Letters to the Editor
February 19, 2020

To the Editor:
I live in Fillmore and care deeply about the city. I am very concerned about the upcoming election for Board of Supervisors. While many know us for our festivals and being the safest city in Ventura County, fewer know that we have a single and quite dependable water source, our large and constantly refilling aquifer. That aquifer, the ONLY water source for Fillmore, is potentially in danger. An oil shaft has been drilled illegally within a mile of the aquifer and that shaft runs through the underground stream that feeds the aquifer. That well is currently under review with the EPA but with the recent opening of millions of acres of public land opened to drilling and mining we fear for our clean water.
Kim Stephenson is running for Board of Supervisors. Ms. Stephenson has received no donations from the oil industry. She is accepting small donations only. Ms. Stephenson has spoken with hundreds of Santa Clara Valley residents and knows what issues we face. She will fight to represent us in all areas and will protect our water and natural resources.
Unfortunately, Kelly Long has received unprecedented large donations and support from the oil industry in her last election and even more this election period. I do not trust that Kelly Long will vote in favor of our clean water source and against the oil industry as she is now indebted to them for their HUGE contribution to her campaign. For that reason and many others reasons I urge you to research the funding and voting record and platforms of the candidates and realize that KIM STEPHENSON is the person to elect for District 3, Ventura County.
Lynn R. Edmonds
Fillmore, Ca
To the Editor & Community of Fillmore:
And that was so evident for those who attended the Celebration-of-Life on January 25th, 2020 for Angel Carrera Jr. who passed away on August 14th, 2019 at the age of 67, in Sacramento, California.
On behalf of the Memorial Committee of: sister Ana Maria and husband Tony Vega, sister Olivia Carrera Lopez, classmates Tony and Sandra Gaitan, Joe Ramirez, friends
Rick and Juanita Ferrer, Comadre Debbie Sanchez, Godson Gabriel “Pokey” Sanchez
III, Mathew Sanchez, Compadre Roberto Juarez, Goddaughter Jaclyn Morales, and
Compadre Jack Morales, we express our sincere gratitude and thank you’s to all who attended and supported us on that eventful day at the Fillmore Veteran’s Memorial Building.
The welcoming of Angel’s family- Mrs. Marta Carrera, sons Angel Carrera III and
Andrew Carrera, brother Joe Pedroza and family, sister Ana Maria Vega and family, and sister Olivia Carrera Lopez and family were recognized.
Classmate, Deacon Manuel Martinez blessed the celebration. A delicious lunch was provided and served by taquero Fernando Cervantes to more than 250 people. A collage of pictures was shown, and music was played by DJ Matthew Sanchez.
The reading of the obituary was read by Angel’s son, Andrew Carrera and followed with remarks and memories by speakers, Mr. Jim Fauver, Compadre Roberto Juarez,
Willie Rivera, Brother Joe Pedroza, Tony Gaitan, Joe Ramirez, Eddie Reyes on behalf of Rudy Reyes, Norbert Riesgo, and classmate Vernon Kenfield. Mr. Bruce Dempsey was also in attendance.
A reading of a prayer/poem was read and highlighted by Goddaughter Jaclyn Morales.
A Proclamation of Adjournment meeting for Angel Carrera from the Ventura County
Board of Supervisors was presented to Mrs. Marta Carrera and sons from Fillmore Councilman Manuel Minjares and Field Representative for Supervisor Kelly Long.
A Proclamation of Recognition for Veterans was presented to Angel’s brother Joe
Pedroza, from sister Olivia Carrera Lopez on behalf of Angel’s government service and work with Veteran’s statewide. About 20 local veterans who knew Angel were in attendance, honored and saluted Angel on his dedicated achievements to Veterans.
A song titled, Humble and Kind from Tim McGraw was played. Angel Carrera III spoke of his father on what the song meant to him.
At least 25 members of the Fillmore Class of 71 were present to honor, support, and celebrate the eventful occasion. Mr. Kenny “Sunny” Sundstrum, extended his talents and versatility in singing and playing two songs in honor of his classmate, Angel.
A closing blessing of the celebration was given by Deacon Manuel Martinez with continued socializing, music and many desserts to conclude the occasion.
Two Fillmore Organizations, The Fillmore Alumni Association and The Fillmore
Veteran’s Memorial Building will benefit from monetary contributions in the amount of $1300.00 each that was sent by family, friends, and classmates on behalf of Angel Carrera Jr.
In conclusion, we the committee express our sincere gratitude and many thanks for the support we received for Angel’s Celebration-of-Life and ask God for his many blessings to each of you who attended and made financial contributions.
With much sincerity and gratitude, The Memorial Committee of Angel Carrera Jr.
To the Editor:
Kelly Scoles, in her hate for anything Trump, stated last week that "Betsy DeVos (Trump's Head of Education) is destroying the backbone of our nation: the public school system." Well let's look to a few historical facts and when our educational system started to fail and what could be the cause.
American public education is in poor shape today because of cultural and social trends, most beginning in the 1960s, which destroyed classroom discipline, the moral basis for education, and a national consensus on what students should learn (1969 Tinker v. Des Moines, a landmark Supreme Court Ruling had a huge impact) but does that explain why American students do not possess the communication and computational skills they need today to succeed in college or in the working world? Let's look back.
An article published 27 years ago (DeVos wasn't in charge) in Foundation for Economic Education, Feb 1, 1993 writes; "When government policy continues to impose rigid personnel rules, bureaucracy, regulations, and a mandate to use education to engineer social or political outcomes, a school cannot successfully impart the needed skills, knowledge, and perspective to its students—whether these students choose to be there or not.....'Do-gooders' throughout the twentieth century have sought to expand the role of public education in all aspects of what was once family life, such as instilling moral values, providing health and nutrition, fighting delinquency and crime, and protecting children from physical and psychological abuse. Today, they are the primary advocates of Head Start and other supplements to school that intervene in virtually every aspect of a student’s life."
The article goes on to state statisics of past changes; "From 1955 to 1991, the average pupil-teacher ratio in U.S. public schools dropped by 40 percent." So years ago class size was addressed.
What about spending? "Annual expenditures per pupil in U.S. public schools exploded by about 350 percent in real dollars from 1950 ($1,189) to 1991 ($5,237). In only two years during this 40-year period did spending fall: 1980 and 1981. Spending grew by about a third in real terms from 1981 to 1991"
Today California spends $104.4 Billion each year (50.4% of the General Fund) which is $11,993 per student per school year and even more on ESL/ELL students. So our problems aren't added funding, but supporters of overturning Prop. 13 sure want you to think we need to tax more and throw more money at it.
Failures 32 years ago showed, "Just five percent of 17-year-old high school students in 1988 could read well enough to understand and use information found in technical materials, literary essays, historical documents, and college-level texts. This percentage has been falling since 1971......Average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores fell 41 points between 1972 and 1991. Apologists for public education argue that such factors as the percentage of minority students taking the SAT can explain this drop. Not true. Scores for whites have dropped." So it wasn't skin color!!! But what this 27 year old artical states as a possible cause in failure is ".....the rise in recent decades is the use of America’s public schools for the purpose of engineering some social outcome deemed desirable by political leaders. This is an unavoidable, and perhaps insurmountable, failing of government-run education."
Betsy DeVos had nothing to do with our past education failures that continue today. But according to Kathy Scoles she will destroy it. When hating Trump is everything, why stick to facts and just throw anything at the public and use the kids as victims.
Jean Mcleod
Fillmore, Ca