Letters to the Editor

December 30, 2005
Just Say “No” To the Editor:Dear Fellow Santa Paulans,With the City Council’s unanimous (4:0) vote to approve Fagan Canyon, we are urgingSanta Paulans to unite with us in supporting our City Council and not return to the divisive days of our not so distant past.There are those in our city who, in promoting their own narrow self-interests, would tear our town apart at its seams, and return us to the days when we were mired in endless controversy.Fagan Canyon, while not the solution to all of the challenges facing us, is a good move in the right direction that will reap many positive benefits for our town, including new schools and parks, thousands of new jobs, and millions of dollars in new city revenues to help improve existing facilities, at no cost to existing Santa Paula residents!If someone asks you to sign a petition or referendum on Fagan Canyon, say “No thanks.” Then, tell them you support the City Council and you have had enough of those who would hold our town back. It’s time to keep Santa Paula moving FORWARD.ONE Santa Paula Co-ChairsEric Barragan,Yolie Cerda-LeeCheryl BaudizzonSanta PaulaCourtesy lackingTo the Editor:Whether one is for or against Fagan Canyon is a matter of personal opinion. However, the outrageous tactics of the WeScare group while once again misleading the public can’t go unchallenged.At Vons front doors Friday night and Saturday, there were professional signature gatherers there with signs touting an initiative to ban sex offenders, a noble idea, but one I was not prepared to sign until I had a chance to study said initiative. But that was just a ruse to present their real reason for being there, the petition drive to overturn our city council’s approval of the Fagan Canyon project.It was a cheesy attempt at a bait and switch tactic to get people to sign the petitions. Not only wasn’t it Santa Paula voters gathering the signatures, but on Saturday it wasn’t even Santa Paula residents who were running the thing. It was an outsider who was proclaiming his rights and yelling at our Police Department to arrest him.As the story in the Star reported, Vons manager Frank Ybarra called the police to complain about the gatherers’ harassment of shoppers before Fagan Canyon supporters ever arrived.What a despicable performance by the outsiders of WeScare.Craig MaillouxSanta PaulaThe giftTo the Editor:Possibly as a result of the recent phone surveys conducted by a worried developer, the City has undoubtedly learned that our community is not in support of massive development in Fagan Canyon. Why else would they try to derail the circulation of a referendum petition? But it was the mayor’s own suggestion, several months back, that We CARE use the referendum process to challenge the City’s decision, our constitutional right. If Centex, our City government and local businesses feel confident that our community wants this project then they should have no concerns about having the voters approve it at the polls.Now that the City has officially approved 2,147 homes in Phase One of the Fagan Canyon build-out, We CARE has begun to circulate a petition that would allow for voter approval or denial of the project. The petition, which requires 10% of registered voter signatures, will put this development before the people on the June 8th ballot.Printing the petition has been a major undertaking due to the City’s requirements that the entire EIR plus other lengthy documents be attached to the signature pages, a first in California electoral history. In addition, a Spanish translation is included. All combined, the petition consists of over 2000 back to back pages, weighs in at over 25 lbs and stands close to a foot tall---which makes it nearly impossible to bring to your doorstep.There will be courteous and professional petition circulators hired to gather signatures at Vons, Tresierras and Kmart through January 7th. It is important to make an effort to be heard by signing the petition before then. Unless the signatures are collected, Fagan development in its entirety will progress as planned. This season, give Santa Paula THE GIFT that keeps on giving, your voice in determining the future of our town.Lotar ZiesingSanta PaulaAll-time lowTo the Editor:What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Well, well, well, We CARE has really hit an all-time low this time. Hiring professional petition workers to shout at customers shopping at Vons. That’s right, they were doing the shouting, not ONE Santa Paula.Customers were complaining and the police were called before anyone from ONE Santa Paula even got there. Roger Brower and his group from We CARE were sitting on a bench outside the store the entire time and know that. He didn’t “happen” on the incident!It’s amazing how low We CARE will stoop to try and stop the Fagan Canyon project. All of Santa Paula’s citizens should really consider whether they want to in any way be associated with such a group.Speaking for myself, I simply showed up to hold my sign, yes I saw many friends, and when they asked me what was going on I told them. I never told them not to sign the petition as stated by Tony Biasotti in the article. I told them to read what they were signing!I have a message for We CARE. You lost, guys. Get it – you lost. You had years to make your point and say your piece, it’s done. We need the homes, we need the revenue, move on!And if you don’t like the idea that I can hold a sign and stand my ground, here’s an idea to consider. Move to China where they won’t give you that right!Cheryl Baudizzon
Santa PaulaCitizens’ rightsTo the Editor:Through a technicality, the Santa Paula Council has totally ignored the largest petition in the history of the city and given Centex Corporation of Texas the green light to build 2,147 units as Phase One of their Fagan Canyon development. No by-pass is required. The 26,000 additional vehicle trips per day are just to be dumped onto our existing streets that were not built to handle it.The California Constitution grants citizens the right to petition for a referendum that would allow voters to either approve or disapprove a council action. Such a petition is now available. Your signature means just one thing: It will require the council to place this matter on the ballot in order that we may vote.Council members, Centex, and their supporters fear a vote of the people. The city has used the full power of government to prevent a vote, including the use of our tax money to pay for expensive legal maneuvers.Our right to petition the government is protected by the U. S. Constitution, which states, “Congress shall make no law ‘abridging’ the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”As citizens, we now have a unique opportunity to sign and demand a vote. Do not be intimidated by those who would deprive us of this precious right. But if someone attempts to dissuade you from signing, please don’t argue. Their intent is to create an incident that will prevent the gathering of signatures on grounds of a “public disturbance”. The best course of action is to be especially courteous and just quietly sign in accordance with our Constitutional rights. Petitions are available most days in front of Vons, Tresierras, and K-Mart.Some persons fear a vote of the people.Delton Lee JohnsonSanta PaulaWe CARE: The deception continues...unabashedTo the Editor:I would like to share my experience regarding an incident occurring early afternoon on Saturday, December 24, 2005 in front of Vons supermarket.My friend Cheryl and I walked to both front doors VERY PEACEFULLY with pro-Fagan signs. Our goal was to discourage people from signing a referendum petition launched against Fagan Canyon development by the We CARE group. This petition was being served to them in an extremely underhanded and deceptive manner. This is typical of the We Care Group - to blatantly lie and deceive people into supporting their given cause: NO GROWTH for Santa Paula. Please understand that a no-growth policy is synonymous with impoverishment for Santa Paula.As soon as we showed up, three people began to yell at me demanding to know what type of business I owned. I calmly responded that I didn’t but that I am a local resident, then promptly went and held my sign next to a man wearing a wide-brimmed hat who was aggressively pursuing signatures for his petitions (these EMPLOYEES are PAID per signature).As I was GENTLY discouraging people exiting the store not to sign, a We CARE member came and began to scream at me. I honestly don’t even remember what she was saying because she was out of control with rage. I asked her to please leave me alone or I’d call the police. She shouted “GO AHEAD, CALL THE POLICE!” Instead I walked away.Then the management came out, kindly informing us of the possibility that we might all have to leave due to customer complaints. I told him I would be happy to concede their request. The We CARE folks began loudly accusing Cheryl and I of being “paid by developers to disrupt” them; NOT TRUE.Shortly thereafter the police showed up, quietly questioning us and asking us to leave. Cheryl and I peacefully stepped away as this was not our idea of how we wanted to spend our Christmas anyway. The We CARE group wasn’t complying at all and threatened to “sue the city!” because they were being asked to leave as well. They were VERY ANGRY and proceeded to call their attorneys. One woman loudly informed Cheryl she was going to “conduct a citizen’s arrest” on her.These people know what they are doing. They are highly skilled in DECEPTION AND LIES; luring well-meaning petition signers under the guise of “Increasing Penalties against Sex Offenders”...then shoving the REAL REASON they are there under their noses: signing against the ALREADY APPROVED Fagan. YES FOLKS, they had TWO petitions!By the time we left they appeared quite furious, as some were packing up. I’m stunned and shocked they resort to such low-level politicking within our community. We as ONE Santa Paula members have tried relentlessly to pursue peace with We CARE, but they outright refuse. THEIR petition initiative will COST THE CITY thousands.Yolie Cerda-LeeDevout Santa Paula ResidentSanta & Me a successTo the Editor:The staff of the Santa Paula Community Policing Building at Las Piedras Park, the Santa Paula Weed and Seed Committee, and the Santa Paula Police Department wish to thank the following persons, businesses and organizations for making our 7th Annual “Santa & Me” Christmas program possible and successful.We thank the following for their generosity and assistance:Centex Homes – Rick Bianchi, Familia Diaz – Tony Diaz, Troop Realty – Cynthia Dunbar, Cal West Realty – Jim Garfield, Mendez Concrete – Manuel and Lola Mendez, Kmart Stores, Santa Paula Community Center – Ed Mount, RE/MAX Realty – Brian Guevara, RE/MAX Realty – Anita Pulido, Home Boys Inc. – David Allen, Mike Levy – Home Savings of Oxnard, Santa Paula Police Officers Association, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Young, Santa Paula Lions Club, Animal Control Officer John Dunn, Muranaka Farms – Carolyn Muranaka, Vons Stores – Manager Frank Ybarra, Oxnard’s River Ridge Men’s Golf Club, Radio Station Q104, the staff of the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley (Harvard site, Las Piedras site, main office), Chief Robert Gonzales (Ret.), Sandra Easley, Councilman John Procter, Robert Cabral and all the “bikers”, Pastor Johnny Flores – Vineyard Church.Ortiz Farms – Leonard Ortiz, George Vasquez, Nick Taminick – Pacific Inspection.The Santa Paula Police Department: Chief Steve Mackinnon, Asst. Chief Mark Hanson, Sgt. Ismael Cordero, Officers Ken Clark, Hector Ramirez, Paul Spencer, Larry Johnson, Allen Macias, Dan Potter, Mark Cagnacci, CSO Ian Tansiq.A very special thanks to Sr. Officer Jimmy Fogata who made so much of this possible.We look back to 1998 when we began with a candy cane, a small tree ornament and a picture with “Santa”, and look forward to our 8th Annual “Santa & Me” program and our continued partnership with the agencies and organizations who provide services to our community of Santa Paula.Calla DominguezCommunity LiaisonSanta Paula Community Policing BuildingLas Piedras Park

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