Monday, June 09, 2008

It's official: "wastewater treatment facility anticipated to be east of town."

"If we delay further, the State or the County will build the current, permitted project at the same location for higher cost."
-- Save the Dream newsletter, 2005, pre-recall

Los Osos? Today, you should be outraged.

Why?

Because for five years, from 2000 - 2005, you were told by your Los Osos Community Services District that, when it comes to siting a sewer plant for the town, there was only one place it could be built -- the intensely controversial, wildly unpopular, environmentally sensitive, mid-town "Tri-W" site.

However, according to a just-released document from county officials, the Tri-W site, these days, doesn't even make the short-list for potential sewer plant sites in Los Osos.

"Potential sites for the wastewater treatment plant include Giacomazzi, Cemetery, Branin, Tonini Ranch, Turri Road, Gorby, Morosin, Andre 2, and Robbins 1 and 2, among others," reads the Revised Final Draft of the Out-of-Town Conveyance technical memorandum.

The document also states, "... the wastewater treatment facility anticipated to be east of town."

This morning, I sent the following e-mail to SLO County Public Works Director, Paavo Ogren:

- - -
Hello Paavo,

In the Revised Final Draft of the Out-of-Town Conveyance technical memorandum, it reads:

"Potential sites for the wastewater treatment plant include Giacomazzi, Cemetery, Branin, Tonini Ranch, Turri Road, Gorby, Morosin, Andre 2, and Robbins 1 and 2, among others."

Does that mean that the Tri-W site is no longer being considered as a potential site for the wastewater treatment plant?
- - -

He has yet to reply.

Now that we've had two years to contrast the county's technical documents for the Los Osos Wastewater project, to the 2000 - 2005 LOCSD's technical documents for their Tri-W project, it's time to be frank.

Los Osos? Without question, you were lied to by the 2000 - 2005 LOCSD Board majority... over, and over, and over again.

They told you (and the Coastal Commission) that there were no other feasible locations for the sewer plant, other than the downtown, environmentally sensitive Tri-W site. That was a lie.

They told you (and the Coastal Commission) that they conducted an "exhaustive assessment of alternative sites" to determine if there was a feasible option to the unpopular, mid-town site. That was a lie.

They told you (and the Coastal Commission) that the Tri-W location would be cheaper because it wouldn't take as much pipe and energy due to its central location. That was a lie.

They told you that out-of-town sites wouldn't work because there was a creek that would have to be crossed. That was a lie. (They didn't tell that lie to the Coastal Commission, however, because the Commission's staff, namely, Steve Monowitz, knew that one was a lie. And, you know who bit onto that lie the hardest? Former 2nd District Supervisor, Shirley Bianchi.)

They told you (and the Coastal Commission) that there was a "strongly held community value" in Los Osos, that any sewer plant must also double as a "centrally located recreational asset." That was a lie.

Everything -- everything -- they told you (and the Coastal Commission) about why they selected a site in the middle of town for their sewer plant, was a lie.

And they spent over $20 million of your money developing those lies, and those five years worth of lies also cost State taxpayers anywhere from $50 - $100 million, and counting.

And, worst of all, Los Osos, you paid them to lie to you, and, because you paid them to lie to you for years about why they had to build their sewer plant at a wildly unpopular, three-blocks-upwind-from-downtown, environmentally sensitive location, your town was promptly ripped apart, and, of course, hurled into bankruptcy.

So, why was Tri-W REALLY selected?

Los Osos, the Coastal Commission, and California taxpayers (especially California taxpayers) all deserve to know the answer to that question... lord knows we've paid for it.

###

26 Comments:

  • Well Ron, busy at the spin machine again I see.

    Since you are stuck in history and a nit picker, maybe you can clarify this for your 10 readers.

    1. Was the Tonini ranch even available in 2001?

    2. Are you telling us that there WILL NOT BE increased costs for pumping the waste out of town and then pumping the treated wastewater back into town? Is that what you are saying here?

    3. Can you explain how people on both sides of the recall issue ALL support having a park at Tri-W? Can you explain how having a pond RIGHT AT TRi-W as the first try for wastewater treatment was so embraced by everyone?

    4. Are you claiming that the recall candidates didn't LIE to us with their unfounded claims as to price for a WWTF out of town? How about the unapproved use of the County seal and Blakeslee's image? Wasn't that lying?

    The "intensely controversial, wildly unpopular" part came into being courtesy of the "no-sewerites" whether you care to acknowledge that or not. They would make ANY place for a sewer the wrong place. THOSE are the people who LIED to us. Well, they don't have to work so hard this time around because there are PLENTY of people out of town that DO NOT WANT our sewer out in their turf. It would not have the mitigations on it that Tri-W had, that's for sure.

    OK, point 5. If we get those ponds out of town and after we pay the electricity to pump the water out of town and back into town, what happens when the State mandates cleaner water or the water purveyors need water to be the quality that MBR technology would provide - how much MORE will that cost us down the road Ron? I'd like the answer to that question.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 2:01 PM, June 09, 2008  

  • Sewertoons, some of your questions are nonsequiturs. Unapproved use of the County seal and Blakeslee's image? What's tht got to do with the price of potatoes?

    Paavo Ogren had it right when he stated that the CSD didn't have the resources to do what the county did, that is actually, seriously look at alternatives. This "Process" is what SHOULD have happened years ago. It didn't, for the reason Paavo mentioned (he should know, he was the origial GM) As for why the community embraced The Ponds of Avalon, I have a hint for you: Price. Avalon for less than $50 a month versus $100 for the county plan. That was a powerful selling point. Of course, as Ron has pointed out, the Ponds of Avalon were dead before birth, even thought the community wasn't told that & etc.

    Looking at what happened here and what the County is in the Process of completing, I can only say, AGAIN, Oh Loooocy, Joooo Gotta Lotta 'Splainin' to doooooo. . . .

    That's Ron's point and no amout of non sequitur deflection will disguise the sorry fact that a whole lot of sticky fingers, lies, and asleep at the switch regulators and oversight agencies helped shove this train off the cliff. The proof of that will arrive in the form of the County's final repoprt.

    By Blogger Churadogs, at 8:25 AM, June 10, 2008  

  • I'm not a fan of this analogy, because a lot of people died because of it, but it's very apropos here.

    'toons? You are a textbook example of someone that drank the 1998 - 2005 LOCSD's Kool-aid. I can tell by the way you write that you, like many in Los Osos, actually believed the glossy newsletters that the LOCSD was popping out (using your, and your neighbor's money). BIG MISTAKE!

    For example, toons wrote:

    "2. Are you telling us that there WILL NOT BE increased costs for pumping the waste out of town and then pumping the treated wastewater back into town? Is that what you are saying here?"

    They confused and fooled everyone (save, me, of course) with that one. YES! There WILL be increased costs associated with pumping the waste out of town. Oh, hell yes there will be. The estimates I've seen on that figure run about $3 - $5 million more for the pipe and energy to do that.

    But here's what they never told anyone: The cost to make a downtown sewer plant "urban compatible" (That's the county's awesome phrase) runs anywhere from $30 - $50 million! And because it's downtown, according to documents, it's much less flexible, much more energy intensive, and, oh, poses the "highest risk" for spills into the bay.

    I wrote all about that at this link, when I wrote:

    - - -
    Even one of its few "pros" isn't a pro at all.

    Pro: "The advantages of the Tri-W site are that it is central to the collection system."

    Their reasoning for calling that a "pro" is that it saves money because everything doesn't need to be pumped out of town, and that saves energy. But that's a ridiculous argument, because, according to their own numbers, building the treatment facility in town adds over $30 million to the cost to make it "urban compatible."

    According to past LOCSD documents, the cost of the energy to pump everything about a mile or so out of town is about $30,000 a year.

    Where's my calculator? Let's see here... $30 million divided by $30,000... yep... that's what I thought. That $30 million bucks worth of "urban compatibility" would pay for 1,000 years of the extra pumping costs.

    The TAC even admits that Tri-W has "higher costs overall." So, why do they say things like this: Pro: "Lower cost for collection piping to treatment center"? Nice logic, guys.

    It makes no sense, and it looks like they were just trying to show something, anything as a reason why the site was originally selected by the 2001 LOCSD in the first place, when the hard truth is, there was/is no rationale whatsoever behind the Tri-W siting, as the pro/con analysis clearly shows.
    - - -

    That nails it. That's exactly right. ZERO rationale.

    'toons wrote:

    "Can you explain how having a pond RIGHT AT TRi-W as the first try for wastewater treatment was so embraced by everyone?"

    Can I? 'toons? I HAVE!... about a thousand times: "Maximum monthly payment of $38.75 per month." Just like Ann points out.

    See 'toons? You do the double-whammy f-up. You listen to them, and you either don't read, or you don't comprehend me. I can't overemphasize what a colossal mistake that is.

    'toons:

    "Can you explain how people on both sides of the recall issue ALL support having a park at Tri-W?"

    How many on "both sides" (and by "both sides" I assume you mean the people that drank the Kool-aid, and those that didn't) support including a sewer plant in that park?

    Churadogs wrote:

    "Paavo Ogren had it right when he stated that the CSD didn't have the resources to do what the county did"

    Exactly. That's why two other attempts in the 1990s to form a CSD in Los Osos failed... before Pandora's "behavior based marketing" gave your town "better, cheaper, faster" in 1998. After she did that, 87-percent voted for the LOCSD, just two years after the previous attempt failed. See how that all works?

    Chura:

    "This "Process" is what SHOULD have happened years ago. It didn't, for the reason Paavo mentioned..."

    I don't buy that. I think it didn't happen for more nefarious reasons. It really looks like, that, once the CSD was formed, they were going to build on Tri-W, no matter what. They could have had an ocean of "resources," to REALLY conduct an "exhaustive study" of alternative sites, and it was STILL going to be built at Tri-W.

    Of course, the $200 million question these days is, "Why?"

    "The proof of that will arrive in the form of the County's final repoprt."

    Then what?!!! When the county's official documents show that the citizens of Los Osos were lied to for five years, then what?!!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:18 AM, June 10, 2008  

  • I wanted to quickly add what I think is an interesting twist to my "Kool-aid" take:

    I don't blame anyone in Los Osos for drinking it.

    I mean, let's face it, if the past 17 years in Los Osos have taught us anything, it's that "behavior based marketing" works!

    And, it worked on everyone, not just the citizens of Los Osos. It worked on the 1998 Coastal Commission. It worked on Roger Briggs. It worked on Steve Monowitz (and, to date, Monowitz is the only person with the character to admit it). It worked on Darrin Polehemus. The list just goes on, and on, and on with official people it has worked on.

    So, I don't blame people like 'toons at all.

    What the 1998 - 2005 LOCSD's PR machine lacked in honesty, it made up for in persuasiveness.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:50 AM, June 10, 2008  

  • You go on and on about Pandora Ron, but what has the "new" Board lacked Ron? Honesty perhaps? Can you say it if I spell it out? New Board - lacked H-O-N-E-S-T-Y. Why do you always quit at 2005?

    I didn't live here prior to April of '05, so I was not influenced by marketing on ponds. I was influenced by all of the recall info and Measure B, but was not fooled and voted NO. I was willing to pay the $200/mo. as I paid quite a bit less for this house than the comparable house in Morro Bay. I liked Los Osos better and was willing to pay for it. I think there is quite a bit of population here that feels this life is OWED to them and that they should not have to pay. I am appalled by their willingness to pollute and live in denial that they are doing so.

    As to "it's much less flexible" - I say GOOD. Sorry, you put the thing with its flexibility out of town and you will see growth. I'm for build out here in town and no more. You REALLY trust that the water used on farms out there will not wind up as water for bathtubs and lawns at some later date when this all cools down? I'm not. Bahman Shiekh said at a Ripley meeting that the town would grow right out around the plant. I say it will jump the greenbelt and start right there. I'm not talking next week, but in 10 years, just watch what happens if it goes out there.

    Ann says, "Unapproved use of the County seal and Blakeslee's image? What's tht got to do with the price of potatoes? " Honesty? Marketing geared NOT at truth (Lisa's admission at the Water Board that their was NO PLAN)-- but WINNING? How is this different from what Ron accuses the Solutions Group from doing?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:46 AM, June 10, 2008  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 12:14 PM, June 10, 2008  

  • The other question, (not the ultimate one, that's for sure), is:
    As there will be a survey, assuming there will be some choices not too far apart in cost -- what do we want and what will we pay - irrespective of what the BOS picks.

    Hey, I'd pick a mid-town park, rather than some beautiful viewshed covered with acres of matching oblong ponds surrounded by chain link.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 1:47 PM, June 10, 2008  

  • toons wrote:

    "Hey, I'd pick a mid-town park"

    You mean mid-town "sewer-park," don't you? (uhg... Thank God that project is now in the hands of real engineers.)

    Another funny thing that occurred to me recently, when those real engineers wrap all of this up, watch how easy it's all going to be (unless, of course, Gordon and Pandora also want to attempt to dissolve SLO County government for not building their embarrassment.)

    I predict, that in about three years, everyone's going to be standing around, scratching their heads, and wondering, "What was the big f-ing deal?"

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:18 AM, June 11, 2008  

  • Yes, I mean a mid-town sewer park. if a pond was OK with no odor mitigation, then a park with an odor-mitigated enclosed plant is OK by me. Think about the on-the-ocean sewer park in San Francisco. You know which one I mean, don't you?

    I think you STILL don't get what the costs of stopping the project are.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 1:19 PM, June 11, 2008  

  • Ron - you were asked a question by sewertoons (and many others in the past):

    "Why do you always quit at 2005?"

    Another question for you:

    Why won't you answer it?

    By Blogger Realistic1, at 3:02 PM, June 11, 2008  

  • And btw, "it's boring" is a cop-out answer.

    It's not boring to those of us who have to pay for what the post-recall board has done.

    By Blogger Realistic1, at 7:10 PM, June 11, 2008  

  • Ron,

    It looks like you deleted a comment. Why is that?

    To anyone else ... do any of you have a copy of the deleted comment? I am curious what Ron found so objectionable that he thought that censorship was preferable to allowing the comment to remain.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 10:58 AM, June 12, 2008  

  • Anon wrote:

    "Ron,

    It looks like you deleted a comment. Why is that?"


    See my brilliant, new posting rules towards the bottom of this link.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:13 AM, June 12, 2008  

  • Oh, I get it ... you feel that you were insulted and because I've not told you my "real name" you deleted the comment.

    Let me ask you then ... so I can avoid doing it in the future (after all, I don't care to be censored) ... what about my comment did you feel was an insult? I certainly didn't intend it to be an insult.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 1:08 PM, June 12, 2008  

  • Ron,

    'Cause I'm really nice and want to help you, I'm going to offer the following suggestion to keep people from viewing you as so biased that you can't play fair.

    You might want to edit posts to eliminate the part or parts which you view as inappropriate, leaving the remaining content (in some fashion) or ... before deleting content, you could the author that content indicating that you are deleting the comment but inviting a re-submission after particular portions are re-written. Sure, it will take an extra few minutes, but don't you think your reputation is worth it?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 1:34 PM, June 12, 2008  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Realistic1, at 2:47 PM, June 12, 2008  

  • An anonymous person wrote:

    "what about my comment did you feel was an insult? I certainly didn't intend it to be an insult."

    Well, like I wrote to R1, I'm not about to keep track of what you anonymous losers post on my site, but, if I remember correctly, I think you said that "Ron hates parks."

    I love parks. That mildly insulted me, and since you're anonymous, that's all it took (well, that and about three seconds) to delete it.

    Rule of thumb, Anon? If you want to continue to remain anonymous, and have your comments stay on my blog, you might want to leave me out of your posts entirely, and just talk about the subject at hand -- like the fact that every sewer-related document that comes out of the county these days shows the Tri-W project to be the complete embarrassment that I've reported it to be over the past four years.

    "You might want to edit posts"

    Are you serious? Do you really think I'm going to sit around and edit posts from anonymous losers? You're lucky I'm responding to you right now.

    There will be no editing. If you write 50 paragraphs anonymously, and, one line in that posts says something stupid like, "Ron hates parks," that entire post will be deleted, unless you want to use your real name, of course. Then it will stay.

    Awesome.

    By Blogger Ron, at 8:57 AM, June 13, 2008  

  • Ron,

    Come on ... anyone but the most obtuse of your readers would understand that my comment was not a literal claim about whether you like parks or not.

    I would also suggest that if you don't want to feel insulted at all, you might want to be a bit more kind in your treatment of others. Certainly what you've written about me at times has been intentionally insulting ("anonymous losers" comes to mind).

    I would also suggest that anonymity and politeness are orthogonal. That is ... rude is rude, anonymous is anonymous and signing your name to a comment doesn't make it somehow less rude.

    I simply don't understand how you can justify to yourself deleting my "ron hates parks" comment made in jest when you at the same time call me an anonymous loser. It is neither logically consistent nor gracious at all.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 10:00 AM, June 13, 2008  

  • Ron, someone may post under an assumed "real name" but does that make that person actually "real?"

    Does a "real" name have to belong to someone known to us publically to make them believable as real?

    I can change my blog name to my real name, but would you have a clue as to who I was? Would you look me up in a phone directory? Drive by my house? How are you going to address this?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:31 AM, June 13, 2008  

  • Sewertoons does have an excellent point here.

    There is a "danblesky" posting on Ann's blog and I rather doubt that he is the actual "Dan Blesky" of the LOCSD.

    If I were to start posting under the name "Gordon Hensley" (whom I am not), how would Ron know that I was not the real Gordon?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 11:49 AM, June 13, 2008  

  • Ron, you should delete the last comment... just hearing the name Gordon Hensley is insulting.

    By Blogger Steven, at 12:26 PM, June 13, 2008  

  • Shark -

    It doesn't matter what you say. I defended Ron's right to delete posts, and he deleted my comment anyway. I guess he just doesn't like me...what's an "anonymous loser" to do?

    Cheers,

    Real 1

    By Blogger Realistic1, at 1:03 PM, June 13, 2008  

  • steven, at some point you are just going to have to grow up. This is not high school anymore.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 2:03 PM, June 13, 2008  

  • I dunno, Tunes ... I thought Steven's comment was both pretty funny and insightful. Perhaps Ron ought to ban the use of any names of any actual people from Los Osos because I am sure that we've all offended someone at one point in time or another and so we can protect the delicate sensibilities of various dainty people by simply not using any names at all.

    By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 2:27 PM, June 13, 2008  

  • Good idea! I be happy to be called anon34! Sounds like something out of Star Trek!

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 4:38 PM, June 13, 2008  

  • Ok, so that was interesting, now, back to the topic: the sewer is moving out to Los Osos Valley and a comment about the people out in that area not liking that idea. What ever happened to the group that formed in Los Osos Valley? I haven’t read anything about it. But it’s caused me to ponder the plight of those poor villagers out in the little hamlet of Bear Valley and how big government and their nasty neighbors are going to impose a sewer on them and it won’t even be a sewer-park.


    So, I was trying to come up with who can help them stop the sewer. Two resumes come to mind: Pandora/Karner/Hensley Solution/first CSD group stopped a sewer. They stopped the County’s sewer. And, they stopped their own sewer that was a sewer that got them elected and formed a CSD. Then there is Julie Tacker’s group. They stopped a sewer; the first CSD’s second sewer. So they each have on-the-job experience in sewer stopping. Maybe it doesn’t count to stop your own sewer so the two groups are equal in each stopping one sewer.

    How can one choose which group the L.O.Valley villagers should hire? Both groups are equal on truth, ethics and ruthlessness. Both stoppages cost millions of dollars. Maybe Julie Tackers group would be good for the job because the reasons they want the sewer moved is the SAME EXACT reasons the valley residents have and so it wouldn’t cost much money to hire them since they could use their same material/work product.

    Well, things don’t look good for Los Osos Valley, but to them I say, don’t give up, sewers have been stopped before.

    By Blogger Commentary, at 8:51 PM, June 15, 2008  

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