. Nothing but vitriol. Shame on Ann. Shame!"

Then Spectator sez:"And I was too tough on Ann: I struck back! I appologise, two wrongs do not make a right!"

Apology accepted. I think you mistook a theatre review for a personal attack. What Joyce does at the various CSD meetings and what I was commenting on is public theatre. And theatre is always tricky. One misstep and your Lady Macbeth turns into a risible episode of I Love Lucy.

Spectator, consider this scenario: I regularly march to the CSD podium and rain imprecations down on the head of the various boardmembers, promising dire brimstone, excoriating their decisions and calling the wrath of the universe down upon their heirs and assigns and all their works. Then, as I walk self-righteously away, convinced that my dramatic performnce was a Tony Award winner, Spectator writes on this blog how my whole delivery was blown when he noticed that I was wearing . . . silly socks!

You see the problem? Theatrical dissonance always creates giggles. For me, it's Joyce's darling little dog sitting in the basket, eyes bright, tail wagging. Always puts me in mind of Margaret Hamilton & Toto. Can't help it.

As for the hypocrisy issue: Hypocrisy is always comedy. Always.


Another commentor noted above that he/she was sorely disappointed in me, that I had apparently suddenly become nothing but a "rabble rouser."

Two comments came to mind after reading that: 1) I write an opinion column that appears on the opinion page of the Bay News. Opinion columnists are SUPPOSED to be "rabble rousers," else they would be writing columns on cooking and household cleaning tips. 2) I found on the long years of covering and writing about the Hideous San Luis Coastal School Board Wars and the millions of dollars they pounded into the ground of Measure A money (key issue: an absolute refusal to do a demographic study that would have shown that schools such as Sunnyside had no future so putting millions into them only to close them a year or so later was an utter waste of taxpayer funds)that the rabble absolutely REFUSE to be roused. The rabble didn't know, didn't care, didn't want to know. I did the same thing on the sewer. We've got a lot of revisionist history going on in the comment section, but the person who considers me a sudden "rabble rouser" might want to go back to take a look at so many columns on the Hideous Sewer Wars I wrote over the years -- long before the new board, before the recall, before this train wreck -- that carried the repeated headline: Oh Lucy, Joooo Gotta Lotta 'Splainin' to doooooo. A dead giveaway that somethin' was getting hinkey, pay attention.

Did anybody? Pay attention, that is? Nah.

Which means that what I do in writing the Can(n)on (and this blog) is a complete waste of time. Talk about public theatre as comedy! Bwahahahahah! And I'm not even wearing silly socks as I type. Just usually silly houseslippers. (I'm thinking about getting some with fluffy bunnies on them but I'm afraid my greyhound, Finn, would start chasing my feet around the house.)

PublicWorks said...

Ann,

Don't try to sweep with a wet broom.

Also, Ketchup makes everything taste better.

*PG-13 said...

Mike Green > OK. I love betting,..... One Glazed Doughnut. ... Deal?

I was hoping for a little more action than that but a doughnut's a doughnut. Deal!

Truth is, I much prefer your side of the bet. Your scenario is worth a whole box of mixed doughnuts. I especially loved the parts where Ron gets the Tri-W permit revoked on procedural impropriety and the water gods fine the county for delaying the sewer. (heh, heh, heh) Oh I just love it. Panama sounds totally sweet too.

See you in Boca Chica. Meet me on the beach. I'll be the one with a floppy straw hat and a sunburn holding a big box of doughnuts.

Ron said...

PG-13, your comments are so reasonable. It's obvious you don't have a hidden agenda. That can not be said for Mr./Mrs./The-Committee-known-as Shark Inlet.

PG-13 said:

"The solution will not be the Tri-W sewer. That isn't to say some part of the Tri-W site or already buried infrastructure won't be used."

In the previous board's other sewer project, the one they had sitting in a file cabinet for the past couple of years that had cost estimates down to the hundreds of dollars, that would have moved the plant downwind and out of town, and would have saved your community multi-millions of dollars, but they decided not to use that plan because it couldn't meet the "project objective of centrally located community amenities" that the "community desired," yea, that one, well, part of that rational, logical plan was going to use "some part of the Tri-W site." 1-acre, to be exact, for a small pumping station to pump everything about a mile or two out of town.

What a tangled web they weaved.

An anon said:

"Ron Crawford, who is obsessively stuck in the past..."

That is such a weak take. First, what you call "obsessed," I call "focused" (something that is in short supply here in Sewerville). Second, as long as Tri-Dub is even remotely on the table, "bait and switchy," "strongly held community values," and "project objectives for centrally located community amenities" are as current as today's headlines. However, I completely understand why the agenda-driven Tri-Dubbers would want me to get off those topics. That makes a lot of sense to me.

In his funny comment, Mike Green bet:

"Ron gets the permit revoked at the Coastal Commission."

I'll take some on action on that. But, f... glazed doughnuts. I've got a crisp $100 bill that says if an official determination is made to re-start at Tri-Dub, that nonsensical project will be rattling around in the cheap seats after the very first pitch of the new game.

Like I said above, the Coastal Commission now knows what happened, and they're pissed, and they should be, and... they... are.

On a side note:

Speaking of Joyce's cute little dog, I have a question: If she can bring her dog to public meetings, then why can't I bring my big, hairy, smelly Australian Shepherd to the public meetings. She loves attention too, but I have to leave her in the back of my truck. Then Ann could bring Finn, and Los Osos could finally have their off-leash dog facility that they so "strongly" desire. The only downside for that idea, according to your town's "community values," is it wouldn't be in a sewer plant. Oh well, I guess you're just going to have to compromise on that one.

Spectator said...

Ron:

And you bring up total confusion as to the Andre sites, AGAIN. The second one was never considered (small sharp triangular parcel). The first (adjacent to the cenetary)was only considered hypothetically, in that it was well known that the power lines and easements were a BIG problem.

Read what was said! The picture included came very lately. You are trying to rewrite history. The small parcel would never hold a ponding system, TRI-W was already purchased. It was outside of the pervue of the LOCSD and unknown if it could be purchased. Williamson act? (unknown). In any case it was a nil. Even if it were ok, there were large easment proplems in getting sewer pipes there, and possible environmental problems with crossing a creek. Stop rewriting history. Get to specific sites and not hypothetical comparisons to an unusable site.

Spectator said...

Ron: If you have a smelly doggy, wash it. If your dog doesn't look good or smell good, you don't look good or smell good, especially if you travel with it. Does it live inside as part of your family, or do you keep it outside in a cage or tied up? Watch out for fleas!

*PG-13 said...

Oh my!

Spectator > Ron: If you have a smelly doggy, wash it. If your dog doesn't look good or smell good, you don't look good or smell good, especially if you travel with it. Does it live inside as part of your family, or do you keep it outside in a cage or tied up? Watch out for fleas!

Sorry Spectator, dogs are out-of-bounds, off-limit and sacred.
Many lines can be crossed in this cursed affair but the sanctity of dogs (and cats by association) cannot be crossed. I know you didn't mean it. You may disagree with Ron but don't tag his dog. Albright's dog was given a pass. Ann's dog got a pass. All dogs get a pass. Including Ron's.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it just kills me to read these posts. After all of the effort made to refute the lies that were told in the past... they still get repeated.

Accusations of trying to rewrite history... the very history that was a lie in the first place.

Jon Arcuni said..."Ron... And you bring up total confusion as to the Andre sites, AGAIN. The second one was never considered (small sharp triangular parcel)."

It was considered as demonstrated in the site selection video produced by the CSD back in 2000 or 2001... you know the one.

"The first (adjacent to the cenetary)was only considered hypothetically, in that it was well known that the power lines and easements were a BIG problem."

Two issues with this statement Jon... Weren't you fond of stating at the podium on numerous occasions that EVERY option was STUDIED to death, and there were NO alternatives... it seems to me that "hypothetical consideration" is a far stretch from "studied to death"

Second... If the deed restrictions on Andre were "well know", why was it a big schocker to learn of them only after the preliminary De Novo hearing?? Again, something that should have been know if that site was "studied to death"

It seems YOU are rewriting history, Jon.

The truth is, no site was thoroughly studied as you claimed oh so many times leading up to the recall election... and the Andre siteS (that's plural) were used by the CSD's own consultants not only to show they were feasable, but also to demonstrate how any "out of town" property could have been used, and was feasible IF THE CSD HAD CHOSEN TO LISTEN!!!

But wait, there's more...

"The small parcel would never hold a ponding system"

Noone ever said it would... but it would have held a parkless, wavewall-less, conventional plant at a much much lower cost.

"TRI-W was already purchased"

Already purchased before what? Before other sites were studied? That's for sure... and that's the problem.

"It was outside of the pervue of the LOCSD and unknown if it could be purchased"

As an owner of multiple properties Jon, you know what a crock of crap this statement is. The CSD could have negotiated the purchase of any property it wants.

And we all know that the LOCSD NEVER contacted the Andre family about purchasing their land... something you would have expected of an alternative that was "studied to death". Again... those are your words Jon.

"Williamson act? (unknown)"

The CSD's own consultants told them the Tri-W and some surrounding properties were fallow farm land of degraded quality...

"In any case it was a nil. Even if it were ok, there were large easment proplems in getting sewer pipes there, and possible environmental problems with crossing a creek."

I don't remember "large easement issues"... can you provide examples please?

And please drop the "creek crossing" lie. We killed that piece of crap a long time ago. I can't believe you are actually using that argument again.

Jon, I actually can't find a single true statement in this entire post of yours... except maybe...

"Stop rewriting history"

Heed your own advice Jon.

"You are trying to rewrite history."

Indeed Jon, Indeed!!!

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

For someone so obsessed ... er ... focused ... you seem to be rather quick to rag on others who have their own focus. In my case I've always been pretty clear that getting septic/sewer problem solved for the lowest reasonable cost is my goal. What I find amazing is that you are critical of that goal.

Anonymous said...

Shark said... "...I've always been pretty clear that getting septic/sewer problem solved for the lowest reasonable cost is my goal."

Is that a fact??

Are you now telling me that you have always thought the Tri-W project was the cheapest alternative?

There goes your credibility some more... if you ever had any.

Regardless of what the current costs are, we all now know that had the original CSD board gone with something like Ripley's plan, then it would have been significantly cheaper.

So where were you back then fighting for your "goal" of the "lowest reasonable cost"?

Refer me to the public record where your "goals" were expressed. I would be interested to see/read that.

I suspect your comments are another attempt to "rewrite history" as Jon Arcuni is attempting to do on this blog... that must be the new strategy with the election fast approaching.

Tell me... when did you all get together to form your election committee?? What position do you hold, Shark?

"What I find amazing is that you are critical of that goal."

What I find amazing is that you NOW want a cheaper solution... but were critical of that goal when it looked like Tri-W was going to get built.

I am not critical of that goal at all... I am skeptical of your motives. I doubt your credibility. And I definitly DO NOT trust you.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Speaking of Joyce's cute little dog, I have a question: If she can bring her dog to public meetings, then why can't I bring my big, hairy, smelly Australian Shepherd to the public meetings."

If Joyce's dog is a certified therapy dog she'd be allowed into meetings with the dog. But, I'm not sure whether such dogs must wear their little i.d. badge/coat when they're "working" or whether the owner just needs to have their certification i.d. paperwork on them. I don't think anyone's really checked.

Anony sez:"The truth is, no site was thoroughly studied as you claimed oh so many times leading up to the recall election... and the Andre siteS (that's plural) were used by the CSD's own consultants not only to show they were feasable, but also to demonstrate how any "out of town" property could have been used, and was feasible IF THE CSD HAD CHOSEN TO LISTEN!!!"

Alas, that's the sad truth. All of this was doable from way back. And "voteable" and "chooseable." That's what makes this train wreck so very sad. Totally unnecessary.

Spectator said...

To PG-13:

No pass for dog owners who keep stinky dogs to the detriment of the dogs health. If you don't wash them or swim them in the ocean and dry them with dry clean sand, there are all sorts of problems that can occur. Dogs should be washed a minimum of every two weeks and their eyes protected with boric acid ointment while washing to protect the eyes from detergent.

There is nothing better than a well trained, groomed dog, with anal glands cleaned, clean ears, and nails clipped. I have trained them, groomed them, cleaned the anal glands, and clipped their nails.
I have scalped teeth.

The problem always lies with the owner and not the dog. When I held obedience classes the problem was always to teach the owner. Same in teaching owners of field dogs. I have owned three triple champion Springers at the same time. Field, show, and CDX. When I lived on Long Island, I had a big Chessy male that was a fabulous ducker. Outdoor writers from all over the east coast came to hunt with me. NOT because of me, it was the dog. This Chessy was not an outdoor, penned dog, but slept at the foot of the bed, and ate with my family: people food, not fatty scraps. And don't get me going about dog nutrition and the "hot" dogfood diets composed of corn and wheat. If you must feed your dog or cat commercial food, look to rice base. If your dog gets old, watch the protein and fat. Too much is very bad. And dogs and cats need vitamins and minerals also.

Even as I write this, there are two minature badger dogs on the porch, barking at some dog below.
Well trained dogs I might add.

No, I take no issue with dogs, I take issue with owners who do not take care of their pets properly, do not train them, and do not pick up after them. If your dog does not look good, you do not look good. If your dog is disobedient, chances are your children will be the same, and dogs are four legged three year old children with fur, who love and love to please. You don't teather a child outside or keep it penned up. You are writing to the doggie man, and dogs know it. Tonite, tell your dog a doggie story, or a few dog jokes.

My partner in Washington trained scout dogs in the army and wrote the advanced manuals for such training. These manuals are still in use today. These manuals were slightly modified for Navy dolphins, which are far smarter than dogs. We owed a large pet shop "Raining cats and dogs" in Bellevue and offered no livestock for sale. We groomed an average of fifty dogs/cats/rabbits a week with a grooming staff of four and two washers. At the peak of our business, our head groomer was making $65,000 a year, and that was back in 1990. I have manufactured dog houses, cat posts and habitats, and produced living reefs in 1000 gallon tanks of my own manufacture. At the height of our business, we were doing $650,000 a year. At the same time we were holding obiedience classes, I was holding field trial classes on the weekends, many times training future trainers. In 1995 we lost our lease due to redevelopment in downtown Bellevue, and liquidated the business.

Yup, love those doggies, and kitties.

Spectator said...

To Anon 5:20 pm 8/12:

Than you for your thoughtful post and the time to write it.

Let us examing the time line. If I remember correctly, the solution group developed a solution, and it was a ponding site on Tri-W. Which was available and within the jurisdiction of the LOCSD. It was also zoned so that some sort of treatment plant could go on it. Negotiations started to purchase the property with a long escrow. The CCRWQCB shot down the STEP/ponding system. At that point, consultants were hired to check other sites and and conceptualize a system that would be agreeable to the CCRWQCB and Coastal commission. Many sites were studied, Andre 1 (next to the cemetary) and Andre 2 adjacent to the east of it. I never heard any large discussion about Andre 2. It was much smaller and because of the shape and because the prohibitive nature of the easements on Andre 1, it was going to be hard to access. Basically, crossing anything under the power lines with sewer lines would have been difficult, anywhere. Phone calls were made and the problems were confirmed. PG&E wanted to reserve the right to put an underground line under the power lines. The old site for the county sewer was studied, and other sites. When all were compared, and considering that TRI-W was within the juristriction of the LOCSD, and a plant could be designed to fit it, without having to change zoning, purchase extensive easements to access other sites, etc., TRI-W looked logical. You are right that the LOCSD could purchase any property anywhere, but the zoning changes belonged with the county. Remember we were being pushed hard by the CCRWQCB to build a system. Escrow closed. I do not remember any great "move the sewer" protest at that time, but always early on there was "NO SEWER", and always "CHEAPER". It is still that way today, many people argue that that there is no need for a sewer, scientific studies do not prove the need for a sewer, and these are your "NO SEWER" activists. I have no idea where you stand.

Shark Inlet said...

To our anonymous friend of 9:45pm on August 12 who doubts my credibility...

If you read the comments in Ann's blog dating back to August 2005 you will find that I've consistently been of the opinion that by the time we hit 2005, continuing with the TriW plan will be less expensive than choosing to go with a recall, Measure B and trying to get a plant that is out of town. If you doubt that, just go look.

I frankly don't care if you trust me or if you doubt me. Those who are interested in the topic and open to the facts will do research and find that my statements are pretty much trustworthy.

You further damage your credibility when you suggest Jon is re-writing history. Sort of like how Julie Tacker looks the fool when she insults Jon's understanding of bankruptcy laws rather than admit her own understanding is a bit ... um ... inxepert.

As to whether Ron has a good point that way back in the 1997-2000 timeframe the CSD at that point in time had the opportunity to go with another location, plant design and collection system design ... he is dead on right. They chose to pursue TriW for a variety of reasons, some good (the RWQCB had them on a TSO and to start over in 2001 with another project would put them in danger of fines) and some not so good ("we get a park, too").

So, my friend who hasn't read the comments here for very long, run along and do your homework, find out that back a full year ago I was doing some cost estimates that showed out-of-town was more expensive than continuing at TriW. Once you do your reading, get back to us and let us know what you think we should do now to keep the costs as low as possible. Do you think that the LOCSD strategy (as of October 2005) of stopping construction and the fallout that has ensued was a good one?

Anonymous said...

Shark said... "If you read the comments in Ann's blog dating back to August 2005 you will find that I've consistently been of the opinion that by the time we hit 2005, continuing with the TriW plan will be less expensive than choosing to go with a recall, Measure B and trying to get a plant that is out of town. If you doubt that, just go look."

I dont doubt that at all... and you totally missed the point... on purpose I presume. You know exactly what I said.

Taking my question and manipulating it into a question you WANT to answer is the text book definition of SPIN.

What I want to know is... why were you never interested in the cheaper solution BEFORE the recall... BEFORE this blog was started... BEFORE your beloved Tri-W was threatened??

Straight up... simple question...

Waiting for an answer...

Its hard for me to believe thats what you really want now when you had no interest in that pre-recall.

Still waiting...

Spectator said...

To Anon 3:30 PM 8/13:

Where have you been? When did you come? What brillience have you ever spoken? How have you ever been involved in our problems. What is your name?

This district was founded to build a cheaper better solution than the county. Everyone except the anti-sewer activists has worked for that. Pre-recall? Hey, which one? There is NOTHING beloved about Tri-W, and never was. HOWEVER, it certainly was hated by the anti-sewer activists. And so what was YOUR cheaper solution when we first started to develop our own sewer system? Lay it out, but so what! The county will do what it has to do. We are at the here and now, and the LOCSD gets to make stone soup!

Do you have anything to put in the pot that has nutritional value?

Shark Inlet said...

To our anonymous friend ...

I guess it is a matter of timing. You appear to want me to prove that I've been in favor of the cheapest solution since at least some point in time more than a year ago ... or else you'll ignore my words.

Fine.

As I've written before (but you seem to have ignored or have overlooked), I don't really care too much about the site as long as it solves the problem quickly and won't cost even more than TriW. If the Ripley folks could wave a magic wand and get all their permits in a moment and if there would be no lawsuits to delay things and if their proposed design would actually pass muster with the RWQCB, I would be happy with it. The problem is that to puruse out-of-town seriously will cost a lot of money and there are no guarantees that out-of-town will be even possible within the next five years.

Are you saying that my opinion shouldn't count unless I have been voicing it before the election of Tacker and Schicker? If that is your opinion, you have just been given the right to ignore me. Until those two were running for office I was under the impression that things were chugging along even if not exactly smoothly. During the recall campaign it seemed pretty clear that one side was saying that out-of-town was less expensive. I looked at the issue a bit and found that group to be very much unbelievable. Based on what Tacker and Schicker said I needed to make my point of view known ... they are in favor of moving the WWTF out of town but don't realize how expensive it will be. This is simply unacceptable to me. Those who are elected to lead us need to at a minimum understand the costs of such choices.

Simply put, once we hit 2001 the die had been pretty much cast and any other sites would end up costing us more money.

Let me now toss your question back to you.

How long have you been involved in this debate? Can you show that you've opposed TriW since before 2001? Can you let us know why?

Maybe another version of this question would be helpful. Can you show us evidence that another system would actually be less expensive than TriW? If you can't, I would suggest that you leave me alone and let me choose my own criteria for what is best for our community. Hell, I've simply adopted one of the criteria that Lisa herself has used in the past, affordability. If some 1/3 of the community will have to move out of town if the sewer bill reaches $200/month, don't you think that raising the sewer bill still higher is a mistake?

Ron said...

Spectator said:

"If I remember correctly, the solution group developed a solution, and it was a ponding site on Tri-W. Which was available and within the jurisdiction of the LOCSD. It was also zoned so that some sort of treatment plant could go on it."

Jon, you do not remember correctly. What is correct is that the initial CSD Board unnecessarily, and, as I'll officially show if I ever get my revocation hearing, illegally, made the Coastal Commission jump through a lot of hoops from 2001 - 02 to amend the Local Coastal Plan to allow a treatment facility at Tri-W (the document is LCPA 3-01, and I don't feel like linking to it right now).

"...considering that TRI-W was within the juristriction of the LOCSD, and a plant could be designed to fit it, without having to change zoning, purchase extensive easements to access other sites, etc., TRI-W looked logical."

I can hear Coastal Commission staffer, Steve Monowitz, moan from here. Jon, that's not even close to being accurate. There was a massive effort needed to re-zone Tri-Dub in 2002, and the CC was "duped" into doing it. That's why they're pissed today!

One more thing, Jon, as long as you're getting so many things wrong, I might as well toss this in there as well -- my dog is almost 12, a beautiful blue merle, healthy, happy, sweet, smarter than most people (agreed, not too surprising), and can still run down and catch a Frisbee like vintage Jerry Rice. She's awesome.

Shark said:

"I've consistently been of the opinion that by the time we hit 2005, continuing with the TriW plan will be less expensive than choosing to go with a recall, Measure B and trying to get a plant that is out of town."

After re-reading this poem:

PUTTING IN A WINDOW
by John Brantingham

Carpentry has a rhythm that should never
be violated. You need to move slowly,
methodically, never trying to finish early,
never even hoping that you'd be done sooner.
It's best if you work without thought of the
end. If hurried, you end up with crooked
door joints and drafty rooms. Do not work
after you are annoyed just so the job
will be done more quickly. Stop when you
begin to curse at the wood. Putting in
a window should be a joy. You should love
the new header and the sound of
your electric screwdriver as it secures
the new beams. The only good carpenter
is the one who knows that's he's not good.
He's afraid that he'll ruin the whole house,
and he works slowly. It's the same as
cooking or driving. The good cook
knows humility, and his souffle never falls
because he is terrified that it will fall
the whole time he's cooking. The good driver
knows that he might plow into a mother
walking her three year old, and so watches
for them carefully. The good carpenter
knows that his beams might be weak, and a misstep
might ruin the place he loves. In the end,
you find your own pace, and you lose time.
When you started, the sun was high and now
that you're finished, it's dark. Tomorrow, you
might put in a door. The next day,
you'll start on your new deck.

- - -

... I've got another $20, Shark, that says you're a crappy carpenter.


To Anon 5:40, August 12:

Great comment!

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

My carpentry skills aren't the issue. I am glad, however, that you like reprinting that poem over and over. It's a good poem.

Let's reconsider the issue here a bit. You are saying that if one makes a mistake one should fix the mistake no matter the cost. I am saying that if you make a mistake, the best thing to do is to limit the impact of the mistake.

Your criteria for success are simply different than mine. You would rather the community of Los Osos pay $400 or even $500 per month and have an out-of-town plant than $280 per month and have a plant at TriW. That is fine, but at least be upfront and honest that you are advocating a plan of action which will raise all our costs (and not yours).

Considering it is our problem and not yours, how about you letting us fix it in the way we want to? Yes, you have a right to speak out as a citizen of the County, State and US of freakin' A but once you start telling us that in your opinion we should have to pay more because you don't like where we want to put our plant, it sounds a bit silly. Hell, in my opinion, every household in the County should have to pay an extra $15/month so that our sewer bills could be a normal $30/month. Oh yeah, we'll throw in a park, too.

Face it, Ron. You simply have no handle on the financial issues at stake here. You have no understanding of the order of magnitude of the catastrophy our community (not yours) is facing becuase of the LOCSD. You're in this discussion for sport and not because you care about us.

Convince me that I am wrong. Show you have some understanding of the cost issues here.

oxpictus said...

You know, Ann, I really find your making fun of Joyce's means of conveyance to be more than mean spirited. I find it incredibly ignorant.

For what ever reason Ms. Albright uses her conveyance, this is HER business, not the business of anyone else, be they supporter, or detractor.

Did you make fun of children who wore braces on their legs when you were in grade school? I'll bet you did. Did not your parents teach you any better? Are you incapable of allowing the same personal dignity to another human being that you would expect for yourself?

It seems to me you are no better than Kieth, who chose to follow a person on crutches, out to their car, to continue the heckling and intimidation.

Good God! I would expect something better from someone who fancies herself a "journalist" than some childish, "Lord of the Flies" behavior.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

I read LCPA 3-01. A fair summary would be that CCC staff felt as if there wasn't a clearly better site than TriW and that further delay would be bad for the environment.

Do you have anything else to back up your claims because this document doesn't?

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a cost comparison of TRI-W against the sewers that were either built or planned for communities of compareable size during Mr. LeGros'
reign?anyone remember?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 8:35 AM above,

If you study the cost comparisons above, you will notice that the title of 'most expensive sewer per capita in the US' goes to (envelope please)...the RIPLEY-PACFIC PLAN as produced by Julie, Lisa, Chuck, Steve and John. Let's all give them a hand folks for a job well done! In 10 short months they have raised the costs by an impressive $100,000,000 with little or no effort! AMAZING!

Seriously, I know of no other community of a size similar to Los Osos that had the same set of criteria (such as reducing nitrates while not discharging the treated wastewater out of the area. Because of this fact, a cost comparison would be comparing apples to oranges. However, is the project expensive? You bet!....but compared to what?

Regards, Richard LeGros

Mike Green said...

Mr Legros, that is a little unfair. It already WAS the most expensive per capita wastewater project! Julie, Lisa, Chuck and John only get supporting actor awards.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

Actually, the award was held by Lake Havasu.....but by golly Los Osos has beat em!

Regards, Richard LeGros