Vol. 13, No. 22 – July 29 – Aug 11, 2020 – Opinion/Editorial

∙I didn’t think that the downtown closing of Main St. would be successful, but it is working very well. Outdoor dining is a great idea because it allows many restaurants to remain open that would be otherwise closed, many permanently. This is especially true because the Coronavirus will be with us for a long time.

Many restaurants have always had space to expand outside so are doing this now. With our wonderful weather all restaurants that can serve outside should.

It is sad, however, to see so many businesses now closed forever.

∙Once again, I want to thank the Breeze donors that are helping to keep the paper running.

∙Hedge-fund manager Chatham Asset Management LLC emerged as the winner in a bankruptcy auction for McClatchy Co., ending 163 years of family ownership for the newspaper chain and increasing financial investors’ control of the American publishing industry.

The sale, announced by McClatchy on Sunday, must be approved by the judge overseeing its bankruptcy. McClatchy publishes 30 daily papers, including the Miami Herald, the Sacramento Bee and the Kansas City Star.

This is good news so that the newspaper industry can, hopefully, survive.

∙Now that Father Serra has been removed from the pedestal at City Hall the question is what should replace him? A simple solution would be to just remove the pedestal. If a new statue is placed there perhaps it should be a Chumash elder. Do any Breeze readers have suggestions of what should be put in that location?

∙ Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that state and local officials have reached a settlement with Crimson Pipeline and its contractor CD Lyon Construction, Inc. and CD Lyon, Inc. These are the companies responsible for the June, 2016 crude oil spill in Hall Canyon, Ventura. The spill occurred from a crude oil pipeline owned by Crimson following a valve replacement operation and restart of the pipeline. New valve flanges were not properly tightened which caused the release of more than 44,000 gallons of crude oil.

In total, Crimson has agreed to pay $1,307,700 in civil penalties, costs, and natural resources damages. Additionally, CD Lyon has agreed to pay civil penalties and a portion of the outstanding costs totaling $300,000.

∙From the LA Times. This is what police defunding means to many including me.

“Several Los Angeles City Council members are calling for a new emergency-response model that uses trained specialists, rather than LAPD officers to render aid to homeless people and those suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues. The city of Berkeley, California, moved forward Wednesday with a proposal to eliminate police from conducting traffic stops and instead use unarmed civilian city workers as part of a broad overhaul of law enforcement. The City Council also set a goal of cutting the police budget by 50%.”

“The vote calls on the city manager to convene a “community engagement process” to pursue the creation of a separate department to handle transportation projects as well as enforcement of parking and traffic.”

Someone asked me if you are being robbed, are you supposed to call a social worker? Of course not, this is why we have a police department to deal with crimes and criminals.

∙Speaking of police, Ventura Police Commander Tom Higgins has retired after 28 years of outstanding service to our community. He will be missed, especially by the press who he provided police information to. I have also met him personally so hope to still see him someday when life goes back to normal.

∙The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster started in 2005 when Bobby Henderson, a physics graduate from Oregon State wrote “The Open Letter to the Kansas School Board.” This letter was published online as a response to a newly elected conservative-majority school board’s decision to teach creationism alongside evolution as equivalent scientific theories in science classes statewide.

In the letter, Mr. Henderson argued that if this were to be the case, then it would then only be fair to teach other creation beliefs in science classes as well. Specifically, his belief, that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe a few thousand years ago. What started out as a clever attempt to expose false equivalency quickly went viral online, and over the next 15 years would evolve into a vast religious community with millions of followers worldwide. Fittingly, these followers call themselves “Pastafarians.”

∙The official portraits of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have been removed from the Grand Foyer of the White House and replaced by those of two Republican presidents who served more than a century ago.

White House tradition calls for portraits of the most recent American presidents to be given the most prominent placement in the entrance of the executive mansion, visible to guests during official events.

∙The Republican speaker of Ohio’s House of Representatives was arrested by federal officials recently on charges connected to a $60 million bribery scheme. Larry Householder and four other political operatives were charged with racketeering in what US Attorney David DeVillers described as “likely the largest bribery money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.”

Polar bears have long been the poster child of the consequences of climate change (yes it does exist, even if people aren’t causing it). A new study suggests the Arctic bears are at risk of being starved into extinction by the end of the century. It really doesn’t matter what is causing their decline, the important thing is to find a way to stop it.

∙A U.S. Navy veteran, Chris David, said he thought he would be able to talk plainly with federal agents in Portland and ask them why they were using unmarked cars to snatch people off the street during recent protests in the Oregon city.

When he tried to speak with them outside the federal courthouse, he said a federal officer beat him with a baton, breaking his hand in two places. A second officer sprayed him with chemical irritant, David said.

“I wanted to ask them, ‘Why are you guys not following the Constitution?’ But we never got there, and they whaled on me like a punching bag.”

∙Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said he believes the pandemic could be brought under control over the next four to eight weeks if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.”

∙Trump on “Fox News Sunday” repeated his assertion that the virus will eventually disappear. “I’ll be right eventually,” he said. “It’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.” Of course, it will go away eventually, and he can say that he was right. That is like saying that a forest fire will eventually stop burning and claiming you knew it was going to happen.

∙U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said calls for a boycott of Goya Foods because its CEO praised President Donald Trump were an attempt to “silence free speech.” But one year ago, the Texas Republican encouraged people to boycott Nike after the company halted plans to sell shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag that some say glorifies slavery and racism.

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