Friday, October 30, 2009

One Down, Two To Go?

The Oct 29 Tribune reports that President Obama has signed legislation that would allow communities larger than 10,000 to be eligible for federal loans and grants. One of those funding sources is the USDA., with $3 billlion in their pot that may be available to help low income homeowners pay for the sewer hook-up fees. There also may be low-interest loans and long-term loans and some grants available, and John Diodati, county public works administrator and grants coordinator, plans to submit requests to get his hands on some of that nice money.

Of course, the promise of grants and loans and etc. have been dangled just out of reach of the desperate fingers of Los Ososians before. Not to mention the wonderful semantic dos-a-dos of, Hooray We Got The Authoriziation Bill For Pots Of SewerMoney, Hooray! Oh, wait, did I forgot to tell you that there is no actual money in that Authorization Jar? Sorry, my bad.

So, once again, we have “authorization” to apply for some money, but no guarantee there will be money there or that Los Osos will get any of it. So, stay tuned.

You Have Our Deepest Sympathies

The CSD posted it’s intention of confirming and hiring W. Dan Gilmore as the new CSD general manager. He’s supposed to start work Nov. 16. The Tribune notes Mr. Gilmore is a Cal Poly grad, has an MBA with an emphasis in management and was a “utilities engineer for the city of San Luis Obispo from 1992-2009.” And “worked on sewer-related capital improvement projects . . “

Welcome aboard, Mr. Gilmore. You have our deepest sympathies.

Another Big Fat F for Baker.

In the Tribune’s County Roundup, Cal Poly was given another smack upside the head by State Senator Leland Yee, who condemned the way guest speaker Michael Pollan was treated recently. Said Yee, “the university was catering to the elite and committed a ‘gross violation of academic freedom’ after changing a free lecture scheduled for the best selling author into a panel discussion with three speakers” after “David Wood, chairman of Harris Ranch Beef Co. had threatened to stop financially supporting the university because of Pollan’s scheduled talk.”

Aw, picky, picky, picky.

Then there’s yet another dust up brewing over the scholarships being offered to Cal Poly (Rodeo) students by Smokeless Tobacco – a product that has been heavily associated with Rodeos and Rodeo participants. The University says they can’t possibly interfere with adult students who may or may not want that scholarship money and if use of the company’s product sickens and kills it’s users and certainly sets an unfortunate “branding” association with a dangerous product, that’s also none of their beeswax.

A recent letter to the editor (L.A. Times?) put this all into the proper nutshell: If you want PUBLIC schools and universities to operate without fear and favor and want them to support full academic freedom they must be adequately funded by the PUBLIC. If you don’t, then you open the door to corporate funding and with corporate funding, ya gotta dance with them what brung ya. If a grade school has to rely on Coke for a good part of its budget, then you can bet that when the best interests of the children (overweight kids slurping down soft drinks from machines located all over campus) conflict with the best interests of Coca-Cola, guess which interest will win?

Branding hurts cows and lasts a lifetime (or up to the slaughterhouse door.) Ditto for “academic” freedom and The Best Interests Of The Children. We get the schools we’re willing to pay for or we get the schools Corporate America is willing to pay for. Take your pick.

So, kiddies, have a chaw, eat your Harris Beef and drink your Coke. Then drag your cancer-riddle jaw, your clogged arteries and your sorry diabetic ass to class. It’s American education at its finest!


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

We must remember, however, the words "MAY BE ELIGIBLE",so I'm not going to get really excited regarding the Trib's latest tidbit of trivia concerning POSSIBLE grants for the Los Osos project. I remain very suspicious of the county's group of thugs, thieves, liars & cronies. Prove me wrong.

Alon Perlman said...

The beauty of your position is that you can't be proven wrong.
Word verification; plityd

Sewertoons said...

Alon, I do SO ENJOY your posts!

Not2010Yet said...

Beeooch said (by way of besmirching some hard working civil servants of which I am not one): "I remain very suspicious of the county's group of thugs, thieves, liars & cronies. Prove me wrong."

Bee, your awkward and beneath-this-blog sentence proves you wrong in the aware minds of anybody who's followed this sewer saga.
Thugs, thieves, liars and cronies?
I've seen no evidence nor reports of thugery except perhaps some outbursts of one or two move the sewer coward outsiders. No thugery by county types I can see, nor find credible evidence of.

Thieves? I've seen the hopes and resolution of a community stolen by the singularly most incompetent and arrogant special district directors in California history, Tacker, Schicker, Fouche, Cesena and whatz-is-name. I have yet to see credible evidence of the sneak profits or benefits to county staff. I remind you that for water project financing corruption, the FBI arrested and "perp-walked" McDonald, the son of a sitting black congresswoman (Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Compton) for corruption in water district/wastewater treatment affairs at a district down south called West Basin. If they could catch and put in FEDERAL PRISON for 42 months the protected son of an influential multi-term congressperson, I bet they could whack some of our locals, WERE those locals GUILTY or under ANY credible suspicion. That in my mind makes your sentence and those constantly bleated by others of the Move The Sewer and/or obstructionist movement or it's peanut gallery PROVEN wrong.

Liars. Those poor victims at our county offices, who have been SADDLED with resolving our brainless community missteps don't look to me to have been caught in any lies, the repeated posts of watershed and others notwithstanding. Neither in the bleats of Lisa Schicker who doomed her town to bankruptcy, however I think SHE was caught testifying to her own falsehood in having previously claimed she "had a plan" to replace the unforgiveable destruction of the Tri-W plant and collection system.

Cronies? Cronyism is an easily promulgated charge, and therefore a weak one. Because municipal government and the companies who provide support services are likely to intermix in seminars, bids, projects and autopsies of disasters like Schicker/Tacker votes, there is lots of evidence of meetings, interactions, former employments and so forth. However, I would not accuse you of being disloyal to your significant other because that was not the first relationship in your life and you had others in your past. People CAN reaffiliate at a new job and comletely dedicate their energy focus and purpose without regard to past employment, or lovers. In my opinion, cronyism is a sloppy weak and vague charge for you to make, and there is no visible support for your use of this term as a negative to the performance of honorable County of San Luis Obispo employees. I can make this defense because I'm not one, not married nor familial to one, I think I may know ONE amongst my circle of friends. I rise to their defense because your sentence was so flat, so empty, and so insulting.

I've seen too many hard working civil service and civil engineering people to just let you trash them with a brainless and unsubstantiated post. How about you contact the FBI with some credible evidence, even the slightest tidbit? I promise you they're hungry for the great publicity their agency gets when they perp-walk arrestees while wearing great big white FBI letters on their windbreakers. They will run down and authenticate your charges, if there is or was a shred of truth to them.

Imagine that, I've empowered you to use a gigantic and world-reknowned agency. Go to it.

And regarding the authorizaiton/appropriation process of federal government funding, until you've personally walked a few HOB's (House of Representative Office Buildings) and sought funding, or know the first thing about the process, shut up and go blog the garden and herb sites.

M said...

Uh not2010yet, this has been going on for nearly thirty years now. To suggest everything prior to 2005 was all above board and entirely in our best interest is absurd. How can you justify the County adding over 1100 more septic tanks to the already "too dense" prohibition zone? How can you justify the Water board allowing the project to be taken away from the County by a group who's plan was already known not to be good enough? How can you justify allowing a group to force the most expensive and most mitigated site possible for a sewer that was already going to be un-affordable for many?
I know I have left off the villified 5 because I know the first things you all will do is disregard everything I have said and then begin to rail on Lisa and Julie. Prove me wrong.
Sincerely, M

beeooch said...

Have YOU forgotten the COVER-UP of the MWH office, in which all files, computers, etc. were "PURPORTEDLY" STOLEN? That was a massive cover-up by NOT ONLY MWH, but the Sheriff's dept. & a few other "county employees".

Aaron said...

I'm going to convert Not2010Yet's lengthy rant into one short paragraph sentence:

"The old board was wonderful, the post-recall board was horrible. Your saying that there were people who were thugs, thieves, liars and cronies. That's a weak argument. So weak, that I'm going to use it and say the post-recall board was all of those things -- so shut up."


Another fool, another day.

Not2010Yet said...

Beeyooch, you say of the burglary: "That was a massive cover-up by NOT ONLY MWH, but the Sheriff's dept. & a few other "county employees".

So in your mind even the professionals of the Sheriff's Department compromised their standards and careers just to cover up irregularities in county contracting?

I don't think that's really likely, but I also discount reports of things like saucers and Eastern Bunnies.

I'm not well versed in that burglary nor researching it, but then somebody above thinks I give a pass to everybody prior to Schicker/Tacker. I don't. I think Pandora is aptly though coincidentally named because I think given my druthers and were I interested in this part of the county at that time, I would have opposed taking the burden and complexity of wastewater treatment from professionals into the guidance of a community and board without strong professional resources by a board of locals also without strong experience and resources. That's probably the Original Sin of our town and perhaps we'd have been spared all this had the County built for us.

Indeed, there's plenty of misstep and goof in the past, but it all pales in comparison to wildly destroying a hard-won resolution like a funded and permitted project.

Most expensive and mitigated site? Suitable, conventional, and full of weed trees imported from Australia that block the view anyway. The cost pales in comparison to what was spent and lost by the idiots. Easily by a factor of ten, an order of magnitude.

The water board allowing a group to take over? They weren't brave enough to fight a vote by the public and there was no reason to, no track record of failure confusion and malfeasance by this community when the CSD was formed. On the other hand, there now exists a long track record of failure, confusion and malfeasance at the hands of the Schicker/Tacker Five. Time for the Water Board to act, though imperfectly.

Adding/allowing 1100 septic tanks to an overburdened area? Sounds like a land use decision for people to enjoy their property as surveyed. They (the county and water board) probably thought it could handle it, and/or anticipated that our town would one day "grow up" and acknowledge a need for centralized wastewater treatment and collection.

I never said "nobody in the past had any culpability" in our town situation, I responded in defense to direct personal attacks by a poster on others (county employees) who seem professional and unworthy of those attacks.

As to defending myself, for example to the use of the word fool to describe me, well, consider the source. It's unworthy of a detailed response. I'll have lots of such children at my door tonight, asking for free candy. I won't lecture them on tooth decay, just smile pleasantly and hope for them to develop wisdom and maturity and experience some day.

Aaron said...

Are you done yet?

beeooch said...

You mention "Eastern Bunnies", Is that opposed to western,southern or even northern bunnies? Oh well. Regarding the "break in & theft" of the MWH office, the Sheriff's office did not do a thorough, careful or competant job in investigating the case. In fact, they were a bunch of bumbling unprofessionals...sort of like something out of Mayberry, RFD, don'tcha think? I have friends & relatives who are TRUE law enforcement professionals & none of them could believe how the "investigation" of this "break in" could have been so poorly "investigated"...go figure.

Not2010Yet said...

If you're going to nitpick my typos, learn to spell "competent".

Or, leave the typos alone and focus on "content".

And, rather than rag on the county staff, understand that they have largely done well with our local mess, and try to be "content".

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

While i'm good and worked up, does anyone know how the Pismo site was one day a viable sewer site and the next day a greenbelt? A greenbelt for who?

Sewertoons said...

Why don't we just say that the County of old made some mistakes.

There was no plan to date for a sewer in Los Osos that was "not up to snuff." Opposition to having a non-perfect sewer has won every round so far.

It will stop here however. We WILL get this sewer.

If it makes you happy to spin conspiracies beeooch and M, have fun with them, but they are irrelevant.

The greenbelt is for us M, to prevent "urban sprawl."

beeooch said...

Lynette, it is YOU that's IRRELEVANT...SO, the county of OLD made some mistakes, how is that different from the current group of incompetent, under qualified jerks that are now "in charge of getting Los Osos sewered"? Hell, Paavo isn't EVEN an engineer! We can't afford him or HIS DUMB A$$ mistakes.

Sewertoons said...

Gosh, beeooch - whether I am relevant or not in your opinion is -- irrelevant. Your opinion of the County people in charge of the project is also irrelevant. We ARE going to get a sewer this time and that is what is most relevant to the future of Los Osos.

Churadogs said...

Uh, is it correct that two Coastal CommissionERS have filed an appeal to this project? ??? I thought the CommissionERS were "judge and jury" on this project, so how come they can file an appeal? Surely this has to be another crazy rumor??

Mike said...

...another conspiracy...??? Why should Al Barrow have all the fun filing appeals...??? Surely Ms.Schicker will set the record straight... Maybe Gordon has bought off all the CC commissioners...??? Could have been a full Moon Halloween prank... Was it that slow in the Rock newsroom...???

Let's hope this is all just another "the sky is falling" MTS created rumor as they have watched their "Plan" slow down these past couple months...

Alon Perlman said...

Official Rumor (Perlman variation): Sarah Wan(?) and another commissioner Appealing 1 condition specifically. 22 appeals identified in all. Not clear if 2 that didn't make it (Via PC) to BOS are included (14/16 listed on county site)
+ + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

This has been an Official Rumor, and a test of of the RRRDS (Regional Rumor Re-Distribution System). Had this been actual information, You would be not be made aware of it. Make sure you are up to date on the current Evacuation map for Los Osos.
+ + + + + + Normal Blogging may now resume. + + + + + + + + + + + +

Couldn't find a thing on the CCC site, help?

GVD said...

Last Tuesday the BOS spent a lot of time on energy conservation and green tech. AB 811. How come the out of control costly sewer had little or no concern for solar, wind, or methane generation ??

Sewertoons said...

Oh, GVD, did you actually want to spend MORE for this sewer?

Sewertoons said...

Another note of interest on the CCC - on the last project, Tri-W, they had no conditions to protest or add. They had NO appeals to themselves. Tri-W satisfied all Local Coastal Plan requirements.

Apparently the County project has a flaw or flaws which are centered on the return of the water to the basin - a concern brought to light by our very own LOCSD. (Remember Julie protesting at a meeting that the CSD hadn't "done" anything about the water? Well, maybe she didn't "get" it, but the Coastal Commission did!)

Mike said...

That darn ol' Tri-W design sure thought of everything... including a park... Maybe we should ask the BOS to re-visit Tri-W...

Still sounds like the best design and location after all the MTS crap gets flushed away...

Alon Perlman said...

Lynette , sorry, you blew it; Your position should had been- What Alternative Energy plans did the Ripley Report Incorporate? If so, were they “Free”?

Good Question GVD, or is it?
This is not to “make you wrong”, sure will look that way, though. That comment of yours stated here originally, could had come from other people, but I have been intending to “Go There “ awhile now.
How come the out of control costly sewer had little or no concern for solar, wind, or methane generation ??

The short Answer; Upfront money, Economics of scale.

I’m sorry GVD I’m not an Ideologue, I can’t give a “short & truthful’ answer.

So let’s start with Ideology.
Andrew Christie , Sierra Club, semi-recently stated in the Lucian to the effect of “Green (for LO Sewer) doesn’t have to be more expensive”. Do I agree with that? Well first, I will note that there was no one debating to the position that it should be more expensive. So there is an awareness that Green Can be more expensive.

So stop beating around the bush Alon. What do YOU think?
O.K. I think that the costs would pay off over the life (30 years) of the project for the right technology. However, There will be significant up front costs. These up front costs will need to be covered “Up Front”. What will be the unintended consequence? Affordability.
So what do you have against letting poor people stay in town, GVD?
Please don’t answer that- It’s just an example of how to “turn things around, Los osos style”. I have no doubt that affordability is a major concern of yours.
The biggest obstacles to Wind and Solar are actually Environmental permitting, wind mills are a danger to birds, There is also dedicated maintenance, and other location, visual issues, adding up to economics of scale. There is probably enough unfoggy or sufficiently windy days to have sufficient production, in the Tonini and even Giacomazzi locations, though there is a significant microclimate difference in even a mile.

What about the principles of “ local production and local consumption”, or whatever they call it now?
There was a person who did give a Public service Announcement at the BOS 27th “Ms. Linde Owen: encourages participation in an event tonight sponsored by Transition Towns”. I didn’t watch it then to catch Linde’s comment . All LOCAC members were aware of it (the event at St. Bennies), as were those members of the LOCAC meeting attending public who stayed after they had their say, but our meeting didn’t televise till a few days later. I attended LOCAC as a member and St. Bennies as a Guest. It is a group interested in those very issues. You can join them.

Yes, there will come a time when Los Osos will regret not incorporating APPROPRIATE technologies, and there may be some lowish income residents present then, who will regret it too. Say those technologies are incorporated now, with out a direct link to, say, the Grant money (that isn’t there). Then there will be fewer low income/fixed income people to enjoy the future savings. (Who decides which technologies are Appropriate? Let’s put it to a popular vote)

Alon, you pompous A_s, you left out Methane production!
No I didn’t. First, I’m going to declare myself “the self declared Los Osos Methane production Expert”. My only support on that, is Mark Hutchinson mentioning (BOS or PC) that a commenter showed that Biological Methane production caused by the project would not be counted by AB 32 rules.
Bottom line- No Sludge collection- No methane opportunity. Cold Canyon ? Chicago grade Landfill BURNS their methane.

County were so concerned that 218 would not pass that they unlinked Tertiary treatment from the process, even though they knew it WOULD be necessary to include it somehow. Bells and whistles?
Second word verification; piddl
More to follow-

Sewertoons said...

Thanks Alon for telling it like it is.

Maybe you recall what was said about needing a carbon source for methane use and that it didn't pencil out to be cost effective for less than 50,000 people using the WWTF.

Also I believe it was Mark Hutchinson who said that the roofs of the buildings were constructed in a direction, angle and with sufficient strength to add solar panels at a future date. I can't quite see us voting to tax ourselves to do that at this time.

Maybe GVD would like to head up a grass roots campaign for neighborhood canvassing with a nickel jar to start collecting for such an addition?

Alon Perlman said...

Activated sludge is a carbon source. Under the right conditions, so are grass clippings.
Non receipt of local, but out of PZ Septic tank sludge was a concern of mine, as it could deprive a STEP project. The process is fairly affective in a septic tank; Carbon chains are "liquified" and Methane is a by product, so old septic sludge is relatively carbon poor, but can be used to reduce methanol use.
Methanol Carbon didn't pencil out, but some of the figures wer'nt all that convincing. Similar to Volume excevated arguments pro and Con wern't fully nailed at close.

And BTW tunes- easy mistake to make- needing a carbon source for methane use" did you mean- "Carbon source such as Methanol...for nitrate reduction.?

There is a separate than cost Issue.
We are one of the first big projects to come in under AB 32.
This is so new that there arn't any "Experts". Even if a component is cost effective, It could be ruled out in a co-equal analysis because it would possibly have a Carbon cost and assoaciated Global warming implications.

GVD asked a question, that many people may be asking, and was answered, I hope.

As for earlier comments posted by others; Julie Tacker's Comments are more than occationally Right On. frequently quite original, and mostly did and do display a good understanding of regulatory agency abilities and disabilities. And she was always well aware of the constraints of a CSD and the Specifics of it's functioning components. At worst i'd say she got it,gets it right more than 51% of the time. In contrast to.....
Toons you captured what M.Hutchisson said,
But I am still setting out a Throw down*** Correction***
I thought I had posted my throwdown, but actually, I didn't post it yet! I typed it at about 12PM (12:16 according to document properties), but didn't include it! when you posted your comment, I assumed you were responding!
GET Out of my Head!

OK Tunes wrote "Mark Hutchinson who said that the roofs of the buildings were constructed in a direction, angle and with sufficient strength to add solar panels at a future date."

Now this is what I wrote but didn't post(not directed to GVD specifically but I'm not changing it, this is freaky enough as it is);
"And finally GVD bonus question;

WHO was the first person in Los Osos to state in a public meeting that the County planned building’s (at Tonini, true for Giacomazzi) are unable to have solar Panels and are not oriented correctly for Solar?

Folks; don't wear out your poor tired mice. Though BLUE it is not a link.
Hint- I heard it myself 4 times by 3 different people but it may had repeated by others. It even made it onto a condition somewhere.

( Note to self- Alon reread conditions soon)
End of unpublished post written 12:16.
So LO Experts-Who dunnit?
Lynette Can't play, but if you know which PC meeting that was that Mark responded, Hold on to that info.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Another note of interest on the CCC - on the last project, Tri-W, they had no conditions to protest or add. They had NO appeals to themselves. Tri-W satisfied all Local Coastal Plan requirements."

Did you forget "bait and switchy?" The CCC sure did . . .

Re solar and sewer buildings,I recall Christie & the PC and Hutchinson/staff questioned this and the back and forth reply was that the buildings can/could be sited in such a way to take advantage of solar possibilities in the future, that the design should/will be aware of and lean towards all alternative energy possibilities, but I recall that the PC wasn't going to micromanage at that point by designating that the building MUST have such and such, instead it was more a statement of intent -- go alternative when/where possible. That "intent" went for all aspects of the treatment plant -- nothing written in stone at this point,just a general principle and intent. Anybody at the last PC meeting recall that?

Sewertoons said...

"Bait has switch" has been debunked but still seems to have a life of its own here on this and Ron's blogs.

The salient point on solar is that it is expensive. If someone finds a grant (good luck) fine, but to expect we'll get it to pass on a future vote as an add-on is specious thinking.

Sewertoons said...

"Bait and switch" was centered on the park element - and I will repost from an August 2007 post:

"You forget (or pretend that it isn't so that) the bait-n-switchy comment was over park components being removed by the LOCSD as a cost-savings measure in response to CCLO complaints about the cost. The CCC staff agreed with the removal of those limited park components ... but then when CCLO complained that the park stuff was gone ... Potter took the bait. If he was up to speed on the issue or if he wasn't so quickly swayed by the roomful of zealots complaining that the LOCSD had done exactly what they had asked the LOCSD to do (remove the expensive portions of the park), he never would have used the phrase."

Now, I hope this clears up that B&S issue as to what it REALLY was about.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Potter took the bait."

So Potter WAS baited (fooled) and switched and allowed an illegal use of SRF funds to pay for a "park," just like Ron said???

Sewertoons said...

Ann, he was baited and switched by CCLO!! If YOU want to believe it was illegal (it wasn't), fine, but then put the blame for it with your flip-flopping friends, Julie, Lisa, Al, etc.!!!!!

I can't believe ron ("I'm so in love with Julie," ron) would ever mean to imply that SHE could have done anything wrong, so you might catch some flak from him.

Churadogs said...

Doesn't matter who baited and switched, what matters is that the red flags should have gone down on that play. They didn't, which meant yet ANOTHER regulative body failed the citizens of Los Osos. Which is the story of this tragedy -- every fail safe failed.

Sewertoons said...

Oh! Suddenly it doesn't matter WHO baited and switched! It was time to demonize when incorrectly reported as the Old Board, but now that it turns out (again) to be CCLO, suddenly the fault lies with the regulating body, NOT this group of bait 'n switchers!

Churadogs said...

You missed the point: Red flags should have been down on that play. They weren't which means the regulatory agencies failed -- again -- just like they failed when they were told there was were NO out of town options because of an overriding community value/interest/demand to have a sewer plant in the middle of town so a park can be attached to it. The CC should have said, Huh? where's the documentation on that SOC? They didn't. That was another failure. The Planning Commission didn't ask for back up on that SOC. Neither did the BOS. So many failures. The system had/has fail safes but they are of no use if they're ignored. THAT was my point. Which you missed.

Sewertoons said...

And you Ann, sidestepped my point.

The is great support for a park in LO. Didn't you hear the gnashing of teeth and plaintive whining when MontaƱa de Oro was threatened with closure and with an entrance fee? "We have NO PARKS in Los Osos - you CAN'T do that to us!"

Please explain if you voted in 1998 to have a CSD and a sewer pond in the middle of town that was to function as a park? If you didn't, the reason better to be the very same reason that you protest now. "It would stink," and "What? A sewer in the middle of town!?" 75% of the people in Los Osos voted to support a sewer pond in the middle of town. Maybe that is why the CCC didn't ask for the SOC documentation.