Letters to the Editor
November 07, 2013

To the Editor:
Accreditation by WASC is a crucial milestone for every high school in California. Lack of accreditation can have disastrous consequences for each student who attends that school. Those students may not be eligible for college. Their credits may not be accepted by another school should they choose to transfer.
Fillmore High School will be evaluated by WASC for accreditation in the spring of 2015. Will it be ready? Apparently not. The research and writing for the evaluation is a year long process. All research, writing, publication, and mailing of the Self-Study report will need to be completed before winter break 2014. Has the process been started? No!
I know the amount of work and commitment by the staff that WASC Self-Study takes. As an assistant principal in 2002, I coordinated and wrote the Self-Study Report. FHS earned a 6 year accreditation.
Today a 6 year accreditation is no longer possible. Why? Principal Mesfun requested a year's delay in scheduling the evaluation and eliminated programs.
An essential part of the WASC evaluation is showing that the school has coordinated programs and collaborative teams working for student improvement. Programs, such as RtI and the tutorial program, were implemented by the former principal and staff over several years. Since Mesfun began at FHS, he unilaterally eliminated all these successful programs and processes. Now there are none.
FHS teachers are hard working and dedicated. They need a new principal capable of providing leadership and successful programs for students. This needs to be done now.
Karen Ashim, Retired Head Counselor Fillmore High School
MS Counseling & Guidance
MA School Administration


To the Editor and Fillmore Community,
I am once again writing to inform you all of my recent Chevron dealings. As you may or may not know Chevron is planning to build an industrial park, business/ commercial park and 14 acres open space for our town. I have problems with this idea for a number of reasons.
1) Fillmore is having a hard time supporting the business in town currently and adding yet another one of these facilities may take away from a struggling down town that we are always trying to jump start and keep alive as apparent by the empty buildings.
2) The Industrial park is in my opinion in a poor location and will only be a nuisance to the near by neighbors with the possible noise, evening lights and random persons in the area. We also have a few of these industrial parks currently empty around town waiting for business. Why do we need more?
3) I was told that the project would bring in jobs and income to our town. Can Chevron and the city officials guarantee both or will we be left with more empty buildings around our town?
4) The open space is intended for recreational use as hiking trails but who really wants to hike in soil that has contaminants still in it. Chevron has done there clean up yes, but as stated in one of their hand outs “they have been reduced to levels that are safe for populations, including children”. I would feel much better hiking in an area such as this if the chemicals were eliminated and not just reduced.
I recently went to a meeting this past month and it was there that 35+ neighbors from two areas of town affected by this project were visibly and vocally upset with the project. People were upset with possible chemical exposure in soil contamination and dust contamination. Others were upset that some neighbors received $100.00 Vons gift cards as “a token of our appreciation and thanks for your patience and understanding during our restoration activities “.while others did not receive any thing even though they have been unconvinced as well. I for one gave mine back because it just did not sit well with me. It was a night of many accusations and a few tears. The anger in the room was uncomfortable and very raw but I felt it needed to be seen so that Chevron would see, know and hear that not every one in town especially the near by neighbors are not fine with this idea of theirs.
Before the meeting I felt very alone in this matter but now I feel that now I have a little bit of a voice. Chevron’s property in not even in our city limits and can not do any thing unless we change our boundaries for them. Now you may say ”Oh Kathy let it go, just let them build”. Well I will say to you,” today it is my back yard that is now being infringed upon and you may be next. If you live next to a hill side or any open space with a view the city may want to change the boundaries on you too. I want the best for our city but I do not feel that this is a good plan for our town.
Thank you again for letting me chew your ear off and hope that you all will consider the things that I have said and maybe investigate the project to see if you think it is a good idea for our town.
Kathy Pace