Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor Oct. 2

Don’t be sidetracked

My wife and I have lived on Marine Terrace for 21 years, and we have seen many attempts by various CCSD boards to provide a reliable source of water for Cambria be sidetracked by some of the same people currently opposed to the proposed Emergency Water Project.

During our time in Cambria, there have been analyses of various proposals, including Nacimiento Lake water, state pipeline water, water storage reservoirs, ocean desalination, etc.

All of these analyses/proposals were vociferously opposed by one or more factions in the community on the basis of rampant growth, environmental red herrings or similar issues. In fact, the community was very close to acquiring the necessary permits and funding in the late ’90s for an Ocean Desalination Project, only to be rejected by a CCSD board turnover that brought in some staunch no-growthers, some of whom misrepresented their positions prior to the election.

Even though I believe the best solution for a reliable water system is ocean desalination, I think the current Brackish Water Reclamation Project is a good alternative, since it does not depend solely on rainfall.

We must re-elect Mike Thompson and Jim Bahringer in November to represent Cambria on the CCSD Board in order to proceed to a timely solution to our severe water shortage.

Jess Bathke


Health care gap

Not only are scarecrows appearing everywhere, but it can hardly be ignored that the homeless population has increased, as well.

Mental health care in this county is mostly nonexistent, unless you can afford a $100-plus session at a psychiatrist’s or psychologist’s office. Hopefully, they don’t have a waiting list for two years and they do take new patients. Perhaps a stay at your local sanitarium might catch your fancy for $1,500 a day.

My daughter, who suffers from borderline personality disorder and only has Medi-Cal as insurance, was being treated at our local Community Healthcare Clinic. Just the other day, she was notified by certified mail that she is no longer welcome at the CHC Clinic in San Luis Obispo County. They were so kind, though, to enclose a form promising to forward her records to any doctor of her choosing. Well, isn’t that nice? Don’t people go to the CHC because they pretty much have run out of options of where to go? The icing on the cake was a possible support group in San Luis Obispo where my daughter didn’t qualify because she was too sick.

What I describe above is how people get slowly squeezed out of the system. It is those people you see on the street in your neighborhood.

Health care is a basic human right. No one should be refused treatment. People, wake up.

Anke van der Schaft


Look to the future

Under the leadership of president Jim Bahringer, the Stage 3 drought emergency gave the opportunity to obtain permitting of the Emergency Water Supply (EWS) Project. Choice of the San Simeon Brackish Water Desalination System was substantiated by the extensive analysis conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2012 that evaluated more than 10 potential water sources.

Numerous discussions regarding the merits of the board’s EWS decision are in the past. The future will result in a reliable supplemental water source that our community desperately needs. We should fully support the efforts of the CCSD in obtaining a permanent permit for the project. The project will be significantly aided by having a fully funded, operational EWS.

The future also needs to address other issues that require attention, e.g., fire and environmental protection, infrastructure repairs and strong fiscal control.

Cambrians should consider supporting new board candidates Rick Hawley and Jeff Hellman to give a better balance of skill sets to the board.

Rick, a longtime resident of Cambria and president of Greenspace, would bring a wealth of experience in the areas of forest management, watershed enhancement and protection. Jeff, with a master’s degree in finance from USC and running his own commercial business, would bring needed critical financial oversight.

Allan and Theresa MacKinnon


Health and water

We are coming into the flu season, and our town water shortage may soon become a public health concern. Our town has two populations that are susceptible to flu, colds, norovirus and other contagious diseases: the very young and seniors. Many of our seniors already have compromised health and, as such, are at the top of the list for contracting these illnesses.

Adult and child day care facilities are required by law to shut down when there are plumbing problems and water must be cut off. We in Cambria are facing the equivalent of having our water cut off. The result of this is apparent.

When people are forced to severely ration water, they often sacrifice personal sanitation.

Hand washing often gets short shrift. We know from the Centers for Disease Control that the single best defense against communicable disease is hand washing with soap and water. The CDC website has instructions on how best to wash one’s hands. The water issue is no longer about growth or convenience; it is now a matter of public health and safety.

Suzy Siegler


Beware of dogs

This is an open letter to all dog owners who walk their dogs on Fiscalini Ranch.

On Sunday, Sept.14, at 3:45 p.m., I was enjoying a walk on the Bill Kerr Trail, heading to my home on Trenton Avenue. As I approached one of the benches on the trial, I noticed a lady sitting on the bench surrounded by three dogs, all off leash.

When I was about 30 feet away, the smaller of two German shepherds ran toward me and locked onto my left forearm. It released and attacked the arm again.

Not wanting to be attacked a third time, I was only able to confirm with the lady that I had been bitten. After proceeding 50 yards or so down the trail, I warned a group of people about the unleashed dogs. They called to my attention the blood seeping through my long-sleeve shirt. Upon returning home, I went with my wife directly to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton and had my arm treated. I filed a dog-bite report with county animal control and notified CCSD of the incident.

I will never quite enjoy a walk on the Ranch as before. What a shame.

Please keep your dogs on leash, where required, so that no one else, especially a child, goes through the pain of a dog bite.

Jim Tuttle


Let Cambria burn?

As we see more proposals for studies of alternate water solutions, it is inescapably obvious that their goal is not to get more water for Cambria, but to sabotage any real solution for the purpose of destroying Cambria as a viable community.

For a third of a century, there have been studies of viable solutions — all to be rejected by those who want to destroy Cambria. If you want to do more studies, do so — but do it on your own time and dime. And when you have a solution with solid facts including: schedule, costs, permits and credible risks, then present it to CCSD, and I’m sure they will jump on it if it is truly superior.

But until you have solid facts, I suggest you lead, follow, or get out of the way and let the people who are trying to solve the problem do their work. Thursday’s fire should be a reminder that Cambria is not immune to the laws of nature. If there is not enough water to protect us against even a moderate fire, don’t expect much external help, which is tied up on other major fires. There will be no flora, fauna or Cambria. Electing more obstructionists will not solve the water problem. I suggest that thinking Cambrians give full support to our current board, which is trying to save your bacon.

Visvaldis Vitols