Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Nov. 22

Hot over fire fee

I would strongly encourage all Cambrians who receive a Cal Fire fire prevention bill to dispute it on the grounds that we receive fire protection service from the Cambria Community Services District, Cambria Fire Department or whomever the “technical” entity is that we receive our services from.

The CCSD stated they didn’t know much about it when I contacted them on Nov. 14, go figure?

According to the notice I received, you must dispute this bill by the date listed on it — which for me is Dec. 10. The bill  states that you must provide documentation that we receive “Fire Protection Services.” I’m requesting a letter from the Cambria Fire Department Chief as proof that we receive protection.

It would be a shame for anyone in this community to receive a new bill and not understand that they can dispute it pretty easily.

Peer Johnson


Editor’s note: The CCSD Board of Directors has sent a letter to the author of the bill authorizing the rural fire service fee, asking for repeal of the law. According to CCSD, to be eligible for a refund, property owners must first pay their bill, then file a protest. For more information, go to, or call the Cambria Fire Department at 927-6240.

Who ya gonna call?

“Controlled burn.”

“Prescribed burn.”

We do love to make our language fit the audience.

Homes that are within a line of sight of the Covell Ranch are aware of the burn piles that were left behind.

I was told by a Cal Fire employee that, after the season’s first rains, these piles will be set ablaze.

A far less dangerous method of disposal would be to use chippers and spreading the chips to decompose.

When arson in our forest is suspected, we call Cal Fire. When Cal Fire sets the fire, who do we call?

James M. Loveless


Good to be aware

Thanks to Ken Butterfield for informing us about the dangers of unfiltered iPads. I would have thought by now the superintendent would have addressed this issue and assured us that filters were in place and working correctly. Are they?

Parents should know if they need to continue their supervision of these computers.

Susan Belany


From banks to batteries

First, on banks. I wrote a piece some time ago dissing Bank of America, maybe it had some effect! But, really, its loss in Cambria shouldn’t be felt since we have two other fine banks, Rabobank and Heritage Oaks (no, I don’t work for them).

Bank of America, if you pay attention, has stumbled and fallen mightily since the start of the recession. They made many stupid moves and are now being sued for $100 million related to their acquisition of Countrywide Mortgage services (which willingly sold subprime mortgages).

They refused to modify their distressed homeowner loans for years, forcing people into foreclosure. They added onerous fees (like most other banks) when they stopped making loans to many small businesses. I could go on and on. I used to pay my credit card at the bank, whose personnel were quite young and not really that friendly.

By contrast, I opened an account to help Dan DeVaul at one point at Heritage Oaks and they were quite helpful. They are a truly local bank with eight branches. I presently bank with Rabobank, and am practically on a first name basis with much of their (older) personnel. Rabo is based in the Netherlands and is one of the safest banks in the world —most of America's banks don’t even make the top 50!

Second, on the solar letter by Joel Cehn. Doesn’t sound like he knows much about solar power (or other renewables) at all. He’s right they will never supplant the grid, but how well did the grid do when Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast?

Wall Street Journal articles reveal how incompetent the local utilities were — not even anticipating that undergrounded lines would flood out, and often being helpless in the face of shorted-out transformers. There are STILL, over three weeks since the storm, people without power in suburban areas of Long Island!

It is not true you can’t power up an entire house with solar, especially if you use energy-efficient appliances. Probably the only thing you can’t do well is electric space heating and air conditioning. (Neither of which we really need in Cambria).

Grid-tie solar systems DO need battery back-up or they will go down along with the grid. There are a number of options for getting solar these days — leasing is now available, for example. But, honestly, it may not pencil out if you are already conservation-minded.

I’m developing a back-up solar generating system for when the grid goes down — which you can count on! It consists of one large panel and three deep cycle batteries which fit into a small, portable box. It will keep most appliances running for hours and even days. Push a couple of buttons, and you have 120 volt AC. Much less messy (and noisy) than a generator, and somewhat comparable in cost.

I’ll have a demo sometime after the first of the year. I’m confident it will do what I say it will, or it won’t be marketed.

William L. Seavey


‘Silver lining’

This letter is in response to the recent articles in The Cambrian and The Tribune that named us as co-owners of the Cambria Pub and Steakhouse.

While that was true then, sadly it is not now. This was neither our desire nor our decision. Still, we see a silver lining; we were reminded why we love this town so much.

We are grateful for the encouragement and support of our friends, including other Cambria bar and restaurant owners (we’re sure that doesn’t happen in very many places!), and thankful for the new friends we made, namely the terrific employees we hired.

God bless Cambria and the wonderful people who make it such a joy to live here!

Rob & Kim Maston


Editor’s note: The following are letters from students in Suzette Morrow’s 3-D Design class at Coast Union High School.

They made it possible

I created the scarecrow for Froggies. I am a 3-D art student at Coast Union High School. I think this project as very fun to create.

I loved how the whole community got involved and made our town unique.

I first want to thank Taylor Hilden, because she took her time and planned everything out.

Linda Finley played a big part in my scarecrow because she helped me a lot.

Susan Atencio was another person who helped my scarecrow become what it is now.

I appreciate how Michele Sherman, Gil and Val Eastman and Sara Blair-Field helped us out with the supplies we needed.

Last but not least, thank you to Sue Robinson, because she put in hard work in making the name tags for our class.

Angel Gonzalez

Want to do again

Hi! I am Katrina Cleave and I am a freshman from CUHS. I had the wonderful opportunity of getting to make a scarecrow for the October Scarecrow Festival and I couldn’t have accomplished this activity without the help of several people.

I would like to thank Ms. Taylor Hilden for creating the fun activity of building scarecrows and allowing me to participate in a community event.

I would also like to thank Linda Finley and Susan Atencio for the help they have given me and other students for the building of the scarecrows, as well as Michele Sherman, Gil and Val Eastman and Sara Blair-Field for donating supplies.

Finally, I would like to thank Sue Robinson for making the nametags for our scarecrows.

Without the help and support of these people, it would have been difficult to make our scarecrows.

I personally would like to say it was a true honor getting to be a part of the community, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Thank you again for all your help, and I hope I will get the opportunity to do this next year! Enjoy the scarecrows!

Katrina Cleave

New experience

My name is Cynthia Marroquin. I am currently a senior at Coast Union High School. This was my first year in 3-D Design and the first time making a scarecrow.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me with this experience. I also want to thank Taylor Hilden, who was the one who created the Scarecrow Festival. Without her, I wouldn’t have had such a great opportunity.

I am sure a lot of people enjoy the scarecrows as much as I do.

Thank you to Linda Finley and Susan Atencio for helping each one of the students in class. A big thank you to Michele Sherman, Gil and Val Eastman and Sara Blair-Field for donating so many supplies for the creation of the scarecrows.

And, last but not least, Sue Robinson for creating our nametags that helped us be a part of the competition. Again, thank you to each and every one of you.

Cynthia Marroquin

Thanks to the town

I am writing this letter to address the help of the people who made the making of the high schoolers’ scarecrows possible.

First off, Taylor Hilden, who created the event.

A big thanks goes out to Linda Finley and Susan Atencio, who volunteered their own time to help a bunch of high schoolers to create a variety of “masterpieces.”

Many of these scarecrows would not have been possible without the generous donation of supplies from Michele Sherman, Gil and Val Eastman and Sara Blair-Field.

Thank you to Sue Robinson for making nametags for all the scarecrows.

Now the community actually knows who is responsible for artwork around Cambria.

A large thanks to Mrs. Morrow for all the hard work and extra time she put in to make these scarecrows look as wonderful as possible. The biggest thanks of all goes to the town of Cambria for accepting the artwork in various places all around town. Thanks to everyone who participated in this spectacular event.

Gherig Kniffen

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