Santa Paula Times

Crime fighting, good insects and State of SP on GMSP! menu

December 19, 2003
Santa Paula News

Crime fighting, good insects and the State of the City were on the menu of the November Good Morning Santa Paula!

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesCrime fighting, good insects and the State of the City were on the menu of the November Good Morning Santa Paula!Jim Garfield/Cal-West Real Estate hosted the Chamber of Commerce sponsored event.Ventura County Sheriff Bob Brooks talked about rising crime and the professional relationship with the Santa Paula Police Department, noting that the SPPD and VCSD work together regularly.Statewide crime is up and in Ventura County the homicide rate is approaching a record including “suicide by cop,” noted Brooks.Terrorism is “not going to go away. . .the county has bio-tech and other industries we have to worry about.”Statewide the economic crisis is being felt on all levels of service, but “We do the best job we can working cooperatively with other agencies. . .we have better access to the new governor and he has made commitments to turn the funding and shift property taxes,” away from state coffers.A company founded by ranchers 76 years ago specializes in good bugs, and Brent Chandler, manager of Associates Insectary, spoke about the nature of the business and the business of nature.The Santa Paula-based company found itself using its red spray trucks to fight the firestorms in October, said Chandler.
Associates Insectary now employs about 50 people and serves Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.“We take care of 10,000 acres of avocados and lemons and are down to about 1,000 acres of oranges,” noted Chandler.The basis of the company was as a farmers cooperative formed to find alternative pest control, AKA good bugs and other environmentally friendly methods, such as baby oil, a good bad bug killer.Associates Insectary is “really all about integrated pest management,” and the company has become an international model for the industry.Giant whitefly remains a “tremendous problem” and while Associates Insectary works on a solution, “a garden hose is about the best,” defense against the pest, Chandler noted.The State of the City is very good especially with City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz at the city helm and his “new culture” of cooperation and accomplishment, said Mayor John Procter.Highlights of the year include finalizing the skatepark, Visioning, Santa Paula Beautiful, anti-graffiti efforts, ending the threat of hefty fines over the wastewater treatment plant and possible development in Fagan Canyon, among others.Although state funding reductions are threatened Bobkiewicz “says just keep moving forward,” noted Procter.