Dishonest, desperate tactics 

Did you recently receive a mailer from Recall organizer AARON STARR?

I was appalled to see all of the distortions and dishonesty about my council colleagues and myself in the latest mailer. And Mr. Starr promises more of the same tactics. Please don’t be a low-information voter, fooled by lies and words on a mailer. Do your own research, get informed and make the right choice. Consider the lack of integrity of a person who wants to be on council by utilizing misleading information that distorts the truth to get a seat there.

The last sentence attempts to mislead you the voter into thinking that the Ventura County District Attorney is investigating Oxnard City Council. 

THERE IS NO INVESTIGATION INTO THE CONDUCT OF CURRENT COUNCIL MEMBERS BY THE VENTURA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

The only reason for these words on the mailer is to mislead and misinform Oxnard voters. Please don’t fall for this unethical and dishonest tactic. This is desperation!

False accusations:

“Free junket to China” In August 2016, I was invited by California State Treasurer John Chiang to participate in a trade delegation with other elected officials and business leaders from Southern California and Nevada to promote the California economy, business and tourism. There was NO expense charged to Oxnard residents.

“Free lodging in Europe” Since 2005, I have been a board member for the Center for Civic Education, a national nonprofit devoted to promoting democratic practice in the U.S. and throughout the world. In 2013, I was invited to represent the center at a conference on Democracy and Minority populations, hosted by the German government. I paid for the airfare and the German government provided accommodations and most meals for the weeklong conference. There was NO expense charged to Oxnard residents.

“Free outings to the Colorado River, Hoover Dam, Sacramento Delta”

Oxnard is a member agency of Calleguas Municipal Water District, which contracts with the Metropolitan Water District and provides about one-third of Oxnard’s water. This District routinely invites elected and civic leaders to learn about essential water facilities, including the Sacramento Delta, Oroville Dam and the Colorado River installations, which provide water to most of Southern California, including Oxnard. I have attended two of these trips but have never ever visited Hoover Dam. NO expense was charged to Oxnard residents.

Dodger tickets: A friend of more than 20 years offered me one pair of tickets to a game last year, as he unexpectedly was not able to the game. I attended the game and reported this. My friend does not do business with the City of Oxnard.

Symphony tickets: I have received a pair of tickets from the New West Symphony in the past in order to allow me to make a presentation to the audience. I am a subscriber to NWS and do not need free tickets to attend.

From 1991 until 2006, I was a member of the President’s Advisory Council for, California State University at Northridge (CSUN), which later became California State University at Channel Islands. In recognition of that service I receive an annual parking pass for CSUCI, which allows me to park there when I attend meetings.

None of these items violate any political or any ethical rules. I am proud of my public service. My colleagues and I work very hard at our part time job, which takes full-time attention. Our salaries and benefits are set by state law and have even decreased rather than increased during my tenure.

Your City Council has made difficult decisions to protect the financial, environmental and public health of Oxnard. Don’t be fooled by a dishonest and unethical effort of those who would jeopardize our city’s health and stability. Support your City Council, which keeps you safe.  

Carmen Ramirez
Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem

This cannot wait

Response to: BOILING POINT | Anger after death of Ventura man sparks demonstration, demand for action on city’s homeless.

Our Police Chief Ken Corney was very candid, informed and professional as he spoke to our group over a year ago about the homeless issue. His officers try to respond to citizen’s complaints when they feel threatened or harassed by members of the homeless community, but Chief Corney stated police are trained in law enforcement not mental health. This takes a slimmed down police force away from known law enforcement issues as they try to determine priorities.

Our homeless population consists of veterans, those left jobless by layoffs, recessions, automation and those caught up in the cycle of poverty and ignorance and some of them are what I call “lazy and self-destructive” people unable to conform or always wanting to “play” the system. Most of the homeless have some degree of mental illness or have lost not only jobs but the self-esteem and skills needed to rejoin society. Also about 40 to 50 years ago our federal government decided they could save money by closing our state hospitals and mental facilities, which is a big contributor to this problem. 

What I have said here should be nothing new for anyone who cares, researches and wants solutions to a very big and growing problem. Instead of partisan, inflammatory rhetoric and propaganda which accomplishes nothing but further hate, violence and division, we need action.

There has to be some quick steps taken such as additional police officers that can form an effective “task force” similar to what the Ventura Police Department did years ago to deal effectively and humanely with a growing gang problem.

But there also needs to be a more comprehensive and long lasting solution like rebuilding our mental health infrastructure and non-intrusive basic housing for the homeless similar to “River Haven” but on a much larger and more permanent scale. I would also suggest something similar to military barracks managed by a “hard-ass” marine type with a heart of gold to help break these people down and rebuild them in an environment and way that promotes teamwork, camaraderie, discipline, self-esteem and making them wake up every day performing menial work and also training for those whose desire to rebuild their lives. This cannot wait. The devil will be in the dollars and the details. Lives and our community and all of our people depend on it. As my Dad always told us — “Can’t never did anything.”

Jim Matlock
Ventura

Anatomy of a recall

It had been brewing for years — the mismanagement of  city finances and policies by elected and appointed Oxnard city officials.
It came to head when the City Council voted to increase sewer rates by a staggering 87 percent.
Furious citizens, led by Aaron Starr of Moving Oxnard Forward (MOF), launched an initiative process to roll back the rate hikes. The necessary paper work was filed on March 8, 2016, with the Oxnard City Clerk’s office, who then had 15 days to produce a “title and summary.” This is mandatory before starting to gather signatures. It should be noted here that the signatures needed to be gathered by a May 20, 2016, deadline to make the Nov. 8 ballot.
But in a secret closed door session, the City Council voted to block the initiative process from getting on the November ballot. No “title and summary” was forthcoming, despite California laws to the contrary.
This violated our rights for “redress of our grievances,” which is guaranteed under the first amendment of the US Constitution, and, of course, the California Constitution, granting us the right to the imitative process.
The City Council also violated their own sworn oath of office which reads in part — “I, ____________name_______________, solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.” So much for their sworn pledge, and it speaks volumes about their ethics.
On March 23, 2016, the city filed a lawsuit against Starr with the dual purpose of not only stopping the initiative, but also of draining Starr and MOF of their funds to fight a legal battle in the courts.
Starr filed their intent on March 8 and the “title and summary” was due on or before March 23, but by April 5, 2016, the necessary paper work was not forthcoming. A counter lawsuit was filed in Superior Court to force the city to produce the “title and summary,” and Judge Rocky Baio, on April 15, ordered the city to release the paper work.
When April 18 rolled around and no paper work was available, Starr prepared a contempt action against the city.
Calculating that there was inadequate time left to collect all the necessary signatures needed, and that they had stalled long enough, the city finally released the paper work on April 20th.
Remember that there was a May 20 deadline to get the initiative on the ballot. But the city miscalculated. After 10 days of printing and organizing, Starr’s group hit the streets. In just 16 days, needing 1,430 signatures, they collected 3,947 — two days before the May 20 deadline.
Measure M passed by 72 percent, almost 3 in 4 voted to roll back the rate increases.
Now, in a blatant attack on the underlying principal of our democratic process, the city wants the judge to invalidate Measure M, the will of the people. At this time that decision is still in the hands of the courts.

Eugene D Hubbard
Oxnard

What’s up with Ventura Police Dept?

Seems they have become the henchmen for the red county that simply does not want poor and homeless folks living here.

Case in point I had an appointment with a health practitioner in downtown Ventura. I parked on Santa Clara Street. When I came back to my tiny home on wheels (a motorhome) there was a ticket in the windshield, for parking an oversize camper in the city limits. OK, so #1 there are no signs displayed letting people know they cannot park RVs in downtown Ventura. And #2 I cannot afford the dang fine.

I called the police department in Ventura to challenge the ticket and even after I explained that I am a senior on a fixed income with health issues, i.e., e visiting a doctor in Ventura and I cannot afford the $72 fine. I was told, “Well, you should know the law and the ticket would stand and had to be paid.” After which I spoke with a dozen city and county agencies that offered no help in this regard.

A few days ago I drove down to Ventura again to see the same practitioner, parked in a parking lot this time; and I stop and asked a motorcycle cop what was up with this violation in city limits. He replied, “Look, we don’t want you here.” “What?” I asked, “Go live somewhere else,” he replied. I said, “I do. I am only here for the day on personal business,” and he replied, “Get it done and go back to where you came from.” Then he asked to search my day pack. I ask why he then replied, “To make sure you have no concealed weapons or illegal drugs.” He asked if I was on probation and have I ever been arrested, I replied, “No, certainly not. As a matter of fact, I was once a very successful business person in this town. He laughed and said, “Hand me the backpack or I will arrest you for noncompliance of an order from a police officer to hand over the backpack.” I laughed and said, “Go ahead arrest me. I can’t wait to tell the judge this one.” He drove off on his bike and I drove “home.” Today the citation stands and I still cannot afford a $72 fine. If it is illegal to park a small RV in the streets in Ventura — post it!

Whats up with Ventura?

Jay North
Ojai

 

Immigrants pay taxes

It’s tax time, and this year I’m thinking about what our community gets for the taxes it pays. In Ventura County, a third of us speak Spanish at home; many work in the county’s $2 billion agriculture economy. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says our undocumented, non-English speaking residents pay $61 million plus in taxes.  Yet during the Thomas fire, alerts about evacuations, masks and drinking water were all issued in English for days before being translated. Not making Spanish translation for emergency services a priority is a disaster waiting to happen. Rep. Monique Limon’s AB-1877 is working to change this shameful and short-sighted situation by ensuring emergency communications are available in commonly spoken languages other than English. It’s only fair that people who pay taxes and contribute so much to our economy have access to the life-saving information we all need during times of crisis and disaster.

Genevieve Flores-Haro
Associate Director, MICOP
Oxnard

At 40, finding hope at Ventura College

“Time is going to pass anyway, so why not attend Ventura College?” This was the question posed to me in 1994. My son was starting his junior year in high school. I was 40, and I felt lost. What did I want to be when I grew up? I considered everything, except attending college.

In my first career, I was a legal secretary for a probation department. In my second career, a visual merchandiser for a big department store. I also had earned my state license for manicuring. I felt lost. It was then that a friend suggested Ventura College. I started checking off reasons why I should not/could not attend, starting with my advanced age and the “fact” that I was not smart enough. My friend replied with a wise rebuttal to my excuses: “Time is going to pass anyway, so why not attend VC?”

Seeing that I was intimidated with the whole idea, she took me to walk around the campus on a Saturday afternoon, which helped calm my fears. I enrolled the following Monday. I signed up for the most basic English and math classes because I had pre-determined my time as a college student would be one, maybe two semesters at most. I was wrong! I quickly learned the school has services on campus to help students who struggle with testing and even learning. Perfect. In 1996, I graduated with a 4.0, Dean’s List and Honors.

During my time at VC, I had many instructors who encouraged me to continue my education, yet with my son set to attend UCSB, after being at VC with me for two years, there was little to no extra money for me to also attend a four-year university. Enter Ventura College Foundation and their many scholarships.

Through a very simple application process, and two letters for character reference, I was bestowed a $2,000 scholarship. (Noteworthy: all students are invited to apply even as they continue at VC. Any student who has completed 12 units is eligible for scholarship/s. A 4.0 is neither necessary nor required.) The Foundation offers a wide-range of diverse scholarships that mirrors the diverse population at VC. That said The Phoenix Award is one scholarship specifically for returning students who often are fiscally challenged, while also balancing family and work.

I know just how difficult it is to take that first step and enroll in classes. I know, too, how valued the returning student is on our campus. I say “our campus” because upon completing my BA and MA at CSUN, I returned to VC where I have been teaching for 18-plus years — my third career.

It is because of the funds awarded by the Foundation that I was able to finish my education. When I enrolled that Monday for the first time, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that two basic classes would someday lead me back to VC to teach. And never did I imagine myself worthy of any type of scholarship. I was wrong there as well.

I continue to reach back to the Foundation with support and thanks for their financial support that spurred me on to complete my BA and MA. Once a scholarship recipient, my husband and I are now donors, sponsoring a Phoenix Scholarship. And as a volunteer scholarship application reader, I’m inspired by students’ stories of struggles and commitment to create a better life for themselves and their families.

I share my story with my students, and with anyone who will listen. For those reading this and have used my same excuses, I am here to reassure everyone they are able to afford this because of the Foundation. As well, for those hesitating to return because of age, just remember, “Time is going to pass anyway, so why not attend VC?”  

Elizabeth Kraus
English Professor, Ventura College

Make the most of it

I am hoping that the voters in Oxnard realize how important it is to vote May 1st in the Special Recall Election. The professional prognosticators say records show that only 10 percent to 15 percent of eligible voters participate in special elections. That means we could have the future of our city decided by 10,000 or fewer votes. Every vote is even more valuable in this election.

I am voting to recall Mayor Flynn, because he is so negative and hasn’t kept all the promises he made to get elected. Oxnard deserves a mayor who will put what is best for the city first and not make decisions based on personal grudges and payback.

I think everyone should really take a good look at all the candidates and learn as much as you can about who they are, their vision for Oxnard and what they will do to help the Council make a good decision.

I am voting for Dr. Miguel Lopez, because I like his positive attitude and optimism. He has community wide support and endorsements from public safety, labor and business.

I hope every Oxnard voter makes the most out of his/her right to vote!

Letty Cantalupo
Oxnard

Recall Flynn, vote for Lopez

I am proud to be an Oxnard native and call Oxnard my home. I know that most people who live here feel that way. I hope that they join me and vote for Dr. Miguel Lopez for Mayor in the recall election May 1. We need someone who is positive to run and represent our city. I heard him speak at a recent forum at Pacifica High School and he was heads above the other candidates to replace Mayor Tim Flynn. He is articulate, gave clear answers as to what he would do as mayor and has a very positive attitude.

Mayor Flynn was at the forum and was his usual negative self. I think we are all tired of the negative press that Oxnard gets. With Flynn as our Mayor, the press is having a field day. Lawsuits, low morale, higher crime, more homeless and where are all the “clean” jobs he said he was going to create? 

Recall Tim Flynn and vote for Dr. Miguel Lopez for positive future in our beloved Oxnard.

Angela Smith
Oxnard

Star Strangled Banner

The gun is a unique weapon. When Timothy McVeigh committed the Oklahoma City bombing there were no calls for manure control, no large vehicle purchases restrictions. Likewise, after Jeffrey Dahmer’s murders there were no calls for restrictions on alcohol, knives or forks. Granted, these were isolated cases without repeated methodologies. However, we did not assign blame to their weapon of choice. We simply asked, “How could these individuals do this?” The gun is different. Guns have become the symbol of a loss of innocence, of our greatest resource, of our future: our children.
Memory is short. We seem to forget that without the gun, western culture would not have conquered the world. We forget that one of the reasons the American Revolution was so hard-fought was because of British gun control. We forget that the first thing a tyrant does upon coming to power is enact a gun ban. We have been spoiled by over 200 years of relative peace and freedom that we’ve forgotten our first fight to obtain those sacred rights. We forget our forefathers’ warning that “Any society that would trade a little liberty for a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Society has a right to be angry, to be fed up and to demand change. But the time has come to assign blame where blame is due. John Watson said, “Give me a dozen healthy infants … and I’ll [give you a] doctor, lawyer, artist… beggar-man, and thief” because his studies proved that nurture more than nature makes a person. It’s time we look at the real cause of these terrible acts. It’s time we look at “the man in the mirror” and ask what we need to change, to fix, as a society to ensure that these people are not excluded, are not pushed so far into the abyss that they in turn marginalize society into Judith Boss’ category C, people who they would not mind killing and eating for food. Worse still, it becomes for them their only option.
The gun is the red the bull sees, a distraction. We can take away all the guns in the world but a person backed into a corner will always fight or flight. Even without guns there will be rope, knives, vehicles, fire. … We can’t eliminate everything. We can continue to “First make thieves then punish them.” Or we can create a world of inclusion, love and compassion. We can shift focus from our otherness and seek out similarities. We can extend a hand of friendship to the angry, depressed, isolated and emotionally scarred or, better still, not let them fall in the first place. Then, just maybe, we will actually live up to our values of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all.

Jennifer Corbin
Ventura

TRADE WAR LUNACY AND STUPIDITY:

I really get tickled about all of the “panic talk” and “scare talk” about TRADE WAR!!  “Oh my God,” they scream, “we are going to have a trade war!!” Well guess what, folks? We have been in a ONE WAY TRADE WAR for over 20 years!! Other countries, especially China, have had tariffs on our exports as high as 25 percent for at least 20 years! What President Trump is trying to do is level the playing field.
What is so bad about that? The people who are screaming “TRADE WAR, TRADE WAR” are utter MORONS! They have NOT read the history of our ONE-WAY TRADE WAR as I have. I call it “DIODE LIKE TRADE” because it has been ONE WAY (like a diode). Anyway, folks, stop believing the MORONS who are trying to start a panic. This is one-time President Trump is TELLING THE TRUTH!!
Maybe there is an ulterior motive at work, with respect to the MORONS. Maybe they all have invested money in businesses that moved to China!!

John Jay
Oxnard

Cars and guns

Re: Not a solution letter dated 29 March 2018

Mr. Berk compares gun deaths in the United States to those in Japan. “According to the CDC, there were 33,636 deaths due to firearms in 2013” (IN THE UNITED STATES) while Japan sees ten or fewer. We all must agree that the rates are much higher in the U.S., as are the quantity of gun owners.

But now let’s look at another killer here in the U.S. and compare that to other highly developed countries. More people die in car crashes each year in the United States than in any other high-income country according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, in 2013, more than 32,000 people died on U.S. roads, roughly 90 fatalities per day. The U.S. has seen a 31 percent reduction in its motor vehicle death rate per capita over the past 13 years. But compared with 19 other wealthy countries, which have declined an average of 56 percent during the same period, the U.S. has the slowest decrease. [Road death rates in countries such as Spain and Denmark have dropped 75.1 percent and 63.5 percent, respectively.] If the United States had reduced its death rate to the average of other countries, 18,000 more lives would have been saved, according to the CDC report.

According to these 2013 statistics (chosen to match the statistic cited by Mr. Berk), the automobile appears to be almost as deadly as the firearm. Mr. Berk claims, “More guns ALWAYS lead to more deaths whether they be accidental or intentional. A child’s or adult’s right to live life is profoundly more important than any person’s right to own deadly weapons.” Are not automobiles also a source of death? True, the automobile was not designed to be a killer but, as we see by the statistics, it often is — just about as much as the gun. The automobile certainly appears to be a pretty efficient instrument of death. Although private ownership and operation of an automobile are not covered by the Constitution, should we consider limiting ownership/operation of the automobile? Both the automobile and gun take lives when used carelessly or maliciously. Should a child’s or adult’s right to live life be less important than another person’s right to own and operate an automobile?

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s horrible when people use a gun to take another person’s life. However, guns aren’t the only instruments — consider automobiles, drugs, etc., also.

Ray Blattel
Oxnard

No Jo Koy

The fire was not as hard on me as it was on others, but I still could not afford to waste a hundie on a show I could not get to; other families needed the laugh break as much as I did and lost a lot more money.

Comedian Jo Koy was booked in Santa Barbara at the Arlington Theatre on Jan. 20 for a 7 o’clock show. I had tickets; I could not get there. Two-thirds of the ticket-holders could not get there!

It just so happened that the 101 opening was postponed again, and no one from the south could get to the show. I tried everything. I could not get a boat; train was not running at the times needed; there were no hotel rooms available. (Even if I made the five-hour drive the day before, turned out the 5 was closed anyway so that was a useless idea.)

I wonder how Jo Koy got there?

He played to one-third of the house, having NOT cancelled the show due to the mudslide, etc. I heard he started 45 minutes late while the theater frantically tried to RESELL the tickets for the empty seats, but since I was not there, I cannot swear to the veracity of this report.

There were LOTS of folks who had tickets who could not go. Arlington refused to refund our money. ACX the promoter would not refund our money. Jo Koy would not refund our money. Arlington would not reschedule. ACX would not trade tickets for future shows. Jo Koy would not answer tweets or emails.

He still won’t answer.

NOW Jo Koy is playing 10 shows starting March 29, at Levity in Oxnard.

Since it is right down the road from Santa Barbara, one would think it would not be a big deal to offer folks with Arlington tickets a change of venue.

So far, we all have just had to eat it.

With people helping people all over the place, and fundraisers happening everywhere for fire and flood victims, one would agree that a comedian, of ALL people, would want to spread some laughs.

Apparently, Jo Koy means no joy.

Val Polacek
Ventura

 

Random thoughts from a random citizen

TRADE WAR:  Idiotic, ill-informed people who are screaming “trade war” are grossly misleading everyone around the nation.  They do not realize, as I do, that we have been in a ONE-WAY TRADE WAR for the past 25 years.  Other nations have had tariffs on our products, while their exports to us are free of tariffs.  President “Trumpet” is merely trying to impose the same tariffs on them that they have had on us. 

WALL ON U.S.-MEXICAN BORDER: Here is one factor that NO ONE seems to be thinking about, with respect to the border wall President “Trumpet” wants:  GRAFFITI!!  As each section of the wall is completed, both sides will be loaded with graffiti within three days.

Will Mexico pay for the graffiti cleanup???  I don’t think so!!

John Jay
Oxnard

Honest, rational dialogue

Recently, a letter writer compared the U.S.’s 33,000 annual gun deaths with Japan’s near lack thereof. This isn’t helpful because knives are the weapon of choice in Japan and most of the rest of the world. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes reported 490,000 intentional homicides worldwide in 2004 (Global Study on Homicide). In Europe knives are involved in 43 percent of murders (Smithsonianmag.com, March 3, 2014).

Sixty percent of U.S. gun deaths are suicides who would find another way to die, and most of the remaining 13,000 are murders by someone who knew the victim well, meaning that they could get close enough to use a knife. Even so, this remains a serious problem.

The biggest problem in our country is, we don’t listen and compromise. One half of the country is yelling “Take the guns away,” and the other half is screaming, “Protect our guns and schools”.

In our tribal society, it is politically and demographically impossible to repeal or change the Second Amendment. Our practical solution is to stop our war of words and instead deal with all possible means: armed school guards, ban or limit military-grade weapons, require instruction and testing as a prerequisite to owning and using a gun, improve mental health to prevent suicides and murders, identify and infringe on the rights of possible shooters to protect schools and society, et cetera.

But we can’t even address the issue until we come together for an honest, rational dialogue and commitment to finding solutions.

Howard J Fox
West Hills

Grand jurors needed

I’d like to encourage Ventura County residents to become part of a valuable community service by serving on the Ventura County Grand Jury. 

The Grand Jury is a civil, investigative panel of 19 volunteers.  This watchdog group investigates issues and citizen complaints and then makes recommendations to improve the operation of local government.  The Grand Jury may examine all aspects of Ventura County government, its 10 city governments as well as special districts and other agencies funded by tax dollars. 

To become a Grand Juror, you must be 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen and a Ventura County resident for at least a year. A complete list of requirements and other information about Grand Jury service can be found at: http://www.ventura.org/grand-jury/become-a-grand-juror.

Applications are now available for the 2018-2019 Grand Jury at: www.ventura.org/grand-jury/forms. Applications will be accepted until April 6, 2018. 

Andrew Ludlum
Foreperson

A born-again American gun owner

In 2013, I waited in line to buy ammo for my stepson’s AR 15 assault rifle (read as weapon). Why? I could afford the three-hour wait in a long line at the Ventura County Gun Show.  The reason was, we were both concerned about losing some of our Second Amendment rights in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. At that time I was a former marine, former hunter and former lifelong Republican. I’ll always be a “former marine.” However, I no longer vote along questionable party lines.  

“If there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if even one life can be saved, we have an obligation to try,” (former President Barack) Obama said. Great words but they fell on conflicted and deaf ears of a bi-partisan Congress beholden to the NRA. Nothing’s changed. Those straightforward words differ from current Commander in Chief (Cadet Bone Spurs), who appears in dither mode.

Fast-forward to 24 March 18; I’m now standing in another slow-moving line. This time it’s for a more defensible reason, one that focuses on our grandchildren. The line was slow because the sidewalks of Ventura couldn’t support all of the protesters at the March for Our Lives Ventura County on March 24 Plaza Park Ventura sponsored by young people not yet apathetic to our dysfunctional and hijacked political system.

 “Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater,” Obama said at the time. A majority of Americans (especially our grandkids and kids) now agree with him on this. Next step is to vote the NRA-funded bums out. And who knows, in so doing, we might even regain some of our representative democracy. 

Bob Nast
Oxnard

Raptors return to nature

Thanks for the article about “returning raptors” after the Thomas Fire (March 29 cover feature). We’ve got suburban bird feeders in our backyard and we’ve noticed in the last few weeks that we’re seeing many more hawks visiting the yard, presumably looking for prey species. This has been noticeable for at least a few weeks at this point. We’ve also noticed that crows are chasing the hawks that visit the smaller perching bird (e.g., finches, sparrows) feeding area and they make considerable noise when they’re doing so. It appears that the predators are taking advantage of these backyard feeding stations to locate prey. 

Gene Mancini
Mission Oaks neighborhood

Grow up, America

When illegal immigrants are found in the U.S. by ICE, they are deported back to their home countries. Likewise, gun owners who own/carry military-style weapons should be picked up by ATF and sent to where they belong, in the military.

It is blatantly obvious that gun ownership in the U.S. is ginned-up political BS for what? To keep the American people divided and fearful; and keep death coming unnecessarily to thousands. If you are unsure about gun policy, then shoot yourself in the stomach and think about gun control as you bleed out. America needs to grow the f*ck up. No other country is riddled with gun deaths because guns are lethal or/and life-damaging for the people who get shot. Grow up, Americans, we need radical change NOW.

America is the dumbest, most stupid country on Earth right now. Run by the dumbest president and the most corrupt, criminal politicians (on both sides of the house) ever to betray the needs and wishes of the people. Guns Everywhere, No Health care, Endless Wars, Corrupted Environment, Police Brutality, Rampant Poverty, Homelessness, Inequality, Reduced Citizen Protection, Wage Inequity, Denial of Human Rights. Government by Billionaires, Corrupt Elections, Attacks to all Social Services, the Collapse of Diplomacy and our place in the world. Corporations are people, All this sh*t! So much political sewage in our faces every day.

There is so much collective, psychopathic idiocy in America, it is getting its citizens ready for civil war and internal terrorism. Soon to be illustrated in a must-see film, How America Killed Itself, Hans Christian Andersen was right. America the King is in its altogether; its altogether as naked and stupid as the day that it was born (1776). Get a life, America. Throw out ALL the liars, the traitors, the betrayers and the stupid rich.

TAX THEM TO THE HILT! Let’s get this great country onto a stable, common-sense footing that works for the American people, NOT the NRA, The Kochs, The Trumps, the Mercers, Evangelicals or any corporations. PEOPLE FIRST. America needs to do its very best for the people.

Prosecute the big money controlling guns, elections, healthcare, wars, etc. for crimes against the democratic rights of the American people. Their mind control needs to be ended. Fox News must go. All media and government must respond to PEOPLE, not to which idiot child has the most money. Right now, say some rich nutcase (Koch) wants health care dead — and Medicare and Social Security dead. He’s entitled to manipulate the American electorate and politicians to ruin millions of lives because he is insanely rich. We all know this is psychopathic BS. Grow up, America! We need continuous radical change NOW. Just do it.

Christopher Judges
Eugene, Oregon, former Ventura resident