Letters to the Editor

November 30, 2007
Parade of thanks To the Editor:On behalf of the Santa Paula Optimist Club, I would like to thank the following people for helping to make this year’s Christmas Parade such a success: the Police Department and the Santa Paula Public Works for the traffic control; A.W. Coulter Trucking for the flatbed trailer; the Santa Paula Fire Department; the Santa Paula Times; Steve Lazenby for contacting Santa Claus; and H. Bolton Co. for the car signs.The City of Santa Paula co-sponsored the Christmas Parade and this helped to make the parade a huge success. An advertisement announcing the parade appeared in the Santa Paula Times. Time Warner filmed the parade and it will be aired throughout Ventura County. These efforts brought spectators to our town and our town will be presented to the rest of the County. Thank you to the City of Santa Paula for your greatly appreciated support.A special thanks to Peggy Kelly for announcing the parade and providing the Christmas music. Peggy did a great job and she really got everyone into the right mood.Thank you to the judges who had to make the hard decisions, Erin Hicks, Earl McPhail, and from the Santa Paula City staff Clerk Josie Herrera, Human Resources Manager Kathy Campbell, and Asst. to the City Manager Elisabeth Amador.Special thanks go to my son, Scott, who has been help for many years with this parade, even though he lives in San Luis Obispo. He is a great community service volunteer for the city of Santa Paula. Also to my wife Pamela, who helps with the preparation, the line up, and the signs on the cars.Thanks to Chuck Watson for providing a convertible.To all those who took part in this year’s parade we thank you for all your time and effort which made the parade a great success. Without you our parade would not be possible.To those that came out and watched the parade we appreciate your support. It made it worthwhile for us who put on the parade for you.The theme this year was “A Christmas of Memories Past” and now we have new memories for the future. We all had a great time and this is what makes Santa Paula a great place.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, please call me at 525-9439 or write me at P.O. Box 507, Santa Paula CA 93061-0507.Merry Christmas and Happy New YearRon Merson, ChairmanSanta Paula Christmas ParadeThe time is nowTo the Editor:Appreciation is in order for those city officials that are working actively to determine whether Cabrillo should return our $400,000 that was designated for a non-code-compliant project that is not going to be built at this time. Getting the money back is the right thing to do and certainly makes a lot more sense than letting Cabrillo use our own money to pay their lawyers to sue us. To do otherwise would seem to constitute a misappropriation of public funds.As numerous letters to the editor and other public communications have stated, Santa Paula needs a better housing balance. You should be aware that our city is now revising our General Plan Housing Element, and it is important that this be done in a way to create a better housing balance for the future. The excuse given for us having such a poor balance is that we must comply with the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Well, the fact is, we have not complied. However, we have complied far better than any of the other cities in Ventura County, and therein lies the problem. We have solved the low-end housing problem for the entire county at Santa Paula’s expense. We have complied way beyond the point of our affordability, and we have complied to the point that our housing is severely out of balance relative to the rest of the county. Other cities have made decisions regarding their growth based upon what’s good for their city, not based upon some arbitrarily imposed targets that are legally unenforceable in any case. As an aside, the councilperson we sent to negotiate our housing allocations numbers with the county is the very person that consistently argues that we should have a lot MORE low-end housing. This councilperson is also a staunch supporter of Cabrillo — talk about the fox sent to guard the henhouse.According to our City Manager, there are no penalties for not meeting RHNA, and for years other cities have not done so, thus the creation of our imbalance. When we revise our General Plan, we should heed the message strongly delivered to the City Council in the “Plan Santa Paula” Recommendations Report dated October 24, 2006. That message is that the voters of Santa Paula want more high-end housing and less low-end housing to start getting our housing in balance. Keep in mind that the above report was based on a series of workshops which engaged over 300 community members over a period of three months to gain their feedback on future housing development. During the last City Council meeting, our City Manager warned the council that there are “those out there watching” to see that we meet our low-end housing needs. Please be advised that there are a substantial number of us who are watching and who are highly motivated to get a housing balance, and we are not just “out there,” we are “right here.”So what’s the point? The point is simply this: We are in a crucial time for our city. It is up to all of us to write letters, talk to our City Council members and other city officials, and let them know our views on a housing balance when they are revising the General Plan. We have been the silent majority for far too long. The City Council meeting of December 3 would be a perfect forum to express your views on the issues discussed above. Santa Paula is moving in the right direction, and going back is not a rational or fiscally responsible option.Larry S. SagelySanta Paula…Or your money backTo the Editor:According to The Star of 11/21, Cabrillo Economic Development was either given, loaned or advanced the sum of $400,000 to build the “Amistad Project” (recently denied by the City of Santa Paula) - not sure from where the funds originated, locally, state-wide, or Federally. The article stated the City “may” ask for the funds to be returned. One might ask, why is the term “may” and not the terms “is asking” being used in discussing the return of the unused funds? Certainly these funds cannot be tapped by Cabrillo to pay for the lawsuit they have filed against the City, or so one would think.This City is faced with very serious financial demands, from  $80 million sewer plants to the hiring of more law enforcement personnel, both needed. $400,000 may not seem like much to the high rollers hereabouts, and especially to the legal vulture eagles and high priced professional consultants who hover over all vulnerable municipality carcasses (such as Santa Paula), but to those of us out in the real world, who go to bed tired and ticked off from trying to pay bills, $400,000 is real money!Let’s get it back.Richard MainSanta PaulaI don’t get itTo the Editor:Recently I “stumbled” upon a speech by Dr. Gabino Aguirre, as presented at a General Conference of OPANAL in Santiago, Chile-November 7-8 2005. To view in its entirety, please log onto: http://atomicmirror.org/nfz/opanal/speeches_aguirre.htm_ Speeches from the OPANAL meeting.Following is a segment from his message that stood out to me:“Mr. President (of Chile): I bring you greetings from the Chicano-Americano community of the territory of North America. As a people, we Chicanos acknowledge and celebrate our indigenous roots and our Latino historical legacy. Our community continues to struggle for equality and justice within the United States. Socially and culturally, we feel a powerful connection with compañeros and compañeras to the south and, as Octavio Paz coined in one of his books, as la raza cósmica. Politically and economically, we are subjected to a form of internal colonialism that positions us at the margins of society along with other ethnic/racial minorities and the working poor. At the margins of society, our labor is exploited in agriculture, in factories and even as soldiers in interventionist and imperialist wars waged by a powerful elite.I wish to emphasize that I bring these warm greetings from the Chicano-Americano community and not as a representative of the government of the U.S. This community has been widely skeptical of our sitting president with many of the opinion he took this office through his party’s manipulation of the electoral process in the elections of 2000 and again in 2004. This president’s administration is composed of personnel representing powerful economic interests with connections to multinational corporations. These are the same corporations that continue to accumulate and consolidate wealth to benefit a global elite which now dominates national politics and the world economy. Using neo-liberal policies, they continue the exploitation of resources from the third world, turning them into consumer satellites and in this way limit these countries’ opportunities for development.”One thing is evident in Dr. Aguirre’s talk: he is anti-American and this is NOT GOOD for a city. Why?? Because he is anti-government, and yet HE is a part of CITY government. The two don’t jibe. How can one be anti-government and be IN government. Is this the kind of representative we need??!!! How can he speak so harshly against government and yet BE serving as an ELECTED official. I don’t get it.Is THIS healthy for SP and future development, growth and prosperity when he blames the government and corporations for the struggles of the poor/impoverished? I don’t get it. The two don’t coincide.How can one be pro-growth and prosperity and yet be anti-government and anti-business?? Aaargh! How will we ever get ANYWHERE with this warped thinking?? Now THIS enrages me; we want the BEST for SP and yet our own council member is anti-government. HOW will we ever get anywhere??Dr. Aguirre, surely you were just kidding. Please tell me you didn’t mean THAT. Because IF you did, you have NO business being in office.
Yolie CerdaSanta PaulaPoor peopleTo the Editor:When will there be too much affordable housing for low-income people in Santa Paula? Will it be when there are no longer people living in garages and tool sheds? Or perhaps when there are no more houses without electricity, plumbing, etc? For many of the “elite” and those who are influenced by them, sub-standard housing does not exist in Santa Paula. This type of housing and the people who live in it are invisible. The idea is that if they are ignored long enough maybe they will go away and take their poverty with them. Yet these are the people who are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. In this country, in which Santa Paula is a microcosm, fifty-seven million Americans - including 21 percent of the nation’s children - live close to the poverty line and are holding on for dear life. The challenges they face go largely ignored.Surely, we don’t want them living on Harvard Boulevard where we can be reminded that they are here and living in decent housing. No, if we can keep them out of sight we won’t have to be reminded that poor people live here. Let’s keep them in “their” part of town. And how many is too many poor people? How do we judge them, solely on income, how about appearance, or ethnicity?Whatever happened to justice, fair play, caring for one’s neighbor? What is so wrong about caring for those who struggle to survive and providing opportunities for them to rise above their circumstances? Rather than saying we have done too much, we should be asking what more we can do. Yes, our city has changed and try as we might we can’t go back to the “good old days.” If you look around you will find that the world has also changed and is changing more and more all the time.Future generations will not be concerned about our petty prejudices and selfishness. Rather, they will judge how we practiced justice and how we treated our brothers and sisters. And in the here and now, we will be teaching our children that helping people find proper housing and living together in a town that cares about all of its citizens is a noble and just endeavor.Jo Ann GuilinRamona GonzalezSanta PaulaRefuge shamefully violatedTo the Editor:Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when all of us express our gratitude for all we have and for those we love. However, it also seems a time when unscrupulous people look to take advantage of others while they enjoyed the holiday.To the people who chose to break into the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley’s 1st Street Fillmore Clubhouse on Saturday, November 24th and stealing several laptops, a digital camcorder and who chose to destroy two doors, several other computers, a karaoke machine and the well-being and sense of security of our kids and staff, we want to know why you would choose to do such a senseless action?The Boys & Girls Club is a refuge for hundreds of young people looking for people who care for and about them and want to see them succeed. All we have is from the kindness and generosity of the communities of Fillmore, Piru and Santa Paula who believe in our mission to provide positive programs and activities for our children, especially those who need us most.To steal from these children is a senseless act and it shows us that now more than ever children need a place like their Boys & Girls Club to help them become active and concerned citizens. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley offers children and teens opportunities that many of them might not otherwise have were it not for the Club.Every day, we offer homework assistance, technology lessons, organized programs and activities as well as a safe, caring and fun environment for them to escape from the dangers facing them every day, like gangs, drugs and crime. Now, it is up to all of us to show these children a better way and influence their lives in positive ways.This is what the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley does and now, we must try harder with less resources for our kids because of this senseless act of theft and destruction. We are sure that if you, the heartless thieves, were to focus on your life somehow, you will notice that at sometime in your life or your families, siblings or friends that the Boys & Girls Club did something positive for you and for you to steal from this place of hope is a shame.The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley serving the communities of Fillmore, Piru and Santa Paula will continue to do everything we can to live up to our pledge to be “The Positive Place for Kids” but thanks to you, we will have to work harder. That’s okay because we know that people care about kids and we will overcome this inconvenience.Doug Caldwell, Chief Executive OfficerBoys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara ValleyMonument?To the Editor:Well now. A monument to farm workers. No one has ever mentioned the “real farmers” who without them there wouldn’t ever be farm workers or the overpopulated illegal situation we have today. There has never been a monument or memorial to those first settler farmers in our Southern California area. We here in Santa Paula already have four huge three-story monster memorials for farm laborers and low-income workers and welfare. “Another Harvard monster” to open soon.The next proposed farm labor monster monument was turned down by a 3 to 2 vote. Now the monument designer-development people are going to sue the city because they didn’t get their own way. Like the old school bully. Remember the four lawsuits against the city in recent years? Most citizens were very pleased when these unnecessary lawsuits went bye-bye.Why wasn’t Las Piedras Park chosen for a farm worker memorial? That park needs an attraction and the memorial would do that, and the residents would be proud and would take care of it. It is a good park and very large and the proposed memorial would look good there “if the people would have fundraisers” to build it and with local native materials for the upkeep. Yes I think that neighborhood needs something there and would be proud and would take care of it.The original settlers came across the USA in the 1800s and many of them were farmers who settled along the way. Remember the Mormons who tried to come over the Sierras near Reno in bad weather and remember the Oregon Trail? There is an excellent museum in Carson City, Nevada and another big museum in Baker City, Oregon about the real early settlers who didn’t sneak across the border.But the real hardworking ranchers who came west never asked for a memorial but for only good crops and rain. They had the Indians to do the rain dances. They were proud. Some of my ancestors were early farmers and helped teach American Indians how to farm crops and cattle.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaPoor planningTo the Editor:May I bring to your attention the refusal of the Santa Paula Planning Dept. to allow a house on Ventura Street at 12th, where Habitat for Humanity wants permission to construct three units but instead of having room for six cars, to supply spaces for only five cars.When I was first working on housing in Santa Paula, before 1990, I believe that there was an ordinance that if a building was within a ten-minute walk of the downtown, they did not have to supply spaces for two cars per unit. Even today, I would argue that spaces for cars are less important than spaces for humans. Turning down Habitat for Humanity on these grounds could be described as a very poor decision.Dora P. CrouchSanta Paula

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.