Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Nov. 14

Salary too large

We are disappointed that the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors gave General Manager Jerry Gruber a 5 percent raise without any comment from the public or the board. We were unable to attend the meeting but submitted a written objection. At over $200,000 total compensation, he was already overpaid for his position.

He holds an important position and is certainly doing a better job than his predecessor. However, the base pay and benefits exceed what should reasonably be paid for managing a community of 6,000 people.

Excessive compensation for community staff jobs has received attention in other places. While we hope Cambria is not joining the ranks of exploitative city management such as Bell, Calif., we question the need to provide Cambria’s general manager with perks such as a monthly $450 car allowance. Maybe he could borrow a maintenance pickup if he needs to drive somewhere.

Surely his former salary of $150,000 plus benefits is more than adequate to provide him with a good life in Cambria.

Christine and Gordon Heinrichs


Triple whammy

Thank you Cambria Community Services District. Here’s the joy of watering on Thursday before 10 a.m. for me.

My home, the Joslyn Recreation Center and my local church are all even-numbered buildings. So now I’m up at the crack of dawn to get them all watered on Thursday before 10 a.m.

Would you please consider making it based on where each place is located!!!

Judy Butler, gardener for the Joslyn Center, the Unitarian Universalist Community of Cambria and my home on McCabe Drive


Cambrians for Change

Cambrians for Change held an initial meeting at Rabobank last Wednesday, Nov. 6. The meeting was well attended, with every seat occupied. Panelists Nancy Anderson, Lou Blanck and Jim Webb provided insightful thoughts and comments to those present. Folks attending had plenty to say regarding our current state of affairs in Cambria.

For the record, Cambria Community Services District Director Jim Bahringer attended the meeting.

A number of issues were raised, including disappointment in the present CCSD board.

Other concerns related to the following: 1) The Aug. 22 ordinance allowing the CCSD board to move forward with the issuance of intent-to-serve letters, amidst back-to-back years of drought and with no new water source; 2) Not addressing the drought situation in a timely and efficient manner; 3) Hardships some Cambrians have experienced getting non-potable water to their yards because of the landscape watering restriction; 4) Finding a viable solution(s) to our never-ending water woes;5) Whether the water moratorium of 2001 had actually been legally lifted;  6) The recent 5 percent raise for the general manager, and overall CCSD staff salaries; 7) Economics — the spending down of our general fund for conservation and other purposes, when we have not seen a decrease in water usage, except for the month of October, where Cambrians ceased watering with potable water because of the restriction for landscaping; usage was reduced by approximately 13 acre feet!; and 8) The November 2014 election.

Cambria resident Dennis Ortenburger announced that he is filing a complaint against the CCSD with the county Grand Jury, for what he believes to be a “myriad of legal and contractual violations.”

Some suggested forming a Citizens Advisory Council that might help break the divide which has become so apparent in our town. It was felt that by doing so, a form of compromise could be met, and that we could begin to achieve some results. Others felt that we had already been down that road and that it would be fruitless.

Attendees expressed their appreciation for the meeting, and showed enthusiasm for a date to be set for the next one. The next meeting will be held in January, with a date and time to be announced at a later date.

Tina Dickason and Jeff Hellman

Cambrians for Change

Scam seminar

Scams targeting our older community members continue to occur, and in many recent instances, have gotten much more creative than the phony distress calls from grandchildren needing money for an emergency. Now victims are told to provide credit card info over the phone to make payments that will prevent utilities from being shut off, or are contacted by would-be software technicians claiming to need access to their target’s computer to fix a program glitch, resulting in confidential information being shared unwittingly, and access to bank accounts and other personal information being compromised and exploited.

In hopes of bringing more awareness to these types of crimes, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will host a presentation on Sunday, Nov. 17, by Crime Prevention Specialist Marsha Mann of the county Sheriff’s Office. She will provide valuable information on how to prevent elder exploitation by phone scammers and others who target older adults.

As our community members advance in age, there may be a need for outside assistance with daily tasks. While most caregivers are dedicated to helping clients maintain their quality of life, some others may have other agendas. Mann will also discuss what information should or should not be shared with caregivers, what tasks should not be delegated to them, and the actions that signal a caregiver may have less than honorable intentions.

The “Preventing Elder Exploitation” presentation will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall and is open to the public.

For more information, people can call our office Tuesdays through Thursdays , 927-3239; or visit our website and click on the November newsletter link:

The Rev. Fred Heard, rector

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Center, play both boffo

I would like to offer a big heartfelt “thank you” to the Cambria Center for the Arts for an enjoyable evening out while watching their latest production, “Don’t Cry for Me Margaret Mitchell,” directed by Judith Jesness.

The four actors, Rick Auricchio, Steve Reilly, Michael Shanley and Nancy Green, were all good in their individual roles and worked so very well together.

The newer larger stage was great and allowed the actors to almost walk out into the audience. The newer stadium seating allowed the audience a more comfortable seat with a wonderful view of the stage from any seat in the house, thus making the experience much more pleasurable.

I feel that we Cambrians are so fortunate to have this venue to enjoy right here in our community, and I am looking forward to attending and enjoying many more plays at the Cambria Center for the Arts in the future.

Thank you for a lovely experience and a lovely evening out.

Trisha Davega


‘All with a smile’

The Cambria Scarecrow Festival has come to represent this amazing community. It is a community event that brings together all those elements of Cambria and San Simeon that we admire: Good spirit, coming together, creativity, cooperation, and all with a smile. And that smile is exactly the beginning of what is now the Cambria Scarecrow Festival —an event to bring smiles.

We would love to list every single person who made this event spectacular. But by doing so, we so much fear that someone's name will be missed because there were so many, many Cambria and San Simeon volunteers and participants that created this year's festival. So forgive us by allowing us to simply state, THANK YOU Cambria and San Simeon.

Taylor Hilden and Sue Robinson, co-chairwomen, and Charmaine Coimbra

Cambria Scarecrow Festival

Big slice of thanks

On behalf of the board and members of Cambria Historical Society, we would like to thank you, the staff, and readers of The Cambrian and The Tribune for the continued success of our annual Pie Contest during the Harvest Festival. Several years ago, we began in the garden at Robin’s with just three entries, and each year gained more participants due to good publicity and popularity among our bakers and everyone who sampled and voted on such delicious products.

A large measure of success is due to the joint chairmanship and support of Suzy McDonald and Penny Church, and certainly to this year’s hosts on site at Cambria Farmers Market, Carol and Michael Broadhurst, as well as the other vendors who accommodated us. Partnership for the harvest-to-table concept this year benefited the operation and programs of the Cambria Historical Museum and, specifically, the Heirloom Gardens.

We cannot function without the support and labor of our dedicated volunteers, many of whom have been doing double and triple duty. So, “muchas gracias” to Judy Burley, Janis Hudler, Nancy Bennett, Toni Weaver, Linda Finley, Michele Smith, Barbara Kuperman, Joyce Backhaus, Tony Church and Michael Rice.

Thanks to contest winners in each category: Paige Spiller, pumpkin; Syrie Etter, fruit; and Kelly Johnson, whose Chocolate Espresso Bean Mousse qualified in the nut category. Because our entrants donated two pies each, we served about 100 tasters during two hours from the 30 pies.

We appreciate Roe Allen, Gary Allen, Joyce Backhaus, Jeannette Breglio, Orville Lewis, Bubby and Benjjamen Murdoch, Debbie Johnson, Molly Pasutti-Dunlap, Michelle Smith, and Dr. Coral Smith, for his double portion pan.

Thanks to Robin’s, Linn’s and Black Cat for the prize certificates. Our friendly competition seemed like a country fair, and we look forward to next year’s event.

Shanny Covey, Robin’s Restaurant

Consuelo Macedo, Culinary Corner

Harvest Festival Pie Contest sponsors

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