Something smells in Los Osos

January 21, 2010
Los Osos, California, population 14,500, is about to lose it’s drinking water source due to local government mis-management and agency irresponsibility.

Current well tests show the average nitrate levels are one half milligram over drinking water standards (minimal) but sea water has intruded into, and filled the pyramid shaped water basin, from it’s base to at least half way to the top. Nitrates can be easily filtered at the well heads but chloride, from the sea water intrusion (SWI), is a far more problematic pollutant.

Up until about 10 years ago, San Luis Obispo County was the water purveyor for Los Osos. They, as well as the Regional Water Board, were fully aware of the SWI but ignored it, despite officially designating the basin as Level III Water Resource Severity as late as 2007.

These government agencies, whose purpose includes protection of resources, targeted Los Osos, a low income, coastal town for nitrate pollution and directed the construction of a conventional Gravity collection style industrial sewer system. The unincorporated town, under the threat of severe potential fines, voted to assess themselves $25,000 per household plus “fees and charges” for an undefined project.

What was promised, in the Engineer’s Report for the 218 special tax assessment Election, was that alternative low pressure STEP technology would be compared with the conventional Gravity system. As the EIR process progressed, it was acknowledged that STEP technology had the potential for less impacts to the environment and was likely less expensive than the conventional system. Just prior to final project comparison, the county government, the lead agency for the project, dropped the STEP option and stated they would be building a conventional system despite being much more expensive and substantially more environmentally detrimental.

Local residents, citizen’s groups, environmental groups and agencies have protested the county’s decisions, but San Luis Obispo County, who stands to collect 15-20 percent administration on the total Project cost from this working class community, insists on building an outdated and costly conventional project.

Our local county government has a history for sole-sourcing, eliminating competition and innovation, and creating a climate where the good ol’ boys get the contracts. Los Osos’ predicament is not isolated, as several other towns within the county have compromised their water basins due to pressure and neglect by the government.

Most disturbing is the continued use of obsolete technology for the purpose of keeping associates in business. There is a great deal of conflict of interest that is being brushed under the rug. Not only does this cost the taxpayers, these unsustainable projects jeopardize the water supply and harm the sensitive ecosystem which borders a National Estuary/State Marine Reserve, and supports rare and endangered plants and animals.

Legal representation is badly needed to protect what remains of the Los Osos water supply, as well as  the environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA), and the people who, because of astronomical and unnecessary costs, stand to lose their homes.

Los Osos is a precedent-setting case because of its designation as a Prohibition (No-discharge) Zone by the Central Coast Regional Water Board, and could determine the fate for more than a dozen other small communities on septic systems. Because of the strong political climate, sustainable solutions are not being attained and the region needs assistance.

The State Attorney General would be the correct agency to go to for relief but they represent the Water Board, leaving the people at a catastrophic loss. Los Osos could be a shining example of how to do things right, but instead it continues to perpetuate what is wrong.  Unless we have legal representation at the upcoming Coastal Commission hearings, due to severe budget cuts, the Coastal Commission may approve the flawed project just  because they are too under staffed to refute it.  We are hoping that someone will rise to the occasion and help our community out of this big mess.

Piper Reilly is a member of the Los Osos Sustainability Group.


Not to start a new string… but

These nested comments are a pain.

It is unfortunate that the HISTORYof Los Osos as presented in “something Smells in Los Osos” may had been written ten years ago. It seems to omit events that took place between ’04 and ’09. Given that there was no mention of certain specifics, they must NOT have happened. Given that these events did not happen perhaps now is the right time to propose them.

I propose that prior to utilizing the extreme action of Legal representation at the Coastal Commission it may be wise to enact the following solutions;

1. Form A Community Service District.

2. Have them propose a project.

3. If the Project is unsatisfactory Recall the Directors and install a new Board

4. Have the new board Negotiate successefully with the regulatory authorities. Have them take actions to prevent bancruptcy, propose a credible alternative.

5. If that does not work have a legislator propose a compromise that will transfer authority back to the county.

6. Have the Governor sign it.

. Have the County begin a process to look for an alternative location, incorporating public comment….

Just wouldn’t want this thing to NOT follow some kind of process.


New thought, dig a hole shove all the old CSD members in it, and stay on septic until the economy recovers and the wars are over, might be better then dropping another bomb on only a selected,” by the CSD” few, excluding the rich on the hill and the 5 million dollar homes excluded on highland, and the entire county of SAN LUIS OBISPO, we payed for your sewer, some thing smells.


I’m starting a new reply thread because it’s getting harder and harder to read the replies in the previous one.

You did single out one appellant, which is the person who penned the viewpoint above our comments. Read your first comment, which is located on the bottom of the page.

I disagree with your contention that the commissioners consider the LOWWP as their “pet cause” only because of the fact that the Coastal Commission has to tackle several agenda items that all need careful consideration. They wouldn’t have the time or the capacity to put one issue on the pedestal and focus exclusively on that. You’d have to go up, over and beyond the burden of proof to show that their decisions were a result a mutual agreement to stonewall the project’s progress. The burden of proof is on you.

It’s true. The County could very well deny the project and send it back to the district, but that would not make political or logical sense. There is a bankruptcy hearing on February 18 for the LOCSD. The district is overwhelmed with creditors and financial problems that would significantly jeopardize the expediency of designing and constructing of a wastewater project under their purview. If the County were to not approve the project, they risk losing supporters and approval from those who voted to be assessed for a sewer (the 218 assessment). They would be facing near-unanimous disdain from the community and the Regional Water Board would feel compelled to proceed with enforcement. Blakeslee’s AB2701 would be a failure and the County loses its stature as a competent governing body.

As far as the staging area substantial issue is concerned, I think it’s reasonable to assume that Sanchez was influenced by Tacker in ex parte communications to pursue that, but that’s looking at one slice of the pie.

Protocol is protocol. Look at what happened the last time one governing body tried to cut corners. Three board members were recalled.


I believe that you are confusing me with another poster. I only spoke of Ms. Reilly as to the name change from Piper Laurie. However I agree with that poster at the bottom.

I couldn’t find who you said posted that the LOWWP was a pet cause. Wasn’t me.

I’m not sure you realize the fantasy thinking of the Perfect Sewer people. In their world, the CSD could take the project back and get financing from some outside funder. The Water Board will not dare to continue threats as a new sewer would be moving forward quickly on existing Ripley “plans.” The 218 was illegal in their minds, so who needs it? They distain the County already – if more joined their way of thinking they’d be jubilant!

I’m glad that you see where the staging area came from. As CC staff found no substantial issue, do you really think that the Commissioners read the thousands of pages and grasped all the issues? No, more input from appellants got them to think along those lines to state denial.

Maybe you can tell me what was illegal about what old Board members did? People didn’t like that sewer, but what actually was illegal?


I did confuse Mythbuster and bustamove. Both of you express similar sentiments.

Regarding the “pet cause” statement, you wrote, “In offering the Commissioners a host of issues, they may have struck out for their pet cause…”

I’m not going to presume what “fantasy thinking” that people have. I only go by their word and documentation. As I said to Sewerlass on, speculation on their intent is purely a waste of time.

I’m no commissioner but I’ve noticed that commissioners had plenty of time to read the materials and deliberate. If you’re saying that appellants pushed the commissioners just enough to vote yes on substantial issues, that’s reasonable to assume, but I wouldn’t necessarily go out on a limb and say that the appellants forced the commission’s hand in making the “no” vote. I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss appellant concerns as being rubbish either. There’s a lot of factors to consider here.

I can talk briefly about one instance where the recalled board cut corners (it’s relevant to what’s happening now). The board declined to do a Prop. 218 vote for their 2005 LOWWP even though it was required by law. The board applied for funding without a dedicated source of revenue. Right now, the County is going after $80 million in USDA stimulus funds; most of which is a loan with interest. How is the Prohibition Zone going to pay that loan off? Here we have a project that will cost at least $165 million and at least $250/month. With stimulus funds, it will be slightly cheaper but we will have to compensate for the savings at some point. The sewer bill is still costly and we’re now facing a 48% increase in rates from Golden State. Neither the recalled board nor the County took these factors into serious consideration. We don’t even know if we’re going to even get that $80 million in full. John Diodati said it would be more likely if we got $60 million from the USDA.


I’m not sure what there is to speculate on the Fantasy/Perfect Sewer people. Some appellants are still trying to get STEP back – isn’t that fantasy? Yet they still push for it and bring it up at every public venue. Ain’t gonna happen!

They act like taking the $5 million out of the project costs to buy washing machines or pay water auditors are costs that we don’t have to pay for! Let the water purveyors deal with that – Oh, wait they are – hence the 48% raise in rates at Golden State! And the CSD is raising rates too!

I think that the project as it was would eventually address whatever issues that there were as they came up. No need to micromanage at the CCC level, that is just absurd and so detrimental to getting funding to help with the cost of this thing. This is not a rich community and to make it “iffy” to get whatever funds that there might be is just a crime.

The recalled board did follow the law, as you seem to think that sewer rates which need to be paid monthly wouldn’t happen and that they wouldn’t be a dedicated revenue stream! I keep hearing this plea that they didn’t follow the law, yet what is the number of that law and why wasn’t anyone prosecuted? The new Board sued everyone else! Why not the old Board too? Doesn’t make sense, just sounds like back-biting to me to support the recall proposal.

Also, how much better that old plan was! No lien on your property the way it has to be now! And aren’t the same people that said that 218 was illegal now saying that THIS 218 is illegal too? Makes me think that they just don’t want to pay for this thing. So why they are trying to stall it and lose the funding, no matter what it is, to help bring the cost DOWN — it says to me “No Sewer.”

You said: “With stimulus funds, it will be slightly cheaper but we will have to compensate for the savings at some point.” What does that statement mean? We have to pay for the project anyway – why not get a grant and cheap money?


It’s useless to squabble over what the appellants intend to do. I see you constantly portraying them in the weakest possible light. It’s not worth it.

Paavo Ogren talked about water disposal at the Broderson site being addressed as a “trial and error” basis — and that whole “trial and error” thing is what you’re alluding to when you say the project would “…eventually address whatever issues that there were as they came up.” Flaws in large public works project are not always fixed with on-the-fly, band-aid solutions. Problems cost money to fix and that money comes out of our pocket. For the past few months, we’ve seen reports on raw sewage spills around the Central Coast due to blocked sewer mains. The Ca. Department of Health has to be called out to assess groundwater contamination and the clean-up crews have to constantly deal with these messes — and we pay for that.

The recalled board did not properly secure a funding source. A proper 218 assessment would have paved the way for them to follow through. Here’s what the 218 is all about:

The proposition was approved by state voters in November 1996, but the proposition became a mandate in July 1, 1997 for local governments to adjust existing fees and assessments to be in conformity with the proposition’s requirements. Former CSD director Richard LeGros has been vocal with his contention that that the 218 was not needed for the project his board supervised, but the 218 was needed for SLO County. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, LeGros is wrong. There were no prosecutions, but there were lawsuits filed. I don’t remember the case name or number at the moment.

The “stalling means ‘No Sewer'” argument is a tired argument. There’s no question that most people in Los Osos want a sewer, but an affordable sewer would be nice. That doesn’t mean they secretly want no sewer at all. Steve Paige is the only visible public figure that leans toward “No Sewer” at this moment in time. I don’t see a lot of people that fit your character descriptions.

In my opinion, $165 million to boot is not that affordable. Adding stimulus funds savings is just trimming the hedges. WRAC once said the monthly bill would come down to $91/month with stimulus funds, but that was purely speculative — so we really don’t know what savings we’ll actually get. I think it’s important to address the substantial issues first before pushing for stimulus funds that don’t necessarily guarantee us qualitative cost savings.


I am responding to quietbay up here as again, this has gotten too lengthy.

I am echoing an earlier poster, but it is a sad comment on “community” when people with their own personal agendas can bypass the wishes of the majority of us and block moving forward and jeopardize our chance at making this cheaper.

I will shout this because this is the root of the problem:

THERE IS NO PERFECT SEWER – this is for those who think that as a layperson, they have great additions to an engineering project. The time for that has passed, you made your input, now get out of the way, stop throwing out doubts, and don’t force more expense down our throats because your pet doohickey wasn’t added!.

Let’s just get down to facts. We had an opportunity for $16 million in grant funding. Is it better NOT to get that? Does it make it easier NOT to have that money? If that USDA money is not already used up by September, it simply goes away. I heard a rumor that we might be on the CC agenda for August. Might be too late. How does that help the community to pay for this?

It’s like playing the lottery. You aren’t going to win if you don’t play. Will we win? The odds are better than lotto, that’s for sure. Would $15 million help? $10 million?

Those who claim we would have a cheaper project with STEP?STEG have not won, so even if they believed that, how are we going to get that so called “cheaper project?” How do they think they are going to knock down the price by adding stuff? Is a POSSIBLE wetland on already tilled soil more important than even more neighbors moving? Apparently so.

You make this statement:

“For the past few months, we’ve seen reports on raw sewage spills around the Central Coast due to blocked sewer mains. The Ca. Department of Health has to be called out to assess groundwater contamination and the clean-up crews have to constantly deal with these messes — and we pay for that.” Gee, since we are not getting STEP which apparently you think would alleviate that problem, how about making people do maintenance on their public works projects so that these things don’t happen? This is not an analogy that works.

Sorry, Broderson has a great chance of taking all of the water, 440AFY. Can any engineer guarantee that? No. Will an engineering firm build it feeling that it is likely to fail. No. Yet we have willing engineering firms! How is fixing some hypothetical problem in advance going to make it cheaper?

I guess you are just going to believe what you want. Don’t you care? Maybe you don’t live in the Prohibition Zone, so the cost is not an issue for you.


There’s one problem, though: I didn’t mention STEP/STEG. You did and you keep mentioning it when that’s not what I’m talking about.

I spoke to the USDA and they told me that it would be best to apply for funding sooner before later because of all the other public works projects that require funding — at least before September. However, at the same time, they also said that the County would have to get back in line and apply for funding again from scratch if they miss the September deadline. In other words, it does not “simply go away.” The USDA has expressed interest in working with Los Osos to get stimulus funds because our project is already part of the FY 2010 Agricultural Bill’s budget appropriations. If the County doesn’t follow through by September, they would have to file a new application and pursue funds later.

You can keep saying how “sad” it is for people to pursue their agendas and “bypass the wishes of the majority,” but this is the United States of America. Everyone has an agenda. Everyone, including you, is pursuing a personal agenda to some extent. On this site, your agenda is to discredit, vilify and oppress the dissenting opinion (“Now get out of the way!”) while your friend, bustamove, decries the ‘minority ruling vocal bully class” for oppressing others. I find it sad that hypocrisy is so rampant in Los Osos, and I’m not going to tell people to get out of the way because they have every right to express their opinions as much as I do.

I believe we should toss out the whole minority-majority argument. Instead, we need to focus on leaving no stone unturned. We should take every argument, consider it, calmly talk about it like adults face-to-face instead of anonymously calling out people on the blogs who refuse to do the same things that you’re doing to them. Enough is enough, people.


We HAVE been talking about this for 30 years. At what point do you think we need to DO SOMETHING about it? We have faced every argument so far. The problem is, just when we are poised to DO SOMETHING about it, another argument pops up, another “stone” appears — to stall things.

I only mention STEP/STEG because it is the mantra of the “lets-pretend-to-make-it-cheaper” crowd. So just let me ask to lay this thing to rest – Are you in favor of STEP/STEG?

Pursue funds later? Just when would that be? You’re certain that the same conditions will apply? You’re certain that other projects won’t be more compelling than ours, you’re are certain that there will be some money left somewhere? And this great bidding climate (another way to really make this cheaper) — will it hold out forever too? Yeah, easy to say, “start from scratch.” That’s what the No Sewer people have been doing. So far it has worked, there is no sewer.

I disagree, leaving no stone unturned MEANS “Perfect Sewer.” Since there is no such thing, all that really means is “let’s delay this thing forever.”


Talking about what for 30 years? You can talk about a problem for 30 years and yet have no idea on how to resolve it. There is no possible way that we have endured “every argument” because the sewer situation is complex and constantly evolving. We won’t get anything done if we take one issue and dismiss it by saying, “We’ve heard that one before” every time it’s brought up. What makes matters interesting is that the Coastal Commission’s vote to raise substantial issues tells us that there are issues that have not been addressed before — so when you tell me, “We have faced every argument so far,” that doesn’t mean every argument has been resolved.

My positions are this: I am in full support of an affordable, fully functional wastewater treatment facility for Los Osos. If there are systems that are just as viable as gravity collection and they’re cheaper, it would be wise to for people to take a magnifying glass and closely look at the alternatives. It’s true. The County never considered alternatives and they’ll never revisit STEP/STEG — and that’s fine and dandy, but in my opinion, the County has been admittedly prejudiced throughout what they initially called an “objective, co-equal analysis of alternatives” in compliance with CEQA guidelines. I’m not in favor of any system, but I am in favor of due process and the law.

We can pursue funds later. To tell you the truth, I don’t know when we can, but the USDA said that we could. I’m sure there are projects that are more “compelling” than ours, but at the same time, because we’re part of a federal budget appropriation bill, the USDA — as well as other agencies that handle the distribution of stimulus funds in California — must set aside funds for a project that has already been earmarked for spending by Congress. In short, that money does not “go away.” Will we get the full $80 million after the Sep. deadline? I don’t know, but the USDA is compelled to work with us. The only setback that I see currently is that the County would have to re-file their application, pay that fee for it and our local congressmen would have to resubmit a population waiver request.

Lastly, I disagree with your “translation.” Leaving no stone unturned doesn’t mean “perfect sewer.” Nothing will be perfect, but it’s still a part of the commissioners’ fiduciary duty to weigh the imperfections that could make our project FAR from perfect.


The time for magnifying glasses is not at the brink of the CCC permit. Not everyone will be satisfied, that is a given, so at what point do we say, “good enough?”

The County DID consider the alternatives. The STEP/STEG supporters just didn’t like the answer that they got. So now they claim that their pet technology wasn’t looked at. Sue the County if you think that they didn’t follow due process, people. And ha-ha — good luck with that one!

Right, the staging area (with a greenhouse and a bunch of horses) wasn’t looked at for snails. Really important! Let’s kick a few more people out of town because we might find a few snails there! And we don’t like the way the farmland was looked at for possible wetlands. Did anyone follow the farmer around to see if he was respecting wetlands? No, I didn’t think so. Broderson? It was apparently fine last time around with 880AFY going in. But, no, now with 440AFY it is suddenly a problem at the Coastal Commission — and this after the enviros dumped the sprayfields which were the safety net – much applauded by these Piper people, and now these SAME people want a “safety net.” Really, is THAT what they want?

I STILL claim that lobbying Commissioners for looking at possible “problems” was really a bid to put STEP/STEG back on the table, and if you read the LOSG’s viewpoint in the Trib today, that is exactly what they are still trying to do. “Constantly evolving” are the excuses to stop a sewer.


“Freedom of Speech…” People love to throw that around Los Osos to protect themselves when spouting their over opinionated rhetoric to keep the sewer at bay or rather keep our sewerage flowing into the bay. Yes, there is freedom of speech but what about my right to clean water or freedom from oppression of the minority ruling vocal bully class? What about my right to free myself from enforcement actions and the only remedy is a waste water project but self proclaimed sewer experts say we don’t need one. What about my freedom to pursue a new bathroom for my house? What about the freedom to enact the voters will like the 218? Sure we have freedom of speech but when the speech is full of uneducated speculation and regurgitated rhetoric then that isn’t speech that’s just lying. How do we protect ourselves from the lies that prevent me from remedying the enforcement action that is keeping me from enjoying my property and my life? It is clearly the protesters for perfection that are keeping me, and others, from our inalienable rights to the pursuit of happiness. If government is not allowing this than the constitution clearly states to change government. The citizens of Los Osos has gone through 3 major transitions from the recall, 2006 and 2008 – a complete 180 to a local governance that supports the county and supports a waste water project and we still have people plotting to overthrow the current project, contemplate class action lawsuits and accusing agencies of the illegal taking of property. Those people are illegally taking my right to clean water, happiness and the pleasure of my home. Your freedom ends where it denies me mine.


It doesn’t matter what people intend to do by utilizing their freedom of speech, but it’s still a fundamentally guaranteed and protected right: guaranteed by the Brown Act (Government Code §§ 54950-54962), protected by the California Constitution (Article 1, Section 2) and the U.S. Constitution (First Amendment). If you cannot handle legally protected disagreement — which is a clear contribution to due process of this project — within a small community, then you need to reevaluate your positions.

I don’t see where this “oppression of the minority ruling vocal bully class” is coming from. If you can provide some examples, I’d greatly appreciate it. Here’s what I’ve seen: I see 4-5 people who regularly speak at the Board of Supervisors meetings every Tuesday who repeat themselves and — in one form or another — beg the board to reconsider adding STEP/STEG back to the design-build process. I watched the Coastal Commission where several appellants raised substantial issues that the commissioners acknowledged, but there has been no causal connection between public opinion criticizing the County’s handling of the project and the project being delayed.

Actually, let me make a correction. I can see the “oppression of the minority ruling vocal bully class” as that behavior has been exhibited by you personally and your colleagues. In your first comment, you falsely portrayed Piper Reilly as being mentally unstable and “yelling at people in grocery stores,” yet I don’t see Mrs. Reilly applying the same treatment in her viewpoints. Why is that? There are a few people on and Calhoun’s Cannon who have created several accounts to simply troll individuals who they have a problem with. There are accusations of people lying without evidence, there are threats of lawsuits simply over simple opinion and there was a book that was written to solely create a strawman out of the filthy “UltraOpposition,” and the author engaged in borderline defamation to criticize the “small, vocal minority.” How is that not oppression?

You have the freedom to take issue with your property rights, but you also have the freedom to be wrong.


quietbay quote:

“but there has been no causal connection between public opinion criticizing the County’s handling of the project and the project being delayed.”

How do you know?

Do you mean that those who filed appeals are not the same as those who complain to the Supervisors? That they did not communicate with the Commissioners privately beyond their appeals? That because of the number of appeals some Commissioners were convinced there must be a problem with the project, causing OBVIOUS delay? Sorry, U R F O S!


It boils down to who made the decisions. Neither Piper Reilly nor the appellants made the decision to halt permit approval and request a de novo hearing. You’re implying the argument that some of the appellants had ex parte communications with the commissioners so therefore, the commissioners were automatically swayed and the appellants are responsible for delaying the project. You do realize that the biggest substantial issue raised by the appellants — which was the lack of reconsideration of STEP/STEG and alternatives — was not a substantial issue raised by the commission, right? The commissioners did not vote in lockstep with the appellants.

I believe you’re referring to Commissioner Pat Kruer’s comments when he said, “This is the longest substantial issue hearing I’ve ever been part of, and that alone tells me there’s substantial issue.” Neither he nor any other commissioner said the number of appeals alone meant there was a problem with the project. Clearly, there is a serious misinterpretation of events on your account of the meeting.


The intent was to go to a full De Novo. Just because the STEP/STEG people failed to get that – doesn’t mean that they didn’t TRY! They had to hedge their bets so they threw everything but the kitchen sink at it! Stuff that wasn’t even brought up at the Planning Commission! Throw enough slop against the wall – something is bound to stick – just the most important thing for them didn’t! Too bad, so sad! However, the rest of the glop is now slowing down the process.

Do you think that Commissioners cannot be influenced? Do you think that their decisions cannot be influenced? Appellants DID have ex-partes with Commissioners, you know that, right?

Why do you think that the substantial issue hearing was so long? 23 or so appellants maybe?


Now you’re changing your angle. First you asserted that the appellants like Mrs. Reilly were delaying the project, but now you’re saying that they simply tried to — and that’s your opinion. Now, we’ve come to a consensus that there is no casual connection between the appellants’ testimony and the project being delayed. The difference in our opinions is how we look at the intent behind the appeals.

The commissioners disclosed their ex partes before the hearing began. I’m sure they were influenced by the appellants, but that’s different than saying that they were completely swayed by them and because of that, the appellants are therefore responsible for the sewer delay. I personally don’t see the need to attack the appellants or the commissioners because both parties went by protocol.

Think of it this way: the issues raised were so substantial that the commissioners felt it was absolutely necessary to waive expedition of a project that needs stimulus funds; their decision went against the grain of the project’s momentum. That tells me that the County had several things that were unaccounted for — so if you really want to play the blame game, I suggest you take issue with the County, not Mrs. Reilly.


I feel that you are not reading what I wrote. Appellants – I’m not singling out anyone specific – are what has caused the delay. You can try to generalize and exaggerate to make your point, but it isn’t convincing me in the least.

In offering the Commissioners a host of issues, they may have struck out for their pet cause, but delay is still the result. The delay so far has not favored their cause, but it still might. ****It is better than a full-ahead APPROVAL of the project isn’t it?***** The BOS still might not accept the project, tossing it back to the District. They still have time to look for money to finance a lawsuit. They have time to try to get STEP/STEG back onto the table, do you think that they are not lobbying Commissioners for that right now? No consensus here quietbay, but I see how you are trying to twist my words.

All the Commissioners didn’t need to be completely swayed by the appellants. They needed only enough doubt to garner enough votes – they got 7 Commissioners out of 12 – to stall the process. Had there been no appellant grousing about the staging area for instance, do you REALLY think the Commissioners would have thought that up by themselves? Protocol following does not necessarily deliver a better project, nor does it guarantee ANY project. Delay is the fallback mode if you don’t get what you want the first time.


Amen, Bustamove!

I for one, would gladly join in a class action lawsuit against Piper and her band of anti-sewer nutjobs. The voters of Los Osos have spoken and want a sewer, sooner than later. They are costing us millions in increased construction costs every year they have delayed the project. And now, with their appeals to the Coastal Commission, it looks like they’re trying to cost us nearly $80,000,000 in Federal stimulus money to help with the project. They talk about bankrupting the residents, but they’re trying to bury every opportunity for the residents to actually get some real assistance.


I find it troubling that people in Los Osos are willing to file lawsuits over people’s freedom of speech, especially when these supposed “lawsuits” are based on false pretenses.


Right on bustamove! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

These Johnny-come-latelys think they know everything, but the truth is they have selective hearing.

The STEP mongers never tell you that their solution means you have to keep your septic tank in use, it has to be periodically pumped and it has to pass inspection, and if it fails inspection, the property owners have to pay to replace it. And let’s face it, most septic tanks in town are so old they are already past their expected lifespan.

Is it any wonder people voted for gravity instead? Why pay for a community sewer system and keep your septic tank? That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

AND, with gravity systems, there is no pressure in the pipes, so if it does crack, water goes into the sewer pipe not the other way around. Put the WW under pressure and every crack will spew raw sewage into the groundwater. Which is worse?

And I’ve never seen any cost figures on STEP, just a vague assertion that it is 20 percent cheaper, but there is never any reference to a company or engineer that would make or stand-by their claims.

Don’t misunderstand, I think some of the sewer fighters have some good points, namely that the entire town should be hooked up not just the PZ people. The folks on the top of the hill, who can best afford the sewer don’t have to pay for it. Something is truly fishy with that scenario but just about everything else the anti-sewer folks say is BS.

Some of these sewer fighters are among the nuttiest people I’ve ever encountered.


Hi Paperboys, I agree with you right up to adding in the hill group. Only on the grounds that adding them on means I get to pay a whole lot more, as their part of the project is mondo-expensive and would raise the cost to us all!


Like Joey Ricanno, taken out of a tree I’ve looked at for forty years my hero, and you write,”The folks on the top of the hill, who can best afford the sewer.” DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT BECAUSE THE CORRUPT CSD VOTED THEM OUT, BULLSH*T, you prove my point perfectly, they don’t want to pay and you want me to vote that the slums of Los Osos have to pay for the Beverly Hills sewer, jump in and swim. THAT’S LIKE SOUTH CENTRAL PAYS FOR PACIFIC PALISADES,,,,, when they fix this Kennedy assasination type sh*t, then we will have a sewer and no sooner. P.S. I have proof one of the key players in the CSD had a severe drug problem with Meth, as per my wishes he confessed this problem to doctor Gannon at the probation department, has since moved and taken his problem with him, along with this type of thing back dating documents, stealing money from the poor, saying they would put it in midstate and we would get it back if the sewer did not get built, the CSD = HURST= GEARHART


Why did the name Piper Laurie disappear and the name Piper Reilly appear?


“Rise to the occasion to help our community out of this big mess? You mean the mess that the community has helped to create by screwing up our own drinking water with endless sewer wars? Solving it would be GETTING that long awaited sewer as quickly as possible, NOT starting from square one again!

The above article sounds like one of the appellants who spoke at the CCC hearing. One who doesn’t “get” the widespread uprising that would ensue if portions of our yards were basically off limits to our own use because there is a STEP tank under it. I for one would have a lawsuit against that – but wait – that is why they want this option so bad!! To STOP yet another sewer project! Because with the flakey ASSERTION that it is just 1 MG over drinking water standards, we don’t need to pay attention to nitrates, therefore we don’t need a sewer, just well-head treatment! That is a total lie! Heck, they’d probably be in line in front of me filing that lawsuit to stop the taking of their property!

I’ve got to hand it to them – they have found a way to sound “green” while they are blocking the best chance that we have to fix out water problems.


Piper Riley is incorrect on many, many issues. Being new to the community the authority by which she speaks is disturbing because it is every regurgitated conspiracy theory put out there since way back and then widely used during the recall and so on. She grunts at people she doesn’t like, yells at people in grocery stores that don’t agree with her and is clearly unstable. Her “facts” aren’t facts at all and she continuously lays blame where there should be open dialog instead of accusations. She is annoying, mean, never smiles, is rude and speaks on topics she fundamentally doesn’t understand.

1. There are many areas in the state under enforcement actions – not unique to Los Osos but many like to think so. The only precedent that Los Osos sets is being hi-jacked by people like her to delay a waste water project. Had it been built on time, there wouldn’t be sea water intrusion but that is beyond her.

2.The project does not jeopardize the environment. The humans are jeopardizing the environment by peeing and pooping in their DRINKING water. Piper consistently complains about the emerging contaminants and how horrible they are but clearly doesn’t want a sewer, or imported water or anything. She is a nihilist and unfortunately for the community a very poorly educated one at that.

3. Never EVER have the STEP cult eco-destroying babble mouthers EVER presented unidentifiable costs for Eminent Domain to install STEP. They have also NEVER EVER explained to the property owners that “sure! The collection system is cheaper to install because we are not including the costs to restore your property! You pay for that out of your own pocket and added all together, that 20% savings is gone! And by the way, long term O&M is much more than gravity technology which is yes as old as the dinosaurs because it is a law of physics-gravity and all.”

4. When convenient Piper and the Los Osos Insanity Group like to discuss the “1” above drinking water standards – incorrect! That may be one well but what about the others? Why are the water purveyors having such a difficult time blending lower and upper if it is just one teensy weensy point. Answer, it’s not! Oh and by the way, the little pictures of the sea water intrusion – fraudulent and irresponsible. Never have I ever seen a community so comfortable with lying to each other. Talk about something wrong.

5. Accusations about government corruption is a nice little distraction. Didn’t your friend Lisa just get all her computer and files confiscated? I think in a ranking of corruption your set of associates ie Gail etc have plenty of corruption and lies. One finger pointing means 4 pointing back at you.

6. Most residents and property owners of Los Osos want a sewer and would appreciate it if you got another hobby.

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