Pictured: Carmen Ramirez, Mayor ProTem of Oxnard in Ventura, March 2019. Photo by Kimberly Rivers.

by Kimberly Rivers

kimberly@vcreporter.com

Brownley speaks about protecting the postal service

On Thursday, Aug. 20, Rep. Julia Brownley held a press conference at the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion “Seabees” Fallen Heroes Post Office Building to decry policies and actions impacting the United States Postal Service that she said were designed to “impede” the upcoming presidential election. 

Recent “dismantling of infrastructure . . . cutting back salaries” were meant to “impede the post office’s ability to handle important mail in the middle of a pandemic . . . all of these changes jeopardize the election” and “threaten to disenfranchise voters in communities of color,” said Brownley. 

She was referring to the actions of Louis DeJoy, an American businessman appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as U. S. Postmaster General. DeJoy has had sorting machines removed and dismantled and pay and overtime of postal employees cut.

Brownley was joined by Carmen Ramirez, Mayor Pro Tem of Oxnard and candidate for Ventura County Supervisor, who said the “dismantling” of the USPS is “unacceptable” and that it should not be viewed “as political but as a community health issue.” 

Suspicious fires at Ojai Valley Land Conservancy

On Monday, Aug. 24, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) issued a statement saying that there had been two fires in the Ojai Meadows Preserve, adjacent to Nordhoff High School along Highway 150, in the last three months. 

“Both fires occurred within 100 feet of each other and the fire department has deemed their cause of ignition to be  suspicious and not natural,” stated the OVLC. 

Members of the public who witness any suspicious activity are encouraged to contact the OVLC at info@ovlc.org or call 805-649-6852. If there is an emergency, such as a fire dial 911. 

Supervisors to review, vote on 2040 land use plan

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to review, accept public input and make a final determination on the county’s General Plan document that will govern all land use in the unincorporated areas through 2040.

The four-year-long process has included several public outreach meetings in communities across the county, as well as public workshops with the Ventura County Planning Commission and board of supervisors. 

Hundreds of pages of comments have been received and reviewed from local individuals, groups and organizations, many calling for stronger actions on climate change, and some calling for a pause in the process to review the economic and long term effects of proposed changes. 

The draft General Plan is located online at https://vc2040.org/review.

Written comments can be submitted prior to the hearing by emailing Susan.curtis@ventura.org or comments in hard copy form can be mailed to Attn: RMA Planning Division, General Plan Update, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, L #1740, Ventura CA 93009-1740

Phase II of road work in Santa Paula 

As part of a city wide street maintenance projects over the current fiscal year contractors, J&H Engineering Inc., Pavement Coatings, Co., and Super Seal and Stripe will be performing various work on city roads aimed at improving the quality and extending the life of the streets, according to a statement released by the City of Santa Paula. 

Projects currenting underway including applying a thin layer of asphalt on certain streets, and will continue through Oct. 2020. Hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some streets will be temporarily closed in the seven sections where work is taking place. 

Court reduces Officer’s felony conviction to misdemeanor

At a sentencing hearing on Aug. 27, 2020, the court reduced the felony insurance fraud conviction of Matthew Arther Alonzo, a Santa Paula Police Officer to a misdeamenor. The Ventura County District Attorney objected to the reduction in the level of crime committed. Alonzo was sentenced to 60 days of work release and three years of probation. He was ordered to pay Farmers Insurance Company $1,564. 

His crime involved giving false testimony about a car accident he claimed to have seen. He told the insurance adjuster that he did not know anyone involved in the accident, when in fact, one was a former Santa Paula Police Officers whom Alonzo had worked with for over five years. 

Alonzo’s false testimony caused the wrong driver to be found at fault in the accident. 

Alonzo is currently on administrative leave from the SPPD.