Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, April 6, 2017

Jim Ellman has delivered about 1,500 bikes to needy individuals in San Luis Obispo County over the past 18 years. This is his last large delivery.
Jim Ellman has delivered about 1,500 bikes to needy individuals in San Luis Obispo County over the past 18 years. This is his last large delivery.

Bikes for Tikes leaving county

I hate to tell you this, but after 18 years in SLO County delivering approximately 1,500 bicycles to needy individuals, my wife and I need to move.

I want you to know how much I appreciate all the bikes this community has donated over the years to Bikes for Tikes for many needy children, teenagers and adults in San Luis Obispo County.

I have been so fortunate to have partnered with so many fine social service organizations such as CAPSLO, Womenade, Prado and Maxine Lewis homeless shelters, Grass Roots, churches and schools. All of these organizations need bikes year-round. If you want to donate a bike that is in good working condition, you can contact them directly. If you have a bike that needs repair, the Cambria Bike Kitchen gladly accepts donations. It is a nonprofit organization that reasonably repairs and sell bikes right here in Cambria.

Some of you have asked how I got started donating bikes. Prior to moving to Cambria, my wife and I lived in Sonoma County, which has a large migrant worker population. Many of these workers and their children are without transportation. I had a couple of extra bikes that I put on our former driveway with a note stating “free bikes for farmworkers.” Within hours, the bikes were gone.

I then started buying bikes at yard sales. I would refurbish them and distribute to social service organizations.

When we moved to Cambria, I thought I would do the same thing but only with kids bikes. However, the demand for adult bikes and teenager bikes was so great I again refurbished bikes of all sizes. Perhaps after we move to Southern California, I will continue with Bikes for Tikes.

I want to also thank my friend Bob Elderidge who helped me over the years refurbishing bikes. Thank you.

Congratulations to Coast Union boys

Congrats to the Broncos basketball team for a great season. It was a pleasure to see these boys succeed. It was also great to see a Cambria kid, Jez Lawson, be recognized second-team all county.

This is the second consecutive year a Cambria basketball player has been named all county. My son, Max Basile, was first-team all-county last year, though this was not covered by the Cambrian. Guess it was payback for Max going to Mission.

Congrats Broncos and all my former Santa Lucia players for a great year.

Jude Basile, Cambria

“Back to the ’80s” a real treat

I thoroughly enjoyed Coast Union High School’s production of “Back to the ’80s” on Friday night.

While the show focuses on music and trivia of the 1980s, I didn’t find the plot lines as “thin” as I had anticipated for a review-type show.

We were all rooting for the new girl and the spurned girl, the introspective guy and the geek. We loved it when finally the “nerd” whooped the “jock”!

This is a very large cast and major singing parts are spread widely.

I particularly enjoyed the “jocks,” who I suspect were typecast.

Their adept singing and dancing shows they were fully committed to this drama production despite their full athletic schedule.

I felt the addition of non-drama “jocks” added a lot to the show and buttressed my already high opinion of the spirit and cohesion of our high school.

While I knew that director, Randy Schwalbe had a long career in theater and music, I have new respect and appreciation for his organizational skills and ability to work with young people. This must not have been an easy show to produce.

Given the large cast of widely varied dance talent, student choreographer Anna Harrington did an amazing job of fun, imaginative and effective choreography.

We had a strong, warm audience though I saw too many empty seats.

I encourage your readers to attend for a fun, somewhat nostalgic time … and for a renewed appreciation of our really solid high school.

John Ruml, former resident and part-time visitor

Kudos for Tanner story on ranches

I just want to say how much I enjoyed Kathe Tanner’s article published Thursday, March 16, “Ranches, vineyards adjust to wet winter.”

My husband, Tom, and I so enjoy observing our “local” cattle when driving on Highway 1 south or over Highway 46 to head over the hill.

It is so interesting to see the cattle in their various seasons — daddy bulls out with the girls, cows “expecting,” and then, in fall, enjoying spotting the new little calves.

We all weathered this extreme wet season, but it was especially interesting to read the trials and tribulations of our ranchers … the runoff of excess water, slides, road problems and not being able to start the branding season until two months later when the calves were much larger and more difficult.

And, it was also great to read individual ranchers’ experiences, ranchers by name, since we are all familiar with the local family names at least.

Great article, Kathe!

Mary Murphy, Cambria

CCSD right to oppose board

I thank the Cambria CSD members, President Amanda Rice, Vice President Greg Sanders, Directors Jim Bahringer, Harry Farmer and Michael Thompson, for unanimously voting to send a statement to the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, urging them to revoke the March 7 changes to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act strategy.

These modifications would make the residents of all cities, communities and community service districts responsible for paying for the regulation and monitoring in three of the six groundwater basins that are currently in overdraft.

SLO County passed a permanent agricultural offset program in 2015, which has been repeatedly challenged in multiple lawsuits by groups (in one instance more than 200 signatories) of vineyard owners.

In March 2016 voters and landowners in the Paso Robles basin overwhelmingly rejected the proposal (Measure A-16) to form and fund a water district, which other responsible cities and CSDs in the county have done.

Now they refuse to follow the state SGMA, and have handed over, by the 3-2 Board of Supervisors decision, the funding to taxpayers of the entire county.

Elizabeth Swierk, Cambria

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