The BOS will be meeting today at 9 a.m. for the appeals hearing on the Hideous Sewer Project. The Board may get to the point where they can vote on whether to accept the project as presented by the staff (after major tweaking by the Planning Commission which took to heart the warning pre-shots across the bow found in the letter sent to them by the Coastal Commission, plus all the incredibly hard work by local citizens in the Sustainability Group who number crunched and brought to the Commission some serious proposals for a better project than the original one the County came up with.)
Apropos of which, I doff my cap to Bo Cooper whose Sept 28 letter to the editor (Tribune) bears repeating here:
"Your editorial describing those of us who critique the Los Osos sewer project i hope of getting a more eco-friendly and economical project have consistently labeled us as "malcontnts . . . (in a) weekly gripefest" ("Blabbers of Los Osos, put a sock in it" Feb 1, 2008). And in the Sept 25 editorial, after viciously mocking Lisa Schicker, you wrote, "The circus surrounding the sewer project needs to end now."
Your editorial tone each time seems purposely disrepectful and degradating to those citizens of Los Osos who are presenting reasonable objections to various aspects of the project proposed by the county; the many changes recently made by the Planning Commission show that at least some of the issues brought forth by the "blabberers" were correct.
I'm okay with The Tribune having a different opinion than myself about the sewer project -- that's democracy -- but I am not okay with the attitude of mean-spirited mockery and disregard expressed in your editorials."
Amen, Bo. Instead of being a watchdog, the Tribune has been a water carrier for the status quo, a basically lazy organization that keeps violating the first rule of semantics: Thing 1 is not Thing 2 is not Thing 3. It's the same trap author Barbara Wolcott (Small Town, Perfect Storm) fell into. (I'm still advocating a necktie party for her editor who really, really did not serve her well at all.) And that problem is getting trapped by meaningless, ill-defined words that become lazy mantras that stop thought or block further information and discussion or (and this is the likely reason for using them, besides sloth) their real intention is to misinform and/or mislead. (Back to Wolcott again, she put Al Barrow into her invented category of "UltraOpposition," a form of super-sized "Anti-Sewer Obstructionsts" without ever 'splaining why an anti-sewer obstructionist/Oppositionist spent about a bazillion hours and years researching and bringing sewer folks to town for sewer workshops, sewer information outreaches, alternative sewer systems and so forth. For Al it's been one years-long sewer focus 24/7. True, he's been a strong advocate for a STEP/Steg sewer system, but a STEP system IS a SEWER system. And yes, he's tried everything in the book to obstruct an unaffordable sewer system in favor of an affordable system. But an affordable sewer system IS STILL a SEWER system. Yet he's classified as an anti-sewer ultra-obstructionst which obscures the complexities and contraditions involved. Thing 1 is not Thing 2 is not Thing 3.)
The Sustainability Group, for example, can be described as "anti-sewer obstructionists" (or blabberers or malcontents or clowns or any number of derogatory words) and dismissed in a "shoot the messenger" move. Or their "message" can be listened to with the result that this community may end up with a better project than originally planned. That's the problem with buzz words; they blind.
Well, let's hope today's BOS will be clear eyed and the public commenters can stay focused and any tweaks will result in better tweaks, not worse, and so the whole thing can go on to the Coastal Commission which are likely loading their cannons already. Chugga-chugga.