Monthly Archives November 2011



(Left to right)   Ganymede, Europa [the planet JUPITER center], Io and Callisto.

The photograph was shot with a digital camera held close to the telescope lens so  left/right is reversed from the actual position in the sky.    Taken around 2000hrs in the Eastern sky.



My best to you and yours, Lew

PS:  The last LDPCSD meeting went very well and we’ll get to some of the highlights later, but for now, hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Categories: Uncategorized.

OCT 21st 2011 FINALLY OVER (never thought it would end)

OCT 21st 2011 FINALLY OVER (never thought it would end)

You will “recall” the last bit of transcript was a beginning question by me. Let’s pick it up from:

Director Richardson: “Then why won’t the county….”

Verbatim transcript in blue font based on analog and/or digital recording of meeting.

The meeting continues:

Harry Alfier: (inaudible)…..can use that as my …. (Inaudible)

TUMMOTA: (inaudible) …right now. He has got to speak, and you’ve got to listen. This is not fair…

Harry Alfier: and you just shouted me down Lew, I mean, let’s just tell the truth you see to be the purveyor of the truth, I wish, I really wish you were you could do some good. Just like you’re talking about Kathy I have it memorized what you said on there about Kathy cutting corners and there again I wonder if this is the something about, basically insinuating that Kathy doesn’t hand known disclosures.

Director Richardson: No

Harry Alfier: that’s exactly what you said

Multiple voices

Director Richardson: I said, I said real estate

Harry Alfier: Real estate disclosures, well that’s what her business is real estate, so is mine. And I can pull every contract for the last thirty-five years that says buyer has received copies of CC&Rs, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation and the most recent financial statement by law we need to provide them. We, we don’t ever, who would not want to hand out a known disclosure or CC&Rs to someone when they buy property? So to insinuate otherwise is, is far as I’m concerned, is being a liar, and it’s been attacking people’s character, again Kathy stood up here and, and, and had a legitimate grievance with the district regarding the $3,000 hookup fee, that I think you’re going to find is illegal, and the next thing you know she’s on your blog being accused of being an illegal, unethical realtor and that’s just horse pucky. And if you can’t agree with that, that’s your M.O. that’s what you do.

Director Richardson: I never said that

[I have never lied and do indeed tell the truth. This bothers Mr. Alfier tremendously because his own distortions of truth are created and meant to explain away his self-serving activities which are quite obvious. Again Harry Alfier accuses me of lying and states he “memorized” what I wrote but cannot recite the same. He then interprets what he recalled I wrote, stated what I was basically insinuating, then determined as far as he was concerned, I was a liar. Nothing like an objective point of view. LOL

The “cutting corners” comment by Kathy Agee, who works with Mr. Alfier, has already been addressed.

QUESTION: Who would not want to hand out a known disclosure or CC&Rs to someone when they buy property?

ANSWER: Likely unethical real estate agents and/or brokers who put sales above California Department of Real Estate legal requirements for property transfers.

I seriously doubt simply checking off a list of miscellaneous 40 year old documents is all that is required. What about disclosures regarding things that have happened in the last 40 years? You know, I can’t find anything on recognizing hundreds and hundreds of nonexclusive easements in any of our governing documents…. Oh yeah! They were filed AFTER THE FINAL SUBDIVISION MAP.

Gosh, as a real estate broker extremely familiar with this area Harry Alfier must have been aware of many items a prospective buyer would be interested – like the designated high fire severity zone, the school situation (didn’t you have a problem where you failed to explain such to a family with children and had to “re-negotiate the sale” and “compromise” to the buyer’s benefit?), do you explain what outside MIDPOU means to property sales outside the subdivision and/or water service district, etc.? One of your advertisements state: “Golf course and country club are soon to be opening and will be state of the art.” What year were these photographs taken and the information posted? Is this up to date or misleading?


The Department of Real Estate “Disclosures in Real Property Transactions” pamphlet stated: “A copy of the governing documents of the development, including any operating rules and a copy of the association’s articles of incorporation, ….”

Hmmm, including operating rules huh?


Here’s what Harry Alfier stated at the April 19th, 2009 Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association Board Meeting regarding the Trifold which was a 17 year old subdivision operating rules pamphlet (included grading and earth work incidentally) that had been upheld in both Tuolumne and Mariposa County Superior Courts:

“I was hoping I could bring in the paper that Mr. Kinsella and some other people keep referring to, the Tri-fold, that we need to be enforcing the Tri-fold of the CC&Rs, and I’ve been here a long time and I’m not sure what the Tri-fold is, and I was hoping that somebody, maybe the board, could explain what exactly the Tri-fold….they were, keep referring to.”

Excerpt from blog posting on June 8th, 2009 entitled “Absentees have always been the key”, subtitle: Real Estate/Land Developers Do Not Like Rules”.

Still even more interesting is the fact some people say Harry Alfier did in fact provide the Trifold to them when they purchased property through LAKE DON PEDRO REALTY. If that’s true…. How could you hand out a document used in the sale of property yet not know what it is called?]

Harry Alfier: And people come in an and disagree with you they’re attacked on your blog of being dishonest realtors, ah, I mean you you went so low on poor Mr. Porter as as to try to tie the man in some how you found some link on his website to his golf course for child porn and you were trying to tie the guy into child porn, it doesn’t get much lower than that Lew. SO I’m done.

Director Richardson: There were 160 pages of pornography on his website but I never said Tom Porter did that

Harry Alfier: OK do you honestly think that Porter was

Director Richardson: I just said, I never said he did that

Harry Alfier:  Well if you insinuate something, what do you expect people to think?  That’s pretty low, I don’t think you’d want someone insinuating that about your father.  So anyway I’m going to sit down, just try to tell the truth.

-[Complaints about pointing out illogical, rude or foolish behavior of those who disrupt business meetings with subject matter outside the jurisdiction of the board wouldn’t occur at all if the SO GOSIP limited their discussions to meeting material.

The SO GOSIP purposefully disturbed meetings by digging their hands deep down into moist steaming piles of false accusations and personal attacks. They ball them up into semi-clumps of verbal projectile weapons then throw them at anyone with the courage to stand up to their special interest platform of deceit. When challenged on this website they retreat and share stories of what others say I write because most admit to not reading for themselves. Then they manage the audacity to whine about how I accurately describe just how filthy their miserable little hands have become.


Harry Alfier once again demonstrates extremely poor taste in bringing up such a subject during a CSD business meeting and wrongfully attributes to me an insinuation that was never spoken, written or implied. That is all on Mr. Harry Alfier.

First of all, my point back then, as well as now, is represented with a question: why would a corporation solicit customer feed-back with no intention of receiving and responding? That’s more negligence or apathy than active participation. Heck, any one of a number terrorist organizations could have been operating through that website but discovery of such wouldn’t indicate that Thomas Porter was a terrorist, only that his corporation did a lousy job of monitoring its website which would have uncovered the unlawful activity. I never thought for a moment Mr. Porter would allow such despicable material to remain on his golf course website, therefore he could not have known about such. But someone did.

Secondly, Alfier by bringing up this particular topic now has also displayed an amazing lack of rudimentary compassion for a fellow business associate with whom he shares an advertisement. Despite county newspaper coverage of some recent local arrests, purportedly involving multiple unlawful relations with extremely young minors, I have never posted any of that information, much less links to the newspaper articles, even though a similar situation occurred years ago with a member of that same family. No names, details, criminal complaint information, nothing. I left it alone.

Some might argue it was wrong of me not to post publically available material regarding the details under the theory of alerting residents to potential risk. Ultimately I concluded this website had an extremely limited circulation to residents compared to the Foothill Express newspaper and if that publisher/editor did not feel a responsibility or necessity to report to our community, why should I, theoretically, report it to the world?

Here’s what I wrote on November 11th and December 5th, 2009 about the pornography discovered on the Deerwood Corporation website.

Director Emery Ross: Bill?

VP Kinsella: Yeah?

Director Emery Ross: (laughing) Sir

VP Kinsella: Ah you..

Director Ross: (laughing) Ah me, Sir (to TUMMOTA), my name is Emery Ross, please look at I’m so discouraged on this board what he writes about me.

TUMMOTA: [The Unidentified Male Member Of The Audience]: I’ve been reading his blogs

Director Emery Ross: I am really frustrated, I am his latest victim. I, everybody out there, these are victims in here.

TUMMOTA: Excuse me, this would not be the time to discuss this with me,

Director Emery Ross: Ok, just wanted you to see it though because these other people said it

[Director Emery Ross is frustrated? He is a victim? Good Heavens. Look in a mirror. The better part of eleven months of potential Board work has been obstructed and wasted due to some highly unusual behavior and activities by particular directors. I am not going to waste any more time on these particular directors or their activities because much of that has already been documented and I believe changes in the board configuration due to the recent appointment of Mr. Victor Afanasiev is going to help tremendously. Thanks for the advertisement anyway Emery, why not put it in your next “Pandering in Pedro” article? That’s LAKEDONPEDRO.ORG.

So TUMMOTA doesn’t think the meeting he just interrupted isn’t the right time to speak with him? OK, when would be the right time to discuss some things with you TUMMOTA? Come to think of it, what is your name and where do you work actually? Apparently you are not with the State Attorney General’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, or Sheriff’s Office….humm, quite peculiar. With what authority did you and your SO GOSIP friends interrupt an official business meeting of the district?]

TUMMOTA: Their rights are just as important to me as these rights, but it’s when they’re not displayed correctly, that’s when the problem happens and right now there’s being some good (inaudible) discussions going on here. But I got, I do read the blogs so does my supervisor, so

Director Ross: Good

[Ouooooo TUMMOTA is one of the few people who do read my blogs and he has a supervisor who reads too. Wow. Sure would like to have a talk with that supervisor as well. Sure seems as though Emery has bought into the officious intermeddler’s bit when he cries about being a victim. Responsible party is more fitting.]

Director Richardson: I send them to Sacramento.

TUMMOTA: You don’t need to, they’re on the internet correct?

Director Richardson: Beg your pardon?

TUMMOTA: Internet is everywhere in the world

Director Richardson: No, but I sent letters with the blog site to individual agencies in Sacramento.

Director Skoien: OK, let’s move on

VP Kinsella: Any other comments?

Director Richardson: I have nothing to be ashamed of.

[You should have seen their faces! Lol I guess the response they expected was for me to go “oh golly gee! You and your supervisor have been reading my blogs for years! Holy Moly I must be in big trouble and better stop writing immediately!” I have a stamp with LAKEDONPEDRO.ORG that I use on correspondence envelopes. Heck I’ve sent a bunch of bumper stickers to different agencies and departments in Sacramento with that same website address – like I’m really trying to hide something.

I want authorities to see what the SO GOSIP have been, and are doing, in Lake Don Pedro. COME AND GET IT!]

Syndie (acting secretary after Charise Reeves left the meeting room): No I just heard, taking notes for the secretary, I just wanted to know where we’re at on here are we (audience laughter)

Multiple voices

Director Ross: Director Comments

Syndie: on the agenda, and I was under the impression that that’s what we could discuss in a meeting, so I thought maybe I step into either a second meeting or are we under director comments, I just wanted to know

VP Kinsella: We’re under director comments but everybody else seems to be

Syndie: Ok

VP Kinsella: putting in their input

Syndie: You had opened up director comments? That’s where all this was?

VP Kinsella: Yeah

Syndie: OK

VP Kinsella: Yes

Syndie: Thank you

VP Kinsella: Mark?

Director Mark Skoien: I just want to say to Harry, back a few, when it was CSD business that was being talked about, (laughs) that we did do what you said, you didn’t think we should usurp his authority, that was in our statement when we reported out, that that was one reason why we didn’t, she left us no wiggle room and we just, hopefully the mediator will help work out a lot of these other things, but I think actually it was probably the last CSD business that we spoke about. Anyway I just wanted to say that we did come out

Harry Alfier: I do recall Bill saying when he came out

Director Skoien: and it was in our report out

Harry Alfier: in your policy basically

Director Skoien: so, that’s all I got to say

Harry Alfier: Thank you

VP Kinsella: Does anybody else have any comments? I’ll entertain a motion to adjourn. (laughter)

Director Skoien: I’ll second that motion

VP Kinsella: Meeting is adjourned.


[Shortly after the meeting I observed TUMMOTA outside the CSD office so I approached him and formally introduced myself with a handshake which he accepted without offering his name. I asked him his name but even with two attempts he could not intelligibly pronounce it and advised to “Just call me Rick”. (Note: TUMMOTA, as meeting audio recordings will clearly establish, spoke fluent English and had no noticeable accent of a second language.)

The more I spoke with TUMMOTA the less I believed he was anything but an imposter and officious intermeddler as a representative for the SO GOSIP camp. He could not offer any explanation for his presence other than being “unbiased” but refused to discuss topics he allowed to be presented in the meeting by the SO GOSIP and even turned down an offered tour of the Deerwood-Alfier Road. Very peculiar but I think with time much more will be learned about our mysterious TUMMOTA.

Let’s hope future meeting topics will be confined to the business of the district and service to customers. There are a lot of serious issues to address.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


NOTE: The below cartoon is merely a saterical illustration regarding some dangerous narrow roads constructed in the Lake Don Pedro Subdivison 12 years after 1991 SRA (State Responsibility Area) Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards were established.   The cartoon in no way refers to any actual fire.

1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards do what?

1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards do what?

1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards Do What?

Verbatim transcript is BLUE and based on analog and/or digital recordings of meeting.


Well back to the salt mine…….

[Believe it or not we are approaching the end of this report on the infamous October 21st, 2011 LDPCSD Board Meeting but there are a lot of points to still cover.

The SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) will likely have a difficult time topping their performances at that meeting, but who knows?   Perhaps someone will show up masquerading as an FBI agent, or Senator, maybe even the Governor of The State himself in the attempt to hi-jack another meeting?  I don’t think so after the last one where VP Kinsella had a Deputy Sheriff stand by to ensure the SO GOSIP didn’t turn a few minutes of their pleading and whining into a much lengthier barrage of personal attacks, accusations, and discussions about nonrelated CSD matters.


You will “recall” from the previous blog, Harry Alfier (owner of Lake Don Pedro Realty) felt “we were” getting off the subject when I attempted to explain my opinion that the substantial modifications made to a 1970s pathway or trail should have been compliant with 1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards.  I realize this is a sensitive subject for Harry because after all, he has received quite a special benefit in the form of an asphalt paved road that turns right at the entrance to his property.


Sure he jumps up and down and shouts that the road still exists.  Yup he can drive up to and access his lot much easier now without the dirt, mud, rocks, brush and grass to traverse, but other than driving out there across someone else’s property to visit his lot, what has he actually gained?  As I understand State fire code and County Building requirements that road is not a proper access for residential construction which begs the question:  Will that road ever be used to access multiple homes unless brought up to code?  Could it possibly be removed and the hill reseeded as suggested in the conclusion statement by a registered engineer who inspected the roadway?



Although it is not surprising Harry is at the heart of yet another controversy in Don Pedro it is still a bit disturbing just how obvious the personal benefit is this time.   The best interests of residents, out of area owners, the community, and the very organizations entrusted to represent those interests have always taken a backseat in the political vehicle driven by Harry and fueled with disinformation.]

Director Richardson:  Well that’s what I said earlier none of this is, has to do with the business of the district.

Harry Alfier:  You just sat there as a board member and told Coralane that her father was breaking all these rules and you forget

Director Richardson:  No she got up and attacked me and called me a liar

Harry Alfier:  (inaudible) heard it

Director Richardson:  and I am not a liar

Harry Alfier:  (inaudible) set the record straight, you are

Director Richardson:  I am not

Harry Alfier:  Well you’re playing fast and loose with the truth

Director Richardson:  No I am not

Harry Alfier: You’ve heard the court decision; you’ve seen the judge’s decision

Director Richardson:  Then why won’t the county

Multiple voices, inaudible

[There we go again with the emotional and erroneous accusation that I am a liar – which Harry quickly reduced to “playing fast and loose with the truth” when denied.   Yes I am familiar with the court decision.  SO what?  There are many, many examples of decisions and rulings made during a particular time that are eventually corrected when negative consequences result.  Understand too, especially in these precarious financial times for our entire country, law suits against governmental entities are not appreciated and usually disposed of in the most expedient and desirable manner to that entity.  Perhaps a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs would have subjected the government to even more difficulties?

Should the County of Mariposa have enforced grading and code requirements which would have triggered and allowed CDF/CALFIRE to prevent the construction of those substandard roads?  I most certainly think so – shouldn’t taxpayers have had the expectation laws and regulations designed to protect them would be followed by their elected and appointed officials?

Is it fair that ordinary citizens were placed in the horrible position of having to expend their “golden years” retirement funds in an attempt to force the government to do what probably should have been done in the first place?   I don’t think so, but hey, I’m just a tax paying citizen, not a judge with years of experience in such legal matters.

I KNOW – IF MY AUNT HAD BALLS SHE’D BE MY UNCLE—but let’s play “what if” anyway

What IF Deerwood had graded the road through a lot owned by a family struggling to survive without the funds to support extended litigation?

What IF no one ever heard about these roads and such construction continued?

What IF Deerwood Custom Homes were quickly built to obtain the enhanced view of the Sierras without conforming driveways?

What IF the homes were actually purchased and occupied by families?

What IF a home caught fire and spread to others but fire equipment could not reach the conflagration and people were severely injured or killed?

That older couple who has experienced years of suffering, frustration and reduction in their “golden years savings” may very well be UNKNOWN HEROES who prevented serious accidents from happening.

Even without homes being constructed there, I wonder if Harry would care to swear on the life of his daughter that no one will ever be injured or killed on his private little driveway?   Not as easy as believing a pathway was a road – huh?


Harry Alfier runs around shouting “I won in court – I won in court” evidently believing this success (actually more a result of the Deerwood Corporation’s professional legal expertise and experience in such matters) is some kind of a rubber stamp condoning the activities which produced a number of extremely dangerous roadways in this community.   He is purposefully confusing different issues.


If a defendant in a criminal case, facing overwhelming conclusive evidence of guilt, was released due to some kind of procedural legal error, would it be reasonable to equate that release with moral innocence?

If that defendant proclaimed “I won in court”  – would a murder, rape, robbery (or whatever)  be dismissed as acceptable social conduct only because he was not actually convicted and sentenced to prison?   Could he then claim the results of his activity were morally or ethically proper?   I do not believe so.  Claiming “I won in court” is a pathetic defense for what has been done in jeopardizing the safety and lives of others.


This reminds me of the old bumper sticker:  “My Lawyer Can Beat Up Your Lawyer”.  Unfortunately, I think most of us realize justice, sometimes like anything else, can essentially be purchased by the one with a deeper financial pocket than his adversary.  I seriously doubt the same result would have been achieved if Deerwood did the same thing to someone who had as much money and influence.   Though you may not be able to un-ring a bell, there are procedures to remove or correct those extremely dangerous roads and CDF/CALFIRE possesses that legal mechanism – but will that process be utilized during a time when most every organization is experiencing budget problems?

When I first learned of the new $150/year STATE FIRE FEE for homes in SRAs I wondered if any of that money would be used to correct situations like in Don Pedro or will we as a community simply wait for the inevitable accident that often prompts change?   Sure doesn’t seem fair that those of us who constructed and/or maintained our homes to be compliant with fire and building codes must pay another $150/year in fees while corporations like Deerwood who have constructed roadways that are clearly noncompliant with 12 year old Fire Safe regulations, pay nothing.

You know, it has been humorously suggested that these developer convenience roads may have been simply unintentional mistakes because Deerwood was just so accustomed to constructing cart paths at the golf course.


This phrase is used to advertise Harry Alfier’s Lake Don Pedro Realty office located in in La Grange, Stanislaus County only a few miles west of the subdivision and LDPCSD water service.  OK, I understand the “experience” part since Lake Don Pedro Realty has been in existence and doing business since 1968, but it’s the “trust” part that is a bit disconcerting.

I have always wondered:  How in the world does Harry rationalize within his heart (recognizing his mind is already focused on making money through real estate deals), any form of advocacy or excuse for the construction of noncompliant and extremely dangerous roadways?  I guess one could be cynical and suggest because he is some sort of a modern day “carpet bagger” only exploiting the resources of the Don Pedro area since he is not a resident.

Gosh he’s had so many years of opportunity and is very familiar with the area.  He runs a real estate business focused on this area yet couldn’t find a suitable residence in Lake Don Pedro for decades?  Did he really want to live here?


Prior to going any further with Harry Alfier’s statements I think it is long overdue for you folks who have never seen the Deerwood-Alfier Roadway – have the opportunity to take a gander.   What sort of person trurly believes such roads are adequate to serve multiple homes in our rugged and designated high fire severity zone?

Don’t worry — seatbelts will not be required.


My Best to You and Yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.



Verbatim Transcript based on analog and/or digital recording of meeting.

Director Richardson:  Well I guess it’s Harry’s turn now.

Harry Alfier:  Well, I’d just like to once and for all look Lew in the eye

Director Richardson:  OK, hang on

Harry Alfier:  and have Lew look me in the eye, those regulations that you keep telling me that I’m violating and Tom Porter is violating

Director Richardson:  I’ve never said you violated them

Harry Alfier:  well my driveway violates them you tell me, the bottom line is, it says right on those regulations Lew, these regulations do not apply to any roadways constructed prior to 1991 when the regulations came in

Director Richardson:  right.

NOTE: SRA stands for State Responsibility Area and SO GOSIP = Same Old Group Of Special Interest People

[NOT A DRIVEWAY.   I believe Mr. Alfier is confusing terms because it is a roadway that actually serves his property off Alamo Drive, not a driveway.  A road provides access to more than two residential or access to any industrial or commercial occupancy. The Deerwood-Alfier road was clearly constructed to provide access to at least five parcels immediately:  one for Harry Alfier and four for the Deerwood Corporation further south.   Apparently there were plans to extend the road around the hill to the west to reach other properties and re-connect with Alamo Drive, but such a project would have to conform to 1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards.

A roadway is defined as any surface designed, improved, or ordinarily used for vehicle travel.  As discussed below, there are very good arguments to support the opinion the original “pathway” established in the early 1970s was not a road.   

I HAVE NEVER DISAGREED that preexisting driveways and roads were exempt from SRA 1991 Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards because it would be extremely unfair to make owners of existing driveways and roads spend money to bring them up to a newly created standard.  They were satisfactorily serving the purpose up to that point, but in this case the pathway was not being used to serve anything, yet it was upgraded to a roadway to serve multiple homes in the future with complete disregard for regulations and safety. 


The new fire codes also applied to “new construction, not relating to an existing structure, which requires a building permit”.   IN MY OPINION, turning a minimally scraped pathway into a substandard and dangerous 1,600’ asphalt paved road to serve multiple homes is analogous to upgrading a temporary storage shed to a 4,000 sqft family residence with disregard for building code requirements concerning structural calculations, foundation engineering, framing, roofing, electrical, plumbing, etc., because the quality and safety of the finished project will suffer. (This is a great example of “cutting corners”.) 

A residence not built to code produces a dangerous and noncompliant home, and a pathway turned into a road without regard to minimum roadway standards creates a dangerous substandard road.      

Harry Alfier:  All the roads that you’re questioning and I know that you don’t believe me but I’ll, I’ll swear on my father’s grave and the life of my daughter, every road that you are talking about was constructed by Boise Cascade in the early 70’s to provide access to these properties.

[I’m sorry, but that’s kind of creepy – swearing on your father’s grave and daughter’s life?  I’m sure Harry was only trying to emphasize his point and instill confidence in that what he was saying was the truth, but I’m sorry, I disagree and find his method of persuasion rather melodramatic and in poor taste.  I do think Harry has convinced himself it is the truth, otherwise he wouldn’t say such a thing but there is a big difference between a scraped pathway serving nothing and only marking where a road might be constructed someday and roads “constructed by Boise Cascade”.       

If such roadways were indeed constructed by Boise Cascade in the early 70’s, where are the maps, engineer reports, grading permits, and county approvals?  

Why are there no official maps of these roads in county records?  Even the nonexclusive easements upon which these alleged “roads” were constructed were not filed until AFTER the Final Subdivision Map for Lake Don Pedro had been approved by the county.  

How can roadway infrastructure changes be made to the legally approved Final Subdivision Map without public input and discussion? 

The easements giving rise to these access roads were clearly “after-thoughts” designed to reach properties which already had designated driveways connected to state or county maintained roads.  These developer-convenience roads are not required for property access.    

Harry Alfier:  Don’t shake your head because that’s the truth and I can prove to you that’s the truth.  The courts have already, the courts aren’t stupid they saw it and saw the aerial photograph so you just keep telling the same lie and that’s why, when, you just kill me when you keep telling me how everything I say is the truth, everything, it’s not the truth, the truth is, it says right on the, how can they violate those regulations when the regulations clearly state those roads are exempt from those regulations? 

Director Richardson:  Any modification to an existing road had to come into conformance with the 1991 SRA …

Harry Alfier:  Where’s the modification?

Director Richardson:  When you asphalt pave 1,600 feet of road it’s a modification

Harry Alfier:  (inaudible)

Director Richardson:  Plus that road was not there at that time because the satellite images clearly showed that it was not there.

Unknown:  getting off the subject

Multiple voices

Harry Alfier:  We’re getting off the subject

[Oh…now you’re concerned about getting off the subject?  But you are the one that brought the matter up.  Now in regards to the Deerwood-Alfier Roadway that serves Harry’s property, I attended that court hearing and saw the same aerial photograph displayed on the court room wall which was evidently accepted as proof of a previous existing road.  With all due respect to Judge Parrish, I did not see a road but merely a pathway or trail through hillside grass. 

I would agree that a pathway may have been scraped once years ago but construction of a “real road” never occurred nor is there any past paperwork indicating such.  Part of Harry Alfier’s evidence that the road existed was based on a declaration by Wes Snyder who worked closely with Boise Cascade and Harry’s father “Uncle Milt” who has been selling property here since 1968 (Even before the subdivision had been approved.).  

Mr. Alfier provided evidence to the court about the operation of the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association which is interesting since he only makes a living here and is not a resident.   You must also remember there were “land developer friendly directors” on a board which refused to enforce regulations which Harry has always supported.   Part of our regulations prohibited “dirt work” without approval, but without enforcement from those directors and committees……anything desired was allowed.

The fact the CONSTRUCTED DEERWOOD PAVED ROADWAY indeed existed at the time Judge Parrish heard the matter undoubtedly played a big part in its being permitted to remain, however, it appears to me as though the circumvention of PUBLIC SAFETY LAW was essentially rewarded with the ruling a previous road had existed and therefore it was not subject to the new Fire Code Standards.  This is an old method of operation for developers not wishing to get “tangled-up” with restrictive or prohibitive laws, regulations or codes – sneak the project in under the authoritative/enforcement radar then request mitigation measures for approval and/or use.


I have been advised a number of people were interested in the Parrish fire tragedy and how that other road made the point of SRA Fire Safe Roadway Minimum Standards in regards to the similar “hairpin” turn on Harry Alfier’s property.  Judge Parrish made the favorable ruling for Deerwood and Alfier prior to his accident but begs the question if his decision might have been different if heard after his personal loss.   Rather than trying to “sum up” that original article, here it is: 



REMINDER TO THE SO GOSIP:  THIS IS MY OPINION as to how and why those dangerous roads were able to be created 12 years after passage of the 1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards.

THE HOUSING BOON.  At the time the housing construction industry was wild with growth.  Numerous properties in this area were available at distressed prices and Thomas Porter and his Deerwood Corporation had the ability to purchase several hundred.  With these properties and their votes came the power to vote in LDPOA elections providing him with the ability to place whomever he wanted on the board. 

PORTER HAD A TIME FRAME and could not be slowed down with normal procedures, constraining or even prohibitive subdivision regulations.

FIRST LINE DEFENSE DESTROYED.   Porter was able to “sponsor” real estate/land development “friendly directors” on the LDPOA who refused to enforce the CC&Rs and the Trifold which was a condensed pamphlet of regulations designed to protect the subdivision from uncontrolled development.  The TriFold had been successfully relied on for approximately  17 years and had been upheld in both Tuolumne and Mariposa County Superior Courts yet was ultimately rescinded in a highly questionable procedure by “Porter Supporters” on differing boards.   Only 40 year old CC&Rs now protect the subdivision and they too are rarely enforced if contrary to what the SO GOSIP advocate.

The LDPOA was supposed to protect this area on behalf of ALL OWNERS but it was quickly neutered and many speculative/model homes, and developer convenience roads were constructed without approval.  Despite assurances by former directors involved that “approval letters” establishing “compliance” were in every Deerwood file, the statements were completely untrue.  This is the ironic part, had Mr. Porter confined his building to the existing rules by only constructing homes for those ready to purchase he would not have found himself possessing so many new and vacant homes for so many years.  Obviously, Mr. Porter was not the only housing speculator practicing in this area at the time but Deerwood cleared the trail – so to speak.

NONEXCLUSIVE EASEMENTS.   As mentioned above, these were filed after the Final Subdivision Map was approved and were intended to provide access to “difficult to develop lots”, however, they did not have anything to do with roadway standards being followed to produce adequate and safe roadways.  They merely identified the location where roads could later be established.   The future road would have to be constructed on top of the nonexclusive easement, yet in the Deerwood-Alfier Road due to the terrain, the road in places, was simply cut into the hillside where most convenient and wasn’t confined to the underlying easement.  This in combination with obstructing Public Easements for natural drainage (increased erosion due to installation of roads without required soil studies, proper engineering, drainage control, etc.) and the asphalt paving dedicated Pedestrian & Equestrian Trails in violation of Mariposa County Ordinance 950 -which prohibits motor vehicles on trails, has created a host of problems for this subdivision in the future.

GRADING PERMITS.  These “developer-convenience roads” definitely required a grading permit due to the substantial amount of material that would be cut and used for fill, however, had a grading permit been obtained from the Mariposa County Building Department, CDF/CALFIRE would have been notified.   This “trigger notification” would have resulted in an inspection/approval process CDF/CALFIRE.

CDF/CALFIRE WOULD NOT APPROVE. There is no doubt that CDF/CALFIRE would have inspected and denied the proposed roads due to their refusal to recognize a rudimentary scraped pathway or trail as a legitimate preexisting road which would be exempt from the 1991 SRA Fire Safe Minimum Roadway Standards established 12 years earlier.

CONSTRUCTION OF SRA FIRE SAFE COMPLIANT ROADWAYS would have been extremely expensive, if even possible considering the underlying easement and terrain, and time consuming which were two critical variables for a land developer dedicated to constructing as many homes as possible while the “Housing Boon” existed.

THEREFORE it was absolutely crucial to develop some kind of way to access the properties for residence construction while simultaneously avoiding application for a grading permit which would have triggered CDF/CALFIRE involvement and put an immediate end to his road construction business before it started.  

Apparently this is what happened:  Deerwood representatives would go to the Mariposa County Public Works Department and obtain Encroachment Permits which only allow construction of a driveway from one or two residences to an adjacent state or county maintained roadway. 

Once the encroachment permit was obtained, Deerwood (under the radar of the Building Department grading permit requirements) constructed several asphalt paved roads to access multiple properties at once!  Saved money, accessed more homes, and in Harry Alfier’s case, greatly enhanced his properties’ view of the high Sierras and Don Pedro Lake by allowing construction on top of the hill rather than at a lower elevation with a traditional and expensive driveway. 

PRESTO!  Regulations specifically designed to protect life and property IN A DESIGNATED HIGH FIRE SEVERITY ZONE were circumvented for convenience and profit.  (((YET I AM ACCUSED OF BEING AN EVIL MAN???)))   I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to believe a decades old land development/mortgage corporation like Deerwood, who had vast experience with construction in other California foothill communities was not familiar with SRA requirements much less local building and grading codes and regulations.   Sorry just can’t buy that one.


Were those original “pathways/trails” approved as “ROADS” by local government and therefore exempt?  I do not believe so.  Here are some interesting paragraphs from a March 31, 2004 CDF correspondence regarding interpreting SRA Fire Safe Regulations:


Access is a major fire protection need, whether wild land or structural.  Failure to provide a reasonable access for emergency equipment and evacuation egress for civilians can result in major loss of life, property and natural resources.  Fire apparatus sitting at an intersection, waiting for civilians to exit on a narrow road cannot provide the necessary fire suppression action.  Safe access requires street and road networks that limit dead-end roads and provide reasonable widths, grades and curves on roads and driveways.”

“The suitability and safety of access is not dependent upon the date of construction, but rather the design criteria for that road.  Many existing roads may meet or exceed these standards, however many do not.  CDF and local fire fighters have responded to emergencies on unsafe, substandard roads for years.  The past use does not mitigate the danger to fire fighters and civilians.”

“The Board of Forestry recognizes the standards within the SRA Fire Safe Regulations are minimum standards and not intended to be applicable within the two zones of greater hazard levels.  The majority of SRA lands within Mariposa County fall within the “two zones of greater hazard levels.”  The Board also recognizes that past use of sub-standard roads does not mitigate this danger to firefighters and civilians.

While the Board recognized that retroactive application was impractical, the Board states the intent that transportation infrastructure would improve as development occurs.  In the last thirteen years of the regulations, rural counties have made little progress toward the improvement of existing infrastructure due, in part, to the miss-application of the intent of the law.”

SO ANYWAY – Since that original court hearing I have viewed many other aerial photographs and satellite images of that area taken over the years which supports the opinion it was indeed only a pathway/trail until Deerwood construction equipment graded and asphalted an actual roadway, which although better than the original pathway, didn’t even come close to meeting 1991 SRA Fire Safe minimum roadway standards.

Here are some photographs of photographs so the clarity is not all that great but good enough to make some points about how a “pathway/trail” was turned into a nonconforming and extremely dangerous road. 


Here’s a plot of some of the area for a better understanding of the road’s configuration.  Remember that lots in the subdivision were intended for residential development.  How can you build a house with an on-sight sewage disposal system with all the required setbacks when a roadway diagonally crosses the rectangular lot?  Lot 1177 was essentially scraficed so a developer-convenience road could access other properties.  The  purpose of FIre Safe minimum roadway standards were completely ignored.   
















ABOVE: This particular developer-convenience road also partially covers and in one area, completely covers a Mariposa County Dedicated Pedestrian & Equestrian Trail with asphalt.  As the road continues south it actually veers off from its underlying easement, which is to say, the road wasn’t even built where it should have been.   Mariposa County Ordinance 950 prohibits motor vehicles on P&E Trails. 

Below are some photographs of photographs so the quality isn’t all that great, but they were part of the court record and were prepared and analyzed by a court recognized expert.  That brief analysis of the photo appears below the image.  Once the pathway/trail is scraped in later photos notice the difference in width between Alamo Drive which arches around the area that is supposed to contain the eventual Deerwood-Alfier Road.  How can such a trail be considered an actual road – especially when it serves no residence? 


ABOVE PHOTO: No activity is shown on the tract prior to 1971, with the exeptions of the lot access from Alamo Drive to the lots 1148-1152 and 1172-1178.  Native soils are very light colored and show up clearly once disturbed.  The section of Alamo Drive shown in the photo is not paved on this date.















ABOVE PHOTO: The 1974 photo indicates that a preliminary pathway has been cut into the side hill from lot 1149 south to 1152.  The pathway shows revegatation in some areas.  This indicated the pathway was done between 1973 and April 1971.  The tire tracks are visible with vegetation in the middle.  This pathway was not maintained after being initially scraped and cut into the hillsides.  (Note the shadows that show on the uphill side of the trail.) There is no indication that construction allowed for handling drainage water that would be discharged on the downside of the pathway. 















ABOVE PHOTO: The 1985 photo shows some sections of the north south pathway are completely revegetated.  Other sections clearly show light vehicle use with vegetation in the middle.  The section across lot 1177 is the section with most exposed soils.  There is no indication that significant erosion has occurred on the slope below the pathway.
















ABOVE PHOTO: The 1987 photo show continued, but light use, of the section of the easement from Alamo Dr. through lot 1177.  There is re-vegetation on some parts of this east to west pathway.  The easement extending south shows only small spots of bare soils.  Alamo Drive has been paved at the time of this photo.

PHOTO ABOVE: In 1993, the pathway from Alamo across lot 1177 has been maintained to remove the vegetation and permit temporary vehicle access to lot 1178.  Also an area south of this segment has been scraped leaving bare soils in the center of lot 1177.  The segment of pathway from 1149 south is completely re-vegetated.  The exception being narrow channels cut by water erosion parallel to the pathway.  The photo indicates increased erosion on lot 1150.

















ABOVE 1997 PHOTO: Photo shows declining use of the pathway across lot 1177.  The upper portion across lot 1178 going south is difficult to see in the photo.  No change on the pathway from 1149 to the south.  Pathway is completely covered with vegetation.















ABOVE 1998 PHOTO: The segment of pathway from Alamo across lot 1177 shows more use than segment going south.  The segment going south has no indication of bare soils.  This segment is also variaable in width from 5-7 feet.  The narrow portion is on the south portion of the pathway near lot 1172.  There is no indication of vehicle traffic on pathway going south.  The southern portion of the pathway is too narrow for a vehicle at time of this photo.

ABOVE PHOTO: December 1 2004: This photo shows the completed surfacing of the access road.  The photo shows no measures to handle the increased water on lot 1150.


Who will be responsible for the maintenance and repair of these private dangerous roads which are open to the public?  Will a “special benefit assessment” for road maintenance have to be paid by all beneficieries of such roads?   Wouldn’t these dangerous roads consistute a known disclosure?  Wonder if that is on Harry’s little check list for buyers?

What about the liability for property loss, potential accidents, injuries and/or death?

I have so much more to share with you but I am very tired and need to get away from this monitor, but until then and as always……

My best to you and yours, Lew

PS: I’ve got something special to show you next time in my continuing response to Mr. Harry Alfier’s “Swing of the Bat”.

Categories: Uncategorized.



Verbatim transcriptions based on analog and/or digital recordings of the meeting

Prior to jumping back into that infamous meeting orchestrated by TUMMOTA (The Unidentified Male Member Of The Audience) who was purportedly from the State Attorney General’s Office yet permitted a choreographed barrage of personal attacks by the SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) on a director during a recorded public business meeting, I would like to chitchat about some bird brains that are close to me.


Yes indeed, I think that little bird knew exactly what it was doing when it landed on the trash can filled with wild bird seed and began pecking away at the lid.  Sure it would have been much more interesting if the little guy had been pecking out a complex Morse Code message regarding the condition of his feeding station, but his message was received loud and clear never-the-less. 

I’ve been feeding these birds for twenty years, in fact, one of the first “improvements” to the property was hanging a couple of seed feeders and a bird bath fed by a drip irrigation emitter to guarantee every time I watered trees their bath would be filled.   I had 17 existing Oaks scattered about a 1.1 acre downhill lot covered in hot dry grass, weeds,  “tripping rocks” (low to the ground that inevitably snag the toe of your boot and produce that “impromptu unbalanced downhill dance”) boulders and a host of other indigenous foothill creatures.  There were few neighbors then, Castle Air Force Base was still open and quite active with aircraft,  and that feeding/bathing station was a pretty popular spot for a host of animals.  Like a little oasis.


Certainly after feeding generations of different species of birds a few would come to learn my pattern of behavior just as I had theirs?  The encounter a couple of days ago was only one of many interspecies’ communications through the years.  Hummingbirds get quite vocal when their precious fluid container is either empty or has been over-run by ants (coating the wire that hangs the feeder with vegetable oil helps reduce ant intrusion but of course it eventually wears off after repeated ant attacks and requires re-coating to be effective.  Apparently, after walking through the oil they end up rubbing their antennas with legs contaminated with oil which they do not seem to care for at all.).  Sometimes they’ll even fly in for a quick shower when I’m spraying water on dust covered bushes and trees.


I’ll be doing some work in another area of the property when suddenly a Hummer will dart into sight, hover only a couple of feet right in front of me while chattering like crazy.  Once receiving some form of acknowledgement of its presence the little bundle of energy will rapidly change elevations and positions but all directly in front of me.  If I do not respond immediately it will fly a short distance to resting spot in a tree, chatter for a bit, then quietly observe only to repeat the process if I do not respond.  Usually I just laugh to myself, stop work, and proceed with filling the feeder with their traditional red nectar.  That’s when the real show starts with all of them jockeying for position, chasing one another off with some pretty amazing and amusing displays of precision flying.    

Anyway, after the “garage communication” I began filling the feeders to the common background choir of impatient chattering song by Finches, Nuthatches, Sparrows, etc., scattered throughout the surrounding trees.  Imagine the knowledge that could be gained if I could only translate the different languages? …….  “Finally – ‘bout time he got off his lazy butt” — “What’s so difficult? Put the seed in the feeder”—-  “Next time I’ll peck his forehead!” etc.     Well, enough about these particular bird brains.


I watched as he slowly placed one foot in front of the other in a series of small meticulous steps. Head down in clear concentration – focused on the unfolding path for what appeared to be house slipper clad feet.  The low elevation of these cautious steps often made the walk seem to be more of a shuffle.  As he continued to traverse the bright green Sun lit morning lawn framed in shadows of large Pines, I felt uneasiness build in my stomach and spread through my abdomen. 

A flood of divergent emotions started to boil up from stomach to chest as a multitude of concepts such as love, loss, emptiness, regret, betrayal, deceit, sympathy and purpose danced through the firing synapses of my brain.  Why would this observance trigger such strong emotions?  Because of a similar walk I had seen my Father negotiate in his late 80’s?  Or was it that nagging value taught as a child to respect my elders?

My mind began to process a checklist of memories, lessons learned, and confirmations of truth.  I confided in my partner about the possibility of changing the day’s schedule and foregoing any further investigation as planned.  Then almost simultaneously as those doubts left my lips a familiar and reassuring voice was remembered and clarified the issue barring further hesitancy:  “Knock it off Lewis – get back to work”.   The momentary doubts fueled by emotionally charged questions of life and death, respect, sympathy, and compassion for an adversary quickly evaporated and were replaced with a sense of respectful determination. 


OK, back to the October 21st, 2011 meeting where TUMMOTA represented as being from the California State Attorney General’s Office, insisted members of the SO GOSIP be allowed to personally attack a director with matters not constituting business of the Community Services District.

{Over stadium loud speakers….}


Verbatim transcript with [PERSONAL OPINION/COMMENT in italicized font within brackets]

Coralane Porter: Ahm, and again this is related to your blog Lew. 

Director Richardson:  Sure

Coralane Porter:  You have attacked my father for years he has never been nothing but less, he’s always been a gentleman to you.  You have implied and pretty much said that he broke rules and regulations on driveways and that is a lie.

Director Richardson:  (Softly) No it is not.

[Yes indeed, to my knowledge your father has always conducted himself as a gentleman and I have stated so numerous times through the years on this website.  Even when personally advising directors (multiple times) he had every intention of recalling them from office he was a gentleman.  So?  Just because a person may be polite, that is not justification for doing wrong things.   My opposition has always been focused on what your father and his multi-million dollar Deerwood land development/mortgage corporation has done to this community, not how nice he appears while doing such. 

Nice try Coralane.  You know very well the issue is not about “driveways”, but “roadways” because the later were intended to serve multiple dwellings as in the case of the Deerwood-Alfier Roadway on Alamo Dive hill where your father and Harry Alfier intended to construct homes with an enhanced view of the high Sierras without the traditional cost of individual driveways.  Asphalt paving of a Pedestrian & Equestrian Trail in contradiction of Mariposa County Ordinance 950?  This is a complex subject but we’ll return to it after Harry’s speech because I’ve got some things I’d like to share with all of you.]

Coralane Porter:  Yes it is sir and you know that and you let it lie, you imply and insinuate and you, truly I, I can’t believe he’s as nice as he is to you.  He is such a gentleman and you have treated him horribly and that’s why I don’t read your blog because it, it’s so upsetting and what you do is you say things related to the water, you take pictures, you spend all this time and you just want people, we’ve lost business because of you sir.  Where people will come up here and they get on the blog and they go well it sounds like Deerwood is doing some really undercut because you want people to get that impression, you love for people to get that impression.

Director Richardson:  Not at all

[Please do not tell me what I do and do not know or want.  You who claim not to read posts on this website yet complain about what I write.  Actually, it occurs to me the people who claim to support Tom Porter, including members of his own family, are doing him more harm than good.  I never posted a photograph of the cartoon that gave rise to Porter’s “Cartoon Recall” of an LDPOA (Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association) Board of directors until CSD Director Emery Ross used that recall as a reason not to support and appoint Victor Afanasiev to the board – the only applicant at that time incidentally.  It was an irresponsible and misleading comment to make in regards to the man’s qualifications and integrity.   As I have said many times I, and others, are very proud that we stood our ground in support of the First Amendment right to free speech against a very powerful special interest multi-million dollar corporation.  Every time members of the SO GOSIP make such spurious accusations and innuendos of wrong-doing it provides me with the opportunity to respond.  You bring it up then complain about the response. 

Oh, now you claim your business losses are because of me?  Oh please.   I wasn’t the one to purchase a non-performing golf course.  I wasn’t the one who put developer-friendly directors on the LDPOA Board who refused to enforce subdivision regulations.  I wasn’t the one who overbuilt with speculative and model homes constructed WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL as required by regulations.  Who from this area requested such uncontrolled development?  I find it interesting that in some areas Deerwood “cookie cutter” homes are so close you can spit from one deck to the one next door!  Perhaps people from high density city life care for that kind of layout but most folks up here surely do not judging by how they built their own homes.  But there’s the rub about spec & model homes…..the future owner has no say in their configuration on the lot.  Your father offered a “take it or leave it” home.  So?  People have chosen not to take it – yet you blame me?  Grow up.   I wasn’t the one who constructed dangerous developer convenience roads to maximize profits regardless of the potential injury and/or death to innocent others.  Do not blame others for the negative ramifications inherited due to past self-serving activities.   You assume to know what I want and state it as fact, and as usual, you are absolutely wrong.  I want people to know the truth about what has happened in Lake Don Pedro since arrival of the mighty Deerwood Corporation, but that wouldn’t be a big selling point either.  I wish no hardship on anyone, but some people earn it by their own actions.]


Coralane Porter:  And then after you said so many negative comments about things about my father and, and imply and insinuate, and this and that, then you kind of said oh gee it’s so sad that the country club is closed.  In one of your blogs you implied that I don’t even know if he owns it anymore?  You know, but its like you just put this stuff out there and it’s, it’s like creating something, he’s always done things by the book, always.  And as a daughter, as a daughter I am so offended by how you act as a Board of Director it is, it is unbelievable and you have a mocking attitude, you have a real arrogant way you carry yourself, you’re very friendly and kind of nice and if someone does something, see right now if you weren’t here (referring to TUMMOTA) he would be attacking me.

Director Richardson:  No

Coralane Porter:  You would be attacking me, yes you would

Director Richardson:  No, I’m hoping the new President (referring to TUMMOTA) will give me the opportunity to respond to what she’s saying to me though.

Coralane Porter:  And you’ve been doing this to me sir

TUMMOTA:  Wait till she speaks then you respond

Director Richardson:  OK, thank you

[Sure it is sad the golf course closed but expecting other water customers to subsidize its losses is unfair to the majority of customers but when has Deerwood been concerned about fairness to others?  I was raised in a golf family – my Dad played most of his life, my brother was on the college golf team and I knocked the ball around for many years until finding other things I enjoyed more.  I’m not against golf or those who play it at all but public funds should not be used to offset a private company’s water bill.  That golf course has always had a difficult time because of two major variables:  1) Lack of play, and 2) The amount of water required to keep it green.   Decorating it with expensive condos and Deerwood custom homes did nothing to change either of those variables.

One of your father’s associates, Orb Hatton owner of Tri County Realty, stated at a public meeting the golf course had some potential buyers.  (Do not forget if it wasn’t for your father, Orb Hatton would have never been allowed to run for LDPOA election because he wasn’t a member in good standing and had just paid $19,000 in a law suit for violating some of the very regulations your father later violated concerning “bridge roads” in the subdivision.  But your father and his millions of dollars pushed Hatton through despite obvious ineligibility to run.)  There have been many rumors about the golf course selling for years.  But please, if your father ever does get rid of it let me know so I don’t make the horrible mistake of saying he is still the owner. 

Done things by the book?  Which book – the land developer’s handbook of “rule and regulation circumvention”?   The field guide on how to “Pack a Board of Directors”?  Perhaps the classic:  “Play ball with me and I’ll stick a bat up your assets”?   

I am arrogant?  Who was it that came charging into Lake Don Pedro with proclaimed millions of dollars?  Purchasing several hundred properties at distressed prices to obtain a majority vote on the LDPOA board which then refused to enforce established regulations to protect the public?  I sure as heck wasn’t the “millionaire many times over” bragging in his book to be a “major real estate conglomerate”.  Who has displayed the typical signs of arrogance?  When your father first came to Don Pedro he was asked why he chose this area for his most recent development and his response was because the land was cheap.  But closely related to that (which would not have been in his best interests to admit) was the fact the residents and “out of area owners” were unorganized and ill prepared for another Deerwood assault on a community. Add a couple of local real estate business owners pursuing their own riches provided the “anything goes environment” for Deerwood.  You know as well as I there is a trail of Deerwood activites in other communities.  How many long time property owners who paid many years of standby water fees were denied the opportunity to build their “dream home” because Deerwood over built to obtain precious water connections?     Look at Brooktrails, which the Deerwood Corporation website still refers to “Brooktails”- they ended up with a building moratorium yet you whine about being offended with the truth?  Deerwood still can’t even get the spelling correct for that victim….should be “Brook-tales”.  Deerwood slid into Don Pedro with a past history of other conquests and methods of operation. Did the residents of this area request a change in the rural atmosphere to which CSD Director Mark Skoien recently referred?

NOTE: Apparently the previous building moratorium has been upgraded with a Development reduction program. Pretty interesting:

This might have been something Lake Don Pedro could have considered but developer convenience roads have already been constructed to many of the “difficult to develop properties” despite their dangerous nature.

Frankly, in retrospect I’m glad TUMMOTA was there but for different reasons.  None of the SO GOSIP should have been allowed to carry on about issues unrelated to the District, but since they did I have a legitimate reason and responsibility to respond.  Yes, I admit to being sarcastic by referring to TUMMOTA as the “new President” but the more he spoke the less I believed he was a legitimate  investigator from the Attorney General’s Office.]

Coralane Porter:  And you’ve been doing this for years though.  My parents have worked really hard at what they’ve done and that they have never cheated anyone, they’ve never stolen from anyone, and your constant (inaudible) and here you’re a board member and you attack the members of this community, you’ve done it for years and you are just unbelieve, unbelievable in your arrogance and how you treat the people and it’s, it’s really, just blows me away and ah, and ah blows me away that my dad is so nice to you.  I thought, well hey, I carry the anger and I’ve been, I try to be cool, but when she brought it up, you’ve attacked her, everybody, Harry, all the things that you have done and participated with us and Bill of course you’re connected with Lew too, but I’m not going to get into that right now, but I’m just saying you have had some very negative things and that’s, that’s, but you write a blog hoping people will read it and maybe they’ll decide hey, when we were trying to sell property you were hoping that maybe they wouldn’t buy it and some people didn’t.  But people that met my father and saw how he did his business, and I, I guess, I shouldn’t have gone up, come up here as a daughter but it’s really offensive and I think you’re an evil man.  I think you are an evil man and you sit on our board and you do a lot of, because someone who is evil puts stuff out there I (inaudible) you, you talk, you know you can speak without verbalizing.  You give a lot of body language and people can read that and I’ve tried to be nice in these meetings because of how you are, cuz you just love it, you love to get, you get all excited about stuff and you’re, you’re gonna have it in your blog and it will be all, oh yea, and that’s kind of like your shtick like hey I’m gonna get it in there, but you know what, I’ve had almost everything lost through this economy so you can’t take anything from me, nothing.  And you can’t take anything from my family any more.  

Director Richardson: May I speak now sir? (Speaking to TUMMOTA)

(Applause from audience for Coralane Porter)

[Yes I have written for over six years about what your father and his corporation has been doing here in Don Pedro (naturally with support from other real estate business owners and members of the SO GOSIP).  I have no idea how hard your parents have worked, what their actual motivation is, or how many people they have harmed.    I attack which members of the community?  The same ones who betrayed this area and assisted The Deerwood Corporation in its activities for their own “side benefits”?  You and your ilk may consider my responses an attack but that’s your perspective, I prefer to characterize it as local “Homeland Defense” from unethical business practices which have severely harmed this rural residential foothill area and countless people.

Attacked Kathy Agee?  You must pay more attention to what is being said Coralane.  Agee misstated the facts of the matter and wrongfully accused me of slandering her.  OK, we’ve already established your father acts like a gentleman but history is full of people who have done horrendous things to others but who appeared docile, polite or congenial otherwise.  So what does that have to do with the facts?

I am evil?   Have you taken a close look at some of your father’s hard core supporters?  How dare you – you spoiled pompous brat!  How can any of you not recognize the foreseeable injury/death of another on one of those roads?  When it happens (and it certainly will without intervention) are you going to shrug it off as someone else’s misfortune unrelated to Deerwood’s facilitating the accident scene?  I would not want that on my conscience but I guess that is another reason we find each other on opposite sides of so many issues.  Why not test the high speed performance and handling stability of your expensive luxury car on some of those developer convenience roads Deerwood constructed for us commoners?  (But look out for horses and pedestrians on dedicated P&E Trails!) Would you feel comfortable driving your parents around those roads in inclement weather or emergency situations?  You are so smug in your denial. 

“Our Board”?- you are sounding more and more like Harry Alfier all the time.  You’ve had almost everything lost through this economy?  I don’t know what you’ve lost but you certainly haven’t lost your misdirected sense of responsibility and accountability or propensity for blaming others for the results of your own actions.  It is still amazing to me that the SO GOSIP will acknowledge how the national economic crisis was created by unethical activities of others far, far, away…..but refuse to recognize perfect local examples.

So you don’t’ care for my “body language”?   Too bad!  I think it well accepted that most people will exhibit body language given a particular environment and sitting at a board table being attacked by one disingenuous special interest person after another is not enjoyable, but hey, at least I didn’t laugh at your group’s antics and performance because then you would charge I laughed at another’s misfortune.   Yes I can “speak without verbalizing” which I do find a bit humorous considering your mother’s actions.]

Director Richardson:  OK, anything I’ve ever said about your father has been absolutely the truth.  Those roads he put in this subdivision violated State mandated fire safety code, minimum standard – roadway standards, they violated them.  He put those roads in 12 years after the State of California issued those rules, to this date they are going to be a problem in this community for perpetuity – Harry, let me finish. [Harry Alfier owner of Lake Don Pedro Realty – the other beneficiary of the developer convenience road that serves his property on Alamo Drive hill begins to speak.]   Now as far as, as insulting your father, your father is nice to me, I’ve always been nice to him, but your mother flipped me off in a public restaurant with my girlfriend.

Coralane Porter:  She has never done that and you are a liar. 

Director Richardson:  No, no

[I had had enough.  I never publically mentioned what happened up there in Mariposa until right then.  I am a liar?  Oh Coralane, why on earth would I make up such a thing? (I mean besides your outrageous and contemptuous explanation that I am an evil man.)   I would never jeopardize my integrity by stating something untrue about another.  Why would anyone do such a thing when their presumed “targets” do more than enough harm to themselves?  NOTE: You, and Harry Alfier (later), have made slanderous statements about me in a recorded public business meeting and both of you should be more cautious and circumspect in your emotional outbursts and I am sure your father’s attorneys would agree.

This begs another question:  Why would Peggy Porter feel compelled to “flip me the bird” in a public restaurant in the town of Mariposa?  (The following explanation is illustrative of my observation that these people do more harm to themselves than anyone ever could.)


What human emotion would be most closely associated with “flipping someone off”?  (Extended middle finger displayed from the closed back hand of the presenter)  Please choose only one answer:

  1. A.       Trust
  2. B.      Anticipation
  3. C.       Surprise      
  4. D.     Anger
  5. E.      Joy

I believe most reasonable people would conclude letter D. “Anger” to be the most common and accepted associated emotion with “Flipping the bird”, “Traffic finger”, “Giving the finger”, etc.

For more on this obscene gesture:

So, back to the original question: What would motivate Peggy Porter to do such a thing? For the answer let’s take a little trip back to another blog posting.



I posted that blog on August 24th, 2011 six days after witnessing the auction procedure on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at the Mariposa County Courthouse.  What that original blog did not mention was the fact the auction involved two properties from the Lake Don Pedro area, one of them Thomas and Peggy Porter’s mansion on Rincon Court which overlooks the golf course, the other a residence owned by a former CSD General Manager. 

The auction was published in the Mariposa Gazette under “Public Notices” which I later referred to in the blog “CARLIN’S THINKING CAP” on September 7th, 2011.  (Information from that link apparently changes with the new foreclosures that are continually listed.  Very sad how many are in Lake Don Pedro.)  That blog dealt with a number of “hot topics” including, three directors refusing to investigate director misconduct (one of them ultimately pleading “no contest” to providing false information to a peace officer and resigning); an unpaid large water bill for the waste water plant which serves the golf course and surrounding homes; and Tom Porter’s announcement of his intention to recall certain directors from the LDPCSD.

That Thursday was planned to be a very busy day and a close friend who had the day off was going to help with the driving and videotaping of the Merced River’s flow to Lake McClure (those videos listed on top menu bar).  The plan was to witness the auction at the courthouse, grab a bite to eat at the “Happy Burger restaurant” then up to Yosemite for the video shots.  

The above paragraphs under the subtitle “A CONFLICTING BUT BEAUTIFUL MORNING” accurately describe the moments before the auction.  I did not know members of the Porter family would be attending the auction but when we pulled into the parking lot and observed Tom, Peggy and Coralane milling about the courthouse lawn waiting for the auction to begin, well, I thought it a rather sad situation.  There were no SO GOSIP supporters shouting opposition to the foreclosure process or demanding that the rules be changed or an exception be made for this particular matter.  It was quiet, peaceful and almost a funeral-like environment with the morning sunshine on the manicured green lawn.  I indeed felt a bit sick to my stomach.


Yup, I could hear my Dad’s voice in my heart and mind quite clearly, along with my friend’s voice in my ear who was surprised at my sudden hesitation about continuing the research.   I decided to forego the actual Porter auction and gave the three of them about as much room as possible which made hearing the auctioneer’s words difficult.  The opening bid for the Porter mansion was $1.5 million, but I heard no bids from the Porters.  There was no one else in attendance.  I shot some video from our position on a bench on the other side of the front lawn away from the courthouse steps.  We waited for the Porters to leave the area in their vehicle at which time I approached the auctioneer for some information about the process and actually became a “witness” to one of the foreclosures.   

Finishing up at the courthouse it was time to grab some lunch before we headed up towards Yosemite National Park.  Turning onto the street where the Happy Burger Restaurant is located off HWY 140 we were surprised to see the Porter vehicle (personalized plates) parked in front of the Red Fox Restaurant a little further up the street and on the right.  I pulled into one of the open parking spaces at the Happy Burger about midway the length of the building and shut off the engine.  My friend and I discussed the possibility that the Porters might be in the Happy Burger because we could not see through the window treatment that was reflecting the late morning Sun.  Since there was obvious parking available in front of the Happy Burger we decided the Porters were likely at the other restaurant up the street since their vehicle was parked directly in front of that establishment.


Yup there they were immediately inside at the table directly in front of my truck parked outside. We ordered and immediately went to the outdoor patio area out of sight of the main restaurant area where the Porters were seated.  Our meals were served out on the patio and just as we started to eat Mr. Porter, instead of taking a right turn out the entrance door into the parking lot opened the glass door to the patio area on the left and said “Hey Lew, just saw you and wanted to say hello”.  I replied “Hello Mr. Porter” and waved.  Porter exited the restaurant.

I was still talking about how polite Mr. Porter had been when Peggy and Coralane walked out the glass entrance door (to the right), took a left, but stopped in front of a plate glass window directly in front view of our table.  Upon making eyesight and without any fanfare Peggy “flipped me off” and the two of them turned and walked away.  I couldn’t believe she did it and commented “I guess she thinks my website is number one”.  WE laughed about it for a while trying to figure out if Mr. Porter was involved in some way….. you know, like his stopping by to say hello was only to get our attention for the “gotcha” coming by way of Peggy and Coralane a short while later.  I honestly do not know. I’d like to think not.]

Coralane Porter:  She’s never, she’s hardly

Director Richardson:  You were standing right next to her when she did it.

Coralane Porter:  She’s never flipped you off

[Yes she most absolutely did but to be fair, I cannot say with certainly Coralane observed what her mother did because it happened so fast although it seems rather unlikely she and her mother would stop in front of the window for a couple of seconds without another purpose before proceeding outside to their vehicle across and up the street.  (Later that day I even thought about going by the Happy Burger on the way back from Yosemite to see if their video surveillance cameras captured the incident since it was by an entrance, but decided not to make a big deal out of the momentary “self-expression” by Mrs. Porter.) 

Either way, it doesn’t really bother me that Peggy “shot me the bird”.  The only reason I mention it now is because I am not a liar and refuse to be called such by Coralane Porter.  If Coralane was involved, she is the liar and if she did not see what her mother did she cannot claim I am not telling the truth because she is ignorant of the facts.  I believe she probably needs to have a heart-to-heart talk with her mother.  Based on past behavior of the SO GOSIP I certainly do not expect an apology from Coralane Porter but if offered I will accept such and we can put the matter behind us.]   


Director Richardson:  Besides that, be that as it may, you can deny

Coralane Porter:  that’s outrageous

Director Richardson:  that, you can deny that all you want,

Coralane Porter: Oh I will sir

Director Richardson:  because I have a witness too

Coralane Porter:  I’m gone, I’m gone

Director Richardson:  Well no wait, no, stay here and hear the rest of it

Coralane Porter:  No you can’t make me stay – what are you going to call your DA friend up here?

[Here we go again with the DA friend disinformation that was originally spread by a former director who pled no contest to providing false information to a peace officer which, need I say, is a far cry from the much more serious crime of felony perjury before a Grand Jury if that were indeed a part of the reason for the plea bargain.  The director resigned from the board the next day – matter closed.

Even if I did have a friend that was a District Attorney (which I do not), why would one be necessary since TUMMOTA was presented at the meeting and was an investigator from the State Attorney General’s Office?  LOL]


Director Richardson:  Oh no, you’re going to, you’re going to accuse me of all these things then run away and not listen to my response?

Coralane Porter:  I’ve listen to this stuff for years sir, I, years, and I don’t care what is said.

[Typical behavior, make spurious outrageous accusations then run away and ignore a defensive response. Coralane doesn’t  care what is said?  Then why did she and her friends open their mouths in the first place?]

Multiple voices to Coralane

[Coralane Porter starts to leave the Board Meeting Room and TUMOTTA quickly exits and consoles her]

Unknown female voice:  Coralane don’t give him the satisfaction

Director Richardson:  Satis….?  This is not satisfying to me at all.

VP Kinsella:  Coralee please sit

Director Richardson:  Please sit down

Ruth Smith:  Don’t lower yourself to his level

Director Richardson:  Oh, thank you Ruth.

Ruth Smith:  Don’t, don’t do it.

Director Richardson:  Thank you Ruth

Coralane Porter:  I’m upset

Ruth Smith:  I know you are

Coralane Porter:  I’m upset, it’s because of years of building up this stuff, it’s just years of this

Multiple voices in background


[Ruth Smith talking about “lowering to someone else’s level”?   That’s a laugh.  Ruth was formerly a staunch supporter of the property owners’ association and the regulations and rules which were created to prevent exactly what the Deerwood Corporation has done.  I have never understood this.  Harry Alfier, Kathy Agee, Orb Hatton, Tom Porter, etc. – I can understand their financial motivations – they are against ANYTHING that might make property transfers more difficult, but why would someone who protected and defended this subdivision for so many years suddenly do a 180 degree turn?  Go figure.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Oh yeah, almost forgot – in anticipation of their whining indignation regarding the previously posted cartoon of the “SO GOSIP Blockheads”, let me make this perfectly clear:

The cartoon was not a suggestion they commit suicide by cutting off their own head with a hand saw….. but rather, only the corners of the block!  LOL]


Since Coralane does not view material on this website would someone be kind enough to relay this message? 

I appreciate and respect your love and loyalty to your parents but please try to understand the following.

In a similar manner in which some business people will harm others and claim “it’s all just part of doing business”, I truly regret any discomfort or pain caused you and your family due to my honestly opposing the activities of your father’s land development/mortgage corporation in Lake Don Pedro.

I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who is attributed as saying:

“Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow.”

I agree with this observation.  Your father, as president of Deerwood, may not have “hands on” injured other people and may indeed be a gentleman in his public conduct, but with a stroke of his pen or whispered word he effectively set into motion a corporate machine that demolished other peoples’ dreams and seriously disrupted their lives as surely as if he personally operated the construction equipment.

The Deerwood Corporation has furnished your family with a luxurious life style for many years and no doubt your parents worked very hard for that accomplishment, however, to deny or fail to recognize the harm it has brought to others, unfortunately, only diminishes my instinctive sympathy.

The Deerwood Corporation is a powerful adversary with a massive arsenal of professional services at its disposal.  I believe its influence in this area overwhelmed, circumvented, perhaps even corrupted not only individuals but established regulations designed to protect the public along with the governmental entities authorized for their enforcement.  Confronted with this massive proven political machine I have used my limited resources in dedicated opposition. 

The birth of this website was a direct response to elected officials of the LDPOA “Porter Board” who clearly refused to abide by the law of this state and provide me with a membership list so as to write owners and attempt to organize our vast geographically dispersed membership.  Rather than allowing me to waste time, resources and money on paper, ink and postage for years, their obstruction birthed LAKEDDONPEDRO.ORG.

Yes indeed I have written, drawn, photographed and posted some pretty satirical stuff but for an  “evil man” have held back much.  The truth of the matter is The Deerwood Corporation has furnished much raw material and your denying such only diminishes your credibility. 

Perhaps in your secluded home set back from the roadway you may not have noticed the numerous trucks, vans and trailers hauling out other people’s dreams of homeownership and residency in these beautiful foothills.  Please forgive that I am not more understanding about the financial impact so many vacant Deerwood speculative and model homes have had on your lifestyle.  I do not enjoy seeing the suffering of anyone and that includes you and your family.  Be appreciative of what you have enjoyed for so many years and recognize loss is not just measured in cold hard cash.


My best to you and yours, Lew


PS:  Enough “touchy-feely” —– (there’s that sarcasm again) the next batter-up on the SO GOSIP lineup of personal attacks….. {drum roll …. Then heard over loud speakers of a packed stadium}  “Harry Alfier from Lake Don Pedro Realty!”  {Over background audience noise and ballgame announcer}:  “get your popcorn, roasted peanuts…..”

Categories: Uncategorized.




Continuation of the October 21st, 2011 Special Meeting

Verbatim transcriptions based on analog and/or digital recording of meeting.

Probably the best way to proceed through portions of  transcript will be with my personal comments displayed in [Brackets and italicized] – because attempting to refer back to the material at the end, if presented in a one block transcription, would be redundant and time consuming.  

The first SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) speaker to begin the traditional attack on this website and my PERSONAL OPINION, was Kathy Agee.   As you will see in the following verbatim transcription, TUMMOTA (The Unidentified Male Member Of The Audience) provides the opportunity for this barrage of personal attacks to begin and encourages it to continue despite multiple admonitions on my part that the material was not business of the district. But of course you must remember TUMMOTA had been represented as a state investigator from the Attorney General’s Office.  GOOD GRIEF!

I have a rather complex sentence coming up here so I’ll break it up-

Ironically, the three SO GOSIP representatives, (all in the real estate/land development industry),

who defamed me in a pubic business meeting, (Hey Kathy – Good example of slander – the spoken word),

with the assistance of an unknown individual who may have impersonated a State Law Enforcement Official on official business for the State Attorney General’s Office,

only again “KA-BOOMED” themselves by providing me with another opportunity to reasonably respond. 

You folks may have accidentally raised a number of other important matters as well.  I look forward to commenting on them eventually, so thank you, but first a variation of an old joke from the 1980 movie AIRPLANE with Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumac:          

“Surely, TUMMOTA knew how to conduct a public business meeting?”

“Apparently he did not – and stop calling me Shirley.”   



I am only familiar with Kathy Agee as a real estate agent who previously worked with Harry Alfier through his Lake Don Pedro Realty office in La Grange – just down HWY 132 in Stanislaus County.  I have no idea whether she still works out of that office.   Other than at CSD meetings the only place I believe I have ever seen Mrs. Agee was when helping Mr. Alfier move someone else’s recreational vehicle to Alfier’s property on the Deerwood-Alfier Developer Convenience Road on Alamo Drive hill.  (I was helping the land owner rake and burn brush when suddenly Harry came driving up the Deerwood/Alfier Road with the motorhome’s horn honking the entire way.  I believe it was Kathy who was driving another vehicle behind Harry, probably so he wouldn’t get a citation for the expired registration tags.  Lol  I remember this because it was just after the appellate court in Fresno upheld Mariposa County Superior Court Judge Parrish’s decision regarding a dispute between The Deerwood Corporation, Harry Alfier and the property owners of the land.  The developer convenience road begins on this couples property then diagonally crosses and proceeds to other properties at least 3 owned by Thomas Porter/Deerwood Corporation and one by Harry Alfier.  I remember wondering why he was making such a production out of the matter but after years of watching the deterioration of that RV I realized it was the same type of “gotcha” Harry pulled on me across the street from the home I was building.  But that’s a story I’ll bring up from the old website later.    


Anyway, so Judge Parrish ruled in favor of Deerwood and Alfier and then in a horrible coincidence the Judge lost his own home to a fire where a similar roadway was involved since that driveway/road was also narrow and had a “hairpin turn”.  As bad luck would have it that “hairpin turn” was the exact place two fire engines broke down and could not respond to the residence.  This unrelated tragedy never-the-less is a perfect example for why 1991 SRA (State Responsibility Area) Fire Safe Roadway standards were established – to provide safe accessibility for emergency firefighting equipment and adequate escape for residents during an emergency.  Again, getting off topic……


Anyway, I do not know Kathy but imagine much of her anger and resentment towards me is grounded in my strong and vocal opposition to the construction of dangerous roads in this community by the Deerwood Corporation, and of course, one of them just happens to be very beneficial to her former/current work associate Harry Alfier.   Quite interesting how these roads were based on nonexclusive easements filed years after the Final Subdivision Map was approved by the county.  Questions still remain as to whether a standard grading permit was ever timely obtained which should have triggered CDF/CALFIRE involvement in roadway construction approval or merely an encroachment permit for a driveway to connect with a state or county maintained roadway.   But most importantly: who were these roadways to benefit?  The public and residents who would use them or private business and their financial concerns?    



Kathy Agee:  I just want to make a point, ah, with ah, what Ruth had to say as far as ah directors should commit themselves to focusing on issues and not personalities, present, presentation of the opinions of others should be encouraged, ah, you know this, this is something that ah, I and Lew I just, you know your, your recent blog about Emery and, and the blogs

Director Richardson:  I’m sorry that’s not business of this district.

Kathy Agee: Ah if you’re attacking with your position as a board member and you attack us after we’ve been in one of these meetings and you’ve put in your little, you know, opinions

[Not attacking with position – have been writing on LAKEDONPEDRO.ORG for over six years!]


Director Richardson:  Umhum

Kathy Agee: not facts, your opinions

Director Richardson:  Umhum which I labeled as such

Kathy Agee: but I think it’s not when you’re in the position that you’re in as a board member then you need to be limited to attacking, and that’s where you’re intimidating about us as ratepayers stand up here and say something because we don’t know how you’re going to take it and put it on your blog about us.

Director Richardson: Wel – you know, I, I would accept that except for one thing, I’m not doing the attacking, I’m doing the defensive.  I’ve been ah, called a liar, a thief, dishonest.  I’ve had people mess with my truck during open meetings – that I’ve had to go out there and stop that, I – don’t tell me that’s not true, that is true

Unknown:  I didn’t say it was

Director Richardson:  No, I was- it’s Carolyn.  But anyway ahm (multiple voices) no, no I, I am defending myself and you may not agree with my opinion and that’s fine we all have opinions, but if you see something that you think that I’ve written that is untruthful or un-factual please let me know what it is.

[My personal opinion is not subject matter for the CSD.  I have been writing for over six years about very serious issues affecting this community and if particular “personalities” have created or perpetuated these problems I will continue my PERSONAL OPINION reports on such activities.  If the SO GOSIP are intimidated by what I write they should perhaps seriously consider what they say at meetings because when they accuse me of lying or misrepresenting the truth, I will continue to defend myself with truth and fact and if that defense portrays the SO GOSIP as ill-informed, ignorant, or purveyors of disinformation, well, that falls on them for making the spurious statements in the first place. 


GRAND JURY R-5  “Board members should stop publishing documents that do not promote or represent the Districts interest as a whole”

CSD ATTORNEY RESPONSE:  “This recommendation cannot be implemented because it is directed at “Board members” and not at the District.  The District does not have jurisdiction or control over individual Board members’ exercise of their free speech rights and any attempt to do so would be an illegal prior restraint on speech.  This does not mean that free expression may not, under some conditions, give rise to liability or potential liability of the speaker for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, or under other legal theories.  The First Amendment and free speech is not always a complete defense.”

MY OPINION?  Providing the truth and facts regarding this district (along with information about those who wrongfully interfere with its business) most certainly represents the District’s interest as a whole.]       

TUMMOTA:  Doesn’t she have the floor?

Director Richardson:  Yes

[Technically no because Kathy is not a director, and Director Comments is not a question-answer period]

TUMMOTA:  Then why are you speaking?

Director Richardson:  Because she was speaking to me.

TUMMOTA:  No, she made, you interrupted her

Director Richardson:  (TUMMOTA speaking in background) No she was speaking to me directly – she was not speaking to the board.

TUMMOTA:  You cannot stop her speaking until you, OK, that’s fine

Director Richardson: OK

VP Kinsella:  OK

[Kathy Agee started by addressing her comments to “Lew” rather than the Board Chair, it started off personal to an individual who has administered a website for over six years as a citizen, not a director.]

Kathy Agee:  Well on the blog that you slandered me when I made a

Director Richardson: (softly)  I never slandered

[Had I defamed Kathy Agee, which I did not, it would have been libel, not slander.  Kathy Agee should do a little less talking and a little more research before accusing someone of a civil wrong which they have not committed.]

Kathy Agee: mistake by saying ah cutting corners

Director Richardson:  Yeah

Kathy Agee: when I corrected myself and said I meant cutting spending and you said well, maybe that’s the way Kathy does in her real estate.

Director Richardson:  No, I never said that

TUMMOTA:  You can’t speak, she has got to get her full

Director Richardson:  Well then you tell me why I should be allowed to sit here and be attacked?

TUMMOTA:  You are a director you should, you don’t listen

Director Richardson:  This is not District business

Multiple voices (TUMMOTA and Smith)

TUMMOTA: You need to listen to her, keep your personal comments until she’s done

Ruth Smith (LDPOA Appointed Director simultaneously talking in background) See why we don’t like to come to the meetings?

Director Richardson: This is not District business

TUMMOTA: (Inaudible) getting personal, well that’s too bad do you think she doesn’t have a right to speak because this isn’t business of your ah, or what you want to hear her in this ah this ah

[BINGO!  It appears TUMMOTA might have finally grasped my repeated admonitions about business subject matter and got a little tongue tied when he realized he had painted himself into a corner.]

Director Richardson:  We’re supposed to be discussing CSD business

TUMMOTA:  It’s not a discussion when she’s at the lectern

Director Richardson:  When she’s talking about a personal website that I run as an individual –

TUMMOTA talking in background

Director Richardson:  is not an issue of this district

TUMMOTA:  You are out of order, and you shall

Director Richardson:  I think you are out of order

VP Kinsella:  Oh, oh, OK

TUMMOTA:  No you are out of order and you know it

Director Richardson:  No

TUMMOTA:  So I would appreciate it (multiple voices) allow the constituents of this county

Director Mark Skoien:  This is great

TUMMOTA: to speak and not interrupt at every single turn.  Because you just (inaudible) disallowed her to get her point across you’re trying to shout your, these people down.

Director Richardson:  Her point

TUMMOTA:  This is not a bu, this is not a bully pulpit and that is not a bully board.  Just leave it at that and let her speak.

[A bully pulpit is a public office or other position of authority of sufficiently high rank that provides the holder with an opportunity to speak out and be listened to on any matter. The bully pulpit can bring issues to the forefront that were not initially in debate, due to the office’s stature and publicity.

This term was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the White House as a “bully pulpit,” by which he meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt famously used the word bully as an adjective meaning “superb” or “wonderful” (a more common expression in his time than it is today).

Does anyone else recognize TUMMOTA just made my point?  The BROWN ACT speaks of “Business of a specific nature that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body of the local agency”]

Director Richardson:  And this is not District business, be that on the Record.

TUMMOTA:  Does it matter?  

Director Richardson:  OK

TUMMOTA: It’s all – your (inaudible, multiple voices)

Director Richardson:  Go ahead Kathy, I’m sorry Kathy, please continue

TUMMOTA:  (Still talking) cuz it’on the record.

Director Richardson:  Yeah, yes it will be

TUMMOTA:  Stating it’s on the Record is kind of an erroneous comment

[TUMMOTA apparently doesn’t understand, I wanted my comment to be contained within the Official Minutes because he was personally facilitating interruptions of our business meeting.]

Director Richardson:  It will be, I’m sorry Kathy go ahead

Kathy Agee:  Well it, it is District Business because it was when I spoke at a meeting regarding District Business and correct me if you could quote how you said it, maybe I’m not using exact quotes, about when I said cutting corners and you, OK, could you please correct me and tell me what you said in there?

Director Richardson:  What I said was I think, you’re misusing the term cutting corners I think that implies something illegal or lack of quality, and you and all your friends that were sitting there said no, no, no it just means saving money and I said I think you’re wrong and we let it go as that.

Kathy Agee:  No, then you said maybe this is the way she does her real estate?

Director Richardson:  No, on my blog, on my blog what I stated was, cutting corners maybe something that’s done in real estate because we’ve had many people who come to these meeting and to the other board meetings when they never received their known disclosures.  But I did not use your name.

Kathy Agee:  It was in the paragraph about me, Kathy Agee

Director Richardson:  But it did not say Kathy Agee cuts corners, no it didn’t say that, it said maybe that’s what happens in real estate

Kathy Agee:  You insinuated that in (multiple voices)

Director Richardson:  That, maybe that’s the way you took it, but I think you should re-read it, that’s not what was said.

Kathy Agee:  I will re-read it

Director Richardson:  Please do.


GOOD GRIEF!  Here we go again with discussion taking up meeting time for what purpose?  No wonder meetings can go for four to five hours.  What did Kathy Agee actually say and what was my “blog response” to which she is so offended?


“My point is, you don’t get your financial plan and say, gee just because we need this money this is what we’re going to do… which I agree and appreciate you guys as far as this three thousand dollar hook up which is ridiculous, a thousand to me is ridiculous, but it’s kind of like the old game, you know, you play back and forth with the numbers, OK, a thousand sure looks better than three thousand.  Well five hundred really, $500-$600 that is just more reasonable than what you’re talking about, that’s just my opinion versus a lot of other people that I talk to, but I’m just saying, everyone has to cut corners, ah…”

[If any “old game” is being described here it is the one traditionally played when purchasing property.  A monetary negotiation process involving a seller’s initial high listing price and the purchaser’s lower counter offer –let the games begin.  Same as with purchasing a vehicle – the window sticker is the initial offer but for those who shop wisely and are educated as to the many variables used in calculating the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) much money can be saved.   Kathy appears to compare the financial requirements necessary for our nonprofit CSD to provide water with the typical real estate offer-counter offer negotiation process to get a firm sale price.  This is absurd.  Apples and Oranges.]

Director Richardson:  Cut corners?

Kathy Agee:  Even here, cut corners as far as

Unknown:  Cut corners

Kathy Agee:  maybe, you know, these

Director Richardson:  I think that’s the wrong expression


Kathy Agee:  Cut corners?

Director Richardson:  I think cut corners means you’re not following the law


Kathy Agee:  Oh really?

Unknown:  That’s not the way

Unknown:  That’s not the way I take it either

(Multiple voices of agreement in audience that cutting corners was appropriate)   


SECOND: NOW THIS IS WHAT I WROTE IN A September 7th, 2011 blog entitled:  “Carlin’s Thinking Cap”:


A few meetings back there was an exchange between the “SO GOSIP” audience and members of the board regarding reducing the reconnection fee when Kathy Agee suggested the CSD “cut corners” to save more money.  I knew what she meant but still advised such term generally had a negative connotation implying something wrong or illegal.  I was surprised how many of the local real estate crowd immediately supported Kathy’s meaning as just doing things cheaper.

When I think of “cutting corners” I immediately think of construction related activities where quality (perhaps even safety) is sacrificed for cost savings or expediency.  There are many examples, thin concrete, inadequate rebar, undersized beams, lighter gauge electrical wire, blahh, blahh, blahh, all sorts of things where people can chose to “cut corners” and quality suffers.  When used in regards to driving, “cutting a corner” is like avoiding a traffic light wait by cruising through the corner gas station parking lot which I suspect the California Vehicle Code frowns upon.

I wonder what aspects of the real estate business these folks believe are amenable to a positive connotation of “cutting corners”?  Perhaps on little things like, “Known disclosures?””



The whole issue of “known disclosures” is based on the numerous complaints by owners through the years who have stated they did not receive such information at the time they purchased their property.  Certainly Deed Restrictions on property are not a big selling point as they once were since the whole concept of CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) to protect property values from uncontrolled growth and development are only as good as the people who are elected/appointed to enforce them.   Without enforcement they are worthless and Lake Don Pedro has the history and developmental scars to prove that very point.    




So once again CSD Meeting time was consumed in addressing yet another groundless accusation by Kathy Agee who apparently wants to punish me for making a joke about her prior poor choice of words.  Most of us realize, “cutting corners” implies a negative activity often affecting quality.  Kathy argued otherwise, later apparently changed her mind, and now attacks me.  OK.

You know, had Kathy Agee stated the Deerwood Corporation was “cutting corners” with respect to its construction of access roads to serve multiple dwellings, well I would have agreed whole heartedly, but alas, perhaps Mrs. Agee also believes these roads are not dangerous?.


THIS IS SO COOL.  I’m sitting in the garage scratching hand written notes for a blog.  The garage door is only partially open but this Nuthatch flies under and sits on the garbage can that contains the bird seed and starts pecking at the top.  Talked to him a bit but he continued pecking.  Whoa.  Did some little creature just remind me to fill the bird feeders or was it a mere coincidence?  I’m thinking the former, but regardless, I’ve got some outdoor chores to complete.  Later.

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.





Continued report of the OCTOBER 21st, 2011 SPECIAL MEETING  

Verbatim transcript based on analog and/or digital recordings of the meeting.


Well, as is so usual for this time of the season I am scrambling to get things done before more rain.  Storing firewood, burning debris, and spraying herbicide in a frantic attempt to preserve some of the weed eating work completed this last spring.  The older I get, the more challenging it becomes but such is life in these foothills – wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

So much has happened lately.  Difficult to believe it’s already been 21 days since the October 21, 2011 meeting where Harry Alfier, owner of Lake Don Pedro Realty and Coralane Porter, daughter of Thomas Porter, president of the Deerwood land development/mortgage corporation, both called me a liar –  and I am anxious to address their comments.  Sure, some might argue I could just consider the source (lack of credibility) and let it go (ignore them) but I disagree because people like that will continue to repeat such garbage in the absence of a challenge.  Besides, every time they make such slanderous statements about me they provide a reasonable opportunity for me to defend myself which only further illustrates their disingenuous character, lack of integrity and personal control.  

Unfortunately there is some other information that needs to be covered which occurred prior to multiple personal attacks by members of the SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) orchestrated by TUMMOTA (The Unidentified Male Member of The Audience). 

Incidentally, I realize most of you know what SO GOSIP and TUMMOTA stand for but it bothers me when an author uses an acronym without clearly stating the explanatory definition for the letters used.  I’ll only do it once per posting for the sake of new viewers. 


TUMMOTA had represented himself as being from the State Attorney General’s Office in Sacramento.  Oh but there was much more to that embarrassingly deceptive and illegal plan.  [AG’s office was investigating our LDPCSD?  Ouoooo, actually sounds pretty good to me.  Why not start with how local government was corrupted with the special interests of real estate and land development?]   He wrongfully interrupted an official meeting and directed how the SO GOSIP should continue their all too typical disruption of meetings with complaints about matters not even close to the business of the district.   TUMMOTA failed to clearly identify himself to those who asked – couldn’t intelligibly pronounce his own name – no business card – complete absence of any authentication of his position or authority what-so-ever.  Pretty serious stuff when you think about it – even bigger than just interrupting a government agency business meeting.   You know, in addition to the SO GOSIP Wile E. Coyote “KA-BOOM” Syndrome (blowing themselves up when repeatedly and unsuccessfully pursuing the Road Runner) another old expression is appropriate:  “Give ‘em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves”. 

Let’s jump back into that meeting with the “REPORT OUT” of the Closed Session deliberation regarding the personnel issue at 1241hrs.


Vice president Bill Kinsella:  “The board has been placed in an extremely difficult position and as with any decision that’s made by anybody, you’re going to get somebody that’s going to be happy, somebody who’s not going to be happy.  My own personal opinion is that both Charise and Dan are outstanding people and great employees and I, I’m happy to have them working with us.  The board has had an extremely difficult time trying to resolve this issue.  Some of the issues that were mentioned have already, fall under the operation activity, and some of them have been resolved.  The primary issue in Charise’s eyes is that she not report to Dan as her supervisor unfortunately the government code identifies that all employees report to the general manager so the board cannot honor this particular request.  At this time the board believes that a mediator might be able to assist us in resolving the matter.”

[NOTE: The two employees agreed to give the “mediator process” the opportunity to resolve their differences.  A mediator had previously been suggested by the former Grand Jury to assist the Board of Directors in working out some of their difficulties.] 

VP Kinsella:  OK.  The board, other board members have requested time to express their thoughts and I’ll start with a the old board member Emery

Director Emery Ross:  (Laughing) You know Charise, ah, I was going to make a comment, ah, and then I didn’t earlier, you know when the board came out but, ah, I see you (inaudible) l see Betsie, you know, a numbers person and ah, you know, Betsie ah, at ten o’clock at night wants to pay bills, you know, I want to go to bed.  And I think that this, that we got to be a little more flexible Dan must, has to be, like Betsie said when she needs to add columns up and stuff you need quiet and that’s why you, maybe you want to be there the hours that you are there and I think there needs to be flexibility because you get interrupted on the phone call (inaudible) you’re finance and ah, I think there needs to be some flexibility you know, in that area, ahm, you know, I write my stories at three o’clock in the morning because I want quiet and I assume that that, your time, all I want as a board member is you guys to get your time in, you know.  You come and go as far as I’m concerned because of your, you know, numbers thing that you do and I’d like to see some flexibility there Dan, you know, in that area if possible, you know.

VP Kinsella:  Mark?

Director Mark Skoien:  Well I just hope that, I want you guys to work it out, I don’t, I don’t think it’s unworkable, I mean, a lot of these things are, can be worked out with give and take by both sides and maybe this happening and going this far might, might make it easier for you all to do it.  Ah, it’s just, it’s a lot to have on this district right now, I mean, we’ve got a lot going on and (laugh) it’s ah, well timing is everything I said, I just, you know I guess, so, I, I, I’m going to think positive that we can work it out with ah some kind of mediator and then reassess everything, both parties making some changes this is not a one way deal, I mean a lot of it is he said she said deal, so, I think there’s flexibility in both of you and I, and I hope it comes up positively.  That’s all.

VP Kinsella:  Lew?

Director Lew Richardson:  Uhm, I pretty much agree with, with the other directors said, I was going over all this, this morning and it occurred to me that some of the issues that were controversial to begin with seemed to kind of work themselves out after there was a even minimal dialog in just the meetings we’ve had and that’s what I would think, hopefully, maybe a mediator could push that even a little bit further, you know with the training and stuff.  And I too am very optimistic, because I think you’re both great employees and whatever the difficulty is I hope it could be worked out because ah, we all, we all depend on each other.  That’s about it.

VP Kinsella:  OK.  My final comment, ah, I’ve always worked as a salaried employee for many years, at least 30 days and I always had the latitude to adjust my schedule to the work habits, ah, there seems to be a lack of communication between Dan and Charise as to when she can or cannot ah attend a meeting, or when she can or cannot be at work on time, I don’t think that salaried employees in this situation, because we are such a small unit ah, should be held to rigid hours.  I think that a going by and seeing Charise’s car in the parking lot at seven o’clock at night ah really bothers me but nobody appreciates that, but if she shows up and you know, there again you, you made a comment yourself, that if she shows up 15 minutes late everything is thrown into turmoil.  I don’t believe that, I believe that if, if you work together that’s fine.  You work hours, early hours, Charise works late hours, so I don’t see, I don’t see a problem with that.  And I do get upset with people who ah constantly criticize and don’t have a solution, or don’t even offer a tentative solution as to what’s going on.  And ah,  I’ve been a victim of that for many, many years, up here.  So I am hopeful that you two can get together and resolve some things, it’s going to have to be a give and take situation on both sides and if you want to sit down over a cup of coffee sometime I think that might be a good idea but, can’t force you to do any of that stuff.  I know that Charise is doing an outstanding job with finances and Dan I’m really impressed with the operations that you’ve performed here, so, I know that you guys can do the job and I know that you can do it very well, problem is you’ve got to keep that line of communication open.  Yes

Unknown female audience member:  (Speaking from audience) Who’s paying for a mediator?

VP Kinsella:  Say again?

Unknown female audience member: Who’s paying for the mediator?

VP Kinsella:  We have to pay for the mediator

Unknown female audience member:  I don’t want to pay for a mediator

VP Kinsella:  Huh?

Unknown female audience member:  I don’t want to pay for a mediator

Director Ross:  Well, we do, you know, we think it would be money well spent

VP Kinsella:  I think, yeah?

Carolyn Bartholomew:  I’ve worked, like you were saying, I’ve worked on many jobs too and, but I have never been able to bring my kids to work, I mean, I always had to work my problems out before I got to there, I had to have my babysitters lined up, or mother-in-law, or my mother, or whatever, I never heard of anybody getting to bring their children to work and then to lock them in a room, what if, it’s like Dan that said what if, what if, one of them fell, who’s liable?

Charise Reeves:  Me.

VP Kinsella:  She is.  Did you, did you listen to Charise’s statement earlier today?  How that she made the comment that the board that hired her knew that she had children and knew that she, that there’d have to be a give and take on that part?  And there was no problem?

Carolyn:  It still doesn’t make it right though Bill

VP Kinsella:  We’re not talking about right or wrong, we’re talking about

Charise Reeves:  (Inaudible – crying) my daughter will never be —

Carolyn:  (Making shushing sound)

VP Kinsella:  We’re talking about

Charise Reeves:  — here

VP Kinsella:  an agreement between the board and Charise, period.

Charise Reeves:  (Leaves board room upset – audio recorder still running.



Following the Board Secretary’s departure (upset regarding comments about her daughter having been at the office a couple of times due to scheduling difficulties) a number of discussions were initiated by members of the SO GOSIP.   Ruth Smith, who like Carolyn Bartholomew is a sitting appointed director with the Lake Don Pedro Owners’ Association [no election in two years since the Porter recall of that former board], commented on what they believed to be the proper handling of the matter. 

Ruth Smith spoke of “common courtesy” in reference to contacting a supervisor and advising them of being late [this goes to the heart of a controversy regarding hourly vs salary compensation designations]. Coralane Porter (daughter of Thomas Porter, president of The Deerwood land development/mortgage corporation) also used the same term “common courtesy” in her comments about the situation. 

Unbelievable.   Here are two directors from the LDPOA voicing their opinions on how the CSD should be run when their own organization’s board does not have the “common courtesy” to acknowledge, much less respond, to repeated complaints about the LDPOA’s failure to enforce 40 year old subdivision CC&Rs.    Wonder if that nonresponse policy had anything to do with their personal relationships with the violator who just happened to be a local real estate business owner?  Anyone care to take a guess who?  Talk about hypocrisy! 

Kathy Agee (a local realtor formerly associated with Harry Alfier’s Lake Don Pedro Realty office in La Grange, Stanislaus County – unknown if she is still working there) questioned Bill Kinsella about director responsibilities and not working as an individual.  Agee seemed especially concerned that Kinsella had no problem with a staff employee attending a “Recall of CSD Directors Meeting” held at the former Deerwood Corporation Sales Office on Merced Falls Road.  Agee felt such attendance was inappropriate although she acknowledged CSD Director Emery Ross was specifically invited.   Kinsella advised Agee she was commenting on a conversation she was not privy to and taking it out of context and he would not continue “beating a dead horse”. 


TUMMOTA (from the comfort of his SO GOSIP chair in the back corner of the board room) interrupted and commented that ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER should be adhered to in our meeting.  VP Kinsella advised he wished the organization followed such rules and had brought them up in the past but CSD did not operate by them.  TUMMOTA stated that was a problem and every one of our meetings should follow them.  Wes Barton attempted to explain to TUMMOTA the decision not to incorporate ROBERTS RULES was a CSD policy.  Kathy Agee then continued her complaints regarding director roles and responsibilities and the relationship between supervisor and employee.


Our “officious intermeddler” then attempted to characterize in his words what he interpreted the board said but was immediately corrected by VP Kinsella.   I questioned TUMMOTA’s statement of the SO GOSIP speakers being under oath to which he responded it was “a matter of honesty and integrity”.   [Sure doesn’t know the group he was representing and allowing to violate the Brown Act!] 

TUMMOTA stated he took “fastidious notes of ever, every word spoken by the parties that I want to hear but when I, (inaudible) the more I see people come to this podium and be berated that is a problem, and it will remain a problem, it will become your problem if this goes on again if I ever hear that again, now leave it at that and we’ll go forward”.

[Fastidious notes?  Good grief, why not simply tape record the meeting like everyone else?  Who the hell does this guy think he is – I mean besides a representative of the State Attorney General’s Office?  You know, I’ll bet you money, marbles or chalk there are some legitimate government officials anxious to talk with TUMMOTA the imposter, but who knows?  Maybe he is undercover for the FBI now?  Or Secret Service?  Maybe he’s a private security guard at a 7-11?  Maybe he purchased his badge at a pawn shop?  lol]

When TUMMOTA contradicted my observation that he was lucky to see people come to the podium because most of the time they don’t, I asked him how many meetings he had attended to which he responded “that’s not important”.  I advised “of course it is because you’re talking something you don’t know anything about”.

TUMMOTA stated it was adversarial to have ratepayers speak from the podium.  I explained to the misinformed attendee that speakers were not asked to speak from the podium to intimidate them but so the recorder could pick up their words, otherwise what they say would be inaudible.   I advised TUMMOTA was making my point – because he too was interrupting and speaking from the back of the room which is what usually happens at our meetings and it’s very difficult to get an accurate transcription and give the public their fair say when everything is inaudible. 

TUMMOTA demonstrated further ignorance regarding our procedures by asking questions about transcriptions and stating anyone asking for a transcript should be furnished one even if they had to pay for it.  I responded:  “I love it, you know you’re making my point?  You’re making my point that all these people (SO GOSIP) have been against (laughs)”

Wes Barton spoke on some of the history of the LDPCSD, difficulties faced, reiterated the policy regarding Roberts Rules and discussed audio tape retention since the lawsuits.  TUMMOTA asked if they were under lock and key?  Yes.


A female member of the audience commented that she started coming to meetings since February and always though Charise was a board member and proceeded to negatively evaluate her performance.  “She runs the whole show, and nobody stops her.  I don’t understand how you guys can let this woman run these board meetings, she’s always whispering with Lew, we don’t know what they’re saying.  Nobody will stop Charise from running these entire board meetings, and I don’t understand why.”

[INCREDIBLE!  This woman’s comments are ridiculous and illustrative of the sustained attack on our Financial Administrator by the SO GOSIP.   You will “recall” that the former director who had to resign in order to accept a plea bargain to a lesser criminal offense (providing false information to a Peace Officer) was set on terminating Charise’s employment but when that attempt failed the SO GOSIP turned on the IGM, yet now appear to support the IGM while continuing the original attack against Charise.    Just for clarification of those ignorant enough to believe such nonsense:  When I first came on the board I advised Charise that I would appreciate a “heads up” if she noticed something improper happening during a meeting and I stand by that request.    

“Always whispering with Lew?”  That is an absolute fabrication of the truth and simply listening to the audio tapes will confirm that fact.  Sure is funny how this lady will complain about the Board Secretary advising me (only because I sit next to her) about an error in procedure yet (this lady) doesn’t make a “Peep” when a director’s wife walks behind the dais DURING A BOARD MEETING and whispers into the former president’s ear! [The president who had to resign due to criminal charges]  Or when that same director’s wife later passed a written note to her husband during the meeting to remind him to personally attack me!  LOL

Here’s some more verbatim transcript.


KATHY AGEE:  I just want to correct Lew, I don’t know of anyone that said they didn’t want these meetings taped, I don’t know of anyone

Director Lew Richardson:  I didn’t say taped, I said transcribed.

Kathy Agee:  Oh, I thought you said taped

Director Richardson:  No, no.  Transcribed.  I think it would be great if all our meetings frankly were verbatim.  Were verbatim so that every ratepayer, especially the people in Colorado and Arizona, half our membership, half our customers are out of state, they could get on the website and read every single word that occurs in here.  I’d have no problem with that at all.

Harry Alfier (Owner Lake Don Pedro Realty):  I’d just like to address the board as far as ah, show my support for Dan Tynan.  I think he’s done a fantastic job since he’s been here and as far as this issue with Charise, ah, I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve got an employee pretty much run the show and tell me where to stick it and how to do my job and it seems like ever since the man’s been hired as Interim GM she’s been keeping copious notes waiting for this moment to undermine her boss basically.  Just seems to me that that this whole complaint was nothing more than her way to take the heat off from her for being reprimanded by Dan on the issues of bringing her children to work, showing up late for work, ah, numerous issues and just, and again I think it because she does not want to be accountable or be responsible for some of the decisions and some of the behaviors she’s exhibited towards the boss.  Again, I don’t know anybody, you might ask Charlie Sheen how it worked for him telling his boss to F off.

(inaudible) So where she comes up with her authority and and you know I feel bad that she’s upset but I, bottom line I don’t think you opened this can of worms I think Charise did, I think she over played her hand ah, I, I think she decided she was going to undercut her boss and that you guys would back her 100% and and Dan would be showed the road.  And I think it really, you shouldn’t be telling Dan how to do his job whether he should show flexibility.  If he thinks someone’s not living up to their standards, and I think he has the right to take them into their office and talk to them.  Ah I don’t really think that, I’ve never heard him raise his voice to anybody, now he may have been agitated and raised his voice, I doubt very seriously if he yelled or intimidated I think the way she framed her whole argument here is that, you know, it’s an attack upon a woman employee which raises a flag immediately that you’re going to have to take her side and I think these these accusations by her are very serious they could follow this man around the rest of his life and I think they’re as much serious as they are claiming that she’s being ah exposed to a hostile work environment.  SO I do applaud you for maybe bringing in a mediator a neutral third party to talk to them both and get to the bottom of it.  And I think some things need to be looked into you know, there’s rumors out there different things that maybe Charise has been involved in that are more serious than you know, a hostile environment or some of the other issues, so I do applaud you for bringing a mediator and I would like to see you give your general manager, let him do his job, I, I can’t think he seems like the kind of man to yell at anyone if someone’s not living up to what they should be I think he has every right to to talk to them about that and I would hope you would let him do the job.  Thank you.

VP Kinsella:  Any other comments?  Ruth?

Ruth Smith:  I’ve been reading some of, ah, some of your policies that ah, that became effective, they were approved and adopted on January 17th, 2006, ahum, I read one at the Monday’s meeting and I was more than knocked to my knees.  Ah, where a director shall not act alone, this is your own policy, number 4070.1 ah, it says, ah, no director, no director has the authority to act individually, ah, I brought that up at the meeting and I was chastised for it.  Ah, by, by Bill, ah, also, it says directors should, should ah commit themselves to emphasizing the positive avoiding double talk, hidden agendas, gossip, backbiting and other negative forms of interaction.  That’s 4010.1.5.  4010.2.1, when responding to constituents requests and concerns directors should be courteous responding to individuals in a positive manner and routing their questions through the appropriate channels and to responsible management personnel.  People have come to these meetings and, and we’re afraid to talk, afraid we’re going to be knocked down to our knees and there’s a lot of people, when this opening came on the board, several of use went around asking different individuals if they would put in for this position, that was open, everybody said I will not work with that board.  That, that shows that we’re being bullied and intimidated and, and it you know, we’d like to come here and come to a civil meeting without being over talked, and, and, like I say knocked down to our knees.  And that’s all I have to say.”

VP Kinsella:  Any other comments?  Directors’ comments?  That was a joke earlier Emery. 

Director Ross:  Well I didn’t get it but, I was told it was a joke later (laughs). 

VP Kinsella:  Do you have any comments?  (multiple voices)  Lew?

Director Richardson: Yeah but I’m not just sure what it is.  I keep going back to the gentleman’s comment about the child in the office, I, I heard that happened I thought it was like years ago, are you saying something’s happened recently with that? 

TUMMOTA: I’m saying there’s a case where Charise brought children to the office against the authority of the manager, I’ll leave it at that.

Director Richardson:  When did that happen? 

TUMMOTA:  That’s not an important fact right here

Director Richardson:  Well it is to me because if it happened while I was here

Multiple voices

TUMMOTA:  (inaudible) should be able to go through your transcripts and find that, I’m not here to advise you

IGM Tynan:  Actually Lew, I can answer that, it, I didn’t, again it’s my oversight I didn’t write down the date and everything but it was probably ah three months ago

Director Richardson:  Oh, OK

IGM Tynan:  Four months ago, something like, it’s happened I believe one or two times, but I know,  ah, ah, one instance, again I didn’t take notes, I should have taken notes, but I came to work and I saw Charise had her daughter here and I understand single moms, single fathers too that work here, and have children issues, but yes, I was shocked like I wasn’t even notified, I was just, came in and ah, she took her daughter in the office and shut the door and I just can’t ah, and actually if you see that email it states ah giving a, basically an ultimatum, either I’m late or I’m bringing my kids to work and that’s in the email.  Ah

TUMMOTA:  That is what I was speaking of Mr. Richardson.

Harry Alfier:  I don’t think anyone wants to crucify Charise about her children, we’re all, I’ve been a single dad for many years, I was, there were times you just maybe have to take them to work but to me it’s more of a pattern of, to me it shows more of a pattern of her insubordination I hate to say it, you know, I have nothing personally against her but, you know, you have to have a boss and you have to have employees and the boss has to have the authority to talk to those employees and can’t be undermined by by this board or people she has to answer to, you know, you either trust him to do a job, I, you know, I think he’s a pretty straight shooter I’ve never seen him lie or scream or (inaudible) you know, and I, I just feel this is a power play by ah, ah, ah an employee basically, looks to me like she’s after his job or wants him, just don’t be accountable and his license, his license is from the State that then maybe she has to be accountable.  You can’t expect this guy to put his license on the line and his very ability to earn a livelihood for his family because you have an employee that wants to be, I guess, be rogue.  She’s a rogue employee that thinks she’s the boss and it’s up to you guys I think to let her know what the change of command is.  Thank you.

VP Kinsella:  Kathy?

Unknown:  Isn’t this director comment?


Ruth Smith afraid to speak?  If only that were true!  LOL   Harry Alfier has nothing personal against Charise?  Funny how the people around him supported the wrongful attempt by a former director (who also worked in the real estate industry) to fire her.    

Well, I still have some firewood to put up and of course it’s raining.  No biggie.  Need to get away from this keyboard and monitor for a while anyway.  We’ll start the next posting with another personal attack by Kathy Agee, who even when she accuses somebody of something wrong, still can’t get it right.  lol


My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.





I was planning on continuing my report of the SO GOSIP (Same Old Group Of Special Interest People) “free for all” disruption” of  the October 21st, 2011 meeting [facilitated by an, as of yet, unknown individual who was represented as being an official investigator from the State Attorney General’s Office (lol)],  but something happened yesterday that requires immediate reporting.  I’ll continue the report on TUMMOTA’s [The Unidentified Male Member Of The Audience] performance after this.

The one item agenda for yesterday’s Special Meeting of the Board of Directors was noticed as:

  1. a.      Filling Board Vacancy (20 minutes).  Request – To attempt reconsider filling the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Board of Director’s vacancy.

CSD Vice President Bill Kinsella summarized the reason for the meeting as being the failure of the board to fill the position in October.  Kinsella advised the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to make the appointment the next day but due to a subsequent letter of intent submitted by a Mr. Marsh to the Board of Supervisors, the matter was postponed to a later date.  He advised that a director had requested a Special Meeting to revisit the matter since the CSD was still within the 60 day limit to fill the position.    Kinsella advised the County Clerk confirmed if the appointment could be made at the meeting, the matter would not proceed to the Board of Supervisors, however, if the CSD Board failed to make the appointment this date the Board of Supervisors had three options:

1.      Appoint one of our two applicants

2.      Appoint someone of their choice

3.      Do nothing which could result in a special election costing the CSD approximately $10,000

Director Mark Skoien questioned whether the Board of Supervisors might just let it go to the next regular CSD election in 2012.   Orb Hatton, owner of Tri County Realty (whose residential/commercial property is considered within the District Service boundary yet contributes nothing financially to the district in an “availability fee”) asked about the possibility of someone else putting their name in the hat to which VP Kinsella advised the application deadline had already been extended two weeks with only one person submitting an application to the Board of Supervisors. 

Director Emery Ross advised he had a list of questions he would like to ask the candidates.  The questions asked were: 

What do you think the job of a board member is? 

Define what the Brown Act means to you. 

Do you know what 61000 of the Government Code is? 

How many board meetings had the candidates attended?

Do you think the public has the right to complain about a staff member at a board meeting? 

What are your ideas about keeping water rates down?  

Director Skoien confirmed that Mr. Marsh had prior work experience with setting policy. 

Director Lew Richardson commented Mr. Marsh had an impressive resume however questioned why he didn’t apply for the position when it was first announced to which Mr. Marsh stated he read about it in the Foothill Express but missed the deadline date.

Prior to the first vote Director Ross stated the Board should keep voting until a candidate was selected because the CSD could not afford to have a special election.  VP Kinsella confirmed if a candidate was not selected this date it would proceed to the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors.

FIRST VOTE FOR VICTOR AFANASIEV:  Directors Kinsella and Richardson:  Aye.  Opposed: Director Skoien, Director Ross abstained.

SECOND VOTE FOR RICHARD MARSH:  Director Mark Skoien aye; opposed:  Directors Kinsella and Richardson.

Director Emery Ross stated “So it comes down to me to make the decision right?”  VP Kinsella agreed at which time Director Ross asked the candidates two more questions:

“A ratepayer calls you on the weekend and tells you there’s a big water leak on their street.  No one answers the emergency number and no one returns the call when a message is left.  You cannot contact any staff member, what do you say to the ratepayer?”

“An irate ratepayer calls you in the evening when the office is closed and tells you they’ve received a water bill for a thousand dollars, ten times their normal bill, they say they do not want to call the office in the morning because they are so mad.  What would you do or what would you say to the ratepayer?”


Following candidate responses Director Ross asked VP Kinsella “what do we do now?”  Another vote.

Those in favor of Mr. Marsh?  Directors Skoien and Ross.  Opposed:  Kinsella and Richardson.

Those in favor of Mr. Afanasiev?  Directors Kinsella and Richardson.  Opposed: Skoien

Director Ross requested both applicants to respond to the question why they would want to be on a board with all the troubles, with the Grand Jury and everything, why do you want to be on the board.  Both candidates again responded with reasonable answers.

Director Ross:  “Bill?”

VP Kinsella:  “Yes Sir”

Director Ross:  “Normally, when, when I’ve worked for a special district, these negotiations were also done in Closed Session, now they’re open but you two guys (Kinsella and Richardson) I don’t think are going to bend on…”

VP Kinsella: “Say what?”

Director Ross:  “You two have said no on this gentleman here, right?  You said opposed, so we’re going to have to, somebody’s going to compromise here, ah, because it will be two to two, I really like what he has said but we need to move on, ah, you know I think I’m willing to vote for Victor on this thing, I, because we don’t want to go to an election.”

VP Kinsella:  “It’s, it’s getting right down to

Director Ross: “It’s down to the wire”

VP Kinsella:  “It’s getting down to the wire and if we don’t, if it’s a two-two, I’m going to adjourn the meeting”

Director Ross:  “I know, I know you will, ah, I like what he has said but if you guys aren’t going to move, this normally would be in Closed Session, so I’m being frank, you know, if you guys aren’t going to move on it, you both voted no, I don’t know, Mark is on it, but we need to, you know, wrap this up.  We need to (multiple voices)

VP Kinsella:  “Well I think… (multiple voices) What Mark?”

Director Skoien:  “No, I’m just saying, ah, it’s, you’re saying it’s two-two and you’re going to adjourn the meeting so you’re obviously not going to consider anything else, I mean the man has a, I like his practical workingman experience, that’s all I’m going by, I mean I think he could help, but so you’re obviously not going to give, so…”

VP Kinsella:  “Don’t tell me what I’m going to do”

Director Skoien:  “Well you said you were going to close the meeting next time it’s two-two”

VP Kinsella:  “If it’s a two-two there’s no sense in going any further, and I will adjourn the meeting and we will kick it over to the Board of Supervisors”

Director Ross:  “You don’t want to do that Bill”

Multiple voices

Orb Hatton: “You’re going to go against your conscience?”

VP Kinsella:  “Well then do something, no comments from the audience”

Orb Hatton: “…go against your conscience because they won’t give?  What kind of foolishness is that?”

Director Ross:  “Well all ….”

VP Kinsella:  “Orb, Orb, your, there’s no comments from the audience, thank you”

Orb Hatton:  “(inaudible) … say more”

VP Kinsella:  “Well you’re not going to make anymore”

Orb Hatton:  (inaudible)

Multiple voices, cross talk

VP Kinsella:  “You do it one more time I’m going to invite you to leave.”

Orb Hatton:  “Well you can do whatever you like”

Director Skoien:  “settle down”

VP Kinsella:  (To Board Secretary) “Alright, would you call the Sheriff”

(Laughter from Orb Hatton and other members of the SO GOSIP)

VP Kinsella:  “I’m not going to dink with these people”

(Continuing laughter from Orb Hatton and other SO GOSIP)

Director Ross:  “What these people out here don’t know are the litigation things that we have and we really need to settle this problem.  We’ve got, we’ve got a trial coming up that could cost us a lot of money with a former manager, and ah, the other problem that’s that’s lurking, litigation, and we, we, we just, we have to move forward with somebody on the board.  And if you guys aren’t going to move, I guess that I’ll have to move because we need to have somebody today.  Right?

Multiple voices in audience

Kathy Agee:  “May I just ask a question Bill?”

VP Kinsella:  “no”

Orb Hatton:  “Say it.  Ask him”

VP Kinsella:  “No – no questions from the audience, thank you.”

Orb Hatton:  “Aren’t you here to serve this community?”

Director Skoien:  “Public meeting, there’s no audience ….”

VP Kinsella:  “There’s no, there’s no, the public is not allowed to make an opinion about a special meeting”

Orb Hatton:  (Inaudible) “…see you make a mistake”

Kathy Agee:  “Bill I’m just gonna ask”

VP Kinsella:  “ No, Kathy no”

Kathy Agee:  “if you guys”

VP Kinsella:  “No, one more outburst I’m going to clear the room – and I can do that”

(Boisterous laughter by Orb Hatton, Ron Howenstine and other members of the SO GOSIP)

VP Kinsella:  “It ain’t funny sonny”

(Inaudible comments by Hatton and others)

VP Kinsella:  “Alright, everybody out, we’ll recess the meeting, everybody out”

Secretary Reeves:  “10:28”

[Reconvene at 11:47 hours- Mariposa County Deputy Sheriff standing at entrance] 

VP Kinsella:  “Everybody has the opportunity to speak for three minutes on this subject, any deviation from the subject or personal attack on any board member or any employee is not encouraged or is it welcome.  So anybody who has anything to say, you want to take the podium, go ahead take – three minutes.”

Orb Hatton: “Well, otherwise, you know, I’m quiet.  I am simply here to ask that you vote your conscience and not try to compromise in something that you in your heart feel is wrong.  Ah, we have had a dysfunctional board forever here, I encourage you to listen to your community and not try to, what are you (inaudible) Bill?  Did I say something wrong?, I encourage you to listen to the, the general public here whom you serve and try and serve the public and not have this battle between factions so that we can get on with this water board and treat it, and, and be part of this community leading it instead of having your own personal agendas that you fight.  Vote your conscience, if you feel that what you, what your ah, that compromise is more important than your conscience – you’re giving up your own integrity.  And that’s really all I have to say thank you.”

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you, anybody else?”

Ron Howenstine:  “Thank you for allowing me to speak.”

VP Kinsella:  “You’re welcome”

Ron Howenstine:  “Ahum, I would like to point out that all of these, for the last few years, the board has been split, two to three, three to two, always a problem.  Today you would be voting in, possibly a quorum again, I would hope that the person that you look at could vote with an open mind, that’s one of the questions I would have asked, can you be fair? Can you be impartial, and can you not make this part of a clique?  Can it be three of you?  The other thing I would ask that when you vote, is that, you vote for, for the process not against the person.  That’s the most important thing we’re looking at, so if we have people that are running, that are well qualified that’s the people we should be looking at and because you don’t know somebody, it might be the best person to vote for because you certainly know they don’t have a, a, a trail following them.  Look for that person, look for the person who can give us something that has, that has been there with management, somebody who has been there and can be part of the team.  And as a board we should be voting as a team, not against the team and that’s what we’ve had and I hope you’ll consider.”

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you, anybody else?”

Harry Alfier:  “Thank you.  Ahum, I’d just like to ah throw my support behind Rich here I’ve read his resume and he just sounds like he might be a breath of fresh air for the board and, I don’t think anyone in the room’s surprised that you guys are probably deadlocked two to two.  You know, I think anyone probably would have bet money on that before we came here today and I personally, if, if your conscience is still split two to two, I think the Board of Supervisors can probably talk to both Victor and Mr. Marsh here and I don’t think they’re going to hang us out to dry and make us spend forty thousand dollars or ten thousand dollars on a special election, I mean that seems to be hanging over our head that, that’s a reason today, is the drop dead day that the world’s going to come to an end if we don’t come to a decision.  And I don’t know if you’ll come to a decision, again I trust the Board of Supervisors to look at both candidates and talk to them and you know they’ll see that Victor is very active in our community, has been for some time, does a lot of good works and I just think maybe it’s time to get some fresh blood and you know, hopefully not have a board that’s just three against two, that can, you know, all get together and vote for the best ideas, rather than personalities.  So thank you very much.”

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you.  Anybody else?”

Kathy Agee:  “Thank you, I agree, I think that ah, Rich has not been, he hasn’t been here a long time but yet he is ah, has a great ah, presence about himself and he has the resume as you’ve looked at his resume that I think could make some good decisions.  He would not vote against, another director’s vote just because of who you were, he would really look at things seriously and do the, I feel make the best decision for our district and our community as a whole.”

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you.  Anybody else?”

Wes Barton:  “I don’t want us to forget who Victor is over here because Victor has ah, bugged all of us but there’s one thing we can always say, that Victor is trustworthy and that he does his work, he’s been to almost all the meetings, he’s been involved in everything from the schools to the ah home owners, to the water district, and the Lions.  Ah if it wasn’t part of an organization he’s been out there, at the time of fires, ah helping individuals, he is not scared to call people and find out what is really true and what isn’t true, ah, I haven’t seen Victor playing any favors for either, or any faction, he’s always ah voted and done things as he saw it, as he thought it was right, whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t – the point is is that he’s always done it independently.  And I don’t think there’s much, I think everybody is asking for independence, and ah, Victor certainly has a long record of doing independent, being an independent thinker.”

 VP Kinsella:  “Thank you.  Anybody else?  OK.  Public comment is closed, back to the board.”

Deputy Sheriff (Standing in entrance):  “Can I address real quick?”

VP Kinsella:  “Sure”

Deputy Sheriff:  “Now the public is closed, nobody says anything or they’ll be removed ok?  I’m not going to hang around for the rest of your board meeting, OK?”

VP Kinsella:  “OK, thank you for coming.”

Deputy Sheriff:  “Open?”

VP Kinsella:  “Yeah, leave it open.”

Deputy Sheriff:  “Open”

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you for coming”

Deputy Sheriff:  (Inaudible)

VP Kinsella:  “OK, ready for a vote?”

Director Ross:  “Comments or not?  No comments?”

VP Kinsella:  “You want to make a comment, fine, you can make a comment”

Director Ross:  “Well Mr. Marsh, ahm, I did not know you before today.  I, I liked your answers they, you know, I was impressed with your, I first applied for this board in 1992, and then I think probably in ’94, ’96 and several other times, I ran for election the last maybe two times.  I eventually was elected, I think I stayed on for one or two months, quit ‘cuz I didn’t like that (inaudible) really made a lot of problems, but elected two times.  There’s a long time, one thing that people like Kalvin Gile did when he was elected, is he said a lot of stuff, he, he, was always up at that podium and, and we had really good idea where Kal was coming from.  I liked your presentation, I, you sound like you’d be good, but you’ve never said anything at these meetings.  I don’t know where you’re coming from really and that’s my concern.  Ah, I’d encourage you to run, you know for election, if they say they’re going to recall us you’d run then, cuz you sound really good.  I liked your answers, there’s a couple I really did like.  Ah, we have to make a decision today, we have to make a decision.  This board was elected to, to make decisions, good or bad, up or down, make decisions.  If these guys don’t compromise and Mark doesn’t compromise, one of us is going to have to, we need to have a full board here and that’s what’s going to happen today because we cannot go back to the Board of Supervisors, we have too many problems over there with the Grand Jury and then adding another one, or the DA, we don’t need more problems, so Bill, call for the vote.”

VP Kinsella:  “Hang on a sec, Mark you have a comment?  Lew?”

Director Richardson:  “No”

VP Kinsella:  “OK, I’ll call for the vote, all those in favor of Mr. Marsh signify by raising your hand. [Director Skoien aye]   OK, all opposed to Mr. Marsh raise your hand [Kinsella, Richardson and Ross].

Board Secretary Charise Reeves:  “Emery did you vote?”

Director Ross:  “Yeah I did”

VP Kinsella:  “Emery voted no”

Board Secretary Reeves:  “OK”

VP Kinsella:  “All those in favor of ah, Mr. Afanasiev, [Kinsella, Richardson and Ross].  Ah, Mark has a vote, do you want to vote no?”

Director Skoien:  “I abstain from that one” (Laughter)

VP Kinsella:  “The board recognizes that ah Mr. Afanasiev has been nominated, or has been, will join the board and ah, immediately and we can take the a Oath of Office now if you have –

Public:  “So – this is a joke”

[Members of the SO GOSIP begin walking out during Victor’s Oath of Office.  9 people walked out of the 13 in attendance.]

VP Kinsella:  “Thank you.”

Victor Afanasiev took the following Oath of Service administered by Board Secretary Charise Reeves: 

“I  (Victor Afanasiev) do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic that I will bare true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.  That I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter .”

Secretary:  “OK, you are now appointed as a Board memb –  director”

VP Kinsella:  “Welcome aboard Victor, OK”

(inaudible – another voice)

VP Kinsella:  “I’ll get you tomorrow.  There being no further -”

Director Skoien:  “Victor, nothing personal, glad to have you”

Multiple voices

VP Kinsella:  “There being no further business for the board

Director Ross:  (inaudible)

VP Kinsella:  “…I’ll entertain a motion to adjourn”

Director Skoien:  “I’ll make that motion”

Director Richardson:  “I second it”

VP Kinsella:  “All in favor, adjourn, adjourned.”

Multiple voices [confirming vote – unanimous, 12:00]



Orb Hatton and his entourage were not permitted to disrupt another meeting with their interrupting comments barked from the comfort of their audience chairs.  (Pack mentality?)  A deputy sheriff was requested, arrived, stood by, and monitored the Public Comment portion of the meeting.   Not surprisingly, what would have otherwise degraded into a much, much longer time period of personal attacks, insults, and accusations by the “whole gang” was actually condensed into a few short statements from the podium.  Heck, not one of them even came close to using their entire three minutes.  A similar situation occurred years ago when Hatton defiantly stood up at an LDPOA “Meet the Candidates Night” meeting in objection to the moderator’s admonishment stating he wasn’t going to stop talking and sit down until he was done.   The “civil standby” Tuolumne County Deputy Sheriff at that time told him he was done.  He sat down. 

How can Mr. Hatton equate a handful of individuals who disrupt business meetings with the “general public” or “community”?   These special interest folks really do not have the credibility to be talking about the integrity or conscience of others.  Good grief!  Only a little research in public records and media sources reveal much, but that’s another story.  I find it particularly misleading how Mr. Alfier  often uses inclusive words like “us”, “we” “our”, and “together” when he does not live here but only does real estate business in Lake Don Pedro.  (Harry’s father, “Uncle Milt” and Lake Don Pedro Realty were doing business here decades ago in the early years of the Lake Don Pedro Subdivision development.) 

But all that SO GOSIP nonsense aside, the best result was the appointment of Victor Afanasiev because a trusted and well known community volunteer of many years will continue his dedicated service as a director on YOUR Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Board.  


Well guess I’ll get back to work on the previous “hi-jacked meeting” by the SO GOSIP on October 21st – Really deserving of an entire chapter – a number of KA-BOOMS!  [RE: Wile E. Coyote Syndrome]


My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.





Regarding the



Friday, October 21st, 2011 @ 1000hrs


NOTE: Verbatim transcriptions based on analog and/or digital recordings.


The agenda item was Government Code Section 54957(b)(2) – Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Specific Complaint –  Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957 (b)(2), the employee may request that complaints or charges be heard in Open rather than Closed Session which the employee has requested.The meeting revolved around previous Personnel Committee Meetings regarding a grievance by one employee against another, and then, for lack of a better term, a corresponding cross-complaint by the subject of the original complaint.  Complicating the matter was the fact one employee preferred to have the matter handled in a Closed Session, the other in Open Session.  Rather than go through a long and time consuming verbatim transcription of employee complaints and cross complaints, combined with the sincere hope unnecessary publication of the specifics might more appropriately foster an environment for resolving the situation to the satisfaction of both employees, I am going to focus on another aspect of that meeting – another disruption by the SO GOSIP [Same Old Group of Special Interest People].


This most recent performance was conceptually quite clever, but, just like all the other scams and choreographed demonstrations the SO GOSIP construct and attempt to execute, it ultimately backfired in their collective face.  The “poor old Wile E. Coyote syndrome” to the max.  No matter how hard that Coyote tried, he just couldn’t get that Road Runner.   So too, the SO GOSIP collectively scheme, plan and set their diabolical traps.  They organize the assault and prepare by loading their mouths with accusations and personal attacks, then as a determined collective unit (of a few individuals) unleash their barrage of condemnation only to inevitably once again shoot themselves.   

KA-BOOM!    …… Nothing left but smoldering shoulders while the headless body frantically searches for the missing head that came up with the idea.   And just as in the cartoon, the SO GOSIP’s collective head just “pops back into place” with a blow to the stomach, they shake off the dusty absurdity of their actions and again diligently prepare for another show at the next LDPCSD Board Meeting.  Each time they finish such a production they march out with an exaggerated and bewildering show of triumph believing they were somehow successful but all the while embarrassingly oblivious to their transparent display of foolishness.             


Guess we should start off with the definition of “TUMMOTA”?  Simply, “The Unidentified Male Member Of The Audience”.  [And no,  “Male Member” is not intended to be a personality description just because a synonym for such happens to rhyme with Rick.  Total coincidence.]   The name TUMMOTA adds a bit more mystery to the new member of the SO GOSIP and will be much easier to type during verbatim transcription.  

I must confess the attendance of this overdressed newcomer, apparently pressed into service by the SO GOSIP, proved to be quite interesting albeit contrary to the Brown Act [Business of a specific nature that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body of the local agency] and Penal Code Section 403 [Every person who, without authority of law, willfully disturbs or breaks up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character, other than an assembly or meeting referred to in Section 302 of the Penal Code or Section 18340 of the Elections Code, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”]

“TUMMOTA” quite obviously assisted the SO GOSIP (5-6 people) who once again blatantly disregarded Brown Act meeting requirements by transforming a business proceeding into another personal attack free-for- all.  [You know, attending other county government meetings is like going to church after experiencing a typical SO GOSIP hi-jacking.]  As most of you realize, the Ralph M. Brown Act was basically created to keep decisions of a governing board transparent to the public as well as provide opportunities for public input and access to information, however, TUMMOTA continually pushed his incorrect belief that the SO GOSIP had the right to bring up topics having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR CSD BUSINESS MEETING.   

Naturally “yours truly” was the specific target for their coordinated barrage of insults and outrageous accusations, most framed around this website for having the audacity to post the truth about what this group has and will continue to do if unchecked.  This right to free speech was made perfectly clear by the CSD attorney in his response to the Grand Jury but the SO GOSIP MUST CONTROL EVERY POSSIBLE INFORMATION SOURCE.   I am an evil man?  Whoa, pretty heavy emotionally charged statement by Coralane Porter when it was her turn at bat.   Once again…..   KA-BOOM!    I think you will find the forthcoming analysis of Ms. Porter’s statements quite enlightening.   I find it curious that the SO GOSIP object to honest personal commentary on serious issues within this community by a director.  They complain that my opinion should not be allowed because I am an elected official, but what they clearly fail to realize or do not understand is that because of that position I have been rather mild in reporting what I believe about these folks.  I look forward to the day when I will be able to write more freely about their duplicitous and special interest advocacy.  


The meeting contained a number of negative comments about an employee who was not even present which in itself is very illustrative of the SO GOSIP’s sense of “fair play”.  Especially interesting is the fact these are the very same people who vigorously backed a director who was forced to resign in order to obtain a plea bargain with the District Attorney’s Office in a criminal case.  And related to that case was the allegation that this former director had encouraged the Interim General Manager to terminate this same employee who was “rat packed” at the last meeting.   Please “recall” that two sitting directors went out of their way to conceal the entire mess and not address misconduct of their “third vote” director.  Notice a pattern of behavior?  An enemy of my enemy is a friend?  Given enough time this group will tear themselves apart because they are unethical, pursuing third party business and personal agendas, and there is no honor among thieves. 


Another amazing and commonplace characteristic of the SO GOSIP is their ability to abruptly change positions – at one meeting they criticized and berated a particular employee implying all sorts of unethical and unprofessional conduct, then at the next meeting, spin 180 degrees around and clearly supported that same employee in an adversarial proceeding against another employee.   I guess it’s fortunate for me there is absolutely no ambiguity in their united opposition to any source of information they cannot control.  It’s always preferable to know where you stand – whether good, bad or indifferent and I know exactly where I stand, and have remained standing while the SO GOSIP desperately scamper about attempting to gain credibility.  But alas, their actions speak louder than their insults.  These folks have tried to shut this website down from the moment it began over 6 years ago because they do not want truth and facts to escape the dominating control they have always exercised in this area.   Consider the motivation – follow the money.  


The SO GOSIP thrive on turmoil and exploit every opportunity to facilitate the creation and continuation of such regardless of the contradictory nature of their previous actions.    They flip back and forth, refuse to support their position with fact, and will toss a wrench into the business machinery just to see what happens.  Doesn’t matter, right or wrong, just or unjust, logical or illogical – the primary mission is to perpetuate turmoil so they have something to complain about which simultaneously provides the opportunity to proclaim they have solutions – to the very problems they create.   Kind of like protection rackets where victim parties pay someone not to damage their property or an arsonist firefighter who is first on the scene.  These people are disingenuous.        


I usually arrive at the CSD early so as to prepare paperwork and stomach for the next “demonstration” by the SO GOSIP but on October 21st noticed a couple of peculiar things.  Driving to the office I observed TUMMOTA walking North along Merced Falls Road between the Deerwood Corporation sales office and the new fire station on the west side of the road.   I correctly assumed this well dressed individual was in route to the CSD meeting but as I parked my truck I noticed there were other vehicles in the parking lot which was also unusual.  Took a few final sips of my Mountain Dew, got out of the vehicle and started towards the board room and that’s when I almost made a “Spot” in the parking lot.


Because that is what a lot of them become on highways, roads, and parking lots.  (Technically they are Trap Door Spiders but when the Europeans settled here they were reminded of the true Tarantulas back home so the name stuck.)   Anyway walking around the rear of my truck I almost turned one of those timid little creatures into a spot with my boot.  I walked over to the board room entrance where Mr. Wes Barton was waiting and we proceeded to talk about the critters being so abundant during this season – always perfect for Halloween.   From that position I observed our future “TUMMOTA” playing around with the “future SPOT” with something dark in his hand.   (Actually it’s not very nice to screw with the little guys especially if they are forced to release the small hairs on their backside by thrashing and rubbing with their rear legs.  This defensive action works.   One of my dogs once made the mistake of “nosing around” an irritated “Tarantula” and got a snoot full of those hairs which work like mace by getting up into, and irritating, the nasal passages.  That poor dog was sneezing and drooling for quite a while before it wore off.  No doubt effective because she didn’t mess around with Tarantulas anymore.)

I didn’t think much of TUMMOTA playing around with “SPOT” but later learned the “tool” he was using to harass the critter was his wallet and while doing so a passing Staff Member on the way to the board room observed some sort of a gold badge in the wallet.  (Remember the tune to Dragnet?)  Why was the wallet open?  Was TUMMOTA making an arachnid arrest?  Or was it just one piece of an elaborate scheme to misrepresent that he was some type of authority?  Oh, but it gets better.

Later during a break from a Closed Session, I was sitting on the tailgate of my pickup when TUMMOTA walked by and stopped a few yards away.  Without any introduction or small talk he curtly asked when I came on the board.  I advised I was elected in November to a four year term and took the oath of office on December 3rd.  TUMMOTA then asked a couple of peculiar questions:   “Are you sure it was December 3rd?   Yes – pretty sure.  “Could it have been December 2nd?”  Don’t think so, pretty sure it was the 3rd.   TUMMOTA scribbled down some notes and walked away to join a couple of other members of the SO GOSIP in the parking lot.  Hum, strange.


Members of the SO GOSIP advised others that TUMMOTA was from the State Attorney General’s Office and there was AG interest in our special district.   I later learned a member of the SO GOSIP had allegedly relayed that TUMMOTA advised her that my website was illegal!  (Sure wish I knew about that little mistaken assertion before resuming the meeting, I would have had a lot more to say to our officious intermeddling self-appointed acting president of the board.  lol)  


There is so much to report about this incident but it will go much easier for both of us if it is done incrementally.  Besides, I’ve got other work to do.  Earlier this week I was pleased to learn burning was permitted between the hours of 7pm-8am with a permit.  [1-888-440-2876 for burn information]  Unbelievable how quickly Pine needles, cones, Oak leaves, etc., continue to accumulate – but hey, it’s that time of the year.  Such ground coverage on a steep slope is extremely dangerous because it’s slick and losing your footing and busting your tailbone is something to be avoided.  Such an injury is not only quite painful but takes a while to heal. 

I’ll spend hours getting all the stuff raked into piles – wait for a permissive burn day – and finally get rid of it just in time for the next wind to re-deposit the debris everywhere but it still makes sense to do it a piece at a time and give sore muscles a chance to heal.   This morning I noticed the strong odor of vegetative smoke and wondered….. was this recent rain enough to drop the time restrictions?  YUP.  Just found out – daytime burning is now allowed.   (Naturally other restrictions still apply).        


The other day out raking and piling in preparation for the next burn I was thinking about seeing TUMMOTA just walking down the road towards the CSD before the October 21st meeting.   Just walking down the street…..   Next thing you know that tune was in my head and I was putting together some new lyrics to the old Manfred Mann “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” song from 1964.  I think this might be a good place to stop for now.

(Previous youtube video removed)

There’s TUMMOTA just a walking down the street

Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB diddy do

Interrupts a meeting tells directors what to do

Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB diddy do

Officious look (Commands the scene) – Officious look (Commands the scene)

Officious look, commands the scene is he dressed for Halloween?


Now who’s that speaker who pretends to be A.G.?

Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB diddy dee

Anony-mous and his name he will not tell

Singing do wah diddy diddy DUMB – What the hell?

A-nony-mous – (He won’t tell)   A-nony-mous – (He won’t tell)

A-nony-mous – he won’t tell – could be head’n off to jail?


Wah Ooooooo

 I knew he was wrong and way – way out

Yes I did but he kept going on

Just like he knew what he was talking about


Asked him twice but his name he can’t pronounce

Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB diddy do

Seems to me just another ANY MOUSE

Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB ditty do

Wants to hide – (No guts), Wants to hide – (No guts)

Wants to hide – no guts could this guy be frigg’n nuts?

Wah Ooooooo

 I knew he was wrong and way – way out

Yes I did but he kept going on

Just like he knew what he was talking about


Every meeting the SO GOSIP make a mess

Singing – do wah diddy diddy DUMB – can you guess?

They make a lot of statements but the truth they cannot tell

Singing – do wah diddy diddy DUMB – What’s the bail?

A power need – (Support greed) – A power need – (Support greed)

A power need – support greed, use your brain and you might see.


Singing – Do wah diddy diddy DUMB diddy DUMB

Yes you guessed it – this little song is done.  


Have a great weekend!

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.

FINAL PORTION OF OCT 17th, 2011 Meeting


Regarding the “final installment” of the



Monday, October 17th, 2011 1300hrs


NOTE: Verbatim transcriptions based on analog and digital recordings.

Here are some brief descriptions of the agenda items, Board decisions, and pertinent verbatim transcriptions.


p. RANCHITO WELL STUDY– Information update by District Engineer Elizabeth Binkley.  Letter explaining why the capacity test of the Ranchito Well is taking longer than expected due to the necessity of well stabilization.  Kalvin Gile expressed concern that the CSD could be liable for lowering the water table and harming other well users in the vicinity.  Director Ross commented that he received a call from a property owner complaining about well difficulties. 

r. REQUEST FROM MIKE SCHARTZ- follow-up on his request for water service to a property he just purchased. This property is outside MIDPOU and further discussion is subject to the results of the well test.  Mrs. Poe suggested “give him one of my old meters, I don’t care”.  Director Ross suggested the Board speculate and offer an opinion as to furnishing water service if the well test proved satisfactory.   VP Bill Kinsella and Director Lew Richardson declined to offer such a hypothetical answer.  Director Skoien advocated providing a meter to Mr. Schartz so that Mrs. Poe could also recoup her losses due to the nonpayment by Donna Martin/Morasci for the line extension.

s. REQUEST FROM ROY WALTON – to discuss his request for water service.  Interim General Manager Dan Tynan advised Mr. Walton had called and was not going to be able to attend the meeting.  Postponed to next month pending the well test.  CSD counsel has advised in the past that “will serve letters” should be avoided. 

t. RETIREMENT HEALTH BENEFIT LIABILITY – Information by Charise Reeves about the formal valuation performed to comply with the GASB 45 requirement for Retirement Health Benefit Liability.  Re-evaluations occur every two to three years depending upon the changes in the rules and how much CSD contributes.  $168,000 annual required contribution, we paid out $43,011 in 2011 fiscal year on premiums for retirees (subtracted from the annual contribution).  Currently we are not contributing to the program but at some point need to restart the funding. The board could also decide not to provide, from this point on, certain medical benefits for retirees.   Two employees have already been hired without this benefit.  Policy needs to be updated regarding this issue.

u. BOARD ROOM RECORDER – Request by Director Richardson to discuss/act  on replacing/upgrading the Board Room tape recorder with digital equipment.  The old dual tape recorder often begins to “squeal” and there have been tape malfunctions.  Going digital would be more dependable, efficient and less costly for copies requested by the public.  Charise Reeves advised an equivalent tape model would run between $600-$800 but she will check into the possibility of digital.  Many people do not even have cassette tape players anymore.  More research will be conducted with a report next meeting.

v. SECURITY OF FACILITY AND RECORDS – Request by Director Richardson regarding the possibility of missing records, initial and subsequent law enforcement reports about a past break in, and funding a security program regarding plant facilities and official records.  Months after the initial report of the break in, and during attempts to fulfill a Grand Jury request for 2009 Minutes, it was discovered a box of records (Board Packets) was missing.  The CSD was able to electronically recover most of the Minutes with the exception of one or two meetings.  Discussion ensued regarding the protection of records with Director Richardson suggesting CSD maps and transparencies were very valuable records regarding CSD history. 


VP Bill Kinsella:  I have been emasculated by some people for taking action to preserve the integrity of this organization and, by a couple of people, and I’m a little disgusted and tired of it particularly since the intent was not to circumvent this, this board.  Although I’ve become more and more disgusted with it, the intent was to cease a problem that would have perpetuated and put this whole board in trouble and yet I find the people who really don’t know what the hell is going on can make statements accusing me of certain things and I’m just a little disgusted with it, I’m tired of being the target for most of this crap.  People want to make a, if I do something wrong that’s fine but when I do something with the specific intent to protect this organization and then some dingbat decides that they are smarter than me, never around – just listen to rumor and then they ostracize me.  Fat chance it’s going to happen again, I will not put up with it.  I’m done.  Anybody else?

Director Lew Richardson:   Yeah, just reiterate that I think it was a total embarrassment today that we could not select a director to fill a spot, one spot open, we had one applicant who was more than qualified.  I think this is just another example of some of the repugnant, childish games that are being played.  That’s it.

VP Kinsella: I could go on about that too but I’m not going to.   Go ahead Mark.

Director Mark Skoien:  Well real quick, I had nothing to say but, Lew knows I probably got to give him a little bit of an answer (laughing), ah, regardless of what you think of it there’s no games, I mean, everybody has their right to vote and you shouldn’t be calling their right a repugnant game.  That’s all I got to say.  Let’s go watch some football.

Board Secretary Charise Reeves:  Ah please adjourn.

VP Kinsella: OK, the meeting is adjourned (1742hrs)


My best to you and yours, Lew

PS:  The October 21st, 2011 meeting (originally a Personnel Matter) was  “derailed” by only a handful of the SO GOSIP during Directors Comments despite several advisements that it was not subject matter of the district.    [Same old complaints about this website – guess they won’t be happy until they control every single source of information.  Gee, you think they hate this website eventhough they say they don’t read it?   Wait until they DON’T READ the book!  lol]    I’m working on another post regarding that ridiculous display [last meeting], however, with rain coming Thursday I’m also quite busy taking advantage of burn days to get rid of the Pine cones, needles, leaves, branches, etc.. 

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