∙Wow, another year of publication of the Ventura Breeze. As we commence Vol.13, No.1, there are so many people to thank. Our advertisers, who keep us in business, and also are helping to support another local business. Plus, all the wonderful people that contribute to our community newspaper; our writers, photographers, distributors (you can see all their names to the left in our masthead). And especially our dedicated, very intelligent readers.
A special thanks to Account Executive Breezy Gledhill, who keeps the money coming in, and works so hard to keep our advertisers happy. To Alfred J. Lewis, at Studio Nothing, who makes the paper look so nice (both are lefties like me). And, also to Cindy Summers, who maintains our website (and other things).
When my daughter, Staci, and I launched the Ventura Breeze thirteen years ago we weren’t sure that it would last for even one year, so to all, again, a hearty thank you.
∙ Ventura has been voted No.1 on Zillow’s list of cities with the most pleasant weather in the country! Said Zillow, “Like a trip to the beach, we’re here for good weather, so without further ado, the number one pleasant weather city on Zillow’s list is … Ventura, California. The natural beauty on the Central Coast, just south of Santa Barbara, is casual, artsy, and outdoorsy, with first-rate beaches, surfing, and hiking. And with close proximity to farms, wineries, and the bountiful Pacific, there is no shortage of fresh, delicious food and drink to indulge in.
We knew it all along, right? Now a bunch of outsiders are going to move here. How dare them – no one should have moved here after I did.
∙ Our Building Official (head of the building and safety department) Yolanda Bundy has accepted a position with the City of Malibu as their Environmental Sustainability Director/ Chief Building Official. A very big loss for Ventura. She is very well respected in the industry and by her staff. She will be missed.
After getting us through the aftermath of the Thomas Fire, Community Development Director Jeff Lambert (her boss) left to go to Oxnard and now Yolanda. We seem to lose department heads at an alarming rate.
∙The city of Ventura is part of a coalition of 33 California counties and cities asking the Supreme Court to review a federal court ruling that cities cannot arrest or punish people for sleeping on public property unless adequate shelter space is available.
Boise v. Martin dealt specifically with the city of Boise, Idaho, it is now set a precedent and is binding on all federal trial courts in California and other western states.
Said the ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine western states,
“Cities cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”
The decision means cities can no longer enforce their ordinances unless they can provide enough shelter space available for their homeless population. The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear the case next year.
So, we can’t just blame our city council and police department for not taking immediate action.
Pursuant to this, Ventura’s first year-round homeless shelter is hoping to open in January in the county-owned building at 2323 Knoll Drive.
The Ventura Social Services Task Force is hosting workshops to give the community more input on the proposed shelter.
The 55-bed facility is a joint venture between the city and county, with the two splitting the estimated $1.2 million annual operating costs.
∙Some good news for veterans – the new 41,000-square-foot VA clinic is scheduled to open in 2021, at 5250 Ralston St., which was where the VC Star operated for many years. The building has been empty for a very long time.
Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, announced the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to lease the site. The property will be developed into an outpatient clinic. The VA will pay an annual lease of $3.1 million along with a lump sum payment of $9.7 million to develop the new space, according to Brownley’s office.
∙ On our cover is news about our five new police officers, of which three are women. Congratulations to all of them.
∙Finally, Ventura’s City Council has approved new rules on the delivery of recreational and medicinal marijuana within city limits. The ordinance, adopted by a 7-0 vote, followed a change in state law that mandated deliveries be allowed by state-licensed cannabis operators, so the Council had no choice.
The deliveries can be made from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with restrictions, under the new ordinance. Between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., marijuana can’t be delivered within 600 feet of a public or private K-12 school. The Council’s next step should be to allow dispensaries in Ventura.
∙I just found out that “no trump” in bridge is a really good hand, so I’m going to start playing the game (will it take more than a week to learn?).
Speaking about Trump, I finally figured him out. He wants to be impeached so he could star in a TV reality show called, “Impeach the President”.
On this show he would play a very inept President (he could fake it) who does stupid things, and an “expert” panel would decide if a President could be impeached for these actions.
How “Not to Run a Democracy101.” President Trump again suggested starting his own global news network to “put some really talented people and get a real voice out there. Not a voice that is fake.”