Letters to the Editor

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Feb. 13

cambrian@thetribunenews.comFebruary 13, 2014 

Share your ideas

The declaration of Cambria’s drought emergency should put an end to the blame game that we have been exposed to over the past year. Perhaps now, all Cambrians will direct their energy and ingenuity toward complying with the conservation measures that have been directed by Cambria Community Services District.

The implementation of the resolution of the Stage 3 water shortage emergency condition establishes that each residential customer is allotted two units per month (or four units per billing period). The bottom line is that a one-person household must average no more than 49 gallons of water per day; a two-person household, 98 gallons per day, in order not to be assessed penalties.

Each of our water meters can be used to figure out the number of gallons of water we use for big ticket items (dishwasher, washing machine, shower and toilet flush). One determined, we can take corrective action to reduce usage to maintain the mandatory guidelines directed by CCSD.

We do not want to be subjected to surcharges and fines nor face the possibility of having our water turned off.

Cambrians are a resilient group and can be expected to come up with water-saving ideas that, hopefully, they will be willing to share with the community by sending them to The Cambrian.

At one time Boston had another major league baseball team beside the Red Sox. The Braves played in Boston before they moved to Milwaukee and subsequently Atlanta. In 1948, two of the best pitchers for the Braves were Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain. They both pitched in a double header on Labor Day. This was followed by an off day and two days of rain.

The next time the Braves played Spahn and Sain pitched again, which lead to the saying “Spahn and Sain and pray for Rain.” This story is apropos to our water situation right now. Cambrians are resilient and will come up with ways to live within the guidelines directed by CCSD. Our saying will be “Cambrians will bear the pain and pray for rain.”

Ali & Mark Kramer


Pathetic display

Like a miracle and the answer to prayers, an inch of rain fell Feb. 2; I’d forgotten how wonderful real rain feels. However, don’t get too excited. That brought the season total to 2 inches. Last year, a second year of serious drought, our farm five miles east of town totaled 10 inches by Feb. 1.

Given the potentially dire consequences of little or no further rain (the forecast), I attended the Cambria Community Services District meeting on Jan. 30 to encourage the directors to put in place severe financial disincentives on water use to support their conservation strategy. This has been documented to be the only effective way to get many people to conserve.

And, I feel the directors took appropriate action. I just hope it is enough.

Nonetheless, I took away from the meeting disappointment (the least inflammatory word I could come up with) at the pathetic display of self-interest, lack of civility and absence of acknowledgement of gravity by a majority of speakers. The many Cambrians I know deserve better than this.

The board has shown appropriate restraint in giving nature a chance to resolve the situation before putting in place emergency measures. The staff did a fine job in putting together contingency plans to mitigate the effects of the drought. Yet, speaker after speak blew their personal whistle, much of it questionable history, while slamming the board and staff.

I guess some people just don’t get it. This is an emergency! That means you don’t get to use all the water you want once and throw it away. Will we get sufficient rain? Maybe; nonetheless, the community needs to come together. The conservation measures are reasonable and do not penalize anyone who complies.

And I can assure you the agricultural community will do everything possible to support the community. Plus, I happily believe these obstructive people don’t represent the majority view.

Mike Broadhurst


Let the grass go

I just read about the school district asking if it should spend money to buy water to keep the grass green on the playing fields. EMPHATICALLY NO!

In fact, I am wondering about the ethical use of non-potable water on my garden plants. The last I heard there is a severe shortage of all sorts of water, not simply the nice, clean, drinking water. Should we not reserve the non-potable water for fire fighting and agricultural use? The non-edible plants and flowers can all die for all I care. I need food to sustain life and agriculture needs water.

In my home we do not flush as often and the dish-rinsing water is saved to water the plants. I have not yet learned how to save the dish washer and washing machine water. There must be a way to do it and I will find out.

Bert Etling’s report of the CCSD meeting was quite interesting and informative but certainly not the final official report. I assume, and sincerely hope, that the CCSD will communicate with us via U.S. Mail and/or email to report the final decisions.

Alan S. Doctor


Why not change?

It’s all too obvious why, despite the numerous climate-related catastrophes we have experienced in the past few years (and continue to experience), global corporations and powerful individuals, in order to protect their own self-interests and profits, would deny that human activity is to blame, and do everything within their power to influence public opinion against anything that might undermine their bottom-line.

But why do otherwise responsible individuals continue to act as if human activity makes no difference?

Though one might attribute climate-change to God’s will, or cyclical anomalies, or fate or chance, still one might expect that a responsible individual would consider the POSSIBILITY that human activity is a contributing factor. We see the catastrophic results of human behavior in so many other fields, from economics to politics and religion. Why is climate-change considered so different?

Considering the possibilities — from lack of life-sustaining water to ever-increasingly destructive wildfires, not to mention the resulting societal violence and suffering from all these catastrophes — shouldn’t we, at the least, ACT AS IF our human activity affects climate-change, and change our habits, our profligate consumption, accordingly? 

Donald Archer


Clamp down on motels

The action of Cambria Community Services District to impose mandatory water restrictions with heavy penalties is needed, even if it is painful for residents already conserving water. But why are hotels exempt from these restrictions and penalties? If you are paying several hundred dollars a day for a room, you have no incentive to conserve water.

How do you impose mandatory restrictions on hotels? Require that all Jacuzzi tubs be turned off, hot tubs emptied, do not put water glasses or coffee makers in rooms, wash sheets and towels every three or four days (do not give the guest a choice), and put a notice in each room about why Cambria has these water restrictions.

In addition, a $25 to 50 per night water surcharge should be added to the bill. CCSD could use this room surcharge to fund water conservation measures in town, such as paying for porta-potties, more gray water storage tanks, rebates for toilet conversation kits such as the Fluidmaster Duo-Flush System which retrofits even low flow toilets into a dual flush system (low and ultra-low flush). All of this saves precious water.

While hotels may complain, if there is no water, there are no tourists. The pain should be shared by all of us and not just those of us who call Cambria home.

Charlotte Rogers


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