September 24, 2020

National Voter Registration Day

National Voter Registration Day is celebrated each year in September.  This nonpartisan civic holiday celebrates our democracy and encourages us to use our voice and VOTE!

Are you registered to vote?  Have you checked your registration for correct address and language preference? It is easier to do than you may think.

To get ready for the Nov. 3 election, the League of Women Voters Ventura County reminds us there are many on-line options that are quick and simple to use.  

Register to vote: or

Check your Voter Reg Status: or call 800-345-VOTE (8683) Or: Ventura County Clerk-Recorder: or 805-654-2664 

Teresa Camarillo
Oak View


Ruth Bader Ginsburg was everything a Supreme Court justice should be.
Unfortunately, the temper of that court is quickly changing to a partisan joke. Largely due to the trappings provided by the most corrupt and Republican president in the entire history of what once was our Democratic government.  
The appointing of Supreme Court justices is no less corrupt under Donald Trump than John Dillinger’s bank robbing episodes. The manipulations of the U.S Senate under Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell are no less a mockery.  It was McConnell who engineered the prevention of a Supreme Court appointment by President Barack Obama.  Now he is ramming a conservative nomination on exactly the same grounds he applied to deny Obama his appointment.
In my opinion, the Supreme Court should step in to prevent the current appointment.   
Miguel Espinosa, Jr.

Climate Change

At a briefing on the California wildfires at McClellan Park on Sept. 14, President Trump dismissed the science of climate change and said, “I don’t think science knows, actually.”  But science does know, Mr. President.

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of 195 countries and thousands of scientists worldwide, was formed in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Association. This United Nations body assesses the science related to climate change — its natural, political and economic impacts.  These international climate experts have a complex and highly organized methodology to examine climate change in regular extensive reports.

One of the key features of the IPCC is its wide-open process for scientists from all over the world to review and comment on each of the drafts.  In this way the world is assured of getting the latest, most accurate and best scientific information about climate change.

The Nobel Prize-winning group provides an internationally accepted authority on the subject. It is currently in its sixth cycle with a new report expected in 2022.  In the most recent report, the IPCC states, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal and since the 1950s increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.”

What about the recent California wildfires?  A new peer-reviewed scientific study published in Environmental Research Letters reports that “climate change has already more than doubled the frequency of extreme autumn wildfire conditions in California over the past 40 years.”  

Science is important and action is required.  We believe the U.S. must enthusiastically rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, redouble our efforts to solve the climate crisis and elect political leaders who are committed to this cause.

Yes, science is important, and you just failed Science 101, Mr. President.

Richard Baldwin and Phil White
Former directors, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District



September 17, 2020

Barbara Brown for Ventura City Council

For the first time since I moved to Ventura 36 years ago, I have the chance to vote for a City Council member specific to my area of town.  The city’s antiquated open voting system had been replaced with district voting prior to the last election but for some the reason, District 3, was “assigned” a City Council member to represent us. 

Anyway, this time I had a chance to look over a well-qualified field and decide who I would like to have as my representative and I have decided to vote for and support Barbara Brown.  While all the candidates seemed qualified to do the job, choosing Barbara was easy for me for several reasons.

First, she is a 44-year resident of Ventura so she knows our town very well.  Second, she is a former Public Arts Commissioner who wants to bring the arts to everyone, young and old, and as a local author, I also support this.  Third, she is an active environmentalist who wants to keep our open spaces open and keep our air clean for everyone.  Fourth, she has been a small business owner in Ventura for 25 years and as one, she is dealing with the impacts of the pandemic on her business.  Finally, as if the pandemic were not enough, she lost her house in the Thomas Fire.

The fact that she has known these hardships and survived them, shows me that she is a fighter who will work hard for what she believes in, including the constituents in District 3.

I urge everyone in our district to support this hard-working, intelligent person and vote for her in the upcoming election.

John Darling

September 10, 2020

A sad state of the marine ecosystem at Channel Islands National Park

A couple of weekends ago, I snorkeled at Fry’s Harbor on Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park. Sadly, the harbor was filled primarily with sea urchins — sea urchins were everywhere you looked — and few other animals or plants. There was almost zero kelp in the harbor; I imagine it can’t withstand the onslaught of the urchins. And why are there so many urchins? I suspect it is unregulated recreational fishing. Large fish can eat sea urchins, but there were no large fish. Now the entire underwater area looks like a wasteland. I snorkeled in nearby Scorpion Landing late last year and there were beautiful and plentiful kelp and many animals. Fishing is not allowed in that harbor. Why is recreational fishing allowed in a national park — particularly when the area is being so devastated by it? Can’t harbors be monitored for the health of the ecosystem, and if they can’t support recreational fishing then close them until they can?

Fiona Bremner

Barbara Brown for Ventura City Council

After hearing Barbara Brown’s recent presentation at the virtual Candidate Town Hall on September 5, 2020, via Zoom, that was put on by the Ventura County Women’s Political Council, I was impressed by her passion in wanting to give back to the community that she has received so much from, in her run for Ventura City Council-District 3.

Barbara mentioned, “I believe in Ventura. Me and my family made the decision to rebuild our home after the Thomas Fire in 2017. We are strongly grounded here, and love the community.”

I’m also glad to hear about the various areas that Barbara wants to focus on while on the Ventura City Council. These include mitigating the financial impact caused by COVID-19 in order to realize how best to assist businesses and families during the pandemic. She’s also passionate about improving the homelessness situation in Ventura by the [Project] Roomkey and Homekey programs, which are both state funded, that enables those who are homeless to be housed in local hotels and motels.

In her years of being on the board of directors of Interface, she realized the importance of focusing on issues dealing with mental health.

In her work at Goodwill Industries, she stressed the importance of vocational training programs for those with disabilities, to find jobs. She also realizes the importance of economic and social justice for all. 

And, with her involvement with the Ventura Botanical Gardens, Ventura Land Trust and the Rancho San Buenaventura Conservatory Trust, she has been also able to focus on the importance of dealing with our environment.

Thus, I would highly recommend that you vote for Barbara Brown for Ventura City Council-District 3, in order for her to be able to improve the city of Ventura for all of us.

Carol Leish

Make your vote count

Ventura voters will be receiving their mail-in ballots in early October and are encouraged to study the candidates and state propositions now. In addition to national and state elections, Ventura voters will be voting to complete district elections for Ventura City Council members in Districts 2, 3 and 7, and for Ventura Unified School District trustees in Area 2 and 3.

To ensure your vote counts, plan to return your ballots as soon as possible by U.S. mail service, or deposit directly to the elections drop boxes located throughout the county. Your ballot will indicate the closest location for ballot drop boxes. More than two-thirds of Ventura voters successfully mailed in ballots in our most recent elections.

One of the most critical elements of vote by mail is the signature requirement on the back of the return envelope; the signature is proof that the ballot came directly from the registered voter and the signature will be verified by the Elections Office.

The ballot you receive in the mail will also include the hours and locations of vote centers; these will be open Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 if you wish to deliver your ballot to a vote center.

More information about voter registration is available from the Ventura County Election office, as well as the League of Women Voters Ventura County website,

Cheryl Collart


Deidre Frank for Oxnard Mayor

It is election season. Locally, we have a lot to decide, including who will be our mayor.  Tim Flynn is not running for re-election.

One choice is a woman who has led our Planning Commission, accumulating an admirable record of prudence and fairness between development and environmentalism. Deidre Frank is well known in Oxnard as an attorney and a fighter for causes like pesticide-exposed farmworkers and protection for Ormond Beach wetlands. Frank would bring a fresh perspective and years of pertinent experience. She is aware of the daunting economic, civic and moral challenges our city faces. And she is no pushover. We have not had a female mayor since 1974.

Frank is running against County Supervisor John Zaragoza, who sat on the council for 12 years at a time when the council failed in its fiduciary oversight responsibilities. This started Oxnard’s slide into the present economic mess, even before the pandemic. 

We need fresh leadership tempered with experience to meet the array of challenges that have confronted us, not just this year, but in the first 20 years of this century.  We cannot afford to look backward.  Deidre Frank is looking forward to a 21st century job with 21st century solutions. She will get my vote.

Lauraine Effress

Virtual forums hosted by League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Ventura County will be hosting virtual forums for many candidates in the Nov. 3 election. This is in keeping with the league’s mission to encourage active and informed participation in government. Candidate forums, registering voters and encouraging people to vote are some of our primary activities.

Our goal is to host forums for all city council races in Ventura County along with some congressional, legislative and other races. Details will be available in early September and our intention is to hold the virtual forums between mid-September and the first two weeks of October. As always, our forums will be conducted to treat all candidates fairly and without bias. The league never endorses individual candidates. 

We will publicize details on our website,, on our Facebook page,, and Twitter,, where you can follow us to be kept informed of our plans. For candidates, we will email you at the address you supplied when you filed your papers. 

Pat Essick
LWV of Ventura County Voter Services 

Good Old Trump

Why am I not surprised that Donald Trump refuses to condemn the 17-year-old who killed two demonstrators in Kenosha?
The would-be dictator himself has no respect for either of those sacred institutions. No other president in our history has been a sexual deviant and adhered to gangster tactics to benefit himself and his criminal family alike.  I blame the entire Republican Party, save those who’ve defected, for not coming down hard on him.  That involves them, as well, as accomplices.
There are no means by which he will not seek his personal goals. He even put our country at risk when he defied our security by issuing top secret security clearances to his daughter and son-in-law after they had been denied. Was that an act on our behalf, an act to protect and defend all Americans?  It was a high crimes violation with the potential of siding with our enemies and placing us in deep danger.  Our representatives in Washington had the obligation to charge the president with TREASON, no less.  But, the majority of Republicans who occupy the Senate chose to excuse Trump in an unprecedented act of complicity to TREASON.  
My hope is that a majority of voters will honor our democracy, oust Trump and his gang and restore our principles.  Not only that, I should be terribly disappointed if our new president, Joe Biden, does not see to it that the entire Trump organization is brought to justice and salvages our reputation.
Miguel Espinosa, Jr.
Support letter for Christy Weir

In Ventura City Council District 2, from Kalorama to the VC Medical Center, we have a race between Democrat Doug Halter and Independent Christy Weir, currently a council member.

 As a life-long progressive Democrat I can’t support Mr. Halter. He’s a good guy, with plenty of presence in our city, but he’s also a member of the Board of Directors of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, our strong pro-build advocates, with owners of business enterprises dependent on heavy growth.

 We used to sing the praises of “infill” building, but you have seen what happened everywhere — it’s “over-fill” almost to the curb. Four-story boxy structures with no style reference to their surrounding traditional neighborhoods is what we are getting. Little concern is given to parking, traffic impacts, water availability, and view sheds. Their motto seems to be, “If you build it, he will come” – not a fabled baseball player to a Field of Dreams, but rather an upscale transplant with big bucks to afford the newest housing build-outs in Ventura, often by LA developers.

Our local Democratic Club endorsed Doug Halter as a Democrat, but I’ll support Independent Christy Weir for her reasoned approach to city issues including responsible growth, environmental stewardship and live, on-camera critical thinking about many contentious issues.

Your vote in our district elections for Ventura City Council should defeat irresponsible pro-development candidates.

Robert Chianese