Letters to the Edfiror

April 01, 2016

Powerful students vs power plant

To the Editor:

On March 21st I attended the Santa Paula City Council meeting to express my opinion that an outdated peaker power plant should not be allowed to be built on Mission Rock Road in the Santa Clara Valley.  I was impressed by all of the community members who took the time to come and address the city council, each speaker presented valid points about why this plant would be bad for our community.

Most impressive however were the students from the group SESPEA at Santa Paula High School.  Each of these young adults spoke to a different reason they were against such a power plant in our valley.  They spoke powerfully, with and without notes.  They spoke of the efforts they were already making to protect the river valley we live in. They spoke of the effects the increased  air pollution would have on children, the elderly, and themselves as students and athletes. They mentioned the inequality of putting plants like these in poorer minority  communities. They spoke of the beauty of our community and their desire not only to protect our valley, but to improve it.

I hope the Santa Paula City Council was listening to every speaker, but if they weren’t, I certainly hope they were listening to these students.  These thoughtful, articulate, young adults are among those who would be most affected by such a power plant, they are our future!\

Please show your support for these students and others concerned about this proposed power plant in our community by attending the Santa Paula City Council meeting, Monday, April 4 at 6:30pm.

Gail Pidduck

Santa Paula

I was blown away

To the Editor:

I first attended Catalyst Church in Santa Paula about 9 months ago.  I remember I quickly obtained the feeling of family.  I enjoyed the sermons, the high quantity of young families, the friendliness of the staff and congregation and the come-as-you-are atmosphere.   This Santa Paula Catalyst organization is only 5 years old and the facilities that it occupies was given to them by another church.

Fast forward to Easter Sunday.  

During the last month or so, it was advertised during the Sunday service that the Easter services would be held in the Santa Paula High School Auditorium and it would combine the first and second service into one service at 10 O’clock.  

With little expectation other than a larger congregation, we arrived a few minutes early.  And what a surprise.  You would easily get the impression that this is a very talented organization.  Greeters would direct you to the goody trays with Easter treats, the coffee and water table and the table that welcomed first timers all with very friendly and welcoming members.  And the program that outlined the service was very professionally and artistically done with the bright colors of Easter ever present.

The feeling that I was instantly hit with was one of comfort and one of family and home.  I did not feel like a stranger or out of place.  No, the feeling that hit me was one that this is where I want to be.=

If you are wanting to try to connect with God, if you are thinking you might want to see what a welcoming family like this is about, try just one visit to Catalyst.

Paul Briner

Santa Paula


Rudman’s letter

To the Editor:

We appreciated Richard Rudman’s letter that appeared in the March 25, 2016 Issue of the Santa Paula Times regarding Harvest at Limoneira Communication. It was a well-received message, and we look forward to increased communication with the Santa Paula community. 

The entitlement process for Harvest at Limoneira (Formerly EA1) has been lengthy. Development in California is a long and complicated process because regulations have been put in place to ensure our safety, environmental quality and many other factors. 

Following the LAFCO vote in 2011 to annex the recently entitled Teague McKevett Ranch into the City of Santa Paula, communication was limited as work was undertaken to identify and review a responsible development partner for the EA1 project.  After a great deal of due diligence, Limoneira selected The Lewis Group to help create improved lots to sell to builders that will build the residential housing in Harvest at Limoneira. The Lewis Group is nationally recognized for their integrity and excellence in not just providing housing, but helping to create communities. We’re proud that they decided to work together with Limoneira after completing extensive due diligence on our Company. 

Limoneira Lewis Community Builders is now at a point where on-going updates can take place, and we look forward to regular communications through the new Harvest at Limoneira website (www.harvest@limoneira.com), periodic email communications to community members, frequent reporting at City Council meetings, updating Santa Paula’s many service organizations and holding mixers at the Limoneira Pavilion. We believe that there are many exciting enhancements for our entire community that will benefit all of us, and we’re looking forward to sharing them. 

If there are any questions that anyone has about the ongoing development at Harvest at Limoneira please feel free to contact me at jchamberlain@limoneira.com, and we will try to respond promptly. 


                       John Chamberlain                                                                                                                                                 Limoneira Company

Thanks for

speaking out

To the Editor:

It’s been a long while since I have seen so many responsible citizens speak out so strongly on an issue before Council.  Let’s take a moment to sincerely thank Maricela Morales, Nate Pidduck, Sheryl Hamlin, Phil White (an engineer and former Director of Ventura County Air Pollution Control District), Gail Pidduck, Maria Elena Terrazas, Nicole Enriquez, Mirelle Vargas, Larry Renteria, Jim Proctor, and Jim Castro for speaking out against the proposed electric generating plant just west of our city.  Thanks also to Peggy Kelly and the Santa Paula Times for accurate reporting.  I’m a caregiver and was unable to attend.  

I first wrote about this issue last August.  I own a business and receive the Pacific Coast Business Times; its editor had been supporting construction of a gas-fired electric generating plant in Oxnard.  But in the July 24-30 issue the editor wrote, “I was a bit surprised” when my phone rang July 22 from Jim Tovias…the two-term (Santa Paula) council member called to say he would support locating it in the unincorporated area just down-wind of Santa Paula.  

It is wrong for a sitting council member to lobby an editor in this manner.  Tovias says that he isn’t a lobbyist, but he was clearly attempting to influence an editor.  This is what lobbyists do.  If the editor was “a bit surprised,” Santa Paulans are appalled.  Surely it was proper to publicly seek Council approval before approaching an editor to support bringing us a plant that every community in the state seeks to avoid.  Does anyone know of any city anywhere seeking such a plant?

We must avoid it, but it would be wrong to attempt forcing this abomination upon Oxnard.  They have spent a half century trying to rid themselves of such plants.  There are cost-effective, environmental friendly alternatives available to Edison and its partners (NEG and Calpine).  They are again demonstrating the quality of their citizenship by threatening to just walk away and leave their obsolete hulks rusting away on our coast.  Wouldn’t it be a joy to have these guys as corporate citizens here!

The Limoniera CEO wants to partner with them, collecting more millions by foisting this plant upon us.  They may want to re-think this as they are about to start construction of what may be the largest housing development in Ventura County history.  Will prospective buyers be motivated to move their families downwind of a plant known to harm air quality, human health, and the image of their new city?  

Delton Lee Johnson

Santa Paula



To the Editor:

I have always believed that the council members are not allowed to respond to public comment, but at the last meeting the rules changed after ten people spoke with conviction and passion opposing the proposed power plant on Mission Rock Road.

Councilman Tovias was singled out for his alleged dealings with Calpine, the company behind all of this. His response appeared to be misleading and divisive. There was reference to a “supposed” letter of solicitation that he wrote to Calpine in June 2014. He questioned them receiving the letter, did they open it, and he doubted it would have any impact on a multi million dollar company. It begs the question as to why he wrote it in the first place. He ended rather smugly by saying “When the time is right I’ll explain the entire story to you”.

Well, I think the time is now. During the last election the word transparency (or the lack of it) was used over and over. Every candidate knew what was expected of them and clandestine wheeling and dealing would not be acceptable. Councilman Tovias appears to be dangerously close to breeching voter trust. He could restore some credibility by simply telling the whole truth now, but if, instead, he chooses to continue to play at sneaky politics, perhaps he should just stick to selling insurance.

As for Calpine (who came up with that name?) and their proposed monstrosity ;no, I don’t think, as was suggested at the meeting that “it’s pointless to take a position so early on”. It’s never too early to nip something like this in the bud. The time is right, the time is now and the answer is no.


Barry Cooper

Santa Paula

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