Monday, September 13, 2010

Viewpoint & Other Events

The Tribune recently ran a Bruce-centric, County-centric-pat-ourselves-on-the-back editorial regarding the $87 million loan for the sewer. And, as usual, er, “forgot” to mention some key things, but did try to lay blame on folks who appealed the issue to the Coastal Commission, while, er, overlooking, even more key issues regarding that appeal or the reasons why it was necessary. Typical.

Here’s Julie Tacker’s “Viewpoint” which may or may not make it into the Tribune. Once again, proof positive, that it’s impossible to tell The Hideous Los Osos Sewer Story without about 7,000 footnotes and addenda. Posted with permission.

The September 9 Tribune editorial, “Credit goes to many for securing sewer funds” may as well have read “Blame goes to appellants for County filing late application.” The op-ed piece states “delays in granting the permit – including a nearly six-month continuance by the Coastal Commission – caused the application to be filed later than originally hoped.”

Without naming names the Tribune, parroting statements made by Supervisor Bruce Gibson at the September 7, 2010 Board of Supervisors meeting, blames the twenty-nine appellants for the County’s late application. Twenty-nine appellants (vacant lot owners, long time sewer watchers, a LOCSD Director, a local developer, Sierra Club, Surfrider and two Coastal Commissioners) raised myriad environmental impacts overlooked by the project.

If truth be told, blame for delays rests squarely on the shoulders of Gibson and the Public Works Department. This four year pursuit of the Los Osos Wastewater Project is different than any iteration of the past. By disconnecting water from wastewater -- leaving management of water supply to the purveyor shifts the financial burden to the water bill, equal to or greater than the monthly wastewater bill.

Over a year was lost chasing the “dead on arrival” water wasting sprayfield project at the Tonini Ranch. In the process, the County spent well over $4 million conducting site specific studies of the 642 acre property.

Further removed are the vacant properties from the financial equation, no service -- no charge, no savings from economies of scale. Leaving a $27 million funding shortfall, shifting the entire project cost to the developed properties and adding approximately $30 per month to the already high price.

The leading appeal contention, STEP vs. Gravity, could have been resolved with a side-by-side comparison as was promised in the assessment vote of 2007. Instead, the County spent money elsewhere and thus allowed the debate to continue unresolved.

The USDA money is more complicated than it appears. At 3.25 percent interest for 40 years, when Los Osos is eligible for lower interest through State funding, what “huge relief” does the Tribune see that we don’t? USDA funds at higher interest for a longer duration increases the project cost and a $4 million grant is not “free money” there are always strings attached. Let’s see the fine print.

The County driven delays came long before the permitting process or any appeals were filed. These missteps will continue to plague the project and shift the costs to the project’s rates and charges or to the Golden State and LOCSD water customers.

Blaming appellants perpetuates the divisive tenor in Los Osos, no thanks to the Supervisor or the Tribune for continuing to stir the pot.

K Rat, DOA?

The Solar Ranch folks, who are planning on building a huge solar array out in the Carrizo Plains area, will be holding a workshop at Embassy Suites, in the Edna Room, (333 Madonna Road, SLO) Wednesday, Sept 15th, 7 – 8:30 pm.

The Tribune recently ran a story about the little giant kangaroo rat likely putting a kink in this project’s proposed footprint. Seems there’s giant kangaroo rat dwellings all over the area the 250-megawatt photo voltaic power plan was planning to use. So, now the power-plant footprint shuffle starts. Some of the alternative plans are being looked at by county planners, including putting the whole thing in the central valley, which has already destroyed any native habitat.

But one thing that needs to be addressed in all our plans for building anything that will reduce carbon emissions is this: Is the giant k-rat (or any other critter) a critter that can only survive in an environment with very narrow parameters and variants in temperature/moisture/food supply? If so, then because of what we have already burned, the climate change is already in the pipeline and cannot be stopped. So, is it likely that the Carrizo Plains will either get hotter/drier or wetter/colder or swing wildly between, the grasses and plants will change as well, and the k-rat’s narrow world will be destroyed even if no solar arrays are built out there. So, do we delay going green for fear of wiping out a little critter that’s already doomed, thereby making things worse for other critters down the line? Or do we figure this is all triage and accept that our failure to act years ago has already finished off X amount of critters and we’d best move as quickly as possible to try to avoid killing off Y more?

Well, maybe that question and others will be discussed at the workshop.

If You Plant It, They Will Come

My sister sent a Fresno Bee story that’s a sign of the high times to come if marijuana initiative gets passed.

Remember the good old days when kids climbed Farmer McGuillicuddy’s fence and stole his apples? Well, a field of marijuana in the back yard of a guy with an official medical marijuana permit was growing away under the nice Fresno sun, its green spiky leaves towering over the 6’ fence. Mmmmm, lush, green, 50 x 75 feet of the stuff, right there, mmmm, just over the fence. So, naturally, some guy climbed the fence and started helping himself to some of the lush crop and got himself shot for his trespass.

The shootee is in the hospital in serious condition and the shooter is in a world of legal trouble. (Farmer McGuilicuddy used to just holler at the kids. Nowadays, people pick up guns and end up with a whole passel of violations having to do with excessive use of force.)

Ah, sign of the times, I suppose. If the state-wide initiative passes, maybe a homeowner trying to grow a whole backyard of marijuana would be smart to toss a few seeds out in the public rights of way to lure away thieves and post a sign out at the edge of the property line saying, “Git yer own box!” in hopes it would distract some stoner and prevent the need to shoot the idiot for criminal trespass.

Or get a big dog and hope he doesn’t like to nibble on the leaves.


Richard LeGros said...
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Richard LeGros said...
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Mike said...

...but Richard, think of all the new homes which will soon be built and connected to the out of town waste water treatment facility once constructed...!!!!

Won't they be paying for the sewer too...???

Richard LeGros said...


Oh, they will pay too (only if inside the PZ)...and pay far more than they had to too.

The vacant lot owers will either pay up front by passing a $29,000,000 Assessment Bond OR (if the bond assessment fails) will pay a huge 'hookup fee' (I esitimate a hookup fee of $42,000)at the time they build their home. Either way, the vacant lot owners pay too. If the vant lot owners do not pay, then they will never be able to obtain building permits (hence destroying the value of their land; or the ability to sell it either).

Meanwhile, if the $29,000,000 assessment bond does not pass, that $29,000,000 will have to be initially paid by the exisitng home/property owners UNTIL such a time as the vacant lot owners start paying 'hookup fees' to connect to the WWTP.

Mike said...

....sorry Richard, I wasn't clear...

I meant what about the many houses that will be build outside the along the Los Osos Valley... The PZ will disappear into history once the econony comes back around as it will someday, so won't SLO County then allow subdivisions along the valley...??? and since there will be such a nice large wwtf, well, here I go "projecting" again... I see several thousand homes... I know Gordon and I disagree on this, but I think SLO County wants to see property taxes rise in the area and only subdivisions of homes and then the resale of those homes will bring needed tax $$$$$$$$$$$$$ into the County... There is a severe shortage of housing in SLO... LO will look mighty promising with a shinny new sewer plant...and Nacimento water...

I've heard the discussions about how we need to keep ag land, but there really isn't much real ag business in the LO Valley... SLO will want the taxes, and the out of town wwtf will be just the draw needed to open that door...

Thanks gail, lisa and'll see Los Osos in an image of OC... have a nice day....

Sewertoons said...

Well, there are some odd characterizations in the viewpoint.

"Over a year was lost chasing the 'dead on arrival' water wasting sprayfield project at the Tonini Ranch."

Let's just break this down into bite-sized chunks.

1. Chasing
2. Dead on arrival

"Chasing," an odd and irrelevant word - "studying" or "analyzing" would be more accurate.

"Dead on arrival?" No - Tonini was Plan B. And it was presented to show the Valley people that the County was being fair - and heard their protests just like they had heard the in-town peoples' protests. Had there been no protests, there would have been no Tonini. Funny, that someone (Julie) SO concerned with the in-town impacts would be so unable to hear those same words spoken by the people out-of-town.

How could the County NOT pay attention to the Clark Valley Road group? They needed to complete a project this time. They had acquiesced to the intent of Measure B for the in-town people. And for some odd reason those out-of-town people didn't want our poop in their back yard. They threatened to sue. While all the in-town issues HAD all been litigated, out-of-town issues had NOT. (Of course the people who didn't want a sewer would be thrilled to see the litigation stall out yet another wastewater project, but the County was not let that happen.) Therefore, the place with only two residents who were the least likely to sue and stall or stop a project, Tonini became the necessary Plan B.

Sewertoons said...

The sprayfieds were to be temporary, and the issues for where all the winter water is to ACTUALLY go, remains a bit fuzzy.

M said...
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M said...

Didn't I read in one of the documents that the WWTP was solely for the PZ?
Sincerely, M
P.S. Richard, please don't call Mike "M". Thank you

Sewertoons said...

Julie is jumping the gun on hysteria over the terms of the grant. Why don't we see what the conditions are before we attempt to incite angst? (Not her style maybe.)

Sewertoons said...

"The leading appeal contention, STEP vs. Gravity, could have been resolved with a side-by-side comparison as was promised in the assessment vote of 2007."

I disagree. Had the County done that and Step STILL was not chosen, as it would NOT have been, there would have been NO resolution, just as the glaring need for a WWTF has not been resolved for those who still claim we need no sewer. "The game was rigged against Step" would have been the malcontents' battle cry. The two DID go side by side until it was obvious Step wasn't going to work and then further money was NOT WASTED on pursuing an impossibility.

Word verification, "boomba" as might be said with a "badda" preceding it over the comedic amount of words wasted on explaining why Step wasn't going to work - i mean once or twice would have been enough, but the same, tired arguments keep popping up…

Sewertoons said...

This line, "…no thanks to the Supervisor or the Tribune for continuing to stir the pot," made me laugh out loud - like the author of this piece is adverse to stirring the pot? Maybe she's just mad as she thinks someone is stealing her "proprietary" method of communication!

Thanks Ann, for bring us the words of the most infamous pot-stirrer of them all!

The Razor said...

"You're wrong in your responses. You don't cite your sources. Your response?"

Aside from the revisionist history and the redistribution of fuzzy math figures, let's look at the big picture.

Writes Tacker: "Blaming appellants perpetuates the divisive tenor in Los Osos."

The appellants took issue with the County's LOWWP plans and conditions. A de novo hearing was granted by the CCC, which gave the appeals validity. The appeals evolved into "substantial issues" found within the County's framework.

The Tribune and Gibson attribute an unreasonable amount of malice to the townsfolk who expressed their fundamental right to appeal. Speculating on intent to appeal is irrelevant, especially when the results of said appeals speak highly of the inconsistencies, confusion and missteps that rose from the County's wanton duty of care.

M said...

Being as Paavo, the Tribune, and Bruces close ties to Pandora and company are major contributors to us not having a sewer system already in place, I think it's a bit disingenous to be heaping praise on these people. Especially since Paavo and Bruce and company have forced the most expensive system possible on us. Do you think any of us that have to pay this exhorbitant amount of money are really in the mood to read stories of praise from the Tribune, since if they were doing their job years ago we wouldn't be in this fix? We have guarantees of systems for millions of dollars less, only to fall on deaf ears. Anybody care to wager on whether MWH gets the bid or not? I would, but who would place a bet on somebody else doing it?
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

M... thou foolist thy self if you think a wwtf outside the community would only be a benefit to those in the PZ... The only way the damn thing makes sense outside LO is to provide expansion for the inevitable growth between LO and SLO...

Sewertoons said...

Gee, do you think that the heavy lobbying of certain members of the Coastal Commission by Julie, Jeff, Keith, Piper, Linde, etc. had ANYTHING to do with the response of the Coastal Commission gave to the project?

"The most expensive system" was not "forced" on us - it was the direct result of the lobbying of the people who kept denying the need of or wanting to pay for a sewer at any price.

Salesmen will "guarantee" anything they can to get the job. They know midway when the job is half done, you'll be stuck in agreeing to cost increases. The gullible fall for these sales tricks all the time.

I agree; the County should have built this along time ago - and they would have if this was New York, Illinois or Texas - but it's California here, remember?

Sewertoons said...

M, Mike is right - don't you recall the County saying that there was enough land at Giacomazzi to e-x-p-a-n-d?

Once the water source to support more growth is in place, and a few years pass - watch what happens.

M said...

So Mike, will I receive a refund or rebate when these others tie into our plant? Sewertoons, your singsong of "salesman" is getting tiresome. Sure, we have had some trying to sell us some un-advisible wares, but that doesn't mean all of them are. How do you buy your automobiles? (hint) from salesman.
Sincerely, M

Mike said...

REFUND....???? HA...!!!! Surely thou jests... :-)

I can't wait to hear the Clark Canyon boys when they get told they are hooking up... ain't it grand...about $50 Grand per household thanks to our 'litigants'

M said...

Back to the original point Mike, do you think the Tribune should have written an article in the manner in which they did? Isn't that kind of like rubbing our noses in it? Isn't paying the high price we will have to pay penalty enough?
So did I read wrong that the WWTP is only for the PZ?
Sincerely, M

The Razor said...

One more comment before my adieu. Just piggybacking on M's comments:

Regarding "salesmen"...

Everyone involved in the LOWWP is "selling" an idea or a product; using "salesmen" in a condescending connotation makes no logical sense. In fact, our world is one giant marketplace of ideas and everyone is part of that system. For example, by applying for a job, you are selling yourself as the best candidate for the position.

The discovery of error -- and the pursuit of making that discovery known to those who should know -- is just as much "selling" as someone who has spent several years selling the idea that people who didn't want Tri-W really don't want a sewer; that they are "obstructionists."

Mike said...

Let's put it this way M... Should the rock or the behind the times mudslinger over the hill write in the manner which they have and do...???? They scream about their right to free speech, but really don't listen to any opposing view point... I simply don't care any longer, I'll have to pay for the financial destuction wrought by the 'litigant' types... I won't move out of their way, but I won't be run over either...

The Trib can write what they want... I'll decide for myself what I wish to read...

I consider myself far more open to all sides than the few crazies (my choice to exercise MY freedom of speech) who have obstructed the sewer for the past 5 years... but then, M, you also have a right to exercise your right, and a few have, just don't get upset if I choose to disagree... You may find there are more like me than you would like to believe... We just want this over...

Have a nice evening...

Sewertoons said...

M, I have many choices on cars, many dealerships to visit. They don't come to my house to try to sell me. How many Step/Steg salesmen showed up here? Did you see gravity salesmen hawking their wares? Did you hear opinions from any other Step salesmen? If their proprietary stuff conks out - where does one get replacements? It's not like I can trade an old sewer system in for a new, improved model in a year or two.

Rubbing our noses in it? What does that mean?

The WWTF is for the PZ. Now, anyway.

Perfect word verification: slyme

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"I disagree. Had the County done that and Step STILL was not chosen . . ."

Here's what went missing and what would have been interesting: The promised side-by-side comparison WITH ACTUAL COSTS, followed by a "vote."

toonces also sez:"Julie is jumping the gun on hysteria over the terms of the grant. Why don't we see what the conditions are before we attempt to incite angst? (Not her style maybe.)"

Please read some of the comments. Isn't hysteria what it's all about?

Alon Perlman said...

The side by side comparison needed to be there to ensure "Social Feasibility" Which in "Los Osos Realpolitik" means "Nothing to do with engineering or environment; Leave out the political history at your peril".
Right beneath Julies letter ( I hope it gets published BTW) Ann’s report piece on the Solar Plant, not re LO sewer, but does pertain directly, to at minimum 4 million dollars of the CURRENT project. 4 million dollars out of your pocket. The unnecessary environmental “Mitigations” Tacked onto the LO Sewer have burned off the Grant monies.
And what happens? Everything new gets bypassed so that everyone can continue to argue from their deeply held initial positions (Values).
A direct corollary between Carrizo Plains and the Giacomazzi Plant.
We have come to the time that those necessary and important actions legislated to protect the environment, are entangling our ability to actually go out and help the environment.

(“We have come” I’ve been saying this for years)

We have regulatory agencies that use selective science in their deliberations. We have Environmental-Political organizations; supposedly the self appointed watchdogs of those regulators. Offering what? Attacking green projects.
I'm sorry, I meant to write; ATTACKING GREEN PROJECTS.
It represents PEOPLE who consider Themselves concerned with the environment.

Who did the Environment vote for?

There are specific habitat enhancements that can make the Carrizo plains K-rat friendly.
Don’t expect practical solutions as mitigations. After all, it hasn’t happened here in the LO Project.

Alon Perlman said...

I see the Regurgitator has left us to initiate a first quest for gainful employment. Good luck to it with that.
Toons many good points/positions above. THE CCC did not read the EIR, did not read much of the materials in their own staff report. They were lobbied, they allowed themselves to violate the spirit of CEQA and of the SPIRIT of their own Mandate
–BUT Plan “B”??? It was the whole enchilada. Tonini cost 1 ½ years, plain and simple. It trained a new cadre of Sewer warriors and they chewed up another year or so with bells and whistles. Peter Douglass didn’t need their help.
But it was not surprising that a lot of the new people who had never fitted a pipe, and one who supposedly did, failed to understand that the water had to go somewhere. EVEN At this point in time a lot of the projects’ outflows remain unaccounted for. And for her attention to that part and others I always pay attention to Julie, stuff I can disagree with, not just stuff thrown out there with the “Me Too” agenda.

Real News by Real People©;
The WRAC in the last meeting took a position against gray water, not clear how Osos project specific.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you Alon, for your rational and thoughtful comments.

There is no accounting for the grief that political correctness has cost both humans and the environment that we humans profess to want to protect. Yes, Tonini was a waste of time, but oh, so necessary.

Social feasibility. Interesting. Just how many people are up in arms that Step was not compared "side-to-side?" I'd bet its a comparative handful.

In a way, I'm sorry it didn't get compared - as long as the costs to the homeowner were clearly defined. Many of us park over our tanks now. Most tanks in Los Osos are concrete. We would now need fiberglass tanks because they are water tight. But you can't park on top of a fiberglass tank. So was the cost ever factored in by the salesmen for the number of dual tanks needed? Why do I never hear rebuttals to my arguments on Step - just the same, lame, old rhetoric re-spouts - we shouldda compared Step blah, blah…

Why was Ripley stating at one point that 95% of the tanks needed replacing - and then at the 11th hour stating that the tanks could just be lined? Did anyone consider the displacement of storage capacity in old tanks by the Step pump? Wasn't storage capacity an issue requiring tank replacement?

I think the main point of eliminating Step were the legal concerns over tank placement and eminent domain. How many years were lost due to lawsuits on the last project? Aren't people now saying we must act NOW to stop using so much water? Who will get that info out but the project - who will replace as much of the water we use with reclaimed water - the project. Yet eminent domain suits could keep us in court for years. PLUS - does anyone really think the BOS would agree to "eminent domain" all these properties for tank placement? Can they afford to do that? Can our water supply afford the wait?

Sewertoons said...

Gray water leaves a LOT of the responsibility for its purity up to the people. I'm not comfortable with that. Can anyone guarantee that toxic soap products will never be used? Can people with infectious diseases shower, then expect to water their native plants with the gray water? What if people have a disease but don't know it? If you are out on a large property with no runoff possibilities I can see it, but here, where we are so jammed up -mmmmm, I'm skeptical of the safety of it.

It can't be done on 25' lots and it costs money to do safely.

Watershed Mark said...

Better save some moey to pay for the strom water project up next.

M said...

Sewertoons says many of us park over our tanks now. I would say it's probably the same "comparitive handful" you mention. Course I dont have any figures to back that up, but do you? I used to work construction here in it's heyday, and i'm pretty sure most of the tanks did not go under the driveways.
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

Then on a 25' lot M, where would they go? (Backyards are not an option remember). Our neighbor on a 25' lot has the tank pushed over to the lot line. One of the 2 cars parks right on top of it. I'll have to dig, but I have the number on the quantity of 25' lots somewhere.

So then, my question to you would be, did a concrete AND a fiberglass tank for these lots get factored into the Step cost presented by Ripley or Orenco?

Watershed Mark said...

Alon Perlman said...

Toons - I dont know the answer to what you asked of M, but-There are plenty of sensible people in town who think either vacuum or STEP would had worked just as well. Including people who didn’t involve to modify the chosen technology at the CCC.
The county indicated a preference for Gravity so the onus was on the citizens. As someone going through it at the PC I noticed an excessive attention to STEP, so I did indicate at one point to Sarah- “They aren’t talking about VACUUM, But it has pretty much the same environmental benefits”.
Frankly I hadn’t paid as much attention to vacuum either while it was at the TAC, and it’s been a while, but I think the TAC could had given it a fairer shaky. It is super high maintenance, especially if it is to provide the level of protection (No leaks undetected). I would had also wanted some backup for massive failure. All expensive. In fact I would had insisted on multiple access ports, beyond what was proposed.
MY Experience in the PC was that STEP Proponents killed vacuum.
What about STEP? Did some of the STEP Proponents engage in an engineering discussion during the TAC ? Yes. However, once the cost comparison was made and the project went to the PC an engineering solution that would lower costs was needed. As I stated before, When Ripley arrived to back off of the 95% estimate it was too little too late. Could the cost differential for STEP had been addressed earlier? YES. Was it? NO.
I tried to bring it up a few times. The STEP “Experts” consensus was that the County is lying. I can provide some technical comments as to how STEP costs could had been brought down (Clamshell, 1000 gal tanks for small dwellings with residency covenants, stuff like that) The larger footprint of STEP on the lots, is a legitimate concern and TOONS you went into that, lawsuits right of inspection etc…All minuses for STEP.
Those Minuses could had been offset by an engineered solution to the 95 % replacements of tanks cost.
Also the post recall CSD could had created a Septic Management district and inventoried the tanks. Records on integrity testing.
MY Experience in the PC was that STEP Proponents helped kill STEP.

Sewertoons said...

Alon, I really liked your post, thank you. You bring up an excellent premise that I agree with - Step proponents killed Step. Why did they do it?

Watershed Mark said...

Why was vacuum never studied during the $7,000,000.00+ review of alternatives?

Churadogs said...

Toonces, if memory serves, Ripley proposed putting tank in street rights of way on small lots, so the tanks certainly can withstand cars running over them. As for the failure to follow The Process. That sad decision will reverberate down through the years, the suspicion that this game was rigged from day one and the community cheated . . . again. If The Promised Process had remained clean, there would be no quarrel. And as for rights of way, the solution to that is simple: IF (please note, I said IF) Step proved out to be -- by a CLEAN PROCESS -- to be the best both by cost (real full costs) and for the environment (sealed pipes) etc., and the homeowners VOTED to go with STEP (also via a clean survey with prices attached,) then people could sign rights of way agreements, (sorta like service for electricty, gaslines & etc.) and if they ddin't want to sign up for the STEP system, for example, they would be turned over to the RWQCB. It wouldn't then be a county problem or a CSD problem. It would be a RWQCB "discharge" problem and would remain a "discharge" problem to be solved between the homeowner and Roger Briggs. And good luck to them.

Mike sez:"...but Richard, think of all the new homes which will soon be built and connected to the out of town waste water treatment facility once constructed...!!!!"

What's Mike doing here commenting on this blog? Didn't he recently comment on how BORRRRING this blog is, what a huge WASTE OF TIME he finds it, how STUPID it is & etc? Yet here he is . . . again? Like Pavlov's dog. Briiiinnnnggg,ringie ringie. Brinnnnngg, ringie ringie. Drool. Drool. Yes, it's Mike of the Four Explanation Marks.Poor guy. Clearly he's addicted. Simply can't help himself. Poor guy.

Sewertoons said...

Ah yes, I recall the meeting with Ripley claiming - no problem! They don't sign up - force them to - turn them over to the Water Board!

Ann - on the narrow streets down in Cuesta - with those houses on 25' lots - those narrow right of ways have other utilities in the ground. Plus, if you have a pumper truck blocking the street - which it would - and an ambulance needs to pass by - well - too bad for the person waiting on the ambulance - "We have poop here to pump!" - you'll just have to wait or go around. That was clearly stated at the Planning Commission as to a reason Step is not going to work.

You might also understand that the ON-LOT costs to the homeowner - not paid for by the project might cause them to vote Step down even if the project costs turned out to be cheaper.

Also - do you think that many of the Step extremists, and I'm not naming names here - would ever recognize that the County did a clean process even if PriceWaterhouse conducted the proceedings?

Watershed Mark said...


MIKE and LT are like Paavo's dogs, both drool over the thought of a big leaky energy intensive expensive pipe, no matter how stupid that solution may be.

The partial Review of Alternatives didn't keep STEP/STEG till the end and did not equally evaluate Vacuum because the biased end result may have been decided by a few who will not actually pay for their "decision" no matter how flawed. Such government folly will make for years on legal wrangling and blog fodder.

When the next Ron Crawford get’s going on those construction expenses and change orders as the years of problems with digging deep trenchs in the soft sandy soils in Los Osos and Baywood Park using the technology that supports your blog for free we will be able to see just how stupid decisions based on willful ignorance will be.

I am so happy that I do not live in your town and feel badly for those who do and have no way of knowing the full measure of pain that will be added to their already financially challenged economic environment.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Plus, if you have a pumper truck blocking the street - which it would - and an ambulance needs to pass by - well - too bad for the person waiting on the ambulance - "

this happens NOW, every time somebody call's Al.

And sez:"You might also understand that the ON-LOT costs to the homeowner - not paid for by the project might cause them to vote Step down even if the project costs turned out to be cheaper"

If there had been a clean process and a clean vote (with real prices) voters could decide for themselves what they wanted and majority would rule and X number would get a heavier hit than Y,which is EXACTLY what's going to happen with X & Y and the coming gravity system.(cost variants on decomissioning, and hook up and grider pumps & etc.)

Mark: Yup. You got that right. Just wait 'till those change orders start coming in . . . Gravy train time.

Mike said...

IF IF IF IF... There could never have been a clean enough "process" for Ann...!!!!

Instead of obsessing with your blame game and complaining that you didn't get your own personal way... why haven't you ever asked WHY didn't the post recall CSD actually have a Plan that they should have been able to put before the community...a Plan complete with real pricing... Where was your chinese menu then...???? I don't recall ANY Plan from that CSD... just plenty of pipe dreams and lawsuits...

Our previous CSD actually had a REAL Plan AND REAL Prices...!!!!!!!!! They had even purchased the land to build the treatment plant, hired contractors and had every legally required permit to build the thing...

...but for the past 5 years, all you have done is belly ache and try blaming the many men and women of this community who put 8 years into a REAL Plan...!!!! YOU just didn't like having any sewer or you didn't like the location (sounds like a personal agenda item to me)...

Not once in this post recall farce did anyone step up with an honest PLAN, not even any well thought out alternatives... just bitch, bitch, bitch... Not once did any of the several snake oil sales folks present a "clean" or clear, (dare I say honest) fully thought out and priced out Plan... just a pile of rubbish that would have been given a F in any engineering school in the country...well, maybe Arizona and possibly Florida, would have given the Wrecklamator presentation at most a D... Not one of those dreams could garner approval from any licensing authority...!!!!

With all the parades before every Board with approval responsibility, did the emotional and poorly presented complaints solve anything other than creating costly delays...???? Did any of the lawsuits by PZLDF solve anything...??? Has Al Barrow or Julie or Ann solved anything...????

Hell NO...!!!! Just 5 years of delays and added costs...!!!!!

Try to quit crying over your personal interpretation of how a major public works program should be designed... you have failed to solve any problem and have only added to the financial burden of the taxpayers of this community...!!!! The govening system you seem to distrust so much is actually working and screening out the dishonest bleatings about the coming Los Osos Waste Water System...

The Razor said...


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

Mike, Mike, Mike, how do you have plans and real prices and everything if you're not in office yet? How about the Tri-W prices coming in 46% higher than we were being told? How come Tri-W is not being built now if it was so perfect?
I gotta tell ya Richard, I hope you are not sabotaging the bankruptcy proceedings just to save face or prove to all of us what a mistake we made by not following your lead. If you guys had not done what you did, this sewer would have been built a long time ago for way cheaper than what you brought us. That you do not acknowledge any part in that makes your rants here even more self serving.
Sincerely, M

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

Weren't you assigned to one of the bankruptcy boards when the bankruptcy started?
I have come to terms with the pending doom. Doesn't stop me from holding a grudge against you coming on here and transplanting any blame from yourself to us.
Sincerely, M

Churadogs said...

Richard sez:"2. Pay to keep the LOCSD or watch as the LOCSD is dismemebered and dissolved."

At least that would make you and Stan and Gordon and the TPWers so very happy. Victory, at last!

Mike sez:Try to quit crying over your personal interpretation of how a major public works program should be designed..."

Not "my" personal interpretation, Mike!!!!!!. The Process was Paavo's and The County's Process and they didn't follow their own, self-created rules.

Spectator said...

To Richard Le Gros:

Right now the Obama Care bill is in the courts to test the constitutionality of making people buy something that they do not want. Otherwise they pay fines. I feel that making people pay for a sewer on vacant land is a taking by the government, especially if the land loses its value if they refuse. This will be hard to get this to pass constitutional muster. However if it does pass, the land will have to be reassessed with a zero value affecting the tax rolls.

Better to have hook up fees.

In the meantime, I feel that the issue of the sewer will be in the courts for many years.

Have you heard how they intend to collect the monthly fees? Add to water bill? (The water can be turned off if no payment received).
My renters pay for their own water.

Looming in the future is a water plant to remove nitrates, the water board will try to force it down our throats, and the process will start all over again.

And some fools expect the government to take care of our health care efficiently.

Thanks for your clear thinking on the sewer and bankruptcy issues.

Richard LeGros said...
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The Razor said...

There are people who read these comments, and they don't want to bother writing responses. I can understand. It's addicting just like Richard LeGros is addicted to posting on here when he constantly says, "I'm going to leave! I'm going to leave!"

People like Lynette Tornatzky, Richard LeGros and John Arcuni no longer have any political capital in Los Osos. The only "weapon" they have left in their arsenal is to "waterboard" Los Osos-related sites with the notion that you must accept their ideology, their "reality" or you're going to have to leave town -- and their obsessive push for dominion and control of the debate has pushed them further into irrelevance.

The war can be won without them.

Richard LeGros said...
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Mike said...

...there is NO debate here...or anywhere else... the sewer "war" is over... This blog and the other remaining vitriolic blogs still tilting windmills are meaningless in their ability to bring about any change in the direction the sewer and the bankruptcy are headed...

The debate and war is over... the very costly sewer is coming inspite of this blog...!!!!!

Alon Perlman said...

Seriously Mike, Are you sure you arn't me?
Cause i'm sure I was on another blog at 11:19.

The Razor said...


Contrary to your assertion, I do have property in Los Osos. There's no need to talk about personal information and whereabouts.

The war I'm talking about has nothing to do with the sewer. There's a greater purpose at stake: unity.

Simply put, unity can and will be achieved without you.

Mike said...

arron... you might just do a little research of your own... you are not shown as "owning" any real property in SLO County.... want to try again..??? look under your mommy and daddy's names... ..or maybe you are not who you claim to be...???

...your lack of education, experience or just plain common sense always seems to lead to that kind of false statement which will not bring about trust in your ability to bring about "unity"... here or wherever your parents send you next... you really don't know what you talk about... you remain just a silly wantabe schoolyard bully... now go take your afternoon nap like a good little boy...

Richard LeGros said...
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Richard LeGros said...
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The Razor said...

No need to explain something that's self-explanatory, Richard.

Richard LeGros said...
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Alon Perlman said...

Unity- Punish the kids who laughed at the Genius of Woodside High school.
That is what it is really all about.
That and polishing the faded glory of the used up Senile Editor/Hollywood Hack.

Richard. Richard. Richard.
You thought this was about you
You thought this was about Los Osos?
This is about the internet dominion of the OchsNation.
U and I are just pawns on the chessboard.

Cricketing annoying orange county critics cruising for a cause to crusade for.

The Razor said...

I'm amazed by the lack of personal invectives.

Richard LeGros said...
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The Razor said...

–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state of being one; oneness.
2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.


Los Osos is so divided, that not even the establishment of a wastewater system will provide any "healing" properties -- maybe for some, but not all. There needs to be a push for unity, and it can be done without personal invectives. The "war" refers to the act to eliminate misconceptions and vitriol. It's akin to the same principle behind Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity."

Richard LeGros said...
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Richard LeGros said...
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Sewertoons said...

Hi Richard,

Maybe I can help! Through evidence supplied by the razor himself, he believes that "unity" can be achieved by making fun of people in cartoon videos. I don't get how this helps achieve "unity," but then - this is aaron's special brand of unity, which does not jive with the common usage of the word.

I suspect that TheOpenEye is related or is aaron's alter ego as the themes in the postings resonate so well with the videos.

We are in an alternate universe when dealing with aaron.


Watershed Mark said...

SW/LT whatever became of your co-dis-info agent from San Pedro, Asue aka MIMI KALLAND?
She had such a trashy mouth when talking "check valves" and when called on her lack of being able to coherently discuss the issue she simply dried up and blew away.

So much bark, so little bite, like you.

The Razor said...

And here I am, talking about unity. What a profane word. It's like Kryptonite to these people.

Couple of things:

1. I'm NOT TheOpenEye. My aliases are The Razor, RazorOnline and AHitchblock (YouTube). There are no other "alter egos" or alternative universes at play.

2. The videos I've produced are satire: something that is produced in a comical way for the sole purpose of amusement. Satire is a cheaper remedy to filing nuisance suits and arguing constantly on the blogs until 1:30 in the morning. People need to laugh at themselves more.

3. Alon is Alon. Nothing he's said about me is true. He's just an "insult factory," and I accept that. His behavior cost him not one, but two elections -- and he did it all by himself. It's just sad that a 51-year-old man spends so much time making up fiction about other people on the Internet. Can't take him too seriously. Nobody else in LO does.

I'm not here to play in the mud. People are tired of a few extremists hijacking the conversation. I'm grateful these guys don't have a pilot license.

TheOpenEye said...

So little bite but so much gum!

Let's keep Sewernotzky's secret affair with the Pervmeister between us girls. If Louie the Wrench ever found out about it he'd punch the vermin with his latest tome, "Innovation Wha?: How a University Makes Money Backing a Town-Cleansing Sewer."

Good thing he's tenured or he'd be siphoning grant money to survive just like the Penguin's hubby.

Good thing the verm can't breed or LO would be swimming in mutant Dreamers.

LO will have unity when the verm and his squeeze, and the Dreamers who spawned them, are dipped and purified in the volcano of just desserts.

Richard LeGros said...
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Alon Perlman said...

Silly Toons.
Tricks are for Kids.
Of all ages.

One more time.
Open Eye is Phil is Metatron is Sand Dollar is Guy Fawkes
The relation between E.O. and A.O
Is as the relationship between Dr. Evil and Mini-Me
As far as sewer blogs are concerned and leaving out the prior Ochs nation,
There are only a couple more I’ds.
Both blogged extensively under other monikers in the Triv. but kept those Id’s separate from sewer issues. 4 I know of.
Both posted in tandem under Multiple Id’s after Ann converted from unidentified Anon.
The War started for one in 1963.
For the other -Hostile web actions are documented as far back as ’02.
The enemy are anyone smarter or has real talent or anyone gullible enough to fall for it. They despise their own "friends" for
In other words; the whole world.
They even despise their own "friends". They can never have Enough attention.
The Triv. thought they couldn’t track I.Ps. they were wrong. I haven’t got the lowdown on the new system yet.
The family who share passwords together are something else indeed.
The Father and Child re-Union is only a moment away, (Check the post times)
Think of unity as UNITY=Socially sanctioned expression of hatered That is the payoff.
To us this harangue looks like a twisted game. It isn’t to the ookies. They have to lie. Their whole lives are a lie. It is everything.
You think this is about the SEWER?
The SEWER is just a hook to hang the costumes on.

Sewertoons said...

Alon -- Great post, thank you!

M said...

Alon, was that you that posted on the CalCoast News site that you had won the Mega Millions jackpot?
Sincerely, M

M said...

Sewertoons, did you ever ascertain how many 25' lots have septic tanks under their driveways? I was also curious if that information would yield how many were permitted after 8313. You seem to thrive on doing archival work and I would appreciate that information. Thanks.
Sincerely, M

TheOpenEye said...

Did anyone else see Alon standing outside Ralphs this morning with an "Out of Order" sign around his neck?

SewerAppellant said...

The LOCSD paid Al's Septic $135K to do septic tank survey in 2003. These survey results will clearly locate nearly all the septics in Los Osos PZ. If memory serves, there are approx. 750 developed 25" to 35" lots, or about 15% of the PZ.
Just one PRA request away, no more speculation. If you really need to know.
BTW, Sewergenious septic tanks do not have to be fiberglass to be watertight. Additionally, there is something called "traffic grade" that will allow one to park a car atop a septic tank. One more thing, Ripley also suggested tanks in the streets, like at the gas station, big tanks that served multiple properties...brilliant idea for Cuesta by the Sea and other densely populated small lot properties.

Mike said...

Suggesting Tanks in the street right of way sounds simple enough... any idea what the size of excavations or tanks would need to be...??? Is it possible there might be some obstructions to work around...??? Could there be any legal restrictions, ie; distance between electrical conduits, domestic water lines....???

Sewertoons said...

Hi M and SewerAppellant (you have now clearly ID'd yourself as Julie),

For lack of time today, I will go with SA's estimation on numbers. However, everyone should read a paper written in part by Terry Bounds of Orenco. The title is:

Eric S. Ball, Harold L. Ball, Jeffrey L. Ball, and Terry R. Bounds

You can find it at:

Please read it. So the irrelevant question is (we are NOT going Step) - were the costs for heavier tanks and water-tight inspections figured into the price presented by Ripley?

Also, the County explained CLEARLY why big tanks in the street were not possible.

Got things to do. Enjoy your read.

SewerAppellant said...
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SewerAppellant said...

So what if I am Julie, are you afraid to challenge me face to face? Worse yet, you seldom show any support for the County at the podium anymore. Apparently even you are blaming them for their delays and their wasting money on Tonini. (How much did the plastic check from USDA cost us?) How can you believe Tonini was "Plan B"? It became Plan A all the way on June 30, 2008 when the SNOP went out, thus all the dough spent on investigating it i.e. Kangaroo Rat and Red Legged Frog studies, perc tests, sprayfield calculations, historic analysis of the buildings on site, la-de-dah, all with our money for a DOA project.
No matter the person asking tough questions shrouded in anonymity, we all deserve answers. You have made yourself the go-to person with all the answers, yet you don't really have any. Merely parroting the County’s spin. Just the same 'ol same 'ol "not in my yard" arguments against STEP. When if you had the answers we are looking for, true bids, to compare the costs, you too may be impressed by the potential savings. We'll never know will we. You were robbed of the fair comparison, just like the rest of us.

Mike said...

..sorry Julie, but YOU are NOT anyone to speak for this community...!!!!!

Your public demonstration of your lack of morals took you out of any position of trust of leadership you may have thought you had...!!! ..and technically, YOU DO NOT know what you are trying to talk about....!!!! Is that plain enough...???? Your emotional bleatings are simply not to be believed...!!!! YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR LOS OSOS...!!!!!

Mike said...

com'on Julie... give us YOUR answer, just a simple answer to the simple, yet poorly thoughtout, remark about sewer tanks in the street right of ways... do you have any idea of the size of those tanks...???? I didn't think so... You have never given straight answers...!!!!

Mike said...

...Like all of Julie's remarks, they are made without any checking on facts... but that has never stopped her before, so why would I think she could back up anything on this blog either.... and she wonders why her lawsuits get thrown out... absolutely no substance...!!!!

Sewertoons said...

Julie, the challenge has moved past what you think it is. We now need to concentrate on finding ways for those who can't afford it to pay for BOTH the sewer AND the bankruptcy.

I think moving it out of town has cost us plenty - but that was beyond my control - I voted NO four times and lost. The County did what it could to make it equal for all - both the people in-town and those out-of-town and they had no choice to do that. To call Tonini a waste morally, is wrong. To call it a waste because of politics is right.

True bids or not - Step wasn't going to work because of eminent domain - the County was NOT going to go there -- and the viable lawsuits from the people who don't want Step or ANY sewer, which would tie up the project indefinitely.

Churadogs said...

As I noted before, no need for the county to go all eminent domain. Simply sign up the community, then those who refuse, leave them to the tender mercies of Roger Briggs. County wouldn't have to worry a minute. Wouldn't cost 'em a penny.

Alon Perlman said...

Yes and no "M"
What is the context?
did you read the whole thing?
It was cute, not exceptional.

Actually STEP was feasible, had problems, and once the County found the cost conveniently close to the bottom end of Gravity, they decided to go with the not-Devil they knew. Julie has been unique somewhat, in not pushing herself forward as a STEP expert before. Ladies- If this town gets a Sewer someday; It is not going to be STEP.
Nor was it going to be, past a particular meeting somewhere in the middle of the PC review.

STEP Should had been carried further as a wounded soldier by the County, because until it expired side by side with Gravity, the process would continue to be Jammed.
Correct- no level of process and no amount of time would stop some from crying foul.
So why should the county had taken STEP a step further? Los Osos.
Based on the predictable results, the County had not figured out the Political Science of Los Osos.
OOps Just read Tunes- Is Infeasibility “Morally” wrong? What if you are an Engineer? A member of public who thinks they are as smart as one?
Mike- Julie knows a heck of a lot of things that other people haven’t figured out. If you don't differentiate among people including those you disagree with, you end up like.. Like what we ended up with...

Alon Perlman said...

There are NO STEP experts in Town. I checked very carefully. Of the people who promote step but don’t PROMOTE STEP; Ann and Julie stand out as quite knowledgeable. Toons does well on the other side. The Only People that Know enough about STEP to truly have an input about SOLVING the problems are.. AL And GAIL!
Obviously those two are completely unreliable. Most of what you are hearing now is still sourced by them, even if not directly or recently.

There was a small cadre of people in the Post Recall CSD (in the wastewater Committee for example) who could had done that kind of engineering from nuts and bolts know how. They either wore out, were pushed out, moved away , discovered they had a life, or erroneously believed that someone competent would step into their shoes if they left.. There is no one left who can work out Walk-talk STEP details. There Are Plenty who can promote STEP with a lot of details-There is a difference between those two. Ignore it at your peril.

What you are hearing is superficial and is based on information that has been out for a while.
NO one currently involved can even get Graywater details straight. That is the problem with Los Osos Sewer Academy. It is not accredited. Too much 21 century marketing technology, not enough plumbing 1a through 1d.

Mike said...

The problem Alon, is there are NO CREDIBLE Los Osos sewer experts...!!! The list of pretenders is headed by the Al's and Julie's and even you Alon are part of the problem...!!! NONE of you are "experts" in the selection, design or even location of a waste water treatment facility... You all know nothing of collection system design and even less of construction... The difference between the pretenders and the majority of us in the community is that we know that we're not experts and we also recognize when we're listening to ameteurs....!!!!!

There are too many conflicting "experts" coupled with emotional mouth pieces who only think they know what that perfect solution should be... There have been too many Al Barrows and Julie Tackers beating their own personal agenda drums, way too many snake oil sales pitches, too many Joey's and aarons who tried to intimidate, too many Lisa, Gail and Ann's who think they know how to overturn the State Water Board, just too much that has been spun into battles and yet none of those well-meaning folks has had anywhere near an open mind to actually work WITH the regulatory agencies...!!!

There is little wonder that the amateur approach has only created a bankrupt attempt at local community services goverment...

Those of us paying property taxes are tired of hearing the bleating and lawsuits of the ego/eco obstructionists who have halted what was a legal sewer project and bankrupted the CSD in their personal crusades... They are attempting to continue to halt any sewer anywhere in Los Osos...

They are the very same individuals who would turn against STEP if that were to be built... There never will be a public works project with a clean enough selection process for these individuals.... and they could care less what it costs the property owners...

Sewertoons said...

I guess if you figure - based on the past - that you are NEVER going to have to pay - well Mike - you get my drift. They are the inhabitants of the La-La land of no consequences.

Ann, don't forget the lawsuit part of the equation if Step had been selected. Even the RWQCB is not immune to that. You know about lawsuits - you are in one against them - still trying to break up the PZ and thus knock out the props requiring a sewer in Los Osos. You could be in one decrying that the wrong kind of Step had been selected for Los Osos - Mike - you sure got that right. Makes me think that there are still people here who DON'T WANT a sewer!

Sewertoons said...


Whether or not "infeasible" is morally wrong RE: Tonini - where could the plant go if in-town was "wrong"according to the in-town people and the people out-of-town, using the same argument as the people in-town said it was "wrong" in their neighborhood? Really, the County had no choice but to find a third alternative. Got a better one? Remember, cost went out the window in 2005. And it went out before in 1998. And it went out before that in - what was it - 1983?

M said...

The worst one was in 1998.
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

Hi M,
I appreciate that you are still in the trenches writing here. I'd guess that there are many who agree with you. I was not here then, so don't know how I would have felt about it.

M said...

yea, that is the group you support now.
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

Yeah - they started off with ponds and moved onto something that could be permitted. Still cheaper than what we are facing - but I hope I am wrong.

The damage to the aquifer by not being able to enforce water conservation or the lack of replenishment to the lower aquifer for these many more years… probably unfixable for years longer - if ever.

Watershed Mark said...
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Watershed Mark said...

If you are so confident that your beloved leaky, energy intensive big pipe dream is certain to be planted in your drinking water aquifer, why are you up all night wringing your hands over it?

You must have an idea of what is coming...

Any word from Asue/Mimi?

Watershed Mark said...

If you are so confident that your beloved leaky, energy intensive big pipe nightmare is certain to be planted in your drinking water aquifer, why are you up all night wringing your hands over it?

You must have an idea of what is coming...

Any word from Asue/Mimi?