Cambrian: Opinion

Letters to the Editor Jan. 14 - 20

Lack of business

H ave you noticed the practically total lack of business coverage in The Cambrian during the past year or so? That’s because the editor, as he told me the other day “isn’t covering business” and that it’s his bottom priority. He told me readers want more human interest and nonprofit stories. Well, Bert, they don’t buy ads!

Just ask Mary Ann at the Chamber of Commerce about the lack of business coverage at a time when Cambria-area businesses need it most. The chamber sent a delegation last year to speak with Managing Editor Bert Etling about the issue of business coverage. He listened and continued with the same policy, which I believe is dictated from The Tribune owners.

A reporter told me that the small community papers are the biggest money makers for McClatchy, owners of The Tribune and Cambrian, and would be the last to be sold off or closed. Why? Because they collect outrageous rates based on 98 percent circulation and don’t pay enough writers to do stories on business or what’s going on in our town.

I don’t believe their circulation numbers; if you do the math, 98 percent circulation would mean that in a town of 6,400, only 128 individuals do not read the Cambrian every week. Do you believe that?

So, we are being charged for people who don’t read the ads we pay too much for and we don’t even receive the all-important editorial support. Nice gig for The Tribune/ McClatchy.

Lynda Olsen Adelson Cambria

Editor’s note: The Cambrian appreciates the opportunity to address an issue that comes up from time to time. The letter writer does not mention it in her letter, but it was her stated purpose when she came into The Cambrian newsroom Tuesday, Jan. 5.

She said she recently opened a business, was about to advertise, and that that established a “quid pro quo” (one thing in return for another). We were, she said, to run a news story about her business because she would be advertising.

Such an exchange of advertising business for news story placement is not the policy at The Cambrian, The Tribune or any other reputable newspaper.

As Tribune Executive Editor Sandra Duerr put it in her “Ask the Editor” column on Feb. 18, 2008, “All decisions regarding news coverage and placement of stories in the newspaper and on our Web site are made solely by the news staff, independent of whether a company or individual chooses to advertise with The Tribune. We maintain that separation to ensure the independence and integrity of our news report.”

We believe delivering a fair news report benefits readers, the community and newspaper — and advertisers, too.

Regarding the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, two chamber representatives met with us over a year ago regarding coverage of the chamber’s public events, some of which depend on publicity to increase attendance and the chamber’s ability to help local nonprofit organizations. It’s The Cambrian’s

understanding — confirmed in a conversation with a chamber representative — that the chamber has been pleased by The Cambrian’s coverage of such events, as well as its regular inclusion of such business news as ribbon cuttings at new businesses.

Regarding circulation, the writer may be referring to readership surveys, in which phone calls are made to homes and individuals are asked if they’ve looked at a particular paper in the last week or last month. The Cambrian consistently scored very high in such surveys, but none that we are aware of have been conducted in recent years. Cambrian (and Tribune) circulation numbers continue to hold up quite well, far better than the industry at large.

Stealing clean air

On the good advice of a neighbor, I intended to start the New Year with a benign and endorphin-enhancing sense of “being grateful.” I practiced this benevolence for about five minutes before being completely derailed by what “other people” were doing. Or not doing.

At the clean-slate beginning of 2010, one could not ignore the fact that an unfair number of county residents were engaged in nefarious acts of thievery. Not stealing “things” (which would have been merely annoying), but rather they were stealing the air. They were sucking the air from the very mouths of babes with their archaic, pointless, polluting fireplaces. For the brief and dubious “ambiance” of looking at a burning hole in the wall, they fouled the air for everyone. For hours and days.

It would be better for all of us if this thieving element of society gave up wood-burning for the New Year.

If smoke is absolutely essential, perhaps they could switch to cigarettes. Cigarette smoke is easier to avoid and not as harmful to the rest of us.

M. Power Giacoletti San Simeon

Salvation Army thanks

I would again like to extend a big “thank-you” to all who made this another record-breaking year for collections in the red kettles in December. A special thanks to the Cookie Crock and the post office for allowing us to incessantly ring the bell on their premises.

And to those who wrote sizable checks to the Salvation Army — thank you so much. These checks account for the lion’s share of the donations each year.

And, finally, thank you to the following list of bell ringers, many of whom have been helping out for years: Bill Allen; Ruth Anne Anderson; John Angel; Jim and Lyn Baker; Pat and Jess Bathke; Marguerite and Wayne Broome; Bob Clooney; Ron Crummitt; Don Dallmann; Jean Dawes; Carmelle Dowdle; Betty and Ken Eberle; Eleanor Eubanks; Terry and Jeri Farrell; Dan and Sara Field; Jane Fine; Marion Fitzgerald; Carol Frane; Barbara and Marshall Gilston; Addie Guidi; Bob Harmsen; Ray Hopkins; Betty Johnson; Bill Johnson; Carrie Jones; Richard Jorgenson; Rose Kassler; George Keenan; Virginia Keller; Barbara and Dave Kier; Dora and Bob Lane; Bob Lennan; Liz and Jerry McKinnon; Doreen Minnick; Darcy Moreno; Tom Parsons; Dave and Karen Pearson; May and Richard Pierpont; Bob and Daun Putney; Erv Rodgers; Terry Sanders;MikeScharrar; John Smart; Fran and Bill Stoner; Mark and Susan Stuczynski; Tom Tierney; Mac Van Duzer; Ruben Villalobos; Landy and Joe Werland; and Pat Yaple.

Jim Rogers Cambria

Huge undertaking

The Cambria Youth Athletic Association is a nonprofit volunteer group providing organized recreational sports programs for the children of Cambria and San Simeon. CYAA finished its 2009 soccer season in November.

One hundred and eighty girls and boys, between 4 and 14 years of age, participated in the successful 10-week program.

The soccer program is a huge undertaking that would not be successful without the many volunteers. I would like to thank the many people who helped make the 2009 soccer season an important event in the lives of those children who participated.

Thank you to Ginger and her maintenance crew at Coast Union High School for marking the soccer fields. I would like to thank Toni Mertens for making the signup posters, Lisa Johnson for helping organize the uniform order, Luis and Janet Gutierrez and Kulia Neves for putting up and taking down soccer nets.

A big “thank-you” to our sponsors, Moonstone Beach Bar&Grill, Creekside Inn, Artifacts, Cambria Towing, Gym One, San Simeon Beach Bar&Grill, Manta Rey, Basile Law Firm, Brassworks, Sandy’s Deli, The Pit Stop, Boni’s Tacos, Lighthouse Litho, Don Bricker Realty, Cambria Tire&Auto, Cambria Hardware, Harvey’s Honeyhuts, Bob Kasper, Julie Adams, Froggies, JJ’s Pizza, JBJ’s Pizza, Cavalier, Among Friends, Funke Bilu Law and Winsor Construction.

The coaches and their assistants volunteered several hundred hours for the player assessments, coach clinics, practices and game days. I would like to give a huge thanks to John MacKinnon, David Wood, Ayen and Lisa Johnson, Jack Mettier, Cary Page, Andres Garcia, Debbie Markham, Tamara Corbet, Luis Plasencia, Kate Magnusson, Jose Fabila, Sergio Mendoza, and Lorenzo and Omar Catalan.

CYAA could not function without the time commitment and dedication these coaches give to our children. So many people helped make this soccer season successful. If I have forgotten to name anyone, thank you for your help.

Christopher Gutierrez, soccer coordinator

Cambria Youth Athletic Association