Cambrian: Opinion

Cambrian letters to the editor, Aug. 25, 2016

One of the kitchens on this year’s tour.
One of the kitchens on this year’s tour.

FFRP thanks kitchen tour participants

Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve would like to thank all of our generous donors who made the 2016 Great Kitchens of Cambria such a huge success.

Our gracious homeowners: Susan and Bob Detweiler, Janet Cooper, Cathy and John Zettler, Susan and Tom Loganbill, Louise and Richard Mazerov, Juli and Larry Beltramo, and Farah Aria.

Our generous sponsors: Betty Malone Realtor, Home Arts, Ocean Heir, Pacific Hair, Robin’s Restaurant, San Simeon Travel and Wayne Gracey Construction.

Our wonderful raffle prize donors: Foxlo Pottery, Susan and Bob Detweiler, Friends of Hearst Castle, Fog’s End B&B, Richard Lee, Little Sur Inn, Madeline’s Restaurant & Wine Tasting Room, Montello Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, Robin’s Restaurant and the Sea Chest Restaurant.

Our delectable food, flower and beverage donors: A Matter of Taste, Cookie Crock Market, La Terraza Mexican Grill, San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill, Great Gardens by Shana McCormick, Cutruzzola Vineyards and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Our delightful musicians: Jennifer Brunschwiler, Sandra Martin, Ron Perry, Pat Burbank and Carolyn Kelley.

Our trusty ticket sales venues: Cambria Chamber of Commerce, Idler’s Appliance, Forden’s and A Matter of Taste.

Our great professional services: The Joslyn Center, Robert Tieman and Jennifer Star.

With special thanks to all the enthusiastic and helpful volunteer docents, as well as everyone who helped with deliveries, signage, cooking and cleanup. There are too many of you to mention by name, but we know who you are and appreciate your help!

And of course all those of you who attended, thank you!

We are grateful for your continued support of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, in the heart of Cambria. We know that we could not do this without the help of so many contributors to this event.

The 2016 Kitchen Tour Committee, Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve

Time to legalize private pot use

For those people who are unaware of Proposition 64, which will be on the November ballot for San Luis Obispo County, it covers recreational marijuana for adults. It is time for adults to be able to purchase this item for personal, private use.

Please be assured that it will be tightly controlled because of government sanction and the will of the majority. If you do not approve of this proposition, it is your right to decline, but you may not infringe on another person’s right to purchase and use this item

It is time for all adults to behave as adults.

Sylvia A. Hanna, Cambria

Cyclist thankful for rumble strips

I loved Kathe Tanner’s column on scammers (Slice of Life, Aug. 4). We need more like that with your great helpful hints.

I would like to talk about rumble strips with you for a minute. Your opening paragraph may have been tongue-in-cheek about those strips, but I rely on them for my life. As an avid bicyclist they have saved me from death or serious injury way more than once.

Today, I had no troubles on my 74-mile ride, but last week I watched in my mirror as a car behind me drifted into the rumble strip and then corrected just before passing me. Can you feel my heart rate?

I’d love to see an article from you about drivers sharing the road with cyclists and what motorists can do to avoid a collision between their two-ton vehicles and our 40-pound bikes.

Thank you for hearing our viewpoint on rumble strips.

Norman Pillsbury, Atascadero

Voting Sanders, Robinette to CCSD

I have been concerned about some comments I have heard and read recently regarding the Cambria Community Services District.

After reading about how some communities in California had to resort to trucking in bottled water for their everyday use, I am thrilled that our current board worked so hard to make sure that did not happen here. We now have an emergency water supply that will help get us through the many drought years that the experts predict are ahead.

But wait! Did I hear that having this water supply means Cambria will experience unrestrained growth? Are we going to be the next town taken over by huge developments and even, dare I say, a Wal-Mart?

So, I decided to look into it and discovered the following facts: The emergency water supply is built to accommodate a maximum of 4,650 residential water connections. Based on the county’s current 1 percent growth rate, it will take about 20 years to reach that level. And commercial water connections are limited to just 20 percent of residential connections per year. Sorry, Wal-Mart.

So, I, for one, plan on staying the course and voting for Gail Robinette and Greg Sanders this November.

Sue Robinson, Cambria

Buildout reduction positive precedent

It is not often that a town as small as ours potentially could serve as a template for a nationwide movement — or at least policy direction. But I think the buildout reduction efforts of 10 volunteers could, if adequately recognized, be an example.

Between about 1981 and 1995, I ran the Greener Pastures Institute, through which I advised “stressed out urbanites” in relocating to small towns and rural areas, primarily in the West. It garnered huge media publicity and was my 15 minutes (years?) of fame.

I sought examples of communities that were trying to limit growth for quality-of-life reasons, and there weren’t many. It wasn’t the American Way, with its patina of migration ever westward (or wherever). In one article, I wrote that if growth limitation could be achieved it would have to be accomplished by restricting utility connections, which Cambria has obviously done. And it appears be looking at much more, including lot mergers.

Bravo! I know in the past this issue has raised the hackles of property rights advocates, but overpopulation, wherever it may be, clearly leads to environmental degradation and fewer choices for all. It may sometimes seem selfish to discourage unmitigated in-migration, but it makes a lot of sense.

William L. Seavey, Cambria

Backs incumbents for CCSD election

The most important function of any elected board is to set policy — a task that requires making decisions. Any decision, by definition, is a choice among alternatives. Not all choices are universally popular and many attract noisy protest. The CCSD’s decision to raise water and sewer rates was one such decision.

To evaluate the impact of that decision, though, it’s necessary to look at the whole picture. The Cambria Community Services District manages three funds: water, wastewater and general. By mandate, these funds cannot permanently cross-subsidize each other. However, water and wastewater have been running chronic deficits and have depended on borrowing from the General Fund. This past year, the CCSD board took action to fix that long-deferred problem.

The benefits of raising rates go beyond just rationalizing the finances of the water and wastewater enterprises. For instance, in the wastewater department, increased income permits critically needed repairs to the plant and infrastructure that advance environmental stewardship. The General Fund now has the flexibility to set aside money to upgrade Cambria’s aging fire equipment. Additional funds are available to begin improving the East Ranch, a positive step in providing long-promised park resources to the community.

Putting the Community Services District finances in order has not been an easy step because of people’s tendency to focus on cost rather than benefit.

But taking that necessary step was true fiscal responsibility. For this, and many other reasons, I support incumbent Directors Amanda Rice, Gail Robinette and Greg Sanders in their re-election bids.

Ted Siegler, Cambria