Letters to the Editor

November 04, 2005
Opinion
Time Machine To the Editor:Did you know that sections of the curb along Main St. Santa Paula is actually a "time machine"? Well, trust me, itís true!As I stood there and watched this yearís Halloween parade go by, I was suddenly jerked back in time to October 1957. I would be a Kindergartener at McKevett in Mrs. Totherohís class, but I wasnít sitting in her class at the moment. Instead, I was in the middle of Main St. and could see people on the curb pointing, laughing and waving at me and all the other kids, as we walked by them in our costumes. I was a hobo, with a rubber hobo face mask with a cigar and hat molded into it, and it smelled funny. The eye slits kept slipping down to my nose. My mom says I looked cute, but for unknown reasons, there are no black and white photos to prove it. But I won 3 rd prize (a rubber squeaky lamb that smelled just like my mask) so I guess she was right.And then I was fast-forwarded to, and through, Grades 4 to 12, in one big musical whoosh! I again was marching down Main St., but this time playing my clarinet under the baton of Mr. Roina, in every parade, for every Santa Paula celebration, whether it was a Citrus Festival, a Christmas parade or Home Coming and more. (In the 4 th grade, the end of my clarinet barely missed getting hit by my marching knees. By the 12 th grade, I had at least an 8 inch clearance between the two; there are pictures taken throughout those years to prove it. )Again, I was being whizzed along through time, and had to shout out, "Hey, Time Machine, whoís that little 3 year old blonde boy dressed in a red satin home-made devilís cape in the 1979 Halloween parade? And why am I waving and smiling at him while taking pictures with an InstaMatic camera?" And it answered , " Why, thatís your only child walking down Main St., just like you did! Doesnít he look cute walking behind that bunch of purple balloons pinned to that little girlís purple leotards so she looks like a bunch of grapes."Then as suddenly as it had captured me, the Time Machine returned me to present day Main St., just in time to wave and smile and take lots of digital pix of my 2 and half year old granddaughter as she walked by, hand in hand with her Mommy, while her Daddy pushed her 5 month old twin brother and sister alongside in their stroller.So, there you have it. My proof thereís a "time machine" on Main St. Santa Paula. It was a wonderful ride and I hope someday it captures this yearís parade participants.Jan AllenSanta PaulaPS: I must let this yearís Marching Band know how great they were! You sounded wonderful; your Drum Major looked proud and professional. A round of heralding trumpets and long drum rolls in honor of you and the baton youíre playing under!Integrating Fagan Canyon into the CommunityTo the Editor:Until Fagan Canyon, the expansionary changes our community has had to consider were marginal. The impact of each new house, or each new housing development, was incremental. Even if we made a mistake, it was a minor mistake. The end result is that we are still a friendly community with beautiful hills, creeks and oaks. We still donít have much congestion, we still run into our friends at the market, and we still love a pace of life that is hard for someone from downtown LA to understand.But with the Fagan Canyon and Limoneira developments looming, we must plan carefully, or lose a quality of life we hold dear. Fagan Canyon at build-out will bring us many new families in a short period of time. We must understand and seek to strengthen the quality of life in Santa Paula as the community grows. For us, that means keeping the community friendly and intimate. It also means not losing our tie to the hills and natural environment that surrounds us.If Fagan Canyon is not built at all, much needed housing, additional revenue and jobs will be lost. The City is beautiful, but is economically stagnant right now. If we build a few houses at a time they will be expensive and they will lack continuity of form and function. They may or may not provide a variety of housing types. The economics of development dictate that land is developed on a large scale. So, weíre looking at a large development in a small town. Fortunately, Fagan Canyon is well suited for such development. We donít loose any agricultural land and itís not highly visible.When I ask myself what there is to be afraid of, or what it is that I donít want to lose, I think of the oak tree that blew over in the middle of the night in my front yard a couple months ago. With just one phone call, my friends rallied. In just a few days the tree was off my roof, I had two new oak benches in my front yard, and the remainder of the tree was stacked on the side of the driveway. When I think of what I donít want to lose in Santa Paula, it is this wonderful support and connection with my neighbors and my community. I also donít want to loose my nature connection. I love sitting on my deck with a glass of wine and looking at the hills. I love walking under the oaks.The challenge for all of us is to plan carefully so that we protect our unique feeling of community while we add much needed new. We have a responsibility to be sure the developers of Fagan Canyon integrate elements into the new neighborhoods that are designed to preserve and strengthen the fabric of the community as well as our bond with the natural surroundings we so enjoy.The Fagan Canyon Development is uniquely located to meet these challenges.It is located in a canyon with a creek. It is and will remain surrounded by rugged chaparral and coastal sage arroyos that are to remain pristine in perpetuity. By upgrading the creek into a community resource, and by building trails in the undeveloped open space around the new neighborhoods, the Fagan Canyon development could provide community-wide amenities that would appeal to everyone residing in Santa Paula, and make our natural surroundings even more accessible to all of us.The creek could have secluded picnic sites, a botanic garden with our local native flora and fauna, a group picnic area, and a year round pond and waterfall. It could have an unpaved pedestrian path with bridge crossings for taking a stroll, places for people to sit and enjoy the quiet, and drinking fountains for comfort. A fishing pond could even be incorporated into the design.A trail system for hiking, running, and walking dogs around the perimeter of the development could be more natural and rustic, similar to the trails around the outside of Arroyo Verde Park or the Temescal Canyon Trail in Pacific Palisades.These visions may seem extravagant to those of us who live here, but they are not. These are the amenities that will invite the community to visit Fagan Canyon. Just a few miles away, Newhall Land and Farming Company took some of the most barren land in southern California and turned it into an upscale city with lakes, paseos that connect neighborhoods to schools and shopping centers, and restored native riverside recreation trails. Santa Paula is already a beautiful place. All that is needed here is the will to restore and make accessible to the public what is already beautiful.The developers of Fagan Canyon are selling more than the homes they build. They are selling a lifestyle the people of Santa Paula already savor, and a beautiful place to live. As members of the community, it is our responsibility to see that each new development supports the qualities that make the community of Santa Paula such a wonderful place.Susan Powers withChris RobertsSanta PaulaHave you heard...?To the Editor:What I heard from an opponent: The Charrette never talked about density.What really happened: During the Charrette, we produced plans, charts and graphs that described the density ranges of the various plans, up to 3,000 units, in fact.What I heard from an opponent: During the Charrette, we never discussed traffic.What really happened: During the Charrette, we generated projected traffic volumes for each plan and posted them on the wall with the plans, though they received little attention.What I heard from an opponent: No survey was used to gather input.What really happened: We provided a daily plans evaluation survey form and tabulated the results at least twice during the Charrette.What I heard from the opponents: The 450-unit maximum was never included in the Charrette plansWhat really happened: Of course 450 wasnít included! One of the Charrette principles says the plan must be economically feasible. 450 units or .18 units per acre is the poster child of expensive, low-density sprawl. What I heard from an opponent: We donít want a Stevenson Ranch or a Newhall development in Santa Paula.What really might happen: Fagan Canyon is neither, but thatís what you will wind up with if you keep crying for low-density sprawl - subdivisions from Santa Clarita to Saticoy.What I heard from an opponent: You leaped into the Canyon with this plan.What really happened: Fagan Canyon is contiguous to the City. Take a walk over the hills.What I heard from an opponent: We would challenge Centexís fiscal analysis (and other elements of the plan) if we had the money.What really is happening: Centex has taken an enormous financial risk with this development. A downturn in the market, a financial crisis, a natural disaster, etc., even unbridled Nimbyism could greatly undermine the success of the project. Invest your own money in a worthy Santa Paula project that provides housing, schools, and parks, and report back.What I heard from an opponent: All we get is a soccer field!What really happened: You need the soccer fields, friends, along with all the other amenities. Talk to your children. You could say thank you.What I heard from one particular opponent: He compared the generals who lied and manipulated the war in Vietnam to Centex.What really happened: Having first spent 1967/68 as a Marine attached to the 3rd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment a few klicks from the DMZ in Vietnam, and having then directed the Fagan Canyon Charrette on behalf of Centex, with the City and the Community, I trust that this remark does not reflect the values or opinions of the opposition, though I heard no rebuttal to this comparison from other opponents. I know and respect Delton, Jennifer, and others who oppose Fagan Canyon, and we just disagree. I urge opponents and supporters alike against taking the low road, since it leads to an atmosphere that reflects the worst of Santa Paula.The Charrette was not perfect, and neither is the Charrette plan for Fagan Canyon, but donít let the perfect become the enemy of the good. You need good development, businesses, parks, schools, and everything else in Santa Paula, while you strive for excellence.Steve Coyle, AIAOakland, CABlueprint for future water needsTo The Editor:The Association of California Water Agencies, of which United Water Conservation District is a member, has recently released No Time to Waste: A Blueprint for California Water. ACWA members believed it was time for the water community to come forward with a bold policy statement and action plan for meeting Californiaís future water needs. Developed by a statewide member task force, and with the input of hundreds of additional public water agencies, the ACWA Blueprint is intended to serve as a roadmap for state and federal leaders to follow to ensure California has the water supply system it will need to support people, jobs and ecosystems in the future.The Blueprint includes a number of recommendations, including a plan for investments in both infrastructure and programs to improve water supplies, and guides to water use efficiency, water quality and sustainable environmental health. The recommended actions are designed to address short and long term statewide water needs, complement and build on local efforts, and promote integrated regional water management plans that will play a critical role in Californiaís future.The document was publicly unveiled at ACWAís 2005 Spring Conference on May 4 and presented to the Schwarzenegger Administration. It has also been circulated to the Bush Administration, Congress, the Legislature, opinion leaders and the media.We in the water community believe it is vital to advance the discussion and decision-making processes required to provide all Californians with adequate supplies of high quality water, a healthy environment and a strong economy for decades to come. Sheldon G. BergerPresident, Board of DirectorsSpooktacular parade
To the Editor:I would like to thank the Santa Paula Times for publicizing and covering the Halloween Parade. We had approximately 400 participants, which included individual children, a band, a drill team, and a baton team. The weather was perfect and it was great to have the parade through Historical Downtown Santa Paula.I would also like to thank the City of Santa Paula for allowing the Optimist to have the parade and use the two city parks, the Santa Paula Police Department for providing traffic control, the City for providing barriers, and Community Services for helping me coordinate the event.Others who deserve thanks are the trophy judges and the other volunteers who helped with judging and marching with the children in the parade. I also appreciate the Boy Scout Troop 302 under the direction of Al Learn who provided a color guard and carried signs in the parade.I also need to thank all the business and schools who allowed us to publicize the parade in their windows or classrooms, to Dr. Robert Dekkers for his donation toward publicity, and to Cathy Hicks for all the she did to coordinate the publicity.A special note of thanks goes to the Santa Paula Kiwanis Club who donated the candy and passed them out to all the youth participants at the end of the parade.The last BIG THANK YOU goes to all the youth who dressed up and entered the parade along with the Isbell Middle School Band, the Barbara Webster Drill Team and the Baton Team from the Recreation Department.The Santa Paula Optimist Club is "The Friend of Youth". If you are interested in getting involved in youth projects and possible membership in our club, call me at 650-9492 or write me at P.O. Box 507, Santa Paula, CA 93061-0507.Pat CunninghamHalloween ParadeChairpersonGive Arnold the toolsTo the Editor:Former Governor Gray Davis was recalled from office because his administration had been taken over by special interest groups that were bankrupting the state. Not enough money was coming in from taxes and fees to cover the enormous spending commitments made by Davis and his allies in Sacramento.Since the recall and election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, powerful members of the state Senate and Assembly have continued to obstruct the governor. When Arnold asked the state Senate to compromise and work with him for the betterment of California, they chose to help only the special interests, not the average citizen.Schwarzenegger had no choice but to ask voters to make the necessary changes. Props 74, 75, 76 and 77 are moderate reforms.On November 8, please join me in giving Arnold the necessary tools to do the job of setting California on a reasonable path to prosperity.Protect yourself from huge future tax increases to pay for special interest spending.Vote YES on Props 74, 75, 76 and 77.Rita GrahamSanta PaulaA hearty endorsementTo the Editor:Our family has been involved in Santa Paulaís public school system for twenty years. Our oldest son Jarom graduated with honors from Santa Paula High. Our oldest daughter Averie did so well at Isbell that the principal at that time, Dr. Brommers, promoted her directly from sixth to eighth grade. She and our second daughter Annie are both graduates of Santa Paula High. Our next two, Justin and Carley, attended Bedell for a few years before participating in the home school program sponsored by the Santa Paula Elementary School District (managed so professionally by SPESD teacher Beth Tapin). Our youngest daughter Kristin was the proud recipient of Isbellís coveted Elizabeth Ramsey Award, on which her name will be forever displayed on Isbellís permanent trophy.In addition, our contributions have included volunteering as teachers assistants, fundraising, involvement in school site councils, putting in thousands of unpaid hours helping the high schoolís theatre department, serving on the Elementary School Board, and many other activities.We mention all this so your readers might know how two parents who have been very involved in Santa Paulaís school districts feel about the upcoming High School Board elections.As some of the four High School Board members will tell you (if you happen to catch them in a candid mood), the current Board is divided along ideological lines 2 to 2. This election, therefore, is very important for the future of Santa Paulaís students. Who we choose could, and probably will, tip the scales on many votes crucial to Santa Paulaís educational system.With this in mind we would like to heartily endorse Eric Barragan as the next member of the Santa Paula High School Board. Eric has proven to parents, students and voters that when trusted with a seat on a school board he will make the needs and welfare of students his first priority.If you want to gamble, go to Vegas. If you want a sure thing, we recommend Eric Barragan.George and Lisa MorganSanta PaulaAdopt a Troop!To the Editor:Looking for a great way to spread the holiday spirit with your family, friends, community and nation? Beloved, it takes a community like our little town of Santa Paula to come together and help our men and women serving overseas during this holiday season. Let us show them they are not forgotten, they have support and blessings even though they are so far from home and serving our country in a war many do not support.In this time of many distractions: hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, war and the approaching holidays, it is easy to forget our lonely soldiers and make today just another we need to get through.We have so many of our local sons and daughters in the military serving our country, my son, Lance Corporal David Lagesse included. Together with the employees of Andyís Plumbing Place, we are gathering supplies to send at least one stocking to an enlisted soldier overseas.If each family could take the time to stuff a stocking, or holiday bag - no bigger than 14"x12" (note: boxes are free at the post office, mailing any weight costs only $7.50) - with some of the suggested items listed below.... Call Andyís Plumbing Place (525-5798) if you have further questions.Please mail your boxes, and blessings, to:Attention: LCPL David Lagesse 5235Holiday BlessingsNC24, 1st Anglico, 1st BDE PTLSalt Echo USMCAPO AE 09312Army Mail Office KalsuThe boxes will be distributed on Christmas Eve to soldiers serving in Iraq. We need your help, your prayers, and our city to take the time to help those who need a little taste of home during this special time.Suggested stocking stuffers:(Note: Military cannot accept chocolate, glass, alcohol products, homemade foods or things that melt.)o Toiletries: Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, deodorant, soap, baby wipes, shampoo, chapstick, razors, foot powder, lotion, antibacterial hand sanitizer.o Food: cup of soups, jerky, dried fruits, nuts, any prepackaged foods, chewing gum, peanut butter, plastic bottled juices, heat and eat microwave foods, candy.o Fun: Personal DVD players, DVD movies, game books, magazines (Car/4 Wheel Drive), mind teaser games, electronic handheld players/games (used ok); silly toys: GI Joe, coloring books, markers, yo-yos, army men, cartoon books; deflated with pumps soccer, volley or beach balls.o From the Heart: Letters, homemade cards, colored pictures from children, thank you cards.o Supplies: Gun cleaners (Snake) 22s and M16s, mouse strips, phone cards.Be creative and have fun!David and Valerie LagesseSanta Paula



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