Cambrian: Opinion

Letters to the Editor March 4 - 10

Cost factor

Stephen Overturf is right about one thing in his Viewpoint article on Feb 18 ( “Desalination: Let’s do lunch”): There is no free lunch.

If Cambria continues to insist on denying lot owners’ development rights, there will be a big cost to you sooner or later. We’re not going to get tired and go away.

I may die before I build, but my son will take over and fight. I may run out of money and sell my lot, but the buyer will be there with new energy and vigor to fight the travesty that is Cambria.

As long as the lots remain private and Realtors keep selling them, you’ll continue to have a fight on your hands. These truths must be considered in any financial analysis of the desalination project.

Deryl Robinson Huntington Beach

Wants desal costs

I’m strongly against spending any more public money to determine whether a desalination plant is feasible in and for Cambria. This includes the spending of money for drilling test wells.

My reason is that the Cambria Community Services District has failed to make known to the people of Cambria the cost of a desalination plant, nor have they made the public sufficiently aware of the amount of money supposedly set aside for a Cambria desalination plant by the government. CCSD officials and staff have suggested during my 10 years in Cambria a range of $9 million to $11 million. My research has shown (from a 2006 study) that this figure is only $4 million.

How will this difference in funding be covered? What exactly are the figures in each case (government grant and total cost)? What are the likely costs of water production, delivery and maintenance to the plant?

The CCSD and Cambrians should spend no more money, even for test wells, until these figures are known and repesented to the Cambria public.

Stephen Figler Cambria

Non-madeup facts

In his letter to the editor, Bob Horvath ( “Really Tired,” Feb. 25) says he gets, “… so tired of environmental advocates who make up facts and state irresponsible conclusions.” He then states a number of highly debatable “facts,” without citations.

I am an environmental advocate. Here are some facts. As you will see, I didn’t make them up.

The nonpartisan Pacific Institute released a study ( “Desalination with a Grain of Salt,” online at www.pacinst.org/reports/desalination/) outlining desalination benefits and dangers. It says brine discharge: “… presents a significant environmental challenge ... Typical brines contain twice as much salt as the feedwater and have a higher density…can contain concentrations of [naturally occurring] manganese, lead, and iodine… and impinged and entrained marine organisms killed during the desalination process…

Chemicals used throughout the desalination process may also be discharged with the brine.” These include, “Chlorine and other biocides…Anti-scalants, such as polyacrylic or sulfuric acid…Coagulants, such as ferric chloride and polymers…Industrial soaps…(and)…copper, lead, and iron ….”

It concludes that: “The chemical constituents and physical behavior of brine discharge pose a threat to marine organisms. Brine can kill organisms on short timescales and may also cause more subtle changes in the community assemblage over longer time periods. Heat, trace metals, brine and other toxicants may result in acute mortality to organisms in the receiving waterbody.”

It adds: “Along California’s coast, rocky habitat and kelp beds are particularly rich, sensitive ecosystems, and effort should be made to avoid these areas.”

There you go, Mr. Horvath. I hope you didn’t find that too tiring.

Catherine Ryan Hyde Cambria

‘Surely dying’

I am 75 years old and I built my home in this beautiful area six years ago. What a change there has been in six years! We are allowing our community to deteriorate from a vibrant, lively village to one that is surely dying.

A friend of mine moved here a year ago and she

quickly came to realize that if her son and his family were denied the opportunity to build a home or business there would be no way they could be welcomed to Cambria. She felt as if she were living in a retirement community with a locked gate and she wasn’t ready for that yet.

There are few young families living here and not a lot of opportunity for work. When I built my home I provided work for an architect, electrician, plumber, cement contractor, etc. I also spent thousands of dollars locally in material and even more money was poured back into the local community.

Business is discouraged from expanding and every possible roadblock is put in their way. I would welcome hardware stores, electrical and plumbing stores, and a glass shop; all necessities for growth, instead of deterioration. There are approximately 500 property owners who would love to be your neighbors, but are denied the chance. I would be thrilled to see them live near me and bring vitality to this community.

The “water shortage” is another issue. I don’t believe we have a lack of water at all, only a lack of desire to manage it well. This inadequate excuse is used to move Cambria closer to stagnation each year and you have to ask yourselves, “Is this what we really want?”

Betty Gatto Cambria

System worked

This is a letter of appreciation for an occasion where the “process” met the “problem” the way it should.

There was a tree which was leaning over Alban Place in a precarious manner and Carol Tibbets and I were certain that it was moving. She urged me to locate the owner of the property and have them cut it down. I called PG&E and was told that they could only act if it fell on one of their lines.

A member of Davey’s Tree Service advised me to talk to the CCSD, which I did. I talked to Monique who had the receptionist, Samantha, called the fire department, which she did, and made an appointment for me to go over there, which I did.

Denis de Clercq came out to look at the tree. He then contacted Mike, the foreman of the county group working a block or two away. They showed up with all their equipment and bingo! — the tree was down, the road was safe and so were the power lines.

Kudos to all concerned.

Jack Ormond Cambria

Olympics withdrawal

Congratulations to our friends to the north and particularly those in Vancouver. The Olympics has always been a special time for our family and this time was no exception.

During the time that the Olympics are in progress, it seems that there is a peaceful, easy feeling, as the song goes. It would be wonderful if this feeling could continue always. Now the withdrawal process begins, eh? Peace,

Bob & Marina McLaughlin San Simeon

Best support ever

Each year we have our annual Coast Union alumni game fundraiser at Thanksgiving and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of our community, especially without the help of our postal office, with the help of my mother Juanita and Jerri (the postmaster) in the concession stands, selling away the wonderful food that they have prepared.

Craig Brooke is my gatekeeper selling admission. Because of the fundraiser, our boys soccer program has been able to fund our annual trip to the Garces Holiday Festival in Bakersfield.

In the eight seasons that I’ve had the privilege of coaching at Coast, this year has been the greatest in terms of support from staff and community members. The support is greatly appreciated; the program has continued to grow on both the boys and girls side. Both the kids and coaching staff enjoy and appreciate the write-ups in The Cambrian.

I just want to say “thank-you” to everyone involved in both the boys and girls programs. Thanks for the support and we look forward for the seasons to come.

Moises Jimenez, boys varsity soccer coach Coast Union High School

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