Cambrian: Opinion

Letters to the Editor July 29 - Aug. 4

Growth, cost concerns

D id I miss something? Wasn’t the desalination plant that is proposed for Cambria supposed to be used exclusively to supply water in case of emergencies? That is, when the aquifers from which we draw water become so low as to risk salt-water intrusion.

Letters to The Cambrian would suggest otherwise, including one written by Greg Sanders, Cambria Community Services District board president, in June 24 issue ( “Desal cost factors”).

He states in his explanation of the financial impact of a desal plant on Cambria water ratepayers that, “… an increase in water connection fees for new hookups (with total

hookups not to exceed the CCSD established growth cap of 4,650 residential units), the financial impact on existing CCSD customers to build the desalination plant will be minimal.”

Does this mean there will be an instant development plan implemented to build out our village before we even have a desal plant up and running? If so, then Jeff Hellman’s Viewpoint ( “How do you value Cambria? — or, Value and values”) in the same issue may be entirely correct in predicting overcrowding, gridlock and congestion.

A rapid growth of our village would stress every infrastructure in town to the max. For one example, with a significant increase in traffic, just where will we park to visit the post office or the pharmacies or any of our other frequently used businesses? Coupled with the usual influx of tourists, we might as well walk.

Mr. Hellman goes on to discuss the ultimate cost of a desalination plant. Presumably in response, Mr. Sanders stated that, besides new hookups, Federal assistance will be the additional source of funding. Of

course, this begs the questions— what if the Feds say “no”? That, and the proposed involvement with the Army Corps of Engineers who are famous (notorious) for underestimating the expense of their building projects could drive the costs way beyond what Mr. Sanders described as a “minimal” impact to existing CCSD customers.

Mr. Sanders concludes by stating, “I am confident we can produce desalinated water for approximately the same cost associated with the current pumping and transmission of ground water.”

Sorry, Mr. Sanders, but being confident is a long way from guaranteeing our rates won’t go up and go up astronomically.

Of course, there is another way to increase revenue, especially given the fact that the proposed desal plant will be modular in form. Need more water? Add another module. The means to such an increase in revenue is one that causes L.A. and Orange county

developers to salivate— that is an extension of the Cambria urban reserve line. By purchase of farmers’ and ranchers’ property or by appropriation (seizing) by means of negative declarations Cambria could increase in size, 10, 25, 50 —maybe even 100 percent. Just think about all the new lots with all their connection fees to pay for all the more water production.

In that event, Mr. Hellman will be quite right when he describes the “natural crown jewels” of so many California coastal villages being decimated, defaced and degraded.

Dennis Ortenburger Cambria

Spirit of Fourth thrives

The Fourth of July tends to reignite one’s spirit, knowing you’re living in a free country full of opportunities and choices. The celebration in Cambria served to excite our spirit, filling our heart and soul with new faith in America. The celebration at Shamel Park represented the “Melting Pot of America,” with generations of babies to senior citizens proudly and with much gaiety mingling with those of a different race, ethnicity, cultures and opinions.

Cheering for the pie eaters and encouraging the restaurant waiters to “run faster” was enthusiastically expressed by all. Those with wounded souls should only be met by the two ladies greeting guests at the entrance of the park, with warm handshakes, beaming smiles and a wish of “Happy Birthday, America.”

Hugs, back pats and smiles were easily and equally exchanged with family, friends, neighbors and strangers alike. America should take note of the love, honor and respect that the Cambria community enjoys and shares.

In addition to our lovely day at the park, we shared a dinner with some of our Happy Hill neighbors. One of the neighbors was Greg from Bakersfield, aka “Tar Heels,” in the pie-eating contest. Not having reached the pie-eating finals, Greg was somewhat disappointed with his unsuccessful effort. Without hesitation, the dinner guests gave a toast to Greg and declared him our very own “No. 1 Happy Hill pie eater.” We adorned him with a homemade pie-plate trophy.

The spectacular firework display was a perfect ending to our beautiful day. Thank you to those who helped make the holiday such a special event. Thank you to the Cambria community for renewing our faith in America and each other. May the spirit of July Fourth at Shamel Park remain in all our hearts forever.

Linda Muzinich and Joel Harwin Cambria

Athank-you to Cambria

About 25 years ago, my parents, Cathie and Don Hodges, decided to relocate from their home in Half Moon Bay. They had just a few criteria: the climate had to be warmer than where they were (my Dad), yet cool enough for my mother, and they wanted to be closer to their children. (At the time I was in Bakersfield and my brother was in Monterey.) They started looking in Santa Barbara and drove their way north. They called from San Luis Obispo and had not found anything they really liked. I mentioned that I had heard that Cambria was supposed to be nice.

They called me two days later and said, “We bought a house.” The climate was ideal, the location closer to both my brother and I, and it had the added benefits of a good hardware store and fire department. They officially moved to Cambria in 1988 and began their retired life. They quickly became friendly with their neighbors, and Mom became involved with the local quilting community. You could say the rest is history. Neighbors have come and gone, friendships established.

This letter is a “thank you” to the community of Cambria that they enjoyed. My Dad passed away in 2001 and my Mom remained in her home until her passing in May. As her arthritis worsened over the years, I noticed that the sanitation workers were putting her trash cans back up at the top of her driveway for her. In the last year she had the help of some great ladies in Cambria (Cambria Caring Sisters) and she was able to remain in her home. Everyone I dealt with—whether it

was a banker , store clerk, her doctor, etc.,—was helpful and friendly. I even received phone calls after her passing making sure that I had found a home for her dog, “Molly.”

To everyone who knew and dealt with my parents, on behalf of my family I thank you for your generosity and friendship.

Gail Hodges Cosart and family Porterville

My extended family

Thursday morning, April 29, I drove to the Cookie Crock for my weekly grocery shopping. Before I left my car, I saw my beautiful neighbor Millie, with her snow-white hair. We talked for a brief moment, and then I grabbed the cart which was already left in front of my car (I have challenges walking).

After I finished shopping, I tried opening the trunk with my remote control. Where were my keys? The driver’s door was locked. I realized that I had left the keys in the car because I was so happy to see my neighbor.

I asked Richard, the Cookie Crock employee, to call AAA as I had no phone with me. As we stood there waiting, I thought to myself, “someone could drive me home to get the spare key.”

Richard came back and brought me the phone number, but hadn’t called for help, luckily. So, now I had to find a driver. A lady came, her arms full of bags, asking me if I needed help, but she was unable to help. Another guy was willing to drive me in his van. Miguel appeared, pushing some wine cases. I called him. He walked around my car, tried to open each door.

Each door was locked— except one door. Imagine how I felt.

In the meantime, a small crowd had gathered, watching the show. Amongst them was Patrick, a friend who would have given me a ride home. Another person was Kathleen, the grocery manager, and another one, and another one.

Than you again, my Cookie Crock family and Cambrian family. I have so many families here in Cambria, far away from my biological family in Switzerland.

Anita Hubscher Cambria

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