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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Is That A Foot In Your Mouth, Or Lack Of Context, or Just A Still-Spooked Community?

I’m sure a lot of jaws dropped upon reading a quote in yesterday’s Tribune story by Bob Cuddy discussing the 4-1 margin of approval on the 218 vote. In the last few paragraphs, Cuddy says, “But board member Julie Tacker, who fought against the Proposition 218 vote, said she will monitor how the county treats the district.

“’They should be listening to us,” Tacker said, ‘We know how to derail a project and we will derail it again’ if needed.

“Tacker referred to the 2005 recall election that stopped the sewer project on the so-called Tri-W site in midtown by replacing board members who approved it with those who were opposed.”

O.K., show of hands, how many of you scanned that story, had the quote jump out at you, said, “Yikes! What was she thinking?” and then skimmed over the following paragraph that set the quote in a better context.

Perils of writing anything about The Hideous Sewer Wars. Unless you footnote the footnotes and set everything in a terribly complex, explanatory context, in a spooked community, a lot gets misread and misunderstood. Buzz words become the new lingua franca and real understanding stops, i.e.”anti-sewer obstructionist” as a label for anyone who dares raise a criticism about anything sewerish.

So, this being a spooked town, I got a clarifying email from Julie, enlarging the context.:


"Context is everything...When I spoke to Bob Cuddy regarding the 218 vote and Saturday's 10/27 story I did say, “We know how to derail a project, and we will derail it again”. What I was referring to was the Tri-W property, its sale, and that project. I remain committed to stand in the way of that project.
Not only did the Tri-W project increase the cost of a sewer to the community by its force-it location in the heart of town, but it did not return water to the over-drafted basin in a manner in which will address our Level Severity III water shortage. The County's work this last year underscored the inadequacies of the Tri-W project, validating my concerns of the past. If the County puts forth a project that does not address the real issue, water supply, then I (and others) of course will stand in the way of good money thrown after bad at projects that merely clean waste water.
Water is the issue, it always has been, the water reuse/recharge (instead of importation i.e. Nacimento/State Water) component has been the Achilles heal of every project before this community over the past 30 years.
It is my sincere goal to assist the County and the community in pursuit of a sewer solution that it is sensible and cost effective. That has always been my objective, from activist to elected official and everything in between. I see the problems in Los Osos for what they truly are, to "Move the Water" goes hand in hand with "Move the Sewer".



See what I mean about needing footnotes on footnotes? Cuddy’s one paragraph “context” can be easily missed when spooked alarm bells are going off in your head.

Yet another reason why everyone needs to BREATHE. This 218 process ain’t over. During the protest window, there will be protests lawsuits filed (Hey, it’s Los Osos. It’s what we do out here. See below.) The issues raised in the 218 challenges need to be answered sooner rather than later, the county Process needs to keep on a clean, transparent track, the community needs to stay engaged. And while the BOS will have the final decision, Julie is right about one thing: If this community is lied to again and bait and switched and handed a project nobody wants, then, Yes, “we” do know how to derail a project.

But “we” also know how to support one, too. So, stay focused, my fellow Ursians.

And, speaking of which . . . .

Is That A Lawyer In Your Pocket, Or Do You Just Live In Los Osos?

As I mentioned above, during the 218 “window,” protests will be filed. The following is a letter from attorney Timothy J. Morgan that was presented to the Clerk of the Board. As noted at the end, it’s also posted on The Rock’s website. Again, as I have frequently noted, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV, so have no way of knowing which of the issues he raises are valid, which require going into court to resolve.

Some of the ISSUES he raises are certainly worth considering (and may already be covered in the water component section of future fees and charges) and the sooner the County deals with them, the quicker they can be resolved. At this point, I can see no reason for any delays in dealing with Mr. Morgan’s stated concerns, BUT there will be delays if any of these issues are valid and go unresolved only to turn up later as Great Big Lawsuit Rocks In The Road. So, please, BOS & County Council. Carpe diem, Clock’s ticking.

The Letter


October 23, 2007
County of San Luis Obispo
Clerk of the Board
1055 Monterey St.
Room D-120
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408.
Via Facsimile to be hand
Original to follow via US Mail
Re: Upcoming Vote on Los Osos Sewer Project

Dear Sirs:
My office represents several property owners whose lots will be affected by the assessment(s) contemplated by the ballot currently being taken in Los Osos.

This letter is meant to comply with the requirement stated in your circulating documents for a written complaint before the ballots are tallied in order to preserve the issues for later complaint.

In my view, there are several significant problems with the ballot action, which render the
balloting invalid.

First, the overarching problem with the entire process is that the sewer system contemplated by this assessment is not one that will confer a ‘special benefit’ within the meaning of Proposition 218 on those parcels within the Los Osos Prohibition Zone, but rather one that will confer a general benefit on all parcels in Los Osos and which is fundamentally designed to confer a benefit on the people of the State of California by way of preventing inappropriate waste discharge to enter groundwater and, by way of interaction between the groundwater and seawater, the estuary and bay waters offshore from Los Osos. To the extent that this project will provide better drinking water, it covers parcels outside the Prohibition Zone who are receiving the benefit at my clients’ expense. To the extent that it helps with pollution in the nearby ocean, this is a benefit to the people of California generally and again, represents a benefit to others paid for by this assessment. These benefits to others, which seem to be the main benefit claimed for this system, are general benefits paid for with a special benefit assessment. This is improper.

The proposed sewer system represents merely a replacement for existing sewage systems. I understand that improved properties in the Prohibition Zone are typically served by individual septic systems, or, in some cases, by septic systems which serve multiple properties. In any case, these properties have effective waste systems already. The replacement system contemplated by this assessment adds no special benefit to these properties.

One potential ‘benefit’ I can see is that these properties are currently the subject of cease and desist letters from state water quality management board which threaten massive fines if the septic systems remain in use. It would be an unconscionable public policy if one government agency could justify a project as a “special benefit” to avoid action by another public agency.

Thus would be created a “good cop, bad cop” situation where any agency seeking to create an assessment for any project could get another agency to threaten action to justify the assessment. This cannot be tolerated.

It is my view that the alleged benefit in this case is a general benefit to the entire region and, therefore, this should be put to a general election with a requirement for a two-thirds majority vote. In addition to the overarching problem with whether there is any “special benefit” conferred by way of this assessment, there are numerous problems with the ballots and ballot information itself, rendering the vote illegal.

First, many properties were issued multiple ballots, each representing some proportional interest in the property and a proportional fee. I can see no justification for this process - each lot should have one vote. It is my opinion that this unnecessary process was intended to confuse voters. I note that the notice mailed with the ballots speaks of ballots in the singular when instructing homeowners how to prepare and mail in the ballot. See section seven of the notice.

I have anecdotal reports that property owners with multiple ballots were under the impression that they had received too many ballots, rather than two or more ‘partial interest’ ballots. They sent one ballot in. They are, therefore, voting half a vote. In addition, multiple ballots, representing partial assessments will create the impression that the assessment is lower than it actually is on a per-lot basis. This creates likely confusion for the voters of Los Osos.

Second, I understand that property owners of unimproved lots have received ballots showing their assessment at $0. To the extent that this assessment is, by its own terms, meant only to cover only those improved lots in the district, these ballots for unimproved lots are inappropriate.

They have the effect of soliciting “YES” votes from persons not effected by assessment and thus “stack the deck” against those homeowners whose properties will, in fact, be subject to the massive assessment contemplated by this proposed assessment district.

Third, the ballot and supporting materials’ language is confusing and unclear. The voters of Los Osos cannot reasonably discern the nature and extent of what they are voting on. In particular, there seems to be an open-ended assumption of future costs for the sewer project for which no estimate is even attempted by the County. The ballot language reads as follows:



Shall the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Luis Obispo establish the
proposed San Luis Wastewater Assessment District No. 1, levy an assessment not to exceed the amount set forth above on the parcel identified, issue bonds or incur other debt obligations in the amount of the unpaid assessments, and proceed with the financing for the proposed public wastewater system improvement project
.

The notice gives an estimated total cost for the project, but there appears to be no accounting for interest on the bonds or other debt obligations authorized by this vote. If these figures are included, they are not spelled out and this runs afoul of Article XIIID(4)(c) of the California Constitution in that there is no final estimate of the total amount chargeable to the entire district.

Fourth, the question of how the unimproved lots will eventually be assessed is left unanswered in the ballot information. A substantial portion of the overall cost of the project is allocated to these lots. How are these lots ultimately to be covered and assessed? Will a separate vote be held? Will each lot carry a (substantial) development fee to cover the sewer costs? Such a fee would be inappropriate to them as they did not have the opportunity to vote on the project assessment in the first place. So, the problem is that the source of a substantial portion of the assessment is not adequately explained.

In the same vein, how will the county cover the costs associated with that portion of the project allocated to the unimproved lots in the event those lots are never improved? Given the regulatory difficulties generally associated with any building in the coastal zone, it is not unreasonable to assume that many of these lots will remain unimproved.

Their assessments, which are calculated as part of the overall cost of the project, will be uncovered. That, by definition, increases the financial responsibility for those lots which are improved. There is no accounting for this amount, and the voters are not provided with any estimate what those increased costs could be in the future.

Fifth, it appears to many opponents of the measure that the County is using out-of-date assessor’s parcel information for the ballots. Anecdotal evidence says that recent purchasers are not receiving ballots, while former owners are. This is not a large set of owners – the ballot information says that less than 5,000 owners are subject to the assessment. Even a small percentage of inaccurate records will skew the result of the election. It will, thus, become important to understand how exactly the data has been collected and how recent the data base is which was used to generate the list of owners subject to this assessment.

I note there is an issue with the proposal which may be subject both to a challenge under
Proposition 218 as well as additional challenge under various state and federal regulatory rules. I understand that competing technologies are available which could achieve the same result – lower or eliminated waste water discharge - for vastly less money. To that extent, the amount of the assessment may be out of proportion to the expected benefit – if it can be done for less, with the same result, then the amount of the assessments is too high. This, of course, assumes that the lessening of wastewater discharge can be demonstrated to be a “special benefit” to these properties in the first place.

In addition to issues with the propriety of the vote method that has been chosen, and the
mechanics of the vote, my clients have identified numerous substantive issues with the proposal.

Some of these may represent state regulatory issues, state law issues, federal regulatory issues and federal legal issues. As a result of the wide variety of possible actions, I foresee the possibility of state and federal actions in the event the sewer assessment passes. These additional issues are:

1. The assumption that apartments and other multiple dwelling units would have only 3/4
the wastewater effluent than single family homes is unsupportable. Many homes have
one resident, and many apartments have more than one. Apartments and other units can
produce as much waste water as a single family house, so this provision for a 3/4
assessment on apartments is unreasonable.

2. Improper compliance with a variety of regulatory requirements including oversight by
various state agencies, compliance with regulations regarding “environmental justice,”
and the like.

3. The proposed system is not the most cost effective way to achieve the goal of lower or
zero waste water emissions. Competing systems, with costs tens of millions of dollars
below the system proposed in this assessment, are available and it is a violation of the
rights of the property owners in the assessment district to not pursue the most costeffective system available.

4. A significant problem is the speculative nature of the science behind the project. There
has been no satisfactory demonstration that the houses of the Prohibition Zone are, in
fact, the true source of the pollution which is the underlying problem to be addressed by
this system. There are credible allegations that farming in the region, but outside the
Prohibition Zone, is the true source of the pollution – this goes directly to the question of
whether those properties in the Prohibition Zone are receiving a special benefit.

5. Moreover, the lines describing the Prohibition Zone are arbitrary and not supported by
scientific evidence. To the extent that the entire basin sits atop the groundwater table,
then the entire basin, or at least a greater area, should be in the Prohibition Zone.

6. Inadequate environmental impact reports have been prepared for sewer project, and sewer leakage has been ignored as a significant source of groundwater infiltration of pollutants. Consequently, this project may not provide a solution that is ultimately sufficient to meet the requirements of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, leading to continued possibility of enforcement actions as well as increased long-term costs for repair and remediation of this leakage.


7. Section 12842 of the Public Utilities Code2 limits public utility districts, which is presumably what is to be created by the measure in question, to incurring indebtedness of more than 20% of the assessed value of all real and personal property in the district. In the event that few or any property owners in the new district pay the assessment immediately, and the district has to issue bonds or take on other indebtedness, it is possible that the amount of said bonds may approach or exceed that 20% limit. In particular, the open-ended nature of the project financing gives real pause that this might happen. The District would be obliged to perform the research to determine what percentage of the district’s assessed value would be represented by the cost estimates of the project.

The County will bear the burden of demonstrating that the parcels covered by this assessment district will be receiving a “special benefit” over and above those benefits they already have and new benefits which are general to the community and not merely to the assessed parcels.

Further, the County will bear the burden of demonstrating that the balloting procedure, including multiple ballots per lot, unclear and incomplete ballot notices, etc., used for this ballot is correct.

I specifically request advance notice of the time and place where the ballots will be counted. This information is likely available now, so please contact my office immediately upon receipt of this letter with information on the counting process. I will look forward to hearing from your office.

Sincerely,
Timothy J. Morgan


Comments or questions regarding the Protest Letter can be logged at www.rockofthecoast.com where it is also posted.



--End--

78 comments:

Area51 said...

Ann Calhoun: personal press secretary for Julie Tacker.

We've heard it all before Ann. Tacker will continue to try to derail Tri-W. Tacker will also try to derail a gravity system. Tacker will also try to derail a $200.00+ per month project.

Tacker, being who she is, and the small, small amount of her obnoxious and vocal loyalists, will try to derail ANY project that is not what they want. There has never been any doubt about that. Just ask 80% of the homeowners in the PZ.

But really, I'm sure everyone feels better that you cleared that up for your girl. Really.

And welcome to the club Mr. Morgan. It is my sincerest hope that now with the power of a mandate in this community, along with the power of the county and the state behind us, you and all the other obstructionist attorneys sure to blow into town end up squashed like bugs on the proverbial legal windsheild.

Los Osos can't speak any louder. Get the hell out of the way obstructionists. We've got a sewer to build.

Mike said...

Are we seeing vultures circleing the dying former "community" of Lost Osos.... Thanks to those who would seek to oerturn the mandate of the property owners.... Thanks to Julie, the sweet innocent virgin of Cuesta-by-the Sea.... Thanks to all who disagree with the need for a sewer and who hold the Tri-W site holy, holy except that it's perfectly alright for Jeff Edwards to construct a hideous commercial monstrosity on that site, a true monument to the money gods.... Yup, Thank You Ann for cheering on the rape of Los Osos, you should stand tall and walk on the ghosts of those who couldn't affors the continual litigation by the holier than thou sewer lawyers and disciples... Enjoy your Sunday...

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TCG said...

I don't want Julie Tacker anywhere near the planning of the County sewer project. The CSD is out of the sewer service business by first AB2701 (unanimous vote of the legislature) then the Prop 218 (overwhelming 80-20 mandate).

Other than cooperating with the other water purveyors and the County in developing water solutions, the CSD needs to stay away. The entire community will have a say. Their feelings don't need to be filtered and skewed by a CSD Board that has no confidence by the people in this town.

Area51 said...

I'm wondering if Pam and Ed Ochs read this blog, and if they do, I hope they take the following into consideration:

I think it would do a lot of good for this community if we had an idea how much money is spent on the inevitable lawsuits. A simple tally of billable hours X whatever the going rate for the attorney de jour, for each lawsuit. The Ochs could use their incredible investigative prowess to help gather all this information and keep us apprised in the ROCK. (And you too, Ann. You could help here as well).

Now, if a fund was established to plan for future help for those who might have trouble with the sewer payments (which I would whole-heartedly contribute to as long as the names Gail or McPherson weren't attached to it), and this money going to attorney's was used for this fund instead, it would be interesting to see just how much money that would be. To help those who need it. Instead of attorneys.

So what do you say obstructionists? Are you willing to share with us your attorney fees so we can see how much money could be in a fund to help the very people you are, well, obstructing a sewer for?

I think it would be a very valuable thing for the community to see.

Shark Inlet said...

Thanks, Ann, for your willingness to contact Tacker to get the context behind her comments.

Whatever she might say now, I think that if the County ends up determining that TriW is the best plan, she ought to accept it. Such treats about one possible project cannot but be seen as putting a thumb on the scale and as a non-scientific injection of politics into a discussion that should be about science, engineering and finances.

It is interesting, however, that some folks like democracy (and say things like "the people have spoken") when the vote goes their way yet threaten the results of a democratic election (with threats of lawsuits, for example) when the result doesn't go their way.

I have no respect for the sort of politicians and commentators who have an "ends justify the means" attitude.

Conspiracy Boy said...

This letter of the Protest from this attorney is great. My very favorite part is:

"One potential ‘benefit’ I can see is that these properties are currently the subject of cease and desist letters from state water quality management board which threaten massive fines if the septic systems remain in use. It would be an unconscionable public policy if one government agency could justify a project as a “special benefit” to avoid action by another public agency.

Thus would be created a “good cop, bad cop” situation where any agency seeking to create an assessment for any project could get another agency to threaten action to justify the assessment. This cannot be tolerated."

I don't know if this is a lawsuit coming or just a protest letter, but the BOS and County better pay attention. This guy is excellent!

Conspiracy Boy said...

This letter of the Protest from this attorney is great. My very favorite part is:

"One potential ‘benefit’ I can see is that these properties are currently the subject of cease and desist letters from state water quality management board which threaten massive fines if the septic systems remain in use. It would be an unconscionable public policy if one government agency could justify a project as a “special benefit” to avoid action by another public agency.

Thus would be created a “good cop, bad cop” situation where any agency seeking to create an assessment for any project could get another agency to threaten action to justify the assessment. This cannot be tolerated."

I don't know if this is a lawsuit coming or just a protest letter, but the BOS and County better pay attention. This guy is excellent!

Realistic1 said...

If Julie didn't want to be mis-quoted, perhaps she could have said:

"We derailed THE TRI-W PROJECT before, we can derail TRI-W again".

But that's not what she said, now was it? She said "a project".

Who does she (or do you) think she's fooling with this lame attempt to defend her remarks?

Unbelievable, Ann. You are still defending this infantile woman who is having a temper tantrum because she didn't get her way. She threatens to countermand the will of 80% of the very taxpayers who fund the Board she sits on and still you defend her?

The property owners don't want the CSD "thumbs on the scale". What part of that does Julie, or do you, not understand?

Sewertoons said...

Timothy J. Morgan has "Reclamator" written all over him - hey? - what happened to those guys? Did they ever turn in the paperwork Paavo Ogren asked for? Maybe this attorney could help them with that. Or help them make some data up - I hear these things don't actually perform as stated. There was a letter in the last Bay News to that effect. The Reclamator guys failed to state that there have been three Reclamators here in LO - if they work - where is the data?

Conspiracy Boy said...

Sewertoons:

Wrong again.

The Timothy Morgan law firm has nothing to do with the "Reclamator" or that outfit.

I googled the firm and they're the top election law attorneys in the state and work with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association on many cases.

Sewertoons, you really should try to become more educated. If Gordon, Richard and Pandora are your teachers, you're in trouble. And if you know the truth, yet still put out stupid statements, then you are corrupt.

Everything was based on the lie. Thousands will be forced out. That's what you want, and that's what you'll have and YOU have to live with the decision you made. You know this 218 was the greenlight for the County's blank check.

This attorney, Timothy Morgan, does and wins 218 cases, and saw that the PZ was getting stuck with a bill for all others who benefit from clean water (along with other things the county did wrong and probably border on illegal.) Pretty simple if you have a brain. So, like I said: either you don't have a brain or are just an "evil doer."

Conspiracy Boy said...

Shark Inlet:

Same goes for you (as I wrote to Sewertoons) -- you say, "when the vote goes their way yet threaten the results of a democratic election (with threats of lawsuits, for example) when the result doesn't go their way..."

I would hope that you would read the Protest letter from Morgan and tell me that his points aren't right on 100%.

BUT YOU CAN'T DO THAT, CAN YOU?

You're very bad, and you too will have to live with what you've said and done to regular people who have to leave. You've done nothing but support the big lie.

Shark Inlet said...

Conspiracy Boy,

I don't have the time to read all of Morgan's letter right now and to respond blow by blow ... but I can address one particular point.

When he discusses a 3/4 assessment for apartments (as opposed to a full assessment for a single family home), he acts as if the actual number of people living in the unit actually matters.

The problem is that the actual number of residents or even the amount of wastewater produced is not relevant. The basis for the assessment is the size of the benefit the unit is to receive.

A single family home, whether 1000 square feet or 3000 square feet has the same benefit according to the law. The benefit isn't the service itself, but the home being hooked up to the service. The value of the homes will increase about the same (maybe $30k or so) with a sewer.

Monthly flow numbers will be used to fairly distribute O&M costs across those who use the service.

How does 3/4 come into play? Typically there are fewer people per apartment than single family home and the addition of a sewer will be of benefit to the apartment owner, but the impact on the value will be different than for a single family home.

I can see many arguments with 3/4 as a number or whether benefits should be the same whatever the single family home or not ... but Morgan's argument that assessed benefit should be based on the actual number of residents today is just now assessments are done.

Perhaps he should have contacted an assessment engineer or Paavo before deciding that this point should have been included in his letter.


That being said ... I would just toss out there (yet again) that it is those who have been stalling a sewer since at least 2004 who have been raising the costs to the point where some will have to leave town. Conspiracy Boy ... I know that you don't believe that you are part of the problem here ... but if you supported the recall, the reelection of Steve and Chuck and if you opposed the 218 vote, it is you who has been behind the actions which have most clearly raised our costs.

Churadogs said...

Realistic 1 sez:"Unbelievable, Ann. You are still defending this infantile woman who is having a temper tantrum because she didn't get her way. She threatens to countermand the will of 80% of the very taxpayers who fund the Board she sits on and still you defend her?"

You need to go back and read the posting again. You're missing a, uh, not so subtle point. Let me give you a hint: Julie said Cuddy missed the context. If you read what he wrote, the context IS there. What obscures it is her statement. In a town this spooked, it's like shining a flashlight in somebody's eyes -- obscures what's being held up next to the beam.

Inlet sez: "when the vote goes their way yet threaten the results of a democratic election (with threats of lawsuits, for example) when the result doesn't go their way..."

Here's the question for people on both sides of the Sewer Wars. The law is supposed to be a path and a tool for keeping people on the path and testing whether the path is the right one or a wrong one. So, do you resolve legal problems with any project early on or do you allow them to go until they become BIG problems and actually do cause delays? If someone raises a legal issue that may well be legitimate, does calling him/her a "anti-sewer obstructionist" help resolve the issue or blind everyone to the issue? Shooting the messenger might feel good, but if it does nothing to clarify or resolve the problems raised, that leaves them there to grow into really big problems later down the road. Does that help keep the process going or set up problems that will later cause delays?

As for "democratic elections," again, our system is set up with checks and balances. Just because something is voted for doesn't make it "legal." Consider Measure B. One court held it wasn't valid. So far as I know, the case hasn't been through the appeals court so it's "legality" is still in limbo. That's too bad, because had that Measure had an opportunity to be tried and tested, that may (or may not) have been one less problem.

Consider this recent 218 vote. It doesn't matter that it passed overwhelmingly. IF there are legal problems with the way it was written, it may end up in court. And it may not be some "anti-sewer obstructionist" who takes it there, like some of the posters here assume. There's a whole lot of oxes going to be gored with this project. For all any of us know, some large land-holders may trot this 218 into court because it may put their property in jeopardy of a permanent "taking." And so forth.

As for this protest letter, the County will reply with points of its own and hopefully the issues raised can be resolved. Again, that's part of the process.

For me, this letter again points up the problems with what the RWQCB did in creating 83=13 and refusing to enforce 83=12 and refusing to amend the basin plan to enlarge the PZ and deal with the really serious question of balancing the water for the basin. That failure has led to so many other failures (those darned hip bones connected to thigh bones & etc.)

Inlet also said:"That being said ... I would just toss out there (yet again) that it is those who have been stalling a sewer since at least 2004 who have been raising the costs to the point where some will have to leave town."

Sewers can be "stalled" because the process used to create them can be flawed or phony or illegal or scientifically indefensible or just plain wrong. Just look at Tri W. If the coastal commission had been told that the SOC was phony and there actually WERE more than several sites out of town on Non ESHA land, would they have refused the permit, instructed the CSD to put the plant out of town? Suppose that decision had been made even BEFORE the CC hearings, made on the day it finally became clear the Ponds of Avalon wouldn't fly? How much would have been saved if the CSD had immediately move the plans and plant away from the hideously expensive ESHA, either gone back to the County Plan or picked some other out of town site. Or suppose the CSD had done a pretty good guestimating of in-town/TRI-W at that point and held even an advisory vote, or instead of the partial assessment vote, held a similar vote to what the County is proposing: a capped amount, followed by a Chinese Menue Vote: Tri-W for X$ or Out of Town for Y$, take your pick. How much would that have saved?

(Speaking of which, got a copy of an email from August 8, 2005 from then General Manager Bruce Buel asking re Tri W costs: "If the Project goes thru as it is, and if there is a lien on my property to guarantee repayment of the SRF, could you please tell me how much this lien would be?"

answer: "The initial estimate for the lien would be $26,000. however we will not be able to define this until we have completed construction."

Plus ca change . . . Hmmmmmmm )

If your Process is correct, the outcome will also be correct, providing no sticky fingers gum up the works. When you reverse the process and decide up front on a certain site, no matter how inappropriate, then try to jam square pegs into round holes, that's when your costs start skyrocketing -- whenthe Tar Baby Syndrome sets in. Form follows function. System dictates site. Site can dictate system. And depending on how you set that up, you can end up with lower costs and right project, or high costs and wrong project.

And Jumping to conclusions often puts you high in the air flying off a cliff. That's almost always waaaaayyyyy more expensive than looking before you leap.

Or, as Area 51 so aptly illustrates my point (having failed to read my previous Can(n)on: "Get the hell out of the way obstructionists." What had I just written about buzz words BLINDING people to reality? Here's 51 yelling that the community should just shut up, close their eyes and jump -- pay no attention to the cliff, don't pause to make sure the rocks are OUT of the road first BEFORE the train speeds ahead. Just barrel ahead. Jeeze. it's deja vu all over again. Sigh.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ron said...

Realistic1 wrote:

"If Julie didn't want to be mis-quoted, perhaps she could have said:

"We derailed THE TRI-W PROJECT before, we can derail TRI-W again"."


Exactly.

And by derailing it, she helped save PZ property owners thousands upon thousands of dollars, according to county documents, AND you won't have an industrial sewer plant in the middle of your beautiful coastal town for no other reason than the initial CSD wanted to cover up the fact that the project that got them elected and the CSD formed in the first place in 1998, had failed.

So, like with me and Ann, why the hate towards Julie?

Do you guys that harbor that hate NOT want to save a lot of money? Or, do you tiny handful of anonymous people REALLY want a very, very expensive picnic area in your sewer plant?

If you think it through, all the hate directed at anyone associated with stopping the Tri-W mess doesn't make any sense... at all!

They helped saved people like, Area51, and Mike, and Realistic (and Richard LeGros, and Pandora Nash-Karner, and Gordon Hensley, for that matter) a helluva lot of money, yet, you guys still log on anonymously and publish all this mean and nasty stuff towards her. It doesn't make any sense.

It's like someone buying you a beer at Merrimakers, and then you just pick it up and throw it in their face because it's not your brand. Ummmm... you're welcome? I guess??? Now, let me towel off.

Did it ever occur to you guys that you simply backed the wrong horse (unless, of course, you ARE the people that developed Tri-W, then you developed the wrong horse), and now you're bitter about that so you just lash out for no reason whatsoever?

Think about this for a sec, Area51, Mike, Realistic, Richard LeGros, Pandora Nash-Karner, and Gordon Hensley (I would lump in Shark Inlet here, but I haven't read their stuff in ages, so I don't know what they're up to these days) -- and I know this is going to be an incredibly difficult pill for you guys to swallow -- people like Julie Tacker, Lisa Schicker, Chuck Cesena, Steve Senet, and John Fouche saved you a bunch of cash, and Los Osos won't be the embarrassment of the civil engineering world because you won't have an industrial sewer plant in the middle of your town, when the only reason it was going to be built there was so the town folk could easily get to the tot lot and picnic area in the sewer plant.

I mean, c'mon, that's highly embarrassing just to write about, imagine how embarra$$ing it would have been had it come to fruition?

Los Osos would have been the laughing stock of the civil engineering world... still are, in a way, because Tri-W WAS developed, can't get around THAT embarrassment, it was just never built, thanks to leaders like Tacker and Schicker.

Ann wrote:

"Suppose that decision had been made even BEFORE the CC hearings, made on the day it finally became clear the Ponds of Avalon wouldn't fly? How much would have been saved if the CSD had immediately move the plans and plant away from the hideously expensive ESHA, either gone back to the County Plan or picked some other out of town site. Or suppose the CSD had done a pretty good guestimating of in-town/TRI-W at that point and held even an advisory vote, or instead of the partial assessment vote, held a similar vote to what the County is proposing: a capped amount, followed by a Chinese Menue Vote: Tri-W for X$ or Out of Town for Y$, take your pick. "

Because, if they HAD done that -- the RIGHT thing -- it would have exposed the fact that their enormously hyped ponding system -- the project that got them elected and the CSD formed in the first place -- had failed. That's why their second project HAD to be a Tri-W... to cover up the fact that their first project failed.

And I don't see how that's not fraud. Very, very, very, verrrrrrrry expensive fraud. Government agencies can't run around lying to regulators in an effort to cover their ass, and then have those lies cost state taxpayers a fortune. BIIIIIIIIG no no.

And I'm damn near positive that's why Tri-W is still around... because the moment the county eliminates it from further consideration, the first thing EVERYONE -- especially me -- is going to ask is, "If the county doesn't think Tri-W is worth pursuing (and it's not... not even close, as the expiration of the CDP clearly shows), then why the hell was it developed in the first place?"

The answer? Welcome to Problems With the Solution, Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown, and SewerWatch.

When the county, wisely, didn't create a "project objective for centrally located community amenities," like the initial LOCSD Board, Tri-W died.

Yet, the county, I'm sure, is well aware that the moment they officially trash it, all that "fraud" stuff is gong to come into play, in a hurry.

Can't wait. That's gonna be fun.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

I like the way you phrase it, that when the process is correct, the outcome will be correct.

The problem I have with what has sometimes happened in Los Osos is that some folks have abused the process (by stalling and filing lawsuits that were quite unlikely to win and the like) to change the costs the rest of us pay while having little impact on the ultimate answer.

Some have suggested that it is good to file all complaints early in the process so that they can be resolved quickly. The flip side of that coin is this ... if someone doesn't file a complaint or protest at the right time ... they shouldn't have the right to complain later with the "hey, I wasn't paying attention" excuse.

That the TriW site wasn't protested when it was selected and that there were few complaints about the site/technology combination until well after the design was permitted makes me think that those who threw legal roadblocks in the way were acting as obstructionists. Had they been involved when they were earlier asked for public comment it would have been better.

So ... a process question for you Ann ... do all issues have to be continually open for reconsideration or is there a time for elected boards or permitting agencies to make a decision and move on even if some are displeased by that decision?

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

You claim that Julie's actions of stopping TriW "helped save PZ property owners thousands upon thousands of dollars, according to county documents".

Ron, you are wrong. There are no County documents that even suggest this, let along show it conclusively.

Although I am not hopeful that you'll actually follow through ... would you at least try explaining your off the wall conclusions?

Nope, the County documents show that our likely costs (according to the optimistic County projections) are going to be higher after adding in inflation and increased water costs, even if you don't figure in debt which is considerable.

Now, maybe some would view a possible new WWTF location as worth the additional cost, but to say that she saved us money is either a bald-faced-lie or wishful thinking on the order of Peter Pan.

If the Chinese menu idea is the gold standard for our discussions (and I do like the idea to the extent it can be practically done), why does no one fault the post-recall board for not doing even a quick cost-benefit analysis of potential out of town projects before stopping TriW?

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:

"Consider Measure B. One court held it wasn't valid. So far as I know, the case hasn't been through the appeals court so it's "legality" is still in limbo."

FYI as to Measure B, it is dead but not gone, kept zombie-like in play only by the obstinance of the CSD (sans Joe) and an unnecessary cash infusion from the CSD coffers. Now is the time to stop pursuing this, as the County has ruled Measure B does not apply to them, the County has the project, and if Measure B is so vastly important to the populace of Los Osos, it will be reflected in the survey. The CSD really has no logical reason to keep this thing going.

Ann says:
"For all any of us know, some large land-holders may trot this 218 into court because it may put their property in jeopardy of a permanent "taking."

How about this idea - some large land holders simply don't want to pony up the money? Or maybe they are a little over-extended and they might have to sell at a loss to get the money to pay? Could be that's why they fought the 218 so hard, making themselves sound like they were championing the "poor people" in the process? Could be they will NOT trot this into court on these grounds, but some flim-flam reason as has been done before?

Shark Inlet said...

One more thing, Ron ...

Even if pretty much all of what you write about Pandora, the Solutions Group and the pre-recall board is right, it still doesn't mean that the recall and stopping TriW in 2005 is the wisest choice. Simply put, sticking with a bad choice is better than switching to a worse choice. I'm not saying TriW is great, just that the cost of switching to something else is "waaaaaay tooooo expensive" to make it worthwhile.


Because you aren't very good at math (I believe you admitted that in one of your comments in your own blog), I'll do the calculations of "what's it a gonna cost now?" for you. Two assessments per year at $960 each plus a monthly bill of about $40 for O&M is $200. That's not a huge savings, Ron. Where, again, did you get the idea we'll save money? Are you telling us (unlike your idealogical compatriots) that the actual cost will be less than $25k per household? Oh yeah ... don't forget that the County got the water companies to buy into the general benefit to the community as a whole and they are picking up some of the sewer costs, so my water bill goes up to cover the sewer ... that will cost about $20/month. Oh, we'll also get to pay for some of the $40M debt the CSD has. If we can spirit away some $25M of it, we'll still be left with an extra $20/month for the next 30 years.

Perhaps North of the grade, $240/month is less than $205/month, but not around here.

As a technical note for Ann, we know that the $205/month for TriW was possibly going to change. You claim likely upwards while Julie and Richard have each told us it was going to go down if additional homes tie into the system. ... It is fair to say, however, that the amount of uncertainty associated with inflation, plans not yet made, permits not yet obtained and contracts not yet bid, is considerably larger. I'll bet that it tops $300/month once all the costs are included.

On the question of whether design/build can save us money ... it would be great if those companies were to submit binding bids for the job and if the bids are technically solid and favorably priced, I'm sure the County will do their best to work with such a company.


ps - Ron, I know you are indeed reading what I write ... you're too much of an egotistical person to not read comments directed at you ... you just refuse to address my crystal clear, on target comments because you don't have any good answers on the questions I've raised. Again, that is your choice, but when you attempt to shun someone in a debate it makes you look silly.

Sewertoons said...

Well, I suppose if we look at it this way - plant out of town (lots of land for expansion) - building right up to the plant (look at the Black Lake area in Nipomo - and the cautionary words of Ripley's Bahman Shiekh), we WILL have the growth that will lessen our bills.

I don't get why keeping the plant in town - which had a finite number of hook-ups - never got through to the "no-growthers" - well, maybe they were "no growth AT ALL due to no sewer" proponents, dressed up in environmentalist's clothing.

KeepMHonest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shark Inlet said...

KEH,

I've mentioned this before, but perhaps not to you directly. Someone's sexual orientation seems pretty off topic here, so your willingness to toss around such charges as you have simply makes you look petty.

The gay community would, I'm sure, find your comments at least as insulting as Richard does. So then, who wouldn't find your comments offensive? Presumably homophobic gravity haters.

Let's try to keep on topic here.

Mike said...

You are a very sick person..!!!!!

Not even worth worrying about what you think you can do to those of us who voted to assess ourselves for a sewer. Disagree and hurl your insults, file your lawsuits, but the sewer WILL go in and it very well MAY be on the Tri-W site... So fire away, we're all laughing at you...!!!!! May your stroke be quick and the recovery long... :-)

Richard LeGros said...

Golly Gee Whiz Willikers Keepm'

I and my lovely mail-order wife are looking forward to your sending us all those incriminating documents....as we are in need of toilet paper. LOL

Anyway, keep on blogging as your posts make me laugh as I wile away my days here in my Rodman lair of despair.....atleast the view of the bay and coastline is amazing.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Area51 said...

Gee, KMH, try to lose with a little dignity, won't you.

Ann Calhoun wrote this last month when she kicked Crapkiller off her site:

"So, new rules. 4Crapkiller's 86ed from commenting here. So will anyone else who makes retaliatory threats against voters. Starting today, I'll be using the little garbage can icon for any postings containing voter threats. If you don't like my new rules, please feel free to go comment on the Tribune site. Or any other web sites.

...Interestingly, I got a real sense from the commentors on this site, even the most angry and rabid, that there was indeed a line past which they were unwilling to go..."

I wonder how she'll respond to the psychotic ramblings and libelous tone of Keepmlaughing. Will she boot him, or regard him as just another "citizen question(ing) the viability, cost and placement of the Tri-W project, (and) vilified as (an) Anti-Sewer Obstructionist." You know, part of the "big lie."

Any guesses?

KeepMHonest said...

Dreamer Fools,

Ann knows I kid the rotten Dreamers.

What about the senseless propaganda of Shark and the bull lies of Richard? What makes them "OK" to post? Because they say so?

If they knew anything about libel, they would know what I wrote isn't libelous.

You jerks just like to dish it out but can't take it. Typical of hypocrites. It's always the same. Dish out hate, get some back, call "Mama Ann" -- who you dump in for sport. Why should she throw you a life preserver?

The truth is the best shield: Richard is a liar and Shark is a jerk. The truth is self-evident.

Live with what you are. I'll stick with the truth.

Shark Inlet said...

A Jerk?

Really? How do you get that?

Have I dished out hate?

I've simply questioned the mindless rhetoric that suggests that the cost of moving the sewer is not important or unknowable down to the penny and so should thus not enter our discussions.

That being said, if you would be willing to point out what you believe to be "senseless propaganda" on my part, I would be happy to try to explain my point of view to you. After all, if you didn't understand what I meant to say you would of course be gracious and ask for a rephrase before calling my thoughts senseless.

Sewertoons said...

I think keepmhonest is really lookinstoopid.

Hey lookinstoopid, how do you know Ann KNOWS you "kid the Dreamers" - she a friend of yours?

Richard LeGros said...

Keepm',

Don't worry, all us 'dreamers' can take it.....we are just waiting for you to provide us something meaningful and intelligent to respond to.

Also, I doubt that Ann will approve of the contents of your posts.

Regards, Richard LeGros

KeepMHonest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kari said...

Julie says this.

Julie says that.

I don't give a rat's ass what Julie thinks, does, threatens, monitors, etc., and I don't think anybody else does, either.

She needs to realize that she is absolutely POWERLESS to do one damn thing.

The County is in the driver's seat, and the people HAVE spoken.

I hope the County puts the plant on Tri-W just to spite her.

Shark Inlet said...

KEH,

I don't care if you are gay or not, your tone is shouting out that you believe folks who are gay are somehow 2nd class citizens. Perhaps this is not your intent, but please realize that many people find the suggestion that being gay is something to be ashamed of offensive.

If you are gay you realize this and are making a rhetorical point to the detriment of your community. If you are not gay you need some learnin.

As to your comments about Richard lying ... I find it interesting that when asked you either can't come up with an example or that can't be bothered to come up with an example. Such an attitude is not appropriate for public discourse.

Same goes to your comments about me. Rather than coming up with even a single example of my errors, you hid behind some sort of "well everything you write is senseless" excuse. If you can't even list a single example, pretty clearly you're more interested in the insult than in the truth.

"Exposed time and time again as a no-nothing shill for the county." Huh? Again, if you would give an example, it would be helpful. Give me some help here. Pretend I really care about honesty and correctness. If that is the case, I would really want you to point out my errors.

As for your contention that I am boring ... fine. I don't care if I entertain you. If you are interested in what is best for our community you would be willing to read even things that aren't entertaining. Those TAC reports aren't real page-turners ... yet without reading them you can't claim to be an educated participant in this conversation.

Please get back to me with some specifics. If not, I've got far better things to do with my day than try to engage in conversation with someone who finds me a boring blowhard yet can't be bothered to explain why.

All the best to you, my friend who doesn't really appear that interested in keeping people honest.

Mike said...

KEH only appears to be throwing out hate mail to cover his inadequacies as a human and a man... He doesn't care about a sewer, merely a war of words...and if he could delay the inevitable 1 hour, he will feel justified... very typical of the nasty few who led a whole lot of us to say enough and we voted YES... 80% of us voted YES... so he'll get a sewer no matter how much he complains and attempts to intimidate.... He will have a stroke before long or will lapse back into a drunken stupor...not many would stop to help him when he falls....

KeepMHonest said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shark Inlet said...

KEH,

You could have easily written "I refuse to address the issues you all have raised yet will insult you anyways because I have little else to say."

It would have saved us all time and been a bit more honest as well.

Maybe you'll grow up some day. Let us know when you're ready to act like an adult and we can talk then.

Sewertoons said...

keepmhonest must be around 60 or so; not many much younger would recall Della Street.

Grown up in body, infantile in thought and expression. I truly hope that no actual child is involved here in this trick-or-treat scanario.

Churadogs said...

Keepemhonest sez:"KeepMHonest said...
Dreamer Fools,

Ann knows I kid the rotten Dreamers."

Ann also sez: Keepemhonest? You've crossed the same line as 4crap. I'm dumping you and anyone who threatens retaliation of any kind, takes this all personal by urging threats, gets all "Walking While Stupid" sophomoric. GROW UP, people. You're turning into 15 years olds again. Dump time. So KNOCK IT OFF.

There are plenty of issues to discuss, you can also get snarky, (and do) but urging retaliation and threats of any kind. No. That's the "Dump Line," so ENOUGH already.

Ron said...

KEH had an excellent point when he/she said something along the lines of, "Hey, this handful of anonymous commentors come in here several times a day, every day, and deliberately mislead, and spread hate. Why aren't they dumped?"

I thought that was an excellent point.

For years, I've heard and read that "Los Osos is a divided community."

I don't see it, unless you consider the following a divided community:

- 95% of Los Osos wants the lowest priced sewer system possible with a treatment facility out of town... just like it's been ever since the Solution Group's plan failed in late 2000 (and the only reason the "yes" vote wasn't 95% in the 218 vote is because the county, for no good reason at all other than behind the scenes pressure from Tri-W's developers, left the Tri-W project on the table as a "viable alternative.")

- 4.9999% don't want a sewer at all.

- And .0001% are the bitter, malicious people that developed Tri-W, and their ones of supporters, and it's THAT .0001% that have all created creepy anonymous names and incessantly post to ALL of the blogs, and coordinate their silly letter-to-the-editor campaigns, and manufacture labels/slogans ("anti-sewer obstructionists") without regard to the truth, and sneak around behind the scenes trying to influence whomever they possibly can, including county staff and elected officials like Blakeslee. In other words, "behavior based marketing." If you ask me, that's much worse than anything KEH did.

And, because that .0001% does all of that -- and has since the Solution Group's plan failed in late 2000 -- IT APPEARS that there's some sort of massive division in the community, when there's not, as the 218 vote clearly shows.

That .0001% percent does so much harm to Los Osos. And, I, for one, have had it. So, I'm doing my little part to stop them from continuing to tear Los Osos apart, as they have over the last eight years, by not allowing comments, at all, in future posts on my blog (and I'm working on a doozie of a post... killer stuff!).

Now watch, the only people that will bitch are the same .0001% that I mentioned above.

.0001%, your days are over at SewerWatch.

It's up to Ann whether she lets them continue their hate campaign here -- a hate campaign based on nothing more than the fact that they developed an embarrassing sewer project just to CYA, got caught, were bounced from office, and now they'll do ANYTHING to keep the focus away from the history of the Tri-W project, from 1999 - 2004. ANYTHING... including the continued tattering of Los Osos' community fabric.

It's so digusting.

.0001% a "division" does not make.

Mike said...

I'm happy to be working with the 80% population who actually believe the County is the correct vehicle to propel a Los Osos waste water treatment into reality inspite of the vigorous efforts of the 0.0001%...

Maybe you'll kick me off the SewerWatch because I don't believe .0001% of what you write... Oh well....

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

As a technical note, 0.0001% of the citizens of Los Osos would be about about 1.5% of one person. Perhaps you meant 0.1% of the population ... that would be about 15 people.

On the question of whether there is division in Los Osos ... one cannot reasonably explain the outcome of the 2005 recall election and the 2006 LOCSD board election results without using the word. Are you saying that all the division disappeared when AB2701 was signed?

Oh ... one more thing. For your division of people into various groups, I think it would be helpful if you told us separately the percentage who want the lowest priced system possible and the percentage who want the facility out of town ... as we've discussed before, the two are not synonymous ... some would even be willing to pay more to have an out of town plant.

I also agree with your observation that had the County taken TriW off the table before the 218 vote, the support for the 218 would have been even higher.

My question for you, Ron, is this ... if the cheapest possible solution is the goal of so many in town, under what circumstances would it be a good idea to advocate for actions that would increase the cost?

Shark Inlet said...

Oh Ron,

One more thing ... I contend the reason you don't allow comments isn't that you are doing the right thing by Los Osos but that you simply don't want to be bothered by folks who question your data and your conclusions. It seems that you don't want a discussion or debate, but that you want people to simply believe you because you say it.

Ron said...

"The Healing, My Friend, is Blowin' in the Wind"

It's not the "doozie" I refer to above, but it's awesome.

Just posted it... at SewerWatch.

I can see the light.

Hmmmm said...

'- 95% of Los Osos wants the lowest priced sewer system possible with a treatment facility out of town... '
which is pure Speculation from Ron

- 99.9% want the lowest priced sewer system (monthly payment?, single fee?? deferring payments until .......???)

which would be Speculation of another kind

'- 4.9999% don't want a sewer at all.'

pure Speculation from Ron,

FACT: Somewhere between 0% and 100% don't want a sewer at all. I was going to say 0% to 20%, but then they could've not wanted a sewer and voted yes anyway due to the consequences.

'Now watch, the only people that will bitch are the same .0001% that I mentioned above.'

pure Speculation from Ron,


no complaints here, just pointing out Speculation, since Ron is not a reporter because he provides opinions and speculation. Ron can Speculate as much as he wants,

as far as complaints, watch the last BOS meeting

healing yes! less speculation even better!

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

Only you would refer to the stifling of discussion as "healing". Admittedly many of the comments over there are of the sort that would cause Ann to ban the poster, but to close down all comments should not be reasonably considered progress.

That being said, Julie is right that water is important ... really really important. The problem with her point of view really is this ... saying "it costs too much to solve the problem" doesn't make it any cheaper. We do know this, however, delaying the solution does make it more expensive. She discounts the amount of water the TriW project would have returned to the upper aquifer by saying it didn't completely solve the problem and then complains that the County project ideas don't fit the bill either.

What is the best next step? Presumably making sure that the County remains aware that we need to deal with these other water problems as well will cause them to pick a project which can be most easily "leveraged" to deal with the other issues.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KeepMHonest said...

Boo Hoo!

"Richard said: If you deleted my post in error (as you were deleting "keepmhonest's posts)..."

That's the first time Richard has been right about anything, as far back as I can remember...

Thanks to Ron, too.

Ron said: "KEH had an excellent point when he/she said something along the lines of, "Hey, this handful of anonymous commentors come in here several times a day, every day, and deliberately mislead, and spread hate. Why aren't they dumped?" I thought that was an excellent point."

I realize that's not an endorsement of my lingistics. But Ron's right, you know. Some liars lie so easily we have grown to accept it as normal (Sharky, Richard, Crap aka Mike, etc.).

Geez, a few shocking images -- no four letter words, mind you -- and Ann caves in to a bunch of, well, you know...

Guess Ann has to defend and protect the soft white underbelly of her bloggers... She has to censor me because Sharky reached for a hanky. I understand... NOT!

In my own defense, I would simply like to say... YAWN!

Call me when someone here says something, anything half honest and half informed.

Sewertoons said...

Scary. Timothy J. Morgan looks like Jeff Edwards!

http://www.timothyjmorgan.com/

Churadogs said...

Let me repeat again. Because of the ugliness of a whole lot of you "anonymice," I booted 4crapkiller when she/he threatened retaliation for people who voted against the 218. I deliberately left the names OFF Mr. Morgan's letter because . . . let me repeat again . . . of the ugliness of a whole lot of you "anonymice." and because I don't want anyone getting all stupid and threatening people. I dumped keepemhonest for listing Richard's phone number and other potty-mouthed stupidites. I'm going to dump people who imply that others should die and get heart attacks and other ugly, ugly stuff.

And, Richard, if you post those names again, I'm going to 86 you permanently, note that 86ing on the main part of the blog in big ginormous letters and 'splain just why, and then begin dumping anything you post from that point on. Do you understand?

Let me repeat again, the people who signed the protest, like the people who voted yes or no or whoknows, ARE NOT IMPORTANT. The ISSUES are important. In this case, are there serious legal ISSUES in Mr. Morgan's letter that need to be dealt with by the county? That's what's important. so go discuss that if you'd like, not whether someone has a mial order bride. Jeeze.

Keepemhonest sez:"Guess Ann has to defend and protect the soft white underbelly of her bloggers... She has to censor me because Sharky reached for a hanky. I understand... NOT!"

I dumped your posts because they were totally out of line. Please note that this posting of yours is still here. Richard's is dumped (again).

I'll ask again. Will you people grow up already?

Mike said...

This whole blog is a waste of time... I can not understand the very few wanting to continue the fight to overturn the State RWQCB and not recognize the magnitude of the 218 vote.... don't think the 80% were blind to the vicious personal attacks and the CSD condoning a contiuation of the delays.... I've tried to be civil, but like many many others in this community will not stand idly by any longer... 80% is a hell of a mandate and some of you ought to take notice...!!!!

Richard LeGros said...

Ann,

Regarding your deleting my posts;

First, I NEVER made any threatiing comments to those who support the protest.

Second, the names of the supporters of the protest letter is PUBLIC INFORMATION. You felt free to publish the protest, yet you omit the SOURCE of the protest. The protest by itself is meaningless without the 'faces' driving it. While reading the names of the protestors in conjunction with the protest, a reader (if they know the past history that most of the protestors have been parties to numerous past unsuccessful lawsuits against the CSD), can make a judgement as to the protests validity.

Third, it is a questionable act for you to censor ANYBODY on this blog; regardless of content. I have stated this before. By censoring this blog, you are taking CONTEXT out of it. Many of the comments by other non-deleted blogs do not make sense unless the original deleted blog is available to compare it to.

Fourth: how is my posting of the names listed an a public document any different than the past posts you have made naming names, events and promoting speculation? Why is it that you may post such information / speculation which may or may not incite while I or others are denied from doing so?

Ann, you have transformed yourself into the worst kind of censor; you believe that you alone are the only judge of what is right or wrong; and what is suitable reading material for the public.
Additionally, you have just taken action that destroys any credibility that this blog is a forumn for free discussion (regardless of how vile it gets). Freedom is very messy; and not often pleasant.

Now in all fairness, I understand that this is YOUR blogsite. I also understand that you are not (as you yourself have stated) a journalist; but that you are an advocate. This reality is OK by me; but would it not be better to make it very clear to the reader that it is not your intent to provide news untainted by spin, but rather you are acting as an advocate for a specific cause? Even the title of this blog (Central Coast News Mission, Los Osos)seems deceptive. How about these title: 'The Striped-Socked Advocate' or 'Los Osos Advocacy Now!'?

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewer Magic said...

Let's see...

When I think of Richard LeGros, I think of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. He comes from a state of power and he uses that platform to say things that a lot of people find to be insultingly absurd.

The only difference is that people find the power of anonymity to expand on the extremism and the hatred; and this is all happening in a small town where people know each other. Do any of you wonder how uncomfortable that is?

I find Richard LeGros' actions to be reprehensible, malicious and reckless with an emphasis on cowardice. People are going to be upset because it essentially is a "digital lynching," and his actions are no different than those who listed the names and addresses of the Jena Six on a neo-Nazi web site.

Ann, keepmhonest1 shouldn't have been the one who was dumped. It should have been Richard.

Mike said...

Maybe a spread sheet of each of the participants in each of the lawsuits could be generated... compare ALL lawsuits and ALL those who have stepped forward to sue the State and the various CSD Boards... Would we see only a handful of the same names...???

Richard LeGros said...

HI Sewer Magic,

I see you are new to this blog. Welcome!

I respect your right to your opinion that my posts are a 'digital lynching'; while I am a bit confused that the specific intent of your post seems to be attempting exactly that regarding me.

Anyway, I will gladly discuss issues with you, sans anger.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Richard LeGros said...

HI mike,

The answer to your question is yes.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewertoons said...

The names can be found on the ROCK website: RockoftheCoast.com

Why hasn't Ed Ochs seen fit to delete the names? No reason maybe?

sewer magic, are you related to keepmhonest?

Sewer Magic said...

sewertoons,

I just checked the site to see if the names were listed on the article and I didn't see them.

Are you related to Maria Kelly?

Sewer Magic said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for welcoming me on the blog.

I find your recently deleted post to be "digital lynching" for the following reasons:

While the information is public and everyone has a right to see it, there was no reason to post those names standalone. With Jena Six, all the white supremacists had to do was to look up the address and the phone number of the Jena Six defendants in the Yellow Book. Was that public information? Sure. Was it right to post it? Absolutely not.

Let's look at the facts. You have an account on both Calhoun's and The Tribune and you post amongst supporters who've made deeply vindictive comments towards three quarters of the people you listed and you have agreed to their sentiments regularly. Given that information, you made the choice of posting the names on here.

In my opinion, your actions appeared to be an attempt to incite violence and discrimination against those individuals.

Shark Inlet said...

So ... if those names are available at Ed's website, shouldn't Ann delete the link to R*ck*fth*C**st.c*m?

Seriously, I wonder whether Ann is intending on deleting comments that provide links to other sites with "banned" information. Or, if I provide a link to a site which links to banned information, would I get 86ed?

Seriously, I completely support the idea behind Ann's actions. Those who are needlessly rude shouldn't be surprised if they are deleted.

On the other hand, I also thought about writing a letter to the Trib the other day, responding to Julie's Viewpoint. Had they required her to provide at least some justification for her statement and had they evaluated whether her evidence backed up her statements and conclusions, it would have been a more solid viewpoint with a bit less rhetoric.


That's the beauty of blogsites which allow comments and which don't (typically) censor comments Folks who comment can openly challenge the interpretation of evidence and present rebuttal evidence. If folks on both sides are willing to participate in such a reasoned discussion (unlike, unfortunately, Ron), the public can benefit.

That being said, if Richard and sewertoons are right ... if those names are, indeed, attached to a public protest letter, there is nothing wrong with providing that info. If, on the other hand, these folks are not on the protest letter, they should not be listed as so. Or, if the protest letter is not public ...

Sewertoons said...

Names not on ROCK site now.

Churadogs said...

Richard sez:"Third, it is a questionable act for you to censor ANYBODY on this blog; regardless of content. "

No it isn't. This is my blog. If you want to run a blog, go get one of your own. You can then set any rules you like.

As Ron noted on his own site, the Tribune's had to shut down many of their sites because of the over-the-line content. Freedom to access a blog site is a privilege, not a right. Abuse the privilege (my rules) and you'll get dumped.

As Sewer Magic noted above: "Let's look at the facts. You have an account on both Calhoun's and The Tribune and you post amongst supporters who've made deeply vindictive comments towards three quarters of the people you listed and you have agreed to their sentiments regularly. Given that information, you made the choice of posting the names . . ."

TWICE, I might add. I dumped 4Crapkiller for crossing a line. I dumped keepemhonest for crossing the line into pottymouthness, I dumped you for doing a similar thing that 4crapkiller did. That protest letter is like a protest ballot. I was hoping people would have a lick of sense and keep those votes/ballots/protest letters private. Let me repeat again, what's important is the issue the letter raises, not the folks who signed it.

Inlet sez:"That's the beauty of blogsites which allow comments and which don't (typically) censor comments Folks who comment can openly challenge the interpretation of evidence and present rebuttal evidence. If folks on both sides are willing to participate in such a reasoned discussion ..., "

The key here is "reasoned discussion." That often goes lacking here. For some reason -- must have been a full moon? -- some of you -- once again -- completely lost it. Even Inlet got all miffed that Ron 86'd him and all comments from his blogsite (Ron's decision) and called Ron the "p" word, this from Inlet who demanded I "do something" about people engaging in unacceptable potty-mouth stupidities.

Here's the question for some of you. What the hell happened? Full moon? This last run of idiocy was totally out of whack. The election was successful, so no need to chew on each other's ankles over Vote This Way, Vote That Way; the protest letter was full of interesting ISSUES that could have been discussed, ISSUES that the county is, no doubt, working to resolve -- sooner the better -- and the Process is still on track, there is a pretty clear indication that the community has spoken, so what caused this sudden blow-out spate of over-the-top, over-the-line Neener-Neener idiocy?

If the Tribune's closed some of their sites because of the ugliness, did some of you Uglies just wander over here to start Neener-Neering? If so, then please go away.

Ron's latest posting is absolutely correct. WHAT "division?" According to the little counter/tracker, this blog gets about 4,500 hits a month. This particular entry got about 39 hits, most of them repeats, probably from what? half-dozen of the same people, most all of it Neener-Neener-So's Yo Mamma!

I'll ask again what Ron asks: WHAT DIVISION?

Get a grip, people.

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

I largely agree with you. Except when you suggest I have done something wrong, of course.

Calling Ron a pussy was the result of a well-reasoned ironclad logical line of thought.

Ron is also quite welcome to come here and post a reply. In fact, I would love him to come up with a sound explanation for why he now doesn't allow comments on his website. What he told us was weak ... very weak. Furthermore, the timing of the event, along with the comments he deleted give the strong impression that he just couldn't come up with justification for his earlier mis-statements ... or that if he could, he didn't want to bother. This second possibility troubles me even more. If he really cares about Los Osos he would be willing to take the time to finish up discussions he started.

No matter, if he wants to be seen as someone who is largely bluster and who refuses to back up his conclusions with facts, that is his choice.


About the "division" in Los Osos ... it is difficult to explain Julie Tacker's comments and the reaction those have caused without using the division. While you tell us about the context and Julie offers her own words up to the Trib and Ron, it still reads like this ... Julie is saying that she's willing to go to great lengths to get her way even if the County makes a well-reasoned choice other than what she wants. Sounds divisive to me.

Here's my question for her. What if the County comes up with something that the bulk of the public want and will tackle some of our water issues and that other issues could be solved later. Would she then try to derail things because it's not a complete solution all at once? Would she derail the first and most important step to solving all our water problems just because the 2nd and 3rd steps aren't locked in stone already and super cheap?

Ron said...

Hmmmmm wrote:

"pure Speculation from Ron"

O.K. let's speculate on this -- Now that the Tri-W project isn't funded, it isn't permitted, county documents show it to be the most expensive option, it's the least flexible for future upgrades, it has the highest risk for spills into the estuary, it's slated for ESHA when there are several non-ESHA sites available, and the ONLY reason it was sited downtown was so Los Ososans could easily get to the picnic area, among other embarrassing things, in the sewer plant (oh, that's embarrassing)?

Now, let's speculate, again, Hmmmmm, shall we?

What percentage of Los Ososans would YOU say demand that the Tri-W project be built these days?

More than one percent?

Because if that's the case, I haven't seen them. Where are the f are they? Exactly who, these days, is saying things like, "Listen, county officials, I REALLY want a tot lot and an amphitheater in my sewer plant, and I want to be able to walk to them, and I don't care how much it costs or how much environmental damage it does to include a picnic area in the sewer plant. Damn it, I WANT TRI-W!"

Who's saying that these days? Anyone? Is there one single person, outside of the bitter and malicious people that developed Tri-W, that's saying that?

I don't see one... not one... which absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, shows that your community is clearly NOT divided. Pandora just wants to make it seem that way -- all you anti-sewer obstructionists, you -- just so it gives her something, anything, to point to on why Tri-W is gonzo.

"Oh, it was just all those "anti-sewer" people that killed my embarrassing project."

See how that works?

No, Pandora, as the 218 vote clearly shows, Los Osos isn't anti-sewer, at all. It's "anti-sewer if said sewer plant is going to be jammed in the middle of town for no reason whatsoever other than the initial LOCSD Board, that included Nash-Narner, wanted to cover up the fact that their first project, the one that got them elected and the CSD formed in the first place, failed.

So, Hmmmm, let's speculate again: What percentage of Los Ososans would YOU say demand that the Tri-W project be built these days?

My guess? .0001% -- the handful of people that developed Tri-W and their ones of supporters.

That upcoming community survey on which type and location the community wants is, seriously, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen in government.

"O.K. Joe-community member, would you rather have this out of town site, or this out of town site, which is right next door to the first one, or this out of town site, which is right next door to the second one?"

The stupidest election.... errrrrrr.... survey ever.

I wrote about that here.

And I just sent this e-mail to Paavo Ogren:

Hello Paavo,

Last November, in an e-mail to me, you wrote:

- - -
"Although many in the community obviously oppose the site (Tri-W), many others still support it."
- - -

Do you still feel that way -- that "many others sill support" the Tri-W site? If so, what are you basing that on? Is there some sort of documentation that shows that, or perhaps public comment? What?

Thank you in advance for your prompt response,
Ron

Sewer Magic said...

Ron,

I can answer your question even though I'm not Paavo.

On October 23rd, during a recess at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Bruce Gibson told a group of attendees, "When I ran for this seat, I campaigned for the preferred, permitted project and with the 218, people will vote yes. Tri-W and gravity collection will be back in the spotlight. Paavo is committed to [the permitted project] as well."

So when people voted yes, this is what they voted for, plain and simple.

Sewer Magic

Shark Inlet said...

Ron,

The problem isn't people insisting on TriW ... the problem is people refusing to consider TriW even if TriW comes out on top after thorough consideration.

If TriW is really as bad as you say, why spend all that time and effort fighting it when, as you say, less than one person in town wants that site. Why not let the County do their job and figure out what really is best and cheapest?

When Julie jumps all over TriW for not completely solving all the problems of aquifer recharge and saltwater intrusion, it is interesting that the TriW plan does a whole lot more toward solving those problems than do the other proposed wastewater solutions. Why should we tolerate her putting her thumbs on the scale?


I think that the history of division in Los Osos is why there is so much mistrust now. Folks who sided with CCLO and the recall are afraid that the Dreamers are going to push for TriW no matter what and the Dreamers are afraid that CCLO folks are going to fight TriW to the death even if it ends up being the cheapest and best option.


Nope, there is still a huge amount of division in Los Osos. If we all, as Ann advocates, calm down and trust the County yet remain careful observers of their process, we'll likely get the best remaining sewer option in terms of bang for buck.

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Sewer Magic,

The core comment you wrote was:

"In my opinion, your actions appeared to be an attempt to incite violence and discrimination against those individuals."

You are addressing the INTENT of the deleted post. I can assure you that my intent was soley to inform the community by placing the protest letter in content with the folks supporting that position. I abhor violence. To incite violence was/is not my intent.

If you read the deleted blog post you would clearly see that I did not use any adjectives describing the protest letter one way or the other. Further, I also clearly identified as "hearsay needing to be verified" information about the protest letter's author, Mr. Morgan; and did so again without any adjectives pro or con.

The bottom line is while reading a post the reader's perception of the post's INTENT is subjective and dependent upon who is reading the post.

As you and Ann took offense to the deleted post, your impression that it was done so to incite is the way you perceived it. However, that was not my intent. Additionally, others who read the post did not perceive the post as you or Ann did.

As to the location of the post, Ann's site is not of the same ilk as the KKK website (which exists solely to incite violence).

So, in the future why not just ask me what my intent was/is before reaching a conclusion which made you react by blogging unpleasant adjectives vilifying me?

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewertoons said...

The difference between Julie and the Dreamers I know is that they might prefer one sort of project (gravity, Tri-W), but won't fight it if something different is preferred by the majority.

That is QUITE a difference.

Sewer Magic said...

Richard,

Given your previous record, personal quotes, your personal views of those people listed, your intent says otherwise.

As far as I can see, there was no reason for you to place the protest letter in context with the folks supporting that position. That's a nice way of saying, "Get a load of these losers," but given your prior history with those individuals, it clearly shows your actions are vindictive.

Again, granted that it's public information, but the presentation and your reputation supersedes any sort of "good intent" on your part. One could reasonably say that if you had any good intent whatsoever, you'd discuss the letter instead of isolating the people who endorsed it.

Sewer Magic

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Sewer Magic,

Obviously you are set in your opinion of me (and continued villification) rather than discussing issues. Fine. You are welcome to your opinion.

I know what my intent was; and it was not what you believe or blogged.

Enough said.

As for me, I intent to continue my support of the County's quest to build a WWTF in Los Osos. Just to be clear, I have absolutely no preference where the County locates the treament facility; in town, out of town, on the surface of the moon, where ever. Just remember that every day that the WWTF is not built is adding $40,000 to the project costs; costs that you and PZ property owners will have to pay. Let us all work towards a speedy resolution of this project.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewer Magic said...

Hi Richard,

To say I'm vilifying you would be a red herring. What you did was wrong, you know that what you did was wrong, I know that what you did was wrong and Ann knows that what you did was wrong.

That's the end of that part of the discussion, Richard.

If you want a speedy resolution of this project, read my lips: get out of the way.

Sewer Magic

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Sewer Magic,

Thank you for taking the time to state your opinion.
I respectfully disagree.

Regards, Richard LeGros

PS: As you are new to Ann's blog, I assume you have community issues you wish to discuss. Let's hear them. I and other bloggers welcome your thoughts. Whay say you?

Sewer Magic said...

Hi Richard,

I can also disagree to the fact that the sky is blue. As it turns out, the sky is still blue.

I have many community issues I want to discuss--it's widespread.

I think a good issue to discuss would be the following:

How can a former CSD director negatively oust his constituents, fully endorse the actions of others who have discriminated and threated the people listed in the Timothy Morgan protest letter and continuously insist that they did absolutely nothing wrong at all? Does he not have a conscience?

That is a community issue that I want to discuss.

Shark Inlet said...

Magic Man ...

While you claim that those listed in Morgan's letter have been threatened, it didn't happen here. Please let us know what happened.

It would also be worth addressing all similar situations. For example, would it be reasonable to post a phone number in this forum, encouraging folks to call?

Richard LeGros said...

Sewer magic,

I wrote asking your thoughts regarding 'community issues', not opining about your perception of the behavior of private citizens.

Care to try again?

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewer Magic said...

To sharkinlet:

Define "here."

Richard,

Private citizens are no longer private citizens when they publicly discriminate against the constituents that he used to represent and I think your words and actions fully represent the sentiments of Taxpayers Watch. Since Taxpayers Watch supposedly represents community interests, that completely legitimizes this discussion as a community issue.

This is no longer about perception of behavior, Richard. This is dealing with circumstances that you've established: your reputation, your previous comments on Calhoun's blog and posts on the SanLuisObispo.com discussion board. A reasonable person can find your actions to be vindictive. A reasonable person can find Taxpayers Watch's roasting of those people to be vindictive and not once have you ever apologized on behalf of your base.

Your move.

Sewer Magic

Richard LeGros said...

Hi Sewer Magic,

My 'move'? This is a game?

Anyway, why bother.
As you are pontificating as judge, jury and executioner to expressly vilify me, it is very clear that any dicussion with you futile. Your welcome to believe anything you wish.

So much for my thinking that you would want to discuss community issues.

Regards, Richard LeGros

Sewer Magic said...

Richard,

I'd like you to address the issue as soon as possible.

You're not being vilified without reason and you're not the victim. You're the suspect.

Sewer Magic