Thursday, November 30, 2006

Knee Cap, Meet Pipe


I've always liked editorial cartoons, so I gave one a shot.

Whadaya think? Not bad, huh?

Now, I realize I'm no Russell Hodin, and that I can barely draw a smiley face, but I do know how to steal things off Google Images and then modify them in PhotoShop, and I also know an exact parallel when I see one, and I see one with Tonya Harding and the unrelenting Los Osos citizens' group, Taxpayers' Watch.

Call it a guilty pleasure, but I love the Tonya Harding story: What does a competitor do when he, or, in this case, she, finally realizes that they will never win because the competition is just better? No matter how hard they practice, no matter how much they work on their game, no matter how much money they spend on equipment, they aren't going to win because the competition is simply better. What does a competitor do at that moment?

Most athletes faced with that inevitable predicament, retire. But not Tonya. She had a different plan. She thought "out of the box."

Taxpayers' Watch is now in Tonya's old predicament, and, unfortunately for the knee caps of Los Ososans, they're showing no signs of retiring.

For over two years now, spanning three consecutive elections where Taxpayers' Watch (aka the Solution Group, aka initial CSD Board, aka Save the Dream, aka Recalled Three) wracked up an unimpressive 0 - 8 - 1 record, they've strategized, advertised, and, publicized and they can't win. They've spent lots and lots of money on lots and lots of campaign stuff, and they can't win. They've done everything possible it takes to achieve a legitimate win in the political game, and they can't win. And, as Tonya will tell ya, when your game has slipped to those depths, and you still want to win, then there's only one thing left to do: knee cap, meet pipe.

The one small variance I see in my otherwise perfect Tonya Harding/Taxpayers' Watch comparison, is that Tonya only hired one goon -- my man, Shane Stant -- to do her dirty work, and he just cracked Kerrigan once on the knee... just before he ran to the doors that he had scoped-out as part of his pre-planned escape route, only to find that those doors had been chained shut. He then, in perfect Shane Stant/Tonya Harding fashion, jumped through the doors for his escape. (Sorry I had to bring that up, but that's my favorite part of the entire Tonya Harding story.)

Taxpayers' Watch has brought many Shane Stants on board to do their dirty work -- the local Water Quality Control Board, The Tribune, the LAFCO process, the civil court process, and now, a few in Los Osos that were... uhhhh... how should I put this?... unsavvy enough to pre-pay their entire assessment up front four years ago only to see it waste away in a prolonged blur of "bait and switchy" policies; folks that are now saying it's the current board's fault that their assessment wasted away and now want their money back -- and, unlike Stant who only took one whack at Kerrigan (and who seems downright humane compared to Taxpayers' Watch), they just keep whacking away at the knee caps of the community, over and over and over again. On the caps, on the sides, on the tender back part, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, whacked on, and on, and on... with no end in sight. Despite the fact that the majority of Los Osos voters have not only removed the chains from the escape doors, but threw them wide-open long ago, and have been standing next to them, pointing to the brightly lit exit for over two years now.

If memory serves, Harding eventually made her way back into the Olympics, where she finished 8th, six spots behind Kerrigan.

###

41 Comments:

  • Cute. Fun. Light. Derivative. Probably far too playful for such serious business?

    I especially appreciate the part where you suggest the people of Los Osos have been encouraging the Save The Dream manefesto to find its way out for some time now. Go, here's the exit, leave, please. That's not to suggest that any of the more recent CSD wierdness is any better. There's plenty of fault and blame to go around. There is plenty enough for everybody who deserves some to get their fair share. Still, I'm amazed how much people - once attached to a line of thinking - will hold to that thinking regardless of changing circumstance and conditions. So much of the discussion seems to be Old CSD versus Current CSD versus the still-to-be-proven New CSD. Dang, its hard to keep it all straight. Can't tell the players without a program and timeline. As if one is necessarily better or more honest than the other. I'm sure each of the CSD's - as well as many if not most of the individuals - thought they were doing the right thing when they did it. I'll not even try to consider nefarious intentions. Simply put, things are always so much clearer in hindsight. At least they're supposed to be. Yet, given even this, the game still seems to be 'you screwed up', no, 'you screwed up', no, 'you scrwed up', and on and on and on it goes. Which pretty much means we ALL get screwed. Like your Tanya Harding / Nancy Kerrigan analogy, there were in that case and are in our case no winners. < sigh >

    By Blogger *PG-13, at 3:52 PM, November 30, 2006  

  • Hey Ron...just for shits and grins, why don't you paint us all a scenario of where your CSD would be today without Taxpayers Watch in the picture. Solvent? Half-way done with their project they promised at the recall? Staying out of court and happy as clams? No county takeover of the project? And when you tell us all how things would be different without TW, make sure you additionally let us know WHY that would be. This should be fun. Spin us a tale big Ron. Make believers of us all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 PM, November 30, 2006  

  • Ron ...

    Maybe you can help us poor readers zero in on something ... what is the way that this blog entry discusses any new issues or gives us a new perspective from you?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 8:48 PM, November 30, 2006  

  • PG 13 Sez:"Simply put, things are always so much clearer in hindsight. At least they're supposed to be."

    Apparently, in this case, the folks Ron's having a good time skewering have learned absolutely nothing. I mean, by now you would think they'd be saying, O.K. O.K. we get it, Tri W didn't fly, maybe our plan wan't so great and the majority of folks didn't want a sewer in the middle of town, so O.K. let's sit down and figure out how to get a project somewhere folks want and get pulling the wagon in that direction. Instead we get kneecapping. Why? That's the one great unanswered question. Why this unrelenting kneecapping? What's the point?

    By Blogger Churadogs, at 4:46 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Ann,

    I wonder how you are so darn sure that "the majority of folks didn't want a sewer in th middle of town."

    The reason I wonder this is because the recall candidates promised a cheaper plant out of town (before elected ... after the election they sort of talked as if they were elected to move the plant, not to lower the cost).

    The "TriW or out of town?" question was essentially confounded with the "$205 or less per month?" question. That there are still people writing letters to the editor who suggest that TriW is more costly than some as of yet unknown location just goes to show that we're still fighting that battle.

    With that in mind ... how can you be so sure that the majority want the plant out of town?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 7:55 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Right Ann. Like the current board saying last year if we stop the project at Tri-W the community will be in a heap of trouble, so before we do anything rash and injurious to the community, let's sit down and figure out how to get a project somewhere without screwing everyone with CDO's; bankruptcy; astronimical attorney fees; division and destruction. It is the one great unanswered question indeed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Hi ALL,

    Please note:
    Penal Code Section 424(a)-2 (last sentence marked by ++++) and sentence after 424(a)-7 (highlighted with ++++ signs.
    Penal Code Section 425 in it's entirety.

    Government Code 6503.1.(a)

    I am compiling the Federal Code sections

    CALIFORNIA CODES
    PENAL CODE
    SECTION 424-440

    424. (a) Each officer of this state, or of any county, city, town,
    or district of this state, and every other person charged with the
    receipt, safekeeping, transfer, or disbursement of public moneys, who
    either: 1. Without authority of law, appropriates the same, or
    any portion thereof, to his or her own use, or to the use of another;
    or, 2. Loans the same or any portion thereof; makes any profit out
    of, +++++or uses the same for any purpose not authorized by law; +++++++or, 3.
    Knowingly keeps any false account, or makes any false entry or
    erasure in any account of or relating to the same; or, 4.
    Fraudulently alters, falsifies, conceals, destroys, or obliterates
    any account; or, 5. Willfully refuses or omits to pay over, on
    demand, any public moneys in his or her hands, upon the presentation
    of a draft, order, or warrant drawn upon these moneys by competent
    authority; or, 6. Willfully omits to transfer the same, when
    transfer is required by law; or, 7. Willfully omits or refuses to
    pay over to any officer or person authorized by law to receive the
    same, any money received by him or her under any duty imposed by law
    so to pay over the same;--

    ++++++++Is punishable by imprisonment in the state
    prison for two, three, or four years, and is disqualified from
    holding any office in this state.++++++++++

    (b) As used in this section, "public moneys" includes the proceeds
    derived from the sale of bonds or other evidence or indebtedness
    authorized by the legislative body of any city, county, district, or
    public agency.
    (c) This section does not apply to the incidental and minimal use
    of public resources authorized by Section 8314 of the Government
    Code.


    425. Every officer charged with the receipt, safe keeping, or
    disbursement of public moneys, who neglects or fails to keep and pay
    over the same in the manner prescribed by law, is guilty of felony.



    426. The phrase "public moneys," as used in Sections 424 and 425,
    includes all bonds and evidence of indebtedness, and all moneys
    belonging to the state, or any city, county, town, district, or
    public agency therein, and all moneys, bonds, and evidences of
    indebtedness received or held by state, county, district, city, town,
    or public agency officers in their official capacity.


    CALIFORNIA CODES
    GOVERNMENT CODE
    SECTION 6500-6536

    6503.1. (a) When property tax revenues of a county of the second
    class are allocated by that county to an agency formed for the
    purpose of providing fire protection pursuant to this chapter, those
    funds may only be appropriated for expenditure by that agency for
    fire protection purposes.
    (b) As used in this section, "fire protection purposes" means
    those purposes directly related to, and in furtherance of, providing
    fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services,
    hazardous materials response, ambulance transport, disaster
    preparedness, rescue services, and related administrative costs.
    (c) This section shall not be interpreted to alter any provision
    of law governing the processes by which cities or counties select
    providers of ambulance transport services.



    Any responses to the ISSUE (other by shaming and blaming the messenger?)

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:06 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • PG13 said:

    "... the game still seems to be 'you screwed up', no, 'you screwed up', no, 'you scrwed up', and on and on and on it goes."

    That's true. However, one of those sides has now lost three consecutive elections with a combined record of 0 - 8 - 1.

    "Probably far too playful for such serious business?"

    I liked what a commentor said recently in Ann's blog (I think it was there). It was something along the lines of: "Look, if the political situation is going to suck anyway, we might as well have fun with it."

    I think that's a good, healthy outlook.

    An Anon said:

    "Hey Ron...just for shits and grins, why don't you paint us all a scenario of where your CSD would be today without Taxpayers Watch in the picture. Solvent?"

    First, it's not my CSD. Second, if by "without Taxpayers' Watch" you mean "without the Solution Group," then your CSD would be non-existent. It would have never been formed in the first place. If by "without Taxpayers' Watch", you mean "without the recalled directors," then your lovely community would not have a huge, expensive, California taxpayer funded ditch in the middle of it. Third, if by "without Taxpayers' Watch," you mean "without Taxpayers' Watch," then your CSD would have a lot more cash and time around to solve your water quality problems, because they wouldn't be getting kneecapped at every turn.

    "WHY that would be."

    That would be because TW would not have been around to lobby the local WQCB to begin fining you. Their wouldn't have been a lengthy, costly and divisive LAFCO dissolution process, that Gordon just said he knew wasn't going to work from day one. And there wouldn't have been any lawsuits from TW, that also cost a lot of money to defend... and there's a bunch of other stuff.

    Shark asked:

    "... what is the way that this blog entry discusses any new issues..."

    It shows that TW isn't showing any signs of retiring, despite being in the minority for over two years. Not only is that current, but it's also a peek into the future as they just keep whacking away at your knee cap, Shark.

    Ann wrote:

    "That's the one great unanswered question. Why this unrelenting kneecapping? What's the point?"

    I'll take a stab at an answer: Because if the unpopular, non-sensical Tri-Dub project doesn't get built, then the people that are doing the kneecapping are going to have about $100 - $200 million worth of 'splainin' to do. If I were in their shoes, and, again, thank God I'm not, I'd consider doing the same thing. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Finally...

    Richard, asking "How is the county going to get around the "part of the community pays for park, entire community benefits from park" thing, is not "shaming and blaming." It is a highly prudent question, and a question that your board should have addressed the moment Judge Hilton made his decision last year. You guys didn't.

    Do you realize that unless someone can find a way around that ISSUE, and I'm not seeing it (What? Get Cabrillio Estates to sign-off on chipping in for a picnic area in a downtown sewer plant? Yea, I'm sure getting that passed won't be a problem), Tri-W is d-e-a-dead?

    As for your ISSUES, did you run that stuff by the D.A.'s office? I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:46 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Richard,

    I have a few questions for you... maybe you'll humor me.

    When you filed your bankruptcy, what was your financial situation like?

    Was your health, personal, family, and social life affected?

    Did you make decisions you normally would not have made?

    How many people did you owe money to? Did any of them question how you were spending your money during your bankruptcy proceedings?

    What about the family members you owed money to?

    Did you do any creative financing to try and remedy the problem before you filed for bankruptcy?

    Did you borrow money from friends and family to try and prevent your bankruptcy?

    Is that how you ended up stiffing them?

    Was there any money shuffled around during the proceedings so you could continue to function financially?

    I'm just curious... maybe by answering these questions we can better understand the insight you have into the financial troubles at the CSD.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:44 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Okay Ron, good point. The whole TW take is good issue.

    I would suggest, however, that the costs to the LOCSD related to the dissolution/LAFCO issue have been pretty darn minimal related to the costs to our CSD related to other issues that the current board brought on themselves without any help from TW. I also wonder whether there really was an impact of those letters asking for fines. The take I have on the RWQCB is that they're pretty hell-bent on trying to use their power to get Los Osos to solve their water problem as quick as possible and they clearly view TriW as the quickest solution.

    Ron ... I'll answer Ann's loaded kneecapping differently. At a total cost of approximately $150M, the cost per household in the PZ is now about $30k. That's a lot more money than I can afford already ... doesn't it seem reasonable to allow me (and others) to continue to push for the solution that is cheapest? To suggest that any effort I might make to get TriW (because I view TriW as the best ... i.e. cheapest reasonable solution) is kneecapping is to use language designed to inflame. The key here really is that we all want what we think best for our town. If it seems reasonable to you to go after TW as kneecappers, why isn't it reasonable to go after CCLO as the one single group which has done more to screw us out of our money and clean water than any other group?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 11:50 AM, December 01, 2006  

  • Great article Ron. Seems you have brought out some concensus with this one! By the way, I'm the one who suggested having some fun in the midst of major sewage suckage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 PM, December 01, 2006  

  • Ron,

    The State attorney generals office finds the complaint (as outlined in the viewpoint) to be "compeling"

    There are investigations by the government going on today regarding these isssues.

    Rest assured, that the State is not taking these events lightly.

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:22 PM, December 01, 2006  

  • Richard,
    Please, please, answer the question Ron asks.
    Is Cabrillo willing to pay for a park at a sewer plant?
    Aren't you on the Cabrillo Board of Directors? How much will you all pay? Any chance you can cover the APCD fines of $10,000 per each day the plant stinks (average plant upset is three weeks, only $210,000 each time it has one)? How about the DOT's fines for spills down LOVR's Central Business District? Can you also compensate Volumes of Pleasure, Carlocks, LO Rexall, and all the rest of the Mom and Pop shops for losses when sales are down on those stinky/spill days that effect their business? Maybe you can cover the losses in home values all around the Tri-W site, or those doubley at risk from 800,000 gpd of wastewater being pumped into a postage stamp size leachfield at Broderson? Better yet, will Cabrillo cover the cost of ESHA reconstruction every five years after Broderson gets douched and refitted? Come on, its the neighborly thing to do...see if Cabrillo will team up with the Martin Tract and Bayview Heights to cover the costs for security, cause children often break into sewer plants to ride the arms of the clarifiers, oh yeah Tri-W no longer has clarifiers, you took those out when you added MBR's Million Buck Reactors, that need replacing often). Maybe you can arrange a coorporate sponser to cover the cost of the wave patterend,woven stainless steal gates instead of a night watchman?
    What's the harm in asking? Did you ever tell us what color the roof of the plant was before CCC changed it? I'm dying of curiosity.

    By Anonymous paying attention, at 12:24 PM, December 02, 2006  

  • Yes Richard we are waiting for your response. I have no idea where you live but I live very close to TRIW and I'm not really into a sewer right there. In fact, I own two properties down here in the PZ and my septics work great. I know we need something to get going but I prefer a very low cost step steg system. I'm not into paying for a wave wall and little doggie parks (I have horses)and little picnic tables by a sewer. And I told you that in public comment over and over. But you didn't listen to us. I don't know why. It is the great mystery of Los Osos. You keep asking us to explain why we support the actions of the new board. Why don't you explain why you didn't care about us? We had to have a freakin' recall! God you guys never get, do you? Richard please explain why you never gave us a choice. Explain it now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 PM, December 02, 2006  

  • Where did the assessment money go Richard?
    Have you done that accounting/spread sheet?
    Let's remember...ah, the memeories of Maria Singleton's Public Relations $600K, $4.65 million for Broderson (minus $2M from the RWQCB), $3,010,025 for Tri-W, $800K in legal bills (before the recall), pump station locations (the record relfects dollar amounts, I don't recall)...real estate at Lupin & Doris, Paso & 18th, Paso & 3rd., Sunny Oaks, Solano, El Moro & 2nd, (there's another I'm forgetting). Harvest well locations; Highland, Skyline, Loma. And the easements, miles of easements (all cost money to write the agreements, too) ... this is coastal real estate people, you bought it, you own it, all in persuit of a wastewater project, and you ain't getting your prepaid assessments back.
    More of the assessment was related to the chase for the permits; MWH's $7M design, the poles on Tri-W and the $22,500 model (pheasant under glass? No, a sewer plant!) Glossy signs on the propoerty, Michael Drake, the velvet voice.
    Nah, Taxpayers Watch, you're still Dreamer's...Dream on!

    By Anonymous Knows LeGros, at 12:15 PM, December 03, 2006  

  • I was through responding for the day until you mentioned Michael Drake. Just hearing his name gets my blood to boiling. Talk about throwing a dagger in our backs by hiring this guy.
    I keep hearing about Los Osos having the Highest per capita bankruptcy ever in the state of California. Earlier in one of Richard's rants I think he said "in the United States". How about you and your ilk brought us the highest per capita sewer system in the United States?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 PM, December 03, 2006  

  • What would it be with Tri W built now? Well if you have not read about all the tax dollars we are spending cleaning grafitti off of the skate park . Just visualize A huge cement wave wall in front of a forty foot sludge factory, right next to that skate park and what one sees is a slumming of our town. Just visualize this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:09 PM, December 03, 2006  

  • Gee Gang,

    You all have a lot of (misplaced) anger to work through.

    I do not see any need to respond to folks that just want to be plain mad at somebody. You know, WE ARE ALL VICTIMS of so and so.

    And so much fear... Oh No!....graffiti, spills, smells, wave walls, I just "know" that so and so is bad to Da bone!

    My only comment is that you’re focusing on red-herring issues.

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:00 PM, December 04, 2006  

  • Richard LeGros. the investment developers' crony. Bankrupt. Hundreds of votes cast by his fellow community members to recall him from office..."RED HERRINGS!!" What gall, you miserable pendejo. No shame at all. One fine day, you will get your ass kicked, one way or another. Keep smiling punk.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:52 PM, December 04, 2006  

  • Hi Anon above,

    Now, now....you need to calm down and think of how nice you will feel once the sewer is built and you'll no longer have to worry about such matters....other than kicking yourself for needlessly having to pay a much higher cost per month for the sewer because you foolishly recalled three good men.

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 AM, December 05, 2006  

  • I do think there is a good question on the table here ... what about financing the park portion of TriW now?

    Personally, I would suggest that because everyone in the County will benefit from the additional park, the County should cover those costs. Certainly park space per capital is lower in Los Osos than in the bulk of the communities in our area it would seem to be the least the County could do.

    If the County won't pick up the tab, I would suggest those costs should be spread evenly across the LOCSD homes. The wave wall should perhaps be paid for by those in the PZ because the only purpose it serves is to hide the plant.

    If the park components cost about $4M and if we borrow it over a 5 year period at 7% it will run LOCSD property owner about $15 per month. I am sure that those who don't need sewer services would be quite happy to pay their share for the park. Even so, don't think it will put a dent in the bill for those inside the PZ. Their bill will be lowered by less than $2/month.

    As I've been saying all along, the delay is what is costing a ton here. On a $130M project a two year delay (the best we can hope for is that construction on TriW can start back up in October 07) will mean that our bills are about $25/month higher than what they would otherwise have been (and that's ignoring lots of factors like fines which raise the costs even more). Let me ask you ... is it worth paying an extra $25/month just to save $2/month just as a matter of principle? If you are happy to make those extra payments, you are far wealthier than me.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 9:23 AM, December 05, 2006  

  • Shark said:

    "I do think there is a good question on the table here ... what about financing the park portion of TriW now?"

    NOW? That's been an excellent question for over four years now, and no one (other than me) has ever, ever addressed it.

    Do you mean "now" that State taxpayers won't get stuck funding your multi-million dollar playground in a sewer plant, "now" that the SRF loan that once covered that ridiculous stuff is buried deep in a landfill? (Man, talk about P-O-R-K. Remember that $35 million in Federal funding that Capps was trying to get? That cash was fair game for picnic-area-in-sewer-plant funding. What a joke!).

    "I would suggest that because everyone in the County will benefit from the additional park, the County should cover those costs."

    I would suggest that if county taxpayers got wind that they were about to fund an amphitheater in a sewer plant in Los Osos, not only would they NEVER use it, but they would likely overrun the Supervisors' chambers if that idea was even slightly floated out there.


    "Certainly park space per capital is lower in Los Osos than in the bulk of the communities..."

    And that's a good reason to build a sewer plant downtown, why?


    "If the County won't pick up the tab..."

    We won't, and, quite frankly, we're highly offended that you think we should.


    "I would suggest those costs should be spread evenly across the LOCSD homes."

    Good f-ing luck getting that logic past Cabrillo Estates.

    "Hey, Cabrillo Estates, vote to be taxed for a picnic area in a downtown sewer plant, and you'll lock in a sewer plant location that not only you, but all of your guests, will have to pass every time you, and they, travel to and from your really expensive homes."

    THAT is an election I'd love to see.

    "The wave wall should perhaps be paid for by those in the PZ because the only purpose it serves is to hide the plant."

    A wave wall that you wouldn't need if the plant was out of town, and since the only reason the plant's downtown is because of the park, then that makes the wave wall part of the park. Same goes for the expensive odor scrubbing, by the way.

    "I am sure that those who don't need sewer services would be quite happy to pay their share for the park."

    "Hello, Cabrillo Estates, Shark Inlet, here. You'd be quite happy paying for a picnic area in a downtown sewer plant, wouldn't you? Even if it meant that by agreeing to help pay for it, you lock in the stark reality that you will be driving past that sewer plant every single day?"

    "the best we can hope for is that construction on TriW can start back up in October 07"

    And then instantly run into massive delays in November 07 because no one's found a way around the park financing.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:55 AM, December 05, 2006  

  • Hi Sharkinlet,

    In regards a park at Tri-W, The State has informed the County they will fund a park at Tri-W, as it is a requirement of the CDP issued by the CCC. The cost of the park element is less than $200,000....a very small percentage of the cost of the project.

    If it will make Ron happy, I will donate one park picnic table with benches and donate it in his name. (with a bronze plaque and everything!)

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:13 PM, December 05, 2006  

  • Zing! Ouch! On the surface what a gracious proposal. Yet I can't think of anyone who would want their name engraved in bronze in a Tri-W park less than Ron. That's kinda like kicking a guy when he's already down dont'cha think?

    Still there is a gem of an idea here. I believe there is already a proposal that the wave wall at the park in some way graphically depict the history of the Los Osos sewer saga so this rich piece of local history will never be forgotten. Following on Richard's proposal imagine if all the major players in this sordid affair donated a park bench or picnic table or such all properly marked with bronze plaques. That way the sewer wars could continue indefinitely. I mean, obviously some people would never sit on the Save the Dream bench. And others wouldn't be caught dead dining on the Move the Sewer table. And I presume nobody - or only out of town visitors - would ever sit on or use anything engraved with RWQRB. So there will probably always be someplace for everybody to sit. What a great park, eh?

    And with so much of the park amenities paid for through donations every monthly bill should be at least $1 less. (Please, that's just a rough ball park estimate rounded to the nearest dollar. Let's NOT argue over this!)

    By Blogger *PG-13, at 5:13 PM, December 05, 2006  

  • Ricardo said:

    "The cost of the park element is less than $200,000..."

    Wow. That's excellent news for ALL of Los Osos. Because I thought the cost of construction material was going up. I guess I was wrong, since the last I heard, Bruce Buel, and several of your own board's documents were saying the park element was going to cost $2.3 million, and that was over two years ago.

    Richard, you've posted a couple things recently that have me scratching my head and wondering if you ever looked at one document the entire time you were on the board.

    You keep saying the Coastal Commission required the park. They obviously didn't, and it really pisses them off every time one of you guys (translated: former CSD Board members) says that, as Monowitz has told me. (And I don't blame him one bit for that attitude. He should be pissed every time you guys say that. If I was him, I'd be pissed too.)

    And now you just said, "The cost of the park element is less than $200,000..."

    The cost of the park element is well over $2 million, AT LEAST, and must be maintained by the CSD "in perpetuity," at a cost of many more millions over the years.

    Richard, the more you post, the more two things become clear to me: 1) You have a terribly hard time getting things accurate, and, more importantly, 2) you can't wrap your mind around how "bait and switchy" impacts this entire story, can you? You can't tell me why Commissioner Potter said that, can you?

    (Since I'm a nice guy, I want to give you a piece of friendly advice. Study up on why Potter called you guys "bait and switchy" before you post comments on blogs. It will save you a lot of embarrassment.)

    "... a very small percentage of the cost of the project."

    See? If you had studied up before you wrote that, you would know that that is completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter if the park's percentage of the cost if .00000000001% of the cost of the project. If you can't get it funded, there is no project.

    "The State has informed the County they will fund a park at Tri-W"

    Considering your track record on accuracy, you wouldn't happen to have the source from the State on that, would you? If you don't mind, I'd really like to confirm that myself. Because, if that's true, I need to immediately contact my sources in Mariposa County and get their response to how Los Osos is about to get $3 million - $4 million worth of park crap funded with SRF money, but the below-median-income folks in Mariposa County can't get $2 million from the SRF for their badly needed wastewater facility.

    That's going to be a great story. I'm really looking forward to writing it.

    So, what's your source on that "State has informed the county..." take?

    As for that picnic bench, thanks for the offer, but I'm going to politely decline, and instead ask that you please donate that money to the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter fundraising event at the South Bay Community Center following the Christmas parade on Saturday. According to one of your board's documents, the cost of one of those benches is $3,000. That'll buy a lot of food and blankets.

    Thanks.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:20 AM, December 06, 2006  

  • Shark,
    Costs for what park should be borne by all LOCSD homes? The community has never had that discussion, the prior LOCSD Board decided they wanted a park with lawn and play equipment, another board or committee might perfer a preserve like the Elfin Forest with pathways and benches with interpetive signs (have you seen those on the El Moro Bikeway, very nice, good job Jan Dileo). The costs associated with one park are very different from those associated with the other, both are expensive (one will need Broderson-like mitigation, making it WAY more expensive).
    Just pointing out that you can't assume the community will buy in to a park of any kind, let alone pay for it, which really is the bigger picture.
    If I can't afford (Ripley's) $154 per month sewer, I can't afford at $156 per month either, even if I get a park out of it. I remember the Maslin (2001) survey, the community members polled were screaming at $80 per month, they could afford it.

    By Anonymous park possibilities, at 12:45 PM, December 06, 2006  

  • "Richard, you've posted a couple things recently that have me scratching my head and wondering if you ever looked at one document the entire time you were on the board."--Ron
    Word.
    The $3000 bench is at the exact core, the gestalt, of this whole boondoggle.
    Hope the community minded Mr. Legros can make such a contribution to the Homeless shelter fund-raiser. I'm sure he'd have bought that bench too, Ron. However, he may well be moved to donate instead, since he is so sure of the future of things here. Nice to have $3000 to throw around. Some people might have to file bankruptcy in Osos over this damn boondoggle. Maybe Richard could enlighten us in these maters as well. Maybe Richard might figure out someday that he isn't the most popular figure in Los Osos right now, and that don't look none to likely to change, despite the pathetic little spin he is attempting on the these the "enemy" blogs.
    Very revealing in terms of the rise and fall of a local apparatchik. Little bitty jealous less than county level functionary costs his community millions. Still shows his face in public...
    Welcome, audit, welcome.

    By Anonymous Snowy Plover, at 9:40 PM, December 06, 2006  

  • Hi Anon above,

    Yes, no doubt when the sewer is finally built that people will have to make the decision whether to stay or leave. Has that not always been the case?: either stay and meet your responsibilities or not stay and let others do so.

    Shaming and blaming me (or others for that matter) may make you feel better, but has nothing to do with the issues.

    I welcome the audit. I have nothing to fear from one. But the current board does have much to fear.

    Anyway Jeri, I have already decided to donate money to the Homeless Shelter fund-raiser. You need not conern yourselve with my donating to others.

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    PS FYI- I am happy that will be helping the Los Osos CSD resolve it's financial difficulties as I have just been appointed to serve on the Federal Bankruptcy Court Creditors Committee.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:37 AM, December 07, 2006  

  • Richard > PS FYI- I am happy that will be helping the Los Osos CSD resolve it's financial difficulties as I have just been appointed to serve on the Federal Bankruptcy Court Creditors Committee.

    Uh, congratulations. I guess.

    May I ask what those responsibilities might be? It sounds both important and interesting. As you put it, I truly do hope it helps to serve the CSD and the people of Los Osos. And I can only presume you are an appropriate person to fill this role. But, please forgive me, it sounds a lot like asking the hungry fox to monitor the hens. How, praytell, does one who played a central role in placing the CSD in its current precarious financial position now get appointed to serving on a federal committee which is, presumably, overseeing the situation?

    By Blogger *PG-13, at 2:36 PM, December 07, 2006  

  • All "old boards" managed to keep the CSD solvent during their tenure. The present board did not. (Don't go using that lame excuse "It's the old board's fault.) The present board - who had two members on "the old board" - should have known of the "precarious financial situation" and have stated this to the community at the onset after the recall, and asked for a 218 to grant them the money to pursue their project. They did not, and spent the district's reserves and beyond, DRY. Therefore it makes sense to have someone from an "old board" present, who knows how money should and should NOT be spent, to oversee the bankruptcy proceedings.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 3:25 PM, December 07, 2006  

  • "How, praytell, does one who played a central role in placing the CSD in its current precarious financial position now get appointed to serving on a federal committee which is, presumably, overseeing the situation?"
    Apparatchik, all puffed up makin' claims.
    Kafka, anyone?
    So, Mr. Recalled director, who is Jeri, anyway?
    Cuz it ain't me, nor have I met her. However, if she does not hold you in high regard, we share good company, and I'd like to meet her. Or is it him? Jerry is usually a boy, while Jeri is usually a girl. Unless, you misspelled it.

    By Anonymous Snowy Plover, at 6:31 PM, December 07, 2006  

  • Hi All,

    You all know I care very much for Los Osos. I intend to serve on the Creditor's Committee with the intent of protecting the pocketbooks of Los Ososians while assisting the CSD to develop a Debt Adjustment Plan that is viable and fair.

    The Federal Bankruptcy Laws give Creditor's Committees the power to gather information from all parties (Creditors and Debtors) and make recommendations via the Court (compel if necessary) to help resolve conflicts.

    Please note that I am only one voice on a COMMITTEE. Individuals do not make decisions... the COMMITTEE majority does.

    I really do look forward with working with the CSD the Creditors and (through the Court); assist in getting the Los Osos CSD viable again.

    Nothing to fear guys... I will do only what is proper, ethical and fair. Besides, I am the only voice on the Committee that lives in Los Osos. I wish the best for my neighbors.

    Regards, Richard LeGros

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 PM, December 07, 2006  

  • Hi Ron - Wasn't there a poster called "Laughing" that made a bunch of predictions last spring? It might be fun have a look at those predictions and see who is "Laughing" now. If I remember correctly, this person predicted that by now the CSD would be dissolved (not), hundreds would have CDOs (not) etc. etc. And, this might be a stretch, but could it be Richard LeGros? He's really into posting on these blogs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:06 PM, December 08, 2006  

  • Speaking of CDOs, a poster on Ann's blog kindly mentioned that people should donate to the CDO legal defense fund if they "believe in their cause." It really isn't, however, a matter of believing in our "cause." We are not a third world charity trying to build a sewer in Africa, hoping to garner some financial support out here in sunny California. It is not OUR CAUSE. It is YOUR CAUSE if you live or own property in the Prohibition Zone. And it should be your cause if you live in Los Osos and consider us all to be a community.

    Here is another funny story. Sometimes I wonder if Bill and I are the only ones who encounter these types. The other day Bill ran into an old acquaintance at the gym. This person, who lives on Ninth Street, asked Bill how the "sewer thing" was going, since he is far, far too busy to keep up with it, and is just disgusted with how it has all gone. So Bill explained where we are in the CDO process. This person, who lives on Ninth Street remember, interrupted Bill to ask, "What's a CDO?"

    There is no way to rally an ignorant population to donate when they, if they know anything at all about the Los Osos 45, believe it is some obscure charity unrelated to their lives. At the risk of being redundant, CDOs are the best kept secret in Los Osos. At the risk of being even more redundant to readers of Ann's blog, there's that invisible spaceship in Douglas Adams's book, THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY -a trilogy in four parts. Its invisibility is made possible by something called SEP (Somebody Else's Problem). If you act only when the problem walks in your front door in the form of a large manila envelope, it may be too late.

    Please donate to PZLDF. Walk into Coast National Bank next to the LO Post Office and ask to have your donation deposited to the PZLDF account or mail your donation to:

    PZLDF
    P.O.Box 6095
    Los Osos, CA 93412

    Thank you,

    Bev. De Witt-Moylan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:10 PM, December 09, 2006  

  • An Anon wrote:

    "Wasn't there a poster called "Laughing" that made a bunch of predictions last spring? It might be fun have a look at those predictions and see who is "Laughing" now."

    Great memory. That's actually a funny story.

    What Anon is referring to is back when some person was signing the comments they left on my blog, "Laughing at You"

    At first, I was like, "Whatever... ," but after a few of those posts I decided to gently remind "Laughing" that their side was swimming right along until "Three Blocks Upwind of Downtown" was published in New Times, in September 2004. Since then, the have steadily spiraled downward, and this blog sure as hell didn't help their cause.

    So I told "Laughing," something like, "Look, if you're going to insist on signing your posts to me, "Laughing at You," I'm going to have to start signing my posts to you, "5-0, 5-0, 5-0, 3-2, 0-5. Still laughing?" Which I thought was pretty damn funny considering that's how the CSD Board make-up looked pre-SewerWatch and post-SewerWatch.

    But ol' 'Laughing" didn't quite share my sense of humor, and he/she snapped back and started signing their posts:

    "5-0, 5-0, 5-0, 3-2, 0-5 -- DISSOLVED!"

    Ohhhhhh... just missed that one, "Laughing."

    In fact, my sign-off now needs to be updated:

    5-0, 5-0, 5-0, 3-2, 0-5, not dissolved, 0-4-1. Still laughing?

    - - -

    Please donate to the PZLDF. It's the right thing to do, and it will benefit ALL in Los Osos.

    By Blogger Ron, at 3:00 PM, December 11, 2006  

  • If you can't find something to say about $850,000 going to Paavo's friend for studying the LO sewer situation, you aren't worth the electrons used on the blog.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:38 AM, December 13, 2006  

  • Typical mis-information mongerer.

    The contract is for a maximum of $150,000 - NOT $850,000. Get your facts straight.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 PM, December 13, 2006  

  • The Contract for Carollo IS $849,xxx; the contract for Craford, Multari & clark is for $150,000. Those ARE the facts! It's sick! The new LOCSD board was critisized to the hiltfor paying Ripley $500K, here we go paying Carollo $350 more than that? All for what? More reports, nothing in the ground!

    By Anonymous paying attention, at 5:42 PM, December 13, 2006  

  • "The $150,000 contract will go to San Luis Obispo-based consulting firm Crawford Multari & Clark Associates for environmental consulting services related to the design of a wastewater treatment facility. Deputy Public Works Director Paavo Ogren said the entire amount may not be used.

    Supervisors set aside $2 million earlier this year for preliminary design work on a sewer."

    Where is "Contract for Carollo IS $849,xxx" mentioned?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 AM, December 14, 2006  

  • An Anon wrote:

    "If you can't find something to say about $850,000 going to Paavo's friend for studying the LO sewer situation, you aren't worth the electrons used on the blog."

    Is that aimed at me? If so, I hate to see electrons go to waste so I'll give you my take on that.

    As if it matters, my take on that is I like what Julie Tacker said at the Board of Supervisors meeting last Tuesday, when she likened Crawford, Clark, Multari to an actor that gives one performance for a film, then cashes fat royalty checks for years to come based on that single performance. That seems to be exactly what is happening in this case

    CCM has studied the environmental impacts of the project for years and years and years. They already know every single blade of grass, every endangered species, and every wetland in the area. I mean, c'mon, what more could they possibly add? Yet they get to cash another fat check just for reiterating stuff they already know? What's up with that? And how can I get a gig like it?

    As we all already know, here is the current environmental situation:

    The Final Environmental Impact Report shows that sites out of town are preferred because, besides the obvious logistical problems of building a sewer plant just upwind of downtown, the out of town sites have already been severely environmentally degraded through years of agricultural use.

    The only reason one of those sites wasn't chosen in the first place is because the early CSD Board overrode the entire environmental review process by drafting a Statement of Overriding Considerations, and that document, as other official documents show, doesn't hold a drop of water... not even close.

    Built into the county's contract with CCM, is the option for CCM to charge a lesser fee than the $150,000 budgeted for them, and that is exactly what they should do, because I can already tell you what the conclusion of their review is going to be:

    As our (Crawford, Clark, Multari's) decade-long review of the environmental situation regarding the project has shown over and over again, out of town, downwind sites are preferred, as our previous FEIR shows. In fact, if it wasn't for the SOC, the early Board would have had to select a site out of town, according to the California Environmental Quality Act.

    To tell you the truth, environmentally speaking, Tri-W shouldn't even be considered as an option.

    Pick a site out of town, and get on with it.

    Peace. Out.


    Yep, that's pretty much it. That covers it all.

    That should be the extent of CCM's latest work. What's that worth? About $100 bucks? Then that's what they should get paid this time. That should be their royalty check this time around.

    Give the other $149,900 to the homeless shelter.

    By Blogger Ron, at 1:07 PM, December 14, 2006  

  • Looking for Carollo contract? I am unable to pull up the Dec. 12 County Staff report, item B-12 (if you want to try searching for it) you might ask Paavo to send it to you.

    By Anonymous paying attention, at 11:30 AM, December 16, 2006  

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