Cambrian: Opinion

Letters to the Editor Feb. 25 to March 3

‘Web of life’

O ur magnificent marine estuaries, where fresh river water flows down to the salty sea, once common along the California coast, most of them long since damaged and destroyed by mindless development before their critical ecological importance could be comprehended, are part of the web of life.

Now the Cambria Community Services District is planning to drill desalination test wells in one of the few remaining, unspoiled estuaries, our beautiful local Santa Rosa Creek beach, home to marine invertebrates, snail and shellfish mollusks like the sea horn snail, aquatic crustacean arthropod crabs and shrimp, and most frightening of all, our fragile estuary’s fishery nursery for the threatened anadromous steelhead trout fry.

Its not just our relentless assault on wildlife and its habitat. It’s not just the loss of our food chain, like California’s sardine, herring, abalone, and salmon fisheries.

Apparently unbeknown to the CCSD bureaucrats and their backers, if we continue to damage and destroy ecologically sensitive habitat and wildlife, we will eventually destroy ourselves, because we are all part of the web of life.

Roger Cleary Cambria

Saving water

Pamela Thompson (Feb. 18, “H20-saving proposals”) had some great ideas and she added a healthy dose of humor to a serious issue. I have an idea but it may be too late.

My idea is to harness the Weymouth River during our gully washer storms. If you have not seen it, you have missed some of the best white-water rafting sites in Cambria. The ideal would have been to use the land acquisition idea to scoop up the two lots off Brighton, down in the wetland meadow, that are considered buildable lots.

I wonder where the Coastal Commission was when that was approved. With those lots, we could have had a lovely reservoir on that land west of

Brighton and north of Weymouth. Instead, we have two mega-million dollar spec houses going in to this pristine green spot.

No longer will the deer graze there and my perfect reservoir location is forever lost. Maybe with the help of the Corps of Engineers we can still do something to save this water resource that runs to the sea.

Oh, for the record, I like the concept of desalination — I think controlled growth is okay for folks who own lots and we do conserve. We were billed for five units of water on our last bill. I am getting a little itchy though.

Brian Griffin Cambria

‘Land speculators’

Your head and heart are wrong, Mr. Robinson (Feb. 18, “Missing Factor”). Valerie Bentz is neither greedy nor fears

change. She is simply concerned for people and the environment and is readily willing to accept positive change.

But Valerie doesn’t need defending from groundless charges such as you pose. People who know Valerie value her ideas, her concerns and her constructive actions, especially in the area of environmental concerns.

It is difficult to feel too sorry for a group of land speculators who threaten lawsuits based on dubious rights. I am sure that those purchasing lots received disclosure in escrow regarding the iffy water situation. If not, then a lawsuit is in order, but Cambria is not the guilty party.

Al Abney Cambria

‘Really tired’

Regarding the Viewpoint column by Valerie Bentz (Feb 11, “Fiscal, environmental cost too high”): I get so tired of environmental advocates who make up facts and state irresponsible conclusions! A desalination plant is not going to result in a dead area in the ocean. It will simply return a relatively tiny amount of salt to the ocean from whence it came, which can be quickly dissipated without effect. Use your head instead of your heart!

The enormous rains we just experienced should remind us that all of our fresh water is extracted from the ocean by evapo-

ration, leaving the salt behind via Mother Nature’s own desalination.

The ocean also experiences large natural gradients in salinity, both temporally and spatially, without causing death. Freshwater runoff from the creek causes drastic changes in salinity over a substantial area of the ocean, without causing death.

Ocean currents including upwelling from deep waters cause significant variations in salinity, again without causing death.

The objections to imagined toxic releases of mercury and leaks from equipment and engines threatening the environment are also red herrings. These are matters that are easy to control.

Every human activity can be said to threaten the environment by someone using a heart instead of a head to judge. But we all still drive our cars which emit toxins, turn on our TVs powered by pollution-spewing electrical generators, and drink our water extracted from wells by equipment that can leak and cause emissions, activities that could easily be called deadly by those with extreme environmental judgments.

The fiscal points offered by the Viewpoint are, by contrast, well worth considering, with or without the desalination issue.

However, not all things are as they appear. For example, California regulations on home gray water systems make it almost impossible to comply at a reasonable cost. And every development, such as “ponds or storage tanks up Santa Rosa Creek” generates the same kind of opposition “from the heart” as expressed in the subject article. Let’s not forget that Cambrians have been considering desalination and alternatives to it for two decades, and a decade ago, supported desalination in the only vote ever to put the question directly to the people.

Cambria’s water management plan has been developed with lots of public input in the decade since, and there will be more environmental evaluation before a plant is ever built. But I am really tired of the hysterics at each step along the way!

Bob Horvath Cambria

Need cell service

I read the letter from Bradley Zane (Feb. 11, “Thanks to workers”) and partially agree.

PG&E and AT&T worked diligently to get power restored under miserable conditions. However, my wife and I are in our middle 70s and, should a medical emergency arisen, our cell phones would have been totally useless here on Marine Terrace, imperilling our safety.

Reception in many areas of Cambria is spotty, at best. A cell tower on the reserve, tastefully done, would alleviate that concern.

I know I am not the only one concerned with this situation.

Don Lagrand Cambria

Retire No. 51

Regarding the retiring of Coast Union High School student and athlete Darac Goodwin’s football jersey, why wasn’t this done last fall? Or, better yet, why wasn’t this taken care of before last year’s graduation?

Now with the school year already half over, maybe it’s time to do the right thing — there is overwhelming support to retire Darac’s jersey next to Kim Kenny’s in the high school gym.

What is there to fear? The starting of some kind of precedent? God forbid! The worst fear a parent can have is to out-live your children. Short of that, what else matters?

Do the right thing and retire No. 51.

Earnie Riley Cambria

Please retire No. 51

To Coast Union High School: This letter is not easy for me to write. It has weighed heavy on my heart for quite sometime now. Today is my day for action. I am asking your special attention in the retirement of football jersey No. 51. I know you probably have already been made aware of this situation. The promise to retire this jersey was made to the Goodwin Family at the service that was held at the school for Darac over a year ago. In my mind, that is more than enough time to jump through all the hoops that are required to accomplish this feat.

If there are steps that have to be taken (that have not yet been taken), would you please let us know what they are so this can be accomplished. I feel that this is part of the healing process.

Thank you for your time and action on this.

Mary M. Anderson Cambia

‘Open Heart’

We thank the Cambria Community Council, which was true to its motto: “The Open Heart.” The council again provided a grant to Cambria Adult Resources Education and Support, which is the adult day care program here in Cambria.

The Cambria Community Council has been a supporter of CARES since this program for those with cognitive or physical impairments began 10 years ago. This year’s grant will be used to sustain our activities in these difficult economic times.

We would also like to point out that the Cambria Community Council is the sponsor and operator of the Cambria Senior/Disabled bus program. Staffed by volunteer drivers, this service shuttles fellow Cambrians around town in the white buses having an “Open Heart” logo and links those needing transportation to programs such as CARES and the Senior Nutrition lunches, which is also a grant recipient.

The support given by the Cambria Community Council to these organizations has a positive effect on living in Cambria for many of its residents. This can continue with donations to the council or volunteering as a driver for the Cambria Bus.

Ron Swierk, treasurer Cambria Adult

Resources, Education and Support (CARES)