Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 9, No. 6 – December 23, 2015 – January 5, 2016 – Mailbox

Breeze:

We had a great Thanksgiving, hope you did too.  And I hope you noticed we didn’t make the cover of the Rolling Stone, but the Friends of the Library got the next best thing!  The cover of the Breeze!  Everyone was so excited to have our poster contest featured!

From Marianne from Friends of the Library

Marianne: The next best thing indeed. I’m sure that people who make the cover of Rolling Stone just wish that they could be on the cover of the Breeze.


Breeze:

We are getting great feedback on our articles and about the Breeze in general. Many are so pleased at the community services you offer in Ventura.

Thanks,

Elizabeth Rodeno
Project Manager
CAPS Media Center


Sheldon:

First, let me just say how much I loved your Halloween Editorial photo & meant to tell you that months ago!! 😉

Thanks so much for all you do – how hard you work, so we in Ventura have another source of printed info/news!! You are awesome!! (and I did not know there were so many correct ways to spell Hannukah until I read your article! 😉

Yours Truly,

Patty Jenkins – Coordinator
Ventura Parkinson’s Support Grp


Editor,

Since your “article” regarding the City Council’s errant 4 to 1 vote allowing the building of 55 so-called “executive” houses was so devoid of information regarding why people are against this project, I thought I would at least tell you my personal objections to it.

First, we don’t need more so-called “executive” houses in Ventura.  What we need in Ventura is affordable housing so the kids who are born and raised here can actually live here someday.  Who are these “executives” anyway and why should the City Council bow down to them while ignoring the needs of our kids?

Second, it doesn’t take a genius, or an EIR, to know that you cannot place 55 so-called “executive” houses on open a hillside without causing significant environmental damage.  The natural plants and animal life that will be displaced by this project would be shameful and the increase in traffic alone would cause more pollution for everyone in Ventura, no matter where you live.

Third, it would create another eyesore on an otherwise pristine view.  Ventura is a beautiful town, we should work to keep it that way.

Fourth, these 55 so-called “executive” houses and their still unknown occupants would put a drain on city and county resources, such as Fire and Police budgets, that will never be made up in whatever taxes they may generate.

Fifth, why is the City Council considering building anything give the drought situation.  Do they have the water for these 55 so-called “executive” houses stored somewhere and they are not telling us about it?

I could go on, but you see why we, who oppose this mess, are speaking out against it.

John Darling

John: As I stated in our last issue I won’t be commenting any further until the project is submitted again to the City for final approvals. You’ve heard enough from me. This could take up to 2 years.

Sheldon


I prefer an interesting vice to a virtue that bores.

~ Moliere (1622-1673)

Vol. 9, No. 5 – December 9 – December 22, 2015 – Mailbox

Dear Mr. Brown,

There is a real need for new housing in Ventura, which is full of ageing, sub-standard housing, but what seems to happen is that instead of infilling areas in the city where  streets and sewers etc. already exist, the building is done on what is probably the most valuable and productive farmland in the world.  And once it is taken out of farming, it is gone, never to be replaced, and there isn’t going to be more made elsewhere.  We can build housing on empty lots, or tear down old warehouses and buildings that have outlived their purpose, but we can’t ever grow strawberries or lemons or avocadoes when the farms are built upon.

The proposed Hillside development, if it passes all the geological testing, etc, at least will be built on non-productive land and will be a tremendous boost to downtown businesses, as will the proposed housing where Joe’s Crab Shack was. That area (Sanjon and Thompson) is full of boarded-up stores.  Ventura needs to grow its tax base and building higher-level or luxury homes adds people who pay higher taxes and spend more money, which helps underwrite all of Ventura’s services to lower income people as well as supporting restaurants and stores.

The City of Ventura needs to move forward on some of these projects.  I understand that water use will be an issue, but the technology exists to make new construction much more water and power efficient than the old homes, and either a city moves forward or it moves backward – it doesn’t and can’t stay the same.

Sincerely,
Lynne Hiller


Dear Sheldon,

Once again, Edna and I have the pleasure of thanking you and the Breeze for presenting us to your readers! We thank you. And since we’re sending a copy to Radio Station WPPB in New York, they surely thank you, too.  Thanks also for the good reading in other Breeze articles.

Chuck & Edna Cecil


Editor:

…was clearly not visible to the sponsors and speakers at the Chambers of Commerce Alliance presentation of October 14, as described in your Nov. 11 – 24 issue. Your meeting synopsis read like a report on a get-together of the “Ventura / Santa Barbara Society of Luddites and Flat- Earthers.”

It was blatantly clear that the so-called symposium on the future of energy was a propaganda gig for the area’s willfully ignorant deniers of the hard facts, science-supported proofs and obvious realities of human-caused climate disruptions and general warming from two centuries of burning fossil fuels. That such a mindset is put on stage as respectable thinking is especially ridiculous in a region beset by record drought and facing rising sea levels with their concurrent damaging effects.

And it sure doesn’t behoove a publication that seeks credibility to report on such an organized farce as if it were a serious assessment of the future of energy. It was not. The future – and even a significant and growing part of the present – belongs to solar, wind and other renewables, not to finite, filthy fossil fuels.

Tom Manning
Ventura


Sheldon:

I don’t know what the anti-growth people are celebrating (Regarding the CC approval of Regent’s hillside project) .  We’ll have to ask the clerk for the record, or watch the streaming video.  I tuned out after one too many repetitive screeds during the seemingly interminable public comment period.

The loudest anti-growth voice is a documentary film maker who moved here a few years ago and who will evidently say just about anything to win.  He uses ad hominem insults to deprecate the people who support the project (I am neutral about it) as has a recent history of demagogues who have built political careers by doing so.

We might point out to him that some of our town’s historical leaders, including Eugene Preston Foster, William Dewey Hobson, and Abe Hobson were developers and subdividers, and others were Realtors, such as Mayor Al Albinger and Supervisor A.C. Ax.  It wouldn’t make any difference: he is trying to win and has nothing to lose by libeling anyone he can.

Realtors know first-hand how people need move-up housing during their lives as much as the poor need housing.  They know the economics of real estate better than anyone, since they manage it, too.   They have a lot to contribute to the conversation, and ought to be praised for their many good works.

I can’t think of anything any of these major opponents has ever done for anybody in Ventura except themselves.  Name one board they have been on for any registered charity.

Never mind that his house was “developed” by someone, as long as it wasn’t him.  Never mind that his is either a cut lot or a fill lot.

Interestingly enough, they have formed a group of some strange bedfellows:

Regards,
Kioren Moss


to publisher

you seem very surprised at the reaction you’re getting for your editorials on hillside development. how long have you lived here? this is a volatile issue. with 2 council members recused and a planning commission member suspected of conflict of interest the voting pool is smaller and i suspect that will make it easier to allow this abomination to be built. just as they rammed the new water agency down out throats i suspect they’ll do the same with the hillside development. again, where’s the evidence  that these “executives” will contribute anything other than more traffic, boutique “foo-foo” wine bars and higher tax assessments and rents? this is not santa barbara, montecito, or la jolla, however much the elites want this fantasy. 600k “santa barbara style” condos on the avenue next to a homeless center and oil fields do not make this area any more than it already is-and i like it the way it is. as for companies investing here to improve the economy, well tell that to kinko’s-we sure let the big one get away, didn’t we?

Richard Goad


If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed,
if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

~ Mark Twain

 

Vol. 9, No. 4 – November 25 – December 8, 2015 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

I am a fairly new resident to Ventura and can’t tell you how inspired I feel living here: not just the beauty of it all, particularly the beach, but by the residents.

When I walk my dog, every day, at the beach by Marina Park, I am greeting by not only friendly people, –but people who have caused me to become a better citizen. These people take pride in their home and treat it as if it were their own personal beach. One man, Mo, brings a bag every day and does his own beach cleanup cheerfully and uncomplaining. Another woman, actually washes the pavement down and does major sweeping especially after a holiday weekend. The men whose job it is to maintain this area are not only friendly but do a tremendous job and seem to take pride in keeping this area pristine. I have seen them go above the call of duty to make this a wonderful area for everybody to enjoy.

Thank you fellow Venturans! You have taught me to do my part and you will see me with my bag each morning doing my small part to keep Ventura the very best place to live.

Sincerely,
Maggie Wells


Ventura Breeze

Editorial (business article on Parts Unknown) looked great. We received some great comments from customers that read the article and came into the store. Thank you.

Thanks again.
Dan Scully


Hi Sheldon:

Thank you for the wonderful coverage in the Ventura breeze regarding the new CMH.  We all appreciate all that you do in letting  the good people of our town know what is happening at the hospital and our health system.

If you can update your information for the ER  private rooms it would be much appreciated we are very excited to now have 37 private rooms for ER in the new hospital.

Thanks again

Mary McCormick, Marketing Manager CMH
Mary: 37 is an amazing amount, just wonderful


opinion ortega

Dear Sheldon,

Which City Councilman is hiding there behind the Breeze during a break at the CAPS studio?

photo by George Ortega

I can’t even imagine, could it be Mike Tracy?

 


* * *

Do not express joy before one sick or in pain,
for that contrary passion will aggravate his misery.

~ 14-year old George Washington

Vol. 9, No. 3 – November 11 – November 24, 2015 – Mailbox

Hi Mr. Brown,

I enjoy your paper, but this isn’t the first time I noticed your staff apparently doesn’t know the difference between the words then and than.  “Then” is used in reference to an event in time.  “Than” is used in comparison.  Then is misused twice in the first paragraph on page five.  Just thought you would want to know. Thanks for a great paper.

Mary Volpe
Only twice, we are improving? Thanks, any help is always welcome.


Breeze:

The plethora of low income housing has cost federal taxpayers a fortune – the new one next to the Sidecar Restaurant is coming in at $11 million. The one at 1400 block of Ventura was extremely expensive. And then there is the WAV, whose architect, Adele Santos, alleged dean of the MIT School of Architecture, was really upset when I told her in review that it was going to be just as unsuccessful as it has become.  The noise alone from the freeway is incredible. There is no parking (27 spaces)

I suggest Ventura’s architecture and color-appropriateness are at odds with each other bigtime. Many bldgs. designed with natural wood exteriors, for example,  have been painted inappropriate colors – like the black box next to the freeway near Seaward., which looked wonderful in its original natural wood exterior. Beige and faux-Art Deco are like a visual disease all over town.  I have done several projects recently in Seal Beach, a demographic not unlike Ventura, as well as Coronado. Both have a wonderful mix of homes very similar to Ventura, but there is an overall homogeneity which Ventura seems to lack. The rich will be more motivated to come when the city  looks halfway decent visually.

There are hundreds of unpermitted signs and other things around town which nobody addresses. I’ve learned that if you contact Code Enforcement with an address, the problem etc., they will contact the owner and it will be addressed – they do nothing unless someone complains in writing.

The string of light along both sides of downtown’s main drag seem now somewhat pathetic-looking. After all the expensive parking meter renovations, it seems as dead as ever and Oxnard wins again.

Regards –
John H. Stewart


Sheldon

While reading your comments regarding Regency’s proposed 55-house hillside project, I was surprised to read that, because of your 47 years as an architect, you feel it unnecessary to have any discussions with local individuals interested in discussing the matter with you, assuming it would be solely to show you “what is wrong with the project,” indicating by your comment that, as an architect, you have nothing to learn from others outside of Regency’s representatives (with whom you have met) and what insights you will have based on that information alone. I will do you a favor and restrict myself to this comment alone without continuing into a diatribe of reasons why, not only that comment, but its implications reflect an attitude of arrogance and elitism surely to result in the indignation of many well-intentioned individuals in this community.

R. Sterling
Ventura

R:

Not sure why you think I’m being arrogant and elitist, actually I’m not either. In reality analyzing and commenting on the current Regency plans is completely irrelevant because these are not what will be finally proposed after a few years of going through many hoops and city approvals. After they have  drawings of what might actually be built the Ventura Breeze will sponsor a forum to review the more relevant drawings and those still opposed can show me why….. See my column and article by Richard Lieberman.


Sheldon

In your October 28th Issue of the Ventura Breeze I was pleased to see my picture in your paper.  I was not so pleased to see my name was mispelled!  Yes, long ago, my family in Ireland did spell it Sennett  but it was changed to Senate when my ancestor Warren Senate enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War.  I find it hard to imagine you didn’t catch this flaw in the pages of the Breeze.  Thank You   Richard Senate

Richard: We didn’t write this “cutline”,  CAPS did but certainly apologize for not catching this error, I have a hard time knowing then from than. By the way you misspelled misspelled in telling us we misspelled your name so maybe we are even.


Editor:

Out of curiosity, I looked at the Ventura Pier on Google Maps/Earth.  I could see what appeared to be 5-6 clusters that looked like homeless “camps” on the pier.  Lots of blue tarps.  It is a sad commentary that the City is not taking care of this.  Closing the pier 3 nights a week to me is just giving in/giving up.  You have your work cut out for you trying to attract tourists to our pier and promenade.  The Ventura Harbor seems to be doing a lot of the right things.  I seldom see homeless there, even though they camp in the Santa Clara Riverbed close by.

Robert George-Ventura


 

Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing
~ Mark Twain

Vol. 9, No. 3 – November 11 – November 24, 2015 – Mailbox

Hi Mr. Brown,

I enjoy your paper, but this isn’t the first time I noticed your staff apparently doesn’t know the difference between the words then and than.  “Then” is used in reference to an event in time.  “Than” is used in comparison.  Then is misused twice in the first paragraph on page five.  Just thought you would want to know. Thanks for a great paper.

Mary Volpe
Only twice, we are improving? Thanks, any help is always welcome.


Breeze:

The plethora of low income housing has cost federal taxpayers a fortune – the new one next to the Sidecar Restaurant is coming in at $11 million. The one at 1400 block of Ventura was extremely expensive. And then there is the WAV, whose architect, Adele Santos, alleged dean of the MIT School of Architecture, was really upset when I told her in review that it was going to be just as unsuccessful as it has become.  The noise alone from the freeway is incredible. There is no parking (27 spaces)

I suggest Ventura’s architecture and color-appropriateness are at odds with each other bigtime. Many bldgs. designed with natural wood exteriors, for example,  have been painted inappropriate colors – like the black box next to the freeway near Seaward., which looked wonderful in its original natural wood exterior. Beige and faux-Art Deco are like a visual disease all over town.  I have done several projects recently in Seal Beach, a demographic not unlike Ventura, as well as Coronado. Both have a wonderful mix of homes very similar to Ventura, but there is an overall homogeneity which Ventura seems to lack. The rich will be more motivated to come when the city  looks halfway decent visually.

There are hundreds of unpermitted signs and other things around town which nobody addresses. I’ve learned that if you contact Code Enforcement with an address, the problem etc., they will contact the owner and it will be addressed – they do nothing unless someone complains in writing.

The string of light along both sides of downtown’s main drag seem now somewhat pathetic-looking. After all the expensive parking meter renovations, it seems as dead as ever and Oxnard wins again.

Regards –
John H. Stewart


Sheldon

While reading your comments regarding Regency’s proposed 55-house hillside project, I was surprised to read that, because of your 47 years as an architect, you feel it unnecessary to have any discussions with local individuals interested in discussing the matter with you, assuming it would be solely to show you “what is wrong with the project,” indicating by your comment that, as an architect, you have nothing to learn from others outside of Regency’s representatives (with whom you have met) and what insights you will have based on that information alone. I will do you a favor and restrict myself to this comment alone without continuing into a diatribe of reasons why, not only that comment, but its implications reflect an attitude of arrogance and elitism surely to result in the indignation of many well-intentioned individuals in this community.

R. Sterling
Ventura

R:

Not sure why you think I’m being arrogant and elitist, actually I’m not either. In reality analyzing and commenting on the current Regency plans is completely irrelevant because these are not what will be finally proposed after a few years of going through many hoops and city approvals. After they have  drawings of what might actually be built the Ventura Breeze will sponsor a forum to review the more relevant drawings and those still opposed can show me why….. See my column and article by Richard Lieberman.


 

Vol. 9, No. 2 – October 28 – November 10, 2015 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

I am writing in response to your article in the Oct. 14 – 27 edition of the Ventura Breeze under “News & Notes” (p. 8), entitled ” Celebrating a successful summer for tourism in Ventura!”.

I love your publication; all I want to do is point out what I think is a math error.

The article states that, without the City of Ventura’s $4.7 million Transit Occupancy Tax, each Ventura resident would have to spend an additional $2,400 in annual taxes to maintain the same level of services.

If you are using 100,000 as the number of Ventura residents, then the amount in tax that each resident would have had to pay would be $47.

And to get to the $2,400 number cited, there would need to be just 1,958 Ventura residents.

But if you wanted to state the amount of money that each Ventura resident would have had to spend to generate that tax amount, it would be $671 – assuming the sales tax rate was 7%.

However I admit that I am not an expert at math, so would appreciate a clarification of what your article meant to say.

Sincerely,
Kathryn Heiberg-Browning

 

Kathryn:

These numbers were misleading. Your math is just fine. The $2,400 is based upon the $261 million taxable items not the 4.7 million in taxes as stated (“without the funds collected through this tax”) 4.7 million would be about $44 per person.


George Robertson

The day when thousands of visitors are on the beachfront for the 5K Color Run, vagrants, the mentally ill and lowlifes were out on the promenade and along the beachfront in abundance.  Bad for tourism.  Unsafe for our residents.  Ventura is simply not dealing with it.  I’m out there every day cycling.  It is pathetic that young mothers with babies in strollers, women joggers and the elderly like myself have to put up with this.

opinion scully

Dan Scully Sr.

This is difficult to deal with but there one is one aspect that can be handled easily… Overnight camping is illegal… All the Police Department has to do is patrol the lanes and correct the situation on the beach by removing these folks… I will never understand why this does not happen… Especially on Seaward where it is so Obvious.


Scamp:

In your last column Mindy Benezra  (regarding a photo fo puppies) had this to say. “The truth is, a litter of 8-9 Shih Tzu puppies are cute but not really and they are quite unnecessary as is every litter of puppies until we fix the problem of overpopulation of pets.”

“Once the shelters are clear of homeless dogs, we can make more Shih Tzu puppies and then they will be cute. The only solution is  to teach our kids, they are the key to fixing this problem: the next generation, the ones who have learned about the tragedy of our homeless pets, and who are responsible and compassionate enough to be part of the solution( Spay and neuter) not the problem (more puppies)…”

She calls herself CABODOGZ because she goes to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and brings back stray dogs that must go into shelters until they are adopted. Like she said we have lots of shelter dogs now so isn’t she just adding to problem by bringing stray dogs into Ventura?

Thanks  Larry Dote

Mr. Dote:

I don’t know where Mr. Dote got his information, but he seems to be misinformed on what Cabodogz is and what we do:

 First of all, I do not call myself Cabodogz.  Cabodogz is the non-profit rescue affiliate of our business Ventura Highway Luxury Boarding for Dogs. Secondly, we do not take stray dogs from Mexico. In 2010, we developed a relationship with the Los Cabos Humane Society, and began helping them place adoptable dogs, and yes…hence… the name Cabodogz…  Thirdly, Mr. Dote, no, we do not put the dogs we rescue into shelters.  We donate kennel space, food, veterinary and grooming care, etc. completely out of pocket.  We donate our time and energy to find them loving homes. We spend endless weekends at the Promenade and at Events with the dogs, pitching them in hopes of finding that special home. In early 2011, Cabodogz turned to our community and began rescuing dogs from local shelters such as SPARC and  Ventura County Animal Services.  We take in dogs that owners can no longer keep; we take in strays off the Avenue, we take in dogs that are dumped in front of our facility. In 5 years we have rescued and placed over 250 local dogs. Yes we still help our friends south of the border when we can. 

Cabodogz also promotes local adoption events and educates kids about the importance of spay and neuter.  We go to The Boys and Girls Club and do puppet shows for the little kids, we talk to the older kids, and let them tell us about their pets.  We give them literature to give their parents. We give and give and give because we love dogs.

This is what Cabodogz is Mr. Dote.  If you would like to see all the gorgeous faces we have adopted out, go to Cabodogz.com

Sincerely,
Mindy Benezra


The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of the dream.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Vol. 9, No. 1 – October 14 – October 27, 2015 – Mailbox

Sheldon:

Recently I saw smoke start coming up from a residential neighborhood south of me.

Thinking that someone may need help or may not be home to know, headed that direction and saw an RV on fire next to a house.

I pulled my van to the side and called 911 while running to the door. I banged on the door repeatedly “the RV is on fire get out of the house” while trying to explain to 911 where I was. An older woman finally came to the door on her cell phone and said she was on the phone with 911 who said someone else called. I told her it was me and asked what she wanted to get out of the house questioning if she had pets etc – she gave me several bags and said she needed to go get the baby.

Got them safely outside but she forgot diapers so I ran back into the house for them. Then went to the attached apt ringing the doorbell and yelling about the fire until their upstairs tenant came out.

I took the woman and the baby around the corner to an unknown neighbor’s house to get them out of the toxic fumes, FD and VPD showed up knocked out the fire before it damaged the house.

Cindy Summers

Cindy works for the Ventura Breeze and we wanted to share her story of heroism to inspire others to do the same when necessary.


Dear Mr. Brown,

I just came across two articles from The Breeze dated September 18, 2013 and October 2, 2013, titled “10 projects that will change the face of Ventura”. As a Pierpont Beach resident I watch the projects closest to me, and have time and again been disappointed to see new housing and commercial improvements stall and fail, such as the townhouses that were proposed on the site where Social Tap now sits (like we needed another bar), the Anastazi project at Seaward and Harbor, where there is no sign whatsoever of activity, the proposed Marriott Residence Inn near China Palace, and the huge Sondermann-Ring proposed project in the Harbor, which also doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

There is a real need for new housing in Ventura, which is full of ageing, sub-standard housing, but what seems to happen is that instead of infilling areas in the city where streets and sewers etc. already exist, the building is done on what is probably the most valuable and productive farmland in the world. And once it is taken out of farming, it is gone, never to be replaced, and there isn’t going to be more made elsewhere. We can build housing on empty lots, or tear down old warehouses and buildings that have outlived their purpose, but we can’t ever grow strawberries or lemons or avocadoes when the farms are built upon.

The proposed Hillside development (Regency 55-unit), if it passes all the geological testing, etc, at least will be built on non-productive land and will be a tremendous boost to downtown businesses, as will the proposed housing where Joe’s Crab Shack was. That area (Sanjon and Thompson) is full of boarded-up stores. Ventura needs to grow its tax base and building higher-level or luxury homes adds people who pay higher taxes and spend more money, which helps underwrite all of Ventura’s services to lower income people as well as supporting restaurants and stores, and neither of these projects, nor any of the ones cited at the beginning of this letter, take farmland out of production.

The City of Ventura needs to move forward on some of these projects. I understand that water use will be an issue, but the technology exists to make new construction much more water and power efficient than the old homes, and either a city moves forward or it moves backward – it doesn’t and can’t stay the same.

How about an update on all the projects from your original list?

Sincerely,
Lynne Hiller-Ventura

Lynne: Your points are very well taken. We will work on updates of these and other projects.


Dear Sheldon,

I am writing in response to your recent reference to the LA times article that mentions that teens are more likely to take up the habit of smoking after trying E Cigs or Vaping.

Those E Cig shops are really smart. Have you noticed how many there are within 2 blocks of Ventura High School? You can recognize them by the BIG bright pink, orange and neon green fluorescent window writing signs. – (this signage style reminds me of a 7-11 Big Gulp) Many teens turn 18 while still in the 12 grade. What a perfect opportunity to walk there after school. It’s no surprise they visit there, especially with all the different products available like vape mods and RDAs to customise your own Vape, who wouldn’t want to do that, especially teens. I understand that vaping is used for various reasons, such as to help many stop smoking, and it can also be used with CBD products to aid with depression. I also understand that many people who use these services so they can get the best products such as getting the best vape pen battery for their personal use. I do understand that.

I just wish there could be a city or state ordinance that would not allow these shops to blatantly window advertise so close to the high school!

Thanks again for bringing the issue to light( no pun intended) .
Cheri

And a lady was just awarded $1.9mill because one of them blew up and caught her on fire

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Mailbox

opinion BerstonBreeze:

State Parks is getting dumpsters from Harrison and Son that can’t be dumpster dived.   It would be great if the City and Harbor followed suit.  Dry up the vagrants source of stolen recyclables and maybe some will go elsewhere.  It is a win win…Harrison gets its recyclables, our community gets these vagrants to go elsewhere.  Note that most of the revenue from these stolen recyclables goes to buying either booze or drugs.  And, of course, it’s legal to drink at the State Parks and State Beach so that where they go to get drunk.

Jorge Bertson-Ventura


opinion joeSheldon:

I would love to hear why the city of Ventura has the gall to raise my water bill while their fire department is watering asphalt. I am not sure why they have not one but three fire hoses going at once full bore with no flames in sight.

Joe

Joe: We asked the fire department to respond to your concerns. As you know this is at the fire department training facility off of Allesandro and Seaward.

Mr. Brown:

Thank you for sharing the concern of one of your readers with us. Although the Ventura City Fire Department has made a concerted effort to spread the message and move towards realistic environmental sustainability practices, there are always those situations that arise that beg an explanation. Water purveyors throughout the state have had to call for mandatory water use reductions and have given incentives to homeowners to install drought tolerant gardens. The City of Ventura and its fire department are no different. Within the fire department we have issued two “Operational Standing Orders” over the last two years calling for first a 10% water use reduction, then increasing to a 20% reduction. These reductions are for water use at city fire facilities and include “training practices”. We have worked closely with the City’s Environmental Sustainability division to create and implement water saving practices at fire stations and related to the care and maintenance of equipment. We have installed low flow devices, planted drought resistant landscaping and built rainwater collection systems to name just a few things.

I understand the expressed concern about seeing water apparently being wasted during a “training exercise.” I am confident that our personnel know and understand the situation with water use and the directions I have personally administered. Firefighting is a necessary and at times dangerous occupation that requires personnel to be highly skilled and proficient in all aspects of their job. These skills include the safe operation of a water pump on a fire engine to supply water to a hose line. Without getting into the technical aspect of hydraulic water flow calculations, it isn’t quite as simple as turning on the valve and hoping for the best.

Hydraulic calculations are compounded further while using multiple hose lines. Another skill is the safe and proficient handling of a fire hose while applying water to a fire. Somethings such as feeling the true weight and recoil of a pressurized hose stream can’t be simulated with a dry fire hose. Our desire is to have a dedicated, low impact, environmentally friendly training facility that even recycles water used for training. That hasn’t yet been a realistic possibility within our budget. Our policy dictates that water is not to be flowed longer than necessary to provide effective training for personnel. We also only let the water run into and soak into the ground rather than enter into the storm drain system. This practice is another mandate that we follow preventing domestic chlorinated potable water from reaching the ocean. Finally all water use whether for training or an emergency is logged and reported to Ventura Water on a monthly basis by each unit in the fire department.

We will remain committed to doing our part to conserve all of our valuable natural resources. I will share the observation and concern from your reader with our supervisors and managers in order to make sure the Ventura City Fire Department is presenting best practices always.

Matt Brock – Assistant Fire Chief Ventura City Fire Department

[email protected]


I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
~ Noel Coward

Vol. 8, No. 25 – September 16 – September 29, 2015 – Mailbox

Breeze:

I always find it amusing that Christians try to claim a more just value system because it is “external” and “independent.” I suggest that anyone making this claim read up on the Council of Nicaea and the Apocrypha. The former was a group of men that decided that Jesus was divine and equal to God the father, creating the modern idea of the trinity. The latter is a group of biblical books thrown out of the official biblical canon. Independent indeed. The Islamic State also claims an independent and external source of values that makes it moral to wage Jihad.

If the Christians are going to claim an external source, they better get serious about following it to the letter. In the same book of the bible banning homosexuality, the following are also banned: Shaving facial hair, divorce, uncovered heads while worshiping, prayer in public, eating raw steak, and eating various types of seafood. Where are the protests over surf and turf and barber shops?

As an Atheist I have heard that I should be able to “rape and murder all I want.” The fact is that I do rape and murder all I want, and that amount is zero. The amount most people want is zero. Humans have evolved a value system to get along with each other, and groups not familiar with the bible are getting along just fine.

Joey Waltz, Ventura


 

Breeze:

I am very concerned for the residents that walk the bike path in the morning. They are mainly young women with babies in strollers and retired folks like me. Having all these lowlifes hanging around the promenade/bike path to me is a real problem. Something has to be done to clean up the beach front. There is simply no excuse.

Murray Robertson (A retired old folk)
A Very Concerned Ventura Resident


 

Opinions:

I refer to Jill Foreman’s article about “Maria’s” story which appeared in your July 22 edition. Ms. Foreman is board member of “Ventura Homeless Prevention, Inc.,” or HPF. While I was genuinely moved by and it’s “feel good” ending, sadly, there are many of us whose interaction with HPF in the face of impending catastrophe was surpassingly unhelpful and callous. I should know. My own experience is one of those.

I am a married 62 year-old-man with a disabling heart condition and severe arteriosclerosis disease. My income is limited to Social Security Disability benefits only. In July, I found myself one-month behind in my rent and facing imminent eviction. I reached out to HPF for $1100 in one-time rental assistance to pay the amount and stop the eviction. I had no other resources or recourse. HPF was for us a measure of last resort, really of final resort. It’s the last stop before the streets, literally, as it was for us.

Unlike Maria, when I showed up at HPF’s downtown offices at the Ventura Salvation Army complex on 155 S Oak Street, I was treated in a humiliating way. I waited for an HPF person behind locked, wrought iron bars. When an HPF intake person finally came out, I stated my very personal business from the street behind the bars. I tried to state my need but was cut off almost immediately. The HPF person rudely interrupted me and said: “I have no money for you.” Stunned and nonplussed, the most I could say was “okay.” She then turned her back to me and re-entered her office. Nobody asked for my telephone number or address. My interaction with HPF was profoundly disturbing.

Bobby H


Opinions:

All I hear about is that we have a water drought problem. The solution is to not to use water!!!. Is that really a solution? If we had a health problem would a solution be to isolate everyone from each other? The solution would be to find a way to solve the problem. The solution to the drought problem is to produce rain. Now how can we produce rain? Easy, by cloud seeding !!!. Precipitation enchancement, commonly called “cloud seeding articially stimulates clouds to produce more rainfall or snow-fall, California has done cloud seeding in the 1950 through 1980’s. A report written in the California State Water Plan Update 2005 Volume 2, Chapter 14 Title Precipitation Enhancement indicates the benefits from cloud seeding. It is cheap to do, Costs for cloud seeding generally would be less than $20 per acre-foot per year. Safe It is environmental safe, The projects use silver iodide as the active cloud seeding agent, supplemented by dry ice if aerial seeding is done The potential for eventual toxic effects of silver has not been shown to be a problem, We have plenty of clouds over California so I ask why are we not cloud seeding??

Dr. Roland Handy


Answer In A Breeze

The Time Warner Co. is digging Telegraph and Dunning to connect St. Bonaventure High to fiber optic networks. They say they already serve the church and presumably the hospital. The presence and absence of the fiber optics in various neighborhoods can affect the decision by an employer to locate there. It would be an interesting read to find out more and about where it is and isn’t in town.

Regards,

Kioren Moss, MAI

A: We really don’t have any plans for future fiber optic lines that are pursed by the city and public funding since this is mostly generated by private companies. Therefore, we just react to requests from communication companies regarding impacts to public streets and right of way to put these facilities in. From a pure business standpoint in our City, I’ve heard there is a need for faster internet service that fiber optics can provide.

So if you want to discuss how the City works with these companies to facilitate their infrastructure with the least impact on the community, then please contact me. If you want to discuss how the City would encourage enhanced internet service for our business community, you should probably contact our Economic Development Manager, Leigh Eisen.

Rick Raives ([email protected])
Public Works Director City of Ventura


If you have a question you would like answered send it to [email protected] and we will try to get an answer for you.

 

 

 

Vol. 8, No. 24 – September 2 – September 15, 2015 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

Thanks for staying with the philosophical discussion that readers are interested in thinking about…that’s the start.  But I would like to suggest that the world’s biggest problem (the elephant in the room) is “overpopulation”… too many people on the planet.   Or is our earth too small for the needs or wants of the human species?

Suzanna Ballmer


 

Response to Letter by Vaughn

I appreciate Robert Vaughn’s response to my letter citing statistics for atheists in prison and asking who is more moral an atheist who does good because he perceives it right or someone who believes in God and does right to avoid going to hell.  The statistics cited are misleading since are based on tabulations of categories such as “atheist” by itself but exclude categories such as “refuses to state”, “other”, etc. A more meaningful comparison would be based on defining those whose actions are directly influenced by their beliefs.   I certainly believe an atheist can be as good a person as a believer in God. The point that I was making was that a person who believes in God has independent documentation outside himself which defines what is right and wrong. An atheist does not have an external guide to right and wrong. When Mr. Vaughn cites he is doing “good”, I would ask where does he go to define what is good besides the penal code. My original letter was written in rebuttal to the suggestion that Supreme Court Justices be atheists because the atheist lacks an external source of guidance of right and wrong(morality)  independent of himself.

John Ferritto


Breeze

Hopefully, my letter to the editor (in previous Breeze)ref “beach open spaces” will stir some interest….that and my weekly email harassment of the City and VPD related to the state of affairs on the beachfront (especially the promenade).  My photos paint a pretty ugly picture of what tourists see when they come of our fair city.  Actually the Harbor, Keys and Pierpont are greatly improved but the promenade not only has vagrants but some pretty sketchy lowlife gangsters.  I am still waiting for the City and Kevin Clerici to get serious about the promenade.  I have talked to the Manager and Events Coordinator at the Crown Plaza, they have nothing good to say about the City’s handling of the promenade.  They and their customers probably suffer the most from this lack of attention.

George Robertson-Pierpont


Hello,

I am a frequent letter writer to newspapers, but have had only 6 published in the Ventura Star.  It seems as if they won’t print anything criticizing the City or Government.

On or about July 2010, the Ventura County Medical Center was nominated as the Trauma Center for the West County.  St. John’s Hospital was the other applicant.  Notwithstanding the need for a Trauma Center, I can see no references regarding the environmental impact of ambulance noise. I have not been able to obtain the Minutes of any City or County Meetings about this decision. I also saw no calls for Public Comment.

The noise generated by the sirens is unbearable to many residents who live on telegraph Road, and nearby for 2 to 3 blocks from these streets. I am routinely woken up after 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. by the noise. I have counted houses close to these streets, and I estimate that over 100 homes are affected. This means at least 300 citizens. The route via Seaward Avenue is much shorter and exposes fewer homes to the noise. Furthermore the value of my home is impacted.

I have not seen or heard of any discussions relating to this. The choice of St. John’s Hospital would have been by far the best choice.

It would be extremely difficult to serve a class action suit against the County, with enormous legal fees. However, I will attempt to deliver a complaint to the County, hopefully signed by over 100 citizens. The County has a history of ignoring home owners. For example building a 6 story building on the campus.

Sincerely,
Jeff Smith

Jeff: Now you have had one published in the Ventura Breeze. Five more to go.


Sir

A ship of fools America is not, but when money is allowed to tether a skipper’s hands from talking with an independent wisdom the gales of corruption and not the set of sails will take the vessel to more Iraq’s. There may be time yet to put our ship of state in order and on the course of its designed purpose. When our Congress hasn’t the character and integrity to purge the crippling political money buying evil, however, be prepared to kiss America’s experiment in democracy goodbye.

Sincerely,
John A. Whelan