Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

April 21, 2006
Recognizing our leaders To the Editor:On April 22, Girl Scouts of the USA will celebrate the accomplishments of its nearly 1,000,000 Girl Scout Leaders and other volunteer during National Volunteer Week. On behalf of the entire Tres Condados Council, I would like to thank all of our local volunteers for contributing so much time and effort to the Girl Scouts - you truly make a difference in the lives of girls.Without volunteers, quite simply, there would be no Girl Scouting. Our volunteers are the very heart of Girl Scouts, and we are grateful to them for the contributions they so selflessly provide. This is why GSUSA has designated April 22 as Girl Scout Leader’s Day - to acknowledge Girl Scout leaders and other volunteers whose commitment, dedication, and constant effort help girls grow strong.For those of you who have a daughter in Girl Scouting, take a moment to think about her leader. Think about how at every meeting the leader is there to help your daughter experience new challenges and gain new skills for the future. Think about the amount of time the leader devotes to preparing for the meetings while balancing family, job and other time constraints. On April 22, think about all she does and remember your Girl Scout Leader. Write her a note of thanks, and if you see her in the street, say, “You’re doing a great job, and we appreciate it!”For those of you who are Girl Scout leaders and other volunteers, know that we recognize all you do and are truly thankful. You are one of the keys to helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders. Together, we can help even more girls grow strong through Girl Scouting.Olivia Villalobos-NilesMembership ManagerGirl Scouts ofTres CondadosSenior citizens, take noteTo the Editor:To all senior citizens in this city, can you really afford a sewer fee increase? I live on $737 a month and now the whole bill of trash, sewer and water runs $88. If this passes, your bill will be just short of $100 a month. When will it end?Please, to anyone who is against the sewer increase, sign your Protest Form that comes with your bill and mail it in or take it to the City Clerk’s office.We must stand together. “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”!Remember to turn in your form before May 15, 2006 or it won’t count.Margie FoxSanta PaulaDiesel fumes hurt kidsTo the Editor:Many important issues lie before us regarding the future of our town but one stands out as seriously affecting the environmental health of our community.The City will soon hold hearings regarding the building of an asphalt plant within one mile of City Hall in the flood plain of the Santa Clara River, close to Grace Thille Elementary School, The Boys and Girls Club, Harding Park, area businesses and many homes. This plant will be in operation 20 hours a day, 6 days a week for 20 years. At peak operation this large facility will generate over 900 trucks a day, spew diesel truck fumes, noxious “blue smoke” and dust as well as clog our city streets and highways with more traffic. Noise and water consumption will also be excessive.The Diani Co. has already mailed out a slick brochure touting the “benefits” to the community. The cover shows a beaming young schoolgirl. An interesting choice since children are at the greatest risk of permanent lung damage from diesel exhaust. This facility will be within 2 miles of 10 public and private schools. According to the DEIR, stationary and mobile particulate contamination is expected to exceed 50 TONS A YEAR.This plant was intended for the furthest regions of industrial West Ventura. They turned the project down flat due to the environmental havoc it would cause.The financial benefits to Santa Paula are miniscule. According to the summary of costs and revenues in the City’s own Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis and Peer Review, this plant is expected to employ 12 full time workers and generate only $14K in annual tax revenue. The analysis was reviewed by Diani Construction Co. officers as well as City staff members.Is it good for public health? No. Is it good for environmental health? No. Is it good for public safety? No. Is it good for the river? No. Is it good for local business? No. Asphalt manufacture is necessary but it doesn’t belong in a place where people live, work and play.Lotar ZiesingSanta PaulaTired and depressedTo the Editor:I was born in Santa Paula, I have lived here my whole life. There have been times when I loved it more than life itself, and times when I have been angry, depressed, and confused at some of the decisions of government leaders and voters... happenings in this community. I have been involved in the process of politics for years, and these thoughts come with the territory, but on Tuesday, April 18, we who live in Santa Paula had the opportunity to support and vote for great project Measure Y. It would have brought to us a golden egg... did we take it with gratitude... from a developer that has spent time in our community for several years and has contributed and given a lot to us. Did we support and vote to have this project move forward? NO... we slapped the gift horse in the mouth... and knocked him down... we threw the golden egg in the trash.There were a lot of people who gave hundreds of hours of time to support this project and to support the measure... to again watch Santa Paula shoot down something that was good for us.... I have no doubt that those who live outside our CURB line and fought against a measure that has nothing to do with them are celebrating... and those who shot it down from within the CURB line ought to be feeling terrible, as I know they are not. Because of these few, again the citizens were confused and divided because of selfish reasons. I am sure they feel they had justification for their decisions, but it again is putting our community without the needed monies that would have supported many things.There is no one who lives in Santa Paula that can deny that we need money to fix streets, roads, provide more and better schools that are overcrowded and money for police and fire... where will the money come from now that we have defeated this measure? Well, I don’t know and I’m sure no one else can tell me.
On June 6th, Santa Paula has one more chance to rectify what happened on April 18th. We can all get behind Fagan Canyon and vote yes that we want it. We need it, and again the developer is looking at what is good for us and the whole community and they are looking for success for themselves. They have given us much already as well, and want what is best for our town. If we vote against the Fagan Canyon project, we will again be slapping a gift horse in the mouth and throwing away that golden egg. The Pinnacle and Centex developers are good people... let us not make a second and bigger mistake.I am tired and depressed that a few people have so much clout... and tear apart what is best for us, but the silent and somewhat not silent majority - and I know it is a majority - need to get out and work twice as hard for Fagan Canyon... we have to get that passed.To the Measure Y people, I’m sorry and I feel terrible and there is nothing I can do, but I’m ashamed that we did not pass and accept from you, Mr. Dahlberg, a wonderful addition to our community.Janet GrantSanta PaulaSad turnoutTo the Editor:Well people of Santa Paula, we’ve done it again!I hope the people that oppose growth are willing to pay the increase in the utility tax that the city is proposing! Our city is in dire need of basic necessities that we can ill afford. I am disappointed that two of our city council chose to use their influence on this measure. I applaud the other council people that waited to see what the will of the people decided.We need growth to survive!Voting is a privilege, it is disappointing to see that people do not take advantage of the privilege. The percentage of registered voters that actually took the time to cast their vote was sad, to say the least!Maiya HerreraSanta PaulaLet’s respect Freedom of Speech and each otherTo the Editor:I usually disagree with Yolie Cerda Lee, but I have enormous respect for her and all others who expose themselves to public criticism by participating in city matters. For this reason, I was disappointed to see that the council refused to allow her to speak regarding public actions that two council members had taken outside of council meetings. Mayor Cook was quoted as saying, “What people do on their ‘day off’ is not the business of the council as a whole.” I respectfully disagree with the mayor, because elected officials participating in public activities don’t really have the “day off”. The public is entitled to know of their actions. It comes with the territory. Current council members have expended most of their effort, throughout their term of office, upon preventing our citizens from voting. Under such circumstances, they can expect criticism.It was wrong to deny Yolie Cerda Lee the right to speak. This is not the first time that the council has interfered with a speaker or deliberately embarrassed someone with whom they disagree. It ought to be the last. Those who watch council meetings are aware that this never happens when the council is in agreement with a speaker.At the time I write this, the final voter decision on Adams Canyon is undetermined. Whatever it is, we need to accept that decision and make the best of it. We will now have a vigorous debate on Fagan. Like many of you, I have strong views on the Fagan issue. But after that decision is made, we will again need to work together and make the best of it. It is well to remember that there are people of good will on each side of these matters. Isn’t it surprising that persons of good intent can differ so sharply!Let’s welcome all points of view, avoid personal attacks, respect freedom of speech, and try to utilize quantifiable data when possible.Delton Lee JohnsonSanta PaulaCourse correction?To the Editor:SOAR is right up there with Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. So their opposition to Measure “Y” was expected. However, there were two groups in Santa Paula that were instrumental in the defeat of this measure. The Board of Directors of the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce and the Members of the Santa Paula City Council. In my opinion both of these groups should have seen through all the BS and done what was right for the long-term economic health of Santa Paula. It will take a long time for the Chamber to recover from their major faux pas.By publicly taking a position against Measure “Y”, Council Members Aguirre and Procter were derelict in their duties as council members by neglecting the general welfare of the citizens of Santa Paula. As private citizens they have every right to oppose any measure but as council members they have an obligation to make decisions that benefit the community as a whole. I feel that Council Members Cook and Luna were equally responsible for the failure of Measure “Y” by privately supporting the measure but not taking a public stance in its support. As for Council Member Krause? Guilty by association. The projects that would have been presented for development in Adams Canyon could have been the turning point for the economic survival of Santa Paula.There is not much the citizens can do about SOAR. Like a pit bull terrier, they have latched on to no-growth, and by nature, can’t let go. The Chamber members will have to deal with their Board of Directors accordingly.The City Council is another matter. Krause, Aguirre, and Cook all have terms that expire in November of this year. The citizens of Santa Paula need to take a good look at the quality of representation from their elected officials and decide if a course correction is in order.Steve BrownSanta Paula