Letters to the Editor
December 2nd, 2010

To the Editor:
I am so thankful for all of the community support that we received during the campaign. I'm grateful to those of you who had the courage to speak out for change in FUSD. Mark Austin and I received over 2700 votes; every one of those a vote for change. I am hopeful that two new pairs of eyes and ears on the Board will bring the "breath of fresh air" that we were all hoping for.
I would like to thank Mark Austin. I am honored to have met him, campaigned with him and to call him my friend. He did not run for himself--period. I look forward to working with him in the future to improve our schools.
I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, a campaign based on integrity and truth with true grassroots support. Our supporters volunteered to help, requested yard signs and people I had never met before were calling and emailing thanking us for running. Our campaign opened the door to change at our District. And we are not going anywhere. We must stay organized and stay vigilant. The new Board members will need help working for transparency and accountability. At the most recent School Board meeting the auditor had to remind the Board that the budget is a ‘public document” meaning that any member of the public has access to this. Even with all their experience they still need to be reminded that they are a public body, they are accountable to the public, it is their role to answer to us and to provide the best education to all students. A shift is happening. A seed has been planted.
Stay tuned for information on the formation of a community based group to support the District in improving our schools.
With Gratitude,
Kimberly Rivers
Piru Resident


Letters to the Editor
November 25th, 2010

To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Fillmore for your continued support and faith in my leadership. I will continue to work hard for our community in every way I can. I am humbled and honored to be given the chance to represent you and Fillmore for the next four years. I continue my promise to listen to your issues and address your concerns.
I have been truly blessed with a strong support system in my family and friends. I thank those who contributed many hours to my campaign and who provided words of encouragement during this election cycle. I would be remiss if I did not extend a special thank you to those who donated their time and encouragement these many months as we worked on the campaign trail - Bob Stroh, Gloria Hansen and Bob Smith. I appreciate the many residents of Fillmore who made generous monetary donations to my campaign. And, of course, my treasurer, Donna Cruz for her time and support when I thought there wasn’t enough time, or money, to get it all done. To the many in the community who offered words of encouragement when the going got rough it was because of you I was able to keep focused on my mission and the issues.
I cannot thank my husband Steven enough for his unwavering support and his unending faith in my abilities.
I am honored to have the opportunity to continue in my service to this great city, my home, Fillmore.
Patti Walker

* * *

To the Editor:
Friends and Customers in Fillmore,
We at the Double A café would like to thank all of you for the warm reception into the community. Opening the restaurant has been the culmination of a dream and involved a lot of planning and hard work but it has been all worth it. Business has far exceeded our expectations at this point in time thanks to you. It has been a pleasure greeting old friends and meeting new ones and we look forward to serving you for many years.
We will be having a lot of fun at the café where we provide a dining experience in a relaxed atmosphere, serving the best and freshest product possible at a reasonable price. No frozen or deep fried foods are used. Although I am an experienced chef, I am a brand new business owner so please be patient as we work out the “kinks” and look for ways to improve our service. The cafe is a work in progress and I think you will see improvements every time you visit.
Our business style lunch, Tuesday through Sunday, offers an excellent meal for a very reasonable price. Dinner, from Wednesday through Saturday, involves more gourmet fare with a menu that changes with the seasons. We have recently introduced an Early Bird special at a reduced price from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Starting soon we will offer a family style dinner on Wednesday nights where you can enjoy a three course meal with a choice of five entrees for a reasonable price. Our Sunday brunch has already become a very popular attraction. Please call 524-4052 for business hours, information or reservations.
Once again, thank you to everyone in Fillmore, citizens and businesses, who have helped make our venture a success. I am proud to have been raised in this great town and look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship for years to come.
Bon appetite!
Dustin Anderson

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To the Editor:
Re: Gazette Editorial (11/11/2010)
To address incorrect information and clarify issues.
“Gazette: Construction Costs”
The total capital cost of the Fillmore project is $82 million. This includes $26 million for effluent disposal. So if the plant was only $39 million, where did the other $17 million go? The Santa Paula plant is twice the size of ours and their plant capital cost was $44 million with $8 million for effluent disposal.
The truth is that the extreme costs of this sewer plant are due to the plan (undisclosed and unknown until recently) for ratepayers to subsidize the Business Park. The cost of the land, the levee and River Street extension would not have been incurred had the City used another site on land we already owned. In addition, the extended sewer mains, utility infrastructure and storm drains (from D St. to Plant) increased costs. THE MAIN REASON THE PLANT WAS SITED AT ITS CURRENT LOCATION WAS TO FACILITATE AND SUBSIDIZE THE BUSINESS PARK. KDF is NOT helping the City, the City and taxpayers are helping KDF. The question is whose plan is this?
Gazette: “Fillmore owns its plant outright while Santa Paula has a buyout clause”
Fillmore does not own its plant outright because it carries a 40 year bond debt of $57 million principal plus $77 million in interest, ($134 million). This does not include $19 million taken from the Redevelopment Agency. Plus whatever debt service is associated with that.
Gazette: “In every way Fillmore’s plant is far superior in cost and efficiency.”
Santa Paula's plant has a much smaller footprint, saving millions in land costs. (Fillmore paid $2.4 million just for land purchase.) Santa Paula's plant can be operated by 3 operators. Fillmore requires 6. Both plants have won awards and are recognized as state of the art.
It seems like the Santa Paula paper is keeping its citizens informed. If the Gazette did, citizens would know about the issues with Fillmore’s plant. Including; the delays to get an APCD permit, that W. M. Lyle’s took all of the “open book” funds(intended for cost savings sharing), and the 21 change orders, some of which were implemented prior to Council approval. In Santa Paula, this is what caused their Public Works Director to be fired.
The Gazette continues to smear citizens of Fillmore who have a right and responsibility to question the enormous cost of this plant. If the Gazette was doing its job, it would have asked the same questions.
Bob Stroh

Read a responce to Stroh's letter here: www.fillmoregazette.com/editorial/realities-117


Letters to the Editor
November 18th, 2010

To the Editor:
A Big Thank You! I would like to express a special thank you to the Fillmore High School Hall of Fame Committee and the Alumni Association for choosing me for their first inductee class and inclusion in the new FHS Hall of Fame; what an outstanding experience. This ranks as a “Top Ten” event in my life besides playing in college sports, marriage, having two great kids and 3 grandchildren and of course the privilege of coaching in Fillmore. Many thanks to the parents and the great “Flashes” fans. I want to thank my assistant coaches, Tom Ecklund, Robert Ortega, Bob Taylor, Ked Creed, John Romero, Jerry Dann, Owen Muchisky and all those who coached at the JV and Freshman levels. The FHS teaching staff, administration and classified staff certainly deserve a great thanks: Ellen, Joyce, Joleen, Debbie, Nada and all the guys who prepared our athletic fields; they were the wheels that kept our engine going. Fillmore is my home! To my Ventura R&A golfing buddies, I call Fillmore “God’s Country”! Having traveled to all 50 states and 34 foreign countries, no place is better. Also I believe the coaches and players who were inducted into the FHS Hall of Fame will feel privileged to “come off the bench” and represent those inductees who are only with us in spirit. A very humble thanks to all.. Bruce Dempsey, 2010 Inductee, FHS Hall of Fame
J. Dempsey


To the Editor:
Tip of the hat to Joe Woods and the organizers and supporters of the Fillmore High School Hall of Fame first induction ceremony held at Fillmore High School on Saturday, November 13. The event was very well organized and the dinner provided by El Pescador was great. The induction ceremony, which was necessarily long because of the number of inductees, provided interesting details of the athletic history of the school and her first group of outstanding athletes. It was wonderful to see so many young families present (one infant of three weeks!) to honor friends and relatives. I hope that Fillmore High School will have this event annually. Thanks to all of you who made this happen.
Kelly Scoles


To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the citizens of our great community, and my family and friends for the overwhelming support and words of encouragement you have given me during this past election. I am honored and proud to have been elected as one of your voices on our School Board. I am ready to serve you in this capacity, which I know will be faced with challenges and obstacles along the way. However, I am confident that together we can make positive changes that will improve our school system.
I plan to work with our local youth organizations, community groups, businesses, and especially with our Board members, administrators, teachers, other staff members, parents, and students. Positive changes can only happen if we work as a team! Let us stop all of the negativity that has gone on in the past. We must move forward as professionals with only positive efforts, and with mutual respect for one another, so that our students and schools can thrive.
I would like to encourage those parents who have pulled their children from our school system to contact me. I value your issues and concerns. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents and volunteers who have supported our schools with your time and effort at any of our school activities and functions. Thanks also go to the administrators, teachers, and other staff members who work tirelessly above and beyond their regular hours, without pay. Your dedication and commitment are to be commended. If everyone would put forth that same positive effort into whatever job they have, we would be one of the top school districts in the county. I believe we can be that. Again, thank you for your vote of confidence. My email is rangelfan@roadrunner.com.
Lucy Rangel


To the Editor:
I would like to make a correction to your article on November 11th regarding the Nov. 9th City Council meeting. My comments at the council meeting regarding lose of jobs had to do with eight pool staff who are employees of the City of Fillmore (not Heritage Valley Aquatics). My issue was with the fact that leading up to the pool closure and at the time of the closure, nobody from City Hall staff (not the job of City Council) communicated with these employees regarding their job status.
On another subject: I was very sad and upset when I began hearing in June that there was going need to be cuts in pool programs, jobs and, as it turns out, closure of the pool. I started asking questions and looking into the revenue and expenses of the pool. There was two years of parcel tax revenue collected before the pool opened. Does anyone out there wonder where it went? The only answer I ever got was that it was spent, that it cost a lot more than projected to run the pool. Yes, it does cost a lot to run the pool facility but it is my contention that had there been better oversight of the expenses and revenue from the beginning that the current situation and the future of the pool facility would not be so bleak. The City staffer who oversees the pool facility has no aquatic or recreation background, has taken the advice from vendors over the advice of experienced aquatic employees, has placed blame every where but their own doorstep. The latest “sound bite” is that our pool is too much of a competitive pool. This City staffer oversees two other city departments in deficit – the theatre and the recreation department.
I have been asking a lot of questions. It is like pulling teeth to get answers. I pointed out several times that the current pool budget does not make sense. Here is a specific: the budget states that only one part-time pool manager would be budgeted for the 2010-11 budget year when in fact the numbers showed two part-time pool managers budgeted. When I questioned this before the City Council, the council was told that only one pool manager was in the budget. I contacted the Finance Director asking to please show me where in the budget it showed one pool manager. It took about three weeks of sending emails. Even though I did not feel it was necessary the Finance Director insisted on a meeting at City Hall. After meeting with her on Wednesday, Nov. 10th, she did agree with me that the budget did, in fact, reflect two pool managers were budgeted. I believe that two pool managers are needed, especially during the summer months, but my point has been that the budget does not make sense and does not solve problems.
I have more questions. Where is the oversight? 1) Can anyone understand why $8,000+ was spent on pool office furniture and chairs for the locker rooms? (The filing cabinet cost $1,300!) Was that really in the budget? 2) There are two pool rentals from the summer of 2009 that have still not been paid. I have repeatedly asked about this uncollected revenue, beginning this past June when it came to my attention. The pool rentals go through the Community Services Supervisor’s office at City Hall – not through the pool office. One of the pool rentals was for a birthday party for a city council member’s son. The other was for the Boys & Girls Club. Why hasn’t something been done about the missing revenue?
I have many more questions. Citizens of Fillmore need to ask hard questions and demand answers. There needs to be more oversight of spending. We are all experiencing hard economic times but this that the only answer to all of our City’s financial problems?
Cindy Blatt


To the Editor:
Dear Editor and community of Fillmore,
Sespe Players, Fillmore's community theater group, has applied for a Pepsi Refresh Project Grant. we will find out on November 30th if we have been excepted into the “voting process”. Then, on December 1st we can start our Voting Campaign.
The grant will “Refresh Sespe Auditorium with new curtains, lights and sound”. Sespe Players has applied for $50,000, and to win this grant, the community must vote on a daily basis, for the “project they want”.
No one knows how old the stage curtains are in the auditorium! There is no stage lighting or sound system! So the Fillmore School District could really use our help in getting this wonderful asset “Refreshed”!
Sespe Auditorium is located in the Fillmore School District Building, at 627 Sespe Avenue. Sespe Players has used this stage for many years to produce wonderful plays and musicals for the community. Recently we have had Musical Theater Workshops and acting classes as well. The District uses the stage for graduation ceremonies, community forums and rents the facility to other performing entities.
Before the voting begins for Sespe Auditorium, you can go online to refresheverything.com register to vote, and check out this month's projects up for voting.
Get to know the process, because come December 1, we hope to have everyone online voting for Sespe Auditorium! We will be up against some very tough competition from other very large communities, but , if we get the word out to all our email, Facebook and Twitter friends from everywhere, we could really pull this off!
Thanks you all for your support! We will find out Dec. 1 and let you know for sure if we made it past the review process, and into the voting phase.
Janet Foy
Sespe Players


To the Editor:
I just watched the Oprah show and Marie Osmond was talking about her son that committed suicide, believe me it was heartbreaking. She was talking about how hurtful bloggers were after her son's death. It reminded me of the bloggers we have in Fillmore that say such hateful things and don't have the guts to sign their real name, so they must be ashamed of what they say. I don't read that garbage because I have better things to do in life. A member of my family read the things said about me and was hurt that you (and you know who you are) would say such crap. Believe me I am not stuck in the nineties I am proud of what was accomplished then. I really had to laugh when the evil person said I did not know how to read. That does not even deserve an explanation since I have never sat around and used my brain for vicious things. I wish all of the no names would make better use of their time and do something constructive to improve Fillmore and the world.
God's word says "forgive them for they know not what they say", I believe that so much that I forgive you. I truly hope you will find better things to do, there are charities crying for help. Just remember some day you will stand before God ( at least I hope so) and you will have to explain the hurt you have dealt to people.
Always signing my name
Shirley Spitler


To the Editor:
This is a proposed method to provide the U.S. Treasury with a better way to reduce the deficit by simplifying the tax codes.
In the past, numerous attempts were made to streamline the Federal Tax laws, to no avail. Now more and more citizens/politicians want to reduce government involvement and to reduce the deficit.
Almost $30 billion (Ref. 1) are spent paying accountants to fill out complicated forms and estimates. Also, we spend almost $110 billion (Ref. 1) on our labor for keeping track of the records/paperwork.
Two options are being proposed to meet said goals. One (I) is based on an article in the September 6, 2010 issue of Newsweek (See Ref. 1). The second (II) is based on my thoughts, also to meet said goals.
OPTION I: “Clean Slate Time” is a plan to eliminate the tax man and save the country from suffocating debt in four simple steps:
A. Cut income and payroll tax rates in half except for people earning more than $2 million a year who will enjoy smaller cuts.
B. Eliminate all individual deductions and exceptions.
C. Impose a 12-15% value added tax on consumption.
D. Individuals will no longer have to file tax returns with the IRS. All earned and investment incomes will be collected by withholdings.
OPTION II: To provide an equitable tax rate to all, across a wide spectrum of incomes:
A. Eliminate all individual deductions and exemptions.
B. A 10% tax on Gross individual incomes of $50K and up. No taxes for those making less than $50K. Thereby providing a financial benefit to the lower incomes.
C. A 10% tax on $50K and up from all Gross incomes from the following:
1. Withholdings (includes companies operating outside the U.S.)
- Salary/bonus/deferred payments/etc.
2. Investment incomes (includes sources outside the U.S.).
- Dividends
- Interest
- Capital Gains
- Etc.
D. Social Security/Medicare benefits are Status Quo, no changes.
E. With the simplification of the proposed Option II, of collecting taxes will virtually eliminate the large cost/labor of filling out complicated forms, keeping track of records/paperwork by the individual/tax preparer/IRS, and will result in savings of billions of dollars.
With the large reduction of the labor/dollar costs, the IRS workforce will be reduced by 30% during the first five years and an additional 20% within the next three years. Also, during the work force reduction, the remaining workers will be consolidated in specific offices throughout the U.S. The unused facilities/equipment would be sold and/or leased; thereby providing additional funds to be available.
This added revenue to be dedicated to our most needy programs, i.e.; jobs, small businesses, housing financing, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans and families.
(Ref. 1:”Clean State Time”, by Keith Libby & Evan Thomas, Newsweek, issue of Sept. 6, 2010 www.cleanslateus.com)
Raymond Dressler
Fillmore Ca.


Letters to the Editor
November 11th, 2010

To the Editor:
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Congratulations to Patti Walker and Brian Sipes for their wins for Fillmore City Council. I only hope that as elected officials, they will prove to me and the citizens of Fillmore, whose votes they did and did not earn by their trust that they are truly deserving of the positions to which they were elected.
As for Mayor Patti Walker, I am disappointed that I am still awaiting information I had requested on September 16th, 2010 in regards to an economic assistance program she had promoted in her campaign. As for Brian Sipes, I am surprised that he has never in the past three years reached out to welcome me or my business to the Fillmore Community. Yet they both campaigned for Accountability, Fiscal Responsibility, Integrity and Understanding. They also laid claim to be Pro Business and encouraged everyone to Shop Local, as this was part of their solution to building Fillmore’s economy. I encourage both Patti & Brian to look deep into their hearts and ask, “Have I been doing what I have asked of the Community? Am I setting precedence by example?” Thus far you have both proved otherwise. Now is the time to show us your commitment to the community that you both campaigned on. I hope someday you can earn my trust.
I welcome Mr. Sipes’ commitment to pursue solar grants to lower operating costs by reducing electricity costs and to lobby for state loans or assistance to pay down our bond debt. I only hope as he claims to be a professional in finance, that he does not ask the taxpayers to foot the bill to pursue these endeavors. I challenge Mr. Sipes to pursue his agendas without cost to the citizens of Fillmore. Talk is cheap, action speaks volumes and time will tell all.
Again, I wish them the very best as they both have a long and winding road ahead. Remember all eyes are on the both of you for the next four years. Good Luck!
Alex Mollkoy

To the Editor:
To the Community of Fillmore:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters who placed their trust in me to be their soon to be City Council member. While this election season was contentious, I do acknowledge that debating issues is necessary for the betterment of our community. When I take my oath to be your elected representative, I will work hard to see that our City is run efficiently and governed ethically. As I have stated throughout this campaign, this is the people’s government. I will never breach that trust nor will I ever forget it.
For those whom did not support my candidacy, I hope to earn your trust and support throughout my term as your City Council member. I would also like to acknowledge my opponents. It takes determination and sacrifice to be a candidate. For that, I say thank you for being a part of the process and believing in democracy.
I have high hopes for the new City Council and our community. Let’s work together to find common ground so our community can strive to be the best small town in Ventura County.
Brian Sipes


Letters to the Editor
November 4th, 2010

To the Editor:
Jeff Sweeney, our local school district, and Piru families really pulled off a coup. Piru Elementary recently dropped 31 points in its annual API score and teachers promoting the charter school were transferred. You and your supporters, Jeff, have to be smiling. You can't have test scores without someone being last.
Name withheld by request

To the Editor:
When Scott Lee, former councilman and mayor, delivered and read the first letter of discontent from the City of Fillmore employees to the City Council, I wondered why Mr. Lee would put himself in such an obviously dicey situation...especially since he stated he had not read the letter prior to the Council meeting. So, I asked him why. He responded that he had “trust” in the City employees.
When Mr. Lee delivered and read the second letter of discontent at the October 26, 2010 City Council meeting, he stated that the letter was not signed. I wondered why Mr. Lee would read an unsigned letter to the City Council and citizens of Fillmore. So, I asked him why. He responded “you saw how many people were in the audience”. So, I asked another way. I asked if he could verify that the 32 employees who signed the first letter also signed the second letter. He said he did not know, that Roger Campbell had given him the letter.
So, here are a couple more questions. Why didn’t former councilman and mayor Roger Campbell present the letter himself? Who is it that Mr. Lee trusts?
Gloria Hansen

Letters to the Editor
October 28th, 2010

To the Editor:
Dear Citizens, Thank you for your support as I seek a seat on the city council. Those who know me know I'm running for office because I care for our town and the direction it’s going. I ran a fair and clean campaign and am sorry that others have to resort to belittling other candidates' efforts. It's sad, but then that is the state of politics today and one of the reasons I'm running for office. I've learned that you can't have thin skin if you run for office, part of the learning curve some say.
I believe it's time for reasonable people to stand up and serve Fillmore. If Fillmore wants a slick politician then do not vote for David Lugo. If Fillmore wants someone who is open minded, truly independent, who will listen and makes decisions for the betterment of Fillmore I ask you to support me, David Lugo for City Council. Your vote will not be a waste; I promise to work hard to prove my words have meaning. Please allow me to thank Gabriela my wife and my children Mario, Jonathan and Tatianna for their support, love and encouragement.
Thank you,
David Lugo


To the Editor:
My name is Joe Golson, director for IWA independent wrestling alliance. We are putting on the fundraiser show with the help of City Council candidate David Lugo and Little League. We are excited to bring Fillmore this event and to my knowledge as a life long Fillmore resident it will be the first pro wrestling event in this great town. We as a wrestling company are pleased that Fillmore Little League chose us to run this show for them. As a parent and coach for Little League what they are doing by lowering ticket prices is a wonderful thing. Also helping out those less fortunate with enrollment cost is great this coming ball year. The event takes place November 6th, 7pm, Fillmore Middle School gymnasium.
Joe Golson
IWA Director
(I may have not typed it right, I meant to say that David Lugo was involved with Little League as its President and was mainly responsible for the hiring of my company IWA to run this fundraiser for Little League and Little League only. It was not my intention to lead people to believe that David Lugo as a candidate for city council was to benefit from this show; that is not the case. The winners of the the fundraiser is going to be Little League and its players. Joe Golson)


To the Editor:
The residents of Fillmore are fortunate that Mayor Patti Walker agreed to run for reelection. She offers a level of experience unmatched by any other candidate and has served the people of Fillmore with the utmost integrity, grace and dedication. As she presides over council meetings she is fond of saying, “This is the people’s house, please feel free to tell us your concerns.” She listens. She makes sure that our City government is open and accessible.
Patti has worked tirelessly to represent our city in many regional and county committees that make decisions impacting us all. She has done so always keeping our best interests and Fillmore’s future in mind. She is respected and supported throughout the Fillmore community by the people she has unselfishly served and throughout Ventura County by the officials she has worked with.
We are honored to call Patti Walker our representative on the Fillmore City Council; we are proud to support her candidacy for reelection and look forward to a continued benefit from her leadership. We encourage all Fillmore voters to cast their vote for Patti Walker for City Council.
Bob & Joann Stroh


To the Editor:
Vote NO on Sipes.
I’ve never made a political statement, but I believe it’s necessary to speak out against Brian Sipes’s desire to represent the city of Fillmore as a council member.
Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed Brian exercise poor judgment; make false statements, and put his own self-interest above common sense and what’s best for the city of Fillmore.
Maintaining The Fillmore Gazette’s website as an independent contractor has allowed me to meet with many local business owners, school board members and city council members. I’ve meet with Brian and his mother Trinka many times over the last few years. Both have been kind to me and I wish them well; however, in the last election, Brian submitted a full page political ad attacking two political candidates that contained statements that I believed were false. I noticed these false statements before the ad was published and I asked Brian if he could provide any proof of the claims he was making. Brian said he “had proof” ... “somewhere” and “would have to get back to me on that.” In the meantime, I contacted the two political candidates being attacked and both were able to provide written proof that Brian’s statements were false. When I asked Brian again for any proof of his statements, he could not provide any, but still wanted to run the ad “as is.” In other words, Brian knowingly couldn’t provide any proof of the claims he was making but still wanted to publish the ad. It wasn’t until Brian realized the Gazette would not publish his ad “as is” that he accepted removing the false statements. A willingness to make false statements crosses a line for me. If Brian is willing to make false statements to get other people elected, what false statements is he willing to make to get himself elected? And if elected, what false statements will Brian tell us, the citizens of Fillmore, as a council member?
Brian works in the mortgage industry as a loan agent. In a Finance Committee meeting at City Hall on March 30th, 2010, Brian attempted to convince the committee to lower the city’s First Time Home Buyer Program’s loan standards. In other words, Brian was saying I’m a loan agent, and if you lower your loan standards, I’ll be able to write more loans and make more money. The meeting was attended by another local loan agent and real estate experts who all thought this was a bad idea. Does Brian not recognize the nation is in a recession caused largely by his industry’s unethical behavior and low loan standards? How could anyone think it’s a good idea to lower loan standards and put the city at greater risk?
Once again, Brian has exercised poor judgment; made false statements, and put his own self-interest above common sense and what’s best for the city of Fillmore; and for these reasons, I do not support Brian Sipes for city council.
Scott Duckett


To the Editor:
My family and I are life long residents of Piru. I am a mother of two young boys and am looking ahead to options for school for them. I have concerns about our local schools and would like to see our local district, school board and community working closer to provide a strong education and equal opportunity for all students. I would like to see the children of our district, our community, to be the priority, for they undoubtedly will be our future. That is why I am supporting Kimberly Rivers for Fillmore School Board. Kimberly lives in Piru and since moving here has served on the Piru Neighborhood Council and recently volunteered to help Piru Youth Sports get a website up and going. Kimberly is dedicated, determined and willing to invest her time and effort to see change for our children happen. This is the first time that a current resident of Piru is running for the School Board and I'm confident that Kimberly will not only bring the concerns of Piru residents to the Board, but will work to ensure the Board is trully working for all the families in the District.
JoAnn Sanchez-Torres


To the Editor:
I endorse Mark Austin for election to the Fillmore Unified School District Board. During the years I have served with him on the City of Fillmore Planning Commission, as well as previously when I was a staff member making presentations before the Commission, I have observed that he is a natural leader. He picks his battles wisely and sparingly, and ALWAYS has information available to support his position. He is persuasive, and very importantly...almost always correct!
Just as important as this is his ability to support and build a team. He is certainly not a soloist...but functions as an important cog in the entire wheel.
I see his abilities and talents as a commissioner, businessman, and environmental expert translating directly into his future participation on the School Board.
I'm requesting that my friends and neighbors in the District join me in voting for Mark. I guarantee that will not be a wasted vote!!!
Vance Johnson


To the Editor:
For your information: The "STORAGE YARD" at the end of Orange Grove Avenue was and is for the use of "Grad Nitre Live". Our organization has kept cars, motor homes, yard sale items and any donated items in this neat and safe area. Our yard sale items were kept in the enclosed storage bins. Gary Copeland has been with Grad Nite Live for 13 years. He has brought items that were donated to Grad Nite Live to my garage and the storage yard of Campbell's Auto Shop for years. When we are given a car to sell Gary checks it all over to see if he can fix it to sell or if we should give it to a mechanic shop where they donate parts and labor so we can sell it or give it to a student as a Senior Gift. Cesar Sandoval (he has a mechanic shop next to Grad Nite Live's storage yard) has helped us by donating parts and labor in the past. Then Brenda Ortiz of Super Seal and Strip offered Grad Nite Live this piece of land (dirt not asphalt) that was traded to her by the City for some of her property at the bike path. Gary then cleaned, leveled and fenced the area for Grad Nite Live. Then he was able to acquire a storage bin for us. This was all done with the approval of the neighboring businesses; Bill Stoessel, Brenda Ortiz and Charles Neal owner of the property that later was leased by Gary for his own storage yard. Grad Nite Live is a non-profit organization since 1990. We have taken the Senior Class on a safe "no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes/cigars" graduation party since our first trip in 1991. We have been able to do this by having many fundraisers. We started with 140 students graduating and it cost $10,000; now the Senior Class is 270 and the cost is $21,500. City Planner Kevin Mc Sweeney has been very helpful it getting this problem resolved, however as it stands now it seems the "City" wants to take back the yard from Grad Nite Live so that there is more parking space for cars and trucks of the businesses at the Dead End of Orange Grove Avenue. At this time there is an easy access to the end of Orange Grove Ave/Bike Path because everything is in a fenced dirt area not on the asphalt of the street.
Raelene Chaney


To the Editor:
In case you didn’t know, an opponent of Brian Sipes has been stealing signs at several locations. So far at least 14 signs were stolen since Tuesday night. While there is no proof of who stole the signs I hope the voters of Fillmore refuse to vote for a candidate who would do that. If they would steal campaign signs to win what else would they do and what kind of person are they?
Dave Roegner


To the Editor:
Brian Sipes – the right choice for Fillmore City Council
Brian Sipes will make an outstanding contribution to the Fillmore City Council.
I was born and raised in Ventura. My family settled here in 1928. As former Chief Deputy District Attorney for the County of Ventura, I know well that support for our local law enforcement is critical for the safety of everyone in our communities. Brian shares that view. He respects and supports law enforcement and will listen to their needs. Brian’s moral compass is always pointed in the right direction. His outstanding work ethic combined with his dedication for the betterment of Fillmore is a winner for the citizens of that fine community.
Brian Sipes is keenly aware that decisions of today have not only immediate consequences but also have long range consequences for the future.
As a small business owner, Brian understands the vital importance small business plays in the successful growth and fiscal security for everyone in Fillmore.
Brian believes that all citizens of Fillmore should have a voice in their local government. Brian will listen to those voices.
Brian is energetic, well-educated and well-informed. Brian has demonstrated his unique ability to lead by having already attended most City Council and subcommittee meetings. He knows the issues; he knows the City protocol; he will follow and abide by all rules; he will hit the ground running.
Do the right thing for Fillmore. Vote Brian Sipes for City Council.
Lela Henke-Dobroth


To the Editor:
Why knowledge is important – Why I am supporting Brian Sipes
Brian Sipes indicated a few years back he was interested in representing the citizens of Fillmore as a Council Member. Being the thoughtful and meticulous person he is, Brian began looking into the issues and duties of a council member by attending almost every council meeting. He went up and beyond by attending the Sewer and Financial Subcommittees. And he did not do this in just the last few months but has been a steady attendee for the last two years.
Brian did not stop there. He heard the call for support of the Boys and Girls Club and held a fundraiser to help bridge the financial gap the Club was dealing with. And when the Senior Center needed support he and his business associate made a donation to their bag lunch program.
Brian, like many others, did not appreciate the need to raise water rates. The difference is, Brian recognized that it was necessary to keep Fillmore’s credit rating safe and the water system properly maintained.
Isn’t that what Fillmore is about? Doesn’t Fillmore deserve a dedicated individual who has lived here most of his life and has a business here? I think it does, and I think the citizens will find that type of person in Brian Sipes.
Please join me on November 2, and cast your vote for someone who will listen to your concerns, work to find solutions to the problems, and strive to keep Fillmore fiscally sound and financially sustainable. That person is Brian Sipes.
Patti Walker
Mayor, City of Fillmore


To the Editor:
Re: Candidates campaign practices
There is information available for public viewing on the candidate's campaign money, financial form 460. The purpose of this form is to disclose to the public as to who is financing their campaign.
Beware: Candidates who do not submit this financial form 460! DO THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE?
Beware: Candidates who have received money from SPECIAL INTERESTS GROUPS like out of town developers. If they receive money from special interests they will be obligated to vote for these company bids even if it's not the best decision for the City, the Citizens, or the Business people of Fillmore. It may turn out to be another white elephant like the Bridges. One candidate has received over $2,000.00 from developers for his campaign.
Consider: Candidates that have had their campaign funded by private citizens and businesses in Fillmore. Who do you think that candidate will be representing in a City Council Vote.
Think about It: Take the time to obtain this form and really decide which person you want on the City Council. Three different kinds of campaigns here in Fillmore our "Best Little Small Town in America" Which Candidates would you prefer making decisions for the town and the people?
I have lived in Fillmore since 1965 and I have seen many things happen to our people and town because of our City Council. I would like to see the Council stop selling out to developers with the wrong kinds of developments and start focusing on building Real Revenue for Fillmore so our city can again own itself!
Donna Miller


To the Editor:
To Whom It May Concern:
I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Mark Austin on the Fillmore Planning Commission for the past six years. His professionalism, knowledge, wisdom and leadership have been inspirational.
Mark is always prepared for planning commission meetings, he is open minded and willing to listen to all sides before determining a course of action. He takes great pride in this community and his service to it.
This is why I am endorsing Mark Austin for the Fillmore School Board. Based on my experiences working with Mark I know that he will be a strong asset to the school board.
Douglas Tucker


To the Editor:
Every week when Congress is in session, my husband flies across the country to work. When he returns at the end of the week, we are busy attending community events throughout the 24th Congressional District. Being a U.S. Representative is not a job, it is a way of life.
Elton and I have four children and 10 grandchildren. Our children were all raised here and are products of the public school system. Three of our four children live, work and volunteer in the district and their children attend our public schools.
On the weekends, when we’re not at community events talking to our neighbors about their concerns, Elton spends his time playing with the grandkids, attending their baseball and soccer games or building them forts and playhouses. It’s how he relaxes after spending the week in committee hearings, discussing with his congressional colleagues the need to fairly compensate the victims of the 2008 Metro link crash, or working any number of other foreign and domestic issues that are on his plate at any given time. One of the four full committees Elton sits on is the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Although he cannot talk about the national security threats he deals with on that committee, sometimes I can just tell how heavy it weighs on him. But the concern he brings home fades for a short time as he immerses himself in our grandchildren’s young lives.
But it’s also for them that he continues to fly to work every week and take on the serious issues of fighting terrorism, creating a climate that helps businesses create jobs, rejuvenating our economy and fixing our health care system without destroying it. Our children and grandchildren – yours and mine – are our future. Elton wants to make sure they have prospects for a prosperous future. As a member of Congress, Elton works long and hard yet always makes time to be a husband, father, grandfather and the neighbor you see around town. Home provides the roots, the understanding and the incentive to battle for what’s best for our country and Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in Washington, D.C.
I am proud of my husband and the important work he does. I know how much he cares for our country and our community. Please join me in voting for Elton Gallegly for Congress.
Janice Gallegly
Simi Valley

Letters to the Editor
October 21st, 2010

To the Editor:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Fillmore Historical Museum, I would like to thank Martin Farrell, Publisher of the Fillmore Gazette for his consistent support of the Museum. We would especially like to thank him for his donation of a weekly copy of the newspaper so that our collection of information and news of Fillmore and its surrounding communities can be as complete as possible.
Our mission is to collect and safeguard the historical stories and artifacts that relate to the Fillmore, Sespe, Bardsdale, and Piru communities and display this information in a manner that is historically correct and interesting.
We invite the members of our communities to visit the museum. Our Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 9-12 and 1-4 and most Saturdays from 10- 3. Our office is in the Rancho Sespe bunkhouse at 340 Main St., Fillmore.
Martha Gentry
President of the Board of Directors

To the Editor:
Hello, my name is Diane McCall, I am a Fillmore resident and six year member of the Planning Commission. I write this letter in support of Mark Austin, a candidate for Fillmore School Board.
I have had the pleasure of working with Mark on Planning Commission and our body has been faced with many difficult and sometimes publicly controversial projects. Mark continually demonstrated the highest level of integrity and standards in bringing forth quality projects to the City. Mark Austin carefully prepared for meetings by offering sound advice and insight into all projects brought before the commission.
In working with Mark Austin these past years, I have observed him utilizing his decision making powers to the highest possible standards. I have no doubt that Mark Austin would bring this same integrity and discernment to the Fillmore School Board.
As parent of a Fillmore High School student, and considering the current economic climate and budget constraints facing our nation and our school district, it is imperative to elect strong leadership. But that leadership shouldn’t be afraid to break away from tradition if necessary, to create better performing schools, higher test scores and more productive students. I believe Mark Austin is the right person and possesses the drive required to face the challenges within our district.
Fillmore School Board needs strong leadership and Mark has the foresight and tenacity to bring a positive environment for both our district and our students. I sincerely hope you will join me in voting Mark Austin for Fillmore School Board.
Diane McCall

To the Editor:
I am asking you to vote for Patti Walker and Brian Sipes. It is important to have hardworking, honest and dedicated people on the Council. They will look out for the citizens of Fillmore. I have been seated at the dais for two years and I have observed the dedication and professionalism that Patti consistently exhibits. While you will read and hear a lot of politically motivated negative talk, there is a lot that you don’t hear about. Under Patti’s leadership we saved MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars and brought new transparency to the public. In January 2009, a proposal to buy land in the river bed under the 126 bridge for nearly $7 million was presented. The owners were the same individuals that prior City Council paid $225,000 per acre for the sewer plant. The rationale was to have the ability to remove sediment for flood control. Mayor Walker, I, and Councilman Brooks voted “NO”. This was Ventura County’s responsibility and the cost to the taxpayers was unreasonable. In March 2010, the Business Park developers wanted the City to apply for a $4.9 million loan from the IBank using the General Fund as collateral. In addition, they wanted a direct loan from the City of another $2.9 million. Again, Mayor Walker, I, and Councilman Brooks voted “NO”. The developers came back the next meeting and said they didn’t really need the money anyway. These are just a few examples. With many difficult decisions, time after time I have seen Patti put aside her personal feelings and do the right thing for the community. That takes integrity.
Gayle Washburn
Mayor ProTem

Letters to the Editor
October 14th, 2010

To the Editor:
Response to Steve Conaway's Editorial:
A revolving loan would have saved the city from paying on the sewer loan for an extra 20 years. Everybody knows that if you take out a loan for a longer time you will pay more in interest. This loan is twice as long as the revolving loan would have been, so it costs the city much more overall. Once the loan is paid off the city can lower the sewer rates a great deal. We get to pay your high loan costs twice as long, thanks Steve. A company called Perc wanted to do the sewer plant for $33 million. You threw them out. They were good enough for Santa Paula. You wanted the latest, greatest sewer plant that our money could buy. Oh, boy, the city got an award for having such a state of the art plant. Sorry Steve, I'd prefer having a sewer plant at less than half the cost.
Besides the sewer plant, you helped come up with a plan to take other city's sales tax revenue in a way that you thought was legal. The lawsuits that are costing the City big lawyer fees and frozen sales tax revenue since last year are yet to be decided about the legality of your plan. I know it was morally wrong. If that is your moral compass, to take things that belongs to others, then it makes sense that something fishy was going on with the sewer plant.
Dave Roegner

Councilmember Conaway's response
Dear Mr. Roegner,
The goal of the entire council, not just one member, was to reduce the monthly bill for users. Did you consider amortizing the cost of the plant over all users? Don't you want future users to pay their share of the cost of the plant that was built for them? After all the plant and pipes were sized for future growth. If your plan was enacted you would be paying for future users and in 20 years those users wouldn't be paying a penny for the portion of the plant that was built for them. They wouldn't need to because you graciously paid it for them. Let me repeat myself for your benefit and hopeful understanding, the use of the SRF Loan would have increased the monthly rates over what they are now.
Mr. Roegner once again PERC elected to not bid on the project. Some people bought Yugos thinking the car was "good enough". How many Yugos did you buy?
The trial courts threw out the lawsuit because it was baseless. State law was passed which grandfathered the agreements. The legality of the contracts has been established. Was it wrong when a company moved its Sales Office from Fillmore to Ventura? Did Fillmore sue Ventura? Was Fillmore entitled to the sales tax after the company moved to Ventura? Hint, the answer is "NO" to all three questions. Yet you argue otherwise. Why?
Your insinuations are a sad commentary of how nasty you've become.
Steve Conaway

To the Editor:
Commander Williams,
Just a quick note expressing my gratitude and appreciation for Officers in your organization.
Much too often our Police Officers are portrayed as individuals who could care less about the people they come in contact with other than meeting "the quota" and issuing one more ticket. Articles that I have read concerning Officer Brandon Mumme and the incident which occurred on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, once again reinforce my strong belief in our Police Officers and our policing policies.
Officer Mumme should be commended and recognized as an example of what the first responder should be. His commendable restraint and willingness to help an obvious sick individual yet, still protecting the lives and property of the innocent, places him at a level that all Police Officers should aspire to be.
Although this textbook "suicide by cop" would have, in my opinion, left this Officer totally exonerated had deadly force been used, he was able to retrieve the weapon and render aid. I have read that this was done even though Officer Mumme had been injured himself in the collision.
I am sure that you have seen that this Officer has been given his recognition he so justly deserves. His response and action taken was certainly a credit to his Department and the community which he patrols. With all the negative press Law Enforcement receives these days, this is definitely, one for the good guys!
Dan Pfau
Retired Police Sergeant
Alhambra P.D. 32 yrs.

To the Editor:
It is that time of year when all the movies and theme parks come up with all the scary things to make you afraid to go to sleep at night. But nothing is scarier then ELECTION TIME in Fillmore.
I'm writing this because I want the people of Fillmore to remember the good things that have happened here and not let people with ugly mouths to lead you astray.
My husband works for the City of Fillmore and I'm very proud of him and his co-workers. I don't know how many times someone has knocked on the door, called on the phone day or night if they had a problem. David has always greeted them with a smile and kind words and has taken the time to help them out. I know all City employees do the same. If someone out there needs help they will rally to get done what needs to be done. Try it sometime and see what kind of results you get. It's pretty amazing.
Through these difficult times we need to stick together and support each other. People are suffering all the time by losing jobs, homes all things of security. How can we make it worse by attitudes that are mean and vindictive?
I challenge every citizen to hear all sides, investigate what's really going on and get involved with the City of Fillmore. I ask that everyone on every side of the fence look at the issues at hand and form an opinion not based on who you do and don't like on the city council or who has the loudest voice that spews hatred towards other people. Please take the time to ask someone who works for this beautiful small town and get to know them and see what they do for each and everyone of us.
To all City employees I applaud you and Thank You for all you do for us to keep us safe and running everyday!
Donneta Smallwood

To the Editor:
RE: Vote for Mark Austin for Fillmore Unified School Board
I am supporting Mark Austin for Fillmore Unified School Board.
Mark brings a deep abiding understanding of process, systems, and education. He, in his professional life, works with budgets, people and projects.
Mark understands excellence, he practices excellence. Mark will work with everyone, allow every voice and make the decisions that will benefit the entire system.
In this time of tight money, high feeling, and strong opinion about how our schools need to be, Mark will be a part of the leadership to work with our strengths, to build from our core and to include the entire community in this process.
On election day, please join me in casting your vote for Mark Austin.
Bill Bartels

To the Editor:
Please allow me to commend to your readers the candidacy of Steven Hintz for the office of Ventura County Treasurer for the upcoming election.
Steven Hintz has recently retired from the Ventura County Superior Court bench, where he served for many years. Before being a judge he was a prosecutor in our county District Attorney's Office, and before that he was a Naval Officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps. Concomitantly with being a judge, he taught Constitutional Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure at Ventura College of Law for many years.
I first encountered Judge Hintz as my law professor in Criminal Procedure. One noticed at once that Professor Hintz was not a person to whom it would be sensible to give any nonsense. His classroom presence will always define "formidable" to me. But, not "stuffy"! There's a concept called "wingspan", defining the distance from an arrestee at which an item discovered by the police could be associated with the arrestee. Professor Hintz demonstrated the concept by unexpectedly and abruptly launching himself into the air across the front of the classroom, a standing broad-jump, slapping the top of the student's desk where he landed. "About this far." His students never forget that concept. I know very many lawyers who have matriculated Ventura College of law with Judge Hintz' Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure courses under their belt. Each will say, I believe, that he taught a great course, and that he did his very appreciable best to see that his students "got it." And all of those who I know continue to regard him both with respect and with affection.
On the Superior Court bench, Judge Hintz very definitely "got it right". He was affable whilst always being very businesslike. Litigants got their day in court, and the law got followed without fear or favor. I remember, with considerable self-annoyance, losing a petition for a writ in a civil case in front of Judge Hintz because I quite ineptly failed to ask a witness a crucial question. My job was to ask, and I didn't, former student or not. In the Criminal Master Calendar courtroom, where he presided affably and efficiently for several years, Judge Hintz was a wizard at juggling trial courtrooms, looming deadlines, and many-too-many cases. The task calls for diplomacy, legal expertise, and organizational skill in roughly equal measure, and Judge Hintz got it done with style.
I urge a vote for Steven Hintz for County Treasurer. In him, we will be getting a bright, energetic, well-organized man of unimpeachable honesty.
Mike Ford
Ford & Ford LLP

Letters to the Editor
October 7th, 2010

To the Editor:
I am endorsing Mark Austin for Fillmore Unified School District Board of Trustees. Mark is a long standing resident of the Fillmore community. He currently serves on the city Planning Commission and has served as Chair and or Commission for the last 11 years. He listens to input from all parties, he puts in the time to understand complex issues and votes so that best interests might prevail.
Mark is passionate about education and giving our kids the best opportunity to succeed in life. Mark’s fresh perspective and influence will be an asset to the Board and the workings of the Fillmore Unified School District. I am supporting Mark and hope that you’ll do the same.
Steve Conaway

To the Editor:
I am voting for Brian Sipes for city council because I think he will do a great job for our city and the residents. He has nothing but the best interest of our city in mind. Brian has attended every city council meeting for the last 7 years. Prior to the meetings, he gets the agenda and does his own research on items. Brian brings his research and any useful information with him to the meetings and interacts with the council. Brian fought against the new sewer plant. No other candidate, other than Mayor Walker, has fought hard to protect our financial resources.
Brian grew up in Fillmore and also is a co-owner of a small business. He's been a board member of Fillmore Chamber of Commerce. He has been a financial supporter of the Boys & Girls club as well as the Fillmore Senior Center. He has been a volunteer for Relay for Life also.
I am happy to call Brian my friend and would be fortunate to call him city councilman.
Christine Parrish
Fillmore Resident

To the Editor:
Re: Next month's election for City Council
I hope over the next month every citizen will think about the issues for business owners and citizens concerning Fillmore at the present time. There is only one candidate with enough knowledge and concern to fill an empty council seat and that's Brian Sipes.
Over the last few years Brian has attended more council meetings than any other council member or candidate. He has taken time off work to attend every seminar that has been mentioned at council meetings.
Brian thinks for himself, he is not a follower. He has voiced his opinion on all important issues and how they would affect the citizens good or bad and he has disagreed with each council member on items that affects Fillmore at one time or another.
The City of Fillmore owns nothing and we are in debt for the next 40 years for our expensive sewer plant, which Brian was against spending $83million dollars and he voiced his opinion.
Brian knows how hard times are on family owned business' and how hard times are on families trying to pay their bills and keep their family in their homes. So as far as I am concerned there is only one candidate that is actually for the Business People and the Citizens of Fillmore and that's Brian Sipes.
I know Brian is always available to anyone who wants to call him with questions. He always gives honest and truthful answers.
Donna Miller
Long time Fillmore Resident

To the Editor:
In regards to Dan Mathews letter last week, I think another opinion should be sent out.
First off, who are you? I’ve never seen you write a letter to the editor before or have seen you at council meetings. Because you went to a meeting and spoke you are an expert at city administration? I know from my considerable experience (I have attended most meetings since mid 2007) I can’t see a reason to criticize Patti, Gayle or Jamie. They have done their best to stay within budget in spite of Steve Conaway getting our sales tax revenue frozen.
The citizens CAN tune out the council easily if they wish, just don’t come to meetings or watch on TV.
Making fun of Gayle and Brian is just childish, like some of the editorials. You can’t even come up with an issue to write about, just slamming people you don’t know.
Brian Sipes makes no sense shows that you were not listening carefully. You don’t like it when he presents facts that go against your beliefs.
So Dan, you have nothing factual to say. My advice to you is to say home and be quiet.
Dave Roegner

Letters to the Editor
September 30th, 2010

To the Editor:
Dear Friends, Family and Business owners of Fillmore,
On Friday, November 12, 2010, Fillmore and Santa Paula will be celebrating their 100th meeting. The game will take place in Fillmore. Due to this “once-in-a-lifetime event, we are putting together a “100th Meeting Fillmore-Santa Paula Program. We have put together a tremendous committee between Fillmore and Santa Paula and are looking forward to putting on a great event for both towns. The Fillmore High School Athletic Booster Club is reaching out to both communities to help us make this a successful year for both football programs.
If you would like to advertise your business or put in a personal dedication in this special program, please contact Susan Golson at golsons90@aol.com for rates.
Thank you
Susan Golson
Program Coordinator


To the Editor:
I spoke at the last council meeting and said that if the council doesn't like the Gazette editorials then they don't have to read the paper. They can save the dollar by not buying the paper. We citizens can't save a buck by turning off the council when Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Washburn and Mr. "Independent" Sipes start speaking. I've watched the meetings and those two council people don't look like they know what is going on; and Mr. Sipes talks in circles and makes no sense at all. We have two blind mice up there now; if Mr. Sipes is elected we'll have three.
Dan Mathews
p.s. The cartoons are very good. My favorite was the one of Mrs. Washburn carrying Mr. Sipes around like a puppy who is wagging his tail. So much for being "independent".


To the Editor:
Brian Sipes grew up in Fillmore and shows such pride for his city. Anyone who talks to him knows how dedicated he will be to the people of Fillmore and the betterment of the city as a whole. He has no selfish hidden agenda and is refreshingly honest. He may be young, but is smart and wise beyond years. He plans to work hard for the citizens of this community. That's why I'm voting for Brian Sipes for City Council. We can depend on him and he won't let us down.
Susan Lewis,


To the Editor:
I offer the following as a private citizen. I am endorsing Patti Walker for City Council. Ms. Walker and I do not always see eye to eye on issues. Over the past 12 months I’ve observed, as some of you have, a change of tone from her and a pronounced effort to make sound calls for the entire city. She reports prepared to conduct business. Experience is greatly needed on the council. If you watch you know. Ms. Walker has demonstrated leadership by advocating items which may be unpopular but best for the city as a whole. Rather than hold tight to personal preferences she has voted based upon law and common sense. I believe that Ms. Walker must be retained on the council, but this election must bring balance back to Fillmore.
I am also endorsing David Lugo. Mr. Lugo is an honest man who has no preconceived notions or agenda. Little League needed coaches and he stepped up. Little League needed a President and he stepped up. The City of Fillmore needed a new Parks and Recreation Commissioner and he stepped up. Fillmore needs someone who truly is independent, who is honest, who has no agenda, who will conduct business fairly, openly with all citizens being considered, and now Lugo is stepping up. Mr. Lugo has a desire to serve his community for all the right reasons. Lugo will help bring balance back to City Council.
Steve Conaway

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To the Editor:
In response to the Q&A for City Council, Mr. Lugo stated that, “In the last two years this Council over spent and reduced the reserve account from 40% of the general fund to only 21%.” While some campaign rhetoric is expected at this time, it is important that the true facts are known. During the 2010-2011 budget hearings, the Finance Director informed the Council and citizens that the State took $2.3 million dollars of RDA funds, property tax assessment revenues have declined 9%, and the City is not receiving sales tax due to the sales tax lawsuits. These issues have resulted in use of reserve funds as intended. City staff has worked diligently to close the revenue gap while trying not to cut services. For more information you can view the budget documents at http://www.fillmoreca.com/docs/budget-10-11/04-Section-4-General-Fund.pd....
Gayle Washburn
Mayor Pro-tem

Letters to the Editor
September 23rd, 2010

To the Editor:
Thank you Jesus, Vons, and the nameless customer.
To those who are immediately offended by my thanking Jesus in an email, my apologies. I talk to God often in my mind and he always answers, even if I don’t hear it sometimes. It just didn’t seem right to thank Vons and a customer and not mention Jesus. And if you don’t have the time or inclination to read my story, please just hit delete.
Yesterday I had to go to the bank and withdraw a substantial amount of cash to complete a personal transaction today. To prevent flashing a wad of bills, I put my money clip around all but $100 of the amount so I could use the less flashy, folded, five twenty dollar bills for a purchase on the way home.
So, when I went into Vons in Fillmore it was my intention to pay for my purchase with the $100 kept separate in my pocket.
However, having another senior moment, I reached in my pocket and pulled out the large wad of bills and paid for my purchase. Senior moments seem to be coming more often, lately.
So, this morning, as I prepared for school, I looked down at the counter where I had placed my pockets contents the previous night. Something clicked as I saw only a clipped stack of money. My heart stopped as I counted and calculated and realized I was $100 short.
I sheepishly explained to my wife I was $100 short and she said “I didn’t touch your money!” which after twenty years of marriage I already knew. I said I couldn’t imagine what happened.
So I left for work very perplexed and thought, “I’ll retrace my steps.” I had already searched around my parked car and house. The next logical place was Vons. “Fat chance someone turned it in if I dropped it there” my mind thought.
So I went into Vons and asked for the manager and sheepishly explained that I might have dropped $100, 5 twenties and did anyone possibly turn it in. He said, “I’ll check.”
He returned in just a moment with a hundred dollars wrapped in a white paper with the following written on it. “Found on floor in front of Customer Services By Customer. M” Aisle 5 that I had used is next to the Customer Service window.
I choked up and my eyes filled with tears and I was speechless as I said, “Thank you” and left with my $100. I’ll say more in Thank You a card to the store later when I am less emotional.
I left and delivered the cash I needed to complete my transaction on my way to work.
Thank you Jesus and Vons and an unknown customer.
Michael Hoffman

Letters to the Editor
September 16th, 2010

To the Editor:
To Dave Wild, Tony Prado, Mark Austin, Kim Rivers, and Lucy Rangel:
I am sure that each of you have made the decision to run for school board after giving it a lot of consideration and that your reasons for running are based on sincere integrity. I hope, earnestly, that no-one has approached you to play games with the numbers, asking you to run for school board simply to take votes from a fellow candidate in order to keep him/her off the school board. I want to believe that each of you are running because your greatest desire is to work for the families of the Fillmore Unified School District for the FULL term you are elected to serve. Please keep our children in mind as you go through this process.
Marie Alviz

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To the Editor:
Please Support “The Little Red School House” thru E-scrip!
Santa Clara Elementary best known as “The Little Red School House” is reaching out to the community seeking support for the Art and Music program thru E-scrip which doesn’t require any cash out of your pocket. Simply log on to www.e-scrip.com and click on Santa Clara Elementary on Telegraph Rd. in Santa Paula.
The Students and parents at Santa Clara appreciate your support.
Kari Skidmore
Santa Clara Elementary

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To the Editor:
What it seemed to us most Americans, it was a normal Tuesday morning. Millions up and gone to work. Children off to school. A lot of us remember where and when we were on that early September 11 morning. What we didn't know, was at that specific day our everyday lives would be altered. Some, to this day.
I remember driving to work at 5:30 am, the radio being interrupted with a News Broadcast of a small airplane accidently crashing into the World Trade Center. Shortly after, that small plane was described as a Passenger Jet. In our Crew Room the TV's were blaring with this horrific event. Not knowing what was going on, most of us Americans were entertaining our worst fears. Moments after, a second Passenger Jet slammed into the adjacent Tower. This was a tell-tale sign that our Nation's Soil was being attacked.
Simultaneously, America fell victim of the Attacks in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shankesville, PA. Terrorism was the Nation's demise. A modern-day Pearl Harbor as it is described to be. An Event that claimed the lives of thousands and affecting millions. An Event that crippled our emotions, hopes and dreams. An Event that silenced us and challenged us. Also, an Event that United us.
During that day, I ran into a late friend of mine-Sam Myers. He asked me, "Can you believe that $#!t ?" That conversation became highly opinionated. To this day, it still is. Whether it be of the War Campaign, Islam, Mid-Eastern descents, or US Government, Americans will NEVER forget 9-11.
This passed Saturday, 9-11, the East County Chapter of the Carnales Motorcycle Club held a Run at El Pescador Restaurant. It was a Run that united, not only Bikers, friends and family also gathered to remember our Americans who perished. We also honored our FDNY Fallen Heroes with a plaque that the Club made. The Carnales will be shipping the Plaque to a Fire Station in New York City because they whole-heartedly deserve it! Their countless and tireless efforts will forever be revered.
Fortunately, the Run propelled us toward our upcoming Annual Toy Run in December. This Run benefits the children of Piru. It has been a VERY successful Run during a time when we can help Families have a good Christmas.
In closing, I would like to thank El Pescador Restaurant, ALL Motorcycle Clubs that attended, the Public that attended, and all my Carnales! Let us NEVER forget those who lost their lives. Let us NEVER forget the acts of Bravery from the FDNY and NYPD. Let us Pray for the Families who still suffer from 9-11. May God Bless America ALWAYS!
Thank You,
Bobby Castaneda Jr.
President Carnales Motorcycle Club
East County

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To the Editor:
A THANK Y0U to the City, Senior Center Board members, my many friends and everyone I have worked with on numerous projects from 1947. I am embarrassed to receive a Proclamation from the City after retiring from the Senior Center Board last month. If I have accomplished things through the years, it has always been because I had wonderful support, cooperation and assistance from all of you and you share in the honor that has been given to me.
We can get the job done in Fillmore by working together. Nothing is ever a "one man show".
When I wanted to put together a book about the families in Fillmore, few people were interested in writing their individual stories, so that idea fall by the wayside a few years ago. Now I want to write the history of scouting in Fillmore, and I can do that my self. I welcome any stories by former scouts or those working with scouts. I am saving a special chapter for those, so please get them written and give me a call so I can pick them up.
I will always be interested in what is happening in our town and how I can help. My main interest now is writing, writing, writing! It is time for me to sort out the old material I filed away years ago and see what I can find to interest all of you in either a book or weekly column. If you have ideas, please give me a call. My next chapter of "fun and games" is just starting and THANKS for your help the last 60 years and hopefully, the next 10.
Marie Wren

Letters to the Editor
September 9th, 2010

To the Editor:
My thinking about the forth coming rate increases for sewer, water and the transfer of street sweeping fees are why have we waited till the economy is in the new waste water treatment facility to propose these increases and why did we ( the city ) attach a unknown percentage along with a dollar and known percentage instead of a solid dollar amount.
Why is there or was there some confusion on what to do with the ballot, don't people read anymore? I seem to remember it came in two languages.
As far as street sweeping goes there are so many cars parked on the streets anymore that I can't help but believe that some homes never get the street swept by them. Why doesn't the city post no parking on one side of a street on certain days and the other side on other days, lots of cities have parking restrictions for street sweeping and then ticket the offenders and you might generate enough money to take care of all the rate increases.
Put another motor cop down on Ventura Street and if they wanted to ticket the speeders they could satisfy the city budget.
Michael Hope

Letters to the Editor
September 2nd, 2010

To the Editor:
Re: Kimberly Rivers for Fillmore School Board
I congratulate Kimberly Rivers for her decision to become a candidate for the Fillmore Unified School District School Board. Kimberly has been very active in the community of Piru serving on the Piru Neighborhood Council. She runs her own business and is president of a local non-profit organization, Birth Action Coalition. She also covers the reporting of School Board meetings for the local press.
Kimberly’s number one goal is to put students first. She is especially concerned that too many resources are not directed toward the education of our students and too little money goes to the classroom. She will work with community groups, parents and educators to improve the quality of education in our District.
I am proud to endorse Kimberly Rivers for the Fillmore Unified School District Board.
Mary Ford

Letters to the Editor
August 26th, 2010

To the Editor and Residents of Fillmore:
We recently read in the Fillmore Centennial book this poem that reflects how we citizens of this city should feel about our town. It was written by William Thaw Deniston, and was originally printed in the 1920 May Day Festival bulletin. It is very appropriate at this time for us residents; of Fillmore to realize that it’s the PEOPLE of Fillmore that determine what happens to the city. Poem:
It Isn’t Your Town – It’s You
If you want to live in the sort of town,
Like the sort of a town you’d like,
You don’t have to slip your clothes in a grip
And start on a long, long, hike.
For you’ll only find what you’ve left behind,
There’s nothing that’s really new,
It’s a knock at yourself when you knock your town;
It isn’t your town—it’s you.
Real towns are not made by men afraid
Lest somebody else gets ahead.
Where everyone works and nobody shirks,
You can raise a town from the dead.
And if while you make your personal stake,
Your neighbor can make one, too;
Then Fillmore will be what you want to see - - -
It isn’t your town - -
It’s YOU.
Louise & Gertrude Lovelace

Letters to the Editor
August 12th, 2010

To the Editor:
Re: Don Gunderson (July 27, 2010)
I believe Mr. Gunderson misunderstands the process that is taking place. Here is the information you need to know. Sewer and water rates have to be increased to pay for the bonds and higher operating costs. Street sweeping costs were removed from the General Fund to help balance the budget. If approved by the voters, those costs will be added to their trash bill. All of the rate increases are subject to property owner approval via a ballot known as Proposition 218. The ballots will be mailed to all property owners in the next several weeks. There will be public hearings at the August 24th and September 14th Council meetings. Your protest ballot must be received by the City by 6:30 PM on September 14th.
I can only speak for myself but in my opinion the fate of these increases lies in the hands of the property owners of Fillmore and how they vote. If the ballot fails then the City will have to reconsider how to pay the water and sewer debt.
As you can imagine, I am also very unhappy about these increases in water, sewer or street sweeping. But, in the end, this is the budget that was presented to the Council. Many cuts were made and are likely still to come. The Mayor made extensive comments at the budget hearing and I agreed that it was important to make the Proposition 218 process easier for the property owners to participate in the vote. Also, our most costly litigation is the Sales Tax issue which was filed prior to the last election and pursuant to Council decisions made in 2003.
Gayle Washburn

Letters to the Editor
August 4th, 2010

To the Editor:
I want to commend Naomi Klimaszewski for her great reporting skills.
She writes in an easy, informal style and makes you feel that you were there as well! I particularly enjoyed the interview of the new school board member and the inside look at the fire department.
Susan Cuttriss

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To the Editor:
To Whom it May Concern:
I am looking for any relatives of Edith R. Barnes. She was born in 1878 in Stockton, Kansas. She died in 1935.
Edith had a brother Merton who was an adman for a local paper in Fillmore, California in 1930. Merton had two sons, Henry and Gay Barnes and two daughters, Edna and Barbara Barnes. Barbara Barnes also worked at a local newspaper as a Society Editor in Fillmore in 1930.
Edith R. Barnes was my grandmother and I would like very much to have a picture of her.
Please contact me if you have any information.
Thank You,
Junelle Benedict, PO Box 662, Jacksonville, OR 97530 (541-899-8266)

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To the Editor:
Mr. Gunderson,
After reading your letter of concern, I am wondering where these comments are coming from. The decisions that you oppose are those of past Councils (Hernandez, Cuevas and Conaway),and you've endorsed these individuals in past elections.
Especially since I and so many in the public asked the Council not to spend so much on the Sewer Plant and the financing. True, we had no choice but to comply with Water Board requirements. But we did have a choice on;
1. Where to locate the plant. Past Councils and staff CHOSE to buy land from the business park developer to anchor and facilitate their development and to help them pay for the levee. We already owned land elsewhere that would have been suitable and could have saved millions in land cost, infrastructure costs and now flood insurance costs.
2. The City had a CHOICE whether to accept the too high bids. Santa Paula and Piru both chose to re-bid their systems when the costs came in too high. (Piru’s $14,000,000 plant was paid for with $8.5M in grants and $5.5M in a 1% loan. Why didn’t we apply?)
3. We also CHOSE to use municipal bonds rather than the low cost State Revolving Loans that were recommended in 2004. I am a finance professional and I know how critical it is to get the lowest interest rates possible. That wasn’t done.
I and others warned the Council that the consequences of these choices would be too much of a burden. Now and for many years it will be. These were CHOICES that were made by previous Councils who CHOSE to ignore the constituents , not the new Council. As a candidate for the Fillmore City Council, I stand firm in my beliefs that when a person is elected to the City Council, it should behoove them to think of the lasting consequences and how these decisions will effect the community as a whole; for today and for the future.
Brian Sipes
2010 Fillmore City Council Candidate

Letters to the Editor
July 29th, 2010

To the Editor:
What has happened to free speech in Fillmore? I for one feel stifled as an educator following my encounter with the City of Fillmore Community Development Department.
I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor for Ventura College, which also offers courses to serve the needs of our immigrant community at sites in Fillmore and Santa Paula. Many residents are unaware of the availability of these classes. As my personal outreach effort, I teamed up with local success Margarita Jiménez-- Margarita started learning English in VC classes in Fillmore, eventually got her BA from Channel Islands and is now working on her MA at Cal Lutheran. We had signs printed in Spanish which say in translation: “Margarita Jiménez advises you to learn English in Santa Paula or Fillmore! Yes, you can do it!”
These signs went up at her residence and at other students’ residences, only to be called by Kevin McSweeney who said they were a code violation. When I protested that these signs were a matter of free speech, akin to a political sign, McSweeney roared with laughter. I asked him what was so funny,
and he said that Margarita advising people to learn English was like her asking them to buy Coca-Cola for a dollar a bottle. I do not believe that promoting the learning of English at a nonprofit community college is at all the same as advertising a commercial product. Don’t we all want people to learn English?
Trina Nagele
ESL Instructor, Ventura College


To the Editor:
The following is an excerpt from the July 22 VC Star article dealing with the City of Fillmore current budget:
“‘It’s been repeatedly said that we’re in tough financial times,’ Mayor Patti Walker said. …”
“Walker said the council needs to raise water and sewage rates in the coming months.
“‘We’re going to be increasing their fees to the parks and in the pools,’ she said. ‘We’re asking them to start paying for street sweeping.’ “
Quack, quax, tax!
The water and sewer funds are enterprise funds. Enterprise funds are set up for functions which are supposed to operate like a business. The accounting method used is more like business accounting than governmental accounting. They should not be used to create excess funds to “bail out” other budget areas with shortfalls. An increase in their fees to pay for general fund expenses usually paid from taxes certainly makes excess fees look like a tax.
This would not be the first time this council has ventured into financial areas which have led to litigation. A tax masquerading as a fee is an easy way to get back into the court room.
Don Gunderson

Letters to the Editor
July 22nd, 2010

To the Editor:
The next time you are walking your dog stroll over by the railroad tracks by the packing houses and look at the tank trap we are forced to drive through.
Ever since construction began there was another hole at the corner of "A" and "Old Telegraph Road" which was finally filled in and now is more fill in needed. Also the ninety degree ditch on "A" just north of Santa Clara needs to be filled up at least to street level.
I would bet that in the contract there is a phrase stating that during construction the contractor shall try to maintain the streets as smooth as possible.
Come on City Inspectors, drive around a little.
At the end of construction I assume we will repave the street and fix those damned railroad tracks.
Several years ago I inquired regarding the repair on the railroad tracks and was told it wasn't up to the city nor up to the railroad. Who's job is it?
Ernie King


To the Editor:
I’m saddened that Marie Wren, a former school board member, finds participating in democracy somehow lowers a persons standards. She stated in a letter to the editor last week, “I do not wish to fuss with anyone via “Letters to the Editor” and I will not lower myself to write again.” Participating in public debate does not lower one’s standards. Her statement also indicates Ms. Wren sees herself as more of a dictator or queen who’s statements are final and not to be challenged.
In the same letter, Ms. Wren went on to insult parent volunteers who donate time and money by stating, “Have they ever considered putting in the same amount of time and money into improving each school within the district?” Yes Marie, they have, and they do.
I’d ask for a response from Ms. Wren to clarify her statements; but that of course would be beneath her.
A 5th Generation Fillmorion


To the Editor:
The Humane Society of Ventura County would like to thank the people of Ventura County for supporting us in the rescue of 50 horses from the Lockwood Valley case in October of 2008. The last horse was adopted on July 13.
After almost two years of caring for these horses, we feel that the outpouring of support that we have received for the shelter staff has given us courage to continue doing what we do best – caring for the neglected and abused animals. We are very proud of the staff and the volunteers who devoted their time to all of the shelter animals. Cleaning corrals in 100-plus degree weather was very difficult on everyone, yet nobody complained. These people are the true heroes.
We would like to say a special thank you to the Ventura County District Attorney's office, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Animal Regulations Director Kathy Jenks and personnel, Marta Grandstedt, DVM, and the five other veterinarians that assisted. There are so many people that we would like to thank but the list is too long. There will be a special thank you listing on our website. HSVC.org
Thank you again for your continued support from the Humane Society Board of Directors and staff at the HSVC shelter.
Sherry Brockus
Executive Director, Humane Society of Ventura County

Letters to the Editor
July 15th, 2010

To the Editor:
I want the citizens of Fillmore, my friends and family to know that anytime I have something to say in person, or in print, I will always sign it with my full name and my local phone number when needed. Please do not think I am involved with the new group, Reform FUSD.
A notice from this group was printed in last week's newspaper and signed with a first name only (Marie) without a local telephone number.
I do not know who they are and why they do not have a local phone for organizing, but they do not represent me.
I understand frustrations of parents when the school does not follow what a group of parents wish, and they have every right to run for the Board. Have they ever considered putting in the same amount of time and money into improving each school within the district?
I served on the Fillmore Unified School Board for over 8 years, and I know you need to be a voting member of that Board to fully understand the complete picture for ALL students in the district. It is usually a very thankless job. It takes lots of time and dedication to wade through the many regulations every district works under and stretch the available money. It is not a simple job.
My best wishes to the current board members and the effort they have given to the problems this past year. My best wishes to any new board members if they are elected and I hope they quickly have a better understanding of "what being a board member" really means.
I do not wish to fuss with anyone via "Letters to the Editor" and I will not lower myself to write again. I will always identify myself in full when I wish to make a statement.
Marie Wren