Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor May 15

What is that crud left in the sink when the ice cubes melt? That's what John Richardson wants to know. Are we drinking that stuff?
What is that crud left in the sink when the ice cubes melt? That's what John Richardson wants to know. Are we drinking that stuff? Special to The Cambrian

Overworked letters

Overused letters, I'm so tired of them!  

Particularly “D” and “W.”

Now, “D” stands for DROUGHT, got that. 

And “W” stands for WELLS — like the ones that everyone tells us will soon go dry if this temporary climate anomaly continues.

So I shower shorter (the “C” word, CONSERVE) and try not worry about unrinsed soap in my arm pits.

I also try to ignore people telling me I ought to be drinking bottled water. Yes, I’ve heard that sodium levels have reached 800 milligrams in San Simeon, a person’s total salt allowance if you drink your prescribed four glasses of water.  Not good for we high-blood pressured elderlies.

Well, I came up with a solution for this hazardous health issue.

Drink less water — or stop altogether! 

After all, many liquids are much more fun.

But lately I’ve noticed that my drinks, whether soft or hard, taste vaguely like broken sewer pipes smell.

So, I did an experiment. I threw out all the stored ice cubes in my fridge — on the off chance that they were tainting my beverages — and dumped them all into a sink.

Woke up this morning, tried to figure out why my sink looks like this:

(see photo at right) 

Ugly stuff but no problem, right?

Minerals are good for you, salt is essential.

Still, I might henceforth avoid anything “on the rocks.”

And that's a hardship for someone who still enjoys collecting them.

John Richardson  

San Simeon and Visalia

Forest trail appraisal

There is a beautiful area just west of the “S” curve on Bridge Street. It is about 200 acres. 

It runs behind Pine Knolls, Happy Hill and Leimert areas of town. It is covered with hiking trails and was used by the community for years, if not generations. I have been told it was once the main road from East Village to Happy Hill, before West Village existed. It is now part of the Covell Ranch. 

Not too long ago a six-strand barbed wire fence popped up surrounding this entire area. 

Neighbors gathered and I was asked to attend a meeting. After the meeting, I began several long and productive conversations with Ralph Covell. 

The property, although still owned by Ralph, has a permanent conservation easement on it owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). TNC purchased a conservation easement on the entire Covell Ranch for just over $4 million. Pursuant to the conservation easement, nothing but walking and maybe a horse ride can be done on these 200 acres. No ranching, no development is allowed on these 200 acres. 

Myself, along with a few others, had an appraisal done with the knowledge of Ralph Covell, to determine the value of public access to the property. The appraisal was done by a qualified appraiser, and is 55 pages in length. The value of public access as determined by this appraisal, of the 200 acres that have been fenced, is $558,550. 

Several community members have met to determine if it would be appropriate to try to raise this money to purchase, as a community, the public access rights to these 200 acres.

TNC agreed to allow public access if Ralph Covell agreed. County Supervisor Bruce Gibson also walked the property with me with Ralph’s consent. Mr. Gibson agrees it is a beautiful place for public access. Ralph was shared this appraisal and interviewed as part of the appraisal process.

Ralph indicated he would not accept this amount. The appraisal is available for anyone to view. 

Jude Basile


Nip it in the bud

Over the years of walking the streets and trails of Cambria, I cannot help but observe the increased proliferation of Canadian Thistle and Blessed Milkweed thistle in all areas, particularly the East Side planting beds, east area Fiscalini Ranch, and most Cambria roadside ditches. These plants are very invasive, steadily increasing and will be arriving soon at your home, if not already there.  Most noxious weeds were not here many years ago, but now they are pervasive in many Cambria areas.

This year, since the native vegetation growth will be sparse, the invasive species will have probably better opportunity for faster expansion. Although they are not controlled well by mowing, since they start budding and seeding in April and mowing usually removes the top, they can be controlled easily by cutting the root low below the crown with hoe/shovel or store-purchased weed killer.  

Thistles will not die out or leave voluntarily, we all have to observe and take action while we can be effective.  To keep your area clean of these weeds, you may also have to take care of your neighbors.

These State listed noxious weed descriptions can be found:,

Please, let’s all start recognizing and eradicating the thistles, this is one thing in the “Think Globally: Act Locally” we all can do.

Kermit Johansson


Vote for Clift

I’ve come to know Bruce Gibson pretty well over the last 13 years. While I respect much that he has accomplished, we have disagreed on several issues. And with time, I’ve have come to believe a fresh approach is needed in District 2 because politics and single-mindedness have come to dominate his votes as supervisor. This is why I encouraged Muril Clift to oppose him last fall.  

I first met Muril six years ago when I joined Cambria’s Lions Club and now know him well.  Muril and Bruce are apples and oranges in their leadership philosophy. While The Tribune’s endorsement of Mr. Gibson emphasized his experience, it failed to mention an earlier criticism related by their David Sneed while comparing the candidates: Gibson “does not listen to critics and approaches issues with his mind made up.”  On the other hand, Muril’s motto is, “bringing people together.”

Disappointed with Gibson’s politics and overconfidence, I see a smiling Clift at our local farmers market shaking hands and listening. Many readers will also have had him knock on their door as he walks local neighborhoods. Our county faces serious issues to prepare for our future. Muril has the right approach.

Mike Broadhurst


Be careful out there

I’m writing in response to a letter to the editor (“Deer in danger”) by Judith Mills in the May 1 Cambrian.

Members of The Cambria Garden Club, with the aid and advice of professionals Blair and Shannon McCormick, took on the project of beautifying the planting medians along Main Street between Rabobank and the Old Grammar School. These planters were built with no provision for landscaping or maintenance. The planters had become an eyesore in the community.

In the early morning hours each month, the members of The Garden Club weed the planters, fertilize and mulch them. They’ve planted wildflowers, succulents and a few native or Mediterranean plants. While no vegetation in Cambria is “deer proof,” all plants growing in the medians are proven to be “deer resistant” and are not especially attractive to the deer population.

There are many people in the community who appreciate this project and this letter will serve as a reminder to drive carefully on Main Street, watching for deer, pedestrians and garden volunteers who are working in the area and giving their time to beautify the community.

Carol Frane, president

Cambria Garden Club

Opportunity knocks

An open letter to American Legion Post No. 432 Commander Brian Griffin and Jerry Bodine: Dear sirs, we, the members of Coffee to the Conning Tower band, would like to thank you for considering and accepting us to play on the Fourth of July. We very much appreciate this act and feel you will not be disappointed.

Leo Martinez, Gio Espinoza and Paul Butterfield

Coffee to the Conning Tower

Note: The three letter writers are all honors students at Santa Lucia Middle School.

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