Letters to the Editor
Published: September 14, 2012
Summer Reading Program rocks at Blanchard Library
To the Editor:
It was a joy to attend the culmination of the Summer Reading Program at Blanchard Community Library last Thursday. Ilene Gavenman spent weeks at the end of last school year to promote the reading program throughout the schools. She set up incentives, solicited contributions, developed a system to monitor books read, bought prizes and set up a fun celebration for the teens who participated. And participate they did. The statistics were impressive. She kept those students reading and learning during the long summer months and gave them something to look forward to as a treat for their hard work.
Over 200 prizes were awarded and trips to the book nook and the boutique were taken in between the prize ticket drawings. Two door prizes were also awarded as an extra surprise to the kids who came that day. By the way, you didn’t have to be present to win. If you couldn’t make it, the prizes were held and recorded and the winners were called. All in all, it couldn’t have been more exciting. During the half time, Linda Spink and I presented flowers and the bubbly to Ilene on behalf of the Library Community.
All the children, the volunteers and the parents gave her a standing ovation. She certainly went beyond her job and made sure that each teen in that room knew she loved and respected them.
While I helped serve cake, ice cream and punch, I noticed something even more special. Having been a middle school principal in another area, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the quality of youth we have here in Santa Paula. Each of them were polite, saying please and thank you and lending a helping hand to whoever needed it. Their behavior at the event exemplified good manners, positive and constructive enthusiasm, and genuine supportive cheer for all the winners. To the parents of these wonderful teens, I want to say you’ve done a good job. We, as a community, commend you for raising children who everyone can respect and admire.
To Ilene Gavenman, I want to say that you did more than hold another successful event for the Library, the students and the community. Your demeanor models respect for our precious youth and your joy of reading and sharing knowledge enhances their lives. We volunteers, parents, and students Thank You for all you do.
As the Library Renovation Committee tackles the many areas that need improvement at the Library, please remember that we are doing it for our youth and our community. We also want our staff to have the tools they need to put on programs like this for adults as well. They certainly deserve the best facility and system that this century has to offer. When we put out a call for help, we hope you will support us.
and the Library Renovation Committee
To the Editor:
The proposed unification of Santa Paula Elementary School District and Santa Paula Union High School District is long overdue. As a parent whose child attended grades 2 through 8 in the Elementary District and 9 through 12 in the High School District, I saw first hand the difficulties that two well-meaning boards and administrations could cause.
In the late 1990s the High School District offered a new curriculum of advanced math courses, but a student had to complete Algebra 1 before starting at the high school to get on the path to the advanced classes. The Elementary District began offering Algebra 1 in middle school to address this change in the High School curriculum, but the High School District did not accept the course as meeting the requirement. Instead of working together to coordinate the curriculum and develop a course acceptable to both boards, the Elementary District abandoned Algebra 1, and the two boards pointed fingers at one another. This lack of coordination of curriculum meant that a student interested in pursuing a college degree in math, science or engineering had to go to summer school at the Ventura College main campus to pick up math credits, or risk not being accepted into the college program of his or her choice.
I’m sure by now that this “Algebra problem” has been solved, but it’s an indication of the problems that arise when a community does not have a unified district. We have some very talented kids going on to college, and they face plenty of barriers that are outside our control. We own this one - let’s fix it. Simply put, one board means more accountability and no finger pointing. Vote “YES!” for unification of the Santa Paula Elementary School District and the Santa Paula Union High School District on November 6th.
Mary Ann Krause
School Unification candidates
To the Editor:
We are blessed to have six candidates, who have agreed to run for the five seats, which are open for Santa Paula’s Unified School board! I wish them the best! However I have to question one candidate’s motivation – Why would Michelle Kolbeck, who has been fighting Unification for some time, want to serve on a Unification school board with those who support Unification and are committed to making it work for all our kids?
What is a millionaire?
To the Editor:
According to Wikipedia, the American Heritage Dictionary and other reliable sources, a millionaire is one whose assets exceed $1 million. Politicians, demagogues and other rabble-rousers have included anyone whose income exceeds a $1 million a year. In this era of liars the term millionaire has become synonymous with pedophiles, cheating husbands, and Republicans, etc. President Barack Obama as well as his naďve and gullible followers use this term loosely but effectively to sway the masses. These rabble-rousers also come disguised as supporters of the middleclass and the under-privileged but they too want to sway the masses by demonizing high achievers. What a difference it would be that whoever demonizes millionaires for not paying their “fair share” be required that they publish their complete financial records and history, maybe some of the phony rhetoric would be silenced. There was a time when we rewarded achievement but success is now downgraded to greed, wow we’ve come a long ways as a society! Inexcusably portrayed as just politics but nevertheless, I find it condescending and downright insulting to hear an old fat man who is actually a billionaire lament about his paying fewer taxes than his secretary and I’m no millionaire. Can one imagine someone jumping out of his pew at last Sunday’s religious service and complaining that he is contributing less than the poorest parishioner? Sound foolish, well why does anyone believe the B.S. coming from people complaining about millionaires and billionaires?
Andrew F. Castaneda
Remembering a teacher and friend
To the Editor:
I just received a phone call from the daughter of one of my great teachers, and while I was not surprised, it still brought tears to my eyes. Marjorie Hudson was my fourth grade teacher and was one of the better Isbell teachers at the time. She was the kind of teacher who was a disciplinarian, counselor and friend, and not just while school was in session, but for a lifetime. I have many memories of Marjorie, but the one that comes to mind whenever I think of her is Mrs. Hudson in the brown ankle length skirt and brown sweater with tennis shoes, running up and down the soccer field at Isbell, blowing her whistle, hollering at us guys and trying to control the game.
What a wonderful lady. She was a delight to be around, and always interested in you, and what was going on in your life. I remember when Marjorie had cancer, and her attitude was so what, it’s just part of life, and you would never know (from her) that there was anything wrong.
I would hope that there are still teachers of her caliber still teaching, not only in S.P. but throughout our Nation. As a special friend to me she will be missed. God Bless You Marjorie.