“Nothing is more important than day to day navigation.”
Camarillo Mayor Mike Morgan engages in spirited conversation at the Transportation Summit
Hosted by the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties along with Mobility 21, it was obvious from the gathering of business as well as political types that transportation funding is an important priority for Ventura County.
Congessmember Julia Brownley, appearing on video from Washington, DC, emphasized that “Ventura County is the only county in SCAG [Southern California Association of Governments] without a dedicated transportation tax. Tax money generated by local residents and buisinesses is not coming back toVentura County.” Since most Federal and state funding requires a local match, the result is that “we’re spending our hard earned money on projects outside our county.”
As an example, Darren Kettle, Executive Director on the Ventura County Transportation Commission, pointed out over $45 million in needed access improvements to Naval Base Ventura County, the Port of Hueneme and numerous railroad crossings and bridges. In order to receive the funding, however, there would need to be a local match of $8 million. Although the money is designated for Ventura County, without local funds, it will likely go elsewhere.
Lucy Dunn, Chair of the California Transportation Commission and President/CEO of the Orange County Business Council, led the effort to pass a transportation tax in Orange County that received over 70% of the vote. Ms. Dunn emphasized the necessity of identifying specific projects so that the electorate knows what they’re voting for. “Promises made, promises kept,” she avowed.
Hamid Bahadori of the Automobile Club of Southern California agreed. “Identify the problems,” he said. Mr. Bahadori emphasized the need for compromise. Rather than fight over spending formulas, he urged everyone to remember that “100% of nothing is zero.”
Keep Ventura County Moving
What does Ventura County need to keep traffic flowing, people moving and the economy growing? KeepVCMoving.org, a new website launched today, invites you to weigh in on this question.
Visit the Site
KeepVCMoving.org delves into Ventura County’s transportation challenges and outlines a draft plan to solve them. The site explores the idea of a half-cent sales tax as a way to raise billions of dollars for local mobility. It also describes the projects and programs that could repair, preserve and improve our community, if such a tax is approved by voters this November 2016.
Most importantly, the site invites YOU to join the conversation.
The future of Ventura County transportation is in your hands. Visitwww.keepVCmoving.org. Explore the site, review the plan and share your thought and opinions.
“What we do Matters.”
RADM. Brian K. Corey addresses the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century
Rear Admiral Brian K. Corey, Commander, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Dicision recently addressed the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century, giving an overview of challenges both global and local.
Stating that Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations has placed an emphasis on “toughness”, he expressed the need to strengthen naval power “at and from the sea”. “We’ve been in some form of conflict for over fifteen years now,” the Admiral stated, pointing out the toll on personnel and equipment.
“Nobody wonders, ‘Is my Sumatra Blend coffee going to make it through theStrait of Malacca?'” While we may take that for granted, the Admiral pointed out that “throughout history there have been people who underestimated the United States.” China, for example is “right up front. They intend to challenge the US Navy.”
In a rapidly changing world, Adm. Corey pointed out some of the difficulties in keeping up with new technologies and global challenges. “When I started out it was the Department of Defense that was leading technology. Today technology is moving at such a fast pace that the military just can’t keep up.” Now the Navy’s emphasis is “how to put capability out faster and cheaper.”
Decrying an outdated acquisitions process, the Admiral complained about the “handcuffs put on our workers.” “We have PhD’s who spend half their time just trying to get funding. We’re going to fix that,” he promised.
Budget cuts have had an effect on readiness. “We’ve been failing to explain that we have a huge readiness problem,” he said. “If we have to fight the Soviets in 1985, we’re ready. If we have to fight someone else in 2020, we are not.”
Citing the F-18 which is expected to have a 20 year service life, Adm. Corey spoke of the problems getting ten thousand hours on an aircraft that was designed for a 6000 hour life. “Our number one task is to figure out how to get more of our airplanes back in service.”
In response, “We’ve been on an aggressive hiring spree,” said the Admiral. “We have more work than we can do. Period.”
NAWC-WD has 7000 civilian employees. Adm. Corey had nothing but praise for his workers. “When they walk through that door every day they know what they do matters. What we do matters.”
History by the Minute
Beverly Merrill Kelley
Felling the tree was no easy decision for city officials. While some of the arborphiles in town claimed that the hard-hearted bureaucrats were solely motivated by an intense allergy to potential lawsuits, they couldn’t deny that “Grandpa” had lost one limb after another to the beetles. In fact, eight years of intensive care by the city had failed to revive the diseased and parasite-ridden tree.
The Public Works Department even removed a portion of Market Street in 1991 in a last ditch effort to save “Grandpa.” But eventually officials were forced to deem the treasured tree, which stood next to the Chamber of Commerce building and the city’s museum, “a liability and safety hazard.”
On August 4, 1997, City Manager Dick Velthoen hired arborist Jon Cook to climb 100 feet up the trunk (which had grown to a staggering 19 feet in circumference) and employ his chain saw to dismember the landmark tree, cut by cut.
Come the revolution
No one said they were funny. But everyone said them.
Just now a buddy sent me a wikipedia article on the orientation of toilet paper. Over or under. Several hundred words that probably began as a parody but then, once wiki edited, you can’t quite be sure. Anyway, it was funny.
It’s was sent via an email — you’re supposed to respond wittily. Come the revolution, I began, then stopped cold. The revolution is now a presidential election. No one gets lined up against the wall. No one gets shot for their bourgeois reactionary toilet paper orientation. An entire genre of jokes rendered instantly meaningless. A lifetime of generally unfunny come the revolution jokes I’d instinctively uttered the way a really irritating person can’t shut up with the knock knock jokes, and now no longer are they unfunny, they aren’t even ironic.
Though maybe “come the revolution, Bernie will….” jokes. Nah. For one thing they aren’t that funny. For another I would get angry responses from very serious people. You and your establishment humor, they’d say. It’s a shame, though, my last connection to sixties radicalism, ruined by a revival of sixties radicalism.
Knock knock. Who’s there?
No, really, someone’s at the door.
Army Leaders Highlight Readiness Shortfall, Need for BRAC Round
Overhead costs eating up the budget.
Congress Doubles Tax Incentive for Those Taking Public Transportation
Ride the bus and save.
How Riding the Rails Can Change Cities and Lives
Joe Mathews channels Henry George and imagines what the future might be like.
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J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher