Pictured: Recent string of illness and deaths related to vaping has sparked CDC warning and legislative action. Photo by www.ecigarettereviewed.com

by Kimberly Rivers

Zero tolerance for homeless in Port Hueneme

The city of Port Hueneme, the “friendly city by the sea,” has a zero-tolerance policy towards the homeless.

“Right now we are taking a zero-tolerance approach. Everyone is getting a citation, especially if they are being a vagrant,” said Chief of Police Andrew Salinas, speaking to the city council on Sept. 3. “Eventually they involve themselves in some sort of behavior that will allow us to actually address it.”

If they are, “harassing your way of life . . . transients that are sleeping next to private business, possessing shopping carts, blocking sidewalks, panhandling in the road way where it is affecting traffic, camping out on the beach, dogs on the sand, those are some of the violations,” said Salinas, who asked the public to call the police when those things are occurring. 

Citations include a fine, and when unpaid, “it turns into a warrant . . . that gives us the ability to actually physically arrest them, and take them out of the city of Port Hueneme to county jail where they will probably spend a day or two in jail to pay their fine, and then they will be released,” said Salinas.

CDC vaping warning prompts legislative action

On Sept. 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a multistate investigation into the cause of five deaths, including one in California, from severe pulmonary disease. A definitive cause has not yet been identified, but all five people regularly used e-cigarettes, also called “vapes.”

In these devices, liquid is heated and turned into a vapor or aerosol, which is then inhaled. The liquids are purchased in a cartridge and can contain a cannabinoid or nicotine product and frequently contain other flavorings and chemicals.

In the wake of the CDC announcement, U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) has introduced new legislation, the Stop Vaping Ads Act, to ban television and radio ads for e-cigarettes and vaping.

Brownley said her legislation will close a loophole in the law Congress passed in 1971 banning TV and radio cigarette ads because today the e-cigarette industry is “doing the same thing” as big tobacco did when it “used broadcast marketing as a means to sell their deadly products to Americans, and cynically targeted young people in order to attract new customers.”

Update: Conception salvage and recovery

On Saturday, Sept. 7, unsafe weather and ocean conditions temporarily halted efforts to salvage the vessel Conception, which sank after a massive onboard fire on Monday, Sept 2, and locate the remains of the final missing person, one of 34 who died in the fire. Efforts to recover the remains of the last victim resumed early Tuesday morning and salvage efforts were expected to resume on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Truth Aquatics, the owner of Conception, hired Global Diving and Salvage to implement the approved salvage plan. Work is being overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard.

A one-mile safety zone has been established around the site and is being maintained by the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut. Environmental concerns related to spill hazards associated with the submerged vessel are being monitored and mitigated by the National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

County Law Library slated to relocate

Plans are moving forward to relocate the Ventura County law library from its current location at the Government Center to a new space just across Victoria Avenue.  

“Currently the law library uses about 15,000 square feet in the Hall of Justice. The county pays for the occupancy costs for that, about $250,000 a year,” said Scott Powers, deputy executive officer in the county CEO’s office. He said this proposal was brought before the board of the library a few years ago.

“It is expensive to keep those books there,” said Powers. He explained there is a “change in how law libraries are managed and how much space they use. Moving toward less space, more of a resource facility than book storage. It’s very expensive for the amount of use.”

He said the move would also include updating the facility with new technology needed by the library. The library is open to the public and it can be a vital resource for local attorneys.

The move must be approved by the Law Library Board made up of judicial appointments and a representative from the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, which is