The Hueneme Pilot


The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 23, December 2016

Winter Sky

World War II at the Museum

World War II Veterans Assemble at the Hueneme Museum            Photo BMK

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum recently hosted a gathering of veterans of World War II. 

Joe Villalino, CPO USN (Ret.) recounted the story of his father Ignacio who survived the Bataan Death March by escaping and joining the Philippine guerilla resistance.  Despite the horrific cost of defending the Bataan Peninsula, Mr. Villalino pointed out that the effort delayed the Japanese advance and ultimately “made victory possible”.

Gabe Pesce began his career as a Navy Ensign headed for submarine duty when he was “volunteered” for Japanese Language School.  His facility with languages led to a career in the Army Air Corps and then the Air Force from which he retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1974.

His duties as a Japanese language expert found him going ashore on numerous Pacific islands to announce the surrender of the Empire. Invariably his efforts were met with gunfire from the remaining Japanese troops.  He soon learned to broadcast the Emperor’s surrender message before attempting any engagement with the Imperial Army.  

Jim Daniels, Master Chief USN (Ret.) joined the Navy as a 17 year old in 1942. As an Equipment Operator, he saw action on seven different Pacific islands.  He described the war effort as a time when “everyone took part and did their job”.  He later served on the Port Hueneme City Council as Mayor pro Tem.

Cpl. Orvene Carpenter, USMC (Ret.) enlisted with the intent of becoming an aircraft gunner, but being too tall to fly, was sent to the Pacific as a seagoing Marine.  He did, however, get his wish when he found a dive bomber unit that was in need of replacement gunners.  He described his duties as mostly “chasing subs”. 

Coincidentally, he was at one point stationed on the same island as Jim Daniels, his future colleague on the Port Hueneme City Council. Though they didn’t know each other at the time, Mr. Carpenter described Mr. Daniels as “the most important person on the island. He made fresh water from salt water.”

Speaking of the education of a young farm boy thrust into the middle of a naval war, Mr. Carpenter recounted standing watch on the bridge of a ship when he spotted a school of dolphins cavorting in the morning light.  He excitedly called over the intercom to the man on the bow, “Do you see the fish coming your way?”  Suddenly the ship heeled over in a violent evasive maneuver.  When the excitement died down, the young Marine was called before the Captain who explained in no uncertain terms that onboard ship “fish” is a term that refers to enemy torpedoes.

Poor eyesight limited the military options for Cpl. Ralph C. Nichols USA (Ret.).

When he joined the Army he was given a choice of “radio or infantry”.  He was trained in cryptology and assigned to Hickam Field in Hawaii.  All the messages to and from the forces in the Pacific passed through his office.

Mr. Nichols had an outstanding career once he returned to civilian life.  He became a teacher in 1949 and joined the Oxnard High School District in 1956.  In 1959 he was the principal who opened Hueneme High School.

Martin Singer USACE (Ret.) came out of ROTC in 1943 and headed for Armored Field Artillery school in Fort Knox, but the Army needed engineers, so after six weeks training “we were in Germany building bridges,” Mr. Singer recalled.  After VE Day, Mr. Singer was given the responsibility for rebuilding the German Supreme Court building in Berlin, which became the Allied Command Headquarters.

Modestly, the 96 year old Mr. Singer admitted, “It doesn’t require much training to be an Army Engineer. In fact, the less the better!”

Also in attendance was Mary Daine who recounted her experience in the Women’s Marine Corps as an Air Gunnery Instructor.


Orvene Carpenter Tries on His Veterans’ Hat          Photo BMK

Video of WW II Presentation Available

“Not Every City Has a Great Port”

Arlene Fraser Delivers State of the Port Address

Arlene Fraser, Vice President of the Oxnard Harbor District Board of Directors recently gave a “State of the Port” presentation to the Hueneme Chamber of Commerce.

The Harbor District is responsible for more than $9Billion in goods movement, supporting 12 different auto manufacturers, and importing bananas from South America.  While imports are important, the Port also exports 38,000 automobiles per year (Toyota being the largest exporter), and ships apples and peaches to Central and South America.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is the largest customer at the Port, providing shipping services for automobiles and industrial equipment.  Recent cargo includes brewing equipment for Firestone Brewery, and rail cars for the San Francisco BART

Acknowledging the local workforce, Ms. Fraser described “a strong union port. Without the labor there would be no activity at the Port.”

Ms. Fraser described the Port as the “gateway” to North, Central, and South America, Asia, and Europe.  “Not every city has a great port,” she said.


“We Can Calm the Waves”

Instead of building seawalls and abandoning coastal structures, could the future be instead a “living shoreline” where a seaweed reef not only absorbs wave energy but also removes carbon from the ocean, thus combating acidification?

Ocean Foresters is an organization that is seeking funding from ARPA-E, the Department of Energy’s research arm to set up a demonstration that will prove such a theory. 

In a recent presentation to the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON), Mark Capron, one of the pricipals of Ocean Foresters, remarked, “Retreat is abandoning our coastal ocean in its hour of need.”  BEACON is a joint powers authority formed by coastal cities and the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara to confront issues of coastal erosion in the two county area.

Mr. Capron expressed confidence in the promise of protecting the coast with barriers of seaweed. “We can calm the waves,” he asserted.


History by the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

The only real worry for the Sand Sculpture planning committee last year around this time, was that the participants who agreed to enter the competition might be required to bring their own sand.  You see, during the summers of 2013 and 2014, the Sand Sculpture event during the Hueneme Beach Festival had to be cancelled, not due to a lack of participants, but due to lack of sand.
In reality, Hueneme Beach Park itself could be considered a 20-acre sand sculpture—fluctuating in size and shape from year to year. When the Navy built the jetties at the Port of Hueneme in 1940, they interrupted the littoral flow of sand to Hueneme Beach while also creating a corrosive eddy current that scours away 1.25 million cubic yards of seashore every year.
As early as the winter of 1946-47, Richard Bard, “the Father of Hueneme Harbor,” was painfully aware that the harbor jetties designed by the Corps of Engineers blocked the southward movement of sand.  Bard asked that the Corps of Engineers find a solution, and in 1950 they came up with the idea for a sand trap to be located in a second small boat harbor further west. 
Bard continuously lobbied Washington DC for funding but nothing happened until 1956 when the Berylwood Investment Company deeded that land for Channel Island Harbor to the County of Ventura.  Delays in construction persisted and actually resulted in a grand jury investigation before the Army Corps of Engineers got their act together circa 1960.  Richard Bard dedicated Channel Islands Harbor on May 30, 1965. 

Brick Wahl

The Electoral College and Trump-crazy Baby Boomers and Everything Else

For years I have been harping on the dangers of the electoral college, on how small states and rural populations are over represented in the Senate and House, and how we baby boomers are the most conservative generation since the 1920’s.

I could be pretty shrill and annoying about it.

Earlier this year it dawned on me that despite all the attention on Millennials, that it is Boomers who are at the apex of political power in 2016. Trying to be more wryly ironic than shrill and annoying, I wrote that we’d have to wait eight or even sixteen years before things really swung against the GOP and conservatism. Which is probably a safe bet. It’s going to be a long, long fight.

Just before the recent debacle, when everyone knew it was to be a Democratic landslide and crushing defeat of conservatism, I was wondering how the New Deal had remained the ideology of the land and core of the government for 48 years (1932-1980) but Reaganism had lasted only 36 years (1980-2016). I was wondering what accounted for those 12 extra years that the Left had managed over the Right.

Oops. Turns out it was not twelve less years of Reaganism (or the mutated variants thereof) at all. Conservatives could keep trashing the country for twelve more years…even though they get fewer votes every election cycle. Democratic candidates at every level get more actual votes, when you meaninglessly add all of them up together, than Republican candidates. There are more voters in the United States who are not conservative than there are conservatives. Yet look who’s running the show.

Turns out liberals are over represented in bigger states and in urban areas which means we wind up with less representation per vote. And then there’s the fact that baby boomers vote conservative (despite all their Woodstock Generation pretensions), and they vote more, much more, than people younger than they.

That’s true of generations in general, voters over fifty vote at a higher rate than those under fifty, the further you go down in age the less the voting percentage. You bitch about kids too lazy to vote now as people bitched about you all not voting enough then.

Indeed, turnout in 2000 was much lower than turnout in 2016….you might blame those lazy Gen Xers for eight years of Bush/Cheney….

It’s just a political fact of life–old people vote more. Old people tend to be more conservative. And this bunch are especially conservative. I’ve always been struck by how the generations preceding the Boomers–the Greatest and Silent generations (who comes up with these names?)–dumped Goldwater in a landslide. They knew crazy when they saw it. But Boomers saw George W. Bush and voted for him. And now there’s Donald Trump, the Boomer president.

I had thought George W. Bush was the quintessential boomer president but Trump takes that cake now. Most Boomers seem to embrace crazy. And when America’s older people (the ones below 70, anyway) are from the largest baby boom in US history, while Millennials were spawned in the lowest (and still declining) birthrate in US history, those older voters will be a powerful presence on election day.

It doesn’t help that people live longer now than they did in 1980–about four years longer for males, an entire presidential election cycle, meaning your crazy grandpa gets to vote for a president at an age when his own crazy grandpa was long buried. And it certainly doesn’t help that the part of the Democratic coalition that Democrats have such high hopes for–Hispanics–are still voting well below the rate of Whites (and below the rate of Blacks, too). And that so many of the states where Trump did so well this year–and districts where GOP congressional candidates did well–are 80% and more (many much, much more) Caucasian. Even worse that so many of those districts are experiencing a drain of their younger, college educated population–the ones who rejected Trump out of hand–to the coasts, where they pile into larger, urban areas with less congressional representation per capita than their folks have at home.

Not to mention those two senate seats no matter how small (or large) the state. Half the United States legislature is based on the notion that the number of voters is irrelevant. The slave south held a headlock on federal policy for sixty years using that two senators per state power. And then in the 20th century the South was able to maintain its ideology of white superiority through that same senatorial power. Eventually the south took over the GOP and with that same small state power has dominated US policy making and resisted the policies of a black president with all the furor and Machiavellian genius of John C. Calhoun. That same senatorial dominance means electoral votes out of sync with popular vote. Hence, Trump.

This will not change much in the next four or eight years. The average baby boomer is my age, just coming on sixty, with another twenty years of voting (that is, five presidential elections, ten congressional elections, and about six senatorial elections) left in the average one of us. As boomers get older their voting rate just keeps rising, and it’ll take a decade before attrition–Boomers will die, eventually–surpasses that increasing voting rate and finally drops their numbers beneath those of Gen Xers and Millennials, who will have gotten older and grumpier and more prone to voting by then.

Like I said, that is ten years off. And by then the Hispanic baby boom that accompanied the explosion of Hispanic immigration in the 1980’s-90’s (immigrants always have lots of kids, their kids slow down and grandkids sometimes have no kids at all) will have gotten old enough to finally start voting at a rate approximating whites.

Unfortunately they will mostly be in bigger states–California, New York, Florida, Texas–the way the Irish were once mostly in big urban areas that limited their political impact, but nonetheless, it will help to chip away at the white GOP majority. The GOP is at peak strength now, unless, somehow, they suddenly appeal to blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women and people under 40. Which is probably unlikely. Hell, just the opposite.

So what am I getting at? Just hold on, this crazy Trumpist GOP surge cannot last. You will not see a series of Trumpoid presidents. Or an endless GOP majority in congress. But it won’t end right away either. They have a solid eight years ahead of them. Unless, of course, there is some sort of Watergate-scale catastrophe. But I’m not getting my hopes up. I am just waiting for the slow change of generations. That is generally what has flipped the political course of history in this country.

We boomers are in our last spasm of power now. Sure we didn’t actually win the popular vote in the presidential race. And for sure more people voted for Democratic candidates than voted for Republicans, again. But just enough older white people are in just the right places. Watch how we 52-70 years olds muck it up for the rest of you.

Then again, our parents were gung ho for the Cold War and Viet Nam and nearly blew the world up once or twice. Their parents somehow combined Jim Crow and the New Deal.

Every age has its issues. We are yours.

Read more Brick Wahl at


The collapse of the Trans Pacific Parnership

A void in Asia?

Putin’s Russia

As incomes drop, leaders popularity grows.

Stage Presence

The Broadway set designer for Hamilton discusses his work.

At the Museum

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speaker Series

 As the final offering for 2016, the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum will recognize the contributions of a long-time resident and community volunteer with its third annual “People Who Make a Difference Award.”

This year’s recipient, Elaine Garber and her family will be present at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market St. on December 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM to accept the award.  In addition, her daughter Lydia Stevenson has prepared a fascinating presentation highlighting the tangible and intangible ways Elaine Garber managed to make Port Hueneme a better place to live. 
Among her distinctive accomplishments, Elaine Garber still holds the record for years of continuous service (1959-2010) on a school board.  In recognition of more than 50 years, the K. Elaine Garber Educational Media Center next to Bard Elementary was named in her honor in 1986.
In addition to founding the Port Hueneme Historical Society at this Museum, Elaine was named the 1989 Port Hueneme Leo J. Ramirez Citizen of the Year award, awarded the Excellence in Education Award by U.S. Sen Barbara Boxer in 1999, served on the 1964 Ventura Grand Jury, and was granted a lifetime membership in the Parkview PTA.

Elaine, who remains passionate about her community, its history, and all things educational, also filled her days serving as a private tutor as well as volunteering with such well known community organizations as Harbor Days, Friends of the Library, Friends of the Bard, Port Hueneme Museum Commission, American Association of University Women, and IRS Vista.
Yet it’s Ms. Garber’s personal history that we feel the audience will find most inspirational—from finding her way as a bride to Port Hueneme in 1955 to trading her full-time teaching career for motherhood to generously sharing her home with needy relatives and friends to personally nursing her beloved husband until his death in 1996.   We know you won’t be disappointed.

 Animal Services Raising Money for New Kennels

Funding sought to replace aging kennels in veterinary hospital. How to contribute:

Ventura County Fire stations accepting toy donations

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Ventura County Fire has teamed up with ABC 7 and Southern California firefighters to support the 24th Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive.
Now through Christmas Eve, bring a new, unwrapped toy or sports equipment to any VCFD fire station to be donated to local children and teens.
How to Donate:
·       Drop off new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment at any local fire station.
·       Donate to Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County via check. All proceeds will go towards buying toys or sports equipment for local children.
Donors are encouraged to consider items for teens and infants. For a list of suggested donation items, click here.

‘Tis the Season: David Blasucci & Friends

Join us at the Loft at 7:30 on December 3rd for a warm-hearted musical evening filled with the love and joy of the season. If you enjoy vocal harmonies, smooth memorable melodies, and uplifting messages of faith and love, you will not want to miss out on this special evening!

Hidden Track: Allen Toussaint — “American Tune

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher


The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 22, November 20

Autumn Leaf


Viet Nam War plus 50

Jim Daniels speaks while Ron Mongeau and David Wilson look on

Recently the Port Hueneme Historical Society hosted a commemorative presentation on the 50th anniversary of the Viet Nam War featuring first hand accounts from five men who personally experienced different aspects of that war.

Capt. Bill Hodge was a combat pilot for the Navy.  “Most of us were asked to talk about ourselves,” he began, “I’m going to talk about Walter Sutton Wood…an aviator nonpareil.”

Wood had attended West Point, but loved carrier flying and so entered Navy Flight Training.  He and Hodge were roommates at Pensacola Naval Air Station where Wood finished second in the class.

“In Viet Nam you’d take what you were dealt, and the deal was lousy,” Hodge said.  He went on to describe a fateful bombing mission that had failed to achieve its objective of destroying a bridge. Wood had one more bomb left and decided to make a final pass.  “Pursuing the mission beyond the call of duty — obviously a suicide mission,” as Hodge recalled.

“I haven’t talked about this in thirty years.  I  ordered him not to go back, but he did anyway.” “He went above and beyond. Duty, Honor, Country — he was the personification.”

“God bless you, Walter.”

Capt. Bob Quinn was a SeaBee in charge of facilities in the northern part of the country.  Paying his respects to the aircraft pilots, he declared, “When the bad guys were shooting mortars into your camp it was nice to have some aviators taking care of it.”
When a base near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) suffered an attack that caused the ammunition to blow up “like the 4th of July for four days,”  the decision was made to move to Quang Tri “the farthest the North Vietnamese could shoot.”  Gen. Westmoreland gave the order and stated “I expect to be back in thirty days.”

The Seabees set to work clearing land so fast that the Marines couldn’t keep up with the barbed wire perimeter fencing.  When Gen. Westmoreland returned thirty days later, he was able to land on the new 7000′ runway that the Seabees had carved from the jungle.

Pictures from the Port Hueneme Veterans’ Wall

Master Chief Jim Daniels joined the Seabees in 1942 at the age of 16 because, as he put it, “I was never going into a coal mine.”   He celebrated his 17th birthday at Port Hueneme then shipped out for the Pacific.

His career spanned 26 years and 3 months encompassing WW II, Korea, and Viet Nam.  Both he and his son were deployed in country at the same time.  Daniels left the service because his son was “so torn up, I quit as Senior Chief to take care of him.”  In 2008, however, the Navy granted his promotion to Master Chief.

During his time in service, Daniels was named Chief of Training for five battalions. “I spent more time at Camp Pendleton than some Marines,” he said.

In civilian life, Daniels spent over 17 years with the Hueneme School District and was elected to the Port Hueneme City Council where he served as Mayor pro Tem.

Army Sgt. David Wilson graduated Ventura High School in 1966, and considered enlisting in the Navy.  The recruiter told him, “‘You need to be in LA at five o’clock in the morning.’ ‘How will I get there?’ ‘That’s your problem!'”  The Air Force recruiter told him the same thing.  However, the Army recruiter explained that he could get “an extra $150 for jumping out of airplanes” and besides, “there was a 5PM bus to LA.”  “Customer service got me into the Army,”  Wilson said.

The 101st Airborne was airlifted directly into Viet Nam in time for the Tet Offensive.  Wilson recalled that the SeaBees dug trenches for the Army’s tents.  “That was great until monsoon season,”  he wryly remarked. “I don’t remember even having a tooth brush the whole time I was there.”

Today Wilson is the pastor at Oxnard Bible Church, the President of the Viet Nam Veterans of Ventura County, and does numerous presentations on the war to local schools.

When people ask him what he would have done differently, he replies, “I would have got my lazy butt down to LA at 5 o’clock in the morning!”

Marine Cpl. Ron Mongeau, a machine gunner at Khe Sanh and the Rock Pile, describes himself as a “jungle grunt with the 4th Marines.”

At Khe Sanh he said “We were under fire. I never knew what war was like. As a kid you watch John Wayne movies. It was horrifying.”  Acknowledging the SeaBees, he said, “They kept us going.”

Mongeau recounted  the tactics of the war. A helicopter “would drop us there and tell us to fight our way out.” “I was dropped on a lot of hills,” he said. He described his time in Viet Nam as “One battle after another and a lot of bad memories along the way.”

During one battle he “got hit and woke up on the hospital ship Repose. I couldn’t take the Purple Heart because I needed to get back to my unit.” “The casualty rate was really high….I have fond memories of the guys I was with.”

“In the field I was asked if I wanted to re-up for another year,” Mongeau recounted. “My answer was very clear.”

The troops returning from Viet Nam arrived in a turbulent nation.  “When we got off the plane there were people yelling at us. It was so unfair,” he said with undimmed emotion.  “I’m glad to be an American — even though I was born in Canada!”

A video of the event is available at

David Wilson, Ron Mongeau, and Bob Quinn engage in discussion

Old Times at Point Mugu

History on display at Missile Park, Point Mugu

The Association of Old Crows is an organization of people dedicated to the advancement of electromagnetic warfare (EW) technologies.  The Old Crows were founded in 1964 but  EW operations at Point Mugu go all the way back to the end of WW II.

Gina Nichols, the Defense Initiatives Archivist at the Port Hueneme SeaBee Museum recently gave a presentation to the local chapter of the Old Crows on the history of the Navy at Point Mugu.

Mugu had been the site of a Chumash village, and in the early days of the 20th Century was used as a campsite for local fishermen.  In 1925 a hole was blasted through Mugu Rock opening up a land route south to Malibu.

Gina Nichols addresses the Old Crows

In 1942 the Navy was looking for a deepwater harbor to support the war effort in the Pacific.  According to Ms. Nichols, the locale had “a railroad and a lot of unused land” making it an attractive site for Advanced Base Depot, Port Hueneme. 

By 1943 the Acorn Training Detachment at the Hueneme base was running out of room.  The Point Mugu site was acquired from local landowners with the promise that at the end of the War, the Navy would “give everybody back their land,” Ms. Nichols said.

When the SeaBees were sent out to construct the new facility “it was a marsh” infested with mosquitos. “It was torture to be sent out to Mugu,” Ms. Nichols recounted.

A 2500′ runway was constructed that would be extended to 4500′ by the end of the war.  By 1943 there were 1500 men on base engaged in repairing damaged aircraft that were brought in by ferry.

The Loon on Display

In 1945 a training camp was opened on San Nicolas Island and testing began on the Loon missile which was based on the German V-1.  Twelve German engineers were brought in to work on the program.  The runway was now 5500′ long.

When the Navy looked for a site for its missile test center, Point Mugu ranked #1 out of 20 possible sites.

Things really began to take off during the 1950’s. The Laboratory Evaluation Department supported the nascent space program.  Numerous aircraft systems were operationally tested. Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica was supported from Point Mugu. In 1958 the Pacific Missile Range was established. By 1960 the runway was extended to 11,000′. 

In 2000 Point Mugu was merged with the SeaBee base at Port Hueneme to form Naval Base Ventura County.  Today NBVC is home to over 80 different commands engaged in a wide range of activities from testing, to development, to operations.  The California Air National Guard occupies a portion of the base, while the US Coast Guard is the newest tenant.

The old fish camp has become one of the most valuable assets in the Navy.

— Ed.
A BAT. One of the items on display at the Missile Museum

History By the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

A funny thing happened on the way to the Sixth Annual Hueneme Sand Sculpture Contest in 2016.  It just didn’t happen.
In years past, we could count on the temperature remaining a balmy 69 degrees during the third weekend in August.  That’s a big draw with hundreds of cash-spending day-trippers who are sweltering inland.   Who wouldn’t be persuaded to brave the freeway and find their way to Hueneme Beach Park to beat the heat? 
So, in addition to visitors chowing down on roasted corn and funnel cakes at the Beach Fest, planners knew they could count on folks lining the pier to watch as dozens of amateur teams sculpted sandcastles.  In fact, after seeing a demonstration sculpture by Ojai artist Dennis Shives on the first day, several families were able to pluck up the courage to enter the contest on the spur of the moment. 


Brick Wahl

The Electoral College

The electoral college is all about congressional representation. Every state has a base of three–for the two senators and minimum one congressional seat.

By themselves, a small state–there are seven states with one district–have little electoral influence. But as a bloc they have electoral clout.  Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas have 12 electoral votes among them that go GOP almost without fail, as many electoral votes as Washington state yet with less than half the population. But this isn’t as important as it used to be — there are two 3 vote states–Delaware and Vermont–that are solidly Democrat. And when you add up the populations of the GOP’s 4 electoral vote states in the Rockies and Plains, they equal in electoral votes states and population states like Pennsylvania. And a lot of states in the west–Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado–have begun turning regularly blue.

It’s in the bigger states that the Democrats get burned. Were California’s electoral votes allocated on the same population basis as Wyoming’s (plus two for the senators), we would have 202 instead of 55. Texas would have 142. Florida would have 105. New York would have 103. Illinois 68. The problem is that urban and suburban congressional districts tend to be more densely populated than rural districts. The more urban the state, the less the congressional representation.

There are thirteen states with an average district size of over 600K people (California’s is over 700K) and only three of those have been reliably red in presidential elections (though at least two of those states, Texas and Georgia, will be purple battleground states within ten years, and probably blue in twenty). And of the 13 states with average congressional delegation size of less than 400K, eight have been reliably red.

Democrats as a rule have the underrepresented districts, Republicans the overrepresented. To make things worse, the GOP has gerrymandered a lot of Democrats in some states into huge districts, and themselves into many smaller districts. Ohio’s majority Republican congressional delegation in a majority Democratic state is the most flagrant example — and though it has nothing to do with the electoral college, all those Republican congressmen running for office in their tidy white districts is one of the reasons Trump captured the state this year.

This disparity in congressional district population has been the only thing that has kept the GOP in the presidential game at all. Without it the Democrats would have an overwhelming electoral college majority. Even Trump flipping four reliably blue states this goofy year stills leaves him down by well over a million, maybe even two, in the popular vote. Were congressional districts allocated fairly, the Democrats would gain dramatically in the House of Representatives, and in the electoral college, and the GOP would shrink. Shrink a whole lot.

Even so, inevitably, the tide is turning, as rural populations thin out and urban populations expand with kids moving in from the country and immigrants arriving and having 3 to 4 kids instead of the white’s 1 or 2 (or none at all). The white population of conservative suburban districts is aging and dying out  (and will be leaving ghostly tracts of four and five bedroom houses too big for modern families) and is not being replaced by equal numbers of their own–indeed replaced by immigrants (think Orange County).

The GOP has been overwhelmingly a baby boomer party–we have been the most conservative generation, by far, since the 1920’s–but we boomers failed to have enough kids to keep the ratio going. In another decade or so the GOP will cave in and become strictly regional, much as the original conservatives, the Federalists did. They elected the first two presidents but were gone by the 1820’s, swamped by the immigrants they hated.

The GOP too is pretending that only their demographic truly deserve to vote, deserve even to be here. Alas, there are only so many white people born between 1946 and 1964, and the GOP has adamantly refused to expand beyond them. And their kids and grandkids don’t vote like they do at all. The electoral college will turn blue, even if we don’t ever change it.

As for Trump (I’m writing this the Friday after his election, as my fellow liberals still stumble about shocked and weeping, as I would be, if not for all the Prozac), he is the ultimate Baby Boomer candidate, if not a Boomer himself–he’s one of he Silent Generation, believe it or not–and Boomers are at their peak electoral power now.

He may be incoherent half the time, but then wasn’t Bob Dylan? And Trump may come off like a loutish New York version of George Wallace, but then a helluva lot of us voted for George Wallace (a shocking number of the Gene McCarthy voters in 1968 voted for Wallace that November, and voted for Wallace in even bigger numbers in the 1972 primaries, especially in Michigan and Wisconsin.) Trump didn’t win many big states in a big way last Tuesday–Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin combined gave him a razor thin 107,000 vote margin, once all mail in ballots were counted (Hillary stomped all over Trump among those who vote by mail). Still, that was just enough to put all those upper midwest minorities and Gen Xers and Millennials with all their college degrees (far fewer Boomers went to college than they did) in their place. You betcha.

There are still loads of us Boomers alive (I was born right smack in the middle of the boom, 1957), and we are at our peak voting years, our 50’s and 60’s. People vote with astonishing regularity at our age (you value regularity at our age) and this year we just happened to be angry and in the right combination of states to give Donald Trump an electoral vote majority with the worst disparity of popular votes ever.

Hillary had a higher popular vote margin than not only Al Gore, but more than JFK (1960), Nixon (1968) and maybe even Carter (1976.) It’s like if you don’t win the Super Bowl by more than two touchdowns they give the trophy to the losing team. A constitutional shenanigan, really. As Hillary’s numbers are finally officially tallied–which could take weeks in California, where there is a mountain of mail in ballots, millions of them, being counted by hand–the scale of this shenanigan will dawn on everybody, and the notion of Donald Trump having a mandate for revolution will disappear into thin air.

You need to win votes to launch a revolution. FDR did. Reagan did. George W. Bush didn’t. Bush is so now loathed by most Republicans it’s hard to believe he was one of their own, with a GOP approval rate above 90%. There’s not much love in the long run for those who win the electoral college but lose the popular vote–when was the last time you heard nice things about Rutherford B. Hayes or Benjamin Harrison?–and in the 2000 election Bush was down only half a million votes. Trump is down by much more. A popular vote deficit of historic proportions. Huge, even. Big league.

Oh well, all us Boomers will start dying off soon enough–the eldest if us are 70 now, and we used to smoke like chimneys–and Gen Xers and Millennials will finally outvote us in, oh, two election cycles. We’ll still vote plenty, of course, all crotchety and conservative, but we’ll at last be outnumbered by all those rotten kids. And you know how they vote, those rotten kids, overwhelmingly blue, in ratios not seen since FDR’s day. Even as they get grumpy and old themselves they will vote probably twice as Democrat as we do now. Certainly twice as liberal. They are the most liberal bunch since the New Deal.

The Reagan Revolution was made possible because those original New Dealers were dying off (about three or four years earlier than we will, a whole election cycle). But the Reagan Revolution will fade the same way, as we Boomers die off. We are witnessing its final thrashings now. The New Deal lasted for 48 years, 1932-1980. The Reagan Revolution might last 40 years, 1980-2020. Apparently Reaganomics contained faster acting seeds of its own destruction. But I digress.

There are likely to be none of these absurd vote winner losing the presidency travesties once we are gone, taking the GOP with us. Once the whites-only GOP disappears, there will be no need for imbalanced congressional districts. There will be no advantage of farmers having two or three or times as much political pull as city dwellers, or a rancher in Wyoming having 67 times as much electoral vote representation as a writer in Los Angeles. The electoral college will again be reduced to an archaic afterthought, and not a threat to democracy itself.

Or so I hope.


Why Trump Scares Lithuania

Lithuanian President warns against naivete in the face of Russian threat.


The Toxic 100

The top corporate polluters of air and water in the US.


China Struggles to Control It’s History

Xi Jin Ping waging war on “historical nihilism”.


Veterans’ Day Presentation Video Available

Port Hueneme’s celebration of Veterans’ Day is available for viewing thanks to
Dr. Purna Pai and the Port Hueneme Historical Museum. 

Senior Holiday Luncheon Saved by Community Donations

The City Council asked for community support and the community responded with over $8,000 in donations for City staff to host the annual Senior Holiday Luncheon, scheduled for December 16 at the Port Hueneme Community Center.

The Senior Holiday Luncheon has been hosted by the city over 20+ years, offering the senior community an annual holiday where they get to enjoy a nice holiday meal, entertainment, and fun!

Due to the fiscal challenges the City of Port Hueneme is facing, discretionary program
and event funding was reduced or eliminated earlier this year. The Senior Holiday Luncheon was one of those impacted events.

At a recent Council meeting, members of the public spoke in support of the event and requested the City Council reconsider hosting the long standing event.

In response, the City Council asked the community to join in funding efforts. Less than two weeks later, almost twice the amount needed to host the event was and at the meeting of November 7, the City Council agreed to host the luncheon.

Donations were received by the City of Port Hueneme and REACH, a non-profit with the
mission to help raise and distribute funds for the purposes of providing Port Hueneme residents opportunities in: Recreation, Education, Arts, and Culture in Hueneme.

The event will take place December 16, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Orvene S. Carpenter Community Center, 550 Park Avenue, Port Hueneme.

Tickets will be sold beginning Monday, November 14th at the Community Center during normal hours until December 7th or the maximum of 150 tickets are sold.

Tickets prices: $5.00.

This event is limited to Seniors 50+.

For more information, please call the City of Port Hueneme’s Recreation and Community
Services Department at (805) 986-6542 between the hours of 12-3pm.

Donations Received by the City of Port Hueneme:

Hueneme Beautiful                                                           $856.00
Port Hueneme Police Officers’ Association                    $500.00
Orvene and Georgia Carpenter                                       $500.00
Oceanview Pavilion                                                           $500.00
Jon Sharkey and Beverly Kelley                                     $500.00
Murray Rosenbluth and Margaretha Van Oostenrijk  $300.00
Mark Petrasso                                                                    $300.00
Sondra Briggs                                                                      $250.00
Deni and J. Scott McIntyre                                               $100.00
Audrey Albert                                                                     $50.00

Donations made to City:                                            $3,856.00

Donations Recieved by REACH

Paul Watson                                                                        $1500.00
Go Fund Me set up by Cathy Reed                                  $1086.00
ILWU                                                                                   $1000.00
Ventura Mazda                                                                   $300.00
Carl and Jacki Cates                                                           $100.00
Steven Gama                                                                      $100.00
Richard and Beverly Rollins                                             $50.00
Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp                                                     $50.00
Gloria Gama                                                                       $25.00
Anonymous                                                                        $10.00

Donations made to REACH                                      $4221.00

Total Donations Made:                                $8077.00

When is a fundraiser not a fundraiser? 

A fundraiser is not a fundraiser—when charity begins at home.

It all started during the economic downturn in 2008, when frustrated parents told us they could not afford to buy the cherished classics they found under the tree when they were kids.   
That’s when we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
Our Prueter Library “bookies” (volunteers who sort, clean and price used books) started to set aside a selection of gently-used donations that would provide an affordable alternative (under $1) to cash-strapped parents and grandparents.  
And since it is better to give than to receive, the Port Hueneme Friends of the Library also scoured their jewelry boxes, closets, toy chests, DVD collections and garages in search of nearly-new yet gift-quality treasures that youngsters might buy for less than a quarter or two.  
Those of us staffing the sale tables look forward to assisting the young people who show up with a long list of people to buy for and a fistful of quarters.  We not only assure them that their allowance will cover their purchases but also provide bags so that Mommy and Daddy (who are still busy shopping) will be suitably surprised come December 25.
In addition, the naming of the “white elephant in the room” has become an unexpected tradition as well. Each year we find an item that we, collectively, are quite positive will never find a buyer—at least not somebody in his or her right mind. 
The most memorable, by far, was a toilet plunger decorated in appropriate greenery for St. Patrick’s Day. Sure enough, an adult and her two offspring  snapped it up—allowing that it would be ideal for an unsuspecting Irish relative.
So whether you’re focused on the wearin’ or the savin’ of the green this holiday season, the Port Hueneme Library is the place to be on Saturday December 5 from noon to three.   The event is only open for three short hours so come  early for the best bargains.  And bring a fistful of quarters.

For more information contact Beverly Kelley Phone 805 488-0363


Friends of the Library Website:


Friends of the Library Facebook Page:

Hidden Track: John Cale — “Hallelujah

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 21, November 2016


Autumn at the Beach


Be sure to vote, Tuesday, November 8!


From Paris to Old Hueneme

Connie Korenstein and Diane Mautner as Lucy Levy and Minnie Cohn

Connie Korenstein and Diane Mautner brought their reinactment of Ventura County pioneers Lucy Levy and Minnie Cohn to the Port Hueneme Historical Museum in a program entitled “Lucy Levy — From Paris Socialite to Ventura County Humanitarian”.

Staged as a tea time conversation between Korenstein’s Levy and Mautner’s Cohn, the stories of Levy’s husband Achille covered much of the early history of the town known as Wynema.

Escaping the German draft during the Franco-Prussian War, Achille, along with 300,000 of his fellow Alsatians, found refuge in the New World.  After working in his uncle’s store in San Francisco, the 19 year old entrepreneur made his way south to the small town of Wynema where he joined the Wolff family store making it Wolff & Levy.

Prospering in the new Ventura County, in 1882 he sold his store in Springville (Camarillo) and headed back to France in search of a wife.  Hiring a matchmaker, the self-styled “entrepreneur from San Francisco” made quite an impression on the stylish young Lucy.

The newly married couple headed back to California, with Lucy expecting to join high society in San Francisco.  She recalled that ocean travel didn’t agree at all with her new husband, Achille being seasick all the way across the Atlantic.

The train ride from New York made quite an impression on the young Parisienne. Lucy was, after days on the rails “amazed we were in the same country.”

The stage coach ride from Los Angeles proved to be no less an adventure.  It was February and the roads were muddy and rough. The Conejo Grade was “too slippery” for the horses and so Lucy, bedecked in her Paris finery was forced to trudge for two hours in the mud.

The Levy mansion was also something of a disappointment. It was a three room house, but the new bride was surprised to learn that she and Achille would be sharing it with his partner Moise Wolff and the store clerks as well — six people all together.

Bard’s Warf was the major transshipment point for Ventura County crops.  Achille became a successful agricultural broker, shipping to markets all over the world.  Levy had one of the first telephones in the county, and one year ran up the outrageous sum of $241 in telegraph bills.

By 1890, Achille Levy was known as “The Bean King of Ventura County” shipping trainloads of lima beans to markets back East.  At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the Ventura Bean Pagoda boasting “The Best Beans in the World” proved to be a popular attraction.

Education of the children fell to Lucy.  The Levy children were always invited to the Methodist Sunday School whenever the Old Testament was being studied.  A rabbi in San Francisco provided lessons through the mail. High Holy Days were always observed at home.

Achille began holding accounts for farmers, and in 1889 along with Thomas Bard, he founded the Bank of Hueneme with a capitalization of $100,000.  Later, as The Bank of A. Levy, it was known as “the bank that beans built”.

Adolfo Camarillo was also on the board of directors. He and Achille were known for their practice of “character credit”.  If a farmer wanted a loan, the two men would rise before daylight and make their way to the farmstead.  If the lights were on in the house, they knew the man was industrious and would probably make a good credit risk.

When the new sugar beet factory was built a few miles to the north, Achille proclaimed, “Oxnard is the town of the future.”  Lucy, however, was more skeptical. She saw a town with “17 saloons and shootings on Saturday nights.”  With his wife refusing to live there, Achille was forced to commute to his new Oxnard bank from Hueneme.

The couple headed back to Europe for the 1900 World’s Fair, and when they returned, Hueneme was a ghost town. Their son Joseph was an architect who built a new family home on D St. in Oxnard and Lucy and Achille decamped for the new metropolis.

The Levy legacy of community works is extensive: support for Jewish orphans’ homes and charities in Los Angeles and San Francisco, financial help for immigrant families, and the L.A. Sanatorium now known as The City of Hope.

When Achille died in 1922 his obituary read, “His reputation for square dealing is as wide as the county.”  Son Joseph carried on the legacy, making loans from his personal funds to keep the bank open during the Great Depression.

Lucy’s dedication to charitable endeavors encompassed work with the Red Cross to care for returning WW I veterans and going door to door to collect supplies for victims of the St. Francis Dam Disaster.

The one-time Paris socialite’s good works earned her the title of “Oxnard’s Angel of Mercy”.

She passed away in 1934 at the age of 71.


70 Years at Point Mugu

Capt. Jahnke speaks while Kathy Long, Adm. Corey, and Director Johnson look on

Capt. Chris Jahnke, Commander of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), confessed that he was a little apprehensive about California’s reputation when he first received orders to come here.  However, he soon recognized the strong support NBVC enjoys in the local community. “The base is stronger than ever,” he told an audience assembled to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD).

NAWCWD is the branch of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) charged with developing weapons for the Department of the Navy (DoN).

The base at Point Mugu, the first for pilotless aircraft, was developed during WW II because it provided “an unobstructed sea test range and great weather,” the Captain observed.  He pointed with pride to the excellent record of “protecting and respecting the environment” while developing the most advanced technologies.

“Let’s hope for another 70 years of the Navy here at Point Mugu,” he concluded.

Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long echoed the spirit of community support. “The people of Ventura County look to Point Mugu as a good neighbor,” she said.

NAWCWD Executive Director Joan Johnson noted that the history of the facility is recorded in the street names on base, many of which are named after the missiles that were developed there. Today’s emphasis on electronic warfare is nothing new. “For 65 years Mugu has led the charge on electronic warfare,” she said.

Rear Admiral Brian Corey, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, was the featured speaker.  Adm. Corey recounted the history of NAWCWD recognizing many of the key figures, some of whom were in the audience.  “We have the best technology in the world, but what really sets us apart is the people — the men and women in uniform,” he said.

Considering the world situation, he was sanguine about the future of NAWCWD. “The ‘good old days’ at Point Mugu will be 2017-2022,” he promised.

A humanikin “mans” a target vessel


It’s the Money

Pat Schuett discusses issues on the Test Range

In a recent address to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21), Mr. Pat Schuett, Technical Director, Navy Test Wing Pacific, gave a harrowing account of what it’s like to run a large, complex organization on a shoestring budget. 

The Sea Range at Point Mugu is a unique national asset providing a test facility for all types of Naval weaponry.  “People all over the world want to use the Range,”  Mr. Shuett said.

The VX-30 “Bloodhounds” provide aircraft for range clearance and telemetry, “one of a kind capabilities” and “world-wide test support,” according to the Director. The data collected are “extremely valuable when things go wrong,” allowing for analysis and evaluation of the systems being tested.

The problem is that the aircraft needed for testing on the Range are reaching the end of their useful life.  The two P-3 Orion aircraft used for range support officially ran “out of airframe life in 2013.”  One was rebuilt. “They put new wings and tail on a 50 year old aircraft. The other we just had to let it go.”

Mr. Schuett stated that nine aircraft are needed for proper operations.  The Navy is getting three 30 year old C-130‘s from the Marines, but “one showed up with a warped wing.”  The plan is to acquire six Gulfstreams. One is presently being outfitted for Range use, a process that takes 2-3 years.

Until the new aircraft arrive, operations on the range are at “a high risk until 2017 or ’18.” With only one aircraft available for telemetry, Mr. Schuett sees a gap until at least 2019 when the first new aircraft comes on line. Should that aircraft be down for repair or otherwise unavailable, “We will not be able to to support these big programs,” he said.

With operations on the Range valued at millions of dollars per day, “What is the cost when missions don’t go?” he asked.  While the Test Range is technically down only 4% of the time, tests not scheduled because the support aircraft are not available don’t show up in the statistics.

How did the Test Wing get into such a tight situation? “It’s the money — alright?” Mr. Schuett explained in frustration.


State of the City Video Available

A video recording of the recent Port Hueneme State of the City Address is available on the City website.

History By the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

So back in 2009, a modest Sand Sculpture competition with a $15 entry fee and donated trophies was held, and a handful of families showed up.  The following year, the number of participants tripled—lured to participate in part by a generous $1000 cash prize.  Then before the 2010 entries had even melted away with the tide, Donna Breeze was gently twisting the arms of the planning committee members to start envisioning the 2011 contest twelve months in advance.
As part of her research, Marietta King unearthed photos and documents belonging to Sheryl Malone and Marian Foster, who unbeknownst to the 21st Century planners, labored on sand sculpture contests in 1984, 1985. and 1986.  These contests were held in conjunction with Port Hueneme Harbor Days.  The genesis for the competitions was a group of art, culture, and merriment-minded residents of the Anacapa Condo Owners Association of Port Hueneme.  

When asked why there was never a 4th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest in 1987, Malone acknowledged that volunteers tend to vanish when the workload proves too great or the payoff proves too small.  Even non-profits that have endured for decades in Hueneme were at risk—dying off as their members did the same. The last production of Port Hueneme Harbor Days, a class act that ran for 51 years, occurred in 2005.  
Happily, however, the efforts of Malone and Foster paved the way for sand sculpture contests to come—more than three decades later. As Isaac Newton also insisted, we can see further by standing on the shoulders of those who come before us.

Brick Wahl


Baby boomers.

We are the worst generation politically since the 1920’s. We voted Republican in most elections, and if not Republican we came close, even in 1968. It was we who dismantled the New Deal. Reagan and his people began it, but it was the baby boomers who went at it hammer and saw and destroyed it. The Tea Party was the most successful political movement the baby boomers ever came up with, and look what it wrought, the political equivalent of the Mongol invasions. The George W. Bush administration was the ultimate in the baby boomer political philosophy in action, such as it was.

Thankfully most of us will be dead in a couple decades and the younger folks can rebuild what our parents built. We may have been lots of fun and made some of the greatest music of all time, but we sure messed everything up.

Not that you can tell us that, though.

We have convinced ourselves that it was we and we alone who brought progressive values to America. But think of this: when our parents saw Barry Goldwater running for president, they turned him down in a landslide. They knew dangerous crazies when they saw them. When we saw George W Bush, we elected him.

And Trump? Well, this is who baby boomers vote for when they get old and cranky. He is us. Maybe not me and you, but most of us. Certainly most of us baby boomer men, white and a surprising number Hispanic. And the majority of Trump’s female followers were born between 1946 to 1964, inclusive.

There are not only a helluva lot of us—we were proportionately the biggest American generation ever since before the First World War — there were so many of us and we all had lots of siblings, unlike today. We live longer and healthier than our parents did, but we vote far, far more conservatively than any other generation in our age group, ever.

The Bernie voters never had a chance against our numbers and voting participation rate–and that was against only those of us who voted for Democrats this year. More of us voted for Republicans. And most of them voted for Trump. The only reason that Trump is in this race at all is because so many Baby Boomers love the guy to death. Hey, we are wild and crazy guys.

By the time we got to Trumpstock we were half a million strong.

Read more Brick Wahl at


Remembering Bob Hoover

The legendary pilot heads West.


Liberty Moves North

Is Canada the last bastion of liberal openness in the West?


Autonomous Vehicles Hype and Potential

Are self-driving vehicles the solution, or are they a problem?


At the Museum

Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum
Distinguished Speaker Series

Presentation are at 11:00 AM (220 Market Street)
All are free of charge

November 5, 2016   Captain Bill Hodge, Captain Bob Quinn, Master Chief Jim Daniels and Corporal Ron Mongeau “50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.”

November 11, 2016 “2016 Veteran’s Day Celebration Note:  This event will be at 9:00 AM in front of City Hall

November 19, 2016 “Celebration of WWII Greatest Generation”

December 10, 2016  Lydia Stevenson “A Tribute to Elaine Garber”  Elaine will be receiving the “People Who Make a Difference” Award

January 14, 2017 Author Astrid Adler “Our Ancestors Were German—Emigration from the German Perspective”

January 21, 2017 Frank Naumann “History of Naumann Family Farms in Oxnard (established 1893)”

January 28, 2017 Jim Campos “Citrus Labels in Ventura County”

February 4, 2017 Tony Volante “History of the National Guard in Ventura County”

February 18, 2017 Author, Historian and Model Maker, Bridge Carney “Rescue of PT 109”

March 11, 2017 Dennis O’Leary “History of Cinco de Mayo”

March 18, 2017 Captain Bob Quinn “History of the Navy League in Ventura County”

March 25, 2017 Peggy Kelly “Thornton Edwards:  Hero of the St. Francis Dam Disaster”

April 8, 2017 Bob Allison “History of the Camera in Ventura County”

April 29, 2017 Captain Thomas Santamouro “Navy Drones in Ventura County”

May 6, 2017 Anthropologist Dr. Max Fleishman “Bones in Ventura County”

May 20, 2017 Dr. Beverly Kelley “History of the Vote for Women in California”

June 10, 2017 Casey Graham “History of the Hueneme Lifeguards”

June 17, 2017 Gerry Olsen “History of the Western Grades in Ventura County”

June 24, 2017 Jim Hensley “From Alaska to Port Hueneme”

July 15, 2017 Dante Honorico “Filipino History in Ventura County”

July 29, 2017 Eileen Tracy “History of the Saviors Family”

August 5, 2017 Eleanor Arellanes “History of Chumash in Ventura County”

August 19, 2017 Cheri Brant “History of Market Street in Port Hueneme”

August 26, 2017 Ola Washington “African-American History in Ventura County”

September 16, 2017 Dr. Frank Barajas “Hispanic Heritage Month”

September 30, 2017 Dr. Cynthia Herrera “Hispanics in Higher Education in Ventura County”

October 7, 2017 Connie Korenstein and Diane Mautner “From the Gilded Age to the Broadway Stage”

October 28, 2017  Diane Mautner “Jewish Pioneers in Oxnard”

November 11, 2017  Second Annual Veterans Day Celebration Note: Location is City Hall and time is 8:30 AM

Time Change Reminder

Fall back with fire safety tips from Ventura County Fire


CAMARILLO, Calif. – An extra hour is coming this weekend. Make the most of it and take the time to prepare a fire safety plan to fall back on.

As people turn their clocks back on Sunday, November 6, Ventura County Fire reminds the public to review and refresh their disaster readiness plan.

Four “fall back” preparedness tips to consider include:

Change smoke alarm batteries – When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms provide early warnings so people can get outside quickly. Check each alarm’s batteries and test them monthly to make sure they are working. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away. Click here for smoke alarm tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Prepare an escape plan – Create an office and home escape plan and designate a meeting place outside to gather in the event of an emergency. Click here to download an advance planning guide and escape grid.

Download a “Ready, Set, Go!” kit – Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and can make a difference when seconds count. Learn how to prepare your family and property against wildfire threats with an action plan, available at all VCFD fire stations and online at

Sign-up for emergency notifications – VC Alert sends important information directly to subscribers during an emergency in Ventura County. Alerts may include notifications about brush fires, earthquakes, flooding, evacuations and shelters. To opt-in to receive alerts, visit or call (805) 648-9283.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit

Hidden Track:  Dropkick Murphys — “Blood

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 20, October 2016

Friends Raise Funds for Library

Competing for the coveted “Best Hat” award

Kicking off the Port Hueneme social season, the Friends of the Ray D. Preuter Library held their annual fundraising tea generating over $4100 for literacy programs and activities at the library.


Norton Sound Memories

Norton Sound veteran Bill Stewart shares a laugh with Dr. Luskin and Mayor (Ret.) Orvene Carpenter

From Seaman to Chancellor

Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Bernard Luskin recounted his career as a Yeoman on the USS Norton Sound AVM-1 as part of  the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speakers Series.

With a history that began in the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Norton Sound was originally commissioned as a sea plane tender, became the first missile test ship, and finished her career as the Naval Defense Test Ship known as “The Galloping Ghost of the Hueneme Coast”. 

Remarking on the number of Norton Sound veterans in attendance, Dr. Luskin said, “I can’t lie. Too many of you know the history.”

Reporting aboard in 1956,  Seaman Luskin was asked if he knew how to type. An affirmative answer resulted in his being appointed the Captain’s Yeoman.  Apart from being the “Captain’s major go-fer,” he recounted, “I was in charge of liberty chits — I was a big shot!”

In 1958 the Norton Sound set off for the South Atlantic on a mission that was so secretive that course was set around Cape Horn rather than through the Panama Canal. “Most of the crew had no idea what was going on,” Dr. Luskin recalled.

The Argus mission was to complete the first launch of a nuclear missile from a ship at sea “in the history of the world.”  Although this has been described as “the most dangerous missile launch ever,” to the young Yeoman it just “looked like a giant video game.”  “I thought it was just a game… I didn’t know it was dangerous ’till I started researching this talk!” he exclaimed. 

Yeoman Luskin’s station during the launch was on the bridge of the Norton Sound wearing a headset and relaying communications from all of the Argus participants.  While the official Navy film of the event “looked good, … I heard what was going on. They fired ’em and prayed. They didn’t know if they’d come back and hit us! Most of the officers went and hid,” he recalled.

Operation Argus led to the discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belt.  Dr. Luskin called it “one of the greatest nuclear experiments ever.”  “The whole world changed in 1958 and the Norton Sound was right in the heart of it.”

Lamenting that the ship was sold for scrap after her service as a Test Ship, Dr. Luskin said, “The Navy is not too smart some times. They took this iconic ship and made it into soup cans. The Norton Sound should be sitting in this harbor like the Midway in San Diego. It’s as important as the Wright Brothers’ airplane.”

Marveling at his own career advancing from Seaman to Chancellor, Dr. Luskin credited an “arrogant Ensign” who berated him for his lack of education. “You ought to go to college,” he was told. Taking the advice, he enrolled at Ventura College and spent the next 15 years attending classes while working part time. “I never missed a semester,” he said. “I went to Ventura College and now I’m the Chancellor.”

With 48,000 veterans in Ventura County, Dr. Luskin is working to establish a Veterans’ Center in the Community College system. The “New GI Bill is changing the character of America,” he said.

Recognizing the efforts of his students, he remarked, “There are a lot of people like me, except I’m the Chancellor.”  Appreciative of the success in his life he gave credit to his time in the Navy, “Being on the Norton Sound and the GI Bill changed my life.”

Yeoman Luskin’s service medals

Knights Honor Judge

Judge Manuel Covarrubias addresses Knights of Columbus

“For the People We Serve”

Superior Court Judge Manuel Covarrubias was recently honored by the Oxnard Council 750 of the Knights of Columbus at their annual Civic Night.

Judge Covarrubias has served as a jusdicial officer for 22 years and was appointed to the Ventura County Superior Court in 2002 by Gov. Gray Davis.

The Oxnard native spoke of his humble beginings as the son of a carpenter with a 9th grade education and a mother who had only gone as far as third grade.  His ties to the community have remained strong.

“Our court is here for the people we serve,” he stated, “Without you we would not succeed.”

Judge Covarrubias concluded by quoting Franklin Roosevelt, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”


See You Next Summer!

The Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce held its last Sunset Supper of the season at Hueneme Beach Park.  We look forward to the trucks’ return next year.

History by the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people. We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time? This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two. And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society. If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

Long-time residents Dorothy Ramirez and Helen Brant used to call it the “Hueneme Spirit.” Both Ramirez and Brant had been 20-year proprietors of competing grocery stores in old Hueneme, yet they also shared a 75-year friendship. So how did they do it?

Instead of adhering to the “dog-eat-dog” tenets of capitalism, they chose, instead, the “love thy neighbor” tenets known as the “Hueneme Spirit.” When one ran out of a staple like bread or milk, the other would not hesitate to supply what was needed from her own grocery store shelves. Can you imagine such unselfish cooperation between Ralphs and Vons?

Ted Moranda, in his book Me ‘n’ Paul and Old Hueneme, recalls an old-timer named Bill Paxton who spent years taking care of a bed-bound neighbor. “And he didn’t get a penny for it” Moranda wrote in his memoir, adding that while he had never seen Paxton in church, “he was a kind and considerate guy and we all knew it.”

The “Hueneme Spirit” is not a novel concept —doing unto others as you would have them do unto you — but given the hate-based rhetoric that seems to be the norm even on social media these days, it’s the only antidote to all the negativity that has made Port Hueneme anything but the “Friendly City by the Sea.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of present day positives to inspire each and every one of us, but they seem to get lost in the divisive din that demands our attention morning, noon, and night.

Take, for example, the thousand or so Hueneme residents who spend their precious time helping out in the classrooms, coaching on the playing fields, tutoring at the Homework Center, participating in church outreach programs, raising funds for the Prueter Library or Hueneme Beautiful, offering emergency aid with the Red Cross, or just pitching in whenever and wherever a need arises.

They volunteer, not to be recognized or rewarded in some tangible way, but because they want to make Port Hueneme a better place. And they have been doing so, not just for a few months prior to an election, but sometimes for decades.

When long-time residents visit the Museum, they often lament those things that no longer exist: the Lima Bean Picnic, various businesses on Market Street, a hometown newspaper, Dennis the Menace Playground, the Women’s Improvement Club, Harbor Days, and the Men’s Follies.

Yet there are still ample opportunities for community—even at this time of economic crisis for our city.

Communication with City Hall is now a two-way street—thanks in part to social media. You can also meet your neighbors (and their dogs) on walks to the Lighthouse or along Bubbling Springs park. You can enroll your family members in recreation classes for all ages or hear local experts simply by showing up at the Distinguished Speaker Series at the Museum.

When funding for the Junior Lifeguard program had to be cut, volunteers threw a fundraiser to raise scholarship money for those families who couldn’t afford to pay. And for those who lament the passing of the Hueneme Beach Festival, why not join other volunteers in planning an event that is self-sustaining instead of costing the taxpayers $50,000 a year.

Isn’t it time we brought back the Hueneme Spirit? I suspect we will all be the better for it.

Brick Wahl

Republican Civil War

Odds are that the GOP will lose a couple dozen seats in the house this year.

It seems as of now highly doubtful that they’ll lose more than that. Very effective gerrymandering by GOP controlled statehouses have left enough Republicans in safe districts that can withstand even a severe drubbing of their presidential candidate and a big increase in Democratic voters. But the irony is that the Republicans in districts that are not safe veer to the more moderate side of the GOP, being that the districts they are in are not conservative enough to have elected a Tea Partier. Democrats will pick up those seats, leaving a GOP majority in the house that, though smaller, will be even more conservative than it is now.

Trump won’t win the White House, and a lot of Republican senators will be losing their seats because of Trump and likely losing the majority to the Democrats, but the House will be more Trumpified than it is now.

There has been a long running Republican trend since 1980 (maybe since 1978) where every election brings more hard line conservatives into the House than before. In 1994–seven elections after the Reagan landslide in 1980–Newt Gingrich took control of the House GOP and set it firmly to the right. Indeed to the right of Reagan, certainly to the right of George H.W. Bush. Clinton’s national health insurance plan was destroyed by the Gingrich revolution.

Fast forward ten more congressional elections and Paul Ryan–more Reagan than Reagan just four years ago–is now far too moderate for most conservatives in the House (and among Republican Party rank and file) and in all likelihood will not be Speaker in 2017. Just four years ago he was hardline conservative. Now he is a RINO.

Every Republican you see interviewed seems to see nothing but intra-party civil war and bloodletting. Meanwhile, the demographics in the general population run against them, and their base grows smaller and smaller.

Parties do disappear sometimes. The Federalists were gone by the 1820’s after being dominant in the first twenty years of the country. The Whigs elected presidents before the Civil War and were national and growing until they almost instantaneously disappeared in the late 1850’s.

But we’ve had two dominant parties since the Civil War, it’s hard to imagine one disintegrating completely. Yet that is what seems to be happening. A surreal time. Perhaps it is just a phase and the GOP will re-emerge. Perhaps it will split into multiple parties. The liberal Democrat in me snickers. The historian in me looks on in astonishment.

To think I lived to see this day.

Read More Brick Wahl at


No Drone Zone

Airshow organizers say unmanned vehicles not welcome.


USS Zumwalt Commissioned

Latest DDG 1000 “next generation” warship named for famous admiral.


Patriots in the Baltics?

NATO mulls deployment of defensive missile system.

At the Museum

During the month of November, the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speaker Series will be celebrating all U.S. Military Veterans—but especially those who are residents or former Port Hueneme residents.
November 5, 2016 “50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War”

11:00AM-12:30PM at the Museum (220 Market St.) 
Sharing their very personal memories of Vietnam will be:

Captain Bill Hodge, a combat pilot conducting bombing missions over Hanoi and Haiphong.

Captain Bob Quinn, Seabee officer and Purple Heart recipient who supervised construction at I Corps .

Master Chief Jim Daniels, who led Seabee construction work near the Rock Pile and who lost his son Bill Daniels to the Vietnam War in 1973 (death attributed to Agent Orange).

USMC Corporal Ron Mongeau, a machine gunner at Khe Sanh & the Rock Pile as well as a self-described “jungle grunt with the First Marines.”

November 11, 2016 “2016 Veteran’s Day Celebration” 9:00AM-10:30AM at City Hall (250 North Ventura Rd. Port Hueneme, CA).  Celebration Program Speakers include: Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Sharkey and Retired Master Chief Jim Daniels (Veteran of WW II, Korea, and Vietnam).

Port Hueneme’s very first Veterans Day Celebration is being sponsored by the City of Port Hueneme Historical Museum, VFW Post 3935, Navy League, Sea Cadets, and Chamber of Commerce.

The program will include:

The Presentation of Colors by the Hueneme High Naval Junior ROTC; Pledge of Allegiance by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp Ben Moreell Battalion; “God Bless America” by the Boys and Girls Club of Port Hueneme & Oxnard; Reading of Hueneme Purple Heart names from WWII, Korea and Vietnam by Captain Bob Quinn, Korea and Vietnam Veteran; and Reading of Hueneme KIA names by VFW Wonnie Wood Post Commander Clay Cowgill, Iraq Veteran.


November 19, 2016 “Celebration of WWII Greatest Generation” 11:00AM-12:30PM at the Museum (220 Market St.).  
According to the Veteran’s Administration, approximately every three minutes, a memory of World War II—its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs—disappears. These men and women are now in their nineties or older and are passing away at the incredible rate of approximately 430 a day. 
The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum has discovered five Greatest Generation Veterans and invited them to share their stories:
US Navy Chief (Retired) Joe Villalino, the son of a Bataan Death March survivor.
US Marine Corps Corporal (Retired) Orvene Carpenter, who served as a Machine Gunner in SBD TBF dive bombers.
US Navy Master Chief (Retired) Jim Daniels, who served as a Seabee construction engineer.
U.S. Navy Lt. Commander (Retired) Gabe Pesce, who served as a linguist specializing in Japanese.
US Army Corporal (Retired) Ralph C. Nichols, who served at Fort Shafter (Honolulu, Hawaii) in crypto clearance.
Very Special Guests: WWII combat infantry veterans from American Legion Post 12.

For further information please contact: Beverly Kelley
Email: Phone:  805 488-0363

Address of Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum:  220 Market St. (Corner of Market St. and Hueneme Rd.) Port Hueneme, California 93041  Phone:  805 986-6542
The history of the Port of Hueneme is so rich and complex that it’s going to take three presentations to tell the entire story.
As a part of its Distinguished Speaker series, The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 Market Street) has already hosted Will Berg, the Director of Marketing for the Oxnard Harbor District, first, on June 4, 2016 and second, on June 11, 2016.  Berg initially spoke about Port History from 1865 to 1975 and on his second visit he tackled the record from 1975 to the present.

Will Berg will return on Saturday October 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM to “Review where the Port is now and Where it’s headed.”

“Earlier this year,” according to Berg, “the Port of Hueneme closed the books on yet another consecutive year of growth.  Jobs have been added, cargo volumes are up, new customers are using the Port.  A 2013 economic impact report identified 191 jobs for local residents. An updated study completed this year shows 413 Hueneme residents directly employed as a result of Port activities.  The Port depends on these hard working citizens and by any measuring stick, this employment rate is a good thing.”

A third generation Oxnard native, Berg has called Port Hueneme home for the past 16 years. He holds an MA degree in Comparative & International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Conversant in Mandarin Chinese, he also studied at the National Political Science University in Taiwan and is a graduate of California State University at Chico.

Berg has lectured aboard cruise ships calling on Asian destinations along the Pacific Rim and spent 15 years as a shore excursion specialist with some of the world’s most prestigious cruise lines. He has a deep knowledge of the Port’s operations, intrinsic value, and fascinating history that he is excited to share with a wider audience.

Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

Californians must practice and be prepared for the next earthquake. Being prepared can help your family survive and recover quickly after an earthquake. Today millions of people around the world will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during the annual Great Shakeout.

Here are some reminders for earthquake preparedness:
  • Identify the risk in your area. Go here to find out if you live in an earthquake prone zone.
  • Consider strengthening or retrofitting your home if it is not structurally sound. The California Brace and Bolt program can assist in strengthening your home.
  • Plan and practice with your family what to do in an earthquake.
  • Remove, relocate, or secure anything that could fall and hurt someone, block an exit, or start a fire.
  • Assemble a disaster preparedness kit with first aid supplies, canned food and a can opener, water, blanket, battery-operated radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
You may want to consider purchasing earthquake insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not usually cover earthquake damage, and it is in your best interest to ensure that you are properly covered. In most cases, it can take 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to take care of this before the next big one happens.

I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to stay in touch by email, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson State Senator, 19th Senate District


Showing the unbeatable spirit that has made him a cycling icon, Peter Sagan capped off an amazing 2016 that saw him win the Visit California Sprint Jersey and add 2 stage wins to his 15 total at the Amgen Tour of California with his second consecutive World Championship title. 
With a flat course expected to end in a sprint finish, the 2017 World Championships in Qatar were a major goal for every sprinter in the professional peloton. After the dust had settled, the podium held only former World Champions Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, as the closest challengers to Peter’s title of World Champion.
The King of California and World Champion makes his return to California this November for the ultimate VIP Cycling event in Westlake Village! For more information, or to register for the Ultimate VIP Weekend click here.

How would you like to trade in your black tuxedo for a blue one?

United States Air Force Bands are world-renowned and look to recruit top talent from all communities across this great country. There are opportunities for instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, audio technicians and arrangers. Through musical performances, Air Force Bands honor our veterans and service members, inspire audiences and connect communities both in the U.S. and overseas to the Air Force and America.

To find out more and to get information on auditions and requirements, go to .

Hidden Track: Buckwheat ZydecoHey Ma Petit Fille

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol II, No. 19, October 2016

Bringing Home the Gold!

City Honored for Efficiency Programs

The City of Port Hueneme was recently honored with three Beacon Spotlight Awards for Best Practices in Energy Efficiency.

The Beacon Program is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative. The SEEC is an alliance between three non-profit organizations and California’s four Investor-Owned Utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commisssion.

Port Hueneme received  “Gold” Level awards for greenhouse gas reductions and sustainability practices. A 60% reduction in energy savings resulted in a “Platinum” Award.

The City has undertaken a range of activities from more efficient electrical use in city buildings, to homeowner assistance, to battery recycling.

Information on various city programs is available online.

Water efficient landscaping:

Green building:

Battery recycling:


Business waste evaluations:

Tree City USA:

Green parks:

Bicycle and walking trails:



Tracking the Sand

Ventura County Harbor Director Lyn Krieger discusses Channel Islands dredging project

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Lyn Krieger recently gave a presentation on dredging for Channel Islands Harbor.  It is the sand trap at Channel Islands that provides the replenishment for Hueneme Beach. Officially the project is designated as navigational dredging for C.I. Harbor. Consequently, the County of Ventura, led by Director Krieger is the lead agency for securing funding.

Ms. Krieger recounted that as early as 1943 the Naval Base was experiencing flooding due to the erosion of the shoreline caused by the Harbor jetties. Pictures taken in 1945 clearly show extensive erosion along the shore.

In 1953 Congress appropriated the funds to build Channel Islands Harbor. The spoils from the dredging were used to rebuild the Port Hueneme shoreline. The entire Surfside neighborhood was created from sediment dredged in the harbor construction.

Most importantly, Channel Islands Harbor was designed as the location of the sand trap that would hold two years’ worth of sediment for the periodic dredging.

Unfortunately, as Director Krieger pointed out, “There’s a difference between what Congress authorizes and what it budgets.”  By 2012 there had been “an eight year stretch where there was no Federal budget,” and while Channel Islands may have been short changed,  “a number of harbors were eliminated entirely from funding.”

During the disasterous 2013 cycle, the Army Corps of Engineers budget was based on 75% of the previous five year average — years that were short due to the Congressional budgetary failure and Continuing Resolutions that froze funding at radically reduced levels. 

Ms. Krieger gives a great deal of credit to Congresssmember Julia Brownley for getting the largest share of funding in project history for the 2014 replenishment.  2.25 million cubic yards of sand were moved around to Hueneme Beach. 

This year the recommended budget amount was $12.58 million, but the final appropriation was reduced to $4.5 million. Still one million cubic yards of sand are scheduled to reach Hueneme Beach beginning in October.

But the battle continues. Ms. Krieger had just returned from Washington, D.C., where she had been working with the California Association of Port Authorities to secure sufficient funding.
Describing a “good news, bad news” situation, Director Krieger lamented the failure of Congress to, once again, pass a budget. However, the Continuing Resolution that provides this year’s funding is based on last years budget — “one of the higher years,” she stated.

Unfortunately, the dredging is scheduled to continue into January, but the Continuing Resolution expires on December 9.  Further Congresssional action is needed.  “Without a long–term budget, there is no way for the Corps to get extra money to us,” Ms. Krieger explained. 

The continuing battles take their toll, not only erosion damage, but in time spent.  “When I first got here this was 5% of my job,”  the Director said, “now it’s 40%.”

The future seems to be troubled as well.  “There are a lot of competing interests. Revenue is flat and the cost of everything keeps going up.”

Director Krieger’s powerpoint is available:



Officer of the Year

The Carefree Living Association of Hueneme Bay recently hosted its annual First Responder Awards ceremony at the Association Clubhouse.

Port Hueneme Police Officer Matt Harbin was recognized as the Police Officer of the Year.  Officer Harbin has been a full-time officer since 2014, but began his career as a Police Explorer in 2010.  He is the son of Dispatch Supervisor Geri Harbin.

His commendation states, “Officer Harbin consistently and reularly leads the department in self-initiated contacts and arrests. He is known by his peers as a true team player and was recently chosen to be a Field Training Officer to new Reserve Officers.”

Fireman Delachone Short of the Ventura County Fire Department was honored as the Firefighter of the Year. Fire Captain Mark Frailey commented, “He is selfless in every way, putting the needs of others first — Fireman Short, a true professional.”

The Paramedic of the Year award was this year given to all the Gold Coast Paramedics. Gold Coast which traces its origins back to 1949, was cited for its outstanding cardiac care.


Local Authors at the Library

Librarian Bernadette MacDowell snaps a photo of author Angelique L’Amour

The Ray D. Preuter Library recognized “Indie Author Day” by hosting a presentation by local authors. 

Samantha Perkins presented her novel approach to teaching beginning piano, Handy Houses: Memorize the Piano Keys in 5 Minutes!

Ruby Lang described her childhood in England during World War II, having been both a child evacuee and a London resident during the Blitz. Her book, Faces In the Windows was written to honor the children and families who shared her experience.

Angelique L’Amour, the daughter of famous author Louis L’Amour, discussed the experience of maintaining a household while undergoing cancer treatment. Her book Chemo, Cupcakes, and Carpools covers a serious topic with levity and equanimity.


History by the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

Isaac Newton once wrote, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore… whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Speaking of seashores, in my humble opinion, there is no better way to learn about Newton’s law of gravity, falling apples aside, than trying to construct a sandcastle at the beach.
The idea for the 21st Century version of a Hueneme Sand Sculpture contest was the brainchild of Donna Breeze who has always been passionate about keeping Hueneme Beach Park from remaining “the best kept secret in Ventura County.”  Since her entire family enjoyed digging in the warm sand, she figured that a castle competition might provide the perfect introduction to “The Friendly City by the Sea.” 

Brick Wahl

Cat Up a Tree

Neighbor’s cat stuck up in our back yard tree for the third day now. So far all attempts at rescue have failed. All it has to do is climb down six more feet and it can be rescued. So of course, being an idiot cat, it climbs up another ten or twenty or thirty feet. From there it could also go another six feet and leap onto the roof.


No one ever said cats were smart. Cute, OK, but not smart. Natural selection in house cats eliminated that sort of thinking in favor of snookumsness a long time ago. Hell, the dumb things can’t even conjugate a simple verb intelligently. I can haz cheeseburger, sheesh.

And so there we are, three days of standing around the trunk of the tree and looking up as the stupid if adorable little beast looks down and cries at us like it’s our fault.

Perhaps it is our fault. We domesticated them. Leopards don’t get stuck in trees. Then again leopards eat people. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

Tonight we will wind up picnicking around the tree, eating pork loin, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and drinking wine, just to torment the little dope into coming down for a morsel.

Not that it will work.

Instead we will probably be attacked by raccoons. They, at least, are smart. And annoying. If cats were smart they’d be just as annoying, and we’d never have domesticated them.

Problem solved.

Read More Brick Wahl at


Russia Moving Missile System to Kaliningrad

Tightening the vise on the Baltics?

Two New Littoral Combat Ships Get Their Names

USS Marinette and USS Mobile will be the latest additions to the LCS fleet.

Only in Texas?

The boom in Texas wind power may not transfer to other locations.

Air Quality Plan Available for Comment

The Draft 2016 Ventura County Air Quality Management Plan is now available for review and comment at

The District is proposing adoption of the 2016 AQMP, which presents Ventura County’s strategy (including related mandated elements) to attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard, as required by the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Photochemical air quality modeling indicates that Ventura County will attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard by 2020 using local, state, and federal clean air programs.
The 2016 AQMP presents a combined state and local strategy for attaining the 2008 federal 8-hour ambient air quality standard for ozone by the statutory compliance deadline of July 20, 2021.
The 2016 AQMP was prepared to satisfy federal Clean Air Act planning requirements for areas designated as serious federal 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas, including, but not limited to, updated air quality information, an updated emissions inventory, local and state air pollutant control measures, new emission forecasts and projections, a new federal conformity budget for transportation projects, a reasonable further progress demonstration for precursors of ozone (reactive organic gases and nitrogen oxides), a demonstration that Ventura County will attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard, and contingency measures.
The public hearing will be held at the following time and location:
December 13, 2016
1:30 p.m.
Ventura County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Meeting Room
800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA  93009
You are invited to attend this meeting and be heard on this matter.  Please direct any comments, questions, or requests for additional information to Chuck Thomas at or 805/645-1427.
Written comments may be mailed to 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, CA, 93003, faxed to 805/645-1444, or e-mailed to< or 805/645-1427. 

Written comments may be mailed to 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, CA, 93003, faxed to 805/645-1444, or e-mailed to and should be received no later than November 9, 2016.

At the Museum

The Story of the USS Norton Sound

Sat, Oct 15, 11:00 AM 

Hueneme Museum 220 Market Street Port Hueneme

The anchor and the bell belonging to the Port Hueneme-based USS Norton Sound, the Navy’s first guided missile ship, are two of the most prized artifacts at the Museum.

Who better to tell the USS Norton Sound story than Navy veteran (1956-1958) Bernie Luskin, who served as Captain’s Yeoman aboard the famous ship.

After graduating high school (where he had taken typing), this first generation American (his parents were born in the Ukraine when it was Russia) was assigned to manage the Captain’s Office. He breezed through military office management courses and was advised by his superiors to enroll at Ventura College—a suggestion that would radically change the trajectory of his life.

He would not only earn his AA, BA, MA and Ed.D., but would also be licensed as a school psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist.

Dr. Luskin, a proud alumnus of Ventura College, has been the CEO of eight colleges and universities (including Moorpark and Oxnard Colleges); divisions of several Fortune 500 companies, authored best-selling books and produced Emmy award-winning television programs. 
His wife Toni Luskin is an accomplished lifetime equestrian and holds a Ph.D. in Human Development. The Luskin family boasts two sons, Matteo and Ryan, and have permanently settled in Moorpark, California.


Coming October 23:  Ventura County Pioneers Lucy Levy and Minnie Cohn Discuss Local Jewish History

Famed Re-enactors to Present

Connie Korenstein (Lucy Levy) is a retired educator who devotes her time now to historic research, tours, writing and performing living history presentations, historic fashion consulting and fashion shows. She is a docent at Heritage Square and the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, as well as the Dudley House in Ventura.  Connie has performed a variety of historic characters throughout Ventura County.
Diane Mautner (Minnie Cohn) is an educator, speech pathologist, and a twice-published author who also docents at Heritage Square.  In addition to working on a collection of biographies based on diverse characters she met while traveling with her husband Ray to all fifty states, she is looking forward to the publication of a children’s picture book at the end of the year.
Connie and Diane have collaborated on several other living history programs including “Music of the Gilded Age to the Broadway Stage” and “The Brandeis Daughters in Conversation” and “An Interview with Sarah Josepha Hale, The Godmother of Thanksgiving.”

Hidden Track: The Dropkick Murphys — “Which Side Are You On?

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 18, September 2016

San Salvador Comes to Channel Islands

The replica of Cabrillo’s famous ship of discovery paid a visit to Channel Islands Harbor

Kathy Long Bids Adieu

Supervisor Long Speaks at the Bard Mansion

Third District Supervisor Kathy Long bid farewell to the city she has represented for the past twenty years.

In a presentation to the Friends of the Bard Mansion, she recalled Astronaut Jim Lovell’s Christmas broadcast from Apollo 8, viewing the Earth as a “grand oasis in the vastness of space.” 

Taking the long view, she decribed her efforts by refernecing Nelson Henderson, “planting trees under whose shade I do not expect to sit.”  “My two decades in office are just sand on the beach,” she mused.

The Supervisor cited three areas of particular pride:  Keeping Santa Paula Hospital open, serving as co-chair of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century to advance the interests of Naval Base Ventura County, and working to protect Ormond Beach the “last remaining coastal wetlands” in California with its “great economic value”. 

Ms. Long acknowledged that any achievement “takes the community” to accomplish, “working hard to never lose track of who you serve.” 

Although public service can be at times fractious and difficult, the Supervisor concluded by reminding the audience of “the joy of sharing this wonderful oasis.”

When asked what she planned to do in retirement, her answer was simple, “Play,” she said.

Tracy Sisson-Phillips, Kathy Long, and Sylvia Muñoz-Schmopp share a moment at Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Anticipating the Unexpected

Dr. Melissa Mizdor addresses the Regional Defense Partnership

In a recent presentation to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century, Dr. Melissa Midzor, Director, Electronic Warfare Integrated Laboratories Division Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, discussed the powerful but invisible world of electronic warfare and testing.

Dr. Midzor set the stage by describing how the Warfare Lab can integrate real or simulated hardware with real or simulated environments.  Just as in a video game, a formation of defenders can be deployed against a formation of threats. “In the lab, you can control the environment,” Dr. Mizdor explained. 

“How can they talk together? How can they work together?” Testing in the lab is designed to eliminate some of the interoperability problems that surfaced during the Afghan War.

Venturing into “gee whiz” territory, Dr. Mizdor described the High Power Chamber which contains radio waves so powerful “they would melt a normal chamber”. 

The Warfare Lab is also connected to different labs across the country, allowing for real time mission level testing among multiple entities.  A simulated UAV can be “flying” in one lab while connected to other labs saving “gobs of testing”, and millions of dollars in the real world. 

With all the success of the Warfare Lab, Dr, Mizdor also noted some challenges: the increasingly crowded RF spectrum; funding that has dropped off after the Iraq War; and an acquisition process where “compatibility is buried way down there somewhere.”

Looking forward, Dr. Mizdor sees the challenge of the Warfare Lab as anticipating the unexpected. [We need to be] “working on waveforms we’ve never seen before,” she said.  Simulations are only as good as the imagination of their designers.  [We should] “use our technology to emulate the art of the possible” instead of trying to “replicate what’s already out there.” 


Electric Cars on Display

Alternative fuels advocate Kent Bullard shows off his new Nissan Leaf

Recently a number of electric car owners in conjunction with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District met at Channel Islands Harbor to display a wide variety of electric vehicles both old and new. APCD is sponsoring a Discount Voucher program to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.


From the Quirky

To the Exotic


On January 23, 2014, Ventura County APCD and Plug in Central Coast hosted a public workshop to discuss the recently released EV Readiness Plan and EV Charging Station Maps. This Plan was developed under the California Energy Commission Grant No. ARV-11-002. In addition, this workshop provided information on current grant opportunities to install publicly accessible EV charging stations in the county.

On September 1, 2016, Ventura County APCD staff held a free drawing for 75 EV Discount Vouchers worth $2,200 off certain Battery EVs and $1,100 off other Plug-in Battery and Hybrid EVs. There are 37 EV Vouchers remaining after the drawing, but the EV Vouchers for the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Fiat EV, and BMW i3 are no longer available. Download the short PEV Voucher Discount Application here for PEVs and voucher amounts still available for the program, and submit to our office. Remaining vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first served basis.

For more information, contact Stan Cowen at (805) 645-1408 or Vouchers may only be used at participating Ventura County dealerships. Make your best deal, and then show them the voucher for additional savings. Local dealerships have agreed to match the voucher amount with at least an equal discount off the sales price, which is in addition to manufacturer discounts, state and federal incentives. Per APCD Board: Vouchers may not be used with PEV trade-ins, but normal lease expiration is allowed. Vouchers may be used toward vehicle purchases or leases.

Beach Showers Turned Off

The Beach Showers were turned off due to tampering/vandalism and excessive water run-off. Apparently, users started packing the button with sand so that the shower would stay on, unfortunately for long periods of time.  It got a lot of notice and complaints due to the drought, so the showers were turned off.  The City will be working on a modification that will time the duration of the shower being on.

—From City Staff

History by the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

Isaac Newton once wrote, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore… whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Speaking of seashores, in my humble opinion, there is no better way to learn about Newton’s law of gravity, falling apples aside, than trying to construct a sandcastle at the beach.
The idea for the 21st Century version of a Hueneme Sand Sculpture contest was the brainchild of Donna Breeze who has always been passionate about keeping Hueneme Beach Park from remaining “the best kept secret in Ventura County.”  Since her entire family enjoyed digging in the warm sand, she figured that a castle competition might provide the perfect introduction to “The Friendly City by the Sea.” 

Brick Wahl

Four score and seven tweets ago…

Donald Trump has utterly transformed the way the media covers the presidential election. Now, running on issues is considered a weakness by both Trump and the media. Try as you might, you will see almost zero coverage of any actual issues this week. Trump and the Alt-Right dominate the media’s thinking. When Tom Brokaw screams that Hillary needs to see a neurologist immediately, you can see just how fundamentally news coverage has been altered.

And unless you spend hours daily on Twitter, you will be completely mystified as to how this is happening.

But it’s happening because Trump turned Twitter into the dominant medium this campaign, even more so than television itself, and on Twitter the news cycle runs in seconds, with everyone trying to be the first person to tweet the latest story.

When Gary Johnson made his “What is Aleppo” goof on Morning Joe (on MSNBC), he was barely a minute away from the set when panelist Mark Halperin–one of the country’s leading political reporters–got him on his iPhone. Within two minutes that conversation was broadcast on the air, with Johnson still inside the building, but even more remarkably, Halperin tweeted about that phone conversation while still talking to Johnson. That news cycle was literally less than sixty seconds, and “What is Aleppo” was trending within two minutes (I watched it happen.)

I think the reason that news coverage of the campaign is so distorted is that political reporters and pundits are addicted to Twitter. 140 characters or less. Even telegraphy was not so terse. Ironically, though, vastly more of us voters get our news on social media from Facebook instead of Twitter, and the disconnect between media and voters has never been so stark.

We each live in our own social media universes. You and me here, on Facebook, and reporters and pundits on Twitter, and neither platform can access the other. That happens second hand, via television news. Twitterized reporting is stretched out into news stories and pundits shouting at each other, which filters into Facebook and down to us. “I was just asking a few farmers about grain prices & all they wanted to talk about was how the Clinton campaign handled the media Sunday” Mark Halperin tweeted today. It’s like policy issues don’t even exist.

Trump will lose the election–he gets slaughtered on Facebook–but his campaign stays even in the media because he tweets incessantly, and the media follow every tweeted utterance like it is a message from on high.

No one, not even Hillary now, can compete for the media’s attention when the media have become conceptually twitterized. It certainly beats doing any real issues reporting. You can’t discuss, say, the ramifications of the new Filipino president pivoting his nation away from the U.S. and towards China in 140 characters or less. Anything politically newsworthy today can be no more than a catch phrase. Even sound bites are too long for Twitter.

And certainly sound thinking is.

The Gettysburg Address, a mere 272 words long, has 1,369 too many characters and spaces for Twitter. 87 yrs ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty & dedicated to the prop that ppl are created equal. That’s about all that fits.

Then on to the real news that Lincoln picked up a case of smallpox in Gettysburg.


British Cadets Stuck on Ship

Hanjin bankruptcy leaves cadets with no place to go.

New Littoral Combat Ship Launched

Future USS Wichita hits the water. (video)

Navy Links Missle with Joint Strike Fighter

A new advance in defensive capability. (video)


The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum made history on September 17, 2016.

While Ventura County celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month included the Consul de Mexico “El Grito” at Olivas Adobe and the Oxnard Mexican Independence Day Fiestas Patrias, Port Hueneme City Councilmember Sylva Muñoz-Schnopp‘s event at the Museum was the very first celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in the city’s history.

It’s probably about time. Hispanics make up more than 54 percent of the population in the “Friendly City by the Sea.”

National recognition of Hispanics and their contributions to this country started in 1968 as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson.  The celebration was subsequently expanded on August 17, 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to a thirty-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

In between being delighted by the colorful Oxnard College Ballet Foklorico and the world-class Mariachi Aguilas de Mexico, Ms. Schnopp introduced the standing room audience to the history of the Hispanic culture here in Ventura County. 

Did you know that:

   · Presently (in 2016), 56.6 million Hispanics make up 17 per cent of the population in the United States?

     · By 2060, the number of Hispanics is projected to double to 119 million.  To put that figure into perspective, the number of Hispanics in this country will be second only to Mexico, where the population is expected reach 123 million?

      ·  By 2020, the spending power of Hispanics will exceed that of millennials?
Thanks to a generous contribution by Dr. Purna Pai, the Distinguished Speaker Series at the Museum, which averages two presentations a month, is now being videotaped.  You can find a video of the Hueneme Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration by clicking on:

(Part I)  (Part II)


At the Museum

Director of Harbor Department, Channel Islands Harbor,

Lyn Krieger

will explain the Channel Islands Harbor Sand Trap Dredging and Replenishment of Hueneme Beach
at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum
on October 1, 2016 at 11:00AM


Lyn Krieger, who will have just returned from meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, will share the latest news about the October dredging.  During her 20-year tenure, she has overseen 12 dredging cycles that have moved over 17 million cubic yards of sand. 

As Director, Ms. Krieger oversees Harbor operations, including ground leasing, development projects, Harbor Patrol, maintenance, and finance.
She has supervised projects to enhance or upgrade both private and public developments including Channel Islands Harbor Marina, Marine Emporium Landing, Hampton Inn, Toppers, Anacapa Isle Marina, Waterfront Homes, Channel  Islands Landing, Channel Islands Boating Center,  Channel islands Maritime Museum, the Harbor revetment, the public launch ramp and Paz Mar Apartments.

Lyn Krieger received her BA from Wheaton College, and her MA from the University of Chicago in the areas of business, public policy and law.

CLU Announces Center for Non-Profit Leadership

The Center for Non-Profit Leadership has moved to California Lutheran University. Information is available at the website:

Hidden Track: Aaron Neville — “Gotta Serve Somebody

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 17, August 2016

August Afloat

A busy weekend in Channel Islands Harbor

History at the Museum

Penny Wolcott and Joanna Bard Newton share a moment        Photo BMK

Georgia Newton Pulos presented a history of the Bard family in Port Hueneme as part of the Port Hueneme Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series.  More than a speech, the presentation provided an opportunity for many of the founding figures of the Port City to renew connections.

Georgia’s mother Joanna is the daughter of Richard and Joan (Boyd) Bard, the granddaughter of Sen. Thomas Bard.  The Boyds began ranching in the Santa Inez Valley in 1885. Their ranch, Los Olivos, was on the site of what is now the village of the same name. 

The Bards married in 1916 and set up housekeeping in “The Bungalow”, the house now known as Quarters A.  Joanna was born in 1917 while her father was away serving as an Army officer in World War I.

In 1918, Victory was celebrated with a big parade in Oxnard and Richard got down to the business of running the Berylwood estate.

Berylwood at the time was a self-sufficient agricultural operation with both food and cash crops as well as dairy cows.  It was in this pastoral setting that the Bard offspring spent their childhood under the strict supervision of a German nurse.

Joanna attended Hueneme Grammer School before departing for the Santa Barbara Girls’ School.

Excitement came to the local beach when the famous Rudolph Valentino came to town to film The Sheik.  Joanna recalls heading out with her nurse to watch the filming and catch a glimpse of Hollywood glamour. 

In 1925, Richard began his fourteen year quest to build the Port of Hueneme. He made so many trips to Washington, D.C. that the fledgling Pan American Airlines awarded him a commemorative plate.  Finally, in 1939 his dream was realized with the groundbreaking for the new harbor.

Whatever plans Richard may have had were soon overwhelmed by the onset of World War II.  Richard returned to service as one of the famous “Monuments Men” rescuing stolen artwork from the Nazis. He eventually served as the military governor of Kassel, Germany before returning home and winning election to the county Board of Supervisors.

Meanwhile, Berylwood became a military base. Quonset huts replaced vegetables in the garden and the sound of boots marching on the cobblestone walkways marked the end of its pastoral existence.

Joanna was never a fan of our famous local weather. “Dripping fog or howling east winds,” is how she recalls it.  In 1951 Richard moved his family to the drier climes of Somis, leaving the old estate in the hands of the U.S. Navy.  The Bards’ tenure in the city they had founded had come to an end.


Georgia Newton Pulos presents at the Museum as Joanna Bard Newton looks on

The Great Bank Robbery

Orvene Carpenter, long time Mayor and Councilmember, recalls the time the Bank of Hueneme fell victim to a plot that could only have been hatched in Hollywood.

It seems that during the darkest days of the Great Depression, a movie crew came to town looking for a perfect location to shoot a gangster film about a bank robbery. They just loved the interior of the old bank and deemed it a perfect setting for their cinematic caper.

For several days they set up filming in intricate detail scene after scene, many involving “stage money” as a prop for the robbery.

On their last day of shooting, it seems the property master had forgotten to bring the stage money.  One can imagine the scene with the great Hollywood director berating his hapless employee for his stupid negligence.  As this was only going to be a very short scene, would the bank be willing to help out and provide some real cash to substitute for the stage money? Such a favor would save a great deal of time and probably the prop master’s job as well.

Wanting to be a good sport and a part of Hollywood history as well, a bank employee obligingly provided a bundle of cash to provide an air of authenticity to the production.

This was all very exciting for the sleepy hamlet, and with the entire town watching, the director yelled, “Action!”  Unfortunately, there was some problem or other marked by confusion and a display of temperament. In frustration the director called for a break. The actors and crew headed outside, got into their cars and drove off, never to be seen again.

Oh yes, the money went with them.

The “camera” proved to be nothing more than a wooden box as empty as the bank vault  they left behind.

A video of the presentation is available at

Wings Over Camarillo


Hellcat waiting for action

The Commemorative Air Force at the Camarillo Airport has a very special collection of aircraft, most in flying condition. A B-25, F6F, and SNJ are all part of the collection, but the crown jewel is a Supermarine Spitfire that was given a frame-up restoration in the local hanger.

All these aircraft and many others were on static display and in the air at the annual Wings Over Camarillo Airshow.

For anyone interested in old warbirds and local aviation history the CAF Museum, 455 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, is open Tuesdays thru Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.


The Sheriff’s new chopper

History by the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people.  We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time?  This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two.  And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society.  If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

Ray D. Prueter, who passed away at the age of 87, would have cheered the resurrection of the Hueneme Pilot—first as a print weekly from 2008 to 2011 and then as an electronic newspaper in 2015—for restoring a sense of identity to Port Hueneme.   He never got over the fact that during his first year in office, the original Port Hueneme Pilot (1951-63) unceremoniously closed its doors and Dama Hanks, the editor, would have to settle for writing the “Pilot Section” of the Oxnard Press-Courier as a special feature every Thursday. 

Prueter was an individual who managed to get along with nearly everyone—a skill that would be sorely tested during “Annexation Wars” with Oxnard and the seemingly never-ending skirmishes over the Port. 

What was his secret?  According to two-time mayor Anthony Volante, “Ray, who was a mentor to me, did not consider himself a politician.”

Yet Prueter and his council were not always successful.  Looking to annex the beach communities west of Channel Island Harbor, they ultimately lost battles with both Oxnard and the Navy, whom they hoped to persuade into permitting a public right of way through the base. 

Prueter may have been a Rotarian, a 50-year member of the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce, and Port Hueneme’s first Citizen of the Year, but he, along with other local businessmen, wasn’t above garbing himself in glitzy women’s apparel for the infamous Harbor Days’ “Men’s Follies.”  If you are interested, there are photos on file at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum.  In addition, Prueter valued his lifetime Hueneme PTA membership, met regularly with the Channel Islands Navy League and served on the board of the Friends of the Thomas R. Bard Mansion. 

Brick Wahl

Sham 69

I saw Sham 69 at the Whiskey (the Dead Kennedys opened) back in 1979. Right there on the Sunset Strip. Great set. I loved Sham 69. Loved that first album. OK, it was dumb. Way dumb. The Ramones looked like intellectuals compared to Sham 69.  It wasn’t exactly poetry. It was oi. Oi! None of us Californians had ever even heard somebody say oi! before punk rock. Now snot nosed rich punks from Pacific Palisades would say oi! Oi? Yeah, oi! It was a very deep time.

The hippies had Dylan. The Beats had Ginsberg. And punks had oi. Well not all punks. Just the less coherent ones. Swilling beers and yelling oi! They don’t say it now, though. They grew up to be lawyers. But this was 1979, and they were all here at the Whiskey for Sham 69.

Though criminal as they tried desperately to look, none of them stole the microphone when Jimmy Pursey, the singer, stuck the mic in the audience for the sing along. A bit of English football camaraderie, that. If the Kids are United, we all chanted, they shall never be divided. Deep stuff. Rhymed even.

To this day when I hear that ferocious guitar riff I can’t help singing along, me, a very late middle aged jazz critic, singing if the kids are united, they can never be divided.

Sham 69 did White Riot in their encore, too, the Clash song. Jimmy Pursey stuck the microphone into the crowd again and the kids all sang I wanna riot, a riot of my own!

They repeated it. Repeated it again. And started to repeat it one more time when the microphone cut out. Jimmy pulled the microphoneless cord back from the crowd and shrugged. “They’ve stolen the microphone!” a stage hand yelled.

The band roared on, Jimmy grabbed another mic and finished the tune. The audience was mad with testosterone, swirling, bouncing, pushing and shoving. It was a moment of punk rock heaven. Meanwhile the stage was flooded by stage hands and sound men and bouncers peering into the boiling mass, looking for the culprit. “No one leaves till we get the microphone back!” someone announced over the PA.

Let me explain. I was in a punk rock band then — the drummer — and we had drums and guitars and amplifiers and even an avocado ranch to practice at. But we didn’t have a microphone. Our singer had to scream bloody murder to be heard above our proto hardcore din.

Suddenly right there in front of me was this beautiful, state of the art, zillion dollar microphone. Being a drummer, I didn’t make the connection between it and us, but my guitar player–who shall remain nameless, as he has three beautiful daughters and a grandchild–did. “Take the mic!” he yelled into my ear. “What?” “Take the mic! Steal the mic! We need a mic!”

So I stole it. It took a tug or two but it came off the cord. I stood there in the packed crowd, staring at it. “Hide it!” my guitar player yelled. “Hide the mic! Stick it in your pants!”  So I did.

A small army of bouncers began moving through the crowd. Big dudes, muscular, mean. The sound man announced that someone had stolen the microphone and no one was going to leave ’till it was returned. They began patting people down on the floor. “We better return the mic,” I said stupidly. My guitar player rolled his eyes. “Then they’ll know that you stole it,” he said.

It dawned on me that it was actually me who had stolen it, and it was in my pants, feigning manhood. I must have looked panicky. “Drop it on the floor,” my guitar player said, “and we’ll tell them we found it.”

So I retrieved it from my pants and dropped it on the floor. He picked it up and yelled “Hey! We found it! We found it!” He held the microphone aloft for all to see. Several bouncers rushed over. “He found it,” one said. “He found it,” said another.

My guitar player said, “Since we found it for you, can we go backstage and meet the band?” The bouncers rolled their eyes. “C’mon, we found this expensive microphone for you!” He whined like that for thirty seconds. “OK, alright, let them backstage for a minute.”

And lucky felons that we were, we were led through the mass of sweating kids, past several other bouncers and either up or down some ancient stair to the backstage area.

It wasn’t what I expected. No lush chairs. No cocaine on mahogany tables. No greenless M&Ms. And the girls appeared perfectly nice and fully clad. Someone with an English accent said these guys found the microphone and want to meet the band. The girls rolled their eyes prettily.

We were led into another room and there, exhausted, was Sham 69. Oh my god, real rock stars. It was like meeting the Rolling Stones in 1965, if the Rolling Stones were midgets. Because Sham 69 were dinky, like five foot tall. Well, five foot four maybe. We towered over them. I remember them peering up through exhausted eyes. Back home guys our size were always trouble, the toughest football hooligans. Here we were just kleptomaniac punk rockers.

I shook Jimmy Pursey’s hand. “You were great,” I said, with genuine originality. “Fanks,” he said.

Their manager ushered us out again. “C’mon now, the lads have another set to do.” Back up (or down) the stairs we went, thanking the bouncers profusely. They thanked us for finding the microphone. “You guys really helped us out,” they said. “Most people would have tried to steal it.” I still feel a tinge rotten about that.

Then they let us out a back door and into the December night, where the punks were chucking beers at passing cars.

Meanwhile a buddy of mine I didn’t know yet mouthed off to the bouncer at the door when they tried to search him for the microphone and got worked over good. Beat up by bouncers at the Whiskey for being such a punk. He told me this twenty years later and I laughed it was so funny but I bought him a beer for his pain.

When he reads this I’ll have to buy him a whole six pack.


What Climate Change Will Look Like

A dispatch from Baton Rouge.

F-35 Still Falls Short

Pentagon’s chief tester points out problems.

New Littoral Combat Ship Delivered

USS Detroit scheduled for commissioning.

At the Museum

Councilmember and former Mayor, Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp will be leading our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on September 17, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Since the history of Ventura County is richly threaded with the names of Spanish and Mexican pioneers, we decided to celebrate Hispanic History Month and invited Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp to help us out.

Not only does she trace her heritage back to the early 20th Century in Ventura County, but as a former executive with AT&T Wireless, she also served as a former National Director of Multi-Cultural Initiatives, where she led the way in Spanish-language marketing, media, and public relations.

Those of you who attended her presentation last year on Mexico’s Cristero Revolution already know Councilmember Schnopp to be an entertaining speaker, expert researcher, and gifted historian. In addition to her wealth of expertise and experience, you can’t help but notice her deep commitment to the citizens of Port Hueneme.  All you have to do is look back at her fruitful meetings with State officials to ensure the protection of the Hueneme Beach shoreline when federal funding proved inadequate; her ongoing efforts to promote local business with the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC) and the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA); or her successful lobbying for Naval Base Ventura County with the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) Taskforce.

Back to School Tips From the Sheriff’s Office

It’s that time of year; the first day of school is August 24, 2016. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists, students and parents to practice basic traffic safety skills when traveling to school. The start of the new school year brings traffic congestion around the schools as well as a rise in pedestrian traffic. We suggest car-pooling or using an alternate drop off and pick up site away from the schools. This will help relieve traffic delays. The following tips are provided to ensure the safety of the students and serve as a reminder to be vigilant while traveling in a school zone. Parents, please discuss traffic safety with your children whether they are walking, riding a bicycle or being driven to school.


  • When crossing the street, continue to scan both directions for approaching cars.
  • Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards.
  • Use marked crosswalks and cross at controlled intersections when possible.
  • Wear reflective clothing or bright colors so drivers can see you.
  • Plan a safe walking route to and from the school or bus stop.
  • When waiting for the school bus, stay out of the street and avoid horseplay.
  • If riding a bike, ALWAYS wear a helmet. They are required on all bicycle riders under the age of 18. It’s the law.
  • Ride on the right side, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Walk your bike when crossing the street.
  • Know bicycle laws.
  • Be watchful around schools and bus stops for children in the street. Do not double park.
  • Pay attention to crossing guards.
  • Watch your speed in school and residential zones (25MPH). Leave early and give yourselves ample time to arrive at your destination.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road.
  • Do not text or use your cell phone while driving.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully, be observant in all directions.
  • Impeding the flow of traffic to wait to enter a school parking lot could result in a citation.
  • Do not allow your child to exit the vehicle into traffic lanes; safely drop them off at curbside.
By adhering to the traffic related tips provided, the number of collisions in an around school zones can be reduced. Please drive safely. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is committed to traffic safety through education and enforcement. From the first day of school and the upcoming weeks ahead, there will be extra uniformed officers by our schools addressing the rules of the road, with emphasis added to distracted drivers and seat-belt violations, as well as pedestrian laws.

Hidden Track: Rodney Crowell — “I’m Still Learning How to Fly

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 16, August 2016

Wooden Ships

One of the McNish Classic competitors at berth in Channel Islands Harbor

Home of the “Hidden Deployment”

The view from the pier at San Nicolas Island

Congressmember Julia Brownley (D-Port Hueneme, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks) along with several local officials including Port Hueneme City Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp, were the guest of Capt. Chris Jahnke in a tour of the Naval Outlying Field at San Nicolas Island.

“There is nothing easy about owning an island,” Capt. Jahnke said.  Everything on San Nicolas was brought in either by sea or air.  The salt air and harsh weather also take their toll.

Capt. Jahnke referred to duty on the island 50 miles off the coast as a “Hidden deployment”.  The typical rotation for Navy personnel is 18 months with two weekends off per month. Civilian employees can expect to work 35 weekends per year.

In such an environment, accommodations are important. The Navy is in the process of completing a major renovation to the facilities at “NicTown”.  The cost for materials and labor on the remote island is 30% more than similar projects on the mainland.

Capt. Jahnke shows off the new Chief Petty Officers’ Lounge

In addition to its military mission, the Navy is also a steward of the ecosystem. Environmental Program Manager Valerie Vartanian explained that 51% of the plant species on the island are exotic imports.  There is a Navy greenhouse that is growing native plants such as the cactus favored as habitat for the Island Night Lizard which has recently been removed from the Endangered Species List. 
The native plant nursery in NicTown
The primary purpose of the Navy’s presence on San Nicolas Island is to provide an offshore base to support the Pacific Sea Range. Stretching across the ocean all the way to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, the range is a unique asset that provides an unmatched environment for the evaluation of both surface and airborne systems.

Presently occupied with final testing of the F-35, the Range has been used to test missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and shipboard offensive and defensive weaponry.  San Nicolas is also ideally suited for testing laser and directed energy weapons.

Historically, the famous Israeli “Iron Dome” missile defense system was first tested on San Nicolas Island.

Capt. Jahnke’ parting words were emphatic, “If I can leave you with one message, it’s this: the Sea Range is a strategic asset.”

An island fox skeptically regards the visitors

The Legend of the Don

Gerry Olsen tells the story of Adolfo Camarillo

Upon the death of his father in 1880, 16 year old Adolfo Camarillo became the master of a thousand acre ranch stretching from Somis, up the Calleguas Valley, and all the way down to the present California State University, Channel Islands.  From then until his death in 1958, Don Adolfo was one of the leading citizens and founding fathers of modern Ventura County.
In a recent presentation at the Port Hueneme Historical Museum, Gerry Olsen discussed the life of this legendary figure.

Through shrewd management and unlimited energy, Camarillo became one of the most successful ranchers in the county. Cattle, walnuts, citrus, and lima beans were the top crops. In fact, for a time the town of Camarillo was known as The Lima Bean Capital of the World, complete with an appropriate festival and a presiding Lima Bean Queen.

In 1901, Don Adolfo became a director of Port Hueneme’s Bank of A. Levy.  In those days before computerized credit ratings, the directors had a simple way of determining the credit worthiness of clients.  Levy and Camarillo would get up good and early and pay a 5 AM visit to the family homestead. Those who were up and about were deemed to be industrious enough to merit loan funding. Those still asleep were denied.

Camarillo’s commitment to civic life was remarkable — he was a member of 38 different organizations — but his loyalty to his workers was extraordinary.

When Joel McCray who owned the ranch at the head of the valley remarked that there were too many workers on the Camarillo Ranch, Don Adolfo replied, “Maybe I don’t need them, but they need me.”

In 1924 Camarillo spotted a seven year old boy walking home from school. Meliton Ortiz would go on to spend the next 50 years working as the trainer for the legendary Camarillo White Horses.

Such long relationships were not unusual for the man who said, “Caring for others can change the world around you. Service to others can and should be a part of everyone’s life.”


Isabel and Adolfo visit the Hueneme Museum

Jeannette Moranda

It is with sorrow that we have learned of the passing of Jeannette Moranda. She was the widow of the late Walter “Bill” Moranda, the first professional city manager of Port Hueneme.

A great supporter of many civic organizations, she was recognized as the 2004 Citizen of the Year by the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce. 

Ever gracious and charming, Jeannette Moranda was one of the last links to the early days of Port Hueneme cityhood. She will be missed.


The Most Important Meal of the Day

There was a recent oil tank fire in the Ojai area. An Air Pollution Control District inspection had been scheduled for that morning. When the inspector arrived, the operator asked him to wait for a few minutes so that the operator could pick up a burrito. These few minutes proved to be more important than they could have realized. Had they gone straight up and started the inspection, both the inspector and the operator would have been at the tank when the explosion occurred. 

Thanks to a breakfast burrito, both the inspector and the operator escaped a dangerous situation.

—Ed.APCD Photo

History By the Minute

Beverly Merrill Kelley

Let’s face it, we’re all busy people. We’d love to learn more about our hometown but who has the time? This column will feature highlights that can be read in a minute or two. And rest assured, the information comes from the considerable resources of the Port Hueneme Historical Society. If your interest is piqued to learn more, visit the museum on Market Street or send your questions via email to

As mayor, Ray D. Prueter faced a plethora of problems. The previous decade saw a veritable population explosion—from 3,024 in 1950 to 11,067 in 1960. In fact, by the end of 1963, Port Hueneme became the fastest growing city in Ventura County. Yet the 4.5 square-mile-city was too small to support an industrial base, income levels were lower than state or county averages, and renters significantly outnumbered owners.

How could “a seedy little sailor town” amass the resources that the vigorous port city envisioned by Port Hueneme’s leaders would require?

Expansion of the harbor became Prueter’s top priority. He did not consider development a four-letter word. Not only was a planned senior community realized with Hueneme Bay and adjacent shops on Channel Islands Boulevard but Prueter also paved the way for the upscale condos along Surfside Drive which would generate badly needed tax dollars and boost property values.

Owners of neglected properties and ramshackle buildings were introduced to code enforcement. Blighted neighborhoods were replaced by a series of urban renewal projects that changed the face of Port Hueneme.

A community center provided a gathering place and a spanking-new post office replaced the 27-year-old structure on Market Street. The pier, which had become “sand-locked,” was extended.

Finally, the development of 20 acres of prime beachfront property offered recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Brick Wahl

Two Giant Tiny Civilizations Trying to Conquer the World Beneath Our Feet

Nazi ants? I’d never heard that one before. But a friend said it, referring to the long columns raiding her kitchen night after night. Effing Nazi ants, she said.

The tiny insects had gone from being household pests to threats to civilization itself. Civilization? Well, my personal civilization, she said, her clothes and cats and knick-knacks and foodstuffs. There’d been a blitzkrieg just that morning, an Effing Nazi ant column seizing the high ground around the cat food dish. She really didn’t like ants.

I mentioned that, coincidentally, there are certain ant species that are informally classified by myrmecologists as fascist, world domineering species. The catchline is that if those species had nuclear weapons the world would have been blown up long ago. Luckily, I added, ants are tiny and somewhat technologically incompetent.

“You’re scaring me,” she said.

“Buy a can of Raid,” I said.

It’s funny, when I was a kid ants were stubborn, pesky rubber tree movers. “Whoops there goes another rubber tree plant” sang Sinatra in a song he probably did not sing too often if he could avoid it. Antz and A Bug’s Life were late reflections of that sort of ant. Cute ants. Hard working ants. Ants, tiny little things that together seemed worthy of anthropomorphism.

The first books on ants I read were like that. Of course, there were also the Nazi/Mongol/Evil Empire army ants who ate people in The Naked Jungle. But army ants lived in jungles, far away. Everything was scary in jungles. In America ants rhymed with rubber tree plants. Cute.

Then myrmecology became popular, mainly because of E.O. Wilson. That huge book he and Bert Hölldobler did back in the 1990’s, cleverly titled The Ants, actually became a best seller. It’s a door stopper and quite technical, but had lots of great photos and several hundred Americans bought it. Go figure.

It was followed by a whole series of books on the romantic lives of myrmecologists and on ants themselves. I’ve probably read all of them. I have a miniature myrmecology library. As people became more myrmecological, the trend in the perception of ants moved from Sinatra to fascist. Ant societies became these incredible superorganisms (in fact, The Superorganism by Hölldobler is sitting in my “to be read” stack) that would be absolutely terrifying if they weren’t so damn small. Perhaps the fire ant invasion and the killer bee invasion suddenly made social insects into scary things.

But Argentine ants are kind of unsettling too.

You probably remember when you were a kid in California that there were several different kind of ants in your yard. I remember little black ones, littler black ones, big red ones, little red ones, and medium sized black and red ones. I remember seeing some of these in Hollywood and Silver Lake back in the 80’s still. They are all gone now. Only Argentine ants remain.

In brutal tiny wars we never saw they annihilated every other ant species they came across in California’s urban and suburban areas. Only the big red ants survive, but they exist in areas away from people and a regular water supply.

Argentine ants like water. Hence they might be in your sink right now. (We just had a swarm of them on the fish tank.) Fire ants, incidentally, the only ant in the United States that can actually kill people (given enough stings and anaphylaxis), need even more water than Argentine ants, so large parts of southern California are out of bounds for them. Not suburban lawns, though. We water those. Perfect for both species.

Somewhere out there in Orange County right now a war to the death is going on between fire ants and Argentine ants. The Argentine ants, here, are winning. They’ve lost in Texas and the deep south where there is sufficient rain. But the limited fire ant invasion in southern California thus far is due mostly to a combination of our dry climate and our annoying Argentine ants.

Curse them in your kitchen, spray them, stomp them, sprinkle them with Borax, but be glad they are outside on the sidewalk, in the garden, in the lawn. Otherwise you’d have fire ants everywhere in southern California. Argentine ants are our deliverance, like Stalinist Russia destroying the Third Reich. Two giant tiny civilizations trying to conquer the world beneath our feet.


The Suburbs of St. Petersburg?

A cold wind blows on the Baltic.

Dysfunction Junction

The 100th anniversary of two pieces of legislation that have shaped the world we know.

Santa Barbara Desalination Plant Behind Schedule

No drinking water from the ocean until January at the earliest.

At the Museum

Bard Descendant to Speak

Georgia Newton Pulos has graciously agreed to speak about her 98-year-old mother Joanna Bard Newton (daughter of Richard & Joan Bard and granddaughter of Thomas & Mollie Bard) at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 Market Street) on August 20, 2016 at 11:00AM.
Richard Bard met his future wife Joan Boyd (who was raised in the Santa Ynez Valley) on a camping trip during August 1915. When they eventually married in Santa Barbara, Richard had just returned to Hueneme after serving in the US Army Artillery in France.
Joan gave birth to their first child Joanna Bard (Newton) on November 12, 1917. In addition to raising four more children (Kitty, Richard, Archie and Margaret), Joan was heavily involved with the Hueneme Public Library, the Women’s Improvement Club and the Presbyterian Church.
This presentation will provide the perfect opportunity to see rare images of early Hueneme and to discover what life was like from 1917-1951. The Museum is delighted to report that the Newton family (including Joanna Bard Newton) have agreed to be present as well.
For more information, call 805 488-0363. email

Hidden Track: Terrance Simien — “Franklin’s Tower

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J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher