How disappointing you did not include any of the positive progressive accomplishments of the Ventura Council for Seniors and the VACE classes of the VUSD, the City of Ventura and other enrichment’s to keep seniors living and learning for a better quality of life. (“Reaching the Golden Age,” cover, 8/13)

You covered the East County, which have more in funding and other resources but failed to address the needs of the West County, which have unique challenges on several different levels such as transportation, educational opportunities and financial insecurity.

Part two of another edition perhaps?

Suz Montgomery


Thank you for printing the excellent article on “Seniors” by Alicia Doyle.  She captured various dynamics of this age group that is becoming increasingly important for today’s culture.  With the large number of “baby boomers” now entering this special time in life, it is important to accent the ways we are assets to our culture and community not only liabilities.  

I have spent over a decade since my 65th birthday discovering interests and passions with more time to pursue them. It is a great stage of life and I hope more and more of your readers are motivated to make the most of it. California Lutheran University is in the process of discovering how we can best share our assets and gifts with this valuable segment of our community.  Having “University Village” right next door and two other retirement communities a few blocks away has been both stimulating and rewarding.  Let’s keep pursuing and discovering how we can add more and more value to this great stage of life.

Rev.  Dr. Howard Wennes
Pres. Emeritus
California Lutheran University


Energy mistake  

David Michael Courtland’s Aug. 13, 2015 article “Energy vs. Environment” overlooks one of the biggest problems with NRG’s Puente Power Project — that the plant has no technical need or requirement to operate on the coast. So why build it there?

Oxnard adopted its temporary moratorium to take time to evaluate whether this already flood-prone area could continue to support critical energy infrastructure. In 1969, Ventura County was hit with two major storms, flooding Harbor Boulevard and wiping out the Ventura marina. The Mandalay Power Plant (located in the same approximate spot as the proposed Puente Project) was severely damaged and out of operation for 14 days. We’re lucky nothing like this has happened since, but the odds are only getting worse. With sea level rise, flood risk at the Puente Project site is increasing and will continue to increase. Why put another plant there and make the same mistake all over again?

The city of Oxnard and citizen advocates are correct to voice their opposition to a new power plant on Oxnard’s coast. It’s time for NRG and Southern California Edison to consider other sites and energy alternatives that will not put our energy reliability at risk.

Karen Kraus
Port Hueneme


Small list  

I had an epiphany, I finally figured out the foolproof method of voting. I have decided that I simply won’t vote for any politician that spends the majority of his/her time bad mouthing other politicians. That will leave a real small list of politicians to vote for. Simple, huh?

Rellis Smith




America’s Team

People who attend the Cowboys training camp in Oxnard should bring a wad of cash.

Parking has gone up from three or four years ago. It was $5 a car to park on a dirt parking lot. Now, it is $10.

There was a 4-foot fence that separated the crowds from the team. People were allowed to stand behind the fence a few years ago. There was no charge for doing this.

Now, a person has to buy a wrist band that costs $20 to get inside this enclosed area. So if you take two children and they want to get close to the fence to get a better look at the team, it will cost $60.

Otherwise, you have to stand behind a rope that is about 2 feet in front of another fence that is 10 feet high. It is very difficult to get a photograph of the players because this 10-foot chainlink fence is in the way.

I saw a 15-year-old boy go under the rope to get closer to the 10-foot fence to get a photograph of the players through one of the openings on the fence.  He was immediately confronted by an irate volunteer who warned him that he had already been told to get behind the rope.

“I’m going to escort you out next time,” the older volunteer told the boy.

“I’m just taking a picture, dawg,” the boy with the Cowboys jersey said and quickly left.

Really? Is this what America’s Team is all about?

It is disgusting to treat people this way, especially if they are wearing Cowboys jerseys, caps and other paraphernalia.

I understand that a lot of the money goes to fund nonprofit groups and organizations, but there is a limit to how much you can charge people who walk into that camp.

Many residents — who are also taxpayers — cannot afford these prices. Also, some of these nonprofits should know better than to gouge the locals along with the tourists who come to see the Cowboys.

Most of these people are blue-collar workers who cannot afford to pay $20-a-person to stand behind the 4-foot fence and get a decent photo of a Cowboys player.

It is sad when people who go there must be relegated to taking photographs through the openings of a high chainlink fence that is wrapped all around the field.

I left Cowboys training camp after 20 minutes.

If these nonprofits who I assume get this money collected at Cowboys training camp need funds for programs for the needy or youth, why don’t they ask Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to write a fat check that can be dispersed to area nonprofits and others groups raising money?

The residents need to start asking questions about how much Jerry is paying to use this field and how much of this training camp is being subsidized by taxpayers.

I am a Cowboys fan. I bleed Cowboys blue.

But the way training camp is gouging the public will only give the Cowboys very bad publicity, not to mention the city of Oxnard.

Raul Hernandez
Santa Barbara



Hardly surprising

Having so often taken Mr. Moomjean to task, I’m glad to give him high marks on his recent Op-Ed in the VCReporter, “Mr Cosby/Dr. Huxtable!” (Right Persuasion, 8/6) It’s an informed, nuanced, and well-written evaluation! Our reaction is one of profound dismay, and Mr. Moomjean’s words do so reflect it.

It’s been a while ago, but I’m reminded of Mr. Cosby causing an admiring person on the political right to quote some of Cosby’s trenchant remarks. Unfortunately, I’m remembering only my reaction, which was — he having become wealthy, it’s hardly surprising Cosby is reflecting the values of the wealthy.

Duane Waln

“Energy vs. environment,” News, 8/13
David Knox, NRG’s communications director, was quoted as saying the new plant would have no carbon footprint. It is not zero emission, however, as it relates to the startup process, the new plant would start up in a matter of minutes versus the current plant, which takes hours while releasing emissions.




Love the columns

Just to let you know how much I enjoy the following in your weekly newspaper:

The Critical Line, Advice Goddess, Free Will Astrology.

I look for these every week and enjoy them so much.  Thanks for including them!

Carol Ann Rose



Going organic near schools

The issue of what to do with agriculture next to schools remains as a large problem.

We certainly want to support farmers and farming in Ventura County.  And we certainly want to protect children from exposure to toxic pesticides.

A modest proposal: Farmers with operations next to schools would voluntarily farm only with organic methods, thereby eliminating the use of pesticides next to schools. Let’s face it, everybody knows that organic produce is better for our bodies than produce coated with pesticides. Some of the nonorganic produce items grown in the county — like strawberries — are among the most pesticide-contaminated foods around, and they shouldn’t be grown next to schools.

If farmers would grow organic crops next to schools, everyone would sleep easier — the students and their families, the teachers and administrators, the farmers themselves, and even the ag commissioner who has had to oversee this problem.

Phil White



ACA IRS fines

Here’s what I learned about the enforceability of Affordable Care Act IRS fines after calling the IRS, going through their phone tree procedure, and then taking a quick look at the IRS.gov website that redirected me to The Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School, which I quote directly below:

Under subsections (g) Administration and Procedures (2) Special Rules (A) Waiver of Criminal Penalties (B) Limitation on Liens and Levies, the Secretary Shall Not (i) File notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or (ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.

In English this means that, per law, the IRS cannot attach (attack?) me or my property for failure to pay the ACA fine. That’s a useful bit of information which I will take to the bank, and as a public service now share with you.

Julie Schaab



Pay attention, drivers

Why did the pedestrian cross the road? Same reason as the chicken — to get to the other side.  And I just found out how very difficult that can be. I was crossing the street in a striped crosswalk in clear daylight when a driver going way too fast, not looking, not seeing me in the crosswalk, came within inches of me, that is, almost crashing into me. Had it not been for my good reflexes, which enabled me to move out of his way quickly, I’d be dead or at least seriously injured. The 2015 DMV Driver Handbook clearly states on pp. 30-31 the rights of pedestrians. They always have the right of way. Always.

I ask (beg!) all drivers to slow down and look where you are going. And wait if need be. It seems that these words of caution have become the new four-letter words in our culture: “wait,” “slow,” “look,” and, oh, what about “safe”? Please show some patience and restraint when driving. Our city streets are not the Indy 500.

Of all the problems that surround us, pedestrian safety is one we can act on and do something about. It is not so big that you feel powerless to make a difference. No need to write your senator or form a committee. It really is as simple as noticing where you are and who else is there. And behave in a safe manner. We all want to get where we’re going, so let’s help each other do exactly that. Thanks for your consideration.

Judy Cohen




National hero

Local Heroes (Reporter, July 2) includes a story about Ed Lynch. He interviews veterans for the Library of Congress records. Each DVD covers a vet’s military life with photographs, letters, diaries and memoirs. In other words, it is a filmed documentary.

Ed devotes thousands of hours as a producer/director/editor/researcher. It costs the 100 veterans he has filmed so far nothing.  All of the expense is paid for out of his own pocket.

He is the Ken Burns of Ventura County and is not just a “local hero.” Ed Lynch is a National Hero.

Ken Winter



Good work

Raymond Freeman:

Thank you for your fine writing and contributing your articles to the Reporter.

Although I occasionally read articles in the Los Angeles Times in search of insight on particular issues, I prefer your articles and look forward to picking up the Reporter and reading your articles.

They are short, sweet and to the point.

They are faithful to certain principles, including seeking the truth based on a fuller understanding based on facts, and letting the chips fall where they may, no matter the principles involved.

They make me want to read more and learn more about particular issues.

Please keep up the good work.

Eric Williams



Protect our redwoods

Thanks to early conservation efforts, vast areas of prehistoric redwoods have been protected from logging where they survive in our state despite generations of an industrial economy. These redwood forests are now under threat and help is needed if we want these ancient trees to continue into the future.

Poachers are encroaching into protected government and private land to steal the burls from these trees.  By removing their protective layers of bark, these ancient redwoods lie exposed to disease and pests, killing them quickly over time. The burls are sold to lumber mills or craftsmen and this beautiful decorative wood is ultimately used to create high-end consumer goods. With the small number of rangers available to patrol the vast acreage of the forest, the risk of getting caught is limited. Worse yet, if convicted, current penalties can be easily incorporated into the cost of doing business with minimal impact on the profitability of this enterprise.

The California Federation of Women’s Clubs is asking for support of California Senate Bill 288, which increases penalties for burl poaching to include up to one year of imprisonment and imposes stiff fines on poachers in the hopes of making those who would kill our redwoods think twice before seeking this avenue for enrichment. While this does not solve the problem of catching poachers, it will reduce the spin of the courtroom doors for those convicted of this offense.

We ask that Californians contact their State Assembly representatives to stand with the California Federation of Women’s Clubs to protect our redwoods by passing Senate Bill 288.

Jennifer Nickel
Legislation & Public Policy State Chairman California Federation of Women’s Clubs



Racist garbage

I have just finished reading To Catch a Watchman. It is one of the most horrible pieces of trash that I have ever read. I cannot believe it was written by the same person who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird. It is racist on so many levels; I have never heard that sort of talk in my life (of course I’m not from the South, but still …); and this book is so shocking to me that it seems impossible, truly impossible. I am really in shock. If I had to, I would not be able to speak right now. This is just a heads-up. Save your money, save your senses.

Jan Richman Schulman






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