Vol. 11, No. 11 – Feb 28 – Mar 13, 2018 – Opinion/Editorial

• Mayor Neal Andrews is having some health issues and has missed some recent City Council meetings. I certainly hope that he feels better soon so that he can get back to do what he loves – serving the residents of Ventura.

• Patagonia is moving forward with plans to turn the former Brooks Institute 8-acre campus into expanded offices for its outdoor clothing-equipment business. As you know, Brooks unexpectedly shut down a few years.

The property, located is at 5301 N. Ventura Ave., is located outside of city limits so it is governed by the Ventura County. Patagonia bought the campus last spring, a few months after Brooks closed.

It’s great that Patagonia will be occupying this facility and will be expanding its footprint in Ventura. They are a wonderful asset for the city and are considered one of the best companies to work for in America.

• Funny what it takes to represent a country in the Olympics. The last names of the four people representing Mexico in the Winter Olympics are Franco, Schleper, Von Hohenlohe and Dickson. Wonder if any of them have even been to Mexico?

• Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) claimed recently that people who commit mass shootings are often Democrats. The first-term Republican congresswoman made the comment at a discussion about the Florida school shooting. “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either.”

Even for a politician this has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. I don’t believe that mass murderers are asked their political affiliations, and I have never heard anyone accuse mass murderers of being Republicans.

• According to findings presented by University of California neurologist Claudia Kawas at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Texas, seniors drinking a moderate amount of alcohol each day (no more than 2-3 glasses of wine or beer) lowered their risk of premature death by 18% compared to seniors who exercise daily. Daily exercise for 15 to 45 minutes was found to only reduce premature death by 11 percent.

Researchers added that two cups of coffee also helped maintain longevity, lowering the risk of death by 10 percent. The biggest key to a long life that Dr. Kawas’ group found was having a hobby. Two hours of work a day on a hobby dropped the risk of death by 21 percent. E

Now, they need to find seniors who exercise, drink alcohol and coffee each day and have a hobby to see what the impact is (maybe the right combo will take them well in to their 100’s).

In either case, preemptively, I will now drink:

2 cups of coffee per day (up from the one that I started drinking 6 months ago)

2 glasses of wine (don’t like beer) per day

I am too busy to have a hobby, but do play tennis and work way over two hours a day, so I will probably live to be at least 109.

•From a May, 2012 Ventura Breeze issue:

“After an extensive three-year investigation by the Ventura Police Department, they have announced an arrest for the June 3, 2009 murder of Wendy Di Rodio. Ventura Police Department Major Crimes Investigators arrested Gina Drake, a 45-year old Ventura resident, and the niece of victim Di Rodio without incident on May 25, at a business in Somis.”

Now, after all of this time the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has announced that Gina Drake has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Gina Drake is expected to be sentenced to 11 years in state prison. Doesn’t seem long enough to me for stabbing ones’ aunt to death.

•If an “Illegal” kills one person (terrible of course), Trump makes the case that it proves “they” are horribly violent people which is why we need to build the wall and send them all back to where they came from. If a good legal American kills 17 (or many more with mass killings), he says we need more mental health services because where would we send them back to and what state would we build a wall around? Then he reduces funds for mental health.

•There has been many instances of bullying at Balboa Middle School. Three separate incidents this year involving Balboa students resulted in the arrest of six students and the dismissal of the principal. A new principal has been selected.

Superintendent David Creswell, who is in his first year as superintendent at VUSD, said the district has placed more school resource officers at Balboa, removed the principal and increased police patrols. He is also making sure a process is in place by which children can report to an adult if they feel unsafe or threatened.

I know that each generations says this about their youth, so I am saying it also. Today’s kids (as young as 5) are playing video games that actually give them points for killing more people in games. They are becoming desensitized to death, which might help explain the shootings at our high schools. To them, talking to grandma means texting her.

It is so important that parents carefully monitor the time and content that their kids watch on social media and the games they play. Going outside today means playing video games on the front porch.

•Many homes destroyed in the Thomas Fire have been cleared of hazardous materials and debris, the first step in rebuilding. During a report on the fire, Ventura Interim City Manager Dan Paranick told the City Council that clearing the remaining homes should be completed by the middle of April.

This is just the very beginning of the arduous task of having design plans drawn, obtaining permits and bids, building a home and then landscaping and furnishing it. I see some “for sale” signs on several lots now and expect to see more.

Not being pessimistic, just realistic. As many of you are aware, I was an architect and General Contractor for more than 30 years, so I know of what I speak. Speaking of that, if you have preliminary or final drawings for your proposed home, I would be happy to look at them to see if I can offer any suggestions or comments at no charge.

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