Letters to the Editor

December 20, 2000
A plea for help To the Editor:Please help me find someone who can help.I’m writing on behalf of my sister-in-law, Juanita Bonner, whose husband, my brother Bernie Bonner, is in the UCLA intensive care ward with acute lymphatic leukemia. Due to financial status and no reliable transportation Juanita is unable to visit him.We have tried to find transportation through friends and different organizations but have not been successful. So I am desperately seeking through this letter-to-the-editor a way to help her. If you can help or know someone who can help please call my number any time. The help we are seeking is transportation down to UCLA and back to Santa Paula. The day and time is open.Please call Betty Marshall at 525-9841.Betty MarshallSanta PaulaA time to rememberTo the Editor:On Wednesday, December 13th, my husband, children and father-in-law went to the candlelight ceremony at Stetler Funeral Home on 8th Street. We were invited there to remember loved ones who passed away this year.We were there remembering my mother-in-law, Virginia Thompson, who passed away in May of this year. There was a program passed out, and also you could hang an ornament on the tree with a token or personal note stuffed inside it for your departed loved one. Dad carefully placed the ornament on the tree and we went into the chapel for the ceremony.There was a clarinet solo and a wonderful duet, followed by “Father Rob” from the Episcopal Church here in Santa Paula. I was not sure what he was going to say, but when he opened his mouth and heart to us it really spoke to everyone in attendance. I learned a tremendous amount about the grieving process, especially during the holidays. After the ceremony there were refreshments for all.What a blessing to have the opportunity to share the difficult time with all involved. I would like to thank Stetler Funeral Home for opening their doors and hearts to all of us this holiday season. The ceremony was perfect, from the songs to Father Rob and his words of wisdom and kindness. It truly provided some closure and understanding to my feelings and the feelings of others in the room.Thank you.Colleen ThompsonSanta PaulaSuccessful seasonTo the Editor:Another successful season of “Cruise Night” has come to a close. We would like to thank the following supporters for our success: the Eastwind Band - Paul Skeels, Brian Hernandez and Jim Stevenson; the Glen City Groove - Jeff Novak, John Procter, Mark Garfield, Mike Lowe and Jim Procter; Portosan - Marshall Brennan, Shelley Cheney and Michael Bravo; Chris Lopez, D.J. Service; the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce; the Santa Paula Police Citizens Patrol Members; Bob Bowman; and Wendell Dowling.Also, a special thanks to the restaurants for staying open, extending their hours.We look forward to another successful season in the Spring of 2001.Henry AguilarSanta Paula Police Officers AssociationGolden years tarnishedTo the Editor:Recently I noticed that one of my door decorations was missing off my front door. In talking to some of the other residents in my senior complex, I learned that several door decorations had been removed. I also learned that some young girls were seen removing some of these decorations.Sadly, this is not the first time things have disappeared off our doors. We have also had several of our pictures taken off our hallway walls. Lastly, we have also had our cars vandalized in our parking lot. I have had my car vandalized three times.It would be nice if we seniors could live out our golden years without having our things stolen or vandalized. We don’t have that much to begin with.Judy RosenbergSanta PaulaA question of unityTo the Editor:Very interesting reading on the editorial page of the Santa Paula Times, December 15, 2000. A very good article from Ray Luna. A couple of letters that say it all!!I find both frustration and total amazement in the indignities that our new City Councilman has had to endure. Ray Luna had not even been given an opportunity to savor the election results before the first salvo had been fired!!!One of the platforms Ray Luna ran on was to bring unity to the city!! Ms. Espinosa, so predictable and so true to form, was “watching the absentee vote count very closely.” The first salvo fired!Ms. Espinosa had not even given Ray Luna an opportunity to express his opinions about anything. My conclusion is, the only people Ms. Espinosa supports are only the people that have the same agenda she has! “Latino” has nothing to do with it! What happened to the “Latino” not having the opportunity to serve our city, because of the biased voting in our town! The last I observed Ray Luna, he was an American of “Mexican nationality”! Ms. Espinosa obviously feels she needs to be surrounded by her entourage to feel secure with whatever political statements she intends to make at the City Council meetings, which she considers her stage.You people are always whiners. When you don’t get your way, you want to blame everything and everyone for your failures. What is so hard to understand we don’t all want the same things. Your wants and needs are not necessarily wrong but then again they are not necessarily right. In this country we have the right to disagree without being labeled. This is our country, “America.” The key words are “OUR, ALL OF US”!
I have come to the conclusion that this particular and very “small” group of people DO NOT want our city to unite! This is not part of their plan, because if we unite for the betterment of OUR community, then we all win. They thrive on creating dissension and animosity. How sad!! Brilliant people channeling their energy in selfish and self serving endeavors!!Well business as usual Ms. Espinosa, you are very predictable!!Maiya HerreraSanta PaulaNo surpriseTo the Editor:Not having attended the launching of the new City Council December 4, it’s hard for me to discern the political strategy, if any, that went on. However, from the makeup of the new Council, there should have been no surprises. Did any but the most naive doubt that it would be 3-2? The stampede for the nomination of mayor was a meaningless in futility. The dissension it caused, as usual, is blamed on the majority members. And so the circus continues.I did watch some of last Monday’s crowded meeting from the hallway and saw the usual soreheads take shots at the council majority simply because the election for mayor had not turned out like they wanted. One dreamer called for another election. This is not Florida. Three to two is not all that complicated. Noise and insults will not change it.Wouldn’t it be smarter initially for the minority just to accept the inevitable and vote in Don Johnson as mayor without opposition? That could have been seen as a conciliatory gesture. Then John Procter could have nominated Laura Espinosa for vice-mayor, putting the Council in a position of either making a reciprocal gesture of cooperation by electing her, or appear to be uncompromising. Either outcome would have worked in her favor. She would either have been in line for mayor or aided in her unending campaign to discredit the others as meanies.The first meeting could have been to Ms. Espinosa’s advantage. As it turned out, the ham-handed approach to the nominations that evening showed no political finesse whatsoever and only deepened the rift. Perhaps she should carefully examine the foreheads of her advisors (and probably her own) to see if a certain letter of the alphabet is stamped thereon.Bill GlennSanta PaulaCongratulations!To the Editor:Congratulations to Coach Ed Gomez and his staff - Eddie Hernandez, James Craig, Hank Almanza, and Chris Gomez - for an outstanding football season. All the hard work and the many hours all of you spent in planning and coaching really produced great results - a 9-2-1 record. This was the best record at Santa Paula High School for many years. To top off your season, you were selected by the Ventura County Coaches Association as the Coaching Staff of the Year! Yours was a banner year.Congratulations are also in order for the Santa Paula High School Varsity Football Team. Every time you took the field you played hard, with courage, and never gave up. You showed a lot of heart. In true Cardinal spirit, you displayed good sportsmanship at all times. You have brought honor and credit to yourselves, your school, community, and families.We are proud of every one of you. Thank you all for a tremendous football season.Bob and Jodi PonceSanta PaulaThanks for support to libraryTo the Editor:On behalf of Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula, I would like to thank some very special people who greatly contributed to the success of the library this year. We are indebted to the generosity of these kind individuals who supported the library by giving their time or donating money to our collections and programs. Mohan and Sylvia Narula have given monthly to our Teen Scene and generously updated our Space and California Mission books. Jesus Pozo and Rae Krueger have volunteered for years and have made a tremendous difference by assisting us with cataloguing and magazines respectively. Charles Newland supplemented and updated our airplane books and sponsored a wonderful evening with Sally and Bob Phelps and other friends from the Santa Paula Airport. Breda George has prepared a weekly music appreciation presentation for children, while Craig Held and Bob and Marti Binsley dedicated two hours each week to our local history collection. Bob was also our community partner for our Infopeople grant and personally enabled the library to offer computers to the public by willingly devoting countless hours of his time. The Friends of the Library have done so much for us as well and we are extremely grateful for all of their efforts.This summer we had 640 children participate in our Summer Reading Safari! McDonald’s provided the kickoff program and coupons for our readers, and volunteers from National Charity League Ticktockers decorated, cut, stapled, and manned our prize table all summer long. In addition, 177 young adults participated in our Go Wild For Books program and read 163,000 pages this year! We are so appreciative to the following businesses and individuals for donating funds or prizes for our teens. A big thank you to Albertson’s of Ventura, Santa Paula 7 Theatres, Adventures for Kids, Carolyn, Jessica and Valerie Purdy, Skating Plus, Santa Paula Kiwanis Club, Soroptimist, W.K.A. Mensing, Inc., Santa Clara Valley Bank, Dr. Roger Strange, Mohan and Sylvia Narula, Ventura Bowling Center, Fillmore & Western Railway Company, McCoy’s Enterprises, Anita Pulido, Scott Rushing Real Estate, Barnes and Noble, Hollywood Wax Museum, Hollywood Guinness World of Records Museum, Mann Theatres, Russell and Molly King, William Orcutt, and Gary Zapporelli of Round Table Pizza (who also provides prizes for our year round Teen Scene meetings).Finally, I would like to thank Margaret Curley from Fiesta Hallmark and Altrusa International of Ventura for co-sponsoring our Teen Read Week event in October. Thanks to Brenda DeJamaer of Isbell and Annette Halpern of SPUHS for helping to promote this event. We had 120 teenagers participate.It has truly been a wonderful year at Blanchard Community Library! Thank you for all your tremendous support!Ilene GavenmanChildren’s and Young Adult LibrarianSet attitudesTo the Editor:My comments are the outcome from several recent Santa Paula Times letters and these articles which appeared in the Ventura County Star December 19,2000. Mr. Bob Larkin’s excellent article “California Republican party a small, exclusive bunch,” the article by Ms. Kelly Feser Eells “Give Bush elbowroom,” a few of the VC Star ‘Your Letters,’ and Ms. Marisue Eastlake’s article “Group says Santa Paula council violated Brown Act.”Many of the recent Santa Paula Times letters reflect complete opposites. Yesterday’s VC Star articles were also opposites, but reflected viewpoints which allow me to more accurately express my overall disappointment with Santa Paula’s general mood. Mr. Larkin’s article is excellent because it dares to address reality. Ms. Eells appears to use her grandmother and mother to conjure demeaning and negative images of people who serve or those that champion unpopular issues. Granted Mr. Carter will not make the top list of ‘Best Presidents.’ However, he is renowned for his humility and civility. Ms. Eells’ article and those few letters ooze with such name calling that their objectivity is lost. This negativism and somewhat blended name calling is completely typical of some citizens unable to cope with anyone having an opposite point of view. Or, in the case of some, because these views dare to make others aware of the ongoing human suffering, degradation and those civil rights violations that exist in the 21st century. By using Hitler’s name to brand others, that infers supporting oppression to basic human dignity, and the right to live and work in the same safe environment of others. The continuing saga within the Santa Paula City Council, though extremely sad, is no laughing matter and supports this perception.What makes all this so important? I have never forgotten the little limerick recited while growing up in Santa Paula, “If you’re White, you’re all right, if you’re Brown, you can stick around, if you’re Black, stay back.” Santa Paula has always been a city of citizens in denial regarding ‘set attitudes’ by a controlling minority to deny some citizens their basic rights. However these ‘set attitudes’ have always been very private and never openly expressed, least they are disruptive or disturbing to the majority. The majority you see, which indirectly financial supports the minority through purchases of products and taxes. You can call these ‘set attitudes’ anything you want to, but they do exist today in Santa Paula and across the United States. I live in Santa Paula and see this. I travel all over the United States more than 50 percent of the year and I see this.These people who are so full of venom are the same ones who tell you whenever things get ‘iffy’ that “oh, you know, I do have (substitute any race, cultural, religion, etc.) Mexican friends.” Or, “I do have some Mexican blood from my Great Grandfather’s side.” They are the same very folks who support denying others their basic rights, who do not support any recommendations put forth to consider assisting others in greater need, be it low-income housing or health benefits for all. The ‘not in my backyard’ mentality only reaffirms this perception. All the negativism and quick-strike name-calling is not going to change the perception that one group considers itself elite over the other.Some folks even go so far as to change their political party affiliation while seeking public office attempting to convince others that they are one of them! You are what you are. Don’t blame one political party over the other because their issues and concerns reflect all-inclusive objectives. Although ‘some of my best friends are Republicans,’ I support the fact that George W. Bush is our next President. Only, I am not fully convinced that the combined voting irregularities in Florida were accidental. Also I am not convinced that either party truly wants voting reforms to be effective. That reform would ensure no more back room dealing and possibly give us two candidates, which would make all Americans proud to vote. I sincerely believe that most Americans do not want to understand that the President of the United States will only be as effective as the legislature support. That is the sadness in Santa Paula. The ugly pettiness will continue until those acting out in support of personal vendettas return to reality that supports each others’ agendas to improve all of Santa Paula’s deteriorating conditions. I also state God Bless American and add, please help all Santa Paulans. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.Gerald V. OlivasSanta Paula

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