Letters to the Editor

January 04, 2002
Sincere Thanks To the Editor:On behalf of the Santa Paula Hospital Foundation, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the community for having supported our Ninth Annual Holiday Event this year. We are pleased to announce that through both monetary contribution and donations to our live and silent auctions, we were able to raise over One Hundred Thousand Dollars! This, our friends was a record-breaking year, which truly speaks to the magnitude of support for our hospital-SPMH. And, what a way to end an extraordinary year!Your contributions will be put forth the renovation of the new emergency room at the hospital. We will update you as to the progress of its development. Again, our sincere thanks and appreciation for making our Holiday Event a tremendous success. We could not have done it with out you, and are very grateful for your continued support. Warmest thoughts to a healthy Holiday Season and a healthy New Year!Martha Knight, Board Chairman Gabie Araiza-Reeves, Event Co-ChairpersonJane Lax,Event Co-ChairpersonSanta Paula Mayor selectionTo the Editor:(Excerpts of speech at City Council meeting of December 3, 2001)I would like to acknowledge Council Member John Procter for his noble act of declining the Vice Mayor nomination made by former mayor Don Johnson. It was after this kind gesture that I was then nominated and voted as Vice Mayor for a second time in my seven-year tenure on the council.Thank you to all who came out in support. Although some may have felt disappointed in the outcome, I am appreciative of your presence and the dignified behavior that was displayed. It is true, one can be measured by the friends one has. I am very fortunate.Thank you especially to the many speakers who were so generous in their comments. I am humbled by your kind words and honored to have had the opportunity to work with such worthy organizations as the Commission on Human Concerns, Clinicas Del Camino Real, the Living Wage Coalition, and others who receive no funding from the City of Santa Paula yet serve the residents of our city and hundreds of others throughout the County of Ventura. The services offered include health care, legal assistance, economic empowerment, and contribute to the local economy through job creation and advocating for sustainable wages to allow workers the ability to provide for housing, food and clothing, without the need for government assistance.I am also very proud of the work I have done in the area of youth issues, and the rewarding experiences of speaking on the importance of civic and political participation at the local colleges and universities.It is always with great pride and much love that I acknowledge my family, in particular my husband Victor Espinosa who is unwavering in his support, and children Victor Carlos, Chris and Marisa, as well as the Flores and Espinosa family members.I am so looking forward to the upcoming year. If I could select a theme, I would follow the lead of Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund whose famous quote states, “Leave no child behind.” However, I would give it the Laura touch and say, “Leave no neighborhood behind.” My commitment to community building will continue and we will expand our efforts to encourage participation from every neighborhood in our upcoming 100-year centennial celebration, in the selection of our next city manager, and in the City’s visioning process.Thank you very much for the honor to serve you as Vice Mayor in the upcoming year.Laura Flores EspinosaVice Mayor
City of Santa PaulaSetting therecord straightTo the Editor:In his campaign literature, District Attorney candidate Ron Bamieh has falsely bragged, “I have never lost a felony trial.” In a TV advertisement aired repeatedly on CNN, MSNBC and FOX TV, ex-State Senator Kathy Wright is heard to say, “In over 60 cases, he has never lost a felony trial.” Mr. Bamieh changed the number of completed trials in his written literature to “tried over 46 cases to verdict” which also misrepresents his record.In that same TV commercial Mr. Bamieh is quoted, “We’re in the truth business, that is what we want from law enforcement.” Okay Ron, let’s set forth some truths. Mr. Bamieh’s trial record is available from the District Attorney’s Office through the Public Records Act (Calif. Gov. Code §6251, et. Seq.). Here is what the record shows:3 misdemeanor court trials: 3 not guilty verdicts. (In a court trial, the judge decides the issue of guilt.)17 misdemeanor jury trials: 5 not guilty verdicts, 11 guilty verdicts, 1 case dismissed by judge at request of defense.3 felony court trials: 3 guilty verdicts.13 felony jury trials: 12 guilty verdicts, 1 loss (hung jury, case dismissed by judge).5 trials that were begun but not completed: 1 mistrial later dismissed on motion of Mr. Bamieh; 2 cases where defendant pled guilty before conclusion of trial; 2 cases where Mr. Bamieh started the trial but they were not concluded to a verdict.Mr. Bamieh’s TV ad clearly implies that he tried over 60 felony cases. Even if you include the 5 trials that were not completed, he has tried only 19 felony cases, and only 41 cases total. In his campaign literature he claims to have “tried over 46 trials to verdict.” His record from the District Attorney’s Office, which he was given an opportunity to correct before the office responded to the Public Records Act request, shows only 34 trials in which a verdict was returned.As to his felony trial record, Mr. Bamieh tried Kenneth Williams for false imprisonment, a felony, in 1995. The jury hung, and the court dismissed the case. That’s a loss; charges were filed against the defendant, he was not convicted, and he went free. When you combine felony and misdemeanor cases that went to verdict or were dismissed by the judge, both court and jury trials, his record is 72% (26 out of 36). This is not an impressive record for a prosecutor.It’s time to set the record straight. Mr. Bamieh has been spending tens of thousands of dollars on misleading advertising. Curiously, Mr. Bamieh did not make these claims in his election ballot statement. That must be because he knows he could be sued for making false statements in a ballot statement. His campaign lies demonstrate that he is not in the “truth business.” Anyone willing to lie and distort his record to become District Attorney is unfit for that office.Donald C. GlynnRetired Senior Deputy District AttorneyWestlake Village

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