Will these tracks be put to use?
OHD Seeks Input
The Oxnard Harbor District held a public hearing on its 2020 Strategic Plan last Monday.
Speakers representing customers of the Port, the Economic Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC), and the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce all praised the efforts of the OHD.
Tracy Sisson-Phillips, Executive Director of the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce, sounded a more cautionary tone, urging the Commissioners to “balance” the interests of commerce with the quality of life of the neighbors.
Don Asdell the Chief Executive Officer of Global Auto Processing Services stated that, “Some people want to make this a resort community. We’re not a resort community. We’re a commercial community.”
Port Hueneme resident Sharon Kloeris praised the Harbor District for its community efforts such as the Banana Festival, but also complained about “the thin layer of black dust that settles all over my deck.” She said that when she complained in the past, she was told “that’s what you get for living near a port.”
OHD Executive Director Kristin Decas was quick to point out the efforts the District has made to improve air quality, working with the county Air Pollution Control District to secure grant funding to provide shoreside electrical power which reduces the need for ships to keep their engines running while in port.
A resident of Surfside IV asked if there were any plans to activate the railroad that runs through the Surfside neighborhood of Port Hueneme.
After assuring her that the railroad has been inactive for many years, Ms. Decas nonetheless asserted the “we reserve the right to make full use of our property,” with the promise that the Harbor District would keep the neighbors “fully informed”.
After receiving the public comments the Board of Commissioners voted to extend the comment period another 60 days.
Comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The plan is available for review at http://www.portofhueneme.org/2020-strategic-business-plan/.
Budget Cuts Hit Home
Gene Fisher addresses RDP-21
Gene Fisher, the Co-Chair of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21) reported back to the main group on the annual lobbying trip to Washington D.C.
RDP-21 is a coalition of local government, private citizens, and industry formed to promote the interests of Naval Base Ventura County.
If there was an overarching message it was that the effects of sequestration and the Federal budget problems have been devastating to military readiness. From ships not deploying to tests being cancelled, the impacts have hit across all branches.
Locally, the Pacific Test Range is in need of new support aircraft. While the plan is to acquire new Gulfstream 500’s, the new aircraft are not expected to be on the range before many of the old P-3 Orions are no longer operational.
There is also great need for small surface targets used to simulate swarm boat attacks such as practiced by the Iranian Navy. While the Navy estimates the need for 200 such targets, funding exists for only 50.
Despite the difficulties, there are, nonetheless, some bright spots for NBVC.
The Electronic Warfare Center can expect more work as electronic and cyber warfare become more important. The Self Defense Test Ship, homeported at Port Hueneme is recognized throughout the Navy as an important asset.
Overall, Mr. Fisher noted that when RDP-21 was formed back in the mid-nineties, there were about 70 different commands at NBVC. Today there are over 90, effectively “BRAC-proofing” the base.
The Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON), has begun an effort that could lead to more sand being placed on Hueneme Beach.
On Friday, the BEACON board voted to proceed with developing a memorandum of understanding with the three harbors that would pave the way to seek a grant from the State Division of Boating and Waterways that would provide additional funding for harbor dredging.
The estimated time frame from application to receipt of grant funds is about 18 months which closely coincides with the next scheduled dredging cycle.
Big Hero 6 on July 24 at Bolker Park
Up on July 31 at the Community Center.
Call 805-486-5460 for more details.
Our mailing address is:
516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041
J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher