Letters to the Editor
September 30th, 2010

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


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


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


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

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


Letters to the Editor
September 23rd, 2010

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


Letters to the Editor
September 16th, 2010

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

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

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

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

Letters to the Editor
September 9th, 2010

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

Letters to the Editor
September 2nd, 2010

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

Letters to the Editor
August 26th, 2010

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

Letters to the Editor
August 12th, 2010

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

Letters to the Editor
August 4th, 2010

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

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

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

Letters to the Editor
July 29th, 2010

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


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

Letters to the Editor
July 22nd, 2010

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


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


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

Letters to the Editor
July 15th, 2010

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

Letters to the Editor
July 8th, 2010

To the Editor:
The City of Fillmore’s 2010-2011 proposed budget recommends that the Fillmore Aquatic Center be closed from October to February and that all fees be raised. Swimming lessons will be raised from $50 to $75.
Please go to the City website to view the proposed budget. Please become informed and ask questions of your Council members. Please attend the July 13th Council meeting to hear discussion of the proposed budget.
Cindy Blatt

Letters to the Editor
July 1st, 2010

To the Editor:
Monday, May 31, 2010 Memorial Day, was another day for remembrance of all those whose lives have been taken in the service of our Armed Forces. It is a day to pay tribute to our fallen comrades; also, a time to remember their loved ones. Let’s not forget those who have survived the horrors of war, as many are left with critical physical and mental injuries, many for life.
I have given a lot of thought as to the necessity for wars. Wars have been waged for various reasons and causes. Millions have died or suffered the horrific results. Makes one wonder, is it all worth it. The following are words from a speech President Kennedy made just before his death in 1963. "The United States is neither omnipotent (of infinite power) nor omniscient (all knowing), as we are only 6% of the worlds population. We cannot impose our will upon the other 94%, right every wrong, reverse each adversity. There cannot be an American solution to every problem." President Kennedy was a P.T. Boat Commander during WWII. It is time we take a hard look at our involvements around the world. Our first line of defense is to protect our country and its citizens here at home.
Addressing the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, the solutions to attain success is formidable if these Muslim countries are ever to embrace a democratic (self ruled) society. They have been ruled for centuries by various generations of religious zealots. We are being used for their own financial gains and to drain our economy and military strength. Now is the time to start removing our troops and support personnel for a complete withdrawal. Vietnam comes to mind. Afghanistan is the longest U.S. involvement in any war. The Soviets withdrew after 10 years. In addition, we have numerous bases in various locations around the world. With the withdrawal from Iraq/Afghanistan and the reduction or elimination of these bases, it would drastically reduce the enormous spending of trillions (T) of dollars and resources that support this costly endeavor. Dollars now being spent can be put to better usage i.e., rebuild armed forces/National Guard, national security/foreign policy, immigration/borders, new businesses/jobs, education, infrastructures, health/welfare programs, reduce the deficit, fire and police.
Ray Dressler

Letters to the Editor
June 24, 2010

To the Editor:
A Response to Roy L. Payne; A Consultant to KDF:
As former President Ronald Reagan would eloquently say: "There you go again". In this case, Roy Payne is at it again, twisting facts and floating mistruths about my positions.
The comments he is referring to were made at the April 13th Council meeting. My point in those comments was that the business park developers should be getting their own financing rather than having the City secure I-bank loans using the City’s General Fund as collateral. Especially since we recently learned we have over a $1 million deficit along with the State of California thrusting its hands into our Redevelopment Fund. Again, for clarity, I steadfastly support the business park. As a co-owner of a small business here in Fillmore, I know first hand the need for more tax revenue and yes, more jobs for Fillmore. Economic growth and a fiscal responsible government for Fillmore is of importance to me.
In light of Roy Payne's assertions that I don't understand zoning, first and foremost, I am a real estate finance professional and I fully comprehend all classifications of zoning. The vacancy factor (all classifications) in Fillmore is relevant and paramount to the discussion.
Fillmore, Santa Paula, Ventura, Camarillo, Valencia and Moorpark currently have a combined 196 vacant available industrial only properties for lease. It’s easy to make promises about future jobs since there will always be the opportunity to say that at “build out” there will be so many jobs. Well, what if “build out” never comes, as in the case of the failed North Fillmore Industrial Park?
These factors should remain true to the equation for all City Council members, especially when our elected officials are subjected to making decisions of how our tax dollars are used.
Lastly, no one in the city is stopping the business park from moving forward. Roy Payne’s employer, KDF, stated that that there is nothing more they needed from the City and taxpayers. If it is viable and economic, start building and produce those jobs.
Brian N. Sipes,


To the Editor:
Here’s what Fillmore Unified School District has planned for Piru School this summer and next school year:
-No free breakfast or lunch this summer at Piru School
-No summer school program this year at Piru School
-No new running path at Piru School
-No GATE program for gifted students at Piru School
-No more Newhall Grant-funded Art program for all students at Piru School
-No science class for upper graders at Piru School
-No Mr. Schaper, no Mr. Pavik, no Ms. Kelley, no Ms. Jolley, no Ms. Elliott at Piru School – a loss of over 100 years of combined teaching experience because the District involuntarily transferred them by declaring an ‘emergency’
-No full-time librarian at Piru School
-No full-time computer lab aide at Piru School
-Five fewer school days at Piru School
-Larger class sizes at Piru School
-No opportunity to transfer to Piru School if you live in Fillmore or Bardsdale-current Piru School students living in Fillmore and Bardsdale have been ordered by the District to attend other schools next year
What does all this add up to? Why are Piru School students losing so much?
A message from supporters of Piru Charter School

Letters to the Editor
June 17, 2010

To the Editor:
On June 8, 2010 the City Council reviewed the City Council minutes of April 13, 2010. According to those minutes, Brian Sipes made some very astonishing comments about the proposed Fillmore Business Park. Mr. Sipes begins by stating “the commercial and industrial market in southern California is on the way to disaster…”vacancy rates have been rising.” Mr. Sipes went on to say “the CBRE projections are inaccurate. There are commercial vacancies around town in Balden Plaza, Super A, the old Dodge dealership.” This information provided by Mr. Sipes is inaccurate and irrelevant on many counts. First, NONE of the properties mentioned by Mr. Sipes (Balden Plaza, Super A, the old Dodge dealership) are zoned to permit the uses and types of businesses that are planned for 90% of the Business Park. Real estate vacancies are classified as residential, multi-family residential, commercial, office and INDUSTRIAL. The commercial vacancies identified by Mr. Sipes are irrelevant and are not industrial vacancies and are not in any way shape or form comparable or useable for the planned and permitted industrial Business Park.
According to CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) the industrial vacancy rate as of April 2010 in the Primary Market Area (PMA) that the Fillmore Business Park will draw from is 4.8% and in this PMA during the 1st quarter of 2010 approximately 2,570,064 square feet of building and lease and sale transactions were completed compared to 759,000 square feet in the 1st quarter of 2009. This is hardly the disaster that Mr. Sipes suggests. CBRE is one of the largest and most respected commercial/industrial real estate brokerage firms in the world and I would hope that the Fillmore City Council and the citizens of Fillmore would rely upon CBRE’s credibility and information when trying to make critical decisions about something as important as the Fillmore Business Park.
Mr. Sipes also stated “what I find troubling is that Roy Payne repeatedly stated that there were 5000 jobs generated by the business park, and the numbers retreated to 4,600, 3,500 then 2,500 and now 1700 that would be created”. I would respectfully refer Mr. Sipes and others to a study entitled “Economic Impact Analysis – Fillmore Business Park” dated July 10, 2009 prepared by David Taussig & Associates. This study projects 1,352 one time direct jobs and 785 one time indirect jobs will be required to construct the Business Park. This is a total of 2,137 one time jobs during construction. The study also states “that at build out the Fillmore Business Park will be home to 1,681 new employees once the Business Park is fully occupied and the surrounding community will benefit from an additional 898 indirect jobs needed to support the new Business Park project employees, resulting in a total of 2,579 new recurring jobs for the Fillmore community”. So combined, there are a total of 4,716 one time and recurring jobs that will be generated by the Business Park. As another source, the City Council approved Fillmore Business Park EIR on page 508 shows employment projections of 3,069 permanent jobs in the Fillmore Business Park, but this number does not include the projected 2,137 one time construction jobs. So, I do not find it troubling at all to talk about the number of jobs that will be created by the Business Park and I am not sure why Mr. Sipes would find job creation for Fillmore to be troubling. More jobs in Fillmore leads to more consumer spending in Fillmore’s existing retail establishments downtown and along Highway 126, as well as new retail establishments that will be attracted to Fillmore as a result of this increased consumer spending. This new job creation will also result in increased tax revenues to the City of Fillmore through increased property taxes and sales taxes.
Mr. Sipes asks “why would the City of Fillmore get involved in industrial development at this time?” My question is why not?
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989 – 2005)

Letters to the Editor
June 10, 2010

To the Editor:
Statement read to the FUSD Board, June 1st meeting:
Good Evening;
The law is there at the state and federal level to ensure that all children especially EL students receive an education. The state provides funding to ensure the programs address the needs of our children at the school site. AS A MEMBER OF ELAC and as a mom I HAVE been trying to get involved and find out how these services have been functioning at my school for my child and all the children and have unfortunately encountered barriers after barriers.
My questions have been: What programs have been set in place to address our lowest performing students? What progress and what monitoring assessments have been used at my school to demonstrate how our children are doing? What practices have been put in place to accomplish the task? I understand this school has received state and federal funds; $24,515.00 for EIA/LAP; $46,055.00 for EIA/SCE; $61,599.00 For Title 1; Over $60,000.00 for other allocations such as Title 11, Title 111 Title 1V.
Now Mr. Prado, you have quoted in the past that you do not care too much about the standardized test scores. You refuse to speak to a member of the public about Data. So Mr. PRADO, if you ignore the data and do not believe in the state measures of progress or the federal accountability regulations, how are you conducting your business? Would you mind explaining to your community and voters how you come to the conclusion your school district is excellent? Isn’t it true that API s and AYPs are the gage of measurement allowing our District to receive additional funding to help our underserved children? My question now is “Aren’t these tests important to the school districts?” Isn’t compliance with supplemental funding regulations a very important matter you need to monitor and implement properly? On MAY 25th at the last SSC Piru meeting, no business was conducted and none of these answers were provided to the public.
We do not need you to come to our SSC meeting to threaten us, we need you to come and make SSC comply.
MR. Prado, my understanding is that FUSD cannot be accepting these funds without complying with the rules and regulations.
So I would like to remind you that the US Dept compliance team has the authority to withdraw these funds from this District. So next time before you start insulting outsiders, make sure you are not biting the hands that are feeding you.
We are putting you on notice Mr. Prado and Mr. Sweeney, and demand an accountability report of all supplemental funds at Piru School we have been requesting for over 5 months. You are responsible for these funds and the education of our children. We will not stand for your disrespect! What are you hiding Mr. Prado?
Please contact me at with your answers within 3 days of this written request. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Looking forward to your answer!!!!
Rita Avila,


To the Editor:
I previously submitted a letter to the Fillmore Gazette about the Piru Elementary School School Site Committee (SSC) which does not conform to the CA requirements for SSC meetings and it's obligation for fiscal and educational accountability. I was shocked by the conduct of the FUSD Board President and could not fully reveal the extent of his verbal misconduct. Now, thanks to a recording made by another citizen during the meeting, I can entirely share the insidious speech of Mr. Tony Prado during the "public comment" portion of the meeting on May 25th.
Quote: (Tony Prado, FUSD Board President)
"I would like to advise you that you should be wary, leery of strangers in our midst. It seems that they come from outside the community of Piru, or Fillmore. We don't know what their interest is, yet, but we will find out that many of these individuals have an agenda where they try to get a lot of information from you, and we don't really understand why. We need to be able to understand, and we need to be very suspicious of these individuals, what it is that they want to know and why they want to know it. They are going to be asking a lot of specific information, and I urge you to be careful, always pass this information on to the District office, in case you don't understand all the particulars. I don't understand all the particulars, and there are people that are in office or people in our district office that have this kind of information. But you really must be very, very careful, especially about these outsiders coming in, about these outsiders who wish to come in for political or economic reasons."
Mr. Prado's words of warning to the Piru School Site Council did not comport at all with the training that the District had just provided to the School Site Council members. It seems that Mr. Prado was trying to undo what the Council had just learned from Dr. Babb, who stressed the critical role the SSC plays in helping to provide parent and community input into the educational success of the children to allow for public involvement, and to demonstrate respect for the voice of the public. He noted that the meetings were to be open and allow for pubic comment, and that norms of respect and courtesy should always be followed.
Where does Mr. Prado think the funds under the control of the School Site Council, or the School Board, for that matter, come from? Doesn't FUSD receive Equalization money from the State? Doesn't FUSD accept federal funds? Does he think that all of the over $30 million that FUSD receives comes from local taxes? This year FUSD received over $720,000 in Federal Title I money alone, which is just a portion of the total federal money FUSD receives.
Does Mr. Prado think that the 'outsiders' whose state and federal taxes provide these funds have no right to come to meetings and ask questions to find out their tax money is being spent? Does he believe that he, and the other Board members have NO accountability to the taxpayers of California and the United States?
The money the FUSD Board and the Piru SSC are charged with spending is a public school trust, not a private school piggy bank. Mr. Prado should publicly reject what he said, and offer an apology to the taxpayers of Piru, Fillmore, Ventura County, and California. I urge the Ventura County, CA, and US Departments of Education to determine if Piru Elementary School is receiving all the funds they are entitled to receive from the FUSD and how that money specified for the education of children is being used. The Piru Elementary School SSC has been warned not to share that information at its public meetings by FUSD Board President Tony Prado.
Jim Pavik
Granada Hills, CA


To the Editor:
Hello FUTA Members:
The FUSD school board has declared an EMERGENCY!
The Board, in an EMERGENCY meeting called last night 6/3/10 passed a resolution allowing the "Board in its sole discretion to SUSPEND Article 10" of our Contract. Article 10 is the Transfer and Reassignment Article. This article is "suspended for the 2010 - 2011 school year with respect to transfers and reassignments, both voluntary and involuntary, to and from Piru School."
Last Friday there was a message about healing from our superintendent and the power of one person etc. Now less than a week later we are having an emergency and having to suspend our Contractual Agreement with the district? (Speaking of the Contract...We haven't even received a copy of the new contract - it was supposed to be delivered with in 30 days of ratification.).
The district has hired an administrator to come in and help at Piru. The district has hired a mediator to come in and help mediate and heal the faculty. How is the EMERGENCY resolution that allows for a one year suspension of Article 10 in the contract helping?
Does this mean that if you are an Elementary teacher at San Cayetano, Mountain Vista. or Sespe that you could involuntarily be transferred to Piru to fill the space of a charter petitioner? Does this mean that a charter petitoner will be involuntarily transferred into one of the other elem. schools in order to break up the nine petioners? Does this mean that this is a threat hanging over FUTA members' heads to shape up or they will be moved involuntarily?
Does this mean that if you stand up for your rights the district and the school board can declare an EMERGENCY and suspend any part of the contract so that they can behave punitively and with malice?
I am asking Wayne Bauer, the new FUTA President (great timing - at the end of the year huh?) to put an end to this nonsense and use all available resources to communicate to us as FUTA members what is happening and what steps are being taken to end this nonsense.
Together in Union,
Theresa Marvel


To the Editor:
TO: Mr. Prado, President of the Board
Board of Trustees
Mr. Sweeney
Ref: Harassment - June 1st, 2010
It was reported from several community members that on Saturday the 22nd of May a VICTORY Party was organized at Britt Park. Free food was distributed; jolly jumps were delivered while music and piñatas were used for entertainment.
It was brought to our attention by several children of our community that names of teachers, parents that happened to be petitioners of the Piru Charter School were set on the piñatas as decorations. The administrators were leading on the hitting of the piñatas creating an emotionally disturbing scene for the innocent children invited to the Victory Party.
I am coming here to night to ask all the organizers of this party to cease and desist and stop the organized harassment against teachers and parents who did nothing but try to propose a better choice to our school community. It is appalling to find out that members of the BOARD ELECTED BY THE CITIZENS OF Fillmore Unified are lending themselves to this type of harassment behaviors in support to a sick propaganda.
What I just described can be qualified in many US communities as a “hate crime” !!
Mr. Prado, the members of our community will not stand for this type of behavior! IF you have read the history book, you should know that the inquisition is over and will not be perpetrated in our community against our children, against our parents and against our caring teachers.
As any other crime, this crime can be punishable by the proper institutions protecting our rights, our civil rights and our human rights.
WE DO TAKE the actions of the leadership of FUSD very seriously and will not allow continuous harassment.
Please consider this letter an official warning to all the leaders sitting around this table tonight who have crossed the line of human respect and human dignity and beware that appropriate measures will be sought by all concerned citizens of Fillmore UNIFIED.
All evidence and testimonies will be submitted to the authority and justice will be pursued all the way to the Attorney General’s office and all the way to the election poll MR. Prado November 2010.
Mr. Galan, a special complaint will be filed against you as the SSC chair, ELAC President and leader of the parents for power with the attorney general, the US Dept and the compliance board of the State of CA. For your information, your name has been brought up in several occasions defaming members of the community and teachers in public. Beware that you may be found liable and find yourself as a defender to a law suit based on defamation of character. Thank you!
Ide Ramirez


To the Editor:
To Whom It May Concern:
At this time I am removing my child from enrollment in Piru Elementary School. With this letter I ask that any and all records and paperwork that the School has regarding my son, (Name Removed) be released to me at this time.
I am taking this action due to recent events which prove to me that certain administrators, and School Board Members of Fillmore School Board of Trustees do not have all of the students best interests in mind as they conduct their district business.
My son will not be attending any school within Fillmore Unified School District. I have found a “school of choice” that has welcomed us. Based on state and federal law I do not need any approval or “transfer” from the District to take my child to this school which is not in “PI” status (as all elementary schools in FUSD are) and which creates the type of welcoming environment that I want for my child.
It is my hope that the School Board will one day conduct their District in a way that creates a welcoming and challenging learning environment for all of the children which attend their schools and that one day the administrators and School Board will listen respectfully to ALL parents whether or not they speak with praise or criticism of their policies and programs.
Yours truly,
Kimberly Rivers


To the Editor:
A Stunningly Underwhelming Public event...
I'm appalled that the majority of our city council wanted only an "open house" to allow a public viewing of the most significant public works achievement in over six decade: A state of the art waste water and recycling plant that has achieved at least six local and national awards. This facility will serve the community for decades to come and to all but ignore a feat of this magnitude with an "open house" is inexcusable.
No individual or company was recognized for their contributions nor was Bert Rapp mentioned. No county or state officials were present nor were there any public announcements. No past city officials were invited or recognized. A very undignified occasion to be sure.
Surprisingly the old 1955 Sewer Plant plaque was installed on a large concrete monument at the back of the plant office. The dedication plaque for the new facility is stuck on a wall inside, out of public sight. Why isn’t the new plaque mounted outside, viewable by the general public as dedication plaques are in this and every other community?
Thanks to the efforts of American Water, W.M. Lyles, Kennedy/Jenks and others for providing tours and saving the day. At least you added value to the event.
Ken Smedley
Uninvited former official

Letters to the Editor
June 3, 2010

To the editor:
On the evening of Tuesday May 25th, I attended a public meeting at Piru Elementary School which was both a regular School site Council meeting and a training session on the nuts and bolts of the State rules and regulations for School Site Council Meeting. The trainer was Dr. Michael Babb who presented an outline of such things as the responsibilities, constituency, and meeting guidelines for these meeting.
Then the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board President who attended, the FUSD advisor to the Piru Principal, and the Chairman of the meeting proceeded to violate both the spirit and rules pertaining to such meetings. The agenda for the meeting was not shared the required 72 hours before the meeting, and according to several public commentators, it did not include concerns that have been raised at prior meeting(s). Minutes of a February meeting were distributed but this was a surprise to those who felt they were neither notified before or after that meeting. There was no categorical budget information provided in either the minutes or at this meeting. There was no reports of data on student achievement either in the minutes or at this meeting. Dr. Babb had stated that these are key areas of responsibility for a School Site Council (SSC). It was evident that the members of the SSC had not been provided with either the tools to act responsibly, nor had they been informed of the mission of the SSC. But this was not their fault, as other events at the meeting demonstrated.
The FUSD Board President violated the very spirit of SSC meetings when he warned the council members and the audience, about the presence of "outsiders" and "agitators" at the meeting, who were "gathering information" for "political and economic" reasons. He urged them to be very careful about what they said at the meeting. The FUSD Board President is the reason I came to observe the SSC meeting because I had heard of threatening statements being made at a FUSD Board meeting toward a teacher at Piru Elementary School and also had heard a report about FUSD school personnel at a party hitting pinatas that had Piru School teachers names attached. I feel protective of those Piru school teachers that have become targets of FUSD wrath. Now I am concerned that the FUSD Board President thinks the tax monies from the Feds and CA that come to FUSD are none of the business of "outsiders". Incidentally, there was not misbehavior from any members of the audience, whether "outsiders" or not, and the the chairman's request for adhering to the meeting agenda was respected by all. Questions and comments were saved for the "Public Comments" part of the agenda.
The rules for "open meetings", notification of meetings, and the building of an agenda for the next meeting were not followed. Despite the State mandate for a SSC to be accountable for the categorical budget expenditures and to evaluate student achievement, there was no observable intent to put this on a future meeting agenda or make such information public. The FUSD assistant to the Principal, would not allow even a tentative date for a future SSC meeting nor would she allow the members of the SSC to set their own meeting schedule and agenda.
I think this SSC at Piru Elementary needs further citizen monitoring for adherence to State Education Code and fiscal accountability and I call on both the Ventura Co. and the CA Departments of Education to do their oversight job.
Jim Pavik
Granada Hills

To the Editor:
A public outreach meeting will be held Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 pm at the Fillmore Senior Center to discuss the Fillmore Business Park.
The meeting is an opportunity for interested persons to receive information about what the Fillmore Business Park project is, the reasons why it was started and the projected benefits of the Fillmore Business Park. For example, did you know the developers of the Fillmore Business Park believe they can bring thousands of new jobs to Fillmore and get the local Fillmore economy growing and help bring prosperity to the existing businesses and residents of Fillmore? And did you know that according to a "Fillmore Business Park, Economic Impact Summary" prepared by the independent consulting firm of David Taussig & Associates, that at full build out of the 90-acre site, the Fillmore Business Park will create 1,700 new employees and the surrounding Fillmore community will benefit from an additional 900 indirect jobs, resulting in about 2,600 total long-term jobs.
Those of us who have worked for the City or who reside in the City believe passionately that the City of Fillmore is one of California’s “best small towns”. This best small town has a population of 15,000, but currently has only about 3,000 jobs.
The Land Owners, Business Park Developers & Consultants (yes, I am one of the consultants on the project) cordially invite you to join us Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center to share light refreshments in an informal setting to: View architectural renderings, Discuss Economic Impacts and Future employment potential, Learn what other communities are doing, Answer your questions about the Fillmore Business Park .
Come join other local people for an opportunity for a Q & A session
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager

To the Editor:
The week of 26 April 2010, I submitted a letter on Illegal Immigration. It contained background information, i.e., 1. Periods of influx of Immigrants into the U.S.A., 2. Laws and restrictions imposed and their lack of implementation/controls and 3. Proposed Plan of Action.
The following are some additional comments. Immigration was to be controlled by the laws of our land. It is our responsibility as citizens, to assure said laws are forced/controlled. Today there are many who disagree with the state of Arizona's proposed law. Nothing wrong in disagreeing. People through out the country are holding rallies protesting the law. some are being bussed to Arizona to protest. Also police chiefs from around the country have met to discuss Arizona's proposed law. Question: Do these police departments have formal procedures in place and are they carried out in accordance with the law, including Fillmore? Presently politicians running for office are on the "band wagon" stating they will impose the laws. Just more rhetoric. Based on the politicians past record to date, they are rated at a minus "D". It is our duty as voters to follow these laws. We as voters can make it happen. It is the responsibility of our City Council to develop a Plan of Action for the voters approval. As a minimum, the plan to include the following: Undocumented business owners and/or their employees, businesses subcontractors and their subs, those who work as gardeners, house keepers, baby/elderly sitters, day laborers, etc. A draft and final version to be submitted to the voters for approval. The plan to be forwarded to the Governors office as outlined in the previous letter.
Each of us must take a pro-active role in finding a solution to this situation. Those who choose to do nothing but continuously complain would better serve by their silence.
Ray Dressler

To the Editor:
Public Safety has long been a top priority for our Ventura County communities; it is what keeps us in the top five “safest communities” nationally for a county our size. I have worked to protect this priority and to respect the work of our law enforcement, firefighters and prosecutors, as they commit daily to keep our communities safe. On June 8th, you will have the opportunity to elect two exemplary leaders that will work to ensure our neighborhoods remain safe for our families and our businesses.
Geoff Dean, candidate for Ventura County Sheriff has superior experience, a record of fiscal responsibility, is a proven leader as shown by the support he has earned from every local Police Chief, and is trusted by the men and women of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. I have worked with Geoff on community projects supporting Casa Pacifica, Boys and Girls Clubs and to pass the Social Host Ordinance to curb underage drinking in our neighborhoods. I trust and respect Geoff Dean to lead the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department into the next decade.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wright is asking for your vote to serve on the Superior Court, Office 1. I support Ryan Wright as I know his years of experience have prepared him to uphold the laws, protect our residents and keep our communities safe. He is supported by District Attorney Greg Totten and every Police Chief in the county. His integrity and professional commitment will bring fairness and balance to the court.
Please join me in voting on June 8th for Geoff Dean for our next Sheriff and Ryan Wright, for Superior Court Judge. The safety of our county will continue to be our highest priority with these two leading the way.
Kathy Long, Chair
Ventura County Supervisor

Letters to the Editor
May 27, 2010

To The Editor:
We would like to thank all of those who participated in the May Festival Parade this year. A huge thank you to all who volunteered your time to help, we really appreciate your hard work and could not have done it without you! Also, a special thank you goes out to the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Fillmore and to William L. Morris for providing the flatbed for our judges and cars for many of the parade participants.
The winners of the parade are as follows: Floats: 1st Place – 4-H Groups; 2nd Place – Sespe Players; 3rd Place – Heritage Valley Red Hatters; Novelty/Walking/Other: 1st Place – Sonshine Preschool; 2nd Place – Ballet Folklorico; 3rd Place – Little Miss NASCAR Cars: 1st Place – Otto & Sons Nursery; 2nd Place – Ventura Model A Club; 3rd Place – Q-104.7; Equestrian: 1st Place – Ventura Co. Sheriff’s Mounted Posse.
If you were not at the awards ceremony to receive your award, you can pick it up during normal business hours at the Chamber Office. Thank you once again to all!
RJ and Joni Darrell-Stump

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To the Editor:
I would like to let you know of the heart that lives in your community. On Tuesday evening I was on my way to buy some honey in Piru and I also had an appointment at Red Hot Foods on Wednesday morning. I was running late and was tired, so I parked behind your city hall and fell asleep in my truck. I must admit I felt very safe. In the morning I awoke about 6 a.m. and planned to have coffee before proceeding on with my business. I tried to start my truck but had no luck. Because I had the morning appointment and then needed to be in San Diego by 3 p.m., I was freaked out. Then my angel appeared. Joe Magallon walked across Santa Clara Street from the apartments and said, "It’s your starter,” and he said to hit it with a hammer. He gave me his hammer, but it still did not start. Then Joe said that he knew a man with a tow truck and a shop who could fix my truck. I could tell I was in good hands, so at 7 a.m. Joe drove me to his friend Edin's house from Edin’s Auto Repair. Edin was preparing to take his daughter to school before he went to work, but he told me he would meet me at my truck an hour later. He showed up right on time and towed my truck to Santa Paula while he worked on my truck. Soon I was on my way to meet with the owners of Red Hot Foods. After my meeting, my truck was ready, he charged a fair price for the tow and repair, and I was on my way to pick up honey and arrive at San Diego by 3 p.m. Anyone who has ever been stuck on the road knows this story could have turned out very differently. In these trying times when we're all being tested, it is nice to meet great people who are willing to help you out without thinking about who you are or what your means are. Joe affirmed what I hoped I already knew-- that I was intended to take care of my fellow man as a friend, as the circumstances dictate, not the politics. Joe, and others like him, keep reminding me to help other people out because, without Joe, this story would have had a very different outcome. I bonded with both Joe and Edin, as they are special people and you should be honored to have them living amongst you. Joe had such an impact on me that this morning I began to wonder how could I live and work in Fillmore.
Barry Weintraub
Prescott, AZ

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To the Editor:
My wife and I will be voting for Sheriff for the first time since we moved to the El Dorado MHP in Fillmore back in 2004. Bob Brooks is the only name we've ever associated with Ventura County Sheriff.
I had personal dealings with Sherman Block, L. A. County Sheriff, when I served on the Walnut City Council from 1982 to 1989 and participated with the Contracts City Association Board discussing contracting issues dealing with my City and the other 80+ cities in the County which were part of that Association. So I do remember, quite favorably, my dealings with the Sheriff's Department hierarchy.
Now regarding Ventura County, we have read the many "articles" concerning both men running for the open sheriff's position. I had questions about Commander Dean. I expressed these concerns during a visit to our Park Manager's office this last week, simply in discussing with her, the "politics of the day".
Two days after that "visit" there's a knock on our door and guess who's standing there when I open it up? Yes, Geoff Dean. He's hot, sweaty and quite pleasant. He had been visiting homes within the Park. He steps inside our home and asks me to question him about my concerns which primarily deal with the "integrity issue" that's been raised about him. We talk. We are now convinced he is the "man for the job" and that the "issue" is a non-issue.
Since I became eligible to vote, way back in 1959, there's only one other "candidate" for office that I know of who's knocked on my door asking for my vote. That's me when I ran for City Council the first time in 1978. My wife, daughter and I spent many weekends knocking on over 2,000 doors in Walnut. And it works!
I have to tell you readers, I'm impressed when a candidate "comes a calling" and especially in a senior's only Mobile Home Park. My wife was impressed too! We are voting for Geoff Dean for Ventura County Sheriff on June 8, 2010. You might want to consider him too.
Charles D. Richardson (former Mayor of Walnut)

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To the Editor:
On Tuesday, June 8th, the voters of Ventura County have an important role in selecting representatives for various elective offices. Seeing that we have the privilege and duty of selecting a panel of honorable judges for the Superior Court, in particular, office number 1 is very important to me. I am asking the voters of Ventura County to consider Lela Henke-Dobroth for Superior Court Judge.
Lela Henke-Dobroth brings a wealth of experience in many aspects of her legal career; 29 years of legal experience, 23 years as a prosecutor with the Ventura County District Attorney, 9 years as Chief Deputy District Attorney to former District Attorney, Michael D. Bradbury, 6 years experience in private practice: Civil litigation, Family Law, restraining orders, and Pro-Bono Legal assistance, Key prosecutor - People vs. Diana Haun and Michael Dally case (kidnap from Target store and the murder of Sheri Dally), Key prosecutor of the People vs. Vincent Sanchez ( "The Simi Valley Rapist").
You may visit Lela Henke-Dobroth's campaign website for further details on qualifications, awards, and the endorsements of the majority of the Superior Court Judges that are supporting Lela Henke-Dobroth. The Superior Court needs a judge that has been tested and will follow the rule of law.
Experience and Trust Matters: Vote Lela Henke-Dobroth for Superior Court Judge.
Brian N. Sipes

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To the Editor:
Prop 16
Soon after the Prop 16 “Vote Yes” ads started appearing on TV, I wondered why it was necessary. I always vote but like to understand what I am voting on.
After some “soul searching” on Prop 16, I have drawn this conclusion. Since governments are not likely to try to buy/form a new utility company under the current financial circumstances, then this prop must be supported from the other side of the fence, the utility companies!
I look at it this way: the electrical companies are probably behind the whole thing. I’d bet they are putting up the money for all of these TV ads. If they can get this bill passed, there will be NO COMPETITION, or even a threat of competition, for them. They will be free to do what they wish, charge what they want to charge even with government oversight on cost to the consumer, and have a free hand monopoly on electricity for all of us!
It would be impossible to ever get 2/3 of the voters to pass a bill to let local governments form a company. However, a simple majority “might” be able to pass a bill and take over electrical use if the big guys ever really held us up.
I think I would rather leave things alone and know that the people could take over the power if the major electrical providers got out of hand!
I may be wrong, but I think it is a power grab by Edison and other large providers. Eliminate the possibility of any competition and they are in the driver’s seat. I believe I will vote NO on Prop 16. It sounds good until you look at it and start asking questions.
Marie Wren


To the Editor:
To The Community of Fillmore
Attractions Spa has been recently working with Grad Nite Live to raise money for this yea’rs Senior Class 2010! As of today we have raised $1250 dollars for Grad Nite Live. Not bad for a brand new business! We have been very successful because these coupons we are selling for Grad Nite Live are an amazing deal! And $25 goes to Grad Nite Live for every package sold! Just in case your haven’t heard about the packages they are as follows: Package A - 2 hours and 15 minutes for $100, Package B-1 hour and 30 minutes for $75., Package C- 1 hour for $50.
Remember $25 goes to Grad Nite Live for every package sold!
Amazing right?? Well, the last day these will be sold is May 31st! These coupons have not expiration date and can be used for massage, facials or waxing. You mix and match your time however you like! One of our most popular treatments has been our 75 minute massage with a 60 minute facial combo.
So stock up now!
Thank you for supporting Grad Nite Live
Sincerely, Sean and April Hastings
Owners of Attraction Spa

Letters to the Editor
May 20, 2010

To the Editor:
It was brought to my attention that on Friday May 14, 2010 at the Piru Elementary School ELAC Meeting, Susan Dollar was there and seemed to be working in some way for the school or district. My questions, as a tax payer and voting member of this community are: What is her job title, function, role and responsibilities at the school? When and why was she hired? Which Advisory Committee was consulted to approve her salary expenditure and what action was taken? When was this available position posted and when was it approved by the board? I looked in the minutes of the last Board meeting and could not find any evidence of budget approval as required by Law.
As a concerned parent listening to all the budget cuts and teachers concerns, I would like to recommend to all Members of the Board to be frugal in your spending of our Superintendent’s administrative budget. I would like to request a budget cut proposal from Mr. Sweeney for all the administrators of our District. I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST A BUDGET FREEZE FOR all outside consultants including Mrs. Dollar until we have a proven assessment from all the Trustees that the services provided are directly affecting our children’s learning progress effectively. Along the same line, would you please provide our community an explanation of where has Superintendent Sweeney found funds to pay for her consulting fees? Is Piru’s budget paying for it? Please supply us with SSC minutes indicating the SSC’s approval. IF the district’s budget is paying for it, which funds have been allocated for that purpose and when? I could only hope that Mr. Sweeney may be paying her out of his personal budget.
Mr. Sweeney, can you please report to this Board and deliver an assessment review of Mrs. Ramos of her managerial skills, budget allocation skills and teachers’ support skills, so that we might better understand why she needs the assistance of Mrs. Dollar.
How has she improved our school for the last 9 months? Has she followed all mandated guidelines and CDE regulations? Please Board members, request a full report for the tax payers and voters of our District community.
I hope these questions will be answered by the next board meeting scheduled for June 1, 2010.
Thank you!
Rita Avila
Parent Coalition for Excellence in Education


To the Editor:
School Board Prefers to Focus on “The Good Stuff” while ignoring the Brown Act.
On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 the Fillmore School Board of Trustees gathered for a regularly scheduled public meeting at its board room on Sespe Street in Fillmore. The first order of business, as usual is public comment. This is the part of the meeting when any member of the public may speak to the Board on any issue whatsoever, whether it is on the agenda or not. Public Comment is the appropriate time for community members to ask that the Board examine any issue of interest or concern, and it is the time to request that items be placed on future Board agendas. Any issues that require the Board to take action must be placed on the agenda. In most cases, public comment is the time when the public puts the Board on notice of complaints or issues that they want the Board to address. Frequently, these are requests, which may be viewed as negative comments, and this Board seems to view most complaints as the publics effort to “tear down” the District, as stated by Board Member Ms. Virginia De La Piedra.
And this public comment period was chock full of these so deemed negative positions. Several parents from Piru brought issues to the Boards attention, including how funding was approved for recent personnel additions, the state of academics at the school and what is being done to improve the school’s scores on State tests, and a threat issued at last weeks ELAC (English Learners Advisory Committee) meeting to a bilingual mother of two, that the police would be called if she did not stop asking questions about how funding was used at Piru School to benefit English Learners. One Piru resident,
Mr. Freddie Galan, brought to the Boards attention his stance that this mother was owed an apology for the way she was treated, but both he and the Board remained focused on his complaints of another member of the public who reportedly was “interrupting” their meeting as well. The Board did take the time to comment and ask a few questions during public comment, including a comment about how all the “bad” comments were coming from Piru. As public comment concluded, those in attendance could really see the Board wake up with the “Good stuff” as Board President Mr. Tony Prado called the agenda items that followed public comment.
Two local businesses; Otto & Sons and Quallity Ag Inc, that are helping prepare for graduation were honored with an award, and Board Member reports included several comments of pride in the skills and sound of both the Fillmore Middle School and Fillmore High School Marching Bands as displayed at recent public events. Brief comment was made on the need for uniforms for the Bands, and it was noted that to outfit the entire High School band it would cost $25,000.00. The students are apparently working on fundraising ideas.
The Board also approved, with one opposing vote cast by Board Member Mr. Mike Saviers, a measure which lays off certain “classified” employees. This measure will result in library and computer lab hours being reduced. Superintendent Mr. Jeff Sweeney did mention that they are exploring the possibility of a teacher accompanying students to the library or computer labs when it is closed.
In addition to these normal agenda items, it is not uncommon for things to happen at meetings that are not on the agenda. Equipment may malfunction, someone misspeaks or trips, but at this meeting the unexpected events included several violations of the Brown Act. The Brown Act (CAL. GOV. CODE § 54950 : California Code - Section 54950), enacted in 1953 is part of our State legal code. It governs public bodies, including school boards. The Brown Act provides the legal framework for how these bodies shall run their meetings with the intention of maintaining open and free public access and participation in the meetings of the public body, in this case the Fillmore School Board of Trustees.
Part of the Brown Act requires that no member of the public be required to provide his or her name or any personal information. This would seem to include a person’s street address. Apparently it has been normal practice for some time that the Board requires all those speaking in public comment (but not those speaking on specific agenda items) to provide their name and street address. At Tuesday’s meeting, several individuals who spoke during public comment attempted to refuse to provide their street address by invoking the Brown Act. To his credit, Mr. Prado did admit that “(he) is not an expert on the Brown Act”, and that he “does not want to stifle public comment”. So he graciously allowed those who refused to give their street address their time to speak. Mr. Prado does not seem to be the only Board member who is unfamiliar with the reach, scope and content of the Brown Act. Board Member Mr. John Garnica stated that while the Brown Act may not require it, “Our Board Policies” do, and so the information must be provided.
The Brown Act, also requires that school boards “allow non-disruptive recording and broadcast of meetings”. Again the Fillmore School Board seems to have violated this part of the law when, nearing the end of the meeting Ms. Rita Avila was asked to stop recording the meeting. It was apparent to a witness who attended the meeting and was present at the time, that a district employee sitting next to Ms Avila was sending text messages to the Assistant Superintendent Ms. Katy Hadley, notifying her that Ms. Avila was recording the meeting. This text was distributed to the Board, and Mr. Prado asked Ms Avila to turn it off. At this point Ms. Avila felt uncomfortable and decided to leave rather than state her legal right to record the public meeting.
The next Fillmore School Board meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2010, with the Open Meeting beginning at 6pm.
Kimberly Rivers

Letters to the Editor
May 13, 2010

To the Editor:
I wanted to commend the three members of the City Council who were present at the April 27, 2010 city council meeting (Mayor Pro Tem Washburn, Councilmember Laurie Hernandez and Steve Conaway) for voting in support of the construction of Water Well No. 9. This new water well is needed for the future planning and development of the City and is especially critical to allowing the Fillmore Business Park to move forward. As has been previously reported, the Fillmore Business Park is expected to create many new higher paying jobs for Fillmore residents and should also provide a stronger and more diversified economic base for the community that will help to provide new customers for our existing downtown merchants and highway businesses such as El Pescador Restaurant and Wm. L. Morris Chevrolet.
I was also pleased to here Mayor Pro Tem Washburn state publicly from the City Council dais that all five members of the City Council support the Business Park moving forward. This 100% support from the City Council is very important because there are still several significant decisions remaining that need to be made by the City Council to clear the path to allow the Business Park to proceed with development. Several of the Fillmore Business Park developers were also at the meeting to express their continued interest in proceeding with development of their projects in the Fillmore Business Park.
With this renewed public/private Fillmore Business Park partnership I believe the entire community of Fillmore will benefit and be able to address some of the more pressing needs of the community.
Roy Payne
Fillmore City Manager (1989-2005)


To the Editor:
It is a warm and exhilarating feeling to know that the Bardsdale Cemetery grounds are now immaculately maintained to demonstrate respect and dignity to those interred.
Having many family members laid to rest there, we are genuinely grateful to the cemetery caretakers for their marvelous work. It is obvious that tremendous pride is taken in the attention of the cemetery environment where our loved ones, as well as many others, lay at rest.
Thank you to Doug Basolo, cemetery manager, and his workcrew, Gabe Lopez and Richard Ruiz for their commendable and overall efforts. They are doing a superb job!
Thank you, also, to the Board of Directors, i.e., Lynda Edmonds, Monte Winkler, Gabe Asenas, Rita Rudkin, and Scott Lee, for their excellent vision and leadership in the development of this revered place.
The Gene and Sonia (Morales) Getty family
The Frances (Morales) Jimenez family
The Ernie and Becky Morales family


To the Editor:
A. BACKGROUND: 1. There was a large influx of European immigrants into the U.S. in the 19th Century. Made up of numerous nationalities and estimated at 38M people from 1820-1920 2. Also a large number (unknown) of Africans (slaves) were introduced into the U.S. from early 1600-1863, 3. The immigrants from Europe became a large "melting pot" of people who lived in overly crowded conditions and slowly disappeared into society without citizenship.4. As a result of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the Africans slowly made their way up North. They too disappeared into society without citizenship. 5. History has shown this country was founded on immigration, but was meant to be controlled by our laws. 6. From the early 192 0's to the present, immigrants continued to enter the U.S. from around the world, with the largest group being those from Latin America. 7. Restrictions were imposed as early as 1882 and again in 1917, 1921 and 1924. There were further restrictions, the last establishing the Quota System, whereby entrants were limited to 3 percent annually of the number of citizens residing in the U.S. Revisions were made from this period to 1952,; which reaffirmed the "National Origin" features of the 1921 and 1924 laws. These laws have been in place with some minor changes to date. The implementation of these laws have been virtually non-existent. This, along with the large population growth has acerbated the situation. Our leaders over this entire period have led us to believe they have been afraid to take action for fear they would not be elected/re-elected, Whereas they should have enforced our laws. B A PROPOSED PLAN OF ACTION 1. Based on the above, we are faced with very complex issues and no one has come up with a detailed plan to correct said situations. Presently proposed solutions run from; do nothing, send them all back, send only adults back or provide amnesty.2. With an estimated number of 12-14 million illegals residing within the U.S., none of these proposals are a viable solution. A major part to the solutions is to let our elected leaders, local, state and federal, know now is the time for action. 3. Maybe the new legislation in Arizona will be a wake up call to our citizens as to the seriousness of the situation. We may or may not agree with Arizona's action. Whatever it is, we need to take a proactive roll. 4. The first action is to close our borders. Next, each state to develop their own problem/solution list with the voters approval. From the Governors' Office the list shall be taken to Washington by the States Senate/House Representatives. The Representatives to turn this data over to the Presidents newly formed "Task Force" who are to disseminate the data and present their findings for Presidential action. If no action is forthcoming within 6 months, the states to decide to impose their own legislation. I invite you to share your thoughts and solutions.
Ray Dressler