Oceano flooding battle rages on

March 13, 2010

An Oceano business owner has taken his fight to stop the flooding that plagues his former business to the state appeals court. [NewTimes]

In 2006, Bill Bookout sued Caltrans, the Oceano Community Services District, San Luis Obispo County, the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange, and the Union Pacific Railroad. He lost the suit and in 2008 laid off 12 employees and closed the Oceano Nursery.

Bookout has taken dozens of photos of Caltrans’ employees shoveling debris into a drainage channel which he contends increases incidents of flooding. Over the past year, the highway and his business have flooded 13 times.

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian told New Times that the appeals case will help identify the party responsible for the flooding problems.


Seems clear to me that this problem is, if not caused by Caltrans, it is exacerbated by the agency’s actions. Caltrans should be shoveling debris into the back of a truck and hauling it away, not shoveling it into a storm drain. Any idiot could figure that out.

I’m afraid it will take someone’s getting killed before anything gets done. Caltrans and the county never respond to reason or common sense, they only respond when blood is spilled.

And that’s what will happen one of these nights, when the rains come and the road floods.

If, God forbid, that does happen, there will be plenty of documentation on Mr. Bookout’s website to prove negligence. Of course the government gives itself immunity so bureaucrats can’t be charged with negligent homicide.

This is the Hwy 1 business route, and Caltrans is absolutely responsible for maintaining it. Get off your asses, Caltrans, and fix this mess before someone dies.


Mr. Bookout’s website wwwoceanonurserycom does pretty much sum up Caltrans negligence!


I viewed the videos on youtube & it seems very clear to me that Caltrans is causing the flooding. Pretty ridiculous!

inverse Condemnation

——-San Luis Obispo County Residents need to know, that in Judge Tangeman August 5, 2008 Inverse Condemnation decision; he decided that this Oceano Community Service District Well # 8 discharging Well water and silt all year into the Oceano Community’s storm water drainage system could not be causing the flooding of our State Highway 1? If this isn’t one of the causes, then what is?

Judge Tangeman stated: —-“In the case of OCSD, the evidence largely consisted of the construction of the drainage outfall from Well No. 8 In the vicinity of the culvert. While there was evidence of substantial amounts of water being discharged from well # 8, there was an absence of evidence that such discharges occurred contemporaneously with heavy rains and flooding problems.”

How could a Superior Court Judge comment on video evidence (As Seen On YouTube under (Inverse Condemnation) of this Oceano Community Service District Well # 8 pipe Discharging 2500 Gallons a minute of Drinking water daily into a storm water drainage system and put no blame of this illegal action as a cause of the blockage of this drainage system?

Under Sworn Testimony by the the Oceano Community Service District in front of Judge Tangeman, the Oceano Community Service District Stated: —-P. 383 Answer: “We run the well— Right now, we’re running about five or six day a week. And we just start it in the morning, so it goes through a cycle” –

Question. How much water is discharged out of the pipe each time that you do the procedure that you described?

Answer. “Approximately 2,500 Gallons per minute?” Question. And the rate at which this water is discharged is somewhere around 1,300 gallons per minute?

Answer. “Well, it starts out fast and gradually slow down until it stops. And when it stops, all the water is going into the system.”P. 385 Question: Are you aware of any permission sought by the district, itself for operating this pipe?

Answer: “Other then the Health Department, I don’t know of any.”

P.386 by Mr. Belsher: Thirteen thirty-six and 1337, is this the same discharge pipe we discussed or saw in the previous photograph, only a different configuration?

Answer. Yes.

Question: And did you oversee an extension of the pipe into the culvert that’s depicted there?

Answer. Yes.

Question. And this picture dated 2002, so does that seem as if that was the state of the – to your recollection, That the pipe was projecting into the culvert as of 2002?

Answer. Yes.

Question. And 1338 is another example of the pipe extended into the culvert. Thirteen thirty nine, is this an OCSD employee? Answer. “I believe it is.”

Question: And I note that the pipe now is cut back from the entrance to culvert?

Answer: “That’s correct.”

Question: And is that an action which you and your staff took in 2002?

Answer. “YES”


If the County of San Luis Obispo paid $200,000.00 dollars for a storm water drainage study that was completed in 2004, why doesn’t anyone know who is responsible for the flooding problems in Oceano? They should ask for their money back as a breach of contract if there are no conclusions! Business as usual!

Have you ever watched the meetings on the TV? The Oceano Community Service District Board is so unprofessional it’s almost criminal. They seated the last board member into office when there was a tie vote, and didn’t follow the law according to their own attorney! But business as usual!

Mary Lucey was spouting off how California Code isn’t law, but just a code. Unreal! Guess when you’ve spent time behind bars, (she admitted she was in prison) your understanding on what’s lawful is different. Jim Hill used to be so nice. Now all he does is yell at Vern and Pamela, turns red, and he shakes so much with anger, I expect steam to blow out of his ears. I feel sorry for the people of Oceano. Vern Dahl and Pamela Dean have such a tough time speaking on issues without being spat on by other members of the board. Then there are some audience members like Larry, Nina, Rick Searcy,and Mary Lucey’s domestic partner, who complain loudly and in mean spirit. If I were Vern and Pamela, I would quit like Barbara Mann did. It’s really like one lady said, “It’s the Jerry Springer Show”. Let the county run the town, maybe then someone would realize that the people here are screaming for help, and it’s landing on deaf ears. Mr Bookout, good luck on your efforts. At least you are trying.


This man has gone through so much to get this problem taken care of, and still there is nothing happening! Caltrans will close the road when it rains, but the businesses are then shut down and can’t survive during any rainstorm. Oh well, it’s just Oceano, who cares? It’s a beach town with beautiful dunes and beaches, for crying out loud–but apparently no one cares about the residents, or their town. What a sad depressed town with no hope of surviving like other beach towns do! Maybe it will take some sort of class action to fix the problem, but I wouldn’t hold my breath! One man fighting for the dignity, safety, and future of the town, and you would think the board of the town would stand behind him. Just listen to their meetings on TV. What a mess! Good luck on your appeal Bill! Hope you get the problem solved! I don’t know of many people that have your tenacity.

inverse Condemnation

———-There is a lot to this Story that the San Luis Obispo and State residents need to know, as to why this State Highway is now flooding, which is why I have posted Videos of this flooding with Caltrans and The Oceano Community Service District actions on YouTube. Caltrans needs to explain to the San Luis Obispo County residents as to why they are seen shoveling debris into this drainage channel as they testified to San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Martin J. Tangeman!

The public should review what the County, Caltrans and OCSD stated at the January 10, 2005 OCSD Flood meeting on YouTube under “Caltrans”

Senator Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee are trying to help as Senator Abel Maldonado has stated May 12, 2009:

“I hope that you continue to seek legal counsel and that this very difficult situation will be resolved soon.”

Superior Court Judge Teresa Estrada-Mullaney in her February 2, 2009 Judgment Decision “Notice of Judgment” States:

“Judge Tangeman determined the flooding problem was “static” for several years prior to Plaintiff’s purchase of his property. Plaintiff contends the flooding is continuous and can be abated. Plaintiff argues Defendants negligent maintenance of the drainage system increases the frequency and severity of the flooding. That is inconsistent with Judge Tangeman’s determination that the primary culprit was POVE’s improvements, rather than negligent maintenance of the drainage system. There was no showing that Union’s operation of Well No. 8 contributed to the blockage. There was no showing of the County’s responsibility for maintaining the drainage channel. There was no evidence that any accumulated debris in State’s right of way contributed to the problems in the operation of the drainage system. County, State, Union or OCSD could not have abated the nuisance by undertaking any maintenance.”

Caltrans—-Stated to the Trial Court regarding their actions:

“Im not sure what there doing in this picture. It appears that there throwing dirt up on the bank at the base of the tree. Question: Is this anything related to the buildup of sediment at the mouth of the drainage channel? Answer. Well its more grass. Well, Yeah, sediment and grass. Question: And wheres this material removed to when you engaged in this particular activity? Answer. Based on the Mud behind me at the base of the tree, I would say we where throwing it up on the bank. Question: So you were keeping it in the four feet that you consider to be Caltrans right-of-way? Answer. YES Question: And how often have you engaged You or your staff engaged in the particular activity? Answer. How often does it rain down there? Question: Is it fairly often Answer: YES Question: Based on the rainfall. Answer. YES, just about every time it rains.”


I’ve viewed the videos on YouTube of Caltrans shoveling and grading debris into the Oceano Communities drainage channel at this intersection.—-Why would Caltrans do this to our town of Oceano?


sad but true… you must take your case out of county.

Roger Freberg

inverse Condemnation

As presented to Senator Kehoe as seen on YouTube under Caltrans

Dear Senator Kehoe and all California Senators

Aanestad, Sam Alquist, Elaine Ashburn, Roy Calderon, Ron Cedillo, Gilbert Cogdill, Dave Corbett, Ellen Correa, Lou Cox, Dave Denham, Jeff DeSaulnier, Mark Ducheny, Denise Moreno Dutton, Robert D. Florez, Dean Hancock, Loni Harman, Tom Hollingsworth, Dennis Huff, Bob Kehoe, Christine Leno, Mark Liu, Carol Lowenthal, Alan S. Maldonado, Abel Oropeza, Jenny Padilla, Alex Pavley, Fran Price, Curren Romero, Gloria Runner, George Simitian, Joe Steinberg, Darrell Strickland, Tony Walters, Mimi Wiggins, Patricia Wolk, Lois Wright, Roderick Wyland, Mark Yee, Leland and all California News Media

Attached below are YouTube videos of Caltrans Caught shoveling contaminated storm water and debris into the Oceano Communities storm water drainage channel that now floods one of our State Highways, every time it rains.

Added to

Quicklist 1:02

Cal Trans November 26, 2008 after Judge Tangemans Decision calling this being a good …

Cal Trans November 26, 2008 after Judge Tangemans Decision calling this being a good …

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Martin J. Tangeman has ruled this is just being a good neighbor, which has allowed Caltrans District 5 to continue their actions as seen in this first YouTube Video November 26, 2008.

Senator Kehoe, I ask that each California Senator is made aware of San Luis Obispo-Superior Court, Judge Martin J. Tangemans–August 5, 2008 Judgment Decision while this goes through the Appellate Court process and is made National News.

Please review Judge Tangemans Statements next to these You Tube Videos under Caltrans. My Web-Site http://www.oceanonursery.com has all of the Caltrans documents on it showing why they are now using State Highway 1 for storm water retention and endangering our publics health and safety in order to not flood the Baughman property!


Bill Bookout



Why do we need to wait for the appeals case to be resolved to help identify the party responsible for the flooding problems when it is very clear the responsible party is Caltrans?