Do it the right way
There is a right way and a wrong way to execute a project. The right way is to decide what is needed and tentatively design the project. Then the Cambria Community Services District should present its proposal to, and work with, the various county and state agencies that issue permits to build the project.
CCSD directors decided, however, to super rush the desalination project. An engineering firm was hired through a no-bid contract and instructed to start building the project without the approval of state agencies (including the Coastal Commission) despite the fact that state agencies have expressed concerns about environmental impacts the project would have in written comments provided to the CCSD in July.
Because of the difficulty in financing a project whose final product and price tag are unknown, the best loan the district could get to build the project was an “installment sales agreement” with a bank whose parent company is generally unknown, a loan totaling over $13 million including interest. In this agreement, the bank may repossess the facility if a payment is more than three days late. Prepayment penalties are steep for 10 years, and future financing will be very difficult to obtain. A municipal bond would not have caused these problems.
In my opinion, the rush to build this project was, at least in part, inspired by the prospect of dropping the Stage 3 emergency and allowing the board to issue intent to serve letters. The irony of the board’s actions is that we may not get to use the plant and be on the hook for $13 million. Businesses, lot owners on the wait list and residential customers will be out of luck.
In celebration of art and the “Cat As Trophy (Winner) Catastrophe,” this timely story from “Zen Flesh, Zen Bones”:
Sozan, a Chinese Zen Master was asked by a student, “What is the most valuable thing in the world?”
The master replied, “The head of a dead cat.”
“Why is the head of a dead cat the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student.
Sozan replied, “Because no one can name its price.”
Congratulations to the judges and the winners of the 927 Art Show. Peace!
Kathe Tanner’s front-page article in the Cambrian Aug. 7 concerning the CSD loan agreement for the water project once again reflected her biased reporting on the water issues faced by Cambria. As is her style, she sets a negative tone beginning with the first paragraph by using misleading data, exaggeration, misstatement of facts, stacking dissenting statements early in articles and giving the group of constant protesters a much larger voice than their extremely small percentage of Cambria’s population would justify. Later corrections/retractions do not undo the negative perceptions already established by these techniques.
While the business model of your newspaper understandably puts pressure on you to sell as many papers as possible, I don’t believe the needs of this community are well served by this unprofessional, biased, exaggerated form of journalism. If Ms. Tanner feels the need to express her personal feelings on issues regarding water in Cambria, perhaps she should confine them to the Opinion column.
Cambria needs to have a rational, civil discourse about the challenges we face without the hyperbole and malicious rhetoric that have characterized recent interactions. A more professional level of journalism might help to further this goal.
Cambria Scarecrow Workshop coordinator Diana Gorman-Teetzel and workshop instructor Michele Sherman would like to extend their sincerest thanks to those who volunteered their time and talent to make the 2014 Scarecrow Workshops possible:
Tish Rogers, Richard Smith, Sheri Parisian, Walt Andrus, Cindy Bitto, Cindy Krist, Marianne Okamura, Susan Oberholtzer, Gil Eastman, Brooks Lawrence, Maelika Lacy and Taylor Hilden. Also the CUHS Interact Volunteers: Vicente Cueva, Sam MacKinnon, N. Hernandez, Kat Cleave and Priscilla Mendoza.
Volunteers please take a bow!
Work to be done
Aug. 26 is Women’s Equality Day. On this day in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was enacted and American women gained the right to vote in federal elections. Significant progress has been made in the subsequent 94 years.
Women are now active in all spheres of American life, from education and the arts to business, science and the military. Yet issues remain that demand our continued attention and dedication to making things better. We must continue to be vigilant, working to protect the right to vote from efforts to restrict it.
Equal pay for equal work, parental leave for working mothers and fathers, equal access to health services for women, protection for women against sexual assault and harassment are all areas where work needs to be done to ensure women’s equality. As we celebrate the right to vote, the League of Women Voters urges all citizens — men as well as women — to study the issues and become involved in the public debate and democratic process that is so important to all our lives.
Equal treatment and equal protection for women in the workplace, at home, and in society at large are essential to ensure a better life for all Americans.
President, League of Women Voters of San Luis Obispo County