Meandering
Thoughts

CSD Directors Vickie Paulsen and Jack Unger give a glitch-plagued PowerPoint presentation before the County's Board of Supervisors.

County Supervisors Vote 5-0
To Slowly Kill Newberry Springs

Posted: December 13, 2019
Newberry Springs Community Alliance

by Ted Stimpfel

County Board of Supervisors
Throws Newberry Under-the-Bus!

    "They threw us under-the-bus," expressed Jack Unger while he was leaving the Board of Supervisors hearing on the Newberry CSD's Daggett Solar Power appeal.  Unger was referring to the Supervisors' rejection and lack of concern for Newberry's residents.

    In later listening to comments from a couple of people who had viewed the appeal hearing over the Internet, the conclusion was that the CSD's PowerPoint presentation to the Supervisors helped to put us under the tires.

    The 15-minute presentation was riddled with a number of long glitch pauses.  The presentation was given by Jack Unger who was repeatedly apologizing for the stalled presentation.  While Unger's PowerPoint had animated copy and substance, it wasn't packaged sufficiently to sell.

    Due to the many stalls in the presentation, the 15-minutes that is allowed by the County for the presentation expired before Unger was able to finish.

    While the subject material was good, the CSD failed by not having this very important presentation handled by a professional CEQA expert experienced in making presentations before county boards.

    Seated with Jack Unger during the presentation was Director Vickie Paulsen.  While Paulsen didn't speak during the opening presentation, she did do the 5-minute closing.

    While her closing was good, she failed to dispute the key adverse points that had arisen during the public's commentary.  The Supervisors seized upon a couple of the points to justify their vote.

    A professional CEQA expert would have addressed the key adverse public commentary points in the closing remarks.

    Doing great damage to Newberry Springs were Newberry alfalfa farmers who favor the solar project.  They see selling-out to solar developers as an exit strategy to the water ramp-down and the water depletion that they have caused the community.

    Although I believe that a professional presenter might have made a difference, I don't believe and any amateur could have met the bar of convincing the Supervisors to change their opinion.  The Supervisors seemed to feed off of Supervisor Robert Lovingood whose district the project is in.  When he quickly moved to reject the CSD's appeal, the green light was on for the other Supervisors to comfortably follow.

    Although the CSD's presentation was flawed, it was good in that it did highlight many of Newberry's key concerns.  Public speakers added many more.  By letter, I had requested that all materials involved in the processing of the application be made a part of the Administrative Record by reference and that the Board members read them.  Thereby, hopefully, the Administrative Record is complete for an appeal.

CSD Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
6 P.M.
Newberry CSD Building
South end of Newberry Road.


Judicial relief is urgently needed.
Director Paula Deel may flip against community.

    CSD director Paula Deel was present at the Hearing.  Conspicuously, she didn't speak.  She failed to stand-up for the community.

    Before and after lunch she symbolically sat with the opposing Union workers.

    Director Deel's silence reminded me of Spike Lynch bribing Newberry's organizations a few years ago to sell-out and support billboards by offering them payola kickbacks.

    Paula Deel has been part of a secret committee that determines where the billboard payola goes.  Deel's Chamber of Commerce and Deel's NSEDA organization have benefited substantially.

    Clearway Energy has been likewise openly bribing Newberry organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the CSD with promises of good-neighbor money for their support.  Already, the Daggett Chamber has taken Clearway's money.  It is highly suspected that Paula Deel's Chamber of Commerce has also secretly accepted funds from Clearway.

    Has Director Deel gone to the Dark Side and sold-out the community for the Pixie Dust dollars?  Has she has gone silent against Clearway Energy to attract their $$$ ?

    If so, Newberry Springs is likely to be in extremely serious trouble regarding the ability to appeal the Supervisors' December 10th solar decision that is already adversely impacting the community.

    The Tuesday night, December 17th, CSD Board meeting will have an agenda item considering the filing of a judicial appeal.  Paula Deel holds a very strong buddy relationship with Director Vickie Paulsen who is also on the board of the Deels' NSEDA nonprofit.

    If Paula Deel flips her support to the solar project and pulls Vickie Paulsen with her, then pro-solar Director Larry Clark gets his majority and the residential property owners of Newberry will be devasted by the CSD's corruption.

    BTW, Board President Robert Springer and Director Jack Unger are expected to continue their positive support of the community with their vote.

Newberry's property values plunge.

    As a result of the Supervisors' decision, residential property values in Newberry Springs have probably already dropped by 25-percent and will continue to drop.  People's investments are being wiped-out as solar construction advances!

    As seller disclosure laws require that potential buyers be informed of the material fact of the solar facility's impact, residential properties will become nearly impossible to sell.


 
CSD needs to take immediate legal action.

    The folly of the Newberry CSD not hiring CEQA expertise two years ago has finally come to roost by the Supervisors upholding the Planning Commission's decision.  This matter should have been stopped at the Planning Commission.  Now the question is, will the Newberry CSD clean-up its mess?

    The CSD needs to immediately file for judicial relief of the Supervisors' decision.  Deadline to file is in about 3-weeks.  I believe that we need to file multiple legal actions because we have causes of action that fall under both the federal and state courts.

    I further feel that the federal court system is far fairer in its decisions than the bias County of San Bernardino Superior Court.

    By violating the County Development Code 84.29.035, which the Supervisors are supposed to uphold, they have acted outside of their authority.  Their wanton abuse of power to damage the economically disadvantaged community of Newberry Springs should hit their personal assets.

    Our community's lame-duck representative, Robert Lovingood, led the motion to uphold the Planning Commission's decision against Newberry Springs.  This news site has written numerous blogs in the past that Lovingood wasn't supportive of this community.  Perhaps, the community might wake-up to that fact now.

Emitting a Prop. 65 element into the air.

    State Law is clear, the emission of any Proposition 65 carcinogen into the air during the manufacturing of a product is not acceptable.  Electricity is a manufactured product.  Silica dust that the Clearway Energy facility will stir-up, which the company has acknowledged will happen for approximately a half-decade during construction, is not acceptable.

    The numerous damages to the environment that are not properly addressed in the Environmental Impact Report is not acceptable.

    During the Hearing, Clearway Energy claimed that they have soil additives that will bind dust to the ground after they have mowed and compacted the sand.  As earlier written by Pat Flanagan, the project site's alluvion type of sand doesn't pack well and the Los Angeles DWP has spent millions of dollars at Owens Lake with unsuccessful dust control soil additives.

    Is Clearway Energy's secret soil additive, that they say that they will spread on 5.5-square miles safe for the ground water?  What is it?

    Clearway Energy's presentation during the Hearing was filled with rosey words, claims and promises that are not supported by evidence of scientific fact.

    The EIR has ignored doing scientific air studies of the proposed solar site, CEQA law has not been followed, the County's Development Code has been bypassed, and the Social and Economic Justice issues have been disregarded.


    Paula Deel seated comfortably in the solar workers' section that was advocating for pro-solar construction.

CSD to decide whether to appeal
the Supervisors' denial.

    Overturning a Planning Commission decision is a tough fight and a win on this one wasn't expected, but it was hoped for and it was a necessary step to exhaust the Administrative Remedies.  Now, the door is open to bypass the County's corruption and to seek judicial relief.

    However, the CSD board may do nothing.  They may allow Newberry Springs to decay and allow premature deaths by increased fugitive dust.  Indications are that there might be some directors' CSD vote flipping to pro-solar for personal gain.

    For Clearway Energy's corporate profit, the County's corrupt Board of Supervisors is giving away millions of dollars of Newberry's property value, and they are not acknowledging the very real health impacts.  Will we allow this?

    The next CSD board meeting is extremely critical for Newberry's survival.  The CSD directors need to hear from the community if the community wants to have the County Supervisors' Daggett Solar decision challenged in court.

    If you won't tell the CSD directors, who will do it for you?  Please attend.  It is your health and your community at risk.

CSD Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
6 P.M.
Newberry CSD Building
South end of Newberry Road.

 
  Fight evil.  Please spread the word
and attend.  It is the right thing to do.

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