By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
There are mixers and there
are mixers — and the Santa Paula
Chamber of Commerce Super
Mixer to be held the evening of Feb.
7 is not be missed with a special
reception for Debbie and Don
Johnson, who are stepping back
from the newspaper business. The
mixer will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
at the Palazzio Event Center on
Santa Paula’s Main Street,
The Johnsons have published
the Santa Paula Times for 25 years,
and due to Don’s health challenges,
they sold the newspaper, which is
now in escrow.
“Not only have the Johnsons
been the source of so much of the
organizing of Santa Paula just by
the virtue of bringing the news
to the city, but all their effort of
bringing the downtown together
and being a vocal part of the city”
is especially noteworthy, said
Chamber CEO Jack Pitluk.
Pitluk noted that Debbie was
a founder and longtime president
of the Downtown Merchants
Association and Don served as
mayor for two terms.
“Debbie and Don have been
involved in every aspect of Santa
Paula, in addition to keeping the
community informed,” Pitluk said.
“Name a nook or cranny where they
haven’t contributed.”
Prior to founding the Santa
Paula Times, Don was the publisher
and Debbie was the office manager
of the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle
since 1979. The Chronicle was a
105-year-old newspaper when
its corporate owner closed it in
December 1992. Within weeks, the
Johnsons debuted the Santa Paula
Times.
The Feb. 7 Super Mixer will be
held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Palazzio
Event Center, 814 E. Main St.,
Santa Paula.
“We ’re excited about
celebrating Don and Debbie,”
said Doreen Pitluk, interim office
manager of the Chamber of
Commerce. “The Johnsons have
always been supporters not only of
the community in general, but also
of the business community, huge
supporters” of area enterprises
and the economic vitality of Santa
Paula. “Everybody is welcome —
you don’t have to be a member to
attend,” Doreen Pitluk said. “We’re
very excited to be celebrating
Debbie and Don.”
Admission is $10 and includes
one drink ticket and plenty of
snacks, including those provided by
generous area eateries and caterers
who want to show their appreciation
for the decades of community
service provided by the Johnsons
and the Santa Paula Time