Letters to the Editor

November 21, 2003
They saved me! To the Editor:Please don’t let the lateness of this response dilute its sincerity.I had a severe and life threatening asthma attack during the early morning hours of September 12. My wife, Sally, had to call 911 as I passed out unable to breathe. The police, firemen and ambulance arrived in a matter of minutes to respirate air into my locked lungs. They saved my life!Needless to say my heartfelt appreciation goes out to the personnel of the emergency agencies that assisted me: the 911 system, the Santa Paula Police Department, the Santa Paula Fire Department and paramedics, the AMR Ambulance personnel and paramedic, the Santa Paula Memorial Hospital doctors, nurses and aides in the Emergency Room-Intensive Care and regular care units (for a three-day stay), and to Dr. Gary Deutsch.Thank God that Santa Paula has the necessary emergency services available for its citizens – I’m living proof of it!Gene CaulfieldSanta PaulaI love Santa PaulaTo the Editor:A small town with a big heart, I want to thank all the heroes who came out of nowhere to help evacuate the horses off Angel Haven Ranch, Jenny Dickerson, Ron and Sandy Gribble, Marty and Melinda Petit, Bill Phillips, Dennis and Pam Dutton my heroes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, we came so close to losing our ranch. Thank God for the angels he sent to help and for the ones he sent to watch out over Santa Paula. To all our neighbors and friends on South Mountain Road, Santa Paula has a heart and arms that reach out to embrace those in need, and surround each other in time of need. This is a God thing.Valerie and David LagesseSanta PaulaWork togetherTo the Editor:As Chief of Staff of Santa Paula Memorial Hospital, I have had the privilege to serve on the Board of Directors of the hospital for the last 1 1/2 years. Our Hospital Board is composed of community members from both Santa Paula and Fillmore and is made up entirely of volunteers. We have spent countless hours attempting to keep our community hospital open. Our hospital serves an invaluable role in keeping the citizens of the Santa Clara Valley healthy. The hospital has remained open for the last 42 years despite overwhelming odds against its survival.Recently the Santa Paula City Council has asserted that the Hospital Board of Directors and the Administration are to blame for the hospital’s financial peril. The issues affecting Santa Paula Memorial Hospital’s financial viability are complex. Changes in health care delivery, predatorial tactics by other hospital systems, and practice patterns of local physicians are only a few of the forces at play. The assertion that the Hospital Board or Administration is to blame for the financial problems is not realistic. Many of the problems surrounding our hospital’s finances parallel those of the entire community. One simply needs to read the local newspapers to find examples of financial difficulties involving our Fire Department, Police Department, Waste Water Treatment Facility, Public Library, and Public School System. The City Council has chosen not to point fingers at the leaders of these institutions in light of their similar financial problems.A collaborative approach to address these city wide economic problems makes a great deal more sense than lashing out at those who are working hard to help. Threats of legal action and removal of the entire Board of Directors of the Santa Paula Memorial Hospital do little to help.Michael C. Tushla, M.D.Santa PaulaSanta Paulans come through again!To the Editor:After the “Week to Remember” the Friends of the Library again put on their annual Fall Book Sale. However, if you remember, after the fires came the rain, and the Friday night before the sale (the rain drowning out all other sounds) several Friends were on the phone madly getting out the word to cancel the sale scheduled for early the next morning. Well, as Saturday dawned, at 5:45 a.m., it was apparent the weather wasn’t yet finished with surprises…clear, brisk, and beautiful…and the phones got busy again. The sale was ON!It really was a gorgeous day as the Friends, the many wonderful helpers, and the ever-faithful book-lovers swarmed in to make the whole day a terrific success. The Library, being under difficult economic constraints these days, especially appreciates the continuing support of its Friends and their many helpers, and all the wonderful local patrons who always support these efforts to sustain our precious local resource…Blanchard Library. And all of its many beneficial programs we all enjoy.Together, we were able to add approximately just over $2,000 to the cause, which will go to purchase new books, equipment, and services for the patrons young and old of our great Library. The books flew off the tables and the Auction, as always, provided additional excitement and funds. We were tired but gratified at the end of the day…and we wish to thank all who came and contributed. Many too many names to name here, but you know who you are, and our heartfelt thanks to you all!Chris LemonFriends of the LibraryGiving thanksTo the Editor:November is a wonderful month to reflect on our reasons to be thankful. Therefore, on behalf of Blanchard Community Library, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to some very special people in our community who have supported our Children’s and Young Adult Programs.Donna Nelson brought “spooktacular” fun to the library as she directed the Isbell Chorus and the Half Notes in a Halloween Extravaganza. Special thanks to all for sharing their time and tremendous talent with us, especially Donna and accompanist Matthew Eilar, and Half Note members Joanna Axell, Linda Bartelson, Bob Buchanan, Jim Garfield, Kay Hara, Kathy McGee, Helen Michl, Keith Michl, Early Mae Randall, and Rod Thompson.We are also so very appreciative to all of the businesses and individuals who donated to our Teen Scene Summer Reading Program. Adventures for Kids, Aist Family, Pat Alderson, Aquarium of the Pacific, Blanchard Community Library Friends of the Library, Ellen and W. H. Brokaw, Buena Lanes, Dr. Ernest and Joyce Carlson, Nancy Cole, Familia Diaz, Fillmore & Western Railway Company, Glass Touch, Golf N’ Stuff, Mary Alice Orcutt Henderson, Elaine Hunt, Justen Ibarra, Island Packers, Dave Kiurski, L.A. Kings, Los Angeles Dodgers, McDonalds, Mann Theatres, Oxnard Ice Skating Center, Jessica, Carolyn and Valerie Purdy, Round Table Pizza of Santa Paula, Rushing Real Estate and Investments, Santa Paula Police Officers Association, Santa Paula Super Store, Sea World, Skating Plus, Soroptimist International of Santa Paula, Ed and Laura Staben, Santa Paula Kiwanis Club, Ventura Bowling Center, W. K. A. Mensing Inc., Weyerhaeuser Company, and Richard Yamamoto all contributed greatly to the terrific success of our program.Thank you also to Geoffrey Clarke and Doris Jones for their extraordinary contributions to our Children’s Summer Program and to Carol Hardison and Linda Spink for their generous gifts to the Children’s Department.Thank you all for your tremendous support!Ilene GavenmanBlanchard
Community LibraryChildren’s and Young Adult ServicesThe fire scareTo the Editor:I have been bombarded from friends in person and by phone to write this about the historical excitement that a few of us went through here in our town because we were in the line of a roaring fire. I have seen many fires in past years and never saw such a fire as this and the hellacious roar as it went down the S. C. River from Val Verde to Saticoy and including all of the mountain range. There were “some” who really cared and were there to help.Those who were more interested watching the sports and soaps on the tube cared less. But the residents in Fillmore and Piru poured out to give a helpful hand to everyone. They were great hard-working volunteers. After a wet down I knew my abode was O.K. But it is very interesting about how many do not have flashlights, hoses, a shovel or a smoke detector. Real stupidity. The TV news CNN reported fire from Santa Barbara to San Diego “when in fact” it was devastating “from Santa Paula to Santa Clarita” and “San Berdo and Riverside Counties to San Diego Co.”CNN has second hand reporters. As usual.The “Santa Paula Times” had the best local pictures of any other newspaper and the only paper to report that a home was lost here. And showing all those who soaked their roofs and yards. Including me. Thank you very much Don, Debbie and staff. The city employees put up barricades real fast to keep the very large lookeeloo traffic out so the fire crews could do their job. And to our Fire and Police Departments, “Well done.” The adrenaline ran on high for everyone. And I am sure glad they are here. But, really, a big gripe that many many citizens had who wanted up to the minute news was the lack of our own county radio stations with the rock music, sports and psycho programming without concern to broadcast the big firestorms so that everyone knows what is going on. The only radio nonstop fire news was KCLU and KFI. I know that KFI (L.A.) and KOGO (S.D.) were broadcasting for days 24 hours only about the fires. A great big thanks to them and possibly saving lives and property and animals. They had most of the public’s ears. And they did (and do) excellent reporting. And were compassionate and decent and very knowledgeable. Those who actually watched all the fires on the tube saw all the very brave fire personnel and the volunteers put their lives on the line to help with homes, people and the animals. Law enforcement from every city helped with traffic and knocked on doors to be prepared.I admit, that fire scared me.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaP.S. I have hope for the horses in Somis that have burn injuries will be O.K. with the excellent help of the many volunteers and Drs. Kent and Debbie Sullivan. You can send help money for medicine and bandages and feed. 987-7191.The Lady of the Black MountainTo the Editor:The lady of South Mountain is in mourning.She had no time to wail and when she did her tears were ashen black and appeared endless.She raised her darkened eyes toward her father in the sky, but the smoke filled valley silenced her plea for mercy.Only the fire devils power and might which moved unopposed westward leaving all fuel consumed and black, but the lady’s plea was not ignored and soon her father’s soothing rain washed her ashen face.And her garment of black will become a mantle of tender hues in green, and decorated by the master’s hand with the enchanting colors of his wildflowers.Yes, and very soon her loving grin will return and inform us that spring and peace will return to our beloved Santa Clara Valley.Jess VictoriaSanta PaulaThank youTo the Editor: On November 8th a record number of our community came out to celebrate the Boys & Girls Club Annual Auction, “Holiday Ho-Ho-Hoe Down II”. Thanks to the tremendous support of our sponsors and our attendees, we had fun and raised necessary funds for our important after school and vacation programs for the kids of Santa Paula.Our impressive list of sponsors includes Cal West Real Estate, Centex Homes, Limoneira Company, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Santa Paula Chevrolet and Union Bank at the Corporate Level. Silver sponsors were Bank of America, Harrison Industries, Mission Produce and Santa Clara Valley Bank. Table Sponsors were Beach, Procter, McCarthy & Slaughter, LLP, Del Financial, Edward Jones, Garden Market, Heritage Hardware, Jack-in-the-Box, Kiwanis Club, Kulwiec Interiors, Pierce Bros. Stetler Mortuary and Cemetery, Santa Paula Rotary Club, Kris & Zahid Shaw, Southern California Edison and Timbur General Engineering. Santa’s Helpers were Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, Chino’s Market, Dan & Mary Doll, Stuart Monteith of Remax Gold Coast Realtors, Dr.Jon L. Schrock, Twyford International Inc., Henry & Teresa Vega and Westside Family Practice. Special recognition to our chairpersons, Marsha Rea and Michael Jump, and their committee comprised of Maria Sust-Bombara, Carol Burhoe, Barbara Doane, Cynthia Dunbar, Becky Eaton, Mike Hause, Denise Maltby, Jeanette Maland, Gary Nasalroad and Ty Woods. Special thanks goes to the Board of Directors, the committee and staff for helping to bring in over 150 excellent items for the auction and to our local businesses and supporters for their donations. We also want to thank the Santa Paula Times for the wonderful publicity. Also, special thanks go to many wonderful people: Rob Sawyer was an excellent and entertaining Master of Ceremonies; Peggy Kelly and Arnie Dowdy were super assistants to our auctioneer Walt Fisher; Carole Power and Cathy Taylor spent the entire evening working on our computerized check-out; Bill Edward and the B-B-Q Company for the delicious meal; Cheryl Fairbanks and Milt Lax for bartending and all of our other volunteers. Additionally, we want to thank the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Rave Team for their continued assistance in closing and cashiering. Also we can’t forget the tremendous job all of our staff did to make this event happen as well as providing ongoing programs for our kids.Our sincerest thanks to everyone. We are proud to be a part of this wonderful community. Because of your support the Boys & Girls Club remains committed to providing positive opportunities for the youth of Santa Paula. Our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season to everyone and thanks again for making the auction so successful!Patricia ZwagermanChief Professional Officer

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