Monday, December 05, 2005

Sweet Lid

Yea, I know. It's been a while since I posted anything on this blog, but I saw something at the recent Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting that compelled me back to my keyboard.

And, no, it has nothing to do with the fact that newcomer RWQCB staff member, Matt Thompson said, under oath, "Through a lengthy multi-year process of alternatives evaluation and public meetings, the Los Osos CSD developed a technically, environmentally and financially sound community wastewater project," even though his fellow staff members seated to his immediate right, not-so-newcomers Roger Briggs and Sorrel Marks, both know that isn't accurate, yet continue to put that inaccurate language in their official documents, and then have fresh meat recite it in very public situations, under oath!

And no, my motivation for this post has nothing to do with the fact that the Chairperson of the Board, Jeff Young, said there was "a balancing" in the benefits of an out of town sewer plant site with the Tri-W site, even though there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support that claim. In short, there is no balance.

And no, this post has nothing to do with the disgust I feel when I watch decent people like current CSD Directors Lisa Schicker and Chuck Cesena valiantly scramble to save their community from massive fines while the people that brewed up the hell-broth that led to the fines, like former CSD Directors Stan Gustafson, Gordon Hensley and Pandora Nash-Karner, calmly and without pressure linger in the background, exhibiting a maddening lack of accountability.

And no, I'm not writing about the excellent piece of footage that Schicker had locked and loaded for her presentation of a September 7, 2000, CSD meeting that shows an agitated Bruce Buel telling an understandably nervous CSD Board to pick a site by "next week," even though that same board got elected, and the CSD formed, on the basis that they had already told the community that they had picked a project -- the "better, cheaper, faster" Community Plan at Tri-W -- nearly two years earlier (I have a question: What in the hell were Roger Briggs and the RWQCB doing during those two years? Twiddling their thumbs? Talk about "inconsistency in enforcement.").

And, finally, no, my motivation for this post has nothing to do with the fact that CSD attorney John Seitz, at Thursday's meeting, never got an answer to his excellent, bottom-line question: "How does fining the Los Osos CSD into bankruptcy lead to cleaner water faster?"

The answer, of course, is, "it doesn't."

No, no, no. This post has nothing to do with any of that trivial stuff. This is an important matter.

I want a hat, damn it.

You should've seen this thing. It was sweet.

The guy seated in front of me at the Water Board meeting was wearing it. I'm guessing he was an employee of Barnard Construction, one of the three reckless contractors that signed onto this mess despite the fact that they all knew a recall election was coming down the pipe, because embroidered -- that's right, embroidered -- on the back of the hat in plush, colorful lettering were the words:

Barnard Construction
Los Osos Wastewater Project, 2005
Los Osos, California

Too cool.

The baseball-style cap was white with a sharp blue trim, and on the front was a nice logo. Quality merchandise.

I've already placed a call to Barnard Construction inquiring if a member of the public could purchase one of those hats, but the befuddled individual on the other end of the line said they were only available to employees. However, after lots of awkward moments, he did finally concede that I could "call back." So, apparently, there's still a shred of hope that I could land one of those sweet lids.

Which gets me to my point... Since you cheap bastards rarely donate to my independent journalism experiment (by the way, it's easy, the button's on the right), the least you could do for your old pal, SewerWatch, in this season of giving, is to swing by the Barnard Construction office, pick me up one of those hats, and mail it to:

P.O. Box 120
Santa Margarita, CA

Please keep in mind that I have a huge head (and I mean gigantic), so make sure there's at least one "X" before the "L" on the part of the label that says, "size."

'preciate it.



  • Sorry Ron,

    You will not get one cent of my hard earned money for your "independent journalism experiment."

    Besides (now that your "experimwent" has confused folks so much that they killed a perfectly valid waste water project) I must save every penny I can to pay for the next project. No doubt that project will be double the cost of the one you just helped kill!

    Way to mo Ron !


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 PM, December 05, 2005  

  • O.K.! I say hats for everybody, I'm addicted to hats, everyone thinks I was born with one.
    And with the slow demise of the fur on my pate, I need the (H)air (A)lternative (T)reatment.
    Pay no heed to that last sourpuss, some people just have no sense of humor.
    But may I sugest something a little more savoir faire?
    Panama hats with a lid that folds up like a cammode! Loved the article.Mike Green

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 PM, December 06, 2005  

  • Since I'm paying for them, I wonder how much they cost? I'm sure this perfectly valid use of my money would look great while sitting on one of the perfectly valid $3000 park benches in the perfectly valid multi-million dollar sewer park. Remember, dissent is never perfectly valid, and may damage the morale of these poor perfectly valid contractors, whose flooding of homes on 17th St. & the resulting damage to personal property is, of course, perfectly valid.

    By Anonymous Dogpatch Refugee, at 6:41 PM, December 06, 2005  

  • Dear Dogpatch, Which ones? The sweet ballcaps or the Panama camodes?.Mike Green. Great post!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:48 PM, December 06, 2005  

  • Jeepers Dogpatch, you're not being much of a straight man. (or woman. Disclaimer, I do not know if Dogpatch is a him or her) I've got a rant if you'll bite.Mike Green

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 PM, December 06, 2005  

  • I'm ALWAYS a straight man(perhaps the only real ID hint for a while).
    Ballcaps convey a nice sense of universality, very de la tierra.
    Panamas, on the other hand, are a bit too Bogey & Bacall for everyday wear. They do, however convey a very appropriate sense of shady dealings...Sorry I didn't post again last night. I was off dealing with perfectly valid tasks.

    By Anonymous Dogpatch Refugee, at 12:40 PM, December 07, 2005  

  • Thanks, Dogpatch! Here is my (I hope valid) rant,
    While Sharkey and Madeadecision and Publicworks and Churadogs and a few of us Anons, will reply to questions about our "Great Sewer War" with detailed renderings of contracts and hearsay. No one has realy tackled one of my simplest questions.
    Why are we such failures at building a sewer? I get five paragraph answers that list history with possibly a comment or two about those facts, I've read the facts.
    I'll answer my own question with my own opinion and then listen.
    We were set up, people much smarter and trickyer than me have set us up. Why?, because it was easier to do that, than risk political suicide by actualy doing something that could be politicaly difficult, but right. Where were our leaders when we happily strolled down the lane to the "Ponds of Avalon?".
    I mean County and State leaders. Can anyone tell me why a project of this magnitude that originaly was concidered so big that the only ones trusted to do it were the Army Corps of Engeneers, was let loose on a small band of "Dreamers"?
    Even today, where are Able, Lois, and Sam? (Sam, at least, gets one gold star for trying)- Shirley? What I remember was one of the weakest endorsements I've ever heard.
    As much as we fear the wrath of the "Water Gods"
    They would scamper and run for cover if we had those three on our side.
    And I don't particularly care about where those three would decide about placement, or even type of treatment facility.
    With the flexibility of leadership, they may have come up with a great plan, instead- nothing.
    Dose this sound like abdication of the democratic process?
    You Bet.
    There are some things where pure democracy just dose not work.
    Now, Lets talk about hats.
    Its a very valid subject. Mike Green

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:24 PM, December 07, 2005  

  • Hello Ron, Your website is a lifeline for me. Keep up the great work and thanks millions!! SS

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:12 PM, December 09, 2005  

  • >>With the flexibility of leadership, they may have come up with a great plan, instead- nothing.
    Dose this sound like abdication of the democratic process?
    You Bet.
    There are some things where pure democracy just dose not work.<<

    Word. The really sad thing is the policy decisions here were so out whack that many members of this community felt they were left with no other choice other than a referendum by recall & initiative. Great Post back at ya, Mike. A question: When does neglect & abdication of responsibily become, at least, tacit, complicity in an outcome?

    By Anonymous Dogpatch Refugee, at 5:46 PM, December 09, 2005  

  • Do you mean that the vast silent majority, the people of the "tierra", the very salt of the earth, the last bunch of nonvoters- you know, morons?
    Could they concieve of being complicit?
    I'm not sure.
    But I'm sure those idiots won't read this.Mike Green

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:53 PM, December 09, 2005  

  • Some are Morons. Some are disenfranchised for any number of reasons. Maybe including being subjected to the relentless bad performance of a lifetime of our publicly elected officials. Also being involved ususally means Inconvience, which is of course, the worst crime in US culture.

    By Anonymous Dogpatch Refugee, at 12:35 PM, December 10, 2005  

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