The Cambrian

Cambrian letters to the editor, Aug. 18, 2016

Cambria Anonymous Neighbors meets the first Thursday of each month at Santa Rosa Catholic Church.
Cambria Anonymous Neighbors meets the first Thursday of each month at Santa Rosa Catholic Church.

Supports CCSD board, manager

Reading letters to the editor has led me to believe that some writers regarding CCSD are living in an alternative reality.

When it is clear to us all that there is a water shortage, they claim there is plenty.

When the CCSD enacted serious “anti-growth” measures with the force of law, they claim “growth is on the agenda” of the current board.

When the general manager got a pay raise, they claimed we could get a G.M. for a lot less — a casual reading of local county news shows that leadership in the public sectors require salaries in the $150,000 area to attract talent — particularly to obtain progressive management.

Their agenda is to replace the current board with a “do-nothing majority” who will mothball the project for good (thought the installation costs will still need to be paid).

This happened in 1996, when the board was poised to build a permitted ocean-intake desalination plant to end the water restrictions that have kept our town permanently thirsty and our cars dusty. A new board suspended further work on that project, and it disappeared into obscurity.

Our only water source is shared with farmers upstream along both creeks, all of whom have superior rights (by law) to the CCSD below. To obtain a return on their investment, a number of farmers have switched (for example to avocados or grapes) from row crops. These must be maintained year round by controlled irrigation — sharing the water source with the town.

After 17 years of board service (1993-2010), I fully support our current CCSD board and manager.

Peter Chaldecott, Cambria

Pokemon search leads to CAN help

Cambria Anonymous Neighbors held its monthly food distribution Aug. 4. We were Pokemoned!

A young lady arrived in search of Pokemon. She was promptly put to work sacking food items. She was a delightful help and most certainly was not in search of a new experience.

This is a plea to Cambria for a few more able-bodied helpers to lessen the load on the rest of us. We give bagged food commodities from USDA and SLO Food Bank, Santa Rosa and St. Paul’s churches, and CAN to 62 to 107 local households.

We meet the first Thursday of each month from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Santa Rosa Catholic Church parish hall.

Please call CAN at 805-927-5673 to volunteer! Please help!

Doug Spelts, President, CAN

Sanders, Robinette deserve apology

Donald Archer said in his July 28 letter to The Cambrian (“Replace Sanders, Robinette on CCSD”) that the views of a majority on the current CCSD board do not reflect his interests.

“These directors have misrepresented facts in order to promote their own interests and the special interests they represent,” and that Robinette and Sanders “must be replaced with trustworthy individuals looking out for the well-being of a majority of Cambrians, not primarily developers and speculators.”

The title of the letter targets Robinette and Sanders but suggests that the “majority” is in someone’s pocket (“special interests”).

Whose pocket, Mr. Archer? What developers, what speculators and how do these untrustworthy board members personally profit?

I do not know Robinette personally, but I have met and talked with her and attended CCSD meetings; she has my respect and admiration. As for Sanders, I know that he is a combat veteran and that he not only serves his community but continues to serve his country. The man’s kindness and generosity are exceptional. His integrity is beyond question.

I appreciate the willingness of the board members to serve Cambria in what is a thankless job. It is not reasonable to expect that either Mr. Archer or I can possibly agree with every action that the CCSD Board takes. On the other hand, to suggest that they are not honorable (and that is how I read Mr. Archer’s comments) is irresponsible and uncalled for. Mr. Archer, you should apologize.

Terry Farrell, Cambria

Parade float set to ‘Pie it Forward’

In the spirit of the book “Pay it Forward” by Cambria’s own Catherine Ryan Hyde, Linn’s Restaurant is proud to participate in this year’s Pinedorado Parade with our “Pie it Forward” float entry. We celebrate our town’s 150th anniversary and its longstanding tradition of bringing neighbors together at the parade and festivities on Labor Day weekend.

Congratulations to the Lions for 100 years of community service, and to our Cambrian neighbors for creating the sustained caring and sharing so characteristic of our town!

Catherine expressed it best: “Thank you to the Lions for all you do, and best wishes for the 68th Annual Pinedorado Parade. Cambria is the perfect community for the ‘Pay It Forward’ philosophy of neighbors helping neighbors, and the Linn’s ‘Pie It Forward’ float is a fun and entertaining way to honor and further inspire the Cambrian spirit of kindness.”

John, Maureen, Aaron Linn, Linn’s of Cambria

CCSD must balance town’s needs

Last Saturday, Theresa and I could not find a parking spot on Main Street from Windsor to Burton Drive. We made several attempts before giving up and going home.

Tourism is booming, which is great for business, but Cambria residents are slowly losing their access to their town because of the ever-increasing number of visitors.

There should be a balance between the Cambrians’ quality of life, the significant infrastructure limitations (roads, traffic controls, water, sewer and parking) and environmental constraints with future business and residential growth.

The county controls land use but the Cambria Community Services District has the greatest control on future growth, having the authority to allocate uses of our limited water supply.

Cambrians should strongly consider electing CCSD board members in November who are committed to creating the aforementioned balance while maintaining residents’ quality of life as their top priority.

Allan MacKinnon, Cambria

Swimming tragedy coverage lacking

I was shocked at the horrible news about Dante Garcia’s swimming accident. I was almost equally shocked when I saw the front page of last week’s The Cambrian. The loss of a young citizen of our tight-knit community should be treated as the top story of the week, not the state of ticket sales for an event almost a month away. This makes me wonder if this publication purposely avoids covering certain newsworthy events, let alone paying front-page homage to a beloved student who has been taken from us.

Randall Schwalbe, Cambria

Garden Club: 5 years on median

About five years ago, the Cambria Garden Club responded to Blair McCormick’s request for help in maintaining a section of landscaping on Main Street. We chose the three medians, and that was the beginning of an organized sunrise team of weeders and planters. And an overall general maintenance crew donned orange safety vests to do what needed to be done.

As of last Tuesday, we are no longer maintaining the medians. The Cambria Garden Club has always been involved in community projects — our residents and tourists are still enjoying the springtime daffodils we sold and planted — and now we are venturing toward a different community project.

We’re like the rolling stones that gather no moss. Overall, the median crew and the Cambria Garden Club have truly enjoyed the camaraderie that developed and the appreciation of the community.

Carole Frane, Cambria Garden Club

Thanks for help after fall from tree

There are so many people to thank after my fall from a tree May 26.

First are Nacho and Elias Ramirez, who were working with me. Their quick response and call to 911 were essential. They stayed with me until the ambulance and fire crews arrived. I will never forget their help. The EMTs and fire crew were amazing. I have never been so happy to hear sirens. The way they handled me and provided encouragement was incredible. A quick ride to Sierra Vista and an entertaining evaluation by Dr. Hayashi put me on a helicopter ride to Fresno Regional Trauma Center.

My two-week stay there is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. So many wonderful people have helped make this recovery a success. The prayers and favors of this community have brought me to tears more than once. My wife, Shana, has taken care of me, kept two businesses going and managed to continue preparing for Marla’s wedding in September. And finally, Sheri Baldwin’s physical therapy helped carry me to the happy moment when I will walk my daughter down the aisle.

Blair McCormick, Cambria

Stop complaining about water bills

Cambrians, let’s get real about our water bills. My wife and I are a two-person household and regularly use a total of 4 units of water per billing period which works out to about 4.7 cents per gallon. If one does the calculation for those months when the SWF is operating, it works out to 4.8 cents per gallon. Thinking back to the “good old days” (pre-EWS) we would be paying an unbelievable flat 4 cents per gallon.

By the way, if we were using the allowed 8 units per billing period our per-gallon cost would be 2.9 and 3.3 cents, respectively, in the first two examples above.

Think a minute about these numbers and compare them to some daily, weekly or monthly expenses. For example, I just filled my car’s tank for $2.87 per gallon. A cup of coffee for $1.50 and a free refill would amount to $12 a gallon, while a soft drink for $2.50 and a free refill would set one back $10 a gallon. I could go on, but you get the point.

The key question is: How much would you be willing to pay for a gallon of water if there were (doomsday scenario, I know) absolutely no water available from normal sources? After all, before we can enjoy our cars, coffees and colas we have to be well-hydrated. Please consider this the next time you hear our resident naysayers complaining about how our duly elected public servants are spending us into an abyss of overwhelming debt.

Jerry Stukenberg, Cambria

Don’t miss “The Dixie Swim Club”

Sometimes a theater experience enraptures you, and “The Dixie Swim Club” just opening in Cambria at the Pewter Plough Playhouse did that for many of us who had the pleasure of attending opening night.

It’s constantly and deeply funny, the characters are well played. The choreography that presents the life of five high school swim team best friends that rendezvous at a beach cabin every few years reveals not only their individual life trials but the unexpected union they share as they enter their mid-70, is phenomenal.

This play is an upper, filled with retrospect about where life leads us. Kudos to the director Kelli Howard, exceptional women actors, and crew! Don’t miss it!

Linda Owen, Los Osos