Thursday, March 31, 2011

Would the Coastal Commission Still Have Approved the Tri-W Disaster in 2004, Had the Los Osos CSD Not Lied to Them?

[Note: Sara Wan is the current "Chair" of the California Coastal Commission. She was also a member of the Commission in 2004, when they approved the development permit for the now-failed Tri-W disaster -- a horrific decision, with horrific consequences -- which makes Wan the perfect recipient for the following email.]

Dear Commissioner Wan,

I think you are going to find this e-mail extremely interesting, and the reason I'm writing it to you is because, as you'll see, you are one of a tiny handful of people that can answer my question.

I recently wrote, and then published, a story on my blog, at this link:

... that shows (with links to primary sources, as usual) that the 2004 Los Osos CSD, and its engineers, had sitting on their desks in 2004, a wastewater project ("Exhibit 3-C") for Los Osos that was/is nearly identical to the project that SLO County officials just spent four years and some $8 million developing, and that you, and your fellow Commissioners, approved back in June of 2010, which includes major components like a sewer plant located east of town (on property directly "adjacent to the Andre site"... the "Giacomazzi" site), a "gravity" collection system, a small "pumping station" at the Tri-W site, and disposes "effluent" at a location called "the Broderson site."

As you probably recall from 2004's 3-C, that's the near-identical description of the 2004 LOCSD's "alternative" (to the Tri-W disaster), that they didn't use.

District engineers developed "Exhibit 3-C" at the request of the Coastal Commission, when the Commission asked the District (in May of 2004) to "evaluate whether parcels adjacent to the Andre site [bolding mine] provide a feasible opportunity to reduce potential project impacts."

As you also know, in 2004, instead of pursuing the (presumably) correct project -- Exhibit 3-C, with an out-of-town (and downwind) sewer plant, at the "environmentally superior alternative," "adjacent to the Andre site," and nearly identical to the county's currently approved (by you) project -- the 2004 LOCSD, and its engineers, opted to pursue their now-failed (after 11-years-and-counting of delay, and some $25 million), "infeasible" (county's word), colossally disastrous, laughably embarrassing, "mid-town," sewer plant/"picnic area" (on ESHA), "bait and switchy" (Coastal Commissioner's words) Tri-W... disaster.

Additionally, I also first exposed on my blog in 2005, at this link, how Los Osos CSD officials and its engineers (The Wallace Group, and Montgomery, Watson, Harza) deliberately (repeat: deliberately) left out millions of dollars worth of project components from the cost estimates for the Tri-W disaster, and then concluded in 3-C, "There does not appear to be any economic incentive to relocate the WWTF from the Tri-W site to (a site adjacent to the) Andre site."

And that was that -- those deliberately low-balled numbers (directly to the California Coastal Commission, I will point out) by the Los Osos CSD and its engineers in 2004, in Exhibit 3-C, appears to be the SOLE reason why the "environmentally superior" sewer plant location "adjacent to the Andre site," wasn't used in 2004 (instead of in 2011-and counting), because had the District and its engineers not fudge their numbers (to you, and your fellow Commissioners) in 3-C, in 2004, there, it certainly appears, would have been a lot of "economic incentive to relocate the WWTF from the Tri-W site to (a site adjacent to the) Andre site," as the county, and you, have now clearly concluded... in 2010... six years after 3-C... is the way to go.

As you probably also know, $8 million and four years of county analysis also reveals the following about the now-failed Tri-W disaster [bolding mine]:

- "(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."


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


- "Very high land value and mitigation requirements"


- Tri-W energy requirements: "Highest"


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


- "higher costs overall"

- - -

And all of that brings me to my question:

Had the 2004 Los Osos CSD not lied to you, and your fellow Commissioners, by deliberately low-balling their numbers in Exhibit 3-C, and therefore erroneously (on purpose) concluding that there was no "economic incentive" to pursue the correct, "environmentally superior" project for Los Osos (according to four years and $8 million worth of county analysis) in early 2004, would you still have voted to approve the Tri-W "project" in August of 2004?

Thank you very much for your time,

P.S. I thought this e-mail would be of interest to my readers, so I published it on my blog:

Thanks again


  • This is funny, I posted a link on my blog to this posting. Got the usual "anonymice" comments, all missing the point of this posting. But here, not a single comment? Guess the dogs are back chewing each other's ankles in my yard.

    By Blogger Churadogs, at 6:46 AM, April 03, 2011  

  • Chura writes:

    "But here, not a single comment?"

    Shhhhhh! Don't tempt 'em ; -)

    "... all missing the point of this posting."

    Of course they did. They're anonymous blog commentors, that's what they do. Look, there's a REASON they stay anonymous. If they weren't so dumb, they probably wouldn't be so anonymous.

    Speaking of blog comments, I tried to post the following on Ann's blog (on the post where she posted that I posted [huh?]), but it wouldn't take... again... for reasons unknown:

    - - -

    Wan hasn't replied, yet.

    But, if you think it through, she should be VERY relieved with my email -- it should be just the thing she's looking for to get her off the hook for her disastrous Tri-W vote in 2004., after my reporting, she can say something like, "Hey, I was TRICKED by the LOCSD into approving that mess."

    Instead of, "Yeah, I approved that disaster because I'm lazy, and didn't do my homework, and HAD I done my homework, we (the CCC) would have approved the near-exact same project in 2004, that County officials sent us in 2010... after $8 million and four years of analysis."

    Actual quote... dug up by SewerWatch, of course:

    "I admit that I probably didn't look at the specific language of the LCP, the way I should have."
    -- California Coastal Commission member, Sara Wan, August 11, 2004, discussing the Coastal Development Permit for the Tri-W project.

    Someone (other than anonymous blog commentors) is going to need to answer my excellent question:

    "Would the Coastal Commission Still Have Approved the Tri-W Disaster in 2004, Had the Los Osos CSD Not Lied To Them?"

    Monowitz? Gibson? Bianchi? Wan?

    You'd think Wan would jump at the chance... for the reasons I've outlined above.

    "See SewerWatch, the Tri-W disaster didn't happen because I'm lazy, it happened because I was lied to."

    There's your answer, Sara. I HIGHLY recommend that you use it.

    Thanks for the link, Ann, and have fun at the pizza party!

    - - -

    Yep, Wan should buy me lunch for handing her that GREAT out.

    Sara, you're welcome!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:51 AM, April 03, 2011  

  • Anonymous can be a headache sometimes. Unlike Ann, Ron, at least, does not let the inmates run the asylum. People should think twice about commenting on her site until she learns how to be a webmaster.

    The CC is a very, very fickle bunch.

    By Blogger The Razor, at 10:52 AM, April 03, 2011  

  • Interesting how Ann's site gets the most comments even if you filter out all the dreck. Maybe she doesn't need any advice.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 9:12 PM, April 03, 2011  

  • Ron ......They may well still have approved WWW anyway.
    Remember they were being romanced by the same, just leave town folk, that blatantly lied to us about the ponding plan to stop the County project @ $87.00.

    I am at a loss to understand why they (CCC) approved the use of a gravity system in an area well know by geologist to have a dangerously high potential to liquefaction.

    Our high groundwater table and soil beneath are identical to the Canterbury NZ region where the 2010 September earthquake occurred.

    They had a gravity system, the pipes have a built-in incline & flows downhill. After the lateral & up-down liquefaction event, the pipes were flowing uphill according to dye tests and witnesses.

    An article headed "What lies broken beneath" by THE PRESS ( stated "So downhill has suddenly become a different direction ......the dye is running back uphill to the sewer in the middle of her road .... which explains why the sewer poo tanker has been having to swing past daily".

    There is an excellent Preliminary Repot on the event headed "Liquefaction-induced damage during the 2010 Darfield Earthquake", written by Rolando P Orense, Dr Eng., PE from the Universisy of Auckland.
    (I don't know how to make my new Mac make a live link)

    That article and also "Geology in Motion" has many photos and facts on what we can expect to occur with a gravity system.

    We are now in a 30 to 40% danger zone and will likely move up to 40 to 50%, once we get the study updated to include the newly discovered and even closer Shoreline Fauit relevance.

    That is, if it is not swept under the rug in our insane mad rush to destroy our local environment.

    Love your article.

    By Blogger FOGSWAMP, at 10:23 AM, April 04, 2011  

  • Razor ........ I'm not sure folk should get all scratchy about ghost bloggers.

    We were all babies once that some parents hurled into the future, like a worn out leather football.

    Some of us learned on our own how to behave in public, whilst others, oooh, oooh, oooh, the sky is the limit.

    Just don't eat crackers in the bed of your future cause you may get all ......... scratchy.

    By Blogger FOGSWAMP, at 8:09 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • Hi FOG,

    You're right, but if the comments are the primary focus of a blog, there's an obligation to maintain the conversation.

    Complaining about the anonymous -- on your own site -- on someone else's site is weak.

    FYI, the CC did gloss over the liquefaction issue with LO, but not with Morro Bay. Why is that?

    By Blogger Razor Online, at 9:14 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • RO writes:

    "if the comments are the primary focus of a blog"

    Thank GOD that's not the case here.

    So, does anyone have any thoughts on Exhibit 3-C, and how MWH deliberately low-balled their numbers in it, and then that led to six years of disaster, and then the county spent $8 million and four years (where they short-listed MWH!), coming up with another Exhibit 3-C... in 2011?

    Any thoughts on that... anyone?

    My personal favorite part about how I exposed that MWH, and LOCSD officials, lied to the Coastal Commission in 2004 with Exhibit 3-C, and then that led to six years of utter disaster, is how I also exposed (of course) how MWH actually double-lied in Exhibit 3-C, by deliberately low-balling their numbers TWICE.

    Once, by deliberately leaving out the millions of dollars in park stuff


    Twice, by deliberately (and grossly) low-balling the numbers of the two park thing-ees they DID include, as I first exposed (of course), in October of 2009, at this link:

    ... where I also expose, "fraudulent concealment "tolls" the statute of limitations."

    Ann's SO right (as usual). If the city of Morro Bay has MWH-types walking around their offices, they REALLY need to hide the silverware.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:06 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • I wrote:

    "... that led to six years of utter disaster..."


    ... that led to seven-years-and-counting of utter disaster...

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:16 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • Hey Ron, do you have any e-mails from MWH to the board that indicate MWH was behind the 2004 CC low-balling and falsehoods? If you do, I would absolutely love to see them.

    By Blogger Razor Online, at 11:16 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • RO writes:

    "do you have any e-mails from MWH to the board that indicate MWH was behind the 2004 CC low-balling and falsehoods?"

    Those would be an interesting read, and, I'm sure, it will take a big crow bar (read: subpoena power) to pry those e-mails out of the CSD (they do not give up damaging public documents easily. Trust me. I've tried and tried. )

    Bit I DO have "MWH" on the cover of Exhibit 3-C, as I've repeatedly, and publicly, shown, over the past six years.

    That puts them "behind" the deliberate, and laughably extreme, low-balling (directly to the Coastal Commission) I've exposed in Exhibit 3-C, if you ask me. (GOTCHA MWH! Boo-yah!)

    Same with the Wallace Group. I mean, Rob Miller was the "District Engineer" when Exhibit 3-C was sitting on his desk. Why didn't HE see the extreme and deliberate low-balling, like I did?

    I appreciate the on-topic question.

    Also, real quick:

    I wrote above:

    "Thank GOD that's not the case here."


    "if the comments are the primary focus of a blog"

    Thank GOD that's not the case here, or on Ann's blog... at least for me.

    By Blogger Ron, at 11:44 AM, April 05, 2011  

  • Rob Miller has ALWAYS been, in the very LEAST, incompetant, but, there was something that went way beyond simply being inept...It was the way Rob & his "good buddy", Steve Hyland of MWH were constantly in a "huddle" at previous LOCSD meetings. When asked tough questions, they BOTH responded exactly the same way by stating, "they couldn't/wouldn't answer the questions because "they did not have their files/paperwork with them"...Go back & review some of the OLD LOCSD meering videos. I swear, they acted like LOVERS or TWINS. I have NEVER trusted either of them, but it seemed as though I was the only person in Los Osos who "saw through their scamming of the people. I'm glad that YOU are trying to open a few eyes about this very evil man & his co-horts.

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 9:19 AM, April 07, 2011  

  • Hugh writes:

    "Rob Miller has ALWAYS been, in the very LEAST, incompetant... "

    It sure seems that way, but he's still at the CSD, which is weird.

    I mean, here he is, the engineer most responsible for wasting $25 million and 11-years-and-counting on the Tri-W disaster, and he's still with the District? Huh?

    Why didn't the 5-0 post recall board do to him, what they did to Mike Drake and Bruce Buel? You know, show him the door. Would anyone have even blinked?

    He deserved it WAY more than Drake, and that's REALLY saying something.

    If I get around to it, I'll ask Julie Tacker that interesting question.

    THEN, AFTER Miller wastes all that time and money developing the Tri-W embarrassment, what's the first thing his friend and former work-mate (at Wallace), Paavo Ogren, does the moment the county gets the project? Hires his ol' buddy Miller as a consultant, and then puts him in charge of the friggin' TAC!

    I'd ask Miller, if his 2010 TAC's final project is the exact same as his 2004 Exhibit 3-C project, then why the fuck did he waste all that time, money and human-toll on the Tri-W disaster/embarrassment? But I also know he won't even allow me to ask him that question, just like his buddy Hyland did to me in 2004, when I was researching Three Blocks, without permission from his friend Paavo, first.

    Between you and me, Hugh, I'll take a stab at the answer to my great question:

    Lots and lots and LOTS of $$$$$$$.

    That's why he didn't use Exhibit 3-C in 2004, and instead went with the over-the-top disastrous, lie-based, Tri-W... disaster.

    "The first rule of government spending: Why build one, when you can have two at twice the price?
    - S.R. Hadden, from the movie, "Contact"

    Sounds like Miller's a HUGE fan of that movie.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:03 AM, April 07, 2011  

  • Ron, Miller dedicated his time and resources to Tri-W because his superiors at Wallace wanted him to. Allegedly, he told people in mid-2005 that he personally wanted ponds, and STEP/STEG (plus treatment out of town) interested him.

    Maybe he is incompetent by allowing others to manipulate his personal judgment, but maybe he was also following orders just so he can continue putting food on the table for his family.

    By Blogger Razor Online, at 10:11 AM, April 07, 2011  

  • Razor, I love you to death, but I simply cannot go along with your "theory" that maybe he just is following orders so he can "keep food on the table"...Come on now, there is that little thing called "ethics", but I must be in the minority on that score. Also, If I had EVER BACK DATED a contract, like Bruce Buel did, I would no longer have my "professional license" & would really be unable to earn a living. Again, it goes back to personal ETHICS, Either you have it or you don't. I'm realizing more & more that there are VERY FEW people in SLO County who have ethics.

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 4:47 PM, April 07, 2011  

  • Ron, I tried to give my opinion about Miller to the "Lisa Board", but for some reason, he had them all "snowed". A huge part of the "problem" with the "Lisa Board" is that they were BLIND SIDED BY THAT DUMB ASS Gail McPherson. You MUST remember HER, "the SELF APPOINTED ADVISOR to the "Lisa Board". Talk about getting piss poor advice! SHE alone was the downfall of THAT LOCSD Board. Look at the money SHE wasted on that dumb ass PZLDF law suit...She alone really conned those 45 CDO holders. Look at the money SHE & SULLIVAN scammed from them & look at the outcome! Talk about a waste of money & time. These people need to WAKE UP....That's the reason Los Osos continues to get SCAMMED, they TRUST the WRONG prople.

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 4:57 PM, April 07, 2011  

  • Ron, BTW, don't expect Julie to answer any of your tough questions. She was warned about Miller, but instead of asking HIM the tough questions, she chose to flirt with him, just like she did with Dan Bleskey...That's just the way SHE is. She's really no friend to the citizens of the PZ, no matter what she says to the contrary, she's only interested in "taking care of herself"...

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 7:06 PM, April 08, 2011  

  • Has Pandora had yet another "procedure" done on her face? AKA a facelift? Anyway, I attended a concert at the Botanical gardens in SLO, & Pandora was there, Her face looked so tight, I thought maybe she had pulled up all that excess skin up under her hair,not looking too good, in my opinion, she got royally ripped off on the job.

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 6:46 PM, April 14, 2011  

  • Hugh writes:

    "Anyway, I attended a concert at the Botanical gardens in SLO, & Pandora was there..."

    Of course she was. The Botanical Gardens is her, and Gary's, new cash machine. So, of course, she is TIGHT with the Botanical garden, just like she was with the Los Osos CSD.

    She's now running the exact Behavior-based-marketing/SWA Group/Joe Runco scam she ran in Los Osos from 1997 - 2005 (the year of the recall), and that I detail at this excellent link:

    ... at the SLO Botanical Garden, as I first exposed at this excellent link:

    ... and, that I hilariously titled, The Great San Los Osobispo Botanical Sewer Garden Project!

    (Damn, I'm funny.)

    And that's also why I just sent (today) the following e-mail to Curtis Black, Director of County Parks, and cc'd it to all the Supes (and the Shredder ; -):

    [next comment]

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:40 AM, April 15, 2011  

  • Hello Curtis,

    I was just reading, at this link:

    . . . how "a reluctant Board of Supervisors" agreed "to siphon $125,000 from the county Parks Department’s rainy day fund," at their April 12th meeting, so "Services at county parks will continue at their current level through the rest of this fiscal year."

    Interestingly, that was the same meeting where, according to your e-mail below, "The request for $300,000 of Public Facility Fee funding would provide landscape and hardscape improvements at the facility in El Chorro Regional Park. This request has been recommended for approval by the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission," was originally scheduled to be heard.

    However, also in your e-mail, you write, "The presentation for the Board of Supervisors has been delayed to allow time to ensure environmental review is completed prior to the Board hearing.  Therefore, this topic will not be included on the April 12, 2011 Board Agenda."

    So, to be clear, that "request" by the Parks Commission "for $300,000 of Public Facility Fee funding" was delayed "to allow time to ensure environmental review," and NOT because it would have coincided with the Parks Department "siphoning $125,000" for themselves, at the same meeting where they ask for $300,000 for the Botanical Garden, which Parks Commissioners have direct financial ties to, right?

    One last question, please.

    What kind of "environmental review" must be "completed" before you go back to the Supervisors and ask for that $300,000 for "landscape and hardscape improvements at the facility in El Chorro Regional Park?"

    As always, much thanks,

    P.S. By the way, a couple weeks back, I phoned officials at the Botanical Garden, and asked them who gets paid to do their "landscape and hardscape improvements?"

    They said they would get back to me with an answer, but, of course, they never did. However, just two days after I asked them that question, I received your email below.

    Thanks again

    - - -

    At 9:44 AM -0700 4/1/11, wrote:
    Good Morning,
    You have received this message because you have attended a meeting or expressed interest in a
    recent funding request from San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens (SLOBG).  The request for $300,000 of Public Facility Fee funding would provide landscape and hardscape improvements at the facility in El Chorro Regional Park.  This request has been recommended for approval by the SLO County Parks and Recreation Commission.

    The presentation for the Board of Supervisors has been delayed to allow time to ensure environmental review is completed prior to the Board hearing.  Therefore, this topic will not be included on the April 12, 2011 Board Agenda.  You are encouraged to check the Board's weekly agenda at  to stay abreast of this topic.  Once the information is complete County Parks will present this request to the Board.

    Thank you for your support for County Parks & Recreation!

    Curtis Black
    Deputy Director - Parks
    County of San Luis Obispo
    General Services Agency
    (805) 781-5204
    Delivering excellence to every customer.

    - - -

    Hugh also writes:

    "... she got royally ripped off on the job."

    Maybe that's what she needed the $300,000 for? You know... better work.

    Just thinkin' out loud.

    By Blogger Ron, at 10:41 AM, April 15, 2011  

  • Well Ron, like Daddy always told me, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear" & Daddy was seldom wrong about people...

    By Blogger hugh jass, at 8:37 PM, April 15, 2011  

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