Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2011


To the Editor:

I would like to thank Madam Treasurer Easley and Councilman Cook. Those two have shown real leadership. They saw what needed to be done and did it. They jumped in and shared the pain.

I can only hope that the rest of our elected officers will follow suit and take their “voluntary” 5% cut in pay. This is the same cut in pay that was forced on the rest of the City Staff.

I certainly hope everyone remembers this during the next election. I’ll try to remind y’all.

Scott Brown

Santa Paula


Shared pain

To the Editor:

Let’s recall the Myopic Four. They have had a couple of years to see that the City’s budget was failing, yet they failed to take action.

The four councilmen from the previous session fiddled while Santa Paula “burned” its budget. Now they expect City Staff to “share the pain” that they should have dealt with sooner. All of the unions from SPPD, SPFD, SEIU, unrepresented, mid management, upper management, and some of the executive branch took their “shared pain” of mandatory 5% cuts and more in pay and benefits. Only our newest council member joined us by taking his “voluntary” 5% pay cut. What’s up with that?

Why couldn’t our other four leaders “share the pain” with us. Have they never heard of empathy or re-election? My cocktail napkin calculation shows that a council member would lose about $2.16 per day (five-day work week) with a 5% cut in their “pay”. They have “directed” the rest of City Staff to take substantially larger mandatory “shared pain” cuts.

Do our Fearless Leaders not think that any of our City Staff might also have children in college? Do the City Staff not have house and car payments too? Share the Pain or get out of office! Did you get elected to the City Council for the money or to truly lead our City? It is time for the citizens to take action!

Scott Brown

Santa Paula


In appreciation

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Santa Paula Community Fund and our non-profit Citrus Classic Balloon Festival, I would like to express our appreciation for the recent City Council vote supporting manageable city service fees for Special Events. With these fees now defined, the Citrus Classic can move forward with final financial planning. We can now release critical funds for marketing and advertising. And, most importantly, we can confirm to our many partners that all their support for the Classic will be worthwhile.

The Citrus Classic will be four years old this July. Attendance will be over 20,000. That is a pretty substantial growth in a short period of time. It’s safe to say Santa Paula’s doing something right with this event.

And all our Committee members agree that what we are doing right is working in solid partnership with all those linked to the Citrus Classic. Whether we’re coaching SPHS athletic clubs on how to maximize their fundraising opportunities, tailoring publicity to the business interests of our fantastic Sponsors, tweaking Food Vendor opportunities for Familia Diaz and Los Arcos, creating visibility for local motorcycle shops,  providing free visibility for the Pumpkin Patch and local daycare businesses, creating raffle revenue for Hospice, creating a new annual benefit for the Jim Colborn Baseball League, or working collaboratively with City staff on the paramount issues of traffic and public safety, we are doing it with and thanks to our community partners.

It takes an equal dose of serious commitment and serious sense of community to build this type of event in 4 years. Thanks, Santa Paula, for getting us all there - together.

Carla Edwards

Event Organizer/Founder

Citrus Classic Balloon Festival


Community vigilance

To the Editor:

More than ever, we must be vigilant in our neighborhoods and report unusual activity to the police department.

Recently, people were found living in the garage of a vacant house offered for sale in one of our neighborhoods, generally considered stable and predictable.  They were also parking their car in the driveway. The police arrested the occupants and found someone had accessed the house for sleeping. The following day neighbors mentioned they had noticed the car and people coming and going from the house but were afraid to get involved.

That is understandable, but those who have been through Neighborhood Watch training, CERT and other public safety programs cannot be more encouraging about watching for unusual activity and reporting it to the police department.

If you are in danger, call 911. State your name and as calmly as possible recite your concerns with as many details as possible. If it is not an emergency but of concern call 525.4474 and press “O” for the dispatcher.  If you are reluctant to call, ask someone you trust to make it for you.

Our officers cannot be on every street every day for very long. They depend on us to help keep our neighborhoods safe. If you have been thinking about how a Neighborhood Watch could benefit your area, please ask the Police Department for information.

Kay Wilson-Bolton

Santa Paula


Don’t lose the music

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my concern about the possibility of Santa Paula Elementary School District losing our amazing Ms. Donna. It has recently been brought to my attention that Donna Nelson, the music specialist for all six elementary school sites and Isbell Middle School, may not have a position for the upcoming year due to cuts in the budget.

I imagine most every child and parent in Santa Paula has a favorite Ms. Donna memory, as she has so generously shared her love of music in classrooms, theatrical performances, piano recitals, and whole-school assemblies. Being both a parent and teacher here in Santa Paula, I have been so fortunate to watch as Ms. Donna weaves her magical music and love for the arts with countless boys and girls.

For many children, Donna is their only connection to music; whether it is learning rhythms on African drums, discovering chords and notes on acoustic guitars, blowing life into a recorder, singing in a magnificent choir, or reciting a beautiful piece on the piano. Donna has the tireless energy that enables her to somehow be in seven places at once, and in each appearance, she gives her full love, passion, and talent.

When times are tough, and the economy looks grim, everyone hurts. Nevertheless, we are an intelligent and creative community, so I am confident that we will be able to come up with a way to keep Ms. Donna in our children’s lives. A beautiful song encourages us:  “Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores….” I think we would all rather sing than cry when life gets bumpy, but we need a Ms. Donna to teach us how the song goes.

Sean Thomas Miller

Santa Paula


May justice be done

To the Editor:

“Big News” belongs on the front page. But the front-page story of the June 10th edition of the Santa Paula Times is not the kind of hometown headline I want to see. That story is the kind of stuff that happens “in the big cities”, in another state, and even then, it shouldn’t happen. When I saw this story aired on a Los Angeles news program while having my morning coffee this past week, I was shocked that this kind of thing happened here… here!! But I thank the Santa Paula Times for printing the story on the front page and for including the pictures of the men involved, so if they ever get out of jail, females of all ages and their families can be aware of who these vile humans are and avoid contact with them.

To the Perpetrators of the Crime: If what’s reported is true, your actions have angered and sickened me. I’m glad you were caught and I hope the full extent of the law is thrown at you, with as much mercy from the court as you gave your victims: none. You have shamed our town and, most likely, your families. Did it ever occur to you that your victims are someone’s daughter, sister, granddaughter, cousin, niece or aunt? Would you want your sisters, cousins, nieces or aunts treated like this?

I abhor your use of the internet to lure in your victims. While my 2nd grade granddaughter was using the ’net to research Helen Keller for her class report, you were using it to make contact with girls younger than you for your sick minded entertainment. I can’t express enough (in printable language) how much this upsets me! Surely California has “internet laws” of some kind that can be used to add time to your sentences for your vile actions. If not, then I hope you’ll have to register as sex offenders for the rest of your lives, where ever you move to, should you be convicted of the charges against you.

To Santa Paula Police Dept.: Thank you for your quick investigation and making these arrests. Because of this, our town doesn’t have to remain humiliated for this crime happening here, and we can become known for not tolerating gang activity of any kind. Maybe it will serve as notice to criminals of all kinds that they’d be better off choosing to not live here. (I know the citizens of Santa Paula would be better off.) I don’t like crime happening in my hometown, and I think when it’s reported publicly in our city and county newspapers, it gives both sides of crime something to think about: the citizens know the PD is working to fight and solve crime; potential newcomers and businesses to our town will know the PD is working to fight crime and that Santa Paula‘s not a bad place to be; and criminals know it’s just a matter of time before they’re caught, which could be sooner than they‘d anticipated.

To the girls involved: I am sorry for what happened, but you were brave - so very brave! - to report it, and I commend you for that. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to do, but it was the right thing to do. Never forget that. I hope all girls and women will follow your lead in fighting this type of crime.

And finally, To the Courts: I hope the trials for these men are set very soon, and their sentences swift and to the highest levels possible, because victims shouldn’t have to wait for justice.

Jan Allen

Santa Paula


Thanks for support

To the Editor:

Time has passed since the passing of Jesus N. Frutos and the family would like to give a special thanks to all of his friends that sent flowers and kept the family in their thoughts and prayers during these hard times. Indeed, you all provided that nice shoulder to lean on and in some cases cry on. Thank you for being with us. We thank God for giving us friends like you! The days continue to be hard without our beloved husband and Dad, but his memories have kept us looking ahead. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you and my God bless you!

El tiempo ha pasado desde que falleció Jesús N. Frutos y la familia quiere darles las gracias a todos sus amigos que mandaron flores y mantuvieron a la familia en sus pensamientos y oraciones durante estos tiempos difíciles. Ustedes nos ofrecieron sus hombros como apoyo y en algunas veces hasta para llorar. Gracias por haber estado con nosotros. ¡Le damos gracias a Dios por darnos amistades como ustedes! Los días siguen siendo difíciles sin nuestro querido esposo y padre pero las memorias que nos dejo nos han mantenido viendo hacia a delante. De todo corazón les damos las gracias y que Dios los bendiga.

Familia Frutos

Santa Paula


A job well done

To the Editor:

For nearly ten years, I have cared for my great wife who has Alzheimer’s disease. I keep her at home and employ an aide three hours a day to assist with showers, food preparation, laundry, etc. Margaret has been incontinent for over five years but remains quite aware of what is happening. We have enormous problems but are OK and happier than most. But she has developed severe mobility problems.

We had previously utilized a local agency for physical therapy services and found them satisfactory so I arranged for them again. But the person they sent this time seemed to consider the case hopeless, spent much of the time on a computer, and even missed an appointment without notifying us. We understand hopeless here, but reject it. I called and cancelled the service.

After that, I arranged for therapy through our local Santa Paula Hospital/Ventura County Medical Center. This facility is located in the Vons Shopping Center.

Wow. What a difference! My wife was assigned to a competent, caring therapist named Julia MacDonald. Margaret entered in her wheelchair, but was able to walk out with assistance. Each time we returned more gain was obvious. All therapists at this facility seem very good. Julia MacDonald is just outstanding.

Delton Lee Johnson

Santa Paula


Juliet Dike retires

It is with great honor that I write this letter to both acknowledge and thank Juliet Dike for 22 years of service as a physical education instructor for the Santa Paula Elementary School District.

I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing Juliet as a family friend as well as a teacher and coach. As a student at Glen City from 1986-1992, I was fortunate enough to have Juliet as my physical education teacher. In addition, she served as my high school soccer coach for two years. The level of difficulty in her teaching and coaching methods taught me more than just the skills of a given sport – they challenged me to expect more of myself.

As an adult, I have come to appreciate all that Juliet has contributed to this community and to my growth as an athlete and individual. There were many occasions when, in an attempt to joke and pull a prank, Juliet would laugh at my antics, but quickly regain my focus with a much deserved one-mile run around the high school track. I was, admittedly, one to push the limits of a teacher or coach’s patience, and I have only come to appreciate the standout teachers and coaches like Juliet that taught me how to balance the jokes with hard work.

In an era when physical activity among youth is limited, Juliet’s role as the sole P.E. instructor for the Santa Paula Elementary School District proved to be invaluable year after year. Her dedication to the community extended beyond the school grounds and nearby soccer fields, and was accompanied by a partnership she shared with her husband, Dave, as a tennis instructor. Together, they were – and will continue to remain – fixtures within the community, and specifically in athletics. I am proud to be among the thousands of local students whose lives have been touched by Juliet. There is no doubt that the elementary schools will be at a significant loss without her.

Thank you, Juliet.

Jannette Jauregui

Santa Paula


I love the people of Santa Paula

To the Editor:

Besides the near perfect climate and the superb scenery of the orchards and farmlands, so many of the people of Santa Paula make this town a wonderful place to live and work. For the last two weeks, I’ve voiced my frustrations with the tackiness that has been allowed to plague our neighborhoods, our businesses and our city. This council ran on a vision of building a quality town, one in which we could be proud to say is home. I hope that they haven’t  become short sighted and allow sub par projects to  exist because of our financial woes. It’s better to have one nice project than seven low class, tacky ones.

I’d like to compliment David Kaiser for taking the time to research who was responsible for code enforcement and to give our citizens a means to get action. One of our Downtown Business owners  also informed me that they have tried for years to encourage the city to enforce codes and issue and enforce conditional use permits. I can’t imagine what could hold a higher priority for the city than to encourage quality downtown businesses. Most business owners would support such a move 100%. I understand that there are some businesses who don’t participate and join forces to improve our downtown. In the end, they’ll pay for their uncaring laziness and selfishness. It’s too bad they are so unprofessional and have downright stupid business sense.

With that, I must compliment the new VC Marketplace signage. It is very alluring and welcoming as is the new Bistro signage. Everyone I know is excited about both.

Today, America in Bloom has advertised another project that is being funded by AIB and Robert Medrano from Peach Hills Soils Company. I never heard of your business, but I intend to look for your products and support you as you so generously support this city. Just like Limoneira, Agromin, Do Rights, Pan Am, Fides, Harrison and so many other businesses that  saw a need and filled it. We citizens applaud you all and all the other businesses that so generously support the projects in this town.

The people of Santa Paula are the ones who I must thank the most. We always see the same people organizing and attending the fundraisers and events, but we also see the every day mom and dad who wisely teach their children that it takes all of us to keep our   town a safe and beautiful place to live. Saturday, I hope to see some more of you come together to make quick work of another project being done in the morning by your friends and neighbors. And, of course, I hope you moms and dads can get a sitter later on and attend the Hospice Casino Night for a well-deserved night out.

Kate Nolet

Santa Paula


Letter of protest

To the Editor:

Dear Community,

Hi, my name is Andrew Arroyo. I go to McKevett. I’m writing this article because I’m sad. My piano teacher, Ms. Donna is being laid off because of budget cuts. Four other teachers are being laid off too. Like a 5th grade teacher named Mrs. Demars, the office manager named Mrs. Lola, and our two counselors Mrs. Emma and Mr. Noel are being laid off too. Our band teacher is moving to Isbell and one of our three 1st grade teachers is moving to Blanchard because of budget cuts too. Now you can see why I’m sad. They are the ones who encourage me to do my very best in school.

So what do you say? Do you want to help me protest against the state to help get all the staff that are being laid off at other schools back too? Your kids’ frowns will turn upside down. I hope that my letter speaks out to you!!!!! Remember, you can make a huge difference in mine and in other kids’ lives too. Please, write letters to our governor and our state representatives because together we can make a huge difference in kids’ and communities’ lives.

Thank you!

Andrew Arroyo

Santa Paula


Peeves and thanks

To the Editor:

Enjoyed reading Kate Nolet’s letter in last Friday’s Santa Paula Times and generally agree with the thoughts expressed. Some of the issues mentioned, however, may be the result of the tough financial times we are going through (i.e. street maintenance).

Her letter reminded me of my pet peeve – bicycle riding, skateboard use, etc. on Main Street sidewalks. This is a safety issue (especially for seniors), as well as a deterrent to patronizing downtown shops. I wish the Police Department would enforce the already posted signs.

This letter also gives me the chance to “thank” some of those who are going the “extra mile” to make Santa Paula a better place: Joyce and Ernie Carlson (Santa Paula Murals), Dianne and Dudley Davis (hanging flower baskets and planters on Main Street), Janice Dickenson, Mike and Karen Lynch and others for landscape maintenance in town.

Roland Rogers

Santa Paula