Letters to the Editor
July 17, 2019

To the Editor:
Re: Respecting and Protecting Fillmore's Locally Declared Historic Landmarks
When a building is officially declared a Historic Landmark by the Cultural Heritage Board, it encompasses all the guidelines and amenities that go with this declaration. This includes the Historic Preservation Guidelines as set forth by the Federal Department of the Interior/Parks. This information is sent down to the State, which in turn, sends the guidelines to local knowledgeable governmental agencies=historians. This process serves to preserve and protect the architectural integrity of the building.
When a landmark is declared especially to represent a particular time period as well as history, the exterior and facade appointments/decoration of the building are to remain untouched/intact. So the exterior is not modernized.
The Fillmore Union High School identical Arts and Science buildings, built in 1937-1938, were designated Declared Historic Landmark No. 156 in September, 1994. They are probably the most ornate Mediterranean architectural example buildings in Fillmore and represent the 1930's era. The School was in favor of the Buildings' designation. These buildings were named in the extensive 1983 Fillmore Cultural Heritage Survey of Historic Structures. E. H. Palmer even wrote his master thesis on the high school historical buildings!
So what happened? In about June, 2019, all the windows were seen boarded up in the Arts and later the Science Building. This is what occurred and is very drastic. It was observed the very many architecturally decorated raised iron bar grates at the many windows were torn out--with difficulty! Plans are to install modern windows (tinted? so that adds a different color--brown?-- to buildings!). Tinted windows did not occur in the 1930's. The brown tinted windows look is very pronounced and detracts from other decorations. The close window line-up will look like a permanent brown window stripe more than 1/2 the space of the sides of the wall around exterior of buildings. The iron grates need to be reinstalled. Windows being flush to the walls with no grates make the buildings' decorated entrances look overbalanced. All this work irreparably damaged the architectural integrity of the landmark. Returning alumnae will recognize the buildings do not look the same!
Since Declared Historical Landmarks have very specific Cultural Heritage guidelines, making parts of Arts and Science Buildings inexcusably modern diminishes its importance and the pristine architectural features example. It could affect the designated landmark status.
Overall, not showing care and concern, not following local guidelines' review, or not giving courtesy notice to Cultural Heritage Board of pending, planned work for Still Standing Landmarks representing Fillmore's History, is very sorrowful.
Sincerely,
Kathie Briggs, Architectural Historian, Former President of Fillmore Historical Society/Museum

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To the Editor:
Fillmore Unified must show teachers are valued employees whose dedication and talents are respected. To attract and retain qualified teachers is a motto of FUSD – make it a reality! Increase benefits from being the lowest in the County.
Fillmore teachers work tirelessly for student success; time reveals outcomes. I saw a former student a few years ago and he grinned and hugged me. Teachers impact students’ lives beyond our classroom year. Marcos was my student in the first 5th grade class I taught, and he’s become a computer technician!
Since kindergarten, his teachers nurtured and encouraged him for success, but he resisted. He explained to me that in high school he decided that he should be the first in his family to graduate. He worked with his counselor and teachers, improved his attendance, and completed assignments. He proudly stated that after graduating he began working with computers, and that he would like to advance to the next level. He was concerned that it would be challenging. I cheered him on assuring that he would do well taking college classes. I’d like to meet Marco again to learn what he is doing today.
I hope that our School Board and Superintendent recognize the positive impact Fillmore’s dedicated teachers have on the lives of our diverse student population. Show that you value your teaching staff and provide the benefits they deserve. Provide the salary and benefits without a cap that are balanced with the median of districts in Ventura County.
Sandra Butts
19 years Fillmore Teacher

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To the Editor:
My roots are in Fillmore. I was born here, graduated from Fillmore High, and now am proud to teach here. I love my job and the wonderful students, staff, and the families I serve. However, the increases in health insurance costs and a lack of equitable salary have made me wonder whether I can afford to stay in Fillmore.
This past year, my health insurance increased by around $400 per month. Since I couldn’t afford this, I had to downgrade to a cheaper healthcare option. This leaves me and my family financially vulnerable whenever we need to see a doctor. And I have a child who has special needs who requires specialists.
Why has FUSD’s leadership continued to try to cut back teachers’ benefits and offer us the lowest salaries in the county? This strategy defies reason. They say they are dedicated to hiring quality teachers, but still act like we are not worth paying fairly. In contrast, Fillmore’s administration has the highest pay in the county and their benefits have increased.
I care deeply for Fillmore and its people. It pains me to write this letter because I want to assume the district cares about the lives of its teachers. My hope is that the leaders of FUSD will change course and offer us equitable benefits and salaries. If not, Fillmore will continue to lose quality teachers and hurt students.
Yours sincerely,
Erika Henderson, Rio Vista Elementary Teacher and FUTA member

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 10, 2018

To the Editor,
In first grade the concept of fairness is difficult for students to understand. They can’t see it directly. It’s best taught using sharing or turn-taking activities to show students that being treated fairly and treating others fairly are essential skills to show others they are valued and respected.
The same is true for adults, and in this case, the members of the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association. This year, FUTA members saw a 24% reduction in their health benefits that established an on-going savings for Fillmore Unified of $900,000, while premiums for management and classified staff increased 8.5%. Simultaneously, FUSD proposed a hard cap on future medical benefits for teachers, but failed to make that same proposal to classified staff and ultimately management who share the same medical coverage. For 2020, FUTA will not see a significant increase in medical benefits, while premiums for management and classified staff will increase by 14%.
The concept of fairness often means a shared responsibility, but it appears this is lost on district leadership. FUSD’s proposal to place a cap on FUTA health benefits, knowing that we had already taken a substantial hit to our coverage without making that same proposal to classified, and by default management staff, is unfair and inequitable. We don’t teach students about fairness by taking things away or asking one group of students to do all the work, but rather, to share the responsibility with relative equality. FUSD leadership seems to have more to learn about fairness than my students.
Kassie Chambers
Rio Vista Elementary School

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 3, 2019

To the Editor:
This year will be the 13th Annual Mammoth Lakes Cross Country High Altitude Running Camp. The Fillmore High School Cross Country team takes a trip every year to Mammoth for an 8 day high altitude training course. Each member of the team that is invited must pay $400 to attend. As a team we try to raise as much money as possible by selling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and having car washes. It would help if we could get a little extra money in donations from our community to help pay for the trip. I am on the Fillmore High School Girls Cross Country Team and have attended the last 2 years, as a team we ran some difficult trails. This challenges the runner physically and mentally so we can become better runner’s that makes a better team. It is a very fun experience to be able to spend time with each other as a team and do different activities. Both the girls and boys team are very determined to do what it takes to become champions this upcoming season. This year we want to train hard in the summer to see better results. We want to go out, race and represent Fillmore.
If you would like to make a donation, please do so by making it out to Fillmore High School Cross Country Team and mail to P.O Box 672 Piru ca 93040.
Thank you in advance,
Vanessa Avila

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To the Editor:
Good teachers are not staying in Fillmore. At the middle school alone this year, 8 out of 39 certificated staff have left for other districts. That’s 20% of our middle school staff. The FUSD school board and superintendent need to change this because it only serves to hurt our students.
Teachers who have dedicated their careers to the kids of Fillmore are not staying anymore. A board member previously stated in open session that Fillmore has “high tier and low tier teachers.” Granted, they retracted that statement afterwards, it still makes me think that if that is the feeling, then what is being done to attract better teachers? FUSD’s current salary and health benefits proposal does not do this.
FUSD must have competitive teacher salaries to keep quality teachers here. It’s just common sense. FUSD teacher pay compared to the other 15 districts in Ventura County is 15th. That’s right, our teachers are at the bottom for pay in Ventura County, while FUSD administrators are first in the county for pay. However, who is in the classroom with your kids’ day in and day out? The teachers. So why do Fillmore teachers have the least value?
To attract more hard working, excellent teachers who devote their careers to your kids it’s just common sense to pay a competitive wage or they just get a job in another district. Our students don’t deserve less than the best, help us be treated fair and equal, for Fillmore’s future.
One proud teacher of Fillmore’s kids,
Jennifer Beal, Fillmore Middle School Teacher, 2018 FUSD Certificated Teacher of the Year.

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 26, 2019

To the Editor:
I want to write a short letter complimenting Ms. Cindy Jackson from Ocean Gold CBD for providing us with a CBD infusion for our dog McDuff. He is almost 13, and suffers from arthritis in his rear leg, which has slowed him down on walks and causes him to be depressed around the house. I spoke to our groomer, Andrea, and she suggested writing to Cindy, who carries a line of CBD infusions, the infusions have apparently helped with other dogs and horses, and I thought a low dose mixed with McDuff’s dinner might be worthwhile trying to see if it helps with arthritic pain. I checked with our Vet and she also thought it was worth a try and might be better than prescription medications with side effects.
After just a week, McDuff is again playing with his toys, and is walking more normally without the pronounced limp from the pain. He still has a limp when running, but his attitude is more curious, alert and positive. We see a definite improvement and feel happy to find a product that improves McDuff’s day.
Dave Levy,
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
My name is Kelley Hess and I am a 14 year veteran in education and have been privileged to serve Fillmore’s students as a special education teacher for the last 6 years. Next to raising my own 3 children, advocating and facilitating learning for students with disabilities is the honor of my life. Similarly, I also serve as a member of the Fillmore Unified Teacher’s Association bargaining team.
My work as a special educator offers a unique parallel to the current impasse situation between FUTA and FUSD. It goes without saying that all educators work in collaboration and coordination with grade and subject matter colleagues for the benefit of students; but as a special educator, this is imperative. It is my responsibility to provide students with access to the general education curriculum in a manner that works for their varied individualized needs. Collaboration with general education teachers to modify and adjust content for student learning needs, consultation and coordination of services and learning goals with occupational therapists, behaviorists, speech pathologists, parents, and students all serve to benefit growth and progress over the long term and not something I am able to do with success in isolation. These collaborative processes are proof positive that when the cogs of collaboration work in sync across all areas, the results are remarkable and something I truly take pride in being a part of. Collaboration works well in my corner of education, but I am not convinced it is working in our current bargaining situation.
Let’s explore what it looks like to collaborate a little more closely. By definition, according to Merriam Webster, collaborate means “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.” Collectively, as a school board, as administrators, as educators, and as a community our goal must be to work jointly for the intellectual endeavor that is the success of the students of Fillmore Unified. Part of that intellectual endeavor means that in order to accomplish our goals, the mission that is Fillmore Unified, we must respect our professionals enough to keep and retain their talents here.
FUTA was prepared to collaborate and bargain as early as November of this recent school year when we sunshined our openers on October 2, but Fillmore Unified’s team failed to do so until late January, despite our requests to get started before then. Through the course of 8 negotiation sessions this year, rather than work jointly with FUTA to reach a middle ground that respects and values the efforts of all its professionals, our trustees and our district administration, on four separate occasions, offered FUTA the same 2.5% salary increase and hard cap on health benefits. FUSD possessed full knowledge that an unforeseen reduction in benefits beyond the district’s control resulted in a near $1 million dollars of on-going savings for the district and failed return that savings to FUTA members.
FUTA’s proposal for a 5% on schedule increase and status quo on health benefits pending the recommendations of the benefits committee is not unreasonable. It serves to fill the gap that FUTA members experienced with the dramatic change in costs and is respectful of the process of the current committee. Our trustees and our administration failed to provide another way for FUTA members to recoup what was lost because they have not been willing to collaborate with us to reach an agreement and jointly solve this problem. The FUTA bargaining team spent 8 instructional days away from students who need our talents only to be offered the same thing over and over again. Einstein had a name for that particular behavior, but still the FUTA team came to the table to address the district’s and school boards continued requests for collaboration for the benefit of students with good faith and our own well being at stake.
FUTA members are forever invested in the success of students, but we cannot continue to be committed to trustees and administration that fail to work with us. As employees of Fillmore Unified, we are directly connected to our trustees, administration, and community and we maintain a desire to cooperate for the direct benefit of Fillmore students. But that cooperation, and that collaboration must work both ways. Collaboration is not a one sided endeavor. Fillmore educators demand what is fair and equal for the benefit Fillmore’s future, our students, and we stand ready to work with both our trustees and the district’s team. When will they decide to collaborate and work with us too?
Respectfully,
Kelley Hess,
Fillmore Middle School Teacher, FUTA member.

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 19, 2019

Supervisor Kelly Long Statement on Santa Clara Wastewater Restitution
To the Editor:
“I was appalled to learn that full restitution has not yet been paid to the victims of the Santa Clara Waste Water (SCWW) facility explosion and subsequent fire that occurred at Mission Rock Road in November of 2014. This incident resulted in serious injuries to a number of employees and first responders. The SCWW agreement was released by the District Attorney and Attorney General’s offices on June 7, 2019. In reading through the agreement, I was extremely disappointed to learn the restitution amount of $2,647,621 is tied to the issuance of permits to reopen the site. Those that were injured have waited long enough and should receive their payments now without stipulation or constraints. If the site is to reopen, it should be considered on its own merits and with a full environmental review to ensure safety and transparency to our community.”
Kelly Long
Ventura County Supervisor, Third District

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To the Editor:
Imagine a world where the letters A, B and O have gone missing. For example: _meric_n Red Cr_ss. You can’t help but notice that something is off. These aren’t just random letters. A, B and O are the letters that make up the major blood groups, and when there’s a blood shortage, types A, B, O and AB blood really can go missing from hospital shelves. This summer, the Red Cross will launch our second annual Missing Types campaign to encourage blood donations.
To help raise awareness for the need for blood donors, businesses, organizations and individuals across the country are joining the Missing Types movement by removing the A’s, B’s and O’s from signage, websites and social media. The goal of Missing Types is to get people to take notice and take action by donating blood.
The need for this campaign is real. Each year, more than 21 million blood components are transfused to U.S. patients, with the Red Cross providing about 40% of that supply. Despite blood’s lifesaving role, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. gives blood each year.
Blood donations help people undergoing cancer treatment, those receiving organ transplants, accident victims and other patients. As the Board Chair of the Ventura County Chapter of the Red Cross, there are so many people whose lives have been impacted, if not saved, by blood transfusions.
On behalf of the Red Cross, I’m inviting you to help fill the Missing Types by giving blood this summer.
Sincerely,
Jayme Garone
Board Chair
American Red Cross of Ventura County

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To the Editor,
I am a Fillmore resident and a graduate of Fillmore High School. I have 2 children that attend Fillmore schools: a senior and a 6th grader. I am a veteran teacher of 19 years with Fillmore Unified, a former bargaining chair, and the proud president of the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association (FUTA). I am writing this letter representing many of the hats I wear: tax payer, parent, teacher and leader.
Last summer I had the distinct pleasure to go on a European tour with my son and some of his classmates from Fillmore High School. One stop we made was the Louvre in Paris. I was able to see many beautiful works of art such as the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is currently valued at $830 million. I was also fortunate enough to see Notre Dame Cathedral. A beautiful example of architecture. While the value of Notre Dame to the Roman Catholic Church and the art world is priceless, the estimated value before the fire was roughly $6.75 billion. Treasures such as these hold both financial and sentimental value to the world.
It’s easy to see the value in famous works of art and landmarks, so let’s think about the works of art our children and students create. We cherish them. We keep them on our fridge for months. How many of us have boxes or file folders full of art work that a child gave us? We keep them because they have a value to us that transcends monetary value. Bottom line, we value the greatest sculptures to the most simple macaroni covered plate. The same principle applies to people. Whether you are the President of the United States, a custodian, a CEO, instructional aide or the superintendent, you have value.
So how does one place value on dedication, work ethic and sacrifice? The school board has shown they value some employees by offering fully funded benefits and rewarding employees with salary increases. By capping insurance and not offering a raise that will offset the added expense of educator’s health benefits, they have given the message that FUTA members have less value than other employees. The school board has failed to show they value the members of FUTA. Just as all art has value, so do all who contribute to the education of our youth, our future. We dedicate countless hours to our profession. Our job is not a 9 to 5 job. We don’t just leave our classroom at the end of our contractual obligation and everything is done. We work nights; weekends and often sacrifice time with our families to prepare lessons, grade papers, fulfill district mandates, and lose sleep over students we are concerned about. How has the District leadership shown they value teachers, TOSA’s, counselors, nurses, coordinators, psychologists? Offering us a 2.5% raise and a hard cap on all our benefits does not make us feel valued. We make up approximately half of the work force for Fillmore Unified and yet we are expected to sacrifice the most. That does not show we are valued. The District reaped the benefit of the drastic decrease cost for the FUTA members health care plan for 2019. Current cost savings is a little over $900,000. Was that cost savings given back to the members who were impacted by that financial loss? No. It is an ongoing savings for the foreseeable future. Is the salary and benefits offer compensatory with what we lost? No. In actuality, what we are asking for isn’t even a raise. We are simply asking to be made whole. We are asking the District to give us the cost savings that they reaped but are now failing to honor the employees who were impacted by it. They need to show us that they value us. We need to be a priority not an afterthought.
Thank You
Tammy Ferguson
President, Fillmore Unified Teacher’s Association

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 12, 2019

To the Editor:
The latest SCAM to hit Fillmore has been one involving Marie Wren and Dorothy Hunt who were contacted by e-mail to receive a senior grant from the Small Business Association where they could secure a large cash donation by paying a mailing and processing fee.
The original e-mail was sent to Marie by her friend Dorothy who said this was all legit and she had already gotten her cash money. The dubious Marie kept asking questions and soon decided to connect with Dorothy in person to verify “the facts” about the proposition. At that time both discovered the e-mail did not come from Dorothy, Marie never paid the fee to secure this wonderful wad of cash and no one was hurt.
Both Dorothy Hunt and Marie Wren are afraid that their names may be used by the scammers to try and involve others in Fillmore who know them. They want everyone to know they are not a part of this scam and to always be cautious because “if it is too good to be true” it probably is fake. If you have questions, call or talk directly to your friend to verify if any offer is authentic. Friends help friends stay out of trouble in scams and do not assume anything on your phone or computer is authentic. You never need to pay cash to secure a grant.
The Small Business Association is a well known reputable group but now posts over 15 illegal scams using their name, so buyer beware.
Marie Wren, Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 5, 2019

To the Editor:
By way of background, I grew up in Thousand Oaks. I began piano lessons when I was four, then added ballet, tap, Spanish, and cartooning. I also played soccer, participated in Girl Scouts, and so on, all in elementary school. I’m the kind of parent who knows a well-rounded education helps you in the future, because thereafter I attended La Reina, Westlake High, and graduated summa [!@#$] laude from Cal Poly. My law degree is from Lewis & Clark, and I’m a partner in the largest law firm in Ventura. I’m only telling you these details because I’m probably the kind of parent who would enroll my kids in private school or send them to Moorpark, as many of my peers have done.
But I don’t. I keep my kids in Fillmore public schools because Fillmore schools make me proud and have incredible opportunities. More important, there’s a spirit here that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The community is simply heartwarming.
Walking up to the all-elementary school band concert on Tuesday, I felt a sense of warmth for Fillmore families like the heavily-tatted man entering in front of me who held his daughter’s flute in one hand, and her hand in the other. Her hair was curled and in a sparkly ribbon. I also followed moms in scrubs, families who brought everyone from grandmas to uncles, little girls in softball gear, men in ties, and men in T-shirts. In this diversity, as families, we were all unified for our kids, and I felt this glow of appreciation for our town. I love Fillmore.
People are nice here. If your kid is in something, you have to show up early to get a seat. There is no cynicism, only participation. It’s glorious.
My fourth grader began band with Mr. Morey this year, and as someone who had to hear the loud trumpet practice, over the months, I could tell she was getting better.
But hearing all those kids at once? Wow, just wonderful. I heard the happy murmur in the crowd when the tiny Piru choir sang “Remember Me” from Coco. The way the beginning and second year bands played basics to more advanced stuff with gusto. While I watched my kid’s cheeks puff like Louis Armstrong, I saw other parents doing the same for their kids.
It was just so good. So, so good. They sounded wonderful. Kudos to all involved and thank you for providing this opportunity to our students.
Then tonight, we attended Mr. Spaulding’s musical play. More wow. How many elementary school students in the country are blessed with a teacher who writes plays and songs? Charming, challenging, winsome, and amazing. I’m so glad my daughter was part of this.
People don’t know these opportunities are here in Fillmore. People should know. Because they’d be blown away at how ten and eleven year old kids can play instruments, sing dozens of songs, memorize lines, and perform.
Please keep these things going. As a parent, I appreciate them so much. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Leslie McAdam
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
I bought the Book by Gregg Jarrett. Russian HOAX, as you suggested. (Martin,, "short Read"? My eyes are crossed.)
First though I want to acknowledge my understanding of your writing three weeks ago with regard to the FBI,NSA CIA etc. being criminals. Only some of the top brass seem to fit that view. Thank you for your clarification.
You may be assured that I accept and understand that President Trump is the duly elected President and that any concern I have of Russian interference is solely their having the ability to hack in to our democratic system. Two counties in Florida have acknowledged they were hacked by Russia. I am not looking at this mess to unseat President Trump.
Again the fore fathers set up our written Constitution knowing there would be difference of opinion. So you have got to get over the Democrats, the constitution did not say if it pleased us, it is what it is. I am centrist I do not like either Parties stance on the whole. I vote for issues and people based on what I see as the best for America.
"The Russian HOAX " really brought out the (Clinton) seriousness of the server in Hillary's home, and the classified data on it. It shared the many contributors of doubtful integrity, It is clear there was no collusion, by the President, Thank God.
Obstruction of justice, if not a part of the 2016 to 2018 findings, then most certainly today.
Too many daily occurrences of interfering with congressional committees rightful over sight functions and responsibilities" Too many that are obstruction, It sends the View that the President thinks he is all powerful, and he is not.
That stance concerns me because it diminishes his position with regard to integrity, and his understanding of Functions and Responsibilities derived from the Constitution.
With all the referenced Statute and Federal code's it sure shows that Hillary got by charges, That should have been brought. Details that I believe the public did not get the full clear depth of the issue. Only bits and pieces of the events. the book set this right out front.
As you shared about using the New York Times not being one of your favorites, I have a similar view of FOX News. Well before there was a candidate Donald Trump.
So Mr. Jarrett, for me, should not reference FOX News it stains his choices of source.
Thank you for your time and views
Raymond S Brown Sr.
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 15, 2019

To the Editor:
I cannot find a way to put your name in my letter greeting..
Your latest May 10 realities is way out of line and unlike your thinking as we have come to know you.
The forefathers established our political parties and wrote the Constitution to provide for difference of thinking and values.
Liberals, Conservatives, neither by that plan hold a dominant position over the other.. Neither is more right than the other. A better way for Americans is if we unite and recognize we by plan will have differences.
It concerns me to hear you say that the "FBI,CIA,NSA,IRS, and their top employees with the Democratic party have proven themselves criminal"
Absolute nonsense! that complete group of organizations are the elite Men and Women who protect this country . Highly educated and dedicated to America. To have the view that they are all criminals, is about the same as the Patient who visits a psychiatrist and tells him "it is not me who is crazy it is the rest of the world"
With regard to Hillary Clinton although there is this issue of Russian interference in our election that may have cost her the Presidency, that is all. It is quite clear that the investigation was caused by the Russian interference and so many of the Presidents Campaign officials having had contact with the Russians. We need to know, and no it is not concluded. Read the (Republican) Robert Mueller report Volume 2.
Ten listed potential obstruction of Justice by our President. those are not resolved.
They have along with the whole report, been temporarily put under Executive Privilege .
A.G. Barr: the only portion of the whole report that Barr is restricted from giving Congress the un-redacted report, are those areas where there is Grand Jury testimony or would unduly share names of those who are innocent. of any of this..
Barr did lie, did you watch his testimony? where he answered that he had no idea what Muller's view of his four page letter, was . As we now know he did know from a March letter he had received ( and he did not tell us about it) well before the date of his appearance with Congress. He is no saint. He is well educated but tarnished himself
The Brett Kavanaugh hearings were terrible and unforgiveable, Barr deserves no apology,.
I am astounded that so many well educated people have apparently come to the view that the Executive branch is all powerful, no one should question it.
Our forefathers set the Governing Powers at three elements. Executive, Congress, and the Supreme Court. None of them dictates or runs over the others. The Supreme Court is the final arbitrator of decisions as provided by law. They all have specific functions and responsibilities
I have written Chief Justice John Roberts via email. the question is, 'with today's American tenor", where it seems anything is up for change and questioning , "Why is the Supreme Court Waiting to be invited to join the issues shredding American civility and, values". The established process of running up through a series of levels of Court, is a waste of time and money when it is absolutely the Supreme Court who will have to make the calls. Particularly as they are set by the Constitution. False pretenses of understanding better than anyone else is boloney. Establishing policies , for example,, The Justice Department has a policy to not indict a President, contrary to the Constitution "Liberty and Justice for all" What happened to "Liberty and Justice for ALL. "? It does not say when it is convenient!
Do we need to rewrite the lyrics to our Pledge of Allegiance? and remove Justice for all ?
Does the Presidential oath of office need to strike out "I will preserve and defend the Constitution so help me God??" may be it should say, but just has it applies to me the Executive Branch ?
I do not think so. We did/do not want an autocratic system, or a king.
Congress has by Article 1 the power to subpoena whoever they see is needed for hearing information..
I am concerned that the Executive Branch is over stepping it's authority as provided by the Constitution, for Congress. investigations and subpoena power therefore are implied by Article 1, Section1 of the Constitution specifically for Congress. . It does not apply or provide for the Executive Branch to interfere. Oh Well here we go.
This has to come to a conclusion
It is time for the silent third of the United States governing authorities, The Supreme Court , to get involved and not wait to be invited, before there is another civil war.
We need by distinction of the Constitution for Congressional oversight, subpoenas to be honored, we need to let this fall where it may, by thorough review and over sight, we need this for America.
Raymond S. Brown Sr.,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 24, 2019

To the Editor:
The reason I am writing this letter is your April 17, 2019, comment on presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, magna [!@#$] laude and Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate of Harvard, first-class honors in philosophy, politics and economics from Pembroke College, Oxford (Rhodes scholar), speaks 8 languages including English (Norwegian self-taught), Afghanistan veteran, 37-year old mayor of South Bend, IN for the last eight years. Religious and married. Whom God made gay. You do know that there is significant historical evidence that Aristotle, Socrates, Shakespeare, DaVinci, Michelangelo, and thousands of other remarkable human beings, including likely Abraham Lincoln, were homosexual or bi-sexual? Does this make them any less great?
It’s no one’s right to chastise you for your objection to the fact that Mayor Pete is gay, though your reaction to it seems extreme. It is just one aspect of a life lived well so far, a life of achievement, one devoted to public service and a willingness to serve further. True, Mayor Pete is not out there paying off porn stars, or separating children from their parents, or making the rich richer, or calling the Fourth Estate "enemies of the people,"or making up juvenile names for elected officials, or threatening our small farmers with bankruptcy under tariffs. No, Mayor Pete is offering for our consideration another way of looking at our country’s future. He appears to be resurrecting the Middle-America Social Justice Movement of the early 20th century. He may not be elected president, but his voice is worthwhile.
Close your eyes when he kisses his husband, Martin, if love offends you. And if you are troubled by the fact that he sees himself as the “wife” in the relationship, perhaps he just honestly thinks he’s the stronger partner. I’m not sure why it should matter to you. I think God can probably handle the soul of his child, Mayor Pete of Indiana.
Kelly Scoles, Fillmore

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To the Editor:
Wednesday, April 24th, one of the saddest days I will ever experience. Our small community lost a treasure as Fillmore Christian Academy closed the doors. It has been my personal pleasure to work alongside this institution for 19 years as the director of Sonshine Preschool. Many of the students began their education experience at the preschool making the seemingly effortless transition into Mrs. Morgan’s kindergarten class. It was a privilege to watch these students transform, mature and graduate from preschool to elementary to Jr high.
The working environment between the preschool and the academy was indeed rare. We worked together so well that most of the community believed we were one school, not independent of one another.
Sadly as Fillmore Christian Academy sought to find another home, as the church on
Central Ave has sold, it was not to be. Between finding a welcoming establishment and then fulfilling the requirements of the City of Fillmore it was more that this little institution could achieve.
Thank you Fillmore Christian Academy for 26 years serving the Lord, the community and for all the love and lessons bestowed upon the students, parents and staff both past and present.
Joanna Van Why, Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 17, 2019

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 21st annual arts show “Wild at heART”. 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 for your donation which helped to make this event possible. Thank you to Mr. Wilber for your continuing support of the visual and performing arts program at Fillmore High School.
Thank you 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 of Fillmore High school- thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help . 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 Mr. Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band, Jazz Band and Los Rayos Mariachi Band who played at the event. The musical concert helped to make the evening a resounding success. Thank you to Ms. Lourdes Juarez and the Ballet Folklorico dancers. Thank you to Mr. Josh Overton and the outstanding performances of the Drama students. Thank you to Mr. Randall Kamradt for sharing your student’s videos. Thanks to Jason Corona director of Child Nutrition Services for mentoring student chef Gabriel Quezada
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 visual artists, musicians and dancers 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
March 13, 2019

To the Editor:
Early Saturday, March 1st, an arsonist tried to set fire to the Garage display building at the Fillmore Historical Museum. It was rainy and very wet and the fire took until 9 a.m. to smolder before it really caught fire. Thanks first to volunteer, Susan Hopkins, who saw the smoke and called 911. Then our gratitude to the very quick and efficient local fire department who made quick work of putting it out. Finally, thanks to the sheriff’s deputies who, using our video feed, were able to identify and then apprehend the person who was responsible. We are lucky in Fillmore to have such great professional public servants and museum volunteers.
Martha Gentry, Executive Director, Fillmore Historical Museum

 
Letters to the Editor
Febraury 27, 2019

To the Editor:
Thank You, Fillmore Lions Club
Our community is blessed to have such caring, generous, and dedicated men and women who strive to do good at every opportunity.
The Fillmore High School Drama Club would like to thank the Fillmore Lions Club for their continued support. Your donation will contribute to the education of young performers here in Fillmore, as it has for many years. Using past donations, FHS Drama has purchased new lighting and sound equipment, giving our actors the opportunity to learn the technical side of the performing arts. The funds have also been used to purchase tools and raw building materials, allowing our students the opportunity to develop important, hands-on, set design and construction techniques. The Lions Club donations over the years have allowed us to focus on the creation of art rather than the distraction of scrambling to raise funds every year. This year, your generosity will help fund our next production – keep an eye out for the announcement!
Thank you, Fillmore Lions Club!
Sincerely,
Josh Overton – FHS Drama Teacher and Director and 97 grateful drama students.

***

To the Editor:
What do we know about Fillmore Middle School?
Parents take a minute to speak to your child son/daughter!
City of Fillmore only has one Fillmore Middle School.
1. Question: How many children attend Fillmore Middle School?
Answer: Too many!!
2. Question: How many staff supervisors on campus? During lunch and breaks?
Answer: Not enough supervision, low supervision/under staffed!!
3. Question: How many fights occur on campus?
Answer: Too many, majority fights aren’t reported, only few that they know about!!
4. Question: How many incidents of bullying on campus?
Answer: Too many!!
5. Question: How many incidents of peer pressure on campus?
Answer: Too many!!
Too many is too many, enough is enough!
Fillmore School District is spending thousands and thousands of dollars for laptops for our children at the Fillmore Middle School, great, very great! But what about these issues? Bullying, peer pressure, fighting? What about these issues? They won’t disappear or go away, they will continue and continue. So I say enough is enough!!
Fillmore Middle School is understaffed, low staff!!
I ask parents, we need to be aware of what goes on at the Fillmore Middle School and this is what goes on? Low staff/under staffed.
Negligent supervision at Fillmore Middle School.
Veronica Garcia
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 20, 2019

To the Editor:
Your Editorial of February 17, 2019
I almost made it through your February 17 mini-editorial without groaning. But once I started, that pesky curiosity got the better of me.
Religion is a touchy subject as you undoubtedly found out last week after your earlier rant on the Vatican. Since you think that experience of religion is essential to bona fides in this matter, I will disclose that I too, was a Roman Catholic from birth, a graduate of Catholic grammar, high school, and Santa Clara University. I was in fact a sister in Dominican Convent, San Rafael, leaving as a novice. My disputes with the Catholic Church have to do with faith and I won’t bore anyone with the particulars.
I have read your opinions for years, so I know that you have at the very least remained silent on all manner of Church activity over the last 25 years. No calls for Cardinal Mahony to step down when he ritualistically concealed thousands of cases of sexual abuse by priests in California or tried to cheat his church gravediggers for honest pay. No condemnation of requests from the archdiocese for parishioner’s money to cover legal costs related to the abuses (let the cardinal sell off his mansion to cover those costs and live Christ’s life). No demand that Pope Benedict resign for his coverup of all manner of corruption including toleration of sexual abuse.
No, Martin, what gets your goat is that Pope Francis appears to be trying to shed a light on the failures and excesses of the Church, is trying to remove the veil from the secrecy from the Vatican, appears to be more concerned with social justice than preserving the reputation of the Holy See. And he’s got his work cut out for him with millennia of unchecked power to contend with, but he knows what the message of Christ was and is. And that involves love, forgiveness, and hope, and a people-centered, not clergy-centered, belief system. Yes, the Protestants got some things right.
Pope Francis parted the curtains on the Vatican and now, suddenly, he is responsible for all the ills of the Catholic Church of the modern era (sorry, Second Vatican is also complicit). You would, I think, far prefer he had never touched those curtains and the power of the hierarchy had never been challenged. I’ll bet they feel the same way in Vatican City ; just ask Theodore McCarrick who was not only removed from the list of cardinals, but was recently defrocked by Francis, i.e., he cannot exercise his priestly ordination for the remainder of his life as punishment for his sexual abuses.
Don’t start crying crocodile tears over the sins of the Church now. Pope Francis is not doing enough fast enough to cure its ills! He must resign! That’s not what really ticks you off, Martin. What gets to you is that this Pope is sounding like he’s not only principled, he is actually trying to exercise those principles! And, in doing that, he demonstrates suspicious tendencies. Sometimes he sounds like…..a Christian liberal. That’s why you’re grinding your teeth: that two-thousand year-old message of “love over law.” Such a betrayal.
- Kelly Scoles, Fillmore, CA

 
Letters to the Editor
January 30, 2019

To the editor:
What is going on at the Middle School? As any parent can tell you, administration is no where to be found, and inmates run the asylum! Does anyone ever see the Principle? He must be ghost because parents never see him. Who is this guy and where he come from? Why isn’t the staff doing anything about all the disrespectful kids? Just visit the school during lunch, you’ll see what I mean. No Principle any where. He must have alot more important things to look after than discipline at school.
S. Mubrev
Concerned Fillmore Community Member

 
Letters to the Editor
January 2, 2019

To the Editor:
I nearly fell off my chair reading your comments on the President pulling troops from Syria.
I know you are an avid president admirer. Thank you for your honest view!
To a degree I have my arenas of support. Foreign policy with Mr. Trump is not one of them.
His absolute lack of knowledge is so apparent that even a camp fire girl can see it.
In the beginning of his campaign and presidency he touted "MY GENERALS" and brought four to five into his administration. He said any conflicts/wars would be better understood and handled by the generals, he would not hold the reins, they would.
I felt any lack of experience with the Worlds order, and many issues of our worlds contentious/adversarial countries, would be identified and addressed, by Military educated Men and Women.
His North Korea non nuclear deal has fallen apart. Russia now has new age bombers in Venezuela; most of our allies are in distrust of the United States.
When you visualize the Commander in Chief mantel he wears, it leaves me with great concern with regard to his hip shooting uneducated, pre-dominate nature, (for World affairs and defending the Unite States of America.)
My problem is his daily contradicting of his previous pronouncements.
Now your Syria view. OMG yes, USA leaves, Turkey attacks our Kurdish allies and slaughter them.
Russia, Iran, Asad Syria consume the rest of the Syrian State. What country is right next door that they all want gone. Israel , even Iraq could get drawn into the tribe, they just told us to leave.
I think that this is a disastrous mess looking for the opening.
Would Trump go to Israels defense, our ally, he is ditching all the others?
Raymond S Brown, Sr.
Fillmore Ca.

 
Letters to the Editor
December 26, 2018

To the Editor:
Isn’t interesting that the resurfacing and repairs on our two state highways (126 & 23) started just before the vote on the proposition to stop the gas tax increase. Highway 23 was previously resurfaced just a few years ago and was still in good condition. Now we have new bumpy pavement from the bridge to Pasadena Avenue. Resurfacing was a big price to pay just to get a back massage while driving to Bardsdale..
Bob Morris

 
Letters to the Editor
November 14, 2018

To the Editor:
Dear Fillmore Community,
Serving the citizens of Fillmore the past four years as a councilmember and as mayor has been a huge honor for me and an incredible privilege. I am so very proud of the things we accomplished, and I am especially proud of my fellow councilmember’s, for their integrity, love for this community, and mutual respect we had for one another. One of my biggest take-aways from this experience is knowing that I made some incredible friends who endorsed me and supported me through my entire term in office, and I take great comfort in knowing that these friendships remain with me as I leave the dais.
I am also very thankful for the hard work our City staff does, and thank each one of them for all that they do to make the work of Council so much easier.
To Lynn Edmonds, please be assured that with the colleagues you are about to begin working with, both on Council and the City staff, you have every opportunity to succeed, and I wish you the best.
I encourage all community members to become engaged in the process of governing our city. Attend city council meetings, follow agenda items that have a direct impact on our lives. Speak at meetings on items you feel strongly about to let the Council know your position. Each individual voice has such value to the Council. Nowhere else can an individual have a greater impact than at the local city level. So let your voices be heard. Participate.
I want to take a moment now to look forward. I have no doubt that the good work that has begun the past four years will continue to move forward. There is still much to be done, and I will be anxiously awaiting news of more economic development to come our way, continued increases to our reserve fund, solutions to our affordable housing issues, and all the other projects and improvements that will continue to make Fillmore the great community that it is. We are all truly blessed to call Fillmore home.
Thank you, Fillmore, for allowing me the privilege to serve you these past four years.
Carrie Broggie, Former Mayor & Council Member

***

To the Editor:
Fillmore Election Day Observation...
As a concerned citizen of Fillmore and having a sincere interest to learn the voting process, I participated as a volunteer observer for Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa). I visited several of Fillmore’s precincts at last Tuesday’s election. What I observed was both enlightening and disheartening. I observed the opening of Poll Location #1, a hardworking assembly of grass roots citizens, with a “get it done attitude” that made up for their inexperience as poll workers. I thought this would pave the way for a very smooth and easy day of how our voting system works, or should work in California.
I traveled to the next Poll Location #2, where I was met with ‘Electioneering’ for a City Council Member. A campaign banner stretched across the tailgate of a small pickup truck parked less than 100 feet from the front door of this precinct. The driver was announcing loud and clear to a grounds worker that his candidate was going to win and that he, the grounds worker should go vote.
For those that don’t know the word “Electioneering” it is the display of candidate pictures, name, logo, T-shirt, etc., and audible discussions of ballot choices within 100 feet of a polling location. This is a violation to the fair integrity of our voting system, but in many cases hard to prove. It only got worse as I walked up to the precinct door and was ‘greeted’ by a young campaigner wearing a T-shirt with the words “Vote for ….” For City Council”. On entering the polling location, I directed the Poll Inspector (PI) to this issue and she did resolve the situation.
The same young campaigner reappeared in the polling location with a new plain t-shirt. The campaigner walked directly into the voting booth with a voter that already had two other adult occupants in the booth with her. This was another Election Code violation of privacy in the voting booth, or instructing voters how to vote without taking a required oath. When I went to the PI to question why several adult people occupying one booth was being permitted, I sensed resentment towards me by the PI. The PI called her supervisor who instructed the PI not to answer any of my questions and cover up all the signature books. I felt completely misunderstood because it was not my intention to interfere in the voting process. I found out later that this same Supervisor was the authority having jurisdiction over other precincts in Fillmore.
What began as a learning exercise suddenly went south and continued when I went to the next polling location #3. On entering this poll location, I actually met the Supervisor that had spoken on the phone to the PI at my previous stop. It was an awkward conversation as I walked in while the same Supervisor that had instructed the PI from Poll #2 was instructing the poll workers not to answer or acknowledge anyone observing at the polls. I took my place out of the way from any traffic and watched as an elderly man got his ballot and went into the polling booth. He didn’t appear to ask for help but another voter went into his booth and took over the marking of his ballot. I directed my concern to the PI of this location when the Supervisor interrupted and said to the PI that she didn’t have to listen to me…and to me she said, “I will take it under advisement”, but did not eject the assistant from the booth. The ballot was accepted from the elderly gentleman. I had seen enough at this location and a sinking feeling came over me that this may be happening all over Fillmore with this type of supervision.
My next stop was Poll Location #4 where I was greeted politely and welcoming, but there had not been any communication with this infamous Supervisor during my observation. This location became very busy and too confusing to observe. People asking if they could vote, should vote and what kind of ballot to use. I don’t know how poll workers can determine the eligibility of potential voters when the State of CA Legislature and Secretary of State have limited the ways to identify US citizens.
My last stop was Poll Location #5 where the experienced operation of the poll workers came through like a well-run assembly line. This showed me that a less confusing and knowledgeable panel does exist.
In closing this recounting of events as “I saw it”, some may recognize themselves in the telling of my experience. And I understand my opinion is subjective when it comes to how I felt while observing, but these violations did exist as I saw them. I have not mentioned any names and it may not matter. It just shows that these violations do exist and are apparently happening not just in Fillmore but County, State and Country wide. This is exponentially affecting the outcome of our elections and as a US Citizen everyone has the right to observe the functioning of an election. More people need to observe the Voting Process and understand that our complacency is being taken advantage of with Election Fraud. Please, don’t ignore the ‘rumors’ of Election Fraud as votes are being stolen across our state and country. It is happening, even in our “Small Town of Fillmore”.
Frustration was a catalyst when given the opportunity to join a nonpartisan organization that is truly concerned about the honest and ethical outcome of our US elections. A single voice can join like minds for change and improve the odds of outcome against voting dishonesty when you take action by observing in our next election.
If you feel the same as I did, please consider viewing the website for Election Integrity Project California-(EIPCa) www.eip-ca.com. Some of Election Codes Violated: {EC 319.5-Electioneering}; {EC 14224, 14282, 14283-Assisted Voter not taken Oath}; {EC 14222, 14224 (a), 14281-No more than one voter may occupy a single voter booth}; {EC 2300 (a) (9) (A)(B)(10), 14223 (b), 15104, 15104(b), 1510} Observer Rights;
Anonymous

 
Letters to the Editor
October 31, 2018

To the Editor:
I agree on the passing of Measure T as a resident of the City of Fillmore. I believe this approval with all votes in favor of Measure T will benefit the City of Fillmore. By allowing cannabis cultivation and companies to sell cannabis will allow our city to prosper with taxing companies that cultivate cannabis. As some people oppose this measure T, I understand how residents do not want to allow this to pass. Looking at the bigger picture prop 64 passed in the state of California. It is inevitable that cannabis will be everywhere. The future of this Country has changed and we have to be open to change. So why not be in favor for cultivation in our town as a benefit in our town instead of a burden. It is well regulated with laws that will not harm our city but instead grow it in income. It is regulated by the state and city with laws in place. People who cultivate cannabis are under strict rules if it causes a problem or nuisance permits can be revoked and can be in trouble by the law. No minors will be allowed in cannabis center this means no one under 21 also no minors can work at cultivation sites. Cultivation sites have to be 600 feet away from schools, day care centers, and youth centers. Workers for the cannabis industry will be back ground checked and finger printed. It is well regulated and taking precautions to prevent criminal activity. Cannabis regardless will enter the city legally and illegally. It is time to benefit from it by increase city revenue and helping people with medical problems. It is stated by the City of Fillmore, Small indoor cultivation facility (per the state license and regulations) could generate as much as $70,000 in taxes per year for the City, with each medium sized indoor cultivation facility generating as much as $150,000 per year, and each large sized indoor facility generating as much as $330,000 per year. It is you decision to adapt to the times and pass this measure to have it benefit the City of Fillmore.
Sincerely,
Matthew Irie

***

To the Editor:
I was recently told not to get emotional about the marijuana issue in Fillmore. Hmm. Just how does one stay unemotional about an industry that has the potential to permanently change our town and hurt the people [I] love, in so many ways…crime, corruption, addiction? I have been fighting City Hall, along with so many others, for two and a half years on this issue. Just what will it take for us to stop our City Council on its quest for the dubious tax dollars from the Pot Industry? So here are a few the unemotional facts that the pot industry brings with it...
CRIME: Carpinteria is the only other town nearby that has created as much growing area as our City Mayor is proposing. In the last few months, Carpinteria had multiple major armed robberies of their pot growers- and that was only what was reported to the authorities.
The transport of marijuana and the cash only nature of this industry has made it a target of organized crime. Car and truckjackings have spiked from this- the most interesting one I have read: a pot truck was hijacked in San Francisco- in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge! And that was a big city; we are a small town in a rural area.
Our City Council is asking the impossible of our police force and city manager to make sure each pot grower is truthful in the accounting of cash and product. He is to monitor the ‘back door’ movement of any pot (the dispensaries want more of the untaxed/illegal material as they make a better profit), the major security and personnel checks required for this industry. Then there are the environmental regulators who will need to monitor the huge amounts of water usage from our Valley’s aqueduct, and then the clean-up of that water. They will need to monitor of the enormous amount of fungicides and miticides needed for successful growing of a monocrop in a closed, humid environment.
All of us have watched the July 4th illegal fireworks go up in this town, and if we can’t handle regulating those for one day, how do we think our good chief of police and one city manager should be expected to keep this industry clean and honest?
CORRUPTION: City Hall refuses to hear us when we ask our representatives to stop participation in any aspect of the Pot Industry. Over 300 people at the city meeting, overwhelming support at the ‘listening session’ put on the City Hall to end the Pot direction it was taking, over a thousand people signed a petition to stop it (the petition was then lost at City Hall), the County District Attorney had to step in and slap the mayor’s hand because he repeatedly would not allow citizens our constitutional right to speak against the pot issue at city council meeting’s Open Comment…where is the transparency and honesty?
Besides the DA, other outside groups have looked into the issues in Fillmore. The California Election Integrity Project is training local observers to monitor precincts because of the major abuses found in other cities voting on marijuana issues- and they expect the same for Fillmore. The Elections Board is looking at Fillmore’s candidates for political donation guidelines irregularities (always remember the line: just follow the money)
A piece of good news though- for the first time in a very long time, both the Democratic Party and Republican Party have agreed on something- and that is that Fillmore’s Measure T is majorly flawed legislation. Both parties are urging a vote No on Measure T. Take a look at what our own city attorney has written about Measure T: if the Measure is voted in, it gives our City Council the authorization “to amend or appeal the ordinance without restrictions”. Medical Marijuana growing could soon include recreational cultivation and dispensaries as possibilities.
Folks, if there is this much wrong and corruption brought to our community by an Industry that is not even here yet, what do you think it will be like if the Pot Industry does get ahold of our community?
ADDICTION: Where do I even begin with this? As a parent and an educator, it is just plain wrong to say to kids: Just Say No, but we want to make the bucks off of it. How do you rationalize to kids that we want the tax money, even though 9% of those who use marijuana will become addicted, heavy teen use can lower IQ points by about 8 points, that many of the ‘cannabis products’ on the market are at such a high THC content that they have the ability to produce a permanent psychotic state, that pot today is can be at least three times stronger than it was decades ago. These are facts from Ventura County Behavioral Health-who is working already in our Middle School because of student drug issues. Knowing the facts about this product, is it worth it to us? Almost two dozen of our kids were expelled for drug related offenses in our schools last year–the majority of them being marijuana infractions-these are our kids, in our community! What amount of tax money justifies this for our City Mayor who proposed this Measure? Can’t you find any other ways to balance the budget?
Finally, can we all just agree on this one thing? Windowless warehouses the size of Vons, requiring high power security, lining both sides of town along the 126, are about as ugly a blight as we could bring on our community. On the purely aesthetic level, our City Hall must have no sense of who we are, or why ︣we live here, if they think that this is the town we want to show others, let alone what we want to live with ourselves.
I am sorry, but when someone asks me not to get emotional about this issue, you are asking too much.
The elections are this coming Tuesday. Please show that you care. Vote No on Measure T.
Respectfully,
Regina Stehly Nuῄez
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
The current mayor of Fillmore, Manuel Minjares, supports Measure T. He states the main reason for a yes vote is that it will provide a source of tax revenue for the City of Fillmore. The big problem, he wrote, is "The city is facing structural budget problems due to decreases in sales tax revenues." (Emphasis added. Quoted from The County Voter Information Guide, page 56-151)
Putting aside the debate concerning Measure T for a moment, if the City of Fillmore is so concerned about lack of tax revenue, why haven't the Powers that Be done anything proactive about all the empty storefronts and buildings on Central Avenue and State Route 126? This has been an issue for years. Why isn't there a serious revitalization program going on? By all means, preserve the historicity of Central Avenue when bringing in new tenants for that part of town, but on the other hand, with McDonald's, IHOP, Starbucks, ETC., the 126 does not have the same type of historicity that Central Avenue does. It is a potential gold mine of tax revenue, but besides Waba Grill just opening up next to RiteAid, what has been done to make it happen? Maybe that should be a priority before passing Measure T.
Phil Fewsmith
Resident of Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
THE NOSE KNOWS!
Do we want to breathe in the sweet, clean smell of citrus trees, avocado groves, and nurseries, or do we want to breathe in the obnoxious, stinky smell of marijuana? Be good to our noses and vote NO ON MEASURE T!
The City Manager and some members of the City Council are trying to convince us that the “sweet smell of success” is money in the City coffers; not quality of life for residents. They seem to think that we are naive enough to believe that if they are *”…authorized to amend or appeal the ordinance without restrictions” they will not overwhelm our lovely community as cannabis growers have for citizens of Carpinteria and other places. Fillmore uniquely affords easy access for pot growers to three major traffic routes; the 5, 101, and 118 highways. Giving the City Council the ability to “…amend or appeal the ordinance without restrictions” is like opening the door to a candy store and telling a child they can go in and eat as much candy as they want to without restrictions.
People who need marijuana for serious medical conditions are a very small percentage of our community, and they know where to buy it in Ventura County. The majority of residents in Fillmore do not need to be subjected to the awful aroma of cannabis growing, the disposal of bio waste such as stalks, increased truck traffic on 126, and increased exposure of marijuana to our youth.
Once growers are allowed into a community it can be legally difficult and expensive to get rid of them because they invest large amounts of money in their businesses and fight hard to stay, especially in a place so strategically well-situated for distribution as Fillmore is.
Don’t be fooled…vote NO on MEASURE T!
*(according to the “City Attorney’s Impartial Analysis of Measure T”)
Joan Archer
Fillmore Resident

CALIFORNIA CITY NEWS
TUE, 05/15/2018
A TOWN ONCE KNOWN FOR ITS FRESH CUT FLOWERS NOW SMELLS LIKE WEED
A lot has changed in the picturesque town of Carpinteria, California. And those changes are being seen, felt, heard -- and yes -- even smelled.
For years, the Santa Barbara County town had a thriving flower production sector. But the business has been waning due to competition overseas. Carpinteria’s once famous carnations are now being replaced by a new kind of plant: cannabis.
As County News reported last month, Santa Barbara County has the most legal marijuana farms in the state. Much of the growth is concentrated in Carpinteria, where greenhouses formerly used for flowers are now grow houses for the county’s booming marijuana industry. For the growers and county coffers and economy as a whole, it’s good thing. But for those with a keen sense of smell, it stinks.
“We don’t want a marijuana smell,” said 73-year-old resident and retired sheriff’s deputy Xave Saragosa. “We want fresh air.”
The county hears them. New odor abatement rules approved in February will go into effect later this year. As cultivators begin installing new odor abatement systems, the smell could let up.
But you can’t please every all the time and that’s clear in Carpinteria. For some, the issue may not be about the smell, but rather then change in the air.
“I would not like Carpinteria to be the ‘cannabis capital’ of Southern California,” said an 80-year-old resident and retired Episcopal priest. “I like it the way it is. It’s a very quiet, unpretentious beach town.”

 
Letters to the Editor
October 25, 2018

To the Editor:
As a former Council Member I know making decisions on behalf of the populace can be rigorous and at times, rewarding. You must show a steady hand of facts and empathy towards your constituents.
To date, that expectation has fallen by the wayside of our local representatives. An example is a statement made by Diane McCall in October of 2016 when voting to raise our sewer rates: Diane McCall, to paraphrase, stated.. “the sewer rate increase was modest” via (VC Star). This statement overshadowed Diane’s ability to engender empathy to an issue that is efficacious to all. While there are various components to this issue, ratepayers are entitled to respect and due diligence on a solution to this meticulous issue — not a cheap band aid.
This isn't the type of leadership I desire for Fillmore, or for any municipality for that matter.
We should be united to insist and persist in keeping our elected officials accountable. We can do better!
Brian N. Sipes
Former City Council Member (2010-2013)
[Editor’s Note: Mr. Sipes was elected to Fillmore City Council on Nov. 7, 2010, and served from January 2011 to May 2013, when he resigned before his term was completed.]

 
Letters to the Editor
October 17, 2018

To the Editor:
I want to thank all the workers who cleaned the F on the hill. They deserve an A for the F! It is beautiful and shines so brightly. Thank you everyone for making our town shine at night!
Sincerely,
Jean Council
Fillmore