Vol. 8, No. 15 – April 29–May 12, 2015 – Opinion/Editorial

SheldonPic• I am very concerned about what Ventura will look like as a result of people not watering their lawns. I have already seen streets where there are 4-6 homes in a row whose front yards are now dirt and weeds. And shortly, it is likely these residents will be parking cars and trucks on their front lawns as well.
I know that we must save water, but properly maintained grass can be watered per Ventura’s restrictions and still look pretty good (better than dirt).
I think that there are folks who just don’t care what their houses look like and will use this as an excuse to let their landscaping die.
I’m not too sure if residents cutting back 20-30% on water use will make much of a difference anyway, as this amounts to about 3% of the water used in California.
• Hate to see Scott Miller retire (see cover article) as our Harbor Master. He did a great job and always sent us the Harbor blotter information. Look forward to working with the new Harbor Master who will be chosen from current Harbor employees. I like that we’re staying within Ventura’s ranks.
• Ventura will soon have another beer brewery doing business (becoming the brew capital of the world). Topa Topa Brewing Co. will be opening on west Thompson. Stopped in and met one of the owners. The stainless steel equipment is gorgeous. They equipment is made in Brazil and installers came from Brazil as well. After they open, it’s worth going there to just see the facility. That is what I’ll be doing because I don’t drink beer.
• The Breeze had booths at the Family Fest at the Mall, Paint Ventura and at Eco Fest (until the wind tried to blow all of the vendors out to sea). Met a lot of nice people. We will be at the Museum on May 3rd at a boutique event. Event is free and it is free admission Sunday to the Museum. So Stop by to say hi.
•From the LA Times: “The use of electronic cigarettes by high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014 a surprising boom that threatens to wipe out hard won gains in the fight against teen smoking, a new government report says.”
The good news is that 4 people stopped smoking because of e-cigarettes. If you read my column (who doesn’t?) you know that I have been opposed to them from day one (there goes our potential vape advertisers).
The City Council will be adding e-cigarettes to our smoking standards by amending Chapter 8.350 of the San Buenaventura Municipal Code, “Smoking Regulations.” This will specify e-cigarettes as prohibited in all areas where smoking is not allowed, and to increase areas where
smoking is not permitted.
This should be adopted by the Council at their meeting on May 11.
• Too bad Sarah Palin isn’t running for president. Russian aircraft have been flying very close to Alaska, and she might be able to see them which would greatly expand her knowledge of U. S. foreign policy.
• Downtown Los Angeles and thirteen other Southern California cities have had their hottest March since record keeping started in 1877. We all know that this is cyclical and in 2153 March will probably be cooler.
• Who would think a species of tiny hands can change the ecology of our Santa Cruz Islands. The Argentine ants are spreading on the island and could cause damage to the natural ecology by eliminating all of the other ant species. Ways to eliminate these ants are being studied (perhaps putting ant-eaters on the Island would help, but how would they determine the good ants from the bad ants? The ones in my kitchen are always bad.
• Even before Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory water restrictions, the General Services Agency for the County of Ventura was dramatically reducing the amount of water used at county-maintained facilities and parks.
Less than 6% of the County’s parkland – including the three golf courses – is irrigated. Where irrigation does exist, the grounds are primarily watered with reclaimed or recycled water. This has led to a significant savings of water usage.
• As bothersome as email hackers are, I recently received a message from a dead relative – this was extremely disturbing (unless they have Wi-Fi in heaven).
•The company that recently bought Carrow’s and Coco’s restaurants has closed several of the stores including the Coco’s located on Telegraph. We will continue to place a few papers in the rack located there for the time being for those who are used to grabbing a copy there.
• To the loud applause of those attending a recent City Council meeting, the City Council has approved a long term lease, and the rezoning, for the property that will become the Ventura Botanical Gardens. Contrary to the normal protocol, Mayor Heitmann allowed the audience to go ahead and clap, (she likely couldn’t have stopped them anyway). Hiking the trail at the future site continues to be popular. Just park at the upper lot above City Hall and you’ll see the trail head.
• In another City Council action, the Council directed the finance department to come back to them with information on how much revenue would be generated with a sales tax increase of one-half cent or one-cent . Ventura voters turned down such an increase the last time it was on the ballot.
•The Ventura Unified School district’s headquarters will be renamed (does it have a name now?) in honor of retiring Superintendent Dr. Trudy Tuttle Arriaga. The building will now be the Trudy Tuttle Arriaga Education Service Center, though I’m sure will still be referred to as the school district site. She is retiring after 14-years as Superintendent.
• Before you start feeling badly about oil companies (because gas prices are low again), Royal Dutch Shell has offered to buy BG Group for $70 billion dollars.

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