Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor Nov. 8

COAST to Santa Monica

Citizens Opposed to Acoustic Seismic Testing (COAST) has reserved a bus to travel to Santa Monica on Wednesday, Nov. 14, to oppose PG&E’s High-Energy Seismic Surveys (HESS) testing.

The cost is $30 per person. There are scholarships available.

If you need a ride to Santa Monica for the California Coastal Commission meeting on seismic testing, please contact Marla Jo by email at woollymamma or call 772-2610.

Donations are appreciated to help support bus rides and expenses.

Please report any odd/ dead/marine life or bird or fish activity to the COAST group. Take photos, jot down the specifics and dates.

Low-energy seismic survey (LESS) testing took place in 2010, 2011 and 2012. This testing may have already had an effect on our marine life and birds and fishing catch. We need documentation that your photos may provide.

Also, there is a COAST music festival, including Jill Knight and the Zongo All-Stars, from 11 a.m. to sundown Sunday, Nov. 11, at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay. For more information, go

Mary Webb


Coastal report

The Coastal Commission staff report was released Friday, Nov. 2, recommending that the commission deny PG&E’s permit application. Part of the summary gives the following reasoning:

“The key Coastal Act issue of concern is this project’s significant and unavoidable impacts to marine resources. Seismic surveys are among the very loudest anthropogenic underwater sound sources and can cause disturbance, injury, and loss of a large number of marine species due to air gun noise.

“Of particular concern are impacts to the harbor porpoise (Morro Bay stock), whose range is limited to the general project area, and the entire population of which is likely to be subject to behavioral harassment. The project would also adversely affect Marine Protected Areas, fish and other invertebrates, involving both physiological impacts as well as economic impacts to commercial and recreational fishing by precluding fishing and potentially affecting fish behavior and biology.

“While PG&E proposes to fund a monitoring program and implement measures to minimize effects, including cessation of air gun use if marine mammals are near enough to the sound source to be subject to greater than behavioral effects, a number of limitations (including the proposed use of air guns at night time and in potentially high seas and windy conditions that would make it difficult to detect marine mammals) would cause these measures to be ineffective much of the time.

“Thus, even with extensive monitoring, and implementation of measures to minimize impacts, the Commission staff believes this project would still result in significant disturbance, injury and loss of marine biological resources and is therefore inconsistent with the Coastal Act’s marine resource protection policies (Sections 30230 and 30231).”

The report continues that the project falls into the category of a “coastal-dependent industrial facility,” qualifying it for an “override.” On consideration of a number of factors, the staff concludes that PG&E has not presented sufficient evidence for that, either.

This is certainly encouraging. The best part for me was that they give the environment higher consideration than PG&E or political influences. This report is science- and law-based, protecting the coast rather than using it as a bargaining point in negotiating how to exploit it.

None of the county supervisors stood up for the environment or the local fishing and tourism economy, retreating behind a cover story of “public safety” and PG&E’s economic power and political influence. If the public isn’t safe from Diablo Canyon, provide some leadership that will fortify it so that it is safe — or the political will to shut it down.

We are entrusted with a valuable coastline which we hold in trust for the world. It deserves to have the legal protection which has already been enacted to be honored and enforced.

Christine Heinrichs


Enthused about iPad

I am the teacher of the second graders who Sue Nash referred to when she wrote, “I watched an alarming video shown at the October school board meeting that showed second graders sharing the iPads to do math” (Nov. 1, “Concerns about iPad”).  Sue stated, “I saw boys doing the work while the girls seemed to be looking on in admiration.”

I’m not sure if her implication was that only the boys understood technology and/or math, or if her implication was that I was only providing the opportunity to the boys to develop their technology/math skills. I would like to publicly reassure Sue, and others, that at no time in my 30 years of teaching at the Cambria Grammar School have I ever valued or encouraged one gender over another in any academic area.

Sue also stated that, “… it is a waste of time to have some children working while others are sitting quietly, watching.” When a parent reads, and a child sits quietly watching, is learning taking place? I believe the answer is yes, especially when the child is given a turn to read, as well.

I use iPads in my classroom in a variety of ways throughout the day. My students work on the iPads both individually and with partners. They switch partners often, without regard to gender, and have fun teaching each other what they know about an app or program.

I have heard much discussion about the use of iPads in our local schools, some positive and some negative. I began my teaching career before computers, and certainly before iPads. Personally, I have found the iPads to be an exciting addition to the other tools and materials that are available to me as a classroom teacher.

Linda Logan, second-grade teacher

Cambria Grammar School

Concerned about iPad

I would like to express my appreciation to Ken Butterfield for articulating his concern about the appropriate use of iPads off campus — especially in the hands of curious young people.

Surely the iPad can be a wonderful teaching tool and great source of information; I have already seen that happening at school. However, the iPad could also be a source of problems we do not want.

Is there no “simple” way to provide appropriate filtering software or to disable the remote tracking of students?

Mary Fay-Zenk, middle school volunteer (former middle school teacher and administrator)


Fire break? Or pasture?

I have been a resident of Cambria for 20 years, seeing changes in our community and have been among the first members who formed Friends of the Ranchland. I love my community. I was amazed when the fire chief had our precious forest demolished by the “masticator” which chewed up everything except large trees and killed saplings.

I do understand fire danger and easily support shovels to remove dense underbrush. I have just learned that this property was “masticated” and funded by us residents, is private property of Mr. Covell, who is now putting up barbed wire fencing with metal poles along the back of our residences in the Hillcrest area and to make it into pasture for his cows!
How could something like this happen? Who was behind this? Did the fire chief and Mr. Covell have an agreement so we now will have cows along with their manure and flies in our backyards?

And what about our trails that lead to the forest? We have been walking that land for centuries!
How will we be able to get to the forest?
How can someone be so deviously greedy like this?

Chris Aloisio


‘Ten Cents a Bag’

So now we pay for our bags at the markets. This really doesn’t bother me. I have plenty of reusable bags and many of them go into the washing machine — just in case.

But the whole thing has reminded me of an old Rogers and Hart song, “Ten Cents a Dance.” So I wrote this parody:

Ten cents a bag

That’s what they charge me

Gosh, how this gets me down.

Ten cents a bag

Plastic or paper

It’s the talk of the town.

You bring in your own bags or pay,

They no longer give them away.

Everyone speaks of their woes,

It’s so crazy — everyone knows.

All that you need is a dime.

Now that’s not really a crime.

Come on people — 10 cents a bag.

Carolyn Berney


Vets welcomed again

Cambria’s American Legion welcomed veterans on their Ride 2 Recovery — and the Legion had a lot of help!

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, approximately 200 injured veterans and their supporters were met at Ragged Point by motorcyclists of the American Legion Riders and escorted to San Simeon, where the Ride 2 Recovery bike riders stayed for the night. The R2R veterans enjoyed hospitality sponsored by the Legion and dinner made and served by the Cavalier.

The dining rooms were decorated with posters made by Santa Lucia Middle School students and special placemats were made by Cambria Grammar School students (many riders take these placemats with them when they leave). 

Massage therapists Nancy and Dave Lackman contributed their services from 2 until 10:30 without a break and were joined by Renee Partida after she worked a full day at her regular job. The Hanchetts (owners of the Cavalier), Linda Pettis and other members of the Cavalier staff contributed money, time and a wonderful, welcoming, attitude.

The R2R riders could not have asked for more. And neither could the Legion members who were there.

But there's more! The Sons of the American Legion raised $1,000 at a barbecue with the help of the Legion Auxiliary. Other contributions totaled over $800. Nancy Taylor found time to help even though her days were already full. And Laurie Fulton drove from Seal Beach to pitch in.

The extremely large American flag that you saw next to the highway on Wednesday morning, Oct. 24, was hanging from a truck provided by Tim Radecki of North Coast Tree Service and the flag hung from a special frame engineered and made by Jay Burbank.

This was the fifth year that the Post provided such a response of appreciation to our R2R vet riders; the experience and coordination of logistics for this event were provided by past Commander Ron Waltman.

As you can see, this demonstration of our community’s support for these veterans who have given so much for our country required a lot of effort by a lot of people, many of whom are not mentioned here, but are very valued and much appreciated nonetheless.  Sincere thanks to each and every one of you.

Terry Farrell, commander

Cambria American Legion Post No. 432

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