Something smells in Los Osos
July 14, 2011
Recent allegations about an inappropriate relationship between Paavo Ogren and Maria Kelly are old news to those of us who have been actively involved with the Los Osos waste water project.
We have been complaining about their affiliation, and that of our General Manager Dan Gilmore, with the county (particularly Paavo Ogren), as well as our district engineer a Wallace Group employee, for years. We, the opponents of this highly environmentally impactful and extremely expensive project, have been belittled and maligned because we oppose Paavo?
When speaking at board meetings, supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson make it seem as though we are disruptive and/or should be summarily dismissed. Most recently that deceptive type of scenario played out at a Los Osos CSD meeting courtesy of Marshall Ochilsky (Maria Kelly’s LOCSD running mate. Perception on TV and reality are not the same because the ball is always in the board’s court as they control the microphones, direction and have the last word.
Here are the facts. The “powers that be” must diminish us personally because the science is on our side. This is about politics and money, and not clean water. Our nitrates, in our drinking water aquifer, are the sole reason for the Los Osos waste water project. These nitrates are at reasonable levels but chlorides, due to salt water intrusion, which the county and water board have known about and ignored for decades, are reaching catastrophic levels.
The seriousness of salt water intrusions was not brought to light until the Los Osos sustainability group’s assertions were expounded upon by a hired professional. Mean while, the county, “re-works” their “shovel ready project” with sole-sourced companies using out dated, inefficient, and expensive technologies. To do what—fix a so-called problem we don’t have while ignoring the ones we do? This is about economic cleansing up and down this coast—Morro Bay, Oceano, Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos. It is all a similar scam. It has nothing to do with clean water and everything to do with making a certain group of people wealthier while removing the poor and middle class.
This is a hard core scam that has gone on all over this country for decades. I can’t explain it in 700 plus words nor in the three minute quips at the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, so consider this: How can farms in Morro Bay be the nitrate culprits when video records show their gravity collection systems spewing the sewage? Meanwhile, functioning, legal septic tanks with adequate recharge are the culprits in Los Osos but farms are immun. All the while oyster farms are flourishing off of the Baywood coast (Los Osos) but a highly toxic film in the heart of Morro Bay- suspected from the California Men’s Colony- goes ignored. That’s simplistic but it’s a solid start.
Whether Long Island, Florida, New Orleans, Washington or California it’s all about insisting that there’s a “crime” and having the current residents pay for these alleged, unproven crimes. And it should be paid for to a tune that can’t be afforded, forget the environment. These costs are transferred to property taxes for fixing the “crime” via a public works project residents can’t afford.
Residents, unable to pay the increased taxes and endlessly rising rates and charges, are forced to sell their homes, often on mass, bottoming out the real estate market. These properties are then bought up cheaply and redeveloped into “McMansions” increasing the property tax base and making the politicians look good. What’s is even more “fun” is when your national economy crashes, it then becomes a “perfect storm”, a dream for those who want to cash in on an economic disaster.
David Edge and Gail Wilcox and Paavo Ogren and Maria Kelly. What do they have in common? Frankly a lot, so why won’t our County Counsel Warren Jensen bother to investigate what’s happening in Los Osos?
Because Jensen worked in close concert with both Ogren and Wilcox to make sure that the project, the town once admonished, was resurrected. To put things simply, after decades of duplicity, can you say, “conflict of interest”, or is it “divided loyalties”, or perhaps plain old “malfeasance?”
However you want to legally spell it out, I know I smell corruption and the dire need of a federal investigation since the county has wasted not only tens of thousands in local taxpayer dollars but it’s now about to waste almost one hundred million dollars in federal funds. It’s time to say enough is enough!
Piper Reilly is a member of Surfrider, the Los Osos Sustainability Group, and a Prohibition Zone home owner in Los Osos.