Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Dec. 19

Thank you, Cambria

Thank you to all of you who donated bicycles this year, and especially to Troy Underwood who donated 15 bicycles. I expect by year end to deliver 60 refurbished and new bicycles to some very needy children and adults in San Luis Obispo County.

The sole purpose of Bikes for Tikes is to give free bikes to needy children and adults. 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 but I can always use more bikes and helmets of all sizes.

Most of the bikes that I receive come from Cambrians. I therefore do my best to give back to needy children and adults who live in Cambria.

This year 16 bicycles were donated to Cambria schools during this holiday season. Additionally, bikes were donated throughout the year to 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 can tell you first hand that your bike donations are truly appreciated by recipients. 

I want to share with you a few stories this year from Bikes for Tikes recipients.

A Cambria middle-school girl telephoned me to express her appreciation for the bike she received. She told me she can now bicycle to town to help her disabled mother get groceries. She said that when she grows out of the bike she wants to donate her bike back to Bikes for Tikes.

At the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter a women who recently had surgery on her leg told me that she rides her bike as part of her rehabilitation effort.

A veteran at the Prado homeless shelter in SLO told me that the bike he was about to receive would be used to visit his child. I could see the tears well up in his eyes as he expressed his appreciation.

There are other stories that I hear of from SLO social service agencies that touch the heart. I can assure you that these recipients are all needy and more bikes are and helmets are needed.

My effort is not mine alone. I want to specifically thank Bob Eldridge for his tremendous help, dedication and hard work during the year repairing bicycles.

I could not have delivered 60 bikes this year without his help. I also want to thank Phil Christie who has generously let me store bikes in his garage throughout the year.

Again, thank you for your bike donations and helmets (and please do not mistake Bikes for Tikes with the new, and much welcomed, community bike kitchen in Cambria).

James Ellman

Bikes for Tikes (

Spayed work

I am writing on behalf of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART) here in Cambria. First of all, thank you all for your continued support, both in time and money. It all goes to good work. I would like to address some recent unsigned complaints about HART and local feral cat colonies.

There are about seven feral cat communities in Cambria proper; all of them under population control. While HART is a shelter, it does not have the resources to be a sanctuary.

Except for kittens, most feral cats are extremely poor candidates for rehabilitation and adoption — they have survived in part by learning to avoid human contact. Therefore, in pursuing population control, we follow the nationally recognized humane guidelines developed by Alley Cat Allies.

Feral cats are trapped, receive basic veterinary examination and care including spay/neutering and ear-notching, and are scanned for a microchip and signs of previous domestication. Those with a microchip or signs of domestication are rehabilitated and put up for adoption while we attempt to identify their owners.

After recuperating from spay/neutering, the truly feral cats are returned to their colony. Returning feral cats to familiar surroundings is the least stressful avenue for them.

Finally, if staying up real late (for Cambria) to set out cat traps, and then getting up real early to collect and process the caught ferals seems like a fun time, please contact us at 927-7377. We can very likely make your dream come true.

And again, thank you.

Mike Zarowitz


Bowled over

Thank you Vianey Mora and Zoe MacTavish for donating your beautiful handmade bowls to the “Empty Bowls” event.

They will now be cheerful and treasured mementos of my first Christmas in Cambria.

Gwen Kellas

San Simeon

Have to do what!?

We’re as water conserving as any in Cambria, having mostly up-to-date low flow toilets and fixtures, and a rainwater catchment system I designed myself.

But the thought of being forced to replace ALL plumbing fixtures when we need to make alterations to our almost 20 year old home starting Jan. 1, 2014, sent quite a scare though me, as I’m sure it has many others in the county.

A recent article in The Tribune does not tell enough, however. The bill that was passed in 2009 (and few know about) does NOT require this change out for property maintenance and repair necessities (even when a permit might be required), according to CALBO (California Building Officials). Fresno County is following CALBO’s interpretations.

Repairs and maintenance NOT considered alterations and improvements that trigger the change out law and which are exempt, include: electrical service changeouts, HVAC change-outs/repairs; re-roofs; sewer line replacement; siding or stucco replacement; site work (retaining walls, fences); water heater replacement; window replacement; residential solar systems; swimming pools; and other minor repairs or maintenance as determined by the building official.

I do hope local officials will abide by CALBO interpretations, and possibly follow Fresno County’s lead.  And possibly do a good job of explaining to nervous homeowners what their options are in a non-threatening or coercive manner.

William L. Seavey


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