NEIGHBORS / SHORT TAKES : Sisters Hope Shirts Help Cut U. S. Debt : Simi Valley pair pledge to give the profits from their clothing venture to the federal government.


Pamela Staton of Simi Valley is waiting for Perot.

Staton and her sister, Kathy Drake, have a business idea to reduce America’s huge public debt and they are hoping for backing from the diminutive Texan. The two are selling T-shirts with a patriotic design and pledging to send the profits to the U. S. Treasury.

“The idea started one night when we were talking and Kathy’s husband said that he would spend money on a product if it went to solve the problem. We looked at each other and said, we would too.”

The two sent Perot a T-shirt, albeit later than they would have liked; they had to wait for the second production run to get a smaller size. The first lot was large-sized only.


Staton manages a medical office in Simi Valley and is a part-time actor. She’s done television voice-overs for Giovanni’s Restaurant, World Music and Century 21 Real Estate. You may even have seen Stanton on the tube--if you didn’t blink--in the short-lived KADY sitcom “Boxcar Cafe.”

Staton said she earned a reputation as a volunteer by doing the usual things a mom does--PTA, soccer and scouts--and also as junk mail coordinator for Earth Day.

“I collected all the junk mail we got in one month. It weighed 24 pounds. I took the box to the Earth Day celebration so I could demonstrate that people might want to stop the delivery of junk mail to save trees. It didn’t work exactly as planned. People mostly went through the box looking for catalogues.”

The TV series, if you want to call it that, only aired twice before production complications forced its termination. However, shows were sold to a South African station, Stanton said, so if you’re ever traveling through the Transvaal. . . .


Kathy Sube moved up to the top spot at Many Mansions. She took over leadership of the nonprofit housing organization in Thousand Oaks earlier this month.

Sube started with the organization as an accountant in 1988 and progressed to the head of the nine-person staff.


“I’ve always felt like this was my home,” said the 1975 graduate of Thousand Oaks High School. “I really care about the community. Even when we moved out of state for six years, I knew I’d come back.”

Many Mansions owns a 101-unit complex for low-income renters.


Porfirio Ceja needs rifles and mini-skirts, and he’s ready to use wrestlers to get them.

The director of La Banda de Guerra, a youth band that’s a cultural icon of the Oxnard Mexican community, says the marching band’s uniforms are out of order and the drums are beat after 10 years.

“When we started we were sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce here in Oxnard,” he said. “We had uniforms, three flags, (United States, Mexico, California) four rifles and even a sword for the commandante. That stuff doesn’t last forever and it’s expensive to replace.”

Resourcefulness and thrift have so far provided the predominantly female ensemble with almost all uniform items except for the skirts. Instruments and armament are more difficult to come by.

Ceja’s fund-raising solution is unique. He persuaded a cousin who’s a professional wrestling promoter to hold an exhibition match Sunday as a benefit for the band. In addition to wrestlers from Mexico, there will be two entrants from Japan.

Ceja, a Nabisco employee, has been living in Oxnard since 1962. He is from Jalisco, Mexico.


“I started the band because we didn’t have musicians to play traditional songs during our national holidays. It costs as much as $2,000 to bring a band up from Mexico, so we made do with a record player. It was sad.”

Tito Lopez, of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, suggested at the time that the community would be wiser to invest $4,000 and have its own band. “I volunteered because I was in the infantry for three years,” he said. “I loved the drill, the marching, all of it.”

Ceja said that in Mexico every school has a Banda de Guerra. He would like to see the same thing happen here, he said, and pointed out that 25 years ago there weren’t even any soccer teams; now there are several.

“It’s a way to get kids off the street especially in these times.”