Calhoun’s Can(n)ons, The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA
for Sept 13, 06
DEAR GOTT IM HIMMEL!
Stop the press! The Tribune actually printed a non-ginned-up, non-scary front page headline: Tuesday, August 29, 2006: “Life will go on in Los Osos.”
My God, can you imagine? For months I would wander out to end of the driveway in my ratty robe, wondering if my nerves could stand yet another goosed up, front-page quasi-story blaring dire faux fire and misleading brimstone down on Los Osos. I’d stand in the middle of the driveway staring at the headlines, afraid I’d suddenly clutch my heart and collapse to the ground and lie there for hours while being pecked full of holes by the hungry crows who gather in the eucalyptus trees each morning to mutter darkly until I come out with dog kibble for them. But instead of heart failure, I would end up reading the articles to the end with growing irritation, then have to ask, So, where’s the rest of the story?
But now, there it is. Life will go on in Los Osos. Gee, ya think? The recently filed bankruptcy won’t have any effect on property values, will not change the basic CSD services of water, fire, trash. It will buy time for all the disgruntled, recalled, raging and dreaming knee-cappers, Sewer Jihadis, and miscellaneous Ox Gored Folks to line up and take a number so their issues can be examined and dealt with properly instead of the gang-rape pile-on that’s been taking place.
The Blakeslee Bill passed the Assembly and Senate and awaits the Gov’s signature and LAFCo will finish their orderly Dissolution Hearings on Sept 21st. Since their vote hinged on the passage of the Blakeslee bill (The county doesn’t want this red-haired stepchild back trailing all its woes), I can only presume they’ll vote not to dissolve since they got what they wanted. Then the process – orderly, organized, transparent (no sly thumbs on the scales), dull and absolutely vital if we’re to avoid another Sewer Train Wreck – of the County working with the community to develop a wastewater system the community will support, will move ahead.
It’s unlikely the RWQCB will come to their senses and realize that their Mad Pumping Scheme CDOs and the targeting of the hapless Los Osos 45, is wasting time and community resources while failing to mitigate so much as a drop of water, but here’s an alternative suggestion: Send out certified, return-receipt-requested letters to every single property owner within the Prohibition Zone stating: Have your tanks pumped, inspected, repaired, by an Official Septic Tank Personage, send all the Official Certified Documentation of the work done to the RWQCB and your name and property will be put on the bottom of the CDO list. Those who refuse to comply will hear from our new gimlet-eyed Prosecuting Grand Inquisitor.
My modest proposal would accomplish two things quickly (while the formal Septic Tank Maintenance District is being set up – a program, by the way, that the RWQCB was asked by residents to help put in place 25 years ago but never did): The Board (with copies to the CSD) will have, for the first time, a solid data bank as to tank and tank problems here, and any “hot spots” can be identified so suitable technologies and a coherent strategy of interim mitigations can be brought to bear immediately to mitigate any problems until the wastewater project can be built and put on line.
Far from the false picture that has been presented to the outside world, including the Water Board, Los Ososians are not a bunch of urine-swilling Moonbeam McSwines gleefully rolling around in the cesspool of their blighted Dogpatch. Even on a voluntary basis, I have no doubt that the majority of the community would pick up their phones within days of getting that letter to make an appointment with septic tank companies. Which means that even a voluntary plan would actually mitigate water, instead of just wasting years and resources wrangling CDO paperwork for 5,000 residents.
And so, the sun will rise. And set. The County and the CSD are moving ahead full steam on what the community hopes will be a new, improved, sludge-reduced, sustainable energy and water-savvy wastewater project. Another CSD election will come and go. Plenty of other practical problems remain to be solved – plod, plod, plod. In short, life will go on here in the Valley of the Bears, as usual. What a surprise.