Letters to the Editor
July 26, 2012

To the Editor:
Re: Comments at July 10, 2012 council meeting made by Gary Creagle
I was watching the city council meeting of 7/10/12, on Channel 10, the other day, and some comments made by Gary Creagle, regarding sate of land for a potential future sewer plant, need to be clarified. He basically stated that he felt legal counsel for the city could have looked at the land purchase deal, but did not do so at the time. This was the "property known as Perry Ranch Company, who was Shorty Crockett, who lived in that little house out on highway 126, across from El Pescador or Los Serenos. Shorty Crockett was Perry Ranch, and he wanted to sell."
Yes, "Shorty" Crockett's given name happens to be Perry, but in no way was he Perry Ranch, or even affiliated with them. In fact, that little white house was owned by Wagner Ranch, and my late father-in-law RENTED from Mr. Wagner for many years. The Wagner’s later sold their ranch to someone from the Los Angeles general area, and Perry "Shorty" Crockett then RENTED from them for a number of years. Perry Ranch was located to the west of Wagner Ranch, closer to E Street.
i know my father-in-law would be setting Gary Creagle straight on the facts if only he could, but I'll speak in behalf of Perry "Shorty" Crockett, and hope that in future appearances before the council and all viewers of Channel 10, Mr. Creagle looks into the archives to see who owned what.
Sincerely yours,
Linda Crockett
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
With our Central Avenue palm trees removed, Fillmore will look like any other town on the U.S. A. Well, aren’t we proud of that! After years of having a business on Central and Sespe Avenue and fighting to keep our unique palms, I have gotten too old and have given up. Fillmore had palm trees long before they were super popular in other sections of Southern California. I’ve always loved them. I like for us to have something different. I guess if they can be cut down they can eventually be replanted by the next generation. One thing age has taught me, accept unwanted change and adjust to the younger crowd and SHUT UP. (But I don’t have to like it.)
Marie Wren
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
Letter to the Editor ~ Martin Farrell, Publisher,
Last Thursday, July 12th about 75 of us local Fillmore residents met with Tony Strickland, Candidate for US Congress at the El Pescador Restaurant here in Fillmore. In attendance were Jamey Brooks and Eduardo Gonzalez, both Fillmore City Council members as well as many of our local residents including myself.
Mr. Strickland announced his candidacy for the office of US Congress and outlined his ideas and plans for a balanced and bi-partisan leadership role representing his local constituency.
His plans included recognizing good ideas whether Democrat or Republican and working with both sides of the aisle to accomplish our mutual goals for the good of the people of Fillmore, Ventura County and our country as a whole.
All and all, it was an hour well spent and it was enlightening to know that we can accomplish great things together for the good of all of us.
Douglas Wilhelm
Fillmore, CA

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To the Editor:
Tony Strickland for Bipartisanship
Speaking with many of my friends and neighbors in Ventura County, the general consensus seems to be that the today’s politics has become much too entangled in the grinding drudgery of strict party politics. With today’s bitter political climate unfolding at both the national and local levels, it is refreshing to know that there are still a few candidates who are focused on their vision for our country, rather than partisan gamesmanship.
Tony Strickland has been endorsed by California’s only independent Assemblyman, an endorsement which speaks volumes about the bipartisan manner in which he conducts himself in Sacramento and insight into how ;;he will conduct himself in Washington. Tony knows what needs to be done and can get it done as well. By and large, he embodies an invigorating break from the entangling hyper-partisanship that is plaguing modern politics.
While other candidates merely discuss the necessity of bipartisanship in order to get things done, Tony Strickland has a proven record and background which enables him to succeed, which is why I look forward to him representing my community in congress.Augustine Santa Rosa
Fillmore
A pressing issue facing California residents in this coming election is the High Speed Rail system. The High Speed Rail system will not only take decades to complete but also cost upwards to billions of dollars that our state can not afford. This reckless use of selling state bonds to fund the Rail will only further damage our state’s and federal financial situation. In response, we need leadership that can stand up to such outrageous projects and that is found in Republican Tony Strickland, who has consistently opposed the Rail’s construction.
Senator Strickland has been outspoken about the High Speed Rail’s construction and has even gone on record saying that Californians were duped into thinking this project would bring a low-cost train system. However, the Rail’s cost has ballooned out of control, and it has been reported that nearly $5 billion in state and federal funds will be allocated to build this train. Since day one, Senator Strickland has stood against the sale of bonds to fund the High Speed Rail which, combined with his proven record of fiscal restraint, is why we need to send him to Congress
Jackson Sullivan
Thousand Oaks, CA

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To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in order to highlight the importance of electing Tony Strickland to Congress. His proven track record of cutting taxes, creating jobs, and protecting our local Naval base in Ventura County makes him a qualified candidate for the job. I know once elected, he will continue to protect the rights of the people of our community. Let us do our part in sending a message to the government by electing a trusted and proven candidate in Tony Strickland for Congress.
Mike Schaible

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To the Editor:
Tony Strickland for National Security & Military Families
Wether you are for or against military spending, we are all for a thriving local economy. Defense cuts proposed by the Obama Administration threaten our community by endangering the future of The Ventura County Naval Base and the 19,000 people it employs.
Fully appreciating the major role this base has in the lives of thousands of his neighbors, our State Senator and Congressional candidate Tony Strickland as been the sole candidate to campaign for the protection of our base. Tony has fought for The Naval base of Ventura County in Sacramento, and will continue to do so in Washington. This base is vital for our nation, our state, and most importantly the thousands of people it employs in Ventura county alone. I urge you to support Tony Strickland, a defender of Ventura's base, and send him to Washington.
Mike Schaible

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To the Editor:
Our nation's debt and deficit issues are increasing as our American dreams are being left behind. This current generation is suffering with everything from home foreclosures and student debt, to insurmountable job losses and we must put an end to it before the next generation is left to clean up our mess. We the people need someone in Washington who will work with both sides to come up with a budget plan that decreases spending. That is why I support Tony Strickland for Congress. Senator Strickland has never been afraid to work with both sides of the political spectrum in order to achieve a common goal. He is a natural born leader, and it is his passion and determination that will help put Ventura County on the road to recovery and prosperity. I ask that you please join me in voting Tony Strickland for Congress this November.
Sarah Varela
Simi Valley, CA

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To the Editor:
Strong Voice
We need a strong,dedicated voice in Congress, one who will stand up and fight for his Ventura County constituents, one who understands the needs of Ventura County as a military,
agricultural,business and family community, one who is proud of Ventura County and America.
This voice is Tony Strickland and he deserves our votes.
Robert Inglehart
Simi Valley, CA

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To the Editor:
Corporate Tax Rate
Anybody that knows basic economics, knows that when you raise a tax on a business it's not the company that pays more, it's you. When the federal government taxes these massive, enormous companies they believe that it's hurting the companies but really, it taxes you. When the CEO of a company is told that his company will be even taxed more, the plan is very simple, raise the cost of the product. As congressional candidate, Tony Strickland opposes the sneaky ways of taxing the American people and believes with lower tax rates, companies will be drawn into bringing their companies back to the United States. Come April first, the Unites States will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, a whopping 39.2%
When you look at large companies that sell product in the US, 99% of the product said "Made In China," because of this, people blame greedy businesses trying to save a buck or two. But when you look at the numbers, it's not because they are greedy, it's because the 39.2% tax rates they have to pay will not pay the bills. Corporate tax rates are one of the deciding factors of where to start a company, and when you have a tax rate that's through the roof, no one wants to have a company there. That's why Tony Strickland opposes high tax rates and wants to make America a thriving nation of economic wealth and power.
Mattthew Curry

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To the Editor:
Tony Strickland: Supporting Families
In my point of view and how I perceive things, Tony Strickland is the kind of guy to do the job to run our city congress without a doubt. Tony can be well considered as a family oriented guy. In fact, his two children are his main motivation to all the commitment he puts into community service. Like many people with children, we want to be ensured that our children can be given the same oppurtunities, education and job-wise, and luckily, Tony wants to achieve that with his children and with yours as well. During these hard times, the economy can be a burden on familes. That is why Tony wants to help restore California's economy by creating more jobs to keep less families and individuals off of the streets. The date is set, November 6th is the day to vote. My family will be voting for Tony. Can Tony count on you?
Daisy Silva
Oxnard, CA

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To the Editor:
Student Against Closure of the Naval Base Ventura County
With the upcoming base realignment, the Naval Base Ventura County is in danger of significant changes in the form of job losses, funding cuts, or even complete closure. In a time of economic crisis such as this, reducing military defense spending might seem like a good idea.
However, we need to look beyond simply reducing the total defense budget, and see the multitude of other benefits the base provides.
Before what I feel would be a grave mistake occurs, I want to present a few facts about the base. The base is the largest employer in Ventura County, and not just for military personnel. The base is responsible for the employment of over 19,000 people and, according to the Office of Economic Adjustment, the base employs over 15,000 Ventura County civilians. The state of California already has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, closing down military bases that are responsible for the employment of thousands is not the way to reduce that percentage.
On top of the economic impact of the NBVC, it also provides unmeasurable benefits to the defense of the state and country. It is the home of the Navy's Seabees and the Naval Special Warfare Command which provides oversight to all Navy SEALs and runs their training curriculum. Additionally the NBVC is the only deep-water port between San Francisco and Los Angeles, additionally it is the military's only deep-water port between San Diego and Tacoma, Washington.
The NBVC is critical to not only Ventura County, but to the United States as a whole. Senator Strickland understands the importance of the NBVC and California's other military bases, as outlined by his bill SJR 19. The bill urges the California delegates of Congress to protect the state's military bases from closure. This is only one of the many reasons why Senator Tony Strickland will be getting my vote for representative of the 19th district, because he cares about the people of Ventura County and will take that all the way to Washington.
Justin Anthony Moraga
Camarillo, CA

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To the Editor:
California's unemployment rate is one of the biggest problems in the country. Families are struglling to get by. Mothers and Fathers are trying to earn enough to give their children a good life. But where is the relief.
It seems like every politician these days is giving promises of jobs and a better economy but what is actually being done. Tony Strickland makes the promise to lower unenployment rates and bring the economy back but has a track record to back those promises up. He has consistently fought frvilous spending in Sacramento and fought aginst overtaxation. Tony has done work in the past to help Californians in need and will continue to do so in Washington. Currently raising two kids in Ventura County, Tony has a heart for the families that are struggling to make ends meet and will do all he can to give every child an opportunity for lifelong success.This starts with lowering unemployment rates and cutting taxes on the hard working families of California. If you want a candidate who will follow through with his promise to take us out of economic turmoil and create jobs in California then join me in voting Tony Strickland for Congress.
John Philen

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To the Editor:
Tony Strickland for Renewable Energy
America's dependency on foreign oil forces us into poor economic, political, diplomatic, and military choices. Tony Strickland has a proven record of supporting renewable energy here in California, and is committed to relinquish our dependency on foreign oil at a national level. By supporting more energy efficient alternatives Tony Strickland looks to create more "green" jobs.
As congressman, Tony Strickland will stimulate economic growth and improve national security by limiting our dependency on other nations.
As state senator, Tony Strickland has made a lasting impact in renewable energy industries, and is now looking to do it on a national level. Renewable energy is the way to turn our economy around, and the only way it will happen is if we vote Tony Strickland for congressman.
Andrew Kahrs
Thousand Oaks, CA

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To the Editor:
California's unemployment rate is one of the biggest problems in the country. Families are struglling to get by. Mothers and Fathers are trying to earn enough to give their children a good life. But where is the relief.
It seems like every politician these days is giving promises of jobs and a better economy but what is actually being done. Tony Strickland makes the promise to lower unenployment rates and bring the economy back but has a track record to back those promises up. He has consistently fought frvilous spending in Sacramento and fought aginst overtaxation. Tony has done work in the past to help Californians in need and will continue to do so in Washington. Currently raising two kids in Ventura County, Tony has a heart for the families that are struggling to make ends meet and will do all he can to give every child an opportunity for lifelong success.This starts with lowering unemployment rates and cutting taxes on the hard working families of California. If you want a candidate who will follow through with his promise to take us out of economic turmoil and create jobs in California then join me in voting Tony Strickland for Congress.
John Philen
Westlake Village, CA

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 19, 2012

To the Editor:
RE: City Attorney
Apart of being an elected official is the responsibility to be truthful with all constituents – good or bad. As your City Council Member I would like to clarify some deliberate fallacies made by Council Member, Steve Conaway.
At the June 19th City Council meeting, Council Member Conaway conveyed some distressing information pertaining to some apparent personnel issues towards the City Attorney. For clarification of the record, I as an elected official had absolute NO knowledge of the events that may have occurred a month or so, ago. Council Member Conaway, again, wasn’t forth right with the public by inserting that the majority of the City Council was somehow behind this.
The office of the City Attorney has NOT been fired. The issue at hand is simply a personnel issue of conduct of City Attorney, Ted Schneider. Personnel issues, by virtue, are handled by the head of human resources. These matters, like at any other working, ethical entity, are never exposed, publically. To do so would be a breach to an employee’s right to confidentiality.
At the July 10th City Council meeting, all Council Members were briefed and put on notice of this matter.
I affirm to the public that Mayor Gayle Washburn handled this delicate situation with grace, impartiality and with professionalism. Unfortunately, the unnecessary drama was grossly contributed by a notorious, disgruntled City Council Member, Steve Conaway.
Our City should be pulling together as a whole for the betterment of the community - not digging a deeper hole of division for political purposes.
I am committed to working with City staff, my fellow Council Members, and most importantly, the community of Fillmore. Now is the perfect time to prepare for a bright future ahead, and design a community that we can be proud of.
Brian Sipes,
Fillmore City Council Member

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To the Editor:
I attended a Tony Strickland “meet-&-greet” in Fillmore last Thursday. I hadn’t met Tony before and didn’t know too much about him except the name and that he was our state senator. He’s now running to represent us in the US Congress so I thought I’d better get to know him.
He seemed down to earth to me. Seemed like the issues he’s taking to Washington are the things I care about and believe in. I like to try and be informed before voting. From what I’ve seen and heard so far, Tony is someone I can support.
Tim Holmgren
Fillmore

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To the Editor:
I was at a meet and greet hosted by Councilman Eduardo Gonzalez at El Pescador. Since it was a great opportunity to talk to Tony Strickland, I decided to go. As soon as I entered through the door, I saw Councilman Eduardo Gonzalez wave at me as if we had been good friends for a while. The room had about forty people mingling and talking to Tony. I went up to Tony and we started talking about cutting spending in Washington. He seemed to be open-minded and liked the insight of what the people wanted from Washington. I can say that Tony Strickland is here to represent his constituents at whatever position he holds.
It was a pleasure talking to him. Afterwards Tony spoke about why he is running for Congress and how he wants to leave Ventura County and the United States in a better state for future generations. The whole event was a great experience overall and it showed me that Tony Strickland is committed to uniting out community and country. That is why I will be giving Tony Strickland my full support this November.
Ernesto Ambrocio
Newbury Park

 


 
Letters to the Editor
July 12, 2012

To the Editor:
One gross error of Patti Walker at the June 27th council meeting was to compare Mayor Gayle Washburn’s recent heavy handed dealing of our City Attorney with the way that we transitioned from City Attorney Roger Meyers to Ted Schneider when I served as Mayor. Let’s compare facts. Mayor Washburn called a Senior Partner in the firm and effectively banned our City Attorney from attending any future meetings. She never spoke to City Attorney Ted Schneider directly. Today she still hasn’t that I’m aware of. As Mayor, and with Mrs. Walker’s encouragement, I approached City Attorney Roger Meyers directly and we discussed a transition plan for a new City Attorney with him personally. He was supportive of the plan and referred Ted Schneider as our future City Attorney. In Mayor Washburn’s case she pulled the rug out from under our qualified City Attorney and didn’t have the decency to even discuss it with him. Mrs. Walker is once again parsing words and misleading the public.
Steve Conaway

 


 
Letters to the Editor
June 21, 2012

To the Editor:
[The following is Fillmore City Councilmember Steve Conaway's statement to the council at the June 19, 2012 City Council Meeting]
Tonight I speak as a citizen. To say that Fillmore is experiencing problems is an understatement. We have serious budgetary issues. We have ongoing litigation issues. We have lost all employees with historical knowledge of city activities. These employees were laid off only to be replaced by consultants. Many people question the wisdom of the decisions and recommendations being made to the council.
The latest snafu took place on Monday. Mayor Gayle Washburn called the City Attorney’s office. She basically banned the City Attorney from attending City Meetings. That is why Steve Lee is here tonight. Her justification for taking such egregious action has something to do with his relationship with a former city employee. It’s 2012 folks, an individual’s personal life is none of your business. At the last council meeting viewers observed the City Attorney correct a misstatement by the City Manager. That is the job of the City Attorney.
The public deserves to know what makes you think you can do such things? Besides the City Manager, you Mayor must have had other council members support before you took such action. Regardless of what the Mayor says she has overstepped the limits of her position.
I say the actions taken by the Mayor are simply flat out wrong. This action shows terrible judgment and appears to be nothing more than a personal vendetta being executed. The city owes Mr. Schneider and his firm an apology for the improper actions taken.
Respectfully,
Steve Conaway

 

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Letters to the Editor
May 31, 2012

To the Editor:
Re: Council Members Brooks, Sipes and Gonzales decision
Dear Editor,
As a tax payer and voting citizen of Fillmore I am concerned by the decision of Council members Brooks, Sipes and Gonzales. To continue spending tax payer dollars on a dead end lawsuit hurts the city. The city has already spent $250,000.00 dollars to defend its actions against the owners of El Dorado and what has that gained the city?
At every meeting we hear that the city no longer has discretionary money. The economy has had an impact on the city. The State dissolving of the Redevelopment Agency and transferring money from the city has also harmed the city. So at this difficult time why instigate another legal fight? The city can no longer afford to pay for these frivolous decisions. Part of the responsibility of the City Council is to make difficult decisions that will benifit the entire community, we would all like for the city to have the discrecionary funds to fight bully's, but in our current financial situation can we afford these battles. The question is if we do what is the cost to the rest of the community? in other words what service will have to be cut to pay for this lawsuit, fire, police or the like.
This being an election year it’s apparent that Mr. Brooks is trying to buy support with his vote. Mr. Sipes stated, “I have a fiduciary duty to protect the city”, he then contradicted himself and cast a fiscally irresponsible vote which harms the entire city. Mr. Gonzalez acknowledged that the city doesn’t have money to pay for the lawsuit. He acknowledges that he doesn’t know where to get the money, other than a bake sale. He said he will not be bullied and for that reason he voted to spend hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars which the city doesn’t have. (remember if the city looses the lawsuit we get to pay for the apposing sides attorneys fees on top of our own incurred fees) Mr. Gonzalez is new to the council and perhaps didn’t understand the ramifications of his decisions, or he accepted bad advice on the issue. All three Council Members need to conduct business for the greater good of the city, while we still have a city. I hope Mr. Gonzales knows how to bake. That’s a skill the city will need if better decisions aren’t made.
Douglas Tucker, a concerned citizen

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To the Editor:
Re: Pride In America Day
Pride In America Day was celebrated at Fillmore Middle School on Friday, May 25. For eighteen years, students have demonstrated their patriotism and pride in our country with a day devoted to patriotic music, dance, inspirational messages and a moving tribute to our local veterans. The day ends with an American style picnic and games. For the past several years, science teacher Laurie Merrill has organized this special day and inspired students to make it better each year. I know that this requires hundreds of unpaid hours to accomplish. The veterans and community members who attended the assembly and lunch were enormously impressed with the students Mrs. Merrill had trained. There were many comments about their respectfulness and politeness. The veterans were especially impressed with how many students shook their hands and thanked them for their service.
As a former teacher, I have always been impressed with Mrs. Merrill. Among science teachers, she is the best of the best. Fillmore is truly blessed to have her. I have great appreciation for her dedication to making Pride In America Day so meaningful. Thank you, Mrs. Merrill for all that you do for the young people of our community. We are so fortunate to have you.

 
Letters to the Editor
May 23, 2011

To the Editor:
The visual blight of large trucks and semi-trailers on Highway 126 and on neighborhood streets, in violation of local ordinances, continues to distress me. Our town looks more like an industrial parking zone, with the intersection of Central Avenue and Highway 126 being quite unattractive, hardly enticing to out-of-town visitors. It's depressed and depressing. And Fillmore could be making money as well as improving its "look". Create a truck parking area somewhere on a city property. Charge an overnight fee. Use shuttles to transport truckers into town for meals and shelter. As for the "entrance" to Fillmore, perhaps some entrepreneur can develop an idea to improve the area.
Another issue for me is the Southern California Edison Plan to convert to Smart Meters. I'm not yet sure what to believe about any potential threat to the community's health and safety. What I do very much resent is the typical company speak I heard at a recent City Council meeting where an Edison representative dismissed any and all local concerns with a disdainful attitude that implied that anyone in disagreement or opposition is simply stupid. An arrogant statement was then made that people could "opt out" - for a hefty charge and monthly fee of course; this because of the "added labor" to have someone continue to read meters. What has the power company been doing forever anyway? To me, this is a thinly disguised plan to reduce the labor force of Edison, thus increasing profits. Employees as well as customers have absolutely no influence on this matter.
Finally, as a resident of El Dorado Estates, I appreciate the moral stance of members of the Fillmore City Council to help in our legal dispute regarding condo conversion. But, I also regret the enormous financial burden this places on all residents of Fillmore. Why is it that, when Fillmore prevailed in several litigations against El Dorado's owner Nancy Watkins and her corporation, our town gets stuck for the entire bill? Seems grossly unfair to me.
Thanks for reading. Any thoughts?
Christopher J. Hoy
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
May 10, 2012

To the Editor:
Last night, the city’s council voted to reject the El Dorado Park Owners settlement offer and directed the staff to apply the current regulations that normally are imposed for any other project that may be requested in the city.
As we all know, for several years the owners of El Dorado Park have been accusing the city of demanding a CEQA study for their project to change the park status from a “senior park” to a “family/condominium park”, with the intent of preventing the change. On the other hand the city’s position has never questioned the authority of the park owners to make whatever changes they wish to make but, under the federal and state regulations, we must request an environmental study to see the impact of the change, this study is known as CEQA.
Throughout the years the park owners have filed lawsuit over lawsuit regarding this matter, and every single time the city has faught and won these lawsuits in court but with a huge legal cost.
On Tuesday, before the council’s meeting, the park’s attorney contacted the city’s attorney with a huge warning saying that if the council did not approve and accept the settlement offer, they would promise a long and painful legal road for the city. Unfortunately, this is not new. Throughout this process the parks attorney has threatened, pointed, fingers to the council, demanding special treatment and even tried bullying and intimidating the council so that their wish is approved. (Last night the park owners sent a court reporter into the meeting to record word by word who and what was said regarding this issue. A very classic intimidating technique).
The issue is very simple, for the last 3 years the city has invested about $360,000.00 in legal fees regarding this matter. The reality is that the city does not have the money to pay the estimated amount of $500,00.00 to $600,000.00 more to defend ourselves. So the obvious questions are: 1) Does the council have the courage to not allow to be bullied out? 2) Can the council do what is right regardless of the cost?
In spite of all this, the council voted 3-2 not to accept the settlement and to require for this project the same that we would require from any other senior project. In other words, the city will no longer allow to be bullied into accepting an unfair deal and decided to do what is right.
Unfortunately, in just a few days the council will seek to create the 2012-2013 budget, and our decision not to accept the parks settlement will affect the bottom line on a already dark budget process that we come into with an estimated deficit of between 2 - 2.5 million dollars. And, once again, the question is how are we going to get this money? I just don’t know. I am pretty sure that people are making fun of my statement last night when I said “we must start doing some bake sales to help pay for the legal fees”. But, what I know is that we have to make the right decision and the council had the courage to do so.
Whether it is the access to the gate for the running track, the pool, the park or the budget process, something I know is that the people of Fillmore are willing to stand beside what is right and I have no question in my mind that “together, we will find a way”.
A. Edwardo Gonzalez
Fillmore City Council Member

 
Letters to the Editor
April 26, 2012

To The Editor:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who contributed to the success of Fillmore High School's fourteenth annual arts show “Let Your Imagination Fly”. It takes a lot of people and a lot of hard work, dedication and talent to coordinate an event such as this. Thank you to Fillmore Ebell Club, Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club, Soroptomist International of Fillmore, Fillmore Noontime Rotary Club and Fillmore High School ASB for your donations which help to make this event possible. Thank you to Lucy Quezada-Romero for your donations and for being a patron of this event. Thank you to the Administration at Fillmore High School for your ongoing commitment to this event, and to Principal John Wilber who has seen to it that we get what we need to keep the show going year after year… To the staff and teachers at FHS who supported the student’s efforts and allowed students to take part in hanging the show…To the custodial staff - Baldo, and Johnny -thanks for helping with breaking down the show. Special thanks to Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band and the Fillmore High School Jazz Band who played at the event- the musical concert helped to make the evening a resounding success… To Mary Ellen Wortham and FHS photo department and Mr. Henry Beltran and the woodshop classes for your artwork. … To Josh Overton, the drama department and the poetry club for their outstanding performances. Thank you to the parents and the community who attended the show and helped to make this a special night for the students. Last, but not least, to all the student artists, photographers, actors, poets, and musicians who put in numerous hours preparing for this event, hosting and cleaning up after a long day and night- especially my Art students and former students who came back to help- thank you- without you there couldn't be a show. I am very proud of all of you.
Rosalind Mitzenmacher
Fillmore High School Art Department

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To the Editor:
Grad Nite Live's GIANT YARD SALE was a success and wants to thank everyone that worked on it and the many buyers. We also want to thank the Fillmore School District for the use of the "lawn" in front of District Office. It was a beautiful day and everyone was in a happy mode , even the ones that had to be there at 6AM. Thanks again and see you next year.
GNL Committee

 
Letters to the Editor
April 19, 2012

To the Editor:
A sincere "thank you" for creating and maintaining the Fillmore Historical Museum. Because of this wonderful museum, we were able to take my Dad, Jim Fortner, on an unforgettable trip down memory lane for his 87th birthday. Although his family moved to San Diego over 70 years ago, he remembers his childhood in Fillmore with nonstop smiles and fond stories.
This visit was also made possible thanks to the email correspondence of Martha Gentry of the Fillmore Historical Museum and the amazing tour given to us by Susan Cuttriss. Susan graciously welcomed us to the museum and then proceeded to share items that triggered sentimental memories for my Dad. Through pictures, memorabilia, yearbooks and her own knowledge, Susan was able to transport my Dad to his days in Fillmore as she helped him to recall childhood friends, teachers, community members, marching in the school band, his days on the football field. This trip down memory lane was better than any travel in the world!
"Thank you" to everyone who made this experience possible.
Sincerely,
Susan Ferguson

 
Letters to the Editor
March 29, 2012

To the Editor:
A heart felt THANK YOU to each of you for the wonderful support of my projects through the years and attending the community dinner last week to honor me with a Lifetime Achievement Award! If the purpose was to “make me feel good,” then you certainly accomplished that. I appreciate the help you all have given to me over the past 60 years. I still think Fillmore is a great little town when we work together.
Marie Wren
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
March 22, 2012

To the Editor:
Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers are pleased to announce that the necessary funds for the much awaited access gate to the High School track have been raised thanks to many members of our community.
Grateful thanks go to the following individuals. Service Clubs and corporate members of our community who made this possible: Joan Anne Archer, Cindy Blatt, Tim Hagel, Mary Joanne Arnold, Marge LeBard, Shirley Spitler Don and Ruth Gunderson, Steve Conaway, John Scoles, Eduardo Gonzales, Fillmore Soroptimist Club, Fillmore Lions Club, Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers, Cops Running for Charity, Fillmore Riverview, LLC, and Ladera Fruit Co.
The combined contributions of this group match the latest invoice price of the gate, $7810.
These funds will be presented to the City Council in the very near future.
Sincerely,
Don Gunderson, Treasurer
Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers

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To the Editor:
Spring is almost here and we are getting our fundraisers ready for the Class of 2012 . We are asking for your help to meet our $21,500 for 270 of the eligible students of the Class of 2012 These students are all asked to help us with our fundraising and they will get points toward their $100 ticket. If they don't participate they will be expected to pay $100 for their ticket.. This is a controlled environment on the bus and on the boat, no drugs, no alcohol or cigarettes, but they still have fun and a memorable celebration..
Our first fundraiser was Marie Callender's Thanksgiving Pie Sale, which netted Grad Nite Live $6,000 . The class sold 1373 pies this year Super A Market wants to help by offering an 8 inch Tri-Tip sandwich, chips and a soda for $10.00 Saturday and Sunday's only starting in March. The Yard Sale Event will be April 21st in front of Fillmore District Office.. We have our Storage Containers for our Yard Sale Stuff at the Orange Grove Ave . Bella's Sunday Tea Tasting Event will be May 6th the Sunday before Mother's Day. The May Festival event is in the planning stages with the Chamber of Commerce. So the students and the Grad Nite Live Committees will be busy getting our necessary funds together.
We will embark at 12 Midnight on the "Endless Dreams" at Long Beach Rainbow Harbor for the 4 hour 'no alcohol, no drugs, no cigarettes' Harbor Cruise party. As always they will dine at the buffet of Italian Cuisine, dance to a DJ and be entertained by the Roving Magician and 4 Blackjack Tables. There will be a "Senior Gift" drawing just before we dock at 4am, June 8th. The students will board the buses to return to Fillmore at 6AM. A Continental Breakfast will be ready when they arrive home and then they go on to enjoy the rest of their lives, safe and sound.
We want you to know how much we appreciate your help in the past years and because of the efforts of so many we are all winners. We are grateful for whatever you can give. Many thanks
Sincerely,
Grad Nite Live ID#77-0387405
Raelene Chaney, President
April Hastings, Vice President
Sean Hastings, 2nd Vice President
Terry Metzler, Secretary
Scott Lee, Treasure

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To the Editor:
After a very successful Casino Night fundraiser held on St. Patrick’s Day, Fillmore Athletic Booster Club would like to acknowledge our appreciation to the people and businesses that helped make this event a success. One hundred percent of our profit, estimated to be around $9,000.00, will be donated to the Athletic Department at Fillmore High School in an effort to offset some of the financial strain they are currently experiencing. Our casino table sponsors for the evening were as follows:
Wise Ranch, McLain Construction, David and Susan Dollar, Citrus Harvesting, Tlaquepaque Restaurant, Rock-It Transport, Weatherford, Doby Hagar, M.G. Taylor Equipment, Dr. Mike Tushla, Cielo Meza, A & L Educational Services, Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Super Seal & Stripe and Memory of Hank Carrillo (Mary Lou Carrillo).
The donations we received, either in raffle prizes or volunteering time, helped ensure the success that we had hoped to achieve for our athletes at Fillmore High School. A very sincere thank you to the following people and businesses:
El Pescador, Elkins Ranch, Soule Park, Dale Crockett, Limoneira, Ay Chihuahua, Ojai Spa, Edison’s Up In Arms, Attractions Spa, Gloria Cardona, Laurie Hernandez, Camilla Conaway, Julie Medina, Rhonda Brockus, Super A, Vons, Bailey and Sherrie Glenn, Matt & Megan Van Why, KSSP Photographic Studio, Bella’s Teas & Treats, Dominos Pizza, La Michoacana Bakery, David Coert, R Promotions, Ari Larson, Saticoy Lemon, Gold Sales West, Frito Lay, Andy Aguirre, That’s Cherry, Louie and Nettie Farrar, FHS Athletic Department, John Wilber, Matt Suttle, Steve McKeown and crew, Central Station, Somers Ranches and Santa Clara Valley Bank.
A special thank you to our dealers who graciously volunteered their time: Keith Gurrola, RJ Stump, Bob Gradias, Amy Rangel, Maria Rangel, Mike Pagan, Charlie Hawk, Eric Vigil, Joe Aguirre, Anthony Gurrola, and Ari Lenett. Thank you to Joey Ortiz who, for the second year, donated his DJ talent.
We would also like to thank Wm. L. Morris Chevrolet for their donation of a 5 day Chevy Volt rental, Joe Ricards and Fillmore FFA for their assistance. A huge thank you to Piru Petroleum Club for making this event possible and to the FHS coaches who worked hard selling tickets!
Our organization works to raise money so that we can financially assist every sport offered at Fillmore High School. We meet the first Monday of every month in the student store at Fillmore High School at 6:30 p.m. We would love to have you join us with your energy and ideas!
Thank you again for your participation! It is great to see our community come together for such a worthy cause! Congratulations to Lucy Rangel who won the 5 day Chevy Volt rental and Curt Farrar who won the 42” T.V.!
Fillmore Athletic Booster Club Board Members

 
Letters to the Editor
March 15, 2012

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in regards to last week’s letter.
I am sure I ruffled a few feathers but I felt that if I did not stand up for something so dear to my heart that it would mean that I did not care. Many of us in the community have passions that we want our kids to have the opportunity to experience. It could be music/ the arts (my personal favorite), athletics, farming, science, what ever it is we would like these to be part of our individual famlies lives. I have been told that the J.V athletics has already received notification that they may be next on the chopping block. Wow, you know if athletics really is up for cuts then things are bad.
I think that instead of just complaining, I think that we the city of Fillmore should do some thing about it. First let your voice be heard for your individual cause, and then be ready and willing to help. How can we do this? Volunteer often and not just the same people who do it all the time. Every one. If we all work together we can get thru this hard time. I would ask the district to help all who want to help by making it easer to do so. How? May be make it easer to voleenteer, find a way to help with the cost of finger printing so families can help teachers in the classrooms and on campus. Be open to new, unusual and difficult ideas that could help our schools. Many people in our community have been on one side or the other of the job cutting table and may be their ideas of what worked or didn’t work could help us (you). May be having a suggestion box for such ideas and feed back. In the past I worked retail and as hard as it is, feed back is necessary if you want support. I think getting feed back from not only adults but the students them selves. They are the one being directly affected on such matters. One suggestion that was suggested to me was how about the district takes half day Fridays off. Now I believe that this would cause a bit of hardship on the sites that remained open, but what if…all the school sites took half day off as well as the district. Many schools have late start or early release one day of the week; we could have them on the same day. This could possibly help parents who need day care by having older siblings take care of younger siblings. It would also mean….extra hours in the weekend. I think it is a possible win, win for every one. Citizens we need to help all these efforts, support the cause of your heart by buying just one of what ever they are selling, donated goods, support by volunteering. To those of you who already do this, Thank You!! If we lose valuable activities it will affect our town. People will move their kids to other schools, they may move the entire family, business will lose business, and houses will sit empty.
Working together and being willing to sacrifice together will make us stronger.
Sincerely
Kathy Pace

To the Editor:
It is a shame the Gazette editor failed to appear at the 3-6 council meeting. He would have received the hand-out which counters some of his comments in his 3-7 editorial.
For instance, he states, “That contract remains valid and enforceable, and was determined to be so when the city’s demur was upheld in court.” According to City Attorney, Ted Schneider, the City won on its demur, but Livermore & Industry appealed and the appellate court overturned the ruling and has sent the matter back to the trial court. Mr. did indicated he felt the complaint was moot on various issues; it is not a done deal by no means.
The editor is correct that “An agreement has been reached between the Board of Equalization staff and attorneys have agreed that from 2009 forward, sales tax generated by O&M belongs to Fillmore,” this matter has been appealed and is to be presented to the Board of the BOE who will make the final decision. It is not anticipated to be heard until sometime in 2013.
The Board denied Fillmore’s allocation of Burbank’s sales tax and the City was able to enter into an agreement with the BOE to repay the $645,000 we received in equal payments over a two-year period.
The City is not receiving sales tax dollars from the BOE. The BOE determined they “overpaid” us sometime back. They let our finance department know how much sales tax is earned every quarter from those businesses that are not in dispute - Rite Aid, Vons, etc. and we deduct that amount from the overpayment. Currently, that is about $680,000 a year or $170,000 quarter. I do not know the balance in that account. If it gets to zero, it is possible the City won’t receive any sales tax from the BOE until these 7 cases are completed.
At the meeting it was announced the City’s legal fees are approximately $550,000. Yes, if the City prevails in the Owens & Minor issue there could be an annual increase of the sales tax revenue of $700,000. This would continue until the agreements expire, are terminated, or Owens & Minor determine they no longer desire a sales office in Fillmore.
Time will only tell, and financially, Fillmore has very little of that.
Patti Walker

 
Letters to the Editor
March 8, 2012

To the Editor:
How Sad, How Truly Sad
Re: FUSD Board Meeting March 1, 2012
How sad. How truly sad. The Fillmore Unified School District should be ashamed and embarrassed at the way business is being conducted. An “emergency meeting” to adopt new graduation requirements and eliminate the health class was originally hastily scheduled for the week of spring break. The meeting had to be rescheduled after the Ventura County District Attorney, concerned about violations to the Brown Act, demanded proper notification. The meeting took place on March 1 after having been rescheduled again from February 28. Due to a prior commitment, I was only able to attend the first hour of the meeting. I had hoped to speak before the Board but the contrived rescheduling of the agenda made that impossible for me and for many others who were not able to stay.
It was obvious that the administrators and Board members did not want to hear the opinions of the FUSD staff or community members. What was the motivation to cancel such a vital class that is blessed at Fillmore High School with an excellent teacher? To me, the eliminating of the health class was a thinly veiled attempt to eliminate the teacher who had the audacity to disagree with the District while serving as the teacher union president and who had the courage to express what she thought. When did courage become a punishable offense at Fillmore Unified? It wasn’t always this way.
I hope the courage of the young teacher who spoke at the start of the meeting won’t be severely punished. With a small child clinging to her, she politely requested the Board to examine the full-page lesson template that teachers are required to complete for each lesson. She said that the time it takes to do these, complete with the code for the California State Standard addressed, is excessive and detracted from her classroom effectiveness. As a retired teacher, I know her statement to be accurate. Writing copious lesson plans does not make one a better teacher, just a stressed and very tired one. And, who reads these? Principals have an enormous workload. Does the District expect them to read all of them? It would be an impossible task. It is my understanding that later in the meeting, the Superintendent admonished this brave teacher and called her a “whiner”. Yes, courage is a punishable offense. How unprofessional, how rude of the superintendent to punish her so publicly. How sad. How truly sad.
While still in attendance, I watched a group of middle school students reading prepared statements. I taught middle school for many years. Nothing would convince me that these students were not prompted. While teaching at Fillmore Middle School, I wrote a reading grant that was accepted and renewed by the State for three years. With an excellent teacher-coach, who is still in the District, our program was changed and our API scores increased over 100 points in two years. Our success prompted the State Department of Education to visit and inquire what we were doing to achieve such amazing results. Teachers and principals from other schools visited and observed classes. In 2000, Fillmore Middle School was a California Model Middle School. What happened? A Fillmore District assistant superintendent (who thankfully is no longer here) demanded a program change, and dismantled the program that had given our students this success. Scores began to go down. At the beginning of this year with the middle school in Program Improvement, teachers were told by the District administrators that they had failed. NO! Teachers did not fail! District administrators failed! Now, they are the ones telling teachers what and how to teach. As if they knew. How sad.
The teachers and staff have given up a great deal. Ten furlough days were added this year. Health insurance has become very costly. A friend who retired from FUSD many years ago and who has retained health insurance through the District told me that prior to this year her co-pay for medications was $75 per quarter. It is now over $3,000. The video of a November Board meeting featured a concerned community member addressing the health insurance issue and possible indiscretions. I don’t think they listened. The District should not be surprised if the State Insurance Commissioner sees the necessity to address it. How sad.
The Board and District administrators speak often of how all stakeholders –parents, staff, students, and the community- must always be involved in all school changes. Where is their involvement with our current situation? The District administrators often tell us how much they care about the students. Do they? We hear the phrase that something must be done about the Program Improvement problem. The best thing that can be done for our students is for the District administrators to listen to the stakeholders. Really listen. Sadly, the contrived repositioning of agenda items on March 1 is proof that this is not what they intend to do. All involve suffer as a result. As a resident of Fillmore, I see many teachers and staff members at various meetings and shopping around town. I hear the same lament over and over. They do not dare speak up about anything for fear of punishment or being fired. They are the ones who know how to improve the education of our young people. They don’t dare speak up. How sad. How truly sad.
In the end, it is the students who will suffer the most. How sad. How truly sad.
Mary Ford, retired FUSD teacher

***

To the Editor:
Dear FUSD Board Members,
I feel that I needed to let you know how disappointed I was at your decision to eliminating the Elementary band program. You all have heard of the benefits that music education has on our students and that MOST of them are you Gate, Honors and AP students at all your schools. Many of the H.S. students that are your top students were once enrolled in elementary school band. There is a reason they are excelling, MUSIC. I personally have four students in the District schools and all have had music/band instruction. They all do well in their academic classes and find joy and excitement in their music classes. In doing cuts to music you will have students that don’t enjoy coming to school for ANY reason, and you will have taken away their opportunity to be a better student. I understand that you need to cut spending to have money for the schools, but I have noticed that the cuts have come to the certificated and no-certificated staff but I have not seen any come form the District office itself on this last go around. I feel that if you are going to have to do cuts then you need to do them all around, District office included. I understand that you may need to make more cuts and if you do, DO NOT cut the Band Program again as Mrs. De La Pedra mentioned you would do to the middle school next. I believe you should next make cuts to athletics since it is such a big expense on our District, as one of you stated at last Thursday’s meeting. As a band booster member I can say that we have tried to make the band program a minimal cost to the District and will continue to do so. I am in hopes that you will reconsider this cut as it will hurt MANY students(250 elementary ,200 M.S and 60 H.S. more but scheduling won’t allow. 510 total), I understand that you have until May to make things final and I would love to help you in any way keep this program alive. I fear that once it is gone we will never get it back.
Kathy Pace

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To the Editor:
At the end of the day on Monday, March 5, $4,080 had been raised for the FHS Stadium Track access gate.
Fillmore Sun Risers Rotary has committed $2,000 and will match the $1,040 contributed by local individuals and a business which gets us two-thirds of the way to our goal of $6,000.
Thank you and well done to those contributors.
Don Gunderson
Treasurer
Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers

 
Letters to the Editor
February 29, 2012

To the Editor:
At last the pieces are coming together on an action plan for the installation of a gate to control access to the Fillmore High Stadium track for community members to again use the track for leisure runs.
Oh, there’s just one catch – MONEY! The quote for a gate installed acceptable to the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) is currently $7,810. Our local government bodies do not have thee discretionary funds to pay this. Knowing that there are always unexpected things that occur during installation, let’s plan on needing a few dollars more. Let’s make the estimate $8,000. The City of Fillmore (City) has indicated a willingness to pay 25% or about $2,000.
Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers will do the following to get this project completed without further delay. Sun Risers Rotary (Rotary) will donate $2,000 for this project. In addition Rotary challenges local service clubs, businesses and individuals to contribute to this project. Rotary will provide another $2,000 in the form of a challenge to the community. Rotary will contribute another dollar for every dollar contributed by the community. Rotary will pay up to $4,000 if the community will join together and contribute $2,000.
As this is being written, two individuals have already each promised a $100 donation. Before we’ve even started we have $2,400 promised.
Contributions may be mailed to Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers, P.O. Box 882, Fillmore, CA 93016. Each will be acknowledged.
Weekly progress reports will be published in this newspaper.
Don Gunderson
Treasurer, Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers

 
Letters to the Editor
02/23/12

To the Editor:
At last the pieces are coming together on an action plan for the installation of a gate to control access to the Fillmore High Stadium track for community members to again use the track for leisure runs.
Oh, there’s just one catch – MONEY! The quote for a gate installed acceptable to the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) is currently $7,810. Our local government bodies do not have thee discretionary funds to pay this. Knowing that there are always unexpected things that occur during installation, let’s plan on needing a few dollars more. Let’s make the estimate $8,000. The City of Fillmore (City) has indicated a willingness to pay 25% or about $2,000.
Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers will do the following to get this project completed without further delay. Sun Risers Rotary (Rotary) will donate $2,000 for this project. In addition Rotary challenges local service clubs, businesses and individuals to contribute to this project. Rotary will provide another $2,000 in the form of a challenge to the community. Rotary will contribute another dollar for every dollar contributed by the community. Rotary will pay up to $4,000 if the community will join together and contribute $2,000.
As this is being written, two individuals have already each promised a $100 donation. Before we’ve even started we have $2,400 promised.
Contributions may be mailed to Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers, P.O. Box 882, Fillmore, CA 93016. Each will be acknowledged.
Weekly progress reports will be published in this newspaper.
Don Gunderson
Treasurer, Fillmore Rotary Sun Risers

 
Letters to the Editor
February 23, 2012

To the Editor:
Re: VC Star article/column dated 2-15-2012 - Fillmore council approves paying.....by Anne Kallas
In paragraph 9 of the referenced column, where Anne Kallas quoted Mayor Washburn about the funding of the Senior Center doors, the Mayor was wrong again. The Ebell Club became aware of the lack of funding for automatic doors at the Senior Center in April. After many attempts by Annette Cardona, City facilities supervisor, to obtain grants, a final grant, which was finally created, was cancelled by Governor Brown who also cancelled many other pending grants. Many of the Ebell members are also involved in the Senior Center and were upset with this news. Ebell member Marlene Schreffler contacted Ms Cardona of the city to find out the particulars. Marlene then took the matter of the doors to the board and membership of the Ebell Club about possibly having the Club donate the $9000.00 (a significant sum both to the Club and supposedly to the City) required to buy and install the doors. The City and Senior Center were both notified that the money would be available at the Club's May Luncheon meeting. The doors were bought immediately and installed in July. Mayor Washburn presented a proclamation of thanks to the Club at the September 13 council meeting. This is documented in the Fillmore Gazette paper dated September 15, 2011 and the picture of Mayor Washburn, Donna Volker, president of Senior Center, and Fay Swanson president of Ebell Club is in The Sespe Sun dated September 13th, 2011. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony and plaque acknowledgement on November 14th. The Sespe Sun ran a picture of the ceremony with many of the Senior Center people and Ebell Club people in attendance. Contrary to the information supposedly supplied by the Mayor, the only cookies or bake sale involved in the accomplishment of obtaining and installing of these door was a short party after the ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the Senior Center.
Transmittal of misinformation such as in this case has extremely upset many of the hardworking and benevolent ladies of both the Ebell Club (donor) and the Senior Center (recipient). It is too bad the Mayor
cannot remember what she says and does and very sad that NO ONE on the City Council or the City Manager realized her mistake and took the initiative to correct this Mayor. The Mayor and Council need to publicly apologize to the Ebell Club for their mistake(s).
Thank you
Marlene Schreffler
2nd VP Ebell Club

To the Editor:
At their meeting on February 14, the City Council voted 4-1 to fund the public access gate at the Fillmore High School track and to seek reimbursement for the approximately $8,000 in construction costs. Those of us who will utilize the track, and those who have had to live with us without it, are very appreciative of this action. I would particularly like to commend councilmember Eduardo Gonzalez, whose recent presence on the city council made a significant difference to this decision and councilmember Steve Conaway who has been in the trenches on the issue for years. Thanks, too, to councilmembers Sipes and Brooks for their support. We are also grateful to the Parks and Rec Commission for keeping the issue alive. We appreciate the cooperation of the Fillmore Unified School District Board. We recognize that funding is tight and that there are many worthy causes. You have done something good for the health of this community and, indeed, have restored the faith of many that the concept of “community” is alive and well in Fillmore.
Initially, there will be a $25 per person per year charge for this use, payable to the City of Fillmore, to be adjusted to actual costs based upon the number of subscribers. This is because gate maintenance and insurance are required and the City feels it cannot commit to covering these charges under present financial constraints. Please see the City of Fillmore website (www.fillmoreca.com) for participation details or contact Annette Cardona at the City (524-3701) if you are interested in participation or contributing to the costs of the gate. Several community groups have offered to participate in the funding of the gate construction, and we are so grateful for their generosity and community spirit. Thanks to all of you who supported this effort through the years, those who lately joined the cause, and those who were there when a demonstration of community interest was needed.
No excuses, now. Get out that running and aerobic walking gear and start your stretching program. See you soon, on the track.
John Scoles
Joan Archer

To the Editor:
Re: Donation from Fillmore Women’s Service Club for Pride In America
The Fillmore Women’s Service Club has made a donation of $250 to the Science/Pride In America Club at Fillmore Middle School to support their Pride In America celebration that is held every year just before Memorial Day weekend. Pride In America Day is entirely devoted to celebrating America with the whole school participating. The day begins with students focusing on important aspects of America’s history and traditions in their classrooms. The students then attend an assembly that is opened with a formal posting of colors by a military honor guard and includes a tribute to veterans. It is followed by an American style picnic. Fillmore Middle School is proud to have inspired thousands of students to be patriotic Americans because of this special program. Mrs. Merrill, the advisor for the Science/Pride in America Club, was very excited to learn of the donation from the Women’s Service Club and intends to use some of the money for decorations that can be used for several years. Pride In America Day is planned by Mrs. Merrill and her students who learn valuable leadership skills in doing so. The public is always welcome to join the Fillmore Middle School students for this special day.
Mary Ford
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 9, 2012

To the Editor:
(Re: comments made at Town Hall Meeting re: track gate/pool and Mr. Farrell’s editorial - 01/25/12)
Pitting one recreational activity against another is a poor idea, especially in a community like Fillmore where recreational opportunities are very limited for all and especially adults and young adults. Ms. Archer seems to be cutting her nose off to spite her face. She calls for the City to get rid of the Lap Swim program but at this point that is her ONLY access to the FHS track. Ms. Archer stated that only 14-16 people participate in lap swim annually. She is so far off it is laughable. Had she bothered to talk to the people who actually work at the pool she would be much better informed. She stated that she has a petition the 150 signed (Mr. Farrell writes “hundreds of potential track users signed-up.”) She never stated how many runners have actually paid the $25 to the City Runner’s Club. The City’s budget shows that only 6 runners paid in 2009 and 2010. As of March 31, 2011 only 6 runners again had paid. If Ms. Archer will look more closely at the Pool Budget she will notice that there is a line item that reads Runners Club” which is running in deficit adding to the overall pool deficit. The City pays for pool manager and lifeguards to run the lap swim programs AND to open the gates for the runners and be available in case of emergency. The runners pay $25 per year. Lap swimmers pay $4.00 every entry (or $3.50 if they buy a Splash in advance). Some lap swimmers are very consistent and purchase Splash passes over and over. Some lap swimmers are only occasion visitors, some purchase a Splash pass and some just pay cash.
I believe that our Community needs recreational opportunities for all, young and old. That is why I helped fight to get a pool back in Fillmore. That is why I will go out and raise money for the FHS runners track gate.
Yes, the pool is in deficit. I complained bitterly over and over in the fall of 2010 when the City decided the close the pool. There was and is NO oversight by City administration/staff of the expenses/revenues at the pool. The pool fund had two years of parcel tax funds in reserve before the pool was even open. That money was burned through because NOBODY was watching. Why was $8,000 spent on pool office furniture? In the fall of 2009, pool managers who had aquatic experience designed a program that cut down staff and hours for fall/winter. The Deputy City Manager at the time and the Community Services Director INSISTED that the pool be open seven (7) days per week in the fall/early winter. Really stupid!! and a big waste of money. I did not have access to any of the Revenue & Expense information until summer of 2010 when they started talking about closing the pool and I started asking to see the print outs..
Revenue was poor for several reasons - one being the fact that the pool had to be closed OFTEN because the chemicals. After pool staff/managers and patrons complained over and over and over to the Community Services Director and the City Manager, the City finally brought in an outside "pool guy". He is the one who discovered the leak. The City pooh-poohed the leak but I can show you the report from the leak detection company who called the leak "major". The report is public record. Once the chemical situation was straightened out, the pool was opened on a consistent basis and people could depend on it being open. Last summer was a very good summer for the pool. Many days the number of people coming to Rec swim was over 100. Friday night Family night and once a month Friday night Teen nights were successful and gaining in popularity. ALL of the pool programs were gaining in numbers.
The pool deficit can be fixed but unfortunately City Hall does not have the knowledge, experience or desire to accomplish this. Notice that I said City Hall. I am not talking about the pool staff who has always worked hard to provide great pool programs even with their hands tied by City Hall.
Cindy Blatt
Fillmore

 
Letters to the Editor
February 1, 2012

To the Editor:
The students, staff, and families at Sespe School would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the Fillmore Lions Club for their generous $500 Gift Card donation to our school. In these tough times for education, we greatly appreciate when community members or organizations help us out. Thank you Fillmore Lions for your generosity!
Sincerely,
The Students, Staff, and Families at Sespe School

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To the Editor:
The current City Council has repeatedly stated that they are committed to openness and transparency in government. Do their actions square to their words?
1) 3 Planning Commissioners resigned due to the City Council’s disregard for due process and usurping their authority. Who doesn’t recall the Council zeal to appeal a Planning Commission’s decision before the decision had even been made?
2) Walker resigned from the council on Dec. 13 2011. The June 28 2011 council minutes were approved by council on Dec 13, almost 6 months late. Ever wonder why? Could there be a better way to avoid more fallout than to let Walker be the focus of the night and not the “zeal to appeal” council fiasco minutes?
3) After Walker’s resignation the council was determining how to appoint another council member. One council member suggested that the public be able to speak at the upcoming meeting on the applicants. Mr. Brooks stated that he was not in favor of letting the public have a say in the matter. So much for wanting public input?
4) When the council was discussing how Sipe’s suggested Town Hall meeting was going to be conducted, Mr. Brooks again didn’t want to give the public an opportunity to address the council. Transparency and public input does not seem to be at the forefront of his agenda.
5) The Fillmore Gazette has been scolded for taking pictures at meetings. The Gazette has performed this service at meetings for over 20 years. No other council in Fillmore’s history scolded a newspaper for doing the same job, until this council. Is it because this council doesn’t want the public to know how they conduct business?
6) Recently, one council member asked for a review of the City Manager Employment contract. If a review was not conducted the contract automatically renews for another two years. This “open and transparent” council blocked public review of the contract. They’d rather just let it automatically renew in the dark of night than to conduct a public review in the daylight.
This city council is about their agenda and seems to have little interest in real transparency and public input, but you be the judge?
Douglas Tucker

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To the Editor:
Re: Last week's comments by Martin Farrell in "Realities" and Joan Archer at the City Council meeting regarding the Lap Swim Program at the Aquatic Center:
I am sorry that the City, School Board, and the Runners Club have not been able to resolve the issue of the access gate to the track. However, somehow the Lap Swim program, and even the entire Aquatic Center, is being blamed for this. Ms. Archer states that "Over the last three years the Aquatic Program has resulted in a deficiency of about $385,000." The article doesn't state the source of her figures, but I wonder how much of that amount, if correct, is due to the leak that was going on for over a year, as reported last April by the Gazette, resulting in the loss of thousands of gallons of water and additional chemicals needed to compensate for that loss?
Mr. Farrell states, "In terms of usage, it makes no sense to favor the pool over the track." The Aquatic Center is much more than just the Lap Swim program: There are swimming lessons in the summer, teaching an invaluable skill to those who might not be able to learn otherwise; the Swim Team holds practices there; it can be rented out for parties and special events, and there are summer evening "family nights" where the whole family can cool off and have fun together.
While it is true that there has been a relatively small core group of lap swimmers, we are a dedicated bunch who consider the program essential to our health and fitness. After waiting years for the Aquatic Center to be built, it is unthinkable to say that the solution to its financial issues is to just close the whole thing down. A detailed financial analysis of the entire Aquatic Center should be made, which will undoubtedly reveal areas where expenses can be cut and revenues increased. Maybe volunteers can help with tasks currently done by paid staff. An "Open House" might help to introduce the community to the Aquatic Center and explain what it has to offer. There may be grants that can be applied for to help with operating expenses.
The pool is scheduled to open next Monday, February 6. To help save on expenses, perhaps the opening of the pool should be delayed until it is closer to summer, say May 1. And when the pool does open, I invite everyone (including walkers and runners who can't use the track) to try the Lap Swim program, and to support the beautiful Aquatic Center which was meant for the whole Fillmore community to enjoy.
Marjie Bartels

 
Letters to the Editor
January 5, 2012

To the Editor:
At our first staff meeting of the year, the middle school staff had a depressing tongue-lashing from our new managers, whose first rule of inspiring and getting people energized to do a good job is … to berate and degrade them? These teachers have only been following the administrator's orders - orders of an endless stream of administrators whose failed ideas never succeed in raising our school's state test scores.
I tried asking these administrators right then the following, but they didn't want to answer any questions. They left it to me to ask others who might know, (our governor, state superintendent, representatives, newspapers, talk shows) why we are allowing our middle school students and teachers to be judged by faulty tests which are self-disqualifying in the following ways:
The tests are written at grade level - a level our kids can’t comprehend, so they can’t even understand the questions. Therefore we can't tell what they know subject-wise; we only can tell that they can't read, (which we already knew) while administrators get promoted and teachers get demeaned.
All three years of some subjects are tested only once, at the end of eighth grade. Could administrators pass this or any test on what they read three years ago? Three months ago? If not, how useful are these tests? No protest, no rally, not a letter on behalf of parents or students whom these administrators tell us “come first.” They evidently leave that to others.
For years I have asked administration why we don't just teach math and reading until the kids get caught up, (as they aren't able to access the rest until they do anyway) but have been told for years that “Sacramento wouldn't let us.” We are now told that “we don't care what Sacramento says anymore.” Then why are we still not focusing on math and reading, following the examples of districts like Santa Paula who are being continually thrown in our teacher's faces as examples of success?
The current policy of allowing students to be both sent to and sent out of the middle school while years behind in reading and math is not wise. Such policies are the result of faulty thinking, which not surprisingly also result in middle schools being designed with flat roofs with heavy air conditioners on top, so that roofs crack and leak every time it rains, causing saturated, (mold promoting?) tiles to crash down around the kids. Faulty structures, like faulty tests and policies are the result of faulty thinking. Blaming others, who just follow your orders, is much worse. The Bible promises wisdom to those who ask for it, and my parting prayer is that we renounce our pride and ask.
Richard Hood,
Retired teacher

 
Letters to the Editor
December 19, 2011

To the Editor
I was so outraged when I read the email below, forwarded to me by a friend, that I wanted the citizens of VC to be able to read it also. The citizens of VC should understand how their tax dollars are being "used" by the Camarillo Animal Shelter, (Ventura County Animal Services) in their treatment of homeless impounded dogs.
For additional information contact Linda Nelson directly at the email address at the very bottom of this article.
Joan Farber
Ventura (since 1993), CA.
(805) 659-5145

Email:
On November 4th, Tiny Loving Canines pulled a small demodex Chihuahua pup out of VCAS. I myself had not seen the dog in person, but I approved the pull sight unseen. The dog was transported from Camarillo by one of our volunteers and when I first saw the dog in person, I was beyond shocked --- the dog looked nothing like the impound photo and was now severely emaciated.
According to the medical records (attached), this dog weighed 3 pounds at impound on 10/24/11 - twelve days later when we got him, he weighed 2 pounds, 1 ounce. If you review the attached medical records, you will note that the respiratory distress was not notated until 11/4/11 - the day we pulled the dog out of VCAS. As serious as an URI or 'kennel cough', a bigger battle this dog had to overcome was severe malnutrition and loss of weight - not notated on the medical records.
Twelve days later, Rooney still could not stand up under his own power well, nor could he walk - please see the photos on a blog posting from November 16th here - http://tlc-doghouse.blogspot.com/2011/11/not-for-faint-of-heart.html
On November 22nd, Rooney stood up and walked on his own for the first time since we pulled him out of Camarillo - prior to that time he slept curled up in a ball in between the feedings every 3 hours, nebulizer treatments, skin treatments, etc. And on November 23rd, he walked to the kibble dish on his own for the first time and ate. Note the severe loss of muscle weight and tone in this dog still, despite all of the high quality nutrition and care given (he had gained 1/2 pound during the 19 days with TLC):
Unfortunately, in my opinion too much had happened to this pup's body - between being low in body weight and losing 1/3 of his body weight at VCAS during his 12 day stay there, the demodex, advanced upper respiratory illnesses - he passed away on Saturday, 11/26/11.
Why am I bringing Rooney's story to the Board of Supervisors?
Because I have LONG protested the low quality care that animals receive at VCAS. I could write a laundry's list of dogs we have pulled from there that receive minimal attention, no attention or attention detrimental to the health of the dog. This includes a dog we pulled about a month ago that was prescribed eye treatment by Dr. Koehner that was causing the dog's eye even more harm (and our vet described to us as a 'classic case of malpractice if the vet were in private practice!'). Our vet immediately switched medications - she may or may not lose her sight... we have yet to know if she will recover her sight from the misdiagnosis of Dr. Koehner.
On Friday we were called to take two dogs or they would be euthanized. We were told one dog had 'kennel cough' and we still agreed to take the dog. Looking at her records, she was given the DAPPL2 vaccine on 10/18, 11/1 and 11/17 (when she was spayed)... but NO vaccination for kennel cough.
Refusal to vaccinate for kennel cough at VCAS has LONG been a problem, especially in a facility that states it is always over its limit and is euthanizing for space. It has long been a misguided position of VCAS that they are limiting the amount of diseases by not allowing communal living.
Although many of us have complained about this policy of not vaccinating for kennel cough, we have also advocated for communal housing to lower the number of dogs being euthanzied. Now I understand the policy of pairing dogs died when Denise Callaway did, and so the numbers will once again continue to rise in euthanasia at VCAS.
In summary:
Rooney caught an URI in the VCAS medical ward - a place where there is no communal housing but should have extreme sterile conditions
Rooney also lost 1/3 of his weight in 12 days in the medical ward
Gracie, a dog in general population, is diagnosed with kennel cough, but has no signs of kennel cough after 3 days' observation
Gracie was going to be euthanized because of lack of space in a facility that once again is refusing to do communal housing because of a perceived kennel cough treat
Gracie received three vaccinations of DAPPL2 in less than a month, but NO bordetella vaccine at all - even the AVMA does not recommend re-vaccinating this close together
Someone, some where needs to address what goes on at VCAS and stop brushing this stuff under the carpet. If the county is going to pay for a full time veterinarian to be on staff, there needs to be one that abides by the code of "first do no harm".
When does the Ventura County Board of Supervisors step up and clean house at VCAS to stop this needless suffering and carnage, gross poor mismanagement and institute modern medical practices, efficient space management and improvement of the overall quality of this taxpayer funded facility????
Linda Nelson
Director -TLC
http://www.tinylovingcanines2.org