Author: Michael Sullivan

LIFE, DISRUPTED | When six degrees of separation become one with the Thomas Fire

When the fire alert rang on the phone around 11:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, residents along Ventura Avenue in Ventura were already under mandatory evacuation and fleeing from Grant Park under siege by Thomas. About five hours before, friends in Santa Paula had been sending photos of their view of the beginning of the soon-to-be-fifth largest wildfire in California history, though that designation may change by the time it is fully contained. By Wednesday, however, trying to keep up with the ever-changing conditions, evacuations, victims/survivors, arrival of hundreds of fire agencies, etc., was nearly impossible. On Thursday, Dec....

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The third ghost

The Week magazine selects quotations from a range of sources on current events, presenting them logically with a conclusion as to the Conventional Wisdom. On its cover dated Dec. 8 we see a question regarding the Republican tax plan: “Your Next Raise: Will corporate tax cuts trickle down to workers?” Probably not — its Conventional Wisdom is a cartoon of Ebenezer Scrooge, holding a bag of gold coins, handing us a dollar and sneering. The corporate tax rate will be reduced from its nominal 35 percent to 20 percent. The Week stated: “When White House economic advisor Gary Cohen...

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Come together, right now

Like an unexpected punch in the face, one that busts the nose, blackens the eyes and puts a certain chill down the spine, making the bruised wonder how in the world that just happened, the Thomas Fire has left the residents of Ventura County — specifically those in Santa Paula, Ojai, Ventura and north county — beyond rattled and worn. Those residents who lost everything, both renters and homeowners, go back and forth between deep sorrow and trying to make the most of it, hoping not to lose themselves in the suddenness of total devastation. As of Wednesday, Dec.13, helicopters with water buckets continue to fly through the air while fire personnel arrive from Arizona and Oregon at the Ventura County Fairgrounds staging area. The Thomas Fire was 25 percent contained, having burned 237,000 acres, with 921 structures destroyed and 196 structures damaged as it makes its way through Santa Barbara County. It’s the fifth largest wildfire in the state of California. The majority of homes lost (over 400) was in the city of Ventura, a sad statistic engrained in our minds. So, what do we do now? If there is anything we can learn, we should first start by looking to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. We need to talk to those who live there and discuss their wins and losses. We need to see what they are...

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THOMAS FIRE | Price gouging after declared emergencies is unlawful

BY GREGORY D. TOTTEN, District Attorney VENTURA, California-District Attorney Gregory D. Totten warned Ventura County residents today to beware of unscrupulous individuals who attempt to profit from the recent fires which have devastated our community by engaging in illegal price gouging or charitable solicitation fraud. California law generally prohibits businesses and individuals from raising prices for 30 days after an emergency declaration. Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on December 5, 2017, related to the Thomas fire. Under Penal Code section 396, it is illegal to charge a price for essential goods and services that is...

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THOMAS FIRE | Ojai residents share their stories and photos

Members of the Ojai Community Forum on Facebook stepped up and shared with us and the rest of the community their experiences with the Thomas Fire. We are grateful for the teamwork! If you would like your story added, email Alexis Vega: Tuesday morning, Dec. 5, when I evacuated from my home in Sky Line estates voluntarily with my pig CliffordAlexis Vega: (shared several) Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 5, at California Coastal Horse Rescue my first stop after evacuating from my home with my pig Clifford where I helped other volunteers evacuate the horses 1Alexis Vega: (shared several) Tuesday...

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