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


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.


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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email