Committed to no-kill

“In 2012, over one new community (in USA) per week achieved a save rate of at least 90 percent, and as high as 99 percent. The No-Kill revolution is ON THE MARCH as written by Nathan Winograd, the leader of the No-Kill movement. These are the most recent posted statistics as reported on the Ventura County Animal Services website, 2011-2012 statistics. Thirty-one percent of dogs and 62 percent of cats impounded were “humanely euthanized”.

A no-kill focused new director (a real leader) will implement actual solutions to the currently repeated Ventura County Animal Services excuse for killing (euthanizing) so many dogs and cats: “too many dogs and cats being impounded and not enough kennels to house them.” Adopting the Nathan Winograd no-kill philosophy and, most importantly, developing in-depth programs for each of the 10 steps that will keep all healthy, treatable, rehabitable dogs and cats from ending up on the dreaded VCAS euthanasia list. Annually, $5.1 million of taxpayer dollars supports the current VCAS operation. I look forward to hearing about the elimination of the huge amounts of taxpayer dollars being spent on costs related to the euthanasia of large quantities of dogs and cats, and the disposal of their dead bodies has been eliminated by the following: The 11 steps of the no-kill philosophy (requires implementation as an entire package): 1 .A compassionate director focused on saving lives 2. Feral cat trap-neuter-release program  3. High-volume, low-cost spay/neuter programs  4. Working with rescue groups  5. Foster care programs  6. Comprehensive adoption programs  7. Pet retention programs (helping people keep pets)  8. Medical and behavior programs  9. Good public relations and community involvement  10. Volunteer programs  11. Proactive redemptions  

Joan Farber

The First Amendment of Facebook

I feel compelled to respond to Mike Gibson’s letter regarding Facebook (May 23) and the First Amendment. It appears as if he has the concept backwards.

Our founding forefathers wrote our Constitution so we would not again suffer tyranny. If you disagreed with the King, heads would roll.

Years later, our First Amendment continues to be vital for our free society as it allows us, the people, to speak our minds without fear and, yes, even be critical of elected or appointed public officials.

The First Amendment allows us to enjoy freedom of speech, just like writing a spiffy letter to an editor (uh-hem) without worry of beheading. (Whew!) Because of this great amendment, we enjoy a free press. We can say whatever we feel, even on social media, regardless of whether or not it may haunt us. Twitter away. Yet, however you dice it, the First Amendment protects free speech regarding public officials.

Washington was called a murderer; Jefferson, a knave and insane; Henry Clay, a pimp; Andrew Jackson, an adulterer; Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant were called drunkards; Lincoln was called a half-witted baboon and a ghoul; Roosevelt, a traitor; Eisenhower was charged with being an agent of the communist conspiracy. (Cited from Desert Sun v. Superior Court 1979 ruling)

Bad taste? Probably! An American tradition and protected speech? — Yes.

Our First Amendment was not set up to protect a public official’s Facebook information (of any party) from being discussed. Political discussion of public officials that serve the people is a constitutionally protected right and one of our proudest and most valued American traditions.

Thank you, First Amendment — we have not forgotten your greatness due to the clamor over No. 2. Please let Mike know — we’re pretty sure the founding forefathers were on Myspace anyway.

Michael Vail

Gas is good

This letter is in response to an article by Kimberly Rivers in the May 30 issue on oil and gas in Ventura County.  Although the article attempts to show both sides of the story, there is a strong negative basis to the energy industry and its practices. She begins her story with a statement that “one quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of drinking water,” and then states that there have been 868 reported spills (of something) in the past 19 years in Ventura County.  That works out to be 45.7 small spills a year, an astoundingly small number for an industry that, in 2012, produced over 452 million gallons of oil from 2,834 active wells. I think the industry should be given an award not regulation to control a problem that does not exist.    Fracking: a bad word that fills the public with fear.  This technique has been successfully used to make low-producing wells into economic producers, creating wealth and jobs in the county for over 60 years.  Fracturing began in the 1860s in New York and Pennsylvania, with the first successful hydro fracking treatment done in 1949. The process reached over 3,000 wells per month in Oklahoma by the mid-1950s. Water was first used as a fracture fluid in 1953. The process was used extensively in the Sespe Oil field above Fillmore in the early 1980s. Since hydraulic fracturing was successfully introduced in 1949, close to 2.5 million fracture treatments have been performed worldwide (http://www.spe.org/jpt/print/ archives/2010/12/10Hydraulic.pdf).  If there was a significant problem with this method, don’t you think it would have shown up by now?  Even Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s EPA Administrator, has stated, “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” (5/24/11)  I hope legislators like State Sen. Hanna-Beth Jackson learn to do a better job of researching and listening before proposing legislation that will kill jobs, hurt the poor with higher energy costs and contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions because clean-burning natural gas produced by fracture stimulation is restricted by unnecessary regulation. The California State Division of Oil and Gas does a great job of regulating the industry and protecting public safety.  

People in the oil and gas industry have families and want to drink clean water and breathe clean air just like people in the rest of the county.  When I worked in the energy industry, we did everything we could to work safely and protect the environment, and I hate to see these efforts vilified by others that know little about the industry and are unwilling to do the proper research.    

Jim Hill

Lack of memory recall

Re: “It’s the ’70s all over again,” Right Persuasion, 5/30

To the light and airy, for the serious, Paul Moomjean now adds the “bouncy,” an insinuation that he knows all about the ’70s when he wasn’t born until the ’80s! Doesn’t this point to the portentous in much of his writing?

Duane Waln

The affordable housing flop

Accessory housing is fine.

“Low income housing,” as recently exhibited in Ventura, is rapidly becoming an abherrant form of cancer on the overall community – as has already occurred in Santa Paula.

To wit:

The WAV (financial joke of the century – 27 parking spaces – no retail unit rented to date – no landscaping – a noise pit nobody would ever invest in – not one condo sold – I predicted all of this when I was on DRC – but the local architecture/planning establishment wanted to hear nothing about that) 1400 N. Ventura Ave. (developer’s dream/ financial nightmare); the building next to the former Greyhound Station (another developer’s dream/financial nightmare); the proposed project next to the Sidecar (reinvented five times so far).

These buildings are built on the backs of the taxpayers, will never be paid off and are a convenient method for getting projects which otherwise do not pencil out – built. They also become a financially cancerous infestation on the housing supply in the city.

“Live/work” has become a national joke. Is there one “live/work” project in the city of Ventura which has done anything to “activate” the street? I think not. Allow the “accessory housing” concept to evolve.

Santa Paula is rapidly becoming a collection of these “low income” projects which do little for the community and much for the developer.

Suggestion: Merging the planning people with the DRC was a device to allow planning to run over any and all meaningful discussion of aesthetic issues within the city. There is no meaningful code enforcement of illegal signage and they continue to proliferate.

The city of Santa Barbara did not always look “good.” It was a process. If Bakersfield-by-the Sea is what the City Council is after, well, you are certainly on course.

John Stewart





Save the whales

Thanks On June 1, an AP article reported around the country described a one-nautical-mile change to the commercial shipping lane within the Santa Barbara Channel by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The purpose of this lane adjustment is ostensibly to protect endangered blue whales from ship strikes. While we appreciate the concern expressed by the participants in the development of this new rule, there is, unfortunately little likelihood that a reduction in the number of ship strikes and kills will follow. It is simply too small a change to make a difference. The industry is also offering to help gather more data; more data is always good but there is sufficient knowledge for a better solution to be adopted now.

A more promising alternative is for the ships to move 15-20 miles outside of the Channel. This area is in international waters and legally available to the industry. In fact, many oil tankers have been transiting these waters for years and were joined by a number of cargo vessels and cruise ships when California passed a rule in 2010 requiring lower sulfur (and more expensive) fuel to be used within 24 miles of the coast to reduce the number of air pollution deaths in coastal communities. An IMO extension of the fuel rule to 200 miles in 2015 will make the cost benefit question moot. It is anticipated the ships will come back to inside waters to save an hour of transit time.

Blue whales are negatively buoyant: they sink when they die. Collision with a ship as long as several football fields typically results in the whale’s death, and while the number of documented strikes is usually in the single digits in any given year, it is believed the actual number of blue whale kills may be at least an order of magnitude greater. The bottom line is that every year we fail to take the necessary action, more blue whales will be killed.

By 1966, more than 98 percent of the world’s blue whales had been killed by commercial whalers, primarily for pet food. Only about 10,000 of these highly intelligent, social, graceful beings are left on Earth. The population cannot afford to lose 10, 20, or 50 more whales, year after year. The IMO rule acknowledges the problem but does not solve it. The ships can choose to sail outside of the critical blue whale feeding area from July-October, when the density of the whales in the area is at its peak. I encourage your readers to go to the Great Whale Conservancy website to learn more about this issue, and find out how to tell the shipping companies and the government that more needs to be done now.  

Gershon Cohen, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Great Whale Conservancy




The Sharper Focus pukefests

Re: Sharper Focus by Raymond Freeman, “Pilgrim’s Way,” May 23

I am thankful that Mr. Freeman’s “Big Adventures” into journalism, the so-called “Sharper Focus,” only prints every other week. That way, on the off weeks, one can enjoy the rest of the VCReporter without opening it up to one of his alarmingly consistent and vile pukefests!

“His goal is to penetrate the obscurity surrounding economic, financial and political matters, so that the average reader will find this new column interesting and informative.”

This is the purpose of Mr. Freeman’s column as stated by the editor. The question that arises, then, is, “Does Mr. Editor ENJOY Freeman’s biased, ranting cesspools of hate against Republicans and all things conservative?” NONE of his articles has yet to touch base with the above editor’s description (unless one is as bigoted as Freeman)! As one who purports to be a journalist with his own column, Mr. Freeman should at least TRY to own up to the purpose of it, instead of making it a launch pad for his own kindergarten tantrums!

But then again, one would expect nothing less from a minion of Mr. Freeman’s “Lord and Savior,” Barack Obama. (Thanks for that, Jamie Foxx, another village idiot.)  I’ve yet to see any “penetration of the obscurity” surrounding Obama Bin Lyin and HIS Irks! Oh, wait! There is none. Obama … he can do no wrong! At least, so it is in HIS mind and in the minds of Obama’s Borg (i.e., Mr. Freeman)! One will note that nary a critical question is EVER raised concerning those PARAGONS of virtue, honesty, morality and saintliness — the Democrats. Excuse me. Bleahhhh!!! Good thing I had that bag!

Mr. Freeman’s bits of bile belong in the Letters section along with those from the nitwits who live to express their hatred of Mr. Moomjean! Being a banker and lawyer does NOT qualify Mr. Freeman as a journalist, and certainly he has proved that he is NOT! Not to say that he is not a researcher of all things he hates! He EXCELS there! It’s just that there is nothing to be gained or to profit from his opinionated diatribes! There needs to be something of positive and redeeming value, something thought-provoking to help readers to ponder beneficial information. This would be with the purpose to form thoughtful opinions based upon unbiased facts, perhaps to draw contemplative conclusions! Is Mr. Freeman even capable of such?

Otherwise, one should just pick up a Star or Inquirer in the grocery line.


Brian Beian

The McGrath beach dilemma

Thanks for the great article: A no-win situation in the McGrath State Beach flooding!

We started making our summer vacation plans in January because we knew how difficult it is to book weekend camping reservations along the coast. We booked a total of five weekend trips: three at McGrath State Beach, another at Lyme Kiln and another at D.L. Bliss (Lake Tahoe). All of our McGrath trips have been canceled due to flooding in the campground.

We chose McGrath because we like the nearby Ventura Harbor Village restaurants and shops and the wind at Surfers Knoll for kite flying. We were planning to spend hundreds of dollars supporting local businesses like Andria’s Seafood, Coastal Cone, Harbor Wind and Kite, Village Carousel and Arcade, etc. Now we read the flooding is expected to cost more than $650,000 in lost camping fees in addition to a mosquito outbreak! There has to be a better solution.


Bob Oedy

A valid point

Your cover extravaganza on Ventura County oil history and development is Pulitzer caliber (“Oil and Gas,” Feature, May 30), coming at a time when an economic boom for our county and our state is there for the taking if regulatory queens can do no better than Hannah-Beth Jackson’s denying fracking in favor of her old canard, job creation in the green energy sector and weaning us off fossil fuels.

Without oil, if Hannah-Bet has D.C. political ambitions, is she planning on getting to Washington on a glider?


Jack Weber

Wrong again, Moomjean

Right off, I do need to say that I don’t know Mr. Moomjean from a Big Mac. The only thing I know about him is what he writes; as far as I am concerned, he is a “Russ Limbaugh” in training.  It’s quite obvious that Mr. Moomjean has no love for Mr. Barack Obama, president of the United States of America.

As far as that goes, there are a plethora of people that read the VCReporter that have no love for Mr. Moomjean. I am sure he doesn’t stay awake at night worrying about that fact. Mr. Moomjean has enough love for himself to go pretty far.

In his latest attempt to be, I guess, humorous, in the VCReporter of May 30, he wrote an opinion piece entitled “It’s the 1970s all over again.” Right there, you can see Mr. Moomjean has nothing but a dark space in his cranium where his brain is supposed to be.

How anybody can compare today’s political scene with the party of NO, the Republicans fighting tooth and nail against anything President Obama brings up, even if they were for an idea in the beginning, when President Obama states he feels it is a good idea, the Republicans automatically reverse their stand and go 180 degrees the other way.

As far as the phony “Benghazi Mess” is concerned, anybody with a modicum of sense can see it was simply a handful of young miscreants that were bent on causing trouble. There was no prior warning, and no way to stop the action before it began. There was also no “cover-up” by the White House at all. Prior to the event, the Republicans had voted down a request for more security funds for the protection of the various ambassadors. If they had voted yes, there would have been many more guards on site. If anybody should be investigated, it should be the leaders of the Republican Party.
As far as the Republicans’ “IRS scandal” is concerned, I see nothing wrong in the IRS investigating the Tea Party groups that have applied for tax-free status. We all know that the Tea Party is nothing but a bunch of stooges for the Republican Party. As such, the law states that if a group is engaged, as the Tea Party is, in any political practices, it is not eligible for tax-free status.

Then Mr. Moomjean goes on to rant about the search warrant to seize e-mails and phone records of certain so-called “Fox reporters.” Fox Corp. in truth has no “reporters.” The people who work for Fox are told what to “investigate” and what to write by the Democrat-hating owner of Fox.

Plus, it sure seems very strange to me that all of the news media are constantly harping about the lack of transparency of the White House; but when the tables are turned and they are asked for information, they jump on the old axiom, “reporters’ privilege.”

So in closing, I would suggest to Mr. Moomjean that if he truly wants to stay in the newspaper game, he should take a job with the VCReporter stuffing the paper in the racks.

Rellis Smith



Support our LGBT youth, always

In addition to finding resources to aid disenfranchised LGBT youth (Power to Speak, 5/16), I think one of the things that is very badly needed is family counseling and support.  These children would do so much better in life if their families could find a way to be supportive and stick together.  

Programs offering families of LGBT youth support and guidance would go a long way in keeping these fractured families together and keeping the children safe and off the streets.  There is never a guarantee that parents or family members will come around and accept their children when they come out, but it would help; and I do believe that most of the issues involve ignorance and a complete misunderstanding.

Often, religious people fall back on their bibles and look for judgment and dismissal of their children from that source. But if they read carefully and if they think about it, would their G-d seriously dismiss and reject these children? Save me from such a G-d! No, they must find acceptance in their hearts, and love and cherish their children and help to keep them safe, not send them into the streets.  Let us find/develop some programs to help families accept and support their innocent and wonderful LGBT children.

Loving my own children as I do, I could never understand how someone could turn their own children out for a life choice that threatens no individual in any way and which they would never “choose” — it is who they are, actually, and not a “choice” at all. When my own daughter (in a family group session) told me she thought she was gay (when she was 16 years old) and then asked how I felt about it, I responded: “It does not affect how I love you. The only thing that makes me sad is that your life will be more difficult because people are so non-accepting. But you are who you are and I love you all the more for it.” As it turned out, she later felt she was not a lesbian and married and had children, but nothing about any of that changed how I felt.  Other parents in that group were not so accepting. This was 28 years ago, and while gay marriage bills/rights are making their way into our society, support for struggling families is not.

We are always talking about our family structure and how fractured it has become, especially with the huge rate of divorce. People need to realize that your children are your children, part of your family; and no matter what you do, they will remain your children for always.  What you need to do is be their parents for always. If we really want to keep families strong, then it is up to us to become more accepting and loving of the children who need us most. LGBT is not a disability, but the way it is treated by so many families, it might as well be. We do not turn learning-disabled children into the street; why do we turn our LGBT children into the street?  Can we look at some programs to aid these families in learning how to accept and love and protect their children?  There are programs in place for the kids, but the families need education and support as well.  (By the way, I will definitely attend the Ventura County Pride Weekend in August and hope that your readers will as well.)

Jan Richman Schulman

Why frack?

The fracking question is not IF we should do it, it’s WHY? WHY are we doing it? Why waste this precious resource that, when removed from the ground, slowly poisons everything around it? So the most profitable industry in the history of the world can keep making those record profits by holding us hostage at the gas pump? So we can barrel headlong into a future with no air to breathe or water to sustain us?  Why do it in California, a state that already has water issues and shortages? It’s not as though the petroleum industry couldn’t pay taxes enough to provide the health care necessary to survive the asthma and cancer which that industry creates. It’s not as though there aren’t alternatives. Join a nationwide call to get involved in our future with Jackie Keller of the Climate Reality Project.

M.E. Goodwin

A fracking dilemma

As a result of recent high prices, the environmentally hazardous extraction process of fracking has surged. This technique consumes large quantities of water, threatens contamination of the community’s supply, and leaves behind toxic residue.

The damage can be costly. In Pennsylvania, regulators found polluted water in 161 homes, farms and businesses in the period from 2008, the start of the fracking boom, to 2012. The number of water contamination incidents during that time fivefold grew.

Fracking has been around for a long time but only recently has the practice attracted a burst of new starts. We need to know to what degree we will be damaged by this and whether we want to accept the cost.

Is a smattering of new jobs in a toxic industry worth damaging our environment, particularly our water supply?

Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors recently voted to require information about fracking on land use applications with an eye to tracking how it would be practiced, what chemicals would be used and how the byproducts would be disposed of. Santa Barbara has passed similar requirements. A bill moving through the state legislature would place a moratorium on fracking. We need to let our state representative know we support this.  

Margaret Morris

Editor’s note:Senate Bill 4, authored by state Sen. Fran Pavley, passed on the senate floor, which requires the issuance of public notices, permits and details of fracking chemicals before the fracking process begins. The moratorium portion of the bill was deleted to pass the bill.

Capps vs. Coyne

One of the commonest phrases heard from conservative politicians is “nobody anticipated.” “Nobody” anticipated the crumbling levees in New Orleans during Katrina, the disastrous consequences of the Iraq invasion, the environmental impacts of oil spills, the widespread infrastructural failures that happen when the funding for public works is pulled, or the horrors of 9/11 (the August 6 PDB notwithstanding).  And “nobody” is anticipating the thousands of large and small repercussions of global climate change, such as invasive insect pests, resurgent tropical diseases, agricultural collapses — and profound consequences for women around the world who are struggling in poverty.


“Nobody,” that is, except environmentalists, scientists and the occasional politician like Lois Capps, who recognizes that an important and essential function of effective government is to analyze and consider the possible repercussions of our laws and policies. By mocking Representative Capps, Paul Coyne shows himself ignorant of the deeper responsibilities of public service. (“Climate change causes prostitution?” News, 5/23)

Warren Senders
Medford, Mass.


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