Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Dec. 13

Trespassing travails

I would like to respond to the Viewpoint in The Cambrian (Harry Farmer, Nov. 29) “Why does ranch owner view citizens as criminals?

As ranchers, we have experienced numerous problems with illegal trespassing on the ranch. We have had a person or persons walk in a mile on the property and shoot a young cow in the head, leaving an orphan calf behind. We have found several illegal drug plantations; fires started well inside our fence’s property; fences cut; gates taken off their hinges, or chains cut and left open.

At one time, we found 15 people wandering around after they had climbed over and through the fence next to a no-trespassing sign.

We, as ranchers, have a large liability: If a trespasser gets hurt while trespassing on our property, or if fences are broken down or cut, and a gate opened and our cattle get out onto a roadway and cause damage after being hit by a car. These are real concerns.

Barbed wire fences are put in place to keep livestock in and people out. Deer can easily jump or crawl under a 5-foot fence, just ask anyone in town who has 5-foot fences around their yard if the deer get in to eat their flowers.

The trespass laws clearly state that a person crossing a fence onto posted agriculture land without permission from the landowner or agent of the landowner is trespassing. They are subject for the cost of any damages that they may cause while trespassing.

It’s not that we don’t want to be neighborly; we must protect the land, the livestock or crops we own. It’s just like if someone walked into your yard or house uninvited and disrupted your property or family.

Many other ranchers in the area have experienced the same problems, not only just from walkabouts, but persons stealing fuel, wiring from pumps, tools, or damaging their equipment.

Walter Fitzhugh

Cambria rancher

Remembering Ann Kent Dennis

Ann wholeheartedly supported the Friends of the Cambria Library, the Joslyn Center, and the Cambria Community Council with grace, zeal, and determination. She was also the best friend anyone ever had. With deep gratitude, I think of her every day as I recall our many adventures, as well as her grace and acceptance after finding out she was terminally ill about two months before she died one year ago.

Gini Hassing


Brannon brought joy

John Brannon is leaving The Cambrian to live near his daughter. His columns over the years have filled me with joy and great happiness. He has also coached the tennis team at Coast Union High and he has written movingly about dozens of children at the high school. I am sure that many Cambrians will miss John, too. Each year John has also participated in our yearly parade and other activities as well. He is a kind man who has joy in his heart. I hope he lives many more years and brings others the same joy he has given me.

Clive Finchamp


On Bikes for Tikes

Thank you to all of you who donated used and new bicycles this year. I expect by year end to deliver 60 refurbished bicycles to some very needy children and adults in SLO County. My effort during the year is not mine alone. I want to specifically thank Bob Eldridge for his help and dedication and hard work during the year repairing bicycles and Jim Pitton who now also helps Bikes for Tikes. I also want to again thank Phil Christie who has generously let me store bikes in his garage throughout the year.

As I have stated in past years, the majority of these bicycles were donated by Cambrians, and I can personally share with you that all of the recipients truly appreciated your donations. Your generosity helped make many children and adults very happy. I know that this holiday season will be joyful for those who will receive some of the new bikes that Bikes for Tikes purchased this year. Recipients of bikes include Cambria’s Healthy Start program, Toys for Tots, the Prado and Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelters, SLO Battered Women’s Shelter, Womenade of SLO, Grass Roots II, and of course some very needy families throughout the county.

I want to share with you a few stories this year from Bikes for Tikes recipients. One teenage boy telephoned me to express his appreciation for the bike he received. He now has a paper route and is able to help his family with finances with the money he earns. A homeless man with two children who lives in his camper that has mechanical problems contacted me and told me he is now able to get to his job quicker at a fast-food restaurant. At the Prado Day Center, a woman who received a bike told me that she and her daughter share the bike as part of their effort to lose weight and be healthier. So please note that Bikes for Tikes accepts bikes of all sizes and that I can use bike helmets of all sizes.

In the past various individuals and groups have wanted to donate money directly to Bikes for Tikes. Although I appreciate the offer I do not accept cash donations and I never sell bikes. All bikes are free to needy children and adults. Again, thank you for your bike donations and helmets you made during the year.

James Ellman

Bikes for Tikes Cambria