Saturday, May 19, 2007

So The Phone Rings About 12:50 a.m. Last Night

And I wake up and think, Now who in the world would be calling at this wildly inappropriate hour? The answering machine holds the answer and a message. It's Citizen Al Barrow who informs me, among other things in his rather muddled ramble, that I "should join the idiots in the looney bin because you are one of them," [Done! I already live in Los Osos] and that I am "such a deep piece of trash." [What? You don't like my socks?]

His message also imforms me that he took Thursday night's CSD meeting to Censure him "very seriously."

A hint, Mr. Barrow. Had you taken even a small percentage of the comments given at that meeting seriously, indeed, had you paid attention to the very point of the meeting itself, had you listened to people who claimed to be your friend who were nonetheless appalled at your behavior, even offered to help you find better ways to cope, you would not be calling people in the middle of the night to inform them that they're deep pieces of trash. You'd at least wait until after 8 a.m. and they'd had a chance to have their first cup of coffee before you start making your phone calls.

Sadly, this early morning attempt at Mau-Mauing also tells me that Mr. Barrow still hasn't had his Dr. Phil moment, that he has not taken any of this to heart, has learned nothing, has not owned up to what he's done and continues to do, has not resolved to stop this kind of crap, and so I find it impossible to believe that he took any of this seriously since he is back to calling people names on their answering machines in the middle of the night.

Well, Darn. And all this after I and others at the meeting urged the Board to not Censure Mr Barrow but instead find other ways of dealing with his often appalling behavior. Now we've all got to wonder whether the citizens were wrong and the Board was right all along.


Anonymous said...

Al's threats in the middle of the night can be frightening.

Lack of real consequences for intimidating behaviors is why Al continues with this childish behavior. The real question is whether he needs a jail cell or luxury accommodations at Atascadero State Hospital.

Law enforcement will not do anything until he seriously injures or kills someone.

After all, intimidation is sanctioned in LO. The RWQCB is the most recent example.

Anonymous said...

Are you ready for this? Al's new legal advisor is already to help the poor fellow who was given such a well planned public whipping by our righteous Board.

After all Barrow has done for (to?) this CSD and community, why are we so ignorant that we can't see how right his Plan has been all along. Al has worked years to make sure Los Osos has the very best sewer and treatment plant in the world. We just don't deserve him. After he sues the CSD, he will just have to move on to a more deserving community. Boy, am I going to miss him.

Ann, I have to agree with you that Al will not change. It was very telling when he offered his sympathies rather than an apology. The man can not and will not change. He is a danger to this community. One day he will injure or kill someone and we will hear once again how we just have to accept his behaviour and his sympathies. Until then, apparently the authorities can do nothing as he is somehow protected under his right to free speech.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has a theory that there is such a thing as too much public involvement in governmental processes. After a clear designated opportunity for citizens to provide focused input on specific business matters, the elected governmental officials and their professional staff should take it from there.

Anything other than this approach results in either (a) no public involvement at all, or (b) decision making gridlock. Los Osos is a poster child for the latter.

Also, unfortunately, the Al Barrows of the world are all to common by-products of such a process.

Anonymous said...


There has been about 5 years of the excess of Public Involvement!

We are at gridlock. The wheels have come off the CSD, the WWTF project is no longer this CSD's responsibility. The community activists are at each others throats. The creditors are tired of the delays in any attempt to resolve the bankruptcy. The Al Barrow theater of the absurd was just another few days distraction. The RWQCB meanwhile is laying back watching this dysfunctional community wallow in over analyzing and hand wringing attempts to create it's own world order. Isn't it great to be such a powerful force that government authority is afraid to take action to save us from ourselves?

Shark Inlet said...

Perhaps there should be a test that one needs to pass before one is allowed to make public comment. The three sections for the Los Osos test would be A. government and process, B. history and laws and C. Science and Finances.

Honestly, folks who are missing an understanding of any of the above will be able to offer only misinformed opinion that will at best distract from the real questions and at worse, cause further division in our town.

Mike Green said...

Unfortunately, I think Al would be able to pass that test easily.
Again I ask, is there any reason the "general"
public comment session could't be held at the start of the meetings?
Then on to specific agenda items with comment only allowed on the agenda item itself.
After reading Ann's last blog, I want to take back my previous statement about shutting Al up.
He should shut up , and stay shut up.

Back to your test, how well do you think the editors of the Triv would do?

Anonymous said...

Boy are you posters right on. I've contacted the county and asked if it is necessary to hold public comment at every TAC meeting. This is not community involvement. It is a circus of the same people getting up, sometimes 4 or 5 times at the same meeting, doing their schtick. This cannot be helping the process move on at an expeditious pace. It is counterproductive, and as we've seen, quite embarrassing as well.

Anonymous said...

There are two gangs running Los Osos -- the Dreamers and the Movers.

Both are just that -- GANGS. Each is led by a con or ex-con. You gotta have that experience to qualify. There has to be an enforcer to hold the gang together. There has to be chains that bind.

Each gang has their own special ways of killing. Each is incredibly rude, stupid, arrogant, blind, self-righteous and vicious, and each believes the means justifies the end. Anything to win: lying is a given. The rules are quite clear: Wage no peace.

Each gang points to the other as the reason for the violence -- verbal, in your face, behind your back, in the middle of the night and in broad daylight. The Dreamers dress in blue to invoke the sky and sea, and wave the Tri-W flag. The Dreamers claim green for the earth and air, and wave a farmland flag of grain.

But make no mistake about it -- these are both gangs, no different, no better than two packs of wolves fighting for turf anyway they can.

Oh, there are 14,000 people who live in this town who are caught in the middle of this gang warfare. This is how much both sides care about the people they pretend to represent, when all they are doing is exploiting the people to push their own sordid, egomanical agendas.

This is the town you made. Now live in it.

Anonymous said...

I think there is some truth in the above post. However, it is not helpful to dwell on it. Let the majority of the folks here, not the extremists on the ends, be the focus of the current process. We need to get this done. Focus on the process, not on each other.

Anonymous said...

this war has more than two gangs. The RWQCB and the county are also gangs that have established ties to the community. These are the gangs with the power, and have yet to be convicted for their crimes. Their leaders have the power to distort the truth or leave the country to avoid answering to their crimes.

We also have a huge group of people that just want a solution that will protect the water and the environment and attempt to achieve sustainabiliy, all without driving us out of our homes.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 11:22 PM, May 19, 2007 said:

"I think there is some truth in the above post. However, it is not helpful to dwell on it. Let the majority of the folks here, not the extremists on the ends, be the focus of the current process. We need to get this done. Focus on the process, not on each other."

Yes, there is truth to the post above. But rather than run from it, it IS very helpful to dwell upon it. The "majority of the folks" will NOT find justice in the process. The process is rigged. That's the point. The majority of the town has no voice. They are indeed caught in the crossfire. The gangs control Los Osos and the so-called "process," which is nothing more than a euphemism for "official" manipulation of the majority without their knowledge or consent.

Only by dwelling on it and realizing who we have become will be ever be able to step outside ourselves and see that we are the extremists that we accuse others of being and we are the Bloods and the Crypts of Los Osos because we choose to be, not because "somebody" makes us.

Anonymous said...

Ann, I enjoy your posts but avoid the comments section like the plague. It just seems like the same few people making the same arguments ad nauseam. Tonight, I couldn’t resist. With respect, I must say that I completely disagree with your last two posts. You portray Al Barrow as a completely normal, lucid, coherent, “normal” individual who is using a tactic(“Mau-Mauing”) to advance his agenda and get his own way. Like a child or a 4th grader who throws a tantrum when things don’t go their way. Believe me, I like so many others in this community have been on the receiving end of Al Barrows fury. I’ve also had first hand experience dealing with a family member and a friend who suffer from Bipolar(Manic-Depressive) disorder. If you had any experience whatsoever dealing with mental illness, you might have a better understanding and be a bit more sensitive to what is going on here. Al Barrow exhibits the classic signs of someone afflicted with a Bipolar/Manic-Depressive mental disorder. People who suffer from this affliction can appear to be completely normal and under control and are most of the time. But, the slightest trivial comment or action will flip a switch in their head that causes them implode with fury, paranoia, and rage. In my opinion based on my experience, Al Barrow is afflicted with a serious mental illness. Al isn’t even close to being this side of normal and when he snaps like a cracker, believe me, it is not intentional. Believe me, when Al loses control it’s not a tactic, it’s a medical condition. It’s his mental illness on display. He alluded to his condition in his public comment. You scoff at Al’s admission of having a mental disorder by saying; “having that kind of personality” is now a disorder that appears in medical texts?”. Well Ann, if you were afflicted with a Bipolar/Manic Depressive disorder, is this something you would want to go into detail about in front the T.V. camera with the whole Community watching? The sad thing is that Al probably doesn’t have adequate health insurance to treat his mental illness. Dr. Phil can’t help Al Barrow. Publicly humiliating him by adopting a resolution to censure him will not cure his mental illness. What Al probably needs is serious therapy and medication which he doesn’t appear to be getting.
I guess the question that remains is, does Al’s mental illness give him a free pass or an excuse to fly of the handle and interrupt public meetings by acting like a raving lunatic?
The answer is NO. No way.
But, publicly humiliating a handicapped person afflicted with a mental illness over which they have no control by censuring them is not the solution.
As you pointed out at Thursday nights meeting Ann, there are clear guidelines for dealing with Al Barrow or anybody else for that matter, sane or insane, that can’t control themselves and is disruptive to the process. The President first issues a warning. If the disruptive and unacceptable behavior continues, the President asks the offender to leave the building. If the malcontent refuses to leave, the President calls the sheriff. I like Chuck Cesena. I think he’s done a fantastic job as our LOCSD President. But, the LOCSD completely over stepped its bounds with this resolution to censure and I hate to say it’s in part a result of Chuck’s resistance to enforce the rules of decorum. I’m not sure a sheriff escort will help Al either but, it would surely restore order to the meeting at hand.

Churadogs said...

Anonymous sez:"What Al probably needs is serious therapy and medication which he doesn’t appear to be getting."

You mention that Al likely can't afford medical insurance. Who can? But he noted he was on disability, which means he qualifies for help that many of us aren't elegible for. But what if that "medication and/or serious therapy" is available but refused? Then what? I listened very carefully to what Al said. I saw a man blaming others (she was rude to me so he [had a right]to blow up at her, she pushed him first, good manners often hide evil actions so I'll demonstrate my good actions by being rude (a wierd convoluted "explantion" that ignored the fact that people with goodmanners can also be good, & etc. I did not see someone ready or willing to simply accept responsibility and make a committment to change. Bi-Polar people, unless they're at the severe arcs of the illness are not delusional. They often are in complete denial of their condition. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict, that denial is part of the disease and is one of the most difficult things to break through. Al acknowledged a problem at that meeting, so he's not in denial in that sense, but he's in deep denial in so far as he is willing to make a committment to himself to stay well by using a variety of strategies. Until he makes a committment to the well man inside the sick man, then I see no possibility for change. As for Mau-Mauing being a tactic. If Al suffered from Tourettes, for example, that malady can be modified but remains out of control all the time. But Al's dust ups are curious as to time and place and who he's Mau-Mauing. For example, did he blow up at Assemblyman Blakeslee in person a year ago? No, he scared a young female aide-de-camp, a person no doubt inexperienced, easily intimidated. Does he go to Lois Capps' office and holler in her face? Supervisor Gibson? CEO's of various internaitonal and national wastewater companies? He's been to gazillions of meetings filled with gazillions of flash-point triggers, yet doesn't fly off the handle all the time. So, why these particular places with these particular people? As far as I can see, it's entirely possible to suffer from a mental illness for which I have nothing but sympathy and still knowingly engage in inappropriate behavior as a tactic. It's an unacceptable tactic and it can be separated away from the person himself, which is what almost all the speakers at the CSD meeting were trying to do. Far from being a bunch of meanies, people in this community were reaching out to Al. But they were also asking for a minimum level of behavior change. I don't think that request is too much to ask for.

Anonymous said...

Excellent response, Ann.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Ann. Excellent response. Quite obviously Los Osos doesn't just have the greatest per capita contingent of sewer experts in the world, but it also has the greatest amount of pshycologists as well. The apologists in this community are laughable.

4crapkiller said...


This old lady has never heard the expression "deep piece of trash". Do you think Al Barrow was able to invent this expression?

At last I have finally learned SOMETHING from YOU on this blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, Al needs to be re-evaluated. He stated at the meeting that he did NOT take meds. because he did NOT want to be a "zombie". Perhaps, he was over medicated in the past. With newer psych. meds on the market now, Al would probably benefit by a re-evaluation & giving one of the newer meds. a try. Couldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

What Mr. Barrow seems to suffer from is more on the order of "EXPLOSIVE DISORDER", which is different than "bi-polar" disorder. In any event, when the individual has an "outburst", it is very frightening to say the least. Another blogger on this site was absolutely correct, that he needs to try some of the newer psych. meds. Perhaps San Luis Mental Health could help him with that. He could be evaluated, get therapy & get on the proper psych meds.

Anonymous said...

How dangerous could an unsupervised individual with an untreated "EXPLOSIVE DISORDER" be? By his own admission, he doesn't take medications.

Anonymous said...

I saw Al walking on the beach out on the Baywood point. He looked dejected. He talked at length about his plight. I felt sympathy for him. somehow I too had lost a part of myself a while back when Al left a very disturbing message to me on my phone after I was asked to be on the derailed septic tank management plan. I asked myself the same questions about Al. I almost dropped off the committee. Al, more than us, knows he sabotages himself by his outbursts, but so many years of discounting his behaviors as trivial has left us without a yardstick to judge what is normal by. The LOCSD just hiccuped our collective angst. I have no answers. Part of me empathizes with him.

Anonymous said...

It's all shocking, what the CSD did, especially after a retired judge advised (41 years of legal experience) - besides isn't Ann Khudart an ex-marine? I hardly think she was afraid of Al. Isn't all this a big distraction from the big picture? Al is right about the blank check and Orenco. Isn't this all so convenient to dismiss what he has to say?

Would any of you want to be treated like Al was treated by the CSD?

Anonymous said...

Why would the CSD dismiss what he had to say? They have suported him and his ideas all along.

Anonymous said...

I'm no longer an ex-soldier, I'm in my 60's and I have to say Al Barrow goes beyond making me nervious. That man seems to have all the potential to pull out a pistol and start firing just because he didn't hear or he didn't like what someone said or he just was frustrated.

Now that the CSD has singled him out, he has all the frustration he needs to have lit his final fuse.

Anonymous said...

Churadogs says: "But, in this day and age of armed citizens, you never do know at what point that "legal" line will be crossed."

You are absolutely correct, Ann. And that is exactly why the citizens of Los Osos stay away from public meetings in droves.

I had to laugh at some of the comments at Thursday's meeting. Particularly amusing was Chuck Cessena's acknowledgement of the challenges faced by the previous boards with regard to controlling the climate of the CSD meetings.

As he was one of the MANY people who criticized the use of the gavel, and the presence of law enforcement in the room, it's ironic that he appears to have finally realized that's what it takes to maintain order in Los Osos.

The "kinder, gentler" route just doesn't fly in the loony bin by the sea. I haven't attended a meeting since the Sheriff was sent packing by the post-recall board, and won't return until he comes back. The sight of Al Barrow sporting his "personality" problem and a trench coat during a public meeting causes me to be afraid, and I'm no wallflower. Nor am I comfortable around Keith Swanson when he's having one of his little tizzy fits either.

Mock us all you want, but Al, in particular, causes a great number of citizens serious concern, which is why we don't attend meetings anymore.

Call me a coward if you want, but I hope your literal wakeup call this morning allows you to understand a little better where may of us are coming from.

Anonymous said...

To 2:22AM,

Sure....wait and see. You need to pay attention to what is really happening with this CSD.

Anonymous said...

What? Do you mean that they may actually work on resolving the BANKRUPTCY?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 2:22 on 5-21, I have to agree with you about Ann Kudart...Hell, she's way bigger than Al & outweighs him by at least 75 lbs. She's one tough ex-marine.

Anonymous said...

Correction, that was to 11:02 PM on May 20 NOT 2:22 on 5-21. Sorry

Anonymous said...

And now one of the "thugs in the back" calls very early in the morning and calls her a "deep piece of trash". Of course she has always supported her positions in the "move the sewer contriversy".

Had she been a supporter of continuing our legally permited and financed project, and been just as outspoken, maybe it would not have been a early morning comment and an insult.

The chicken always comes back to roost. Get a shotgun, Ann, the cops will never arive in time. They never do. Lock your doors and windows!

Anonymous said...

What a crock.

I worked with a bi-polar. This guy's desk was 6 feet from mine. I saw him struggling with a jammed stapler one day, and offered an extra that I had on my desk. BOOM!!!! This guy went ballistic.

He was also found babbling out in the middle of a major business street in town.

He wouldn't admit to having a problem, and wouldn't take his meds. Maybe Al thinks he doesn't have a problem, and he, also refuses to take his meds. BOOM!!!

Everyone is the problem, except the bi-polar!

That being said, I would like to address the issue of the so-called "gangs" in LO.

What a bunch of spin. The NS and MTS people actually imported muscle from Orange County, who along with the drunks and crazy bullies in the back kept the ordinary citizen from wanting to go up to the podium, lest they be assaulted in the parking lot by Keith.

The Save the Dream folks (I am not a member) just wanted to get on with it.

In reality, the Dreamers were right. We should have just built the damn thing. We would be almost online by now; not watching costs escalating all the while the BOD (run by the Cellulite Twins) goes bankrupt, the WWP project goes to the County, and we have no idea of what the hell we are going to end up with.

And, concerning the LOCSD staff member who felt threatened by Al Barrow:

Since WHEN does anybody have the RIGHT to come into a public building and act in a THREATENING manner to ANY PUBLIC EMPLOYEE?

I don't give a damn if Ann Kudart is a 7 foot tall Samoan wrestler. She should NOT put up with the likes of crazy Al, and all his imitadation.


Los Osos, are you so deranged as to think this?

Anonymous said...

Who amongst the "Move the sewer" group made telephone death threats to members of the recalled LOCSD board of directors? Ann would hope she would be exempt. Not likely, there are nut cases. You can listen to them on a regular basis. Who in their right mind would write bidding contractors explaining possible ramifications of their bid? Nut cases!

And who would not write a powerful article decrying these actions? Scared old lady?

Ann: welcome to reality through a phone message. You are worried about the county process, and fingers on the scale?

Change your socks!

Anonymous said...

If Ann had a problem in the office with Al, then why didn't she call the police? Where were the other over-paid, over-fed women? Were they on break? Was there only one person there?

Get over it. Al has never harmed anyone. People have beat up on Al, trashed his car, got him kicked out of his rental house, etc.

Al's behavior has been bad, and maybe he'll learn from this, but this whole thing has been blown up to destroy his message, and it is wrong. He wants an affordable sewer...kill the messenager!

Chuck, Julie, and Lisa lied. They worked on this Al thing since the previous CSD meeting (according to BWS attorney) and Chuck said he only knew about the agenda item that day. Liars all. Losers all.

Anonymous said...

to anon 8:44pm

if it weren't for Taxpayers Watch a.k.a Save the Dream a.k.a The Solutions Group,

Anonymous said...

Yup, you are just starting to understand the effects of liars.

Al has had a powerful message: step/steg is best regardless of what anyone else thinks of it.

But to get his step/steg system in place he has contributed to the rape of Los Osos. He was the only person that I have ever heard bragg about the amount of money he has cost the LOCSD (read property owners).

The county will decide.

To Anon 9:52: What problem? What over paid, over fed women? Who has beat up on Al?

Yes, he wants an affordable sewer. What is affordable: $10 a month?

I want a new Caddilac for $10 a month! Fat chance!

Shark Inlet said...

To our 10:07pm friend ...

You're pretty close. The payments would probably have been a bit more than $50/month but certainly a hell of a lot less expensive than what TriW would have ended up.

But then I do have to wonder whether you're discounting the role the various TriW foes played in the cost escalation. After all, had CCLO/LOTTF/CASE and others not tried to stall and delay at every opportunity and even try to get contractors to not bid, ensuring the costs go up and up and up, the TriW costs would have been considerably lower.

Certainly more than what the County was going to provide us, but it hardly seems fair to blame one group for the result of the actions of the other group.

Even so ... the question we have before us is this ... will we support the County in a 218 vote? If not, I am afraid that the Los Osos SNAFU will continue but we'll not have the County to help us. I suspect that the State would just step in then and impose their own solution without regard to any public input and they'll leave us the bill, no matter how high.

Anonymous said...

Shark Inlet,

You SUSPECT that the State would step in? What??

The State Water Board can't. Who in the state can? Can you clarify? I'd like to know what you're talking about! I think you are completely wrong about this from the people I've spoken to about it (even the Dept. of Water Resources couldn't.)

Anonymous said...

We COULD support the county's 218 IF they'd get the 218 right. Many homeowners can NOT vote yes until they know the exact cost to them, and the county would have to pick a project first in order to do that. They won't, so there's no way for the homeowner to really know his true cost. There will be layers of assessments after this 218 and many, many added costs and fees. I guess the sky is the limit as far as the county is concerned.

The county COULD pick a project for $50 to $100 million, but seem stuck on a monster project (probably out of town now.) How stupid! And how horrible for us homeowners who have to pay for bad decision making!!!!

Anonymous said...

What evidence is there that the county is "stuck" on a monster project? My impression has been that the TAC is looking at a variety of alternatives albeit in an out of town, more rural location.

Shark Inlet said...

Like the state stepped in to take the project from the LOCSD and give it to the County, they could yet again step in (via legislation) and give the project formally to the SWRCB (or whomever they want) who could then hire engineers and contractors and get the job done. I am sure they wouldn't want the job, but if there is a need and if the LOCSD is defunct and the County tried and failed, I am sure that they would be willing if ordered to by the legislature and governator.

Special legislation can really cut thru the standard red tape that would keep things from happening.

As to what sort of project we'll end up getting ... the only reason to go with TriW over out of town is if inflation and design costs of an out of town system would make it far more expensive than TriW.

If the RWQCB is going to stick to their denitrification requirement (which they will even with Ag-exchange because we'll need to denitrify the wastewater not used for AG) the project will be labeled a "monster project" or a "mega sewer" or an "unaffordable sludge factory" or some such.

For better or worse, it is the denitrification bugaboo that is causing all the problem here. Ponding won't do it and the treatment methods that will are expensive.

Because of this I would guess that any out of town conceptual plan will be viewed as better by the County ... because it is out of town ... but will also cost more than TriW which won't require as much design costs and time (which means inflation which means additional costs).

As I've been saying for about two years now ... would you rather pay more for out of town or less for TriW? Both are reasonable opinions. The unfortunate thing is that we're now in the position where we need to decide between two horrible options. Had the move the sewer folks (CCLO/LOTTF/CASE/etc.) done a cost analysis of the various options before raising a stink they would have found out that the previous board had been correct ... that by 2004 the die had been cast and any attempt to "move the sewer, no matter what it costs" would essentially raise our costs whether the sewer is moved or not.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:35,
You'll find Anon 10:16 all over these blogs spreading misinformation and outright lies to try to sabotage a 218 vote. It won't work, but it shows the lengths people will go to avoid paying for a project in Los Osos. Beware, because the closer the vote gets, the more the no/move the sewer contingent will ramp up the lies.

Anonymous said...

I think the 218 vote will pass even though a campaign will be mounted against it. There are more property owners that support the county than do not. I also don't think the county "fix" is in. They are getting pressure from all sides and are doing their best to bring us a project. It will be some kind of conmpromise for many people but the property owners want it. I also think that this time around, with a comprehensive analysis being done, that TRIW won't pass muster. This time around it will have competition. This is our chance to doo-doo it right.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone hear on the BOS today that Sullivan and PZLDF are representing the 4400 households in the PZ, along with the CSD.....
Is that legal to even assert that?

Anonymous said...

I saw that part of the meeting today too. Nobody has called my house or written a letter to ask me to support this. I can't imagine this could be legal! Maybe Ms. Sullivan needs to have a little talk with Gail as to what she can or cannot assert in front of the public. This makes me nervous - I am NOT fighing the Water Board and do not want someone I do not know talking in front of the BOS to say in essence that I am supporting this fight.

4Crapkiller said...

I look upon many of those supporting the PZLDF (Gail McPherson) as the same people that caused this sewer mess (obstructionists). I certainly do NOT want to be associated with or represented by Sullivan or the PZLDF. I want nothing to do with McPherson.

Gail McPherson has done nothing for our community except raise false hope. She was part of the recall movement. She encouraged the stopping of the sewer project, and brought forth the problem of fines, loss of low interest loan, bankruptcy, insolvency, and CDOs.

And now, when everything she has told us in the past, including the defense of CDOs, has been wrong, it seems a very severe leap of faith to listen to and believe ANYTHING she has to say. Sort of like Joey Racano.

If Sullivan was truely a pro bono attorney, taking the risk of failure of her legal arguements on her own account, I might feel otherwise. But apparently she is in this to get paid, and she will get paid even though she loses. In the meantime "pie in the sky" will not hack it. We need a sewer. Delay is expensive.

Anonymous said...

This is troubling to me as well. I suppose PZLDF has an e mail address, as does Ms. Sullivan. I will contact them immediately for clarification concerning their assertion that they represent ME to the BOS, or the water board, or to anyone for that matter.

Anonymous said...

To Crapkiller...Hello, Crappy! Everything you have said is absolutely correct! McPherson, has lost ALL CREDIBILITY. It's beyond my comprehension why the LOCSD BOD still turns to her for "advice". All they get from her are a pack of lies. Her ideas of technology are obsolete & her "management skills" are totally NON-EXISTANT. Read her Riverside resume' & weep. She is a CON ARTIST. Her LATEST "advice" to the BOD to publicly humiliate Al Barrow is a classic example of "HER STYLE". It's got HER name written all over it!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too am sick of Ms. McPherson. Her "winner takes all attitude" does not sit well with me. It reminds me of other people who have claimed they could "save us" from the county and indeed, from ourselves. This CSD board would be well-advised to follow their own hearts rather than follow her. She seems to have some kind of mesmerizing effect over them. It's weird and it continues to make me uncomfortable. And apparently Dave Congalton is in love with her!

Anonymous said...

I had some of the same questions and so I picked up the phone and called Ms. Sullivan. We had a very interesting conversation, I learned a lot and hope people don't panic over Gail's comments. There does need to be some clarification in how the statements were made but Ms.Sullivan made it very clear to me as a home owner in the PZ, that she is not representing the individual home owners unless they talk with her first.
She was very professional and I appreciated her taking the time to fill me in. I explained that I was calling to reduce my personal speculations and if asked any questions, I could send people in the direction that would work for them.
Meanwhile, have a great evening.
Maria M. Kelly

Anonymous said...

Thank you Maria. That was helpful.

Mike Green said...

Maria, Great post !Thanks for going the extra effort.
Is the finet screening report done yet?

Anonymous said...

I honestly think that this time the county will do it. Let's support them and the TAC!

Anonymous said...

What exactly are luxury accomadations at ASH?

Anonymous said...

To Shark Inlet,

You are way off here. Don't you remember what happened???

First of all it was LAFCO who gave two options to our CSD. Option A: give it over to the county and Option B: the CSD to work with the county. This was under duress of the dissolution by the way.

Our CSD chose option B, but the county took it over completely anyway.

It took Sam Blakeslee to get the project to the county.


Try again! about mis-information!

Anonymous said...

Now let's see if we all understand this; If the 218 fails, the CSD gets the sewer project back. But the CSD is bankrupt with no way fnance a sewer. The State is powerless to step in. The No-Sewer folks parade around town waving "We Won" banners. The Dreamers slink off into the Merrymaker. Pretty soon everyone is happy and singing Kumbaya.

Is that about it?

Anonymous said...

Gonna take alot of liquor to make Kumbaya happen. But hey, whatever works.

How about: The 218 fails, the CSD gets the project, and we all agree to upgrade our septics and do the step/steg kumbaya? Constructed wetlands? 21st century technology? Recycle? Solar? Leave the politics out and get on with what would be appropriate for 5000 lots?

This our chance folks. We could do a really great small project. We don't need a huge project. Come on - if we make ourselves exclusive that will really bring the property values up. No kidding!

Or...the county gives us some reasonable options and we pass the 218 and the county by then knows what most folks want and then they proceed to get on with it.

If ANYTHING happens I'll be happy to join the festivities at the Scarimaker.

Anonymous said...

Oops I meant the MarriageBreaker (check Wickipedia under "Dive Bar")

Danny Lee said...

Question for all of you, If the homeowners in the "PZ" are the folks PAYING for whatever system we get, then tell me WHY, does the ENTIRE COMMUNITY (including Cabrillo Estates & east of town properties) get a vote on the 218? If the "PZ" folks are the only people "footing the bill" then the type, location, etc. should be left up to those of us PAYING FOR IT & NO ONE ELSE. NOT EVEN MCFLEECUS, oops, McPherson.


Anonymous said...

If the County's 218 Vote were to pass, the County would proceed at the direction of the Bd of Supervisors. Supposedly, but not guaranteed, the Supervisors could decide on any system and on any location, regardless of the advisory vote. The County Public Works Dept would then proceed into finished design and selection of contractors, and purchase of land and rights of way. They would also be pursueing grants and loans to finance the project.

If the County's 218 vote were to fail, the entire project would then be handed back to the CSD.

We would then be completely back to square one with no resolution to the bankruptcy and no consensus as to need for a sewer and only the step/steg system as a possible system. Location? Somewhere outside town? Funding would be non-existent although may obtain some grant and possibly a loan. The bankruptcy and fines would also have to be paid.

That leaves the State Water Board to rule on enforcement. Obviously if the County proceeds, the threat of enforcement remains only a legal threat. However, should the County hand the project back to the District, then what? Does the State sue the County for allowing the high density of septic tanks? Does the CSD sue the State to "prove" there is pollution from septic tanks? Does the State sue the individual property owners and place liens on the titles? Does the aquifier become unhealthy and unuseable? How long can a public works project be stalled? Can a small CSD design, fund and build a sewer after all the years of legal wrangling have made the cost to construct prohibitive without the Federal Govt taking over? How long will all this take?

It seems that the original system as designed would be have way completed and grants were being lined up until the troublesome halting of the project. But perhaps someone can put some realistic alternate project on the table. Or perhaps the County may if given a chance outside the political theater of Los Osos.

Anonymous said...

To: 8:16 P.M.

What if AB885 (finally) comes into play and we are able to upgrade our septic tanks. We should be able to comply with what the rest of the state does with homeowners and septic tanks.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that ORENCO, for example, can provide PRIVATE FINANCING...The system would be way more affordable & it would certainly be eco-friendly & sustainable. What's wrong with that? Let's get rid of the Government red tape.

Anonymous said...

Exactly who are these "no sewer" folks?

I'd really like to know who some of the bloggers are talking about.

It's a lie.

Every person I've spoken with wants (or at least understands that we have to put something in) a sewer, but want a sustainable, good, project.

What don't you people understand about that? Or is it really if you don't want or endorse big pipes - you're a "no sewer" person.....

Anonymous said...


The county cancelled our "advisory vote" ------

It's a "survey" now which means nothing!


More people better show up at the BOS meetings and let them know what is fair and right.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:01,

We should get away from the state completely. Half of all the wastewater projects in the state are NOT FUNDED BY THE SRF LOANS.

Wake up Los Osos! Do what half the state already does and get a company like Orenco to finance. They'll do it.

California law allows for the award of design-build contracts based on the best value in meeting the objectives of a project.

Anonymous said...

Right on Anon 10:08!

Orenco's project would comply with the RWQCB's timeline. There would be no fines. A project could been completed by 2011. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

If we did go with Tri-W, how many trucks full of sludge would be traveling through town each day? And where would they dump their load? Wouldn't building Tri-W be environmentally irresponsible? How can the county still have it on the table?

I would be happy with any system that was based on current knowledge and technology, and sound environmental principles.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of thoughts to mull over.

1. anon says, "It's my understanding that ORENCO, for example, can provide PRIVATE FINANCING...The system would be way more affordable…"

If you make that statement, you are making things up or passing on information that you have heard somewhere that has not been verified. Orenco clearly stated in their presentation last year that the $50 million that is referred to so often (urban legend #274) was for the collection system only.

You still have to pay for treatment and disposal or recharge. Orenco's pod system would cover 2.5 acres and cannot guarantee the level of nitrogen removal required by the RWQCB. Do you want to recharge the lower aquifer with a plant out of town? It won't be cheap to pipe all that water cleaned up to tertiary levels back into town to do that.

Private financing can be very tricky. Private financers are in business to make money. They will need to protect their investment. What sort of terms do you think that they will require for a CSD that is bankrupt, over a barrel for a quick fix, and with a town that is divided in half. if you guessed terms much like a credit card offer right after a bankruptcy, you would have guessed right. Then, they keep all the money that the plant makes for 25 years or so, then finally turn it back to the community - just in time for a major multi-million dollar overhaul!

2. There would be four trucks a week out of Tri-W. Multiple, daily sludge trucks? Urban legend #275.

Don't be fooled by a deal that seems too good to be true.

Anonymous said...

Golden State Water has a credit rating of A- and the best interest rate they can get is between 7 - 7 1/2%. The CSD has a credit rating of CCC. Do the math.

Anonymous said...

"It's my understanding that ORENCO, for example, can provide PRIVATE FINANCING...The system would be way more affordable…"

If this is indeed true, then where is the written proposal from Orenco?

Surely Orenco is just waiting to show the world that they have the perfect community waste treatment system and that they are willing to put their money on the line!

There are a "few" questions first:

Is Orenco guaranteeing the acceptance of design by the County? Does Orenco guarantee the nitrate removal will be acceptible to the State Water Board? Will we all have to pay to replace our concrete septic tanks with double walled, 5ft diameter by 12ft long fiberglass tanks? Is Orenco going to dig up the streets to install the "small" collection pipes to the "small" neighborhood pods? Won't there be a smell? Won't there have to be trucks hauling the waste away from the pods daily? How many pods will there be? Is Orenco guaranteeing the funding for both the tank replacement and the collection pods?

Is it true or wishful thinking?

Anonymous said...

The anti-sewer, anti-county, anti-218 propaganda is in full swing. If anyone who has lived in Los Osos for any time whatsoever believes the bullshit being thrown around about Orenco, or the project successfully going back to the CSD or private financing or whatever these people say, need to have their head examined. How many times are you going to fall for pie in the sky? Remember, these people will stop at nothing to delay a sewer being built in Los Osos.

Support the county. If this effort fails, and the project goes back to this bankrupt (in more ways than one) CSD, we are in for some bleak days ahead. Use history of this debacle as your guide and see if you don't come to the same conclusion. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting diferent results.

Anonymous said...

Obstruction is not the way to go. If you truly want a system to be built you must support the county. Our CSD can't do it. And people are so mad at them they won't let them do it. If we don't pass the 218 we are really up the crik.

Anonymous said...

So where is Ann. Is she huddled in her house with the doors and windows locked or did some "thug" get to her?

I hope she is OK. Perhaps the ramifications of the late night phone call has finally sunk in and she is "Out of Town".

Anonymous said...

Who is going to get some kind of comission from Orenco?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ann was posting on Ron's blog as of yesterday morning @ 6:30am.

Anonymous said...

Half of the state doesn't use the SRF funding. Hmmmmm.

There are too many strings attached to the State Water Board SRF.


Stop trying to fool everyone. The county is going to pick the big gravity system. If anyone thinks anything else, they're crazy and stupid. All the signs are there.

The disruption alone should make people think twice about putting in gravity. There are so many reasons not to do such an out-dated collection system, especially here in Los Osos.

The cost factor is another big reason not to put in gravity. I don't mind paying for a sewer but refuse to vote yes if it's for a big gravity system.

Anonymous said...

Once again, over and over and over again, I ask you Anon 6:50, offer proof of your wild accusations that the county is going to pick gravity. Everytime we ask you for proof, you never answer.

You do a great disservice to this community by your continual misinformation and outright lies. And your Orenco mantra leads me to beleive you just might be Al Barrow.

Anonymous said...

TO 6:57,

I've spoken to some county employees and other top people in this process and this is what I've been told.

Also, this is what Jeff Edwards wants. This is what Julie wants. This is fine with Chuck too and has told me so (he says he can afford it) and all the signs are there! If you can't see them, you are blind.

Does anyone really think the county took over the project to put in step? Come on!

You accuse me of lying, and I am not. I was told what I was told, and I see what I see.

The big lie is the dog and pony show from the county (and the waste of money to do so.)

You are the liar for saying that Tri-W (or the same thing out of town) will cost less. You know perfectly well what the county is going to do to the people of Los Osos, and that's why you're backing them.

I personally will not vote to be taxed out of my home. How stupid do you think we all are?

Anonymous said...

Well, the LOCSD did unanimously vote for the "Blakeslee Compromise" which was out-of-town with gravity. Why would Julie and Chuck vote for that if they REALLY want TRIW? I don't get it. Are they trying to appease the folks or what? Someone help me out here. My impression of Chuck has been that he supports STEP.

Anonymous said...

The county doesn't care where it is. They want the 218 to pass.

Anonymous said...

My but you make such perfect sense. Please provide a simple list of what it would take to put in a step/steg system and of course, provide costing. Please don't leave out the cost to remove the leaking concrete tank and install a new sealed one on eac property withn the PZ. We already have fairly accurate estimates that each tank installation would be around $20,000 to $30,000 depending on the landscape and concrete in the way.

Please estimate the cost of buying a "few" vacant lots to put the neighborhod "pods" on. And don't forget the street piping.

And since Orenco doesn't address the replenishment of the aquifiers, won't State water need to be purchased? Or maybe there will be a natural filtering out of the years of nitrate contaimination. Or is the nitrate not even a real problem?

Simply put, provide some kind of comparison that we can share and maybe then we'll develop the appreciation for Orenco that you do.

Oh yeah, could you tell us just why the State has not accepted step/steg for communities of 5,000 to 15,000 homs?

Since you sound like a renter, I can understand why you are afraid of any sewer being installed. But thanks to all the delays, you best be prepared for some substaintial increases in your rent.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:19,
So you use as your proof, your evidence that the county is going to pick gravity: "I've spoken to some county employees and other top people in this process and this is what I've been told?"

Wow. And I'm sure you can't "name names, right?

I don't think I need to say another word about your credibility.

And I'm not sure who you think I am, but I've never said Tri-W would cost less. I've never said anything would cost less because I'M WAITING FOR THE TAC's FINE SCREENING REPORT AND THE COUNTY PROCESS TO UNFOLD. Then I'll make an informed, intelligent decision.

You should try it. Al.

Mike Green said...

Anon pondered:
"I'M WAITING FOR THE TAC's FINE SCREENING REPORT AND THE COUNTY PROCESS TO UNFOLD. Then I'll make an informed, intelligent decision."

Where the heck is it? How about a progress report?

Anonymous said...

LOLOLOL AL? I think you could be right on the nose. I had that same thought when reading some of his crap a little earlier. Good call!

Anonymous said...

To 7:41PM:

This CSD board voted for the compromise which was the same gravity system out of town. This was only 30 days after the recall.

The CSD, not of them, wanted TRI-W (well, maybe it was okay with John.)

Julie wants the plant moved out of town so Jeff can build around TRI-W. Lisa never wanted TRI-W (but was okay with the compromise.) Chuck said he can afford the big bill that the gravity will bring. He wouldn't be too bothered if it was gravity. He talks about step, but his actions and words say that he'll do whatever the county wants, afterall, he does work for the state, and the state wants the big gravity system because they want to feed WMH. Steve will go with anything the county wants and he too is a state employee.

Chuck was caught lying at the last CSD meeting with the Al situation (now AGP has pulled the CSD meeting off the air.) Anyone notice that?

Anonymous said...

It does look to me like the county will not do the Tri-W site. I don't think they can now.

So, of course, some say the county doesn't care where it is. The problem is WHAT it is!

How can they expect us to vote for something that we will not know what it is, especially when we've been "bait & switched" before.

We'll be voting for funding of a project that they (BOS) picks. It's just not right. We should be allowed to know WHAT we're voting for and HOW MUCH it's going to cost us (with liens on our homes.) That should include all the added costs that won't be on this 218 (like paving roads and such.)

Anonymous said...

My county contacts say the Tri-W site and WWTF as designed are still very much on the table. Step/Steg is turning out to be a mess finanacially.

Have a real nice night Al, consider moving back to Avila.

Anonymous said...

There is no TAC fine screening report. The TAC does not make a screening report. The TAC is not screening anything. They are doing a pro/con evaluation of the report. That's all. Too much is made of the TAC.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that so many are stuck on technology over the fact that we need desperately a sewer because we are dumping a million gallons of crappola on top of our drinking water every day. Amazing that this counts for so little - as the costs between the projects presented won't be all that different.

No, the opposition really is about no sewer - for whatever reason, because if we really cared about the environment, we would respect it and build something and not quibble over technology. I am amazed at all the hippocracy. So many rant about clean water and are bleeding heart environmentalists over trees and snails, yet delay over and over about "type" of a sewer. Everybody should be on board to pass the 218, as this is our last chance to step up and have some say. I really don't care what gets selected, as long as SOMETHING gets selected.

Anonymous said...

To 11:07:

You are full of crap. Your big sewer/gravity wouldn't do anything for 30 years. IF YOU CARED, OR THE RWQCB CARED, OR IF THE COUNTY CARED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT THEY WOULD HAVE HAD A SEPTIC SURVEY A LONG LONG TIME AGO!!!!

You just want a system that is so expensive that you get all YOUR "riff raff" out of town and into Bakersfield. You think your house will be worth more money with a big sewer, .... are you ever stupid! You've lost so much of it's value from your buddies at the water board! No big sewer will ever help you now!



It's a scandal, Crapkiller! You hippo! You are so bad.

Anonymous said...

Goodnight Joyce. Rest your tired little head and weary little brain, Tri-W in your dreams.

Churadogs said...

Doncha love "anonymice?" Here's one mouse who sez:"So where is Ann. Is she huddled in her house with the doors and windows locked or did some "thug" get to her?

I hope she is OK. Perhaps the ramifications of the late night phone call has finally sunk in and she is "Out of Town"."

Uh, Anonymice: did it ever occur to you that people actually have a life and a busy one? With lots of things to do beside sit at a computer endlessly nattering?

anon sez:"I'm amazed that so many are stuck on technology over the fact that we need desperately a sewer because we are dumping a million gallons of crappola on top of our drinking water every day. Amazing that this counts for so little - as the costs between the projects presented won't be all that different."

Here's another example of how and why this issue has gotten so screwed up. According to the last water monitoring report, the average anual nitrate levels exceet state levels by .04, I believe. Small potatoes, yet the popular image is that of millions ofr gallons of raw sewage roiling down the streets. Dr. Kitts' study showed the highest coliform count in the bay was from birds and other critters. He also had to specifically ask that The Powers That Be STOP using his report to claim that the coliform from humans was coming from septics since his study did not say that. That study didn't use any taggants so it could trace where they were coming from (CMC anyone) But there again, the ongoing lie.

And the problem with that is what I close today's Can(n)on with: Get the problem wrong and you'll get the wrong answer. That's what's happened repeatedly here in Los Osos. Wrong problems, wrong answers, Bad science, bad solutions. etc. I saw an amazing example of that when the RWQCB's CDO language quietly started morphing from one of nitrate load on the basin (nitrate management, basin management etc.) into a complete disconnect with anything having to do with pollution and/or the waters of the state of California. It was scientifically silly, but that's what the RWQCB staff and attorneys were doing. Complete disconnect. Once again, wrong questions, wrong solutions. And while everyone's running around shrieking over .04 nitrates, everyone's ignoring seawater intrusion due to overdraft, the real pollution danger.

Anonymous said...

Good post Ann.

It's been bad or no science and big lies. With lies said over and over - printed over and over.

It's all about wanting Los Osos'middle to low income out for the rich to come in, and about developers and realtors making money off of us.

4Crapkiller said...

To anon 11:35 PM above: I did not post at 11:07, I was asleep.

The county has a good process for the 218 vote and are conforming to the law. If the choice of site or sewer were left up to all voters or residents in the PZ, nothing would happen. There is not a site or system that cannot be picked to death on some aspect.

No sewer is not an option. CDOs and expensive discharge permits are on the table, and can make property uninhabitable.

Ann says we all want a sewer. However, I think this is predicated on an individual big "IF". Some of the IFS:

1. If it is "out of town" and not TRI-W / is TRI-W.

2. If it is "affordable" (less than who knows what).

3. If it is a ponding system.

4. If we do not have to buy new septic tanks.

5. If AG exchange is used.

6. If water recharge does not happen at Broderson.

7. If it does/does not lead to more housing in the PZ.

8. If we drill small collection pipes and do not trench our roads for big pipes.

9. If no sludge is hauled away.

10. If it does not smell sometimes.

11. If kids cannot drown in ponds.

12. If it is solar powered.

13. If it is regional.

14. If a cluster plant is not next door or across the street.

It is the "IFS" that cause the problem. No system cannot be nit picked to death. No decision by ANYONE cannot be nit picked.

Shark Inlet said...

To our friend of 8:10 pm on Tuesday who wrote:

You are way off here. Don't you remember what happened???

First of all it was LAFCO who gave two options to our CSD. Option A: give it over to the county and Option B: the CSD to work with the county. This was under duress of the dissolution by the way.

Our CSD chose option B, but the county took it over completely anyway.

It took Sam Blakeslee to get the project to the county.


Try again! about mis-information!

I believe that you may be misunderstanding what I wrote. Essentially, if the legislature and governor act to take the project from one agency and give it to another, it is law and it will be done.

Even though the RWQCB is an enforcement agency, the SWRCB isn't and they could naturally be given the project. Heck, a legislative act could give the project to the Department of Corrections even though it isn't their typical work. (Some would say that the project would best be housed there.)

Shark Inlet said...

Just a few interesting numbers ...

Let's just consider putting in $50M ORENCO collection system with conventional financing versus putting in a $70M gravity system associated with TriW on a SRF loan.

ORENCO: Borrowing $50M for 30 years at 7.5% interest results 30 years of about $70 per month for a total of $25,000 for each and every property. (Note: If Los Osos needed to pay 9.5% because a poor credit risk it would be a total of about $30,000 and if the interest rate were even as high as 11% it would run us $34,000.)

TriW: Borrowing $70M for 20 years at 2.3% interest results in 20 years of about $70 per month for a total of about $17,500.

On top of that, there are other costs associated with ORENCO's not-yet-designed system ... like the cost of doing a proper design and the cost of getting it permitted ... oh yeah ... then there's inflation of of 5-10% each and every year until the construction starts.

Nope, SRF financing ... even if we have to pay back $6.6M or wrap it into the new SRF contract ... is a gift that should not be passed up.

Anonymous said...

But with SRF funding, the Stete can continue to jack us around, changing requirements and increasing costs. When you accept SRF funding, the state then dictates the project. Boy would they have fun with that...... Payback for the trouble we have caused them over the years, for questioning their mighty rule

Bernie said...

What's this I hear about LOCSD Board Pres., Chuck Cessena, GIVING McFleecus $700 to fly off to Florida? If true, was it our (taxpayer) money or Chucks personal funds GIVEN to Gail? She purportedly toured the ORENCO facility while in Florida! If THIS is TRULY the case, why hasn't McFleecus given the Community a FULL REPORT on what she observed at ORENCO?

Shark Inlet said...

Even if the state adds "features" that cost us an extra 40% over what is necessary, we're still better off with the lower interest rate.

So ... would you rather be proud and do it your own way and pay more and possibly be fined as well if the plant doesn't work as advertised by whatever group designs the thing ... or would you rather pay less and go with an approved design.

I would rather not pay more. If you convince me that paying more would benefit me, I'm open to your idea of private financing.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - You should ask Chuck, not us. We don't know what the heck is going on.