I am writing to thank the many fundraising participants who helped the mother and children who were struck by a tow truck early last month at the intersection on Simon Way and Vineyard Boulevard in the El Rio area.

Also, I would like to thank the first responders of Oxnard and Ventura County for their quick response to assist the family, and the VCMC staff for the excellent care they provided to Alma Lopez and her children. We are fortunate to have highly trained professionals that come to our aid in time of need.

As I understand, after speaking with the father of the children, Marcos Vasquez, his wife, Alma Lopez, is recovering very well, as are the children. However, the youngest, a 1-year-old, will require future surgeries, and the family will need continuing financial assistance.

The children are currently under the care of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Last week, my office, with the assistance of Alicia Flores of Oxnard’s nonprofit La Hermandad, established a Benefit Fund at Wells Fargo Bank to assist the family with expenses. The account number is 1838-788568. You may contribute at any Wells Fargo branch.

Mr. Vazquez asked me to share how appreciative he is of the help his family is receiving.

Please contact Wells Fargo Bank at 485-9562 or my office at the county, 654-2613, for further assistance.

John C. Zaragoza
Supervisor 5th District

Conservative rhetoric
We all love to watch the trainer blow his inaudible whistle and see all the yapping dogs come running out to perform their tricks. We see that happening now every day. Conservatives have a failed ideology; they can’t compete on their record. They controlled both houses of Congress and the White House. Their ideologically driven incompetence and failure allowed the attacks of 9/11 to succeed, despite warnings like “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the United States.” Their ideologically driven incompetence allowed the military success in Afghanistan to collapse into a morass of corruption and lawlessness and the death of an additional 1,000 American troops. Their ideologically driven incompetence allowed the military success in Iraq to collapse into a morass of lawlessness and the death of an additional 4,000 American troops. Their ideologically driven incompetence allowed the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history to continue unchecked. Their ideologically driven incompetence led to the largest humanitarian disaster in an American city in a century, after Hurricane Katrina. Their ideologically driven incompetence led to the biggest financial collapse since the Great Republican Depression.

So how do they compete with this record of failure? Hate and fear. Last summer, we heard screams about death panels, socialism, Marxism, communism, fascism; Hate and Fear. This year it is Islam and illegal aliens. Mosques on sacred Ground Zero, ignoring that there was a mosque on the 17th floor of the South Tower and a makeshift mosque by the stair well of the North Tower near the Windows on the World restaurant. Mosques where Americans worked, prayed and many died. Now, somehow, Jose and Maria picking grapes in Fresno sold bogus AAA-rated CDO’s to your pension fund and crashed the economy. Hate and fear. When you see this performance, remember, it is just a performance on cue, and give it the reward it deserves: a smile, pat on the head and a handful of Kibbles ’n Bits.

Norman Rodewald

Confusing message
Re: Homeless Pavilions and ArtistFishbowl
I’m writing in regard to the recent show at 643 Project Space, Homeless Pavilions and ArtistFishbowl. (“Playing house,” Arts and Culture, 9/9)

It seems to me that Chad Sorge is not so much interested in self expression, as he is in self promotion.

What is sad is that the very people whom the exhibition could be speaking to, the homeless, have little or no access to the exhibit or chance to voice their opinion of Mr. Sorge’s work. Maybe he would consider bringing the exhibit to that community, or maybe that would be too “real.”

I find it very difficult to ascertain what the artist is trying to communicate. The show left me a little cold and confused.

Is his goal to spark a meaningful debate on the homeless problem, or is it just to say, “Hey, look at how cool I am. I’m living in a box.”

Mr. Sorge’s work doesn’t shed any light on the issue of “living in a box” in the real world. It does, however, point to a larger issue we have in society, which is how many of us have become adept at distancing ourselves from unsavory social issues by trivializing them and looking at them as someone else’s problem, preferring not to look at how they affect us and our communities.

Maybe it was Mr. Sorge’s goal to push the dialogue in that direction, but somehow, I doubt it.

I think it was all for fun and getting a rise out of anyone he could, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a reality show forum might have been the better way to go.

I applaud your writer, for her effort to describe the show for what it is. She describes it as “playing house.” The word “playing” resonates.

But is it art or is it light entertainment? For me, art’s most important component is the observer and how it resonates with him or her.

Mr. Sorge’s work doesn’t tell me anything, other than that he feels the artist is more important than the art and that he will slap an art label on anything to get noticed.

Kevin Eckert-Smith

Not a campsite
Harbor Boulevard between Spinnaker and the bridge has become a dumping ground for trash from the campers that are illegally staying overnight along the roadside. This has become a real eyesore, and something really needs to be done about it.

If the city is going to allow overnight camping, then it should charge for it and put in the appropriate trash cans and maintain the area accordingly. If it doesn’t allow overnight camping then these freeloaders should be fined and rousted, and the appropriate signage should be put in place to restrict overnight parking.

If I am not mistaken, it is against the law to sleep in a vehicle overnight.

Murray Robertson
A very concerned Ventura resident

It’s all in your head
Re: Neurofeedback noted in “It Really Is All in Your Head: Neurofeedback Can Change Your Brain”

Thank you for covering the topic of neurofeedback in your Aug. 26 article that appeared in the VC Reporter online edition.

I appreciate your presenting such a clear and helpful description of what neurofeedback methods involve, and the range of problems they are used to help. It is very important for the public, as well as health care practitioners, to understand the safety and effectiveness of neurofeedback, and its growing research support.

I also appreciate the way you related neurofeedback to biofeedback, and referred to the use of QEEG methods in the assessment and treatment planning. As you said, there are downsides to neurofeedback as well, including time commitment, cost and limited insurance coverage. An additional barrier is that most physicians and health care practitioners have very scant knowledge of neurofeedback and, when they have heard of it, can too easily dismiss it. Your article helps both the public and professional communities to have greater awareness of this scientifically supported but nontraditional health care alternative. 

As we move forward, new applications related to neurofeedback continue to be developed, including those related to gaming, transportation and rehabilitation. Other applications involve methods for selecting psychoactive medications to which patients are most likely to respond, brain-computer interfaces for communication, and enhancement of athletic and artistic performance. However, some applications have caused controversy, for instance, with respect to the safety of games that may reward parts of the EEG spectrum that, in some individuals, could be associated with worsened cognitive or behavioral problems.

The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (www.bcia.org) is an organization that provides certification to health care professionals who meet high standards of education and training in neurofeedback and biofeedback. By doing so, it helps the public identify practitioners who can safely and effectively offer neurofeedback and biofeedback to ameliorate conditions like those your article mentions.  BCIA also collaborates with professional organizations such as the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (www.aapb.org) and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (www.isnr.org) to promote the highest standards of practice, education and research.

I hope that you will continue to write about neurofeedback and biofeedback.  I look forward to reading more of your excellent writing.  Please let BCIA know if we can be a resource in the future to you for any articles related to neurofeedback or biofeedback.

Dr. John Davis
Psychologist and Associate
Clinical Professor
Department of Psychiatry
and Behavioral Neurosciences
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario