Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, Aug. 11, 2016

Water plant’s metamorphosis

At a Cambria Community Services District meeting on Jan. 30, 2014, a memo from the district engineer advised the CCSD board: “The most realistic and expedient solution developed by staff … is to utilize prefabricated, portable, water treatment facilities to treat a brackish water supply extracted from CCSD-owned property south of San Simeon Creek road.”

The board subsequently passed a resolution authorizing the expenditure of $500,000 to develop and implement an emergency water supply project, because “… without some alternative supply of water, the CCSD will effectively run out of water in approximately four to six months.”

In May 2014, San Luis Obispo County issued the CCSD an emergency permit to construct the Emergency Water Supply Project to serve existing customers within the CCSD’s service area.

On June 6, 2014, the CCSD proposed a water rate increase “to fund the cost of an emergency water supply project.”

March 24, 2016, CCSD meeting: “The EIR would evaluate use of the facility to supply water to existing and future customers … The Project rebranding (Emergency Water Supply Project to Sustainable Water Facility) was formally communicated to Michael Baker by Mr. Tim Carmel via a Dec. 8, 2015, email.”

How did we get from an Emergency Water Supply Project to a Sustainable Water Facility? How did we go from supplying water to existing customers to supplying water to future customers? How did we go from $500,000 to $13,000,000 and counting? What became of that “prefabricated, portable, water treatment facility?”

It’s time for a transparent, responsive, service-oriented, fiscally responsible, impartial board. Replace the rebranders.

Sherri Bell, Cambria

Trump not worthy of Purple Heart

Donald Trump has finally made me extremely angry. He has disparaged John McCain, insulted the Gold Star parents of a hero who died protecting soldiers under his command and now he has accepted a “copy” of a Purple Heart medal from a veteran who, apparently, has no respect for the medal himself.

To be awarded the Purple Heart, a service member must be physically wounded by enemy action in armed combat. The wound must be caused by being shot, struck by shrapnel or by enemy bayonet.

I am a disabled veteran of the war in Korea. My disability is physical. I am not eligible to receive the Purple Heart. I have the utmost respect for recipients of the Purple Heart.

Mr. Trump and the veteran who presented the medal to him have insulted every combat veteran alive.

Mr. Trump is not qualified to become president of the United States of America. He has no real respect for the Constitution or our country. I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary election, and I will vote for her in the November election.

Freedom is not free. May God be with you.

Alan Doctor, Cambria

Prevention for poison oak?

About 10 years ago, I made a discovery that pertains to the misery poison oak can cause the unwary newcomer.

The Cambrian printed the letter I wrote and, much to my surprise, the townsfolk didn’t take the day off and celebrate wildly, for such is the importance of my discovery, as you will soon see. Here again is my sure-fire poison oak preventer, printed 10 years ago.

Poison oak belongs to the same family as pistachios, mangos and cashews. It is a very adaptable plant, sometimes growing straight up oak trees 50 feet and with a ground-level thickness of 5 inches. I cleared poison oak for a month, all the while getting sap all over me every day. Yet, I never developed a single blister nor felt any inconvenience.

Yet, two months before, the slightest touch would not only bring a blister but spread also. This was during my summer campground work at Nacimiento and Ponderosa in Big Sur. I got poison oak as I went from campsite to campsite every day.

My next job was taking care of a parent for a month while the family went on vacation. They had large bowls of pistachios and bags of the tasty nuts in case they ran out. They said, “Eat all you want.”

I did.

My next job was the poison oak clearing job, and I am completely immune to it. I pull it up by hand now.

Try the pistachio cure. It can’t hurt and, for me, it works.

Brooke Harvey, Cambria

Taking issue with claims in Free and Equal political ad

The Free and Equal Elections Foundation political ad in The Cambrian takes a page from the campaign playbook used by Chicago politicians (where the “Foundation” is incorporated) and Sen. Joe McCarthy. The author may not have enough introspection to see through this, but the readers should. The intent is to foster fear through half-truths and misrepresentation, then reinforce those fears to those who do not seek the truth or consider the ideas of others.

To wit:

1. All board packets are available to the public online at the same time they are made available to CCSD directors. Ad-hoc committees make progress reports at regular meetings and disband when the specific tasks are completed.

2. According to the Brown Act, reports from closed session can only be made if action was taken.

3. At two special Rate Study Ad-Hoc meetings (one daytime and one evening) and three regular board meetings, presentations were made explaining the Equity and Fairness requirement demanded by Proposition 218. By law, the water rates cannot favor one group over another and great care was taken (within the limits of the law) to reduce the impact on residential rates.

4. The CCSD does not have land use authority and cannot fund the Forest Management Plan. The Fire Safe Council has worked with the County Office of Emergency Services to successfully obtain grants and coordinate disparate stakeholders, including the CCSD, CalFire, CCSD Fire Department, Cal Fire, etc.

Go to the CCSD website to examine for yourself the validity of the claims made by the Foundation in the ad.

James Bahringer, Cambria Community Services District director