ePilot Number 17 September 2015

The National Tsunami Warning Center has issued a Tsunami Advisory for the California Coast between Ragged Point and San Onofre due to an earthquake in Chile. The alert was issued at 6:43 PM on 16 September.

Action at the Beach

With a stiff Westerly blowing on Tuesday, units from Port Hueneme, Oxnard, and Ventura County responded to a call of a kayak in distress.  Lifeguard service ended with Labor Day but the rip currents didn’t. Be careful out there!

Water Contact Warning
The Ventura County Environmental Health Division and the City of Port Hueneme remind all that contact with ocean water is to be avoided for up to 72 hours after a rainfall event.  Storm water runoff has the potential to carry disease causing bacteria.  Thouroughly rinse skin and any items that may come in contact with contaminated water.


Photo BMK

Diane Mautner as Mollie Bard and Connie Korenstein as Lucy Levy  discuss old times in old Wynema.

The Friends of the Bard were treated to a tea time conversation between two friends who witnessed and created much of the history of modern Ventura County.

Mollie Bard (Diane Mautner) was the wife of Thomas Bard who built the wharf at Hueneme and later became a United States Senator.

Lucy Levy (Connie Korenstein) was a fashionable Parisienne who married the self-advertised “San Francisco entrepreneur” Achille Levy who began his business by providing financial services to the farmers waiting to ship their crops from Bard’s Wharf.  The Bank of Hueneme eventually became the Bank of A. Levy, one of the largest financial institutions in the state.

From pioneer days, through World War I, and into the Great Depression, these two friends were pillars of the social and charitable structure of our community.  Between them, they seem to have been everywhere, helping to build the city we know today.


Castles in the Sand
Second of Two Parts
Beverly M. Kelley

The sand is back on Hueneme Beach, and with it, the Fifth Annual City of Port Hueneme Sand Sculpture Contest arrived as well.  During the summers of 2013 and 2014, the event had to be cancelled, not due to a lack of participants, but to the absence 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.

Two Federal laws mandate that the Army Corps of Engineers replenish the lost sand.
The River and Harbor Act of 1954 authorized the creation of the Channel Islands Harbor sand trap, whose contents were to be used to nourish down-coast beaches.
The Water Resources Development Act of 1996 sanctioned a 100 percent federal cost share split between the Department of the Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Since 1960, however, the powers-that-be have been behaving like a deadbeat dad on the run. The volume of sand transported by the Army Corps has steadily declined from an average of 1.5 million cubic yards during the first decade to 600,000 in 2013.
Since Army Corps activities are subject to the Congressional appropriations process, during this recession “It’s the economy, stupid” has become their tired mantra.
Granted, sand replenishment is expensive. It costs over $5.35 million to move just 600,000 cubic yards. Yet Army Corps representatives don’t seem at all concerned that their dwindling sand deliveries—coming up various degrees of short during past decades— created an emergency situation for the second time in 2014.

When Hueneme Beach eroded to Surfside Drive after a significant deficit in 1994, emergency funding came through. In 2014, however, Port Hueneme was told by the California Coastal Commission that no emergency existed a week before the sea wall fell down.  The City of Port Hueneme armored what was left of Hueneme Beach with strategically placed boulders—yet rocks don’t roll for free. Their cost lightened the already stretched-to-the-max Port Hueneme coffers by a cool million.

But there’s more. We are expecting an El Nino year in 2016—when anything can happen.  This summer, we’ve already have experienced hurricane-like weather.  By January we could well get ferocious winds, abnormally high tides, and killer waves that might easily wash away much of the 2.25 million cubic yards of sand, courtesy of the Corps of Engineers, that finally gave us our beach back.

So what’s happening with the Feds?  There’s no guarantee that Port Hueneme will get any more sand until Congress passes the budget for next year.  According to our U.S Representative Julia Brownley—”the whole federal process ground to a halt over the Confederate Flag.”  So, business as usual—as far as Port Hueneme is concerned?

I’m hoping that next year the Sand Sculpture Contest will still take place as part of the Toni Young Hueneme Beach Festival.  In all likelihood (unless eliminated by badly needed budget cuts) the third weekend in August 2016 will be a balmy 69 degrees and Port Hueneme will be welcoming hundreds of cash-spending day-trippers to the our friendly little beach town.  In addition to chowing down on roasted corn and funnel cakes, we hope that dozens of amateur teams will be sculpting sandcastles as well. We can only pray that these talented sand sculptors won’t be required to bring their own sand.

Camerata Pacifica in Ventura

Camerata Pacifica opened their 26th season with a powerful and passionate performance at Meister Hall at Temple Beth Torah.  This virtuoso ensemble is never afraid to push boundaries, even when presenting a program firmly rooted in the Romantic era.  Time and again the audience was reminded that what is now settled and familiar was once unsettling and new.

The first notes of the new season were sounded by Paul Huang on his “Wieniawski” Guarneri violin, an instrument with amazing depth of tone.   Mr. Huang is a young player with formidable technique who maintained an impressive sense of line and voicing through the triple stop dazzler that is Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3. 

It is hard for a modern audience to conceive that Johannes Brahms was once considered a radical innovator. “The most modern of the moderns,” sniffed the Boston Globe’s music critic at the time.

By the 1860’s the Romantic rediscovery of Bach, begun by Mendelsohn and the Paris school of the 1830’s, was well underway.  The E Minor Sonata No. 1 for Piano and Cello, Op 38, is heavily contrapuntal owing much to The Art of the Fugue.

Accompanied by the cooly competent Warren Jones on piano, the volcanic Ani Aznavoorian redefined the meaning of passion while navigating the technically treacherous cello part. 

Brahms gives both instruments plenty to do, and balance in this piece has historically been a difficult problem to solve.  While initially Ms. Aznavoorian answered the question of whether or not a cello could overpower a nine foot Steinway, the players were soon locked in, and by the third movement Allegro, produced some breathtaking unison runs.

The culminating fortissimo passage was essayed with such vigor that the bow struck against  the cello as Ms. Aznavoorian tore into the instrument, but such a crime of passion is easily forgiven in the heat of a transcendent performance.

In the late nineteenth century, Pablo de Sarasate laid claim to being the greatest violin virtuoso in the world.  In an era when virtuosi were expected to write their own showpieces, Sarasate left many compositions that have become part of the standard repertoire.

The Spanish Dance No. 3, Op. 22, “Romanza Andaluza” is such a piece.  Unabashedly designed to make the ladies swoon, Mr. Huang brought a lyricism and delicacy to this light piece that stood in contrast to the pyrotechnic bombast of the Ysaÿe.  The triple pianissimo diminuendo that concludes the piece was handled with a deftness that brought a shiver to the spine of the listeners.

The second half of the concert was given over to César Franck’s Quintet in F Minor for Piano and Strings, an intense piece that roils like a troubled dream.  As the story has it, Franck had intended to dedicate the piece to his mentor, Camille Saint-Saëns who played the piano at the premiere.  Supposedly the composer of Carnival of the Animals was so disgusted by the piece that at the end of the performance he hurled the score into the piano and stormed off the stage.

Once again, the audience was reminded how modern the Romantics could be.  And once again Camerata Pacifica in performance matched the passion and intensity of the piece.

Mr. Huang, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Aznavoorian were joined by Agnes Gottschewski on violin, and Richard Yongjae O’Neill on viola. Mr. O’Neill, in particular, brought a modern intensity to his performance that had some of the more conservative members of the audience clucking in disapproval.  Thoughts of Jerry Lee Lewis come to mind.

With the exception of some tuning difficulties in the second movement, these five virtuosi harnessed their exceptional talents and delivered an ensemble performance with real heart and genuine emotion.

If your image of a classical concert is dour performers grimly soldering on in the name of art, then you’ve never experienced Camerata Pacifica. 

Camerata Pacifica’s performance season runs from now through May, in venues from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, with a new program each month.  Their next Ventura performance will be on October 11 and feature a world premiere of Belfast born composer Ian Wilson‘s Flute Trio in G Minor.


Brick Wahl


I‘ve been accused of being a reactionary, a fascist, a Reagan Republican, a racist, a white devil, a genocide enabler, a communist, an America hater, a right wing Donald Trump supporting expletive, you name it.

Keyboard warriors make the best name callers.

I rarely mention the fact that I am not a keyboard warrior, that I have had several years as a real world activist. Among other things I spent a stretch there back in the 1970’s working with the United Farm Workers. Did all kinds of stuff for them, even handling security for Cesar Chavez at rallies.

There was one scary day in a park in La Colonia in Oxnard. I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to write about it. Some things perhaps should remain unwritten.

On a keyboard, political opinions are nothing, really, but in real life it can be harsh and vivid and terrifying. Sometimes you live, sometimes you die. Mostly you never know.

I think of this whenever I opine my non-radical political opinions and get yelled at by the keyboard warriors. They do love to yell sometimes. So dedicated they can be, so fierce and uncompromising and always right. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. Does it matter?

It’s so easy to be fearsome and uncompromising on the internet. But reality has repercussions and things that can still keep you up at night, wondering, nearly forty years later. Haunted by what might have been and never knowing for sure.

Martyrdom is a strange concept, your name on a plaque in a park named for you.

Read more Brick Wahl at http://brickwahl.com/

Poet Wanted

The Ventura County Arts Council is seeking its second poet laureate. If you know a poet who could advance literary arts in our county click here and get your nomination in by the November 30 deadline. 


Environmental Analysis Supports Expanding China Lake Operations
Increased activity necessary to develop new weapons.


Congress Needs to “Get on Board” for New BRAC Round
While the Pentagon argues for cuts, Congress says “No”.

Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers

The Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers Club, (BCNN ) is a group of active women of all ages who live in Ventura, Oxnard, or Port Hueneme and enjoy activities such as hiking, bridge, dining, wine outings, reading, mah jong, cooking etc.
For more information, please come to our monthly meeting on October 7, 2015 from 9:30 AM to 11AM…    Meeting will be held at the Ventura Museum Pavilion located at 100 E. Main Street, in historic downtown Ventura   No charge for meeting and no reservation is required.  Coffee or Tea is available at a nominal charge of $1.00.

Speaker:                    Kate Nash
Title:                          Owner of Cosmotion
Subject:                     The Joy of Movement – Dancing through Life

For additional information, please visit our Website at: bcnnwomensclub.org
Or call:  805-647-8105 or 805-985-8085 

Port of Hueneme Exhibit Grand Opening!

4th Annual Banana Festival

When: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Port of Hueneme

Support Live Music!

Solimar holds forth at the Waterside

Copyright 2015 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher


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