CitizensJournal.us- Letters to the Editor


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Since this is CITIZENS Journal, public opinion is especially important. We accept general letters here from the public, on varied topics in the form of comments, below. If you wish to respond to specific articles, scroll down to reader comments for the appropriate posting.  If you want them featured, include full name, address, phone number (the latter two will be kept confidential) and send to editor@citizensjournal.us).

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This page contains general letters from Mid January, 2017 to December 2018. Many others are posted directly to relevant articles.

For previous letters, see http://citizensjournal.us/citizensjournalus-letters-to-the-editor/

27 Responses to CitizensJournal.us- Letters to the Editor

  1. Fran Austin November 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    LOVE LETTER TO OUR STUDENTS

    As a teacher and grandmother attending a CVUSD School Board Meeting, 11/14/17, I witnessed palpable hostility, appallingly crude behavior . Three dedicated School Board Members, acting with dignity and integrity in performing their duty to protect and ensure the best interests and intellectual safety of vulnerable students, endured hateful, rehearsed, inexcusable verbal attacks from the “liberal” student, parent, teacher audience. Unbelievable!
    The issue re discourse was English/Language Arts Curriculum book selections, Grades 9-12.
    Their subject matter and language were inappropriate, profane, perverse, including suicidal ideation aimed at fragile young minds, portraying pedophilia as ‘normal”, a pedophile as a sympathetic character.
    Such behavior and material are outrageous, revolting, heartbreaking. Children deserve better academically and morally . In my opinion, the label ‘mature’ reading is a misnomer, unfit for even ‘adults’.
    The intent and purpose of these ‘selections’ is to further lower academic standards, politically indoctrinate, corrupt and mangle young minds, electrify, prey on emotion, innocence, foment division and fuel victimization, confound critical thinking, blurring morality re right and wrong, call good evil, evil good.
    All this at the hands of a School System and Teachers’ Union charged with modeling, teaching excellence, but instead regarding our most precious resource as chattel (property, intellectual slaves), a source of financial lucre, control, power.
    Students, anyone encouraging you to believe and ingest this force-fed depravity is deceiving you; such deception is based on lies.
    It is child abuse per se, like encouraging you to put your hand into fire, cross the street as a car approaches.
    “We are what we eat” physically, spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, socially. We are blessed not to eat food from a dumpster. Feasting on waste from one of putrid thought becomes a form of ‘intellectual self-mutilation”, possible irreparable harm.
    Book selections should be based on inspiration, not desperation, elevation, not degradation.
    Focus and thought should be on “whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of virtue, good report , praise”.
    So, ‘rebels without true cause”, scripted in the false, unjust cause of “censorship”/book banning, I ask you why the Bible, the first and only school textbook, is “censored”/ banned, from your classrooms.
    Apropos quote, “garbage in, garbage out, Gospel in, Gospel out.”

    Fran Austin

    Reply
  2. Tom Dunn November 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Being that it is almost Thanksgiving, I am thankful to have found Port Hueneme to live in for the last 12 years. I love Port Hueneme because it is near my son, it is at the beach, it is small, it has very friendly people who also love living here and there are five golf courses nearby. Most of us moved here from somewhere else and have made Port Hueneme our home. I would like for those of you that also love Port Hueneme to share why you chose Port Hueneme to live in and why you love it so much. Email your thoughts to and it will be posted on Port Hueneme News and Next Door Port Hueneme for all to share. I look forward to sharing your experiences in Port Hueneme and have a Happy Thanksgiving with family and loved ones. Oh, I forgot to mention that the weather is fantastic in “the friendly city by the sea”. Tom Dunn Reply

  3. Lawrence Paul Stein November 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Having been actively involved in the last effort of our Oxnard council members elected by district instead of by large I have some advice.

    1) The public preferred having the Mayor elected at large. Several cities have the mayor chosen from the elected members of city council.

    2) Have an even number elected by district either 4 or 6. Having a Mayor elected at large and the council members elected by district, there would be an odd number on the dias, preventing any tie votes if all members were present.

    3) At the special meeting, provide to the public how the districts would be laid out if there were 4 districts and 6 districts.

    It is my understanding that if there were to be council members elected by district, each district must have the same number of voters within a certain percentage (such as 1%). This number is based upon the last census count, in this case 2010.

    I do not think staff will have the potential district maps drawn up in time for the public to comment on them. Until such time the maps are drawn, having a public discussion where members of the public can directly inter act with staff and the elected body would be more useful than giving each member a specting amount of time to be ignored as it is currently being proposed by staff.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lawrence Stein 11 16 2017

    Reply
  4. Barry Gabrielson November 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Subject: Fwd: Did you read this Article on the Acorn? This is an employee of this district? https://www.toacorn.com/articles/teachers-trustee-clash-over-literature-policy/

    Nigro, the coach of Westlake’s successful Academic Decathlon team, called on teachers to show up in force tomorrow night at district offices on Janss Road.

    “If you want to fight back against this nightmare becoming your reality, it is critical that everyone show up to the board meeting,” Nigro wrote. “Heck, get your friends in other departments or at other schools to come because they’re next; get parents who support our cause to show up in big numbers; get anyone who has concerns about the impending lack of diversity in our curriculum and who doesn’t want their kids to just read safe books written by only dead white guys. This is our last line of defense against impending doom, and it’s not too late: if we go down, ‘at least we die with a harness on our back.’”

    I did not know that the first priority and #1 goal in public secular nihilist education is to implement diversity? I thought the #1 goal in public education was to teach children to read, write, perform math, history, etc? Teach our impressionable children deductive logic, rational thought and common sense. Silly me. Looking at the horrible test scores in each public schools today, majority (60-85%) of our children cant pass simple English and Math Tests. If this is the teachers priority, diversity training, then the teachers priorities in this district are messed up, same with this School Board.

    So Nigro resents reading books written by dead white guys? So we should not be reading the Constitution, Bill of Rights,
    Declaration of Independence, all our history, all the classical writers and intellectuals of their time? We should not read to our children Shakespeare, Dickens, Socrates, Plato, Homer, Hemingway, Orwell, Twain, Whitman, Salinger,Huxley, Bradbury, Stevenson, etc. Nigro is saying that teachers should only allow reading literature that is current, written by people still alive that are not white males. What a completely ignorant, irresponsible, irrational and racist comment. Since when do any school districts school boards decide what is placed in the reading curriculum solely based on the writer’s race and gender, weather they are dead or alive? Look at the new added inappropriate current book curriculum today “Diary of a Part Time Indian”, “Glass Castle” and others. “Dairy” was scored as a 3rd grade reading level book taught in 9th grade classrooms, with easy simple words and childish sentence structures, salacious inappropriate language and content, where children don’t learn. It appears that this majority on the Board (4-1 yes vote) agrees with Nigro’s position, that diversity training and promoting far left wing Nihilist Secular ideology is way more important than a free an appropriate proper K-12 education for our children.

    Barry Gabrielson

    Reply
  5. Lawrence Paul Stein October 31, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    RE: Oxnard Expense Reporting

    I have received comments pertaining to my public requests. Certain elected officials feel that I am auditing documents that have already been audited, in some cases by three different set of eyes, creating an unjustified workload on staff. I understand the reasoning and frustration. I am not auditing the documents, but analyzing them and comparing how the information is being reported to the public. I am not satisfied with what I am seeing.

    I am sure that 98% of staff and taxpayers do not care, the money is spent, what difference does it make how it is reported? Two of the vendors that I look at are NAPA Auto Parts and the Shell Gas Card. The city pays these vendors over $120,000 per month each and is expensed ti general services (fleet services). The actual expenses are for actual vehicles within specific departments, i.e. Police, Fire, Parks, Recreation, Finance, City Manager…). I do not see any documentation where fleet services specifically allocates these expenditures bases on actual department use. If one goes to the Monthly Expenditure reports, gasoline is part of repairs and maintenance even though there is a line item for gasoline.

    The money involved is 2% of the general fund and the potential of material fraud is miniscule, but fraud has been found in the past. I have been told that in the past gasoline has been purchased to fill up personal vehicles vehicles, and employees have removed parts from city vehicles and exchanged them with part from their personal vehicles. By allocating costs directly to departments, budget variances are easier to detect reducing the risk to fraud.

    As a side note, I looked at the Shell Gas bill for June 2017 and saw what appeared to be less than 10 cards being to buy gasoline in Ventura, Camarillo and Simi Valley. It would not surprise me that 98% of the gasoline purchased was bought in Oxnard. Department Directors should get a copy of the gas card bills if only to remind those 10 employees that gasoline not purchased in Oxnard means that Oxnard citizens are subsidizing other cities even if it less than $100.00 per month.

    I am still seeing invoices being paid with no detail describing the actual services being performed, only a general description.

    Respectfully

    Lawrence Paul Stein

    Reply
  6. David Allen October 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    “In recent weeks, I’ve asked people this question: Can you name one instance in the last 60 years in which most blacks have stood for something good?”

    Unbelievable statement. I realize it was the opinion of the gentleman
    who wrote it, but is that the opinion of Citizens Journal as well?

    Wow. Stay classy, CJ.

    Reply
    • Citizen Reporter October 28, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      David Allen:

      1. No, definitely not. If you peruse the reader comments for that article, which you chose not to post your comment on for some reason, you would see that we disagreed with author Rev. Jesse Lee Petersson, who by the way, is a black LA pastor, born in the deep south before the civil rights era. We have huge respect for Rev. Peterson and his work to help his brothers and sisters, talk sense into those who have no sense and heal racial divisions. Take a few minutes to look at his website and you will find you’re off base, although I would have written it differently from his words.

      2. It is an opinion article, which we sharply differentiate from news, unlike all other regional countywide news publications. Also, we do not rewrite opinion article submissions to change their meaning.

      3. “Re your closing words: “Wow. Stay classy, CJ.”
      What the hell is that supposed to mean? That we should have censored it? That we agree? That our opinion writers’ submission words are our thoughts? We don’t agree with plenty of stuff which appears here. Unlike politically correct publications, we allow our readers to make up their own minds.

      Regards,
      George Miller
      Publisher@citizensjournal.us
      Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like to further discuss this.

      Reply
  7. Lauraine Effress October 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

    October 13, 2017

    Dear Editor:

    I have been following the shenanigans in Port Hueneme with the continuing internecine warfare on the Hueneme Council.

    Although I live in Oxnard, I shop daily at the shopping plazas in Hueneme on C.I. Blvd and what happens in that city is of interest to me many others in the harbor and beach area.

    When Jim Hensley, Tom Figg and Will Berg were elected, I was hopeful that they could bring out of the box thinking and a new sense of purpose to the council. Instead, there are continual battles and nasty divisions that do nothing to advance the agenda for a city that is in dire financial straights.

    I am at a loss to understand why all this is coming down on Councilman Hensley.

    I have known Jim Hensley for almost 20 years and worked with him on a number of projects and committees. I have found him to be a man of great integrity and especially hard working and reliable, It is my experience, as someone who prior to retirement managed many people in a variety of jobs, that people like Mr. Hensley are often resented for being too demanding in their expectations. I know Councilman Hensley is willing—always– to go the extra mile for what he believes. If that is perceived by Hueneme staff to be stepping on toes, then it is only that they are not used to fully committed council members.

    With city and department managers coming and going at the rate they have in the past few years in Port Hueneme, the council members need to be activist to ensure they are well informed and not at the mercy of information and analyses that falls through the cracks of staff shortages and a difference in prioritization.

    I would like to see Councilman Hensley restored to his previous assignments and privileges, as I think the Hueneme Council functions less efficiently without the wide ranging input he was able to provide before he was cut off at the knees.

    Reply
  8. Dot Pringle-Haymons October 11, 2017 at 12:25 am

    9/11/2017

    To: Office of Attorney General
    1300 “I” Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814-2919

    RE: Meeting in October 2017-Public Land/Prescriptive Rights Challenged
    Copy of letter to California Coastal Commission Executive Director

    Dear Executive Director Ainsworth:

    I am writing to you once again to express still more heavy concerns over our Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, California and this Gifted by Donation, Small Craft Recreational Harbor, Held in Public Trust by the County of Ventura.

    Thru the 20 years as Harbor Director, there has been a Fiduciary Responsibility for Mrs. Lyn Krieger to support and foster the Visitor Use Serving aspects and promote public access by means of reasonable accommodations, water activities, maintenance of lease properties for safety upkeep concerns, public parks-disabled access, general disabled access, and just being able to enjoy our harbor in general. Public (principal) expects “the relationship involves a high level of trust and confidence between the principal and the agent. Because the principal has trusted the agent to supervise or protect the principal’s property, the agent owes a fiduciary duty to the principal.” The latest issue in the papers; County has been concentrating on new admin building to be built per Mrs. Krieger, while the rest of the public harbor activities wait. No events can occur without a permit and we can never get them for all of the activities wanted. We are still trying to get more public access to our Boating Center on the Westside. We need more professional people dealing with the public, issuing permits who truly listen, know and care about CI Harbor.

    Between 2009-2013, during remodeling of the public boat launch, approximately 4.2 acres were taken and added to an unknown apartment development project that we now have knowledge of, The Paseos. No new amendments were done for this, I believe this information to be true. To look at this project, you can ask the County Assessors Office for the “Unrecorded Document” of the Fisherman’s Wharf project. You will see it has changed parcel numbers, scratched out numbers and edits that have no explanation from the Recorders Office, they were also a bit puzzled and could not explain either. This has never been addressed or answered to this day.

    My concern is with the 20 years of intentionally running down a beautiful Public Visitor Use Harbor, was it the County’s intention, not to maintain this property that they “hold in public trust”, and to push this area into such disarray, in which they continued to choose to ignore it’s upkeep and not market for businesses, just to lease it to these particular developers who seem to be very free giving of their wines, vintage cars and olive oil business samples too…. As we gather signatures against this development, we are harassed with questions and followed about….why?

    I am requesting a review of Mrs. Krieger and the Board of Supervisor’s appearance of premeditated intention to put this property in such a state as the public trust property managers, that Mrs. Krieger be fired and use her Pension (and others) they would have gotten, to build our harbor back up, after all….this is what she was hired for 20 plus years ago, to improve, maintain access for the public of CI Harbor and market it to full potential with viable retail and commercial shops/food. This property it seems, has proof in it’s history that it wa s intentionally destroyed by not even doing the simple maintenance of upkeep to attract Leasees. Many twisted ankles in the parking lots of harbor properties due to intentional lack of property maintenance responsibilities. We had to call about flying yardarms in high winds coming down on Victoria Avenue. The danger to the public is incredible and all due to lack of job responsibilities/oversight, lack of care and evident job dereliction on the County of Ventura’s part. Dennis Heitmann was a part of this department also, (former mayor of Ventura’s husband, special position at CI Harbor made for him) but has just recently retired.

    The Board of Supervisors’ job is not to upset all the voters and tell us we are wrong. It is up to the Board of Supervisors to uphold their Fiduciary Duties and have Mrs. Krieger uphold hers too, to preserve and foster this “Gifted Land” by Senator Bard’s family. It was only the County of Ventura’s job, to manage, care for and factually give good reasons to suggest to the voters that this is in our best interest. It is not, they only ignored the voters, blaming us for it being in such a depressed state of maintenance, and now the Public Prescriptive Rights of our harbor and the precious Coastal Landside Zoning/Ordinances are being challenged for profit by the County. These parcels as well as two other properties (Westside and part of the new Hotel) in our harbor are held up for 4 years, due to an Exclusive Right to Negotiate that the County just renewed. Please lift this ERN so we can get more bids and suitable developers here. There are so many more parcels that would hold such a large apartment complex and not put thousands at risk due to placement of this development, also not to concentrate on taking away public land/views that are an important part to our coast too.

    Now, because of the ERN, no open bids can come in for 2 more years, a total of 4 years. There is no money in the city’s housing trust for in-lieu/low income, the developer and County seems to have their own developer laws, but they and the County are ignoring those as well, it seems. They are now threatening to sue to City of Oxnard for following the law and caring about the safety of it’s residents. I see the hearing at CCC was postponed to this October, being held in Chula Vista.

    In all due respect, how many incomplete amendments over 20 years can you purposely not get correct, even with the patience and guidance of the CCC throughout the years? You have been very clear as to what you want for this beautiful pristine Small Craft Recreational Harbor. I am remembering the Grand Jury Case too and how your words of wisdom to the County were ignored with the very next coming Amendments. The County of Ventura Public Works Department does not support and never has supported the CI Harbor. The public works are farmed out of this area by Mrs. Krieger to her friend in Aliso Viejo.

    The great importance of this harbor actually reaches far beyond our area, we receive federal funds for dredging, we have a Public Pier, Cal State CI University and Oxnard College in our harbor, and boaters fuel taxes also support this harbor. It is the fifth largest harbor on the West Coast and visited by many sailing here to enjoy our renown unique and incredible Channel Islands.

    I checked out McGrath State Beach Camp Grounds, it is sad and still contaminated by sewer plant next too it. We could sure use a nice big camping area whe re the little RV lot is on the Eastside. We could then continue to still hold our annual Christmas Parade of Lights in harbor and our Independence Day Fireworks too. We stand to lose these events too with this development. Please get us a new Harbor Director/BoS who will listen to you and the voters, who actually live here every day and support the betterment of our whole area for the good of all, not just a few who work for the County.

    With all my heart, please keep this a Visitor Use Serving “Perfect” Little Harbor.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to read our letter too.

    Dotty Pringle and Family
    CI Harbor Research,
    Independent Resident Advocates
    Sailing/Diving Family

    Hail UCR! Thank you for our area Tsunami Study, very important!
    My article: http://citizensjournal.us/the-tipping- point/

    CC: Attorney General Xavier Becerra
    Mayor Tim Flynn, City of Oxnard
    Ashley Golden, City of Oxnard Planning Department

    Reply
  9. Barry Gabrielson September 1, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Its really sad the Constitutional Conservatives like myself don’t have a newspaper to rely on for information.

    I understand that Im in the minority here, yet, I cant get a politician to meet with me regarding any major issue herein Ventura County, nor will any newspaper present any audit I have done on school board, board of supervisors, California American water, SCE, or any politician. Both Managerial Editors wont meet with me, or any reporters, to at least, print an opposing view, when a politician or Monopoly makes inaccurate statements in their papers. No Reporter will call me and ask, “do you have any information that will counter their claim (s), and evidence to support your claim”. That is how it should work, print each side of an issue, with facts, evidence, etc. give all the information to the reader, let the reader decide who is telling the truth and who is misleading. You cant get both side, only one side is presented in articles. Politicians dont like to be countered, yet they have nothing to worry about. They can lie to the press, its printed as the truth, no one counters or says a word. The only chance on has to to get a letter in the opinion page, which is, an opinion. Articles are written as facts, more
    powerful for the reader the read. Reporter know this, are not allowed to print both sides, based on Kyle (Acorn) and Greg (Star).

    Barry Gabrielson

    Reply
    • Citizen Reporter September 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Actually, we have some in Citizens Journal, but nowhere near as much as we’d like. We simply do not have enough reporters to cover the whole spectrum. We are mostly financially constrained from doing that, being a small volunteer-run organization, supported mostly by donations and just a few ads. We welcome not only donations: http://citizensjournal.us/donate/, but also writers (contact editor@citizensjournal.us.

      Reply
    • Verne Arnold September 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Amen, brother!

      Reply
  10. M. A. Hasan August 29, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Hensley’s character is defended

    This has happened before. City of Port Hueneme is again embroiled in politics of denouncing one of their own city councilmen. We all make mistakes, so do politicians. Everybody has a reason on both sides of the debate.

    What bothers me is when people say things that are not true about a politician’s personal character.

    I have known Jim Hensley for over a decade. He has been very honest with me when I dealt with him regarding my two properties in Port Hueneme and on other matters such as water resources in Ventura county or about the Events Log that he publishes. Additionally I have served on the advisory board for the nonprofit Waterproofing kids where Jim is the founding President.

    You may not like his politics, but I can vouch for his integrity for the past 14 years.

    Reply
  11. Robin Hoffman August 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Water Rules?
    Latest water bill’s insert has some interesting “rules:”
    No outdoor irrigation 9-5
    But if I do it at 5, I can see if something’s broken
    and geysering all over!
    Outdoor irrigation limited to 15 minutes:
    Maybe this one doesn’t apply when watering the street?
    No watering during/after rain:
    Doesn’t anyone use automatic timers
    (that don’t know when it rains?
    No excessive runoff:
    Hmmm. I think I saw this one before.
    No washing down paved surfaces:
    How big or small before they count?
    Leaks must be fixed within seven days!
    And ignorance (of a leak) is no excuse for disobedience!
    Seems like if the price of water were the same throughout the district, and if it reflected the availability of the resource, people would conserve water (and their own money).
    But I’m probably not getting the whole picture?

    Reply
  12. Tom June 17, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Comment on letter by
    Lawrence Paul Stein June 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

    “By dividing the actual expenditures (88,490,083) by 70% I am showing a result of $126,414,404, a number that is greater than the original budget amount of $122,348,06 by over $4,000,000.”

    The General Fund Report shows that 70% of the adjusted budget amount was spent after 83% of the year had elapsed.

    To project the full year spending, the spending to date amount should be divided by the percentage of the year that has passed (83%), not the percent of the amount spent (70%).

    $88,490,083/.83=$106,614,558.

    Reply
    • Lawrence Stein June 17, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Let us see where the city stands with the May report. The original budget amount was $122,000,000 for the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year. The proposed adjusted 2017 – 2018 general fund budget is $128,000,000 (original 2017 – 2018 budget $125,000,000 + $3,000,000 augmented adjustment). How can the city say they are running out of money when the general fund budget has the potential growing by $8,000,00 in a year’s time? How much of the $8,000,000 is going to parks and streets? How much of the $8,000,000 is going to city employees? How much of the $8,000,000 is going towards equipment for public safety?

      Reply
  13. Lawrence Paul Stein June 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Note the last page of the General Fund report. The reports states that the city has used 70% of the budgeted amount. By dividing the actual expenditures (88,490,083) by 70% I am showing a result of $126,414,404, a number that is greater than the original budget amount of $122,348,06 by over $4,000,000. Who is watching the approved expenditures compared to the approved budget? If one were to take the adjusted budget number there is still a planned excess expenditure over the amount approved. The May monthly expenditure report was to have been on the city’s web site by now. Is staff waiting until after the budget hearing before they post the numbers?

    I am not allowed to rebut any comments made by staff after my 3 minutes. Staff stated that the General Fund Budget for 2016 – 2017 is the original figure of $122,348.006. The adjusted fund budget is $125,877,206. Please remember two things, 1) The adage about how figures don’t lie. 2) How former city manager Sotelo constantly bragged how he turned the city’s finances around.

    See: http://citizensjournal.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/20170607-April-2017-Monthly-Expeditures-total-pages.pdf

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lawrence Paul Stein

    Reply
  14. Lawrence Paul Stein June 6, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Oxnard not answering publicly asked questions

    It is typical that the City of Oxnard releases documents Thursday evening, after the close of business for the public to review, primarily for a public meeting the following week. For the uniformed, the city is closed every other Friday. Due to Monday meetings, many members of the city staff are unavailable to answer questions prior to public meetings. Why is it that if an engaged member of the public studies those documents and prepares for the meeting cannot get answers to the questions that the engaged member of the public asks?

    Regarding the budget, one expects that the elected officials are working closely with the city manager and his staff to address the issues facing the city and working to find viable solutions to city issues. One cannot find viable solutions without considering the financial implications those solutions present.

    I am particular concerned that funds set aside for specific purposes are not being used for those purposes. I am also concerned that as a result of under spending, those unspent funds are not returned to the unappropriated fund balance from which those funds originated, to be appropriated at some future date. It is not staff decision to determine how public funds are to be expended, but the elected officials.

    If the budget specifies that specific amount of funds are to be used to pay for staffing, those funds should be either used to pay for staffing or returned to the appropriate fund. It was stated Monday evening (06/05/2017) that funds for staffing of non city employees are part of the budget and are separate from the funds allocated for department staffing. The so called 5% variance as a result on not being 100% staffed 100% of the time should not be expended for non staffing expenses. This is particularly true if the budget already considers the need to use outside labor such as consultants, attorneys and staffing agencies needed for specialized needs.

    The budget is just a tool. It is not written in concrete. However, any changes to the budget must be presented to the public and the elected officials in a public forum, not behind closed doors or in closed session.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lawrence Paul Stein

    Reply
  15. Mark Savalla June 4, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    COMMUNISM HERE WE COME

    I am amazed at the boldness of the Ventura County Star to support the plan of the Communist party to undermine, subvert and take over the United States. The Star, without comment, published a list of certain bills submitted to the California Legislature. Each of the bills mentioned are noted in the Communist Strategy against the Trump administration. One of the topics was:

    “Immigration

    The Senate approved a measure to block the state from contracting with companies that want to help build the border wall championed by Trump, one of more than a dozen Democratic proposals to resist the Republican president’s immigration agenda.
    Trump’s vow to build a wall on the country’s Mexico border, much of which would run through California, has drawn particular ire from lawmakers. The state shouldn’t do business with companies that work on the project, which is harmful to immigrant families and the environment, said Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Bell Gardens Democrat who authored the bill, SB30.

    Lawmakers also advanced measures to train defense attorneys on immigration law and protect college students from federal immigration officials. Another would bar employers from letting federal immigration agents access their worksites and files without a warrant or subpoena, an effort to prevent raids.

    Republicans charge the measures are designed to score political points rather than enact good policy. They characterize some of the proposals, including the border wall bill, as overreaching. Republican Sen. Jeff Stone said state shouldn’t blacklist companies bidding on a lucrative contract.

    Also moving forward are measures to prohibit local governments from contracting with private prisons to detain immigrants, and to reduce using false documents to conceal immigration status from a felony to misdemeanor.”

    This bill is part and parcel of the second point of the Communist strategy: “2. Support the upsurge for workers’ rights and racial justice
    The Fight for $15 and a Union along with Black Lives Matter, the Dreamers, Rev. Barber’s Forward Together Moral Movement, Bernie Sanders’ political revolution are raising consciousness about how systemic racism and low wage jobs are good for big corporations but not for the people or our country.

    The AFL CIO and Working America are going door to door in swing states with this message. These movements pushed the Democratic Party to adopt the most pro-worker and progressive platform in its history. A landslide vote that wins a Democratic president, Senate and House of Representatives will send a message that racist “dog whistle” politics are unacceptable. The real win will be if and when labor and community organizing pushes even harder after the election to enact the progressive platform, and to run its own candidates at the local level. If Trump were to become president all people’s rights and needs will be endangered putting the people’s fightback onto the defensive.”

    You would think the STAR would at least comment on blatant attack of political war on the United States in the Editorial section of the paper. However and not to my surprise there was no mention of the Communist movement of the California legislature.

    Reply
  16. Lawrence Stein May 25, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    How is it that the General Fund has grown from $112,000,000 to $125,000,000 in a few years while the number of actual city employes have gone down? At the city council meeting of 5/16/2017 the city mayor spoke of the need for awareness for water safety for 20 minutes.

    The plans for a public pool at College Park was proposed in 2002 (Phase V). This was after the city closed the public pool at the Old Oxnard High School following buying the property from the Oxnard High School District. 15 years later no pool, which would have cost $3,000,000. The city did find funds to build a $12,000,000 fire station that was previously proposed to cost $4,000,000 (see Fire Department 10 year Strategic Plan 2005).

    Several times in the last 15 years, members of the public have asked for life guards at its 5+ miles of west facing beaches to little avail.

    The cities of Ventura and Port Hueneme have life guards at its beaches. Those beaches attract tourists. Camarillo and Ventura seem to be able to find finds to support aquatic centers.

    Filled headcounts are going down, while the General Fund is going up. Where is the money going?

    Respectfully submitted,

    Lawrence Paul Stein

    Reply
  17. Dennis ralph May 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    The mayor of Oxnard championed the multi million dollar Taja Mahal at Rice and Rose in college park, not near or close to, but in the park. It now stands as a beacon of the corruption that serves as the hallmark of Oxnard’s incredible stupidity!
    That land that fire station 8 sits on was public park set to become a pool or a aquatic center, deeded to the citizens for “public park use in perpetuity.” Tim Flynn wanted the vote from the firemen’s Union so that’s what we got a fire station “in the park.” He and Oxnard fire department saw to that you and your kids did not get a pool, you got a fire station in a public park! Thanks to mayor Flynn and your city council.
    It’s a long sad story but the local fire union with the help of political powers, unscrupulously confiscated our land that was deeded to the citizens for “public park uses in perpetuity” laid waste to our park to satisfy the want of a new station. What land was promised to the kids and youth of our city as park was taken by greedy self serving individuals from our fire department. Personally I hold the city of Oxnard and the fire department in disdain. I have no desire to be involved with handing out accolades to originations that I feel are unworthy. To all the kids that were to get a public pool on that acreage but never will, good luck because within that long story lies the fact that the land that was once yours now belongs to a single individual residing in Arizona. Oxnard will always be corrup, dishonest, and untrustworthy.

    Reply
  18. Ray Holm April 15, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Dear Editor:

    The best man(or woman) always wins! President Trump and Councilman McCoy won! We don’t feel sorry for the losers as good sportsmanship, taught from an early age, help us to accept the results of the contest, and the looser always has a chance in America to try, try again, and again.

    Of course there are always cranky-goofy losers as displayed in the Acorn letters to the Editor, April 13. It just go to show that some people have nothing to contribute to make Thousand Oaks or America better. What a waste of life. I hope they find their way, or go to Disneyland and just chill out!

    Ray Holm

    Reply
  19. Mark Savalla March 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    TO: Letters to the Editor, Ventura County Star.

    TRAVEL BAN COULD COST US $188B IN TOURISM, ANALYSTS SAY

    The only reason I haven’t cancelled the VCS is so I have material to refute regarding your one sided Progressive articles that don’t give the public accurate information regarding numerous topics especially when it comes to our current president.

    The TRAVEL BAN article by Bart Jansen (USA TODAY) proffered the position that president Trumps travel ban was hindering tourism in the United States. Then as an afterthought he states that the travel ban will decrease the number of students who will come to this country and also that big business is worried that the “order would make it more difficult to “attract talent, business and investment to the United States”.
    If the Travel Ban stops “students, talent and business” from those countries that provide terrorists I’m all for it. Secondarily, “Many experts remain bullish about prospects for tourism, despite a strong dollar that makes the U.S. expensive for some international travelers. The U.S. Commerce Department predicts a record 78.6 million international visitors will visit the U.S. in 2017.
    Brand USA, which promotes travel to the U.S., said it has “not received any data that shows any tangible change in bookings or cancellations by international travelers.”
    Travelers from the Middle East comprised just 3.6 percent of non-resident international arrivals to the U.S. in the first half of 2016, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. The president’s order does not include the Middle Eastern countries that send the most travelers here — Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
    These are facts not presented in Mr. Jansen’s speculative article.

    Reply
    • Mark Savalla April 12, 2017 at 11:21 am

      This letter was actually printed in the VCS on4-12-17. Shocked out of my socks.

      Reply
  20. Citizen Reporter March 26, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Received from Manuela Walter, Camarillo:

    Do You Know What Is Happening In Our Schools?

    February 15, 2017, FoxNews.com ran a story by Todd Starnes that an English Teacher at Camarillo’s Rancho Campana High School told her students that she lost a $100 bet because President Trump was not shot on Inauguration Day. February 24, 2017, the Camarillo Acorn ran the story “Teacher apologizes for Trump remark”. According to the Acorn article, OUHSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Rocky Valles, said that the teacher apologized and has returned to her duties. That sounds like a slap on the wrist. Can you imagine what would have happened if a teacher made such a remark under President Obama, or if Hillary Clinton had won the election? I assure you, it would have been more severe than a slap on the wrist.

    This is not the only anti-Trump / anti-conservative incident that has occurred at Rancho Campana High School. In November 2016, a teacher told students that “Trump hates women.” In February 2017, another teacher told their class that “The four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Death, War, Famine, and Donald Trump.” Also in February, a teacher allowed one of their students to be singled out by another student in front of the class for being an acknowledged Republican, and allowed that same student to perform a rap song, during class time, that referred to President Trump as a “racist bastard”. It is very disturbing that this was allowed to occur. These are not isolated events. Other equally-disturbing incidents have occurred at this high school.

    Teacher’s personal political opinions have no place in the classroom, and those who exhibit this type of behavior share responsibility for the hatred towards, and violence against, President Trump and his supporters.

    I am sure we can all agree that teachers have a significant influence in our children’s lives. In fact, the OUHSD’s own Employee Handbook, in their Blueprint for Greatness, states “The District’s motto of Students First, Every day, Every school, Every classroom provides a laser focus for what matters most and for how adults can dramatically influence the lives of students.” The Handbook’s Code of Ethics states that “The educator accepts the responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards”, and “Shall not intentionally expose the student to embarrassment or disparagement.” Clearly, some teachers need to re-read their Employee Handbook.

    Parents: Talk to your school age children. Find out what is going on in the classroom. This unacceptable behavior must stop. Teachers and school administrators must be held accountable for their actions and inaction.

    Of course, there are excellent teachers who understand that their job is to teach our children, not to use the classroom as a platform for their personal opinions and agendas. To those teachers, thank you.

    Reply
  21. Dotty Pringle March 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Well researched and written!

    Reply
  22. Citizen Reporter March 1, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Received from Alicia Percell, regarding the recently concluded Oxnard Utility Rate Advisory Panel work on wastewater rate review.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Alicia Percell
    To: Ruth Osuna ; greg.nyhoff
    Sent: Wed, Mar 1, 2017 10:32 pm
    Subject: Corrections for memo to UTF

    Ms. Osuna, (bcc: city council members)

    I am writing to alert you and the Utilities Task Force members to a number of factual errors in the agenda packet (see attached) posted for the March 2 meeting of the UTF.

    1) Page 1 of your memo states, “Thus, the URAP held five meetings and most members also participated in a wastewater facility tour.” On slide 3 of the PowerPoint presentation, it again says there were five meetings, and it shows a schedule of 5 meetings. The January 30 tour of the OWTP was a special meeting, so there were 6 meetings.

    At the end of the February 1 URAP meeting, Aaron Starr mentioned that he had not received a 24-hour written notice for the January 30 meeting as required by the Brown Act, having only received written notice a mere 24 minutes prior. Your reaction was to argue that the tour was not a meeting, though the agenda posted online said it was a special meeting, and a majority of the URAP members were present, and they discussed subject matters within the jurisdiction of the URAP. Under the Brown Act, that is clearly a meeting, and I don’t understand your apparent aversion to acknowledging it as such, even now in this memo to the UTF, after you were shown a copy of the posted agenda for a special meeting.

    The URAP never received draft minutes from that January 30 meeting for approval, though they did approve minutes of the other meetings (with the exception of the final one).

    See the posted agenda for the January 30 tour of the OWTP as a special meeting of the URAP here:
    http://oxnard.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=oxnard_adc0d1806fba8ce33aa2d755e93f9e2e.pdf

    2) Page 2 of your memo states, “In addition to the above rate recommendation, the members of the URAP considered six motions…” There was a handout circulated by Aaron Starr with six motions on it, however, at the end of the final meeting he only chose to offer five of those motions for consideration by the URAP.

    There is a bullet list spanning pages 2-3 of the memo, and for the 5th bullet point the memo indicates that it failed due to a lack of a second. That is incorrect. This is the motion that Aaron decided to skip. Since he never made the motion, there was no request for a second, and it should not be reported that a motion never made was deemed to have failed.

    The same error occurs on slide 36 of the presentation, asserting that the motion failed due to a lack of a second, though it was never moved.

    3) The first bullet point on page 2 of your memo does not accurately reflect the amendments made during the meeting, which were to delete and insert a few words as follows:

    A motion to recommend that the City Council require that the Cost of Service Study list the planned emergency repairs and capital improvement projects, along with their expected costs and completion dates, and that the City Council establish a policy that each utility shall make an annual report to the Council regarding all such planned emergency repairs and capital improvement projects included in the most recent Cost of Service Study. The report shall itemize for each project the following:
    Construction status
    Original projected date of completion from the Cost of Service Study
    Revised projected date of completion
    Original projected costs from the Cost of Service Study
    Costs incurred to date
    Revised projected costs to completion

    4) Page 3 of your memo states, “One additional scenario (Scenario 6) was presented to the URAP at the February 22 meeting, which was not considered in discussing the final recommendations due to a lack of support for a very small CIP program, no IUF, and not meeting the City’s financial policies.”

    That’s incorrect in several ways.

    The Scenario 6 which Aaron Starr developed was not only discussed, but it was voted on. You can see the vote on it in this video at the 02:53:50 time stamp.

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/100233678

    The vote on the motion was 2 in favor, and 5 opposed.

    It is also interesting that your memo projects your own opinions of that scenario onto the members of the URAP. Your memo alleges that it was opposed, in part, because it contained no infrastructure use fee (IUF), yet a majority of the URAP later adopted a recommendation that the city stop charging the IUF.

    Your memo also claims that Scenario 6 did not meet the city’s financial policies. Which of the city’s presented financial policies did it fail to meet? It met the debt coverage and reserve requirements. Unlike EACH of the 9 scenarios developed by staff, Scenario 6 also met the council policies regarding using no more than 50% debt for long-term-asset financing, and that assets not be financed for more than 75% of their useful life. Your memo fails to even mention that Scenario 2.2B adopted by the URAP fails to meet those policies, and it falsely asserts that Scenario 6 didn’t meet the city’s policies.

    5) Slide 32 of the PowerPoint presentation incorrectly reports that the vote total for that motion was 5-0 with 1 abstention. As can be seen at the 02:57:55 time stamp in the same video linked above, the vote on this motion was 6-0.

    You and I may have differing opinions about what the council should do on this subject, but surely we can agree on the importance of accurately relaying facts to the decision makers.

    Alicia Percell

    Reply

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