Keep Cambria Fire Department
The Cambria Community Services District’s plan to close our fire department is mind blowing and suicidal. Scientists from NASA, Columbia University and Cornell University predict that there is an 80 percent chance that California and five other states will be hit by megadroughts “so far beyond our experience that they are almost impossible to think about.”
Strangely, it is the locals who claim to be environmentalists, who have defeated every effort to take survival measures. Bordered by an endless water supply, we can’t have a recycling plant. Yes, it would separate out sea salt (which we could sell at a premium) and save our lives.
Millennia ago, Sahara sands covered an area of trees, rivers, animals and people. Is that our future?
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Two thousand years ago, Romans moved water from where it was abundant to populated areas. Every year, there is disastrous flooding in the East and Midwest of the U.S., but we are evidently incapable of moving any of it.
Our fire department is crucial. Our firefighters work hard. They know the area. They are our most valuable local service.
I volunteer to suggest cuts in the budget that would finance our fire department.
Keep our fire department.
Cellphone towers needed in Cambria
In consideration of the local residents and the many out-of-town visitors in our various lodges/hotels every week that utilize their cell phones for all communication, the community of Cambria has a need for constant and reliable wireless communication.
Based on possible fire evacuation and other emergency possibilities, it now seems reasonable that the Cambria Community Services District provide oversight, guidance and solicitation of wireless phone towers developers to provide quality and balanced coverage to the total Cambria community.
Land lines run on insulated wires strung on wood poles; if fires remove the towers/lines, there are no connections. Cell antenna towers and sites can be constructed to be fire resistant and backed up by self contained independent generators, which start up immediately at the loss of offsite electricity.
Fire personal have stated that they will typically request temporary cell towers to be installed for the arriving fire overhead/staff/firemen/public. But this can take many critical hours to occur; there should be local, established operating towers to support the existing populace and the emergency personnel. Good communication is an important part of fire suppression and evacuation operations.
It is also important that every installation be fire resistant and be capable of operation up to 48 hours without a resupply of fuel.
Wireless tower coverage should also be considered in the context of the total community of Cambria, not just which site mobilized first to catch a highly profitable area leaving others in a permanent coverage shadow.
Community input on fire policy
After reading recent fire department-related stories by Kathe Tanner in The Cambrian, I decided to put in my two cents. As a Cambria CERT member and former volunteer firefighter, these subjects are dear to my heart.
Our community needs to understand the issues relating to future fire and emergency services, and I propose that we convene a series of meetings so that the Cambria community may have input and give direction to our Cambria Community Services District board and general manager.
Does the community wish to retain Cambria Fire Department or contract with Cal Fire? Who will be the Fire Chief after July 15, when Mark Miller leaves to take accrued vacation?
There is an existing fire protection reimbursement agreement document (not executed) between CCSD and Cal Fire from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 in the amount of $228,856 to provide certain services. Also, I have an email from a board member indicating that no board decisions have been made to replace Cambria Fire Department with Cal Fire and there will be a committee formed to evaluate options.
Water shortage in Cambria a mirage
California’s water shortage is real.
Cambria’s is not.
Only weeks after the imposition of Stage 3 water restrictions, late-winter rains returned our wells back to normal levels. They have remained very healthy ever since. Over the past year, Cambria has received more rain than anywhere else in the county. We have brought back into service two additional wells that had been previously closed. Our 28 wells on the Santa Rosa and San Simeon watersheds are fully capable of supplying more water than we use, as they have done each and every year.
Our CCSD is supposed to be responsive to changing local conditions. The time is long past due to end water allocations and onerous penalties.
Why should we be told not to water our outdoor plantings, just to see that water run downstream under the bridge? We have saddled our water department with extensive debt over the next 10 years. The only way it will be able to meet those obligations while providing us with reasonably priced water and sewer services is by selling lots of water.
Let us enjoy the abundance that nature has provided. And let our future decisions be based on facts, not fear.
Physicians in short supply on Central Coast
California is experiencing a statewide physician shortage, and the Central Coast is no exception. Provider shortages create an enormous burden for our seniors, who often struggle with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. They might not be able to schedule appointments in a timely fashion, or may have transportation issues that prevent them from seeking care from another provider far from home.
With the Association of American Medical Colleges predicting a nationwide shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2025, these problems will not go away anytime soon.
Fortunately, health care is closer than it appears. Nearly all (95 percent) Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy. As a pharmacist, and the owner of Hometown Pharmacy in Santa Maria, I believe it makes sense to utilize pharmacists to alleviate some of the pressure created by physician shortages. We are ready to help seniors with services such as immunizations, health screenings and tests, and chronic disease management, so they can receive care close to home.
Right now, the Medicare Part B program does not recognize pharmacists as health care providers. That is why a bipartisan group in Congress is working to give pharmacists provider status, which would allow us to be reimbursed for the care we provide Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas.
We ask Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) to support SB 314 and HR 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, a sensible, cost-effective plan to ensure that our seniors have access to the care they need no matter where they live.
Joseph E. Abraham; R. Ph.
Hometown Pharmacies, Santa Maria
Thanks for column, Charmaine Coimbra
Thank you, Charmaine Coimbra, for your well-written and much appreciated June 10 article “Why Volunteer.”
Our local communities are dependent on the contributions of so many organizations that are completely volunteer-based.
Please write more articles that encourage others to step up, get involved and volunteer.
The quote “We make a life by what we give” makes a great slogan.