ePilot, Vol. II, No. 8, April 2016


The Hunt Begins!

The annual Easter egg hunt at the Community Center is a sure sign that Spring is here.  With candy, surprises, balloons, and face-painting, the kids of Port Hueneme enjoyed an active and fun Saturday morning.

Balloon bunnies add to the magic.

“Safety is Not a Destination”

Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg addresses the crowd as Tim Flynn and Keith Millhouse look on.

In a ceremony at the Oxnard Transportation Center, Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg announced a $1.5 Million grant to begin the engineering study for the Rice Rd. railway overpass.  

The Rice Rd. grade crossing was the site of a fatal accident last year when a truck got stuck on the tracks and was struck by a train, killing the engineer.  An overpass would separate vehicular and train traffic making the crossing much safer.

Administrator Feinberg pointed out that there were over 200 grade crossing fatalities nationwide last year, with 32 of those in California.

Keith Millhouse, Vice Chair of the Metrolink Board of Directors, reminded the attendees that “Safety is not a destination,  it’s  continuing journey.”

The total cost to complete the project is $40 million.  According to Darrin Kettle, Executive Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, this first grant will cover  planning and engineering costs.

Congressmember Julia Brownley, who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recognized the difficulty in securing the remainder of the funding, but pointed out that “We can never get there unless we take the first step.”

Julia Brownley, Tim Flynn, and Kathy Long enjoy the moment.

The World Comes to Port Hueneme

Imagine Serena Williams smashing aces at Moranda Park or Mike Trout patrolling the outfield at the Bubbling Springs field. Unlikely? Yes, but on Tuesday, May 17, some of the top bicycle road racers in the world will be traversing the streets of Port Hueneme as the Amgen Tour of California comes to town.

The riders will begin stage 3 in Thousand Oaks at 11:10 AM, then make their way to Portrero Rd. and down Highway 23 to the Pacific Coast Highway.  The sweeping curves around Mugu Rock, made famous by numerous automobile commercials, this time will be navigated by the brightly colored peloton as the riders make their way toward the Oxnard Plain.

Hueneme Road’s long straight should provide some of the highest speeds of the tour – unless the strong Westerly headwinds so familiar to local riders slow things down.

For local fans looking for interesting spots to view the race, the first challenge will be the newly resurfaced railroad crossing on Hueneme Rd. east of the city limits.  Any rider catching a wheel on the tracks will face certain disaster.

Continuing into Port Hueneme, the riders will have to quickly slow from a nearly 30 MPH pace as they make the 90° right turn onto Ventura Rd.  The first sprint points of the day will be awarded at the end of the straight before the left hand turn onto Channel Islands Blvd. The Quick Men will be challenging each other to see who will wear the points leader’s green jersey.

From Channel Islands Blvd. the race makes its way down Harbor Blvd. to Ventura, up SR 33 and around Lake Casitas, then heads for East Valley Rd., finishing with a punishing climb to the top of Gibraltar Rd.

In the cycling lexicon, the hardest, toughest, most punishing stage of a race is called “The Queen Stage”.  Stage 3 is the Queen Stage of this year’s Amgen Tour of California and it’s coming right through Port Hueneme.

Think you’re up to the challenge?  Amgen offers L’Etape California, a chance to ride the Stage 3 route with the legendary Jens Voigt on April 24. Information on reservations and pricing is available athttp://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/letapecalifornia-register

Next time: The No. 1 team in the world is based in California. An interview withJim Ochowicz, General Manager of BMC Racing.


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 kelley@callutheran.edu. 

Her father was a powerful Chumash chief and her tribe lived on one of theChannel Islands.  Princess Hueneme was so beautiful that she collected many love-struck suitors but she chose a handsome young man who lived at a place called Point Magu to be her husband.

They were living happily ever after in his dwelling until one of the Point Magu clanswomen, a powerful witch, became jealous of Princess Hueneme’s beauty and goodness.  She decided to use her evil powers to cast a spell on the young husband and compel him into running away with her.

With her husband gone, Princess Hueneme became inconsolable and felt she had no choice but to return to her Channel Island home.  But as each day dragged by, Princess Hueneme tried, but she could not forget how happy she had been with her husband. 

Princess Hueneme decided to swim to the mainland and search for him.  She eventually found the young man at a place called San Fernando, where he was dancing with the witch at a special festival.  When the witch caught sight of Princess Hueneme, she just laughed at her.

Brick Wahl

Bernie Sanders and the Fifth Great Awakening

Oh man, another Bernie supporter telling me that Bernie is a GOOD man (not merely a good man, but a GOOD man) and therefore deserves to be president. And another just told me that Bernie will never lie to us….

So what’s with this weird “he’s a GOOD man” trip that so many Bernie people are on? They make it sound more like a religious movement than a political movement. Is Bernie the messiah, promising utopia?

Any time anybody mentions even the slightest hint of imperfection they start with the Bernie is a GOOD man mantra. Or how Bernie will never lie to us. Hell, he’s a politician, he will lie, he will sometimes betray his own principles. It goes with the gig.

But if Bernie’s losing campaign has proven anything, he’s shown that the under 40 year olds in this country are as ripe for the next great American religious revival as were the under 40 year old baby boomers in the 1970’s. They called that one the Fourth Great Awakening.

Looks like the Fifth Great Awakening might be right on its historical schedule.

It sure has given this political season a vaguely creepy feeling – the way Bernie’s supporters hang on his every word like he is more than just a mere human being, as if He is Perfection Itself. And all who don’t believe in Him with all their heart and soul are infidels.

Those rallies of His aren’t political rallies as much as they are revival meetings.

His believers give Him money the way people give TV preachers money, on command, because they have faith in Him because He is a good man and He will never lie to us. One man’s Heaven is another man’s Socialist Utopia, I guess, and there’s a white messiah pointing the way to both.

Unfortunately for Bernie, there have been two and a half million more skeptics than believers so far, and a lot more to come. No one ever said a messianic movement was easy.


Is the US Military Losing Its Technical Advantage?

“We can’t take these developments for granted.”


Making Clean Energy from Wastewater

Biogas can make vehicle fuel, natural gas, electricity, and heat.


Ovation of the Seas Shows Off in Hamburg

Spectacular video of incredible cruise ship.



Low Cost Youth Tennis Program

Beginning on April 4th, a low cost tennis program for youth 6 and above will be held at Moranda Park .

The program will be held on  Mondays and Wednesday’s from 4-5:30pm.

The cost of the entire program is $12.

Registration will be held on the first day.

Rackets are provided but participants should wear athletic shoes and bring water.

For further information:

text Rich Rollins at 310-801-2243

Hidden Track: The Delta Rhythm Boys — “If You See Tears in My Eyes

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


ePilot, Vol II, No.7

Citizen of the Year

Mayor Breeze presents Citizen of the Year award to Jonnie Lisman

Jonnie Lisman was recognized as “Citizen of the Year” at the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce 76th Anniversary Community Awards Night — truly one of the most deserving recipients in the history of the award. 
Since she retired as a Lieutenant with the California Youth Authority, Ms. Lisman has unselfishly given her time to organizations such as the Friends of the Librarywhere she is one of the most valuable volunteers.  Additionally, she is a Team Captain with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, the Admin. and Personnel Officer for the NBVC U.S. Navy Sea Cadet program, and a volunteer with the Port Hueneme Police Department. Ms. Lisman is a member of Hueneme Beautifuland the Navy League and also provides foster care for the Labrador Retriever Rescue Organization.

Also recognized were UT1(SCW) Johnathon Hankey, USN, as Port Hueneme Military Person of the Year;  MA1(SW/EXW) Roberto Rodriguez, Jr., USN, as Point Mugu Military Person of the Year; Firefighter Duncan Schuler as County Firefighter of the Year;  Engineer Torrey Anderson as NBVC Firefighter of the Year; Officer Chris Gunter as Police Officer of the Year;  Krisanne Neske as Educator of the Year;  FM II Peter Alcantar as City Employee of the Year;  and Bonnie Mercadante of Softouch Photography as Business Person of the Year.

3rd District Supervisor Kathy I. Long (Camarillo) received the Charman’s Award for a long and distinguished career serving the people of Port Hueneme on theVentura County Board of Supervisors.  

Tracy Sisson-Phillips and Supervisor Kathy Long share a moment at the podium
Mayor Breeze presents Employee of the Year award to Peter Alcantar

Jazz Ambassadors


The United States Army Field Band Jazz Ambassadors are based in Washington, D.C..  Billing themselves as “America’s Big Band”, they brought their lively blend of historical and modern offerings to the Oceanview Pavilion where they played two shows to a packed house.

Ranging from Big Band swing to Thad Jones cool with a little Dixieland thrown in, the Ambassadors kept toes tapping and heads nodding with more than a few shouts of encouragement thrown in.

Boasting several alumni of the famed North Texas State University jazz program, there was no lack of blazing technique and solid ensemble playing.

Of course, the concert concluded with the usual tribute to the veterans, but when the Ambassadors played the familiar service anthems, they swung – and swunghard.

The resulting standing ovation was well deserved.



“Everything Will Deteriorate”

Darrin Kettle talks transportation with the Chamber of Commerce

Darrin Kettle, Executive Director of the Ventura Transportation Commission, is on a campaign.  He brought that campaign to the recent Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce “Wake Up Hueneme” breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express

Ventura County is the only county in the Southern California region not to have a local transportation tax.  Without such a tax, it is impossible to even apply for Federal money for road repairs or other improvements as such funding requires a local match.

“We’re paying the Federal taxes,” Mr. Kettle explained, “but the money’s not coming back to us. It’s going to LA or Santa Barbara where they can provide the matching funds.”

Such projects as the grade separation at the Rice Rd. railroad crossing, better access to the Port, even basic road repairs, are all beyond consideration without a source of local funds.

It’s Mr. Kettle’s mission to point out the needs and shortcomings of our present system.  To pass the necessary special tax would require a two-thirds vote of the whole County.  Twice before such measures have failed.

“If we do nothing, we’ll stay where we are. And if we stay where we are, that means that everything will deteriorate,” said Mr. Kettle.


Friends of the Bard

Mayor Breeze introduces the 2016 Board of Directors

The Friends of the Bard Mansion held their annual meeting at the historic Bard Mansion.  Mayor Doug Breeze, a past president of the Friends, administered the oath of office to the 2016 Boardmembers.

26th District Representative Julia Brownley provided the keynote address recounting her efforts in Washington to secure grant funding to improve port-related transportation.  “There were 625 applicants and only 10% were winners,” she explained. 

In addition to her continuing work on veterans’ issues, the Congressmember has been appointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where she serves as an advocate for small ports.  She was successful in securing funding for dredging at Ventura Harbor as well as additional dredging at Channel Islands Harbor that will put more sand on Hueneme Beach. 


Julia Brownley addresses the crowd

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 kelley@callutheran.edu.

On the day “Grandpa” was cut down, crews utilized a fourteen-ton crane to transport six-foot sections of weathered wood and what little green foliage remained across the street to a vacant lot, where residents were free to preserve pieces of the ancient Monterey Cypress for posterity.   

An eight-ton section of the trunk was shipped to a wood sculptor in Ojai, a podium was constructed for the city that featured a heart-shaped cross section in the front, and various and sundry branches became walking sticks (two of which were recently donated to the Museum by Nancy Cozza.)  

Since the cypress had exceeded its usual 100-year life span almost three times over, Oxnard horticulturist Jaime Rodriguez collected seedpods and cuttings in order to unravel the secret to “Grandpa’s” longevity. 

According to Port Hueneme Park’s and Recreation employee Matt Bender, unfortunately the podium with the heart-shaped cross-section from Grandpa’s trunk disappeared from the Dorril B. Wright Cultural Center around the same time that Pacific Coast Entertainment, a film production and distribution company, bought the facility from the City of Port Hueneme.  

I say “unfortunately” because moving that particular podium to City Hall, especially at this contentious time in Port Hueneme’s history, might have served as a physical cue to speakers at City Council meetings. The lectern, made from a section of the second oldest Monterey Cypress in California, should remind them that sweet talk, if not (at least) respect and civility, is the expected norm within that sacred chamber.  That is, of course, if residents want the City of Port Hueneme to thrive as long as “Grandpa” did.

Brick Wahl

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Frank Sinatra, Jr. has died.

He was the nicest guy, everybody said, and that means a lot in a business where not everybody is the nicest guy.

He used to come to Catalina’s every once in a while —the jazz spot in Hollywood — with his excellent orchestra and fine arrangements. He always got great reviews.

“It’s a great band,” Don Heckman told me, “and he’s a great guy, you should interview him.” But I managed to miss him every time. Still, I figured the next time around I’d get an interview with him.

Not talk about his dad, either, not the usual thing, but to talk about him, Frank Sinatra, Jr. Write up a nice story for the LA Weekly.

But then there was a new editor, and he probably had no idea who Frank Sinatra, Jr. even was, and I was burnt out and didn’t feel like fighting with another new editor. So I split the gig and the interview never happened.

Now it’s too late.

I hadn’t actually remembered any of this until now. That’s probably the way it usually is, though, you never remember ’till it’s too late. I wonder how many of life’s potential happenings slip by like that, things that never bothered you much until you realize they can never happen.

It’s not like you screwed up, really, it’s just that you never got around to it. Something always got in the way, and then it’s too late, and you dwell on it a little too much, and it becomes much better than it ever really was. A half-baked notion becomes a tragedy, something to talk about half sloshed before your wide eyed friends, like a Frank Sinatra song a few drinks into the chorus, a little story I think you oughtta know.

So rest in peace, Frank Sinatra, Jr. It was a long and musical and quiet career. The public scarcely even knew. That was fine with you. No riding through desert towns with Ava Gardner, shooting out store front windows with a .38. Instead you buried yourself in music, working three times as hard as the guy off the street, singing, conducting, writing, being yourself. A life of pure big band creativity. A good thing.

I wonder if you’ll wind up out in the desert anyway, though, if they will lay you down by your old man. The desert is beautiful, hushed and spare, a dry wind blows through the poppies and the keening of far off coyotes can sound like horns in the night air.


Services Losing the Battle to Sustain Buildings

Spending caps put the squeeze on military infrastructure.

Air Force Committed to Total Force Integration

National Guard and Reserves to work as a “single force”.



Farewell to the Frigate

Navy to use Littoral Combat Ship in escort role.



“History of the Two Port Hueneme Lighthouses”

Who:  Author and Lighthouse Curator Rose Castro-BranWhat: Speech topic “History of the Two Port Hueneme Lighthouses”

When:  April 2, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Where: 220 N. Market St.

Why: Port Hueneme Museum Distinguished Speaker Series

Why are so many of us fascinated by lighthouses?  To some, it’s the symbolism of the light they find most appealing.  To others, it’s the faithfulness of the keeper who braves loneliness and isolation to keep the warning beacon burning. 

Lighthouses represent hope in the darkest hour, fantasy (many former lighthouses are now romantic getaways) and even the paranormal (hundreds are said to be haunted). 

Rose Castro-Bran has been the curator of the Port Hueneme Lighthouse since July 2002, and has recently published a book called Lighthouses of Greater Los Angeles, which not only includes the present Port Hueneme Lighthouse but also the Anacapa Light Station and the Point Fermin Lighthouse (the “twin sister” of the first (1874) lighthouse at Point Hueneme). 

Ms. Castro-Bran has agreed to speak at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 N. Market St.) on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 11:00AM.  Admission is free but arrive early to get a good seat. 

Castro-Bran promises to share her wealth of archival photos, amusing anecdotes from the original lighthouse keepers, and the fascinating history of Port Hueneme’s two unique lighthouses.  

The author is a public affairs specialist in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and a member of the Aids to Navigation Team for Los Angeles/Long Beach, which repairs and maintains local California lighthouses.  She and her then boyfriend (now husband) Kim joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. 

Prior to writing Lighthouses of Greater Los Angeles, CastroBran authoredLighthouses of the Ventura Coast, which includes Point Hueneme and Anacapa Lights. She most treasures her ongoing relationships with a number of descendants of Southern California’s original lighthouse keepers.


Video Available

The video of Tom Figg’s recent Museum address “Redevelopment in Port Hueneme” is available at https://youtu.be/KkUERg8nkx4 courtesy of KADY-TV.com.

The “biggest little boxing show” in Ventura County will make its triumphant return to the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme, California as Top Rank in association with Bash Boxing brings another installment of Boxing By The Beach on Saturday April 2, 2016.

Located adjacent to boxing rich Oxnard, the Oceanview Pavilion has been home to the area’s most notable boxing and wrestling events over the past decade. As with previous Boxing By The Beachshows, local fight fans will be treated to a combination of world class talent, former amateur standouts, and local prospects…all in one show.

Santa Barbara’s Francisco “Chia” Santana (23-4-1, 12KOs) will headline the televised portion of Top Rank’s Solo Boxeo Tecate on Unimas series in a 10 round welterweight bout against Ed “The Lion” Paredes (36-5-1, 24KOs).

Santana, a former sparring partner ofManny Pacquiao and Amir Khan and aKnuckleheadz Boxing Gym stable mate ofVictor Ortiz, has won 11 of his last 12 bouts including victories over World Champion Joachim Alcine, former world title challenger Freddy Hernandez, and an upset of undefeated prospect Eddie GomezSantana has fought 10 times in Ventura County and will look to make his 2016 homecoming a successful one.

Paredes comes into his crossroads bout with Santana a winner of 14 of his last 16 boxing bouts including victories over former World Champion Vivian Harris, former world title challenger Antonio Pitalua, and unbeaten prospect Joey HernandezParedes also met former world title challenger Jesus Soto Karasslast year in Las Vegas.

Boxing By The Beach will also feature Orange County Lightweight Luis Ramos Jr. (25-2, 10KOs) making his Top Rankpromotional debut. Ramos Jr. started his professional career winning his first 23 bouts including victories over fellow Top Rank fighter and multiple world title challenger Ray Beltran and Oxnard’sDavid Rodela. After taking two years off following back-to-back losses, Ramos is in the midst of a comeback and riding a two-bout winning streak.

As usual, boxers from the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard will be on display during Boxing By The Beach, topped off by two former amateur standouts now plying their trade as Top Rank blue-chip prospects, Alexander Besputin (4-0) and Maxim Dadashev. Fellow Russian uber-prospect and 2012 London Olympics Gold Medalist Egor Mekhonstev (11-0, 7KOs) will also be featured in an 8 round Light Heavyweight bout.

One of the next generation of notable boxers coming out of Ventura County will begin to pave his professional road as Santa Maria’s Oscar Mendoza makes his professional debut at Boxing on The Beach on April 2nd in Port Hueneme.Filling out the undercard will be Oxnard’sJulian “JuJu” Bautista (2-1), undefeated prospect from Woodland Hills Jessy Martinez (3-0), and Abraham Lopez (2-1) from Freddie Roach‘s Wildcard West Boxing Club.

BOXING BY THE BEACH takes place onSaturday, April 2, 2016 at theOceanview Pavilion, located at 575 E. Surfside Drive in Port Hueneme, California.

Tickets can be purchased online atwww.boxingbythebeach.com
or by calling (805) 889-8162.

Tickets start at $40 for Theatre Seatingand $80 for Ringside/Stage Seating.

Doors Open at 5:30pm; First Bout at 6:00pm. All bouts are subject to change.

Steve Bash
(805) 899-8162

Lee Samuels
(702) 732-2717

Sharon Kloeris
(805) 986-4818


Hidden Track:  Gotan Project feat. Calexico — “Amor Porteño



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