Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 12, No. 1 – Oct 10 – Oct 23, 2018 – Mailbox

Sheldon

Who did the research on Padre Serra? No name is mentioned. It goes to show you how false press is released to the public and how uneducated certain people are. The Padres including Padre Serra helped Native Americans against the abusive and cruel Spanish Soldiers. It was the Spanish military who treated the Indians so badly and, many Native Americans were decimated because of illnesses the Spanish military brought with it.

W. Moyer

Moyer:

First let me explain that none of the comments about Padre Serra were mine. I have nothing against him. My article was about Stanford University removing his name from many of their buildings, so a name was mentioned. Stanford University is hardly uneducated and considered one of the finest colleges in the United States. If you disagree with their decision you should be contacting them. By the way, many other organizations are coming to the same conclusion.

The funny statue was just that and meant no disrespect for the padre.

Thank you for your comments.

Sheldon


District 1 Conflict of Interest

In elections, a conflict of interest, whether legal or the mere perception of conflict will taint the entire process. In Ventura City Council District 1 race, the Executive Director of the Downtown Ventura Partners, Kevin Clerici, is running to represent the downtown and the Avenue area of Ventura.

There is nothing against Mr. Clerici personally. He is a good person and means well. However, just because the FPPC says he can run, his actions, both on the dais and behind the scenes, are open to question, no matter how innocent his intentions might be.

The Downtown Ventura Partners receives 40% of its operations revenue through a special tax. That tax is voted on by downtown property owners. The City of Ventura controls 33% of the downtown properties. When there is a vote within the special property district, the City of Ventura, directed by the City Council, votes as a block and therefore controls the outcome. When only 72% of the property owners vote, the City’s 33% becomes 46%, in effect. That means the City needs another 5% of the downtown property voters to vote yes. Therefore, the City Council has almost total control of the downtown special tax vote.

With the special district tax, the Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP) receives $485,186 in annual special taxes. On top of that, the Ventura City Council also awards DVP another $172,000. Of their entire budget, the Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP) receives over 52% of its revenue, either directly or indirectly, from votes by the Ventura Council. Therefore, Mr. Clerici would be voting on his own livelihood.

Mr. Clerici receives a salary of $85,000 from the Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP). Therefore, even if he recluses himself on downtown issues, the citizens in District 1 will be underrepresented with Mr. Clerici as their representative.

Bob Alviani Ventura

The Breeze asked the Downtown Ventura Partners to respond. Mr. Clerici’s candidate statement is

in this issue.

RE: Alviani Letter to the Editor

Mr. Alviani is confused about the downtown Ventura special district and the non-profit, Downtown Ventura Partners (DVP) that contracts with the city to manage it.

The city’s Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) straddles three of the new city council districts (1,2 and 7) and no single council member will be the exclusive representative.

Mr. Alviani states that “The City of Ventura directed by the City Council, votes as a block and therefore controls the outcome (of the PBID elections).” He bases this on his erroneous assumption that the city owns 33% of the property within the district when the real number is less than 23%. If just 25% of the other property owners voted contrary to the City Council, those owners would prevail.

All future city council votes on the PBID and other DVP programs will be controlled by a permanent majority of council members from the eastside. If either the city or property owners conclude that there isn’t appropriate value for their investment, they may terminate contracts with our non-profit or overturn the PBID at any time.

The DVP board asked its executive director Kevin Clerici to reach out to the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and the City Attorney to provide preliminary advice on potential conflicts prior to Mr. Clerici filing as a city council candidate. If he is elected, there will certainly be votes on which he will have to recuse himself but it does not disqualify him from running or serving.

Meanwhile, DVP will continue to make downtown a clean, safe and vibrant hub for all of Ventura.

David S. Armstrong, President
Downtown Ventura Partners


There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.
~ Edgar Allan Poe

Vol. 11, No. 26 – Sept 26 – Oct 9, 2018 – Mailbox

Hi
I enjoyed your 9/12-9/25 edition including the article on rainwater & greywater harvesting, an important topic for our drought-prone area.
A minor correction needed on Page 8 however:
The URL for more info is misspelled; it should read “greywateraction.org”, not “grewateraction.org

Thanks!

Gary B.

Oh y did we leave out y?


Publisher:

Just wanted to drop you a thank you note regarding some comments you made about homelessness and a recent 9th Circuit Court ruling.

You comments were, in my opinion, completely spot on and I appreciate your understanding (particularly on the role and constraints on our Police Department).

Thanks again and keep up the great work…I look forward to your paper every new edition.

Regards,

Quinn Fenwick


Does one life matter?
A hungry child or senior that happens to be poor did not choose poverty or going without. All lives do matter and with the aid of a few good people, lives could be enhanced greatly-and yes with charity.
We (those of us) that live in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties can do good works to end hunger right where we live.
Take an example of a woman living in the deep south (southern USA) that worked her whole life to save enough money and create a food share program to feed hungry children. She collects donated food, she prepares meals (300) of them and drives 100 miles a day to make deliveries. Why? Because she feels it is her duty.
Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are among the most prosperous counties in California and yet there are 1000’s of families that go to bed hungry—something is wrong with this picture and some good-hearted souls will come together and change the outlook for many disadvantaged people. Yes, it will take some organization, planning, and execution, but, this writer will volunteer his time to help organize—
Jay North Ojai


Breeze:

Just wanted to say thank you for running the press release about our free Tai Chi classes for seniors. With your help, they have filled up which always makes the volunteers teaching them feel accomplished, appreciated and like they are making a difference. They truly do. We couldn’t do it without your help.


Thank you.

Marisue


Breeze:

The current administrations acceptance of Neo-Nazi, Fascist, and White Supremacist ideals will never make America great again.

Critical thinking, an informed citizenry, fair and just implementation of law, is what is required to overcome what ails our country. A good start would be to undo Citizens United, including changing the Electoral College to a popular vote system, free access to healthcare and education for all, raising taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals in order to support socially responsible programs and maintain the infrastructure is what will make the country a better place for all.

JB

Readers: The Breeze accepts all opinions as long as they use acceptable language and are not inflammatory. Let’s hear from those who agree or disagree with JB. We don’t usually put in letters with only initials but JB requested that so we did.


We must bring our own light to the darkness.
~ Charles Bukowski

Vol. 11, No. 25 – Sept 12 – Sept 25, 2018 – Mailbox

Editor:

I have seen videos on U-Tube that show dramatic results of people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) who have dyskinesia and after partaking medical marijuana their bodies calm down and the involuntary movements pretty much stop. I think it is really wonderful that it helps them with what can be an extremely debilitating symptom.

However, there are so many symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, and no one has exactly the same issues, so I strongly agree with the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s recommendations as the side effects of medical marijuana can cause or exacerbate some of the very symptoms that accompany Parkinson’s in many of the folks who suffer with it.

The other issue I and many doctors have are concerns about the quality of the medical marijuana; is the dose going to be consistent every time? Parkinson’s symptoms are so difficult to regulate with the medications developed specifically for PD that the last thing needed is another “unknown” affect from introducing something new and possibly inconsistent in dosing.

The Ventura Parkinson’s Disease Support Group strives to stay updated on the research projects on medical marijuana and the many other potentially life-changing FDA controlled drugs being researched to help improve the quality of life for people suffering with Parkinson’s Disease, and hopefully some day, a cure!

Talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about medical marijuana. Your personal physician can help you review the latest research, the pros and cons, and how the therapy might fit into your regimen.

Patty Jenkins – Volunteer Coordinator for the Ventura PD Support Group.


Breeze:

I read that the closed Top Hat Restaurant located on Main might be included on the National Register of Historic Places. Which means it would need to be part of any new development there.

Personally I think the Top Hat is just an old plywood non-descriptive building that should be torn now. Just because it is old doesn’t make it historic Ventura has lots of old buildings.

If it must be saved why not move it to the outdoor area at the County Museum right up the street?

Thanks

Ernest Lewis Ventura


Dear Breeze,

For eight months after the fire we had no leaf blowers in Ventura and everything looked clean and neat anyway. Then the ban was lifted and now we have them all over town again blowing dust everywhere, polluting the air with their inefficient motors, causing noise pollution and stinking to high heaven. When will Ventura put a ban on them? And when will landscapers and those who don’t want to just sweep begin to use electric blowers instead?

Mary Volpe Ventura


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
~ Alexander Woollcott

Vol. 11, No. 24 – Aug 29 – Sept 11, 2018 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

Isn’t it a waste and a shame that the Foster Library has to CLOSE for the day when the temperature gets HOT?

Why can’t air conditioning be installed?  Wouldn’t it be worth the cost, particularly for the children?

Suzanna Ballmer

Suzanna:

We contacted city staff regarding this and received the following replies.

It has been priced but I don’t remember the cost.  The newer library branches may be air conditioned but I am not sure.  I will ask, may make more sense to move more programming that is there during the summer. Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann

Yes, it’s been priced. It’s on our library capital project list, but not funded. Councilmember Christy Weir

Every branch is air conditioned except Foster. And, it has been costed out, about 1.5 million. It is something I am actively working on with Nancy Schram, Director of the Ventura County Library System. We are trying to cobble funds together. Nancy O’Connor  Director Parks/Recreation and Community Partnerships
.


Breeze:

Figures posted at highwayrobbery (dot) net show that red
light camera ticketing is way up in Ventura.

When March – July 2018 figures are compared to those for 2016 and 2017,
the ticketing from two of the eighteen cameras has more than tripled and
at two others the ticketing has more than doubled.  Only one camera is
ticketing less than it was.  The overall/citywide increase is 40%.

Regards,
Jim

Jim: Maybe the cameras have a quota or they get fired.


Dear Sheldon,

Our solution to the 12 days of Fair fireworks was to load our dog into the car at three minutes before the show and then drive towards the east end of town for 8 minutes. It got old quickly. Coming so soon after the loud bangs on July 4th and 5th and 6th….(you get the idea),  our boy had PTSD. Any loud bangs terrified him. And, it’s not just five minutes, it’s 5 minutes times 12. So….here’s one Venturan who is glad they were shortened.

Carol Spector


Sheldon.. great work on once again calling out the City of Ventura and its water manager Kevin Brown in the current publication.. As a victim of the Thomas Fire (Ondolando Area) it is sad to know that not one house has been started on our street of Colina Vista….One house is being framed on Via Ondolando.. and you know the lack of numbers in housing permits being issued. It is pretty evident that the city does not want the fire victims back I their homes.. they want us to sell and make a huge gain on the new buyers with their $$$$ million dollar plus homes… the permit process is long, complex and very very discouraging to those of us that once believed in those that promised us a seamless and easy rebuild process… Finally be sure to post/print: all of the local town meetings or dates for the debates amongst the City Council candidates.. I plan to attend everyone of them and let my voice be heard… thanks.. Chris..

Chris R. Dryden

Chris:
Not sure if I agree with all that you said but all opinions are important (except “fake news” of course).
Sheldon

I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. They accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense.
~ David Lynch


 

Vol. 11, No. 23 – Aug 15 – Aug 28, 2018 – Mailbox

Good Venturan returned wallet today

This morning my husband drove over to the east end to care for a friend’s dogs while they are away, and he unknowingly dropped his wallet while walking the neighborhood. A couple hours later he noticed it was missing, drove all around retracing steps but no luck. A few minutes ago a young man wearing a #VenturaStrong shirt rang the doorbell with the wallet and all credit cards, etc… intact, thus saving us the huge hassle of canceling them and getting new ID, insurance cards, etc… I tried to give this young man a reward but he politely declined. His name is Eddie. With all the bad news in the world lately, I want people to know that we have honest young people in our city, who will drive all the way across town to help a stranger. Ventura Strong, indeed!

Melissa Wantz, Old Town


To Sheldon

I think this is a great idea. I use the Valdez Ally/Eastwood Park steps just about every day and would love to see that open area. We just need to protect our history, as you suggest. And by the way, I’ve lived here about nine months and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that museum open.

Ed Terpening

This is what Ed is referring to from a previous issue. “Because it is very seldom used, it seems to me that the large outdoor area at the Albinger Archaeological Museum is a waste of space. It’s basically grass, dirt and river rock that were foundations for the old buildings that were located there. Really not much to see outside after you enjoy the exhibits inside the Museum.”

Until Sept. 3 the Museum is open from 11am-4pm on weekends.


By email

I just finished reading your article in last week’s Breeze (Paul Hunt Memorial) and was very disappointed to see that you did not include a picture of the actual cross along with the other photos you took that day it seems that somebody cut the cross off right at the bottom and didn’t show the whole picture of it it would have been nice to have included it since it’s a piece of history of Ventura

By snailmail

Why??? Lieberman, Goldstein, etc. left out the cross? The cross is of great historic significance.

JT

JT: To be blunt this was a memorial for Paul Hunt and not Jesus. Also there has always been debate if a 50-year old cross in indeed historical and don’t blame Lieberman, Goldstein they didn’t take the photos.


Dear Sheldon,

Isn’t it a waste and a shame that the Foster Library has to close for the day when the temperature gets hot?

Why can’t air conditioning be installed?  Wouldn’t it be worth the cost, particularly for the children?

Suzanna Ballmer
Ventura


If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.
~ Carl Sagan

Vol. 11, No. 22 – Aug 1 – Aug 14, 2018 – Mailbox

General Plan Update

The 2025 General Plan update must include robust public participation now that we know more about urban planning than we did in 2005. Pretty pictures sold us on plans that have had a major impact on some areas of the community, especially the Avenue. The Avenue also taught us a lesson on the importance of park space.

We also learned that the transect model can be manipulated in unexpected ways to allow urban density in rural areas. Soon we will see the impact of dense development along our rural edge on Wells Rd in Saticoy. We cannot ignore the impacts of these decisions.

We have existing parcels to develop without expansion, yet we still approved an annexation in Saticoy for a development for which we may not have sufficient water. This is not “infill.” This land should have provided needed park space in Saticoy.

I hope all community councils submit their ideas to Council and staff to outline the changes they would like to see in their area. Let’s substitute top down experimentation with bottom up experimentation. The College Area started this exercise by submitting ideas for Telegraph Road parcels based upon the needs in our district. I urge other councils to submit their vision for the open parcels in their area including traffic, schools & services issues.

Let’s review our 2005 General plan assumptions, definitions & land use designations to remove the erroneous ones and vet new ones for the 2025 update. The refinement took a stab at this issue, but now we have the opportunity to begin anew to correct past and recent errors. Let’s embrace this opportunity.

Let’s also immediately correct obvious discrepancies in our land use & zoning identified by the refinement effort.

I urge residents to get involved and take an active part in shaping your community.

Kathy Bremer Ventura

(Note: I am writing as an individual not representing the city or any organization).


The Breeze:

Realtor Dolly Bovee went above and beyond what is required of a Realtor and ensured that our business dealings went smoothly. She used much of her personal time and natural ease with people to cause timely response from all involved.

In our opinion Ms. Bovee is professional, honest, thorough and effective. We have learned, as seniors there appears to be a different attitude in how our business is both conceived and handled.

Sincerely,

Rafe and Yvonne Hernandez


Editor:

I have been intending to write, since I read the Letter to the editor, most recent edition, from Jared Verhoeven, critical of a small rate increase by E J Harrison and Sons and touting a huge trash company, not locally owned. EJ Harrison has a long record of excellent service over many many years to our community. They are constantly looking for better ways to operate and a leader in innovation.

Furthermore, they have been incredibly generous to so many not for profits ranging from Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Community Memorial Hospital to name just a few. I am a firm believer in local owners that live in our community and are fully invested in delivering great service at a very reasonable rate. It deeply hurts me to hear them being accused of gouging in their rates. You would not get this from a huge company like Waste Management. The Recycling market is commodity based and ever changing. We can each do our part to help keep rates down by following recycling guidelines.

Best regards,

Mike Merewether


Editor:

I want to acknowledge and thank both Ventura Police Department and California State Parks for their posting of Illegal Vagrant Camps on the Beach South of Surfers Knoll yesterday. This area was previously the site of two moderate-sized brush fires.

One of the illegal camps posted contained a non-ambulatory female who would not be able to flee on her own should another fire occur. This action taken by both agencies will lessen the chances of future fires and ensure Public Safety.

Respectfully,

John Higgins Harbormaster – Harbor Patrol Ventura Harbor


Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see.
~ Paul Klee

Vol. 11, No. 21 – July 18 – July 31, 2018 – Mailbox

Dear Mr. Brown,

I noticed you printed a letter from a 3rd grader about our roads. I’ll be interested in seeing any action in that regard.

I have complained through the email link about the scandalous state of Moon Drive at the foot of that gigantic apartment development overlooking Moon Drive. The response was that I would receive a phone call within 5 days. I did not receive a call. I called again and spoke to someone who told me they needed to wait for school to be closed. School is now closed.

Still no action.

How should I vote on the next council election, I wonder?

Best Wishes, Steve Hurst


to opinions

Sunday night Camarillo displayed significant awareness of a national phenomenon. A march promenaded down our street protesting the separation of parents and their children when they sought refuge. The issue that caught my awareness was the protest of a bystander saying “Send them home! We need to support the veterans instead.”

It seems to me that is a denial for all that our veterans were fighting for. The separation of those helpless children is an immense act of hatred. Inciting hatred seems to be the primary tool used to justify greed and intensify the division of the two parties.

My take can be summed up by the sentiment – “there is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us that it little behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us”. In other words, love is the answer what is the question?

Marilyn Dempsay


Hi Sheldon,

I read an article in your paper last week about how the City of Ventura had streamlined the rebuilding process for people who lost their homes in the Thomas Fire. I live on Colina Vista where about 30 homes burned and not a single one has broken ground to rebuild. Since that is in stark contrast to your article, I did some checking.

It appears that the city officials you spoke to did not give you the whole story. While the City has streamlined the plan check and approval process, they have added expensive and time consuming obstacles that are causing unnecessary delays and expenses for the homeowners.

While I don’t have all the details, I believe they are requiring soil and seismic reports and there aren’t enough professionals available to meet the City’s requirements; hence the delays for homeowners who are eager to rebuild their homes.

I urge you to do a little more investigative reporting. And maybe you could do a service to your readers and put a spotlight on unnecessary delays caused by the City. Who knows, maybe you could start a pressure campaign to get the City to drop burdensome and expensive burdens created by bureaucrats.

Regards,

Bill Bays

Bill

This is not true; we didn’t add these requirements for fire rebuilds… they are code requirements that will ensure solid and safe new homes…

Jeffrey Lambert, Community Development Director


Breeze:

I was a professional counselor for Planned Parenthood for many years. We helped thousands of young, and not so young, people at almost zero cost for them. A small portion of that help, included terminating pregnancies for various reasons — health of the pregnant patient; being expelled from pricey, religious college; no offer of marriage. I never witnessed an abortion decision that was made without tears, turmoil, and fear.

Being the protector and supplier of the continuation of the human race falls to the female. Yes, the male assists.

He does not need to make life and death decisions for any female.

Esther Cole, Ventura


Editor:

Brummm, Brummm, Brumm

If above reminds me of anything, its insanity!

While both coastal communities (Ventura & Santa Barbara) are busy finding ways to deter and outlaw (homeless folks), and while arresting people for camping on the streets, issue outrageous fines for parking RV’s on the streets in both Ventura and Santa Barbara communities. But allow Brummm, Brummm, Brumm as the result of no mufflers on the motor cycles, trucks, and very noisy tail pipes of hot rods.

What happened to the law that says all vehicle driven in the state of CA must have adequate mufflers

California law requires that all vehicles must be equipped with an adequate muffler to prevent excessive noise from the exhaust system. … The maximum decibel level applies only to those vehicles. Citations issued to other vehicles (motorcycles, trucks exceeding 5999 pounds GVWR) are not part of this program. California Vehicle Exhaust Noise Laws (2018)

www.californiacarlaws.com/exhaust-noise/

Adequate muffler required. 27150. (a) Every motor vehicle subject to registration shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise, and no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device.

This world is full of insanity and this is just one more example. When the white man arrived to this continents boarders there was nothing but outdoor living, as things have progressed we are facing mass homelessness and continuation of lots of noise in our streets!

Arrests people that cannot afford housing, but ignore make believe “Hells Angels” even if they are breaking the law with outrageous noise.

Jay North Ojai


to opinions

Shame on you Bill (from July 4 Breeze), for your dehumanization of some of the most desperate people in the city. And shame on the Breeze for giving Bill a platform for his hatred.

Ian Gamble

Ian:

The Breeze agrees with you but expression of opinion is still what this country is all about. Hope that it stays that way.


to Editor

Hello, Is there any way of getting the city to pay attention to the lack of public bathrooms? We are at the corner of Thompson and Hurst, and our business seems to be the favorite spot for taking a dump. People don’t realize what a health hazard this can be for those of us who have to clean this up. The city will not help because it is private property. Hope some public spirited person will make a map of public access bathrooms.( It might be more popular than monuments or other tourist attractions.) My guess is they are very few and most businesses will only have the bathroom available for clients, if that.

Janet McNeil DVM


There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.
~ William S. Burroughs

Vol. 11, No. 20 – July 4 – July 17, 2018 – Mailbox

To opinions:

Prince Charles has been roundly mocked (especially by establishment architectural poobahs) for his views concerning ugly “modern” architecture and planning efforts of the day. His signature project, the village of Poundbury in Dorchester, has been a resounding success as a livable town. Designed by architect and urban planner Leon Krier, who has incorporated traditional architectural shapes city plans and schemes throughout Italy, the US and England, Poundbury has captured the interest and enthusiasm of folks everywhere. Interestingly he has been a visiting professor at Notre Dame, Yale, Cornell, Chicago et cetera. This is the future.

By contrast there is no apparent vernacular architectural plan for our city (aka “Ventucky” or “Bakersfield by the Sea”). The fire marshal refuses to enforce visual signage ordinances. allowing unpermitted weird banners and signs anywhere and everywhere, the design review committee approves architectural junk ( such as Kaiser Permanente and a pukey green clinic next to the freeway), the local Caltrans chief refuses to allow Boston Ivy on the concrete downtown freeway walls and overpasses (extra work for him). Who is in charge here ?

John Stewart Ventura


Hello City Council,

As a long time city resident, I wanted to share something I find frustrating. My wife & I received our newest bill yesterday from E.J. Harrison & sons yesterday. At the bottom of the statement, they state starting in July, they are increasing residential trash/recycling/brown waste bin pickup rates by a total of 5%. The way they word it, to be frank, is BS. And with only a couple weeks’ notice too. I am a businessman, this would not fly with my customers, I would diligently give them much more notice, with a simpler explanation of why I am looking at increasing my fees for my products & services. Not a bunch of jargon.

I urge you, our city council, to review the contract you have with E.J. Harrison, as they seemingly have a monopoly here, and can say, do, and bump up rates, simply because they can. We, as residents, have no other alternative. Have we, as a city, looked into other providers, such as Waste Management that other municipalities across the country utilize? They are a much larger company, are publicly traded, thus having more transparency in contracts with municipalities, in my opinion than a privately held company such as E.J. Harrison, that can seemingly gouge us whenever they feel necessary to make more of the bottom line, $$$. Lastly, in this situation, we as residents, homeowners, renters, business owners, strive & can do our best to reduce our consumption with our other utilities we pay. Edison, SoCal Gas, Ventura water etc.. We use less, we pay less. Not the case in this situation. Only goes up.

Thank you,

Jared Verhoeven- Ventura County

Hi Jared: I want to reply to your inquiry.

On July 1, 2018, residential trash rates will increase approximately 3.5% due to a 1% increase in the Franchise Fee and the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment allowed by the Franchise Agreement with the City of Ventura. The new monthly rates are: 34-gallon-$27.87, 64-gallon-$30.69,101-gallon-$35.35. Depending on your trash cart size, you can reduce the size to meet your home’s needs. In addition, Ventura offers the lowest rates for its residents of all of the areas served by Harrison. I understand the frustration of increased pricing, but unfortunately, sorting/processing, labor, and transportation costs keep going up, thus affecting the rates to residents.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, happy to help.

Courtney Lindberg Environmental Sustainability Supervisor City of Ventura

 

 


To opinions

I’m glad to see that someone else is concerned about the work or more specifically the lack of work on the pedestrian overpass bridge. I use that bridge regularly and can’t see anything that was done. At most it only needed a little paint and that wasn’t done. There are still large chips in the concrete. What was done?

With regard to the fire dept. response to the fire, the local fire trucks have no mechanism ie. pumps to replenish their trucks with water other than to fill the trucks from fire hydrants. Multiple trucks left the fire when their water tanks were empty, driving by multiple swimming pools that they could have used to fill the trucks if they had had proper pumps to fill the trucks. Apparently the County fire trucks have this capability. This should certainly be corrected before the next fire.

John Edison

John:

Couldn’t agree more about the overpass. City told me they will be painting it. If they do they should send a bill to the DOT (Department of Transportation). This is the letter that I sent to the contractor. As expected never heard back from him. Will try to get answer regarding our fire trucks.

Sheldon

Guills, Inc.
313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., #290
Pasadena 91104
Att: Juan Munoz President
Re: Contract 07-290404 Ash St. Pedestrian Crossing

Dear Mr. Munoz:

I publish the Ventura Breeze newspaper in Ventura. This is from my article in our last issue. I have written about this previously and am sharing with you for your comments and concerns. A copy of this has been sent to DOT Jill Sewell and Shira Rajendra and members of the Ventura City Council.

“In the past, I have commented on the horrible workmanship performed on the pedestrian crossing bridge that runs over the freeway to the promenade.”

This is what the work consisted of per the Department of Transportation(DOT): “The department is working with the City of Ventura to provide for a safe and accessible pedestrian overcrossing that gives access to people shopping, recreating and living in the area. This polyester concrete overlay will improve the surface and the replaced handrail will provide comfort and safety for users.”

Even though painting was not in the contract for Guills, Inc. of Pasadena, I would think that for almost $400,000 they could have taken a little pride in their work and spent a day painting it.

I have contacted the DOT suggesting that they do the painting. If they won’t, perhaps Ventura could paint it (it reflects upon us) or the Ventura Breeze could have a painting party and we can all paint it. Of course, we would need permission from the DOT and probably need to provide a million-dollar liability insurance policy.

This is, in part from one of our readers.

Hi Sheldon,

Thanks for again mentioning that incredible fiasco of a construction project. Hard to imagine that even $50000, let alone $400000 was spent on what appears to be poor design, substandard materials, supervision and labor.

Rust now leaks from cracked concrete posts throughout the structure. The uneven hand railing is almost laughable. How the company that built this, Guills, ever received final payment for this makes one wonder about how these officials do business. I don’t see coated plastic truly fixing anything.

We deserve better. Thanks as always!

Name with held

Yours truly

Sheldon Brown


I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed to work it.
~ Alexander Woollcott

Vol. 11, No. 19 – June 20 – July 3, 2018 – Mailbox

Dear Editor,

I have read the opinions in your newspaper and other local publications regarding the homeless issue with a mixture of amusement and anger. While I understand that Ventura probably has a significant aging hippie population, and numerous forward thinking progressives, are we talking about the same homeless people?

So many of the solutions that are mentioned involve increasing services to the homeless, and mental health “issues” that need to be addressed and dealt with in that population. While I’m sure that there are some who would benefit, most of the visible homeless who are causing the blight in Ventura are beyond help.

I live in downtown, and what I see are a bunch of dirty, filthy pigs. They belong to borderline criminal gangs. I have had constant issues with break ins and theft, and it is more often than not that the sidewalk outside my residence has human excrement on it.

These people need to be institutionalized. Transitional housing is just another money pit for them to ruin. If California cities do not get a handle on this issue, there is going to be an unstoppable exodus of the middle class.

Bill Deeney

Bill:

Don’t be shy tell us exactly what you think. I don’t think that there are homeless gangs, but could be wrong.


To Editor

I would like to submit “SPAM the HAM” for your consideration . . .

There might even be a song that can go along with it. I vaguely recall something about

“Old Black Betty Ramalam” you could change it to Spam the Ham . . . during parades or events.

Thank you. Really enjoy the Good News from the Breeze versus other choices. Keep up the good work !

Frank Antonowitz

Frank:

Our very unofficial name the pig contest is over but thanks for the suggestion.


May 20, 2018

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I’m writing this letter to tell you that we have a serious problem with our streets around town. Driving around town it seems very bumpy and shaky which is not good for the tires and cars. Also, the streets don’t make Ventura look pretty and that when people come to visit we want to make a good first impression. Please consider fixing the roads of Ventura. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Aidan O’Neil
3rd grade
Portola Elementary School


Editor;

“If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?” So said Franz Kafka about literature and I think it works with architecture too.

The greatest sin of the new Kaiser building seems to be that it’s different. Well, what’s wrong with that? Why does every new building need to be in the quasi-Spanish style, in the usual antique bone and ochre color scheme with a phony tile roof? Why can’t the style of a building reflect the period it was designed in, with this one being a nice example of early twenty-first century architecture?

As far as calling for more restrictive planning you need look no further than our neighbor to the south, Thousand Oaks, to see what a visually dull city that produces. How long would the ice cream parlor stay in business if all thirty one flavors were variations on vanilla? I’d much rather be offended than put to sleep.

Ernst Haas said it best: “Beware of too much taste as it leads to sterility.”

Alfred J. Lewis


Plain and simple, be a good neighbor

Parking in Ventura is a problem—no breaking news to most residents. For any number of reasons, many establishments don’t have enough parking for their customers, let alone the staff. However, when some local business owners direct their employees to park in residential neighborhoods, there certainly should be a few things that should be considered.

Local business owners, when strange vehicles show up at the break of dawn and stay well into the night, homeowners take notice. When these same employee vehicles block our driveways and when your employees move our trash cans “to get a better parking spot”, homeowners take notice.

Worst of all local business owners, when your employees have the mobile detail guy show up in our neighborhoods, homeowners really take notice!! The excessive noise of the spray hoses, the water run-off, and the uninvited environmental consequences are just the start. Did we ask for the soap and the overspray on our yards? Does the City of Ventura want to settle slip and fall issues due to the water on the sidewalks? It’s my understanding that this is an illegal, code violation worthy activity on city streets to begin with and, plain and simple, a reflection on local business owners not being good neighbors.

Being a local business owner has its’ challenges. I’m very aware of that. Just remember, residents see your business name on your employees’ scrubs and t-shirts. Your office might offer the best teeth cleaning in town or your café might serve the best raspberry jam, but your business, via your employees, may have left a bad taste in the mouth of many of your potential, or even worse, former customers.

Jim Barrick


The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for circumstances they want. And, if they can’t find them, make them.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Vol. 11, No. 18 – Jun 6 – June 19, 2018 – Mailbox

Hello,

My name is Stephen Wong and I am a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley. I recently saw that you had posted a story about our wildfire evacuation survey to your website with the help of VCTC. Thank you so much for helping out with the distribution process! Our team here at Berkeley greatly appreciates your assistance.

One thing that did come up is that we have received several emails and phone calls from readers who were unable to take the survey. They found that the link in the print version of the newspaper was not correct. They said that the link in the paper was “https://berkeley.qualtrics.com” when it should be “https://berkeley.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5A2yZRTA2HI5ebb”. The entire link does need to be included to map directly to the survey. The first link just goes to our survey management software for all of UC Berkeley.

I should note that the version online is correct! I was hoping there would be an opportunity for your next print to provide the correct survey link so that people can access the survey. Thank you and I look forward to hearing back soon!

Best regards,

Stephen Wong


Editor:

I’ve read with sadness of the tragedy at the Aloha… along with the shaming of the mentally ill and the homeless. It’s so easy to be judgmental, but much harder to walk in the shoes of those just existing on the streets. Mental illness playing tricks on the mind, blending night into day in a never ending cycle of hopelessness and despair.

Ventura needs more transitional housing combined with targeted services to truly effect change. I look at the successful model of The City Center Transitional Living Community. Transforming the old City Center Motel into a transitional living community for homeless children and custodial parent needing to heal and rebuild their lives. Each room has been transformed into a little “home “, providing respite from the streets and a secure place to change their plight in life. Each is required to get a job, pay rent on a sliding scale, contribute to a savings account monthly, and manage their day to day expenses with the balance. All the while the residents are supported with mentor-ship, counseling, parenting and life skills, along with financial literacy classes all geared toward healing the human spirit. While adhering to rules and responsibilities they learn to rebuild their self-confidence and self-worth.

Since December of 2013 The City Center has welcomed 62 families that were homeless, each received housing and the resources to get off the streets and into a program to help them become self-sufficient. Each of these families has returned into our community, finally off the streets…..but it all started with HOUSING! Please support TheCityCenter.org and make a positive change for both our community and the homeless.

Perhaps the name of the much needed yearlong shelter in Ventura could be named “The Aloha” and really embody to true Aloha Spirit, and the spirit of Buenaventura… one of alliance of one’s mind, heart and soul evident by thinking good thoughts, performing good deeds and sharing goodness with others.

Jeanne Benitez


Ventura Breeze:

Ojai is an anomaly. The population is too small for an accurate reflection of the ratio of population to homeless. The stat should be removed from the analysis. Oxnard is our closest comparable city. Ventura has 2.82 time as many homeless as Oxnard. As noted many times, we have a source for these individuals at the County jail. This is a County problem placed upon us as a starting point. It has been said many times as well: “Take them back”. Take them back to the cities within the County that they came from. That should be a requirement of the County sheriff department. That would give the City of Ventura relief of a never ending input of homeless and problem individuals.

Next, we need to remove the convenience of being homeless. One, remove the river beds as a campground, along with the parks, primarily State Parks. State Parks has that authority now. Camping in the river beds is an environmental, health and safety issue. We have the authority now, just as the City does on occasions. That needs to be done more frequently.

Then we need to start a “no handouts” campaign. Start with public notice mailings, then signage on public places.

Next, secure the commodities homeless use to support their lifestyle. Mostly this is recyclables such as aluminum cans. Other cities have containers in public places that once deposited in them, there is no access to retrieve them. We also have to change our ways and actually use them! Also, take your recycle trash out in the morning, not the night before. If Harrison picked up recyclables first that would get them off the streets and away from scavengers.

Once the convenience of being homeless is reduced, the actual problems can be addressed. Hopefully with tax funding and appropriate mental health and “helping hand” programs.

This will not end the problem, but it will bring homelessness into a more manageable situation.

John Whitman


Hi Sheldon,

Thanks for again mentioning that incredible fiasco of a construction project (“In the past, I have commented on the horrible workmanship performed on the pedestrian crossing bridge that runs over the freeway to the promenade.”) Hard to imagine that even $50000, let alone $400000 was spent on what appears to be poor design, substandard materials, supervision and labor.

Rust now leaks from cracked concrete posts throughout the structure. The uneven hand railing is almost laughable. How the company that built this, Guills, ever received final payment for this makes one wonder about how these officials do business. I don’t see coated plastic truly fixing anything.

On that same note, how about that other new and expensive walkway over the freeway at California? Those now dingy and splattered with who-knows-what gray industrial grates that face the freeway were the worst choice (what was that designer thinking?) and last time I walked it, all the lights were out at night. Only a couple were out a few months back. It does not appear that anyone currently performs maintenance on it.

We deserve better. Thanks as always!

Kurt Triffet -Triffet Design Group


Editor:

Linda Taylor is founder and chairman of the board of Taylor Design – Irvine, which “designed” the architectural abortion known as Kaiser Permanente Ventura – possibly California’s most visually disturbing building of-the-year as well as a major embarrassment to the citizens of this community. What is more disturbing is the city’s Design Review Committee approved this monster. It would seem the least Kaiser Permanente could do is turn off the lighted duct tape effect at night.

John Stewart

Photo by Bernie Goldstein

John Stewart and Associates

John: I completely agree with you. But I don’t blame Taylor Design entirely, architects can design bad buildings (as a retired architect I know that). I blame the DRC (design review committee) for approving it or it wouldn’t have happened. I keep waiting for the “ribbon cutting”. Ooops, those aren’t lighted ribbons to be removed.

Sheldon


I had to read it a second time

I about fell out of my chair after reading Jennifer Tipton’s article on the City of Ventura new water General Manager: Kevin Brown. In fact I had to read it a second time to figure out which Thomas Fire this person attended. Is this guy for real? He is talking about the largest fire in California’s history: The Thomas Fire??? How dare he make the statement and I quote from the article: “Ventura had ample supply of water with more than enough with what was brought in from Lake Casitas”. He went on to state that there was no problems with the fire hydrants but the largest water tanks were not accessible to his people due to the fire”. Please allow me to set the record and Mr. Brown straight at this point.

The areas of Clear Point, Ondolando, and Skyline were hit the hardest in the fire. Over 500 homes in the city were lost or severely damaged. Those that choose to rebuild are looking at the Fall of 2019 to move back into our beloved foothill areas. The huge holding tank on Foothill and Edison road across from the Brokaw tree nursery was never in danger from the path of the fire. The same is true for the water tank a half mile north of Foothill rd. on Colina Vista. The fire clearly burned well below and above the Colina Vista tank which serves my home.

For the past 2 years the city has invested over 1 million dollars upgrading and installing new 8 inch underground water lines with new fire hydrants and Smart Meters throughout the entire Ondolando residential area. On Colina Vista street they installed 10 new fire hydrants off of Foothill and the fifth water hydrant sits on my property.

And guess what? Not one gallon of water came out of those hydrants that night and not one gallon came out of my garden hoses. So Mr. Brown here are the highlights of the fire in those 3 areas. Six fire trucks sat at the Missionary school church all night watching our homes burn to the ground with no water. Two trucks did the same thing on the corner of Foothill and Colina Vista and never moved once..

Another 2 trucks drove up and down the streets trying to look busy. We were the last to leave after the roof to my daughter’s bedroom collapsed. Not one backup generator was on location at one of the many crucial pumping stations, and there was no water for the homeowners when we turned on the garden hoses to make one last gallant attempt.

Mr. Brown please plan to attend the next Clearpoint, Ondolando, and Skyline homeowners association meeting in late June and feel free to explain to the 500 home owners burned out that your well informed statement printed in the Breeze was fact and not fiction. Thank you.. and we will all rise and build again out of the ashes.

Chris Dryden


Breeze:

Be the Change, See the Change in Homelessness

Homelessness in Ventura is not the kind of problem we need removed; it’s the kind of problem we need solved. That’s not just our responsibility as citizens of San Buenaventura. It’s the responsibility of the state and federal governments, and I’ll tell you why. Because the beautiful weather, clean and safe neighborhood, exceptional police force, and generous social services here draw homeless people from all around the state and country to flock to Ventura.

Why solve homelessness and not remove homeless people? Because we are Ventura. We are solution-oriented, active environmentalists with a strong sense of community. And each and every homeless person is somebody’s mother, brother, sister, father, and child.

How do we solve homelessness? We seek funding at the state and federal levels to help rebuild the Vista del Mar Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, which was badly damaged during the devastating Thomas Fire.

It’s clear that mental health is a driving factor of homelessness, as evidenced by the recent tragedy at the promenade and the aggressive mumbling that we hear at parks and markets around town. According to leading studies, 20-25% of homeless people suffer from severe mental health disorders and about 45% show a history of some diagnosis of mental illness. These are real, diagnosable diseases, and we have real solutions available at treatment facilities.

Yesterday, I was having a rough time looking for new work myself, and as I walked to my car, I was met by the smiling faces of two separate homeless people. First an elderly African-American man with a cart, and then a thin Caucasian woman who’d been dancing earlier, each said, “God bless you.” Those were the kindest interactions I had all day, and I felt real hope thanks to them. I hope through this article, God might bless them, too.

Lisa Love


Breeze

It’s amazing how someone (Kevin Brown)is so new to the job, was so confident that there was plenty of water to fight the Thomas fire. However, while watching my best friend’s home and many others burn to the ground while fire fighters idly stood by, the problem was not that we didn’t have enough water to combat the fire, the problem was and probably still is, that did the city of Ventura have backup generators in place and online to provide electrical power for the pumps to supply all that water. My guess, as well as many others, is the answer is no. I believe the answer to those important questions will be answered in a court of law when the home owners who lost everything will, in fact, have their day in court.

Bradley Johnston


Sheldon,

There are some horrible things happening in this fair City of ours right now but there are great things happening as well…just wanted to share a recent example I was fortunate to experience.

I work in the Ventura College Bookstore where I have the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of students and faculty members on a daily basis. Some come in once a semester to get textbooks, some stop in regularly for snacks and some run in 5 minutes before exams to get test forms and pencils. We don’t know each other’s names, situations or stories. This last week saw finals and Graduation on campus. It was a pretty anxious time.

Last week also saw “A Night To Remember” the annual “Prom” at Seaside Park organized by Mission Church honoring hundreds of students with special needs where each Guest gets the “formal treatment” free of charge. Along with countless unsung others, I have been honored to volunteer for this event the last few years and have seen it grow in scope exponentially. It is a rewarding experience to be part of this event.

This year’s NTR was the best and most emotional experience ever! Included in those hundreds of Guests were some of ‘my’ students from VC. I got to greet and welcome them to their “Prom.” I was surprised to see them and they were even more surprised to see me! There they were in their formal dresses and tuxedos and there I was, the “Bookstore Guy.” Suddenly, and unexpectedly – we were just People. Smiles, laughs, hugs and even some tears ensued.

We are Community.

Sheldon-Right now-some may not have it tough. Some are having a tough time. And some have had it tough for a long time. In those few hours at “Night To Remember,” people were together in one place as one. Happy, Thankful and One.

Friday night we were, and today we are, #VENTURASTRONG!

Clark K. Galbreath


Breeze:

In Santa Fe, Texas, another high school has faced the horror of a school shooting. We do not know the details at this point in time, but the reaction will be part of a pattern–A call for banning guns, a call to disarm the nation, people will defend the second amendment, people will call for more armed officers in schools etc… But then little or nothing of substance will be done.

But, perhaps we need to look at the dehumanized values that the shooters all have. One link that all the shooters share is an addiction to violent video games. Perhaps playing such games for hours, shooting digital humans, somehow makes killing fun, exciting, the thing to do. After killing thousands in a game–people with mental problems may well be compelled to try it in the real world. I say we ban violent video games!

In the 1950s they banned violent comic books like Crypt of Terror thinking such things twisted young minds–I contend that these popular video games are causing a culture of death, murder and violence.

Richard Senate


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
~Aesop~