Lane closed, but Highway 1 still open
T he southbound lane of Highway 1 south of Lucia on Big Sur’s south coast is closed, but the road remains open, Caltrans announced Monday, Feb. 8.
About 200 feet of the lane has been blocked off due to storm-related damage to the shoulder of the highway, the agency reports, but the northbound lane remains open and stop signs have been put up at both ends to allow motorists to take turns using the single lane. Lucia is about 49
miles north of Cambria. Motorists may also encounter delays a mile north of Ragged Point Inn, about 24 miles north of Cambria, where drain construction has resumed; about 31 miles north of Cambria, where work continues to repair a section of fill washed out by heavy surf; and about 45 miles north of Cambria, where a signal light controls traffic 24 hours a day at Pitkin’s Curve.
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For updates, call the toll-free Big Sur highway hot-line at (888) 836-0866. — Staff
Bank was closed, door was open
A customer set off an alarm after walking into the Cambria branch of Bank of America on Saturday morning, Feb. 6, only to find it was closed, the Sheriff’s Department confirmed.
At 9:15 a.m., the customer— whose identity was not disclosed — triggered an interior motion alarm after entering the branch, department
spokesman Rob Bryn said. Deputies—who observers said arrived with guns drawn, surrounding the bank — confirmed that the door was left open, but there was no damage or crime, he added. They stood by until a bank official arrived to close up the branch, Bryn said.
Deputy spots smoke, douses Dumpster fire
A Cambria medical building is scorched but still in place, thanks to quick action by a resident Sheriff’s deputy and fire crews.
Senior Deputy Todd Steeb was on foot patrol along Burton Drive about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, when he spotted smoke just east of the Chevron station at the corner of Main Street and Burton Drive.
Quickly driving to 2150 Main St., Steeb found a large trash container ablaze in a basement parking alcove. The deputy used his car’s fire extinguisher to start dousing the flames.
Firefighters removed some siding and extinguished the rest of the blaze.
Flames also scorched the side of the building owned by John and Renee Linn. Their restaurant about a block away, Linn’s, was gutted by fire in 2006, and has since been rebuilt and reopened.
Fire officials said Tuesday they continue to investigate the medical-building fire’s cause, estimating damages at about $2,000. They have dismissed arson or electrical problems as the cause. The fire is believed to have started in the Dumpster. On Friday, crews had been remodeling and painting a downstairs unit in the building. —Kathe Tanner
Rate hikes put water, sewer funds in black
For the first time in six years, rates paid by Cambrians to get water delivered to their taps and their sewage treated are covering the cost of providing those services, according to a director of the Cambria Community Services District.
Allan MacKinnon, a member of the district’s board, said recent rate increases approved by district customers in June mean the “water and wastewater departments are operating in the black,” and have a bit of excess cash left over for infrastructure repairs. “Things look good in those two departments.”
The money can’t be shifted around to other
projects or departments, because the money is dedicated to the two “enterprise funds” which are required by district ordinance to be self-sufficient.
A draft document shows the water department took in about $1.8 million in the first six months of the fiscal year, and spent approximately $1.785 million. The same report showed the wastewater department’s total operating revenue for the same period was more than $1.98 million, and operating expenses were $1.96 million.
More rain, but no more damage reports
The North Coast was doused with more rain and some wind so far in February, but the storms didn’t appear to trigger any dramatic emergency situations, as had happened in January.
Gauges at the Cambria Fire Department and the town’s wastewater-treatment plant recorded nearly 2.5 inches of precipitation in the first 10 days of February.
Add that to previous rains and the treatment plant’s rain-season total that began on July 1 was 17.55 inches as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Ranchers report pleasing amounts of rainfall so far this year. Dawn Dunlap said her family’s ranch on upper Santa Rosa Creek Road, near the intersection with Highway 46 has been soaked with 33 inches of rainfall so far this rain season.
Fire department staffers say no emergency calls related to wind, rain or falling trees were reported during the most recent round of storms.
The precipitation’s effect is evident in bright green grasses flourishing in the valleys and hills, and large seasonal ponds along Highway 1 just north of the
Highway 46 intersection— often nicknamed “Cambria Lake 1 and 2”—are full of water and egrets seeking froggy dinners. —Kathe Tanner
Council thanks, feeds volunteer drivers
Volunteers who drive seniors and other non-drivers to appointments and errands on the Cambria Community Buses were thanked and fed at an appreciation breakfast on Feb. 4.
The Cambria Community Council, which provides the free bus service, hosted the brunch attended by 22 drivers; seven council members; Fire Captain Blair Gillespie and Firefighter Richard Lancaster from Cal Fire (which provides secure parking space for the buses); and bus dispatcher Janet Brewster.
Drivers attending were: Jack Breglio, Bob Campbell, Patrick Carroll, Al Curtice, Ken Eberle, Art Edis, Bus Administrator Warren Gay, Mary Hill, Jim
Huchthausen, Bob Kasper, Jeff Lee, Teri Lord, Jack Marzano, Ron Miller, John Mullen, Norm Smyth, Ron Swierk, Mac Vanduzer, Ruben Villalobos, Don Woodard, Aimee Wyatt and Marilyn Zahm. Nine drivers also brought their spouses.
Drivers not attending the breakfast were: Diana Crudeli, Denise and Joe Cooper, David Yudovin, Stan Balcomb, Claudia Bannister, Bill Blundell, David Boyd, Iain Hamilton, Joseph Hilden, Bob Kocher, Craig Johnson, Ed Raives, Greg Stone, Phil Taves, Mark Yaple and Chuck Simonian.
Buses run weekdays throughout Cambria and San Simeon, once a week to San Luis Obispo and once a month to Paso Robles, picking up and delivering riders by appointment. Riders can call 927-4173 between 9 and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, at least 48 hours before needing transportation.
Donations to help fund the bus can be sent to P.O. Box 486, Cambria CA 93428. To volunteer as a bus driver, call Gay at 927-1147. —Kathe Tanner
Report says former Cambrian murdered
A n elderly woman who reportedly lived in Cambria a decade or so ago was killed and her friend and caregiver, also a former Cambria resident, was seriously injured as a result of an apparent home-invasion attack in their Honolulu residence on Jan. 21.
According to information published in the Honolulu Advertiser and Hawaii Star Bulletin, Mary Lee Koskinen, 85, died Feb. 2 of intracranial injury due to blunt-force trauma to the head after being severely beaten almost two weeks earlier. Her companion-caretaker, Matthew Edmondson, 40, also was apparently beaten and suffered head and facial injuries.
Family members from Cambria told Hawaiian newspaper reporters that Koskinen, who had dementia, and Edmondson were very close and traveled worldwide together extensively.
Two men alleged to have committed the attack are in jail and will likely face second- degree murder charges. Zachary Robinson, 19, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, and Cody Mikami, 21, is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to the Star Bulletin. —Kathe Tanner
‘Adam and Eve’ help feed the hungry
When we think of Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer come to mind, but he also wrote about Adam and Eve. The famed author penned two charming short-story type pieces, “The Diary of Adam” and “The Diary of Eve.” They were put together and adapted for the stage by actor and playwright David Birney as “The Diaries of Adam and Eve.” A staged reading of Birney’s play will be presented at Santa Rosa Church on Friday, Feb. 12, featuring Bill McLaughlin and Nancy Green, actors who have performed widely in Central Coast theaters. McLaughlin also directs area productions. Green said she suggested the performance because she loves the play.
“I saw it performed in Santa Cruz, and went berserk over it. It’s so human in its divine nature, but it’s not religious at all.”
In the “diaries,” the author imagines the thoughts of the first two people as they observe the emerging world and each other, and he subtly reflects his own insights on the differing views and personalities of man and woman.
Mark Twain wrote “The Diary of Adam” in the 1890s when he was in his 50s. He wrote “The Diary of Eve” 20 years later, shortly after his wife died. They have been combined, Green explained, “with both players on stage all the time, they go back and
forth. This is a staged reading— we move around and act with the script in hand.
“Everything is new—animals, flowers, water, and it all has to be named. Eve takes it upon herself to name each thing. It’s also a wonderful love story — the first love story. It’s a portrait of love that prevails.”
And, written by Mark Twain, it’s also amusing.
Tickets are $15 and the event is a benefit for the church’s Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry. A champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception will begin at 6 p.m., with the performance at 7, at 1174 Main St. — Joan Crowder
‘Wintertainment’ coming up at CUHS
Coast Union High School celebrates youth and the arts from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. For the first time, the high school’s annual winter talent show, Wintertainment, will be happening outside of school hours in order to better integrate the community and the students.
The public is invited to come support the Coast Union Broncos and enjoy an evening of performances of all sorts in the school gym at 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Road, Cambria. Admission cost will be $5 for adults and $3 for students. —Cambria Honorary Mayor &CUHS student Max Stuczynski
‘Drifters’ come to Painted Sky Studio
Painted Sky Recording Studios presents the Cache Valley Drifters at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at 4111 Bridge St., Cambria. The Drifters, founded in 1972, play Americana music.
Performances have been known to include bluegrass interpretations of songs by Paul Simon, Etta James and Cream, as well as country-folk and traditional fiddle music.
The band includes Bill Griffin on mandolin, guitar and vocals; Wally Barnick on electric bass and vocals; and Mike Mullins on guitar, mandolin and vocals.
Tickets, $20, are available at the Cambria Business Center, 1241 Knollwood Drive, or by calling 927-8330.
Environmental group hosts first potluck
A monthly discussion group open to all environmentally concerned Cambrians begins with an inaugural potluck at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at The Cambria Connection, 870 Main St., Cambria.
Attendees are asked to bring a dish, their own table settings, and a friend, if they’d like.
For more information, call 927-9557.
Valentine’s dinner hosted by church
First Baptist Church of Cambria hosts its second annual Valentine’s Day dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2120 Green St.
Entrée selections include sirloin steak Dianne, stuffed salmon, or pastry wrapped chicken florentine. The cost for an evening of dining and musical entertainment by Joi Bowling is $50 per couple. Reservations are required; call 927-4789 or go to www.FbcCambria.org.
Joslyn’s monthly bingo game Saturday
The Joslyn Recreation Center hosts its monthly bingo game Saturday, Feb. 13, at 950 Main St., Cambria.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome. All players must be at least 18 years old.
The buy-in is $15 for a six-pack of bingo cards. There will be two “Lucky J” bonuses, one for $250 and one for $126. Snacks are available. For details, call the center at 927- 3364.
Free holistic fair held monthly
A free holistic fair is now held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the second Saturday of each month at Amethyst Healing Center, 704 Main St., Cambria. This month’s fair will be on Saturday, Feb. 13.
For details, call 927-1700 or go to amethysthealingcenter.com.