Aug. 19, 2021

Ventura is growing. Follow the code.

We have a building code in place that respects the pedestrian scale and character of our coastal community. Unfortunately, lately, developers have been granted height variances,  parking concessions and allowed to overbuild. They have neutered the Design Review Committee and given too much power to “staff”.

We need the Ventura Community Development Division, Planning Department and City Council to start following the existing municipal building code and not rely on variances, exceptions and/or concessions to circumvent the wishes of our community.

The specific project for this letter is: 

Anastasi Mixed Use Development (PROJ-15022); Loc: Intersections of Harbor Blvd, Seaward Ave. (District 7) 

Desc: Mixed Use Development consisting of 97 condominiums ranging from 3-4 stories and up to 70 feet in elevation) and 19,493 sq. ft. of commercial space. It will affect everyone who lives or visits here. It is not a gateway, but rather a monolithic mass blocking the hill and ocean views of every cyclist, motorist and pedestrian along the Seaward, Pierpont and Harbor corridors.

A height variance to increase the maximum height from 35 feet to 51 feet as measured from the average grade of Harbor Blvd would create a citadel towering above everything within a mile or more.

The allowable, code maximum of 35 feet tall is more than adequate for this location. 

Venturans need transparency on this project. It will effect the entire community, not just those living within 300-1,000 feet of the site.

We demand public hearings, story poles and large readable signage at the site for hearing dates and a story board of proposed project.

We demand the developer follow the code. We demand city officials to listen to our community.

Keep Ventura, Ventura. Sign the petition at:

Amy Cherrie


Aug. 12, 2021

Re: Bu Hwang

Great story about Bu and his wife retiring from Wienerschnitzel (“A doggone good run: Wienerschnitzel owners retiring after 30 years,” by Kimberly Rivers, Aug. 5, 2021.). I met him in the summer of 1990 when I stopped by after Boogie boarding and we have been friends ever since. We would always joke when we say we’ve known each other for 10 years then 20 years and now 30 years. I sure love their breakfast items, especially the delicious country breakfast! I’m glad that it was you who wrote about them, it was perfect.

Ventura County

Water and development in Ventura

San Buenaventura could run out of water. Really. We have only local supplies to rely on and they are very low and dependent on fall and winter rains (in 2021-22) for real re-supply. We need lots of rain to fill our lake, river, streams and aquifers.Will they come? If you think this is just a severe drought, you might think so. If you think climate change has shifted water and air currents in new, possibly permanent directions, steering rain away from us, then no.

As we fret over the size and height and the number of new housing units in our city, we need to ask where will the water come from to supply these new residents? We are told the new buildings are more efficient users of water, but what water? Obviously water we existing residents depend on. We are soon going to feel the squeeze of new water restrictions, based on diminishing local supplies and the impact of thousands of new local residents in the new housing buildings.

As we build and build without securing more water, we learn that some California cities are already dry and have to import expensive water–Mendicino for one.

But local consciousness about our diminishing water supply is lacking. Our VCStar environmental writer David Goldstein has a long story about the repair of the Matilija Dam and watersheds to meet the challenge of new flows to the Ventura River, but never once mentions “climate change” and its threat to renewed water flows in that watershed and elsewhere (VCStar Aug 8, 2021).

How do we get the public and our City Council and Planning Commision and staff members and local electeds to stop developing new housing until we have adequate water to support it and keep existing residents supplied with what we need? Our slow or stubborn response to these environmental realities could hurt us locally and globally.

We must petition our local government to develop only what we have water to support, based not on historical  models but new environmental realities facing us every day.

 Bob Chianese

Heart and soul of CI Harbor

Let’s have the Fisherman’s Wharf in Channel Islands Harbor that we all enjoy: Here is a collection of suggestions/ideas from over 6,700 people who stated this is what they would enjoy spending their money on at the CI harbor.

How about a smart subsidized group of projects: group concession fees, harbor- and marina-related eats, shops, retail, gallery. Getting Gull Wings Children’s Museum back to Oxnard would be nice! How about the carousel that was at Ventura?  A shop that supports our disabled veterans, selling hats, shirts, etc. The Base is our largest employer here, let’s honor them always!

Keep the businesses that are there now, add a huge Veterans Memorial that radiates free WiFi. At the entrance to the harbor have huge lights and great huge flags, info screen/compass rose area for island history and harbor history tours. Add an aquarium restaurant, we have boat rentals, and open spaces and sunshine areas with park benches, vendors. We need larger parks, more access for our disabled in the harbor and bring in MUSICIANS!

A saltwater park with a zip line, a 10-hour, three-days-a-week farmers market, specialty coffees, a special beer, wine and port store would be great. A cheese and cracker store, specialty scotch, tequila, whiskey, rum, etc. store. Need a small book library next to a coffee/bread/pastry Shop . . . marinas love this and boaters like to read books, even trade their books/movies. 

We have fishing trips, cruise trips, diving, a gorgeous hotel, and the best pizza ever. We have bars, great hamburgers in this area and our sunsets are sooooo perfect that telescope points are needed to see all the Channel Islands and our majestic mountains! Little outdoor/in cultural food cafes are much needed!

Some solar-powered sheltered free parking and outdoor table/sitting charging stations to offset electricity in the harbor at night, so we have a SAFE place to sit and enjoy food/drink, like we have on our university campuses. A Bark Park for dogs, restaurants with outdoor umbrellas overlooking a bike path that extends from the eastside harborside all the way from CI Blvd. to Kiddie Beach on Silver Strand. How about a homemade bread store, and a specialty tea shop? Water taxis will also be needed as soon as we get more businesses in harbor. Many opportunities for all!

We are not getting McGrath back, so all harbor-serving businesses need to face launch near existing RV area. Expand camping area due to loss of McGrath and add sand beach play area for kid campers and s’more pits, shade trees and some grass. An awesome ice creamery.

Please, we want you all to join in and add to this, write to the California Coastal Commission in Ventura. 

Bed and breakfast stays, boats delivering food to other boaters and more docks for the restaurants. A community center that was promised, for starters, would be wonderful! Oh, and a ferris wheel. Caramel apple slices and sno-cones, flavored popcorn. Jalapeño poppers and beer bar, an outdoor fishing tank, teach our kids how to catch a fish and then it can be fried right there on the spot for dinner and eat outside . . . there is a moral in there somewhere. 

Dotty Pringle
Local Artist
CI Harbor Research

Vote “yes” to recall Governor Newsom

The Sept. 14 special election to recall Gavin Newsom is rapidly approaching. Here are 10 reasons to recall Newsom now:

  1. Given the 2-to-1 advantage of Democrat vs. Republican voter registration in California, Democrats have been hurt more by Newsom’s errors and autocracy than Republicans.
  2. Elizabeth Warren, a Senator from the East Coast state of Massachusetts, has been on TV numerous times supporting Newsom . . . do you really want an out-of-state socialist Democrat telling you how to vote?
  3. Newsom’s unpredictable and destructive flipflopping on Covid mandates under unlimited “emergency powers” has created a huge problem for the business community, both Democratic and Republican.
  4. Gavin Newsom has placed the campaign dollars and desires of the teachers’ unions above the needs of our schoolchildren, possibly causing a permanent deficit in their primary education.
  5. As governor, he ignored the clear mandate of the people of California when he suspended use of the death penalty.
  6. He has failed to provide any productive measures to reduce homelessness in our state. Many of our cities are developing “Nesomvilles” (similar to the “Hoovervilles”)
  7. He promotes illegal immigration into our state by offering “free health care” at taxpayer expense.
  8. Rolling blackouts are our New Normal thanks to his focus on green energy only with no proof that solar panels, batteries and wind turbines can provide what we need.
  9. Remember his hypocrisy in attending an extravagant dinner at the French Laundry Restaurant with lobbyists unmasked after commanding all of us to wear masks and shut down our businesses as well as sending his children to private school while ours made do with inadequate “Zoom School”.
  10. As governor, he paved the way for ultraliberal district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles to hobble the police and offer get out of jail cards to many criminals, enabling our current rise in violent and non-violent crime.

Be it Democrat or Republican, we need a Governor with clear, unmovable principles and effective actions using those powers granted by the people of California.


Jay Bayman