Letters to the Editor
March 4, 2016

To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Soroptomists International of Fillmore for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donation to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Fillmore High School
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair


To the Editor:
Re: your Feb. 24 article “Caltrans Presents Proposed Changes to Hwy 126”:
Thank you for your coverage of Caltrans’ efforts to enhance safety on the State Route 126 corridor. Safety is a priority for Caltrans.
For your readers to have an accurate and complete picture of Caltrans’ proposed State Route 126 Safety Enhancement Project, I want to correct and clarify some information that was reported in your Feb. 24 edition.
First, when I addressed the Fillmore City Council regarding this project, I noted that Caltrans’ past efforts on Route 126 included the installation of rumble strips but I said rumble strips alone are not the answer. They are not enough and we need to do more. Unfortunately, the article incorrectly reported that I said “rumble strips are the answer.” That is inaccurate.
Second, the article reported that a proposed option includes two undercrossings that would be located near Old Village Road and near Hall/Sycamore Road. In fact, these undercrossings already exist and they will be maintained at those locations under the proposed option.
Third, the article reported that I said the purpose of the proposed roundabouts is to slow down traffic, or “traffic calming,” but the article omitted an extremely important fact. I also mentioned several times that roundabouts help significantly to reduce severe crashes associated with left turns and U-turns. Roundabouts do that by eliminating those types of conflicting traffic movements, which in turn dramatically reduces serious injury accidents and fatal accidents.
Fourth, a member of the Fillmore City Council questioned if drivers would use Sycamore Road or South Mountain Road to avoid the changes on Route 126, impacting those two alternate routes. The article inaccurately reported that in my response to the council member, I said Caltrans would widen our scope to include those two alternatives. In fact, and this is an important distinction, Caltrans would work with the cities of Fillmore and Santa Paula to address impacts on the local streets as part of the environmental process.
Fifth and finally, a council member asked if Caltrans is considering changes on Route 126 east of Fillmore. The article incorrectly reported that I said Caltrans is considering improving it but that won’t be done until 2040. In fact, I stated we would carefully monitor other segments of Route 126 and if necessary expand these types of strategies to include other segments in the future. I mentioned the 2040 traffic volume projections in response to a different question dealing with how higher volumes projected as a result of the developments in Newhall and elsewhere would affect the proposed roundabouts’ functionality. I indicated that if volumes reach levels that require additional modifications to the highway to alleviate congestion, we will develop additional projects to address them.
Ali F. Zaghari
Deputy District Director of Operations
Caltrans District 7
100 South Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 897-7463
(CONTACT INFORMATION: Can contact through Caltrans Public Information Officer Michael Comeaux at 213-897-9372.)


Letters to the Editor
February 18, 2016

To the Editor:
I’d like to plead with readers to actively help stop the 126 Highway increased safety measures. I realize that you have covered this issue in the paper, but I want to draw attention to it again as several people I’ve spoken with are not aware of CalTrans plans for the 126. The project managers have been invited to address the city council at its next meeting, Feb. 23 to give more information and answer concerns. The area proposed for “improvements" are the 7+ miles from Fillmore’s E St. to Hallock Dr. in Santa Paula. It sounds counterintuitive to ask people to be against improvements but my concerns are as follows. The project is supposed to mitigate speed issues by constructing four roundabouts in the 7 mile stretch and creating barriers along the middle of the highway so that you could no longer turn left where you can now. This, of course, would reduce speed by creating a bit of an obstacle course in what is now a straight forward trip down the 126. It’s projected to cost $70 million dollars and would necessitate taking some land from the ranchers as well as time from us all as the construction would be an ongoing problem for who knows how long. I feel the 126 is already designed to be safe and is a vast improvement over what it once was. The signs about speed and the bumps added to the sides further add to the safety. It seems that if we drivers would be careful to keep within the speed limit, we could avoid the $70 million and the future loss of time involved in negotiating roundabouts four different times. The Cal Trans project managers are inviting public input until March 6. You can go on their website to get the information needed to send in a comment.
Susan M Cuttriss


To the Editor:
Regarding the CalTrans Road Safety Assessment for SR126 from Santa Paula to Fillmore, the landowners along the road would know best about what safety measures make sense near them. A public transit system to take more commuters off of the road would reduce accidents. Traffic calming measures make sense, more policing, and land use planning that includes "complete streets”.
Ventura County’s carbon footprint comes 53% from transportation. The analysis done to figure out how to avoid accidents is needed to also prevent damage to the atmosphere and the natural world from burning fossil fuels. We have the technology; we need infrastructure that anticipates a rising price on carbon to drive demand for a green transportation system. Far-reaching measures are needed to rapidly expand carbon-neutral energy and agricultural systems to slow down global warming as well as to adapt to the unstoppable changes that have been set in motion. We can do our part by planning for public transit and zero emission vehicles that are also expected to cut business costs and create jobs.
These issues will be discussed at a Town Hall on a Green Transportation Tax at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St, on March 10, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Our transportation system is contributing to a crisis humanity has never faced before. Confronting this crisis with new ways of getting around and moving goods safely without polluting the atmosphere is the moral imperative of our time.
Jan Dietrick


To the Editor:
I never knew Rigo Landeros – I wish I had. I have been so moved by the overwhelming outpouring of grief from our community. I have never felt anything like this since the tragic death of Princess Diana. As everyone knows, to be a fireman was all Rigo ever wanted to be. He was so passionate about it and this fire department.
I spoke at the City Council meeting last Tuesday and proposed to the Council that Sespe Place (where the Fillmore Fire Station is), between Old Telegraph and A Street, be re-named RIGO LANDEROS WAY.
What better place to pay homage to this very special man, and to his memory. The greatest honor we could bestow upon him and our community is right in front of the fire station, the place he loved, and it’s a representation of our respect for him.
Veronica Levy


Letters to the Editor
February 4, 2016

To the Editor:
This letter is a follow up on my comments made to the city council on the 26th of January. I have a tendency to get very emotional when talking about issues of importance, and wanted to make sure my concerns are all covered.
First I want to thank all those who have sent cards, emailed me, or have called thanking me for addressing the council with the concerns of so many in Fillmore. It validates the love and appreciation we had for Rigo Landeros, and the job he did. Members of this community often don't speak out about things going on in our city that trouble them. I am not judging these people because I know it is hard to do. While serving on the school board I was always surprised at the lack of comments we received from parents at board meetings. I got lots of calls and emails but very few actually came to meetings to speak. The public's comments are so important, and I encourage all of you to write letters or go to council meeting to make your feelings heard.
Bullying is a dangerous tactic to use in any situation. All people are different and when working together one needs to recognize people possess different personality types. Not only are personality types different in each individual, but to different degrees. I've seen or heard different examples of bullying exhibited in a school system and the results are never good. They lead to hurt feelings and sometimes push people to do things they would not ordinarily do. People in leadership roles should have a basic knowledge of people skills when dealing with someone who has sensitive feelings and a delicate sense of integrity. When questioning their role as a leader one needs to know how that is done without damaging their feelings. Nothing positive will ever happen without these skills. Especially changes that become long lasting and systemic.
I think most who knew Rigo would say he had tremendous pride and worked hard to make our fire department one of the best in California. When I talk to people in town they all say the same things, that they had nothing but respect for Rigo and that they all trusted him with the role of fire chief. One call I received was from a family that moved to Fillmore a few years back. What I heard from them was how instrumental Rigo was in making them feel welcome and how he made their assimilation into our community an easy one.
We cannot afford to have a couple of council members who don't have the necessary skills to work and communicate effectively with people. Rigo was the kind of person who would not react well with someone questioning his integrity. Most who knew him well would agree that his feelings would be deeply hurt if that were to happen. It is troubling that these two individuals didn't have the ability to recognize this and deal with their concerns in a more effective manner. I even wonder if it was their job as council members to work with city employees directly. In a school district the superintendent is the one who is responsible for that role. Board members have no business going onto a school site and directing people in their jobs. What role does our city manager play when evaluating an employee's performance? I know some people say Rigo is responsible for reacting the way he did when someone questioned his integrity. That is true, but I wonder what would have happened if those questioning his integrity would have possessed better skills when communicating issues such as job performance with him.
This community deserves some kind of response from the council regarding this issue. Community knowledge of events that occurred between Rigo and two council members is amazing and they want answers. The community wants some type of resolution and they deserve it. What is really sad is that there are also rumors of this type of behavior existing between the same two council members and one of our law enforcement leaders. I hope that is not true, and the council can work more effectively with such issues.
If this letter gets published I want to thank Martin and his staff for accepting it. I also want to encourage people to speak out in any way they can. It is both your right and responsibility. Thank you for those who take the time to read this article.
Dave Wilde


To the Editor:
Fillmore Women's Service Club
The Fillmore Women's Service Club has lost a friend with the passing of Fire Chief Rigo Landeros. We got to know Chief Landeros over the years working on the Fireworks Booth, and at other community projects. An exemplary example of a City Official, he was always understanding, helpful, and made a point to be available to answer questions by phone. Chief Landeros contributed so much to the community of Fillmore and will be missed by all.
The FWSC Club members send their thoughts and prayers to Rigo's family, extended family and friends.
The Club members voted to present a Scholarship honoring Chief Rigo Landeros, in his name to a graduating High School Student in June.
Anyone wishing to make a tax deductable donation to this Community Scholarship can do so by sending a check to the FWSC, P.O. Box 8, Fillmore, 93016. Please write Rigo Landeros in Memo. Any questions or more information call Susan Banks at 524-2020
Susan Banks

Letters to the Editor
January 28, 2016

To the Editor:
Much has recently been said and written praising Chief Rigo Landeros, all of it, and more, well deserved.
I have worked with, literally, thousands of public servants, many of them terrific, throughout my career.
Chief Rigo was the real deal, he was the whole package and he had common sense and compassion.
In a word, he was the best I have ever known.
Larry Carpenter
Ventura County Sheriff, Retired


To the Editor:
We would like to thank the Lions Club and Fillmore Women’s Service Club for their continued support of the arts programs at Fillmore High School. Their generous donations to the upcoming April Arts show will allow us to continue putting on this event. On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair
Fillmore High School


To the Editor:
Dear Friends of beloved Fred Howard,
Fred's services will be at Santa Paula Cemetery this coming Friday 11am.
We may follow up with a gathering at Fred's house following the services.
If you wish further info please call Dean Stines at 805-797-7781

Letters to the Editor
January 21, 2016

To the Editor:
Until I read the Fillmore's Gazette's coverage of the January 12, 2016 City Council Meeting, in particular the piece regarding the presentation of Board Member, Bill Morris of the Fillmore Fire Foundation to the City Council, I was very open minded to the discussions circulating around town as to what could have precipitated the death of Chief Landeros! I know Chief Landeros, my friend, is gone and is not coming back! What I can't reconcile, in my mind, is why?
The Community is rampant with rumors, but one predominant rumor is at the forefront and that involves the very body that has been elected to oversee the operations of this City. Bill Morris's presentation as a board member for the Fillmore Fire Foundation, and the presence of the entire Foundation Board, four (including Bill) are prominent businessmen and one an education administrator, at his side has shifted my thoughts towards that one particular rumor! Could it be that the City Council was doing their job as the electorate voted them to do? Or, is there one rogue among them that may have gone too far in his/her role as a council member and encouraging the other council members to follow?
How does a Community recover from a tragedy the magnitude of the loss of our respected and beloved Fire Chief Rigo Landeros? Fillmore is like many other small towns where the passing of a person as high profile as Chief Landeros is a huge event in the lives of everyone who knew him, or has been touched by him in his service to the Community! Unlike members of the City Council, or most of the city officials, you would be hard pressed to find anyone within the Santa Clara Valley who couldn't tell you the name of our Fire Chief! The Community will insist on knowing the "why" this tragedy even occurred! It is my hope we do!
Like most rumors there is generally a thread of truth in them. My hope is that there is an investigation to determine the truth so that terms such as; Hostile Environment in the workplace! Bullying in the workplace! And, culpability are fully investigated! The investigation, or a lawsuit, won't bring Chief Landeros back to his Family and this Community, but it may help us understand how this fine man left this Community so early in his life and with so much more left for him to do and people to touch!
Richard A. Diaz


To the Editor:
I want to thank you for the coverage of Chief Rigo Landeros, in Thursday’s Gazette.
While I recognize that your personal association with Rigo provides you with ever more depth and understanding of this outstanding human being, your views and Dave Rowlands only clarify and add value to my views of him.
I am a 48 year resident of Ventura County, nine of those years here in Fillmore. My years of living here preclude me, as compared to other Fillmore residents, from having had the good fortune of closer ties with Rigo.
I have participated in City activities including being on the Fillmore Film Commission, and a resident representative of Fillmore on the Ventura County Civil Grand Jury. In those endeavors I had the privilege of working with Rigo to facilitate assignments that came from those organizations. Just walking up to him got me a man-made smile of genuine camaraderie, a "good to see you, what can I do to help, you betcha".
Initially the response was some what shocking. I expected the usual smile and maybe no procrastinations just, "sure let’s do it!!”
With one particular instance, the Grand Jury wanted to have a ride along with the Fire Department. I asked Chief Rigo if we could ride with his Station instead of the County Fire Unit, here in Fillmore. The answer was a resounding Yes.
Unfortunately as the date for the ride along moved out, because of unforeseen requirements; the date was in peril because upgrade of the Fillmore fire station kitchen fell on the ride along date. Chief Landeros arranged with the County station to accommodate the ride. Talk about stepping out for his fellow man.
As many residents of Fillmore, I saw him frequently in the City all hours of the day and night. He most times came to the El Dorado mobile home park with his emergency crews, right there working with them to provide assistance as they needed it.
I felt a bond with this man, a real collaborative friend and Son of Fillmore.
Thank you again
Raymond S Brown Sr.

Letters to the Editor
January 7, 2016

[Paying it forward... Around the holidays the Gazette received an anonymous letter containing five $20 bills. Here is the letter:]
Dear Fillmore Gazette, Enclosed you will find $100 dollars in $20’s, I am hoping you can help me do a good deed. I have always seen the crossing guard’s everyday protecting the kids, they stant out there for hours. Sometimes in 100 degree weather and other in 40 degree weather in rain, and heavy winds. As a small gesture I would like to give them a Christmas gift of $20 dollars to spend however they want. I wish I could give more but this is all I can at this time. If memory serves me well I know of 4 crossing guards; one by the gym, one on 126 by Jiffy Lube, one at Shields Park, and one at San Cayetano. I think I covered all of them and added an extra $20 in case I missed one. Any money left over please send to One Step a La Vez Youth Program. A happy person paying it forward P.S. I am not related to any of these people. Just an act of kindness.” With the Gazette staff’s busy holiday schedule and personal lives, and the closing of the schools for the holidays, we have not been able to deliver all of the kind gifts as yet. Crossing Guard Concepcion Santa Rosa, at Hwy 126 and A Street received her gift and was very appreciative. The others will be delivered ASAP.
Thank you to the kind and generous stranger.

Letters to the Editor
December 31, 2015

[The Gazette asked Mayor Diane McCall for a statement regarding the SOAR initiative]
To the Editor:
The Fillmore City Council understands the importance and impact the proposed SOAR initiative will have on the future of our city. We have directed staff to look at all the various SOAR initiatives being discussed and proposed to determine the potential impacts they will have on Fillmore. We do not want to make a hasty decision on
something so important. We need to make the right decision for the entire city and the future of Fillmore.
Diane McCall, Mayor

Letters to the Editor
December 24, 2015

To the Editor:
On behalf of Jessie Olivares I am sending this to the editor.
A Thank You Letter:
With heavy hearts the family of Marcos Olivares would like to thank all who expressed acts of kindness. So many friends and family gave us support through prayers, phone calls, meals, money, and cards. We also thank those who offered to have masses celebrated for the repose of his soul. The family of Marcos is thankful from the bottom of our hearts for all of you that reached out in any way. May God bless each and every one with His mercy and love.

Letters to the Editor
December 3, 2015

To the Editor:
To all of the merchants and residents of Fillmore and BEYOND:
On behalf of the Soroptimist International of Fillmore, I want to thank everyone involved in making our “Fall in Love” fashion show a HUGE success. So many wonderful gifts were donated to help Soroptimist fund our scholarships and other Club giving Your outpouring of generosity was amazing! The Fillmore Citizen Patrol members stepped up to help with the preparation of the lunch. The Ventura County Explorer Post went above and beyond in their professionalism of serving our food as well as helping with the raffle. I am in awe of the vast knowledge that Kevin of Draper’s and Damon’s Clothing in Camarillo brings to the stage. He is a walking fabric encyclopedia. Our models of the Draper’s and Damon’s clothing were beautiful. Thank you to Peggy, Priscilla, Oralia, Jean and Ruthie. All of you have such grace and elegance. Most of all, I want to thank all of the ladies that call themselves Soroptimist. You worked endless hours to make this a wonderful success. You are the best!!
Jane David
S.I. Fillmore

Letters to the Editor
November 26, 2015

To the Editor:
Re: Oct.31 article “Condors live safely, Oil company claims”.
When I read this artical I had to roll my eyes and shake my head once again. I have lived in Fillmore for the passed 30years and have just moved to the out skirts of town to get way form the “oil company” mess they left me and my neighbors who live 30 feet from their old refinery site. The oil company has left their old refinery site on the east side of town years ago but since 1995 it has been deemed a SUPER FUND site. This means that the soil and the contaminated water below the site and water that have flowed under the neighborhoods are what our community is left with. Funny( not really ) how because the soil has been “cleaned up “ they still cannot build homes, hospital or a school there , but for generations of families on Cook Dr, Casner Way and Loral Lane they live on top of this mess. In many of these homes there have been documented reports of multiple family members passing away for some sort of cancer. The contaminated water started out on the Chevron superfund site but has moved under the soil to its current location under their homes. Is this what we want to happen to our forests? To our community down stream from the up stream oil production? I have worked with Chevron on the Pacific Coast Pipeline (Chevron Superfund site) Fillmore Work’s remediation and redevelopment project for about 4 years and here is what I have learned by working with Chevron and also articles of oil related problems in the newspaper papers. The oil company’s tell ONLY what they want you to know. When you find out information that they have not reported on such as water run off from the superfund site draining into a creek next to the site, inaccurate numbers being reported, telling people the noxious air they smell is safe only to find out that that community was exposed to chemical high levels of contaminants on a few occasions, they will acknowledge the information but ONLY then. These are just a few examples why I fear that the information and the greasing of the palm yet one more time may be harmful to not only we the humans down stream who’s only city water wells are fed from the Sespe River but also the wild animals of our forests and community. If during this drought our city of Fillmore needed to look for another source of water then up the river would be a great place to start , but this will not be possible if the oil company’s are allowed to continue to contaminate water that could be used for drinking. I know oil production has all been practice from years way back but we are a wise group of humans who NOW know the dangers the oil production can leaves to humans and the environment. I am married to an eagle scout and along with “Be Prepared” we also live by the “Leave it better than you found it” principal. I believe that the oil companies have not done this in their past and sadly they don’t give the impression they will be “Leaving it better than they found it” in the future at this site. Those of you who feel that you “can live with that” and all the oil production hazards please consider the health and safety of the humans and wildlife directly involved with this issue.
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
October 1, 2015

To the Editor:
My name is Theresa Robledo a resident and citizen of Fillmore, and a Broker / Owner of Diamond Realty across the street from City Hall.
I am opposed to Pre-Sale Home Inspection and/or Humane Living Standards Inspection for the following reason:
Just like attorneys have attorney/client privilege, us brokers/Realtors® have Fiduciary Duties to our principals.
Fiduciary duties include, among others, loyalty; confidentiality; the exercise of utmost care (and in certain fact situations, reasonable care); full and complete disclosure of all material facts; the obligation to account to the principal; the obligation to act fairly and honestly and without fraud or deceit; and the duty to "explain" and "counsel" about that which has been disclosed or should have been disclosed thereby permitting the principal to make an informed and considered decision to buy, sell, lease, exchange, borrow or lend.
And for this reason, I am opposed to the Presale Home Inspection and/or Humane Living Standards Inspection imposed by the City of Fillmore. We are not Code Enforcement, nor are we Human Services to make those determinations, but are professionals who assist consumers with selling and purchasing homes.
Should you have any questions for me, I invite them. Thank you for your time.
Theresa M. Robledo
Real Estate Broker/Owner

Letters to the Editor
September 24, 2015

To the Editor:
This is a special thank you to the community of Fillmore for the support of the International Day of Peace Ceremony on September 21st! It was well attended and we enjoyed not only thinking of peace but also enjoyed the beautiful sunset and the lovely breeze at the city park. Awards were given to Susan and Gerald Fitzgerald for their roles in peace in Ireland as well as to Sarah Hansen for her ongoing work in bringing the Day of Peace and the Peace Pole to Fillmore. A special thank you to Bill Dewey and Paul Benevidez for their hard work in making the day a success, not only the ceremony by inviting the many persons to participate, but also in taking the Peace Day to the schools by participating in making cranes of peace and celebrating the day at the schools. As a former Peace Corps Volunteer, Bill lives his belief in creating peace. An additional thank you to the Veterans of Foreign War Fillmore Post, City Council Members, the Fillmore Fire Department, Mary Kay Rummel (Ventura County Poet Laureate), Kate English (Executive Director of One Step a la Vez) and Pastor Bethany Carpenter of Bardsdale Church for their participation in the ceremony and the Lions Club for donating the banner. Thank you all for your participation and for working to spread peace in Fillmore.
Sincerely, Lynn Edmonds

Letters to the Editor
September 10, 2015

To the Editor:
Hey Fillmore,
I would like to correct my last letter on a statement that I made about city officials and those who attended the Chevron meetings for the last couple of years. I wanted to send a thank you to different member of the City Planning commissioners who attended meetings on a few occasions. I would like to send out an even bigger thank you to Tim Holmgren and Albert Mendez on the City Planning commission who made it to most of the Chevron meetings. Your attendance gave me the comfort in knowing that you two gentleman really care and had an interest in our community and you took the time to listen to all sides of the issue and not just one view.
Thank you again,
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
August 27, 2015

To the Editor:
Hello Fillmore,
I am sure you have heard the news of the New Chevron project. I was at the monthly superfund meeting and a few things were talked about that you may or may not have interest in knowing. Chevron has decided that now they would like to go in the direction of a solar farm instead of the industrial and business park idea for their site. Why the change of heart? They said that economic viability, permitting, timing, environmental constraints and compatibility had them reconsider there plan A.
Solar has been on the table since the start, but minimal talk of it and even disregarding the idea from most talk was what took some of us by surprise. My feeling is that the recommendation that they received from the geologist that their buildings be 100 feet from the San Cayetano fault line if they were to have humans inside had a lot to with it. They would have had to redesign the entire site possibly. Now I feel that some (not many) felt that Chevron has wasted there time and not been forth coming on plans or did a bait and switch on them and right fully so. But I have said all along look at who you are dealing with. These are the actions that the neighbors and others have been working with this entire time and this is how they work. So do I believe that the solar farm will come to pass, well let’s just say I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meeting concerns about problems that could arise with solar were addressed as well as how it would impact neighbors and the school. So far it seems there are no big problem with the plans with the understanding that they ( Stion) will be looking into dust control for the permanent structure, some kind of security for site and if any thing can be done to mitigate these issues.
It was nice to see for the first time a county represenitive and the second time a city official at the meeting along with a few concerned community members.
The permit application has been submitted to the county so now it is a wait and see mode. If all goes as planned then work should start and end quickly. It was asked what neighbors & the community would see on the site. All solar panels would be south facing, 6 feet high, stationary tilt structure with a small 8by10by10 storage shed. That is it. Now I would have loved to see the site turned into some sort of wildlife preserve and returned to its natural state but…I guess this will have to do. The superfund meetings will be on hold until paper work is approved or not. So now you are in the know of the Chevron (Texaco) pacific coast pipeline superfund site.
A shout out to the ONE STEP Organization for their hard work and bring this superfund site to the attention of those directly impacted by this issue as well as a shout out to all the neighbors and groups that have put a lot of time and effort into keeping the health of our community now and in the feature a top priority.
Thank you again for your time,
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
August 20, 2015

To the Editor:
A Special Thanks,
On behalf of the Alvarez and Vega family, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the wonderful people that supported us at the loss of our mother/sister ‘Connie Alvarez’.
She will forever be missed, but always in our hearts.
Thank you so much for the flowers, cards, prayers, food, and donations.
A special thanks for those that came to help out at the reception by giving their time and organizing.
We would also like to thank hospice in particular Roze Room Hospice of Ventura for their help and support.
May God bless you all.
The Alvarez and Vega family.

Letters to the Editor
July 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letters to the Editor
July 8, 2015

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


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

Letters to the Editor
July 2, 2015

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


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


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

Letters to the Editor
June 25, 2015

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

Letters to the Editor
May 28, 2015

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


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