On Sunday, July 12, I was out for a drive with my dog in tow.

I have lived in Ventura for three years now, and call me naive, but I was driving on Poli and saw a park I had never seen before. I didn’t see a name for the park but I did see other dogs there, so I thought I’d stop and exercise my pup.

As I started walking along the edge of the park I felt something hard under my shoe and looked down. I have never been so shocked in my life. (And believe me it takes a lot to shock me.) I was standing on a grave marker!

Well, I guess by now you know where I was — Cemetery Park.

I looked around and thought, Oh, no, I’m not supposed to be here. Then I looked over to the fence and saw “poop bags” hanging there.

I was in disbelief and got out of there as fast as my legs would take me.

When I got home, it was my neighbor who explained it all to me.

I cannot believe this park exists and wanted to comment on how disturbed I am that it does exist.

Sheri Prior, Ventura

Oxnard golf course to repay debt
Based upon page 24 of the City of Oxnard’s 2006-2007 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), the sales of the land referred to in a recent agenda of the July 21 Oxnard City Council meeting was reported as income to the Municipal Golf Course Enterprise Fund. The staff report for this item also indicated that the proceeds from the sale were used primarily for capital improvements for the golf course. The golf course enterprise fund was the primary beneficiary of the proceeds; the golf course enterprise fund should be the primary source of funding of the repayment of the refund. Proceeds from Measure O should not be used to pay back the debt. Measure O is designed to fund enhanced services; it was not passed to be used as a funding source for debt retirement of transactions that took place prior to the passage of Measure O. 

The people who play golf at the golf course benefit from the $18 million in improvements that have been made over the last few years. Inasmuch as the golf course is an enterprise fund (users pay for services provided), proceeds from the golf course should pay down the debt. People who do not play golf should not be forced to pay for the golfers. The public subsidy of the golf course has been the subject of three grand jury investigations. This facade of the golf course being an enterprise fund needs to be stripped away. The recently renewed contract with High Tide and Green Grass needs to be rescinded.

Larry Stein, Oxnard

A weak future for Ah-nold
When our joke of a governor, Ah-nold, was running against Gray Davis in the recall election, he assured us that he would “run California like a business”.

Well, it looks as though he has. Unfortunately, the businesses he has run the state like are AIG, Wachovia and Enron.

Now, we see that not only is California effectively bankrupt due to an insistence on “no new taxes,” but Arnie and his Republican cronies are all intellectually and morally bankrupt as well, having forced their minority-party opinion on the entire state.

We will not forget, Mr. Governor.  Forget any future political aspirations you might have had.

Tom Becham, Ventura

Taxin’ Jackson got it wrong
Re: Power to speak, July 16

Poor Hannah Beth “Taxin’” Jackson is wrong on so many points — I barely know where to start. The budget is not a moral document. It is a financial document. What is moral about the State of California confiscating citizen’s hard-earned money and giving it to loafers and border jumpers who do not earn it? Then she puts in the standard DNC talking point plug for teachers, as if they were not one of the special interest groups that has bankrupted the state with their union demands. She goes on to bash big corporations although they are the ones creating the jobs and paying the taxes, at least until they wise up and move to Nevada or Arizona.

As for the wild claim that Arnold is sitting in his Jacuzzi, smoking cigars while wheelchair-bound citizens are being arrested outside his office, please publish the name of one of those people. Until then, it is just overdone soap opera drama.

She goes on to praise FDR and his great compassion and dignity. That’s great except FDR extended the depression by years with his overtaxing of the wealthy and initiating his New Deal, which was the first step in creating our current welfare state.

Elections have consequences, and more people must agree with me on this or Ms. Jackson would have won the election last November. I have not lost my moral compass or forgotten who we are as a people. The U.S.A. was founded on the principles of hard work, achievement, honor, courage, perseverance, freedom and risk.  It was not founded on greed, sloth, lawlessness and handouts.

Forrest Mize, Ventura

A failure to communicate — the Pierpont saga
Having Cary Glenn and Doug Reid from the city’s community services department at the Pierpont Community Council (PCC) meeting was a good idea. Community services and volunteerism could be a good way for the city/PCC to temper the adversarial relationship Pierpont has with the city, plus get some needed work accomplished in our community. 

From my experience, the City has not done a particularly good job of communicating with the community councils about the volunteer efforts that are going on in the various neighborhoods. When I was involved, it was like pulling teeth to get them to notify us of a beach cleanup, volunteers in Marina Park or on the lanes. We normally learned after the fact. Additionally, there was never much of an effort to get our neighborhood involved. 

We, as a community, should probably be taking co-ownership with the city for these activities. And as we know, in the past, these volunteer activities have not been very well supervised, as evidenced by a tractor being out on the beach when we had the Latter Day Saints cleaning up the lanes. (Note: a lot more lanes could have been cleaned up if we helped set the priorities and were involved with the work.) I talked to my neighbor, who is a recent Cal Lutheran graduate. She said that a group of them were involved with a beach cleanup here in Pierpont a few years ago. She said they got little or no direction as to what they were supposed to be doing, and consequently not much got done. This only emphasizes the need for supervision.

The city could have scored a lot of points with our community if it had only gotten out here and cleaned the stairs at the beginning of summer. Given that it is less windy in the summer, most would have probably stayed clear through our peak season. The county corrections crew used to do it…. I don’t know why this was discontinued. Then we had City Corp, and this, too, was discontinued. Note there are four to five lanes that are beyond help when in comes to simple stair cleaning, but the 25 or so lanes could be done easily by volunteers.

With reference to the trash cans, I know everyone is appalled by the fact that they were removed from in front of the turnouts. However, I have checked the beach and turnouts for trash several times since these trash cans were removed, and my observation is that there really isn’t any more trash on the beach or in the turnouts than when the trash cans were there. Residents on the lanes seem to be taking their trash home with them when they leave the beach. So before getting too excited about not having these trash cans, you need to check the beach around the turnouts for yourself. 

Of course, there are exceptions — Greenock, Seaward and San Pedro. These lanes get a lot of nonresidential beachgoers who don’t clean up after themselves. San Pedro is not so much a problem, and the trash pickup at the end of the lane is State Parks’ responsibility.  There are two cans there, and so far that seems to be enough. The Greenock trash problem can be solved simply by relocating a couple of the 75 trash cans in the Marina Park over closer to the end of Greenock. Presently, there is just one can there, and on several occasions it has been overflowing. 

Seaward is the real problem. The city did add additional cans but more are needed. I have observed several times, cans overflowing with trash and trash blowing down the street.  And, as many have observed, the end of Seaward from Pierpont Boulevard to the beach is a pig sty. The sand in the parking lot, in the street and on the sidewalk is four to five inches deep in places. Litter is everywhere. This would be a great place for the city to get volunteers to clean up. But the city workers would also have to help, given the amount of sand in the street. Someone suggested that the business owners in that area be involved. I wholeheartedly agree, but I think community services should take the lead.

Simple projects like keeping the stairs clean and keeping Seaward presentable could go a long way toward better relations between the city and the Pierpont community. But, of course, the real reasons are that the stairs need to be kept clean for safety reasons and, if we are serious about attracting tourist dollars, then those highly trafficked areas also need to be kept clean.

Murray Robertson, Ventura