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Saturday, February 03, 2007

WaterBoarding Games

If you thought the recent CDO hearings for The Los Osos 45 were a sadistic mess that completely trampled on citizens’ rights, get a load of this. Some of The Los Osos 45 who were given CDOs appealed their case to the State Water Board. (That’s the entity that “oversees” the Regional Boards). Keep in mind, citizens cannot go into a “real” court of law to get protection from the “real” law UNTIL THE ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES HAVE ALL BEEN EXHAUSTED. So, here’s what the SWB is up to:

The RWQCB was asked by our Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee to “stand down” with the CDOs to give the County and community “breathing room” for the County to take over the wastewater project and get up to speed. NO! said the RWQCB. They had to had to rush-rush these CDO hearings through, including going non stop over Christmas, over New Years, moving goal posts, time-crunching citizens with impossible to meet deadlines, running them ragged, hurry, hurry, hurry!

Then, when the appeal on those few who were processed and issued CDOs was sent in, on time, with 94 reasons for vacating the decisions and a box of evidence and exhibits, suddenly, Oh, Gosh!, Oh, No, THESE WON’T DO. You have to separate out each document for each individual petitioner, and you have 5 working days to do all that and get them to us, said The State Water Board, Hurry! Hurry!Hurry! And if you need access to the documents, the docs are posted on the RWQCB’s web site . . . OH, WAIT, heh-heh. Uh, no, suddenly they’re . . . gone. Removed. Oh, gee, so how’s a person to do a document search? Oh, you’ll have to submit a Public Records Request and wait, oh, months? Weeks? Whatever, to get a reply.

Then, it gets better. Here’s section 2050.5 (b):


The State Board shall review and act on the petition within 270 days from the date of mailing the notification described in (a), unless a hearing is held by the State Board. If a hearing is held, the State board shall act within 330 days from the date of mailing the notification described in (a) or 120 days of the close of the hearing, which ever is later. If a formal disposition is not made by the State within those time limits the petition is deemed denied. These time limits may be extended for a period not to exceed 60 days with written agreement from the petitioner.

Count e‘m, folks, count ’em. 270 days. . . 330 days. . . plus 60 days . . . That’s how long the State Water Board can sit on these appeals, thereby preventing any citizen from getting anywhere near a “real” court of law to get redress of their grievances in anything close to “a timely manner.”

So, now check the date of the county’s 218 vote for the new sewer. Is it now becoming clear just what these CDO’s are really all about? And since citizens can get NO LEGAL protection of their rights until AFTER 270 days, 330 days, plus 60 days, (i.e. “exhaust the administrative remedies”) the citizens will get no legal protection of their rights. Unless a local judge understands this game for what it is and issues a “stay” against the CDO proceedings altogether. [Update: Just got an email noting that attorney Shauna Sullivan, who's representing some of the Los Osos 45 in their appeal, has re-filed in court with Judge LaBarbara and "served a default on the SWRCB for the quashing of the Briggs deposition and not making him available for hearings." So while the SWRCB may wish to try to delay and make all of this moot, the actions of some of these Los Osos 45 and Judge La Barbara may ensure that all the rest of the community will finally be afforded "real" protection from "real" laws in their appeal to a "real" judge in a "real" court. This is an effort that this whole community had better be paying attention to and help support since the outcome for the Los Osos 45 is the outcome for the entire community. Those few people are the template for the town.]

On the other hand, look how nicely this Administrative Process Schedule locks in with the County’s 218 vote.

Not that any illegal electioneering’s going on here. Oh, sure a Board member noted that what was needed to be done in Los Osos was to “change the political will” of the people and if and when this appeal gets to a “real court,” the whole issue will be moot since the critical vote would already have been taken so who cares if the entire case gets tossed out then– it’s real purpose will have already been served -- but heaven forefend that somebody suspect that electioneering’s going on here, using a regulatory agency to do it. Why, we’re shocked you would even think such a thing, aren’t we?

And if you’re wondering, Gosh, where’s the press? Neil Farrell, the Managing Editor of the Bay News, our little local paper that should be all over this story like white on rice, noted this in an editorial comment to a recent letter-to-the-editor: “I know for a fact the water board staff considers the Los Osos sewer situation to be a direct defiance of their authority.” That’s from the managing editor. What Mr. Farrell apparently doesn’t know is that the RWQCB is not mandated to punish citizens because some staff members feel their “authority” is being defied. Worse yet, the citizens of Los Osos were not “defying” anything; they were simply trying to move a sewer plant out of the middle of their town. That a managing editor of our local paper so misapprehends what happened in Los Osos and misapprehends what this Board is supposed to be doing explains why this entire process has gone so wrong and just how a regulatory board can run so badly amok without even the simplest check from a “watchdog” press.

So, if ever you want to see a regulatory system run amok, this is the case for y ou. Wolves guarding foxes running the chicken coops. Los Osos is the test case for the rest of the state. Looking for checks and balances? You’ve come to the wrong place.

But here’s a challenge for Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee. What happened here in Los Osos is a textbook case of how and why this system has failed and continues to fail. Who in Sacramento has the courage to start hearings into ways to get the SWB & RWQCBs back on track, make the institutional and procedural changes needed to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future, get better funding so that the Regional Boards have the resources needed to run competently ( i.e. for a start, institute the recommendations found in the recent Science & Technology report issued by the SWB itself), and put in place vital checks and balances that can give better protections to prevent future citizens from being harassed and injured by a Board and staff bent on illegally and improperly abusing its powers.

As water issues become more important throughout the state, reform of the SWB should be a top priority to every person and every city and county in the state. If communities and government agencies think, Oh, it can’t happen to me, think again. It can and it will.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

How long has it been and how long will it be before The CSD's Measure B appeal will be heard?

Cast not if ones own hands are not clean!

Anonymous said...

If you watched the CSD meeting where Al Barrow asked Julie Biggs about Measure B, it seems there won't be any Measure B because of the county, AB2701 and no money to defend the Measure. You may want to watch again to see Biggs' answer, it's in the beginning of the meeting before closed session.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone see LOCSD Board member, Joe Sparks, "adding" anything at all to this Board? He was a TERRIBLE choice for vice president. As so many "Dreamers" reminded Julie & Lisa of the "FACT" that they needed to gain more experience just BEING on the board BEFORE they could even think of becoming President or VP. Joe stumbles more than Lisa or Julie EVER did.

Anonymous said...

Measure B needs to be put to rest. It was a valiant effort but it's time to let that one go, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Measure B was always only a diversion, wasn't legal, and if the CSD had listened to the judge, it was not even necessary. It was only an attempt at CYA for the very broad A's of the Board. Further pursuit of an appeal would only show the ignorance of the Board in wasting even more of the District's slim funds.

We should also ask ourselves why has the Board again sole-sourced and without public discussion, hired another attorney? More CYA? More local corruption?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mr. Sparks is not exactly smooth. He has some learnin' to do. But I give him credit for caring and for putting himself up there. I wouldn't do it in a million years.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 12:04. What's up with spending more $ for attorneys without public input? I understand they feel it necessary to support the CDO folks (all of us) but they shouldn't be doing this stuff secretly. They accused the old board of doing just that! If they put the idea out there, and the public rejected it, then they would have to act on that response whether they like it or not. If the public embraced it then what they did would not be as controversial.

Anonymous said...

With the lack of credibility that this board has with the RWQCB, is them defending us such a hot idea?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sparks at least asks questions. The other four don't ask anything - and it sure isn't because they already know it all -- they just don't know what to ask.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think they will ever get around addressing the bankruptcy?

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:
"Worse yet, the citizens of Los Osos were not ‘defying’ anything; they were simply trying to move a sewer plant out of the middle of their town."

Yeah, right. That's why there was a plan ready to go and all. So what plan was that - did I blink and miss it? Would thirty years of "no sewer" perhaps count for something negative in the minds of the water board? Would they believe that in the light of --NO EVIDENCE of a PLAN-- that Los Osos was really SERIOUS about moving it out of town OR that it was just another stall for NO SEWER.

Lisa and Julie - the Water Board has just been cutting its baby teeth. Thanks a lot. Can't wait for my CDO to arrive.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about abusing their powers;

The County of San Luis Obispo agreed to have the LOCSD oversee the Pool Fund, which had been created by private donations.

The LOCSD (under the auspices of the Stan Board) had kept the funds, in plain view, in a high interest CD at Mid State Bank, Los Osos. You want verification? Call John Mascarenas, Branch Manager, Mid State Bank, Los Osos Branch. Phone number (805) 528-1211. He can verify that the funds had been on deposit in said account until Dan Bleskey did a wire-transfer to the LAIF (Local Agency Investment Fund- San Francisco) in a secondary account, which is NOT visible, and who the hell knows what Dan (the scam) Bleskey did with those funds.

So, please go check out all the information and explain this very real abuse of power by our very own Lisa Board!

The crooks are not the Water Boards, the real crooks are right in front of us and have stolen public funds!

Anonymous said...

Ann, your list of incompetants and conspirators grows longer and longer. Consider that Mr. Farrell is right in what he says. Consider that the Telegram-Tribune, which picked the Los Osos sewer saga as the #1 story 2 years ago and the #4 story last year, has simply grown tired of Los Osos' chilish ways. It's just business as usual up here, no big story or no new information. Consider that the overwhelming majority of people in this county consider Los Osos a laughingstock; a joke; a community of malcontents and wacko's, and too have grown tired of hearing about this place. (And have complained quite loudly about any more coverage concerning Los Osos). It just amazes me that you and your ilk continue to fail to recognize this. You live in a bubble. It's really rather, well, odd.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ann must get some perverse thrill from writing the MadHatter nonsense. Her "column" is still stuck in the 50's in hopes of being a stringer for the Berkeley Barb. You've lost too many grey cells Ann, too much pot and too much nitrate in your ice cubes.

Anonymous said...

Your ilk? Don't you visit this blog? Don't you like to read Ann's articles and participate in the responses? It cracks me up when bloggers make these kind of comments. Discussion is welcome but don't blast the messenger. Ann has provided by far the best venue for sewer debate on the Internet. If you don't "agree" with what she has to say, then I say, "so what?" Lots of people blog here that don't agree. That's the attraction of it. Get off Ann's case. Go read the Telegram Trivial if you think it's so great.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Farrell said about two years ago that he didn't care if Los Osos wallowed in it's own shit for next 20 years.

The Bay News, just like the Tribune, has only supported Tri-W and it's supporters. Their bread and butter are realtors who stand to make so much money if the Tri-W goes in. EVERYBODY FOR THEMSELF!

Anonymous said...

Of course! If someone opposes the powers that be, well then, they are stuck in the 1950s in Berkeley! Can the stereotypes get anymore sophmoric?

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot. All people who feel the waterboard is acting unjustly have smoked too much pot!

Anonymous said...

It is assumed that opposing the powers that be, the LOCSD, is sophmoric?

Anonymous said...

What? No retort? Opposition to the CSD is growing daily as the incompetence, lies, mismanagement and backdoor legal funding continues!

Anonymous said...

Your so called "power that be" break the law. A few state water board directors have gone. What goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ann,

Thank you for giving a voice to the Los Osos 45, whom the Trib, the Sun Bulletin and the Bay News have all but ignored for a year. It's funny. Our next door neighbor was visiting in Texas over the holidays and said our story was in a Texas paper. Too bad we can't get covered locally.

From reading some of the postings on this blog it is obviously difficult for many who have not been in the line of fire of the RWQCB machinations to have any idea what it has been like for the past year defending our right to live on our property. My favorite are the comments blaming us for the situation we're in. It surely does give one perspective. Speculation as fact from total strangers regarding our voting record is a unique phenomenon. It is actually much more unnerving, though, when comments linking our voting record to our circumstances emerge from the mouth of the impartial judge in our case, Jeffrey Young.

I sincerely hope that no one else has to have the experience of standing before that board, and I wish our efforts could make it so.

It was more gratifying than we can express to walk into that hearing room on Jan 22nd to find our friends, neighbors, and fellow townspeople crowding the space to let the Water Board know that we were not standing alone.

While many people writing on this blog obviously wish to avoid the topic of CDOs, many other people in town continue to have no clue whatever about them.

Last Wednesday, Jan 31, I had a conversation with a colleague I see infrequently. She lives in the PZ. In the midst of a casual conversation she told me that the Water Board had backed off enforcement because of the Blakeslee Bill and the County taking over the project. She was horrified to hear that Bill and I are defendants, that we had just had a hearing, and that more hearings are coming. "What about the stand down?" she said. She "knew" that the County had the project, and she absolutely wouldn't hear that the County was not required to take on and complete the project.

"They have to," she said.

We are grateful for your unwavering support for our tiny group that most do not even know exists and that others would like to be as insignificant as we seem.

Bev. De Witt-Moylan

Anonymous said...

We care deeply about the CDO's. It's all 5,000 homes. It's abuse of power of the RWQCB. Bruce Gibson, Paavo, and Blakeslee should have been at the RWQCB hearings to tell them to back off the people. But they were no shows! Why? It defenitely shows that they endorse this process or they would have attended!
They endorse the scare tactics to get a 218 for Tri-W.

On the other hand, Sato works for the State Water Board. To spend so much money on an appeal, and not for a real court hearing, seems to be a waste since the RWQCB gets it's marching orders from the State Water Board to begin with! Don't we all know how the appeal will turn out? If we don't know, then we are all fools in Los Osos. The State Water Board is playing games with the 270 to 320 days for the appeal that ties right up to the 218 vote. They will hold the vacate your home and all other ridiculous threats like the state will come in and take over, etc. until the 218 vote is passed.

The 218 asks for a 2/3 vote, but thanks to Blakeslee, he made it a health and safety issue in AB2701 so they now only need 50 plus one -- you're tricky Sam!

I don't understand why so much money is being spent playing defense instead of offense! Not a good approach.

The money for PZLDF should be raised for a real case in a real court of law. Did anyone hear what the retired judge had to say? You can see what would happen in a real court with a real judge.

Bad advise for the CDO's and THE REST OF US.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"Yeah, Mr. Sparks is not exactly smooth. He has some learnin' to do. But I give him credit for caring and for putting himself up there. I wouldn't do it in a million years.

2:11 PM, February 03, 2007"

Amazing, isn't it? Folks whine and snarl and attack the post-recall board, urge people to vote for some new folks on the board, then when one new person does get elected, out come the knives. My advice for all the "brave" annonymices out there: YOU run for CSD office, then your fellow "brave" annonymices can log onto this blog in order to make all kinds of nasty remarks about YOU.

Another Annonymouse sez:"He can verify that the funds had been on deposit in said account until Dan Bleskey did a wire-transfer to the LAIF (Local Agency Investment Fund- San Francisco) in a secondary account, which is NOT visible, and who the hell knows what Dan (the scam) Bleskey did with those funds."

I have another idea. Drop by the CSD office and ask the present general manager how to obtain a copy of the various deposit reports so you can verfiy exactly how much is in that particular account. If you have evidence that Blesky absconded with that pool money and went to France, go directly to the D.A. Otherwise, all you're doing is making false charges in hope some clueless reader will think that Blesky absconded with the pool funds and is now in Cap d'Antibes.

anonymouse sez:"Consider that the Telegram-Tribune, which picked the Los Osos sewer saga as the #1 story 2 years ago and the #4 story last year, has simply grown tired of Los Osos' chilish ways. It's just business as usual up here, no big story or no new information. Consider that the overwhelming majority of people in this county consider Los Osos a laughingstock; a joke; a community of malcontents and wacko's, and too have grown tired of hearing about this place. (And have complained quite loudly about any more coverage concerning Los Osos). It just amazes me that you and your ilk continue to fail to recognize this. You live in a bubble. It's really rather, well, odd."

What's odd is that HOW you frame a story will either give you the correct story or a completely false story. For example, one poster here claims that my brain must be affected by too many nitrates in my ice cubes & etc. FACT: The nitrates in our drinking water are all within state levels. So, has the poster confused the lower aquifer with the upper aquifer? I read often in letters to the editor (most of which come from people living outside Los Osos) that Los Osos is "dumping raw sewage into the Bay." Where do people get these ideas? Is it likely that these folks don't know how a septic tank operates? And that they get this image (raw sewage running into the bay) from stories about sewer pipe breaks in L.A. for example, and incorrectly extrapolate from there? Does their bad information also come from poorly framed stories, stories that take misinformation and by repeating it turn it into false shorthand.(nitrates in the ice cubes?) It's easy to do (take a gander at the framing of Iraq & WMD, soooo easy to do)

One of the problems with the Los Osos story is that it IS incredibly complex AND simple at the same time. It's a story that's impossible for the medium of TV to cover (too complex for quick sound bites) and since most people get their news from TV snippets, they'll end up being poorly informed. The press can cover the story, but what's happened here in Los Osos is the Tribune's reporters come and go and just as a reporter finally gets a handle on the Big Picture, zwoop! they're gone and on comes a newbie who just keeps inserting the stock, shorthand buzz words that keep appearing at the tail end of each story to sort of flesh out the history, stock buzz words that keep perpetuating the misunderstanding, so the false framing keeps going on anew.

This saga IS so complex, and could be done in the type of very long pieces the L.A. Times does well, a piece extending over 7 days, but such coverage costs a paper money. And readers don't like to read long sagas. They want simple buzz-word answers, which, more often than not, turn out to be misleading.

In this Sewer Saga, there have been so many bungles and failures along the way that it's hard to tell the story without endless footnotes. Major media don't have the space or time to tell that story in full, so they have to use a kind of shorthand. It's the shorthand that can result in the story being totally skewed or misleading.

And add in blog posters, for example, who are totally uniformed (nitrates in the ice cubes) or who are deliberately lying, and the confusion grows worse.

In a posting above, CDO recipient Bev Moylan quotes from a fellow community member. You can see how clueless this person is. Thought the RWQCB had stood down. Now, where do you suppose she got that idea? Maybe from a snippet in the Tribune that noted that Blakeslee has asked everyone to "stand down" and that's the last she thought about it. She had no idea what the Moylans had been put through for a whole year because she didn't WANT TO KNOW. She believed as true, the idea that the county has the project, without understanding that the county doesn't actually "have" anything at this point & etc. The information was all there and available to her, she just didn't want to know about it.

Another thing that has always plagued this "story," is the high number of transients living in Los Osos, folks who rent here for a while then move on, or buy here for a while, sell and move on. If you drive around town you'll always see so many "for sale" signs all over the place, year in, year out. This means that "newbies" to the community enter this "story" at different points and so have a heck of a time getting an accurate background account so they can make sense of it all. The result is not only confusion, but often bad decisions based on bad information.


(Speaking of bad information, consider the above posting regarding nitrates in the ice cubes, odd that the poster didn't use that image to ask questions about the drinking water in Morro Bay recently. High nitrate spikes found in wells used for their drinking water(in a town that's been sewered for 50 years) while the RWQCB scratches their heads, has no idea what's causing it, and anyway, is too busy focusing on persuing their CDO "show-trials" for 5,000 + Los Ososians? Now THAT's "odd.")

and finally, Bev sez:"From reading some of the postings on this blog it is obviously difficult for many who have not been in the line of fire of the RWQCB machinations to have any idea what it has been like for the past year defending our right to live on our property. My favorite are the comments blaming us for the situation we're in. It surely does give one perspective."

One of the sadder aspects of blogging is the Annonymice who log on to make their comments. What's often so striking is what an ugly picture so many of their comments often paint of what must be going on inside themselves, an ugliness that only anonymity allows --mean spirited,sadistic, angry, nasty, dishonest (often deliberately so in an effort at disinformation,) --all cringe-making aspects of fear made manifest.

Sad, but not surprising. As my old Daddy used to tell me, "Ann, most people are no better than they ought to be."

On the other hand, if you count the number of nasty Annonymice who regularly visit this blog, their numbers are mercifully small. There are far more people, I'm sure, who actually do care about what The Los osos 45 are going through and are trying to help. It was very moving to see a room full of people get to their feet when Bill Moylan finshed addressing the RWQCB and stand in silent support of his comments. All of them honored Los Osos with their presence.

Anonymous said...

Good Question. If the PZLDF had a real case, not just a tear filled, hand wringing, bleeding heart case, their (and now OUR) lawyer would have already filed suit.

The problem is, there are no ground on which to sue the Water Boards!

Get on with building the sewer!!!

We let our CSD stop, that's correct they STOPPED the sewer!!!

Ms.Schicker can lie to herself and her small group of obstruction bound group that she only called for a time-out, but in reality, she halted the construction of a legal, tax payer funded, sewer project!!!

There are no grounds for a suit initiated by the PZLDF, that's why none have been filed!!!!

Mike Green said...

Anon "been filed" what part about exhausting all administrative avenues do you not understand?
And just what do you propose the CDO recipiants to actualy DO about building a sewer? Dig up their yards?
This battle with the Water Board isn't about CSDs or Sewers, Its about due process and property rights.
If you don't understand that then go ahead and rail to the wind about your percieved ability to effect a WWTF.
It wont do a bit of good.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mike Green. I do understand!

There was a CSD Board of very dedicated and honest folks who thought that they could work through all the legal hoops to design, fund and build a sewer for Los Osos. They worked nearly 8 years with every government authority governing the permit process to begin constructing that sewer.

Along came a small group of people got their feathers ruffled over the location of the waste water treatment plant. They did not like the Tri-W site and began the nastiest campaign we have ever seen in the San Luis Obispo area. They lied, they created rumors, they threatned Board members as well as those with whom they disagreed. A great many lies were created about the Board members and about the type processing plant was being prepared. That small, vocal group of aggressive activists were able to convince enough folks to qualify for the recall election. They sued the CSD some 11 times, losing every time. They waged a vicious war to discredit the 3 Board members who were doing what they were elected to do, to build the sewer. 8 years of difficult decisions, difficult alternatives and under fire from that group who did not want any sewer although that stance was modified to their more acceptable move the sewer out of town. They spread their biggest lie, that they had a PLAN. We know there never was a plan other than to delay or stall any sewer at all cost!

Now here we are, 16 months after the recall, no sewer and a bankrupt District.

You may try to justify the actions of the CSD in bankrupting the District as some meaningful action against legal authority and then try to spin it as to sound like the big bad State is just chomping at a chance to avoid due process and steal our property rights. Sorry Mike Green, the due process was stomped on by the insanity of Lisa's Board! Stopping that project violated my right to have that legal sewer installed. The State told Lisa very plainly what was going to happen and has happened. Never in California have the rights of individuals been so skewed by a small group of obstructists. I do not intend to lose my property right because that group of uncompromising egos did not want a sewer. I do still have my rights and I am exercising them to work WITH the County, certainly not with that CSD!!!

Mike Green said...

Sorry anon you missed the point again,
I have never supported the CSD board in bankrupting the CSD- Go read the archives.
When I finaly realised that the actions of the board were going to have very bad consequences, I wanted them to find other ways of moving the site if possible.
Didn't get my wish.
If you had a "Right" to the TriW site I'd like to see your lawsuit.
(interestingly, if you did, that would trump the waterboards CDOs big time)
No, you may be pissed at the CSD board, And I dont blame you one bit, but your myoptic venom prevents you from understanding the very real danger of a out of control state agency that has the ability to cause you great financial harm.
As far as the CSD board goes, they now have all the authority of a midway act at the circus.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the above.
There are some of us who are collecting as much documentation as possible that in the event the obstructionsists are able to continue the lies and spread of mis-information so as to dissmantle the 218, there will be a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of all CDO's and potential CDO recipients - the stopping construction and not supplying the community with a viable alternative will only be an aspect in regards to the actions that will be filed against the CSD but listed as does 1-100 will be any group, individual who continually cost individuals their freedoms and rights to clean water and the protection of the environment for all, not just Los Osos. During the Discovery phase of the suit, the Lisa Board will have to produce the plan that they were running the recall on and how it was presented to the RWQCB.

If people want to see their rights defended in a court of law, by all means, be prepared to be present if you ever publically stood and lied and/or benefited from the CSD settling lawsuits, and/or had any role in the debt burden that is now on the property owners with no construction being done. The recovery from these suits will be used to pay connection fees and anything needed for the low income to meet their payments. A fund will be started on their behalf and administered to the criteria that other utilites use but cannot be used directly in regards to "sewer" bills.

Ignorance is not allowed as a defense but I fear that in regards to many it is the only one they have.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:06,

The Prop 218 vote requiring 50% plus one support to pass has nothing to do with being a "health and safety" issue and nothing to do with something specific that the Assemblyman put in AB 2701, and I would love to know where you got that idea.

In the law of Proposition 218, votes regarding assessments to pay for "special" benefits require 50%. A basic sewer service is a special benefit to the properties that receive it. Proposed assessments that provide a "general" benefit(parks, ambulance service, increased water supply, etc.) require 2/3 voter approval.

Anonymous said...

Ann sez:

"I read often in letters to the editor (most of which come from people living outside Los Osos) that Los Osos is "dumping raw sewage into the Bay." Where do people get these ideas? Is it likely that these folks don't know how a septic tank operates?"

Tell us, Ann, do you know how a septic tank operates? Did you know that it only LIQUIFIES what is in there? Did you know that there is no "processing" done in a septic tank? Did you know that even if a solid is turned into a liquid, when, by gravity, it ends up in the Bay, that it is STILL RAW SEWAGE? Really, Ann, you do not have to see turds floating around, in order for there to be raw sewage in the Bay!

Anonymous said...

to anon 10:35 am
Where do I sign up for the class action lawsuit against those who wrote and called Roger Briggs to ask repeatedly for "swift" and "brutal" enforcement against the private citizens of this town?

Anonymous said...

To anon 3:44 - no can do, the CDO's were all set in motion with a resolution from 2004 and has the Federal Clean Water Act behind it. What do the citizens that you refer to have anything to do with enforcement actions?
I also believe that you exaggerate the "repeatedly". Is it documented, written, put together in an administrative record to be presented to the courts?

Anonymous said...

"swift" and "brutal" are what occurred repeatedly in those amazingly concurrent spontaneous communications to Mr. Briggs.

Anonymous said...

so...your point is what? Someone had an opinion? That is not why we will be receiving CDO's.

Anonymous said...

to the clueless who keep reciting tangents like 'swift & brutal' and other misc. rubbish. it is IRRELEVANT - either you don't understand the water code and Federal EPA or you should hire a real water code attorney (and not listen to wanna-be attorneys) - grasping for straws is not what will make the future affordable or protect you against 'losing your home'
because no one is going to lose their home in 2011 (one could seriously come to the conclusion that McPherson & Pandora are all in cahoots from all the hyperbole out there over the last two years). KISS - keep it simple, stupids; let the competent County re-evaluate and site the project, the payments will be around $200-$250/month in 2012 (with or without CDOs), we'll all survive and no one will get kicked out of their house unless they're running a meth lab. get a grip Los Osos - there's no conspiracy, no plot, only a half-dozen or so wanna-be's (and a columnist) that are good at confusing susceptible people into running around like chickens with their heads cut off

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:42AM -

If you go back to the orginal material distributed to form the CSD (Measure K in 1998) it states that all hikes required voter approval and that all fees and assessemt charges must also be approved by two-thirds of the voters except when public safety is involved in which case a majortiy can a majority can enact fee increases.

So are you saying that we get 2/3 vote?
Or are you saying that Sam's law didn't make it law that we are polluters?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 10:35 AM, February 04, 2007 of the "civil lawsuit" against "any group, individual who continually cost individuals their freedoms and rights to clean water and the protection of the environment for all, not just Los Osos."

Put yourself down first on that death squad hit list of yours. You are destroying our community with your fear and loathing. Pack up your voodoo bags and go back into the deep swamp of denial you crawled out from. Burning down the town to save it is the mindset of an arsonist, a blackmailer, and we don't cave into local terrorists out to win at all cost.

It cracks me up how many ways you Taxpayers Watch witches conjure up to lose, but you have obviously become good at it, as professional as any turkeys can be at screwing themselves royally and the town in the process. All your threats do is convince me to vote against 218, because when you have to use threats and intimidation to win, you're telegraphing that the county is planning to skin us good -- and the only sales pitch you have is the point of a pitchfork.

Your lawsuit has a snowball's chance in hell of ever being heard in any court -- it's so stupid -- and neither does the 218.

Vote NO against fear, hate and intimidation. Vote NO against the County's blank check to cleanse the town. Vote NO on Dreamers setting up tribunals to silence opinion. Vote NO on 218 to preserve the power of local government against an army of jackasses hellbent on terror in the name of Tri-W.

Anonymous said...

To 7:08 PM,

The bill is going to be a lot more than you say! It was never $205. That price didn't include deferred costs. It didn't include imported water.

What our new 218 won't include are the fees for the county (12-17%,) the $6.4 million SRF loan repayment, the $2 million the county will be back to us,THE ENERGY and MANPOWER TO RUN TRI-W AND VERY VERY LIKELY THE IMPORTED WATER. The are many more costs on top of that.

No, most people can't afford that. There is indeed a conspiracy between the water boards, the county, the Tribune, Sam Blakeslee, Pandora crowd and realtors and developers. There's TOO much money to be made by some. The plan's been in the works for a long long time. The lies, the tricks and the fear tactics tell all!

Either you are a part of it or incredibly stupid. Pick one.

Anonymous said...

Drama queen Anon 7:50:
Since almost everyone agrees a WWF needs to be built in Los Osos (including Ann), and your CSD basically handed over the building of said WWF to the county because they lacked the means and finances, please explain very clearly for us what the next step would be if your wish came true and the 218 failed. And I assume you're a home owner, correct? Thanks in advance for your solution.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ANON above, if the county did have our best interest at heart then they wouldn't have to lie to us and fool us. They would have the advisory vote first and pick the best project, then have a 218 vote on that very project with our total cost.

Anonymous said...

TO ANON 8:25 -

THE 218 VOTE MAY VERY WELL FAIL. THEN THE PROJECT WOULD COME BACK TO THE CSD AND WE'LL HAVE A PROJECT READY TO GO THAT WILL TAKE MUCH LESS TIME TO BUILD THAN WHAT YOU WANT (AND WILL COST LESS TOO) WE'LL BE READY AND SUSTAINABLE.

SO SORRY THAT YOU HAVE NO COMMON SENSE OR HEART.

Anonymous said...

Richard or clone,

Edmonds, Washington's ferry shuttle station is NOT Los Osos, and not in the middle of town (the 'middle' part you'd dispute).

You contend, all in a row:

1. "[A Tri-W] facility can be creative, useful and not stinky."
Any facility can be "creative and useful" anywhere -- but it's only your OPINION that he won't be stinky. That isn't good enough. Sorry.

2. "Mixed use land use it the way to go."
Sure. Anywhere else except a sewer plus something else on Tri-W, where a sewer doesn't fit the area. Unless you don't use the library, don't go to church, don't go to CSD meetings, go have children and don't live in the Prohibition Zone...like you. Otherwise it's fine.

3. "Tri-W will never be the middle of town because of the buffers of the bay..."
Ridiculous!

4. "Los Osos will only really grow the other direction - out the LOVR."
So, everything west of Tri-W is the just the bottom of the growth fishbowl to you -- perfect for a sewer relative to the REST of Los Osos. A NIMBY fantasy by the Prince of Dreamers!

5. "Get a grip and do a little reading beyond all things Los Osos and keep up with the progressing times."
What you call "progressive" I call EXPENSIVE -- not to mention selfish, anti-social and unnecessary -- based on nothing more than one spolied rich boy's nocturnal whimsy... perfectly logical if all you desire is ONR THING at the expense of everything else. Pathetic reasoning.

Do you, sir or madam, ever stop to realize just how much time you spend wasting your time and our time SELLING TRI-W to literally save your own life? Sickening.

You say you've moved on, but you obviously haven't. This is most glaring. You speak about looking at things unemotionally when you are a basketcase of emotions about to snap at any give moment an anyone who respectfully declines to agree with your heavily personalized version of history.

Looking at the fact that your reasoning is fatally flawed, and your justifications for Tri-W weak and weary, you simply cannot be trusted when you still have NOT been honest with yourself or the community.

Mr. Martini

Anonymous said...

Will it address recharge? Will it address drainage? Will it address storm water runoff? Will it allow us to apply for grants to help us phase in all the other work that needs to be done?

Anonymous said...

Hey, while we're at it let's reinvent the wheel too!

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:25: AND THE CSD WILL HAVE A PROJECT FUNDED BY WHAT AND WHOM EXACTLY?? YOU MEAN THE SAME CSD THAT ALWAYS HAS A 'PLAN' READY TO GO IS NOW ANY 'SMARTER' AND HAS A 'REAL PLAN'. IMPORTED WATER BECOMES MORE CERTAIN EVERY DAY THAT PASSES WITHOUT A COMPLETED PROJECT. A BLEEDING HEART WITHOUT ANY COMMON SENSE ALWAYS ENDS UP BLEEDING TO DEATH.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:36:
You have got to be kidding. That's it? That's your solution? Please explain again, very clearly, where the CSD will get the money to do this project. Have you heard the CSD is in bankruptcy proceedings? This is the reason they gave the project to the county. Any other solutions?

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:36 SAYS THE CSD WILL HAVE A PROJECT READY TO GO, IF A 218 FAILS. HAVE THERE BEEN SECRET MEETINGS WHERE THE CSD HAS BEEN DEVELOPING A PLAN TO BE READY TO GO? IF THAT IS THE CASE, THE CSD HAS BEEN BREAKING THE LAW BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY OVER WASTEWATER WITHIN THE DISTRICT.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:29,

You brought up a good point, down the line Los Osos will ALSO have to pay for drainage and flood control. Another big public works bill for us to pay.

What exactly does the county do with our property tax money? It doesn't all go to schools like they say, there's only three schools here right?

The only grants the county would ever be able to get is "urban renewal" to eminent domain. The other grants just won't be there as long as there's a war in Iraq.

Churadogs said...

Anon sez:"You brought up a good point, down the line Los Osos will ALSO have to pay for drainage and flood control. Another big public works bill for us to pay."

If I understand correctly, drainage and importing water were always a separate (deferred) issue, as anon says, "big public works bill for us to pay." Unless the county plan somehow takes a re-look at the Ripley proposal and focuses on water reuse and ag exchange to manage and move some water around, thereby solving some of the flooding/high ground water, reuse problems?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7:23 PM-

The CSD's information was incorrect. For existing operations costs of services deemed to be health and safety related (water and sewer)the fees may be raised in many cases without a Prop 218 vote. The 2/3 vs. 1/2 voter approval has to do with whether an assessment engineer deems the cost being paid for to be a general benefit or a special benefit to the properties being assessed. I know that the County will be providing a lot of information on this topic in the next couple of months, and hopefully things will be clearer to us after that.

To Anon 10:40 PM-

Per the Assessor's 2006 annual report, the taxes are distributed as follows: Schools 61.78%, County 24.57%, Cities 7.24%, Special Districts 3.94%, Redevelopment Agencies 2.47%. I know that much of the County's share is committed to match State funded programs (health, social services).

Ron said...

An Anon wrote:

"There are some of us who are collecting as much documentation as possible that in the event the obstructionsists are able to continue the lies and spread of mis-information so as to dissmantle the 218, there will be a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of all CDO's and potential CDO recipients..."

Don't forget to include this document in your lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Ann, the Ripley proposal has been disgarded, it was always too expensive when honestly compared to the original Tri-W proposal.

Anonymous said...

I like the Ripley proposal. It reduced our environmental footprint. We need to build for the future. Septic tanks are a cost effective and environmentally friendly method of breaking down solids.

Anonymous said...

I like the Ripley proposal as well. If it has already been disgarded by the county that would suggest they don't give a hoot about what the TAc or the property owners have to say. Was the plan disgarded without any public participation?

Anonymous said...

The word "disgarded" looks like a hybrid of "discarded" and "disregarded." An interesting semantic difference, given the circumstances.

Churadogs said...

To Anon 8:08 a.m. Feb 06. Thanks for the information. Hopefully, the new county website and info packets will also keep updating info re the assessment process etc. .

*PG-13 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

SRF -State Revolving Fund Program-is self funded program. It has NOTHING what-so-ever to do with Iraq. The grant programs are funded by State bond sales approved by voters. That is funded and has NOTHING to do with iraq.
So...if you want grants, pull together-forget about TRI W and figure out what you want. The community IS the County's client. Get off the attacks on the CSD and old dead battles and do something constructive.

Churadogs said...

anonymous sez:"So...if you want grants, pull together-forget about TRI W and figure out what you want. The community IS the County's client. Get off the attacks on the CSD and old dead battles and do something constructive."

If memory serves, there aren't any grants for regular, traditional sewer systems, i.e. federal money that used to help communies build such things, that dried up in the '80s. But there may well be grants available for innovative new water reuse plans, wetlands resoration, openspace plans, etc. all of which will help this community. And you're right, we all need to be focusing on helping the TAC and County look for and get exactly that -- IF whatever system the county decides on is amenable to such innovative grants.

Anonymous said...

Ann, the Ripley proposal has been disgarded, it was always too expensive when honestly compared to the original Tri-W proposal.
10:55 AM, February 05, 2007

Good example of disinformation and misinformation at its best (or worst)! Don't accept this kind of nonsense! Ripley is very much alive -- believe it...or not!

Anonymous said...

Anon above,

NOT !

I was at the peer review of Ripley's Plan.

The plan, as presented, would not work without additional technologies (adding corresponding costs) to address nitrate removal.

Also, the plan did not present convincing geological or hydrological data supporting the premise that the water basin extended as far East down the valley as proposed. This lack of data questioned the premise of the agricultural exchange component of the plan.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"The plan, as presented, would not work without additional technologies (adding corresponding costs) to address nitrate removal."

If you were at the workshop itself, then you're either with the RWQCB staff, or County Staff, or ??? Do identify yourself, please.

Q: Was the addition of a denitrification capacity requested specifically at the behest of the RWQCB? And was the reason for doing that because they didn't believe the agronomic rates would work? Or wanted a back up system in case they didn't work? Or were just requesting unnecessary bells and whistles... in case? Or ....? (It's always been odd to me that the RWQCB would be concerned with nitrates in the groundwater in the Los Osos Valley and the Chorro Valleys when we saw the sudden spike in the Morro Bay wells and there was NO explanation forthcoming from the RWQCB as to what could possibly be causing that. Have they NOT monitoring ag lands, Lo these many years? If not, why not?)

In the Feb-March The Rock, Ripley interview, he sites the NWRI panel as saying, "Effluent disposed by land application (i.e. spray irrigation) will not need to undergoe nitrogen removal when applied at agronomic rates."

Anonymous said...

"...when applied at agronomic rates..."
The nitrate level is too high, even for agronomic rates. High cash crops, cannot afford risk, and anyone that was at the NWRI presentation heard that post treated water from a WWTF would need additional denitrification before the farmers could use. Watering crops is different than land application disposal which is just watering for the sake of watering. Doesn't sound very sustainable! Don't spin the "sray irrigation" as meaning it is getting used in any useful way for crops.
Besides, I don't ever remember the RWQCB saying they weren't interested in what's happening in Morro Bay. Is that on their website?
Cut and paste journalism is fun and entertaining but with all journalism - read between the lines and draw conclusions.
Oh, and by the way, there were other folks present at the workshop as observers. There were invited licensed waste water operators and others. They didn't participate, just watched. Doesn't mean they were RWQCB staff or county staff - get over your collusion, fear based mongering and be a part of the solution rather than sit back and be the arm-chair, safe behind the pen/screen finger pointer. This is entire situation has morphed into the most ridiculous self-righteous propaganda fest that it's becoming absurd.
The property owners need to unite, support the process and let the past be the past and let our future be determined by common sense and practicality. There is no magical sewer that will save Los Osos - Los Osos needs to be saved from themselves.
I have never lived anywhere else before where the glaze of eyes and the mantras are nothing more than nuance.
Overthrow the dictatorship of the CSD! Overthrow the dictatorship of the fear! Overthrow the culture of litigation! We deserve better.
REVOLUTION!!!!

Anonymous said...

ERROR
I didn't mean to say denitrify for crops, I meant treatment - too big a hurry. Farmers want the nitrates but the higher treatment was for food crops....
see how easy it is to say the wrong thing! I'm not taking back the revolution comment though!
So, to clarify: No additional nitrogen removal for land application or farm use - just has to clean, required additional treatment for that.
REVOLUTION!