Vol. 11, No. 19 – June 20 – July 3, 2018 – Opinion/Editorial

•In past issues, I have commented on the horrible workmanship performed on the pedestrian crossing bridge that runs over the freeway to the promenade. Especially the fact that it was not painted when the construction was completed which, amazingly, the $400,00 budget did not include.

What self-respecting contractor would leave a project looking like this? And what DOT employee would approve the final payment?

I have contacted the contractor and the state (DOT) about this but have never heard back from either of them. Even though this is state property, and not the city’s, it certainly reflects on Ventura so I also “complained” to city’s Staff and the Council.

It seems that my “complaining” might do some good. I’ve heard from a city employee to discuss the problem further and was told that they will be making contact with the DOT to see if they can get them to paint it. If not, I, and the Breeze staff are standing-by with paint brushes in hand.

•America’s allies:

North Korea


America’s enemies:

The rest of the world

• Several years ago, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) installed fencing on Vista Del Mar between Seaward and San Jon for security reasons – without all of the required approvals. UPRR filed for a Coastal Development Permit to legalize the fences and applied to the Ventura Planning Commission for approval. It met with generally unfavorable comments and was to return at the July 11th hearing for what was expected to be the final action, and probably a denial. UPRR has decided to not pursue this at this time, but instead to rely upon new trespass signage to ensure the safety of those crossing the tracks.

I know people that live in midtown don’t want the fences there, because it keeps them from taking this short cut to the beach. People have cut holes in the fences anyway to cross over the railroad tracks.

I am opposed to folks using this shortcut because crossing over the tracks can be very dangerous, especially because it curves at that point and the Amtrak trains are extremely quiet. I have seen very young kids crossing over carrying surfboards and skateboards without taking as much caution as they should. So, if you must take this route, be extremely careful, as there have been deaths from trains at this location.

•Some of Trump’s staff have used the Bible to justify the internment of children who are separated from their parents trying to enter the country illegally. Perhaps they should go further and use this extract from Deuteronomy in the Bible to solve the whole problem:

“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

•The Museum of Ventura County has received additional funding from the City of Ventura and Ventura County. $1.7 million from county taxpayers, and the Ventura City Council earlier this month approved giving the museum $1.075 million.

The money will help the nonprofit operate its downtown Ventura location and the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula.

I think that this is wonderful. I wouldn’t have thought so several years ago, but Executive Director Elena Brokaw and the museum board have been doing wonderful things there. And non-museum events who have been leasing the facilities have introduced many new people to the Museum and brought in additional funds.

•The City of Ventura is suing Southern California Edison to recoup some of the costs spent on the Thomas Fire. The City Council voted unanimously to initiate this legal action.

Ventura will be represented by outside counsel – the law firm of Baron & Budd. Several other cities have also hired this firm to represent them in similar law suits. The city isn’t paying any money to the law firm and won’t pay unless it wins the case.

Even though state and federal government are reimbursing millions of dollars related to the firefighting effort and damages, the city has still spent over $5 million on the fire.

Ventura might need the money because it also faces lawsuits that allege the water system failed so that firefighters weren’t able to fight the fires. As I’ve mentioned, I stood with firefighters watching homes burn to the ground because of lack of water. It was very sad.

•Folks try to contact me through nextdoor.com and Facebook. I don’t routinely look at either, so if you would like to contact me please email [email protected].

•The City Council voted 7-0 to lift the ban on leaf blowers, which was put into place shortly after the Thomas Fire to reduce the spread of ash. With cleanup nearly complete, staff recommended lifting the ban and the Council agreed. And it does save water.

Temporary rulings like this are rather symbolic anyway, because they are largely unenforceable. The police don’t have the time/manpower to stop gardeners and write citations. And, if they had received a complaint, the gardeners will probably have stopped the activity anyway by the time the police showed up.

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