The Cambrian

In Brief: Tidbits of Cambria news

Historical Society hosts May Day fest

T he Cambria Historical Society will present a colorful Spring Festival, based on annual May Day activities originally hosted in the 1930s by the Cambria’s Women’s Athletic Club on Saturday, May 1.

This year’s event will feature a flower show, farmers market, heritage plant sale, children’s activities and light refreshments from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cambria Historical Museum in the Guthrie-Bianchini House at the corner of Burton Drive and Center Street.

Members of El Pinal Parlor of Native Daughters of the Golden West and Cambria 4-H will be helping with the event. There is no charge for admission.

In honor of spring, gardeners from Hearst Castle will showcase historic plants from their gardens. Several society members and friends have been busy volunteering in the Castle greenhouses, propagating roses, geraniums, tree dahlias and other plants for the occasion. Local garden enthusiasts will display their prized flowers, and the Historical Society will have roses and other plants for sale.

There will be a festive Maypole dance at 2 p.m. in the front yard. There will be booths with spring produce, gourds, gourmet foods and local crafts. Flowers and other materials will be available for children and young-at-heart adults to create pretty flowered hats. Tea sandwiches, lemonade and other garden party refreshments will be offered for sale.

— Staff

Planners await word on new euc plan

A decision has been postponed until at least May 27 on whether to remove from 77 to 344 “blue gum” eucalyptus trees from Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.

The Cambria Community Services District board discussed a revised, reduced proposal May 22, but opted to wait until the agency that would pay for the work decides if it’s OK with it to remove fewer trees than originally approved and still pay for the removal.

District staffers originally recommended a smaller project, according to Ben Boer, resource manager. But county planners indicated they wanted the permit to cover any eucalyptus removal that the district might do in the next five years, so the project was expanded. Then the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s Fisheries Service decided to use federal economic stimulus funds to pay for the entire $98,000 project.

However—perhaps due to the suddenness of the proposal and how many trees would be removed, including some exceptionally tall “legacy” trees — the issue has drawn extensive and sometimes emotional input from community members.

After that input at various local meetings, Boer and Meredith Hardy of the California Conservation Corps reduced the project to remove 77 trees on about a half acre on the southwest side of Santa Rosa Creek, just northwest of where the highway crosses the creek.

Since then, NOAA reviewers watched a tape of the CCSD meeting, at which Director Frank DeMicco left little doubt that he is vehemently opposed to removing any eucs at all. “I personally object to any cutting of these trees,” he said.

Various scientists come to different conclusions about the tall trees often planted to provide windbreaks.

Some researchers say eucalyptus burn explosively, taint the ground and nearby waterways with toxic oils and crowd out native species. Other scientists say the trees grow quickly and provide resting and nesting spots for birds and Monarch butterflies. — Kathe Tanner

Trail experts met at Cambria lodge

About 250 trail specialists from all over the state met in Cambria April 21 through 23 to learn how such a small town could have so many top-quality walkways, paths and trails.

This is a “center of the universe” for successful trail building, according to Lee Otter of the California Coastal Commission. “Such beautiful trails, and everybody wants to know how you did it.”

The one-word answer is partnerships—people and agencies working together

toward a common goal— according to area residents and officials who participated in the 25th Anniversary California Trails and Greenways Conference, held at the Cambria Pines Lodge.

Nick Franco, superintendent of the San Luis Obispo Coast District of State Parks, said the main comment he’d heard from conference attendees was “how well people in this county work together to accomplish projects, how trail users (bicyclists, equestrians and hikers) all get along, even if there are minor disagreements. That isn’t the case in many other areas.”

Meanwhile, North Coast trails people hoped to learn tricks of the trade from their peers. For instance, several members of the North Coast Advisory Council and of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission attended a seminar on determining how many people use local trails.

Many attendees networked with each other about the California Coastal Trail, Franco said. The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments “is funding a plan for development of the Coastal Trail and potential ways of completing the trail for the segment from the northern county line to Estero Bluffs State Park. That will be the next major step in the process.” — Kathe Tanner

San Simeon bridge work expected

Construction on the first of two replacement bridges on San Simeon Creek Road might begin “in this dry season,” according to Supervisor Bruce Gibson.

He told the North Coast Advisory Council March 17 that funding is now assured for the $6 million, two-bridge project that will install two-lane, 29-foot-wide concrete bridges where 12-foot-wide rural-road bridges now sit. The new bridges also will be nearly 50 percent longer.

In 2008, the bridges were in such bad shape that they were closed for nine days for emergency repairs after a state engineer’s routine inspection revealed they were unsafe.

Gibson explained that work to replace the lower bridge, about 2.3 miles east of Highway 1, must be done first, before the upper bridge can be replaced, because heavy equipment for grading and construction has to cross the first bridge to get to the second one, which is about 3.5 miles east of the highway.

The supervisor said Public Works hopes to install the lower-bridge’s abutments during the summer of 2010, because work in and around the creek must be done “when flow in the creek is low,” according to state Fish and Game and other regulators.

Gibson said the aim is to complete both bridges by sometime in 2011. —Kathe Tanner

Castle on TV ‘Today’ and ‘Sunday Morning’

Cambria and Hearst Castle will be featured on network television in May.

San Luis Obispo County will be featured on NBC’s “Today” show as part of a segment on California's scenic Highway 1.

Lester Holt, weekend anchor of the show, and producer Kim Cornett visited the county April 14, said Carrie Head, communications manager for the county's Visitors and Conference Bureau. The pair traveled to the North Coast, stopping at Nitt Witt Ridge, a historic home in Cambria built from assorted items, including wood, tile, beer cans and car parts. The crew also took footage of Hearst Castle, to juxtapose William Randolph Hearst’s home against Nitt Witt Ridge, built by Arthur Harold Beal.

The “Today” team also took shots of Moonstone Beach, downtown Cambria and Big Sur.

The county’s VCB found out about the television show’s plans to feature Highway 1 through its partnership with the California Office of Tourism. It coordinates with the office to promote San Luis Obispo County, and in turn, the bureau helps to market tourism within the state, Head said. The segment will air Saturday, May 15.

‘Sunday Morning’

Charles Osgood, host of the CBS “Sunday Morning” show, and a large crew are expected to film at Hearst Castle May 17 and 18 for a segment that could air May 23 (locally on Charter cable channel 12) , according to Nick Franco of State Parks.

The segment apparently will be used as part of an occasional feature of the show about famous houses. —Julie Lynem&Kathe Tanner

Lectures on women in art begin today

A series of three lectures on women artists begins today, April 29, at the Old Grammar School, 3223 Main St.

Tess Wright will present “Women in Art Series II,” covering sculptor Louise Nevelson today, figurative painter Alice Neel on May 27, and the Feminist Art Movement in Southern California from the late 1960s through the early 1980s on June 24.

The multi-media lectures will explore in depth the societal restrictions, cultural impediments and the male-dominated art world that created major challenges for women artists in their attempts to secure their rightful place in the history of art.

Admission is $15 per lecture, or $12 Allied Arts Association members.

All three lectures are scheduled to run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The series is sponsored by Allied Arts and The Painted Lily Gallery.

Reservations are required; call 927-5747 or 927-5246.

— Staff

Annual Garden Tour set for May 16

Garden lovers are to gather for the 17th annual “Original Garden Tour” from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16. An hour-long reception and raffle drawing follow.

After continental breakfast and registration at Cambria Nursery & Florist at the corner of Burton Drive and Eton Road, participants can meander through six private gardens in bloom, finding inspiration for their own yards while enjoying culinary creations provided by area restaurants. Musicians and artists will ply their skills at each venue.

Ticket donations and raffle- ticket purchases help fund operation of the nonprofit New Dawn Montessori School, which provides integrated arts and sciences education for preschool and kindergarten students, and the Cambria Montessori Learning Center, offered through the K-12 Family Partnership Public Charter School.

Tickets bought before the event cost $35 , and are available by calling 909-2181 or through bought on the day of the event are $40 .

A related event, with demonstrations and a workshop (for which advance registration is required), will be held at the nursery, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday May 15. For details on the garden fair, call 927-4747 or go to —Kathe Tanner

Waffle breakfast coming up Sunday

The 23rd annual Strawberry Waffle Breakfast, a fundraiser for the Joslyn Recreation Center, will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, May 2, at the center, 950 Main St.

The menu features a waffle served with sausage, strawberries, ice cream and whipped cream, plus orange juice and coffee, served up this year by the Cambria Computer Club.

Tickets, $8, are available at the center; at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., and at the door. For details, call 927-3364. — Staff

Postal workers help get food to locals

Cambria postal workers will help “Stamp Out Hunger” on Saturday, May 8, collecting food to help feed locals.

The 18th annual collection of nonperishable food in sealed cans, boxes and bags is part of a national effort by the National Association of Letter Carriers in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service. It’s the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Food may be left by mailboxes for collection. Food in glass containers or past its expiration date should not be included.

Items will be distributed by Cambria Vineyard Church at its food distribution fon the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 1617 Main St. —Bert Etling

Docents help make history accessible

People can learn more about being a historical docent at the Cambria Historical Museum during an informational get-together for volunteers to be held from 2 to 4 p.m., Thursday, May 6.

Wine and cheese will be served. Those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP to 927-2891 by Friday, April 30.

The museum, owned and operated by the Cambria Historical Society, is at the corner of Burton Drive and Center Street. — Staff

Gibson to speak to Democratic Club

Second District Supervisor Bruce Gibson, running for reelection to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, will speak at a meeting of the Democratic Club of Cambria beginning at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, May 6 at the Veterans Memorial Building, Cambria.

The meeting also features a panel discussion on a greener Cambria.

Greg Parizek, the master gardener at Wise Acre

Farm on Santa Rosa Creek Road, will be the main speaker. He has decades of experience in care-taking of land and directing community gardens.

Parizek’s focus has been to help Cambria become less dependent upon commercial food production, packaging and distribution. He will explain Wise Acre Farm’s procedures and perks, along with some photos of the enterprise.

Joining in the discussion will be Janet Cooper, who will speak on the “Transition Towns” project on the Central Coast and what it means for Cambria.

— Staff

Lindsay talks weather to newcomers club

Tribune weather columnist John Lindsay speaks at a meeting of the Newcomers Club of Estero Bay luncheon on May 19 at Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Drive.

Lindsay is an energy educator for Pacific Gas&Electric Co., stationed at its Diablo Canyon power plant. He’ll speak on local weather and its changes, and energy in our area. A “meet and greet” period begins at 11 a.m., with the meeting getting underway at 11:30.

Reservations should be made by Wednesday, May 12. The club is open to all residents of Morro Bay, Cayucos and Los Osos who have lived in the area for less than five years. Information about the club and activities are available at,by e-mail at,or call 286-5993.

Mitford Tea makes biannual appearance

The sixth Mitford Tea and Porch Boutique returns on Saturday, May 8, to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 2700 Eton Road, Cambria.

The biannual fundraiser offers seatings at 1 and 3:30 p.m., and includes a traditional tea and gift boutique featuring handcrafted and fair-trade items, and an optional prize drawing for a Diva Day Spa Pamper Package.

Proceeds from the tea benefit Cambria Adult Resources, Education and Support (CARES) adult day care and resource center and St. Paul’s.

Tickets are available for a $20 donation at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., and at the St. Paul’s office, or by calling 927-7608.

— Staff

Sherick celebration set for Saturday

A celebration of life party for John and Margaret Sherick will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, the Sherick family has announced.

Margaret Sherick, 81, died April 3. John Sherick, 87, died April 21, 2008.

The family would like all of John and Margaret Sherick’s friends to come to their home at 526 Lancaster St. on Park Hill. Food will be furnished.

—Bert Etling