Monday, January 06, 2014

Ohhhhh, Puuuulitzerrrrrr Boooaaaarrrrd. . .

Long story short: I need to publish something on my blog "at least weekly during the calendar year" for the duration of 2014, but now it's January 6, and I don't have time for a "meaty" post this week, so that's what this post is... me posting something "at least weekly," for the first week of 2014.

[1 week down. 51 to go.]

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tribune Editorial: "The Residents of Los Osos" Now "Owe" Julie Tacker and Lisa Schicker "Everlasting Gratitude"

Well, as I wind down another fascinating year here at ol' SewerWatch (after all, in 2013 , I did expose THE best story in the history of SLO County, so, that was kinda cool, and that story will continue to be mind-blowingly amazing as I follow it through 2014) I did want to sneak in this last, fun blog post, that acts as a great journalism lesson, to boot.

It's what happens when a newspaper pops out a stupid editorial, and then gets confronted with that editorial several years later, as the editorial is shown to be stupid.

A beautiful journalism lesson.

First, a little context:

In 2005, three members of the Los Osos CSD board were facing a recall. The recall was over one issue: The three board members (the board majority) were dead-set on building a sewer plant/"picnic area" smack-dab in the middle of Los Osos.

IF the recall was successful, those three board members would be replaced with three new board members, where they would join "recall proponents" Julie Tacker and Lisa Schicker, to create a 5-0 board that was dead-set on NOT building a sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos.

The recall was successful, the three board members were recalled, and looooooong story short, the mid-town sewer plant/"picnic area" disaster that the three recalled board members were dead-set on building, never even came close to working, of course.

Enter the Tribune in my little story here: SLO County's only daily newspaper, in the run-up to the September 27, 2005, Los Osos CSD recall election, popped out three editorials (three!), all in support of denying the recall, and actually moving forward with building some crazy, sewer plant/"picnic area," smack dab in the middle of Los Osos.

Five years later, in 2010, careful SLO County official analysis would ultimately show the Los Osos CSD's so-called Tri-W "project" -- that the LOCSD wasted some $25 million, and seven years trying to build -- to be the exact nonsensical disaster that I first exposed it to be in my 2004 New Times cover story, Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown, and today, SLO County officials are currently constructing a sewer system for Los Osos where the sewer plant will be built out of town, downwind.

And the 1999 - 2005 Los Osos CSD's crazy "picnic area"/mid-town-sewer-plant-disaster never even came close to working (yet, more than 4,000 Los Osos property owners are still paying for that now-failed disaster, and will continue to pay for it until the year 2034, for a public works non-project that will never exist, thus making property tax history... which is the "best story in the history of SLO County" that I exposed earlier this year. Fascinating stuff, no matter where you live.)

So, as 2013 comes to a close, look at the Trib's situation regarding Los Osos. Journalistically speaking, it's very interesting.

Their editorial board, back in 2005, heavily supported building a disastrous sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos, yet, five years later, that non-project is shown to be the exact disaster I first exposed it to be, in 2004.

So -- and this is flat-out great, and why I'm typing this post today, 12/31/13 -- just a few weeks back, I was going through a box of clippings, and I stumbled onto a 9/29/05 editorial from the Trib, that I've made available for public download at this link.

Keep in mind, this editorial (their fourth on the subject) is now two days after the successful recall election, and after the Trib campaigned HARD, with three editorials (one on the day of the recall election, itself... as voters were on their way to the polls) for the failure of the recall effort.

Soooooo... being the little smart-ass-reporter/journalism-ethics-fan that I am, I recently sent Tribune editor, Sandra Duerr, who sat on the Trib's editorial board in 2005, this email:
- - -
    Hello Sandra,
    I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

    Hey, real quick... I'm researching a story, and I recently came across a 9/(29)/05 editorial from the Tribune (attached as a jpg) titled, "Now, Los Osos, pull together," and, in it (4th paragraph), it reads:

    "... if (Los Osos CSD) recall proponents make good on their campaign promises by building a sewer system out of town that will cost households less than $205 per month, the residents of Los Osos will owe them everlasting gratitude."

    That was in 2005, immediately following the successful LOCSD recall election.

    Well, fast-forward to today -- December 2013 -- and the County of SLO WAS able to "make good" on the "campaign promises" of the "recall proponents," by designing, and now constructing, a sewer system with a treatment facility "out of town," and according to sources, the monthly household cost for the County's current project is around "$160/ per month."

    Here's my question:

    Where is the Tribune's follow-up editorial, that states that "the residents of Los Osos" NOW "owe recall proponents everlasting gratitude?"

    I've searched around Google a bit, but I can't seem to find that editorial. I'm sure it's just me, because, certainly, considering your 9/(29)/05 editorial, your staff must have written that follow-up, but, I just can't find it, and, for that, I apologize.

    So, if you could just point me to that editorial, I would very much appreciate it.

    Oh, and, good news!

    Also in your 9/(29)/05 editorial, your staff writes, "... (we) fervently hope the agenda they've (the 'recall proponents') set out can be achieved."

    Your fervent hopes came true! That agenda WAS achieved.

    See? Good news : -)

    As always, much thanks,
    Ron
- - -
She never replied, of course.

[Have a GREAT 2014! I know it's going to be a lot of fun here in ol' SewerWatch]

###

Friday, November 01, 2013

Los Osos Makes Property Tax History: "More than 4,000" LO Property Owners Set to be Fleeced (Again), Starting Today, November 1, 2013

MEMO to "more than 4,000" property owners in Los Osos: Here's Supervisor Bruce Gibson's email address: bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

After reading this, you're going to need it.

Los Osos, apparently, has made some sort of property tax history.

There have been many interesting developments in the five months since I posted my (and I'm just going to call it what it is) bombshell story -- Junk Bonds: The Twice-a-Year Fleecing of Los Osos. . . Until the Year 2034 -- where I expose how "more than 4,000" property owners in Los Osos are currently (present-tense) being fleeced, by their local government(s), twice a year (every time they cut a check for their property taxes), and will continue to be fleeced twice a year until the year 2034, as those property owners are forced, BY their local government(s), to finance, for the next two decades, a failed public works disaster, that was based on nothing but fraud.

One of those interesting developments IS that five months has now passed since I published my story, and Supervisor Bruce Gibson, whose district includes Los Osos, NOW knows about the fleecing.

Remember that whole "TWICE a year fleecing" thing?

Well, back on May 1, when I first posted that story, the April deadline for paying the second installment of the 2012/13 fiscal year property taxes had just passed, however, that was five months ago.

Fast-forward to today, November 1, and now the FIRST installment of the FY 2013/14 tax bill begins to be due, and, now, Gibson knows. Gibson now is fully aware that over 4,000 property owners in his District are being fleeced twice a year, and he just doesn't care.

How do I know that he knows?

Easy.

Way back on May 13, I sent him this email:

  • Hello Supervisor Gibson,

    I'm researching a story, and I'm hoping you could answer a quick question, please.

    I don't know if you got a chance to read my latest post, but what I show in that piece is how the [1999 -2005] Los Osos CSD's now-failed Tri-W sewer "project" was not only based on fraud, starting in "Summer 2000," but I also show how the residents of the Prohibition Zone are STILL paying for that fraud on their property taxes, and will continue to fund that fraud for another 20 years, until the year 2034... for a non-project, that will never exist.

    Now, I recently asked County Auditor-Controller, Jim Erb, if it was possible for his office to somehow cancel that line -- "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" -- on a PZ property owner's tax bill, now that I've exposed how it was based on nothing but fraud, and he replied, "I do not know of a way to cancel the bonds other than to pay them off."

    So, now I'm wondering if there's anything you can do, in your position as 2nd District Supervisor, to help the "more than 4,000" PZ property owners in Los Osos that are being fleeced twice a year -- every time they write a check for their property taxes?

    Anything?

    Thank you in advance for your prompt response.
    - - -


  • Of course, he never replied, because, you know, that's the way he rolls, however, even though I already knew he would never lift a finger to help those property owners (because of the massive conflicts he encounters if he tries), I still had to send him that email, because, now, I get to report that I DID send him that email on, 5/13/13, five months ago), and he just ignored it.

    [Note: See how that works? It's kind of a fun (and, yes, admittedly, annoying) reporting device that I'm just going to take credit for inventing. It goes a little like this: I can't report that Bruce Gibson NOW knows that over 4,000 of his constituents are being fleeced twice a year by their local government(s), for the next 20 years, and that Gibson just doesn't care, UNLESS I send him that email, directing him to my story that shows (using nothing but primary sources, as usual) exactly how those innocent people -- over 4,000 of HIS constituents -- are being fleeced twice a year. See? Cool, huh?]

    However, today, unlike last April's tax bill, where I had yet to expose the twice-a-year fleecing of over 4,000 Los Osos property owners, Supervisor Gibson NOW knows, and -- and here's the kicker, and what makes this particular chapter of the overall story story SO good -- the next tax bill starts being due today, November 1, and Gibson NOW knows that over 4,000 of his constituents are about to be fleeced... again, and he's doing absolutely nothing to prevent it.

    [It's important to note Gibson's massive conflict here, and why it makes perfect sense on why he refuses to help those innocent property owners in Los Osos. In my 5/1/13 story, I point to a very specific case of fraud by the "Summer 2000" LOCSD Board of Directors, that led directly to the Tri-W assessment fraud.

    It's a newsletter that hypes the CSD's first attempt at a sewer project as "on schedule." As I show in my piece, at the time of that newsletter, the project that the District is hyping as "on schedule" had already failed, and the person that produced the newsletter, then-LOCSD vice-president, Pandora Nash-Karner, was aware that her project, that she used to create the LOCSD in the first place, in 1998, HAD already failed at the time she created her official LOCSD "news"letter.

    In my piece, I go so far as to ask an attorney if that is fraud. He told me, "Yes. That is fraud."

    Pandora Nash-Karner is the current SLO County Parks Commissioner for the 2nd District... wait for it... appointed by Supervisor Gibson.

    In other words, IF Gibson were to lift a finger to help the more than 4,000 property owner in "The PZ," that are being fleeced twice a year for the next 20 years, he would be acknowledging the obvious fraud that his own Parks Commissioner committed back in "Summer 2000" -- fraud that led to an unimaginably horrific (on a human toll), mind-boggingly wasteful (on a public funds toll), painfully destructive (on an environmental toll), 13-year-and-counting absolute catastrophe.

    So, yeah, it makes PERFECT sense on why Supervisor Gibson would NOT want to help over 4,000 Los Osos property owners from being fleeced every time they write a check for their property taxes... for the next 20 years.]

    So, on 9/10/13, four months after my first email, I sent Gibson this email:

  • Hello Supervisor Gibson,

    Sorry to bother you again, but I never received a reply to my email [above] (sent on 5/13/13), and now it's getting down to crunch time, because, starting on Nov. 1, when the next round of property taxes becomes due, "more than 4,000" Los Osos property owners are about to be fleeced AGAIN, when they are forced to pay the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment fraud... again.

    Apparently, Los Osos has made tax assessment history. I have now spoken with three county officials, and searched the heck out of Google, and no one seems to have ever heard of this happening before: Where property owners pass an assessment for a public works project, however, years later, it turns out that the so-called "project" was based on nothing but fraud, and, therefore, it was never built (because it was based on nothing but fraud), yet, the property owners are still paying for it... for another 20 years.

    And because of that unprecedented-ness, no one seems to know what to do in this situation.

    Today, I spoke with Jim Hamilton at the County Auditor's office, and he told me that now it is too late to remove the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" line from the "more than 4,000" Los Osos PZ property tax bills that are set to be mailed out next month.

    [Note: Quick clarification on that -- It's not that the Auditor's office had the authority to remove that line anyway -- that excellent question, actually, is still up in the air -- but, IF they could have found a way to remove the line from the 2013/14 tax bill, it was too late to do it by the time I spoke with Hamilton. That's the take-away there. Now, back to my email...]

    So, here's what I recommend:

      [O.K., one more editor's note, and it's a long one.

      Before I get to my "recommendation," it's important to keep in mind, at this point in the story, that there are TWO different tax assessments in play here, as I show in the graphic at the top of this story:

      This line:

      "SLO AD-LO SWR (USDA) $712.58"

      ... from the County of SLO, stemming from an assessment vote Los Osos property owners passed back in 2007, and actually IS going to pay for a REAL project -- the sewer system currently under construction in Los Osos, that County officials developed over the past six years.

      Then there's THIS line on a PZ property owner's bill:

      "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.38"

      ... that "$225.38," is going towards absolutely nothing.

      4,203 ("to be exact") properties in Los Osos pay that assessment twice a year, every year, and have paid that assessment for the past 10 years -- roughly $1.1 million/year combined, or some $11 million to date -- and the only thing that money does is pay back the investors that purchased the bonds back in 2003 -- a nearly $20 million "investment," that was completely wasted by the Los Osos CSD on their Tri-W "project" assessment fraud.

      However, these days -- and here's another great kicker -- those investors are still cashing in on those "30-year bonds," and will continue to cash in on those fraud-based bonds for the next two decades, all while more than 4,000 property owners in Los Osos are stuck financing those investors' terrible and extremely risky (obviously) investment.

      I mean, fer god's sake, look at what those investors bought into, back in 2003: A community sewer system that called for an industrial strength sewer plant, smack-dab in the middle of Los Osos -- three blocks upwind of downtown -- and, of course, because the sewer plant was in the middle of town, millions upon millions of additional tax dollars had to be spent to accommodate a "mid-town" sewer plant, and, as I originally exposed in one of my New Times cover stories, back in 2004, the ONLY reason the LOCSD was building their sewer plant in the middle of town in the first place, was (and, although it sounds like I'm making this up, I'm not) so the town folk could more easily access the "picnic area" that LOCSD officials designed into their downtown sewer plant, when there isn't a shred of documentable evidence, anywhere, that shows that the people of Los Osos even wanted to "picnic" in their sewer plant to begin with... of course. Astonishing.

      And the investors that are STILL cashing in on those bonds, invested in THAT highly risky mess.

      However, and here's the rub, sources that I've contacted for this story, regarding the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment, keep telling me a version of this take: That the assessment is legit these days -- even though it was originally for a "project" that will now never exist -- because SLO County officials were able to salvage much of the "work" from the LOCSD's disaster, and that saved millions in the County's design process.

      But here's the HUGE problem with that take: Obviously, the SLO County Public Works Department didn't use ALL of the District's deeply, deeply flawed design, yet, the Public Works Dept. has never revealed how much, if any, they were able to salvage from the LOCSD's disaster, despite the fact that I have asked that question to SLO County Public Works officials numerous times, without a single response... of course.

      So, with all that in mind, NOW back to my "recommendation" to Gibson...]

    The County needs to conduct some sort of audit (or whatever) that shows exactly which parts of the [1999 - 2005] LOCSD's $25 million worth of their sewer "project" design that the County was able to salvage for its project -- collection system plans, environmental documents, etc. -- and what the County didn't use, like the LOCSD's "infeasible" mid-town sewer plant/"picnic area" -- a VERY expensive-to-design (and begin construction on) treatment facility, that turned out to be based on nothing but fraud (as my reporting has repeatedly shown over the past decade), and, therefore, will never exist.

    In other words, how much of the $25 million that the (1999) - 2005 LOCSD spent (read: wasted) on the Tri-W "sewer-park" fraud was the county able to salvage for its project?

    $1 million? $10 million? Zero?

    Once that audit is complete, it will show how much of the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment money actually went to a real sewer project, and how much went to the LOCSD's fraud.

    Only then will we know if the PZ property owners, that have been paying that fraud-based assessment since 2003/04, are TODAY actually funding real sewer project related stuff, or they are now only funding the fraud, and will continue to fund that fraud until the year 2034.

    This is also very important: If that audit is not complete by November 1, and considering that it is now too late to remove the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" line from the next property tax bill, I also recommend that the Board of Supervisors direct the tax collector's office to go ahead and collect the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment (starting on Nov. 1), however, instead of using that money to pay off the bond holders (whose names are heretofore unknown, despite my numerous attempts to acquire that information), the County establish some sort of special account, where the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" funds are held until the audit determines whether or not more than 4,000 Los Osos property owners are actually paying for REAL sewer project related design information with the "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment, or whether they are now simply being fleeced twice a year, by funding the fraud, and, if it's the latter, then that entire assessment now needs to disappear completely, ASAP, and the funds held in that special account returned to the property owners.

    So, again, is that something you can help with?

    The clock is ticking: Only 51 days until November 1, when "more than 4,000" Los Osos property owners are set to be fleeced... again.

    Thank you for your time,
    - - -


  • And now it's November 1, and still no reply from Gibson, of course, but now look what I get to do:

    Uh, over 4,000 Los Osos property owners? Here's Bruce Gibson's email address:

    bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

    All you have to do is click on that link (I even have it all set-up where the subject line, Gibson's email address, and even a cc to SewerWatch are automatically inserted), and then simply send him something like (or just copy-and-paste this):

    - - -
    Dear Supervisor Gibson,

    As a property owner in the Prohibition Zone, I am strongly requesting that you instruct the SLO County Public Works Department to conduct an audit that shows exactly what parts of the LOCSD's $25 million worth of their now-failed sewer "project" design, that the County was able to salvage for its project -- collection system plans, environmental documents, etc. -- and what parts the County didn't use, like the LOCSD's "infeasible" mid-town sewer plant/"picnic area" -- a VERY expensive-to-design (and begin construction on) treatment facility, that turned out to be based on nothing but fraud, and, therefore, of course, will never exist.

    If it's not asking too much, I would prefer knowing whether my LOCSD WASTE TREATMT assessment money is actually going to fund REAL sewer related stuff, or if it's now simply funding the LOCSD's disastrous Tri-W assessment fraud, and will continue to fund nothing but that horrific fraud... until the year 2034!?

    Thank you,
    [Insert your name here]
    - - -

    Obviously, Gibson will never respond to me, but, considering that he's recently announced his bid for re-election, he just might -- despite his massive conflict -- listen to over 4,000 property owners in Los Osos, the largest voting bloc in District 2.

    ###

    [O.K. Final Note: I ALSO cc'd the two emails above to reporters at The Tribune, New Times, and CalCoastNews, and also supplied them with the link to my 5/13/13 story that first exposed the fleecing, which means that THEY all know now, too, yet, to date, they ALL refuse to write a word on how over 4,000 property owners in Los Osos are currently being fleeced twice a year, by their own local government(s)... for the next 20 years, as those property owners are forced to fund a fraud-based, public works non-"project," that will never exist.

    And, because the worse-than-nothing local (air quotes) "media" is SOOOOOO worse than nothing, I recently did something very out of character for shy, little ol' me. Solely in an effort to push this spectacular story forward (because, it's painfully obvious that the local "media" will never help in that regard), I signed up on Twitter!: @SewerWatch_Blog. So now, y'all can "follow" me, as I (at least) continue to follow this amazing story. Be sure to tell your friends, especially if they own property in "The PZ." : -) ]

    Friday, August 09, 2013

    501 S(c)am (3): ReCreate Los Osos, Inc., We Barely Knew Ya!



    Finally, some good news: Los Osos is "healed!"

    At least I'm assuming Los Osos is "healed," considering that self-professed town "healer," Lou Tornatzky, is gettin' out of the "healing" business. So the town must be healed, right? Rrrrright?

    Uhg.

    After just two years of so-called "existence," Tornatzky, along with his co-conspira... errrrrrrrrr... accompli... errrrrrrrr... "Principal Attorney," and Los Osos Community Services District Director, Marshall Ochylski, recently filed official papers to "dissolve" their "non-profit" "corporation," ReCreate Los Osos, Inc.

    Just two years ago, Lou and Marsh whipped up ReCreate Los Osos with "the specific purpose... to foster community cohesion, cooperation, recreation, dialogue and enjoyment."

    Apparently, the entire purpose of ReCreate Los Osos was to "heal" Los Osos from its sewer wounds.

    According to their THEN-web site, this "healing... would be accomplished, not by rehashing our points of agreement or disagreements about the sewer. Rather, it would be accomplished by having fun together – projects, gatherings, music, plays, walks."

    [I highly recommend as a companion piece to this piece, Ann Calhoun's excellent 2011 blog post, "Lou Tornatzky Heals Los Osos!," on her spectacular blog, at this link:
    http://calhounscannon.blogspot.com/2011/11/lou-tornatsky-heals-los-osos.html]

    In an April 11, 2013, letter to the "Office of the Attorney General, Registrar of Charitable Trusts," Ochylski, acting as "Principal Attorney" for ReCreate Los Osos, writes, "The corporation (ReCreate Los Osos, Inc.) was formed but was essentially inactive during its entire existence."

    It's o.k. to laugh here, because, as you're about to read, that quote is really funny.

    Think about what happened there -- it's so absurd that it's comical: Here are these two guys, Lou, some sort of local, uh, activist, I guess, and Marshall, a lawyer and elected Los Osos CSD Director, that, seemingly out of the blue, in 2010, say to themselves, "Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's start a non-profit corporation that'll 'heal' Los Osos, and we'll 'heal' Los Osos by 'having fun together,' you know, 'projects, gatherings, music, plays, walks' -- stuff like that."

    Already, a huge: Huh?

    But then they proceed to do this:

    They pop out 3-pages worth of "Articles of Incorporation" (and that couldn't have been easy), THEN they file with the California Secretary of State's office (and that couldn't have been easy, or cheap), THEN they design and create a full-on web site (which is a lot of work), THEN they set-up some sort of "booth" at a local street festival, THEN they "essentially" do nothing for the next three years, THEN they file papers to dissolve their, well, whatever ReCreate Los Osos was. (I mean, are you really "A California Non-profit Benefit Corporation," if you were "essentially inactive" during your "entire existence?" What the hell was the "benefit?")

    HUH?!

    You don't have to routinely test in the top 99-percentile in "abstract thinking" to grasp how that entire scenario, that I just outlined there, makes no sense whatsoever... well, no sense UNTIL you start reading their "Articles of Incorporation," where we find these great quotes:

    "... a corporation (ReCreate Los Osos, Inc.), contributions to which are deductible..."

    and;

    "... this corporation is authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered... "

    Ahhhh... NOW we're getting somewhere. Now the completely nonsensical formation of ReCreate Los Osos, Inc. starts to make perfect sense.

    You see, I recognize that M.O. The: Start a sham 501 (c) (3) "non"-(read: for)-profit corporation, collect donations, and then use those donations to hire and pay 1) Yourself, 2) You and your family, or 3) You, your family, AND your friends, M.O.

    In fact, I've exposed a version of that exact scam so many different times over my 20 years of reporting on Los Osos, that I've actually come up with my own term to describe it: "501 S(c)am (3)"

    Take former Los Osos CSD vice-president, Pandora Nash-Karner, for a PRIME example.

    Whether it's Nash-Karner's fake "Los Osos Community Pool Association," where she collected thousands in "donations" to build a pool in Los Osos, over a two decade span, and now there are zero plans to ever build a pool in Los Osos, LOCPA doesn't even exist anymore (it just gradually disappeared over the past two years), and the money's all but vanished (of course), or Nash-Karner's super-shady Political Action Committee, "Save the Dream," from 2004-05, where she, again, collected thousands in donations, and then turned right around and used her own PAC's money to hire her own graphic design business, OR Nash-Karner's equally shady "Celebrate Los Osos," where she uses her position as a SLO County Parks Commissioner to use county staff (on county time [of course]) to help her funnel checks to her home address, via her, by all accounts, fake, "Celebrate Los Osos" "corporation," the history of Los Osos's (but really, up to ReCreate Los Osos, just Nash-Karner's) 501 S(c)am (3)s, is rich AND fascinating, no matter where you live.

    "There is a link to Celebrate Los Osos on the (ReCreate Los Osos web) site," writes, Lynette Tornatzky, Lou Tornatzky's wife, in a series of highly ill-advised comments that she left on Ann Calhoun's blog, in 2011, at the above-referenced blog post.

    And there's the link, literally, between the over-the-top shady ReCreate Los Osos, Inc., and Nash-Karner's long list of 501 S(c)am (3)s, where she uses donations to hire and pay herself, and/or her husband, and/or her friends, because, apparently, 501 S(c)am (3)s are "authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered... ."

    Easy money, and, obviously, Lou and Marshall got a little (lot?) of 501 S(c)am (3) advice from their friend, Nash-Karner, when they launched ReCreate Los Osos, for no apparent reason whatsoever, well, OTHER than Nash-Karner's usual 501 S(c)am (3) M.O. of this:

    "... a corporation, contributions to which are deductible..."

    and;

    "... this corporation is authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered... "

    Included in her incredibly ill-advised comments, Lynette Tornatzky, also writes, "The reason for 'the reasons' on the (ReCreate Los Osos) website is geared to potential donors. You don't try to get funding with no compelling reason for doing so."

    Exactly, and that "compelling reason" to "get funding" from "potential donors," so ReCreate Los Osos can "pay reasonable compensation for services rendered," to businesses like, oh, say, Pandora and Co., for example, is the cringe-worthy "healing" process of "having fun together – projects, gatherings, music, plays, walks," that ReCreate Los Osos sketched out in their "Articles of Incorporation."

    Apparently, "having fun together" ain't cheap, and that's why Marsh and Lou had to come up with SOME sort of "compelling reason" "geared" toward "getting funding" from "potential donors," and "healing" was that "compelling reason."

    And, hey, SOMEONE has to market that information to the public, or else there will be no "together," and, therefore, no "healing," and, therefore, no "potential donors," right? Might as well "pay reasonable compensation for services rendered" to the local marketing firm [wink, wink] to get the word out about all that "healing" taking place at good ol' ReCreate Los Osos.

    Of course, the stomach turning, literally nauseating, twist in all of this, is that the same people whose names are "linked" with ReCreate Los Osos (primarily, Nash-Karner), are the exact same people that shredded the community fabric of Los Osos into tiny, iddy-biddy pieces in the first place, when those same people (primarily, former LOCSD vice-president, Nash-Karner) wasted some seven years, 1998 - 2005, and $25 million of the town's money, futilely attempting to build some crazy, nonsensical, "socially infeasible," "mid-town" sewer plant, smack dab in the middle of Los Osos, that included a $10 million "picnic area" -- a complete failure/disaster that "more than 4,000" property owners are STILL paying for until the year 2034, despite the fact that that non-project will never exist.

    And, why will it never exist?

    Well, shockingly, it turns out that building an industrial sewer plant in the middle of a beautiful coastal town -- a coastal town loaded with environmentally sensitive habitat -- for the sole reason that the town's residents can more easily "picnic" in their downtown sewer plant, isn't such a good idea after all, and the entire mess turned out to be nothing more than the embarrassment I first exposed it to be in my 2004 (2004!) New Times cover story -- an unmitigated disaster, with zero documentable rationale behind its ridiculous, and, frankly, illegal downtown siting, and a disaster that never even came close to working when, in 2009 (2009!), the Los Osos CSD's "infeasible" non-project didn't even come close to making County officials' "short-list" of potential projects for Los Osos... of course, and that's when it finally, and quietly (of course), died.

    And, so, here we are. Full circle. That's WHY, in 2010, Lou Tornatzky and Marshall Ochylski set out to "heal" Los Osos, with their ReCreate Los Osos -- because the town, understandably, was SOOOOOOO pissed that their local government, led by Lou and Marshall's friend, and apparent 501 S(c)am (3) mentor, Nash-Karner, wasted $25 million and some seven years designing, and then starting construction on, some crazy "picnic area"/industrial sewer plant in the middle of their beautiful central California coastal town, that never even came close to working, yet, "more than 4,000" Los Osos property owners are still paying for it... for the next 20 years.

    So, uh, yeah... It's completely understandable that Los Osos would need a TON of healing following seven years of their local government using the town's public money to lie to them... over, and over, and over again, about the District's now-miserably-failed, disastrous, mid-town sewer/"picnic area" embarrassment -- that wasted $25 million of the town's money, and that Los Ososans will be paying for until the year 2034.

    Perrrrrfect sense on why ReCreate Los Osos would want to "heal" Los Osos, considering what their friend and mentor did to Los Osos over the past decade-plus. That makes a lot of sense.

    In fact, the only real difference I see between Lou and Marsh's 501 S(c)am (3), and Nash-Karner's numerous 501 S(c)am (3)s, is that Nash-Karner is WAAAAAY better at it, because she's still getting checks mailed to her home address, and Lou and Marsh are out of business.

    Humorously, also found in ReCreate Los Osos's silly "Articles of Incorporation," is this quote:

    "No substantial part of the activities of this incorporation shall consist of carrying on propaganda..."

    "No substantial part?" Uh, guys? That's ALL ReCreate Los Osos did in its pathetic, one month of "existence" -- "carrying on propaganda." (Remember the ill-conceived Oktoberfest booth?)

    Finally (and this is just great), in their dissolution papers, it reads:

    "The corporation has no members; the election (to dissolve) was made by the board of directors of the corporation."

    Which, of course, begs the question: ReCreate Los Osos had a board of directors?

    For what? After all, they WERE "essentially inactive during its entire existence," so, what the fuck did the board of directors do?

    I mean, how did the ReCreate Los Osos board of directors meetings go?:

    Lou: Marsh, would you please bring this meeting of the board of directors of ReCreate Los Osos to order?

    Marsh: (surveying an empty room): Uh, well, sure, Lou, whatever you say... As Principal Attorney of ReCreate Los Osos, I now bring this meeting of the board of directors of ReCreate Los Osos, Inc. to order.

    Lou: Thank you, Mr. O. Sooooooooo... Marsh, it looks like our agenda today is exactly like all of our other agendas over the past three years -- "essentially" nothing.

    Marsh: I motion that we bust a cap in ReCreate Los Osos's ass, and immediately dissolve this disaster. My god, what were we thinking? What a colossal waste of not only my time, but the California Secretary of State's office, as well. SewerWatch is 100-percent right... we should have never listened to Pandora. Boy, did we fuck up.

    Lou: I second that excellent motion. All in favor?

    Marsh: Aye!

    Lou: Aye! The motion carries unanimously, and that concludes the final meeting of the board of directors of ReCreate Los Osos, Inc. Los Osos, consider yourself "healed!" And, oh yeah... You're welcome!

    [O.K. final "finally:" In her crazy-ill-advised comments from 2011, Lynette Tornatzky, also writes:

    "Anyway, you are welcome to follow and see what happens next (with ReCreate Los Osos)."

    That was in 2011.

    Well, Lynette, I followed, and I saw: Your husband and his lawyer buddy set up some sort of SUPER-shady 501 S(c)am (3), with the stink of a Nash-Karner-style "non"-profit all over it, in a (disgusting, I will add) effort to "heal" Los Osos of the massive sewer wounds that were inflicted by Lou and Marsh's friend (and fellow 501 S(c)am (3)er) in the first place. THEN, ReCreate Los Osos "essentially" did nothing for three years (except propaganda), and then they quitely dissolved the entire embarrassment.

    Great. Glad I stuck around to "see" that... whatever it was. Can't wait to see "what happens next."]

    ###

    Wednesday, May 01, 2013

    Junk Bonds: The Twice-a-Year Fleecing of Los Osos. . . Until the Year 2034

    See that little graphic on the left? The one that reads "Taxing Agency?" Well, in the history of San Luis Obispo County, California, that little graphic, strangely, is one of... no... is THE best story, ever. Period.

    What it is, is a screen shot I took of a twice-a-year tax bill that property owners in The PZ (by the way, I've come to love that acronym to describe the "Prohibition Zone" in Los Osos. The PZ. It sounds kind of cool, like, The OC, for Orange County, or, The IE, for the Inland Empire. The PZ, dawg!), pay, and, what that graphic also shows is exactly why my Homies in The PZ are being fleeced twice a year, and, according to SLO County officials, will continue to be fleeced twice a year... for the next 20 years.

    Here's how:

    I want to start with this handy, and kinda fun/kinda creepy (in a privacy sort of way), little tool that the SLO County Tax Collector's office makes available on its web site, found at this link:

    http://services.slocountytax.org/Entry.aspx

    And, what you can do at that interesting link is type in the name of any SLO County property owner, and, if you click through a few times, you'll eventually see the "View Bill" button. Click on that button, and presto, you can view any SLO County property owner's tax bill, right from the comfort of... wherever, these days.

    Now, if you enter the name of a property owner in The PZ into the Tax Collector's kinda-creepy web tool, you'll see this line on their tax bill:

    "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52"

    See? That line is the exact line that shows up in that graphic above.

    That line also happens to show up on nearly every property tax bill in The PZ, and ONLY in The PZ. Over 4,000 of them: "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52"

    Here are a few choice examples I picked out:

    Bill Morem, longtime Tribune editor, is a property owner in The PZ. Type the name "Morem" into the Tax Collector's little property tax look-up thingee, click around a bit, and BANG!: "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" (Morem's one of my favorites in this story. I mean, he IS an editor at the Tribune, and it's me -- little ol' SewerWatch -- breaking the story... to him, that he's being fleeced twice a year. Great.)

    Joyce Albright, a MAJOR supporter of the now-failed "mid-town" sewer plant/"picnic area," is a property owner in The PZ. Type the name "Albright" into the Tax Collector's little property tax look-up thingee, click around a bit, and BANG!: "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52"

    One more fun example, and this one's a beautiful touch of poetic justice: Karner. The Karners -- the couple most responsible FOR "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" (for another) 20 years -- are on the hook for nearly a $1,000 bucks year... for taxes... for a disastrous sewer non-project project, that THEY originally tossed together in their living room.

    A "Socially Infeasible" "Strongly Held Community Value"


    To get a feel for what a colossal disaster "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" was/is, the following is just some of what three years (2007 - 2009), and $10 million dollars worth of careful SLO County analysis says about the former Tri-W "project" -- a "project" that the 1999 - 2005 Los Osos CSD spent (read: wasted) some six years and $25 million developing, and that called for a sewer plant/"picnic area" in the middle of Los Osos, and now, is a distant memory, that will never exist.

    According to the County's Pro/Con Analysis:

    - "(The LOCSD's Tri-W project's) downtown location (near library, church, community center) and the high density residential area require that the most expensive treatment technology, site improvements and odor controls be employed."

    and;

    - "It (The Tri-W sewer plant) has high construction costs..." ($55 million. The next highest treatment facility option is estimated at $19 million.)

    and;

    - "Very high land value and mitigation requirements"

    and;

    - Tri-W energy requirements: "Highest"

    and;

    - "Small acreage and location in downtown center of towns (sic) require most expensive treatment"

    and;

    - "higher costs overall"

    and;

    - "Limited flexibility for future expansion, upgrades, or alternative energy"

    and;

    - "Source of community divisiveness"

    and;

    - "All sites are tributary to the Morro Bay National Estuary and pose a potential risk in the event of failure. Tri-W poses a higher risk..."

    and;

    - "NOTE: It was the unanimous opinion of the (National Water Research Institute) that an out of town site is better due to problematic issues with the downtown site."

    Furthermore, according to the March 2009, "Los Osos Wastewater Project Community Advisory Survey," conducted by county officials, "Only (9-percent) of (Prohibition Zone) respondents chose the mid-town (Tri-W) location (as their preference for the treatment facility)."

    Additionally, in a June 2009 memo to the California Coastal Commission, the SLO County "Project team," writes, "The Project team, given the clear social infeasibility issue associated with Mid Town (Tri-W project) and the infeasible status of the LOCSD disposal plan [bolding mine], believes that if either of those options are deemed by decision-makers to be the best solution for Los Osos, then serious consideration should be given by the Board (of Supervisors) to adopt a due diligence resolution and not pursue Project implementation."

    I have a question here: If building a sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos is so "socially infeasible" (I mean, of course), then why the fuck was seven years and some bazillion public dollars wasted on attempting to build one there in the first place?

    Journalistically speaking, the answer to that question is excellent.

    As I first exposed in my 2004 New Times cover story, and re-reported about a zillion times here on SewerWatch, the SOLE reason the 1999 - 2001 LOCSD wasted seven years and a bazillion public dollars on some crazy downtown "picnic area"/sewer plant, that thousand of PZers will be paying for over the next two decades, is, wait for it... (and, I realize it SOUNDS like I'm making this up, but I'm not): A "strongly held community value" that ANY sewer project for Los Osos MUST include a sewer plant that ALSO doubles as a "centrally located recreational asset," and, therefore MUST "meet the project objective of centrally located community amenities."

    How... great... is...that!

    On one hand, there's the 1999 - 2001 LOCSD wasting nearly seven years and a bazillion public dollars on some crazy downtown "picnic area"/sewer plant solely due to some bizarre, and completely unsubstantiated (of course) "strongly held community value" that any sewer plant for Los Osos must be constructed in the middle of town, just so the residents could more easily access the "picnic area" IN their sewer plant (hilarious, and, unbelievably, true), and then, on the other hand, nearly a decade later, we have SLO County officials calling the LOCSD's mystery "strongly held community value," "socially infeasible." (The amount of genuine humor that is found in this story -- a story about a public works project gone horribly, horribly wrong -- is amazing. And the really funny thing is, my Peeps in the PZ will be paying for that "socially infeasible" fake "strongly held community value" until the year 2034.)

    Los Osos CSD account, Amphi Haber, recently told me in a phone interview, that over 4,000 PZ property owners are currently paying that $200-something annual assessment, for a public works disaster, and they are paying it twice a year on their property tax bill.

    Over 4,000 PZ property owners, twice a year, until the year 2034.

    "$1.1 million a year," Haber said, for "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT," that will NEVER exist.

    "Yes. The property owners of (the) Los Osos (Prohibition Zone) are paying for a public works project that will never exist," Art Bacon, SLO County Tax Collector, and a PZ property owner himself, recently told me in a phone interview.

    "Those were 30 year issuance bonds," Bacon added.

    He explained that not only has a version of this line -- "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" -- appeared on PZ property owners' tax bill since 2004, it will continue to appear on that property owner's tax bill for the next 20 years, and, according to Haber, that money is used to pay back the bonds that the early Los Osos CSD originally sold, to fund their now-failed, highly embarrassing, "mid-town"/"picnic area"/sewer plant disaster, that will never exist, and, according to state water officials, at a "a million gallons a day" for seven years, led directly to more water pollution than the Exxon Valdez and BP Gulf oil spills... combined, thousands of times over.

    That line -- "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" -- stems from an assessment vote in Los Osos back in the early part of 2001. The vote was successful, the assessment passed, and that's where "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" first got locked into a PZ property owner's tax bill.

    And it's that money, from that assessment, that is [present tense] funding the now-miserably-failed Tri-W sewer non-project -- a DOA-non-project that will never exist -- that the 1999 - 2000 LOCSD wasted seven years, and some $25 million of Los Osos' money pursuing (and that figure doesn't even account for the tens of millions of dollars that the various County, State, and Federal government agencies ALSO wasted tending to the LOCSD's Tri-W disaster.)

    No doubt about it: The moment that assessment vote passed, in early 2001, that was that: "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" was instantly locked into a PZ property owners' tax bill... for the next 30 fucking years.

    "Summer 2000"


    I recently sent an attorney this email:

    - - -
    Is this fraud?:

    A local, elected government official, is also a professional marketer.

    In her role as an elected official, she, using her professional marketing skills, writes and produces (using public funds) an official newsletter from that government agency, that she then mails to every property owner in her District.

    In that newsletter, she gushes about how "on schedule" a huge public works project, that the District is proposing, is.

    However, a few years later, subsequent investigation reveals that at the time the elected official produced that newsletter, the project that she's raving about in her newsletter had ALREADY FAILED, and her own government agency documents show she KNEW it had already failed when she produced that newsletter.

    In other words, the elected official used the town's public money to produce a newsletter that lied to "every" property owner in the town, about a huge public works project, and those lies played a major role in tricking the town's voters into passing the assessment -- an assessment that they are STILL paying today (and will be paying for the next 20 years) for a public works project that never even came close to working, and, in fact, had already failed at the time of that newsletter.

    A knowingly false newsletter, produced by an elected official, solely to dupe property owners into voting for a tax assessment, leads to the passing of that assessment, but the public works project that the assessment was funding, had ALREADY FAILED at the time of that newsletter.

    Is that fraud?

    Thank you in advance for your answer!
    - - -

    That attorney replied, "Yes, that is fraud."

    Here's why I sent that attorney that email: I can now show, using just two official documents, how that 2001 "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT" assessment vote was based on nothing but fraud -- deliberate fraud, directly from the 1999 - 2001 Los Osos CSD. It just couldn't be any clearer.

    The first of the two documents is the little known, yet surprisingly excellent (at least in the context of this story), "Los Osos Community Services District Alternatives Report for Wastewater Treatment," dated July 25, 2000.

    On page 3, it reads:

    "On June 20, 2000 the first workshop was held with the (LOCSD) Wastewater Subcommittee... The clearest result of the first workshop was that Resource Park (the 11-acre Tri-W site) was found to be the best site (for the LOCSD's mid-town wastewater treatment plant)."

    That one line goes straight to the heart of why nearly every PZ property owner is being fleeced every time they cut a check for their property tax bill.

    What that line shows is that by "June 20, 2000," the "drop dead gorgeous," "70-acre aquatic park/sewer plant, also planned for the mid-town site in Los Osos, that was heavily hyped by Nash-Karner from 1998 - 2000, with a "maximum monthly payment of $38.75," and was the "basis for forming the LOCSD" in the first place, AND solely responsible for killing the County's then-"ready to go" sewer project (an extremely important, yet, often overlooked, point in the entire history of the Los Osos sewer mess), had failed by June 20, 2000.

    I mean, clearly, that one alleged workshop (a CRITICAL "workshop" that the LOCSD, these days, can't even document occurred. I recently sent a Public Records Act request to the Los Osos CSD, for all the documents associated with that one workshop, and, District Administrative Secretary, Ann Kudart, sent me this, "I can find no documentation responsive to your request."), already screams "FRAUD!," and I'm just getting started.

    It was that ONE intensely important "workshop" -- a "workshop" that apparently never even took place -- where the LOCSD first locked in the 11-acre Tri-W site for their SECOND project, with absolutely ZERO public input. That date was, uh, allegedly "June 20, 2000," according to a District document, which means that the LOCSD's FIRST sewer disaster -- the fake "70-acre aquatic park" that was used by a small handful of community members to originally form the Los Osos CSD in the first place, in 1998... just so they could cash in, had already failed by "June 20, 2000".

    Document #2, in the realm of SewerWatch, where a major theme here is how easily the public (and government officials, for that matter) can be duped into doing really stupid things, is great!

    It's the District's first Bear Pride newsletter, from "Summer 2000," and it's that kind of "behavior based marketing" bullshit, that goes straigt to the heart of what SewerWatch is all about.

    That so-called "news"letter [read: taxpayer funded propaganda] was written and produced by then-LOCSD vice-president, and professional marketer, Pandora Nash-Karner, and was mailed to "every property owner and resident" in Los Osos.

    "I did design and produce (for FREE) the first two Bear Pride newsletters," Nash-Karner writes in an email obtained by SewerWatch.

    In her very first LOCSD "news"letter, Nash-Karner does something that, after being saturated with it for the past 13 years, most Los Ososans are now VERY familiar with -- she uses her "behavior based marketing" to lie to every resident in Los Osos... using their public money, of course.

    In that "news"letter, she's STILL hyping her long-dead "drop dead gorgeous" "70-acre aquatic park/sewer plant as "on schedule" ("The proposed project is on schedule." [page 2]) -- the same "project" that Nash-Karner, and her husband, Gary Karner, tossed together in their living room, in 1997, and then heavily sold to the citizens of Los Osos throughout 1998, and, according to Karner, was "the basis for forming the LOCSD" -- AFTER her own document shows that that disaster of a non-project had ALREADY failed... BEFORE she popped out that lie-filled "news"letter raving about how "on schedule" her already-failed disaster was.

    By the way, that June 20, 2000 "workshop," that, apparently, never even happened, was a "workshop" of the LOCSD's "Wastewater subcommittee." Now, go to the last page on that "Summer 2000" "news"letter. It reads: "LOCSD Wastewater Standing Committee Members: Chair, Pandora Nash-Karner, LOCSD Vice-President."

    The "date" on Nash-Karner's "news"letter is "Summer 2000" (already past "June 20, 2000") however, according to sources, the actual publication date is late July, 2000... a full month AFTER "June 20, 2000."

    Incidentally -- and, because this point involves Your's Truly, and in a very cool way -- I'm sooooo flattered here: My first New Times cover story, that exposed how Nash-Karner's "70- acre aquatic park," "better, cheaper, faster" disaster was on the verge of failing, and then it failed, was published on July 6, 2000.

    Without even knowing this, I know this: Due to the timing of that cover story, without question, the FIRST Los Osos CSD Bear Pride "news"letter, was a direct reaction to my New Times piece. In other words, I'm solely responsible for launching the Los Osos CSD's official "news"letters. How... cool... is... that?

    In fact, if you really want to have some fun with the sequence-of-events here, the week following the publication of Problems With the Solution, New Times published a rebuttal to my story from... well, do I really need to say?

    That rebuttal would prove to be nothing but lies. Every word, except maybe, "and," and "the." (and, thank you in advance, Rachel Maddow, for allowing me to steal your great joke.)

    [Journalism lesson alert! It's at this point in the story where I like to show the important journalism lesson in play here -- the lesson of: "The disastrous consequences of giving 'fair and balanced' to the agenda-driven," journalism lesson.

    I mean, look what happened there. Journalistically speaking, it's very interesting: My 100-percent accurate cover story is published, then Nash-Karner, of course, comes rolling in the very next week, with a 100-percent lie-filled response. New Times simply goes to the, "Hey, fair and balanced," card, publishes Nash-Karner's lie-filled response, and that was that. All local media, including, strangely, New Times, failed to perform the slightest bit of follow up to my intensely newsworthy story (and, hey, why should they? After all, the vice-president of the LOCSD is saying how "inaccurate" my 100-percent accurate story was, so, "I guess the freelance kid got it wrong, move along," right?) and the story just faded away, and it was right there, in the Summer of 2000, immediately following the complete failure of the Karners' disastrous DOA "70-acre aquatic park" scam, when the worse-than-nothing local so-called "media" completely went to sleep on this over-the-top newsworthy story, is when the Tri-W fraud began -- a fraud that the PZers are still paying for today, and will continue to pay for, for the next 20 years.

    One more important, and very interesting, quote in Nash-Karner's response to my cover story makes the already foul stench of fraud associated with that 2001 assessment vote, overwhelming.

    In her response, published on July 14, 2000, Nash-Karner is STILL selling her known-to-her-to-be-DEAD "aquatic park," despite the fact that her own Wastewater Subcommittee's documents show that that project failed entirely, at least one month earlier, during some alleged, 1-day, undocumented, behind closed doors, so-called "workshop," on June 20, 2000, that Nash-Karner allegedly "Chaired."

    Flat-out lying -- right to the faces of the editors at New Times (which included Steve Moss at the time), to their readers, and, of course, and most importantly, to the people of Los Osos, again.

    Giving "Fair and Balanced" to the agenda driven. A colossal journalism fuck-up.... just ask The PZ property owners that will be paying for that fuck-up... until the year 2034.]

    So, to summarize, and to be perfectly clear here, the question of fraud involving the LOCSD 2001 assessment vote, boils down to this: Why would then-LOCSD vice-president, Pandora Nash-Karner, pop out a newsletter in late July 2000, where she raves about how "on schedule" her "70-acre" mid-town "aquatic park" is, where she also writes about how "an assessment vote will need to be passed" to fund her "on schedule" "project," when her own Wastewater Subcommittee documents show her DOA non-project had already failed a full month BEFORE that "news"letter.

    There's only one answer to that question, and my Home-Boy, the above-mentioned attorney, nailed it: "Yes. That is fraud."

    Fraud, designed to deliberately deceive Los Osos property owners into voting for the Tri-W scam assessment, and it worked.

    There is simply no other explanation: Beginning in "Summer 2000," Nash-Karner used the people of Los Osos' money to lie to them, about really, REEEEELLY important things, in a deliberate effort to trick the property owners of The PZ into voting for an assessment for a fake project, that she already knew had failed, just so she could then cash in on that assessment money, and... it... worked!

    "$50,000 Fixed Fee"


    Just when you thought this wild story couldn't get any better... dear readers, I now present to you my bonus document: Pandora Nash-Karner's amazing, December 18, 2000, "Proposal for Consulting Services in connection with LOCSD Wastewater project."

    The list of things that are SO wrong with that fascinating document is huge, but I do want to highlight a few quotes:

    In her crazy "proposal," for a "$50,000 fixed fee" (of course), Nash-Karner's plan for an "information campaign on behalf of the Los Osos Community Services District" called for such marketing techniques as, "on-going proactive contact with members of the media who can cover the wastewater project," and, "the identification of opinion leaders," and, "a multi-tiered strategy for a Public Information Program that will effectively educate the community as a whole," and, "... customized strategies may include a full range of tools... such as... columns (in the local newspapers)."

    1... 2... 3. Boom. Done. Three documents. Clear fraud.

    And, that's why I find a certain type of PZer so fascinating these days: The PZ property owner from, oh, let's just L.A., that moved to Los Osos, in, oh, let's say in 2008, and is now paying that "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52" Tri-W scam assessment, every year, year after year, for the next 20 years -- for an over-the-top disastrous public works project/scam... that will never exist -- and, due to Nash-Karner's "tools" in ALL of the local media, those property owners, today, have NO IDEA why they are even paying that assessment, including Nash-Karner's long-time "tool," the above-referenced, Trib editor, Bill Morem. Hilarious.

    Think about that, it's very interesting: Unless those new-comer property owners somehow stumbled onto SewerWatch and read up, they have no clue to the meaning of such critical phrases as, "bait and switchy," "better, cheaper, faster," "SWA Group," "Questa Study," just on and on, and what that means is that those property owners are being fleeced $220-something a year, and don't even know it.

    Over 4,000 properties. Some $1.1 million per year... for a public works disaster/fraud, that will never exist.

    Almost unimaginably... gets worse.

    I recently phoned both the SLO County Auditor, Jim Erb, and the SLO County Tax Collector, Art Bacon, and asked them both the same question:

    "What happens in California if a (30 year) property tax assessment passes, but, ten years later, it turns out that the assessment was based on nothing but fraud, and the project that the assessment was/is (funding), will never exist, BECAUSE the assessment was based on nothing but fraud? What happens to the assessment?"

    They both had the exact same answer, "I don't know. I've never heard of anything like that before."

    Erb also wrote in an email, "The assessment you are referring to is to repay Bonds that were issued by the LOCSD and were also approved by the voters of Los Osos. The money was borrowed and is being paid back, investors have in good faith purchased the bonds."

    He added, "I do not know of a way to cancel the bonds other than to pay them off. If you believe there was fraud, intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage an individual, you should contact local law enforcement, the District Attorney, or even the Grand Jury may be able to help. That is exactly what I would do."

    To which I replied:

    - - - Hello Jim,

    Thank you VERY much for your response, and, I realize that you would have no way of knowing this, but your response is actually funny.

    The funny part is this:

    "... you should contact local law enforcement, the District Attorney, or even the Grand Jury may be able to help."

    That's funny, because I HAVE contacted ALL of those agencies about this amazing story -- over and over and over again, for the past 8 years (and even published numerous stories ABOUT me contacting them) -- and they ALL flat-out refuse to lift a finger on this tragic/amazing story -- a story that involves a blatant fraud that, to this day, is ripping off Los Osos property owners to the tune of $1.1 million/year, and will continue to fraud them out of over $1 million/year, until the year 2034.

    Here's the HUGE, #1 problem in play here: The person that is directly responsible for the fraud is actually one of your SLO County government colleagues, former LOCSD Director, and current SLO County Parks Commissioner (appointed by Supervisor Bruce Gibson), Pandora Nash-Karner.

    And, of course, Pandora is also close friends with the SLO County DA's office, and has close friends in the SLO County Sheriff's office [former SLO County "Under Sheriff," and former Los Osos resident, Martin Basti, comes to mind.]

    To make matters much, MUCH worse, the Counsel for the SLO County Grand Jury is the County Counsel's office, the exact same Counsel for the SLO County Parks Commission, which means Pandora is a client of the same Counsel that also has the SLO County Grand Jury, the SLO County Board of Supervisors, AND the SLO County Sheriff's office as clients.

    And that's the exact reason why I recently ended up on the phone with you and Mr. Bacon: to see if there was some OTHER process -- OTHER than the heavily conflicted SLO County Sheriff's office, Grand Jury, and/or DA's office -- to help Los Osos property owners from getting ripped off from a blatant fraud every time they cut a check for their property tax bill. But, apparently, according to you, there isn't.

    Soooo, I guess that's that, huh? There's nothing that the SLO County Auditor, or SLO County Tax Collector can do... uh, either?

    Very interesting. Well, at least I can now report that your offices know about the fraud.

    Anyhoot.... Thank you again for the information. I really do appreciate you taking the time to do that. I'll now try to find a different route to get the property owners of Los Osos some badly needed justice.

    Thanks again,
    Ron
    - - -

    Finally, Haber (remember her? Los Osos CSD accountant), told me that the $1.1 million collected from property taxes in The PZ each year (because of line "LOCSD WASTE TREATMT $225.52," and that goes to repay those bonds from 2001 -- boy, that brings a WHOLE new meaning to the phrase "junk" bonds, yes?) is deposited to US Bank. There's a branch in Los Osos.

    Haber also supplied me the name of the US Bank representative, Stephen Rivero, that oversees those particular bonds -- bonds, remember, that were originally sold to pay for a fraud of a project, that will never exist.

    So, I took a reporting long shot, and emailed Rivero:

    "Hello Mr. Rivero,

    I'm researching a story on Los Osos, CA, and I was referred to you by the Los Osos CSD's accountant, Amparo Haber, involving a quick question I have about the bonds the LOCSD sold back in the early 2000s to fund their (now failed) wastewater treatment project.

    Ms. Haber recently told me that about $1.1 million/year of Los Osos property owners' money is going to pay the balance on those bonds (until the year 2034), and I was wondering if you, or, perhaps, someone else in your office, could please supply with me the list of investors that purchased those bonds?

    A pdf file would be great!

    If you have any questions, please just ask.

    Thank you in advance,
    Ron
    - - -

    Not surprisingly, my long shot did not pay off. Rivero did not respond to my email.

    But how great would that be to this story? The names of the investors that are cashing in -- to the tune of $1.1 million/year -- for a fraud of a public works project, that will never exist.

    Now watch -- the dramatic ending: With this post, I've now shown, using nothing but primary source documents, how the property owners in The PZ, including an editor at the Trib, AND the SLO County Tax Collector, himself, are being fleeced every time they cut a check for their property taxes, and will continue to be fleeced for the next 20 years, by funding a "fraud" of a non-project that will never exist, and nothing -- absolutely nothing -- will happen.

    The worse-than-nothing local (so-called) "media" won't lift a finger to report on this stunning story, the heavily conflicted SLO County agencies won't lift a finger to help the property owners of the Prohibition Zone, and the heavily conflicted local politicians won't lift a finger to seek a shred of justice for the fleeced... in The PZ, dawg.

    ###

    [Originally posted on the blog, SewerWatch -- sewerwatch.blogspot.com -- 5/1/13]