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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Time To Put Up Or Hush Up

The Tribune's been carrying a series on meth addiction for the past few days. In the March 13 story, written by AnnMarie Cornejo, it notes "County short on space for treatment," noting that there simply is a shortage of in-house treatment centers available. (There used to be a full program at French Hospital years ago, a program covered by medical insurance & etc. but that's long gone. And, of course, County General's long gone too.)

Cornejo's story continues, "Now, there's another effort to bring a second residential facility to the county. San Luis Obispo based nonprofit Project Ament hopes to transition from a sober living house to [a]16-bed residential facility by the end of the year." . . . "Such centers are important because they go beyond standard outpatient treatment programs and sober living houses by offering a multifaceted approach to recovery that includes mental health couseling and extended treatment." . . . "Increasingly, this approiach is viewed as critical."

Furthermore, in New Times a few weeks ago, there was a blurb that noted: "Welcome donations and clients. Project Amend (782-9600) is seeking donations of funds, twin beds, and bedding and labor, including painting. New recovery clients are also welcome. The admittance fee is $425, with some free placements also available."

So, stop reading this blog. Reading this blog never made a difference to anything or anyone. Instead, close your computer, pick up the phone and give the good folks running Project Amend a call and see what they need. Gently used towels? Sheets? Some new pillows (check the bedding sales) What about gently used dishes and cups? Kids toys? Games? Books? Whatever. Here's a great chance to make a real difference in a life, or two or three.

Thank you.

Speaking of Wasting Time Reading Blogs

Heard that the County Engineering staff has made their picks for people they recommend will be serving on the TAC for the Hideous Los Osos Sewer. I tried accessing the web page but it's having indigestion problems and isn't working for some weird reason. Will try again later. (go wo www.slocounty.ca.gov/PW/LOWW.p.htm) to see who they've picked. The BOS will vote on accepting them at their March 20 meeting.

If you have any objections or suggestions on the staff picks, you can email the BOS and put in your two cents worth. But remember, the TAC is like all "advisory" boards: There for window dressing (See? We're "listening" to the community for its "valued input," now go away, thank you) and once in a while, if everyone gets lucky, Advisory Boards or Committees can actually come up with "advice" that's actually listened to and that can make a real difference. But, it's not something that anyone should bet on.

God Bless all who signed up to be considered. For those who actually get picked by the BOS to serve, please know it will be a miserable thankless job that may or may not be of use, but thank you for serving all the same.

To the public, so far as I know the TAC meetings will be open to the public (to observe, not participate) so I hope you'll all note the meeting dates and plan to be there. (Get off this blog, all you Sewer Jihadis, and go to the meetings with your ears open, please. No good screeching at me or each other about some Sewerish Something or Other if you won't get off your duffs and go speak with actual "advisors.")

And, Finally, Proof Positive Why America Is Doomed!

Went to see the movie "300" Sunday. Paper noted the interesting addition of: "I.D. Required," code for This Movie Is NOT For Kids. "300" certainly qualifies. A visually stunning recreation of an "illustrated novel" (i.e. "adult comic book), it's done in a style that's reminiscent of those bronzed/sepia-toned lowering-sky, high-end car commercials and/or XBox Play Station Kill Everything In Sight Games and since it's about the Spartans vs the Persians, it's all about stabbing and hacking and killing and decapitating and stomping and jabbing and poking and falling off cliffs and teeth-gnashing and raping and slaughtering by the thousands as the Spartan 300 (actually there were about 1,000 Thesbians there, too) held off the hoards of Xerxes' Persian Army at The Hot Gates, where the 300 died to a man.

In short, a typical PlayStation Game Movie. Which is why, apparently, the theatre had a bunch of families in there with their 8, 9, 12, 13 year-old kids and tubs of popcorn. When one such family trooped in, I asked the little kid plooped down next to me, "Uh, How old are you?" "I'm nine," he proudly declared. I leaned over and asked his Dad,"Uh, the newspaper said 'I.D. Required' for this movie. Were you 'carded' when you bought tickets?" "Nope," said he. "Oh," I replied, "Just wondering. They usually reserve 'I.D. required' for movies with extreme violence and/or adult sexual content." Daddy stared blankly at me.

Whilst all the hacking and blood spurting and beheading and slicing and raping was going on, I noticed not one family said, "Ooops, I think we didn't realize that this wasn't a Disney film and can see now that it's WILDLY inappropriate for our young kids to see," and so took their kids outta there.

Nope. Not a bit of it. It was popcorn munching all round as heads and blood spattered across the visual fields and minds of these young kids. While their parents sat there enjoying it all.

As I said, the kids probably just thought it was just another PlayStation Kill Game. I have no doubt their parents felt the same way.

The theatre manager shrugged it all off. Not her problem. So much for MPAA ratings.

Bang! Bang!

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ann, as a grateful beneficiary of the services at Summit Place in French Hospital in 1989 (18 years of sobriety and blissfully counting each day at a time!), I'm appalled at the lack of treatment facilities in this county. Thanks for the shout out.
I'm now closing my computer and calling Project Amend to see how I might assist.

*PG-13 said...

The staff report about the TAC, including the list of recommended members is buried in a pdf file here. The list of recommendations is on page 3.

This report is linked off of this webpage under March 20, Read the Staff Report.

Mike Green said...

Dang! Sex, Violence, Mayhem!
I grew up on a cattle ranch back before there was dirt!
Today's younguns are spoiled rotten.
Funny thing is, seems there is always some of them that turn out alright.
where are we going?
nobody knows,
the wind blows the sea flows
and nobody knows.....

Mike Green said...

Hey everybody,
Don't you think we need a new word that combines congratulations and condolences?
I mean I want to congratulate Maria and Bob, but on the other hand, representing Los Osos has baggage.
condulations?
Is that a word?

Shark Inlet said...

We should all be glad that Don Asquith has been suggested.

Don is really sharp, and as a geologist, has some real understanding of the sorts of things that should matter from the point of view of aquifer recharge and nitrate loadings.

It should also be pointed out that he opposed both the formation of the CSD and Measure B. History suggests he has considerable insight to have opposed these two rather popular but mistaken actions.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"I'm now closing my computer and calling Project Amend to see how I might assist."

HOORAY! I hope others will follow your lead. I already dropped off a bunch of stuff and will call them back from time to time to see if they need any more help.

Thanks, PG-13. I'll try accessing the site again. For some reason yesterday morning it was "not available."

Mike sez:"Don't you think we need a new word that combines congratulations and condolences?"

Yep. Whenever anyone gets elected to office I have to send Congrolences, or Condolulations or Condolatulences or something. It's always a thankless job simply because you can't please everyone and still do your job correctly.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the congratulations thanks. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with this crew. I am being offered a learning opportunity that I gladly, with minor trepidation, embrace.

Onto the parent issue. It's not "the kids these days" its the parents. I hold parents largely responsible for many of the manifestations of behavior, up to a point. Granted, there are times when there are extenuating circumstances as to the "hardwire" of a child but if we believe in nature/nurture vs. straight up pedagogy and that the parent is the teacher then parents are responsible on both sides. Kids have no frame of reference at a young age to compartmentalize the violence they are exposed to. It becomes a part of general operations. If kids are exposed enough, it becomes the expected norm and the excitement and anticipation of the violence is exciting and becomes a part of their play and thus life. Of course it is dangerous to generalize but I have spent enumerable amount of hours with all kinds of children that crosses many socio-econmic and gender lines and across the board, children that are exposed to excessive violence have a more difficult time playing that doesn't involve violence, can become depressed and are generally not "child like". What this predicts is the possibility of unhappy and socially challenged adults that manifest in road rage, poor judgment in relationships and skewed interpretation of social norms.

I could go on and on on this topic, as usual. Ann, thanks for saying something to the parent because you planted the seed. Thankfully children are resilient and have other positive roll models in their lives so as to make choices when they grow up. There are many of us parents who have debated endlessly on the impact of the media in our children's lives and we rarely agree but we make our choices and accept the consequences and give them a kiss and say good-bye.

That being said, I can't wait until Shrek 3, Pirates of the Caribbean and ..can't remember the other one, comes out in May. Thankfully Hollywood gives us snippets of laughter and good humor to support our incredible desire and need to laugh.
Sincerely,
Maria M. Kelly

Ron said...

Maria wrote:

"There are many of us parents who have debated endlessly on the impact of the media in our children's lives..."

I find that debate very interesting. On one hand, you'd think it would be bad if kids watched a bunch of "stabbing and hacking and killing and decapitating and stomping and jabbing and poking and falling off cliffs and teeth-gnashing and raping and slaughtering by the thousands" (so damn funny, Ann), but I just don't see a whole lot of evidence to support that.

Remember when some (translated: a lot) tried to argue that Columbine was Marilyn Manson's fault, because the freaks that did the shooting listened to to his music. Well, the gaping hole in that argument is that millions of kids, worldwide, listen to Marilyn Manson, but millions of kids, worldwide, aren't shooting up their schools (although, sometimes, I think the media wants you to belive that... so you'll live in fear, even more. [If you've never seen Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, I highly recommend that movie. The media wanted everyone to think that the movie's main theme was gun control. Nuh-uh. The movie's main theme is how the media in this country makes sure Americans live in fear. I think of that movie all the time when I watch television news. It's so accurate. Great film.])

Someone remind me -- what was going to happen to all those teenage girls if they watched Elvis shake his hips in the late 50s?

"Thankfully children are resilient and have other positive roll models in their lives so as to make choices when they grow up. "

That sure seems to be the case... in %99.9999999999 percent of the cases.

Anonymous said...

Actually Ron, I disagree that "Bowling for Columbine" was about media and fear. It actually showed that kids are a reflection of the society they live in. Do you remember what the main industry in that community was? Do you remember the point that he drew between the exposure of the stress of that industry on the families and children?

Mock what we say but sit and think for awhile and really analyze cultural shifts in our society and then identify the overexposure of the parents generation. Interesting patterns.

We don't have to ignore what we are offered in our entertainment, but as parents, we have a responsiblity to discern what the values base is. I never really agreed with Tipper on this and still don't. But are the labels a problem for the industy. Doubt it.

Interesting interaction last Christmas - this kid brings his mom into Captain Nemo's(great store in San Luis that specializes in games and comic books and stuff)and the boy needs his mom there to buy "Grand Theft Auto", or something there abouts, and the clerk looks at the mom and says, "You do realize this is a really violent game and that...(explains the premise of the game" and the mom gets really embarrased and realizes the kids was trying to dupe her into buying it.

I had a lot of respect for the clerk and hope the mom read the riot act to the kid. He was about 12/13. Should he be playing game about running over people, raping women and killing cops? No.

Is is "Grand Theft Auto's" fault that the kids want the game - No. Is is the parent's job to check in and see if there is a better way to spend their childhood - yup. When you grow up, you can jump on the furniture and wear white socks in the mud but until the children are holding a job, have armpit hair and can pay their car insurance....parents need to pay attention while the track of life is being laid.
Sincerely,
Maria M. Kelly

Churadogs said...

Maria sez:"I could go on and on on this topic, as usual. Ann, thanks for saying something to the parent because you planted the seed. Thankfully children are resilient and have other positive roll models in their lives so as to make choices when they grow up. There are many of us parents who have debated endlessly on the impact of the media in our children's lives and we rarely agree but we make our choices and accept the consequences and give them a kiss and say good-bye.

That being said, I can't wait until Shrek 3, Pirates of the Caribbean and ..can't remember the other one, comes out in May. Thankfully Hollywood gives us snippets of laughter and good humor to support our incredible desire and need to laugh.
Sincerely,
Maria M. Kelly"

well, I'll still offer Congrolences for your appointment to the TAC. The grumbling is already started. My eyebrows raised a few times reading over the nominated list vs the picked list, but I'm sure everyone picked will try their best.

Re Kids: The problem has been a cultural and generational one-- Kids raising kids . . . My comments to the parent at the "300" movie went into one ear and out the other. Zero response. I have no doubt the parent, who was a young man himself, would see absolutely nothing inappropriate in the movie since in all probablility that movie was similar to all the movies/videogames, etc. HE was exposed to as a kid.

The fish seldom questions the water he swims in, same with our culture.It's very hard to step back and actually look at that water and what effect it has had on YOU, let along your kids.

And Yes! SHREK! Yaaaayyy!

Ron sez:"a lot) tried to argue that Columbine was Marilyn Manson's fault, because the freaks that did the shooting listened to to his music. Well, the gaping hole in that argument is that millions of kids, worldwide, listen to Marilyn Manson, but millions of kids, worldwide, aren't shooting up their schools (although, sometimes, I think the media wants you to belive that... so you'll live in fear, even more. [If you've never seen Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, I highly recommend that movie. The media wanted everyone to think that the movie's main theme was gun control. Nuh-uh. The movie's main theme is how the media in this country makes sure Americans live in fear. I think of that movie all the time when I watch television news. It's so accurate. Great film.])"

Good point. Millions of kids AREN'T shooting up their schools. But, bit by bit, we change the culture and then the culture changes us in often subtle ways. Norms change. Many see this as a race to the bottom, we've certainly seen the Tabloidization of the news as a response to a fractured "mainstream media" and a rating race for the dollar. That also changes what we hear and see, can change in profound ways how we can be manipulated or bamboozled, and very few people pay enough attention to catch the slight of hand at work.

One interesting Pew Poll a while ago showed, for example, that people who got their news primarily from Fox news had a higher percentage of factually wrong information as compared to those who got their news primarily from PBS. One example, Fox viewers "knew" that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 9/11 attack. [wrong] Fox viewers "knew" WMD were found in Iraq (wrong) & etc.

Such misinformation can have profound consequences, i.e. invade a country under false pretenses, using false informtion, & etc.

So, does media matter? Yep. Does our culture matter? Yep, especially an "unexamined" culture.

*PG-13 said...

Ann > One interesting Pew Poll a while ago showed, for example, that people who got their news primarily from Fox news had a higher percentage of factually wrong information as compared to those who got their news primarily from PBS.

They had to do a poll to determine that? Did it even require proof? Yet another example of the race to the bottom. (sigh)

Anonymous said...

All you need to know about the "news" sources we have nowadays is, a couple of days ago, while flipping through the channels, there was another story about Anna Nicole Smith on CNN. What has it been now since she died, a month?
The only reason I go to the news channels is to see if we've been attacked yet.
Sincerely, M

Anonymous said...

To: Churadogs (Ann) re the recommended members of the County's sewer project TAC--

Thank you for publicizing my TAC recommendations. I would like to comment on a couple of aspects of this advisory body issue for you and your readers. First, it was clear to us as we reviewed the 40 applications that we needed to take the process very seriously, as the results would be examined under the Los Osos microscope. Because of the unique history of Los Osos, we knew that, regardless of what set of applicants we recommended, there were going to be a number of people who would take exception to those recommendations.

Usually, when one tries to please everyone, it is a fruitless exercise. If we ever get to the point in our process of holding a community advisory survey, probably some 40-49% of the property owners will have voted against a Prop 218 assessment, and 30-50% will have voted against the project alternative that receives the most advisory votes. That is the nature of this complicated issue.

I disagree with your contention that "the TAC is like all 'advisory' boards: there for window dressing." Based on that comment, I would like to make clear what the specific scope of work for this group will be. They will not be ranking alternative projects, nor will they be recommending a preferred project. Hopefully people realize by now that our process is not about a select small group of people choosing what is best for the community. That approach has failed in the past. Rather, it is about our providing good information to the whole community, and letting the several thousand property owners tell our Board whether they belive in our process enough to commit funding to it; then for the whole population to advise our Board as to which viable project alternative they prefer.

The TAC will play a key part in this process by doing two very important things. First, they will review the draft fine screening project alternatives report, which will be available in a couple of months. This report will analyze and present a small group of viable project alternatives (3,4,5?). After reviewing the information in that report, the TAC will spend time discussing it with our consultants and staff, challanging the points that they may disagree with, and carefully reviewing the basis for the alternative project cost estimates. At the conclusion of that effort, the project consultants will redraft the document into a final report.

The second important task that this TAC will then perform is to draft a set of "official" pros and cons of each project alternative. This information will be provided to the community for their information prior to the Prop 218 vote. This is the best way that we could think of to help minimize (as much as possible) the natural skepticism that the community will have for the information that is published regarding those final project alternatives.

Each and every member of the recommended TAC has convinced me that, whatever their background, they will carry out this scope of work in an objective and responsible manner.

I hope this information helps explain how we feel about this TAC and, clearly, it will not be just like all other advisory groups.Thank you for providing me with a forum to clarify this.

PS- Ann, we have not been the "County Engineering Department" since 2001. At that time, we were reorganized under the applicable government codes to the County Public Works Department.

Sincerely,

Noel King
Public Works Director
County of San Luis Obispo

*PG-13 said...

Thanks Noel. And welcome.

It was a refreshing surprise for me to open this comment thread and see your post. That you are reaching out and communicating via something like a blog is - to me - an indication that you are willing to work a little more creatively than is common to address the many weird angles and sensitivities of the Los Osos sewer dilemma. The fact that Ann's blog announcing the proposed TAC membership is now 3 days old and hostilities haven't already broken out suggests that most of us are hopeful for the TAC to be successful.

Thanks. And good luck ;-)

Mike Green said...

WOW! Thanks Noel. your response is apreciated!

Anonymous said...

To PG-13:

You said: "The fact that Ann's blog announcing the proposed TAC membership is now 3 days old and hostilities haven't already broken out suggests that most of us are hopeful for the TAC to be successful."

While I share your hope for the success of the TAC, I'm sad to report that hostilities HAVE broken out. The County is being bombarded with calls and email from residents objecting to the appointees. "Al" fans, "Gail" fans, "Alon" fans, etc. are not happy that their candidates were not chosen.

I happen to think the proposed members are an excellent cross section of community expertise and opinion. They are all reasonable people that we can trust to bring a balanced, common sense attitude to the table. I'm satisfied with the choices, and sent an email telling the County just that.

*PG-13 said...

I guess I should have said .... "... hostilities haven't broken out here, on this blog, suggests ...."

Yeah, I guess lots of people may not be perfectly happy their favorite(s) didn't make the cut. I was sorry Steve Paige didn't make it but only because I respect Steve for his always creative, step-forward and make things happen attitude. I don't have complaint and I am satisfied with those that were selected. And you're comment is well taken. I should tell the county just that. And I will. I to often forget to honor incremental steps forward. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was very pleased to open up the county site and see the selections for the TAC advisory. I am a property owner (multiple) in the PZ and have been following this for MANY YEARS. I personally did not find any of the selections to be particular "hot potatoes" or political nightmares, so to speak. The County has done an outstanding job of selecting a cross section of qualified individuals to represent our interests. And Noel, thank you for coming to us on the blog! That is commendable to say the least.

Anonymous said...

For me, the TAC appointees were most impressive for who was NOT on the list rather than who was. Kudos to Noel King for understanding the pattern of "dictatorship of the few" that has existed in many incarnations in Los Osos. Stay vigilant in the face of the nastiness bound to come from the few who still attend CSD and BOD meetings. And know they don't represent the majority of people in Los Osos.

Anonymous said...

I support the County process for working on this and the TAC group that the County staff has proposed. I feel that they will legitimately work in concert with the County to develop the information that we need to see. By keeping the usually players on the sidelines, I think the interaction will be more productive. I only hope that the County Board will not listen to the usual group that will undoubtedly criticize the recommendations.

Anyone who supports the recommendations should take a couple of minutes to email the Board members and let them know. I'm sure that the complainers are sending in theirs.

4crapkiller said...

To Ann:

A lot of very important people like Noel King have been watching this blog and some commenting as anons. I is wonderful that Noel came on and commented under his own name.

The people watching this blog and that of the tribune (far more), many of them government officials, have looked here to determine political will and separate the factual bloggers from the "Trashsayers".

I support the work of Noel King and the Board of Supervisors.

I support the work of the soon to be seated TAC. The makeup of the TAC was a fine choice of people.

Mike Green said...

Jeepers, Noel, did you steal that list from Santa Clause?
Not a naughty one in the bunch!

Kudos! The TAC gets my support.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to spoil your little party, folks, but TAC is just part of the word STACKED.

The reality of this "committee" is perceived quite differently on the ground than in your pea-sized brains. More than half the town is very upset that the county's selections mirror a distinct bias toward the minority views of the recalled board and the minority preference for the unaffordable, technically and environmentally inferior gravity collection system. Don't think you've fooled more than you need to fool to fulfill your mission to reverse majority rule.

Apparently, legendary water guru John Alexander, retired Superior Court Judge Martha Goldin and renowned nitrate expert Dr. Tom Ruehr were not experienced enough for this "committee." Having been left out because of their professional views (Dr. Ruehr wasn't even asked to come in for an interview), this is one trio that may not sing like the Dixie Chicks but is no less controverial being politically excluded from the committee and "the process," which clearly has been hijacked to rubber stamp the county's $200 million project with barely a peep ... just so Noel King can say, "The community has spoken."

"We are seeking a good, objective group" with technical expertise, King told the Triv. What a sick joke on the community! Any claims of objectivity having a toehold on this committee are specious and ominous.

Al Barrow may have been the "one exception" expressing a view apart from the King's handpicked, diversity-challenged cheerleading corps, but Barrow is hardly alone in his belief that the committee has been rigged to give the county a free pass on a bad project.

First it was "random selection" by the water board and now it's "phantom selection" by the county. Having been twisted and turned by the county over two decades crossing two centuries, Los Osos is not, I repeat NOT, going to sit back and vote "yes" on any 218 vote that taxes thousands out of their homes, no matter how the county spins it.

Al Barrow is not the lone gunman on the grassy knoll when he says "The handwriting is on the wall." The county needs to understand that it cuts both ways. The handwriting is also on the wall of every voting booth in Los Osos: No affordable project, "no" on 218.

Figure It Out

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon above. 100%

Ann's site has obviously been taken over by the Dreamers.

You have to be Tri-W 100% to even think that the TAC committee selection was fair or balanced!

Noel King stated from the beginning that we would have gravity, big sewer and it's obvious that the county is just putting on a "show" to confuse the voters on the 218.

Go ahead county, make us give you a blank check to be taxed out of Los Osos and our houses.

Great job Noel King, Paavo, Sam Blakeslee, Pandora, and the rest of the dreamers who want Los Osos for the rich.

Clean water my ass! Just part of the "big fix" except for the thousands of people who have to leave.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely great job Mr.King.

Your selections and explainations are very much right on target.

Those of us living in the community thank you for your understanding of the real problem we have had to put up with in trying our best to comply with the Clean Water Act and build a sewer to address that issue.

You do have the majority of the community 100% behind the County's efforts!

Anonymous said...

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
John F. Kennedy, speech prepared for delivery in Dallas the day of his assassination, November 22, 1963
35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963)


Anyone willing to step forward and being willing to learn and be a part of the process is worthy of this communities respect. All anyone has to do is take a look through the applications to understand who was chosen and why. If you took the names off and just read what they wrote and analyze the time and effort put into the typing and professional appearance, it's clear what some of the basis of the criteria was. Thanks to all and our house is grateful for who was chosen.

Anonymous said...

And WHAT qualifies Karen Venditti for this committee, especially in the FINANCE Division?

Anonymous said...

Default may hurt chances for Los Osos sewer loan.

By Sona Patel
spatel@thetribunenews.com
Sunday, Mar 18, 2007

An exerpt:

"When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a plan by Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, that transferred design and construction of a Los Osos sewer to the county, his bill-signing message instructed the state not to lend money for the project until the millions borrowed before are paid back, or a payment plan is set up.

The loan came from a state fund that doles out money to California communities to help them build sewers or other projects to improve water quality. That fund is an attractive choice for communities that want to borrow because of its low interest rates, flexible payment terms and the large amount of money available.

Los Osos was the first community that defaulted on paying back a loan in the fund’s 20-year history, according to William Rukeyser, a spokesman for the state Water Resources Control Board.

"If Los Osos were allowed to walk away from its legally binding debt, that would mean that other communities in California would be deprived of what Los Osos was already offered," Rukeyser said."

Finally, the term "legally binding" has been applied to the original SRF loan obtained by the past CSD. I have long believed the latest CSDS had a plan to drive costs up so high as to prove un-affordability. Bristling in indignation and shouting that the SFR loan was illegal, but in fact hireing lawyers to applify the volumn instead of either repaying the $2M left or joining the RWQCB in a court of law, the CSD has ensured further delays and costs.

The CSD seems bent on nothing short of delay rather than face the financial crisis they self created. They are seemingly not taking any steps toward reorganizing and developing any form of repayment of the bankruptcy. It appears they intend to claim insolventcy in the near future as the latest step in their ploy to continue the delay at all costs. The Board meetings themselves have been reduced to internal bickering over an audit which should have been concluded 9 months ago.

There simply is no forward motion which from an outsiders viewpoint just underlines the naked truth that this CSD is still doing everything in it's power to delay and delay further any local or County solution.

Churadogs said...

My thanks to Noel King for his clarifications on the TAC and the county Process. I am delighted he's reading this blog and hope he's reading the Comment section as well. While it in no way can be relied on as reflecting what The Community is thinking, (40% of whom seem to be permanently out to lunch, if their non-voting record is any indication) it often does give a peek into some of the general issues that can turn people into Sewer Jihadis of either stripe.

I found some of the TAC picks "curious" but I understood from the line-up exactly what Noel was after. As for Advisory Committees being "window dressing," I stand by my comment for the simple historical reason that that's what they've been in the past and, from a practical stand point, that's one of their functions: Provide "cover" for the "real" Deciders, if their decisions are counter to what the community wants - they can always point to the Advisory Board and thank them profusely and note, See? We Listened To the Community And Valued Your Input, but we're gonna do B instead of A anyway, Thank You and Goodby.

However, IF this Committee's questions and work results in keeping the Process clean and accurate and verified and focused and accountable and makes sure nobody's thumbs get on the scale, then they will, indeed, have done a real service to this community.

The real problem in Los Osos is this: Perception IS reality. And I understand well that there's a whole lot of hidden agendas at work even as I write. Take, for example, today's Tribune's very, uh, interesting story about the SRF loan. What's that about? Why did it run today? Was it a "trial balloon?" A sort of advance drumbeat vis a vis the done-deal necessity for ONLY projects that, because of their high initial expense,can justify as requiring an SRF loan thereby ensuring the millions owed have a legal mechanism of being added onto the sewer assessment & etc? Why no mention in the story of other forms of financing or the possibility that the community can go its separate way and go with a self-bonded or BOOM project, & etc. Nope, just an "interesting" story about the SRF loan.

That's the way this game has been played for years -- "interesting" headlines, shall we say,that some feel is a form of misdirection, sand in the eyes, Pay No Attenion To The Little Man Behind The Curtain and so forth. We saw it with the headline "electioneering" by the RWQCB, in what I refer to as their FINES!FINES!FINES!FINES mode whenever an election came up.

Mr. King, There is a sound reason why the paranoia level here in Los Osos is very, very high. With luck, the TAC may help reduce it, but after watching the RWQCB and their Mad Pumping CDO Scheme and disgraceful, pointless, year-long pounding of The Los Osos 45 while the County and Blakeslee sat mute, the failure of the SWB (and the FEDS) to even investigate how it was possible for the SRF loan to be written in the first place (Wolves guarding the foxes who are running the chicken coop?) the continued media and regulatory agencies' untruthful distortion of this community as "anti-sewer," & etc, etc. . . . . now these UH, "interesting" Tribune Trial Balloon stories . . . . you'll have to pardon me if I keep a pound of salt at my side.

But thanks so much for checking in.

4crapkiller said...

To Anon 7:22 AM:

Your analysis of the situation is right on, however borders on a conspiricy theory. It is reasonable in light of curent actions by the board.

Where is the plan to lead us out of bankruptcy? What are they there for?

Above your comments is found the opinion of a REAL conspiricy advocate: Anon 1:52

The comparison of your realistic thought and his totally unfounded assumptions is comprable to a mature adult (you) and a dupped ten year old kid like the one at the war protest yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Mr. King,

Please make sure that the members of your committee are not using their committee position with the delusion of improving negotiation status with the RWQCB. This is not the purpose of the TAC.

Individuals do not have the power to negotiate with the RWQCB, and efforts to do so end up hurting citizens like me. When an individual tries to negotiate with the unscrupulous individuals on the RWQCB, they may be able to get a token benefit for their individual circumstances, but will be unlikely obtain any provisions that provide benefits to the community as a whole. Let lawyers negotiate. They have the necessary education and training.

Thank you

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

The problem with perception being reality is that no matter what happens, someone will claim that someone else's thumb was on the scale.

For example, some have claimed that TriW was the result of a biased site selection analysis.

For the life of me ... having read all the complaints ... I cannot find clear evidence of any bias save the at the time TriW was selected there was a perception on the part of some that a Park was something that we would want as a communty. While Ron and some others would claim otherwise, there was no groundswell of complaints about the park portion of the project back in 1998 or 2001.

I suspect that if the TAC suggest TriW with anything less than a unanimous vote, there will be many who claim a thumb was on the scale. If the TAC suggests any other site which is estimated to cost more than TriW (having factored in inflation and design costs) or take longer than TriW before we can hook up, others will complain of bias.

I expect that at some in our town would have a complaint with whatever the outcome. I also expect that some of those will try to make great hay over the matter and that they'll write blogs or file lawsuits or some such to continue the stall and delay and "hose Los Osos" plan.

It would be greatly unfortunate, but I've learned the best way to predict what will happen in Los Osos with respect to the sewer situation is to predict a continuation of Murphy's Lay ("if something can go wrong, it will").

Anonymous said...

Ann, could you be a little more specific on who you think is pulling the strings as far as editorial content in the Tribune. Is it the county telling them what to write? Is it Taxpayers Watch? (I remember other complaints by you concerning a bias toward THEM). Is this done through back-room, clandestine meetings? Do you have anything to back this up? E mails? Disgruntled employees? Witnesses? I'm just really curious when I read you and your cronies talk about the extent of the anti-Los Osos conspiracy. Can you possibly shed more light on it for me? And finally, how about Gail McPherson as a constant guest on Dave Conglinton's radio show. Free air time, from a person who says he trusts only you and Mcpherson concerning Los Osos. Is this a bias? Is this proper? Is this electioneering? Is this different from any story the Tribune or KSBY or whatever does?

Anonymous said...

Ann said:
"…or the possibility that the community can go its separate way and go with a self-bonded or BOOM project, & etc."

Heaven help us all if it comes to that. Maybe you Ann, can explain how that would work while we are busy paying fines to the Water Board for discharging past 2011, and as we have the usual obstructionists nit-picking endlessly over the minutia? Get real! Everyone in the PZ will be forced outta here under those conditions!

I keep feeling that the half truths, pie-in-the-sky promises by non-expert "sewer experts" have bitten you hard Ann. There is NO CHEAP SEWER! Our best chance is what the COUNTY can do for us with the big brass in Washington money-wise. We will have 4 choices from the County, with realistic financing options, not local snake oil options. One of those is our BEST chance for success, not something our lame (excluding Joe) CSD would honcho!

(Even if the County project turns out to be Orenco and their private financing, the County dealing with them [and all of the positives that come with a solvent, reliable govenment] would do a far better job at getting us the best deal.)

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of Shark Inlet campaigning for Tri-W when the guy should "recuse" himself from even opening his mouth about it. He is so disgustingly biased. He's gotta be on the payroll. Why?

Because there is absolutely NO reason why Tri-W should even be on the site menu -- not for "cost savings," "time savings" or "labor savings." You "save" absolutely nothing building a sludge factory in the middle of the town, when there are several viable alternatives out of town that cost HALF of Tri-W. What idiot would vote to kick themselves out of their own homes to build a monument to ignorance?

Only Sharky and his minions of bribe-trained Pandora-ites. Sharky, if you're not being paid to be an idiot, then you are an idiot AND a fool, because everyone else in your bottom-feeding food chain has already been paid off. Better get to the pay window before there's nothing left.

Forget about Tri-W. Try thinking about a Tri-Tip sandwhich instead. That's about as close as you'll ever get, Sharky.

As for TAC, I compliment the blogger who pointed out that TAC is inside of STACKED. It's just the lastest insult to the community. Apparently, Noel King only wants people on the committee who think just like he does -- no dissent, only "yes" people. Whoever makes it easier for him and the county to slide through with the gravity monster and encounter the least resistance from community watchdogs.

Well it won't work. Every deception is an invitation to vote NO on 218.
Only an idiot (Sharky and the Greed Machine) would vote YES on 218 to tax themselves (you and me) out of our homes. The truth is a lot clearer to see and a lot easier to digest than a thicket of dollar-store lies.

Figure It Out

4crapkiller said...

Ann Says:

"The real problem in Los Osos is this: Perception IS reality. And I understand well that there's a whole lot of hidden agendas at work even as I write."

"Mr. King, There is a sound reason why the paranoia level here in Los Osos is very, very high."


The way crapkiller sees it is that there are a few paranoid people in Los Osos with toxoplasmosis leading to warped perception. Alarmists and nihilists. You are one.

We all should be very thankful that some sensible people are actually trying to get us out of a self imposed impossible situation.

Ann Calhoun just keeps feeding these perceptions. Shame on Ann. Her writings just serve to undermine our system of laws. Get real Ann. Wake up!

Shark Inlet said...

To our anonymous friend of 6:02pm.

It seems like you don't care for TriW. That is fine.

It would be great if you would explain why it would be better to go with another site and treatment technology that will cost us more.

Until you provide a justification for your claim that out of town will cost half what TriW does I'll just have to reject that claim as nonsense. Even the Ripley report (once one reads it carefully and factors in things like inflation) pretty clearly tells us that their out of town plan will cost us more than TriW.

Even though I don't believe you (yet) I would be very happy if what you say is true. I would prefer an out-of-town plant if it doesn't cost much more than TriW. If the cost is much higher (and no one has ever been able to provide a reasonable argument that it won't), TriW would be better for our community.

Perhaps the difference here is that I care about my friends and neighbors and their ability to actually pay their sewer bills and I am afraid that the out-of-town numbers don't look good but you seem to have blind faith that we'll save money by choosing another site.

Perhaps you should carefully consider these things before reaching a rash conclusion about what is best.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:02pm said:
"You "save" absolutely nothing building a sludge factory in the middle of the town, when there are several viable alternatives out of town that cost HALF of Tri-W."

Want to post something here that would support that anon?

Anonymous said...

Just the facts Anon 6:02. We're all waiting for your proof that out of town is cheaper. Because if you can provide it, count me on board. Out of town AND cheaper I can most definitely support wholeheartedly!!

Anonymous said...

By the way, anon 6:02, if you cannot support what you have said, I will assume you have your own reasons for wanting to move the plant out of town - (maybe you are a developer?) - that the cost statement is just propaganda with no figures to prop it up.

Anonymous said...

By the way, anon 6:02, if you cannot support what you have said, I will assume you have your own reasons for wanting to move the plant out of town - (maybe you are a developer?) - that the cost statement is just propaganda with no figures to prop it up.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know what qualifies Karen Venditti (or anyone else) for being on the Tac, go to the SLO County website and read the applications. BTW, she has worked extremely hard for us for several years and does know the stuff when it comes to grant and funding opportunities.

Anonymous said...

We will save money by doing a different technology out of town. Let the County do it for God's sake.

Anonymous said...

What the county isn't telling us is that they have a $200 million figure for the assessment which doesn't include roads, hook-up charge (thousands more), sludge hauling, and many, many other charges. They are refusing to look at anything other than big pipes in or out of town. A ridiculous project, but of course the higher the price, the more people they can force out of town. Counties do big projects. End of story.

For the county not to interview or pick Dr. Alexander, Dr. Reuhr, or Judge Goldin -- but pick a janitor instead, says everything.

Anonymous said...

We will not be paying for roads. Go check the Townhall meeting from December and listen to Rosie - stop your rants Al.
REVOLUTION

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45, how in hell do you kow what the county is or isn't doing? What kind of "privleged" information do you have? If you have anything more than opinion, conjecture or paradoid theory, pleae share.

Churadogs said...

anonymous sez:"Ann, could you be a little more specific on who you think is pulling the strings as far as editorial content in the Tribune. Is it the county telling them what to write? Is it Taxpayers Watch? (I remember other complaints by you concerning a bias toward THEM). Is this done through back-room, clandestine meetings? Do you have anything to back this up? E mails? Disgruntled employees? Witnesses? I'm just really curious when I read you and your cronies talk about the extent of the anti-Los Osos conspiracy. Can you possibly shed more light on it for me?

That's a question for the Editor. Part of the problem with the Trib has been the constant turnover of reporters assigned to this beat -- young folks without a lot of experinece (I liken sending a reporter to Los Osos as the same as sending them into a War Zone. a place you need your best and brightest, not your youngest and less experiencednot to mention that this story is sooooooo complicated that it's really hard to tell straight without seven thousand pages of footnotes for each statement of fact) plus high turnover in reporters ensures that there's no continuity and, most important, no institutional memory. Then, there's laziness. If you read the final paragraphs on almost any story, they plug in boilerplate that is often untrue or misleading, full of buzz-words that are misleading that never get corrected, so they keep appearing and reappearing like a bad penny. That's all a form of expediency when you're running on a tight budget and have no money for any investigative reporting, which, of course, is another huge problem -- no budget for any investigaative journalism. There have been and remain so many big questions about what hapened here that remain uncovered by the Newspaper of Record. I'm not talking wing-nut "conspiracies," just run of the mill screwups by governmental agencies that usually are fodder for Big Town Newspapers. Here, we get front page pictures of Kids At A Fair or Sunsets Over The Ocean, instead. & So forth.

Anaon also sez:" And finally, how about Gail McPherson as a constant guest on Dave Conglinton's radio show. Free air time, from a person who says he trusts only you and Mcpherson concerning Los Osos. Is this a bias? Is this proper? Is this electioneering? Is this different from any story the Tribune or KSBY or whatever does?"

Different? Indeed. Dave Congalton is a OPINION/TALK SHOW HOST, not a reporter. He's the equivalent of me, a Newspaper OPINION COLUMNIST.

Reporter vs OPINION COLUMNIST or TALKSHOW OPINION HOST

HUGE difference, but one an awful lot of people don't seem to understand.

As for Dave's statement that he finds both Gal and I to be credible on issues dealing with Sewerville, if you wonder why, you need to ask him. I'm sure he'd tell you his reasons.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

If it's so problematic to have anything less than the most seasoned reporter on the Los Osos sewer issue, why did you promote the New Times article a week or so ago which was written by someone who clearly hadn't bothered to take the time to understand the complexity of the issues and seemed to get all her information from Gail.

4crapkiller said...

Ann Says:

"As for Dave's statement that he finds both Gal and I to be credible on issues dealing with Sewerville, if you wonder why, you need to ask him. I'm sure he'd tell you his reasons.
8:35 AM, March 19, 2007"

It seems to me that it is simply a matter of "birds of a feather, flocking together". I doubt that Dave would ever ask hard questions of anyone he agreed with and play the devil's advocate. In the opinion game, it is important to have your opinions backed up by others with the same opinion. REGARDLESS of the FACTS!