Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It’s a Miracle!

Last night, the candidates for the Los Osos CSD Board held a public forum. One of the key questions asked of all the candidates went something like this: Do you support the Tri W sewer plan? i.e. having the sewer plant put in the middle of town at the Tri W site or prefer a sewer plant “outside” of town.

Not a single candidate supported the Tri W site or plan. Not a one. Zip. Nada. Zero. Not even the candidate who finally ’fessed up to being a part of Taxpayers Watch, the outfit that was behind the efforts to dissolve the CSD entirely (Oddly, she expressed relief that the effort failed, which was a total puzzler. Sort of like the old ,”Yes, Yer Honor, I did try my darndest to kill the guy with a baseball bat and when that failed I figured, Aw heck, I might as well just go ahead and get in bed with him anyway.” )

And another candidate kept repeating that she was no sewer expert and would just allow the County to decide whatever so she really wouldn’t say what site she preferred or didn’t prefer.

But not a one would speak up for Tri W. Not a one, in a community that had been torn apart by a nearly equal number of people who thought Tri W was the greatest thing since sliced bread and nearly the same number of people who thought Tri W was a bad project in the wrong place.

What happened? Is the sudden conversion even by Taxpayers Watch folk a real Saul on The Road To Damascus event? Or some sly “stealth” candidates pretending not to know anything about Tri W, let alone endorse it, until they get elected and start lobbying the county to quick-like-a-bunny turnkey it again?

I’m telling you. I thought I heard the cock crow three times last night. And had to wonder if I was witnessing a miracle of epic proportions. Sorta like Nixon when he resigned in disgrace and NOBODY in the land could be found who ever, EVER voted for him, EVER.

I mean, will we soon start hearing, “Tri-W? What’s that? Never heard of it.”

Well, in Sewerville, the watchword is Stay Tuned, to which we can now add, “Not only do we have bears, we got loaves and fishes, the blind seeing again, and people walking on water. What a place!”


Ron said...


No candidate favors Tri-Dub, huh?

I have a question: What in the hell happened to the "strongly held community value" that any sewer plant in Los Osos must also double as a "drop dead gorgeous" centrally located public park?

Anyone got an answer to that question? Pandora? Care to take a stab at an answer? Steve Monowitz at the Coastal Commission sure would be interested in hearing it, and so would I.

Ann wrote:

"... another candidate kept repeating that she was no sewer expert and would just allow the County to decide whatever so she really wouldn’t say what site she preferred or didn’t prefer."

Where was that candidate in 1998?!!! Three of those in '98, and we aren't here in '06.

Excellent report, Ann.

Shark Inlet said...

For those of us who would have wanted to attend but were not able, could those of you who did attend answer a few questions?

My first question is this: Did any of the candidates say that if they were elected they would be sure to take any and every possible action to stop the County from putting the plant at TriW?

My second questions is this: Did any of the candidates say that they would work with the County to make sure the sewer bills would be as low as possible?

These two questions, you see, do tell us how the candidates view TriW.

If the candidate says that they'll sell off TriW, we know that they are interested in making sure that the County will have more difficulty putting the plant there ... and they view potentially higher sewer bills as a reasonable price to pay for the possible benefit of the WWTF being elsewhere. (In other words, if the cost of TriW can be raised high enough, another location will be bound to be less expensive.)

If the candidate says that they'll be in favor of any action which gives us the cheapest plant they are saying they support TriW because all reasonable cost estimates tell us that if the County puts the plant at TriW our bills will be less than elsewhere. (Actually there are three other possibilities for a candidate to make such a claim. Two of the possibilities are that they may be lying about their desire for the cheapest solution, they may be unable to understand that another site means additional delay and costs. Neither of these would mean a candidate who would be a wise boardmember. The third other possibility is that every single reasonable cost estimate is wrong ... but if that is the case, it would be nice for someone who feels that out of town means cheaper to explain this position.)

Anonymous said...

According to my score keeping: Shipe says he would "look at" Tri-W if it was most cost effective, but he's positive it's not....Sparks Lynette and Maria Kelly all seem to trust the county to come up with options, want to work with the county on these with the emphasis on cost effectiveness, and proceed from there.....Barrow and Ochs and Dugan of course say no to Tri-W....Edwards has the big unveiling of his plan in tomorrow's Bay News (and each week thereafter until the election)...and the incumbants, well, you know the answer to that......
Of course, this is my take on what I saw. Being Los Osos, I'm sure others might have seen it differently.

Shark Inlet said...

Ron and Ann ...

Don't you think that even candidates who prefer TriW will soft sell that position just like candidates who prefer out of town will soft sell their own?

Frankly asking someone to come forward and pledge fielty to TriW no matter what is just a silly as asking someone to come forward and say that they'll support out of town whatever the cost. Oh yeah ... Chuck did. Well, I guess we all know that he stands for doubling our bills if out of town costs that much. $1000/month? Chuck says it is worth it.

See what I mean? Asking someone running for office to commit to any controversial position without allowing them the opportunity to provide a nuanced answer is asking for a non-answer.

Did any of the candidates say that they'll support out of town even if it costs considerably more? Nope? Well, I guess that there must not be any support by the new boardmembers for moving the plant?


Ron said...

Sharky said:

"My first question is this:"

No, no, no. My first question is this:

Do you support an amphitheater and a children's play field in your sewer plant?

THAT question tells us how the candidates view TriW.

Shark Inlet said...

To our anonymous friend who summarized the positions ... thanks!

Sounds like Shipe knows TriW will be cheaper and is lying just to win or that he is not of the mental caliber we need in office.

Sparks, Tornatzky and Kelly all gave a good answer.

Al and Dave ... no surprise here. Clueless.

Ed has tipped his cards once again. While he couches much of his rhetoric in affordability and the rights of property owners, he's not really interested in much of anything other than getting the plant moved.

Chuck and Steve ... we know that either they're willfully lying about the costs or that they're just plain clueless about inflation and simple math.

Jeff ... I'm interested to know what he'll propose. Sad that he couldn't reveal any details on Tuesday night that have essentially already been solidified if they'll be in Thursday's rag. I cannot think of a good and ethical reason to give such an answer.

To our good friend Ron ... you're first question is also a good one. Please realize, however, that the bias in the question will tend to cause you to get answers which aren't as helpful to the voter as they are for your own ego pumping.

Anonymous said...

On another note Shark. As Ann concentrated on the Tri-W question, I listened to the answers concerning the bankruptcy, since this is the real issue the CSD will be addressing for years to come. Not surprisingly, the incumbants (along with Dugan, who seems to be just an echo) stated the bankruptcy was deliberately set in motion by the prior board when they started construction. Not one iota, not one, from the incumbants about their role in the bankruptcy. A lot of blame. A lot of course, victumization. But no responsibility. And of course, nothing close to an apology from Senet and Cessina.

Sewertoons said...


You have it so wrong about Tri-W. You are just putting wishful spin with your "no support" for it.

When the County evaluates the possible projects, and Tri-W will be one of them, then all citizens, including the candidates, will see the costs. Tri-W may well be the winner, and get lots of support when all the facts are in.

To say that there was no support is like asking for a conclusion before all the facts are in. THINKING candidates were clearly going to wait to answer when they have the facts, they do not have some fixation on the plant HAVING to be out of town no matter what the cost, when no costs have been given by the County on either location.

Anonymous said...

I watched the whole thing on my computer screen

I have never heard such stupid questions of those who would wish to serve on a bankruptcy board. And of course the questions were edited as not to be hard questions so the intellectually chalanged would not seem too foolish.

Might as well scream and yell ANN. The county ain't gonna throw away 18 million of engineering, plans, and permits on something else unless it looks like it is really better. Notice how Ochs did not answer questions?

But bankruptcy is the problem and two 218 votes also. One to get the unneeded LOCSD solvent, and the other to fund the sewer. Your guess is as good as mine. However, if any of the perpetuators of our problems who think like Julie and Lisa get on the board, you will see resounding NO from me.

I can't wait to see Edwards ideas. Hope he has submitted them to the CCRWQCB first before spending money to publish them. I also hope he has some sort of cost analysis. He will either be a fool or a hero.

Einstein said...

Was the forum streamed on Usually it says if it's streamed in the top righthand corner. Or are you just a friend of Bob's.

Do you realize you spelled intellectually chalanged wrong? That makes you truly intellectually CHALLENGED!

Good reason to remain anonymous?

Shark Inlet said...

Um ... einstein,

While spelling ability is correlated with intelligence, the correlation isn't that strong.

As to Jeff Edwards plan ... I got it in the bay news today. It was an 8.5x11 piece of paper photocopied on BOTH sides (big ad buy, Jeff!). Looks like a good idea but not that much thought has been put into it and it will be certainly more costly than the current TriW plan. Furthermore, considering the County will be the decider, it seems that the advert missed the mark ... Edwards should have been more focused on what the LOCSD should do to get out of bankruptcy.

FBLeG said...

Shark Inlet said...

"Furthermore, considering the County will be the decider..."

Guess what? without a supportive 218 vote for whatever proposal(s) the County puts forward - the project is dead. I guess I and my fellow PZ property owners get to decide.

Churadogs said...

Sewertoons sez:"Ann,

You have it so wrong about Tri-W. You are just putting wishful spin with your "no support" for it."

Did you hear any candidate stand up for Tri W? That wasn't spin. I waiting for somebody -- anybody -- on that pannel to stand up for that project. After all, this town was torn apart, with nearly 1/2 (actually, with 40% always totally missing, more like 1/3)of the community supposedly WILDLY enthusiastic about TRI-W, greatest thing since sliced bread, a WONDERFUL PROJECT, SOOOO AFFORDABLE, GOTTA GRAND TOT LOT, YAY! ALL THOSE STRONGLY HELD COMMUNITY VALUES, WE LOVE OUR TRI-W, & etc.

Then suddenly, utter silence. Will no one now stand up for this poor orphaned step-child? Where's all the sloganeering, the flyers touting its wonderfulness, its affordability, where's a slate of people saying, YES! Elect me and I'll bring back the Dream of this WONDERFUL SEWER THAT EVERYONE LOVES BECAUSE ITS SO WONDERFUL AND AFFORDABLE AND SOLVES OUR WATER PROBLEMS AND OUR SLUDGE PROBLEMS.

Nope, dead silence. That's not spin, that just plain Weird.

Anonymous said...


This ain't the only place where silence is evident. The discussion groups are likewise. The only folks "disussin'" anything there are the folks that have a fondness for the CSD to be issued orange jumpsuits and others still writing silly poems and changing the words to some songs, seeing who can out-do the other critics (with nothing to say) by coming up with new insults and personal attacks on the BOD.

Anonymous said...

"new insults and personal attacks on the BOD."

Oh c'mon. You must have missed f**ing-balls-legross blog entries a while back. What's good for the goose my friend.

Sewer fatigue has definitely set in....again. It will be very interesting come election day.

Sewertoons said...


You might then note that there was dead silence for ponds out of town from three candidates. Their stance was one of REASON, to wait and see what the County had to say, to not pick sides IN ADVANCE of evidence. To not obstruct by picking sides already, when there has been no fair analysis.

There was a lot of pond hysteria going on though. Greatest thing since sliced bread.

Lots of people are sick of the "greatest" anything. Let's just wait and see.

Anonymous said...


Finally.....a sensible thought.....WAIT AND SEE!!!!

The folks have done nothing but work everyone up into a dither with all the speculation, cost analysis (made up with figures pulled from the air) and second guessing.

Shark Inlet said...

To our friend FBLG...

You are right. Once the County decides which project they propose to the property owners, the property owners get to vote ... up or down.

I suspect that you underestimate the chance the property owners, being sick of the mess and knowing the alternative, will vote yes.

What is that alternative, you ask?

If the County fails and the LOCSD is bankrupt or non-existent, the State will step in and do what they feel is best and they'll simply charge us the amount they feel is necessary to recoup their costs.

In other words, the property owners will vote yes because their costs are likely to be even higher if the state is forced to build the thing.

Ann, if a single candidate said that they are in favor of the least expensive option, they were either saying they were in favor of TriW or they are not smart or wise enough to deserve to be on the board.

Anonymous said...


What is your basis for thinking the State taking over will make the price more than your other suggested alternitives or Richards (and your)guessanalyses?
Has other communities had their WWTF construted by the State?

Shark Inlet said...

Inflation, waterboard requirements and the possibility that state taking the project over may preclude them from using federal money for lower interest rates.

The inflation is obvious and has been our key nemesis since 1998.

If we didn't already have a problem with nitrates from septics, the RWQCB would be far quicker to listen to the Ripley idea which proposed no denitrification. The requirement that the aquifer be recharged is also a bit expensive.

About losing the SRF loan. It probably all depends on how the clean water act was written. It might very well be the case that the SWRCB cannot use the money themselves but must loan it out to districts. If this were the case and the SWRCB were to take over the project, the project might not be eligible for such a loan. Ugh!

Mike Green said...

You know, I've always had the sneeky suspicion that the "Mad Pumping Sceme" was designed to mimic the cost of what TriW was supposed to be.
If the next 218 vote fails, I got to come up with a good catch phrase, how about "the mega mea culpa",
and the State takes over our pitiful burg, will they follow EPA guidlines on affodability?

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that sane people cannot see that the county will choose whatever and wherever it feels is the best place to put the waste water facility. With the display of ignorance, arrogance, tunnel-vision, grand-standing, and pontificating done by this current Board of Directors, do you REALLY think the County of San Luis Obispo will listen to any of the board's wants, gripes, or whining?

Hell, no.

So, have all the silly "forums" that you want. Have all the moronic public and closed-session meetings, it does not matter one whit!!

The county is going to do what the county damned well wants to do.

Los Osos, in it's entirety has completely blown any chance of being in the loop when the decisions are handed down.

So, have all the silly meetings you want. No one gives a hot damn.

Especially the County of San Luis Obispo.

And, that is as it should be. Los Osos has proven, time and again, that it is not mature enough to govern itself.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"I cannot believe that sane people cannot see that the county will choose whatever and wherever it feels is the best place to put the waste water facility."

Actually, the county has committed to a PROCESS of vetting various options, including looking at costs, both long term and short term. If this community does not want to see another train wreck, they had better get off their butts and let the county know -- now, before it's too late -- that they expect an honest process; None of this faux "strongly held community values" stuff. Futhermore, they'd had better make sure the county has actually gotten educated on STEP/STEG. Here's a little story that illustrates what I'm talking about. My cousin, in Colorado, was working with a brand new planned community. They were planning on puting in a small-flows, i.e. Austrailian Small System. He went up to the state engineer with -- literally ---a stack of documentation three feet tall, including successful track records going back 25 or more years. The head STATE ENGINEER said to him,-- before even looking at the documents,-- and I quote, " Mahlon, I can tell you right now, that system's not gonna work." Surprised, since the head state engineer hadn't even opened a single technical report, Mahlon asked, why not, and the good old boy STATE ENGINEER said, "Because I haven't heard of it." It's that kind of ignorance and lack of training that this community has to make sure doesn't happen at the County level while they're snoozing away. Otherwise, you're going to get what the County engineers have "heard of," which really translates out to, "We're not up to speed with what the future will be in wastewater because our training is old and out of date and we aren't really interested in getting up to speed, but that's o.k. We'll just build a 19th century system that'll lead to spills and long-term higher infrasctucture replacement costs and higher and higher sludge removal costs and electricity costs to run the outmoded system, BECAUSE THAT'S ALL WE KNOW HOW TO DO.

If that's what Los Ososians want, then, Hey, Go back to sleep. All will be well. You'll get the Hobson's Choice of "only what the county knows," then you'll get a 218 vote,then you'll get the bill.

*PG-13 said...

The head STATE ENGINEER said to him,-- before even looking at the documents,-- and I quote, " Mahlon, I can tell you right now, that system's not gonna work." Surprised, since the head state engineer hadn't even opened a single technical report, Mahlon asked, why not, and the good old boy STATE ENGINEER said, "Because I haven't heard of it."

And therein lies the crux of our woes. Well, maybe not all our woes. We brought a load of woes on by our own weird mis-directions, in-fighting and polluted politics. Let's not even go down that path anymore. Been there, done that. But now SLO county is steering the train and we can only hope they steer it with a steadier hand than the various CSD's did. And this presents its own set of issues.

Interestingly, just yesterday David Venhuizen, AKA The Waterguy, distributed a report describing a waste water project he is consulting on in Utah. The scope of the project is similar in many ways to ours. It was an interesting read. Nothing particularly new to anybody who is familiar with all the waste water options available to us today but still a good and fairly thorough review of the options available to us. Many of the recipients of this report are familiar names including some past and current reps on the CSD, some of the candidates running for election to the CSD, various other local villains and luminaries as well as an agent working in the county planning office. One can only hope they are monitoring their in-boxes and actually reading their email. Hopefully with an open mind. Reading the report I couldn't help but note how many times the newer and seemingly best solution was still considered an alternative solution with no DWQ (Dept of Water Quality) criteria to guide its acceptance, compliance or design. It seems sewage management has been stuck in a rut for an exceptionally long time, over a century and counting, and there doesn't appear to be a lot happening to get out of that rut any time soon. As long as the regulating agencies can hide behind 'existing DWQ rules and regulations' there seems to be little means to introduce new improved alternatives. I'm sure this is a classic dilemma in any code compliant industry but it seems particularly troublesome for community infrastructure design projects where CYA is the easiest (and safest) position to take. So how do new solutions and technologies break out of this box? Los Osos is not alone. Lots of communities are facing similar problem sets with similar regulatory constraints on how they can address these problems. How and when can these alternatives satisfy the regulating agencies and gain approval? That seems to be the crux holding up so many possible and better waste water designs. Expediting this regulatory process is a key for solving future problems besetting us everywhere. It's probably too late for Los Osos. Way too much bad water has already flowed under our bridge. It would take a near Herculean act of fortitudinous foresight and leadership for SLO to choose a creative new-tech solution to resolve the Los Osos waste water challenge. Still, it is doubtful any sewer project in history has been discussed and analyzed more than ours. The opportunity is here. For all its bungling and for all the bad-mouthing the SLO Planning Department has deservedly received during this affair there are only a small number of planning departments in the country as well prepared to do the right thing. My sense is the staff could serve the process so much better if their boss' egos would just get out of the way.

Least Shark Inlet think he is being ignored, it should be noted there are two most significant factors in this scenario. Technology and Time (read: cost of money). We have probably already squandered the right to select a better technical solution because the clock is ticking and time is money and we need a sewer yesterday. Unless the better technology is also faster (and no more expensive to build and operate). We can only ask and hold our breath in hopes the county considers all of this in their analysis. As you all know, I am ever hopeful. Still.

..... and the painted ponies go up and down.
......while the carousel goes round and round.

Shark Inlet said...

Well PG and Ann ...

Essentially the recall was our community saying that we don't mind the possibility (or likelihood) of paying a WHOLE LOT more so that the process Ann writes about can be pure.

However, some of those of us who voted against the recall didn't think it was worth it.

The problem here, PG, is that the better technology is getting in the way of a good solution. We keep hoping that the next best thing will be less expensive. The problem is that inflation will wipe out pretty much all cost benefits (if any) of the better technology.

Is it worth it? Was it worth it?

Dunno ... but unless the County comes up with some amazing cost savings, the recall essentially will cost us all.

*PG-13 said...

Dear Shark,

We've been riding the same old ponies up & down and around & around for a long long time. Where ever ya stand there's a good argument against some past dumb actions. Pick a spot, any spot, and we can argue who was right, who was wrong, who was dumb and who was dumber. We've been throwing these up and dancing around them on this blog ever since I first discovered it. That's cool. That's the nature of a blog. It is certainly the well developed habit of this blog. Wouldn't be the same without it. So this isn't to suggest we shouldn't continue to belabor the ills and sins and mistakes of the past. But one can't drive forward always focused on the rear view mirror.

> Is it worth it? Was it worth it?
> Dunno ... but unless the County comes up with some amazing cost savings, the recall essentially will cost us all.

I think Dunno is the key word there. Heck, if I got to vote on the recall again I'm not sure whether I would vote for or against it. Looking back, neither side warrants my vote. My indecision doesn't really matter though cuz that's past. I'm not gonna focus on how much money the recall election may have cost me/us. First, that's still to be proven. Second, how does continually calculating and recalculating that number help me now? I am concerned about how much the sewer is going to cost - me, you and the community. I would prefer it be cheaper rather than expensive - both to construct and to maintain. I would also prefer it be efficient, effective, enhance the community (versus distract from the community), and support the future of the community (versus be a one time fix just to buy off the agency dogs). I agree with you, I believe the recall will end up costing us money. Any delay getting any sewer built ends up costing us money. But the recall isn't the only thing adding to our costs. Pick almost any decision or action that has been made (or not made) regarding the sewer and a cost can be associated to it. It just seems so futile to keep focusing on what this or that cost us. This is now. Our chance to drive the bus is past. What can we do now to help the county make the best decision for us?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, let's all do he backstroke. The County of SLO will do what is expedient, approved, and least expensive. This will rule out the whole "pie in the sky" group that thinks in terms of, "NEVER on Tri-W" or, "It HAS to be step-steg" or, ONLY out of town.

The county will not give a tinker's damn about all the nay-sayers and all their, "over my dead body" crap.

My money is on Tri-W. It was permitted once, and it will be again. So, all you drama queens, get out your cup of hemlock, because it is coming at you.

Shark Inlet said...

The problem, PG is mine ...

Every time I read someone saying something that silly I seem to feel the need to respond.

As an example, if people have been (recently) complaining about TriW being the source of all our problems, I feel the need to point out that everyting was going along swimmingly until the recall.

I am probably starting to sound a lot like Ron ... so focused on a few of the issues of the past that I am not so helpful when discussing current issues.

Thanks for calling me back down to Earth. Now if all the other space cadets here would come back to Earth as well we might be able to work together.

Anonymous said...

Swimmingly? I love it! Did you mean to say "swimming in sludge at TriW?"

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6:41:

Has it ever *dawned* on you that if the stupid current BOD had left well enough alone, that we would have the damned thing almost complete?? Well, get a grip, bucko, because the sludge that you imagine, is created by none other than the foolish 5, the "pie in the sky" group.

And, for your edification, YES, the WWP WAS going swimmingly. If the current BOD had not interferred, there would be no CDO's, no fines, no lawsuits for idle time by contractors. Of course, they would have STILL bankrupt the District, but you can chalk that up to the "know-it-all" mentality of this infamous BOD, who can only think, "out-of-town" whether it be sewer plant site, or consultants, or attorneys, or the so-called Interim GM. Seems to me, this BOD has batted zero with their "out-of-town" mindset.

Anonymous said...

Hey!. Did you notice someone else actually wrote to the Tribune with the idea I've been pushing, to send your wastewater to San Luis Obispo?.

I'm telling you it is a viable solution. Now granted there maybe a little mark-up for administrative costs etc but would most likely still be a better solution than any of you have come up with.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about it, if you added up all the dollar amount that has been accumulated through fines, penaltys, lawyers fees, employee wages, Board officials time, we could have altered Tri-W's design and been moving on down the road now with a project that would have been acceptable to the majority. Countless people who were opposed to the recall have stated that they weren't that thrilled about Tri-W as a site. It was the easiest way out. Those that accepted Tri-W in the beginning certainly didn't at what it became.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. I'm new to the area. I understand, however, that Morro Bay's sewer treatment facility is inadequate, but that updates to its facilities have been approved. Does it make sense that each small city have its own sewer facility, particularly given the costs estimates for Los Osos'?

Would it be possible to have one combined facility, or to update the Morro Bay facility such that it could carry Los Osos? Might that not be a cheaper alternative?

Anonymous said...

What has really been bothering me is if a septic management system had been incorporated when mandated, did officials fear that the results might have shown no need for a sewer? I mean all these years and nothing to mitigate the so-called pollution.

Mike Green said...

Shipping the wastewater to another area dose not address the saltwater intrusion problem and will not recharge the aquifer, both requirements to any design chosen.
So no, SLO is out and so is Morro Bay.
As for the ongoing cost associated with sludge at the TriW design, why not use the Ripley plan method, keep the septic tanks (after inspection and repair/replacement) the estimated (by Ripley)frequency of pump out for a working septic tank could be between five and ten years. replaceing the leech lines with an outfall to gravity collection system which is hooked to a smaller conventional plant would hybridize the best features of both designs. and cost would be the minimum due to existing moneys already spent and the savings of not having to remove /decommission the existing tanks.
Just a pie in the sky meander, sorry

Anonymous said...

"Shipping the wastewater to another area dose not address the saltwater intrusion problem and will not recharge the aquifer, both requirements to any design chosen.
So no, SLO is out and so is Morro Bay."

Ahhh, but San Luis Obispo has oversubscribed to Nacimiento water by about 2000 Acre Feet. So we've got us some water and I'm certain when city residents water bills start going way way up we'd be willing to sell. Let's say may 20% over cost.

Spectator said...

Thank you PG-13 and El Tiberon for the brillient conversation. This blog has definitely improved since the foul pens have left the scene. Since the sewer system is in the hands of the county ( of course subject to influence ), and their actions are highly speculative until they are revealed, I will try and lend my experience of being on more that 25 creditors committees in the past. However, these were chapter 11 and 13 cases.

Mike Green said...

Welcome back, Jon!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what has happened to John Fouche? I know he's not running again, but has he quit the CSD altogether? If so, why? Maybe this has been answered somewhere, but I'm in the dark and very curious.

Shark Inlet said...

To our most recent anonymous friend ...
you have a good question.

I wonder whether any formal list of endorsements for Chuck or Steve includes the name "John Fouche."

Anonymous said...

Well, obviously people voted for him last year, so doesn't he owe those people an explanation? It seems he kinda left at the time Blakselee's bill became law, so maybe that ticked him off. He should then show support for those who consider Blakeslee a Judas and explain that's why he left. Or maybe he just couldn't take sitting on the podium with the other four any longer, and all the baggage of bankruptcy and the hell of the last year. So, he should then explain that as well. And does the board get compensated in any way, and if so, is he still being compensated? Questions questions. Maybe the CSD's Tony Snow, Ann Calhoun, can answer them.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"What has really been bothering me is if a septic management system had been incorporated when mandated, did officials fear that the results might have shown no need for a sewer? I mean all these years and nothing to mitigate the so-called pollution.

10:52 AM, October 21, 2006 "

The average -- average -- for the PZ for nitrates last year (last water report) was, I believe, 10.4. The state standard is 10. We're looking at .4 over limit as an average. Questions: Nobody knows how many septic systems are broken, leaking, limping along with symptom-less but poorly working leach fields and etc. Nobody knows because nobody has looked. Anonymous asks a good question: If Resolution 83-12,(formation of a working Septic Management District, complete with inspection, pumping, repair, remediation, & etc.) combined with no building in the prohibition zone, would the average nitrates have remained below the critical, "legal" 10, hence out of reach of the RWQCB (but still too high for safety's sake) ? Good question.

Shark Inlet said...


You do have a good question about whether politics at the RWQCB office played a role in their not pushing for septic management. We all know that Los Osos residents are difficult to work with at best and they might very well have thought that it would be better to not get the leaking septics into good shape.

But I doubt it. They have a mandate to protect and where necessary, improve water quality. You are suggesting that they were acting like the CHP cop who encourages people to speed so that she can write them up for a more expensive ticket to make a bigger impact on future driving speeds. This is not how the CHP acts and I doubt that anyone in the RWQCB office did the political calculus to justify letting septic management slide.

Rather, I suspect they didn't pursue the issue so strongly because there was always an agency working on a project. First the County, then the County and then the CSD.

Furthermore, even our nitrate levels were "far below" the levels deemed unsafe, we still would have a mandate to build the sewer. You see, even if septic systems are working perfectly, the distance to groundwater and the density of septic systems and the flow rate of water in our aquifer pretty much guarantees that our nitrates will increase. The soil can only uptake so much nitrogen ... you've got to have a lot of plants to use that nitrogen in the soil before it goes directly into the aquifer.

Now let me ask you a political question. If septic management is so gosh darn good, why did Julie and Lisa vote against it two years ago? Presumably the reason may have to do with the fact that the LOCSD was going to run the trucks. My question is this ... why would septic management be worth voting against just because of who pays the truck driver and where the septage is sent?

Wiserbob in Morro Bay said...

Through the mists from across the Bay we have watched the sorry saga unfold with the usual mixed emotions (one being contempt). My understanding of the endless wrangling over the Tri-W site almost rivals my understanding of why Sunnis and Shia don't meet for a beer after a good day's slaughtering. That said, may I pass along an idea "I heard some guy" put forward in a conversation not long ago?

It struck me as one of those true Lightbulb moments: The man averred that Morro Bay has a comfortable excess of capacity for handling its own sewage. So therefore, instead of endless wrangling over whose back yard gets the effluent, he said why not simply get the city of Morro Bay to contract with the CSD and, with help from the county and state, tunnel under the bay. Los Osos would become a net exporter of sludge / effluent / and OK, crap. Morro Bay would become a net importer and processor of highly valuable "gray water" and mulch. Bingo! Problem solved!

In Norway two years ago we were amazed by their tunneling prowess. Tunnels everywhere, through miles of solid granite, carrying water, trains, cars, trucks, and I would not be surprised, effluent. Come on. Why should Americans take the proverbial back seat to Europeans in getting things done? Not long ago we led the world in the much-vaunted "infrastructure" department; now, we're a laughingstock. (In one word: Katrina.)

So how about bringing in a team of Norwegian tunneling experts to confer with our best & brightest caca experts, inspect both sides of our bay, kick the mud, scribble on backs of envelopes --- and get on with it? The solution may be just a bit more sophisticated than a soda straw sucking (sorry) YOUR crap under the bay into OUR treament facility. But --- to use an almost forgotten word --- doable. (In this case, doo-doable ?)

--- Bob Young

Anonymous said...

In answer to 10/22 3:18:

Perhaps John Fouche got on the Board thinking he was doing a good thing, but when he encountered all the hidden agendas, and items that were discussed in closed session that should have been public, he couldn't stand it.

Or perhaps he tired of the Interim General Manager fiddle-f*rting around with the Board packet until the last minute, so that Directors received them less than 24 hours before a Board meeting.

Or perhaps he was couldn't stand how amateurish the whole Board, Board meeting and Interim General Manager were, when compared to the professionalism displayed by the previous Board and the seasoned and brilliant General Manager.

Incidently, Board members are paid by the Board meeting ($100), and Committee meeting ($50). Directors who do not attend are not paid.

And, I believe, lurking somwhere in the Board by-laws is a clause that should a Director miss three meetings in a row, they lose their Board seat. Check with the CSD office for exact wording.

Forget the "Tony Snow" person. The general public knows quite a lot, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding. The water gods won't even let us go across a creek, let alone a bay.

Mike Green said...

I love newfangled Sewer Ideas!
Here's one:
The cost of a wastewater treatment plant eventualy surpasses the value of the homes. Taking the "Cheaper, Beter Faster" rout, the State "emminent domains" every property ( the legal battles drag on untill the United States is overthrown by a foreign country)
The land is given back to the Chumash, and we all get to live at the casino!

Mike Green said...

Oh! I forgot! the country is Panama! ruled by a sly SPECTATOR!

Spectator said...

Hey Mike! Thanks for the help with the boat. You missed the real fun after you left. It is absolutely impossible to control a 26 ft. single screw boat with a deep keel in 4 kts. of tide. No damage and no harm, but it was my worst example of boat handling ever! I ended up swinging it completely around and got a stern line stuck in the prop. The boat ended tidal pushed against the down tide dock. After we cut the rope out of the prop, the tide was running so strongly we could barely get it unstuck from the dock. Had to use a spring line. We have come to the conclusion only to unload or load at slack tide. Thank goodness there were other helpful people at the dock.

Unintended consequences seem to always occur when one is trying to get out of a bad situation.

Mike Green said...

Messing about in boats can be a humbling experiance!
The tides at that launch ramp can realy cause havoc. I've seen trailers go under the docks, that's why I shoot my boat under power right up on the trailer and I keep her going untill the bow line is secured, of course I've got lots 'o power
but a 25 ft Searay is plenty heavy.
Good to see you too! that boat was cool!