Letters to the Editor
October 20, 2016

To the Editor:
Are you kidding me?
How wonderful it would be if the politicians were only joking and the propositions and people they are asking the voters to approve would not have continuing repercussions. Unfortunately these corrupt individuals are not kidding around. They are deceiving our citizens as well as other residents of our State and Nation. Deception must be recognized as being introduced by a deceiver and deceivers are influenced by demonic authority. What other explanation is possible for supposedly intelligent people continuing to do the same things and vote for the same representatives while expecting to get a different result? How much longer will people complain about laws that are being approved and the circumstances they are facing without making a radical change? The representatives who have been holding citizens captive to their own self-serving agendas must be removed from office. Hopefully there are a few who recognize that doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is a definition of insanity.
Hypocrisy is running rampant through the corrupt agencies of our governing officials and they are being allowed their seats of authority by deceived voters as well as others who are long deceased or not citizens of the United States. It has been well documented that this travesty has occurred in Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as California.
Although the federal administration has attempted to ridicule the Bible and remove the authority contained within, don’t be fooled, God will not be laughed at or remain silent forever. He has warned that judgment will follow our ignoring His warnings. It is written that when the righteous are in authority the people rejoice and when the wicked have control the people groan. At this time a tremendous number are complaining and groaning. Like it or not, believe it or not, we are in a spiritual battle for the rule of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There are at this time numerous individuals in the establishment, the United Nations, the liberal media, our courts of injustice and our administration who are adamant that the citizens of this United States become wards of an international court of law and single global dictator. Barack Obama unequivocally stated this in his supposedly final address to the United Nations.
Our citizens have been overcome by a sense of complacency and have allowed fraudulently elected officials to dictate the rules of combat through political correctness and the threat of being convicted for ‘hate speech’. A wise person once said that what we tolerate will eventually become our reality. We have tolerated the lies of government politicians and allowed them to go unchallenged. A perfect example of this is the Affordable Healthcare Act known as Obamacare. We were lied to about it’s affect on the populace, the small businesses and insurance companies. The bill was approved of entirely by the Democratic representatives in Congress without a single Republican vote. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid demanded the bill be ratified and then studied for content. Our representatives were so unsure of what they approved they took the precaution of maintaining the health care coverage they had before the bill took effect. This having been indicated, there are nearly as many corrupt and perverse Republicans in office as there are Demonic-rats.
The California electorate has been so snared in a web of deception for such a long time the Democrats feel assured their agendas will continually be affirmed. Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein have been reelected time after time and even Jerry Brown who had been defeated in the past for extremely poor judgment was once again elected as governor. Now he is condoning the release of repeated felons. He is even restoring to them the opportunity to vote. He is attempting to define or redefine the definition of a violent criminal. The effects of his decisions are being witnessed currently as there are several funerals being held for dedicated police officers. Arnold Schwarzenegger received much criticism for releasing one man, the son of a political crony, and rightly so. Governor Brown is releasing hundreds and the liberal media seems to be ignoring the issue. Ownership of weapons for personal and family defense is being threatened. The confiscation of guns has in the past in many countries been the precursor to dictatorial governments.
The Bible warns that the thief and father of lies comes only to rob, murder and destroy. This enemy of God and mankind is also identified as the accuser. Whether you believe he exists or not it matters very little. It has always been his course of action to cause people to bring accusations against others that they recognize in themselves. With much contempt and distain the liberal media is accusing Donald Trump of purported sexual improprieties that they themselves along with the Hollywood elite are guilty of on almost a daily basis.
Precisely because these captives of the deceiver have become demonic affiliates, they have no platform for improving the future of our citizens. Therefore they are making every attempt to insult the intelligence of voters by making this most important and critical election decided on issues of personality, accomplishments and failures other that the real issues that will ultimately decide our independence. The future of our sovereign nation, the United States of America is what is in jeopardy as well as that of Israel. God has promised to defend Israel as they have been previously judged and restored to their land. The leaders and the population inhabiting America have been warned and are rejecting the warnings. PLEASE consider for once voting the Christian principles of truth, a sound mind and justice for all. It may be difficult for us to accept but this may very well be our last opportunity as a free people to maintain the liberty we have enjoyed and restore a government ‘for and by the people’.
S. Mason


To the Editor:
In recent weeks several Letters to the Editor by Bob Stroh, contained blatantly wrong and misleading information regarding the City of Fillmore’s Measure G (CURB) and city council members.
Measure G - A “YES” vote on Measure G will extend the expiration date of the Fillmore City Urban Restriction Boundary (“CURB”) by ten years - through 2030. This will allow Fillmore to continue to enjoy the benefits of the CURB for ten more years - to protect agricultural uses of land and retain a small town atmosphere. In 2030, the City can review the CURB boundaries again and determine if the boundary is sufficient and can decided to extend the boundaries or CURB timeline again. It is difficult to accurately plan further into the future, such that, the Council believes, that limiting the extension of CURB to 2030 is an appropriate balance between preserving the benefits of the CURB and allowing Fillmore to adapt to changing economic circumstances and development needs.
Fillmore’s CURB is extending an already in place initiative, which SOAR supporters signed off on.
City Council – No City Council member is in the pocket of any developer as Mr. Stroh would like you to believe. These defamatory comments lack merit and are damaging to the City Council and the City as a whole. Everyone has a right to free speech; however, insinuating that the City Council is on the take is deplorable and not protected by the First Amendment.
Great strides have been made by this City Council over the past four years to fix the problems created by past city councils. Every resident of Fillmore should investigate for yourself to see who is actually behind the SOAR initiative in Fillmore and, when you do, ask yourself do I really want to follow these individuals?
David W. Rowlands, Fillmore City Manager


Letters to the Editor
October 13, 2016

To the Editor:
As Chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District and on behalf of the VCCCD Board of Trustees, we recommend and urge passage of "Proposition 55," the California Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare Initiative.
During the recent recession, the state cut more than $56 billion from education, healthcare, and other critical services. Public schools statewide experienced unprecedented funding reductions and apportionment deferrals. California public schools rank 42 out of the 50 states in per-pupil spending and they are among the most crowded in the nation. Many California school children come from low-income families that lack access to the health care services needed to keep these children in school and learning.
While the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012 provided an increased investment in California's K-14 school spending by allocating funds directly to K-12 and community college districts through the Education Protection Account, the revenue from Proposition 30 will decline after 2016 and will disappear completely after 2018. Proposition 55 would extend Proposition 30’s temporary income tax rates for the top 2% of earners through 2028.
Unless Californians extend Proposition 30's temporary tax increases, our public schools and community colleges will suffer significant budget cuts in the years ahead. The elimination of funds from the Education Protection Account would represent an estimated cut to California's community colleges of about $210 million annually.
The Ventura County Community College District joins K-14 school districts and community college districts around the state, and the Community College League of California in support of Proposition 55. We urge the legislature to work with the public education community to identify stable, long-term, adequate funding solutions for public schools and community colleges.
The District strongly recommends the passage of Proposition 55.
Bernie Luskin


Letters to the Editor
October 6, 2016

To the Editor:
Improving Fillmore Unified School District Schools
Measure V, a $35 million general obligation (G.O.) bond, will be on the November 8 ballot for Fillmore Unified School District voters. If approved, it will make it possible to improve, build, and rehabilitate schools and classrooms throughout the District to ensure that students receive the quality of education needed to meet the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world.
Measure V would authorize a range of facility improvements across the District, including upgrading and expanding career technical education facilities; repairing classrooms and schools built decades ago; upgrading wiring and electrical systems to accommodate modern technology; repairing and replacing outdated heating and air-conditioning systems, leaky roofs and plumbing; improving the Fillmore School Farm; and updating fire alarms and emergency communication systems to improve student safety.
The Fillmore Unified School District Board of Education placed Measure V on the ballot because State funding has fallen short of our children’s educational needs. Measure V will help address that problem by providing a source of locally controlled, affordable funds that cannot be taken by the State and spent elsewhere. School districts statewide commonly use G.O. bonds to make up for such State funding shortfalls. Like home loans, these bonds are typically repaid over a set period. Funds to repay G.O. bonds come from a tax on all taxable property in the District – residential, commercial and industrial.
Our community has been hit hard with budget cuts in previous years, which makes deciding on a fiscally responsible solution very important. The measure’s average tax rate is estimated to be $58.48 per $100,000 of assessed valuation per year or $4.87 per month. A property’s assessed valuation (determined by the County at the time it is sold or undergoes major renovations) is typically lower than its market value.
The District is dedicated to ensuring taxpayer funds are used responsibly. Local management of these funds ensures that we know how the money is spent. Measure V funds will be protected by an independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee that must review and audit all bond expenditures. By law, bond funds cannot be used to pay administrator salaries, pensions or benefits. Legal safeguards prohibit the State from taking these funds and spending them elsewhere. Measure V also makes the District eligible for State matching funds.
Dr. Adrian E. Palazuelos is Superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District.


To the Editor:
Hello residents of Fillmore, Piru and Bardsdale. I currently serve as President of the Fillmore High Alumni Association. I am writing these comments as a citizen of Fillmore. They do not represent the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors or the Alumni Association as a whole. There is a Measure coming up on this November’s ballot that improves the High School Facilities. It’s called Measure V, and I fully support it. This coming Monday evening at 7:00pm there will be a tour of the Fillmore High School gym and industrial arts buildings. I am inviting all residents, and especially Fillmore High Alumni, to join me along with Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos on this tour. There is a need for upgrades to our Alma Mater, Fillmore High, and especially the gym and industrial arts area of the High School. I am anxious and excited to hear what is planned for this area of the High School, and at the same time, excited to take a walk down memory lane. For those of you who are alumni, I’m sure you remember the old Wood Shop, Ag, Metal, Printing, and Automotive shops. There is a need in this area for upgrades. As President of the Fillmore High Alumni Assn, I know the Scholarship committee has funds set aside to award students scholarship money who apply to and qualify for trade schools. In the past 5 or 6 years, not one student has applied for this type of scholarship. Maybe after Monday’s tour, we will have a better idea of why they don’t, and be able to see where we, as a community, can help make this possible for our Fillmore students. So join me this Monday, October 10th at 7:00pm for a walk down memory lane as we tour the Gym and the good ole Industrial Arts buildings. You can park in the old horse shoe or on First Street. The tour will begin in the Cafeteria. It should last about 30 to 45 minutes.
Mark Ortega ‘79


Letters to the Editor
September 1, 2016

To the Editor:
I would like to clarify some of the facts relating to the lawsuit between Fillmore Senior Center, Inc. vs. City of Fillmore. First, I’d like to say that the Star article repeatedly stated the City “evicted” the group from a city owned building. The City chose to not renew the lease so that the City could use the space to provide more programs for more groups of people – which the City has done. Also, the FSCI was given almost 8 months’ notice and allowed to finish their lease term.

Regarding the legal fees, the following is the statement I made to report out of closed session Tuesday night:

“The city council this evening authorized the seeking of the full amount of attorney's fees and costs from FSCI. FSCI filed this case against the taxpayers of Fillmore, knowing that the facts did not support the claims. Despite this mutually known fact, the city made several offers to FSCI in an attempt to resolve the case before trial. This would have allowed both parties to stop spending tax payer AND non-profit resources and efforts on this matter.”

“FSCI continually refused the cities settlements efforts and declined to even make counter offers. As a result, the city and its tax payers were forced to pay court costs and attorney's fees of approximately $78,000 to see this matter through trial. The city council would now like to see our taxpayers reimbursed rather than face reduced services as a result of the deferral of these general fund monies. “

FSCI filed a lawsuit alleging that the City did not give proper notice of the non-renewal of their lease. The judge found that the City of Fillmore complied with all applicable laws and the contract with FSCI.

The agreement between the City and FSCI authorizes the prevailing party in any dispute to collect its legal fees. This is a common clause in contracts. Accordingly, pursuant to this provision, the City Council has authorized staff to seek reimbursement of these fees from FSCI to make the taxpayers whole.
Thank you much,
Diane McCall, Mayor


To the Editor:
I just read Bob Crum's article about the County Fair. What a great job of showing and telling the stories of our young participants who raised their animals. I loved each interview with the kids - why they chose their animal, what they've learned about caring for the animal, what their plans were for next year and so on. Great lessons are learned from the experience. Thanks to all those adults - 4H leaders, teachers, and parents- who work with them.
Makes you proud of the next generation!
Sincerely, Susan M Cuttriss


Letters to the Editor
August 4, 2016

To the Editor:
In response to the many accusations made against Sespe Creek Collective by your publication and in recent public meetings, as the president of Sespe Creek Collective, I would like to set the record straight about the collectives' connection to an alleged marijuana greenhouse on Grand Avenue. Although Sespe Creek Collective was founded in Fillmore in 2010 and it has kept its Fillmore-based namesake, the collective has not maintained any cultivation or delivery operations in Fillmore since 2011. The collective has nothing to do with any cultivation activities on Grand Avenue nor any proposed cultivation complex and was unaware any such thing was being proposed until several citizens mentioned it at the special council meeting on July 25.
Sespe Creek Collective is registered with the State of California as an unincorporated association. Unlike corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies that you can verify the status online, you would need to contact the Secretary of State to confirm the status of an unincorporated association. Sespe Creek Collective members spend lots of time around Ventura County advocating for regulations and local permits like any other business, and advocating on behalf of patients in Fillmore that rely on cannabis as the medicine to enable them function at their best. Many of the collective's patient members are working adults or retired senior citizens that are too busy or too scared to speak out for themselves in a public forum. We have a solid reputation for upholding the laws, following best practices, and providing a valuable service to the community without causing any problems. We observe seriously ill people finding incredible relief from this medicine everyday and finding hope when modern pharmaceuticals have failed them. We continue to fight this fight because we believe our principles are right and just. We are not interested in selling cannabis to your children.
I understand why people make the mistake of assuming that it must be our collective operating the alleged grow in Fillmore. But I assure you, Sespe Creek Collective would never install a greenhouse with lights close to residences where people might be bothered by the light pollution or potential odors. I would not want to sleep next to a commercial greenhouse either. As a conscientious, not-for-profit collective, it is disheartening to be associated with unknown growers that cause residents grief. It is a shame that the public is so misinformed about who is cultivating in their own town.
It is the lack of sensible regulation in Fillmore that is creating a safe space for the underground market and ensuring its citizens are kept in the dark. Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a safe, plant-based medicine and it is not going away. I encourage all residents who oppose safe access to this medicine to do their homework and learn about which major industries continue to funnel millions of dollars into a failed war on drugs. Here's a hint: you are probably already addicted to their products or are paying their salaries through your taxes. And if you think using this plant as a responsible adult -- with its unique ability to heal us in so many ways -- is somehow against God's will, I encourage you to read Genesis 1:29 and reflect on where this plant really came from.
Chelsea Sutula, President
Sespe Creek Collective


To the Editor:
I would like to thank the community for their support and participation in the education of students in the Fillmore/Piru community. I have served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal within Fillmore Unified for the last 14 years, and I am eternally thankful for all the support I have received. August 2nd was my last day in Fillmore Unified School District, but I will always remember the countless friendships and relationships I had with parents, community members, and FUSD colleagues.
Fillmore is a very special place, and I will always hold fond memories of my time in this school district and community. I would like to particularly thank the staff and families at Fillmore Middle School, where I have had the honor of working for 12 of my 14 years in FUSD. I will genuinely miss seeing the staff and students everyday, and will keep them in my thoughts always. I will continue to watch the great things happening in FUSD from a distance. Best of luck!
Scott Carroll
FMS Principal


Letters to the Editor
July 28, 2016

To the Editor:
Council members, citizens of Fillmore, I hope this finds you, and finds you well. I attended the meeting regarding marijuana in Fillmore July 25. Hearing the pros/cons, personal stories, and concerns of citizens, I felt one issue/question may have been overlookedwhy is the council rushing into a decision? Didn't we just ban such activities months ago. I may not be fully educated, as most may not be, on this issue, and I would like to commend the council for taking the time to have the open forum and to stay longer than originally anticipated. In addition, I think it was a brilliant move by the members to put a city tax measure on November's ballot in order to prepare and protect for the possible changes to come from the State level. But why are we making a decision to open up the 'flood gates' NOW when we have no legal obligation to do so. The best thing we, as a community, can do is educate, prepare, and plan. Yes, marijuana activities exist in unincorporated areas, but we can stop what happens within our jurisdiction. The overwhelming majority at the meeting was to keep the ban. "Medical Marijuana" may truly help people, but how many are in dire need in our town? Is it really a burden to drive 45 min, because if it's really needed, it's only a small sacrifice. Many citizens make that same sacrifice daily, driving to work. We sacrifice because we love this town. Unless we legally need to do anything, we shouldn't. Fillmore does not need to be the 1st city in VC to allow these business activities, there's no benefit, other than a fiscal one, but is the revenue worth jeopardizing the youth and city for. If State measures do pass in November, and if we are legally required to take action regarding dispensaries and cultivation farms, we can do so then. Until then, we should keep the ban, educate, prepare, plan, and protect this great city for what lies ahead.


To the Edtior:
I would like to thank all the members of the Fillmore Women’s Service Club for their help with the Fireworks Booth this year. And to all the friends and volunteers that gave of their time so we can give Scholarships to High School Seniors next year, thank you, your help is greatly appreciated.
Susan Banks,

Letters to the Editor
July 21, 2016

To the Editor:
I find it unthinkable that our Fillmore City Council is considering approving a marijuana farm in the area across from El Pescador Restaurant.
The Fillmore City Council needs to know that Fillmore families are completely opposed to their even considering this action. I am shaking my head with disbelief: "WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!"
I have dedicated my life to being an active and informed community member. I have the honor and privilege to work in our schools as an advocate to our youth and families, always on the watch for what programs can improve our community and the future of our youth. This proposal reeks that our most vulnerable youth and families would be influenced and targeted.
My professional experience and knowledge gained as a former longtime Juvenile Justice/Delinquency Prevention Commissioner and my experience working with youth and families of all economic levels for over 30 years in Ventura County, allow me to sincerely express that we DO NOT need this type of business in our beloved Fillmore and Piru Communities.
I have the advantage of receiving constant and up-to-date research data through trainings in Ventura County, the State and federal levels in the area of drugs and alcohol. My focus has always been on helping our youth and families obtain a better future and jobs. Many of those youth and adults using marijuana are excluded from excellent paying jobs in the government, schools and law enforcement.
Currently, community meetings against the proposed marijuana farm are being held at the classrooms at St. Francis of Assisi Church every Wednesday at 5:30 pm. Please attend, even if you are late. Every person makes our voice stronger.
Please also join me at the next Fillmore City Council at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, August 9th to let our elected officials know that the Fillmore citizens will stand up and voice "No, not in our town and not on our watch. Take your business elsewhere; we care about keeping the integrity of our town and want a good future for our children!"
Please see key information about how marijuana tragically affects youths' brains at: venturacountylimits.com, or call 805-524-8644.
Our young children and teenagers are watching our adult actions. We do not want to set our progress and hard work in a backwards mode.
Thank you.
Norma Pérez-Sandford

Letters to the Editor
July 14, 2016

To the Editor:
The Fillmore City Council is considering the issue of medical marijuana and will vote on an ordinance during their August 9th council meeting. There are three elements to the proposed ordinance; dispensaries, personal cultivation and home delivery.
When I talk to other people about the issue and the upcoming vote, I notice two things; first, most residents I talk to prefer to maintain the current ban on medical marijuana. The second thing I’ve discovered is that most people aren’t even aware that the issue is before the council and that things in Fillmore are about to change.
The people I talk to who want to maintain the ban don’t want others to have to go without needed relief from medical issues. However, it’s important to recognize that the medical marijuana industry brings certain elements to a community. Fillmore does not want these elements in our town and those who need to obtain marijuana for medical use will still be able to obtain it the same way they do now.
There will be an informational forum held at City Hall on July 25th. It’s important that every resident of Fillmore be there to let the city council hear your voice. Each voice truly does matter.
Tim Holmgren


To the Editor:
To the citizens and families of Fillmore…
Please come to the “EDUCATION NIGHT” at City Hall and listen to those who want to grow, dispense and deliver this product within the city limits and those who oppose it. Let the City Council know your concerns and dislikes of the operation being brought here. It will be held on July 25 at 6:30pm at Fillmore City Hall. Hope to see you there! (Note: the area proposed for this product to be grown has been identified). We need you! The future of our town and its youth depends on your voice of disapproval to the City Council.
Thank you!
Dan Mathews


To the Editor:
The flowing letter was sent in regards to the Sespe Creek co-op off Grand Avenue. I did add in another letter to not allow any light to leave property as well as notify all neighbors at least 2 mile radius so they are aware of what is being grown. The next meeting for those who wish to act on this matter is Wednesday 20th 2016 @ 5:30 at Saint Francis church 1048 W. Ventura St .The City forum is July 25th 6:30 at the city hall on this is subject.
May 25, 2016
Dear Ventura County Supervisors,
I am writing you in regards to the letter you put in the newspaper May 18th asking for community input about pot farms. I found this request a bit strange since you all voted in January to ban the production or sales. I live in the unincorporated area that you are proposing to do this in. I actually live a few miles from the one that is already in production and sales here in the Fillmore area. Each night I get to look at the grow lights that in my opinion cause light pollution to the area. I wonder first why this being is done if you all band it. Why do you ask for our opinion now when things are already in production and being sold? I noticed that you did not include Fillmore as to one of the areas that you were holding meetings even though we are directly impacted by this issue because it is at our front door.
I am as you may be able to tell, opposed to the pot farms.
I watched on the news how the 8 member family who were killed recently happen to own a pot farm. Did this have anything to do with their farm? I hope not. My understanding is that Pot shops can only accept cash as payments because it cannot go through banks and this leads for the need of the owner to have firearms on the premises to secure their product and safe full of cash.
I recently attended a parent event hosted by our Fillmore Unified School district that educated the parents of the dangers of pot use on the young brain. The Ventura county Behavioral Health talked to us about how Marijuana is 3 times more powerful than it was in the past. How it will drop the IQ of a youth 8 points under the age of 25. How this is not even a drug that REQUIRES a prescription but just a Dr. recommendation, and some of those “doctors “ have just received training via the internet and have some sort of certificate that allows them to sub mitt these recommendations.
If you plan on allowing this into our communities then you should really consider where you put them. Yes we are a small, poor community but do we really need to add to the problems of more drug use in our town or community’s like ours. Send it to Westlake.
The community’s that are going to be selling or producing should be given double the funds and personal for police services ,because they may be needed more often to help with drug related issues. A county funded facility for substance abuse or hospital would be needed for those who get caught up in the drug(9% become addicted) and would need immediate care who may not last the 15 min drive to Santa Paula( longer if we get the roundabout). A County funded trade school since our students may not make it to graduation because of drug use side effects. Require that anything sold in Ventura county Must be PRESCRIBED by a licensed Doctor along with specific dosage.
I understand the need to help those who suffer but, you and I very well know that it is just opening the door to younger kids being exposed to it by family members who use and the possible second hand smoke or accidental ingestion of this drug. Are we really willing to do this to our infants and young adults who will be living in these homes?
I know it is just a matter of time before we will be like Colorado , so why not give them a call and ask how they are doing, is it worth doing, ask teachers how the kids are, ask employers how their workers are, ask emergency personal have they noticed a difference.
I would implore you to invite someone from the Ventura County Behavioral Health to give you their educational facts on how this will/may affect our communities who are being asked to invite this into our world.
Thank you for your time
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
June 30, 2016

To the Editor:
This is regarding the rejection of my application for CCW. I’m writing this because I want to be fair to law-enforcement. Although I totally disagree with their decision (the sheriffs department evaluation of my moral character), given the opportunity to speak with Sheriff Captain Garo Kuredjian I found him to be very cooperative and sensitive to my concerns. He clarified that my rejection was due to medications I currently take. I thank and applaud him for taking the time to return my call and gave me an opportunity to express my disappointment. He was very easy to speak with and never gave me the feeling of being given a bums-rush. So in the end I thank Captain Garo Kuredjian for being supportive of me and my concerns. God Bless him and law enforcement.
Dmitri E. Gurkweitz,
VIETNAM VETERAN 1967-1968 and Proud of it!


To the Editor:
It seems to me there has got to be a better way to honor the honorable and to grieve the horrendous than to take the Stars and Stripes to half-staff. According to USA Today, our last three Commanders-in-Chief have made this order 174 times - including over this past Flag Day.
The reason a flag is lowered should be obvious. In fact, it used to be that school children knew why a flag was flown at half-staff. Now, however, parents and teachers often do not know the reason. That being the case, whatever good intentions our leaders may have, something is lost in translation.
While I agree that one of our President’s roles is to comfort us, I believe a more important function is to inspire and bring hope for good days ahead. In John F. Kennedy’s words, we must: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
This being the case, I would like to suggest that we fly our flag high every day of the year – and also hoist a ribbon or banner beneath which would be flown specifically to indicate the honor due at times of significant loss. I would love to hear ideas that others have about how we could do better in this regard.
Stephenie Thomas,

Letters to the Editor
June 23, 2016

To the Editor:
The Fillmore City council wants us to believe that they like SOAR and the voters should have a vote on how Fillmore expands but extending that right to 2050 is too long. They also want us to believe it is in our best interest to limit that right only to 2030.
The truth is, all of the council members have often expressed their dislike for SOAR and want it to go away. Their problem is the vast majority of Fillmore voters want the right to vote on future growth and that's what SOAR gives them.
Here’s what the council is doing about it: They are putting their own SOAR-like initiative on the ballot, making it appealing and selling it like they are helping the people with a better SOAR. And of course, city employees do the work and the people pay the thousands of dollars it will cost.
So how can an additional SOAR initiative completely kill Fillmore’s SOAR protection in 2020? Say that 80 of every 100 people want to vote for SOAR. If just 31 of those 80 people vote for the council’s initiative then neither exceeds the 50% threshold needed to pass and SOAR ends in 2020. Or as councilman Rick Neal longingly expressed it, the day that no developer who buys a ranch will have to wait to pave it over.
Here comes Los Angeles.
Bob Stroh

Letters to the Editor
June 16, 2016

To the Editor and Fillmore Community:
Hello once again. I want to bring all those that are interested up to date regarding a Dog Park in Fillmore. First, those involved with pursuing and establishing the dog park have met again to walk the property the dog park would be located. It was a very productive meeting and walk about. The designated area will be great and will have two separate areas for big and small dogs. We discussed the various entities that could be included and the kind of sponsorship possibilities we may be able to offer for those that want to support our endeavor. A couple examples are having park benches that are donated and would have a plaque with the donors name and a short description of their dog or dogs. Another possibility, would be a substantial donation by, let’s say, a corporation or other business could have their business posted on the existing water tower. We still need many more people to be involved securing donations of either funds, materials, signage, or labor. Please get out the word of our project and secure donations of one kind or other. I want to express my gratitude to the City Counsel for all their effort and support with making this dog park a possibility. Thank you.
Again, donations can be given to Annette Cardona, Community Services Supervisor, City of Fillmore (805)524-1500 X216 or Dmitri Gurkweitz (805) 512-2153.
Dmitri Gurkweitz


To the Editor:
Do you know how hard it is to get a CCW in California, even in one of the few counties you can apply for one? Here are some facts regarding myself and applying for a CCW. I am 70 years old, and I’ve never been arrested, have had maybe three or four moving violations in my entire life, and served this country in Vietnam. I have saved a woman’s life in a car accident, held CCW for 10 years in Virginia, never pulled my weapon out in all 10 years not even when I was being threatened with a claw hammer, and put my life at risk as a volunteer fireman for more than five years. I have supported law-enforcement, worked with the Bristol Police Department with a terrorist, and I have served and been active in community projects everywhere I have lived. Presently I am working with the city of Fillmore to establish a dog park, nor have I been in trouble for anything outside of verbal confrontation. I don't know why they said I "lack good moral character." This really upsets me because they could have given me any other reason; living in the wrong area, I was too old, I belong to a criminal organization, or a dozen other things. But a lack of good character? So there you go, it’s kind of like the Nazis controlling our second amendment rights for absolutely no reason other than they can! I will be contacting the sheriffs department requesting some detail information as to why they found me lacking of good moral character. And by the way whether you are a democrat or a republican who legally own guns, and don't want them taking away through political underhanded manipulation and lies, you better not put Hillary in Office. For those who think she won’t only push for more gun control in the way of registration, she will work towards disarming you altogether, you are kidding yourselves. She is the nightmare the law-abiding citizens have the right to fear. This country is being ruled by those that are no better than criminals themselves, especially Obama and Hillary.
Dmitri Gurkweit
A law biding citizen!
VIETNAM VETERAN 1967-1968 and Proud of it!

Letters to the Editor
June 9, 2016

To the Editor and Fillmore Community:
Hello once again. I want to bring all those that are interested up to date regarding a Dog Park in Fillmore.
First, those involved with pursuing and establishing the dog park have met again to walk the property the dog park would be located. It was a very productive meeting and walk about. The designated area will be great and will have two separate areas for big and small dogs. We discussed the various entities that could be included and the kind of sponsorship possibilities we may be able to offer for those that want to support our endeavor.
A couple examples are having park benches that are donated and would have a plaque with the donors name and a short description of their dog or dogs. Another possibility, would be a substantial donation by, let’s say, a corporation or other business could have their business posted on the existing water tower. We still need many more people to be involved securing donations of either funds, materials, signage, or labor. Please get out the word of our project and secure donations of one kind or other. I want to express my gratitude to the City Counsel for all their effort and support with making this dog park a possibility.
Thank you.
Again, donations can be given to Annette Cardona, Community Services Supervisor
City of Fillmore (805)524-1500 X216 or Dmitri Gurkweitz (805) 512-2153

Letters to the Editor
June 2, 2016

To the Editor:
I am writing to express my support for Carla Castilla in her application to serve on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. I understand that the County have a competitive pool of nominated candidates to select from. I believe that Carla is the best fit for this important race for the 3rd District Supervisor is a critical to the future of Ventura County . Carla is a longtime environmental activist/she will work closed to develop ideas for a health and better communities. One big issues is affordable housing and homeless shelters that will make a big difference in Ventura County. Carla had the opportunity to work with local ,State and Federal issues that have an impact on the County, Carla Advocate for need of our homeless veterans and others issues. It is that Carla is an excellent candidates to represent the residents of the Third District
Darlene E Miller


To the Editor:
I have known Carla Castilla and her parents since she was a child. Like her parents, Carla is dedicated to serving the public. Her parents have raised her with Christian values in a loving home.
She is dedicated, intelligent and ambitious. As a lifetime resident of Ventura County, she has a natural interest in making Ventura county a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Her past 16 years of public service have educated and prepared her for the position she is seeking, Supervisor of the 3rd. District, Ventura County. She is committed to saving
Ventura's resources including our open spaces, water quality, and way of life. She will bring new blood to the position she is seeking, instead of a continuance of the same mentality that has been guiding Ventura for the past many years.
I look forward to Carla Castilla bringing new ideas to Ventura County!
Dennis Issenhuth
Camarillo, CA 93010


To the Editor:
We urge you to join us in voting for Kevin Kildee for Ventura County Supervisor representing the 3rd District.
As a lifelong Ventura County resident, Kevin is in tune with the wants and needs of its people. He is a staunch advocate for ensuring public safety, creating jobs and maintaining quality of life. He supports the extension of SOAR, an initiative that protects our county’s farmland while putting proposed growth in the hands of the voters.
As a longtime public servant, Kevin has proven to be an independent thinker, always approaching issues with an open mind and putting his constituents first. In his 18 years as a Camarillo city councilman, including four terms as mayor, Kevin helped open the beautiful Camarillo Library, guide the redevelopment of Old Town and turn the county animal shelter into a no-kill facility. He has also served on county commissions.
Kevin takes his responsibility to his constituents seriously. He hasn’t missed a council meeting in 18 years. He researches issues, seeks input and acts in the best interests of people as a whole, not himself or his friends. He will do the same as a county supervisor. His campaign is grassroots, relying on volunteers and not “special interest” donors.
We have known Kevin and his family a long time, and he has always been a man of integrity who is committed to his community. In a field of many candidates, Kevin Kildee stands out. Please join us in supporting him on June 7.
John and Karin Grennan
Camarillo, CA


To the Editor:
I met Carla Castilla, through her parents, many years ago when she was a young girl going to school in Ventura County. She was and still is a brilliant, caring and responsible person who loves her community. Carla has continually strived to improve our environment, keep our county and neighborhoods safe, create more jobs and protect our precious farmland. Carla Castilla’s dedication and hard work will promote a healthy and positive environment for Ventura County. I for one cannot think of anyone more suited to the job.
Thank you very much!
Maureen Sterling
Camarillo, CA

Letters to the Editor
May 26, 2016

To the Editor:
It is my pleasure and honor to endorse Martin Hernandez for County Supervisor, 3rd District. He is well qualified to serve having worked for incumbent Supervisor Kathy Long for fifteen years, the last 5 as her chief of staff. He has extensive knowledge of the issues and concerns of the district’s constituents, a deep understanding of the workings of county government, and congenial relationships with his colleagues and numerous stakeholders.
As senior executive administrative aide to Mrs. Long, I had worked with Martin for 10 years and have seen Martin’s ability to adeptly solve constituents’ problems by actively listening to their concerns, showing sensitivity and compassion, and bringing together all parties to reach a consensus outcome.
Martin has what it takes to be a successful leader. Please vote for Martin Hernandez in the June 7th primary.
Gail Robinson
Ventura, CA


To the Editor:
My wife and I met Martin Hernandez 17 years ago when we were going through some personal life struggles. We had been looking for solutions and support while facing what was ahead of us. When we met Martin we were impressed by his calm and collective manner, we knew right off he was genuine and what we had been looking for in support and wisdom.
Martin was wonderful to my wife and I. He was there for us in a professional manner, but also opened his heart and home to us on a personal level. Over time, our relationship evolved into a strong bond and friendship. Martin continues to demonstrate to me what a man living in his truth and integrity looks like. Whenever I am around him, I am impressed and reminded on how important it is to respect everyone around us whether they are the janitor or CEO.
My wife and I are asking you to support Martin Hernandez for Supervisor, Third District because he embodies the qualities of a leader. Martin is here to serve his constituents and is grounded in the principals of Humility, Respect, Honesty and Integrity. In addition, Martin is committed to the Third District and is the only candidate that has the experience necessary to provide our neighborhoods and communities with best representation possible.
Martin will influence real change. My wife and I know this first hand because of the influence he has had in our lives. As a leader in our lives, he guided us from our past struggles and into more positive, productive, loving, and successful life that has allowed us to contribute more of our time to our family and community.
Martin Hernandez is the RIGHT AND ONLY Leader for Ventura County Supervisor – Third District. Vote for Martin Hernandez on June 7.
Jose and Brigette Rodriguez
Santa Paula, CA 93060


To the Editor:
I am supporting Martin Hernandez for Third District Supervisor. With a lot of people in politics or public service, the better you know them the less you like or respect them. My experience with Martin is just the opposite: the more I know him, the more I like and respect him.
Martin has the most extensive, relevant experience of any candidate. Martin’s spent years as a medical first responder, a drug and alcohol counselor, and as manager of a facility that provided services to families in distress. He has served Supervisor Kathy Long for 15 years, more than 5 years as chief of staff. His responsibilities have included the issues that are important to all of us: public safety, healthcare, preservation of agriculture, clean water, etc. He has worked with every department at the County, and has strong working relationships with staff and agency heads. Martin knows what works, and what needs work.
The public who call a County Supervisor’s office are often distressed. The Supervisor is their last hope to resolve a problem, or they just don’t know who to call. Handling these calls requires enormous patience and compassion, and Martin has demonstrated both. As Supervisor, he will ensure that his office reflects those values, and treats the public with fairness and respect.
Transitioning from staff person to elected official can be difficult. Martin has been a City Councilmember and Mayor in Santa Paula for the last 3 1Ž2 years, and has already made that transition. Martin is ready, now, to be your County Supervisor.
Remember to vote for Martin Hernandez in the June primary to make sure he is on the November ballot!
Mary Ann Krause
Santa Paula, CA
Former Deputy to Supervisor Kathy Long, and Former Mayor of Santa Paula


To the Editor:
Martin Hernandez is the right leader for the Third District
As someone who has personally worked alongside Martin Hernandez, the Chief of Staff for retiring Third District Supervisor Kathy Long, for almost 15 years, I have decided to give my full support for Mr. Hernandez to succeed Supervisor Long.
In a crowded field of approximately seven candidates, I firmly believe that Martin Hernandez is the most qualified person to continue the work of Kathy Long as the outgoing Third District Supervisor. As a representative of the Ventura County agricultural industry for almost 39 years, I have had numerous opportunities to work with Mr. Hernandez on a variety of county issues, including reducing the chloride content of discharged water in the Santa Clara River, adoption of zoning regulations for farm labor housing, and numerous zoning and regulatory issues affecting farmers in their business operations. Throughout this entire time, I have found Mr. Hernandez to be very professional and an extremely qualified individual representing the interests of the constituents of the Third District.
I was recently encouraged by the personal endorsement of Supervisor Long of Martin Hernandez because I believe the citizens of the Third Supervisorial District in which I reside, need someone who will “hit the ground running”, not individuals looking for a placeholder for future state offices.
While many of the residents of the greater Camarillo area do not know Mr. Hernandez, he is very well known throughout the Santa Clara Valley and currently serves as the Mayor of Santa Paula. He is also a veteran, husband, father and grandfather. His experience and knowledge of the processes of the VC Board of Supervisors for over 15 years, working relationships with other incumbent supervisors, overseeing the operation of a city as its mayor, and his ability to listen to constituents and try to find commonsense bipartisan resolutions, deserves the vote of the residents of the Third Supervisorial District.
Robert P. Roy
Camarillo, CA
President and General, Ventura County Agricultural Association Camarillo, California


To the Editor:
I support Martin Hernandez for Third District Supervisor. In my opinion, Martin is the only candidate with proven experience, an honest reputation, and a genuine passion for public service. Remarkably, it is his capacity for cultivating relationships that sets Martin Hernandez apart from the other candidates. Martin has spent over 20 years serving the communities of Ventura County, building valuable relationships and earning the public’s trust.
Healthy working relationships do not get built overnight. They are developed over time and grow best from the ground up. These relationships are the result of having survived the true test of time; together celebrating the highs and recovering from the lows. Connecting with people and making them feel that they count is a gift that has served Martin well. He does not use people as a means to an end. Martin gets relationships right.
Equipped with the legacy of fostering relationships and 25 plus years of institutional knowledge, Martin is ready to launch forward on Day One. He will not come with a training curve or waste taxpayers’ money trying to figure out “who’s who”. He will not have to learn how to navigate county government. He knows already our community stakeholders from the executive leadership to the line staff. Having worked as Mayor of Santa Paula and Chief of Staff for Supervisor Kathy Long, he knows well the functions of government administration at both the city and county levels.
Martin’s ability to lead the Third District into the next four years is unmatched. As a resident of Port Hueneme and a member of the Santa Paula community, I Invite you to join me in voting for Martin Hernandez.
By Laura D. Hernandez
Port Hueneme, CA
Adjunct Professor, California State University Channel Islands
Former Assistant Director, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services

Letters to the Editor
May 19, 2016

To the Editor:
Mike Morgan thrives on interaction and has more energy than any other person I know. He directs that energy to what he thinks will make our community a better place.
For example, shortly after he was first elected in 1980 it was Mike Morgan who formed the group that wrote and promoted Measure A, Camarillo’s Growth Control Initiative, which was overwhelmingly passed by the people. A couple of years after that he formed the Camarillo Arts Council and collected money and materials to build the pavilion in Constitution Park, where thousands still enjoy concerts every summer. He later took over the Camarillo Fiesta and converted it from a sleepy, local birthday celebration to a huge street fair with carnival rides and solid entertainment.
Many people don’t know that Mike and is wife, Donna, owned and operated a deli in Camarillo, and he has had other experience in businesses, large and small, so he understands the problems that local businesses endure.
Mike is fluent in Spanish and also speaks Chinese
I have served with Mike Morgan on the Camarillo City Council for almost 30 years, and have never seen another Councilmember spend so much time getting out and feeling the pulse of the community, or coming up with as many ideas for improving Ventura County, as Mike Morgan.
Please join me in voting for Mike Morgan for Ventura County Supervisor, 3rd District.
Charlotte Craven,
Camarillo City Councilmember

To every constituent in the 3rd District,
Politics overall has changed from years past. It seems that when it comes to the Presidential or State Campaigns, we are making decisions more and more based on character, charisma and the actions of the candidates while giving very little thought to their true qualifications. Let’s be honest, those of us who engage in the political process have often followed the lead of our political party’ or simply settle for the “lesser of the two evils.” This is partly because most of us do not have the time to listen or get to know the candidates.
Up until recently, elections at the local level have been driven on those things most obvious like party, key endorsements, or something heresay, or the research we did the night before Election Day. It seems like we have lost our way at the local level during this election cycle. Maybe it is because of all the sensationalism happening with the presidential candidates. Or, perhaps it’s simply because we have surrendered to consumer politics and candidates with their promises and no real experience or track record to support why they are the most qualified. It is out of this concern that I am writing to voice my opinion for the ONLY qualified choice for 3rd district supervisor.
I have listened to the platforms of all the candidates over the last four months. I have researched their qualifications and looked into their track record of experience and work in the 3rd District. Some of the candidates have made contributions to the communities they have served and others have fancy titles and pedigree’s but none of them have the level of experience that Martin Hernandez has. He is the only candidate that has local, County and community experience. Martin is the REAL DEAL. When he talks about an issue or engages with the community, he is transparent and continues to demonstrate integrity and a deep commitment to the community. This is why I am spending every spare moment I have working on his campaign for the next Supervisor of the Third District and want to ask you to support him too!
Martin Hernandez is a husband, parent, veteran, public servant, and like most of us, cares deeply for his surrounding communities. He is highly educated about the history of our county and what is important to local farmers, businesses and our communities throughout this county.
I have spent time with Martin and have become very close to his family and those supporting his campaign. Martin has surrounded himself with people who are genuine and are dedicated to bettering our communities. We are all dedicated to be of service to our community and dedicated to ensuring that Martin Hernandez is elected to the Third District. Our County needs a leader with integrity and character, someone who speaks from a place of honesty, and who people can trust. Martin is that Leader! The community can count on him to listen to their concerns and take action to address them. I know this because I have watched and experienced him do this over and over again.
Martin brings over 15 years of experience and insight to the position of Supervisor. I have watched him make decisions based on facts and the voice of the community. He has always spoken openly and honestly without any “promises” or political rhetoric.
Martha Brown

Letters to the Editor
May 5, 2016

To the Editor:
The Right Brand of Leadership
I am supporting Martin Hernandez for Supervisor. I would ask that you do too. There are many committed voices in this race. The role of supervisor demands a special portfolio of leadership; I believe that Martin is the best choice from the field.
In conflict, he invites people to dialogue. In difficult and competing priorities, he looks to the long term. In community, he always looks to a voice of middle ground, common good and commonplace; for the whole community.
This is the kind of work that I appreciate in political leadership; a calm head, a quiet voice of collaboration, a willingness to get to yes.
To that end, I would like to ask your support for Martin and to get us to yes, Martin Hernandez for Supervisor in the 3rd District.
Bill Bartels
GreenSource Inc.

Letters to the Editor
April 28, 2016

To the Editor:
I’m writing in support of the Fillmore teachers as they struggle to reach a salary settlement with the school district. I retired from the district just before the recession but I’ve been aware of how the staff helped the district get through those hard times through mandatory furlough days and slow increases in class size. The teachers were working harder and making less. Many times I thought to myself that I’d retired at the right time! In fact, hard as it is to believe, I recall the superintendent in my time, Mario Contini, starting a new school year (2002?) with the announcement that our teachers were falling behind other districts and we had to make an all out effort to move our salary schedule to at least the middle of the pack if we were to remain competitive. So he tightened the budget in other areas to put that money into teachers’ salaries.
We felt valued and had a renewed sense of pride in our profession.
California is in a much better position as the recession has receded and Proposition 30 has pumped more money into our schools. We’re not completely recovered but have enough money to begin to address a lot of issues that have been simmering under the surface. It’s time to say thank you to those who haven’t had a decent raise since I’m not sure when - only a gradual slippage backwards. I recognize the school board’s responsibility to adequately fund many competing interests in the overall functioning of our educational system. However, I also know that employees cannot be our lowest priority as they are the heart of a quality education for our children.
Susan M. Cuttriss


To the Editor:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who contributed to the success of Fillmore High School's eighteenth annual arts show “Facets: the many faces of art”. It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work, dedication and talent to coordinate an event such as this. Thank you to Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club, Soroptomist International of Fillmore, and Fillmore Rotary Club for your donations which help to make this event possible. Thank you to Lucy for being a patron of this event. Thank you to Mr. Ito, Mrs. Dabbs and Ms. Morielli for your support of this event… To the staff and teachers at FHS who supported the student’s efforts and allowed students to take part in hanging the show…To the custodial staff Baldo, Sam, Jose and Johnny- thanks for your help. Thank you to Max and Susan Pina .Thank you to the students who stayed late to break down the show and clean up after the event. I am so appreciative of your help.
Special thanks to Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band and Jazz Band who played at the event, members of the chorus who sang and the Fillmore High School Drum Line- the musical concert helped to make the evening a resounding success….To Josh Overton and the drama department for their outstanding performances… and to Ms. Juarez and the Ballet Folklorico dancers-your participation brought added excitement to the show. Thank you to the parents and the community who attended the show and helped to make this a special night for the students. Last, but not least, to all the student artists, dancers, actors, and musicians who put in numerous hours preparing for this event, hosting and cleaning up after a long day and night- especially my Art students and former students who came back to help- thank you- without you there couldn't be a show. I am very proud of all of you.
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Fillmore High School
Visual & Performing Arts Department

Letters to the Editor
April 21, 2016

To the Editor:
Dear Readers,
Good morning! My name is Gabby G. I am a fifth grade student at Harlan Intermediate School in Harlan, Iowa. My class is studying the geography and history of the United States. I am excited to learn about your state of California! I would really appreciate it if you would send me information, souvenirs, or postcards on your amazing state. My teacher, Mrs. Newlin, would like a car license plate, if possible, for a school project. I really appreciate your time and look forward to learning more about California! Thank you!!
Gabby G.
Mrs. Newlin’s S.S. Class
Harlan Intermediate School
1401 19th St.
Harlan, IA 51537
(Note form Mrs. Newlin: Nothing can equal the encouraging letters, beautiful picture postcards, and exciting historical information you send to them. Thank you very much!)

Letters to the Editor
March 17, 2016

To the Editor:
The tragedy that befell the Landeros Family with the loss of Rigo rocked the community. It’s been a little over two months and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my friend. Many fine citizens of our Town wrote letters to the Editor, spoke at City Council Meetings and in general are looking for understanding. We had hoped that those who contributed to the sickening event would step down from the council. As time has moved on we now see that will not be the case. Some wonderful tributes have been suggested to honor our Fire Chief and Community Servant Rigo Landeros, all are worthy of being implemented in my opinion. The community will heal, though we’ll always miss our friend. Sadly one or two obstacles are obstructing the community healing process and that is the continued presence of Rick Neal and Doug Tucker who continue to sit on the City Council Dias. Given their contribution, involvement and actions it’s my opinion that they have forfeited the privilege of representing the citizens of Fillmore and our City in any capacity.
Steve Conaway, Former Mayor of the City of Fillmore


To the Editor:
I am putting together a petition to present to Fillmore City Council to create a safe place that dogs can run free. It will take time, as long as it takes to create the petition and get as many signatures as possible. As I collect names/signatures I will be asking for a little help later; in the way of emailing and/or phone calls. I believe the more people that get on board the better our chances are for having a dog park. Please call or email me with your interest. Thank you and I hope we can get it done.
Dmitri Gurkweitz

Letters to the Editor
March 4, 2016

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Soroptomists International of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Fillmore High School
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair


To the Editor:
Re: your Feb. 24 article “Caltrans Presents Proposed Changes to Hwy 126”:
Thank you for your coverage of Caltrans’ efforts to enhance safety on the State Route 126 corridor. Safety is a priority for Caltrans.
For your readers to have an accurate and complete picture of Caltrans’ proposed State Route 126 Safety Enhancement Project, I want to correct and clarify some information that was reported in your Feb. 24 edition.
First, when I addressed the Fillmore City Council regarding this project, I noted that Caltrans’ past efforts on Route 126 included the installation of rumble strips but I said rumble strips alone are not the answer. They are not enough and we need to do more. Unfortunately, the article incorrectly reported that I said “rumble strips are the answer.” That is inaccurate.
Second, the article reported that a proposed option includes two undercrossings that would be located near Old Village Road and near Hall/Sycamore Road. In fact, these undercrossings already exist and they will be maintained at those locations under the proposed option.
Third, the article reported that I said the purpose of the proposed roundabouts is to slow down traffic, or “traffic calming,” but the article omitted an extremely important fact. I also mentioned several times that roundabouts help significantly to reduce severe crashes associated with left turns and U-turns. Roundabouts do that by eliminating those types of conflicting traffic movements, which in turn dramatically reduces serious injury accidents and fatal accidents.
Fourth, a member of the Fillmore City Council questioned if drivers would use Sycamore Road or South Mountain Road to avoid the changes on Route 126, impacting those two alternate routes. The article inaccurately reported that in my response to the council member, I said Caltrans would widen our scope to include those two alternatives. In fact, and this is an important distinction, Caltrans would work with the cities of Fillmore and Santa Paula to address impacts on the local streets as part of the environmental process.
Fifth and finally, a council member asked if Caltrans is considering changes on Route 126 east of Fillmore. The article incorrectly reported that I said Caltrans is considering improving it but that won’t be done until 2040. In fact, I stated we would carefully monitor other segments of Route 126 and if necessary expand these types of strategies to include other segments in the future. I mentioned the 2040 traffic volume projections in response to a different question dealing with how higher volumes projected as a result of the developments in Newhall and elsewhere would affect the proposed roundabouts’ functionality. I indicated that if volumes reach levels that require additional modifications to the highway to alleviate congestion, we will develop additional projects to address them.
Ali F. Zaghari
Deputy District Director of Operations
Caltrans District 7
100 South Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 897-7463
(CONTACT INFORMATION: Can contact through Caltrans Public Information Officer Michael Comeaux at 213-897-9372.)