May 27, 2021
The many organizations and performers at this benefit for local mental health causes deserve every praise, but I would like to point out that these worthy efforts are “music as therapy” rather than “music therapy” itself. Please allow me to explain the important differences and why they matter.
I wholeheartedly agree with the organizer who says, “Music has always had the ability to inspire social action,” and the poignancy of musicians “making sense” of their own mental health disorders by sharing their stories with listeners. And how much better do we all feel when we sing together or gather as an audience for a concert! But this “music as therapy” is only “the first step” on the journey to mental health recovery for those with serious needs.
That’s where “Music Therapy” — an evidence-based practice requiring serious training — offers an array of additional benefits for wellbeing to such underserved populations as people on the autism spectrum, youth and teens with mental health and substance use issues; hospital patients, and seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
To become an MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified) requires a Bachelor’s degree in music; two additional years of training in music therapy techniques, psychology, philosophy, anatomy and education; a 1200 hour internship and board certification exam. With this extensive training and experience, a music therapist can make a real difference using proven interventions to improve the lives of people of all ages.
But “true” music therapy is scarce in Ventura County. It is not offered in one public school or even one hospital in any city in Ventura County (population: 846,000). We here are far behind the ball compared to places such as Lexington, KY (population: 320,600) which has four full time MT-BCs in its schools and four in the hospitals!
As a practicing MT-BC music therapist myself, I urge the public to “get woke” to what music therapy really is and can do, and to advocate for the providing of this indispensable service for those we love: our emotionally struggling students, our recovering hospital patients and our aging parents and neighbors.
Founder and director, Empowering Lives Through Music
DSAVC Stands with Palestinians: from Sheikh Jarrah to Gaza and Beyond
The Democratic Socialists of America – Ventura County (DSAVC) unequivocally condemns the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Israel is forcibly expelling Palestinian families in Jerusalem to make way for more Israeli settlers. The families have been ordered to leave their homes by the Israeli Supreme Court by August 1st. Israel has no legal jurisdiction over the occupied eastern part of Jerusalem according to international law, but nevertheless continues to illegitimately advance their racist agenda in a continuation of the state’s broader, settler-colonial Zionist project.
Palestinians protesting the recent round of illegal expulsions have faced violent repression. Israeli police have gone so far as to storm the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, using tear gas and stun grenades against worshippers.
At the same time, Palestinians are also being bombarded in Gaza. Israel’s bombing has so far killed at least 227 Palestinians, including 63 children, and injured more than 500 more, according to Gaza Health Ministry. Civilians in Gaza have nowhere to run, as Gaza is an open air prison blockaded by Israel and Egypt on all sides. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Any bombing of such a densely populated area constitutes collective punishment and is a crime against humanity. However, Israel continues to violently violate international law with unconditional support from its allies (e.g. the United States). The Israel Defense Forces have also bombed media towers, psychiatry hospitals, and Covid testing centers.
The United States provides Israel with $3.8 billion of unconditional military aid annually and gives Israel special diplomatic cover for its countless violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. During the midst of this disaster, Joe Biden has also approved $735 million dollars in funding to Israel and has not joined other United Nations leaders in asking for a ceasefire. We demand not only an end to the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine, but the full recognition of the Palestinian people’s basic rights. DSAVC unapologetically stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their ongoing struggle for liberation: from Sheikh Jarrah to Gaza and beyond.
Democratic Socialists of America – Ventura County
May 20, 2021
National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day 2021
In honor of National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, the Board of Supervisors and County of Ventura recognizes the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement.
This week is a time to honor our law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our communities and communities throughout our nation. The County of Ventura is deeply appreciative for the extraordinary courage and dedication with which members of law enforcement act each day serving our communities by ensuring public safety, when facing danger and putting their lives on the line.
Thirty-five men and women have died in the line of duty since 1897, serving communities throughout our county. These officers left behind spouses, children, parents, friends, and colleagues. We remember them during this time and extend our deepest sympathy to the loved ones left behind. We honor our fallen officers memorialized on our Ventura County Peace Officers Memorial located at the Ventura County Government Center.
As we take this moment to acknowledge the work and thank our police officers for all that they do every day, we are also reminded to support them and work together in the important work of protecting and improving public safety in our communities.
County of Ventura Executive Officer
May 13, 2021
Day of the Teacher
California celebrates the Day of the Teacher on May 12, 2021. What better time than now to honor the instructional excellence in our Ventura schools, community colleges and universities.
At all grade levels, teachers are keeping dreams alive for thousands of Ventura children and young adults. It certainly is a team effort, accomplished by teachers, support staff, volunteers, and administrators working together with families to maintain the focus on what’s best for students. You are all educators. Together, you have zoomed into a new era of learning by modifying curriculum, schedules, classrooms and the use of technology to promote student access and success. Our entire community benefits from your dedication, flexibility and knowledge.
To celebrate the Day of the Teacher 2021, the Sunrise Optimist Club applauds all of the teachers, staff, volunteers and administrators in our Ventura schools for your exceptional efforts on behalf of students. We appreciate your courageous work during these unprecedented times.
Usually we honor just one Educator of the Year. This year, we celebrate ALL EDUCATORS IN VENTURA COUNTY serving pre-K through university students. We appreciate you! Bravo!
On behalf of the Sunrise Optimist Club,
May 6, 2021
Help wanted: kitchen staff
Those at the top of the list of the used and abused in the restaurant/food service industry are on my mind. I hear they are not responding eagerly to “Help Wanted” pleas. Alas. Alack. What to do?
Not “the backbone” or the “bones” of the house. Those with their stained chef coats, personal knives, aprons, charred and sticky towels, salt encrusted hat bands and bandanas, knife nicks and scars, hot rack burn welts and squishy blisters, singed fringe and crisped lashes are reminded they can be replaced, while being begged to work a double in the same breath. “I can replace you in a heartbeat,” the old mantra, is being challenged.
Cook, former downtown restaurant owner, downtown lover
For the People Act
The For The People Act is a sweeping upgrade of election accessibility, transparency, and security, and would override the wave of GOP anti-voter laws sweeping the nation. It creates a national voter registration program, makes Election Day a national holiday, and crushes gerrymandering and voter roll purges. It includes campaign finance reform, limiting foreign lobbying and requiring SuperPACS to disclose donors. It even includes support for a constitutional amendment to Citizens United. It’s voting rights for the people, which is where voting should belong, but often doesn’t.
Our Senators Feinstein and Padilla must hear from us loud and clear: the For the People Act is exactly what our democracy needs at this moment, and it’s their job to deliver it.
RE: Banning Meat
Last week, Victor Castanza wrote a letter urging families to stop buying meat to save the planet from climate change. The author suggested plant-based fake meat was a better option. Choking down ultra-processed meat alternatives won’t save the planet — and it could be bad for your health.
Eliminating meat one day per week would make no meaningful difference in total emissions in the U.S. Livestock, including all the animals that are not consumed, are responsible for roughly 5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions according to the EPA. The University of Florida found families would save more emissions by adjusting their home’s thermostat or observing the speed limit to waste less gas.
Some people think the term “plant-based” means meat alternatives are healthier. This is deceptive marketing. While meat is filled with proteins and vitamins, faux meat burgers are ultra-processed and filled with questionable additives.
The USDA notes that 30-40% of food is wasted. To help the environment, eat what you want–just make sure not to waste it.
Will Coggin, Managing Director
Center for Consumer Freedom