Monday, January 29, 2007

Chickens and Eggs

Two months before the Los Osos recall election in 2005, I was on the phone with Steve Monowitz, the point man for the California Coastal Commission on the sewer project, and I pleaded with him, practically begged him, for his office to issue a press release clarifying why there was a $2.3 million public park in the Tri-W project.

The reason we ended up on the phone that day, is because about a month earlier I sent him a graphic created by Save the Dream, the citizens group formed to promote the Tri-W project, that said the park amenities in the project were required by the Coastal Commission.



Having done my extensive homework, I knew that graphic was going to piss Monowitz off, because he, and the Coastal Commission, have bent over backwards throughout the years to accommodate the initial CSD's nonsensical "project objective" of a centrally located public park in their sewer plant, a CSD Board that included County Parks Commissioner, Pandora Nash-Karner.

The Commission even went as far as amending the Local Coastal Plan in 2002, so it could make room for a "sewer-park" at Tri-W. (Bent over backwards to accommodate that ridiculous little park... so much work.)

So imagine Monowitz's surprise when I fired off that e-mail that contained a graphic that said the nonsensical, embarrassing park was his idea.

But what pushed him over the edge, was that the newsletter that contained the graphic was created by former CSD Director, current County Parks Commissioner, and, at the time, marketing director for Save the Dream, Pandora Nash-Karner -- the same person that made Monowitz unnecessarily jump through about a million hoops four years earlier, because she, as a CSD Director, told him there was a "strongly held community value" in Los Osos for a centrally located sewer-park. (Obviously, there's not, nor has there ever been. And even if there was at one time, which there wasn't, what a stupid reason to choose a downtown sewer plant! Public opinion, as public opinion survey experts have told me, is like shifting sand, and becomes "outdated" in just six months.)

Wait. This story gets better, because I still haven't explained why we ended up on the phone that day.

About a month after I sent Monowitz the Save the Dream newsletter, I received an official LOCSD document from a good source, that again said the amenities were required by the Coastal Commission. This time, in an official document.



Of course, I also fired that graphic off to Monowitz. I knew he was going to be piiiiiiissssssed!!!! After all the crap they put him through to accommodate the park, now they were blaming the park on him. Ouch! Talk about a gut punch.

In that second e-mail I also asked him to put me on the mailing list for the press release that I assumed his office was going to issue clarifying just exactly how things like a $690,000 dog park ended up in the Los Osos sewer plant.

That's when my phone rang. It was Monowitz. He wanted to know why I thought his office was going to put out a press release on the park topic. And I told him something along these lines, "Steve, don't you see what's going to happen? If your office doesn't clarify why the park is in the project, then that extremely important point will never be countered, and everyone in Los Osos is going to think that it was the Coastal Commission's idea to put a multi-million dollar park in their sewer plant."

I've spoken with Monowitz a number of times over the years, and you're not going to find a nicer, more mellow guy. During that phone call, I could tell he was fuming from those graphics that I sent him.

And that's when he got loose with this blast, "It galls me when they say we added the amenities." That's one of my all-time favorite sewer quotes.

Steve, gall understandable, my friend, gall understandable.

But, the Coastal Commission never issued the press release that I begged for in 2005, so today, many folks in Los Osos now believe that the sewer plant "had" to go downtown because there was no other place to put it, and the park was just a by-product of the location, a $2.3 million by-product forced upon the taxpayers of Los Osos by the California Coastal Commission.

That's why many of those same folks today say things like, "If the damned thing is buried, why the hell NOT use the above ground area for a park, restroom, playground, etc.?"

The town's highly confused, just like I predicted in that phone call.

And, because the Coastal Commission never released that press release, SewerWatch was left to hoe that field alone.

I'm going to beg again: Coastal Commission, please, for the love of God, I'm begging you, issue a three-paragraph press release clarifying why there's a park in the Tri-W project.

###

30 Comments:

  • Well Ron thank you again for trying to get the truth out. I hope you will get more of a response this time. Maybe the Coastal Commission, like everyone else, is afraid to touch the Los Osos sewer issue with a ten foot pole?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:15 PM, January 29, 2007  

  • For God's sake, Ron.

    I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Steve Monowitz to publicly validate your assertions.

    This particular horse is long dead and has no bearing on any future project.

    You and Ann really need to get a life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:58 PM, January 30, 2007  

  • Thank you Ron,

    I wonder if you shouldn't package up all your blog entries and send them off to John Hayashi, who doesn't seem to know the evolution of the Los Osos sewer, but sits in judgement of CDO defendants. You have to hand it to the guy, though, at least he ASKED. Thank goodness he had Sorrel Marks to provide him with "The Los Osos Sewer Saga in a Nutshell." Too bad you weren't there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 PM, January 30, 2007  

  • Where can we write to ask the same (damn) quesion?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 AM, January 31, 2007  

  • Anons wrote:

    "This particular horse is long dead and has no bearing on any future project."

    So Tri-W is off the table? Wow. When did that happen?

    "I wonder if you shouldn't package up all your blog entries and send them off to John Hayashi, who doesn't seem to know the evolution of the Los Osos sewer, but sits in judgement of CDO defendants. You have to hand it to the guy, though, at least he ASKED. Thank goodness he had Sorrel Marks to provide him with "The Los Osos Sewer Saga in a Nutshell." Too bad you weren't there."

    The staff of the RWQCB pretty much wants to make sure that their bosses believe the "one project" theory, because if the Board members, like Hayashi, knew the truth, the first thing they would ask is, "Why did Briggs waste two years allowing the LOCSD to chase project #1," and that would make the staff of the RWQCB look really, really bad. So bad, in fact, that the Board members would suddenly realize that they are punishing a community because of their own staff's incompetence from early 1999 to late 2000. That's why Marks can't give him the entire story.

    "Where can we write to ask the same (damn) quesion?"

    Here ya go: smonowitz@coastal.ca.gov.

    That's Monowitz's e-mail address.

    Please write him. If they are pressured enough, they will release a press release clarifying why there's a park in the project. And when they do, all hell will break loose.

    Also, you're invited to copy and paste your e-mail to him, and any response you might receive, in my comments section. I would be interested in reading those e-mails.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:33 AM, January 31, 2007  

  • "So Tri-W is off the table? Wow. When did that happen?"

    It didn't.

    It's the County's project now - all new. If they want to put the thing on Tri-W, they will, park or no park. If they can prove Tri-W is the best option,and the PROPERTY OWNERS approve, they will get the Coastal Commission's buy-in whether you like it or not, Ron.

    Whether or not the CSD lied about "a strongly held community value" five years ago is irrelevant to the current situation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:59 PM, January 31, 2007  

  • Irrelevant???
    No, like a founding brick, the sad and also completly unnecessary train wreck of Los Osos will happen despite the warnings.
    20 20 hindsite! aint it grand!

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 8:38 PM, January 31, 2007  

  • In Los Osos hindsight is freakin' scary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 AM, February 01, 2007  

  • Hindsight is the drug that keeps most people here blogging.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 AM, February 01, 2007  

  • Hey Ron! Ol Gordo's been makin waves again. seems he took a judicial slapdown recently.
    Whats your favorite beer?

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 6:20 PM, February 01, 2007  

  • Please elaborate on the judicial slapdown! Los Osos adores nothing more than a communal punching bag!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:13 PM, February 01, 2007  

  • Some deal in Nipomo I think, storey (believe it or not) in the Triv.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 4:24 PM, February 02, 2007  

  • Ron,

    It seems that your anger is with the Dreamers saying that the CCC required park amenities.

    By 2004 (about the time we're talking) the choice the LOCSD had was ...

    A - add the amenities back in because the CCC would not approve the plan without the amenities because (according to you) the only reason they approved that location to begin with was the amenities

    or

    B - start all over from ground zero and deal with the associated increased costs and likely wrath of the RWQCB.

    So ... of the CCC says "put the amenities back in or start over" they're essentially forcing the hand of the LOCSD because starting over would be too expensive.

    Monowitz can be as pissed as you tell us he is ... because he feels that the CCC position has been misrepresented in a political statement ... but you've got to admit that the CCC pretty much did force us to put the park bits back in.

    Even if the original Solutions Groupies were ... um ... unwise in their optimistic plans ... doesn't mean that the Tacker/Schicker approach is better.

    It all used to boil down to cost versus location. All it would take to move the treatment plant away from TriW was higher costs. Too bad that those who advocated moving the plant were unwilling to tell us the truth about those higher costs.

    Now it would seem that AB2701 may preclude a WWTF outside the district boundary, so finding an acceptable site may be even more challenging ... on the other hand in some odd way, it might be easier. After all, the CCC cannot anymore require us to study a million possible sites outside the district ... just those inside ... and if we're limited by acreage and treatment technology land requirements it might very well be the case that MBR at TriW is preferable to other sites and technologies.

    Funny that we've come full circle and that all it will cost us is an extra $100/month for the next 20 years.

    By Anonymous Pandora Crawford Monowitz-Edwards, at 10:11 PM, February 05, 2007  

  • First, I have absolutely no "anger" whatsoever towards the "Dreamers." Why would I? That doesn't make sense.

    However, with that said, PCME, that's one of the best comments ever left on this blog. I'm so proud of you. Someone FINALLY got it... almost.

    The key thing you're missing is what makes it "bait and switchy." And that's what pulls it all together and makes it sooooooo good.

    You start at 2004. You need to start at 1998 to get the complete story. You might remember that whole "ponds at Tri-W... $38.75/month" thing that got the CSD formed in the first place. Yea, that. Well, as you know, that flamed out in 2000, and THAT was the first, "Uh, oh, now what do we do moment."

    And what they did to cover their a** was to tell the CCC in 2001-02 that whole "strongly held community value for a park in a sewer plant, and it has to be at Tri-W so that same community can easily get to the park" thing. See how that worked? Even though the project that got them elected in 1998 flamed out entirely in 2000, they were still able to make it look like there was a reason to form the CSD in the first place by locking in Tri-W for their second project with that "community value" crap.

    "Behold everyone: We promised you a sewer plant at Tri-W (at $38.75 month) when you voted with us to form the CSD and elect us, and we gave you a sewer plant at Tri-W (at $210 month)."

    And they probably would have gotten fined back then, too, if they had done the right thing and moved it after the Community Plan collapsed.

    THAT's the stuff that makes 2004 so good. THAT'S why the 2004 LOCSD Board either had to add the amenities BACK into the project, or find a different project.

    What I agree with you on, is at that moment, that was kind of weird requirement by the CCC. If you ask me, and I've written about this in the past, the Commission should have denied the development permit right then and there -- when Potter said, "bait and switchy." That's a no-brainer, if you ask me. They could have done that, and no one would have criticized them at all.

    PCME, congratulations. You are the first person (that I know of), outside of Ann Calhoun, that now grasps "bait and switchy," and more importantly, the meaning of "bait and switchy." And that meaning is: There is absolutely no reason whatsoever, no rationale at all, to build a sewer plant in the middle of town. None.

    The following argument makes absolutely no sense to me, nor should it to you:

    "Even though the only reason to site the facility at Tri-W proved to be false, let's build it there anyway just because we might save a few bucks."

    Tri-W shouldn't even be in the discussion today, obviously.

    PCME said:

    " it would seem that AB2701 may preclude a WWTF outside the district boundary"

    What's your source on that?

    - - -

    Somewhere on the comments section of this blog an Anon predicted: Bears 29, Colts 13.

    SewerWatch predicted: Colts 23, Bears 20.

    Final score: Colts 29, Bears 17.

    Booo-yea!

    (Thank for the posting Anon. That was fun. We'll do it again next year. I'm 2 for 2.)

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:13 AM, February 06, 2007  

  • Ron ... Why, oh why do you feel that the desire to save money is a bad thing?

    To me it seems quite reasonable to compare the various options one is given in life and to make the best choice based on a cost-benefit analysis.

    Presumably if we want a sewer out of town we should have that choice but if it costs a hell of a lot more, we should have the choice to go with TriW. Again, if it was wrong for the Solutions Group to low-ball the cost estimate of their plan, it was just as wrong for Chuck and Steve to run on an "out of town ... and cheaper to boot" platform.

    What galls me, Ron, is that you just don't seem to get it. You go on and on about how wrong it was for the Solutions Group folks to have told us one thing ($38) but then didn't deliver or that they believe our community wanted a park but didn't prove it ... yet at the same time you don't seem to see anything wrong when those who oppose TriW pull the same crap ... they promised us $100/month for out of town but we all know that was a lie and while they know that our citizens are quite divided about the location they keep saying that we want the thing out of town.

    Again, it's all in the actual costs. If TriW will save us lots of money every month, we should have that choice.

    By Anonymous Chuck Calhoun, at 10:59 PM, February 06, 2007  

  • Chuck Calhoun (Pandora Crawford Monowitz-Edwards) wrote:

    "Ron ... Why, oh why do you feel that the desire to save money is a bad thing?"

    CC, do you realize that I was the one that exposed that the staff of the RWQCB all but raves about composting toilets (these days, of course, they're trying hard to back-track from their earlier statements, but it's a little too late for that, guys. Can't un-ring the Item 19 bell, huh?) So, do what they said "will" clean your water and it'll cost you about $1,700 -- a savings of about $30,000 - $40,000 dollars. You're welcome.

    "You go on and on about how wrong it was for the Solutions Group folks to have told us one thing ($38) but then didn't deliver..."

    That's not what I go on and on about. What I go on and on about is that the Solution Group KNEW before the election that formed the CSD that their plan wasn't going to deliver, yet they sold it, hard, to the community anyway. It formed the CSD, and, well, when that's your starting foundation, you can only imagine how that structure is going to turn out.

    "...they believe our community wanted a park but didn't prove it..."

    Again, that's inaccurate. For their SECOND project, the Solution Group wasn't saying that the community desired a park, they (primarily Nash-Karner) told the CCC that the community demanded a park in their sewer plant... BIG difference. What blows me away, is the the Coastal Commission didn't take the time to substantiate that outrageous claim. If they had, the Local Coastal Plan would have never been amended in 2002 to accommodate Tri-W for the Solution Group's second project. Had the CC staff done that research (fairly easy research, I must add), "bait and switchy" would have been caught in the "bait" stage instead of the "switchy" stage -- two years later.

    "If TriW will save us lots of money every month, we should have that choice."

    First, that's a HUGE "if." Second, if the collective TAC ends up with half a brain, they'll instantly see "bait and switchy" and the fact that the SOC overrode the ENTIRE environmental review process, all of that, just to accommodate the multi-million dollar park in the sewer plant. And the moment they see that, they'll bounce it out of the running, of course. If the TAC concludes that Tri-W is even close to a viable option, not only will I be shocked, but I'll rip their conclusions to shreds. It'll be so easy. Soooooo easy.

    Chuck, think about this for a sec... the early CSD had to OVERRIDE the entire environmental review process to KEEP the project in the middle of town just for a sewer-park. Do you honestly think that the Technical Advisory Committee will see that as a prudent thing to do? Keep in mind, there will be no Parks Commissioners on the TAC.

    I don't even think Nash-Karner's schmoozing Jedi mind tricks will save her this time. She's going to have to pull off some serious "behavior-based marketing" to convince the TAC that both "bait and switchy" AND overriding the environmental review process was the right thing to do. (Good luck with that, P.) But, there's no doubt in my mind she'll give it her best try... should be fun to watch.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:33 AM, February 07, 2007  

  • I got to thinkin' about something I said above. I wrote that if the Coastal Commission had just done a little research on the so-called "community value," then "bait and switchy" would have been caught in the "bait" stage instead of the "switchy" stage.

    I want to amend that. The staff at the CC didn't have to research a thing. ALL they had to do was say something like, "LOCSD, would you be so kind as to supply us with a document for our files that shows this so-called "strongly held community value" for a park in a sewer plant?"

    That's ALL they had to do. They didn't have to research anything. If the staff of the Coastal Commission had asked that simple, reasonable, understandable question in 2001 OR 2002, the Tri-W mess would have never happened, because that "community value" can not be documented (in fact, all the evidence that would document something like a "community value" -- things like election results and public opinion surveys [evidence that never made its way to the CC... imagine that] -- show the exact opposite of that "strongly held community value." The community did not want to pay for a multi-million park anywhere in Los Osos, let alone in a sewer plant, at the same time they were paying for a multi-multi million dollar sewer system, of course.).

    So, that's THREE things the TAC should immediately identify... if they have half a brain:

    1) No documentation that supports the only reason to site the facility at Tri-W.

    2) The unsubstantiated SOC that overrode the environmental review process.

    and;

    3) The great and intensely interesting reasons behind "bait and switchy."

    You know what? Now that I think about it... I'm beginning to like this TAC idea, a lot. If they do their job, they're going to end up validating everything I've been reporting on over the last three years. Awesome!

    Let's go TAC! Let's go TAC! Let's go TAC!...

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:00 AM, February 07, 2007  

  • As I've said before, the 1998 election creating the CSD is evidence of a "strongly held community value".

    In the largest voter turnout in Los Osos history, roughly 83% of those casting ballots voted for candidates proposing a ponding system, in a park setting, on the Tri-W property.

    Did the project morph? Yes. Was it more expensive than planned? Yes. Does that change the fact the majority of property owners and residents voted to put a sewer park in the middle of town by forming the CSD? No.

    Take your "community values" argument, and shove it, Ron. It's tired and it's pointless. The County will, with the PROPERTY OWNERS blessing, put a sewer where ever they want, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM, February 08, 2007  

  • Anon 4:12

    If Tri W is still on the table, I will be much more cautious with my 218 vote this time. I did not vote for the project as it looked in the end stages. If voting for a 218 is signing a blank check, I will not make that mistake again. The 218 will have to include binding guarantees as to what the project will and will not include. Trust in government is something that I am lacking at this point in the process.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 AM, February 10, 2007  

  • Was it more expensive than planned? Just a tad, folks! Could have done something reasonable but no...........had to stick with that sight.....damn!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:25 PM, February 10, 2007  

  • Anon wrote:

    "As I've said before, the 1998 election creating the CSD is evidence of a "strongly held community value"."

    That was a "strongly held community value" for a $38.75/month sewer bill, not for a multi-million park in a sewer plant, obviously.

    "In the largest voter turnout in Los Osos history, roughly 83% of those casting ballots voted for candidates proposing a ponding system, in a park setting, on the Tri-W property."

    At $38.75/month. And, hey, I never said she wasn't good at behavior-based-marketing.

    "Did the project morph? Yes."

    No. The first project failed. (As did the second project, now that I think about it.)

    "Does that change the fact the majority of property owners and residents voted to put a sewer park in the middle of town by forming the CSD?"

    That was never a "fact." According to the Solution Group's marketing material, their ponding system only allowed for recreational "opportunities." A park was never included in their cost estimates.

    "Take your "community values" argument, and shove it, Ron. It's tired and it's pointless."

    It's right on the money, according to a stack of official documents, and Steve Monowitz at the Coastal Commission.

    "The County will, with the PROPERTY OWNERS blessing, put a sewer where ever they want, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it."

    Finally, you got something right. Think those property owners will be blessing Tri-W again anytime soon?

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:48 AM, February 12, 2007  

  • ...and Steve Monowitz at the Coastal Commission....:

    I still haven't seen or heard anything from Steve backing up your claims.

    "Think those property owners will be blessing Tri-W again anytime soon?"

    If it's the most viable (cheapest) option, I absolutely do. If the recall had been up to the property owners alone, we'd have a sewer plant nearing completion, no fines, no CDOs, and a low interest loan to pay for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 PM, February 12, 2007  

  • Here's how it went down: The Solution's Group main players, Mr and Mrs. Pandora (Nash and Karner), led the town to believe that their project would be 'drop dead gorgeous, faster better CHEAPER' $5.00 per month deal. The town (the masses) operates off of superficial impressions and nicely depicted drawings of happy people in a park like setting.
    So, with brochures in hand, the masses voted for the Solution's group morph into CSD and then voted to pass that CSD's 1st project based on what they were led to believe: beautiful park like setting is a sewer. That was Solutions Group/CSD's 1st project.
    Then all the sweet green icing flowed down. So they SWITCHED to Project #2.
    The masses superficial impression of this project was that it was a building that would stink and for $10.00 per month; where was their park-sewer for $5.00 per month, they clamored!?
    When approval came before the Coastal Commission, the town was grumbling about the loss of the sewer-included-park type sewer. Not- we must have a park and at any cost so add one in.
    However, when the Coastal Commission commented on the bait and switch, they meant the town was led to believe the sewer would have certain amenities and now it doesn't. So the CSD puts the park and stuff back in which drove up the cost to $20.00 per month (in essence pricing).
    Hence, the Coastal Commission is not going to admit this in the press release requested by Ron Crawford. They have a hand in the debacle. (And if anyone is keeping track of the influence the CCC had on this debacle, they would remember that it was the CCC that helped, if you will, knock the County's sewer off the table by somewhat forcing (or giving the town strong direction) to form a CSD and build their sewer (project #1).
    In addition, the CCC also has other stipulations that are tied into the Tri-W site making that site The Site. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the parksewer who-done-it be tabled and the discussion move to all the Coastal Commission stipulations about the Tri W site. That way you won't be surprised which site becomes the new County approved site and why.
    (Note to the masses: in all likelihood, the park sewer would have smelled and the sewer contained in a building sewer would not have smelled. And the sewer planned by the history-repeats-itself-CSD does not have any odor control and would definitely smell). There are no good guys in this story. All are crazied.

    By Anonymous commentary, at 10:13 PM, February 12, 2007  

  • An Anon wrote:

    "If the recall had been up to the property owners alone, we'd have a sewer plant nearing completion, no fines, no CDOs, and a low interest loan to pay for it."

    I can visualize my old critical thinking professors rolling their eyes at that one. That's deeply flawed logic, for many, many reasons.

    "I still haven't seen or heard anything from Steve backing up your claims."

    You don't have to... all you have to do is wrap your mind around why Potter called the LOCSD "bait and switchy" in 2004. If you get it clear in your mind why he said that, it will become perfectly clear to you that I'm 100-percent right, and have been since September, 2004.

    "If it's the most viable..."

    It's not viable at all. Tri-W was never going to work, and it's a very good thing it got stopped when it did or else the situation would have grown about 1,000 times worse (if you can imagine that. And I think you can.) For God's sake, it took "bait and switchy" to get it permitted. See? Get "bait and switchy" clear in your mind, and you'll see all of this, instantly.

    Commentary wrote:

    "... and then voted to pass that CSD's 1st project based on what they were led to believe: beautiful park like setting is a sewer."

    At $38.75/month. That's key. THAT was Solution Group's/CSD's 1st project.

    "However, when the Coastal Commission commented on the bait and switch, they meant the town was led to believe the sewer would have certain amenities and now it doesn't. "

    That's almost correct. Potter made the "bait and switchy" comment because the CCC was led to believe that the community demanded a "centrally located" park in any sewer plant constructed in Los Osos. That's the only reason why the Commission signed off on Tri-W in 2001-02. So, when the LOCSD ripped the park element out of the plan as soon as they got the green light for Tri-Dub, all of a sudden the only reason to build at Tri-W was no longer in the plan. THAT's why the Commission told the 2004 LOCSD they couldn't move forward with Tri-W without the park in the project. Tri-W should have died before the "chy" left Potter's mouth in "bait and switchy." In other words, it should have gone down like this: "Bait and swit" -- Tri-W's dead.

    "Hence, the Coastal Commission is not going to admit this in the press release requested by Ron Crawford. They have a hand in the debacle."

    They do have a major hand in the mess (especially what they did in 1998), but unless they put out that press release clarifying why there's a multi-million dollar park in the Tri-W project, many in the community are going to think it was the evil Coastal Commission's idea to force that expensive park upon the taxpayers of Los Osos, and that's simply not true, but that's what Pandora and Co. want you to believe... but that is simply not true. THAT's why the CC needs to issue that press release, because right now in Los Osos, due to gobs of behavior-based marketing, many in the community believe the park was the CC's idea, and that makes them look so bad. They have a lot of motivation to clear that up.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:16 AM, February 13, 2007  

  • Yes, the Coastal Commission was led to believe the town wanted a park in the sewer (grin) but when the first CSD removed the park, the town grumbled about where was their park-sewer and about the price. This grumbling - dissatisfaction got back to the CC and they were influenced by that.
    The park sewer was not a new idea for the CC in 2001. Prior to the CC forcing the town to become a CSD, the players like Gordon Hensley, lobbied the Commission about their Solution Group's sewer plan. The CC knew about the group's sewer with all the amenities at that time and were "giving the town a chance to have their own sewer project".
    The park is not the only reason why the CC signed off on the site in 2001-2002. The CC was already told that other sites were bad by the lobbying of G.H and Pandora/Karner's group.
    The players were against the County's plan which was, at that point, locating the sewer east of So. Bay Blvd, near the Jr. Hi School. Gordon Hensley et.al went to the tour of that site and lobbyed the CC to be against that site.
    The C.C. was highly influenced by the lobbying of Gordon Hensley.
    Back to the story of whether or not the CC is viewed as evil and needs to issue a press release: The masses (this is not the players) the masses didn't even know that the park was put back in when they voted against project #2. They voted against project #2 because they believed that the park-sewer had become something else, would smell, was expensive and that the CSD had become exceptionately rude and arrogant. So, the masses are not blaming the CC for the inclusion of the park and it's expense. Pandora's influence is now only over the Dreamers and not the whole town like before; fall out from false propaganda.
    There is more that the CC did when they did approve the site. Those stipulations, concessions, etc. need to be examined.
    How can the CC issue any type of press release when:
    1) they knocked the County's project off the table, and now the County is back trying to build a sewer.
    2) they forced the town to form a CSD and now the town is BK
    3) they know how they were significantly influenced by their friend Gordon Hensley, who is now best friends with the County whose previous sewer he helped dump when he was enemy to the County.
    The CC has so many allegations to answer to, why limit them to the park debacle? Cast a broader net. With regard to the other stipulations surrounding the CC approval of the Tri dub site, how can they approve of a different site and how can the County look at a different site? And yet, would the CC dare to defy the County again, after all the damage done because the CC derailed the County's project? Ah, well, (big yawn), 2/3rds vote will be difficult to achieve for a mystery project so we'll never know.

    By Anonymous commentary, at 7:46 PM, February 13, 2007  

  • Commentary wrote:

    "This grumbling - dissatisfaction got back to the CC and they were influenced by that."

    Define "got back."

    When I spoke with Monowitz on the phone last year, he told me -- and this is a very interesting twist, but it makes a complicated subject even more complicated, but it's worth it -- he told me that the Coastal Commission was originally considering allowing the facility at Tri-W, BUT WITHOUT the park amenities, and the reasons they give for considering that tact are absolutely amazing.

    According to Monowitz, the main reason they were going to allow a sewer plant at Tri-W in 2002, but WITHOUT THE PARK AMENITIES, is because the LOCSD had already wasted so much time chasing the Community Plan, and when that plan failed, the Coastal Commission basically said, "Look, by the time you guys figure out a second project -- the pollution to the water will have continued that much longer, so, now, we think that by the time you obviously inept sewer builders get something going again, it would probably be in the best interest of the environment to lessen the pollution to the water by allowing you to force-fit and jam an industrial sewer plant at your ponding system site. For really no good reason at all, other than the fact that we're sick of you polluting your water while you chase your little Fantasyland project around -- a project that we told you wasn't going to work three years ago."

    Uhhhhggg...

    I ain't kiddin'. That was the decision the Coastal Commission was forced to make in 2002. That's how bad the bumbling got.

    But here's where it gets good: Monowitz told me that they weren't originally going to allow the park at Tri-W because -- and I realize this gets a little confusing, but please follow along because it's really cool -- Tri-W is (was?) ESHA land and a public park is not an "allowable use" on ESHA land.

    Monowitz told me that his office actually drafted a staff report at the time they were amending the Local Coastal Plan to accommodate Tri-W (again, that's how bad it got. The Local Coastal Plan had to be AMENDED to accommodate this damn thing... ON ESHA! What a joke.), and that staff report did not include the park amenities.

    But, and here's where it gets REALLY good, when LOCSD officials, like Buel and Nash-Karner, read that staff report, Monowitz told me that they phoned him -- let me repeat that -- LOCSD officials phoned him, and in a series of conference calls, they essentially begged him to put the amenities BACK in the plan, saying they were "essential components" to any sewer plant in Los Osos. Which he reluctantly did, and the Commission reluctantly agreed with.

    And now they are blaming the park on him. Absolutely disgusting.

    This is just excellent, excellent stuff. So damn interesting.

    Here's something to chew on: Where was a "Blakeslee bill" in 2002? It could've forced the LOCSD to go back to the county's project. The county's nearly approved project was only two-to-three years old at the time the Community Plan failed. Instead of forcing the LOCSD's second project into Tri-Dub, why didn't the Coastal Commission just force the LOCSD to go back to the county's project? (Damn, I'm good.)

    I'm going to take a stab at an answer to that question: Because if that reasonable solution had transpired, then the formation of the LOCSD would have been exposed as the farce it was/is, since the only reason it WAS formed in the first place was to REPLACE the county's plan.

    Ugly stuff, huh?

    See? The whole thing's a mess. Commentary, let me ask you this question: Would you build a $150 million mansion on a shifting-sand foundation?

    That is exactly what is happening with the Tri-Dub project. Clearly, obviously, it shouldn't even be considered for anything these days, and you know who I bet agrees with me on that? Coastal Commissioner, Dave Potter. I need to call him sometime. I think we'd both enjoy that conversation.

    "The CC knew about the group's sewer with all the amenities..."

    That's not accurate. Like I said above, the Community Plan only provided for "future recreational opportunities." It never had amenities in the plan itself. Please tighten up your statements before you post them, there are a lot of other inaccuracies in your post, and I don't feel like addressing them all.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:38 AM, February 14, 2007  

  • "Please tighten up your statements before you post them, there are a lot of other inaccuracies in your post, and I don't feel like addressing them all."


    I'm sorry that you feel that way; my statements are accurate. I don't want to quote sources because I want to remain in privacy.


    Your getting close to what I have eluded too with the ESHA issue you mentioned above. I've seen The Map and it's amazing that a sewer was allowed there at all. The 'why' is the most interesting.


    "Would you build a $150 million mansion on a shifting-sand foundation?"


    It's not my idea, neither is it my idea to discharge a million gallons per day of sewer discharge on the sandy hillside above the town. This is a story of one bad decision followed by another and the why. Here is an important question to consider: Why was Steve M. and the CC putty in the hands of Pandora and Gordon Hensley et.al.? Who has ever had such clout with the CC before?
    " Which he reluctantly did, and the Commission reluctantly agreed with". For what reason? Can others build on ESHA land and that easily? uh, I hardly think so.


    "And now they are blaming the park on him. Absolutely disgusting."


    chuckle, grin, but they should blame him-- for caving in so easily to their whims of the moment! '....but Officer, the Coastal Commission made me do it (add the park in)...Yeh but Officer, they made me do the crime in the first place (add the park in). It was our authority to say no but we said yes- but, but we were reluctant. That should count for something, right?' What a defense, the gall.



    "Here's something to chew on: Where was a "Blakeslee bill" in 2002? It could've forced the LOCSD to go back to the county's project. The county's nearly approved project was only two-to-three years old at the time the Community Plan failed. Instead of forcing the LOCSD's second project into Tri-Dub, why didn't the Coastal Commission just force the LOCSD to go back to the county's project? (Damn, I'm good.)"


    The Blakeslee bill wasn't a thought at that time because the contractor hadn't been hired and fired. Wanting his money, maybe he donated money to Blakeslee's campaign and gave him the idea (his donation was reported in a newspaper). Someone gave Blakeslee the idea, but they are merely rearranging the deck chairs. The County was going to build a sewer, then the first CSD was, now the County is. All the parties involved continue to repeat past behavior that did not achieve their goals.


    Next point to ponder: are Pandora and friends still pressuring the CC? Will the CC continue to cave into their demands?
    Why has Gordon Hensley and Pandora et. al. become so rabid over what they want? Begging the evil despot Roger Briggs to fine their friends, neighbors and themselves and suing everyone everyday. Why are they so rabid? They are suing and fining themselves, how stupid is that? But they're working the County over and the County is happy to have them on board. Read the writing on the wall, the 40 foot one.

    By Anonymous commentary, at 6:54 PM, February 14, 2007  

  • and this, Pandora wasn't even an elected official in 2002 she had no official standing. Monowitz had every right to tell her to go fish.
    Nope, you will not see a press release from the CC. Ron seems to 'cozy' to Monowitz all the time but the bottom line is the CC screwed up big time and they know it. Not so much the staff but especially the Commissioners .... Potter's 'bait & switchy' would have some punch except the Commissioners got the ball rolling on this fiasco. There is and always should be only one overriding concern in the EIR on this project. Water Quality ..... Los Osos screwed themselves and got screwed by getting in the middle of a turf war between two agencies, the Water Boards heritage is conservative blueblood and the CC is liberal social engineering. the legacy of this thing will impair the County of SLO eventually and the County will forever rue writing off that $5 million or so to enable the CSD to form - question, how did the County account for the write-off of that money????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:41 PM, February 14, 2007  

  • Just a couple of mynah birds, aren't you two?

    Nonsense and agreement on one another's bullshit.

    Pure crap!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 PM, February 18, 2007  

  • To Annonypuss,
    At least we can discuss topics and have a free exchange of ideas.

    By Anonymous commentary, at 8:33 PM, February 18, 2007  

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