CSD acts tone-deaf to the community.
Some Newberrians on social media have placed water as the No. 1
current concern in Newberry Springs. I disagree. While
water is a major issue, its outcome is in the hands of a court with the final
solution years away.
Clearly, the No. 1 current issue is photovoltaic solar. The
outcome of the massive Daggett Solar Power project is being decided now and it
is something that Newberrians can still influence. But only for a very
The solar project's EIR certification by the Planning Commission is
coming up on appeal this Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 10 A.M.
Newberry desperately needs its citizens to attend the hearing in San Bernardino and
to speak against the project. A poor turnout can ruin Newberry's residential
It is fortunate that the sleepy Newberry CSD Board woke-up in time
to file a last-minute appeal. CSD Board director Jack Unger took charge as
The appeal Hearing.
The CSD Board, as the appellant, will be given 15-minutes during
the appeal hearing to present arguments as to why the county's Board of Supervisors
should overturn their Planning Commissioners' decision.
Jack Unger has undertaken the responsibility to prepare the CSD's arguments and
he has prepared a PowerPoint presentation.
Individual members of the public will be given a 3-minute opportunity
The Newberry CSD has hired an attorney who will be presenting
only a letter to the Board of Supervisors. The attorney will not be appearing
at the Hearing and his advisement to the Board is unknown.
The CSD has failed the prudent action early in the game to hire
a CEQA expert who should have been advising in the development of the CSD's
Allowing one's ego to interfere.
Despite several e-mailed requests that I made during November
to Jack Unger that he share his developing CSD's PowerPoint presentation, to allow
myself and the community to view and make suggestions to help prepare the community's
CSD's presentation, Unger refused to acknowledge the requests.
It wasn't until after Jack Unger had completed the CSD's
presentation and had submitted it to the County for installation into the
County's projection equipment, for viewing at the upcoming Hearing, that Unger
responded, writing that he would not share the public document until
As a result, the CSD's presentation is nowhere as good as
it should be. Unger's ego and hostile arrogance have not allowed the
minds and skills of others to collectively participate in the development
of the presentation.
Even after the submission of the presentation to the County,
he has refused to allow me and others to view the presentation.
By his obstruction, he has delayed community members the time and ability
to decide their best content of the individual community presentations before
No one speaking before the Supervisors wants to duplicate what
has already been presented in the CSD's 15-minute presentation.
Unger's allotted 15-minutes can only highlight a sampling
of the overall jewel points. The other meritorious points should also
be entered into the Administrative Record by local speakers. This can
become critical should it become necessary to seek judicial relief.
Jack Unger also quashed the possibility of the community
holding a community workshop on Friday or Saturday, December 6th or 7th,
before the Hearing to allow the community to view the CSD's PowerPoint so
that we could zero-in on the elements not covered in the CSD's presentation.
A workshop also would have been a great way to collaboratively
encourage public interest to attend the crucial Hearing.
Unger's PowerPoint is less than impressive.
Late Friday afternoon, December 6, 2019, the County Clerk
posted the Supervisors' December 10th agenda. Attached is
Jack Unger's PowerPoint (3.9 MB)
minus the important narrative.
In viewing the PowerPoint's visuals, my disappointment was to
the point of anger. In trying to cover too much, Unger's inclusion of a few weak
points dilutes the impact of the strengths. Newberrians' health and property values
are at stake and the CSD's PowerPoint appears subpar. The PowerPoint needs
to sell, and the layout doesn't do that. Hopefully, the narrative will be
Jack Unger had requested to use a 3-minute video that I produced
in 2018 illustrating Sand Transport Paths and the impacts of silica dust upon Newberry's
citizens. I repackaged the title and had some visual improvements done in West
Los Angeles. Unger took the
video and butchered it by chopping the
important continuity of the video by only using still shots which makes the critical
impact of the message on silica dust far less understandable.
Failure to share.
The failure to share and hold a community workshop
involving the PowerPoint before the Hearing, to help organize the community's
individual presentations, could become a fatal error. The community needed
to organize the maximum number of principal facts into the Administrative Record
of the Hearing.
IMHO, Jack Unger did a good job collecting sufficient triable
facts. However, I do not believe that they are packaged right to meet the
interests of the Supervisors. The Supervisors are looking for benefits to
the County. The presentation doesn't appear to be strong enough to resonate
the downside of the project.
The CSD's PowerPoint will be premiering against a slick-looking,
professional PowerPoint by Clearway Energy. Furthermore, the County's
Land Use Services also has a PowerPoint promoting the project.
Newberry Springs needs the miracle of a big community turnout and a
sensational narrative for its PowerPoint.
So, folks, if you care about Newberry, it is time to put your boots
on-the-ground and get-em to the Hearing.