Vol. 14, No. 09 – Jan 27 – Feb 9, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙All kinds of good stuff at www.venturabreeze.com. Surf reports, weather, past issues, Scampclub pets, horoscopes and the current issue. Plus, other goodies.

∙ The Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners approved a program to defer rental payments for Ventura Harbor Village tenants who have been directly impacted by the pandemic. Which is probably all of them. Businesses which have been closed by government order or lost 20% or more of their typical monthly pre-COVID-19 revenue are able to take advantage of the program. This will last, at least for now, through March 31, 2021. And I’m sure will be extended again.

∙ A man found dead last week on the sidewalk in front of a vacant lot in Ventura has been identified. Anthony Miller, 42, of Ventura, died of a stab wound in the chest, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office. Miller was listed as homeless, according to the medical examiner’s office. Ventura police were called just before 7 a.m., on Dec. 28, about a body found in the 100 block of Leighton Drive off N. Ventura Avenue.

Miller was the fourth homicide victim reported in Ventura in 2020.

∙ The Ventura City Council rejected an appeal of the city Planning Commission’s approval of a planned 50,000-square-foot Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Ventura. The council voted unanimously, 7-0, to deny the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval in November of the planned U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinic. The project can now move forward and replace a smaller VA clinic located in Oxnard.

The appeal was filed by Pasadena attorney Mitchell Tsai on behalf of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, a labor union representing more than 50,000 carpenters in six states.

Even though the stated purpose of the appeal cited environmental review asserting that the project’s noise, air quality and other impacts were not adequately analyzed or disclosed, it was more about using local tradesmen on the project.

The council adopted a resolution upholding the Planning Commission’s finding that the project’s initial environmental study appropriately discussed and mitigated the negative environmental impacts and upholding the Planning Commission’s approval of the project.

A third resolution was also adopted by the council, urging the project’s contractor to use local union workers when possible (what about non-union workers?) The question is what is local? City of Ventura, County of Ventura? Always good to keep the money in Ventura but the contractor still has no legal obligation to do this.

The new one-story clinic, which will be run by the VA, is planned for the eight-acre site at 5250 Ralston St., which is the former home of the Ventura County Star that can be seen from the freeway.

City spokesperson Heather Sumagaysay stated, “With the council’s denial of the appeal, the project can now move forward in obtaining the necessary permits to demolish the existing building, begin grading and then constructing the new clinic.” It is expected to be completed in April of 2022.

The VA will pay an annual fee of $3.1 million and $9.7 million to develop the new space.

∙ The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would decriminalize marijuana and seek to “address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs.” The vote in the Democratic led House is the first time a chamber of Congress has voted on federal marijuana decriminalization.

The bill passed largely along party lines: 222 Democrats, five Republicans and a libertarian, voted in support while 158 Republicans and six Democrats voted against it. Those voting against it will need to still smoke pot only in their homes.

Hopefully, this will eventually be law. How stupid that decriminalized marijuana is legal in most states but not by the government.

∙I want to thank Trump for giving us our first female vice president, and Biden.

I’m glad that the inauguration went smoothly, but it is a shame that it took 25,000 military to help make that happen. Even though, at times, I thought that the inauguration was a revival meeting.

How bad for America that leaders and residents of other countries had to see what occurred here and stir their belief in what democracy stands for. Hopefully, Biden, and other future presidents, can change this.

I wish Biden the best, but he has inherited a broken country with 400,000 COVID-19 deaths and rising (much more if you count those who died because they couldn’t get care they needed due to full hospitals and ICU’s and also avoiding the hospital) a broken economy, a minor civil war plus the impact of climate change.

So nice to watch CNN without getting aggravated and depressed.

The Biden administration has rejoined the Paris Agreement. Clean Power Alliance Executive Director Ted Bardacke stated, “On behalf of Clean Power Alliance (CPA), I want to express my profound appreciation and congratulations to President Biden for his Executive Order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. With climate change being one of the most crucial issues facing humanity, it is paramount that our nation be among the leaders in this fight at the global level.”

I oppose presidents (not just Trump because other presidents have pardoned more people), and governors having pardon rights. Presidential pardons were from the 1787 Constitutional Convention when Alexander Hamilton suggested giving the president the power to pardon people who have committed crimes.

George Washington granted pardons to two men behind the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion. That rebellion was a response to a federal tax placed on alcohol. Washington pardoned the insurgents in the final days of his second term, sighting the need to temper justice with mercy.

One of the most controversial pardons was in 1974, after President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in the wake of the Watergate scandal. His successor Gerald Ford issued Nixon an unconditional pardon for any crimes Nixon “may” have committed.

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