Calhoun’s Can(n)ons,The Bay News, Morro Bay, CA
We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
Los Osos never ceases to amaze me. Sure, there seems to be about 40% of us bearish folk eternally asleep at the switch (non-voting, non-involved sideline sitters), even during the hubble-bubble of our ongoing Sewer Wars and the recent targeting of homeowners with the issuance of Cease and Desist Orders.(CDOs)
Of the remaining 60%, a certain number of people reacted to the targeting by encouraging people to support the dissolution of the CSD by falsely implying that The County will somehow protect us from the CDOs. That’s an amusing folly since the Regional Water Quality Control Board has officially denied that linkage. And while the CSD asked for and was granted designated status in order to stand with the community in the upcoming CDO hearings, The County was asked to do the same and their reply has been utter silence.
Then there were a certain number of folks who witnessed their friends and neighbors being targeted, knew they would be next, so they chose to come together to form SAFE (Solidarity Against Fines and Enforcement) in order to educate themselves as to what was involved with this RWQCB enforcement action and do what they could to help each other and themselves.
Rob Shipe was just such a self-described fence sitter. When it came to the sewer wars, he had stayed completely out of it. Until, that is, he received his CDO and suddenly understood that his fence had been abruptly removed. So he set to work researching, talking with the RWQCB staff, collaborating with the other Forty-Fivers, and working on outreach efforts to help the community understand the unintended consequences of the use of the CDO.
Among a few of the issues he discovered were these: The CDO is simply the wrong method applied to the wrong people for all the wrong reasons; the “group prosecution” methods being used by the RWQCB can’t help but trample individual rights and due process, thereby turning the upcoming hearings into a sham; the proposed CDO pumping scheme will remove 36 million gallons of water from our already seriously over-drafted watershed; the cost of pumping will remove millions of dollars from the community that won’t be available to actually build the new wastewater treatment system; and CDOs can lower property values and make property loans smaller and/or more difficult to get.
In addition to Rob, another group formed the “Prohibition Zone Legal Defense Fund” (PZLDF) at the Coast National Bank to raise enough donations to engage a legal firm to help protect the rights of The Los Osos 45 (and all the rest of us) early on in the game.
So many busy citizens volunteering their time to support their neighbors raises one question: Where’s everybody else? If you’re not one of the Los Osos 45, you will be, unless the community comes together to make the understandably frustrated, misinformed and angry, nose-out-of-joint RWQCB realize that what they have been lead to believe about this community’s commitment to clean water simply isn’t true, and that there are far better methods than this hastily thrown together mad pumping scheme to get where we all want to go – a sustainable wastewater project that seriously addresses our water overdraft problems.
And so, another question: What are you doing to help your friends and neighbors and yourselves? There are far better choices available than those the Regional Board is proposing in their April 28th hearing, but better choices require a community that gets off the fence and gets involved . . . now.
So, here’s a start: For CDO Information and volunteer outreach opportunities, call Rob Shipe at 528-6772 or email at (LosOsosCDO@Gmail.com). Legal fund contributions are accepted at Coast National Bank or mailed to PZLDF, PO Box 6095, Los Osos, CA 93412, or contact Bill Moylan at 528-2324 or email (mailto:email@example.com). I’ve posted some of Rob’s research information and suggested courses of action at my blogsite listed below and as soon as enough volunteers come forward, tabling efforts can be set up to get expanded informational flyers into as many hands as possible.
What happens to Los Osos is firmly in our own hands. We can drive this train or simply lay on the tracks and get run over. It’s crunch time, the clock is ticking. And, here’s the ironic kicker: By helping The Los Osos 45 now, the due process rights you’ll be securing will be your own.