Letters to the Editor

March 10, 2006
The 69th Annual Art Show To the Editor:You, the people of Santa Paula, made it a success again and we want to take this opportunity to thank you, the visitors, the sponsors of the awards and the restaurants and businesses who donated food and gift certificates given at the Awards Reception.First we want to thank Santa Paula Chevrolet for their past support of the Best of Show award and hope that they will be able to rejoin out team in the future.It goes without saying that Centex Homes deserves a great big tta Boy for stepping up at the last moment to fill in. Our apologies to them for their not receiving the proper acknowledgment in our show catalog. We hope that this public statement of our gratitude will in some way suffice.Our financial awards sponsored again by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and the Limoneira Co. are one of the main reasons the quality of artists from near and far enter each year, and for their continuing support we are willing to work this hard to put on the quality show and Awards Reception that we attempt.Our local restaurants were again very generous with their donations of food trays and gift certificates, without which we couldnít put on such a popular awards presentation and reception.Our City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz was a big help with our advertising, and with Mike Nelson suggestions it was a much smoother operation.The Limoneira Co. is also to be thanked for volunteering help in the taking down and the transportation of the kiosks that make this show possible to the storage.One more group to thank are all the folks that helped set up, hang, catalog, man the docents desk, decorate for the reception, and helped clean up afterward. In all we all can have a good feeling of accomplishment, and will take a deep breath before starting the planning for our next show, which will be our 70th in Ď07.With gratitude for all those supporters not named and all you who came to vote (only once, we hope),The Santa Paula Society of the Arts Board of DirectorsSanta PaulaSomething of worthTo the Editor:After spending the last week in St. George, Utah, I felt the need to write concerning our townís ongoing concerns about growth or the lack thereof. I have spent many years making at least two trips a year to St. George to visit family and so have had an opportunity to watch it change over the years. At one time it had a charming downtown very similar to our own with unique local businesses, now it is a sprawling mass of homes and chain stores. What were once fields along the Santa Clara River (the same name as ours), a welcome area of green in the desert, are quickly becoming filled with huge homes.Have things become ďbetterĒ in St. George? I guess it depends on how you judge improvement. If being able to eat at any chain restaurant or fast food establishment is the way, then yes would be the answer. The same could be said of chain stores and Wal-Marts (yes there are two in the St. George area). However, housing prices have not dropped or even stayed at an affordable level, young families there are finding the need to move out of the area to live. Traffic has also become a major problem.So what is my point? I just felt such a feeling of gratitude when I started the drive home through our Santa Clara River valley for the towns and the fields that separated them and allow them their separate identities. I am not anti-development, I have come to understand that some growth is necessary and positive. I just hope that we do not rush to become an area like many others, a sprawling copy of growth.I thank Charles and Linda Spink, and Jim Procter for their considered letters to this paper. I agree with both that we should ďreject any sense of urgencyĒ and for the present stay with the decision made in 2002 to keep Adams canyon out of Santa Paulaís curb boundary.I recognize that there are problems in Santa Paula, but I hope we donít rush to accept development as the answer to all of them. We have something in Santa Paula that cannot be replaced once it is gone. We have a town. As communities such as ours disappear into sprawl as St. George has, perhaps we can realize that we have something worth more than developersí promises.Gail PidduckSanta PaulaCheck the factsTo the Editor:Please look up the facts on Centex. How strong are they as a company? This is what I have found: Their chief financial officer has recently resigned. Centex had a negative cash flow of $501.6 million in 2005. In northern California, Centex is holding special 12 hour sales where they have discounted houses from $40,000 to as much as $100,000. They have also lowered their broker co-op fees from 6% to 4%. This is all done to raise fast cash.In other words, if you had previously bought a Centex home in northern California, it is worth $40 to $100,000 less. You are underwater, because someone can now buy a new home cheaper than yours.Morningstar rates Centex financial health at C minus. This does not bode well for Fagan Canyon. The national housing market is slowing. Centex stock market prices have fallen from last year level. What if Centex goes belly up?Fagan Canyon has many risks associated with it. There is too much traffic. There are serious questions about water. It destroys our rural atmosphere. Now we find out that Centex is strapped for cash. What next?We CARE has given Santa Paula the right to vote on Fagan. Please vote against this risky project.John WisdaSanta PaulaThink about Adams CanyonTo the Editor:It is surprising to note that compared with the specific development plans presented to our community by Centex and Limoneira, Adams Canyon development proponents have offered only empty promises.Insofar as the general public knows, no economic feasibility study has been prepared to determine the viability of the project. As a consequence, all we get are rosy predictions based on empty words and promises that are very appealing to the uninformed.Is this why Adams Canyon proponents rushed to place the issue before the voters hoping they could sneak it in based on frivolous promises? Santa Paula Voters, please think about this.Robert BorregoSanta PaulaA good place to startTo the Editor:
It takes a lot of work to run a city. From collecting garbage to fixing potholes to maintaining our water system, city workers come to the job everyday determined to make Santa Paula a great community. And itís only fair that we receive comparable salary and benefits received by our counterparts in other cities in the county.The recent contract deal agreed to by the SEIU and the city gives city workers their first raise in two years, and itís a long time coming.I canít help but think this would have been resolved much sooner if the city of Santa Paula had more substantial economic resources. Unfortunately, Santa Paula continues to face economic struggles and every year we find ourselves once again having to tighten the belt.Simply put, we need more money - not just so we can pay city workers what they deserve, but also so that we provide more support for our police, firefighters, libraries, and youth programs.Yet where does that kind of money come from? The short answer is that it comes from growth. Iím not talking about uncontrolled, rampant growth. Iím talking about smart, sensitive growth.Thatís exactly what Measure Y and The Adams Preserve is going to give us. Smart growth is just 25 homes a year for 20 years, sensitive growth is preserving more than 4,000 acres as permanent open space, and economic growth is the more than $20 million a year that The Adams Preserve will ultimately generate for the city. Thatís money that could be used to help address city priorities and to help bring parity in pay for city workers.There are some people who want to stop growth completely and are against any type of change in our community. The facts tell us that we must grow to get the economic boost we need to achieve the type of changes we want in Santa Paula.Measure Y and The Adams Preserve is a good place to start. I hope you will join me in voting YES on Measure Y.John DunnMember SEIU, Local 998Yes on Y or the futureTo the Editor:Iím writing today to voice my support for Measure Y. I currently work two jobs to put myself through school, and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have more job opportunities in Santa Paula. Measure Y would bring in revenue to the city that would hopefully improve our local economy, and hopefully make Santa Paula a place where new businesses can open and thrive.Having a healthy job market is one of the most important parts of a good community - something that both retains and attracts people. Iíve lived in Santa Paula my entire life, and Iím frustrated by the lack of job opportunities that are available to us here. The young people in the community, especially recent graduates, need more opportunities - otherwise we need to move elsewhere to find employment. And for those of us who have to work to put ourselves through school, we need jobs to make sure we get the education we need to be productive members of society.I believe that the development of The Adams Preserve would help to attract more businesses to the area and thereby create more job opportunities. I support this initiative because it will help strengthen Santa Paulaís economy and community, and eventually help make it possible for me to raise and support a family here.Cecilia RuizSanta PaulaScamTo the Editor:Simply put, Measure Y for Adams Canyon development is a SCAM.The initiative document contains language that is conflicting and deceptive. Yes it provides for 495 luxury homes at the north end, but it also provides for public housing in unlimited numbers. (Please read the initiative, page 2, paragraph [4].) We seem to be looking at the same 2,200+ homes as provided for in the city general plan.It written legally into the fine print that the Arizona developer hopes we don read. 495 plus ther housing doesn add up to 495.Other deceptions: Our trusted Bob Gonzales failed to admit in his letter (praising the development) that he is now a paid employee of the developer. Bob is paid to promote what is potentially the most massive development wee dealt with. I confirmed it.Also, police and fire personnel are being told that the housing will be for them, yet the same 40+ acres are being promised to school districts. How does that work? It doesn, of course, it is part of the scam.Please vote No on Measure Y and show this developer that we may be small, but we are not fools.Julie ToviasSanta PaulaSuccessful raceTo the Editor:On Saturday, February 25, 2006, Santa Paula was witness to an event that, even though brief in its appearance, put our City in the middle of something rarely seen in the United States; a race of internationally renowned bicyclists. The race sponsored by Amgen began in Sausalito on February 19th, wound its way south, through Santa Paula ending at Amgen in Newbury Park on the 25th. The final course on February 26th ended in Redondo Beach, CA. Santa Paula and its residents were invited to view these riders as they pedaled their way into history as one of hopefully many future races along the California coastline. Santa Paula was tasked with making sure the race passed through the City without incident. This was further complicated when race organizers requested that all intersections and private driveways be staffed. This was to prevent motorists or residents from entering into the path of the race. The Santa Paula Police Department summoned all personnel possible and realized we needed more assistance, much more assistance. We called for aid from neighboring police agencies, their staff and volunteers; still, that was not enough. With the help of a lot of local organizations and their people, we were able to rise to the challenge. A partial list of those organizations and people who assisted were:ARES/RACES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service Radio Amateur Civil EmergencyServices) Heritage Valley, service clubs from Santa Paula, including Rotary, Lions, Optimist and Kiwanis, Santa Paula Boy Scout Troop 305, Captain Steve Lazenby and the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Brian Yanez and his staff of the Recreation Department, Santa Paula Public Works Department, Santa Paula Citizens Patrol, American Medical Response, Fillmore Fire Department, Santa Paula Fire Department, Santa Paula City Hall, Port Hueneme Police Explorers, Santa Paula High School students including the Human Resources Academy and the Key Club, Port Hueneme Police Volunteers in Policing, Gold Coast Cruisers, Las Piedras Police Storefront and volunteers, McKevett School, SPPD Dispatcher Schladetzky and Dispatcher Gomez, SPPD Reserve Unit, Ventura Police TSOs, Santa Paula Police Motor Unit, Ventura Police Motor Units, Oxnard Police Motor Units, and of course many family and friends.We, the Santa Paula Police, would like to extend our gratitude to all those who helped us make this race safe and memorable. We would also like to thank everyone who may have been inconvenienced during the race; your patience was truly appreciated. There were so many people in attendance during the briefing and during the race that we may have unintentionally omitted your name or organization from this list, however we could not have accomplished this task successfully without your help.With much appreciation,Sergeant Carlos JuarezSanta Paula PoliceDepartment

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