Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor 9/24-9/30

Sponsors sought

We at the Cambria YMCA Teen Center would like to thank all of the teen volunteers, and the two parents, Tom and Sheri Murray, who were kind enough to work in the hamburger booth at Pinedorado. The proceeds from this event and the Birdies & Bogies Golf Tournament are what the Lions keep the Teen Center going with all year long.

If you haven’t already signed up as a sponsor, or to golf this Sat. Sept. 26, we need you to participate. Your donations will really help. There are cash prizes for the first and second teams, Hole-in- One contest, a $25,000 putting contest, and raffle for golf equipment and gift certificates. You can contact Katie Allison at the YMCA at 543-8235 or the Lions at 927-9903 for information.

Please support our local teens.

Tyrone Armstrong director

Priscilla Mikesell assistant director

Cambria YMCA Teen Center

Invasion of rights?

Is drug testing necessary? Is it an invasion of individuals rights? Does it lead to some pernicious side effects, singling out only teenagers active in extra curricular activities as victims and perpetrators? Is getting a “D” in subject matter as bad as being known as a drug user in the campus and larger community? How can the information be kept quiet when the student is banned from the extracurricular activity and must attend five counseling sessions, probably held at the high school? In a small school and community are there many confidential matters? Has drug testing been found to be an effective deterrent for

teenagers? If parents fear drugs are part of their student’s life, can’t they have the student tested privately and not force other children to have mandatory drug testing and thereby violate their rights? Don’t you think adults and faculty might develop a skewed view of a student who fails a drug test? Isn’t a better answer positive action that encourages and introduces teens to programs and pursuits that can build and nurture the student’s future? Wouldn’t money spent on constructive programs for their spare time have a longer lasting benefit and be a more humane approach than making suspects and criminals out of the young?

Finally, why is a new superintendent fostering such a negative program and why are your children being subjected to possible humiliation and legal action on the pretext that testing would significantly curb the drug problem? Would faculty, staff and administrators be willing to undergo the same kind of testing? All these questions need to be answered before undergoing a drug testing program. As a high school teacher of 35 years, I understand the tragic consequences of student drug use, but taking away a student’s rights and self respect can also have lifelong consequences.

Albert Abney


Sour grapes?

I recently sent a letter to Genette Eaton, executive director of California headquarters for “Best Buddies,” the recent Hearst Castle fundraiser that raised “3.5 million dollars” in 2008, (more expected from 2009 event), asking for an application to apply for funding from them. I sent a copy to Chairman Anthony Kennedy Shriver.

Ms. Eaton called me and advised me they give no money to anyone in California or the United States, and only give internationally to support learning and physically disabled children to be successful in school.

I asked whether or not Best Buddies felt any obligation to leave some money in the local bucket to support our closely aligned mission statements, or the local cash-strapped school district that is educating disabled children, since they are extracting local resources, money, and volunteerism here to raise international money. She said they do not do that.

With approximately 60 offices in the U.S., and several hundred employees, one would think that they could drop a dime to the community that offers the setting, resources, and some people to raise so much money. I am open to feedback!

Brad Bailey

Education Advocacy of the Central Coast Cambria

Terrific support

I always find myself overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we receive for our Coach Pitch and Tee-Ball program here in Cambria. We recently finished another successful season and without the many people who donate their time, their services or their money, we wouldn’t have a baseball program for our littlest players. I just want to express our gratitude to those generous individuals.

I want to thank all of our coaches who tirelessly provide a safe and healthy environment for our kids to learn the fundamentals of the game. Wendy and Wes Torell, Bob Kasper, Thad Markham and Chris Milbrath each deserve special thanks. I want to thank our sponsors Wesley Torell Construction, Bob Kasper, Cambria Pines Tree Service, Andy Loveless, American Classic Foods, Artifacts

Gallery, The Bluebird Inn, the Rotary and the Sons of the American Legion for their support.

Some of these sponsors donate money year after year to keep this program alive and some specifically donated to make sure that every child who wanted to play could do so. When the call went out that we needed sponsors to help support our program, these people stepped up and graciously donated the money needed to make it all happen.

I also want to thank the kind people at Harvey’s Honey Huts who every year graciously donate their services without hesitation. And, as always, I want to thank Steve Kniffen for the many things he does to promote baseball in this town and for the genuine care and concern he has for each of our kids.

Baseball is incredibly important to this community. It brings us all together and gives us something to cheer for.

I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t been to a Coach Pitch and Tee-Ball game make a point in this upcoming season to come down one Saturday morning, bring a cup of coffee and a beach chair and cheer for those little players working so hard to learn this great game. And while you’re at it, give a cheer for those people who make it all happen.

Gary Stephenson

Cambria Youth Athletic Association

Generous Cambrians

We want to thank all the Cambrians who contributed to our nephew’s fundraiser. And a thank you to those who contributed prizes—A Matter of Taste, Robin’s Restaurant, Sow’s Ear, Black Cat Bistro, Chamber’s Gallery, Hearst Theatre, Pat Riley, Suzanne Stadler, and Emilee Pimley. The fundraiser was held on Aug. 22 and the grand prize winner was a local Cambrian, Ramona Voge. Congratulations Ramona.

The event raised $10,000 to assist our nephew with his medical bills, of which $4,000 came from California.

Cambria is a very special place. We are so blessed to live here and to own a business in this community.

Marjorie Ott and Marilyn Draper

owners, Olallieberry Inn Cambria

More on drug testing

Let me add a few more thoughts on random drug testing at Coast Union High School. I finding asking a girl to pee in a bottle is rather sexually perverse and is perhaps even degrading, and it creates a problem where none exists in the first place.

As a former employee at the high school, as I have observed before, there is little to no evidence that drugs are being used at our stellar high school.

And who is going to conduct these tests and who if going to pay for them? We are hard put for money for high schools now, so adding any financial burden to our schools seems unreasonable. As one letter writer observed, in so many words, that children are not mature enough to know the dangers associated with drug usage. Suggesting even that the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution does not apply to them.

Let me cite an example of the maturity of children. I was sitting in Whittier watching my grandson place baseball when I noticed some teenagers teasing their little brother. To divert them I asked the little brother a math question. He answered the question in a matter of seconds saying that there were two ways to answer the question. And both of them were correct. His father said that his Latino eight-year-old son reads newspapers and books almost every day. That means, in my view that he is even old enough to vote and that makes him

smarter than a third of our nation. And why not allow 10-year-olds to vote anyway.

When very young children are asked to pick the kids that they thought would succeed or fail in life, they unfailingly picked the right kids. A follow-up study showed they were correct 90 percent of the time. Even very little kids show a lot of maturity. Does this sound like they lack maturity?

Drug testing is a waste of taxpayer money and it robs the kids of their Fourth Amendment rights.

Finally, does the Constitution apply to everyone no matter how old they are? I think it does.

Clive Finchamp