Friday, January 19, 2007

The Gord-O-Meter

[Note :: 8/11/07: I had the "Gord-O-Meter" in the template section of my blog for months, but I got sick I seeing it all of the time, so I moved it here... seemed like an appropriate place.

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SewerWatch Presents:



Ahhhh... bummer... it looks like the computer script that makes the Gord-O-Meter funny isn't going to work in the post section of the blog. Damn! Oh well, here's what it was: I found a script that counted up, in days, hours, minutes and seconds, and then I put that count-up in front of the following text, so it read something like this: 180 day, 14 hours, 28 minutes, and 52 seconds has elapsed since SewerWatch exposed that environmental activist, recalled Los Osos CSD Director, former Solution Group member, and self-described “San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper”, Gordon Hensley, can stop polluting the waters of California by installing a composting toilet system -- a system that the Regional Water Quality Control Board said “will” improve the water quality in Los Osos -- but has yet to do so."]

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Is it pronounced Gord-OH-Meet-er or Gord-OM-eter, you know, like odometer? Either way, the circumstances demanded it.

I'm going to leave the Gord-O-Meter at the top of this blog until Gordon Hensley, an environmental analyst and recalled LOCSD Director, either puts in a composting toilet system, stops referring to himself as the "San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper," or I get sick of seeing that graphic (and it's my guess, it'll be the latter).

[Re-Posted here: 11/09/07...]



[9/17/07] I can tell that recalled Los Osos Community Services District Director, Gordon Hensley, never played organized sports while he was growing up, because one of the many beautiful life-lessons gleaned from participating in team sports as a youth is that you can't win them all, so when you lose, lose with dignity and class, and Hensley, hands down, is the worst loser I've ever seen.



Los Osos, he's about to sue you, again!



Click here to download a pdf file (622k) of his letter describing his intent to sue the Los Osos CSD... again.



When you read that letter, keep in mind that Hensley is THE San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper. It's just him, according to web sites. Then notice how he makes it seem like SLO Coastkeeper is some type of benevolent, concerned environmental organization, when, in reality, it's just a bitter, recalled LOCSD Director. Also notice that he never once refers to the fact that he is a recalled LOCSD Director, that was primarily responsible for unnecessarily ripping up the Tri-W site in the first place.



Finally, also keep in mind that Hensley voted to schedule his own recall election date at one of the latest possible dates, and that afforded him the window of time to begin site work (a.k.a: a bunch of huge earth moving tractors ripping up "environmentally sensitive" stuff) at the Tri-W site... just four weeks before Los Osos voters would throw him out of office. I wrote about that here. (Boy, is that a horrible law in the election code. What were they thinking?)



That's the kind of mind set that Los Osos has dealt with since 1999. Little wonder the town is in such a mess.

###

18 Comments:

  • Ron, you are such a moron.

    Last I heard, composting toilets can't be permitted in SLO County, so what is the point of this stupid piece?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 AM, January 23, 2007  

  • An Anon wrote:

    "Ron, you are such a moron.

    Last I heard, composting toilets can't be permitted in SLO County, so what is the point of this stupid piece?"


    As Ann recently, and so brilliantly, noted from a comment left on her blog, "the last you heard...".

    According to my excellent, tight sources, the county has a "memorandum of understanding" with the RWQCB when it comes to approving waste discharge stuff, and the staff of the RWQCB all but raves about composting toilet systems (did you read my previous two posts... they're good). So much so, that one of those excellent sources recently told me that property owners in the PZ should be able to considered it a "viable option" to a sewer system.

    (I just e-mailed Matt Thompson of the Water Board staff to get some clarification on their raves about composting toilet systems. If/when he gets back to me, I'll report on it.)

    So, my point is, here's Gordon Hensley, Mr. "San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper," Mr. Joe Environmentalist, Mr. recalled CSD Director, that has a "viable option" to stop polluting the ground water with the "black water" coming out of his septic tank -- a "viable option" that he could do today, but chooses NOT to do so, therefore, he continues to unnecessarily pollute the coast of San Luis Obispo County.

    Kinda hypocritical, dontcha think?

    Is the Gord-O-Meter sophomoric? Yes? Is it a bit juvenile? Probably. Do I chuckle out loud every single time I think about it? Oh, hell yea.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:33 AM, January 23, 2007  

  • Yeah, you really crack yourself up.

    Has the County of SLO ever permitted a composting toilet? What do your "tight, excellent sources" say? I attended a BOS meeting during the CDP appeal in which someone stated she would refuse to hook up to the LO sewer and install a composting toilet instead, and was told by County staff that said toilets were not legal and would not be permitted.

    Heard it with my own ears.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:22 PM, January 23, 2007  

  • Anon wrote:

    "I attended a BOS meeting during the CDP appeal in which someone stated she would refuse to hook up to the LO sewer and install a composting toilet instead, and was told by County staff that said toilets were not legal and would not be permitted."

    If I'm not mistaken, that was before that staff report was released by the RWQCB staff where they gushed about composting toilets. It would be interesting to hear what the BOS has to say these days, after they read Item 19.

    "Yeah, you really crack yourself up."

    One of my favorite things in life.

    By Blogger Ron, at 1:35 PM, January 23, 2007  

  • Ron,

    "It would be interesting to hear what the BOS has to say these days, after they read Item 19."

    Why don't you ask your "excellent" sources if:

    a) the County has EVER permitted a composting toilet in a densely populated area;

    and

    b) given the RWQCB's new-found love of composting toilets, does the County have any plans to change it's permitting policy?

    I'd love to hear what your "tight" sources have to say.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM, January 23, 2007  

  • This is a crack up Ron! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:44 AM, January 24, 2007  

  • Anon asked:

    "Why don't you ask your "excellent" sources if:

    a) the County has EVER permitted a composting toilet in a densely populated area;"


    As my excellent sources said, the county doesn't really have any say in that kind of stuff. They've deferred that authority to the RWQCB, and the RWQCB's staff considered "requiring" composting toilets in the densely populated PZ, and that means you can consider them "permitted" in the PZ.

    Seriously, all you have to do is order the system and put it in, it's no big deal. Mix in some research on the systems... they're actually kind of cool, easy to install, and one of the "few alternatives" with nothing but immense upside, and NO downside at all, according to the RWQCB staff.

    and;

    "b) given the RWQCB's new-found love of composting toilets, does the County have any plans to change it's permitting policy?"

    Again, according to my tight sources, the County is second in command in the permitting pecking order (if I can mix my metaphors). In other words, if the RWQCB LIKES composting toilets -- and they do, according to their own documents -- then the county LOVES them.

    Good questions.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:30 AM, January 24, 2007  

  • Anon asked:

    "Why don't you ask your "excellent" sources if:

    a) the County has EVER permitted a composting toilet in a densely populated area;"


    As my excellent sources said, the county doesn't really have any say in that kind of stuff. They've deferred that authority to the RWQCB, and the RWQCB's staff considered "requiring" composting toilets in the densely populated PZ, and that means you can consider them "permitted" in the PZ.

    Seriously, all you have to do is order the system and put it in, it's no big deal. Mix in some research on the systems... they're actually kind of cool, easy to install, and one of the "few alternatives" with nothing but immense upside, and NO downside at all, according to the RWQCB staff.

    and;

    "b) given the RWQCB's new-found love of composting toilets, does the County have any plans to change it's permitting policy?"

    Again, according to my tight sources, the County is second in command in the permitting pecking order (if I can mix my metaphors). In other words, if the RWQCB LIKES composting toilets -- and they do, according to their own documents -- then the county LOVES them.

    Good questions.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:30 AM, January 24, 2007  

  • Matt Thompson, at the hearings on Monday, again stated that the County would not allow composting toilets. So who is lying?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 PM, January 24, 2007  

  • Matt Thompson is a bit of a liar, his testimony about that whole "vacate your house" if the sewer isn't making progress thing it's pretty apparent the guy has a fibbing problem.

    By Anonymous paying attention, at 9:07 AM, January 25, 2007  

  • An Anon wrote:

    "Matt Thompson, at the hearings on Monday, again stated that the County would not allow composting toilets. So who is lying?"

    Well, now that's very interesting, and another good question.

    On 1/23/07, I sent Matt Thompson this e-mail:
    - - -
    Hello Mr. Thompson,

    I'm a freelance writer researching a story on Los Osos, and Sorrel Marks of your staff directed me to you for some possible answers to a couple of questions I have:

    First, in a 2004 RWQCB staff report linked here:

    http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb3/Board/Agendas/070904/ItemReports/Item19/documents/Item19staffrpt.pdf

    it reads:

    Require Alternative Waste Disposal Units - The Regional Board could (through General Waste Discharge Requirements, Cleanup and Abatement Orders, or Cease and Desist Orders) require use of alternative waste
    disposal units.

    Advanced treatment units (for improved effluent quality), portable toilets and/or composting toilets (for reduced discharges, as discussed in previous section regarding prohibiting black water discharges) could be required. Such units could be required for existing discharges using Cleanup and Abatement or Cease and Desist
    Orders, or for new discharges using General Waste Discharge Requirements.

    Pros: For those existing discharges where such alternatives are implemented, water quality improvement will occur. If General Waste Discharge Requirements are adopted by the Regional Board which authorize development of vacant lots, then this method may also provide benefits similar to those described under the 'Rescinding Resolution No. 83-13' section above.

    Cons: Widespread implementation of this alternative would result in more costly waste treatment and less effective water quality protection than that offered by the community sewer. However, it remains one of the few alternatives, which can result in water quality improvement and is not subject to Coastal Commission approval. The previous discussion about the questionable availability of this huge number of outhouses, would also apply to availability of
    other types of alternative treatment methods.


    Here are my questions:

    If staff was considering requiring composting toilets in 2004, then why can't a property owner in the prohibition zone just go ahead and choose to install a composting toilet system today -- a system that staff said, "can result in water quality improvement and is not subject to Coastal Commission approval," and, if installed, "water quality improvement will occur?"

    The cost "con" is up to the property owner, isn't it?

    Also, after reading that staff report, I'm not clear on why a vacant lot owner couldn't choose a composting toilet system for their new home, and then just go ahead and build to all other county regulations? What's stopping them from doing that?

    According to the staff report, it appears that there's little downside with a composting toilet system, and immense upside (environmental, cost, timeliness, expediency, etc.). Am I wrong on that? If so, please tell me where. (I'm the rare person that actually enjoys being told where I'm wrong. I learn from it.)

    Thank you in advance for your answers. I really do appreciate your time.
    Ron
    - - -

    He's yet to reply, but it sure sounds like there's a lot of clarification that needs to happen here, yes?

    Also... I recently noticed that the Gord-O-Meter doesn't work on my Opera browser. Bummer. So, apparently, it doesn't work on some browsers (I think it's a javascript thing, so if you have your javascript option turned off on your browser, you're not going to see it). If you're not seeing it, here's what you're missing: Under the Gord-O-Meter graphic at the top of my blog is a clock that is counting up, in seconds, from Jan. 1... the date where I showed that the staff of the RWQCB all buts raves about composting toilets, yet Hensley has yet to install one at his home in the PZ. The clock just keeps a-tickin' away... tick, tick, tick. I made sure I found a script that counted off the seconds so you can actually see the time ticking past... funny stuff.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:13 AM, January 25, 2007  

  • Ron,

    "...I made sure I found a script that counted off the seconds so you can actually see the time ticking past... funny stuff."

    No, not so much. Just stupid.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:09 PM, January 25, 2007  

  • Itis hysterical, Ron. We can always count on you for a little comic relief. God knows we need it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 PM, January 25, 2007  

  • Anon wrote:

    "Matt Thompson, at the hearings on Monday, again stated that the County would not allow composting toilets."

    I was thinking about that take yesterday, and something occurred to me; Would that still be the County's stance after they read Item 19?

    Here's what I think is happening: The County's not down with composting toilets because they think the Water Board is not down. But the County's not aware of Item 19. If they were, why wouldn't they just say, "If you guys like them, we love them."? There would be no reason not to.

    And, one more thing... I'm no contractor or legal professional, but I don't see why a permit is even needed in the first place. For what? Making compost? Is there some sort of double-secret government composting permit that I'm not aware of. Look, these systems are elegant, and simple, yet fairly hi-tech, and they make a hell of a lot of sense for Los Osos, for many reasons, as the staff of the RWQCB so accurately points out.

    You want a permit to install a composting toilet in Los Osos? Then print out page 6 of Item 19. There's your permit... feel free to call it the "SewerWatch Permit."

    An Anon wrote:

    "No, not so much. Just stupid."

    That's actually good news... that means the Gord-O-Meter is working on your browser.

    Thanks for the beta testing.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:17 AM, January 26, 2007  

  • "For what? Making compost?"

    And where will one use that compost? Compost containing human DNA can't be spread on anything in this County.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 AM, January 29, 2007  

  • Anon wrote:

    "Compost containing human DNA can't be spread on anything in this County."

    What's the source on that? Also, if that was the case, why didn't the staff of the RWQCB list that as a "con?"

    So, according to that unsourced claim, if you spit into your garden composting bin, it's against the law to use that compost in SLO County?

    That law is on the books? I'm going to have to see that.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:42 AM, January 29, 2007  

  • Just to continue a SewerWatch tradition... Gotta call my shot before the game: Colts 23 - Bears 20.

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:09 AM, February 02, 2007  

  • Bears 29, Colts 13.

    Manning, 31-44, 385 yards, 4 picks.

    Grossman, 5-17, 89 yards, no picks, 1 TD. Just win, baby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:31 AM, February 03, 2007  

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