Everyone wins with Measure AA

There are so many things to love about living in Ventura County: the people, the mountains, the beaches. It’s why we stay and raise our families here. As an avid cyclist, I’ve been thrilled to see the move towards the addition of bike lanes and trails throughout our cities, but we have so much more work to do to actively and safely connect our communities.

While roads and transit will rightly receive the bulk of the funding if Measure AA passes in November, it’s important to note that nearly $100 million would be set aside to upgrade and expand the bike trails that are such an important part of the county’s quality of life. This will provide an excellent benefit to both motorists and cyclists alike.

It’s clear there are significant gaps in our “active transportation” system. Understandably, many people don’t feel safe riding their bikes — or letting their children ride them — alongside traffic. Measure AA will set up a competitive grant program that will allow cities, the county, and school districts to compete for funds that could be used to expand existing routes or to build new ones.

And that’s not just a benefit for cyclists. Studies show that hometown business districts bustle with activity when streets are safe for people, not just for cars and trucks.

So Measure AA will not only relieve traffic congestion, it will make our county an even better place to live and raise our families. It really is a win-win! Please vote yes on Measure AA.

Jill Shaffer
Ventura

No on Prop 65

“Vote No on Proposition 65, one of the most disingenuous ballot measures in state history — and that’s saying something” — San Jose Mercury News editorial, July 21, 2016

Here’s Why We Recommend “No on Prop 65”

Proposition 65 was placed on the ballot by four out-of-state plastic-bag manufacturers at a cost of more than $3 million. Follow the Money.

The sole purpose of the four companies funding Prop 65 is to confuse and mislead voters in an effort to block passage of Prop 67 — the statewide bag ban.

There is no environmental support for Prop 65, because it is unlikely to result in any meaningful environmental benefit.

According to the State Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which prepared the official fiscal analysis of Prop 65, even if a majority of voters approve Prop 65, it may result in zero funds for the environment.

Proposition 65 appears to be dependent on the passage of Proposition 67 in order to have any relevance. And the proponents of Proposition 65 are trying to defeat Prop 67.

Even if both measures pass, the LAO has opined that Prop 65 must receive more “yes” votes than Prop 67 for its financial provisions to take effect.

And contrary to the proponents of Prop 65, Prop 67 does not require stores to sell any bags at the point of sale. So stores may have no “bag revenue” to turn over.

Confused? We think that was the plastic industry’s objective. Don’t be fooled. No on 65.

Say “Yes to Prop 67” and the statewide plastic bag ban. Say “No to Prop 65” and the out-of-state plastic bag makers.

Mark Murray
Californians Against Waste

Cheryl has served our senior citizens

Far more than any other member of the Ventura City Council, Cheryl Heitmann has worked to improve services to Ventura’s growing number of seniors, and she’s not done yet in working to create a Senior Strategic Plan for Ventura.

Our generation has always taken care of others — children, work, community, country, now grandchildren and more. Now we need help at times.

Cheryl brought new funding, energetic new staff and new life to the Ventura Avenue Senior Center. She has worked with CMH and others to provide programs and outreach across the city.

The Ventura Council for Seniors was formed to advocate for senior services and education programs. This group meets monthly and has provided so much for so many Ventura residents.

Even if you aren’t yet a senior, Ventura Council for Seniors programs link to resources that allow mom and dad to safely stay in their homes, find community resources and adjust diet and avoid falls. This affects many households in Ventura: Seniors are family.

Transportation for seniors is a growing problem — Cheryl convened an “all hands on deck” meeting of the providers to begin fixing the gaps in services. Private companies, county agencies, city engineers, everyone with a part of the solution was involved.

It is a long ballot and City Council is on the last page. This election is important to our city and important to most families. Cheryl Heitmann is an experienced councilwoman who has served seniors throughout her first term, and made us a priority.

Please support Cheryl to continue being the City Council’s strongest voice for our seniors and our community family.

Suz Montgomery
Ventura

Who will win the presidential debate?

The answer is, ‘It won’t be the average American.” It will be the international corporations, the military industrial complex, the banks and the billionaires. The first two presidential debates weren’t even remotely presidential. It was the Jerry Springer Show without Jerry. Due to the candidates’ political and personal baggage, we were alternately bored, disappointed and scared by this race to the bottom. The 2016 election will be viewed as the worst mistake in American political history. The root problem is a deeply flawed two-party, winners-take-all, money- and lobby-centric system. It’s a monument to Citizens United where international corporations or self-funding billionaires get what they paid for, and the rest of us get screwed.

The first two debates failed to move the needle for undecided voters. Trump’s sophomoric boasting that he could shoot somebody and not lose votes, made it apparent the needle wasn’t going to move. 

We “need” a final debate where the “real” issues like climate change are finally, fully and accurately discussed. Right now we are left with the distasteful conundrum of voting for a conflicted Hillary or living under an inexperienced and potentially dangerous Donald. A third-party candidate at this juncture would just be another vote for Trump.

I’ve ordered a bumper sticker that reads “2016 — We’re Screwed.” On a more positive note I’m personally trying to do my best to make a difference by getting more actively engaged in local government.

Bob Nast — running for a local political (volunteer) office which is a nonpartisan position with campaign spending limits of $1,600. This, I would suggest, is a model to be emulated on a larger scale to include multiple political parties without winner-take-all rules. Let’s get money the hell out of politics!

Bob Nast
Oxnard

Yes on Measure T

I am writing this for Santa Paula readers who need accurate information on Measure T that will support public safety, youth programs and repair of crumbling Santa Paula streets.

You do not presented a fair picture of Measure T when you state:

… is specifically on police and fire

A citizen’s oversight committee will oversee fair distribution to support police, fire, youth programs and street repair. City budget lines will track where Measure T money goes.

… whatever is left over going to street repair and that’s not clear.

While Santa Paula Citizens identified public safety as a chief concern in a poll taken last spring, the community knows supporting youth programs to keep young people out of gangs is part of our long-term solution for public safety.

Santa Paula has 108 streets in need of replacement. Measure T will supplement existing street repair funds to get more streets repaired faster.

This proposed tax seems a little high and for too long … local residents may be forced to shop elsewhere, where the sales tax rate is lower

The tax adds one penny per dollar as an investment for one of Ventura County’s key agricultural, cultural and historical destinations. Visitors will help improve our services with their pennies.

The “shop elsewhere” argument is misleading. Gas cost to go to another city will far outweigh tax on savings on most purchases bought elsewhere.

There is no sales tax on food, prescription drugs or services.

I am on the committee for Measure T because I support Measure T’s goals just like I did two years ago when we almost passed Measure F. Citizen driven. Citizen oversight. Citizen Investment in Santa Paula — a penny at a time.

Richard A. Rudman
Santa Paula