Letters to the Editor

July 03, 2009
Congratulations! To the Editor:Congratulations to our 12U Santa Paula Girls All-Star Softball team who have now qualified to represent our fair city of Santa Paula in the Southern California All-Star “B” State Championship to be held in Lancaster July 10, 11 and 12.As we head to the “B” State Championship tournament we find ourselves asking for your support and generosity. We know that this is a difficult time, however we are hard pressed to find sponsors and donations for our team.All donations will be used to cover expenses such as fuel, meals, lodging, etc.Any denomination would be greatly appreciated. We would also be grateful to accept donations such as packaged snacks, Gatorade and/or bottled water. All donations are tax deductible and we can supply you with a receipt of donation, upon request. Our Tax ID # is 77-05201876.Please help our girls by supporting them with your participation. With your help, they can have an experience to remember!Thank you for your support!Santa Paula Girls 12UAll-Star Softball teamPublic safety firstTo the Editor:There was a time when many people questioned the City’s requirement for the SP Theater Center to install an expensive fire sprinkling system and safety features in the building. One could easily argue that the building has been safe all these years and it should be exempt from such an expensive investment with absolutely no financial return.In February of 2003, in Warwick, Rhode Island, there was a terrible fire in a nightclub, known widely in professional fire safety circles as the “Station Fire.” On that cold and snowy night, 100 people died as the result of a fire caused by property owners who ignored citations.At a recent conference, I had a chance to hear from the Fire Chaplains, the Critical Incident Team and the Fire Chiefs who were called out that night to a fire people first thought was at the Warwick Fire Station. As the call unfolded, they realized it was the nightclub. As I watched the unedited version of that filming of that fire, I thought of how the Santa Paula Theater Center could be our very own “Station Fire.”In total irony, the incident was filmed by a local TV camera team as a part of a documentary on nightclub safety. You can see it for yourself. Google “station night club” and select one of the top three sites to see the video.Those who burned to death were kids, sisters, mothers, brothers, aunts and uncles; all from a town of approximately 85,000 people. It was an incredible tragedy that could have been avoided if rules had been followed. In their panic, victims were caught in corners and on tables put in hallways. Anyone who touched that event became a changed person. Some firefighters are still struggling with the memories of the sights and sounds of that night. Families of victims and survivors were changed forever.Prior to the fire, the owner of the nightclub had been cited for unsafe practices. The City’s Building and Safety Director ignored the citation to install fire sprinklers because the club owner was a friend.I wish to commend the partnership that put public safety first. Any city that does that will be known as a great city.Kay Wilson-Bolton, 
ChaplainSanta Paula Fire DepartmentHospice says thank you
To the Editor:Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group is grateful to the many friends who helped make our third annual Casino Night such a tremendous success. The mood was relaxed as guests, in western attire, enjoyed hot appetizers and dinner at tables decorated with succulents, roses and hurricane lights outside the Glen Tavern Inn.We are deeply indebted to Tom and Rosanna Jennett, owners of the wonderful old Glen Tavern, for the use of this facility. This beautiful historic landmark transforms into an elegant and classy casino.Eric Barragan and his Ironhorse Restaurant provided a very special chuck wagon style supper of grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, potato salad, steamed veggies, beans and fresh fruit compote. Peggy Kelly and our Santa Paula Times cooperated in every way.Our local volunteer dealers had fun providing their talents for the wide variety of gaming tables, and the energy and laughter around these tables was contagious.The Silent Auction offered more than 60 items and we thank all those who gave so generously to this auction. The wide variety of treasures available for bidding was beautifully organized and displayed by Liz Rubel, Meegan Huff and our director, Sigrid Wong.Raffle winners were recipients of gifts ranging from an enormous John Wayne to a case of champagne. The single Live Auction item, three days of fly fishing with instruction and gourmet meals at Lake Panguitch, Utah, near Bryce Canyon, was given by Steve and Robin Smith and Susan and David Dollar.Extra gratitude to those who sponsored various gaming tables: Rosanna and Tom Jennett, Valley Care IPA, Santa Paula Times, Gale Graham, Fallini Graphics, and to all the other many generous donors.Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group is truly grateful to all of you for your support, given so freely in so many different ways, to make this annual Casino Night such a happy success. Your support will help us be able to maintain our Adult Day Program, the River Valley Club.Gratefully,Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group, Inc. Board & StaffSetting the toneTo the Editor:Re: “City Manager moved Santa Paula forward” by Laura F. EspinosaI believe Wally Bobkiewicz did a fine job as city manager, but of course that was the reason for hiring him into that position. The salary was commensurate with the position. I also agree that a skilled individual should pull the community together. However, I differ with the assumption that one man can make up for the destruction that was caused by over-active individuals that press their agenda forward and prioritize their organization’s agenda over the good of the community. Whomever or whatever organization called the Justice Department into Santa Paula claiming racism and voter fraud were the perpetrators of a hoax. It costs the City of Santa Paula at least a few hundred thousand dollars to defend itself from the Department of Justice’s intrusion. Money the city could have well used for needed city maintenance. We suffered for that. Similar to the millions of dollars the Catholic Church paid out in the clergy abuse, we the congregation suffered and paid for it!The reason the community has been divided falls on the shoulders of militant organizations that continue to cling to their assertions of racial biases, racial voter fraud, racial profiling, etc. The amount of money that was spent in defending the City’s right to deny Plaza Amistad is and has been deplorable. Fortunately, sane individuals on the present city council have considered the good of the community not their own political ideology. The final settlement may not have been the best outcome with Cabrillo Economic Development Corp. but at least and very important for me as a taxpayer, the company will pay some annual fees and added expenses.The present city council’s majority has set the tone; there are no free lunches in this community, everybody has to pay their fair share! And this is the way it should be, pay attention California politicians, Barack Obama and your administration; the majority of U.S. taxpayers are assembling their pitchforks.I also agree with Ms. Espinosa regarding “more residents are involved in volunteer efforts”. Yes, it took the realization that Santa Paula was heading in the wrong direction that got people involved. CEDC was the Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac of Santa Paula and the city council of 2002 was the Barney Frank & Chris Dodd. What a mess was created as well as future debt for our grandchildren. I hope our city council takes great care in selecting the next city manager. He or she should be business smart, be business friendly, a conservative friendly manager and who listens to the wishes of the city council members. The city council will listen to the wishes of the voters or we’ll replace them.Andrew F. CastanedaSanta Paula

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