Get Ready for SLO County Stupid Bowl XLVIII

Let’s skip the formalities. Today is Super Bowl Sunday. The Denver Broncos faced off against the Seattle Seahawks. The best offense in the league will be playing against the best defensive team. 80,000 football fans attended the concussion festival at New Jersey’s Met Life Stadium, and millions of people at home tuned in to witness sports history in the making. But it was the Seahawks that took home the Vince Lombardi trophy after a stunning 43-8 win against a team that many believed would keep the score close and competitive.

But there are some in San Luis Obispo County who are more interested in other things, namely District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson and District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill. Yet somehow, the Super Bowl managed to find its way into the right-wing obsession with County Board of Supervisors meetings. Continue reading Get Ready for SLO County Stupid Bowl XLVIII

The Tired, Ongoing Los Osos Sewer War

I’ve been reluctant to discuss the Los Osos wastewater project since I retired from writing columns about it a little over a year ago.

The project is now estimated at $173 million, which is a lot, but it’s being paid for with a myriad of loans and grants. Of course, Los Osos residents are going to be paying for the rates and charges, including operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. The sewer project is on a lot of people’s minds, but rarely will people come out and express an opinion about it. Essentially Los Osos has advanced so far in collection system construction, it would be financially cumbersome for homeowners to somehow stop the project, reverse course, and reanalyze the alternatives.

Even so, there are some residents who appear at San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meetings every Tuesday morning. For the sake of full disclosure: I dedicated many of my columns to the preservation of their right to speak at these meetings. There was always a kernel of truth to what they were saying. But over time, the repetition has, in many ways, diluted their overarching message. Now, constructive dialogue and solutions are conveniently left out of their comments and there’s truly no intrinsic benefit to being present at these meetings.

Similarly, I don’t see a benefit to wielding a fanatic disdain for those speakers. The narrative constructed by the sewer fanatics is that the people you see appear every Tuesday have no right to speak for they are “obstructionists” who are trying to stop the sewer at all costs, and in the process of their so-called obstructionism, their activism cost the community millions of dollars. Repetitive opinions don’t cost anything except a couple of minutes worth of hot air from individuals who pledge their allegiance to the microphone more than the residents they claim they represent.

It is a futile undertaking to psychoanalyze the Los Osos sewer debate because, for all intents and purposes, the debate is no longer viable in the face of construction progress that’s been made. There will always be an issue that people will come up and market it to their dwindling followers as the silver bullet that halts the sewer, but no fruit is borne from their labor.

I’ve received e-mails from Los Osos residents who forward to me the latest strategy to take down the “nefarious forces,” as in the same so-called nefarious forces that supposedly orchestrated the “kidnapping” of CalCoastNews’ co-publisher Karen Velie‘s grandchildren. The debate has transformed into an ambiguous-but-somehow-irrefutable conspiracy theory, and the dots are connected by former Los Osos Community Services District director Julie Tacker. When she’s not engaging in microscopic, tattle-tale activism that does nothing to reform the municipalities that opposes her personal agenda, Tacker regularly delivers an opiate of false hope to residents — and that opiate is forwarded to me.

It’s no longer a debate. It’s a game, and it’s a game that I refuse to play. Will the conversation ever steer to a direction that can help close the community rift? Not likely, but if anyone has any ideas, I’d like to hear them.

Toasting the ‘Champagne’ Sewer

Tornatzky mooning the community.

If Taxpayers Watch‘s Lynette Tornatzky is any indication of the ignorance and cynicism that some residents have about the Los Osos wastewater project, the town is in serious trouble and may never heal.

On March 16, KSBY reported that the $189-million Los Osos wastewater project was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors. At the March 15 County Board of Supervisors meeting, KSBY interviewed Tornatzky and former Los Osos Community Services District director Julie Tacker: two people from different sides of the controversial debate. It was Tornatzky’s comments that caught the attention of Razor Online.

Continue reading Toasting the ‘Champagne’ Sewer

Affordability – Gibson’s Big Lie

Gibson will make sure you leave Los Osos.

Second District Supervisor Bruce Gibson was up to his old dirty tricks again at the Feb. 3 Regional Water Board meeting in San Luis Obispo.

When asked by RWQCB Chairman Jeffrey Young for his response to public comment from Los Osos speakers, the irascible Gibson resorted to his tiresome, negative stock speech of fractured facts, desperate distortions and layered lies, once again deflecting any and all criticism that his $166 million big-city megasewer for little Los Osos’ “Prohibition Zone” isn’t anything but the best damn project poor Los Osos’ millions can buy.

Continue reading Affordability – Gibson’s Big Lie

YOUR VOICE: Celebrate Los Osos With Sincerity, Not Press Releases

This is the first Razor Online guest column. If you want to write a column for us, please send us an e-mail. We accept all viewpoints.

By Julie Tacker

The recent hullabaloo around “Celebrate Los Osos,” the newly reinvented Bear Committee/Los Osos Community Organization and its search for “positive,” “visible projects” has many of us scratching our heads.  Celebrating Los Osos occurs on a regular basis. It doesn’t take a marketing campaign or slick tricks to ask for and receive a helpful hand.  Volunteer jobs are being done all around this great community with no fanfare, kudos, banners, websites, press releases, photo ops or slick material promoting the good works of many citizens who pitch in however and wherever they can.  Whether its muscle or money, Los Ososan’s historically come to the aid of others to fundraise, lift their hammers, shovels or paint brushes to spruce up, repair or build whatever, whenever.  The best example is the Annual Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter Fundraiser (held each December at the South Bay Community Center), organized by Jerri Walsh and Richard Margetson year after year with no self promoting brouhaha.

Continue reading YOUR VOICE: Celebrate Los Osos With Sincerity, Not Press Releases