Christmas musical a rousing success
The Presbyterian Church of Cambria hosted a wonderful Christmas show that featured singing of every kind with music such as “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas,” and it was narrated by Mark Kramer, who seems to love doing the show, as he has done it for many years. Participants included Nancy Tabor and Kathy Younger, just to name a few. This year marks the 50th year of the church’s existence in its current location. I hope goes on for many more years.
Clive Finchamp, Cambria
4-0 vote: Directors act like adults
I was very surprised to see the CCSD board of directors compromise, voting 4-0 in favor of David Pearson.
Thank you for your adult like behavior. There is no question the community of Cambria is divided; maybe the community can learn something from the Board of Directors. Time will tell.
Jim Fidele, Cambria
Irony abounds in CCSD decisions
Isn’t it ironic? Two months ago, the CCSD acquired a new firetruck for approximately $700,000, without enough money in the budget to continue paying salaries of firefighters hired with funds from a two-year (expiring) SAFER Grant.
Isn’t it ironic that we cannot afford to “sustain” the $13 million (and counting) “Sustainable” Water Facility? (Costs exceeded $2 million January through November 2017 according to a recent report presented to the CCSD board by Dr. Elizabeth Bettenhausen.)
The Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a Cease and Desist Order, levied $600,000 in fines (reduced after CCSD promised future compliance), and ordered the brine pond decommissioned. Isn’t it ironic that the general manager of this ill-conceived and mismanaged project is still on the district’s payroll?
On Jan. 1, 2016, Cambrians were saddled with a 116 percent rate increase spread over a five-year period as recommended by a paid consultant. Isn’t it ironic that two years in, the district hired the same consultant to perform yet another rate increase study at a cost of $68,000?
Ratepayers face the prospect of more taxes and rate hikes to fund: a water project that lacks a Coastal Development Permit, a buildout reduction program, dog park maintenance, and additional personnel. How about we get our financial house in order by repurposing the water facility to operate on an emergency basis only; implementing a hiring freeze and across-the-board budget cuts; and, finally, by firing the general manager for good cause. No more taxes! No more rate hikes!
Sherri G. Bell, Cambria
Terminal’s nice, but fix the elevator
The new airport is nice.
I arrived at 5 a.m. on Nov. 7, paid $252 to park my vehicle and parked in a handicapped spot near the elevator. Guess what? Elevator out of order.
So, I struggled up the 200-foot ramps with my 50-pound suitcase, carry-on and purse. Whew! Made it, in spite of the bad knees.
OK, I was gone two and a half weeks, and surely the elevator would be fixed by Nov. 25, right? Wrong! Home at 10:30 p.m., this time with two 50-pound suitcases, carry-on and purse.
Now it would be down the 200-foot ramps, and I would probably fly off in to outer space. Fortunately, there were good Samaritan travelers who helped me with the suitcases. Even those able-bodied persons had trouble going down those ramps with heavy suitcases.
I am not dropped off and picked up at the upper level. Shame on the airport for disregarding single handicapped persons!
Nice new terminal, but ...
Susan Oberholtzer, Cambria
Land-use rules can be restrictive
As the scion of the Greener Pastures Institute during the ’90s (first headquartered in California), I helped orchestrate the relocation of thousands out of California. USA Today twice featured my service in its pages, and I once had the toll-free number 1-800-OUT-OF-LA.
But I’m b-a-a-c-k (after forays in Oregon and Washington, where I wised up about land restrictions there that killed my dream of building on subdivided acreage — long story).
I don’t doubt Lee Ohanian’s and Edward Prescott’s research into land-use regulations in California, especially as they restrict affordable housing. But I wouldn’t be quick to condemn all planners who attempt, against the odds, to balance open space with growth so that humans (anywhere) can aspire to connections with nature, from which they are so often dissasociated.
But building officials are equally to blame as they restrict the kinds of often affordable housing that can be built on approved parcels. My small book of alternatives, such as straw-bale homes, tiny homes, even modest mobile homes, reveals how building officials discriminate not only against these often much cheaper alternatives to standard stick-built structures — but also against owner-builders, who have become pariahs in this country since codes came in 100 years ago. (There are, interestingly, two very rural counties of California that do approve owner-built housing, but it is certainly a rarity elsewhere.)
For example, a nonprofit organization called Hopes Village (hopesvillageofslo.com) has been trying to site owner-built tiny homes on a donated parcel of land in Central California for five years. There has been a lot of encouragement, but no formal approval. And there has been no land donation, or even a lease offer.
I’m glad I’m back in California, but I had to pay the “price of admission.” It was steep. But, let’s face it, the weather here is terrific.
Bill Seavey, Cambria