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Sewer opponents flock together 

With just three weeks remaining before the pivotal recall election in Los Osos, the Coalition for Voice, Vision and Choice convened Tuesday night to raise funds and awareness for its three CSD candidates, Chuck Cesena, John Fouche, and Steve Senet.

In an ongoing series of public politicking, this most recent installment of "Meet the Candidates" took place in conjunction with a fund-raising slide show, "Meet the Flockers," featuring innovative 3-D photography of the Morro Bay Estuary by Abe Perlstein. As move-the-sewer candidates mingled with voters, Perlstein packed the adjoining hall with a capacity crowd of about 40 viewers for his 7 p.m. showing.

Complete with a quirky narration by Perlstein and a '70s soundtrack of Neil Young and others, "Meet the Flockers" captivated the audience with up-close-and-personal shots of wildlife on the back bay and an underlying message of natural conservationism. While Perlstein's 3-D spectacle underscored the need to protect the sensitive habitat area that is Los Osos, it was at the same time a refreshing break from the unending onslaught of political sewer drama.

Even as the Tri-W site, directly across the street, was being leveled and prepared for construction, the opposition candidates appeared sanguine about the political climate.

"We feel we have a good share of support in the community; 70 percent, maybe more," Fouche estimated.

He seemed undaunted by the district's decision to move forward with construction, in what he called a "scorched-earth policy."

"Construction contracts all have termination clauses," Fouche stated, in reference to his commitment to halt construction if elected.

Cesena shared Fouche's optimism, explaining how he's ready to stop campaigning and get to work.

"I just want to be working on a project," Cesena said. "Anything but campaigning."

The general consensus among the evening's crowd, which included a number of supporters who'd already cast their vote by absentee ballot, was a hope that the Sept. 27 election would resolve some of the community's deep-seated divisiveness.

"I just hope it's a landslide one way or the other," said James Tkach, a concerned citizen in attendance. "I don't want to see any 49 to 51 percent. That would make my stomach hurt even more than it does now."

-J.H.

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