Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

As I See It

A big idea for the Ventura County Fairgrounds (Seaside Park) is being proposed, that I think is very interesting.

Let’s face it, the fairgrounds needs a new image. It has very old Quonset hut buildings that will never be up-dated and deteriorating grounds.

Many don’t realize the fairgrounds is not owned by Ventura City but by rather the 31st Agricultural District, the state agency that governs the property.

A development team is proposing a new 7,500-seat stadium for a minor league baseball team as part of its massive $319 million plan to make over the Fairgrounds. I can see it now – the “Ventura Breezers” will open their season in 2028.

The project, which is being proposed by Pacific Sports Group, includes modern convention halls, two parking garages and shops and restaurants. It would still be used to host the Ventura County Fair.

Its location would be appealing for a stadium with the beach views and train station right there and walking distance to downtown. Certainly, worth considering, it seems. What do you think of a Ventura baseball team? When I grew up in LA we had the Hollywood Stars.
Based upon the following Trump fans feel that Trump has been exonerated. This is, of course not true. If I hold up a bank on Thursday and you hold up a bank on Friday that doesn’t mean that I am not guilty. Hopefully the DOJ will equally investigate both of these situations and act in a manner appropriate to the severity of the crimes.

Classified documents were discovered at the Washington, D.C., office for President Biden’s think tank, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, in early November as well as at one his homes recently. News broke that another group of classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president had been discovered at another location. This lead to Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel to investigate the president’s handling of such documents.

It’s tough to repeat as champs in professional sports (injuries, etc.). Last year’s NFL champions, the LA Rams, finished this year with a 4-12 record and the NBA champs Golden State are now 23-23.

The 6-year-old student who shot and injured his teacher at a Virginia elementary school used a 9mm gun legally purchased by his mother. The student had taken the gun from his residence and put it in his backpack before bringing it to Richneck Elementary School in Newport News, Virginia.

In another incident an Indiana man is facing a felony child neglect charge after his toddler son allegedly waved a handgun in the air and pointed the weapon at his own head with his finger on the trigger. Footage of the child playing with a gun in a stairwell was captured by a neighbor’s security camera.

The parents of these kids should be prosecuted and held responsible. If the teacher had died who would be responsible for her death? Certainly not a 6-year-old.

A pair of pants being advertised on TV has a hidden phone pocket. What if you needed your phone but couldn’t find it?

As I See It

The federal omnibus bill includes $28.9 million for 17 different projects in Ventura County, including. $750,000 to bring air conditioning to E.P. Foster Library. Foster is the only library without air conditioning in the county library system. Now, at least people will go to the library to cool down, and maybe they’ll even pick up a book.

The City Manager is the most influential job in Ventura’s city government. He controls millions of dollars and impacts Ventura for years to come. He (so far only males) does this with little oversight from a part-time City Council. A search is now under way to replace Alex McIntyre. Previously, the Council voted unanimously without debate to accept a separation agreement with McIntyre and a general release with a settlement payment of $150,000 in exchange for a waiver of any claims against the city. He could have received a much higher settlement during litigation.

When I was young (A long time ago), I thought there was a country named Panavision because movies always stated “Filmed in Panavision.”

Bill Gates has given $5 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to back the grant maker’s work in global health, development, policy and advocacy, and U.S. education. Wonderful that he does this and isn’t focused about developing Mars to make it into Gatesville.

William Singer, the college admission consultant who bribed coaches and rigged exams to get children of his wealthy clients into universities, has been sentenced to three years and six months in prison. It is rumored that he asked the judge to give him four years which would give him time to obtain a BA degree in license plate manufacturing. He also tried to bribe the warden to put him on the prison water polo team.

Just when we think we have enough laws, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 997 of them in 2022. This is not new as hundreds of new laws are created every year. Here’s a couple of my favorites to make life safer and better for all of us are:

Creates a new state holiday, The Lunar New Year, under which state workers can receive 8 hours of holiday credit for that day.

Repeals a misdemeanor law against loitering in public for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. I support this. Prostitutes should have the same right to loiter as do people standing outside their work places smoking.

Creative expression from music to books are restricted from being used as evidence in criminal proceedings. After it was found that many men of color were being prosecuted using their lyrics as evidence. On the other hand, it was found that singers who sing God Bless America were much more likely to be found innocent of crimes.

I went spear fishing and caught 4 spears, but they were too small so I had to throw them back. in.

There is a 988 hotline to help people who are experiencing a mental health emergency. The nationwide helpline is staffed with mental health counselors. Since its launch in July it has fielded approximately 8,000 phone calls a day from those seeking help. With so many of our youths, and adults, struggling with mental health issues, it is important that they know about this service.

As I See It

This is the time of the year when I usually reflect on what has been good and bad about the Ventura Breeze. What has worked and what hasn’t? What needs improving or changing?

But this year, I’m only reflecting on one thing which is the untimely passing of the most wonderful Breezy Gledhill. There are very few days that I don’t think of her (maybe none).

I’m usually wanting to share a Breeze moment by texting her, but she is not here. Wanting to share a photo by emailing her, but she is not here. A new restaurant would open, and we would have lunch there to check it out, but she is not here.

I (and all that knew her) miss her dearly. Take care – keep your loved ones close. Thanks for the Breeze support in 2022. A toast to a brighter and happier 2023.

As I See It

by Sheldon Brown

A Chappy Chanukah, Kool Kwanza and Xcellent Xmas to all of our wonderful readers.

Hard to believe it’s been 5-years since the Thomas Fire broke out near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula on December 4, 2017. At the time, the Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in California history. Still, only slightly over half of the homes have been rebuilt. Owners of 25% of the homes lost in the fire have yet to submit an application for building permits.

Where have all the crooks gone? Second issue without police activity.

I saw a TV ad for socks that stated “Easy on easy off socks.” What a great idea, some days it takes me up to 4 seconds to get my socks off.

The Ventura County Continuum of Care is looking for volunteers to assist with the 2023 Homeless Point In Time Count on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. This count is required for our state and federal grants that fund local homeless shelters, permanent supportive housing, rental assistance programs, street outreach and more! Volunteers can register online at www.volunteerventuracounty.org

Two Trump Organization companies were found guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney. A jury deliberated for two days and found two of their corporate entities guilty on all 17 counts, including conspiracy charges and falsifying business records.

The verdict followed a trial in which the Trump Organization was accused of being complicit in a scheme by top executives to avoid paying personal income taxes on job perks such as rent-free apartments and luxury cars. Obviously fake news.

Downtown Fox Fine Jewelry will close on Sundays beginning in 2023. Owner Debbie Fox stated “Our team is an exceptional group and we care deeply about them. Closing our family business on Sundays was a soul-searching decision. But in the end, we decided to prioritize quality of life over profits.”

Vol. 16, No. 05 – Nov 30 – Dec 6, 2022 – As I See It

by Sheldon

To clarify a little confusion, I am still the publisher-editor of the Ventura Breeze. Just not writing my long column, but I have decided to write As I See It, which won’t take nearly as much time. This is the first one. Maybe won’t run in all issues.

Congratulations to our new (one re-elected) city council members:

Liz Campos, Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios, Bill McReynolds and Jim Duran.

President Biden has turned 80, making him the first octogenarian in the Oval Office. Big deal – I’m the first octogenarian publisher-editor of the Ventura Breeze.

According to a recent study, men with higher IQs are more inclined to bet on horse races. They were shown to be more likely to partake in skill-based gambling, such as horse racing, choose more complicated betting options, and spend more money (and I assume lose more money). Don’t misinterpret this – all men who bet on horses do not have a high IQ.

Recently, I cooked a frozen dinner. It said to cook for 16 minutes and 10 seconds. I took a chance and just cooked it for 16 minutes and it was fine. Sometimes in life you just need to take a chance.

Recently a couple was married at a McDonalds. They spared no expense in deciding on McDonalds over In-N-Out.

I purchased range free mayonnaise. Feel good about it, hate to think of mayonnaise cooped up in a little cage.

A 16-year-old recently graduated from Harvard. Big deal, he couldn’t even drive to class. “Mommy, will you drive me to school today. I have 5 physics classes?” It is rumored that he still believes in Santa but also understands how reindeers can fly.

The Anacapa Brewing Company who opened in 2000 – has closed. Like many businesses (especially restaurants), Anacapa faced tough times since the start of COVID. The closing of Main St. to traffic and adding outdoor seating has helped many businesses, but it has become tough for too many.

In cowboy movies the doctor is always an alcoholic and near the end of the movie needs to remove a bullet from the hero. He says, “I can’t do it my hands are shaking.” “You can do it doc.” “I’ll try just give me one more drink.” He finally removes the bullet from John Wayne and is a hero.

Sheldon Where Art Thou?

Regarding my decision to stop writing my column, 87.3% of readers are very upset and 20.2% are very happy that they do not need to spend their valuable time reading every word of my article in every issue just to make sure they still think I’m an idiot. Now, they can send in “their” opinions without calling me an idiot and can also enjoy reading Ventura’s favorite newspaper.

A reader (see below) says my writing is radical left-wing propaganda, which is complete nonsense (maybe I’m a communist also). They are my opinions. As always, I welcome yours.

These are some of what I have written about, hardly propaganda of any sort – again just my opinions:

I believe that Donald Trump is destroying our democracy and our country and is solely responsible for the January 6th insurrection and should end up in prison (for several reasons).

I believe all women have a right to have an abortion. I don’t believe abortion is a moral issue – it’s a religious issue and those who are opposed to it just wish to propagate a particular religion.

I think a she should be able to marry a she and a he should be able to marry a he. They have the same right to be happy just like “real men” like me.

I dislike guns. I do not think that they protect individual owners. They are more apt to be used to commit suicide, family members killing family members (in some cases 6 year old’s accidentally killing their sister or brother).

I think the Supreme Court justices should have term limits (perhaps eight years). The justices don’t make decisions interpreting the constitution – they make decisions on their lifetime of either being conservatives or liberals. Perhaps they should be arbitrarily selected by just grabbing people off the street so we don’t know if they are conservatives or liberals. I also think Clarence Thomas should be removed.

The Constitution needs major revisions – it is completely irrelevant to today’s standards. We need a constitutional convention to start updating and revising it. The first one was held in 1787.

I think TV sports announcers should not wear suits and ties, they’re not doctors.

These are a few of our reader’s comments.


Sheldon

I just read your latest Breeze, where you said it would be the last editorial. I really enjoy reading you Opinion/Editorial page.

It has facts and the source of the facts, something rare in today’s media.
People today tend to follow their favorite news makers without searching for both sides of a situation.

Looking at both sides is just too much work. It makes things simple, but most situations really aren’t simple. Hooray for our side.

And the news businesses do this because it brings sales to advertisers, and profits to the businesses bottom line.

A situation of greed, not truth or balance.

Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You
Nelly Wall

Nelly: No one got the best of me just too much work right now. And I never called them jerks.


Dear Sheldon,

I am very sorry to see you are giving up your column, I thoroughly enjoyed reading each issue. The dialog that can create conversations in our community is very important. Although I can understand your frustration with people that are not supportive. It’s a lot of effort.

Thank you for all you have done for the Breeze.

Seri

Seri: Still doing everything else for the Breeze just not this. Nothing to do with “not supportive” readers just too much work right now. Not supportive readersis what freedom of speech is all about.


Dear Ventura Breeze

I want to let you know how thrilled we (We? Do you speak for many?) are to see that
you will no longer be carrying Sheldon’s column.

Most of us are moderate in our politics, and it sickened us to read his radical left wing propaganda in your paper. (Disliking Trump is hardly being radical left wing)

Usually opposing views are welcome in legitimate newspapers, but unfortunately the Ventura Breeze was full of his polarizing false comments. (opposing views have always been welcome but the only ones we ever received are like these that never explained opposing views just criticize me. They are always welcome so send them in).

Since Sheldon is both publisher and editor of this paper, I am sure my letter will not be published. (Well,here it is. Are you disappointed?)

Enjoy the results of election day Sheldon, you will see that most of America will not support the increased crime, inflation, anti-semitism, open borders and high gas prices you appear to ignore.(All Americans do not support these things. Do you know people who do?)

G-d Bless America (That always helps)
Melanie Couture, RN, PHN
Ventura Harbor


Opinions

Say it isn’t so Sheldon!? Your opinion/editorial section is one of my favorite things about the Breeze! Hopefully after a bit of mind rest you’ll be back! You have always been very diplomatic and expressive and I love the way you encourage others to explain and support their side.? Conversation and curiosity are so important, especially these days!

Maggie McKinney

Maggie: One of my favorite things also. Maybe one day again but not for now.


Mr.  Brown.   Your decision to withdraw from your editorial writing is a bad mistake.   You are the only reason I read your paper.   Can’t stand local politics and other nonsense you cover.   Your comments help keep some semblance of reality in your publication.

Bob Lombardi

Bob: Thanks, I think.


Editor:

We pretty much get to choose our own path in life, so if you’re tired of doing your editorial column you’re entitled to take a break. I just hate to think it’s because of some yazoos who don’t quite grasp the concept of free speech.

Yazoos are as entitled to express themselves as anybody else, they just can’t do it well enough to get the point across and thereby resort to quoting bumper stickers, Fox News hosts and the Bible. When that fails, and it almost always does, they loudly demand that the dissenting opinions be modified into something that coincides with their preconceived notions or, more likely, be discontinued.

I always hate to see the perpetually aggrieved get their way, but if it is indeed time to take a break, so be it. Otherwise, get your fanny back behind that keyboard and let the good times roll.

Alfred J. Lewis


Dear Publisher:

Alas and alack, at the news that Mr. Sheldon Brown is hanging up his boots and will no longer be entertaining us with his pertinent comments, criticisms, observations about this crazy world we find ourselves living in, plus all the good stuff that makes a column worth reading.  Don’t forget: the column is called “Opinion/Editorial” and indeed that’s what I enjoyed most about Mr. Brown’s pontifications. Sure not every reader agrees with what he pens: That’s why it’s called Opinion!

A reader who  (as Mr. Brown notes) wrote to say because he doesn’t like what he reads in the Breeze, particularly in the publisher’s column, and is very unhappy with the publication.  I would advise that like minded individuals of that irritable ilk, should first of all try to get real, get a life and be more specific.

For decades some of the greatest newspapers have irritated, excited and inspired readers. That’s what it’s all about:

I have been in the newspaper business all my life and I should remind readers, that’s what publications are supposed to do. Inspire. Irritate, Provoke and entertain.

Didn’t some fella once said something along the lines of :
You can’t please all of the people….all of the time.”

And that’s what Mr. Brown has been doing.

Sheldon, please come home from time to time—all is forgiven!

Ivor Davis, Ventura
Author of: Manson Exposed: A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder and The Beatles and Me on Tour 

Ivor: Than you very much, coming from a “real writer” I appreciate it. I know people who don’t write might not appreciate the time involved in writing a simple column. Research, thinking, writing, re-writing are all time consuming and my plate runneth over right now so something had to be removed.

Maybe if I’m bursting to be heard you might hear from me again.


Dear Sheldon,

I have not known you long but I want to say thank you for a job well done. It was a pleasure to meet you and I for one appreciated your writing talent.
Does this mean the Breeze is gone and no one to take the helm?

Always,
Pam Briscoe from Focus on the Masters

Pam: Thank you. The Breeze is not gone and “it’s alive.”


Hi Sheldon

I am going to miss your comments in the Breeze. It has always been my favorite part of the paper. I hope you are well.

Happy Election Day, I hope

Cheryl



When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President;
I’m beginning to believe it.
~ ‘Clarence Darrow for the Defense’ by Irving Stone.

Vol. 16, No. 03 – Nov 2 – Nov 15, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

I’m sorry to say that after much thought this will be my last editorial. I’ve enjoyed this very much but time for my old brain to relax a little. I thank those who loved reading me and even those who hated it.

I wrote this prior to making my decision. Now there is no reason to not read the Breeze.

I think this is the definition of a dichotomy. A reader emailed me that the reason he doesn’t read the Ventura Breeze is because he doesn’t like what he reads in my column. Does that mean he just reads my column?

Perhaps what he meant to say is he no longer reads the Breeze because of my column.

On occasion, I may say some things that are deemed controversial.

The Breeze contains about 40,000 words in total, so why deprive yourself of all the good news about Ventura because of 300, or so, words I might write – that leaves 39,700 words that aren’t controversial.

∙The Veterans Affairs Clinic that opened last month in Ventura has been named for Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner. She was one of the first six women to earn wings as a Naval aviator in 1974. She had a 24-year Navy career. The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) to name the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Ventura after Captain Mariner.

President Joe Biden signed the legislation on Oct. 11 authorizing the clinic’s naming.

∙Albuquerque Cosper Head (that’s his name) has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for assaulting former Metro police officer Michael Fanone during the January 6 Capitol riot. I’m very glad those responsible are getting what they deserve but most are not receiving long enough sentences.

Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Trump, has been sentenced to four months in prison and fined $6,500 for contempt of Congress charges after he declined to hand over documents and appear before the January 6 committee. What will happen if Trump refuses to appear?

∙There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting machines. Exhaustive reviews in key states upheld Democrat Joe Biden’s win, while judges – including some appointed by Trump – dismissed numerous lawsuits challenging the outcome. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, called the claims bogus.

∙ President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. It’s about time a president did this. Folks spent years in prison for possessing what you will soon be able to purchase at a shop in Ventura.

∙The pastor of Mission Basilica San Buenaventura, Fr. Tom Elewaut, voiced his concerns to Ventura County officials about “inaccurate, inflammatory testimony” targeting the legacy of St. Junípero Serra that led to the removal of the Franciscan missionary’s likeness from the county seal earlier this year (and removal of his statue across from city hall).

∙I keep seeing antifa capitalized as if it is an organization. It is a political movement not an organization (a way of thinking). A person can’t join antifa and become a card carrying antifaite.

∙Ventura’s own Supervisor Matt LaVere will provide oversight for the Oxnard-based Fifth District pending the governor’s appointment of a successor of the late Carmen Ramirez.

The remaining four members of the county Board of Supervisors, including LaVere, approved the oversight duties along with giving him authority to be a steward for concerns of the district’s constituents.

It’s not clear how long it will take Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint a new supervisor with key decisions on oil and gas issues and litigation pending before the board. County officials say it could take months.

∙Even in a rough year for just about every US tech titan (and others), the wealth erased from the chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc. Mark Zuckerberg’s stands out. His fortune has been cut in half and then some, dropping by $71 billion so far this year, the most among the ultra-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $55.9 billion, his net worth ranks 20th among global billionaires.

I feel sorry for him – it’s tough to live on $55.9 billion. He might need to get a side job to keep food on his table at his 40,000 square foot home.

∙This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. A state corrections officer who works at the California youth correction facility accidentally shot himself in the leg in the fairgrounds parking lot after attending a gun show there. The man’s job meant he was authorized to carry a weapon at the show.

A new law prohibiting firearm sales at the Ventura County Fairgrounds takes effect in a few months.

∙San Francisco police witnessed Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and an intruder struggling over a hammer before he was attacked, officials said. Responding to an emergency call at the couple’s home officers saw the attacker and Pelosi both holding the hammer when they entered the room.

The man, who allegedly attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband early Friday, posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. An acquaintance told CNN that he seemed “out of touch with reality.” Perhaps his reality is becoming that of many Americans who are attempting to destroy our democracy.

David DePape, 42, was identified by police Friday as the suspect in the assault on Paul Pelosi at the speaker’s San Francisco home. Paul is expected to have a full recovery

∙ A 12-year-old girl from Texas shot her father as part of a plot with her friend to murder their families and run away from home.

The girl and her friend had planned the murder plot for weeks, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office said. They had allegedly plotted to kill their families and their pets before fleeing together to Georgia. But the girl’s friend never went through with the plan. Some friend.

Gun violence isn’t just happening in America. At least 17 people are dead and 24 others are injured after a gunman opened fire at a school in central Russia. It happened at a school in Izhevsk. The shooter killed a guard and multiple children. Russia’s Investigative Committee said the shooter was wearing a t-shirt with “Nazi symbols” during the attack.

Vol. 16, No. 02 – Oct 19 – Nov 1, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

Our first issue October 24, 2007.

 

Wow, this is the 15th anniversary of the Ventra Breeze. Very hard to believe that it’s our 15th year. A big thank you to our dedicated staff, wonderful readers, much needed advertisers and donors who keep us going.

The Ventura Christian School is getting closer to final eviction. It has leased the MacMilllan Avenue building from Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) for the last 20 years. The district has filed court documents for its removal. The building is over 100 years old.

The VUSD stated that the school’s lease was never renewed after expiring in June. The building has been determined to be of a “potentially unsafe condition” by a building inspection, which is being disputed by the school along with religious discrimination.

Controversy over how rent increases are determined for Ventura mobile home parks has always been very controversial. Residents of mobile home parks are upset they can’t challenge the costs of capital improvements that could increase their rent.

Under the current ordinance, when a capital improvement is made rent can be increased based on the cost of the improvements.

The city council is concerned that if it allows for challenges to proceed it could put the entire existing mobile home park ordinance at risk of a lawsuit if it was amended.

Councilmember Jim Friedman said, “I’m fearful that what we do may cause you to lose something that is extremely important, which is rent control.”

This is a tough one. If improvements are really necessary to maintain a park in a proper living condition the owners might not make necessary improvements if they can’t increase rent to cover their costs. In this case, residents might then complain about the conditions at the facilities.

Mayor Sofia Rubalcava delivered the annual State of the City Address at the City Council Meeting on October 10, as well as at an event hosted by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce on September 22. A recording of the event, including presentation slides in English and Spanish are available at https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/2126/State-of-the-City.

Topics highlighted during the 2022 State of the City presentation included:

  • Overview of the Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget.
  • Community Survey 2022 Results.
  • Overview of the seven-member City Council.
  • Overview of the City’s team of department directors.
  • Highlights of recent City and partnership successes
  • Economic Development updates.
  • Encouragement to get involved in the City’s General Plan Update and background on the process.

The U.S. House Jan. 6 committee has voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify. It presented interviews with his aides and new documents detailing his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The vote seeking Trump’s testimony comes as the panel produced many new details and evidence of Trump’s state of mind as he refused to concede his election loss to Joe Biden, resulting in the 2021 attack at the Capitol.

Trump did not say whether he would comply with the subpoena. Instead, he repeated various long-debunked election claims that he makes in public that he won while privately admitting that he lost the election.

If he has indeed broken the laws of this country, he must be held accountable, just as you and I would be (maybe I could plead freedom of the press).

Most American’s are disturbed that some countries have morality police that arrest women for how they dress. Doesn’t this country also have morality police?

It wasn’t that long ago that police raided “gay” bars and arrested men who were present even though they did not create any crimes or harm anyone. They have the same rights to be happy that we all have.

And, today doctors who provide abortions and recipients of abortions are being (or will be) arrested for what some perceive as immoral acts.

Scores on the ACT college admissions test by this year’s high school graduates hit their lowest point in more than 30 years, the latest evidence of the enormity of learning disruption during the COVID pandemic.

The class of 2022’s average ACT composite score was 19.8 out of 36, marking the first time since 1991 the average score was below 20. And an increasing number of high school students have failed to meet any of the subject-area benchmarks set by the ACT, showing a decline in preparedness for college-level work.

This could set back our education system for many years because it will be very difficult for students to catch up.

According to a 2017 UNESCO report, the number of students worldwide attending higher education institutions increased from 100 million in 2000 to 207 million in 2014. But which countries are the most educated? This is not as easy a question to answer.

Despite the vagueness of the concept, multiple surveys and studies have done their best to determine which countries have the most-educated population. One of the most highly regarded analyses comes from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, which released its list of the world’s most educated countries in 2018.

The Top 10 Most-Educated Countries does not even include the U.S. so we are behind to begin with. The top 3 are Canada, Japan and Israel.

Saw an ad on TV for pants that have “a hidden phone pocket.” What if you need your phone and you can’t find it?

∙ Saw an ad “Express Hand Wax” $120. Seems like a lot to have your hand waxed. Maybe 2 would only be $200?

Vol. 16, No. 01 – Oct 5 – Oct 18, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

∙ I have consistently asked readers to send comments explaining why they don’t agree with my comments in my pub letter. An exchange of ideas is the backbone of a democracy. It seems lately that an intellectual, logical discussion can’t be held between those who have different opinions. This is bad for our democracy and country and is slowly (maybe not so slowly) tearing us apart.

There was a time when we could all express ourselves and disagree in a mature adult manner. But, that started changing with social media because we can insult people we don’t even know with no repercussions. That has been greatly exacerbated because of Donald Trump (my opinion, let me hear yours). Just too much anger to have a civil conversation.

I do receive emails disagreeing with me, but they usually start out by stating, “You’re an idiot”, so I never publish them. I’m not an idiot for having my opinions and readers who have different opinion are certainly not idiots. Again, I’m happy to publish reader’s opinions that express ideas without name calling.

Rodney King said, “Can’t we all get along?” Can we… can we all get along – do you think it’s possible?

On September 24, a memorial service was held at Surfers Knoll for the most wonderful Breezy Gledhill. It was attended by family and few of the many people that loved this amazing lady. She will always be in our hearts.

∙ Incumbent City Council members Mayor Sofia Rubalcava and Jim Friedman have chosen not to run for another term. That means Districts 1 and 5 will have new representation. Two other current council members are also running in their districts which means we could potentially have 4 new members if they are not re-elected.

∙ After months of public demand for transparency, the Ventura City Council will consider a review of city officials’ travel and credit card expenditures.

The review and audit came after a City Council trip to Washington D.C. last year when 5 council members traveled to the National League of Cities Conference. The trip was not properly placed on an agenda and included discussions about city issues which was a violation of a state’s open meeting law (the open meeting law is the Ralph M. Brown Act, which requires legislative entities of local governments and agencies—for example, city councils and school boards— to conduct business in a way that enables the public to scrutinize government decision-making when there is a quorum present).

A majority, Mayor Sofia Rubalcava and Councilmembers Joe Schroeder, Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios, Lorrie Brown and Doug Halter attended the conference with City Manager Alex McIntyre.

City Manager Alex McIntyre has apologized for giving the council bad advice about the trip (and its expenses) that led to the violation.

The Ventura City Council unanimously decided to hire an independent auditing firm to review meal and travel reimbursements, city credit card usage and other spending. The Finance Audit and Budget committee, which has three council members, will request proposals from auditing firms and return to the council within 60 days with options and a recommendation.

Mayor Sofia Rubalcava stated, “Public trust and fiscal responsibility are crucial to effective government and the goals of this audit. Policies are created to ensure that the use of public funds is transparent and appropriate. This audit is a citywide review of how we are doing at following safeguards, policies, and procedures.”

Some are calling for the resignation (or firing) of City Manager Alex D. McIntyre. I feel it is much too early to even discuss this. Let’s wait until the results of the report from the outside consultants. The city council hires and fires our city manager and city attorney.

∙ The City Council unanimously approved a new six-month program that will help Spanishspeaking residents better understand city council meetings. Kristian Nunez, a policy advocate for Central Coast Alliance Unified for a Sustainable Economy said the program will help Spanish speakers in places like the Westside or Montalvo who are left out because of language issues. “Even if families or individuals do not speak or give public comment, when they attend, they need to know and understand what’s going on and what’s talked about in their respective communities.”

∙ Apple Senior executive Tony Blevins has been fired after saying he fondles big xxxxxxxxxxxx women for a living (he thought he was being funny). Trump basically said the same thing and he was elected president. Does this mean being an Apple executive is more important than being president?

∙ Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two laws that would open up much of the state’s commercial land for residential development. It’s a long-sought victory for affordable housing advocates, who say such sites are ready-made for apartments because they are often near populated areas and come with ample parking.

Newsom stated, “This is a moment on a journey to reconcile the original sin of the state of California, and that’s the issue of housing and affordability. We need to all be a little bit more accountable to this crisis of affordability.”

Many local government officials say the laws (and other new state mandates regarding housing) undermine local authority and planning that better reflect community needs. Does this mean general plans need to be revised? Will there be new zone designations that allow residential living in commercial zones? Look forward to hearing from Ventura planning about this issue.

∙ The newly built veteran’s clinic has opened at 5250 Ralston Street. It has 50,000 square feet and is run and staffed by the VA, which is preferred by veterans. The Ventura facility will have services including dental care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, eye treatment and audiology. Veterans say the new care will mean fewer long trips out of the county to other VA facilities.

This is really wonderful.

∙ Go to www.PlanVentura.com to complete the City’s General Plan’s Land Use Alternatives survey, open now through late October to help plan Ventura’s future.

This is a critical part of the General Plan update process, since the land use map directs the future pattern of development in the City. The land use alternatives are being developed to implement the Vision endorsed by the City Council and address issues of concern in the community, particularly affordable housing and economic growth.

I encourage all of you to take the survey and attend upcoming workshops or meetings to learn more about the General Plan (see Gov. Gavin Newsom above).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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