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Monday, October 17, 2011

Aw, Shredder, You Don't Love Los Osos Any More, Do You

The following is a "Viewpoint" response by Julie Tacker to  New Times' The Shredder/s Oct 13 swipe at "Sewer Nuts."  The Shredder's remarks are in italics) My response follows. 


Response to Shredder October 13, 2011

Dear Shredder,

I think I’m having a problem communicating. Every week I go to the Board of Supervisors and say the exact same thing and nobody seems to listen. Also, my application to lynch Paavo Ogren and Maria Kelly was rejected, AGAIN. What am I doing wrong?


—Los Osos Sewer Nut

Dear Nut,

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

The same can be said for the sewer decision makers (1980-98, County of SLO, 1999-2005 LOCSD, 2006-today County of SLO) study after study, design after design, to still end up with an energy hungry gravity sewer IS insane.

I consider what I am about to say the most important piece of advice I have ever given: SHUT UP.


No Shredder, you SHUT UP! If you can’t be part of the solution, get out of the way.

For years I’ve listened to you rant about your sewer.

You may have heard the dedicated concerned citizens of Los Osos week after week, but you obviously weren’t listening. If you had been you would know why they go and perhaps have joined them in their plight.

You hate it. You really hate it.

We don’t hate the sewer, we hate the process (tainted by corporate greed, small town politics and now a love affair that revealed what we already knew, Maria’s vote to settle with mondo-engineering firm MWH let lover-boy Paavo off the hook (for illegally ordering the backdating of a contract).

We hate having our voices quashed by those who claim to be doing what’s “good” or “right” for Los Osos. Those who do not live with the complexities of the issues in Los Osos, those who do not care what the dissention has done to a community that is otherwise quite lovely.

You want more funding. You’re not happy about the funding you got.

“Funding?” What funding? Los Osos could have got a better loan from a loan shark than it’s getting from the USDA. The County’s “skilled negotiators” portrayed Los Osos as ‘deadbeats who defaulted on a $6 Million loan in 2005’. This is completely false. The loan in question was rescinded by the State when their own engineer agreed with the District’s engineer and newly elected Board that moving the sewer from downtown would reduce the project cost by $25 million. That engineer was quickly removed from the project and buried in a cubical somewhere in Sacramento.

I’m not sure what you want, and I don’t think you are either.

Los Osos has always wanted a fair process and a chance to build an environmentally friendly project. For example, this project doesn’t even provide for solar panels on the rooftop of the plant to offset costs of operation. When this was brought to the attention of the permitting authorities, the County’s response was to orient the building east/west to absorb the southern sun, but not add the panels. The rate payers would pay for the panels up front, but would also benefit from the long term cost offset…maybe you Shredder, can get the answer “why not?”

You’ve had years to formulate a cohesive statement, argument, manifesto, anything.

At one time (1998) 87% of voters were in agreement of one thing; to take the project away from the County. They were sold on “faster, better, cheaper” and are still in search of it.

Instead, all anyone’s heard for years is incoherent rambling against anyone and everyone even remotely connected to Los Osos.


Again Shredder, you haven’t been listening to those weekly speakers. Each brings something different. They come from all walks of life, political parties, religious preferences, and myriad life experiences. Some speak sewer, others water, some to cost, the complex details, or as of late -- the recently revealed love affair involving key players, Maria and Paavo.

And if they’re not on your side—whatever the hell side that happens to be—they’re against you.

Not necessarily. The Los Osos issues are very complex (if you were listening you would know that). Those citizens who march like lemmings to the podium to agree with the County ARE against those who bring forth the issues, concerns, and flaws. They like living like mushrooms; in the dark being fed compost. Clearly they haven’t taken the time to go through the studies, add the figures themselves, or look at the logistics of the permits (e.g. Harming/killing no more than 15 snails over the course of the 45 mile long project, emptying 5,000 septic tanks in under a year, tip-toeing through Native American ruins/burial grounds, daily dewatering of a million gallons of polluted groundwater from trenches, digging in sugar sand, the complex list goes on and on).

There are two ways to go about this. One way is to sit down privately and try to reach a resolution.

Which issue would you like “resolution?”

Gravity verses STEP? Good loan verses bad? Who is eligible for subsidizes and who isn’t? Farmers will take the wastewater or they won’t? Seawater Intrusion marches on while the County sits on $5 million intended for conservation devices? Denitrifying septic returned water for drinking? Selling our Solid Waste franchise to the County for a mere $2.8 Million, never to get it back? Paavo and Maria? Which?

The other way is to grandstand on TV and the radio every week clearly getting nowhere.

You obviously do not follow these dedicated citizens very closely; they attend many more meetings that are not televised than are. (They are not allowed appointments with individual Supervisors to take issues up behind closed doors.) They spend their precious time, days and often very long nights, reading documents, buying copies of documents, and mounting travel expenses to cross the state to speak to the State and Regional Water Board, Coastal Commission, and others to make their voices heard.

You’ve fallen in love with the sound of your own ramblings, and probably driven away people who might have something important to contribute to the subject.


What you call “Rambling,” I call free speech. You in the newspaper business are supposed to be the biggest advocates for the 1st Amendment. As for others who may have been “driven away,” I say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

You have managed to accomplish nothing, really.

Really Shredder? These hard-working, dedicated individuals have brought the overarching Los Osos issue of Seawater Intrusion to the forefront. While you sit comfortably on your porcelain thrown and don’t give flushing it a second thought, the informed citizens of Los Osos have to weigh flushing pollutants into their future drinking supply while depleting their current drinking water supply and paying dearly for it.

Might I suggest a hobby? Perhaps crocheting unicorns onto pillowcases; believe it or not, that’s actually a more substantial contribution to society.

Crochet away dear Shredder, I’d prefer to read the latest Water Conservation report.

I’m a cheapskate, but I’ll happily chip in for yarn if you’ll cork it.

I’m a cheapskate too. I’d like an affordable sewer bill so I can afford a hobby. You say you’ll chip in for yarn? Nice. How about chipping in to pay the bills? Sewer and water combined are estimated at $500.00 per month per house.

I’d rather be a “Los Osos Sewer Nut” than a mushroom. Thanks for the compliment.

Julie Tacker,
40 year Los Osos resident and longtime dedicated “Sewer Nut”



My response to Julie’s email “Viewpoint” to the Shredder’s comments is as follows:

Julie.
Thanks I'll post it Monday. Sadly, "the press" has simply bought The Narrative -- All the sewer projects were/are all fine and anyone who complains about any of them for whatever reason is an Anti-Sewer Obstructionist Nut. Case closed.


And because it IS such a complicated issue, no reporter, except Ron Crawford, has taken a close look at and documented all the really interesting connected dots that illustrate some of the extraordinarily questionable aspects of these various projects as they morphed from the (fake) Ponds of Avalon (the original bait & switch that started the wrong train going down the wrong hill towards the wrong cliff) to the Coastal Commission's "bait & switchy" Tri-W (with the CC's staffer, Monowitz, having been lied to -- Aw, shamey-shamey-- with disastrous consequences) to the present county project. And did I forget to include Roger Briggs and the RWQCB's disgraceful electioneering via the Mad Hatter Tea Party & Torequmada's Auto d Fe "Trial" of the Los Osos 45?)

Lordy, it's a sickening, but dazzling tale, indeed. But one that went untold because while so many of the "Sewer Nuts" were acting as frantic signalmen waving red flags as the Sewer Train hurtled full throttle off onto the wrong tracks and headed for the cliff's edge, The Press labeled them "Sewer Nuts, then took a nap.

Well, understandable. Reading Ron's time-lines and cached documents does take time. Much easier to just call people Sewer Nuts. More fun, too. But hardly qualifies as "journalism."

20 comments:

Sewertoons said...

Oh, where to start, this piece is so tilted askew. Why is it the few who troop before the BOS weekly (Julie is not one of them), fail to recall that the majority of the town does not agree with them? THE MAJORITY!

Julie:
"No Shredder, you SHUT UP! If you can’t be part of the solution, get out of the way."

Uh, Julie, the sewer project has been chosen BY THE PEOPLE, the funding is in place and the work has begun. End of story. So, knowing that, to which "solution" do you refer?

Julie:
"We don’t hate the sewer, we hate the process (tainted by corporate greed, small town politics and now a love affair that revealed what we already knew, Maria’s vote to settle with mondo-engineering firm MWH let lover-boy Paavo off the hook (for illegally ordering the backdating of a contract)."

Get your facts straight, Paavo didn't backdate the contract, he didn't even work for the district when that happened, the GM at that time, Bruce Buel, backdated the contract - at Board direction, I might add. The rest is just malicious gossip.

Julie
"'Funding?' What funding? Los Osos could have got a better loan from a loan shark than it’s getting from the USDA."

USDA, 3.25% , Loan Shark, 25-150% - Julie, maybe you need to rethink your math? In any case, there was not enough SRF money to foot the bill this time around, which you know, but seem to have momentarily forgotten.

Julie:
"For example, this project doesn’t even provide for solar panels on the rooftop of the plant to offset costs of operation."

Hey! For someone who singlehandedly squelched the SCHOOLS in this area from getting solar panels, this comment seems a tad disingenuous.

Julie:
"At one time (1998) 87% of voters were in agreement of one thing; to take the project away from the County. They were sold on “faster, better, cheaper” and are still in search of it."

Most of Los Osos has learned over the years that this is an undeliverable, so they have sided with the County on this project. And yes, it is more expensive. In 1984 the project was $34.6 million, in 2001 the MWH project was $84.6 million and in 2004, when YOU started fighting it, the cost was $110 million. You do see the trend, right?

Julie, describing those on her side:
"...dedicated citizens..."

Julie describing those not on her side:
"...citizens who march like lemmings to the podium to agree with the County..."

Julie, when was the last time you saw anyone BUT your "dedicated citizens" marching to the podium? The sewer is a done deal to most in Los Osos. Nothing is going to change that.

Julie:
"porcelain thrown"

Huh? In any case, we opted for gravity because we too want to flush and forget - the years we have wasted to get to this point. The years we could have had a water conservation program in place - yes, one tied to the sewer project, as that is the only way to get this done, right? Or it would have happened already, right?

To The Shredder: there is no resolution to be had, when the "TRUE BELIEVERS in their getting screwed" are involved. They will hold firmly to that opinion, make it heard at ever venue with a podium, and be damned what the rest of the town wants or believes, that is just immaterial. These TRUE BELIEVERS cannot accept that they did not make a compelling enough case for their "sewer vision" to be taken up by the majority. And at this point, I do agree with you, they truly are getting nowhere, but we are free not to listen to their "free speech!"

SLOTowner said...

You're not the majority, bitch.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"These TRUE BELIEVERS cannot accept that they did not make a compelling enough case for their "sewer vision" to be taken up by the majority."

You're forgetting the "skewed" survey informaiton. Even the BOS noted it's skewed-iness.Hard to make a case when the facts officially given out are . . . skewed.

but, no matter. The problem I have with the Shredder, like the editorial staff of New Times and other papers in SLOTown, is they're content to call names and have no interest in actually getting the story, which is a doozy.

And SLOTowner, mind your language. No need for that.

SLOTowner said...

Apologies. I'm just furious at what she's done to Los Osos people. I read the LOCSD formal complaint. She's not one to be trusted.

Billy Dunne said...

No doubt labels are terrible things Ann. And I'm sure you're consistent in denouncing them, or at least I hope you are. Big Ben DiFata called me, and the many many like me who support the county's project, an "elitist." Really Ben? I guarantee I've done more to promote a progressive agenda in this country in my lifetime than Ben Difata could ever dream of. Elitist? Monied? Really now. Unfeeling; misinformed; ignorant; vengeful; we've heard it all by the so called "sewer experts" here, and all because we support something they do not. SLOTowner is the perfect example. His/her response to Lynette is ridiculous, but certainly not unexpected from what history has shown us.

Labels are terrible things, from all sides. What do YOU call half the community who supports the project Ann? It might help lend some perspective to your latest post.

SLOTowner said...

Billy Dunne, didn't you call people "sewer birthers" in another article? Nice label.

Hypocrite. That sounds like a good label for you.

Billy Dunne said...

I most certainly did my friend. "Sewer birther" not because they believe vacuum is better than gravity; or because they believed the location of the sewer was wrong; or because many believe we don't need a sewer at all. "Sewer birther" because I believe they tend to see a conspiracy in EVERYTHING concerning the sewer that doesn't jibe with their agenda. And the term "birther" is fully accepted by the mainstream media, obviously without any prejudged negative connotation assigned to it (or they wouldn't use it). I'm not quite sure the word "bitch" is. But maybe it is.

SLOTowner said...

You're not my friend, and you're definitely not a Democrat. Show your progressive stripes by practicing what you preach.

SLOTowner said...

Also, I define "bitch" as someone who:

* celebrates articles that tell people, who are suffering, to "shut up"
* wish that some people should be dead
* spam blogs and confront commenters
* spam people's e-mail addresses with threats
* defames people daily without provocation

Yep, bitch. Don't like the word either, but she fits the bill.

Billy Dunne said...

First, why would I not be your friend? Because my opinion differs from yours concerning the sewer? Thanks for proving my point.

Liberal Democrat. Progressive Democrat. Not a Democrat at all. You'd have to define further what you mean by "not a Democrat." Most interesting to me: why would you say I'm "definitely not a Democrat?" Because I don't share your opinion on the sewer? Interesting.

Lastly, how best can I "show my progressive stripes by practicing what I preach?" Agreeing with you about the sewer? Interesting.

SLOTowner said...

Why are you not a Democrat?

Because no "Billy (William) Dunne," in San Luis Obispo County, has contributed to a Democratic political candidate. For someone who has "done more to promote a progressive agenda in this country," you don't have a record showing it.

If you're using a pseudonym, then be forewarned. Identify theft is illegal in California. Using fake names is not smart.

Also, how about those assumptions? Did I ever mention my opinion about the sewer anywhere? I think not. Actually I don't live in LO, but I have friends who do, and I am a leading member of the El Morro Democratic Club, and have a list of all the charter members.

Care to tango?

Billy Dunne said...

SLOTowner, if you are trying to scare me you are absolutely wasting your time.

Also, I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Democratic party. Or any party. You might think that silly. I might think those who support the two party system the same. I just found it odd you have some kind of profile of what or who you think a Democrat is. They teach you those skills over at the Club?

Assumptions? It might have something to do with your offensive language toward Lynette on this blog. But I'll admit I might be wrong. You might be a very nice, warm, erudite person. I guess your posts just threw me off.

Care to tango. Did you lift that one from a James Bond movie? Good grief.

Hey, get "The Club" to support Occupy Wall Street. Then you'll really be doing some good for your community.

Nice chatting with you. Take care. BD

Sewertoons said...

Care to tango? More like "care to be clubbed over the head?"

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

I know a lot of people who champion progressive causes in this county. Quite a few of them are registered Democrats. I'd still love to see your campaign contributions. Thought I'd give it a shot.

That's right. It's OK to call out Ben DiFatta, but you're precious and special, just like your bigot friend who has this autistic-angsty hatred toward everyone who disagrees with her.

Wasting time? Hardly! HA! At least I don't parade around with a name of an American Marxist political activist who's been dead for 58 years. Talk about old-fashioned!

SLOTowner said...

Reposting my 4:47 PM comment.

"If that's what you want, Lynette Marcella Berti Tornatzky. You've been asking for it."

Should have said verbally clubbed. It's much more satisfying than actually clubbing someone. Violence is a no-no in my book. Sorry if it came across like that.

TCG said...

Really glad that I moved.

FOGSWAMP said...

I don't think Julie needed to "lynch Paavo" because he seems to have accomplished that himself, with a little feminine help, etc.

Even his long appeal letter of March 22, 2011, to dwellers in the Prison Zone to pay their sewer assessments up front by April 29, 2011, failed miserably.

According to tax collector Frank Freitas, only 119 liens were discharged and 16 were reduced by a total of $267,635.98.

Churadogs said...

My, my, the natives are restless tonight. And you wonder why the Wars of Spanish Succession were so bloody and brutal. Heh-heh. They have nothing on the Sewer Wars.

Billy sez:"Labels are terrible things, from all sides. What do YOU call half the community who supports the project Ann? It might help lend some perspective to your latest post."

I call people who support "the project" Los Ososians. (BTW, which project, there's been so many of them.) And the Viewpoint presented was Julie's so it's "perspective" is hers.

SloTowner sez:"Billy Dunne, didn't you call people "sewer birthers" in another article? Nice label."

Actually, everyone in Los Osos is a Sewer Birther. Dreamers were Sewer Birthers. STEPers are Sewer Birthers. The Original Ponds of Avaloners are Sewer Birthers. Every approach to this problem has had its adherents, many of them absolutely rabid (FINE THEM OUT OF EXISTENCE!) over something that was never rocket science to begin with. What got killed off with the original lie about the Ponds was truth and facts and transparency. In that darkness, is born "birthers" of all stripes.

TGC said: "Really glad that I moved."

Hahahahah. Actually, this was and is and will remain a beautiful place filled with wonderful people. It has been badly served by so many who failed to do their jobs(and, let's face it, itself) and it will pay a terrible price for that bad service. But it's still a great place.

Alon Perlman said...

"Viva Los Osos!"