Letters to the Editor

Eva speaks
I have been going to the city council meetings for over 30
years. I missed the last meeting because I was not feeling well. My
question is how can we remove some city councilmen who are supposed
to be representing the people of the community?
Eva speaks

I have been going to the city council meetings for over 30 years. I missed the last meeting because I was not feeling well. My question is how can we remove some city councilmen who are supposed to be representing the people of the community?

I once asked George Lewis about the two I am referring to and he said that they are “my bosses.” How can we, the people of this community, remove them from the city council? With what I have read in the newspaper, it has gone too far. It’s like watching a boxing match! Is this what we want to represent us, Tony LoBou and Tony Brucia with his sweet nothings, blowing bubbles in the air? He went to represent Hollister in Salinas and asked the Regional Water Quality Control Board to double the fine. He forgets who is going to pay for the fine – our local people.

How do we oust the two? Our city has been in such a mess since they have been elected. Do we need two more years after this? That would be cruelty to the people of this community. They speak before they think. They do not think about the consequences that they cause. They should turn in resignations before they make this mess worse. Resign. We don’t need another two years the way they behave. Resign now!

Eva C. Reyna

Hollister

Enjoyed history lesson

Thank you, John Buchanan, for an excellent letter and response to those naïve enough to agree with those promoting an anti-war stance. Your letter should be required reading not only for the wisdom of your thoughts, but for the history lesson contained in your paragraphs.

Judy Kelsch and Louis Peloquin added to what all the peace loving, but realistic citizens believe: want to or not, sometimes one has to fight to have peace.

I would also like to ask Susan Swanson why she would state “you” might be dangerous, so I’ll get you before you get me!” Did she forget they already did get us, several times and they are dangerous? This President only wants to stop them before they get us again, maybe even worse the next time.

Sharon Hawkins

Hollister

Law is flexible

I read your column in the 9/19/02 edition of the Pinnacle, “Crime and appropriate punishment.” I concur with your statement that every person affected by the tragedy of Bill Johnson and his family agrees on a resolution. However, I disagree with the statement: “The problem is that the law is an inflexible thing. It can’t look at Bill Johnson any differently than it does the blackout drunk…”

My experience as a Correctional Caseworker for the California Department of Corrections has proven to me just the opposite is true. The law is an extremely flexible thing. I base this statement on my personal review of the case of thousands of incarcerated inmates. These reviews include circumstances of arrest, criminal charge proceedings and sentencing.

There are incarcerated inmates serving a life term for petty theft as a result of the Three Strikes Law. On the other hand, there are inmates who brutally and violently inflicted injury on their victims, who managed to have their charges reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter. The result is that they end up serving six-year terms with time off for good behavior.

This disparity in charging and sentencing is a direct result of the disparity of judicial law. Crimes of similar circumstances are often tried under different Penal Code Sections with more or less severe sentences. Often times, charges are dropped in the interest of justice. No matter what the case, several factors are considered when charging and sentencing a person. These include past criminal history, past rehabilitative efforts, progressive punishment, aggravating, mitigating circumstances, public sentiment, plea bargaining, Three Strikes Law (often compromised by plea bargaining), the means to obtain qualified legal representation turning state evidence and the interest of justice. Consideration of these factors demonstrates that the law is a flexible thing.

Bill Johnson has no past criminal history. Public sentiment clearly supports the dismissal of any pending charges. There are no aggravating circumstances. There is no interest of justice that can be served by his conviction. He and his remaining family have already paid dearly for that tragic night.

In the interest of justice, the case should be dismissed. Bill would better serve the community as a motivational speaker, whose influences could save many lives in the future generations are sincere.

The law is a flexible thing based on a multitude of determining factors of Bill Johnson’s case, persecution would not serve the interest of justice. He has much to contribute to society. Let him.

Joseph Callahan

Hollister

Taxpayer revolt?

Let’s see – ‘Bruscia’ and his well-known arrogance just cost the taxpayers AT LEAST $600,000. If this were a private company, he would have already

seen his last paycheck. How do you spell ‘Taxpayer Class Action Lawsuit?’

Alan G. Swain

Hollister

Another look at history

I found John Buchanan’s historical account of the rise of Hitler’s Nazi

Germany fascinating. A few more historical footnotes might be useful: The Bush family has been making money on war for generations. George Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was the Managing Director of the investment bank Brown Brothers, Harriman from the 1920s through the 1940s. It was Brown Brothers who served as the principal funding arm for Adolph Hitler’s rise to power. Prescott Bush, through associations with Nazi banker Fritz Thyssen, Standard Oil of Germany, and The German Steel Trust, funneled vast quantities of money to the Nazis and managed their American interests.

The business relationships established by Bush in 1923 continued after the war started until they became so offensive as to warrant seizure by the U.S. government. In 1942, under the Trading with the Enemy Act, the government took over Union Banking Corporation, of which Bush was director. On Oct. 28, 1942, the government seized two Nazi front organizations run by the Bush-Harriman bank: the Holland American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. These seizures of Bush businesses were reported in many papers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. For many people war is about making money – and I believe this war with Iraq is no different.

George Bush’s father led America to war with Iraq once already. We killed

more than 40,000 Iraqi civilians and yet we did not depose Hussein. Do you ever wonder why not?

A lot of money was made on “Desert Storm.” God did not say “Thou shall not kill…unless you are an American and you think you may be right or there is money to be made.”

Richard Saxe

Aromas

Combative council

The disgraceful display that went on at the past City council meeting was childish and reeked of poison for the two combatants involved – Brian Conroy and Tony LoBue. I was present at that meeting and was also a member of the Airport commission that was seated at the oval table below the dais.

The conduct of these two is nothing short of a severe disrespect for the elected office that both hold. Brian Conroy represents my district and I would like to “hit him up side the head” and spank him a good one for that disgraceful conduct. I care little what the cause of the animosity is all about. They are grown men who were elected to do a job. If they can’t or won’t stop that horrid

behavior in public, then resign. They denigrate each other and the office they hold as well as the good citizens they represent.

I feel that both of them needs to apologize to each other, then to the council members and finally to their constituents. Nothing less will be acceptable – as far as I’m concerned. I was ashamed of both of them and felt that our concerns with the airport commission were taking a back seat to their pettiness and name-calling. Hey you guys…guess what! You are no longer in the 1st grade. Grow up! Oh and Mayor LoBue please learn how to sit correctly at a table while at a meeting.

Helen Ross

Hollister

A council recall?

Congratulations to the city council and staff! Here is what the future of

Hollister holds until October 2005. No new businesses, no new jobs, no senior housing, no low incoming housing, no new fire station, a disintegrating infrastructure and, best of all, no new city income whatsoever. With a potentially rising tax base curve that has now gone flat, and will remain flat, until 2005 I think the city council and staff and have done their best to bankrupt the city of Hollister, congratulations! Nobody could have done it better even if they tried.

Are you all proud of yourselves, will you tell your grandchildren about the great legacy you left behind, or will you do the right thing and all resign?

You have taken your graft and sold your influence at the cost of many and to the benefit of none. What was and still is a great city is now in jeopardy of being literally bankrupt in just a few short years, congratulations on such a fine job. What great plans do you have to keep this town afloat until October 2005? I bet you haven’t even thought about it, or do you even care?

All the citizens of Hollister can expect nice property tax increases in very short order, where else are they going to get the money to cover the ever-increasing costs of running this town? Businesses can expect a cost increase in their building rents (higher property taxes), business permits and taxes, while no new customers are coming to town for a few years. How many businesses can survive this? How many existing businesses will be lost due to the failings of the city council?

All the while, our moronic city council fails to do anything of any good for Hollister. It is a trickle down effect, with no new income coming in to the city where are they going to get the funding to continue to run the city, again on the shoulders of its citizens and current businesses. How many will be forced to leave Hollister due to the lack of new jobs or affordable housing? I wonder how well the city council members sleep at night knowing they have done their best to ruin Hollister, of course those with no conscious or soul probably sleep quite well. How much longer are the citizens of Hollister going to sit by and allow this town to be run literally in to the ground?

Is it to late to start another recall of the entire city council this time?

Linda Norton

Hollister

Mayor out of line

I am absolutely sick with rage at the article concerning the “spat” between councilman Conroy and Mr. LoBue.

Mr. LoBue, you have crossed a line of decency! You have clearly demonstrated you are one the lowest, childish, disgusting forms of human beings. To launch such a personal attack on fellow members of the council in such a public manner only shows how immature and childish you truly are. Mr. Conroy may or may not be guilty of a charge of DUI; courts of law will decide that. For you to utter the comments you did in such a public manner has completely destroyed any shred of decency or respect you thought you might have had. Your absolute childish behavior in excusing yourself from a council agenda item due to a conflict of interest only demonstrated very publicly what how immature you are and what a joke you have become.

You, Corrales and Bruscia have taken your gifts from developers. You have been the part of the most comically insane council in Hollister history. Guilty of doing everything within your power to gain as much as you personally can at the expense of Hollister and its citizens. You are almost a menace to society in this town with the havoc you have wreaked. You do not care one shred about anything or anyone in this town except yourself and what is in it for you and your pockets. Time and again you publicly embarrass yourself, your family, fellow council members and the city and citizens of Hollister.

You have no character, honesty, decency or ability to conduct any further business for the town of Hollister. You are a laughing stock, a village idiot. The only decent thing for you to do at this point is to publicly apologize to Mr. Conroy for your childish behavior while publicly submitting your immediate resignation from the city council of Hollister. Mr. Conroy, I hope you would take that opportunity to also apologize to President Bush for insulting him the way you did by referring to Mr. LoBue as ” Mr. President.” By doing that you lowered yourself to Mr. LoBue’s standards, we know you are better than that.

To the rest of the city council, how do you allow this to continue? Does Mr. LoBue have such a hold on all of you that you are afraid to stand up for what is right and decent? His is an embarrassment to all of you! Your lack of action with Mr. LoBue in the face of such attacks only shows what cowards you are and what control he holds over all of you. How do you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning?

LoBue you have caused enough damage already, resign immediately!

I encourage anyone else in the city of Hollister who is sick to death of Mr. LoBue and his antics to attend the next city council meeting on Oct. 7

at 7 p.m. Let him know how you feel.

Enough is enough!

Craig Norton

Hollister

Shortsighted city

Great coverage on the RWQCB issue. The article by Kate Woods (and her column, too) and the editorial were excellent.

Milpitas went thru a similar sort of problem with the RWQCB back in the 1970’s. I hadn’t thought of that for years until recently when the fine business came up. I don’t recall if they were fined, but they did have a building moratorium for several years, right at the time they were trying to build their “town center” retail complex. It was a case then of the issues being too complex for the city staff to handle, as I recall. (I was editor of the Milpitas Post from 1974 to the end of 1977).

I don’t know what to think about Hollister’s city staff. It’s obvious the council are buffoons, but who on the staff is the real foot-dragger? Somebody must be responsible for the missed deadlines and the shortsightedness. It seems like everything that happens is a “cut off your nose to spite your face” kind of action. Are they really that stupid? Or, as my husband theorizes, do they really want to slow growth so much that they’ll do anything to make that happen? I don’t happen to agree with his theory because they aren’t really practicing “slow growth” by continuing to approve projects.

It took Milpitas more than 10 years to recover economically from its building moratorium and the effects it had on industry and retail (my opinion). This is going to have a long-term impact on Hollister too, particularly in the area of adequate infrastructure, which is already inadequate. I wonder why it is that past councils and the city staff haven’t looked forward enough to anticipate what growth really means to a city? It always seems to be a “close the barn door after the horse has escaped” kind of hindsight. Aren’t city leaders supposed to operate with foresight? To look to the future and envision the best for a community? It doesn’t look like Hollister’s “management team” is doing anything of the sort.

I had to laugh last Thursday night when I went to the election forum and Ron Rodriguez was patting himself on the back for the county being so “frugal” and “praying” that the city would get it’s act together. That’s the same kind of attitude that is getting Hollister in trouble; the county doesn’t want to work with the city, the city doesn’t want to consult with the groundwater management group and so on. All these little “fiefdoms” and nobody wants to see that it’s all interconnected. Shouldn’t the county be more involved in helping Hollister solve its waste management problems, since Hollister is part of the county and its sewage affects other parts of the county?

Well, I’m just blowing off steam when all I really meant to do was to say “you are doing a great job and keep it up!” Thank God for your voices of reason in this insanity! Like the RWQCB, I have my doubts about the sincerity of the city officials and staff, so stay on their asses and give ’em hell!

Jan Hille

Hollister

A warning to city

Since announcing retirements is fashionable, I thought it would be appropriate to announce mine to the city council, city manager, city attorney and staff. I know they will feel comfortable with this announcement since when I no longer am working at my job I will be able to spend more time and effort toward helping solve some of the city’s problems.

Being that developers and business people take most of your time, I am aware you have little left for those of us in the private sector. Through my retirement, I will be able to coordinate and relay the concerns of the community for you to act on. Working together we can further the quest for truth, justice and the American way.

Please do not hesitate to call or write me. I will be available fulltime starting Dec. 1.

To help keep you informed, periodically I will update the days I have left until my retirement. Oct. 3: 58 days until retirement.

Paul Grannis

Hollister

Support for a friend

Peggy Kingman is the most courageous, valiant, knowledgeable, gentle, solicitous, intelligent, kindhearted woman I know. She is always willing to do the needed organization to alleviate a person, or group of people’s pain, or to begin a process to elevate a people’s station in life.

Peggy Kingman is a woman of compassion, not competition. She does not feel the need to beat one into the ground to be better. She would rather give her compassion to heal, than to compete and degrade someone.

Isn’t that the best way to have a friend or neighbor like and respect one? It seems to me, it’s a better way than to beat the friend or neighbor over the head with one’s strength.

Thank you Peggy.

Ann Carpenter

Hollister

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