Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goodbye, Los Osos. Hello, Bangladesh-By-The-Bay. Happy Days (Will Soon) Be Here Again (Once The Riff-Raff Are Gone)

The 30-plus-year-old game show was over. Time for the losers to pack up and leave. On March 15, the Ides of March, the SLO Board of Supervisors voted to take the sewer project, which means bids will be going out, assessments will likely show up on the tax rolls in Dec. and the financial wrath that is about to set down on the town will commence.

Or, at least a part of it will. The latest cost guestimates are now $163 unless the undeveloped lot owners vote to assess themselves for years in the hope of developing some day. If that happens, the guestimated cost could fall to $134 (plus the cost of hook ups and the cost of water used in the “rates and charge,” which will vary, depending on how much water a household uses.) All of which is an awful irony: This community will likely end up with a “better” and “cheaper” project with the sewer plant “out of town.” Which begs the Eternal Question: Why did it take a recall and a Hideous Sewer War to accomplish that? The community’s wish for a cheaper project with the plant out of town seemed at the time (and still seems) a perfectly reasonable request.

The Usual Suspects were at the meeting, reminding the Board that there were/are cheaper solutions that could/should have been possible if the Board had allowed the promised design build process to play out. That claim ignores the fact that the “promised” design build process -- wherein the best technology and solutions would be allowed to come to the top and the whole project be competitively awarded to the smartest guys on the block with the best solution and the best price, -- was all PR hokum, a wickedly smart Paavo Ogren lie that was accidentally exposed by Noel King blurting out that Los Osos would get a gravity system even before the TAC was selected and started work.

But, no matter, that little “Chinatown” bean-spilling was quickly forgotten and the original lie constantly burnished and dangled before the public until it was no longer useful and was permanently buried by another lie when Supervisor Gibson hilariously claimed he had to kill off design/build to get federal stimulus money for a shovel ready project & etc. Which sounded swell, except for the fact that there was no “shovel ready project.” Not even close. But the ploy worked beautifully in permanently taking design/build off the table, thereby eliminating forever any possibility that a STEP system design would be in the running. Can’t have too much design/build “best technology” running around and maybe showing up with low bids in hand. So, done deal, redux, while the rest of the Supervisors watched with blank faces.

Which they also did when citizens would come to the microphones at various project updates and earnestly ask, “What am I to do? Where am I to go? I will have to leave my home because I can’t afford this project.” No answers there. Not their problem. Not anybody’s problem, really. Not the County’s, not the State’s, not the Feds. So, move along now.

Or get berated from the dais for being whiners and “anti-sewer obstructionists,” or armed and dangerous crazies requiring that a Sheriff be in the back of the room. All for being annoying Los Osos people who endlessly parade before the Board to remind it of its promises, remind it of the problems still unsolved, warn them of pending crises and constantly ask questions that have no answers. (Well, they do have answers, but none that want to see the light of day.)

Questions like, What percentage of Los Osos residents will be forced to move? Who pays the assessment bills for homeowners who default, especially if a whole lot of them do and in a depressed market in the middle of a recession, they can’t sell their homes? What happens to local businesses when $200 a month of previously “discretionary money” is removed from the economy? What happens to the sales tax dollars paid by those businesses when there is no business? And what’s up with the water?

No answers there on the economic side, since nobody bothered to do any kind of affordability studies in the first place. Best not to know. Just build it and they will leave and then try to figure out what to do next, I suppose. Not our problem. Kick the can down the road for some other Board of Supervisors to deal with. Then move along.

And the salt water intrusion issue? Pray that enough recycled wastewater and heavy duty conservation by the community solves the problem, I guess. And people all over town start xerescaping like crazy.

Some public comments and Misc. notes:

-- John Waddell noted that while there was only one bid received from the short-listed three firms qualified to bid on the design, he felt that the bid was “competitive” since the company didn’t know the other two companies had dropped out of the running. One company that did drop out?  Montgomery Watson Harza. They cited “Los Osos controversy” as their reason to depart the field. Ingrates! I mean, Supervisor Gibson moved heaven and earth and risked a high degree of ridicule for the “shovel ready” short-listing maneuver that made sure they had a place at the table and then they leave town without so much as a bid? Ah, how sharp the serpent’s tooth. . .

-- The CSD Prez noted that the Board’s taking this project and repaying the $$ owed to the RWQCB helps the CSD’s bankruptcy case to move along. He expressed a concern for the affordability and noted that the cost is comparable to TriW, even five years later and is an improved project what with returning/reusing all the water and adding an ag element as well.

-- Supervisor Meacham (sporting a nifty beard and looking so unlike himself that I hardly recognized him and at first thought he was that actor that plays “the most interesting man in the world” flogging Dos XX beer in the TV commercial) again expressed dismay over the inherent unfairness of having a small group bearing the full cost for a general benefit that will be enjoyed by a larger group, thanks to the RWQCB’s poorly-drawn PZ. Paavo then briefly discussed the possibility of floating a special tax for general benefit for the community, a special tax that would mean people outside the PZ would be assessed for that benefit, (clean water) thereby lowering the costs to the small PZ group (who are actually paying to clean up the water.) Before that discussion could develop, Supervisor Gibson, in usual form, jumped in and in a blizzard of words, buried the whole topic then immediately moved to make a motion to adopt the resolution. It was seconded and passed 5- 0 .

The County now “has” this project. Pray for them. Pray for us. Pray that more grant money can be found. Pray that Supervisor Meacham will again be allowed to bring up the general benefit assessment tax idea without being buried by Gibson. Why Supervisor Meacham (whose district Los Osos is NOT) is the one who keeps bringing this up while Gibson, (whose district this IS) is the one who buries such a notion, remains a mystery. But bless Meacham’s interest in persuing equity.

Oh, the County will be sending out pre-payment information in a few weeks for those of you who have $25,000.00 sitting in your pockets.


TCG said...

On June 19, 2006 the County B/S indicated it's support for AB 2701 and directed it's staff to apply strategies, as written in that agenda item, that were "based on the District's 2005 compromise, i. conventional gravity collection essentially as designed.

On October 3, 2006 the B/S authorized $2,000,000 of front money for the project and discussed how it would procede. In responding to a statement made during public comment about alternative collection processes, Mr. King referred the audiance to the Board's June 19, 2006 written strategic approach, which mandated a gravity collection system. He didn't accidently blurt out anything. He made a clear and direct statement to clarify the matter.

I recommend that you re-watch the Oct. 3 meeting on the County's project website to refresh your memory on this issue.

Churadogs said...

Ron Crawford was having trouble logging on for comment, so I'll attempt to paste his comment:

Crawford comment

Ann writes:

"This community will likely end up with a "better" and "cheaper" project with the sewer plant "out of town." Which begs the Eternal Question: Why did it take a recall and a Hideous Sewer War to accomplish that?"

Excellent question, especially since I first exposed back in 2005 (before the recall) that the pre-recall board had almost the EXACT same sewer system (that the county just approved) sitting in their filing cabinet -- with cost estimates down to the $100 -- at this link:

... where my headline is:

"Better, Cheaper, Faster?" No.
"Better, Cheaper?" Yes.
The Los Osos CSD's Alternative Sewer Plan

You know what I'm going to do? Email Paavo and ask him what's the difference between what the Supes just approved, and what the pre-recall had stuffed in their filing cabinet in 2005, but refused to use... for reasons that are not clear.

Wow, Pandora sure did save Los Osos a lot of money since she and her husband deliberately created the sewer disaster beginning in 1998 so THEY could make money.

Think about it: Let's just round it off at $100/month that LO property haven't had to pay since the Karners' tricked everyone into backing their "better, cheaper, faster" scam in 1998.

That's 13 years-and-counting, at 12 months/year, at $100/month.

Where's my calculator?


No wonder she's so well loved in the community.

Right: Celebrate Los Osos! Indeed!

And TCG sez gravity wasn't spilled beans but totally set in stone even before the TAC was picked, so why bother with the TAC? Hmmm. Which goes back to Ron's question, above. The county had a plan on the shelf . . . .

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

So what you are saying Ron, is that people shouldn't be crying about the cost now because they knew a sewer was coming so that they have wisely been saving up for all of these years?

I believe the TAC was there to supply the part squawked about as missing on the old project - the community's access to information and their desire for input. (Not that that DIDN'T happen with the old project, but it was a "claim.")

The file drawer plan: OK Ron, to quote you, "a realigned CSD Board could immediately pursue the alternative project developed by CSD engineers," SO why didn't the recall board just do it then? They could have save the years of damage to the aquifer, NOT bankrupted the District, saved face from the personal failure they garnered as their "legacy." WHY?

BTW, how's that Pulitzer quest going Ron? You have been remarkably absent from your blog.

M said...

I guess most of us regulars are all talked out on this subject? Or have we realized the futility of trying for common sense?
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

Hi M, nice to see, rather read, you are back. I don't feel talked out on the subject, but it is hard to talk to an empty room. And as it is, this sewer is a done deal. But since something new came up at the BOS meeting Tuesday, I'll get back to blogging to make a small point.

Ann says, "Supervisor Meacham (sic)…again expressed dismay over the inherent unfairness of having a small group bearing the full cost for a general benefit that will be enjoyed by a larger group…"

Maybe Mr. Mecham is not familiar with the PZ, but Ann surely is. Did she somehow forget that the "small group," the PZ, is 83% of the town?

I can only see a benefit to the small group that are OUTSIDE the Zone, (and are WAY LESS polluting if they are polluting at all even), to be some other water benefit, such as discounted purple pipe where the costs to get something like that done are partially paid for by them and another EPA-like entity. They cannot rightfully pay for the "clean water benefit" for water they didn't dirty in the first place according to logic and especially the RWQCB's logic. Get over the idea that anyone would assess themselves out of pity for the PZ. Don't you recall how the pool assessment went down? And the few tax dollars more for Cabrillo to keep the lights on? Both went down in flames.

I do think that if the County agrees to keep the project for 30 years - the life of the SRF loan, they will find a way to lower the interest rate.

What we should be praying for is that enough water is found for the vacant lot owners to build so that they can assess themselves to pay for their part of the sewer.

FOGSWAMP said...

It ain't over till the well-built soprano sings.

State environmental regulators must recognize the need for achieving a balance between compliance with the Clean Water Act and the financial burden that is placed on communities.

"Affordability" is the key factor when enforcing the Clean Water Act and certainly has been ignored in our case.

It shouldn't surprise anyone if this fact is the basis for the next go-around in the courts.

Sewertoons said...

It may be the basis, but it won't win though.

Churadogs said...

Fogswamp sez:"State environmental regulators must recognize the need for achieving a balance between compliance with the Clean Water Act and the financial burden that is placed on communities."

Porter-Cologne used to have a section in it that listed financial issues, but it was my understanding that that section was removed years ago. It has been a puzzle to me that people keep saying the Powers that Be must pay attention to affordibility, but to date I've seen little evidence of that. For example, people yak about the Feds requiring tht the least expensive plans be picked if you're using federal dollars, but that hasn't happened here, to my knowledge. If financial had been the key, this project would never have been allowed to be derailed off Design/Build by Gibson, yet it was and everybody shrugged. And, so far, the courts have clearly said, they don't care if 3/4th of the town is turned out of their homes. Not their problem. & etc.

It would be wonderful if there actually were some sort of formula regarding cost/affordability, but so far I see nothing on the horizon. Exept having enough water so vacant lots can vote and start paying, which will reduce the cost somewhat, and the rest will get dinged with water fees for their share of the clean water. Or if the State lowers interest fees? Or we suddenly find more grants?

FOGSWAMP said...

If Ron Crawford is writing a book about our sewer debacle he should still use the pencil vs ink because it's not over till it's over.

Most would agree that the "affordability" issue has not been properly addressed. Gibson's last excuse was that he was waiting for the latest census, which is now out.

For what it's worth, the Clean Water Affordability Act or Federal Pollution Act, was amended and enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives on September 29, 2010.

H.R. 6353 contains updated guidelines and formulas for assessing the financial capability of a community to comply.

But like most legislation, it's we the people that are left to enforce and determine what the hell they mean, in the our unaffordable court systems.

What drives you nuts when they amend (strike and insert) an Act, they use the word "should" rather than "must" which would give it more positive meaning.

Sewertoons said...

Gee, didn't the majority of people on their survey questionnaire VOTE DOWN some other people's idea (Step) of "more affordable?" Why is this never part of the discussion? Like the project will suddenly go back through the Public Works Department, the Planning Commission, the Coastal Commission and all of the other entities (F &G, F & W, etc.) to permit Step? Why should we all go back to cater to a few who believe that Step would have survived the D/B process? Convincing those few is so vital to this issue? This is all Gibson's fault? Hardly!

If the price is cheaper on the project side (and with Step's O & M that is debatable), it is more expensive on the property owner's side - what costs you will have to repair the mess left by Step tank installation - and that won't be on time payments either, unless you have some empty space on your credit cards at 11-25% interest. Or you just leave your lot torn up. Maybe people just didn't care if it was maybe "cheaper" on the project side if it meant more money out of their own pockets?

Maybe Step with its smart meter as planned by Ripley was not so likable given the current controversy over smart meters?

And as for the project being within the EPA's guidelines for affordable, if it DID go down to that dollar amount? People STILL will say that it is NOT affordable.

Also, everyone forgets about the largest part of the project, the collection system, was, with a few changes, SHOVEL READY. We are using the plans from the old project now with just a few tweaks. You forget that the recall CSD COULD HAVE KEPT the SRF loan had they just continued with the collection system, while doing the re-design for out of town part concurrently.

Why don't we talk about what the Water Board can do for lowering the interest rate for us? Or the vacant lot owners' chances to build?

Spectator said...

This "in the closet/file cabinet" report was discussed in public because of the unavailability of the out of town sites for purchase. Both Crawford and Calhoun wish to cover up their record on the cause of time delay on the building of the sewer. Because of the delay, 5 years of additional pollution has built up in the upper aquifer (if you believe in the cause of nitrate pollution as stated by the water board).
These days, we have become more and more aware that we can take anything from government with five grains of salt.

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons ...... Still humming that Same Old Lang Syne tune eh?

It's all dust in the wind at this point in time.

Sewertoons said...

Looking backward is a popular pastime for weekly Los Osos speakers at the BOS, or maybe you don't watch those meetings on TV.

The other water crime is the increase in seawater intrusion by having no project for these past years. The old project would have included conservation measures and a septic tank management plan, along with leach fields to return reclaimed water to the basin. That is why these silly speeches at the BOS are so annoying, as really, they support more delay by wanting to stop the current project, while at the same time they shriek about how SWI is the REAL problem.

Churadogs said...

Fogswamp sez:"What drives you nuts when they amend (strike and insert) an Act, they use the word "should" rather than "must" which would give it more positive meaning."

Ah, there's the answer: weasle words. "May" "should" "suggested" etc, which translates as: We'll ignore this section and just do whatever we want.

toonces sez:"You forget that the recall CSD COULD HAVE KEPT the SRF loan had they just continued with the collection system, while doing the re-design for out of town part concurrently."

Gosh, I thought that's what they WERE doing, during the "stand-down 90 day period," then, kazwoop! the loan was stopped, then the magic meeting that wasn't a meeting, then the October Compromise then suddenly the S--t hit the fan: Dissolve the CSD! Lawsuits! World War III!That October was another of those key points that was missed because it seemed like everyone lost their marbles. (Ron's having a wonderful time with an amazing question regarding the on-the-shelf system/plan the county had sitting there all along that could hve been turn-keyed -- if everyone had not lost their marbles. Hope he'll pop up with that info. It's appallingly funny.)

FOGSWAMP said...

Yep, at the time it was probably the October Moon shining orange, burning bright, that caused everyone to "loose their marbles".

So many actors and so many factors and so little money to flush, then we went bezerk.

Sewertoons said...

Ann, how is STOPPING the work "continuing with the collection system?" BTW, they had to ASK permission from the Water Board to stop the work, something that they "forgot" to do.

Ha-ha-ha - my word verification is "brita!"

GetRealOsos said...

Well, well, well.

This site finally has the subject of "sewers" again.

TCG says: "...On June 19, 2006 the County B/S indicated it's support for AB 2701 and directed it's staff to apply strategies, as written in that agenda item, that were "based on the District's 2005 compromise, i. conventional gravity collection essentially as designed."

Well, I have news for TCG. The County helped write AB2701. Gail Wilcox told Blakeslee what to write!

For that matter, Attorney Julie Biggs helped the County and Blakeslee in the writing of the bill.

The PZ homeowners paid for all that!

And of course, here's Lynette, saying the same old misinformation.

What else is new?!

For the County to pick the most expensive out-dated system is criminal in my opinion. Picking gravity over step or vacuum is like picking a Nuclear Plants over wind and solar. Give us a break!

The County has wasted taxpayers funds -- it's public waste going way beyond what the City of Bell did.

And for Lynette to defend the water board on any level is nuts.

This water board knew and allowed Morro Bay to continue with their broken leaky pipes for years ONLY to pick on Los Osos -- and having a wastewater system in place -- one that works.

The County's 218 was a fraud. There was NO special benefit and the ONLY benefit at all (if you can call it one), was to get rid of the waterboard threats. GEEZ!

So if you, Lynette, don't see the big scam and rip off, then YOU ARE part of it!!

And, Lynette, how can we trust the water board drawing the PZ line when they didn't include the middle school or horse farms (the horses don't have leach fields!)

Sewertoons said...


It was Gail McPherson who "advised" Blakeslee; you have your Gails mixed up.

What misinformation have I written? I believe that have said the PZ line was screwy in the past.

What Los Osos wastewater system do you refer to - magic sand?

GetRealOsos said...


You are quite ignorant Lynette.

Maybe Gail McPherson helped with the Blakeslee bill. She did indeed tell her friends she went to his office and helped write the darn thing -- BUT I have the documents from Gail Wilcox to Blakeslee where she and the County attorneys told Blakeslee what to write and what not to write. So there! I'll post that too when I want.

Everything you write is misinformation -- come on Lynette -- you are part of the fraud and scam of the sewer.

And, yes, the PZ does have a system in place for wastewater, so the only "benefit" on the 218 for the PZ was to get rid of the threats of the water board. That's NOT a benefit Lynette, no matter how you try to "spin" it.

Our septic tank system does a better job then the gravity system. (I'd rather have the septic tanks on top of drinking water than gravity pipes that will crack and break due to the next earthquake.)

Remember -- Dr. T warned Paavo from day one that he shouldn't build with gravity pipes in our sand with our hills and our earthquakes. How can you dispute what Dr. T says?

Yep, you ARE part of the scandal.

Of course you don't address how the middle school can stay on their septic system or how Picking gravity over step or vacuum is like picking a Nuclear Plants over wind and solar.

You never change. Ignorance is bliss -- right Lynette?

Sewertoons said...

GRO, thanks for the insults. Always reinforces that I am on the right track.

So — how about posting your proof? Please do!

Gee, NOT being charged $10,000 a day or whatever it was to discharge, seems like a benefit to me — but whatever.

Maybe you can explain the human drug and body care product residues in the aquifer water? You will probably ignore that question.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez"STOPPING the work " First, there was a "stand down," (in the contract, not "stopping," but "pausing - standing down -- allowed for 90 days")

GEO sez"This water board knew and allowed Morro Bay to continue with their broken leaky pipes for years ONLY to pick on Los Osos --"

That's always been sooooo interesting. Or farm run-off into the Morro Bay aquifer -- not a peep from RWQCB for years and years. But Los Osos???"

Swamp sez:"Yep, at the time it was probably the October Moon shining orange, burning bright, that caused everyone to "loose their marbles".

You got that right. Absolute insanity.

Sewertoons said...

Ann, the board needed permission to do a "stand down." They just did it without asking.

Perhaps the RWQCB targeted towns with NO SEWERS first? Perhaps Los Osos' attitude of poking a stick in their eye had something to do with it?

Right now there is a huge to-do over farm run-off. Morro Bay is struggling over their sewer too. So you can be glad that they are finally picking on everyone!

Mike Green said...

Questions that were never and never will be answered.
If the CSD needed "permission" to stand down, and that permission wasn't given, why did the work stop?
If certain member's of the Previous CSD board were not close associates of members of the RWQCB would the negotiations have succeeded?
(When Sam Blakesly was asked directly on Congalton's show why the negotiations failed, he responded that there were a lot of egos that would't allow compromise to move foreword. I was that caller)
What was on the stolen computers?
Chinatown, meet Bangladesh

Sewertoons said...

Hi Mike Green, in my opinion, the work stopped because they didn't want a gravity system, they wanted Step/Steg. To continue with the gravity system would not have accomplished this! So they had to make noise like they were going to continue, and then hope they could change the whole darn thing and STILL keep the money. This is my opinion.

Which members of the prior board were friends with WHO on the Water Board? Monica Hunter? She was said to live in Los Osos.

Whose egos do you think Blakeslee was referring to?

Churadogs said...

Mike Green sez:"If certain member's of the Previous CSD board were not close associates of members of the RWQCB would the negotiations have succeeded?
(When Sam Blakesly was asked directly on Congalton's show why the negotiations failed, he responded that there were a lot of egos that would't allow compromise to move foreword. I was that caller)
What was on the stolen computers?

Ah, yes. Chinatown. I have absolutely no doubt if various strong egos and fury ("fine them out of existence!!!" "Destroy the CSD, call LAFCO!") and money (losing the contracts for the Tri-W job) and who knows what else dishonest insanity had not prevailed, the Oct. Compromise would have chugged along -- totally doable. After all, asking that a sewer processing plant be moved out of the center of town is NOT AN UNREASONABLE request.

FOGSWAMP said...

"What was on the missing computers" is intriguing, due to the timing of the alleged theft.

Does anyone have the police sheriff report number, or a copy of same to post?

Was there more than one computer involved?

What is the external IP address, or addresses?

Wonder what efforts were made by the Sheriffs to locate the items, if any.

If the Sheriff didn't even ask for the IP address (s) in order to attempt to track or locate using available resources at the time, why not?

I am not sure "SETI@Home workunits via Boinc" was even available during that period in time, but they have been somewhat successful tracking IP addresses, by law enforcement and the private sector.

Sewertoons said...

Ann, you act like the Lisa board had nothing to do with the sewer negotiations!

Mike Green said...

Toons, your opinion doesn't even come close to a guess.
Why did the contractors stop working when there was no legal stop work order?
Why was there no Official statement from Polhemus about why the October compromise fell through?
As far as the missing computers, I'll just guess that there might have been some records that were inconvenient.
What exactly did Maria Singelton do for, what was it?
A big pile o cash.
Chinatown, yep. An interesting place, I'll come visit someday.

Alon Perlman said...

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place (Los Osos).
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space (Board chambers?)

And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly [radio version]
probably [album version]

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that's my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,(a STEP technology expert?)
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

Maybe I'm (sewer) crazy
Maybe you're (sewer) crazy
Maybe we're (all sewer) crazy

Uh, uh

Alon Perlman said...

Darn this deleted before the above (due to word count?)
---Ah, Fogs nicely wrote comments “We turned Crazy” so so right. But now that the only 50 million dollar sewer is in the hands of Al Barrow, what have we learned? What has the overrun social phenomenon of Los Osos Sewer advocacy have to do with the upcoming monthly financial punch in the gut, or the continued uncertainty of the basin’s water supply?
Why crazy now?
The folklore of the Sewersaga is full of truths, half truths, outright lies, irrelevancies and innuendos. People involved latch onto those each according to their needs. The need to BE RIGHT foremost among those. And so some of these have “legs” and ”staying power”.
Case in point “The county built 1100 homes after the conditions were known” a great comment as far as how screwed up the situation was/ is, but not relevant to anything occurring over the last 6 years because the county did not have the project coming in and hardly a way to convince say, Supervisor Texiera to accept “Responsibility”.

Alon Perlman said...

Part duex
-There is no mechanism to adjust the prohibition zone, and the attempt for relief via the WaterBoard’s selective enforcement “In” fell flat. Yet there is “Hope”? CRAZY.
Stolen computers? Probably, Possibly, an act of vandalism turned into a crime of opportunity? Plausible. A trump card for those who have made their ownership of the “Sewer conspiracy” a defining part of their (otherwise meaningless?) lives- Ya Yabetcher. My point being that right or wrong, that is a dead end at this point to anyone who doesn’t have to live in their own heads.
The phenomenon of the post recall CSD and the whole “Negotiations” going into 2701 were a mess, and the only lesson there is “But think twice”. A manifestation of “Can’t lead, can’t follow and can’t get out of the way”. Who? Dan? Who else? Humble people have ego’s too.
Fast forward – What with Supervisor Gibson going over the nature of the last bid as being a design refitting to a different location, and not the project itself. Therefore he implied; that MWH may yet be a bidder for the project proper?
My problem? "I just know too much".

Sewertoons said...

Hi Mike Green,

Oh, you mean the construction guys (Whitaker, Monterey Mechanical) just stopped work with no instructions from anyone?

Not true. Please refer to Pages 145-146 of the transcript of the the December 5, 2005 Regional Water Quality Control Board hearing where Mr. Ed Moore of Monterey Mechanical (the project manager) replies to Ms. Okun:

"6 MS. OKUN: On October 3rd of this year
7 did the CSD direct Monterey Mechanical to stop
8 work on the project?
9 MR. MOORE: Yes, they did."

How about Page 172?

"6 BOARD MEMBER PRESS: Mr. Moore, could
7 you tell me if this letter, in your view, was a
8 stop-work order?
9 MR. MOORE: Yes, it was.
10 BOARD MEMBER PRESS: Would you expect
11 any other kind of letter representing the
12 District, the CSD, would it have to be signed by a
13 CSD Board of Directors to be more legal or did you
14 take it as the official stop-work?
15 MR. MOORE: That was the official stop-
16 work. We would take any correspondence from the
17 General Manager as being official District
18 correspondence."

Staff does what the Board asks staff to do! It does not operate independently without direction!

Here is another nugget from that transcript:

Page 176 CSD Interim GM Bleskey states:
4 We had a situation where we had Measure
5 B. We were abiding by Measure B. We needed time
6 to assess the hydraulic implications on the system
7 as we evaluated which collection system that we
8 could construct and use in any circumstance.

WHICH collection system? Besides gravity - what else was designed and approved and FUNDED by SRF monies?

FOGSWAMP said...

Alon .... regarding stolen computer(s).

You're right, however just for giggles, it would be interesting to learn who is using them today, eh?

It may well be MWH.

Alon Perlman said...

I’m not much of a conspiracy believer, Fog, because I don’t think anyone can keep a secret. But if I put my conspiracy hat on (Black or white, pointed peak like SPY vs SPY ) I’d have to say Erased, De-rezed and Reformatted. And if identifying features, serial numbers were given in a police report; filled off and burned and dumped in a remote location.

Is there a non zero chance that MWH “disappeared” some evidence? Sure. Much more likely than the green Aliens took it. Ocham’s razor sez otherwise.

Alon Perlman said...

Good conspiracy theories age like Old Cheese. They get better (and smellier) with time. The less actual evidence the better.
(Evidence Alon? Don’t you get it!? THEY stole the evidence!!! )
Court cases based on old conspiracy evidence don’t do so well with the passage of time, kind of like Lite Beer (Not that substantial to begin with), they go flat. Almost all this Sewer lore is previously rehashed. Either there was no evidence or it was clearly insubstantial, case closed, nothing new under the sun, well ran dry.
But that also is what gives rickety rumors and wisps of gossamer gossip all the life they need.
I hope nobody who is not personally invested in Sewer Dharma, isn’t being persuaded to throw away monies, they will need, come December. (Hmm…This looks interesting. Another Sewer misadventure? Yes, I can file a brief for you. How much money do you have?)

FOGSWAMP said...


Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?

FOGSWAMP said...

Alon ... One more thing.

You said "the need to BE RIGHT foremost among those"

I respectfully submit that our Los Osos Sewer War will not determine who is right, only who is left.

Alon Perlman said...

Faith in Al Barrow and derivitives? I have been to the mountain ... and it aint here. I think in the war of attrition that is the current manifestation of sewer battles, what you see is what is left.

Color me gone, the moment it trickles down to me.

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

Fog and Mike Green,

Alon doesn't believe in the conspiracy in Los Osos.

I think it's funny that on the same night computers were "stolen" from Sunnyside MWH office, the computers at Johnson/Starlings were "stolen" and office trashed also.

Also funny is the fact that Starlings provided rental housing for the contractors (and they voted on the Recall and Measure B when LO was not their place of residence) and held meetings with them at their office and at the 10th Street Grill...)

Keep in mind that these "break ins" happened when the recalled CSD and MWH got busted for not holding a 218 vote. MWH left pretty quickly.

Sewertoons said...

I have it on good, VERY good actually, information that the MWH computers were networked to the mother (MWH) ship. So no information was "lost" or disposed of by the break-in. If the people in the office were worried about losing information or having secret information discovered, they would not have stolen their own computers, but instead they would have beefed up security.

So perhaps THOSE PEOPLE STEALING THE COMPUTERS were trying to GET INFORMATION, not destroy it. And since those trying to collect dirt could well have been those who threatened the contractors, they could have been P.O.ed at Starlings for consorting with the "enemy" and decided to get even.

A better theory than the old one.

BTW, there was no "busting" for not holding a 218 vote, that is hilarious!

FOGSWAMP said...

Toons .... Very good point, hadn't thought of it that way.

Funny how our minds set barriers to keep us from noticing the obvious eh?

But as Alon alluded to, it's the same old song just another drop of water in an endless sea.

FOGSWAMP said...

GRO ....... Once in a while Toons brings up a good theory that, in this case, may well be true.

Many large corporations (like insurance companies) do in fact network their computers for good reason.

Oh well, I guess it was just a flash before my eyes of curiosity.

GetRealOsos said...


You are so ignorant it's scary.

Sewertoons said...

Thank you for the kind words FOGSWAMP.

GetRealOsos said...


I don't agree with Lynette on the break in(s). The timing is too suspect. MWH moved out very soon after the break in. And Starlings too? The same night, when they just happened to work hand and hand w/the recalled board and the contractors?!

Remember, FBI agents don't believe in coincidences either.

Sewertoons said...

GRO, when you had been stopped from working, your office had been broken into, you had been threatened by citizens if you did any work AND you stopped being paid, how long would YOU hang out?

Maybe the Starlings break in was a cover-up to make the MWH target look less like the real target — which was to steal work documents from MWH?

Or maybe local thieves knew of the expensive computers and just saw opportunity to rip them off and reasoned a clever "sewer conspiracy" would take the heat off of them.


M said...

Then again, it might have been to remove damaging evidence.
Sincerely, M

Sewertoons said...

Everything on the break-ins should be deemed SPECULATION.

Anonymous said...

Everything Lynette says should be deemed BULLSHIT.

Anonymous said...

Anon writes: "Everything Lynette says should be deemed BULLSHIT."

It always has. When wasn't it????