Friday, August 06, 2010

How the Water Quality Control Board "Sherroded" 45 Los Osos Property Owners

"Members of this administration, members of the media... have all made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts. I think without a doubt Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology."
-- White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, 7/21/10, speaking about recently fired USDA head Shirley Sherrod, after learning that the comments that led to her firing were taken extremely out of context

TO: Jeff Young (left), Chairperson, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
DATE SENT: 8/6/10

Dear Chairperson Young,

I'm researching a story, and I'm hoping that I can get a comment from you regarding the enforcement actions that your board approved in Los Osos on January 5, 2006.

As you probably remember, those enforcement actions (Cease and Desist Orders) included 45 individual property owners in Los Osos, and, since your board ordered those enforcement actions, correspondence that has come across my desk from some of those 45 property owners include, "Faced with the CDO's causing condemnation of our home and causing us to have to vacate our home - well, it's more than anyone should have to live with," and, "(This prosecution) sends us to the hospital for emergency treatment for high blood pressure, heart conditions, and stress."

I'm writing you today, because, after nearly four years, and more than $7 million of careful analysis of the Los Osos wastewater project by SLO County officials, it appears that your board, in 2006, made a big mistake in issuing those enforcement actions.

Clearly, judging from the mountain of evidence that the County of SLO has produced over the past four years, your board, in January 2006, "made determinations and judgments without a full set of facts."

For example, the following quote is from you, and it comes from the official transcript of the January 5, 2006 meeting, available at this link:

http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb3/board_info/minutes/2006/01_06_los_osos_hearing_transcript.pdf

... where your board voted to issue the enforcement actions against the community of Los Osos, including the 45 randomly selected property owners.

According to that official transcript, you said, "I can tell you one thing, that had the community not put the blocks on the current project (the Tri-W project) that we would not be here with an ACL hearing."

So, to be clear, according to you, had Los Osos voters, in September 2005, "not put the blocks" on the so-called "Tri-W project" by recalling three Los Osos CSD directors that were largely responsible for developing that "project," your board, in early 2006, would "not be here with an ACL hearing" to begin with.

Here's why that quote is extremely interesting in 2010:

Three-plus years and more than $7 million of careful analysis of the Los Osos wastewater project by SLO County officials now shows that the Tri-W project was an unnecessarily expensive, wildly unpopular, environmentally "infeasible," mid-town-sewer-"park" disaster, and your board was badly misinformed about that disaster when you issued those enforcement actions -- enforcement actions that were issued, solely, according to you, because the community voted to "put the blocks" on that disaster.

Mr. Young, it gets worse for you.

According to that official transcript, you also say, "What I heard in terms of complaints about (the Tri-W project) is it's not environmentally superior, it's not aesthetically superior, I mean those may be realities to some individuals. I look at them as being subjective and not objective."

You were wrong there, and, according to $7 million dollars worth of (relatively) objective County analysis, very wrong.

The following is what just some of that past three years, and $7 million dollars worth of careful County analysis says about the former Tri-W project -- a "project" that the 1999 - 2005 Los Osos CSD spent (read: wasted) some six years and $25 million developing, and called for a sewer plant in the middle of Los Osos.

Here's what the County's Pro/Con Analysis, available at this link:

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/PW/LOWWP/TAC/TAC+Final+Pro-Con+Component+Analysis+8-6-07.pdf

... says about the LOCSD's former Tri-W project:

- "(Tri-W's) downtown location (near library, church, community center) and the high density residential area require that the most expensive treatment technology, site improvements and odor controls be employed."

and;

- "It (The Tri-W sewer plant) has high construction costs..." ($55 million. The next highest treatment facility option is estimated at $19 million.)

and;

- "Very high land value and mitigation requirements"

and;

- Tri-W energy requirements: "Highest"

and;

- "Small acreage and location in downtown center of towns (sic) require most expensive treatment"

and;

- "higher costs overall"

and;

- "Limited flexibility for future expansion, upgrades, or alternative energy"

and;

- "Source of community divisiveness"

and;

- "All sites are tributary to the Morro Bay National Estuary and pose a potential risk in the event of failure. Tri-W poses a higher risk..."

and;

- "NOTE: It was the unanimous opinion of the (National Water Research Institute) that an out of town site is better due to problematic issues with the downtown site."

and;

- "ESHA – sensitive dune habitat"

Furthermore, according to the March 2009, "Los Osos Wastewater Project Community Advisory Survey," conducted by county officials, "Only (9-percent) of (Prohibition Zone) respondents chose the mid-town (Tri-W) location (as their preference for the treatment facility)."

What I find very interesting about that quote these days, is that, according to a June 24, 2004, document, Roger Briggs, Executive Officer, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, said, "The (Tri-W) wastewater project is truly a community-based project."

Again, even your executive officer was/is wildly inaccurate regarding the Tri-W project.

He called it "truly community based," and then, five years later, an official survey showed that over 90-percent of the Prohibition Zone residents did not want an industrial (read: not ponds) sewer plant in the middle of their beautiful coastal town, after all... of course.

Additionally, in a June 2009 letter to the California Coastal Commission, the SLO County "Project team," writes, "The Project team, given the clear social infeasibility issue associated with Mid Town (Tri-W project) and the infeasible status of the LOCSD disposal plan [bolding mine], believes that if either of those options are deemed by decision-makers to be the best solution for Los Osos, then serious consideration should be given by the Board (of Supervisors) to adopt a due diligence resolution and not pursue Project implementation."

I also recently asked SLO County environmental specialist, and Los Osos wastewater project planner, Mark Hutchinson, to, today, put himself in the shoes of the people that were responsible for wasting $25 million and six years on the "infeasible" Tri-W disaster. He just laughed... out loud. That was his answer to that great question; laughing.

Finally, out of all the documents the county produced on the Los Osos wastewater project, not one of them -- not one -- is favorable to the Tri-W "project," and, in the end, which was on June 11, 2010, when the Coastal Commission gave final approval for the County's proposed project (that includes an out-of-town sewer plant), the Tri-W "project" didn't even come close to working.

So, look at this situation, in 2010, it's very, very interesting:

In a February 6, 2004 document, Roger Briggs writes, "The LOCSD has developed a technically, environmentally, and economically sound project (with the Tri-W project)."

However, that wasn't even close to being accurate.

As we now know, thanks to almost four years and $8 million worth of County analysis, the Tri-W disaster wasn't "technically, environmentally, and economically sound."

Not even close. It was an embarrassing, "infeasible" mess.

However, according to you, the sole reason why your board issued enforcement actions against the community of Los Osos in 2006, is because they voted to "put the blocks" on the Tri-W disaster, which, as almost four years and $8 million worth of County analysis now shows us, was the exact right thing to do.

In fact, what it really looks like, is that the (2004 to) 2006 Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (and staff) was badly confused regarding the Tri-W embarrassment, so the voters of Los Osos were forced to do your job, and had to form a recall election to vote to finally put the "infeasible" Tri-W disaster "on blocks" -- clearly the right thing to do -- yet, according to you, "had the community not put the blocks on the (Tri-W project) that we would not be here with an ACL hearing," in January 2006.

Which brings me to my three questions:

1) What is your response to the fact that there is now a mountain of official evidence that shows that the Tri-W project was a technical, environmental, and economical disaster, yet the only reason your board fined 45 Los Osos property owners, is because the town's voters put that mid-town sewer plant disaster "on blocks?"

and;

2) Considering the mountain of evidence that shows that the Tri-W project was a disaster, and stopping that disaster was clearly the right thing to do, and considering that the only reason your board fined the people of Los Osos is because they voted to stop that disaster, will your board now be abandoning the CDOs against the 45 Los Osos property owners, that are clearly innocent, and offering them an apology?

(And, what's even more interesting here, is, not only are those property owners completely innocent, but, if you think it through, your board should actually commend the voters of Los Osos for doing the right thing in 2005, and putting the Tri-W disaster "on blocks." They should be commended for that... because it was clearly the right thing to do.)

and;

3) How do you explain how your agency was so wrong about the Tri-W "project?" Why were your agency's conclusions about the Tri-W disaster almost the exact opposite of the county's conclusions about that embarrassment?

How do you explain that?

I look forward to your answers.

As always, much thanks,
Ron

P.S. I've published this e-mail on my blog:

sewerwatch.blogspot.com

###

[31 weeks down... 21 to go.]

- - -

[UPDATE (8/9/10): Oh, do I have a GREAT follow-up to my post.

This is excellent! -- a perfect example of your State government in action:

Last Friday, when I sent my e-mail (above) to Jeff Young, I sent it to Roger Briggs, because, when you click on the "Contact the Board" button at the CCRWQCB web site, it links to Briggs's e-mail address.

And then, I wrote at the top:

"[Hello Roger,

I'm trying to send the following e-mail to Jeff Young, but I didn't see his e-mail address on your web site, and I was hoping that you could forward it to him. You might find my e-mail interesting, too. Thanks!]"

Now, watch, and behold the comic genius found in the sequence of events that that one simple act -- trying to send an e-mail to a State Board member -- unfurled:

I sent my e-mail (to Jeff Young) to Roger last Friday, August 6th. He replied that same day, "I'm out til Aug 16. I'll read your email when I return, or please contact Carol Hewitt..."

[Really, Roger? I send you an e-mail -- especially THAT e-mail -- addressed to your boss (as per your web site) on August 6th, and you're not even going to read it until the 16th? Um... o.k.?]

So, of course, I contact Carol Hewitt, that same day:

- - -
"Hello Carol,

Apparently, Roger's out of the office until the 16th.

Could you please forward my e-mail (below) to Jeff Young.

Better yet, because all of the italics, and bold, and links stay preserved on my blog, could you please just send Mr. Young to:

http://sewerwatch.blogspot.com

My e-mail to Mr. Young is also published there."
- - -

Just, this morning, Hewitt cc's me on this e-mail:

- - -
"To Board Member Young (bc):

Please see attached email from Ron Crawford.
Thank you.

Carol Hewitt, Administrative Assistant II/Notary Public
Regional Water Quality Control Board - Region 3"
- - -

The very next e-mail in my in-box is from the "OPA Water Boards Public Affairs."

It reads:

- - -
"Hi Ron,

According to our directory, there is no Jeff Young working for the State Water Resources Control Board headquarters in Sacramento. Since Los Osos is under the jurisdiction of the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, you might try contacting them instead. Here is their contact information:

Central Coast RWQCB (3)
Address: 895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101 San Luis Obispo,CA 93401 Phone: (805) 549-3147 Fax: (805) 543-0397
http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/

Kind regards,
Cortney Stevenson

-----------------------------------
State Water Resources Control Board
Office of Public Affairs"
- - -

The unexpected places that beautiful humor pops up in this story, amazes me.

Well, thanks for that, Cortney. And, had I actually been trying to contact a "Jeff Young working for the State Water Resources Control Board headquarters in Sacramento," I would have found your e-mail useful.

Wait, maybe I still can find some use.

My girl, Cortney, wrote:

"Since Los Osos is under the jurisdiction of the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, you might try contacting them instead."

Hey, there's a good idea. Why didn't I think of that?

Oh, Roooogggeeerr...]

53 Comments:

  • One of the weirder things (if it could be weirder) is that if a CDO recipient sells their house the CDO goes away.

    Expecting anything except jibber jabber out of the water board is, well, might as well write to Santa Clause.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 4:21 PM, August 06, 2010  

  • ron, how do you explain Measure B winning by only 20 votes?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 4:52 PM, August 06, 2010  

  • You don't give up do you Sewertoons? The big difference I see between you and Ron is Ron's takes are pointing out the flaws that have held 45 CDO recipients prisoner for all these years, and your takes continue to try and justify Tri-W. Had we given in to Tri-W the terrorist would have won. We would have had a high maintanence, probably fine prone sewer plant in the middle of town at an outragous cost with an expensive park that no one would use. The reason for all of this is because the pre-recall CSD DID NOT even consider an out of town sewer plant. In your words to me, "what don't you understand about that?"
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 7:09 AM, August 07, 2010  

  • Thanks for the links that you leave in your stories Ron. It is so interesting to step back in time and then read comments from anonymous posters. Some of them it is obvious who they are now that they post under an identity. I even saw the name of the man whom I have figured out the identity of on Ann's blog. Seems the links you post are fact and yet many of them call you cuckoo. Amazing. You are the only one that is going to benefit out of all this with your book. Those of us in the Prohibition Zone however will see no benefit from anything as it has been shown in black and white that we don't matter. Cost, system, collection will be the most expensive possible. Would someone please prove me wrong.
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 9:57 AM, August 07, 2010  

  • M, ron does not give up either, so why are you condemning me? It just trying to show REALITY. Eliciting sympathy for the CDOers is fine, but what happened to them cannot be taken back or soothed by claims of great expense had the old project gone forward. The project that went forward did so with protests that were loud but not that great in numbers as the results of Measure B shows. It was not an overwhelming vote against Tri-W.

    Before we think stopping the old project was a good idea, let's see what the cost of the new, OUT-OF-TOWN one is, and the costs of the other fallout that has resulted too, OK? The new one should be substantially less, no?

    We already know the cost of stopping the project has been the issuance of CDOs. You may call it a flawed process, and actually, I do too, it was very discriminatory, but it was a direct RESULT of stopping the project. Whining about its being unfair does not change anything about it, especially the human costs. Do you really think a recanting by the Water Board - which will NEVER happen - will remove the pain for those issued CDOs?

    The bankruptcy of the CSD is another RESULT of stopping the project. We still do not know what that outcome will be until September.

    Another RESULT? Failure to address our water shortage issues in any cohesive and all encompassing way. Delays in putting water back into the lower aquifer, another RESULT.

    So if you want to make two columns on a piece of paper and list the RESULTS of stopping the project, do so. And I suggest putting a dollar amount beside each item saved or lost. You will need to find the costs of fighting CDOs in there. Although ascribing an emotional costs to that may be impossible. Maybe escaping the high maintenance and the "probable fine prone sewer" is an equal cost, therefore justifies it? I don't think so, and I'll bet that you don't either.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:52 AM, August 07, 2010  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:54 AM, August 07, 2010  

  • Another RESULT? Failure to address our water shortage issues in any cohesive and all encompassing way. Delays in putting water back into the lower aquifer, another RESULT.

    So if you want to make two columns on a piece of paper and list the RESULTS of stopping the project, do so. And I suggest putting a dollar amount beside each item saved or lost. You will need to find the costs of fighting CDOs in there. Although ascribing an emotional costs to that may be impossible. Maybe escaping the high maintenance and the "probable fine prone sewer" is an equal cost, therefore justifies it? I don't think so, and I'll bet that you don't either.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:54 AM, August 07, 2010  

  • Are the CDO holders still on the hook for 2011? The plight of the CDOers could be at least lessened to where they are on the same ground as the rest of us. Has the County officially agreed to take on this project? How about the picture taken in the park with a huge number of people bearing a sign that said "MOVE THE SEWER"? I would have defied you to collect the same amount of people to gather behind a sign reading "LEAVE THE SEWER AT TRI-W." Speaking of Tri-W, whats up with the fence there that has fallen down in front of it? You stated earlier that the CSD was covering their a** with the fence because it was their property. Is there a fence around the Broderson site? You are right though in that no agency is ever going to rescind anything because that would be admitting a mistake or failure. Just as no agency will answer why 1100+ properties were permitted after 8313. How much water was allegedely polluted with these 1100 houses? How much water has been taken out of the lower aquifier as a result of those 1100 houses? Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 12:43 PM, August 07, 2010  

  • As long as the County makes progress, the CDOers are fine.

    The County is waiting to hear from the USDA about the loan and grant -- and to see if anyone will sue. If all goes well, then they will feel comfortable taking the project.

    M, I couldn't agree more -building 1100+ homes was a crime, as there was no infrastructure to go with them. The County of then wimped out big time and we are holding the bag. But that is reality and there is no point slamming the County of now, it's not their fault. We just have to deal with the cards that we have or move.

    You know, I didn't live here when that photo was taken. I have no idea who would have showed up to support Tri-W. But there is a certain synergy that occurs around a cause, it was used here to gather crowds. I think showing support in that fashion seemed pointless to the many that supported Tri-W, as Tri-W was the project that they thought they were getting, why bother? I believe, had the recall been held earlier, we would be flushing and forgetting right now. But the Directors of then could not look into the future and pick the right time.

    The supports to the fence which have deteriorated and caused it to fall, harbor Shoulderband snails, so until there is an HCP, there can be no "taking" of snails. You know - squashing them - in the process of propping the fence back up. Against the law.

    Aquifer waters used? I have no idea, but I'll be if Shark was around still, he could do the math.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 12:20 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • Mike sez:"One of the weirder things (if it could be weirder) is that if a CDO recipient sells their house the CDO goes away."

    That's a perfect example of how fake the RWQCB's concern for "water" is. If the CDO's were about cleaning up water, the CDO would remain with the house since very few people dig up their septic tanks and take them with them when they move. In reality, the CDOs weren't about "water." They were about illegal electioneering and unfairly singling out a small number of residents for ublic "punishment." That the STATE water board went along with this crime and this apalling proceedure shows just how rotted out our State Water Boards have become. The whole system is in desperate need of house cleaning and a better checks and balances mechanism.

    By Blogger Churadogs, at 6:40 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • 工作,是愛的具體化~~~~努力吧!........................................

    By Blogger 文王廷, at 7:22 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • Ron, could you translate again? Thanks.
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 9:43 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • Chura wrote:

    "That the STATE water board went along with this crime and this apalling proceedure shows just how rotted out our State Water Boards have become. The whole system is in desperate need of house cleaning and a better checks and balances mechanism."

    Yep, and if you REALLY want to lose your cookies, then go to page 182 (of the pdf file) of that transcript that I quote in my main piece, and read this sweet little exchange:

    "MR. BRIGGS: Weren't you (as a former LOCSD Director) asking the State Board to fund a gravity collection system (immediately following the recall election)?

    MS. SCHICKER: Yes, but not at that (Tri-W) location. We were willing to compromise, even though we had agreed with the community that we would have all options on the table, we were willing, in the light of the current situation, to go with gravity and get the sewer treatment plant away from the Bay.

    MR. BRIGGS: The collection system covers the entire prohibition area, correct?

    MS. SCHICKER: Yes, sir.

    MR. BRIGGS: So you were trying to get funding from the State Board for gravity sewage collection system for the entire prohibition area?

    MS. SCHICKER: Yes.

    MR. BRIGGS: Okay, thanks.
    "

    You're welcome, Roger.

    Because, what Lisa's Board wanted to "compromise" on in October 2005 (2005!), was the exact same project that the Coastal Commission just approved, in June 2010 -- a gravity collection system with a treatment facility out of town -- after the County spent some four years and $8 million studying the Los Osos situation.

    And I can guarantee ya, had the State simply accepted that compromise, what happened in June 2010, would have happened starting in October 2005, but, of course, the people that were responsible for the Tri-W disaster were NEVER going to let that happen, because it would have meant that the people that just beat them in a recall election, would have cleaned up in about a month, the gigantic mess that Gordon, Pandora, Richard, Roger, etc. wasted $25 million and six years creating, and there was NO WAY they were going to let that happen.

    Wow, Talk about "obstructionists."

    That reminds me... 'toons, have you sent your check to "Nash-Karner at 350 Mitchell Drive," like it said in the Bay News just a couple of months ago?

    You should probably get on that. She's going to get mad at you if you don't, and, trust me, you don't want Pandora to get mad at you.

    M wrote:

    "Ron, could you translate again? Thanks."

    No problemo:

    "The work, is love concrete application ~~~~ diligently"

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:11 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • The big question is what the Board thought it was going to do when it refused to do a 218 as asked by the Water Board and refused to do a bridge loan. Those questions need answering. Was it planning all along to look like it was willing to compromise, but then when it came down to actually compromising, they knew they couldn't because they knew the 218 would never pass and the project would go back to Tri-W.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 10:45 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • Why was there not a 218 for Tri-W then?
    Sincererly, M

    By Blogger M, at 11:42 AM, August 08, 2010  

  • The new rule came into existence after the first-ever default on an SRF loan - the $134 million loan - the amount which is not available to us this time due to the poor economy, fyi.

    So instead of just paying off a project with monthly charges, we now all have liens against our homes to pay for it - it will now be a secured loan, to be sure that we pay the money back.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 12:24 PM, August 08, 2010  

  • I thought the 218 came about in 1996. How would the monthly charges been made if no one was occupying the home? Would everybody else have paid more to make up the difference? Sounds like a very weak source of revenue to me. Could it be that the old board found a loophole to do this, just as they found a loophole to pay for a park? Then attempt to pull that park out of the plan? What if everybody had gone to a composting toilet and greywater system and not hooked up to the sewer?
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 1:45 PM, August 08, 2010  

  • Sewertoons said...
    The big question is what the Board thought it was going to do when it refused to do a 218 as asked by the Water Board and refused to do a bridge loan. Those questions need answering. Was it planning all along to look like it was willing to compromise, but then when it came down to actually compromising, they knew they couldn't because they knew the 218 would never pass and the project would go back to Tri-W.

    10:45 AM, August 08, 2010

    Lynette, what the H are you talking about. The post-recall Board DID agree to do a 218 for the collection system (the SRF would not fund a collection system to nowhere...which that work would have needed to be done, as per CEQA) AND tried to find "Bridge Financing". You don't know what you are talking about. You really should just shut up!

    By Blogger Intheknow, at 5:08 PM, August 08, 2010  

  • M, I arrived in 2005. 1996? I'm not sure what was going on 218-wise back then.

    Monthly charges: A bill arrives at your designated mailing address. You pay the bill. Monthly charges do not have to depend on amount of output. In LA, I had a $39/bi-monthly charge for the sewer. If I wanted to pay accurately what I actually discharged into the sewer, I would have needed to get a plumber to hook up some sort of measuring device and then have it approved by the city. Then I would have paid what I actually put into it. Failing that, I paid $39/bi-monthly.

    The Water Board is saying "no discharge." How does graywater - which only very recently was approved without miles of red tape - work with that edict? Read the SLO-COAT graywater pamphlet. Not as easy as you think.

    Composting toilet? Have any been approved for around here? I don't think so. Do you want to remodel your bathroom to accommodate one of those? You need outdoor access for the toilet. The maintenance on that would be manpower intensive and costly. For this to work for the entire town, it would not be left up to the homeowner to do it yourself! An entity like the CSD would be compelled to monitor that.

    Hmm. Which to I care most about - a weak source of revenue and no lien, or a guaranteed source with a $25,000 lien against my house? Which do you prefer, M?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 5:17 PM, August 08, 2010  

  • Intheknow, this changing of projects midstream has been done before and it could have been done here.

    Rumor has it Bleskey said NO to the bridge loan which would have made this possible.

    If you are sure of your facts, please point me to the supporting documents on the bridge loan (CSD minutes?) and on doing the 218 (also in CSD meeting minutes I presume). Obviously money would have been needed to buy new property, design a new treatment system and get the permits. Please explain.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 5:24 PM, August 08, 2010  

  • M,

    Proposition 218 was on the November 5, 1996 ballot in California, but it was formally adopted for assessments on July 1, 1997. According to Legislative Analyst's Office, that was when all local governing agencies had to observe the law when new property taxes were proposed. Going with Buel's advice that the 218 was "not applicable," the recalled board went against the law and pushed for the sewer without a 218 vote.

    The board had NO dedicated source of revenue for the project at the time so they failed to even meet the 218 criteria. Weak source? How about no source at all.

    The board also had no "loophole." They were playing the odds and hoping that the opposition wouldn't be able to retain legal representation and hoping they wouldn't get recalled. We know how that turned out.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 11:00 AM, August 09, 2010  

  • Yeah -- as a result, we all have l liens against our houses (and CDOs or NOVs -- plus the CSDs bankruptcy).

    As a homeowner, give me that so-called loophole. Do any of you -- M, ron or Razor-- own homes?

    You really think that this is better? Better to give the State its assurances -- rather than clear title to our homes? Please explain.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 4:20 PM, August 09, 2010  

  • You're kidding right? If they found and used a loophole, what other stuff have they tried to pull the wool over peoples eyes with? You're condoning dirty tricks? And still bringing us a sewer more than double the cost of the one they took away from us. You're just messing with us right? You can't be serious about all of this. Everything anybody tries to do to right the ship, there you are fighting tooth and nail to halt it. I don't understand you. And yes, I am a homeowner.
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 6:53 PM, August 09, 2010  

  • M, there's no reason to really debate or discuss with a pervert who will create multiple accounts to disagree with you.

    If you want to talk about loopholes, we see a County that claims to follow CEQA guidelines, but in reality they didn't because they're not on a CEQA contract. So when you hear the words "co-equal analysis of alternatives," those are just pretty words to garner support from the community -- and what's that term that Ron likes to use? Bait and switch. Yes, that's what we have now, just like then. That's the wool being pulled over people's eyes.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 10:04 PM, August 09, 2010  

  • M, you missed that I said it was a so-called loophole. ron and others try to make it out to be a loophole, but it wasn't.

    M, what do you think has been happening here? The "latest" sewer is always more expensive than the one previous to it! Let's see if Al's latest lawsuit can derail this one!

    Bait and switch? Anyone who lives here had MULTIPLE opportunities to chart the progress of this latest sewer. I guess if you don't like the result, you call it bait and switch. If wool was pulled, you did it to yourself.

    Maybe the Razor will send us a Wikipedia reference to explain how a CEQA contract works.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 12:28 AM, August 10, 2010  

  • I didn't miss though that you said "...give me that loophole."
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 6:39 AM, August 10, 2010  

  • M, what I said was, "As a homeowner, give me that so-called loophole." See the word "so-called?"

    In other words, I would have preferred to pay the dollars as rates and charges - no lien on my home, as opposed to rates and charges WITH a lien on my home.

    Which would you prefer?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 9:40 AM, August 10, 2010  

  • You're right Sewertoons. My bad. I mis-quoted you. My point is still apt though. You know, nobody has ever explained to me what the lien does versus the rates and charges. Maybe you could.
    Sincerely, M

    By Blogger M, at 3:41 PM, August 10, 2010  

  • 愛情是盲目的,但婚姻恢復了它的視力。..................................................................

    By Blogger 淑成李李淑成李李, at 10:05 PM, August 10, 2010  

  • Hi M, I just got back from Big Sur - sunnier up there than here let me tell you! I'm late to answer you back, I'm sorry.

    A lien is a debt held against your property. It must be paid before escrow closes. I don't think it matters who pays it, the seller or the buyer, but the debt must be reconciled before the sale is complete.

    That's why I said I'd rather just pay monthly rates and charges.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 3:38 PM, August 11, 2010  

  • Sewertoons. wrong. The debt travels with the property,and assumed by the new owners.
    unless the previous owners paid it off in full.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 9:01 PM, August 11, 2010  

  • Mike, you are right - I was getting it confused with contractor's liens. Thank you for the clarification.

    Further side note: I have seen a property or two which advertised "sewer assessment paid by owner" as an enticement to buy the house. Any way you look at it, someone is guaranteeing to give $25,000 to the County.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 11:43 PM, August 11, 2010  

  • Sorry I forgot his last name Lynette writes: The County is waiting to hear from the USDA about the loan and grant -- and to see if anyone will sue. If all goes well, then they will feel comfortable taking the project.

    FYI:


    HALIFAX, Va. – Aug. 5, 2010 — Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced funding for 34 projects to protect public health and the environment by improving water quality and public sanitation services in 24 states. Merrigan made the announcement this morning at the Halifax County Courthouse where she highlighted the environmental, health and economic benefits the Recovery Act funding will provide to the Maple Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant and the local community.

    "The Obama Administration is committed to investing in infrastructure to improve the efficiency and availability of water in rural America. Rural areas suffer from multiple problems associated with their water infrastructure," Merrigan said, "Economic assistance to rural communities for investments in water availability is especially valuable, given the borrowing constraints that small or poor communities may face. These Recovery Act investments in water and wastewater infrastructure will create construction jobs, help deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment throughout rural America."

    The Halifax County Service Authority in Halifax County, Va., has been selected to receive a $5 million Recovery Act loan and a $10.4 million grant utilizing water and environmental program funding. The funding will be used to expand the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant to meet the regionalization effort being undertaken by the Authority. In addition, the project will correct inadequacies and health hazards to meet standards of the Department of Environmental Quality and increase treatment capacity. The sewer system serves 3,000 residential homes and 664 businesses.

    The projects announced today will improve infrastructure across rural America. For instance, the Village of Crawford, Nebraska has been selected to receive a $3.6 million loan and $1 million grant to improve a 74 year old wastewater disposal system. This funding will allow the Village to meet the established timeline for state environmental compliance

    USDA Rural Development today is providing $157.3 million for 34 water and wastewater infrastructure projects in local communities through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and $45.6 million through other USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Program funding. To date, USDA has announced $2.9 billion in Recovery Act funds for 788 water and environmental projects. The Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama one year ago.

    The Water and Environmental Program provides loans and grants to ensure that the necessary investments are made in water and wastewater infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water and protect the environment in rural areas.

    Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. Below is a complete list of award recipients by state:

    Alabama

    * Mosses Water, Sewer & Fire Protection Authority: $299,000 loan (ARRA) and $690,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Arizona

    * Hualapai West Pipeline Project: $2,000,000 loan (ARRA) $2,000,000 grant (ARRA); and $9,307,209 grant. The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 11:09 AM, August 12, 2010  

  • (Go Hualalai!)

    Colorado

    * The Town of Palisade: $3,992,000 loan (ARRA) and $3,808,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Connecticut

    * The Town of East Windsor: $2,180,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,707,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.
    * The Town of Kent: $515,000 loan (ARRA) and $418,600 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Florida

    * The City of Mexico Beach: $2,153,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,840,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Georgia

    * Chattooga County: $2,801,000 loan (ARRA) and $2,191,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Kentucky

    * Paducah-McCracken Joint Sewer Agency: $4,324,000 loan (ARRA); $1,294,000 grant (ARRA); and $406,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Louisiana

    * The Town of Jonesville: $3,326,000 loan (ARRA) and $9,463,893 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.
    * The Town of Jonesville: $3,292,000 loan (ARRA) and $3,634,818 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Maryland

    * The Town of Lonaconing: $6,699,000 loan (ARRA) and $2,323,000 grant. The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Michigan

    * Williamston Sewer System Improvements: $3,540,000 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.
    * Williamston Water System Improvements: $4,800,000 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Minnesota

    * The City of Lismore: $686,000 loan (ARRA) and $394,000 grant. The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Nebraska

    * The Village of Crawford: $3,623,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,050,900 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    New Jersey

    * Flemington Borough: $351,000 loan (ARRA) and $704,050 grant. The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    New York

    * The Village of Corinth: $1,138,000 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.
    * The Village of Rushville: $1,975,000 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    North Carolina

    * Onslow Water & Sewer Authority: $24,541,000 loan (ARRA) and $9,816,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    North Dakota

    * The City of Sheldon: $204,000 loan (ARRA) and $166,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Oklahoma

    * Konawa Public Works Authority: $1,001,000 loan (ARRA) and $2,999,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Pennsylvania

    * Borough of Portage Municipal Authority: $4,878,500 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    South Carolina

    * Southern Calhoun County: $2,713,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,611,500 grant. The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 11:11 AM, August 12, 2010  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 11:12 AM, August 12, 2010  

  • Tennessee

    * Cedar Grove Utility District: $600,000 loan (ARRA) and $256,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.
    * The City of Crossville: $1,700,000 loan (ARRA) and $800,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.
    * The City of Decherd: $782,000 loan (ARRA) and $218,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.
    * The Town of Jonesborough: $3,270,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,500,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water and wastewater system improvements.
    * The City of Manchester: $1,348,000 loan (ARRA) and $455,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.
    * Springville Utility District: $863,000 loan (ARRA) and $1,925,500 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.
    * The City of Trenton: $615,000 loan (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    Texas

    * Fort Bend County Fresh Water Supply District No. 2: $6,619,000 loan (ARRA) and $8,673,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Virginia

    * Halifax County Service Authority: $5,000,000 loan (ARRA) and $10,400,000 grant. The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Washington

    * The City of Cashmere: $13,690,000 loan (ARRA) and $6,001,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for wastewater system improvements.

    Wyoming

    * The City of Laramie: $1,072,000 loan (ARRA) and $340,000 grant (ARRA). The funding will be used for water system improvements.

    President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

    More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery . More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov .

    Also to your second point: No one will sue until the County decides to "take" the project. No plantiff till then, doncha know...

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 11:14 AM, August 12, 2010  

  • I guess all that "lobbist" money may have given the Administration the impression that Los Fogos wasn't rural enough.

    I LOVE IT, when a plan comes together, don't you LL? (Now what?)

    Time is telling, doncha know...

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 11:21 AM, August 12, 2010  

  • Lobbyist-spell check...

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 2:22 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • All,

    The County's USDA loan application is still being processed.

    The County's request is currently being reviewed by the U.S. House of Representatives Grant Committee.

    By Blogger Richard LeGros, at 2:39 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Thank you Richard for the update!

    The "incite to riot before the facts are in" continues in Los Osos - thanks to outsiders such as ron.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 2:49 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • It's best to not jump to conclusions like some perverts.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 2:53 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Razor, its not nice to refer to yourself that way.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 5:38 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Hey Ron, you want to crank up the ol Yin Yang macine and get a nice empty feeling in your gut, go on over to the Trivial's website and read this:


    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/08/11/1248110/a-reputation-restored-38-years.html

    Morem has a lotta hutzpah taking Time and Newsweek to task for shitty journalism when he himself lives in a town his own paper with him employed by same paper
    Sherroded the whole town with their negligence.

    Enjoy.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 6:05 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Lynette, that's a class-act response coming from someone who has created multiple accounts on multiple web sites to discredit and defame many good people in Los Osos.

    Ron Crawford posted a quote from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, taking responsibility on behalf of the Obama administration for making "determinations and judgments without a full set of facts." Ron ties the Sherrod incident to what happened with the Regional Water Board and their enforcement actions.

    Lynette, you went on the record on October 2006 at the League of Women Voters' Los Osos CSD Candidates Forum -- and it's on tape -- stating that you support the RWQCB's enforcement actions including the issuance of 45 CDOs to a random lottery of residents in Los Osos without once demonstrating to the community how all of that is justified.

    As a LOCSD candidate, you openly supported the condemnation of CDO property because -- as you later told me -- that the CDO recipients just so happen to be vocal, anti Tri-W supporters. You agreed with Chairman Young when he stated at the January 5 2006 meeting, "I can tell you one thing, that had the community not put the blocks on the current project (the Tri-W project) that we would not be here with an ACL hearing."

    Now, you have the audacity to weigh in on this by flip-flopping on your views, which Ron clearly demonstrated on Calhoun's Cannon. Your response to him was, "You took my statements out of context," and yet you refuse to put your comments in context. You supported the enforcement actions and now, after four years of CDO homeowner suffering, you show empathy.

    And that, Los Osos, is why Lynette Tornatzky is wrong.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 6:48 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Aaron, please don't forget the help Paavo "If there is a technology that is significantly less expensive, then that technology becomes the new standard and all others fall away" Ogren provided as Deputy Public Works Director as he began the "Review of Alterbnatives" sham.

    Government is sooooo broke and so very broken...

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 7:15 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • "Review of Alternatives" sham.

    "r" Keeping hope alive on that borrowed grant money, really is par for your course.

    By Blogger Watershed Mark, at 7:17 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • I didn't forget.

    Mark, did you catch Paavo Ogren at the Coastal Commission's Los Osos de novo hearing talking about how much he loves new technology? The project his staff presented to the board was anything but.

    Two weeks ago, PERC's Steve Owen went to the Board of Supervisors meeting that covered the recent LOWWP update. He holds up an iPhone and an iPad. Paraphrasing, Owen said, "Since 2007, technology has advanced. Three years ago, we never heard about these technologies, and look what we have today." He even talked about a "paradigm shift" in technology that also applies to wastewater collection and treatment systems.

    Steve Owen perfectly illustrated the "backwards thinking" of Los Osos, the County of San Luis Obispo and the RWQCB -- and nobody behind the dais at the BOS had anything to say. The silence spoke volumes.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 7:28 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Do you think that every crackpot with a new sewer technology has a track record? Are any of those companies anywhere near the league of Apple in their R & D and testing? The Wrecklamator guy's AES company? Pirana? Who ever heard of PERC Water before Morro Bay was doing their sewer update?

    BTW, I guess you forgot Aaron, that you really liked me back in 2006, my opinions right out there in the open. Flip-flop?

    The Lisa board stopped the project. The Lisa board was warned by the Water Board of the consequences. The Lisa board didn't listen ("We won't be fined, we won't lose the loan"), so what happened next was to be expected. Very sad and very unnecessary. Also, in 2006 no one knew the emotional outcome for the CDOers, did they? And we do now. There, are my comments contexty enough for you now, Razor?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 8:44 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Let's set the record straight.

    It's funny, Lynette. For someone who talks about other people taking you out of context, you took my words and opinions out of context when you said, "Guess you forgot Aaron, that you really liked me back in 2006, my opinions right out there in the open."

    In 2006, I "liked" how you were unabashed about disclosing your personal views, but I disagreed with your positions, especially the part about how you supported the random lottery enforcement of 45 CDO homeowners -- and now you're dismissing it as "discriminatory" because everyone in the PZ should have got one.

    It's like Saddam Hussein saying, "I'm sorry that I killed a couple thousand people. I should have opted for a countrywide genocide. My bad."

    You said, "Also, in 2006 no one knew the emotional outcome for the CDOers, did they?"

    The July-August 2006 issue of The ROCK covered the emotional outcome just two months before you gave your ringing endorsement of the CCRWQCB's enforcement action. Each homeowner in the Prohibition Zone, including you, was given a copy of this very issue -- but apparently, you either you don't how to read or you don't like to read things that run contrary to your point of view.

    That year, you received 12.82% of the total vote because a good portion of the other 87.18% realized you supported the condemnation of your neighbors and political adversaries.

    Holding such views is not only damaging to the civil fabric of Los Osos, but it's also un-american. We don't elect people with your type of values.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 9:55 PM, August 12, 2010  

  • Joe Sparks .......... 2997 votes 17.30%
    Chuck Cesena .......... 2858 votes 16.50%
    Steve Senet .......... 2730 votes 15.76%
    Maria Kelly .......... 2693 votes 15.55%
    Lynette Tornatzky .......... 2220 votes 12.82%
    Rob Shipe .......... 1237 votes 7.14%
    Jeff Edwards .......... 887 votes 5.12%
    Al Barrow .......... 661 votes 3.82%
    Ed Ochs .......... 581 votes 3.35%
    David B. Duggan .......... 363 votes 2.10%
    (93 Total Write-In Votes 0.54%, 4 Over Votes)

    "un-american" should be, "un-American."

    Those who don't live in Los Osos, don't elect anyone.

    Last I checked, I was entitled to an opinion, elected or not. You are entitled to disagree with them. Character assassination is your added bonus apparently. Hey, if it makes you feel better - but Saddam Hussein? Why not Hitler?

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 12:14 AM, August 13, 2010  

  • 讓好心情回味發酵;壞心情留在文字裡隨時間消逝吧!............................................................

    By Blogger 幸家陳瑋齊, at 5:53 AM, August 13, 2010  

  • Is that all you got, Lynette?

    You're entitled to your opinion, not to your own facts. We're entitled to kick your ass and hold you accountable for your "opinions," including the opinion that you favored the CCRWQCB's "random lottery" enforcement action of 45 CDOs.

    The truth hurts, Lynette. The truth is just one character attack after another, right?

    Checkmate.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 10:13 AM, August 13, 2010  

  • Thank you for this piece, Ron. CDOers are no longer allowed to communicate with water board staff or with the water board through its staff. After years of ongoing communications between water board staff and CDOers while the PZLDF lawsuit has been in progress, a recent order from Mr. Michael Hughes requires us to direct all communications through the lawyers because we are engaged in litigation with the water board.

    While their own regulations require that the water board assist us, they now forbid us to talk to them – except through the lawyers. It is, therefore, gratifying to see that someone who is not a CDOer engaged in litigation with the water board is posing questions and voicing concerns directly to the water board that we are now forbidden to do – except through the lawyers.

    The mind-numbing irrationality of our experiences with the water board to date is reflected in your own recent correspondence to the CCRWQCB routed through the SWRCB. May you have better luck getting satisfactory responses than we have had.

    By Blogger Bev. De Witt-Moylan, at 9:25 PM, August 13, 2010  

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