Letters

Letters

 

Affordable housing

So the per capita income in Ventura is $32,930, and according to Mr. Hamilton, “Not everyone is at a stage of life when they can move over to homeownership.” What I would like to know is how an income of $32,930 can qualify you to buy a house that is priced over $400,000, and yet they keep building houses with that being about the lowest price?

Pat DeBattista
Ventura

 

Managing the numbers

Re: VC Reporter article, April 9, “It’s a numbers game — The devil is in the details regarding Ventura’s proposed housing construction application moratorium.” The article stated the city’s former Residential Growth Management Program (RGMP) allocated 400 residential units per year. This number may be misleading, if not flat-out incorrect.

It is possible that just prior to the RGMP being eliminated in 2005, the allocation number was increased, however for most of its existence the RGMP was a biennial program with housing unit allocations given out every two years with the numeric cap of “up to” 500 units every two years. This would make the yearly allocation approximation only 250 units a year, not 400.

The former RGMP was designed so all economic levels could be served with new housing units. In fact, the former RGMP exempted 100 percent affordable projects from the process. These are the projects that most developers are reluctant to build because profit is driven by market-rate housing rather than affordable housing.

Granted, the RGMP was only a tool, and a tool is only as good as those who use it — but it was created to help manage growth so that natural resources like water and good air quality, as well as necessary infrastructure like sewer, roads, police and fire capacity, would not be overwhelmed by unrestrained growth.

It is a numbers game, but the trick is to manage the numbers in a way that benefits the community.

At the April 15 meeting the City Council voted to support a new growth-management allocation program, and this is good news because we need such a tool. With paced growth we can make planned improvements to inadequate infrastructure, allowing us to properly ingest bite-size pieces rather than doing nothing and choking to death on the whole cow.

So make no mistake, in the long term we need a good growth-management plan in Ventura. However, in the short term, during this unprecedented drought, there is an equally pressing matter — that is: Our existing available water supply is not sufficient to serve our existing residents and businesses.

The Council needs to make the tough decisions on both the long-term and the short-term problems. They are two separate problems. A new growth management program is good and needed, but we also need an immediate water-connection moratorium to survive these severe drought conditions.

In the middle of a prolonged drought, adding 4,000-plus new residential units to a deficit water supply is simply irrational and not in the community’s best interest.

Diane Underhill
Ventura

Letters

Letters

 

Taking militaristic opportunity

A recent statement by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, leader of the 47 traitorous senators, stated that the United States could destroy Iran with a three- to five-day bombing campaign. Alas, the Civil War was anticipated by both sides to be over in six weeks to three months; WWI, by all major participants, to be no more than a few months; WWII to be over in one to two years, Vietnam in six months; and Iraq famously by Donald Rumsfeld to be six days, six weeks; certainly no more than three months.

Cotton stated that the three-day bombing in Iraq in 1998 was because Saddam Hussein defied the U.N. and repeatedly interfered with the inspectors. That is not what happened. The inspectors had come to the conclusion that ALL WMD and Scud missiles had been destroyed. If they were to release a report saying that, the U.N. sanctions would be lifted. The Clinton administration realized that the right-wing noise machine would never allow that. Thus a crisis was provoked. When Hussein offered unfettered access on a final inspection of all sites, which would end the sanctions, it was rejected in favor of bombing and retention of the sanctions forever. Iran, with this nuclear negotiation, is presenting the same problem, no viable justification for continuing the sanctions. This so terrifies the right-wing noise machine and its militaristic sycophants that they will countenance treason to prevent it.

The U.S. is under the dominance of a militaristic right wing, and as Cotton showed, it will distort history to push preservation of militaristic confrontation. The United States is currently siding with the Sunnis against a Shia force in Yemen, with the Shia against a Sunni force in Iraq, and wondering why we aren’t welcomed as liberators. All we are is a big hammer attempting to make every issue look like a nail that the military can hammer.

Norman Rodewald
Moorpark

 

Complete ignorance

Once again the people at the VCReporter have demonstrated their complete ignorance when it comes to the major problem that is plaguing the state of California and the city of San Buenaventura.

FYI: We are rapidly running out of water.  Get it? Without a way to acquire more water now and in the future, we have no business allowing more growth in the housing and/or building industry.

In your ill-thought-out editorial of April 9, you rattle on about not allowing a building moratorium yet you have no suggestion about what to do about the lack of water to supply these new buildings. (Shades of Republican Thinking.) You state that ambiguous terms are used to “scare” people into believing we are in a crisis. Hey, where the heck have you people been for the past three years?  We are now in a “CRISIS,” we gots no water, we are now required by the state of California to reduce consumption by a minimum of 25 percent over what our use was in 2013.

The major problem, and one that is almost impossible to curtail, is the fact that the population has gotten way out of control, especially in Southern California. If we do allow more homes and business to be built, that issue will only get worse as time goes by.  At what point do we finally say “OK, that’s enough”?

As far as “affordable housing” to be built, there is no way in this area you could build anything but a one-bedroom , one-bath home and sell it for $300,000.  The payments on that home would be a minimum of $1,400 per month, not including insurance and taxes.  Does that qualify as “affordable housing”?

Before you once again print material proving your lack of intelligence and understanding of the “crisis” we are in, you should think twice.

Rellis Smith
Ventura

Letters

Letters

 

Brain Spraying

When I recently saw a beautiful photograph of almond trees in the Central Valley, I was horrified to notice that clouds of pesticide were being sprayed on the trees.

Doesn’t everybody, including farmers, know by now that pesticides are also humanicides,  which kill  thousands of human beings a year through breast cancer (4,000 deaths a year), prostate cancer (3,000 deaths a year) and other forms of life-threatening disease?

Rachel Carson, a scientist who wrote like a poet, published her classic Silent Spring in 1962 about the poisonous effects of DDT and other pesticides on nature and on human health.  President John F. Kennedy ardently championed the book and DDT was finally banned in the U.S. in 1972.  

Since 1996 the scientific evidence has been overwhelming that most pesticides are dangerous to humans. Our Stolen Futures by Theo Colborn et al, published in 1996, demonstrated how pesticides masquerading as hormones disrupt the reproductive organs of animal life and human life.  

Alternative forms of pest control using benign insects are now offered by beneficial insectaries all over the country.

We have had at least 53 years for the pesticide threat to sink into our national consciousness.  Are our minds still so clouded by the brain spraying of the chemical industry that we cannot yet clearly see the lethal menace in front of us?

 

Clive Leeman
Ojai

 

Presidential candidates

Give Us Barabbas: It is not the first time I have been titillated by a Maureen Dowd editorial. But her “Jeb Bush’s Brainless Trust” piece (New York Times, Feb. 22) sets up cogently the probable 2016 billing, Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton.

That may be smart money’s foregone conclusion too. But in light of dramatic changes and challenges at home and abroad, the controversial Bush family dynamic and Clinton family dynamic as Dowd categorizes them are not faits accomplis yet. Our bloody, bizarre, primary season process confirms, doesn’t it, that life is a mystery to live and not a puzzle to solve.

A handful of billionaires coupled with international money-rate manipulators, in my limited view, are rocking financial markets in worrisome swings. So aside from my conspiracy theory stab, a dark horse candidate like Jim Webb of Virginia might provide a tonic the nation pines for to rein in our self-serving Congress. That august body feathering its own insecurities and held captive by its lobbyist crowd of keepers has to crack sooner or later lest the republic goes, and not just our neighborhoods.

God bless America again, and please hurry!

John A. Whelan
Ventura
 

PS: Writer is retired UUSD elementary school teacher and U.S. Peace Corps teacher trainer and curriculum writer in the Philippines.

Letters

Letters

 

Seek to destroy

Recently, 47 Republican senators tried to destroy the current multinational negotiations with regard to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. Their hatred of this country’s first African American president so outweighed their patriotism that they attempted to undermine their own government. It is worthwhile to see what this actually is about.

In 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, which it subsequently ratified. In response to Iran’s long-standing argument that it, like all advanced states, had a right to nuclear enrichment for peaceful uses, it began pursuing enrichment technology in the 1990s. The Clinton administration convinced Iran to place its enrichment centrifuges under IAEA-secured control, with 24/7 video monitoring. There they remained in December 2000 when five conservative justices on the Supreme Court ignored the Constitution and appointed George W. Bush president.

After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Iranians in several major cities in Iran held candlelight vigils in sympathy for the victims, as well as holding a moment of silence a day later at a soccer match in Tehran. In support of the U. S. invasion of Afghanistan, Iran sealed its border to high-ranking Taliban attempting to flee, as well as placing bin Laden family members under house arrest. Iran also granted U.S. overfly rights in case of a rescue need for downed aviators. In thanks, Idiot Boy George Bush labeled Iran a member of the Axis of Evil in his January 2002 State of the Union speech. He also repeatedly used this expression afterward. Iran ignored the insult and in early 2003 sent a letter to the U.S. via the Swiss Embassy, proposing opening negotiations on all issues, including nuclear enrichment. When this letter made the news, Condoleezza Rice did what she always did for Idiot Boy George; she lied, denying its existence. When it was shown that her office had received it, she then admitted that they had read it but decided to ignore it.

As a result, Iran unsealed the IAEA-controlled warehouse and began developing a nuclear enrichment program. With the elections in Iran in 2013, the new government proposed opening discussions with regard to Iran’s nuclear program and the West’s economic sanctions. As a show of good faith, Iran has halted all enrichment activities and initiated down converting all uranium enriched to a level above that required for a light water reactor, approximately 9 percent.

Iran has pursued nuclear enrichment since 2003, 12 years, and has never produced weapons-grade uranium. In contrast, the U.S. produced enough for a weapon between 1942 and summer 1945, 3.5 years. Also, in a period of about 12 years, Pakistan produced enough nuclear fuel for at least five weapons, which were publicly detonated. Yet, during the past 12 years, since about 2008, there have been breathless reports that Iran is six to 18 months away from a nuclear weapon. Clearly, Iran has not been single-minded in pursuit of nuclear weapons and has been in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. What it has not been in compliance with has been U.N. resolutions with regard to its nuclear enrichment program. But the facts and history have no impact on the hatred of Republican senators for the first African American president, as they seek to destroy their own government in their hatred.

 

Norman Rodewald
Moorpark

Letters

Letters

 

Train women better

Concerning your article on “Equal pay for equal work” (Editorial, 2/26), I agree that what is fair is right. However, what is reprehensible is that equal work is often not what the consumer or the employer always gets.

Go to any AutoZone store and you are met by a woman behind the counter with absolutely no experience under the hood of a car. She can look through the computer catalog but if the part is not listed or the exact part is not available, she can offer no alternatives, which may be possible. These women couldn’t tell you the difference between an egg carton and a cam shaft, let alone what their functions are. They also couldn’t tell you why one set of ignition cables is better than another, even with a description on the computer. Forget any advice on part installation. Yet they earn the same as their male counterparts?

I just love to go to Home Depot where I am almost sure to get a great discount. I once bought a 6-foot-long, 3-inch-diameter, galvanized pipe, a $30 item. At the register of a woman cashier I was charged $1.49. This, even though the male cashier next to her told her what it was. Did she listen? NO! She looked in the bar code book in the garden section and charged me instead for a quarter-inch plastic pipe! What a hit her employer took!

The other day at the same store, I asked a woman assistant manager where the plinth blocks and the rosettes were. Not only did she not know where they were, she didn’t even know what they were. Of course, we had to hunt around for a male employee, busy with his own customer but he knew what they were and where to find them.

On any day of the week you can stand in line at any store or bank and waste your life away. This goes on even though there are other employees stocking shelves and pretending to work. I usually ask to see the manager, usually a woman, and request another checker.

The woman manager at my bank didn’t like that and asked me to go to another branch. A few weeks later the same woman was busy setting out the cream and sugar for the free coffee while the line ran out the door. I asked her why she was not helping with the customers instead of messing around with the coffee. She explained that some of the customers like to have coffee. I said, “Look at that line. Do you see anyone drinking coffee?” The answer to that question was no. It doesn’t matter what business you go into, if there is a woman manager, the lines always seem to go on forever.

Once, I needed to withdraw a large amount of cash from my local bank. I went in on a Tuesday and explained that I needed the cash on Thursday. The manager, a woman, said that it was impossible and they could not possibly accommodate me until Friday. I called up the area bank manager, another woman, and explained what I needed and the response I got. She got back to me a while later and explained that she was sorry for the misunderstanding. She had been told by the bank manager that I had specified the exact denominations I wanted the withdrawal to be in. I told her that I had never specified the denominations for the withdrawal. She insisted that she was sorry for the misunderstanding and that the money would be ready on the day I needed it. I again reiterated that there had been no misunderstanding. She asked if I needed further assistance. I said no and thank you. She again assured me that she was very sorry for the misunderstanding. Needless to say, I don’t put much trust in that bank.

While women may have “given birth to every taxpayer and citizen in this nation,” they certainly couldn’t do so without men! If women want equal pay for the jobs they do, they need to be better-educated!

Dan Chamberlin
Oxnard

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