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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Uh, Kin Ah Git Mah Money Back?

O.k. kids, it's Math Time. Today's Tribune notes: "20,000 gallons of sewage flow from CMC out to Morro Bay." And in the story it also notes, "Before the upgrade, the prison's aged sewage system logged about 150 violations, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines."

150 violations and hundreds of thousands in fines. Hundreds of thousands? Yet the Los Osos CSD gets slammed with a $6 mil + fine for spilling . . . .exactly what into the Bay? Hmmmm.

Even more interesting, remember when Tri W was being hustled along and some folks said, Woa, not a good idea to build a huge sewage plant so near to Sweet Springs and the Bay, what would happen with a spill? and the Powers that Be blared, "NONSENSE! We've built in redundancies. There will be no spills, ever! Not to worry."

So poor CMC upgraded it's old, cronically spilling plant and added on redundancies and doggone, when power was lost to the main plant, the dad-blamed back-up emergency generator didn't start and, voi la! sewage flowed into the creek and hence into the bay, which was a few miles away, not a few blocks away. Dang!

Well, no matter. Individual members of the Los Osos community -- The Los Osos 45 -- face higher fines (up to $5,000 a day retroactive to 1988 and possible jail time) for "polluting" the groundwater from their individual septic tanks, so the 20,000 gallons and potential fines (under a million dollars for a total of 150 violations over the years) now faced by CMC aren't anything to worry about.

Chump change, by comparison.

Hope for the Doggies & Miaows?

In today's Tribune, a follow up on a previous story: The Humane Society has been hired by the county to do a study of our Department of Animal Services. There's been some unhappy rumblings from the facility out on Highway 1, rumblings and complaints coming from the volunteers that the shelter's being mismanaged, there's been miscommunication problems, the staff is overburdened, and even Sheriff Hedges wants to push the joint off his table and maybe make it a completely reorganized, separate, better-budgeted, stand-alone department.

The study will be ready "by June or early July," and the consultants will be seeking community input. Stay tuned for any times and places where interested parties can add their two cents. And if you don't own any pets and think you aren't an interested party, please think again. Taxpayers all pay to deal with "animal" issues. It costs all of us a bundle to pick up, hold, kill and cremate and/or ship the bodies somewhere for rendering. A big bundle.

So the question before the public is this: Are there better, cheaper ways to deal with issues of pet overpopulation, irresponsible owners, irresponsible breeders, irresponsible pet stores, humane education, public outreach, volunteer coordination, private/public cooperation, fully funded spay-neuter programs, coordinated breed rescue groups, and etc., all of which are focused on pro-actively preventing problems from escalating and costing more when they reach the Great Big Mess stage?

Stay tuned.

15 comments:

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"So the question before the public is this: Are there better, cheaper ways to deal with issues of pet overpopulation..."

and;

"... fully funded spay-neuter programs... "

That gets my vote for Priority #1. At least some sort of version of it.

and;

"... irresponsible owners..."

Unfortunately, there are plenty of those, but, in my opinion, many well-meaning pet owners get tagged with the "irresponsible" label just because the can't afford the $50 - $150/per pet, spay-neuter cost.

Of course... gotta have a sewer take.

"... the Powers that Be blared, "NONSENSE! We've built in redundancies. There will be no spills, ever! Not to worry.""

In the Pro/Con report is says that the Tri-W location poses the "highest risk" for spills in the bay when compared to ALL of the other potential sites -- 22 potential sites at last count!

I'm not kidding when I say that thing was an embarrassing mess, and it was an extremely, awesomely, amazingly GOOD THING that it was stopped when it was, or it else the situation would have grown about a thousand times worse... if you can imagine that, and I think you can.

Speaking of that kind of stuff....

Fresh off the blog:

Tribgate

Read all about it at:
sewerwatch.blogspot.com

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

I would hazard a guess that the fines to CMC, once expressed in $/gallon of sewage, are far higher than the fines levied on the LOCSD for the septage that has co-mingled with bay water during the winter months in the time period associated with that LOCSD fine of $6M.

Remember that the RWQCB has also fined the Monarch Grove neighborhood heavily for minor infractions by comparison to the million gallons per of septage from the PZ homes.

Of course, that was not your main point, but you brought up the math question.

*PG-13 said...

Interesting. Anything not directly sewer related falls off the spectrum of worthy comment? I mean, if a blog isn't about sewers is it still a blog? Not in Los Osos I guess. Or are we all so programmed that we only respond to sewer related stimuli? Curious that. Or rather, sad that.

Heaven knows there are lots of important things we need to deal with: politics, war, ethnic cleansings, the economy, pollution, social injustice, global warming, ...... well, you get the idea. The list is near endless. Oh, and don't forget the sewer! So, is our attention span so compromised that we have nothing left to give to the reality of our pets? I know many of us have pets. Specifically cats and dogs. Don't think you're invisible. You are my neighbors. I see you and your pets every day. I can almost count the number of dogs and cats on my block by name. I can name more dogs and cats than I can neighbors. And those animals I don't know by name I certainly know by description. Think about it. They are not an insignificant population. The live with, about and all around us every day. For many of us they are near family members. We love them and they are an integral part of our lives. Many of us may not have such an intimate relationship going right now. But they probably have one in their past. And will probably have another one in their future. I think I'm rather an exception. For whatever reasons I - and my family - didn't have pets while I was growing up. Too much trouble I guess. At least that's what my parents said. Still, I grew up hearing about my parent's pets. They never shared a story about their youth that didn't at some point mention their pets. Their pets were never far removed from my petless life. I sometimes wonder what they were thinking? Nevermind, once I was out on my own I soon began collecting pets and pet moments of my own. I argue that intimate pet relationships are never more than half a generation removed. And usually not even that. So, we're integrally and intimately involved with these animals. How can we not care for them? How can we not do them justice? This is our world and they just live in it. If we can't take care of them how do we expect to take care of each other? Maybe that's s a leap too far. If we don't really care about taking care of each other then we don't hafta worry about the animals either. Or the environment. The earth. Or anything else. (sigh) Assuming we do care about most of the rest of it where do we start? Therein lies the true value of pets. They teach us to care about something more than ourselves. We get to practice on them. What greater love ....?

Ann >> "... irresponsible owners..."

Ron > Unfortunately, there are plenty of those, but, in my opinion, many well-meaning pet owners get tagged with the "irresponsible" label just because the can't afford the $50 - $150/per pet, spay-neuter cost.

Maybe. But I think not. Per my prior comments I think it's something deeper. The cost of spay-neuter may well be an obstacle for some. But not the majority. And probably not even for many who claim it is. In many cities there are subsidized services for getting your pet fixed on the cheap: $10, $15, $25. But these services are seldom maxed out. So I think it must be something else. I think it's more a matter of simply caring enough to fix the problem. (Pun intended.) Do we really want to fix the problems of the world? What better place to start? Yeah, it requires us to step outside our own little lives and make a small effort. I guess that's just too much, eh? (sigh)

Mike Green said...

PG! we've all been sniping at sewerwatch for some reason, oh and spectator did a touch at LOVIEWS.
The water is fine.

Churadogs said...

PG13 Sez:"If we can't take care of them how do we expect to take care of each other? Maybe that's s a leap too far. If we don't really care about taking care of each other then we don't hafta worry about the animals either. Or the environment. The earth. Or anything else. (sigh)"

Amen, PG. Amen. There's also a direct correlation between abusing/tormenting animals and later human abuse, i.e. kid tortures animals, grows up to be a batterer or sadistic killer. Hubby kicks dog around, escalates to beating his children & wife & etc.

As for spay/neuter issues: yes, some of it's expense, but that raises another issue, if you can't afford to spay/neuter your dog/cat, can you afford to have him/her in the firstt place? Pet food. Shots. And there's always some $$ vet bills coming down the pike, unless you're the kind of person who, at the frist dog illness, simply dumps the critter at the pound.

And, there are weird unresolved psycho/sexual barriers in some people regarding spay/neuter, especially neutering male dogs. (They even have artificial testicles you can put back in your dog to make him look intact. Talk about psycho/sexual problems -- the owner, not the dog.)

And there's a whole host of problems caused by basic ignorance of animal behavior. Too many people see a dog actor on TV and go buy a puppy , bring him home and expect the same level of performance. Puppy pees on the carpet, BADDOG!BADDOG! and gets dumped at the pound for being a BADDOG! Sigh.

Thanks for commening on something Non Sewer! Here's a new non-sewer posting that should get some folks riled up. And tomorrow I'll post a Billy Collins poem. Gotta stretech our brains away from septics for a while.


Mike Green sez:"we've all been sniping at sewerwatch for some reason, oh and spectator did a touch at LOVIEWS.
The water is fine."

Wht tickled me about some of the sniping at Ron and me over at Sewerwtch, is so many of the Horrorshow Messes visited on Los Osos were not only not necessary, but not in any way "caused" by us. WE didn't write Roger Briggs and demand he "fine the CSD out of existence." WE didn't peitition LAFCO to make the CSD disappear. We didn't sue to block the Measure B election, thereby setting in motion a hellacious financial hit on the community. WE didn't file a bunch of suits agains the CSD. WE did NONE of those things and advocated NONE of those things. Yet there's Shark Inlet whining and complaining and ragging on us. I'd suggest a mirror for Inlet and his pals. Zeeesh!

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

I'm gonna call you on your mischaracterization of my comments. There is nothing that I have written in this comment section or in Ron's comment section (what is what I think you might be referring to) that could be fairly characterized as whiny or a complaint.

Would you please either give me a quote or ... if you can't find a complaint or a whine ... maybe make a correction?

I would also want to add to your list of "WE didn't"s .... "WE didn't vote for the LOCSD to begin with and WE didn't vote for the recall and WE didn't fight stall and delay the sewer for years under the names CASE and CCLO...

Sewertoons said...

How about, "We didn't bother to check to see if there would be expensive consequences to stopping the project…"

Mike said...

....More like "we don't care how much it costs!"

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Los Osos/Baywood Park Citizens are in the correct place at the correct time to take advantage of the correct technology that will result in the lowest cost discharge elimination solution in decades.

"From obstructionists to world visionaries"- Technology and the law which supports its use, make it inevitable in the LOSTDEP RECLAMATOR Solution.

Sewertoons said...

The last post?

Another advertisement for - you guessed it - the miraculous --- Wrecklamator!!!!!

But Wait! It slices, it dices, it purees! Use it in the kitchen, the bathroom or even in the garage!!!

The miracle machine!!! - The Wrecklamator makes beef jerky for around $3 a pound, and you know what went in it, because you made it yourself!"

Instead of giving kids candy, give them apple snacks or banana chips made with your fabulous, miracle machine--- the WRECKLAMATOR!!!!!

Mark said...

Ok. But seriously, The LOSTDEP RECLAMATOR Solutiom costs $15,000.00 qualifiesfor federal grant assistance and the monthly cost is contractual beginning at 45.75 and is tied to the cost of living index.
Oh and it also provides for 100% beneficial reuse because it does not discharge pollutants. It also remediates the soil think (CAO Here)at no charge.

Can you say Cha CHING?!!! ...ibidy,ibidy, ibidy...that's all folks!

Churadogs said...

Churadogs sez:"Yet there's Shark Inlet whining and complaining and ragging on us. I'd suggest a mirror for Inlet and his pals. Zeeesh!"
There is nothing that I have written in this comment section or in Ron's comment section (what is what I think you might be referring to) that could be fairly characterized as whiny or a complaint."

Inlet previously sez on Ron's Blog: "Just witness the recall election. Neither the Trib nor Ann's blog (let alone yours) gave readers a thorough enough analysis for them to make a wise decision at the polls. I don't remember Ann or you or the Trib writing anything like "if you vote for the recall, please realize this new board will make dumb decisions until we are $40M in debt and then they'll lose control of the project to the County."

Had you done the quality research you are asking the Trib to do, you would have made the dangers of the recall clear to us.

Had you just called (you know, use the phone) the SWRCB and asked them about how easy it would be to move the project site without losing the SRF, you would have been able to help us. Instead, you piddled on and on and on about "bait-n-switchy", not realizing that your single-minded-focus on such minutiae didn't allow you to see the big picture ... that Julie-n-company had an agenda which had a certain outcome ... greater costs for all.

Don't complain so loudly about the flaws in the Trib until you can admit your own faults.

Pot. Kettle. Black.
2:34 PM, January 29, 2008"

Sorry, sounds like a whine to me. . . . piddled on and on . . boo hoo. . . didn't give us enough info to make a decision (Ron and I are now the Deciders? When did that happen? ) Nope, whine, whine, whine.

Mark said...

Ann,

Most Americans have turned their resposibilty to "think" and take responsibility over to someone else.
I offer the lack of outcry regarding the waterboard's not following the law including but not limited to CaliforniaWaterLaw 13301.1 "all possible assistance" with issueance of the 13301 CDO's.

If folks can't or qon't stand up for their rights "someone else must". Enter the AES DES LOSTDEP RECLAMATOR Solution and those "someones" associated with it.
There are more than meet the eye, on that you may rely.
(I had to do my part for prose)

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

That you can't tell the difference between an observation and a whine is pretty sad.

The fact is that neither you nor Ron considered questions about the cost of the actions you were advocating in your "move the sewer" fervor. Is my pointing that out a whine?

I guess that the entire content of your sewer commentary is similarly a set of whines and complaints. Why you would spend years whining about the Solutions Group and the Dreamers and every RWQCB action since the recall when you feel that whining is so wrong?

Face it ... the recall was a failure. They didn't accomplish much besides the gift of taxpayer money to their lawyer buddies, running up a bunch of debt and delaying a sewer for a considerable amount of time (allowing pollution and saltwater intrusion to continue).

The questions is whether the costs we'll have to pay are worth it. Is the possibility of a plant at a different location worth the increased costs and pollution? I would say no.

As you've never chimed in on the matter, I have to assume you still stand by the folks you previously backed and who still act as if the recall was wise. However, you have the opportunity now to tell us if you think the debt, the various lawsuits and settlements and the "fight the power" attitude were a good thing or not. Why not tell us and stop us from guessing?

Ann accusing me of whining .... that's a riot ... again, the pot calling the kettle black is deliciously ironic.