Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 – April 11, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•   Local CAPSTV has a new low wattage FM station KPPQLP (104.1FM) that I have a show on called the Face Of Ventura. On my first show I interviewed Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko. It airs on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10am and Wednesday at midnight if you can’t sleep. It has a range of about 7-miles so if you are in ear shot of Ventura listen in and let me know what you think.

•   If you read Scamp’s column on page 16 you will see that he is a very sick doggie. So sick in fact that he has from two weeks to two months to live. If you have never had a pet you might not realize what an important part of the family they are and how much they are missed. Especially in this case where I have been his alter ego.

•   The City has removed many of their “coffin” multi-racks downtown but you can still find the Breeze in the remaining ones and in many of the downtown businesses (plus another 500 locations in Ventura), which still amazes me.

•   Talking about amazing, the Pierpont Inn has still not proceeded with obtaining building permits for the illegal construction that they started 15 months ago (they were red-tagged and a portion of the building was closed down). All of the Inn is still open including the reduced size restaurant with a new entrance.

•   Regarding the “firing” (not the word the school board choses to use) of VUSD Superintendent Dr. Babb, I have asked several of the school board members why he was let go and I got “for personal reasons.” I think if it was for personal matters, it is even more important that we know what they were or we will just let our imaginations run wild.

The board has hired a search firm to help find a superintendent to replace Babb. The Ventura Unified School District will hold public forums and conduct an online survey to hear what Venturan’s want in our superintendent. At least this won’t be held behind closed doors, said John Walker, Vice President of the district board. The board will get employees’ input, as well, Walker said. Joe Richards, who had been Deputy Superintendent, is serving as interim superintendent but has stated that he is not interested in the permanent position.

•   For once I agree with what Trump said. He recently stated, “I never said that I would repeal Obamacare in my first 64 days in office.” What he did say when elected that he would repeal Obamacare immediately. So he is correct.

•   Once again the fate of the original Top Hat Burger in Downtown Ventura was discussed during a public meeting of the city’s Historic Preservation Committee. Built in the late 1940s, it has been vacant since 2010 still waiting for a very long delayed condominium project (what else is new?) to be constructed.

Plans are to build a 25-unit condominium development at the site. I like the idea of it being a condominiums and not apartments. I think ownership is important downtown.

Opinions vary about what to do with the structure, but I do not think that it is an historical building or a significant piece of architecture. It is a plywood non-descript structure, not historical just because it is old. If that was the criteria then I am historical (and also non-descript perhaps). I don’t think that it should be made to be part of the project.

There was not a final vote of what to do with the building at the meeting just more of “direct staff to review some options.” Whatever the committee decides to do let’s get it done already and not have an empty lot sitting there growing weeds and with graffiti.

•   The City might decide to write off $4.6 million in subsidies to the golf operations. Theoretically the money is a loan but it will never be paid back.

Councilmembers once again have spent time discussing how to stop the losses from the golf course operations. The two public courses have consistently lost money, which could up to $300,000 in the 2017-18 budget.

To add to the loss, one of our recent storms caused significant damage to Buenaventura Golf Course.

Do we really need two golf courses and what else could at least one of them be used for? A future article in the Breeze will deal with this question.

I certainly hope that the half-cent sales tax, approved in November, is not used to support the courses.

•   The City Council has approved new rules that require gun stores in Ventura to install more physical barriers to keep vehicles from ramming stores in order to burglarize them. The new ordinance requires gun retailers to install bollards that would keep vehicle out by striking the bollards before making contact with the structures.

The Ventura City Council approved the increased security measures but decided against taking a closer look at whether the city could use zoning to help direct where the shops can be located. If passed, this would certainly be appealed in court. Councilmembers Christy Weir, Cheryl Heitmann and Mayor Erik Nasarenko questioned whether gun retailers could be banned near schools.

Even though I don’t care for guns much I tend to agree with Councilmember Neal Andrews who opposed the ordinance stating, “It is an unnecessary waste of time. A narrow, ideological sector of the community that wants stricter gun rules and meanwhile, the city and gun retailers are burdened by the costs.”

Councilmember Mike Tracy (ex-chief of police who certainly understands gun violence) said he opposes going further. “I doubt there’s a more regulated business in the country than gun sales. I understand that people get concerned about a gun shop in their neighborhood. The risk to the average person isn’t the sale of that gun at that gun store at the time it’s sold.”

State voters approved stricter controls with Proposition 63 and elected state officials have passed strict gun legislation .

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