Vol. 13, No. 14 – Apr 8 – Apr 21, 2020 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ A potential positive outcome from people being forced to stay home is that some companies will realize that it might be beneficial to let employees work at home. Efficiency might improve, and they would see that they don’t need 40,000 square feet of office space. Plus, it would help the environment by keeping cars off the road.

Perhaps on the negative side some buyers will have gotten comfortable ordering products online and having goods being delivered to their homes, so they might stop shopping at local businesses.

∙Following the county’s announcement, the city of Ventura decided to close its parks, including Arroyo Verde, Mission and Plaza, as well as its beaches, the Ventura Pier and the promenade. They mainly just closed parking lots, so some folks are still using these facilities.

I have been asked why Mayor Matt LaVere decided to do this, so will briefly explain how our local government works. The mayor is a city council member who is selected to the post by the other city council members. He/she has just one vote like all members.

The daily workings of Ventura are made by our City Manager Alex McIntyre who is the “boss”. He explained, “As City Manager, I hold two titles – City Manager and Director of Disaster Services. Under the second authority, I have the general ability to make such declarations with the Council affirming them. This action generally does not come from the Council rather from the facts that dictate the need for immediate action. Given the gravity of the health crisis facing us all, creating opportunities for greater social distancing is going to keep people healthy and save lives. That is critical at this time.”

The city council hires (and fires) the city manager and city attorney.

∙You will note that our recent issues contain more non-Ventura articles as we report information on the coronavirus for the community. I hope that all of you are managing okay under these extremely difficult times.

∙Governments are telling renters to just not pay rents currently. All landlords are not wealthy developers, and many depend on the money that they get from rents to survive, so we must also consider them as small business owners during these times.

Malaysian’s have a great sense of humor.

Malaysia’s Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development issued a series of online posters on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. It advised the nation’s women to help with the country’s partial lockdown by not nagging their husbands.

The ministry also advised women to refrain from being “sarcastic” if they are asked for help with household chores. And it urged women working from home to dress up and wear makeup.

∙As you might know, the Breeze (and all newspapers) is really suffering financially during these troubled times with a lack of advertising, so we are asking our readers to consider helping. More about this on page xx.

Even though we appreciate any help we can get, I found a few emails from Trump fans very disturbing. They basically said that if I stop commenting about Trump and stop including readers negative emails about him, that they would contribute financially to the paper.

This is a new way of shutting down the freedom of the press…….. bribery. Not even Trump has tried that. One of the stalwarts of a democracy is complete freedom of the media, newspapers, internet and television. Without these freedoms we are no different than China.

Once again, I ask Trump fans to send in opinions about why they support Trump. All we ever get are emails telling me to shut up and criticizing our readers. I am happy to publish letters supporting Trump, but we just don’t get any. They can be as simple as, “I think Trump is a great president.” Let’s hear from Trump supporters.

∙At a recent White House briefing, Jonathan Karl asked the president what he regarded to be a fundamental question about the coronavirus pandemic. The question…., “And everybody who needs one will be able to get a ventilator?”

Donald Trump’s reply was probably the strangest ABC News’ chief White House correspondent has ever had from a US president.

“Look,” he said. “Don’t be a cutie pie. OK?” Trump went on. Karl, he said, was “a wise guy” too.

Trump said of the coronavirus: “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus, you know you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.”

Trump said he instructed Vice President Mike Pence not to reach out to governors who aren’t “appreciative” of his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in their states. In other words, if they aren’t really nice to him he is willing to let American’s die. Reminds me of Eric Cartman on South Park when his friends aren’t nice to him, he says, “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

∙The Florida megachurch pastor who made national headlines for holding crowded services has been arrested for defying government orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of The River at Tampa Bay Church, argued his congregation was essential, on par with Walmart. However, law enforcement officials who said they tried to reason with him, disagreed, charging him with “unlawful assembly” and “violation of public health emergency order.”

At least bishops in New Jersey and Massachusetts have granted permission for Catholics to eat meat during the remaining Fridays of Lent.

∙ According to a poll conducted March 25-28 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife released on Friday, 24% of small businesses say they will close permanently within two months or less due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eleven percent of small businesses say they will close within one month and 24% percent of small businesses are already shut down on a temporary basis.

The poll found that it is likely that 54 percent of all small businesses will close temporarily in the next 14 days – 40% of businesses surveyed that have not yet temporarily closed are expecting to do so in that time frame.

Hopefully Ventura businesses can get financial help and will re-open when all this is over. The reality is many mom and pop businesses always struggle to stay open during good times. This is catastrophic – is the government actually doing enough?

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