Vol. 14, No. 11 – Feb 24 – Mar 9, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙The Ventura City Council has voted 4-2 (only 6 members on the council right now) to introduce two ordinances to permit a limited number of cannabis dispensary’s in Ventura. Voting to adopt the resolution were Doug Halter, Lorrie Brown, Jim Friedman and Joe Schroeder. Voting against were Mayor Sofia Rubalcava and Mike Johnson.

The council’s vote also included a resolution establishing the maximum number of commercial cannabis businesses in the city to 5 retail locations and 10 industrial locations. They must have 600’ buffers around elementary, middle and high schools. Not sure why this is required.

On a 5-1 vote, the resolution contained a strange amendment that was added to it. The amendment states that a cannabis business that applies for a city permit be penalized one point in an evaluation scoring system if it is on a walking route to a school that tends to have a lot of student foot traffic. What the heck is a lot of students? Ten for elementary and 25 for high schools? Resolutions that are completely subjective don’t mean a thing.

A city staff report estimates that each retail business would generate about $200,000 in annual tax revenue, with industrial businesses such as testing labs and distributors producing substantially less. Retail cultivation would continue to be prohibited.

It’s about time we allow cannabis businesses in Ventura. Venturan’s have spoken and want them. Businesses to open in Ventura were contingent upon the passage in the Nov. 3 election of a city measure to tax them. Measure I passed overwhelmingly 42,321 votes, 71.85% in favor, 16,583 votes, 28.15% against.

We have a cannabis dispensary Shangri La (located in Ojai) that advertises with us and I have been there several times. It is like a fine jewelry store inside. Nice display counters, a professional staff and a security guard. No one is hanging around outside smoking weed. It’s just like any other retail business and nicer than some.

Hopefully, city council members that opposed them have visited several cannabis stores to see how they are run and present themselves to the community.

∙These were the applicants to fill the city council seat for District 4 available when Erik Nasarenko left to be the county district attorney. Ken Cozzens, Thomas Edelson, Brad Golden, Jenny Lagerquist, John Lory, Dan Lyon, Mike Marostica, Michael Mislinay, Spencer Noren, Clarey Rudd, Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios, John Silva, Tyler Threadgill and Bonaventure Wakam.

Jeannette Sanchez-∙Palacios is sworn in as a city council member.

On February 20, city council members interviewed 13 of the candidates via zoom and selected Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios as the new council member by a 4-2 vote (Note: The 2 no votes were not really against her but against the procedure in selecting the new council member). Her term will be until Nov.2022. The final 2 selections came down to Jeannette and Jenny Lagerquist. Even though I think that she is very qualified, I believe this was a terrible way of selecting a council member. A special election should have been called for (yes it would cost around $100,000) but the residents of the district should have had the opportunity of making their own selection. The council could have still functioned with 6 members waiting for the election to occur.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has won a $1 million Israeli prize for “defending science” throughout his career. The Dan David Foundation which is based at Tel Aviv University said on Monday that Fauci has won the prize for “courageously defending science in the face of uninformed opposition during the challenging COVID crisis.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic unraveled he leveraged his considerable communication skills to address people gripped by fear and anxiety and worked relentlessly to inform individuals in the United States and elsewhere about the public health measures essential for containing the pandemic’s spread,” the foundation’s awards committee said.

∙This is about basketball in case you don’t want to read it. There is a great debate going on about who is the greatest NBA player ever Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Perhaps the greatest athlete in any sport should be the one who won the most championships. If so, the runaway winner is Bill Russell.

LeBron 4 in 18 years=22%; Jordan 6 in 15 years=40%; Russell 11 in 13 years=84%. And Russell lead the San Francisco Dons to 2 NCAA championships. I’d better hear from some sports fans.

∙I think our presidents have much to much singular power. It borders on being a dictator (no, I am not speaking of Trump specifically). Trump becomes president and can just reverse what Obama did just with a stroke of the pen. Then, Biden can just reverse what Trump decided with a stroke of a pen. Not much check and balances for so many very important decisions.

∙When several thousand Californian’s lost electric power last summer for several hours Texas Senator Ted Cruz, always ready to criticize California, said “California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization like having reliable electricity.” Wonder what he has to say about 4,000,000 homes and businesses that have lost power in Texas for many days?

Even funnier (sadder still), Texas Republicans (and others) are blaming California for making Texas follow our lead (the devil made us do it). Millions of Texas residents still falsely claiming that wind turbines and solar energy were primarily to blame. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas projected that 80% of the grid’s winter capacity, or 67 gigawatts, could be generated by natural gas, coal and some nuclear power.

There is a spreading photo of a helicopter de-icing a wind turbine with claims it showed a “chemical” solution being applied to one of the massive wind generators in Texas. Actually the photo was taken in Sweden years ago, not in the U.S. in 2021. And, the helicopter sprayed hot water onto the wind turbine, not chemicals.

∙ “President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day,” stated Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell.

∙President Joe Biden took questions from Wisconsin residents and from Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall event in Milwaukee. He made at least four statistical false claims about the minimum wage, undocumented immigrants, China’s economy and Covid-19 vaccinations. Maybe presidents should never make comments based upon statistics or facts. Just generalizations, so they can’t be caught making false statements and lies that are verifiable.

∙Police in Oregon can no longer arrest those in possession of small amounts of heroin and other such drugs after a ballot measure that decriminalized them has taken effect. Those found in possession would face a $100 fine for health assessment that could lead to addiction counseling. This type of normalization could stop what has been a cruel and inhumane war on drugs which has completely failed.

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