State Parks may take over marine area
T he waters up to a half-mile offshore of some North Coast lands could go under new management and get a new name and classification, if State Parks Commission members agree with advice given by a local group of stakeholders.
State Parks will hold a public workshop in Cambria on Thursday, July 1, to talk about taking charge of the Cambria State Marine Conservation Area, currently managed by the state Department of Fish and Game.
The conservation area, approved by the commission is 2007, runs from the southern boundary of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve to approximately Pico Creek.
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The meeting is to begin at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.
The commission also could agree to reclassify the ocean area as a state marine park and rename it.
Kevin Fleming, a senior environmental scientist for State Parks, said if the changes are approved, the public likely won’t notice any differences. Commercial fishing still will be banned; recreational fishing will be allowed.
A copy of the 192-page final environmental impact report (EIR) for Central Coast marine protected areas is online at www.dfg.ca. gov/mlpa/pdfs/feir0307 . pdf. For details or to submit written comments or suggested park names, contact Fleming at (916) 651-6940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCAC discusses role in desal debate
There won’t be a dedicated time at each North Coast Advisory Council monthly meeting for people to speak out pro or con about Cambria’s planned desalination project.
The council defeated on a tie vote June 16 a motion that would have provided such a comment period each month. Comments on desalination may still be made during each meeting’s regular 15-minute public comment period.
The council considers North Coast projects and issues within county jurisdiction, such as land use, roads and zoning, and then advises Supervisor Bruce Gibson and other county officials about those topics and how community members feel about them. Desalination currently doesn’t fall under county jurisdiction.
Current work toward Cambria’s proposed desalination project is being done by the Army Corps of Engineers, and is being guided by federal, rather than state or county, regulations.
The council opted to leave decisions on who should speak on desalination and for how long to Chairwoman Joyce Renshaw, who would base her decisions on how many people wanted to talk about that topic during the general comment period at any given meeting.
The council gave her a rough guideline of devoting no more than half the comment period to desalination, with testimony balanced pro and con if each side is represented by someone who wants to speak.
In other business, the council appointed new members Marjorie Sewell (Area 3) and Gail Robinette (Area 3 alternate).
Renshaw said the council likely will approve next month adding Mac Van Duzer (Area 8 representative) and Laurel Stewart (environmental alternate) whose paperwork still wasn’t complete at the June 16 meeting.
The council still needs alternates to represent business interests, Latino/Hispanic issues and Area 5, which is roughly the area between Highway 1 and Main Street.
For area boundaries and details on the council, go to www.northcoastadvisorycouncil.org.
School board budget meeting Wednesday
School-district trustees soon will consider items as diverse as their 2010-2011 budget, the next contract for Superintendent Chris Adams and accepting nearly $54,000 in donations.
Coast Unified School District trustees are to meet starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at the district office in the Old Grammar School, 1350 Main St.
At press deadline, it wasn’t known if board President Robert Gong would attend. Gong is recovering from a heart attack June 4. As of Monday, June 21, he was back at his medical practice office “very part time,” according to a staff member.
Because of a computer crash in the finance department, updated budget figures were not available at press time. Neither was the superintendent’s new contract.
The 2009-2010 budget was about $10.5 million.
In May, Adams said at a budget workshop that, despite the state’s dire budget forecasts, falling North Coast property-tax levels and a possible reduction of about $954,000 in the district’s state funding for the 2010-2011 school year, he didn’t anticipate cutting staff levels or programs or increasing class sizes appreciably.
For details on other items on the June 30 meeting, go to www.coastusd.org.
Fishing Club hosts annual meal Saturday
The Cambria Fishing Club hosts its annual Fish Fry Fundraiser on Saturday, June 26, at the Joslyn Recreation Center, 950 Main St.
The menu includes beer-battered cod, scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, garlic bread, coffee, wine, punch and desserts.
Take out dinners are offered from 4 to 6 p.m. for $12; dine-in meals will be served from 7 to 9 p.m. for $15 per person.
There will be a 50/50 drawing during the sit-down dinner.
Tickets are available at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., and at the center.
For more information, call 927-3364 bewteen 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays.
Applications taken for Head Start
To get a child of 3 to 5 years of age in line to join the 2010-2011 Head Start program in Cambria, parents must submit applications by July 10 to the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County.
The bilingual program is designed to prepare young children for school, increasing their vocabularies, math and science skills, problem-solving skills and abilities to interact with teachers and other students. Low-income families are given priority.
The center is on the grounds of Coast Union High School, 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Road.
According to Ana Mathis, who helps coordinate the program, enrollment applications should include verification of the family’s income for the last 12 months, the child’s birth certificate, immunization record and, if applicable, medical insurance card or Medi-Cal documents.
The Cambria program accepts applications year-round and maintains a waiting list, so Mathis didn’t yet know June 17 if there would be any vacancies in the all-day Cambria program, which can accommodate 20 children at a time. But applications not accepted now could be later in the year, she said, as youngsters drop out of the program or families move out of the area.
Head Start reserves 10 percent of its enrollment for children with disabilities.
About 1 in 20 fail to clear vacant lots
About 1,750 vacant Cambria properties were cleared of weeds, brush and the limbs and trunks of fallen trees by the June 15 deadline, according to Cambria Fire Department records. That leaves 104
properties — almost 6 percent— where owners didn’t meet the weed-abatement deadline, so they’ll pay the tab on their 2011 tax bills after a contractor does the work for them.
That number is up from last year’s total of 94, but down from the average of from 150 to 350 lots typically on the list.
The Cambria Community Services District mailed notifications to about 1,858 properties on April 10. Inspections began June 16.
Greenery dries out during hot summer and fall months and can become a fire hazard. Firefighters say that an abundance of fallen trees this year make it more difficult to fight fires safely.
Mike Rice Forest, Yard &Garden Landscapes is doing the lot clearing this year under a contract with the Cambria Community Services District.
As part of an increased focus on conserving special trees, bushes and other plants that are not to be removed or cut on each property, flagging is placed on native and other species that are to be protected. Rice is to take photos of each lot before the work is done and after it’s completed.
The district administers the program and adds a $400 fee to Rice’s charges for clearing each parcel. —Kathe Tanner
Coast Classic Bike Ride on Saturday
The San Luis Obispo County YMCA will host the 10th Annual Gene Cerise Memorial Country Coast Classic Bike Ride on Saturday, June 26. For details, go to www.countrycoastclassic.org.Entry fees for the rides are: 25- mile ($40.00), 50-mile ($45.00) and 100-mile ($50.00).