The Cambrian

InBrief: CCSD manager makes desal case in DC; County hearing on Main St. bridge March 19; Thoughts sought on value of pine forest

CCSD manager makes case in DC

T ammy Rudock, general manager of the Cambria Community Services District, spent March 1 to 4 in Washington D.C. to consult with legislators on federal funding for a planned desalination plant.

She said money remains tight in the nation’s capital, and the district’s desalination partner, the Army Corps of Engineers, expects its budget will be reduced.

However, Rudock noted that the district received an appropriation in 2002, “and the Army Corps is currently making progress on expending the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds awarded to it last year, so that provides some incentive for a potential funding appropriation.” She said, “CCSD is in a better position than most.”

Rudock estimates that the district’s costs for the trip will be about $2,000. She and lobbyist Greg Burns met with:

• Congresswoman Lois Capps and her Legislative Director Jonathan Levenshus

• Representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers

• Legislative assistants for senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and

• Staffers for the Senate and House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.

Rudock checked the status of a legislative amendment that would give the district a $3 million credit for money already spent toward the desalination project. She also reported on planned tests near the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek that could help establish if subterranean wells there could provide enough seawater to supply a desalination plant.

The district board is expected to consider at its March 25 meeting a response to comments on a report on environmental impacts of the test project and whether to approve that report.

Greg Sanders, the district’s board president, also had been scheduled to go to the nation’s capital, but had scheduling conflicts.

—Kathe Tanner

County hearing on Main St. bridge due

If county planners agree, traffic on a major access to Cambria’s East Village will be affected soon when crews replace the 90-foot-long Main Street Bridge over Santa Rosa Creek, just south of Santa Rosa Creek Road.

The county planning department’s hearing officer is to hold a hearing about replacing the narrow, 88-year-old, concrete-and-girder bridge at the base of a series of switchback turns at 9 a.m. Friday, March 19, in the county supervisors’ chambers, 1055 Monterey St., Room D170, San Luis Obispo.

Interested parties may request a full public hearing by submitting a letter to the Planning Department. For details on File DRC2009-00041, go to,or contact planner Airlin Singewald at 781-5600.

Planners say the longer, wider new bridge will have two bike lanes and will allow more space for a flooding creek to flow underneath. In 2009, they estimated the project’s cost at $3.2 million. The Federal Highway Administration will pay for 89 percent; the county will have to put up about $367,000.

The new design is 37.5-feet wide and 150 feet long, and the structure would be cast-in-place concrete. The project would realign Main Street to the upstream side of the existing bridge, and alter the Main Street/Santa Rosa Creek Road intersection.

In 2009, county staffers said construction could begin in the spring of 2011.

— Kathe Tanner

Fire doesn’t phase biking family of five

A family of five from Kentucky had been bicycling to Alaska the long way when they stopped in Cambria for longer than anticipated on Tuesday, March 9.

The Bill Harrison family and their bicycle-built-for five drew quite a crowd of onlookers during their stop in front of Bank of America and other spots. Soon thereafter, however, a solar unit on their bike-powered luggage trailer caught fire in the parking lot of a Main Street business where they’d left it.

Bill and Alma Harrison and their three daughters had already removed their tent, sleeping bags and some other things, but the trailer and the rest of their belongings were destroyed.

They travel from 20 to 30 miles a day on riding days, but take days off. The girls are Cheyenne, 7, Jasmine, 5, and Robin, 3.

After the fire, the family came under the protective wing of caring Cambrians including Michael and Kathleen

Beauchamp. They took them to dinner that night, breakfast the next morning and then to San Luis Obispo to check out a replacement trailer.

Cambria Bicycle Outfitter and the Cambria Fire Department are also helping the family.

The family-on-wheels planned to leave soon for Alaska, where they plan to spend a year.

“Then we’ll decide what else we’re going to do,” Alma Harrison said, “maybe go to Canada, back home or even to China.”

— Kathe Tanner

Thoughts sought on value of pine forest

T he Cambria Forest Committee is compiling a list of reasons why Cambria’s Monterey pine forest is important to residents and visitors, the ecology and the climate.

Members of the public are encouraged to contribute their own reasons for wanting to protect the forest. The group meets at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at Rabobank, 1070 Main St.

The committee has been active in forest protection for several decades and has guided its Cambria Forest Management Plan from concept to a working document. Since 2002, the volunteer group of forest stakeholders has tried to find support and funding for its management plan.

On Feb. 25, Richard Hawley, co-chair of the committee, presented a preliminary list of forest benefits to directors of the Cambria Community Services District. It’s available online at list additions to him at 927-2866 or

Hawley’s draft list includes monetary, ecological, social, recreational, climate and architectural benefits of having native pines, oaks and other trees in Cambria’s ecosystem.

Some advantages are obvious, such as the community’s identity as “Cambria Pines by the Sea.”

Among others on Hawley’s list are:

• Homes with well-maintained trees can sell for more money, have higher occupancy rates and rent or sell more quickly. Greenery provides privacy;

• A healthy forest provides food, shelter and habitat for wildlife, which then attracts nature-oriented visitors;

• Greenery can reduce pollution and dust, conserves natural resources and can lower heating and cooling costs;

• A healthy forest canopy and understory can add moisture to the air, help the ground absorb rainfall more slowly, and condense fog during the summer/fall season, creating a “fog rain” which helps plants thrive during dry months;

• Trees and plants reduce greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Forest “litter” completes the carbon cycle and reduces the need for fertilizers; and

• Trees help reduce noise levels from highways, cut down wind speeds, reduce water runoff in urban areas and decrease sediment carried by erosion.

—Kathe Tanner

Hwy. 1 in Big Sur still closed at night

Highway 1 at the south end of Big Sur is now fully open during the day, Caltrans announced Wednesday, March 10. Crews are still working to clear a rock-slide that blocked the highway early Friday, March 5, at Alder Creek, south of Gorda.

The road will continue to completely close from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Call 888-836-0866 toll-free for information on road conditions on Big Sur from Cambria to Carmel, or go to the Caltrans road information Web site at http://bit. ly /cthwy.

— Staff

Celebrity chefs set to cook at Castle

Guess who’s not only coming to dinner at Hearst Castle, but fixing it? How about a trio of legendary chefs from New Orleans: Emeril Lagasse of Emeril’s and the Food Network, Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace and Susan Spicer of Bayona?

The A-list of chefs is converging at a fundraiser-dinner for the Central Coast Wine Classic on Thursday, July 8.

Only wine classic honorees and patron sponsors can attend the meal, Archie McLaren, founder and chairman of the classic, said in a March 3 e-mail from Kenya. Becoming a patron sponsor costs $1,500 ($600 of which is tax-deductible), and Castledinner tickets are $1,250 per person.

Even at those prices, according to organizers, the meal is one of the most sought after in America. McLaren said that only about 40 seats are still available, out of the original 350 that were offered.

The event includes a barrel tasting, reserve tasting, celebrity-prepared dinner, and auction of lifestyle items and rare, fine wines.

Guests are seated on a terrace that provides sweeping views of the Santa Lucia range, the outdoor Neptune pool and La Casa Grande, the estate’s main house.

For details, go to,e-mail McLaren at archie@slonet.orgor call 544-1285.

—Kathe Tanner

Winery applicants put off appeal hearing

A hearing, originally scheduled for today, March 11, has been postponed. The appeal contesting county approval of plans for a tasting room and winery at 3770 Santa Rosa Creek Road was to have been before the California Coastal Commission.

According to the commission’s updated meeting agenda, Don and Charlene Stolo, who own the ranch about three-quarters of a mile from Coast Union High School, had asked that the hearing be delayed.

Appellants say environmental, traffic, effluent and water-supply concerns should trigger changes in the winery plan.

Commission staff had recommended that no public tasting room, tours, retail sales or special events be allowed and all new structural development be clustered on the north side of Santa Rosa Creek Road and set back a minimum of 100 feet from the upland edge of stream and riparian habitat areas, among other requirements. —Kathe Tanner

NCAC to discuss mobile home park plan

North Coast advisors are cautiously recommending support for reviving a three-phase project on Main Street, even though they have little official information about it.

During their March 17 meeting, members of the North Coast Advisory Council are to hear a report about revamping the Rod and Reel Mobile Home Park at 1460 Main Street. The report is to be from their Land Use/Projects Committee, which based their recommendation and six comments on statements from the County Planning Department and the project’s architect, David Brown.

The committee notes the project would be completed in three phases, with an unspecified completion date. Approximately 1.3 acres of permanent open space would be dedicated.

Of 22 water meters attached to the land, four would be donated for off-site affordable housing and 16 would be used for the project. The committee doesn’t know how the other two meters would be used.

The site with the chain-link fencing has an existing house and several mobile homes on it now. A looping, paved drive provides access from Main Street.

Four years ago, NCAC members gave unanimous approval to land owner Steve Miller’s concept of replacing the mobile home park with 13 Cape-Codstyle homes of up to 1,900 square feet each, five apartments, 45 parking spaces and 10,000 square feet of office space.

However, at that point, project drawings weren’t complete.

—Kathe Tanner

Water issue panel discussion planned

A panel discussion intended to explore implications of complex water issues is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, at Rabobank, 1070 Main St.

The discussion of “Water You Thinking?: Learn About Alternative Water Solutions in Cambria” was put together by Cambria Residents of Heart and Mind, an independent group of citizens interested in learning more about water supply alternatives, according to one of the organizers.

Speakers are expected to include Dr. Jim Brownell, a soil scientist, speaking about storage ponds; Mladen Bandov, a water engineer, speaking on gray-water systems; Conner Everts , discussing clean water and conservation; and Lou Blanck, a hydrologist, discussing water supply. Valerie Bentz and Steve Figler will moderate.

For more information, call 927-0123.

—Bert Etling

The Cambrian got your number?

Cambrians who want to make sure their telephone number is included in the 2010-2011 Original Community Directory may stop by The Cambrian office at 2442 Main St. and check a proof of white page listings.

Telephone listings purchased by The Cambrian from AT&T and Charter Cable are automatically included. Anyone with telephone service from another company will likely not be included unless they ask to do so by filling in a short form at The Cambrian.

The Cambrian office is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

For more information, call 927-8652 or e-mail cambrianads@ thetribune

Online voting is currently underway for the photo to appear on the directory’s cover. Five photos by local photographers were chosen by Cambrian staff members. The public will select which appears on the cover.

To vote, go to thecambrian.comand click on the link at the top. Voters must be registered with the Tribune Web site (sanluisobispo . com; it’s free) and logged in for votes to count. The directory is due to be published at the end of April. —Bert Etling

Richard Macedo memorial Saturday

A memorial Mass and celebration of Richard Macedo’s life begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, 1174 Main St. in Cambria. A luncheon will follow in the parish hall.

The 68-year-old Cambria resident died Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Macedo was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Fresno, on March 6.

—Bert Etling