Letters to the Editor
July 30th, 2009

To the Editor:
More about laws and safety. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have witnessed a driver blow through a cross walk with someone waiting to cross. Not only is it common courtesy to stop for pedestrians, it is the law. The law reads that you must stop when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk or approaching it with intent to enter the crossing. The law is a little fuzzy about when you can proceed after you stop. I questioned one of our Deputy’s about this and he said when the person is past your lane and you will not make them uncomfortable by proceeding then it is OK. Now comes the little known and the most abused crossing law. The law states: A crosswalk is the extension of a sidewalk past the corner curb to the sidewalk on the other side of the street even though it is not painted. If you hit someone crossing a street under these conditions you will be at fault. For example, how about the intersection at River St. and Vons shopping center? It crosses four lanes of Highway 23 going to Moorpark. Yep…..that’s a crosswalk by law. See how many unmarked crosswalks you can find in our town. Remember, fines near schools are double. Courtesy and patience is what makes a good driver.
While we are talking about crossings, I have a pet peeve. I can remember when I was a kid it was just common courtesy to hurry through a crossing when someone stopped for you. When I am in a crossing I still make the old body move as fast as it is capable as I know how much I appreciate others when they show the same courtesy. It seems the ones that do pick up their speed are mostly older people, some that have a hard time just slowly walking across. Very rarely do I see the younger generation get in a higher gear. I guess courtesy and good manners are not taught these days. I am hoping that I recognize some of them later in life when I am crossing and they are driving. I sure will not hurry and may even stop to tie my shoe.
John Heilman
72 year native

To the Editor:
As many of you know, I returned to California in June, to spend two weeks with family and friends. During those days I was able to visit Fillmore many times, to speak with old friends and just drive around familiar places. It also gave me the chance to hear many so-called explanations of what seems to be causing the divisive atmosphere in town.
Since my return to my home here in Northeast Texas, I've had time to think about the situation in Fillmore. It also brought back memories of January 1994, when a massive earthquake shook the town, its buildings and its people. What happened after that can only be called a miracle. Residents became a large family - working together to help, to console, to fix.
I don't recall a single argument about who should do what or what should be done. We just did it. Nobody cared who took the credit or who wasn't helping out enough.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if that same spirit of cooperation could permeate through Fillmore once again?
I also recall a time in the early '80s, when businesses were moving around like chess pieces, churches were changing hands and it got to the point where people didn't know what church or business to go to, or where it was. Then the Sespe Players put on "The Music Man" and somehow that was the calming influence and glue to bring it all back to sanity. It was like the whole town took a deep breath and relaxed.
I'm not sure if another performance of "The Music Man" would be enough to fix things in Fillmore today. But I do know that a calming influence is needed -- not more hysterical rhetoric -- to get Fillmore back to being a family once again. One can only hope.
Dorothy Lynch
Marshall, TX

To the Editor:
Let’s look at an example of the thinking of Fillmore’s leaders before 2009. We are now being sued for a scheme that has since been outlawed. Our former leaders saw fit to approve a deal that set up a sham office for a medical supply company in Fillmore in order to take away tax revenue earned in Livermore and the City of Industry, where they really do their business. Some lawyers saw this legal loophole and concocted a scheme of kickbacks to themselves, the company and to give Fillmore a small piece of the action. Now, morally everybody can see that this is dead wrong, but to our City leaders thought it was a fine idea and they agreed to do it. I say the moral compass of our past leaders made it necessary for them to leave their leadership positions. They did not represent the vast majority of Fillmore citizens. So now these past leaders are whining about how things are run now. I see nothing immoral going on at City Hall anymore and I thank the wise voters of this town for changing the leadership and saving us more embarrassment.
Dave Roegner

To the Editor:
On June 11th, Bob Stroh challenged the Gazette editor to provide any statement or evidence of the accusations supporting termination of staff members. This challenge was to result in a donation from Stroh or Farrell to contribute $250 to the Boys and Girls Club. Since then, the Gazette has strayed from that issue and gone down another twisted path. We haven't forgotten Mr. Farrell. Where's your evidence or your money? We want to support the Boys and Girls Club. They are in desperate need of funds right now.
Maryellen Alvarez

To the Editor:
I read letters to the editor and most are full of hate and discontent concerning local matters. I thought it was time for a little change. I often think of things that make me wonder how others feel. I write this in hopes that it will generate some letters to express the thoughts of others concerning this matter.
This letter is about "tipping for service rendered in a restaurant." Years ago the norm was to tip ten percent. Now it is pretty usual to tip between fifteen and twenty percent. Not being a "cheap skate" I follow these guide-lines even though, most of the time, I do it because; "it's the accepted thing to do." I don't quite understand the reasoning behind tipping by the "total of the bill." Let's use this scenario:
I order a small meal and drink for $8.00. A fellow next to me orders a lobster meal and drink that comes to $40.00. The waitress has taken the same amount of time to take our orders, give them to the cook, bring them to us, take our money and clean off the table. His tip is near $6.00 at 15% and figuring mine at the same 15% would come to about $1.20. His tip is five times that of mine. I cannot understand why he should be paying more for the same amount of service time. Please explain to me this difference; and don't say the guy that had the lobster had more money than me and could afford it.
Recently I treated my family and relatives to a meal. It was very nice; the waitress was good, and very busy. I paid for the meal, with all the others insisting they leave the tip, which turned out to be a generous $15.00. Later I asked them, "How much total time do you figure the waitress spent taking our order, serving it, refills, taking payment and cleaning after?” The general answer was, "Not over fifteen minutes." Figure it for yourselves, this comes to about $60.00 per hour plus earning minimum wage at $8.00. Am I missing something here? Is any semi-trained person worth this much? I never in my life as a professional trade’s foreman made this much per hour, even on overtime.
Is there a better way to figure tips? Good or bad I look forward to any serious response to this you might have. Let me and others hear from you.
Thank you,
John Heilman
74 year Fillmore native