Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

Vol. 15, No. 26 – Sept 21 – Oct 4, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Motivated to provide better homeless services, the Ventura City Council amended its 2022-23 budget by adding 2 new police officer positions. The positions for the department’s patrol task force will cost $409,000 annually. The City Council held a lengthy debate on this subject and voted 5-1-1 to approve the positions.

∙ Artists at Ventura’s Art City studios received a final notice ending the lease on the property located at 197 Dubbers St. Art City has been there for over 37 years. The amazing outdoor property features stone and wood sculptures and an array of other art forms. They were instructed to vacate their studios by Sept. 30. This will not be an easy task as much of the artwork there weighs hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds and finding another location will be extremely difficult.

The reason for this is quite simple – this property is worth millions of dollars, and the owner certainly has the right to evict them. It’s a sad loss for Ventura (if they can’t relocate).

∙ Another staple of Ventura, the Ford of Ventura dealership is closing in October. A reason has not been given. It is located at 3440 Main St. across from the Pacific View Mall.

The original dealership, R.E. Barber Ford, was owned by the Barber family until 1960 when Larry Meister purchased the dealership. When Meister died in 2005 his wife Barbara continued running it, along with several other dealerships. She slowly sold her dealerships and sold the Ford dealership to Sil Gonzales in March 2014, when it was renamed Ford of Ventura.

Barbara Meister has remained a great contributor to the arts and non-profits in Ventura.

∙ Ventura’s own Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (and family) is giving his company away. They have transferred their voting stock, valued at $3 billion, to the new Patagonia Purpose Trust. The remaining 98% shares of the company was donated to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit that will receive all of the company’s profits, close to $100 million a year to fight climate change and organizations that will protect wild land and fight the climate crisis.

Yvon started manufacturing in 1957 when he created a line of reusable climbing spikes, and from that it grew into a world-wide clothing manufacturer all motivated by his love of the outdoors.

Patagonia has always been selected as one of the best places to work in the country.

This is where it all began. Great Pacific Iron Works was Patagonia’s very first store. They opened their doors in 1972 in the old Hobson meat packing plant a short drive to Yvon Chouinard’s Tin Shed blacksmith shop. The store carries an assortment of quality Patagonia outdoor clothing and gear for the whole family. Located as part of their company “campus” at 235 W Santa Clara St.

∙ California has launched a publicly funded website to promote the state’s abortion services, listing clinics, linking to financial help for travel and lodging and letting teenagers in other states know they don’t need their parents’ permission to get an abortion in the state.

The website is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pledge to make California a sanctuary for women seeking abortions now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 decision that said states could not ban abortion.

The state budget includes $200 million to strengthen access to abortion services in California, including $1 million to build a website promoting the state’s abortion services.

On the other hand, the West Virginia Legislature (and other states) has passed a bill that will prohibit nearly all abortions except to save a pregnant person’s life or in certain cases that involve rape or incest (very nice of them).

According to the draft of the bill, any physician or other licensed medical practitioner who intentionally or recklessly performs or induces an abortion in violation of the law could be subject to discipline, including losing their medical license.

∙ Governor Gavin Newsom also signed legislation authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D – Woodland Hills) to help California better address the global climate crisis. Assembly Bill (AB) 1384 will empower California’s state agencies and departments to implement comprehensive climate adaptation strategies that outline governance, goals, and metrics to ensure the state meets its climate adaptation goals.

“Climate change is real and is impacting communities throughout California on a daily basis,” said Assemblymember Gabriel. Could that be why it was 100 degrees here a few weeks ago?



 

Vol. 15, No. 25 – Sept 7 – Sept 20, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ What heat wave? As I sit here listening to the sea lions bark their heads off it is 111 in Ojai and 72 here (wow we had a 97 day).

∙A Ronald McDonald Family Room is set to open at the Ventura County Medical Center on Sept. 12. Thanks to Amy Towner, Dr. Fankhauser, Christine Petti, the amazing women of NCL Juniors Ventura County, Supervisor Matt LaVere, and the many others who worked for years to bring this vision to reality. This room will provide much-needed resources for families in the midst of their darkest hours. And thanks to the hard work and generosity of so many, it will be the first Ronald McDonald Family Room in Ventura County.

∙Recently the Ventura Police held a DUI checkpoint. 1,152 cars passed through the checkpoint with the following results.

12 drivers cited for VC12500(a), Unlicensed Driver

2 drivers cited for VC14601.1(a), Suspended Driver

1 driver cited and released on scene for a Suspended Driver’s License Misdemeanor Warrant

1 driver cited for 23222(b)(1), Open Container Marijuana

Even though they don’t usually result in many DUI arrests, I think the checkpoints serve a good purpose to get drivers thinking about not driving after drinking. And, the checkpoints are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so they don’t cost Ventura anything.

∙I have great respect for Liz Cheney, and it has nothing to do with Trump. She is very conservative so I don’t agree with her policies, but I respect her for doing what she feels is best for the country knowing that she will never get elected again.

We have a serious problem in this country with politicians voting strictly on being re-elected to their positions and not what they feel is necessarily best for the country. The political system in this country is a mess and something needs to be done to straighten it out.

If Democrats sponsor a bill, Republicans oppose it. If Republicans sponsor the same bill Democrats oppose it. Not based upon what is best for the country but what will get them re-elected.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have professional politicians and their term should be a one time for six years, so they don’t need to be concerned with elections and will do what they think is best for the country. Then go back to a real job.

Also, something needs to be done about the Supreme Court which is out of touch with even the will of the people. They should not serve for a lifetime and perhaps should be selected by a general election and not appointed. Maybe serving only one time for eight years.

And using the constitution as a basis for their decisions probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. For instance this is from the Bill of Rights, “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

∙A U.S. Marines veteran, and former NYPD officer has received the longest sentence yet in connection with the January 6 Capitol riot. Thomas Webster was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Not sure why he received the longest sentence but glad that those that participated in this insurrection are going to prison.

∙So happy that New Mexico’s governor has signed an executive order pledging $10 million to build a clinic that will provide abortions and other pregnancy care. I certainly hope other states follow suit. Sixty percent of the nation think Congress should pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

Guns in The News

One person was killed and four others were injured in a shooting on the Coney Island boardwalk the NYPD said. While officers investigated the scene, a witness walked up and told them about a second scene at 7 Mile and Wyoming. Police said a 28-year-old man was fatally shot at that location.

A gunman carrying an assault rifle entered a Safeway in Bend, Ore., killing two people and sending terrified shoppers running.

A poll by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 71% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, including about half of Republicans, the vast majority of Democrats and a majority of those in gun-owning households.

Eight in 10 Americans perceive gun violence is increasing around the U.S., and about two-thirds say it’s increasing in their state.

∙When Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) made the following ignorant statement, I thought it would be hard to top but it wasn’t.

“Unattractive women who “look like a thumb” shouldn’t complain about losing abortion rights because they’re the least likely to get pregnant” he said in a speech to college students at a conservative conference in Florida.

“Have you watched these pro-abortion, pro-murder rallies,” Gaetz asked the crowd at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa. “The people are just disgusting. Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions?”

“Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb. These people are odious from the inside out,” the congressman continued. “They’re like 5′2″, 350 pounds, and they’re like, ‘Give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest.”

As amazingly ignorant as that was, perhaps what Lindsey Graham said was even worse because it could result in deaths. Following the FBI’s retrieval of at least 184 classified documents from former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox, claiming there would be “riots in the streets” if Trump is prosecuted.

∙ The average low temperature in July was 63.6 degrees, which beat the previous record set in 2011 by a few hundredths of a degree. The mark is not only the hottest nightly average for July, but for any month in 128 years of record keeping, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist Karin Gleason. July’s nighttime low was more than 3 degrees warmer than the 20th century average.

∙Quick help for suicidal thoughts and other mental health emergencies are now easily accessible as 9-8-8. It’s designed to be as easy to remember and use as 911, but instead of a dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 will connect callers with trained mental health counselors.

Vol. 15, No. 24 – Aug 24 – Sept 6, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

Staci Brown and her “sister” Breezy enjoying a day out.

I am so very sorry to report that the most wonderful person, Breezy (Deena) Gledhill, has passed away from cancer at only 45 years old.  Last summer, Breezy told us she was cancer free, which was incredible news. But, cancer does what it wants and returned with a vengeance. Her spirit through all of this was unbelievable and an inspiration to all who knew her.

Breezy first approached me over 10 years ago to become an account executive for the Breeze. With that name, I immediately hired her. Without her, the paper would not exist as her ability to positively interact and engage people was a rare talent.

I considered her to be my adopted daughter and will miss her always.

∙ The 2022 Fall Chamber Business Expo is on Thursday, August 25, 4-6:30pm at Four Points by Sheraton, Ventura Harbor. The Breeze will have a booth there right by the finger food buffet (and several restaurants will offer food). Come say hello, have some food, meet local merchants and enter a chance to win a free ad in the Breeze.

∙The Ventura City Council has approved raises for City Manager Alex McIntyre and City Attorney Alex Heglund.

Each will receive a 5% cost-of-living increase and a one-time lump sum worth 1.75% of their salary. Councilmembers approved the increases at their August 1 regular meeting.

Councilmember Mike Johnson voted against the raise, noting that the council already approved a 2% merit increase for McIntyre in March.

McIntyre’s annual salary will increase from about $280,000 to more than $294,000. Heglund’s annual salary will rise from $237,000 to more than $248,800.

These are in keeping with what other cities pay for these services. Think of McIntyre as the head of a very large corporation.

∙ A new location is coming to the Downtown Farmer’s Market very soon.

The community is invited to the grand re-opening of the Downtown Ventura Certified Farmer’s Market on Saturday, August 27, at its new location on Main St. starting at Palm St. continuing west to the San Buenaventura Mission. A ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Chamber of Commerce will take place at 8:00am.

The Downtown Ventura Farmers’ Market is hosted every Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm and operated by the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association (VCCFM). I like the existing layout that can be meandered through as compared to the lineal one that will be on Main but will hold my final opinion after shopping there.

∙ The total attendance for the 2022 Fair was 270,486. A little less than the last one in 2019 of 302,783. I think this is still a good turnout, as some people are still concerned about COVID (and maybe Monkeypox). Plus, many people have become accustomed to not going out.

Jim Duran has announced that he will be running for the Ventura City Council in the upcoming November elections in District 6. He stated, “I do not take this decision lightly and I believe this is the time for me to serve.” Based on my experience “I see an opportunity to make some very positive changes in our city.” More about him and other candidates in future issues.

∙Ventura attorney Maureen Houska, 57, has been selected to serve as judge with the Ventura County Superior Court. The appointment was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Houska is a founding partner of Woo Houska LLP, a firm in Ventura that specializes in representing public entities, business, law enforcement, school districts and public transit.

Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) announced it has been selected as a recipient of a grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the amount of $12,117,144 to purchase hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, install a new hydrogen fueling station, and implement a robust workforce development and training program.

The grant award, made under FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities and Low and No-Emission Vehicle programs, is part of the FTA’s announcement to invest $1.66 billion into 150 transit agencies across the nation, in efforts to meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The funding will be used to replace thousands of older bus models, with new zero-emission transit buses across the country.

∙ Shortly before having their opening ribbon-cutting (as reported in the Breeze), Ventura city officials have ordered the Crown Classics and Hot Rods dealership to stop construction after it was determined that the building unsafe and that the business failed to obtain required building permits. The decision came days before their grand opening on July 30.

Building inspector Tim Fiske said he knew Crown Classics was renovating the exterior of the former Toys R Us building on Johnson Ave. but was not aware major construction had taken place inside.

Also, a city fire inspector noticed the overhead sprinklers were painted over and the fire alarm wasn’t operational. After red-tagging the building, the city gave Crown Classics permission to move forward with the grand opening event on the condition the public not enter the building.

Boy, you need to get the right permits to avoid major issues. I can only imagine how much this delay will cost them. Reminds me of several years ago when the Pierpont Inn stated making major structural changes without permits to part of a building and was red tagged and still has not re-started construction.

∙ With great sadness, Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza and the City Council joined the community in mourning the loss of Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, who passed away recently following injuries she sustained as a pedestrian involved in a vehicle collision.

Supervisor Ramirez served on the Oxnard City Council for ten years prior to being elected

Ventura County’s District 5 Supervisor in 2020. She worked as a longtime legal aid attorney serving low-income communities in Ventura County.

Said Mayor Zaragoza, “I offer my sincere condolences to her husband, Roy Prince, and her family. We will miss Carmen tremendously. We worked together often, while I was serving as Supervisor and she was Oxnard’s Mayor Pro Tem, and this camaraderie continued when she was elected Supervisor and I served as Mayor. She was passionate about environmental justice and creating a better future for our City. Her kindness, love and deep compassion for the community was felt by everyone. She will be dearly missed.”

 

Vol. 15, No. 23 – Aug 10 – Aug 23, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ The nomination period for submitting candidacy documents for the City Council seats in Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 is now open through August 12.

There is only one seat per district. Candidacy documents must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office during office hours. For more information please contact them at (805) 658-4787 or cityclerk@cityofventura.ca.gov.

∙The U.S. Postal Service has commemorated a piece of the Ventura Channel Islands on a new stamp. The image of California sea lions crowded onto a sandy beach was taken on San Miguel, one of five islands surrounded by the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and home to one of the largest pinniped rookeries in the world. This might inspire you to visit the islands, which is one of our great treasures.

∙Four months after the closing of the arcade containing the carousel in Ventura Harbor Village it will be returning to Ventura with a new owner at the Pacific View Mall.

It is scheduled to open in mid-August near the food court upstairs.

The Village Carousel & Arcade officially closed on April 10 to make way for Aarmark Beer Gardens, Inc. – an entertainment and food venue, which is far from being open at this time.

∙Energy giant BP has reported its biggest quarterly profit in 14 years after oil and gas prices soared. The energy giant saw underlying profits hit $8.45 billion between April and June – more than triple the amount it made in the same period last year.

And Exxon Mobil booked an unprecedented $17.85 billion profit for the second quarter and Chevron reported a record $11.62 billion. We need to stop blaming politicians and blame greed.

What will probably happen is gas will decrease to $5.00 per gallon one day and we will all be thrilled to be only be paying that amount.

∙A federal judge has sentenced Guy Reffitt, the Texas man convicted of bringing a handgun to the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, to 87 months in prison. That is the longest sentence so far related to the 2021 assault.

A member of the far-right militia group the Texas Three Percenters, Reffitt was the first defendant to stand trial on charges stemming from the attack. He was found guilty in March of five criminal counts, including obstructing Congress’ certification of President Biden’s Electoral College win. The 7.25-year sentence was far shorter than the 15 years sought by prosecutors.

Vol. 15, No. 22 – July 27 – Aug 9, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

My sincere condolences to Councilmember Lorrie Brown whose 22-year-old son Jeremiah Brown recently died from gunshot wounds while in Florida.

The Ventura County Fair returns on August 3 for its 147th year, following a two year pause because of the pandemic. The only other times the fair was closed was because of World War 1, the Great Depression and World War 2. A great opportunity to get out to enjoy the food, the outdoors, the music, the livestock, and the rides, including the Ferris wheel.

Ever wonder why Ferris wheel is capitalized? The original Ferris wheel, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel, was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. as the centerpiece of the Midway at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

Nine business hopefuls vied for the city of Ventura’s approval for cannabis retail and distribution permits. They were allotted about 10 minutes each to make presentations to city staff and to the citizens who attended.

In November 2020, Ventura voters approved a ballot measure for the taxation of cannabis in the city. In February 2021, the City Council adopted ordinances to allow for commercial cannabis businesses in Ventura.

Yesania Anderson from community development ran the meeting. Ventura City Manager Alex McIntyre will make a decision on awarding permits in August or September,

The city can award up to three retail permits and up to 10 distribution permits. The nine finalists were selected by an outside consulting group using combined criteria of business ownership, neighborhood compatibility, community benefits, investment plans and proposed locations in the city.

Some residents expressed concerns that the cannabis businesses would open near schools and parks. I certainly understand their concerns, but if they visited locations in other cities they would not see “potheads” in or outside of the stores. The establishments are more like high-end drug stores (no pun intended).

While these stores will bring additional tax dollars to Ventura, my concern is that there are so many cannabis stores now open in adjacent cities that there may not be need for so many new outlets here.

After serving 29 years on the Ventura Unified School District Board of Education, Ms. Velma Lomax has decided not to seek re-election for Trustee Area 1 in November. She will be missed has been a wonderful member of the board making many great contributions.

VUSD Board of Education Trustee Areas 1, 4 & 5 are eligible for the November 8, 2022, Statewide General Election. For additional information visit; https://recorder.countyofventura.org/elections/elections/.

The downtown Ventura farmer’s market is set to leave its Palm and Santa Clara location for a larger, linear layout on Main St. The Ventura City Council unanimously approved a multi-year license agreement for the Ventura County Certified Farmer’s Market to move to 200 E. Main St., between Palm Street and Ventura Avenue, starting Aug. 27. The farmer’s market will pay a total of $5,000 per year in four quarterly payments for use of the city street and operate from 6am to 2pm on Saturdays.

The Farmer’s market will also pay $4,800 annually for a Mission Basilica San Buenaventura parking lot that will be used as a food court and pay an additional $19,200 annually for supplying restrooms.

I like a more casual layout like the one they have had for many years as compared to a linear one. Like all businesses, COVID has negatively affected attendance, so hopefully this will bring back old customers.

Guns in the News:

Three individuals are in the hospital after being shot at a funeral at a Chicago church. Police said the shooting took place when a grey colored sedan drove by and a person in the vehicle opened fire on the victims, who were standing outside of the church.

A 5-year-old Arkansas boy fatally shot his 8-year-old brother in what investigators believe was an accidental shooting with an unsecured gun. The 8-year-old was found unresponsive Thursday afternoon at a home.

This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that guns need to be well secured and kept out of the hands and away from children at all times,” Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said. “Gun owners that do not properly secure their firearms are just one split second away from one of these tragedies happening in their home.”

According to American Academy of Pediatrics California, “Gun violence is among the greatest public health crises facing children and youth. Nearly 7,000 children younger than 18 are killed or wounded by gunshots each year.” Firearm related deaths are now the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19.

One person has died, and two others were injured after a shooting at a bowling alley in Livermore Saturday evening. Police say a fight broke out at Granada Bowl, which led to a shooting inside the business. One of the individuals involved in the fight pulled out a gun and fired several rounds that hit three adult victims. Oh, for the good old says of just fist fights.

Assemblymember Steve Bennett (D-Ventura) and Senator Monique Limon announced that Legislation to restrict gun sales at the Ventura County Fairground has been signed by the Governor.

According to a report published by UC Davis, gun shows are a source of illegally trafficked firearms. The Center for American Progress noted that gun shows have received criticism as being “the critical moment in the chain of custody for many guns, the point at which they move from the somewhat-regulated legal market to the shadowy, no-questions-asked illegal market.”

Unfortunately, the United States experiences far more gun violence per person than virtually every other modern industrialized country in the world,” Said Bennett, “and what accounts for this? The United States has one of the most pervasive gun cultures in the world supported by a powerful gun lobby. Gun shows at the Fairgrounds enhance this and it is time for each of us to play a role in changing this culture.”

State property does not need to be in the business of facilitating the sale of firearms,” said Senator Limón. “This legislation is an important step forward to enhance gun safety and reflects the direction that our local communities have asked the state to take on.”

This bill is similar to efforts in other counties to restrict gun sales. In 2021, SB 264 (Min) was signed into law to prohibit gun sales at Orange County Fairground. And in 2018, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 893 (Gloria) which ended gun shows at the Del Mar State Fairground.

The gun shows have been held for more than a decade at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and will be banned Jan. 1 if the bill is signed into law. There will certainly be court challenges to this law. Gun rights advocates said the laws will be challenged here. There are ongoing cases against bans at fairgrounds in San Diego and Orange counties.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will sign a controversial, first-in-the-nation gun control law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law. His action comes one month after conservative justices overturned a woman’s constitutional right to abortions and undermined gun control laws in states including California.

Newsom combined the two topics in approving a law allowing people to sue anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50 caliber rifles. They would be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon.

While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids,” Newsom said in a statement released before he signed the bill. “California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court.”

Vol. 15, No. 21 – July 13 – July 26, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ In this issue, we have included a new Real Estate/Development column on page 12. This is to inform our readers about trends, new and proposed projects, and other related items impacting Ventura. I hope you find it informative.

Spencer Noren, a Ventura parks and recreation commissioner, was removed by the City Council following an investigation into alleged harassment of city employees. The City Council unanimously voted to oust the commissioner for acting in an intimidating and threatening manner.

The city hired Fresno-based law firm Lozano Smith to conduct a six-month investigation into Noren’s actions. The probe, which included more than 10 interviews and a review of 30 documents, cost the city about $50,000, said Ventura City Attorney Andy Heglund. I’m not sure why the city needs to hire outside attorneys when we have our own legal department.

Perhaps this explains it: “It was important to the city that we retain an independent third party who would have experience in being able to conduct a fair process,” Heglund said Tuesday. “It was an expensive process but one well worth it given the circumstances.”

In November, the city received a formal employee complaint alleging that Noren acted in an intimidating and threatening manner toward city employees, according to a city staff report.

∙ The Ventura Land Trust has been awarded $7.2 million by the State of California to complete the acquisition and conservation of 1,645 acres of Ventura’s iconic hillsides, now called Mariano Rancho Preserve.

Mariano Rancho Preserve is situated in the hills north of Ventura. The eastern edge of the preserve includes the famous “Two Trees;” the preserve extends west to Ventura’s Grant Park and the Ventura Botanical Gardens. It provides views of the ocean and Channel Islands National Park, the mountains of Ojai and the Los Padres National Forest.

If you haven’t walked (hiked) the Harmon Canyon, also part of our treasured hillsides, you certainly should. Two minutes off of Foothill and you are in another beautiful world.

∙ The Supreme Court has agreed with a former high school football coach who prays at the 50-yard line after games ruling that his public prayers is free speech and free exercise of religion. Is this the beginning of the Supreme Court allowing a larger role for prayer and religion in public schools? I certainly hope not. This is happening even though the constitution mandates a strict separation of church and state.

The thought is that even if a coach has a team praying it is not mandated but a choice the athletes can independently make, as athletes do not have to kneel and pray. This is nonsense, as it would take a very brave high school, or even college or professional athlete to stand while the whole team prays, so I consider this to be mandatory and not arbitrary.

I know a constitution is important but also certainly needs an occasional re-writing or amending. It was written by only men over 200 years ago.

For instance, the Seventh Amendment from the Bill of Rights reads;

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of common law.”

∙ Congresswoman Julia Brownley recently wrote:

“The Supreme Court has ruled in an irrational, unprecedented, and dangerous manner. The Supreme Court made yet another alarming and harmful ruling for our health, our communities, our planet, and our future.

This ruling undermines the Clean Air Act and restricts the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions – a known threat to our planet and a primary driver of the climate crisis. As a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I have worked to reduce carbon dioxide pollution, create clean energy jobs to grow our economy, tackle systemic environmental injustices, and protect our planet from the catastrophic consequences of human-caused climate change. Today’s ruling not only jeopardizes our nation’s goals and our international goals to combat the climate crisis, but it puts the health of every American at risk. It will also compound the devastating economic consequences of the greenhouse gas-induced climate crisis, which has already led to increasingly common wildfires, floods, coastal erosion, and other weather-related disasters. Something we’ve been impacted by, repeatedly, in my district.

After years of trying and failing to gut the Clean Air Act, Republicans – and the polluting industries that bankroll them – have convinced the Supreme Court’s radical majority to gut the law for them. This decision undermines a bedrock environmental law that has significantly reduced harmful pollutants in the air we breathe for over half a century. The conservative majority of the Supreme Court is pandering to Republicans who prioritize large, polluting corporations and their profits over the health and well-being of the American people and the long-term sustainability of our planet – which is appalling and shameful.

The climate crisis is real, and our planet is in immediate danger, and I will continue to fight in Congress for the health and safety of our people and our planet.”

∙ And regarding the Supreme Court, President Joe Biden delivered impassioned remarks condemning the “extreme” Supreme Court majority that ended a constitutional right to abortion and pleading with Americans upset by the decision to “vote, vote, vote, vote” in November. He signed an executive order to try to protect access to the procedure under mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to be even more forceful in response to the ruling.

Inflation in Turkey has reached 78.6% annually in June – the highest in almost 25 years, according to official data provided by the Turkish Statistics Institute. But many Turks no longer trust official figures and believe inflation to be much higher. Independent experts say the real inflation rate could be more than 175%. So, we can’t just blame Biden for our inflation – we live in a connected one-world economy.

Vol. 15, No. 20 – June 29 – July 12, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ There is so much to write about I don’t know where to start. Like lots of Americans (certainly not all), I am very depressed by the recent decisions of the Supreme Court. And on a more local issue, by the situation of Ashley Bautista.

∙ From a previous issue of the Breeze; “The County of Ventura has selected Ashley Bautista as their new Public Information Officer following the retirement of Bill Nash. The position reports to County Executive Officer Mike Powers.”

She spent the previous five years as a public information officer for the city of Ventura and the Ventura Police Department and has won several awards for her work.

Ashley Bautista was arrested in Ventura in a suspected misdemeanor DUI hit-and-run crash. The accident was at the intersection of Paseo de Playa and Harbor Blvd. near the Ventura Promenade.

While at a stop sign, a car was rear-ended by Bautista’s and she continued driving away after the collision. When she was pulled over Ashley was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI involving alcohol and misdemeanor hit-and-run.

She has since resigned from her position with the county. Even though our relationship has been on a professional level I have always considered her to be a friend and am very upset that this has happened to her. I hope this was an isolated incidence and she can put her life back on track.

The Supreme Court has made some major decisions.

∙ In a major expansion of gun rights after a series of mass shootings, the Supreme Court determined that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed. The decision came out as Congress and states debate gun-control legislation. The high court’s first major gun decision in more than a decade split the court 6-3, with the court’s conservatives in the majority and liberals in dissent.

From New York Daily News

“Using a garbled reading of history as a crutch, the U.S. Supreme Court’s supposed textualist conservatives have just managed to codify a cartoon cutout version of the Second Amendment, obliterating New York State’s concealed carry firearm permitting system. We will mince no words: This will cost the lives of civilians and police officers, as almost anyone in New York City will now be free to carry a gun. At a time when the proliferation of weapons is already killing record numbers of Americans, the nearly absolutist right of self-defense the majority canonizes will become a right to societal suicide.”

“It’s just 27 simple words written in 1789: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the six-member majority, brazenly ignores that first clause and renders the second in the most expansive terms imaginable.”

Ohio’s permit-less gun carry law for “qualifying” adults is a measure that would lift restrictions on school teachers, custodians and bus drivers from carrying firearms at work. Is a “qualifying” adult” one that signs a promise that they won’t kill a spouse, themselves, or students?

So, the solution to gun deaths is to arm more people with guns, right?

This might help, though, President Joe Biden has signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

“Time is of the essence. Lives will be saved,” he said in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Citing the families of shooting victims he has met, the President said, “Their message to us was, ‘Do something.’ How many times did we hear that? ‘Just do something. For God’s sake, just do something.’ Today we did.”

Even though the majority of American’s support Roe vs. Wade in the other depressing Supreme Court decision is the overturning of this long-running statute. Even though objections to abortions are supposedly based on religious beliefs I still have not seen, or have been sent the passages from the Bible that support this position.

∙ Writing in the LA Times Robin Abcarian stated:
“Goodbye, legal right to abortion.
Goodbye, separation of church and state.
Goodbye, common-sense gun laws.
Goodbye, Miranda rights.
And that’s just the beginning.”

∙ For some good news, with the debut of macOS Ventura (likely later this year) Ventura images will be seen throughout the day on the screens of almost every Mac computer in the world. The tech giant Apple has chosen the name “Ventura” for the company’s new Mac operating system.

Visit Ventura’s Digital Marketing Manager Mike Laan stated, “Literally every creative person in the world is going to be using this operating system, and Ventura photos will be on the desktop by default. I think it will bring more exposure to Ventura.”

∙ For now, single-family residential properties in the City of Ventura are encouraged to voluntarily reduce water use by 20%. Stricter measures, including implementing water shortage rates and mandatory outdoor watering restrictions, could go into effect if demand reductions are not achieved through voluntary efforts.

∙ Most of California beaches (including Ventura’s) are much cleaner than in past decades. In its annual report Heal the Bay graded more than 700 beaches and concluded that 94% logged clean water quality.

∙ Amazon plans to begin delivering some packages by drone to homes in a select few Northern California homes this year. My question is how much do you tip a drone when it delivers a pizza? And if it accidently delivers it to your next-door neighbor can your neighbor legally eat it by saying they thought it was a birthday present?

Vol. 15, No. 19 – June 15 – June 28, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

Ventura Unified School District trustees unanimously selected Calvin Peterson, a retired retail manager and father of two, to replace former trustee and board President Matt Almaraz. “It’s really exciting,” said Sabrena Rodriguez, the board’s new president. “He has a lot of interesting things to bring to the conversation.”

Peterson, 47, was sworn into the five-member board’s Area 5 seat during a special meeting. He is the first African American trustee in the history of the 56-year-old district and one of two current trustees with children in the district’s schools.

His son, Carson, is a 16-year-old Ventura High junior and his 8-year-old daughter is a second-grade student.

Sorry to hear that the Ventura Bank of Books will be closing in the near future. Always amazed me that Clarey Rudd has been able to stay in business there with the declining amount of book readers these days. The building (located at 748 E. Main) has been sold. The new owners want to charge much higher rents than Rudd can afford.

Rudd still owns another Bank of Books store in Santa Paula and the Midtown Ventura bookstore Abednego Book Shoppe. Hopefully there are still enough readers to keep these stores going. Even with these stores, there is hardly enough space to absorb what could be over 100,000 books.

The City of Ventura has closed three parking levels and a stairwell in the Harbor Boulevard parking structure in advance of repairs. The structure is located at Harbor Blvd. and California St. at the Ventura Pier.

Public safety is at the forefront of our decision making,” said Public Works facilities manager Barbara McCormack. “Out of an abundance of caution, we will close the stairwell and parking levels 3, 4, and 5 as a proactive measure until repairs can be done to the stairwell.”

The closure comes after a structural analysis indicated corrosion of steel and concrete in the southwest stairwell closest to the pier. Access to the stairwell will be closed off starting on the second level of the parking structure.

Walkway over the freeway to the pier.

It is about time something was done to this parking structure. Beyond just structural repairs, it needs painting and cleaning up (it’s pretty filthy). Many tourists park there. It would also be nice if the walkway to the pier (see photo) could also be cleaned up (painted and repaired). I am told it is the responsibility of Caltrans to make these improvements. I’m trying to obtain a Caltrans contact to find out whom to bug.

Golden State Warriors (a basketball team) head coach Steve Kerr made an impassioned plea to take stronger action against gun violence in the United States. He refused to speak about basketball ahead of Game 4 of the Warriors’ series against the Dallas Mavericks, instead he spoke against gun deaths.

Some readers have accused the Ventura Breeze of being a liberal newspaper. The Breeze has no political agenda at all. In my articles, I add some thoughts that might be considered liberal, but the paper has none, it just reports newsworthy items.

I don’t like guns. I’m sure some liberals might not feel that way and some conservatives might not as well. I don’t think this is a big liberal item. Most politicians vote on the issue the way they think it will get them re-elected.

I don’t like Donald trump. Not because he is a conservative Republican (I didn’t dislike Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln). I dislike Trump because he is a womanizer (which he has bragged about), immoral, vindictive and a liar. He has tried to destroy our constitution and the most important part of a democracy by trying to change (by illegal means) the honest results of a fair and free election.

The Jan. 6 select committee has heard testimony indicating that then-President Donald Trump, after rioters who swarmed the Capitol began chanting “hang Mike Pence”, expressed support for hanging his vice president. This is according to three people familiar with the matter, including the White House chief of staff at the time, Mark Meadows.

I don’t like people like this, regardless of whether they are the President of the United States or my next-door neighbor. You might be happy to hear I’m done writing about Trump unless something really important happens regarding him.

Regarding abortion, my thoughts are certainly liberal, but I have not found anything in the Bible that even mentions abortion. I am certainly not a Bible scholar, so if any readers can send me an excerpt from the Bible that deals with abortion, I would appreciate it. “Thou shall not kill” doesn’t really cover that for me.

Also, some who are opposed to abortion also oppose any type of birth control. Why is that? Birth control doesn’t “kill an unborn”, it just prevents pregnancy.

Guns In the News

New York’s legislature voted to ban anyone under age 21 from buying or possessing a semi-automatic rifle – a major change to state firearm laws.

Other new legislation will restrict civilian purchases of bullet-resistant armor, which was worn by the killer in Buffalo, and require new guns to be equipped with microstamping technology that can help law enforcement investigators trace bullets to particular firearms.

The age limit bill passed the Senate along party lines, 43-20, and in the Assembly 102-47.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in hundreds of protests across the country recently to push lawmakers to take action on gun violence in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

Protesters turned out to more than 450 rallies nationwide, with the largest gathering taking place in Washington D.C.

A bipartisan group of senators announced an agreement on principle for gun safety legislation, which includes “needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”

The announcement included the support of 10 Republican senators, which would give the proposal enough support to overcome the Senate filibuster.

Three people were killed and another was wounded when someone opened fire in a manufacturing facility in western Maryland, and a state trooper was injured in a shootout. We have become so accustomed to mass killing when “only” 3 are killed we are relieved.

There is an amateur cartoon in this issue that got me to thinking. Movies have banned actors from smoking because we don’t want kids to smoke because it is un-healthy, but movies (and video games) that show thousands of people shot to death are okay.

NASA has announced that it will have a new study of unidentified aerial phenomena UAP (AKA UFO’s). They have admitted there are things flying around our skies that are unknown. This is probably what is being said in these UAP’s. “This is earth, we don’t ever want to become as uncivilized as these people, so remember what you are seeing today.”

Vol. 15, No. 18 – June 1– June 14, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

The attempt by Breezy Gledhill to rid her body of cancer is not going very well. Four months of chemo (time spent, sick days, loss of hair) has produced no results to reduce the size of the cancer so that it can be surgically removed.

She now needs to try different medical solutions that will not be covered (or very little) by her insurance company. As she sighed, “The insurance company is going to decide if I live or die!” A new medication called Keytruda – that might help – has just been rejected by her insurance company.

Breezy needs our help.

Those who love this wonderful lady don’t want it left in the hands of the insurance company whether to determine if she lives or dies. We are asking for financial help for her through a “gofundme” account that has been set up. We are asking for financial donations in any amount. This will assist her with getting the medicine she needs, and with managing through this difficult time.

Please consider sharing your love and concerns for Breezy by donating. Thank you.

https://gofund.me/16976479 or gofundme – Breezy Gledhill

This is the last issue (for now?) that Jill Forman will be writing for the Breeze. As stated in her last Bookmark article in this issue, “Your intrepid reporter is taking a break.” Her contributions to the paper have been very important so she will be missed. I will still continue to bug her to write an occasional article for us.

As you all certainly know, there have been two mass shootings recently by 18-year-olds. In the recent one 19 students and 2 teachers were killed and 17 others were wounded. Earlier that day, the shooter Salvador Ramos severely wounded his grandmother, shooting her in the forehead.

Ramos had legally purchased two AR-15 high-powered assault rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition as soon as he was allowed to purchase these in Texas when he was 18.

It’s impossible to even imagine how a first responder felt upon entering a classroom full of dead kids. It’s hard for me to stop imagining it, and I wasn’t even there. It will haunt those who saw it (and some of those who didn’t) for the rest of their lives.

I don’t understand why gun owners can be opposed to a 30-day waiting period to try to verify whether an individual should own a firearm gun. Certainly an 18-year-old could wait a month before buying 2 high powered rifles. And I still question why anyone (other then law enforcement) needs to own an AR-15 high-powered rifle to begin with.

A check of his background would have shown:

  • He quit high school
  • Quit his job
  • Parents kicked him out
  • A loner
  • Students were afraid of him
  • Posted scary stuff on social media

Perhaps, after 30-days, maybe he would have settled down or obtained some help with his troubled life.

The AR-15, like its military version, is designed to kill people quickly and in large numbers, hence the term assault-style rifle. In my opinion, they have no valid recreational use, and civilians should not be allowed to own them.

A quote from a Republican politician who, as always, never deals with the realty of our gun culture stated, “Two days ago, as you know, a mentally ill teenager called Salvador Ramos murdered 19 children and teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.” Is this 18-year-old (like the previous 18-year-old) truly mentally ill, or is this just a way to deflect and not change gun laws, pushing this on to mental illness.

They may not be mentally ill at all, but more likely in a mental crisis. This is quite different from being mentally ill. Politicians should not use mental illness as an excuse for our gun crisis. This “excuse” is harmful and not supported by any scientific evidence or studies. This is a complex problem without easy solutions, but blaming mental illness is not the answer. It just inflicts damaging stigma on those who suffer from clinical defined mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder.

I do agree that there is a great need for many more mental health facilities (and living spaces) for the mentally ill, but this would not stop this country’s mass shootings. The mentally ill are much more apt to be the victim of crimes than the perpetrators.

Joel Dvoskin, a clinical and forensic psychologist who served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Reducing Gun Violence told ABC News,

“Absent specific evidence, careful consideration should be given to social and contextual factors that might interact with any mental health issue before concluding that an active shooting was ’caused’ by mental illness. In short, declarations that all active shooters must simply be mentally ill are misleading and unhelpful.”

We do need to increase the mental health treatment centers but that wouldn’t mean that kids in crisis would even attend them.

Perhaps visiting our outdated gun laws and requiring wait times, and background checks, is the answer. I don’t know, but I do know more gun ownership (especially of high-powered rifles) is not the solution.

Research in California, conducted over a 12-year period, shows that having a handgun for personal protection does not make you safer. The research showed those who lived with an owner of a handgun were two times as likely to die by homicide as those living without guns. Those who live with a gun owner were almost three times more likely to be killed with a firearm then those with no gun present. Those that were killed in their homes were likely to die at the hands of their spouse or other intimate partners. And the risk is mostly to women 85% of the victims living with handgun owners were women. The study was published in the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine.

It is true that “people kill people,” but it is a hell of a lot easier with an AR-15 then it is with a six-shooter. Perhaps the writers of the constitution would have considered this?

Note: I certainly hope to hear from readers regarding this. publisher@venturabreeze.com

 

Vol. 15, No. 17 – May 18 – May 31, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

Ventura City Manager Alex McIntyre has taken responsibility for a Brown Act violation committed by five members of the City Council during a March conference in Washington, D.C.

McIntyre said he was unaware that the council was not allowed to have what he deemed ‘social meetings’. “It was my fault for failing to understand this.” Five elected officials, McIntyre, and Deputy City Manager Barry Fisher, traveled to the nation’s capital as part of the National League of Cities Conference.
The Brown Act is the state’s open meeting law, it dictates how public meetings are conducted and notified to the public. It prohibits a majority of members of a legislative body from communicating or taking action on an item outside of an open meeting that has been notified to the public.

The Ventura Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint on Main Street, east of Callens Road on Friday, May 13, 2022, from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

DUI checkpoint locations are chosen based on a history of DUI collision statistics and arrests, with the primary purpose not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring residents from driving impaired.

The following is a list of the enforcement activities that took place at, or as a result of the checkpoint:

876 cars passed through the checkpoint
489 drivers were contacted and screened through the checkpoint
7 SFST’s (sobriety test) were conducted
6 drivers cited for VC12500(a), Unlicensed Driver

Funding for this checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Art City Studios supporters are trying to save it from development

On May 6 (I couldn’t attend because of a birthday party) Art City Studios hosted a reception for artist Ramon Bryne entitled “Composed in Stone”. At the event art lovers learned that the future of the art space is uncertain because after 37 years the property owner is trying to sell it so it could be developed. The selling price is $1.7 mill.

Founder Paul Lindhard is trying to stay optimistic hoping a way could be found to keep it the wonderful gallery that it is. The space, at 197 Dubbers St. has been home to dozens of sculptors and other artists for decades and is a great way to spend hours walking the space and appreciating the sculptures and other art objects there.

Supporters hope people will send letters to city leaders about saving this cultural resource. Or, perhaps a wealthy art lover could buy it. Depending on its zoning it might be impossible for the city to stop its sale and development. For more information visit www.artcitystudios.com.

What is the most important issue facing America?
A Inflation
B Ukraine war
C Baby formula shortage
D Lack of water
E Climate change
F COVID
G None of the above
If you selected G you are correct the most important issue seems to be abortion.

Even Columbia allows the procedure until the 24th week of pregnancy. It is also widely available in Cuba and Uruguay but not in our enlightened country. There is even some question if abortion is even mentioned in the bible which is the basis for preventing abortians

Margaret Kamitsuka, an emeritus professor of religion at Oberlin College, argues there’s significant ambiguity about abortion in the Christian tradition. She notes it’s never mentioned in the Bible. “Which is quite stunning,” she said, “because pretty much every other moral issue is talked about – from divorce to gluttony and robbery and so on.”

Read Representative’s Brownley’s article on page X regarding this that I certainly agree with.

The Supreme Court has become so political (forget the constitution) it is time to impose a term limit on justices. This idea (like abortion) is favored by a majority of Americans.

Guns In the News
A report from Johns Hopkins University found the number of people dying from gun violence in the United States reached a record high in 2020: an average of 124 people dead every day,

The analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions showed there were 45,222 gun deaths in 2020, a 15% increase from 2019. Gun homicides rose by 35%.

Suicides accounted for more than half of all U.S. gun deaths in 2020 – 24,292. How sad is that? I doubt if anny of those killing themselves purchased a gun for that purpose.

Authorities say the white 18-year-old male who fatally shot 10 people and injured three others Saturday at a Buffalo supermarket in the heart of the city’s Black community traveled from another New York county hours away.

Thirteen people — 11 of whom were African American — were shot, with three suffering non-life-threatening injuries.

The white male was actually live-streaming it online and had posted racists comments on social media. Good grief, what is happening in this country? So very sad and pathetic.

Seventeen people were shot Friday night in downtown Milwaukee just hours after three were shot a few blocks away, near the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks were playing in the NBA Playoffs.

Ten people were taken into custody in the shooting downtown, and nine firearms were recovered, according to Milwaukee Police Capt. Warren Allen.

A 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, authorities said. Police said the teen was shot in the chest at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday near the popular tourist attraction.

A mother was charged with shooting and critically wounding her two sons while they lay in their beds early Monday morning, one day before the family was set to be evicted from their home.

A father and daughter were allegedly shot with a rifle by the daughter’s boyfriend at their Oxnard home late Saturday morning. The incident was reported as a family disturbance shortly before 11:40 a.m. in the 100 block of James Avenue, said Oxnard Police Department Cmdr. Luis McArthur.

Officers found the daughter, 27, and her 61-year-old father with gunshot wounds. The woman’s 23-year-old boyfriend was arrested and a gun recovered, McArthur said.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said at a news conference Monday afternoon that 38-year-old Trinh Nguyen shot her two sons and tried to shoot a neighbor ― her ex-husband’s nephew ― as he left for work around 7 a.m.

Six people were shot, killing three, at a DeKalb County condominium complex Sunday night, according to police.

Liberal Ventura Breeze