Letters to the Editor
September 30, 2020

To the Editor:
I hope you will allow me extra words on this occasion. Before I give my second opinion, I want to acknowledge the death of Marie Wren. I loved her, as did anyone who met her. She and Gene were among the most wonderful people I met in Fillmore, and I was always struck with one extraordinary quality of hers (among so many), and that was her joy. You could not walk away from Marie and not feel it. Well done, Marie. It was a pleasure and a privilege.

Just after midnight on March 13, 2020, in Louisville, KY, a 26-year old EMT Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker III were sleeping in their apartment and were awakened by pounding on the door. Unknown to them, it was the police executing a “no knock” warrant, changed to a "knock and announce" warrant at the last minute (for a person not present and for several addresses). The warrant was actually issued for Breonna’s former boyfriend who had used her address as his own. He later confirmed that she had nothing to do with drugs and no drugs were found in the apartment.
Only one witness of 8, who was outside the apartment building at the time, said that the police identified themselves. Walker, who was in the bedroom down the hall, heard the pounding and the door crashing but not the announcement. He assumed it was an intruder breaking into the apartment and fired. The police returned fire, killing Breonna with six shots, firing another 16 into the apartments above and to the side. Walker was indicted by the Grand Jury for the attempted murder of a police officer, a charge which the District Attorney subsequently dropped.
One of the officers was indicted for endangering the lives of the tenants in nearby apartments by recklessly firing errant shots. As to the killing of Breonna Taylor, no charges. The Grand Jury determined that, because Walker shot first, the police justifiably returned protective fire. Keep in mind that the DA found that Walker had not attempted the murder of a police officer. That Breonna and Walker were completely innocent of wrongdoing, in fear for their own lives and protecting their home, apparently did not register with the Grand Jury. Let's see the transcripts.
This case is outrageous for a lot of reasons. Someone is responsible for this tragedy and it’s not Breonna or Walker who happened to be African-American. The police were apparently not responsible for the contents of the warrant. The police clearly did not effectively identify themselves. Whoever authored and accepted the merits of the affidavit and issued the warrant needs to be identified and scrutinized. The tragedy was set in motion by a governmental agency with responsibility for the warrant and the incident, someone higher up than the police officers. At what point did the sole responsibility for the safety of the officers fall to the young man legally protecting his “castle" in the middle of the night? If you are a gun owner, what would you have done? “Yoo hoo, intruder! Are you by any chance the police?” The police report indicated that there were "no injuries" as a result of the incident. Unless you count the dead woman.
We allow guns to everybody so they feel "safe" in defending their families and homes, then issue “no [effective] knock” warrants or make a faulty entrance in an "open carry" state, and regularly let the government avoid responsibility. While reactive violence is almost never the correct response, justice can be vacated just so many times before people begin to think it is unattainable, and they resist the charade.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca


To the Editor:
Fillmore women, please be on high alert...
I was on my way home right now, and everything seemed normal as usual. I was even on the phone with my mom and I had just told her that I was less than a block away from home, everything was fine.
There was little to no traffic and I got all green lights. About a block and a half from my house, (East Fillmore) at the stop light next to Fillmore High School a greyish 4 door Nissan/ Toyota pulled up extremely close to my rear bumper. Thinking nothing of it I continued to head home. After making a right turn I noticed the car was staying right behind me at an uncomfortable proximity. I continued on my way and ended up at the front of my house believing that the car would continue on their way and pass me. Not the case. The car slowly pulled behind me and entered into a parked position. I could here the occupant of the vehicle on his phone speaking loudly to somebody. He had them on his car speaker, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. He flashed his head lights into my car and remained behind me.
Since I live on a corner house, it was completely out of the norm for this someone to park anywhere near my house at this hour. (10:45 at night)
I locked my car doors and called my husband to open the front door for me. As soon as my husband came out and stood on our front porch, the car sped off and left.
According to my husband, he saw the car pull up from our dining room window and was just as confused to see someone pull up so close behind me.
Like I said, as soon as the driver of the grey car saw my husband, he drove off...this was too coincidental for someone to be a random person pulling over to google directions.
Please be aware of your surroundings, ladies.
Predators are in our hometown and they’re out looking tonight.
Concerned Fillmore Citizen


Letters to the Editor
September 23, 2020

To the Editor:
Martin Farrell, Editor and Publisher
Fillmore Gazette
I had planned to comment on the tragic politicization of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) by the Trump Administration, wherein the formerly apolitical, world-respected agency was reportedly "corrected" by the president to insist that masks are not needed and advance the ridiculous claim that a safe vaccine will be ready "in a few weeks." But I am diverted to a more troubling purpose this week. It involves responding to Martin's two editorials last week.
Trump has been in office for four years and can no longer claim that he is not a politician. I am disappointed to see that that experience, instead of broadening his understanding and appreciation of the fact the president represents all of the citizens, Democrat and Republican alike, has only narrowed his interests. He has not brought the country together, but has encouraged fear and distrust in this country, and has shown admiration for the world community of despots while snubbing our allies.
But what darn near broke my heart, Martin, was your suggestion, in your first editorial, that there may need to be a need for Second Amendment action by owners of “civilian-owned firearms“ and a possible "civil war" if the election results take longer to count than you think necessary, or are not in your favor. Coupled in the second editorial with the opinion that, if Trump were Andrew Jackson, who was well-known for his murderous impulses against Native Americans, the House and Senate would be “littered with bodies,” you are dangerously close to advocating that violence, another "civil war," may be the appropriate remedy for our political challenges.
Trump himself has repeatedly said that he may not accept the results of the election: "I'll wait and see." This self-proclaimed "cheerleader" of our country has stated that the results of the election may be so flawed that "we will never know the results" of the November 3 election." He does not mention that he is primarily responsible for the fear-mongering about the election process and the pre-election crippling of the USPS. Hillary did not call for violence and did not try to create public doubt about the ultimate results of the coming election; she just urged that all votes be counted before anyone concedes.
I urge you to withdraw that anti-democratic and dangerous statement about resorting to guns and violence and an insurrection, Martin. Democracies are designed to avoid that very tragedy, though MAGA supporters have already disrupted voting in Virginia. You are, I hope and believe, too responsible to muse about the use of brute force, post-election, that you so passionately decry in Portland, Chicago, and Seattle.
Kelly Scoles


Letters to the Editor
September 16, 2020

To the Editor:
I watch all the cable channels, including Fox News, for a bit every day. The content can be so divergent, I want to hear all opinions. If, however, you are an exclusive Fox News viewer, you may be unaware of the pile of books out about Trump and his administration. One book is by a respected Watergate-era journalist, Bob Woodward. He has tapes, 20 hours over 18 meetings or phone calls, and Trump knew he was making them. Those tapes are shocking.
I’ll focus on just the most heart-rending and infuriating tape of all: Trump admits that he lied to the American public about the terrible facts of the Covid-19 pandemic, of which he himself was made fully aware at a presidential intelligence briefing on January 28: that it spread incredibly easily, was at least five times as deadly as a really bad flu, and required a near-shutdown of non-essential personnel to contain it. On February 7, Trump admitted to Woodward that, "This is deadly stuff." On February 10, Trump assured the nation that the virus would "miraculously" disappear by April.
Trump now insists that his failure to alert the public and local governments was akin to FDR’s “fireside chats.” He likens himself to Winston Churchill, in WWII England, except he doesn't know that Churchill’s heroic leadership urged his people to, “draw from the heart of misfortune the vital impulses of victory.… Let us move forward steadfastly together into the storm and through the storm.” (February 1942). Churchill did not lie to the public about the threat or the risks; he knew his people would react with resolve and heart. He had faith in his countrymen and, too, the stock market was not Churchill's main concern.
Our president, instead, blamed the Democrats for creating a “hoax” concern about the virus to reduce his re-election chances. When, finally, tens of thousands fell ill and he could no longer "play it down," he left it primarily to the governors and mayors to resolve the national threat and then criticized them (especially the Democratic governors) for not being “prepared.” Trump sidelined science and instead advocated for treatments that were useless or dangerous. He packed indoor rallies with his own political base without advocating protection of masks or social distancing. He knew that, as usual, he could blame others if things turned out badly, and counted on his base to believe him. That, or Trump is engaged in a deadly game of "magical thinking." Either option is a dangerous defect in the man with the nuclear codes.
Kelly Scoles,
Fillmore, Ca


To the Editor:
Say “Goodbye” to the Elkins Ranch Golf Course
Like so many local golfers I was disheartened by the news that the Elkins Ranch Golf Course was closing. The course was always a pleasure to visit. The staff was friendly, the grounds keepers were conscientious, and the burgers were good.
My golfing partners and I wanted to play on the final day of operation, which we understood would be September 7. However, when I went to make reservations for that day, the staff said the owners of the course did not want to pay overtime wages for Labor Day, so the course would be closing on Sunday the 6th instead.
We managed to get a tee time for Sunday, but when we arrived at the course that day the gate was locked. A hand-written sign hung on the gate read “CLOSED.”
From a personal standpoint, I feel this was a poor way for the Elkins family to terminate its relationship with area golfers. Imagine booking a flight for a long-awaited vacation, only to find out upon arrival at the airport that your flight has been canceled. No emails or texts from the airline; no explanation. The entire course closure process could have been handled in a more congenial manner. Instead, we got a closed gate.
One could argue that weather was a factor. After all, at what would have been our mid-day tee time the temperature was 110 degrees F. However, other golf courses were open. We ended up playing at the Moorpark Country Club. Perhaps there was a power outage, but that was not indicated on the “Closed” sign we saw.
With the course closed, why not keep a small portion of it open for public use? Having spoken with individuals associated with the group that oversees course operations, there was little or no executive interest in retaining the putting and chipping greens, the driving range, the pro shop and the restrooms to serve as a golf practice facility. No community polls were taken to see how much use a facility like that might get, and apparently no detailed analysis of what it would cost to maintain such a facility was ever generated.
I realize times change, and the expenses of running a golf course may appear excessive when compared to the profits reaped from avocados. However, I feel that the Elkins Ranch Golf Course benefitted the whole community. The course brought in golfers from other areas, and they spent money here. Having a well maintained golf course on the edge of town no doubt attracted at least some home buyers to Fillmore and probably had a positive impact on property values as well. Finally, the expansive lawns and plentiful shade trees on the course served as venues for weddings, filming, bird watching, car shows and other activities. It is not just the golfers who lost out when the Elkins Ranch Golf Course closed. The community lost as well.
Dr. J.S. Noble Eisenlauer

To the Editor:
I was challenged during a discussion I had last week regarding Joe Biden and his support of abortion. "Open your Bible," the man told me. "It doesn't say anything about abortion. The Bible doesn't say, 'You shall not abort.'"
Technically, this is true. The Bible also doesn't say, "You shall not steal your neighbor's tractor." However, God does say in the Bible, "You shall not steal." He also says in the Bible, "You shall not murder," and you shall not "shed innocent blood." (Exodus 20:13; Jeremiah 19:3-4, 22:3) And who is more innocent than an unborn child? She has no say in her conception, and she's completely defenseless; and yet the blood of hundreds of thousands of unborn baby girls and boys is shed each year in our country. This is why the catholic, Christian Church has always condemned abortion as murder.
But the fetus is part of the woman's body, the abortion-rights argument goes, and a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body ("My body - my choice"). Response: Have you ever heard of one part of a person's body having a blood type different from the rest of that person's body? Of course not, it's a medical impossibility. All parts of a persons' body have the same blood type. However, many unborn children have a blood type different from their mother's. So if a child in the womb has a blood type different from her mother's, how is she simply a part of her mother's body?
Vote pro-life. Give the unborn baby girls and boys a chance to live.
Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

Letters to the Editor
September 10, 2020

To the Editor:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” A. Lincoln, Gettysburg PA. November 19, 1863, Bliss Copy.
“He’s [John McCain] not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Video
“…when McCain died in August 2018, Trump reportedly told his senior staff, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and demanded to know why flags were being lowered to half-staff.” Multiple sources
“I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” D. Trump, Arlington Cemetery, to Gen. John Kelly on a visit to the grave of Kelly’s son who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. The Atlantic and other sources.
In 2018, President Trump did not want to drive to honor American war dead at Belleau Wood honoring the WWI dead, including Americans, outside Paris saying, “Why should I go to that cemetery?” “He was also worried that the wind and rain would ruin his hair.” The Atlantic. Source statements confirmed by AP, Forbes, Washington Post and FOX News.
“My hair has to be perfect.” Video.
Kelly Scoles,

Letters to the Editor
September 2, 2020

To the Editor:
Back in February of 2020, The Hill, a generally unbiased publication, wrote that the Trump Administration was furious that intelligence officials had warned Congress, in in-person briefings, that Russia was actively supporting Trump in the election process in many states. China was minimally involved, as it was thought that of the two, China thought Biden preferable to the chaos of the Trump administration. Iran does not have the capability of being a major threat to our elections at this point.
The Republican Senate, supporting Trump’s wishes, has refused to consider or pass allocations for states to respond to election interference. McConnell insists: no money to assure fair elections. Then came the attack on mail-in ballots in a pandemic, then Louis DeJoy was appointed to gut the USPS just before an election. This week, John Ratcliffe, the current Director of National Intelligence, has said that he will discontinue all in-person briefings to Congress until after the election.
In-person briefings are important to Congressional oversight because they give representatives and senators the opportunity to ask in-depth questions at the time of the briefing, rather than days or weeks or months later, a fact especially important in an election year. And this oversight function is exactly what Trump fears and despises.
He claims that one or two members of Congress “leaked” information last time, so this denial of transparency in the electoral process is needed. In other words, the Congress are children to be “handled,” sent to bed with no supper. Forget congressional duty to oversee, all you need is the federal government looking out for you. Just exactly the federal government interference that Republicans have railed against since forever. Your rights are in peril.
Kelly Scoles


To the Editor:
In response to an earlier letter about candidate forums, the League of Women Voters of Ventura County will be housing virtual forums for many candidates in the November 3 election. This is in keeping with the League’s mission to encourage active and informed participation in government. Candidate forums, registering voters, and encouraging people to vote are some of our primary activities.
Our goal is to host forums for all city council races in Ventura County along with some congressional, legislative and other races. Details will be available in early September and our intention is to hold the virtual forums between mid-September and the first two weeks of October. As always, our forums will be conducted to treat all candidates fairly and without bias. The League never endorses individual candidates.
We will publicize details on our website lwvventuracounty.org and on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LWVVenturaCo and Twi1er www.twi1er.com/LwvVentura where you can follow us to be kept informed of our plans. For candidates, we will email you at the address you supplied when you filed your papers.
Pat Essick, Ojai
LWV of Ventura County Voter Services


Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is in the news again, but his time it's not for winning football games. He's in the news for a statement he made recently about Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for President. Holtz's statement was: “The Biden-Harris ticket is the most radically pro-abortion campaign in history. They and other politicians are Catholics in name only.”
Coach Holtz's statement has drawn a number of responses. I'll list a few.
“Who is he to judge another man's faith?”
“Biden goes to Mass weekly. He's a devout Catholic and a man of actual faith.”
“Biden almost always has rosary beads in his pocket.”
And, from Jesuit priest James Martin, “Holtz cannot look into the soul of Joe Biden. … I think it's a really terrible thing to say about someone. He has no clue what's going on inside of Joe Biden's heart.”
The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as murder. The Didache, (A.D. 95), used widely in the early Church, states “Thou shalt not abort.” Tertullian, in his famous Apology of the Christian faith, c. 200, states that Christians don't kill the fetus in the womb, for it's simply a “speedier form of mankilling.” The canons of the Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314) state that not only are those who abort their children guilty of murder, but also those who make the medicines used to induce abortion. In either case, they were excommunicated, able to receive Communion only after ten years of penance. The true, orthodox Christian Church has always condemned abortion. This is historical fact.
Does carrying rosary beads in one's pocket make him a Catholic? Does simply attending Mass regularly make one a devout Catholic? What about the Mafia members who attended Mass regularly? Note what God says in Jeremiah 7:1-11.
It's true that Lou Holtz can't read Joe Biden's heart, but he can judge Joe Biden's works – as will God, who knows the heart and it's fruit. (Psalm 139:1-4; Jeremiah 17:10) Murderers will not inherit the kingdom of God. They will inherit the other kingdom – namely, hell, with the devil and his demons. (1 John 3:15; Revelation 21:6-8) Those who abort their babies are guilty of murder. Those who perform abortions are guilty of murder. And politicians like Joe Biden, who support and sanction abortion and use their political office to ensure the right to murder unborn children are guilty of murder. The Lord also has something to say to pastors/priests who knowingly give Communion to murderers, letting them partake of Christ's body and blood - “Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord,' … And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Lou Holtz is right. Joe Biden and others like him are Catholic in name only. Thankfully, there is mercy with God. Those who repent of their sins, whatever they may be, turn to Jesus, and support what is true and decent and right in God's sight, have forgiveness from God and will enter into eternal life. (Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 103:11-12; Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:8-9; John 3:14-18, 6:40.)
Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor
Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church

Letters to the Editor
August 19, 2020

To the Editor:
Before I address the situation with USPS, I must first respond to one comment in Martin’s editorial last week regarding a plea from Drudge for fairness and civility in the coming election. Martin’s take was that VP nominee Kamala Harris’ question of now-Justice Kavanaugh regarding whether he knew of any, “… laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body," applied to allegations of sexual misconduct in his high school years. That was not the point of Harris' question. She was illustrating that there are no laws regarding men’s bodies, but there are many regarding women’s bodies. Even if she were making a comment about his past sexual behavior, it would not make her a “political slut,” Martin. It was a legitimate issue in Kavanaugh's nomination process for a lifetime appointment.. If a man had asked the same question, you would not have called him the same vile sexually-charged name.
California has an established a mail-in vote program, but, as with all states, we rely upon the USPS, a constitutionally-mandated agency, to actually deliver that mail. Trump claims that the mail-in process is rife with widespread fraud, but cannot provide proof of that fact because it isn't so. He likely can't stop the mail-in process nationwide, so he implemented his long-time objective to degrade the USPS delivery system from within.
Trump anointed the appointment of a person with no experience in the field to be postmaster general (Louis DeJoy, a long-time political donor) who has obediently and quietly (until he was outted by some postal workers) set about slowing the processing of mail, including reducing personnel and overtime to handle the increase in mail-in voting and mail in general, removing and dismantling sorting machines that speed up delivery, and deciding that ballots will be treated not as first-class mail, but as bulk mail. Getting your ballot to you will not be a priority. Returning your ballot timely to the Elections Department for counting will also not be a priority. Delays also apply to Social Security checks, medications, pension checks, and any other mail that is important to you. All this as "cost-saving measures" with "unintended consequences" DeJoy says, just before a national election.
Trump urges in-person voting; in the middle of a pandemic, your vote or your health. If you stay home rather than risk voting in person, or your ballot doesn't get delivered on time, blame USPS. He fears he may lose the election with easier and increased voting (after all, he didn't win the popular vote last time), and wants the chance to call it "rigged." We know from the last three-and-a-half years that any undertaking that does not go his way is a "fake," a “hoax,” “unfair, ”or “stolen” from him. This self-pitying trait is distinctly un-American.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump actually admitted his game plan: "Now they need that money [Covid-19 recovery funds] in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.” Every citizen should be concerned. This is where the American electorate is supposed to step in and correct such a mortal assault on democracy.
Kelly Scoles Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
August 12, 2020

Letter to the Editor:
Second Opinion
As I read along, I couldn't find a lot to argue with in Martin's editorial last week. Not attending classes in person does present difficulties with social and academic loss, and to young children in particular. And I appreciate the recognition that none of us “civilians” really know the true risks of socialization in this pandemic, and should listen to the experts.
But somehow this acknowledgment took a right-hand turn when teachers and teachers’ unions were accused of selfishness and political bias in their concerns around returning to the school environment. Yes, of course, the teachers are extremely interested in maintaining their own health (or there is something wrong with them). However, I defy anyone who knows even one good teacher who does not also recognize his or her commitment to not only the student’s academic program, but also to the student’s personal experience, including his or her health. Selflessness is in a good teacher’s DNA and certainly their unions work hard to advance their interests (though I have a real objection to the lack of funding for classroom teachers). I fail to see how teachers are just being selfish in deciding when, if, and how schools should reopen until this country gets control of this virus (the experiences of other countries notwithstanding).
And then, we get to it. The true nugget of his argument: All this school debate is about damaging Trump’s reelection efforts. Martin believes that the teachers’ unions and the liberals really only care about making Trump look bad and are willing to hold our children hostage to do that. May I suggest that neither the teachers nor the liberals have to do one thing to make Trump look bad? He is bigly doing that for himself.
I have a granddaughter in San Cayetano school. I know that those teachers are devoted to the advancement of their students. But they, as educated people, cannot and should not turn a blind eye to the science of this pandemic, the current lack of success in controlling it in this state and in many places in the country, or the risk to themselves or their students. It is a question of balancing the risk and equities. I know my granddaughter is much better off in the direct academics and socialization of school, but I would not bet her life on it. Or that of her teachers.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
July 22, 2020

To the Editor:
"Do You Hear Me Now?"
It seems that we exist in a time in which political talk never, never ends. However, that is not something or different except for a vigorous awakening of our nation's discontented persons of color and supporters. Bold, resolute and visible almost daily peaceful demonstrations for whatever reasons become violent with looting, fires, and damage of private property. Voices cry out in unison against authoritative personnel because of physical, mental and cultural abuses which diverts to oppressive and deadly results.
At one time the Fillmore Hispanic community experienced trials and tribulations because of discrimination and racism. However, as a minority people they prevailed, persevered and learned the true meaning of faith, unity and hope. Unfortunately, some semblance of discriminatory behavior by "those in charge" endures in a subtle and, more than not, visible manner. The fact is that a segment of this country's population still "does not get it." The mindset seems to suggest that this land of plenty and home of the free and brave is exclusively for the white race and anyone else is tolerated, used and abused. So, enough is enough and NOW IS THE TIME to have a continuing, serious conversation about this despicable matter to include acts of equal justice and righteousness for all.
Far too many indiscreet decisions by the present "national leader" have caused significant consequences of major concerns and a future endless deterioration of state, national and world-wide interests. That must not be allowed to continue. Our republic and democratic way of life is too invaluable to have it be destroyed by a narcissistic individual.
I am a proud seven generation, native-born son with Del Valle family roots from the Rancho Camulos near Piru, CA. Aside from that, I consider myself a positive, impersonal, tolerant and fair-minded individual. I have walked the walk and talked the talk.(not too loudly but as to where anyone can hear and understand me). I am a survivor of biased acts growing-up but have no animosity nor anger toward anyone because of past transgressions. I remain an active and dedicated citizen of the Fillmore community and an advocate for the underrepresented and others who need a a helping hand.. We must all help each other, confer, talk and share thoughts about the "new world" we live in.
Peace to all.
Ernie Morales
Fillmore, Ca


To the Editor:
For My Historic Colleagues and Interested Persons:
This info. came to me and I thought you should know, if not already, re Saint Father Junipero Serra Statue. It is a well known welcoming statue depicting early days of Ventura County and City of San Buenaventura and Father Serra’s founding of the San Buenaventura Mission; it’s viewed as you approach on California Street, Ventura, to the front of currently Ventura City Hall/formerly Ventura County Courthouse.(Ventura County Landmark #12–on the National Register of Historic Places—the photo shows the statue). West Coast Historic Statues are not immune from being attacked. The protesters want to tear down or have Ventura City Council remove or decide to remove Serra statue.
This info. was forwarded to me by a local historic enthusiast whose church, the local Fillmore St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church, had members go to Ventura to successfully help guard when Saint Father Serra Statue in front of Ventura City Hall, was in danger of being knocked down by BLM types on July 4th, 2020. The protesters brought tools, that doesn’t sound “peaceful”, to tear down the statue then! By now, most should know BLM (Back Lives Matter) was founded by Marxists. The “peaceful” protesters have made little effort to disengage themselves from BLM, so people are tearing down or defacing valuable statues representing real historical figures or historic buildings. The U.S. President just recently reinforced provisions against the tearing down or defacing of historic art statues and historic structures.
There is a need for you to inform the City of Ventura what the Majority, not a protest group, states to give Your beliefs and stand up for the protection and existing location of the Serra statue. In addition to the statue being nicely placed, the view from the front doors of City Hall of Father Serra gives feeling he is looking down over the City and to the sea!
So please make an effort to send your expression by e-mail to Ventura City, gIving Your opinion of the current statue’s site and to remain there in its existing location to preserve for art and history and of start of Ventura and our County!
Please find the Ventura City Council persons listed below and send your comments to them as suggested below in a) and b) by 3 pm on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, or sooner! (Mayor Matt Levere has already recused himself.). The meeting to decide statue’s fate will be on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 6 pm, and will be “virtual” participation.
Thanks! The Majority needs to be heard!
Kathie Briggs
Architectural Historian
Former Advisor to Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board
Member, National Trust For Historic Preservation


To the Editor:
I received this from a BIA and going to post it here because it is a sincere offer. For Fillmore law enforcement.
"If you are a law enforcement officer and need a break, you can come park outside my home. If you are thirsty I will bring you a drink. If you are hungry I will fix you food. If you are hot I will invite you inside to cool off. If you need additional ammo just ask. If you need backup, I will stand with you. If you need to cry, I will hug you and let you. If you need to talk I will listen. If you need to pray, I will kneel with you. If you are wrong, I will tell you. If you are right I will support you. I only ask that you don't lose faith in Americans. We are NOT all against you. Our lives matter, as do yours. Take off your sunglasses and see the good people that are here for you. Albeit, we are not as loud and obnoxious as these whiny media seekers, we are strong and waiting to follow your lead. God Bless you and your family. Copied from a friend!
Dmitri E. Gurkweitz
Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
July 8, 2020

To the Editor:
Well, enjoyed small safe and sane fireworks at my son's yesterday. Great grandson Aiden had a great time lighting them. THEN....got home about 9 PM and the "BOMBS didn't stop all around my house until after midnight. I mean almost non stop! Not bangs...BOMBS!!...so loud and deep felt like the house was shaking. My girls were scared to death...I ended up closing the three of us in the bedroom with the TV on full blast to give the girls a little relief from the noise. Now I am not talking about a couple explosions every now and them..I mean almost no stop! I am not against fireworks in general…but these people last night are just plain uneducated and ignorant neighbors …says this angry Vietnam Veteran.
Dmitri Gurkweitz
Fillmore, Ca


To the Editor:
Very certainly to most parents and families of those who have suffered the loss of life of a loved one. Some may believe that they have suffered undue persecution. They are convinced that because of the pigmentation of their skin they have not received the promises guaranteed in our Declaration of Independence to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They believe this is the reason they have been limited in access to better education, housing and occupations. This may be true in considerable situations however; there may have been other more contributing factors. We should have sympathy and compassion all those who have suffered but they cannot be allowed to contribute to the suffering of others who have no part in what they have experienced.
The Bible tells us that the wicked one is he who comes only to rob, murder and destroy. An additional group from a different ideology is in agreement that black live matter. Amazingly, for their purposes they agree with Jesus Who said in the Bible which they detest; “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom”. The Greek word translated as nation is ‘ethnos’ actually meaning race. The hell bent heretics who are fostering and furthering racial division in America have seized upon the opportunity to place the blame for the turmoil and devastation occurring in our beloved country on the backs of the black protestors. The instigators are the same ones who have promised the colored community much in the past and delivered nothing other than further baseless promises. The true nature of the cultural heritage and accomplishments of people of color has been eliminated from education and the biased fascist media exploits each incidence of officer enforcement as motivated by unproven racial bias.
A young black female student recently spoke at a Presidential rally. She commented that if black lives truly mattered the Democrat dominated House of Representatives would defund the abortion mills run by Planned Parenthood. She added that the academics in the universities would defend the right to unbiased counterculture discourse. I will say in addition the black communities would welcome and support law officers attempting to deescalate the killing of black citizens by black villains. Should an accurate count be compiled across the nation there is little doubt it would indicate the ratio of officer involved shooting and black on black killing would be one to 500, 1000 or even more.
Every city and State taking action to remove funds and cut back on the number of our law officers is controlled by Democrat officials, most in office by the vote of those from whom they are actively removing protection of lives and property. The smaller minority owned businesses are experiencing the greatest devastation created by the BLM mobs that have capitulated to the whims of the anarchists.
It is heart breaking to recognize how many black radical racist bigots have aligned themselves with the left wing ideology. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Susan Rice, Colin Kaepernick and those leading BLM have lent their voices to destroying and ripping apart a heritage of black people Dr. M.L. King described so elegantly. Black lives matter to them as stepping stones in their socialist agenda to shred the nuclear component of the family that binds America together. It is written in their manifesto. They are using their assumed advantage to demand NFL and NBA owners play two Anthems prior to their games in an effort to further the decline of Allegiance to one GOD, one Flag and Nation. I, and I pray hundreds of thousands of likeminded citizens who love America the Beautiful, will abandon and boycott attendnce, watching by T V or buying products from participating sponsors.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian pastor in Germany wrote; ‘To see evil and not call it evil, is evil’.
In Ecclesiastes 8: 11 it is written; ‘An evil deed not swiftly prosecuted, will escalate evil thoughts in the son’s of men’. Go get them swiftly, Mr. President. Amen!!!
S. Mason
Stan Mason

Letters to the Editor
July 1, 2020

To the Editor:
Respecting Preserved Art History and Historic Buildings
As a Architectural Historian, It has been disheartening to see all the disregard and disrespect going on over the nation right now, either the tearing down or defacing of statues or monuments of our forefathers. Statues represent a living history to teach history. Otherwise, there is a big chuckhole in the progression of accurate history. So a big gap in our history is not soothed over/erased as is intended by some short sighted thinkers.
Frenzy causes lack of reason so in tearing down and rioting, they can’t relate to what the statue and its background represents. This is senseless. But if they had realized that even the Teddy Roosevelt statue, in contemporary times, was represented by Robin Williams in the movie, “Night at the Museum”, and somebody they could relate to, maybe they would be sorry for being so hasty.
To make statues like those ruined in the rip down, is now almost a lost art. It takes a long, meticulous process to run the liquid bronzing down inside copper tubes to form the image in the statue mold. If a tube clogs, the entire statue has to be done over. But the statue was lovingly crafted in the first place by masters and generously donated at the time, to commemorate a momentous occasion, for that time in our history. So Statues are works of art besides representing history and pride.
The executive order the President declared for consequences of ruining statues and desecrating statues and historic buildings, et al, reaffirms the laws already in the law books of the National Preservation Act, under the Department of the Interior. In the National Register of Historic Places, every documented official landmark is listed by State and City.
Did you know that Preservation Act affects the officially declared landmarks, historic buildings, places and appointments in our own City? It does!
With this spirit of interest and with a Preservation grant, in 1982-83, a group of Fillmore volunteers took the time to go around in Fillmore’s core area of historic buildings to record, document, photograph, and make up a Survey Book of 398 pages! Any building listed in this book is considered significant and should be preserved and protected, whether it is officially declared a landmark or not. In conjunction with that, a cultural heritage history program was formed and the City Council approved having the Cultural Heritage Board serve as an advisory board and review activity and status of the structures listed in the Survey Book, and other newly found historic sites not located within the core area. The Advisory Board did meet in Fillmore.
Just for reference, the City of Santa Paula does not allow demolition of historic buildings; and citizens of Ventura recently pushed back a mob’s intent to tear down the Father Junipero Serra statue in front of Ventura City Hall (formerly the Ventura County Courthouse). That statue was designed by a Ventura citizen.
Our Community should be taking notice of what is happening even in Fillmore
Mostly the current officials of Fillmore did not grow up in Fillmore. So the urge to remake Fillmore’s ambiance and history is met with less conscience. So the planning and other untrained officials have set aside the historic preservation program including careful reading of the Survey Book, ignoring the signed agreement with the Cultural Heritage Board advisors, “they’re not needed and have to wait to be called in”. The City officials profess to know all. So they have blundered through ever since and have not allowed having guidelines, steps, proper reviews by trained historic preservation experts. Matters are rushed through and experts only have 5 minutes to convince officials to overturn their wrong pathway or conclusion.
If citizens would look to Central Avenue and changes, right now, to the Presbyterian Church, (aka later known as Bible Church; Faith Community Church), listed in the Survey Book and which was built in1929 with gift monies from a former Fillmore mayor, William and wife Carrie King Price, they will see that the Church was mistakenly considered by the City not to be “historically significant”! This building was one of 3 of the most attractive period buildings in town. So it was okay? to covert the church from Mediterranean to Mission-looking style with black trim and take out the significantly attractive priceless stained glass window, a cultural art piece of rarity in Fillmore! Also, inside contained carved wood panels and appointments with open colored stenciled beams. The building was designed locally by Hastings & Yeakle and built by local contractor, Ed Rice. So it was okay? for buildings to become apartments and offices and also displace and end the Sonshine School, run by local citizens, with no City interest in helping that school relocate in town? Was that okay? How does that promote local cultural programs?
The 2 other most attractive Fillmore buildings, the Arts and Science Buildings, on the Fillmore Union High School grounds, represent a pure example of Mediterranean Architecture for the 1930s. That is, until the School District, who did not know its own buildings’ history or that they were officially declared historical landmarks, decided to let State Engineers come in and yank out all the attractive airy grill covered windows—9 windows to each building side—and replace with Non Period, modern dark brown tinted windows (tinted windows were unknown in 1930s). Quite an impact to the buildings! This was done with no City or local input or review. It has jeopardized the buildings’ declared landmark status!
Now the School District is wanting to expand and improve its vocational education. That is a good thing. But with a completely different building style? So this was done without regard for the proposed building to look compatible in architectural style with the overall Fillmore High School complex! The School District is not aware of the history of the area and/or knows that the 500 Block of First Street is a proposed Historic District. The City should know. So the School District brought in the State Engineers and they created a design that is ultra modern and they demolished the other well known memorable building. The new design is not compatible with the proposed historic district nor the residential houses across the street from this stark new building, and will have the view of the distracting building. It is an interrupter for the Block. Also the sight of this stark building will be seen before the landmarks, Arts and Science Buildings, facing Central Avenue, and will loom up behind the Science Building. There should have been some kind of 4-way corner view test from the nearby Central Avenue intersection. This action is expanding the “commercial” look farther north of the intended business district.
The City has enacted the provision, “Adaptive Reuse”, which will dilute the usage and historical? design aspects of the homogeneous 200 to 400 blocks of Central Avenue Business District. This is in another proposed Historic District.
Now the City wants to sell the Fillmore Theatre, which was carefully historically restored after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, because the Theatre is “Surplus”. Is this okay? What absentee owner will recognize its significance?
Also of concern is the advanced speed by which all of the above projects has occurred! Are enough research and results being conducted? Not with the above projects=all in 1 year!
It also has been seen City approval of eliminating “Old or Obsolete” provisions of the Ordinance Code. What are they? It is to the advantage of the Community, not just one person, to check out the proposed and deleted provisions. Look at all the upcoming Public Hearing Notices and their subjects listed in the Fillmore Gazette, the local newspaper of record, to make sure our town has and does not eliminate the provisions in operating for the ambiance and goals of the Community, and not by a few officials geared to get the job done. Without thinking, City decisions could be made that do not consider how the side affects and after-affects could be irreparable to the history, look of City, today and future. Or Fillmore will not look like the Community expects and the City declares Fillmore to be “the Last and Best Small Town”. Or be “Fortune Favored”. Where will those beliefs be found?
Kathleen Briggs
Architectectural Historian
Member, National Trust For Historic Preservation

Letters to the Editor
June 17, 2020

To the Editor:
America needs help to get out of this pandemic and it is not the COVID-19 planneddemic that is in question here but the epidemic of phony, deceptive, misleading information the public major media news networks are communicating. Anyone with a sense of moral decency should know that ALL lives matter, Hispanic, Asian, Italian, Germanic, etc., including the defenders of liberty and justice. It is appalling that a career criminal should be eulogized by broadcasting his death and funeral as that of an outstanding citizen. The Harris County Texas records show numerous felony arrests including several accounts of aggravated theft with a firearm and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute. The media would lead us to believe that he was attempting to reform but his possession of counterfeit currency and attempting to pass it indicates a very different scenario.
The manner of this person’s death was without doubt disturbing and unnecessary however, it was not necessarily racist. It has not yet been justly determined what the officer was thinking. What is easily recognized is that the biased and far left leaning, politically motivated media was swift to accuse and convict the officer of a racist murder. This was the spark that lit the fuse of frustration pent-up by the nationwide lockdown of our liberty and freedom. There are individuals with evil intent in many positions of authority other than those on the front line positioned to keep law and order. Corrupt judges and attorneys, executives in our financial institutions and primary news forums, perverted professors and teachers in our schools and universities, devious political entities and elected officials etc. should ALL be weeded out before their agenda to destroy American sovereignty and independence causes our country to fall from within. The very protestors who voted the despicable politicians into positions of authority are not blameless.
The biased news media could be and should be prosecuted for feeding the fire under the cauldron of unrest. They should be held liable for ‘intent to instigate rioting, destruction of public property and the pilfering of others possessions’. The First Amendment of our Constitution awards Freedom of the Press for the purpose of communicating worthwhile information. It does NOT guarantee their ability to till the soil, plant seeds of outrage and afterward publish or promote the harvest of their deception.
Stan Mason, Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
June 4, 2020

To the Editor:
I have seen conversations on social media talking about organizing a protest here in Fillmore in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I want to speak to those organizing and to anyone who may be considering participating in the protest.
First, I want to let you know that, the entire country agrees with your cause. We all mourn the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer and that officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Sheriff Ayub has condemned the police officers in Minneapolis saying, “The actions of the four officers last Monday cannot be justified or rationalized.”
I support your constitutional right to peacefully protest for your cause. I, and the city, will work with any group in a positive way. Let the world know how strongly you feel about the events of last week. Do so as Martin Luther King and Gandhi, with peace in your hearts and actions, and you will find that the country is on your side. Let’s all work together to make positive improvements.
Tim Holmgren Mayor, City of Fillmore

Letters to the Editor
May 27, 2020

To the Editor:
Recently we have been hearing comments that the death toll from the Corona Virus could be over stated. I wondered how or why that would happen. After doing a little checking I learned why this is the case. It seems that a hospital is reimbursed an average of $5,000 for a patient diagnosed with pneumonia. If that same patient is diagnosed with Corona Virus the hospital receives an average payment of $13,000 and if the patient is put on a ventilator the average payment goes up to $39,000. I am not implying that doctors purposely misdiagnose their patients. On the contrary, the CDC has put out guidelines opening the door for doctors to use discretion when weighing the facts. Even without lab results confirming the Corona Virus diagnosis the Doctor may list the disease as Corona Virus. And with a major financial incentive why wouldn’t the Corona Virus take center stage.
The other question I have is why we are now told to wear a cloth face mask. “While masks may block some droplets, Dr. Fauci Said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do. Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their face more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands. When Dr. Fauci first announced the need to lock down the country the death toll estimate was 2.2 million people in the United States could die. The number was later reduced to between 100,000 and 200,000, and that number was later reduced to around 60,000. The politicians have told us we must sequester at home, close all our non essential businesses close are schools, we are not allowed to go to church, or the theater, or the ball game or, anything else that brings people together. We are releasing criminals while arresting law abiding citizens who just want to support their family. Our rights are being trampled on without a legislator ever voting on a bill to empower the governor to exercise such authority.
There were 61,000 deaths from the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season in the United States. Strange that the press did not even mention it. I guess they were to busy trying to convince us that President Trump colluded with the Russians. So now the question is who do you believe? The press that has been lying to us for the past three years or Doctors who keep changing their mind regarding the severity of the Virus. Are we being lead like a bunch of Lemmings down a false trail? Finding facts defining the extent of the Corona Virus is not difficult. Take the time to question what you hear and decide for yourself what the truth is. Don’t be a Lemming.
David Johnson,
Fillmore Ca 93015


To the Editor:
A family member who consumes primarily conservative media said just 13 days ago “The U.S. death toll will never reach 100,000” while making an argument against physical distancing and comparing Covid19 with the 1968 “Hong-Kong Flu.”
I don’t know what conservative media host my family member got this comparison from but a simple internet search combined with a little thinking-for-yourself would quickly reveal the reasons why we need physical distancing for Covid19.
The Hong-Kong Flu was in the U.S. for 2 years and killed approximately 100,000 Americans.
Covid19 has been in the U.S. for only 5 months and we've already hit the 100,000 dead Americans mark, AND, most of the country has been physically distancing.
If we didn’t do, and don’t continue to do, any physical distancing, over the next year and a half, several models show approximately 2.2 million Americans will be dead.
For people who like to compare Covid19 to the annual seasonal flu or automobile accident deaths, here’s a comparison for you. After 2 years of Covid19, with no physical distancing, we would have more dead Americans than The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, The Indian Wars, The Mexican War, The Civil War, The Spanish-American War, World War 1, World War 2, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Persian Gulf War, and The Global War on Terror COMBINED, and then take that number and multiply it by 2.
I recognize people are being harmed financially, but you need to have a life to have a livelihood.
Let’s all pressure congress and disinfectant-huffer Don in the White House for more financial relief to all who need it.
Scott Duckett,

Letters to the Editor
May 6, 2020

To the Editor:
Coronavirus observations
Enough is enough!!!! According to reliable doctors {without an agenda.} the chance of dying from this virus is .08% in California. In other words you have as many chances to die from a car accident. So why is our governor so determined to destroy the economy of our state? “For our own safety” is his excuse. Are we not capable of taking care of our own safety? | think it is time to stop acting like sheep willing to follow without questions.
Huguette Johnson
Fillmore, Ca.

To the Editor:
Re: Huguette Johnson’s “Coronavirus observations” Letter to the Editor.
It’s too early to establish a reliable death rate for Covid19 but it’s clearly more deadly than the seasonal flu. Even with our current physical distancing measures in place, Covid19 will kill far more people than a bad flu season. The daily U.S. death rate from Covid19 is currently higher than the daily U.S. death rate from car accidents, cancer, heart disease, etc., besides, it’s nonsensical to compare a highly contagious airborne virus to automobile accidents. Automobile accidents are not airborne, not going to sneeze on you, not contagious, and that’s why physical distancing measures are necessary and have already saved 100’s of thousands of lives.
Scott Duckett,

Letters to the Editor
April 1, 2020

To the Editor:
In the tension and uncertainty of the times, it occurs to me that perhaps what is needed is a little humor, and, because there is so little of it to find, my letter will be quite brief. It doesn’t even have to be intended humor.
This week I found, past all the relentless appearances of the president disputing the scientists, doctors and governors regarding governmental assistance and response in this emergency, one really comical Tweet from the President of the United States. Mark this: the USA is not going to pay for the security for Harry and Meghan, if they relocate to LA LA Land. He has too much respect for the Queen. Because that is the kind of news our country is so desperately seeking at this difficult time for the Sussexes.
It’s a window on Trump's mind. Not the fact that the number of masks available are wildly insufficient (he suggested that somebody is getting them "out the back door" in NYC, that ventilators in federal government reserve are not all being released, and that the president rewards only governors and states that “have been nice to him.” Because, you know, “it’s a two-way street.” Google it.
The test of government is whether it resolves problems for the benefit of all the people. It exists for no other reason.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore CA

Letters to the Editor
March 18, 2020

To the Editor:
March 13, 2020
I’m sorry folks but I find myself having to write in response to Kelly Scoles. This time she has taken on the mantel of Corona Virus expert and social guru. For a woman who says she does not hate President Trump she does a poor job of hiding it.
Let’s put some things into perspective. Yes the Corona Virus is a nasty virus and yes it has killed some people but it will not destroy our country. Remember the last pandemic that the news media told us about. The year was 2009 and it was called the Swine Flu. We were told it would have a major effect on our health system. When all the dust had settled we were left with the following statics. A total of 60 million American had contracted the Swine Flu. Of that 60 million 300,000 were hospitalized and 18,000 died from the Swine Flu. The main difference between then and now was that Barack Obama was president. There was no way the press was going to call him incompetent even if he did not make a public announcement until over 1,000 people had died. As of March 12" 40 Americans have died from the Corona Virus. The State of Washington is responsible for 70% of those fatalities. And 77% of the fatalities in Washington State were residents of one nursing home. Another interesting fact is that no one under the age of 50 has died from the Corona Virus in the United States. So that begs the question, why are we cancelling all the sporting activities? Why is the press constantly pounding us with dire predictions of gloom and doom? Could it be this is politically motivated? The press has been trying to convince us a recession is just around the corner. Is this an attempt to convince the American people to stay home and not spend any money? That’s a good way to put a damper on the economy. Let’s apply some common sense and use caution when going out in public, but let’s not succumb to the irrational hysteria we are being pummeled with by a politically motivated news media.
Huguette Johnson
Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
March 3, 2020

To the Editor:
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I did not hate Trump, but that I feared him. This last two weeks are one illustration of why.
This administration forfeited a near-month long heads up about Covid-19 because our president believed the virus was a “foreign problem,” against explicit warnings by his health advisors who are experts in the spread of disease. Surprisingly, when he eventually passed to the scientifically-challenged VP the responsibility for the health task force, some truth finally emerged. Dr. Tony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in a televised meeting of the task force, had to wrestle with Trump over how long a vaccine would take. On Sunday TV shows Fauci had to defend his commitment to the truth about the virus, to insist that vaccines will take a year or more, not the three or four months prediction the president “prefers.”
It is reported that, from the very beginning, the president argued not to tell the public about the true characteristics of the virus so as not to “spook the markets.” Trump wanted to keep a boatload of passengers to remain aboard a stricken vessel near San Francisco so “the numbers will be better…and it’s not our (his) fault.” Trump brays that lower prices at the gas pump mean savings for citizens and ignores the fact that we are now oil self-sufficient; Houston, we have a problem. He assured us that “everyone who needs a test can have one,” only to be corrected by his own health advisors. And still, he publicly laments that “maybe he should have been a doctor” he is so brilliant about medicine. Clearly, he lives an alternate reality.
This is where the fear emerges. Trump, contrary to his claims, clearly knows nothing about epidemiology, despite efforts to inform him, and would rather control the story to his political advantage than solve the problem. It’s not so much that he
doesn’t know; what is frightening is that he refuses to listen to those who do. He cut funding to all health organizations responsible for containing infectious disease over the last three years. An expensive lesson for Mr. Trump. And for us. The truth is, we have never been able to trust this president to manage this crisis or any other. He is his own expert in all things. Remember, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do.” “I think I know about it [the economy] better than [the Federal Reserve]. “ “Technology — nobody knows more about technology than me.” “Who knows more about lawsuits than I do? I’m the king.” “I know more about courts than any human being on Earth.” “I, alone can fix it.” A man who knows everything can learn nothing. And that is a frightening situation when that person is the president of the United States.
We are now past containment and into mitigation of the virus. You know all the rules about hand washing, etc. Stay healthy.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore CA

Letters to the Editor
March 4, 2020

To the Editor:
One concerning issue coming our way is the coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China. World travel being what it is, protection against pandemics requires transparency, long-term and short-term preparations, and the funding to support them. The coronavirus sheds light on the administration’s lack of understanding and preventable failures in meeting this and future health threats.
COVID-19 is still considered a fairly low risk to Americans, but U.S. health officials have been warning for over a month that a pandemic was a significant threat, with very little response from our government. Now, when the threat appears to be gaining steam worldwide, our president rants that Democrats are weaponizing the threat to hurt the stock market and make him look bad. Don Jr. declared that Democrats are hoping the virus kills millions of Americans to end his father's "winning streak." How small, self-centered, and miserable do people have to be to make such hateful statements? But, it is a chance to once again play victim.
VP Mike Pence is the new coronavirus czar though he has no medical background and barely believes in science. He managed to expedite the spread of HIV as governor of Indiana by banning needle exchange (go ahead and inject with your infected friend's needle). The president, when the threat became apparent this last week, did try to fund anti-virus efforts by offering up 37 million dollars designated to help poor people obtain winter heating oil as funding against the contagion. What a guy.
When the Obamacare (ACA) was passed in 2010, it established and financed the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), but Republicans have worked to undermine that law (and all things Obama). When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law in 2018, it cut $750 million from the PPHF. The significant reduction in funding to the PPHF has been accompanied by cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and staffing has been slashed. In 2018, the Trump administration further diverted millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Trump administration’s budget for 2020 proposes additional drastic cuts to public health and the CDC. Mercifully, those proposals are unlikely “wins” for the administration in either the House or Senate, certainly now. But we are already unprepared because of the lack of funding in the prior three years.
Trump, as always, wants to gut the U.S. contribution to international organizations, specifically the World Health Organization (WHO), whining as he always does that other countries are not paying their fair share. Trump again fails to see that disease (like failed alliances for national security with NATO) puts everyone at risk in a world that grows smaller every day. Disease knows no national borders and this virus is not the last threat we will see.
Just as he does in taking his Sharpie to facts and programs and maps he doesn't like, Trump believes that saving his own presidential hide is the true bottom line. In fact, it is the health and welfare of the nation. He gambled that the health funding wouldn't be needed, and he lost.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, Ca

Letters to the Editor
February 26, 2020

To the Editor:
Ms. McLeod’s assertion that I hate the president is incorrect. I save my hate for adults in authority who shield abusers, particularly of children. These would include abusing and abuse-tolerant clergy and of offenders in the Boy Scouts of America. It is correct, however, that while I respect the office, I do not respect many of the actions, statements, unconstitutional acts and uncivilized norms of this president.
This is a man with incredibly errant morals, in words and actions. He mocks others, including persons with disabilities, a prisoner-of-war American hero, and even gold-star families. He pays off porn stars. He makes a big show of giving money to vets, and then doesn’t do it. He gives every indication that he, at the very least, is tolerant of racism. He cages children, some of whom will never see their parents again. This man charges the government top dollar (yours) to house his security forces at his own establishments, though he claims he gives them a special rate (Google it to expose that lie). He frequently praises dictators and insults our allies in our name. He removes anyone from his cabinet and circle who does not completely agree with him, because to disagree with him is, in his own words, a traitorous act, and “un-American.”
Trump is a man who famously lies constantly. It’s as if he’s testing to see just how far afield he can go before his crowd turns on him in disbelief. So far, he can lie at will, and claim that anyone who challenges his many untruths or misconduct is perpetrating a “hoax” or a “fake news” story, or a treasonous attack on, not just him, but the country itself. If your child never took responsibility for his acts but always blamed others, constantly congratulated him or herself for real or imagined achievements, made fun of and bullied others, cast aspersions upon anyone who questioned him, and lied repeatedly, I believe you would obtain medical advice or treatment for that child as soon as possible.
Even more concerning is his view of the presidency and the balance of power. Ask yourself this: if and when a Democrat becomes president again, will you still insist that when he/she exercises “unlimited power over government," he/she can do “whatever I want?” No checks and balances, no calling out the president for overreach. That would mean, in retrospect, every single thing that Obama did was absolutely within his unlimited powers.
No, I don’t hate Trump. I wonder how someone who is essentially a showbiz personality has convinced so many of my countrymen to ignore this man behind the curtain and find a person worthy to lead our great country. I don’t hate Trump, I fear him and I fear for the future of our republic.
Kelly Scoles
Fillmore, CA

Letters to the Editor
February 19, 2020

To the Editor:
I live in Fillmore and care deeply about the city. I am very concerned about the upcoming election for Board of Supervisors. While many know us for our festivals and being the safest city in Ventura County, fewer know that we have a single and quite dependable water source, our large and constantly refilling aquifer. That aquifer, the ONLY water source for Fillmore, is potentially in danger. An oil shaft has been drilled illegally within a mile of the aquifer and that shaft runs through the underground stream that feeds the aquifer. That well is currently under review with the EPA but with the recent opening of millions of acres of public land opened to drilling and mining we fear for our clean water.
Kim Stephenson is running for Board of Supervisors. Ms. Stephenson has received no donations from the oil industry. She is accepting small donations only. Ms. Stephenson has spoken with hundreds of Santa Clara Valley residents and knows what issues we face. She will fight to represent us in all areas and will protect our water and natural resources.
Unfortunately, Kelly Long has received unprecedented large donations and support from the oil industry in her last election and even more this election period. I do not trust that Kelly Long will vote in favor of our clean water source and against the oil industry as she is now indebted to them for their HUGE contribution to her campaign. For that reason and many others reasons I urge you to research the funding and voting record and platforms of the candidates and realize that KIM STEPHENSON is the person to elect for District 3, Ventura County.
Lynn R. Edmonds
Fillmore, Ca
To the Editor & Community of Fillmore:
And that was so evident for those who attended the Celebration-of-Life on January 25th, 2020 for Angel Carrera Jr. who passed away on August 14th, 2019 at the age of 67, in Sacramento, California.
On behalf of the Memorial Committee of: sister Ana Maria and husband Tony Vega, sister Olivia Carrera Lopez, classmates Tony and Sandra Gaitan, Joe Ramirez, friends
Rick and Juanita Ferrer, Comadre Debbie Sanchez, Godson Gabriel “Pokey” Sanchez
III, Mathew Sanchez, Compadre Roberto Juarez, Goddaughter Jaclyn Morales, and
Compadre Jack Morales, we express our sincere gratitude and thank you’s to all who attended and supported us on that eventful day at the Fillmore Veteran’s Memorial Building.
The welcoming of Angel’s family- Mrs. Marta Carrera, sons Angel Carrera III and
Andrew Carrera, brother Joe Pedroza and family, sister Ana Maria Vega and family, and sister Olivia Carrera Lopez and family were recognized.
Classmate, Deacon Manuel Martinez blessed the celebration. A delicious lunch was provided and served by taquero Fernando Cervantes to more than 250 people. A collage of pictures was shown, and music was played by DJ Matthew Sanchez.
The reading of the obituary was read by Angel’s son, Andrew Carrera and followed with remarks and memories by speakers, Mr. Jim Fauver, Compadre Roberto Juarez,
Willie Rivera, Brother Joe Pedroza, Tony Gaitan, Joe Ramirez, Eddie Reyes on behalf of Rudy Reyes, Norbert Riesgo, and classmate Vernon Kenfield. Mr. Bruce Dempsey was also in attendance.
A reading of a prayer/poem was read and highlighted by Goddaughter Jaclyn Morales.
A Proclamation of Adjournment meeting for Angel Carrera from the Ventura County
Board of Supervisors was presented to Mrs. Marta Carrera and sons from Fillmore Councilman Manuel Minjares and Field Representative for Supervisor Kelly Long.
A Proclamation of Recognition for Veterans was presented to Angel’s brother Joe
Pedroza, from sister Olivia Carrera Lopez on behalf of Angel’s government service and work with Veteran’s statewide. About 20 local veterans who knew Angel were in attendance, honored and saluted Angel on his dedicated achievements to Veterans.
A song titled, Humble and Kind from Tim McGraw was played. Angel Carrera III spoke of his father on what the song meant to him.
At least 25 members of the Fillmore Class of 71 were present to honor, support, and celebrate the eventful occasion. Mr. Kenny “Sunny” Sundstrum, extended his talents and versatility in singing and playing two songs in honor of his classmate, Angel.
A closing blessing of the celebration was given by Deacon Manuel Martinez with continued socializing, music and many desserts to conclude the occasion.
Two Fillmore Organizations, The Fillmore Alumni Association and The Fillmore
Veteran’s Memorial Building will benefit from monetary contributions in the amount of $1300.00 each that was sent by family, friends, and classmates on behalf of Angel Carrera Jr.
In conclusion, we the committee express our sincere gratitude and many thanks for the support we received for Angel’s Celebration-of-Life and ask God for his many blessings to each of you who attended and made financial contributions.
With much sincerity and gratitude, The Memorial Committee of Angel Carrera Jr.
To the Editor:
Kelly Scoles, in her hate for anything Trump, stated last week that "Betsy DeVos (Trump's Head of Education) is destroying the backbone of our nation: the public school system." Well let's look to a few historical facts and when our educational system started to fail and what could be the cause.
American public education is in poor shape today because of cultural and social trends, most beginning in the 1960s, which destroyed classroom discipline, the moral basis for education, and a national consensus on what students should learn (1969 Tinker v. Des Moines, a landmark Supreme Court Ruling had a huge impact) but does that explain why American students do not possess the communication and computational skills they need today to succeed in college or in the working world? Let's look back.
An article published 27 years ago (DeVos wasn't in charge) in Foundation for Economic Education, Feb 1, 1993 writes; "When government policy continues to impose rigid personnel rules, bureaucracy, regulations, and a mandate to use education to engineer social or political outcomes, a school cannot successfully impart the needed skills, knowledge, and perspective to its students—whether these students choose to be there or not.....'Do-gooders' throughout the twentieth century have sought to expand the role of public education in all aspects of what was once family life, such as instilling moral values, providing health and nutrition, fighting delinquency and crime, and protecting children from physical and psychological abuse. Today, they are the primary advocates of Head Start and other supplements to school that intervene in virtually every aspect of a student’s life."
The article goes on to state statisics of past changes; "From 1955 to 1991, the average pupil-teacher ratio in U.S. public schools dropped by 40 percent." So years ago class size was addressed.
What about spending? "Annual expenditures per pupil in U.S. public schools exploded by about 350 percent in real dollars from 1950 ($1,189) to 1991 ($5,237). In only two years during this 40-year period did spending fall: 1980 and 1981. Spending grew by about a third in real terms from 1981 to 1991"
Today California spends $104.4 Billion each year (50.4% of the General Fund) which is $11,993 per student per school year and even more on ESL/ELL students. So our problems aren't added funding, but supporters of overturning Prop. 13 sure want you to think we need to tax more and throw more money at it.
Failures 32 years ago showed, "Just five percent of 17-year-old high school students in 1988 could read well enough to understand and use information found in technical materials, literary essays, historical documents, and college-level texts. This percentage has been falling since 1971......Average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores fell 41 points between 1972 and 1991. Apologists for public education argue that such factors as the percentage of minority students taking the SAT can explain this drop. Not true. Scores for whites have dropped." So it wasn't skin color!!! But what this 27 year old artical states as a possible cause in failure is ".....the rise in recent decades is the use of America’s public schools for the purpose of engineering some social outcome deemed desirable by political leaders. This is an unavoidable, and perhaps insurmountable, failing of government-run education."
Betsy DeVos had nothing to do with our past education failures that continue today. But according to Kathy Scoles she will destroy it. When hating Trump is everything, why stick to facts and just throw anything at the public and use the kids as victims.
Jean Mcleod
Fillmore, Ca