Vol. 9, No. 8 – January 20 – February 2, 2016 – Opinion/Editorial

•   I want to wish Ventura Breeze writer Pam Baumgardner a speedy recovery from her full right knee replacement surgery. I’m sure she will be shooting hoops again above city hall very soon.

I also wish my lovely wife Diane (who needs to put up with me) a happy birthday on Jan.20.

•   I certainly agree that the homeless is a serious problem here (and everywhere) but being homeless (or dirty) is not against the law. And being mentally ill certainly isn’t. I understand that some homeless do commit criminal acts and should punished for it or obtain treatment if they are mentally ill.

Those who say “why don’t the police and city get rid of them” need to realize that unless they are breaking the law they cannot just be picked up and removed from Ventura or jailed.

I would love to hear your solutions to this problem.

•   Every year California enacts new laws. I understand that as technology and everyday life changes we need some new laws to address the changes. But 807 are new this year which seems to be a ridiculous number. These aren’t guidelines or suggestions but laws that the legislator had to write, study, discuss and pass.

These are some of my favorites. I’m not saying that they aren’t swell ideas, but laws?

“Beer tasting events can be held at certified farmer’s markets.”

“California community colleges can suspend or expel students accused of sexual assaults that occur off campus.”

“Non-citizens in high school may serve as election poll workers.”

“The word ‘alien’ will be removed from California’s labor code as a description of those not born in the United States” (it may still be used to describe those born on Mars and living in the United States).

“Electrically motorized boards may be ridden wherever bicycles are ridden—within bicycle lanes, pathways and roadways.”

“The State Department of Fish and Wildlife has new power to take action to conserve monarch butterflies and their habitats” (my wife Diane raises monarchs so this will make her very happy).

“Lace lichen commonly known as Spanish Moss is designated as California’s official lichen” (this is probably my favorite). A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria or both living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms. (I am trying to get the Ventura Breeze designated as California’s official newspaper.)

•   I know that I said I wasn’t going to comment on the proposed 55-unit hillside project until further action is taken. This isn’t specifically about the project but about “some” of the vindictive and insulting emails/letters I’ve received.

As you know, I currently support the project.

I have been accused of many things because of my support, so I want to speak to some of these comments.

“I have been bribed to support it.” Okay I fess up, I asked Regent to give me 3 of the new homes to support the project but they only offered me 2, but I decided to support it anyway. Actually they didn’t even offer me a cup of coffee.

“I have some hidden motivation.” Yes, I was hoping that I can get a free upgrade in the bathroom tile when I buy one of the homes. I have no hidden agenda. I will not personally gain in any way if they should get built. And, I couldn’t afford to buy one anyway.

“I think that you support it because the new home owners will take out ads in the Breeze.” In 5-6 years if/when these homes are available I don’t imagine that I will still be the publisher of the Breeze. It would be nice though if the new owners brought businesses, and money to Ventura. Then the project would be ultra-successful.

•   In a previous issue describing the portrait of Howard Boroughs by Johanna Spinks, we stated, in part, “Thanks to their generosity, we have The Evelyn and Howard Boroughs Library at Ventura College.”

We received this comment from a reader; “While we appreciate the Burroughs and their civic engagement, they did not pay for the Ventura College Library, or even a significant part of it, as your recent article implies. Clearly the taxpayers paid for the $25 million library.”

To clarify, the Burroughs did not donate the $25 million to construct the library, it was just named after them for the contributions they have made to the library and to Ventura.

•   In keeping with several other Ventura County cities, the Ventura City Council, by a 7-0 vote, has banned the commercial cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana in Ventura.

The City Council felt it was important to take action before state laws become effective in the future. Cities have until March 1 to adopt their own ordinances. The uncertainty of what the eventual state laws will be is why cities are taking action now.

Patients will still be allowed to grow medicinal marijuana for their own use. Speaking at the meeting, Ventura resident Carlos Landeros-Angel, who is a medicinal marijuana user, urged the council to allow local delivery.

Even though I do not have a strong opinion (not like me) regarding this action, I do agree with council members Carl Morehouse and Neal Andrews who expressed concern for those who aren’t able to grow their own medicinal marijuana, and who will not be able to obtain it if both dispensaries and delivery are both banned.  I don’t think that having to drive up to an hour to purchase needed medicine is appropriate.

And enforcing a “no delivery” policy would be nearly impossible and certainly not worth the time required by our police department .


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