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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More RWQCB Stealth Septic Plans

The RWQCB is still pushing through their state-wide, region by region Seatlth Septic Basin Update Plans and when they got to Sonoma County, they got an earful. This from the Press Democrat paper. As one local wag commented, No wonder the RWQCB doesn’t regularly broadcast their public meetings. 1,700 people? Woa! If those good folks had paid attention to our own Los Osos 45 and the Mad Hatter Tea Party & Torquemada’s Inquisition “Trial,” there would have been 10 times that number turning out. Well, can’t say they haven’t been warned.

By BLEYS W. ROSETHE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:06 p.m. Last Modified: Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:16 p.m.


There’s a rural revolt unfolding among land owners in Sonoma County opposed to government having its way with their water wells, their septic tanks and their stream banks.


THE THREE BIG ISSUES
STREAMSThe issue: Creating protection zones around more streams traversing Sonoma County.The debate: Environmentalists see expanded rules as saving waterways. Landowners fear loss of property rights.Timing: County General Plan hearings in August 2007.

WELLSThe issue: Monitoring usage of well water.The debate: Environmentalists worry that groundwater is being depleted. Landowners oppose government intrusion into well use on their property.Timing: General Plan hearings in October 2007.

SEPTIC SYSTEMSThe issue: Testing and replacing septic tanks.The debate: State water regulators implement state law requiring stricter oversight. Landowners say replacement cost would be onerous.Timing: State water board hearings, 2009.
Related Links:
Septic rules blasted
Nearly 1,700 people turn out in Santa Rosa to blast septic tank requirements
Sonoma County grading rules draw lawsuit
PD Editorial: Septic debate
Key Documents:
Text of AB 885 (PDF - 9kb)
This pastoral uprising has been fomented by land owners frustrated by a wave of environmental rules they consider out of touch with lifestyles close to the earth, and ready to turn out by the hundreds to public hearings at a moment’s e-mail notice.


“It’s our Fourth Amendment freedom to be left alone on our property,” said Gloria Ball, a Knights Valley resident and an organizer of the Sonoma County Land Rights Coalition. “When governments try to impose rules on our water and our land, it amounts to a taking of our property.”
While most of Sonoma County’s half-million residents live in one of nine cities, 130,000 live in rural, unincorporated areas. About 45,000 households, almost all of them in the country, rely on septic systems to flush their waste and wells to supply their water.


When the State Water Resources Board tried to hold a hearing on new septic tank regulations in Santa Rosa last month, the board had to close down the meeting when the 400-seat auditorium couldn’t hold everyone who showed up.


Much the same thing happened in fall 2007, when the Sonoma County planning commission held separate hearings on General Plan proposals on water well monitoring, biotic habitat and riparian setbacks.
The Land Rights Coalition that Ball heads is just one of several groups that spreads the word about perceived property threats through e-mail, postal mail and phone trees. The coalition often joins forces with the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, the North Coast Builders Exchange and the North Bay Realtors Association.


“Of all the issues I deal with, I get more outraged phone calls from people who are infuriated with more big government trickling down with rules that don’t make sense,” said Lex McCorvey, the Farm Bureau’s executive director. “People understand the need for maintaining water quality, but they don’t trust government when those rules mean they bear the hidden costs.”


Packed public hearings
The property advocates have geared up members, activists and sympathizers for the state water board’s redo Monday of the canceled septic tank hearing. This time, the board has reserved the 1,600-seat main theater at the center and the session will be from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., with a break between
5 and 7 p.m.


These organizations have ripped pages out of the playbooks of environmental and community groups that, for decades, have churned political action with clarion calls to pack public hearings.


Environmentalists and neighborhood activists were largely responsible for the crowd of about 300 people who turned out for last Tuesday’s supervisors hearing on a controversial asphalt plant near Petaluma and for the 100 people, mostly in opposition, at a hearing on a disputed winery development in Knights Valley.


Philosophical divide
Environmental concerns about the quality of ground water and river water were at the heart of the Legislature’s passage in 2000 of AB 885, which puts the onus on septic systems users to monitor their systems. Sampling of about 1,000 residential wells in five counties found that about a quarter of them experienced water quality problems, a result cited by regulators as evidence that preventive maintenance is in the public health interest.


Denny Rosatti, executive director of Conservation Action, the county’s most influential environmental group, views the competition as usually well-intentioned but often misinformed.


“It is the postcard and the fear that gets them to turn out when people hear there are threats to their property,” Rosatti said. “They don’t give people the whole story.”



He credits the opponents of water well monitoring and septic tank regulation with “having plenty of passion with their opinions.” However, he feels Conservation Action’s person-to-person contact results in better informed residents appearing at public hearings.


“You want to go with the facts and point out the other side, that the waterways of the state need to be kept clean, that species need protection and that public health in rural areas can be compromised by leaking septic systems and polluted wells,” Rosatti said.


But Eric Koenigshofer, former county supervisor and now an attorney on land use issues, said the rural revolt “is not as simple as old-fashioned property-rights conservatism.”


Koenigshofer sees an increasingly broad philosophical divide between rural residents and suburban dwellers who rely on sewers and wells, yet have no idea how a septic tank and leach field work.


“There is broad public support for preventing stream pollution and insuring water quality, but you also find there are residents who don’t want these suburban attitudes or gentrification and they are pushing back on regulations from the outside the envelope,” he said. “People in rural areas have lived there for a long time so the idea that they need to be closely watched, that they need somebody traipsing around their property and that they need to pay for that regulation is abhorrent.”


It comes as a rude awakening to rural residents and to opposition groups that state government’s water quality rulemakers have been working on the septic system regulations since legislative approval in 2000.


Proposal will be revised
Monday’s hearing comes just weeks before the Feb. 23 deadline for public comment.


Already, the water board has announced it intends to revise its proposals.
“One thing that is certain is that the draft proposals that will be discussed on Monday will not be the final proposals,” said William Rukeyser, the board’s communications director. “They will go out for public comment again. When the board will act in 2009 is anybody’s guess; there is no timetable.”


Whether it’s proposed state regulation or the county General Plan, Koenigshofer said “the process is so loaded up with environmental review analysis” that rural residents often feel public hearings are nothing more than an afterthought.


‘A great tragedy’
With government bureaucracies focused on details of environmental review studies, Koenigshofer said advocacy groups like the Land Rights Coalition have an opening to galvanize residents waving hand-made signs.


“It is a great tragedy that there is so much emotional charge to these hearings because protecting water supply and having clean rivers sounds so good,” he said. “Who could be against that?”


Ball said she and others are opposed in large part because they feel nobody’s listening to their side of the story.


Ball, who was raised in Guerneville, came to the issue 18 months ago when she attended a General Plan hearing and felt property owners should be better informed about government actions. She and her husband, Everett, retired to his family property in Knights Valley after his career as a managing accountant for Silicon Valley start-ups.
“Years ago, people in rural areas went about their lives with little interference, and now the legislation is coming through so quickly that people need to be informed,” Gloria Ball said. “That’s a job that government is not doing.”


You can reach Staff Writer Bleys W. Rose at 521-5431 or bleys.rose@pressdemocrat.com.


More Sewerish Stuff


Sigh. Been nice to ignore all this crap for a while. Let the raging fence fighters of the Comment section take a break, maybe get treatment for their rabies? Anyway, in a previous comment section, a Commenter calling himself Shark Inlet posted the letter from the US Fish & Wildlife (commending on the DEIR Los Osos Sewer Project & etc) at http://sharkinlet.fileave.com/09.01.29%20FWS.comment.PDF (hope that’s right? )


And reading it I found an interesting point in paragraph 6, where it says, “. . . the 72 acres of Broderson property not proposed for use as leach fields ere never granted to an appropriate agency or conservation organization in perpetuity with deed guarantees of non-development or transfer and the $10,000 per year that was to be allocated for the long-term management and monitoring of Broderson has yet to be set aside.”
Which prompted a question: If the Broderson mitigation & etc. wasn’t properly finished, signed, sealed and delivered BEFORE the recalled CSD started digging holes in the ground at the ESHA Tri-W site, why didn’t Coast Keeper Hensley sue CSD Boardmember Hensley for jumping the gun and digging up ESHA land without all the t’s crossed? Just wondering.


Also, Paragraph #7, regarding some of the same 72 acres now being claimed as useful for mitigation for the latest project? Apparently that can’t be used since it’s already been “used up” for the Tri-W site?? Will the countyhave to find more mitigation acres? Well stay tuned. And also stay tuned for the “community survey” that’s to be arriving shortly.



That’ll be interesting. Shall we lay bets? If history is any template, then 40% of the surveys won’t be returned at all, and IF there’s some kind of “choice” being offered, 30% will go for choice A and 30% will go for choice B and so the county will feel free to go for whatever they had in mind in the first place. Now taking bets.


More Arcana
Commenter Mark Low has been ragged (and asked) if his company has submitted the proper paperwork to have his component considered in the mix and if I understand correctly, his company won’t be submitting any Statement of Qualifications & etc. because that’s only done by licensed contractors. Mark’s product is a “product” that can then be selected and installed as part of the overall project IF it’s picked as a component. The question, as I understand it, was this: Was Mark’s component given a fair hearing at the time it was supposed to be evaluated? If so, is it still in the mix? And if not, why not?


Mind Your Manners
For all this blog’s commentors, some of whom sometimes completely lose their marbles, I would suggest you track down the story in the Feb 5th New Times by editor Patrick Howe (can email him at phowe@thenewtimesslo.com to ask how to access that story?).



Story was about one commentor on a blog who is being SUED by another blog commentor for libelous comments made in the blog’s “comment section,” thinking he/she was “saf” since he/she was using an anonymous made up name. That blog, like many others, requires commentors sign on with an email address, so they aren’t as “anonymous” as they think.


Please remember than when some of you more immature and rabid commentors get yourself ramped up into complete idiocy. I will use my little garbage can to dump you when I wade through the garbage and decide it’s simply too stupid to keep up. But be aware that the person whose leg you’re chewing on can track you down and sue you personally and you might be able to get away with claiming “opinion,” or “temporary insanity,” or something, but you really gotta ask, Is my momentary juvenile raging rant worth the possible hassle of being dragged into a real court? Naw.


Anyway, great piece. I urge you to check it out. One of the strongest points made is by Dan Blackburn (CalCoastNews) is that when people completely lose their marbles and force a website to completely cut off all comment, then everybody loses in the vital give and take of free speech. So, to some of the sillier of the people who regularly log on here to froth at the mouth and chew on one another’s legs, keep that in mind. Abuse that privilege and you’ll lose your voice altogether. So, play tough, but play fair.






.

73 comments:

Watershed Mark said...

From: Henry.Bruce@epamail.epa.gov [mailto:Henry.Bruce@epamail.epa.gov]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2009 1:39 PM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: Re: [decentralized] brittle

http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4328

maybe this will provide some insight

The above was clipped from a recent exchange on the USEPA maimtained listserv: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues

It isworth noting that the link posted above was done so by a USEPA employee, which speaks volumes about the entire "proces".

Enjoy the video, it isn't far from the truth in your WWTP study process.

Aaron said...

I have something that's relevant to this article.

I posted up the transcripts for the speeches Ed and I gave on Tuesday at the recent BOS meeting.

Click here to read the transcripts.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

" I would suggest you track down the story in the Feb 5th New Times by editor Patrick Howe (can email him at phowe@thenewtimesslo.com to ask how to access that story?). "

Here's the link to the story:

http://newtimesslo.com/news/1960/naming-names/

Good piece.

Ann also wrote:

"... why didn’t Coast Keeper Hensley sue CSD Boardmember Hensley for jumping the gun and digging up ESHA land without all the t’s crossed?"

That reminds me:

After writing a piece where I showed how Gordon Hensley uses his one-man "groups" to influence official things, like laws, I recently stumbled upon a web site from an attorney out of Nipomo, Guy Murray, who writes about, yep, ol' G. using one of his one-man "groups" to influence official things, like the Nipomo CSD.

Murray's site is linked here:

http://nipomonews.org/2006/05/08/follow-up-on-coastkeeper-lawsuit-against-ncsd/

Murray is great.

I mean, look at this excellent smack:

"You (Hensley) claim your group (SLO Coastkeeper) is essentially a watch dog group for government; but, who watches you?"

and;

"Mr. Hensley and Attorney Naficy evaded my request at every turn, and attempted to change the subject to something it was not. It’s also abundantly clear from this email exchange they want to avoid any outside light or questioning of their legitimacy in bringing this lawsuit."

and:

"I find it an abuse of the system to allow what Coastkeepers has done in this case. If they are truly a watchdog group, they would have nothing to hide. They would be proud of what they are doing. They would readily identify individuals with whom they are partnered in this litigation. I say let the sunshine of day fully illuminate exactly what Coastkeepers has done, and is doing in our community. They have been elected by no one. They prefer to work without identifying exactly who they are. They attempt to thwart the public policy of a publically elected body through litigation."

Absolutely beautiful.

And, well, wadaya know, shorty after Hensley started using his favorite past-time (suing people) in Nipomo, his old buddy, Bruce Buel got the Nipomo CSD General Manager job.

But, I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Right, G.?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Murry and Ron are apparently the ones who are trying to watch Gordon. No surprise that Gordon tries to change the subject back to what he wants to focus on from what Murry wants to focus on ... it's human nature. Just watch how Ron responds to people asking him questions.

Hey ... that's a direct parallel which is really funny.

Ron claims to be a watchdog (sewerwatch and all that) who seems to push on only one or two issues and seems to avoid other issues entirely ... just like Ron claims Gordon does.

The funniest thing is that Ron (a self-proclaimed watchdog) is criticizing Gordon (a self-proclaimed watchdog) for not responding to criticism appropriately.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

It's starting to look more like Pandorawatch or Gordonwatch than sewerwatch.

And, speaking of Ron's blog ... if a tree fell in a forest where there was no one to hear ... would it make a sound?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ann writes:

"Commenter Mark Low has been ragged (and asked) if his company has submitted the proper paperwork to have his component considered in the mix and if I understand correctly, his company won’t be submitting any Statement of Qualifications & etc. because that’s only done by licensed contractors. Mark’s product is a 'product' that can then be selected and installed as part of the overall project IF it’s picked as a component. The question, as I understand it, was this: Was Mark’s component given a fair hearing at the time it was supposed to be evaluated? If so, is it still in the mix? And if not, why not?"

If the County makes the rules here and if Mark's not gonna play, he shouldn't be surprised to not get the contract.

That Mark's fussing over the distinction between a product and a system to get around the question of whether the company is qualified to do the job is simply funny.

If they can get the job done and want the work, they should jump through the required hoops. If they can get the job done, they are effectively contractors and engineers and should demonstrate qualifications. Does he seriously expect that we're gonna take his word on faith? If his company has put in similar installations in other sites, they should be able to demonstrate qualifications.

To refuse over that issue shows this is a mere game to Mark or that he wants to use Los Osos as a political football to achieve a goal which won't directly benefit us. Even if it's a good goal, I don't think that we should waste our time discussing Mark's issues as if they matter if he's simply unwilling to work with the County.

Mike said...

Don't you just love the Los Osos Sewer War(s)....

Ann, speaking of "Stealth Plans", just when is PZLDF going to pay their portion of their lawsuit...??? ..or have they made a "Stealth Payment"..???

...and we're all still in awe of the Lisa Schicker "Stealth Plan" for an alternative to the legally designed and permitted one started on the Tri-W site...

...and Ron... that was an interesting article from 2005,2006...as an investigative reporter Ron, how did that lawsuit from 4 years ago turn out...???

Churadogs said...

Inlet: I think the question is,IF Ecofluid is a process/system/device that can be picked and installed by any contractor and can be sized for any project, then it doesn't matter if the Company submits an RFP to act as "installer," or whatever. If the "device" works best of all, let's say, then it should be looked at among other devices and picked or not picked based on its function and output. IF that hasn't happened, then I'd like to know why not. If it DID happen, then the results of the evauations should be in the DEIR or somewhere. If they're not, they need to be.

When The Process was set up, it was supposed to give a fair look to a variety of technologies and devices and plans through a lense of a criteria created by the TAC. Those systems that didn't meet the criteria were tossed out early on. Those components that consistently met the criteria and withstood scrutiny (with no hidden thumbs on the scale) were supposed to float to the top.

The problem comes with those "thumbs." IF the county has determined that their priority is, say, making sure Corlla Engineering gets the project, then all systems will be bent towards that end. IF the County has a priority of making sure WMH, the old contractors and the SRF folks are all paid up and off, then the project will be bent towards that end. IF the County decides that their priority is lowest initial cost to keep the citizens quiet by giving the illusion of low cost, but with the plan of adding on other (needed) stuff later with increased prices phased in over time, rather than showing up with a complete project with actual, real-time full price, then whatever project is put together will be bent towards that end.

And, like all things Sewerish, we're back into the usual battle between expediency versus "science."

And as for mark's continuing to ask how a "leaky pipe" system can be allowed in a PZ that was shut down to prevent "pollution," keep in mind, the RWQCB get's to levy lots of nice fines for "spills." The more the spill the larger the fine. Gravity leaks can go undetected for years, say, as opposed to a pressure pipe which sounds the alert much more quickly. Does anyone see some thumbs on that reality?

Ron, thanks for the link to the CoastKeeper info from Nipomo. Interesting, as usual.

Watershed Mark said...

Churadogs wrote: Ecofluid is a process/system/device that can be picked and installed by any contractor and can be sized for any project, then it doesn't matter if the Company submits an RFP to act as "installer," or whatever.

Double Bulls-Eye!! Thank you for clarifying Ann!!!

As with all things sewerish you have illuminated the process with crystal clear "light", again...

Sewertoons said...

Shark, did wsm ever send you the materials that he promised to send you that prove that his device meets Water Board standards?

Ron said...

An anonlooser wrote:

"speaking of Ron's blog ... if a tree fell in a forest where there was no one to hear ... would it make a sound?"

I have no idea. Maybe we should ask your weak, contrived question to the nearly 8,000 people -- half of them first-time visitors -- that show up on my blog every single year.

How many show up at your blog, Gup?

(Wait... I just thought of something, I officially change your nickname from "Gup" (short for "Guppy Inlet") to "Rat" (short for "Rat Inlet") because all you do is scurry from blog to blog to blog (created by people that actually have game -- like me, and Ann, and Aron), and then you just drop your little pellets all over the place... in the dark recesses.

Rat wrote:

"Murry and Ron are apparently the ones who are trying to watch Gordon. No surprise that Gordon tries to change the subject..."

I'm tellin' ya, this Murray guy is tremendous.

I can't get enough...

Here's another link:

http://nipomonews.org/2006/05/01/nipomo-community-services-district-sued-over-santa-maria-water/

... where he writes:

"Ok, now we’re getting to the root of this lawsuit. Let’s see just what we know. There’s a guy named Gordon Hensley, who is the executive director of some group called San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper. The Tribune describes him as a “local environmentalist.” If you go to their website here, you will see it appears to be some environmental group, headed up by this Gordon Hensley. But, if you click on any of their links, you will see they have absolutely nothing listed under their self-described categories of FEATURES | CAMPAIGNS | ACT NOW | EDUCATION | EVENTS. Absolutely nothing! They do nothing? Yet, their website has a neat little logo saying they are some kind of environment group in the public interest..."

"They do nothing?"!! Soooooo goooood.

and;

" What the Tribune story neglects to say is that Mr. Hensley didn’t do such a great job over there in Los Osos as a CSD Director. In fact, the Los Osos voters FIRED him for several reasons, including, according to a prior Tribune story:

• Violating basic First Amendment rights of the public to speak and criticize government in public meetings — by repeated use of fear, intimidation and lawsuits against private citizens.

• Wasting public resources for years to promote a “bait and switch” sewer, rejected by a majority of people who just wanted the darn thing moved.

• Ignoring citizens and furthering speculative land interests, and driving local residents from their homes with excessive costs for water, fire and sewer services.

• Spending citizens’ money for electioneering. Starting construction with fewer than 30 days before a vote, engaging in “scorched earth policy” and a “spend-into-submission” strategy designed to further intimidate the voters."


And just on and on, hammering away...

"Yep. This is the same Mr. Hensley who Los Osos voters recalled from public office. Gosh, how lucky are we down here in Nipomo to be able to benefit from Mr. Henlsey’s timely filing of this lawsuit to save ourselves from our own elected NCSD Directors for adopting this horribly flawed Urban Water Management Plan?

I guess after being thrown out of public office, Mr. Hensley had some extra time on his hands."


At the risk of sounding awkward, I love this guy.

With his primary sources, and his tremendous smack, who does he think he is? Me?

Corroboration rocks!

Mike wrote:

"... an investigative reporter Ron, how did that lawsuit from 4 years ago turn out...???"

Excellent question. I actually e-mailed Murray that question a couple weeks back, but he's yet to reply. I also asked him in that e-mail if Hensley continued to meddle with Nipomo politics after Buel was hired.

No answer... yet.

Mike said...

...in other words Ron, you are merely repeating a 4 year old Trib piece written by a disgruntled guy who had no concept of what was really happening AND Ron, you have NO UP-DATE and are only speculating with comments convenient to your vindictive and unfounded opinions...!!!!

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ron,

Who rakes the muck of the muckrakers? Sounds like you don't mind when people ask that question about Gordon but you seem to get a bit touchy when people ask it about you. If you can't deal with people pointing out that you've never ... ever ... ever discussed the financial aspects of the whole "move the sewer" point of view, let alone whether they actually had a plan as they promised.

If you wanna live in history-land, fine, but don't pretend you're an investigative journalist if you're unwilling to consider all aspects of this fiasco, including the fact that the delay you advocated for has cost us increased pollution and extra costs.


'Toons,

Mark has sent me yet again more stuff (and a bunch of the earlier materials again). Still disorganized and no logical presentation or even index file to help guild a person thru the materials.

Mark asked me to fill out a form so that I could see the actual data and I've not heard back from him with any actual data.


Ann,

The issue here about Mark is interesting. He seems to be saying something like because we're not a gonna install it ourselves, we don't need to prove we're qualified which makes sense ... except I wouldn't want to hire Ripley to help me solve my sewer needs unless I knew Ripley was qualified to work as an engineer in this area. Similarly, we don't know Mark's company's qualifications. Presumably if Mark's company wants to be part of a design-build option for the County they would need the ability to actually build it.

The County seems to want to go with one firm to design the system and another to do the construction ... but they're open to design-build. If they've got a proprietary process, how do their systems ever get built? Maybe they want to do the designing only ... but if that is the case ... how can we know that they can design such a system if they've unwilling to ... on their own dime ... submit a package that demonstrates their design will work for Los Osos?

Sewertoons said...

Thanks for the wsm update Shark!

Watershed Mark said...

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/AssetFactory.aspx?did=19435

Would those who "believe" that technology providers should submit their statement of qualifications for the LOSTDEP Design Build please identify those technology providers from the county's website, please?

Ron wrote- (Wait... I just thought of something, I officially change your nickname from "Gup" (short for "Guppy Inlet") to "Rat" (short for "Rat Inlet") because all you do is scurry from blog to blog to blog (created by people that actually have game -- like me, and Ann, and Aron), and then you just drop your little pellets all over the place... in the dark recesses.

Like: "The County seems to want to go with one firm to design the system and another to do the construction ... but they're open to design-build."

Ron said...

I wrote:

"An anonlooser wrote:"

Boy, did I mangle that.

Of course, what I meant was:

"An anonaloser wrote:"

And, as long as I'm here... might as well wrap things up:

1 mo' link:

http://nipomonews.org/2007/01/31/coastkeeper-lawsuit-against-ncsd-thrown-out/

"Coastkeeper Lawsuit Against NCSD Thrown Out"

And, one last excellent Murray blast:

"... it was a complete waste of the NCSD rate payer’s money. The NCSD was forced to defend this frivolous piece of litigation. Thanks to Gordon Hensley and Attorney Babak Naficy we have wasted precious resources that could have been better allocated."

Sound familiar Los Osos?

Sewertoons said...

Why yes it does - how about the lawsuits by CASE, CCLO and PZLDF? All of enormous waste to LOCSD funds!

Churadogs said...

Toonces, you forgot TPW and the TPW attempt to have LAFCO dissolve the CSD. That cost some coin of the relm.

As for Mark's EcoFluid, is this thing a "device" (i.e. pre-built, sitting on a shelf somewhere) or a propietary "process" that can be assembled by whoever gets to contact to build the sewer, and if so, then ist it a component that could be selected over another component and as so, he would only have to submit the output numbers and other functioning data so it can be combared with other processes being looked at?

Churadogs said...

Oh, re Ron's comments on Gordon Hesnley's Coastkeeper, Neil Ferril, editor of the Bay News, had an editorial about him this week, "Mr. Hensley Tear Down That Fence!" at www.tolosapress.com

Sewertoons said...

Um Ann, you "get the contract" by eventually being awarded that contract. Qualified contractors will be bidding on a specific project outlining the costs involved for their specific technologies. You don't "get a contract" and then put something together later. Perhaps you are confusing this with the RFQ process. That is a way to weed out the contractors who don't have the required teams, with required licenses to get a job done - whatever that technology may be.

As for LAFCo, that was tiny, tiny potatoes compared to the combination of costs on all the rest.

Ron said...

Good news, Rat, for this thread, I'm actually reading your terrible takes again (a very difficult thing to do, I will add), just so I can write this:

"Rat wrote:"

With that in mind...

Rat wrote:

"... the fact that the delay you advocated for has cost us increased pollution and extra costs."

So, to be clear, Nash-Karner lied to the Coastal Commission in an effort to cover-up the fact that the only reason she created the LOCSD in the first place, had failed, and the resulting disastrous delays associated with those lies are my fault, simply because I love to report on the unbelievably interesting fall-out from those lies.

Well, there you go, Rat. What can I say to that? You got me there.

Also, to be clear, I take offense to your inaccurate (as usual) "advocated" take.

I prefer to think that I did MUCH MORE than just "advocate" wiping the Tri-W cover-up/embarrassment off of the Los Osos landscape. I like to think that I was single-handedly responsible for it.

Rat, you have no idea how proud I am of that fact. (Think the train wreck's bad now? It boggles my mind to think of how bad it would be had the Tri-W embarrassment been pursued, and "bait and switchy" started to become clear half way through construction. Oh...my...Lord. Stunning.)

Think about it, that's the only reason I got back into the Los Osos "sewer" story in 2004, with Three Blocks, to begin with... again, and if you read that story closely, you'll see that I call both "sides," "stupid."

I watched, from my perch in the beautiful Santa Margarita outback, how the 1999 - 2004 LOCSD Board was lying and deliberately confusing the residents of Los Osos, and I also noticed how the "move the sewer" folks were never going to wrap their minds around "bait and switchy," BECAUSE of that lying and deliberately confusion (remember their attempt to get Tri-W's development permit revoked?... oi, that was a mess. Their attorney(s) for that effort should refund their fees, out of human decency. But, as we all know now, the words "money, "lawyers," and "decency" rarely mix), and that meant that, unless I wrote my second New Times cover story on this subject, the "bait and switchy" Tri-W cover-up/embarrassment was going to be built in the middle of a town that I love -- a love that grew from my intimate reporting in Los Osos, for six years in the 1990s.

So, if you think it through, Rat (something I already know that you are incapable of doing), there are actually THREE "sides" in Los Osos.

The "scorched earth," "fine out of existence," lie-to-preserve-the-cover-up types (Nash-Karner, Hensley, etc), the (once-)confused "move the sewer" types (Tacker, McPherson, etc.) and the "Los Osos IS the victim of a 10-year-and-counting, "bait and switchy" cover-up that cost the State millions, and ripped a community apart" type: SewerWatch.

And, in the defense of the "confused 'move the sewer' types," they (especially Tacker) were able to really tighten up their game post-2004, after the searing heat of the SewerWatch sunshine melted away all of that deliberate confusion.

So, yea, that wasn't me "advocating" for squat. That was me single-handedly pulling the curtain back on "behavior based marketing," and revealing how Los Osos was/is the victim of a scam, because I was the only one that saw it.

Cool, huh?

Sewertoons said...

In your mind perhaps ron, but then you don't live here and you have no real emotional concept or connection to just how UNCOOL all of this is.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ron,

You are not responsible for the poor choices of others.

But if you think that you've adequately covered the Los Osos sewer situation and that you've adequately investigated the financial questions facing our town, you are lying to yourself.

As for whether you were advocating for Julie's position or not, I would only point readers to the fact that you've never looked into the claims that she and others were making shortly before the recall ... that they had a plan which would cost only $100/month.

If you think that investigation means investigating only one side in a political argument you are playing into the hands of the other side ... or you are a part of the other side.

Face it, you've never done what a real journalist would do which is to ask for proof from everyone making various claims.

Nope, you're as bad as you claim Pandora is.

Aaron said...

I'm not saying that it's okay to be uninformed or make a bunch of claims, but I don't know how "adequately" one can fully investigate the Los Osos sewer situation given that decisions and noteworthy revelations are rarely documented. There isn't much transparency going on within our local governing bodies.

What I do know is nothing resulted from that $100/month "plan" that the previous board was toting around. The board did not vet additional technologies and facility locations, which I think they should have done instead of stopping the project and then asking, "Hey, what do we do now?"

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Aaron,

Watch out ... if you start to ask questions of people on both sides in town you just might find out that asking questions is not allowed by some.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Um Ann, you "get the contract" by eventually being awarded that contract. Qualified contractors will be bidding on a specific project outlining the costs involved for their specific technologies. You don't "get a contract" and then put something together later."

The question remains: Was ECOFluid evaluated by . . . somebody during the County's "process" and is it still in the mix as a process/device of choice for whoever gets the contract? Or not? If it wasn't evaluated at all, why not? (brought in too late? Wrong format? Missing info?) And if it was evaulated, what beat it out and why? Cost? Discharge numbers? etc?

Mark seems to be constantly implying that he submitted info in a timely matter, but it was ignored? Overlooked? True? Not True? Why? Why not? And if it was overlooked for some reason, is it in the mix now? & etc.

Toonces also sez:"As for LAFCo, that was tiny, tiny potatoes compared to the combination of costs on all the rest"

I fot to mention the Really Really, REALLY costly decision by the recalled Board to sue to block Measure B election BEFORE the election. WOA! That really really bad decision cost the CSD a bundle. And, like the recalled Board's decision to start digging holes int he bround before the recall election, was totally unnecessary.

Aaron sez:"I'm not saying that it's okay to be uninformed or make a bunch of claims, but I don't know how "adequately" one can fully investigate the Los Osos sewer situation given that decisions and noteworthy revelations are rarely documented. There isn't much transparency going on within our local governing bodies."

Amen. An awful lot of stuff gets done behind closed doors with no clear accountability and the average citizen simply doesn't have time to keep up. Does anyone think that the various "illegalities" Ron has documented in the bait and switchy and the SRF loans & etc. were made public and/or when Ron connected a whole lot of dots, the watchdogs who should have been in charge said, Oh, Dang, we screwed up, we've got to set this right? Not a bit of it -- cover up time, cover your behind time, bury the victims and bully the rest and hope nobody notices.

Ron said...

You know what the problem with "bait and switchy" is? It's too complex.

To fully grasp the concept, and why it is EVERYTHING -- repeat: EVERYTHING -- Los Osos, takes over-the-top intelligence, and, that's why, to this day, the only people I know that fully understand "bait and switchy" are me, Ann, and former Coastal Commission staffer, Steve Monowitz (and the only reason Monowitz understands it, is because I explained it to him.)

And that's it. That's it!

"Why did the Coastal Commission call the LOCSD "bait and switchy" in 2004, and what was the dramatic fall-out of "bait and switchy?"

I've asked that exact question to Roger Briggs, Sam Blakeslee, Richard LeGros, RWQCB Chairman, Jeff Young, Paavo Ogren, and many other "officials" that SHOULD know the answer to that excellent question, but don't.

And the interesting(er) part is, they don't dodge the question, they just simply do not know how to answer it. BIG difference.

If people like Sam Blakeslee, and/or the SLO County Sheriff's Department, and/or the Attorney General's office, and/or the SLO County Grand Jury, and/or the local Water Board, had the wherewithal (and/or inclination) to understand such a complex crime as "bait and switchy", Los Osos sure would save a HELL of a lot of money... and headache.

Because, without a doubt, the BEST thing that could happen to Los Osos today, is for "bait and switchy" to become crystal clear to regulators, because, if it did, it would also instantly become crystal clear to those regulators that the town's been nothing more than the victim of a cover-up, for 10-years-and-counting.

Los Osos isn't full of "obstructionists." It's full of victims.

And the regulators that should be helping people like Rat, and 'toons, and the rest of Los Osos ratepayers, don't, simply because they don't have the wherewithal (and/or inclination) to grasp "bait and switchy."

Sad, actually, and frustrating.

Mike said...

Sorry Ron, but a whole lot of folks DO know and understand YOUR brand of extremely one-sided yellow journalism... probably why no one answers your silly questions... Keep patting yourself on the back for your misrepresentations and misconceptions...

You just might listen to what Aaron said...

"What I do know is nothing resulted from that $100/month "plan" that the previous board was toting around. The board did not vet additional technologies and facility locations, which I think they should have done instead of stopping the project and then asking, "Hey, what do we do now?""

Obviously Ron never had a clue but Aaron has realized "....they should have done instead of stopping the project and then asking, "Hey, what do we do now?"

Sewertoons said...

Because ron was so blinded in his hatred of Tri-W, he failed to realize that in his position of journalist, he COULD have asked those questions Aaron just posed and perhaps saved Los Osos from victimhood. Instead, he chose not to. Sorry ron, you are and have been NO help to Los Osos.

Aaron said...

When you're trying to get to the heart of the matter, people are going to respect you more if you ask questions and seek answers instead of making accusations and basing your conclusions on those accusations.

The problem is that our local government has not been forthcoming with information that could -- and probably would -- preempt accusations and sharp-tongued scrutiny. So when Ron posts his opinion (keyword here is "opinion," not universally recognized fact), I can understand where he's coming from. It's the frustration of not knowing what needs to be known.

Sewertoons said...

Aaron, ron is supposedly a journalist - at least that is how he bills himself. I am asking him why he did not, as a journalist, ask your important question at that critical time when he was writing in 2005. He, as a journalist, should have been asking those questions. I know he won't answer anyway.

I base what I write to ron on years of blogging to him and distilling my answers back into the opinion that I expressed above.

Problem is, with ron, if he doesn't like an answer, he simply says that person is wrong. There is no dialog with ron either, unless you agree with his viewpoint. Ron doesn't call what he writes opinion anyway. ron calls it FACT. So getting to the "heart of the matter" is impossible.

Bait and switch? How about this one: $100/mo out-of-town - yet there was NO PLAN? Is that ever commented on by ron? No, he thinks it is "too boring."

When you ask, "The problem is that our local government has not been forthcoming with information that could -- and probably would -- preempt accusations and sharp-tongued scrutiny," just which information are YOU asking for and in what forum should the local government present it?

Are you asking about the missing but promised transparency of the Lisa-Julie Board? Wouldn't those answers actually have provoked accusations and sharp-tongued scrutiny?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Let's look carefully at something Ron writes. He says that "nearly 8,000 people -- half of them first-time visitors -- ... show up on my blog every single year."

So Ron is saying that half of those who stumble onto his blog in a year never return. This leaves us 4000 hits per year.

On average I've probably looked over there about twice per week (mostly to see if there is anything new ... I guess I never learn). Okay, break out the calculator ... I'm about 2.5% of ron's real and not accidental hits. I wonder what fraction of the other visitors are wondering whether he'll ever write about anything other than what he had there in 2005.

I'll bet that Maria Kelley and 'Toons clock in for 100-200 hits per year each, so it would appear that a full 10% are just the three of us. It would seem that Ron is less a journalist for the people than a niche writer who has only interested three people ... and one those because he is so silly.

Even so, let us suppose a geometric distribution for the number return visits for Ron's visitors (assuming 8000 hits, half of which are non-returners ... which probably wouldn't be too unreasonable), we would have the average number of visits across Ron's audience being about 2:

4000 one-hit-wonders
2000 people who clicked onto two blog entries
1000 people who looked at three things
500 four hit folks (seriously ... they read four things Ron wrote and then decided never again)
250 at five each
125 at six
63 at seven
32 at eight
16 at nine
8 at ten
4 at eleven
2 at twelve
1 at thirteen

and

me who could be singlehandedly be responsible for 100 hits. There are possibly a few others who have more hits than I do.

Nope Ron, your "8,000 visitors" is pretty much unimpressive.

Back when I cared about hits and that, it would not be unusual for my website to have over 500 URL requests per day.

I don't want to be too snarkey, but these numbers are just too good to let lie. Ron's 8000 per year translates into 22 per day, half of whom are soooo interested in what Ron writes that they choose to never visit again. Of the others, 6 probably look at two blog entries .... ooh! My Ron is impressive.

Face it Ron ... you've chosen irrelevancy. You've decided that you would rather pursue an agenda than a thorough look at the facts. You've decided that you would rather support Julie's agenda and the anti-Pandora and anti-Gordon movement than actually look into the specious claims of the pro-recall folks.

I can't make you investigate (ex-post-facto) the claims of the recall movement, but until you do so, you cannot seriously claim to be a journalist or someone who is has the best interests of Los Osos at heart.

It is folks who ignored the facts to "support our community" who voted for the CSD and got us into this mess ... why Julie and Lisa and Chuck off the hook when they were just as bad if not worse?

Aaron said...

Sewertoons,

The information I've been asking for pertains to all sorts of things: studies, staff reports, documentation listing reasons behind many of these highly contested decisions made by the boards of the past and yes, that also includes the Lisa-Julie board. Nobody is exempt from scrutiny.

I used to be the kind of person that would say that someone is simply wrong without ever showing otherwise, but it took me a few years to mature, sit down and reflect on where I'm coming from as well as where other people are coming from. You have to listen to people including those who you disagree with because maybe they have a point, maybe they know something that you don't know.

At the same time, I do not believe that Ron should be at the epicenter of scrutiny because we are all accountable for the "one-sided yellow journalism" found in our words. We are all discovering information regularly so the truth is constantly evolving. However, we should all learn to take the next step and conduct thorough research and then we can break the vicious cycle.

Watershed Mark said...

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/AssetFactory.aspx?did=19435

Would those who "believe" that technology providers should submit their statement of qualifications for the LOSTDEP Design Build please identify those technology providers from the county's website, please?

Ron wrote- (Wait... I just thought of something, I officially change your nickname from "Gup" (short for "Guppy Inlet") to "Rat" (short for "Rat Inlet") because all you do is scurry from blog to blog to blog (created by people that actually have game -- like me, and Ann, and Aron), and then you just drop your little pellets all over the place... in the dark recesses.

Like: "The County seems to want to go with one firm to design the system and another to do the construction ... but they're open to design-build."

The point of this repost above is to try to illuminate, again, that those who believe they understand the process, simply "do not".

Ann very astutely wrote: …”The question remains: Was ECOFluid evaluated by . . . somebody during the County's "process" and is it still in the mix as a process/device of choice for whoever gets the contract? Or not? If it wasn't evaluated at all, why not? (brought in too late? Wrong format? Missing info?) And if it was evaluated, what beat it out and why? Cost? Discharge numbers? etc?

Mark seems to be constantly implying that he submitted info in a timely matter, but it was ignored? Overlooked? True? Not True? Why? Why not? And if it was overlooked for some reason, is it in the mix now? & etc.”…

These are questions that should be asked now to avoid a bait a switchy result from the county’s current study process.
"Pay attention People" it is your money the county is about to spend.

$25MM for an “upgradeable to tertiary treatment plant”???…

There will be no shovel ready money, just SRF for the LOSTDEP. (sorry Lynette)

Sewertoons said...

Thank you Shark - for poking a hole in ron's sudsy bubble of self-importance. You are exactly right on the number as to my looks at ron's site. Yeah, I should know better by now. But hope runs eternal for ron's redemption away from one-sidedness. And I'm getting use to the disappointment.

I do listen carefully to those I disagree with to be able see what they are speaking to so I see what education needs to be done, for me or them. And there is a boatload of misinformation out there. it was very interesting at Bruce Gibson's office hours last week. He was so patient at getting to the root of misstatements made by a leader of an "environmental group." The leader kept trying to change the issue, moving the goalposts. He simply did not want to see that he could be touting misinformation. Ego blockage of hearing the truth. IMHO. Nobody likes to be wrong, so half of the damage control for those believing misinformation must be spent soothing ego's.

Aaron, ron only becomes the epicenter when we allow him to be - which is usually because we take issue with his boastful claims and it is kinda fun to pop those bubbles - like with bubble-wrap. I know I stopped taking him seriously a long time ago as he really only recycles --and not in a very psycho-eco-friendly way.

Realistic1 said...

"Why did the Coastal Commission call the LOCSD "bait and switchy" in 2004, and what was the dramatic fall-out of "bait and switchy?"


Jesus, Ron.

How many times do you have to be told, the "commission" didn't call it "bait & switchy"? ONE commissioner did - and it was a phrase put in her ear, THAT DAY, by Julie & Company. The commission still voted unanimously to approve the project.

My God, get over it. If it was so "bait and switchy", why did the property owners approve the Tri-W assessment overwhelmingly, park amenities and all?

And before you say "they were lied to" - refer yourself back to Shark's question "and what about the post-recall board's lie about having a plan?"

Sewertoons said...

Ann says:
"I fot to mention the Really Really, REALLY costly decision by the recalled Board to sue to block Measure B election BEFORE the election. WOA! That really really bad decision cost the CSD a bundle.

Well, before the recall, I am right - it did NOT cost the "old" Board CSD much to fund that lawsuit. After the recall YOU are right - Mrs. Biggs of BWS was paid a whopping bundle by the "new" Board (she being the author of said Measure B - which has been shot down - two, three times now? I've lost count…) - that is where the big money was lost - the money which some clueless people are still looking for - but those in the know, know it landed in the pockets of BWS.

Watershed Mark said...

Lynette,
Define "big money"-



There will be no shovel ready money, just SRF for the LOSTDEP. (sorry Lynette)

Watershed Mark said...

why did the property owners approve the Tri-W assessment overwhelmingly, park amenities and all?

Because they were lied to...

Ron said...

Aron wrote:

"So when Ron posts his opinion..."

"Opinion" like this?:

http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2006/02/whats-my-opinion-poem-in-verse-of_10.html

Where I write (among many, many, many other excellent takes):

- - -
"It's not my opinion that Nash-Karner produced a newsletter for (Save the Dream) that said, "The California Coastal Commission required Public Amenities be added to the wastewater site."

It's not my opinion that Coastal Commission staff member, Steve Monowitz, told SewerWatch shortly after the publication of that newsletter, "It galls me when they say we required the amenities."

- - -

Damn, I'm funny.

Mark wrote:

"why did the property owners approve the Tri-W assessment overwhelmingly, park amenities and all? Because they were lied to..."

Exactly, and don't forget, those property owners were lied to with their own money. Remember that "survey" that Nash-Karner commissioned just before the assessment election, and then used that campaign material... errrrrr... "survey" to call all of those property owners and lie to them about the nature of the project.

Yeah, I wrote all about that at this link:

http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com/2006/04/language-in-2001-public-opinion-survey.html

... where that brilliant public opinion specialist I interviewed, Robyn Letters, told me that the language in that "survey" was "obviously biased."

GREAT story!

Or, is that my "opinion" too... that the words "obviously biased" came out of her mouth when I asked her that question?

Uh, 'toons, Realistic, etc, you DO realize that it is a VERY good thing for you that I've shown that Los Osos is nothing more than a victim of a 10-year-and-counting cover-up, right?

Verrrrrry good thing for you.

You're welcome, again.

Lastly, Rat, do me a favor... run down to the middle of Los Osos and let me know if you see a $55 million picnic area with a sewer plant in it, and then tell me how irrelevant I am.

Now, blog about the messenger, AnonaRat.

Sewertoons said...

So Aaron - or should I say Aron - how about an opinion on ron's boastful and down-talking verbiage?

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ron,

As we've discussed before, even if your muckraking about the Solutions Group was 100% right ... it doesn't necessarily follow that the wisest thing to do would be to start over from square zero.

Let's try this one more time ... if someone borrows your car and it gets a dent, the cost of repairing the car might be higher than the replacement cost. Sure, you like your car, but even a good friend will only be willing to pay you the value of the car at most. Similarly, if continuing on with TriW would have been considerably less expensive than abandoning it, continuing would have been financially wiser. Presumably if one cares about location as well as cost it's a trade off, but I'll suspect that if you actually head down here and ask a random sample of people whether they would rather have TriW at $200/month than the County plan at $250 they would say they prefer TriW. The majority in favor of TriW would be even larger if you carefully explained that the County's proposed plan doesn't do as much for aquifer recharge and would allow more growth.

As for lies during campaigns ... I am continually amazed and amused that Ron only discusses the lies of the Solutions Group but has never ever ever written about the $100/month promise of the recall campaign.

As Ron's really into history and as that promise is now about four years old perhaps he'll cover it sometime in the next few months.

Mike said...

hahahaha... Hey Shark... As Ron seems stuck about 4 to 6 years behind today's news, it would seem safe to bet he will be just about getting around to the post recall CSD decisions/bankruptcy right after we are all connected to the new County sewer.... LMAO...!!!

Aaron said...

Ron,

I'm going to give some constructive criticism but before I do, I'm going to explain my previous post.

When I mention your opinion, I'm referring to the fact that the sources you often cite to back your words are blog articles that you wrote.

I think that if you want to have a more comprehensive argument, you need to establish -- at the very least -- some articulate, subdued observations followed by some research data that implies or directly proves your point.

In Los Osos, people have had a very difficult time drudging up solid, conclusive information and I can understand your frustration that you feel a certain way, you feel that it's the truth, but when there's no source to verify your claims, it makes you look like your bias trumps your knowledge.

Keep improving your craft. Don't stop now.

Watershed Mark said...

From: Simon Gruber [mailto:sgruber100@verizon.net]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:39 PM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: RE: [decentralized] Going off course

The NYS guidance/whitepaper that Jim referred to is available for download at this link

http://www.nysefc.org/home/index.asp

It’s the Promoting Smart Growth and Energy Efficiency report listed on the home page. Good stuff.

Simon Gruber

It has been said that trends begin in the east and head west.
Where are all the environmentalists? Chariman Gibson??

Realistic1 said...

"Verrrrrry good thing for you.

You're welcome, again."

Uh, Ron...

Once again, your OPINION - one that is NOT shared by the majority of PROPERTY OWNERS in the PZ.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you Aaron (NOT Aron)! A very relevant post!

Shark - thank you, I really appreciate your logic - and Mike - keep up the great assessments of ron's "journalism."

I'd also add that everyone who says Tri-W would be horribly stinky, go visit Montecito or one of the other towns with a sewer plant next to multi-million dollar homes. That was a political (not factual) statement geared toward turning people off to Tri-W. Not one of the 5 on the "new" Board ever stated that they had visited such a place to give that political statement any credibility.

Watershed Mark said...

Good 4U2 R1 smart growth and energy efficiency make$ cent$

$u$tanability is important.

Watershed Mark said...

Sewer Rats are not.

Watershed Mark said...

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Barry [mailto:steve.aqwa@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Steve Barry
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:08 PM
To: Onsite/decentralized wastewater management issues
Subject: [decentralized] reclaim - reuse - etc.

I was recently invited to a meeting that was organized to discuss reuse and
reclaim applications in the decentralized industry. The most interesting
part of the meeting was a sidebar discussion I had with a gentleman seated
next to me. He said that until people are forced to pay the true cost of a
gallon of water, that we are spinning our wheels. Sure, there may be a job
here or there, but widespread use is a pipedream (no pun intended). He went
on to say that government subsidies give the illusion to the end users that
clean water is essentially free. While I suppose, I already knew these
things, he put it in such a clear and concise way that it was quite
memorable.

Can you imagine how many decentralized and reuse/reclaim systems would go in
if a gallon of fresh water costs what it truly costs to get it to you? I
was thinking about that conversation as I read this article.

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24659589-5005369,00.html

November 16, 2008 03:00pm
HOUSEHOLDERS would be charged for each flush under a radical new toilet tax designed to help beat the drought.


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subscription or unsubscribe. To unsubscribe, click on the "my forums" tab and click on "unsubscribe".

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Fun Huh?

Watershed Mark said...

Ron Verrrrrrrry astutely wrote: Exactly, and don't forget, those property owners were lied to with their own money. Remember that "survey" that Nash-Karner commissioned just before the assessment election, and then used that campaign material... errrrrr... "survey" to call all of those property owners and lie to them about the nature of the project."


Steve Barry who probably never heard of Ron "The Man" Crawford wrote "While I suppose, I already knew these
things, he put it in such a clear and concise way that it was quite
memorable."

Real Fun Huh?

Churadogs said...

Mike sez:""What I do know is nothing resulted from that $100/month "plan" that the previous board was toting around. The board did not vet additional technologies and facility locations, which I think they should have done instead of stopping the project and then asking, "Hey, what do we do now?""

Didn't the pre-recall "TAC" group have a whole bunch of alternatives, didn't they go into the Blakeslee meeting with Darrin Polhemes with plans and numbers for an out of town "plan," and didn't they commisison Ripley to do a rather complete "plan" and such like. Seems like they lots of solid info going in that was clearly good enough to proceed to the October Compromise. You imply they simply walked in and sat down and sai, Uh, wonder what we shoul do now?

Inlet sez:"I'll bet that Maria Kelley and 'Toons clock in for 100-200 hits per year each, so it would appear that a full 10% are just the three of us. It would seem that Ron is less a journalist for the people than a niche writer who has only interested three people ... and one those because he is so silly."

Three of you? You mean when you guys use phrases like, "The Community thinks . . or The Community wants . . ." it actually means . . . three people?

Toonces sez:"After the recall YOU are right - Mrs. Biggs of BWS was paid a whopping bundle by the "new" Board "
I was refering to mcClendon and the cost to settle the blockage of measure B versus risking 3=5X times the amount awarded by a judge for a type case with a clear track record in the appellate courts for really hammering governmental agencies (or anyone else) who tries to BLOCK votes. THAT suit was a major blunder. Very costly.

Aaron sez:"When I mention your opinion, I'm referring to the fact that the sources you often cite to back your words are blog articles that you wrote."

If memory serves, if you click on those stories, they often have links in the story to the actual documents Ron refers to so you can read the actual documents for yourself.

Watershed Mark said...

Mother Calhoun "SMACK"!

I am still wondering where all the conservationists are???

Energy conservation and carbon footprint differences between available, but not studied yet, should have the ECO People verrrrry concerned.

But alas Sewer Rats, Sewer Rats, Sewer Rats muching on the same old ____...

Watershed Mark said...

Energy conservation and carbon footprint differences between available "technologies", but not studied yet, should have the ECO People verrrrry concerned.

Mike said...

Hey Ann... How about giving Aaron a bit of credit for pointing out that the post-recall folks did not have a Plan, but still shut down a legal Public Works project and then started asking themselves "What do we do now?"

Aaron has tried hard to support the actions of the post-recall folks, but is now beginning to see that there was NO PLAN, just campaign lies which have cost the whole community, not just 3, but each and every property owner in Los Osos...

...but the bottom line, in spite of the efforts of our local MTS activists, the County will be building this community a sewer...and at a much higher cost than the Tri-W Plant with a park would have ever cost...!!!!!!

...and when will you ever tell the public just how much PZLDF has paid in that lawsuit...???? Do we simply thank Lisa, Chuck, Julie for throwing away District Funds in yet another of their lies...????

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"If memory serves, if you click on those stories, they often have links in the story to the actual documents Ron refers to so you can read the actual documents for yourself."

Your memory serves. That's exactly right.

Aaron (and, sorry, about the "Aron." I was so concerned about using to "r"s that I overcompensated, and missed the two "A "s... wet noodle ; -), I like you, kid, you got spunk, but you have to tighten up your game.

I want to give you a journalism lesson that ol' Dr. Havandjian really instilled in me when at was at journalism school at Cal Poly.

You HAVE to source things out.

For example, when I say that Pandora told voters, before the 1998 election, that if they formed her CSD and elected her as a director, her sewer "project" would only have a "maximum monthly payment of $38.75."

And, nearly every time I cite that figure, I link it to this document:

http://www.slocreek.com/sol_gro_newsletter.pdf

(And, I've linked to that document about a million times, so, when you write, "but when there's no source to verify your claims", I have to wonder if you've ever stopped by my blog. I highly recommend it. It's FULL of excellent, primary sources.)

What that document is, is a pdf file of a slick newsletter from 1998 that Nash-Karner created (man, she LOVES her newsletters) as marketing director of her "Solution Group," and if you go to page four of that document, you will see where SHE writes, "a maximum monthly payment of $38.75 month."

See how awesome that is?

See how that's not my "opinion" that Nash-Karner wrote, and then saturated, of course, Los Osos with, "a maximum monthly payment of $38.75 month," that's me SHOWING that she did. Huge difference. (Now, Rat Inlet will have you believe that it IS my opinion that page four of that document says, "a maximum monthly payment of $38.75 month." Maybe he's right? Perhaps, you could download that document and see if your "opinion" matches mine... that page four of that document actually DOES read, "a maximum monthly payment of $38.75 month.")

I had that newsletter sitting in my sewer file for years, so when I began to show that Nash-Karner actually TRICKED voters into forming the CSD in 1998, I knew that I was going to have to provide some serious documentation to support my excellent observation.

So, a few years ago, I went and dug that newsletter up, scanned it in, converted it to a pdf file, and now, I host in on my own site for all to see.

If it wasn't for me (with a quick shout-out to Dr. Havandjian) that critical document would have been lost forever.

In journalism circles, that document is called a primary source.

Now, Aaron, here's why I'm giving you this beautiful journalism lesson:

You wrote:

"What I do know is nothing resulted from that $100/month "plan" that the previous board was toting around."

I can guarantee you, Dr. H would have given you an "F" for that unattributed take.

When you do that, you sound like one of the AnonaHacks that post here, and no one with a real name should have that awful label anywhere near them.

Now, I know, from your blog, that you know how to create a link, so, here's my journalism homework for you: Back this up: "nothing resulted from that $100/month "plan."

Dig out that take's version of this:

http://www.slocreek.com/sol_gro_newsletter.pdf

... and link to it. ('cause, I gotta tell ya, I have another primary source -- a DVD of an October 2005 LOCSD meeting, and on that DVD, Lisa Schicker is detailing, point by point, a sewer plan that sounds almost identical to one of the options that the county is considering today. And, I have to wonder if that plan could have worked, had not Hensley and Friends gone to the "scorched earth" card after they were kicked out of office.)

I also, quickly, want to give you a logic lesson that ol' Dr. Scriven really instilled in me at Cal Poly.

When I tightly argue that Los Osos voters were tricked into forming the LOCSD in 1998 by Nash-Karner's completely unsubstantiated "maximum monthly payment of $38.75" claim, and the AnonaHacks counter my tight, tight argument with their terrible argument, "Oh, yeah, well the post-recall board said they had a $100/month plan," do you see how their weak, terrible argument isn't an argument at all?

It's completely irrelevant to my point. Completely, but they are AnonaHacks and are too stupid to see that. Obviously, they never sat through a Dr. Scriven lecture.

You see, I don't care what the post-recall Board promised, or not, in 2005. That has absolutely NOTHING to do with my excellent argument that Los Osos is nothing more than a victim of a cover-up by Pandora Nash-Karner.

To emphasize how silly their "argument" is, I want to do this:

I argue: "Los Osos voters were tricked into forming the LOCSD in 1998 by Nash-Karner's "maximum monthly payment of $38.75"

And the REAL obstructionists counter that with: "The post-recall board promised $100/month plan."

So? What's that have to do with anything?

They could have promised $10 a month, and I wouldn't care, because it's completely irrelevant to the fact that Los Osos residents are nothing more than a victim of Nash-Karner's 10-year-and-counting cover-up.

So, keep improving your craft, Aaron. Don't stop now.

Class dismissed.

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ann,

If you're gonna pick at nits and then pretend they're mountains instead of must nits on the moles living under the molehill ... I should get to do the same myself.

I don't remember using phrases "the community thinks" or "the community wants" at all (let alone in any way you would argue with), so when you write "you guys" you are clearly referring to others. Thanks for painting me with the same broad brush that you used for the strawman. I guess that you'll now stop fussing at people for using phrases like "obstructionists" because you are doing nothing different yourself.

Furthermore, as Maria is an elected member of the LOCSD board, she has been given the authority to speak for the community. I also don't remember you fussing over this issue when Lisa was speaking for the community. Your outrage seems rather selective.

On your diagnosis of the BWS/MeasureB/McClendon example, you've maintained that Jon McClendon was right and that we would have lost money had we not settled with Al/BWS. I would suggest that a second opinion should have been gotten before making such a huge settlement. Furthermore, that the settlement was with the attorney which was then hired immediately afterwards just plain stinks. Even if there was nothing wrong with the choice to hire BWS, the board should have recognized that it would appear like a political payoff. Avoiding the appearance of evil is importance and that board chose not to even try. I think that some could reasonably question why McClendon was brought in when there were other available lawyers who lived closer who were better versed in the sort of legal areas our board needs to deal with. Why should we hire Jon? Some would say that it was to justify the payoff on the Measure B suit so that BWS could be hired.

As for the "negotiations" and the "plan" that was floated during those negotiations ... it wasn't $100/month (unlike what we were promised during the recall election). That post-election, post-SNAFU "plan" wasn't anything more than some back-of-the-envelope scratchwork. Darrin Polhemous said as much during the ACL hearing.

Ann, do you really think that the post-recall board did have a plan (you know, a site, a cost estimate, some study on whether the site and technology are really feasible and whether the cost estimate is realistic), where was it? Why didn't they reveal this plan before the election ... or ever? I would think that even a non-journalist opinion piece writer who cares for Los Osos would care deeply if she were lied to. I would think that you would be really angry that you were promised one thing in the recall and that something entirely different happened.


My "word verification" is "irkeddog".

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

Ron,

You don't have to be dismissive toward Aaron. His voice is one of the more well-thought-out and original here. He fairly called you out and frankly, your response is a bit weak.

Furthermore, you probably shouldn't be citing that "38.75/month" plan and putting words in my mouth. First off, it's rude. Second, no one has every said that the $100/month promise is in any way related to the $38.75 promise ... other than in how you treat them differently. The one deeply offends you and the other seems to be something you don't care about. Why is it that you feel that sometimes falsely promising people a reduction in their costs is biasing an election but at other times it isn't?

Word Verification: "nonospoon"

Realistic1 said...

Shark said:

"On your diagnosis of the BWS/MeasureB/McClendon example, you've maintained that Jon McClendon was right and that we would have lost money had we not settled with Al/BWS. I would suggest that a second opinion should have been gotten before making such a huge settlement."

Right on, Shark. Given the fact that the pre-recall board had already been successful at having Measure B overturned by the courts (the settlement was on CCLO's "appeal" of the court's decision) - any attorney worth his/her salt would have advised the District to follow through on fighting the appeal. CCLO would surely have lost AGAIN - and the case would have been over and done with. No Measure B, no settlement. Maybe another $25-50 thousand in attorney fees, but certainly not the big, fat settlement that Biggs' firm got. And let's not forget the fact that Bigg's herself was the author of the measure that was ruled invalid TWICE by the courts. And then the District hired this legal genious to give them two more years of very bad advice.

Makes my blood boil to this day.

Watershed Mark said...

Ron "The Man" wrote: So, keep improving your craft, Aaron. Don't stop now.

Class dismissed.

Now that's SMACK.

I knew Aaron was in for it when hge questioned RC's source(s)...

Sewertoons said...

I think Shark is on to something - and I don't recall this point being made exactly like this before - McClendon was brought in (- does he --or did he -- have a connection to BWS?) - because obviously somebody other than BWS was needed at this point. Obviously he was not going to say - let's litigate further - his role specifically was to support settlement. Was he told by the Board- we want to settle - how can we support that so we can get BWS on board? Would it be accurate to say that there was no money to pay BWS for "crafting" Measure B? So hiring them to make payment for that work was imperative? No second opinion was WANTED!

Sewertoons said...

Gee, I just thought of something else - of course they wanted to settle - they probably knew Measure B was not going to hold up! But as long as they could keep it in play - which they were pretty successful at, I have to admit - they could run with the fiction that it actually meant there could be no WWTF in town.

People began to catch on to the deception when it was clear there was no plan, and when all the lawsuits happened and the Water Board came down - hard… there was for a time a real possibility that the old plan could come back to life - and the Board needed the faux support of Measure B.

Watershed Mark said...

Lynette wrote: Thank you Aaron (NOT Aron)! A very relevant post! Shark - thank you, I really appreciate your logic - and Mike - keep up the great assessments of ron's "journalism."
Lynette: Without a source you statements are pure conjecture, supposition and assumption.
supposition
Function:
noun
Text: 1 an idea that is the starting point for making a case or conducting an investigation…my supposition is that this grape variety, which flourishes in southern France, should do equally well here, given the similar climate— see THEORY 2 an opinion or judgment based on little or no evidence..itʼs pure supposition that thereʼs something illegal going on next door— see CONJECTURE 3 something taken as being true or factual and used as a starting point for a course of action or reasoning …worthless genetic research that was based on the erroneous supposition that acquired characteristics can be passed on to offspring — see
conjecture
Function:
noun
Text: an opinion or judgment based on little or no evidence…the many conjectures about the true identity of Jack the Ripper…Synonyms guess, supposition, surmise Related Words hypothesis, theory, thesis; guesswork, speculation; hunch, intuition; belief, faith

ASSUMPTION
conjecture
Function:
noun
Text: an opinion or judgment based on little or no evidence..the many conjectures about the true identity of Jack the Ripper>Synonyms guess, supposition, surmise Related Words hypothesis, theory, thesis; guesswork, speculation; hunch, intuition; belief, faith

Lynette,
Try to keep it real, OK?
Steve,
How are you coming with that technology supplier showing up on the county’s design build website assignment?

Mike said...

Hi 'toons...

Let's not forget that BWS had to remove themselves from the TW vs CSD5 stateing the conflicts of interest as a reason... The State AG has also filed a lawsuit against BWS... Facts, not fiction...

The TW lawsuit may even be joined with the State's lawsuit by the time it gets to court in what is looking more like June these days...

BWS is not off the hook for the possible poor advice and conflicts of interest... Not by a long shot and they are not new to being sued for poor advice... There have even been discussions concerning disbarment... Even lawyers have to obey laws and not just make new rules to the game simply because some CSD Director told them to ignore the laws and consequences...

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

One more thing ... and it's for Ronnie ... if you wanna see the recall campaign flyer that promises $100/month, it's available at http://sharkinlet.fileave.com/$100perMonth.pdf. This one was all over town back in September 2005.

So then ... is one political lie okay but another not so? If so, why?

Watershed Mark said...

wilful
1 given to resisting authority or another's control..a particularly willful horse that took weeks to break to saddle— see DISOBEDIENT 2 given to resisting control or discipline by others..finally the parents sought professional counseling for the willful child— see UNCONTROLLABLE 3 having or showing a tendency to force one's will on others without any regard to fairness or necessity…a willful disregard for the rights of others— see ARBITRARY 1 4 made, given, or done with full awareness of what one is doing…a willful attempt to cheat siblings out of their rightful inheritance— see INTENTIONAL 5 sticking to an opinion, purpose, or course of action in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion…the kind of willful person who can never bring himself to admit that he made a mistake— see OBSTINATE

ignorance
Function:
noun
Text: 1 the state of being unaware or uninformed-ignorance of the law is no excuse…Synonyms obliviousness, unawareness, unfamiliarity Related Words callowness, greenness, inexperience, innocence, naïveté (also naivete), rawness, simpleness, unsophistication Near Antonyms experience, know-how; sophistication Antonyms acquaintance, awareness, familiarity 2 the state of being unlearned..with such vast sums spent on education, the level of ignorance among graduating seniors is a national disgrace…Synonyms illiteracy Related Words brainlessness, dumbness, idiocy, imbecility, stupidity; philistinism; foolishness, mindlessness, senselessness, witlessness Near Antonyms education, instruction, training; enlightenment, knowledge; erudition, scholarship Antonyms learning, literacy

One of the oldest and most historic stories about rats is The Pied Piper of Hamelin, in which a rat-catcher leads away an infestation with enchanted music—the piper is later refused payment, so he in turn leads away the town's children.


'nuff said...Fun Huh?

Sewertoons said...

Thanks Mike and Shark!

I think people forget some of these details and it is good to remind them.

Hmmmm. I wonder if ron has the courage to give a reply?

What is interesting to me is the gradual waking up of the community. It started in the Emergency Services Committee, but tonight I was at the Water Operations Committee meeting and someone was asking about a history of the Water Reserves. (Anyone interested in listening to the meeting can get .wav file of the meeting at the CSD office - bring a jump drive, or they can burn you a CD.) A long time community member who has been very involved in water and wastewater issues explained how in 2001, the CSD Board borrowed $3.5 million from reserves to do the wastewater plant design (there was $3.5 MILLION in reserves!). When the bonds were sold (that indebtedness that shows up on my tax bill, as the prior owners of the house did not pay up front), the borrowed money went right back into the reserves. Then the approximately $6 million State Revolving Fund money came in. The the recall happened. And the money was - GONE - both SRF money, (that part of the money NOT spent to pay the contractor to put the roads back together) AND the reserves. GONE. ("Poof" was the word spoken as I recall to describe the event.) The reserves are almost non-existent right now and have been for 3.5 years. (Now that was a good question!)

The next "ah-ha" moment will be when this lack of reserves is tied to stopping the project. The recall could have happened and the "new" Board, realizing what the devastating consequences REALLY were--- COULD have continued. But they chose not to. And here we are. Too broke to even fix the broken concrete pad up at the fire station.

Aaron said...

I wanted to mention briefly one thing. I did not support the post-recall board. I supported the recall process, but when nothing came to fruition after the recall, I withdrew my support.

I just finished reading Ron's comments. I think he took some offense to my constructive comments.

Ron, there is one thing in there that you've said is true (i.e. the Solutions Group presented the solution for only $38.75/month for single families in the Prohibition Zone), but you can't base your entire foundation on that figure alone given that nobody post-Solutions Group has done anything to present a project with a low monthly cost.

The $100/month plan was a number once circulated around by Julie Tacker shortly before the recall. In August 2005, I had asked her that if they were looking at a project that would have that monthly cost and she replied, "Yes, absolutely." She would later recant the $100/month claim after I met up with her and environmental artist Patricia Johanson on February 2006. "[The $100/month figure] was just a goal that we had in mind," said Tacker.

Additionally, the Measure B flier (as provided by Shark) mentions the $100/month plan in print, but since Measure B became defunct, that figure was never mentioned or acknowledged again publicly.

As far as that October 2005 DVD goes, Schicker was talking about a project, but it wasn't the plan. She proposed that project as a viable alternative, but the board was not interested in pursuing it until after the LOCSD workshop events. Those events were held by Gail McPherson. At the first of several workshops, McPherson said, "The board isn't considering any specific project, however it's imperative for the community to know about the options we have." That's not a plan.

Even if Schicker and the rest of the board were dead set on that project idea, why was there no follow through? Why was there no 218 vote? Why didn't they jump on it as soon as they had the opportunity to do so? These are the questions that you should have already answered before you posted your response to me, Ron.

I appreciate the lesson in journalism, but by the end of the day, you have one mailer from the Solutions Group and the promise of having so much more to offer. That promise has yielded nothing mind-blowing so far, but even if you had something that was a clear revelation, it's not going to help the homeowners now or in the future.

Mike said...

...utt oh... Look out Aaron, you will soon find yourself replacing Mr Hensley on Ron's list of subversives...

You do have an open mind and are looking at the big picture. Keep on helping cut through the smoke screens... This community has heard too many twisted versions of who did and said what, but you seem have developed a level of understanding that has pleasantly surprised me.

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"Furthermore, as Maria is an elected member of the LOCSD board, she has been given the authority to speak for the community."

Uh, actually, Maria speaks always for herself. Board members always speak for themselves. The only time she speaks for The Community is (1.) when the board publicly appoints her to act as spokesperson for some Board agreed upon issue or to make public Board policy & etc.i.e. speaking ex cathedra or (2) when she she is part of a majority vote. Then she can say, the community (via their elected CSD) wants this or that. If she is part of the Loyal Minority, she represents her point of view, and may represent her constituents (those who voted for her, as in My constituents say this or that or want this or that) but not "The Community"

Realistic 1 sez:"I would suggest that a second opinion should have been gotten before making such a huge settlement."

How's about reviewing the appellate courts rulings regarding BLOCKING initiatives? (Measure B wasn't the problem. Trying to stop people from voting on it was.If the recalled board had allowed the vote to go unchallenged, then after the recall, some group like TPW could go into court and challenge the measure and get it thrown out, thereby saving the CSD (i.e. the people of this community) a bundle. Of course, the same could be said for holding off on digging holes in the ground before the recall. Would have saved, what, a few million there as well?)

Aaron sez:"Even if Schicker and the rest of the board were dead set on that project idea, why was there no follow through? Why was there no 218 vote? Why didn't they jump on it as soon as they had the opportunity to do so? These are the questions that you should have already answered before you posted your response to me, Ron."

Good questions. Like when the Ripley Plan was finished, why not hold a 218 vote to move forward? Do you suppose by that point the CSD was so hammered down by gunfire (TPW LAFCO, RWQC CDO/ACL, etc. they couldn't do anything at that point until it was finally too late and the patient bled to death, which was likely the plan all along?

Watershed Mark said...

Although, I can hardley wait for RC's reply to Aaron, all the rear view review will not change anything unless and until it is used to hold the current county study process accountable.

The issue at issue is what the current county study process will yeild, the rest will always be there to hash out and re-hash without changing a thing just like you are doing.

But that's just my opinion.
It's still largely, a free country, so do as you wish, do as you must, you will pay for it no matter the outcome.

Sewertoons said...

Good work Aaron, I am happy to see your open mind eclipsing ron's closed one. I appreciate your comments!

Chuck and Steve were quite publicly touting $154/out-of-town in 2006. Let's not forget that equally specious assertion at election time.

Ann, I am almost falling off my chair. If I read you correctly - are you stating that the plan all along was not to build anything but simply to stop the project at Tri-W? They had the opportunity to do a 218 at the Blakeslee Compromise, didn't they? They didn't do it then, and they sure didn't even hint at it later. (Although they sure used the complaint - "There was no 218" enough times to diss Tri-W.) Sounds like they threw not only the community under a bus, but themselves as well. Also sounds like "no sewer" to me.

(BTW, 3735 people cast their votes asking Maria to speak for them. I think you are splitting hairs.)

Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener) said...

When I wrote: "Furthermore, as Maria is an elected member of the LOCSD board, she has been given the authority to speak for the community" Ann nit-pickilly wrote: "Uh, actually, Maria speaks always for herself. Board members always speak for themselves."

Yes. I should have been more clear. Maria, through her votes, represents the community on all matters CSD.


Lastly, I was re-reading one of Ron's comments. I found it very interesting that he seemed to think he has the authority to define what is and what is not important to Los Osos and he seemed to get very bent out of shape when some people who live in Los Osos point out that we're upset that folks lied during the recall campaign. He seems to somehow think that because this fact is not relevant to him, it should not be relevant to us.

Ron, it's not about you.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"Inlet sez:"I'll bet that Maria Kelley and 'Toons clock in for 100-200 hits per year each, so it would appear that a full 10% are just the three of us. It would seem that Ron is less a journalist for the people than a niche writer who has only interested three people..."

Wanna hear something funny?

I lied.

I lied when I wrote above:

"Good news, Rat (Inlet), for this thread, I'm actually reading your terrible takes again (a very difficult thing to do, I will add), just so I can write this:

"Rat wrote:""


It was just too painful, I couldn't carry through with it. So, I went back to my usual routine, and started scrolling through Rat's pellets again. Had to. They're terrible. Soooooo poorly thought out. Unreadable.

But, I DO read Ann's smart comments, so, the only way I know when Rat pellets something about me (which he/she/them seem to do an uncomfortable amount of... in a stalker-fan sort of way), is if Ann copies-and-pastes them.

Toldjaso... funny!