The Cambrian

In Brief: Cambria among American’s Prettiest towns; AT&T wants cell antenna at old Air Force base; Advisory Council chairman resigns

Cambria among ‘American’s Prettiest’

F or the second time in six months, an online Forbes financial site has rated Cambria as among “America's Prettiest Towns.”

A photo of a Cambria neighborhood — on an oceanfront cliff and laced with trees — leads the online story posted April 15 at http://bit. ly/aq3ter.

Richard Miccichi, a two-year Cambria resident, said he was “blown away” when he logged on to find that familiar scene on the international Web site.

“I walk every day by the ocean there. I said to myself, ‘that doggone picture looks so familiar,’ ” and then realized, “Sure enough, it was our town.”

Cambria also was lauded in a profile Oct. 13 on www.ForbesTraveler.comwebsite, which is now part of the larger www.Forbes.comsite.

Communities selected were mostly the same in the October and April reports.

Both times, the “judge” on the panel who selected Cambria, residential designer Erin Anderson, said Cambria “is truly a small town, complete with general store, antique shopping and shops featuring local artisans.”

Anderson also mentioned Moonstone Beach.

Other selected communities included Monterey and Crescent City in California; Sedona, Ariz.; Savannah, Ga.; Aspen, Colo.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Deadwood, S.D.; Lake Placid, N.Y.; Dillon, Mont.; Spring City, Utah; and Lanesboro, Minn.

—Kathe Tanner

ATT&T wants cell antenna at old AFB

County planners will consider on May 13 AT&T’s request to add its cellular phone antennas and facilities to an existing installation on the former Cambria Air Force Base, 202 Monte Cristo Road, about 1.5 miles south of Cambria.

Planning staff is recommending that the County Planning Commission deny the AT&T application because a communications facility isn’t listed as an allowed use of the 34-acre hilltop property, according to the limitation on use standard of the North Coast Area Plan.

However, AT&T spokesperson Tricia Knight said the standard “was not intended to exclude infrastructure such as utilities, and we are classified as a public utility.”

The site’s existing facility is classified as a non-conforming, preexisting use that “cannot be enlarged or expanded,” said Airlin Singewald, a county planner.

The site would provide service along the highway to the stoplight at Ardath Drive and “bleed over into the residences,” but would not serve downtown, Knight said. “AT&T will pursue another site in the future to accomplish that goal.”

The project would add six panel antennas and a microwave dish to an existing 270-foot steel radio. Three outdoor equipment cabinets would be mounted to an existing concrete slab.

The AT&T proposal also is to be discussed at a May 12 meeting of the Cambria Forest Committee and May 19 meeting of the North Coast Advisory Council.

In the meantime, another cell site is close to installation, according to cellular communications spokesperson Tricia Knight. She said the county has issued a construction permit to install Verizon antennas and other equipment at Santa Rosa Catholic Church, 1174 Main St. Knight said construction would begin soon, and the site most likely would come online in June.

—Kathe Tanner

Advisory Council chairman resigns

The North Coast Advisory Council is to appoint new members and elect new officers May 19.

Additional qualified residents may apply until that meeting. For application information, maps of the various areas and NCAC details, go to meeting is to start at 6:30 p.m. at Rabobank, 1070 Main St.

Some changes have already happened to the citizen panel that provides a forum for local traffic and planning issues, using the discussion to formulate advice for Supervisor Bruce Gibson and other county officials.

According to its website, NCAC is “a forum for citizen education, involvement, and discussion on issues that pertain to the North Coast area,” including “land use, public services, circulation, zoning, public improvements and all aspects of orderly community growth.”

Chairman Amanda Rice resigned in April; she no longer lives in the area she represented. Clive Finchamp has applied for her former Area 8 council seat.

Rice would have been facing term limits, although the council has a new policy that allows those limits to be waived if a member wishes to continue and has no opposition.

Business representative Javier Veliz also resigned recently because he’s moving to Fresno. The Cambria Chamber of Commerce hasn’t yet appointed a replacement, but alternate member Michael Thompson is expected to continue.

Other applicants include: In Area 2, current representative Gary Gall; in Area 4, rancher Ralph Covell; and, in Area 6, the appointment could go to either Tom Gray or current member Joyce Renshaw.

—Kathe Tanner

Cambria community website created

A social networking website for Cambria has been created by part-time resident Stephen Pullin at

The southland-based television producer, author of the Viewpoint entitled “What kind of place could, should Cambria be?” in the April 1 Cambrian,” said “This website was created as a gift to the community so that there could be a non-

partisan place to transcend the conflict of individual issues into a greater purpose for all involved. Our hope is that it will bring the community together in a way that town meetings and articles can’t do.”

Set up in early April, the site had 15 members as of Wednesday, May 5. The home page includes a number of local links, including to The Cambrian website (,and encouragement to support local businesses, with links to The Black Cat restaurant and Linn’s restaurant and mail order sites.

“As membership grows, people write their own blogs, form into groups, up load their videos and photos etc.,” Pullin said, “I believe in time this can become an important place for all of the stakeholders in Cambria to communicate and express themselves.”

Archives at,a site sharing many of the same goals established by Amanda Rice, date back to January 2007.

—Bert Etling

Guides sought to lead lighthouse tours

The Piedras Blancas Light Station Association is looking for volunteer guides and assistants to lead tours at the historic North Coast landmark a few days a month. Tours last two hours and are offered on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Docent training will be on Fridays beginning May 14, followning an orientation session on Thursday, May 13.

Call 927-7361 or e-mail PiedrasBlancasTours@gma il.comfor details; leave a message with name and contact information, including phone and e-mail.

More information is available online at

— Staff