Letters to the Editor
July 23, 2015

We are writing to provide you with an update on the plans for the Pacific Coast Pipeline (PCPL) site, also known as Fillmore Works.

Chevron has evaluated various commercial uses for the site over the last few years. Both commercial development and/or solar energy have been evaluated and they were discussed at the "Notice of Preparation" public meeting held as part of the environmental review process in November 2014.

Since that time, Chevron has undertaken more detailed evaluation of a commercial solar array at the PCPL/Fillmore Works site. It now appears a solar project may be a feasible alternative for the site and is an allowable use within existing County zoning for the property thus we will be actively pursuing this solar alternative. The feasibility of a solar project depends on Chevron's ability to obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from Ventura County.

It also depends on the ability of a third party solar company to obtain a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with an energy provider and obtain an interconnection agreement with Southern California Edison.

We are pleased to announce that Chevron has entered into a lease agreement with Stion, a California-based solar company (www.stion.com). Stion will pursue the PPA and Interconnection as well as design and construction of the solar project. If the project proceeds, it will be the first commercial solar installation in Ventura County.

While Stion works toward the implementation of the commercial solar project, we are placing our development application with the City of Fillmore on hold. If the solar project does not proceed, Chevron will evaluate the situation and may reinitiate the development application within the City at a later date.

Chevron appreciates the community feedback that helped in selection of the solar option. We will continue to provide you with updates as we confirm the details of the project. There will be additional opportunity for community feedback as part of the County CUP approval process.

If you have questions, please contact Chevron at pcplsite@chevron.com, or call Bill at 805-546-6970 or Leslie at 661-412-6351.

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 8, 2015

To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Mr. Sanford Sr.’s Letter to the Editor in last week’s paper. I appreciate your point of view, but let me offer mine. Let’s begin with the ‘large body of research that appears to show that sexual orientation is largely genetic.’ Each and every scientific study to prove there is a ‘gay gene’ has been deeply flawed and has not proved anything. I refer you to www.trueorigin.org/gaygene01.php , which lists each study and what their problems are. In the event you do not want to take that author’s word for it, here is another article written by someone who is either gay or is a supporter of the homosexual lifestyle. www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/20/the-problematic-hunt-for-a-gay.... You’ll notice in both articles that the major studies have been found to be greatly flawed, offering no proof whatsoever that a gay gene exists. In other words, people are not born that way.
Next let’s talk a bit about history. Historically, one of the reasons nations have fallen was a decline in ethics, morality and values. The values, ideals, customs, traditions and institutions of this once great country have been on the decline for years. Now I know you want to get up in arms because I have just insinuated that homosexuality is immoral and has caused a decline in the institution of marriage (as well as having gone against the tradition and ideals of the USA). From the beginning of this country, it was so. It’s only in recent years that it’s been on the course to becoming ‘normal,’ and thus moral. Now it’s imposing itself into our definition of marriage. In normalizing homosexuality, our society is decidedly turning away from the religion this country was built on (separation of church and state was meant to keep the state from dictating how the church [the people] was to worship). A turning from religion is another characteristic of the decline of many great nations in the past. These are only two factions of the decline in morality, ethics and values in the United States. (Since we are only talking about legalizing gay marriage, I will not delve into any other factions.)
As to your second paragraph regarding the ending of slavery and such, being “accompanied by deluges of hysterical rhetoric predicting the end of civilization as we know it,” it didn’t take our country long to figure out slavery was wrong and so it did what needed to be done - abolished it. The same is said of the Jim Crow laws, “separate but equal,” etc. However, unlike gay people, black people had no say over the color of their skin (unless you were someone like Michael Jackson). Our constitution guarantees that we are all equal: no black, no white, no yellow, no red in the sight of our government and our country. However, remember, that when the constitution was written, homosexuality was immoral and marriage was defined as by one woman and one man. And again, refer to the previous paragraph regarding factors that led to the decline of great nations in the past. What 5 of our Supreme Court Justices have done is re-define what our founding fathers stated and what their intentions were.
Now to your comment about someone wanting “to live in a society governed by strict adherence to religious law:” why would you choose a religion that does not honor human life in the first place? Regardless what ‘haters’ of Christianity might say, Christ is about love and loving each other. He suggested that if someone were to slap you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to him so he could slap that one as well. He promoted love and forgiveness. He told us that to be angry with someone was the same as murder, because it’s in your heart. Doesn’t sound like someone who would even insinuate you should kill another person because of their sin. Unlike in Iran, as you suggested, where their ‘bible’ tells them to kill all ‘infidels.’
However, would I want to live in a society governed by strict adherence to Christ’s laws? Yes. Yes I would. Does that mean everyone would be perfect, without sin? No. None of us will be made perfect until we see Jesus face to face. That means, in a society governed by Christ, we would all strive to love one another, forgive each other, build each other up, help our neighbors when they falter, support each other in our struggles and show compassion, knowing we are no better than they. We would each strive to not give in to our sinful nature, of which we all have. I know you think that Christians are not compassionate towards homosexuals; that we don’t love them. But let me ask you this: if you believed with all your heart and just KNEW hell was real, would you want anyone you love to spend forever in those flames? If we, who know hell to be a real place, approved of practices the Bible refers to as sin, we would essentially be condemning people to this place of eternal torment. It is because of our love for others that we do not want to see anyone suffering in the lake of fire for all eternity. Therefore, it is because of our love for our fellow man/woman that we cannot agree with this ruling.
I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote from Jesus, “If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” - John 12:47
Mikki Hall
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
Hope you all had a great 4th of July! What a wonderful thing it is to have so many freedoms.
Well you all know that the long awaited ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) health report has been presented and it is now time for any one who wishes to comment on it by August 31, 2015. The report is on line at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/pha/HCPHA.asp?State=CA. Or the City Clerk’s Office or Fillmore Library.
Not that you are asking for it, but here is my opinion on the report. The repost has a lot of information but what concern me are a few things. A majority of the report is based on information, data and documentation they received from Chevron. In the past Chevron has reported update information to me and others who attended meetings vague information, incorrect information and in some cases did not report things that were of great importance to others. So you can understand my distrust for what they say and how that makes me feel about the reports credibility.
Another thing that makes me wonder what they are thinking is that to my knowledge no one from the ATSDR interviewed/contacted neighbors, teachers or family’s with students at San Cayetano about how they are or were feeling during the clean up time. How can this accurately be deemed not a problem if no one ever talked with those living/working /learning directly next to the Chevron Pacific Coast Superfund Site. In the report it states that ATSDR conducted several outreach activities”. I would like to know when that happened since I and others never heard of these activities.
Through out the report words like “maybe”, “unlikely”, propably are used to describe the possibility of the contaminates becoming a problem to our community’s health. For me those words are not good enough. I would have to counter with it is “unlikely” that we are getting a straight or accurate report. I know for a fact that on at least one occasion I found a machine not properly working, so how does that occurrence fit into the report?
Lead samples were not taken from neighborhoods and the school’ because they were built during a time that lead based paints were used commonly on houses constructed before 1978.”Are you kidding me? I feel these are the places that should have been tested since we have our families and our kids in these locations and would have liked to have the peace of mind of knowing they are safe form the contaminates.
Right about now you maybe wondering if you have been exposed? Well on a few occasions yes you were exposed to higher than normal levels of some of the contaminates over there, but of course…it is highly “unlikely” you will have any long lasting affects if you are healthy.
I find the report interesting, sad, and some what a joke on us the city of Fillmore if we believe it, but some will. O.k., to each his own.
My last thought is no one should work on this site. If it is not clean enough for schools, hospitals or residential use then we should not allow any one over there. It is in the fault zone and it is recommended that people working in the buildings be located 100 ft away from the fault line. It is in the flood zone. How many more strikes do we need before we realize that this is NOT the best idea for Fillmore to get involved in. Guess we’ll see.
Thanks again for you time,
Kathy Pace

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 2, 2015

To the Editor:
In light of the recent Supreme Court decision that effectively legalizes gay marriage in all 50 states, and in giddy anticipation of a particularly vitriolic, hate-filled and bigoted editorial from this newspaper’s publisher, I wish to offer these two words of comfort for those whose moral consciences have been so terribly afflicted: “neener, neener.” Followed by an inspirational quote from Annie, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow.”
The ending of the slavery of African Americans, the abolition of Jim Crow laws, the Voting Rights Act, the ending of “separate but equal,” gays serving openly in the military, and yes, gays having the right to marry, have all been social events accompanied by deluges of hysterical rhetoric predicting the end of civilization as we know it. But here we are.
Historically, many cultures labeled those in the minority whose behaviors they didn’t understand as evil, sinister, unnatural. Yes, I’m referring to left-handed people. Left-handedness in children was supposed to be corrected in schools by tying the child’s left hand to his or her desk and forcing the child to use the right hand. This practice only resulted in dyslexia, stuttering and humiliation.
I’m not a scientist but there is a large body of research that appears to show that sexual orientation is largely genetic, i.e. predetermined. Once we accept those who might be different from us and respect their fundamental rights, we will be a lot better off in this country and able to channel our energies into solving real social and economic problems.
On the other hand, if someone wishes to live in a society governed by strict adherence to religious law, I suggest taking up residency in any one of the countries of the Middle East, such as Iran, where, according to their former president, there are no homosexuals.
Respectfully,
Art Sandford Sr.
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
In a country where the courts give women the right to kill their unborn children, the ruling last week by a majority on the Supreme Court that homosexuals have the right to marry shouldn't really surprise us. Whether such marriage will be honored and accepted by all of the states remains to be seen. First indications are that it will not be. One thing that we can be sure of, though, is that it is not accepted by God, nor is it accepted by Christ's Church nor by true members of it. Christians don't make their judgments as to what's decent, right, true, and dignified by what the world thinks, but by what God says in His word (Isaiah 8:20, Psalm 119:105, John 8:31-32), and God calls homosexuality sin (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:18-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Any church that supports homosexual marriage is an apostate church, not Christ's church, and anyone who calls himself a Christian (whether the name is Obama, Kennedy, Pelosi, or whatever), and sanctions homosexual marriage is only deluding himself. He may say, "Lord, Lord," when Christ comes to judge, but the Lord will say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)
But why shouldn't homosexuals have the right to marry, some ask. How does that harm our country or traditional marriage? First, it is an affront to God and outright rejection of His word. To sanction homosexual marriage is to call good what God calls evil, and God says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." (Isaiah 5:20) Secondly, homosexual marriage lets what is perverse stand along side of what is true and right and instituted by God. Thirdly, if this ruling stands, homosexual marriage won't be the end. Next it will be polygamy and marrying animals, for if homosexual marriage is moral in the eyes of the state, why shouldn't they be as well? And Lastly, if error is allowed to stand, it eventually shuts out and shuts up the truth. We see that happening already. If you dare oppose homosexual marriage, even on biblical grounds, you're labeled as a bigot, a hater, and a homophobe. If you speak publicly, the homosexual rights crowd will seek to destroy you. It's interesting how those who argued and pleaded for toleration are so intolerant to those who oppose their lifestyle.
What can be done? As Christians, we should speak up and defend the truth when the opportunity arises. Christian pastors and leaders should take the lead. Since some of the most prominent backers of homosexual marriage are Roman Catholics (Justice Kennedy, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, to name a few), the pope should give them two options: either repent and confess what's decent and true, or be excommunicated from the church. Souls are more important than climate change, so we should see such ultimatums shortly. And, we should pray for our country, because God will destroy, not bless, the nation which turns its back on Him.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church, Fillmore

***

To the Editor,
I am writing as a long time city resident. I have been an advocate for our community and my family, as we all have endured the pain and hardship the Pacific Coast Pipeline Superfund Site has caused. I attended a recent community meeting about the health concerns voiced over the years by impacted residents, including me and my family. I am a regular vocal participant in these meetings and have strong feelings on the matter as they hit me pretty close to home after the death of my son.
I was shocked when friends in town approached me about my quote in the VC Star, which after I read the article about the event, is clearly not an adequate representation of my feelings and stance on the matter. Can you help my voice be heard?
Tony Biasotti misquoted me in his article, (Federal agency says former refinery does not pose risk), published on June 25, 2015 in the Ventura County Star. I attended the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) Community Meeting at Mountain Vista school in Fillmore on June 24, 2015. I had met with the ATSDR staff at a One Step A La Vez meeting a few years ago here in Fillmore. I also attended a community meeting in 2013 hosted by the EPA and the ATSDR. The ATSDR staff seemed to be honest and I felt that they were the best group to look at the contamination at the Pacific Coast Pipeline site here in Fillmore. The ATSDR only looked at data from 2012-2014 provided by Chevron and the EPA.
Mr. Biasotti from the Ventura Star misquoted me in reaction to the cleanup. He quoted me as saying to him, "I feel better now than that I ever had out about it. I believe it's cleaned up now." That was a misquote. What I did say was that I was "happy" that the ATSDR staff were here and I have been waiting for their report. Mr. Biasotti also stated that I accepted the report's conclusions and that there is no danger. That was definitely a misquote. I did not completely read the ATSDR Health Consultation report until June 27th, three days later. I did say I thought the Superfund property was probably cleaned up as best as it could be. I did say that I don't want any building on the property.
The 56 acre PCPL site cleanup has been overseen by the EPA. In 1986, 38,000 tons of waste and contaminated soil were removed from the site. In 1992 the EPA determined the site was still contaminated. In 1992 the ATSDR completed a Preliminary Health assessment of the site but determined they needed more data to evaluate the potential for health effects. I don't understand this because in 1992 the EPA still had the site on the superfund priorities list. Between 1993 -1996 Vapor Extraction wells resulted in the removal of 600,00 pounds of total hydrocarbons and 700 pounds of benzene from the contaminated water plumes under the site and nearby homes. Now 20 years later the property still needed to be cleaned up. Why did the EPA wait so long? Since 2011, EPA has been overseeing Chevron's site activities to remove contaminated soil from the site. In 2013 Chevron dug out 42 cubic yards of contaminated soil. Highly toxic soil was disposed of offsite transported in biohazard red toxic waste bins. Other contaminated soil was disposed in two consolidated areas next to Pole Creek. A cap was put over these areas. Currently a Soil Vapor Extraction and Air Sparging Well has been set up on site and is removing benzene from the still contaminated water plumes. The ATSDR said that the dust contamination from the Superfund Site was inconclusive because dust comes from other sources. They also said that the lead contamination from the site was inconclusive because those residents that lived in homes built before 1978 could have had their homes painted with lead based paint. They did agree with the site deed restrictions to redevelopment plans. The site may only be used for commercial, industrial, or recreational purposes. They did limit daily time children and adults can spend on the property. Well you decide what seems worse. Years of constant exposure to the horrible contamination right next to the neighborhoods and San Cayetano School or a house painted with lead based paint 50 years ago.? If the paint was a problem wouldn't 1,000's of households in the USA have one too! Just double talk to me.
Now, Mr. Biasotti I do know that I told you at the meeting that I would continue to argue against any building on the property. I will do that! I say the property would be better off left in a natural state and replanted with native California drought resistant plants. It would truly complement this designated Ventura County Open Space area. I think annexing this property into Fillmore would be a mistake. I say let this land rest. It's been through a lot these last 100 years. I need the citizens of Fillmore to help stop Chevron with it's redevelopment plans. Contact your City Council members and voice you concerns about building on this still contaminated property.
Thank you,
Christine Villasenor

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 25, 2015

To the Editor:
I would like to personally thank Moon Valley Nursery and Otto and Sons Nursery for their generous assistance with the 8th grade promotion ceremony at Fillmore Middle School on June 11th. Both nurseries loaned trees and plants that helped make for a great environment for the ceremony. Thank you again and best of luck to the class of 2019!
Scott Carroll
Fillmore Middle School Principal

 


 
Letters to the Editor
May 28, 2015

To the Editor:
Fun day at the fish hatchery
(a mini adventure) On a partially overcast day in late April, my daughter and I took a short drive from Santa Clarita to the Fillmore, Trout Fish Hatchery, passing through a beautiful agricultural landscape on our way.
As we neared, there was a road sign indicating that the hatchery was on the other side of the highway. Once we crossed, we proceeded to drive down a narrow road one-quarter-of-a-mile to our destination.
After arriving, we ambled over to a sheltered area in front of the hatchery where we could read about the Rainbow Trout. We also learned that to keep the trout safe from prey swooping down to devour them, a complete top-to-side fence had been constructed over their living area.
We then freely entered through the hatchery's gate, eyeing a primitive vending machine that allowed visitors the opportunity to purchase 10-cent, fish food for the trout. Unfortunately, my coin purse held only quarters.
As we walked over to watch the swimming trout, I was disappointed my daughter would not have the opportunity for a hands-on experience feeding the fish; but before leaving the hatchery, we approached a gentleman I hoped could provide one or two dimes in exchange for a quarter. Luckily, he gladly traded two of his dimes for one of my quarters. My daughter and I then walked over to the food machine to begin our adventure.
After inserting our dimes into the slot, we filled our hands with fish morsels. With a cool, moderate wind blowing, we carefully sprinkled the square-shaped nourishment into the water above the trout. Suddenly, and without warning, they attacked the food like ferocious piranhas, causing the water to bubble and churn. Before the frenzy stopped, we stared in total amazement at their mad rush for the food and were just as equally amazed at their calm demeanor as they fell back into their regimented, school line.
Our mini adventure was a surprising learning experience in more ways than one. As we once again drove past the beautiful, agricultural landscape to return home, we could not complain.
Toni C. Smith

***

To the Editor:
Would you like to memorialize a family member or honor a friend, your high school class or club? The Fillmore Historical Museum will be accepting orders for customized pavers to be ordered after the 4h of July and installed in August. The price for each paver is $100.00 with funds used for the programs and operations of the museum.
You can see the pavers which have already been placed by checking the memorial area on the south side of the Gazebo on Main St. For more information come by museum office in the bunkhouse at 340 Main St. , Fillmore or call 805-524-0948.
Martha Gentry
Director, Fillmore Historical Museum

 


 
Letters to the Editor
May 21, 2015

To the Editor:
Since I wrote so many letters to the editor regarding Fillmore High School in the 2013-2014 school year, I feel that I should provide an up-date from my perspective.
FHS has been transformed back into the school where I loved working for 27 years. As soon as I entered the main office, I could see and hear the difference. Under the leadership of Mr. Tom Ito, people are smiling and laughing again. I noticed the changes when I started substituting for teachers and administering tests in the fall. Once again students were attentive and happily learning and working. It was great to be back.
Most importantly, however, I am very proud of the staff especially the teachers. They should and need to be commended for their excellent demonstration of the competence of the teaching staff and curriculum with the WASC visiting team in the fall. It was a great relief and pleasure to hear that Fillmore High School received a 6 year WASC accreditation with a one day visit for a mid-term evaluation. If the school’s leadership had not changed, the WASC visit would have been a different story.
Congratulations to the students, certificated, classified, and administrative staff at Fillmore High School for a job well done.
Additionally, it is wonderful being welcomed back on the FHS campus.
Sincerely yours,
Karen Ashim, Retired Head Counselor Fillmore High School
MS Counseling & Guidance
MA School Administration

***

To the Editor:
This last months Chevron superfund site meeting at the senior center was informative as always. We had an update as to the time line of the air sparging unit will be up and running. It has been installed and is waiting for power. In the past it was mentioned that there maybe noise, and they will put a blanket on it to lessen the noise. How nice they want it to be cozy. They are still watering the dead flowers and some shrubs that they are trying to get established along the hill side. My comment was why they are doing this during a drought in the middle of the day. The answer is they will be watering the shrubs the first year to establish it, so glad we don’t want that water for drinking later down the road.
Our guest speaker talked on Hydraulic studies and flood plan along pole creek. If you look at the FEMA flood maps on line you can see where your house is in the flood zone.
Traffic studies are still bening done. There are questions about traffic issues on Santa Clara and 126. Some time in June the plan is to have a community work shop for the specific plan, the date is currently unknown.
The ATSDR health report is finally done and the plan is to present it to the general public June 22nd 2015 time and location TBA. This is the report some have been waiting years to hear.
Our next meeting is Tuesday June 23rd 5:30 p.m. at the senior center.
Kathy Pace
P.S
Shout out to the Leo’s Club from FHS who helped Just Serve clean the Fillmore Equestrian Center and another shout out to the FHS students who participated in the special needs Night to Remember Prom in Ventura, you are known county wide for being students who really support your fellow friends.

 
Letters to the Editor
April 30, 2015

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 seventeenth annual arts show “Visions & Voices”. 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 Ebell Club, Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club, Soroptomist International of Fillmore, Fillmore Rotary Club and Fillmore High School ASB 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 and Johnny- thanks for your 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 Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band and Jazz Band who played at the event- 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 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 23, 2015

To the Editor:
Anyone who wasn’t able to attend the “Visions and Voices” celebration of Fillmore High School’s visual and performing arts last Thursday night, really missed a great evening. The students learned how to put together the gallery “opening” from creating the art, designing the programs, hanging the pieces, even providing chocolate covered strawberries to top off the experience! All the students circulated among the visitors to explain, help, and otherwise make one feel welcome. The performing aspect of the evening was also a great success. The high school concert band was magnificent, receiving several standing ovations. Mr. Godfrey, the band director, said that the band is one of the largest Fillmore has ever had - over 75 members - and could they play! The Ballet Folklorico dancers performed in the courtyard to a large, appreciative audience. I heard one visitor ask a dancer, “Are you really all from our high school?” He was understandably proud! And the performing arts were concluded with dramatic vignettes by the drama club, some with musical elements of solos, duets, and trios, and all spoken or sung from the heart. Thank you to all who worked so hard to put this together, it was well worth it!
Sincerely, Susan M. Cuttriss

***

To the Editor:
Regarding the discussion of loitering on Central Avenue at the April 14, 2015 Fillmore City Council Meeting:
Section 15.34 of the Fillmore, CA Code of Ordinances addresses loitering. Police officers can take enforcement action against offenders and can issue citations. Public alcohol consumption, public urination, and littering by loiterers have apparently already been observed. Why, then, is Chief of Police Wareham unsure about how to deal with this problem, asking the City Council for direction as to whether loiterers should be "removed by law" or by "cooperative means"? The City seems to be taking a very restrained approach to addressing obvious violations of the law. Do they really think handing out a pamphlet "explaining what is expected of people in public" is going to have any real effect? Why are they bending over backwards to avoid offending these people?
I avoid the downtown area if I possibly can, and this loitering problem is one of the reasons why. If the City wants to encourage more tourism downtown, they need to do a better job of enforcing the laws. Central Park has plenty of shade and seating for those who wish to sit and chat. The businesses on Central Avenue should have clear and unobstructed access for those who wish to actually spend money there.
Marjie Bartels
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
April 9, 2015

To the Editor:
Hi Fillmore and Happy Spring to you all!
I thought of stopping the updates on the Chevron superfund project but just when I think that then someone comes up to me asking to know what is going over there. So here’s what I have been told. In the remediation meeting two months ago we had Elaine Freeman talk to us about the part LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) plays into the development with in the county and on this project. The information was nice but I take it with a grain of salt since she is also a consultant for Chevron while serving on the LAFCo committee. The thing I found most interesting is that Chevron now comes to the meetings with a group of about 6 people to these meetings. I wonder why? Most meetings that I attend for school, community or church there are 3 at most running meetings, guess they have more money to spend on things like this.
This last month’s Remediation meeting we had a gentleman named Dan who is a engineering geologist who came and talked to us about the San Cayetano fault and how it will impact the Chevron project(Fillmore Works project). If you do not know where this fault line runs it is at the base of the hill that the Fillmore F sits on, right behind San Cayetano School and runs north to south. It runs around the base to about the 126 and then turns to the east. After a lot of information it was reported that the fault is considered an active fault from Piru through Fillmore and then up to Ojai. Structures for human occupancy would need to be set back 100 feet from this fault line. I questioned that if the plans were to be developed as to the specific plans that were submitted then the main road artery wound be on this fault line and if there were a sizeable earthquake then the road may not be accessible to emergency personal who would need to help people on that side of the site. I was told by Leslie that other smaller roads would also be scattered thru out the site. Leslie was also asked what was to happen now with this new information and we were told that other ideas were being looked into.
Next month’s meeting is to be held April 27th @ 5:30 senior center. We hope to have a rep from ATSDR with the health report (waiting since 2013) but we will see what happens. The public workshops that the community is invited to participate in have not had a date set, but will be done after the city reviews stuff. We were told to look for the ERI report to come out in the fall.
I hope this helps keep you in the know,
Kathy Pace

 
Letters to the Editor
April 2, 2015

To the Editor:
Re. our current trash contract with Harrisons. This is from the 1939 Fillmore Annual City Report:
“Garbage collection is headed by Mr. N. McKenzie, who operates a hog ranch near Santa Paula. He is under a ten year contract, expiring January 22nd, 1945. He collects garbage on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays of each week. He does the collecting in return for the garbage, so long as the price of hogs does not go below five cents a pound on foot. If the price of hogs should go below five cent a pound, then he is to receive $10.00 a month.” Times have definitely changed!
Sincerely, Susan M. Cuttriss

***

To the Editor:
My mother became ill and I had the opportunity to care for her until her passing. We had always been on the opposite side of the fence, but we became best friends and this experience enriched my life, until I lost her. At that time I became despondent. I did not have proper hygiene, eat or socialize. I was literally the walking dead.
I was passing through the Fillmore Senior Center parking lot and felt drawn to it. Upon entering I was greeted warmly and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee and a pastry. That was the beginning of my new life. I started going everyday. library, computer room, cable TV. wi-bowling and I started to socialize and made new friends. I couldn’t believe they offered such classes as Spanish, Tai Chi, Senior Yoga, Watercolor, Gourd, Busy Hands (knitting and conversation), Line Dancing, Senior Exercise, Social Media and so much more. I wanted to give back to my community and I volunteered at the reception desk a few times a week. Soon it became a daily ritual.
Being a senior citizen I was faced with the obstacles of searching for a job and found the courage to do so due to my volunteering. I entered a program that would pay me to volunteer at a non-profit organization while looking for steady employment. Unfortunately, the Fillmore Senior Center had the carpet pulled from under them by the Fillmore City Council and they were not able to utilize me. The Fillmore Senior Center Board Members, visitors and I were heartbroken.
That did not detour me. I found another job in the program for the County of Ventura and due to the experience, strength and hope the Fillmore Senior Center had given me I am now working and for the first time in six years I will receive a paycheck.
I walk with my head held high and have a sense of completeness in my life. I am grateful to the visitors and members of the Fillmore Senior Center for their encouragement and the restoration of my desire to live a productive life.
I prayed for God to lead me to my path for a better life and later (with the prayers of the Faith Community Church) my prayers were answered. My path started the day I stopped at the center to have a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Thank-you Fillmore Senior Center and Faith Community Church.
All I have to say to the Fillmore City Council is, “SHAME ON YOU!
Gratefully,
Daisy Rodriguez

 
Letters to the Editor
March 19, 2014

To the Editor:
El Dorado Mobile Home Park Mailboxes
According to the US Postal Service Post Master in Fillmore the reason for putting mailboxes in the park at the clubhouse, instead of delivering it to mailboxes at the units, is because it has become unsafe for them to drive in the park since it has been switched to a “family park”!
Illegal streets (too narrow), cars not making the stop signs, kids running out in front of them, people driving too fast and all the cars parked on the streets now have created an unsafe environment. Not to mention all the thefts that have been going on since the change.
And where are the extra parking spaces and play areas that were to be put in?
Also there are only to be two people per bedroom according to the park rules. NOT SO!!! This is why there are so many cars and kids running around.
It still amazes me that over three quarters of the park voted “NO” on El Dorado becoming a family park. But the City of Fillmore had to stick their nose in it. One day it was an adult “safe park” and the next an “unsafe” family park according to the US Postal Service Post Master of Fillmore.
There is even a warning in the Park Bulletin to be on the watch for suspicious activity, to call the Fillmore Police or dial 911 immediately, printed more than once since the change.
Also check and see just how many pedophiles live in the park. A lot!! Did these families know this when they moved in?
Please understand that this is an anonymous tip because it really is a shame that a lot of people moved into this park some years ago knowing it was an adult safe park and now it is not! I have nowhere else to go being retired for awhile now. I moved out here for the quietness that once was and felt very safe out here.
No more!!
Anonymous
[Editor: Starting in August 2014 to the present, the Fillmore Sheriffs Police Blotter has recorded the following activity at the El Dorado Mobile Home Park: Shots Fired-2; Disturbance Party-5; Theft (Residential and Other)-5; Vandalism-1; Search Warrant-5; Burglary-1; Keep the Peace-2; Battery-1. There may have been unreported activity.]

 
Letters to the Editor
February 26, 2015

Dear Mr. Farrell,
It was "fortuitous" good luck to meet you today, one day after the church meeting where I was charged to put this tribute into your hands. Pastor Kent was a special man, and he will be missed by those who grieve him. Who are those who grieve him? That would be just about all the congregation at Bardsdale United Methodist Church. Just because some of us didn't know him that well didn't mean that we felt less bereft at his passing.
Having said that, you can see why we think our loss is noteworthy. Now our church is special, thanks to his commitment to serving us, guiding us, and inspiring us.
Thank you for supporting all of the Fillmore churches. Sincerely, Tom Somers and Teresa Norris
Tom Somers
P.S. We are long-time subscribers to the Gazette.

A tribute for Pastor Kent Fromer
Goodbye, Pastor, and I’m glad we spent some time together
Thanks for getting me out of the house, I need to go to church
Thanks for getting me out of the house, I need to be in a house not my own
Thanks for chaperoning me in God’s house, helping me sing songs of joy, joyfulness, hope in love, hope in love eternal, Jesus himself… would be challenged to teach third grade.
Thank you for your recent thank-you note. Before I read it, I cooked up this stab at a eulogy, but therein lies the point: to see you mugged by cancer, stabbed, so to speak, is more than a bit violent. Perhaps I would feel better if I fell back upon the support of the vernacular, “Yeah, we had a good I mean great pastor at my church, but cancer took him out.”
But I ramble, due to grief, grief and old age. I’ll tell the jury
‘Twas grief and old age that caused this tribute to run on and on Finally, I can share with you, my dear ones, my sweet heart, my friendly neighbors in this wrinkle in time called Fillmore/Bardsdale, a decent effort, worthy of a bard perhaps…
Poem for Pastor
It’s possible that you loved and cared for me, like I love Los Angeles. We are both fans of L.A.; you like the Dodgers, I love the city. So you can guess I love the energy of L.A.
Sorry, where am I going? Here’s where I am going:
It’s that possibility that you cared for me sitting in the back with my wife, with my neighbor next door, Mrs. Olson,…
Speaking of her reminds me of coffee, and coffee reminds me
I’ll seldom drive by our Starbucks without thinking that you had your first date in Fillmore. Very sweet. And so I have a question today: Why do you make everything so, what is the word, EPIC? Classy? Important?
We could have been an ordinary church. But ordinary isn’t your style. The headlines SHoUT IT ouT: Fromer Slams a Homer. Epic times for Bardsdale as church mourns its classy leader.
They say the good die young. Adieu! Merci beaucoup, for warming our drought-resistant hearts, for sharing with us angelic heat.
Good night, faithful Sir. We pray in gratitude for your time with us! Go, Dodgers! and Go, Bardsdale!
Amen.

 
Letters to the Editor
February 19, 2015

To the Editor:
As new resident of Fillmore, I like parts of this charming small town particularly the area around the historic train station, the two blocks on Central Avenue surrounding the defunct Fillmore Movie Theater (future films/plays), City Hall’s fountains, bicycle paths and now lovely, lush surrounding mountain landscape, big full moons and starlit nights, dramatic screaming sirens punctuating Saturdays gun fire into Sunday. Unfortunately, earlier this evening I was approached by a young, hostile teenage boy at one of our local corner stores. He asked me for a cigarette in slurred Spanish/English and foaming beer breath.
I attempted to politely decline his request and walked outside where my bicycle was upright on its kickstand next to the store’s front door. Before departing, I enjoyed the last few moments of evening sky light. Again, he approached me outside (with his taller male friend) only this time he called me a ‘Bitch’ and a few other derogatory words. My response - “Wow, do you talk to your sister or mother like this”? Bam. He shoved my bike causing the contents of my front basket to spill sideways onto the sidewalk next to my new bicycle.
Frankly, I was more stunned wondering why he chose me, a small 56 year old woman to lash-out at.
The storekeeper said, “Call the police, I saw it on video. He lives up the street”. “Really”?
So, I did call 911. Because he didn’t rob me or physically assault my person there was nothing to do but make a report. The ‘storekeeper’ declared to police that he knew nothing! Surprising? Not really. It’s a weird, sick, game humans sometimes play. The policeman made sure I got home safely. Manners.
Maybe Fillmore is not a good place to be a senior citizen after all.
Sincerely
C.H. Robinson
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
On Tuesday February 10th, 2015 the Fillmore City Council had a lengthy closed session to consider the lease agreement between Fillmore Senior Center Inc. and the city of Fillmore.
Three months ago, the city elected not to renew its lease with Fillmore Senior Center Inc. Because the city chose not to move forward with lease negotiations, there were no actions required by law to be reported out of closed session at the city council meeting. Out of respect for Fillmore Senior Center Inc.’s board, the city manager provided a letter to the President of their board stating that the city will not be renewing the lease with Fillmore Senior Center Inc., prior to releasing this information to the public.
Since the letter was given to the President of Fillmore Senior Center Inc., the city has received several questions about why the city decided to not renew the lease. The city has no intention of closing the senior center and/ or removing programs. Instead, as the council has repeatedly stated that the senior center is a very important asset to our beautiful community, the city council has publicly prioritized the center services and have instructed staff to reach out to other communities to determine what programs we can bring to our community to enhance the services we are providing at the center. City staff will also be reaching out to the current center volunteers and instructors in an effort to retain their valuable services and tradition of excellence as part of the senior center’s programing. The council will also be considering making capital improvements to the center later this spring. Staff has indicated that this is a necessity to meet the needs of the centers participants.
In addition to the City’s desire to expand the programming being offered at the Senior Center, the decision not to renew the lease agreement is also partially the result unacceptable behavior by some of the people who have been running the center. The council has complaints about the way in which the board members interact with and treat the community. While the volunteers and instructors have done an incredible job to bring multiple services to center, the board has been found to be less than inviting to some seniors. One resident told me at a council meeting that the board members were rude and that she did not go to the center because of this. With the city taking over the center, this resident told me that she will try the center again, and hoped that things change. It’s my understanding that other council members and staff have received similar comments and treatment from the board.
Moreover, as a result of the board’s behavior, the city has been the subject of 3 harassment claims from employees at the center, one of which resulted in a settlement payment by the city in the approximate amount of $130,000.00. Despite the board’s claims that “no one told them” of the problems, they were sent letters and asked in person to curb the bad behavior of certain board members to no avail. The city has a responsibility to ensure the public safety and to provide a service to our community’s seniors second to none. Unfortunately, because the board is a separate legal entity, and the board has refused to modify its behavior after the city’s repeated requests, the city has not been in a position to be able to meet these expectations, leaving the city’s only option to decline to renew the lease.
I am excited for the senior center to move forward in a manner that preserves the positivity of the activities, volunteers, instructors and participants of the senior center while ensuring that our community has the very best active adult center possible.
Sincerely,
Douglas Tucker, Mayor City of Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 5, 2015

To the Editor:
Fillmore Senior Center, Inc. extends a gracious thank you to all of our instructors who participated in the Open House on January 31. The turn-out by the community was extraordinary, as over 100 people walked through the Center. Many of our current classes had additional sign-ups. We are also grateful for the one’s who showed their encouragement and approval of FSCI in agreeing to be volunteer teachers for upcoming programs.
More importantly, many requested that we provide additional classes for the evenings and weekends. We will be adding a poetry writing workshop, computer class, hiking club, bike club, cake decorating, and flower arranging. Also, local excursions will be planned for the spring session.
Again, a heartfelt thank you for all who showed their support for Fillmore Senior Center, Inc.
Patti Walker,
President

 
Letters to the Editor
January 08, 2015

To the Editor:
Celebrating the reason for the season Fillmore Style
What an incredible community we live in! In all the years that I have celebrated the holiday season, I have never been afforded the opportunity to participate in caroling. This year was different for me, because of the group of individuals that decided this is the year to come together and celebrate the holiday spirit. In particular Diane McCall, Kerry McCall, Rick Neal, Christie Neal and their daughters as well as Caitlin McCall who facilitated bringing some the youth cheer team. Also, Rigo Landeros, Patrick Maynard along with many of the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department and many others who worked so hard to make this event come alive. As the evening festivities progressed, we were able to hand out candy canes, toys and teddy bears to members of the community.
We spent the evening driving through Fillmore singing the songs of the season, bringing cheer and joy to the community. What was most amazing was the response we received. It was so heartwarming to see Fillmore come together and out of their homes to join us in our caroling efforts. We met and saw children of all ages, adults young and old leaving the warmth of their homes to bring warmth to us. It was an extraordinary evening that I will remember for the remainder of my years. I would like to truly thank the Citizens of Fillmore for joining us and making this year’s holiday season a little extra special.
I look forward to making this a tradition that will last for years to come.
Sincerely,
Douglas Tucker, Mayor of Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
What a wonderful place to live
This morning I was driving to work when I noticed that a car had pulled off to the side of the road and a woman got out of her car and started to run toward a gentleman than had fallen on the bike path along Old Telegraph road. I pulled over as well and asked what had happened. She stated that the gentleman had fallen and was bleeding from his hands from the fall. We contacted the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department who immediately dispatched assistance to the scene. I kept thinking to myself what a selfless act to see a person in need and to stop everything and come to the aide of the gentlemen. To my surprise while this was happening another lady stopped and also came to the aid the gentlemen. With the three of us there, I knew that this individual would be safe until the Volunteer Fire Department could arrive.
With this said, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to these two ladies for taking the time to stop and take a moment out of their day to come to the aide of someone in need. This is just one example of why Fillmore is truly the last BEST small town in California.
Thank you again
Douglas Tucker, Mayor City of Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
Happy New Year Fillmore!!
I have fallen behind in updating you all about the Chevron superfund site, so with out further ado.
In November the community scoping meeting had a great turn out of near by residents adjacent to the superfund site. The city had Rincon Consultants Inc run the scoping meeting to get information and feed back from the community. Long and short is that most of the near by neighbors present requested that nothing be built there and that a multi use trail idea not be part of any plan that connects the Chevron superfund site to the residences on 3rd or 2nd streets. One idea that was requested was the change of the foot bridge and 2nd access point to the site be off Santa Clara street and not Sespe Ave as not to impact near by neighbors. The ideas of a solar farm were talked over and will be looked into.
The December R&R meeting had a Chevron employee who has worked on the development of a solar farm in Bakersfield give a presentation. Chevron is looking into the solar farm idea but will still need to see if it will make them the money they want.
The group is still waiting to hear what the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic substance and Disease Registry) report says. ATSDR is completing a health consultation evaluating potential exposure of Fillmore community members to dust in the air during recent clean-up activities at the superfund site and possible direct contact with soils at the site in the future. In an email I received forwarded from ATSDR their comments to the City are that: 1) they(ATSDR) want to protect the health of Fillmore community 2) they belive that site –related odors could be a concern if future work disturbs petroleum-contaminated soil from historical refining operations 3)they are concerned that the proposed project could impact air quality as a result of construction activity and earth moving operations and would need to mitigate using techniques used as they did during clean up 4) it is recommended that special consideration in the EIR to the maintenance of the caps covering the contaminated soil that was excavated during the PCPL(Chevron superfund site) clean up process. 5) Deed restrictions will limit future land use at the site to commercial & recreational. The Remedial Investigation indicates that residences, hospitals, daycare centers and schools will not be built on the site, and that plants for human consumption will not be grown on the site.
I hope this gets you updated and thinking about our City’s future in the New Year.
Thank you,
Kathy Pace

 
Letters to the Editor
December 18, 2014

To the Editor:
Today is 2014 where preschools teach children the names of objects, colors, shapes, letters, numbers, some begin to recognize written words and a child entering kindergarten is expected to start reading. But unfortunately many children do not attend preschool. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) quote; "(C)oncerns about the future trajectories of young children of immigrants, especially during the transition between pre-kindergarten and elementary school, a period critical to a child's development and academic preparation. Any disparities in school readiness may carry through the rest of K-12 education, lowering the educational and socioeconomic attainment of the growing number of children from immigrant families. For example, Dual Language Learners from Spanish-speaking households enter kindergarten with substantially lower literacy skills than those of children from English-speaking households, and the gap between the two groups improves only slightly by the end of the third grade. In particular, children from Mexican immigrant families score significantly below national norms" end quote.
During a previous FUSD Board Meeting Supt. Dr. Nishino and Asst. Supt. Michael Johnson stated FUSD had "many students entering the 4th grade lacking academic English skills" to comprehend the text books.
The Education Testing Service Policy Report assessed the Dept. of Education's National Adult Literacy Survey found, quote; "Those who began speaking English before they were six years old scored nearly 80 points higher, while those who first studied English between 7 to 13 years old were (at) 60 points" end quote.
School is in session 190 days a year, a little more than half. With class breaks, children are exposed to maybe four hours of instruction in English where teachers do not talk constantly. Much of the English heard is from kids their own age; not the adult level needed to attain the academic English Nashino and Johnson spoke of. The idiolect of a child before entering kindergarten is important to their success throughout their education; particularly after 3rd grade when knowing academic English is required to understand science, history, social studies texts. Fourth grade is a watershed year; studies show that a child not reading proficiently in the 4th grade has a 78% chance of not catching up.
Years ago listening to radios, TV or going out in public you heard adults speak English, even when another language was spoken in the home. Today we have Spanish TV and radio channels. Fillmore has neighborhoods where English is hardly heard. A child watching a movie in English hears as much, if not more, adult English than a day in school. Many immigrant parents think their child's rudimentary English is proficient, when it is not.
The ideology that the immigrant families need to be protected and not told their child should start school knowing English is a real disservice to those families.
We have campaigns telling people to eat vegetables, or talk to your child from the day they are born. But not one campaign telling immigrant families the importance of learning English to give their children a better chance at a successful education.
Jean McLeod
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
HEALING POWERS OF THE ARTS IN AN AGING POPULATION AND FILLMORE SENIOR CENTER “TAKE OVER”
If the Senior Center is dismissed as simply a building, a brick and mortar “facility” with income potential, then all sense of Community is lost.
With the recent announcement by the City of Fillmore to “take over” (Their choice of words) the Fillmore Senior Center, and the dialogue that has followed, I am compelled to speak to another aspect of the discussion. This aspect is the Healing Powers of the Arts in an Aging Population.
I became involved at the non profit Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated as a teacher of the Art of Water Color in 2008 at the invitation of Marie Wren and Mark Ortega. They, with the Board of Directors, graciously stepped up and began to take the Center into a new, productive and Community minded direction following a period of what appeared to be a fragmented and ineffective existing management structure. Their vision was generated, and maintained by subsequent Boards of Directors, through a belief in the value of providing a viable and stimulating gathering place for our adult population through art classes and other interactive programs. The non profit, Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated (Corporation) is focused on the people served at the Center, and, has developed the physical space into a welcoming environment!!
To my point, recent and powerful research supports the Healing Powers of the Arts in an Aging Population! I am privileged to have seen the arts in action creating a positive environment for healing. This is true for all ages. If the Senior Center is dismissed as simply a building, a brick and mortar facility with income potential, then all sense of Community is lost!
In the years that I have taught art at the Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated, I have not seen a council member nor any city personnel visit on site to observe the dynamic nature of the programs available there. Volunteers and other personnel are individually invested in the Center as an integral part of Fillmore. Because I am teaching on site only once a week, is it possible that I have just missed such visits?
There is yet to be adequate, open and transparent dialogue involving the City of
Fillmore, the non profit Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated, and public input as the City of Fillmore seems to be moving forward with its intent not to renew the non profit’s lease in 2015, which at this time, appears to be a giant step backwards!
Wana Klasen
Fillmore Resident
Retired Registered Nurse, Artist, Art Teacher

***

To the Editor:
Dear Members of the Fillmore Community,
I am writing to give you an update on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR’s) work at the Pacific Coast Pipeline Site. ATSDR’s goal is to protect the health of the people of Fillmore. To do this, ATSDR is investigating the possibility that contact with soil from the site could contribute to human health effects.
ATSDR Pacific Coast Pipeline Health Consultation (draft for public comment) is still going through our agency's scientific review process. While this review process takes longer than we’d like, we look forward to finalizing the draft and making it available to you and other members of the Fillmore community in early 2015. Thank you for your patience.
In addition, separate from our Health Consultation report, but in keeping with our goal of protecting the health of the Fillmore community, ATSDR provided comments to the City of Fillmore on the Fillmore Works Specific Plan Initial Study and Notice of Preparation of an environmental impact review. You can find our comments attached.
If you have any questions about ATSDR's work, please feel free to contact me by email or at 415.947.4318.
Regards,
Jamie Rayman
Health Educator, Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 
Letters to the Editor
December 11, 2014

To the editor:
In response to Tim Imhoff's letter in the Nov 27
Gazette issue: He considers it a problem that a foreign language is spoken in many Fillmore homes. He also comments on parents sending children to kindergarten when the child can't speak English.
Perhaps Tim has forgotten about the many waves of immigrants who arrived in this country over the past two hundred years speaking languages other than English. My grandparents immigrated from Poland, and didn't speak English when they arrived here. My mother, who was born in the United States, started kindergarten speaking only Polish. Should her parents have kept her home until she somehow picked up English on the street?
Let's have some tolerance for our Hispanic neighbors, and treat them as we would want to be treated.
Teresa Norris
Fillmore

***

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Fillmore Women’s Service Club 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
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair
Fillmore High School

 
Letters to the Editor
December 4

To the Editor:
Was anyone else flabbergasted to read that the City of Fillmore will take over the operation of the Senior Center? The City with a vote of the City Council decided not renew the contract with Fillmore Senior Center Inc., a non-profit group of volunteers. Why does the City think it can run the Center better then this group? This is a dedicated group of seniors who brought the Center back to a vibrant busy gathering place for seniors.
The City did a poor job of running the Center. Why do they think they can do a better job now? Who at the City will oversee the Center? We don’t know the reasons for the City takeover because the Council made this decision in closed session. Supposedly this is legal but is it right? There was no public input. My guess is you (City and City Council members) have already started hearing why this was a poor decision. So much for transparency in our City government.
Cindy Blatt
Fillmore, CA

***

To the Editor:
This comment is in response to Mr. Tim Imhoff's letter to the editor last week:
Mr. Imhoff,
It pleases me to know that there is someone in town so vastly informed and experienced in the Mexican culture.
I must say, though, I am very disappointed that you did not take the opportunity to run for the FUSD Board or Fillmore City Council.
I hope to meet you one of these days so that I might become as enlightened as you obviously are about my Mexican culture and the rest of the world.
Most impressed,
Norma Pérez-Sandford

 
Letters to the Editor
November 27, 2014

To the Editor:
Regarding the recent Fillmore school board elections, which were thoroughly covered in these pages, it seems to me that none of the candidates proposed new methods of improving test scores and graduation rates. We're tired of hackneyed plans that include hiring “better” teachers and throwing more money at the schools. No one seems to be interested in confronting the “elephant in the room”: the fact that the students spend the vast majority of their lives outside of the classroom and that this is where they get the vast majority of their education.
Problem #1 A foreign language is predominantly spoken at many Fillmore homes. This means very few books, magazines or TV programming in our national language, let alone discussions that can expand vocabularies and introduce ideas that are pertinent to life in America. Sending a kid to kindergarten when he or she can’t speak English? Really?
Problem #2: Home cultures that foster a lack of assimilation into American society with its concept of upward mobility through education. The culture that's imported from most third-world countries doesn't emphasize class mobility, personal responsibility or pursuit of excellence. I’d like to know how many kids have parents that are doctors, engineers, accountants or other professionals. Any?
Problem #3: Parental role modeling that is linked to the foreign model of a huge subclass of virtual peasants being overseen by a powerful central government. The theme that parents are foreigners (in spirit, if not by citizenship) living in a foreign country instead of being fledgling Americans who are adopting the ways of their new country.
Problem #4: The creation of a Fillmore society in which an immigrant can live very comfortably without dealing with American ways. Ballots are written in foreign languages even though competence in spoken and written English is required for citizenship. It's been made very easy for families to live their lives without knowing a word of English and for all intents and purposes to live a Latin American lifestyle while enjoying the benefits of American wealth, culture, education and a welfare society.
Basically, we can't have a school district with foreign language-speaking, poorly educated families with little interest in assimilation into the American way of life and then expect to have their children excel academically and prosper economically. Given the environments most of these kids are coming from, how can we expect more than bottom test scores and few high school graduates? Happy talk from prospective politicians and school board members can’t change the realities of the students’ world outside of school. The solution is going to be hugely difficult, but failing to address the cause of the problem isn't a good way to get started with fixing it.
Tim Imhoff
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
November 20, 2014

To the Editor:
Hi Fillmore!
By the time you get this the scoping meeting regarding the Fillmore Works specific plan (AKA Superfund business& industrial park) will have passed. You may have missed the notice of preparation invitation but you received it via this paper a few weeks ago. I am in hopes that many people came out to give ideas and feed back on the project. Just today I received the December National Geographic and one of the articles in it is about…you guessed it! Superfund sites (p.129). We have one, so what to do with it now? I am still not sure putting people to work on top of it is the best idea we could come up with and what we want to be known for. If you would still like to give feed back send your ideas to Kevin McSweeney at city hall so they can be documented and researched. I am told there will be work shops in the future that the public can attend regarding all the. Thanks for your time once again,
Kathy Pace