Vol. 13, No. 7 – Jan 1 – Jan 14, 2020 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Per our cover article, the County of Ventura has selected Ashley Bautista as their new Public Information Officer following the retirement of Bill Nash. She will report to County Executive Officer Mike Powers. I’m happy for her, but sad at the same time. Ashley was great at keeping the media informed about news and events in Ventura – will miss her, but it’s wonderful that she has this new position.

∙ Hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and anything else that you might celebrate.

A different Happy Hanukkah came from astronaut Jessica Meir. The daughter of an Israeli doctor who moved to Sweden and later to the US, she joined the International Space Station crew in September. Two weeks later, she participated in the first all-female spacewalk.

∙ Reader Clyde questioned me calling some famous artists lefties. Even though some of the artists I mentioned (Michelangelo for instance) sometimes painted with their right hands, they were left-handed. In those days, some lefties did some things right-handed (maybe the nuns wacked their left hands with a ruler). One reason was the amount of time that it took for oil paint to dry which would be smeared when painting with just one hand. Us old lefties had this problem with ink pens.

By the way, if a person does some things right-handed and some left-handed that is not being ambidextrous. Ambidextrous means doing everything equally well with both hands and is very rare. A person who does some things with one hand and the other is called “mixed-handed” or “cross-dominant”.

A few more famous lefties: Vincent Van Gogh, Julius Caesar, Babe Ruth, Mozart, Oprah, Bonaparte, Bill Gates, Joan of Arc and Bart Simpson (maybe the most important one).

∙ Venturans for Responsible and Efficient Government (VREG) has excellent (and sometimes controversial) opinions regarding Ventura politics and city council. Always worth reading and deciding for yourself. www.vregventura.org click on “READ MORE”.

∙ Ventura County’s first permanent, year-round homeless shelter opening has been delayed and is scheduled now to open in late January instead of late December, as originally hoped. They had some construction and inspection delays.

Still only a 55-bed facility but at least some homeless will have a warm place to go to during winter (and other times). Too bad not open during this very cold and wet winter we are having so far.

Regarding the homeless, the Supreme Court has refused to consider whether state and local governments can make it a crime for homeless people to sleep outside. The justices won’t hear a case from Boise, Idaho which basically says homeless people can live on the street if they have nowhere else to live.

The question was whether the homeless can be prosecuted using laws designed to regulate public camping and sleeping. The court’s refusal to take up the issue is a setback to states and cities with a growing homeless population (about 40,000 in LA). Boise wanted a federal appeals court ruling overturned allowing them to prosecute people who sleep on streets when they claim shelter beds are unavailable.

This means that our police department must allow people to sleep on city property, so don’t blame them for this situation. Obviously, if they are committing crimes the same rules apply to them but being homeless and sleeping on the sidewalk are not crimes. We are, I hope, still a country of laws and this is now one of them.

∙ Regarding wind turbines, Trump had this to say. “I’m sure it makes sense to some but not to me. But they’re manufactured tremendous — if you’re into this — tremendous fumes. Gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint — fumes are spewing into the air. Right? Spewing. Whether it’s in China, Germany, it’s going into the air. It’s our air, their air, everything — right?”

Can’t argue with that, or understand it.

The president also claimed in April that noise from turbines causes cancer, a claim that has no scientific research behind it. Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley called Trump’s statement “idiotic.”

∙ It was a violent year in the United States. In total, there were 41 mass killings, which are defined as instances when four or more people are killed, excluding the perpetrator. More than 210 people were left dead in the mass killings, 33 of which were mass shootings, according to a database compiled by the Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University.

The highest profile shootings usually involve a gunman opening fire in a crowded place, but that is not a reflection of mass killings as a whole. The majority of the killings involved people who knew each other.

For instance, a 66-year-old man living at an apartment complex in Westerly, Rhode Island shot two employees and another resident before apparently killing himself. Hardly the reason why he purchased a gun, I would assume. Babcock Village apartments is an affordable housing complex for elderly and disabled people in the beachside town.

∙At a meeting in December, the City Council agreed to extend CAPS’ contract for one month, until the end of January.  I thank the council members for the extensive discussion and decision that they had and for not closing CAPS’ doors on December 31.  But, obviously the future of CAPS is still in question. So please let your council members know of your support for CAPS and for any of your city concerns. They are there to represent you. A few members are still “at large” but eventually all members will represent specific districts.

Erik Nasarenko, Councilmember – District 4 – enasarenko@cityofventura.ca.gov;

Cheryl Heitmann, Councilmember – at large – cheitmann@cityofventura.ca.gov;

Matt LaVere, Mayor – at large – mlavere@cityofventura.ca.gov;

Christy Weir, Councilmember – at large – cweir@cityofventura.ca.gov;

Sofia Rubalcava, Deputy Mayor – District 1 – srubalcava@cityofventura.ca.gov;

Jim Friedman, Councilmember – District 5 – jfriedman@cityofventura.ca.gov

Lorrie Brown, Councilmember – District 6 – lbrown@cityofventura.ca.gov

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