Tennis court improvements

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I would like to say thank you both to the city of Ventura and the nonprofit Ventura Tennis Club for their continuing successful collaboration in improving the public tennis facilities at Camino Real Park.

Thanks to them, there are now some benches for tennis players to sit on and gates to access both rows of courts. These are nice improvements. Play some tennis, check out the changes and check out the Ventura Tennis Club!

Mark Hancock
Ventura

Medical marijuana rebuttal

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Re: Rellis Smith's July 15 letter, "More sound ideas?":

Mr. Smith sarcastically attacked the Ventura City Council's rejection of medical marijuana cooperatives, saying "A person smokes that mind-altering drug, and there's no telling what he/she might do."

Unfortunately, Mr. Smith's sarcasm is truer than he probably understands. In March 2010, John Bedell opened fire on guards at the entrance of the Pentagon. He was killed when the guards returned fire. According to MSNBC, Bedell was diagnosed as bipolar, or manic-depressive, and had been in and out of treatment programs for years. His psychiatrist, J. Michael Nelson, said Bedell tried to self-medicate with marijuana, inadvertently making his symptoms more pronounced.

Marijuana use has been well documented to aggravate feelings of anxiety or paranoia. Mr. Smith describes a more benign portrait of users as "munching an entire chocolate cake or five or six snickers bars. Then ... they finish up by sitting in a recliner and watch re-runs of 'Gilligan's Island.' " So, at best, it would seem that Mr. Smith and his stoner buddies are obese, unproductive couch potatoes. Is it any wonder that the Chinese are kicking our butts?

~ James Willis,
Oxnard

OUHSD growth plan

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Re: your July 14 article, "Oxnard Union trustees narrow sites for new high school":

I live in Oxnard. I vote in Oxnard. Camarillo deserves a new high school. Two new high schools for Oxnard, and two Olympic-sized swimming pools. Shame on Oxnard Union High School District.

Vote the trustees out!

What is going to happen when Oxnard student population declines, and it will. All districts do eventually. Six High Schools in Oxnard?

Kathleen Swor,
Oxnard

Horse rescue

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The Humane Society of Ventura County would like to thank the people of Ventura County for supporting us in the rescue of 50 horses from the Lockwood Valley case in October of 2008. The last horse was adopted July 13.

After almost two years of caring for these horses, we feel that the outpouring of support that we have received for the shelter staff has given us courage to continue doing what we do best - caring for the neglected and abused animals. We are very proud of the staff and the volunteers who devoted their time to all of the shelter animals. Cleaning corrals in 100-plus-degree weather was very difficult on everyone, yet nobody complained. These people are the true heroes.

We would like to say a special thank you to the Ventura County District Attorney's office, Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Department of Animal Regulations Director Kathy Jenks and personnel, Marta Grandstedt, DVM, and the five other veterinarians that assisted. There are so many people that we would like to thank but the list is too long. There will be a special thank you listing on our website. http://www.hsvc.org

Thank you again for your continued support from the Humane Society Board of Directors and staff at the HSVC shelter.

~ Sherry Brockus
Executive Director,
Humane Society of Ventura County,
Ojai


Sexism still a problem

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Re: Wendy Dager's July 7 column, "Taking a new look at head-turning beauty":

On July 7, Wendy Dager wrote a column about the case of Debrahlee Lorenzana - a woman in the midst of an employment suit against her former employer, Citibank, claiming appearance discrimination. Dager's column, far from arguing her point, perpetuates sexism and further subjugates women to second-class status in the eyes of our discourse.

This is most evident in going through Dager's column - the premise of her argument is that because Lorenzana so-happened to have cosmetic enhancements and that her clothing, whether or not it violated the stated dress code, was too much for the men at her Citibank branch to bear, her firing was justified and necessary.

What Dager does - dangerously - is blame the victim. Lorenzana has repeatedly claimed that she was given a special dress code by her male supervisors because she was being a "distraction" to her male colleagues. Dager doesn't disagree with that. Dager's language effectively treats this woman - a human being - as a piece of meat to be cut apart and evaluated, talking endlessly about her breasts and her "clothing that hugged every square inch of roundness," almost as if we'd started considering a Christmas turkey and no one bothered to mention it.

What this case and this column show is that there still exists a glaring double standard in our culture that systematically oppresses women. If Lorenzana's male superiors couldn't keep their libidos in check, that's their problem, and they should have been the ones fired. The public response - how we see fit to judge her appearance down to the last scrap of meat, and how we think it's okay to use the same logic used to blame rape victims for being raped to justify Lorenzana's firing - shows us that this case isn't a question of beauty. It's a question of patriarchy.

~ Stephen T. Marsh,
Thousand Oaks

How did we get here?

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Re: your July 16 online article, "Unemployment rises to 10.6% in Ventura County":

Come November, remember which party has steadfastly voted against extending the unemployment benefits to millions of Americans. The Republican Party.

The same senators who voted hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue "too big to fail" institutions, gave a comparable amount to automakers, see no problem spending untold amounts to prop up the defense contractors and who, all of a sudden, got religion and don't want to add to the deficit.

Remember, come November

~ Radu V Metea,
Ventura

Grateful for guidance

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My husband and I, both seniors, were driving south of Olsen Road on Moorpark Road and were diverted to a side street by the police due to an accident Friday morning.

Not knowing the small side streets in this area, I became lost and could not find my way back to Moorpark Road. There were no people on the street to ask until I came upon a gentleman who called his wife out to tell me the way.

This lady, who I only knew as "Barbara" not only told me the way to where I was going but, in fact, got in her car and led me there. I do not know her last name but hope she reads this. This just proves that Thousand Oaks is a wonderful place to live.

Cynthia Ratner,
Thousand Oaks

Poor solution

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Re: Charles Hanlon's July 13 letter, "Camarillo fireworks"

I had to read Charles Hanlon's letter regarding July 4th fireworks twice to be certain I was reading correctly. I agree the fireworks show in a neighborhood is a bad idea. I am truly sorry his Lab is terrified. His dog is lucky to have someone who will stay home and care for him. Many are so terrified that they flee and are killed or injured on the road.

The solution he proposes, however, is just plain heartless. He suggests fireworks be moved back by the Camarillo Animal Shelter because the animals there are "strays who will probably be euthanized in a few days anyway." If they are to be euthanized soon is it OK to terrorize them first?

The premise that animals at the shelter will necessarily be euthanized soon is false. Animal Regulation has a pretty good adoption rate. They work hard to care for their animals and to place them in a good home. A more important point is that a "stray" animal or one turned in because his owner has had his house foreclosed is of no less importance than Mr. Hanlon's dog.

Fireworks terrify animals. They do not belong in any neighborhood or near any animal shelter.

~ Debby Mooney,
Ventura

Foreign rule

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I believe President Obama is trying to govern the United States with a committee of foreign rulers, including Mexico, Europe, Afghanistan and possibly China

John Bailey,
Saticoy

Government grease

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This present government is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people, but a government for the government, when a candidate seeking the endorsements of public agencies and public agencies endorsing candidates both are bribing each other,

The candidate is seeking the agencies' vote and the agencies are seeking the candidates' favors. To be re-elected, a public official must favor these public agencies, and important programs and services for the people are canceled.

Donald Saunders,
Ventura

Look, no hands

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I looked and I couldn't believe my eyes, so I looked again. Sure enough, the driver of the car travelling alongside the bus I was on, was holding a container in his left hand and a spoon in his right, but no hand on the steering wheel.

I suppose if a fellow is hungry, he has to throw all caution to the wind, and come what may.

Martha Kamke,
Port Hueneme

Uphold the laws

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I can't believe the idiots in California that want to boycott Arizona! The Los Angeles City Council should hang their heads in shame. What part of the word illegal don' they understand? The Republican and Democrat parties are more concerned about votes from the majority of the Hispanic community.

I am not prejudiced against the Hispanic community; I am more concerned abut the laws that should be obeyed in my country.

I lived in Germany for seven years, working for an American company servicing the American military. My wife was told that, in no way, was she to be employed by a German company. I paid German taxes and did not get any special privileges form the Germans.

Maybe these illegal people sneaking over the boarder should try sneaking into Iran where they will be tried as spies.

I applaud the Arizona governor for implementing a law that our U.S. government could not handle. Shame on our current and past administrations for not acting on this matter!

Tony Pavia,
Newbury Park

Being an American

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Back in 1900, when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule. They had waved goodbye to their birthplace to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were their skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

During World War II, none of the first generation Americans ever gave any though about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans, defending the United States of America. We carried the one flag that represented our country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American.

Here we are with a new kind of immigrant, who wants the same rights and privileges. However, they want to achieve it by plaing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. If they are here in America legally, they should kiss the ground they walk on.

Minnie Anzo,
Camarillo

Street improvements

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I want to thank those in the city of Ventura who were responsible for the Bayview beautification project. I live nearby and walked the dog on Bayview (above Ventura College) after the trucks and the smell of road tar had gone and was amazed at what a little ingenuity and creativity in street design and repair could do.

The nicely projecting curbsides, which keep the huge trees (and some smaller ones) in check and in bloom are a nice touch to a beautiful quiet street. The metal wheelchair access ramps are a great improvement (even for skateboarders) and having the cracking old street repaved is a joy. I'm sure the residents of Bayview (and surrounding streets) also will be thrilled to know if speeders and joy riders wish to buzz through this neighborhood, they will have to drive much slower to navigate it.

Thank you again and what's next?

~ Bob Brill,
Ventura

Hospital nuisance

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On July 13, Andy Fox, Jacqui Irwin and Tom Glancy, minus Dennis Gillette and Claudia Bill-de la Pena having ecused themselves for possible conflict of interest, voted unanimously to approve the expansion of Los Robles Hospital to the detriment of many residents living near the hospital, who will have probably eight years of construction noise, dust, traffic. In the process, the council is bending, if not breaking, the city's regulations for building height, density, setback, visual blight, all "in the interest of the community at large."

Admittedly, hospitals are an asset for any city, however, there should be limits to the amount of building allowed on a given piece of property in a residential area. It is not like the hospital could not build a very large facility somewhere else in the city, but that would cost more money.

Glancy, before voting to approve the expansion, said that he would welcome this project in his backyard. I respect his desire and suggest that he trade houses with any of the residents of Sidlee or Young streets for the next eight years to prove his statement. At least Irwin said she wouldn't want this project in her backyard. Nor would anyone else.

Interestingly people call people NIMBY's while living in gated communities with CC&Rs that dictate whether you can park a car on the street and what color you can paint your house, much less whether an obviously too large commercial project for the area would even be considered.

We even had elected officials from Moorpark and Westlake telling us how wonderful the expansion in our neighborhood would be. When they say it's not about the money, it is about the money, rest assured.

~ David Mueller,
Thousand Oaks

United Nations ineffective

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On July 10, KFI AM ran a story of the history of the Bosnia-Serb war. It set out the timetable of when things started to disintegrate and the principals involved. The Dutch battalion was untrained and without direction. The UN moved in late and did little but make matters worse. The so-called peacekeepers were accepting bribes from both sides, allowing the Serbs to penetrate the Safe Zone.

Whatever political issues involved between the participants, the UN was the most to blame in that they did not do the job they were created for. Why do we even pretend this is a viable institution? Massacre after massacre occurs throughout the world, and the UN is incapable of ending them. The UN was created to be a world peacekeeping group, an apolitical institution to tamp down any up rising before it developed into war. They are a joke, an organization run
by "thugocracy." As for this farce, the United States pays the major source of funding.

~Joyce B. Goetz,
Thousand Oaks

Green energy

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Re: your July 10 commentaries, "Shifting away from fossil fuels" by Reese Halter and "Weaning America off its oil addiction" by Jeffrey L. Wissot.

Both writers embrace the idea of moving away from the use of fossil fuels to green technologies. Unfortunately, some of the technologies desired are not yet available.

For example, the all-electric car is not yet a viable alternative for today's automobile. To be viable, the all-electric vehicle must get at least 300 miles on a single charge, batteries must be rechargeable in five minutes or less, and have sufficient power to run an air conditioner in summer or electric heater in winter. To my knowledge no such battery technology exists today. At best the all-electric vehicle is good for short hops.

Both authors suggest that higher energy costs will fuel innovation and lead to the development of green technologies. While this is true, it will also have a devastating effect on our economy. Raising energy prices will increase the cost of American goods and services and decrease foreign sales. Furthermore, American jobs will move overseas, and unemployment will increase. Our trade imbalance will continue to grow and our net wealth will decrease.

The solution is not to raise energy prices, but to reduce the cost of green technologies. When automobiles were first invented, they were custom built and too expensive. Henry Ford came along, and with some innovation, including setting up the first assembly line, was able to reduce the cost to where the Model-T became affordable.

Henry Ford did not drive up the cost of hay and feed to make operating a horse and buggy more expensive. He drove the cost of the automobile down to the level ordinary people could afford. Self interest then took over and the rest is history. Mandates are not the answer!

~ Anthony van Leeuwen,
Ventura

Fire response

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I had the opportunity to witness first hand our firefighters and sheriff deputies in action responding to the Camarillo-Loma fire. Amazing; clearly a crew of truly professional people, who, in my opinion, are often our unsung heroes. Please convey our sincere gratitude to these folks for making short work of the fire and saving so many local homes. I slept well last night knowing we have such individuals on our payroll.

~ Dennis L. Solomon,
Camarillo

More sound ideas

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Re: your July 13 article, "Ventura Rejects medical marijuana cooperatives":

Well I must say, I am as proud as pudding. This action by Ventura will show all those stoners that the killer weed is the road to damnation and perdition. A person smokes that mind-altering drug, and there is no telling what he/she might do.

I know people who after smoking a joint began laughing uncontrollably, then began munching an entire chocolate cake or five or six snicker bars. Then, believe it or not, they finish up by sitting in a recliner and watch re-runs of "Gilligan's Island" for a couple of hours before falling asleep.

Now, since the Ventura City Council is on such an intelligent bend, perhaps it could incorporate some of the following suggestions.

  • Repeal all alcohol licenses in the city

  • Enact an 8 p.m. curfew for anybody under the age of 18

  • Pass a city law against gay marriages

  • Pass a city law against all illegal aliens and anybody that hires them

  • Pass a city law against all left-hand turns

  • Pass a city law against parking on the street anywhere in the city

  • Pass a city law against being homeless in the city

  • This final suggestion would certainly eliminate most of our problems:

  • Repeal women's right to vote within the city of Ventura

Of course if we called a meeting of the citizens, I know we could come up with a plethora of other intelligent rules and laws that we could enact, then we could avoid the extraordinarily thorny, land-mine ridden problems that we couldn't imagine doing well.

How did the old saying go? "Those with no faults, step up and toss the first stone."

~ Rellis Smith,
Ventura


Tea Party

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Where is the Tea Party when it comes to British Petroleum? Wasn't one of the main reasons we became a country due to the fact that we didn't like the King's monopoly (King George) on our economic system that taxed to death American citizens?

Now, we have a foreign country, Britain again, posing as an American corporation, while stealing our land, our resources and negligently causing disasters for all America, particularly the Gulf States.

And guess what? BP is going to use our taxes to pay for its mistakes! British Petroleum has effectively negated our Louisiana Purchase, and like King George at the birth of our nation, is now affecting and destroying the livelihoods of a third of America without firing a shot! Where is the Tea Party? What history don't they get?

Instead of declaring war on Britain, or attacking British Petroleum, they are rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sara Palin, who has made her deals with BP in Alaska. The Tea Party is the Me Party and its selfishness protects foreign investors while ignoring the plight of real Americans. Shame on them.

Their libertarian views turn out to be Toryterian views. They should rename
the party the Hipocrit Party or the Tory Party. Trust me, you can't
drink that unless, of course, you like Crudeaid.

~ Grant Markus
Ventura

Liberal slant

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Re: your July 13 editorial cartoon:

I know that The Star is a very liberal paper, but your printing of the political cartoon in Tuesday July 13, was way out of reason. The cartoon depicted the Russian spies being put on a plane with Uncle Sam, adding Lambaugh, Beck and Hannity as a bonus.

This is the reason your paper as well as others are fading due to lack of customers. These three individuals are more concerned with this country and have documented some of our country's serious problems. Because of their truthful messages, their ratings have skyrocketed and are viewed by millions of people worldwide. This cannot be said for your paper or many of the other liberal papers in this nation that are not representative of the people they serve.

Before you mock true patriots, you should look at yourselves, before you fade away due to lack of customers,

~ Harvey Plaks,
Moorpark

Immigration

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What has happened to this country? Have we forgotten about that fateful day of Sept.11, 2001?

Our so-called government leaders were elected to protect us all against terrorists and anybody that comes into this country to do harm to the citizens of this country. Our federal government is completely useless. Where is our protection on the border's? None of us should blame Arizona for protecting its state. We should, however, blame our president and Janet Napolitano our Secretary of Homeland Security for doing absolutely nothing because they, like all the rest of our politicians, are pandering to the Latino community for votes. This also applies to some Republicans.

One responsibility of the president is to defend the nation against foes, foreign and domestic. Sadly, our current president is doing nothing.

Our founding fathers adopted the rule of law to guide our courts and protect our citizens.

Perhaps it is time to start a movement to impeach a president who will not protect our states and citizens from lawlessness as exemplified by the action in and against Arizona.

We are nearing an election. The time is now to turn our elected officials who mock our laws for their own political gain.

~ Mary Troness,
Thousand Oaks

Losing Borders

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Re: your July 13 article, "Board OKs clinics for T.O. Borders building":

As a daily reader of two newspapers, I was very surprised and saddened to read today about the takeover of the Borders site by the county for a medical clinic. It seems to me there was very little (if any) warning that Borders might get the boot. How can this happen without our local leaders weighing in?

If you ask my children, the city of Thousand Oaks has very little to offer in the way of entertainment. Prior to Borders moving in, we lost a bowling alley, which was never replaced. We lost a skating rink on Ventu Park, which was never replaced. Now our only bookstore is going to become a medical clinic? Having just bought a stack of books for my daughter for summer reading, I can't tell you how disappointed she will be.

Rethink this decision! We need more bookstores, not less. Find another site for the medical clinic.

~ Jocelyn DeVault,
Newbury Park

Moving experiences

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Re: Ron Busick's July 6 column, "Remembering our fallen World War II heroes":

I was very impressed with Ron Busick's column regarding his visit to the Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Florence, Italy. I had a somewhat similar experience in my recent visit to the Normandy Coast in northern France.

I was quite humbled to be standing before th thousands of white crosses at the American Cemetery, knowing that they gave their young lives so that I and others can appreciate their sacrifice.

About the blowing of "Taps" in the distance, I had the same emotional experience that brought tears to my eyes at the Riverside Memorial Cemetery, where a memorial service was held for a longtime neighbor of mine, Joe Kitko, who served his country in the Air Force, flying B-17s over France.

I will never forget these experiences as I, too, am a WWII veteran who served my time in the South Pacific. Thanks Ron for a wonderful column.

Frank Cavola,
Ventura

Nursing home cuts

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Re: your July 3 article, "Paring back to make a profit":

In this article, state Sen. Elaine Alquist, chairwoman of the Senate Health Committee said, "There was an implicit good faith agreement that things would get better. ..."

It is difficult for me to imagine a more completely and absolutely naive statement than that. The one "good faith agreement" one can count on from a for-profit enterprise is that ie till make every attempt to maximize its profits

For 30 years, I managed health care delivery in both hospitals and nursing homes, and in both for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises. I can tell you uneqivocally that the for-profit facilities are tempted to shave costs and increase revenues at all times.

That is, of course, true of all for-profit businesses in a capitalistic economic system, and it works quite well in most American enterprises. However, it is an utter failure in the health care delivery. Until we remove all for-profit enterprises from our health system, we will never realize the potential quality of care and cost-containment that the recently enacted national plan envisions.

William Merit True, II,
Port Hueneme

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