ePilot Vol II, No. 4, February 2016

Mardi Gras in Port Hueneme

Not the French Quarter, but voulez les bontemps roulez anyway!

Home on the Range

Capt. Hineline address the Regional Defense Partnership

“Nowhere in the world can you do what we do here.”

Capt. James H. Hineline III, Military Director for NAVAIR Ranges, recently gave an upbeat assesment of the Point Mugu Test Range to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century.  

“Nowhere in the world can you do what we do here,” he asserted. Touting the geographical advantages of the 36,000 square mile test range, he cited such programs as the rail gun, laser weapons, cyber warfare, and the F-35 as systems that require the unique attributes of our local test range.

The rail gun, for example, is a “hundred mile weapon. Where else are you going to shoot that?” he asked. Likewise, laser weapons, “This is the only place you can do it. The only place that has the dimensions.”

Consequently, the range is busier than ever. “We’re doing more things than we’ve ever done” while working “incredible amounts of overtime,” Capt. Hineline explained.

The Test Range presently employs over 500 civilians and is looking to hire 60 more in each of the next two years.

“Warfare is so complex that it’s impossible to bring together all the assets” in one place. Hence future test scenarios will involve more virtual simulation and connections with other bases. Working with Vandenberg Air Force Base, will expand the capabilities of the range. “Shoot north, shoot south,” as Capt. Hineline put it.


“This Feels Like Home”

Photo by Jeffrey Scarberry

Gale force winds buffeted Hueneme Beach on January 31st, the sixteenth anniversary of the Flight 261 tragedy. Consequently, services were moved indoors to a local hotel.

Jim Ryan, one of the family organizers, reminded those in attendance that out of their loss came some positive changes in cockpit and airline procedures. “We came up with a list of 39 recommendation to the National Transportation Safety Board. 36 of them were adopted.”

Steve Campbell, who was Port Hueneme Police Chief at the time of the crash, subsequently moved to Washington State and became involved in the family group. Mr. Ryan acknowledged the leadership role Mr. Campbell played in presenting the safety recommendations to Federal authorities and securing their adoption.

Although the family group has diminished in number and grown older over the years, their affection for the people and the City of Port Hueneme has not dimmed.  “This feels like home,” one woman remarked. “Everyone here has been so friendly and kind.”

Steve Campbell holds a memorial rose
Meanwhile a desolate scene at the Memorial

History by the Minute

Beverly M. 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 kelley@callutheran.edu.
Didn’t your mother used to tell you “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” But when the Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” experimented with the power of words, nice or otherwise, on plants, they proved the opposite was true.  Not only do plants do poorly when you ignore them, but they also thrive when you choose to use a little sweet talk from day to day.
The Port Hueneme Historical Society has no way of knowing whether the first residents of the Hueneme area spoke words of love, so soft and tender, as they strolled under the canopy of Monterey Cypress trees on what is now Market Street.  We do know that the last remaining tree, later christened “Grandpa” by the municipal workers who tended to its needs, reached the ripe old age of 375 years.  At its demise, the tree was acknowledged as the “second oldest Cypress in California.”

Brick Wahl

Neocons doing bad things

I‘d actually never heard of the Pentagon’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan, but it was the heart and soul of Neocon philosophy. It was the office that was in charge of changing Afghanistan into a modern, democratic nation. The idea was simple enough: given enough investment, one could kickstart a free enterprise economy, free of government regulation and control, out of which would come a natural stability and the formation of a democratic system.

It was almost a magic trick, taking an economy and society that had not changed appreciably in centuries and with a few hundred million dollars turning it into a market for computers and cars and hamburgers and western concepts of democratic government.

Eight hundred million dollars disappeared into thin air and Afghanistan’s ancient ways are still there.

I suppose we should feel lucky they spent only $800 million, since the Neocons spent vastly more trying to kickstart the Iraqi economy after the US conquest.

According to The Guardian, “in the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004….”

This cash was driven into town and dispensed by the tens of millions and disappeared almost immediately. Without a trace, an official told the BBC. Twelve billion US dollars gone in a flash.

“Our top priority was to get the economy moving again” potentate Paul Bremerexplained to a Congressional committee. “The first step was to get money into the hands of the Iraqi people as quickly as possible.” So they almost literally threw money at people–bosses, bureaucrats, officials, whomever. What they did with the money no one seems to know. It was unauditable.

“The numbers are so large that it doesn’t seem possible that they’re true,” said Congressman Henry Waxman, “Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone?”

The Iraqi economy did not kickstart. So they tried billions more in investment, in capital, in construction, in whatever it is that creates economies where defeat was overwhelming and the government destroyed and chaos reigned. Twelve billion dollars worth in a year’s time, also unauditable. A Neoconservative Marshall Plan, though more pure, as if we’d dropped money from B-17s onto a ruined Europe. Money and copies of Adam Smith‘s Wealth of Nations, translated.

Whatever. We know the result. The Neocons were wrong. Wrong in Iraq, and wrong in Afghanistan, just as the Soviets had been wrong with their centrally controlled socialist Afghan state a couple decades before. They left a mess, as did we.

I’m not saying we haven’t done good things. There are schools there now, and there are rights for women. But the Russians built schools too, and gave rights to women. When they left the economy and society returned to its old ways, as it always does, amid the wreckage of unfinished Five Year Plans and unread copies of Das Kapital. And now traditional Afghan society is coming down from the mountains again, overwhelming our schools and our sophisticated ideas about market economies.

 Fundamental change doesn’t come from invasions and bombs and re-education. Well, it can, if you repress people enough, at least for a while. But if you want real, permanent change, change not born of repression but acceptance, not by the sword but by logic, then perhaps that change has to come from within.

It did in Europe, but it took two hundred years, three waves of revolution, several civil wars, innumerable massacres, fascism, Stalinism, industrial level genocide, two world wars and the sudden collapse of communism to get there.

I think the people who look at the Arab Spring and shake their heads have forgotten that. Europe seems so peaceful now. So social democratic. So enlightened. And they see Egypt and call the Revolution a failure. They look at Syria and see nothing but violence and refugees. They look at ISIS and are justifiably terrified.

But change takes time. Civilizations don’t progress instantly. The Arab Spring could be where Europe was in 1789 at the dawn of the French Revolution. Or it could be where Europe was when revolution swept it stem to stern before being crushed in 1848.

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations could be just another costly and ridiculous misstep on the way to something better. Change — that is truly profound change — will take longer than any of our lifetimes. These are matters of generations. None of us today will see how this will all turn out in the long run, not even if you are twenty years old and live to be a hundred.

But we can look at Tunisia and hope.

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

Hueneme Chamber Announces Awards

Celebrates 76th Anniversary with Community Awards Dinner at Historic Bard Mansion

The Hueneme Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 76th anniversary hosting its annual Community Awards Dinner at the Historic Bard Mansion on Friday, March 11, 2016.   Top honors will be awarded to the 2015 Citizen of the Year and Business Person of the Year.
Citizen of the Year honors will be presented to Ms. Jonnie Lisman of Port Hueneme.  Jonnie volunteers for many organizations including the Friends of the Ray D. Preuter Library, US Naval Sea Cadets, American Red Cross and the Port Hueneme Police Department.  Catherine Penprase, who submitted the nomination, cited her as “never being one to brag about her tireless dedication to helping others, [she] doesn’t do it for the credit or glory.  She sees a need and tries to fill it.”
Ms. Bonnie Mercadante of Softouch Photography will be honored as the Business Person of the Year.  Since joining the Chamber in 2013, Bonnie has been an active member within the Chamber and business community.  Her most notable contributions have been in supporting the Chamber’s Annual Holly Day Tree Lighting event where she dedicates her time and resources providing FREE Santa portraits to the families of our community.
Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, Third District will be presented with the Chairman’s Award.  Supervisor Long, currently serving her fifth term as County Supervisor, has been an advocate for the residents and business community in Port Hueneme for nearly two decades.  “County Supervisor Kathy Long has roots in the chamber world, and her comprehensive knowledge and achievements as a public servant are widely admired. We are pleased to recognize her with this honor,” said Hueneme Chamber CEO Tracy Sisson Phillips.   Supervisor Kathy Long announced in May 2015 she will retire at the end of her term in 2016.
The Chamber will also recognize several public servants from the community as well as military service members from Naval Base Ventura County:  Police Officer of the Year – Officer Chris Gunter; Military Persons of the Year from NBVC – UT1 Johnathon Hankey and MA1 Roberto Rodriguez, Jr.; NBVC Firefighter of the Year – Engineer Torrey Anderson; Ventura County Firefighter of the Year – Firefighter Duncan Shuler; Educator of the Year – Kris Neske of Hollywood Beach Elementary School; and City of Port Hueneme Employee of the Year- Mr. Peter Alcantar.
Tickets are on sale now online at www.huenemechamber.com.  For more information, email chamberinfo@huenemechamber.com or call 805-488-2023.

About the Hueneme Chamber of Commerce
Incorporation of the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce took place in 1940, and its original Board of Directors was the driving force behind the incorporation of the City of Port Hueneme in 1948. The mission of the Hueneme Chamber of Commerce is to be a dynamic business organization striving to promote growth, prosperity and a quality of life for our members and surrounding community.  For more information, please visitwww.huenemechamber.com.


Tracy Sisson Phillips
Hueneme Chamber of Commerce


Little Known Pentagon Office Key to US Military Competition

Re-imagining  weapons systems for a dangerous new world.



Last Chance for Justice?

Phil Angelides calls for holding Wall St. execs accountable.



More Testing for F-35?

Decreasing testing in order to meet deadlines will put “readiness … at significant risk,” says Pentagon’s testing chief.



Friday, February 19, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)
Don Harper/Sessions at the Loft
2465 Ventura Blvd.
Camarillo, CA 93010

Come join us Friday, February 19th at 7pm for a humorous evening filled with spoken word and song! Tickets cost $20 and are limited, so get your tickets soon! Appetizers and drinks provided.

**Caution: This show may include some material not suitable for children under the age of 13

Sally Stevens is a singer and vocal contractor who’s worked in film, TV, commercials and sound recordings for a number of decades. She also has run off to the writing workshops at University of Iowa where she pretends to be a serious writer for a couple of weeks every summer.  Meanwhile, she’s written lyrics for film, television and recording projects with composers Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin, Don Ellis, Dominic Frontieri and others, and produced a CD of her own songs, “Things I Should Have Told You,” available on iTunes and amazon.com. She has had flash fiction pieces published in the Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal (July 2014 Issue), and one of her poems will be included in the inaugural edition of Mockingheart Review, (January 2016 edition).

Gary Stockdale is a 2-time EMMY-nominated composer, who has composed music for television shows such as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; To Tell the Truth; Comedy Central’s Last Laugh; Cowboy U; The Independent Spirit Awards; A Home for the Holidays (CBS), and 8 seasons of Showtime’s award-winning Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT! Gary’s well-known theme for that show garnered him an EMMY nomination. Gary studied under Oscar-winning composer, Henry Mancini, and began his film-music composing career working for the legendary director/producer Roger Corman, scoring Corman’s first “art” film (entered in the 1989 Los Angeles Film Festival), Dance of the Damned.

Singer/Songwriter, Dick Wells, delivers down home vocals with finger-picking guitar.  Autobiographical songs from growing up in Texas to his early days in Los Angeles take the listener on a musical journey.  Dick is a L.A. Session Singer veteran of TV and Film.

Hidden Track:  Mother Earth — “Without Love


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



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