Letters to the Editor

Cambrian Letters to the Editor May 8

cambrian@thetribunenews.comMay 8, 2014 

The pool in the county-operated Shamel Park in Cambria is only open during the summer. It will, after all, open this year in spite of drought conditions in Cambria. The water does not come the the Cambria Community Services District system, since the county has its own well near Shamel Park. Above, kids crowd the pool in 2004.

MERLE BASSETT — Special to The Cambrian

Truck water? No way

At the recent public Cambria Community Servicds District meeting during which the latest engineering report describing an emergency water plant was presented, one person suggested we could truck in water as an emergency measure rather than build a plant. The Cambrian reported that we used 336 acre-feet of water (51 acre-feet per month) last year during our dry period between May and October. It got me thinking about the cost of trucking in our water needs. I did the math and the results got my attention. 

An acre-foot contains 325,851 gallons of water. If we were able to limit our consumption to 51 acre-feet, we would use 16,618,851 gallons of water per month. A large capacity bulk container truck can bring in about 8,900 gallons in one delivery. This means it will require 1,868 water deliveries per month, or 62 deliveries per day. If it were possible to locate and hire the trucks and if we were able to find an accessible water source, what would it cost? I was not able to locate a truck fleet or pin down those costs. 

But, if a load of water, including the cost of water and delivery, were $300, the monthly cost would be $560,400. At $400, the monthly cost would be $747,200. That puts the six-month cost between $3.4 and $4.5 million. We have not started discussing the environmental costs of bringing in that many large trucks into Cambria daily. At the end of the six months, what would we have little to show for it? And, what do we do the next year we have a drought?

Art Chapman


Pool will open

Ethan McDowell’s letter about the swimming pool in Shamel Park (“Save the pool,” April 10) gave me hope for our future. What knowledge of conservation, science, and human need for exercise and recreation from an 8-year-old!

When I wrote to Mr. Curtis Black, the deputy director of parks for the county of San Luis Obispo, about Ethan’s concern, he informed me that the county had applied for an exemption from Cambria Community Services District water restrictions. 

Two weeks later Mr. Black passed along the good news. CCSD has approved the exemption and Shamel Park swimming pool will be open this summer.

I trust the county will check the pool’s shower heads for efficiency and will wash the cement around the pool only with a strong stream, water-saving nozzle.

Careful use of water can serve public health in special ways. Thank you, Ethan, for reminding us adults about that.

Elizabeth Bettenhausen


Save the forest

One of the saddest things about this drought is the potential to loose a good percentage of the pine forest that is the very essence and symbol of Cambria. If the solar-desal was in place and a final cost per acre-foot was established — my example was about $450 an acre-foot, but let’s say it is $500 to $600 per acre-foot — you could have a known price.

If you use over your water allocation units, then you would pay desal price. Lets say you have a couple of nice specimen trees on or near your property, you could give them a little help to just survive. We can’t save them all, but please save some of the nicer specimen trees.

As a point of comparison, farmers here in the valley that were paying $280 per acre-foot two years ago are now paying $400-plus and, in one extreme example, $1,300 PAF. Welcome to the new world of California water.

It will be a shame if the existing and future residents of this beautiful village cannot partner to help us all and save this magnificent forest that is Cambria’s symbol.

Pete Johnson


Plough strikes gold

To make it on “The Cover of Life” you know the story’s got to be something special — and it really is!

This new play at the Pewter Plough had us riveted to the edge of our seats.

The story unfolds as three very different female personalities are living together with their moth-in-law while their husbands are off to the war. 

The acting was very convincing. 

There were some very funny parts and some which were quite the opposite and filled with intense drama.

So get out to the playhouse — support our local talent and enjoy the show!

Gail McBride


Food drive Saturday

Saturday, May 10, marks the 22nd anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food drive.

Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face-to-face with a sad reality for too many, hunger.

So, each year on the second Saturday in may, letter carriers across the county collect on-perishable food donations from our customers.

These donations go directly to local food pantries to provide food to people in Cambria who need our help.

Las year, we collected over 74 million pounds of food nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people.

Over the course of its 21-year history, the drive has collected well over 1 billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S., Virgin Islands.

The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans — one in six — are unsure where their next meal is coming from.

Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school and nearly five million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes, often too embarrassed to ask for help.

Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.

By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 10, and your letter carrier will do the rest.

I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger.

Scott Colangelo


Letters must be signed (no pseudonyms), with the writer’s address and phone number for verification. Shorter letters (under 250 words) on local topics by local authors are published sooner. E-mail letters to cambrian@thetribunenews.com, mail to The Cambrian, 2442 Main Street, Cambria, CA 93428; or fax to 927-4708. Letters should be received at The Cambrian by noon Friday to be considered for publication the following Thursday. All submissions become the property of The Cambrian.

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