Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:11 p.m. Re: your Feb. 3 article, “Dust-up rises over pesticides”:
I am a resident of La Cumbre Road in Somis. My home is one of the ones pictured in the article. Of all the homes on La Cumbre, I believe that my property is the closest one to the property line with Marz Farms.
My home does not have the plastic barrier screen. I asked Marz Farms not to install it. I have had absolutely no problem with any aspect of their farming operations.
I can no longer silently stand by and witness the harassment my neighbors have caused this farm family. There are close to 30 neighbors whose property surrounds this ranch. Most are like me, and they have no complaints.
There are a few core people, who are experts at manipulating the media, mobilizing other people, and thus persuading elected officials to move their agenda. It is these neighbors who asked the farmer for a 300-foot buffer last June so they could retain their view of the mountains behind their properties.
When he did not meet their demands, the pesticide complaints started. With S.O.A.R. and the right to farm ordinances, they knew they could not get rid of the hoop houses. So, they have created unfounded concerns over pesticide use to try to force a buffer.
This is the Martinez family property, and they have property rights. They can farm whatever type of crop they need to sustain their farming operation. They are doing it safely. No neighbor has the right to bully them to take land out of production.
These neighbors have damaged this family’s reputation for no valid reason. Additionally, they have wasted taxpayer dollars filing complaint after complaint with our county agricultural commissioner. What a tremendous waste of resources.
– Lawrence Markham,
Re: your Feb. 3 article, “Dust-up rises over pesticides”:
Reading the article made me sick, too, but not for the reasons alleged by some Somis residents.
After re-reading the article, it became clear that a bunch of Somis people were really more concerned they were no longer viewing rows of lemon orchards and enjoying the sweet smell of roses from nurseries gone broke.
So with plenty of time on their hands and no doubt chatting back and forth via emails, phone calls and social gathering, it was time to take on the farmer who changed the landscape. They don't like the lesser view of rows of white "hoop houses.”
So to create grief for the farmer, unsubstantiated allegations that legally approved and applied pesticides became their hue and cry. So, they are pressuring Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales and the
Board of Supervisors in an attempt to rid their landscape of berry farmers.
Historically, Ventura County has been known for its agricultural production. However, when people have chosen to move close to an agricultural operation, the first thing they want to do it complain.
They've found the easiest complaint of all is to allege they are sick because of a farmer applying pesticides to a crop. They know ahead of time they don't have to produce evidence to back up their allegations.
Just talk it up among neighbors, get the press involved, threaten a lawsuit and watch the snowball grow. Somis residents, show me evidence.
– Fred Baskin,
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2013/feb/04/pesticide-complaints/?opinion=1#ixzz2M12c0NMB