Newsletter #42 – Good Day in the Neighborhood

Aquifer Exemption Hearing.

About 40 people at the Rally.

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About 100 at the hearing. Press coverage.

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Heidi spokesperson always good.

 

Comments inside just amazing. Covered the whole spectrum of concerns. Homeowners with horror stories and concern for their water. Facts and stats from Maya and Ash from the Center for Biological Diversity let DOGGR know exemptions don’t make it safe or legal. Sierra Club about the earthquake factor no one else seems to be addressing and just blows holes in the “it is safe” rhetoric. Andrew from Clean Water Action getting DOGGR to extend comment time. Our neighbors to the south, Becca and Janet troupe from Santa Barbara showed up for support. Thank you, thank you.

Supervisor Hill there letting DOGGR know the Board of Supervisors does not appreciate the lack of communications and information. Way to go Adam.

No one was buying DOGGR and Freeport’s take on the situation.

There was a stenographer there recording every word we said for the record. I didn’t know they still did stenography.

I think the rubber stamping of this project just got waylaid. Not going to be as easy as they thought. There were points made that need addressing and can’t be ignored.

Here are some news clips. http://www.ksby.com/…/public-meeting-on-proposed-arroyo-gra…

http://www.keyt.com/news/big-turnout-for-oil-field-aquifer-exemption-hearing/35407102

Grover Beach City Council packed the house too protesting the Oil Train spur. We are on this SLO!

If you didn’t get a chance to submit comments  on exemption still time.  Email:  comments@conservation.ca.gov  ATTN: San Luis Obispo HEARING 09-21-2015

Two things I noticed you might comment on. 1) The earthquake issue. What is faster than a speeding bullet? Can level tall buildings in a single bound? An earthquake. We know there are 3 faults on the  ARRoyo Grande property. We don’t need any seismic testing to prove this fact. One fault line is all it takes to compromise their ‘safe, impermeable bowl shaped aquifer theory”

We also know for a fact that there is no instrumentation and technology now that can accurately measure what is going on  sub surface to detect, track, record, nooks and crannies, fissures, lesions, holes, weaknesses that could occur and compromise the integrity of the aquifer and in particular when there is any kind of earth movement which can happen any time.

California  Council on Science and Technology testified that that technology is at least 3 years down the road. In the meantime there is over a 1.5 billion gallons of toxic waste gurgling underground just waiting to make a break at the first chance it gets. And where it goes no body knows. A 2.0 earthquake could do it. High Pressure steam injection could do it.

And, one more thing. What is the complaint process if this ‘can’t fail’ ‘fail safe’ plan fails? There is no formal, official, legally binding complaint process for the citizenry to file when an  accident, spill, noxious smells, dumping, explosion, noise, funny tasting water, blinding lights, whatever happens. NONE.

There never has been any clearly defined official, must-respond-and-investigate complaint mechanism in place for the oil drilling process.  Without it, ever complaint filed is immediately tossed into the find-the-regulation-and-agency-responsible, file.

No body knows who is in charge of complaints not even the agencies in charge  and there are over 3,000 of them for water issues alone in California.  To compound the PROBLEM, determining if it is a local, state or Federal issue can lead to years of searching and filing complaints that lead nowhere. Case in point. West Adams in LA has been 10 years playing this game trying to get someone, anyone to address water, air and soil contamination of their neighborhood by drilling rigs in their backyard.

We need to know, we have a right to know, how to file an formal, official complaint and a set time for the response and resolution. Otherwise the only solution is the individual takes a shot in the dark agency or company to court and that is cost prohibitive and can also take years.

So we need a mechanism built into the regulatory agency in charge of approving and permitting oil drilling operations that has a clear, concise, formal, official complaint form readily and easily accessible to every person.

Solution: Must insist this complaint process is in place and functional before they approve anything.

Next event, October. 22, Planning commission continuance meeting on extending 31 wells  conditional use permit for 3 years.   Can send emails to planning commission if you can’t make the meeting for public comment.  It made a difference last time.

We are winning.  We showed up and that is what it takes. And with a little help from our friends will put us over the top!!!

 

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Oakland March for Real Climate Leadership.

 

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We had such a diverse and representative group on board. This bus did San Luis Obispo proud. Youngest on board Lucas 7 with his grandfather,  great student presence from Cuesta lead by David Kooi and Poly lead by Jesse Gibson, and the rest were the movers and shakers in the community providing the glue and connecting the dots. This was taken in Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of an historic  heritage live oak. Its called the Jack London Oak and has quite an interesting history.  http://www.asla.org/ppn/article.aspx?id=19088  Truth is I did not know Jack London grew up in Oakland.

Eric Greening graced us with his presence and provided us with gems of info about the inter workings of our governing boards and made sure we didn’t miss the San Ardo oil fracking oil fields which are  too close for comfort to our county line and a precursor to what is in store for us in Price canyon and Husana​ if we don’t do something straight away to prevent it. Seeing it on the way home was an eye opener. Lights from the operation reflected off the clouds and lit up the sky. It was bright.

 

We had fresh coffee and pastries from Black Horse and Cowboy Cookies and munchies from SLO Food co-op. Tori, Linda and Holly. Take charge ladies that just made things happen. Thank you.

 

And to our sponsors who donated seats and made sure this happened. THANK YOU. Always get just what we need when we need it. This community ROCKS. Thank you.

Thank you June for handling the check ins. No small task. Never did find out where that extra person came from on the way home but at least we didn’t lose anyone.

 

The march was super.

 

​L​et me say that people power celebrating our love and commitment to Mother Earth generated so much good energy it put dinosaur energy to shame.
 Brown’s response to the March. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hertsgaard-jerry-brown-fracking-20150206-story.htmlToo bad, I think he is too far gone. Politics has a strange way of changing even the best people with best intentions into someone you hardly recognize.
IMG_2495This is David Kooi on the right Cuesta College organizers for Students against Fracking with fellow student Chloe on the step of  Oakland City Hall where Brown walked every day when he was Mayor.


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Jesse Cal Poly student against Fracking organizer.

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​This is very special. Grandfather and the future generation.​

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​ 2 more States just joined the strike. Oil is creating jobs nobody wants.
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​This is Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.
I explained that our BOS does not exactly understand
the Health implications of Fracking and have refused
to invite the Health Commission in on the Fracking
conversation. This group headed up by Barbara Sattler RN,DR.PH,
FAAN, Professor out of the University of San Francisco school of Nursing and
Health Professionals said she would be glad to come and explain the
health impacts from fracking if our Board is interested. Is our Board interested?
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All the people here concerned about their health and safety and future generations. All taking our duty and responsibility as stewards of the earth very seriously.   How can  Brown not get this? Does he really trust the oil industry more than he trusts us?  If Brown ignores this contingency, No Nukes, that he vowed to shut down on June 30, 1979 then he is choosing to break his promise. He knows the right thing to do.
And he has the power to do it. He has the power to Shut down Diablo.
He has the power to Ban Fracking. He has the power to stop the oil
trains. It is the power we the people gave him when we elected him
to keep California a Safe and Beautiful place for generations to come.
It is called the power of the pen. We give him permission to use that power now.
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Two interesting things in this pic. Off to the left
the object that looks like a tree with speakers
coming out it is is the pedal power generator.It is
generating the power for the mic. And then notice
the sign in the back? San Diego was there. Amazing
group down there. Communities not immediately threatened
by fracking but joining in Solidarity the right to a healthy
environment.
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The officers were standing in a group looking very isolated. I asked them if there would be escorting us down main street and they said yes. I asked if they would mind if we took a picture with them and they were most accommodating. Chloe is on my right and this was her first march. I don’t think it will be here last. I thanked them and  I think they appreciated being recognized. Really who doesn’t?  It was a  good day.
The convergence after the Rally was so amazing.
We heard first hand info from the organizers on how they got Cuomo to sign a ban on Fracking in New York. Local actions were key.
An amazing attorney, Madeline Stano, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment talked about strategies and how the oil companies think. She is currently working with the locals in Kern county who have had they water poisoned, air polluted and rigs built within a hundred feet of schools and residences. It is a nasty ugly situation.
I talked to her after and she graciously agreed to look over a draft for an ordinance we are working on in SLO.
David Brawn who was part of the New York to ban fracking campaign loves SLO and  is anxious to help us with our campaign.Neighboring communities, Santa Barbara, Monterey,  San Diego, Butte,  are all about helping each other out. We are all in this together.
​And here is a very nice synopsis of the trip by Marty Brown.
The morning was dark and rainy. Participators from North County met the bus to Oakland at 6:45 a.m.

We joined people from San Luis Obispo and our coordinator and spokesperson, Jeanne Blackwell, an energetic and energizing   leader.

 

There was excitement and good feeling on the bus. We were united for an important cause. We learned more details about fracking later after the march when a panel discussion at  Laney College was held
by activists who were successful in the banning of fracking in New York State, a journalist who has written for The Nation and other progressive publications, and a lawyer who has served people in Kern County who
have been physically and psychologically damaged by oil drilling —  some located very close to schools and homes.

The trip was rainy all the way – skies dark.  When we arrived in downtown Oakland, there was a clearing and the sun shown.  The buses arrived from as far south as San Diego and as far north as Humboldt.

 

There was mutual respect between the police and demonstrators.  Along the march route we passed many spectators who were aligned with us.  People in tall apartment and hotel buildings cheered us on. There was only one anti-anti fracking and climate change denier demonstration held by maybe five men with signs saying “Climate Change is a Lie”.

 

The march ended with a rally at Merritt Lake Park where indigenous people spoke and offered prayers.  There were Pacific Islanders who were losing their land to rising sea levels, Native Americans and Latinos, people from agricultural areas and poverty whose health, homes and property have been affected and continue to be
affected by fracking that is already taking place.
I felt there was no place I’d rather be than there at that time with 8,000 Californians who say NO! to fracking and want real climate change action by those we have trusted with our future.  It was encouraging to be outnumbered or at least matched by young people — it was not a grey-haired convention as it often is.  Students from Cal Poly, Cuesta College and UCSD, Humboldt State, UCSB and others were marching with us and had such energy and optimism.
Alternative, sustainable energy technology was widely discussed.  There is no reason to keep polluting our Mother Earth.  One of the speakers from the Catskills Citizens who were the driving force behind having Governor Cuomo signing onto the ban in New York State said education is a big factor in getting climate action, and doing the research, telling the truth, using the science.
The young Cuesta student I was seated next to on the bus said, “It was a life-changing event in my  life.”  That was the first demonstration that she has been a part of — hopefully the first of many more. (She was sitting next to Chloe)

Hope this was helpful.

 

Marty

Always,
SLO Clean Water Action.org
The safety of the people is the supreme law. Bacon’s Max. in Reg. 12; Broom’s Max. 1.  Prevention is better than cure. Co. Litt. 304.  “In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell.
 


 




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

 

 

Letter from San Luis Obispo City Council to Board of Supervisors Calling for a Countywide Ban on Fracking

SLO City Council calls on Board of Supervisors to Ban Fracking.

SLO City Council calls on Board of Supervisors to Ban Fracking.

We want to thank the entire Council for their openness and willingness to hear our concerns about Hydraulic Fracturing and most importantly, expressing those concerns on our behalf  in a letter to our County Board of Supervisors.  Thank you.

Carlyn Christianson, Council Member, did also express that she has  been studying the impact of Hydraulic Fracturing on communities for some time and could answer questions about how important a countrywide ban is to protecting and safeguarding  the environmental well being of cities and municipalities within a county.

You could contact Carlyn for comment:

Carlyn Christianson Council Member
(805) 550-9320
cchristi@slocity.org

Click Here  To Go to petitions.