Nasty chemtrails

About your article on Air Pollution (“Clearing the air,” feature, May 7).  You never once mentioned the chem trails that are leaving all sorts of junk in the air when it settles. It’s killing all the tree tops, polluting the air and land and water! Some ingredient’s are from coal dumps not to mention whatever magical mix of toxic chemicals they have come up with to spray checkerboard patterns all over the sky keeping the rain from falling.
But you just must have missed it, right?

Lynne Berman



Water waste at Ventura High

Dear Dr. Arriaga, I am a sophomore at Ventura High School and the treasurer of the on campus club, GWAT, the Global Warming Action Team. Lately in our weekly meetings, there was been a large concern for California’s current drought. As a club, we have looked for ways to cut down on our personal water usage and encouraged others to take part in water reduction. The ways we have tried to go about this are:

– not watering plants and letting our lawns die
– reducing shower time and showers per week
– fixing leaky sinks and shower heads
– collecting shower water and using it to flush the toilet
– collecting rain water to keep trees and other large plants alive

While we have been trying to conserve California’s limited water supply, we have noticed something quite disturbing at our school and schools all around town. In the middle of the worst drought on record, the schools are irrigating lawns as if we have all the water in the world. Our own school, Ventura High, recently planted a new lawn and is watering it every day. Not only are the schools watering, but in the worst way possible. Sprinklers that spray high in the air that allow much of the water to evaporate off and even more is wasted on the sidewalks. In the recent rain showers, the school continued to water in the rain.

Water conservation is a pressing issue in California as it has been predicted to run out of water in less than a year. While I understand that a lot of money probably went into planting the grass, it is useless to water it in this drought environment. Still, I wish that you might consider turning the sprinklers off or changing the way in which the schools go about water. A few ideas we have discussed at GWAT meetings to keep the grass alive and reduce water include:

– using a drip watering system
– watering at night to keep the water from evaporating
– watering for smaller amounts of time
– watering less per week
–  turning the sprinkles so that they don’t run on to the sidewalk

I hope you take our request under consideration and help us in our pursuit to conserve. If you do wish to go about some changes we would love to help with ideas, funding or organization needed. To contact us please email me back at the club’s email, gwatclubvhs14@gmail.com
Thank you.

Tessa Gallagher




Public pension plan

I’m trying to fathom why the VCReporter’s editorial (“The problem with assumptions and pensions,” April 30) selects certain facts and studies to bolster a perspective on  public pension gouging it perceives while not including the supply-and-demand reasons of the past for today’s realities. Post-World War II expansion years requiring public pension planners to augment retirement perks, in lieu of larger salaries and stock grants that CEOs and employees of corporations bargained for,  was the predominant cultural practice for growing the American infrastructure.

I don’t believe many from private or public pension groups would disagree with the editor’s opinion when city administrators or overly aggressive unions, for instance, get rewarded with bloated salaries and perks. But questionable behaviors are different from relativity concerns in management-labor transactions. Institutions are seldom perfect in a democratic society yet today’s negotiation tactics should remain stable, like football rules, with slight variations, perhaps, going into the future.

Change, like death, as a poet once penned, comes with a crawl or a pounce. This editorial doesn’t include futures and derivative formulas or other esoteric mathematical constructs cloaking transparency in its list of tools the investment community considers, but it mentions the 7.75 percent and 7.5 percent projections as though either is set in concrete  — one figure good, the other bad.

Some cities have grown like Topsy around cowpaths, as Boston has. Later-blooming cities of California and elsewhere laid out their traffic lanes with advanced planning. To paraphrase Mark Twain, in keeping to the subject of private vs. public pension plan parity, differences of opinion are what make a horse race. The Venture County Employees’ Retirement Association’s constituents deserve more debate and discussion on this subject, particularly in light of the fact that 90 percent of the nation’s wealth is in the hands of less than 10 percent of the people.

John Whelan

PS: The write is not a member of the V.C. Employees’ Retirement Association


Ventura senior billiards players

Since the abandonment of our Senior Recreation Center of over 55 years, a year and a half ago, and the cancellation of the senior billiards program of over 40 years, the city has graciously created a six-month (Apr. 27 – Oct. 26, 2015) pilot program for city-sponsored senior billiards at Stiix Billiards, 2520 E. Main St., Ventura, allowing one hour of FREE PLAY (or more if no one is waiting), Mon – Thu. 1 – 5 p.m., Fri. noon- 5 p.m., on tables reserved for that purpose, for city senior players.

Please take advantage of this offer. The city is assessing our seniors’ interest in billiards and may continue or abandon city-sponsored billiards depending on our utilization of this pilot program.

Tom Buchan
former city-sponsored billiards program player




Disappointed with Ventura Council

On April 13, I sat through seven hours of a City Council meeting. The only council session I can recall lasting longer was in 2005, when the last agenda item was about housing assistance for city hall employees. At roughly 3 a.m. I voiced my support that morning.

Monday’s council action was to move forward with planning for a residential allocation program and for increased City Council control of residential projects. If I felt either of these actions would result in improved projects I would have been in support.

When projects come to City Council before the Design Review Committee or Planning Commission and also after, how can this process not diminish the important role both the DRC Committee and PC play? Do I agree with each and every project approved by the DRC and PC? No, but then I don’t agree with myself 100 percent of the time. At this time we really haven’t had a chance to see how the existing General Plan, which was approved in 2005, plays out. Most projects have stalled since then due to the recession. It was a good plan developed by real visionaries and was supported by several of the current councilmembers. Why do they want to change it?

Monday’s action was an unwarranted and unnecessary power play on the part of some members of our City Council. I am disappointed that council did not take steps for improving the process for housing development proposals.  At the same time I am buoyed by residents who are actively involved with addressing extremely affordable and other housing needs for our community.

There is limited, if any, need for the City Council to have additional control. There is a real need for clarity and transparency. This need for clarity will be become more important as the city addresses infill-first. I don’t envy potential developers. It seems like every time they attempt to focus in on city concerns, the city switches the lens they are told to look through.

John Sanders Jones


Pondering mini-aquaponic

I’m not privy to any ad value the “Going aquatic” article by Gregg Mansfield (April 16) may have, other than its being in sync with the VCReporter’s themes promoting environmental awareness, but the implications for senior garden hobbyists who have had to forgo watering small plots in Southern California could offer a phenomenal opportunity for a Ventura County entrepreneur to unleash a lucrative and universally worthwhile cottage industry.

Development of a mini-aquaponic model for home use might put the progressive city of Ventura on the map for more than its already acknowledged climate, urban and historic appeal. The model would need to meet standards that Gov. Jerry Brown’s committees on water conservation would approve, but this kind of challenge is what makes America the leader it is and Ventura the model city that people long to be part of, isn’t it?

The gauntlet has been thrown: All that is required is an experienced consultant like Miles Gassaway of Sustained Harvest Farms, a respected landscape architect of the community and an open-minded City Council to revitalize a missionlike dream that could approach the vision of a Junipero Serra.

John A. Whelan




All need to do their part

Gov. Brown:

I am discouraged by the way you are handling our drought situation. I have farmer friends in the San Joaquin Valley who are disgusted. The reasons for our discouragement and disgust all relate to the fact that you are asking individuals (which is only responsible for about 1 percent of our water waste) to cut their water usage by 25 percent while ignoring and doing nothing to curb fracking, which not only wastes millions upon millions of gallons of water per day, but also pollutes our water supply, the surface environment and exacerbates global warming and further drought.

Or you could do something to curb the planting of thirsty crops, such as rice fields and almond orchards, and yet you have ignored and done nothing in that regard as well.

Or you could educate Californians to reduce their meat consumption, or control dairy use of water and the leaching of nitrates, which also pollutes our shrinking water table, but you have done nothing about educating voters or the dairy industry as well. Think about this fact: 2,500 gallons of water are used to butcher and clean one pound of meat. Shouldn’t Californians know about the tremendous amounts of water used when we eat meat, and its associative problems?

These three areas — oil, thirsty crops and dairy — use the majority of our water supply and/or directly pollute the water supply, pollute the air and soil, are also energy-intensive, and add to climate change and drought — and yet they are ignored while individuals are left with the burden of the water crisis. Big biz water-users are also the biggest political campaign contributors, as you are much aware, receiving some of those funds yourself. Could this be more than coincidence that you are Band-Aiding the biggest crisis that California has faced in its history? So, essentially, you have educated the public with guilt but not with fact, nor with meaningful action — thus ACTUALLY doing very little to manage our water crisis, if not expediting it. And here is how significant that crisis is:  If the water table is reduced too quickly in the San Joaquin, it will collapse. And there are already signs, according to my farming friends, that it is imminent. A collapse would mean that California farming would be wiped out.  

This is why it is so crucial that we put a moratorium on frack drilling and thirsty-crop planting, while curbing meat eating/dairy processing to effectively reduce the use of California water, and save our state from an H20 apocalypse.

Governor, I am glad you are drawing attention to the water crisis, and it is important we ALL conserve water. But that means the big biz of oil, gas, dairy and crop water guzzlers shouldn’t be excluded either. They need to do their part.

Grant Marcus








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