Letters to the Editor
March 24, 2017
To the Editor:
I read with interest the article about SPUSD’s decision to allow some private school students to participate on sports teams at Santa Paula High. Some of the concerns raised by critics of the decision make sense, but the article seemed very one-sided, so I want to respond to two points. First, I understand why Cardinal alumni emphasized the importance of the sports teams for the high school community. But Santa Paula High School does not exist on its own or for its own sake. As a public high school, it is publicly funded, which means that all taxpayers have an interest in it. I do not just pay for St. Augustine Academy, where my son goes, but I also pay for Santa Paula High, and will for as long as I live in this community.
But the claim that I am insulting Santa Paula High because I send my child to a private school is not fair. St. Augustine Academy is a Catholic school, where teachers and students are free to live, teach and learn their faith. Santa Paula High cannot, by national law, offer this to our students. SAA parents have to make a lot of sacrifices so that our children can be educated in a fully religious environment. We do not want them to feel that, because we have given them this opportunity, they are somehow outside of our city community. During their elementary years, community sports were widely available and provided us a valuable opportunity to help our children integrate. Santa Paula High’s sports programs will provide the same opportunity, which is even more important in the formative high school years. Keeping our city, diverse in belief and practice, united is a great good that can come from the SPUSD decision.
Santa Paula Public Works Department
What a pleasure it is to thank the two men that were sent to clean the mud from Cherry Hill Road. They not only did a terrific job of cleaning off the mud but went out of their way to be accommodating. Thanks so much guys!
Bob Lasiter, a man for all seasons
To the Editor:
I’ve had the good fortune to know two former fire department big wigs who were also modern-day saints: Hoppy Mumford and Bob Lasiter. Elsewhere I’ve paid tribute to Hoppy whose daughter and son-in-law live across the street from me. Great neighbors and parents.
So this narrative will focus on Bob and his late wife, Elda. Although Elda, a non-smoker, had intense breathing problems, she taught Sunday school and what it means to be dedicated, to Christ, to the church, to her children, and to Bob. While teaching the class she would often have to stop to get a breath. Like Christ when He taught, she’d illuminate spiritual points with examples drawn from life. Often drawn from their time in Mexico and other countries as self-funded missionaries teaching and helping in an orphanage.
Of their experience in Mexico for eight summers, Bob says, “The children didn’t speak English, and we didn’t speak Spanish, but we understood each other in the universal language of love. Love never failed to communicate.”
During a study of prayer Bob said he first prayed the Lord’s Prayer as a gateway into other prayers. “That way I figure I’ve covered all the bases.”
I think of Bob each time I read Edgar Guest’s poem, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye is a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear,
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see a good put in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
I can watch your hand in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles, and a strong man stands behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many; men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
In his gentle zest for life, love for others, and devotion to Christ, Bob became such a sermon. To me he personified the poem.
Often when I’d have breakfast with him and Mike Hobson I’d think of the poem and how Psalm 15 describes the way Bob Lasiter lived his life.
1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
I was too emotional to speak at Bob’s well-attended and orchestrated memorial service. But wanted to add to the laudatory comments there. And to what his daughter and son-in-law Becci and Bob Orlando wrote in Have You Seen this Man (which appeared in the Santa Paula Times).
Like Sir Thomas More the subject of the play “A Man of All Seasons,” Bob’s character and actions weren’t for sale, didn’t yield to demands to do wrong, didn’t waver in his commitment to Christ . I miss his example, his smile, his hats, his humor, his goodness.
Dear People of the Great State of California
To the Editor:
Hello! I am a fourth grade student in North Carolina. In fourth grade, we do state reports and I have chosen your state! I am very excited to learn more about the great state of California as I work on my report.
Most of the information that we get for our reports will be from books and web sites. We also like to get information from people who live in the state, too. This is why I am writing to you. I was hoping that you would be willing to send me some items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. It could be things like postcards, maps, pictures, souvenirs, general information, this newspaper article, or any other items that would be useful. You can mail items to the address below. I really appreciate your help!
Mr. McConaughy’ s Class Charlotte Latin School 9502 Providence Road Charlotte, NC 28277