Friday, November 03, 2006

Yep,It’s a Shell Game, But This Time, It’s The Tribune’s Shell Game.

On October 27, 06, the Tribune ran an Editorial, titled “A Shell Game in Los Osos.” Actually, it was a partisan campaign ad disguised as an editorial. One of the more interesting points made was this: “The district’s board of directors has consistently pointed their fingers at the previous board – which was recalled in September 2005 – for creating the financial mess in which the community now finds itself. We don’t buy it. If the current board has found any evidence of mismanagement by the recalled board, it should come forward with it. It’s had more than a year to prove those accusations.”

Uh, gosh. Didn’t the Tribune previously print a story about how the District Attorney had investigated charges by the CSD concerning improperly/illegally signed contracts by the former general manager (a contract with WMH signed by the GM BEFORE he had even been hired ???) and the DA . . . declined to prosecute?

The DA didn’t declare that everything was fine, that it’s perfectly legal for people to sign contracts even before they’ve been hired to a job that would allow them to sign contracts . . . once they’ve been hired. Nope, the DA didn’t clear the matter, he simply DECLINED TO PROSECUTE, which is what DAs do all the time with cases they don’t think they can win or cases that just aren’t worth their time to persue. In short, they give a walk to a lot of “law-breakers.” Which, of course, the Tribune knew perfectly well when they wrote this editorial.

The Oct 27 editorial was followed by a letter to the editor by James Tkach noting that the editorial called “. . . for a new board by referring to Judge Piquet’s audit cited by the county, which alleges mismanagement by the CSD, yet this audit is for the period ending in June 2005, as was reported in the Tribune. This was prior to the recall election, yet you blame the current board. . . .”

Was reported in the Tribune? Yep, it was. So, does the editorial Board of the Trib not read their own paper before writing editorials? Guess so.

As for the audits now underway, the results aren’t in yet. Will they look at both pre-recall and post recall expenditures? Let’s hope so. Can anyone know, in advance, what their conclusions will be vis a vis any “irregularities?” No. But that hasn’t stopped the Tribune’s editorial board from jumping to conclusions that aren’t even supported by their own limited newspaper reporting.

This morning, the Tribune ran a “Viewpoint” from CSD President Lisa Schicker, responding to the Trib’s previous Election Endorsement Disguised As An Editorial; Schicker made a few key points that bear careful consideration:

“The official 2005 audit revealed the recalled board drained the wastewater fund down to $200,000 in July 2005. With the outcome of the recall election uncertain, they could’ve set the election one month earlier and delayed construction a mere 20 working days – without any loss of loan or penalty from the state; they didn’t.

“They could have sold the remaining $2 million in bonds as a safeguard; but they didn’t.

“Financial misdeeds occurred in August/September 2005, just before the election, when the manager pre-paid more than $2 million of initial state loan monies to contractors – money earmarked for project reserves/contingencies, in direct violation of State Revolving Fund loan policy and Board Resolution 2005-33. . . . “

“Our board-requested financial audits from this summer revealed the recalled board did not disclose, but took, $1.2 million out of reserves in August 2005 to pay wastewater bills and make a bond payment, against board policy, questionable reserve spending occurring before the new board ever took office.

“These irregularities are but a few reported to the district attorney, Department of Audits, grand jury and Environmental Protection Agency; they are also the basis for legal challenges to the contractors. . . . “

And so forth. To date, the request for re-examination to the EPA is underway; Outcome? Unknown. The challenge to the contractors is still underway. Ditto the grand jury and Department of Audits. In short, until these reports come in, nobody – not you, not me, certainly not the Tribune editors – know diddly.

Now, the Tribune Editorial Board knows all of this. The 2005 audit reports are available, the DA’s complaints are available, the inquires to the EPA, the lawsuit filings are all available. Does the Tribune editorial Board review any of these claims BEFORE writing its Political Ad Disguised as an Editorial?

Nope. Not a bit of it. Did the Tribune make any effort to look further into these claims and run a nice piece of “investigative journalism” on the whole tangled mess? You know, an unbiased piece that would help clarify and shine a light on what happened? Nope. Not a bit of it.

If We The People get the government we deserve, we also get the Newspapers we deserve. Which is why I keep harping on the importance that people need to stay awake at the switch. Los Osos is awash in weasle words and spin and phony “facts,” loaded to the gunnels with people jumping to conclusions -- a leap of unwarranted faith taken not only by all the private players, but – alas – from our own Newspaper of Record, which should know better.

Caveat lector, Sewerville. Caveat lector. And, yes, that includes this blog and all who log on to read and comment. Caveat, caveat.


Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"Did the Tribune make any effort to look further into these claims and run a nice piece of “investigative journalism” on the whole tangled mess?"

Dear Ann,

What's "investigative journalism?"

The Tribune

You know what I found really scarry about the Trib's editorial/political ad, is that in the same paper they were bragging about how great they are by teaching local journalism students their brand of "journalism."

Oh, for the love of God... NOOOOOOOO!!

Memo to Cuesta and Cal Poly journalism departments: When the Trib comes knocking on your office door, pretend your not in.

The Trib teaching journalism?

Isn't that a little like Billy Joel teaching driver's education classes?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ron said...

You know... I just went and re-read that link I supplied above, and it reminded me, I wanted to send them an e-mail... so I did:

Hello Mr. Weber,

In a recent "Ask the Editor," Sandra Duer wrote,

"Besides helping to teach, our newsroom regularly hosts guests during our afternoon news meetings, where we discuss stories and photos under way for the next day’s newspaper."

Then she added;

"If you ever want to attend an afternoon news huddle, please e-mail me or Managing Editor Tad Weber,, to arrange a time."

I would like to attend an "afternoon news huddle" when your staff is discussing the Los Osos sewer issue. Could you please arrange a time.

Thank you,

Should I start holding my breath?

Ron said...

I guess I can exhale (gotta love the Internet, huh?):

- - -

Ron: We would be delighted to have you sit in. I will work with City Editor Matt Lazier to time it to when we have a Los Osos sewer issue story on our daily log of stories. If you can respond quickly, ie we call in the morning to let you know we have such a story working that day, we should be able to accommodate you.

Please e-mail back your telephone so we can reach you.


Tad Weber
Managing Editor

- - -

Also, before the Grammar police nail me:

When I wrote:

"... pretend your not in."

Of course, what I meant was:

"... pretend you're not in."

Anonymous said...

Ron, Tad Weber must not know you... once he realizes you are THAT Ron he will surly rescind the offer.

No need in them giving you additional fuel to burn them with, they do a fine job all by themselves.

Spectator said...

The fiscal year for the LOCSD runs from July 1st of a year to June 30th of the following year. The last audit completed was for fiscal year 04 -05, ending June 30, 2005, before the recall. It was completed in the Spring of 2006, and submitted to the board and public with comments by the independent auditor, who had looked at some of the figures that would occur in the 05-06 audit.

In March 2006, Judge Piquet called for a wastewater audit to determine the expenditures from the low interest loan, and the amount remaining. It was specific to this account and was available June 20, 2006 for the period August 2005 to June 1, 2006. It tracks the use of the proceeds from the low interest loan starting in August 2005.

The Tribune and perhaps everyone including you, Ann, have difficulty with the dates and fiscal years of the audit, because the LOCSD fiscal year ends June 31 every year.

While we have a BUDGET for fiscal year 06-07 we have NO full audit for 05-06 as yet by an independent CPA.

You are absolutely correct that the Tribune made no effort to put sunshine on this mess. There is no full audit available, and for them to put in an auditor (If the LOCSD allowed it) would be very expensive.

I am sure that when the audit (2005-2006) comes out we will find out the cause and effects of board decisions on our finances leading to bankruptcy.

However, the excessive legal expenditures, payment to Ripley, outside consultants, and excessive payments to an interim GM seem to be the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

Schicker can spout off all she wants about the period of August/Sept 05 but only a full audit of fiscal year 05-06 will shed light. The AG staff, loaded with accountants, will read it, and determine if laws have been broken.

It is BIG interest for LOCSD board members to hang on to their majority and obstruct this audit, pushing it off until the statue of limitations runs out, if they have violated the law. However, there is no statute of limitations on fraud. Fraud is hard to prove, especially since I do not think that any of the board members benefited personally from this debacle.

If Schicker is genuine, she should call to have a full audit conducted immediately. Everyone wants it including the AG and Grand Jury. It certainly would shed light on the debacle and stop the speculation, misinformation, and division in our community.

Jon Arcuni

Shark Inlet said...

Jon is right ...

Lisa's protestations aside, it is the board's job to not spend themselves into bankruptcy.

If they inherited a mess, their first job should have been to come to terms with that mess and figure out how to clean it up. They didn't. While spending money on lots and lots of meetings and pie-in-the-sky brainstorms like the Ripley plan and paying lawyers to dream up new ways of trying to make it look like Measure B was anything but a poorly written law soon to be overturned, they didn't actually make sure they had the money to spend on these things.

If things were as bad as Lisa tells us, it would have been clear from Buel's accurate and current books.

The new board should have realized they didn't have the money to spend on their wishlist. They should have asked for a 218 vote to borrow money yet again so that they could fund their plan of putting the sewer out of town.

Hell, I bet that if they had just canceled TriW outright in October and then started working immediately on a 218 vote (it could have happened by February) where the community said "go ahead and borrow another $20M to study out of town" the RWQCB would have adopted a different approach. Had this group actually had a plan of any sort ... other than to shoot from the hip then run around trying to put out all the fires they caused ... we wouldn't be anywhere near as hosed.

Spectator said...

Ann, you are sooooo right! "Caviat lector" means reader beware. I needed to make this clear to some of the anons posting on this site.

Jon Arcuni

Anonymous said...

Thaynke yew, Mr. Are-cue-knee, We'uns thot, "Caviat lector" ment, "Watch our fer thet goll-danged Hannibal the Cannibal"

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Rusky for "lick some caviar"

Anonymous said...

Concerning Lisa's comments in "Viewpoint" today:

There were no "prepayments" to contractors in August/September 2005. Invoices from contractors during this time had been verified and approved by an independent project manager. (not an employee of the District) These invoices were for contractor mobilization and materials involved in beginning construction at the Tri-W site.

If Lisa knew anything about running a municipality, she would know that a governmental agency does not "prepay" anything.

There were, however, huge retainer fees paid to the law firm of Burke, Williams and Sorenson, **AFTER** October 1, 2005, under the direction of Dan Bleskey, Interim General Manager, who was picked by Julie Tacker.

Also, Lisa should know that there is no way to "drain" a municipal fund. The "Funds" are departmental designations, ***NOT*** bank accounts. The process was explained to her many times, and not one bit of provided information stuck.

It is my opinion that:

(1)This Board did not take the time to educate themselves as to the workings of a municipality.

(2)The Board did not ask for edification from senior staff concerning the current finances and projected revenues of the District.

(3) The Board drew their own conclusions, based upon advice given to them by an Interim General Manager who, under oath, admitted to not having any accounting education.

The blind leading the blind.

So let's recap:

Between October 1, 2005 and now, this Board removed the only person who understood all the workings and finances of this District, and has operated on information filtered through someone who admittedly doesn't have any accounting education; they chose an expensive law firm based who was sueing them; they proceeded as though they had the revenue of a much larger and wealthier governmental entity. And spent money like it was going out of style, leading to bankruptcy.

Sorry Lisa, all your smoke, mirrors, spin and BS cannot erase facts like these.



Anonymous said...

Yes vote for people who tried to dissolve the CSD that they now want seats on!!! They have so much "integrity"!!! (Actually I think Joe Sparks would be a great director but the other two are questionable...wait...they did get straight A's!!! But on what?)

Anonymous said...

this is the first time that i've dropped in here in months. thought it might be interesting with the election coming up. not interesting. same old babble. i did find one thing interesting. the last time i dropped in, jon arcuni said it was the last time he was ever going to post because the project was now in the county's hands and the subject was moot and he was moving to panama. i recall another anon laying odds that it wouldn't be jon's last post. damn, i wish i'd gotten down on that. the lock of the century and i past it by. how many times has jon said "i'm not posting in here anymore"? now look, two months later and he's posting like a madman. how do you trust somebody, that can not even tell themselves the truth?
i love ann's columns but reading the circular arguments of the same four to six people that can't find something better to do with their time than post in this blog seems like a huge waste of time............
no disrespect jon, even though i would disagree with just about everything you two months ago when you said you weren't going to post in here can't even seem to tell yourself the truth, can you?
are you in panama or a padded cell?
see you guys in three or four months when i'm bored out of my gourd...
jon arcuni will either be telling everyone it's his last post and he's done with this blog or he will be posting like a crazyman........wana bet?

Anonymous said...

I would much rather vote for people who tried to dissolve this freakin' mess than those who have robbed me blind, and continue to rob me blind, each and every day. Freakin' thieves.

Anonymous said...

I have this erie feeling that Lynette Tornatsky is actually our former P.I.O's wife using her Maiden name.

Anonymous said...

Take you "erie" feeling somewhere else. Lynn's husband has spoken at CSD meetings several times. His name is Lou Tornatsky and is no relation to Michael Drake, former PIO for the LOCSD.

Will the mis-information campaign ever stop?

Anonymous said...

Yeah we've seen Lou. Came out of the woodwork after the recall (how long have they lived here?) Sorry, I don't think she is related to Michael Drake. But she does bear some resemblance to Mortisha from the Adam's Family. I've seen everything you say about Lisa and Julie. Free speech and all that.

Anonymous said...

Rob you blind? Hello? How long have you lived here? We were duped by the original "CSD" and then by the recalled board. We put new folks in to do something else but the recalled people couldn't take it! Their egos were way too huge! What? Let some environmentalists/social justice folks get their way? Oh my God! They've lived here for many years and want to move the sewer. What a bizarre thing to do. To try to get some decent planning in Los Osos.

Anonymous said...

My joke about Lynette Tornatsky, was about her short tenure here, and what I saw of her in the candidates forum, gave me the impression that she was fed up and wasn't going to take it anymore. Much like Michael Drake's line about 'c,mon, we've suffered long enough and now we're getting something done.' Or words to that effect. I don't remember the exact quote. I apologize if I offended anybody by it.

Anonymous said...

Ann writes:

"Los Osos is awash in weasle words and spin and phony “facts,” loaded to the gunnels with people jumping to conclusions..."

Your argument is that the people should wait for some indefinite future time when all will be expained before coming to a conclusion.

If memory serves me right, there are no outstanding findings to be reported that were initiated by the AG, Grand Jury, EPA, etc.

Only litigations and pending audits that cover periods in which this BOD was in power 3/4 of the fiscal year are yet to be reported.

You write about unbalanced reporting from posters and the Tribune. Yet, never once in more than a year of following your blog and to a lesser extent Ron's, have either of you presented both sides of an argument.

Without both sides being presented so that a reader can judge for themselves, is this not by definition biased?

Why not something like:

"The prior BOD signed contracts months before the recall election, ran into many unexpected roadblocks such as an incorrect coloring of traffic advisory road signs, a coastal commission member stay at the request of a sitting CSD director, etc. With a mandated start date set for Sept '05, a case could be made for continuing the construction".

Certainly, phrases like "pounding millions into the ground" doesn't present much balance! It is sort of like 'weazel words', no?

Wouldn't it be nice to read an explanatorial analysis of Los Osos's problems that actually informed? And not inflamed?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:51:
Very very well stated. But upon Ann's own admission she is not a journalist, she just editorializes. And this is her blog. And she has made it very clear this current BOD has done NOTHING wrong. Nothing. They have absolutey no culpability and no responsibility whatsoever for the current affairs of the CSD and the community. None. You'll get the same from Ron Crawford. You'll have to look elsewhere for thoughtful and unbiased analysis. Where? I haven't a clue. But certainly not here. (And of course certainly not at Crawford's).

Spectator said...

To those hiding behind anons. IDENTIFY YOURSELVES! Is your opinion worthless? Are you not a citizen who's opinion is respected?
Put your identity where your mouth is! Come up with solutions! Use logic, hindsight, and let your brilliance be seen. All of us need all the help we can get, we are going to pay a terrible price, your brains are needed. Blame on either side is NOT going to help the property owners, but perhaps it will help a legal defense of the perpetrators of our bankruptcy, whoever they may be.

If you are to be respected, get up and write. What are you afraid of, death threats by nutjobs?

Anonymous said...


How about job threats from nut jobs?

Anonymous said...

Are job threats equivalent to death threats? NOT!

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"is that in the same paper they were bragging about how great they are by teaching local journalism students their brand of "journalism."

Oh, for the love of God... NOOOOOOOO!!"

Oh, Dear God, I missed that bit. Teaching Cal Poly journalism students? The Trib???

Anonymous sez:"But upon Ann's own admission she is not a journalist, she just editorializes."

for the umpteenth time: I write an OPINION column that runs on the OPINION page of our local paper. This blog is my blog and can contain whatever I wish to post here. Apparently, some people have a tough time understanding that. Especially "anonymous" people who express their "opinions" but don't have the courage to actually put their names on those opinions.

Jon Arcuni's right when he sez:"To those hiding behind anons. IDENTIFY YOURSELVES! Is your opinion worthless? Are you not a citizen who's opinion is respected?"

So, who's ready to fess up and own his or her opinions?

Anonymous said...

What, at the risk of sounding stupid, and identifying yourself? A few of my comments have been praised by Ann and Ron as being good points. What difference does it make who brought up a good point? As long as it's good. I type alot of crap too. I'm not so sure I want to take credit for that.
Earlier, Spectator said he stood behind fiscal responsibility. Which is one reason he stands behind Taxpayers Watch. Was it fiscally responsible for the previous Board to raise the SRF loan to it's maximum, public knowledge, and then accept bids 46 million over estimates?
In hindsight, was it fiscally responsible to delay the Recall election and begin construction knowing that there was a very high possibility that they would lose? Knowing the consequences would wreak havoc on this community. Right now, an 11 million dollar fine sounds a lot more do-able.
Yea, sure, we would still be alledgedly polluting the water, but apparently that's not important. I mean after all, all these years and not a lick of anything to mitigate it. Actually exaberating it by allowing 1000 more septic tanks to be installed after 1983.
I think the reason the CSD was so resoundly voted in was not so much buying the $35 a month claim, as much as taking our control over the County. We had already felt the effects of the County doing nothing for us. "When you quit messing around with the sewer, we'll do something with your roads and drainage." Been at least 20 years since anything has happened on my street. I live at the bottom of a bowl in the street so cleverly paved by the County. so i'm very sensitive to drainage issues.
I feel very strongly about my thoughts, so i'm going to meet you part way.
Sincerely, M

Ron said...

M wrote:

"A few of my comments have been praised by Ann and Ron as being good points. What difference does it make who brought up a good point? As long as it's good. I type alot of crap too. I'm not so sure I want to take credit for that."

I'll praise you for that point, too. Haven't we all heard that public speaking is feared more than death? If remaining anonymous means more discussion and viewpoints, then remain anonymous. That's fine with me. While I'm on this subject, I'm not a fan of television cameras at public meetings. Radio? Fine. But cameras make people camera shy, and stifle public input... in my opinion.

An Anon said:

"...once he realizes you are THAT Ron he will surly rescind the offer."

That's almost a compliment, but to clarify, my last name is all over my e-mails. Still, whether or not he knows it's "THAT Ron," I have no idea.

Ann wrote:

"This blog is my blog and can contain whatever I wish to post here."

Beautifully put.

Mike Green said...

Dammit! Ron!
I just get back from taking a day off blogging, settle in with a nice cold beverage and proceed to my favorite blogsite (Ann's very own)
Hurray! Triv. bashing my favorite pastime, when all of a sudden...
"Oh for the love of God... NOOOOO!"
I think my monitor is ruined!
When will I ever learn not to drink and read You at the same time!
Kudos, hilarious!

Spectator said...

Ron sez:

"I'm not a fan of television cameras at public meetings. Radio? Fine. But cameras make people camera shy, and stifle public input... in my opinion."

This is something for which the pros and cons need to be discussed. There may be merit to his opinion. However there is a lot to be said for "Stand up and be counted." This has to be visual.

FYI, I contunued to post because the County has not officially taken over the sewer, we have no idea whether a 218 vote will pass, and property owner's funds continue to be spent by our board. Legal service debt continues. Bankruptcy is not even assured. No plan has been submitted to get us out of bankruptcy, and a rational plan has to be accepted by the judge. It is uncertain that the LOCSD can even survive and continue to function. From what I have determined, expenses continue with borrowed money, and debts mount. When there is no more money available and tax revenues are sufficient only to pay Fire, insurance, and a small part of administration expense, what will happen? Will the district just be allowed to slide into a position of "non functionality"? Will LAFCO be forced to dissolve the district? Only time will tell. There are a lot of pitfalls here for self government.

Jon Arcuni

Jon Arcuni

Spectator said...

Mike: On the Tribune blogs a mouth diaper has been invented. A pamper with eyeholes cut in it to save computers and monitors.


Anonymous said...

There is no June 31st...June ends on the 30th every year.
How can you talk about dates?

Mike Green said...

Jon, thats good! except with no mouth hole I couldn't drink.
No, the answer is clear,
keep the beverage away from the computer untill the guffawing subsides.
Shoot, now my horrible spelling is going to get worse because the keys are sticky.

Anonymous said...

When you mention death threats and exposing your anonymity in the same thread, yea, I might be a little reluctant to give my name.

Anonymous said...

Ron sez:

"I'm not a fan of television cameras at public meetings. Radio? Fine. But cameras make people camera shy, and stifle public input... in my opinion."

Surely you jest. I have seen so much damned grandstanding done before the camera it is ridiculous. Look at Al up there, slamming about and swearing. Or Kieth, or Linde. Or Margetson. You just know they are recording themselves on their VCR's, so they can "relive" those wonderful, self-agrandizing moments.

Yet, have a meeting with no camera, and the audience dwindles to what you would expect from some little dirty-water berg like Los Osos.

Los Osos has more than their share of drama queens, and not one person in Los Osos could be called camera-shy.

Anonymous said...

You know, I have noticed alot of "Letters To The Editor" in the Tribune from Los Osos residents. On all subjects. Not just the sewer. I guess since we've faced this obstacle so long, our only outlet has been blogs, Letter to the editor, and those who are sober enough, or not to wore out from all their other obligations speak at public comment. We are not any different than any other community. If you cut us, do we not bleed? There is something inherently wrong with the whole issue for it to be fought for this long, by both sides. To no conclusion.
Speaking of which, I have heard nothing from the County, or any source, as to what's going on with the sewer. Shouldn't we be bumped to the front of the line? I know, we're just a poor little community that stabbed itself in the back by voting to stop a project in progress. A project that ran towards public sentiment saying no!, please don't do this here. Not at this cost. Indeed that's the way we voted. I would venture to say that any other community under the same circumstances would be reacting the same way. Dirty-water berg my ass.
I noticed you didn't mention Joyce Albright, or Dick Sargent, John Perkins.
Sincerely, M

Mike Green said...

Dirty Water Berg!!!
What an offence!
Los Osos, I'll have you know, is the premier testing and training grounds for the world's most sought after sewer experts! just ask anybody.
Also, Los Osos is pushing the envelope in unplanning and ungovernance, two worthy endeavours of higher learning.
Also the world would be a far poorer place without the terms
"Water Gods"
"Wizards of glacial review"
"Dissolution Solution"
Be Proud Los Osos! Where we tred sewers run!

Anonymous said...

"Actually, it was a partisan campaign ad disguised as an editorial."

Welcome to the club, the Trib's editorial endorsement of Measure J could have (probably was) been written by Barnett and Cox.

The wall of separation between the paper's editorial opinion and the news division has eroded considerably.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mike Green, We ARE a little dirty-water berg. And no, where we tread sewers do NOT run.

If you take offense, you are in complete denial.

We live where the effluent runs. Pure, undiluted, untreated EFFLUENT.

There IS a difference. You see, sewers treat effluent. Septics only liquify what is in the tank (if you have the proper biological mix) and spread it out into the ground water via the leach lines.

Our water may be potable by treating the hell out of it with large quantities of chemicals, but I do not know one person who drinks the stuff. Some people are still using their ice makers and washing their produce in it, but not if you are a thinking individual.

We have no one to blame except ourselves. Oh sure, there was 49% of the population who refused to vote for Measure B, and refused to unseat the Directors who were finally getting the job done. Unfortunately, there were 51% of the people who were fooled by the soothsayers who promised "We have a plan!!$100.00 per month!! We won't lose our low-interest SRF loan!! We won't get fined!!"

But Mike, not THIS time. This community has seen that the soothsayers cannot deliver, never had a plan, their Ripley-Believe-It-Or-Not wasn't really feasible, and, when it all came to a head when the County of San Luis Obispo took it over, they decided that the GRAVITY SYSTEM was the way to go, not the ponds, step-steg or all the other BS touted by the loudmouths of Los Osos.

So, just sit back until Tuesday evening. You and all the other people who were fooled by this current Board of Directors will see the new, sadder, but wiser citizens of Los Osos choose a team that will not buy into the pie-in-the-sky stuff touted by the "ladies" of the BOD.

People of Los Osos are completely disillusioned by this BOD of fools.

That will all change on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon 6:27 - I was under the impression that we could do a gravity collection system in combination with a ponding treatment. Your comment seems to imply that gravity collection can only be done with "something other than ponds". Can you explain what you mean by your comments? Is it true that if we go with gravity we can't have ponds? I just don't follow your train of thought.

Anonymous said...

My aren't we confident! Let's just sit back while the "new majority" breeezes into office. Looking for a landslide victory in Los Osos? Only one who can vouch for that is Nash-Karner. Yes, on Tuesday we will see something, perhaps. Another new majority coming to save the day! Ha!

Spectator said...

gjTo Anon:

There are thirty days in June. There is also no way to correct a post after it is written, like on the Tribune blogs. However, regardless of this, I was born one day late, but came out a day earlier than I should have, a hundred years before two hundred years ahead of a luner calandar. I guess that because of this, and because the tides run in my blood, I can miss a day. But I cannot lose a year. I lose centuries.

Tonight there is a big moon ( or maybe yesterday, or perhaps tomorrow ), had to howl at it! Doggies joined me. I feel conjoined with such as Ann, Ron, Howard Dean, and many of the Anons who post on this site. Let us howl together and make beautiful music in the light of the moon. But I jest, tonight is a full moon. When this moon goes dark, the best striped bass fishing of the year will occur at Montauk Point, Long Island, New York.

Ahh Mike Green, a glass to the moon! And to the tides! And another one to striped socks!

Anonymous said...

annon 4:22

and just how much have you been made to pay, so far?

annon 7:40 on Annon 6:27

isn't it pretty obvious that 6:27 doesn't have a clue?
I think he and annon 3:43 are one in the same.....a stupid and uninformed dolt.

...and then to Jon A. (contradictorist extraordinaire) If I gave my name, then you would know who I am....wouldn't you?

Spectator said...

To Anon 8:06;

Well, if you put forward your name all would accept your brilliance. You would be careful of attack, and would work any "facts" behind your opinion with research. If I am not factual, I expect to be corrected. I CAN BE WRONG.

However, you will find many here that are not always correct, but NEVER wrong.

Even if you put forward your name, I may not know who you are. After all, I do not know everyone in South Dakota.

Jon Arcuni

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"So, just sit back until Tuesday evening. You and all the other people who were fooled by this current Board of Directors will see the new, sadder, but wiser citizens of Los Osos choose a team that will not buy into the pie-in-the-sky stuff touted by the "ladies" of the BOD.

People of Los Osos are completely disillusioned by this BOD of fools.

That will all change on Tuesday."

One of the interesting things I've learned over the years watching "Boards," is this: (a) The view from behind the dais is often 180' from the view in front of the dais. (b) Information obtained in closed session often transforms the loudest of barn-burners, as in, "Oh, I didn't know the details and ramifications of that particular issue. Hmmmm, well, that changes everything." & etc.(c) The Law of Unintended Consequences always kicks in after every election. This one will be no exception.(d) In Los Osos, the screaming and hatred and vitriol and nastiness and paranoia and silliness and (no doubt) back-room deals and hidden agendas will all start up again November 8th. Same old, same old. Which is why I keep reminding everyone they have to STAY AWAKE, PAY ATTENTION, CONNECT THE DOTS. And, of course, they keep ignoring me, more same old, same old.

Mike Green said...

Anon "On Tuesday"
If you have to explain satire it looses it's humor, I think Jon got it.

Shark Inlet said...

Just a few points ...

There is a good middle ground between Jon and the anons. In particular, one can pick a blogger name (like "spectator" or "LosOsosDude7684") but still not provide a name. This would allow for clarity in the discussion because we could keep track of who is who. Also, over time, we can learn who tends to present a more thoroughly thought out point of view and who just rambles on and on and on and on about the same thing (I am sure that many of you just ignore what I write because you view me as being in this category). PG13 is a great example of just such a compromise participant.

About your point that being on the board often causes one to change his or her tune ... This should only be the case if one's tune was a bit unrealistic with and one is a reasonable boardmember. It would seem that Joe Sparks (as an example) would be pretty unlikely to change his tune based on information that he could obtain during closed session because it is likely that he's already thought through the issue pretty thoroughly and that he's right. On the other hand, it is also pretty clear that Lisa and Julie didn't change their tune at all. I would suggest this is because they are simply unable to hear facts that they don't like the sound of. People, including SWRCB boardmembers and staffers told them that the loan was site specific yet they spent a lot of time and effort (and lawyer money) arguing that it wasn't. Why? Presumably they thought the SWRCB was just bluffing or that they didn't mean it (even though it was in the contract) or because Blesky and McClendon told them it was a good idea.

I'll say it again. If Lisa and Julie and the new boardmembers had wanted to move the sewer out of town their strategy for doing so was poorly thought out and poorly executed as well. We are in a hell of a mess because this board simply was unwilling to or unable to listen to anything they didn't already believe.

That's pretty much the definition of a bad elected representative.

Ann, to your point that there will be unintended consequences of electing Joe, Maria and Lynette ... they intend to try their best to keep the CSD afloat. We're still going to have to be dealing with the unintended consequences of electing John, Chuck and Steve.

Speaking of Chuck and Steve, I am truly saddened that it is the "Committee to Re-Elect CESENA & SENET" who have been distributing campaign material which is simply off topic, misleading and factually inaccurate to boot. Their most recently distributed flyer is all about the topic of the sewer. Considering Chuck himself tells us during meetings that the project is the County's project, it seems odd that he's promoting himself as a candidate who will get a project that is better than TriW. Second, their claim of $154/month versus $328/month is based on a manipulative and inaccurate representation of what the Ripley report says. They made no effort to put in the costs of inflation and delay. They're trying to pull a fast one that is even bigger than one by the solutions group that has caused Ann and Ron and many others to howl with anger.

Here's my question Ann ... now that they've signed their names to these lies, are you going to write up a snappy commentary about how they are just speculating and that numbers cannot be trusted and that their campaign is entirely based on a non-issue?

Anonymous said...

Has any other community ever been so wrought with fear, speculation, resignation, over something that should have been done a loooong time ago?
Here we are again, ready to either vote back in the old agenda, or continue the fight. Myself, there's no way I am voting back in the old agenda. Which is Tri-W. Being a Libra, I am however leaning towards voting for Joe Sparks to add a little balance.
However it turns out, i'm all ready to accept whatver the outcome is.
Sincerely, M

Mike Green said...


Joe will be a good vote.
But regardless of all the hoopla about this election, very little done now will effect the sewer (if, when, if ever)
No, the real biggie is going to be the 218 votes.
If the County can't present an affordable project, it won't pass.
What is affordable?I asked Sam's assistant point blank at the Doomed 45's first meeting
"That's a trickey question".
Was the best answer I got.
Jon was absolutly right when he said the best thing that could have happened to Los Osos would have been dissolution.
To completly heap the whole mess right back on the originators of the problem and had the entire county share in the cost of a WWTF would have saved L.O. lots of duckets.
And I was completly right when I predicted that the members of LAFCO would cover the people that got them there and they did.
So affordability is realy a moving target as far as our higher government is concerned.
Here is a question I have for "El Tiburon"
Are we mandated to halt seawater intrusion, or just mandated to stop discharging?
If the Water boards can only require us to stop discharging ( removal of leech lines in 2010) then it would be way cheaper to install 12500ga. tanks and have them pumped when full.
The Ripley plan needed everyone to cut water use to about 50gal/day, you felt that was unatainable, but I've been under that for years.
even at 100gal/day it would need pumping twice a month, with permanent streetside connections the cost of pumpout would surley fall far below the normal dig it up costs of aprx$300
If the county cant put forth a plan that promises less than 300/ mo, my feeling is it will die.
And I also still believe that would be no sweat off the county's nose.
It would be a four to one vote to let us rot.
And let the "Water Gods" do with us as they please!

Mike Green said...

And Here is the true beuty of the 100% holding tank idea.
The most effective form of government, bar none!
The deal is you don't pump/pay till its full!
Want to see some REAL water conservation?
Give everybody a level meter and watch!
(like a car gas gauge)
All you have to do is vote NO on any 218 vote.
( the comment above is filled with satire and irony )

Spectator said...

Don't worry M:

There is no vote for a board of director that will vote back in the old agenda. We are voting for a bankruptcy board where the sewer issue has been removed by the Blakeslee Bill. This board will be about fiscal responsibility and an attempt to repair the bankruptcy damage, or at least mitagate the damage. The board will be subject to the rullings of a bankruptcy judge and an appointed controller, assuming the filing is accepted upon the production of a plan to get out of bankruptcy. We have lost local rule as far as the sewer is concerned. This does not mean that the board will not be in a position to motivate attitude of the electorate about site and system. I would hope they would not motivate to obstruct.

However the board will be by passed when estimates of cost come out. The county will conduct a poll or election as to preference of the property owners, if the property owners decide to assess themselves. This process is vague, but will probably be of the form:

You must agree to be assessed. This will produce a property lien on your home.

1. Site one is ____and will cost _____ per month for ______ years, and ________ per month for ____ years. Total_______.
2. Site two ( same thing )
3. Site three (same thing)

All sites and systems are valid according to the county. Cost estimates are approximate. The site and system will be determined by % of selection by the property owners. Thereafter you will be assessed for the winning selection. If less than 51% of the property owners ( I have no idea of the legal percentage required ), do not agree with the assessment, or vote, the county will refer the project to the state who will build the project.

The state will require that all costs will be recovered through water/sewer bills. Failure to pay bills within 61 days in will result in water cut off. There will be a $250 charge for reconnection plus normal interest for the 61 day past due bills. In addition you will be required to seal your septic tank connection if your bill is more than 121 days past due. Failure to seal after the 121 days will subject you to a fine of $100 a day, starting fom the first day of non payment. Failure to pay the fine, will subject you to 1 day in county jail for each $50 not paid. Otherwise you may opt for a lien of $1000 a day against your property.

You have recourse to the courts. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, please address the courts. You are required to post a bond of the PUC to have legal standing.

Help me folks on this speculative unintended consequence. I have no trust of government.

Mike Green said...

So Jon, are you saying we'll need to buy water trucks and pumper trucks?
Of course we'll have to buy the water on the black market, I've already lined up some folks with a hose at mustang village!
To the Moon Jon! Calm seas, peace!

Shark Inlet said...

Mike ...

Good point that dissolution would have been a good thing.

Unfortunately quite a few of those who support the current board thought that dissolution was a bad idea (probably because Joyce supported it and because they didn't know the truth yet that the board had already overspent their budget and they thought that the board actually did have a plan). Even if both sides had agreed that dissolution was a good idea, LAFCO seemed to be pretty much focused on keeping the County from having to pay for the sins of the Los Osos voters and the pathetic board who decided to take actions before counting the costs.

In any case, yes, pretty much everyone who has had a role to play, the County, the CCC, the RWQCB, the Solutions Group, LOTTF, CCLO, CASE, Al, Julie, Lisa, and the rest have all taken actions which have made our situation worse and worse.

The only voters who cannot be faulted in Los Osos both voted against the formation of the CSD and voted against the recall.

About your question about saltwater intrusion ... I don't believe we are under a mandate to stop saltwater intrusion. However, the TriW plan would have done that to some extent and certainly doing nothing is far worse than doing something.

You may be right that it would be cheaper to just pump exclusively.

You are also right about the difficulty of getting people to vote for plans that would cost more then $300/month. However, if the case is made that if such a vote would fail, the state might just step in and do what they want and charge what they will.


Mike Green said...

Sharkey, under what law can the state charge for a sewer at ANY COST when the property owner is compying with all state laws?
(no discharge)

Want to go ask a "Water God?"

I dare you!

Mike Green said...

Sharkey, I just had to rebubble this:
"About your question about saltwater intrusion ... I don't believe we are under a mandate to stop saltwater intrusion. However, the TriW plan would have done that to some extent and certainly doing nothing is far worse than doing something."

Doing nothing?
To steal a phrase:
for the love of God... NOOOOOOOOO!
There is good argument that the whole TriW debacle achieved just that.
20/20 hindsight doncha love it!

Anonymous said...

Hey!, why don't you dumbasses start working on the concept of sending your "shit" to the City of San Luis Obispo. The City will charge you cost plus and will use the treated wastewater for irrigation. Plus the City can sell you Nacimiento water at cost plus. See everyone wins.

You "tools" seem like all you really know how to do is bitch and moan.

Mike Green said...

I think that insult was to you, Sharkey!

Whos on first?

Anonymous said...

Where is everyone? Down at the polls , I hope. Just got back myself, happily voting for Chuck, Steve, and Joe. Catcha later!

Shark Inlet said...

Here's a good question ...

How can you happily vote for both Joe and the two incumbents? They disagree very very strongly on pretty much most issues once the rubber meets the road.

I can see voting Chuck, Steve and Rob. I can see voting Joe, Maria and Rob. I can see voting Joe, Maria and Lynette. Heck, I can see voting for Chuck, Steve and Ed.

I just can't figure out why you would feel comfortable voting for Joe if you are happy to vote for Chuck and Steve.

Anonymous said...

To Mike Green- I don't know?

Mike Green said...

To Anon "don't know"
The answer is, of course, "that's right"
Who is on first!

Anonymous said...

What a crock.

Joe, Lynette and Maria are going to win.

Live with it.

FBLeG said...

Anonymous said...

"What a crock.

Joe, Lynette and Maria are going to win.

Live with it."

Sorry, I don't live in fantasy land.

As of 10:00pm it's Joe, Chuck and Maria - with Maria and Senet differing by 17 votes.

Anonymous said...

A bit late to respond, I realize. I voted for Chuck, Steve, and Joe because I have spoken with each of them at length and liked what they had to say. I know them all somewhat and I just like 'em. I think if Joe and Chuck could work together it would be a powerful representation for us. Steve, who knows, but he's out anyway so I will try to support Maria.

Anonymous said...

To Mike Green, Thanks for the link. I've never read the entire thing before, but it's just as funny today as it was when it was made. I happened to catch a Fibber McGee and Molly radio show one day several years back, and I was amazed at how funny and relevant even to today they were. I just hope one day i'll be able to see another Amos and Andy episode.