∙ In this issue we have an article regarding the proposed increase to our water and wastewater rates. A public hearing will be held on May 17 to discuss increasing water rates by 7% and wastewater rates by 6% each year for the next five years.
If fully adopted, the proposed rates would generate an additional $35 million for the water fund and $26 million for the wastewater fund over a five-year period. The new revenue is expected to address operational and capital investment needs.
For the average homeowner the new adjustment will amount to an average annual increase of $7.76 to a monthly bill, for the next five years.
If the City Council receives written protests from a majority of parcels, the proposed rate change will not be adopted. If less than a majority of the protests are received, the council would finalize the rate increase during the May hearing. The rates would become effective July 1 and each of the four years following.
The website www.VenturaWaterRates.net has a rate protest form. Protest statements must identify on the front of the envelope that the letter is for a public hearing on Proposed Water and Wastewater Rate Adjustments. Oral comments at the May 17 hearing do not qualify as a formal protest. Protests must be received (not postmarked) by 5 pm on May 17. Virtual community meetings on April 19 and 28 will be held to further explain the increases.
We all hate rate increases, but our continuing drought makes it difficult for the city to not raise fees. Think about ways to reduce your use of water. Maybe take a bath with your dog. Read the article for more details.
∙ So sad but the Ventura County Fair has been canceled for the second year in a row because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The fair stated “We regret that we cannot bring you the VC Fair in 2021. We look forward to seeing you in 2022.”
From the 4H kids to those who show their art and grand vegetables not being able to display, this is very sad on many levels. In 2019, the fair drew nearly 303,000 people. The fair has been held annually in Ventura County since 1875.
∙ Cats sure have it made. When our dogs see us, they wag their tails, jump up and down and have a sparkle in their eyes so we pet them. When our cats see us, they just go back to sleep, but we still pet them. Also, what is it with cats who have been eating the same thing for years and one day stop eating it? We then need to try new stuff and also find someone who wants all the food that we had previously bought. I always tell new cat owners to just buy one can of different foods and small bags of food to wait to see what their cat will eat. Could they be doing this to show us who is really in charge?
∙ Guns in the news
A gunman opened fire in a Colorado supermarket killing 10 people, including a police officer. Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold identified the slain officer as 51-year-old Eric Talley, who had been with the department since 2010.
Police identified the 21-year-old man as the suspect and court documents show that he purchased an assault rifle less than a week before the attack. Supposedly just for the purpose of killing people.
Eight people were killed in shootings at three Atlanta-area spas. The Atlanta shooter bought the gun the day of the shooting for the purpose of killing people.
Two people are dead and eight people were wounded in shootings along Virginia Beach’s oceanfront. All eight were taken to local hospitals, with some of their conditions ranging from serious to life-threatening.
Four people, including a child, were killed in a mass shooting at an office complex in Orange, California.
Three people were killed and four others shot when a house party in Wilmington, NC, went bad.
I have heard some Republicans say, “We don’t want to take guns away from law abiding citizens.” Do they stop being law abiding citizens when they kill a bunch of people? The recent mass murderers seemed to be law abiding citizens. What about the irate husband that kills his wife? He was a law abiding citizen. Or the 16-year old that commits suicide with the gun his father bought him, so he understands the proper use of a firearm?
The following in quotes is not written by me:
“After a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday, Americans are once again confronting the country’s unique relationship with guns. America is certainly an exceptional country when it comes to firearms. It’s one of the few countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. But the relationship is unique in another crucial way: Among developed nations, the US is far and away the most homicidal — in large part due to the easy access many Americans have to firearms.”
Even if people should be able to own a firearm to protect themselves why do they need high-powered assault rifles? Is this because if they are being attacked by someone 200 yards away they can shoot them? Wouldn’t a pistol be sufficient for safety?
Why is it legal in some states to carry a rifle, even in stores and restaurants. I think it’s ridiculous.
Many people who kill are mentally ill, but that is another topic that I will write about in the future.
∙ The New York Police Department is investigating what they say is a “hate crime assault” against a 65-year-old Asian woman who was punched and kicked in midtown Manhattan by an attacker who allegedly made anti-Asian statements toward her.
Ignorant people say, “They should go back to where they came from.” We all came from somewhere else except Native Americans. So, using this approach, all of us, except Native Americans, would need to go back to where our ancestors came from. Mine from Russia and Romania.
∙ The New York state legislature formally voted to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults and expunge the records of people previously convicted of possession. The state assembly voted 100-49 to pass the marijuana legalization bill.
Under the final legislation, 3 ounces of marijuana will be legal to possess for New Yorkers over 21 years-old, and the substance will have a 13% sales tax. The tax revenues will be divvied up, with 9% going to the state and 4% going to localities. Good for them and for Ventura as well, who should have retail hemp stores opening this year.