The Cambrian

In Brief: Desal test study available; Census Bureau hiring; CUSD hires drug test firm

Desal test plan review available

C ambrians are getting a more detailed look at why services-district officials believe proposed pre-desalination testing won’t unduly harm the environment.

To allow mandated time for public comment on the Cambria Community Services District’s report on geotechnical and hydrogeologic tests to be performed near the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek, district directors won’t decide about the proposed testing regime at today’s meeting, Jan. 21.

The meeting is set to start at 12:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. The meeting’s agenda is online at

The official 30-day comment period on the report ends Feb. 14, but because that’s a Sunday followed by a holiday on Feb. 15, the district will accept comments until 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The report is posted on the district’s Web site under pull-down menus for water, then desalination, then documents.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the district’s desalination partner, the $733,000 testing could prove it’s possible to draw enough seawater from under the shoreline to supply a desalination plant, which would filter out the salt and provide more drinking-quality water.

Recent Army Corps reports state that drilling up to 11 test holes and then installing monitoring wells in as many as three of those holes won’t harm the habitat, critters and other species that live there or the public’s ability to get to or recreate at the shoreline.

A separate environmental impact report and numerous other reviews would be required for the plant itself, which would be located elsewhere, not at the beach.

—Kathe Tanner

Census Bureau hiring in Cambria

The U.S. Census Bureau needs 127 people to tabulate the population from San Simeon to Cayucos, but only has 66 “enumerators” signed up so far.

The jobs pay $15 to $17 an hour. U.S. citizens are given preference.

Applicants for the temporary jobs must fill out an application (available at, present identification (U. S. passport, California driver’s license or ID card and Social Security card) and pass a 30-minute test to be hired. Interested parties also can take a sample test online.

Tests are to be given in Cambria at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.:

Applicants can be retested if they wish. Tests are held in other Central Coast communities; call 345-3650 for details.

Successful applicants will be trained, and will be paid during the training period. Once hired, they’re also paid for mileage.

— Kathe Tanner

Allied Arts sets grand opening

The public is invited to a free grand-opening event from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, showcasing the new gallery and theater of the Allied Arts Association at the Old Grammar School, 1350 Main St., Cambria.

The event will include a new art show in the organization’s expanded gallery, live music and entertainment, tours and free refreshments.

The Association plans to have the gallery open every weekend for events, such as kid-friendly movies on Saturday afternoons, open jam sessions during the week, art classes, bands of all ages with drop-ins welcome, plays, readings, talent shows and open-mike sessions.

For details or to be placed on the calendar of events, call event director Shirley Kirkes Mar at 927-2870 or go to

— Staff

District chooses drug testing firm

School-district trustees unanimously approved without comment on Thursday, Jan. 14, a contract with the firm that will process drug tests for students accused of breaking substance-abuse clauses in a conduct code.

Athletes and students in certain competitive extracurricular activities in the Coast Unified School District must sign a code that specifies, among other things, that they are not to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs, tobacco or medicines not prescribed for them. They also are not to attend parties where those substances are being used, or be in the company of people who are using them.

The code continues to draw comments from parents, including questions about how the policy is being implemented.

Two of those parents spoke at the board meeting, saying separately they felt their teens had been inaccurately accused based on hearsay evidence and the code is vaguely written and difficult to interpret.

Several other students allegedly have violated the revised code since it went into effect in October. The code says violations incur a suspension for their sport or activity for at least two weeks, and violators must pass consecutive drug tests over a six-week period and attend a total of eight counseling sessions, either as an individual or with a family member, over a two-month period.

The counseling sessions were to have begun Wednesday, Jan. 20. But the reinstatement program couldn’t begin until the drug-test contract was approved.

On a 4-0 vote, the school board approved a contract with CDT, Inc., to process the drug tests. Families will pay for the tests. Trustee Del Clegg was absent.

The trustees also unanimously approved a settlement with management and classified employees, who agreed they won’t get a raise in the 2009- 2010 year. Board members also laid some groundwork in case layoffs are needed in the next fiscal year, but approved a program that provides the possibility of small raises for staffers who meet certain training milestones.

—Kathe Tanner

Emergency training class begins Feb. 2

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) of Cambria is seeking volunteers to learn about emergency preparedness in case of earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires, rain and wind storms, and other emergency situations.

The Cambria Fire Department will hold a 20- hour training class on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.

After taking the class, residents will be better prepared and more self-reliant during disasters and may become a responder with the CERT team of more than 120 Cambrians.

For details, call the Cambria Fire Department at 927-6240 and request a class flyer.

—Norm Smyth, special to The Cambrian

Film touts energy independence drive

“Escape from Suburbia” will be screened, followed by a discussion period, starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in the Theatre at the Old Grammar School, 1350 Main Street, Cambria.

The award-winning film focuses on what people today are doing to create energy independence by asking the question, “What will you do when the oil runs out?” Bob Banner of the HopeDance organization ( lead the discussion.

The showing is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Community of Cambria, the Cambria Democratic Club of the North Coast and Transition Towns Coastal Initiating Group. A donation of $5 per person or $10 per family is requested.

For details, call Janet Cooper at 927-2567 or e-mail — Staff

Barbecue Sunday honors ‘Mayor Max’

A barbecue and raffle honoring outgoing Cambria Honorary Mayor Max Stuczynski and raising funds for the Sons of the American Legion starts at noon Sunday, Jan. 24, at American Legion Post No. 432 in the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St., Cambria.

Raffle tickets, $20, include a barbecue tri-tip or chicken dinner and a chance to win a seven-night cruise for two, or $1,000. Only 200 tickets are available.

Stuczynski, 16 years old at the time, became honorary mayor in August 2008, the culmination of a periodic fundraising drive for the Cambria Teen Center and other nonprofit organizations. He will graduate from Coast Union High School this year and attend Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, where he will study medicine.

Tickets are available from Sons of the American Legion, at the legion post from 5 to 9 p.m., or call Smokey Drew at 927- 8687.

— Staff