May 19, 2022

RE: May 12, 2022 Power to Speak

Ventura County has its own “Big Lie,” and it has to do with Measures A and B on the June ballot.  Oil companies are continuing to spread lies and misinformation about the effects of approving Measures A and B.

Ben Oakley’s Power to Speak on May 12th perpetuates the oil company lies that approving Measures A and B would “shut down local oil production,” would “threaten thousands of local jobs,”  and would “drive energy prices higher.”  Those claims are just not true.  Measures A and B do not stop oil companies from drilling, do not put people out of work, and would not raise energy prices.  Nobody is stopping oil companies from drilling.   

Approving Measures A and B will confirm that voters agree that all new oil well development in Ventura County should be subject to the modern environmental standards already approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2020.

Oil companies are spending an unprecedented $6.5 million to buy their own rules by trying to scare voters into voting “no.”  We will all see the many signs of this misleading campaign.  Don’t be fooled.

In 2020, County Supervisors told oil companies that they have permission to continue to drill for gas and oil here in Ventura County, but they also told them that in doing the drilling, they expect compliance with the common-sense environmental standards that are being applied in other jurisdictions across the state and the country.

Now, it’s up to Ventura County voters to tell oil companies:  YES, you can continue to drill for oil, but we expect you to comply with the reasonable environmental standards the Board of Supervisors have already adopted.  

Don’t be fooled by the “Big Lie.”

Ventura County voters must vote YES on Measures A and B.

Phil White
Ojai

More on Measures A and B

Of all the lies being told by the No on A&B crowd, aka Big Oil, the most absurd (and funniest) one is the one that seems to imply that by requiring Big Oil to update its antiquated drilling permits the world oil supply will be impacted!  If Big Oil is mandated by voters to clean up their act, then the price of gas will skyrocket more than it is already doing and we will have to import more oil.  Most likely, they could shut down all their wells and not cause a ripple in the world oil supply.  

The No on A&B crowd must think we are Saudi Arabia.  They also must think that Ventura County voters are a pack of rubes who are too stupid to know a lie when they see or hear one. 

The No on A&B crowd has their record profits to protect, profits garnered by price gouging Ventura County residents.  We have to show this crowd that we are not going to fall for their lies no matter how much money they spend to spread them.

Do as I just did, Ventura County, vote Yes on A&B!

John Darling
Ventura

Recent global events have made it clear that reliance on foreign energy sources is bad for America and bad for Ventura County. As a result of our dependence on foreign oil to fuel our nation, energy prices are at record levels in Ventura County, well over what they were a year ago. Measures A and B will further increase energy prices and hurt regular people who are just trying to get by. Shutting down local oil production in Ventura county increases our dependence on oil supplied by wayward foreign leaders. As a middle-class Ventura resident, I cannot keep up with rising energy costs. Measures A and B will shut down local energy production in Ventura County and make us more vulnerable to international uncertainty. Please vote NO on Measure A and B. 

Lindsey Stetson
Ventura

Erik Nasarenko for VC DA

I am writing in support of Ventura County District Erik Nasarenko.  In June, Erik will be on the ballot to continue his position as DA.  I had the pleasure of serving with Erik on the Ventura City Council, and saw firsthand how his  leadership style benefited the residents of Ventura, particularly during his term as Mayor. His intelligence and dedication, combined with a compassionate and thorough approach, were of immense help to our community during challenging times. Erik has the rare ability to communicate with clarity, precision and understanding of complicated issues. He works effectively with a wide variety of individuals and groups, facilitating consensus and action.

By unanimous vote in 2021, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors appointed Erik to assume the position of County District Attorney.  In a short period of time, Erik has increased the crime-fighting efforts of his department in collaboration with other county agencies.  With strength and determination, Erik has already accomplished significant goals including the expansion of the cold case sexual assault program, increasing prosecutions of home burglary and gang related criminals, intensifying the focus on domestic violence crimes, and increasing punishments on drug dealers.

Please join me in supporting Erik Nasarenko for Ventura County District Attorney.

Christy Weir
Former Mayor, City of Ventura

 


May 12, 2022

To Linda, on our 28th

Her color is red like a battery humming
A stack of Marshall amps with the guitars strumming
A face o so pretty, a peach, a wish
She lights up the romm with her sweet disposish’

Her color is carmine like a sunset shade
You touch her hand – Sonny, you are made
A bod made for sin, a whisper, a confetti
Fast and no fooling, you better be ready.

Her color is Honey, Twist and Shout
A breath of springtime, a candle never out
Did you ever see a hawk that flies over everything
The colors triumphant and all the earth sounds that ring

Henry Ohrtman
Ventura

Measures A and B

With oil prices high, there is more incentive to ramp up oil drilling, including next to homes and schools. Ventura County residents need to vote Yes on Measures A and B if they want that development to face environmental review – like every other kind of development – and to meet current laws including setbacks from homes and schools.

In Ventura County, oil companies have been able to flout health and safety laws by operating under old permits issued last century, before the state created environmental review. Those “antiquated” permits cover 127,000 acres in Ventura County and have no expiration dates or limits on the number of wells. Large swaths of Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Camarillo, Fillmore, Simi Valley, as well as Ventura beaches and waterways are potential drilling sites, including mere feet from homes. Numerous studies show the dangerous health effects of living within two miles of an oil well, including asthma, cancer and low birthweight in newborn babies.

To protect residents, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors closed this loophole, requiring new projects go through environmental review regardless of the age of the original permit. They also adopted a General Plan that calls for a 2,500-foot health and safety buffer between wells and homes and schools. The oil industry responded aggressively, suing the County and launching a petition to halt the change and put it on the ballot.

At a time when Ventura County is threatened by climate-fueled wildfires and drought, and the United Nations calls for “urgent action” on climate change, we should be building the clean energy economy of the future.  Instead, the oil industry wants forever rights to drill near homes and schools and is suing the County, seeking to overturn laws and legal precedent, and spending millions on a ballot fight to get their way.

Vote “yes” on Measures A and B to defend Ventura County’s laws and make sure that high oil prices don’t result in destructive and unregulated oil drilling. The real solution to high prices is to reduce our reliance on oil and gas by increasing renewable energy and electrifying buildings and cars – not by drilling next to people’s homes.

 
Katie Davis
Chair, Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter
 
As an Oak Park resident and energy worker, I will be voting No on Measure A and Measure B. If these measures pass, it will shut down our local oil and gas industry, which could jeopardize 2,000 local jobs, including mine. These are blue-collar jobs held by union members, single parents, 1st generation immigrants, and veterans. Our county can’t afford more job losses. Measures A and B could also result in a loss of tax revenues that fund schools, police, and fire. No one in the community benefits from longer response times and larger school class sizes. We must stop the deceptive oil and gas shutdown by voting No on A and B. 
 
Christopher Jones
Ventura
 
Show Big Oil they cannot spend millions to buy elections in Ventura County.

In 2020, in the interest of public health and safety, our duly elected Board of Supervisors voted to require antiquated oil leaseholders to review the environmental impacts new drilling or fracking could cause to surrounding communities and our resources.

Not taking “NO” for an answer, Big Oil has spent millions on fancy signature collectors, fancy mailers, and fancy yard signs to convince VC voters that oil companies need not consider the damage that new drilling or fracking on these old leases (3,000 in the county) would cause.

Let’s show Big Oil what their obscene profits cannot buy here. Let’s show them some VC grassroots determination. Grab your kids or grandkids, grab some poster board and crayons, and let’s show them some not-so-fancy “YES on A & B – FOR OUR KIDS” car-window and yard signs.

You can’t drink oil – protect our water, protect our environment, and protect our kids.

Big Oil might not know it, but YES WE CAN defeat them.

On June 7, vote YES on Measures A & B – for our kids.

Diane Underhill
Ventura

Michelle Ascencion for Ventura County Clerk-Recorder

Most of us pay little attention to ballot races like County Clerk-Recorder. But this June we should.  Michelle Ascencion, known for her terrific work as City Clerk in Oxnard, is an outstanding candidate for County Clerk-Recorder to replace retiring Mark Lunn. She has taken the highly ethical position of refusing partisan registration. Overseeing registration and elections, she thinks, is best done without party affiliation.

As Oxnard Clerk, she convened a candidate education series so potential candidates had a sense of what it is to serve on the Council.  She managed the attempted recall of four Council members, five ballot initiatives, two Council elections and the formation of new Council Districts in 2018, when Oxnard went from five to seven seats. All of these elections went off without a hitch. 
The past year and a half, Michelle has served as Assistant County Clerk-Recorder. She reminds us that the position is also responsible for the recording of property deeds and ensuring that this essential function remains fraud-free. There are other parts to this job that would surprise you, but I am limited in words in this letter.    Suffice to say, Michelle is experienced in all aspects of the job and already working on the implementation of the Voter Choice Act, which makes significant changes in how Voting Centers, drop boxes and mail ballots are handled in our county. And she is doing it all at the highest level of competence.
To get to see Michelle, register for the League of Women Voters Clerk-Recorder forum on April 28 at the League of Women Voters website.  Michelle has a fine website of her own at Michelleforvc.com. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. Let’s remember that elections officials have become high profile sine 2020. We need Michelle, a true professional, in that office to be oversee  our upcoming elections.
 
Lauraine Effress
Oxnard
 
Letter of Support of Erik Nasarenko

I am writing in support of Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko.  On June 7th Erik will be on the ballot to continue serving as District Attorney, the position he earned by unanimous vote of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in 2021. He has proven himself to be a leader, and a listener and a true public servant. Having served as Ventura County Supervisor for 20 years, I worked with prior District Attorneys and appreciated their commitment to the public and to the overall safety of our communities; and I know Erik holds those same commitments.

 Erik has dramatically increased the crime-fighting efforts of his department in collaboration with other county agencies.  With strong and determined, yet compassionate leadership, Erik has accomplished significant goals including obtaining $2.5 million for the expansion of the cold case sexual assault program, increasing prosecutions of home burglary and gang related criminals, along with additional punishment for using a gun in committing a crime. He has intensified the focus on domestic violence crimes, and increased punishments on drug dealers. He also established in the office a dedicated Mental Health Unit. Accountability and punishment administered with the experience of a trusted prosecutor describes Erik Nasarenko.

Erik is just getting started and there is more vital work to be done.  Now is not the time to change county leadership.  Now is the time to support Erik Nasarenko for Ventura County District Attorney. He has my vote and full support. Please vote June 7 for Erik Nasarenko.

Kathy Long, Ventura County Supervisor, Ret.
Camarillo