Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor July 31

‘PETA Pussy’ by Carol Meunier and Mena Granatin was an award winner at the Allied Arts Association’s 927 Art Show at the Veterans Memorial Building, but not everyone agreed with the judges’ decision, and some vocally opposed the piece’s inclusion in the show.
‘PETA Pussy’ by Carol Meunier and Mena Granatin was an award winner at the Allied Arts Association’s 927 Art Show at the Veterans Memorial Building, but not everyone agreed with the judges’ decision, and some vocally opposed the piece’s inclusion in the show.

Portable plant

Good people of Cambria,

The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California Coastal Commission say the CCSD has:

  • Made incomplete permit applications.
  • Done inadequate engineering.
  • Provided too little information in its reports.
  • Failed to address key issues.
  • Made flawed assumptions, and more.

In other words, the CCSD’s plan is unlikely to meet permit requirements in time to do us any good.

On the other hand, the temporary, portable treatment plant does not suffer from these impediments. It can be put into place in days or weeks and will cost nothing to operate in the event we do get rain.

The CCSD’s desal plant is expensive beyond the need of the majority of Cambrians. It is cruel and unjust to fund this on the backs of folks on fixed incomes, working and middle-class families.

Tell the CCSD to stop wasting our time and money. Temporary portable water treatment now!

Greg Sesser


Time for talk is over

At the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors meeting July 24, many people aired their feelings pro and con about the proposed plant to purify brackish water as a supplemental source in the present water emergency. As I sat there listening, the analogy came to me of a man with chronic high blood pressure and a high cholesterol count. Despite the advice of his doctor over the years, he has never done anything to take corrective measures and now, after a stress test, he is confronted with the choice of heart bypass surgery or death.

I have lived in Cambria for 20 years. It is no secret that Cambria has had long-term concerns about its water supply. Over the years, many studies have been conducted at great expense with no practical solutions for identifying an additional water source for our community.

Like the man confronted with bypass surgery, we are now confronted with global warming, a phenomenon that causes a shift in weather patterns and the resultant drought that confronts us and the entire state and may well continue.

Even with a goodly amount of rain this winter it will take a long time to replenish our aquifers. We are faced with a “do or die’’ situation. We must face up to the decision of whether we want to be able to continue living here, which will only be possible if we come up with a dependable water supply.

The time for talk is past! The time for action is now!

Bob Lennan


Not the cat’s meow

Sunday, July 20, I went to the 927 Art Show in Cambria. For the greater part, it offered what I expected and have enjoyed in the past: whimsy, novelty and an exhibition of the creativity and talent of local artists.

And then I was exposed to the desiccated carcass of a dead cat and the title essentially was a three-fingered salute to PETA with a vulgar double entendre referring to the female genitalia.

A quote from Justice Robert Jackson comes to mind: “The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for a good deal of rubbish.”

Similarly, I am reminded of a quote attributed to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter-Stewart on a case or test of obscenity in which he reportedly said “I shall not attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description (of hard-core pornography), and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so, but I know it when I see it.”

This exhibit was intended to shock and offend. It did. This “thing” lacked serious value be it artistic, political or otherwise. Questions abound. Does the 927 Art Show have any criteria for entry? Was the decision to award this thing Best in Show made by one person or several? It seems as if a pile of excrement on a plate has been served up and the judge/judges have said “yum.”

Having set this precedent, what a Pandora’s box has been opened. Perhaps it is just as well that the event was poorly advertised.

Ann Pope


Live with discomfort

I must say upfront that I love cats, that I wept when we recently had to put down one of ours and that I was disturbed at the sight of the prize-winning entry at the recent 927 Art Show in Cambria.

However, the long tradition of this show is to encourage entries that may be humorous, political, zany, edgy, provocative and possibly disturbing.

Many of the entries in past years have raised eyebrows and pushed the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in the usual community art show.

Even so, the show’s sponsoring Allied Arts Association has never imposed its judgment by censoring entries and has been applauded for that stance.

If the theme of an art show is fall colors, artists will paint with fall colors and jurors will likely reward them. If the point of the show is to encourage crazy, nontraditional art, artists and jurors will likely comply with that theme as well. I believe any good art should evoke some kind of emotional response from viewers. This piece certainly did from me, but I am willing to live with some discomfort in favor of continued, uncensored freedom of artistic expression.

Steve Kellogg

Past President, Allied Arts Association, Cambria

Not all ‘art’ is art

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of H.A.R.T. (Homeless Animal Rescue Team). Numerous volunteers and others have contacted us about how truly taken aback they are at the inclusion of a petrified cat in the recent 927 Art Show. While art should be able to broach any subject, the same does not apply to how a piece is executed. Certain things are no longer “art.” Dead animals are one; one sees them in carnival freak shows, not art shows.

Other considerations: Was food consumed in the same room as the dead cat? Were steps taken to limit the spread of any associated infectious agents to local domestic and feral animals?

Allied Arts should be commended for continuing to provide a venue for local artists to explore new styles and methodologies. But if everything is “art,” then nothing is art.

Mike Zarowitz

President, H.A.R.T. Board of Directors