Letters to the Editor
July 10th, 2008

To the Editor:
I'm writing as a member of an important community in our small burg of Fillmore: the merchant/business community. We local merchants provide a face for the downtown area our storefronts are the welcoming decor for the main artery entering and leaving town. And in our own individual ways, we constantly strive to keep ourselves well-dressed.
This is for the benefit of all residents. We want to offer something that everyone can point to with pride and say, "this is MY downtown."
One of the businesses that never ceases to impress as it offers its color, style and panache to the downtown area is Mirage and Mimstar.
I'm sure many of you have enjoyed Shirley's wide variety of beautifully assembled window treatments or gotten inspiration for that perfect personalized gift from Karen's and Jean's mind-boggling assortment of items. These ladies are dedicated to offering highest quality products in a tasteful yet comfortable environment.
Yet there are always problems with operating a small business and right now seems to be a time of particularly thorny challenges for these three businesswomen. While the rest of us merchants have enjoyed a bit of a respite from loud and dusty storm drain work, Shirley, Jean and Karen continue to be surrounded with and barraged by heavy equipment, their constant comings and goings. It looks and feels like they exist in the middle of a construction zone. I realize this work is necessary and important for Fillmore's future functioning. What I'd like to stress is just this, Mirage and Mimstar are still open for business!
Parking is a challenge but remember there is plenty of parking at the Senior Center behind the bus stop and also behind City Hall. Santa Clara is accessible from both Mountain View and A Street off Highway 126. Once you cross the street and make you way into Mirage, it will feel more like an oasis - cool, inviting, enjoyable.
My hope is that Fillmorians see the value, both economic and aesthetic, that these two businesses offer to our town. Their businesses do far more to please the eye than would an empty building.
Please consider this when making your shopping decisions.
Janine Rees
Owner, The Scented Path Apothecary
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To the Editor:
It is Friday, July 4, and I have just seen Fillmore Mayor Steve Conaway interviewed inside a fireworks booth on the NBC national news. The brief clip, where the mayor acknowledged the risks of fireworks but asserted they were safe when properly used, was included in the report of the growing fire in Goleta. While the cause of that fire has not yet been determined, the implication was clear: Selling fireworks is irresponsible when the fire hazard in our county and surrounding areas is so high. It is only a matter of time before the source of a deadly and destructive fire is traced back to fireworks sold in Fillmore. I appreciate that the lost revenue from fireworks sales will be difficult for civic groups to make up from other sources. In these tough economic times, some projects that have traditionally been funded by fireworks sales may have to be scaled back or even eliminated. Individual families may have to assume responsibility for supporting local sports or educational causes instead of relying on community groups' sales of fireworks. We may be surprised at what we can learn to live without. Let this be the last year the City of Fillmore allows sale of fireworks; otherwise, the next news story we see may be about a fire victim's lawsuit.
Marjie Bartels,
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To the Editor:
To Bill W the horseshoe man's friend who lost his cell phone on Central Ave:
Thank you for the reward money! I didn't look at it until a couple of hours later. You were very generous. I'm saving up for a CRF250X and this will help.
Thank you again!
Thomas Stehly,
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To the Editor:
Bret Dempsey, son of Bruce & Jean Dempsey recently graduated, with honors, from the Riverside County Sheriff's Training Academy. Bret was #1 academically in his class, as well as #1 in physical fitness! The daily morning jogging, with his dogs, and sports leagues have definitely helped keep him in shape! He has attained a goal in his life of being in law enforcement. Bret graduated from Fillmore High School in 1978 and Cal Poly, Pomona, in 1983. He plans to be employed either at Riverside Community College or Cal State Riverside, where he could help coach! Bret and his wife, Tracy, resides in Riverside.
Jean Dempsey,

* * *
To the Editor:
[Mr. Heilman’s letter has been edit for length. It may be viewed in its entirety at www.fillmoregazette.com]
Hybrid cars (electric/fuel) are a step in the right direction although we need to get away from fuel altogether in our lighter cars. Most people don’t know that in a hybrid the electric motor cuts out after about thirty miles per hour and there are no savings after this speed.
I have heard it said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the cars in America were Electric? Yes, this would be great for a lot of reasons; although I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What about all the tax money that would be lost per gallon of fuel that goes to the State and Federal governments? How could the government tax a car that plugs into an outlet at your house, or elsewhere, to recharge?
When electric cars are talked about usually nothing is mentioned about the cost of charging the batteries, etc. Electricity is not for free. It is estimated that the cost of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle is about 30% of one that runs on fuel; maybe less now that the cost of fuel is so much higher.
How would this impact the electric generating plants? Charging vehicles at night would be no problem as this is the time of least demand.
We have to think about the negatives caused by the positives, plan ahead and are prepared. (One case in point…..Iraq.)
As an added note: On the down side, how about replacing about $2000 worth of batteries every three or four years? Heating the car is a problem in very cold areas without a water cooled engine. Air conditioning would be a large drain on batteries.
On the upside, they will have no oil and filter changes; although they will still need lubing.
John Heilman,
73 year Fillmore native


Letters to the Editor
July 3rd, 2008

To the Editor:
I recently went to a doctor and I asked how much this special test would be for my child and he stated that it would cost between $250 to $350, I felt I was taking advantage of. Being a business woman for 25 years, I decided to call around in another city to see what this special test would cost and when I took my child in for the special test and I was quoted at $200.00. I know have transferred my files to another doctor. Seniors I would also like to make you aware that pyramid schemes still exist out there.
I went to a party yesterday and I was approached about a business opportunity and it was a brand new product and in order to acquire the product you have to buy the business. So I asked this person, did the person who gave the presentation state to you that the more businesses you sell under this person, he will make money first and then you would make money and any of the persons that you sold to, will make money and no matter what you will receive a part of that and he said yes. I told him this is what they call a pyramid scheme, No matter what you are selling or buying, please do the research before making any decisions and this person lives in Fillmore, so Seniors shop around and beware of something that sounds to good to be true and if the price is to high, take the time and call other doctors to see what their prices are.
Pat Soto,

To the Editor:
Hybrid cars (electric/fuel) are a step in the right direction although we need to get away from fuel altogether in our lighter cars. Most people don’t know that in a hybrid the electric motor cuts out after about thirty miles per hour and there are no savings after this speed. They are most efficient in city slow driving. I don’t think large trucks will ever be able to run on electric; not enough power and endurance.
I have heard it said, “Wouldn’t it be great if all the cars in America were Electric? Yes, this would be great for a lot of reasons; although I have yet to hear anyone ask, “What about all the tax money that would be lost per gallon of fuel that goes to the State and Federal governments? How could the government tax a car that plugs into an outlet at your house, or elsewhere, to recharge? That’s a considerable amount of revenue lost. This is happening as of now although there are so few or these type cars on the road that it hasn’t made much difference yet. Think about it, what options do they have? Meter the charging outlet at your house? This is totally unworkable. The only alternative I can see is to gradually start raising taxes to compensate for the loss. But then you would be double taxing the people that still are buying fuel at the pump. Do you have any answer to this?
When electric cars are talked about usually nothing is mentioned about the cost of charging the batteries, etc. Electricity is not for free. It is estimated that the cost of operating and maintaining an electric vehicle is about 30% of one that runs on fuel; maybe less now that the cost of fuel is so much higher.
How would this impact the electric generating plants? Charging vehicles at night would be no problem as this is the time of least demand. I think that a large percentage would plug in while at work during the day. This might be a problem for “Mr. Edison during peak load times.”
We have to think about the negatives caused by the positives, plan ahead and are prepared. (One case in point…..Iraq.)
I usually don’t write or talk about something unless I have an answer or solution. I confess I don’t have either for all the above. I would like to see or hear your input on these matters.
As an added note: On the down side, how about replacing about $2000 worth of batteries every three or four years? Heating the car is a problem in very cold areas without a water cooled engine. Air conditioning would be a large drain on batteries. Batteries take up considerable space, add much weight to the vehicle and take four to eight hours to charge. Electrics can go less than half the distance as a vehicle using fuel. The back yard mechanic has a hard time working on modern cars of today, wait until these electronic nightmares need working on. On the upside, less moving parts mean less problems and repairs. They will have no oil and filter changes; although they will still need lubing.
I hope this article has given you a few fresh things to think about and get your grey matter going.
John Heilman, 73 year Fillmore native.


Letters to the Editor
June 26th, 2008

To the Editor:
I have for several years now, while serving this fine city, refrained from stating a contrary position to what is published in our local paper, however, due to the fact that there were so many misstatements of fact given regarding our amended travel policy, I felt it was important to reply. The Gazette reported that the "long standing" policy changed in 2005, of council members having to request permission to travel out of state or county, was changed because I "subverted" the Mayor's position on this matter. In fact, the City of Fillmore was the only city in the entire county that had just three years ago implemented a policy that required elected officials to obtain a majority vote of council in order to receive approval for out-of-town travel. The first misstatement was that we increased our travel budget from $1,000 to $2,000, this is incorrect. Historically, at least since I was first elected in 2000, council has had a $2,000 travel budget per council member, not $1,000 as reported. The second misstatment was that specific approval was required by the council for reimbursement, this was implemented in 2005, and was not required prior to that change in policy. The 2005 trip I made to a conference for NALEO (the National Association of Latino Elected Officials) was not paid for by the city, in fact, I was a guest of a national sexual assault coalition that had invited me to speak at their national conference scheduled immediately at the conclusion of the NALEO conference. This organization paid for my travel and lodging, not the City of Fillmore.
In speaking for the Gazette, Mr. Farrell expresses his opinion about the dense development the Council has approved in the recent past years, in particular the Shaw mixed use retail-residential project within the downtown specific plan area, I as one of five elected officials certainly could not have shoehorned in a project all on my own, it takes a majority. This project was approved within the limits established for the downtown specific plan area and utilizes smart growth planning concepts and makes use of available infill sites, rather than look to develop in areas outside the growth initiative curb negotiated by the City and open space proponents...seems we just can't please everyone.
Finally, the Gazette also reports that I am off to Washington, DC for yet another NALEO convention, perhaps to "meet the great Obama!" In fact, I will be on travel, coincidentally during the same days as the NALEO conference, June 25-27, but I will be in New York, not Washington, DC attending a [national investment firm] Conference for top performing Women Financial Advisors, completely sponsored by my employer. As for my future political ambitions, the Gazette reports as if it had insight into my personal goals and ambitions that I, in the very near future will be working for some state or federal politician...this cannot be further from the truth. I have become quite successful in my position with [a national investment firm] as a financial advisor, I am currently enrolled in a graduate program at California Lutheran University and am half way finished to obtaining a Masters of Financial Planning degree. My plan is to continue my education in the financial services industry and maintain a long and successful career. Whereby in my success, I can provide a tremendous amount of support to my community, perhaps not with time, but money, as opposed to the time I am contributing to the City of Fillmore, instead of money. Quite frankly, it has been somewhat of a personal struggle to devote as many "unpaid" hours as I do in my role as Mayor Pro Tem, while pursuing my graduate degree, working a full time job and helping to support a family of four. If not for the love of serving my community and feeling that I can contribute my skills in a meaningful way, that I would just assume walk away from the criticisms, judgments and outright lies. I do not plan to have Fillmore a distant memory, in contrast, living and serving the community of Fillmore has provided me an honor that I will never forget and will forever be grateful for...I only hope that when I do choose to leave the "politic-ing" to someone else, that Fillmore will not "forget me" or my efforts to enhance the quality of life we all enjoy in this beautiful little town.
Cecilia Cuevas,
Mayor Pro Tem,
Elected Nov. 2000

A Response to Councilwoman Cuevas’ letter by Martin Farrell:
Ms. Cuevas’ letter seems to come close to missing the whole point of my criticism.
Whether $1,000 or $2,000 is irrelevant. The issue is how money earmarked as travel money for city business is spent. No one should have a problem with council members receiving $2,000 for the work they do to maintain a functioning city government. However, to tell the citizens of Fillmore that you are traveling to Puerto Rico for a NALEO conference to gain information on the issue of obesity (Ms. Cuevas’ original expressed intent) was a sham. Most reasonable people looking at that trip will quickly understand its essentially political nature: networking with nationally recognized political players. That’s the primary reason for NALEO’s existence. Every such convention has dozens of workshops, any one of which could justify a trip. The point I wish to make is, that political trip was taken for personal political purposes. Why else should Ms. Cuevas need permission? Permission of her peers on the council is not required to take a vacation. If she did not use her stipend on the trip, why ask for permission? The fact is that Ms. Cuevas asked for permission to attend the first convention and was approved. She asked again this year and was denied. I assume it was too late to apply after the policy was changed.
It would be better to abandon entirely the policy of providing money for travel on city business, with or without the assent of other council members. This would eliminate the nonsense of sham excuses. Let’s just provide $2,000 to each member as just compensation for the work they do.
Ms. Cuevas’s political and ethnic bias has cost the city more than $35,000 during the past several years – most of it wasted, like her repeated insistence on forcing Spanish films on our Towne Theatre. After years of struggle, the Theatre finally crept into the black, only to be plunged into the red again by 18 months of this unwanted, unused, and expensive venture. For as many as five or six weeks at a time not a single person would attend these films – yet Ms. Cuevas had the original 6-months experiment extended, twice.
As to Ms. Cuevas’ political intentions, I merely stated my opinion. I’m (I guess) relieved that she will not succumb to the allure of high political office.
Ms. Cuevas’ work for the city is appreciated, although I find her penchant for supporting what a high majority of residents consider overly dense housing disturbing. I note that Councilman Lee questioned the fact that next to no discussion was entertained before final approval of the Shaw project at the railroad tracks was granted.
If such a “tremendous” amount of financial benefit can be created, as you say, by concentration on your successful business and educational endeavors, why not concentrate on them exclusively? That way, you can “walk away from the criticisms, judgments, and outright lies” that seem a plague to you. However, I challenge you to identify any “lies”.
The job of Mayor Pro Tem may have been a Hobson’s choice for the council. Recalling your tantrum at being passed-over for the Mayor position, which necessitated the Mayor to recess a council meeting until you gained your composure, indicates part of the problem.
Ms. Cuevas, my criticism would cease if you would act more like a council member for all the people and less of a lobbyist for “your people” and for related personal causes.

To the Editor:
Dear Fillmore,
Thank you for being a very nice, accepting community for our two AFS foreign exchange students this year. Aaron (Switzerland) and Zeynep (Turkey) became Fillmore Seniors last August and finished out their school year at the Fillmore High graduation ceremony last Thursday night. These two students have had a year of new friends, new cultural experiences, new foods, and many memories. You have seen them in the newspaper with service organizations and in sports competitions. As a host parent, I thank you for helping make this year special for our student. Teachers, community members, fellow-classmates – you’ve each shown these international students what Fillmore, California, and the United States is all about.
This month is hard for our exchange students as they are very sad to leave and at the same time excited to get back to their home country and reunite with their natural family and friends. Hopefully, their friends here in Fillmore will keep in touch.
This is also the time to look ahead to our next school year. Fillmore needs students next year for on-going cultural enrichment. If you would like to have an international experience in your own home, please talk with me about being a host family. AFS has students from countries around the globe who are waiting to be matched with a host family. Fillmore is a welcoming community.
Thank you for your support. Please contact: Sandy email: yosoysb3@hotmail.com or go to www.afs.org for information.
Sandy Butts,


Letters to the Editor
June 12th, 2008

To the Editor:
Wow! Once again I am stunned by how much money we are spending on our city management. Are you aware that Fillmore's top six city employees could cost us over a million dollars next year? $1,001,818 to be exact. Specifically, our City Manager cost us $191,018 last year and now some on the City Council are thinking about giving him almost a $13,000 raise amounting to $203,994 for 2008 - 2009. (Base salary of $132,149 plus over $70,000 in benefits.) Let's compare that to Santa Paula, a city that is twice our size. Santa Paula's City Manager's base salary is $144,087. With benefits of $41,500 his total compensation is $185,587. Remember Santa Paula is a bout TWICE our size. It just doesn't seem right or fair for our City Council to be granting exorbitant raises to our top city workers who are already overpaid. Why not use the "extra" tens of thousands to lower our city's sewer and water bill? Which would YOU prefer?
Lynne Brooks,

To the Editor:
Dear Mayor and Council Members,
After viewing the available Minutes and Agendas of the Fillmore Senior Center, Inc. non-profit corporation, it appears that the Center conducted business as follows from January 2004 to present: No meetings held in 2004; Three meetings (March, June and August) verified by Agenda and Minutes in 2005: No meetings held in 2006; No meetings held in 2007.
No regular meetings held in 2008 (There have been two special meetings within the last 30 days. One on May 19 and the other on June 2 - setting off the unfortunate discovery that the Board has been virtually defunct since at least 2004). Technically, the last day the Board worked was August, 2005. And, purportedly, three members of the Board, the President, the Secretary/Treasurer and a Voting Member deny meeting at all in the last 4 years. If that in fact proves true, no quorum could have been reached. Still, the agenda and minutes for the three meetings do exist.
Wouldn’t you think the City would be aware of this, particularly since some funding to the Center is provided by the City and the City pays several employees to work in or for the Center?
Speaking of quorums, the last Bylaw documented is a Certificate of Amendment of the Bylaws of the Fillmore Sr. Center, Inc. dated 11/26/1985. Per the Certificate, the number of directors is at least 7 and up to 15. Looks like a minimum quorum under this document would seem to be 4?
The Articles of Incorporation for the Senior Center seem to be lost as do the minutes prior to 2000. This is per Annette Cardona who informs that she is in custody of some of the corporate records at the request of prior board members.
The Board Members are volunteers. On the other hand, there are employees who get paid to work the Center. =How much money does the City pay to the guy who opens the center door in the morning right on up the line to the supervisor in charge? And who's overseeing the supervisors? Doesn't this beg the question whose in charge and whose fault is this? Clearly, the board members aren't to blame. The center was once, by all accounts a vibrant, happy meeting place. What happened? Or, more correctly stated, what did not happen and who got paid for doing nothing?
Gloria Pagliano-Hansen,

To the Editor:
It is very easy to criticize the Fillmore Senior Center by those who have never shown any interest in the center. I help to fund and move the center to its location back in the Eighties. It has always struggled with money problems and participation from the Fillmore area seniors. The Fillmore Senior Center Board is and always has been independent of the City of Fillmore. Some years ago the center was about to close do to a lack of broad members and funding. The board came to the city and asked for help. It has been with that help the Senior Center has been able to keep open.
Folks should be aware that an important part of the funding for the Senior Center has been fireworks sells each year. Some years ago and to this day the Senior Center Board and seniors in Fillmore have not been able to work in the fireworks booth. Annette volunteered to take on the challenge. She called on other city hall employees and their friends to work the booth so that the Senior Center would not lose that funding. Barbara Smith not only works that booth every year she also accounts for the money that the booth brings in each year. Annette, Barbara and the others who volunteer their time, do this out of love for the seniors in Fillmore. They do not deserve the distasteful comments that others are making. Folks when you hear one of these comments ask the person;
“what have you done for the Fillmore Senior Center?”
Roger Campbell,
Retired Mayor City of Fillmore

To the Editor:
I write this letter with such a heavy heart. I am not a political person. I know that I will be the next to be verbally abused by the citizens of Fillmore because I'm taking a stand.
I don't understand how people think it's okay to verbally abuse people the way they have for quite sometime now. The internet and newspaper are full of it all the time. 1 hope you understand that the people you talk mean about have families and friends that have grown up in this town that we all use to be very proud of. NOT ANYMORE. I can't count the times I have read the newspaper and thought I was so sad that I lived in a community that is so disrespectful to other people.
To the people that are doing these things, think about your family, your kids seeing you as the role model in there lives. Seeing you be so disrespectful to others. Why do you think the world is the way it is today? We teach our children that it's okay to gossip, and swarm like sharks at feeding time when someone else is hurting. SHAME ON YOU!!!!
To the people that are under attack stay strong and know that everyone who knows you is supporting you and are praying for you.
To the people who are attacking it will be your turn someday to answer to the abusive things that are said and done. The next time you think it's okay to take a personnel stab at someone think how you would feel if it was your mother, father, sibling, our heaven forbid your child that was being treated the way you have treated other people. Please stop the attacks that are going on so my heart isn't so HEAVY.
Donneta Smallwood,

To the Editor:
Regarding the Petition Drive for the North Fillmore General Plan Amendment
I want to thank all of Fillmore residents who supported the Citizens for Responsible Growth in our petition drive to amend the city’s plans for the very dense development in North Fillmore.
On Tuesday (3 June, 2008) we presented the signatures of 1,021 Fillmore registered voters to the Fillmore Deputy City Clerk (Steve McClary). Steve has informed me that the signatures were transported to the Ventura County Registrar of Voters the next day.
After the validating of the signatures by the Registrar of Voters the Fillmore City Council will have to make a decision to amend the North Fillmore General Plan or submit our initiative to the voters.
It was encouraging to experience the support of the citizens in this effort. Very few Fillmore citizens indicated any opposition to our effort to limit the plan for 700 dwellings in North Fillmore. It is now very apparent that few Fillmore Citizens want this type of large development that will obviously alter the nature of Fillmore.
Again, as a group, we are not against growth, but we are against this type of development, which will adversely impact the quality of living in Fillmore. Thank you all.
Clay Westling,

To the Editor:
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the people of the 24th Congressional District for your support on Tuesday and for the past 22 years.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties in Washington, DC. This is a critical time in our nation's history and we have many challenges ahead. I do not take your support lightly and 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 or Washington, DC.
Elton Gallegly
Member of Congress


Letters to the Editor
June 5th, 2008

To the Editor:
We would like to throw out a great big thanks to the following for their help and effort with the 2008 Orange Festival Parade: To all of the parade entrants, for your patience on such a hot day. To Tom & Nikki Scott and Jessica Reed who helped with barricades, check-in and traffic control. William L. Morris for providing, delivering and picking up the flat bed truck for the judges’ stand as well as the car they provided for the Fillmore Co-Citizens of the year. To Sonshine Pre-School for providing electricity and space for the judges to work. To the Chamber for the radios, tables & chairs, port-a-potties and all of the work with mailing applications and answering many, many phone calls. To Orange Blossom Villa who so graciously provides use of the electric car year after year. To High Camp Creations for expediting the trophies on such short notice. We appreciate each and every one of you for all of your hard work and effort and support. It couldn't have been done without you!
RJ & Joni Stump,

Letters to the Editor
May 29th, 2008

To the Editor:
Re: Rev. Sherwood Haisty
As the sister, friend and acquaintance of numerous veterans, some of who made the ultimate sacrifice, I am deeply saddened and even angered by the sermon presented at the Memorial Day Services.
While this sermon may have been appropriate from your personal pulpit, I found it disgracefully inappropriate for a Veterans Memorial Service.
Our veterans have sacrificed for the right for you to give this sermon. If any thought had been given to the meaning of the service, maybe "Onward Christian soldiers" would have been a more appropriate sermon.
Janet Westerberg Cadena,

To the Editor:
As the wife of a Vietnam Veteran and Daughter of a WWII Vet I am very angered by the sermon (or should I say inappropriate tirade) delivered by Pastor Haisty at the Memorial Day Service at Bardsdale Cemetery. Memorial Day is to remember our fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. I certainly hope that next Memorial Day the Board Members screen the contents of the sermon delivered by the minister so that it reflects on the Veterans being honored and not on inappropriate ramblings on subjects that in no way pertain to Memorial Day and its meaning to honor vets.
Patricia M Westerberg,

To the Editor:
My family and I attended the Memorial Day Service held at the Bardsdale Cemetery on Monday, 26 May. I would like to thank the committee who arranged this celebration. The ceremony was well organized and the Memorial Day Message, delivered by Senior Master Sergeant Roy Nichols, was inspiring and in keeping with the purpose of the service. It provided cause for reflection and thankfulness.
The "sermon" delivered by Rev. Sherwood Haisty was quite another matter. In my opinion, it was an embarrassment to the community and certainly disrespectful of those we came to honor. Reverend Haisty made a futile attempt to tie his "message" to the events of the day but failed miserably. The facts are, he selfishly seized the opportunity to use the stage as a bully pulpit to "spread the word" rather than honor the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Specifically, he spent a significant amount of time railing against abortion, homosexuality, and other "sins." This sort of discussion does not belong in a Memorial Day service any more than a speaker advocating abortion or gay rights would. I doubt if those who served us in time of war actually asked those fighting next to them if they were "fornicators" or "self-abusers" or any of the other terms that Reverend Haisty is so fond of and repeated time and again in his sermon. To add insult to injury, he defined each term in detail in case we were too ignorant to know what they meant.
In fact, I doubt if the soldier in the midst of battle even cared if the person who shared his foxhole was a Christian as long as he was there to support the troops and defend our country. As I stood there and listened to his tirade, I was looking out on gravestones that had inscriptions in Japanese and other languages. I would guess that many of our veterans were not Christians but may have worshiped God in many different ways.
Our family has a decorated veteran interred in the Bardsdale cemetery. As the Reverend droned on, I could only imagine what he would have thought had he been there to listen. In my opinion, Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. It is not a day meant to honor only Christians who lost their life, or hold a revival meeting, or be judgmental of those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. It also should not be used as an opportunity to advance one individuals opinion or belief.
Again I would like to thank the committee who organized this event. It takes a lot of time and coordination and they are to be commended. I can only ask that in the future the speakers be selected with more care or at least be told to cease when they wander off the subject with their rantings.
Dave and Michele Anderson,

To the Editor:
I like many have attended the Memorial Day Services at Bardsdale Cemetery for many years now. The ceremony in past years has been a very moving experience as we have honored those that have given that last full measure of devotion to this our country.
This year as in past years the ceremony has honored those that have fallen and those that have served their country. The Presentation of Colors, The Pledge of Allegiance, The Memorial Day Message (This year by Senior Master Sergeant Roy L. Nichols was very inspiring), The Placing of The Wreath, the release of the white doves , The reading of the list of our dead, the gun salute by the VFW and Taps brought tears to all that attended.
The only wrinkle to the beauty of the entire ceremony was the Memorial Service delivered by Rev. Sherwood Haisty who rather than do honor to our cherished dead decided to give a sermon on what seemed to be his favored sexual perversions and the evils of abortion. To the shock of many in attendance this disrespect of our honored servicemen and women went on for what seemed like an eternity. At the end where other speakers before and after him got a hardy applause for their efforts, Rev. Haisty, who must not have known what kind of address was appropriate for the occasion got no more than stunned silence for his inappropriate tirade and disrespect for our honored dead.
Where this kind of sermon which may be appropriate from his pulpit, it certainly was not for what was otherwise a beautiful and moving show of respect for our honored dead and those that have served and given that last full measure of devotion to this OUR beloved country where we honor the men and women that have faithfully served to keep us free. There is a time and a season for everything but unfortunately Rev. Sherwood Haisty has failed to know that time and place.
Terry Timmons,

To the Editor:
Heritage Valley 5K / 10K Run and Health Fair
On May 17, 2008 under the sponsorship of the Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary the first 5K/10K run in 10 years was held. Over 90 athletes and about 15 health related groups with displays were involved.
The event was several months in the planning by the Race Committee which consisted of: Joe Aguirre – Race Director; Epi Torres, Joe Martinez, Diane Torrence, Ken Smedley, Kim Tafoya, Garrett Kendrick, Erika Huerta and Pablo Suarez.
Race day volunteers included: Amelia Aparicio and the Mentees, Tim Hagle, Robert Martinez, Rudy Guevarra, Alisa Byrne, Carol Barringer, Glenn deSanno, Scott Lee, Juan Zermeno, Norma Sanford, Terri Aguirre, Sarah Hansen, Kathy Vargas, Natalie Garnica, Nadia Lomeli, Jaymee Harter and Aimee Orozco.
Major sponsors were: Limoneira Company, Valley Care IPA, Fillmore Mountain Search and Rescue, MTS Consulting, Edward Jones Investments, Larry Dunst and Community Pharmacy, Bennett’s Honey Farm, Curves, El Pescador, HANDS-ON Consultations, Prudential California Realty and Barkley Insurance.
Special race day recognition goes to The Water Store for keeping everyone hydrated and Cornejo’s Fruit Stand for providing fruit to keep up energy levels.
As President of the Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary Club, I want to thank all the volunteers and participants for making this event a great beginning for what will be an annual event in Fillmore. Planning for next year’s event is now underway so start getting in shape!
Ken Smedley – President,
Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary

To the Editor:
There is an upcoming election with two very interesting Propositions on the ballot. Let us assume for the moment that both Proposition 98 and Proposition 99 receive a majority of ‘Yes’ votes. Both become effective--right? Maybe not!
On the surface, both Propositions deal with Eminent Domain and the government’s use and abuse of Eminent Domain. Proposition 98 would restrict the use of Eminent Domain much more than Proposition 99. All the Eminent Domain restrictions imposed by Proposition 99 would also be restricted by Proposition 98.
Of course, both Propositions contain more than the Eminent Domain issue. Doesn’t every Proposition on any ballot have some ‘extras’? Since it is an ‘all or nothing’ vote, the voters have to decide on the individual Propositions. After the voter has decided which if either or both of the Eminent Domain issues they favor, they also need to consider the side effects.
Here is just one of those side effects. There is a ‘poison pill’ buried deep inside Proposition 99. If Proposition 99 receives as little as one ‘Yes’ vote more than Proposition 98 then Proposition 98 is negated! Proposition 98 would not take effect! All the ‘Yes’ votes cast for Proposition 98 won’t mean a thing! Even if Proposition 98 receives a majority of ‘Yes’ votes it will not take effect!
Think about it. Could it be that the entire purpose of Proposition 99 is to eliminate Proposition 98?
Yours in freedom,
Jay C. Wood,

To the Editor:
Roberto Orellana is remarkably well-qualified for the office of Superior Court Judge for Ventura County. I have known him as a student, as a practicing attorney, and as a son-in-law for more than twenty-five years and have followed his career in law practice with much attention. The promise given by his record of academic excellence at Thomas Aquinas College and Notre Dame Law School is fulfilled in his acclaimed service as Assistant County Counsel for eighteen years. Anyone who has had professional contact with him will readily acknowledge his thoroughgoing competence, openmindedness, exacting ethical standards and personal integrity. He knows the law; he honors and keeps the law. Roberto Orelana is exactly what one looks for in a judge. I strongly recommend to every one of your readers a YES vote for Roberto Orellana on June 3 - - or by absentee ballot today.
Yours very truly,
Joseph P.D. Kern,
Attorney at Law,

Letters to the Editor
May 22nd, 2008

To the Editor:
On May 28, 2008, Boy Scout Michael Watson, a member of Troop 411 in Fillmore, California, part of the Ventura County Council, will be honored at a special court of honor for achieving the Eagle Scout award, Boy Scouting’s highest honor. In your position, I know you recognize the importance of this achievement in this young man’s life.
To become an Eagle Scout, Michael earned 23 merit badges and served his troop in a variety of leadership roles. He also completed a community service project where he coordinated and helped concrete the high school’s batting cage. This project included numerous hours of coordinating schedules, obtaining volunteer skilled labor, as well as acquiring donations of concrete, rebars and sand. As a student at Fillmore High School, Michael has maintained a 4.6 GPA while competing in baseball and basketball. He is planning on continuing his education by attending a four-year university after completing high school.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help us honor this special young man.
Cliff Watson,

To the Editor:
Why is it that most of the citizens clearly see the Water Treatment Plant as a rip off, but the city thinks it is a great deal? The people wanted the same site expanded to treat water, not to have the city go through the expense of buying more land. The people can see that Gayle Washburn's comparison to Santa Paula is valid and should shame our city officials. Maybe PERC did not bid, but their Santa Paula numbers represent what Fillmore should have held out for instead of going for the first bid that came along. What was the big hurry to jump into this deal that would drive out businesses from Fillmore and raise the people's bill so high? The people are angry about this and the incumbents will feel it in November.
Dave Roegner,

To the Editor:
My Father always counseled me to never quit, never give up. But finally I had to admit that I was beaten. My wife's last six years of life took all my savings. I don't begrudge it, but now, a WWII Vet at age 90, my total income is just a bit less than my rent. I had never asked anything of my Country, now that I needed assistance, I applied to Area Housing for help with my rent. They interviewed me and told me that I was fifth from the top of the list. But the list was frozen at the Federal level. That was a year ago.
Finally I appealed to my Congressman, Elton Gallegly, for help. He said he would see what he could do. That was three weeks ago. A week ago I got a letter from Area Housing Authority setting a new appointment for May 22.
Gallegly has been developing seniority for a number of years in the House. Seniority is what other Members look at when deciding whom to support. It's obvious that our Congressman has the clout required to support us in our need. Of course I will be voting for him, but I hope all the rest of you do so as well. We need someone in our corner who understands how to get things done, and is willing to try.
Harold Wilder, Jr.,

Letters to the Editor
May 15th, 2008

To the Editor:
I would like to say THANK YOU to the Fillmore Community that helped us out with all the donations that we needed for our Fiesta Taco Dinner, held Friday, April 25, 2008.
I give WARM thanks to: Chuy at EL PESCADOR- Who Donated Rice, Beans & Salsa;
Martin at SUPER A - who Donated ALL Condiments & Taco Shells; Rigo Landeros- who donated meat; Armando at LLAMA MARKET - who donated meat; MARGARETS COCINA - who donated lettuce; VONS & RALPH's Grocery Store - who gave us a donation as well. Also, thanks to everyone who attended that night…OUR GIRLS ARE GOING TO CAMP!!!
Kimberly Davis,
Young Women LEADER

Letters to the Editor
May 8th, 2008 Edition

To the Editor:
The Citizens for Responsible Growth want to thank everyone who signed our referendum petition to reverse the City Council’s approval of 51 residential units on three acres in North Fillmore. On Thursday May 1st we turned in our petitions with 880 signatures to Steve McClary, Deputy City Clerk.
We only needed 550 signatures of registered voters of Fillmore to qualify the referendum for the November 4th general election. We collected 880 signatures in 13 days with very few people refusing to sign when the situation was explained to them. The response was overwhelming.
The City Council now has two options concerning this referendum: they can either reverse their earlier vote to allow this project to proceed; or failing to do that allow it to go on the November 4th ballot and let the voters of Fillmore decide.
As an added note of information, this past Friday, May 2, we turned in to the city officials a Notice of Intention to Circulate Petitions that will limit the entire 101 acres in North Fillmore to 1-5 dwelling units per acre and limit the overall units to 350 instead of the 700 presently allowed.
We will be bringing you more information about this petition drive in upcoming issues of this paper.
If there are any citizens out there who are willing to help us collect signatures on this upcoming petition, call Ralph Rees at 524-2809 or Clay Westling at 524-5134. Remember this is your city also. Are you willing to help preserve it?
Thanks again to all who gathered referendum signatures and the 880 who signed.
Ralph Rees,

To the Editor:
(Mr. Hansen felt this subject could be of interest to the general public.)
I am entering my 4th week of the virus, shingles. It comes from chicken pox and settles in the spine waiting for a nerve to pop out and let it escape. Your immune system is lower after 55 years old. I am now well into the 4th quarter of this game called life and it really hit me.
I went to the chiropractor with a sore neck and “picky” scalp; he gave me an adjustment which helped the neck…but not the scalp.
That evening the right side of my head caught on fire. The next morning I awoke with a sore throat and hair that I could not touch because of the pain. This was on a Saturday and early Monday morning I was told I had shingles.
I was given the prescriptions and can now see the end of pain, pain and more pain! My head was full of blisters, but I now have just a very itchy scalp.
Believe me, don’t walk to your doctor…run! There is a shot for shingles, get it!
Robert Hansen
Fillmore Studio, Retired

Letters to the Editor
May 1st, 2008

To the Editor:
Re. Martin Farrell’s Realities:
I don’t think the Mayor “repeatedly asked” the Council to investigate his trip to Washington D.C. but made only one formal request and only after the Code of Ethics was repealed. If I’m “ignorant” on this point show me the minutes when it occurred and I’ll apologize.
Recently released documents by the City show:
- Email from American Water to Boyle Engineering asked if the Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem would be attending the U.S. Mayor’s conference and making a presentation at the Mayor’s Water Council.
- From Boyle to the City Manager and Bert Rapp asking if the Mayor had confirmed.
- From Rapp to Steve Conaway asking if he could go and assured all expenses would be paid by the conference.
- American Water arranged for the Mayor to stay at their hotel.
We already know that:
- The Mayor sat with the CEO of American Water at the conference speakers’ table.
- American Water is an advisor to the Mayor’s Water Council.
- American Water and Boyle Engineering have multi-million dollar contracts with the City that Fillmore citizens are having to dig deep to pay for.
- The Mayor is an ardent supporter of American Water.
As I see it, the purpose for the Mayor’s trip was to sell American Water to Mayor’s throughout the country.
My concern isn’t a legal one, but one that questions who my elected representatives really represent. It seems some council members have been cheerleaders for developers and corporations instead of providing dogged oversight for the citizens. So, Mr. Farrell, in that respect my criticism is “political”.
Bob Stroh,

To the Editor:
In response to your April 23rd article:
“During oral communications, Gayle Washburn criticized the Council for not choosing PERC for the construction and operation of our new water treatment plant.”
I did not criticize the Council. My statement was that… “I wanted to respond to Bert’s numbers.”
There were other speakers commenting on the subject so perhaps you have the commenters mixed up.
There were various other incorrect and misleading statements in the article but there is not enough room or time to address each one.
I pointed out that we are paying $26 million for the reuse portion of our plant. Mr. Rapp states that Santa Paula has better percolation capacity than Fillmore. While that may be, Boyle reports indicate that we could percolate 1.4MGD at the existing site, C St site and E St. site - enough for our current needs with room to spare.
But the bottom line is we are paying $80 million for our 1.8 MGD plant and Santa Paula is paying $57 million for a 4.3 MGD plant. Do the math.
The contract is not finalized in Santa Paula, so at some point in the near future a proper analysis can be made. Check the cost per gallon treated in capital costs and operating and maintenance costs. This will produce a true level playing field and is the industry standard measurement.
At that time, if the paper is interested in providing a balanced and unbiased article, I will be happy to provide information.
Gayle Washburn,

Letters to the Editor
April 17th, 2008

To the Editor:
Can someone tell me why Fillmore needs a five foot drainage pipe down the middle of Central Avenue, when the city has never had any really serious flooding, even in the wettest winters? Isn't this a little over-kill, or is more development being planned in the minds of those who decide these things at City Hall. Instead of tearing up Central, blocking the parking spaces and reducing access to businesses, it seems a much simpler and less expensive plan would be to remove the planters that were installed some years back for beautification purposes. These concrete barriers reduce the flow of water along the curbs, causing any flooding that does take place, and they also take up much needed parking spaces for the businesses on Central. City Hall needs someone in charge who has some common sense and who lives in town so they can see what goes on all the time, instead of arriving in town in the morning and leaving in the afternoon, and not really seeing what goes on all the rest of the time. Also, if they lived in town, they would be a part of having to pay for all the construction projects they approve, and maybe they would not be so eager to build million dollar sewer plants and install five foot drain lines costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dick Mosbarger,

To the Editor:
Regarding the Fillmore City Council Approval of Reider Project
Silly Me! I thought Vision 2020 meant something. I remember street fairs around city hall that proclaimed proudly that the Vision 2020 thing was the way we were going to go. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting we heard that this document has really no standing, it is just a steering document, and the General Plan is really what counts. How did they get to be different? I bought into the thought that well planned growth to about 20,000, while retaining our small town atmosphere, was what we as a community wanted. I understand that SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) projects Fillmore to 18,000 by 2020.
What I found out was that a population of 25,000 is the “now” plan for growth and our City Council is going to approve any project that comes along that will bring that growth. It is obvious that their goal is not well-planned growth, but any growth. The bigger the better. The question for the citizens is: why is bigger so good for Fillmore?
The now approved Reider Project with its 3-story buildings, inadequate parking and alleys is not consistent with the small-town community that Vision 2020 envisioned. Mr. Reider needs to come up with a plan that fits Fillmore’s needs, not just the return on his investment.
Jean Westling,

To the Editor:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who contributed to the success of Fillmore High School's tenth annual arts show "Inspired by the Arts". It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work, dedication and talent to coordinate an event like this. Thank you to Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Soroptimists and the Fillmore High School ASB for your donations that helped to fund this event. Thank you to the Fillmore businesses that allowed us to display our ads in your windows and stores. Thank you to Renee Talley, Debby Curnett and Lucy Quezada-Romero for volunteering your time and resources. Thank you to the Administration at Fillmore High School for your ongoing commitment to this event and to the staff and teachers at FHS who supported the students efforts. Thank you to Chris Fernandez and the members of the Fillmore High School Band who played at the event. Thank you to Mary Ellen Wortham and the FHS photo department and Henry Beltran and the woodshop classes for your artwork. Thank you to Josh Overton and the members of the drama club who performed that evening. Thank you to the community who attended the show and once again helped to make this a special night for the student artists, photographers, actors and musicians. Thank you Gabe Asenas, Baldo Magana and Tony Vega for all of your help. Last, but not least, to the members of FHS Art club and my art classes, especially the Advanced Art students, who put in numerous hours creating the art, preparing the work for display, hanging the show, hosting the event and cleaning up after a long day and night- thank you- without you there couldn't be a show. I am very proud of all of you.
Rosalind Mitzenmacher Brocato
Fillmore High School Art Department

To the Editor:
Last week Martin Farrell, publisher of The Fillmore Gazette, addressed the Reider housing plan in North Fillmore stating, among other things, that he was “disgusted with the city council for approving it,” thought the project “stinks” and that the council ignores the wishes of Fillmore residents. A whole lot of us feel the same way, Mr. Farrell.
Over sixteen hundred registered Fillmore voters signed a petition to limit the growth in North Fillmore to a more reasonable number, but city staff, along with developers’ lawyers and with the council’s blessing, were able to sidestep the intent of the petition and continue on with their plans to pack as many dwellings and people in our town as possible. Just how many?
They throw around population numbers of 20,000 and 22,000 by the year 2020 and the General Plan has the figure at over 24,000, but these are just numbers that continue to change upward and are always couched to make us feel that it’s what the “people” said we want and need. That bit of fiction then translates into justifications supporting the densest and most profitable projects for the developers. It was not long ago that three story buildings were limited to Central Ave. The council has now rubber stamped them down Main St. and in North Fillmore. One council member is even promoting four story low cost dwellings on Sespe Ave.
I suppose we can choose to lie down and let them run over us, or work to take back the City and reverse this madness. If you are not ready to just lie down then please join with many others and let’s get to work! Give me a call at 524-2028.
Bob Stroh,

Letters to the Editor
April 10th, 2008

To the Editor:
The downtown merchants need the help of all of your readers! We the citizens of the valley need to rally to the support of Fillmore's Central Ave. Businesses. The downtown district is only a little more than a block long, however it is the HEART of Fillmore. It along with the people of Fillmore is what gives us our unique atmosphere and our small town charm.
Did you know there is a great quality meat market (with the best prices) at Estrellas Market? It's on the corner of Main and Central. Or how about the best prices for Levis in all of Ventura County at Naders just down for the post office. There are some great places to find a gift at Poppy Mountain Antiques, Vintage Pleasures, The Scented Path or The Treasure Station. Need some Sporting goods or a good deal on hunting supplies then try Edison’s Up in Arms.
There is better coffee at the Coffee Boyd shop then you could find in Seattle! And why go out of town for your Computer needs when Element Computer is on Central Ave just south of Sespe Ave. Their prices and service are better than those guys in other towns.
The restaurants in downtown Fillmore are a great place to meet a friend. Whether you want country cooking at Mama Sues (across from City Hall) authentic Mexican food at La Fondita (just below the post office) or California cuisine at the Central Station Downtown Fillmore restaurants are sure to satisfy.
I did not mention all the shops like the kids clothing store, the photo studio or the furniture store with Elvis memorabilia so come up town take a look around and help out your neighbors. Do not let a little construction activity keep you away.
Roger Campbell,

To the Editor:
Re: Citizens of the Year--2007
It's nice to see the Fillmore Historical Museum finally get civic recognition via some Museum Board members receiving Citizens of the Year for 2007.
Reflecting and considering all the infinite work, dedication, and contributions of Board members, and others, during the 1988 Centennial Celebration, the 1994 Earthquake recovery, the Acquisition and Stabilization of the Landsite, the Moving of the selected Buildings beginning in 1994 through the efforts of the Building Committee, to re-establish the Fillmore Historical Museum/Depot back by the railroad tracks...Every Member of the Museum Board can be My Citizen of the Year!!
Kathie Briggs, Past President,
Fillmore Historical Society/Museum
September, 1986 - September, 1994

To the Editor:
Update on Grad Nite Live: I have been diagnosed with Myocardial Myopathy with 20 to 25% heart function with medication and care/rest they are hoping I can get to 60%. This means I will be stepping down from actively putting Grad Nite Live together. I'm asking everyone to help - get on a committee and keep GNL going we have a lot more seniors to keep safe on Graduation night. This organization has been successfully operating for over 17 years; over 3500 students have been kept safe so that they can have a future.
Please contact Annette Fox @ 805-794-9160 or e-mail: gamapiggie@yahoo.com and she will assist you.
We need all the help we can get...we have fundraisers we have to get organized for this class. We have only
$10,000 and we need $21,000 so we have to come up with $11,000 by May 15th, no later than Graduation on June 12th.
Thank you,
Raelene Chaney