Posts by Lew


Reading Time: 8 minutes

I previously told viewers I would resume positing meeting information with the August 31st Special Meeting which was orchestrated by Director Ross with the assistance of Directors Skoien and Kinsella, however, going a little further back might be helpful in understanding this continuing but intentional mess.

Considering the potential for legal action by particular former employees I am not going to get into the “nuts and bolts” of what actually happened (many, many pages) but can assure you I was extremely disappointed with some of the activities of sitting directors and their distorted perception of responsibilities.

Since my Presiding Officer’s Report was already read for the record I see no harm in posting it now. I stumbled a couple of times with words, but this is verbatim after all. LOL Here we go:

AUGUST 20, 2012 Meeting

PRESENT: President Bill Kinsella, VP Lew Richardson, Director Victor Afanasiev, and Director Emery Ross.

ABSENT: Director Mark Skoien


“Our District is once again without a General Manager and currently out of compliance with the California Department of Public Health regarding employee staffing and reporting. We are also in violation of the MID agreement regarding Outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use reporting.

This reoccurring lack of a GM situation is a result of what the Mariposa County Grand Jury diagnosed as a “dysfunctional” board of directors and I totally agree with that assessment. I believe micro-managing directors have again placed personal interests above that of the district and this flies in the face of California Government Code Section 61040 subsection (C) which states in part:

All members of the board of directors shall exercise their independent judgment on behalf of the interests of the entire district, including the residents, property owners, and the public as a whole in furthering the purposes and intent of this subdivision, division, I’m sorry, not subdivision.

Now this is my part – not the government code: officious intermeddling, intimidation through threatened disciplinary actions, improper individual investigations, changing an attorney drafted disciplinary action agenda, and the general lack of support of the GM by particular directors, all this and more, will continue unchecked unless the public demands accountability from their representatives. There are members of this board who refuse to allow this district to operate as designed which is with a general manager. The reason for this is simple, the lack of GM, the lack of a GM provides the environment for continued micromanagement of employees and operations according to their personal interests, and perhaps even, benefit.

District, business of this District should take place at this District in public meetings – no where else. Director Ross has a number of requests on this agenda, please read them and study them carefully considering the actual reason and motivation for each.

In the past we have had burglaries and illegal entries into buildings yet later discovered missing records that were never reported to the Sheriff’s Office. A possible arson of our administration building and lost records. An insurance loss rate of 288% over the baseline of 70%. We have a 26% water loss rate. When will enough be enough? We need John Turner to continue his professional and effective leadership and that is on the agenda which we will discuss later. OK, thank you for that.”



OK, so we now move forward despite this major setback right? Wrong.




You see, when Bill Kinsella resigned as board president on August 9th, 2012 following public questions and criticism of his role in personally investigating a complaint against our former IGM, I became presiding officer by default according to the Brown Act. This was the recorded report out following that previously held Closed Session Meeting on August 9th, and how I proposed to proceed.



VP LEW RICHARDSON: “…and then ah one other thing that had happened that would be a report out was that Director Kinsella stepped down as president, so with the Board’s permission I’ll just continue as Vice President and preside over the meetings until November when the board can do its re, you know, its reorganization, after that time.”


Director Ross: Well we might want to do it before that but yeah fine


VP Richardson: Well if that’s what the board wanted to do that’s fine


LDPCSD Attorney Raymond Carlson: I’m hearing that Bill resigned as president?


Director Ross: Yeah


VP Richardson: Correct


Carlson: Did he resign from the board?


Director Ross: No


Director Afanasiev: No


VP Richardson: No


Carlson: NO? OK



August 20th, 2012 Agenda Item



Request: By Director Ross – Board reorganization due to resignation of Board President.



Emery Ross is so pathetically transparent. Please consider the following:


1. A new board will soon be installed after the November election;


2. Director Ross has resigned as director once and as president twice. The last resignation as president was recommended by the Grand Jury following an Under Oath interview and admonition not to repeat what transpired during that investigation;


3. Mark Skoien resigned as Vice President on his own volition and has stated he would not chair meetings;


4. Director Kinsella was harshly criticized by the next Grand Jury for his failure to appropriately conduct meetings. Prior to Director Kinsella’s resignation he was criticized in public at the meeting for his activity in the IGM resignation matter and then later resigned during a Closed Session.


5. Please also note that California Government Section 61043 clearly addresses such a situation by stating: “the vice president shall serve in the president’s absence or inability to serve.



61043. (a) Within 45 days after the effective date of the formation

of a district, the board of directors shall meet and elect its

officers. Thereafter, within 45 days after each general district or

unopposed election, the board of directors shall meet and elect the

officers of the board of directors. A board of directors may elect

the officers of the board of directors annually.

(b) The officers of a board of directors are a president and a

vice president. The president shall preside over meetings of the

board of directors and the vice president shall serve in the

president’s absence or inability to serve.

(c) A board of directors may create additional offices and elect

members to those offices, provided that no member of a board of

directors shall hold more than one office.



Note also that this section states the specific time board reorganizations shall take place (45 days of election or annually) which makes sense in respects to the continuity of a board. This helps to prevent unnecessary and repetitive politically motivated officer changes.

(Ironically, Director Ross’s second resignation as president is a perfect example. First he tossed the gavel and resigned in another one of his tantrums but a short while later with the support of Directors Keefe and Skoien essentially voted himself back in as president only to once again resign because of the Grand Jury’s recommendation that he step down as president.

Yes, that makes three resignations from district responsibilities which is precisely how he earned the title:



Considering all of this, I seriously doubt Director Ross honestly believes (or possibly understands) his proposed reorganization is legal, appropriate or in the best interests of this district and is only playing another one of his childish games for attention and attempted assumption of control while intentionally obstructing district business and progress.




I had been told the new Administrative Office was due to arrive at 0700hrs on August 30th, so naturally I was there a bit early with my cameras and tripods. Naturally the estimated time of arrival was off by a few hours which is understandable considering the logistics involved in moving such structures from Southern California. Which secondary roads would permit safe vertical clearance, prevent traffic bottle necks, were safer, etc.? The details must be carefully worked out with CalTrans, CHP and other related agencies.


Modular installation workers, CSD employees, Pinnacle Emergency Management President Leo Grover, and others patiently waited for the new building arrival. Just a little after 0900hrs what was thought to be a white pilot truck (with an emergency yellow light attachment on the roof) headed up Merced Falls Road from HWY 132, cameras were ready but it turned out to be a false alarm. It was Mr. Ross who simply parked his “emergency light clad” personal truck along Merced Falls Road and he and Betsy headed into the office with paperwork in hand.


Finally just after 0930hrs the building arrived. Once temporarily parked near its future position, the structure sure took the unattractive sting out of our empty depressing lot.




The paperwork Emery and Betsy marched into the office that day was a request for a special meeting with a 24 hour notice posted for the public. Emery had sent me a few emails regarding calling such a meeting and I explained why I thought it might be more efficient to wait for other issues and decide them all at once, but Emery persisted with his Special Meeting with his two agenda items: Board Reorganization (changing or assigning positions of President and Vice President) and the budget.


Those customers who received the “Board Packet” (materials in support of requested agenda items) created by Emery and Betsy Ross, received that which is so typical of Mr. Ross:


only half the story as to how events actually unfolded, but I’ll address those matters later.




After Emery’s Special Meeting agenda had been posted I learned there was another matter our attorney suggested the Board handle immediately. Since there was a time limit the matter could not wait for the September 17th, regular meeting so I decided (with attorney approval and recommendation) the best way to proceed would be to handle the urgent matter prior to Mr. Ross’s agenda items. (Reorganization/Budget)


The attorney provided the pertinent Government Code section of the Brown Act which specifically authorizes hearing emergency non-agenda items, in this case, a request from a State Department that the Board respond to a claim by a former employee. Simple right? Wrong! Not so simple in Emeryland.


According to Directors Emery Ross and Mark Skoien, hearing such a matter not on the agenda would constitute a Brown Act violation. WHAT? Ross and Skoien refused to hear the matter despite my reading the Government Code Section and repeatedly explaining it was not only permissible under the Brown Act, but required to timely respond to another State Department. I repeatedly advised it was attorney recommended but Ross and Skoien refused to hear the matter.



Both Ross and Skoien remained steadfast in not hearing the attorney requested matter because it was not on the “ROSS AGENDA” but here’s the kicker, another issue which was also late for Ross’s agenda– the potential hiring of a General Manager – was discussed. WHAT?


The Brown Act Section authorizing non-agenda items to be heard is Government Code Section 54956.9. I had inserted the section but as is so typical with legal verbiage it took up 1-1/2 pages, so to shorten this posting and save you some time reading here’s the link to the material if you are interested:

Directors Ross and Skoien simply decided not to perform their duty for one issue (former employee), yet proceeded with the second non-agenda item (hiring of a GM) .



DIRECTORS ROSS & SKOIEN believed the attorney’s advice and Brown Act Section authorizing the agenda additions violated the Brown Act?


Both seemed to think one matter was a Brown Act violation (which it was not) but the other matter was permissible because they wanted to discuss it under the same authorizing regulation. Simply, they decided which director duties they would actively participate and which they would intentionally ignore.


The former employee matter was continued to another future meeting but it should be noted that Emery Ross once again, later refused to hear the matter at the September 6th, 2012 Special Meeting citing personal reasons while walking out of the board room – but we’ll get to that later.]




Remember when Emery Ross at the beginning of his new term refused to attend a director training class sponsored by a California State approved water organization because he believed a quorum of directors participating in the training was a Brown Act Violation? He apparently learned nothing from Brown Act Training.


Good Heavens. What did Emery think? That these approved training organizations were operating some sort of “Sting Operation” to ensnare unsuspecting directors in Brown Act Violations?



Once again Mr. Ross has clearly illustrated his deceptive nature and penchant for misrepresenting the truth of a matter. The material in “Ross’s Board Packet” (which is also provided to ratepayer’s requesting such) in support for his calling a Special Meeting (with support from Directors Skoien and Kinsella) consisted of only one of his differing requests for such a meeting and only my second brief written denial to call a Special Meeting.



As you already know with the recent JLIMBOCKER ATTACK, the “rent a mob” is gearing up with the traditional unfounded accusations and personal insults which are intentionally designed to distract from the business of this district. Gee, wonder why?


There’s a lot going on right now (you wouldn’t believe it) but I’ll try to get back to Director Ross’s August 31st, 2012 Special Meeting farce as soon as possible. Later!




My best to you and yours, Lew


Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 2 minutes


• In answer to your question…..what did I think I saw in this photo?….and how did this image end up with the Hawk photos? Hey lew….answer that yourself. You are a very sick person and why would anyone care to see that? Is this your butt? Are you now going to expose your frontal side now too? I have found out a lot about you after the last board meeting….and it has not been good.

jlimbocker5 hours ago

• Your confusing comment exemplifies what I learned about you at the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Board of Directors meeting in La Grange, California as well. You consistently remain ignorant to facts then act accordingly with personal insults, rude behavior and spurious accusations. Please be advised there are numerous websites which could cater to your interest in male frontal nudity images, but I do not share your interest or participate in such, good hunting! Lew 🙂

lew9532921 minutes ago


Folks this is a perfect example of how some of the people around Lake Don Pedro seem to be stuck in a perpetual cycle of ignorance and self denial.

What is so bewildering is the tenacity with which they cling to their obvious stupidity and continually engage in disingenuous activities, all the while apparently oblivious to how foolish and hateful they appear to others.

I really do not understand JLIMBOCKER’s comment because anyone who would take the time to view the video would understand exactly what happened to produce that image. There’s nothing sinister, nasty, obscene or disrespectful there. Good Heavens!


JLIMBOCKER could not understand the video because?

1. They did not view it and only commented based on what someone else incorrectly told them (this is usually the case with gullible/ignorant people who will believe just about anything if that is what they want to hear)

2. They viewed it only up to the “mystery photo” and became so enraged (or excited) they couldn’t watch the rest

3. They cannot read and only looked at images (“BUTT” even then, there is the clear “OKAY photo” explaining the image – complete with a flashing arrow under the finger crease – what sort of idiot could misunderstand that?

4. They cannot discriminate between a finger and an apparent “human butt”

5. They may possess some physical, mental or psychological challenge preventing normal perception, cognitive interpretation, and truthful expression

Whether this ignorance can be explained by any of the above reasons, or something else entirely, it really doesn’t matter. Any author who writes about things they know nothing about in a public environment only provides a glimpse as to their basic intelligence, integrity, and honesty.

Shame on you JLIMBOCKER!

You are a malicious and ignorant individual who thrives on creating and perpetuating disinformation for your own warped personal interests. The thought of your proposed service to this LDPCSD Board of Directors is repugnant and illustrates exactly why this district continues to suffer – because of hateful people just like you.



OK, with that unpleasantness out of the way, for those of you brave enough to view a simple little humorous video that does not contain any indecent photos, images or videos, so as to understand what our resident crackpot know-it-all JLIMBOCKER is erroneously babbling to the world about, here’s the link:

My best to you and yours, Lew


Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 3 minutes
Don’t worry – I was nervous my first time too – that’s normal.  Scared I would accidently or negligently do the wrong thing.  Afraid one inattentive moment might launch into action a series of related events I could not control, much less desired. Anyway, it’s easy, here’s an example. You go to the original file <journal>, highlight, copy, then paste into this open blog format page in center screen. Between the verticle menu columns and under the top menu bar?  That area? Yeah, watch – I’ll show you with this attempted humorous analogy to an election I’m following in Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties. I’ll select and copy that junk just to show how it works, keep the dual screen active and follow what I will insert from my journal…..OKAY..     Watch, I’m inserting it now….3—–2—–1 – insert!
“And it is a beautiful day for a race folks, temperature is 82 degrees Fahrenheit, soft wind for the Northeast, partially cloudy skies, absolutely beautiful, contestants appear to be ready……final start check by officials – there’s the start! Look at those animals go! All have left their gates and are headed down track…..wait a minute……wait……”Cowboy’s Nightmare” has stalled outside the gate…..more like a chute from my vantage point if you ask me….what is this?  A race or a rodeo? Look at that animal buck, jump and kick! Doesn’t seem green broke!
Meanwhile on the track, the animals are closely packed and rounding the first quarter mark, no definitive leader to call right now.
GOOD HEAVENS! “Cowboy’s Nightmare” has jumped the track fence and is bucking out of control in center track field – look at the sod fly!
Wait, something is happening on the far side of the track… of the contestants appears to have dropped back from the group and is cantering behind  – now a trot, coming around to the first lap the pack is still tight. “Fillies’ Folly” noses past “Rustler’s Sidekick” but there is no clear leader — every time one animal makes headway it seems to fall back  thus allowing the others to catch up. Now it’s “Rustler’s Sidekick” and “Fillies’ Folly” –  “Fillies’ Folly” and “Rustler’s Sidekick”, impossible to tell who’s actually in the lead.
Still lagging behind the pack is “Russian Pride” relaxingly trotting across the finish line as one of the officially declared winners of this race. Coming around the first quarter turn track veteran “The Colonel” and “Just Concerned”, a newcomer to this race, appear neck and neck but pulling away from the others. “Just Concerned” inches out from “The Colonel”, now “The Colonel” breaks ahead of “Just Concerned”……
WHOA! “Cowboy’s Nightmare” has apparently broken a water line center field and a 30 foot geyser of water is soaking the area – – -look at that water!  Looks like a manmade lake out there.  Sod is being thrashed into slimey mud with the continuing antics of “Cowboy’s Nightmare”….what the heck is going on down there?
Look at that animal slipe and slide!   Now side stepping again and vigorously shaking it’s head from side to side, another countered side step, OH MY! “Cowboy’s Nightmare” is smashing through one of the track officials’ tents, look at those poor people run! Track and race officials, VIPS, even field maintenance personnel are scrambling to get out of the way of that out of control animal. I sure hope no one is seriously injured.
Back on the track, there still is no obvious leader between “The Colonel” and “Just Concerned” but they appear to be leading the rest of the pack. Hold on! Just receiving some information….. due to regulations of this year’s MEAT GRINDER 500 DERBY there may be some other contestants entering on the track very soon! Stay tuned to KLCR for more updates and keep a sharp eye for late contestants joining this race.
“Cowboy’s Nightmare” seems to have calmed down a bit and is snorting and prancing around in circles center field. Right turn, left turn, right turn…..WHOA! It’s suddenly loping off to the north, and kicking wildly again, something has obviously spooked this unrestrained animal again — it’s going crazy, look at that animal go! It’s kicking barrels, markers and track equipment everywhere—look at those people run! Poor souls.  Seems some sort of a Bronco Mustang was entered in a track race.  What is happening down there?  More on this race as information becomes available.”
See it is easy
Hey Lew why did the draft file disappear on the blog index heading?
The draft file HERE’S AN EXAMPLE – it’s gone. Just disappeared.  It was there a second ago then “poof” gone
Hang on……Dang it! I may have clicked PUBLISH instead of SAVE DRAFT! Give me a call, how do I remove this garbage from the website?
Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 6 minutes

<<<<< CAUTION >>>>>

Although my personal feelings about Emery’s documented past service and continuing counterproductive activities are obvious, I caution viewers to recognize the paramount issue at stake is:


My rudimentary and unskilled attempts at satirical cartoons and humorous imaginary analogous stories are only offered in hopes of stimulating thought as to a major reason why our CSD Board remains “dysfunctional” with clear examples of past abysmal leadership.


Fortunately the voters who participate in this November’s election for LDPCSD Directors are not in the dark as to what they might expect if any of the three incumbents are re-elected. Candidates, Bill Kinsella, Mark Skoien and Emery Ross have already demonstrated to the public exactly how they perceive and perform their duties as directors.

Simply put: they have a track record. Whether good or bad – there is little guess work required. Studying a past record of service is an excellent indicator of what to expect in the next four years if that individual is re-elected.


Mr. Ross continually attempts to make the business of this district a personal issue between the two of us because it does two things he requires:


a. Waiting for the 59th day of a 60 day time limit to appoint a director vacancy when only one applicant had originally applied – “look at me! Look at me! I’m ready to make the big decision!”

b. Despite the fact Ross has refused to adequately perform his share of routine director duties like preparation for meetings, consistent meeting attendance, participation in committees or even coming to the office to sign checks, he never-the-less attempted to gain a position on the SDRMA (Special District Risk Management Authority, basically our insurance carrier) Board of Directors and failing that, then ran for the Mariposa County District II Supervisor’s position, with which he (fortunately for every Mariposa County resident) was also unsuccessful.

Emery Ross appears fixated upon collecting as many officious sounding titles as possible without the skills or commitment to adequately perform the duties. What were his public comments about what a County Supervisor actually does: shake hands and hand out honoraria? If that is what he publically thinks about a County Supervisor’s position imagine how insignificant being a director on the LDPCSD Board must appear to him? Perhaps he needs titles to quench some sort of a self-validation thirst?


a. The “personally attacking others” gimmick provides Emery (or anyone else who imbibes in such activity) with an opportunity for escape when it dawns on him his position is illogical, unsupported by the facts, or just plain foolish.

b. When Mr. Ross does attend meetings he is often unprepared and asks ridiculous questions that were clearly answered in the board packet if studied.

c. His consistent and annoying mumbling in the background of CSD meetings or when attempting to answer a question is common place and not excluded from other venues. This evidently was the case at a Supervisor’s candidate night when Emery accused the moderator of interrupting his train of thought when she asked him to speak up so the audience could hear. Apparently he walked out of that meeting in a huff as well. Track record my friends. Track record. Evidently our resident “cowboy” (no offense intended to real cowboys) has a propensity for the “R – U – N – N – O – F – T” – from the movie Brother Where Art Thou with George Clooney.)


Following my first CLOSED SESSION MEETING, and in front of public attendees, just prior to starting the open portion of the meeting, Emery Ross marched up to the dais where I was seated and demanded my personal notes from the prior Closed Session. Not wanting to make a scene at the time and unsure if I had actually violated some obscure regulation I relinquished my personal handwritten notes.

As I later discovered (which is so often the case with the demands, accusations, and antics by Emery Ross), he had no idea what he was doing and this was confirmed through attorneys, Brown Act training professionals, and other experienced public officials. Emery does what Emery wants to do.

What could be worse? Well, in addition to the wrongful demand and confiscation of my personal property he also supposedly had my notes later destroyed. Having reconstructed them from memory after that meeting, I think I now understand why he objected and did such a thing.

[Another director was not required to produce and have destroyed her written material from that meeting. The material was supposedly destroyed by that director later at home.]

Simply, he was way off base in that Closed Session meeting and pontificating about things of which he had no experience, right, or duty. As is so typical with Emery, the meeting was quite dramatic. Without relaying the substance of the meeting I can tell you I felt as though I were in a high school locker room at halftime with the coach scribbling proposed plays on a dry board. I kid you not. Complete with identification of players, circles, X’s, lines with arrows, dashed lines, and notes ….. Emery was laying out his strategic game plan for District activities under his presidential leadership command.


When I was a child and upset about what another child may have said at school “GA GA”, my surrogate Grandmother who was actually my Mother’s Aunt, told me the magic word was “ignore”. She patiently explained the concept to me and how name calling by others can only hurt us if we allow it, but more importantly, by responding to the name caller we only give to them what they desperately desire – attention. How I wish she were still alive so I could further benefit from her 30 years of teaching experience in Sacramento many years ago.

I’ll tell you one thing for sure….. Old ”GA GA” was certainly strict and always prepared to teach. Taught me to read before I started school, but unfortunately, as a child I sometimes actually feared some of her visits because I knew it meant having to learn something, either that or my Mom and Dad would be subjected to a lecture on how they were too lenient in the areas of correction and punishment for otherwise minor childhood transgressions. YIKES!

GAGA: “In my day if a student acted like that in my classroom I would have taken the yardstick down from the chalkboard, marched them outside, and ……….”
CHILDHOOD LEW: “AHHHHHHH! – Mommy! GAGA is scaring me” LOL


The contention that Mr. Ross has failed to adequately (competently) discharge his duties as an elected official representing this CSD, and the ratepayers who must financially support the organization, is supported with the best evidence available – his own actions.

Mr. Ross has provided glimpses of his method of operation through verbal statements (recorded during public Board meetings), written materials (letters and memos [most] accompanied with signature along with many emails), along with numerous examples of his childish tantrums in public meetings which include walking out of meetings without participation.

You might recall Mr. Ross also once accused me of violating Federal Bio-Terrorism regulations by producing short educational videos for the public of non-sensitive district operations. He actually walked out of that meeting in protest as well. That didn’t make much sense because if I honestly believed for a nanosecond that another director was violating ANY REGULATIONS that could harm this district you wouldn’t be able to pry me out of my board seat …. I’d be watching them like a Hawk, documenting, and preparing to take corrective action.  I wouldn’t leave the boardroom and walk out into the parking lot.


Ignoring name calling on a school yard might be good advice for a child, but I don’t believe it applies to a public official who has consistently obstructed CSD progress while seemingly protecting his own special interest as an outside Merced Irrigation District Place of Use customer (two water meters) running a commercial cattle ranch with treated (Chlorinated) water intended for domestic residential consumption. (Outside MIDPOU customers represent less than 1% of the CSD’s customer base.)

Recall also that Mr. Ross approximately two years ago made statements and started a major investigation that bad water from the district may have harmed his and other outside MIDPOU livestock ranchers which was also proved to be unsupported with fact.


I personally believe Emery Ross’s:

PAST SERVICE to this district is part of the problem, not the solution;

INCOMPETENCY is clearly evidenced by his own words, written statements and public conduct; and

RE-ELECTION will only perpetuate board “dysfunction” for another four years.

Emery’s most recent August 31st Special Meeting comment that I was untruthful was the “last straw”. Voters must know before the November election exactly what this man has done, and will continue to do, regarding the future direction of this Community Services District.



I have reached the end of my patience with the infantile behavior, disingenuous conduct, and name calling by Emery Ross. Although not a candidate because I have two years left to serve on a four year term, this election is far too important to allow such utter nonsense to continue unchecked without accountability.

Emery Ross orchestrated and called that Special Meeting on August 31st (with support from Directors Skoien and Kinsella) which will be the starting point for the next positing. Until then,


My Best To You and Yours, Lew


PS: Please be advised “write in candidates” still have an opportunity to run for one of these director positions in November. I believe the starting date for this process was September 10th and ends October 23rd, but check with your respective County Elections Office for confirmation.


Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 2 minutes


I observed the above poster displayed outside the County Supervisor’s Board Room in Mariposa many months ago and was so intrigued with the message even took some photographs to remind myself as to the validity of the advertisement.  (Inside the entrance, looking towards the parking lot, on the short wall to the left of the glass doors.)

Unfortunately the positive contributions by people with a mental illness are often over shadowed or lost in the more memorable negative activities and atrocities committed by human beings. Random acts of kindness, compassion or even just unique perspectives/behavior considered “outside the box” are not as news worthy as the shocking, and sadly all too routine, examples of our inhumanity and disregard for each other.   But I digress.

Suffice it to say mental illness,  and/or the physical disabilities or challenges a person might possess are not valid reasons for dismissing any actual or proposed contribution. That is morally wrong, discriminatory, and often illegal.



Obviously, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of some mentally ill people in society does not necessarily suggest canvassing mental hospitals or halfway houses in search of candidates for public service positions in government.  Some might argue examples of legislation leaving Washington DC or Sacramento may already indicate the recruitment process is in full swing.   Lol

The sad truth of it all is that voters often have no concept or indication of what a candidate might do once they take that oath of office and begin their promised service to the public.   An individual can say one thing as a candidate, turn around and do exactly the opposite as an elected public official and there isn’t much the voters can do.

[Recall the example of stuccoing and installing a tile roof on a barn and painting it outlandish colors in defiance of the attorney’s simple recommendation of just painting it red?]


My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 2 minutes


Two halves of the new Lake Don Pedro Community Services District Administrative Office were delivered August 30, 2012 and temporarily placed near its future home at 9751 Merced Falls Road. Electrical wiring and underground piping issues still need to be resolved prior to permanent placement.
Administrative responsibilities have continued in the “old board room” during recovery efforts since the February 27th, 2012 fire which destroyed the original building.
Personnel difficulties continue to hamper the Community Services District and were clearly evidenced by the recent resignations of the Financial Administrator/Treasurer/Board Secretary and the Interim General Manager on August 3rd, and 10th, respectively. Community concerns regarding director micro-management of district business continue to plague board leadership while simultaneously supporting the past Grand Jury’s “dysfunctional” characterization of the board.
Three of the five directors who will serve on the board of directors for the next four years will be elected in November.  Current Directors Bill Kinsella, Mark Skoien and Emery Ross are seeking re-election.  Former CSD director Charels “Chuck” Day and local resident Dan Johnson have also entered the race for the three board positions.
During a Special Meeting on September 6th (required because Director Emery Ross and mark Skoien refused to discuss and decide an issue requested by the CSD attorney at an August 31st Special Meeting)  Ross once again refused to participate in a Closed Session Meeting citing personal reasons while walking out of the board room.
Ross repeatedly refused to answer questions posed by audience attendees or elaborate on his reasons for avoiding another scheduled meeting. Ross returned after the Closed Session deliberation for the adjournment of the Special Meeting.
An apparent unexcused absence from that same meeting by Director Bill Kinsella was further confused when attendees reportedly observed him driving by the CSD facility on Merced Falls Road multiple times during the Closed Session Meeting.
My best to you and yours, Lew
Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 1
Special Meeting of the Board of Directors
Lake Don Pedro Community Services District
9751 Merced Falls Road
Friday, August 31, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
Mission Statement: The LDPCSD is dedicated to providing potable water that either meets or exceeds all state and federal standards in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of our customers utilizing the most cost effective methods possible while still maintaining a sound financial plan now and for the future.
Per Government Code Section 54956, three LDPCSD Board members (Ross, Kinsella, Skoien) have called a special LDPCSD Board of Directors meeting for 1:00 PM on Friday, August 31, 2012, at the Board chambers of the Lake Don Pedro Community Services District, 9751 Merced Falls Road, La Grange, CA.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Presiding Officer: Establish Quorum, Pledge of Allegiance
a. Board Reorganization
Request – Election of President and possibly Vice-President.
b. FY 2013 Budget Adoption:
Request: Response to the Grand Jury Report
Per Government Code Section 61110(f), Adoption of Resolution 2012-7 to approve the 2013 Fiscal Year Budget with wages frozen at current levels pending further review by the new GM/IGM. The budget may be modified in the future. This action is a formality since on July 16, 2012, a special Board meeting was held with a duly noticed public hearing and presentation of the proposed FY 2012 budget.  The budget mirrors the budget in the voter-approved Prop 218 five-year plan.
Any Director may address the Board on any item of interest that is within the subject matter and jurisdiction of the District. Generally no discussion or comment by other Board members should be expected on non-agenda items, except to properly place the matter on a future agenda for review, discussion or action as appropriate.
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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors

Lake Don Pedro Community Services District

9751 Merced Falls Road


August 20, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.

Mission Statement: The LDPCSD is dedicated to providing potable water that either meets or exceeds all state and federal standards in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of our customers utilizing the most cost effective methods possible while still maintaining a sound financial plan now and for the future.


1. CALL TO ORDER: Presiding Officer: Establish Quorum, Pledge of Allegiance

2. PUBLIC COMMENT § 54954.3:

Any person may address the Board at this time on any matter within the jurisdiction of the Board that is NOT ON THE AGENDA. A maximum of three minutes is allowed each person and a maximum of 20 minutes per topic. Any person wishing to address the Board on an item ON THE AGENDA will be given the opportunity at that time. The Board Chair may apply reasonable restrictions, including time limits, on all public comments. Speakers are encouraged to consult District Management or Directors prior to agenda preparation regarding any District operation or responsibility, as no action will be taken on non-agenda issues. Generally no discussion or comment by the Board should be expected on non-agenda items, except to properly refer the matter for review of action as appropriate. Based upon §54957.9, in the event the meeting is willfully interrupted, the chair may order the room cleared and continue in session.

3. DISCUSSION / ACTION as to all items except those indicated as discussion only:

a. Presiding Officer’s Report:

b. Statement of Brown Act Compliance:

?Request: by Director Richardson –Board vote to affirm continued obedience to Brown Act

Meeting notice requirements despite State suspension of enforcement and/or reimbursement 

c. Dan Tynan Request:

?Request: by J. Turner – Verification of LDPCSD employment for the CDPH certificate

d. Hugh Martin Request to stop paying availability fee:

?Request: by Director Ross – consider a policy on requests of this type and a decision on

his request

e. Chief Plant Operator’s Report: R. Gilgo

Report includes the following:

•Chief Plant Operator’s Report

?Request: $1650.00 plus tax for repair of 2001 Chevy company truck

f. Treasurer’s Report: M. Avila

Report includes the following:

?Request – Approval, read, and file August Treasurer’s reports for reporting period July 2012

?Request – Approval, to pay legal bill

?Request – Approval, to pay Pinnacle bill

g. Consent Calendar #1:

?Request – Approve, read and file of the consent calendar

There are no minutes to present at this time

?Correspondence: CSDA Salary Survey:

?Request – Decision if the Board wants the District to participate in the Survey

Consent Calendar #2:

?Request – Read and file of the consent calendar

• There are no meeting minutes to present at this time

h. Substantial Water Loss:

?Request: by Director Richardson – Apparently approximately 7,480 +/- gallons of water in the last two months has been lost from an Outside MIDPOU water line which traverses private ranch property.  Access by CSD will be required to confirm line integrity, correct reason for loss, and prevent cross contamination to down line users. District engineers have confirmed there are no records of this line with the exception of an inquiry in 1982 by Wes Snyder of the feasibility of installing such. Propose an ad hoc committee to investigate matter (including process for creating a public utility easement for the LDPCSD to maintain the line) then report back to the board.

i.   GM/IGM Vacancy:

?Request: by Director Richardson – Circumstances of recent IGM resignation and options for vacancy: Request Board “vote of confidence” for John Turner to continue as GM / IGM with understanding any pending written complaints will be addressed appropriately

j. Authorization to Hire Licensed Operator:

?Request: by Director Ross – Consider authorizing the Chief Plant Operator to hire a qualified person with a minimum of a T-2, D-2 license as soon as possible.

k. Letter from Bruce Ramsden California Department of Public Health:

?Request: Information, Designation of Chief and Shift Operators

l. Recruitment of Financial Administrator:

?Request: by Director Ross – Consider actions to fill the vacant position of Financial Administrator, including advertising for the position.

m. Appointment of Treasurer:

?Request: by Director Ross –Consider alternatives for appointment of Treasurer

n.   Designation of Staff Responsibilities Pending Hiring of General Manager:

?Request: by Director Ross – Consider designating a CSD employee to be in charge of Operations and a CSD employee to be in charge of Administration pending hiring a GM

o. Grand Jury Response:

?Request: by Director Richardson / Director Ross – Options in light of IGM resignation

p. Board Reorganization:

?Request: by Director Ross – Board reorganization due to resignation of Board President

q. Appointment of Board Secretary:

?Request: by Director Ross – consider alternatives for appointment of Board Secretary


Any Director may address the Board on any item of interest that is within the subject matter and jurisdiction of the District. Generally no discussion or comment by other Board members should be expected on non-agenda items, except to properly place the matter on a future agenda for review, discussion or action as appropriate.


$&? $&? $&? $&?

Much has happened in the last few weeks and I have been very busy.  Some of the information I wanted to post immediately, but due to the continuing nature of some of the situations decided discretion a more prudent path for now.  Suffice it to say, if you can possibly make it to the August 20th 2012 Monday Board meeting, please do so.  I imagine it will be quite informative.

My best to you and yours, Lew

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Reading Time: 1

This morning (Monday, August 6th) at 0521hrs I was lucky enough to see the ISS (International Space Station) approaching from West North West (over the Modesto area) and heading towards Fresno. Although I haven’t kept up with the schedule, I was pretty sure what it was and later confirmed it online.

What was different about this viewing opportunity was that the morning light was behind the rapidly departing bright object and I could actually detect a physical object reflecting the morning sun that had not illuminated the earth in this region yet. (Of course the fact the telescope was still assembled and on the tripod with the correct lens sure helped!) Amazing! 230 miles up there orbiting the Earth.

Here’s some interesting information on the ISS:

Here’s the schedule to find the best viewing times in your location (Country/State/City):


For those of you interested, tonight at 2159hrs (9:59PM) you can get a great 6 minute view (open sky without vertical obstructions) of the ISS as it passes over Mariposa County again from WSW to NE with the maximum elevation being 44 degrees.

You can also track PROGRESS47P – 5 minutes at 8:48 PM (S to ENE) and then for 4 minutes at

10:24PM (W to N) but both passes are only 27 degrees at maximum elevation.

Here’s information on the Russian robot Progress program (re-supplies the space station).

Good viewing!

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Under the category of COMPUTERS, “unforgettable” would best describe mine.


You know how it goes up here in these foothills when it comes to the occasional power outage or fluctuation in current. A minor current fluctuation on Friday, July 27, 2012 was enough to trigger the computer’s surge protector and at the worst possible moment. A technician was remotely operating my computer and while transferring data from one location to another my system suddenly started to reboot. The oven, microwave and other electrical appliances that usually require resetting after such an event were unaffected.


[Anticipating the technician’s forthcoming comments, the computer owner; with eyes tightly closed in front of a blank computer screen; the open palms of his hands pressed tightly against his ears, is hunched over in the chair rocking in a fetal position slowly shaking his head side to side is softly repeating “no, no, no, no, no, ..….”]

Here’s something you never want to hear a computer technician say during such an incident: “Ah-ooo, that’s not good”, followed with a hesitant “you may have lost some data” and finally, the most terrifying inquiry of all – “when was your last complete backup?”

Needless to say, since Friday I have been throwing back up thumb drives and disks into the computer, reinstalling updates and even picked up some equipment that should have been purchased with the computer years ago: a convenient external hard drive and a surge protector with battery backup.

Fortunately, I take photos and video like I write…..way too much! Lol It’s not unusual to shoot many images in the attempt to get the “best one” and that’s fine, but the mistake I make is in keeping all the shots that were top contenders for the “best one”. Much of the data loss is a blessing in disguise. I tend to be a packrat and keep stuff with only a remote chance of it ever being utilized again.



Contrary to the rumor that candidates were not able to apply in Mariposa County due to some late paperwork from our District Office, Mariposa County Clerk Keith Williams assured me yesterday everything is ready for anyone interested in running for a position on the LDPCSD Board of Directors.


There is no doubt in my mind there are many people in this community that could be of great service to this district and their fellow neighbors. Folks who would just consider the facts and honestly make decisions based on what is best for our district and all ratepayers. Individuals with integrity who are not afraid to “do the right thing” despite pressure from the very same special interests which created many of our current lingering difficulties.


There are different versions of the following concept:

Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again receiving consistently undesirable results yet continuing the process in hopes of a different outcome.

This November the voting members of this district will decide which candidates will represent their interests. Some voters may not be aware of the serious issues affecting this district and might either fail to vote, vote solely by name recognition, or even just rely on the advice of someone else. Some may fear hurting a friend or acquaintance’s feelings by not actively supporting them for the position which is understandable but extremely dangerous since friendships have no bearing on an individual’s ability or integrity in representing public interests.

Please do not waste your time (as I have) in believing there must be some governmental department, agency or office that will swoop in and correct obvious problems because that responsibility essentially falls on the voters by virtue of who they elect to represent them.

Imagine this example: the District’s legal representation, based on regulations, specific legal training and experience recommends the District paint a wooden barn with traditional bright red paint, but for some reason, three out of five directors on the board ignore that advice and decide to stucco the barn, install a tile roof, and then paint the entire thing Turquoise with yellow stripes and pink poke-a-dots. What are the voters to do?

Sure, a recall might work but that takes time, organization and of course money, but mean while, what other ludicrous decisions and district policies might be made or created that are not in the public’s best interests?

Unfortunately, it’s like the anti-“whatever” campaigns …. The best way to quit is to never start.

This district is finally heading in the right direction with an experienced water professional as IGM and it would be a crying shame to see it revert back to the traditional chaos of micro-managing special interest directors.

This is your Community Services District – get involved – be the change you desire!

My best to you and yours, Lew

Categories: Uncategorized.