Newsletter #51- Spectacular 2016 year in the works

I hope you all enjoyed a well deserved, peaceful, restful, joyous holiday and are anxious and excited for all the wonders and adventures that await our embrace this New Year.

This promises to be the year that was.  We are in for the ride of our lives and it is going to take everything we got and everyone we know to make it spectacular!!!!!

The word is out this is the place to be this year. It is happening Big Time in SLO.

Activist super stars are coming from far and wide to join in making our impossible dreams a dream come true, to fight the unbeatable foe, to right the unrightable wrong, and reach that unreachable star.  Oh yea that is our quest and it is going to be a dazzling display with a few fireworks to be sure!!!!!

Things are going to be changing on a dime and we have to be able to react in unity and solidarity, like a school of barracudas with their PhD’s.  Every single issue coming up is a top priority and crucial for our future well being.
Starting us off

Could you host, put up fellow activist coming in from around California to help us stop the oil trains?

 

 

Hi friends,

I wanted to send out the form to sign up to host an oil train activist coming from out of town for the public hearings Feb 4 & 5. Please sign up if you think you can host & we will match you with

potential guests.
-Valerie

Center for Biological Diversity

Oil Train Campaign coordinator

 

#2 ​Stopping the Oil Trains dead in their tracks.  Everything you need to know

 

⬇︎⬇︎⬇︎⬇
https://www.facebook.com/events/1013739535350812/

The hearing will take place Thursday, February 4th and Friday, Feb 5th. Doors open at 8 A.M. Board of Supervisors Chambers 1055 Monterey St, both days and it is crucial that individuals who want to speak arrive as early as possible. There will also be a rally held on Thursday Feb 4th at 12 P.M. (Noon).

Sign up to speak even if you don’t plan on speaking. They may put a time limit on speakers who need more than a minute to get their point across. You can give them your minute because you are there and have a minute to give.

This is a modern day San Luis Obispo version of the running of bulls http://www.bullrunpamplona.com/ If ever you wanted to run with Bulls this is your golden opportunity. We are going to corral that iron horse and it is going to be spectacular!!!   Spectacular seems the optimal word.

 

OIL TRAIN HEARING
FEBRUARY 4 & 5 (thurs. & fri.)
1055 Monterey St
Board of Supervisors chamber

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

#3​ and just in

 

Developers are trying to horn in on the California Coastal Commission and make it theirs by getting Dr. Lester fired.     Need everyone to do all of the following and pass this around to at least ten people. Or if you belong to a group or organization with a list pass it off to them and that counts as your ten.  Our precious coastline, marine

sanctuary, allowing offshore drilling is on the line. Dr. Lester needs to stay and developers need to go away. Here’s the story http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0124-lopez-coastal-commission-20160124-column.html  Do all of the following.

The Commission has set up a specific email account to receive comment.

Send an email letter today to the California Coastal Commission, Attention Chair Steve Kinsey, at this address: StatusOfExecutiveDirector@coastal.ca.gov  You can enclose an 8 x 10 glossy photo (or digital facsimile) of our spectacular Coastline.  They will get the picture – worth a 1,000 words.

— Share your love of the coast, and why it’s important to protect public access, sensitive habitats and marine resources, and scenic view sheds

— Commend Dr. Lester for his courage to demand a public hearing allowing the public to weigh in on this shameful attempt to fire him

— Commend the entire staff at the Coastal Commission for their tireless dedication and public service under difficult conditions

— Tell the Commission to stop this baseless power grab for developers and get busy protecting our coast instead

Attend the hearing and lend your support!
10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10
Inn at Morro Bay
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay, CA

Petitions being circulated: Sign them.
http://petitions.moveon.org/…/dont-terminate-ca-coastal…

https://secured.surfrider.org/action/engagement…

 

Sign the petition: Don’t Terminate CA Coastal Commission Executive…

petitions.moveon.org

 

And finally latest on
The Arroyo Grande Oil Fields. Freeport McMoRan.

 

It is no secret oil prices are at their lowest point in 13 years $27 a barrel and the market is in turmoil. Freeport purchased the Arroyo Grande Oil in its hay day when oil was at $110 a barrel.  They were going to make a killing, shares were @ $60.

That ship has sailed and is sinking like a rock with shares now at @ $4.  Freeport is looking to abandon ship. Sending out an SOS. Sell the Oil Fields Stat or go down with the ship.  Freeport filing for bankruptcy

 

They need to unload the Oil fields. Asking price. 4-5 billion dollars. Just one little minor detail. This property is worthless without a permit to drill for oil. Even then it is going to be a hard sell because oil is never going to see $100 or $80 or $70 a barrel again in its lifetime.

It may turn out to be a fire sale even with a permit.  A permit will facilitate a sale and leave us trying to resuscitate a dead horse that breathed its last breath a million years ago and maintain a billion plus gallons of toxic waste sitting on an active fault line.

Unless, we demand that the hemorrhaging of our natural resources and lethal injection of toxic waste into our backyard stops right now.  The contamination has to stop now before we become the next Flint, Michigan.

Oil drilling is never going to be safe or economically viable to this community ever again. It is nothing but a source of constant anxiety, fear and threat to our safety, health and well being.

Currently, Freeport is operating without an agreement or permit or license yet they are still extracting our water, using our back yard as a toxic waste dump and releasing toxins into the air.  Why?  Operating without a permit is illegal. So why are they still drilling and dumping?

It appears, strangely enough, the only reasonable explanation why they are still drilling and dumping is because no body has told them to stop. No records indicating they have been served a cease and desist order or warned they are in violation of an expired permit.

​We can and will remedy that oversight.

Now that we know the problem we can concentrate all our energies on the solution and that is exactly what we are doing.

 

The solution is in the works and exciting updates forthcoming.  We have waited 3 long years to get to this critical point of departure and we are closer than we have ever been. Legal solutions are always the best and most binding. The cosmos are conspiring to shower us with everything we need. Stay tuned.

 

Recap

Host an activtist form to sign up to host an oil train activist

 

OIL TRAIN HEARING
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. FEBRUARY 4 & 5 (thurs. & fri.)
1055 Monterey St
Board of Supervisors chamber

 

California Coastal Commission hearing
10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, FEBRUARY 10
Inn at Morro Bay
60 State Park Road
Morro Bay, CA

 

Thank you all.

It is happening and it is spectacular!​

Correction: Public comment format

Would like to thank Eric Greening for clarifying the public comment formats coming up on both the oil train and coastal commission hearings. It is as always very accurate and helpful. Didn’t know about getting a number so you can figure out when you are going to get called. I am going to cut and paste the information.  Thank you Eric.

1. The oil train hearings will not allow people to donate time to each other, but each speaker WILL be given 3 minutes if the person needs it; that is the word from the chair as of yesterday’s PC meeting.  The 3 minutes will be strictly enforced, so if you are partway through an amazing sentence when the red light shines, you may not get to finish that sentence.  Speaker signups will begin at 8:00 am the 4th, and speakers will get a number showing where in the lineup one is.  This can help those who need to get back to work until it is getting to where their name will be called.  No matter when one signs up to speak, there is likely to be a significant interval between signup and being called forward.  The first speakers may get called as early as 11:00 or 11:30, or perhaps not until the afternoon session at 1:30.  At 9:00, when the meeting starts, there will be a staff presentation (which is worth listening to; staff did their homework on this!!), followed by Commission questions of staff.  Then the applicant will make a presentation, and may get more questions from the Commission.

The first “public” speakers are to be representatives of jurisdictions and agencies: mayors, other public officials from locations near and far, first responders from jurisdictions near and far, the Council of Governments, the Air Pollution Control District, possibly a railroad or two.  These folks have been told to be available between 10:45 and noon, and they may take up the entire period, or it may open to general public before lunch; that depends on how many of them there are, and on whether the Commission has questions for them. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had questions for emergency responders.) Then, before or after lunch, the public speakers with numbers will be called in order, each allowed three minutes, but encouraged to use less if their comments are a repeat of what someone else said. (Better to say: “I share the concerns of so-and-so about such-and-such.”)

The Coastal Commission hearing on the 10th is another matter.  There, it is quite possible that each speaker will be allowed only one minute, but at the Coastal Commission, unlike the Planning Commission, it is possible for someone to donate time to someone else, as long as both people are present when the transaction is made.  Murgatroyd Aigletinger, perhaps, would step forward, and say: Archibald and Reginald Skeezix have each donated me a minute.” At that point, the chair will ask Archie and Reggie to identify themselves, and only if they are present, have filed speaker slips, and confirm their status as donators will Murgatroyd get three minutes.

 

 

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