∙ Good news – the Ventura Chamber Fall Business Expo “Haunting at the Harbor” has returned after pausing because of COVID. It is on October 7, 4-7pm at the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor. Lots of food and vendors and the Ventura Breeze will have a booth there so come by and say hello. You can even buy a genuine Ventura Breeze T-shirt for only $15. Masks will probably be required.
∙ In this issue, we have an article regarding a high school robotics program. I was fortunate to attend this event. It is amazing what these students are accomplishing from fabricating all of the parts to making these robots do wonderful things like picking up balls and shooting them into a high basket.
∙ Apparently Republicans believe in fair elections but only if they win. Otherwise, elections are rigged against them. In California’s Newsom recall, challenger Larry Elder, the leading Republican, started saying unsubstantiated claims that the election was rigged against him even before it was held.
Elder appealed to his supporters to use an online form to report fraud, which claimed it had “detected fraud” in the “results” of the California recall election. Our democracy is being destroyed by this kind of thinking, and response to legitimate and fair elections (where have we heard this before)? If this continues it could be the end of our democracy.
The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board stated, “Fortunately, California voters largely saw through the lies, turning up in relatively large numbers and producing a decisive result. But if every democratic exercise is subjected to baseless distrust, democracy itself can no longer be assured.”
Elvia Díaz writing in the Arizona Republic wrote, “The California recall offers more proof that Republicans will accept elections as legit only if they win. That’s a sure way to destroy democracy.”
I am happy that “no” prevailed, not because I approve or disapprove of Newsom, but the election never should have taken place to begin with. The whole thing was a joke and cost “us” over $275 million. Recall is not meant to be a mid-term election where you replace one party with another without justification. Our recall system is terribly flawed and needs to be completely re-written. Things have changed since 1911 when it was first approved.
If recall (and impeachment) is to be used at all it should be for serious offenses, malfeasance, and crimes, not for one party to have the opportunity to remove the other party prior to the next election (which will take place in less than a year).
In order to put a recall on the ballot in California, voters must submit petition signatures equal to only 12% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
And there is in place a succession of leadership. If a governor is removed for any reason then the lieutenant governor relaces them just like when a president is removed the vice-president takes over. The recall process must be reformed.
∙ What is going on in this country? There’s extra security at Carmine’s Restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York after a hostess was attacked by a group of tourists from Texas. They refused to show proof of vaccination in order to eat inside.
The 24-year-old hostess was punched, slapped and her necklace ripped off after she asked the group for proof of vaccination, a new city policy to dine indoors. She was just doing her job. Like I said above, “If this continues it could be the end of our democracy.”
∙ I’ve explained before, don’t blame the city if a 4-unt apartment building goes up next to you on a single resident lot or there is no place to park on the street. Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved two measures to take local zoning ordinances away from city controls. This is meant to solve California’s struggles with soaring home prices and the affordable housing shortage that we have.
He signed the legislation, despite almost 250 cities objecting because it will undermine local planning and zoning regulations.
“The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity,” Newsom said. “Making a meaningful impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration and political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all.”
Also, Newsom also signed SB 10, creating a process that lets local governments streamline new multi-family housing projects of up to 10 units built near transit or in urban areas. That new legislation also simplifies zoning requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act, which developers complain can slow down projects for years.
These laws will basically get rid of most single-family zoning. It is estimated that the state needs up to 2.5 million homes in the coming years to ease the state’s housing shortage. A new state Housing Accountability Unit will watch cities progress in creating new housing.
.Sports column – I look forward to a time when there are more touchdowns than field goals in a pro football game. And speaking of pro-football, the wife of pro-player Raheem Mostert says she was inundated with hateful social media messages after the San Francisco 49ers running back was sidelined in a game with a knee injury.
According to Devon Mostert, fans sent her “hundreds, thousands” of direct messages on Sunday that included telling her that Raheem should “kill himself” and “be cut.” She pleaded with fans to cease the “heartless” commentary.
I would love to see these fans go out there and get pummeled for a few plays.
.Three people were shot and wounded at a baby shower in Pennsylvania after an argument over gifts. Police officers were dispatched to the Kinloch Volunteer Fire Department facility in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania for a shooting inside the facility.
This was not an active shooter event, but rather an isolated family incident during a baby shower. A preliminary investigation showed the incident began as a family argument about gifts at the baby shower. It escalated into a physical fight and then gunfire. At least it was over something important like baby gifts.
. Like the Jurassic Park films using recovered DNA to genetically resurrect an extinct species may be moving closer to be coming a reality with the start up of a new company that plans to bring back woolly mammoths thousands of years after the last of the giants disappeared.
With $15 million of funding, Harvard University genetics professor George Church, known for his pioneering work in genome sequencing and gene splicing is hoping the company can usher in an era when mammoths “walk the Arctic tundra again.”
The rumor that he has obtained DNA from George Washington has not been verified but certainly sounds like a great idea.