Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

Vol. 15, No. 01 – Oct 6 – Oct 19, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Wow, beginning of our 14th year. Hard to believe. My thanks to our readers, advertisers and amazing staff. It’s been a tough year for all of us but better times are coming.

∙ The amount of time that City Council members can speak at the Council meetings has been limited by a council vote of 6-1. Councilmember Mike Johnson was the no vote. There will be a digital timer in future meetings, so discussions don’t run too long.

I can see this being more of a nuisance, and adding confusion, than anything else. Right now, the mayor can advise a council member when their time is up which seems to work just fine in my opinion.

∙ Ventura Unified School District has nearly $21.5 million in federal COVID-19 funding to help students and teachers make up for lost instructional time as presented at the board’s Sept. 21 meeting. The district is considering improvements in air conditioning and sanitation and providing students with more academic support.

The proposals are in a draft plan that all school systems need to consider in order to receive some of the billions of state and federal relief dollars that have been available since the pandemic shut down schools. A plan must be submitted for federal approval before the end of October.

∙ In this issue we have an article about a fundraiser held for Erik Nasarenko to support his 2022 run for Ventura County District Attorney. Erik was selected to the position by a 5-0 vote of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors on January 26, 2021 but will have to run next year. A Venturan, Nasarenko served on the Ventura City Council from 2013 to 2021. I will support Erik for election to the post.

∙ On this issue’s cover, we report on a rally held in Ventura (and across the country) to ensure that woman can control their reproductive rights as guaranteed by Roe vs. Wade. I am a big supporter of Roe vs. Wade and women making their own very personal decisions. I certainly the Supreme Court doesn’t reverse it.

∙ Over three hundred people participated in this year’s West Ventura County Walk to End Alzheimer’s held at The Collection at Riverpark on Saturday, Sept. 25. Others supported by walking in their neighborhoods. The event raised more than $118,000 to fund research and local services throughout Ventura County, including support groups, education programs, and a 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900.

∙ The United States reached a pandemic milestone recently passing 700,000 deaths from COVID-19. It took 3 ½ months to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths.
∙ Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) has introduced the Gun Suicide Prevention Act to address the prevalence of suicides by firearms. This bill would require firearm manufacturers and retailers to include labels that provide the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
“The epidemic of gun violence continues to plague communities throughout our country and forever changes the lives of families who have lost someone to gun deaths,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “In fact, two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States are from suicides.”
“That is why I have introduced the Gun Suicide Prevention Act, which aims to combat the alarming suicide rate in our country,” continued Brownley.
∙ Ventura County Fair Board of directors voted to allow an October gun show at the Ventura Fairgrounds. They did vote to not allow “ghost gun” kits that make it possible for people to build firearms without serial numbers.

Lawyers for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (they own the fairgrounds not the city) advised fair leaders they would have to show a legal basis to not allow the Crossroads gun show (Oct. 23-24).

And, speaking of guns. A 16-year-old boy was killed and two other children were hurt in a shooting at a school bus stop in Louisville, Kentucky.
Thirteen people were shot and one person was killed in a shooting at a Kroger in Collierville, TN. The shooter is also dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

If you’ve been reading my article, you know how I feel about guns so I support anything that might reduce gun deaths. People don’t buy guns to kill themselves, but it sure is easier if they own a gun.

∙ This is too funny to not report. A Turkish man who got drunk and wandered into the forest unknowingly joined a search party to find himself. Beyhan Mutlu, 50, who lives in the northwestern Bursa province, was reported missing after he wandered away from his friends. A search operation was formed to find him. Mutlu joined a group of volunteers not realizing he was the person they were searching for. Maybe he got a reward for finding himself.

Speaking of things funny, some folks who are against getting COVID vaccines, are attempting to obtain over-the-counter ivermectin to prevent COVID, which is used to de-worm horses and cows. I think it is important that more humans will not get worms by taking it. Perhaps there are also drugs that prevent people from getting parvo.

∙ Former President Donald Trump skipped anesthesia for a previously unreported 2019 colonoscopy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center so he wouldn’t have to temporarily relinquish his presidential powers, according to The New York Times.

And speaking about Trump, he could be charged with multiple crimes over election interference in Georgia. A report by the Brookings Institution studied publicly available evidence that shows that Trump and his allies attempted to pressure Georgia officials to “change the lawful outcome of the election.”

A key piece of evidence is the call made by Trump on January 3 to Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. He told him to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn Biden’s win. The report adds that Trump publicly pressured and personally contacted several other officials in Georgia to ask them to help him overturn his loss in the state.

Trump was correct, the results were false. The Arizona Republican election audit has found an even bigger lead for Biden in 2020 election. There is a rumor that Trump is now going to call for an audit of the audit. And if that fails, he will call for an audit of the audit of the audit.

∙ You might think that I am upset that some Democrats are being critical of Biden ( I agree with some of the criticisms). Actually, I am thrilled, as this is what a democracy is all about. Something that never happened with the previous president because of fear of repercussions from him.

∙ Switzerland has voted by a wide margin to allow same-sex couples to marry in a referendum bringing them in line with many other countries in Europe. Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of voters in favor. Switzerland has authorized same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.

Supporters said passage would put same-sex partners on equal legal footing with heterosexual couples by allowing them to adopt children together and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. Certainly, all people, regardless of their sexual preference, should have the same societal rights.

Vol. 14, No. 26 – Sept 22 – Oct 5, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Good news the Ventura Chamber Fall Business Expo “Haunting at the Harbor” has returned after pausing because of COVID. It is on October 7, 4-7pm at the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor. Lots of food and vendors and the Ventura Breeze will have a booth there so come by and say hello. You can even buy a genuine Ventura Breeze T-shirt for only $15. Masks will probably be required.

∙ In this issue, we have an article regarding a high school robotics program. I was fortunate to attend this event. It is amazing what these students are accomplishing from fabricating all of the parts to making these robots do wonderful things like picking up balls and shooting them into a high basket.

∙ Apparently Republicans believe in fair elections but only if they win. Otherwise, elections are rigged against them. In California’s Newsom recall, challenger Larry Elder, the leading Republican, started saying unsubstantiated claims that the election was rigged against him even before it was held.

Elder appealed to his supporters to use an online form to report fraud, which claimed it had “detected fraud” in the “results” of the California recall election. Our democracy is being destroyed by this kind of thinking, and response to legitimate and fair elections (where have we heard this before)? If this continues it could be the end of our democracy.

The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board stated, “Fortunately, California voters largely saw through the lies, turning up in relatively large numbers and producing a decisive result. But if every democratic exercise is subjected to baseless distrust, democracy itself can no longer be assured.”

Elvia Díaz writing in the Arizona Republic wrote, “The California recall offers more proof that Republicans will accept elections as legit only if they win. That’s a sure way to destroy democracy.”

I am happy that “no” prevailed, not because I approve or disapprove of Newsom, but the election never should have taken place to begin with. The whole thing was a joke and cost “us” over $275 million. Recall is not meant to be a mid-term election where you replace one party with another without justification. Our recall system is terribly flawed and needs to be completely re-written. Things have changed since 1911 when it was first approved.

If recall (and impeachment) is to be used at all it should be for serious offenses, malfeasance, and crimes, not for one party to have the opportunity to remove the other party prior to the next election (which will take place in less than a year).

In order to put a recall on the ballot in California, voters must submit petition signatures equal to only 12% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

And there is in place a succession of leadership. If a governor is removed for any reason then the lieutenant governor relaces them just like when a president is removed the vice-president takes over. The recall process must be reformed.

∙ What is going on in this country? There’s extra security at Carmine’s Restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York after a hostess was attacked by a group of tourists from Texas. They refused to show proof of vaccination in order to eat inside.

The 24-year-old hostess was punched, slapped and her necklace ripped off after she asked the group for proof of vaccination, a new city policy to dine indoors. She was just doing her job. Like I said above, “If this continues it could be the end of our democracy.”

∙ I’ve explained before, don’t blame the city if a 4-unt apartment building goes up next to you on a single resident lot or there is no place to park on the street. Gov. Gavin Newsom has approved two measures to take local zoning ordinances away from city controls. This is meant to solve California’s struggles with soaring home prices and the affordable housing shortage that we have.

He signed the legislation, despite almost 250 cities objecting because it will undermine local planning and zoning regulations.

 

The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California dream for families across the state, and threatens our long-term growth and prosperity,” Newsom said. “Making a meaningful impact on this crisis will take bold investments, strong collaboration and political courage from our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all.”

Also, Newsom also signed SB 10, creating a process that lets local governments streamline new multi-family housing projects of up to 10 units built near transit or in urban areas. That new legislation also simplifies zoning requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act, which developers complain can slow down projects for years.

These laws will basically get rid of most single-family zoning. It is estimated that the state needs up to 2.5 million homes in the coming years to ease the state’s housing shortage. A new state Housing Accountability Unit will watch cities progress in creating new housing.

.Sports column – I look forward to a time when there are more touchdowns than field goals in a pro football game. And speaking of pro-football, the wife of pro-player Raheem Mostert says she was inundated with hateful social media messages after the San Francisco 49ers running back was sidelined in a game with a knee injury.

According to Devon Mostert, fans sent her “hundreds, thousands” of direct messages on Sunday that included telling her that Raheem should “kill himself” and “be cut.” She pleaded with fans to cease the “heartless” commentary.

I would love to see these fans go out there and get pummeled for a few plays.

.Three people were shot and wounded at a baby shower in Pennsylvania after an argument over gifts. Police officers were dispatched to the Kinloch Volunteer Fire Department facility in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania for a shooting inside the facility.

This was not an active shooter event, but rather an isolated family incident during a baby shower. A preliminary investigation showed the incident began as a family argument about gifts at the baby shower. It escalated into a physical fight and then gunfire. At least it was over something important like baby gifts.

. Like the Jurassic Park films using recovered DNA to genetically resurrect an extinct species may be moving closer to be coming a reality with the start up of a new company that plans to bring back woolly mammoths thousands of years after the last of the giants disappeared.

With $15 million of funding, Harvard University genetics professor George Church, known for his pioneering work in genome sequencing and gene splicing is hoping the company can usher in an era when mammoths “walk the Arctic tundra again.”

The rumor that he has obtained DNA from George Washington has not been verified but certainly sounds like a great idea.

 

 

Vol. 14, No. 25 – Sept 8 – Sept 21, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Drove to Ojai recently, it was 68 degrees in Ventura and 102 there. So, don’t complain when it gets to be 80 here about it being too hot.

∙ A reader asked about what happened to local radio station KVEN (1450 AM, “SportsRadio 1450”). Truthfully, I didn’t know it existed. Probably because I am not a big sports fan.

Found out that is was a radio station licensed to Ventura, California and had been operating from 1948 to 2021. KVEN last carried sports radio programming from the national CBS Sports Radio network, with no locally originated programming. It was owned by Cumulus Media and broadcast at a power of 1,000 watts.

Cumulus shut down KVEN in July, 2021, and surrendered its license to the Federal Communications Commission. Dodgers’ broadcasts were moved to sister station KVYB on July 23. Nothing about why it shut down but probably because they didn’t generate enough advertising to keep broadcasting.

∙ 5782? Wow, how time goes by it seems as if it was just 5781. Happy New Year!

∙ The California Public Utilities Commission has stopped the upgrades being done at the Ventura gas compressor on the westside while Southern California Gas Company meets the agency’s demands. SoCalGas must also hold future public forums before continuing.

The gas company wants to replace three gas compressors with four new ones. They also want to build a warehouse and office building at the site.

Ventura Unified School District Superintendent Roger Rice has also expressed his opposition to the SoCal plans. He pointed out how close the gas compressor was to E.P. Foster Elementary School and the Boys&Girls Club.

At the moment, however, the Boys&Girls Club has closed after a dispute with the Ventura Unified School District over requirements for state grants. The club’s activities and offerings were deemed not compliant with the California Department of Education after-school program grant requirements.

I certainly hope they can work this out, as the Club provides a great service for the children in the area. It has been there since 1968.

∙ Popstar Britney Spears will not face charges for allegedly striking one of her employees. Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko, an ex-city council member, and now Ventura County District Attorney, announced that Spears would not be charged with any crimes related to an alleged incident involving her housekeeper. Spears was accused by her housekeeper of battery last month at the singer’s home in Ventura County.

”Did you miss me?”

∙ On August 5, in an attempt to restore flows to the Ventura river, the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s advocacy for Ventura River reached a monumental moment when the City of Ventura stopped all pumping at its Foster Park well field. Channelkeeper had filed a lawsuit in 2015 to challenge the City for over pumping the area. Their desire is restoring water flow to the parched river ecosystem. The agreement established a minimum river flow threshold that would result in the stopping of pumping, which has already occurred this summer. I hope this doesn’t make our water even more difficult to obtain.

∙ According to Ventura County Supervisor Matt LaVere (another ex-city council member),

the rules that require Rincon Parkway visitors to pull straight into their parking spaces along the seawall have been extended to include a larger area. The straight-in parking area along the Ventura seawall by Solimar Beach will be extended another 1,000 feet. This will allow many more cars to park.

“We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community regarding the straight-in parking rules which were implemented over the Fourth of July weekend at Solimar Beach,” stated Levere.

∙ Feb.29, 2020: The Trump administration and the Taliban reach an agreement to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. As part of the agreement the Taliban agreed to cut ties with Al Qaeda and refrain attacking U.S. forces. In response, the US pressured the Afghanistan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.

So, don’t blame Biden for withdrawing U.S. troops after 20 years, it certainly was about time. He can certainly be blamed for the terrible manner in which the evacuation was carried out.

And he was not responsible for the suicide bomber that killed troops and almost 200 Afghanistan’s. Suicide bombers are hard to stop ( remember Kamikaze pilots during World War II.) The Taliban were responsible for making sure a bomber didn’t enter the area but obviously missed this one. There was some speculation that it could have been a female because the Taliban are not allowed to “pat down” women.

This is what made this war so difficult. Because of religious and tribal differences there has been fighting there for hundred of years and (even if we stayed) for hundreds of years to come.

∙ Texas’ new law allowing most people to carry handguns in public without a permit or training came in part from the belief by many that the best way to prevent crime and stop an armed bad guy is to whip out your gun and start firing.

Statistics show that crime actually increases after such laws are implemented. And even some Texas authorities worry that having more people walking around armed will lead to more disagreements being settled through gunfire (the OK Corral returns).

Police in Washington, D.C. were searching for suspects after a Saturday evening shooting that left three people dead and three others wounded in the northwest part of the city.

A former Marine outfitted in body armor fatally shot four people, including a baby, mother and grandmother, at a property outside Lakeland, Florida. The suspect, identified as Brian Riley, 33, then engaged in a firefight with law enforcement officers before surrendering to authorities.

“It’s very frustrating and we’ve been talking about gun violence for a long time,” D.C. police Chief Robert Contee told reporters. “We know this issue is not unique to Washington, D.C., but I think it speaks to the overall sickness that we’re seeing in our community and that sickness being gun violence.”

∙Two weeks after the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reported Covid infections in the state have risen nearly sixfold. South Dakota counted 3,819 new cases in the past two weeks, including seven deaths, up from 644 cases in the 14 days preceding it.

Vol. 14, No. 24 – Aug 25 – Sept 7, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ As previously covered, two 15-year-old students were arrested for starting a fire at Mound Elementary School in Ventura on July 22.

The damage to the school is preliminary estimated at over $1,000,000.

The Ventura Unified School District board unanimously voted to declare an emergency which will expedite the necessary decisions as necessary to quickly resolve the situation. The district will be leasing and installing a portable building and proceed with repairing the fire damage. Demolition has been started.

The moral and legal question remains in terms of what is the appropriate action to take against 15-year-olds? Certainly, they need lots of help. Should they be incarcerated until they are 21? Will putting them in prison help or just make them worse?

I feel for their families trying to deal with this.

∙ Because we have a Sudoku puzzle in each issue, I thought it would be fun to share this.

Maki Kaji, the creator of the popular numbers puzzle Sudoku whose life’s work was spreading the joy of puzzles, has died. He was 69 and had bile duct cancer. Known as the “Godfather of Sudoku,” its name is made up of the Japanese characters for “number” and “single.” There are different levels of difficulty for each puzzle.

It wasn’t until 2004, when Sudoku became a global hit, after a fan from New Zealand pitched it and got it published in a British newspaper.

∙ Question: Regarding Afghanistan, what president said this last year? ‘It had been a long and hard journey in Afghanistan. It’s time after all these years to bring our people back home.”

Answer: Trump.

I certainly agree with Trump and feel that Biden is doing the correct thing. He isn’t doing as well as it should have been accomplished, but after 20-years and an estimated 2 trillion dollars, the time has come to get out.

Of course, some Afghanistan people, especially women will be hurt by this, but there is really no way to deal with religious zealots no matter where, or who, they are. If this had been done with better preparation (as it should have been), eventually the results would have been basically the same.

The Taliban rule will be draconian. But how long would the United States need to remain there to prevent this from happening? Another 20-years, forever?

The basic problem, and miscalculation, was that the Afghanistan military would fight to “save” their country. Maybe we should have known this.

Act 1: Ten Taliban (driving old beat-up trucks and old motorcycles) wearing sandals, head scarfs and civilian clothes approach an Afghanistan military base and declare “we have the place surrounded so give up.”

Act 2: 50% of the military throw down there never-used weapons and give up. The other 50% change into their civilian clothes and go home.

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan stated, “The Afghan military chose not to fight for their country.” It appears Taliban fighters met almost no resistance from the U.S. trained military.

If they are not willing to fight for their country, I don’t think that we should die for them anymore.

 

We can no longer be the savior for the entire world. Right now, we have enough of our own serious problems to deal with. We should certainly still provide aid to situations like the one in Haiti.

Those are my thoughts. As always, I would love to hear yours. Publisher @venturabreeze.com

∙ The cousin of a Texas mother of four who died recently following a month-long battle with COVID-19 told news outlets that she asked relatives to make sure her children get vaccinated before she was intubated.

Lydia Rodriguez, who was not vaccinated and whose husband Lawrence also died this summer after contracting COVID-19, was first hospitalized in mid-July. According to a fundraising page set up on the family’s behalf, the couple were both in the ICU at the same time.

 

“Before she got intubated, one of the last things she told her sister was ‘Please make sure my children get vaccinated,’” Dottie Jones, the woman’s cousin, told the news outlet. “She would be there for her kids right now if she had been vaccinated.”

Most days during the coronavirus pandemic, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke could be found strolling down the streets of Rome mask less and carrying rosary beads. The 73-year-old conservative cardinal was an early critic of social distancing and, later, an unabashed skeptic of the vaccine.

Last Tuesday, Burke announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, the cardinal is in a hospital bed in his native Wisconsin, breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, the governor’s office announced in a release.

Conservative talk radio host Phil Valentine has died following a lengthy battle with COVID-19. He was 61 years old. Recently Valentine voiced skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine.

In December of 2020 he tweeted, “I have a very low risk of A) getting COVID and B) dying of it. If I do, why would I risk getting a heart attack or paralysis by getting the vaccine?”

At least he won’t have a heart attack or paralysis.

I certainly understand that vaccines aren’t 100% perfect, but of the new 10,000 COVID cases in Miami, 98% of the patients were not vaccinated.

Guns in The News:

A 3-year-old girl was killed after a 5-year-old boy shot her in Minnesota. The shooting was reported in a residence in the town of Bena, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the victim had been shot inside the home.

An autopsy is pending with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, and an investigation is ongoing, Burch said. It remains unclear whether criminal charges will be filed in connection with the incident against the gun owner. They certainly should be.

At least 3,371 children and teens in the U.S. were killed with guns in 2019, according to a report this year from the Children’s Defense Fund, a child advocacy nonprofit organization. The group estimates that a child was killed by a gun every two and a half hours during that year.

Three people are dead, and two others are in critical condition after an overnight shooting at an East Side sports bar, according to San Antonio police. The shooting happened around 3:23 a.m., Sunday, after-hours at the Boom Boom Sports Bar (I guess Boom Boom is the sound of guns being fired.)

Police said a fight started inside of the bar between two people before it spilled into the parking lot. A man then went to his car, pulled a long gun, and started shooting rounds in the air, striking five people – two women, and three men.

The two people shot dead at an NHK factory in Frankfort, Indiana, were employees of the company – a grandmother and granddaughter who were arriving for their shift, according to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged suspect, 26-year-old Gary C. Ferrell, an employee at the factory is in custody.

Vol. 14, No. 23 – Aug 11 – Aug 24, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Recently, I was at the city parking garage at the beach. It is disgraceful. Filthy, (cigarette butts everywhere) and is in dire need of much painting. Hardly an introduction to Ventura that we want tourists to see.

∙ There is as show on TV called Ancient Aliens that constantly asks” could (fill in anything ancient) this perhaps be the work of ancient aliens?” I have concluded that spinach might be the work of ancient aliens. No one on earth likers spinach so perhaps spinach is what aliens eat, and they have planted it here so that when they take over the earth they have something to eat. Take a close look at Popeye, does he look he came from earth?

∙ Recently, a group of Venturan’s appealed the 72-unit Haley townhouse project that has been approved by the city. Their appeal cited several decisions that they believe were made by the city, but, in reality the State is slowly taking away cities zoning and planning regulations and allowing developers to be given variances that those appealing thought the city had given.

California lawmakers have been pushing for legislation to override locally approved zoning rules in order to permit denser developments in residential neighborhoods by rewriting city land use rules in California. It would effectively eliminate single family zoning in California. A residential lot currently zoned for one single family residence could soon have four residences on the property. This is to expand the State’s housing supply and increase the construction of badly needed housing.

There has, of course, been strong opposition by many cities fearing that it would destroy quiet neighborhoods with large scale projects and many cars brought into the neighborhood. Very high current construction costs will probably prevent most homeowners from building more units on their properties, but some certainly will.

∙ From the LA Times.

“Only one private institution is mentioned in the Constitution. The press. Our nations founders recognized that a press free to criticize those in power and spread information across society is essential in the democracy. The Constitution not only allows but requires the government to take steps to keep the press viable. In fact, the government has done this since the beginning of the Republic.”

Regarding newspapers, it went on to say; “Especially notable is a loss of reporting in smaller towns, suburbs and real areas. Leaving thousands of American Communities with no local coverage.”

A way that the government might help the failing news industry is by way of a bill that has bipartisan support in Congress. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act creates tax incentives to encourage readers to subscribe and even donate to local newspapers. It would also provide tax incentives to businesses that advertise in local newspapers. Long live the Ventura Breeze.

∙ Guess which ex-president made this articulate statement?

“This country has, for whatever reason, also refused to produce the network routers. We want the routers, Sonny, Wendy, we got to get those routers, please. Those routers. Come on, Kelly, we can get those routers. Those routers. You know what? We’re so beyond the routers, there’s so many fraudulent without the routers. But if you got those routers, what that will show, and they don’t want to give up the routers. They don’t want to give them. They are fighting like hell. Why are these commissioners fighting not to give up the routers?”

∙ Arizona county election officials have found fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud in more than 3 million ballots cast in last year’s election. It turns out that Biden really might be our President.

∙ Former South Florida talk show host Dick Farrel, known and beloved by fans for his over-the-top right-wing opinions, has died from complications from COVID-19.

On Facebook, Farrel advocated against getting the coronavirus vaccine and was skeptical of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and his recommendations concerning the coronavirus. Friends said after contracting the virus he changed his point of view.

∙ Guns in the News.

Firefighters battling the wildfires in California say some residents have pulled guns on them because they don’t want to evacuate.

Crews encountered the armed homeowners as the Dixie fire, which has been raging for three-weeks, tore towards the town of Greenville (which has been destroyed) in the state’s North.

“We have firefighters that are getting guns pulled out on them because people don’t want to evacuate,” California Incident Management operations section chief Jake Cagle stated.

President Biden announced a slate of actions aimed at fulfilling his campaign promise to combat the proliferation of gun violence in this country. The action, while necessary, also shows how few options a president has for addressing this critical and deadly issue.

Vol. 14, No. 22 – July 28 – Aug 10, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ Interesting facts in mid-year crime report in this issue. It seems crime was down during COVID lockdowns and closures, but up again as things open-up. I guess crooks were afraid of getting sick (tough way to fight crime).

∙Enrollment in the Ventura Unified School District has reached its lowest point in 25 years, a decline that will mean less funding for schools in years to come.

The district enrolled 15,874 students this past school year, the lowest since 1996-97. At its largest, the district had 17,794 students in 2003-04. Ventura currently has 15,742 students enrolled for the fall.

A committee will be formed that will focus on ways to address the decline and its long term effects.

∙I would like to hear from readers if they have felt the same way as I have as we venture out more to attend events and eat at restaurants. Being in introvert (that is different then being shy), my DNA changed due to basically being sequestered for over a year.

A few weeks ago, there was an event at the museum that I looked forward to going to and on the day of the event I was thinking of every reason not to go. I finally went but it wasn’t easy, and I felt awkward attending. I’m feeling more comfortable getting out now but still have a tendency to just want to stay home.

∙Speaking about DNA, according to a new study published by Science Advances as little as 1.5 percent of our DNA is unique to modern humans, and not shared with our ancestral species.

“That’s a pretty small percentage,” Nathan Schaefer, a University of California scholar and co-author of the report stated. “This kind of finding is why scientists are turning away from thinking that we human are so vastly different from Neanderthals.”

The study compared modern human DNA to that extracted from the fossilized remains of extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans, two pre-human species that died off 35,000 and 50,000 years ago, respectively. Both species are believed to have bred with early humans.

∙Two Swedish prison guards were held hostage for nine hours by two inmates demanding pizza as ransom, they were released when the food was delivered. I’m sure they could have held out for an Antipasto salad also.

∙An Alabama doctor has revealed heartbreaking details about her recent conversations with patients dying from COVID-19, amid a surge in cases caused by the Delta variant in the state with the lowest vaccination rate in the nation.

“I’m admitting young healthy people to the hospital with very serious COVID,” Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.

“A few days later when I call time of death, I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same,” Cobia added. “They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was ‘just the flu’. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued an impassioned plea for residents of her state to get vaccinated against Covid-19, arguing it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks” for the disease’s continued spread. I want folks to get vaccinated. That’s the cure. That prevents everything,” Ivey, a Republican stated. (Alabama has about a 33% vaccination rate).

For months, conservative Nashville, Tennessee-based radio host Phil Valentine has repeatedly made posts on multiple social media platforms telling his fans that if they weren’t at risk for COVID, they shouldn’t get the vaccine. That message changed on July 23, when the Valentine family made a public statement on the Facebook page of his talk radio station’s Facebook page that he had COVID.

A man who mocked Covid-19 vaccinations died this week at a Los Angeles-area hospital after contracting the virus. Stephen Harmon was 34. Stephen Harmon posted photos of himself in his hospital bed, wrote that he had pneumonia and critically low oxygen levels and was going to be intubated.

Three days before his death, Harmon tweeted: “If you don’t have faith that God can heal me over your stupid ventilator then keep the Hell out of my ICU room, there’s no room in here for fear or lack of faith!” Perhaps before waiting for God to cure him he should have been vaccinated as a back-up.

∙I have mentioned this before but will again. I receive emails from Trump fan’s that basically call me a clown, an idiot and worse for criticizing him. A 3-year-old could email me that. My response is always the same; “Instead of knocking me, explain why you support Trump.” I never receive a response. I’m still waiting.

∙GUNS IN THE NEWS

A drive-by shooting targeting a party bus in Chicago has left eight people injured in what was the third mass attack in the city in a span of six hours, police say.

Eight people were injured in a shooting near a car wash in Fort Worth, Texas, after a group of men got into an argument. One of the men left the scene during the argument, returned with a gun and began firing “toward groups of people,” Fort Worth Police said in a news release. Multiple people returned gunfire, the release said. Most of the victims are believed to have been innocent bystanders who weren’t involved in the initial argument, according to Fort Worth Police.

Authorities are investigating a Massachusetts shooting that left two Black people dead as a hate crime after investigators found “some troubling white supremacist rhetoric” in the gunman’s handwriting.

A man and a woman were finishing dinner at a restaurant at the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas when a man seated at the other end of the bar got up, approached the pair and opened fire. Then the male suspect killed himself.

California Governor Newsom asked, at a meeting with members of a gun victim’s family, “What the hell’s wrong with us? When are we going to put down our arms, literally and figuratively? What is going on in the United States of America?”

∙Former Attorney General William Barr bluntly dismissed some of former President Donald Trump’s election fraud allegations as “bulls***. My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr recalled at one point. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there.”

In spite of this, based only on Trump’s absurd claims that the elections were stolen, more than 6 in 10 GOP voters either “strongly” (39%) or “somewhat” (22%) agreed with the statement that the 2020 election “was stolen from Donald Trump.

Those numbers are astonishing.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer called a Trump statement accusing the county of deleting an elections database “unhinged” and called on other Republicans to stop the unfounded accusations.” We can’t indulge these insane lies any longer. As a party. As a state. As a country,” Richer tweeted.

Vol. 14, No. 21 – July 14 – July 27, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ I’m sure you know by now, but in case you don’t, beginning July 5, E.J. Harrison & Sons began weekly residential curbside collection of all 3 bins; trash, household recycling, and yard waste, at no additional charge. You no longer need to alternate the weekly collections of recycling and yard waste services. This service upgrade is part of Harrison’s ongoing commitment to keep up with the rapidly evolving world of recycling on the road to zero waste. It always amazed me how many people couldn’t figure out which cans to put out, so they put out all 3 anyway.

∙ The city of Ventura has apologized for texts sent by a planner during a May 26 Planning Commission meeting considering the 72-townhome Haley Point project in midtown Ventura.

The associate planner, Jamie Peltier, was seen texting. She was communicating with an unnamed relative and city staff. In the text she wrote, “I hate the public so much,” and “They hate everything and everyone.”

In describing the Haley Point project, Peltier wrote, “What a lovely development that the community HATES (her caps).” Later, she described opponents of the project saying, “They went straight psycho.”

Ventura spokesperson Heather Sumagaysay issued an apology saying, “It is unfortunate that the employee used a personal mobile device to communicate with a family member during the meeting for communications related to the public’s business,” Sumagaysay said.

“We deeply regret this happened. This does not reflect the respect for the public to which the city is committed.”

I don’t believe texting should be allowed during meetings, unless an emergency or relevant to the proceedings. I think she should be removed from the commission or should step down.

The commission’s approval of this project was appealed to the City Council. On Monday, July 12 the Council voted 7-0 to deny the appeal so the project will slowly proceed through other city approvals as necessary to commence with the construction.

∙ Last month, 130 people died of Covid-19 in Maryland. None of them were vaccinated, according to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. In addition, unvaccinated people made up 95% of new Covid-19 cases in the state and 93% of new Covid-19 hospitalizations, Hogan said.

The connection between vaccination status and Covid-19 is not specific to Maryland and is not limited to last month.

The new Delta coronavirus variant is focusing on the dangers of the people who haven’t been vaccinated, so go get your vaccination. Delta is more contagious, deadlier, and is quickly spreading.

Currently, the variant accounts for 1 in 4 cases in the U.S., according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But that number could keep rising if vaccination rates don’t start picking up quickly enough. Among those ages 18 and up in the U.S., 57.4% are fully vaccinated, while 66.5% has received at least one shot. The life you save might be mine.

A true story. When Carmichael felt sick from side effects after her first COVID-19 vaccine, her mother Jones decided to skip hers and hope for the best.

Her family said Jones contracted the Delta variant and died June 9. They are hoping no one else has to go through what they went through and are encouraging others to get vaccinated or wear a mask and socially distance.

∙ The deadly heat wave that has devastated many parts of the country (Palm Spring’s 120, 130 in Death Valley) was impossible without human-caused climate change that added a few extra degrees to the record-smashing temperatures. An international team of 27 scientists calculated that climate change increased chances of the extreme heat occurring by at least 150 times.

Luckily, we don’t know much about heat waves in Ventura. Hot here is 75, and we complain.

∙ Bible studies: Eating shellfish and wearing a shirt with two kinds of thread are forbidden in Leviticus.

∙ Bill Cosby has been freed from prison after Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction. Some people, including Bill Cosby, believe that he has been found innocent of his many crimes against women. This is not the case – he is just as guilty today as he was 3 weeks ago.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that they found an agreement with a previous prosecutor that prevented him from being charged in the case. Legal scholars say that it was the right decision because his 5th Amendment right not to incriminate himself had been violated. Attorney Erwin Chemerinsky stated, “Even those who commit despicable crimes are protected by the Constitution.” Perhaps the prosecutor who made this possible should be made to finish out Cosby’s time in prison.

∙ President Biden has signed several Executive orders that he believes will help consumers. One that could be of the most help asking the Food and Drug Administration to work with states to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada where they often cost a fraction of the US prices. It also deals with the fact that the 10 largest healthcare systems control a quarter of the market. It is believed that this results in higher prices and less choice for patients. There are other provisions that will help our poor health system.

∙ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), during an interview on a conservative podcast, compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to continue to require members of the House to wear masks on the chamber floor to steps the Nazis took to control the Jewish population during the Holocaust. Scary ain’t it that this woman is in our government?

Some House Republican leaders have condemned her incendiary remarks as well as Jewish groups aimed at the Georgia congresswoman and the party leaders’ silence.

“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling,” said House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy .

∙ All K-12 public schools in Florida will hold a moment of silence at the start of the day starting next school year, according to a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to the law, principals of each public school shall require teachers in first-period classrooms in all grades to set aside at least one minute but not more than two minutes daily for the moment of silence (will teachers be required to carry stop watches?). Teachers may not make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence, the law states. A period of “silent prayer or meditation” was optional for school districts in the state prior to the new law.

“It’s important to be able to provide each student the ability every day to reflect and be able to pray as they see fit,” the Republican governor said before signing the bill. “The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry our founding fathers did not believe that.”

Regarding the separation of church and state, in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson declared that when the American people adopted the establishment clause, they built a “wall of separation between the church and state.”

Kid’s that want to pray can do that at home and in church, they don’t need to do it in school, nor should they be required to do such.

∙ A 10-year-old boy died in Philadelphia on Saturday after finding a gun in his home and fatally shooting himself. Police said the boy and his 8-year-old sister found the gun in a cabinet in their home in North Philadelphia while they were alone.

According to the University of Washington, U.S. gun deaths is 100 times higher than Britain’s, and 200 times the Japan rate. Nearly 60% of gun deaths are from suicide. Women are five times more apt to be murdered by an abusive partner when the abuser has access to a gun. I doubt if anyone buys a gun thinking that they will kill themselves or their partner.

Vol. 14, No. 20 – June 30 – July 13, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙The council has approved 50 affordable apartments for seniors on the west side to compensate for the loss of homes in the 2017 Thomas Fire. The Ventura City Council unanimously approved the $4.6 million project to address the post-fire housing shortage. Five of the apartments will be reserved for homeless seniors. The city’s housing authority will market the apartments to those who were displaced by the wildfire. The senior housing project is part of a four-phase redevelopment.

The project is partially funded with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded to the city.

Five of the apartments will be reserved for homeless seniors. The project site is at 232 W. Flint St. (off of Olive).

Councilmember Lorrie Brown stated, “The city has a made a commitment to improving the housing in the city of Ventura and this is one of those steps.”

The project is expected to be completed in fall 2024.

The Ventura council has finally passed a city budget after weeks of wrangling over fire department funding. On a 6-1 vote, the City Council approved a $303 million spending plan after reaching a compromise to postpone decisions over additional firefighter positions and equipment by at least six months. See page X for more information.

Councilmember Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios wants the city to first develop a strategic plan that defines the fire department’s goals, priorities and targets prior to committing to additional staff and fire vehicles. Less than 5% of the fire department services are for fighting fires.

The New York Supreme Court has announced that it is suspending Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in the state. The court concluded that Giuliani made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” to courts, lawmakers and the public when he was representing former President Trump and his campaign in their failed effort to overturn the 2020 election results. In a 33-page decision, the court said the seriousness of Giuliani’s “uncontroverted misconduct can not be overstated.”

6’-7” Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib has met widespread support since his groundbreaking decision announcing that he is gay. He became the first (and certainly not only) active player in NFL history to come out.

I have a friend who once told me that he can tell if a man is gay but can’t tell if a woman is. He based this on stereotypes that gay men are effeminate. I doubt if Nassib fits this stereotype. And even if he did, who cares. He’s a pro football player, so obviously he has the required skillset to be in the league. I’m happy for him. How tough it must be to be in a “real” man’s sport and need to hide this. This is not a choice a person makes, as it is implanted in their DNA.

A Trump supporter who spent 10 minutes inside the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection was sentenced to probation Wednesday, avoiding jail. He is the first rioter to learn their punishment in the riot investigation.

At a hearing in DC federal court, Judge Royce Lamberth said the insurrection was a “disgrace” and forcefully rebuked the “utter nonsense” coming from some Republican lawmakers and other right-wing figures who are whitewashing what happened.

“I don’t know what planet they were on,” Lamberth said of the GOP lawmakers, without mentioning any names. Recent releases of videos from the attack “will show the attempt of some congressman to rewrite history that these were tourists walking through the capitol is utter nonsense.”

A Michigan Senate Oversight Committee report on the election “found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election.”

A draft report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that unless drastic and immediate action is taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperatures from rising further, life on earth is poised for a catastrophic coming.

The 4,000-page draft states that mankind may have already missed its opportunity to keep the climate from passing a series of thresholds that will further create the warming of the planet. “Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems,” the report says. “Humans cannot.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence reiterated at a speech at the Reagan Library he did not have the constitutional authority to stop the count of the electoral votes on Jan. 6.

Now there are those in our party who believe that in my position as presiding officer over the joint session that I possess the authority to reject or return electoral votes certified by the states,” Pence said. “The Constitution provides the vice president with no such authority before the joint session of Congress.” Some Republicans, including former President Trump, called for Pence to reject electoral votes on Jan. 6.

He has been booed at Republican meetings even though he had no authority to reverse the election.

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are people who weren’t vaccinated. An indication that deaths per day, now down to under 300, could be practically eliminated if everyone eligible got the vaccine.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.

At Sanford Health, which runs 44 medical centers and more than 200 clinics across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa, less than 5% of the 1,456 patients admitted with COVID-19 so far this year were fully vaccinated.

Why I hate partisan politics (on both sides): House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized President Joe Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that Biden “gave Vladimir Putin a pass.”

“The American people suffered massive disruptions because of Russia-linked cyber-attacks,” McCarthy said in a statement released Thursday. “Two Americans, both Marine veterans, are being held as prisoners in Russia. We know Vladimir Putin silences and imprisons his critics.”

He added: “Knowing these facts, President Biden should have used today’s summit to stand up for our national interests and send a message to the world that the United States will hold Russia accountable for its long list of transgressions. Unfortunately, President Biden gave Vladimir Putin a pass.”

McCarthy’s comments come after years of silence from him on former President Donald Trump’s relationship with Putin, which many critics described as him cozying up to the Russian president especially amid intelligence Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

I have concerns about how the recall process is applied and misused. Recall is not meant to remove officials from office because some don’t agree with their policies. It is meant to remove office holders who have committed serious crimes or who just never do their job.’ In a country divided 50-50 on party affiliation every politician would always face recall to just remove them from office.

Vol. 14, No. 19 – June 16 – June 29, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙There is an obituary in this issue that is very dear to my heart. Except for one high school friend (and relatives), Jack White was my oldest friend. Jack and I met in the 1950’s when we were studying architecture at Los Angels City College and continued our friendship at the USC School of Architecture. After we obtained our architecture licenses, we remained business and social friends the rest of our lives. Coincidently, several years ago his son Rick and family moved to Ventura. I will miss Jack forever. Just a very special, nice human being. Loving, caring and concerned about life and the world.

Fire Chief David Endaya says Ventura needs more firefighters. Council agrees but how do we pay for them? The City Council still could not reach a solution during a special meeting on the fire department’s budget. Council members agreed the fire department needs more money but remained divided over how to provide it.

Nearly 75% of calls to the fire department are for emergency medical help and less than 3% for fire deployment. Perhaps fire should have vehicles more like ambulances to answer medical emergencies instead of sending hook and ladder engines for such calls.

Endaya presented a proposed $24.7 million budget, an increase of $1.4 million from last year to pay for additional part-time employees.

The city’s finance and technology director, Michael Coon, proposed potential cuts that could pay for the fire department improvements. I love one of them which is to eliminate the red light camera program. Ending the camera program in 2022-23 would save the city $1 million.

∙ In a previous issue I suggested that deaths from Covid19 were probably much higher because people were not addressing other health issues that they have. From The Associated Press; “The U.S. saw remarkable increases in the death rates for heart disease, diabetes, and some other common killers in 2020, spurred in part, experts believe, by people making the lethal mistake of avoiding hospitals although they had the symptoms of dangerous illnesses.”

∙Is nothing sacred anymore? It seems that reality shows are never what they appear to be. A worker on one stated, “I worked on Love It or List It, and 99% of the work isn’t done by the people shown doing the work on TV. It’s done by subcontractors. Most of the stuff they put in for design purposes was taken back after the shoot because it wasn’t part of the homeowner’s budget.”

∙A federal judge overturned California’s longtime ban on assault weapons in a ruling that likened the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife. He stated, “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.”

I agree with him, so I immediately went out and purchased a Swiss Army Knife. And a burglar broke into my home, I whipped out my knife, used it to open a bottle of Chardonnay and offered him a glass. He drank it and thanked me, but he did take the whole bottle (only a misdemeanor).

∙This is better than the devil made me do it. The lawyer for a Delaware man charged over the Capitol attack in January is floating a unique defense: Fox News made him do it. Likening the side effects of such a steady diet of misinformation to a mental health syndrome. Isn’t there a pill for this?

∙ “It’s great to have a U.S. president who’s part of the club and very willing to cooperate,” French President Emmanuel Macron.

∙Has this country gone completely mad, besides our daily mass shootings? While speaking at a Dallas conference aimed at QAnon adherents, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn appeared to endorse the idea of a military coup to reinstate Donald Trump as president. A member of the audience asked about the possibility of a Myanmar-style coup in the US, and Flynn said there was “no reason” something similar couldn’t happen in America. He added, “I mean, it should happen here.”

And speaking about guns, when will the madness end? What happens after shootings is that more people buy guns that are usually used to kill innocent people, relatives, or themselves.

Texas is poised to remove one of its last major gun restrictions after lawmakers approved allowing people to carry handguns without a license and the background checks and training that go with it. The Republican-dominated Legislature approved the measure Monday, sending it to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said he will sign it despite the objections of law enforcement groups who say it would endanger the public and police.

It would take many pages to list the mass and senseless shootings that have taken place in just the last month, but here are just a few.

Just last week two people were killed and at least 30 more were wounded in separate weekend mass shootings reported in three states, stirring already brewing fears that a spike in gun violence could continue into summer. The cities of Savannah, Georgia, Chicago and Austin, Texas are the latest to fall victim to mass shootings late Friday and early Saturday.

Deputies in Volusia County, Florida, shot a 14-year-old girl on Tuesday night after she and a 12-year-old boy broke into a home, found multiple guns inside and then opened fire on deputies, according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

“I don’t know what to say. Where have we gone wrong that a 12-year-old and 14-year-old think it’s okay to take on law enforcement?” he said.

Three people were killed and five were shot during a graduation party in Kendall, Florida, early Sunday, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Miami-Dade police are investigating a shooting that left three people dead and another three people injured during a domestic-related shooting.

A public transit employee opened fire on co-workers at a Northern California rail yard Wednesday, killing more than 8 people before taking his own life. His home contained Molotov cocktails, 12 firearms and approximately 22,000 rounds of various types of ammunition. Did he need all this to protect himself against the bad guys?

After a 9-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in Oxnard, police discovered illegal weapons, cash and drugs at the home and arrested a 17-year-old. A child had shot himself in the hand with a handgun he found inside the home that he thought was a toy.

Two people have died and eight others were injured after a shooting in downtown Minneapolis. Two men standing in a crowd outside got into an argument, pulled out guns and began shooting at each other.

A girl pulled a handgun out of her backpack and fired multiple rounds in a hallway and outside the Rigby Middle School building. A teacher disarmed the student and detained her until law enforcement arrived and took her into custody.

Two groups of people got into a fight outside of a Hugo Boss store. One person brandished a weapon, which spurred someone in the other group to pull out a gun and start firing.

Seven people have died after a gunman barged into a birthday party in Colorado Springs, where his girlfriend was present, before taking his own life.

∙At least nine people were killed after an attack using a semi-automatic shotgun in the city of Kazan in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately ordered an overhaul of laws allowing civilians access to semi-automatic weapons after the latest tragic example of Russia’s outbreak of U.S.-style school shootings. He has more sense than some of our politicians.

Vol. 14, No. 18 – June 2 – June 15, 2021 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ In a previous issue, we had and article, along with my comments regarding a proposed Haley Point 72-unit townhome residential project on a 4.3-acre site in mid-town. I generally favored the project. The Ventura Planning Commission, by a 4-0 vote, has approved the development to be located on Channel Dr.

There was some opposition to the development mostly over density and parking.

An appeal can be filed within 10 days of the planning commission decision. Such an appeal would cost $1,000. If the project is appealed, it could be heard by the City Council by the end of June.

∙Finally, Ventura is moving closer to the opening of commercial cannabis businesses by proceeding with the permit application process and evaluation criteria. With the closing of the card club in Ventura, the City is losing several million dollars in tax money that this might make up for.

An Orientation “Kick Off” Meeting will be scheduled for mid-June. At this Orientation

Meeting, consultants and staff will review all application materials including the

Procedures and Guidelines. This meeting is for potential applicants, landlords, and other

interested parties to learn about the requirements in the application process.

Application Period 1 will be open for a 45-day period from Monday, June 28 – Thursday,

August 11, 2021 @ 4:00 pm. Application Period 1 will still only allow for businesses to

apply outside of the Coastal Zone for up to 3 retail and 10 industrial-type permits.

Ventura has a new timeline to bring up to 15 cannabis businesses to the city.

The city announced it was pushing back its window for businesses to apply for a cannabis permit to June 28-Aug. 11.

The city did not want to hold an application kick-off meeting, originally set for May 19, or the launch of the permit program prior to a council update later this month, said Ventura spokeswoman Heather Sumagaysay.

Last week, the council did adopt a resolution authorizing two application periods; one for coastal businesses and one for inland; for a commercial cannabis program with a maximum of 15 businesses.

The first application period, scheduled to start June 28, is for non-coastal zone applicants. The second application period would begin after the California Coastal Commission gives its approval, which is expected before the end of the year.

Speaking about marijuana, more than three months after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question legalizing adult use of the drug in New Jersey, it has become law.

Also, in San Diego, a Superior Court judge has reduced felony marijuana records for 26,000 people to misdemeanor convictions and additionally some 1,000 people with misdemeanor marijuana convictions had those cases completely dismissed.

Leave lots of time to meet your train.

∙ If you are taking the AMTRAK, next to the Fairgrounds, leave yourself a lot of extra time to drop people off or park your car because you might get very confused. Normally, you can drive into the large Fair parking area, drive over by the tracks and park or drive through to drop off folks. Because the parking lot is closed, you can’t do this. And the street next to the tracks is

one-way only. The only way to drive up is to take Olive to the end to what looks like an alley and take that to the train.

One of our clever readers suggested driving backwards up the one-way street so it looks as if you are driving in the right direction. This is, of course illegal, and I wouldn’t suggest doing something illegal.

∙ Drivers throughout the country are complaining about the high cost of gas. The national average price at the pumps is around $3.00 – the highest price in 7 years. We should be so lucky to pay only $3.00.

∙ Earthlings are always concerned that aliens are going to land here. I’m sure when they fly over earth and see what an incredible mess we have made of it they just turn around and fly home. Perhaps they bring students here to show them what happens when people do awful things, so they appreciate where they live in a parallel universe.

∙ When state’s pass laws restricting abortions and women have kids that they can’t afford I think that the state should be required to support the kids until they are 18 – just like any father should need to do.

∙ Senate Republicans have blocked creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which, in my opinion was one of the worst days in our history. It certainly felt like as I was watching it. I assume this was to show party loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

The Senate vote was 54-35, short of the 60 votes needed to take up a House passed bill that would have formed a 10-member commission evenly split between the two parties.

Six Republicans (my heroes) voted with Democrats to move forward. 11 senators (nine Republicans and two Democrats) missed the vote, with some saying they had scheduling conflicts. This is inexcusable to me and just shows that they were gutless.

Certainly, we need to determine the cause of this insurrection, how it can be prevented in the future and why Capital police were completely unprepared for it. I would think all politicians should see this as their obligation to the country regardless of their party.

∙ Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a bill to allow public schools to offer yoga, ending a ban that stood for nearly 30 years. Christian conservatives who back the ban said yoga would open the door for people to be converted to Hinduism. How absurd is this.

The new law allows yoga to be offered as an elective, for grades K-12. While it erases a ban that some schools had not realized existed, it also imposes restrictions on how yoga should be taught. Students won’t be allowed to say “Namaste,” for instance. Meditation is not allowed. They also aren’t allowed to say evolution (I made that up but it would be just as stupid).

As goes yoga, goes the world.