Letters to the Editor

March 23, 2007
River Valley Club To the Editor:Families with a senior having Alzheimer’s disease or other special need will want to know of a local adult day program. This is the River Valley Club operated by Hospice of Santa Clara Valley. It is housed at El Buen Pastor Methodist Church, 1029 East Santa Paula Street in Santa Paula. This program was developed over many years by Cathy Barringer and many other local individuals. The Santa Paula City Council and City Manager have provided needed assistance. Hundreds of local persons have attended fundraisers and otherwise participated in activities to promote this endeavor.The Club offers many activities including exercise, art, games, and other services professionally adapted to the needs of the individual. An effort is made to stimulate the mind of participants in order to maintain and improve function. A nutritionally balanced meal is served. The intent is to provide respite for caregivers and a safe, pleasant experience for those in need of service, thus enhancing quality of life at home. This can often delay or even eliminate the need for nursing home placement. Most importantly, the River Valley Club staff really cares, and that makes all the difference.They are currently offering an introductory experience that is free of charge. Ongoing charges are currently being revised and are very reasonable. The intent is to help those who need these services. My own wife participates and we are highly pleased.If you know of a family in need of such service, you can help by letting them know of this community program. Anyone interested may phone 525-5808 to arrange a tour and an individual assessment.Delton Lee JohnsonSanta PaulaHospital on the HillTo The Editor:My family respectively extends our sincerest appreciation to the wonderful staff at Santa Paula Hospital – the nurses, technicians, physicians and administrators.Their excellent care and compassionate concern for June Pendleton Welsh earlier this month made Mom’s emergency visit and extended stay at the hospital not only physically successful but emotionally beneficial.Each day Mom is getting healthier and happier at home under the thoughtful supervision of husband Gordon, and her entire family counts our blessings. The Santa Paula community we’ve been a part of for more than 50 years should share a tremendous civic pride for our vital and vibrant “hospital on the hill.”Roger & Yvonne PendletonJohn & Steph PendletonMary & Glenn DeinesNecessary growthTo the Editor:I want to let my fellow citizens know of the support of our family for the extension of the CURB line to include the well-planned and moderate development of Adams Canyon.Nothing can live without growth. This sensible proposal will benefit our whole community, increasing the market of local businesses, expanding the job prospects of our young people, and improving the quality of life in our cherished city.We join with our old friends Judge Ed Beach, Steve Smead, and many other local leaders in urging prompt action to further this development.Dr. Richard FerrierTutor, Thomas Aquinas College27-year Santa Paula residentThanks, Supervisor LongTo the Editor:Residents along the Santa Paula Creek recently celebrated the dedication of The Streambank Protection Project, which includes 24 groins built of rocks that run along the east and west banks. We also celebrated the Project by dedicating it to the late Emil Zadron, an elderly resident who greatly assisted in the residents’ cause to fix our Creek.We want to sincerely thank all of Supervisor Kathy Long’s efforts and determination to help the many residents along the Santa Paula Creek in the Mupu School area.My wife and I started writing letters in 1995 about our concerns over bank erosion. We continued to write and call government officials about our concerns, but it got us nowhere. We then decided to go to our neighbors in 2000. Since October 2000, Supervisor Long has worked with residents, many government entities, on all levels. It has been a very long, very frustrating process. The residents formed the Santa Paula Creek Task Force and met with Supervisor Long, the Watershed Protection agency and the Army Corp of Engineers to try to find a viable solution to help stabilize our banks. She coordinated these many meetings and tried her best to find a solution to this ever-increasing problem. After the January 2005 storms, the Creek was destined to make its way toward the City of Santa Paula. At this point, the NRCS provided funding for the Streambank Protection Project.We have lived along the Santa Paula Creek since 1984. The Creek today is much different as it was then. And we had no idea that storms from 1990 to present would greatly affect our backyards and homes. One resident lost his home, and many have lost 30-100 ft. or more of property and the creek has doubled in width in our area -- it is now as wide as a football field.Supervisor Kathy Long did not give up on our cause, she stood by us; and without her assistance and persistence, if not for her we would still be living in fear of losing more property with each and every severe storm.Thank you very much Supervisor Kathy Long.Mike KarayanSanta PaulaNeighborhood watchingTo the Editor:Many months ago, a little 9-year old girl was kidnapped from her neighborhood in Florida by a paroled sex predator living nearby. Within a short time, the child was found dead, having been raped and buried while still alive. I don’t know if this evildoer photographed or filmed this to sell, but I would not be surprised. The monster’s friends and family lied to investigators to keep him from being arrested, maybe while the child was still alive. Later he was picked up and recently he was convicted. He was a methamphetamine drug addict.Just this week, I read about 6-year old Christopher Barrios of Georgia, who was kidnapped from a neighbor’s yard. His body was found dead in a plastic bag, just like the little girl. Police are questioning – guess who - a paroled drug addict sex offender who lived nearby.This week, I saw on TV a 101-year old woman from New York get punched in the face repeatedly by a purse-snatcher. I would bet money the immoral thug is a drug addict.All of this is horrible and outrageous. These individuals are methamphetamine drug-addicted kidnappers, torturers, pedophiles, child murderers, and beaters of old people. They allow themselves to exhibit and express the worst combination of failings and flaws a human being can degrade to. They are time bombs waiting to go off.The few police we have are most effective after a crime has already occurred. We, the many, can prevent a kid from being raped and killed or an old person from being purse-snatched and beaten by noticing where the drug addicts live, watching what they do, and calling the police over and over and over. Call, so the police will come and knock on the door and let these unreformed parolees and drug addicts know they are being watched. Use your cell phone when you are out and about.It doesn’t matter if you are a neighbor, landlord, brother, sister or fellow drug addict - you do not have to tell the police who you are when you call. Don’t tolerate these destroyers. Keep them guessing about when the police will show up. Maybe they’ll grow up, get right, or just move on.Rita GrahamSanta PaulaA short message about Adams CanyonTo the Editor:It’s going to happen whether we like it or not. But, will the county control it or our city? With the county’s record protecting Santa Paula, i.e. the jail, the garbage dump, and maybe soon the asphalt plant, I think Santa Paula should be managing this development, and of course reaping the taxes from it. Lots of taxes.If you disagree with me, fine. But it’s going to happen whether you like it or not.It’s a done deal with the county. But it could be a better deal for Santa Paula.Dion AndersonSanta PaulaYes for local controlTo the Editor:I realize that Adams Canyon has been voted down twice, and that people are getting tired of reading, and hearing about it again. I believe that the first two times, a lot of people got it confused with Fagan Canyon, and voted no without knowing the importance of bringing Adams Canyon into our sphere of influence.Let’s don’t get the cart before the horse here. At this time, we are only talking about voting to allow Adams Canyon to be brought into our CURB. We are not voting now to allow houses, parks, hotels or golf courses on the property.This can only be done if the voters approve the measure. That will be the time to holler, yell, and cuss at the City Council. Vent your feelings and demand that only one house for every 500 acres be allowed.The problem is, if the issue doesn’t pass, you can’t holler, yell, and cuss at anyone.Ventura County will allow whatever they decide to be built in the canyon. Depending on who the property owner sells to. Now stop and think for a minute, what has the County done for Santa Paula over the years. We have a nice landfill to the East of us, a nice jail to the West of us, and if you go down to the end of Briggs Rd., turn right and continue down Mission Rock Rd., you’ll find junk yards, auto dismantlers old oilfield junk etc.There is also a green waste disposal site. The newest thing under consideration by the County is a disposal site for solids from sewer plants at the landfill.Maybe Adams Canyon would be a good place to put it.Keep in mind also that the City limits of Ventura are only about four miles to the west of us, just this side of Wells Rd.The whole point of this letter is to let you know how important it is for the citizens of this city to have a say as to who and what can be built, or put in Adams Canyon.This can only happen with a yes vote on the ballot.Wayne AlleeSanta PaulaIt’s progress plus
To the Editor:It will create much very badly needed money through tax dollars that will be generated with the movement of the CURB line (Santa Paula city limit) addition farther south to include Adams Canyon. Homes to be built will be on acreage, or you could say mini ranchos, with landscaping, board fences, horses, trails, a big park, a new school, fire and police station, and a big beautiful golf course (open space) with a hotel and spa. This will create much needed employment. Lots of it.And it will be a “very well planned” and a very beautiful countryside that this part of the county has never seen and that Santa Paula will be proud of. Businesses will come into town that so many locals have wanted for years. This is your big chance to make it happen.I have heard many say, “Please let it happen.” “Please don’t build any more of those multi apartment low tax draw units in our town that have gone up in the last four years.” For now let’s give the nice new stores behind K-mart a chance. And the very well done new dentist office there. Very nice people all.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaQuestions for SOARTo the Editor:Last week I received a letter from SOAR, and I have a few questions in regard to their letter.Who is the developer they are talking about? The last I heard this Measure A7 was being put forth by local citizens of Santa Paula.Before Adams Canyon is developed, it has to go through a vote by the people of Santa Paula, AFTER Measure A7 is passed. You can’t ask anyone to present a plan of any kind until the Canyon is brought into our CURB, and THAT IS ALL that Measure A7 does.They claim the Canyon is the wrong place for growth. Another question from me is, where is the right area for growth? Maybe in the Valley where all of the citrus is located? Possibly along the banks of the river?One of the biggest misleading statements in the letter is, and I quote, “Santa Paula residence know that a 10-square-mile expansion into Adams and Wheeler Canyons, doubling the landmass of our city, is a bad Idea.” NOWHERE, in any of the Measures that were voted on, was Wheeler Canyon ever mentioned. It is already being developed by Ventura County, and I might add, it is not doing a good job.What do these people want? Santa Paula will NEVER be what it was in the 50s and 60s. I would bet that 95% of the people for SOAR go to Ventura or Oxnard to buy clothes, shoes, tools, kitchen utensils, bedding supplies, electrical and appliances, and building materials.The merchants in Santa Paula try their best to accommodate our demands, but it is impossible for them to compete with the big box and wholesale outlet stores.The only way we can expect to get a better variety of inventory, into the local merchants’ stores, is to get people into Santa Paula that will help the economy.Wayne AlleeSanta PaulaGroundhog DayTo the Editor:As we approach the 100th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s birthday, it is well to reflect on her landmark book “Silent Spring”, published in 1962. Especially here, since we are facing a fourth election about Adams Canyon development. This is like the movie “Groundhog Day”, when every time you wake up, you are facing the same thing over and over again. Yard signs, political phone calls, sleepless nights, etc.Carson realized then, after two decades of writing about the pure wonders of nature, that millions of Americans were in denial; denying that they weren’t upsetting the natural world. It dealt specifically with pesticide use, but more generally with the larger issue of whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself.As we slide into this most recent battle over urbanizing a remote canyon twice the size of Santa Paula with no physical connection to it, proponents writing to the Times almost exclusively tout economic benefits to the city, which would be “lost” to the county if Pinnacle holds true to its word. After losing the election just one Groundhog Day ago their spokesman said, “That’s it! We give up and are going to the county to build 35 homes in the canyon.”Rachel Carson’s book first sprang the idea that nature is fragile, nevertheless, we continue to act as if that were not the case. She is quoted, “One great trouble… is this desire of the quick and easy way of doing something, without consideration of the consequences. Even if the consequences are known, there is still a great temptation to go ahead and let the future take care of itself.” Her work still speaks to us, because she was an uncompromising student, not just of nature, but of human nature itself.Voters have denied urbanizing Adams Canyon three times. It has no extra water of its own. Foothill Road is narrow and has no shoulders; the scene of many accidents over the years, and can’t be widened without massive hillside excavation. But, lose once, and that’s it. I have heard an opinion, “Adams Canyon – I’m voting for it. We need more rich people in this town, and the traffic won’t come by me” from one who voted against Fagan Canyon because of traffic concerns. Not really a “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” attitude. But most simply say, “If we don’t take it, the county will.”This is hard to understand – why the county, which has a balanced budget, would want to take on flood protection, road maintenance, law enforcement, and especially fire protection for the measly tax dollars of 35 mini-ranches, in this geologically unstable, dry canyon, given their experience with La Conchita? It seems a false argument. Their other main reason for this urgency is that our 1939 sewer plant needs replacement, and therefore we must displace the farmlands and chaparral ecosystem with luxury homes to pay for it. This is just what Rachel Carson predicted 45 years ago. The #1 cause of the continuing loss of species is loss of habitat due to human encroachment. Gas prices, Cable TV, health insurance, and telephone bills make rapid cost increases and people absorb them. But somehow A-7 proponents say we must sacrifice this canyon to pay higher sewer costs. Another opinion is that SOAR will try to confuse voters. SOAR will do what their acronym says; try to convince that we should save open space and agricultural areas from urbanization for a better quality of life. And hopefully someone can give us a realistic idea of the chances of success in placing a hotel and water intensive golf course in a distant canyon. Is it a slam dunk that it would be another Lake Sherwood or Ojai Valley Inn, or could it struggle, change ownership, like most hotels do, as it drains valuable water resources from our city supplies?On the other side of the campaign, Pinnacle’s last election slogan was “Mil Trabajos”, when they predicted a $20 million gain to our city. They’ve recalculated that to $5M this time with the same project. Will the new slogan be “Dos Cincuenta Trabajos”?Douglas SmithSanta PaulaVote yesTo the Editor:I feel strongly that moving the Santa Paula CURB line to include Adams Canyon is very important to the future of Santa Paula. Well worth the expense and efforts of the upcoming special election. I urge the voters to vote yes.Roy C. Wilson Jr.Santa PaulaOpportunity knockingTo the Editor:I am a senior citizen of this community having been born here. I spent my childhood years here, attending schools through high school. I moved to the Los Angeles area in 1948 and returned to Santa Paula in 1972.At the time there was still a downtown shopping area, as time progressed I watched our community and our downtown deteriorate.We need help, we need to extend our CURB line to include Adams Canyon, we need growth, we need the citizens of Santa Paula to speak up and realize that without growth our community will continue to deteriorate. A “YES” on A-7 will at least give us an opportunity to grow.The one very bright star that has emerged in our community is the reopening of our Hospital. I had need of a hospital, I was given a choice of hospitals. I chose Santa Paula. I was so impressed by the attentive staff, the condition of the hospital, the overall experience was excellent. I would like to publicly thank the staff and the administration of the Santa Paula Hospital, they did an excellent job of taking care of my needs.Please support A-7.Alexandria VillaSanta PaulaSOAR no more….To the Editor:As with many organizations, SOAR has forgotten its original purpose, which was to protect our environment and preserve open space and precious agricultural land. SOAR now appears to have evolved into a political puppet, serving one or two special interest groups.Over the last few days, by US mail, many in our city received SOAR letters asking us to donate to SOAR and to vote “NO” on Measure A-7. Personally, I have already thrown my contribution envelope away, and I am definitely voting “YES” on A-7 – and I urge you to do the same. Let’s look at the faulty arguments forwarded by SOAR:SOAR SAYS: “We have voted on this before.” TRUTH IS: This is the first time that any project proposed for Adams Canyon will get a fair vote. Several years ago, we voted on a project that was for over 2200 homes. The proposition failed. The land developer got the message and downsized the project to what the community wanted, approximately 500 homes. It was SOAR and other special interest groups that spread deceptive and misleading information in the subsequent election to confuse the voters. Confusion was further compounded by the two different canyons, Fagan versus Adams, coming up at almost the same time. Now residents of Santa Paula, local citizens, have sponsored Measure A-7 and are actively distributing factual and truthful information about A-7, and only this issue will be on the May ballot. I think that it is worth reminding those who do not already know, that the local representative/spokesman for SOAR works for Cabrillo Economic Development which stands to benefit significantly from the agenda of low-end housing that they favor and which now appears to be one of SOAR’s new areas of interest, as opposed to the environment. One might view this as a conflict of interest, don’t you think? This same agenda was actively promoted by SOAR during the failed Fagan debacle. Where was the concern for the environment or “open space” in their position last year when Fagan came up for vote?SOAR INFERS: A-7 is an initiative sponsored by a developer (Pinnacle). TRUTH IS: A-7 is not Pinnacle sponsored. It is sponsored by a group of local citizens who care deeply about our city and see Adams as a major solution to our massive financial problems. If we do not pass this initiative, the developer is already set to build a smaller development through the county, and Santa Paula will get nothing - that’s right, absolutely nothing. Zip, zero. Further, SOAR has not offered even one approach to solving our financial situation, rather, they are promoting more low-end housing, which would drive us even further into the financial hole. We need a housing balance (more high end), and we have a long way to go.SOAR TALKS ABOUT: 450 luxury homes being a “wasteful” use of the land. TRUTH IS: The people with enough money to buy these homes will contribute in a major way to Santa Paula’s economy. Santa Paula desperately needs money! The new sewer plant is just one example. Further, SOAR forgets to mention that the initiative states that Pinnacle is donating more than a hundred acres of their best flat land to our city for a school (40 acres) and 100+ acres for playing fields, soccer fields, and other recreational uses. They also fail to mention the revenue to be generated by a golf course and hotel, along with the jobs that will be created for local citizens and revenue for businesses.I could go on and on about the misrepresentations and distortions in the SOAR letter, but you get the idea, and I am sure there will be more to come. Their budget is apparently unlimited because they raise money countywide and have a few “fat cats” they can always call upon for the “big bucks.” SOAR is no longer representing the interest of the environment, but now appears to have a special interest agenda involving high-density housing, supposedly because that is less “wasteful” of the land. We need financial solutions; they have none, they are mired in negativism. We need a balance of housing; they want to give us even more low-end housing. We don’t want it, and our city cannot afford it. Basically, for the past four years, before the City Council membership changed, low-end housing is all that has been built in Santa Paula. This is a new day; our new Council actually discusses and debates real issues for a change. How refreshing!Please join me in VOTING YES on A-7 and please ask your friends to do the same. This is a one-time opportunity for Santa Paula.Larry S. SagelySanta PaulaKeep Adams “county”To the editor:The confusion about Measure A7 and county control needs some clarification for voters. First, Adams Canyon has always been under county control, and any growth in there is limited by current strict zoning to about 35 homes (parcel sizes range from 40 acres to 160 acres). To build the 495 homes that A7 speaks to would require a SOAR vote such as Measure A7 proposes or Measure Y from last year.Currently, Pinnacle has a project under EIR review by the county. Their proposal is for 34 homes. It was suggested to me last year by Greg Boyd during the Measure Y campaign that it would be easy for them to get the zoning changed to allow more homes in the county. Well, this was a bluff as many of us knew, for they didn’t even try.It is clear that Pinnacle would greatly benefit from coming into our CURB so they could build a greater number of houses. Without this vote, their project under the county will be a steep uphill battle because of EIR mitigations just in the area of water and building of septic systems alone. It is likely that even this small number under the county could prove economically unfeasible for them.So, a project in the county and one within our CURB is comparing apples to oranges in terms of what economic gains or losses are at stake. Coupled with Pinnacle’s drastically reduced projected returns – 20 million dollars from last years economic model down to 5 million in A7 - we have to question ourselves whether we really want to take on the significant liabilities associated with upkeep of infrastructure down the road which could wipe out any meager revenues this project might offer us.There are no guarantees in place that the community would actually receive the benefits the developer is claiming, or that the benefits under either scenario would outweigh these added infrastructure costs of serving houses that are so remote and spread out. Our best hope is to keep Adams in the county, where it has always been.Charles SpinkSanta Paula

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