April 2010 Archives

Hotel good for Hueneme

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Re: April 28 article, "Hotel envisioned for Port Hueneme":

I am glad the City Council is trying to get more tourists to our beautiful city. I would like for the people in Hueneme to look back about 10years. We tried to put an RV park on the beach, but some bird lovers, people that live on the beach, and people who live out of town and have time-sharing condominiums shot it down. I know this is true. I lived in Surfside Four. I had to move out to get some peace and quiet.

They said it would bring in too many people, and they did not want that. The park would be paid off by now and would have helped the local businesses. By the way, the RV park at Naval Base Ventura County is very busy. You have to book in advance during summer and holidays. By now, the word would be out there about how nice this area is and the beautiful beach. We now can help out the city with this hotel. Tourist have a lot of options for things to do here: play golf, surf just a block from the beach, take fishing trips out of the harbor, fish off the pier, visit the Seabee museum and a lot of other sites around this county.

I am very proud of our City By The Sea!

I retired from the Navy in 1989. I liked the city so much that I did not want to move back East. My wife and I raised our two daughters here. I was a member of the Port Hueneme Lions, participated in Harbor Days parades, helped with beauty pageants at the Cultural Center and help barbecue at the Community Center to thank the police and firefighters.

I worked for the Hueneme School District for more than 18 years. I worked with alot of city personnel, They are great and take pride in what they do on a daily basis. I hope the people of Hueneme will support our City Council and bring in more visitors to our city. I think we should take the bull by the horns and get involved.

~ John Klopfstein,
Port Hueneme

It starts with us

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Lots of people have written in response to Arizona's new law that is designed to get rid of illegal aliens. We all know that this law will be enforced against Latinos onl. No Europeans, Asians or even those of Middle Eastern descent will be subject to the scrutiny that this will bring,

Everyone blames the federal government. While I would be upset if any one, legal or illegal, used my backyard to come into this country, let us remember one thing: none of these people are coming across to sight see. They are all looking for work, and they are finding it.

We need to stop the hypocrisy ourselves, stop hiring these people because they work cheap. Be willing to pay reasonable wages.

In your paper about two years ago, you ran an article called "State of agriculture in Ventura County." In this article, a farmer pointed out on his own that during the peak of the season up to, 90 percent of his pickers were illegal, and he knew this. Did the immigration department investigate?. Did Elton Gallegly, the defender of our borders, go to check him out? If it happened, it was never published. Lets us start on our own. Don't hire anyone you suspect of being illegal. If they don't speak English, that is the first sign. If they are willing to work for less than half what the job should pay, that should send an alarm. Take the time to find out. Ask for proof. Don't just think of the money you are saving.

~ David Gonzalez,
Oxnard

Future not so bright

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Re: Eugene Robinson's April 30 column, "False memories make a mess of history":

Robinson concluded that physicians "preferred to be paid in money, not livestock." Today's new college graduates also would like to be paid in money, but they're not going to have much opportunity.

Read the Internet blogs, newspapers and magazines. It won't matter whether you graduated from Stanford or a Cal State University, if nobody is hiring.

There will be fewer "permanent" jobs in the future, fewer full-time jobs, lower salaries for all professions, little or no employee healthcare insurance plans, and more contractor and freelance work, with nationwide competition.

Will recent and future graduates be able to rent apartments, eat dinner, buy furniture, buy cars, buy gasoline, or pay for their healthcare insurance? Will they be able to pay medical and dental bills on a credit card if the banks continue to limit risk and reduce credit ceilings?

Tom Novinson,
Ventura

Time for the young to benefit

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Re: Robin Whyte's April 28 letter to the editor, "What are my benefits?":

Robin Whyte was concerned that "health care is going to cost me a lot of money, and I will get less service." She felt the new healthcare bill is for young people, like myself, to get more Planned Parenthood care and fewer services for the older generation.

It's about time for the older generation to stop thinking only of themselves. I work full time and have no health insurance. I am healthy and fit, a UC college graduate and barely making ends meet. Something needs to be done. I am not asking for the government or anyone else to pay for my health care, but I am glad that a reform has been made, making it one step easier for my generation. This bill will allow me to use my own doctors and allow the wonderful free clinics to see patients who really need the aid.

I am tired of older citizens complaining about new reforms. It's hard to get your life and career started after school, and it's time for the 20-somethings to see some help. Each paycheck, Social Security is taken out of my earnings just like everyone else. The difference, however, is that my peers and I will never see the benefits of Social Security, whereas older citizens, like Robin, will be able to take advantage of it. Please at least give us health care. They refer to us as the "Me generation." Something is wrong here.

Audra Favero,
Ventura

Parks's hearings, tests cost money

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Why I will not vote for Linda Parks.

When on the City Council she held up the repair and updating of the Hill Canyon Waste Treatment plant until a major waste-water line ruptured. This caused the city of Thousand Oaks to spend millions of dollars in fines, legal fees, cleanup costs and to be a national embarrassment.

She was censured twice for leaking confidential information to her special interest supporters. She held up the construction and caused the cost to exceed budget of the of the Storm Water Retention Basin, intended to keep low-lying areas of Thousand Oaks from flooding, by insisting on redundant and unnecessary testing and hearings.

As County Supervisor, she and her supporters again used extra hearings, reports and testing to delay the replacement of a very dangerous water tank in Oak Park. The project is now over budget by millions of dollars.

Taxpayers of the county, this is your tax money that was wasted.

We need a supervisor that will:


  • Reduce costs not increase costs.

  • Work with all the people not just with their special interest supporters.


We need to have someone who knows their way around Sacramento to bring grant money and our fair share of approved proposition money to our district and county.
Please join me in voting for Audra Strickland on June 8.


Ronald Stark,
Oak Park

Strickland's divisive politics

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Strickland's divisive politics

When Audra Strickland announced she was running for Ventura County Supervisor, she called Linda Parks "a carpetbagger from Berkeley" (Ventura County Star, Feb. 5). This was a bold move, considering Strickland had rented an apartment in Supervisor Parks' district only a few days before, simply for the purpose of running against her. It should, however, certainly have been a warning to us about the kind of campaign Ms. Strickland would be running.

Now, we are receiving what seem like daily mailers full of vitriolic misstatements about Linda Parks and her record. We don't need Strickland's Sacramento-style divisive politics and gridlock here in Ventura County.

While Audra Strickland was up in Sacramento helping run the state into bankruptcy, Linda was down here balancing the County budget, establishing a rainy-day fund for emergencies, procuring the top bond rating for Ventura County and generally doing what her constituents believed best for them and our county. Parks' fiscally conservative policies have helped us keep full funding for our police and fire departments.

I am sure the Second District voters will save Audra Strickland the hassle of buying furniture for her new, empty apartment in the Conejo Valley. She'll be able to hand the keys back to her landlord the day after the election.

Phil Reese,
Camarillo

Boycott Valero

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Re: April 18 article, "Calif. climate law could help poor, minority areas":

Valero Services Inc, a Texas-based energy company and one of the top polluters in the country, is trying to mess with California's clean energy jobs and air pollution law, AB32.

AB32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act, is a great tool for us to rebuild our economy, clean up our dirty air and reduce greenhouse gases. But Valero is trying to effectively kill AB32 by spending lots of money to put a measure on the November ballot.

I will be boycotting all Valero gas until they stop attacking AB32, I hope you will join me.


Randy Bowin,
Oxnard


Keep Ventura beautiful

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I hate Ventura!

Not really, actually I love Ventura, but, I'm losing my respect for our city managers whose job it is to keep Ventura from becoming a place we don't want to live. My family has lived in Ventura since 1954, seen a lot of excellent progress, but also lots of areas that need attention.

A couple quick stories:

A few years ago, while walking my dogs in the East End, I found that three metal manhole covers (sewer covers) had been stolen. I immediately reported this to the police because one was directly in the center of the sidewalk, and I feared someone might fall into the sewer and injure themselves. No response. Another call. No response. Finally one year later, the sidewalk cover was replaced, and the two other covers are still missing. Bad on Ventura.

Behind my house is a beautiful strawberry field. When it rains, the tractors and trucks carry excessive amounts of mud onto the sidewalks, gutters and street, causing quite a mess and traffic hazard. Several calls were made to the Ventura Street-Storm Drains Maintenance Department, requesting that some of the mud be removed and the sidewalk cleaned. No response. Mud's still there. Bad on Ventura.

Let's stop giving excuses how budget cuts have left us underfunded/undermanned and have crippled our ability to maintain our city. These problems have existed way before the budget cuts. It's our city managers' responsibility to find a way to keep Ventura beautiful, clean and safe.

If we want to advertise Ventura as a desirable vacation/tourist destination, we had better start with cleaning up our gutters, sidewalks, freeway off ramps, etc.

Wake up Ventura. Look around. Clean up.

I want to love Ventura.

~ Bill Ulrich,
Ventura

Interesting juxtaposition

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Re: April 29 articles, "Some illegal migrants leaving Arizona" and "Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes":

Was the layout on pages A8-A9 of April 29 paper intended as a joke? On a A8 there is an article sympathetic to the Illegal aliens in Arizona and on A9 there is a story of Mexico admitting to civil rights violations against immigrants.

I would love to hear someone justify the obvious hypocrisy about the Mexican policy and their whining about the law in Arizona. The article sites Mexico's Population Law regarding proof of legal status while condemning Arizona's lawful right to do the same. Please don't use any tired arguments, just reconcile the gulf in the application of the laws.

~ D.R. Swenson,
Moorpark

Mischaracterization

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Re: April 29 article, "Mexico acknowledges migrant abuse, pledges changes":

Ah, the Left! In an article on Mexican migrant abuse, the Associated Press smoothly segued into their version of Arizona's new illegal immigrant law. Quote: "The Arizona law - slated to take effect in late July or early August - makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and allows poloice to question anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant." Not so!

The law states that only those people being questioned about some other infraction can be questioned about their legal immigration status. You can bet the ACLU will have a microscope on this vital provision that the AP cleverly chooses to omit. This mischaracterization by the AP pretty well sums up the attacks on Arizona from other left organizations; so scholarly, so convincing, and so wrong.

~ Bill Jackson,
Simi Valley

Cell phones and drivers

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All the news programs are full of the proposed increased penalties for cell phone use while driving. The easiest and most effective program for eliminating cell phone use while driving is for the officer to confiscate the cell phone upon writing a citation. The driver must then show up at the courthouse to pay the fine and retrieve the phone. The citing authority would have three business days to get the phone to the clerk's office. The cost of administration of this program could be assessed with the fine for the infraction.

I guarantee that cell phone usage while driving would drop immediately. Can you imagine your anguish if you get nabbed blabbing with the wife about when you are going to cross the threshold on a Friday afternoon? The quickest you can get your phone back is Thursday morning when the clerk's office opens? And that means you also have to take at least a half a day off, too. Cell phone driving would fall more quickly than if the fine were raised to $1,000.

I sent this suggestion to the legislator who sponsored the bill but so far the only response I got from him was to tell me about a special award he had gotten the legislature to issue to some constituent in San Jose.

~ Charles E Voigtsberger,
Ventura

Will hypocrisy reign?

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Perhaps if the executives at the Security and Exchange Commission had not been spending an average of six to eight hours a day surfing internet pornography they might have tripped over the deal Goldman Sachs was pushing on their clients. And to think Goldman Sachs received $10 billion in TARP money, clearly pointing out that little if any thought went into the handing out of taxpayer dollars.

As Sen. Carl Levin blasts the executives at Goldman Sachs, which they rightfully deserve, we can only hope that the Obama administration holds its own people to the same accountability standards they're wanting from Goldman Sachs.

In all likelihood, they will not, and hypocrisy will once again reign. For it was these same political fat cats that criticized how The Northern Trust Company was running its business after taking TARP money (which it didn't want or need in the first place, and have since paid it back), yet had no issues sitting down to a lavish dinner after the hearings that included bottles of wine at a taxpayer cost of $500 apiece.

~ Scott Bramhall,
Thousand Oaks

Henke-Dobroth for judge

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The race for any position should be determined by the most experienced and qualified candidate. In the race for Superior Court Judge, there is no contest. Lela Henke-Dobroth has the experience, knowledge and ability to be an excellent Superior Court Judge. She also has the passion and desire to see that victim's rights are acknowledged and realized.

I have known and worked with Lela for over 22 years. She has always put 150 percent into everything she does. She is known to be tough and strong, as well as passionate and caring. These characteristics made her a great prosecutor and will make her a great Superior Court Judge. As shown in her prosecution of the sex crimes and homicide cases, she's tough on the defendant and caring and passionate with the victim and their families.

Lela Henke-Dobroth also spearheaded the Safe Harbor program, designed to make the judicial process for victims as painless and comforting as possible, while assisting in the investigation and prosecution of the crime committed. Lela Henke-Dobroth is the most qualified and deserving of your vote for Superior Court Judge. Please join me in voting for Lela on June 8.

~Ann Phelps,
Ventura

Doctors not only providers

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Re: John Crisp's April 29 column, "Expanded role under health care":

Most people go to the doctor for routine care and management of chronic conditions. Nurse practitioners are trained to provide this type of care (at less cost) and to detect when the person needs physician care.

Forty years ago, our children received all their well-baby care and immunizations from a nurse practitioner. She made appropriate referrals when the children had medical problems that needed further treatment and surgery. As a new mother, I always appreciated the time spent in teaching me about child safety issues, etc.

The public should be skeptical when the American Medical Association uses alarm tactics to scare people into thinking only doctors can provide for our healthcare needs.

~ Judith A.Beay,
Ventura

Afghanistan withdrawal

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There are now, 35 co-sponsors of the McGovern bill, for a timetable to withdrawal from Afghanistan. There are only a few supporters in the Senate, but Congress holds the purse strings to the additional $33 billion, for more war funding. This is the time to call your Representatives and Senators and demand at least, a timetable for withdrawal from an unwinnable war. The Afghanis don't want us there, too many civilians have been killed, and the U.S. government doesn't want to listen to the Taliban urging an agreement.

We didnt invade Afghanistan to get Osama Bin Laden, we attacked to secure oil, natural gas and access to the pipelines to these commodities. Remember one thing: The Bush family and the Bin Laden family, were friends! It was never about killing Bin Laden. It's always been about the oil and natural gas. Both Afghanistan and Iraq's leaders have been bought and paid for, by the U.S. Are the American, Iraqi, Afghani, and Pakistani deaths, as well as the billions of dollars spent, worth the price for oil and natural gas, and control of the Middle East?

They aren't to me! Call your representatives and demand a timetable for withdrawal!

~ Linda Ferland,
Ventura

Tea Party questions

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Where were the Tea Party members when all these corrupt politicians were elected?
They are as responsible as everyone else if they voted in past elections. Almost all of the legislators have been re-elected year after year. Who kept them there, probably all the members of the Tea Party.

All of us dislike some of the problems going on, but we did it. Voters should do a thorough study of the candidates the vote for, therefore, the Tea Party members are as responsible for those elected. I don't like everything going on, but I am not going to get up and shout. I can only regret my voting and lack of integrity in making my decisions. I don't blame the politicians. I blame myself.

Lee Miller,
Simi Valley

Faith in humanity

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Re: April 21 article, "Doctor's kindness restores man's sight":

I read the article in The Star paper about Dr. Bryant Lum and his surgical staff, who performed cataract surgery on Mr. William Noriega for free.

I understand Mr. Noriega's comment that not only did the surgery restore his sight but also his faith in humanity. In today's world, hope for a variety of problems is so limited. People feel like a burden on society until someone like Dr. Lum and his associates were motivated to help a stranger.

I'm sure someone above will in some way wrap his arms around this group of physicians with loving hearts and open minds.

Amelia Hadfield,
Port Hueneme

Brooks smears reputation

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Re: April 22 article, Re: April 22 article, "Sheriff's opinion e-mails criticized":

It appears that Sheriff Bob Brooks' sometimes illustrious career will now fade into ignominious darkness, smeared by his own hand in hypocrisy.

Cmdr. Geoff Dean takes no donations from the rank and file, but is independently endorsed by the rank and file via the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff's Association.
Chief Deputy Dennis Carpenter, on the other hand, gives the appearance of the designated heir apparent to a singular old-boy system.

Now, accenting this separation, Sheriff Brooks, using county funds, resources and communications disseminates a clearly political attack ad campaigning internally within the department to the rank and file. When one contrasts Bob Brooks' conduct against the facts, his subsequent comments, to the effect that his actions are not politically motivated, seems at best, facetious.

Brooks fired Cmdr. Dean as chief deputy in 2008 for alleged "insubordination" after Dean began talking about running for Sheriff. A wholly independent Civil Service Commission, with no ax to grind whatsoever, found the punishment Brooks imposed for the undefined "insubordination" to be excessive.

Our esteemed County Supervisor Kathy Long has opined that Brooks used a "frivolous pretense to fire Dean." Finally, although Brooks denied it was a "buyout," Brooks did authorize the county to pursue an offer to Dean during the course of the civil service litigation to, shall we say, "buy out" Dean for $1 million. When using terms like "integrity," and "honest," Dean is demonstrative as he refused the offer before it could be considered by the County Board because he believed it was a misuse of taxpayer funds.

Finally, singling out 700 holders of concealed weapons permits to campaign on the basis of an implied threat that Dean might somehow be inclined to proscribe their 2nd Amendment Rights, Brooks sounds in wanton desperation.

Carpenter would have been well served to ask Brooks to back off. Brooks' conduct has only served to accent a model of trustworthiness, courage, honesty and integrity. That role model is Geoff Dean.

Allen R. Ball,
Oxnard

Cotterell case

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Some unknown facts about the case against Superintendent Sherianne Cotterell:

First, Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold claims that Cotterell was treated just like everyone else. If that is the case then the District Attorney's Office should produce data showing how many infractions for first time offenders, with absolutely no past criminal history are later charged as misdemeanors for which jail time is requested.

Second, Wold told the court that Cotterell is "not a neophyte in the art of thievery." For 49 years, Cotterell has lived an exemplary life, one of unblemished character -- the District Attorney's Office knows this and knows that she has never been accused of any other crime in her entire life.

Third, Wold claimed that Cotterell tried to use her position as a public official to avoid criminal liability. There is not one word in the police report to justify Wold's statement.

The judge did not believe Wold's statements. He understood that traumatic events combined with serious medical conditions can have an overwhelming temporary impact on a person's mental state and actions. He also likely saw through what Wold was trying to do -- pay back Cotterell for pointing out that the District Attorney's Office may not have done all they should have to protect the little girl Brian Martin molested.


~ Jesse Gonzalez,
Oxnard

Federal government's failure

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The Arizona legislature and governor just passed and signed a tough immigration bill. This bill makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documents. Furthermore, it bans sanctuary cities that refuse to en-force immigration laws, stiffens penalties against illegal alien day laborers and their employees, and makes it a misdemeanor if immigrants don't complete and carry registration documents.

Good for Arizona. The federal government, has failed for years to control our national borders, at the detriment of our national sovereignty. It has become abundantly clearthe federal government refuses to make the right decisions in terms of enforcing the laws and making critical reforms necessary to drive down illegal immigration.

The inaction of Congress has been driven by members' desire for votes, power and amnesty.

Why did Arizona pass this immigration law? Simply put, illegals were killing farmers, committing crimes, destroying property, bringing drugs and threatening people. Because our spineless government turned its back on the safety of Arizonans, the state had no choice but to pass a law to protect its citizens.

Unfortunately, we now see the disgraceful tactics of our president, liberals and pro-immigration activists. First on their agenda, play the race card. JesseJackson, Al Sharpton and others are unleashed and are inciting violence. Whatever happened to the rights of hard-working Americans?

It is time for Americans to wake up and stand up for their rights. It is time to protect our borders, stop criminal and drug activities along our borders, and to put the safety of America first.

We need to write letters, call politiciansand elect new members to Congress who support these views.

~ Diana Thorn,
Carpinteria


County needs Panec

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I am writing to urge your readers to consider the candidacy of Dr. Marie Panec for the Democratic Party nomination for the 24th U.S. Congressional District. Marie is a dedicated and engaged citizen who will bring a common sense approach to solving the problems that face our district and our country.

As an instructor at Moorpark College, I have observed Marie in action for the past 13 years. I have watched her in the classroom and worked with her in numerous capacities. Marie brings a can-do attitude to everything she does, and she cares deeply about education. While she was in the Peace Corps, she taught science to high school students in Africa. In her work on the Oak Park School Board, she has been instrumental in developing ways to ensure a quality education to the students in her district, even while the district's budget was being cut. At Moorpark College, Marie has helped to develop and lead workshops to train high school teachers in ways to more effectively teach science. As a microbiologist and science educator, Marie has helped prepare thousands of students for careers in the health professions, bioengineering and education. Marie Panec understands education, and she knows what we need to do to ensure that our schools and colleges can continue their students to offer the world class education for which our country is known.

On June 8, please join me in voting for Marie Panec for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. Congress. We need to move past the partisan bickering that is paralyzing our society. We need someone who will bring common sense back into our political discussions. We need Marie Panec in the United States Congress. For more information, please go to: http://www.panec4congress.com.

~ John Baker,
Moorpark

Mexican government's hypocrisy

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I read an online article on Fox News by the Associated Press titled, "Mexico Acknowledges Abuse of Migrants, Praises Amnesty Report, Pledges Changes." This article was about the Mexican government acknowledging that immigrants from Central America are frequently robbed, raped or kidnapped by gangs and the Mexican federal police. Many immigrants often fear reporting these crimes for fear of deportation. Yes, deportation from Mexico.

Two bits of information were interesting. First, in Mexico's Population Law, there is an Article 67 which states, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues." I thought to myself, "This sounds like a law that the state of Arizona recently passed." Second, a statement by the writer of this article noted "Mexico has long been offended by mistreatment of its own migrants in the United States."

The Mexican government should deal with their own immigration issues while the U.S. takes care of it's own. The U.S. should not be told what not to do on immigration policy. I'm very happy Amnesty International has made their report public. Many people don't know how Mexico treats its illegal immigrants. This is why I call Mexico's government a hypocrite government.

~ Oscar Gonzalez,
Oxnard

Parks will keep county on track

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Voters in the 2nd Supervisorial District should be sure and vote on the June 8 ballot. It is an important election in setting the future of Ventura County.


Linda Parks has been an environmental and moderate growth advocate on the Board of Supervisors. She also has been fiscally conservative. She has served her district honestly and diligently and certainly deserves to be re-elected. She serves because she cares.

It is concerning that an opponent has appeared on the ballot who established a residence shortly before the filing deadline and decided to run after being disqualified for the County Treasurer's race. It is a nonpartisan position, yet the Ventura County Republican Committee has committed substantial resources to the defeat of Linda, a Republican.

Ventura County is a special place that has stood apart in its sensible growth. Everyone who cares about our future should vote for Linda Parks and keep our solid direction on track.

~Craig Underwood,
Underwood Family Farms,
Camarillo


Stop the hate

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Re: Richard Pinedo's April 29 letter to the editor, "Cost of Immigration"

He writes "the Constitution does not apply to illegal immigrants. They have human rights, but not Constitutional rights.

Last time I read it, the document refers to "persons" (or the "people"), not citizens. (i.e., Articles IV, V and VI the Bill of Rights). Guess what, it even applies to corporations, as being interpreted under the law as "persons."

Is the author's strange interpretation of the Consitution due to having to compete in school with so many non-English speakers and non-citizens who put a drain on the educational system? Bad teachers? Or simply failing ever to personally read the document in question or understand the contents?

If one does not like the laws to be applied equally to all persons, the appropriate plan of action would be to amend the Constitution, so all those pesky non-U.S. citizens could be treated without due process of law and equal protection of same. Now there's a great idea!

This is very dangerous stuff. It starts out small, but snowballs. Remember how easy it was in Germany in the 30's to legislate against minority groups, and within a very short period of time specific classes of citizens were demonized, stripped of status and eliminated ... this because equal protection and due process of the laws was denied.

No doubt, there are problems with immigration. There always are. but the immigrants, by and large have always been the life blood of America. They remain so. Prevailing popular opinion has, in the past, beat up on the Chinese, Irish, Poles, Germans, Italians, etc., ad infinitum as each wave came to the U.S. Now it's the Hispanic's turn.

Do what you can to educate and stop the hate.

~Timothy Ehritt,
Ventura

Reject recall petition

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We are writing to ask Venturans not to sign the petition that is being circulated in a misguided effort to recall Mayor Fulton. Public officials who have been elected by the people should only be recalled in cases of malfeasance in office. Malfeasance means wrong-doing or misconduct, such as an official who violates his trust.

The effort, which seems to be mostly about Wright Library, was instigated by Maili Brocke who started a group at Wright named Library Justice. We wonder if this group worked hard for the November ballot measure for a sales tax increase that would have helped keep the library open. The group circulating the petition is not charging Fulton with malfeasance, only that he has not done things they want him to do, such as save Wright Library. Remember that Mayor Fulton has one vote out of seven, decisions are made by a majority of the City Council. It is too bad that Wright Library had to close, but the city of Ventura has lost a lot of its revenue and is in the process of making additional cuts to the city budget. What services does this group suggest be further cut in order to fund the library?

If the petition does not have sufficient signatures in time to qualify for the November 2010 election, it will cost the city of Ventura $250,000 for a special election, which would probably be in early 2011. The next election for City Council candidates will be November 2011. You can then vote for the candidate of your choice.

Please join us in declining to sign the recall petition. Thank you.

~ Nell & Ed McCombs,
Ventura

Piru charter

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This school year, nine teachers at Piru Elementary School wrote and submitted a charter petition. They did this with minimal input from the parents and community of Piru. They didn't approach local civic groups before writing their charter, and they didn't include parents in the process of writing their charter.

Many Piru parents see this as a naked power grab. Contrary to rumor, these parents are very well informed. They have not been tricked or bullied or coerced into opposing the charter. They have simply looked at the petition and the petitioners and have not been impressed.

The charter petition offers little new to the community, besides a rather unexpected emphasis on yoga. The petition is vague about how to pay for programs, and it wildly overestimates projected enrollment. Maybe most distressingly, the charter plan reduces public oversight of the school. It replaces a publicly elected school board with a governing board. Not a single member of this board would be elected by the community at large, and parents would be guaranteed only a single representative.

The Piru petitioners did not do the hard work necessary to build community and parental support for their project. They consistently attribute all opposition to their plan as being dishonest or uninformed. There is more than a tinge of condescension in how they characterize the parents - overwhelmingly Hispanic and largely Spanish speaking - as dupes of the Fillmore Unified School District. The petitioners refuse to acknowledge that they have simply not gained the confidence of the community, and that a majority of parents, Piru residents, and other Fillmore Unified School District employees simply don't trust them to run a school site.
Greg Spaulding,
Ventura

Support for Arizona

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I have friends and relatives in Arizona and can understand the fear, anger and frustration being experienced by the citizens of Arizona.

Instead of boycotting, I think the citizens of California should support Arizona's gallant struggle to stop the invasion of illegals across their borders. No other government entity has been able to effect a reduction in the flow, nor is there any indication that something will be done to help them.

Dick Randall,
Thousand Oaks

Southpark and terrorism

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I preface this with the statement that I am not a fan or a viewer of the "Southpark," however, I was captivated by the recent attention the show and its producers received from RevolutionMuslim.com (the Chesser character) that suggested that the show's producers could expect to be murdered for their planned episode where Mohammed would be inferred as a character.

In a country where freedom of religion and speech are fundamental teachings, and where anyone can make fun of anyone else's God or prophets without fear of abusive retaliation, we have a zealot that exercises blatant terrorist commentary to the extent that it makes headlines and causes the show's producers to remove or change content they had planned. He continued his statement with a suggestion that his remarks were representing the beliefs of the Muslim community at large. "They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality."

It seems there is something very wrong here? How can we allow this kind of dark-ages thinking to overpower our rights as Americans? We speak of overzealous Christians that want to keep prayers at governmental meetings and display the 10 commandments in public places. We have legislation to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, and yet some wannabe radical and the group he represents (if he does) can suggest publicly that depicting the image of a bandit from the middle ages in a cartoon could result in death to those who make such a presentation.

Does anyone wonder if we are under attack from a terror faction as close as the next-door neighbor? What is going on in our colleges and universities that this activity is condoned.

~ Russ Williams,
Oxnard

Prop 15 takes money out of equation

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"Follow the money" is still a reliable axiom of political analysis, but for voters being shepherded by ever bigger quantities of it, following outrageous sums of money erodes confidence in institutions essential to our commonwealth. A money primary winnowing out those less rich is clearly operating in the Republican primary for governor, while on the Democratic side the best vote-getter in recent California politics, Jack O'Connell, found the path to nomination closed by the money bar.

Changing the system to open it to the qualified but less rich and to give elected officials independence from lobbyist favor and threats is clearly needed to escape the outrageous level of spending on ever-elongated election campaigns. Proposition 15 on the June ballot opens a path leading toward that end. A pilot project raising the now trivial fees on lobbying activities, it generates enough public money to enable qualified candidates with broad popular support, but without big contributors, to run viable campaigns for the office of secretary of state, the state office most concerned with elections and control of lobbyists. Qualified candidates would be barred from raising money from lobbyists, clients or anyone else. Closely regulated public finance would underwrite campaigns competitive with private money

Several other states have successfully gone this route, including some that extend public finance to all statewide elections. It is a step toward choosing officials who can focus full time on governance and act independently of threats or dominance by big money operating in the shadows. It is a small but crucial step at all levels of California government toward transparent, accountable, and fair government. Vote Yes on Proposition 15 on June 8.

~ Allen Dirrim,
Oxnard

Stacked deck

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Virtually all of the letters in support of Audra Strickland have been written by members of the Strickland-owned Republican Central Committee, past and present employees of the Stricklands, relatives of the Stricklands, political wannabes, young out-of-area college students or developers who stand to gain much by her election.

Their letters seemed canned, short on accomplishments and long on puff information. The recent hate mailers sent by her campaign are printed and mailed by DMH Associates. Orange County has DMH as owned by Darin M. Henry, who works for Audra as an Assembly Staff person and is up for reelection for the Republican Central Committee. The same Republican Central Committee that is sending out the attack mailers and circumventing the campaign finance law.

Linda Parks has served her district well and is supported by Republicans, Democrats, DTS, farmers, businesspeople, hikers, teachers, retirees, etc. She has the endorsement of more than 1,000 people and has received contributions from over 800 local individuals and associations. County residents outside of her district enjoy the ambience and beauty of Thousand Oaks and surrounding countryside. Vote for Linda and keep developers and carpetbaggers out of District 2.

~ Katie Teague,
Camarillo

GOP's internal battle

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My fellow Republicans, I am writing to denounce the shameful behavior of our Ventura County Republican Party. They have recently been spending thousands of dollars to pit one Republican against another. A series of attack ads against Supervisor Linda Parks is currently arriving in mailboxes all over the Second District. This is in a non-partisan race!

The central committee includes Linda Parks' opponent Audra Strickland, her husband and her mother-in-law and this committee is now openly campaigning against fellow Republican Linda Parks. These are not the Republican values we support.

One of our greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan established the so-called Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." Ironically, one of the recent charges raised against Linda Parks is that she was a Democrat in early life. If that sounds familiar it's because Reagan was a Democrat until the age of 51, saying, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."

Why is the local party spending our money on divisive internal politics when we have so many Democratic opponents to defeat in party political races this year? It's time for a clean sweep of our central committee and the Stricklands' own personal agenda politics. Let's get back to the business of getting Democrats out of office!

~Pamela Johnson,
Camarillo

Profiling not the point

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I wish these agitators who rant against Arizona's new "Immigration Law" would read it before they moan and groan about it. It is a fine law and one that many other States should adopt as well. It has nothing to do with "profiling." It is merely designed to weed out a few illegal immigrants now proliferating the USA so as to take advantage of some of the generous free-bees our beloved Congress has made available to them, but denied to legal residents. If they all happen to look like former residents of Central America, tough. That is merely a strange coincidence, not deliberate profiling.

John C. Funk,
Ventura

Federal law should be enough

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One puzzles over the reality (or perhaps unreality) of a state having to pass a law to allow law enforcement to enforce a federal law that has been on the books for most of our history.

This is particularly odd when one remembers that it was only a few years ago that the Congress passed a measure calling for the sealing of the Mexican border to put an end to the invasion of America by law-breaking aliens from the south.

Perhaps America needs more stringent penalties for these trespassers as we find is the custom in other countries. As a matter of fact, our immigration people need only go to our neighbor Mexico to learn how to avoid this problem as they protect their national borders with a vengeance.

~ Michael Lawrence,
Ventura

Enforcement is key

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

The Star claims "only when federal immigration laws are overhauled can the government make a meaningful start at solving" the problem of illegal aliens. No overhaul is required. All the laws needed are already on the books.

Why not try enforcing our laws? President Eisenhower did so with stunning success in confronting an illegal alien problem that had been allowed to fester during the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1954 he appointed highly decorated Lt. Gen. Joseph "Jumpin Joe" Swing, who had commanded the 11th Airborne Division during World War II, as commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "Jumpin' Joe" immediately formulated a plan for the apprehension and deportation of illegal aliens, naming it Operation Wetback. He launched the operation on June 17, 1954, when 750 of his INS agents began a sweep through Arizona and California. Within a month, "Jumpin Joe's" boys had taken some 50,000 illegal aliens into custody and an estimated 500,000 more, fearing arrest, had fled south of the border on their own.

During July, Swing sent his agents into Texas. By September they had 80,000 illegal aliens from the Lone Star state in custody and another 500,000-700,000 had returned to Mexico voluntarily. "Jumpin' Joe" kept his agents in the field until the end of the year, averaging a thousand apprehensions a day. By 1955 nearly all illegal aliens had been repatriated and for the rest of the Eisenhower years illegal border crossings were rare.

~ Roger McGrath,
Thousand Oaks

Incredibly shrinking products

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Some years ago I noticed that what used to be a 1-pound can of coffee now showed a net weight of 13 oz. Since then, I've seen them with as little as 9.5 oz. When you buy what used to be a half-gallon of ice cream, it's now only 1.5 quarts. My pound (16 oz.) of margarine became 15 oz. some time between March 2008 and May 2009 (the tub is exactly the same size). We knew they were getting to us on the front side with higher prices. Now, they are ripping us off on the back side with lower weights.

Recently, I was in the bathroom doing what I do best when I noticed the roll of toilet paper (Northern) didn't fit the holder. First I thought the holder was loose. I checked it out, but it was tight. Doesn't everyone keep a screwdriver in the bathroom? I found a tape measure (maybe I should keep one of those in there to) and found the roll was 4 1/8" across. I compared the other rolls in the package and they were all the same. So, I went out to my camper where the paper roll is a bit older. It measured 4 ½".

Now I don't know if that 3/8 of an inch really makes a difference to me or anyone else, but it will when they get down to 3" may be 2½". You know they aren't finished until they find our breaking point. So, I guess that proves you don't always get what you think you're paying for.

~ Robert Colvin,
Santa Paula

RSD's reputation suffers

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Re: April 26 article, "Rio superintendent guilty of shoplifting":

As a grandparent of two students in the Rio School District, I was appalled to hear that the Rio School Board is supporting Superintendent Sherianne Cotterell after she was convicted of shoplifting. Although she was convicted of a misdemeanor and will serve no jail time, she is still a convicted thief! What message does this support of a thief send to the other employees, parents and students of the Rio School District?

As a former teacher, with 31 years of experience in another school district, I was always told that the public holds their teachers to a higher calling (morality, behavior and integrity), and the superintendent, as leader of the district, to an even greater calling. Scandals regarding a previous Rio Superindent and a current Rio School Board member, have given RSD a bad reputation and leads the public to wonder why there is such a lack of judgment on the part of the school board as to the accountability of their personnel, and why their students' education is not their top priority.

Superintendent Cotterell has violated the trust of the RSD, her teachers, her students and their parents, as well as the public. If she has any integrity left, she will resign from RSD immediately.

It is the Rio School Board's duty to hold Ms. Cotterell accountable for her admitted actions and show the parents, teachers and especially their students that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in the Rio School District.

~ Sharon Stewart,
Camarillo

It's all about big money

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Re: Terry Paulson's April 26 column, "A message behind the rallies":

I agree Mr. Paulsen, there is a strong message in the Tea Party movement. Transferring taxes to "greedy unworthy recipients" (your words) is not acceptable. Your manipulation of data leads you to (ad nauseam) blame our staggering debt accumulation on liberals and the new Socialists on the block.

Your arguments actually defy logic. Nowhere do Socialists call for the transfer of public money (taxes) to private enterprises (insurance companies, Pharmaceuticals, Blackwater, The Carlyle Group, etc). Government is moving tax dollars to big business at an unprecedented rate (Liberals and Conservatives alike). The difference between political parties is the method of accomplishing this slight-of-hand. Conservatives prefer to do it directly. No middle men to get in the way of this transfer of wealth. The Liberals like to transfer wealth indirectly, through recipients, like the uninsured, into the coffers of business. They at least leave some crumbs behind for us little folk.

You state "The greedy ones are those who expect that they can elect politicians who will take money from other citizens to meet their own wants and needs." This is a perfect definition for lobbyists and "big money contributors" e.g. Wall Street. Yes, it's all about big money Mr. Paulsen. Until we stop the flow of big money buying influence in governmental policy we will continue to live in this welfare state (No big money to be made, no Medicare Prescription Drug act). The true recipients of this welfare need to be identified and in this you have failed miserably. But, you reside in hallowed conservative company. The Supreme Court's decision to bestow an individual's freedom of speech rights to corporations and big money interests will make it practically impossible to rid our government of this "abomination of capitalism."

Good luck on your Tea Party message.

~ Bob Bills,
Ventura,

County needs Strickland

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As a financial strategist, everyday I work with a lot of people in Ventura County who are going through really tough times. They ask for my advice to help them to navigate and plan for their financial futures. Unfortunately, many economic factors that impact their decisions are beyond their control and are in the hands of politicians who, instead of providing for actual help, intend to increase taxes and government spending.

The Conejo Valley has lost over 6,000 jobs and is suffering an unemployment rate near 11 percent, which is higher than the national average. We need leadership of a dedicated public servant like Ventura County Supervisor candidate Audra Strickland to help us grow our employment base and put us back on the road to economic prosperity.

For the past six years, Mrs. Strickland has successfully represented the people of Ventura in the California State Assembly, where her focus was on job creation, holding the line on taxes and promoting the reduction in wasteful government spending. In addition to fighting for these issues, she became the active member for the Little Hoover Commission, which is California's premier government fiscal and oversight committee.

Audra Strickland has the experience, desire and track record to excel in representing her district. On June 8, I am voting for her to serve as Ventura County Supervisor, and I urge everyone to support her efforts to get us moving forward on a positive footing.

~Arkady Milgram,
Newbury Park

Parks for sound solutions

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I have felt consistent gratitude to the constituents of District 2 Supervisor Linda Parks for their good judgment in having elected and re-elected her. Her record regarding protection of the environment, maintaining the financial stability and integrity of the County's finances, providing the indispensable communal and humane services is reflective of the best for which residents of Ventura County could wish. In her interactions with the other members of the board, she is invariably collegial, thoughtful and focused on contributing to
pragmatically sound solutions.

The present supervisor majority is among the best, if not the best, Ventura County has ever had. Linda Parks is a pillar of the majority. The role of her challenger, Audra Srickland, would be to diminish, undermine and, when possible, overturn it. To get the clearest insight into what we'd get in its place one need not even examine Ms. Strickland's unpraisworthy record in public office but merely make oneself aware of the flagrant, even bizarre series of lies, distortions and misrepresentations that have emanated in rapid succession from her campaign. It's a precise forecast of what she would bring to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

I humbly appeal to the voters of District 2: Please return Linda Parks, your long-serving, excellent supervisor to the County Board.

~ Debbie Diamond,
Ventura

Human cost of immigration

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

I did not know that trying to protect Americans is taking the wrong path. Arizona has done the right thing for its cititzens. Let me remind you that it is the illegal immigrants who created this problem.

I have not heard anyone talk about the victims of illegal aliens. Here are a few websites that list the names of victims: http://www.escapingjustice.com, http://www.thedustininmansociety.org and http://www.immigrationshumancost.org.

As Americans, we must remember our fellow Americans who have died or were injured by the hands of illegal immigrants. My position is that if you help protect and/or assist someone to break U.S. immigration laws, you have blood on your hands. I've been a proponent for stronger immigration laws for many years because illegal immigrants are a drain on our health care and school systems. I am calling on all pro-open border individuals and organizations to pay for school, housing, medical and food expenses for illegal immigrants. The reason why Americans will not accept amensty is because the current immigrants do not respect the laws and traditions of this country.

President Barack Obama and the Democrats are claiming that the Arizona law violates the Constitution. They did not care about the Constitution during the healthcare debacle. The constitution does not apply to illegal immigrants. They have human rights but not Constitutional rights

Californians should demand that our state implement the Arizona law. Then, maybe California will become a great state again.

~ Richard Pinedo,
Santa Paula

Frustration boils

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

As my very wise Aunt June just stated: "Once again it takes a woman to show true courage." She was referring to the new immigration law the governor of Arizona recently signed.

I have many relatives that live in Arizona and have learned and seen the impact the illegals have in the Phoenix area at least. One niece left her teaching position to go into administration because students absolutely refused to stand for the flag salute or National Anthem. The rude behavior with the support of their parents, the Mexican flags flying from cars, the crime, etc., have taken their toll.

Arizona, Texas, California and the rest of the U.S. have waited for years for the federal government to do its job and received nothing but pandering to people who are here illegaly. One question I have is the following: Why don't we bill Mexico or any other nation for the cost of jailing their citizens? By the same token, we would deserve a legitimate bill for any jailed citizen of ours in another country. If they don't pay up, take it off any future financial help they receive from us. (A Mexican proverb exists that says it all: "For every poison their is an antidote" and an American proverb goes like this: "Money talks and B.S. walks!")

Like many, I don't "hate" the illegals although I do "hate" the financial impact and the complete and absolute failure of our government to deal with this. What I also hate is any government that makes it so impossible for it's citizens to have a decent life that they feel they have no option but to leave their country of origin.

~ Kathryn Levesque,
Thousand Oaks

Part of the problem

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

I usually keep my opinions to myself and respect that our country supports the free speech we all enjoy, but reading this morning's editorial in The Star on this topic, I'm having difficulty restraining myself this time.

Since 1986 when then President Reagan signed what is basically an amnesty law, our federal government has done little or nothing to stem the tide of immigrants invading the United States illegally, with the exception of a somewhat anemic attempt brought on by severe public outcry during the second George W Bush administration. Finally, one of our 50 states has the intestinal fortitude necessary to try and tackle the problem head-on at the local level, and your opinion is that Arizona's attempt at problem-solving is a bad one.

Applying that line of reasoning here locally, the fact that robbing a bank or driving a commercial vehicle under the influence in California is a violation of federal law should then mean there is no reason to have those same laws on the books here in California then, right? Let's get those and the thousands of other California laws that echo existing federal law off our books at once!

How can a proposed solution to a problem be a bad one, especially if it is an attempt to solve a problem that our federal government fails or otherwise refuses to effectively address? I'd like to strongly suggest that the author of this editorial review the 10th Amendment of our Constitution. If one is not part of the solution, the only thing left to be is part of the problem.

~ Michael Robert Bennett,
Ventura

Immigration law forces enforcement

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Immigration law forces enforcement

Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

You are right only in that California has the most illegal immigrants of any state and that the federal government, starting with the White House and Congress and concluding with Homeland Security, has failed to protect citizens from the resulting financial burden and criminal threats.

If you had thoroughly read Arizona's SB1070, which is easily obtained on the Internet, you would have seen that the bill only enforces federal law. This bill requires enforcement of immigration laws already in place.

Your editorial should have been a call to action by the state of California for the enforcement of federal laws, which Arizona has courageously done, instead of tagging along after President Obama and labeling it "misguided."

Jim Hindes,
Camarillo

An act of kindness

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Monday, with lots of lunch-hour traffic, I was stopped at the signal at Mills and Telegraph roads, when I noticed a middle-aged gentleman tip out of his motorized wheel chair into the street, while trying to cross. He was unable to get back up.

To my amazement, within seconds, three good Samaritans came out of nowhere to help - one man, who had his arm in a sling steadied the chair while the other two gently lifted him back in, stopping traffic so he could cross and giving him dignity & safety.

It was truly heart warming, in this day and age, to see this spontaneous act of kindness and restore one's faith in mankind.

It made my day! Kudos and thanks to these three caring strangers!

~ Nancy Kersnowski,
Ventura

Video games, violent films

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Re April 27 article, "Free speech versus kids and violent video games":

In this morning's Star I read that the Supreme Court will rule on violent games, determining whether by denying children access they will violate their personal rights. I can't see them prohibiting the makers of these games after their ruling this week on allowing the torture of animals to be shown on film because it would take away the viewers rights.

I hope St. Francis of Assisi is beside St. Peter at the entrance to Heaven when these Supreme Court Justices meet their maker. All but one backed Hollywood, where many overpaid, oversexed, overdrugged actors lacking education, talent and morality make these kinds of films for depraved, sick minds to watch. God bless Congressman Gallegly in his attempts to have his bill become law.

~ Lois D. Glab,
Camarillo

Panec offers advantage

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I am voting for Marie Panec because she is the change Congressional District 24 needs. She has the unique perspective, knowledge and understanding that will give our district the advantage in the global economy that requires our best. She will bring from District 24 solutions for the economy, for education, for our security, for the environment, and the perspective of a scientist with skills that have prepared her to be an effective legislator. I am voting for her to be the Democratic candidate in the June 8 Primary.

~ Marjorie Lee Riggan,
Thousand Oaks

GOP TV ads

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Congratulations to the Republican Party. Your incessant and repetitive television ad campaign touting the negative qualities of both of your gubernatorial candidates has been successful. Now that I can't vote for either, I'll have to look elsewhere for a worthier politician. Perhaps there is yet a candidate who has not overpowered us with TV time ad nauseum, who will not dwell on overstatements of negativity, who actually has a cohesive plan to revitalize our once great state of California, and who is pleasant to hear about ...every now and then. This is something to look forward to.

~ Jim Baird,
Thousand Oaks

Campaign laws

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It is quite clear that most members of the United States House and Senate are doing the bidding of those funding their campaigns to the detriment of the citizens of the United States. American voters strongly suspect this, and that is why the Pew Center reports that the electorate's opinion of the U.S. Congress is at an all-time low. President Obama and the Congress should correct this situation by pushing for effective campaign finance laws that sever the ties between narrow big-money interests and the U.S. Congress. Make no mistake, today's campaign finance laws allow legalized bribery of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate. If this continues unabated, Congress will lose its legitimacy in the eyes of the American electorate.

~ Jim Sullivan,
Ventura

Arizona's immigration law

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If Arizona were really interested in immigration reform, they would arrest the people who hire illegal aliens. If desperate people know that jobs are available, they will get there any way they can. The people luring these workers here depend on this slave labor, and we are all spoiled by lower prices. Yet again the victim pays the price.

~ Mary Anne Powers,
Ventura

A poor example

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Re: April 26 article, "Rio superintendent guilty of shoplifting":

I am shocked that Ms. Cotterell is continuing in her job as Rio School Superintendent, despite her conviction of shoplifting, with wire cutters, no less.

What kind of example does this set for students who also have anxiety and depression? I was diagnosed with the same thing a few years ago. However, I didn't shoplift. I worked with my psychiatrist and took a leave of absence from my job to better focus on getting well. I also had a high stress job and was recovering from three spinal operations within six years, living with continuous pain. I, too, had a traumatic event in childhood. None of that excuses her actions.

Even if the law is taking all this into consideration, if she cared about her students, she'd take a leave of absence or resign to get the help she needs. That would send a much better message to students. In their eyes, they see their superintendent shoplifting and getting away with it, with basically no consequences. We wonder why so many young people turn to crime.

~ Leslie Soyster,
Camarillo

Petty theft

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Re: April 26 article, "Rio superintendent guilty of shoplifting":

A school official or anyone else for that matter, who enters a store with the intent to commit a theft of any magnitude, has committed a burglary (Section 459 of the California Penal Code). Most shoplifting incidents probably can be classified as commercial burglaries, but the sheer volume of such crimes yielding arrests has forced prosecutors to reduce them to petty thefts. These crimes have evolved from felonies to misdemeanors and now, most are infractions. In many cases, where the person involved used some sophistication in obtaining the property, the likelihood is great that other similar crimes were committed before capture.

~ Jeff Malgren,
Camarillo

Resignation needed

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Re: April 26 article, "Rio superintendent guilty of shoplifting":

If the Rio School District Board Trustees do not demand Superintendent Sherianne Cotterell's resignation immediately, she needs to be fired, and they need to be fired if they do not carry out their own jobs properly!

Their "Policies & Procedures" handbook must cover these sorts of situations. Employees (of which Cotterell is one) need to be held accountable. Otherwise, it's dereliction of duty on the part of the trustees. Trustees have a fiduciary and a public trust to observe, to hold themselves and all employees accountable for their actions, particularly in the case of the safety of children, and public funds (read salaries).

So far, the trustees appear to not even be up to their own job descriptions. There should be no "settlement" to get her to go immediately. Let's see what the next few days bring. We will be paying very close attention, watching and waiting for the Rio School Board Trustees to act responsibly on behalf of El Rio parents and children, their bosses. Let's not forget who works for whom.

~Theadora Davitt-Cornyn.
Oxnard

Simple solution

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

First let me say that the editorial on April 27 was more a case for keeping the Arizona law in place than a case against.

The solution is simple, yet it has no political or pro-business slant so it will most likely never be done.

First, we have to seal the border with a fence and military surveillance. No holes anywhere.

Second, at every city along the border, we need to have entrance points that take people and perform blood tests, take pictures, fingerprints and give them a form of ID that cannot be forged. They pay a fee and they're in.

Third, there are no limits or quotas. Anyone who is willing to enter and go through this process is welcome here.

Fourth, the ones already here pay a large fine and comply or get deported.

Politicians won't like it because it's too simple and doesn't involve them policing us. Businesses won't like it because it will require that they hire people with a tamper proof ID and pay them the going wages. The illegal's won't like it because they will have to comply and pay money to get here. Al Sharpton and his buddies won't like it because it will take all the hot air out of their cases for civil rights abuses. So you see, this simple, just and fair solution will never see the light because it makes too much sense, and it's too easy. We just need to behave like every other civilized country in the world and make sure we know who's here. Almost too simple isn't it?

~David Eckerson,
Ventura

Misguided editorial

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Re: April 27 editorial, "Arizona takes the wrong path":

Your editorial about Arizona's immigration law was misguided and misinformative.

First, Gov. Jan Brewer has written the White House on seven occassions, stating the federal government's obligation under Article 4, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution. Brewer has received no answer from the White House.

Second, the Arizona law does no more than force state, county and municipal entities to follow the mandates of U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1325.

Third, the penalties imposed in Arizona SB1070, are the exact same as those imposed in U.S. Code, Title 8, Section 1325, which are:
1. Up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 for the first offense.
2. Up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for any subsequent offense, a felony.
3. Up to five years in jail and/or a fine for any illegal alien who starts a business, a felony.

Fourth, all who have applied for immigration status must keep their immigration documentation on their persons subject to presentation to proper authority upon request.
The same is true for any alien in the U.S. on a visa or work permit.

Local police in Arizona wholly support the measure by the state government as do over 70 percent of Arizona citizens.

What The Star seems to propose is amnesty for illegal aliens, which would be an ex post facto law, prohibited by Article 1, Section 9, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

It seems that The Star and President Obama are the misguided ones on this issue.

~ Nelson Ward,
Port Hueneme

Applauding Arizona

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Let me see if I've got this straight. There are a few folks who don't think it would be prudent to make it truly illegal to break the law? That it would be ill-advised to enforce existing immigration laws? Arizona is simply making it possible to identify an illegal law-breaker (after he/she has been spotted breaking another law - the new law (which California should immediately pass, too. Are you listening, Sacramento?) that specifically states that a person may not be stopped just because of profiling. What guts, Arizona. We applaud you in doing what the federal government just does not have the nerve to do - secure our borders. God Bless the USA!

~ Burt Smith,
Camarillo

Helping hands

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There are lots of good people in Simi Valley, and I had the opportunity of meeting several of them on Friday, April 23. I was standing in line at the Simi Valley Post Off ice on Galena, waiting to get my passport renewed, when I suddenly fainted. The man behind me in line caught me so that I didn't hurt myself when I went down. His wife called my minister for me. Another woman called 911.

The paramedics, one of whom was a student, arrived quickly and all behaved in a professional, yet compassionate manner. They took my blood pressure, then moved me to the ambulance where I could have privacy as they tested my blood sugar and gave me an EKG. They strongly recommended that I go to Emergency, although they left the choice up to me. I followed their advice, and they got me there quickly and efficiently, putting a shunt in my arm and injecting a small amount of saline solution on the way. I was given prompt attention and numerous tests at the hospital, in spite of the fact that they were very busy. No serious problem was found.

Unfortunately, I was not in a state of mind to get or remember the names of anyone who helped me. I want to thank the man who made sure I didn't injure myself when I passed out, the woman who called my pastor, the woman who called 911 and all the professionals who helped me. I have made a full recovery and feel very grateful that so many kind people were willing to go out of their way to help me.

~ Joy Gaylord,
Simi Valley

Crush videos

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I want to thank Rep. Elton Gallegly for all of his work in writing the legislation outlawing crush videos. Unfortunately, the law was recently deemed unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court. Hopefully, his swift action in re-writing this proposal will have more success.

I am a Democrat and disagree with the congressman on most issues, but this is something that transcends politics. Animals can never have enough advocates, and I thank him for being one of them.

~ Karen Murphy,
Oxnard

Back a leader

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We have a choice between a leader for the District 2 Board of Supervisors - or a follower.

Linda Parks is a strong leader for public safety and has the endorsement of Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs and firefighters. Linda is a proven fiscal conservative who has balanced the county's budget while cutting spending and reforming pensions. Linda is a champion for our quality of life, protecting vital services for children and seniors. Linda also led the fight to preserve thousands of acres as natural open space at Ahmanson Ranch, keeping the sprawl and crime of the San Fernando Valley at bay.

I choose to re-elect Linda Parks for Ventura County Supervisor because she is a leader who represents our values.

In contrast, Linda's opponent is a follower of special interests that have nothing to do with our county. Why on God's green Earth is the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians giving Audra Strickland thousands of dollars to run for supervisor, tax collector and secretary of state? Audra has been chasing after some sort of public office since she was termed out of the Assembly. She has been criticized for using campaign contributions for personal income; she was fined earlier this year for not reporting gifts from the Band of Luiseño Mission Indians; and currently Audra is being investigated for violating Ventura County's campaign laws. Voters can see Audra's multiple campaign committees and FPPC fines by visiting gttp://www.sos.ca.gov and reading the official documents to decide for themselves.

~ Nora Aidukas,
Thousand Oaks

Events misrepresented

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Re: your April 17 article, "Led LAPD in tumultuous times":

The description of Rodney King's arrest was extremely misleading. It said: "King was pulled over for speeding. He suffered 56 baton blows, kicks and repeated shocks from a taser." It left out that King refused orders to get out of the car; he was stoned on speed and just laughed at the police. When they finally did get him out, he refused to comply with instructions, and when they attempted to handcuff him, he bodily threw them all over. That's when the officers started using batons and tasers.

No doubt, there were racists in the LAPD at the time, but if a person acted the way King did that night, their race wouldn't have mattered. They would have gotten the same treatment.

-- Bill Brannan,
Ojai


Strickland's business sense

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I am admiring some of the changes I see in The Star Editorial section. I want to see changes also in the choice of the Board of Supervisors to prioritize the business of my county as it remain focused on new restrictions and growing government. Today, it's about Ventura County losing hundreds of private-sector jobs as businesses shut down and leave under the weight of oppressive regulation. The fruit of this Board of Supervisors has become more government jobs and fees and ramped up regulation. While these are the goals of Supervisor Linda Parks, her small band of supporters believe she will advance their myopic special interest.

While Parks has worked against our farmers and enterprise, Audra Strickland has a track record of working with businesses to keep jobs; and she pledged to hold the line on taxes. I verified her record on this. It looks to me that Audra Strickland will help us get going again and will conserve our resources as the County Supervisor from District 2. I like the way she connects with people and stays consistent in fighting the issues of radical "special interests."

Alex Palmer,
Ventura

Tea Party's puppet strings

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Re: Terry Paulson's April 26 column, "A message behind the rallies":

Terry Paulson continues to claim that those hundreds of thousands of so-called citizens aka Tea Party members that took to the streets on tax day were doing the right thing. Seeing them and listening to their ludicrous ranting made little, if any, sense until I realized they were no more then puppets and that their strings were being pulled by Dick Army and the other right-wing lobbyists that have been bought and paid for by the super-rich CEO's, etc.

Mr. Paulson claims that 47 percent of the poorest people here in American don't pay any income tax and that could be because they could have lost their jobs, homes and savings, which was brought about by the eight years of George W. Bush and the rubber-stamping Republicans in Washington. Mr. Paulson also leaves out that less than the top 3 percent to 5 percent of the richest Americans have 95 percent of all the wealth, and that amount tripled during those eight years under George W. Bush. During that same time, middle-class Americans' wealth was stagnant or went down.

Mr. Paulson wants even lower taxes and less government regulation so those billionaires can even have more of the pie and hire more lobbyists to keep pulling all those Tea Party strings.Here are a couple of quotes from President Harry Truman from more than 50 years ago: "The income tax is the fairest there is because it makes those most able to afford to pay taxes pay them."; " The danger to democracy comes not from the masses but from the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few- and the income tax is the best remedy for that."

We all as Americans have to insist that all our elected officials work for all of us and not for only those super rich that believe that they are entitled to all the greed they want and turn the rest of us to modern-day "serfs and slaves".

~ John L. Thawley,
Santa Paula

A bit of irony

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Re: Terry Paulson's April 26 column, "A message behind the rallies":

Is it just me?

Terry Paulson's habitual recitation of Republican talking points are indeed tedious, but isn't it the pinnacle of irony (or is it hypocrisy?) that this purveyor of gloom and doom, this painter of an apocalyptic and hopeless picture of post Obama America, is the author of "The Optimism Advantage"?

~ Gary E. Murphy,
Simi Valley

Tea Party a fraud

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Re: Terry Paulson's April 26 column, "A message behind the rallies":

Paulson suffers from amnesia and doesn't understand money.

Despite the rhetoric, President George W. Bush increased the size of government. He assumed national debt of $5.7 trillion. He added $5 trillion, almost doubling it in eight years. His wars will add a yet further $2 trillion. The fiscal impact of the 2008 Bush/Paulson/Bernanke bailouts is estimated at $4 trillion, at least. That's $11 trillion of red ink, at minimum. That's big - really, really big - money. After inflation, it's double the cost of World War II.

Pray tell, where was Paulson, his "responsible citizens" and his beloved Tea Party during this stupendous fiscal irresponsibility?

Pray tell, who will pay back this staggering debt? Elves in the night, or taxpayers by day?

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the deficits that President Obama will be forced to incur result directly from the mess that Bush created. The economy had a near-fatal heart attack and needed a stimulus to resuscitate it - remember?

Republicans demanded tax cuts and got them - remember? Paulson now complains about this. Go figure.

Taxes are the lowest in 60 years, according to William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution. He stated, "The rise of the Tea Party at a time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand."

Sadly, it's not. Tea Party politics are based on fantasies, bereft of integrity, actuated by malice and dressed up shamelessly with a fig leaf of patriotism. The Tea Party is a fraud.


~ Raymond Freeman,
Thousand Oaks

More than semantics

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This is a difficult letter to write because it addresses the over-exaggerated emotions of many of your readers and human beings, in general. It refers to the excessive adulation given certain members of society, adulation that goes beyond the norm.

For example: The Star article, "Officer to be honored at memorial ceremony" April 25, 2010, is one of those exaggerations. It reminds me of the cops and robbers games of my childhood in which some of us tried to portray James Cagney in his gangster movies. We, kids, were so taken in by the drama of crime and the shootouts criminals and police officers engaged in. Then, there was the depiction of FBI stories in "The Untouchables" series.

We have always glorified police and, sometimes, their nemeses, the gangsters. This custom resulted in a child-like fascination with police work that is more often than not, extremely exaggerated and romanticized when, in fact, there are many occupations and acts of men and women that deserved much more attention, but don't get it.

I've known firemen and police officers. Although the two careers are regularly compared as equals, they are very different in personalities. My nephew, who is a firefighter captain, told me once, "We firefighters have the same objectives as police officers." I thought, the difference is that police officers shoot and kill people while firefighters risk their lives in pursuit of saving people. That major difference is borne out in the personalities of the respective careers.

The exaggeration is identified in another area. Farm laborers die more often than police officers as a result of their jobs, yet, farm workers are totally ignored for their sacrifices.

Miguel Espinosa, Jr.
Oxnard

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Gorell's got what it takes

Jeff Gorell is running for State Assembly, and with his experience, vision and character he will be a great California legislator representing this community.

With our economy faltering and state's fiscal house in disrepair, there has never been a more important time to send strong, reform-minded leadership to Sacramento.

Jeff Gorell has been tested, and he is a leader. He is a Naval officer and decorated veteran of the War in Afghanistan. Jeff is a local small business owner and has always been involved in our community. He is also an adjunct professor of public policy at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, where he educates the political and government leaders of the next generation.

But Jeff isn't just talking about reform. He has proposed a comprehensive and thoughtful "Action Plan for Jobs" to protect local businesses, reduce excessive government regulations and bring quality jobs to our county. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Jeff Gorell, was a tough-as-nails criminal prosecutor. He will continue to place the safety of your family as the highest priority in Sacramento.

Of all the things that can be mentioned of this candidate, the most important is that Jeff Gorell has unwavering integrity. We know that, when elected, Jeff will make his decisions based upon what he truly believes to be the best interest of this community and the State of California, not because of polls or special interests. We know this because we know Jeff and have watched him conduct himself with honor in the courtroom, with integrity in the business community and with patriotism in uniform.

We are all very blessed to call Ventura County home. Jeff and his family share our values and will fight to help keep this community safe while protecting the quality of life we enjoy.

Please join us in supporting Jeff Gorell for State Assembly. http://www.jeffgorell.org.

~ Gregory Totten,
Michael D. Bradbury
and Bob Brooks

(About the authors: Gregory D. Totten is Ventura County District Attorney; Michael D. Bradbury is former Ventura County District Attorney; and Bob Brooks is Ventura County Sheriff.

Regarding amnesty

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I am wondering about the legal aspect of the ACLU helping illegals get amnesty from the U.S. It seems like a double standard, where if I helped 100 illegal immigrants cross the border and was caught, I would probably get jail time. However, if I say those 100 illegal immigrants are attorneys, they can cross without punishment.


Do we not have quotas on how many immigrants are allowed into this country, so there is no possibility of one group of immigrants changing the way our government
operates?

Everybody with knowledge of the law keeps screaming bias on the treatment of illegal immigrants from south of the border. Is it not bias to allow them to speak their language instead of EngIsh? It is not bias to require them to speak English. We require English only when here. What makes this country so great is that we speak one language (even though we are a country of several natonalities) and learn from each other.

~ Russell E. Spencer Sr.,
Simi Valley


Arizona has a point

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I am a first generation American, the son of legal immigrants. Many Americans like me are fed up with characterization of illegal aliens as undocumented workers or other innocuous titles. The overwhelming percentage of illegal aliens in this country are Hispanic and cross into the U.S. by the southern border. Some are criminals and some are not. (We should not ignore the threat from Islamic terrorists in the process of getting control of this situation.)

We need to focus our limited resources to ferret out Hispanic illegals as well as Muslim extremists. In the abdication of responsibility by the federal government, the Arizona law makes sense. As a start, we should test the citizenship of all lawbreakers, regardless of their ethnicity. Racial profiling is argued by extremists who support the status quo. Racial profiling is not the boogey man. A National ID Card, with photo, fingerprint and DNA information is long overdue.

There appear to be many young Hispanic-Americans protesting in the streets of Arizona. Could they possibly be the sons and daughters of illegals who have claimed the right of citizenship by birth? I understand that enforcement of the laws and deportation of illegals may result in families being broken up, but those of us who are citizens did not create the problem. It sounds harsh, I know, but I am sympathetic, not empathetic.

California, New Mexico and Texas need to man up and do the same as Arizona. We can't afford otherwise.

~ Bill Gourlay,
Westlake Village

Henke-Dobroth for judge

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I have known and worked with Lela Henke-Dobroth in excess of 20 years as a police officer and investigator with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office. Lela was the "voice" for the victims and citizens of Ventura County. Her experience, diligence and resourcefulness were some of her strengths as a career prosecutor. She was ever so vigilant in defending the rights of victims and was tenacious in her prosecution of criminals.

Lela's moral compass and level of integrity is second to none. She has the ability to listen, show compassion, be open minded and, above all, fair in dealing with people. Because of these attributes, I know that Lela would make an outstanding Ventura County Superior Court Judge.

The positive campaign being run by the Henke-Dobroth team and her supporters has been a breath of fresh air.

Please join me in voting for Lela Henke-Dobroth for Superior Court Judge on June 8.

~ Mark Coronado,
Ventura

Strickland supports our priorities

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We must be aware of not only what a candidate says, but what they have stood for. How have they voted on important issues, and will they support the principles that are important to each of us in this time of economic uncertainty.

Time and again Linda Parks has voted against our values, voted to increase taxes and supported her liberal friends. Her endorsement of Hannah-Beth "taxin" Jackson is a clear example of her true priorities and liberal agenda. We have a great opportunity to elect a supervisor with a strong record; fighting government waste, protecting taxpayers and supporting our priorities.

There is only one candidate for supervisor in District 2 that would truly represent us and vote the way we want her to vote. That person is Audra Strickland. If you are tired of the wasteful spending and the big government approach, join me and the majority of Ventura County and support Audra Strickland.

~ Don Yates,
Newbury Park

Lead by example

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Re: Terry Paulson's April 26 column, "A message behind the rallies":

Paulson writes the most insightful column. I'm so glad that The Star allows him to air the "other side," even though its only twice a month. Paulson is so right on when he talks about responsible, hard-working Americans trying to right their own ships in these difficult times, being tired of paying taxes to help the 47 percent who don't. What is going on in this country, stemming from the president and Congress on down is really very scary. This country needs the Tea Party movement and everyone to step up to the plate in November to rally 'round the flag and keep the ship from going down by voting out incumbents who have ceased to care about their constituents.

I notice that school boards and local agencies in all of our cities, including the Sheriff's Department and so many others cut their budget. I notice that teachers, especially, in many districts are taking a 10 percent pay cut, and scheduled to take a bigger cut next year. I haven't noticed any senators, congressmen, or other Washington officials or their offices or agencies, taking any kind of a cut.

If the governing bodies in Washington, D.C., from the presidential office on down want the American people to pay more taxes, take pay cuts and tighten their belts, then they should be the first in line to take this tack.

~ Alene L. Brown,
Ventura

Dantona not qualified

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If we have learned anything, we have learned elections matter. Government is out of control on every level, and they just don't care. So why would we consider electing James Dantona as clerk-recorder of our county?

First, it's bankruptcy, two of them so far with Mr. Dantona having filed Chapter 7 in 1992 and again in 1999. This is the man who asks us to believe he can improve the clerk-recorder's office? In his own words provide, "leadership and strict fiscal accountability to halt the waste of taxpayer dollars." By their fruits you shall know them, and this guy's fruits have long since soured.

Dantona is a lobbyist, and has garnered a good living but apparently hasn't socked it away for that rainy day. He occasionally forgets to file his activities with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, but, we all forget to file every now and then.

Talk about looking for a government paycheck. In the 4th Supervisory District race, Mr. Foy narrowly defeated the lobbyist's bid for office. Mr. Dantona then attempted to win Tom McClintock's seat in our state's Senate. That one wasn't even a nail-biter. Dantona stepped aside for Hanna-Beth Jackson like any good, "team player." Now, he's running for clerk-recorder, a job, as we can see from his past record, he's eminently qualified to hold.

Why would we want to put in office someone who can't keep his own affairs in order? I will never vote for James Dantona. Mark Lunn, here's to your victory.

~ Debra Tash,
Somis

Immigration reform

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When dicussing immigration reform there is a lot of dancing, but nothing on how to address the problem. If you have ants that are attracted by sugar cubes the answer is simple, take away the cubes. Jobs are the attraction for illegal immigration.

The answer is a counterfeit-proof Social Security card. When a person applies for employment, the card has to be presented. The prospective employer, by law, should be compelled to verify it's validity. This can be done by a card swipe, telephone or by computer to a database in Washingon, D.C. If the card is rejected, the employer notifies the prospective employee who has a certain time period to contest the rejection. The applicant should be referred to the agency that rejected the card. If they are unable to be employed, there is no incentive to come here illegally.

How about the millions who are already employed, though? All employers should be given a year to verify their cards. If the card is a fraud the employee is notified and goes through the same process aforementioned.

What about the millions who are currently here? The Federal Government develops a system that includes a path to citizenship. Those applying are ranked according to criteria set by the government, such as how long they have been here, do they have children who are citizens. no criminal record, etc. Those selected may have to pay a fine or pay back taxes or some other penalty.

We get to decide who gets citizenship and not simply offer blanket amnesty. An employer who employs a person illegally can then be prosecuted for violating the law and not have the excuse of acting in good faith by accepting what appears to be a facsimile of the current card, which can be bought at a swap meet or at a street corner. Now that we have double-digit unemployment there should be no excuse that Americans won't do those jobs. It's time to stop dancing and to offer a real solution.

~ Tony Loniero,
Simi Valley

Mixed messages

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Re: April 17 article, "Politics get in the way of honoring the Boy Scouts" and April 25 article, "Boy Scouts ordered to pay $18.5M in sex abuse case":

Early last week I read that the Democrats in Sacramento voted against a measure that would have commemorated the Boy Scouts' 100th anniversary, while Republicans voted for the measure. The Democrats voted against the measure because the Boy Scouts do not allow openly gay Scout leaders.

Then, I read that a 14-year-old boy sued and won $18 million, in addition to $1.8 million already awarded to him because he was molested by an 18-year-old Scout leader. Because, the court stated, the Boy Scouts didn't apply proper protection to the young man.

Now if you're a progressive, how do you justify this? Have you lost even your already tenuous grip on common sense? Why are you trying to force the Boy Scouts to hire openly gay Scout leaders, by your vote and by denying them access to public buildings and then punishing them through the courts when the inevitable happens? Why don't you mandate that the Girl Scouts hire 18-year-old male leaders to go camping with the Girl Scouts? It's the same situation isn't it? Given the age difference of four to five years between the gay Scout leader and the boy, it's not unusual to have an attraction. But yet Democrats, with your P.C. banner held high, in front of the Boy Scout Pack banner, are marching this country off a cliff.

~David Rosolek,
Ventura

Media bias

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I don't understand why its a hate crime when whites attack other races, but when other races and gangs kill whites its normal?

~ Kevin O'Connor,
Santa barbara

Brooks overstepped

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Re: Kathy Long's April 22 column, "Sheriff needs to stop misuse of resources":

I entirely agree with Supervisor Kathy Long .

Sheriff Brooks claims that Geoff Dean "betrayed his trust" ("Setting the record straight," April 16). Apparently, Brooks believes that people need his approval to run for office. He says: "My only restrictions on my appointed chiefs was that they could not begin a public campaign until I announced my intentions because it would create a conflict of interest for them."

I see no conflict of interest, and I would like to know by what authority did Brooks "forbid his top commanders" from running for his office, preventing voters from having excellent choices?

Secondly, as Long points out, Brooks continues to misuse public resources. Why did Brooks have a "confidential" file, a database of contributors or donors on an official computer that belongs to the office of the sheriff, not to Brooks? Such a file would be useful while Brooks was a candidate running for office, but what use would it be in his official capacity?

It appears Dean was improperly fired for "insubordination" for previously running against Brooks' wishes, as evidenced by his interest in a file that was not supposed to be on a government computer in the first place.

I believe Geoff Dean is an honest person who deserves your vote for Sheriff on June 8.

~Bruce K. Bell,
Moorpark


Junk mail

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I get more junk material in the mail from people named Strickland that any of the other political candidates. It shows you what money can buy!

~ Gwenlyn Norton
Oak View

Political humor

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Re: Bill O'Reilly's April 24 column, "Stewart really does like Fox News":

We watch Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly, Stephen Colbert and Glenn Beck. We think they're all a bunch of clowns. We vote for Glenn Beck as the funniest comedian on the television.

~ Pat & Cat Patterson,
Ventura

Jordan provides sincerity

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Susan Jordan receives my endorsement for the 35th Assembly seat because I believe she can put results behind her work.

I met Jordan when she led the coalition to fight the Liquefied Natural Gas line through Oxnard. The collection of different organizations and community members had an almost impossible fight. President Bush and Gov. Schwarzenegger had signed off on the LNG line and international money promoted the project. Jordan stood up and protected the families of Ventura County from the high-pressure gas line that would have passed in front of homes, hospitals and schools.

Jordan has been an advocate for the education of our children. I have had many conversations with Jordan about how to better support our children, teachers and schools.

Last summer, I and other educators wanted to send a message to the governor that cutting education funds and reducing school days is nothing short of unpatriotic. We decided to fast for seven days, collect signatures and deliver the message and signatures to the governor's office.

Both Jordan and her competitor for the Assembly seat supported our efforts. Jordan called me several times before and during the fast to make sure I took the possible health issues seriously. Her Democratic competitor showed up three times with a photographer and campaign contribution envelopes. Jordan came with many supporters to sign the petition, and Das Williams stepped into the photo on the last day to celebrate that he had fasted on his own while traveling up and down the state seeking his own campaign contributions.

We gathered more than 2,000 signatures. We completed the fast (and I lost 12 pounds in one week), we spread our message, and with the help from Jordan's husband, Assemblyman Pedro Nava, we delivered our message and the signatures to Gov. Schwarzenegger's office. Jordan was a supporter who elected not to turn our serious cause into a campaign event.

I support Jordan because she has the sincerity, ability and experience to better our community. I am confident that our schools, environment and fiscal management will better with Jordan as our next 35th Assemblywoman in Sacramento.

~ Denis O'Leary,
Oxnard

(The author of this letter serves as an Oxnard School District Trustee - Editor)

Arizona not our enemy

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The outrage of Arizona's new immigration law is widespread.

On Friday, President Barack Obama called the Arizona bill "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat who this week called on businesses and groups looking for convention and meeting locations to boycott Arizona.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund said it plans a legal challenge to the law, which it said "launches Arizona into a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions."

On Thursday, Mexico's Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging Brewer to veto the law.

The most important part is missing, however. Not one of the attacking individuals or groups against this law has offered a solution to the problem. Arizona has for decades been the gateway to illegal immigration and has reached the point that enough is enough. It is always easy to attack, but to really be heard if you are against this law, provide a solution to the problem..

Part of being a sovereign nation is having secure borders and immigration policies in place. We seem to be attacking Arizona for attempting to stem the tidal wave of illegal immigration. Arizona is not the problem. Illegal immigration is the problem.

Last, I am always puzzled by the statement that we are ripping apart families with our immigration policies. Why can't families be reunited in Mexico? Why can they only be reunited in the U.S.?

~ William F. Klepper,
Simi Valley

Devil in the details

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We have relatives who live in Tucson and love them very much, but if they want to see us, they will have to come to California. We will not spend one penny in a state that actually puts laws on their books that racially profiles people and acts like Nazi Germany.

Talk about a slippery slope. What will this do to the soul of the police officers who are now going to be forced to entrap their own people? Where are they going to house the people that they arrest? What resources do they have for conducting all the background checks on these people, or is that not going to be done? What happens to the children of people who are picked up and imprisoned or deported? How will they know where to deport them? A Guatemalan or Ecuadorian doesn't come from Mexico.

How will the police have time to handle all the other law enforcement issues on any given day, since apparently the problem with illegals is so great they needed this law to redirect the police to this issue? How will the police tell the difference between an illegal immigrant and a legal immigrant? Some Republican representative in Illinois said you can tell by their shoes or their hair. Are the police going to go door to door to all the businesses and search their premises for illegals? Are they going to arrest the business owner if an employee can't produce his papers? And what papers are being required?

~ Carolyn Crandall,
Camarillo

A jobs bill, please

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Representative Elton Gallegly is upset that the Supreme Court overturned his law banning crush videos. He should be more upset that this is his most important piece of legislation. Of course, animal cruelty is awful, and selling videos of it is even worse. Ban it in a legal fashion and move on. In his 23 years in Congress, and the 176 bills that he has sponsored in that time, only nine have become law, and the biggest one? This one.

How about a jobs bill? How about the next phase of healthcare reform? Tim Allison is running against Gallegly for his seat and has real leadership ideas about jump-starting the economy, creating jobs here at home and focusing on environmental issues. He understands that we need to get people back to work. Meanwhile, what did Elton get passed into law since last year? A commemoration of Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. It's time to have real laws to solve real problems that affect all of us. It's time to retire Elton Gallegly.

~ Christine Fidler,
Camarillo

The cost of a free market

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Okay, so we now know that Goldman Sachs was touting the AAA rating of the mortgaged-backed securities to one set of investors, at the same time the hedge fund arm of the company was betting that they would fail. Sounds like fraud to me. Then, we have Fox News still beating the "Birther" drum. We have the dead miners who worked for a company that was repeatedly fined for health and safety violations, but since they were actively appealing those rulings, they had no responsibility to fix them. Then, we have the oil and coal companies funding "global warming is a myth" campaigns.

All of this reminds me of the cigarette companies promoting the health benefits of smoking and marketing a toxic product to children with our Kool buddy Joe Camel.

At the same time that our Supreme Court is ruling that corporations should enjoy the free speech rights of "personhood," these same corporations are literally getting away with fraud, theft and murder. The beauty of a Corpocracy (The new catchword for Fascism. Don't believe me? Google it) is that corporations control the media and through sleight of hand and misdirection, they keep us satiated with Brad-Jolina while our congressmen are being bought off at the expense of the American people.

Just for the record, "free markets" aren't free when the deck is stacked. Cigarettes are a perfect example of how government regulation protects us from corporate lies and greed. If we don't fight for unbreakable regulation of industry and the breakup of monopolies now, we may be, thanks to the Supreme Court, one short election cycle away from corporate takeover. Make no mistake. Corporations are not American. They are multinational and they, unlike real persons, have no morality.

So if you're still drinking the Fox News Kool-Aid and touting free markets, all I can say is "smoke if you've got 'em."

~ John Loprieno,
Westlake Village

Budget challenge

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As always during government fiscal crisis, the newspaper headline always blare, "Police, fire and education will be cut." I am sure those headlines are designed to justify raising taxes or increasing fees. My idea, and I challenge the citizens of Ventura County and The Ventura County Star to submit and publish ideas on how the various governments can save money. I know/hope the local politicans read the paper. I know there are a lot of smart people out there who have adapted to the new economic conditons. I know that the Ventura County Star wants to be an active member of the community. Therefore, having people send in ideas and The Star publish them might generate savings.

~ Ralph J. Coolman,
Ventura

A satirist's feast

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Re: Bill O'Reilly's April 24 column, "Stewart really does like Fox News":

In today's Opinion page of the Star, Bill O'Reilly has trouble attacking his "friend" Jon Stewart. He goes so far as to write that "Stewart really does like Fox News." Nothing could be further from the truth. He goes on to ask the question, "Why are there not any conservative comedians with TV shows?"

The answer is simple. Aside from Dennis Miller, who used to be funny, the average plight of today's working men and women, whose daily lives are constantly in danger of losing their jobs or being asked to give up their pensions and lower their salaries, losing their homes, not being able to send their kids to college, not being able to pay their medical bills, etc., is not considered by most comedians as 'funny' material.

Now, on the other side, satirists like Stewart and those that make their living at telling jokes and satirizing daily life, have an endless supply of material handed to them on a platter by Fox News and the likes of O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck and a host of other right wing conservatives, who generously feed them untruths and misinformation every waking moment. I venture to say that this is considered by most comedians as a feast.

~ Steve Binder,
Oxnard

Cloak of confidentiality

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Re: Barry Zimmerman's April 23 column, "Confidentiality is the law":

Barry Zimmerman is correct. Like his predecessors, raises and stands behind the cloak of confidentiality, and if memory serves me right, he wants to participate in any investigation of his agency.

Section 5106a of Title 42 USC contains the confidentiality clause. It is meant to protect the child but extends protection to the parents who put them in Child Protective Services' radar and the courtroom. It also contains a clause that starts out well ... you shall not return a child to a murderer ... , but then says "...except on a case by case basis," and leaves that decision to the State (judges). Sprinkled throughout this same law is the term "family preservation." The scales of justice are tilted against a child.

One attorney in this field was quoted as saying, on a KEYT-TV interview regarding why CPS returned a previously injured child from a foster parent to the abuser across the border in Tijuana, and I paraphrase, ...under current law we may not do what is in the best interest of the child but we do the legally correct thing.

Has anyone wondered why if Barry Zimmerman and his predecessors know this, as well as social workers, as well as judges and attorneys, why not a single one of these who are supposed to protect children has said, "Enough, let's change this law?"

There is also a sentence in this law that says The Grand Jury may see the files in a case before it, but, in the case cited above, they said they could not because Social Services put up the cloak of confidentiality. Even after that Grand Jury was advised that the law permitted them to look at the files, they said they would not. Add them to the growing list of people who know about this law but won't lift a finger to change it.

What will you be moved to do?

Leo G. Alvarez,
Oxnard

Republicans had their chance

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Re: Bob Lagomarsino's April 23 letter to the editor, "Republican input":

In his letter to The Star, Mr. Lagomarsino rightfully deplored the absence of Republican content in the healthcare bill. I, too, like many others I'm sure, was very disappinted that this extremely important piece of legislation was not a genuine bi-partisan product. Mr. Lagomarsino iterated a number of valid factors that could have enhanced this bill and made it less costly.

However, I can only offer this reminder and point out that Mr. Lagomarsino's and my former party have had numerous opportunities during the last 60 years to enact exactly the type of healthcare reform that he alludes to. Republicans controlled both the Congress and the presidency a good deal of that time, yet, it pains me to say, never once brought forth meaningful legislation in this regard. While there is plenty of blame to be leveled on both sides, it seems to me that Republicans, especially, with their predisposed and adamant "no" position, have little room to complain or criticize at this point.

~ Allan C. Strayer,
Westlake Village

Health reform's origins

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Re: Bob Lagomarsino's April 23 letter, "Republican input":

Where was Mr. Lagomarsino last year? He writes that the "Democratic leadership crafted the bill in secret" for healthcare reform. In fact, the Democrats wasted the whole summer and fall attempting to woo the congressional Republicans, but the Republicans made it crystal clear that they wanted no part of the process. They gloated that they would create President Obama's "Waterloo." They nearly did. Political spite was uppermost.

The bill finally enacted is most emphatically not "government-run healthcare." It's the same lousy system of private insurance, gobbling up 30 percent of your premiums for overhead, without a public option for meaningful competition, but with a few tinkering changes. It's a rehash of Republican ideas going back to President Nixon, warmed over by the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation, proposed by Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, and actually enacted - if you please - by Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, a Republican.

But I compliment Mr. Lagomarsino for getting one thing straight. He brilliantly demonstrated why Americans despise Congress, and why 67 percemt despise Congressional Republicans.

~ Raymond Freeman,
Thousand Oaks

`Blind ambition'

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Re: April 22 article, "Sheriff's opinion e-mails criticized" and Kathy Long's April 22 column, "Sheriff needs to stop misuse of resources":

I have attended two forums with the candidates for county sheriff. Both seem to agree on most major issues and the differences seem to be more on delivery than content. I read yesterday's article and op-ed in The Star. I also took the time to read the attachments mentioned in the page one article.

Dean's own words are the most damaging part of the attachments. In an e-mail to Sheriff Brooks on May 22, 2008, he said, "As I continue to reflect on my actions, I become more embarrassed and disappointed in myself for inquiring about the database. I allowed my 'me against them' perception to cloud my judgment." Three days later, in another e-mail, he said, "Regrettably, my blind ambition clouded my judgment on this occasion."

I do not want my top law enforcement officer to be someone whose judgment will ever be influenced or affected by "blind ambition" or a perceived slight. I am now going to support Dennis Carpenter for sheriff.

~ Dan Roberts,
Ventura

Sheriff's e-mails not an issue

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Re: April 22 article, "Re: April 22 article, "Sheriff's opinion e-mails criticized":

No doubt some will find issues surrounding the Sheriff's use of department e-mail and resources to communicate his opinion about Comdr. Dean's firing and subsequent re-hiring, and to defend his department.

The position of Sheriff is a critical one for all county residents. As a taxpayer, I don't mind what I suspect is minimal time spent on documenting staff behavior so that voters can make an informed decision.

I believe where there's smoke, there's fire.

P.S.: For some reason The Star didn't include the 18 pages of factual information about what has actually been said and written by Mr. Dean. It is available online at The Star and contains dates and quotes from e-mails between Dean and the Sheriff and the Civic Service Commission Hearing's report. Get the facts and then decide, For me it's obvious, Dennis Carpenter is a stellar choice for Sheriff.

~Gail Gower,
Camarillo

GM's not-so-shining hour

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I saw a commercial on TV where the CEO of GM was bragging that GM had repaid the money loaned them by us (the government).

I would like to ask the CEO a couple of questions:

1. Are all the dealerships that were closed going to be reopened and the owners reimbursed? Are all the employees who lost their jobs going to be reimbursed?

2. Are all the preferred stockholders who should have been paid off first and instead put to the back of the line and given 10 cents on the dollar going to be reimbursed?

I would say he has a lot of nerve to be thumping his chest and bragging that all is well, when you look at the trail of victims that were left.

I say No Thanks, I'll stay with Ford.

~ Joann Cordia,
Thousand Oaks

White House madness

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Re: Matt Johnson's April 20 letter to the editor, "Tea Party madness":

Our president Barack Hussein Obama has accomplishedd quite a lot since taking office. He has focused on jobs, and unemployment is skyroceting. He focused on housing, and housing is in a free-fall. He focused on the budget, and we're Trillions more in debt.

Obama runs the federal government. How is that working out?

I challenge anyone to point out one area where it is better. For the first time in our history, we are a nation in decline, and this administration is delighted. America is still America. America is her people. Her people (Tea Party People) are angry.

Mike Kissell,
Westlake Village

Time to listen

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Supervisor Linda Parks is not a politician. She is an elected community representative. If you think this is a purely semantic distinction, you probably haven't lived in the 2nd District very long.

Linda Parks' interest is in serving the residents of the area and helping them get effective representation in the county government and elsewhere. Since taking office, she has formed two new municipal advisory councils in addition to the Oak Park MAC that already existed. The MACs are an official part of county government and allow local communities a voice with the Board of Supervisors in Ventura. They also allow local residents a monthly opportunity to meet Supervisor Parks to discuss community issues with her and among themselves. She willingly gives up her time to be there to listen to these local concerns.

I personally know of dozens of people that Supervisor Parks has helped with issues, such as getting permits at County Planning, getting road safety improvements from Public Works, getting help with the revised floodplain maps at FEMA, dealing with encroachment issues from utility companies. The list goes on and on.

When you mail in your ballot or go to the polls on June 8, consider who will best represent our interests at the county level. Linda Parks has a proven track record of striving to help our communities.

Vote local, vote Linda.

Mark Burley,
Santa Rosa Valley

(Mark Burley is a member of the Santa Rosa Valley Municipal Advisory Council - Editor)

Right to an opinion

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Re: Chandra Peskin's April 23 letter to the editor, "A good start":

Everyone in this great country has a right to express their opinion on just about anything. So Ms. Peskin expressed her opinion that "Tea party activists" are actively working to misinform the "mostly poor, illiterate and prejudiced people against their own interests and the greater good of this beautiful country." Really?

Skepticism I think, more accurately describes the motivation of the Tea party (I am not a member) to question the transformational changes to our country. Since Obama has taken office our national debt has increased $2 trillion, he has essentially nationalized the healthcare and student loan systems and taken majority ownership of the American auto industry (G.M. still owes taxpayers $52 billion in bailout money). Next is amnesty for illegal aliens.

People who opposed these and other policy ideas of the Obama administration have every right to do so, without being labeled as illiterate or prejudiced.

~ David P. Grau,
Ventura

Strickland mailers redux

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I just finished reviewing the latest propaganda brochure sent out by Audra Strickland's group with a return address that reads: An internal member communication of the Ventura County Republican Party. Shame! Shame! Shame on this group for making the election of the nonpartisan position of County Supervisor into a partisan race and then discussing the political issues of Hanna-Beth Jackson.

Who cares?

Then the brochure had the audacity to erroneously accuse Linda of voting:

  • To increase county sales tax, (The vote was not whether or not to increase a sales tax, but whether or not to let the voters vote on a sales tax. It is noteworthy that Supervisor Linda Parks was the only commissioner and the only Supervisor to oppose the Transportation Sales Tax.)
  • Supporting county bus service for Juvenile Justice Center (The mandated service was canceled in mid 2008 as a result of Supervisor Parks speaking out against the high cost. It was then changed to a Dial-A-Ride service. )
  • Supporting diverting tax dollars to build a boating center in the Channel Islands Harbor to teach residents about sailing at an estimated cost to taxpayers of upward of $10 million. (Supervisor Parks did not vote for the boating center, and the funds for the boating center are from the state.)
Supervisor Parks is a "hands-on partner" and has worked nonstop for our community, both in the Thousand Oaks Council and as the Ventura County Supervisor for the 2nd District. She has always watched our back. Thanks to Linda and her passion for open space, we can all enjoy the lovely hills and openness of the Conejo Valley.

~ Clara Deemer,
Newbury Park

Fear of change

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Re: Susan Fink's April 21 letter to the editor, "Tea party revolution":

In my opinion, the single biggest failing of the Tea Party members is that they are so dreadfully misinformed, relying, it seems, almost entirely on Fox News for their information. Fox delights in roiling the waters in any way they can - it boosts ratings - and they do not feel bound in any sense to tell the truth. They are part of an entertainment network and have defended their untruths and slander in the past using their non-news status as a defense.

Taxes are actually lower right now than under Bush; the government is taking over nothing; their "liberties" they scream about are not being abrogated in any fashion. In fact, the current administration is correcting some intrusions into our rights from the Bush years. They're just mad and howling at the moon with an ineffable rage rooted in some sense that "their America," the white-male-dominated America of years gone by, seems to be changing without their consent or control. Hence, they carry guns and utter threats at "them," the "other" folks who seem to be gaining ground. Those great hordes of not-quite-white people were meant to be expendable servants and to stay in their place; they certainly weren't supposed to run the country.

Well, maybe it's time for a time-out for the Tea Party. A time for them to sit down and read that Constitution they love so much. They need to try to understand the peaceful nature of elections and the consequences of an orderly vote that represents the majority of the people and their wants. They should put their guns and inflammatory rhetoric away, establish a platform of ideas and go out and get elected if they want to change the country's direction.

~ Bob Rust,
Camarillo

Where to draw the line?

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The Tea Party movement appears to be picking up steam, no doubt to brew more tea. In front of post offices, the faithful gathered on Tax Day, to protest taxes in general, the recently enacted healthcare reforms, and big government, issues that in their view, are leading the country down the road to socialism.

One of their assumptions is that government can't run Medicare or Social Security, so why give them more power over health care. The alternative: cancel Medicare and Social Security and turn them over to the private sector. Would you want an Enron, General Motors, Countrywide, Lehman Bros. or Goldman Sachs managing your healthcare? Another tenant of the Tea Party movement: why should the government force anyone to buy insurance? Good point, let's take it a step further, why does the government force us to carry auto insurance, that's just another form of socialism.

Let's cut taxes and get government out of our lives. Eliminate all those alphabets, starting with the IRS, then go for the SEC, FDA, FAA, FBI, VA, to mention a few. Who needs them, we can fend for our selves, none of these were ever in the Constitution, the Tea Party's bible. And while we're at it, let's get rid of all local law enforcement. After all, if every citizen packs a gun, there will be no crime, with no crime, no prisons, what a concept.

Since we are shrinking government, let's get out of the United Nations, bring all our troops home and set up a human fence along the border, with an armed soldier every 5 feet. That solves the illegal immigration problem. Let's bring all those aircraft carriers home and convert them to museums, or maybe homeless shelters, anchored off the coast, no more begging on the street.

The real goal of the movement, go to Washington and TP the White House.

~ Robert Dempster,
Santa Rosa Valley

Budget cuts

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Re: April 20 article, "Ventura faces $7 million shortfall":

We can be almost certain that we will be told by city officials still irritated that we didn't give them more money to spend, that we are going to lose some of our fire and police protection, our senior center, some of our planning and permit staff and other "critical" services. We must also prepare ourselves for dirty streets and parks, potholes, you know the routine. Of course, more and more city workers are going to be summarily laid off. Shame on us for turning down our leaders' pleas for more cash to spend.

Stop threatening and start saving.

I'd still like to know if the layoffs include folks who are merely transferred to another job, retired early, temporarily reduced in rank, or were only temporary in the first place. I get around, and I have yet to meet a full-time, long-term, valued city employee who was laid off cold, dumped on the street for no reason other than Ventura has no money to pay him or her.

Fortunately, for all of us, our city leaders, while battling against the same economic downturn we are all facing and with upcoming elections in mind, still conclude most reports by promising that we will still see fire trucks where there are fires, and police where there are crimes, street sweepers and all the other necessary services. Hey, that's all we ask for in the first place. We are all battling the downturn. Things will get better, and then our city can go back to padding everything with extra employees, fancy trips, extra bosses, and the inevitable extra stand-around people we always see at any city-staffed function, whether it is street repair or an entertainment event.

~Ross R. Olney,
Ventura


Equitable comparisons

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Re: April 20 article, "Pay inequities persist despite passage of laws":

The article written in today's paper regarding equity in wages between men and women really does not add up. Nowhere in that article does it compare a man and a woman doing the same job. Don't get me wrong, I have five sisters and two daughters. I am not against a woman making the same as a man for the same job, but this article only makes vague references to job industries. It does not compare the difference between a man and a woman that actually hold the same job at the same company. Lets have Teresa Rochester research that in Ventura and see if we still have such a disparity.

For instance, in the finance, insurance and real estate section. I know many women are in the real estate industry simply as a hobby or to have a second income, while two of the mothers I know raised kids and led their offices in sales and income for years because they were such great sales people. They outsold all their male counterparts.

So instead of giving us vague information, please do some research and print a new article focused on factual information that we can compare.

~ Dave Willard,
Simi Valley

Immigration policy

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Re: Bonnie Erbe's April 22 column, "Reform in a holding pattern":

Arguably the most balanced article I have read to date, and I read a lot of them on the subject of illegal immigration was written by Bonnie Erbe in your April 22 edition. She states "Our immigration policy should take this country's financial and environmental needs into account first and foremost, but currently it does nothing of the kind." I can never get a straight answer from my liberal friends when I ask why we should invite up to 20 million significantly uneducated people to join our great nation, many of whom we will have to take care of, one way or another, for many years to come. Our hospitals, schools, prisons, Social Security and welfare systems cannot bear much more, as they are stretched to the limit now.

It is obvious to me that our state and federal level politicians don't have the courage to do what is right for their constituents. Their only concern, once in office, is getting re-elected. One can come up with all the studies from our mostly socialist higher education professors stating how the illegal immigrants pay their way, but they are hard-pressed to substantiate their studies with factual data.

I'm 68 years old, and for the first time in my life, I fear for the future of our nation. We are being led down a sure-fire path to destitution if we allow the Palosi and Reed team to continue to pander to folks who want a free ride. There is no free lunch. Someone must pay for the lunch and the ride. I guess they believe that's you and me.

~ Joe Richey,
Thousand Oaks

Follow the money

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Some data on The Star's website really made me angry, but then it led to a decision that I needed to make.

In 2008, in Ventura County, 12 people in the Sheriff's Department made more than $200,000. Three rank and file deputies made more in overtime than their regular pay, for total compensation over $200,000. Four sergeants made well over $200,000 due mostly to overtime.

Why so much overtime? My investigation revealed the overtime was due to union rules. I view law enforcement as a para-military organization, and I don't think that unions and para-military organizations are a good combination. Leaders need to be selected by their superiors, not their subordinates.

This helped me decide between the candidates for sheriff. One candidate represents management, and the other is favored by the union. So this decision can be solved, like so many others, by following the money. The big money goes to the workers and the workers' candidate has the biggest war chest.

As for me and my house, we will vote for the candidate endorsed by law enforcement management, Dennis Carpenter.

~ Glen Wilcox,
Oak Park

Leadership needed

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When I think about the upcoming County Board of Supervisor's race, what matters most to me is leadership. We need leadership in these economic times to bring us out of the recession and to focus on policies that will help businesses create good jobs. At the county level, we need a supervisor who will be active in working with constituents and get our local economy back on track. Audra Strickland is that leader, and I encourage people of Thousand Oaks to join me in the support of Audra and do what is best for our community.

~ Christopher Munch,
Thousand Oaks

Bowing to developers

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As a resident of the city of Ventura, I am outraged that my city government is in such a fiscal mess. Everywhere I drive the center mediums are full of weeds, the city wants to cut the services that affect its citizens the most, cut out policemen, lay off firemen and close libraries.

And what is my City Council doing about this mess, they are spending their time and city staff time in discussions with a wealthy landowner to begin the process of annexing his land into the city for future development. Nothing but a city handout to a self-serving land developer.

The owners of the historic Rancho Canada Larga want nothing but to build a home on this pristine land, which Ventura voters have said over and over again, that we don't want our hillsides and open space built on. How clear do we have to make this. Yet while lifesaving firemen are getting the ax, Rancho Canada Larga is getting the city red-carpet treatment reserved for nothing but a land developer.

Whats wrong with our council and city staff, why can't we take care of what we have and stop this nonsense of of always bowing down to land developers?

This does nothing to serve the average Ventura citizen.

~ Jim Hines,
Ventura

Misuse of resources

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Re: Kathy Long's April 22 column, "Sheriff needs to stop misuse of resources":

Kudos to Supervisor Kathy Long for her letter about Sheriff Bob Brooks crossing the line. As a taxpayer I am appalled that $1 million of taxpayers money was even remotely considered to buy out Cmdr. Geoff Dean. This is fiscally irresponsible in these economic times, and a misuse of public funds.

The fact that Cmdr. Dean was not interested in the money, but serving the community is highly commendable. The seemingly personal attacks, and misinformation directed towards Cmdr. Dean from Sheriff Bob Brooks shows his lack of professional integrity at its best. I am grateful to Cmdr. Geoff Dean for giving the people an opportunity to vote for this position after a long succession of anointments.

The unethical use of county resources, along with the idea of a million-dollar buyout, and Sheriff Brooks' denial of such events leads me to question his endorsement of Chief Deputy Dennis Carpenter. If I were Carpenter I would want Sheriff Bob Brooks, far, far away from endorsing me.

~ Monica Teverbaugh,
Somis

The granny factor

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Re: Ralph Mauriello's April 22 letter to the editor, "Health Exemptions":

Mr. Mauriello, its always best to wait until you have the whole story and unfortunely some news reports don't always give the whole story. Yes, Nancy Pelosi is a granny. Right after she said that she introduced her granddaughter and daughter sitting four rows in front of me. I understand there is rumor afloat that the healthcare bill will indeed cover all government employees and Speaker Pelosi is a government employee.
Don't mess with us grannies...we stick together!

Jody Avery-Smith,
Newbury Park

Partisan politics

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Supervisor Long has once again injected herself in something that only can be described as blatant partisan politics. Sometime back she went after Audra Strickland who wanted to run for Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector, and she was successful in derailing that. Now, she has set her sights on the Ventura County Sheriff's race and the promotion of her man Geoff Dean.

We have enough rancor and wheeler-dealers in Washington and Sacramento. It's my opinion that while Supervisor Long can support any candidate she wishes; she should refrain from using her position on the Board of Supervisors to inject herself into the sheriff's campaign.

I can't correct what happened in the past but in the future you can rest assured that as a Camarillo resident I will never vote for Supervisor Long again.

~ Allan R. Prevette,
Camarillo,

Landscaping at The Lakes

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Re: April 22 editorial, "Issue isn't parking":

The consultant who proposed adding additional cars in front of The Lakes to "... break down a psychological barrier created by the expansive grassy area and ponds ..." is in need of some personal psychological help. The attractive landscaping is an asset - not a detriment. Adding a few more cars is not going to bring a flock of people to The Lakes. I suggest that the consultant's $96,500 fee be refused because of failure to submit a acceptable proposal.

~ Ray Linder,
Thousand Oaks

Tea Party beliefs

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Re: Victoria Helton's April 20 letter, "Misinformed activists":

After reading her letter, I still don't know what she thinks the Tea Party members are misinformed about.

She's right about one thing though: Obama might not be supported by the Tea Party members, but they'd really like him a whole lot more "if he made all abortion illegal, gave free guns to every citizen and made it mandatory to teach creationism in public schools." I know I would.

~ Marjorie Olson,
Ventura

Agency ignored complaints

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Re: Barry Zimmerman's April 13 column, "Confidentiality is the law":

One would think the director of Ventura County's Human Services Agency would come up with sounder rationale in defending employee secrecy, after all, he referred to his primary mission "to ensure the healthk, safety and welfare of children." His rationale for accomplishing this missison, apparently, involves not following up on numerous complaints and suspicions of child abuse. What Barry L. Zimmerman's agency and law enforcement did, in this case, was to ignore those complaints and suspicions. If this is the way Zimmerman manages his department, God help the children under his umbrella.

~Miguel Espinosa, Jr.
Oxanard

Amnesty and the Census

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I do not have a position on the amnesty issue, however, if new legislation is passed it is fair to assume there are going to be eligibility and qualification requirements that will have to be met by anyone requesting citizenship. Several have already been discussed regarding paying taxes, a fine and learning English.

A additional requirement that the applicants name be included on the current census as condition of eligibility is not unreasonable and would establish that the applicant was actually in the U.S. prior to the enactment of any legislation. It is a constitutional requirement and as such the law. It requires little or no effort to comply with and it would also have the added benefit of reducing the opportunity for fraud in the application process.

This requirement would be less burdensome on an applicant than the language and monetary requirements being considered. On a local level, it would help California and Ventura County to more accurately account for the immigrant workers who would otherwise fail to register. As I understand it, the more accurate the better, because many state and federal programs are funded in part based on the census count.

~ Dennis L. McNeill,
Thousand Oaks

What Iran policy?

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When Obama ran for president, he promised to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. He said a nuclear Iran would be a game changer and a direct threat to the U.S. and its allies. Today, Obama is not standing up to Iran. What a difference a year makes.

The Obama administration is sending confusing, conflicting and cowardly messages when dealing with Iran and national security. There is no evidence the White House will confront the grave threat of a nuclear Iran. Its policy of "containment," reflects its failure to deal with the problem. According to the NY Times, defense secretary Gates complained in a memorandum to the White House, there is no policy to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Even Congress is worried. It sent letters (360-House, 79-Senate) citing the need for tough sanctions. Instead of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, the president attacks and tells Israel what to do. This is insanity.

The question of the day: Is Obama protecting America? So far, he has cut the defense and missile budgets, abandoned the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, and signed the START Treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear weapons by 30 percent. Problem is, will Russia and our enemies abide by it? These actions are weakening America and making us less safe.

This must stop! Americans must demand their country be protected and elect like-minded
candidates.

~ Diana Thorn,
Carpinteria

Fact or Hollywood revision?

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Fact or Hollywood revision?

Re: April 22 article, "Clerks find transcript from OK Corral inquest"

This article details not only the discovery of the missing papers but a little description of the 1881 gunfight itself. The question of where the original papers have been since photocopied in 1960 is a mystery that is its own story, however, the description of the gunfight is fundamentally biased and reflects Hollywood's typical revisionist account of history.

The AP article states that, "The 1881 gunbattle between the forces of law and a gang of rustlers left three men dead, made folk heroes out of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and inspired ... movies about the untamed Old West." as well as, "... Earp, his two brothers and Holliday, confronted a gang of drunken outlaws ... ." The actual gunfight was the culmination of a series of events beginning the night before by Holliday against Ike Clanton, continues with several threats by Ike and a pistol-whipping by Wyatt Earp of Tom McLaury in the morning and other near confrontations.

When the gunfight occurred, there is dispute today among historians and other interests as to the legality of the Earp March to the OK Corral (actually down Fremont Street) in that the premise was to "disarm the cowboys," who were by some accounts leaving town and therefore legal in carrying weapons. The question of "drunken outlaws" and "gang of rustlers" is highly prejudicial as is the description of "the forces of law"; ie, Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday. Neither Wyatt Earp nor John Henry Holliday were elected to any lawman position in Cochise County or Arizona Territory, however, on the subject day were serving at the pleasure of the appointed Town Chief of Police Virgil Earp. Note that even Virgil was never successfully elected, only appointed when the predecessor left town a few months earlier.

The preliminary hearing by Justice Spicer held later absolved Virgil of criminality in the gunfight but did consider his actions "injudicious." The unfortunate actions of Oct. 26, 1881, in Tombstone were the result of larger social and political events ongoing in Arizona Territory and continued for another six months until the aggressors left the territory under criminal murder warrant.

~Bob Paul,
Newbury Park

Strickland listens

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Audra Strickland is a compassionate leader. She takes the time to meet face to face with constituents and works to make our state a better place. Most politicians won't take the time to host a community forum and invite anyone to come with their questions. Audra has been someone who has always had a listening ear to hear the needs of those she represents and is a dedicated leader. I commend Audra Strickland for her work as my assemblywoman. This is the leadership I want to see representing me on the Board of Supervisors!

Thank you Audra. You have my vote!

~Regina Risolio Chaplain,
Westlake Village

Strickland backs business

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Government doesn't create jobs. Businesses create jobs. We need elected representatives that not only understand this, but have the credentials to back it up. Audra Strickland has a perfect rating from the National Federation of Independent Business for her work in Sacramento. Her voting record of supporting job creation has earned her this rating, and it also has earned her my vote. Ventura County needs common sense, pro-jobs leadership on June 8. That is why I am voting for Audra Strickland.

~ Bob A. Brooks,
Thousand Oaks


Gallegly's party line

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Re: April 20 article, "Supreme Court says Gallegly's animal cruelty law violates First Amendment"

Thank you, Star editors, for reminding your readers that it was our own Elton Gallegly who sponsored this ill-conceived law.

In reading Gallegly's columns in The Star, I am consistently appalled at his failure to grasp the facts of the issues and instead simply regurgitate the Republican Party line from global warming to foreign policy to domestic surveillance to health care to immigration. He is consistently against civil rights and for government intrusion.

The Supreme Court was right to strike down this law. But before that happened, Gallegly's efforts ended up hurting Americans and costing unnecessary thousands of private and government dollars to right the wrong. The problems with this law were obvious from the start. While there's nothing defensible about mutilating pets for thrill, punishing the purveyers rather than the actual killers always seemed misguided. Ignoring established Constitutional protections is inexcusible for an experienced Congressman. Better to pass no law than something ineffective that infringes on our rights.

And now we learn that Gallegly has already drafted a new version. How many lives will be harmed and dollars wasted this time? Do we really need someone that incompetent representing us in Washington?

~ Stuart Bechman,
Simi Valley

What has Strickland done?

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I also recently received my slick "jobs first" mail promotion for Audra Strickland and wanted to share my reaction and some information:

Linda Parks is a registered Republican, an old-school" Republican who leads and votes with intelligence, compassion and impeccable ethics, and not as a lap-dog for the local Republican Party machine (VCRCC).

My biggest questions are, why didn't Ms. Strickland deliver on all the promises she makes in the mailer when she was in power as State Assemblyperson, and how did the State of California get into the mess that it's in during her term if she is such an effective economic problem solver?

Linda Parks has led Ventura County District 2 intelligently and fairly, balancing economic interests and responsible business growth with maintaining a high quality of life in Ventura County. Ms Parks is not personally responsible for the economic malaise that Ms. Strickland promises to single-handedly eliminate.

Please join me and vote local - vote Linda

~ Scott Tesar,
Oak Park

Charter causes division

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Re: Mary Ford's April 17 column, "The culmination of Piru's charter battle":

The Piru Charter petition is not a "gift" as Mary Ford states in her opinion piece. This "gift" represents a theft of Piru's 130-year-old community school by nine nonresident, nonelected teachers.

The residents of Piru have three times told the petitioners in public hearings they do not want the petitioners' charter school and will not attend it. The petitioners who initially told the community that they wrote the charter to bring local control back to the community, now tell the community that they don't need Piru children. The petitioners say they will bring in students from Santa Clarita, Santa Paula, and beyond. Undoubtedly, this will result in the transfer of control to people outside Piru.

Nine teachers should not have the power to usurp the parental rights associated with a neighborhood school. No school belongs to its teachers. The charter law was not written with the intent of giving teachers the legal means to steal a school from the community.

The ethical move for the petitioners to make would be to withdraw their petition and begin again. Do it the right way with participation from all community stakeholders in the exploration phase and later in the writing of the charter document. Or, perhaps even better, give parents a choice other than to put their children on a bus and send them down the highway to other schools. Write a "start-up" charter for the community of Piru. Create competition for students between two schools in this isolated community. Open a new school on another site to compete with Piru Elementary. The result would provide true choice for parents; not just a school with a new name and a repackaging of its current programs.

~ John Schaper,
Simi Valley

A point of law

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RE: April 20 article, "Supreme Court says Gallegly's Animal Cruelty Law Violates First Amendment":

The U.S. Constitution is one of the most basic of documents to read, and most of you reading this right now have no idea what is there. Let me help you out:

Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Supreme Court's decision indicated that Congressman Elton Gallegly's law, although well intended violated the "abridging the freedom of speech" part of the First Amendment. This was not a decision about cruelty to animals; there are already laws that makes cruelty to animals illegal. If our system works as intended, the people who commit these crimes will be severely punished.

I hope the video tape that was found by the District Attorney's office was used to convict those horrible people for their cruelty violation. I abhor animal crush videos and child pornography videos mentioned, but I also want our Constitution upheld. I do hope that law enforcement is able to legally stop this sick practice.

~ DeAnna Brown,
Camarillo

Corporate greed

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Re: Timm Herdt's April 20 column, "The shadow of Meg Whitman's money":

The problem goes well beyond the fortunes of a single billionaire like Meg Whitman. It is a basic problem that arises because of the failure of a corporate-owned media to dissect the one-sided propaganda produced not only by way of political ads but endless punditry.

We hear it constantly from Republicans; an ideological mantra to the effect that government, especially government programs that would place the interests of public health, safety and equality above the profits and power of those who already have too much of both, threatens our liberties. In truth, when you buy into their "starve the beast" propaganda, you opt for the tyranny of private corporations in which the needs of the many gives way to the private greed of the few; in which ordinary citizens are left with no recourse as private corporations scheme for ways to charge us for everything but the air we breathe.

Wealth permits one-sided propaganda -- a claim that government is the problem; that the solution is to cut taxes; cut government spending. Against all evidence to the contrary, Whitman presents this as a means to create jobs. What the ads will not tell you is that Whitman is a former Goldman Sachs insider who left only after being singled out in a Congressional probe; that, during the 2008 campaign, she encouraged John McCain to support the Wall Street bailout; that a good deal of her fortune is in investment funds managed by Goldman Sachs; that Goldman Sachs executives have contributed to her campaign or that Goldman Sachs is heavily invested in our state.

So when you vote, decide whether you want to help pull the plug on what remains of vital public services -- schools, police, fire departments, libraries.

~ Ernest A. Canning,
Thousand Oaks

Contribute your own money, not ours

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Re: Bob Jackson's Arpil 18 letter to the editor, "Protest irony":

I'm one of the "majority of the rest of us" who dutifully and proudly pay the tax dollars for the sidewalks the Tea Party demonstrators used on April 15 at the Ventura County Government Center. I'm also one of many who must publically state our case with our elected officials.

Obviously, the 20 percent who are satisfied with the direction Barack Obama is taking our country do not make up the majority! I don't begrudge anyone's love affair with Obama, but if it involves decision-making by these elected officials who are duly sworn to uphold the constitution but are instead driving our country further into debt, then it's time to stand up and be heard!

I'm a small-business contractor. My company pays all county, state and federal employee taxes; city, county, state and federal business taxes; and last but not least union wages and benefits. My company and I contribute more to the system than it takes.

For all the people and doctors that want more of the government, you should knock yourselves out and volunteer more of your money and your time. Like-minded people would never stand in your way of allowing people such as you to put the rest of us to shame by contributing all your money and all your time and leaving our tax dollars to pay for the services we should expect from our government that follow our Constitution and are so diligently explained in the Bill of Rights, not the liberal/statists bill of rights!


~Andrew F. Castaneda,
Santa Paula

What about Saddam?

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Re: April 21 editorial, "Decapitating al-Qaida in Iraq":

While describing the Bush administration's criteria of success in Iraq, I noticed The Star did not mention the name Saddam Hussein or his removal anywhere in the editorial. How soon we forget the atrocities and regime of terror committed by Saddam and his Baathist Party. Lest we forget, let's review why the world is a far better, safer, and stable place without Saddam:


  • A belligerent tyrant who invaded Kuwait, launched missiles at Israel, and entered into war with neighboring Iran.

  • Committed acts of atrocities, including torture chambers, Kurdish genocide and used chemical warfare on his own citizens.

  • After the 9/11 attack, Saddam became sympathetic to Islamic extremism and its war of terror against the U.S.

  • Non-compliance with U.N .Security Council resolutions.


The removal of this bad character from one of the most volatile regions in the world is clearly a success of the Bush administration. Freedom-loving peoples and human rights advocates around the world owe the Bush administration a debt of gratitude for it's "mission accomplished" in Iraq.

~ Sean Ragan,
Camarillo

Animal cruelty

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Re: April 20 news brief, "Supreme Court strikes down law aimed at animal cruelty videos on free speech grounds":

Just when you think that the laws of United States have sunk to the lowest form of dehumanization, you read another article like this. Isn't it incredible when progressive
liberals and free speech advocates value their deranged and demented rights and their self-proclaimed cold-blooded prerogatives over the basic human rights from God, who is the giver of life and relieves pain and suffering.

We suddenly come to the realization that there is no bottom line to the insane and wicked laws that will be allowed in the United States in their warped attempt to protect everyone's interests no matter how depraved.

Surely God has a special hell set aside for these unfeeling and savage thrill-seeker who receive joy and pleasure in torturing helpless animals and then video taping their horrific screams of anguish to sell around the world for profit. Truly, God must have a special hell set aside for these cruel degenerates and for Supreme Court Justices who defend and permit their mayhem to practice and profit from this radical brutality.

I believe that this special hell is so frightening and terrible that God has not or does not even attempt to describe it in Biblical terms because our minds are too morally weak and feeble to comprehend such an infliction of anguish.

~Robert D. Wilson,
Santa Rosa Valley

The Assembly and Scouts

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Re: April 17 article, "Politics get in the way of of honoring Boy Scouts" and John Kane's April 20 letter, "Scouts deserve recognition":

Mr. Kane is absolutely correct but a bit too kind. The California Assembly proved again its lack of maturity and irresponsible behavior by failing to commend the Boy Scouts of America during the celebration of their centennial year. The bottom line is apparently no male Democrat served in the Boy Scouts and no female Republican served in the Girl Scouts.

Failure to laud possibly the most important organization in the world that leads boys down the right path in life and how to cope with a labyrinth of problems is utterly despicable. This is a group that can't pass a budget and seems to be in training for the U.S. Congress. Their action supports the feelings of the majority of the voters that these politicians, in Sacramento and Washington, should not be returned to office.

~ Bob Harmuth,
Oxnard,

Defense spending

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Re: Lynn Weeks' April 20 Letter to the editor. "Budget cuts":

Lynn Weeks of Ventura wrote that the Department of Defense consumes 53 percent of our budget. Dead wrong. Defending our country consumes only 14 percent of all federal monies spent., even after 9/11.

It seems that the left can't debate the Tea Party folks so they invent facts and demonize and degrade people.

~ Mark Priske
Thousand Oaks

Constitutional violations

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Re: Beverly Silsbee's April 20 letter, "Tea party rhetoric:"

To answer her questions on constitutional violations:


  • Feb. 8, 2009, the White House took direct oversight of the 2010 census in violation of Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3, of the U.S. Constitution, which grants Congress direct authority and oversight of the census.

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 mandates that all doctors surrender patient records to a federal database in violation of the Fourth Amendment. This act also requires all colleges and universities to prohibit any religious group or organization from conducting meetings in "any building or property, purchased, repaired or maintained by money received from this Act" in violation of the First Amendment.

  • The partial takeover of General Motors and Chrysler would take an entire volume to describe.

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is so blatantly unconstitutional that at last count, 20 states have filed suit. Congress has no authority to legislate health care and this act violates the 10th Amendment.

  • Lastly, this federal mandate is unconstitutional as Congress has no authority to demand anyone buy a good or service and to tax anyone that refuses would violate Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3; "No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

Bill of Attainder, according to Black's Law Dictionary:


  1. An act of the legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial.

  2. A punitive tax.



Please stop trying to vilifyTea Party protesters who seem to have knowledge that you do not.


~Nelson Ward,
Port Hueneme

Strickland mailers

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I have received my second "internal communication" from the Ventura County Republican Party on behalf of Audra Strickland and am disgusted by the misrepresentations within it. At least half of the so-called reforms she is claiming credit for are already in existence. There already are programs that have business equipment sales tax exemptions, investment tax credits and research and development tax credits. These are programs that have been around since 1984, when Audra was about 10 years old. You don't have to take my word for it, either, you can go online at http://www.caez.org/ and read about enterprise zones for yourself. What other false claims will they make?

We don't need any more junk mail from this group that has apparently hijacked the local Republican Party and is so cynical that they think Republican voters are ignorant. I have voted Republican longer than Audra has been alive, and I'll vote for Linda Parks for Ventura County Supervisor. Incidentally, she is a Republican too.


~ James Aidukas,
Thousand Oaks

A good fit

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My Mother, Debra Cordes has been an educator for the Oxnard Elementary School District (OSD) for more than 32 years. For the last eight years, my mom has been the principal at Harrington School. Almost two months ago, she was told that after 32 years of service, she was not a good fit and she would be involuntarily reassigned to the classroom next school year.

My sisters and I have shared my Mom with this school district our whole lives. I have seen how much time and energy she invests in her school, with her staff, with her students, but most importantly in her community. She is known to work 10- to 12-hour days and still brings work home. Not only does she work late, but she has accumulated over 190 days of sick leave. She attends almost all the district sponsored student events and is quite the cheerleader at her school's basketball games. Isn't that a good fit?

Her dedication and commitment to the district and more recently to Harrington School, has only empowered the students of our community. Every year, her school improves on the California Standardized Tests. Isn't that a good fit?

Were all the principals evaluated by the same criteria used to reassign my Mom? Was there any criteria? I ask the OSD officials to please tell her what she did wrong, so that my family and I can better understand this situation. With all the inconsistency and troubles in our present day education system, I cannot understand why a school district would want to change something that is working, more specifically, remove a person from their position who is a good fit.

My Mom is what is right for the students of OSD, and has been for the last 32 years.

-Mark Cordes,
Oxnard

Lawbreaker inequities

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Let me get this straight, Oxnard wants to reduce vandalism fines because those getting caught can't afford them! Oxnard has some of the most graffiti-ridden areas in this county! Meanwhile, another article in the same edition shows how traffic fine officials are tacking on "numerous and outrageous" extra charges for everything they can think of that they can't get tax money for!

Have our elected officials lost their minds? If the vandals can't pay, throw them in jail and stop illegal taxing of the public with those so-called "penalty" fees! Lets hope someone with a little litigation cash gets a ticket, and then files a class-action lawsuit on the agency that issues those "penalties fees." There are plenty of people that would support such an action!

~Michael Thames
Ojai

VCMC security

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Re: April 15 article, "Hospital ER hires police officers":

The article expressed more concern over the impact on the police department than the improvements this policy will make to the advancement for a public option at Ventura County Medical Center and its outlook for overall healthcare reform.

Across the nation, more and more incidents of violence have prompted hospitals to have police officers be the first face of help to be seen in emergency waiting areas. Research from the Institute of Medicine detailed trends that have contributed to long emergency room waits including: increased demand, staff shortages and hospital closings. The national average of arrival-to-discharge times for less serious medical cases is seven hours with waits over 10 hours in some urban areas. Increasing demands of emergency rooms for people seeking primary care due to lack of affordable alternatives has contributed to an alarming rise in violent eruptions.

In Ventura, one nurse, Lorraine Sandoval, did something about it. Driven by a rash of escalating threats and near-misses Sandoval, with the help of the California Nurses Association, formed a coalition at VCMC. Together with other ER nurses and physicians they petitioned the hospital administration and Ventura County Board of Supervisors for crises intervention training, metal detectors and to have a sheriff on duty.

Thanks to Sandoval and the ER staffs activism in calling the police and tracking the number of violent incidences, their persistence paid off. Starting May 1, VCMC will have a uniformed police officer stationed in the ER along with a metal detector wand to boost it security. Staff also will be required to attend de-escalation training. Concerns over budget constraints in the Sheriff's Department have some people worried, but to Sandoval, the ER staff, and the 120,000 patients and visitors that VCMC sees yearly, their safety is priceless.

~ Rita Batchley RN,
Ventura County Medical Center
Ventura

Anti-Semitism

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April 11 was designated Holocaust Memorial Day this year, a day to commemorate the deaths of 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were annihilated in Hitler's death camps throughout Europe during World War II. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, at the Holocaust Memorial ceremony at Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles, honored the two dozen survivors in the audience. Mayor Villaraigosa told the survivors, "We Honor you today because those memories of yours will make sure that will never, ever happen again."

It is happening again. How can I forget the swastikas painted on the two temples in Thousand Oaks. The swastikas painted on a Jewish store owner's store at Rancho Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Then there were the swastikas painted on trees by a Scout troop that developed a trail for my handicapped Scout troop at Camarillo State Hospital.

More recently a guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., was shot to death and there was a report of a gunman firing indiscriminately into a Jewish Community Center on the East Coast.

The embers still burn.

~ Samuel M. Roaen,
Newbury Park

Mobile home parks

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Mobile homeowners have been plagued with propositions time and again to the point of being abusive. We have had to work hard to defeat these propositions, and the park owners' representatives finally gave up spending all that money for nothing. Now, they have said they are going directly to the legislative body to lobby for bills that will take away our rent control.

We need the people to know who those legislators are that will go along with the park owners' lobby and defeat them at the polls. We need to have a voice before we all lose our home like they did in Conejo Park. We need to let residents know just what a codominium concept will do to them, such as increase taxes and upkeep of the park. Who will run the park? Hundreds of other questions need to be asked, too.

~ Otis Lee Rogers
Thousand Oaks

Tea Party revolution

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I beg to differ with some recently published opinions of the Tea Party members and what their message is. A bunch of complaining? I think not. What they are doing is staging a peaceful American Revolution against an entitlement mentality gone crazy.

What the Tea Party has recognized, is that our government is trying to permanently enlarge itself and increase citizens' dependence on it. As our founders knew first hand, this will destroy the culture of independence that has enabled Americans over the past two centuries to be the most productive, prosperous and charitably generous nation in the world.

Public policy helps determine the kind of society we are, and the Obama Democrats see a society in which ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, need to have their incomes supplemented, workplaces unionized and their health care guaranteed. For the first time in history, those who pay no taxes at all have reached almost 50 percent of the national population, and what we can't pay gets added onto the debt for our children to pay.

Is this really who America has become? A society in which, if some guy is offered $400 he should just shut up and collect? TheTea Party is trying to wake up a sleeping population to the dangers that come along with such a society before it's too late. They are on the front lines of the battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence.

The Tea Party cannot be bought off by $400 tax credits. They can see where the Obama Democrats are trying to take us, and it is NOT what America's founding fathers risked all for in the cause of independence. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Do not bite at the bait of pleasure til you are certain there is no hook beneath it."

~ Susan Fink,
Simi Valley

Spring cleaning threatens birds

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Sunday was a beautiful spring day. The sun was shining, the flowers were abloom, the birds were singing and the chain saws were growling. WHAT?

Spring weather inspires the gardener in all of us and apparently chopping down trees is considered part of spring gardening. There's only one drawback to this phenomenon.
It's baby bird season.

All birds, from hummingbirds to hawks, are building nests, sitting on eggs or caring for nestlings. Whatever nests and their contents that are lucky enough to survive the chipper or the dumpster, end up being rescued by some caring soul until they find their way to a veterinarian, animal shelter or rehabber.

By that time, the babies are either close to death or their future health and growth severely compromised. This doesn't even address the poor frantic parents, who have watched their offspring being carted off or disposed of.

I do understand that there are trees in need of trimming or clearing, but I am pretty sure that they have been around long enough that waiting until summer, fall or winter to take them down would work just as well as springtime.

If it is absolutely necessary to trim a tree or bush, please check carefully for nests and babies before doing so, and remember a hummingbird's nest is smaller than half an egg.

~ Debra Jacobs,
Simi Valley

A closer look at Obama

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Re: Bob Jackson's April 18 letter to the editor, "Protest irony":

In Sunday's opinions, there was an observation of a child carrying a sign comparing Obama with Hitler, during the Tea Party demonstration. My first thought is that this was a plant.

There is some truth in the comparison of Obama with Hitler. Take a look at Hitler's Plan for the Third Reich and compare it to Obama's plan for Hope & Change.

Hitler: Seize control of the economy. Obama is in the process of seizing control of Banks and using global warming hoax to control energy and industrial production.

Hitler: Convince masses to hate Jews. Obama and the left are convincing the masses to hate Christians.

Hitler: Establish Gestapo who answer only to de Fuhrer. Obama, has Czars that only answer to Obama.

Hitler: Form Hitler youth military. Obama, setting up youth volunteer corps.

The NAZI party also set up national health care. Obama is setting up national health care.

Hitler established gun registration and then seized guns. Both policies supported by Obama.

Hitler: used Brown Shirts to attack political opponents. Obama, uses purple shirts to attack political opponents.

Hitler was not a German, but an Austrian. According to Mrs. Obama, Barrack Obama's home country is Kenya.

Once you look close, Obama is like Hitler.

~ John Henke,
Newbury Park

Clear-thinking candidate

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Last week I heard Marie Panec debate her opponent at a forum for the Democratic Primary 24th Congressional District race.

What a pleasure to find a clear-thinking candidate present an intelligent, reasoned position on issues that directly affect us. Marie's experience as a professor of biology makes her uniquely able to advocate in Washington for environmental and technological innovation. As a result of her dual role as an educator and member of the Oak Park School Board, Marie knows firsthand what our students and teachers need to succeed. She will fight for education.

This is the advocacy we need in Congress! I have personally known Marie for over 20 years. I know we could not have a person representing our Congressional district with more integrity, commitment and courage than Marie Panec.

I urge you to vote for her on June 8.


~ Paula Osterbrink,
Thousand Oaks


Mayoral recall facts

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1. Decision to close Wright Library (a city/county library) due to the current extreme fiscal constraints.

2. A Ventura Citizen Group dissatisfied with present Mayor and Councilman Fulton, over the closing of Wright Library, his voting record and "refusing to work on the behalf of the community's best interest," files to recall him from his position. (side note: one could substitute Fulton for any politician du jour that doesn't serve your best interest.)

3. This Citizen Group must secure 9,500 valid registered voters by June 10, about 8 weeks, to qualify the recall for the Nov. 2 ballot, or have the taxpayers - that's you and me buddy - foot the bill for a special election, to the tune of up to 250,000.

What!? $250,000! How fiscally responsible is this? Who's budget will this come from? Will then a new group of citizens become dissatisfied because another budget was cut? Can we recall the citizens?


~ Sherry Schafer
Ventura

Ventura recall attempt

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I'd like to sign my name to the list to keep the current City Council and Mayor Fulton until the next election, according to the rules I've been taught growing up here in Ventura.

Rule 1. Follow the rules.

Do I always agree with the City Council? No.

Do I get frustrated by their un-professional statements on the dais? Yes.

Maybe it's frustrating because they aren't "Professional" politicians. If they were, then every sweet lyric from their mouths would ring true, and we would always feel placated. I will vote for the unprofessionals.

Rule 2. We don't always get what we want.

If the recall-the-mayor party is about saving libraries, then show me how to help, not who to blame. The mayor has the exact same power as any council member in Ventura, so there should be other names on that recall list, yet I see only one (it takes four votes to do anything in Ventura, including closing libraries). I talked to one of the 20 signers of the recall notice, and he told me that he believed the mayor hated Ventura. I have seen many people run for and be elected to city council, and I feel confident that none of them hated Ventura.

Rule 3. Every two years we can elect the people who care enough about Ventura to run. I believe we change the direction of our city at election time. If we believe the council "hates Ventura" then we can replace them in 2011.

I'd like to suggest a new rule: Let us stop voting "against" and start voting "for" the things we value in this city.

~ Stephen Schafer,
Ventura

Events misrepresented

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Re: April 17 article, "Led LAPD in tumultuous times":

In the recent AP article by John Antczak and Robert Jablon I see some real editing of events. Their complete description of King's arrest was extremely misleading where they said "King was pulled over for speeding. He suffered 56 baton blows, kicks and repeated shocks from a taser." They left out that he refused orders to get out of the car as his two passengers did and that he was stoned on speed and just laughed at the police. When they finally did get him out, he refused to comply with any instructions, and when they attempted to handcuff him, he bodily threw them all over. That's when the officers started using batons to get him to comply and eventually used the taser.

There were no doubt racists in the LAPD, and I'm sure there still are as in any large organization, but it wouldn't matter what race the person was, if they acted like Rodney that night, they would have gotten the same treatment.

~Bill Brannan
Ojai

Mudslinging

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Re: Bob Brooks April 16 column, "Setting the record straight":

Sheriff Brooks's column is disappointing but not unexpected. He has witnessed his handpicked candidate suffer a humiliating lack of endorsements from all the county's top law enforcement officers (except for internal department heads who are obliged to follow his orders), leaders in the community, rank and file deputies, firefighters, elected officials in county government, and former Ventura County Sheriff Larry Carpenter, who is Brooks' former boss, have publicly endorsed Geoff Dean.

Even one of the civil service commissioners, who knows the facts behind Dean's unjustified firing by Brooks, took public issue with comments in a published letter from a department secretary who recently chose to have selective memory on what had transpired over what most people now view as a trivial matter. Certainly it was not an issue or violation that justifies the Sheriff's attempted character assassination of Dean in his letter to The Star.

Sheriff Brooks was obviously compelled to say something as damaging as possible about Comdr. Dean no matter how politically motivated it obviously was.
Our hope is that voters will see this desperate attempt to further politicize the position of Ventura County Sheriff for what it is. This community deserves an upstanding and forthright leader and has that choice on June 8 by joining us, and many citizens, leaders and professional law enforcement officials, in voting for Geoff Dean.

~ Sharon and Michael Broggie,
Thousand Oaks

More on nuclear energy

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Re: Joseph Mangano's April 16 column, "Health threat at Diablo":

It's nuclear reactor regulation review time, which means anti-nuclear power advocates crawl out from under the rocks to spew their pablum in hopes of converting our country from a second-rate energy producer to a third-rate one. I'm a retired engineer with no specific nuclear experience, but France now produces almost 100 percent of its energy grid power from a constellation of about 80 nuclear plants and, in the process, has the cleanest air and lower energy cost of any nation. Any health problems would be evident foremost in France, but none are apparent. Hundreds of nuclear reactors are being built or are on the drawing boards for dozens of countries, but only a handful in the USA. That's outrageous.

Funny how Mangano never mentions the millions of barrels of oil saved by just the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant alone, oil that did not need to be imported from adversarial oil producing countries. Imported oil also helps to derail our economy.

He does mention Chernobyl, the poster child of nuclear ineptness where second-shift, sleep-deprived and politically unconnected nuclear ignorant persons running a risky power grid disconnect test on an obsolete graphite reactor created a disaster of epic proportions. It's like saying we shouldn't fly American built planes because Russian ones crash a lot. That's plain stupid.

He did mention meltdown as a lurking problem., but he failed to mention that only one person was injured in the Three Mile Island accident, and that was attributed to an anxiety attack due to overzealous press coverage.

Yes, solar and wind are needed components of our future power, but are costly, inefficient and unreliable compared to nuclear power plants. New technology can also recycle nuclear waste from smaller nuclear power generators.

~ Tom Reilly,
Thousand Oaks

Prop. 16 misleading

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I have some concerns about Proposition 16 (the taxpayers' right to vote act). First, Pacific Gas and Electric has already spent over 28 million dollars on setting up and advertising for this measure. No huge corporation spends this kind of money without expecting a huge payoff for its efforts. What is it going to get for its money? It will be virtually impossible to implement any green or new technology invented by new companies to Californians.

Second, "the taxpayers' right to vote act" is a total lie. This proposition can pass with as little as 50 percent plus one vote. However, if the voters want the government to go into electricity or use new or green technology, it will require 66.6 percent to approve it. 66.5 percent means the super majority lose! The concept that 50 percent of the voters can require a 2/3 super-duper majority to do anything seems unconstutitonal.

Even if you want the voters to vote on future electrical decisions, it should be by majority rule, not two-thirds. For these reasons, we should vote noon this badly written and totally misleading proposition.

~ Michael Lorraine,
Simi Valley

Stricklands' bankroll

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Registered Republicans in Supervisory District 2 received a fantasy mailer last week from the Ventura County Republican Party promoting Audra Strickland. It was about Strickland being committed to creating and saving jobs and getting the unemployed back to work. Interestingly, there was no mention of any actual accomplishments as state assemblywoman for the past six years. Was that because there is none? The mailer entitled "Jobs First" should have been "Printing Jobs First," considering the endless mailers both Audra and her husband, state Sen. Tony Strickland, send.

Remember the two "franking" mailers that Audra Strickland sent last December when she announced her (later withdrawn) candidacy for county treasurer? She used state funds to advertise herself and also to subtly pressure the Board of Supervisors to reject the proposed treasurer qualifications which she didn't meet. Those wasteful mailers cost thousands of dollars, paid for with our taxes. Was that an example of her so-called fiscal conservatism?

Why has the VCRP oddly injected itself into the nonpartisan race for county supervisor when the only declared candidates are both Republican? Is it because the Stricklands control the VCRP through family, friends and cronies? Did this latest mailer skirt the campaign ethics rules since it was paid for by the VCRP not Strickland?

The VCRP insiders' thuggish actions benefit themselves at the expense of other Republicans. Funny how Strickland denied knowledge of the recent smear "poll" conducted by the VCRP against Supervisor Linda Parks even though Strickland's own mother-in-law and other cronies are members of the VCRP Central Committee. Did Strickland skirt the ethics rules yet again when she subsequently reimbursed the VCRP $25,000 for that very poll?

I say enough of this VCRP and its chairman Mike Osborn. Contributing to them is the same as giving money directly to the Stricklands.

~ John Fonti,
Thousand Oaks

Not-so-true truisms

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Re: John Hanson's April 17 letter to the editor, "Deal with Reality":

John Hanson asserts:

1) 50 percent of health insurance premium dollar is "mandated directly or indirectly" by the government, half of that because Congress will not address tort reform".

Thirty-four of the States currently have malpractice award limits. The only major population states that do not are New York and Pennsylvania. Those that do not cannot because of State Constitutional language. The Feds cannot do anything about that.

In California when a physician/hospital acts negligently, an award of $250,000.00 for your lifelong pain, suffering and inconvenience is maximum recovery. Attorneys fees would be deducted.

There is no reliable study which shows that doctors significantly overtreat or overtest because of concern about malpractice.

Tort reform is a "red herring".

2) "Ten percent of your premium pays for the uninsured, which the government mandates."

There is no federal mandate for insurers to collect and/or pass on 10 percent. (States do require about .01 percent for an "uninsured" fund). Costs for treating the uninsured by hospitals, which receive federal subsidies, may in part be passed indirectly on to state, local and federal programs, not the carriers. This is a problem the current law is attempting to remedy by redistributing costs more evenly over the general population to assure payment to the facilities; by increasing the pool and spreading the premium risk.

3)"Medicare under-reimbursement to doctors" causes another 15 percent increase in your premium."

Insurers have the ability to independently negotiate with pools of doctors and hospitals and set their own rates, regardless of what Medicare pays. If Medicare "under" pays, this is actually a tool the carriers use to negotiate against the doctors, not the other way around.

our healthcare system is steeped in profit, politics and is befuddling to the public. Many rely on (dis)information disseminated by the insurance carriers about "why our policies are so expensive." This morphs into easily regurgitated "truisms" which are anything but.

~ Timothy Ehritt,
Ventura

Shroud of Turin

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Probably one of the most important physical evidence of religion is the ancient Shroud of Turin that is in the Archdiocese Cathedral of Turin, Italy. It is a linen Jewish burial cloth. The cloth contains a negative photographic image of a scourged and crucified man.

It has been studied by scientists, photographers and experts with specialized knowledge who have now explained the details and determined that the Shroud is authentic and dates to the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

A partial summary of their reports are contained in a recently released book available in our local book stores. The price is minimal in the paperback version, The book by Robert Wilcox is titled, "The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery."

The image on the Shroud was caused by an instantaneous flash of light and then the body disappeared. If this book is published around the world, it could drastically change religion. God exists and there is only one true religion.

~ Warren Faue,
Ventura

Ryan is right choice

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Senior Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wright is the right choice for Superior Court Judge. Molded by District Attorney Greg Totten and former District Attorney Michael Bradbury, Ryan Wright has worked tirelessly as a prosecutor to protect Ventura County from the criminal element, including sex offenders and those who peddle drugs to children.

Mr. Wright has the experience and work ethic we need in a judge. He is a recognized legal expert on search and seizure, government surveillance and illicit narcotics. With wisdom and respect for the law, Mr. Wright will strike the correct balance between the needs of law enforcement and the privacy rights of individual citizens.

I have worked with Ryan Wright for 15 years. A believer in "doing the right thing," Ryan Wright will prove to be an exemplary judge in the eyes of lawyers, police officers, crime victims and criminal defendants alike. I know him to be a person who is guided by an overwhelming sense of justice and fairness that make him perfectly suited to make difficult decisions. He is an honest person who will treat all who appear before him with respect and dignity.

Born and raised in Ventura County, Ryan is a family man who desires strongly to serve our community. His hard work, integrity and dedication have earned him bi-partisan endorsements from community leaders across the county. He is the right choice for Superior Court Judge.


~Bill Haney,
Thousand Oaks

Medical ethics

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Re: Emily Vizzo's April 16 column, "Advance directives help families, and hospitals, in a medical crisis":

We are very lucky in Ventura County to have two outstanding ethics doctors available to us: Dr Hornstein, who is chairman of Ethics Committees at Community Memorial Hospitlal
Ventura County Medical Center, and Dr Josephine Solis who is chairman of the Ethics Committee at St Johns Regional Medical Center. They both have made a special effort to establish the new POLST form to be available throughout Ventura County. POLST stands for "physician ordered life sustaining treatment." This is a form that is filled out for a patient who is at high risk for sudden deterioration in health and who needs special attention to life support. This form provides a listing of orders that must be followed by EMTs, ER physicians, and any acute care physician on an emergency basis.

I would hope that everyone is aware that there have been "death panels" for many years that exist in hospitals in every city throughout the world. These "death panels" are called Ethics Committees. Each hospital provides an Ethics Committee with a diversity of members, including doctors, nurses, lawyers, administrators, clergy, and community members. They usually meet on a regular basis as well as on an urgent basis at times of acute crisis. They review complex cases that need special ethical evaluation and discussion.

Good medical care is not just providing unlimited studies and treatments. Good medical care must consider the benefit of treatment with consideration of the risks of treatment and of the wishes of the patient and the family. Good medical care should provide the treatment necessary for a better quality of life without pain and suffering. I would hope that we all can appreciate how complex medical ethics can be.

~ William D Goldie, M.D., pediatric neurologist,
Camarillo

Which way is up?

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Re: John K. Carter's April 18 letter to the editor, "Federal tyranny":

Mr. Carter references "The Creature from Jekyll Island" but does not mention that author, G. Edward Griffin, prophesied that the U.S. would become the largest lender nation in the world and become a socialistic nation. We are now the largest debtor nation in the world, does that mean we will become even more capitalistic?

~ Donald J. Katz,
Newbury Park

LNG economics

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Re: Alan Sanders's April 17 column, "NorthernStar's end and the May Maxim":

With reference to Alan Sanders's tribute to the efforts of the environmental community in opposing the importation of liquified natural gas (LNG) by Occidental Petroleum Corporation and others, a factor which he omits is economics.

As a result of discovery and production of abundant supplies of domestic natural gas, the price of such gas is at an all-time low relative to comparable forms of energy, thus, rendering the construction of LNG facilities at this time uneconomic.

No one is going to make a business investment without the prospect of getting his money back plus a reasonable profit.

~ Arthur O. Spaulding,
Ojai

Business vs. public services

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Re: April 18 article, Re: April 18 article, "More fees tacked on tickets":

If business did the same it would be called "gouging," exploitation, greed or maybe "bait and switch," but not when it's public service or public safety.

~ W. Lee Truman,
Camarillo

Changing Californians

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Re: April 18 article, Re: April 18 article, "More fees tacked on tickets":

That was quite a thought-provoking article, and I thank you. It made me think of the evolution of a California resident:

(1) Citizen - Vote!
(2) Consumer - Buy!
(3) Revenue Stream - Pay!

~Virginia Weber,
Ventura

Helath exemptions

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I read in the paper today that Nancy Pelosi got the biggest laugh at the Democratic Convention when she ridiculed an anti-healthcare bill argument by saying "Why would I ever pull the plug on granny? I an granny."

She did not ridicule the argument because she is not granny. As a member of Congress she is exempt from all provisions of the Health bill.

~ Ralph Mauriello,
Moorpark

Acountability and Prop 15

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Vote "yes" for Proposition 15, the California Fair Election Act.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get elected officials out of the never-ending fundraising cycle, make our elected officials more accountable to the people of California, and reduce the influence of big money.

This proposition does two very good things: a) establishes voluntary public funding for candidates for Secretary of State supported entirely through raising registration fees on lobbyists, and b) allows local and state governments to develop similar programs for other elected positions.

Seven states have already adopted Fair Elections. The results have been the election of new people with new ideas from all walks of life; not the same old career politicians. Because they never take campaign contributions, they can speak their mind, work for the people and take on vested interests. Proposition 15 is in your interest. Elections should be won, not bought. Yes on Proposition 15 (http://www.yesfairelections.org/).

~ Kate Faulkner,
Ventura

Unfounded comparisons

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Re: Bob Jackson's April 18 letter to the editor, "Protest irony":

Bob jackson is correct in his April 18th letter that criticizes a Tea Party poster comparing President Obama to Hitler. Hitler was a pure evil fascist. Obama is simply an extreme liberal whose policies have resulted in a weak economy and weak foreign policy among other failures. Absolutely no comparison. But I cannot recall Jackson being critical of the left-wing war protesters, in their more frequent comparisons of President George W. Bush to Hitler, also a disgusting analogy.

Jeffrey Finn,
Simi Valley

More than taxes

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Re: Bob Jackson's April 18 letter to the editor, "Protest irony":

Mr. Jackson bemoans the Tea Party protest of conscience and shocking pictures of President Obama as Hitler. While I have seen these pictures, they are not the norm but the exception, I didn't see any of that a few days ago, and I am pretty sure had they been there our local Star would have had them included in the coverage of the protests.

Recent polls indicate Tea Party supporters are 50 percent women, 60 percent Protestant, 28 percent Catholic, 2 percent Jewish with 36 percent college grads, 16 percent with post-graduate degrees, 29 percent have some college and 16 percent are high school graduates.

As an unapologetic social liberal Mr. Jackson appears to be ignoring three primary tenants of the social liberal; human rights, multiparty democracy and tolerance. "The People" have a human right to protest what is believed to be an injustice, "The People" have the political right to protest a government that is believed to be ignoring them and "The People" have a right to expect the tolerance of those on the other side.

Tea Party supporters are upset about "Taxed Enough Already" but also have beliefs in individual initiative, opposing government intervention, believe Washington is spending too much time pursuing big government ideology and has exceeded Constitutional limits of its power. They also hold that the present financial crisis and recession were caused by reckless bank practices with federal policies that promoted poor choices and irresponsible borrowing by people who could not afford it.

It is so much bigger than just taxes; it is all about what has led us to a $12.7 trillion national debt.

~Jim McCollum,
Newbury Park

Fee calculations

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Re: your April 18 article, Re: April 18 article, "More fees tacked on tickets":

Let's say you go to a nice restaurant and order a steak dinner that, according to the menu, costs $20. You eat your meal, and when you receive your bill, you see you suddenly owe $141. Upon inquiring with the manager, you learn that your steak did indeed cost $20. But the plate and silverware you used to eat your meal cost $10, $38 goes to the beauty salon that the wife of the owner of the restaurant attends weekly, $22 goes to help pay the insurance on the sports car the manager drives to work so he can be there on time, $20 goes to the waiter's English lessons at the local college, $20 to the farmer who owned the cow to begin with, $4 to help pay for the cow's food and water, $4 to the migrant worker who tended to the cow, $2 for the shovel to clean up after it, and an additional $1 for the bullet that killed the cow.

Wouldn't you in the very least consider this to be extortion? A fair person would have to say yes.

So what is the moral difference between this price schedule and the one in which our county courts operate, where a $35 base pay ticket results in $146?

I also loved this in Sunday's article: "Lawmakers look at traffic citations as a way to pay for measures such as expansion of red light camera systems."

Well, isn't that nice! Not only are we hosed by an extortionist law of pure fascism, but the money we pay for our so-called fines helps fund a way for authority to rob and violate us even easier the next time around.

~ David Reel,
Camarillo

Lawmakers take choice from voters

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Re: your April 18 article, Re: April 18 article, "More fees tacked on tickets":

As a recipient of one of these citations, I found this article very informative.

The article states that "lawmakers continue to look at traffic citations as a way to pay for measures." Who are these lawmakers making these decisions? Did they consult with any voters? Are these "lawmakers" going to raise state gasoline taxes 400 percent by calling it a fee? If not, why not? How about raising state income tax by 100 percent by calling it a state educational fee?

It is obvious that government (federal and state) is quietly taking over the decision-making for our citizens. Why bother with voting for tax increases? Let our governmental caretakers make those tough decisions for us! This saves us the need to use our brains!

~Bill Harris,
Moorpark

Respect the laws

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Re: April 18 article,"More fees tacked on tickets":

If you don't want to pay fines, comply with the law. It's that simple.

Note to Legislators: Increase the fines, both traffic and criminal. Some are ridiculously low, like for cell phone usage while driving, and therefore have no deterrent factor. Possible consequences of higher fines: 1) More compliance with the laws. 2) More revenue for State and local governments. 3) Both!

~ Christine Weidenheimer,
Ventura

Chief Gates' obituary

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Re: your April 17 article, "Led LAPD in tumultuous times":

I'm more than a little angry with the Associated Press hack job The Star published about Chief Gates death. I was taught by those with manners and proper upbringing to not speak ill of the dead. This slanted article slammed a fine human being and one of the most loved dhiefs of police in the history of the department. A dig from the ACLU, why not a stab from the NAAPC, too?

To say he led the Department in tumultuous times is an understatement. Do any of you reporters recall some of the reasons? How about the birth of the 18th Street Gang, which is now international? The birth of the Mexican Mafia? Waves upon waves of illegal aliens moving into Los Angeles? The result of then-Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. letting 10,000 prisoners out of prison, most of whom came to Los Angeles?

Chief Gates' accomplishments were many over his 43 years of service. He and the department fought crime and changing social problems with the least number of officers for any major city within the country. Yes, we had 7,000 sworn personnel, while NYPD had over 40,000 officers. Consider his starting of the D.A.R.E. program to fight against children using drugs. His milestones were many, but The Star published negative opinions of others. For your information, the incident was not the Rodney King beating. It was the arrest of Rodney King. The arrest had to be taken over when the CHP Officers could not handle King.

~ Roger Jackson,
Thousand Oaks

Surrogate sheriff

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Re: Bob Brooks' April 16 column, "Setting the record straight":

Ouch

Sheriff Brooks' letter completely misses the target and is a direct shot in the foot. Apparently, Brooks is running for sheriff through his surrogate, Dennis Carpenter.

Geoff Dean, meanwhile, has secured the unequivocal endorsements of former Sheriff Larry Carpenter, former District Attorney Mike Bradbury, five independent city chiefs of police, numerous county and city elected officials, associations representing county deputies, firefighters, deputy district attorneys, police officer associations, and respected community and business leaders. This speaks volumes in earned respect, trust and confidence in Dean's proven ability to become Ventura County's top law enforcement leader.

Having spent 23 years active duty as an Army field artillery officer, from Vietnam to Germany's Fulda Gap, it is easy to spot leaders. Geoff Dean is a true, superb, tested leader. He leads from the front; he intuitively inspires his peers and subordinates to be the very best.

Dean has the integrity and vision to lead the Sheriff's Department with his winning personality that will instill top esprit, morale and refreshing re-dedication to superb, involved, community oriented law enforcement. He's ready and needed now to be sheriff, Ventura County.


~Bob Pinkerton,
Santa Paula

Political advice

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Work hard, pinch your pennies, so your elected politicians can spend your money foolishly.

~ Tesi Wong,
Ventura

Sly sense of humor

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Re: April 16 photo, "Tea Party Keeps 'Conversation Going' ":

I can't help but wonder if the taking and/or cropping of the picture was intentional, coincidental or what, but in the upper left corner of the photo, a non-Tea Party sign shown is the lower part of a road sign, "Must Turn Right" .. .hmm ... my guess is someone has a sly sense of humor!

~ James L. McCrory,
Camarillo

Scouts deserve recognition

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Re: April 17 article, "Politics get in the way of honoring the Boy Scouts":

Congratulations to the Boy Scouts for contributing to the betterment of U.S. society (indeed, the world) for 100 years! The Conejo Valley is fortunate to have quite a few active troops that have worked hard to maintain and improve our quality of life, and have allowed many young men to learn that the best things in life are often associated with helping others and giving back to their communities.

The Boy Scouts promote honesty, integrity and service to others. California and the Conejo Valley are better off with the Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts) in our communities.

I am very disappointed that the California Assembly does not recognize this.

~John Kane,
Newbury Park

Health legislation

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In California, the law mandates all drivers to have auto insurance. This law protects Californians. People haven't been protesting this law.

I don't understand why people are protesting the new health reform legislation. The new law protects consumers from insurance companies, more concerned with the bottom line than with providing health care to their policyholders.

I'm very grateful to our senators who supported their constituents. I find it shameful, that our Congressman, Elton Gallegly, bent to the will of the powerful insurance lobby, rather than doing what was right for his constituents.

~ Carol Brock,
Ventura

Health industry realities

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Re: John Hanson's April 17 letter to the editor, "Deal with reality":

John Hanson (Letters, April 17, 2010) should learn something about the health insurance industry before spouting about "reality." I have been practicing insurance regulatory law for more than 40 years and I know the "reality."

Health insurance premiums are driven by two cost factors: medical provider charges and insurance company overhead, including state and federal excise taxes.

All medical providers are businesses where the revenue must at least cover costs and perhaps yield a profit. However, all medical providers are monopolies; only licensed providers can provide medical services. Providing "free" care to the uninsured impacts hospitals, and is a cost driver. "Underinsurance," through unpaid deductibles or coinsurance, are "bad debts" to doctors, and drive up the cost of care.

Insurance companies negotiate fee contracts with providers to limit their costs. However, medical providers get paid not on quality of service but on quantity of service. Doctors are business people and know that blaming defensive medicine rather than the profit motive has political appeal.

In California, medical malpractice claims, and thus defensive medicine, are not a cost driver. We have had the most restrictive medical malpractice laws in the U.S. for 35 years, where both damages and attorneys fees are strictly limited.

The other cost driver is insurer overhead. That overhead includes the "death panels" of "gatekeepers" who decide what treatment to approve, Insurance broker commissions, and all salaries and bonuses, all of which are subsidized by the taxpayers because they are deductible, no matter the amount.

Mr. Hanson's last paragraph is silly. He argues rightfully that we are already providing healthcare services to the uninsured, and thus burdening the supply of providers, but that requiring people to have means to pay for the services they already get for free will swamp the available providers is nuts.

~ Raymond A. Greenberg,
Westlake Village

Catastrophic failure

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Re: April 17 article, "Still no answer to why sex abuse not confirmed earlier" :

Try as I may, I cannot seem to wrap my head around this situation. A young girl, living in Oxnard, and I will go out on a limb here and say she is probably Mexican and of limited
means, is being sexually abused for five years, and by all accounts everyone who should have known of the abuse, did. Yet, no one acted.

There are too many unanswered questions at this point, that it really doesn't matter anymore. Answers will not fix this, the damage has been done. This monster, Brian Martin, abused her, scarred her for life, took away her innocence and worst of all, impregnated her. All the while, the people who are paid and trained to protect her, failed miserably.

Shame on them! As citizens we should be concerned, as parents, nothing short of outraged.

The only lingering question and the one that matters most is who does this young girl see about this? Who will line up first for accountability? Everyone who did not act to protect this child, shares in the responsibility of her nightmare, starting with her parents. Where were they?

I pray that positive, sweeping change will come as a result of this mishandling, and that heads have already begun to roll.

~ Nancy Ordonez-Low
Fillmore


Lack of action

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Re: April 17 article, "Still no answer to why sex abuse not confirmed earlier" :

Why Not

Why not contact the police?

Why wait more if you are so sure?

Why not call the newspaper?

Why not take action, instead of doing the minimum?

These are some of the questions I have for school officials and the wife?

Stop blaming others and take resoonsibility for your failed actions.

~ Michael Akseven,
Port Hueneme

Tea Party rhetoric

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Although I applaud the Tea Party activists for exercising their right to stand up and be heard, I am distressed that there is so much misinformation coming out of their mouths! Let me add a little balance to their rhetoric:

  • - They are upset about the "Bank Bailout," but most of that funding has been paid back and the Federal Reserve has, profited by $8 billion in interest.
  • They are upset about taxes, but under President Obama, Congress recently passed the largest middle class tax cut in history.
  • They see health care and other government services as "distribution of wealth" yet these kinds of services are age-old in our country. We historically have pooled our resources to share in the provision of infrastructure and services and to help those that experience misfortune. Fire departments, emergency interventions, libraries, public schools, police, parks, and roads -are these services taken for granted? These services, along with MediCal and Social Security, are supported by taxes. Why shouldn't basic health care be a part of those services? Why is that suddenly called socialism?
  • They fear big government and promote "free enterprise," but they don't see that unregulated big corporations are presently compromising our freedoms and taking control of this country with total disregard for the health and well being of its citizens.
  • They see that our Constitution is being compromised. To this claim, I simply ask: specifically, how?
I, for one, am happy to see that the Obama administration has made tremendous strides in so many areas. There is much work yet to be done - but we're on a positive path, for which I am very proud and grateful!! ~ Beverly Silsbee, Ventura

Church atrocities

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Re" April 15 article, "Vatican tries to quell uproar over aide's comments on gays":

The leaders of the Catholic Church are so busy trying to defend something that is indefensible that they look like fools. The leaders and spokespersons are totally ignorant about what is really happening to their flock.

All the lay people of the Catholic Church want, is for those in charge and responsible for the molestations and other crimes to its parishioners to stop. Those responsible should be defrocked and sent to jail if found guilty. That means priests, bishops, cardinals and popes.

The majority of lay Catholics in the USA today think for themselves and do not follow church rules like sheep being led to slaughter.

When the church has Cardinals who think like Bertone, the lay Catholics are embarrassed by the ignorance and will think for them selves. They know the people in charge are tap dancing trying to save face and their position.

As a Catholic for over 80 years, I have seen a lot of changes in the church. some good and some bad, but always with some thought behind it. With all that is going on within the Catholic Church and Vatican, I believe its time for the powers that be, to step up and take the hit. I firmly believe the hierarchy of the church trying to play politics with the lay people have lost sight of God's Ten Commandments.


~ E.D. Ellis Jr.,
Oxnard

Misinformed activists

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I don't care which political party people choose to vote for, it's a free country. But some of the Tea Party members demonstrating in front of the Ventura County Government Center were so misinformed it borders on ludicrous.

At least know what you're talking about if you're going to protest something. And if you are going to protest taxes and government, you should be prepared to give up your Medicare and Social Security, for starters.

I along with 95 percent of working people paid less in taxes this year, and I am grateful for it. But it is clear that Obama couldn't gain the Tea Party's support even if he made all abortions illegal, gave free guns to every citizen and made it mandatory to teach creationism in public schools.

I give up.

~ Victoria Helton,
Ventura


Christian values

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Re: April 16 article, "Hundreds in Ventura, T.O. join in protests on Tax Day":

Why, pray tell, would any avowed "man of God" such as the Rev. Rob McCoy feel justified in using inflammatory and disparaging language against people who simply disagree with his political or religious views? At the April 15 Tea Party rally he told the assembled crowd, "We will need to isolate and crush the socialist, secular left and replace their system."

I'm a proud member of the secular left. Yet I follow the golden rule, consistently try to "pay it forward" and help those less fortunate. How does that qualify me to be "crushed" by McCoy and the Tea Party? I wonder if his sermons preach this hateful philosophy to his parishioners? If so, he is clearly using his pulpit for political purposes and does not deserve tax-exempt status.

Whatever happened to the old "WWJD" mantra of the religious right? Somehow I can't picture Jesus screeching intolerance at his followers. I thought he taught "hatred stireth up strifes" and "love one another." McCoy should take a refresher course in Christian values.

~ Joy Putinta,
Camarillo

Panec is insightful

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Re: Marie Panec's April 10 column, "Healthcare Bill a Good First Step":

Kudos to Marie Panec, candidate for the 24th Congressional District, for her insightful piece in the Ventura County Star. She accurately describes the new healthcare bill as a "significant improvement" for the 24th District and for all of America, however she acknowledges the need to continue our efforts to expand on these improvements. Electing Marie Panec in the June primary will get us one step closer to the enlightened vision for the change we need in the 24th District. Marie Panec's background as a professor of biology for 20 years, a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and as a current member of the Board of Education in the Oak Park Unified School District make her uniquely qualified to lead this community toward the world class education, sustainable environment and jobs we need for the future.

~ Patricia Takata,
Thousand Oaks,

Nukes vs. children

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I think that most folks agree with the Tea Party people and don't want to pay more taxes. Where we probably disagree is what we think our taxes should support.

Most people would agree that education should be our first priority. So it is disheartening when I heard that the school districts in Ventura County will probably need to cut almost $41 million next year. Many will lose jobs, and children will not get the best education we could provide.

To avoid these education cuts, I would choose to cut the amount of money Ventura County spends on nuclear weapons. Yesterday, at a symbolic ceremony at the Ventura County Government Center, a mock check from "The Taxpayer's of Ventura County" was presented to "The U.S. Nuclear Arms Industry" for $155 Million. That is our share of the cost of maintaining and manufacturing nuclear weapons in the U.S. in 2009.

President Obama is leading the way for us to reduce our stockpile of nuclear weapons and to account for and dismantle those that might be obtained by terrorist or terrorist states. The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty would limit the number of operationally deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 each, for the U.S. and Russia.

If Ventura County could cut a fourth of the amount Ventura County taxpayer's spend on nuclear weapons and use it for education in Ventura County, then local school districts would not need to cut their budgets.

Do we want our children to pay for nuclear weapons? That is what we are asking them to do by choosing to cut their funding but supporting huge nuclear arsenals.

Kate McDermott,
Camarillo


Truth and service

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Re: Bob Brooks' April 16 column, "Setting the record straight" and Geoff Dean's March 26 column, "Keep politics out of county sheriff's office":

Sheriff Brooks said, "Dishonesty is a terminal offense for any deputy sheriff because we need to protect the public's trust. Honesty and trustworthiness are absolute requirements for a deputy sheriff at any rank."

I will believe the truth however it comes.

~Carroll Dean Williams
Ventura

Political humor

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Re: April 16 photo, "Tea party keeps 'conversation going":

Friday's Star made my day begin with a smile. The Tea Party photograph on the front page has a road sign in it, top left hand corner. The message: "MUST TURN RiGHT."

~ Margaret Strachan,
Thousand Oaks

Tea Party madness

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There is no group as irrational as the "Tea Party." Ninety-five percent of Tea Party members can't hold a logical conversation or debate. They call a centrist, populist president a socialist or communist just because they have been fooled into fearing the current administration.

The Tea Party sprung up when Obama was inaugurated in early 2009. Where were they when Bush/Dick/Rove were wiretapping illegally? They rally under the constitution and former presidents like Reagan. The Reagan that expanded the federal government more than any president in the past six decades and raised taxes. They don't want government regulation? How did we get this financial mess, winding up with a bailout?


Why does the Tea Party want to spend billions abroad killing people and nothing at home caring for our own citizens? Fortunately there was some health reform passed. Even the Tea Party will see benefits later this year. If the Tea Party members want to stop spending, why aren't they protesting the wars that are sucking up money and killing our soldiers? Where is the rationality, logic, reasoning or judgment? It's incomprehensible.

On another note, now that The Star has covered the Tea Party on the front page and inside pages, relegating the nuclear weapons protest to the back of the "B" section, can we stop calling The Star a leftist newspaper? The Star does an okay job at being balanced, so stop calling it liberal just because it doesn't echo FOX as well as some like.


~ Matt Johnson,
Camarillo

Nuclear power plants

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Re: April 16 column, "Health threat at Diablo":

Mr. Mangano apparently just woke up and found himself in the 1970's. This kind of unsubstantiated fear-mongering is one more example of out-dated views that damage society's attempt to "clean up our act" by promoting a clean, safe and sustainable energy environment.

Mr. Mangano quotes "official statistics" while failing to name the source. Contrary to his "official statistics," National Cancer Institute statistics show the death rates from cancer in Santa Barbra and San Luis Obispo counties have actually fallen over the past decade and are lower than the death rate statewide. Simple statements like "official statistics show" can be based on anything - whatever supports his specious argument.

There are 104 commercial nuclear power plants producing 20 percent of the electricity in the United States. They are located at 64 sites in 31 states. In over 30 years of operation there hasn't been a single, (not one!) serious safety incident.

To quote Green Peace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore, "you would have to live near a nuclear power plant for more than 2,000 years to get the same amount of radiation exposure that you receive from a single diagnostic medical x-ray."

A simulation conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) concluded nuclear plants "are probably our best defended targets," with the industry spending $1.2 billion in security following the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Nuclear power enhances America's energy security and economic growth, helps attain cleaner air and improves the quality of life, health and economic well-being for all Americans. As citizens we need to reach out on our own and learn the truth while vigorously challenging those who would propagate misinformation intended to further some non-constructive personal agenda.

~ Steve Booth,
Oxnard

Pier development

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Re: April 10 article, "Strings on state deed may tie up Ventura beachfront plan":

The city's desire to commercially develop the area near the pier is ill-advised. It's a shortsighted attempt to develop and important location due only to financial considerations. Yes, it is possible that this valuable real estate could be built up into a commercial location that would generate sales tax dollars that the city could use. What's lost though is more important, albeit more difficult to quantify. Quality of life is sort of an ethereal thing. It's hard to point to the things that make up the lifestyle that we value. Open space and lack of congestion are things that we enjoy here in Ventura, to a certain extent, though those characteristics are certainly being diminished over time.

If the city churns out another soulless strip mall, they'll add a bit of money to the budget, which they will certainly turn around and spend. They cycle never ends until we're just and extension of the San Fernando Valley; endless rows of faceless strip malls and fast-food joints. Do we really want that for Ventura? I highly doubt it. If people want that, they're free to live in Los Angeles now. We choose to live here for a reason, and the lack of that commercial suffocation is probably a pretty common one. The commercial development is insidious. It happens slowly and in different locations until the next thing you know, your're surrounded by dry cleaners and mini-marts. If we're not willing to stop this from happening on our public oceanfront, where will we have the backbone to do so?

It's important that we as a community say no to this foolishness. Here's a hint to the city fathers: try spending the money on cleaning up the beaches. Make them more accessible to the public. Who doesn't love basking in the sun while you watch your kids play on a safe, clean beach? You might find an increase in people (including tourists) visiting the area and spending their money. We know you would love to cram a Wal-Mart in there if you could, but we can do better.


Jacquey Poytress,
Ventura

Republican input

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Re: Delton Lee Johnson's April 8 letter, "Gallegly's about-face":

Delton Lee Johnson is correct in one respect: The healthcare bill would have been much better if the Democrats in Congress had allowed the Republicans to incorporate their ideas instead of creating government-run health care behind closed doors.

True, there were some show hearings in the beginning of the process, but every amendment offered by Republicans during the House hearings, if they were allowed to be voted on at all, were voted down by the Democrats. Republicans were excluded from the process from then on while Democratic leadership crafted the bill in secret. If Republicans had been included, the final bill would not cost $1 trillion, cut Medicare, imposed new taxes, or imposed new financial and regulatory burdens on businesses.

Instead, Healthcare reform would have increased portability, lowered insurance premiums and increased access for those with pre-existing conditions without radically overhauling our entire healthcare system. Republicans would have reformed the medical malpractice system that forces doctors to order unnecessary tests and procedures in order to avoid being sued. Republicans would have ensured patients have more choices, rather than have a one-size-fits-all system dictated by bureaucrats in Washington.

Informed voters with the Democratic leadership would have actually included Republicans in drafting the legislation instead of having a few photo ops.

Bob Lagomarsino,
Ventura

Federal Reserve tyranny

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My wife and I attended The Tea Party on April 15 at the County Government Center. It was a grand affair with some of the best citizens attending and speaking. These people are anxiously engaged in a good cause. May their numbers increase and their message be heard ever louder in the days ahead.

I was surprised by the number of these good people who are tuned in to the importance of the Federal Reserve System in propelling us ever faster toward the approaching tyranny. They are correct, and there is an excellent book that substantiates their instincts about the underhanded collusion in high and influential places when it comes to America's monetary system.

That book is "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin, and it is available from Amazon.com.

The author believes in the conspiratorial view of history, as we do, Why? Because there is abundant and overt evidence that clearly points to it and this book has a lot of it. Bankers are working in concert with such groups as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission to bring about a socialist-world system in which an elite composed of intellectuals and bankers will rule over the entire planet. Many of the people in Washington (past and present) are eagerly serving as whores to the ruling elite and their grand design for a new world order.

John K. Carter,
Camarillo