Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

Vol. 16, No. 26 – Sept 20 – Oct 3, 2023 – As I See It

Unfortunately, River Haven is closing down. This was the perfect solution to help with our city’s homeless problems. Hopefully, other living arrangements can be found for those living there so they will not become Ventura homeless (see article in this issue).

The earth has sweltered through its hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever, with a record warm August capping a season of brutal and deadly temperatures, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Last month was not only the hottest August scientists ever recorded with modern equipment by far, it was also the second hottest month measured, behind only July 2023.

August was about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than pre-industrial averages. That is the threshold that the world is trying not to pass, though scientists are more concerned about rises in temperatures over decades, not merely a blip over a month’s time.

The world’s oceans were the hottest ever recorded, 69.8 degrees, and have set high temperature marks for three consecutive months. Call it what you wish (and blame whomever you wish), but how can it be denied that the earth is going though severe climate change.

Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison for orchestrating his far-right extremist group’s attack on the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to stop the transfer of presidential power after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election.

Tarrio’s sentence is the longest so far among more than 1,100 Capitol riot cases, topping the 18-year sentences that Oath Keeper’s founder Stewart Rhodes and one-time Proud Boy’s leader Ethan Nordean received after juries convicted them of seditious conspiracy and other charges.

“We need to make sure the consequences are abundantly clear to anyone who might be unhappy with the results of 2024, 2028, 2032 or any future election for as long as this case is remembered,” prosecutor Conor Mulroe said. “This was a calculated act of terrorism.”

Interesting was the fact that Tarrio wasn’t in Washington, D.C, when Proud Boys members joined thousands of Trump supporters, who smashed windows, beat police officers and poured into the House and Senate chambers. But prosecutors say the 39-year-old Miami resident organized and led the Proud Boys’ assault from afar.

Gets me thinking – who else wasn’t there that was a major contributor to this insurrection?

President Joe Biden is “old” and “confused,” and former President Donald Trump is “corrupt” and “dishonest.” Those are among the top terms Americans use when they’re asked to describe them. Unflattering portraits of Biden and Trump emerge in a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which asked an open-ended question about what comes to mind when people think of them.

According to the indictment filed in federal court in Delaware by a special counsel overseeing the Hunter Biden case, Biden is accused of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in October 2018, a period when he has acknowledged he was struggling with addiction to crack cocaine.

Of course, this law is necessary but not the “federal case” Republicans are making out of it. If we put everyone in prison who lied when purchasing a gun we would need a lot more prisons. And perhaps other Biden transgressions far exceed this particular item.

I think appropriate punishment would be a hefty fine and community service. He could mow the lawn at the White House and dad could bring him lemonade when it gets hot.

Vol. 16, No. 25 – Sept 6 – Sept 19, 2023 – As I See It

The Ventura County Fair made about $6.7 million this year. This is slightly less than last year’s $6.9 million. Ticket revenue was slightly up and parking was slightly down from last year. Carnival proceeds fell to about $3.6 million, nearly $230,000 less than last year.

The preliminary revenue numbers reported by the fair included $2.62 million in admissions; $3.55 million in carnival proceeds; $511,300 in parking; and $6.68 million in total revenue.

Inmate Number P01135809

What struck me as a little odd is Trump’s bond was set as $200,000 and he put 10% down and had a bond company guarantee the balance. This is usually done by people who can’t afford to cover their bond. Could it be that Trump doesn’t have $200,000?

Joseph Biggs, a former military service member who helped lead efforts by the Proud Boys to take over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for seditious conspiracy and other crimes committed during the riot more than two years ago.

Ethan Nordean, 32, was sentenced to 18 years for a more serious seditious conspiracy charge.

Even though Bigg’s sentence is far below the 33-year sentence sought by prosecutors, I’m very happy with it. I’m a proud boy because our democracy is working so well finding and prosecuting many of the people who tried to overthrow our country.

US District Judge Timothy Kelly told Biggs that the events of the day broke a long political tradition. He said, “If we don’t have a peaceful transfer of power in this country, we don’t have anything.”

Just before jury selection was to begin in their trial, the remaining three defendants in the theft of more than half a million dollars from the Ventura County Fairgrounds on August 10th last year changed their pleas to guilty. They also admitted to 16 special allegations regarding the theft from the fair administration building. It’s still hard to believe it was so easy for them to steal almost $600,000.

Hopefully the dying of our sea dwellers is coming to an end. Algae that produce domoic acid along the Southern California coast have kept marine mammal rescue groups busy, but the blooms have diminished. Marine mammal centers treated hundreds of animals during what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said was the most severe algal bloom on record in a geographic region. It was so sad to see ocean dwellers dying.

Muslims in eastern Pakistan went on a rampage over allegations that a Christian man had desecrated the Quran, demolishing the man’s house, burning churches and damaging several other homes, police and local Christians said. Perhaps this was a bit of an overreaction.

San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, saying the filing is necessary to manage more than 500 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by church officials. The Chapter 11 protection filing will stop all legal actions against the archdiocese and thus allow it to develop a settlement plan with abuse survivors.

I hope that Ventura can support the many cannabis stores that will be opening here. Cannabis stores in other communities are already suffering financially. Just don’t know if there is this much need.

Three people were killed in a racially motivated attack after a gunman targeted Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, in one of several weekend shootings that again shocked Americans in public places.

A judge has refused to dismiss the case against a father who helped his son obtain a gun license three years before authorities say the younger man fatally shot seven people at a 2022 Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago. Illinois prosecutors charged Robert Crimo Jr. because he had alleged helped his son, Robert Crimo III, obtain a gun license even though the then 19-year-old had threatened violence. Perhaps this type action can help reduce gun deaths at least a little.

Vol. 16, No. 24 – Aug 23 – Sept 5, 2023 – As I See It

I feel sorry for the TC channels. They were all geared up to cover the “storm of the century” with a reporter on every corner. Except, in most cases it never materialized. Ventura had about an inch of rain. The only thing unique about this is that it was in August and not during our rainy season.

They were so desperate that innocuous events became big news. They kept showing a little fender-bender on the freeway and another one avoiding the first one. There will be more serious freeway accidents today. But my favorite was “It was reported that a rock fell on a car in Pt. Mugu.” I’m surprised that they didn’t have a geologist explain what a rock is.

And the TV alerts (couldn’t understand a word they said) warning of flash flood conditions in LA and Ventura counties. That’s like telling us there will be flash flood conditions somewhere in the United States.

This is disturbing. The very basis of our democracy is being threatened by very scary people. Folks on grand jury’s spend hours working each week for very little pay serving their county, county and our freedom. If they now need to be concerned about their physical safety, it’s a sad day for America.

The purported names and addresses of members of the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump and 18 of his co-defendants on state racketeering charges this week have been posted on a fringe website that often features violent rhetoric, according to NBC News. Must they now be concerned for their lives? Do their homes need to be guarded by law enforcement?

Recently, FBI agents fatally shot a 74-year-old Utah man who threatened to assassinate President Joe Biden. This was just the latest example of how violent rhetoric has created a more perilous political environment across the U.S.

Six days earlier, a 52-year-old Texas man was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for threatening to kill Arizona election workers. Four days before that, prosecutors charged a 56-year-old Michigan woman with lying trying to buy guns for her mentally ill adult son, who threatened to use them against Biden and that state’s Democratic governor.

Threats against public officials have been steadily climbing in recent years, creating new challenges for law enforcement, civil rights and the health of American democracy.

In our last issue, I commented on how good it was that some community colleges could offer bachelor’s degrees. Apparently, the idea isn’t welcomed by all. For over a year, the California Community College and the California State University systems have clashed over their respective roles. Who should be granting bachelor’s degrees?

Community colleges were designed to award two-year associate degrees and provide career training, while the Cal State system would offer four-year bachelor’s and master’s degrees and the University of California system would prioritize research and doctoral programs. Some career training, however, takes more than a 2-year degree to complete.

New law allows the community college system to approve up to 30 new bachelor’s degree programs each year at any one of the state’s 116 community colleges. Moorpark College is one of those community colleges and will offer bachelor’s degree under a new biotechnology program that launches in fall 2024.

Community colleges can only offer bachelor’s degrees in unique fields that no other public four-year campuses currently offer.

Congratulations to Jeff Lambert who is returning to Ventura. We just can’t get rid of him – kidding. The Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) announced the appointment of Jeffrey “Jeff” Lambert as the new Chief Executive Officer for the HACSB. Lambert brings a wealth of experience and expertise in housing planning, policy development, and community engagement. Jeff served as head of Ventura’s community development department for many years and I always found him to be very approachable and easy to work with.

Vol. 16, No. 23 – Aug 9 – Aug 22, 2023 – As I See It

Ventura College President Kim Hoffmans will retire at the end of the school year, leaving the 10,000 student community college after five years at the helm. This leaves plenty time to find a permanent replacement. She has done a wonderful job leading the college.

California’s community colleges (116) offer a great opportunity for all graduates to continue their education and decide what they want their future to be, while also saving some money.

Before attending USC, I attended LACC. This not only saved me a lot of money but they also had an excellent architecture program which made my transition to SC much easier.

The XGames were very successful. So the question now is are they interested in returning next year. I certainly think we should we try to get the X Games back next year? It was a win for all involved. The $250,000 the City Council agreed to spend was money well spent.

A slight problem was the event ran so close to the start of the fair. The short turnaround time put a lot of pressure on fair venders and participants to be ready for their opening.

A repeat performance would be due to the vision of Marlyss Auster, President and CEO of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, who began promoting the idea to X Games officials 2019

X Games officials said more than 51,143 people attended the three-day finals with a sellout crowd of about 23,000 on Saturday.

Football player Aaron Rodgers has a new deal with the New York Jets and he’s taking a pay cut. Rodgers agreed to a new two-year, $75 million guaranteed contract with the Jets.

Poor guy is only going to make $37.5 million per year to play football. Hope he has saved for his future.

Three military veterans, and others, testified in Congress hearings on UAP (unidentified aerial phenomena) the military’s term for UFOs. One claimed the U.S. government has operated a secret “multi-decade” reverse engineering program of recovered vessels. He also said the U.S. has recovered non-human “biologics”(whatever that is) from alleged crash sites.

Much of the discussion centered on improving processes for reporting referring to “anomalous” rather than “aerial” phenomena, to account for sightings in both air and water.

Personally, it would be very exciting if UFOs did come here for a visit. I’m not sure why the government would hide it. If they had plans to destroy us they certainly could have done that many times over.

“Kids, today we are going for a ride to look at the earth. I know it’s a long 5-minute ride so you can take your brainphones with you. We won’t visit because there’s too much shooting and wars which might upset you. Daddy, daddy are we there yet?”

The surface ocean temperature around the Florida Keys soared to 101.19F (38.43C) in what could be a global record as ocean heat around the state reaches unprecedented extremes. I’d bring soap and take a bath.

The Santa Barbara News-Press, one of California’s oldest newspapers, has ceased publishing after its owner declared the 150-year-old publication bankrupt. The newspaper was online only since April. I hate to see this as local papers might be the last hope for the survival of newspapers.

A professional butcher whose bloody, wild-eyed face became one of the most memorable images of the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for hurling a bow like a spear at police and attacking several other officers. At least he has his job set-up in prison.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito accepted a 2008 trip to a luxury fishing lodge in Alaska from two wealthy Republican donors, one of whom repeatedly had interests before the court, and he did not disclose the trips on his financial disclosure for that year. It seems Supreme Court Justice’s are exempt from any disclosure rules. It seems to me Justices should have the most restrictive laws governing them. Their decisions are the most important that can be made.

Vol. 16, No. 22 – July 26 – Aug 8, 2023 – As I See It

So sorry to hear that Former Ventura Mayor Sandy Smith has passed away at the age of 77. Another victim of cancer.

Smith served on the Ventura City Council from 1997 to 2005 and was our mayor from 1999 to 2001. He was also a land-use consultant for Sespe Consulting and a senior adjunct professor at California Lutheran University.

Many also knew Smith as the former chef and owner of the closed Rosarito Beach Cafe in Ventura.

“I looked everywhere for the senior X Games so that I could compete but couldn’t find them.”

The X Games seems to have been a success and was very well attended. It had extensive coverage on ABC and ESPN. There were several transportation options which really helped traffic in and out of the site.

Hard to tell what the long-term results will be. Some of the athletes (and winners) were as young as 12. I’m sure many attending will decide this is a nice place to vacation and maybe live. So should have a positive impact, especially on our tourist trade.

One thing that really impressed me was the comradery between the athletes. Especially with the BMX and Moto X riders. It seemed as if they were just one big family happy no matter who won. An athlete would have a great ride and be congratulated with smiles and hugs even if it meant another rider lost their medal. They would hoist winners up on their shoulders parading them around. It seems there were no losers.

The amount of construction done was amazing, which will be removed. When a press conference was held before the games I asked, “Would there be improvements made to the fairgrounds.” We were told “yes”. I plan to go back in a few days and see if anything was really done.

Standing next to the Moto X ramps it was almost impossible to believe that motorcycles could possibly fly that far and land, but they did.

The City Council agreed to spend up to $250,000 on staffing, traffic mitigation, police overtime and other public services. I think that Ventura made an excellent deal in negotiating to get the games here. Cities spend much more than they hope to recover but Ventura did not do that.

The $250,000 investment to secure the X Games should generate at least that much tax revenue from hotel stays and other businesses now, and in the future.

Recently, the entire planet sweltered for the two unofficial hottest days on human record according to University of Maine scientists at the Climate Reanalyzer project.

For two straight days, the global average temperature spiked into uncharted territory.

Weather continues to be unusually hot while at the same time cities are experiencing huge rains and floods. Over 90 million Americans are under extreme heat warnings. Could this be a change in our weather?

The man who carved a love note into a wall at the Roman Colosseum wrote an apology letter to authorities in Rome. The tourist who infuriated a nation when he was captured scratching a love note into the wall claimed he didn’t understand the history of the Roman monument. Perhaps he thought it was where USC plays football.

Kyle Fitzsimons, 39, of Maine, whose bloody, wild-eyed face became one of the most memorable images of the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for hurling a bow like a spear at police and attacking several other officers.

He separately assaulted at least five officers near a tunnel as police desperately tried to protect an entrance to the Capitol from the angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, prosecutors said. Seems to me seven years is not nearly enough time.

I was reading the dictionary, I thought it was a poem about everything.
~ Steven Wright

Vol. 16, No. 21 – July 12 – July 25, 2023 – As I See It

When Liz Campos, who uses a wheelchair, was elected to the Ventura City Council my first thought was the council chamber raised dais wheelchair accessible? After 6 months on the council she is unable to sit with the other council members even after a temporary ramp was built. A solution still seems to be months away to meet ADA requirements.

It’s absurd that the city didn’t immediately take steps to see that she could participate on the Dais with other council members.

The Baldwin Park man accused of being the insider in the theft of $572,020 from last year’s Ventura County Fair was sentenced to three years in prison. Assuming the money has been spent so he can’t return it, that’s not a bad income of $190,673 per year even if he serves the entire 3 years.

The Ventura City Council voted 6-0 to hire Don Penman, 72, as interim city manager. Councilman Mike Johnson was absent from the meeting. We continue with city manager roulette. Hopefully the next one will hang around longer (if he-she isn’t fired first).

An animal virus outbreak has caused cancellation of two horse shows at the August County Fair and could bring precautions for other events involving animals.

Basketball player Russell Westbrook has enjoyed his time playing with the LA Clippers so much that he decided to re-sign with them – he took the biggest pay cut in league history. Westbrook agreed to a two-year, $7.9 million deal. How embarrassing playing a game for only $3.95 million per year. I feel sorry for him.

The Ventura City Council has banned bicycles, electric bicycles, skateboards and other wheeled devices on five blocks of Main St in downtown because of community concerns over safety.

The ban is in the car-free zone from San Buenaventura Mission to Fir St., and the one block of S. California St. between Main and Santa Clara that is also closed to cars. There are exceptions for people with disabilities and people with baby strollers.

Downtown Ventura Partners has a Park Ambassador team that monitors the area and will issue warnings to those who will be breaking the law when it becomes effective on July 26. Once the ban is in effect, violators could receive a warning from police on the first offense. Subsequent offenses will be considered an infraction, which could result in a ticket costing between $100 and $500 for repeated offenses.

Sounds good, but enforcement might be a lot more complicated. I doubt if the police will be involved, but there have been injuries caused by bikes (especially ebikes) driving downtown.

Council member Mike Johnson had this to say; “On a vote of 4-2 (Councilmember McReynolds and I dissenting; Councilmember Campos was absent), we banned riding bikes, skateboards, and the like downtown, on the blocks that have been closed to cars as part of Main Street Moves. While I myself once called the police when a swarm of bicyclists was riding recklessly down Main Street, Council should have tried addressing the specific problems rather than impose a blanket ban.”

“I ride my bike downtown, and I don’t pose any sort of threat. I don’t like riding on Santa Clara, I won’t ride on Poli, and walking my bike the length of Main Street Moves is going to be flat-out annoying. There are people — including families — who go downtown mainly because it’s a nice place to ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, or a one-wheel dealio, and they don’t cause any problems. They help make downtown more fun.”

“I’m concerned about whether and how it’s going to be enforced; we’re not directing the PD to spend more time along Main Street Moves, and if they’re not going to warn or ticket every person they see it’s going to look like selective enforcement. It’s a bitter pill, banning bikes and skateboards while rolling out the red carpet for the X Games.”

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain

Vol. 16, No. 20 – June 28 – July 11, 2023 – As I See It

We have an article in this issue regarding a sea lion that is doing just fine. As explained in the article, many sea animals are suffering from a neurotoxin and are dying. The brain damage is irreversible. So sad to see so many dying right here in Ventura. To report animals in need, call Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) 805-567-1506.

We also have an article about the removal of the Father Serra statue and the wooden sculpture that was the basis for it. This wooden sculpture was previously located at City Hall. It was the art piece of a Venturan, and I think should have remained at city hall.

Also, we have the third article featuring a homeless Venturan. We hope that these articles will help give a face to the homeless and an understanding of why they are in this predicament.

Research at UC San Francisco found that 82% of homeless report that they have experienced a serious mental health situation, 27% have been hospitalized for that condition and more than 60% report regularly using illicit drugs or heavy alcohol drinking.

Whatever happened to USA men’s tennis domination? We finally have 2 men ranked in the top 10 after many years. The 2 finalists at the recently completed French Open came from countries with a combined population of 12 million. There are 10 million people in just LA County.

Business leaders and public figures are concerned about the threat of mass extinction posed by artificial intelligence (Ai) including Sam Altman of OpenAI, the company behind the popular conversation bot ChatGPT. AI goes way beyond just creating articles. It could include phony photos with voices of leaders making statements such as, “The USA has dropped nuclear bombs on China.”

It’s started. A federal judge has imposed $5,000 fines on two lawyers and a law firm in an unprecedented instance in which ChatGPT was blamed for their submission of fictitious legal research in an aviation injury claim.

For the last six years, Finland has ranked No. 1 as the happiest country in the world. A Finnish philosopher Frank Martela, PhD explained how to be happy:

1. Live for yourself, not someone else’s expectations.

2. Become an expert and share your knowledge.

3. Practice random acts of kindness.

4. Be a good neighbor.

5. Embrace quiet time together.

An Idaho father killed a neighboring family because he was upset that the neighbor’s 18-year-old son had reportedly exposed himself to the man’s children. Majorjon Kaylor, 31, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the Father’s Day shooting. It now takes 4 people killed to be considered a mass killing how sad is that?

A man in South Florida shot at the car of two people who drove onto his property after they got lost trying to drop off an Instacart order.

An Illinois man using a leaf blower in his own yard was fatally shot by his 79-year-old neighbor during an argument, marking the latest incident in which people are gunned down while going about their everyday lives.

“There’s no question there’s been a spike in violence,” said Daniel Nagin, a professor of public policy and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University. “Some of these cases seem to be just disputes, often among adolescents, and those disputes are played out with firearms, not with fists.”

Most gun killings are not by the “bad” guys, but just regular decent folks that bought guns to protect themselves. Will this madness ever stop?

The Ventura City Council has voted to hire a construction company to build a pipeline for an advanced water treatment plant for approximately $50 million. This is about $5 million more than another company with the lowest bid.

According to the city, the decision to hire Santa Barbara-based Aqueos Corp. over San Diego-based Pacific Marine Group Inc. was based on a technicality because Pacific Marine Group did not complete the necessary paperwork.

For $5 million, it seems to me that Pacific Marine should have been given the opportunity to correct the paperwork and given an opportunity to be selected for the work.

The program will convert treated wastewater into safe drinking water and reduce discharges of effluent into the Santa Clara River estuary. Construction is expected to begin in September in the area of Marina Park.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?
~ Satchel Paige

Vol. 16, No. 19 – June 14 – June 27, 2023 – As I See It

On June 6, I gave an enthralling talk to the Ventura Retired Men’s Group at the Poinsettia Pavilion. Luckily no one left – probably because they didn’t want to miss lunch.

In this issue there is information regarding events at Portside Ventura Harbor. This is where we live. A wonderful place to live and the tennis court is right next to the building we live in so a 2-minute walk for me to go play.

In 2022, two city staff members formally complained to Human Resources that

Councilmember Mike Johnson had acted unprofessionally and in a hostile and bullying manner during city council meetings.

The city attorney retained an independent, third-party law firm to investigate the two complaints. After conducting a thorough investigation (which cost the City approximately $75,000), the law firm determined that Councilmember Johnson did act unprofessionally toward one of the employees in a hostile and bullying manner.

The Ventura City Council has voted (5-1) to admonish rather than censure Mike Johnson. This is less harsh than previously recommended at a closed door meeting where the council approved a recommendation to censure Johnson and remove him from his committee assignments.

The Strawberry Festival, held at the Fairgrounds, surpassed expectations by drawing an estimated 55,000 visitors to the event. While being successful, it also drew much criticism from locals for what seemed to be the lack of a comprehensive traffic management plan. I’m sure there were lessons learned, which will be enacted next year. Great to keep the Festival in Ventura.

The next large event at the Fairgrounds will be the X Games in July. To avoid some of the traffic issues encountered by the Strawberry Festival, the city will be much more involved in the X Games. Coordination between the City and the Fairgrounds is ongoing, and associated costs are included within not-to-exceed amounts. The total cost will not exceed $250,000, as presented to City Council in previous budget workshops. This includes all personnel costs for the Ventura Police Department, Ventura City Fire, and other city staff required to support the event.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, provides oversight for the Fairgrounds that sits on state owned property.

Ventura’s clothing company, Patagonia, has been rated the number one most loved company in the United States one more time.

Seven people were shot, two fatally, when gunfire rang out outside a downtown theater in Richmond where a high school graduation ceremony had recently concluded, causing attendees to flee in panic, weep and clutch their children.

A South Carolina gas station owner was charged with murder on Monday after allegedly shooting and killing a 14-year-old boy he falsely believed was shoplifting bottles of water.

The gunman who killed three people and wounded six others while roaming through his northwestern New Mexico neighborhood, was apparently firing at random targets. He was a local 18-year-old high school student.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave final approval to a red flag law that aims to keep firearms away from those at risk of harming themselves or others as the state grapples with ways to slow gun violence in the wake of its second mass school shooting.

Michigan joined Minnesota to implement a red flag law after Democrats in both states won control of both chambers and the governor’s office in November. New Mexico previously was the last state to pass a red flag law in 2020. Something needs to be tried to stop the gun violence in this country. Everyone owning guns is certainly not doing it.

Nevada’s Joe Lombardo became one of the first Republican governors to enshrine protections for out-of-state abortion patients and in-state providers, adding the western swing state to the list of those passing new laws to solidify their status as safe havens for abortion patients. A Republican hero.

I find this to be absolutely disgusting. Former president Donald Trump commemorated Memorial Day by comparing his battles against “fascist ‘pigs’” and “lunatic thugs” to the more than one million US soldiers that died on the battlefield. Trump took to his Truth Social platform to deliver a maniacal all-caps rant. Families of veterans killed in battle should feel the same way.

Vol. 16, No. 18 – May 31 – June 13, 2023 – As I See It

Congratulations to Ana Baker for going back to school and obtaining her AA degree from Ventura College while holding a full-time job. Now it’s on to California State University Channel Islands. Staci and Sheldon helped her celebrate.

The Ventura Fire Department is currently hiring Lateral Firefighter-Paramedics. Learn more and apply online at

I apologize for not responding to birthday wishes sent to me on Facebook. I seldom look at Facebook. Thanks for your good wishes.

The Museum of Ventura County has announced the installation of three new exhibits, which will require temporarily closing the doors of the main campus at 100 East Main Street from May 29th through June 21st. Reopening on Thursday, June 22nd.

The Ventura City Council has approved (with recommendations and conditions) moving forward with the next steps for a major housing project proposed at 2325 Vista Del Mar by KB Development. The council voted 5-2 in favor of future action for 394 residential. Councilmembers Mike Johnson and Liz Campos voted no.

I agree with the two no votes, but perhaps for different reasons. With the hotel down the street near completion, plus whatever will be built in place of the Golden China when it is torn down , the traffic from Vista Del Mar to Seaward will be huge and not very manageable.

The vote means city staff will prepare a development agreement with the developer KB Home. The project will also require approval by the California Coastal Commission.

KB has agreed to a railroad crossing and funding traffic studies and also to pay for required upgrades. The city’s 2005 general plan identifies the acreage for high-density residential use.

Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for leading the insurrection to keep then-President Donald Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election. The sentence is the first handed down in over a decade for seditious conspiracy. “What we absolutely cannot have is a group of citizens who – because they did not like the outcome of an election, who did not believe the law was followed as it should be – foment revolution,” District Judge Amit Mehta said before handing down the sentence.

“I’d like to start by just saying that I’m a political prisoner, and like President Trump, my only crime is opposing those who are destroying our country,” Rhodes told Mehta in court. He is confused about who is trying to destroy our country and our democracy.

Jean Carroll, who this month won $5 million in damages from former President Donald J. Trump, is now seeking a “very substantial” additional amount in response to his insults on a CNN program just a day after she won her sexual abuse and defamation case. Ms. Carroll’s filing in federal court seeks to intensify the financial pain for Mr. Trump.

The Ventura Planning Commission approved a proposal for a six-story mixed-use building in downtown. The project, which has 94 multi-family residential units, including 13 very low-income units, is located at 211 Thompson Blvd. and Figueroa Street. In a 4-2 vote, commissioners approved the major design review, a coastal development permit and a lot line adjustment.

With the commission’s approval, the project can move forward unless it’s appealed. A City Council approval is needed if the commission’s decision is appealed. The project exceeds the maximum allowed height of four stories because it provides a certain number of affordable units. The state allows applicants to request a size increase under the Bonus Density Law as a way to encourage new housing developments to incorporate subsidized affordable units in exchange for more density.

The State has basically removed cities rights to conform to its own planning and zoning standards. If State guidelines are not followed the city could face potential lawsuits.

Vol. 16, No. 17 – May 17 – May 30, 2023 – As I See It

Unless we find another one to use the Breeze will no longer publish a horoscope. So, you will need to get your fortune from fortune cookies. Also, we will have different cartoons. Enjoy!

Good and odd times for the Fairgrounds. Good news is that the Strawberry Festival and X Games are coming to the Fairgrounds.

When Minneapolis hosted the X Games in 2019, the event generated an estimated $53 million in economic impact. Being a much smaller city, we probably won’t generate near that amount but still a great economic boon for our hotels, restaurants and other businesses (plus TV exposure).

At the press event I asked, “Will there be money spent refurbishing the Fairgrounds.” I was told yes there would be. It certainly needs it. The Fairgrounds are like an old run-down car that needs a new engine, upholstery and paint.

The return of the California Strawberry Festival to the Fairgrounds is wonderful. The event hasn’t been held (COVID) for several years so glad they decided to do it here.

Now the odd part. Less than a year after she was hired, Stacy Rianda is no longer CEO of the Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds board of directors announced they had accepted Rianda’s retirement. No explanation was given.

She was hired to replace longtime CEO Barbara Quaid who retired. A new CEO will need to be hired, and probably not prior to the X Games.

All questions regarding this matter were referred to the California Department of Food and Agriculture who owns the grounds.

The volunteers who serve on the Ventura County Fairgrounds board of directors hold their seats until they resign, are replaced or die. Directors are not paid.

It has been tough times for the board and Fairgrounds. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Ventura County Fair to be canceled for two years. The Fair is a major source of income.

The latest controversy involved a $319 million facelift of the fairgrounds that would include building a 7,500-seat stadium to be used for minor league baseball, conventions and concerts. Directors rejected the proposal.

After eight months of legal wrangling, the Ventura County Christian School and Ventura Unified School District board approved a settlement releasing the school from back rent and future rent in exchange for it leaving the MacMillan Avenue campus at the end of the school year by July 15.

The VUSD waived more than 10 months of rent. As part of the agreement, the VCCS also agreed to waive religious discrimination claims against the district. Which this case was certainly not about. It was all about the safety of the building, and, perhaps, whatever else the city has planned for the property.

As goes Disney goes Florida. Florida would miss Disney more than Disney would miss Florida.

As reported, “A mass shooting at a teenager’s birthday party in Dadeville, Alabama left at least four dead and reportedly more than 20 injured. A high school senior who planned to play college football was among those killed.”

I find the football part of the announcement about the shooting to be disgusting. Is his life somehow more important than all of the other kids that were killed because he played football? Would the report have stated, “A high school senior who played violin in the school band was among those killed?” I think not.

A company was fined $1.5 million for illegally employing more than 100 minors to carry out hazardous jobs, the Department of Labor announced. Children as young as 13 were working with hazardous chemicals and cleaning meat processing equipment at 13 Packers Sanitation Services Inc. facilities in eight states.In addition to the company, shouldn’t their parents also be held accountable? Maybe even more so.

This was an odd decision. A jury found that Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed E. Jean Carroll but also found that Carroll did not prove that Trump had raped her. The mixed decision, which was unanimous, took the jury, which was made up of six men and three women, less than three hours to reach a unanimous verdict, awarding Carroll a total of $5 million in damages.

He is still de-grading her so she might sue him again.

Eleven-year-old Yusuf Shah is being hailed as a genius after he made the highest possible score, 162, on a Mensa intelligence test. His performance beats those of physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, who were both estimated to have IQs around 160. Since theirs’ were only estimates, maybe they exceeded 160 and Yusuf is only the third smartest. So big deal I’m the third smartest in my household right behind Diane and Savana the cat.

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
~ Buddha