• On May 23 the Ventura City Council voted (6-0 Tracy was absent) to put a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot. If approved the tax would provide approximately $10.8 million annually for the next 25 years. A seven-member oversight committee would be appointed by the Council and would make recommendations on how the money would be spent. Much more on this in future issues.
• On May 23 Ventura’s Historical Preservation Committee, on a 3-2 vote decided that the building at 567 Sanjon (most recently Joes Crab Shack and previously the Chart House) “as it currently exists” is not historically significant. Several third party experts had determined that the building is “not historically significant” and I certainly agree. Just because it is old does not make it a significant building and its architecture certainly doesn’t warrant this designation. And, between termites and dry rot saving it would be extremely expensive.
• In this issue we have an article regarding Homecomings, Inc., the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura’s (HACSB) associated non-profit. They recently completed of a comprehensive $28.8 million acquisition and rehabilitation project that fully renovated 101 existing apartment units for extremely low income seniors and disabled persons in the City of Ventura.
The work involved extensive infrastructure, energy and water efficiency improvements and upgrades and interior restoration work at the HACSB’s properties in East Ventura. At $28.8 million for 101 units that’s a cost of $285,000 per unit. Why not just buy (72) $400,000 3 bedroom homes in Ventura which could house over 400 people which would have done much more to help our economy?
• With a 3-2 vote, the Ventura Unified School District board voted against Ventura’s offer to include a joint measure on November’s ballet to raise the sales tax by a cent. VUSD will just try to get voters to approve an extension of its $59 yearly parcel tax. The district’s parcel tax was approved in 2012 for a period of four years and provides about $2.5 million to the school district.
It would sure be nice to know where all of the State lottery money goes to that was supposed to be specifically earmarked for our schools. And each building permit also has charges added for schools.
• Unimportant stuff that I like to share – that I’m sure that you would want to know about.
Caffeine in mg for different drinks:
Coffee drip 115-175
Coffee brewed 80-135
Coffee instant 65-100
Red Bull 80
Classic Coke 34
• The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that electronic cigarettes (“vaping”) and other tobacco products should be regulated as if they were traditional tobacco cigarettes. People who say that they have stopped smoking because they now “vape” have just changed brands. The State of California has passed similar bills that also raises the legal age to buy cigarettes in California from 18 to 21.
Just using age as a standard several members (and me) of the City Council would be “historically significant”.
• Why do doctor’s office’s ask patients to show up 15-minutes before our appointments and then make you sit for an hour?
• Congratulations to Donna Granata, Founder and Executive Director of Focus on the Masters (FOTM), who recently obtained a master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. She’s now a fellow Trojan. FOTM, Founded in 1994 by Donna, is a highly respected non-profit educational program documenting contemporary artists.
And kudos to Mary R. Galbraith, Volunteer Coordinator/Executive Assistant, Aimee French,
Learning to See Youth Outreach Program Coordinator, and many others for keeping the ship going. Especially during the last few months, when FOTM had to move their offices from one floor to another behind city hall due to Brooks Institute taking over several floors of the building.
• In this issue we have an article regarding extensive sewer construction that is being done around Main and Brent. All of the businesses in the area remain open so please maneuver through the construction and support the affected local businesses.
• I have an idea, if Donald Trump becomes president (good grief – could that really happen?) we should build a fifteen foot high wall around California and succeed from the union. We have everything needed in California to become our own country.
• Wonder why we haven’t had our El Nino? Unusual warmer waters off of Baja California, storms in the Western Pacific Ocean and rising global temperatures blocked El Nino storms from hitting Southern California. These items certainly didn’t block the rains from hitting Northern California which saw heavy rains and snows which filled some of the state’s biggest reservoirs. But, that won’t help us because we don’t get our water from melting snow pack or from the North.
• Last year, Ventura had a record amount of drug related deaths but the solution remains a difficult one. Writing in the LA Times, Michelle Alexander (a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation) stated, “There is no evidence that enhanced sentences reduce drug availability or the number of people harmed by illicit drug use. After decades of the war on drugs, it is clear that purely punitive approaches to drug crime are counterproductive. And the death rate from drug overdose continues to rise.”
In a sense this is similar to the homeless situation. Effective solutions to both of these problems just haven’t been found so new directions and ideas must be created. Do any of you have ideas that might help? Would love to hear about them.