Friday, March 03, 2006


"Although history will speak about what happened since those early days, what must not be forgotten is that the September 27, 2005 election was in large part due to a RUSH RUSH RUSH attitude that did not allow for the proper analysis of the problem."
-- Interim LOCSD General Manager, Dan Bleskey, 2/27/06

I'm beginning to like this Bleskey guy. Just a few months on the job, and he's already got it all figured out.

"RUSH, RUSH, RUSH, attitude," indeed.

It was so overlooked, and yet, now that the Los Osos fog is lifting a bit, it's becoming so clear -- the initial CSD Board's futile two year pursuit of the paperweight known as the Community Plan caused the train wreck known as Los Osos. That crucial delay was directly responsible for that "RUSH, RUSH, RUSH attitude," and that attitude, just like Bleskey says, "did not allow for the proper analysis of the problem." And that lack of proper analysis? Well, welcome to Los Osos, '06.

The problem with that "RUSH, RUSH, RUSH attitude," as I see it, is first, the California Coastal Commission created the opportunity for the two year delay, and then the State Water Board allowed it to continue -- for two years! And when the initial CSD finally dumped their first dim plan, as you can imagine, the pressure was on, and the train started a-comin' off the tracks, right then, in the fall of 2000.

In the late summer of 2000, I wrote a freelance, New Times cover story that showed the Community Plan was going down the drain. One month after that story was published, I learned at a CSD meeting, on a crisp, autumn night, that the Community Plan, the Plan that formed the Los Osos Community Services District in the first place, the Plan that got the initial CSD/Solution Group Board elected, was history.

As usual, I immediately relished in my excellent scoop, and I'll never forget the look that then-Director Rose Bowker shot then-Director Pandora Nash-Karner that fateful night when Nash-Karner hinted that the Community Plan could somehow, someway, still work. I swore I saw steam.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, the Tribune did not write one story on the incredibly newsworthy demise of the Community Plan. Not one.

Let's review...

The Solution Group, through an aggressive, "behavior-based marketing strategy," promises Los Osos a sewer project that you would swear could lay golden eggs, even though just about every water quality professional in California was telling the Solution Group their paperweight called the Community Plan wasn't going to work, then that project gets the CSD formed in 1998, then that project was pursued for almost two years, then that project flamed out entirely -- just like all those reality-based, water quality types said it would... two years earlier -- then those two wasted years put a massive amount of pressure on the State agencies that allowed the mess to fester to that point, and then those agencies toss "proper analysis" out the window, and in their haste to get something, anything, in the ground, they carelessly fast-track a disastrous, nonsensical, expensive, mid-town sewer project.

And the Tribune didn't seem to find any of that newsworthy. To quote my niece, "they were all like, yea, whatever."

Instead, the Trib thought it would be better journalism if they just said over and over, for four years, "The never-ending sewer saga, blah, blah, blah. We're tired of it."

Memo to the Tribune: As the only daily paper in the county, you did not have the luxury to get tired of Los Osos.

The Tribune's complete lack of coverage on the demise of the Community Plan from the summer of 2000 to early 2001, is one of the main reasons, if not THE reason, there is a gigantic train wreck in Los Osos today.

If the Tribune had not gone to sleep and followed-up just a little bit on my New Times story, they would have quickly realized that the reality-based project that the current board is attempting to pursue (if the State would just get the hell out of the way), was the project that should have been selected in the first place, and the Tri-W disaster would have never happened.

Any project at Tri-W made no sense after the demise of the Community Plan. The second project was forced there. "RUSH." Sewers are forever. The last seven years in Los Osos were a complete waste. Ugly, but true.

Frankly, if last September's recall had not been successful, and the old board continued to pound away at Tri-W, all of this would have been exposed, eventually (I would have made sure of that), and the situation in Los Osos would have been about a million times worse than it is right now. There would have been a huge sewer plant in the middle of town, forever, and everyone would have known that there was no reason for it to be there, other than two wasted years -- 1999-2000 -- "RUSH."

I can guarantee this: Had the Tri-W project gone through, it would have ended up on NBC Nightly News as a "Fleecing of America" segment, especially if Congresswoman Lois Capps had landed the $35 million of Federal funds she was seeking for the project.

Los Osos dodged a huge bullet last September. You wouldn't know it by walking its neighborhoods, but Los Osos is about the luckiest community I know.

"... history will speak about what happened since those early days?"

History and SewerWatch, Mr. Bleskey. History and SewerWatch.



  • What absolute bullsh*t.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:43 PM, April 07, 2006  

  • For God's sake Ron, don't you even stop to take a breath??

    You are leaving no room for public comment. In fact the last comment (above) was mine, six months ago.

    Do you really think people want to read a running stream of consciousness?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 PM, October 25, 2006  

  • Anybody who would leave comments from a loser like Bleskey on his blog even after Bleskey was put out to pasture for incompetence, petulance and just being a jerk-in general, HAS to be totally delusional.

    Of course, Ron, we knew you were many croutons short of a salad- what with your harping on this "park" thing, but now we know you are totally unbelieveable.

    Ron, get help. Good mental health is so important these days, don't you know.

    It is one thing to have quirks, quite another to have some damned blog about them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:54 PM, April 02, 2007  

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