Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Want to be Like Gordon Hensley

Free Image HostingIn a strange way, I'm a fan of the way recalled Los Osos CSD Director, Gordon Hensley, goes about his business.

He IS the "group." He IS the "organization."

It's smart, albeit sneaky.

Let's take the local environmental "group," San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, for example.

On the front page of that "organization's" web site, it reads, "... the homepage for Environment in the Public Interest and the San Luis Obispo COASTKEEPER®."

However, if you click on the "About Us" page, you quickly realize that SLO Coastkeeper is Gordon Hensley. Hensley is the SLO Coastkeeper. It's just him. (Also notice how that web site says things like, "About Us," and, "Contact Us," and, "Our motivation"... huh? What's with the "us" and "our?" Shouldn't that be "me" and "my?")

Then there's his citizen's group, Taxpayers Watch, that was "formed" by the recalled Los Osos CSD Directors in early 2006, almost immediately after they were recalled from office.

One of those Directors, Stan Gustafson, moved out of the state long ago (a very wise decision), the other Director, Richard LeGros, recently stated, publicly, that he is not technically a "member" of Taxpayers Watch, just a very, very vocal "supporter."

And that leaves Gordon Hensley as the only remaining recalled CSD Director whose name shows up on official Taxpayers Watch documents.

It's just him, from the original three.

He IS SLO Coastkeeper. He IS Taxpayers Watch.

(In full disclosure, there could be, kinda-sorta, maybe, a couple -- a couple -- of other LO citizens that sometimes might casually refer to themselves as Taxpayers Watch "members," in a hazy, dwindling, "we're not recalled CSD Directors," sort of way, so, I'm just going to round it off: Gordon Hensley IS Taxpayers Watch. It's just him.)

Here's where it gets interesting(er). Every now and then, Hensley likes to take his one-man "organizations" out for a spin, where he pretends that they're real "organizations" (you know, like, staffed with real people), and then he runs around influencing official things with them, including laws.

For example, in the "bill analysis" for AB 2701, the legislation that handed SLO County officials the reins for the Los Osos sewer project, that Hensley controlled, in-part, before he was recalled, it reads:


- Local Agency Formation Commission Serving San Luis Obispo County
- Regional Council of Rural Counties
- San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper
- San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors
- San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association
- Sierra Club
- Taxpayers Watch"

- - -

I'm so impressed.

Two of the seven "groups" that officially supported AB 2701 are actually just one person -- recalled Los Osos CSD Director, Gordon Hensley.

I so want to do that -- just make up some "organizations," like:

"Americans for Democracy"

"Mothers for Children"

"Citizens for Responsible Government Spending"


And all of those "groups" would just be me.

Then, like Hensley, I could just run around with all of my one-man organizations, and create and support laws that fit my agenda.


SACRAMENTO, CA: Multiple respected organizations have thrown their support behind the creation of a "Fairness for Left Handers" law. (Note: SewerWatch is left handed.)

The organizations, Americans for Democracy, Mothers for Children, Citizens for Responsible Government Spending, and LawWatch all support the creation of such legislation.

"The time has come to change our unconstitutional 'Rights Only' policies," said SewerWatch, spokesperson for Americans for Democracy. "It is time for our oppressed, left handed, fellow Americans to get the same democratic freedom and respect that is afforded to right handed people."

"Americans for Democracy is proud to join with our esteemed, and brave, colleagues at Citizens for Responsible Government Spending, Mothers for Children, and LawWatch in demanding equal treatment for our strong, American, left handed brothers and sisters. America. Democracy. Brave. Freedom. Move forward. Liberty... uh, did I mention America?," SewerWatch said.


And then, I'd make sure that, buried deep in all the "blah, blah, blah" part of my "Fairness for Left Handers" law, would be this:

In the event that the name of a day of the week ends in the letter "y," left handers will receive federally-funded malted beverages. (Which was pretty much my only agenda to begin with.)

And, when it comes to the part of the law that says, "Supported by"

It'll read:


- Americans for Democracy
- Mothers for Children
- Citizens for Responsible Government Spending
- LawWatch

(Aw, what the heck, I'd make up another "group" just for this law)

- The Lefty Rights Alliance

Of course my legislation would become law!

Who in their right mind would want to take on all of those seemingly distinguished "organizations," representing all of those "oppressed" people?

And, in the unlikely event that a lawmaker, like local Assemblyman, Sam Blakeslee (author of AB 2701) caught on to my little game (unlike Hensley's), I could go to the, "Blakeslee Opposes Mothers for Children!" card.

And, boom, I'd get free beer, and, oh yea, probably some other "liberties," or whatever.

(You know, now that I think about it, it does kind of bug me when I see those full sets of golf clubs advertised for $99*, and the "*", in tiny print, is: "right handed only." I'd make sure my law fixed that kind of stuff, while I was getting my free beer.)

Hensley also uses his one-man groups to influence more than laws. He uses them to influence communities, like Los Osos, the same community that recalled him from office three years ago (something he obviously hasn't forgotten).

For example, this Saturday, September 13, less than two months from the next Los Osos Community Services District Board election, the "citizens group," Water Health 2 Outreach (WH2O), will hold a "free" event at the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos, titled, "Activating water conservation through self-education."

Awww. How nice.

However, according to the WH2O web site,, WH2O is "the education and outreach arm of the San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper."

It also lists the sole "sponsor" of the event as "San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper" (you guessed it... a.k.a: Gordon Hensley)

According to, the "Founder and Co-Chair" of WH2O is current Los Osos CSD Director candidate, Maria Kelly.

I recently e-mailed Kelly these questions:

- - -

  • Considering your group is the "education and outreach arm of the San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper," and Gordon Hensley is THE San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, does that mean Hensley is "the boss" (for lack of a better phrase) of WH2O?

  • On your web site, it says (the event this Saturday is): "Sponsored by San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper" -- and that's it.

    Does that mean that Gordon Hensley is the sole sponsor of that event on Saturday?

    - - -

    Kelly, a candidate for the LOCSD Board this November, has yet to respond.

    I guess any future legislation involving Los Osos will now have these "groups" chiming in:

    - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper
    - Taxpayers Watch
    - Water Health 2 Outreach


    [Addendum (9/12/08): I thought of another excellent point.

    If you go back and look at the "About Us" page for SLO Coastkeeper, you'll see a fairly detailed resumé on Hensley -- where he got his degree, who he's "certified" by, which agencies he's served on -- but what's noticeably missing from his background is the fact that he held a seat on the Los Osos CSD Board of Directors for seven years, before being recalled in 2005.

    During that time, he helped develop an unpopular, mid-town "sewer park," that was to be built on "Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area," when there are several other cheaper, non-ESHA locations available outside of town, according to recent county documents.

    In fact, that's why he was recalled from office, along with Gustafson and LeGros, for mangling the project from 1998 to 2005.

    The legislation Hensley supported, twice, with his two, one-man "organizations," after he was recalled -- AB 2701 -- dealt with one thing, and one thing only: The Los Osos sewer project.

    So, there he was, in 2006, supporting AB 2701 as San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, yet, apparently not telling a soul that SLO Coastkeeper is the same guy that mangled the Los Osos sewer project over a seven year span.

    Furthermore, he was also a member of the Solution Group in 1998 (a fact also missing from his Coastkeeper resumé), along with Gustafson, and Pandora Nash-Karner. All three were elected to the initial LOCSD Board later that year, along with like-minded, Sylvia Smith.

    According to the WH2O web site, Sylvia Smith is their "Treasurer."]


    • Veeeery interesting. Thanks. I'm still grokking the implications but as they say down on the wharf, it smells kinda fishy don't it?

      Right! I totally support your rights to be left. Behind. Outside. Alone. Berift. In the dark. With the body. At the alter. High and dry. And speechless. There is absolutely no reason that just because you're left you shouldn't have these rights. I'm glad Americans for Democracy, Mothers for Children, Citizens for Responsible Government Spending, LawWatch, and The Lefty Rights Alliance are behind you 100%. With support like that how can you go wrong? Plus, you can plant a PayPal Donation link on each website and maybe double your income.

      By Blogger *PG-13, at 9:39 PM, September 11, 2008  

    • Ron's provided a great reason to vote for Maria. She didn't respond to his e-mail, which shows excellant judgement.

      Good that she doesn't waste time responding on hopeless and irrelevant causes!

      By Blogger Frank, at 8:18 PM, September 12, 2008  

    • Ron,

      Don't you think that your recent refusal to believe videotaped evidence about Maria's position on dissolution and your continued misrepresentation of her position might have caused her to view you as less of a reporter of facts and more of a political henchman?

      Face it, the moment you made this gaffe is the moment you stopped being a "reporter". Hell, if someone points you to the truth and you refused to check it out, you are not a reporter or a journalist in any way. I would suspect that if a real journalist were to contact Maria with questions, she would be quite happy to answer.

      Perhaps if you were to apologize for your misdeeds and to offer up a correction.

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 3:41 PM, September 13, 2008  

    • I guess we should all vote against Karen now, because she has worked with (er, for?) Gordon and Sylvia.

      Now there are only three candidates left who we can reasonably vote for by Ron's criteria of keeping Gordon Hensley at least 12 feet away at all times and never having one's name listed anywhere his is or has been.

      The problem is that both Alon and Dave show themselves to be unqualified for the job at each and every meeting (CSD, BOS, RWQCB, etc.).

      Ugh ... Ron, who should we vote for?

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 3:45 PM, September 13, 2008  

    • PG-13* wrote:

      "Plus, you can plant a PayPal Donation link on each website and maybe double your income."

      You mean like the one I have on the right side of SewerWatch, below the "Links" category, where it says, "Please support independent journalism?"

      PayPal donation links like that?

      An anonymous commenter wrote:

      "... the moment you made this gaffe is the moment you stopped being a "reporter"."

      And, you mean the "gaffe" where I reported that an official LAFCO document reads:

      "Maria Kelly... supported dissolving the LOCSD"

      Gaffes like that?

      By Blogger Ron, at 9:57 AM, September 14, 2008  

    • Research by this investigative reporter finds Ron is a poor reporter.

      Lousy Reporter Example:

      'An official LAFCO document reads: Maria Kelly ...supported dissolving the LOCSD.'

      Intelligent Good Reporter Example:

      'An official LAFCO document reads: Maria Kelly...supported dissolving the LOCSD. After further investigation, I have found that the minutes are contradicted by actual statements made at the meeting. This good reporter found that published minutes are short summaries made by the secretary present at the meeting. Further review of all the minutes for this particular meeting also found other errors in the meeting minutes..... Paul Hood, LAFCO executive, confirmed that the minutes are not comprehensive.'

      Conclusion: if Ron is a reporter, he is a lousy or lazy one.

      By Blogger Frank, at 11:55 AM, September 14, 2008  

    • Ron,

      You know it is a gaffe because after you were told about your error and after you were told how you could easily verify your error you continued to promote what you either knew to be false or what you knew might very well be false but didn't bother checking out.

      That is not the behavior of a journalist but of an advocate. If you were, for a moment, concerned with the facts or truth in this matter you would have checked them out and changed your tune.

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 3:08 PM, September 14, 2008  

    • Hey Cronkites,

      Look, if you anonymous types want to interpret the subtle nuances of someone else's takes, hey, knock yourselves out. I really don't care.

      That's not what I do.

      Nor, do I say, "Oh, O.K." when a politician goes to the, "That's not what I said" card.

      I report on real things, like when an official document reads:

      "Maria Kelly... supported dissolving the LOCSD"

      I'm pretty sure if you click on this link, you will see that it reads:

      "Maria Kelly... supported dissolving the LOCSD"

      Tell ya what I'll do, I'll go back to that document and copy-and-paste again just to double check that it actually says:

      "Maria Kelly... supported dissolving the LOCSD"

      Yep. Page 7. Just like I reported.

      And, I have to tell ya, as I continue to work on "Dissolutiongate," it just keeps getting better, and better. You guys are awesome.

      The funny things is, and I don't want to tell Maria how to run her campaign, or anything, but if her campaign manager was smart, Pandora would tell her to, instead of backpedaling away from her nuanced takes, she should EMBRACE "Maria Kelly... supported dissolving the LOCSD"

      Maria, should be stumping at every stump she can find, "Damn straight I wanted to dissolve the LOCSD! Because it would have saved Los Osos voters up to $80 million."

      Now THAT'S how you win an election!

      By the way, Taxpayers Watch (or should I just drop the charade, and say, "Gordon Hensley." I feel kind of silly saying "Taxpayers Watch"), did you read in the Trib how the SLO Blues baseball team owner quickly paid off his $11,000 worth of debt to the city of SLO.

      Thought of ya...

      By Blogger Ron, at 3:31 PM, September 14, 2008  

    • Well, there you go.

      Ron has yet again shown he is yet again uninterested in the truth.

      You've got to have one massive ego to think that your "take" and a flawed government document are somehow more true than ... um ... videotaped evidence to contrary.

      As for "Dissolutiongate" ... like Watergate it is only an issue because the individual in the wrong is refusing to admit to the truth.

      The funny thing is, and I don't wanna tell Ron how to do journalism, or anything, but if he was smart, he would, instead of defending the indefensible, would embrace the truth even if it is not convenient for his "take".

      Ron, do you want to salvage the reputation you have and do the right thing ... even though it is late now ... or do you want to perpetuate the reputation you are developing ... a "reporter" who argues that night is day and black is white ... just because you want to continue to target Pandora, Gordon and Maria?

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 5:05 PM, September 14, 2008  

    • ron, you were pointed in the direction as was everyone reading this blog, to check out for yourself what Maria ACTUALLY said.

      We did, you are wrong.

      So WHY do you persist in spreading an untruth? What do you, or your journalistic reputation, gain from this? Can you EXPLAIN that?

      By Blogger Sewertoons, at 6:45 PM, September 14, 2008  

    • I have question: Does Maria know that creepy, anonymous lurkers of blog comment sections are publishing public things in her support? I'm not so sure that's healthy for her campaign. If I was her campaign manager, I'd be telling her to log on and distance herself from those "people."

      So, creepy anonymous types, even in your anonymous, best case scenario, Maria's testimony, according to your anonymous hand-selected quotes from one of your previous anonymous comments, is wishy-washy.


      First, she flip-flops on her take on the Tri-W project, when she recently wrote:

      "I don't have a preference for the mid town project. I have said that on many occasions."

      ... after previously writing:

      "Whatever the county will be able to offer us, in my opinion, isn't comparable to the old mid town site project."

      And then she's wishy-washy, at best, on the dissolution issue?

      And then, it turns out (patting on back), that Gordon Hensley is also her current boss, the same Gordon Hensley that was also part of the Solution Group in 1998, along with Pandora Nash-Karner and Stan Gustafson. All three of them sat on the initial LOCSD Board, along with Sylvia Smith (Kelly's current "Treasurer"), where they spent two years chasing their dead-on-arrival, "better, cheaper, faster" sewer project, yet, as we all know now (patting on back), "better, cheaper, faster" failed, just like all of those engineering, environmental, and water quality professionals predicted months BEFORE the election that formed the LOCSD on the back of "better, cheaper, faster."

      Flip-flop? Check.

      Wish-washy, at best? Check.

      Embedded with the same people that "behavior based marketed" Los Osos voters into forming the Los Osos Community Services District in the first place, in 1998, and then were recalled seven years later for playing "bait and switchy" with the California Coastal Commission over a four year span? Check.

      Sounds like you guys have put yourselves together a nice, viable, electable package there.

      Look, Maria seems like a nice enough person. Her mistake is that she's too new to Los Osos, and was unaware that she was hooking up with the exact same, extremely unpopular (at least in Los Osos) people that caused the train wreck.

      She has now positioned herself where a vote for Maria Kelly, is a vote for the people that brought Los Osos seven years of "better, cheaper, faster," "bait and switchy," and "Save the Dream" at the mid-town Tri-W site.

      She should have read my blog before hitching her wagon to those people. Big political mistake, as the past four years worth of elections in Los Osos clearly show.

      It'll be interesting, this November, to see if Nash-Karner's behavior-based-marketing will start working again in Los Osos. There's been a lot of turnover in the town since she went underground about three years ago, shortly after the recall. And the only way behavior-based-marketing works is if the people being targeted are unaware that they are being behavior-based-marketed.

      We'll see.

      I'll start counting the "ice cream socials." That's always a good indicator for the amount of behavior-based-marketing that's taking place.


      By Blogger Ron, at 11:49 AM, September 15, 2008  

    • Ron,

      You seem to be avoiding the question posed to you.

      The question isn't about Maria, but about your journalistic integrity. Ice Cream Socials and a mythical Pandora monster don't answer thee question about why you choose to mischaracterize Maria's stated position on dissolution.

      A journalist should value the facts and truth. Why don't you care about getting this one right? Admittedly it's a small issue ... but that is why we are all so puzzled why you are unwilling to admit your error.

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 1:16 PM, September 15, 2008  

    • My opinion, ron's ego is too fragile to admit to mistakes.

      Admit to one, and a lot more possible wrong statements will rise up, causing a cascading domino effect on the props to ron's fragile belief system about himself.

      Too bad ron never learned that it is OK to be wrong, just admit it, apologize and move on - but then, ron is not the type to move on either…

      None of this makes sense to the rational mind, so ron is probably getting a thrill at making us puzzle over it. (ron doing his passive-aggressive thing.)

      By Blogger Sewertoons, at 1:57 PM, September 15, 2008  

    • You guys crack me up. "C'mon Ron, admit you're wrong and a crummy journalist." Or words to that effect. You constantly berate him and boast of his lack of any importance in our live's, and yet, there you are. Constantly bringing up this issue. If that is what the document says, that is what it says. I think what you are failing to see here is his subtle link to Maria Kelly and Tri-W.Are you disputing his journalism when he posted "Whatever the county will be able to offer us, in my opinion, isn't comparable to the old mid town site project."? Oh, and Shark, i'm a little surprised and dissappointed in you that you didn't recognize my initial as just that. I would think that someone with your obvious intelligence and presence would have recognized M as simply a handle if you will. Much like sharkinlet. M is certainly not as creative as SHARKINLET, but I think it still poses the same amount of annonymity. By the way, i'd like to apologize to the bloggers out there that expect a timely response from me about issues that Ann or Ron bring up. I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to spend the time the way i have today. Otherwise, I would have given you some notice. Once again, I am truly sorry.

      By Blogger M, at 5:17 PM, September 15, 2008  

    • M,

      If Ron is 100% wrong in his assertion that Maria was in favor of dissolution, what makes you think he is right when he says that she is associated with TW or TriW?

      By Blogger Shark Inlet, at 11:10 PM, September 15, 2008  

    • uh shark, did the document he is quoting from say that or not? If it did, how can he be 100% wrong?

      By Blogger M, at 9:28 AM, September 20, 2008  

    • Shark Inlet said > Now there are only three candidates left who we can reasonably vote for by Ron's criteria of keeping Gordon Hensley at least 12 feet away at all times and never having one's name listed anywhere his is or has been..... Ron, who should we vote for?

      Seems like there are no end of reasons NOT to vote for some candidates but fewer reasons to vote FOR any two candidates. So I'll submit the same question here I submitted over on Ann's blog a few days ago. This is submitted to everybody. Anybody can answer. Please. Which two candidates do you support and/or plan on voting for? And what are the criteria by which you chose these two candidates? Please give details, specific reasons and performance-based proof (if such exists) for why they deserve your vote. Also, no smears or innuendo or smoke or spin against other candidates. Just tell why you feel so strongly about your decision FOR your two favorite candidates. I am sincerely asking you for this. As I am sincerely asking anybody else who is already sure of their vote.

      I asked this question of Oso Change (and anybody else who cared to answer) but so far only GetRealOsos has responded. Pretty decent response too. Given all the arguments for and against some of the candidates. And how strongly the opinions are stated I would think this would be easy. Or maybe its just easier to throw crap around than to describe and give reason FOR support of something?


      (PS- Sorry for the cross-pollination between the blogs. They seem sufficiently inter-related to warrant it.)

      By Blogger *PG-13, at 11:43 AM, September 24, 2008  

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