HARD, HARD, HARD LESSONS

Lesson 1: The Stock Market is mainly a gamboling place for the rich and the super-rich. Poor people who get into it, FOOLISHLY, will lose everything because the rich and super-rich have high paid advisors who tell them exactly when to get out. They sell all of their stocks and leave the small investors and poor investors holding the EMPTY BAG!!!

Lesson 2: Computers now do 90 percent of the stock market trades.

These computers can execute 10 BILLION TRADES IN ONE MICRO SECOND!! Guess who owns these computers? Wall Street companies that are in turn owned by the same rich and super-rich in the first paragraph.

Lesson 3:  The computers are programmed to monitor 10 THOUSAND factors or more that the average investor CANNOT do. They have built in triggers telling them when to buy or sell.

Lesson 4: TRADE is a BIG factor. The so-called TRADE WAR between China and the USA has been going on for the past 25 years but most people are too stupid to realize this or too poorly educated to understand. It has been a ONE WAY (DIODE-LIKE) trade war, with China imposing tariffs on many of our products. President Trump tried to impose the SAME tariffs on Chinese goods and look what happened? Where is the fairness? China is allowed to restrict OUR products, which they have done for the past 25 years, and the USA is NOT allowed to do the same to them!!! Total insanity!

Lesson 5:  The Federal Reserve is another biggie. They make up their own rules, which we are NOT allowed to see. No one can check on them to see what they are doing and why? Is that fair in a democratic system? I don’t think so.

To conserve space, and limit myself, I will break it off. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

John Jay
Oxnard

MERRY CHRISTMAS

What does Christmas mean to you? Does it mean the bigger and most expensive gifts the better? Or does it mean only on Dec. 25 we give someone a present of gratitude or obligation? Or does it mean we only acknowledge the Christ-child born perfect without sinful blemish like “us” human beings one day out of a whole year? Or does it mean the most degrading of all things that “big jolly fat man” that delivers presents through the chimneys “only” for those that are “good”?

What does Christmas mean to me? Christmas means giving of yourself on a daily basis, whether it be a beautiful, genuine smile or handshake. Giving time of day speaking to a “broken heart.” Reaching out to the lost and lonely (everyday). You see, God – Jesus Christ just didn’t die for the good and rich. He died for all of us — black, white, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, and the whole entire “universe,” even all the animals. He’s a God of love — unconditional love! No matter what you say or do to hurt or even kill others, he will always love you. He’s awesome and an almighty God and He should be acknowledged “everyday” through especially your money-making jobs. Seek Jesus through prayer. He loves you so much.

Let us forsake the jolly ol’ fat man who only looks at the good and put him bowing before the throne of Jesus Christ. After all, good ol’ Saint Nick never wanted to be worshiped. He was just a giving person that also had sin like you and I. After all, if he was as fat as he appears to be, he had a gluttonous problem. It’s obvious he’s not perfect! Jesus is, and that is why the whole world separates Jesus and Santa as two different holidays (except spiritually poor America.)

Poor America! We are such a lost country. I know from being in Switzerland (personally), that Dec. 5 ( I believe) they give gifts of appreciation to family members, friends, etc., and on Dec. 25 they go out and do some “hearty” Christmas caroling in the streets, celebrating with hot cocoa, popcorn, sweets, and even a champagne toast to our God of creation for being so “cool” to us. Let us find the true meaning of Christmas this year and bow down before the child-Christ manger and give Him all the credit for us being here! God Bless you with a big smile and Merry Christmas!!!

Desiree Carla Lautman
Ventura

Red light cameras

If you are in the city of Ventura, and driving South on Victoria Ave (40 MPH posted speed limit) and want to turn left onto Telephone Road, beware the left turn signal has a red light camera and a tricky yellow light. The tricky part is the length of the yellow light. The Cal-Trans Manual for Traffic Control Devices show that when the posted speed limit is 40 MPH, this yellow traffic light should be set at a MINIMUM of 4.4 seconds. This yellow light is set for a 3.6 minimum, but it actually works faster than that (2-3 seconds).

So what happens is that the fast yellow light is quickly followed by the red light and photos, showing your car running the red light. Ventura PD will mail you the photos and court info. The fine is only $558, plus the cost of traffic school. Most will pay the fine without realizing the contributing factor of the short yellow light. If you plead not guilty the Ventura PD will testify in court that the 40 MPH speed limit is somehow reduced to 25 MPH?? within the intersection and this allows the reduced time for the yellow light. The judge somehow believes this and finds you guilty. Ventura city info shows over 1,000 red light violation citations in 2018 were issued at this traffic signal. WHAT A RIP OFF AND MONEY MAKER FOR THE CITY!! What is the problem with adding just another second to the yellow light?? The only problem I see is that it would reduce the number of bad red light camera $558 traffic citations. VPD will say they do not set the length of the yellow lights, but they should be able to correct an unfair traffic signal condition.

Rich Guzik
Ventura

An Open Letter to My Son

Nov. 25, 2018

Dear Ryan:

This month I got to feel like a hero. I had the privilege of serving 93 people who had no place to sleep. They had been ordered to evacuate their homes. I volunteered to assist them in an evacuation shelter in Thousand Oaks while the Woolsey Fire was threatening their neighborhoods.

As an employee of the County of Ventura, I am a Disaster Service Worker. It is an obligation I am required to fulfill. It is also an honor.

As you know, Ryan, for the past two seasons, our county has been ravaged by end-of-year fires.  Our home in Moorpark has been spared both times; not so fortunate, however, for our fellow county citizens in neighboring cities. Since I work in the Human Services Agency, I am tasked with promoting our Agency’s mission, “the safety, health and well-being of our neighbors.”

Want to know a secret? I didn’t have to wait for a fire to feel like a hero. I feel like one every day. Though I do not consider myself one who performs heroic deeds, I support many who do. As the manager of training and development, I collaborate with my colleagues on building their communication skills to their highest potential. They are the true heroes who interact daily with our customers and clients.

There are many types of work at the county — over 1,000 different kinds of job positions, in fact — performed by 9,000 employees. And we all work together to help our neighbors enjoy “the benefits of a safe, healthy and vibrant community.” We are reminded of those words from our county’s mission statement every day at work. We try to live by them.

Your mom and I are very proud of the Bachelor’s Degree you earned last spring. And we know you have many options and will succeed at whatever career you choose. We are also aware of the lure that the private sector offers. Bright shiny new jobs with onsite spas, car washes and gourmet lunches are hard to compete with. But please allow me a moment to try.

In addition to the administrative support-type human services work of which I am a part, the county offers career opportunities for virtually any young person’s interest. From public protection, including fire, police, watershed, environment and animal regulation, to criminal justice to health care to agriculture to recreation to public works and information technology.

Have I mentioned benefits? Millennials will find health care insurance plans, educational incentives (for which you would qualify with your degree), bilingual premium pay, merit pay increases, opportunities to promote, paid time off for vacation and sick leave, and retirement (good luck finding that last benefit in the private sector).

One big perk about choosing a career with the county is the luxury of acquiring a wide variety of free training — the thing that millennials not only say they want, but the very thing that is crucial to a young person moving up the ladder in any organization. What’s more, developing new professional skills through training is quite expensive in the private sector (your dad should know because he earned his living for ten years delivering it). In fact, the county is about to roll out an exciting new learning opportunity: All workforce members will have access — 24/7 — to 9,000 online courses available through LinkedIn Learning. County employees will be able to take courses in business, leadership, finance, IT and soft skills to achieve personal and professional goals.

At the County of Ventura, we are encouraged to experience different departments and agencies, each with a unique set of meaningful work challenges. Someone once said millennials want a “career jungle gym,” which turns experiences into a career. I think that is an apt description of county workforce members.

I will close by suggesting to you, Ryan (and your cohorts), that you needn’t be a superhero to join the County workforce team, but if you have an empathetic attitude and wish to serve, you might just feel like one. There is no hiding that fact that your long-term, successful career has been hiding in plain sight.  Go grab it at:

https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ventura

Love,

Dad

Gary Butterworth
Moorpark

Rocketdyne Fire?

Does a fire named Woolsey burn slower than a fire named Rocketdyne?

What happens when a fire name is changed?

Around 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, I walked outside my work in Thousand Oaks to see the massive clouds of smoke from the Hill Fire. Stunning and frightening because the winds were so very wicked at that time. My first thought was that thank goodness parts of the area had burned three years earlier and that maybe there wouldn’t be as much fuel. I turned to reenter my work and saw the plume near Oak Park. I immediately logged on to Ventura County Fire Department Pulsepoint website to get a location on fire near Oak Park. I am familiar with the region due to volunteerism in the area with habitat restoration projects. It was a worst fear to see smoke in this area due to heavy loads of fuel that have not burned for decades.

The fire behind Oak Park had an entry/incident report initiated on VCFD Pulsepoint and was named “3 Rocketdyne” with nine units responding. I immediately texted a friend who works for Ventura County. They verified that yes, indeed, the fire origin was at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and that it was “barreling” towards Oak Park. This was around 3 p.m. I called friends and associates in the Oak Park Area to notify them that there was a fire behind them, headed their direction and to be prepared and alert.

The first person I called said, “Oh no, that’s smoke from a fire in Camarillo.” I advised them that I was looking at VCFD Pulsepoint website and had verification from county. They were then able to prepare themselves and notify friends and neighbors.

A little after 3 p.m. the “3 Rocketdyne Fire” incident dropped completely from the VCFD Pulsepoint website.  We have never seen an incident entirely “vanish” from the website. I trained with CERT a little over a year ago and have made it a habit over the past year to frequently check incidents and status of incidents on the VCFD Pulsepoint website (especially after the Thomas Fires). VCFD used to have a website called Fireline, which they retired after the Thomas Fire.

While “Pulsepoint” has some shortcomings compared to the old “Fireline” we have NEVER seen an incident “vanish” entirely from Pulsepoint. I fished around and found that L.A. County Fire had tweeted that they had Mutual Aid of 11 units on site at SSFL, they also advised that Ventura County Fire Department PIO would be handling all public information.  I went back to VCFD Pulsepoint, repeatedly, every 10 to 15 minutes to see if incident report had “refreshed” and it hadn’t. I left work at 7 p.m. and had been repeatedly checking Pulsepoint for an incident report for 4 hours. Sometime after 7:30 p.m. the “Woolsey Fire” was posted to the VCFD Pulsepoint website. The fire had been renamed.

So what? Well, people who use the website to prepare and notify were left in the dark. People who were out of the area and used the website to verify which path they should use to return home were left in the dark. News agencies were also left in the dark for more than four hours. This is dangerous and deplorable, and we cannot surmise a reputable explanation for the name change and subsequent “dropping” of the incident from our public information resource.

Why the name change? And at what expense? We lost hours where seconds and minutes count. While were able to “phone tree” and notify some key people in some areas as well as livestock owners, it was not enough. It simply was not enough. Ultimately, we were left hanging.

We want answers. Does a fire named Woolsey burn less fast and furious than a fire named Rocketdyne? Who made this decision to change names, drop the incident from public information and leave us in the dark? Why?

Yvonne
East County

p.s. Thank you for your excellent journalism … I have been reading your paper for years and am deeply impressed, especially this past year.

Opportunity to learn squandered

David Creswell said some things that do not fit the mission of the entity he led. He made a mistake and admitted that it was wrong. He was willing to learn from the event by speaking to people in order to learn and grow. We can only hope that everybody from the top politicians to our kids within VUSD present such an option in order to increase their chance of improvement.

But then a small group of people, most notably Mary Haffner and Trudy Arriaga, called for his hide (I almost get the feeling Ms. Haffner is grandstanding for a future political office). It seems that now the acceptable thing is to bash each other as hard as possible. Ms Arriaga made a comment about Mr. Creswell’s sermon being in line with national level rhetoric but then she continues in that similar vein by over aggressively attacking him.

What happened to discussion, accepting a mistake, forgiveness and the allowance of a second chance? The efforts of these two people among others have not made VUSD a better place. They have added to the divisiveness that is all too prevalent in our world right now.

I think Doug Halter, an advocate for LGBTQ rights, had it right when he said, “Instead of forcing him out, make him an ally.” That is the correct way to address this issue. If this is all about the kids, then there was a chance to teach them a very valuable lesson but it has been squandered.

Tom Weisel
Ventura

Community Action sends thanks

It is with a grateful heart that I write today to thank our donors, the city of Oxnard, BikeVentura and supporters throughout our community for their assistance in helping Community Action serve our clients with excellence and compassion. The city of Oxnard is providing significant funding to refurbish our showers after three months of shut down due to deterioration and mold. Six thousand showers are taken annually by our clients, thereby improving their lives and our community’s health and well-being.

We are partnering with BikeVentura to provide bike repairs for our homeless clients and other bike enthusiasts in our community. This is proving to be an important service.

Our donors and supporters make our valuable services to the most vulnerable possible. Community Action’s work, directly or indirectly, touches so many lives in our county. I am proud to serve as the Chair of Community Action’s Board of Directors and I humbly thank everyone who makes it possible for us to have such a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable and on our entire community

This holiday season I invite everyone to take a tour of our facility, donate individual toiletries for our homeless center, contribute financial donations, or bring us your used bikes or bike parts. We appreciate every gesture of generosity, and so do our clients.

Dr. Ramon Flores
Chair of the CAVC Board of Directors

Thoughtful and reasoned

My congratulations to Paul Moomjean and his Right Persuasion A Nation of Immigrants (Nov. 29). It is thoughtful, reasoned and lacking in the xenophobia that is usually seen on the right. What we need are for more on the right who are of goodwill to join in some degree of immigration law restructuring to reflect the modernizing world. I do not say solve or reform, since they imply some form of solution to a process that does not have a solution, a process that can only be managed and must change and adapt as the world changes.

I don’t know what is an optimal change today, but clearly the Dreamers are one group for whom a path to permanent residency and ultimately citizenship must be provided. We also need a path for permanent legal residency for those who have established families including U.S. citizens. We also need some form of temporary worker process for agricultural jobs. We also need much more severe punishments for employers who choose to exploit the undocumented as a source of cheap labor. With those of goodwill on both the left and right, these objectives are within reach, so thanks again Mr. Moomjean.

Norman Rodewald
Moorpark

Notes from a delighted dog walker

As we completed our trifecta to three Ojai parks, Sarzotti, Soule and Libbey, I felt my usual sense of immense gratitude for the time I get to spend with my two favorite huskies. Kai is 7 and his older cousin, Jafar, is 12. Along with my daughter’s 3-year-old Border collie mix named Baker and select other angelic-like dogs from my past, these dogs have taught, and continue to teach me, some of my life’s most important and cherished lessons. Talk about being present-in-the-moment, these dogs, along with babies and young children, embody the Be Here Now concept to the umpteenth degree. Spending time with any of these wonders of humanity can’t help but rub off on lucky people … like me!

So getting back to my completing my trifecta with the huskies at our last stop at Libbey Park, try to imagine how I felt as we came upon and quietly observed young parents playing with their children, pushing them on swings and standing nearby as they played on other wonderful playground apparatus while, at the same time, carrying on lengthy conversations glued to their cellphones … OUCH!!

I was witnessing the polar opposite of being present-in-the-moment and felt such despair thinking about the precious time that these parents have with their children being pitifully thrown away. These parents were squandering their gift of time with their children, time that will pass by in a flash. I wanted to yell out at the top of my lungs, “Get off of your damn cell phones!” But I didn’t yell out. It would’ve frightened Kai and Jafar. It made me sad and disappointed to see this. Have we truly digressed to this putrid point in time?!? So, so sad.

Two days later, on my walk with the huskies through the Ventura River preserve, we came upon a young mother, probably in her early thirties. She was slowly meandering up the trail with her smiling young baby boy and Border collie mix, a handsome young dog who reminded me of my daughter’s saintly young border collie mix, Baker. Watching them as they happily observed nature’s beauty, taking in everything around them while the baby’s short legs swung left and right in his face-forward position in his momma’s front-pack, I felt instant satisfaction and joy. This baby could feel his mother’s warm heart and total loving presence as they thrived together, the three of them, feeling each other’s love and soaking up every aspect of their beautiful surroundings.

As we passed each other we stopped and visited for a short time. The huskies greeted the young mother like an old friend and she immediately took to them. It felt like her dog knew that I was a Border collie lover and also greeted me warmly and we were instantly transformed into a group of kindred souls traversing all that the natural world has to offer.  When we parted, I told her to enjoy her time in heaven. She nodded, knowingly … she was well aware of the hallowed ground she was sharing with her baby and dog. I felt their joy and sense of awe and I can’t help but believe that they felt the same from Kai and Jafar and me. No cellphones were present. No sadness on this day. I couldn’t have been more delighted!

Marty Kinrose
Ventura

Emergence of the rainbow tribe

The time has arrived.

People throughout the world today recognize that where ever the IMF, The World Bank, Wall Street and U.S. government policy has gone, mayhem has been left in the wake. Speared on only with power and control the dark side has had control for far too long. But people, real people speared by love peace and harmony will shake the world awake with the New World Rainbow Tribe Order and help reshape freedom and teaching of the Rainbow way to live and let live.

We The New World Rainbow Tribe Order

We proclaim our humanhood, living as free spiritual beings, and we proclaim a new way. Beginning with, live in harmony with planet Earth. Share more, start local groups that have local interest in mind. Stop depending on federalism. Serve and inspire others to service free of change. Make love the key component to all life — Spirit comes into our Life to teach us how to live in unconditional love, it’s time the message is taken to heart by all peoples worldwide. Utilize methods of cohesive living, discard principles that do not. Retrain police and military to be servants with compassion and understanding. Work together for the common good, not for competition. Work out deference’s with resolution communication not fear, jealousy and hate. Create a monetary system that leaves no one out. Redistribute wealth so that every humanoid on the planet has a decent standard of living. Make changes in laws that treat people with common good and stops punishing people. Create more food sharing programs; get everyone housed in safe and peaceful housing worldwide. Start more free (non taxed) barter clubs for goods and services. End all wars, develop a department of Peace, allow female school teachers to run it. Take money out of politics, allow each community to govern its self. Re-treat the earth with environmental education for its people and expand recycling around the world. Outlaw game hunting except for food substance purposes — no living thing should be treated as a game animal. Collect and conserve water. Change energy use to free energy gathering and distribute it without charge to consumers. Rid the planet of all nuclear power. Use sun and wind energy to power our homes cars and other transportation. Rid us of GMOs and make freedom in organic farming a principle. Reestablish our respect to look after elders. Influence creative thinking in schools, support artist writers and inventors. Let no race creed or religion be left out. Wear rainbow colors daily, laugh sing and dance; the rainbow way has arrived. Raise your children with pure love.

Live in harmony-live and let live. New World Rainbow Tribe Order has arrived, just the way Leonard J. Mountain Chief said it would.

Time to reoccupy with a leader that has the strength of Mahatma Gandhi and supporters of conviction, persistence and purpose; Aho brothers sisters come into the new sacred way.

Jay North, aka J Mountain Chief
Ojai