Letters to the Editor

Candidate should be respectful
While removing another un-authorized Cantu sign, these three
questions struggle to my attention:
Why is there gang graffiti on a Sarsfield sign and not on a
Cantu sign? Could it be that Cantu defends youthful lawbreakers in
Juvenile Court? Is this what he means by helping the youth of the
Candidate should be respectful

While removing another un-authorized Cantu sign, these three questions struggle to my attention:

Why is there gang graffiti on a Sarsfield sign and not on a Cantu sign? Could it be that Cantu defends youthful lawbreakers in Juvenile Court? Is this what he means by helping the youth of the county?

I firmly believe that we, as a united community, must find real solutions to this very serious gang problem.

In that direction, I sincerely think that a District Attorney, should set the highest example for all our youth by his behavior and teach them above all, respect for the law.

Mary Zanger


Recall coming

Monday night at the Council meeting, I asked Mayor Tony Lo Bue to resign for fighting with the other Council members – and Tony Bruscia also for all the blunders he has done to the community and taxpayers. He asked the Water Board to double the fine, and they did. He said he will take responsibility, and I have one question: How is he going to pay for the additional fine? They both need to resign. Now. There is going to be another recall, but this time they are going to be better prepared to succeed, and we are going to succeed with the second recall. Bruscia, life is short. I have been waiting two years for a public apology, which you have not given me and are not gentleman enough to admit you were out of order. Public apology means public. Another recall is coming for the Two Tony’s. Be ready!

Eva C. Reyna


War supporter

I am responding directly to Richard Saxe on his letter published 9/19/02 titled, “War’s insanity.”

Mr. Saxe; don’t get too encouraged by Peggy Kingman’s letter. Your views are in the extreme minority, and mine, along with most of the members of the Democratic Party, are in the majority.

I would like to analyze your letter piece by piece, dispelling virtually the total letter.

As is the case, when a lie is told it can be done in one sentence, but it will take a paragraph to tell why it was a lie; therefore I will have to respond to your letter in three separate segments (three different weeks) if allowed.

You say it is ridiculous to exclaim, God bless America! You’re entitled to your opinion, but I do think your letter is ridiculous! Let’s take your first paragraph. You mention a national policy of war, there is none. We were attacked by the terrorist; therefore, they have a policy of war. At the end of the paragraph you mention compassion; for whom? The murderers? I have none and never will. My compassion is for the victims. You mention a police of dominance and greed, what does this mean? You just threw it out there with no explanation. I’ll respond to the greed. This country gives more aid to those of the world, (food, vaccinations, clothes, exorbitant, amounts of money and etc…) than all the other countries of the world combined.

In your second paragraph you mention a nonviolent God. You need to read a little closer the Bible. Have you forgotten about David, told by God to destroy the armies? Of each of those destroyed they were all evil. Not all violence is bad unless you think defending oneself against harm is a bad thing.

I will stop here and continue at a later time, so…”God bless America!”

Dave Pierce


Symphony thanks newspaper

The South Valley Symphony offers hearty CONGRATULATIONS to the Pinnacle Publishing Company, the winner of the coveted Arts Council Silicon Valley Arts and Business Award in the category of First Time Business Support to a non-profit organization.

The Pinnacle was selected on Oct. 8 for this honor from a prestigious group of six nominees, including Applied Materials, Garden Court Hotel, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Silicon Valley Bank and Sing Too Chinese Radio.

South Valley Symphony was most pleased to nominate Pinnacle Publishing Company, publishers of The Pinnacle and The Pinnacle South Valley, for their extraordinary and consistent support of the Symphony by their publicity, editorial and feature article support and photo coverage of the 2001/2002 concert season and the fundraising events. This partnership of The Pinnacle-South Valley Symphony continues to the present season, which commences on Saturday with the opening concert at Gavilan College Theater. Through the generous support of The Pinnacle, the Symphony has been able to broaden the overall public support, donor participation and attendance at the Symphony concerts and activities.

It is well known that a goal of The Pinnacle is support of the Arts. Through the personal leadership of Publisher Tracie L. Cone and Editor Anna Marie dos Remedios, the entire staff of The Pinnacle is truly making a difference in the quality of life in our communities.

We ask that all readers and advertisers of The Pinnacle join the South Valley Symphony in recognition of The Pinnacle Publishing Company for their continuing quality achievements.

Alfred J. Navaroli


South Valley Symphony

Signs gone amok

Politicians with integrity are in short supply as demonstrated by Mr. Areias and his band of trespassers who took San Benito County by storm on Oct. 5, 2002.

I returned home after a couple hours of errands and was immediately greeted with Rusty Areias campaign sign embedded in my front lawn. Since I resent all cowards, trespassers and lawbreakers, I removed the sign and took it to the recycling center, where community pantry will get its benefit. My neighbors all faced the same thing. All had unwanted Rusty Areias signs erected in their yards by trespassers with no authorization. My neighbors resent trespassers as I, so you know their signs were pulled and taken to, you guessed it, the recycling center.

This is the wrong way to entice supporters to your corner but the right way to point them in the direction of your worthy opponents.

Noreen Martin



Was delighted the senior center had a couple of ballroom dancers there from the Danville Group.

My friend in the Fresno Postal Service was Frank Serpa, Smooth Dance President from 1959-1967. They owned their own hall and danced at least every Thursday and Saturday night.

He and his wife danced thru their 70’s. Senior Center keep up the good work and play “As Time Goes By.”

Robert Gila


Cooking for a Cause

A special thanks to George Dias Jr., Michelle Gaboni, JJ Zavalla, Rick James and others from the SJB Gentlemen’s Club for their Saturday’s “Hometown BBQ” for Sean Miranda’s Leukemia Fundraiser. I heard they served over 500 plates.

Chuck Geiger

San Juan Bautista

Red Cross to the rescue

On Oct. 6 the San Benito County Chapter of the American Red Cross was asked to provide canteening service for the Emergency Services personnel that were called to the scene of a fatal big rig accident on Highway 101.

I’d like to take a moment to recognize the heroic efforts of all the personnel involved in this incident: California Highway Patrol, San Juan Fire, California Department of Forestry, Monterey County Search and Rescue, San Benito County Sheriff’s Office, Doc’s Towing and the Cal Trans workers. Thanks, you guys did a terrific job!

I’d also like to thank Flapjack’s Restaurant in Tres Pinos who provided an outstanding breakfast for the rescue workers, and the Nob Hill Deli for providing the sandwiches for lunch. Too often, when time is of the essence3, we don’t acknowledge those who work behind the scenes of an incident such as this, so I’d like everyone to know their efforts were appreciated.

Charron Contival

Program Director

San Benito County Chapter

American Red Cross

Candidate evades questions

Just received a phone call from, “Hi, I’m Art CAN TOO and I’m running for District Attorney.”

Once he stopped for breath I asked him, “Can you explain why three of your signs appeared overnight on an acquaintance’s property without her permission? Isn’t that against the law?

Can you explain why you claim support from an organization I know for a fact does not support you?

Can you clarify where you’ve really lived the last 10 years?”


Oh, I guess it’s really Art CAN’T DO.

Alan G. Swain


County needs CDF

I want to call public attention to a situation that could have disastrous implications for our county and the whole Central Coast.

The California Department of Forestry has had its air-attack base at Hollister Airport for 42 years, and in that time has flown out on countless missions to fight fires in the rural areas around San Benito County and the surrounding area. Its aviators and supporting staff have been responsible for saving millions of dollars in property loss and have probably also saved some lives with their quick response. The CDF is now negotiating with the City of Hollister for its annual rent, which currently stands at $15,600. Although we all realize that everything costs more than it did a few years ago, the City of Hollister is seeking $92,000 a year, or nearly six times the present amount.

If the City does not yield or at least compromise on that figure, the CDF will have to look elsewhere to establish its air-attack base.

What that would mean would be the immediate loss of a good part of our fire protection, and with the smoke still rising from the Uvas Valley fire, we have an excellent example of how quickly and devastatingly wildfires can spread.

The CDF is planning to build an additional facility here to enhance its fire-fighting capabilities, and would like the present one to be used for a second station of the Hollister Fire Department. With buildings and some equipment already in place, that could mean substantial savings to the city’s residents.

Although I am a member of the Hollister Airport Commission, I am speaking only for myself. Other commissioners may share my view but I am not speaking for them. I add my concern as a lifelong county resident, and because for many years in law-enforcement I frequently have been on the scene of fires that the CDF battled, and can attest to its members’ dedication and professionalism.

The CDF cannot pay the rent asked. If the City of Hollister does not yield, I see a time coming – perhaps not this year or even next, but certain to arrive some day – when people who have lost everything in a fire will ask the city government, “Why?”

I would hate to be the official who will have to explain then that we were willing to gamble public safety against higher rent – and lost.

Robert D. Scattini


The business of war

A few facts: Even the Bush administration said that no ties could be found between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda network, or the events of 9-11. As a matter of published fact the Bush family has shown closer ties to the bin Laden family than Saddam Hussein. George W. Bush made his first million with an oil company called Arbusto Oil. One of his investors was the head of the bin Laden family business and Osama’s brother, Salem bin Laden. The bin Laden group was also an investor in the American banking and defense firm, The Carlyle Group, which employs George H.W. Bush – the father of George W. To link an invasion of Iraq somehow with the evil events of 9-11 and Osama bin Laden is simply an uninformed mistake – unless you wanted to show how creating hate for the U.S. in the Muslim world may manifest itself.

In his recent address to the nation George Bush said an al Qaeda member was once treated in an Iraqi hospital. Do you suppose it is possible that one or more of the 9-11 hijackers might have once been treated at an American hospital?

Why is this man grasping at such obscure straws to make his case? Is this the best evidence they can come up with to go to war? Are YOU willing to die, or send YOUR son or daughter to die for these weak reasons?

For many people war is about making money – and I believe this war with Iraq is no different.

Richard Saxe


Who’s to blame?

Clint Quilter made an extremely helpful presentation at the last city council meeting. It would seem that, if he works diligently to keep on schedule, the city will be saved $600,000. Terrific!

Is that supposed to redeem him and his sidekick- er, I mean his assistant Lawrence from being the cause of the remaining $600,000?!?

For example: Last month people were shocked that the city council members were not interested enough to find out what verdict was handed down from state authorities. The facts are, council members weren’t informed that the letter they were waiting for sat on a desk in the engineering department for (over?) a week.

And what about that Bracewell Engineering contract? Let’s just say that Mr. Quilter said nothing new at Monday’s meeting. The ideas he offered the council members were, quite simply, projects that Bracewell has recommended for our city all along. Had Mr. Quilter moved forward with their recommendations previously, we wouldn’t be in our current predicament.

So, this leaves only two questions to ask: (1) Are Mr. Quilter and Company just very, very lazy? OR (2) Was this all a well-executed plan whereas, after letting the more high profile people get shamed in the public stockades, Superguy Clint will swoop in to save the day?

Oh, did I mention that Mr. Quilter has expressed interest in becoming City Manager?

Ann LoCascio,


Computer security serious

I was not surprised to read that confidential information was carried out of the HPD’s system by the SIRCAM worm. Not that I knew the HSD specifically to be negligent, but that it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen.

Capt. Bob Brooks said, “(the virus) was just an annoyance really.” Here is an example of lax data security in a department that is supposed to be providing us security. It is unacceptable for the department to have such a cavalier attitude to confidential personal information. Ask Mary Ann Bradley if that virus was merely an annoyance.

Certainly a recent virus scanner would have caught the worm before it could do damage. This particular worm has been out in the wild since July 17,

2001 (over a year ago), and Symantec had an update to their virus data that same day. Obviously the police department isn’t taking data privacy protection seriously, if they’ve even thought about it at all.

But that isn’t why I’m not surprised. The truth is that 90 percent of computer users are using software that is inherently insecure. I’m talking about Microsoft Windows in general and Microsoft Outlook / Outlook Express in particular. Microsoft has always focused on features and admits now that they have not focused enough on security. Combine Microsoft’s lax security policies with the increasing number of people connecting to the Internet, and the fact that most people just use the default software settings (Outlook for mail), and you have the ingredients for a real problem.

Organizations need to invest more in information architecture. Windows

95/98/ME are inherently insecure operating systems. The fact that the police department is storing confidential information on those home-use operating systems makes me shudder.

A simple solution to the virus problem is to use any other e-mail client but Outlook or Outlook Express. I’ve received literally tens of thousands of virus-laden email messages, but they cannot infect my computer because I don’t use Outlook. I run my virus scanner (RAV Antivirus) once per month and it has never found an infection.

Every organization must review their information security procedures. This “oh well” attitude to data security will cost them dearly in the long run, as real people get damaged and as real people rightly sue for reparation.

Paul McNett


Ending graffiti takes community effort

First of all, reporting of tagging, as you already know, won’t stop this sort of turf ownership by local gang members. We need a to do a citywide look see of what larger cities are doing to help prevent controlling of this activity.

Our police and sheriff’s deputies can’t be everywhere, but I think we can, as a community, get together and be more involved in what is taking place. I know that I am always monitoring the street where I live because no one else seems to care or just too afraid to talk to police.

Now these are some things that come to my head as of this writing: 1.) Do we have local police who are specially assigned to such activities? 2.) Do we have a city ordinance that would enhance the punishment? I know that there is a penal code for vandalism in general. Other words, if the city hall gets tagged, is that the same punishment if my house gets tagged? 3.) Is there a city ordinance preventing the sale of such products used for spraying? I know that there are stores who have cans of sprays locked up behind a cage and minors can’t purchase them. 4.) When and if these taggers are apprehended have them do community services by painting over graffiti. We need to make the punishment hurt them where it counts. 5.) Curfew is another problem here, I haven’t been pulled over in a long time or even questioned about my age, but I know for a fact that the person or persons doing this activity are well under the age of 18. When I was a youngster, the time was 10 p.m., what is the curfew time now, if any?

We need to hold the parents responsible. Video cameras can be installed in the high rate areas and we could charge the bill to offenders by a city ordinance.

Post signs saying, “We as a community are watching you!” and place cameras where posted. I don’t have a neighborhood watch program where I reside because all most of them do is just watch.

I am very happy you are taking interest in this. Maybe a city council meeting agenda is needed, if they haven’t already.

Alan Littlejohn


Videocams effective

The only effective, although expensive, method of catching vandals in the act is a video surveillance camera. If you can’t afford that, why not secretly tape your side of the office building with a hidden camera? You could install bright motion detectors where most needed – maybe the city will pitch in for the expense. Community service should definitely include scrubbing paint off of buildings for eight hours a day and then repainting the next day for another eight hours. Maybe they will think twice before tagging if they know they will be responsible for cleaning it up if caught.

K. Dennis


Punish drunk driver

I was born and raised in Hollister attended school there through high school. I went to school with Bill and Nancy Johnson. Nancy and I had many classes together and she was a very special person.

I have been reading the articles in your paper and the letters from family and friends on how Bill Johnson and his family have suffered so much that to criminally punish Mr. Johnson would be cruel him and his family.

Bill and Nancy Johnson made a choice on the night that Nancy died to over indulge in alcohol and to not have a designated driver. What if it was someone else killed that night? What if they had not been drinking and some other drunk had hit them and killed Nancy, do you think that the Johnson and McAbee families would want them punished to the fullest extent of the law?

Three weeks ago my niece’s boyfriend was killed by a drunk driver and, yes, we want her punished to the maximum sentence allowed. No it will not bring him back.

Bad choices we make affect many adults and children. How are we to teach children the consequences of bad choices if we pick and choose the criminals we are going to punish just because they have suffered enough? What is enough suffering? Children will think it is OK to drink and drive if Bill Johnson is left unpunished just because he has suffered enough.

Margaret Halsey


Fire district needed

This is in response to Mr. Don Gabriel’s letter from last week regarding County Fire Protection. Three cheers for you Mr. Gabriel!

For many years those of us in the fire service, especially in the Western/Northern San Benito County and San Juan Bautista areas, have voiced the same opinions! There have been many meetings, discussions held, and committees formed, but the bottom line is that we are not a single step closer than we were five or even 10 years ago.

The call volume in the San Juan Valley, San Juan Canyon, Rancho Larios, and City of San Juan Bautista areas has increased to the point that our all-volunteer department is very hard pressed to provide services 24 hours a day. We have a well-established need for paid, full-time staffing. But, the only way that is going to happen is to provide a funding source outside of General Funds. In other words, either a County Service Area must be activated or a fire district must be formed. In either case, a benefit-assessment fee of some type would be necessary for funding.

As Mr. Gabriel expressed it, “We must pay for services locally; no one else is going to show responsibility.” I believe that it is going to require the voices of the public to be heard, such as Mr. Gabriel, to get our local governments to move a little faster towards providing the fire protection and emergency medicals services that we all deserve! This is certainly not a new subject to our governments, and there has been some progress. It has just been too little, and way too late! Given all the development that has gone on in this County, I would rate the fire protection and emergency medical services as being at least 10-15 years behind where it should be today! While we have many very talented and dedicated people serving us here in this County, they deserve more help, and more resources!

Rick A. Cokley

Fire Chief

City of San Juan Bautista

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