Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

April 17, 2002
SPHS fire victim relief effort To the Editor:The members of our Santa Paula High School community, everyone on our campus, are awesome, giving individuals. Between students giving change and dollars, staff writing checks, money spent at the student store, clubs and classes donating we raised $2342 for the fire victim relief fund in less than two days. The ASB Student Store, Interact Club, Class of 2002, Class of 2003, National Honor Society, Principal’s Budget combined total $1500 and $842 was all in cash or check.These families are in a state of shock right now. Take a moment and imagine your room, house, and all the material things that you value and smile. Now imagine when you leave today and return later, everything is gone. Pictures, shoes, your favorite jacket, your home GONE! One mother that I spoke with was just serving lunch to her two toddlers while the explosion happened. With tears in her eyes she was thankful to have her babies and with no emotion stated, “I don’t know what we do now, we lost everything.”This family was staying in a room at the Royal Oak Hotel with three adults and five children. They have met with the American Red Cross and are working to get assistance, but housing is limited everywhere. Money is very important right now because most places will ask for a first, last, and a security deposit.Thanks again to SPHS, for working as a team to help others and our own in such a short period of time.Note: Pastor Vindel, Fire Chaplain is a very good contact person if you would like to help out more. Monetary or material donations can be made to the Santa Paula Ministerial Association, Attn. Pastor Jose Vindel, 1029 E. Santa Paula St., Santa Paula, CA 93060.Lisa SchmidtASB Activities DirectorWomen of HistoryTo the Editor:Santa Paula’s Women of History Committee have done it again. The dinner at the Community Center honoring five women of Santa Paula was a huge success. I was pleased to be a part of it.All the honored women had special stories full of interesting life journeys, written by talented local writers. The readers from Santa Paula Theater were outstanding. It was a moving experience for the large, enthusiastic audience - many moments of laughter and tears.What an evening to remember, sharing it with our families and friends.Thank you Women of History.June WelshSanta PaulaFlimflamTo the Editor:Richard Garcia’s letter inspires me to respond to the proposed Adams Canyon Development. Those of us who worked to get the SOAR initiative on the ballot know that the situation has not changed. The proposed “Ranch at Santa Paula” will not, in my opinion, benefit the town in any way. Just the opposite will probably follow this “Pinnacle” corporation’s effort to isolate the town. The “Ranch” will use our water, fire, and police resources and will have their own malls, parks, golf courses, schools, etc. and will be a “town” within itself. The property taxes will in no way compensate for the depletion of water and other resources. Why should these residents shop in Santa Paula? Would you? It is my personal opinion that we are being flimflammed and speaking for myself, I am grateful that Steve Bennett and Richard Francis are interested in our future.Let’s improve the town we have with more affordable housing, stores and other things that we need. Let’s tell Pinnacle to hit the road. They have been systematically moving down the West Coast and we wouldn’t be the first town to tell them to just keep moving.Carmita WoodSanta PaulaThanks forthe honorTo the Editor:Thank you to the Santa Paula Women of History for the recognition they give each year to women in the community. There are so many who give time and effort to their town that it is a humbling experience to be singled out. I felt very honored to be among those Women of History selected this year, and wish to express my gratitude to everyone involved. It was a great evening!Pat AldersonSanta PaulaRe: Richard Garcia’s letter on Adams Canyon.I am a trying to understand something. Mr. Garcia says, ironically, that he resents people - non-voters - coming into our community to tell us what’s best for us regarding the Adams Canyon development.Could he be totally unaware that Adams Canyon owner Arnold Dahlberg (developer of several projects himself) does not live anywhere near Santa Paula? Mr. Dahlberg lives in Rancho Santa Fe, County of San Diego, and of course is not a registered voter in Santa Paula, nor even in Ventura County. He purchased property many years ago and is, in reality, an out of town speculator who hoped to make a profit sometime in the future.Is it the duty of the citizens of Santa Paula to see that out of town speculators make a profit on their investments? I certainly think not!Nor is Pinnacle Group, the proposed developer, a local company. They are from Phoenix, Arizona. Even so, Pinnacle Group’s project manager told many people that this summer they intend to be “..right in the middle of Santa Paula’s (Vision 20/20) planning process.” They clearly intend to tell Santa Paula what is best for Santa Paula. The city staff also seems to think that the wishes of citizens who live here really are of little importance.For some strange reason the letter writer does not seem to resent Dahlberg’s or Pinnacle Group’s “coming into our community and telling us what’s best for us.” I can only conclude that he simply didn’t know the rest of the story.Martha K. Harris
Santa PaulaCelebrate the centennialTo the Editor:Santa Paula’s Centennial events started off with some huarache-stompin’ music at the Depot March 30. It was an entertaining, educational evening of the sounds of regional Mexican music provided by the talented Herrera brothers whose group goes by the tongue-twisting Aztec name “Macuilxochitl” meaning “five flowers” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs.The first part of the program was the fast-paced rhythms of Huasteca music from southern Mexico, as authentically American as Blue Grass. The second half was the more familiar norteña music of northern Mexico with the accordion and umpah rhythmic influences of central Europe nicely adapted to Mexican “country-western.”The following weekend, we were treated to blues and funk by the Road Dogs Band at The Whistle Stop on Friday, a great way to celebrate TGIF. Saturday evening at Barbara Webster school brought us the youthful musicians of Mariachi Camarillo and dancers of Grupo Folklórico Inlakech who displayed some up-and-coming talent. Then Sunday afternoon at the Knights of Columbus hall, there was a harmonic blend of guitars and voices by a group from Oxnard serenading with Mexican ranchera music. They were followed by norteña music that inspired some of the audience to get up and dance.Centennial Committee member Gabino Aguirre arranged these delightful and educational presentations and promises more to come to lead us into the spirit of the centennial season. Those of you who got off to a slow start should not let the upcoming opportunities pass you by. You may be too old by the time our bicentennial rolls around. Bill GlennSanta PaulaThanks forrestoring “SP”To the Editor:Like so many Santa Paulans, for years I’ve grumbled about the fading condition of the SP on South Mountain and hoped for its eventual restoration. I even nurtured a myth that the spirit of our town was embodied in that symbol and we would not see better times until it emerged from its weedy grave to tell the world that our town is still alive and kicking. Now, in the year of Santa Paula’s 100th birthday as a city and the SP’s own 80th birthday as a mark of our civic pride, all the elements finally came together to bring it back to life, perhaps even for the next 100 years.On April 3, 2002, the final phase of the latest restoration took place during the chilly, hazy morning. Even our highly talented Theater Center couldn’t have staged this final scene more dramatically. When the late afternoon sun finally forced back the curtain of mist, a dazzling white SP emerged. For many of us, it was a mystical moment. I extend my thanks to all whose combined efforts made it happen:To the intrepid souls who, through the years, have trekked up the hill to clear off the brush and to those who have kept the dream alive.To the Richardson heirs who gave permission to restore the historical letters and took an active part in the entire operation. Without them, the job simply could not have happened. May the SP serve as a reminder of all their family’s major contributions to this valley during the past 135 years.To Jack Dickenson, Pierre Tada, Ron Hendren and Gus Gunderson, the big guns at our historic Limoneira Company for providing the cleanup crew for the daunting task of clearing the letters and also for providing the method for whitening them. Without them, the SP would still be a weed patch. What a timely, magnificent and hopefully enduring gift to our city!To the advance party of John Procter, Art Gunderson, Mike Kerr, Andy VanSciver, Mike Binsley, and Chris Wilson whose efforts (coordinated by John) led to the strategy and achievement of locating the nearly invisible letters and marking them out for cleaning. The hill was steep, the letters huge, the weeds high, and the task arduous, but they never faltered.To the cleanup crew led by Gus Gunderson of Limoneira and supervised by the crew foremen, Roy Rodríguez and Juan Luna, whose crew labored two days to root out the years of stubborn overgrowth while disrupting the home life of a number of rattlesnakes. Y a los seis bravísimos trabajadores de la cuadrilla, Ricardo Mendoza, Fernando Rizo, Miguel Vásquez, Pedro Gil, Arturo Fernández y Roberto Reyes, quien merecen las gracias de nuestra comunidad por su trabajo.To Brett Chandler, manager of Associates Insectary, and to his crew for solving the whitewashing problem and making the SP shine. To supervisors Sean Stevens and Bob Lino, and field foreman James Larmon for directing the spraying operation of the quarter acre of steep hillside and to mechanic Arnold Nava for keeping the 1,200 gallons of solution moving through 500 feet of hose. And to the spraying crew of Rafael Gonzales, José Sandoval, Rogelio Núñez, Juan Pérez and Carlos Pérez for their work in whitening the letters so that they would again grace the “weather-beaten brow” of South Mountain in time for Santa Paula’s birthday. ¡Muy bien hecho!Long live our SP!Bill GlennSanta PaulaThanksfor your helpTo the Editor:Dear Friends,The recent fire on Santa Barbara Street destroyed six units and displaced seven families which now are scattered and living with friends, relatives or in motels. They essentially lost everything.Please accept our organization’s thanks for your willingness to help our brothers and sisters. In particular we want to thank the students of St. Sebastian School who at their young age recognized their responsibilities to their neighbors by having their own fund raiser and in addition providing clothes and other items for the affected families.Additionally, we would like to thank El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, St. Sebastian Catholic Church, the Cardinal McIntyre Fund, Santa Paula Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, Abundant Life Church, Universalist Unitarian Church, and various persons who made individual contributions.Thank you again for your assistance,Deacon Alfonso A. GuilinPresident, Santa Paula Ministerial Association