Documentary provides history for coast lovers

There were many development pressure that lead to public outrage fueling Prop. 20. The rapidly expanding post-WWII California population had created a land-rush on coastal property —Malibu’s wall-to-wall beach houses that eliminate beach access for miles; high density Redondo Beach’s condos and apartments; and high rise beach hotels, which, if duplicated repeatedly, would have created another Miami Beach.

Then came the January 1969 Santa Barbara oil blowout, the result of cost-cutting by Union Oil. Countless birds and sea mammals suffered agonizing death as the thick black crude oil blackened the beaches for months.

The story of what happened is the story we tell in the documentary, with interviews of those who made that history happen.

This has been a difficult year for coastal advocates with the deaths of Peter Douglas, the Coastal Commission’s executive director for 26 years, and Naomi Schwartz, a Santa Barbara housewife who later become Coastal Commission chair. We’re seeing the end of an era. Yes, life goes on but will coastal activism on any scale similar to what we have seen over the past 50 years continue?

Development forces will always test our resolve. And while Californians consistently poll in favor of coastal protection, more must realize that any specific organization’s work to preserve a particular beach or advocate for wildlife will not happen without visible support, i.e., the people who write letters and show up at hearings. Those warm bodies will soon have to be from younger generations.

How can the average individual serve the coast? First, remember, as Peter Douglas often said, “the coast is never saved. It’s always being saved.” For all who wish to see our shores retain the beauty and accessibility they have today, the baseline of community responsibility is to stay informed, communicate with elected officials, and donate as possible to coastal protection organizations … because the coast is California.

Earth Alert’s Heroes of the Coast – the Documentary will preview in Ventura on March 1 in a free public presentation at the E.P. Foster Library on Main St. at 7 p.m.

The hour-long documentary tells the story of 50 years of California coastal protection activism and legislation, with emphasis on the events leading up to the passage in 1972 of Proposition 20. Prop 20 created the California Coastal Commission (CCC). Feb. 1 was the 40th anniversary of when the CCC first began operating as a state agency.

Janet Bridgers
Earth Alert

Paying it forward

The recent Power to Speak  article “Who’s Teaching Whom?” (1/31) beautifully told the story of a tutor and her student forging ahead, each learning from the other. The Oxnard Library Literacy Outreach Program thanks Jan Schulman and all of the tutors who support adults as they pursue English literacy and educational advancement. Like Jan, each person who works alongside an adult comes away with a unique story to tell. 

Years ago, my student was  Pei. Between lessons in English vocabulary and grammar, he told me about his life in China before coming to America. Pei was a child when China’s Cultural Revolution was instituted. It ultimately resulted in the death of half a million people due to torture, execution and suicide. His eldest brother had, fortunately, already completed university study in Beijing, later becoming a renowned medical researcher. Pei’s life took a very different course when, at age 16, he was forced to travel by train, far from his family home, into the Chinese countryside to work on a farm. There were many difficult stories of the past shared, but also new stories created during our time together. I witnessed both the struggle of an American immigrant and the realization of the American dream. We celebrated Pei’s U.S. citizenship in 2005.

Adults who are interested in learning more about volunteer tutoring are invited to attend an information session on March 11, 6-7 p.m.; or March 13, 9-10 a.m. at the Oxnard Main Library in Meeting Room A.  For more information, please call 385-7536.

Deborah Fox
Oxnard Library
Literacy Coordinator

Progress in the Ventura River bed

Thanks for investigating and reporting on what is actually going on up at the abandoned USA oil refinery. I cycle by it regularly and have been curious as to what’s been happening and why. Hopefully, the folks that are cleaning up the site are also going to clear the arundo next to the Ventura Riverbed. There are still homeless in there, as your article relates. I heard them yelling at each other when I cycled by the other day. Interestingly (and surprisingly), there seem to be a couple of positive things going on in the riverbed. The Hillside Conservancy has done some arundo clearing and homeless debris removal between Main Street and the freeway overpass, as has the RV park. Also, the Hillside Conservancy has been clearing arundo from the riverbed just below Foster Park. I told Derek about a bunch of homeless crap that was scattered in the area below the Brooks Institute, and the next time I cycled by it was gone. I am assuming he and his Hillside crew cleaned the area up. Then there is the recent closing of MultiChem, which is up near the abandoned oil refinery. I could never understand how the county/city could have let toxic chemicals be stored next to the riverbed in the first place. 

You have to give credit to the environmental agencies for forcing most of this work to be done. Apparently, the threat of fines of $25,000+/day has gotten the city, county and property owners’ attention and has been the impetus for clearing out the homeless and cleaning up after them plus the clearing of the invasive arundo. I am told that the arundo absorbs 50 percent of the water in the river, which is certainly not a good thing. I understand that more than 300,000 pounds of homeless crap has been removed from the Ventura Riverbed to date. Hopefully, that has made a substantial dent in the problem. It certainly has to make for a better river. Of course, dislocating the homeless has its consequences, especially when they end up back in Ventura proper or end up migrating to the Santa Clara Riverbed to pollute that riverbed. And, of course, if the city and county don’t patrol the riverbed, the homeless will be back. I have noticed several already returning. The city says it has a plan. I see it more as a reaction to dealing with the consequences of the environmental agencies forcing a cleanup. And part of the law of unintended consequences is that we have these dislocated homeless/vagrants/transients roaming our neighborhoods, rooting through our trash for recyclables and potentially stealing anything that isn’t tied down.  As I have stated before these are individuals I don’t want in our neighborhood — 28 percent have been incarcerated in the last year, 25 percent have a drug/alcohol dependency and 25 percent have mental issues. Ventura has the highest property crime rate per capita in the county plus we have the highest number of homeless. I can’t help but feel there is a correlation.

Murray Robertson
A Very Concerned Ventura Resident

Renewable vs. finite resources

Australia has something to teach us. A new study by the financial research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance says Australian wind energy is now substantially cheaper than coal or gas, so much so that lending institutions are reluctant to finance new coal plants because they look to be bad investments. Even factoring in fossil fuel’s carbon tax, wind energy is still cheaper than coal or gas.  

By 2020, Australian solar power is expected to undercut coal and gas prices as well. Parenthetically, neither these renewables nor conventional energy sources receive subsidies.

Even here in the U.S, by 2016 renewable wind will close in on coal, the cheapest and also the dirtiest fuel, at $97/MWh compared to $94 for coal. The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables expensive is increasingly out of date.

Considering fossil fuels’ external costs, such as those to our health, our climate and environment, they are overwhelmingly a very bad bargain. While there is value added in their extraction, there is, dollar for dollar, more value subtracted in other areas of our economy, e.g., healthcare, weather disaster relief, etc., as well as in our quality of life.

Our fossil fuel industries have done a good job of persuading the public to policies against our best interest. Among other flawed notions, we are told that already-wealthy and well-established industries deserve taxpayer subsidies and that the public will benefit from this. Or that a carbon tax would be bad for economic growth rather than encouraging growth in another direction, that of cleaner and more renewable energy sources. Australia’s example points in a wiser, a saner direction, one with a future.  

We are running behind Australia and other nations in our attachment to last century’s fuel. We need to catch up if we are to remain a world leader.

(Please check into Thom Hartmann’s Truthout article “A New Manhattan Project” for further explication and sources.)

Margaret Morris





She gets it

I like it when a Latina agrees with me that immigrants are the problem. (Letters, 2/7) Thanks for printing a bit of balance.

Forrest Mize
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Perplexing indeed …

The recent editorial about “America is changing …” (1/31) is perplexing indeed and seems to demand a response. Particularly in question is the comment on the continuation of the decision on Roe v. Wade. While EVERY life is precious and the desire should be to preserve each life, to make a statement that  “And whether or not we want to admit it, unsafe and illegal abortions that led to the deaths of as many 5,000 women each year before Roe v. Wade should not ever again be the standard we settle for” stands in stark  contrast to the FACT that the decision on Roe v. Wade has led to the slaughter of more than 1,000,000 children each year for the past 40 years. The current count is over 55 million children in the United States who did not have an opportunity, let alone a choice. That is 200 children who have not been given the chance to live in return for each woman who has.

America does need to change. Listen to Mr. Obama’s comments on the deaths of 20 children in Connecticut and try to determine which side he is trying to put himself on, whether he realizes it or not. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opl0jnKbn5Y

Choose life.

Dan Smith
Ventura County

The folly of one councilman’s opinion

Mr. Brian Brennan, who I consider the best Council Person on the dais of the Ivory Tower, has recently penned an opinion piece which appeared in, of all places, the Breeze, which I consider the holy whitewash of all rags published in the County of Ventura. Mr. Brennan’s piece was about the supposedly “massive problem” confronting the folks that live in the area of upper Seaward, Channel Drive, Anacapa and Hurst avenues. They are feeling set upon by the Union Pacific Railroad company because this horrid company decided to protect itself from a possible horrendous lawsuit and possibly save a few local lives while doing it.

Union Pacific decided to place a commercial-grade fence blocking access to Vista Del Mar Drive, which runs alongside their tracks. For years, as Mr. Brennan pointed out in his piece the railroad has been begging the locals to please refrain from crossing the tracks to access Vista Del Mar Drive on their way to the beach. The railroad throughout the years has placed noncommercial-grade fences along this area; and every time, the locals have cut them down, almost as fast as they were put up.

Mr. Brennan made the statement that because of this fence, upward of 20,000 people would now have to use Seaward Avenue as a route to the beach. Of course, Mr. Brennan pointed out that the problems with that are the facts that Seaward has lots of traffic and has only one “narrow” sidewalk, so that poses a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists who are forced to use that route. Wonder if Mr. Brennan really believes that those 20,000 people actually did jump the tracks to get to the beach, or is he sort of stretching the facts a bit?

Gee, for my own case and the people that live near me on Cedar Street, if we want to get to the beach we have to use Ventura Ave down to Thompson then to Figueroa and then to the beach, or we can go down Poli to California, crossing Main, Santa Clara and Thompson to get to the beach. Now that Mr. Brennan has mentioned it, I realize I have been taking my life in my hands every time I go to the beach.

Mr. Brennan goes on to say that these folks have been illegally trespassing on the railroad property for 30 or more years and should be allowed to continue. He admits there have been deaths along the tracks over the years; but even though the railroad is simply trying to make the area safer for residents, it still poses a problem for the people that want to trespass.

I realize Mr. Brennan has a zeal for wanting to help as many people in the city as possible; you really can’t fault him for that. However, in his zeal to help, Mr. Brennan sometimes lets his emotions override his plain old common sense. He now is suggesting that perhaps the city of Ventura should build either a bridge over the tracks or a tunnel running under the tracks.

In my not-so-informed opinion, I would estimate the cost of either of these projects to run into the millions of dollars. This money would be spent to appease a group of people that probably range from a few dozen to a maximum of 200.

The city of Ventura, as we all know, has many more pressing problems than trying to appease a handful of citizens no matter how vocal they may be. We have a plethora of areas that could certainly use a few million dollars. Mr. Brennan mentions possible grant funding. Mr. Brennan knows, as we all do, that even if it is grant money,m it still comes from taxes originally.  

Rellis Smith

The councilman’s response

Regarding “Don’t fence me in”

Ron, thank you for the kudos and your thoughtful comments regarding the railroad fencing along Channel Drive and Vista Del Mar in Midtown Ventura.

The gist of my piece is that a neighborhood of 20,000 residents needs to have reasonable, safe bicycle and pedestrian access and connectivity to the Pierpont, the harbor and north to the pier and the Promenade. You described the route from your neighborhood, which, while a bit convoluted, still managed to get you to the beach and Promenade in a reasonable amount of time and with a greater amount of safety than now exists in the Seaward Avenue corridor.

The city hasn’t been pressed over the years to improve upon the safety of that corridor due to the number of people who opt instead to walk or bike, utilizing four access points across the railroad tracks to Vista Del Mar Drive. As I continue to state, this was not the ideal solution and I’m not advocating crossing the railroad tracks; I am just stating the past history of connectivity in the area and the ramifications of the present conditions.

While initially not by design, the fact remains that a large part of coastal Ventura has been cut off directly from the Pacific Ocean, one of its greatest resources. Union Pacific Railroad brought enormous wealth and vitality to the burgeoning city, but with the advent of the 101 Freeway our fate was sealed. I’d venture to say that the city has to rank at the low end of the scale of all the coastal cities in the state when it comes to connectivity to its beachfront. Now that being said, the Pierpont would rank as one of the highest if it was a standalone community, but getting to the Pierpont presently requires a herculean effort if you choose to bike or walk from Midtown.

Ventura residents have gone on record through the last General Plan update as valuing safe pedestrian and bicycle connectivity throughout its confines. Yet there are only four streets and one pedestrian overpass to access the beachfront in a 4-mile corridor, with three of those streets presenting some formidable challenges for walking and biking.

What is unique about this area in particular, Ron, is that when you look on a map there are a substantial number of residents who instead of walking or riding their bikes to the beach, opt instead to use their cars because of the distance and the questionable safety of the connecting corridors. From my former residence on lower Anacapa Street, I could hear the surf and be at the beach in five minutes. Now I would have a trip of 20 minutes through an extremely dangerous corridor with on and off ramps to the freeway punctuating the route. The 15-minute difference is not so much the issue as the safety of opting for that Seaward route. It would be a 35-minute, one-way trip should I choose the San Jon Road route; and while being a much safer option, time constraints might make me choose my car instead of walking or jumping on my bike.

It is my intention at the Feb. 25 meeting of the Ventura City Council to ask my fellow councilmembers to join me in supporting the listing of a Capital Improvement Project, either an over- or underpass across the railroad tracks somewhere within the Seaward-San Jon corridor. Such a listed CIP on the City Bike and Mobility Plan could activate Caltrans and Coastal Access grants along with private development funds, all coming into play toward final construction.

 This would be a major step for safe connectivity to Vista Del Mar and the beachfront beyond, and I encourage all members of the community who value such a project to come and let their voices be heard.

Brian Brennan
Ventura City Councilmember

From the web:

Stop making liberalism a laughingstock

Re: America is changing, whether we like it or not. (editorial, 1/31)
I enjoy reading the VC Reporter, but the editors’ mentioning of “the sexual revolution” alongside the likes of “the Civil Rights Movement” and “women’s liberation” really annoyed me. Analogies like that one are the reason why so many liberals have become conservatives, and also why so many people who have stayed in the liberal camp — or who want to join it — are so frustrated and embarrassed.

Make no mistake: the sexual revolution that the editors took pride in mentioning was not a crusade for gay rights, or even for free love. It was a declaration that people should be able to engage in offensive behavior just because they feel like it. Liberalism shouldn’t be about getting to do whatever one wishes; if that were the case, it would be called libertarianism. Liberalism was always meant to be about freeing society FROM injustices, not freeing people TO do damage to that same society.

The consequences of the sexual revolution have been anything but just, or even progressive. For one thing, I blame those attitudes for creating the narcissistic cult of eroticism that glorifies the human body above all else. Why do you think we have so many girls starving themselves to be “thin” and boys turning themselves into mutants by taking various “supplements”? It’s because of that “sex appeal” madness that the sexual revolution generated. People who are “ugly” can face incredible discrimination and often end up hating themselves. That doesn’t sound very liberal, does it?
Liberalism is supposed to be about improving people’s lives, not about being modern or “cool.” As long as there is a pervasive streak of superficiality running through American liberalism, ignorant right-wingers will continue to feel justified in viewing liberals as fools.

— James Basolo




The right-wing libertarian’s paradise

Many other writers have quite effectively demonstrated how racist and, well, generally dickish Forrest Mize’s recent kiss-off letter to California was. (Power to speak, 1/10) I won’t add anything, except to say that it is typical for a racist like him to not only deny his own racism and displace it onto others, but to move to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as well. He should’ve just moved to Sand Point — home of numerous white supremacist religious cults — and been completely honest with himself and everyone else about who and what he is.

 But even more amusing about Mr. Mize’s letter than his unself-conscious bigotry is his complete lack of grasp of the facts.

A recent article shows Gov. Jerry Brown showing that the new California budget is balanced. How did that happen? Well, it happened because of a new Democratic super majority in the California legislature, and the end of deliberate Republican obstructionism.

You see, modern day Republicans — Mr. Mize being a prime example — hate government so much that they deliberately set government up to fail at all of its primary tasks. They usually do this by starving government of necessary funds, usually by insisting on ridiculous and unnecessary tax cuts which largely benefit only the wealthiest among us. Then, when government has trouble meeting its obligations, they loudly decry government inefficiency (but I defy anyone to PROVE that the private sector is more efficient than government; it’s an impossibility, as the private sector must build in a profit margin, thus increasing costs) and they insist upon cutting the budget for programs that help those who were screwed over by the tax cuts in the first place.

Let everyone like Mr. Mize move to Idaho. Once there are enough of his kind there, Idaho will start to resemble Somalia, the right-wing libertarian’s paradise.

Tom Becham

Abortion must end now

Re: Steve Greenberg’s abortion coat hanger cartoon, 1/31. The coat hanger symbolizes the awfulness of death by piercing and dismemberment that children suffer today. Imagine a steel instrument penetrating through a child’s body over and over until it dies. It is hard to imagine a more agonizing death. This takes place a million times a year in the U.S. Isn’t it time to put a stop to it?

Mike Nelson
Santa Paula


Worst of all the errors made by anonymous writer

RE: Jan 17 Anonymous remarks against homeless services at Ventura Harbor Church says that homeless services should only be sited where “no children live, play or attend school.” New statistics reveal that the homeless ARE CHILDREN! Their parents, often saddled with very small toddlers and infants, recently occupied homes in “respectable” neighborhoods near playgrounds and schools. Kids now housed at the Oxnard Armory (2013 winter warming shelter) need to return to that original “middle-class” environment.

Rose Leslye Stern
Commissioner for the Homeless, city of Oxnard

Nothing wrong with eminent domain

What’s the story with EMINENT DOMAIN?  Golden State Water Co. (GSW) wants us to think it’s some evil plot being foisted on Ojai water users by a “shadowy” national group seeking to destroy private property rights. GSW is spending big bucks (from our water bills, I fear) to convince us of this. But it doesn’t want to own up to doing it. Instead, it wants us to think that the big ads in the Ojai Valley News and on the Internet, denouncing eminent domain and the so-called “Ojai water grab,” are coming from an independent outfit called California Alliance for Property Rights. Interestingly, the head of that “independent” Alliance also happens to be the head of GSW’s hired PR firm in Sacramento. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Seems to me the only thing “shadowy” about water issues in Ojai is the game of lies, misinformation and scare tactics coming out of GSW and being fronted by its allegedly “independent” puppet organizations that don’t exist anywhere but online.

What’s bright as day and not shadowy at all is the 1967 franchise agreement between the city of Ojai and GSW.  It gives GSW the right to be Ojai’s water purveyor only “until some municipal or public corporation . . . shall condemn and take under the power of EMINENT DOMAIN, all property actually used and useful in the exercise of this franchise.”   It goes on to say, “The franchise granted hereunder shall not in any way . . . impair or affect the right of the City to acquire the property of the Grantee (GSW) either by purchase or through the exercise of the RIGHT of EMINENT DOMAIN . . .”

There is nothing inherently underhanded or evil about eminent domain. It’s a provision in the U.S. Constitution that allows a government entity to take property for the public good after paying just compensation. In their franchise agreement with the city, GSW accepted eminent domain as an appropriate way for Ojai to take back the system. Now, it wants to renege on that agreement without getting caught. Hence the need for front organizations like the Alliance.

Kathy Richards


Welcome to Boeings’ Rocketland!

Re: The VC Reporter feature story “Greenwashing Rockeydyne” (Jan. 17), first let me commend Michael Collins on a well-written/well-researched piece on a locally infamous, on-going assault on our local environment known as the Rocketdyne Field “Research” Lab operations, where this military contractor deposited who knows how much radioactive and other highly toxic contaminants into the Santa Susana research facility grounds over a period of DECADES, operations for which records are extremely hard to come by, and where recent scientific investigations are revealing just how much deadly material is locked into the soil and leaching into our water supply.

The story about Boeing/Rocketdyne’s “greenwashing” of these operations is not that alarming. More like typical in terms of a corporation trying desperately to spin the truth, to bury the facts (and as-yet unknown facts) in favor of a BP-type public relations media circus.

What’s next? A Fox Corp. Water Park at Santa Susana? Calling itself Rocketland?

The Santa Susana site needs to be forever quarantined as a federal Superfund Cleanup Site and pointed to as an example of military hubris, of corporate facism run rampant right in the backyards of millions of people living in the populated suburbs of Los Angeles known as the San Fernando Valley.

As a native of the SFV, I can tell you that one place I always avoided in my outings were the rocky peaks and trails anywhere near “Rocketland” (as the locals referred to it as).

It is so gratifying to see that the VCReporter will not allow the Boeing/Rocketdyne ENVIRONMENTAL SUPERFUND-QUALIFIED TOXIC WASTE DUMP to be forgotten.

The issue of the greenwashing media campaign is par for the course. Just more desperate measures taken by a cheap, uncaring company to gloss over the deadly reality that is the Rocketdyne/Santa Susanna Field Laboratory facility grounds.

If you believe the corporate hype, I’ve got some land in the beautiful and pristine Rocketland Park that I’d like to interest you in.

Justin Markman

Ventura’s homeless situation has not improved

I read your article related to how the homeless situation has improved somewhat in Ventura. (“Update shows progress with Ventura’s homeless issues,” News, 1/31) As far as the residents are concerned, that is a myth.

Ventura’s homeless population has been increasing over the last five years, while in most of the cities in the county, including Oxnard, has been decreasing. Ventura has the highest number of homeless in the county, around 700 as of last count. The county should be coming out with a new report shortly. I doubt if we will see any improvement in the numbers for Ventura. That is when an article about whether the situation is improving or not should be revisited. Note according to the report, 25 percent of the homeless have a drug/alcohol dependency, 25 percent have mental problems and 28 percent have been incarcerated within the last year. Also, note that 33 percent of those leaving jail will end up homeless. These are not people that we want on our streets and in our neighborhoods. As far as I am concerned, Peter Brown has a bit of a laissez faire attitude about the whole thing.  But of course, he chose to live in Carpinteria instead of Ventura.

I cycle pretty much daily along Ventura’s beachfront. I can attest that it really hasn’t gotten any better in relation to the numbers of transients hanging around the Keys, Pierpont and the State Beach Park and the promenade. I send e-mails to the city regularly related to the transient issue, plus call police dispatch a couple of times a week when I see a drunken individual or a doped-up individual on the promenade or someone camping under the pier.

It is my contention that the city really didn’t have much of a plan to deal with the resulting homeless issue when it kicked the transients out of the Ventura Riverbed. These individuals simply ended up in the city proper, on the promenade, in the State Beach Park, at the end of Seaward and ultimately over in the Santa Clara Riverbed. And as everyone knows, the city did this because it was going to be fined $25,000/day if it didn’t start cleaning up the riverbed. It had nothing to do with helping the homeless. In fact, it is agencies like the Salvation Army (Rob Orth) and Project Understanding that are really doing the heavy lifting.

As for the city patrolling the riverbeds, that is a myth. I have yet to see a single patrol person in either of the riverbeds. For a while they were patrolling the promenade, but that has pretty much gone by the wayside.

Note that there are now signs along the bike path up near the abandoned oil refinery on the way to Ojai that say individuals must vacate by Feb 7.  You might want to look into what is happening with relation to this. Simply said, there will be even more homeless dislocated onto our streets.

Murray Robertson
A Very Concerned Pierpont Resident




Assimilate or leave

I want to reward you for printing the opinion of Forrest Mize, “A Farewell to the People’s Democratic Latino Republic of Kalifornia.” (Power to speak, 1/10) As the article was not “politically correct,” it was an accurate assessment of the state of California. I agree completely with Mr. Mize. He is not a racist, he is not ignorant or negative; he is a realist. I have lived in this county since 1974 and I have watched its downfall. It has saddened me and there appears to be no way to stop it. As far back as when the people of this state voted for Proposition 187 (illegal aliens not to receive our social benefits), only to have Governor Davis overturn it, the situation has been becoming more distressing by the day. Why bother to vote?

I do not plan to move. I love the weather too much but I can completely understand why Mr. Mize moved his family to Idaho. I for one do not want to pay for social services for illegal aliens; I will pay my fair share for legal residents of this state. I am disgusted with how many illegal aliens come to this state to have children so their children will be American citizens. This is not right. They are draining our limited social resources and, yes, they are limited.

I speak English. My immigrant ancestors spoke English and that is the language of the USA. I have been treated rudely by people who speak other languages because of not being able to understand them. If you do not want to learn English and adapt to our ways, go back to the country you came from. I am all for celebrating your heritage but assimilate to our culture.

I hope people like Jan Schulman and Ray Vasquez open their eyes to what is really happening in this state. They are the ignorant ones! If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

Angela Lopez

From the web:

In defense of Harbor Church

To anonymous

(“What should have been included about Harbor Church in Ventura,” Power to Speak, 1/24)

It’s obvious where you fall on this very challenging issue. You appear to have the information and the outcomes in hand. Bravo! Now join the rest of us here on earth to either transform people’s lives or push the problem out of your line of sight.

1. We want our children safe and neighborhood pristine. In the article, we heard from the school with which the Harbor Community Church shares space. They’re good with the partnership. Your unfounded “scare ‘em into my way of thinking” grandstanding is embarrassing; shame on you.

2. You criticize the article writer about the Harbor, its mission/ministry and then write a factually starved treatise using such phrases as “the stats,” and “it works out to be about …” as if you had actually reviewed information. You hadn’t — No facts or stats of any kind.

3. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I note Jesus didn’t set up buildings and schedules of services and nifty organizations fit into the lives of followers. God’s great gift, His Son, was a man who walked down muddy dirt paths, in the midst of humanity, and went where needed. Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, diseased, and gave audience to those that couldn’t get recognition. Jesus worshipped, Monday-Sunday! Welcome to the Harbor! See that marquee out front? Worship services include Monday through Friday. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and the words “Simply Jesus.” Jesus set the tone.

3. The Harbor didn’t make a legal argument in the article. That will be for the lawyers; there will be lawyers. There will be lawyers and articles written about the homeless, their rights and their plight. There will be articles written about children and the school and its partnership with the Harbor. Other articles, how a few neighbors care less about the poor than they do their own comfort (or lack thereof).

You think there is a problem with the city attempting to restrict their First Amendment rights as it relates to worship, using zoning as a ploy? The state, counties, cities, towns, villages and burgs are all covered. It will be about the city, years ago, even after the CUP for daycare, and more than once approving the Harbor Church to operate as it is and has been. A new board cannot change the rule of law or the First Amendment!

You talk about “the right thing” as if you had been given a holy unction and the final, eternal word on what that is. You ever try just getting up and moving a church? A ministry? A calling that God gives you? Riiiiight. I’m guessing no! They are where they are and where they will be until God moves them out.

Finally, are you real? Who would believe that Camarillo pays Ventura to bus its homeless population to be dumped; only to then have Ventura chase them out of the place they were dumped!

Get involved instead of standing on the balcony and tossing stones.  Blessings to you. …


Come and see for yourself

(RE: “What should have been included about Harbor Church in Ventura,” Power to Speak, 1/24)

Two years ago, I walked over to MY neighborhood church, the Harbor Community Church, to see if there were any volunteer opportunities. I was lucky to be asked to help serve in the kitchen, planning on helping once a week. The many different people who attend the church grabbed my heart and I am now there five days a week, acting as the kitchen manager. I am a neighbor as well as some of the other volunteers who serve there. I feel there is a misconception that all of the neighbors wish us to be gone, and that is so far from the truth. There are many neighbors who donate food, time, attend church services or just stop by to thank us for doing a good job in the community. We are also lucky to have daily volunteers from Arc and IABA (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis). The clients there have a myriad of differing abilities and, believe me, their job coaches thoroughly looked over our church for all issues before bringing their precious people to help us serve.

The homeless people who attend services at the Harbor are homeless for many different reasons. The interesting thing is, they represent all of the things we deal with in our own families here in America, I know certainly in mine. Some of them are physically not well but don’t qualify for government assistance; some have lost their jobs and housing; there are others whose families have abandoned them due to their developmental disabilities or mental health issues; and others have battled addiction. Like I said, all of the things I know my immediate family has and will deal with. This is truly an issue for all of America not just Ventura.

I feel blessed to be a part of the Harbor Church family, to be there every day. I am not afraid of our people; they are caring and, many days, sad souls. We are there to give some dignity, compassion and hope to our fellow human beings and to help give them spiritual guidance to help stabilize their lives in love. Please keep all of us in your prayers and someday come to see the love that shines from the Harbor Church.

— kathypowell

Slapshot column nailed it

Once again, you folks are taking off the gloves. (Slapshot, 1/24) Would that this was happening with more frequency everywhere in our county and, indeed, in America. VCReporter and Cohn are each deserving of heartiest thanks for exposing this sort of flat-out disrespect for the taxpaying public. Keep up the good work!

— tower









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  1. NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary – Open Recruitment for Advisory Council Seats

    December 13, 2019 @ 8:00 am - January 31, 2020 @ 11:59 pm
  2. Spiritual Bodies: Photography by Carlton Wilkinson

    January 10 @ 8:00 am - February 29 @ 8:00 pm
  3. History Lecture Series: Accommodation and Resistance

    January 14 @ 7:00 pm - March 10 @ 7:00 pm
  4. WinterFest Dog Show

    January 17 - January 19
  5. Third Friday event at Poppies

    January 17 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  6. Two-day Art Workshop

    January 18 @ 10:00 am - January 19 @ 5:00 pm

    January 19 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am
  8. Rev. Karen’s First Mid-Month Devotional Retreat of the Decade: We Begin Again!

    January 19 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
  9. Grigoryan Brothers, Guitar Duo

    January 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  10. Meleko Mokgosi: Acts of Resistance

    January 22 @ 10:00 am - April 9 @ 4:00 pm

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