Letters to the Editor
March 19th, 2009

To the Editor:
I want to congratulate the City of Fillmore for having constructed an outstanding skateboard park. It looks great. For such a small town this along with the new swimming facility are such great achievements and makes me proud to be a resident and taxpayer.
I stopped at the skateboard park this evening and saw about fifteen youths having a great time. I stopped to read the three large signs posted to tell the rules and regulations of the park. What caught my eye was the sign stating...
SKATE PARK RULES
ANY PERSON USING A SKATEBOARD IN THE SKATEBOARD PARK MUST WEAR A HELMET, ELBOW PADS AND KNEE PADS AT ALL TIMES. ANY PERSON FAILING TO DO SO WILL BE SUBJECT TO CITATION UNDER FMC 15.75.020.
Another thing that caught my eye was that not one skateboarder had a helmet; and of course no elbow or knee pads. There is no way the city is not aware of the violations of these kids. How long are they going to ignore it? Just because you post signs, saying the city is not responsible for them if they choose to use the park, does not relieve them of liability. Just as the city has turned their head on the State laws requiring helmets for skateboarder, bicycle riders, scooters and roller skates in the city, they are now closing their eyes to what is happening at the park. I know it is not possible to have someone handing out citations all day but why even put up the signs if you are not going to enforce them. Just as there are signs at the sidewalks at Sespe and Main saying no skateboards, scooters, or roller-skates. Take them down if you are not going to enforce these. It is going to take a tragic accident to call notice to this lack of enforcement and then it will be too late. The swimming pool will soon be opening. It would not surprise me to see that facility without any supervision and lifeguards. Put up a few signs and let the swimmer beware. No difference that I can see. I wonder if the city's liability insurance is aware of what is going on in our fair city?
John Heilman,
74 year native.

To the Editor:
In response to Charles Richardson letter to the editor, regarding dissension and divisiveness at City Hall, I would like to remind Mr. Richardson that the recent loss of two City employees and special projects Manager, Roy Payne, was voluntary. The City Council can only hire and fire the City Attorney and the City Manager.
If the City Manager resigned to take another job and asked the City Council to accept his resignation, without the notice as required in his contract, how can the City Council be at fault? The newly elected City Council asked to review the contracts of the City Manager and the contract of Special Projects Manager Roy Payne, which is well within their right to review. If this caused them to resign, so be it. It was their choice. Regarding Steve McClary, who accepted a better position as Assistant to the City Manager, of the City of Ojai, is simply a good man improving his professional opportunities.
I resent Mr. Richardson’s criticism of Council members Washburn, Brooks and Walker. If the City of Fillmore is in real turmoil, and if it is adrift on anything, it is due to the new $80 million dollar sewer plant, which cost $30 million dollars more than the new Santa Paula sewer plant, which has twice the capacity of the Fillmore sewer plant. Regarding cooperativeness and a sense of fair play, Mr. Richardson has turned his back on the Voice of El Dorado’s Homeowners Association and has been very critical of our Homeowners Association’s president who has done an outstanding job to represent the homeowners in the El Dorado Mobilehome Park. UGH!! Right back to you Mr. Richardson.
Kenneth Creason
Fillmore

LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF FILLMORE:
The Fillmore City Council has accepted the resignations of independent contractor Roy Payne, Assistant Services Manager Steve McClary and most recently, City Manager Tom Ristau. We wish them the best of luck in all endeavors they have chosen to follow.
The largest impact on the city is that of our City Manager who submitted his resignation on Tuesday, March 3, with a request it becomes effective March 28, 2009. The Council has honored his request.
In response to the changes that have occurred, the City Council held an emergency meeting on March 4, and announced that the current Deputy City Manager, Bill Bartels, would be appointed as interim upon Tom’s departure.
Just as quickly, the City Council obtained the services of the California League of Cities who provide free services to all member cities in the event of the retirement or resignation of such an important employee as is a City Manager. At our disposal is a local member of the Rough Riders who provide guidance to councils’ and staff when there is a need.
On Monday, March 9, a Special Council Meeting was held and the following chain of events was determined:
1. Bill Bartels will step in as interim City Manager. It is anticipated, this role will continue for approximately four to six weeks. 2. The City Council has narrowed the search for a transitional City Manager down to a handful of names who act in this temporary capacity. 3. The Council will then locate an outside agency to conduct the search for a permanent city manager. We have been advised that this process could take between nine and 12 months.
The entire Council has made a commitment to work diligently to interview the candidates for this transitional manager role as well as the permanent manager position. We have unanimously made a promise and concerted effort to move the process forward in a swift and decisive manner.
It is the entire councils’ desire that the current staff remain, as all are appreciated and valued. We are thankful for staff’s sincere and steadfast engagement with the community and, just as important, the communities support as we go forward to build a strong and prosperous Fillmore.
In your service,
Patti Walker, Mayor

To the Editor:
In response to Patti Walker’s letter to the editor of March 5, 2009, I too have had the opportunity to speak to Steve McClary regarding his reasons for leaving the City of Fillmore. First, let me say that I worked with Steve at Fillmore City Hall for approximately ten years and I have great respect for his abilities and his integrity and I was proud to be used as a reference by Steve when he applied for the Ojai position.
Ms. Walker stated in her letter that “at the January 27, 2009, City Council Meeting the City Manager told the public that he was looking to re-write the job description for Mr. McClary and the Administrative Assistant, Angela Mumme” implying that was one of the reasons for Steve’s departure. I spoke with Steve and he was surprised to read that statement and said he was not aware that the City Manager had made that statement.
Ms. Walker was correct in stating that Steve applied for the position in October, 2008, prior to the election. Steve indicated to me that all of the political rhetoric prior to the election and the election results were absolutely a contributing factor to his decision to accept the Ojai position.
As for Ms. Walker’s attempt to gloss over the fact that Steve and City Manager Ristau entered the job search process prior to the last election, any right-minded individual would have done the same thing given the rhetoric from Washburn, Brooks and Westling during their campaign. In addition, the fact that Walker endorsed them showed that if elected they would have a majority. So it should not come as a shock to anyone that out of town staff would begin searching for new employment. The fact that both Steve and Tom Ristau were successful in obtaining new employment in this down economy and in a very competitive job market speaks highly of their qualifications and job experience, which Fillmore has now chased away. By the way I do not believe that either Ojai or San Fernando regard out of town residency as a negative factor when hiring and retaining highly qualified employees.
The new Fillmore Council members do not have any understanding of what municipal staffing is about…and they don’t realize that when they go out to the job market for replacements, that they will have to offer a competitive compensation package. Otherwise, the only employees they will be able to attract are those with little or no experience or those whom no other government entity wanted.
Ms. Walker’s recent proclamation that “It is the entire councils’ desire that the current staff remain, as all are appreciated and valued. We are thankful for staff’s sincere and steadfast engagement with the community…” just doesn’t ring true. First, how can she speak for the entire Council when the matter of staffing has not been on the City Council agenda? Has she had a secret meeting with the City Council to discuss this? Second has she forgotten about Brooks’ pompous comment regarding staffing and salaries “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword”? The Fillmore City Council needs to stand up and take responsibility for the consequences of their election campaign rhetoric and be straight up with the public about their political and staff agendas.
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989-2005)

To the Editor:
This is a response to Steve Conaway's letter of 3/12.
Why is Steve undermining the duly elected City Council in public? Does he think the citizens don't know what they are doing by casting their vote for someone he disagrees with? Asking for a review of a contract or City Manager is not a firing. Were Roy and Tom intimidated by their boss wanting to review their job? A good worker wants to be reviewed by their boss, not resign.
Dave Roegner
Fillmore

To the Editor:
A pattern is forming, it appears that Martin Farrell, council member Steve Conaway and their friends have launched a smear campaign against Patti Walker to be used against her in her reelection bid in 2010, and they don’t even know if she‘ll run again. Never too soon, right boys?
In last weeks Gazette:
Conaway tried to make a big deal out of council members Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks running together with Walker’s support. It’s true and it’s common. In 2002 it was Ernie Villegas and Ken Smedley; in 2004 it was Conaway, Ray Dressler and John Parsons; in 2006 it was Smedley and Laurie Hernandez all supported by a Political Action Committee that cumulatively reported over $100,000 in campaign contributions from outside developer interests to get these candidates elected. Harding and Dalton also ran together in 2002. For candidates who think alike and are supported only by local contributors it makes sense to run on a slate – they don’t have much money so they can get more for their campaign dollar. Does that mean Washburn, Brooks and Walker can not be independent representatives? Not at all. And you can bet that they will not accept an all expense paid trip to anywhere from a contractor being paid by Fillmore people. Conaway can’t say the same.
Farrell said, “There was a great deal of anticipation leading up to Tuesday’s council meeting… on the agenda was…Measure I.” Really, how’d I miss that earth shattering news? Lest anyone forget, Measure I was one of two measures the Fillmore voters approved limiting growth in North Fillmore, a position Farrell has flip-flopped on. That’s right Martin, the people of Fillmore didn’t want that mess yesterday and we don’t want it today, tomorrow or for our grandchildren’s tomorrow. Unfortunately the past city council refused to listen to the people so now we have to trust this council to figure out how to fix their mistake, and they can. Martin, you told me some of your low density ideas for that area, they were good, please, tell the public.
I’d like to comment on some of the other nonsensical issues they brought up, like losing a very talented employee who was in a dead-end job and hadn’t been given a pay raise in three years; losing a temporary employee who had completed his agreed-upon tasks and refused to renegotiate his contract and instead chose to quit; and the resignation of the city manager. But I’m way over Martin’s word limit, maybe next week.
Bob Stroh
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Thank you to the Santa Paula Hospital Staff!
The birth of our young son, Charlie, was truly a miraculous event in our lives. A mix of emotions, apprehension, joy, and pride that is hard to describe. My wife Erin and I are so grateful to the Santa Paula Hospital Staff for their expert care and the professional, yet warm and caring manner in which we were treated. They helped make our delivery a wonderful experience.
We chose Santa Paula Hospital (SPH) to have our delivery because of the quiet and beautiful setting, and its warm and comforting atmosphere. Sometimes I think there is a misperception that, as a small rural hospital, SPH might not have quite the same high quality of care as a larger hospital in a larger city. I can tell you first hand, that is not the case. The care at SPH is outstanding. As the Director of the Ventura County Health Care Agency, I am fortunate to be in a unique position to know that the quality of care at both SPH and the Ventura County Medical Center is outstanding and second to none as both are county-run facilities.
Santa Paula Hospital provides the best of both worlds: top quality care that you would typically find at larger hospitals, with the comforting setting of a smaller hospital.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to entrust the care of my wife and new baby to people who I know and respect. It made this already joyous occasion all the more so because we shared it with these incredibly dedicated people, whom I will name at the end of this letter.
My wife and I are private people and so at first I was a little uncomfortable writing this letter. But we could not let the opportunity go by without publicly thanking the Santa Paula Hospital Staff and sharing with the community, from our first hand perspective, just how special the staff and physicians are who work there.
Erin ended up needing to have a C-Section. The procedure went very smoothly. Dr. Brecht-Doscher was a true pro - calm and focused and put us at ease. She knew exactly what to do and explained everything to us thoroughly. It was also comforting to see that, Dr. Mark Sussman, a well-respected and experienced anesthesiologist would be taking care of Erin. Dr. Carolyn Morris assisted. The OR nurses, Chris, Kathy, and Frank, couldn't have been more professional or kind.
During our entire four day stay, the nurses, under the leadership of Bea Frias, the Nursing Manager at SPH, could not have been more kind, knowledgeable, supportive and attentive to Erin. Lisa, Alicia, KJ, and Marissa were terrific. Lisa helped me clean Charlie up and helped me change his first diaper. She said this was an important initiation for me as a new father (or was it a Hazing?).
The postpartum care, was great. Erin received tremendous support in breast feeding counseling, and dietary issues all of which was supported by a visit each day from Dr. Heather Nichols, the wonderful pediatrician who supports the hospital.
The dietary staff could not have been more attentive. We, as well as our visitors, were impressed with the choices of meals offered and the nice services as well as the special celebratory dinner offered to all new parents.
We so appreciated the volunteers as well, their warmth, generosity and enthusiasm and just how much they care about the hospital, the staff and the patients. One of them, Mrs. Carolyn Lasky, even knit Charlie a hat. Now you might think this was special treatment, but she does this for all of the new babies.
And I think that is really the point. As special as they made us feel, this is how SPH staff treats all of their patients. From the delivery through our departure, our stay at SPH was exceptional and one that my family and I will always cherish. As Erin, Charlie and I drove down from the “Hospital on the Hill,” I could see my beautiful family in the backseat and the beautiful Santa Clara Valley in front of me and I truly felt I
wouldn't want to be anywhere else. So, to SPH, we say thank you for the great care and the great memories. And to the community of the Santa Clara Valley, I would just say, if you ever need it, SPH is a very special place.
We would also like to thank the OB Department's Bonnie Bouley, Lisa McPheeters, KJ Obregon, Michelle Lagunas, Marissa Montgomery, Sharon Hauser, Mary Gonzalez, Alicia Rojas; Operating Room, Chris Niehus, Gigi Barajas, Kathy Martinez, Frank Morelli, Nadine Madina; Dietary, Sally Osuna; Housekeeping, Debbie Garcia; and all of
the SPH Auxiliary volunteers!
Sincerely,
Mike and Erin Powers (and Charlie)

 


 
Letters to the Editor
March 12th, 2009

To the Editor:
It's very difficult for me to sit by and not comment on what's going on in the City of Fillmore even though it has been many years since I lived there. I have religiously kept track of what is going on there since my move in 1973. Many of the relationships I formed there during the 25 years of my residence continue even today. I have observed the many changes that have occurred in the population and to the physical demographics of the City, some for the good and others not so good. I have watched as the City has grown, sometimes struggling to find its way, solving the many problems brought about by mother nature, new State and Federal mandates and outside pressures. Most of the time the "powers that be" have faced these problems head on and have been able to find solutions that were supported by the majority of the people.
It was my good fortune to have been elected to the City Council twice. I served from 1962 to 1970, went though a recall election in 1967 or 1968, the council prevailed, and lost my bid for a third term to a magnificent lady who became an outstanding council lady and Mayor, Delores Day.
When I was elected it was the first time the "good old boys" network had been broken since the City's incorporation in 1918. I was an outsider with no axe to grind. My intention was to learn from the experienced members of the council, gain some respect from them and over time get a historical perspective and with some luck move the City in a more progressive direction. Many of my constituents felt the City was in a rut and needed a shove to be out of it. In order to accomplish this I knew I had to do my homework.
From my experience I had learned there is a fine, gray line between being a policy maker and an administrator, I was a public school administrator in Santa Paula at the time. I set as one of my goals to find that line and to do my best not to cross it. The City council is a policy making body not an administrative organization.
At any rate my goal was to sit back and learn as much as I could from the likes of men like Dewey Thompson, Frank Munoz, Ray Lindenfeld, Bob Linville, Leon Harthorn and Fred Bryce, all of whom were good teachers and men who had the best interest of the city at heart. I was in good company and I knew it.
As time went on we became a team, not there weren't debates, some public, but we bent over backward not to air our dirty laundry in public, without violating the Brown Act.
My reason for reciting all the above is to say to the two new council persons, "I think you have gotten off on the wrong foot." The resignations of three of your administrators is proof of that. You both came aboard with axes to grind and without knowledge of what might be different from the one sided information you brought with you and weren't, or don't seem to have been satisfied to really sit back and learn what was really going on before letting the axes fall.
Now why put in my two cents worth when I am sitting in the Mountains of North Carolina rather than where I lived on Central Avenue? It is mainly because it pains me so to see and read about the divisiveness in the town that I care enough about to still, after all these years, call Home. Please put your axes away and help bring back the harmony to our beautiful City.
Bill Shaffer
Former City Councilmember
1962-1970

To the Editor:
I would like to again thank the Chamber of Commerce for a wonderful evening at the Awards Ceremony and dinner. I felt very special after all the accolades that were bestowed on me - as I'm sure all the recipients of the other awards did also. Chuy Ortiz did a delicious dinner - as always - all in all a night to remember. Thank you to everyone that helped to make it so special.
Judy Dressler
Fillmore

To the Editor:
It is with sadness for our city that I inform you that City Manager Tom Ristau submitted a Letter of Resignation this morning to the council. If you are unaware this is the third long standing employee to exit City Hall in three weeks. Roy Payne, retired CM and Special Project Manager, resigned. He served Fillmore for over 23 years. Next was Steve McClary who was outstanding and highly professional in fulfilling his duties left after 12 years with Fillmore. Now Tom Ristau resigns after working for the city and serving the City Council with approximately 17 years experience. That, my friends, is a lot of institutional knowledge to leave the building. I fear more highly qualified employees will not be far behind.
One only has to look as far as the last election and the campaign promises and statements made which point to the individuals and their associates which might be the cause of the turmoil. Walker ran for election in 2004 and lost. Walker and Washburn ran in 2006 and Walker was elected to office. Washburn lost that election attempt. Washburn then ran with Brooks in 2008. We all saw their names on the same signage, so don't tell me they didn't run together. Walker submitted a letter to the paper clearly stating she fully supports Washburn and Brooks. Two meetings ago Council Member Brooks asked Mayor Walker, "You want me to change my vote?" Without going into detail he changed it.
This, on top of the news of Mr. Roegner's filing of notice to circulate a petition for referendum purposes to enact Rent Control at El Dorado. Evidently Mr. Roegner's writing has improved greatly as his efforts are much more formal than past writings he has emailed to me. Anyone want to guess where he's seeking legal help?
Soon the council will address the costs of following the will of the people regarding Measures H & I. After all, that is what the voters wanted. Will these same voters support the city spending literally over $250,000 dollars to comply with the short sighted measures, which I opposed on a number of grounds? Once the city completes a new Specific Plan, EIR and CEQA, General Plan and Housing Element, will the current council members even approve any development in the area? One new council member went so far as to say "We (speaking on behalf of the Concerned Citizens of Fillmore) don't want anything to change in North Fillmore". Pretty telling statement. That person was elected to office and at his first meeting sought a performance review of the City Manager. I'm not sure what basis or experience he was going to draw from to perform that review, but that doesn't matter evidently, not at least to him. Sadly the other newly elected councilmember supported his motion as did our new Mayor. I almost forgot to mention that Washburn and Walker were drafters of botched efforts to limit development in North Fillmore. Do you think a property owner in North Fillmore has any chance with these three individuals?
It's my belief that citizens need to know what is happening in our town.
Steve Conaway,
Councilmember

To the Editor:
I guess if I need dissension at City Hall, I can Google Washburn. If I'm looking for divisiveness, I can Google Washburn. If I need lengthy City Council meetings, I can Google Washburn. If I'm looking for any kind of trouble at City Hall (like someone else to fire), I can Google Washburn (maybe Brooks and Walker too).
On the other hand, If I want cooperativeness, a sense of fair play, a straight shooter, a serious minded Councilperson and of course, someone who is doing their best to "get-a-long" and make good things happen for all the voters in Fillmore, than I won't "GOOGLE WASHBURN" (nor Brooks or Walker either for that matter). She (and they) are the epitome of the phrase, "be careful what you wish (in this case, vote) for".
Oh, by the way, who's next to leave City Hall? Pretty soon those 3 will have the City in real turmoil and adrift on the shining sea! Yep, "voters" always get what they vote for. UGH!
Charles Richardson
Fillmore

To the Editor:
A WAKE UP CALL TO AMERICANS
The content of this editorial could have been entitled ‘Self Indulgence, A Path to Tyranny’. In the event that many of the readers missed Paul Harvey’s program, “The Rest of the Story “ broadcast on the Seventh of July 2008, he included a prayer for our Nation by Billy Graham that received an immediate and overwhelmingly positive response. The content of that prayer I believe to be an appropriate way to introduce the subject of this commentary. For your benefit, please do not assume that because I mention Billy Graham and prayer that this is a religious article. Those readers who may not believe in God and would give up your seat for this ride, hang in there. I will only take his opportunity to remind you that even the devil believes in God, and trembles.
Mr. Graham, even in his late years, has a way of cutting to the chase and addressing clearly and concisely the root of the problem facing our country. He petitions God’s forgiveness for America as a Nation, for reversing our values, for calling evil good, for exploiting the poor and calling it a lottery, for rewarding laziness and calling it welfare. He asks God’s forgiveness for our nation allowing the killing of our unborn and calling it choice. He asks forgiveness for our neglecting our children’s discipline and calling it building self esteem, for our coveting our neighbor’s possessions, and calling it ambition, for polluting our airways with pornography and profanity, calling it self-expression. He also ask God to forgive us for having forsaken the time honored values of our forefathers, and calling it enlightenment, and ignoring the abuse of power in our Government , calling it politics. Although each and every one of the issues above could be written about at length, it is the last two which I choose to elaborate on.
OBJECT LESSON NUMBER ONE:
The desire for immediate self gratification, brings lawlessness.
We as a nation, are going to extraordinary lengths to hide our immorality from our collective conscience. For the purpose of this article, it is of little consequence whether you believe in the God Mr. Graham addresses or in GOD’s ability to offer forgiveness. We (the people) have forsaken the time tested values of our forefathers. If we combined the issues Mr. Graham has addressed in his prayer, including I might add, our reluctance to speak the truth calling it instead political correctness, it is evident that it is generally the attitude of most of the people that needs adjusting. Our very freedom is threatened by each person who allows his or her values to be distorted by their need to put themselves above the common good.
The media reports evidence of this on a daily basis. On our streets, there individuals who run through stop signs and red lights, speed through school zones, speed on the highways and pass on the shoulder of the road. They put their own itinerary above the safety of others. The branches of the vine of lawlessness are too long and varied to continue to elaborate on further. Most people know lawlessness instinctively. It is unfortunate that so many choose to excuse, ignore, or capitulate to its effect on others. We are being led astray when educators, politicians, the media and special interest groups tell us that changing what something is called changes the substance of the object in question. What they hope to change is the public perception of their morality. The ACLU would have us believe that the term illegal has been removed from our vocabulary, that un-naturalized residents have the same right to public assistance as citizens. THEY DON’T, THEY ARE NOT CITIZENS! The so called ‘legal’ minds of the ACLU say it is unfair to round up and deport those who have begun their residency in our country with no regard for our law from the beginning. I would agree that we should ‘let’ them continue residency had the terminology not been reversed to mean ‘allow’ rather than the original meaning which meant ‘to restrain’. I would not be surprised to learn that these same individuals were responsible for changing the word ‘gay’, which once meant joyful or happy, to now be the accepted term for ‘perverted’. Calling a horse a goat does not make it any less a horse.
Attorneys for the ACLU, many public officials, and unfortunately some Judges on the bench of the California Supreme Court, argue that it is unfair for a vote by the majority to take away the right of a specific minority. There is no truth in this argument, regardless of what you would be led to believe. Every responsible person with the ability to reason recognizes that Law is written for the common good of the Majority. There are numerous ‘minorities’ in our nation. Hunters, fishermen, and nudists are only a few that first come to mind. Should the general law be changed to accommodate each such group’s chosen life style? Their right to pursue and enjoy their chosen life style is not threatened by the law of the majority. They are given the privilege of being able to pursue their lifestyle under specific guidelines that outline the limitations of how, where, and when their lifestyle can be pursued without having an adverse affect on the majority. We would be led to believe that the use of the word minority should be coupled with the term ‘ethnic’, as with the Hispanic, Black, Jewish, Armenian, Asian, Islamic or native Indian minorities. These are people born into specific groups and should not be discriminated against because of their family’s origin. Our Constitution states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. None of these rights are threatened by marriage continuing to be the union of a man and a woman in Holy Matrimony. The homosexual group’s agenda would require the majority of families to accept their lifestyle and allow them to promote it to the children of mothers and fathers who can have children of their own. Like it or not, the right to have children is given only to heterosexual couples. They, and they alone should be joined in matrimony.
I find it particularly grievous and indeed unfortunate that these people the so called gay community) have been singled out and led astray in their hope, due to their persistence. They are being used as pawns by those with a much greater agenda, to arrest the government of the people, by the people, and take firm control of government for themselves. All that is required is for the people to capitulate and accept that they will be controlled by the few.
Those who have continued to read this far may be questioning what the foregoing has to do with the possibility of our loss of the freedom to which we have become accustomed.
OBJECT LESSON NUMBER TWO:
Lawlessness in politics leads to Tyranny
The spirit of Self Indulgence has not been confined to those who appear to have very little. How many of the readers have lost their jobs because those in charge at their place of employment drained the profits to fill their own pockets with even more? Why is the news filled with reports of people losing most of their savings to unscrupulous financial advisers? People are losing their homes because of an economy devastated by those who gave them loans they couldn’t afford, or because ruthless speculators drove up real estate above it’s true value? The greed of a few has caused the prosperity of many to suffer. The Crime Syndicate, which many would have believed had become less dangerous or disappeared, has reappeared. We now know that it only moved from the mansions on the shore of Lake Michigan to the State House and further up in government. Those elected to serve the people are serving themselves. It is reported that many have been elected by voters who have long been in the grave, or by falsified voter registrations. The political arena is full of self serving attorneys, lawyers, judges and politicians who, rather than acting as employees of the people and serving to promote the betterment of those who provide their jobs, promote their own agendas and believe their own bias is more important than the will of the people. Scandalous behavior by these public officials is usually reported by the media, only when it has grown beyond damage control, and even then reported with a spin to provide the person the possibility of getting out of the dilemma. This has occurred in our local, state and federal government. When will we as a people, and as citizens, demand their jobs be remanded?
WAKE UP AMERICA, and especially at this time, those in California. On March 5th 2009, the California Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the vote of the people on Prop 8, would be upheld. I find it highly ironic and despicable that four individuals appointed as servants of the people to perform as Judges, and who have stated publicly that the minority should not be subject to the majority vote, have overruled the vote of 4,618,673 citizens by a 4 to 3 Majority. It is clear that they only want to accept the majority vote when they are part of the majority. These four people, by their unwitting ideological bias, on May 15th 2008 overturned Prop 22, setting in motion unmeasured devastation, disappointment, rioting, and expense for the citizens of California. Should the Judges on this momentous decision decide against the vote for Prop 8, we must immediately disappoint them and point them in the direction of new employment. Precedence for such an action has been established. Our very liberty and independence in America and California is at stake.
Stan Mason
A Watchman on the Wall

 


 
Letters to the Editor
March 5th, 2009

To the Editor:
Re: Editorial Comments
I am stating for the record, that I disagree with your opinions expressed in recent editorials. We have never had a conversation about these issues and they appear to be based on gossip and assumptions.
My positions on staff and other issues have been published in the Gazette and online during the campaign. I suggest you read them. I also speak my own mind and no one else speaks for me.
The people of Fillmore wanted some change in the community. I believe one of those changes was an end to this kind of bullying and dialog that has occurred for many years. Many months ago I temporarily discontinued my blog because I didn't appreciate the disrespectful comments coming from either side and refused to post any comment demeaning staff, other Council members or members of the public. It serves no good purpose.
While elected officials and staff are always subject to criticism, there is no need to become abusive or hateful.
I suggest we put an end to a culture of divisiveness that has existed for a long time. I ask all fellow citizens not to participate in this behavior either.
We have to agree that we all want the best for Fillmore and this is not the way to achieve that. We have economic and other challenges ahead of us. It's time to move on and get to work.
Gayle Washburn
Fillmore City Councilmember

To the Editor:
In response to Martin Farrell’s Realities of February 26, 2009, I had the opportunity to speak to Steve McClary on what will be a well-earned position (and promotion) as Assistant City Manager for the City of Ojai.
First, Mr. McClary applied for the position in Ojai in October, 2008. In other words, prior to the 2008 election.
Second, the only staff which answer to the council are the City Manager and City Attorney - all other staff, which included Mr. McClary, respond to the City Manager. The council has no authority over the hiring or firing of the staff.
Third, at the January 27, 2009, City Council Meeting the City Manager told the public that he was looking to re-write the job description for both Mr. McClary and the Administrative Assistant, Angela Mumme.
Finally, Ojai’s government offices are closed every Friday, his new position will entail few if any evenings, both pluses for a young man and father.
Steve McClary was an asset to the city. Let’s not turn this opportunity for him into a means to belittle any member of the Fillmore City Council.
Patti Walker
Mayor, City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!"
On behalf of the Fillmore-Piru 2009 Relay for Life (RFL) Committee, a BIG Thank You is declared to Mayor Patti Walker and the Fillmore City Council for granting the fee waiver to allow the RFL committee to use the Fillmore Senior Center for its planning and strategy meetings and, also, the use of Shiells Parks for the RFL event scheduled for September 26-27, 2009.
The RFL is the American Cancer Society's unique fundraiser of local community action to raise the spirits of people touched by cancer. The donated funds will provide education, advocacy, and continuing patient services, programs and life-affirming cancer research. The support, hard work, and generosity of everyone will help make the 24-hour celebration become a success and truly an inspiration.
Faith Lugo,
Chairperson RLF Committee

To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank The City of Fillmore for their participation, In the Military Banner Program. I know there are several people / organizations responsible for the installation of these Military banners. But without the city’s participation, this program could not succeed. For an old Navy Veteran like myself, it gives me a proud feeling to see local men and women serving in the military, receiving the honor and recognition they deserve.
Raul Torres US Navy Veteran
Resident of El Dorado Estates

 

Sweetheart Hop, February 16th 2019, 5:30pm-10pm at the Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial Building

First big event in the "Raise the Roof" Fundraiser series

The Sweetheart Hop is the first big occurrence in the "Raise the Roof" Fundraiser series with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fillmore Post 9637 & the Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial District benefiting the Veterans Memorial Building!

Our wonderful community building needs a new roof & a few other renovations, so why not have fun while we "Raise the Roof" on February 16th 2019 at the Veterans Memorial Building.

Come out for a night of dinner, dessert & dancing... Music Performance by Studio C Band, Cash bar, photo-op + silent auction!
Ticket options are as follows:

5:30pm entrance:
- $45 a person , ticket includes dinner
- $350 8 person table, ticket includes dinner

7:00pm entrance:
- $25 a person, ticket does not include dinner

Purchase tickets at Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Avenue downstairs at the finance window.

** To purchase an 8 person table, contact the Parks and Recreation department to see if a table is still available to reserve. 524-1500 ext 713 (upstairs, 2nd floor of City Hall)

*** To sponsor a table, call 524-1500 ext 713


 
Letters to the Editor
February 26th, 2009

To the Editor:
SUBJECT: CORRECTION TO BOB STROH’S SEWER $’S
I would like to offer a correction to Mr. Bob Stroh’s numbers presented in the Gazette on February 19, 2009 regarding the cost of the Fillmore and Santa Paula Sewer Plants. Mr. Stroh stated that Fillmore is “paying $80 million to handle our sewage when Santa Paula can handle twice the sewage at their new plant for $56 million.”
The awarded Santa Paula bid price for their plant and appurtenances was $57,307,351 for Fillmore it was $42,852,454. Of the Fillmore cost $1,563,863 is for the levee up to Hwy 126 and is reimbursed to the City by the adjacent Business Park Developer. This makes the price to Fillmore $41,288,591 ie: $57.3M Santa Paula and $41.3M Fillmore.
I believe Mr. Stroh is getting the $80M from a 2005 estimate of $82M for the entire Fillmore project. After City Council cost reductions the estimated total cost of the project is now about $77M. The City received a $3M Proposition 50 Grant and we are currently projecting to be about $3M under budget when the project finishes this year. Also the Fillmore price includes $2M for sewer main repairs. Therefore the total Fillmore cost for the entire project for the Water Recycling Program will be about $69M from 2002 to estimated completion. This includes land cost, engineering, legal, environmental work, etc.
I have not seen the total cost of the Santa Paula program from 2002 to their completion but it will certainly exceed Fillmore’s cost when you add their total costs for land, engineering, legal, environmental work, Regional Water Quality Control Board permits, etc. Santa Paula did not have to build a water recycling system but were able to simply use percolation ponds. If Fillmore could have solely used ponds and avoided the water recycling, our project would have cost less as well. Unfortunately the geology in Fillmore does not permit this.
I hope this will help keep the numbers straight. Please feel free to call me at (805) 524-1500 ext. 231 if you have any Public Works related questions.
Very truly yours,
CITY OF FILLMORE
Bert J. Rapp, P.E.,
Public Works Director

To the Editor:
Thanks for the picture story on Mr. Bob Hammond's wind turbine. With the hundreds of wind machines in our area this is some good news for a change. In the story you mentioned permit "fees" of $10,000. Can you, or anyone else, please explain why taking one old machine down and replacing it with a new one, on the same structure, requires any fee. Could it be bureaucracy gone wild? I see Hammond's turbine almost every day and it is not an eyesore, offensive or damaging to the environment and is no threat to wildlife or any endangered species. It also presents a modern, clean, and renewal power source without any government help or bailout. Ventura County should encourage more privately owned wind turbines for every inoperative wind machine and forget "fees". I know that will go against the grain of government but so what, the farmers, ranchers and residents will all benefit.
Tom Montali
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Fillmore's water has a lot to be desired, it is so "hard" you almost have to wear a hardhat in the shower. Is the solution staring us right in the face? We have spent and will continue spending money on our new water treatment plant. While I might add, having to put up with our heavy salt and mineralized water. It costs us more for detergents to do their job. Scale in our pipes cause failure of our plumbing and fixtures. Many people are required to hire a plumber to address this problem because not everyone is able to do it themselves. Citizens on a fixed income's are further financially stressed.
Recycling water sounds great taking the treated water and reusing it to water lawns such as the high school etc. This will be accomplished with the same water than causes our plumbing problems now.
Maybe nature could teach us a lesson. The river that runs below our city carries water to the sea every day. It doesn't charge us to get rid of the floodwaters that would ravage us without it. Sespe Creek needed a little engineering and so would our river that flows to the ocean.
Land acquisition is very expensive in California, if we look at the riverbed we can maybe see possibilities right before our own eyes. Burry a large pipe in the riverbed to the sea Fillmore water treatment could dump it's treated water into the pipe, so could Santa Paula and parts of Ventura. Costs could be shared by each user reducing the cost to individuals.
In order to stop salt pollution of the Oxnard plain we now hire a polluting truck to exchange soft water tanks located in subscribers homes at considerable expense. In the end it is dumped into the ocean. In a sense the trucks that handle this bi-product, brine, are our pipeline. How do you think by the city considering a water purification plant would be nearly as efficient? Consider the maintenance factor alone, In my experience of over 50 years working with machinery of all types much of it on water treatment plants, I can tell you a plant to condition the water of our city would be very expensive to build and very expensive to maintain.
Going green in the latest consideration. Conservation groups probable would probably cause an uproar, what would it hurt? once the pipeline was in well below the surface of the riverbed the next rainstorm runoff effectively hides all of the evidence causing no salt pollution of our ground. It seems to me to make sense. Where does the salt come from in the first place? Recycle the salt. Let the citizens have soft water.
Burkley Neff
Fillmore

 


 
Letters to the Editor
February 19th, 2009

To the Editor:
Thank you Roy Payne for your 20 year commitment to the City of Fillmore and its citizens. It was a privilage to work with you for most of your 20 dedicated years. I look back on those years and smile at the positive results your leadership provided to this community. Your leadership has made this community a wonderful place to live. Your honesty and integrity will never be in question in my opinion. Your leadership during the '94 earthquake was nothing short of remarkable. The City's downtown district and the City as a whole continues to thrive due to your visions and one can only hope this can continue. I could go on forever talking about your attributes, and your contributions to the city. Roy you will be truly missed, by not only me, but many others.
Retired Fire Chief Pat Askren
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities and his response to council member Gayle Washburn: It would be helpful if Farrell revealed his sources when he makes his claims. For example, when he questioned Washburn’s knowledge about spreadsheets and databases did Farrell know Washburn’s background? His claims were made up, by whom?
Roy Payne resigned as city manager four years ago. He left behind a handpicked city staff, he put in place a handpicked city manager and he negotiated his own contract to serve as a consultant to the city and has been paid, I’ll guess, based on what he got in ’08, over $300 thousand since he resigned. Mr. Farrell, are you telling us that Payne’s handpicked staff can’t do the job, if so, why? At a recent council meeting a council member asked if Payne had completed the seven tasks he was hired to do, the finance director said that he had. The city manager tacitly agreed. Did they mislead Washburn?
Mr. Farrell, if you want to talk about the sewer plant then make it clear to the Fillmore people why it’s good for us to be paying $80 million to handle our sewage when Santa Paula can handle twice the sewage at their new plant for $56 million. Yes, that’s one of the reasons why council members Washburn and Brooks were elected; over a thousand Fillmore citizens signed letters asking the City to take another look at our sewer future and all but council member Walker ignored the people. In fact, former Mayor Conaway went to Washington D.C. on behalf of American Water.
I like it when you challenge our elected officials, but only when your arguments are fact based.
Bob Stroh
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Your latest online edition is yet another blow to respectful, objective journalism. The cartoon (credited only to a staff writer) is neither satire, irony or based in civic duty to impart professional information. Is the game ultimately to undermine and demean the officials the people have elected? If so, consider the banality of the detractors. And, consider that our newly elected officials had the courage to campaign and run for office --- so many of us talk big but when called to perform, can't find the guts.
After 3 months and 3 meetings it is too soon to say who will look bad and who will look good at the end of two years.
Roy Payne seems to be the hottest issue. He, by his own admission, was the "Project Manager" for only the business park - not Griffin, not Heritage Valley, not North Fillmore, not Fillmore and Western, not Suncal and not Steiger. All of his other duties were in the role of "facilitator". For a definition of this title, contact City Hall. Facilitating is a staff function.....that is why staff is paid.
Gloria Hansen
Fillmore

To the Editor:
I have been driving by the new skate park since it has been open at least six or seven times and I have noticed something that should be of interest to the citizens of Fillmore. Each time that I have passed by the area, I have noticed large groups of boys using the area. Now this is good in that now some of the kids in the community have someplace to go with their skates and skateboards.
The bad thing is that none of those that I have observed using the park have been wearing the protective gear that I believe is required by law. In other words if little John, Bill, Chris or Carlos is injured on City Property, guess who has the deep pockets and will be sued? It is bad enough that the schools are now required to baby-sit and the city now must take on that responsibility for doing the same at the new skate park.
If we become the magnet that the promoters of the park claim it will become, then I guess that we also take on the responsibility for any injuries that will occur at the new park. It is my understanding that safety equipment is a State required law and who will become responsible for injuries received from not obeying that law. Surely according to some of these parents, the city will because as we all know, parents are not responsible for the actions of their children and if little Chris breaks an arm, leg or fractures his little skull because he is not obeying the law then the City and citizens who supplied that park are totally at fault.
It is time for the City to take a proactive measures, making sure the law is being enforced and make sure that anyone using that skate park be wearing the proper protective gear required. If we don’t it could cost us millions of dollars in settlements because parents won’t take on the responsibility of seeing that their kids are protected.
Terry Timmons
Fillmore

 

Click here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H9SHK55 to get your free eBook today.


 
Letters to the Editor
February 12th, 2009

To the Editor:
Re: Roy Payne letter.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Payne chose not to renegotiate his contract. My comments have been severely mischaracterized by Payne and the Gazette (where’s the editorial board?).
The 7 tasks outlined in the contract addendum have been completed. It is not necessary at this point to provide the $2,000 per month retainer – which partially comes out of the sewer fund and water fund – plus a free cell phone, computer workstation and office. The Business Park needed to be added to the contract and the other items removed. This is not a personal issue, it is a business decision.
I appreciate the past work that Mr. Payne has done. I love the City Hall building. The “last, best small town in Southern California” was a great slogan. And I thought that Vision 2020’s “slow, controlled growth” was a reason to be in Fillmore. I believe Mr. Payne was responsible for these items.
With that said however, I disagree with other decisions. While I have disagreed with Mr. Payne and others about some issues, I have not been disrespectful or abusive. Disagreements are normal but an inappropriate and unprofessional response from Mr. Payne and the Gazette are uncalled for.
By the way, if you Google “intellectual pygmy”, you get hits on George Bush, Al Gore, David Horowitz, John Roberts and Sarah Palin, all of whom are probably smarter than you and me.
Gayle Washburn
Councilmember
Fillmore

To the Editor:
SUBJECT: ROY PAYNE
On February 3, 2009 Mr. Roy Payne resigned as a Special Projects Manger to the City of Fillmore. He was working on the Business Park and to continue the effort to lower sewer rates. Mr. Payne states his reason is the attack on his personal integrity from the newly elected Council members. This is a tragedy for Fillmore because we are losing one of the most capable persons of the highest integrity who has a passionate love for Fillmore. I am writing this letter because we all need to remember the good things Roy brought to Fillmore and the wonderful person that he is.
Mr. Payne served as City Manager for 17 years under 8 different City Councils. Working with those City Councils he brought about significant positive change for Fillmore. One of his first actions was to attack weed infested City properties and have them landscaped and maintained. This effort was encouraged by Roy’s wife Donna who has an eye for beauty. Roy believed that if the City would take pride in its properties more residents would also begin to take pride in their properties.
Roy led the effort to rejuvenate Down Town with the store front rehab program and installation of decorative sidewalks, landscaping and crosswalks. He also spearheaded the Down Town Specific Plan that would enhance and preserve the historic nature of Down Town and enable businesses to add residential above the businesses. This adds economic strength to Down Town businesses and brings life and customers to Down Town.
When Southern Pacific Railroad was going bankrupt and selling land, Mr. Payne took advantage of the opportunity and Fillmore purchased the Station parcel from Central to east of Mountain View. On this parcel now sits the Fillmore Historical Society, Railroad turn table and their future museum, Gissinger Winery, City Hall and the Fillmore and Western Railroad. Some day there will be a two story railroad station hotel on the vacant lot north of City Hall. These amenities will enrich lives in Fillmore for many generations.
Fillmore’s beautiful landmark City Hall building and Central Park are to a large part the result of Donna and Roy Payne’s vision of a beautiful historic Fillmore. If it wasn’t for Roy’s vision and effort we wouldn’t have received the $1.3 Million dollar grant to build City Hall and it might have been a plain modern style building.
Roy Payne was instrumental in bringing the Fillmore and Western Railroad to town along with the Film Industry. These industries add another boost to the local economy to help make all businesses stronger.
You can see the impact of Mr. Payne’s leadership in the U.S. Census Bureau median household income data. Fillmore’s median income rose significantly from 1990 to 2007 while in Santa Paula and Port Hueneme they stayed fairly even with inflation. Fillmore is commonly compared to these two similar sized, lower income communities.
Thanks to Mr. Payne’s efforts the City has had a balanced budget and growing reserves for 20 years. The old Girls gym was renovated for the Boys and Girls club, the new municipal pool will be open this month and the 22 acre River Park is under construction with a skate board park, soccer and football fields and tennis and basket ball courts.
Working with former School Superintendent Mario Contini, Roy Payne helped to create a cooperative working relationship between the City Council and School Board which continues today. They also worked together to help the community to prepare the Vision 2020 plan.
On the residential side Mr. Payne recognized that Fillmore needed improved economic diversity and helped bring in new quality housing like Hometown, Riverwalk, Heritage Valley Parks, etc. When Fillmore would try to attract new businesses or restaurants they would always say we didn’t have the quality of housing or schools their employees want nor would we have higher income residents that could support their businesses. Once the economy improves the Heritage project will be occupied helping provide much needed upscale housing to help solve this problem.
We now have some new high quality restaurants like El Pescador and Central Station where you often have to wait in line to get seated. These restaurants and others need the Business Park to go forward to bring in more of the lunch crowd to help them prosper.
The last piece of Roy Payne’s vision for an economically strong Fillmore with a good housing/jobs balance is the Business Park. Since his retirement Mr. Payne has continued to work with the City to bring these 1,500 to 3,000 jobs to reality. As a Special Project’s Manager his hourly rate is $125 per hour which seems high until you consider that other professionals of the same caliber charge $160 to $200 per hour and Mr. Payne works significantly more hours than he charges the City. Also the City collects at least 40% of Mr. Payne’s cost from the builders of the Business Park.
Part of the controversy over Mr. Payne was in regard to the 700 housing units in north Fillmore Specific Plan verses 350 units approved by the voters in Measures H and I. If Mr. Payne were still City Manager he would be working to help the newly elected City Council adjust to the new 350 number. Mr. Payne is the kind of person who doesn’t hold grudges, respects the decisions of the voters and would fully implement the decisions of the City Council even if they don’t heed his professional advice.
The new sewer plant and resulting sewer bills have been a difficult burden for everyone. As City Manager Mr. Payne worked to keep the cost as low as possible and as Special Projects Manager continued to work to lower sewer rates. Last year he put in an extraordinary effort along with Dave Burkart and Barbara Smith to lower sewer rates from the projected rate of $85 per month to $72 per month saving the rate payers $814,000 in only one year.
Mr. Payne also led the City in using the Design Build Operate process to build the new Water Recycling Plant and saved the rate payers 15% or about $5,000,000. Mr. Payne took a lot of heat at the time from those opposed to the new plant until the City of Santa Paula threw away about $3,000,000 worth of plans and copied the Fillmore process and then the County of Ventura threw away about $1,000,000 worth of plans for the Piru plant and copied Fillmore.
Time and time again Mr. Payne has been proven to be a man of great integrity, clear vision and a great leader for Fillmore. It is a tragedy that he has to resign. The Business Park will surely be slowed down and hopefully not stopped because of it.
This short letter overlooks many other great accomplishments by Mr. Payne on behalf of Fillmore. He should be applauded and honored for all he has done and will be greatly missed.
I am proud to say I served on the Fillmore City Council during most of Roy’s service to our city.
Very truly yours,
Roger Campbell
Retired Councilmember and Mayor
City of Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 5th, 2009

To the Editor:
Dear Mr. Farrell,
Your editorial column is entitled “Realities”. Therefore, I am clarifying my position a bit for the newspaper readers in order to supply a sense of true reality. I suppose if we continue this process (extreme editorial and set the record straight retort) that the Fillmore Gazette readers will have some brief entertainment!
Previously, I voted “no” on the proposal to spend up to $10,000 on river bottom land appraisal and lawyer fees. In my opinion if the city is looking at purchasing land then the SELLER should pay for the appraisal. Because the amount of the purchase was open-ended, I voted no. It is my belief that a seller should come to the table with some ballpark figure in mind.
I voted “no” on parts of the bike trail grant proposed recommendations (There were five separate recommended action points). According to city staff, owning the land proposed would probably lead to the annexation of the area called “Sunken Village”. That event might cause some significant liabilities for the City. It was my position that this should be analyzed before plans were set in motion.
Respectfully,
Jamey Brooks, councilmember
Fillmore
(01/29/09 Editorial may be found at www.fillmoregazette.com under Editorial)

To the Editor:
“If I speak I am condemned. If I remain silent I am damned.” Valjean to Officer Galbert. (Les Miserables)
So President Barack Obama did not like Rush Limbaugh’s comments. If the President’s agenda is challenged but passes without a political struggle, dare anyone oppose the new triumvirate of D.C., ie: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid? Our political interests have always been tenuated by the debate and seasonal unanimity of the People, not Rush Limbaugh, liberal Democrats, or the media. And what certainty should we look to from our national leaders when in concert, the president and majority party have set in motion an effort to silence a strongly held but different point of view? Republicans have been warned by the president that one man should not be listened to. And now Democrats are circulating a petition vilifying Rush Limbaugh. It’s true that Obama has socialist tendencies. So why are we surprised that his political annoyance demonstrates a foretaste of censorship?
Norbert Castel de Oro,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
It’s going on almost two weeks now and the city has done nothing to clean up this ditch (see photo). The stagnant water is infested with mosquitoes and diseases. The school children walk by this open ditch every day. It seems that the city has no intentions of doing anything about it. If you are concerned about your children’s health you may want to contact Public Works Director Bert J. Rapp at City Hall. 524-1500 ext. 231.
Milan Boyanich,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 29th, 2009

To the Editor:
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier, speaking for the Wayfarer’s Chapel Lutheran Church, last week claimed that if our nation supports homosexuality then we will receive a “curse from God.” By “supports” I assume Lanier means assuring that gay and lesbian Americans are guaranteed the same equality and right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that all of us good heterosexuals are afforded. By “curse” I assume he means all future natural disasters.
In 1963 I was stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, a time when that state was segregated. The attitude and remarks about African Americans expressed by the whites justifying their racist behavior was of a similar self-righteous tone expressed by Lanier toward gays and lesbians.
Lanier’s claims about homosexuals are false, divisive and hurtful. The many gays and lesbians that are part of the Fillmore citizenry serve our community as educators, professionals, shoppers, business owners, artists, volunteers, taxpayers etc.; I’m embarrassed to read Lanier’s offensive public comments attempting to denigrate the citizenship of friends and neighbors.
Getting through adolescence is difficult for many youngsters but for the minority of teens who discover they have a gay sexual orientation it’s much more difficult. Imagine being told that the consequence of the sexual feelings you are experiencing could be the cause for God to bring a curse upon your country. The suicide rate is much higher for these kids than other teens, in part because of societal ignorance. Fortunately that is changing. I pray that Rev. Lanier can find it in his heart to tone down the dogma and recognize the destructive potential his unfounded and irresponsible claims can have on real people.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 22nd, 2009

To the Editor:
Barak Obama faces serious challenges as he takes office as our next president, and he surely needs our prayers. There is good news in this, that our nation has shown that race should not be a hindrance in being elected to office. This is good, for God is not prejudiced, and neither should we be. It should make no difference if a man is white, black, or half white and half black, as President Obama is. Character and policies promoted by the individual should be the criteria for office, not race. However, as we also know, the news is not all good. We face very real security threats from abroad and the economy is not in good shape. People worry about terrorist threats, their jobs, and making ends meet.
We should pray for our president, that God would give him wisdom, good judgment, and, most importantly, the desire to do what is right in God's sight. For all of the motivational speeches and all of the economic policies in the world will not help us if our nation sanctions moral perversion and the murder of its children. Supporting homosexuality and abortion, as President Obama has done in the past, will not bring this nation blessings, but rather a curse from God.
In the Bible God says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." (Psalm 33:12) He also says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." (Isaiah 5:20) We pray that God would give President Obama a repentant heart, the will and the courage to support the good rather than the evil, and that God would watch over him and his family and keep them from harm.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier,
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

To the Editor:
What a display of bizarre and disruptive conduct was exhibited by Councilperson Hernandez at the 1/13/09 meeting. While the new City Clerk was presenting his agenda item, Ms. Hernandez shook her head in a "No No No" side-to-side gesture while mouthing the word "No No No" repeatedly during the presentation and, for added effect, she slapped her desktop with papers and grimaced and smiled in disgust intermittently. It was obvious that she was not in accord with Mr. Westling's requests and/or recommendations. However, her uncontrolled body gestures and silent mouthings along with loud and disruptive outbursts are the last thing the public expects from an elected official. The only saving grace to this performance fiasco is that the video cameras never took a close-up of Ms. Hernandez. You had to be in the audience to see it to believe it. Sad!
Gloria Hansen,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 15th, 2009

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney:
I’m writing this letter not only as concerned parent but as a member of the community. It’s with great disbelieve that in this day of times we see the discrimination to our soccer program which is made of minority students. We had enough and feel that it’s time we speak up and let Fillmore School District know how unhappy we are with this situation. Time and time again the soccer program is put aside and our coaches have to find a place to practice or a place to play, because school administrators don’t feel that our children are important enough to accommodate and respect the soccer program schedule. Just last week the games were moved to Shields Park. This is unfair and we hope that you will take action and take care of this situation.
Respectfully,
Maria Vaca,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney:
As a proud supporter, father and previous assistant coach for over ten years at Fillmore High School, it saddens me to learn that once again, the Fillmore High Soccer Program is being discriminated. Specifically, I am appalled that the boys and girls cannot practice/play on the new turf.
Time and time again the soccer programs are pushed aside for other "more important" sports and in this case to fix the problems with the track. This is just not right and you as Superintendant should not allow for things like this to happen under your watch.
By cancelling and re-scheduling games to Shields Park you are opening up the students to the possibility of greater injury because of the poor condition of these fields.
Respectfully,
Joel Quintero,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Fillmore Unified School District,
as a concerned parent and Fillmore High School Soccer Alumni, I am writing about how Soccer has been discriminated against. Since I can remember soccer isn't a sport much recognized in Fillmore. Not only in our school district but also in our community. I personally know most of the female and male soccer players in our Fillmore High School program. Our school has always had a high number of students participating in the sport. We were all excited as a community to be able to watch our team play on our new field.
In understanding that the field has yet to be completed, none to minimal work was done to our field in the Winter break. Most of the unfinished work could have easily been completed in those 2 weeks. Due to lack on your part, our students have now been forced to play at a public park that needs much field repair. UNFAIR!
Our Football season was a hit, not to mention must have been a great feeling for those who played their last year on that field. This is being taken away from those seniors who play the sport of soccer. Our student’s pay the sport fees and should have equal rights to that field. Regardless of what sports brings in the revenue. It looks horrible on your part!!
Needless to say, this year's Soccer Alumni game was held at Shields Park due to the field not being completed. Myself along with many other Fillmore High School Soccer Alumni's were enraged at the thought.
Something needs to be done differently. Soon Fillmore Unified School District will find that less and fewer students will be participating in the sport of soccer.
A concerned parent,
Erika Huerta,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Mr. Sweeney,
I’m writing this letter as a concerned parent of three children who attend Fillmore School District and a tax payer who is very out raged of the situation regarding the high school boys and girls soccer program. I’m very upset to hear that the students who attend Fillmore High and play soccer are not being allowed to use their own soccer field to play the sport they enjoy! This field was built for the students use in ALL sports and that’s not what is happening!! The reason the field is closed is “work/repairs needed to be done”, why now, why during soccer season and not football season!!! Why not during winter break? The kids were off for over two weeks, that would have been a perfect time to do any work that needed to be done, but instead you have decided to take care of it during soccer season!!
By doing this, you have pushed these kids to play at the only public park in Fillmore: Shields Park, which is in a very poor condition for these students to play on. The soccer program has a lot of students participating in both boys and girls and they pay their fees as well as any other sport. Unfortuanaly for what ever reason time after time they are mistreated one way or another. This needs to stop. Equal opportunity should be for all students who attend Fillmore Unified School District, not just the sports that bring in the revenue.”
A concerned parent,
Jennie Andrade,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
January 8th, 2009

To the Editor:
Re: New Skateboard Park
I’m a little shocked and saddened by the pictures I see of our new skateboard park. I saw what may be one helmet in the first picture, but no other helmets anywhere. There are no elbow, knee or wrist pads. I also see what appear to be children on bicycles with no helmets. If I am not mistaken there is a law that states all children under 16 must wear helmets while riding a bicycle in Fillmore. I feel very sad that these children may be injured or killed because their parents do not ensure they are wearing the proper safety equipment while participating in these types of activities. I must also think that some of these parents will be the same ones that will blame the city of Fillmore should one of their children become injured. Parents, please teach your children to wear their safety gear. Maybe the city needs to make it a requirement to wear them, especially at the skateboard park.
Christina Thompson,
Concerned Fillmore Mom

 
Letters to the Editor
December 25th, 2008

To the Editor:
Dear Martin,
I was reading your "Realities" page on the Internet and noticed a "reality" about you. A ways down, you have an editorial blasting while at the top of the page you have an ad for a company selling "Super Obama" t-shirts. You sell out easily, don't you. Your so called "Realities" can be bought for a few bucks. That makes your opinion seem pretty cheap, huh?
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

Dear Dave,
The ads that run on the side of our web page are part of an advertising topical words program based on an algorithm system, which randomly matches topical words on the website. We have no control over the contents of the ads. So, since I write about Obama, good or bad, their servers select ads which relate to Obama. To make it clearer, if it were your webpage, the ads would probably contain information on lobotomies.
Sincerely, Martin Farrell

To the Editor:
To The People of Fillmore
We, the people of the Fillmore First United Methodist Church, would like to thank you for your concern and love during our time of trouble. First of all, it was only the church sign on the corner of Sespe and Fillmore that suffered visible damage and vandalism, i.e. tagging the plastic by scratching and until the plastic fractured and broke, that became apparent because the other signs of tagging of our church walls are quickly covered by the efficient efforts of the City of Fillmore whom we also thank. We had many calls of concern that possibly we were going out of operation. No such thing! We continue to serve all who come - we have seats available every Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Come and visit and be welcome.
The Congregation.

 
Letters to the Editor
December 18th, 2008

To the Editor
Dear Martin,
You are entitled to your opinion however over emphasized or over dramatized. When I asked for copies of contracts I did so knowing that the majority of people voting for me wanted the same fiscal accountability that "I want". This country, this state and this city need financial restructuring. I asked for information on items that are of the most cost to the city. In the past, I stated financial statements at budget workshops (the proper time and place). The place on the City Council agenda to ask for specific information is 10D (other discussion/information from Mayor, City Council and City Staff). I asked then because I wanted a consensus of the council. Then staff was directed after discussion from the whole council. That was the proper time and place to bring it forth. There is a group of people who will not like any direction of change I may propose. There is a large group of people who voted for me who are expecting a closer look at the finances of the city. You and I have two different opinions about how I should proceed as a city leader. You have dramatically said I was grinning like a three-year-old and acting like a little Caesar. I do not recall grinning at all (it might have been a grimace). I am short, but I am no little Caesar. Throughout the recent campaign, some people attacked others with name calling. I find it a pity that you would use this tactic. As "the Editor" of Fillmore's only newspaper, if you disagree with things, state your case without the name calling. We all can respect that.
Jamey Brooks,
Fillmore

To the Editor
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities: After watching city council members come and go for over thirty years I have observed that, although they obviously have different personalities, styles, philosophies, experiences, backgrounds, intellect and knowledge, they all come to the office either familiar or unfamiliar with how city government operates.
The unfamiliar are those who we never knew were interested in city governance until they ran for office. We never heard them offer a public opinion on an issue either before the council or in the local press. They get elected, receive their orientation from city staff on how to be a city council member and quite often become nothing more than a “rubber stamp” for whatever staff says. At that point they cease being the people’s representative.
The familiar are those who have been engaged. They have researched issues and city documents, voiced their opinions before the City Council and/or public media outlets. We know where they stand on the issues when we go in the voting booth. Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks came into office familiar and engaged - for years.
Their agenda, if I’m not mistaken, is open government (transparency), provide oversight, demand accountability and fiscal responsibility. That should make it easy for the local press. Give them a call.
Personally, I want to know who was behind the scheme to cheat a couple of cities out of their share of sales tax monies so Fillmore could get some ill-gotten revenue. Would it be too much to ask our local newspaper to get to the bottom of this story? After all, we could be facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit over it.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

To the Editor
Why I support the Boys and Girls Club
#1. As you all know, the decisions kids make during their adolescence dramatically alter the rest of their lives. It’s often easier to make the wrong decisions due to several factors including peer pressure. While parents are the prime caregivers for children, work schedules and life do not allow children to be supervised all the time. So any supplemental guidance and mentoring can really make the difference.
#2. The mentoring received at the Boys and Girls Club can make a difference. Our well trained, dedicated yet underpaid staff are positive role models for so many of our valley’s children. I know in my life, one or two mentors really helped me chose the right direction just when I needed it.
#3. The Boys and Girls Club is time tested. For the past 75 years, clubs through out the country have been there for the youth of America performing their duties in a quiet humble manner.
Before I came on the Board, I thought substantial support came from the United Way and the national organization. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We need support from the communities we serve to cover our operating costs. I assure you, every dollar is spent wisely. Please send your donations to P. O. Box 152, Santa Paula or call 525-7910.
Mike Hause,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
December 11th, 2008

To the Editor:
Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent into today’s society with the access of electronic mail, chat rooms, blogging sites, virtual worlds, instant messaging, social network sites like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and other very common mediums like cell phones and PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) all creating a world of instant communication.
Forms of Cyberbullying consist of an individual or group willfully using information and communication to harass or threaten another individual or group by sending or posting cruel text or graphics using a technological means. Issues specific to Cyberbullying are: anonymity (no one knows who you are), no inhibition (free to act anyway you want), increased audience, limitless risk of victimization and 24/7 access.
As parents, we can talk about Cyberbullying to our children. Set clear rules regarding the use of computers and other technological devices. Monitor computer use (check website browser history). And of course install monitoring and filtering software.
Some on-line prevention resources are: i-SAFE Inc. (http://www.i-safe.org); NetSmartz (http://www.netsmartz.org); and CyberSmart (http://www.cybersmartcurriculum.org/home.
If you or someone you love is being bullied in cyberspace, tell someone. Report the harassment to the website, and of course if someone is threatening to do harm, report this to the police.
Think before you click! Words do hurt…
Mrs. Reyes-Deutsch,
Mom & School Counselor,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Dear Friends,
Here we go again! With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are asking already. Most of us agree that this Holiday Season is fortunate for some and unfortunate for others. Amidst the times we live in, we must realize that Christmas' true roots are from the spirit of giving and rejoice. Let us reflect on what we DO have. Most of all, lets not forget the kids. The kids are the ones who remember the great Christmas'. Put the kids first!
Being a part of the Fillmore and Piru community, as a kid, I couldn't wait to see Santa on the fire truck going up and down Clay St. As President of the local Carnales Motorcycle Club I am a part of putting together a Toy Run to benefit the kids in the Piru area. Why Piru? It is a small forgotten town that my family has been rooted to for over a hundred years-a prominent family. This town is "tight-knitted" and traditional. My brotherhood "Carnales Mc" looks forward to helping make the Christmas a great one for the kids of Piru, California. This is what we're all about.
Thank You to all our Supporters, family, friends, and Jesus "Chuy" Ortiz of El Pescador. Without their support, it would've been impossible. Remember, Support your Local
Carnales Motorcycle Club. God Bless.
Sincerely,
Bobby Castenada,
Carnales Mc.

 
Letters to the Editor
December 4th, 2008

To the Editor:
ALERT-ALERT-ALERT THIS IS A TRUE EMERGENCY
The California Supreme Court is preparing to hear a motion on the legality of a Vote by the People of California. This hearing is supposed to determine whether the vote on Proposition 8 will stand or fall. What will be determined is the right, given by the Constitution, for the people to govern and not the public officials. By law, those elected to office, and those appointed, are employees of the legal citizens of the State of California. Unless, We the People, are willing to give up the freedom our forefathers fought and died for, and become slaves to dictators once again, we must not wait for the outcome of their decision. We must act without hesitation to prepare a valid recall referendum of those officials and judges who stand in opposition to the will of the people. The people of the State of California allowed Judges to set aside their vote once before, and now we are faced with the possibility of a judgment which could be far worse.
We may expect immediate and possibly hostile opposition to this recall from the ACLU, the gay activists, and the Judges, all of whom wish to become a law unto themselves. Unless we are willing to become workers for dictators, and not
citizens with a voice as to our freedom and law, we can expect tyranny to follow.
Stan Mason,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
November 27th, 2008

To the Editor:
This letter was sent to Kevin McSweeney the day after the November 18 Housing Element Workshop. This Workshop stressed affordable housing requirements from the State.

I talked about El Dorado’s plight a little last night. El Dorado’s owner and management is determined to raise rents out of the affordable housing market. They want a more affluent tenancy throughout the park. They are driving low income residents into abandoning their retirement homes. By this method they are creating a greater burden on the city by removing affordable housing from your housing element. Many of the park’s residents tried to get the city to do something about this a year ago and it fell on deaf ears. So we have to pay again for the city’s ineptitude. Without a counter balance to this one sided equation, I too will loose my home and become homeless in a pretty short amount of time. I bring in about $30,000 and I can’t afford to live in a trailer?! I’m probably one of the higher earning residents of those living here 15 years or more (I’ve been here 21 years). When our old leases are up and we have to get on the current leases offered, we will lose everything. The owner’s costs are minimal and the rent increases are uncalled for. The space across the street from me is for sale and when it sells the rent will be $250 a month more than the present lease. How can this increase be justified? They only own the land. How much maintenance is that? There are very small common areas they have to take care of and the streets, the clubhouse and utilities, that’s about it. Bottom line, our seniors are being forced out of their retirement into squalor by a greedy corporation while the government does not do it’s job and protect affordable housing and it’s citizens. Then you bureaucrats have the nerve to throw all these numbers about “fairness” at us? And how you are trying to protect us?

To me the government pushing forced housing on a supply/demand market is ludicrous. It will never work.
First of all the numbers are meaningless. They do not take into account that some cities are in a better location for transportation. Those farther from major highways and rail service are less desirable for businesses and residents. Property costs are higher near major highways and rail, but once you purchase them it becomes a fixed cost. Transportation costs will never be fixed, but always rise. So, smart people will locate where they can save on transportation costs. In the long run, transportation savings will out weigh the higher property expense. The property value will also rise faster for them in a more desirable location.
Secondly, the numbers don’t make any concession to the fact that many landlords are bent on increasing rents out of the affordable housing market. The whole notion of providing housing to people who clearly can not afford to live there is ridiculous. There are just too many factors for governments to try to solve a problem that really doesn’t exist. The market is reality and trying to change that is like trying to change human nature. It just is what it is. It is not a solvable problem, it is not even a problem. The whole existence of this government structure is a waste of resources.
Sincerely,
David Roegner

 
Letters to the Editor
November 20th, 2008

To the Editor:
A number of misconceptions have arisen recently that need to be corrected.
First, there's the misconception that refusing to recognize homosexual marriage is akin to refusing to allow interracial marriage. In the eyes of the world, the two may be related, but not in the eyes of God. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that it is a sin for people of different races to marry. People who opposed interracial marriage did so simply out of prejudice, not because God says that it's wrong. However, God does condemn homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Secondly, there's the misconception that homosexual marriage is simply a matter of rights. Actually, it's a matter of morality. Some actions are immoral, and some are not. Murder is immoral; stealing is immoral; lying is immoral; adultery is immoral; sex outside of marriage is immoral; and homosexual activity is immoral. On what basis are they immoral? On the basis of the foundation of our traditional moral standards, the law of God.
Thirdly, there's the misconception that while Jesus was tolerant (i.e. Jesus would OK homosexual marriage), the apostle Paul was not (because in his letters Paul condemns homosexuality), therefore we can listen to Jesus but ignore the writings of Paul. Actually, Jesus said, "Don't think that I came to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." (Matthew 5:17) Jesus did not do away with the moral law (the 10 Commandments and their applications), and Jesus never condoned sin. For to condone sin is sin itself, and Jesus never sinned. Jesus also said to those He sent out (which includes Paul). "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me." (Luke 10:16) What Paul writes is the word of Jesus, and whoever rejects Paul's writings rejects Jesus who sent him.
Finally, there are misconceptions of where president-elect Obama stands on the issues of abortion and homosexual marriage.
There's the misconception that Obama opposes partial-birth abortion. He gave that impression in the third presidential debate when he stated that he does not support partial-birth or late-term abortion. The reality is that he not only doesn't oppose partial-birth abortion, but that he supports resumption of the practice in our country. Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which was drawn up in opposition to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The Freedom of Choice Act would allow partial-birth abortions to resume where the "health" of the mother is involved. Of course, the "health" of the mother can mean any mental or physical discomfort that she suffers, so the "health of the mother" exception clause in effect nullifies the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and makes it only so much worthless paper. For those who are not aware of what partial-birth abortion actually is, it's a procedure used late in a pregnancy where the child is delivered except for its head. Its skull is then cut open and its brains are sucked out so that it can be delivered dead.
By the way, on the issue of abortion there's a video that I would direct your attention to. It can be seen at www.obamamustsee.com.
There's also the misconception that Obama opposes homosexual marriage. The reality is that he favors repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. DOMA, as it's called, states that the Federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, nor are the states required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Since the Defense of Marriage Act deals exclusively with denying the validity of homosexual marriage, there's no reason to favor repealing it if one actually opposes homosexual marriage.
Lastly, a word on tolerance. I know several people here in Fillmore who had "Yes on 8" signs stolen from their property. One lady had her sign stolen twice. My wife and I had a different experience. We had roofing nails placed under the tires of our vehicles. A $30 tire repair bill was the price we paid.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

To the Editor:
I know this is a very trivial point but it has been driving me crazy for years so I need to speak out! Can we please let people know that we DON'T have a Shields Park or Shields Drive. We have Shiells Park and Shiells Drive. There is NO "D" just two ll's pleas people pronounce and spell it correctly!!!!
Thank you,
Amy Berger

 
Letters to the Editor
November 13th, 2008

To the Editor:
I would like to say thanks to the hardest working campaign team ever and thanks to all of the supporters and volunteers who worked so hard – I could not do it without you. Thanks to all of the voters who cast their vote for me. For those who did not vote for me I hope to earn your support as we work together to face challenges ahead of us.
I also want to thank all of the candidates who participated in this election. It’s not easy being out in the public realm. But anyone who is willing to make the sacrifice in time and energy to try to make their community better deserves a lot of credit.
I am looking forward to fulfilling my duties on the Fillmore City Council and promise to do my best to represent all of the people in Fillmore to the best of my ability.
Gayle Washburn,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Dear friends and Fillmore voters,
I want to extend my thanks to all of you for your help and confidence during this recent election. We all worked very hard to win the election for myself, Jamie, Gayle plus Measures H&I.
As I have probably told you, I feel that portions of this city’s recent problems are because of the improper implementation of the California Government Code regarding the Office of City Clerk. I campaigned on the platform of establishing this office in Fillmore as an independent governing entity as defined in the code. And I want to again promise you that I will faithfully fulfill that promise.
Thank you again
Clay Westling,
Fillmore City Clerk - Elect

To the Editor:
Gallegly thanks the voters
It is an honor to serve the people of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in Washington, DC, and I want to thank the voters for your support again this week.
As a nation, we face challenges today unlike any we’ve faced in many decades. But the United States has faced great challenges before and we have always prevailed. There is much work ahead. I have no doubt that if we keep our eyes on the goal of peace and prosperity we will reach that goal.
Rebuilding our economy and winning the war against terrorism are not partisan issues, they are American issues. There is new leadership in the nation’s capital and they will find, as past leaders have, that leading is not easy. I have a record, as both a part of the majority and minority, of working in a bipartisan effort with my colleagues. I will continue to do so as we tackle the tasks ahead.
I have never taken your support lightly over the past 22 years and I never will. I pledge to continue to serve with commitment and dedication. Should you have any questions or concerns about any federal issue, please don’t hesitate to contact my office in Thousand Oaks, Solvang, or Washington, DC.
Sincerely,
ELTON GALLEGLY
Member of Congress

To the Editor:
As Mr. Martin Farrell took his last opportunity to endorse particular Measures before Election Day, he truly hit a home run! For the faithful supporters of Propositions 8 and 4 it was a breath of fresh air in the sea of media bashing of our cause. While all was not won in the election, you won our hearts by speaking up against the tide of media opinion against traditional values and candidates. While we are grateful that Proposition 8 passed successfully, we fully recognize that a large percentage of our population misunderstands our cause and the issue, which has nothing to do with rights or tolerance. A key issue that is missed by those who loudly proclaim that this is an issue of civil rights and that separation of church and state means that moral issues are not applicable miss the true meaning behind the founding of this great nation, "One Nation Under God". Separation of Church and State does not mean abandonment of God or those principals that underpin our constitution and nation. Tolerance that undermines basic and core values is not tolerance, but weakness! We must all recognize the task ahead to share with others those core issues of such importance so that we never again face such a challenge as we did with the passing of Proposition 8. We will move forward from the results of this election thankful that we all have the opportunity to express our vote in the governance of this Nation. Thanks again for speaking up for what is right!
David Starr,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Thankfully the election is finally over. I think that the outcome of the City election was the result of many things but most importantly it was the candidates and the issues. We were fortunate to have had so many who were willing to participate at that level.
We cannot overlook the good reporting of the Gazette and Martin Farrell who brought to our attention the problems that would be created by the North Fillmore Plan; Martin, credit to you for being the spark that ignited the movement behind Measures H and I.
It seems one of our citizens was cited for removing some Proposition 8 signs; I would have been proud to have had my picture along side his if his story is true. I saw a “Yes on Prop 8” sign illegally placed in the middle of Central Ave. near City Hall. I should have removed it from our property but I didn’t take the time, shame on me.
One last thought, Mr. Farrell, the previous two presidential elections you told us that we should vote for G.W. Bush – big mistake. This time we decided to try something different and vote for the candidate you didn’t support. Of course, Obama’s presidency will be judged by whether or not he can fix everything that G.W. broke. A daunting task but we can hope.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re: Cindy Blatt's November 6th. letter
A plethora of "Yes on 8" signs in and around Fillmore is based on an Article in the United States Constitution, known as The First Amendment, which guarantees the right of free speech, Fillmore included . Unfortunately, some in Fillmore believe free speech does not apply to ideas that they disagree with. Around 100 "Yes on 8" signs were stolen from front yards of Fillmore residences, mine included. According to newspaper accounts two individual Fillmore residents, including a former Mayor of Fillmore, were arrested or cited by Fillmore police for stealing "Yes on 8" signs. I don't know on any "No on 8" signs that were stolen but I do know that "No on 8" supporters were protesting in front of a polling place, (very illegal) and police were called and responded. Could that form of free speech be more acceptable to Ms. Blatt's standards of expression?
Tom Montali,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
The youth organizations of Fillmore have teamed together to find a solution with the school board regarding the use of the school fields for practicing. There are four youth sports that play throughout the year that require fields to practice on. If you think about how much public space is out there in our town, you know that it is not very much. Currently we all pay fees to the school district for the use of school fields to help keep them maintained. Since fees will increase for 2009 all youth organizations have been forced to raise registration fees to cover field use cost. Until the new 22 acre park is built we are going to continue to have this problem. We are asking parents and residents of Fillmore to help us go to speak to the school board and ask them not to raise field fees, so we do not have to raise registration fees. All around Ventura County, Fillmore is the least expensive for youth sports and we would like to keep in that way. The success of our youth sports continues to grown. Our mission is to keep our youth occupied and keep them off the streets. If we are forced to raise our registration fee, then some families may not be able to afford it, and that defeats our purpose. It is not our intention to be at war with anyone or point fingers at whom or how the challenge started. We are trying to come to an agreement that is best for everyone. We would like to form a youth organization board of directors and if you would like to be involved and want to be heard, please join us November 12th at 6:30pm at the Boys and Girls Club on First Street.
Angelica Richardson,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
1) Rent control is only for residents who want it. Those who don't like it can have their long term lease and the only effect rent control would have on you is you home will be worth more. You continually want to tell us what to do. You have no right to tell us we can't have rent control because you represent a minority group and rent control will not harm you.
2) If you did a little research, you would know other California cities have successfully used a moratorium to halt "condoizing".
3) The new City Council will save the city more than enough money to make up for administering a rent control board.
4) People have a right to have a choice, rather than being dictated to by your minority group.
5) Your group's interference is what has caused "the disruptive mess" and "divided the park". You would not accept the fact that rent control would not effect you and proceeded to side with management. Steve Conaway and Cecelia Cuevas also sided with management from the start. Funny how the guy with the big bucks gets your group's and 2 council persons support immediately when rent control first began. I think the key word in the last sentence is "bucks", because if you cared about people, you would want them to have what they want.
6) Yes, the Santa Paula park did get a $129 increase, but that was from an average rent of $370 in that park. The space across from me is facing a $250 increase from our wonderful owner. So what's better?
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
November 6th, 2008

To the Editor:
Who has the heart to tell 639 AYSO kids that their playing time is over? Why is one sport allowed to play at certain fields and another not given that same opportunity? For those answers one must approach city hall and ask. But for our AYSO children’s sake our town needs to know what is going on. Shields Park has always been the practice ground for our soccer kids. Every year the AYSO president submits our reservation from August through October. In doing so this year he was told that it was too early. After re-submitting according to deadline he was told that Fillmore Raiders requested the field from October 16th on. Apparently the football players needed the lights at night. Prior to needing these last two weeks the football players were practicing at Sespe School and the Little League field. When questioning where our 639 kids were supposed to practice the question of utilizing these fields was brought up only to be quickly turned down as they are off limits to soccer. At mid-season we were asked to cut our practices from two a week to one due to the adult softball games. Now we are told to not have any practice. We understand that somehow the football league requested the time before AYSO even though someone at city hall was well aware of the time we needed as our president requested ahead of time. But this unfairness has to stop. If one sport is allowed to play at certain fields then all sports should be allowed. Discrimination may be a heavy word but the right word in this case. 639 kids are depending on the leaders of this town to provide them with the same equality they have provided for the Football and baseball teams.
Alyssa Calder,
Concerned Parent

To the Editor:
In response to flyer sent to El Dorado Residents Nov -03- 2008
Paid for by (Washburn and Brooks).
You state that (1) each of you are both concerned about the quality of life at El Dorado (thanks for that). Since the rent control movement, our life has been a most disruptive mess & divided the park. Thanks to the anointed Gang.(2) Why your moratorium for us residents. Please cite for us your examples of cities that have stopped owners from converting their parks.(3) If elected and when you are informed, the cost to the City of FILLMORE, If you are both smart you just might do what the old council did and Vote-- NO. Then wait for the words to start. As to who paid you off.???? (4) On your flyer that was sent to us, both of you must think that we here in El Dorado are real naive old folks, if not senile. Just to get our Vote!! To some of us in El Dorado its looks like you're trying to sell us snake oil by the cup. And to think some will buy it by the drum. The photo you used of the mobile home is not at El Dorado. You did not even give us that COURTESY and you want what from us.
Are you both aware what happen in Santa Paula, Their rents are being raised $129.00. And they're on Rent Control.
Raul Torres of El Dorado

To the Editor:
Shame on the supporters of Proposition 8 for placing a plethora of “Yes on 8” campaign signs on public property throughout Fillmore – which, by the way, is illegal. What kind of lessons are you teaching your children?
Cindy Blatt,
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
October 30th, 2008

To the Editor:
A vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks is a vote for strong, sensible leadership. Gayle and Jamey have made a commitment to stop wasteful spending. They will work to form a city government structure that will live within its means.
Join me and vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks – Fillmore City Council.
Sarah Hansen,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
ArtHarvest 2008 is over - and along with the inevitable back glancing to scrutinize our successes and failures comes the enjoyable task of doling out thanks to the many whose efforts congealed into a bona fide event! So here we go:
First and foremost thanks must go to Andrew Whaley of Coffeeboy, Wendy Hellstrom of Colors, Roberta Andrino, artist and teacher, Scott Duckett of the Fillmore Gazette, Penny Henschel of Ever After Designs, Kathy Vargas of Fillmore Mail Stop, Alex Mollkoy of AmPet, Bill Bartels of the City of Fillmore and our sponsor, Fillmore Ebell Club. These folks provided the go-juice that jumpstarted the whole event. Special thanks to Andrew for providing us with a meeting space and drinks and snacks to make those long evening meetings easier on our bellies. Blake Allred, Kathleen McCreary, Lynn Edmonds, Brian Hightower, Molly McGuire and Alex Mollkoy also played important roles in facilitating a flow of ideas from which to harvest the shape of the event.
Chalk Art sponsors were: Ludlum Landscaping, KSSP Photoraphic Studios, Edison’s Up in Arms, Curves, The Scented Path Apothecary, Fillmore Tattoo & Piercing, Giessinger Winery, Johanna’s Ice Cream & Candy, The Skateboard Shop, Gloria Cardona, Treasure Station, Tia’s House of Sweets, Lizette’s Jewelry/Telcel, Sandi Ward’s Crafts n Things, Terri’s Salon & Boutique, Central Station Bar & Grill, Central Music, and Aim Glass & Mirror as well as Cofeeboy, AmPet, and Colors. We applaud the imagination it took for you to participate in a vision. And what a beautiful reality occurred as a result.
Next, a hearty handshake to the volunteers who ran the chalk art festival and kids’s art project pavilion. You were great - and what a wonderful event you provided for the artists and children of Fillmore. Also, to Al Huerta, Bill Herrera and their volunteer fireman crew: your support and presence made everything work on Central Avenue. Plus you’re just such nice guys!
To the artists and musicians, more than fifty-seven individuals in all, you provided the sparkle and color to our street and sidewalks that we seldom get to see here. What a pleasure to host you right in downtown Fillmore. We hope you consider playing and displaying for us again
And finally to the merchants and businesses who opened their doors to the Fillmore citizenry and guests in order to provide them with a special occasion - we are most grateful for your hospitality. Just goes to show what we can do when we put our heads together!
Sincerely,
Janine Rees and the ArtHarvest Committee
Fillmore, CA

To the Editor:
I have been a strong supporter of Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks for many years. The City of Fillmore needs elected officials that will listen to and represent the community. You will find that Gayle and Jamey will do just that. I know they will remain accountable to you as your representative on the Fillmore City Council.
Please cast your vote on November 4 for Fillmore City Council candidates Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks.
Jack Stethem,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
On November 4, the citizens of Fillmore have an opportunity to vote for change - a change for accountability, financial responsibility and integrity. A vote for Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks will bring the City of Fillmore back to the citizens of Fillmore.
Maryellen and Charley Alvarez,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Mark Austin has served the city of Fillmore on the Planning Commission and has proven his ability to serve his community faithfully. In my opinion Mark listens to all sides of an issue, weighs the facts and can reach a decision on the matter. Mark is fair minded and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves to get work done. As past Chair of the Planning Commission he ran very efficient meetings and arrived prepared to conduct business. It’s my belief that he can bring solutions to the table and bridge the roles of policy maker and advocate. Mark is seeking office as a Fillmore School Board Member and for these reason I can recommend Mark Austin for the job.
Steve Conaway,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
M. Cecelia Cuevas has a grass roots campaign going. I think her grass roots are amazing. I assume she is talking about her hair. It can't be grass roots of voters. She has a whopping 2 voters who have contributed $25.00 or more. Now, if the population of Fillmore was 3 she would have a grass roots campaign. I'm gonna have to get up close and personal with her and see if I can find some green hair.
The Harrison garbage company had 4 people (Harrison family) donate $1,000 to Cecelia's campaign. Apparently, they think she's interested in their company because of all the garbage she puts out at City Council meetings and with her campaign.
Two builders who want to build in North Fillmore gave her the maximum law allows, $250. In return, Cecelia wants to give them the maximum number of homes to build. Cecelia is really fair like that. She gives back!
American Water has given Cecelia the maximum twice. I suppose it's because they know how to handle all of the sewerage at City Hall. Since American Water's bid was twice as high as PERC's, twice the maximum. Perc, obviously underestimated how much sewerage comes out of City Hall.
Some out of town lawyer gave her money. I thought it worked the other way around, you pay them a retainer.
California Rock gave her the maximum as well. We all can see why that happened, you know, the thing on her shoulders. I'm not saying she's stubborn, but have you heard her rants at council meetings?
So, we can see Cecelia's interests by looking at who gave her money. She likes 2 citizens, garbage, home builders, sewerage, rocks and a lawyer. Oh, Dr. Phil, I think we need your help.
Also, the debate that I attended had only 3 either against or withholding judgment about revisiting rent control.
Raul, you've heard us say many times that rent control is not mandatory if a law comes into place. You may choose a long term lease that is not bound by rent control. So why do you want to tell the rest of us what to do? We want lower rents and it will not come close to bankrupting the owner or management if we get it. It would be nothing like the hurt they put on many of us. There are ways to avoid becoming a family park and condoizing, so that is not in the picture. You have no legitimate argument to be against rent control. You just like being bossy. Did your HOA have an emergency disaster plan (other than running like heck)? This HOA has many C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) graduates, taught by the Fire Department, in a block captain program to assist even you if disaster strikes El Dorado again. We have emergency equipment and are seeking to buy all the supplies the Fire Dept. has recommended we should have on hand. What better use could a HOA have than possibly saving the lives of our neighbors? Yes, this is being done by rent control people. I think this plainly shows the difference between you and me. 'Nuff said!
Dave Roegner,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
November 4th, 2008 election is fast approaching and we as voters must decide who shall fill the city council seats. The candidate shall have these following qualities.
Have served on one or more elected or appointed positions. Have served on one or more committees within the City. Have been active in various activities within the City. Have demonstrated their leadership in various positions, and have demonstrated their ability in resolving issues and concerns for the city and the public.
Steve Conaway has exhibited all of these qualities with integrity and honesty. These are the reasons we support Steve for City Council.
Ray and Judy Dressler,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
So now we are about to get into the voting booth to pick a leader. We have listened to all of the Song and Dance tunes and now we must decide which one's we liked the best. We have four great musicians.
Sen. Obama is a well educated and articulate man that has a team of fine advisors and money raisers. He chose Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, who has years of political experience.
Sen. Obama has also some friends that don't really like the American way of life--but that's his privilege. He would like all of us to share our income, pay more tax and live happily ever after.
Then we have Sen. John McCain, well educated with experience and served in the United States Navy. He chose Sarah Palin as his running mate who is the Governor (direction and control) of the State of Alaska. She was also a mayor or chief magistrate of a city.
Sen. McCain also had some friends that did not really like the American way of life--he fought them with us in mind, and how he paid for it!
He would like all of us to be secure, have health insurance and pay less tax. We could live happily ever after.
I know what it cost John McCain to be a fighter. I cannot charge him more by not voting for him.
Robert Hansen
WWII Veteran
Fillmore

To the Editor:
At the October 21st City Council candidate forum, Gayle Washburn indicated that she would have increased City staff rather than hire consultants to design and build the water recycling project. Since Washburn is the only Council candidate advocating this method of doing business, let's consider the wisdom of this idea.
to staff this 6 year project the city would need to hire, provide office space, computers, printers and other office equipment, phone system etc for at least 35 specialists such as Environmental Planner, Waste Water Treatment process Engineer, Pipeline Engineer, Design Engineers, Project Engineers, Architect, Surveyors, Hydrogeolic Engineer and others.
Each of the professions would be utilized for from a few months to about four man years on this six year project. Their work load often starts and stops with many months of inactivity in between.
The city would have to offer very high rates of pay to attract quality personnel away from their employers to take a temporary job with Fillmore.
Not to mention the paid benefits and retirement.
Public agencies do not staff up to do short duration projects such as Fillmore's water recycling program but instead select qualified professional consultants to do the work with City staff and the City Council providing Policy and general oversight of the project.
We don't need to set up a constant Professional Staff vs Washburn on any future Projects by electing Her to the Council.
Ray Johnson

To The Editor:
As we approach the upcoming election, I would like to address one of the critical issues facing us here in Fillmore, which I have lived in for twenty years. I moved to the beauty and serenity of Fillmore to escape the oppressive congestion and pollution of the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys. To my great dismay, however, there has been a concerted effort for several years now to jeopardize the small-town character of Fillmore by excessive development, lately by planning to build 700 units in North Fillmore. Among other things, this would force the construction of a new street from North Fillmore to the north end of Central Avenue. As a result of this overcrowded development, there would be adverse impacts on air quality, infrastructure costs, and traffic (with significantly more congestion on Central Ave., A, B, C and D Streets down to Hwy 126).
Two candidates for city council, Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks, with whom I have spoken at length, are committed to mitigating this destructive plan. They are also determined to foster a more responsive, accountable and transparent city government to ensure the best interests of the people of Fillmore. Joining them in these goals are Clay Westling (for City Clerk) and Grace Donahue (for City Treasurer). Please vote YES for them and YES on Measures H and I. Our vote will have enormous consequences with respect to the character of our town for generations to come.
George Krestyn,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Concerning Measures H & I:
Some reasons why the Citizens for Responsible Growth have put Measures H & I on next Tuesday’s ballot:
First, in order to help fulfill some of the goals set-forth in our Vision 2020 plan which states the North Fillmore area will be patterned after the traditional East part of town which has a density of 5-6 houses per acre. There are approximately 65 buildable acres in the 101 total acreage. If you multiply those 65 acres by 5 houses per acre you get 325 houses. Out of the goodness of our hearts we gave them 25 extra houses and that’s how we arrived at the 350 houses in North Fillmore.
Second, the Vision 2020 plan also states in the Vision Statement: “Preserve our small-town atmosphere and quality of life through slow, well planned growth in order to protect open space, allow agriculture to thrive and strengthen our local economy”. That’s where we differ with city staff on “small town atmosphere and quality of life”. We don’t believe our present quality of life will be enhanced by building 700 homes on those 65 buildable acres. At two cars per house minimum the 700 homes will generate nearly 2800 trips to and from work daily plus extra trips taking kids to and from school, for shopping, Little League and all the other miscellaneous trips we all must make daily. This all adds up to horrendous traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution on just A, B & C Streets through West Fillmore and all the added traffic on our freeways.
Third, looking at the Hillside Drive project it works like this: Assume the city is allowed to build the 700 houses. Once 480 houses are built no more can be built until after Hillside Drive is constructed. The owner of the orange orchard at the north end of Central Avenue where Hillside Drive must pass through to connect Goodenough and Central Avenues has no desire to sell his orchard. The city would have to take the land by Eminent Domain. If the 350 houses Measure I allows - there will be no need for a Hillside Drive project.
Finally, concerning Mr. Rieder’s proposed project just east of the Ameron plant, the city is going to allow him to build 51 dwellings on three acres; that’s a density of 17 houses per acre. Some of those lots will be just 37 feet wide and over half of the dwellings will be three stories high. If that isn’t the making of a drug saturated ghetto in a few years I’ll be greatly surprised.
The main thing most developers are interested in is making as much money as possible by building as many houses as possible as close together as possible and as high as possible. They leave town with the homeowners’ millions of dollars and the town gets all the resulting traffic and impacts on roads, schools, police, fire and city services.
One parting thought to chew on: If bigger were better – Los Angeles would be heaven!
Ralph Rees,
55 Year Resident of Fillmore

To the Editor:
I have a real problem understanding this party of four running for office especially Clay Westling who is saying he can do a better job than I have done. I always thought 2 + 2 was 4 but his figures come out different 2 + 2 is 3. Here is how I came to this conclusion. I worked for the City of Fillmore for over 8 years as Economic Development and retired. I was elected 2 times to be City Clerk and won, making me 8 years as City Clerk. Now Mr. Westling has never worked for the government, never been City Clerk and yet he can do a better job. He has these big ideas that he has thrown at you that make absolutely no sense if he actually knew anything about government and especially City Clerk. So if you add the same way I do you will vote for me, Shirley Spitler for City Clerk for the third time. And I might add I have lived here 48 years and he has lived here 7 and proclaims to know Fillmore better than I. Of those 48 years all but 3 of them I have been working, owned a business, volunteering for many organizations and all of this was done in Fillmore. What has Clay Westling done for this community? Let me see! He gets up at every council meeting and complains about something. Oh I forgot he is going to work at city hall 5 days a week from 8 - 5 and will be paid the same salary I am now getting, which is $25.00 per MONTH. Again I have a problem with his 2 + 2 = 3. I hope all of the citizens of Fillmore read this before you vote so you will know the real truth.
Thank you and please vote.
Shirley Spitler,
City Clerk

To the Editor:
Cecilia Cuevas and Steve Conaway think that in the last two years the one negative occurring on the council was the elimination of the Code of Ethics. Not our huge monthly sewer bills?
Cuevas and Conaway approved the expenditure of $80 million to fund the new plant. The primary contactor, American Water, paid Conaway’s way to Washington D.C. to sell their company to other mayors around the country. The New York law firm doing the project legal work said they could do it for $175 thousand. After Cuevas voted to approve their final add-on request for $60,000, bringing the total up to $475,000, she said they were doing a good job for us. Us? Hundreds of us asked council to put the project back out to bid, Gayle Washburn, in an effort to ease the burden on the rate-payers, had found at least three other companies that were interested and estimated they could do it for much less. Cuevas and Conaway said no.
By contrast, Santa Paula’s bids were too high; they started over. Their plant handles twice the sewage ours will and cost only $56 million; the builder is a company that said they could help Fillmore.
I trust Gayle Washburn and Jamey Brooks to look deep before rendering decisions that impact the community. They haven’t been funded by outside interests or developers and are not supported by ex-mayor-turned lobbyist, Roger Campbell. They are supported by Fillmore folks who just want our elected officials to look out for our best interests.
Bob Stroh,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Response to letter of 10-16-08 from David Roegner
David gets everything mixed up when he writes a letter to the editor. He said “everyone said yes” about revisiting rent control. In fact the only ones that said yes were Washburn and Brooks. Pennington “Maybe”-- Martinez“ Not Sure”, Conaway and Cuevas both “No” That means only “TWO” said yes. David said “Cecilia’s excuse was that it created divisiveness in El Dorado” David, it did more than that in El Dorado. It was the most disruptive mess to ever hit our park, thanks old buddy. It turned neighbor against neighbor. With phony accusations, outright lies and name calling. Why David? Mr. Roegner states “We wanted a Real HOA”. Typically, HOA is formed to oversee the maintenance of common areas (Common Ground), such as roads, parks, recreation facilities, landscaping, Painting, insurance, regular maintenance etc, are Included in the HOA dues. HOA dues are calculated by dividing the cost of improvement by the number of years until the improvements are made. (David, Ask Paul or Joyce Schifanelli, where are our common areas. I wonder how much their DUES were at their last HOA residence), Bet, not a DOLLAR a month) One of the hidden responsibilities of a Real True HOA is to negotiate a lease with park Management and Ownership. (Kenneth Creason’s March 31-2004)Since there are no COMMON AREAS in our case, and at best this is a TENANT Association.--WE ALL PAY RENT (To a Landlord).
Raul Torres of El Dorado

To the Editor:
MARK AUSTIN FOR FILLMORE SCHOOL BOARD
I have known Mark Austin for over 10 years and had the opportunity to work with him while on the Planning Commission.
I find Mark to be a problem solver with a strong capability to work to unite both sides. Mark believes in local control at the school district level and will stand strong to fight for our children.
I know Mark will be an effective advocate to assure our children get the type of public schools we can be proud of. Mark is committed to raising standards and expectations so our children get the quality education we strive for.
Mark Austin is a well respected member and supporter of our community. I hope you will join me and vote for Mark Austin, Fillmore School Board on November 4.
Patti Walker,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
I have been a resident of Fillmore for over 2 years know and have enjoyed living in this community. My daughter is 5 years old and is in her 2nd year of AYSO. We usually have practices at Shields park and when I got there last week the whole Raiders Football Team(s) were taking up the whole park! I was told that they are taking over Shields Park starting today. My daughter will no longer have her usually ( 1 ) practice a week. They only have 2 weeks left and they allow the Football team to take over the field. Not only that they had the lights on for them. My daughters team has been practicing in the dark for the last couple of weeks. It seems the City rather have the football team take over the field then have the AYSO finish off there last 2 weeks of the season. I payed money to have my daughter play AYSO and know all she has to look forward to is 2 last games! I pay property taxes. It is just simply not fair. I am not even sure if I will sign my daughter up again for next year. I am really disappointed with the City for allowing this. This whole soccer season I have not seen 1 picture of a child playing soccer in the newspaper. Oh but you always see Football pictures! I am considering signing up my daughter in the Ventura league. They seem to be fair to all kids in sports!
Yolanda Santa Rosa,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Re: Fillmore Senior Center
Years ago we had an active and interesting senior center, which unfortunately due to lack of tender loving care faded almost into nonexistence.
Good news! Like the legendary Phoenix rising from the ashes I see new life burgeoning. We have a new Board of Directors with new ideas, we have volunteers conducting great programs, and I sense new enthusiasm by the community at large.
There is a lot of activity going on now and I am sampling some of the activities offered just to see what “fits” with me. I live in the rural area of Fillmore, but have been made more than welcome on the Monday “Nature” walks conducted by Sarah Hansen. (These are not really just nature walks, but local history, landmarks, etc. and very enjoyable). I was then convinced to try out the Yoga Stretch class on Tuesdays at 9:00…Janine from The Scented Path conducts the class; I couldn’t believe you could do Yoga in a chair. This class is wonderful if you need to get the “kinks” out. Wednesday and Friday you can participate in Yvette Chavez’ Stretch Band and Cardio sessions…a good “low impact” tailor made class. I have joined in a couple of craft classes on Friday, and now the center offers Wana Klassen’s watercolor classes that has sparked a lot of interest. The Book Club, under the direction of Sarah Hansen, meets on the third Wednesday of the month with a lively discussion, as well as great camaraderie. Computer Classes are going great guns, they are so popular there is even a waiting list and they are hoping to expand the computer lab.
There are a lot of changes going on in the senior center itself, Lori Nunez greets everyone with a smile and explains the activities that are available, she has made the various areas attractive and welcoming. Some of the improvements are new furniture in the TV area, the thrift store area is undergoing renovation as a reading/game room, a salad bar to supplement the standard lunch once a week is in progress, and many other activities.
I am impressed and applaud all who are giving of their time and talents to restore our Senior Center. You have got to drop by and see it for yourself.
Donna Voelker,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
Concerning Prop. 8
There have been many arguments stating various reasons for voting yes or no on the Protect Marriage Amendment to the State Constitution, also known as Proposition 8. All arguments and opinions offered so far have stated human views on whether marriage should only be legal between a man and a woman, or between any combination of persons. No on, I have observed, has stated what God has said about marriage.
I'm not a prophet, priest, pastor or phony, just an average guy who believes what God said in his love letter to mankind, the Bible, concerning marriage. In Matthew, Chapter 19 verses 4 & 5 the Bible states "it is written that at the beginning God created man and woman and that a man should leave his father & mother and be forever united to his wife." And in Luke 10:6 Jesus again says "For from the very first He made man and woman to be joined together permanently in marriage." In Romans 7:2 it states "when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive." Lastly Hebrews 13:4 God says "Honor your marriage and its vows, and be pure, for I will surely punish all those who are immoral or commit adultery."
This whole controversy centers on who should marry whom and on nothing else. Romans 1:26 puts it very plainly when it says "That is why God let them go and let them do all these evil things, so that even their women turned against God's natural plan for them and indulged in sex with each other. And the man, instead of having normal sex relationship with women, burned with lust for each other, men doing shameful things with other men and as a result, getting paid within their own souls with the penalty they so richly deserve. Finally in 1 Timothy 1:10 it says "Those who live immoral lives, who are idol worshipers, adulterers or homosexuals will have no share in his Kingdom."
Consider this musing. Haven’t you heard it said that all sorts of natural disasters are termed "Acts of God"? Isn't it coincidental that 800 + bolts of lightning came showering down over central California starting hundreds of fires, exactly two days after four Supreme Court justices declared a new "right" to same-sex marriage this past June. In my opinion I hate to contemplate what kind of "Acts of God" will happen if millions of voters turn down Prop. 8 this November 4.
It seems abundantly clear from what the Bible says that God intends for marriage to be for one man and one woman. If we mess with that, eventually we will pay a high price one way or another.
Ralph Page,
Fillmore

To the Editor:
The hallmark of the Brooks/Washburn City Council Campaign is City Mismanagement.
Is it mismanagement for Mayor Conaway and Mayor Pro tem Cuevas to go to Washington and convince FEMA that their model of the railroad penetration of the Sespe Levy Was wrong? Is it mismanagement For City staff to work With FEMA to challenge the Models being used for the 126 Sespe bridge Flow? It is Financially imperative for the west Fillmore residents to continue The momentum on this challenge of FEMA flood zone maps.
Is it mismanagement to build an Industry standard MBR Waste Water Treatment Plant with an expected 50 year life expectation And probably of membrane development to meet future regulations and extend lifetime?
Is it mismanagement to include recyled water usage in the project? State water management has already announced a not too far away "Requirement" to use treated water for irrigation. We are already there due to the Staff and Council foresight to Conserve the water rather than discharge water to the river.Is that mismanagement?
Is having a swim and tennis facility under construction mismanagement?
Is having a new 22 acre park with play fields and a skateboard park
under construction mismagement?
Is it mismanagement to work with property owners and developers to develop the southwest business park, bringing jobs and income to Fillmore.
Ray Johnson
Fillmore