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