Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian Letters to the Editor, June 25, 2015

CCSD is conserving

In her June 18 letter to The Cambrian (“CCSD water use”), Elizabeth Bettenhausen cites some statistics on CCSD water billing that may be confusing to readers without further explanation.

Ms. Bettenhausen notes that the water use recorded in CCSD’s “internal accounts” rose by 23 percent from 2013 to 2014. But this does not mean that the CCSD used more water.

In fact, water use at the CCSD’s own meters — for such things as public restrooms, the Vets Hall, the Water and Sewer departments and some water testing — fell by 72 percent, from 1,237 units in 2013 to 348 units in 2014. (Each unit is 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons).

So where did the increase come from? The source is another internal (that is, nonrevenue-producing) account covering water pumped by a local rancher from a well on CCSD property. The rancher has a contractual right to this water, and the CCSD has no control over how it is used.

Usage in this account jumped 55 percent between 2013 and 2014, from 5,103 units to 6,322 units, an increase of more than 900,000 gallons. 

In short, the CCSD did its share — and then some — to conserve water during 2014. 

Tom Gray

Public Information Officer, Cambria Community Services District

Fire assessment

Mea Culpa! I  was not quite correct in my letter published in yesterday’s Cambrian (June 18). I looked at my Property Tax Statement. Son of a gun there it is: “CAMBR CSD FIRE ASMT $90.98.” We all have been paying for this. Where did it go? What happened to the money?

I have been informed that the CCSD is considering a contract with Cal Fire to manage the Cambria Fire Department at a cost of $280,000 for one year.

I have also been told that the Cambria fire employees voted no on this issue. 

I either misread the article last week or some errors were inadvertently included. Either way, I failed to check my facts. I apologize. 

I still believe that we need our fire department. Cal Fire is a wonderful organization staffed by dedicated employees, but they are stretched too thin.

Alan Doctor


Farewell to Cambria

After I retired, my late wife and I searched for a vacation home from San Diego up to the Central Coast. We finally found our home in Cambria, on Happy Hill, and what a happy vacation home that was for 20 years.

We had wonderful times there. We had birthday parties, anniversary parties and wine tasting parties. We had grand parties at Christmas, on the Fourth of July and, of course, during Pinedorado Days. We entertained relatives, lots of friends and it was always a special  occasion when our whole family could get together.

To paraphrase a famous poet, “Cambria, how do I love you? Let me count the ways.”

I loved to walk on the beach looking for “moonstones” and curious pieces of driftwood.

I loved the tide pools, the seals, the otters, dolphins and whales.

I loved hiking beneath the pine trees, watching for rabbits, turkeys, peacocks, deer and an occasional glimpse of a bobcat.

I loved the gorgeous sunsets, the brilliant stars at night, the full moonlight on the ocean, the foggy days, the bright sunny days and the faint smell of a barbecue.

I loved to watch the jays, doves, woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, seagulls and pelicans from our picture window.

I loved all the amazing shops and art shows and the Farmers Market.

I loved all the wonderful restaurants, delis and bakeries and the regular trips up Santa Rosa Creek Road.

I loved the sound of the surf at night, enhanced occasionally by a choir of frogs.

I loved the wildflowers in the spring.

I loved our neighbors and all the residents that I have met.

Sadly, I find it is time to leave our Happy Hill home. However, I still have 20 years of precious memories.

Thanks, Cambria.

Don Wagner

Santa Monica

Cal Fire not enough

We are concerned that very few efforts are being made to secure a new fire chief for the Cambria Fire Department.  We hope that other Cambria residents are also concerned. 

Are the plans of the general manager and board to bring in Cal Fire as interim and then quietly phase out the Cambria Fire Department? 

This may be a cost-saving measure, but at what cost to the community? 

Cal Fire, by necessity, has to move its people according to the needs of the state during fire season. In our drought situation, that seems to be year-round. Their specialty is forestry. We will not have the core of people in the fire department that we have now, the ones who know our community so well. Five minutes can save a life or a home. 

Last week’s Cambrian described  the many other things our Cambria Fire Department does for our community. 

You may have even had your own personal experience.

We are so blessed in Cambria to have the fire department we have. Let’s not lose it.

Please attend the CCSD meeting June 25, and make your feelings known. 

Jeri and Terry Farrell


Watch for fawns

I want to thank whoever posted the sign at the top and bottom of Burton Drive to drive slowly as fawns (baby deer) are in the canyon. Fawns are everywhere right now! And, schoolchildren are on summer break, so it’s a good idea to drive more slowly everywhere in town.

I’m a volunteer at Pacific Wildlife Care, and the wildlife hotline has been full of calls from the public asking or concerned about fawns.

It is “normal” for a mother (doe), to leave her fawn (or fawns), in a safe, quiet space while she goes off foraging.  Keep dogs, children and disruption away from them. They will be visited by their mother periodically during their wait, and likely later in the evening, she’ll move them off to another safe location.  

Never move a fawn. Never feed a fawn. If a fawn is wandering about and crying, do call the PWC hotline:  805-543-WILD (9453) or with any other wildlife questions.

Thank you for helping to keep our wildlife safe and in the wild!

Marcelle Bakula