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Fwd: misleading photo in Nealon Park Irrigation Well staff report... a little more background

From: Mary Kuechler <mkuechler_at_(domain_name_was_removed)>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 12:28:15 -0800

Dear City Council Members,
I wanted to share with you an email I sent to the Parks & Recreation Commission. Thank you,
Mary Kuechler
535 Morey Drive

Begin forwarded message:
From: Mary Kuechler <mkuechler_at_mac.com>
Date: December 11, 2011 10:37:35 PM PST
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrewjkirkpatrick_at_yahoo.com>, Nick Naclerio <nnaclerio1_at_comcast.net>, Thomas Cecil <tcecil.menloparks_at_gmail.com>, Kelly Blythe <Kelly_at_csmarine.com>, Catherine Carlton <cc_at_catnbob.com>, James Cebrian <uofc2003_at_yahoo.com>, Jim Tooley <jtooley307_at_mac.com> Subject: misleading photo in Nealon Park Irrigation Well staff report... a little more background

Dear Kelly, Catherine, James, Thomas, Andrew, Nick and Jim,

Just thought I'd provide some additional background on Elizabeth Houck's email to you last Friday...

Pictures can indeed be worth the proverbial "thousand words" and anyone reviewing the report might look at that photo and make false assumptions about what is being proposed. That little cement slab in the photo is apparently 5x10' while the proposal is actually for a 30x10' fenced in structure. So, in fact SIX times larger than what the photo depicts? Any wonder why we citizens are sounding a little frustrated by the process here?

At the 11/3 Community Outreach meeting hosted by City Staff, a citizen specifically inquired about the inclusion of this photograph in the published FAQ's, and Staff affirmed that the photo did NOT depict what was being proposed to be built. So, why did they choose to continue to use an inaccurate photo in their report to you? (But as persuasive marketer, I'd use a photo to make you think this is just a "little" pipe, right?)

A glaring typo in the FAQ's was also pointed out at the 11/3 meeting as well -- one which stated that the pump used to power the well would use 45 watts. Of course, 45 watts is less than a standard light bulb... they meant 45,000 watts! Further questions were raised about the misleading use the map scales depicting Nealon and Lyle Park, and the overall point being made was that it's challenging for this project to be fairly evaluated when the public isn't given accurate information to assess. I know... it would be so much easier to get this project pushed through if the pesky citizens would stop asking questions and demanding accuracy.

The staff report states a "benefit" that this project could potentially work toward meeting City water reduction targets required by SBx7-7 (20% by 2020). FYI... Menlo Park has ALREADY met its 20% by 2020 goals. So, not really a benefit, since that goal is already achieved.

Another potential "benefit" is that this pipe might connect to a future recycled water system. One that doesn't exist, and that there's no money to build, so that's why we can't miss out on this opportunity to get SHGCC to build the first segment of it. Sounds like the High Speed Rail of water to me.

Additionally, our attempts to review any additional information and communications about the project (we filed a second Public Records Act request right after the 11/3 Community Outreach Meeting) have been unmet by the City.

This math on this deal just isn't adding up. Please tell City Council that a public park is not the venue for a project that so blatantly favors a private entity. City Staff identified 6 drilling sites in Nealon... what's to stop another heavy water using group to step forward to offer to pay for another well? Why does this report lack any alternatives? Astounding that this report offers no perspective on potential negatives? (wow... is the project THAT good?) Why isn't the #2 largest consumer of water in the City doing more to reduce their water usage rather than just seeking a new source for their desired 60 million gallons per year?

We, the citizens, are asking questions, but not getting answers. We look forward this Wednesday to hearing the questions you have to ask as well.

Mary Kuechler
535 Morey Drive

Begin forwarded message:

From: Elizabeth Houck <elhouck_at_gmail.com> Date: December 9, 2011 8:44:59 PM PST
To: "Lowe, Pam H" <phlowe_at_menlopark.org>, "Niņo, Ruben R" <rrnino_at_menlopark.org>, "Taylor, Charles W" <cwtaylor_at_menlopark.org>, Sandy Brundage <sbrundage_at_embarcaderopublishing.com>, Kelly_at_csmarine.com, uofc2003_at_yahoo.com, andrewjkirkpatrick_at_yahoo.com, tcecil.menloparks_at_gmail.com, jtooley307_at_mac.com, cc_at_catnbob.com, nnaclerio1_at_comcast.net, Kathy_at_schrenk.org, Christina.smolke_at_gmail.com, scott9039_at_sbcglobal.net, Kristin_at_stanfordalumni.org, alevin_at_alevin.com, mslomiak_at_comcast.net, daniel.kocher_at_att.net, city.council_at_menlopark.org Bcc: mkuechler_at_mac.com
Subject: Seriously, a photo of a 4 inch well? Really? Shame on you.

With all due respect, in reading over the Agenda for the P/Rec. meeting for next week, I was simply appalled at the photo of the well equipment included, page 5, Figure 4. It depicts a small footprint, 4 inch well and equipment, when you state the project is 12 inch pipe. How can you expect the community, the Parks and Environmental Commissions to grasp the full impact of both the 'footprint' and the 78,000,000 gallons of water it will pump with a photo of a four inch pipe? It calls in question the validity of the entire project when you present crap like that.

Let's put it in a different perspective - it's three times as big as what you show, not a little bigger, not twice as big, but three times as large. Only a few inches smaller than the BP Oil Leak pipe that spewed 200,000,000 Million Gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Why not err in the other direction and show a 36 inch well pipe and equipment, then say it's 12 inches. Oh, yeah, they don't make wells with 36 inch pipes. Certainly, with all the time and resources you have burned up on this project you ought to be able to depict the project with greater accuracy and thoroughness (It fails to even mention the pump house or air compressor pulling 45,000 watts and the associated noise.)

It calls in question the validity of the entire project when you present work like that.

Is this the best you can do? Shame on you.

Elizabeth Received on Mon Dec 12 2011 - 12:28:28 PST

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