Letters to the Editor

May 06, 2002
Library cuts a loss to allTo the Editor:’Twas the night of City Council and all through the crowdThough the Library was begging, no funding was allowed.I read the article regarding state cutting of Library funds in the Santa Paula Times, April 12, 2002 and wondered if it was really 2002 or the late 70s, when Prop 13 did major damage to libraries throughout California and hit hard at the Blanchard Community Library. District Librarian Dan Robles spoke with City Council, reminding them of the importance of the Blanchard Community Library to the community. He told of the wonderful programs provided by Youth Services Librarian Ilene Gavenman; programs which mean so much to the children and teens of Santa Paula. He mentioned computer classes and ESL programs for adults and the importance of books and resources being available to all members of the community. And yet Acting Mayor Laura Flores Espinosa merely commended the Library, and ignored the plea for some form of financial support from the city.I realize that ‘times are tough’ and budgets are tight from my own job experience. However, I do not believe that Acting Mayor Espinosa has any idea of what she and the community may be losing if the Library is forced to change or curtail some of their services or programs due to cuts from the state of California causing a budget shortfall at the Library. As Acting Mayor, Espinosa needs to get her act together and get down to the Library and see what she is choosing to be lost to the city of Santa Paula. Somewhere, somehow, a way needs to be found to provide more adequate funding for the Library, and that way needs to take place within the city. This is not a new problem and will not simply disappear if ignored by the City Council and the Acting Mayor.No, I don’t live in the community any longer, and it is none of my business what happens to the Library. And yet, I grew up using the Blanchard Community Library from a very young age. I remember going into the basement of the old building to the Children’s Room, where the Children’s Librarian, my grandmother, held court. I remember using the ‘new’ Library after the move into the Safeway building; going there for information for school reports and later, in high school, working as a page under Director Elizabeth Blake for Children’s Librarian Maureen Spencer. So I do have a bit of interest vested in the Blanchard Community Library. Using the Library also guided me into my career as a Children’s Librarian. I have been working in this capacity for the past 21 years and have personally seen the many advantages that libraries give to children, teenagers and adults. It would make me heartsick to think that cuts from the state and lack of funding from the city might cause the Library to have to cut back on some of the fine programs, books, or even hours of operation. What a loss to all!Cathy AlleeGrover BeachThanksfrom the BandTo the Editor:Dear Donald and Debbie Johnson:We wish to thank you both, Connie Tushla, Mr. Garfield, and the Centennial Committee for inviting the Santa Paula High School Band to perform at Veterans Park and the SPHS football field with famous musicians. Also, The Ranch of Santa Paula for enabling the Band to obtain a booth for three days at Centennial Santa Paula 1902-2002, last Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and the Weatherford Company for furnishing the BBQ grill and fuel.We are especially grateful to our Band Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Les Jue, whose expertise provided a successful fund raising experience. They purchased the food, set up the required equipment, cooked the hamburgers, prepared and managed parent/student crews. This was a valuable experience for our Band members. Bless you all for helping our youth appreciate music.Ed and Barbara RoinaSanta PaulaDreams to realityTo the Editor:I would like to begin by thanking Kay Wilson-Bolton for her commentary regarding “Affordable Housing and the Rising Market” presented in the 4/28/02 Sunday Star.One would wonder, however, where Mrs. Wilson-Bolton, Mayor Luna (save for an all-too-short appearance), and the other Santa Paula City Council members were on Saturday, 4/27/02.Many civic-minded citizens who truly care about the future of Santa Paula were present at a unique and informative meeting called “Imagine Santa Paula” hosted by the Santa Paula 2000 Committee and Latino Town Hall.Laura Espinosa was there, participating and asking pertinent questions. John Procter was there as an active participant. Kathy Long was there, hopefully with an open mind. BUT WHERE WERE ALL THE OTHER “LEADERS” OF OUR COMMUNITY? Interestingly, our City Planner, Tom Bartlett was also there, but left before Barbara Zeidman, director of the Fannie Mae Partnership Office, offered her expertise on how small cities like Santa Paula could actually finance alternative endeavors to restore life to our downtown and neighborhoods. What was he thinking? That no one would notice?I would agree that the answers to our “growth conflict” here in Santa Paula will not be available until those elected to represent the needs and concerns of ALL THE PEOPLE open their minds and oppose special interests. However, until the citizens of Santa Paula become proactive and demand the truth from all factions, we will continue to be in juxtaposition as to our future.A common thread throughout the entire presentation at Imagine Santa Paula was that “opinions don’t fix things - participation does.” We can’t afford to sit back and let someone else plan what Santa Paula wants to be. We have to decide what we want to be and MAKE IT HAPPEN!Let’s have “THOUGHTFUL GROWTH” in Santa Paula. Not just a quick fix of throw-up housing that will lead to more pollution, more taxation to provide for a development that will contribute nothing to our town, and the potential demise of our rural character. Why would we want to take our natural resources and pave over them?Mrs. Wilson-Bolton mentioned in her article that Adams Canyon in Santa Paula “is the next major development to be considered,” and that “it would appear to be an opportunity to have its chance at providing housing supplies, enhanced job centers and improving their jobs/housing balance.”There are alternatives to this type of thinking.For example, the proposed Santa Paula General Plan Amendment Initiative that will be on our November ballot cites that “uncontrolled urban encroachment into agricultural and watershed areas will impair agriculture and threaten the public health, safety and welfare by causing increased traffic congestion, associated air pollution and potentially serious water problems, such as pollution, depletion, flooding, and sedimentation of available water resources. Adams Canyon is a particularly sensitive watershed area, the paving of which could severely contribute to potential flooding and other ecological difficulties.”Further, “The protection of such lands, epitomized by Adams Canyon, not only ensures the continued viability of agriculture, but also protects the available water supply and contributes to flood control and the protection of wildlife.... As importantly, limiting urban growth within the Adams Canyon area adjacent to the City of Santa Paula absent a public vote, would promote the formation and continuation of a cohesive community by reaffirming its boundaries and by helping to prevent urban sprawl, while enhancing the public’s participation in the planning and approval of any proposed development within the Adams Canyon area.”This initiative will ensure that preservation policies relating to such sensitive and important lands, presently under tremendous development pressures, are inviolable against transitory short-term political decisions.Barbara Zeidman noted during her presentation at Imagine Santa Paula, the sense of peace that one feels when entering this beautiful valley. We have an agricultural richness, a small town feeling of community and a beautiful legacy. We should expand upon those assets.A real estate lawyer and advisor, Jeffrey A. Graham, co-founder of Creative Housing Associates, cited four guiding principles to growth: GROW SMARTER, GROW TOGETHER, GROW GREENER AND GROW CIVIC-MINDED. I would like to remind our City Council of these guidelines.It appears that our answers will come from the spark of “WE WANT TO DO IT!” We need to begin by changing some of our zoning codes downtown. If we want our community to grow and prosper, why not bring the people together by offering a more pedestrian lifestyle? Affordable housing incorporated within businesses? Preserving our history? Attracting new stores and workplaces downtown? This will require development standards that support downtown growth. It will require open minds, changing old attitudes and building on our assets.Come on, Santa Paula, let’s dream a dream about what we want our future to be and make it a reality. We don’t have to be a carbon copy of someone else’s failures.Dee JohnstonSanta PaulaCommendations for “Imagine...”To the Editor:
Commendations to C-2000 and the Latino Town Hall for their cosponsoring of Saturday’s “Imagine Santa Paula.” Billed as “an educational forum on intelligent growth for a revitalized town center,” the quality of discussion and caliber of speakers far exceeded my expectations.Among the audience of an estimated 150 were many of the “old guard” who have historically been interested in preserving our city’s unique character while seeking ways to capitalize on this invaluable asset. However, the majority of attendees were new faces - recent newcomers who discovered our corner of the county and are willing and ready to preserve its small town charm and strong sense of community. Yet, I was disappointed in those elected city officials, city department heads and Main Street landlords who were absent. Their presence would have been welcomed and appreciated.The various panel members gave us a vision of what our city could be with careful planning and consideration of the needs of all residents. Through their remarks and visual images, those of us present were guided to the brink of the future. We saw what could be done. We imagined what our Santa Paula could become. It was truly a thought-provoking event offering new ideas worthy of consideration.But most encouraging for me was the feeling that the gauntlet many of us have carried for years is being picked up by a new vanguard of citizens who recognize our community’s positive attributes and will work to accent them for today’s enjoyment and tomorrow’s promise. I hope our shared vision will not dim; our collective commitment not fail.Mary AliceOrcutt HendersonSanta PaulaCarnival forthe childrenTo the Editor:The Santa Paula Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the Santa Paula Times for the publicity they gave our carnival. It was one of the best-attended functions in the nine years we have sponsored this event. This successful event means that there will be additional scholarships to be awarded.Thanks again, and I am sure the public thanks you also, because in most of the festivities planned by the Centennial Committee, the children have been overlooked.Victor Salas, Sr.PresidentMexican-AmericanChamber of CommerceLooking fora friendTo the Editor:I rang your paper a few days ago and I spoke to a lady who said if I wrote to you about my problem you may be able to help me.As you will see from my address I live in England and I am tying to trace a friend of mine whom I have lost touch with, his name if ARTHUR H BENDY and I know what he did live in Santa Paula. He and I were both in the British Army together for many years, we were both musicians in the Highland Light Infantry Band which was based in Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow, Scotland. When he left the army he married an American girl and move to the U.S.A. and as far as I can gather he then became a policeman in Los Angeles. I think he has since re-married and his present wife’s name is ERMLINDA and his daughter’s name is BRINA.I have been trying to get in touch with him for many years but so far have had no luck all I have is the information which I have given you above and I am hoping this is the right person.As we are now both getting on in years and I have just had major heart surgery time is not on our side and I would very much like to contact himIf by any chance you do come up with something could you please ask him to tell me his Middle name then I will know if this is the right person.I wish to that you most sincerely for the trouble to have gone to the help me and if there is anything else I can tell you please do not hesitate to askAgain my many thanks for your co-operationIf you have any information you can contact me at:Mr. M Boocock,11 Woodbine GroveIdleBradfordBD10 8RDWest YorkshireEnglandYours sincerelyMERTON

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