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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

O.K. I’ve Thought About It. New (modified) Rules and Why

This morning, I posted a notice that an anonymous poster known as 4crapkiller crossed a line here by threatening retaliation on assessment voters. Not acceptable. So I 86’ed her/him. Another anonymous poster [ Shark Inlet] had this to say: “I can completely respect your decision, but unless you had communicated your new rules to Crapkiller beforehand, it would seem that your banning her from participation would seem a violation of due process, something that typically you are very opposed to . . . I would encourage you to reconsider this choice of yours . . . especially because she could always choose another screen name and continue posting. ” [Gosh, Inlet, doing that would make 4crapkiller dishonest and sneaky as well as a line-crosser, wouldn’t it?]

Then Ron Crawford of www.sewerwatch.blogspot.com chimed in with, “What are we doing here? Doesn’t this all seem silly . . . because it as ALL due to just a handful of people that developed an embarrassing illegal downtown sewer plant, and they simply will not go away. . . . They were recalled, and the handful will not go away. . . . The vast majority of Los Osos residents really, really, really do not want an industrial sewer plant in the middle of their beautiful coastal town, and the handful will not go away. . . . Tri-W’s development permit expired, and the handful will not go away. . . . So we’re looking at what . . . under ten people – that are all responsible for developing Tri-W – that want a sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos so badly that they are willing to go through all of this? Saturating comments sections [of blogs] pushing legislation through, suing everyone in sight, demanding fines, dissolving things, launching “vicious” attacks (that ‘vicious’ word comes from Gail McPherson during a recent appearance on Congalton’s show, when Dave asked her why people were pressuring the Trib to write that fluffy “hit piece” on her a few weeks back, and McPherson said, ‘These people are vicious,’ I think that word is very appropriate when it comes to describing that handful of people) . . . it’s all so ridiculous. . . .” and so forth.

O.K. Points taken.

So here’s some “due process” for 4crapkiller. You crossed the line. Don’t do it again. If you or anyone else logs on to comment and threatens retaliation for the assessment vote in any way, shape or form, I’ll start using the little garbage can icon to start dumping all of your postings.

Clear?

Ron’s right. This IS silly. But there is real fear in this community, fear that the appalling Waterboard will use the assessment ballots as punishment, fear that people like 4crapkiller will “sue,” or others will publicly “out their vote,” as some anonymous person using a phony name did to CSD member Julie Tacker in a letter to the editor regarding the original assessment vote a few years ago. (And the Tribune printed the letter???), fear that behind the scenes secret e-mailings are, once again, putting sticky fingers on the scales. Ron’s right: Vicious, indeed.

So, to everyone who wishes to participate in this blog. Mind your manners. Don’t cross that Threaten The Voters Line, If you do, Mother Calhoun will spank and start dumping your dishonest, “anonymous” postings.

There, Shark Inlet. Due process enough for you?

17 comments:

Area51 said...

Ann, Crawford hung the chum over the side of the boat and you bit it:

"ALL of it seems so silly to me, because it is ALL due to a just handful of people that developed an embarrassing, illegal downtown sewer plant, and they simply will not go away.
They were recalled, and the handful will not go away."


It's quite obvious Crawford defines jihadists as only those who didn't support the recall. (Or the very least all those who supported Tri-W) I'd guess the same is true in Crawford's mind for all those now who support the 218. And there's no doubt he would wish ill for every homeowner in Los Osos if it meant he could somehow prove Pandora slept with the devil himself.

Kudos for your attempt to provide a "safe" place against sewer jihadists, Ann. But I still can't help think you (and of course Crawford) think the jihadists exist only on one side of the fence. I proudly voted for the 218. Someone on this bog likened me to a nazi for doing so. Should I expect retribution in the form of a swastika burned on my front lawn? Should I get my vote returned and refuse to mail it in because now I'm frightened?

Make it clear the lunacy exists on both sides of this issue, Ann, condemn those who threaten others on BOTH sides of the fence and hold them accountable, and I think you will THEN be doing a FAIR, HONEST service to the community.

And support the county and the 218. As TCG so succinctly and accurately put it, “The County can build a state of the art sewer at a reasonable net cost for that system. Then we can move on.
I am sure that the CSD can not.
Bottom line."

Thank you.

Rick said...

Due process is for governments.

So, say you want to play government, and be all fair.

Even under "due process" you can take someone's life liberty or property if, given the appropriate process, it is deemed to be appropriate.

Posting threats on a blog should result in a ban from that blog. It's fair. What's the defense?

STFU and go start your own blog if you don't like being banned.

There's no reason why you should provide a forum for that kind of shenanigan.

Anyway, to compare being banned from the comment section of a blog to being fined out of your home is so sad it requires no further comment.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

As I said earlier, it is your right to set any rules you seem fit and to follow through on them or not as you see fit. I was just trying to say that a "one strike and you're out" rule that is announced only after the "crime" seems rather out of character when compared to other things you've written.

I am glad that you've chosen to let our Crappy friend back into the fold, though. It seems more fair to me and I suspect you would agree that advance warning would typically be appropriate.


Any suggestion that the "vicious" folks are only on one side is patently silly. Perhaps Ron and you don't mean your words to be read this way, but saying something like Pandora is Satan-spawn and worships by killing chickens and neglecting to mention that Lisa Schicker worships Beelzebub by sacrificing dogs is ... um ... misleading because of the omission.


Let's face it, the discussion is a sore spot for many folks on every side of this complex issue. In discussions of such sensitive topics, it is easy for folks to get angry and do and say things that they would probably not, had they spent a few minutes to carefully think through their course of action.

Oh well.

I would suggest that we all cut each other some slack and focus mostly on the issues in the discussion.


What are those issues? Whether it is best to support the 218 vote and to spend a whole lot of money on a County-run project or to oppose the 218 vote and toss the future of our community into an even less well understood area of the map.

A related issue is whether, as Ron has said, TriW is not a possible option even for the County. You see, if Ron is correct, some who might be afraid the County intends to force TriW on us should be afraid no more. If, on the other hand, Ron is wrong and TriW is less expensive, we might very well end up with something much like the LOCSD had designed.

Mike Green said...

Uh Sharkey, in order for TriW to go forward at this time would not only go against Ron, it would also invalidate the pro-con of the TAC.
It's pretty clear that TriW is the clunker of the bunch.
Now I'm sure that some of those viscous small hearted people will bring up the argument that if we had just gone ahead and built the damn thing at TriW when we had the chance it would have been way cheaper than what we will get now, they may be right, we will never know, just like we will never know if the decision to delay the recall vote until after construction started caused enough people to vote for recall just to spite a perceived arrogance.
In any event you are right about staying focused on the 218, I've clearly stated my opinion on the matter, here is a tidbit for all the other posters and readers, by clicking on my name you will find my e-mail address, it's been there forever, I have not received a single letter pro or con to my position.
I did get the mass spamming from Ron and Linde and those snake oil salesmen Reclamator, I kindly asked them to remove me from the list and I haven't heard anything since.

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Ann,

Just to clear the record; Gordon H.,Stan G.,I, and many, many others DO NOT CARE WHERE THE WW TREATMENT FACILITY IS BUILT. In town, out of town, we do not care.

We do want to see the County successful in building the WWTP. We do support the County Process; and have confidence they will build the best project for Los Osos at the lowest possbile price.

We hope you and Ron support the County process too.

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: Thanks for redefining your psting policy.

Shark Inlet said...

Mike Green,

Looking through the TAC report two things are very very clear. First, all the numbers presented have huge margins of error with the possible exception of TriW. (Even with TriW, it is clear that the County would need to re-solicit bids and the resulting bids could be far lower ... remember, we were told that the bids were some 40% too high.) Second, even with re-permitting TriW being necessary, it could still start construction far sooner than the other sites and plans ... a year sooner at least, probably more.

This doesn't mean that TriW will be the best choice, but the TAC report is just that, a set of initial findings that could be used to figure out what to study more carefully to get better information that would allow the wisest decision.

Let's take STEP versus gravity (for example). In the TAC report, STEP seems likely less expensive. However, after one considers the difficult questions of "who owns the tank?" and "are easements required?" and "how long can the system survive without power before bad things happen?" it seems that the decision is not as clear cut as one would originally think.


To sum it up, like Richard, I'll support whatever project the County ends up with ... even if it's TriW ... and even if it's not TriW ... because our community will be better off than if we turn down the County's assistance.


About those "viscous small hearted people will bring up the argument that if we had just gone ahead and built the damn thing at TriW when we had the chance it would have been way cheaper than what we will get now" ... Hey! I resemble that remark!

First off, the proper spelling isn't "way cheaper" it's "waaaaaaay cheaper". Second, if Ron is allowed to dredge up ancient Los Osos history to criticize the Solutions Group and the early CSD boards, why can't I dredge up more recent Los Osos history to criticize the CCLO and LOTTF boardmembers?

More seriously, the only reason I tend to bring it up over and over and over again is that if we don't understand our history we are doomed to repeat it. Let's not vote ourselves a mess three times in a row! The formation of the CSD and the recall were the first two strikes. Let's take advantage of the County offer and move past the mess.

4crapkiller said...

To Ann:

Despite your recanting of your decision to 86 me, I have decided to leave your blog, and thank you Sharky, for your defense. Nobless Oblige' I am NOT sorry I brought up possible consequences of a NO vote, and possibilities of recouping possible damages from individuals. The possibility EXISTS. No sense beating it to death, it is OUT.

I will continue to read your opinions, and correct any opinions on the Tribune Blogs for all to see, as you suggested, while quoting your opinions. I have already started a new discussion which may be read county wide. It will also include comments from your commentators for all to see, and responses from your commentators to comments.

Of course I will bleep out the foul language from the "peeps", but will direct the reader to the "full story". This will be a howl and expect my readership to only increase. Even when the YES vote passes, I will continue with "blasts from the past" in that there is surely more great stuff to happen, and when that occurs in light of your past opinions or omissions, many will find the blog threads very interesting, or maybe not.

In any case you will have to weasel your way out of your opinions for all to see, in light of 20/20 hindsight, not just the limited number of people reading your blog and responding. We shall see.

I will never attempt to destroy your character, only your foolish thoughts (only when they are foolish), and they are surely fair game when based on ignorance, lack of legal expertise, bias, and unfounded speculation.

Please consider that Balloooooon, is just as powerful word as JJJJJJJJJoooooooooooey! Bye All, see you on the Tribune blogs!

Sewertoons said...

Ron says:
"The vast majority of Los Osos residents really, really, really do not want an industrial sewer plant in the middle of their beautiful coastal town"

19 votes won Measure B. Measure B won because the opposition to Tri-W promised $100 out of town and people believed that. How is that a vast majority????? Where is that $100 plant out of town?

The "new" board "forgot" to do a 218 vote to assess us for money to build their brand of sewer plant! We never knew how much that was REALLY going to cost!

$100 won't even cover what we owe on the bankruptcy now…

Come to think of it, a park in the middle of town, with NOTHING higher than one wall 14' (as opposed to two-story condos, a strip mall or a movie theatre complex with stores) doesn't sound so bad. Does anyone out there think the CSD is going to sell that property at "park" prices to the County for a park (should the County even consider putting that in their long queue of projects) instead of a developer willing to pay big bucks - the CSD being bankrupt and all? Doesn't anyone even remember Jeff Edwards bid for the property? Do you think he wanted it for a park?

Mike said...

Mike Green.... the few of us who put up with Ron's "stuff", really cpould care less whether we "go against Ron"... His position and arguments are based some 4 years in the past and have nothing to do with today's reality of a broken, bankrupt CSD with no control and not much chance of ever getting back into control. Whether Tri-W is chosen will depend on the votes of property owners, not the out-of-towners, and by the Bd of Supes... I don't really care where the sewer goes, but I do respect the folks who worked so hard within the legal constraints they had to work with!!! I have no respect for those who chose to tear apart the local government with out right lies and intimidation. That ripping apart our community was cheered on by the Ron's and Ann's who also chose not to appreciate the work of the previous boards and instead encouraged anarchy or at least their brand of dictatorship/censorship... Now they don't want to hear someone else's equally strong view points? I wish they would have taken that same stance against the McPherson/Schicker/Tacker's... there would be a sewer well under construction in Los Osos instead of a split community...

I doubt the County will have a simple time obtaining property outside the PZ (and I wish the PZ was tossed out, with EVERYONE, including Cabrillo required to connect to a sewer) for a treatment site... The NIMBY folks haven't been to bat just yet and the bean counters are hitting the subtotal key every day thanks to the 2 years and counting delays... Voteing YES and letting the County get this project in the ground is the only way all the contriversy will be settled and the community return to some peace...

Mike Green said...

Sharkey, my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I wrote "small hearted vicious people"
There have been some here, but you are not one of them.
Crappy, godspeed, but if anyone wants to really read small hearted and vicious you won't find a better place than the Triv's discussion board.
Lucky for me I seem to be able to read anything and make up my own mind.
That's why I appreciate Ann's blog and Ron's too.
Mike, get a grip, why do you need Ann or Ron to validate your opinion? what makes you think they have more worth than you?
You state your points quite well, no need to take it to the attack, just my opinion.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"Let's face it, the discussion is a sore spot for many folks on every side of this complex issue. In discussions of such sensitive topics, it is easy for folks to get angry and do and say things that they would probably not, had they spent a few minutes to carefully think through their course of action."

the real problem is being ANONYMOUS. You saw that at work with 4Crapkiller. She refused to use her real name to claim and stand behind her comments, yet, if you remember, researched the public records to determine if I actually were a property owner so as to confer some sort of 4crapkiller legitimacy on me and other property owners, while reserving her privacy. Anonymous posters are almost always prfoundly apalling because they're like taggers hitting at midnight: Cowards who refuse to stand behind their statements, free to trash others while accepting no responsibility for their actions. 4crapkiller is a prime example. She/he feels free to threaten voters via public documents while shielding her/himself from like treatment and threats. (another word that comes to mind here is Hypocrisy) There are many, many others posting on this site, including the potty-mouths and other ninnys. The real question is: would these folks say what they've said and bully and threaten if they were required to put their own names to their comments? I think not.

Therein lies the problem, not that this is a particularly hot topic.

Inlet also sez:"Any suggestion that the "vicious" folks are only on one side is patently silly."

You can read Ron's full posting in the comment section of the previous posting. Both sides are well represented in this comment section. As previously noted, the hyperbole is the direct result of being anonymous. Ron, at least, has the courage to put his real name to his opinions and stand by them. How many anonymous posters here can say the same.

Inlet also sez:"More seriously, the only reason I tend to bring it up over and over and over again is that if we don't understand our history we are doomed to repeat it. Let's not vote ourselves a mess three times in a row! The formation of the CSD and the recall were the first two strikes. Let's take advantage of the County offer and move past the mess."

I totally agree, which is why understanding the history of how and why this train went off the tracks is absolutely critical to seeing that the county PROCESS stays clean, that everything stays clean, that the citizens are awake and paying attention and fully hooked into the loop. That way, whatever gets built, nobody can later say, Aw, geeze, we had no idea.

4crapkiller sez:" I have already started a new discussion which may be read county wide. It will also include comments from your commentators for all to see, and responses from your commentators"

And will you being using your real name for your new discussion group? Or continue to hide behind a phony name?

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,


There are three key parts to my response today. All my comments are pointed and right on target, as always. Please donate to independent journalism (or whatever I do even if it’s not journalism) by using paypal to send money to sharkinlet@gmail.com.


Anonymity

You are right, that in difficult discussions of challenging issues, it is far easier to write something snarky or worse when you can hide behind an anonymous moniker.

I don't think, however, that you can require everyone to use their real names. Hell, we don't even know that churadogs is the real Ann Calhoun.

The magic of the internet is that people can offer their ideas to be evaluated without these ideas being attached to a name where the comments can then get personal. As an example, I would suggest that if Richard wasn't using his real name but essentially providing the same input, there would be far fewer off-topic and waaaaaay over the line responses.

There is a drawback with anonymity ... but there is also a benefit. For one, whatever Ron says about me being a collective that is paid to add comments, I am able to make comments which ... if my name was known ... could be discounted far more easily by folks who would be tempted to avoid the issues raised. Again, look at Richard's postings here. It seems that many who were in favor of the recall are pretty quick to say to themselves "well, that's just Richard ... and he's just a TriW flak so I can ignore him."

Frankly, I think we're both right ... I just prefer to allow people to keep their anonymity and exercise more self control and you would seem to prefer folks self-identify and then they would have more reason for self control.


Ron’s bias

On the question of whether Ron had criticized only one side for being vicious ... the fact that others see Julie and Lisa as part of the problem doesn't make Ron's comments any less one-sided.


Aw, geeze, we had no idea

On keeping the process clean ... I would contend that the LOCSD had done just that back in 1998-2005 and that just because you didn't like the outcome doesn't mean that the process wasn't clean. Furthermore, the recall experiment will be a failure if we get TriW but at a higher cost. If the total cost (once incorporating all the components ... including bankruptcy costs and higher water rates) is lowered by comparison to TriW and if the plant is out of town, the recall will have been a success. If the costs go up but the plant is outside town, some will view this as a success and others a failure.

I suspect that the plant will end up out of town. I also suspect (and would bet lots of money on it ... all the indicators are pointing that direction) that the total cost will be higher than what TriW would have been.

The problem here is that once the County plant is built (assuming the 218 vote passes) a lot of people will say "aw, geeze, we had no idea" about the cost they'll pay. They'll think "if we had known how much it was going to cost us to move the sewer we would have never voted for the recall." Many folks have said things like "moving the plant will save us money" or "we have no idea what the real costs will be" ... even though some simple though exercises and some basic math presented ample evidence that stopping TriW to put the plant elsewhere would not save money.

As I've been saying for about two years now, how much more are you willing to pay to have the sewer plant out of town with no park than to have TriW with a park. There is no right answer to this question ... but you've got to admit that higher costs do mean that those on the margin in our town will be hurt harder. That is why I opposed the recall and every single silly move of the post-recall board which has only made the costs go up and up and up yet again.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"On keeping the process clean ... I would contend that the LOCSD had done just that back in 1998-2005 and that just because you didn't like the outcome doesn't mean that the process wasn't clean. Furthermore, the recall experiment will be a failure if we get TriW but at a higher cost. If the total cost (once incorporating all the components ... including bankruptcy costs and higher water rates) is lowered by comparison to TriW and if the plant is out of town, the recall will have been a success. If the costs go up but the plant is outside town, some will view this as a success and others a failure."

As Ron has documented, the evidence points to the fact that the CSD knew, in advance of the election, that neither Briggs nor the Questa engineering study would let the Ponds of Avalon fly. The voters weren't told that up front, during the election -- i.e. We've gotten strong indications that this project won't be allowed, do you want to vote for Faster Better Cheaper anyway? Nor, when it became clear that this puppy wouldn't fly, did the Board go back to the community with a clear notice of failure and an chance to vote on what next to do: Turn the wastewater issue back to the county or put together two options: Step or gravity In town with guestimated costs and have even an advisory vote (what I called the Chinese menu method), and so forth. In fact, we were continuously told that there were no other options, that having the plant out of town would be waaaaayyy more expensive, that there was a strongly held community value and so forth. We now know that was hooey. So, was the CSD "clean?" Was the process "clean?" No.

Also, there was nothing "clean" about pounding millions into the ground shortly before a recall. Richard said here they HAD to do that or they'd be violating the law; Julie chimed in here, no, the CSD had until December (not Sept) to begin work. Which is correct? If Julie is, then there was nothing "clean" in what that board did -- gamble with millions of homeowners' dollars, for what? A personal snit, as when Gordon stated that he was disinclined to help people wishing to remove him from office by setting the recall election early, and so cast the deciding vote to put that election as late as possible --which ironically helped recall him. Personal snits, while understandable, are never "clean."

And somebody needs to tell me what on earth has ever been "clean" about Roger Briggs. For years Briggs (and the RWQCB) have consistently made things worse,(impose a moritorium yet let over 1,000 homes be built, refuse to re-visit the basin plan when it's clear that the problem is WATER, not sewers, bully and threatened when it became clear that a paus and a change of direction would have been the far wiser course, & so forth, all Hobson's Choice -- heh=heh interference which meant that those sticky little fingers in this pie have helped create this (unnecessary, pointless) mess. Clean? Naw, it's Chinatown, Jake.

No. Paavo had it right when he observed at a PZLDF meeting that the CSD never had the resources to do what the county's doing now, which is what should have been done years ago. That meant that this glorious experiment was doomed from day one. Sadly, the residents didn't know that.

As for the outcome, we shall see. The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings. I am wary as hell, but . . . hopeful.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

In exactly the same way that the Solutions Group should have known better, Julie, Lisa and the recall candidates should have known better. The RWQCB and SWRCB told them ... in advance ... that Measures B-D weren't going to change any timetable for completion and that the SRF was site specific. (There are other examples as well, let's just say that those are two which come to mind pretty quickly.)

Face it ... the voters were lied to by the recall candidates and their supporters. They promised to save us money when the facts showed that saving money by moving the sewer was rather unlikely. If you're a gonna tell us that the process wasn't clean because the Solutions Group didn't tell us in advance that their plan wouldn't work, why haven't you stood up and proclaimed the process to have been again tainted because of lies during the recall?

On another related issue, it seems funny that you say you want a chinese menu sort of option but you don't seem to want it to contain TriW at all. What if TriW is the least expensive option? What if the citizens and property owners agree that they prefer the least expensive option? Would you deny us the option of going with the cheapest and most preferred option?

I also reject your claim that the LOCSD board wasn't open about what they were doing back in 2000-2001. Just because you didn't notice and provide input doesn't mean that the process wasn't clean.

Sewertoons said...

Just once, it would be so nice if you Ann, addressed what shark inlet has brought up about boards knowing better.

You continue to dis every past board but the board led by Lisa. The Lisa board should have know better - and if they did and then lied to us - that is even worse. Is that what you know about the Lisa board that keeps your mouth shut on this issue?

You would gain respect for your opinions if you would just be fair.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"On another related issue, it seems funny that you say you want a chinese menu sort of option but you don't seem to want it to contain TriW at all. What if TriW is the least expensive option? What if the citizens and property owners agree that they prefer the least expensive option? Would you deny us the option of going with the cheapest and most preferred option?"

You're incorrect,again, or you've confused me with somebody else, like Ron Crawford maybe. I didn't sqawk about Tri W being "carried" through the fine screen process, although I found it weird that it hadn't been bounced out because of ESHA rules regarding "other viable sites on non ESHA land," that Ron keeps questioning. I figured they were keeping Tri-W on the table to avoid lawsuits by somebody or other or as a sop to the SWB or something. I've alwalys been in of a fair screening, let the process proceed cleanly, let whatever system be truthfully examined, float to the top,(hopefully then be vetted by Dr. T's team)then let the community fill out their survey (a version of the CHinese Menue),then let the BOS vote and then start digging. The systems must stand or fall of their own weight, providing nobody puts sticky fingers on the scale. Been saying that from day one.

Shark Inlet said...

That is probably the source of my confusion. When you have told us many times that we ought to read Ron and that you find Ron's arguments insightful I was assuming you agreed with them. My apologies.

About fingers on the scale ... how should we now incorporate (if at all) the fact that if we go with a gravity system and the same contractors, we might be able to get some of the lawsuits to go away?

Similarly, how should we incorporate (if at all) the additional time and thus inflation necessary to design a new system if we don't go with gravity and TriW?

Along those lines, which site will generate the least delay due to additional lawsuits?

I would also suggest that way back in 2000-2001 exactly what you say should happen did happen with one exception. The LOCSD didn't take a poll of residents to determine their preferences. They did have hearings, take public comment and they did present the results of site selection and collection system possibility analyses and the results favored gravity and TriW.

While Ron keeps harping on the park and the LOCSD not having shown it was a community value, I remember taking with many folks back then and they all agreed that a park was a good thing. The recent suggestions that we go with a Johanson design suggests that getting usable space from the sewer is something we greatly value.


The way I see the problem with the process is this ... at any one point in time, the LOCSD must make the choice what to do next. Once the various permitting agencies required changes in the design, would it be better to scrap everything done so far and start over or would it be better to adopt the required changes? Incrementally the project morphed into something that many folks didn't like. That they lied about having a cheaper plan didn't help. That they were really rude at board meetings didn't help. That the board didn't always respond in a gentle way didn't help.