Only on SOAR

At the celebration of Ventura’s 150th anniversary (April 2), I was solicited by a paid petition gatherer for a group that calls itself “Sustain VC,” to sign a petition to place their initiative on the November ballot.  Their initiative competes with the SOAR initiative.

The SOAR initiative gives citizens of Ventura County the right to vote on urban-sprawl projects.  Having the right to vote on urban-sprawl projects has become a core value of the citizens of Ventura County and that is why the SOAR initiative extends this right until 2050. It does not lock in land use but does lock in our right to have a voice in how our county develops. The petition-gatherer represented the initiative for which he was gathering signatures as an “improved SOAR” and urged that I sign it. This is fraudulent misrepresentation. There is only one SOAR. Their initiative is full of loopholes that weaken and diminish the citizens’ right to vote on urban-sprawl projects. They even want our right to vote to end in only 16 years after the current SOAR expires. Then we are supposed to fight their big money and paid petition-gatherers all over again with our volunteers and the small amount of grass-roots money we can raise. That is a formula for exhaustion of a grass-roots organization.

I signed the SOAR initiative and would not sign the imposter. Their initiative is paid for by the same people who opposed the original SOAR and told us terrible things would happen to us if SOAR passed in 1998. They were very wrong then and they are equally wrong now.

Please don’t confuse “Sustain VC” with the one and only “SOAR” initiative.

Sonia Sandomer

Stop barbaric declawing 

I wanted to bring your attention to an animal issue that is frequently overlooked. It is the declawing of cats. We hope that one day it will not be a legal procedure anywhere in our state. It would be quite wonderful if the city of Ventura would consider following the courageous and progressive step taken recently by the city of Ojai.

Not long ago the Ojai Valley Animal Alliance approached the OJAI city council regarding instituting a declawing ban in the city of Ojai. For anyone who is not aware of declawing, it is effectively the amputation of the lower digits of a cat’s paw. The procedure is incredibly painful to the cat.

Declawing offers the animal virtually no medical benefit unless there is an infection or other such circumstance. Even then it would be unusual for a cat to require all 10 digits be amputated. Declawing is primarily performed for the convenience of the cat owner. It is extremely stressful to the animal. It removes their defenses and can cause a cat to turn to biting as an alternative defense mechanism. Most cats are permanently traumatized.

It can change its personality. Many cats will not use their litter box after being declawed. People who declaw a cat because it scratched furniture now face a changed animal who does not scratch the furniture but has other social issues instead. Such cats face being dumped in the shelter or euthanized.

The Ojai Valley Animal Alliance felt that this procedure has no place in the compassionate, animal-friendly community of Ojai. Consequently we took a position on this issue and asked the City Council to ban the procedure within our city.

Unfortunately, since the first ban was put in place in West Hollywood in 2010, a state law was passed prohibiting future bans. Thus the City Council’s only recourse is to put in place a resolution stating that the city does not approve of this procedure. We thank our progressive and humane City Council members who voted unanimously in favor of the resolution (Resolution No. 16-22).

We hope that all our local vets concur. We would like the opportunity to show our appreciation to the vets who step up and affirm their disapproval for this inhumane and frequently unnecessary (unnecessary  for the animal’s health and well-being) procedure.

We hope that the community will support the resolution and the sentiment behind it.

Simone Patterson