Author: VC Reporter

Reclaiming narratives is a two-way street

Ever since I was young child, I have struggled with understanding which parts of me were valid in different areas of my life. As a bilingual first-generation American of Mexican descent, I developed a system for determining which aspects of identity to present depending on my environment. At my predominantly all-white, upper-middle-class private elementary school, I only spoke English and pronounced my name the way my teachers and classmates did. I was careful not to let any of the Spanish words I frequently used at home slip out on the playground or, God forbid, in the classroom for fear...

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Speak for the trees

B. 4/22/98 – D. 4/22/19: RIP Midtown Monarch Paradise Park On Earth Day April 22, 2019, I watch out my living room window as the excavator scoops up the remains of the 20 year old Midtown Monarch Paradise Park, a Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden in Midtown Ventura funded by two Earth Day grants and built by the community on a vacant city lot and hillside near the terminus of Prince Barranca at Ocean Ave Park. A mature sycamore tree planted in 1998 to honor L.M. Paquette The sycamore was getting ready to spread its seed. Field of flora and...

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LIFE, LIVED: Mary Jane Wilson

by Marcia Beebe On Sunday, April 7, at 4:30 a.m., a dear, wonderful lady, Mary Jane Wilson, went home to Divine Love. Mary Jane had celebrated her 102 birthday on April 1. She was a Leisure Village resident in Camarillo. Mary Jane loved God, laughter, life, her family and her dog. She would laugh easily and say “Mary Jane-isms” quickly, with ease and matter-of-factly. “You’re never too old to try something new. I started tap dancing when I was 83.” The wonderful thing about Mary Jane is that she never stopped dancing, laughing or loving life. Did Mary Jane...

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Census 2020: Quest to tally hard-to-count populations

Jose works in the strawberry fields in Ventura County. He is worried about filling out the upcoming census questionnaire. Although he is living in this country legally, he has friends and family that are not. He has heard stories of what might happen to him and his family if the authorities locate him through the census questionnaire. Sally is a college student attending CSUCI and living in Ventura County. When not attending classes, she lives with her family in Arizona. She is confused about whether she should complete the census as a resident of California or Arizona. So she...

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Speaking for the marginalized, targets of profiling

The horror of being the victim of bias is the loneliness of feeling unseen for who you truly are, for being seen as anything less than fully human. On March 17, Jessica Moore — a comedian who goes by “Jess Hilarious”— posted videos of turbaned Sikh men boarding a plane. “Where are they going? Where are they GOING?” Moore is heard saying from behind the cellphone camera. In later videos, she jokingly brags about the men being kicked off the plane. She also went on an expletive-laced rant against those who found her insensitivity offensive. Many Sikhs across the...

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