Very Interesting. Mimi Kallard, President, SLO former Grand Jurors’ Association

sent via email to me, Jeanne Blackwell @ on Nov. 17, 2014, in response to Newsletter # 24, All Hands on Deck.


Mimi writes:
“Ask anyone who has served on the grand jury and they will tell you that sending 25 petitions to ask them for an investigation is exactly the wrong way to proceed.  This is the opposite of spectacular.  A civil grand jury does not respond to being bombarded with complaints. If anything, it will annoy the hell out of them.  Furthermore, grand juries do not respond to requests to hurry up.  They choose which complaints to investigate, and many are not taken up at all.  They have no obligation to respond.  You will not hear back from them one way or another.  I recommend that you go to the Superior Court website and read the section about the grand jury.



Mimi Kalland, President

SLO Former Grand Jurors’ Association”


My response:

Thank you Mimi for taking the time to educate me on my civic duty and what we can expect from a jury of our peers. It appears reprimand is well within your parameters and you can and will not hesitate to exercise that power.

Thank you for letting me know that the grand jury regards multiple complaints on a single subject matter as a reason to automatically dismiss every single person’s right to file a complaint.  It is important to know that you judge the complaints not by their content but rather by the mere fact that there are too many. And is 2 too many? What is that number Mimi and how are we to know which complaint, which person, triggers automatic dismissal?

It would appear you have no problem reprimanding as is very apparent by the air and tone of your message.  If I did not take my civic duty to alert a vested seated jury of my peers who have vowed to keep a watchful eye over the intent and behavior of our public officials to heart, I would find your message to be a warning, the consequences of which is condemnation and censuring of our actions.

Was that your intent Mimi?  Because I have to tell you that is exactly the impression I am getting from your message.

“A civil grand jury does not respond to being bombarded with complaints. If anything, it will annoy the hell out of them.”   This sounds like a warning to keep our concerns to ourselves lest it becomes an annoyance and inconvenience to those serving on our behalf.   It sounds like the grand jury regards  “too many complaints” as a nuisance and source of irritation that gives you reason enough to rule them “out of order.”

I was unaware that it is our duty and responsibility as citizens, when filing a complaint to insure that it does not cause you any inconvenience. Unaware also that we should be very cautious to make sure we do not exceed an arbitrarily decided upon number of complaints that would trigger an annoyance and therefore automatic dismissal of our concerns.

I think your message is very clear Mimi. You are discouraging your fellow citizens from participating in a basic fundamental principle of our democracy. A right to petition our government for redress of grievances. Our basic fundamental right to be heard and our concerns recognized and addressed in a civil and consistent manner.

We are taking our civic duty and expectations of what constitutes a fair, honest, efficiently run governing body very seriously. That is why we thought it prudent and vigilant and choose to contact the grand jury with the hopes that they, more than anyone, would take these concerns to heart as well they should. And the more people that become civic minded and involved in what is going on in their community the better. Spectacular.

Being reprimanded and berated for doing the right thing in alerting the grand jury to the belligerent and arrogant behavior of our elected officials who feel quite confident in arbitrarily disregarding the concerns of over 74,000 people does prove one thing.

You do have the power and authority to reprimand and can “hurry up” if so motivated. Seems the number of complaints to the grand jury did prompt a “hurry up” response as is indicated by you email.  So this same power and authority used to reprimand and censure the citizens could in fact be applied to the subjects of the complaint, The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Good to know Mimi. Thank you.

This is very useful information and I will do my very best to get this information out there. This is a matter of public interest. I find it encouraging.

Doing the right thing prevents unintended harm from occurring.  Filing a citizens complaint and seeking a remedy is the right thing to do. And everyone who has been harmed and is seeking a remedy has a right to file a complaint. Discouraging and threatening the citizenry from doing the right thing is wrong.

Using your power to discourage, with threats of reprisal to dismiss the right to be heard, is an abuse of power.  And ironically enough that is exactly what the complaint against the Board of Supervisors is all about.  The Board of Supervisor’s consistent and repeated failure to respond to the concerns of the people shows intent and knowledge of their power and the subsequent abuse thereof.

And I think more than anything your letter will serve as an inspiration for more people to do the right thing as a matter of honor and integrity and ‘bombardment’ the end result.

Since your email was sent to me in response to the newsletter I sent out I will make sure everyone on that list gets your letter.

As well as this response back to you.  That only seems fair and the right thing to do.

The only thing truth has to fear is concealment.

Thank you,


Jeanne Blackwell


Jeanne Blackwell

SLO Clean Water
The safety of the people is the supreme law. Bacon’s Max. in Reg. 12; Broom’s Max. 1.  Prevention is better than cure. Co. Litt. 304.














Newsletter #24 All Hands on Deck.

Update First:  Reskilling event an affair to remember. A tribute to the generosity and abundance of a community enriched by the simple act of sharing.


Well attended. A lot of interest in the Grand Jury Citizen complaint. Handed out 40 complaints and collected 60 more signatures on the petition. Took pics. I was going to post but a techno thing, something about initializing, scary stuff, kept coming up when I tried to download.  Another problem for another day.

Very proud to be part of this event and I think it has all the earmarks of being an annual celebration of the unique and diverse spirit that binds a community together.

Thank you Transition Towns. You done your community proud!!!
Now about the all hands on deck.


Two important things:


First: As of yesterday closing in on 25 complaints filed with the Grand Jury. That is really good.  WE are aiming for spectacular. Everyone that has signed the petition should file a complaint.
Since we presented the Board of Supervisors on May 20th with petitions signed by over 5,000 people calling for a countywide ban on Fracking and letters from 3 municipalities representing over 69,000 people and organization sign on letters with over 500 members that’s a total of over 74,000 people asking the Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide ban on Fracking.  A draft resolution was presented to them for their consideration.  The Board has never responded. It has been 6 months.


There was an agenda item on Sept 23 # 30 titled Report on hydraulic fracturing and staff recommendation. We attended in hopeful anticipation of a response to our petitions.

Much to our dismay and disappointment the subject matter was NOT a response to the petitioners.  Quite the opposite in fact.  It served as an invitation to the oil industry to make their case why the Board should approve the pending permits.

And to reintegrate the agenda item and staff report quite intentional and deliberately deleted any reference to the petitioners and the resolution. We regard these tactics by the Board to be unbecoming, lacking integrity and respect for the residents and citizens.
WE have repeatedly and respectfully asked the Board in public comment sessions to acknowledge and respond to the petitioners. They have ignored every request.


The Board is treating these petitions, sign on letters, official letters from municipalities as if they don’t matter and are of no consequence. And they don’t seem to care at all about our concerns and feel quite confident that there is nothing we can do about it.

That was a recap of why we are filing a citizens complaint against the SLO Board of Supervisors. The primary function of the grand jury is to examine all aspects of local government, ensuring that the county is being governed honestly and efficiently. Deliberating ignoring the concerns of the citizens and residents in their charge is not conductive to efficient and honest governing.


Citizen complaint to the Grand Jury is asking the Grand Jury to serve a notice on the Board of Supervisors instructing the Board to 1) answer the petitions and letters within 2 weeks of receiving the notice and at the same time 2) to put the resolution to adopt a countywide ban on all exempted enhanced, unconventional oil extraction process otherwise referred to as Hydraulic Fracturing in SLO county to a vote.

WE need to also ask the Grand Jury to please expedite our complaint and prioritize it for immediate action.  Otherwise they may wait until the end of the year to just include it in their report.


I have posted the complaint on the web site  SLO Clean Water Action. Org.  Right hand column.  Fill it out online, print, sign, put it a stamped envelope and mail it.  All the information and instructions are there.  It will take about 15 minutes, 20 minutes if you have to look for a stamp. Lets extend this get-the-complaint-to-the-Grand -Jury to Nov. 21.  Do it now and it’s a done deal.    That’s it.  We wait, but not for long, to hear back from the Grand Jury.

Thank you Lanny H for helping me set up the page.

Next very important call to action that needs our attention:


NIPOMO SPUR.  Like fracking the Spur expansion in Nipomo would adversely impact every community in San Luis Obispo. Trains, as many as 5 a day and over a mile and half long, carrying explosive, flammable, volatile and hazardous materials would come within feet of our schools, businesses, busy thoroughfares, open spaces, rivers, streams from Paso to Nipomo.  The trains have derailed, many in recent months.  It is always a major disaster and the impact on the community always devastating.




Like so many civic minded, caring, committed residents in SLO county another grassroots volunteer group, The Mesa Refinery Watch, has formed to insure we don’t get short changed and our concerns regarding this expansion are heard and documented. They follow and attend the tedious, confounding, public meetings, review the reports because we can’t always be there and someone has to do it.

Well, the time has come for us to all show up and get counted. According to the MRWG a very important, crucial meeting is taking place on Nov. 24 and the Board of Supervisors and Planning commission need to hear from us.  I trust MRWG knows what they are talking about when they say it is crucial and to contact the Board Now.

So here are the steps they have recommended we take right now.



Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors email addresses are listed below.  You can select them all at once and paste them into the BCC line (Blind Carbon Copy) with one command.


Here is the “Guide To Sending Emails & Letters In Opposition To The P66 Rail Terminal Project”

as provided by the MRWG (Mesa Refinery Watch Group) for “Derail the Spur”.

things to think about



Quanity counts.


Here are some talking points.


Has to be postmarked by no later than NOV. 24 that’s next Monday.


Ironic I think that we are all counting on the Board to extend us the courtesy of acknowledging and responding to these emails.  But they may choose to ignore us again as they have in the past. This is where our Grand Jury complaint comes in handy and serves everyone.  Forcing the Board to do its job and recognize our petitions would certainly extend such a notice to all groups expecting and entitled to the same courtesy.

We are all in this together AND Together we shall prevail. This flyer kind of says it all about what we are up against when it comes to oil. Whether its Oil tankers, Fracking oil wells, or oil Pipelines. It all stinks.


We don’t need no stinking pollution.



Now announcements and updates.


But first a correction.  I had neglected to include The Citizens Climate Lobby in the list of sign on organizations.  Sorry folks.


If you would like your organization to be included in the call for a countywide ban on Fracking sign on here.  I will make sure the Board gets it.
And really pleased and proud to announce Heidi Harmon is San Luis Obispo point person for SLO Clean Water Action. 



Mark Friday Nov. 21 5pm-9pm  on your calendar. You are all cordially invited to an Open House and Inauguration of 150-foot frieze at the SLO Grange created and choreographed by Ken Haggard and local artist Carol Paulson. It’s historical. And a real treat for history buffs as Ken will explain.  There will be light refreshments, mingle with the artists and topping off the evening with some music and a swinging dance floor. Just fun. Come on down.  Contact #  SLO Grange 805-543-0639.

All for now,






Is Fracking Safe?

According to Halliburton, one of the largest oil service companies in the world, if it were safe they would not need to be exempt from all the Federal Health and Safety Laws. Without the exemptions from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Superfund, National Environmental Policy Act, Toxic Release Inventory under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, it is safe to say compliance would be impossible and therefore not safe. This fact, however, is not enough to prevent fracking in our community. We need this fact in writing.




Again, according to Halliburton, and truth be told if they couldn’t escape compliance of all safety and health standards and didn’t get $41 billion a year in federal subsides it would cost them more money to produce a barrel of oil than they could ever make selling it.


They owe a debt of gratitude to all the taxpayers and lawmakers who made it possible to avoid the cost prohibitive health and safety laws and graciously assume all the burden and liability for damages and accidents that occur on a regular basis.


Is fracking good for the economy? If a good economy means investing in an industry that is totally dependent on freebies and never produces enough to sustain itself then fracking is golden.


If a good economy means investing in the future that is totally dependent on preserving and protecting the natural resources inherently sustainable and abundant then Fracking is an economical disaster.
Fact: Fracking is unsafe and dangerous.

Fact: Fracking operates as a deficit

Fact: Fracking is a loophole.

Loopholes are  flaws in the law. Prevention is a cure. Disallowing the transgression is to say whomsoever owns the transgression owns the cure.


Now take those facts and make it a law. Therefore, all gas and oil entities currently enjoying exempted status under the Halliburton Loophole are hereby barred from exercising those transgression within the jurisdiction of San Luis Obispo County. Loophole closed. Rights and protections restored.


We need a law to cite a violation in order to  impose a penalty. The loophole in the Energy Act of 2005 pardoned all crimes committed by the gas and oil industry before they were even committed and violated and forced us to waive our legal, lawful rights under those Laws.


Sometimes bad and corrupt things happen to the lawmaking process  that inflict pains and penalties on innocent people and that is why we have laws that recognize the people’s right to protect themselves against bullies, thieves and liars that can hold our local, State and Federal lawmakers hostage.

That’s why we can ban fracking in our community with a local ordinance and continue to enjoy unencumbered the safety and health we have come to depend and rely for our well being.

Sometime we have to take the law into our own hand and close up those loopholes ourselves. Sometimes we have to show the lawmakers how to do it and to not be afraid.

Sure feels like that sometime is now.


Grand Jury Citizen Complaint Form

Citizen Complaint Forms



Form cannot be submitted on-line or e-mailed.

Please print form and mail to:

San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury
P.O. Box 4910
San Luis Obispo, Ca 93403

or fax to 805-781-1156.


Newsletter # 23(a) Grand Jury Complaint Form

Newsletter # 23(a) Grand Jury Complaint Form

Dear concerned, frustrated, time deprived, caring, loving, people, (Does that just about cover everybody?)

Please take the little extra time it is going to take to print, fill out and snail mail the complaint form against our Board of Supervisors to the Grand Jury.

Let me tell you why I think this is so important. First, as far as I know this kind of class action complaint, filed with a Grand Jury against an entire sitting Board of Supervisors, has never been done before. So, in all honesty I have no idea what is going to happen.

What I do know is that the request is well within their guild lines and power to do. Just because it has never been done before does not mean it can’t be done. And maybe they just need to be asked so they can do it.

There seems to be a trend amongst elected officials of late to systematically dismiss and disregard citizens concerns that don’t necessarily agree with their ‘private’ agendas.


They seem to feel quite confident that there is little we can do to make them listen to us. And that generally seems to be true and contributes greatly to our frustration and eventual malaise of the whole process. We are very familiar with what doesn’t work.   We need to find something that does work.

So, This complaint is taking our frustration to a different level and if it works and the Grand Jury shares our frustration that is going to be a great relief.  If it doesn’t then we just chalk it up as nothing ventured nothing gained and move on.

So, I have included some talking points below and honest to goodness your own words are going to be the best.

We are in Action Mode and intent on getting the Board of Supervisors to be true to their word. In their own words they have pledged to:

  •  “We are dedicated to high ethical and moral standards and uncompromising honesty in our dealings with the public and each other.
  • We behave in a consistent manner with open, truthful communication, respecting commitments and being true to our word.
  • We work cooperatively within and between departments and the public to address issues and achieve results
  • We provide timely, accurate and complete information to each other and those we serve.
  • We consistently treat customers, each other, the County, and the resources entrusted to us with respect and honesty.


On May 9th, 5 months ago, this community presented to the Board of Supervisors petitions signed by Students Against Fracking, Farmers against Fracking, Businesses against Fracking, residents and  tourists from around the State, country and world calling on our Board to adopt a countrywide ban on Hydraulic Fracking.


There were over 5,000 signatures. Three municipalities on behalf of their residents who would be adversely impacted by a highly industrialized and controversial oil extraction process,

San Luis Obispo

​ representing over 45,000, ​

Arroyo Grande

​ representing over 17,000​

Cambria Community Service District

​ representing over 6,000​

Los Osos Community Service District



also submitted an official request to the Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide prohibition on Hydraulic Fracturing.  That’s over 87,000 people in this community that are calling on the Board of Supervisors to do their job and protect this community from the proven unsafe, unhealthy, risky and extremely dangerous oil extraction process known as fracking.

In addition a list of organizations who on behalf of their members called on the Board to adopt a countywide prohibition on Hydraulic Fracturing to include all exempted gas and oil extraction processes.

Bob Banner – Hope Dance

People of Faith for Justice

SLO Grange 639

Arroyo Clean Water Advocates

Terra Madre Foundation

Sierra Club Nuclear Free Campaign

In the interest of saving staff time and taxpayers money a draft of a resolution to adopt a countywide ban using the Boards own words as part of the resolution;    “protecting our natural resources, striving to ensure all people in the community enjoy a healthy, successful and productive lives — have a sense of security and well being and creates an environment that encourages respect for all people”  was delivered to the Board for their immediate consideration.

Our repeated request to the Board to acknowledge and respond to:  a) the petitioners, member organizations request for a countywide ban on Fracking and b) calling for a vote by members of the Board on the resolution, has only been answered by repeated silence.

Therefore, we are calling on the Grand Jury, a jury of our peers seated by citizens whose primary function is to examine all aspects of local government, ensuring that the county is being governed honestly and efficiently and charged and sworn to investigate or inquire into county matters of civil concern.


Our concern is the Board of Supervisors is not functioning true to its word, has not addressed our grave concerns about the clear and present danger to our health, safety and well being in an open, truthful, respectful and timely manner.

Time is of the essence since it is also the Board who will vote on the pending drilling permits and it could very well take place before we the people and petitioners have been dutifully and respectfully acknowledged and recognized.

We, therefore are calling on the Grand Jury to investigate this manner.   We would regard a notice from the Grand Jury instructing the Board of Supervisor to respond to the petitioners, organization members and the resolution no later than the 2nd scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting following the notice, as a resolution and remedy to our complaint.


We would also respectfully request given the nature of this complaint to be time sensitive that the Grand Jury please expedite the investigation and serve notice on the Board upon completion of the investigation. We are aware that this request may be a little out of the ordinary however, still well within its power and jurisdiction.


Here’s the form. Please fill it out today.  It is important.  Email me back when you have sent it. Will keep you posted on the results. There are over 400 people on this email list. It is fair to send this to your email lists and get everyone involved in this action. All complaint forms in by the end of next week. Please. I will send one other reminder.


P.S. The Grand Jury is a sanctuary of sorts for the citizens of a community. Everything the Grand Jury does is confidential. There can be no special interest to invade or intrude on this complaint process or inflict undue influence. ​

This is strictly a process between us and our elected officials. Money does not have a voice there. Yet.

​ ​


Citizen Complaint Forms



Form cannot be submitted on-line or e-mailed.

Print form and mail to:

San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury
P.O. Box 4910
San Luis Obispo, Ca 93403

or fax to 805-781-1156.

Display a printer-friendly version of this page.

And one last thing






​ ​A little civics 101 ​

​ ​Jeanne

Newsletter #23 Election and Fracking results

Denton, deep in the heart of Texas where Fracking began, took their town back and beat the oil companies to a pulp. That’s a first for Texas.  8 towns in Ohio passed mandates to limit and punish criminal fossil fuel extraction processes.

The worst ever Statewide ban on fracking in Ohio, California is a close second, prompted 8 local municipalities to take the law into their own hands and showed the State how to do it. They ban fracking in their communities. They are armed and ready. Let the lawsuits begin.


The People in Mendocino County washed their hands of greasy money and passed an ordinance that kept the frackers out of their county.


San Benito County residents heavily supported Measure J, overcoming the oil industry’s well-funded opposition campaign. They were up against  Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and other oil giants writing checks, the opposition outspent Measure J supporters 15-1 during the campaign.


Money may be able to talk but we don’t have to listen.   People in San Benito showed how you can disarm and disable the noisy money machine. You just tune it out. Turn it off. Pull the plug. Nothing will bankrupt a money industry faster then people just refusing to buy whatever it is money is hyping.

Santa Barbara Measure P and the Water Guardians can stand tall and proud and hold their heads high. They held their ground and even though they could not plant the flag of victory either could the oil companies.  Oil companies didn’t win anything.  They were on the defense from the beginning and were only able to temporarily slow down a force that cannot be denied.

Have you ever noticed the oil companies don’t ever try to get a local ordinance passed to legalize fracking? They are always on the defense trying to stop it from being criminalized. I wonder why that is?  So, fracking is still not legal and the Water Guardians are still not going anywhere.

Santa Barbara is their home and standing guard and protecting their home front is more than the oil companies can say about what they are doing there.   There is no doubt in my mind who has more at stake and will prevail.

Does anyone really have to wonder about the intentions of an army of volunteers and the intentions of a gang of mercenaries?  This is a no brainer.  Volunteers do it for love and mercenaries do it for money. Money is fickle and cowardly and love is forever.  Now who do you think is going to win this war?

San Jose Mercury on San Benito win
Denton tx

Denton is just one more example where citizens tried to work with the local authorities and play by the rules and got hoodwinked and bamboozled every step of the way and finally said enough is enough and wrote their own ordinance.

These local ordinances prohibit rogue, belligerent, industries operating outside of the law, from setting up shop in the community.

Loopholes deliberately written into to the law are escape clauses for special interest providing them escape from prosecution and fiscal responsibility for damages. Loopholes are an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules. A local ordinance requiring the special interest to meet all the standards and requirements set forth in the laws would close up that loophole.

Oil and gas companies have refused to comply with The Safe Drinking Water Act, which protects above and underground water sources from toxic chemicals used during the oil extraction process.  Because of the loopholes if any water sources above or below the ground accidentally comes in contact with the toxic extraction fluids during drilling and there have been many documented cases of this happening, the rogue industry operating independent of the law, is not liable for any damages.  That’s a loophole.

A local ordinance prohibiting exempted fossil fuel extraction companies from operating within our jurisdiction is closing up the loophole.

Oil industry refuses to comply with The Clean Air Act that prohibits release of Hydrogen Sulfide and other known to be harmful chemicals into the air. Their refusal is condoned and sanctioned by the lead agency, in our case, the Board of Supervisors.

Loopholes make it impossible for a governing board to act to prevent and punish wrongdoing when there are no clear and concise lines of wrongdoing.  A local ordinance prohibiting any exempted fossil fuel extraction process​ from doing business within our jurisdiction closes up the loopholes.

Oil and gas industry refuses to comply with the Clean Water Act which leaves streams, rivers, surface water unprotected from sediment run-off, spills and leaks from well pads, pipelines, drill rigs, ponds, storage containers and other infrastructure. Their refusal to comply jeopardizes our sense of a safe and healthy environment and threatens the integrity and well being of our water supply.

A local ordinance that requires compliance with the Clean Water Act would close that loophole and insure our safety and well being.


Regulations serve no useful purpose in the prevention of accidents. Regulations do not make toxic chemicals safe. PG&E was in violation of 3,700 regulations at the time of San Bruno disaster. 8 people died and billions of dollars in damages. PG&E is denying culpability and responsibility. They can do that because of loopholes.

We are closing up the loopholes.  Grand Jury complaint form against the Board of Supervisors to follow this newsletter.

And just one more thing about this election and saving the best for last.  How fortunate and blessed we are that people with honor and integrity, power of their convictions choose to represent us?  Thank you Heidi Harmon. You did your community so proud. Your clarity, your demeanor, your class, style and substance so resonated and reverberated sincerity and trust.  Just what this country needs.  Abe Lincoln tried 8 times to get elected to Congress. Then he became President. 

Thank you Heidi and to your beautiful family for doing what needs doing and getting it done. Cheers and Kudos dear heart.