Transfer policy needs airing out
To the editor:
As an Oak View resident, I have just had the unpleasant experience
of trying to get an inter-district transfer for my daughter to
NHS. The reason I was given for being denied was "that it
would create a racial imbalance in VUSD and harm VUSD schools
and programs." The racial balance at VHS is 59.7 percent
Caucasian, 36.1 percent Hispanic and the rest other, so this
argument is weak.
Their response is a front for the real reason, which is that
our children's attendance in one district or another boils down
to a fight for state dollars. VUSD simply does not want to give
up the dollars regardless of what is in the best interest of
the kids or communities.
During the appeal process, the lawyer for VUSD tried to convince
us that they were acting on behalf of what was best for our children,
accused residents of "white flight" and went so far
as to scoff at the concerns presented by the Oak View families.
Never mind that geographically and emotionally Oak View is part
of the Ojai Valley or that schools in Ojai have plenty of space
for our children or that parents know what's in the best interests
of their children because VUSD "knows what's best and is
altruistic in their actions."
Oak View is no more than a pawn in a struggle for money. I'm
not sure what VUSD is accomplishing by their approach. Denying
transfers when there is plenty of room in Ojai schools motivates
families to move out of the area, send their children to private
schools or use deceit to try to get a transfer. This is not in
the best interest of our community and only furthers our sense
of not belonging to either Ventura or Ojai. The only answer is
to grant transfers unselfishly to parents who request them or
to re-district Oak View into the Ojai Unified School District.
This is a real problem for us and needs to be out in the public
forum. We appreciate your newspaper space.
Gauntlet tossed on Bloom toadying
To the editor:
In his letter in the Ojai Valley News of 5 June 2002, "Mel
shines apple to high gloss," Mr. Melvin R. Bloom, inter
alia, writes: "It is my passionate belief that this paper
has never been as effective, professional and as good as it is
now. The editorials are often worthy of being published in The
Washington Post or New York Times. The look of the paper is top
I must stop before I puke.
In his 17 years as a columnist for the Ojai Valley News this
24-carat "bumsucker" (ye Olde English) has gushed over
each of his five publishers and seven editors within a few weeks
of their taking office, extolling their talent, their perspicacity,
and wallowing in the "rapport" he enjoys in turn with
each and every one of them.
Other than for such panegyrics, Mr. Bloom's column has been distinguished
by a juvenile toilet-oriented sense of humor.
Adroitly quick to deflate any derision of his toadying by conceding
his vulnerability, Mr. Bloom ends, thus his letter:
"If you must, call me apple polisher. It conveys a more
pleasing image than butt kisser. I have been called worse."
But are we to let this worm so easily off the hook?
I am seriously contemplating making a gift of $50 to anyone in
Ojai who can, and will, by affidavit swear that his, or hers,
is the only arse in our fair city Mr. Melvin R. Bloom hasn't
Grads distinguish selves, Ojai
As reported in the Ojai Valley News last week, our community
certainly can be proud of the tremendous accomplishments posted
by nearly 500 seniors graduating from Ojai Valley high schools
this year. Here are some further details about the public schools'
First, a word on the NHS college list published. Not every senior
planning to attend college has shared their good news with Nordhoff
yet. Some have not made their final decision on where to go to
college. Others have not gotten around to telling NHS their decision.
Because the list is so closely studied by future NHS parents,
as a glimpse of the possibilities for their own future Nordhoffian,
it is important to know that it does not quite cover everybody.
Many Nordhoff graduates planning on a college degree attend community
college as a way to earn their four-year college degree without
accumulating huge debts. They will transfer and graduate from
some fine colleges. I hope they will let the community know when
they do! Some of them will achieve their associate degrees and
make great contributions to our community.
Chaparral High School is also notable. Students graduating this
spring have taken advantage of our public alternative high school
to make successes of their lives. They have been creative and
energetic in earning their high school diplomas. Congratulations
Other NHS accomplishments should also be told. Some excellent
"Senior Projects" were created in 2002 by some remarkable
young adults. One senior produced, directed and stage-managed
a play on the cafeteria stage one weekend. She guided more than
10 student-actors in "Arsenic and Old Lace" in an incredible
experience for all involved. Another senior prepared Latin American
foods to serve a crowd of hungry theater-goers, who were at the
Ojai Art Center to enjoy an evening of improvisation in which
that student brilliantly starred. These are two examples of the
creativity and independence of Nordhoff's Class of 2002.
Many academic achievements have also been accomplished. Nordhoff
students took university independent study courses. They studied
Advanced Placement courses, including Calculus, Chemistry, American
History, World History, Psychology, English, Spanish and French,
to name a few. Many more are participating in AVID to prepare
typical achievers for college.
We also saw many students excel in art, drama and work-related
education. And how about our first place, award-winning musicians!
This list does not even mention NHS's athletic achievements of
2002. In financially lean times, NHS athletes performed in the
classroom and on the CIF field, court, track, while raising funds
by washing cars and doing jog-a-thons and weight-lift-a-thons.
What a source of pride for our community.
Our public schools do a wonderful job of educating the majority
of valley kids, nurturing their varied potentials in so many
areas. Ojai has lots of interesting kids. And public high schools
are very interesting places for them to be.
Ojai Unified School District
Supervisors keep lake level up
To the editor:
I would like to publicly thank and give a thumbs-up to County
Supervisors Steve Bennett and Kathy Long. Six weeks before the
Wolf Fire, I had contacted both supervisors' offices to request
assistance in approaching the Casitas Municipal Water District
to ask them to maintain the level of the Matilija Lake.
Ventura County Fire Chief Roper was included in the discussions
and the water district agreed to keep the water level up.
These past two weeks, helicopter sorties were extracting the
water from the Matilija Lake to help fight the Wolf Fire. This
is a good example of public service by Supervisors Bennett and
Long and Fire Chief Roper.
Their foresight and swift action may have helped to prevent a
greater calamity than we experienced in the Wolf Fire.
In addition, the closing of North Matilija Road (open to residents
only) helps assure that the arson-related copycat fires will
be reduced, if not eliminated.
Constant vigilance, fire prevention measures and swift action
from government officials will prove to be the most effective
method to stave off future fires in the Los Padres-Ojai area.
My thanks to all involved.
Allen Robert Carrozza
and Residents of Matilija Canyon
Let's keep Wal-Mart at bay
To the editor:
The California Planning and Development Report (June 2000 edition)
reports that Wal-Mart has announced that it plans to open 40
"supercenters" across California during the next four
to six years. These stores, at approximately 225,000 square feet,
are 50 percent to 100 percent larger than most existing Wal-Marts
in the state.
Why doesn't Wal-Mart just ask us to take up residence inside
the stores? We could move the trees and animals in there, too.
Dear people, resist this madness: Don't shop at Wal-Mart!
Make sure your investments are not supporting Wal-Mart!
Give feedback to decision- and policy-makers that covering more
and more of our land with concrete boxes is not what we want
and we will not have it!
Donna M. Hebert
Actor's life saved by husband
To the editor:
Our paper's readers, several of them, have told me they liked
my letters about Henry Mancini and Tippi Hedren.
A new member of the Ojai Valley Woman's Club asked me, "Why
do they (celebrities) fascinate us so?"
Having lived in New York City and Los Angeles, with Palm Springs
a second home, I have seen many stars in person, and even in
Minneapolis, Minn., where I spent my growing-up years.
How would it be if I wrote about the experiences, one or two
at a time?
I will start with the late, great, handsome Tyrone Power - an
underrated actor, they say.
Tyrone was my husband's co-pilot in the Marine Air Corps. The
two would go from El Centro, where they were stationed, down
to Nogales, Mexico., to dine at the famous Cave Restaurant, and
to have their dry martinis.
What a pair they must have been - Tyrone with his dark good looks,
and my husband, a blond, so handsome that Tyrone, who was to
receive an award but was ill and couldn't, said, "No, John,
I don't want you to go in my place; I don't want them to see
I don't know the details, but my husband saved Tyrone's life.
Tyrone was married to Annabella at the time, that French movie
I got to meet Tyrone. He and Raymond Massey and Judith Anderson
were appearing at the Lyceum Theater in "John Brown's Body"
My husband and I and another couple went backstage. Tyrone appeared
to greet us. It was funny, we both had the same cashmere coat
on, a pale beige, tied with a cashmere belt.
Tyrone said, "John, it's you, I'd sure always remember you."
My husband introduced all of us to Tyrone. He looked me over,
he was into his blond cycle.
He asked, "How are things going for you here, John?"
My husband foolishly said, "Fine." He could have been
a star, good voice.
Then my husband asked, "We'd like to take you to dinner."
Tyrone answered, "I'm sorry, but Bill's family is coming
down from Winnipeg." Raymond Massey was from Winnipeg.
Tyrone died way too young; bad heart - a dueling sequence for
a movie was said to be the cause. Handsome? No one was more so,
By the way, if you ever noticed how I end my writings - last
line a wow! I heard from a good source, "Bill's family"
was the blonde, Anita Ekberg (and she's from Sweden).
Neighbor on guard against violations
To the editor:
This is a copy of a letter sent to the Ojai Planning Commission.
Dear Ojai Planning Commission Members:
I want to point out that when Cathy Bautista said Michael McFerrin
was apathetic about how Nordhoff Hall is actually used, he denied
vociferously that this was the case. However, he then admits
he doesn't even know what the theater group's name is that will
be renting the hall, doesn't know anything about what hours they
will keep, has no idea what they intend to perform, and doesn't
even know the dates of their engagements.
He excuses every breech of etiquette toward the neighbors with
statements such as: "I wasn't there" or "I didn't
know" or "I was out of town" and other variations
of these three statements. My question is, how do these responses
and lack of responsibility or knowledge about the uses to which
Nordhoff Hall is put constitute anything but apathy? Obviously,
he is uninterested, uninvolved and has no idea of the day-to-day
workings of the hall. His actions and words clearly attest to
I also take issue with McFerrin's statement that the lights at
the hall, bell tower, and offices that are left on all night
are no brighter than the porch lights of the surrounding neighbors.
Anyone who thinks this is remotely near the truth, please drive
down East Aliso Street after dark and see for yourself. The hall
and offices are lit up like there is no such thing as conservation
and are far and away brighter than anything else on Aliso Street.
You, as members of the Planning Commission, should at least come
see for yourselves if this is a true statement.
Furthermore, I think it's interesting that Julia Taft-Whitman,
a.k.a. the wife of the architect of Nordhoff and the Offices
at the Pew, would admonish us all that having a theater next
door could be "just wonderful." If that is the case,
maybe she should offer The Blue Iguana, or better The Emerald
Iguana, for theater use and see how her supposedly long-term
guests would enjoy it. Better yet, she can offer her house or
neighborhood (which are not even in the city of Ojai) if she
thinks we are better blessed than she for having a theater next
Finally, as Cathy Bautista pointed out, the City Charter reads
in no uncertain terms that there is to be no foot traffic after
9 p.m. in Mixed Village Use areas. Expect calls at 9:01 p.m.
every night the hall is in use because what is being sold to
you as city planners and to us as neighbors is not only spurious,
it is illegal.
Donors for auction thanked
To the editor:
On behalf of Ojai's Church of the Living Christ's Mission Department,
we would like to thank the following merchants who generously
donated to our 2002 Silent Auction:
Fred's Tire Man; Barbara Bowman; Familia Diaz; Facials of Essence;
Dr. David Garber; Baron Brothers Nursery; Bed, Bath & Beyond;
Jim & Rob's Fresh Grill; Ojai Pizza; Casa de Lago; Larianne's
Small Wonder; Busy Babes; Dexter's Camera; Making Faces; Irene
Johnson; Craig Carlson; Yvette Krogh; Miguel & Dora; Paul
Rudolph; Lisa Middough; Carolyn Paulsen; Richard Ramirez; Buena
Lanes; Golf 'n' Stuff; Dawn Rosalind; Mann Theatres; Century
Theatres; Gift Galleria; Sea Fresh Seafood; Danny's Deli; Ortiz
Mexican Food; Carrows; American Hay & Mercantile; Bryant
St. Gym; Michael Kelley Hair Salon; Chili's; Jiffy Lube; and
West Coast Pageantry.
It was a complete success thanks to your generosity.
Ojai's Church of the Living Christ
© 2002 The Ojai Valley
to editorial search
Back to the news