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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yes, it’s a Pop Quiz!

I was reading a comment an anonymous poster had added to a previous blog entry and was amused to read him/her quoting from the Regional Quality Control Board’s “Responses to Technical Evidence and Comments Submitted in Regards to Cease and Desist Orders, Los Osos,” dated April 19, 2006. It’s part of the Staff’s “evidence” documentation for the CDO “Trial” and is posted on their web site.

The document “rebuts technical arguments submitted to the Water Board by Designated Parties and Interested Persons regarding the 45 proposed Case and Desist Orders . . .”. The RWQCB staff wrote the document and asserts that as it is part of the evidence given at the “trial," it is true, accurate, factual, & etc.

What made the anonymous poster’s comments regarding this document amusing is that he/she was clearly unaware that I DID NOT say what it said I said. At the time, I had even written a letter of protest, demanding that the record be changed to reflect what I actually had said. Near as I can tell, the RWQCB staff has failed to do that.

So, here’s your Pop Quiz: Below is the RWQCB’s excerpt. That is followed by what I actually wrote. See if you can tell the difference between the two statements.

What the RWQCB wrote:

Another commenter, Interested Party Ann Calhoun, said that Dr. John Alexander has an effective on-site nitrogen removal system that has been proven to this “RB staff’s satisfaction.” Staff met with Dr. Alexander a few years ago and he indicated that his systems would not be applicable to residential use. Staff understands that the system is not commercially available. Approximately 15 years ago, Dr. Alexander pilot tested his galvanic agglutinator at the Morro Bay/Cayucos Wastewater Treatment Plant. The system did not function properly. Dr. Alexander claimed that the particular failure was due to the limited size of the project (pilot test was conducted with a 55 gal. drum.) Contrary to Ms. Calhoun’s claim, the system has not been proven to “staff’s satisfaction.”

What I actually wrote:

Furthermore, if your interest is in interim nitrate reduction of the basin (until the new sewer plant is built and running), I would urge your Board to require that your Staff certify acceptable enhanced on-site systems for interim use. [At this point neither I nor the general public knew that RWQCB Staff knew of and had already certified Dr. Wickham’s onsite Pirana system, the same one being testing now at the firehouse, for use outside the PZ.] For example, Dr. Alexander of Cayucos, has stated that he has a $4,000 unit that he claims will remove 98% of nitrates from septic discharges. He further claims that he has proven his tested results to the RWQCB staff’s satisfaction. IF THAT IS TRUE, then Dr. Alexander’s system would be a scientifically better alternative for removing nitrates than your pumping scheme, but it would not be financially better UNLESS you waive your $900 a year “discharge” and testing fees. In short, IF Dr. Alexander’s system actually works, the community would have a much better alternative, but ONLY if your Board made it financially viable.” (Capitalization and italics in the original)

You see the difference? The RWQCB stated, as if it were fact, that I “said” such and such. I didn’t. The RWQCB then has me “claiming.” I didn’t.

And most interesting, since the topic of the comment was interim onsite alternatives to their Mad Pumping Scheme, the RWQCB staff knew of other onsite systems. Indeed, the year before, they had already sent a letter to former LOCSD General Manager Bruce Buel letting him know that they had approved Wickham’s onsite system for use outside the PZ. The general public, however, was unaware of this letter and was unaware of Dr. Wickham. Yet, instead of noting that there were, indeed, other onsite systems that might be a better interim solution and responding to that, (this was, after all, a Technical Response” report) they distorted what I said, then set up Alexander, whom I used as a “for example,” as a false straw man to be knocked down, thereby leaving the reader (i.e. the voting Regional Water Board members themselves) with the (false) notion that there were no interim systems that would work, hence their proposed Mad Pumping Scheme was the only solution.

As a “Technical Response,” it’s hard to justify such scientific and technical dishonesty. So far as I can see, there are two explanations for what they did in this report: (1) The staff who prepared this Official document are incompetent and cannot read, understand and write an accurate prĂ©cis. (2) The staff who prepared this Official Technical Response document deliberately falsified my comment in order to set up a false straw man and so deflect or eliminate the necessity of responding to the POINT of my comment, i.e. that there were, indeed, better interim alternatives to their Mad Pumping Scheme.

And that, of course, begs the most important question of all: If Staff was not able to get my minor comments right, What ELSE have they falsified or distorted?

Incompetence or deliberate falsification and distortion of the public and scientific record by members of the RWQCB Staff in order to rig a pre-determined outcome, is not a good thing. Their falsified, distorted, misleading “facts” then go up to the voting Board, which makes every effort to remain ignorant of or overlook any falsification.

And, ignorant of the falsity of the information it has received, that Board then has the unchecked power to vote to financially ruin a community and take away your homes.

So, what’s in a word or two? Plenty. Have a nice day.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ann Calhoun wrote... "And that, of course, begs the most important question of all: If Staff was not able to get my minor comments right, What ELSE have they falsified or distorted?"

EXACTLY!!!

Here's the problem... they reference all of these scientific studies back to the 1960's. Some I have read and some I have not. The they quote statements and draw conclusions that for the purposes of the staff report are to be considered "fact" and the Water Board is to base their decisions on these "facts".

Well, in order for me to take anyone's word as to what is a "fact" you have to be credible... and there is one thing in this report that stood out to me that lack any credibility at all and therefore DISCREDITS every other claim of "fact" that the author makes. It's the Kitts Study.

Here's a quote from the staff report of a quote from the Kitts study...

"…the contribution from human sources in the seeps was clearly larger than for the bay and Los Osos Creek. (p. 32)"

Dr. Kitts has said on numerous occasions that "human sources" does NOT mean sewage. Human sources means things that are a result of human activity and are therefore controllable by humans. The point was to desciminate between what occurs naturally and what results from daily human activity in the region. Anything that results from human activity (storm water runoff, agriculture, etc.) would be grouped in this catagory.

Dr. Kitts has also said that this study was never intended to be used for what the RWQCB is using it for and the conclusions that are drawn by the water board just simply cant be made because this study does not support them.

Had he intended to study septic tank impacts on the bay he certainly would have designed his study differently.

With all of this in mind... I give the staff report's statements regarding the Kitts study NO WEIGHT... and furthermore, if the RWQCB has so blatently misquoted "fact" in regards this study... then why should I believe anything they conclude from the other studies???

If I had the time to read them ALL then I am sure I would know which claims are true and which are false...

but is the Water Board going to read them all... or are they going to trust the staff report that TELLS them what they say?

A staff report that clearly misquotes "FACT".

There's the problem...

God help us!!!

Joey Racano said...

Good work Ann. You have proven the corruptness of the CCRWQCB staff! Our problems are ALL their fault! These people will do anything to prove they are right, and can do no wrong. It is clear that you know more than the staff of this ignorant regulating body.

Joey Racano

Joey Racano said...

Good work Ann. You have proven the corruptness of the CCRWQCB staff! Our problems are ALL their fault! These people will do anything to prove they are right, and can do no wrong. It is clear that you know more than the staff of this ignorant regulating body.

Joey Racano

Joey Racano said...

Good work Ann. You have proven the corruptness of the CCRWQCB staff! Our problems are ALL their fault! These people will do anything to prove they are right, and can do no wrong. It is clear that you know more than the staff of this ignorant regulating body.

Joey Racano

Joey Racano said...

Good work Ann. You have proven the corruptness of the CCRWQCB staff! Our problems are ALL their fault! These people will do anything to prove they are right, and can do no wrong. It is clear that you know more than the staff of this ignorant regulating body.

Joey Racano

Joey Racano said...

Good work Ann. You have proven the corruptness of the CCRWQCB staff! Our problems are ALL their fault! These people will do anything to prove they are right, and can do no wrong. It is clear that you know more than the staff of this ignorant regulating body.

Joey Racano

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,


When you write that the RWQCB mischaracterized your letter so that they could "eliminate the necessity of responding to the POINT of my comment, i.e. that there were, indeed, better interim alternatives to their Mad Pumping Scheme" you admit that your point is that you believe there to be good ways of eliminating nitrates.

If you didn't believe that Alexander's system was best, why did you use his system as an example? Why not Wickham's?

If these "better interim alternatives" don't include onsite systems, why bring them up?

Mike Green said...

Sharkey, Can you give me one good solid reason that the RWQCB is persuing this matter? especialy in light of the Blakesly bill.
If what they want (now) is a septic management system fine, as long as the requirements are based on good current data who would argue?
The fact is they could have had that YEARS ago!
The fact is that Briggs and the Water Gods let Egos trump Sense.
I don't understand why Briggs and the rest of them are even ON the board anymore, such policy failures such as the last time around should get folks FIRED!

Anonymous said...

Roger Briggs isn't ON the RWQCB, moron. He's employed by them. Board members are appointed. They haven't been fired because they are doing their jobs, contrary to your learned (not!) opinion. The State of CA is fed up with Los Osos and we will now all pay the price for 30 years of local denial and obstructionism. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

to anon 9:22,
Roger Briggs is being reassigned(fired) from the CCRWQCB for his crimes against Los Osos. His last day is mid Oct. His reassignment has been announced. I guess this makes you the moron, anon 9:22. I'm guessing he got canned for his mad pumping scheme that was so ridiculous and embarrassing to and for the board that even they had to reject it. What a fucking idiot he is. I'm guessing the bimonthly pumping was Pandora's idea. And Briggs was Pandora's bitch. After all it was Pandora, the silent leader of Taxpayers Waste, that begged the RWQCB and Briggs to FINE THE PROPERTY OWNERS OF LOS OSOS. Can I ask a question? Why do we give the people of Taxpayers Waste the time of day? If it weren't for these assholes that screwed over our Community, we'd all be hooked up and be paying $50/month. Thanks for the lies and fines Taxpayers Waste.

Now, any second, shark inlet or sewertoons will come in and say it was our fault for believing their lies.
They believe that if somebody tells you a lie, it's your fault for believing them.
This is the evil and demented world that they live in.....a world where it's ok to lie to people because if someone believes you, it's their fault.

All I can say to Taxpayers Waste is burn baby burn.....eternal torment and damnation await you..............

Snowy Plover said...

Anon 9:22, Mike Green isn't a moron, Pendejo.
Flamers on Ann's fine blog are.

NewsstandGreg said...

Finally...the whole summation in 71 words or less:

"After all it was Pandora, the silent leader of Taxpayers Waste, that begged the RWQCB and Briggs to FINE THE PROPERTY OWNERS OF LOS OSOS. Can I ask a question? Why do we give the people of Taxpayers Waste the time of day? If it weren't for these ass**les that screwed over our Community, we'd all be hooked up and be paying $50/month. Thanks for the lies and fines Taxpayers Waste."

Amazing.

Anonymous said...

And if it weren't for the inept revenge seeking of the losers sitting on the current CSD, we'd all be paying $200.00 instead of 3-$400.00+/month we're gonna see. Your logic shows just how stupid you really are.

Yes, amazing.

Anonymous said...

Well, we'll see. Some of us think that the County may be able to help us out here. You're so sure about these future costs...who died and left you the great Houdini? You speak as if you KNOW ALL. Give us a break. And stop calling others stupid. That doesn't help at all. You sound like someone who would run for the LOCSD Board!

Anonymous said...

Ann:

Could you ever consider that people do not have to be at meetings to watch information presented at the meeting?

Fool: the meetings are televised! Why do you take him to task? Another example of your biased opinion. Shame on you! You are no better than Joey Racano clogging this blog.

Anonymous said...

If, after reading Anon 9:49's foul-mouthed, non-sensical diatribe above, you don't think "stupid" fits, well, my apologies for offending you. For me, "stupid" fits that clown like a glove.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"When you write that the RWQCB mischaracterized your letter so that they could "eliminate the necessity of responding to the POINT of my comment, i.e. that there were, indeed, better interim alternatives to their Mad Pumping Scheme" you admit that your point is that you believe there to be good ways of eliminating nitrates.

If you didn't believe that Alexander's system was best, why did you use his system as an example? Why not Wickham's?

If these "better interim alternatives" don't include onsite systems, why bring them up?

5:00 PM, September 13, 2006 "

Once again, you didn't read what I wrote. 1. The context of bringing Alexander up was to suggest an alternative MITIGATION to their (then) proposed Mad Pumping Scheme that was an on-a-napkin rough calculation of reducing volume hence reducing nitrates by X percent simply as a process of reducing volume, etc. It was not to suggest a REPLACEMENT to a sewer. 2. At the time I wrote my comments, Wickham was unknown to me.... BUT NOT TO THE STAFF, THE SAME STAFF THAT PREPARED THIS REPORT. They had vetted his system a year before and, as I noted, sent a letter to former GM Bruce Buel saying the system had an o.k. for use outside the prohibition zone. They knew. But said nothing in their response, which was supposed to be a scientific, factual response to questions and issues raised by the original CDO Scheme.

Anonymoose sez:"Could you ever consider that people do not have to be at meetings to watch information presented at the meeting?

Fool: the meetings are televised! Why do you take him to task? Another example of your biased opinion. Shame on you! You are no better than Joey Racano clogging this blog.

5:55 PM, September 14, 2006"

One of the constants I see on so many posters on this blog is that they're forever asking questions on the blog about material covered at a meeting, questions they COULD have asked directly at the meeting, but they apparently don't want to go to meetings and ask questions directly and/or maybe get some answers because, I guess, it's easier to sit at a computer and ask questions into the air with no hope of getting any answers, at least none directly from the people who might be able to answer.

And this poster calls me a fool? Oh, pleeeeeze.