The story of the Petit farm houses is well done but incomplete (News, 2/26).

Lois Jones of the College Park neighbor hood fought tenaciously for years to preserve those houses. I strived to keep the Rainbow ladies in place working to rehabilitate women who had run afoul of the law.

To no avail.

Nothing can or will stand in the way of the Oxnard City Council lining someone’s pocket.

Martin Jones, Oxnard

Ventura’s spending priorities
Looks like the Ventura City Council is up to itsold tricks again. At the same time as the City is facing a $12 million budget deficit and considering laying off police officers and firefighters, among other city workers, it just authorized the mayor and a City Council member to attend a week-long junket to Washington, D.C., in mid-March. 

Our illustrious city leaders must be taking their cues from our state lawmakers, conducting business as usual while Rome burns around them. And these are the same guys who want us to approve a half-cent sales tax measure for the city? 

I think the only thing I’ll be approving is a career change for these characters in the next election.

Rachel R. Clarke, Ventura

Revenge of the liberal arts majors
Can you hear them? They are giggling like diseased hyenas out there, quietly, among themselves. Relegated to the social-economic trash heap in America for so many years, they are your waitresses and mail clerks. They have been your mid-level managers, your supervisors, your city council’s members. They are observing the backlash and the panic, far and wide among our citizenry, and they are laughing — amidst their own personal tears and economic troubles — because anyone with a liberal arts education has to laugh, instead of cry. 

For several decades they’ve been belittled, in America and around the world. (One of many common jokes: “What does a liberal arts major say upon graduation? ‘Would you like fries with that?’ ”) They had the temerity to actually read and discuss Thucydides, Homer, Plato and even more current histories and works of literature, to gain an informed perspective of what has happened before, and what may happen … now. The fools!

Now, the American economy is in chaos, America and the world at large are at war (yet again, as always), the earth’s environment is a festering cesspool, banks and individual bankers are broke, professional athletes are arguing about the difference between a $10 million dollar contract and one that is $13 million, and thousands of people objected, most strongly, about a new privacy policy at Facebook.

Can you hear them? 

Probably not. The liberal arts major, after all, has actually read books on manners, and wouldn’t  dream of laughing out loud — let alone giggling overtly — while serving you your grande latte with just the right amount of foamed cream, on top.  It just wouldn’t be the right thing to do, to him or her, even if you were an arrogant broker of some sort, on Wall Street.

But they’re giggling and laughing, these days, at the general chaos and fervor and panic and bad politics. It’s happened before, and they know they’re seeing it now, again, while they haul a bag into a fine hotel while thinking about how young our country is.   Meanwhile, they also think of poignant poems while hauling in the bag and saying to a lovely, elegant, gray-haired lady, “Yes Ma’am. Room service is available 24 hours. Just give us a call.’ ”

Jay Windsor, Ojai 

Artists make a richer community
Ventura’s artists tend not to have huge savings accounts. What do they do with the money from their art sales, restaurant gigs, teaching jobs and grants? They spend it. Our artists don’t buy mutual funds, they buy grinders and forklifts, tap shoes and tutus, costumes and microphones, canvas and computers, guitars and piano, oil paints and antique frames.

They pay tax on the gas in their cars and the wine at their receptions, and so do the people in their audience. The nonprofit groups, educational programs and charities they volunteer for make us a richer community; but not one of the artists I know is getting rich. Ventura’s culture is winning awards and attracting visitors; our developers and planners are not. Supporting cultural programs is not about pretty pictures — it’s about fostering culture, history and the amenities that make Ventura better than other cities in California, and it’s about selling forklifts, too.

Stephen Schafer, Ventura

Massage licensing is fair
I would like to respond to the massage therapy moratorium editorial (2/12). As a massage practitioner and instructor here in Ventura County, I am responding on behalf of my profession. The moratorium was not put in place to punish legitimate therapists, but simply to help the city get under control a problem that has received many complaints.

As a massage test proctor, I can assure you that the city test is extremely fair, and a person graduating from a 200-hour program should have no problem passing it. This is a one time test and as long as you do not allow your license to expire you will never be required to retest.

This includes a 100-question written test, and a 20- to 30-minute practical where basic massage moves are evaluated and proper draping is addressed. Massage practitioners are also required to do a one-time background check, which is done through fingerprint Live Scan at the Ventura Police department. This is also only required once as long as the license is kept current.

The licensing process in Ventura is very fair, renewal is once a year and a TB test is the only medical test required, which is the same thing that all healthcare practitioners are required to get. If therapists are feeling punished, perhaps they ought to look within themselves and figure out why, not blame the city for trying to do what it can to take care of a serious blow to the massage community itself. We as legitimate therapists should be happy that the city respects us enough to try to bring massage therapy to a more legitimate medical therapy status, as it should be.

Christine Quigg, Ventura

Legalize euthanasia
“Euthanasia” means “a good death.” We all know people who have had a “bad death” … to die slowly in pain with part of your face off due to cancer … or unable to breathe without a machine … or in pain. I think some people call them “wasting diseases.” How would you like to “waste away” … while in pain? Is that the way you want to end your life … with tubes and machinery attached to you nose? “Oh, it’s not going to happen to me,” you say. I wouldn’t be too sure!
Please ask the people of this state, California, to vote to give doctors and sick people the legal option to have “euthanasia” … to have a good death. Thanks,

John Boland, Newbury Park