Newsletter #40 SORRY

I have been preaching for the last 3 years about keeping  it simple. About making it easy for everyone to do the right thing. Then I got an email last night from someone who asked a very simple question. Who is DOGGR and what is the meeting about.  WOW. Zing! Back to reality. Thank you Susan!!! And I mean that with all my heart.

That last  call to action was how simple got lost in the translation.  I got sucked up into the very quagmire I was so desperately trying to avoid for all these years and didn’t even realize it. So here is me trying to get back to keeping it simple for real.

Here is the simple version of what is going on with the DOGGR meeting on Monday.

First, what is DOGGR.

DOGGR. Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. Division of the State Department of Conservation. oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells. The regulatory program emphasizes the wise development of oil, natural gas, and geothermal resources in the state through sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution, and ensure public safety.  Conclusion.  They have admittedly failed miserably on all three counts.

What is the meeting about on Monday?

Simple.

Telling DOGGR why we love living in San Luis Obispo. We love the fresh air, the water, the vista, the views, open spaces,  the lifestyle, the castle, the zebras, the basking sea lions, the frolicking whales, bike and people friendly, small town ambiance with all the amenities and it is just far enough off the beaten track to keep it a destination spot where visitors come from around the world to  spend over a billion dollars a year to enjoy what we have 24/7.  A world renowned wine and agriculture business that brings in nearly another billion dollars a year.

Students come from all over the world to get a world class education and the bonus is the weather, the water, the vistas, the views, the people and is ranked 8th safest College campus in California and 54th in the nation out of over 1,127 colleges.

Safe is a very important factor and SLO county works at providing that sense of well being for all that live, work and visit here. It’s not perfect but its not Detroit either.

What we have didn’t happen by accident or luck evidenced by over 1,000 non-profits organizations  and community residents ready, willing and able to take our governing boards and powers that be to task when anything from pooping pigeons on the pier, to nuclear power plants threatens our little jewel in the rough. Not one environmental group or non-profit is in favor of giving Freeport an exemption to dump toxic waste in our backyard.

Why are we telling DOGGR all this?

Because DOGGR wants to change all this.  DOGGR wants us to waive our rights  to a clean, healthy, safe,  thriving, prosperous, living environment for ourselves and future generations to make room for a noisy, ugly, stinky, smelly, dirty, dangerous, hazardous, chemical laden, highly industrialized, overly zealous profit motivated oil drilling operation.

Is that simply enough?
DOGGR has to ask us if this is o.k. because our rights are clearly, concisely written into the the Law of the Land in the CLEAN AIR ACT, THE CLEAN WATER ACT, THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT, THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT, THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT, (cradle to grave hazardous waste management program) and COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW ACT.

The problem?  The oil industry wants a piece of our action without having to abide with any of the laws, rules and regulations that come with living here. They are seeking permission from DOGGR to violate our rights by making it legal to ignore them. Called an exemption.

​The meeting on Monday is about DOGGR giving Freeport McMoRan the right to turn this area into a waste land and telling us to just learn to live with it.

That’s as simple as I can make and as close to the truth as told by New York, Maryland, Vermont, at least 16 other countries, 13 municipalities and 5 counties in California that all agreed and said,  enhanced oil drilling is a stinky, smelly, hazardous, ugly, dirty, dangerous, environmentally worthless operation and NO. NO we will not waive our rights. NO we will not grant you any immunities or exemptions. Just NO.

Monday you are going to hear a lot of fancy double speak from an industry that prides itself on being expert at using logical fallacies and leave you feeling dumbfounded, bewildered and scared to death you are going to be responsible for turning our community into a third world nation and driving to a job that doesn’t exist in a car that doesn’t run.  Industry is going to argue it is safe but that doesn’t make it true.

The truth is there is mounds and reams of scientific evidence provided by renowned scientist, health organizations, labor unions, ordinary everyday people and a world community that have inoculated themselves with the truth that supports and backs up the fact that a clean, safe and healthy environment is safer and healthier than an environment with exemptions and immunities from clean, safe and healthy.   The truth is the safest place for oil is in the ground.  Oil is not providing us with one beneficial enhancement or improving on what we already have.

And one last simple fact is there is no way on gods green earth that you can safely inject billions of gallons of toxic waste water into an abyss of geological fault zones with cracks and crevices, fractures and lesions and expect it to stay put or track its whereabouts. Scientist have said it will be at least three years before there is any technology that will even come close to measuring and tracking what is going on sub surface. Once it is in the ground it is anybodies guess where it will end up.

Will going to the meeting and speaking our piece make a difference?  Yes it will.  Just how much of a difference remains to be seen.

Thank you and The End.

 

 

MAP

ALWAYS,

Newsletter #32 Where is all the water going that we are conserving?

Quick update on the Rally in Santa Barbara yesterday.  Activist “owned Santa Barbara today.” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-santa-barbara-county-oil-spill-20150524-story.html
Next,Just heard this on Pandora (actually my son heard it and passed it on).

City of San Luis is putting on a Water Forum at the Ludwig Center Thursday May 28 5pm-8pm Discussion  Water: Fact or Fiction @ 6:30.  There wasn’t a speaker agenda so don’t really know who is talking about what. I will have a couple of questions though. Maybe you do too.Where is all the water going that we are conserving? 20% cutback in home usage could add up to millions of gallons. Will that buy us some time? NASA reported we only have 10 months of stored water left.  20% saved could buy us a couple of months of water. And how exactly are we going to collect on all this saved water?

I would hate to think that I am saving this water for a rainy day and it ends up going to someone who didn’t save a drop. I am thinking new construction and worst yet our precious saved water is going to a non essential, secondary, industrial production like oil drilling that is asking for a 3 fold increase in its water usage.  And that leads to the bigger question what about the county and all the water in the unincorporated areas? I’ll get to that in a moment.

The other question is about the fines for wasting water $500? Who collects those fines and where does the money go?  General Fund? Water fund? Utility company? Maybe these questions will be answered. I hope so. Here’s the link for more info.
water forum
And remember Denton,Texas where Fracking first began and they just passed an ordinance to ban it?

Local ban nullified by state; fracking resumes in Denton

“As for the grass-roots fight in Denton against fracking, Frack Free Denton President Adam Briggle said that will continue.

We cannot say how this story will unfold, but we do know this dark chapter shall not be the last one written,” he said.”

Believe it or not this ruling is very helpful in the construct of our next move here in SLO county. But I am truly sorry to hear about Denton. We might send them some words of encouragement and support. We are all in this together so here’s a  Frack Free Denton link to let them know we care and are pulling for them.

Think our next move is a countywide moratorium on non essential water use for oil extraction. Non essential water use is defined as: water uses that are not essential nor required for the protection of public, health, safety, and welfare. Under this definition, irrigation of landscape areas, including parks, athletic fields, and golf courses, washing cars, washing down sidewalks, filling swimming pools, fountains are non essential use and restricted or moratoriums issued.

Some of these protocols have already been implemented in cities and counties across the State.  But there is one very blaring, critical omission on this list of non essential water use. Water used to extract oil.

Since there is no mention of water used to extract oil and in particular oil extraction that is exempt from the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, we need to add that to the list of non essential water use and implement a moratorium on it.

Currently Freeport at the Arroyo Grande Oil Fields is extracting 384,600,000 gallons of fresh water that is used to extract a hazardous and toxic product, oil and the water used is then reclassified as a hazardous waste because it came in contact with benzene, radioactive isotopes, hydrogen sulfide, etc and poses a real threat to the safety, health and well being of all water. The threat is, this hazardous waste is re injected back into the ground where it can infect the essential ground water. And once the water is infected life gets very very difficult and not fun real fast.

The Board of Supervisors is the lead agency and has the final say on this issue of essential and non essential water use in the unincorporated areas of this county.  The final say –  a moratorium issued on non essential water use to extract oil within San Luis Obispo County.There is just so much water to go around, this is an emergency situation and it needs an emergency response.  A moratorium that plugs up a loophole and secures our water for essential use is an appropriate first response to an emergency.   And, it is not a ban on fracking or oil drilling. It is a moratorium on non essential water use. And, it is following the Gov.’s order to cutback and conserve water and to treat every drop like it was our last.

If you agree this is what needs to happen here sign the petition share it like crazy with friends, enemies, strangers and then wait to get the all-hands-on-deck call to the Board of Supervisors meeting to delivery it.Click here to add your name:

EMERGENCY MORATORIUM on non-essential stored water use for oil extraction

I will have the petition to sign at the premier showing of Split Estate  this Tuesday May 26, 7-9 pm at the Steynberg Gallery and also at the Community Water Forum on Thursday 5-8pm at the Ludwig center.
Hearing faints sounds from the fat lady in the wings tuning up.
Making memories on this Memorial Day 2015.
Best Always,

Newsletter #26 Hot Time in the OLE Town Tonite

Public Invited wholeheartedly!!!!

January 23 – Friday – Mothers for Peace hosting Diablo issue meeting of the minds and heart Library 6pm-9pm.

Sorry this got out a little late. But here’s a recap.  It was so alive with energy. Film of the 1986 sit-in at Diablo, Gov Brown promising to keep nuclear out, a wall of Poly professors against Diablo 3 or 4 of which were there last nite with what looked like the original poster. Wow.

My darn camera was not working. I hope someone posts the pics.

Activists from the original sit-in more alive, vibrant and beautiful today than they were 30 years ago. Real people, real music, real talk, smiles,  and the most beautiful sight, not a suit in the crowd.

A couple of  characters standing in the back of the room, arms crossed, scows on their face, perfectly groomed, crisp shirts, creased pants, looked like they just came from a weekend of pampered pleasures and looked strangely out of place. This was a crowd of veteran grassroot activists delighting in each others company and sharing a moment with everyone in the room.  The creased pants did not stick around.

Oh my. This just does a heart good. A community rising. We are going to bear witness to the righting of a wrong.  So proud to be part of this community.

January 28 – Wednesday- Sierra Club meeting of the minds  Steynberg Local Environmental Groups Planning for 2015 7pm. More good energy.

Oil train meeting  Library community room  Feb 4 –  7pm. Forest Ethics & Sierra Club hosting.

Feburary 7 Bus to Oakland – https://slocleanwateraction.org/2015/01/10/bussing-it-to-oakland-and-marching-for-real-climate-leadership/

The county planning dept where many of these issues seem to originate is very busy, prompting last minute changes, delays and rescheduling. Staff is very busy. Just keeping up with reports, data, meeting and scheduling, public comments and alerting the public of these meetings is a full time job.

We rely on local activists, volunteers and community groups staying on top of this very active and involved community. We trust and so appreciate their boundless energy and dedication. There are many issues facing our community that will impact each and everyone one of us for many years to come.

Diablo, Santa Margarita quarry, Nipomo Spur, housing issues, coastal issues, inland issues, Community Choice Aggragate, open space, closed space, door knobs, sorry that was something from Fawlty Towers, and of course my favorite, banning extreme unconventional, enhanced oil drilling that will compound beyond our worst nightmare  the ever pressing issue of water and lack thereof.

We all do what we can when we can because we care.  Every effort makes a difference. It all counts. If you are not into Board of Supervisor or city council meetings, planning dept, water resource boards, or other fun things but want to do something that will make a difference, I have just the job for you.

Coming up on Feb 7 we are filling a bus and heading to Oakland. https://slocleanwateraction.org/2015/01/10/bussing-it-to-oakland-and-marching-for-real-climate-leadership/ This bus will represent San Luis Obispo County. If you would like to be one of the representatives for SLO county, population 276,443 and could spare one Saturday letting Governor Brown know we are alive and well and are looking forward to his proudest moment as leader and Governor of California by announcing he will sign an executive order to prohibit, ban, bar, any Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Superfund, Community-Right-to-Know, National Environmental Policy, Resource Conservation and Recovery, exempted oil drilling operation from setting up shop in California, then hop on this bus.

Our State and all its resources are too valuable and precious to turn over to an industry that has no sense of beauty or appreciation for the finer things in life.  Jump on board. https://slocleanwateraction.org/2015/01/10/bussing-it-to-oakland-and-marching-for-real-climate-leadership/   Sign up. The  agenda is there too.

There will be a meet and greet with other communities and activists throughout California sharing their ideas, campaigns, successes and strategies. A real melding pot.

We will return home and within a week, lord willing, we will all get together and collect our thoughts and launch the campaign for a countywide initiative that will be on the ballot this year. No ifs, ands or buts. This is it. This year is all about what we can do.

There are 30 seats left.   By the end of the week I will need to send in the final payment for the bus.  So, if you have never done anything like this before, want to do something but don’t know what or how you can help keep our home sweet home, safe and sound, this is your chance. There is a first time for everything.  We are not opposed to the idea that money talks. So if you are not able to come you can donate a seat or seats and that  works too. Thanks.
Local actions in Cambria, Arroyo Grande, Paso, San Luis and all points in between seem ultimately to come down to the politics of governing. And governing is all about a safe, healthy, inherently prosperous living environment.

We are entering a very very unique time in our history and it is very very exciting.

The future is grounded in Ecological economics.  A growing transdisciplinary field that aims to improve and expand economic theory to integrate the earth’s natural systems, human values and human health and well-being. We are operating in an ecological deficient, wasting limited resources at an unsustainable rate.  Natural resources, air, water, land is the foundation on which wealth is built. Contaminated water, suffocating air, dead and unproductive land equates to economic collapse. We are making sure that does not happen on our watch.

Bulgarian leadership, dead set against a ban 3 years ago, just signed onto a fracking ban. Public pressure did it. It  works.

Mora County, New Mexico, first county in the country to do a countrywide ban is getting sued by the oil companies. No surprise. And it is a good thing. This will go to the State Supreme Court, like Colorado’s ban and the people’s right to a clean and healthy environment will prevail and set precedent and then we win for future generations.

New York already did it. The tide has turned.  And if we are really lucky it will go to the U.S. Supreme court and all this nonsense about corporations are people will come to head the same time as the amendment to overturn Citizen’s United comes to a vote in Congress. Then we have a legacy we can be proud to past onto our kids.

None of this is an accident. We are making it happen. It will take every single one of us doing something, somehow and that’s how we win. Did I mention there is a bus going to Oakland on Feb. 7th?  Sign up here.   https://slocleanwateraction.org/2015/01/10/bussing-it-to-oakland-and-marching-for-real-climate-leadership/

$30 will get you a piece of history with your name on it.

 

​Alright folks that’s it for now. Let’s do this.

Newsletter # 20 We are on the Agenda!

Information on this a little slow coming forth but here it is!!  Yippee!!
Tomorrow Sept. 23 item # 30.    Submittal of a report and solicitation of possible Board direction related to Hydraulic Fracturing.    All Districts.
This item is after the recess. Board reconvenes at 1:30 item #30 will most probably not come up until around 3 pm  but must get your request to speak slip in before item # 30 comes up.  Fill the slips out and just put Item # 30 as the subject.
Be prepared to do a 1-2 or 3 minute comment. Don’t know how the Board is feeling  but we will be prepared in any event.
Speak to your concerns and what you expect the board to do.
This is my first BOS agenda item meeting also. As I understand the Planning Dept will deliver their report. Then public comment and then the Board will discuss all that was presented in open forum so we can all hear their comments and then the Board will deliver their decision and instruct staff as to what the next step is.
We of course are calling for a countywide ban.
That’s it folks. Will find out tomorrow what we are dealing and what the intentions are of this Board. They could make it real easy and instruct staff to prepare a resolution or ordinance to ban Fracking. They could ask for more reports. They could delay delay delay for whatever reason but that is all good. We will know what our next step is after we find out what we are dealing with. Just giving them a opportunity to show their true colors here. We know what we want and they can join us and we hope they do but we will not be deterred.
I will be there a little after 2:30 pm.
This is kind of exciting. I never thought I would be saying that when dealing with ‘city hall’  but we have come a long way and this is surly a step in the right direction to getting our ban. We are doing this and as a community.  FANTASTIC.  Will have some of our students returning too to speak. This is going to be a good day.
p.s.
Thank you Sherri D. for reminding me about emailing the Board.
This will just take a minute and will make a difference.
If you can’t make the meeting tomorrow then do email your supervisor and let them know how you feel about fracking in SLO  and what you want them to do.
Here’s everyone’s email address. Do share this with your groups and every email list you have. Everyone needs to get there 2 cents in now. Thank you folks

San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisor

District        Supervisor                Email

1            Frank Mecham        fmecham@co.slo.ca.us

2             Bruce Gibson         bgibson@co.slo.ca.us

3             Adam Hill                ahill@co.slo.ca.us

4             Caren Ray               cray@co.slo.ca.us

5             Debbie Arnold        darnold@co.slo.ca.us

Newsletter # 19 – Updates and Newdates

First– Diablo Canyon – Update.  And again we are forever grateful to our world renowned Mothers for Peace for making this happen.

Since the explosive document charging that Diablo Canyon is vulnerable to earthquakes and should be shut down Barbara Boxer has gotten involved and delaying tactics which seem to be the hallmark of the NRC are being brought to the forefront and addressed. Here are a couple of links you can sign and share to keep the pressure on our legislators to do the right thing and get Diablo shut down.
1 :: Tell NRC Chairman: SHUT DOWN DIABLO CANYON!

http://action.foe.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=16332

2 :: Petitioning Nuclear Regulatory Commission –

Decommission the aging Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

https://www.change.org/p/nuclear-regulatory-commission-decommission-the-aging-diablo-canyon-nuclear-power-plant

3 :: NRC: Shut Down Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/nrc-shut-down-diablo

And it also seems that our Board of Supervisors has also written a letter to the NRC asking for the documents that the NRC has conveniently neglected to respond to for weeks, months and years. You can let the Board know this kind of cooperation is much appreciated.  Here is their contact info. http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/bos.htm

Second – Reminder – Peoples Climate March – Sept. 21  Mitchell Park – 2pm. Heidi Harmon hosting.

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 1.34.45 PM

Third – Triple Divide  documentary on Fracking Tuesday Sept. 16 7pm SLO Grange Broad Street.

 

Triple Divide is said to be the only documentary of its kind on the controversial subject of fracking, capable of speaking to all sides of the issue with exclusive interviews from the industry, environmental and political experts, and Americans suffering as a result of shale gas development. http://www.hopedance.org/events/icalrepeat.detail/2014/09/16/771/-/triple-divide-film-discussion?filter_reset=1

“It’s hard to imagine anyone could have a fully-informed opinion about fracking without seeing Triple Divide,” said Jed Thorp of the Ohio Sierra Club after seeing the film for the first time this summer.

Discussion after. Bob is looking for sponsors.

Maybe we need to invite our elected officials? No harm in asking. http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Page8417.aspx

Fourth- Organization sign on letter to keep SLO frack free. A choir of soloists makes more noise than a soloist.

Click the link below to sign on.

Organization sign on letter to the Board of Supervisors to ban fracking.

Union is strength 1 min. video -cute

Will keep you updated on who has signed on.

Bob Banner- Hope Dance  got the ball rolling

Carl Meisser – Electrician

People for Faith and Justice

And just got the SLO Grange 639 to sign on.  Brought the letter up at the meeting they voted unanimously to sign it.

 

Thanks people.
Will deliver the letters to the BOS. TBA

Mark your Calendars

1) Triple Divide Sept 16 Grange

2) People’s Climate March Sept 21 Mitchell Park

3) BOS Sept 23 responding to our petitions- Planning dept is going to announce something.

AND next to last thing SLOCAL FRACKDOWN OCT. 11 MITCHELLL PARK 2PM RSVP   MARCH – RALLY- JUST TO LET PEOPLE KNOW THERE IS A FRACKDOWN  GOING ON IN SLO.  This is a Global Frackdown and SLO is on the map.

And lastly, Want to thank all those that send me links and information that I can include in these newsletters.  Had #19 all ready to send on Monday but when I hit send the screen went black and I went white. Lost everything. Apparently I have a vintage (7 years old) machine and it is having a hard  time keeping up with the new language and just erases everything it doesn’t understand.  So, I have learned my lesson. Will put everything in Word so I have a copy and  if the formatting is a little messed up that is why.  All the links did not make it but keep those cards and letters coming.  I do appreciate them.

I have played my mom card again and oldest son is coming to the rescue and fixing me up with a newer computer soon.  Oh happy days.

p.s.s. Went to the BOS meeting Tues. Was 10 minutes late. Didn’t think it was a problem Public comment was # 27 and thought I would have time. However, they were already in Public comment. According to the rules, slips must be submitted prior to agenda item. I missed it.  Mr. Gibson explained the procedure and did say that I might not have been aware of this and therefore allowed me and one other person who signed in late to speak. That was very considerate and appreciated.

O.k. this is really the end.

Jeanne

SLO Board of Supervisors issues a gag order on fracking opponents.

BOS meeting 05-20-14Tuesday, May 20, 2014,  San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Meeting.

Anxiously and proudly the Students against Fracking, Cuesta and Poly coalition, attended their first Board of Supervisors meeting in the middle of mid terms and finals, to deliver 750 signatures calling for a countywide ban on Fracking and about 20 other persons from all over the county and local grassroots organization SLO Clean Water Action using the public form to deliver 3500 plus signatures collected from county residents and farmers,  people across the State and around the world, calling on the BOS to adopt a countywide ban on Fracking.

I was one of the persons representing local grassroots organization SLOCWA standing with the Students against Fracking.  Bruce Gibson, Chairman of the Board, during a recess approached me.  Why me in particular?   I do not know.  He announced that too many people signed up to speak. I didn’t know what that meant.  Did not know there was a limited number of people allowed to speak in the public comment segment. It’s not posted anywhere.  Gibson further announced to me that only 4 people could speak and time is limited to 3 minutes each. I knew about the 3 minutes. I was hearing limited to 4 speakers for the first time. I was stunned to learn this just minutes before we were due to make our presentation.
Again, why was  he giving me this information and not the entire audience?

Coming from the Chairman of the Board I trusted  this change was something of an  official nature and compliance was the only option. There were more than 4 people who had signed up to speak.  I was sure of that. I had no idea what was regarded as “too many.” I begged for more time. I begged that everyone be allowed to speak.  He was insistent, “No”, he repeated.   5 people I begged. 15 minutes I begged.  My hands grasping his in desperation. Please, I pleaded. Reluctantly he nodded and agreed. I thanked him.

I Begged. I  thanked him.  Not a proud moment.

I only know Mr. Gibson as an official.  When he approached us I assumed it was official business and from the request forms we filled out he knew why we were there.  Also, we were all wearing tee shirts espousing to a countywide ban on Fracking.  There were other green tee shirts in the audience and I wondered if they were  presented with the same directive from Mr. Gibson?   And what about all the people who had filled out speaker slips?  Were they all being informed of this sudden change  that only 5 people total were going to be allowed  to speak?

Public comment is an agenda item.  Addition, subtraction, corrections to an agenda item must come in the form of an addendum which must appear with the agenda.  This is how Item # 19 on May 20th appeared on the agenda.

19. The general public comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the Board on matters within the Board’s purview that are not scheduled on the current agenda. Individuals interested in speaking are asked to fill out a “Board Appearance Request Form” and submit it to the Clerk of the Board prior to the start of general public comment. When recognized by the Chair, each individual speaker may address the Board and is limited to a MAXIMUM of three (3) minutes or a reasonable period of time as determined by the Board Chairperson.

There was no addendum to this Item.

THE BOARD APPEARANCE REQUEST FORM Reads:

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors Welcomes Your Comments

In the interest of time, a MAXIMUM of three (3) minutes will be reserved for your presentation. Please submit this completed form to the Clerk of the Board prior to the item.

It is requested that you remove your hat in the Board Chambers. please remember to turn off your cell phone while in the board Chambers.

Public Comment remarks should be directed to the Chairman and the Board as a whole and not to any individual thereof. No person will be permitted to make slanderous, profane or personal remarks against any individual.

NAME:

AGENDA ITEM:  #19

ISSUE:  Fracking

SIGNATURE:                                                                                           DATE:

— OPTIONAL —

May we have your phone number and/or email in case we have follow up questions?

Please note: This is public information and may be disclosed upon request.

 

Telling us only moments before we were prepared  to make our presentations that a total of  5 speakers were allowed to speak on this agenda item is an addition to item #19. Clearly an addendum was in order. No addendum was posted.

 

When the meeting resumed,  agenda item #19, public comment was introduced,  Mr. Gibson, rather than calling names from the submitted slips as was the usual procedure, he unexpectedly announced that five unidentified speakers will  come forward, state their names  and time starts ticking.  This was unprecedented. A point of order was in order. Where was county council?  Where were the other Board members?

The Supervisors must have known that their constituents from their districts  there to speak had  just been indiscriminately culled by the Chairman of the Board.  Every supervisor must have known that every person who filled out a request to speak form and will not be called,  was served a gag order by the Chair. They had to know this. It is their job to know these things. It is county councils job to know these things and insure proper legal procedure is adhered to. Not a peep from anyone.

The Chairman speaks for all the members. So unless a supervisor objects, county council or Clerk of the Board calls for a point of order to what the Chairman is doing, it is assumed that it meets with their approval. Silence is consent.

We have to trust at this point that what is about to happen is legal and proper.  Since  those put in charge of making and enforcing the law are allowing this to proceed, then it must be legal with consent and with knowledge.

So here is how it all went down. When Mr. Gibson, who had approached us just moments before, looked in our direction and said “speakers step forward” we assumed this was our cue to do what he instructed us to do.

Heidi Harmon opened the comments, followed by 3 students, David Kooi, Cuesta, Andi Fieber and Lucas Carlow, Cal Poly,  spoke elegantly expressing their concerns about their future and the future of our environment while  delivering 750 + signatures from students calling for a ban. I closed by delivering petitions from local farmers and residents, petitions signed by people from across the State and around the world.  Official letters from the Board’s peers, the San Luis Obispo City Council and the Arroyo Grande City Council, calling on the Board of Supervisors to join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking insuring our health, safety and well-being.  I included a draft response  to our request for their consideration in the interest of saving staff time which always seems a reason  to delay action.

I had tied the petitions up in a gold bow and as I left the podium to deliver it to the Clerk of the Board across the room, when I hit the center of the room,  I turned to the audience and rather triumphantly waved the petitions in the air. The entire room waved back. We are not allowed to clap or make noises in chambers. Raised hands is accepted protocol to show approval. Every hand I could see was raised to the rafters.

Four other people did come to the podium. I honestly do not recall  their names being called.  But if they were, how did that happen? We were told there was only time for 5 speakers.

At the end of ‘public comment’ Mr. Gibson instructed staff to alert Water Resources Board and the Planning Dept. to look into the fracking issue.  I do not think anyone knew what it was he was instructing them to do or how that was going to qualify as a response to join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking.  Nonetheless, everyone on the board nodded in agreement to Gibson’s instructions. No one objected. Silence is consent.

Gibson estimated that it would probably be several months before anything will get on the agenda.

I don’t think the Board gets it.  I don’t think they were listening. It was like they had their own private agenda they were carrying out independent of what was taking place at the meeting.   Calling on the Water Resources and the Planning Dept was a totally inappropriate response to, ‘will you join us in adopting a countywide ban on fracking?’

I don’t think they got the message that we are TELLING  them we do not want fracking in this county.  And what we were asking from them was a vote to assure us that they  share our vision of a safe, healthy, happy, livable and prosperous future.

Or, maybe they did hear us.  Maybe they did know exactly what we were saying  and they did respond. They responded with a lie. They told us we cannot speak.  They told us they do not want to hear what we want. They told us they do not care.  And how ironic is that?  That is exactly the same message the oil industry has been sending to every community across this land.  We can lie and we don’t care.

I want to thank the Board.  Now, we get it. We get that you don’t care and you can’t be trusted.  And now it is our turn to respond in kind.  We do care. A lot.  And we will make lying, cheating and the stealing  of our natural resources and quality of life a crime in this county.  We will not be silenced. We will prevail.

JEANNE BLACKWELL

 

BOS meeting 05-20-14

 

 

May 20 Board of Supervisors Meeting calling for a Ban on Fracking

Will put these announcements in the order they happen Starting with

1. Saturday May 17 Avila Beach

Inline image 1

HANDS ACROSS THE SAND
Avila pier noon, Saturday, may 17
Stretch Your Hands Across the Sand, say NO to the Keystone Pipeline and YES to clean energy!
Hands Across The Sand is an worldwide gathering of people dedicated to a clean energy future and ending our dependence on filthy fuels.
Come join hands with people around the globe at noon local time to reject dirty fuel projects that threaten our communities and destabilize our climate.
Hands Across the Sand will join with rallies, marches and vigils taking place across the nation on May 17, calling on the president and state and local leaders to reject the Keytstone XL pipeline and accelerate the shift to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Whether it’s offshore seismic blasting, Arctic and offshore drilling, mountaintop removal coal mining, tar sands pipelines, fracking, exporting liquid natural gas, or shipping crude by rail through our
hometowns, we all have reason to stand up and join hands for the health of our families, and the health of the planet.
Come to the beach at the Avila Pier at noon on May 17 as we take a stand for a fossil fuel-free future!
Get updates at handsacrossthesand.org
11:00 a.m.: Sign-ups and gathering 11:30 a.m.: Guest speakers Noon: Hands Across the Sand
I remember doing Hands Across America in Anaheim about 30 years ago.
Collecting signatures to ban fracking in SLO county. Will have extra clip boards 🙂
2. Sunday May 18 – 2 events
a) Fund-and-awareness raiser at the Palm Theater for the Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary high noon. Showing of Rebel with a Cause. $10 donation but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  The Chumash Heritage Marine Sanctuary event begins at 12:30 at the Palm Theater  Here’s the trailer.http://rebelsdocumentary.org/This is  another signature gathering moment.

 
b) Chalk-a-walk at Cal Poly hosted by the Students against Fracking joint efforts with Cuesta Students Against Fracking who will all be presenting their petitions before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday May 20th @ 9:00 a.m.  Chalk-a-walk is a message alerting stencil that is spray chalked on pavement. It’s kind of a new idea and we are a kick off event for an up and coming Citizens Engagement Lab that films and documents communities stories and then posts these stories on the internet. CEL is a home for people and projects working to shift culture and transform society. We are shifting into high gear.  They support, start, and connect individuals and organizations that use technology-fueled approaches to close the gap between the world we live in and the more just and equal world most of us want.
We lucked out. Community action group SLOCWA working to Keep Fracking out of SLO connected with Students Against Fracking at Cuesta and Poly and drum roll please, taking this show to the BOS of supervisors on May 20 and CEL is going to document it. Cool.  Chalking the sidewalks is like being able to write on the walls and not get in trouble for it. So, if anyone wants to get in on this action, Really cool if alumni could extend a helping hand, just for fun 4pm Sunday Dexter Lawn Cal Poly parking is free.  Here’s a couple of Stencils we will be chalking.
Inline image 3.Inline image 1Inline image 4Addiction, earthquakes, hazardous chemicals, sick kids, air and water pollution, noise
3.  Tuesday May 20 9:00 a.m.
Board of Supervisors meeting to deliver petitions to call for a countywide Ban on Fracking
Well this is it. Have about 3,500 signatures. Will send out press releases and you just never know what will happen with that.   If you can’t make it, haven’t signed the petition, or even if you have, drop the Board a line and let them know what you your organization think of fracking in our neighborhood, respectfully of course.

District 1

District 2

District 3

District 4

District 5

Frank R. Mecham

Bruce S. Gibson
Chair

Adam Hill

Caren Ray

Debbie Arnold

 

 Everybody is invited to say a few words or use the whole 3 minutes.   The more speakers the better.  Come on down! 10 people that speak make more noise than 10,000 that are silent.

Then I was wondering about how a group could sign onto the SLO ban.  Group can email the Board and bcc SLO Clean Water Action if you would. Love to see who is taking a stand.
 

Have asked Senator Monning on behalf of all the residents who will be adversely impacted by extreme oil drilling (everybody)  to write a letter to the Board of Supervisors in support of our efforts to bar the hazardous process from SLO County. Have not heard anything back yet. Perhaps a reminder from some of his constituents would be helpful. A letter to the Board from Senator Monning supporting constituents efforts to maintain and sustain a  safe, healthy, prosperous and livable community would be a nice gesture.
http://sd17.senate.ca.gov/send-e-mail
And finally one quick note on the Paso Robles City Council meeting.

Suffice to say Paso declined to participate. I was warned that that might be the case however in the interest of fairness I just thought they needed the same opportunity to participate as everyone else.  They have their reasons and that is fine. Enough said.

 

Keep cool.
Always,

 jeanne