The EIR Scoping meeting at the community center last night was pretty well attended, considering the weather. No TV coverage, however, so if folks were wanting to see it later at home, tough luck..
The Notice of Preparation (NOP) was sent out to the various state and federal agencies, any and all agencies that will be involved in this project. Apparently, earlier in the day, at the BOS meeting, CSD Board member Lisa Schicker. noted that an important document had been left out of the NOP’s “partial list of existing information for this project.” The missing document was the RESCINDED SOC. The original EIR’s with their original SOC in it that allowed Tri-W to be built in the first place are listed, but not the RESCINDED one that made a finding that the original SOC wasn’t supported by any fact or evidence concerning having to keep Tri-W at Tri-W (or should I say “Formerly known as Tri-W) because of “community values,” and such like.
The RESCINDED SOC is an important piece of “existing information for this project,” since if it’s gone missing, various agencies might proceed on the incorrect assumption that the original SOC is still in place.
Well, perhaps Schicker will mail a copy of the RESCINDED SOC to the various agencies and they’ll remember to include it in the NOP paperwork before going forward.
In a cc of an email sent to Supervisor Gibson and Paavo Ogren, Schicker is still asking for a copy of the law that the Tribune keeps referring to as in, Tri-W is still on the scoping table because Tri-W has to be evaluated as “required by law.”
What law? Near as I can see, the county , as lead agency, has a lot of latitude as to what they will or won’t consider, what will and what won’t be on or off the table. The term “reasonable” is bandied about and as lead agency, the County will, like Humpty Dumpty, determine what “reasonable” is.
Maybe that’s just the Tribune misspeaking itself? Or one of those phrases bandied about when you want to shut people up and have them stop inquiring too closely. It’s now clear that Tri-W (aka Formerly Known As Tri-W) will remain on the table for a variety of “political” and “personal” reason, none of which are necessarily found in “law.” Also, it will serve as a useful comparison model for other things to be evaluated against. As in, Is System X more or less expensive than Tri-W? Is System Y’s energy use footprint less or more than Tri-W’s? and etc.
Uh, Oh, It’s One More Email 101
Los Ososian Michael Jones also took frothing umbrage with Supervisor Gibson’s bland dismissal of The Los Osos 45’s CDO’s as “symbolic” and fired off an email. Posted with permission. Still don’t know is if the BOS majority will come up with a resolution or merely send one of those genteel and meaningless We View With Alarm, Point With Dismay “letters,” to the RWQCB that allows everyone to pretend they’re now off the hook – Look, we sent a letter, what more do you want, you tiresome symbolic people?
To all my friends and neighbors who love and care about Los Osos,
Over this past week, I have read and listened to at least a half dozen complaints regarding Supervisor Bruce Gibson's representation of our Community regarding the CCRWQCB's enforcement actions and CDO's.
As I watched the replay of the last County BOS meeting(12/11), during the supervisor's comments on the Los Osos wastewater issue, I was transfixed watching Supervisors Achadjian and Patterson represent and defend the community of Los Osos while listening to Bruce Gibson explain and back pedal away his reasons for not representing us. During this exchange, all I could feel for Supervisor Gibson was embarrassment. It had the total appearance that Supervisors Achadjian and Patterson were "taking Bruce to school". How to be a representative of your community school. How to represent your district 101. Watch the tape if you haven't. It's quite sad. Rather than represent his constituents and the community of Los Osos, I guess Bruce chose to represent the RWQCB by restating the Water Board's position that the CDO's are being held in abeyance due to a PZLDF lawsuit. The first thing I would say to Bruce is, our property owners, who have been issued CDO's and attacked by a rogue state bureaucracy that has no oversight, have no choice but to defend themselves in a real court of law and not the kangaroo CDO court that has been held by the RWQCB. They really don't have a choice, do they. Think about it. I would also like to thank Supervisor Patterson for representing us by making the point that if the CDO's go away, the lawsuits go away. Supervisor Gibson stated that he hadn't read the PZLDF lawsuit recently. I wonder if Bruce has ever read the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. There are things in there about States depriving persons of life, liberty, or property and other things about Equal Protection under the Law which is a huge line the RWQCB crossed when they decided to pursue selective "random" enforcement actions. I can't wait to see what a real court has to say about this one. What our wastewater project needs right now is movement and the biggest act of constipation to point is the enforcement actions of the CCRWQCB. It's too bad our local district 2 representative refuses to take a stand for us on this issue.
It's my understanding that Supervisor Gibson received heavy campaign contributions from the Pandora Nash-Karner led Taxpayers Watch Group and that Taxpayers Watch received heavy contributions from Barnard Construction, the gravity sewer collection company who lost their contract when the Tri-W project went belly up. Follow the money. Perhaps this explains why Bruce Gibson drafted a letter last Summer to the Coastal Commission supporting the extension of the Coastal development permit on the Tri-W property(you'll recall this motion was shot down by everybody in the room including Pavvo).
It is a matter of record and fact that Pandora Nash-Karner(Taxpayers Watch) drafted a letter(email) to the CCRWQCB asking them to pursue fines against the community of Los Osos. Perhaps this is why Supervisor Gibson refuses to take a stand on the CDO issue and all his comments are mealy mouthed and merely reactionary.
I also watched the replay of the December 7th CCRWQCB meeting. Of the many on that day who spoke at the lectern representing Los Osos, I believe our Supervisor, Bruce Gibson, was the only one who did not advocate that the CDO's be rescinded or vacated. Even Taxpayers Watch supported LOCSD representative Joe Sparks and Taxpayers Watch supporter Don Bearden both clearly stated and requested that the CCRWQCB vacate the CDO enforcement action.
So, I guess my question for Supervisor Bruce Gibson is this......
What's the frigging problem?
This is not the type of leadership we are looking for in our elected representatives.
There is only on word I can think of to describe Supervisor Gibson's performance as our representative to date.
His fear of offending a minority special interest group has impeded his ability to defend an entire community.
Is it too much to ask that he just believe in something and take a firm stand?
Here's a question......
When the County accepts responsibility for the wastewater project, shouldn't the responsibility for the CDO's and the fines that go with them be transferred to the County who permitted the septic tanks in the first place?
Maybe this is reason #645 why the County of SLO needs to support our property owners and adopt a resolution supporting that the CCRWQCB VACATE AND RESCIND ALL CDO/CAO ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS.
I'm sorry I can't attend the County BOS meetings but I know there will always be good people there to represent us. I thank and love you all.
your pal in Los Osos,
p.s. sorry for the rant but venting makes me feel better. I can't even imagine what our front line 45 CDO recipients have gone thru but I want to thank them for representing us all.
Is That a Lawsuit I See In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?
As previously posted here and now noted in the Dec 18 Tribune, (“Reclamator salesmen seek $80M in claim – The Company that says its device turns sewage into drinking water asserts it was ridiculed by the state.”), AES CEO Tom Murphy and his business partner Mark Low, filed a claim against the state alleging “defamatory statements” about their product via Harvey Packard, the RWQCB enforcement guy. Apparently, Packard went on KVEC AM 920 radio and dissed Murphy’s Reclamator. And Roger Briggs, the RWQCB’s CEO sent a letter to AES (which was cc’ed all over the place by various folks) that stated that “Low and Murphy have been making ‘false, misleading and unsubstantiated’ claims about their technology.”
The claim was filed with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and my guess is that it will be turned down flat, thereby allowing Murphy to go into a “real” court if he intends to pursue a defamation lawsuit against Packard or Briggs.
Personally, I don’t get a “defamation” lawsuit. Impossible to win unless you have a smoking gun in the form of a letter, signed in blood, stating: “I _________ intend, with malice aforethought, to lie about Mr. Ms. Mrs __________ knowing full well all my statements are false and I further fully intend to cause them harm by falsely attacking their character, their businesses, and lying about whatever I can lie about in order to deliberately ruin them and their reputation. Signed __________
Otherwise, you got zip chance because the person you’re suing can simply say, “Oh, gee, sorry, I made that statement based on the information I had at the time and I had no reason to believe the information was false, I harbored no malice towards _______, never intended harm, but was working from verifiable information. & etc.
Even trickier, OPINION, is often totally shielded, as in, "I think Mr. Ms. Mrs. ________ is a Doodeyhead." Free speech. Opinion. Protected.
BUT, by entering this claim, Mr. Murphy allowed the Tribune another bite at this apple – a perfect chance to run a headline that referred to Murphy & Low as “salesmen,” with all that – wink-nudge—implies and wrongly state that they plan to turn “sewage into drinking water.” (If Murphy demands a retraction of the drinking water quote, that retraction will be buried in tiny print somewhere inside the paper, never to be read by anyone—more wink-nudge.)
And as for Water into Wine, Sewage into Drinking Water, to my knowledge they’ve never asserted that. They do assert that whatever they’ve turned the sewage into meets the federal standards “which meets or exceeds MCLG’s for on-site beneficial re-use and recharge,”and therefore doesn’t qualify as “discharge” of pollutants, whatever “discharge” means, a definition they’ve got to settle with Briggs, the County, the RWQCB, and, likely, a federal court who may finally have to define what the hell “discharge” actually means in Water Board World where Citizen X is forbidden to “discharge” anything into the PZ while the CSD was given a “discharge” permit to “discharge” gazillions of gallons of treated “pollutants” back into the ground .
Well, good luck to Murphy & Low. Unless you’re just looking for headlines and don’t care what people say about you as long as they spell your name correctly, never, as the old mot goes, never argue with someone who buys ink by the ton. Or, like the Tribune, that often gets things so deliciously wrong then continues to cut-n-paste the wrong info in order to keep sticking it – like boilerplate – onto the tail end of so many Los Osos stories.
And Now, Let Me Go To The End Of The Driveway, Feed The Crows, And Get The Paper To See If Something Really Dumb Is On The Front Page.
Whew, nope. But, interesting to see it’s a case of deja vu all over again with Animal Services. Years ago, during the Title Nine Wars to re-write the animal regs, DAS ended up in disarray, was handed off to the Sheriff and things quieted down for a while. Now, things are in disarray again – clearly from the testimony at the BOS yesterday, we’ve got a typical problem coming up again: How to reconcile the various missions of Animal Services – legal issues and code enforcement, public safety and health issues, humane sheltering and active adoption programs, public education, and so forth. It’s quite a list and a hard balancing act to get all those often overlapping missions done right on a limited budget.
Thanks to policy changes, and most critically the change in policy that requires all dogs or cats adopted be spayed or neutered before being released to their new families (ironically, earlier nationwide studies showed that huge number of shelter dogs were actually coming from . . . shelter dogs . . . as adopters “forgot” to neuter their new dog and so the cycle started again.), as well as the tremendous work of the volunteers, DAS kill rate is one of the lowest. (More irony again, a few years ago with Sheriff Hedges and DAS Director Anderson’s help, groups of county “animal welfare” folks came together to form the Animal Alliance and search for ways, for example, to tap into Maddy’s Fund, a private donor dedicated to reducing the kill-rate at shelters, only to find out that, thanks to so many volunteer groups’ efforts, our County’s kill rate was too LOW to qualify for those particular dollars (understandable since Maddy’s Fund could then concentrate on counties with really awful high kill-rates.)
So, clearly there have been changes for the better. But just as clearly, there are still problems. The county will be looking into ways to solve said problems. The Tribune story notes that the civil grand jury is “believed to be investigating” the shelter as well.
This isn’t rocket science. There is so much information already out there as to how to build on the success this county has already enjoyed, BUT there has to be a commitment – and finances – to improve things. Active, funded, aggressive spay/neuter programs, reconciliation and fair enforcement of laws, strongly supported volunteer programs, with an active coordination among all the private rescue groups, a fully funded humane education and outreach program for both kids in schools as well as the public in general, (how many dogs get dumped at shelters simply because their frustrated adopters don’t know how to successfully potty train their new pup?), all are critical parts of any program that even hopes to be successful.
I can only hope that whatever problems are found, whether personnel or structural or procedural, can be solved. There are so many active animal welfare groups manned by so many wonderful volunteers that surely solutions can be found both on a governmental level and on a public/private level that can allow us to do better for the cats and dogs we all profess to love, but then too often abandon with such cruel indifference..