Letters to the Editor
October 21, 2020

To the Editor:
We are writing this letter to voice our endorsement of Esther (Sivakami) Taylor and Christina Reyes Villasenior. This election cycle has been an exciting time for our small town. To give residents a choice between numerous candidates is what makes our democracy great. We are endorsing Sivakami Esther and Christina after looking at their platform, we stand behind their views for the future of Fillmore. Their platform includes prioritizing locally owned businesses, an emphasis on equity and inclusivity, more affordable housing for low-income families and senior citizens, the creation of youth and family resources, and an emphasis on environmental stewardship. They are endorsed by numerous Ventura County organizations, which you can read about on their website futurefillmore2020.org. We have seen that these two women are valued community members, who are well educated, informed, and have the life experience to tackle the difficult choices that come with being a council member. They have shown through their campaigning that they are eager and ready to listen to all residents of Fillmore, even when those viewpoints differ from theirs. When elected, they will make themselves available to listen to the needs of constituents. Sivakami Esther and Christina will foster respect and inclusion in our city, by encouraging more citizens to participate and by making everyone feel welcome. We are excited for this upcoming election, and we urge every citizen to vote.
Evaristo Barajas, Ernie Morales, and Manuel Minjares,
Former Mayors of Fillmore.
Lynn Edmonds,
Fillmore City Council Member.

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To the Editor:
Sixty years ago, JFK made it clear that the Vatican would have no say in how our government was run. His religion informed his views of democracy, it did not demand them. The same may not be true of Judge Barrett. Her membership in People of Praise, a secretive and highly conservative subsection of charismatic Catholicism seems to be so pervasive in her life that it may amount to a cult or significant, implacable cultural bias. Google it and make up your own mind.

I thought it disturbing that Barrett would not answer settled questions in the law like, can the president interfere with a woman's right to vote? She had no opinion, despite the 19th Amendment and several federal laws. Couldn't answer whether a president can unilaterally delay a general election? It's in the Constitution; he can't. She has never thought about climate change; can't say if the science is real. And this is the judge with the towering IQ?

Her interpretation of the Constitution is based upon "originalism" or "strict constructionism" and was/is shared by Scalia, Alito and other justices who have advocated this peculiarly brain-dead view of a document which is, in fact, a living basis for making life better for our citizens in a way that reflects guiding principles as well as present reality.

As one observer noted, interpreting the Constitution should not be about time-travel to the 1700's to embrace the same prejudices and limitations as our forefathers, and then apply that to people in a vastly different era. References to the humanity of slaves, women, and freedom, were only made later in the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments. What leaden ignorance cannot expand on extraordinary basic principles? Under this view, we don't need a court, a computer would do. Even that would be better than a justice who knows “nuthin' 'bout nuthin."

Fox News warned Democrats against "kavanaughing" Barrett. Rest assured. No one has credibly accused her of attempted rape and dubious character. We have seen her deflect and obfuscate, but she did not cry, snivel and accuse the Senate Judiciary Committee of malice in their questions.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, Ca

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To the Editor:
In an effort to inform voters, the League of Women Voters, Ventura County conducted candidate forums for local city councils including Fillmore. Also had forums on other local election candidates, mayoral, state senate and assembly and the Congressional District 26 election.
The League of Women Voters conducted discussions of the California Ballot propositions and Ojai School Bond K. You can access the video recordings of these events at the LWV Ventura County website:
https://my.lwv.org/california/ventura-county/candidate-forums
Be an informed voter! And, make a plan to vote!

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To the Editor:
Attention Fillmore Community
We are looking for a local artist who is interested in painting a mural both inside the station and on both sides of the outside of the building. We would like to showcase your photo and bio in the store for the community members and visitors to enjoy for decades to come. We have stores in Morro Bay, Ojai and Fillmore we are interested in getting painted.
If you or anyone you know is interested, please email Amy at AMY BCRETATL(@ yahoo.com. Thank you all for your amazing support in our local community.
Sincerely,
Your Neighborhood Shell Gas Station

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To the Editor:
To: Dr. Adrian Palazuelos & District Administration, Fillmore Unified District School Board Trustees, Fillmore Unified School District Families, Fillmore Unified School District Certificated Staff, Fillmore Unified School District Classified Staff

Community service and civic duty were modeled for me by my parents from a very young age. I have always gravitated to leadership roles, be it the lead in the school play, serving as Senior Class President for Fillmore High Class of 1978, becoming a teacher and ending my career as a school site principal. I knew that once I retired from my employment with the Fillmore Unified School District that I would seek to serve as a Fillmore Unified School District Board Trustee. Due to the two vacancies sought by two uncontested community members, my continued call to service will become a reality for me in December 2020 when I will take Oath of Office.

For those of you who may not know me, I am a married mother of two children who are third generation Fillmore High School Alumni. I have three grandchildren who attend San Cayetano Elementary School. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degree from California State University, Northridge and hold a K-8 teaching credential, Bilingual-Bicultural Certificate of Competence and an Administrative Credential in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

I started teaching in 1986 at San Cayetano Elementary School where I taught for 14 years. I was hired as Assistant Principal for Fillmore Middle School in 2000 and a year later, appointed Principal, serving in this role until 2007. I later served as Migrant Education Coordinator from 2007-2010. I returned to teaching at Mt. Vista Elementary School for 2 ½ years before being appointed as Principal of San Cayetano Elementary School for 7 ½ years until my retirement on June 18, 2020.

I am fully aware that the role of school board trustee comes with great responsibility. That responsibility includes that I first and foremost represent the voice of all students, Pre-k through 12th Grade. I understand that students and their families are counting on the collective duty of all school board members to do right by them. This requires that we work as an effective School Board by fulfilling our responsibility with integrity, respect and transparency. My personal goal in striving to be part of an effective school board, is a focus on the following 5 critical areas of School Governance:

Focus on Student Achievement
The best school boards understand that student learning is job one. This emphasis necessarily means that policies and resources of schools are targeted to promote achievement for all students. School practices, which have their roots set in policy, must have a laser-beam orientation on high standards, a rigorous curriculum, and high-quality teachers. Issues a school board must consider are evaluated against the contribution toward student learning -- the core business of schools. Thus, I will ask questions about current and proposed curricular programs in order to have a solid understanding of curriculum resources to make informed decisions that will raise student achievement.
Allocate Resources to Needs
Not all students walk through the school doors with the same needs. As a lifelong community member of Fillmore and having served as teacher and administrator in this district, I recognize this fact and thus am tasked to allocate resources such as time, money, and personnel, adjusting practices accordingly. Documents of the school district, such as the District General and Categorical Budget (LCAP), School Site plan budgets and other resources must be viewed as tools to reach student-learning priorities, thus the districts spending practices must align to district and school site goals. In order to make informed decisions on budget priorities, it is my responsibility to ask questions on budget allocations in alignment with the district LCAP goals to ultimately benefit students.

Monitor Expenditures and the Return on Investments
We are all accountable to somebody. In my 34 years serving as a FUSD employee, I am mindful of the accountability I owed to stakeholders, most importantly our families who entrust their children to the education of public schools. Board members are tasked to routinely and regularly measure and report the return on investment of the education dollars spent. To be considered effective policy makers in the education of the students we serve, including social emotional and academic achievement, we make our greatest gains by asking appropriate questions. To this point I recognize the self-instructive value in consistently asking: What services are we providing to which students at what cost and resulting in what benefits?

Use of Data
As school board members, being informed policy makers, requires using data. We cannot be assured that all students, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status, are progressing toward and reaching high standards without data. The challenges to student learning, and particularly to providing equity among all students in achievement, are complex. Intuition-based assessment of student learning is tricky at best and certainly is an insufficient basis to determine education policy. We cannot accept general explanations of student social emotional and academic progress. With the current state of distance learning education for example, it is incumbent upon each school board member to ask questions with respect to its effectiveness by periodically analyzing pre and post achievement and attendance data. Without data, reports to communities about the education return on investment, are unconvincing. Communities expect measurable results, through data, from their tax dollars.

Engage the Communities We Serve
It is critical to look for ways to institutionalize parent and patron involvement in providing policy-making input. Specifically, it is incumbent upon us to have established mechanisms for community involvement in setting the vision for the school district, representing the values of the community, and identifying the district's short-term and long-term priorities. Thus, I will ask questions about our collective efforts for family involvement at the school site level and in our district. Involvement which strongly emphasizes a shared partnership with our community in educating our district’s 3,700 plus students.

School site leaders, teachers, support staff and our FUSD families depend on school board members to make informed researched based decisions to benefit ALL learners. My 34 years of dedicated service and experience as a teacher, administrator, parent and grandparent qualify me to take on the challenging role of school board member, providing an invaluable perspective which will assist in making transformational decisions that will serve the best interest of all FUSD employees and most importantly for our students.

In closing, I wish to share how grateful and honored I am to have the awesome opportunity to serve as your new school board member. I am committed to the success of all our students and to serving the constituents of the Fillmore Unified School District Community. I encourage all stakeholders to take an active role in our schools. Attend school board meetings to share about the challenges and celebrate in the success of our students. Let your voice be heard!
With Gratitude,
Tricia Gradias
Retired Principal

 


 
Letters to the Editor
October 14, 2020

To the Editor:
I was struck by your assertion that Trump “knows a lot more than anyone else on deck about leadership” I hope you’re wrong, Martin, because if that’s so, we are in a national self-destructive mode of epic proportion. I believe that we have had enough of leadership by chaos, in an administration that cares more about loyalty than competence.
To lead, you have to first understand the objective. Then you have to be able to look inside yourself and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. You don't have to know everything, but you have to know where to find it and have the humility to invite it in. Once the path forward is selected or created and faults in the process are discovered, as they always are, you never ever blame someone else for the defects. As Truman so famously said, "the buck stops here."
Unfortunately, Trump exhibits not one of these qualities. He lacks even a quark of self-knowledge. He is an extremist in all things. He brags about his prowess, but has shown no “leadership talent” beyond cowering the GOP with his self-serving rages. “I alone can fix it” was the first sign that we were in for a nihilistic journey in democracy. No one alone can fix anything involving other human beings, and "leaders" who think they can are the most deluded and dangerous of all.
Last week, Trump endorsed resistance by anti-government domestic terrorists if he loses the election, a statement that not only demonstrates his lack of leadership, but reveals his terrible disdain for the essential principles of this country. He wins, or he will make sure the place is on fire. He is always the aggrieved victim when things go amiss, the tragic object of endless “hoaxes,” “fake news,” “frauds,” "liars" and “haters.” Truman's "buck" is nowhere in sight.
I wish the Democrats had selected a younger candidate. But at this moment in our history, the alternate to Trump has qualities that we urgently need and of which Trump has no trace: an understanding of the benefits and limits of good government, basic honesty, an understanding of the rest of the world, a recognition of the responsibilities of a president toward the American people, the ability to self-reflect, and compassion for the human condition. The only person who can lead by "I, alone," is known as a "despot."
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
This year has brought our nation and the world unprecedented challenges in which we will all feel the ripple effects for possibly generations to come. While the American people are strong and resilient, this pandemic is a whole new unexplored territory which many of us are still coping with and navigating through the rough waters while looking for steady ground of the shore.
Although everything we have learned about life has been turned upside down, we can still count on our American Freedoms and one of the most important is the right to Vote. With election day closing in quickly I wanted to reach out and lend my endorsement for Mark Austin, Tim Holmgren and Ari Larson.
Over the past four years, Mark Austin and Tim Holmgren have been instrumental in keeping the city moving forward with fiscal responsibility, strong leadership and being dedicated to our city. As a team we have increased our reserves, streamlined the permitting process, oversaw the construction of new parks and worked to keep Fillmore safe and clean for residents. Both Mark and Tim have served planning commissioners and understand how to work within the confines of city government, with staff and developers to get projects completed.
I have served on many boards with Ari Larson over the years and she truly cares about this community with her unwavering involvement and fingerprints in so many places. She rightfully named citizen of the year because she cares so very much about Fillmore.
The upheaval of the past year will take further navigation in order for Fillmore to avoid the pitfalls of continued budget cuts and shortfalls that are rampant in surrounding cities. Because of this my vote is going to Mark Austin, Tim Holmgren and Ari Larson as I feel they have the non-partisan ideals, the drive, commitment and understanding of what it takes to be a true leader for Fillmores Future.
I do hope you join me in casting your vote for proven leadership for Mark, Tim and Ari.
Diane McCall, Former Mayor and City Councilwoman

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To the Editor:
Let’s put 2020 behind us by making sound decisions on our ballots and start 2021 off right. The Citizens of Fillmore will best be served if Mark Austin, Tim Holmgren and Ari Larson are elected to the City Council. This will provide stability on the City Council for the next term. Stability matters when it comes to governing a small town. Making the most of our resources is a tough balancing act. Austin, Holmgren and with the addition of Ari Larson as the newest council member will demonstrate they know how to balance a budget, live within their means and will bring fresh perspectives to Fillmore. Austin, Holmgren and Larson will provide leadership, protect public safety and advance city services. I'm voting for experience, not experiment. I'm voting for effective leadership, not "group think". I'm voting for stability not chaos. Austin, Holmgren & Larson will conduct our business with civility and openness. They won’t bankrupt the city with a wild ideological agenda. Austin and Holmgren have brought jobs to Fillmore, built parks, kept city rates down and have been great stewards of the trust we’ve given them. They have been working to revitalize our downtown area. They have approved Affordable Houses that are being built right now. They’ll do a great job again when reelected. Fillmore’s best future is with Austin, Holmgren and Larson. I fully endorse them for Fillmore City Council, so should you.
Steve Conaway

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To the Editor:
I have had the privilege of serving with Mark Austin for several years on the Fillmore Planning Commission, and the pleasure of knowing him much longer than that. He brings a combination of common sense, technical knowledge, and a love of Fillmore to the position of city council member that is simply hard to beat! Fillmore needs folks like Mark to be in the driver’s seat for the next four years, and he has my personal recommendation for that job!
Yours truly,
Vance Johnson

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To the Editor:
We are writing this letter to voice our endorsement of Esther (Sivakami) Taylor and Christina Reyes Villasenor. This election cycle has been an exciting time for our small town. To give residents a choice between numerous candidates is what makes our democracy great. We are endorsing Sivakami Esther and Christina after looking at their platform, we stand behind their views for the future of Fillmore. Their platform includes prioritizing locally owned businesses, an emphasis on equity and inclusivity, more affordable housing for low-income families and senior citizens, the creation of youth and family resources, and an emphasis on environmental stewardship. They are endorsed by numerous Ventura County organizations, which you can read about on their website futurefillmore2020.org. We have seen that these two women are valued community members, who are well educated, informed, and have the life experience to tackle the difficult choices that come with being a council member. They have shown through their campaigning that they are eager and ready to listen to all residents of Fillmore, even when those viewpoints differ from theirs. When elected, they will make themselves available to listen to the needs of constituents. Sivakami Esther and Christina will foster respect and inclusion in our city, by encouraging more citizens to participate and by making everyone feel welcome. We are excited for this upcoming election, and we urge every citizen to vote.
Evaristo Barajas, Ernie Morales, and Manuel Minjares
Former Mayors of Fillmore
Lynn Edmonds
Fillmore City Council Member

 


 
Letters to the Editor
October 7, 2020

To the Editor:
Most of us awakened last Friday morning to the news that President Trump and several politicos, news people and staff members, had contracted Covid-19. The president had attended a Rose Garden meeting on Saturday and the debate/debacle on Tuesday evening in Cleveland and, though he was diagnosed as Covid-positive on Wednesday, Trump attended several events on Wednesday, all without masks or social distancing. On Thursday, Trump sent a recorded message that the "end of the pandemic is in sight," The virus incubates for up to two weeks before diagnosis, so everyone with whom he came in contact was exposed, and he to them. As he is the president, I wish him well.
At the debate Trump, in a ludicrously excessive performance, ridiculed Joe Biden for avoiding big-crowd rallies as CDC recommended, for taking social precautions, for always wearing “huge masks.” The Trump family refused the host's request to wear masks and socially distance in Cleveland, in arrogant solidarity with the president. When someone assumes the well-known risk (as far back as January) and encourages others do so, surprise is not the first reaction I have.
On Saturday, a weary-looking Trump defended his catching the virus on being the leader of the country who couldn't "just sit upstairs in the White House," suggesting it was an act of courage to expose himself. "A leader," intoned one of his mouthpieces on Sunday, "must take risks." Yes, but not stupid risks, repeatedly, which could harm and even kill you and others. The real problem is that Trump cannot live without in-person adulation, without a stage and audience and acting the "tough guy." Common sense, humility, and discipline are not in his character.
What is it that causes so many people to ignore the evidence of medical experts, and of their eyes and ears, to believe what a scientifically-illiterate president tells them about the pandemic? To paraphrase Isaac Azimov, there is a cult of ignorance in this country that believes democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge and expertise. This country did not achieve the amazing things it has in the last 75 years, including the space program, the polio vaccine and other medical, technological, and scientific achievements, by encouraging ignorance to run amok.
On Sunday, the White House gift shop advertised, for the low, low price of only $100, a "Trump Beats Covid" coin. Howza, howza, ladies and gentlemen, step right up! Because that's who this president and his administration really are. If they can't get you to buy their act now, they will move on to the next show and see how that works. It's the way of carnival barkers.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
Local government has never been more important today with all of the challenges facing our country. The City of Fillmore is fortunate to have the leadership to not only endure these challenges, but to move forward in keeping our community safe, prosperous, and balanced. It takes leadership, experience, skills and a commitment to face these realities on a local level. Cities are faced with various issues on a daily basis. Public safety, housing, community diversity/social justice, general plan, public works, economic development, and open communication are just a few examples of running a city. Mark Austin has demonstrated many of these assets as a city councilman. He has been committed to this community for over 16 years serving as a planning commissioner and a city councilman. Many of our successes has been a result of his involvement and vision. In a time where there are organized agendas and political posturing, local government such as cities should be run by non-partisan candidates whose sole purpose is to ensure what's best for our communities. Mark Austin is that person.
Please consider re-electing Mark.
Ernie Villegas
Former Mayor, City of Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Check your property tax bill, there is an item for a Community College Bond Measure. In 2002 the Santa Clara Valley helped this bond pass by a big margin based at least in part by a promise that the bond would fund an Expanded College Center for us. Surprise, surprise, the money was redirected to other projects and the services offered to our youth were actually reduced! Only recently has enough attention been paid to finally make it again possible to earn an AA degree in two years if you choose one of the two majors offered.
Finally, we have a chance to elect someone from Fillmore to the Community College Board representing District 3. Joe Ramirez will represent us well. He is the only candidate with professional college experience and he knows what needs to happen to increase student success. Joe grew up in Fillmore and graduated from Fillmore High School before attending Moorpark College, then UCSB and earned his Master’s Degree at Harvard University. After working in numerous roles in several colleges he has retired in Fillmore where he continues to volunteer with our At Promise students. Please join me in voting for Joe Ramirez for Trustee for Ventura Community College District. Fillmore and Piru students cannot continue to be overlooked.
Janey Muñoz
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
September 30, 2020

To the Editor:
I hope you will allow me extra words on this occasion. Before I give my second opinion, I want to acknowledge the death of Marie Wren. I loved her, as did anyone who met her. She and Gene were among the most wonderful people I met in Fillmore, and I was always struck with one extraordinary quality of hers (among so many), and that was her joy. You could not walk away from Marie and not feel it. Well done, Marie. It was a pleasure and a privilege.

Just after midnight on March 13, 2020, in Louisville, KY, a 26-year old EMT Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker III were sleeping in their apartment and were awakened by pounding on the door. Unknown to them, it was the police executing a “no knock” warrant, changed to a "knock and announce" warrant at the last minute (for a person not present and for several addresses). The warrant was actually issued for Breonna’s former boyfriend who had used her address as his own. He later confirmed that she had nothing to do with drugs and no drugs were found in the apartment.
Only one witness of 8, who was outside the apartment building at the time, said that the police identified themselves. Walker, who was in the bedroom down the hall, heard the pounding and the door crashing but not the announcement. He assumed it was an intruder breaking into the apartment and fired. The police returned fire, killing Breonna with six shots, firing another 16 into the apartments above and to the side. Walker was indicted by the Grand Jury for the attempted murder of a police officer, a charge which the District Attorney subsequently dropped.
One of the officers was indicted for endangering the lives of the tenants in nearby apartments by recklessly firing errant shots. As to the killing of Breonna Taylor, no charges. The Grand Jury determined that, because Walker shot first, the police justifiably returned protective fire. Keep in mind that the DA found that Walker had not attempted the murder of a police officer. That Breonna and Walker were completely innocent of wrongdoing, in fear for their own lives and protecting their home, apparently did not register with the Grand Jury. Let's see the transcripts.
This case is outrageous for a lot of reasons. Someone is responsible for this tragedy and it’s not Breonna or Walker who happened to be African-American. The police were apparently not responsible for the contents of the warrant. The police clearly did not effectively identify themselves. Whoever authored and accepted the merits of the affidavit and issued the warrant needs to be identified and scrutinized. The tragedy was set in motion by a governmental agency with responsibility for the warrant and the incident, someone higher up than the police officers. At what point did the sole responsibility for the safety of the officers fall to the young man legally protecting his “castle" in the middle of the night? If you are a gun owner, what would you have done? “Yoo hoo, intruder! Are you by any chance the police?” The police report indicated that there were "no injuries" as a result of the incident. Unless you count the dead woman.
We allow guns to everybody so they feel "safe" in defending their families and homes, then issue “no [effective] knock” warrants or make a faulty entrance in an "open carry" state, and regularly let the government avoid responsibility. While reactive violence is almost never the correct response, justice can be vacated just so many times before people begin to think it is unattainable, and they resist the charade.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca

***

To the Editor:
Fillmore women, please be on high alert...
I was on my way home right now, and everything seemed normal as usual. I was even on the phone with my mom and I had just told her that I was less than a block away from home, everything was fine.
There was little to no traffic and I got all green lights. About a block and a half from my house, (East Fillmore) at the stop light next to Fillmore High School a greyish 4 door Nissan/ Toyota pulled up extremely close to my rear bumper. Thinking nothing of it I continued to head home. After making a right turn I noticed the car was staying right behind me at an uncomfortable proximity. I continued on my way and ended up at the front of my house believing that the car would continue on their way and pass me. Not the case. The car slowly pulled behind me and entered into a parked position. I could here the occupant of the vehicle on his phone speaking loudly to somebody. He had them on his car speaker, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. He flashed his head lights into my car and remained behind me.
Since I live on a corner house, it was completely out of the norm for this someone to park anywhere near my house at this hour. (10:45 at night)
I locked my car doors and called my husband to open the front door for me. As soon as my husband came out and stood on our front porch, the car sped off and left.
According to my husband, he saw the car pull up from our dining room window and was just as confused to see someone pull up so close behind me.
Like I said, as soon as the driver of the grey car saw my husband, he drove off...this was too coincidental for someone to be a random person pulling over to google directions.
Please be aware of your surroundings, ladies.
Predators are in our hometown and they’re out looking tonight.
Sincerely,
Concerned Fillmore Citizen

 


 
Letters to the Editor
September 23, 2020

To the Editor:
Martin Farrell, Editor and Publisher
Fillmore Gazette
I had planned to comment on the tragic politicization of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) by the Trump Administration, wherein the formerly apolitical, world-respected agency was reportedly "corrected" by the president to insist that masks are not needed and advance the ridiculous claim that a safe vaccine will be ready "in a few weeks." But I am diverted to a more troubling purpose this week. It involves responding to Martin's two editorials last week.
Trump has been in office for four years and can no longer claim that he is not a politician. I am disappointed to see that that experience, instead of broadening his understanding and appreciation of the fact the president represents all of the citizens, Democrat and Republican alike, has only narrowed his interests. He has not brought the country together, but has encouraged fear and distrust in this country, and has shown admiration for the world community of despots while snubbing our allies.
But what darn near broke my heart, Martin, was your suggestion, in your first editorial, that there may need to be a need for Second Amendment action by owners of “civilian-owned firearms“ and a possible "civil war" if the election results take longer to count than you think necessary, or are not in your favor. Coupled in the second editorial with the opinion that, if Trump were Andrew Jackson, who was well-known for his murderous impulses against Native Americans, the House and Senate would be “littered with bodies,” you are dangerously close to advocating that violence, another "civil war," may be the appropriate remedy for our political challenges.
Trump himself has repeatedly said that he may not accept the results of the election: "I'll wait and see." This self-proclaimed "cheerleader" of our country has stated that the results of the election may be so flawed that "we will never know the results" of the November 3 election." He does not mention that he is primarily responsible for the fear-mongering about the election process and the pre-election crippling of the USPS. Hillary did not call for violence and did not try to create public doubt about the ultimate results of the coming election; she just urged that all votes be counted before anyone concedes.
I urge you to withdraw that anti-democratic and dangerous statement about resorting to guns and violence and an insurrection, Martin. Democracies are designed to avoid that very tragedy, though MAGA supporters have already disrupted voting in Virginia. You are, I hope and believe, too responsible to muse about the use of brute force, post-election, that you so passionately decry in Portland, Chicago, and Seattle.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
September 16, 2020

To the Editor:
I watch all the cable channels, including Fox News, for a bit every day. The content can be so divergent, I want to hear all opinions. If, however, you are an exclusive Fox News viewer, you may be unaware of the pile of books out about Trump and his administration. One book is by a respected Watergate-era journalist, Bob Woodward. He has tapes, 20 hours over 18 meetings or phone calls, and Trump knew he was making them. Those tapes are shocking.
I’ll focus on just the most heart-rending and infuriating tape of all: Trump admits that he lied to the American public about the terrible facts of the Covid-19 pandemic, of which he himself was made fully aware at a presidential intelligence briefing on January 28: that it spread incredibly easily, was at least five times as deadly as a really bad flu, and required a near-shutdown of non-essential personnel to contain it. On February 7, Trump admitted to Woodward that, "This is deadly stuff." On February 10, Trump assured the nation that the virus would "miraculously" disappear by April.
Trump now insists that his failure to alert the public and local governments was akin to FDR’s “fireside chats.” He likens himself to Winston Churchill, in WWII England, except he doesn't know that Churchill’s heroic leadership urged his people to, “draw from the heart of misfortune the vital impulses of victory.… Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm and through the storm.” (February 1942). Churchill did not lie to the public about the threat or the risks; he knew his people would react with resolve and heart. He had faith in his countrymen and, too, the stock market was not Churchill's main concern.
Our president, instead, blamed the Democrats for creating a “hoax” concern about the virus to reduce his re-election chances. When, finally, tens of thousands fell ill and he could no longer "play it down," he left it primarily to the governors and mayors to resolve the national threat and then criticized them (especially the Democratic governors) for not being “prepared.” Trump sidelined science and instead advocated for treatments that were useless or dangerous. He packed indoor rallies with his own political base without advocating protection of masks or social distancing. He knew that, as usual, he could blame others if things turned out badly, and counted on his base to believe him. That, or Trump is engaged in a deadly game of "magical thinking." Either option is a dangerous defect in the man with the nuclear codes.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca

***

To the Editor:
Say “Goodbye” to the Elkins Ranch Golf Course
Like so many local golfers I was disheartened by the news that the Elkins Ranch Golf Course was closing. The course was always a pleasure to visit. The staff was friendly, the grounds keepers were conscientious, and the burgers were good.
My golfing partners and I wanted to play on the final day of operation, which we understood would be September 7. However, when I went to make reservations for that day, the staff said the owners of the course did not want to pay overtime wages for Labor Day, so the course would be closing on Sunday the 6th instead.
We managed to get a tee time for Sunday, but when we arrived at the course that day the gate was locked. A hand-written sign hung on the gate read “CLOSED.”
From a personal standpoint, I feel this was a poor way for the Elkins family to terminate its relationship with area golfers. Imagine booking a flight for a long-awaited vacation, only to find out upon arrival at the airport that your flight has been canceled. No emails or texts from the airline; no explanation. The entire course closure process could have been handled in a more congenial manner. Instead, we got a closed gate.
One could argue that weather was a factor. After all, at what would have been our mid-day tee time the temperature was 110 degrees F. However, other golf courses were open. We ended up playing at the Moorpark Country Club. Perhaps there was a power outage, but that was not indicated on the “Closed” sign we saw.
With the course closed, why not keep a small portion of it open for public use? Having spoken with individuals associated with the group that oversees course operations, there was little or no executive interest in retaining the putting and chipping greens, the driving range, the pro shop and the restrooms to serve as a golf practice facility. No community polls were taken to see how much use a facility like that might get, and apparently no detailed analysis of what it would cost to maintain such a facility was ever generated.
I realize times change, and the expenses of running a golf course may appear excessive when compared to the profits reaped from avocados. However, I feel that the Elkins Ranch Golf Course benefitted the whole community. The course brought in golfers from other areas, and they spent money here. Having a well maintained golf course on the edge of town no doubt attracted at least some home buyers to Fillmore and probably had a positive impact on property values as well. Finally, the expansive lawns and plentiful shade trees on the course served as venues for weddings, filming, bird watching, car shows and other activities. It is not just the golfers who lost out when the Elkins Ranch Golf Course closed. The community lost as well.
Dr. J.S. Noble Eisenlauer
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
I was challenged during a discussion I had last week regarding Joe Biden and his support of abortion. "Open your Bible," the man told me. "It doesn't say anything about abortion. The Bible doesn't say, 'You shall not abort.'"
Technically, this is true. The Bible also doesn't say, "You shall not steal your neighbor's tractor." However, God does say in the Bible, "You shall not steal." He also says in the Bible, "You shall not murder," and you shall not "shed innocent blood." (Exodus 20:13; Jeremiah 19:3-4, 22:3) And who is more innocent than an unborn child? She has no say in her conception, and she's completely defenseless; and yet the blood of hundreds of thousands of unborn baby girls and boys is shed each year in our country. This is why the catholic, Christian Church has always condemned abortion as murder.
But the fetus is part of the woman's body, the abortion-rights argument goes, and a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body ("My body - my choice"). Response: Have you ever heard of one part of a person's body having a blood type different from the rest of that person's body? Of course not, it's a medical impossibility. All parts of a persons' body have the same blood type. However, many unborn children have a blood type different from their mother's. So if a child in the womb has a blood type different from her mother's, how is she simply a part of her mother's body?
Vote pro-life. Give the unborn baby girls and boys a chance to live.
Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 10, 2020

To the Editor:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” A. Lincoln, Gettysburg PA. November 19, 1863, Bliss Copy.
“He’s [John McCain] not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Video
“…when McCain died in August 2018, Trump reportedly told his senior staff, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and demanded to know why flags were being lowered to half-staff.” Multiple sources
“I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” D. Trump, Arlington Cemetery, to Gen. John Kelly on a visit to the grave of Kelly’s son who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. The Atlantic and other sources.
In 2018, President Trump did not want to drive to honor American war dead at Belleau Wood honoring the WWI dead, including Americans, outside Paris saying, “Why should I go to that cemetery?” “He was also worried that the wind and rain would ruin his hair.” The Atlantic. Source statements confirmed by AP, Forbes, Washington Post and FOX News.
“My hair has to be perfect.” Video.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
September 2, 2020

To the Editor:
Back in February of 2020, The Hill, a generally unbiased publication, wrote that the Trump Administration was furious that intelligence officials had warned Congress, in in-person briefings, that Russia was actively supporting Trump in the election process in many states. China was minimally involved, as it was thought that of the two, China thought Biden preferable to the chaos of the Trump administration. Iran does not have the capability of being a major threat to our elections at this point.
The Republican Senate, supporting Trump’s wishes, has refused to consider or pass allocations for states to respond to election interference. McConnell insists: no money to assure fair elections. Then came the attack on mail-in ballots in a pandemic, then Louis DeJoy was appointed to gut the USPS just before an election. This week, John Ratcliffe, the current Director of National Intelligence, has said that he will discontinue all in-person briefings to Congress until after the election.
In-person briefings are important to Congressional oversight because they give representatives and senators the opportunity to ask in-depth questions at the time of the briefing, rather than days or weeks or months later, a fact especially important in an election year. And this oversight function is exactly what Trump fears and despises.
He claims that one or two members of Congress “leaked” information last time, so this denial of transparency in the electoral process is needed. In other words, the Congress are children to be “handled,” sent to bed with no supper. Forget congressional duty to oversee, all you need is the federal government looking out for you. Just exactly the federal government interference that Republicans have railed against since forever. Your rights are in peril.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
In response to an earlier letter about candidate forums, the League of Women Voters of Ventura County will be housing virtual forums for many candidates in the November 3 election. This is in keeping with the League’s mission to encourage active and informed participation in government. Candidate forums, registering voters, and encouraging people to vote are some of our primary activities.
Our goal is to host forums for all city council races in Ventura County along with some congressional, legislative and other races. Details will be available in early September and our intention is to hold the virtual forums between mid-September and the first two weeks of October. As always, our forums will be conducted to treat all candidates fairly and without bias. The League never endorses individual candidates.
We will publicize details on our website lwvventuracounty.org and on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LWVVenturaCo and Twi1er www.twi1er.com/LwvVentura where you can follow us to be kept informed of our plans. For candidates, we will email you at the address you supplied when you filed your papers.
Pat Essick, Ojai
LWV of Ventura County Voter Services

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Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is in the news again, but his time it's not for winning football games. He's in the news for a statement he made recently about Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President. Holtz's statement was: “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only.”
Coach Holtz's statement has drawn a number of responses. I'll list a few.
“Who is he to judge another man's faith?”
“Biden goes to Mass weekly. He's a devout Catholic and a man of actual faith.”
“Biden almost always has rosary beads in his pocket.”
And, from Jesuit priest James Martin, “Holtz cannot look into the soul of Joe Biden. … I think it's a really terrible thing to say about someone. He has no clue what's going on inside of Joe Biden's heart.”
The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as murder. The Didache, (A.D. 95), used widely in the early Church, states “Thou shalt not abort.” Tertullian, in his famous Apology of the Christian faith, c. 200, states that Christians don't kill the fetus in the womb, for it's simply a “speedier form of mankilling.” The canons of the Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314) state that not only are those who abort their children guilty of murder, but also those who make the medicines used to induce abortion. In either case, they were excommunicated, able to receive Communion only after ten years of penance. The true, orthodox Christian Church has always condemned abortion. This is historical fact.
Does carrying rosary beads in one's pocket make him a Catholic? Does simply attending Mass regularly make one a devout Catholic? What about the Mafia members who attended Mass regularly? Note what God says in Jeremiah 7:1-11.
It's true that Lou Holtz can't read Joe Biden's heart, but he can judge Joe Biden's works – as will God, who knows the heart and it's fruit. (Psalm 139:1-4; Jeremiah 17:10) Murderers will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will inherit the other kingdom – namely, hell, with the devil and his demons. (1 John 3:15; Revelation 21:6-8) Those who abort their babies are guilty of murder. Those who perform abortions are guilty of murder. And politicians like Joe Biden, who support and sanction abortion and use their political office to ensure the right to murder unborn children are guilty of murder. The Lord also has something to say to pastors/priests who knowingly give Communion to murderers, letting them partake of Christ's body and blood - “Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord,' … And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Lou Holtz is right. Joe Biden and others like him are Catholic in name only. Thankfully, there is mercy with God. Those who repent of their sins, whatever they may be, turn to Jesus, and support what is true and decent and right in God's sight, have forgiveness from God and will enter into eternal life. (Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 103:11-12; Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:8-9; John 3:14-18, 6:40.)
Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
August 19, 2020

To the Editor:
Before I address the situation with USPS, I must first respond to one comment in Martin’s editorial last week regarding a plea from Drudge for fairness and civility in the coming election. Martin’s take was that VP nominee Kamala Harris’ question of now-Justice Kavanaugh regarding whether he knew of any, “… laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body," applied to allegations of sexual misconduct in his high school years. That was not the point of Harris' question. She was illustrating that there are no laws regarding men’s bodies, but there are many regarding women’s bodies. Even if she were making a comment about his past sexual behavior, it would not make her a “political slut,” Martin. It was a legitimate issue in Kavanaugh's nomination process for a lifetime appointment.. If a man had asked the same question, you would not have called him the same vile sexually-charged name.
California has an established a mail-in vote program, but, as with all states, we rely upon the USPS, a constitutionally-mandated agency, to actually deliver that mail. Trump claims that the mail-in process is rife with widespread fraud, but cannot provide proof of that fact because it isn't so. He likely can't stop the mail-in process nationwide, so he implemented his long-time objective to degrade the USPS delivery system from within.
Trump anointed the appointment of a person with no experience in the field to be postmaster general (Louis DeJoy, a long-time political donor) who has obediently and quietly (until he was outted by some postal workers) set about slowing the processing of mail, including reducing personnel and overtime to handle the increase in mail-in voting and mail in general, removing and dismantling sorting machines that speed up delivery, and deciding that ballots will be treated not as first-class mail, but as bulk mail. Getting your ballot to you will not be a priority. Returning your ballot timely to the Elections Department for counting will also not be a priority. Delays also apply to Social Security checks, medications, pension checks, and any other mail that is important to you. All this as "cost-saving measures" with "unintended consequences" DeJoy says, just before a national election.
Trump urges in-person voting; in the middle of a pandemic, your vote or your health. If you stay home rather than risk voting in person, or your ballot doesn't get delivered on time, blame USPS. He fears he may lose the election with easier and increased voting (after all, he didn't win the popular vote last time), and wants the chance to call it "rigged." We know from the last three-and-a-half years that any undertaking that does not go his way is a "fake," a “hoax,” “unfair, ”or “stolen” from him. This self-pitying trait is distinctly un-American.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump actually admitted his game plan: "Now they need that money [Covid-19 recovery funds] in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” Every citizen should be concerned. This is where the American electorate is supposed to step in and correct such a mortal assault on democracy.
Kelly Scoles Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
August 12, 2020

Letter to the Editor:
Second Opinion
As I read along, I couldn't find a lot to argue with in Martin's editorial last week. Not attending classes in person does present difficulties with social and academic loss, and to young children in particular. And I appreciate the recognition that none of us “civilians” really know the true risks of socialization in this pandemic, and should listen to the experts.
But somehow this acknowledgment took a right-hand turn when teachers and teachers’ unions were accused of selfishness and political bias in their concerns around returning to the school environment. Yes, of course, the teachers are extremely interested in maintaining their own health (or there is something wrong with them). However, I defy anyone who knows even one good teacher who does not also recognize his or her commitment to not only the student’s academic program, but also to the student’s personal experience, including his or her health. Selflessness is in a good teacher’s DNA and certainly their unions work hard to advance their interests (though I have a real objection to the lack of funding for classroom teachers). I fail to see how teachers are just being selfish in deciding when, if, and how schools should reopen until this country gets control of this virus (the experiences of other countries notwithstanding).
And then, we get to it. The true nugget of his argument: All this school debate is about damaging Trump’s reelection efforts. Martin believes that the teachers’ unions and the liberals really only care about making Trump look bad and are willing to hold our children hostage to do that. May I suggest that neither the teachers nor the liberals have to do one thing to make Trump look bad? He is bigly doing that for himself.
I have a granddaughter in San Cayetano school. I know that those teachers are devoted to the advancement of their students. But they, as educated people, cannot and should not turn a blind eye to the science of this pandemic, the current lack of success in controlling it in this state and in many places in the country, or the risk to themselves or their students. It is a question of balancing the risk and equities. I know my granddaughter is much better off in the direct academics and socialization of school, but I would not bet her life on it. Or that of her teachers.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
July 22, 2020

To the Editor:
"Do You Hear Me Now?"
It seems that we exist in a time in which political talk never, never ends. However, that is not something or different except for a vigorous awakening of our nation's discontented persons of color and supporters. Bold, resolute and visible almost daily peaceful demonstrations for whatever reasons become violent with looting, fires, and damage of private property. Voices cry out in unison against authoritative personnel because of physical, mental and cultural abuses which diverts to oppressive and deadly results.
At one time the Fillmore Hispanic community experienced trials and tribulations because of discrimination and racism. However, as a minority people they prevailed, persevered and learned the true meaning of faith, unity and hope. Unfortunately, some semblance of discriminatory behavior by "those in charge" endures in a subtle and, more than not, visible manner. The fact is that a segment of this country's population still "does not get it." The mindset seems to suggest that this land of plenty and home of the free and brave is exclusively for the white race and anyone else is tolerated, used and abused. So, enough is enough and NOW IS THE TIME to have a continuing, serious conversation about this despicable matter to include acts of equal justice and righteousness for all.
Far too many indiscreet decisions by the present "national leader" have caused significant consequences of major concerns and a future endless deterioration of state, national and world-wide interests. That must not be allowed to continue. Our republic and democratic way of life is too invaluable to have it be destroyed by a narcissistic individual.
I am a proud seven generation, native-born son with Del Valle family roots from the Rancho Camulos near Piru, CA. Aside from that, I consider myself a positive, impersonal, tolerant and fair-minded individual. I have walked the walk and talked the talk.(not too loudly but as to where anyone can hear and understand me). I am a survivor of biased acts growing-up but have no animosity nor anger toward anyone because of past transgressions. I remain an active and dedicated citizen of the Fillmore community and an advocate for the underrepresented and others who need a a helping hand.. We must all help each other, confer, talk and share thoughts about the "new world" we live in.
Peace to all.
Ernie Morales
Fillmore, Ca

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To the Editor:
For My Historic Colleagues and Interested Persons:
This info. came to me and I thought you should know, if not already, re Saint Father Junipero Serra Statue. It is a well known welcoming statue depicting early days of Ventura County and City of San Buenaventura and Father Serra’s founding of the San Buenaventura Mission; it’s viewed as you approach on California Street, Ventura, to the front of currently Ventura City Hall/formerly Ventura County Courthouse.(Ventura County Landmark #12–on the National Register of Historic Places—the photo shows the statue). West Coast Historic Statues are not immune from being attacked. The protesters want to tear down or have Ventura City Council remove or decide to remove Serra statue.
This info. was forwarded to me by a local historic enthusiast whose church, the local Fillmore St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church, had members go to Ventura to successfully help guard when Saint Father Serra Statue in front of Ventura City Hall, was in danger of being knocked down by BLM types on July 4th, 2020. The protesters brought tools, that doesn’t sound “peaceful”, to tear down the statue then! By now, most should know BLM (Back Lives Matter) was founded by Marxists. The “peaceful” protesters have made little effort to disengage themselves from BLM, so people are tearing down or defacing valuable statues representing real historical figures or historic buildings. The U.S. President just recently reinforced provisions against the tearing down or defacing of historic art statues and historic structures.
There is a need for you to inform the City of Ventura what the Majority, not a protest group, states to give Your beliefs and stand up for the protection and existing location of the Serra statue. In addition to the statue being nicely placed, the view from the front doors of City Hall of Father Serra gives feeling he is looking down over the City and to the sea!
So please make an effort to send your expression by e-mail to Ventura City, gIving Your opinion of the current statue’s site and to remain there in its existing location to preserve for art and history and of start of Ventura and our County!
Please find the Ventura City Council persons listed below and send your comments to them as suggested below in a) and b) by 3 pm on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, or sooner! (Mayor Matt Levere has already recused himself.). The meeting to decide statue’s fate will be on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 6 pm, and will be “virtual” participation.
Thanks! The Majority needs to be heard!
Kathie Briggs
Architectural Historian
Former Advisor to Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board
Member, National Trust For Historic Preservation

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To the Editor:
I received this from a BIA and going to post it here because it is a sincere offer. For Fillmore law enforcement.
"If you are a law enforcement officer and need a break, you can come park outside my home. If you are thirsty I will bring you a drink. If you are hungry I will fix you food. If you are hot I will invite you inside to cool off. If you need additional ammo just ask. If you need backup, I will stand with you. If you need to cry, I will hug you and let you. If you need to talk I will listen. If you need to pray, I will kneel with you. If you are wrong, I will tell you. If you are right I will support you. I only ask that you don't lose faith in Americans. We are NOT all against you. Our lives matter, as do yours. Take off your sunglasses and see the good people that are here for you. Albeit, we are not as loud and obnoxious as these whiny media seekers, we are strong and waiting to follow your lead. God Bless you and your family. Copied from a friend!
Dmitri E. Gurkweitz
Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
July 8, 2020

To the Editor:
Well, enjoyed small safe and sane fireworks at my son's yesterday. Great grandson Aiden had a great time lighting them. THEN....got home about 9 PM and the "BOMBS didn't stop all around my house until after midnight. I mean almost non stop! Not bangs...BOMBS!!...so loud and deep felt like the house was shaking. My girls were scared to death...I ended up closing the three of us in the bedroom with the TV on full blast to give the girls a little relief from the noise. Now I am not talking about a couple explosions every now and them..I mean almost no stop! I am not against fireworks in general…but these people last night are just plain uneducated and ignorant neighbors …says this angry Vietnam Veteran.
Dmitri Gurkweitz
Fillmore, Ca

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To the Editor:
Do BLACK LIVES MATTER
Very certainly to most parents and families of those who have suffered the loss of life of a loved one. Some may believe that they have suffered undue persecution. They are convinced that because of the pigmentation of their skin they have not received the promises guaranteed in our Declaration of Independence to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They believe this is the reason they have been limited in access to better education, housing and occupations. This may be true in considerable situations however; there may have been other more contributing factors. We should have sympathy and compassion all those who have suffered but they cannot be allowed to contribute to the suffering of others who have no part in what they have experienced.
The Bible tells us that the wicked one is he who comes only to rob, murder and destroy. An additional group from a different ideology is in agreement that black live matter. Amazingly, for their purposes they agree with Jesus Who said in the Bible which they detest; “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom”. The Greek word translated as nation is ‘ethnos’ actually meaning race. The hell bent heretics who are fostering and furthering racial division in America have seized upon the opportunity to place the blame for the turmoil and devastation occurring in our beloved country on the backs of the black protestors. The instigators are the same ones who have promised the colored community much in the past and delivered nothing other than further baseless promises. The true nature of the cultural heritage and accomplishments of people of color has been eliminated from education and the biased fascist media exploits each incidence of officer enforcement as motivated by unproven racial bias.
A young black female student recently spoke at a Presidential rally. She commented that if black lives truly mattered the Democrat dominated House of Representatives would defund the abortion mills run by Planned Parenthood. She added that the academics in the universities would defend the right to unbiased counterculture discourse. I will say in addition the black communities would welcome and support law officers attempting to deescalate the killing of black citizens by black villains. Should an accurate count be compiled across the nation there is little doubt it would indicate the ratio of officer involved shooting and black on black killing would be one to 500, 1000 or even more.
Every city and State taking action to remove funds and cut back on the number of our law officers is controlled by Democrat officials, most in office by the vote of those from whom they are actively removing protection of lives and property. The smaller minority owned businesses are experiencing the greatest devastation created by the BLM mobs that have capitulated to the whims of the anarchists.
It is heart breaking to recognize how many black radical racist bigots have aligned themselves with the left wing ideology. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Susan Rice, Colin Kaepernick and those leading BLM have lent their voices to destroying and ripping apart a heritage of black people Dr. M.L. King described so elegantly. Black lives matter to them as stepping stones in their socialist agenda to shred the nuclear component of the family that binds America together. It is written in their manifesto. They are using their assumed advantage to demand NFL and NBA owners play two Anthems prior to their games in an effort to further the decline of Allegiance to one GOD, one Flag and Nation. I, and I pray hundreds of thousands of likeminded citizens who love America the Beautiful, will abandon and boycott attendnce, watching by T V or buying products from participating sponsors.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian pastor in Germany wrote; ‘To see evil and not call it evil, is evil’.
In Ecclesiastes 8: 11 it is written; ‘An evil deed not swiftly prosecuted, will escalate evil thoughts in the son’s of men’. Go get them swiftly, Mr. President. Amen!!!
S. Mason
Stan Mason
Fillmore,Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
July 1, 2020

To the Editor:
Respecting Preserved Art History and Historic Buildings
As a Architectural Historian, It has been disheartening to see all the disregard and disrespect going on over the nation right now, either the tearing down or defacing of statues or monuments of our forefathers. Statues represent a living history to teach history. Otherwise, there is a big chuckhole in the progression of accurate history. So a big gap in our history is not soothed over/erased as is intended by some short sighted thinkers.
Frenzy causes lack of reason so in tearing down and rioting, they can’t relate to what the statue and its background represents. This is senseless. But if they had realized that even the Teddy Roosevelt statue, in contemporary times, was represented by Robin Williams in the movie, “Night at the Museum”, and somebody they could relate to, maybe they would be sorry for being so hasty.
To make statues like those ruined in the rip down, is now almost a lost art. It takes a long, meticulous process to run the liquid bronzing down inside copper tubes to form the image in the statue mold. If a tube clogs, the entire statue has to be done over. But the statue was lovingly crafted in the first place by masters and generously donated at the time, to commemorate a momentous occasion, for that time in our history. So Statues are works of art besides representing history and pride.
The executive order the President declared for consequences of ruining statues and desecrating statues and historic buildings, et al, reaffirms the laws already in the law books of the National Preservation Act, under the Department of the Interior. In the National Register of Historic Places, every documented official landmark is listed by State and City.
Did you know that Preservation Act affects the officially declared landmarks, historic buildings, places and appointments in our own City? It does!
With this spirit of interest and with a Preservation grant, in 1982-83, a group of Fillmore volunteers took the time to go around in Fillmore’s core area of historic buildings to record, document, photograph, and make up a Survey Book of 398 pages! Any building listed in this book is considered significant and should be preserved and protected, whether it is officially declared a landmark or not. In conjunction with that, a cultural heritage history program was formed and the City Council approved having the Cultural Heritage Board serve as an advisory board and review activity and status of the structures listed in the Survey Book, and other newly found historic sites not located within the core area. The Advisory Board did meet in Fillmore.
Just for reference, the City of Santa Paula does not allow demolition of historic buildings; and citizens of Ventura recently pushed back a mob’s intent to tear down the Father Junipero Serra statue in front of Ventura City Hall (formerly the Ventura County Courthouse). That statue was designed by a Ventura citizen.
Our Community should be taking notice of what is happening even in Fillmore
Mostly the current officials of Fillmore did not grow up in Fillmore. So the urge to remake Fillmore’s ambiance and history is met with less conscience. So the planning and other untrained officials have set aside the historic preservation program including careful reading of the Survey Book, ignoring the signed agreement with the Cultural Heritage Board advisors, “they’re not needed and have to wait to be called in”. The City officials profess to know all. So they have blundered through ever since and have not allowed having guidelines, steps, proper reviews by trained historic preservation experts. Matters are rushed through and experts only have 5 minutes to convince officials to overturn their wrong pathway or conclusion.
If citizens would look to Central Avenue and changes, right now, to the Presbyterian Church, (aka later known as Bible Church; Faith Community Church), listed in the Survey Book and which was built in1929 with gift monies from a former Fillmore mayor, William and wife Carrie King Price, they will see that the Church was mistakenly considered by the City not to be “historically significant”! This building was one of 3 of the most attractive period buildings in town. So it was okay? to covert the church from Mediterranean to Mission-looking style with black trim and take out the significantly attractive priceless stained glass window, a cultural art piece of rarity in Fillmore! Also, inside contained carved wood panels and appointments with open colored stenciled beams. The building was designed locally by Hastings & Yeakle and built by local contractor, Ed Rice. So it was okay? for buildings to become apartments and offices and also displace and end the Sonshine School, run by local citizens, with no City interest in helping that school relocate in town? Was that okay? How does that promote local cultural programs?
The 2 other most attractive Fillmore buildings, the Arts and Science Buildings, on the Fillmore Union High School grounds, represent a pure example of Mediterranean Architecture for the 1930s. That is, until the School District, who did not know its own buildings’ history or that they were officially declared historical landmarks, decided to let State Engineers come in and yank out all the attractive airy grill covered windows—9 windows to each building side—and replace with Non Period, modern dark brown tinted windows (tinted windows were unknown in 1930s). Quite an impact to the buildings! This was done with no City or local input or review. It has jeopardized the buildings’ declared landmark status!
Now the School District is wanting to expand and improve its vocational education. That is a good thing. But with a completely different building style? So this was done without regard for the proposed building to look compatible in architectural style with the overall Fillmore High School complex! The School District is not aware of the history of the area and/or knows that the 500 Block of First Street is a proposed Historic District. The City should know. So the School District brought in the State Engineers and they created a design that is ultra modern and they demolished the other well known memorable building. The new design is not compatible with the proposed historic district nor the residential houses across the street from this stark new building, and will have the view of the distracting building. It is an interrupter for the Block. Also the sight of this stark building will be seen before the landmarks, Arts and Science Buildings, facing Central Avenue, and will loom up behind the Science Building. There should have been some kind of 4-way corner view test from the nearby Central Avenue intersection. This action is expanding the “commercial” look farther north of the intended business district.
The City has enacted the provision, “Adaptive Reuse”, which will dilute the usage and historical? design aspects of the homogeneous 200 to 400 blocks of Central Avenue Business District. This is in another proposed Historic District.
Now the City wants to sell the Fillmore Theatre, which was carefully historically restored after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, because the Theatre is “Surplus”. Is this okay? What absentee owner will recognize its significance?
Also of concern is the advanced speed by which all of the above projects has occurred! Are enough research and results being conducted? Not with the above projects=all in 1 year!
It also has been seen City approval of eliminating “Old or Obsolete” provisions of the Ordinance Code. What are they? It is to the advantage of the Community, not just one person, to check out the proposed and deleted provisions. Look at all the upcoming Public Hearing Notices and their subjects listed in the Fillmore Gazette, the local newspaper of record, to make sure our town has and does not eliminate the provisions in operating for the ambiance and goals of the Community, and not by a few officials geared to get the job done. Without thinking, City decisions could be made that do not consider how the side affects and after-affects could be irreparable to the history, look of City, today and future. Or Fillmore will not look like the Community expects and the City declares Fillmore to be “the Last and Best Small Town”. Or be “Fortune Favored”. Where will those beliefs be found?
Kathleen Briggs
Architectectural Historian
Member, National Trust For Historic Preservation

 
Letters to the Editor
June 17, 2020

To the Editor:
America needs help to get out of this pandemic and it is not the COVID-19 planneddemic that is in question here but the epidemic of phony, deceptive, misleading information the public major media news networks are communicating. Anyone with a sense of moral decency should know that ALL lives matter, Hispanic, Asian, Italian, Germanic, etc., including the defenders of liberty and justice. It is appalling that a career criminal should be eulogized by broadcasting his death and funeral as that of an outstanding citizen. The Harris County Texas records show numerous felony arrests including several accounts of aggravated theft with a firearm and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. The media would lead us to believe that he was attempting to reform but his possession of counterfeit currency and attempting to pass it indicates a very different scenario.
The manner of this person’s death was without doubt disturbing and unnecessary however, it was not necessarily racist. It has not yet been justly determined what the officer was thinking. What is easily recognized is that the biased and far left leaning, politically motivated media was swift to accuse and convict the officer of a racist murder. This was the spark that lit the fuse of frustration pent-up by the nationwide lockdown of our liberty and freedom. There are individuals with evil intent in many positions of authority other than those on the front line positioned to keep law and order. Corrupt judges and attorneys, executives in our financial institutions and primary news forums, perverted professors and teachers in our schools and universities, devious political entities and elected officials etc. should ALL be weeded out before their agenda to destroy American sovereignty and independence causes our country to fall from within. The very protestors who voted the despicable politicians into positions of authority are not blameless.
The biased news media could be and should be prosecuted for feeding the fire under the cauldron of unrest. They should be held liable for ‘intent to instigate rioting, destruction of public property and the pilfering of others possessions’. The First Amendment of our Constitution awards Freedom of the Press for the purpose of communicating worthwhile information. It does NOT guarantee their ability to till the soil, plant seeds of outrage and afterward publish or promote the harvest of their deception.
Stan Mason, Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
June 4, 2020

To the Editor:
GEORGE FLOYD
I have seen conversations on social media talking about organizing a protest here in Fillmore in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I want to speak to those organizing and to anyone who may be considering participating in the protest.
First, I want to let you know that, the entire country agrees with your cause. We all mourn the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer and that officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Sheriff Ayub has condemned the police officers in Minneapolis saying, “The actions of the four officers last Monday cannot be justified or rationalized.”
I support your constitutional right to peacefully protest for your cause. I, and the city, will work with any group in a positive way. Let the world know how strongly you feel about the events of last week. Do so as Martin Luther King and Gandhi, with peace in your hearts and actions, and you will find that the country is on your side. Let’s all work together to make positive improvements.
Tim Holmgren Mayor, City of Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 27, 2020

To the Editor:
Recently we have been hearing comments that the death toll from the Corona Virus could be over stated. I wondered how or why that would happen. After doing a little checking I learned why this is the case. It seems that a hospital is reimbursed an average of $5,000 for a patient diagnosed with pneumonia. If that same patient is diagnosed with Corona Virus the hospital receives an average payment of $13,000 and if the patient is put on a ventilator the average payment goes up to $39,000. I am not implying that doctors purposely misdiagnose their patients. On the contrary, the CDC has put out guidelines opening the door for doctors to use discretion when weighing the facts. Even without lab results confirming the Corona Virus diagnosis the Doctor may list the disease as Corona Virus. And with a major financial incentive why wouldn’t the Corona Virus take center stage.
The other question I have is why we are now told to wear a cloth face mask. “While masks may block some droplets, Dr. Fauci Said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do. Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their face more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands. When Dr. Fauci first announced the need to lock down the country the death toll estimate was 2.2 million people in the United States could die. The number was later reduced to between 100,000 and 200,000, and that number was later reduced to around 60,000. The politicians have told us we must sequester at home, close all our non essential businesses close are schools, we are not allowed to go to church, or the theater, or the ball game or, anything else that brings people together. We are releasing criminals while arresting law abiding citizens who just want to support their family. Our rights are being trampled on without a legislator ever voting on a bill to empower the governor to exercise such authority.
There were 61,000 deaths from the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season in the United States. Strange that the press did not even mention it. I guess they were to busy trying to convince us that President Trump colluded with the Russians. So now the question is who do you believe? The press that has been lying to us for the past three years or Doctors who keep changing their mind regarding the severity of the Virus. Are we being lead like a bunch of Lemmings down a false trail? Finding facts defining the extent of the Corona Virus is not difficult. Take the time to question what you hear and decide for yourself what the truth is. Don’t be a Lemming.
David Johnson,
Fillmore Ca 93015

***

To the Editor:
A family member who consumes primarily conservative media said just 13 days ago “The U.S. death toll will never reach 100,000” while making an argument against physical distancing and comparing Covid19 with the 1968 “Hong-Kong Flu.”
I don’t know what conservative media host my family member got this comparison from but a simple internet search combined with a little thinking-for-yourself would quickly reveal the reasons why we need physical distancing for Covid19.
The Hong-Kong Flu was in the U.S. for 2 years and killed approximately 100,000 Americans.
Covid19 has been in the U.S. for only 5 months and we've already hit the 100,000 dead Americans mark, AND, most of the country has been physically distancing.
If we didn’t do, and don’t continue to do, any physical distancing, over the next year and a half, several models show approximately 2.2 million Americans will be dead.
For people who like to compare Covid19 to the annual seasonal flu or automobile accident deaths, here’s a comparison for you. After 2 years of Covid19, with no physical distancing, we would have more dead Americans than The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Indian Wars, The Mexican War, The Civil War, The Spanish-American War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Persian Gulf War, and The Global War on Terror COMBINED, and then take that number and multiply it by 2.
I recognize people are being harmed financially, but you need to have a life to have a livelihood.
Let’s all pressure congress and disinfectant-huffer Don in the White House for more financial relief to all who need it.
Scott Duckett,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 6, 2020

To the Editor:
Coronavirus observations
Enough is enough!!!! According to reliable doctors {without an agenda.} the chance of dying from this virus is .08% in California. In other words you have as many chances to die from a car accident. So why is our governor so determined to destroy the economy of our state? “For our own safety” is his excuse. Are we not capable of taking care of our own safety? | think it is time to stop acting like sheep willing to follow without questions.
Huguette Johnson
Fillmore, Ca.

To the Editor:
Re: Huguette Johnson’s “Coronavirus observations” Letter to the Editor.
It’s too early to establish a reliable death rate for Covid19 but it’s clearly more deadly than the seasonal flu. Even with our current physical distancing measures in place, Covid19 will kill far more people than a bad flu season. The daily U.S. death rate from Covid19 is currently higher than the daily U.S. death rate from car accidents, cancer, heart disease, etc., besides, it’s nonsensical to compare a highly contagious airborne virus to automobile accidents. Automobile accidents are not airborne, not going to sneeze on you, not contagious, and that’s why physical distancing measures are necessary and have already saved 100’s of thousands of lives.
Scott Duckett,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 1, 2020

To the Editor:
In the tension and uncertainty of the times, it occurs to me that perhaps what is needed is a little humor, and, because there is so little of it to find, my letter will be quite brief. It doesn’t even have to be intended humor.
This week I found, past all the relentless appearances of the president disputing the scientists, doctors and governors regarding governmental assistance and response in this emergency, one really comical Tweet from the President of the United States. Mark this: the USA is not going to pay for the security for Harry and Meghan, if they relocate to LA LA Land. He has too much respect for the Queen. Because that is the kind of news our country is so desperately seeking at this difficult time for the Sussexes.
It’s a window on Trump's mind. Not the fact that the number of masks available are wildly insufficient (he suggested that somebody is getting them "out the back door" in NYC, that ventilators in federal government reserve are not all being released, and that the president rewards only governors and states that “have been nice to him.” Because, you know, “it’s a two-way street.” Google it.
The test of government is whether it resolves problems for the benefit of all the people. It exists for no other reason.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore CA

 
Letters to the Editor
March 18, 2020

To the Editor:
March 13, 2020
I’m sorry folks but I find myself having to write in response to Kelly Scoles. This time she has taken on the mantel of Corona Virus expert and social guru. For a woman who says she does not hate President Trump she does a poor job of hiding it.
Let’s put some things into perspective. Yes the Corona Virus is a nasty virus and yes it has killed some people but it will not destroy our country. Remember the last pandemic that the news media told us about. The year was 2009 and it was called the Swine Flu. We were told it would have a major effect on our health system. When all the dust had settled we were left with the following statics. A total of 60 million American had contracted the Swine Flu. Of that 60 million 300,000 were hospitalized and 18,000 died from the Swine Flu. The main difference between then and now was that Barack Obama was president. There was no way the press was going to call him incompetent even if he did not make a public announcement until over 1,000 people had died. As of March 12" 40 Americans have died from the Corona Virus. The State of Washington is responsible for 70% of those fatalities. And 77% of the fatalities in Washington State were residents of one nursing home. Another interesting fact is that no one under the age of 50 has died from the Corona Virus in the United States. So that begs the question, why are we cancelling all the sporting activities? Why is the press constantly pounding us with dire predictions of gloom and doom? Could it be this is politically motivated? The press has been trying to convince us a recession is just around the corner. Is this an attempt to convince the American people to stay home and not spend any money? That’s a good way to put a damper on the economy. Let’s apply some common sense and use caution when going out in public, but let’s not succumb to the irrational hysteria we are being pummeled with by a politically motivated news media.
Huguette Johnson
Fillmore, Ca

 
Letters to the Editor
March 3, 2020

To the Editor:
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I did not hate Trump, but that I feared him. This last two weeks are one illustration of why.
This administration forfeited a near-month long heads up about Covid-19 because our president believed the virus was a “foreign problem,” against explicit warnings by his health advisors who are experts in the spread of disease. Surprisingly, when he eventually passed to the scientifically-challenged VP the responsibility for the health task force, some truth finally emerged. Dr. Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in a televised meeting of the task force, had to wrestle with Trump over how long a vaccine would take. On Sunday TV shows Fauci had to defend his commitment to the truth about the virus, to insist that vaccines will take a year or more, not the three or four months prediction the president “prefers.”
It is reported that, from the very beginning, the president argued not to tell the public about the true characteristics of the virus so as not to “spook the markets.” Trump wanted to keep a boatload of passengers to remain aboard a stricken vessel near San Francisco so “the numbers will be better…and it’s not our (his) fault.” Trump brays that lower prices at the gas pump mean savings for citizens and ignores the fact that we are now oil self-sufficient; Houston, we have a problem. He assured us that “everyone who needs a test can have one,” only to be corrected by his own health advisors. And still, he publicly laments that “maybe he should have been a doctor” he is so brilliant about medicine. Clearly, he lives an alternate reality.
This is where the fear emerges. Trump, contrary to his claims, clearly knows nothing about epidemiology, despite efforts to inform him, and would rather control the story to his political advantage than solve the problem. It’s not so much that he
doesn’t know; what is frightening is that he refuses to listen to those who do. He cut funding to all health organizations responsible for containing infectious disease over the last three years. An expensive lesson for Mr. Trump. And for us. The truth is, we have never been able to trust this president to manage this crisis or any other. He is his own expert in all things. Remember, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.” “I think I know about it [the economy] better than [the Federal Reserve]. “ “Technology — nobody knows more about technology than me.” “Who knows more about lawsuits than I do? I’m the king.” “I know more about courts than any human being on Earth.” “I, alone can fix it.” A man who knows everything can learn nothing. And that is a frightening situation when that person is the president of the United States.
We are now past containment and into mitigation of the virus. You know all the rules about hand washing, etc. Stay healthy.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore CA