For sensible changeI’ve debated whether to spend time responding to Mr. Robinson’s letter to the editor in The Cambrian (Dec. 5, “For change? Really?”) and for reasons of clarity, have chosen to do so. (Mr. Robinson is the president of UNLOC, United Lot Owners of Cambria).
I’m not aware of who the “some calling for more studies” are, as mentioned by Mr. Robinson, unless he is referring to the Army Corps of Engineers, which is now asking Cambria Community Services District to pay for additional studies in order to complete the Enviromental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for an alternate supply of water. Maybe Mr. Robinson can enlighten us as to who the “some” he refers to are.
Cambrians for Change, far from not wanting to solve the water problem in Cambria, are actually making strides to help inform the community as to what efforts can be made to solve our never-ending water supply issues. (Before making assumptions about Cambrians for Change, Mr. Robinson should have reached out to actually find out what our mission is. He merely wonders why we don’t call ourselves “Cambrians Against Change.”)
By supporting “those who are there to bring water” (as referred to by Mr. Robinson), just exactly what have those in elected positions done in the last 12 years, since the moratorium was put in place? We seem to be no closer to a solution now than we have been in the past.
Mr. Robinson refers to CCSD boards going back to the mid-’90s, which are irrelevant. The CCSD has focused entirely on desalination as the alternative water supply for Cambria, to no avail. There are other options that should be investigated. (Yes, there are alternatives listed for the EIR/EIS from the Army Corps of Engineers — the question is: What and when?).
While we have experienced back-to-back years of drought, the CCSD board chose not to address any emergency water conservation programs addressing drought, until it was determined that we were in a Stage 3 Water Shortage Emergency Condition, shortly after the CCSD board passed an ordinance at its Aug. 22 meeting to approve the issuance of intent-to-serve letters.
What the CCSD has attempted to address in its pursuit of growth is conservation, through off-setting by banking retrofit points to allow for some growth. Other conservation measures include: offering residents low-flow shower heads, aerators, rebates on energy efficient toilets and washing machines, all of which are commendable and encouraging. The problem is, we have seen no reduction in the amount of water usage, other than due to a ban placed on landscape watering, which amounted to a 13 acre-foot reduction as described below.
Cambrians have stepped up to the plate by conserving to the point of actually reducing the amount of water consumed by 13 acre feet from September 2013 (65.41 AF) to October 2013 (52.42 AF). This was accomplished by a ban put in place by the CCSD on Sept. 20, to halt all watering of landscaping with potable water. (Cambrians, as we have been informed by the CCSD, are amongst some of the lowest water users in the state of California).
It is abundantly clear that Cambria does not have a supply of water for more growth. Many residents are saving water from showers and bathtubs to water their yards, flushing toilets only as needed; collecting water in containers from two outlets in town to water their yards; outdoor watering is restricted now to one day a week.
We have no idea how much rainfall this season will provide. This scenario does not bode well for current residents of Cambria, yet alone for any new growth. The bottom line is that we have been in a Water Code 350 Emergency since November 2001. Until an alternate supply of water has been provided, Cambrians are currently at risk of having a safe and reliable source of water delivered to them, which is the primary duty of CCSD to its residents.
The “study merry- go-round,” as Mr. Robinson refers to it, has been generated by the CCSD; study after study, after study — and where are we?
Cambrians for Change
Water for parkAre the architectural designers for the Cambria Community Park considering any way to help us conserve water? It would be great to see in the design a water catchment system.
I have seen these in other areas where an underground water catchment system is used. The rainwater catchment system can go directly under an area of the park and you wouldn't even know it was there. (Here is an example http://goo.gl/xcALbM.)
We have a very serious water shortage here and this would be a way before the park is built to start addressing this pressing issue.
Trees magnifiqueWe at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce were overwhelmed with the open-hearted generosity at the annual Festival of the Trees “Where Treetops Glisten.” Our entire community worked together to raise around $15,000 for local nonprofit organizations.
Imagine the thought, work and investment that go into the donor’s trees. Not only does the community provide the trees, most of the restaurants and local wineries donate to the fabulous array of food and wine that is served. In addition, community businesses graciously donate items for the silent auction of holiday gifts. Trees were auctioned by Jill Turnbow for an average of $500 with nonprofits including the Boy Scouts, Friends of Fiscalini Ranch, HART, the Cambria Food Bank and more receiving much needed funding.
A crew of hardworking volunteers manned the event after putting in countless hours during the preceding weeks. New this year was a panel of judges including Bert Etling, Renee Linn and Patricia Griffin, tasked with determining the best in several categories of rees. Every single tree was unique and wonderful.
Thank you to the generous donors, participants, volunteers and especially the people who came to support our local nonprofit organizations by attending this wonderful holiday event.
Mary Ann Carson, executive director
Cambria Chamber of Commerce
Guardian AngelsGive the gift of life, give a Guardian Angel Certificate for the holidays or any special occasion.
This certificate allows you to make a donation to the Homeless Animal Rescue Team’s Guardian Angel Fund as a special gift to someone. The lovely certificate announces your gift and thanks the recipient for helping save the life of a homeless animal.
These funds are used to cover extraordinary medical expenses for HART’s cats and kittens.
The certificates are available at HART’s Christmas Market booth at the Cambria Pines Lodge and at the HART shelter, 2638 Main St., Cambria.
Please call 927-7377 with any questions.
Thank you so much for any help you can give us!
Bonnie Ahlstrom, chairman
Guardian Angel Committee
‘Like a conversation’Belatedly, I want to add, publicly, my deep appreciation for John Brannon’s “My Turn” in your newspaper. As someone who has been on the wait list for over a quarter of a century, I always looked forward, first and foremost, to his commentaries on everything.
It was like he was having a conversation with you that was full of information and insight and a love for Cambria. I was sad when he stopped writing for The Cambrian and always hoped that he would return.
I know he is planning to leave Cambria and wish him well in this next chapter of his life.