Letters to the Editor
July 18, 2018

To the Editor:
Regarding S. Mason’s July 5th Letter to the Editor.
To: S. Mason.
While you attempt to come off innocent, your comments convey and support racism and are not informative.
You talk all that papas about news media, or fake media, the constitution, elections, politicians, excessive taxes, school system....
You never mention the fraudulent acts surrounding the Russian collusion investigation and trumps campaign, or how about the heighten nuclear crisis in Asia?, what about the immigration issues?, or the recent government shutdown?, and the White House response to the Parkland student shooting?
We have a president so ill-informed about the nature of presidency, he’s so openly deceptive, so self-destructive, and so shameless in his abusive attacks on anyone against him it’s sad your blindness gets the best of you.
Trump is a pathological liar. Trumps behavior is malicious in nature and has caused a major increase in hate crimes across the US and beyond. Families torn apart literally. And immigrant children as young as the age of 3 left alone to act as their own attorney in immigration court proceedings.
And your upset that no major network to televised / covered trumps publicly message about Air Force one? And instead you attack a women socialist? […]
How can we celebrate Independence Day when the current president constantly opposes our judicial system, the constitution and our nation!!?!
This is what America has come to?
Abe Wilson,


Letters to the Editor
July 11, 2018

To the Editor:
This past week end has to the be worst, in terms of the temperature the City of Fillmore has lived through.
On July 6, our Mayor Manuel Minjares posted cooling centers our City could use and stay safe and comfortable. That by itself was an outstanding leadership event.
Thank You Mayor.
It was most certainly needed. The El Dorado Mobil home park had a major power outage when the main electrical power station in the park blew up.
The power went off line at 6:45 P.M. Friday and was not restored until 7:40 P.M. Saturday. Electrical crews had to remove and then install a new power station generating unit. I can share that the heat was near unbearable.
The City of Fillmore can be very proud that we have the finest of emergency services, Early Saturday morning a Fillmore (Ventura County) Sheriff came to my door to check on our welfare and planning to deal with the extreme heat. It was a very welcome happening. The Sheriff went door to door checking on our residents to insure they were aware of the cooling stations and other needs they could count on. They more over stayed in the park to insure all was safe and as well as could be expected. Although this is now a family park we have more seniors than families many needing special attention. They got it!
Additionally our Fillmore Fire Department was in the park with their rescue equipment and specialists, further giving us the knowledge we have the needed support should it be necessary.
There are not enough words to properly commend these outstanding emergency/actions services. Thank you is inadequate , non-the less THANK YOU!!
Raymond S Brown Sr.


Letters to the Editor
July 3, 2018

To the Editor:
Have you ever wondered how the West Coast of the U.S., most notably California, has become so corrupted and faltering in its current condition? It isn’t the water or the smog. It is not ultimately the perverse politicians, university professors or in honesty the residents confused by all the lying rhetoric and false assumptions promoted by their media. The people are being indoctrinated by the institutions of communication such as newspapers and primarily ABC, CBS and NBC, all owned by and controlled by those making an all out attack on the Constitution of America. It is their agenda to eliminate the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness contained in this document.
As long as our United States remains an independent and sovereign nation they find themselves unable to bring about the global governance hoped for and announced by previous government officials including even former President George H. Walker Bush. There were many before him but it has become more evident through the most recent deceitful administrations.
God’s documented Word explains that people cannot believe what they have not heard and they cannot hear the good news unless there is someone to announce it. Last week there were three times our President spoke publicly to people in three different States and once to reporters who gathered on the tarmac around Air Force One. Not one major network carried his hopeful words meant to bring some further healing to the nation. Only Fox News had the dignity and integrity to communicate his words live to the public. Instead the airways were filled with the diatribe of a young declared socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, promoting her agenda to rip apart America by introducing a Socialist form of government which has consistently failed historically and is currently devastating the countries of Venezuela and Sweden. How much longer will we be able to celebrate INDEPENDENCE DAY?
- Stan Mason,


Letters to the Editor
June 28, 2018

To the Editor:
What is going on with our town and these fireworks?? Every evening for the past 3 weeks. Explosions!!! It started as one or two. Now it has mushroomed into many more.
We are traumatizing the most vulnerable members of our community. The anguish it causes is heartbreaking. Is this the kind of people we have become??
I am in total favor of celebrating our great country’s Independence Day, 4th of July. That is fireworks day. Set off as many as your heart or pocketbook desires. I don’t particularly even distinguish between what is legal or not for July 4th. However, no fireworks are legal on ANY day other than July 4th.
We need to demand more from our city leaders. Ordinances the police can act on. Tools the police can use to apprehend and cite there bullies that terrorize and victimize the helpless members of our families.
Systems are available that can pinpoint exactly where these explosions are taking place. An ordinance that would allow the police to cite a property owner and not just the perpetrator would go a long way in discouraging this behavior. Also a reward fund to pay good citizens for helping police identify the culprits and leads to citations. Any costs to the city for implementing these measures could be paid for by a tax on every fireworks booth permit.
I challenge the good people of Fillmore to stand up and do the right thing. Protect the weak and voiceless of our community. We are better than this.
David Andersen,


Letters to the Editor
June 20, 2018

To the Editor:
Do not take your animal to a fireworks show or let the pet outdoors while fireworks are being used.
You might want to consider consulting with your veterinarian several weeks before fireworks season. Some pets may require sedation. The veterinarian could suggest some behavior modification techniques.
Many of these suggestions have come from Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA; Blue Cross for pets (UK); Pet MD; Humane Society of U.S. ; and The Telegraph (UK).
Phantom Fireworks hopes you enjoy the Independence Day holiday safely and show courtesy and compassion to your pets and animals.
Very truly yours,
William A. Weimer
Vice President-Phantom Fireworks

Letters to the Editor
June 7, 2018

To the Editor:
This year’s Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery was really special. As usual, the ceremony itself was well planned to honor those who gave their lives for our country. This year, however, what was different was that we could easily hear what was happening, thanks to a gift from the Basolo family of a PA system. All parts of the program were enhanced - even the singing of the audience! Thanks to those who put together the morning’s activities. Well done.
Susan M Cuttriss

Letters to the Editor
May 31, 2018

To the Editor:
June 5th is rapidly approaching when the residents will select the next assembly of politicians that will be chosen to control their very lives for the immediate future. An eminent psychologist once identified one symptom of insanity as continuing to do the same over and over, expecting to realize a different result. The unfortunate truth is that it is not the corrupt politicians who are at fault for Californian’s dismal economy and excessive taxes but the ignorant voters who fall prey to the false media and financial proponents of discord and upheaval within our governing bodies and the population.
California’s income tax is among the top five in the nation. Gas prices are the highest in the nation due to the excessive tax included in the price per gallon. The tax on sales and property are subverted to the personal whims of the legislative bodies and are seldom spent for the purposes identified by incumbent politicians. Our schools, in far too many cases attempt to separate the authority of the family. Students have among the lowest educational scores in the nation. The citizens are subjected to an increasingly dangerous environment, greatly contributed to by the governing authorities protecting both those who are illegally residing in the state and/or convicted felons. Thankfully many cities and areas are voting to refuse to abide by the unconstitutional law instituted by California’s politicians called SB 54.
For this year, 2018, the hypocrites who were voted into state offices have changed the rules governing the Primary election in an attempt to limit informed voter’s the opportunity to choose a new and better path for the State of California. According to information provided on page 32 of the Voters Guide, only the top two candidates that receive votes in the Primary will appear on the General election ballot, even though they may be from the same party now corrupting Sacramento. The liberal media, aligned with and directed by a group intent on eliminating the sovereign and independent status of America, is now flooding the airways with the lying rhetoric of candidates who support their agenda. It is the purpose of these degenerates to impose international law on our citizens of the United States and to that end they are using California to oppose the federal government that has always had the constitutional authority to protect our borders from entry by those dedicated to our destruction. All international and political news has been owned, closely monitored, edited and twisted to indicate by every major media network, distrust in the federal governing authorities and incite, as the Bible warned, ethnic division and upheaval.
Laws formulated by legislative processes are unable to overcome evil, deception and/or stupidity. Those with evil in their hearts will commit immoral atrocities with sticks or stones if guns are unavailable. The reason Obama and Diane Feinstein oppose gun rights for private citizens is to remove citizen’s ability to protect our freedom. She continues to voice approval of Obamacare for the public although she has refused the same mandate for herself and affiliates. Gavin Newsome openly opposes the authority of Biblical rules of conduct and although he states he wants change for California the only change would be the name on the door of the governor’s office. He supports bigger government, more taxes and even more regulation of guns. The financial conglomerates who are now supporting the misleading ads on the media are the same ones who supported Obama’s previous administration that made war on private citizen’s rights and remained silent when he approved the sale of weapons to the cartels; and gave billions of dollars to the Iranian establishment that continues to voice ‘Destruction to America’.
For evil to persist just continue to vote for those promoted by the perverse media agencies. Candidates who have joyfully accepted the endorsements of Governor Brown or Kamala Harris should be perceived with the utmost suspicion or we will have more representatives such as Maxine Waters and Julia Bromley. Take care what you vote for, you may very well find you are subject to governance you are unable to abide.
Most sincerely,
S. Mason

Letters to the Editor
May 24, 2018

To the Editor:
In the last month I have seen three large, abandoned television sets dumped on the side of the road in town and up on Seventh Street, west of Fillmore. I recently found a business, PC Recycle, who will come to your home and haul E-Waste away, no charge. The gentleman’s name is Robert Barrett and his number is 805-402-6864. If you have any televisions or computers you need to recycle, give him a call, or if you see any electronics dumped on the side of the road, make a call and he will come take it away.
Wanda Castel de Oro


To the Editor:
California’s Primary Election day, June 5th is rapidly approaching. The election process has been subverted by the unfortunate majority of politicians now in control of the State. Entirely due to the possibility that voters might see through the corrupt media and false advertising purchased by the constituents of the candidates for office, the current administration in California has rigged the primary to hopefully assure that only their candidates appear on the General election ballot. California’s socialist leaning administration is only interested in the continuance of deceptive politicians demeaning the Federal government and driving residents into further poverty, subservience to laws in conflict with the U.S. Constitution as well as the duly elected President. Residing in the fear of the public sentiment rising further up against sanctuary policies as several cities and areas are voting against, these self-righteous imbeciles have vividly portrayed their open hostility to moral values, family values and most importantly biblical restraints or principles.
By dictionary terms legislation is the process of governing by rules of law and the forming of such by governing bodies. The operative words in this definition are ‘governing bodies’. When the governing administration is controlled by evil influences the laws they institute are filled with hypocrisy and evil intentions. It is impossible to legislate against evil, deception and/or stupidity.
As an example of the hypocrisy fostered by evil and deception, Gavin Newsom the current Democratic Lieutenant Governor states he is for ‘change’. The only change he hopes for is the name on the door below Governor. He refused to endorse and accept the voluntary maximum expenditure limit set for candidates for the Governor’s office. He refused the opportunity to post a statement of his intentions in the voters guide but highly supported the limit of two candidates for Governor on the General election ballot which no longer will afford the voters the opportunity to choose an opposition candidate should the primary top two candidates receiving votes be from the same party. His statements to the public media outlets which are unceasingly communicated indicate no change from the current administration of deception. Openly he resists protecting our borders from ‘illegal’ entries. In other statements he reflects his opposition to the morality of biblical values. He has no stated interest in protecting the lives of legal citizens.
Both Mr. Newsom and Xavier Becerra, the candidate for Attorney General have readily accepted the endorsements of Governor Jerry Brown as well as Senator Kamala Harris which should cause any thinking person to consider casting their vote for any other candidate.
At the top of page 32 in the Official Voter Information Guide you will find the 2 candidate rule for the 2018 General election. There are 27 candidates for Governor which thins out the populace vote. There are only five Republican candidates. There are eleven Democratic and eleven listed as non-partisan or otherwise. Nearly all accepted the voluntary spending limit set for candidates running for Governor.
There are 32 candidates for U.S. Senator and Deane Feinstein is among them. Cast your vote wisely as she has for too long identified herself as a part of the establishment known in Washington as the ‘Deep State’. Primarily this is the group who hope to take down America’s status as a sovereign nation and cause it to become subservient to an international court of law and One World Government. That is the most obvious reason she is for removing firearms from the law abiding citizens, so they are unable to defend themselves. She also continues to voice her approval fro Obamacare which has proved to be a massive failure.
S. Mason

Letters to the Editor
May 10, 2018

To the Editor:
My wife and I live at the Parkview Apartments on 512 Main Street, Fillmore. Recently our rent was increased by $105 per month. Now as of June 1, 2018 our rent increase will be $118 per month. As senior citizens we feel this is too much for us on social security only! Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Name Withheld by Request

Letters to the Editor
April 25, 2018

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 20TH annual arts show “Through the Eyes of Art”. 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 Lions Club, Fillmore Women’s Service Club, Soroptomist International of Fillmore, and Fillmore Rotary Club for your donations which help to make this event possible. Thank you to Lucy for being a patron of this event. Thank you 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 of Fillmore High school- thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to help . Thank you to the students who stayed late to break down the show and clean up after the event. I am so appreciative of your help.
Special thanks to Mr. Greg Godfrey and the fantastic members of the Fillmore High School Concert Band, Jazz Band and Los Rayos Mariachi Band who played at the event. The musical concert helped to make the evening a resounding success. Thank you to Ms. Lourdes Juarez and the Ballet Folklorico dancers. Thank you to Mr. Josh Overton and the outstanding performances of the Drama students. Thank you to Mr. Randall Kamradt for sharing your student’s videos. Thank you Mr. Ito for your support and for helping with breaking down the show. 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 visual artists, musicians and dancers 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 Visual & Performing Arts Department

Letters to the Editor
March 22, 2018

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

Letters to the Editor
February 29, 2018

To the Editor:
The Fillmore Basin, an aquifer that sits below the city and extends beneath the Santa Clara River locally, is the only source of water for local residents and farmers.
But the safety of this basin and its water supplies is currently under threat from plans by the oil industry to double the size of the Sespe Oilfield uphill from the city, which would over time allow for hundreds of new oil wells to be drilled in an area where around 400 oil wells are already located.
California’s Department of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources, DOGGR for short, has been planning for this expansion for some years now. Unfortunately their 159-page analysis of this proposal omitted any discussion of the risk to the Fillmore Basin from an earthquake on the active San Cayetano fault, which runs east/west close to the north end of Goodenough Road.
The San Cayetano fault has been studied in published journals. In December 2001, the
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America published an article that concluded that the fault’s last major quake, in around 1812, caused the ground along the fault to shift by 4.3 meters, at an estimated 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
While DOGGR concluded that the Fillmore Basin is safe from oilfield contamination, the seismological evidence suggests otherwise. A major quake would disrupt oil wells, their casings and the multiple pipelines across the Sespe Oilfield, which is only about a half mile uphill from the Fillmore Basin’s northern edge, near the end of Goodenough Road. DOGGR conducted no risk assessment of this fault - though they know it’s there - and no analysis of how a major quake could pollute the Fillmore Basin.
Then there’s the one big pipeline that transports all the oil from the oilfield down the hill past Fillmore. It actually crosses the faultline. This represents another potential hazard to the Fillmore Basin in an earthquake.
There are hundreds of wells in the Sespe Oilfield already. Adding perhaps hundreds more only puts Fillmore’s water supply at increased risk. The City of Fillmore wrote opposing this proposal. The Fillmore Basin’s management board just voted to send a letter expressing their concern.
The people of Fillmore have an opportunity to voice their own concerns. On Tuesday March 06, at Fillmore’s Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Street, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., local groups have organized a letter-writing campaign opposing this oilfield expansion. Please come along for a few minutes!
Alasdair Coyne,
Keep Sespe Wild,
PO Box 715, Ojai

Letters to the Editor
February 22, 2018

To the Editor:
Fillmore residents and businesses can save 4% on their electricity bills, while also getting more renewable energy, by joining Clean Power Alliance (CPA). The city council has until March 27 to join Clean Power Alliance at no cost. All cities in Ventura County were invited to join CPA back in November. Since then, the cities of Moorpark, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Simi, Oxnard, Ojai, and unincorporated Ventura County have all voted to join, leaving just Fillmore, Santa Paula, Port Hueneme and Ventura yet to decide. It would be a shame if ratepayers in Fillmore have to pay more and get dirtier energy than their neighbors because city staff and city council failed to prioritize this and act in time.
Hopefully they will do the right thing and join. By way of background, the Clean Power Alliance is a newly formed local not-for profit public agency that provides electricity. It serves an alternative to our current provider, SoCal Edison. Clean Power Alliance produces or purchases electricity, while Edison still delivers the electricity and handles billing.
The resulting benefits are cost savings, cleaner energy, customer choice and greater local control. If Fillmore joins, every customer will get to choose if they want cheaper, cleaner energy through CPA or to stay with Edison, and they get to select their preferred level of renewable energy - 36%, 50%, or 100%. Projected cost savings are 4% at the lowest renewable tier and 3% at the middle renewable tier compared to Edison standard rates. Why not join?
Michelle Ellison

Letters to the Editor
January 24, 2018

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

Letters to the Editor
January 17, 2018

To The Editor:
I was wondering what they’re going to put in place of Burger King. My personal suggestion would be Popeye’s Chicken. Why? Because everyone loves Chicken and also all my people here in Fillmore Love Spicy Chicken and Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.
Mr. Vacetti


To the Editor:
I am saddened to be writing again about the Pacific Coast Pipelines Superfund Site here in my hometown of Fillmore, California. I am a lifetime resident and live next to the Superfund Site. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes a partial deletion from the Superfund Site. This partial deletion is the surface soil on this former Texaco Oil Refinery property. I oppose this proposal by the EPA.
Living close to the Superfund Site has been a horrible experience. I have lived at my residence since 1974. The Texaco/ Chevron Site has gone through several cleanups over the years. The last “cleanup” conducted during 2013-2014 was a nightmare. The residents close to the Site experienced questionable exposure as heavy equipment unearthed the toxic soil. Some of this contaminated soil was physically removed from the site in hazardous containers. Tons of contaminated soil was disposed into a consolidation area on the property. I find it amazing that the EPA does not explain where the consolidation is located and does not have a map on it’s website for residents and others to learn about the placement of the contaminated soil. The EPA is leaving the groundwater that is contaminated with benzene under the Site on the partial deletion intent on the Federal EPA Register.
To say that this property is now clean enough to be deleted from the Superfund list is a bad decision. Residents of Fillmore and especially those living close to the Site need to feel safe and comfortable about what’s buried there and about the benzene that is still in the groundwater. Who’s to say that this contaminated soil could be exposed again during a catastrophe. We have had devastating fires, landslides from heavy rains and earthquakes here in California. Any of these catastrophic episodes could happen at any time making the condition at the Site unpredictable. The consolidated contaminated soil is buried next to Pole Creek. That creek has overflowed many times over the years. It could happen again. An overflow from rain could erode the consolidated soil and send it down Pole Creek and into the Santa Clara River. Holly Hadlock, the project manager for the EPA said the underground water cleanup will take about 50 years. Both of these polluted areas need to be brought to the attention of all of those living close to the site.
There is a 30-day public comment period starting on the day the EPA publishes the Notice of Intent for Partial Deletion in the Federal Register, from Dec. 26, 2017- January 25, 2018. Please express your concerns about the Partial Deletion from the Superfund list. You can submit your comments online at the Federal Register Docket website http://www. regulations.gov or email Holly Hadlock at hadlock.holly@epa.gov Let’s keep all the Pacific Coast Pipeline Site on the Superfund list. We owe it to the citizens of Fillmore and to our children and grandchildren who will be the one’s living here in years to come.
Thank you, Christine Villasenor


To the Editor:
Happy New Year, our Fillmore City council held their first meeting of the new year, January 9, 2018. It was for certain contentious. The major subject matter was the issue of Cannabis, and whether or not the City would allow sales and distribution. The chamber was nearly full of residents, but dwindled down as other subject issues were completed. Still and all there was significant resident commentary given, most of which was to disallow sales and distribution in Fillmore.
As we now know the City Council voted against approving the prospect of sales, distribution or storage of cannabis.
I am not writing this letter to repeat what the Gazette has already shared on this subject.
The purpose of this writing is to share an inadequate process for the residents of Fillmore to collaborate with the Fillmore City Council.
I had prepared a hard copy presentation for the purpose of sharing an upcoming issue that will be a part of city staff business, a part of a City Council agendized meeting issues in the near future.
The request for City support, is to provide a pedestrian gate at the R.V parking area of the El Dorado Mobil Home park, for our now family park children.
To provide safe passage to Rio Vista Elementary School. As I know it neither the Developer or the Park ownership have made this necessary gate a planned approved item of the development. I am not sure it ever crossed their minds.
El Dorado is alike a little Vatican with in Fillmore, autonomous, park owners are not in touch with their tenants, or needs of the park. The City treats it like it is a fiefdom, out of their control. We absolutely are Fillmore residents and the park is just an entity with in Fillmore and should comply with normal and expected behavior and cooperative interaction with our City, Municipal code and other ordinances as well.( I Recognize that the owners must comply with the States Mobilehome Residency Law. as their primary required base of, compliance/ operation. This should not preclude the Cities rights and authorities as City Government)
My issue is/was, I had a request in my presentation, for the council to be aware of a need for the pedestrian gate, prior to the upcoming staff agenda item.
Wanting, the gate to be a conditional approval by the Council for the latest HVP development planning. The Owners made this a family park, yes we had some people who caused the change, (they have all moved now). Even so managing this park with Children most clearly must include Resident/children safety planning, by the City for its residents, and the park owner for safety/liability concerns.
A lot said here, but what became very clear is, we apparently do not have a process to give resident/citizen /constituent input to the council, unless we can do it in 3 to 5 minutes. This is the time all who attended were allotted.
I will confess that my choice of Jan. 9, to try and share my presentation, was a horrible night. The time over all was too tight because of the major cannabis cross talk.
It did illustrate however the inadequacy, and lack of a process, for other items of interest or need, for Fillmore residents to share and collaborate with our City Council.
Two City Council meetings a month and resident comment time set at two to three minutes is insignificant time.
There are other items of City life, and ideas to share that make us a tight community, other than the monthly agendized issues. We need to get other issues out there for our leaders to review and consider. (just to be aware of other issues.)
We seem to get close with them only when there is a near delirious crowd of upset people, or if it is an agenda item.
That said-- I am in no way discrediting any of the City Council or City staff.
I appreciate that the Mayor and City Council have another life, they all work and have families.
I have shared other issues and concerns with the City Council, the City manager and his staff. All endeavors and interactions have been very amiable and rewarding.
We are very fortunate to have them all. I am now a twelve year resident of Fillmore, of forty nine years in Ventura county. These last years in Fillmore have provided me with clear appreciation of the successes these fellow citizens have afforded us.
There are opportunities to be realized from collaborative work with the residents, and the City council. We need to plan a way to work together, it is our City too.
We need more residents to get involved with positive issues in support of our City. Quit hiding!!
Raymond s Brown Sr.

Letters to the Editor
January 10, 2018

To the Editor:
In your first sentence you say that for the “reasonably informed” person, knowledge of American history (necessarily?) leads to the conclusion of American exceptionalism. If your claim is that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is exceptional in every way, then we disagree on this. Let’s call this view Total Exceptionalism. If Total Exceptionalism is not your position, then we may be in agreement. In the same paragraph you discuss knowledge of facts about the Civil War that a “reasonable and informed” person would know, which is why I inferred that your point was that the deaths of 600,000+ white men was evidence of American exceptionalism.
To challenge Total Exceptionalism, we only need to find one counterexample. I meant for my short argument on Jan. 3rd to be a counterexample which shows that America’s moral actions have not always been exceptional compared to other nations. I do not equate American institutions, such as the Bill of Rights and Constitution, with American morality (although there is overlap). The Bill of Rights may be exceptional even though America's moral actions are not. My Jan. 3rd letter was meant to give a counterexample to Total Exceptionalism by showing that knowledge of the Civil War death of 600,000+ white men in American history does not lead everyone to affirm American moral exceptionalism. On Jan 3rd you wrote that you “did not rely only upon our Civil War as an example of America’s exceptional status among nations,” which leads me to believe that you do think the Civil War is a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism. Although you also say that your point was merely that America fighting the civil war to end slavery was “in itself, a good thing.” I agree that going to war to end slavery is a good thing, but I don't see the Civil War as a piece of evidence in favor of American exceptionalism.
I was a bit dismayed that I was misquoted in support of your argument in your Jan. 3rd editorial. You quoted me as saying that I “don’t view this fact [emancipation of slaves] as evidence, alone, of America’s moral exceptionalism.” If you look back at my Jan 3rd letter you will see that the word “alone” does not appear in that sentence. Perhaps this, in part, leads to your characterization of my argument as claiming that you are basing American exceptionalism solely on Civil War facts. I’ll assume that you meant to bracket “alone.” My argument was not that this is your only evidence, but that this evidence, as I understood it, did not necessarily support the conclusion that America is morally exceptional. As a side question, why does the fundamental Judeo-Christian moral base provide a basis for civil blessings, as you claim, and not for things that aren’t blessings, i.e., slavery?
I’m not opposed to your claim that America is exceptional in a general sense – it clearly is exceptional in many ways (e.g., politically, institutionally, economically) and unexceptional in other ways, historically and in the present day. So far, in my letters to you I have not disputed American exceptionalism in its freedom, political institutions, generosity, etc. My worry is about us believing that American history shows that America is morally exceptional in its actions (distinct from institutions such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights). I have only disputed the claim that knowledge of American history necessarily leads to the conclusion that America is an exceptional moral place. I have arguments about compensating people of color, but I’ll save them for another time.
Lastly, towards the end of your response you say that “ending slavery…was much more than ‘merely’ a step in the right direction.” The word “merely” is in quotations, and so I think it reasonable to assume that you meant to be quoting me, as your editorial was a response to me and there is no other source cited. If you look back at my letter published on Jan 3rd you’ll see that I said “…emancipation was a big step in the right direction.” I did not use the word “merely” in that sentence, although I did use the word “merely” earlier in the letter, so I assume it just got misplaced in your editorial.
A belief of mine is that a way to better our institutions is to be critical of them, and to have dialogues such as this one, in which we both sharpen our reasons and so rationally move closer to how we should view and/or improve our institutions. You have helped me sharpen my views and so you have my gratitude. There is much more we could discuss and clarify, more definitions to be given, and more arguments to be made in this exchange, but this will be my last letter on this topic. I look forward to your comments.
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer


To the Editor:
Our city leaders will once again be voting on if they should allow pot related business in your town. Despite that the majority of you have voted in 2016 with 57% against it while other cities in the county voted for it. Despite that many of you signed petitions against it and now it has been contently lost. They are back to trying to get it in yet another way. Deliveries and warehouses. The few who need this product currently can grow their own or are getting it from other communities. We do not have facilities for cancer related problems in our town or even a hospital of which all of our community could use why do we need pot related business in our town when the needs of a few are clearly being met by other communities. Why not take a wait and see approach for 2-3 years and see how those cities fair and if it really is worth the risk. Please show up to council meeting January 9th to voice your opinion once again.
Kathy Pace

Letters to the Editor
January 3, 2018

To the Editor:
There's some strange goings-on in Fillmore these days... For the last two years a large majority of citizens has gone on record to oppose having the marijuana industry come to town, but the City Council keeps pushing it. Why? And whose bright idea is it for Fillmore to store large quantities of marijuana in warehouses around our town? Picturing armed guards patrolling the facilities also conjures up the likelihood of criminals being attracted to our last, best, small California town.
After two years of carefully studying the issue of having the marijuana industry take hold here in Fillmore, our Council voted 4 - 1 in August not to allow it. Yet on Tuesday, January 9th, at the City Council Mtg at 6:30 p.m., the Council wants to "reconsider" its decision. What new information have they received? What's the benefit to our city? We are owed an explanation by our Council as to what each of them is thinking in going against the will of the citizens that they represent, not to mention dismissing the views of city and county law enforcement officials.
Lynne Brooks


To the Editor:
Thank you for your friendly Dec. 20th response to my letter. Thanks also to Susan Cuttriss for her kind words. I’ll keep this follow-up to one line of thought.
One of your claims on Dec. 20th was that America is exceptional (outstanding or unusually good) because 600,000+ white Americans died to end slavery (Let me know if I am misconstruing your position). I don’t view this fact as evidence of America’s moral exceptionalism for the following reasons.
First, the Civil War shows that a large portion of Americans did not think slavery was wrong. The 600,000+ number represents Union and Confederate soldier deaths. I’ll grant that it was praiseworthy for Union soldiers to have given their lives for emancipation, but those who fought to keep slavery act as a counterbalance: presumably, Union soldiers died because Confederates were willing to kill to preserve slavery. This seems unfortunate rather than exceptional.
Second, after extorting unpaid labor from slaves, there was never any compensation. As an analogy, when a thief continually steals from a victim, justice requires that the thief not only stop stealing, but also repay the victim, and compensate the victim for how the stealing hurt them. To merely stop American thievery of unpaid labor we had the Civil War, but America never repaid ex-slaves for the years of unpaid labor, nor compensated them for the land, education, voting rights, wealth accumulation, cultural affluence, etc. that blacks would have accrued, had blacks not been systematically exploited. Merely ending slavery didn’t undo the damage done.
In short, the 600,000+ white deaths evinced something lower than exceptionalism. Although, emancipation was a big step in the right direction. I almost got this down to 250 words! Thanks for dialoguing and happy new year!
With respect,
Jacob Zellmer

Letters to the Editor
December 27, 2017

To The Editor:
If Jacob Zellmer is representative of our millennials, we can be proud of our educational system. His respectful, well reasoned response to your editorial reflects well on our next generation of leaders.
Sincerely, Susan Cuttriss

Letters to the Editor
December 20, 2017

To the Editor:
Soroptimist International of Fillmore would like to extend a big “toy filled” thank you to all of those that attended and helped with the annual fashion show. It was held on December 9th, and was a wonderful distraction to the challenges that surrounded Fillmore that week. The theme was “Toyland”, and the members and guests had the option of decorating their tables and bringing toys to donate towards the City of Fillmore Fire Department toy give away. The toys were abundant, as well as the friendships! The fashions were provided by Chico’s at the Collection, and the models were gorgeous!! Another “bear hug” of a thank you to the Fillmore Citizen’s Patrol and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Explorer Post #2958 out of Fillmore for their excellent help in the kitchen, and serving all that attended the fashion show.
Jane David,
Soroptimist International of Fillmore


Response to Dec. 6th Editorial
To the editor:

Dear Martin Farrell,

I grew up in Fillmore and still consider it home. The Fillmore Gazette has been a way for me to check in on what’s happening in Fillmore while I am out of town and for that I am grateful.

I am writing in response to your Dec. 6th editorial. The structure of some of your arguments don’t seem valid and I find it difficult to accept the truth of some of your premises. I’ve written this rather quickly, and so despite the critical nature of my response, I hope this comes across as respectful.

Your first paragraph cites an anonymous polling organization as evidence that millennials are more attracted to socialism than democracy. It is then asserted that this data is “proof” of the wholesale failure of our educational system. To make this assertion you need to have the following assumptions, (1) every form of socialism is a bad political or economic system, (2) anyone who thinks otherwise must have received a bad education, and (3) an educational system that produces people who disagree with my opinions is a failed educational system. This is an interested line of argument, but it has flaws. First, there is no reasoning given in your op-ed for why we should believe (1). And so (2) is a non-starter. (3) is odd because it assumes that everyone with opinions opposed to your own are irrational or at least their arguments are irrational or unintelligible.

The second paragraph then narrows in on how you think educational systems are flawed: American history has been hijacked by “radical Left fake history.” I think your point here is that because American millennials are ignorant of American heritage, they are more likely to think socialism is better than democracy. It isn’t clear what makes you say that millennials are ignorant of American heritage. Do you mean that (1) millennials must be ignorant of American heritage based on their attraction to socialism, or (2) millennials are ignorant based on personal experience you’ve had with them, or (3) millennials are ignorant of American history because of external data/polling? You also don’t make clear how knowing American history causes a person to think socialism is a bad thing. First, socialism isn’t defined in your op-ed, so it isn’t clear what you consider socialism to be. Part of the confusion here is that you contrast socialism with democracy even though socialism as a form of government isn’t mutually excluded from democracy. This is why “social democracy” and “democratic socialism” are forms of government. So, I wonder if socialism vs. democracy is in some ways a false dichotomy. If I had to guess, I’d say that millennials are more critical of capitalism than of democracy.

Your argument for why American history is important is that America is “exceptional”: it has thrived for 240 years as a democratic republic. The assumption you make is that students who know American history better will be more critical of socialism in all its forms. I don’t see why this is the case, unless learning American history is a form of brainwashing in which all political systems besides American democracy and capitalism are portrayed as irrational. Studying American history should let students see the ways in which democracy (and capitalism) have been both successful and not perfect, i.e., both systems have flaws.

Part of your op-ed criticizes elite colleges and universities for devaluing studies of Western Civilization, which was mostly, as far as I know, universities dropping the requirement for students to take Western Civilization courses. You claim that the chant was “Hey-hey, ho-ho, American Civ has got to go,” but my Google search of this phrase only brought up, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Western Civ has got to go,” (at least for what happened at Stanford; if I am wrong here, point me to the relevant news articles). Western Civilization would include all European, American, and colonial history, which is much more than just American history. (Interestingly, Plato is a part of Western Civilization, and he hated democracy.) The required courses that were dropped were in Western Civilization, but charitability causes me to think the university still required courses in history, philosophy, art, etc. of world civilizations (and this might include western civilization).

So, your most pointed claim here strikes me as odd. You say: “Some (most ?) of our colleges and universities, those touted as the greatest, have for decades now produced a crowd of history ignoramuses.” First, it seems likely to me that students who get accepted into elite colleges probably have a better understanding of history (world, western, and American) than those who are not accepted into elite colleges; They probably did well in their high school history courses. Hence, calling people with elite college degrees “a crowd of history ignoramuses” seems mistaken. I think this point holds even if you only mean that they are American-history ignoramuses. Second, requiring college students to take American history doesn’t necessarily make them less of an American history ignoramus. Students can do the minimum to pass classes and so remain “ignoramuses.”

I think part of your conclusion on this subject is viable: “…it’s not too much of a stretch to conclude that most American citizens are dangerously ignorant of their own American history…” But it doesn’t necessarily follow that knowledge of American history will make you “acknowledge its greatness” and think America an “exceptional” place. Yes, America is good in certain ways, but history also shows the ways in which America has slaughtered and enslaved people. Why would people of color, after coming to know American History, ipso facto think that America is an “exceptional” place?

Lastly, you make this excessive claim: “No intellectually honest person can fail to acknowledge Divine intervention in its [America’s] birth and growth.” My understanding of Divine intervention is that it is a matter of faith (for the most part) and not knowledge. So, it is odd for you to claim that every intellectually honest person must hold certain faith beliefs. This conflates faith and reason and it also claims that everyone who doesn’t hold your beliefs is intellectually dishonest – this seems unreasonable to me. This letter has already become very long, so I won’t go deeper into this part.

With respect,
Jacob Zellmer
PhD Student in the Department of Philosophy
University of California, San Diego

Letters to the Editor
November 23, 2017

To the Editor:
What a nice surprise I received on my daily walk downtown....music!
Someone decided to install speakers on a few poles in the downtown business district! Fantastic, great choice of music, maybe a little holiday music would be appropriate too!
Ray Hoover