Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

February 20, 2004
A matter of concern To the Editor:It is with great concern that we have heard of the financial trouble that Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula is having. We are told that there is a chance of it closing its doors. This, of course, would mean a great loss to our family as we have been going there at least once a week for the last four years and have participated in a weekly music program with our children. We always have been reading out loud to our daughter and have enjoyed many wonderful family times listening to some great books. Our older daughter (13) is an avid reader herself and has enjoyed the abundant supply of healthy literature that this library still has to offer. Our young daughter (17 months) will do the same in the future if this community service will stay in business.We understand it is a privilege to have a community library, but at the same time it seems to us that it should be a high priority in the community planning as it encourages and enhances long term learning and, of course, literacy, as opposed to some short lived extravaganza 4th of July fireworks or an entertainment oriented skate park which only a small fraction of the population would be able to use.Thank you for taking our concerns into your consideration as you write you paper and help form popular opinions.Charles and Esther BobbSanta PaulaResolutionTo the Editor:The following resolution approved by the Committee on Church and Society of the El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church in Santa Paula, concerns the present strike between the Grocery Workers Union and the Vons Stores management.WHEREAS, the Vons store in Santa Paula has been an established business in our community for many years providing quality foods and other household goods; andWHEREAS, we the consumers need such quality goods as provided by the Vons store in Santa Paula; andWHEREAS, Vons has also provided employment to many Santa Paulans with families thus making the Vons store an asset to the community of Santa Paula; andWHEREAS, the checkers, box boys and girls and other employees have demonstrated that customers are important by their efficient, friendly and polite attitude; andWHEREAS, many customers are union members themselves and do not cross the picket lines in respect for the strikers who are asking for fair medical benefits to protect their physical welfare and that of their families; andWHEREAS, we want to continue being customers of the Santa Paula Vons store and being attended by those friendly, polite Santa Paulan employees;NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Grocery Workers Union and the Vons Stores management make a more decisive effort to resolve the issues on the table as promptly as possible for the good of the community.Approved this 15 day of February, 2004.Submitted by the Committee on Churchand SocietyEl Buen Pastor UMCSanta PaulaReasons to be for B4To the Editor:B4 the Library – Vote Yes. Blanchard Santa Paula Library needs our vote. Books preserve ideas, knowledge, wisdom of the centuries. Books are good for us.TEN REASONS WHY BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN DRUGS• Books are available in clean well-lit libraries. You don’t have to sneak into smelly, dark alleys to get them.• No one ever had to check into the Betty Ford Clinic for reading too much.• It is extremely rare that anyone gets gunned to death in a book dispute.• Nobody ever read too many books then jumped off a building, walked through a plate glass window, or mooned a cop.• You don’t have to flush all your books down the toilet when there is an unexpected knock at the door.• Your friends won’t desert you when you run out of books.• You cannot get AIDS, hepatitis, or cirrhosis of the liver from a book.• You can read all you want to and it won’t show up on a urine test.• If you miss reading one day, you won’t go into painful withdrawal.• If you sneeze, you won’t blow your expensive books all over the floor.Excerpt courtesy of Stockton-San Joaquin County Public LibraryB4 will also preserve library programs like the Children’s Story Hour, the homework center, the Teen Scene, Summer Reading Program, Adult Literacy, Families for Literacy, ESL Programs, the Angel Elementary School Tutoring Program and the children’s musical appreciation program. B4 keeps our library strong. Vote Yes!Elaine HuntSanta PaulaReal info – DoomsdayTo the Editor:This is a subject that has bothered me for quite some time. It concerns “our security.”This is not the years past when you felt 100 percent safe. This is today, an age with much violence on TV, video games and even in sports where the words kill ‘em, stomp ‘em, kick ‘em, annihilate ‘em, and the kids grow up with this trash with hate to harm and rob and shoot the innocent. We have well-trained personnel out there 24 hours to help to control this and to keep us safe. “It is our own law enforcement and Fire Dept.” that we have to keep. It belongs here, all 100 years of it. If we had one penny tax, and each resident just gave a ten dollar bill a year, that could add more safety to our city. “Give and volunteer” with “no excuses.” We have a spend spend few who would rather use the much monies spent on lawsuits (remember), and to outsiders for surveys on what we should do here in our town and county. Huh, what? We have personnel with smart minds in our town. Listen to them.Our police chief and commanders know law enforcement. Do you know what they do and what they have to put up with? It is a tough job where they too need protection from the many calls they get 24 hours a day. Whether it is a shooting, heart attack, accident, or a stolen garden hose, the SPPD and SPFD are there very quickly. Do you take this for granted? Take a little time to think about this. The SPPD and SPFD know this city well. The response is fast when we call them and our adrenaline is climbing. There are some in our City Council who would like to see them replaced. Gone. Huh? What? But there is always plenty of money for surveys and lawsuits and skateboards and such. It is only tax money. And do you realize how much it costs to remove the crud that some elements (people) cause?Think about all of this. Our own SPPD, SPFD, our library, the hospital and the sewer system are among where we should be using our tax money “first.” This is “our safety” first.“Remember all the wasteful spending in past years?” This is a serious subject in a cash strapped situation. Do you care? If you do care, say so. Otherwise our city is history. It is nearly that now.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaP.S. The local Santa Paula Briggs Club 4-H kids, 80 of them, have lost their location and have a new place on a ranch. They need your leftovers such as plywood, fence posts (wood and steel), tools, fencing (barbed and sheep, hog type), sheds, straw, shavings, etc. You can donate hay, oats, grain if you wish. Call for info to Tina at 525-0583.Note: The crosswalk reflectors are great.Support Mike Morgan
To the Editor:I am writing in support of Mike Morgan, candidate for Supervisor of the 3rd District. As the retired City Manager of Camarillo, I had the opportunity to work closely with Morgan for eleven years while he served as Mayor and Councilmember in Camarillo. After that period of time, you come to know a person pretty well, and I’m confident that Mike will make a good County Supervisor. Morgan is an honest, sincere and open person who truly believes that the individual voter needs to be heard and responded to in an effective manner. Mike also believes that the job of the Supervisor is to represent all of the citizens of the District at the County Board level and not just some personal political agenda. In recent years, the Board of Supervisors, including the current Supervisor, Kathy Long, has made some terrible decisions that cost Ventura County taxpayers millions of dollars. The Health and Social Services ill-fated merger of a few years ago is but one of several fiscal disasters approved by the Board. During the past two years, the Board, again including Long, has voted to significantly reduce its financial commitment to public safety services (primarily the Sheriff’s Department) provided to the citizens of Ventura County. Once again, they have taken funds from a public service vital to all of us and used them to finance various programs benefiting only a few. This is another example of their misplaced spending priorities. This wasteful spending needs to stop and Morgan has the experience and determination to see that it does stop. Morgan is committed to strong public safety services in Ventura County.Mike has the ability to think of new approaches to solving old problems and has demonstrated a capacity for hard work. Lastly, and most importantly, Morgan keeps the promises he makes. In my opinion, Morgan has represented the citizens of Camarillo very well over the past 22 years, and I know he will represent the the entire 3rd District in the same way. I support Mike Morgan for Supervisor and I urge the voters in the 3rd District to do the same on March 2nd.J. William LittleCamarilloI know Mike MorganTo the Editor:I know Mike Morgan.  That is precisely why I am staunchly supporting and voting for Kathy Long.Bob PinkertonRancher, Santa PaulaThank YouTo the Editor:I would like to thank everyone who helped to make the Soroptimist Women of Distinction Dinner, honoring Doris Bickett, Ofelia De la Torre, Beverly Harding, Michelle Kolbeck and Betty Spalding, a wonderful success.The Soroptimists of Santa Paula, especially Hope Arellano, Lora Wingo and our President Cynthia Dunbar all worked hard to make sure everything was done right.The Santa Paula Times generously printed our nomination requests, announcements and invitation to the public. We are truly blessed to have a local paper that takes care of all our service organizations.Special thanks to Pierce Brothers Stetler Mortuary, Santa Paula Cemetery and Yamaguchi Nursery, for their donation of flowers for centerpieces, corsages and presentation bouquets.Peggy Kelly was superb as our presenter of awards to our honorees. She always adds humor to our event, all the while giving our honorees the recognition they all deserve.I am most grateful to Congressman Elton Gallegly, Supervisor Kathy Long and Mayor Gabino Aguirre for bringing certificates and proclamations for our honorees. And I especially would like to thank Jose Herrera at City Hall, who did a beautiful job on the proclamations.Over the past twenty years the Soroptimists have honored over 70 women for their professional and volunteer service to Santa Paula. I am thrilled that this year’s event went so well. Thanks to all!Leslie Cornejo, Event ChairS. I. of Santa PaulaThank you citizens of Santa PaulaTo the Editor:I would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to the citizens of Santa Paula for their support of their Police Department. My name is Mike Saviers and I am a police officer with the Santa Paula Police Department and a member of the Santa Paula Police Officers Association. Recently the community was allowed to participate in the management audit of the police department, commonly referred to as the Arroyo Report. During the time of the audit process lots of thoughts went through my mind, are we doing the best job we can and does the community really care who polices them to name a just a couple. I know every member of your police department gives his or her all to make Santa Paula a safe place to live and raise our families. We don’t have the resources other larger, more affluent cities have and we don’t get paid what other larger agencies do. What we do have, that money cannot buy, is the hearts to work our hardest to serve you.As a result of the audit we learned that we as a police department handle calls for service that according to Arroyo we should not be handling, they are not a “police issue”. Our administration and our officers support our present philosophy that if you call the police department with a problem and want to speak to an officer you will get an officer. That is what we do, we are accessible to our community.Also as a result of the audit we found that you as a community overwhelmingly support us as your police department. Eighty five percent of those polled in the community at large supported the police department. I speak for myself and I know others on the department when I say “Thank You” for your support and confidence in us, it is not overlooked and very much appreciated.Mike SaviersSPPD OfficerSupport for LibraryTo the Editor:On March 2nd the citizens of the Santa Paula area will go to the polls and have the opportunity to support their public library. Our library is asking for a tax increase of $15 per parcel per year, which will restore the cuts that the library has had to make.Blanchard Community Library took a $34,000 cut from the state and as a result the library has had to make some drastic cuts in its operating expenses. For example, we have had to cut back hours that the library is open and the amount of our book purchases.As a responsible public agency, we immediately informed the citizens of our needs. We did not let years go by before we informed the public of our problems and our plans to remedy these problems.Please help us keep the library functioning as a successful library – open to serve the public with a variety of events – children’s programs, literacy programs, reference services and many more.Please help us keep our great library operating. A $15 a year increase in our taxes is the only practical solution to keep our library successfully servicing the community of Santa Paula.Eugene MarzecLibrary Board MemberSanta PaulaRE: Sheriff Bob Brooks LetterTo The Editor:After reading the letter by Sheriff Bob Brooks in the Santa Paula Times, I am blown away by the blatant misstatements and/or manipulations of the truth. I will take specifics from the letter and then offer some personal thoughts not to be attributed to anyone else in the County family.Bob Brooks states that his department only gets 37% of the “gross budget”. Wrong! In the “gross” budget, he gets less than that. The truth is that he gets 37% of the gross General Fund Budget, but 55% of the discretionary General Fund Budget by the choice of the Board of Supervisors. Next, the Sheriff completely misleads the public by trying to imply that the $100 million Pension Obligation Bond (POB) was a result of a recent lawsuit. It was not! We went out with POB in 1995 and without the Bond issue, there would never have been a surplus to fight over (the POB was $154 million)! The County is still making payments on the POB, so saying that we did not pay into the retirement is not correct.There are so many untrue statements in the Sheriff’s “campaign” letter for Morgan that I don’t have space to comment on them all. So I will close with some things that I believe the public should hear.The Sheriff was elected to manage his people and make the best use of his budget to protect the citizens of the County. His budget is at $165 + million and yet he says it’s not enough. Everyone would like to see more, but he’s getting more discretionary General Fund money than any other department and should be proud of that priority status. There is no more money! Given the crisis in the State, counties will have a lot less revenue next year. Will we continue to be subjected to the tantrums of a spoiled child who demands everything even when the family’s income has drastically decreased?I am becoming increasingly tired of the blatant political posturing. The Sheriff says his statements are not political, he’s “duty bound” to inform the public. I believe that he’s “duty bound” to do his job, not to use scare tactics and misinformation to sway the public. He should be held accountable for providing the best possible service in bad times as well as good. As an elected official, I would be ashamed to admit that I can’t do my job and protect the public unless I have unlimited funds. The Sheriff has said he’s not a manager; he’s an advocate for public safety. At least he got one statement right.In his letter, Sheriff Brooks states, “if Supervisor Long can do that much damage (patently untrue of course) as a friend of public safety, I would hate to see what an enemy could do”. Well, as a long time friend of public safety, I know what kind of damage my “friends” can do, reference my last re-election. With friends like that, who needs enemies? It is my opinion that this campaign against incumbent Supervisors is all about power and control. The Sheriff and his Union (yes, he’s a member and benefits from the contract) want to make sure that there is a Board of Supervisors who will give them every toy and benefit they demand. All in the name of safety for the citizens………of course!Judy MikelsSupervisor, 4th District