Hello, Granny, I found myself so wrapped up in a $40 Bundt cake that I completely forgot the most compelling aspect of Collins mail. The Potter-Agha sealed settlement!!!! My son tells me if Potter lied to the FPPC about this issue and Agha gave the Feds the sealed truth, this could be a game changer for Potter. Here are the reports in back issues of this and other papers.
For reference, I made a point (at least I think I did) at Fish out of Water, will not repeat it here. Just shaking my head.....
I do not wish to be a nattering nabob of negativity, to quote our late Vice President Spiro Agnew, but this is simply not that hard to figure out. I really disdain being "a master of the obvious" as by buddies at the VFW suggest, but all you have to do is read the newspaper reports from the various stakeholder meetings, go on line to different web sites of people holding divergent views from Cal Am and look at filings at the PUC.
Jason Burnett has suggested the "Snowy Plover" issue will be resolved by simply moving the wells from the beach to the sand dune. I am not an expert biologist, but does a Snowy Plover know the difference? What happens if a single Snowy Plover crosses an imaginary line and lays its eggs in the wrong place? Are we going to have Snowy Plover checkpoints to stop any wandering vagrants, or birds that do not realize they are violating protocol? What happens when the US Fish and Wildlife Agency has the gall to suggest that the noise from massive generators and pumps is "disturbing" the adjacent habitat, and disturbing mating season. Remember, these are the same folks who insist Navy submarines should not use sonar anywhere near a whale. For the uninitiated, sonar is essentially how a submarine "sees" where it is going.
The Ag Industry has made their position crystal clear on numerous occasions, do not "take" or assume any water from the Salinas Valley is available to us on the Peninsula. Is that a fight we really want to entertain in the next couple of years? What about Ag Land Trust, they already whomped the County of Monterey and Marina Coast once, do we want that fight again?
Get out of the Salinas Valley and build something.
I do not know enough about this topic to actually comment, but there must be a typo. The last assessment of water flow in the river for quantity purposes was 1893? 120 years ago? Has the Salinas valley not built two reservoirs during that time which would have significantly altered the equation? Just asking.
I just saw Collins last mail, 2 year Anniversary. Points 6 & 7 stunned me, Masters tickets, Sharks hockey games, none declared on Form 700's? I read the article in the Herald today regarding Form 700 filings of all 5 Sups and Potter claims a $40 bundt cake from Margaret Robbins, a Christmas box of chocolates, etc., but center ice hockey tickets at a 2011 Sharks game and a dinner with he and his wife with an engineering firm go unreported? What to Sharks center ice hockey tickets cost? Did anyone ask Heitzman, who paid his own way what this game cost? Where is Curtis Weeks disclosure? Weeks an all expense paid trip to Augusta national in 2011 paid for by the County's Washington DC lobbyist?
I repeat myself, you can not friggin make this stuff up!!!!!! By the way, how do you make a $40 Bundt cake?????
I will never live to see the end of this, we just continue to march down a path that has no chance of success. The Ag Industry has worked for decades to preserve their water rights, been proactive in solving their water issues and been a good steward of their resources, as has the Peninsula on the last point. Cal Am's plan now is to essentially attempt to steamroll a $4B industry. My guess is, some of these farmers would rather face adjudication by the State than void one gallon of water right. They have made their intentions of legally fighting any water solution for the Peninsula that "takes" or attacks any water right in the Salinas Valley. I keep repeating this point, but it is critical, two of the three elements of the Cal Am plan rely upon the Salinas Valley, in some form, or to some extent.
Get the project out of the Salinas Valley, pay an engineering firm that has built these things worldwide, and build it. I know it is more complicated than that, but damn, the path we are on now is sheer ruin.
Please tell me that our contingency plan is not begging the State Water Resource Control Board to grant us more time, as we are really trying. I am reasonably certain our grace period is up with the State.
Good Heavens, this is so pathetic, obvious and predictable. There can not be a person reading this story that did not know Cal Am was going to miss their deadline. Now we are reduced to begging the State Water Resources Control Board to take pity on us and extend the deadline of 2016. We have such a history of success on the Peninsula, I am certain the SWRCB will believe the Cal Am suite of projects has a chance of success.
I have written before about the fatal flaws in the Cal Am projects and the Deep Water Desal project, I will not waste print space again.
I honestly believe our Mayor, Burnett, is exceedingly well intentioned, as is the rest of the Mayor's group. They have hitched their wagons to Cal Am and that is going to lead them to political ruin. In my opinion, if we are to achieve any level of success, we have to select a site out of the Salinas Valley taking the water rights issues off the table; perhaps buy Agha's site from him, hire someone that has actually built one of these damn things before and get out of their way. If the data is accurate, Agha has plenty of grandfathered capacity for water intake and outfall, offer him a reasonable price, get him out of a leadership role and lets go.
How many times does Nancy Isakson, et al, have to tell the Peninsula, regulators and politicians that not one drop of water will come from the Salinas Valley, that includes surface water.
Granny, I swear you can not make this stuff up. I just read a story herein where Jason Burnett thinks it would be lovely if the Salinas Valley let the Peninsula buy some reservoir water after an interconnecting pipeline is built, between the two reservoirs, effectively increasing held supply. Really!!! The Salinas Valley just stuck a dagger in the Cal Am suite of projects (rightfully so, we were crapping on their water rights) and the Deep Water project is an utter fantasy. I have a better chance of playing centerfield for the Giants than Cal Am does of pulling water out of the Salinas Valley.
I am so disgusted by the obvious assault on Collins legal and Civil Rights I could just vomit. This has turned into a complete comedy of errors. There is not a doubt in mind, although I obviously have no way to prove this, that Burt is still very much in the picture and wrote that Statement by Collins for the Court.
The County is funding the DA to the tune of $2M to $3M to crucify a guy, and you have to ask yourself, why? Again, look at the December 6 comments, Boutonnet admits any invoice errors were the fault of Ocean Mist, they did not rely on invoices to pay him his monthly salary, hell, Boutonnet claims he never LOOKED at the invoices or contracts until the DA contacted him, in August, 2011. The invoices could have said Collins was auditioning for the part of Peter Pan in a production in Borneo, and it would not have mattered. He was paid a monthly stipend; what part of that is difficult for the DA to understand????
Wait, I have had a vision, an epiphany, this is politics!!!!! You kill a $400M project, you better have a fall guy, and when you are in close proximity to the rabid source of "Infectious Pernicious Irvgrantitis" any loss of sanity, or common sense is possible.
You just have to love Peninsula Water politics. The Cal Am trio of projects, in front of the PUC, is currently gasping its last as the Salinas Valley has flexed its legal and political muscle; and the moribund Deep Water Desal, which is nothing more than a shell has no chance for permits.
Jason Burnett was very political in his comments herein, and I give him credit for having cajones the size of bowling balls. The odds of an Elvis sighting in the BOS chamber next week are greater than the chances of the Salinas Valley allowing one drop of reservoir water to reach the Peninsula.
With all due respect to the Mayor's group, who is at least trying, I am going to commit political heresy; look at making nice-nice with Marina Coast, revive the Regional Project, which still has a permit, or for goodness sake, look at Agha's project. What do you have to lose?
FINALLY, My son received a copy of a most extraordinary e-mail from Collins to several hundred of his closest friends, and the County has to be positively livid. The e-mail went out late yesterday afternoon, after Collins Court appearance. Take a look at my December 6, 2012 mails from above. Seems Collins had a window of opportunity to represent himself for a few days in Court because the Judge fired his attorney, most likely for being effective. He took advantage of it and made a statement for the record. In short, it was incredibly effective.
Per my son, the statements he made had to have been drafted by a constitutional lawyer, because they were spot on for a challenge at the 6th District, which he most certainly will win on a 995 challenge and there goes the DA case.
Here they are summarized:
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