•The new signs at the Promenade stating that it closes at 10:00 PM is causing some confusion. The Promenade is officially a park and can be controlled like any other park in the city.
Based upon Sec. 20.050.040. – Closing of parks.
“Except as otherwise specified in this chapter, city park properties, as determined or designated by the director of parks and recreation, shall be closed to public use at a time to be determined by the director of parks and recreation and shall remain closed until sunrise the following day (most close at dusk). A park or portions thereof may be closed when it has been determined that: Continued use of the park or portion thereof could create hazardous conditions detrimental to the health or safety of the public or cause an adverse physical impact on the park environment.”
“The city council, director of parks and recreation, fire chief, chief of police or an authorized representative of any of said officials may direct any park or designated portion thereof to be closed to protect public safety, public property or natural resources within said city park, or any private or public property or natural resources in the vicinity of the park, from imminent damage or destruction or where there is a clear and present danger of a breach of the public peace or safety in said park or portion of a park or in the vicinity thereof. “
The ordinance goes on to say what is really the important part of the language. “That City parks and park facilities belong to all of the people of the City. That City parks and park facilities should be open for use and enjoyment by all City residents, businesses, and visitors. That in adopting this Chapter, the City Council has specifically excluded conduct and activities involving the exercise of First Amendment rights from its application and determines that it is not the purpose or the intent of this Chapter to regulate or interfere with the exercise of such rights.”
Obviously, the purpose of this is to control the homeless on the Promenade. But the City needs to be very careful in excluding the homeless from the Promenade and not the folks leaving Aloha or the hotel or those just out for a stroll. Laws can’t apply to just one particular group, or the City could be subject to being sued.
• Per a cover article, we feature the first re-build permit for a house destroyed in the fire. Several more have been issued. I think the City has done a wonderful job in expediting the permit process and should be commended.
• Two City Council candidates have announced their candidacy in the Breeze for the November election. Mike Marostica in district District 4 and Marie Lakin District 5. They are both very qualified, so I hope that further candidates will also be of a high caliber.
•A lot is going on in and around the Harbor. Construction has begun on an expansion of the Holiday Inn Express adding an additional 40 rooms. And the 300 unit mixed use development on the edge of the Harbor is zipping along finally (only after 20 years of first proposing it to the City). Two future wonderful developments in the harbor are in the very preliminary stages of design and approvals, so they will still be several years off but will be great additions.
•By now you should be aware of this area code change, but just in case you are not:
As of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, people in 805 will have to add an area code to every call made, local or long distance. Those using landlines will have to add 1 and the area code. If you fail to dial 1 you should receive an automated recording yelling at you. A new 820 area code will be coming soon in the area but existing 805 will remain.
•I thought that the Thomas Fire had been officially extinguished but officials with the Los Padres National Forest just announced that it is now officially out. I wonder how much longer ashes will be falling from the hills?
Babbling by Brown:
•California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom and is now the fifth largest in the world, so it is time for us to become a country and elect a king and queen. If we do become our own country we could then manufacture nuclear bombs and the US government would pay us a bunch of money to destroy them.
•Sears keeps closing stores with the one in City Industry shutting down in California. Will ours be next?
•Alcohol and tobacco is found to reshape rat’s brains making them prone to cocaine addiction. So perhaps the “gateway drugs” are not what we thought they were. I have seen several drunk rats lately in my backyard.
•In a paper published recently in Science, researchers report that a rise in just half a degree Celsius could mean the difference between life or death for many species (plants and animals).
•A survey by the American Psychiatric Assn. showed that 39% of Americans are feeling more anxious now than they did a year ago – this is more than double of those feeling this way last year.
•There have been zero U.S. Commercial Airline jets deaths crashes since 2009.
• In the last couple of months, the Commerce Department has put in place duties on producers and exporters of certain paper from Canada used in the production of newspapers. This has increased the price of certain types of paper by almost 30%. Even if this greatly increases our production costs we certainly plan to keep the Ventura Breeze a free newspaper, so it is important that you continue to support our only source of income, which is from our advertisers.