Responsible stance

For those who may not know, a coalition of SB-54 opponents are descending on city council meetings across Southern California, including Thousand Oaks and Camarillo, pressuring councilmembers to pass resolutions against Senate Bill 54, The California Values Act (also known as the “Sanctuary State” bill).
I attended the May 1 Thousand Oaks City Council Goal Setting Meeting. The public comments insinuated that the only goal of T.O. residents was getting a resolution against SB-54 placed on the next council agenda.
I doubt that opposing SB-54, as well as AB-450 (immigration worksite enforcement) and AB-103 (state oversight of ICE detention) — which together make up the Jeff Sessions’/DOJ lawsuit against California — is the singular goal of Thousand Oaks residents. Thousand Oaks is too educated for that.

SB-54 opposition distracts from the work a city should be doing. If I lived in T.O., I’d want to hear about what the council plans to do for public safety because I’m more worried about crime from people born here than from undocumented immigrants, who are unlikely to engage in criminal activities that increase their risk of deportation.

And I’d want my city to work on becoming a welcoming town to all people. Joining the Sessions’ lawsuit says “stay away” to certain folks. That’s bad for the soul of the city. That’s bad for business.

Besides, the law doesn’t change because a resolution opposing SB-54 is adopted. It just lets undocumented immigrants know that the council doesn’t care about your right to due process.

A city opposing SB-54 really only achieves the polarization of its community. It makes conservatives in town seem racist, liberals seem idealistic, and puts undocumented immigrants and the people who care for them on edge. And it would be too idealistic to ask the city councils of Thousand Oaks and Camarillo to support SB-54. I just ask that they steer clear of opposing SB-54 and allow the courts to figure out the constitutionality of it. That would do much to ease the division in our communities. That would be the responsible stance.

Christine Brown

Conflict resolution

While pondering the concepts of “Right” vs. “Wrong” and also “Left” vs. “Right,” I stumbled upon something profound in their anagrams.  Within “Right” are the words I, hit and it; within “Wrong” are the words no, go, on, now and won; and within “Left” are the words felt, let, and elf. 

If someone is convinced that they are “Right,” they may become violent, proudly boasting to others that, “I hit it!” If the group they hit was “Left,” that could be viewed as an elf that let the hit happen and felt it. It’s down to “Wrong” to save this situation because that group can defend itself by declaring, “No. Go on now … won!”

The pen is in fact mightier than the sword because with it words can be formed to express concepts handy for conflict resolution.

Julie Schaab

Peace treaty

That peace may be coming to the Korean Peninsula is remarkable. Just a few weeks ago, a peace treaty between South and North Korea seemed impossible.

I am elated by this development, which can be attributed primarily, I believe, to the newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who strenuously campaigned from the beginning for peace between the two countries.

And if President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un can bring about peace between the U.S. and

North Korea, I will have to give them credit even though in my opinion Kim Jung-un is a ruthless murderer and Donald Trump an inveterate con artist or worse.

I am reminded that Richard Nixon, the first U.S. President to be forced out of office for criminal behavior, and Mao Tse-tung, who killed millions, brought peace between the U.S. and China.

And President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had to sign a treaty with Joseph Stalin, another killer of millions, to end World War II.

Clive Leeman

 Tired of gun violence

RE: The problem with boycotts, April, 26

Mr. Moomjean thinks that boycotts are “a worse form of bullying than what triggered the cry in the first place.” Then he goes on and tells us how, when we boycott a product or business, that it is the little people who get hurt, not the CEOs of these places. Of course economists I’ve heard said that we could use a little MORE unemployment, but that isn’t why I’m writing.

This is the same Mr. Moomjean that, if memory serves me correct, was on the “anyone but Hillary” bandwagon from the beginning, knowing that herrDrumpf would have NO chance in becoming president. Then, like magic (or just plain dumb luck), we wake up on that fateful Wednesday morning in early November and Mr. Moomjean started and has continued to defend and apologize for the moron president. Some weeks it is almost comical figuring out his mental and moral gymnastics to defend a man who thinks that because he’s a celebrity it is OK to assault women. And a man who thinks that Mexicans are rapists. And that there are countries in Africa that are sh*th0l3s. I could go on ….

But to my point: When one of his brethren of ‘the base’ gets caught putting her foot in her mouth (once again), and then is CALLED ON IT, Mr. Moomjean thinks that is wrong.

What is wrong, Mr. Moomjean, is that a member of the media (I won’t call anything on the Fox networks news, and there are certainly no journalists working for them) thinks it is perfectly OK to initiate the bullying, but when called on it, starts to cry…. Like you have in this article.

You say that you “wish Hogg were my student. I would love to tell him that while we appreciate his desire, his methods are wrong. He’s messing with people’s lives.” Like the troubled teen who had access to guns and came into his school and MURDERED 17 of his friends and mentors?

No, if you were Mr. Hogg’s teacher, I have a feeling you would now be behind him 100 percent because you would have seen the carnage firsthand as well. You would have been in that school and seen the gunman. Not what teachers signed up to do.

I’m on the tail end of the baby-boomers. I was here for, and participated in, the first Earth Day. Do you know what a bunch of young kids who cared about the environment did? We changed government when we were told we couldn’t. If you grew up in Southern California in the ’60s or ’70s you know what the air looked, smelled and tasted like. Of course, your buddy Scott Pruitt is trying his best to dismantle everything we did, but that is another letter.

You close with: “All he’s doing is using one tragedy to bring potential hardship to others not responsible, and that is where the boycott movement goes wrong.” Again, you seem to be missing something here. He is using his personal tragedy to bring potential CHANGE to America. We are responsible for the mess we are in by voting for the idiots in charge. The Starbucks barista and Gun manufacture warehouse employee are in the same boat as Hogg is in. We are ALL TIRED OF THE GUN VIOLENCE!!!!!!


Tim Hansen

Housing heals homelessness

I’ve read with sadness of the tragedy at the Aloha … along with the shaming of the mentally ill and the homeless.  It’s so easy to be judgmental, but much harder to walk in the shoes of those just existing on the streets. Mental illness playing tricks on the mind, blending night into day in a never ending cycle of hopelessness and despair.

Ventura needs more transitional housing combined with targeted services to truly effect change. I look at the successful model of The City Center Transitional Living Community.  Transforming the old City Center Motel into a transitional living community for homeless children and custodial parent needing to heal and rebuild their lives. Each room has been transformed into a little “home,” providing respite from the streets and a secure place to change their plight in life. Each is required to get a job, pay rent on a sliding scale, contribute to a savings account monthly and manage their day to day expenses with the balance. All the while the residents are supported with mentorship, counseling, parenting and life skills, along with financial literacy classes all geared toward healing the human spirit. While adhering to rules and responsibilities they learn to rebuild their self-confidence and self-worth.

Since December of 2013 The City Center has welcomed 62 families that were homeless, each received housing and the resources to get off the streets and into a program to help them become self-sufficient. Each of these families has returned into our community, finally off the streets but it all started with HOUSING! Please support and make a positive change for both our community and the homeless. 

Perhaps the name of the much-needed yearlong shelter in Ventura could be named “The Aloha” and really embody to true Aloha Spirit, and the spirit of San Buenaventura, one of alliance of one’s mind, heart and soul evident by thinking good thoughts, performing  good deeds and sharing goodness with others.

Jeanne Benitez

A few facts about teacher pay

Mr. Moomjean’s column, “Right Persuasion” is absolutely right in concluding, “Our teachers, celebrities and presidents won’t save us,” (May 10). As a former teacher among three generations of teachers, I say it will be good if the public takes that to heart; teachers already have more than enough to do, just to facilitate learning.

A few facts for all of to think about:

  1. When we see our teachers’ monthly salaries stated, do not multiply by 12. Most teachers get only 10 checks per calendar year.
  2. When striking teachers are finally granted a “20 percent pay raise,” be aware that they will not be given a 20 percent increase in their monthly pay check when they return to work. Such raises are generally “spread over” a stated number of years. That is, the raise may not add up to 20 percent until years down the road. Also, a governing body may “authorize” such a raise, but “funding it” must still be accomplished.
  3. A strike is generally a last resort, after months or years of attempted negotiating have failed. When a strike is called, it is sometimes the last step before teachers begin leaving a district or a state for other teaching jobs, or leaving the profession altogether. Mr. Moomjean himself left the profession after “almost a decade.”
  4. The public does not often pause to consider that a teacher pays the same price for groceries, gasoline, rent or mortgage, and their own children’s expenses, as anyone else.
  5. Sometimes we see a chart showing that teachers’ wages are higher than the average for the entire U.S. population. Be aware that the proper comparison would be, not to the entire U.S. population, but rather to those workers who are college grads with the equivalent of a master’s degree.
  6. Do some teachers take on one, or even two, “moonlighting” jobs to make ends meet? Yes. Does that circumstance give the teacher enough non-classroom time to check papers and thoroughly prepare their lesson plans for each day? No.
  7. Are teachers in rural states — those currently striking — at a disadvantage in “moonlight” opportunities, which pay a wage that is comparable to regular classroom hours? Yes, I was born in a rural state; my hometown had no summer school and no adult school, and my state had no community colleges. Moonlighting consisted of such things as bar maid, working at a beer-bottling plant, unloading boxcars and selling insurance to one’s former students.

So, let’s give our own children an object-lesson:  When our child expresses surprise at seeing a teacher in a supermarket or gassing up their car, let’s tell him or her, “Yes, teachers have all the same expenses we do.”

Wendell H. Jones