Consultant for Fisherman’s Wharf

The current Channel Islands Harbor, harbor director has announced that she is retiring in March. The county posted the application and qualifications needed for the new harbor director position yesterday. At the same time they announced that the CURRENT harbor director is to get a consulting contract (at the same pay scale she has now) to “finish overseeing” the Fisherman’s Wharf project. The Fisherman’s Wharf revitalization project has been going for many years with little positive movement forward, lots of community outrage and no real conclusion in sight. After numerous starts and stops, the current group seems to have been given a two- year extension after being thwarted by the California Coastal Commission and the city of Oxnard.

Questions:

  1. Why should there be a consultant to manage the job that a NEW harbor director should be overseeing since that person would be in charge of all county assets in the harbor?
  2. Will the new harbor director be told that he/she will be in charge of all assets EXCEPT the wharf project?
  3. How long should the taxpayers be paying a consultant to do a job that has been going on for years, was just granted two more years and has no real resolution or ending date? This consultant will be paid the SAME OR MORE salary for a NEW harbor director who would be doing the SAME job!

Channel Islands Harbor should be the jewel of the Central Coast, but it lacks a lot, deserves so much more and has the potential to be a major destination, not just a spot on a map/chart along the coast. There has always been a conflict of interest between the county as landlord and county as custodian of resources and safety for the public as a whole in the harbor. Now there will be a new/added layer of conflict of interest.

Skoal!

Captain Tom Petersen
Channel Islands Harbor

BOE candidate in Oxnard

I’m reaching out on behalf of Micheál [pronounced “Me-haul”] O’Leary, former Mayor of Culver City, currently running for California State Board of Equalization to represent your city. We wanted to thank you for your attention at the recent Oxnard City Council meeting and allowing Micheál the opportunity to introduce himself to the council and the community. Micheál met with Councilman Bryan MacDonald prior to the council meeting and has a meeting scheduled with Mayor Tim Flynn.

Our campaign is stressing the need for voter education, and this year’s election is critical to the future of the state. The primary, on June 5, will provide an opportunity to elect many leaders beyond the governor’s office, and one of the most often ignored is the Board of Equalization. Yet, representation in District 3 of the BOE includes most of Los Angeles AND Ventura Counties. He hopes either to restore the recently removed responsibilities (since the action was done without public input or government transparency) and bring efficiency to these roles, or to insist that the state legislature disband an antiquated and powerless Board of Equalization entirely.

We hope that you also recognize the need for such efficiency and transparency at the state level and would be willing to share this message to resonate with your audience, with your readers.

Micheál is visiting ALL the cities in District 3, attending council meetings, meeting with ANY elected officials, talking to small-business owners (he is a small-business owner himself, Joxer Daly’s pub was owned by him for over 15 years) and talking to members of the community. He is an Uber and Lyft driver; our goal in doing that was the ability to have one-on-one time with voters of the cities he will be representing.

Please reach out to me if you feel, as we do, that this information should be shared with the people of Oxnard.

Stephanie Sheldon
Executive assistant, O’Leary for Board of Equalization 2018

Wobbles on a whim

This president lies and doubles down when called on it.

He doesn’t pay bills he’s legally incurred. The many victims who were left holding his marks and papers are legend. He simply declares bankruptcy.

He wobbles on a whim, perhaps to give false hope to those who don’t remember the last disappointment. International players count on nothing he says.

Always, always, always, another victim remains ready to see some hope out of the fiasco that is this president, then to disappointed again. Will he sign on to the Paris Accord? The TCC? Do justice to DACA?

What is the point of paying attention to each new statements of a liar?

Tomorrow is another day and another Trump. So I will tune into something more promising of stability — the weather report, maybe.

Margaret Morris
Ventura 

Just like the Berlin Wall

Americans don’t build border walls, Mister President. We tear them down!

The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years, a hated symbol of repressive political cruelty in service of onerous economic ideology. President Ronald Reagan made history in 1987 when he stood at the Brandenburg Gate in what was then West Berlin, and called out to the Eastern Bloc, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Two years later America achieved one of its biggest foreign policy wins of the 20th century when the Berlin Wall came down at last, the Cold War ended, and the Iron Curtain across Europe was dismantled.

Another 29 years have passed since the world watched gleeful German civilians take hammers and chisels to that hated border wall. Today the world watches as another Republican president tries to coerce a reluctant nation into building an Iron Curtain-style border wall on American soil. Trump wants guard towers, snipers, electronic surveillance and barbed wire just like the Berlin Wall! Reagan spins in his grave while Putin laughs.

This proposed wall is not a crucial piece of any serious national security plan. It began as one of candidate Donald Trump’s many lightly-made hucksterish promises in a political campaign we have since confirmed he only undertook as a publicity stunt. It drew laughter and applause, so daily he embellished and repeated the line about building a “big, beautiful wall“ to keep out hordes of imaginary “bad hombres.” The most popular part of this campaign shtick was always the punchline about making Mexico pay for the wall. He kept saying it even after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with him in person and told him emphatically that Mexico would never pay for the wall.

The Republican candidate was aghast when he squeaked out a narrow Electoral College win and accidentally became our 45th president! Trapped by his own words, President Trump now had to pretend that all his casually conceived and endlessly repeated campaign applause lines were actually serious and thoughtful policy positions. And his supporters now expected him to implement them.

Our beleaguered new president couldn’t coerce Mexico into buying him a “big, beautiful“ Iron Curtain-style border wall like he promised. So now he’s trying to coerce American taxpayers into buying it for him. As if this bait-and-switch were at all the same thing.

The president pursues his wall obsessively, but he doesn’t seem to care much about any details of its design, location or actual costs. Would a Berlin Wall on America’s southern border actually be the most cost-effective solution to any pressing real-world homeland security problem? He doesn’t ask. This disconnect suggests that even the president doesn’t really believe his proposed wall would be more than a symbolic solution to an imaginary problem.

I don’t want to pay tens of billions of dollars for such a misguided project. Don’t even get me started about the environmental impacts and political damage.

But worse than wasting our money, building an Iron Curtain-style border wall in America would squander our nation’s hard-earned national purpose. Two generations of Americans spent half the 20th century resolutely holding the line with NATO allies against the implacable Warsaw Pact nations — fighting, dying and facing down the terrifying threat of nuclear annihilation — before Gorbachev’s reforms and political activism in Eastern Europe finally provided history’s answer to Reagan’s speech at the Berlin Wall. If we take a page from the reviled playbook of our authoritarian Cold War enemies and build a New Berlin Wall on our own border, then we heap disrespect on the brave Americans who fought those fights. And we mock the deeply held American values we all fought for. If we buy that wall for this vainglorious president, knowing that it’s really just a sham, then we scarcely deserve to call ourselves Americans any more.

Call your elected representatives with a message for the White House: Not one dime for Iron Curtain-style border walls in America, Mister President. Maybe you missed the memo while you were golfing: Americans don’t build border walls, we tear them down! We stand by our values and we honor our history. Get with the program, sir.

Robert S. Taylor
Ventura 

65 and have been homeless

In the Jan. 18 issue there was an excellent article entitled “Life cut short” by Alicia Doyle. This is the best article I’ve read on the homeless situation, and I read everything I can about it. Her interviews were perfect and the solutions they spoke about are only a start to this ongoing growing problem. Most people have no idea what it’s like to be without a home and the challenges they meet daily. If a person is sick with stomach problems there’s no bathrooms to get cleaned up and are none open at night. I noticed that people would rather judge homeless and look down on them as if they had a choice. They tend to blame the homeless for all crimes. When they are harassed or a crime is committed against them they do not report it, knowing it will be turned around on them. I know this because I’ve been homeless for 18 months, living in a car with my daughter and cat. I’m a 65-year-old woman living on SSI, which does not cover rent these days. I lost everything due to a heart attack, and when things go wrong it spirals so fast you can’t even begin to catch up. When people lost everything due to the fires there is no end for all the help they get. Besides the United Way, Red Cross and many others, they are insured. I just read where there are free bikes for the fire victims but none for any other homeless person. What constitutes them being privileged over others? There are hundreds of resources that can’t help. I’m one of the fortunate ones who just received help and will be moving into my own place on Feb 1. It’s through the new Choices program through the County of Ventura.

There’s a lot of mental illness out here, which is sad because there is no place for them. Being homeless can bring on mental, emotional and physical problems. There is a guy out here who has 20 people living inside of him. The street is no place for this.

The article “Life cut short” was very informative and heart feeling. I only hope it helps get people involved because you never know when it can happen to you. 

Thank you

Cathy Colburn
Ventura 

Remaining mum

Shhhhh, let’s not talk about it!

At least that’s my interpretation of the silence of not only our elected city leaders, but of the Casitas Municipal Water District.

We’ve had less than two inches of rain this winter, in fact, less than two inches of rain in 11 months! Yet I don’t hear too many folks talking about Lake Casitas at less than 35 percent of capacity, or the multiple ground wells that are tapping out and or nearing exhaustion.

City continues to allow new construction, adding more mouths to the Casitas tap, when will we say “we’re done”? So many new folks in Ventura, who have no clue where their water comes from when they turn on the tap.  It’s time to get the message out there (declare Stage IV drought), and loudly, that we are nearing the end of our ONLY water source.  Once Casitas dries up, and the wells fail to produce, we’re done, do people not see this?

February is to remain high and dry. High pressure dominates. Lowest ever recorded rain season in Ventura was 1989-1990 with 4.80″ of rain. I’m predicting that we shatter this record this year, records of Ventura rain date back to 1867!

What’s the plan, Ventura? Casitas Municipal? My plan as well as many others, is to look at moving to points north where it still rains and the foliage is green…

Brandon Pearce
Ventura

Plant thieves in Ventura

Why do people feel that they can just dig up your plants overnight when you’re not there, I don’t mean a cutting … but dig up several succulents, just leaving a hole and dirt all over the place.   Since I have had my store in Ventura, now 11 years, this has happened more than once, even taking one of my planters as well as the plants.  The current one is now chained…. When you arrive at the store you feel so violated and outraged.  I have watered and cared for these plants for months now, so they will beautify the shop and Downtown.  And while of the topic of theft, my soldiers that guard my shop, have also been stolen on 2 occasions.  One time I left him out and the other time it was in broad daylight while my associate was in the shop!  How brazen is that!

Susanne
Rosie Lee Imports

Hives of evil

Is it the Bilderberg network that decides and controls our future? An invitation-only, closed-to-the-public conference among people of international influence from governments, politics, finance, industry, labor, education and communications, toward international very big business and control of the global population?

Perhaps it is the ancient and secret network of the Illuminati who plan world domination. This conspiratorial organization is alleged to mastermind events leading to their eventual control of the world and the establishment of a New World Order.

International Capitalist Networks are transnational multi-billionaires, imperialists who collude with others like themselves to optimize their extreme wealth and ego.  Having the U.S. military on their side and on their payroll, they freely corrupt Humanity and subvert every democratic process toward their own point of view and profit. They have no interest in Humanity; for them the world and everything in it is a business.

International Capitalist Networks plot, plunder and monopolize the resources, habitat and goodwill of our populations without any political mandate, care or understanding for the lives they take or conquer. They impede our freedom, creative vision, mental clarity and our natural goodwill toward others, in favor of corporate profit at any moral or human cost. 

Networks are Hives of Evil, sold to us as beyond reproach, capitalist gods incarnate, who know the truth and are the truth, even though their lives are deeply corrupt, psychopathic and criminal. They collude in secret to corner markets, wipe out competition, elude regulations and control governments.  They have enough money, power and influence to get what they want, even if it’s the very worst action for Humanity. Everyone folds for money and money kills faster than guns.

These hives of evil continue to create the problems of climate change, pollution, wage inequality, the depletion of natural resources, unemployment, food and water shortages, and they alone possess the resources we need to remedy these social ills that might enable Humanity to survive.

Hives of evil control our religions, our governments, our banks, our military and our future. They create wars with taxpayer money and decimate weaker countries to expand their free market. They are rats in the darkness, eating everything we love. They give us only one guarantee. Their companies and their affiliates will cause massive pollution, rising food prices, continuous drought, endless economic pain and a dead planet.

We must obey. They fill the prisons with innocents for profit. They entreat our police to kill us. They laugh through their fangs as they murder, kidnap, bribe, assassinate, connive, rape and torture. Their defense is a lie made truth by lawyers who make our truth a crime against them; ultimately, they will control the world. To that end, they fund so-called educational networks of foundations, institutes, research centers, journals, think tanks, scholars, writers and public relations experts to prove “Evil is Good” by developing facts and figures to promote and sell their insane agenda.

Hives of evil are where executives exercise messiah complexes, their power plays hidden from view, contriving their psychopathic schemes. They are being led, confused and unaware like sheep, toward the darkness of extinction. One day it feels like it’s real bad, but then it’s worse than ever the next day.

Hives of evil are predatory and merciless, practicing “economic terrorism” without compassion, empathy, shame, guilt or remorse.  They put silence in our mouths and keep us on our knees, designing to rid the world of the “contemptuous vermin that are the poor and hungry masses.” Must we sit quietly by while these hives of evil turn our world into their economic killing fields?  Their ever-expanding iconography of wealth must be destroyed if we are to survive, before the economic systems of the hives of evil lead Humanity to its inevitable collapse.

Christopher Judges
Eugene, Oregon, former Ventura resident

Diary of an evacuee

Tuesday, Dec. 5: The Thomas Fire is burning fiercely in the hills above the city, only 2 miles away from my home, a small artists’ community of live-work studios. Under voluntary evacuation, almost all have left the building and still I sit here, breathing smoke that grows thicker by the minute. But I’m determined to stay and watch over my paintings, as if by sheer willpower I can save them from the threatening fire.

Friday, Dec. 8: The smoke has gotten worse, breathing is hard. I am reminded that my lung disease could get worse and end my painting days altogether, if not my life. I stuff everything I can think of, but not nearly enough, into my large purse, and flee to the Ventura Evacuation Shelter, a huge barn that normally houses livestock in the local fairgrounds. Filled with hundreds of refugees from the fire, and now I am one of them. Those in charge try to maintain some semblance of normalcy. The food is excellent — salads, pizzas, Chinese, brought in by restaurants and stores. Mounds of good quality clothing — shoes, coats, blankets donated by the business community. Volunteers from the Red Cross, Salvation Army and others have traveled miles to help. Firefighters, nurses and police watch over me night and day. A volunteer dressed up like a clown plays games with the children.

Night comes. A dreamlike surreal quality. I have been assigned a narrow cot, in between two strange men. Not my usual sleeping arrangement and more than a little scary. Endless rows of narrow cots are packed together, a sea of bodies huddled under Red Cross blankets. An uneasy silence punctuated by coughing, a baby crying, a woman sobbing over an unknown sorrow. Exhausted, I fall into an uneasy sleep.

Saturday, Dec. 9: The fire has partially burned itself out, leaving acres of naked scarred hillsides. But this is a new morning. I’m having my breakfast of bagels and cream cheese. There’s a long table with games, coloring books and paperback novels for children and teens. Volunteers keep them busy for hours so their mothers can rest. After lunch, a children’s mariachi band arrives, as good as any professionals, and soon the shelter’s occupants join in and the joint is jumpin’, reminding me what joy and forgetfulness music can bring.

I spend hours talking with volunteers, strangers no more. I get to know some of those made homeless by the fire, and talk to those formerly homeless whose cars or tents burned down making them homeless once again. To pass the time, I draw quick sketches, and a small crowd gathers. It makes them smile to watch and seems to entertain them. Makes me feel I have given back a little.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec, 9-11: Three days and two nights have passed. The shelter air is filling with smoke. We are warned to evacuate, to escape the smoke. I am driven to a hotel far, far away. The air is clean, but I am sick with a heavy cough from breathing smoke, and a bad cold I caught in the shelter. The time I have spent in the hotel nursing my illness, I’ve survived by determination alone.

Monday, Dec. 13: Home at last! The air has grown worse, and we are again warned to evacuate. But Hanukah began at sundown and I’m sure it’s a sign that all will be well. The people of The Book believed in signs, and so do I. It’s in my blood. Although smoky debris is still blowing about, I’m wearing a mask, with fans going full blast, and I won’t leave. For a few days in the shelter, my survival depended on the kindness and compassion of strangers who had traveled miles to help. I am in awe of my community that has pulled together with such generosity of spirit. Life is fickle and unpredictable. But for me, the secret of getting through is that something can be learned from every experience, good or bad. What I have learned this week is that there is enough goodness in humanity to save the world.

Frances Spencer
Artist, playwright
Ventura