Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor March 7

Use less, sell more

The Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors approved a new Water Use Efficiency Plan on Feb. 28. Directors told us that conservation asks people to do with less, and that’s a problem.

They said the CCSD can avoid that problem. One director summarized the point. Efficient faucets and toilets and washers use less water, so human behavior doesn’t need to change. We won’t have to give up our way of life. We won’t have to agree to do with less. The machines will do it for us.

Since machines can save water, new meters can be issued without having to increase the amount of water pumped from San Simeon Creek and Santa Rosa Creek. Save a gallon, sell a gallon.

Getting this plan for efficiency has cost us consulting fees of $69,000, plus $15,000 in this fiscal year, plus CCSD staff costs. Putting the plan into action will cost us $300,000 each year. The plan includes “conservation pricing” of water.

Defining need this way reminds me of Thneeds in Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax.” Maybe the Once-ler will throw down a Monterey pine seed cone.

Elizabeth Bettenhausen


Fire! Fire!

On Thursday evening, Feb. 28, we began smelling the strong odor of smoke in the house. After making sure our house was not on fire, I ran outside to see if one of our neighbor’s homes was burning.

The smoke was thick and it took some time. I did a neighborhood check for the source of the smoke and finally found a neighbor who knew that a controlled burn was being conducted on the ranch adjacent to Sunbury Avenue, a block away from our home.

I was outraged that a controlled burn was permitted so near without our having been notified prior to it being allowed.

Fire is a serious threat to our community. We were alarmed (pun intended) for no good reason.

This controlled burn may be removing fuel that reduces the fire threat. That’s good. I just wish those responsible had the good sense to let us know so we wouldn’t be scared out of our wits.

Arthur Chapman


A firesafe ‘hooray!’

It might be appropriate to shout a big “hooray!” for the brush clearing just completed on the downhill side of Hillcrest Drive above Sheffield Street.

Some of that side-hill still contains dense brush and downed debris which could accelerate fire in the canyon above West Village, but the total incendiary material is now greatly reduced.

All of Pine Knolls could be made even safer and better for fire crew access if the remaining dry stuff were cleared to the same degree our good neighbor just did.

Vivian Thompson


Money-saving ideas?

We all know that our elected and appointed “leaders” (I use the term very loosely) in Washington, D.C., have proved incapable of reducing federal spending by $85 billion, or less than 3 percent of federal spending (the dreaded sequestration).

I submit that intelligent Cambrians could develop a list of spending cuts to easily surpass the $8 billion without the “sky is falling” publicity stunts advertised by the pols, such as delaying deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Middle East, laying off first responders and teachers, ad nauseum.

By way of illustration, I suggest the following to reduce federal spending by 3 percent:

1. Reduce by 75 percent the amount that Secret Service agents can be reimbursed for prostitute services;

2. Require that all federal agency conferences be conducted in Hoboken, N.J.;

3. Require that not more than 5 percent of federal employees receive “outstanding” employee bonuses;

4. Require that not more than two Boeing 747s be used to transport the president, his family, and his entourage to vacations, and that the number of “official” (taxpayer-paid) presidential visits be limited to one per month;

5. Require that college students whose parents have a combined annual gross income in excess of $100,000 be removed from the federal food stamp program;

6. Require that all individuals added to the rolls of Social Security disability since President Obama took office be audited for possible fraudulent collusion between legal advocates and certifying physicians;

7. Require that producers of motion picture films and similar media disclose their corporate and personal income tax savings resulting from various IRS tax code provisions, if they also contributed to the president’s reelection campaign;

8. Require that members of Congress cannot receive reimbursement for purchasing or leasing a car within three years of the last vehicle;

9. Require that members of Congress cannot employ a direct or extended family member as a staff employee or consultant; and

10. Require that members of Congress cannot spend federal funds to redecorate a current or future office within three years of the most recent decoration.

I think you get the idea. It might be really fun for patriotic Cambria residents to pitch in and help our “leaders” identify savings that they seem oblivious to.

Who knows, it just might make CNN.

Hugh Scott


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