The Cambrian

In Brief: Retired fire chief joins healthcare race; Meeting set to review watershed plan

Retired fire chief joins healthcare race

I t was a busy final week of filing for seats for the Nov. 2 election for North Coast boards.

Nominations closed Aug. 6 for three of the four local district races. Filing for the Cambria Community Services District was extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11 (after The Cambrian’s press deadline), because incumbents Peter Chaldecott and Greg Sanders aren’t running again (see story, Page 1).

Cambria businessman Mike Thompson, co-owner of the Matter of Taste shop on Burton Drive, has joined the race. Other candidates who filed previously are businessman and college professor Jim Bahringer, astrologer and gardener Harry Farmer, and university professor/author Valerie Bentz.

Bob Putney, retired Cambria Fire Department chief, tossed his helmet into the race for the Cambria Community Healthcare District. Also now running are Hearst Castle tour guide Jeff Miller and incumbents Runo Lemming and pharmacist John Headding. Incumbent Frank Fratto, a dentist, filed earlier.

In the Coast Unified School District’s Board of Trustees race, incumbent Dianne Brooke has joined fellow board member Del Clegg and challengers Gretchen Ross of Cayucos and businessman Lee Chamberlain in the race.

The fourth contest, for the San Simeon Community Services District’s Board of Directors, is over before it’s begun. When a race garners only as many contenders as there are seats up for election, those candidates can be appointed in lieu of election. The two incumbents, Terry Lambeth and Dee Dee Ricci, were the only candidates to apply for the two seats, so no election will be held.

Lambeth and Ricci are to be appointed to fill the posts.

The county posts a list of candidate filings daily at —Kathe Tanner

Meeting set to review watershed plan

A public meeting to explore how to improve the health of Santa Rosa Creek’s watershed, and hear from people who live on or own property within the area, is to begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, at Rabobank, 1070 Main St., in Cambria.

The draft Santa Rosa Creek Watershed Management Plan, funded by a $300,000 state Department of Fish and Game Fisheries Restoration grant issued in the state’s 2007-2008 fiscal year, was prepared by Greenspace—The Cambria Land Trust, Central Coast Salmon Enhancement and Stillwater Sciences. The 47.5-square-mile watershed collects rain runoff from Harmony to part of Leimert Estates, from mid-and upper Lodge and Park hills inland to Cypress Mountain and Black Mountain Ridge along Highway 46.

While the plan aims to improve the entire watershed, the study’s focus is restoring creek habitat for the regionally threatened population of steelhead trout, making the whole fishery healthier.

Another goal is to make people more watershed-aware. “The average citizen doesn’t have a clue that there are steelhead in Santa Rosa Creek” or why they’re important, said Steph Wald of Salmon Enhancement.

Some priorities include:

• Removing barriers to fish-spawning patterns, such as replacing the cross-

ing of Ferrasci Creek with a bridge that would span the waterway;

• Increasing creek water levels in the summer and fall;

• Restoring the riparian corridor;

• Remediating sources of fine sediment that can foul the creek;

• Increasing the understanding of how steelhead go from the freshwater creek to the salty sea and back, usually in late winter and early spring; and

• Reducing the supply of mercury from abandoned mine sites.

— Kathe Tanner