Letters to the Editor

September 19, 2001
Good money after badTo the Editor:Last Monday the City Council, on a wishy-washy split vote, decided to toss another $50,000 on top of the heap of public funds that have already been spent on the DOJ case. Had I been given the chance to make a public comment before the directionless Council discussion that followed, below is what I had to say. I give it weight only because I feel it represents the feelings of a very large segment of our taxpaying, voting public. I shouldn?t feel deprived of my opportunity to state my views on a timely basis since the Council deprived themselves of the same opportunity by agonizing over endangering their new-found unity with any position that may have been construed to be controversial. My unstated statement follows:?I come before you to ask once again that you not squander one cent on voter education workshops. This is nothing more than a request for a consolation prize. The City has already been forced into spending far too much money to defend ourselves against charges that had no merit to begin with. Let?s not spend more public funds on this deception. One thing the DOJ suit did accomplish was to focus attention on the fact that Santa Paula has no voting inequities to fix. None. If we did, you can bet the Feds would still be here.?Now tonight you will consider public funding for educating people on the importance of voting. A commendable goal, but not a City responsibility.?You will consider funding voter registration drives. Calling the drives ?nonpartisan,? I suppose, makes the idea sound more appealing, but nevertheless voter registration is not a City responsibility, either.?And finally, you will consider funding workshops on what district elections are about, pros and cons. Bingo! I think we?ve reached the true intent and purpose behind this whole scheme. There is certainly nothing nonpartisan about this objective. Indeed, this is the Pro-District-Voting faction asking the rest of us to fund their propaganda. What a sweet deal. What else might we do for them? Pay for their campaign signs? I don?t need to remind you that none of this is a City responsibility.?I respectfully request that you quickly reject this latest innovation in spending public money.?Well, it didn?t happen and now we?re looking at spending $50,000 on an ill-defined program to ?educated the voters.? Just lovely. Now how about another program to train the Council on how to have a rational discussion without holding hands and how to make firm decisions even at the risk of hurting feelings.Bill GlennSanta PaulaWashington,D.C. tripTo the Editor:As you may know, the school year has just started. And... it?s time for eighth graders in Santa Paula to start fundraising for the Washington, D.C. trip. I know that most people are aware what this means, but just to remind everyone, 13 and 14 year old Santa Paula students will be coming around in an effort to raise the $1,300 it takes each student to make the trip. It is a lot of money to raise and it is also for a good cause. We will get to go to the East Coast, and experience all of the aspects of American history first hand. It?s a big job. So, if someone knocks on your door and says ?Hello. My name is _____ and I am raising money to go to Washington, D.C.,? please try to open up your hearts (and your checkbooks).Thank you!Katie Pawlick8th GradeIsbell Middle SchoolAn open letterof thanksTo the Editor:To the Wonderful People of Santa Paula,As I write this letter of thank yous it occurs to me how appropriate it is at this time, for you see it is just barely past 12 a.m. Tuesday, August 28th. Today my husband, Thomas Brown of Tom?s Tire, would be 56 years old. That is, if he had not passed away so quickly April 4, 2001.We only learned in the very beginning of March that Tom had lung cancer which had metastasized to several other areas. Since the beginning of December Tom had been having problems with his back after playing golf on a Sunday. Little did we know what all was happening inside. The shock of hearing Tom had cancer and then was gone a month later has left not only my family and I in a state of disbelief but many others as well.I had intended to write this letter much earlier but I just could not. I apologize to all the wonderful people who have stood beside myself and my family during these past months. I cannot begin to name names, there have been hundreds of wonderful people, family, friends and Tom?s faithful customers for the past 32 years. These are the wonderful people who make Santa Paula what it is, a very special place to live.I know Tom never realized how many lives he touched and how fondly they all thought of him. Tom was just busy working day and half the night doing what Tom did best, helping people by just being himself.I?d like to thank everyone who attended the memorial services for Tom and stayed even though the chapel was overflowing onto the sidewalk outside. If Tom did not realize it before he passed away, he surely could see for himself that evening how loved and appreciated he was by so many.Since that evening in April people have continued to show their respect for Tom in so many different ways. My family and I cannot begin to thank you all enough for everything you?ve done plus the friendship and moral support you?ve shown us. We all feel so blessed, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.Tom was everything to us - my husband of 36 years, Dad and friend to my sons and their wives and to our daughter he was everything. He was a much loved Papa to our six grandchildren who adored him. He used to say he owned ?Tom?s Tire & Daycare? as the grandchildren have always been a part of the business day. He gave unselfishly of himself to us all and he can never be replaced in our hearts.My mother was so proud of Tom and the many compliments she received constantly about how wonderful he was. She always told me that someday Tom would be rewarded in heaven for all he did. As he left us that afternoon I couldn?t help but remember what Momma said. Tom was ready for his reward.We try to console ourselves with the knowledge that he is no longer hurting and suffering. Now he is being rewarded in heaven for all he did for so many and for being who he was, Thomas James Brown - Mr. Tom?s Tire. Thank you all again for everything, we could never have made it this far without all of you.Sincerely,Katharine Brown & FamilySanta PaulaRe: Letter from Mr. Bill MensingTo the Editor:re: The Santa Paula Times letter to the Editor from Mr. Bill Mensing in the Sept. 7, ?01 issue, in which he writes that a founding member of the Latino Town Hall made a comment about the current City Council consisting of 2 Latinos and 3 Europeans:Could you be more specific, Founding Member, and tell me what nationality or ancestry these three Europeans come from: French? English? Italian? Scottish? German? Castilian Spanish? There are others to choose from. Any clues at all or do you just judge people by the color of their skin, and not consider their merits, or their lack of same? And correct me if I?m wrong, but I thought people who judge others by their skin color and/or nationality were considered to be racists?(Isn?t it racism that?s promoted by that large organization who?s members wear white costumes with pointy hats?)There is but one true race in this world: the Human Race, with every single shade of us given a lifetime membership at birth. And as our individual memberships expire, it will be the values we hold on the inside that will determine whether we will be counted as a member in good standing or not; the color of our outside will not be a determining factor.Hail to our Creator, who will make that final determination, and who must be color blind, since we?ve been made in such a variety of them.Jan AllenSanta PaulaKnow basicflag etiquetteTo the Editor:We think it is great that the American people have decided to show thei national pride and solidarity by displaying the United States Flag. It has come to our attention, though, that some people don?t know basic flag etiquette. This can be summarized in four basics points:1. If you hang your flag outside and intend to leave it up after dark it is supposed to be lit up after dark. Your street light usually is not adequate.2. If you hang your flag on something other than a pole or staff, the field of blue (with the stars) should always be in the upper left.3. Your flag should never touch the ground.4. When you flag has served its purpose and is old, tattered and faded, please dispose of it in an approved manner. Contact your local VFW for this service.Let?s all pull together in this effort and help each other out in any way we can.Ron & Pamela MersonSanta PaulaThank you!To the Editor:I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following community partners whose employees gave of their valuable time to provide informative programs for the children attending the Boys & Girls Club summer program:Santa Paula Fire Department, Santa Paula Police, Santa Paula Memorial Hospital,Humane Society of Ojai, California Oil Museum, Edison Co., County of Ventura Solid Waste Management, Tammy?s Second Chance Ranch, Y.M.C.A. Swimming Pool, Ventura County Fair, Pt. Hueneme Beach Lifeguards for the Boys & Girls Club County-wide Beach Olympics, Calla and Jenny of the Las Piedras Policing Building, Food Share for the hot lunches and snacks and a special thanks to Margaret Faulkner for all the goodies.Thanks to all of these wonderful people, our kids had a safe and enjoyable summer. Thanks also to the Times for the great coverage.Pat ZwagermanExecutive Director
Ready to defendTo the Editor:Dear President or Senator or Congressman:As important as our nation?s intelligence system is it can never be 100% infallible. Nor could airport security or placing a guard on each American plane totally protect our commercial planes in the air.What will work is letting every willing and able American traveler be trained in simple combat with use of airline pillows, blankets, purses and briefcases. As a neighbor remarked yesterday, ?I would much rather die helping defend a plane and my country than sit in a seat waiting to crash? (this from a female in her mid-60s).Knowing the alternative, the vast majority of us will agree. This defense will work simply because of sheer numbers. And the cost will be little. We can be trained in our local communities by volunteers - much as we receive CPR instruction (or learn karate).No terrorist organization in the world will consider a recurrence of Terrorist Tuesday when they know their people would face unknown numbers of Americans ready to defend their planes, themselves, and their country on each and every flight in our nation.The knowledge of this will also aid in our nation?s healing process.Karen DowtyVenturaA day to berememberedTo the Editor:September 11, 2001 is a day that will be remembered forever in the hearts of Americans.We Americans have received a blow so severe this week that had we not been a nation founded on the principle of ?One Nation Under God Indivisible With Liberty and Justice for All? we would have been knocked off our feet, but praise God we are a nation with Godly principles, and that God is true to His word Matthew 28:20 ?And surely I am with you always, to the very end of time.?As our nation prepares to take a stand against evil please remember Matthew 22:37 and 39, ?Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind,? and ?Love your neighbor as yourself.?On Friday President Bush said, ?Our nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.? With that thought in mind let?s remember that our military is not a machine, they are men and women, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters with the same feelings and fears we have, but with a difference, they made a choice with strong resolve to stand for what is good and right in the world, the few standing for the many. Let?s remember them in our prayers as we pray for our nation, our President, our leaders, and the world.May God Bless America today and tomorrow as He did yesterday.May He comfort the comfortless, strengthen the weak and pick up those who have been knocked down.Mother-in-law of an enlisted Navy airman,Nathelle LaceySanta PaulaOur flagTo the Editor:Hello, remember me? My name is Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but whatever they call me, I am your flag, the flag of the United States of America.The flag we love - our flag is our country?s symbol of ideals that are meant to last. It?s a promise for our future, a reminder of our past. The many connotations for which our banner stands reflect our country?s best intentions. And the people of this land.A seamstress stitched a banner for a country proud and new from ribbon works of red and white and a yard of deep sky blue. American first flags had 13 stars on a blue field and 13 stripes to represent the 13 colonies.A teacher raises a radiant flag to let the children know the school yard is a place to come for the chance to learn and grow. Today, as a patriotic custom, the flag is still flown near schools when classes are in session. Americans stand together before ceremonies start and promise their allegiance with their hands across their hearts. Hats off, stand tall when the flag goes by.Remember I?ve been to all the battlefields for my patriot Americans to let them know that I was so proud for every person that served in our military and the ones that lost their lives and got wounded. Stars and stripes waved on through the long and pounding night, while patriots prayed that they would see their flag at morning light. If we do honor the memory of someone who has died, a casket is draped with a solemn flag, and the flag is flown halfway down the flagpole, to be flying half-staff or half-mast.Our flag is carried through all kinds of weather - snow - sun - wind and rain.On special holidays children wave their festive flags, and parade along the way. Like the Fourth of July has become a time for flags, parades, picnics and fireworks.The flag is flown at national and state parks, on public buildings, and all types of sporting events. People come to our great country aboard ships that cross the sea. They are welcomed to our harbors by the flags of liberty.Astronauts planted a peaceful flag on a far off, distant world. They have planted American flags on the moon six times, one flag for each Apollo mission that landed there.Citizens march for freedom with action, faith and word. A righteous banner guarantees their voices will be heard. People often carry flags as a symbol of their rights. A citizen wears a symbol, a tiny flag-shaped pin, as a promise for our future and a reminder of where we?ve been.So when you see the American flag, remember that it does not represent one cause, but many causes; that it does not represent one person, but many people; and that it does not represent one ideal, but many Americans? hopes and dreams. Celebrate the flag we love, a majesty in the sky, and feel the pride that swells inside as our banner goes streaming by.So that?s my story about me and what I do for my country. So I?ll be around for a long time. You know I?ve been through hell - burned, torn, spit on, stepped on - but I can take it, I?m strong. Here is what my color stands for: red stands for hardiness and courage; white for purity and innocence; blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.So I?m 225 years old, been working all those years, helping for our freedom, and I still have a lot of years ahead of me. Nobody can stop me. I?m so upset about what happened on my country Tuesday attack. But I want you to know I?m going to fly high everywhere I go with the military and my leader. We are going to show those enemies they can?t win - we are the winner. America is #1. I do love you and please show me and all those Americans and military that lost their lives. Pray for our nation, leaders and military branches.Let me fly high.God Bless the AmericaLynda LloydSanta PaulaSpirit of patriotismTo the Editor:A spirit of patriotism was in the atmosphere at the football game this last Friday, September 14, 2001. Obeying our President?s call for normalcy and at the same time being in memoriam with our fellow Americans who were killed by terrorists in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, the game went on.Santa Paula and San Marcos High School joined together to honor our country, the United States of America by participating in the nationwide candlelight ceremony. A moment of silence followed. The team captains from both teams held their candles provided by assistant coach Chris Gomez. The Band under school director Ed Roina played the Star Spangled Banner, followed by Santa Paula High?s Pamela Thompson, an English teacher, who sang America the Beautiful. Tony Gaitan, principal of Santa Paula High School, provided a program flyer and American flags to be distributed to as many fans as possible. Patriotic ribbons made by students Mallory Ruiz and Kaweah Perrott, on their own time, were handed out until they ran out.The traditional football 50-50 raffle was led by Ken Ary, a true Cardinal fan and volunteer for years. Head Coach Ed Gomez, Athletic Director Emily Stenzel had agreed that the football portion of the 50-50 would go to the relief fund. Eight hundred dollars was split with David Burrey, a San Marcos fan from Santa Barbara who won the raffle. Joe Jauregui, RHS principal, announced that the winner would be giving half of his winnings to the fund. I introduced myself and spoke to David Burrey and his wife. They said they could not keep the money knowing where it was going. I thanked their family on behalf of all of us in Santa Paula for donating their $400 to the relief fund.The night wasn?t Santa Paula High School vs. San Marcos High School; it was a night of thanksgiving and prayer for the United States of America and two communities who shared together.Robert SalasSanta PaulaGod bless our great landTo the Editor:I am writing this as if you too may have the same thoughts and have written this article.And God bless us all no matter what faith or origin.America is made up of immigrants from the world who came for better than they had. Nearly all do love our land. Unfortunately there is a percentage that are radical and cause many problems. They are in many areas. Even in our town on a smaller scale. The gangs and graffiti for some. And others.There are people on our proud land (and you may know one) who are so hateful, they hate everyone, even animals. Maybe this past week?s disaster and sorrow will get them to realize what they have. Well maybe.In my lifetime I have been in Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf (five times) and believe me, you?d bee glad to come home to what we have and the safety we have with the best. Just spend a little time there and you will say you are very proud what you have here and with a choice of lifestyle and religion. One of our allies, a very proud and intelligent peaceful people, Israel, live every day with terrorist threats from nearby. Why? The terrorists want the world.Here at home some of my best friends are from other lands, including those born here too, of course, and of various religions, and I enjoy their company. A very good friend (who is now passed away) was of Middle East extraction and became a very well liked sheriff of our county. Our governor then was of the same extraction. Very positive Americans.We have countries, such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany, England, Australia and New Zealand, among others, that trust us and will go to bat for us any time. I know, I?ve been there. They love us dearly.Stop and think what you have here. If you lived in poverty here even, you would have better than many in some parts of the world because they don?t try hard enough, and have very radical rulers. They are afraid of their leaders. And as for our national airports, I believe K-Mart has better security.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaP.S. Back our President to the hilt.

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