Conway Spitler (twice) Citizen of the Year, passed away this week. He was a pillar of our Fillmore community for many decades, and a friend to the Fillmore Gazette for 25 years. He was a thoughtful man of strong, patriotic opinions.
Rest in peace, Conway.


For those interested in learning how quickly Fillmore is recovering from the last six years of city council mismanagement, take a look on Channel 10. Finally, we have a council that works thoughtfully and professionally together. It’s a pleasure to attend the meetings these days.
Welcome our new City Manager, David Wayne Rowlands. He comes to Fillmore with the highest recommendations for his solid experience and great success as a city manager. The bad old days will soon be just an uncomfortable memory. Our city is really coming back to life!


Like many people, I worry about the health and welfare of our armed forces laboring under a charlatan masquerading as Commander in Chief. Here’s a recent report on how the troops are doing under Obama’s new policy of welcoming openly gay service men and women:

When I read these sorts of things I have to ask why – why did the president and some of his top brass think it necessary to go beyond “Don’t ask-Don’t Tell”? After all, that policy didn’t exclude anyone, and it preserved the dignity of the vast majority of our armed forces who respect traditional Judeo-Christian mores. Whose business is it to know just what anyone else’s sexual proclivities might be? And, why would any normal person feel compelled to announce to his/her (Judeo-Christian) teammates that he/she celebrates the sacrament of sodomy. Those responsible for forcing this new policy on the captive, unsuspecting 99 percent deserve close scrutiny. What could their payoff possibly have been – promotion and retirement? How could this policy possibly contribute to military cohesiveness? Up to the present day, such a policy would have led to confusion, deep resentment, disorder, even bloodshed. “Be all you can be” is picking-up a loathsome connotation among millions of veterans who served their country with valor and sacred honor without the need to reveal their sexual values.

Check out the photo in this link and ask yourself if a determined enemy would feel terror or aggravated contempt when confronting these guys.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen (against the unanimous condemnation of his fellow Chiefs, and thousands of flag officers throughout the American military) insisted on this policy. American defense is weaker for it. His name, with his co-conspirators, will live in infamy.



Just a short note to explain why I’m substituting an opinion piece from the Washington Times for my usual scribbling this week. First, Mr. Whitehead accurately sums-up the fears of most U.S. citizens today in his first paragraph, and I share those concerns. With the election of Barack Obama to the office of chief executive and Commander in Chief our fundamental constitutional rights are disintegrating as never before. I agree we have now become a nation of men instead of laws. Government agencies ignore the demands of Congress, Congress ignores the demands of “we the people”, and the Supreme Court, ignoring the clearest Constitutional demands, does whatever it pleases by rewriting the Constitution. Certainly, Obama will appoint two new justices to the Supreme Court during the next three years. The traditional moral norms of the nation are disappearing. America’s very identity is up for grabs. As never before, we are a nation of special interests, unions, financial institutions, and radical Leftists. The conservative will of the people is forgotten.

We are among the lucky few in feeling secure in our county and city. Beyond this, I worry for the less fortunate others.

Our enemies smile at the sight of the Political Correctness which has destabilized military organization and preparedness. Our military has been utterly corrupted from the top down (the only possible way). Only catastrophic military defeat will correct this deviance, if we survive it.

With those happy thoughts, here’s Mr. Whitehead:

OPINION: From a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Men
How a cozy police state tempts a distracted republic

Written By John W. Whitehead

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

With each passing day, America is inching further down the slippery slope toward a police state. While police clashes with protesters, small farmers and other so-called “lawbreakers” vividly illustrate the limits placed on our freedoms, the boundaries of a police state extend far beyond the actions of law enforcement. In fact, a police state is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, a nation of suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and a citizenry with little recourse against government actions, to name just a few.

Sound familiar? If it does it is only because the signs of an emerging police state are all around us. In Orwellian fashion, it has infiltrated all aspects of our lives, from the mundane to reality-television shows to the downright oppressive.

We were once...



The good news due from the Fillmore City Council that I spoke of last week has begun to appear. At Tuesday’s meeting the council announced that the bitterly controversial Sales Tax Revenue Sharing Agreement (from 2003)) has finally been settled. It is anticipated to bring in from $700,000 to $ l million to the general fund, until the year 2023. As former City Attorney Ted Schneider had informed us all along, the contract with Owens & Miner was valid and legally enforceable. The rancorous, unjust criticism of Mr. Schneider, which most of the former council engaged in for years, has now been shown to be the raw political slander it was from the beginning. Kudos to Councilman Steve Conaway for having the guts and stamina to stick up for Schneider, and for publically exposing the malice spewed by Patti Walker, Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, Gary Creagle, and Bob Stroh against Schneider for so many years. For the record (and not to diminish by any means the great work done by present City Attorney Tiffany Israel to conclude this victory) Schneider had won every case on this issue. He was removed from his job by an extraordinary act of Machiavellian treachery, thanks to Gayle Washburn and (I’ll say it for the last time) the Katzenjammers (forgot how to spell it).
Thanks to Tiffany Israel for her tremendous work, and to our great new council which never lost faith.
The national news is so bad today I will skip my comments until next week. I’m anything but a defeatist, but I truly believe that Obama and friends have done terminal damage to America, American culture, American defense, and, in particular, American religion. These are evil people.

We will, very soon, pay a horrendous price for this collapse of the American moral tradition. The key to the conclusion of the final act is held by our Supreme Court; those nine will bury the traditional “American Way” in a Leftist avalanche.

For those of us who continue to believe in the Judeo-Christian God — it’s time to pray, with enthusiasm.



Attending Tuesday’s Special Budget Workshop was a positive experience.

Financial Advisor Frank Catania has been doing a splendid job of organizing the budget, and making sense of so-called budgets from the recent past. The new council is making substantial progress in its work to stabilize the city’s finances and secure new sources of revenue. It’s still a little too early to announce particular achievements but they are right around the corner. I would urge residents to view the Channel 10 video of that meeting; it’s very informative. The General Fund items were discussed in detail.


I recently challenged a friend to identify some major piece of state or national good news. I’m trying to counter my growing sense of massive pessimism. All I have to do to fan the flames of that personal pessimism is scan the latest DRUGE links. Clearly, the Western World (once recognized as the “free world”) is in a free-falling tailspin. It appears we have a cultural death wish. We have a fool for Commander in Chief. Not surprising since he has no military experience.

President Obama threatened to change America forever and I now believe he will accomplish that goal. With his ordering the recruitment of openly gay men and women into all military services he has defiled more than two centuries of American Judeo-Christian tradition. The reasonable “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rule (which was reluctantly approved by our Joint Chiefs of Staff) opened the path of enlistment to “openly” gay enlistment, bringing with it conduct intolerable to traditional Christians.

Obama crows about his lesbian General and her female “spouse”, herself a colonel. The military is particularly vulnerable to corruption because of its command structure. Orders come from the top on down. As they say, a fish rots from the head first. This facilitates the growth of “special” groups and affiliations within the command structure and in the ranks. This profound rejection of traditional Christian moral conduct happened suddenly (following 30 years of scheming by the radical Left) and was facilitated by people like Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Adm. Mike Mullen. This massive change was created just to placate 2 percent of the public.

I once stated, to the chagrin of a number of distinguished veterans, that I would refuse to serve in any openly gay military unit, and would discourage my children from joining as well. I would explain my stance by paraphrasing a great hero of mine, whose biography was filmed in “A Man For All Seasons” back in 1966. Sir Thomas More, in refusing to recognize the marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, had his head chopped off. Before the axe came down he is quoted as saying (paraphrase) “I die my King’s true servant – but God’s First.” My convictions about our military are equally strong.



My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Ramon Alvarez of Piru upon hearing of the drowning death of Ramon and his son Nelson Alvarez.
Rest in peace Ramon and Nelson.


The entire city council and city staff are anxious to welcome our newly hired City Manager, David Wayne Rowlands. Mr. Rowlands will be taking over his new duties on August 12. From all reports, without exception and from many sources, Mr. Rowlands is an outstanding city manager. We wish him a warm welcome to Fillmore and every success.


On a less auspicious theme, it’s hard to sort through President Obama’s growing stack of critical foreign and domestic failures to determine which is most serious. All of them betray the trust and confidence of the American people and jeopardize our health, safety, and traditional moral ideals. From selling guns to drug cartels, causing the death of our ambassador and three other Americans in Libya, the IRS scandal, the info-data tapping, double cost of Obamacare, and on, and on.

Expect more because Obama has no idea what the consequences of his foolish policies will be.

I do have a contrary take on the data sweeps, however. I agree with some conservatives about the necessity and legality of this massive federal undertaking.

Information tapping may be of questionable value (according to some new reports) but if they are providing significant intel in the war against worldwide Islamist-Jihadist butchery (let’s call it as it is) I think we have to tolerate the loss of privacy. If it turns out that serious abuses arise from this program then those should be addressed with harsh punishment. But we all should understand our vulnerability to insidious global Jihadist terrorism.

Just recently, reports are addressing the alarming news that thousands of Soviet era SA-7 surface-to-air missiles are in terrorist hands. The threat was known early on in the Lybia rebellion. This weapon alone would seriously challenge our defense against Islamist terrorism because it can take down an airliner from about a mile-and-a-half distance.

Obama refuses to identify Islamist anti-infidel terrorism as the problem. Since he is our commander in chief this places America at great risk for any number of attacks. I have to hope that the NSA’s PRISM system is at least targeting China, our prime enemy, as well as the murderous Islamic terrorist states seeking to kill-off Judeo-Christian civilization. We have to choose between privacy and an effective terrorist defense. I would choose survival, with as much control as possible over outfits like the NSA.



How great it is to see our new Fillmore City Council membership! I think this will prove to be one of the best functioning councils in decades.

It’s gratifying to anticipate that justice and common sense will once again prevail over the bitter personal politics which nearly destroyed our town a short time ago. The fragments of our formerly fractured city government are being mended.

Diane McCall, mysteriously removed from our Planning Commission without cause has returned as a council member. “Manny” Minjares, laid off as Assistant Planner, is back also as council member. Doug Tucker, former Planning Commissioner, won a seat on the council as well; Former Senior City Planner, Kevin McSweeney, is back as Planning Service Consultant. And last but for sure not least, former long-time councilman Steve Conaway was recently appointed to replace Brian Sipes on the council. With our new Mayor Rick Neal leading the way Fillmore is solidly back on track.

As Jackie Gleason used to say, “How sweet it is!”

* * *

Much controversy was caused these past several weeks over an alleged incident of American flag disrespect by a teacher at Fillmore Middle School. The teacher claims it was part of a lesson plan on the First Amendment, others strongly disagree. I see no resolution here without the teacher’s public explanation. Incidentally, the small photo used with the letter about the flag being stepped upon was a stock photo from the internet, unrelated to the incident in question.


My congratulations to all of the award-winners recognized at Tuesday’s school board meeting. I was really impressed with the accomplishments of our students. It’s great to hear such good news about our hard-working students after having to report on so much delinquency elsewhere.

* * *

I left at the break before I had the chance to hear Charles Richardson’s remarks condemning English teacher Jennifer Fitzpatrick for dishonoring the American Flag during one of her classes several weeks ago. Asked by a student why the flag was rolled-up on her desk, Ms. Fitzpatrick picked it up, waved it at her class, told the students that it was “only a piece of cloth”, threw it on the floor and stomped on it. She is alleged to have said that she had a legal right to do so, and challenged the class to take her to court, where, she assured students that she would win. Pastor Leslie R. Lanier also wished to make a face-to-face statement regarding this infamous incident but Ms. Fitzpatrick left during the break.

I’ve been under the weather these past several weeks and am, once again, short of time and space. Mr. Richardson’s statement can be found at and page 2, Letters to the Editor. So much is happening these days at the local, state, and national level, I hope to have more opportunity to comment next week.


This was a challenging week to cover. Adding to the number of accidents, Middle School troubles, flag stomping discussion, and Teacher of the Year (one bright thing), was the fact that the school district chose to schedule its regular meeting on the same day as the regular city council meeting.

First, congratulations of our Teacher of the Year, Laura Todis. Ms. Todis teaches science at Sierra High School.
With so many serious disciplinary problems erupting these days it’s a happy relief to report this kind of teaching excellence. Thank you Ms. Todis for the great work you do.

* * *

Another positive event took place during this week’s city council meeting. Mayor Rick Neal and Councilmen Doug Tucker and Manuel Minjares chose to appoint Diane McCall as replacement for former councilman A. Eduardo Gonzalez who recently resigned for health reasons.

Diane was chosen from a group of three, among whom were two other excellent applicants, Dante Diaz and Kendall Hancock. Diane, veteran of 6 years on our Planning Commission, and active in several other civic works, will be a valuable asset on the council. Our new council is doing great things.

Councilperson Brian Sipes was absent as he was for the previous council meeting.

Again, congratulations Diane!

* * *

Middle School miseries
I was approached by a parent of another Middle School student just before Tuesday’s school board meeting. Like two other students mentioned last week, her daughter is being bullied and was assaulted by another girl at school recently.

I have asked parents who may have children attending Fillmore Middle School to contact the Gazette in the event their kids are being bullied, threatened, or assaulted by other students. So far three have cooperated. Letters have also been received alleging serious threats of bodily harm, assaults, and classroom disruption which goes unpunished. These complaints are serious. I hear of legal action if these allegations are not quickly corrected. Getting someone to take action is the problem.

Here is how one concerned resident describes the atmosphere at the Middle School: “...You have a student body who has taken on a Lord of the Flies type mentality as even the good kids have seen that hard work and a positive attitude do nothing to advance their cause at the school.” The actions of some students are truly outrageous. One teacher was “struck by a purposely thrown burrito for the second time in 5 days.” The student responsible for this assault was not suspended; he just had to pick-up trash for a couple of days. “This type of “’discipline’” is the norm ... at FMS.” “Neither the AP [assistant principal] nor the Principal seem to have any grasp of how to handle students of this age group.”

This complaint continues: “There is such a high level of disrespect from students towards all staff that we will be lucky if no other staff members are attacked by students. Defiance towards authority is where it all begins and students routinely defy everyone from the Principal on down. This stems from one of the weakest efforts towards discipline ever put forth at the middle school.”

“New kids routinely get beat up because they are new, look different, talk differently, are a different race, or come from a rival place.” This situation is outrageous and intolerable.

I am convinced that our Fillmore Middle School is out of control and presents a threat to the safety and wellbeing of students, teachers, and staff alike.

* * *

Time and space prevent me from commenting on Pastor Leslie R. Lanier’s comments at yesterday’s school board meeting. I support him in this effort and will say more about this later. Our flag is a sacred symbol to be honored.



To date, the Gazette created and has maintained its website for about 7 years. It has been a notably expensive undertaking. It has also been a valuable resource provided free of charge to our readers during that time.

As a way of providing news of Fillmore and the rest of the world it has been a remarkable success. In a town of about 14,000 residents the website welcomes from 25,000 to 32,000 “unique” visitors per month.

Those many photos, videos, stories, legal notices, and reports require time and expense to produce. As another example of that old saying (tongue-in-cheek) “No good deed goes unpunished” this internet expansion is hurting the print version of the Gazette. This is simply because many readers say “Why should I pay for the paper when I can get all of that information at free of charge?”

Why indeed. From the mightiest daily newspapers (Wall Street Journal) to the most humble community weeklies, if the online products were to survive without eating away at the traditional printed product, a way had to be found to pay for the website version.

For this reason the Gazette has been diligently searching for a workable solution in the form of what is called a “pay wall”. Most recently, the Ventura Star has chosen a similar solution for its website.

So, in its 25 years of bringing news and information to the residents of Fillmore the Gazette will soon introduce a new format for accessing its website, It is hoped that this will facilitate another 25 years of service for the City of Fillmore. We will do our best to make the transition as quick and easy as possible.


As we approach that happy time of graduation I regret to have to revisit some extremely important issues regarding delinquent behavior in our schools, our Middle School in particular.

I have received several thoughtful letters from parents and friends of Middle School students complaining about ongoing bullying, violence, and schoolyard intimidation. Reports continue to cite numerous fights on school grounds, threats of doing serious bodily harm, as well as documented death threats.

It would be no exaggeration to say that the repeated violent conduct of certain students have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation on the Middle School grounds and in the classroom. School discipline is lacking and the situation appears to be out of control. This can only be attributed to administrative incompetence.

For one example, one female student was threatened and beaten (bloodied) by another female student several weeks ago. That aggressor later threatened to cut the throat of the victim as she returned home from school. This was reported, investigated, and the aggressor student is alleged to have been suspended for 5 days, returned to school where she quickly re-offended.

Chaos is alleged to reign in several classrooms, with foul language common, students disconnecting electrical equipment, students refusing to do their work, etc. Disrupting students are said to be sent to the principal’s office and routinely returned to the classroom. Fights in the school yard are said to be frequent.

The mother of the girl who was beaten and received a death threat, has referred these issues to the school board and reported these problems to every level of school administration without, it’s alleged, receiving necessary assistance. Although she asked to be on the agenda for the next board meeting this is presently uncertain. She also alleges that, although the girl who assaulted her daughter was arrested, and a “no contact order” was issued, the offending girl was merely cited and released, and the “order” is being ignored.

It seems clear that a lack of student discipline at our Middle School continues to create a state of disorder. As I’ve said before, who can be expected to teach anything under these circumstances – and who can expect normal students to learn anything.

For those who may care, very serious legal issues are arising from this Middle School chaos, especially for the alleged gross absence of due diligence. The repeat offender students must be removed for the sake of those students who are striving to educate themselves.

Hello! Is anybody there?


Last week I reported on statements given our school board by a Fillmore Middle School student’s mother. She claimed that both her daughter and son were physically assaulted (bloodied), repeatedly threatened on and off campus, including a threat to her life. The mother also alleged that her daughter was being “cyber bullied” by other girls. She also alleges that classroom discipline was almost absent at times and that she has been unable to get assistance or protection for her children after several attempts.

The mother of the victim children moved here from Alaska in January. They thought Fillmore was a small, friendly place. I intend to find out what I can about this violent situation on the Middle School campus, where fighting among students is apparently becoming commonplace.

I wish I had a larger staff which would permit me to make a true investigation of these serious allegations, but I don’t. I will do the best I can.

I invite anyone with information on the bullying, fighting and threats, to contact this office. I would be glad to meet with you and discuss the situation.

I have not requested a meeting with school officials as yet but will attempt to do so this week. The administration has always been cooperative in the past and I am anxious to hear its side of the story as insofar as the law permits the release of information.

* * * *

If the world has gone off its rails, and I think it has, America is certainly the Pied Piper of crapulous travels.

I keep hunting, in vain, for some encouraging news. In my traditional world I search for evidence of normalcy, morality, frugality (low taxes), common sense, Judeo-Christian integrity, courage, justice and freedom; those kinds of things. I mean America as it was until the radical-Leftist infestation of about 1960. We had conquered our enemies and secured the blessings of liberty for our posterity.

Back then America was the undisputed powerhouse of freedom. As a nation we took things seriously, our religion, our Constitution, our schools, our military, our American way of life. It has never been perfect, that’s certain, but there was never a better nation on earth – and we were confident of that fact.

I have witnessed the most glorious points of our history, and have lived long enough to see the most infamous.

Today America is in latter stages of societal freefall; moral, financial, military, judicial, and religious collapse. A corrupt government (all three branches) has facilitated our demise. We have killed more than 50 million unborn children at every stage of development (including newborn). We have printed and speculated our currency into sums beyond imagination with hedge funds and sophisticated new financial creations. Christian churches are splintered into the thousands. Moral conscience has disintegrated into previously unimaginable depravity, abandoning most traditional Christian teaching. Government is suffocating business with confiscatory taxes and complex regulation. Political correctness has infected all of our thinking. The only standards remaining are fundamentally anti-religious. We have become ignorant and naïve.

On the other hand, our enemies have become strong and intimidating. We bow to communist China; we weaken our military forces and strengthen the enemy.

We are fearful of identifying our most deadly and active enemy, Jihadist Islam. It is not so-called “radical” Islam that is the enemy. According to Islam, the Quran cannot be interpreted in any way but literally. To do otherwise, by Islamic law, is blasphemy and subjects those who do so to a death sentence.

America’s prime enemy is fundamental, Jihadist Islam. The believers (hundreds of millions) tell us so, and demonstrate this repeatedly. It’s passed time to wake up and smell the gunpowder.


Our country has been struck once again by a terrorist attack. So far it has caused three deaths, including an 8-year-old boy, and nearly 200 serious injuries. These innocent people have lost limbs and suffered many other horrible injuries because someone with a diseased mind or soul carefully planned to cause maximum mayhem and suffering.

The sorts of criminals that create these killing fields have been a plague on humanity for just about all of human history. Those of us who follow the Judeo-Christian religious tradition know that such crimes against humanity never go unpunished. Ultimately, justice is always done. When we pass from time into eternity with unrepentant murder on our conscience scripture and justice demand eternal Hell.

As we seek to learn who is responsible for these horrific killings we also seek reasons. This was either a rational act by another evil person or persons, or an irrational act by someone criminally insane. I think the day, the time, and the place of this bombing points to a terrorist. However, since the word terrorist focuses reasonable suspicion on certain ethno-religious people I’m going to reserve my judgment awaiting more details. It was either foreign-planed or domestic, politically or socially motivated. But it was undoubtedly a terrorist attack and we should call it like it is.

Like it or not, it’s virtually impossible to prevent attacks like this. It would be much easier to defend a school full of students by training and arming school personnel in firearm defense techniques - and publishing the fact that the campus is ready to respond to any lethal attack. That option is not available in any comprehensive way dealing with such a huge public forum. Evil will out. All we can do is anticipate and cover as best we can.

We all send our prayers to the victims of the Boston attack and their families, and hope for justice. Those hoards of leftist lawyers, who stubbornly oppose the death penalty, frustrating the law by consciously delaying (for decades) the execution of the sentence on frivolous grounds, dishonor the innocent victims. They deny justice. If the killer or killers in this case are found, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death, let’s execute them without undue delay. The maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied” (Pirkei Avot 5:8, Ethics of Our Fathers , 100 B.C. - "Our Rabbis taught:...The sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied....", Magna Carta, etc.) applies to the people as well as the criminal defendant. And let’s not “put them to sleep” as you would a rabid pet. Justice in such outrageously violent cases deserves a demonstrably violent execution, by rope or firing squad, preferably in public view. Liberals could be correct in their belief that the death penalty does not deter heinous criminal activity (I disagree) – but it sure eliminates recidivism.


I had only a short time to inquire into the following allegations since Tuesday’s board meeting. I am waiting for written statements from the victims and victim’s families. I did speak to another witness for the victim’s in this case and will publish a full report next week. If these allegations are true, Fillmore Middle School is dangerously out of control. The victim’s mother addressed the board Tuesday and passionately demanded protection for her children who she said are in serious physical danger. She asked that her issue be agenized for the following meeting. The board agreed to look at the matter but did not vote to do so, which I believe is required for action.

Schools for Scoundrels?

I’ve never been able to tolerate bullies.

During Tuesday’s School District meeting I was startled to hear a mother report on a series of violent bullying incidents against her Middle School daughter and son. The family arrived in Fillmore from Alaska where her husband is a member of our Coast Guard.

Her report to the board was prompted by fear for her children’s safety and frustration after her alarming reports to Middle School teachers and administration have been repeatedly brushed aside or ignored altogether.
In short, her children have both been threatened and assaulted on school grounds. Her daughter, after repeated physical threats, was slapped, punched and bloodied on two occasions outside the school gate, first by one girl then by two. One of the girl assailants is alleged to have threatened to cut her throat as she was returning home. This, of course, would be a felony, making a terrorist threat.

Repeated complaints and requests for protection for her children have been unavailing.

Similarly, her son was beaten following numerous physical threats, and continues to be bullied. Threats continue after school.

Oddly, this mother’s daughter (the victim) was finally required to attend bullying classes – again, she was the repeated victim not the bully.

The battered victim is the constant object of cyber-bullying, with the alleged bullies congratulating themselves about the “beatdown”, saying “She deserved it.”

One of the alleged leaders of these assaults was, it’s alleged, suspended for a short while. Upon her return to classes she immediately resumed the attacks and was subsequently suspended a second time. I’m told, it’s alleged, that that girl was finally expelled. After threatening to murder the victim by cutting her throat, as alleged, I would question the wisdom of a mere double suspension.

Complaints have been reported about alleged ineffective supervision, during class, at recess, and after school on school grounds, in the face of numerous fights between students, seven recently alleged in a single day.
In another alleged event, a girl brought a gun to school for the purpose of “killing” another girl. The gun was discovered and confiscated. The girl was, allegedly, expelled and charged with a drug violation – with nothing being said of the firearm violation.

The Middle School appears to be out of control. I will research this allegation, but I have been told that the school has had 7 principals in 7 years.

The complainant mother’s attempts to see the superintendent were, allegedly, brushed aside. According to the mother the administration does nothing to correct this arguably lethal situation.

Utter lack of control allegedly goes uncorrected in the classroom, with students seriously disrupting class by doing such things as unplugging electronic devices and disrupting attempts at teaching. Some teachers allegedly can do nothing about the out of control classroom condition. If so, who is learning?

This corroborated report makes me livid. Should there be any mystery why so much deadly violence has infected our school system? Many public schools have become breeding grounds for future career criminals who have no respect for human life. In this case I suspect the heavy influence from a small number of gang-associated suspects. Are we looking at future thieves, robbers, rapists, and killers, maybe even racists? It’s time to correct any such criminal conduct in criminal institutions, not by ruining the entire school environment for the good kids. What incredible fear must be infecting our Middle School grounds if these allegations prove true? Who can learn anything in such a dangerous, threatening environment?

Let’s get these questions answered – now, for the sake of all those wonderful, normal, good-natured, innocent kids trying to educate themselves!

Virtually every American public school seems to be lacking student discipline these days. How can we wonder where all those murderous monsters are hatched? The incubators can be found in the amoral, anti Christian system of public education carefully nurtured by greedy, anti-religious, anti freedom teacher’s unions, incompetent and overpaid administrations (not signaling-out Fillmore) and a largely indifferent and distracted populous.

A partial answer – home schooling, voucher schools, and a good dose of Christian ethics.


Unprecedented efforts at every level are being made by state and federal governments to neuter America’s Second Amendment, and disarm American citizens, depriving them of the ability to defend against tyrannical governments and criminals. The clear intent of the liberal Left is to diminish gun ownership to a point as close as possible to confiscation without triggering an armed rebellion.

Not wishing to waste what they see as an opportunity flowing from the horrific tragedy of Sandy Hook, the usual ill-informed firearms-phobic politicians seek to impose draconian restrictions not only on so-called “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines, but on many handguns and ammunition as well. These gun-grabbers have one thing in common (aside from an irrational fear and loathing of firearms), and that is a psychological impediment to logical thinking. Typically, they reject obvious facts and refuse to apply logical thinking.

These people cannot understand that there is no silver bullet for defending against this world’s evil actors and the criminally insane. They can’t grasp that simple truth so often repeated, that is, guns do not kill people - people kill people. For example, Scientists can observe a firearm placed on a table for years without ever witnessing a threatening motion of any kind. This is because it is an inanimate object; it cannot think or move. This is true of every inanimate object in the world. This seems simple enough, yet members of the liberal Left can’t manage to understand this fact – which leads me to believe that members of the liberal Left should be watched carefully for other signs of instability. They should not be trusted with law-making.

Further efforts should be made by normal people to penetrate what appears to be a sort of invincible ignorance in liberals. They need to understand that the only thing capable of stopping an evil, deranged person from perpetrating a heinous act of murder with a firearm is a good person with equal firepower.

The Sandy Hook elementary school had in place every reasonable measure to avoid such an attack, except a human trained in defensive firearms tactics to react when the usual defensive measures have been defeated. Since even the quickest response by the police couldn’t have helped here, an armed guard, teacher or custodian would have been a quicker defense, lessening the carnage. Had the perpetrator known that he would confront armed resistance he would likely not have attempted this attack. Prohibiting large magazines would have solved nothing. Semi-automatic pistol magazines can be quickly and easily changed-out, and fire just as fast. To eliminate semi-automatic firearms would mean taking away the vast majority of firearms in American hands.

About 90 percent of firearms crime is committed by criminal gangs (more than a million members) and they will always have guns. With the huge drug cartels raking-in $35 billion in Mexico alone, they can buy anything they want in a worldwide market. If the war on drugs, after decades of strong effort, catches only 15 percent of the trade (liberal estimate) a nationwide ban on all guns would be fruitless. Gun bans are a mere inconvenience for criminals, but they devastate the 99 percent of honest, law-abiding, God-fearing American citizens in their attempts to defend themselves from criminals and tyranny.

Another fact seldom voiced: Up to three million crimes are deterred and criminals defeated in America by firearms every year. (John R. Lott, Jr. PhD, More Guns Less Crime, 3rd edition).

Infringing on our Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” by restricting ammunition, magazines, and particular firearms for foolish reasons and by unreasonable means (taxation) will spark a serious reaction from the 250 million holders of these guns. This would not bode well for domestic tranquility.


It’s great to see so many kids at the pool complex. Our city council is doing a great job of balancing the pool’s budget and making it possible to keep the kids swimming through the summer.

* * *

After so many years of aimless leadership from the former city council, it’s encouraging to see so much enthusiasm expressed during the recent Goals-Setting meeting. Clearly, Fillmore is back on track.

* * *

The constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 is being argued in our Supreme Court as I write these words. Let’s hope that the court will not toss-out 4,000 years of moral common sense and biblical dogma. I wish I had more time for this issue this week. I have some fear that perhaps a justice of that court might imitate that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge who refused to recuse himself before finding Prop 8 unconstitutional. He happened to be homosexual himself, wanting to destroy the people’s decision in order to “marry” his long-time boyfriend. So much for blind justice. My faith in our judicial system is quickly disappearing.


As conservatives continue to battle liberals and leftists to assure that our Second Amendment rights remain intact, it’s reassuring to hear that our sheriff stands with us.

The Gazette is pleased to have received a short letter from Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean which restates his sworn commitment to upholding our Constitution with its Second Amendment.

Our Constitution is under attack by liberal-radical revisionists who view that document as something soft and flexible rather than a thing chiseled in granite.

As the Founders continually emphasized, we receive our rights from God, not the government.

The Obama administration seeks to “infringe” on our Second Amendment rights as never before in American history. American citizens should defend against this force as never before.

One of the best summaries I’ve seen concerning the issue of gun violence and our Second Amendment has been set out in a video to be found on front page at The information is absolutely true and heavily documented. It clearly sets out the facts, which demonstrates that the rationale behind all of the so-called “reasonable” gun control bills being foisted on America is pure rubbish. As all credible studies and recent experience shows, gun control laws do absolutely nothing to diminish criminal conduct of any kind. To the contrary, the largest and most respected studies clearly show that more guns mean less crime. Removing guns from the law-abiding populace simply facilitates violent criminal activity. Criminals will always have guns and good citizens will always need an equal method of defending against criminal activity.

The most respected studies by the world’s most eminent scholars show, indisputably, the meaning of “More Guns Less Crime” (John R. Lott Jr., PhD).

The whole problem of violent criminal activity relates directly to criminals themselves and to criminal insanity. And, these two social problems continue to grow, fast. Here are some statistics from two years ago. “According to the Justice Department’s National Youth Gang Center, since 1980 the growth of gangs in the United States has been incredibly rapid, from an estimated 286 jurisdictions, which reported the presence of
Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment, 09/20/11 Colgen LP 23

Approximately 2,000 gangs made up of nearly 100,000 members in 1980 to over 30,000 gangs with more than 1 million members in 2011.” And, they all have guns, not purchased through legal transactions.

Does any sane person believe “gun control” will lessen this threat? Gun control makes criminal activity easier.

Sheriff Geoff Dean's Comments on Gun Control:
In recent months, there has been a great deal of discussion and debate about gun control, which was brought into sharp focus by the tragic shooting of elementary school children in Connecticut. As the nationwide debate continues, I have received many phone calls and e-mails asking about my position on the Second Amendment.

As a peace officer, I have ...sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and of the State of California. I believe in and support all aspects of our Constitution, including the Second Amendment. California already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country.

There are several new gun control measures being discussed at both the state and federal level. It is a complex issue, and I have been involved in discussions with various elected officials on some of the proposals. I will continue to be involved in the discussion and evaluate each proposal on its merits.


As I write these words the Catholic Church has just elected a new Pope. He is from Argentina and has taken the name of Francis. He is conservative and is expected to accomplish some much needed house cleaning within the Vatican bureaucracy. The church rejoices and I wish him well.

* * *

The residents of Fillmore should also be happy to hear that our new children’s park (the Tot Lot at Two Rivers) will be completed next month. The long awaited facility will be located south of the baseball field. Instead of grass, the park will have a rubberized flooring about three inches thick. I’m waiting for a press release which will detail the costs and grants which made the facility come to life. Some details were mentioned at the photo op but I wasn’t taking notes. You will all be very pleased with the design and location.

* * *

Our interim City Manager, Rigo Landeros, and the entire council are making great progress concerning the swimming pool complex opening as soon as possible. The deficit has been reduced from $76,000 to $41,000, and usage is up. The American Water company (designers and builders of our treatment plant, and much maligned by previous council members) is due thanks for covering the cost of swimming pool chemicals.
These are the first really positive developments brought to fruition by our new city council. Fillmore seems to be back on track.

* * *

Congratulations to Myrna Taylor (awarded Lifetime Citizen of the Year by our Fillmore Chamber of Commerce) and Citizen of the Year, R. J. Stump. It’s great to see that Fillmore continues to value our small town traditions.


When I first heard the story it sounded like a re-run from the 1960s.

The received reports about a Fillmore High School teacher who grossly disrespected the American flag in her classroom. When a student asked why the flag was folded on her desk, she is alleged to have picked it up in front of the class, waved it around disdainfully, then stated that it was just a piece of cloth.

After that, it is further alleged that she tossed it on the floor and stomped on it. To her shocked students it is reported that her actions were all lawful and that she would win in a court of law – which is true.

She was alluding to our great First Amendment, which is frequently abused.

* * *

Hugo Chavez is dead, finally. His supporters in Venezuela are sad; Venezuelans living outside the country are cheering. He was a close friend of the enemies of America like Iran and Cuba, and a socialist dictator.
Good riddance.

* * *

I regret I haven’t more time to comment on Obama’s Dept. of Homeland Security, ironically becoming a major threat to American freedom. It’s now reported that this department has ordered 2,700 light armored “tanks”. This, on top of the billions of bullets it has recently obtained, should cause reasonable, law-abiding American citizens pause. With the unprecedented push by the Obama administration to outlaw high capacity magazines and AR-type semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns, our concern should reflect some urgency to resist.

Keep in mind that Americans have a RIGHT (Second Amendment to our Constitution) to “keep and bear arms” which “shall not be infringed”. This is not a privilege to be granted by the government.

In my opinion, Obama and his henchman attorney general are spoiling for a fight to justify their unconstitutional restrictions on our rights.

Next? Watch what happens when Obama appoints one more Leftist to the Supreme Court. At that time (soon) our Second Amendment will be gutted. All the arms he is accumulating for the new Homeland Security forces, I speculate, are there to defend against outraged Americans who believe in traditional American freedom.

I’m guessing the spark will ignite the confrontation soon – well within two years.

For those who think I'm just an alarmist, read Dr. John R. Lott Jr.’s latest book, “At The Brink”. He had many conversations with then law instructor Obama at Columbia University back in the 90s. Obama hates guns. In conversation with Dr. Lott, he stated, “I don’t believe people should be able to own guns”. This, from a guy who was teaching constitutional law!


Mayor Rick Neal will be delivering a State of the City presentation Thursday, February 21, 6pm, at Wm L Morris Chevrolet showroom. It will be sponsored by the Fillmore Chamber of Commerce. Everyone is invited.

There are a lot of hopeful, positive things in the works since the new city council took over, and it was a pleasure discussing some of them with our interim City Manager/Fire Chief, Rigo Landero and Management Consultant Mike Sedell at lunch Tuesday. Mike is a very distinguished former City Manager of the City of Simi Valley and was Chief-of-Staff to Congressman Elton Gallegly in Washington, D.C., with many other credits to his service. He has generously volunteered to help Fillmore with its financial and budgetary challenges. You can learn a great deal by listening to Mike’s advice.

Fillmore’s future seems bright as we slowly climb out of the financial doldrums we’ve experienced these past several years. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close. We discussed ideas for funding our swimming pool/tennis complex, alternatives for the Towne Theatre and much more. Our Film Commission is having great success this year, approaching the $100,000 mark in revenue. Maybe some of that money could be spent on reactivating our graffiti removal service. Fillmore is being seriously damaged by graffiti again. Solutions for these issues are being actively pursued and I’m sure the mayor will have encouraging reports for us tomorrow evening. Hope to see you all there.

* * *

I was going to say a few words about what our federal government is doing to us these days, but it’s too depressing and alarming. The insane debt, deficit, attacks on our Second Amendment, hollowing-out of our defenses, bleeding us with new taxes, attacks on our churches, in general, an all-out attack on our freedoms deserves more space than I have this week. Fifty two percent of the electorate has voted into office a president intent on destroying the freedom and dynamics which created this great nation. Obama is a clear and present threat to our republic’s constitutional government. And, the people he has appointed to our highest offices are sycophants, thugs, incompetents, and fellow socialists. I expect a complete financial, military, and moral breakdown before the end of his last term.

I almost began another rant, so I’ll sign off now while I recall my reasons for believing in Fillmore’s bright future.


Our prayers go out for the families of those police officers who were slain in the line of duty recently by a rogue ex-officer. The pain that the perpetrator of these horrendous murders may have suffered perishing as he did in a burning cabin are nothing compared to the eternal flames he chose for himself.

May all of the officers and other innocent victims of this evil man rest in peace.


My thanks to School Superintendent Alan Nishino for providing a rebuttal statement to (last week’s) former Assistant Superintendent Michael Bush’s criticism of Dr. Nishino’s contract. It’s important to hear both sides of the issue before coming to conclusions.


Just when I thought I could relax and enjoy the quiet, orderly, and productive city council meetings being conducted by our new council, under the mayorship of Rick Neal, a perplexing gadfly has landed in the ointment. Former Mayor Gayle Washburn has begun to haunt the proceedings, offering advice and urging the council to pursue her old agenda. It’s rather pitiful.

Gayle, you lost the election, by a substantial margin, together with all your minions. You’re still in command as the Home Owner’s Association President. Can’t you be content with that?

As the song goes, it’s Time To Say Goodbye – please.


The Gazette has posted two informative videos on, concerning the Second Amendment threat launched by firearms phobic gun grabbers. They are well worth viewing.

The fact that always seems to go unmentioned in the numerous media anti-gun campaigns is this: In America the vast majority of firearms deaths are due to criminal conduct. Of the 11,000 annual deaths, almost all are due to gang activity, especially concerning drugs.

The most accurate professional studies (by professors John Lott, David Kopel, and Gary Kleck) show beyond question that approximately 3 MILLION Americans, every year, are saved from criminal violence by the use of their personal firearms. The vast majority of incidents do not involve firing a gun – merely showing the gun is often sufficient to halt the intended attack.

Again – 3 MILLION saved from violent criminal attack by the defensive use of firearms. Compare this to deaths by criminal firearms activity and remember that the great majority of those criminal actions are caused by gang activity. Rather than have the media continue to show only the victims of criminal firearm attack, it’s time to start interviewing some of the millions who have successfully defended against such attacks by the use of their private firearms.

Statistics tell us that gun bans, magazine restrictions, ammunition restrictions HAVE NEVER succeeded in reducing violent crime. Why? Because criminals, by definition, always ignore the law. That’s why they are called OUTLAWS. The effort to remove firearms from the hands of criminals must continue, but no final, complete success is possible, without getting rid of all the world’s firearms – which is completely impossible.

So, the government move to restrict and remove firearms from the 99 percent of law-abiding citizens can have no effect on the one percent of violent criminals. But such bans and severe restrictions do seriously diminish the ability of law-abiding citicens to protect themselves. Firearms bans are promoted by ignorant, paranoid legislators who are largely firearms phobic, and who have no understanding of American Constitutional rights. We are talking about RIGHTS, not privileges. In a constitutional republic like America, where the Constitution is the highest law, attempting to take away enumerated rights is itself unlawful, and should be resisted with all rational means.

One of the videos I mentioned above shows how two nations (Australia and England) can be quickly and completely deprived of civilian firearms and that violent crime rose dramatically as a reslult. They lost their rights because they were too slow to recognize what was happening. Make no mistake; the ultimate goal of anti-gun politicians is to deprive us of all firearms, regardless of what they say to the contrary. The Second Amendment has never had anything to do with hunting or sports. Its primary purpose has always been to provide a means to defend ourselves and our property against a tyrannical government and lawless civilians.

The other video is from a brilliant, articulate woman (Judge Jeanine). I would like to see her run for president. Judge Jeanine: "Owning a Gun, is my God-Given Right!" Opening Statement - 2-2-13.

Fight against those who seek to take our Second Amendment rights from us!


I picked the wrong time to withdraw video coverage of Tuesday’s school board meeting. Two issues of great importance were addressed, one involving the health and safety of students and teachers (badly leaking classroom roofs and resulting mold); the other pertaining to salary and pension compensation for Dr. Alan Nishino, as “interim superintendent” on a full three-year contract.

I regret I left the meeting before former Fillmore Assistant Superintendent (Business) Mike Bush addressed the Board. The complete text of his statement can be found on page one of this week’s paper. Mr. Bush had sharp criticism for the Board’s handling of Dr. Nishino’s 2012-2013 contract. I met with Interim Superintendent (Business) Earl Davis Monday. He explained some of the confusion in the contract’s form, but we have not yet received the letter of explanation that was promised for this week. The Gazette has received several letters of concern regarding these issues and I hope this matter can be cleared-up as soon as possible.

Five speakers addressed the issue of serious structural problems with many classrooms and the middle school gym. Photos of water damage and buckets needed to catch the leakage in many rooms and in the gym were displayed. Ceiling tiles in all affected areas have been falling and a mold problem has developed. These problems require immediate correction. Repairs, because of the extent of structural damage (admittedly due to shoddy design) is expected to be very expensive. The board has stated that a survey of the damage and estimates of repair costs have begun. The Gazette will follow-up with this story as details develop.

* * *

We have had two serious structure fires in the past two days. One involved a backyard trailer attached to a shed-like structure on Olive Street; the other was near the Senior Center. The fire near the Center was apparently ignited by someone walking on the path near the railroad tracks. It appeared someone tossed a cigarette or other burning material onto a leafy area beneath a palm tree. The tree ignited and spread to a storage shed. Sparks then spread westward igniting a boat on a trailer, which nearly burned down a small adjacent travel trailer.
Rest assured, Fillmore has the best volunteer fire department in the state! Our guys act quickly and they really know what they are doing.

Thanks to Rigo, Bill, Al and the whole crew.

Luke visiting the Gazette office with his eggs
Luke visiting the Gazette office with his eggs
Enlarge Photo

Three-year-old Luke Kraft, his mother Spring, and his dad Brian paid a visit to the Gazette this week. Luke has an unusual pet, a banty hen he has named “Girl”. They are inseparable friends and Luke carries Girl around with him, in and out of the house.

Luke’s most recent visit to the Gazette was occasioned by a special event; Girl had laid a tiny egg on Luke’s lap as a token of her affection. Luke showed up with a small wicker basket containing three normal sized eggs and one very small, special egg about the size of a wren’s egg – Girl’s gift.

Photos of Luke, his banty hen, Girl, and the special small egg can be seen on page 9 of the Gazette and on the Community page of We appreciate Luke sharing his pet with us and hope he visits again soon.
It’s great to have a warm, fuzzy story once in a while.