Letters to the Editor
May 19, 2011

To the Editor:
Fillmore-Western Railway.
What a asset for Fillmore, a treasure for all. Recently we went on the Mystery Ride, I think we were the only ones from Fillmore but we met people from all over southern and central California. This is not our first ride and for many on the train it wasn't theirs either. We gathered at 6pm and loaded at 6:15 by 6:30pm we were on our way to our big adventure. The tables were set and as we took our assigned places we were entertained.
The food was plentiful and delicious. The waiters kept busy making sure everyone was happy and had enough. All during the meal the entertainers entertained and it was fun and delightful. At times it was corny and that was half the fun. There were many people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.
Everyone we talked to were impressed with our town, the train ride and remarked on how friendly everyone is in town. I suggest the next time you are looking for a fun place to celebrate a special occasion you try our own train.
City Budget Woes.
After reading that 52% of 250+/- replies to the Survey want to fire all the facilities personnel and hire contract janitors - That's almost as dumb as contracting with Santa Paula Police and continuing to keep on the payroll the assistant City Manager. If any of those people who answered the survey really know what the facilities personnel do they would be ashamed to have answered. I will try to enlighten some of you -Although I am not completely sure of all of their work and experience I do know some - So here goes: They are responsible for the cleanliness of all restrooms in all parks, pool area and all city owned buildings including city hall. They have to do all the set-ups and take-downs for events in all buildings and areas of the city. They must know how to do simple maintenance of all equipment. They are the ones who open and close all facilities, parks and the pool area.
They are the ones who maintain the chemical levels at the pool. Its the same personnel. If the city contracts for janitorial then just think what else they will have to contract for on a daily basis to do all these jobs. Annette Cardona who is in charge of all these persons does a remarkable job. Including reservations for all special events where ever in the city. Now you tell me where you can get all these for the price we currently pay.
Marlene Schreffler


To the Editor:
I find many problems with Kimberly River’s hostile article about Patricia Godfrey on the front page of your publication. It would appear that Ms. Rivers made no attempt to interview Mrs. Godfrey, nor did she interview teachers or parents, nor did she visit Piru School. Furthermore, Ms. Rivers begins her article with one headline, then adds another, then proceeds to write about the second headline...then follows up with links to a website where one parent posted a complaint. Meanwhile, she makes a loose connection between Mr. Sweeney retiring and Piru school by using the word "amid." His retirement comes "amid" many things happening in our schools. Are you also connecting those events? What is the connection? Aren’t these two different articles, or did you need something more to make this fit “headline news?” Ms. Rivers then attempts to fool her readers into believing that she interviewed the Principal by quoting her, which she did not. She fails to mention that this statement is from a letter that the Principal herself made public. If Ms. Rivers would have done her research she might have found these facts: 1. More funds were available than previously thought. Mrs. Godfrey took full responsibility for the oversight. 2. Once this was discovered, by the Principal, she made it known to everyone including teachers and parents. 3. Next, teachers got to choose how to spend their money. Funds were not neglected or unspent, as stated in the article. 4. The only mistake is that these funds could have been spent earlier in the school year. This is hardly headline news.
I would assume that Piru teachers were not upset that they were then given the choice of how to spend the money...although it would be hearsay for me to publish that without talking with them. I would actually need to interview someone and do some research to gather that information. Were all teachers happy? Were some upset? How many? How many parents are upset? How many are satisfied with the school? These are questions that a journalist asks. If your sources are anonymous, then quote them in that manner. I appreciate the Gazette and the efforts at hometown news, but Ms. River’s journalistic style makes her article seem like one big heavily-biased blog.
Perhaps Ms. Rivers has negative feelings toward anyone who shared an opposite opinion during the Piru Charter School Proposal, such as Mrs. Godfrey. But this is only conjecture on my part, I am not a reporter, not did I research this topic. One could only guess why such information would be presented with such poor journalistic skill and without any apparent research.
Greg Godfrey, band teacher. 16 yrs. FHS/FMS

[Editor's Note: Ms. Rivers received an email from Superintendent Sweeney in response to an inquiry she sent him. He sent her his statement (stating the district was investigating, etc.) and included a statement from Mrs. Godfrey, which Ms. Rivers assumed was meant specifically for her. Mr. Godfrey has corrected that assumption. The headline and subhead placement were the decision of the Gazette and not Ms. Rivers. Ms. Rivers responded to similar statements from Mr. Godfrey on the Gazette's website. Below is that response in full]

Submitted by Kimberly Rivers on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 8:46am.
Thank you for your comments.
I stand by all facts as stated. All information was provided by the person indicated. The Superintendent provided his own statement in addition to a statement from Mrs. Godfrey in response to my inquiries. Where a name is not included it is due to my agreement to hold that persons identity in confidence (this does include staff members and parents at Piru School) as they are uncomfortable attaching their name to comments which may be critical of the District and/or administrators or how they perform their duties. That is a normal part of reporting and protecting sources of information.
In rereading the article I realized that I did not name (as I had intended) Mr. John Garnica as the School Board member who responded to my request for a comment. He submitted this comment that is in the article above “Superintendent Sweeney is resolving the issue to minimize the impact to students and ensuring that the principal, Mrs. Godfrey, fully understands the SSC budget process and her obligations regarding Categorical Funds (meaning funds which must be spent in a particular way), as well as ensuring that she communicates effectively to the parents and staff about the School Site Council budget process.” Not including his name was an editing error on my part.
Keep in mind the person who has the byline does not always write the headlines.
Again, thanks for reading and commenting.
Kimberly Rivers


To the Editor:
Why I Am Not a Member of the Teacher’s Union
Those who ran the death camps of WWII were eugenicists and racists. We all know the evil those fascists did, and we have all asked our parents what they did in the war to try and stop it. Some of us know that before the fascists tried to exterminate the Jews, they got a good start on the mentally handicapped of their country. People were forced to make a choice between joining the resistance against the evil, or becoming a collaborator with it. Someday we will be asked of our children the same question about similar issues.
Margaret Sanger was the founder of Planned Parenthood, a eugenicist and a racist. Sanger felt there were too many poor, disadvantaged minority children being born. Before the war, the United States led the world in forced sterilizations. Today, Planned Parenthood is still going strong, and the National Educator’s Association is in bed with them. If they had their way, my son would be dead today, as 90% of people with his condition are, thanks to fascist, totalitarian ideology and lack of human decency.
Many of you have met my happy, healthy, mentally challenged son. Well, your union dues go right to an organization that would have loved to have gotten their hands on him and those like him. I often wonder how some teachers serving a town of 17 churches can give to their churches on Sunday and then to the NEA on Monday, supporting by free choice, their finances going to organizations like this. I can’t tell you how disturbing it feels to have school district personnel tell me how much they love my kids and appreciate my family, and then allow their dues to be used to war against the very values that make my family the way they are, and which allowed them life.
Allied commanders forced the locals to tour the death camps to break them of their denial and to make them see the results of this totalitarian ideology. I pray that other teachers here and across this country will have their eyes opened, and their consciences quickened, so they can love and serve God rather than Mammon, and fear God rather than fear man. I stand and proclaim that day will come. Come soon!
Richard Hood