Pair of paramedic services possible
D oes Cambria need two agencies that can provide paramedic service?
Trustees of the Cambria Community Healthcare District (CCHD) said no Tuesday, May 25, voting 3-1 not to support the concept of having Cambria Fire Department certified to provide paramedic services. The healthcare district provides both ambulance and paramedic services, and would continue to do so.
The healthcare district was to have sent a letter Wednesday to the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) directors explaining the trustees’ concerns, which include fewer opportunities for healthcare- district paramedics to work on patients and what the duplication of services would cost the community in the long run.
On the other side, CCSD directors are expected to endorse seeking paramedic certification for the fire department, which is a division of the services district. The meeting is to start at 12:30 p.m. today, May 27, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.
Debate over the paramedic turf has been simmering for several years. In 2008, the healthcare district loaned the fire department some advanced life support equipment that would be quickly available on a fire engine, which might arrive first to a call.
While the healthcare district and fire department are separate operations, they share some personnel, including paramedics who also typically moonlight for the fire department or for other ambulance services, such as San Luis Ambulance.
Because of Cambria’s terrain and the location of the two stations, sometimes fire personnel arrive first at the site of the emergency. If a paramedic is on duty on the fire engine, he or she can perform basic medical care and assess the patient’s condition but not perform what are considered invasive techniques, such as inserting an IV or advanced airway or administering medicine.
Last year, the healthcare district took the equipment back for a new, fourth ambulance. Some people, including CCSD Director Muril Clift, spoke out vehemently against the decision. Others said the healthcare district’s request was logical.
In the meantime, the districts continued talking about sharing a location to save money and park the ambulances closer to Highway 1. Those talks eventually were discontinued.
Recently, the fire department got a Federal Emergency Management Services communications and training grant of about $240,000, part of which will pay for paramedic certification for reserve firefighters Matt Brody, Jonathan Gibson, Shawn Weber and Sean Horton.
Certifying the department as a paramedic
provider would “provide another level of advanced life support,” said Fire Chief Mark Miller, “especially in instances of a multi-casualty accident…or a natural emergency, such an earthquake or wildfire that cuts Cambria off from the rest of the county.”
The certification also would remove a complex insurance situation.
When paramedics working a Cambria Fire shift respond to a call with a medical emergency that requires their advanced medical skills, they become CCHD employees for that time in which they’re doing medical response.
For that time, they’re covered by CCHD’s worker’s compensation insurance. “That situation has a lot of baggage with it,” Miller said. “I’m not really comfortable with it,” and neither are some of the healthcare district trustees. —Kathe Tanner
Pension matches on district agenda
Directors of Cambria Community Services District will get their first official look at the agency’s 2010-2011 budget, and could adjust the level at which employees pay in toward their own retirement at its monthly meeting beginning at 12:30 p.m. today at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.
Other items on the agenda include: Approving Michael Rice Landscapes as district’s weed-abatement contractor; authorizing a loan from the district's general fund to complete environmental review process for the Rodeo Grounds pump station and Stuart Street storage tank projects; extending for 15 years Mission Country Disposal’s contract for hauling away garbage, recycling and greenwaste; and vote for Director Muril Clift to be an alternate member of the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
The board also is to consider a proclamation honoring Col. Thomas Magness of the Army Corps of Engineers, who for some time has headed up his agency’s work toward Cambria’s desalination project. Magness is to deploy to Afghanistan in July. Magness is not expected to attend.
For details about the meeting, go to www.cambriacsd.com.
— Kathe Tanner
Sanctuary releases desal guidelines
The nation’s largest ocean sanctuary and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have released guidelines for any agency that might develop projects to desalinate sea water in this area, including the Cambria Community Services District.
The fisheries service and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which stretches from Cambria to Marin County, released the document May 11.
The services district, seeking to solve its periodic shortfalls of water supplies, has for a couple of decades seriously pursued desalination as a weatherproof source.
According to Bob Gresens, district engineer, the new guidelines didn’t include any nasty surprises. During his initial read-through, “I didn’t see anything that really jumped off the page at me that we’re not already planning or anticipating … It seemed to be what we expected.”
Under the guidelines, a desalination plant would have to get sanctuary authorization to proceed if that plant:
•Would discharge brine within sanctuary boundaries, or into nearby waters that would then flow into sanctuary-controlled areas; or
• Alter the seabed, such as for intake or outfall pipelines on or beneath the ocean floor.
However, the guidelines are non-regulatory and were developed with input from stakeholders, according to the report.
The new guidelines advise desalination-project planners to:
• Provide a complete evaluation of the need for a desalination plant, and a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of the plant and any alternatives to it. That would include cumulative impacts to the environment and socioeconomic fabric of the community;
• Adhere to requirements of the Endangered Species Act; and
•Only consider desalination when alternatives aren’t feasible or are already being used aggressively, such as increased conservation and wastewater recycling.
Other guidelines cover how a plant should: minimize or eliminate trapping ocean creatures in the process (called entrainment and impingement); brine discharge; energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; co-locating with sewage-treatment or power-generating facilities; chemical use; site selection; structural and engineering considerations; construction phases; and monitoring. The guidelines also include nine requirements for work done on the beach. — Kathe Tanner
Otter Trolley to start new routes
Cambria’s Otter Trolley will launch a new, shorter route on Saturday, May 29, and will start charging $1 a trip. Trolley service will run seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 7:58 p.m. during the peak usage season from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
On the new loop route, the trolley is to show up every half hour at each stop between Moonstone Beach, East and West Villages and the Cambria Pines Lodge.
However, for a half hour period, four times a day, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., there won’t be local service. Instead the trolley will leave the north end of Moonstone Beach Drive and head for San Simeon and Hearst Castle.
The shorter route means the trolley won’t stop at Burton and Ardath drives, Ardath and Green Street, Shamel Park, Windsor Boulevard and Murray Place on Park Hill and the Community Health Center office on Main Street in East Village.
Season passes and $3 day passes will be available. Youngsters under 5 years old and 46 inches tall ride for free.
Cambria’s Food Bank drive honors Macedo
T his year’s Cambria contribution to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County’s “One Day, One Dollar” fundraising drive will be dedicated to the memory of Richard Macedo.
The 68-year-old Cambria resident, a member of the Food Bank’s board and retired assistant to former county 2nd District Supervisor Shirley Bianchi, died Feb. 23. He was instrumental in getting food distribution expanded in Cambria and countywide.
A variety of community groups are stepping up to help staff the booth in
front of the Cambria Drug & Gift store at 2222 Main St., including the Lions Club and Cambria’s Anonymous Neighbors.
“Richard’s generous spirit and tireless efforts on behalf of the Food Bank and the community of Cambria are sorely missed,” said Carl Hansen, executive director of the Food Bank. “I can think of no better way to honor him than to stop by the Hunger Awareness Day booth in East Village on June 3rd to share a memory, and perhaps a dollar.”
Contribution booths are set to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 3, as Food Bank tries to meet increased demand for its services as communities endure continuing economic challenges.
Food Bank expects to help as many as 40,000 needy county residents overcome the challenges of rising food costs and tight budgets this year.
Last year’s “One Day, One Dollar” campaign raised $120,000 countywide.
The Food Bank uses the money to distribute food to 200 nonprofit groups to feed thousands of hungry people and support its own BackPack Program, Senior Brown Bag Program and
Harvest Bag Program — all to help low-income people of all ages get more and better food to eat.
For more, go to food-bank.org.
NCAC chooses new chair, talks desal
After a prolonged nomination period and no public election, the North Coast Advisory Council has new members and leaders, who’ve agreed to provide a limited forum for comment on desalination but not to plunge into a study of water supply alternatives.
At its May 19 meeting, NCAC panel members decided Joyce Renshaw will represent the West Lodge Hill/Marine Terrace area and will be the council’s new chairwoman. Jeff Miller, who already represented Top of the World on Lodge Hill, is vice-chairman.
Tom Gray, Renshaw’s Area 6 alternate on the council, will head up the Land Use/Projects committee, which the new chairwoman used to lead. Erwin Ohannesian will continue chairing the Traffic Committee and being the Area 7 alternate for Top of the World.
Other council representatives are:
San Simeon (Area 1): Bob McLaughlin (corresponding secretary), regular; Bambi Fields, alternate
Leimert/Happy Hill/ Moonstone (Area 2): Gary Gall, regular (treasurer); Stevan Rosenlind, alternate
Park Hill (Area 3): Neil Cohen, regular, no alternate yet
East&West Villages/ rural (Area 4): Ralph Covell, regular; Terri O’Rourke, alternate
Burton Circle (Area 5): Sigrid Castaneda, regular; no alternate
East Lodge Hill (Area 8): Clive Finchamp, regular; no alternate.
Most of the appointed representatives remain the same: Agriculture, Dawn Dunlap, member, and Debbie Mix, alternate; Environment, Mary Giacoletti; Business, Mike Thompson, member, and Marjorie Ott, alternate; Latino/Latina outreach, Marty Muñoz- Main.
The council also hosted a lengthy discussion about Cambria’s plans for a desalination plant, and what role NCAC might play in the discussion.
More than a dozen members of the public spoke, some who oppose desalination, others who support it and a couple who had questions.
The council—which reviews various North Coast issues and permits, and then advises county 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson and other county officials — likely wouldn’t be officially involved with the desalination debate, but could provide a discussion forum for the community.
The council voted 5-2 to not form a committee to study water supply alternatives, but did agree to set aside 5 to 7 minutes at its monthly meetings for comments and questions on desalination.
The council continues to seek alternate members for Areas 3, 5 and 8. To apply, go to www.northcoastadvisorycouncil.org.For details, call Renshaw at 927-2202 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. —Kathe Tanner
Date set for 10th annual kitchen tour
The Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP) has set a date for its 10th annual Great Kitchens of Cambria Tour, a major fundraiser in the nonprofit organization’s efforts to protect the habitat and historic trails of the 440-acre Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
The self-guided tour of eight Cambria kitchens is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 31. Tourtakers can sample gourmet treats, wine and other beverages as they view the kitchens and demonstrations.
Tickets, $30, are available by mailing a self-addressed, stamped envelope to P.O. Box 1664, Cambria CA 93428. Tickets can be purchased at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., beginning on June 21.
Additional information is available at www.ffrpcambria.organd by calling 927-2856.
Grand opening for new East Village gallery
Cambria’s new Gallerie Lulu will hold its grand opening, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 29, at 2450 Main St. All the original art in the gallery will be discounted by 50 percent during the opening, which lasts until Monday, June 7.
Featured are digitally enhanced photographs by Michael Adelson and paintings and mixed media wall art by Lynda Olsen Adelson, who co-own the new art gallery.
All pieces are framed and signed originals, with most priced from $39 to $295. Commissions, special orders and unframed artworks are available.
The Adelsons have been members of the Cambria art scene since 1981, when they founded Seekers Glass Gallery, which they sold in 2005. Since then, they’ve become full-time artists, winning awards and selling works at area art shows.
Gallerie Lulu is open most days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the owners say it’s best to call 927- 5800 to make sure it’s open, get details or request an appointment.
For more information and pictures of each piece of hanging art in the gallery, go to www.GallerieLulu.com.