Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor July 24

Be a Follies Angel

Do you want to be an Angel? The Pinedorado Follies is coming soon, and we rely on the generosity of our Angels to help us put on a truly spectacular show.

This year, the Follies performances will be Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 27-31. All proceeds go to support our community through the Cambria Lions Club charities.

Last year’s show, Vacation the Musical, was so well received we will be offering an all-new sequel, Vacation the Musical 2. Reserved and general admission tickets will go on sale Aug. 1 at the Chamber. But if you would like to skip the line and guarantee good seats for yourself, become a Follies Angel. To do so, call Peggy Christianson at 927-7131 to request your Angel Package. There is a limited number of packages, and some have already been reserved, so call soon if you want to enjoy the best seats to a great show, a glass of wine, and a ticket to the cast party.

Peggy Christianson


Let’s talk water again

We are presently pursuing a minimal solution to our water problem, which still gives no consideration to the gambling game we are in. The big hope this time is much rain if we make it to the end of the year.

The additional hope is that El Niño will kick in with even more prodigious amounts of rain. It is time to think in regional terms: San Simeon, Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos, and over the hill, Paso Robles, et al. We all need water throughout the state. I suggest a desal plant strategically located that will serve the region.

Yup, that is a lot of water, but we have an ocean for resource. And yup, that will be a lot of money, including the lesser costs of piping and pumping. Then again, how much in aggregate are these communities worth when you consider the population egress and personal losses that will occur, along with the tremendous tax loss to the county and state? Increased taxes to accomplish the regional project will, of course, be necessary. These tax increases will no doubt bring great objections from some, but those objections carry a shortsightedness regarding our future as communities.

What are the alternatives? Certain solution with a desal plant that serves us now and in years to come or a trip back to the casino with hope to win this time?

I’m sure our halfway measures will gain us some time, but very little considering the overall need in the future. My professional experience deals with too much water ( i.e., floods, not potable water), but the concept of gambling with nature I have found — and am still aware of — has always been a loser.

It is time to go political and start the campaign to bring this project about.

I suggest the board broach the subject with the state and others. I suggest Jerry Gruber, the district manager, be the contact person, since he well understands the need and will offer a knowledgeable reality of the situation.

Don Keene


Last laugh

I now have the last laugh — unfortunately.

In Tom Gray’s letter to the Cambrian on March 27 (“Apples and Oranges”), for which he was paid by the CCSD board, he took exception to my letter the previous week warning about the high cost of brackish water treatment/desal to all Cambrians (businesses and residents alike).

CCSD board President Jim Bahringer has been quoted as saying over and over that the board is “laser-focused” on getting this secondary source of water installed and operating by July 1 and that the cost would be $1.5 million, “give or take.” We are now past July 1, the “estimated” cost is now over $10 million, and this project is still nowhere near permitted, let alone installed and providing water to us. Annual operating costs for this facility, currently “estimated” at $350,000-plus, are not included in this astronomical sum.

The regulatory agencies involved in issuing permits for this plant say it is a multiyear process, not something to be done within a few months, and there is no guarantee that this will ever be permitted. Further, to date, the CCSD board has not secured any governmental financing, so the ballooning costs are to be borne by ratepayers of Cambria. That is some bill!

Protest the current rate hike proposed by the CCSD, as the funds from this hike can only be used for this boondoggle — not to fix leaks, pumps, or anything else in our decaying water/sewer infrastructure.

Marilyn Kirkey


Letter disputed

I feel that a response to Barbara Bronson Gray’s letter to the editor in The Cambrian dated July 17 is necessary to set the record straight.

Let me first state that Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility (CFR) is a grassroots group of Cambrians who waged a successful Proposition 218 protest in 2008. A number of us felt inclined to support a Prop. 218 protest of the current proposed rate increase, for reasons stated in the letter mailed out to all Cambrians, second-home owners and tenants.

I stand behind every reason CFR gave for protesting the rate increase, as they are factually based. None of the points Ms. Gray refers to as being “grossly inaccurate” could be further from the truth.

Let me explain.

The amount of water required for the 67-day tracer test, as stated in CDM-Smith’s analysis and report, is 134.4 acre-feet. The cost of the project was initially projected at $1.5 million and to be a temporary project; it has morphed into an $8.8 million permanent project, with the possibility of costing more because of added conditions.

No such claim was made implying there was “no chance of getting a federal grant to help pay for the system.” This is what was stated: “No monies have come from federal or state agencies to support the cost of the project to date.” Ms. Gray went on to say: “They suggested available ranch water might solve our problem, which is false.”

Wrong! Two ranchers have offered the CCSD solutions: A long-term solution of an off-stream storage reservoir on Clyde Warren’s property on San Simeon Creek Road, and a short-term solution from Jon Pedotti, who has informed me that on three separate occasions, he has offered the district an emergency short-term supply of water. To date, the district has not pursued either offer.

Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility did put a name to its letter; the name of its group. It also provided an address: P.O. Box 458, Cambria, CA.

Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility provided a protest form, which under Prop. 218, gives Californians the right to protest a water rate increase.

Whether you agree or disagree with the rate increase, you should be given the opportunity to gather the facts and make your own decision whether to protest or not.

I suggest Ms. Gray should have checked her “facts” before attempting to distort those of Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility.

Tina Dickason

Cambrians for Fiscal Responsibility