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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Call Your Insurance Agent! It’s The CSD Elections

The Tribune reports that candidates standing for the two seats for the Los Osos CSD are David B. Dugan, Maria Kelly, Marshall E. Ochyliski, Alon Perlman and Karen Vendetti. (Both Kelly and Vendetti are presently serving on the TAC)

I commend them for their courage and urge the winners to immediately hoik themselves down to their local insurance agent to take out a HUGE umbrella policy to guard themselves from being sued PERSONALLY by whoever claims to be a “member” of the Medean Taxpayers Watch. And I would urge them as their first vote in office, to make sure the District has lawsuit insurance for Board members in place as well.

Over at the Bay News,( www.tolosapress.com ) is Jack Beardwood’s story that “Tacker and Schicker Will Not Run Again,” in which CSD Board member Schicker states that she felt that, "the CSD would benefit by having a new ‘energized’ person on the board” and added, “I’m lucky I’m still alive, to tell you the truth.”

I’ll say. Here in MedeaVille, it’s a miracle ANYONE would stand for ANY office. So my hat’s off to those who have.

Also in Beardwood’s story, an interesting observation by CSD Boardmember Tacker that the CSD is dysfunctional, “it is being kept alive by the County and LAFCo[the Local Agency Formation Commission] to keep attorneys paid. The CSD is a buffer from litigation on the county. The contractors believe if the CSD is abolished they can sue the county. To keep the country free of the Tri-W debt is why we’re still alive.

“Asked if the CSD should be abolished, she replied, ‘I wonder why it’s in existence. I ask the question, ‘Is this our purpose to continue to pay the attorneys and continue to fight the Battle of Taxpayers Watch? Or is it our job to provide real services to the community at a reasonable cost?”

Ah, good questions all and one of the reasons I think we need a Truth & Reconciliation Hearing – civil and criminal liability immunity for all who tell the truth, instant court and jail time for those who lie – at which we may finally get a chance to find out just what happened to this community. Subpoena power for this hearing would go all the way to the Water Board in Sacramento to get some folks up there to ‘splain some emails, among other things. The hearing would be long but very, very interesting.

Meantime, we’ll just have to settle for CSD attorneys defending the community from Medea & Her Brood.

At any rate, good luck to the candidates and thank you for standing for election.

Speaking of ‘Splaining . . .

The Aug 14th Trib and again the editorial of the 15th concerned an ATV bill that would require parents to supervise kids under 16 while riding on Oceano Dunes in various off-road vehicles. Seems Doctors among others are getting sick of seeing kids coming into their emergency rooms with horrendous injuries caused by careless, inexperienced, poorly supervised and trained kids crashing out in the Dunes. You know, kids often so severely injured and whose parents may well have no insurance so the TAXPAYERS get to pick up the bill?

Anyway, this ATV Bill, which, of course, died in some committee, where most bills go to quietly die, was shot down, in part, because the State Parks folks estimated “it would cost between $9 million and $12 million [of tax money] to implement, with the biggest chunk of that going to train young riders [for free] who don’t already have safety certificates.”

??? The state has to cough up money to “train young riders who don’t already have safety certificates?”

When did it happen that if I want to get a drivers license, the STATE paid for my driving lessons? Was I not looking when that law passed? So what’s with this? The State has to pay to train young kids on ATV safety before they can drive off in a State Park and kill themselves and each other? What?

I have a modest alternative proposal: Go to the Oceano Dunes. If you own your own ATV equipment, before you get on the dunes you present the ranger at the entrance kiosk your certificate of proficiency (ATV operator’s license) and proof of medical insurance (just like you present your drivers license and proof of insurance when stopped by the police). If you rent the ATVs there, present same to the person running the rental business. No operator’s license, no proof of medical insurance, no ATV’s allowed in the park and if you’re caught riding on the dunes without same, great big massive fine and confiscation (just like is done if you’re driving around with no license and insurance.).

Ditto for any and all kids in the family. Kid has no certificate, no insurance, parents go to jail for endangering a minor. Or, better yet, jail time for child abuse.

And where to these folks get their operator safety ATV certification? Same place I have to go to learn to drive – Driving School, paid for out of my own pocket.

So, I don’t understand why this bill failed and what or why the State thinks it has to pay to safety train these kids. Let’s hope Maldonado, the bill’s sponsor, “who quietly withdrew it after he learned about the cost,” will rethink this.

Leeettttt the Sun Shine, Letttt the Sun Shine In . . . .

The Tribune, 8/15 again, notes: PG&E to buy power from 2 solar farms.” And the New Times (8/14--21) ,” Local Students may get a chance to study solar technology.”

Woa, nice lurch into the 21st century. PG&E has “entered into agreements to purchase 800 megawatts of power from two solar plants to be built on the Carizo Plain,” while “Atascadero Unified School district looks at partnering with solar firms,” to set up a training program that could lead to “. . . a lot of jobs, green collar jobs. I think we need to prepare our students to get into those jobs. It’s a growing industry and one we can’t ignore,” says George Galvan, trustee, Atascadero School Board.

Amen. Nice move. Now if the Sate and Feds can get moving on both power grids and systems and law changes that would allow homeowners to participate in making and selling electricity to that grid, we can start calling some of those Green Atascadero Graduates to come put solar panels on our homes so we can chug off into our Brave New World.

Karma Times Ten. OMG! I Take It All Back , Maybe

Few days ago I reported feeling a distinct schaden-freudenish glee at the plight Ed McMahon was in – house in foreclosure – because I thought it was karmic retribution for all the years he promised me millions pitching for the Publishers Clearing House and all the while giving MY nice money to other people.

Now comes the hideous headline in the Times: “Trump lends helping wallet to McMahon.” The Donald wants to buy Ed’s house and lease it back to him. Can you imagine The Donald as your landlord, comb-over shellacked in place, bursting into your house every month screeching, My Rent! You’re Fired! Gimme Rent! And pursing his guppy lips at you, pbloik-pbloik . . .month after month after month? Gaaagghhhh, it’s a karmic fate worse than death. Even Ed McMahon deserves better.

On the other hand, the Times story does go on to say that McMahon had listed his house for “more than $7 million but [it] dropped in increments, winding up this weekend at $4.6 million. McMahon purchased the house in 1990 for $2.6 million, according to public records."

Hmmm, let’s see. In a country seeing people literally being put out on the street, with people losing their jobs and homes, I buy a house for $2.6 and have to sell it in a distress, fire-sale type deal for $4.6 and walk away with $2 million smackaroonies.

Aw, Poor me.

On second thought, Landlord Trump may be karmic justice after all.

And finally, the Long View

When all seems so grim and scary, there’s a story by Randolph Schmid, AP, about skeletons uncovered in the shifting sands of the Sahara, of bodies buried when the Sahara was green and lush and strange creatures roamed the plains and forests and two sets of prehistoric people lived and died and were buried by those who loved them amidst flowers and jewelry and other treasured artifacts. Most touching of which was a woman buried with two young children, their skeleton fingers still entwined.

The bones being uncovered are of two distinct races of people living in the same general area thousands of years apart. The Kiffian peoples were tall (often well over 6’) hunter- fishermen. And thousands of years later, a shorter, slighter people, the Tenerians, appeared and had apparently added cattle herding to their hunting/gathering lifestyle.

Soon, time and weather erased all traces of their existence as the green Sahara turned into the desert we know today. And under the earth, the bodies lay until wind and time blew the sand away and like time travelers, they appeared once again to touch us lightly on our own shoulders – whispered reminders – as we were and are now, so shall you be.

Another reminder of how short our lives are, how fragile and fleeting history and memory are, yet these ancient’s all too human care and love for one another remains the timeless message.

A Note

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand, rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur,

to tell pain
from everything it’s not’

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switch off’

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass’
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes’

and to keep on not knowing
something important


--Wislawa Symborska

30 comments:

Mike said...
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Mike said...
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Mike said...

Maybe one wouldn't need to worry about the Taxpayers Watch if they didn't pay off their personal lawyers with Tax Payer Dollars...???

To date the CSD has been billed approximately $50,000 to defend Tacker, Schicker, Cesena, Senet, and Fouche. The District Insurance Company has so far refused pay for their defense claiming the actions of the 5 were outside policy coverage, read that as outside their elected offices, otherwise, acting as individuals... So again we have these individuals spending Tax Payer Dollars for their own personal actions... No wonder the CSD is broke and had the waste water treatment system taken away and given to a responsible entity...!!!

I'm thankful for the TaxPayers Watch holding those individuals responsible for their individual actions...!!! Neither Ann or Ron have ever tried to question those actions, but they question everything the State and the County are doing... I guess it would be too embarrassing to find out that the previous Boards did an excellent job for this community even in the face of the negative actions of these individuals...

SLORider said...

Ann, your thoughts on the Dunes are--well--thoughtful. But, let me point out that your education on Maldonado's bill came from the Tribune. An even bigger mantra than "don't believe everything you read", should be, "everything you read isn't everything." The Tribune has left some fabulous holes in this story!

First, the cost of training you mention has already been charged to ATV owners via registration and other fees. It's just the 'coughing it back up' part that's hard.

Second, there were many, many other problems with this bill other than money that made it nearly unworkable--most notable, is that the training classes needed for thousands are not reasonably available as of yet. Many of the problems could have been addressed early if Maldonado had actually approached the off-highway community when writing the bill, instead of just transcribing Dr. Foreman's pipe dream into words.

The off-highway community isn't even opposed to additional training and other requirements!

The resolution was to agree to work together and come back next year with something that can work.

And, to throw in some knowledge---one-third of dunes visitors make a six-digit income; and a full 80% have been to college. These people, who own expensive toys, do have medical insurance.

If you can find a way to make sure every automobile driver on the road is licensed and insured, then I'll back you up when it comes to ATVs in the dunes.

franc4 said...

LoMike sez,

" Neither Ann or Ron have ever tried to question those actions, but they question everything the State and the County are doing... "

Maybe just you and TW think the LOCSD really did (or are doing) what YOU think. You and your broken record spiel is getting very old.

...he further adds,
"I guess it would be too embarrassing to find out that the previous Boards did an excellent job for this community even in the face of the negative actions of these individuals..."

franc4 asks, "embarrassing" to whom and define "excellent" as to the mess they left?

...then he futher drones,
"they question everything the State and the County are doing... "
Doesn't someone, with gonads, have to keep check on them?


I think Ann and Ron have done a fine job at pointing out how "excellent" a job they did for the community, as well as well as a few other folks. You just don't agree with them..... understandably, being a staunch beliver in your pals....and yourself, of course.

Realistic1 said...

"Maybe just you and TW think the LOCSD really did (or are doing) what YOU think. You and your broken record spiel is getting very old."

Franc,

Why do you think the case goes to court on October 6th? The allegations are not just supposition - they are fully documented.

This isn't what TPW "thinks" happened - it IS what happened. But let's wait an see what the judge has to say about it.

franc4 said...

real 1 sez,

"This isn't what TPW "thinks" happened - it IS what happened. But let's wait an see what the judge has to say about it."

OK...let me change "thinks" to "interprets". That more accurate?....ya know like he says they say. TW better have a lot of "documented" and not just what they "interpret" transpired....you know, like seeking revenge at all costs.

Did you forget, there is one more date before Oct.6th? We'll see what happens then at which time, one of us will be dining on "humble pie". :-@

Churadogs said...

SLORider sez:"The resolution was to agree to work together and come back next year with something that can work."

From your lips to God's ears. I hope they do work this out.

SLORider also sez:"And, to throw in some knowledge---one-third of dunes visitors make a six-digit income; and a full 80% have been to college. These people, who own expensive toys, do have medical insurance."

There's medical insurance and there's medical insurance. Friend of mine's son was in a horrible motorcycle accident. He'll be on state (taxpayer) support for the rest of his life. He had medical insurance. It ran out and/or doesn't cover long term care of the type this now-severely-brain injured, young man needs.

Also sez:"If you can find a way to make sure every automobile driver on the road is licensed and insured, then I'll back you up when it comes to ATVs in the dunes."

Actually, since you have to pass the State kiosk, (or a ranger comes around your camping spot?) it's a perfect check point to check your paperwork, methinks.


Realistic sez:"This isn't what TPW "thinks" happened - it IS what happened. But let's wait an see what the judge has to say about it."

Exactly.

Franc4 sez"Did you forget, there is one more date before Oct.6th? We'll see what happens then at which time, one of us will be dining on "humble pie"

I have no clue who'll be dining on what. I presume the judge will decide that based on whatever evidence is brought forth. You mention one more date before Oct 6th? What was that? A case conference? Motion to dismiss hearing?

franc4 said...

chura asks:
" You mention one more date before Oct 6th? What was that? A case conference? Motion to dismiss hearing?"

dunno, 'xactly. Something around
Sept. 3rd or 4th. is happening.

Since I don't know for sure, I don't want to start a rumor or anything.

Maybe Mike knows...he is up on all the gossip and rumor spreading.

franc4 said...

Ann,

Maybe you can 'spain, in layman terms, why the counter suit was denied.

http://media.sanluisobispo.com/smedia/2008/08/15/13/labarberaruling.source.prod_affiliate.76.pdf

Realistic1 said...

The countersuit was denied for two reasons:

1) The time period in which one could file a countersuit had long since passed

and

2) The countersuit had no basis in actual case law

In other words, the Five had no legal justification for countersuing.

Realistic1 said...

Franc -

Read the Trib article that appeared in yesterday's paper. It explains things in simple terms.

Mike said...

Thank you Realistic1, as usual, some folks do very little research and when they do, they only read what they want to believe they think they read...

Let's just wait to see if franc4 can actually answer Ann's question regarding what may or may not be happening in September before the start of the October 6 trial...

franc4 said...

Mike sez;
"they only read what they want to believe they think they read..."

So, just what do you think you read? Since you do so much research, what is the law that states the time frame that a counter-suit must be filed....besides what Kate said, I mean.

franc4 said...

real sez;
"Read the Trib article that appeared in yesterday's paper. It explains things in simple terms."

I did, several times. All I see is what Kate says. The rest of the stuff is redundant. It's the legalese in the official document that I have trouble with 'cause I ain't no lawyer and don't have access to the laws of Cal. to "research" the laws referred to.....do you?

franc4 said...

Mike sez;
"Let's just wait to see if franc4 can actually answer Ann's question regarding what may or may not be happening in September before the start of the October 6 trial..."

Gee, REA,I'm surprised you don't know about that date. You're usually right on top of gossip and rumors, especially as far as the lady that won't give you the time of day.

Mike said...

So far franc, you haven't given a straight answer... or can't you...??? What's the big deal. you either know what you are talking about or you don't...

Answer Ann's question because you beat around the bush so long that you appear to be confused or unsure... Just answer the question...

Realistic1 said...

Franc -

The September date is for a pre-trial settlement conference. It is not likely there will be a settlement, since your pals maintain they've done nothing wrong. Didn't mention it because it isn't likely to result in anything.

franc4 said...

real 1,

I hope this satisfies mike, since some how he got left out of the loop. Guess no one was gossiping about it or else he would have been aware of the Sept. date.

You are right, I do maintain my "pals" did nothing wrong or at the least no worse than YOUR pals who took your $20M, lined the pockets of THEIR friends, never bothered to ask the citizens if the WWTF THEY chose was ok with the citizens of LoSo...... like a vote or something.
Given, the money the 5 are ALLEGED to mis-spent is no trivial amount but, compared to $20M it is, don't you think? Furthermore, it would have cost the taxpayers much more than they ALLEGEDLY spent to settle the mess.
Y'all (mike,[aka REA & Lo_taxpayer, elsewhere] mostly)keep reminding all who haven't fallen asleep from hearing the same old song and dance of "an approved.....etc....WWTF..." are accusing the present BOD of "stopping an approved, funded....etc" but, think about this, isn't that what the originators (no names) of the CSD concept did? Am I wrong when I understand that the county was ready to act, finally?
And since you are so well informed (almost as much as me.. ;-), why is it that only Ms. Schicker was required to give a deposition (8 hours worth) and the other 4 weren't required? Yes, she was Prez. at the time but, still only 1 vote. That sure reeks of revenge seeking by TW. It is a know fact that Ms. Albright has a personal vendetta against Ms.Schicker...wishing her to "Drop Dead" and has dis-liked her from the get-go of her election to the CSD....Not to mention Richards and Gordos' PERSONAL feeling toward her.

Realistic1 said...

Franc,

There is a reason that Lisa was the only Director deposed. You will find out why when the case goes to court in October - and it had nothing to do with anyone's personal dislike of her.

Don't be so naive. Documents don't lie.

Sewertoons said...

So franc, where were "your pals" in 2001 when the project changed? I didn't live here then, but I've noticed that CSD meetings are properly noticed and open to the public. Why didn't they speak out?

What "they - the old Board chose" was public - so where was the public protest? That protest evolved from the "no sewer" effort at fomenting public outrage when it looked like LO might actually GET a sewer and the "no sewer" people had to stop it? Think you and a lot of others might have been duped?

When did "your pals" decide to listen to the misinformation put out by the "no sewer" people which was cleverly dressed up as "move the sewer?" Or are they actually "no sewer" in disguise?

The people DID vote - to spend $20 million to draw up the plans. There was no law that required any other sort of vote. The RFP's went out legally. The "no sewer" threats probably had a lot to do with the lack of responses - that and the economy then.

I'm sure it took months to get the SRF loan - which they did LEGALLY, despite what the "no sewer" people would like you to believe.

How did Julie flip flop from "…a sewer in LO over my dead body!" to "…move the sewer?"

Yes, that is what the original CSD did - stop the County sewer - but it did not RESULT in the bankruptcy and humiliation of Los Osos as the present Board (sans Joe) has caused.

Personal feelings do not push court cases along - but the law does.

franc4 said...

real 1 sez;

"Don't be so naive. Documents don't lie."

Right, but, there are a couple conditions. Were the "documents" obtained legally and are permissible as evidence and how the Judge, a mere mortal, interprets these documents plus how his ruling will affect his re-election or appointment.
Cynical? Yes, I am. Naive, no. The judical system is in great peril, (IMHO)...much corruption everywhere.(sans LOCSD....except Joe) ;-)

"There is a reason that Lisa was the only Director deposed."

Yes, because Richy and Gordo are "out to get her". I know what you think the reason is. You think because she signed a PETITION, it made her a director of the CC...whatever. If they were so concerned about the money they ALLEGEDLY spent, why weren't they more prudent when they were serving? Why did they chose the most expensive WWTF in the world...and why shouldn't they held accountable for this?
You are blinded by the halo you have placed over their heads.

franc4 said...

sewertoons sez alot of good stuff, but this pretty well covers his statements;

"I didn't live here then"

" Why didn't they speak out?"

...can you say "brainwashed" or "bamboozled" (Cheaper, faster, better)

"When did "your pals" decide to listen to the misinformation put out by the "no sewer"

I don't think they listened to anyone or any "misinformation". They knew what they wanted to do going in.....MOVE the sewer! When did you hear them say (other than Julies comment at the time) that they didn't want a sewer?


Furthermore, sewer, you fail to see, maybe on purpose, that you are grouping the "anti sewer" people with the CSD....two separte groups.

"How did Julie flip flop from "…a sewer in LO over my dead body!" to "…move the sewer?"

Maybe she "saw the light". Haven't you ever changed your mind, stance or opinion on an issue? Why do you dwell on the fact that she may have had a change of heart and hold it against her? How about the candidates in the Presidental race...or ANY political situation.

"Yes, that is what the original CSD did - stop the County sewer - but it did not RESULT in the bankruptcy and humiliation of Los Osos...."

True, but it sure started them down the path towards same. IMHO

"Personal feelings do not push court cases along - but the law does."

I hope you are right!

Realistic1 said...

Franc,

Why don't you ask Lisa what her signature is on? I assure you the "recall petition" isn't the issue.

No one is being sued because they signed a petition.

Who signed what, and why it's an issue, will be explained in court.

I guess you'll just have to be patient.

franc4 said...

real 1,
I know what she signed. I just happen to believe it is not enough for TW to place their whole lawsuit on that signing. That seems to be the only thing they are using as proof, evidence or whatever. IMHO they best have more than that. Any other "facts" they may think they have are purely argumentative.

"I assure you the "recall petition" isn't the issue."

I assume you are referring to the "recall" of your pals, right? ;-) If I were them I probably would have signed the disolvement petition....the TW one....wouldn't you?

Realistic1 said...

Franc,

Hate to break it to ya, but they DO have more than Lisa's signature on a document.

Have a great weekend.

Mike said...

Actually more than ONE document...

...and Lisa was not the only one deposed...

There is a clear trail of documents and monies leading from and going to, as well as what for and why... If you are not in the trail, you have nothing to worry about...

Be patient, October 6th is coming...

Maria M. Kelly said...

Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that this thread was still going but since it is and while I'm here, I would like to point out one clarification in Ann's opening sentence. That is, Marshall Ochylski is also on the TAC. We have been serving together on the environmental working group and let me tell you, he's a smart one! Initially, I was a bit intimidated but he was not one to use that against me and a nice working relationship was forged.

If you see him around, get to know him. He's a 30+ year resident of Los Osos and like myself would like to see the community resolve some of the ongoing issues and support a more "harmonious" community that appreciates an opportunity to be solution focused.

The next question is, will the community allow it or are we too far gone! Obviously, my eternal optimism thinks it's possible but there are other voters who say, good luck and give it a try as they knowingly smile and nod their heads as I feel they are thinking, "..isn't she a dear....I hope she survives..."

Marshall and I agree on many things and healthily disagree on others-non-contentious debate is actually healthy and invigorates the mind. The unhealthy stuff, I'm going to take some sort of "aura Aikido" to see if it will help fend off the tentacles of malicious malcontent bullying. So far so good. What fun and don't forget to vote when the time comes.

Democracy and the 3 branches of government - sometimes we use one and sometimes we use all 3, it's up to "the people" no matter how few or how many, people should not be denied their right to participate in the process, even when we believe they may be wrong, it's the right of the people. This relates to dissolution, lawsuits to stop projects, lawsuits to start projects, lawsuits to challenge issue and make precedent setting changes, attempted compromises and special legislation to protect a community from the infighting and so on. The only thing we have not been protected against yet are the follies of those that bill the district - the consultants who come and go under the cloak of, actually I'm not sure what kind of cloak they wear! All of this has driven us to where we are now and people should acknowledge their roles and be mindfully aware of the impacts on the non-participants but the greatly affected residents of LO.


Thanks,
Maria

franc4 said...

LoRea,sez,

"There is a clear trail of documents and monies leading from and going to, as well as what for and why... "

...and why shouldn't there be? At least they had/have accounting records, unlike your pal Bruce. The records were in his head and on Pats home computer. Could it be the only thing recorded was what he knew the auditors would like to see?

By the way, for once I agree with something you said (gasp!!)reguarding your comment on the media and children. Maybe there IS hope for you....however your summation was a little "over-kill" but, crude as it was, I guess you made your point.

franc4 said...

real 1 sez,

"Have a nice week-end".....to which I return the same wish. Don't forget to go to church!