∙The council has approved 50 affordable apartments for seniors on the west side to compensate for the loss of homes in the 2017 Thomas Fire. The Ventura City Council unanimously approved the $4.6 million project to address the post-fire housing shortage. Five of the apartments will be reserved for homeless seniors. The city’s housing authority will market the apartments to those who were displaced by the wildfire. The senior housing project is part of a four-phase redevelopment.
The project is partially funded with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded to the city.
Five of the apartments will be reserved for homeless seniors. The project site is at 232 W. Flint St. (off of Olive).
Councilmember Lorrie Brown stated, “The city has a made a commitment to improving the housing in the city of Ventura and this is one of those steps.”
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2024.
∙The Ventura council has finally passed a city budget after weeks of wrangling over fire department funding. On a 6-1 vote, the City Council approved a $303 million spending plan after reaching a compromise to postpone decisions over additional firefighter positions and equipment by at least six months. See page X for more information.
Councilmember Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios wants the city to first develop a strategic plan that defines the fire department’s goals, priorities and targets prior to committing to additional staff and fire vehicles. Less than 5% of the fire department services are for fighting fires.
∙The New York Supreme Court has announced that it is suspending Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in the state. The court concluded that Giuliani made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” to courts, lawmakers and the public when he was representing former President Trump and his campaign in their failed effort to overturn the 2020 election results. In a 33-page decision, the court said the seriousness of Giuliani’s “uncontroverted misconduct can not be overstated.”
∙6’-7” Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib has met widespread support since his groundbreaking decision announcing that he is gay. He became the first (and certainly not only) active player in NFL history to come out.
I have a friend who once told me that he can tell if a man is gay but can’t tell if a woman is. He based this on stereotypes that gay men are effeminate. I doubt if Nassib fits this stereotype. And even if he did, who cares. He’s a pro football player, so obviously he has the required skillset to be in the league. I’m happy for him. How tough it must be to be in a “real” man’s sport and need to hide this. This is not a choice a person makes, as it is implanted in their DNA.
∙A Trump supporter who spent 10 minutes inside the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection was sentenced to probation Wednesday, avoiding jail. He is the first rioter to learn their punishment in the riot investigation.
At a hearing in DC federal court, Judge Royce Lamberth said the insurrection was a “disgrace” and forcefully rebuked the “utter nonsense” coming from some Republican lawmakers and other right-wing figures who are whitewashing what happened.
“I don’t know what planet they were on,” Lamberth said of the GOP lawmakers, without mentioning any names. Recent releases of videos from the attack “will show the attempt of some congressman to rewrite history that these were tourists walking through the capitol is utter nonsense.”
A Michigan Senate Oversight Committee report on the election “found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election.”
∙A draft report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that unless drastic and immediate action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperatures from rising further, life on earth is poised for a catastrophic coming.
The 4,000-page draft states that mankind may have already missed its opportunity to keep the climate from passing a series of thresholds that will further create the warming of the planet. “Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems,” the report says. “Humans cannot.”
∙Former Vice President Mike Pence reiterated at a speech at the Reagan Library he did not have the constitutional authority to stop the count of the electoral votes on Jan. 6.
“Now there are those in our party who believe that in my position as presiding officer over the joint session that I possess the authority to reject or return electoral votes certified by the states,” Pence said. “The Constitution provides the vice president with no such authority before the joint session of Congress.” Some Republicans, including former President Trump, called for Pence to reject electoral votes on Jan. 6.
He has been booed at Republican meetings even though he had no authority to reverse the election.
∙Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are people who weren’t vaccinated. An indication that deaths per day, now down to under 300, could be practically eliminated if everyone eligible got the vaccine.
An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.
At Sanford Health, which runs 44 medical centers and more than 200 clinics across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, less than 5% of the 1,456 patients admitted with COVID-19 so far this year were fully vaccinated.
∙Why I hate partisan politics (on both sides): House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized President Joe Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Biden “gave Vladimir Putin a pass.”
“The American people suffered massive disruptions because of Russia-linked cyber-attacks,” McCarthy said in a statement released Thursday. “Two Americans, both Marine veterans, are being held as prisoners in Russia. We know Vladimir Putin silences and imprisons his critics.”
He added: “Knowing these facts, President Biden should have used today’s summit to stand up for our national interests and send a message to the world that the United States will hold Russia accountable for its long list of transgressions. Unfortunately, President Biden gave Vladimir Putin a pass.”
McCarthy’s comments come after years of silence from him on former President Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin, which many critics described as him cozying up to the Russian president especially amid intelligence Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
∙ I have concerns about how the recall process is applied and misused. Recall is not meant to remove officials from office because some don’t agree with their policies. It is meant to remove office holders who have committed serious crimes or who just never do their job.’ In a country divided 50-50 on party affiliation every politician would always face recall to just remove them from office.