Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, May 12, 2016

Cambria CERT was one of the groups providing information to the public at the Cambria Fire Safe Fair.
Cambria CERT was one of the groups providing information to the public at the Cambria Fire Safe Fair.

Haiku strikes a chord on current state of CCSD

Dan Fields’ haiku is an excellent summary of the current state of the CCSD.

Water board runs amok

Customers suffer anew

Doublespeak abounds.

Greg Sanders’ listing of the excessive salaries at other water districts only served to underscore the inequities between the CCSD and the private sector that was mentioned by Marvin Josephson. I also worked designing satellites and can confirm that none of us doing rocket science made anywhere near this kind of money.

Certainly no manager that oversaw a cost overrun of more than 50 percent on a major project would get recommended for a 38 percent pay increase.

They must have channeled George Orwell to doublespeak the $5 million to $8 million Emergency Water Supply into the $13 million Sustainable Water Facility.

This reminds me of a quote by my least favorite president right after the Katrina debacle. “Heck of a job, Brownie.”

Doug Hay, Cambria

Time to get new public servants

Editor’s Notes (“Fruit of a public servant’s labor isn’t just apples and oranges,” May 5-11), took a big first step.

Here’s a second step. Director Amanda Rice is the only member of the CCSD Board of Directors who always studies the agenda, shares her analysis at the board’s public meeting and gives reasons for her position and vote.

Director Rice brings up the board’s responsibility for fiscal oversight again and again. She knows ratepayers care how our money is spent — especially, but not only, people with low income. But when the directors’ interests are finely served, calling them to account falls only on their stuffed ears.

The Board of Directors has handed over their financial authority to the general manager many times in the past two years.

What’s happening? Rotten apples show up in many ways. More Cambrians should be paying attention to our community services. Cynical fasting is toxic.

If oranges don’t appeal to the taste buds any more and apples are rotting, let’s get new public servants.

Elizabeth Bettenhausen, Cambria

Thanks for help on Fire Safe Fair

The threat of wildfire is very real again this year in Cambria, and raising community awareness about how to prepare “just in case” is the goal of the Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group. With that in mind, we gathered a stellar group of safety professionals and volunteer organizations May 5 for the Cambria Fire Safe Fair, and we are pretty sure a lot of locals went right home and packed their go-bags, “just in case.”

Our first responders get first kudos: Many thanks go to Cambria Fire, Cal Fire and Cambria Community Healthcare District for being there, not only for this event, but for whenever we need you. We especially thank the SLO County Fire Safe Council for supporting this event.

Cambria Hardware generously filled two large “go-buckets” with dozens of emergency supplies for our giveaway. Cody Casteel of Atascadero’s Mid-Coast Fire Protection spent four hours cheerfully inspecting and recharging at no cost dozens of fire extinguishers (some of distinctly antiquated vintage). Sean O’Brien hauled a trailer carrying a cabin made of salvaged Cambria pine from his Pacific Coast Lumber Company in SLO and donated a beautiful pine Adirondack chair to give away. PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey shared his latest forecast, Cambria CERT ham operators demonstrated their communication skills, Dexter Upton relayed Cambria Fire history, Bob Kelly brought his Buddy plan, and Sheriff’s Posse volunteers with one gorgeous equine partner showed us how horses are vital to search and rescue. Thanks to you all.

Special appreciation goes to Father Mark Stetz for allowing us to take over the Santa Rosa Catholic Church parking lot. We are grateful to The Cambrian’s Steve Provost, Kathe Tanner and Jennifer Perryman for helping us get the word out. Much gratitude to the Cambria Historical Society for loaning equipment, as well as many thanks to Harvey’s Honeyhuts for, well, you know.

Hearty thanks to Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, Cambria Forest Committee, Pacific Wildlife Care and the American Red Cross for all that you do. And we appreciate La Terraza, Mojo’s Coffee and BanjerDan, who all added special flavor to this event.

Finally, a million thanks to these folks who made it all happen: Bruce Fosdike, Barbara Bronson Gray, Joyce Renshaw, Roberta Vitols, Chris Landgreen, Mark Landgreen, Lorna Mumper, David Wierenga, Ken Persinger, Joyce Williams.

Susan McDonald, Cambria Fire Focus Group

Don’t be fooled again on BRP

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, lest we be fooled again. … The “Buildout Panel” that is in the process of identifying Cambria lots is doing so in order to map out plots of land that can be built upon! Haha! And you thought that they were going to map out lots that would be set aside to not be built upon?!

The Cambrian quotes on April 21: “All three CSD reps (Directors Greg Sanders and Gail Robinette, and General Manager Jerry Gruber) repeatedly stressed at the nearly two-hour April 18 meeting that the updated buildout reduction program will be a vital element in the water facility’s EIR, which in turn is a crucial component of the district’s plan to get a permanent permit to operate the facility at any time, rather than just during water shortage emergencies.”

Watch out: The fox is guarding the chicken coop. Members of this committee are on the wait list to build, and our government officials are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. They want to build on lots in Cambria and use the new water facility to justify their actions to allow for more water permits. This is not what we ever agreed to, is it?

Theresa Lees, Cambria