We have an opportunity in Districts 3 and 5 to elect two unusually qualified candidates for the Ventura County Board of Education this year: Drs. Mark Lisagor and Ramón Flores. Candidates with their levels of expertise and positive records of leadership and service don’t come around often.  

Neither is looking for personal gain from this election.  They already have doctorates, families, and successful careers in business, dentistry and engineering, and each has been recognized many times for community service — at the Boys and Girls Club, Little League, educational committees, science fair, at local, state, national and international levels. They are problem solvers who steer clear of politics, knowing that politics often impede getting things done and come with an uncomfortable emphasis on individuals instead of issues.

Right now, however, the problem that needs to be solved and has drawn both candidates out of their aversion to politics is the poor performance and wasteful spending of our current board. The clearest example is the $20,000/month of our money being spent on two consultants who have contributed to local politicians’ campaigns but no beneficial services to our schools.

Such abuses have compelled Drs. Mark Lisagor and Ramón Flores to take on the burdens of campaigning and politics in order to have the opportunity to right those wrongs and refocus our board on improving Ventura County schools.  It is our job to make sure they get that opportunity.  

Please vote for Dr. Mark Lisagor if you live in District 3: Camarillo, Somis, Santa Paula, Fillmore Piru, Meiners Oaks, Oak View, Ojai, Wheeler Springs, Riverpark. Visit www.marklisagor.com or call 233-6420.

Please vote for Dr. Ramón Flores if you live in District 5: Greater Oxnard, Colonia, Ocean View, El Rio. Visit www.drflores4vcbe.com.

They will work together to make education in Ventura County the best it can be.  

Kim Marra Stephenson, Educator, Camarillo

Jackson, the indisputable choice

In the State Senate race, we have one indisputable choice. Hannah-Beth Jackson is a woman of integrity who is running on her record as a valued member of the Assembly. A former prosecutor, family law attorney and educator, she’s made a career of doing the right thing and sticking up for families.

Jackson has voted for billions of dollars in tax cuts. She’s passed legislation on behalf of consumers, the environment and education, among other stellar accomplishments.

Then we have Tony Strickland, who has some serious problems with his credibility.

A career politician, Strickland and his wife have been the subjects of multiple investigations into their campaign finances, with four of these complaints filed by members of the Republican Party, including one filed by the head of a taxpayers’ group. Strickland is basing his campaign on his participation in a wave energy business formed just before he filed to run for the State Senate. It has no paid employees or technology, generates no profits, and its requests to study wave technology have been sent back as deficient.

Strickland has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from tobacco, oil, gambling and insurance companies, and consistently voted for these interests. And he was head of an extreme right-wing group, which has made it a mission to target moderate Republicans for defeat.

As a person with a moderate viewpoint who values honesty above all else, my vote goes to Hannah-Beth Jackson. Our elected representatives need to be held accountable to the highest standards.

Marie Lakin, Ventura

YES on Prop. 2 for animal rights

It saddens me to read your article by Paul Sisolak “For Cost Effectiveness or Humane Reasons: Prop. 2 is a Tough Choice” (10/09/2008). It is time for humans to look at factory farming for what it is. Millions of animals lead torturous lives and then face the horrors of the slaughter house. What kind of species are we that the price of eggs can condone the lifelong treatment of cruelty to sentient beings?

If farmers have to move their hens to large outside cages, fencing them on sides and tops can keep away predators, and sheltering them will reduce exposure to wild birds, thereby lessening the risk of disease.

These animals should be allowed to get their feet on the ground, spread their wings and move about.

Yes, that will cost more and require new ways of operation, and no business owner wants to hear that. However, the public is becoming more aware of the realities of caged animals and are moving away from a heavy meat and dairy diet.

And not only because of the moral issue, but also because many people are learning about the tremendous onslaught of factory farming to the environment. The United Nations Multinational Study of 2006 produced the book “Livestock’s Long

Shadow,” from which I quote: “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems.”

So, sentimental? Emotion-driven? Heartfelt? Yes, but not without educated concerns for our environment and a sense of compassion for “our overlooked animal brethren.” Tucked away from public view are millions of hens packed in cages stacked to the ceiling, where excrement falls down on those below … and Dr. Reimers is concerned about disease if Prop. 2 passes. I ask your readers to consider the words of Albert Schweitzer: “Think occasionally of the suffering of which

you spare yourself the sight.” And Vote YES on Prop. 2.

Dale Hanson, Ojai

Shame on McCain

Let’s hop on the John McCain straight talk express and call his and Sarah Palin’s speeches what they truly are: Hate-filled ignorant spew-inciting speeches to uninformed masses of lemming-like crowds.  
Though I may not have agreed with John McCain on many issues, I did respect him as an honorable man and leader. No more. When you preach fear and hate toward another individual, you are inciting nothing less than a lynch mob mentality.

Shame on John Mccain.

These are signs of a desperate man willing to stoop to any low to achieve his goal. I don’t recognize the new John McCain and don’t really like what I see. Where is the man that always took the high road? With crowds at McCain-Palin rallies shouting “Kill him!” “traitor!” and “terrorist!” referring to Barack Obama, the man who most likely will be the next President of the United States.

Mr. Mccain is trying to paint Barack Obama as one of George Bush’s “Evil Doers.” I find those actions polarizing, unpatriotic, treasonous and below the integrity of any presidential nominee. Seven years of leading the American people by fear by the Bush administration is enough.

Let’s get back to the issues facing our great nation during this presidential campaign and listen to what the presidential nominees have to say about what they will do to help lead us out of this crisis facing our country and the world.

John Welborn , Ojai