The ePilot, Vol II, No. 13, July 2016

Summer Has Arrived!

        New Construction at the Beach!                                                    Photo BMK  

Fire District Urges a Safe and Sane Fourth of July            

Illegal fireworks at Hueneme Beach

CAMARILLO, Calif. – As Ventura County prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July, fire officials have teamed up with the Grossman Burn Center to remind the public that fireworks are illegal in the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Moorpark, Santa Paula, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and the unincorporated areas of Ventura County.

Fireworks are a wonderful part of the Independence Day tradition but pose a serious threat to wildfire and danger to personal injury. “With the long-term drought and a year-round fire season, the fire risk to our community is substantial and cannot be ignored. We need all community members, in every neighborhood across the city, to celebrate the July 4th holiday responsibly and safely,” commented Ventura City Fire Chief David Endaya.

According to the Grossman Burn Center (GBC) at West Hills Hospital, fireworks result in approximately 10,000 injuries per year. In recent years, GBC has treated more patients from Ventura County for holiday burns than any other local county.

One of the most dangerous types of fireworks is sparklers. Although they may seem harmless, sparklers can reach up to 1,800 degrees and cause third-degree burns in less than one second. “While we will never be able to eliminate accidents, the public needs to understand how easily fireworks can start a fire or cause severe burns. We want everyone to practice safety, use caution and have a great and safe holiday,” said Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen.

Here are four ‘safe and sane’ ways to celebrate the Fourth of July: 1. Take a trip to the beach 2. Find an outdoor activity like hiking or biking 3. Host a BBQ with friends and family 4. Visit a veteran.

For additional holiday tips, watch this “Fourth of July Safety” video. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Check local listings for holiday-related parades and professional fireworks shows in the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Ojai, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Oxnard/ Channel Islands, Fillmore, Agoura Hills, Westlake, and Calabasas.

Anyone found in possession of fireworks or caught using them could be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a jail term of up to a year, under International Fire Code Section 3301.1.

A Reminder from the Port Hueneme PD

Though most residents and business owners are well versed in the City’s increased public safety efforts for the Fourth of July, here are some reminders about what is and what is not allowed in Port Hueneme:

Possessing or drinking alcoholic beverages on streets, sidewalks, parks, beaches, the pier or other public areas is prohibited (this includes alcoholic beverages that have been poured into a cup). Violators are subject to citation or arrest.


It is illegal to possess or use fireworks in Port Hueneme. This includes “safe and sane” fireworks such as fountains and sparklers that can be purchased in some cities where it has been allowed by ordinance. Residents and visitors are encouraged to attend one of the many public, professional fireworks shows available throughout Ventura County.

Port Hueneme’s beach has long been its “hidden treasure.” Residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy our beach, however Bonfires are prohibited.

The Port Hueneme Police Department would like everyone to enjoy a safe 4th of July

In an Emergency, dial 9-1-1. For Non-Emergency calls, dial 805-986-6530

Air Board Receives National Honor


The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) has entered into an agreement with the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to fund a program designed to reduce the speeds of cargo ships transiting the Santa Barbara Channel.

Approximately 2500 large cargo ships transit the Channel every year and contribute almost one quarter of the nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) in the  Ventura County jurisdiction.  Lowering vessel speeds from over 14 knots to under 12 knots could result in a 25% reduction in NOx emissions.

Ships enrolled in the program will receive cash incentives for lowering their speeds.  The program will be funded with $188,000 for 2016, the money coming from the Reliant Energy Mitigation Fund and various shipping company fines.

Although the target for the program is to enroll 240 ships, the present level of funding only allows for 60 ships to participate. It is estimated that a total program for all ships would cost $5-6 million per year.

While some ports have vessel speed reduction programs, the local effort is the only non-port incentive program in the world.  In recognition, VCAPCD was recently honored with the US Environmental Protection Agency‘s Clean Air Excellence Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., attended by Air Pollution Control Officer Michael Villegas and Ventura County Supervisor John Zaragoza.


HUD Finds Strength in PH Housing Authority

The Port Hueneme Housing Authority recently participated in a Compliance Monitoring Review conducted by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s Office of Public Housing.  Field Office staff reviewed the Authority’s programs and compliance with HUD program requirements and regulations.

High occupancy rates, strong finances, and knowledgeable staff were singled out as areas of strength.

The report recommends additional Board and senior management oversight, updating some policies, and stronger inventory control.


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

You may be aware that such civic structures as the Orvene S. Carpenter Community Center and the Dorrill Wright Cultural Center pay homage to former long-term mayors, but it was Prueter who wielded the gavel at a pivotal time in the Port Hueneme’s history—from 1962 until 1974.

As Anthony Volante, former city councilman from 1994 to 2006 and two-time mayor, remembers: “Ray and the City Council and Redevelopment Agency saw the less attractive sections of Port Hueneme torn down and replaced with beautiful homes, apartments, and businesses.”

Brick Wahl

Gnawa Time

“I woke up this morning and immediately turned on the a/c. I can’t recall the last time I had to do that. Its hot!”

So posted my friend Hope. I envied her. Air conditioning. We’re in Silver Lake, in one of those California Spanish houses that Walter Neff in Double Indemnity said everyone was nuts about 10 or 15 years ago. Which would be about 1930 — on the money for this place.

It’s one of those pads people slow down to look at as they pass. We did. Came down our street once by mistake and turned around in the driveway. I remember saying to my wife that I wished we lived in a place like this instead of the cute but shaky bungalow we had off Sunset. We had earthquakes then, and the slightest temblor would wrack the joint and it would shudder and creak and let us know in no uncertain terms that the earth was shaking. We got used to it. But when a crackhouse opened up next door in what is now an overpriced if charming brownstone it was time to move.

We couldn’t believe that the place we’d seen by mistake that day a year before was available. There had been a gang killing on the street a few months back, some innocent kid cut down, wrong place, wrong time, and that made prospective renters nervous. The landlord thought we were the nicest and sweetest married couple he’d ever seen. Gosh. I didn’t tell him about playing drums in punk rock bands. Said we hated parties. Swore we were virgins. Didn’t mention the cats. We got the place.

But this place is old school. In fact so old school that it doesn’t have the kind of windows you can put an air conditioner in. Not one. That’s old school.

When Silver Lake grew from hunting lodges to rich people, those rich people sweltered in front of metal fans. Raymond Chandler typed and drank and sweated over there on Micheltorena Hill. Air conditioning back then was the stuff of modern office buildings. Mulholland had an air conditioned office atop his big dam-shaped building downtown. (Is the building designed to look like the San Francisquito dam? I’ve always wondered that, though no way to compare the two now.) And the Bradbury Building you’ve all seen a zillion times without knowing it (though not Double Indemnity, unfortunately) was no doubt air conditioned back then. I worked there once, for a week. Worst job I ever had.  I lasted a week. But I loved the building. I think that’s why I stuck it out a whole week. You can’t believe how ornate the place is, like walking around inside a baroque sculpture. You couldn’t help touching everything. And it was very air conditioned, unlike our place.

But the Bradbury Building is in the middle of paved over everything downtown, the streets and walls and cars and buses and sweaty pedestrians all radiating heat, while we live on top of a hill, with breezes, even a zephyr or two, nearly all of the time. Plus we have an ingeniously designed fan system, lots of fans, strategically placed. They suck out hot air and blow in cool air and swirl it around and all the calendars flap and papers are blown off the table and I stay up late writing and thinking and listening to strange African music in all that moving, flowing, billowing air. It works. Not as good as air conditioning. There’s nothing like being buried beneath the covers in a cold bedroom on a hot night. But sleeping in a continuous stream of air works too.

We moved in here on one of those hottest days in forever. We have two flights of stairs, but as I was much younger then and macho to the core, I had planned on doing it all myself. My wife hired a friend to help me, fifty bucks and beer. We tossed in a pizza and laughs. 

We have so much more stuff now that when we finally move we’ll probably just burn it all and pretend we lived in the hills and lost everything in a summer inferno. Easier that way. This being California I’ve met several people who’ve lost everything to the flames. They seem well adjusted enough.

Of course summer infernos imply a dry wind, which would actually be nice right about now. I’d turn off the fans and open the windows and let it flow though the house. Sheets of paper would lift like little magic carpets and float about the room. The vase full of flowers would blow over. My wife would yell and pick up the flowers. I’d turn up the music and the strange sounds of Mauritanian guitar would bother the neighbors out on the sundeck next door and they’d wish I’d go back to jazz again.

Wait till the weather breaks, I’d tell them, wait till it’s cool again. Right now it’s gnawa time. And the music drones and circles and I can’t understand a word but it blends with the wind and I disappear entirely.

—Read more Brick Wahl at


The Security Consequences of “Brexit”

Putin sees Europe as “weak and disunited”.


Clean Air Deadline Extended at California Ports

Operators have until October 1 to develop new diesel plans.


Nailing the Meatball

New technology could make carrier landings safer and more efficient.

Life of Legendary Don Subject of Museum Talk

Two years ago, Gerry Olsen published a biography titled Don Adolfo Camarillo: A Living Legend. It was released just in time to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Don Adolfo Camarillo‘s birth. Olsen is a former public information officer for the Ventura Community College District, a member of the Camarillo Ranch Foundation, and retired newspaperman.

He will be talking about the legendary founder of Camarillo at the Port Hueneme Historical Museum, 220 Market St., on Saturday, July 30, at 11:00 in the morning.

For more information contact Beverly Kelley

Six Tips for Keeping Your Bike Yours

It’s a cyclist’s nightmare.

You return to your friendly machine after a brief meal or quick meeting, ready to mount your modern marvel and peddle to your next Ventura County destination. Instead you stand staring at the place your bike should be. You look again and again. Yup, this was the spot. Where is your bike?

Maybe the reason your bike or parts of your bike have vanished is your lock. Here are six tips for locking your bike effectively.

Lock Your Bike
Not much of a surprise here, but locking your bicycle means remembering to carry your lock and keys and remembering to actually place the lock on your machine. One tip to remind you of this important step is to convert the price of replacing your bicycle into $100 bills. Would you leave $100 bills lying unprotected on a bike rack or a sidewalk? If you really must run an errand and you have forgotten your lock, you can ask a stranger to watch your bicycle—if you really must.

Use Better Technology
Cable locks have fallen into disfavor because of the ease of slicing through the cable, even if the width of the cable looks impressive. Of course, there are many varieties of U locks available (yes, they resemble the letter “U”) with reinforced steel bars and frames. If you live in an area where bike thefts are frequent, you might try two U-locks for your bike. The cost of the locks likely pales compared to the replacement cost of your bike.

Lock Your Bike Strategically
Items large and small can be stolen off your bike: wheels, seat post, racks, fenders, lights, odometer. At a minimum, lock your frame and a wheel to the nearest immovable object (more on that later). If you have two locks, use the second lock to bind your front wheel to your back wheel. If you have only one lock, you face a dilemma: Which wheel should you lock to the frame? You might weigh this argument: While the front wheel is easier to remove, the back wheel will cost you more to replace.

Avoid Suspect Bicycle Parking
No space provides absolute security for parking your bicycle, but you can ensure more security by noticing what object you lock your bike to. Avoid these:

  • Small trees that can be cut down.
  • Short objects that allow your bike to be lifted over them.
  • Signposts without a sign at the top.
  • Scaffolding that can be easily taken apart.
  • Dimly lit areas.
  • Areas with little foot traffic.
Weigh Your Environment
The handrail along a disabled parking space might seem perfect until building maintenance considers your bike a barrier and impounds it. While you are hunting for secure places to lock your bike, consider whether others have to be gymnasts to walk around your machine! You have a right to secure your bike, but others have to live with it.

Don’t Increase Street Clutter
If you have the very bad luck to have your bike or part of your bike stolen, take the remaining pieces home with you. You could donate the functioning pieces to a nonprofit community bike project that would be glad to have your parts. Leaving the remains of your bike where you locked it will clutter the sidewalk and eventually create an unsightly collection of rust.

Want more Ventura County transportation news? Visit our blog.

Hidden Track:  Vote for Change   —  What’s so Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?”     

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. 12, June 2016

Jackson Pledges Support for Vets


Ivy Lawn Park hosted ceremonies marking Memorial Day

Speaking at the Memorial Day ceremony at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, StateSenator Hannah-Beth Jackson delivered a substantive presentation on the needs and difficulties of returning veterans.  Previously named the Leo P. Burke Legislator of the Year by the American Legion, veterans’ issues have always been one of her top priorities.  

Citing illness, substance abuse and suicide, she declared that “We’ve lost more of returning vets at home that we’ve lost in the war zone.”  The Senator authored legislation that steers eligible veterans going through the justice system toVeterans Treatment Courts where they can receive proper assistance in dealing with substance abuse.

Sen. Jackson is the author of SB 1180, a bill which would grant an additional 12 days of sick leave to any disabled veteran transitioning to a civilian career in any state school district. Previously she authored a similar bill for veterans working for the State of California.

“We’ve not done well by these returning veterans,” the Senator said, pledging to continue her efforts to support all those who have served their country.

Bugler at the ready


Morgan Campaigns in Port Hueneme

Mike Morgan discusses the issues

Third District County Supervisor candidate Mike Morgan, Mayor of Camarillo, met with voters at the Oceanview Pavilion. Citing his years in municipal government, Mayor Morgan declared that “no candidate has more experience” than he has.

As Supervisor he would pledge to work with the City of Port Hueneme to help rebuild the old city center at Market Street and to find businesses that would want to relocate to the Beach City.

Mr. Morgan won approval from some in attendance when he pledged to reform the County Environmental Health Department which has placed “unreasonable” demands on non-profit community organizations trying to raise money with bake sales and “cookie and coffee” fundraisers. Pointing out that there was a big difference between running a restaurant and serving tea in the library, he issued a call to simply “be reasonable”.


The legendary Estrada Bros. donated the entertainment

Festival Season Kicks off in Ventura County

Doug Kershaw still Ragin’ after all these years

With performers ranging from Hall of Famers Booker T. Jones and Leon Russellto Jo-El Sonnier and Doug Kershaw, the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festivalfilled the Memorial Day weekend with the sounds and flavors of Bayou Country.

Kershaw played both days, and the 80 year old Ragin’ Cajun proved he hasn’t lost a step, delivering a performance that would leave many men half his age in the dust.

Fried alligator, BBQ, and the Simi High Marching Band, rounded out what has become one of the big events in Ventura County.

Cuttin’ Contest! Doug Kershaw and Jo-El Sonnier

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

In 1936, the tiny Port Hueneme Library at the Women’s Improvement Club became part of the Ventura County Library system with Ann Haycox (her husband Arthur was Hueneme’s postmaster) installed as librarian.  Not only were the WIC holdings greatly expanded as a result of joining the Ventura County Library system, but the WIC was paid rent which the women would reinvest in the community.

By 1917, a Men’s Improvement Club also started meeting at the Scott Street house.  Not much is known of their activities except that they paid the light bill in lieu of rent.

The Craftsman bungalow that served as the Women’s Improvement Center (listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989) still survives at 239 E. Scott Street in Port Hueneme.  The tree (recently cut down) in front was planted in 1926 to honor the first librarian Miss Annie.

The Club disbanded during the early 1990’s and eventually was replaced by the nonprofit organization called Hueneme Beautiful, which is still active today.

During the Fifties, when the population jumped from 3,024 to 11, 067, it became obvious that the number of books at the Women’s Improvement Club were proving totally inadequate.  One of the folks who decided something had to be done about this problem was Ray D. Prueter, a community leader who labored tirelessly to serve all Port Hueneme residents—but especially those who loved books as much as he did.

And Prueter prevailed—in fact, he was instrumental in erecting an 18,750-square-foot library on Park Street.  The Port Hueneme library, which was dedicated on April 4, 1960, was expected to provide space for a staggering (at the time) 15,000 volumes.

By 1989, however, it was time to think about an even bigger library.  The City Council decided to erect a building which was not only five times larger than the 1960 facility but also boasted the capacity to house 65,000 volumes.  The old building was demolished and the new library built on the same site.

It also seemed appropriate to the powers-that-be that the new library would bear the name of the man who invested so much of himself in order to provide Port Hueneme citizens with a first class facility — Ray. D. Preuter.

Brick Wahl

Millennials are Evenly Split Between Trump and Hillary

Here’s a shock no one expected. Millennials are evenly split between Trump and Hillary.

Which means the reason that Trump has closed with Hillary is due almost entirely to a massive swing by Millennials to Trump if Bernie Sanders is not the nominee. In March, Millennials preferred Hillary to Trump 64-25. In May it is 45-42. No other age group shows differences of more than low single digits.

Bernie’s fierce attacks on Hillary these past two months have not changed many voters’ minds except among those under thirty years old, nearly half of whom now detest Hillary and the Democratic party so much they see Donald Trump as the better alternative. It’s not Bernie or Bust for those kids, it’s Bernie or Trump. Racist Trump, misogynist Trump, bullying Trump, some even say fascist Trump,  has now become the choice of half of the under thirty vote.

Keep in mind that only 20% of Bernie’s supporters still believe he can be nominated. So most of those who are prepared to switch their allegiance to Trump after the primaries have already made up their minds, and somehow they are able to transition from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump like it was nothing. How, I have no idea. Bernie and Trump have nothing in common except a mutual antipathy for Hillary Clinton. But apparently that is enough.
I just read a long, beautifully written and scary piece by Josh Zeitz in Politico (“Why Bernie’s Bros Might Go for Trump“) that showed that in 1968 18% of the young white supporters of Eugene McCarthy voted for George Wallace that November, rather than voting for the Democratic nominee, Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey, a quintessential New Deal Democrat with an excellent record on civil rights, was seen as the enemy who had stolen the nomination.

McCarthy’s voters switched to Wallace in huge numbers, though many came back, reluctantly, to Humphrey after Wallace selected super hawk Curtis LeMay as his running mate. Still, that 18% who voted for Wallace in the end was more than enough to give the election to Nixon.
And in 1980, when Ted Kennedy’s challenge to Jimmy Carter failed after a strongfinish, twenty-seven per cent of Kennedy’s primary voters voted for Ronald Reagan rather than vote for Carter.

But it gets worse:

New YorkTimes/CBS exit poll revealed that 38 percent of Reagan voters cast their lot with the former California governor because they believed it was “time for a change.” Only 11 percent voted for him because “he’s a real conservative.” “It’s the first time I ever voted Republican,” said a Michigan resident. “But I’m sick and tired of the mess that’s going on in this country.” (Zeitz,Politico)

That is, over three times as many people voted for Reagan in 1980 because “it was time for a change” than voted for him because he was a conservative. They wanted change for the sake of change. That is Trump all over, who seems to be running for the sheer hell of it. How many voters will vote for him for the sheer hell of it?

Apparently half of Millennials, who would not benefit one iota from a Trump presidency. 

Just two months ago, in March, Millennials were overwhelmingly opposed to Trump. He was the butt of their jokes. But that was before the Bernie Sanders campaign began its scorched earth campaign, driving his voters into a frenzy of anti-Hillary and anti Democratic Party hatred. And a lot of them do hate Hillary now, and it’s a mean and angry hatred–remember that scene in Nevada? And as Trump is mean and apparently angry–if his is genuine anger instead of crude political theater–he is a natural draw as Bernie’s campaign comes to a bitter end.

Thus the stunning result of half of voters 18-29 years old becoming Trump voters. Just as the Bernie campaign swelled to huge crowds out of nowhere, this transition was stunningly fast. If Trump wins this November, it could well be white Millennials that put him over. Bernie’s voters. He had nearly 9 out of 10 millennials at the beginning of the year, but that didn’t mean they were socialists after all. Maybe half were. The others just like rallies and excitement and free college, apparently.

This is a kick in the stomach to Bernie Sanders. Perhaps he and his campaign manager are so caught up in their war to reform the Democratic Party they haven’t noticed. But early on, in New Hampshire, this was all about a huge wave of Millennials who would rise up as one and vote for democratic socialism. That was forgotten sometime in March and April, when the campaign got caught up in a series of ferociously contested caucuses. He won all of them, but in doing so the message changed from winning hearts and minds in primaries to the bitter intra-party trench fighting that is a caucus.

Suddenly rules and parliamentary tricks and backroom chicanery take precedence, and the two sides glare and shout at each other across crowded rooms. Democracy is not really important there, it’s all power games, and the other side becomes the enemy.

Bernie’s campaign piled their fervent activists into these caucuses like they were at war to make up for their catastrophic losses in the South. By the time the race got to New York, Bernie’s revolution had degenerated into accusations of cheating and fraud and voter repression, and Hillary’s campaign and its supporters became blood enemies. It was an unrequited hatred, mostly, though I don’t think Hillary’s campaign and its supporters realized they were hated with such intensity until that explosion in Las Vegas.
So now nearly half of Bernie’s voters are Trump supporters. It’s a potential electoral disaster for Hillary, but its worse for Bernie’s legacy. His kids, the Millennials, the ones who cheer his every word and are the foot soldiers of the Bernie Revolution — well, half of them aren’t revolutionaries at all. Indeed, they have abandoned his revolution in droves for its real arch nemesis, Donald Trump. Half of Bernie’s young army has deserted democratic socialism, his revolution is in tatters, and he may well have spawned a wave of very angry white men’s reactionary politics.

Feel the burn.

—Read more Brick Wahl at


Sweden and Finland Pushed Closer to NATO

Historically neutral countries re-evaluate positions in response to Russian threat.

U.S. to Try British Anti-Drone System

Thinking of flying your drone near an airport? Don’t.

Black Holes As Holograms

Is the world really two dimensional?

Tuskegee Airmen Talk at the Library

The Ray D. Prueter Library will host a Red Tails World War II Airplane Showcase and Tuskegee Airmen public education presentation by Buddy Gibson, Lawrence Lee and Bruce Stewart from 2-4 p.m. June 11 at 510 Park Ave.

The presenters will display their collections of Red Tail World War II airplane models and figurines of significant individuals from African-American history.There will be a screening of a film on the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and a question-and-answer session.

For more information, call 486-5460.

 Learn to Swim and Swim Near a Lifeguard !!

Hueneme Ocean Lifeguard Association Presents the First Annual Luau for the Junior Lifeguard

National Beach Safety / Rip Current Awareness Week
The Hueneme Ocean Lifeguard Association will host a fundraiser to benefit the Port Hueneme Junior Lifeguard program and highlight National Beach Safety / Rip Current Awareness Week on June 11, 2016. The event will talk place at the Oceanview Pavilion located at 575 E. Surfside Drive Port Hueneme, CA 93041. The event will begin at 4:00 pm and is sponsored by the Oceanview Pavilion. Proceeds from the event will go to scholarships for Port Hueneme residents to participate in the Junior Lifeguard program that has been going strong for over 20 years!

The Junior Lifeguard Program is an exceptional opportunity to better educate our children as to the challenges that the ocean, which can be a wonderful recreational resource, but can also be treacherous. The program (two four-week sessions) will inspire and teach our youth lifesaving skills, provide a safe, supervised environment and teach water safety on all types of levels this summer. It emphasizes physical fitness activities, teaches to look for and obey posted signs and flags, keeping the beach and ocean clean, learning rescue techniques, learning to surf, meeting new friends and educating our youth to help spread a safety message that will save lives. Number one rule…Learn to Swim and Swim near a Lifeguard!!

“The mission of the Hueneme Ocean Lifeguard Association is to promote beach safety and public education. The association works to reduce the incidents of death and injury in the aquatic environment.”

Our goal for this year is to raise over a minimum of $ 10,000.00 and the kids need your support! There is no better investment than for the children in our community, such a great way to give back to our Future America!

Be prepared to enjoy the afternoon with the International renowned performance of Tina’s Ports of Paradise, take photos with two world renown professional surfers, Nathaniel Curran andNick Rozsa, enjoy a surf movie and silent auction all while tasting delectable appetizers (included in the ticket price) and beverages.  Other sponsors include Scrivi Surfboards from right here in Port Hueneme, who has donated a custom surfboard for the silent auction.

Tickets will be available at the door the day of event.  $ 25.00 for Adults. Children under 14 are free. Tax deductible donations can be made by visiting

For additional information, contact Casey Graham at 805-573-4537, or 

Amgen Tour by the Numbers

Hidden Track: Louis Armstrong and His Friends — “The Creator Has a Master Plan (Peace)

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. 11, May 2016

The Tour Comes to Port Hueneme

The peloton on Ventura Road

The Amgen Tour of California passed through Port Hueneme for the first time in its 10 year history. The difficult third stage saw the riders speed into town along Hueneme Road, turn onto Ventura Road, and exit along Channel Islands Boulevard on their way to the difficult climb up Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County.

French rider Julian Alaphilipe captured the lead by overpowering young American rider Neilson Powless to the top of the Gibraltar climb. Protected by his Etixx-Quick Step teammates, it was a lead he would carry all the way to Sacramento. 

Having lost last year’s Amgen TOC to current World Champion Peter Sagan by only 3 seconds, Alaphilippe husbanded every second, once again making the Tour a showcase of young talent.

The First Turn

Santa Rosa based Team BMC dominated the team competition by nearly four and a half minutes over second place Axeon Hagens Berman, taking the second and third podium spots for Rohan Dennis and American Brent Bookwalter.  As team General Manager, Jim Ochowicz asserted in an exclusive interview with the ePilot, they came to win.  Nonetheless, despite all the firepower, no BMC rider was able to overtake the young Frenchman.

Still, the strong showing at the Amgen Tour of California bodes well for BMC’s prospects at the Tour de France.

The crowd waits for the action along Ventura Road
The Amgen Tour of California always attracts big crowds, and Port Hueneme was no exception.  The first sprint points of the day were awarded on Ventura Road witnessed by a fine turnout.  With some great roads for cycling, Ventura County is usually on the Tour route. Cycling fans can expect another great opportunity to see the world’s best next year.

 World Trade Week

Kirk Lesh of California Lutheran University presents as Ray Bowman looks on

A celebration of World Trade Week was held at the Oxnard Harbor District with representatives of agriculture, industry, education, and several consulates in attendance.

Kirk Lesh of the California Lutheran University School of Management and Ray Bowman, the Director of the Small Business Development Center announced an initiative to provide resources for local business in analysis, compliance, and technical resources. 

Dr. Lesh has been engaged in statistical analysis of import and export data for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties to determine “what is being imported from where” in an effort to “expand the map” for local companies.  “Once we understand the patterns, we can develop the projects,” he explained. The goal is to “put proper resources with firms that need them.”

Mr. Bowman asserted that having the University involved creates “institutional learning opportunities”.  Cal Lutheran is offering internships in the field of international trade.

“80% of growth is outside our borders.” “Trade has outstripped our infrastructure to sustain it,” Mr. Bowman concluded.

While the Trans Pacific Partnership and other free trade agreements have come in for much criticism during the current election cycle, nothing but support was heard from those in attendance.

Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Limoneira Company made a strong case for the importance of global trade. “If we wanted to survive, we needed to embrace a global model.”  With more of the world “moving into the middle class,” Limoneira finds itself faced with the need for year ’round production.  Argentina is the largest producer of lemons. Mr. Edwards said, “we need to embrace that production.” 

Taking a swipe at a certain Presidential candidate, Mr. Edwards asserted that one of the greatest threats to his business was “ethno-centrism”.  Advocating for “more willingness to embrace workers from other places,”  he said, “We can’t let him build the wall.”

“Free trade is what keeps the world improving,” Mr. Edwards said. “I’ve been a free trader all my life.”


Chumash Culture at the Museum

Julie Tummamait-Stenslie presents at the Port Hueneme Museum

In a powerful and often moving performance at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie gave a presentation on Chumashculture and history.  Opening with prayer and including stories, legends, and songs, she carried the audience along for a tour of a different world.

Recalling how her grandfather recognized her as “the one” to carry on the traditions that had been handed down for generations, she acknowledged always feeling his spirit and the powerful presence of all her ancestors.  “I’m the Indian in the family,” she said.

From mundane matters like how to properly prepare cherry pits and make beads, to legends and tales of life on the islands, Ms. Tumamait-Stenslie left her listeners with a deep understanding and appreciation of our first people.


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

A copy of the deed now cherished by the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum reports that Mary “Mollie” Bard not only donated land on the street named for Thomas Scott (Thomas Bard’s employer) but also in 1914 had a Craftsman bungalow (listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989) constructed to serve as both a clubhouse and a library.  She sold it to the Women’s Improvement Center for one dollar.

Travel back in time with me, though, to the turn of the 20th century, when the population of Hueneme was dwindling to fewer than 200 souls.  The decision by the Oxnard brothers to build their sugar beet factory (a major local employer) miles out of town was disastrous for Hueneme.  Former residents not only moved their businesses to what would become Oxnard but also their houses.  And as folks departed, they left behind vacant lots, broken fences and out-of-control shrubbery and weeds.

In 1909, fifteen of the little town’s most prominent women (including Lucy Levy, Mrs. J. E. Dewar and Clara Gerberding) founded an organization they called the “Women’s Improvement Club.”

WIC members tasked themselves with rounding up stray cattle and horses, boarding up abandoned properties, painting over graffiti, mending fences and sidewalks, planting flowers, shrubs and trees as well as in later years providing dance lessons to the young people, contributing to the Red Cross during the war years, and opening a public library to fill the need that arose when the library located at Berylwood, the Bard family home, was no longer open to the public.

The Museum features a photograph of a beautiful woman in Victorian garb looking out the window of Bard’s library at a veritable winter wonderland.  She has been identified as Sarah Blanchard, the eldest daughter of Nathan Weston Blanchard and his wife Elizabeth, who donated the money to build the Santa Paula Library, originally named after their first child Dean Hobbs Blanchard. The Blanchard Community Library opened to the public in 1910, and Sarah served as the first librarian.

Back in Hueneme, the book collection that comprised the WIC library in 1909 was initially housed at the Ancient Order of United Workers hall until the Scott Street house was finished in 1915. Miss Annie(Bagust), the sister of Clara Gerberding, was given the largely unpaid job of librarian (1909 to 1923).

The modest holdings were housed in the Women’s Improvement Club and operated as a branch of the Oxnard Library. By 1923, library circulation would reach 1100 books and the new librarian would be paid the princely salary of $20 dollars a month.

Brick Wahl

Arctic Blue

Wow, just read another article about the end of the polar ice cap. It’s amazing to think that the Arctic Ocean is fast becoming navigable. It’s not an if anymore, but a when. Almost daily there are reports in the news and articles in the press about warming air and warming seas.

This article in the The Atlantic, Huge Waves in the Arctic Demonstrate Ice Loss—and Aggravate It, explains how enormous waves in the Arctic Ocean, formed in the newly open water and stirred by the increasing winds that come with open water, melt the ice cap even more, creating more open water, more winds, then more open water, more winds, more open water…. It’s a process we can actually see, in real time. It’s nothing like the invisible CO2 build up, or the incremental (if inexorable) temperature rises. These are just great oceanic swells in an open ocean. Beautiful blue water for miles. Broken bits of icebergs floating, melting. The waves slosh and wash and crash against the ice pack, wearing it down, breaking it up, melting it away. White ice becomes beautiful blue water. Inclement weather kicks up wind, as inclement weather does, just like winds kick up on a real unfrozen ocean, an ocean you can’t walk on this side of Jesus, an ocean that won’t freeze you in solid, trapped, doomed. An ocean that a hard shelled boat, not necessarily an icebreaker even, just not too flimsy, can move through, transporting goods or people or resources along the Northern Sea Route.

That’s what they call the open water which lies year round along the Siberian Arctic coast, the Northern Sea Route. Freighters ply the route now, from Europe to the Far East, where once they crossed the Indian Ocean. It’s a third less distance (and no pirates). There’s no dust, they say, and no smog. The water is a deep blue and the ice floating by a range of gorgeous pastels. New sea life, abhorring a vacuum, has moved in, or begun staying year round. It’s a brand new world.

The ancient arctic creatures cling to shore. The arctic foxes lose their snow white sheen. On shore the mosquitos and black flies are in clouds thicker than ever. Roads and villages disappear into liquefying permafrost, and great holes appear, unexplained. Travel overland is treacherous. Offshore, though, a few miles beyond the land, the water is blue and the going smooth and lovely and profitable.

But thinking beyond, two or three decades from now, merchant ships will no longer be hugging the Siberian coast like ancient galleys following the Mediterranean coast, terrified of storms.

Entire new trade routes will open up, intercontinental routes. Perhaps within a generation, and definitely within two, you could travel from Chicago in the middle of North America to Novosibirsk in the middle of Asia on a seagoing vessel. You’d leave Chicago and sail though various Great Lakes and up the St. Lawrence and into the Atlantic between Labrador and Greenland. A larger vessel then would continue on a northeasterly course, rounding Greenland and heading toward Siberia by passing north of Iceland and south of Svalbard. A smaller vessel, though, could slip west into a blue water passage through Nunavut (née Northwest Territories) that leads to other passages between the islands in the Canadian Arctic and follow the fishing fleets and tramp steamers and cruise ships past Ellesmere Island and into the open Arctic Ocean.

What a sight that will be, a grand vista of the deepest blue. Dolphins, new to these waters, will splash along side. Whales will loll and spout. The ocean waters, free of year round ice and warmed and lit by the sun, will explode with plankton, krill and pelagic fish. The glorious summer light never turns to darkness over the entire trans-oceanic trek, and perhaps your ship will take you over the Pole itself, where northward turns instantly southward.

Then on the far side of the Arctic Ocean you’ll enter the Kara Sea, within sight of Siberia, then continue into the narrow gulf that is the largest riverine estuary in the world, hundreds of miles long, beginning in tundra and ending deep in the taiga. There you’d enter the mouth of the Ob River and fresh water.

The final leg is southbound up the Ob, surrounded by the vast Siberian forests that fade after a thousand miles into endless, treeless steppe. The nights lengthen, the moon and stars reappear. Finally, after two thousand miles on the river you dock at the sprawling metropolis of Novosibirsk. A journey entirely by water from the center of one immense continent into the center of an even more immense continent by way of an ocean that was once icebound and impassable.
This isn’t a possible future. It’s not science fiction. It is the future. And while we dread the environmental catastrophe that accompanies it, the mass extinctions and desertification and struggles for water towards the equator, there are young entrepreneurs right now in Siberia and Greenland and struggling Inuit communities dreaming about all of this. Dreaming of new ports and new cities and new trade routes.

A few of these dreamers will die fabulously wealthy old men, and their walls will be adorned with pictures of polar bears and igloos and glaciers and icebergs, and they’ll tell their grandkids stories of the old days, when you could walk all the way to the North Pole.

Their grandkids will look across all that blue water and not believe a word of it.

 Read more Brick Wahl at


Learning the Wrong Lessons About Littoral Combat Ship

 Is it a failure or is it the ship we need?

Cyber Execs Don’t Believe Security Has Improved

What lessons were learned from major security breach?

Budget Cutters Battle Military Bands

Is Sousa’s legacy in danger?

The Ray D. Prueter Library will host a Red Tails World War II Airplane Showcase and Tuskegee Airmen public education presentation by Buddy Gibson, Lawrence Lee and Bruce Stewart on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 

The presenters will display their collections of Red Tail World War II airplane models and figurines of significant individuals from African American history.  A brief film of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II will be shown as part of the two-hour event, followed by a question and answer session. 

This educational presentation on a little known part of American history will be enjoyed by adults and students of all ages.

Buddy Gibson is a retired veteran who has pursued his interest in preserving the history of the Red Tail fighter pilots by sharing his collection of historically accurate models of the planes they flew.  He is accompanied by Lawrence Lee, whose collection of historical figures are H.E.R.O.E.S (an acronym for “Honoring Excellence Regardless of Ethnic Stigmas”) that he has chosen and researched for the Showcase.  Bruce Stewart, as the son of one of the Tuskegee Airmen, shares an interest and passion for preserving the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

For further information, please contact the Ray D. Prueter Library at (805) 486-5460.  The Library is located at 510 Park Avenue, Port Hueneme, CA. The Ventura County Library is available 24/7 at

History of the Harbor at the Museum

As a part of its Distinguished Speaker series, The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 Market Street) will host Will Berg, the Director of Marketing for the Oxnard Harbor District, on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 11:00 AM and Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM.

The History of the Port of Hueneme is so rich and complex that it’s going to take two presentations to tell the entire story.  The building of a deep-water port at Hueneme was no easy feat.  Beginning with Thomas Bard’s vision, which he then shared with his son Richard, the narrative of the family’s struggle to build a port for Ventura County incudes a number of twists and turns—not the least of which was the complete takeover by the Navy during World War II.

Berg’s first speech (June 4)  highlights the difficult birth and financial impact of the Port of Hueneme from 1865 to 1975.

The second speech (June 11) chronicles the phenomenal growth of Ventura County’s quintessential niche port to, among others, the fresh produce and auto carrier industries from 1975 to the present.

A third generation Oxnard native, Berg has called Port Hueneme home for the past 16 years.  He holds an MA degree in Comparative & International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Conversant in Mandarin Chinese, he also studied at the National Political Science University in Taiwan and is a graduate of California State University at Chico.

Berg has lectured aboard cruise ships calling on Asian destinations along the Pacific Rim and spent 15 years as a shore excursion specialist with some of the world’s most prestigious cruise lines. He has a deep knowledge of the Port’s operations, intrinsic value, and fascinating history that he is excited to share with a wider audience.

Port of Hueneme 1939

Hidden Track: “Opulence” — Tom McDermott



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. 10, May 2016

“Politics Has Got to Get Out of the Way”

Congressmember Steve Knight talks with RDP-21

Congressmember Steve Knight (R) CA-25 (Lancaster, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley) recently met with the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21).  Rep. Knight serves on the House Armed Services Committee and had just returned to California after spending an 18 hour day completing the National Defense Authorization Act,

He explained his focus is on aerospace, veterans’ issues, and small business.

If anyone were concerned about base closure, the Congressmember got that issue out of the way quickly. “We’re not doing a BRAC right now,” he stated flatly. “The military does want us to, but the previous BRAC has not been paid off yet.”

Nonetheless, Rep. Knight recognized the need for greater efficiency.  “We don’t need a BRAC, but we do need a consolidation of missions. We’ve got an awful lot of generals right now. We need to thin the military from the top down.”

In a free ranging exchange with the group, Rep. Knight covered topics from cyber warfare to decaying infrastructure to the painfully slow testing process for new weapons systems.

Cybersecurity is one of the Congressmember’s particular concerns.  “There are thousands of attacks per day coming out of China. [The threat] changes by the month. We’ve got to be on the cutting edge.”

“Russia and China are not our enemies, but their military is so strong it would be dumb not to keep an eye on them,” he warned.  “It’s not easy right now. It’s not just guns anymore.”

RDP-21 has been advocating for increased maintenance at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) and the Test Range in particular.   Rep. Knight acknowledged the problem. “An F-35 is great, but it’s useless if you don’t have a runway to land it.”

The slow process of getting new weapons systems into action is a particular concern of the Congressmember.  “We’ve got a 20 year window when we will be overtaken by Russia and China. They test a lot faster than we do.”

He recalled  that the F-100 program took only seven years to develop in the 1960’s. “It’s different today. We’re doing them one program at a time.”

Rep. Knight is particularly concerned about China’s high tech capabilities. “They’re five steps ahead in hypersonics. If they fire, all we can do is move our fleet.”

The Congressmember sees external pressures as an impediment to efficiency.  “Test it, fix it, move on” was the traditional approach. “Today anything that happens goes on social media. Everyone’s got to get their two cents.”

“Test and evaluation has got to go quicker. Politics has got to get out of the way.”


Harbor District Completes Power Project

Julia Brownley and Jess Herrera share the scissors as Arlene Fraser, Kristin Decas, Kathy Long and Keith Millhouse look on

Thanks to Federal funding obtained through the efforts of CongressmemberJulia Brownley D-26 (Ventura, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks) the Oxnard Harbor District has been able to complete a shore-side power project that allows ships at the dock to tie into the electrical system rather than run their engines, resulting in a 55% reduction in air pollution from the Port.

Board President Jess Herrera touted the project as creating “the largest reduction in pollution of any single project in Ventura County.”

Before the construction of the shore-side project, neighborhoods adjacent to the Port were often exposed to particulate pollution from ships at berth.  With this new project, most of the fine black dust emanating from the Port should be eliminated.


3-D Printer for Rosenbluth Center

Members of the Friends of the Preuter Library Visit the Maker Center at the E.P. Foster Library

Former Port Hueneme Mayor Murray Rosenbluth announced that he would be donating a 3-D printer to the Rosenbluth Homework Center at the Ray D. Preuter Library. The Ventura County Library System is establishing “Maker Centers” at libraries in the system. 3-D printing, laser engraving, computing and “hands on” art are all part of the effort to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) education. Having a 3-D printer will put the Port Hueneme Library at the forefront of the effort.

“Exposing this emerging technology, hands on, to young students at the Homework Center will open a new horizon that could lead to a lifelong interest in new technology,” Mr. Rosenbluth said.
“It is exciting that young people will learn how to use this technology at the Rosenbluth Homework Center in Port Hueneme.”
Things you can make with a 3-D printer
Kathy Thomasson tries out a 3-D printed whistle

Coast Guard Brings $31 Million to Mugu

As part of its move away from Los Angeles, the United States Coast Guard has announced that it has secured $31M for construction of a new hanger at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu.

The move to Ventura County, combined with the new command center in San Francisco will provide better coverage for the Central Coast. Previously, the northern San Luis County/southern Monterrey County area was difficult to reach from Los Angeles.


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

Did you know that the Ray D. Prueter Library made the national news back in 1996? 

It seems the wife of a 60-year old print shop worker from Tulsa presented her hubby with an old children’s book she turned up at a yard sale.  Burdette “Pete” Payne, who had never even heard of the city of Port Hueneme, noticed the pocket card in the back of Bomber Pilot had been stamped with a long ago due date—December 20, 1944. 

The World War II aviation buff had his heart set on hanging on to the children’s tome but his better angels prevailed.   A few months after he posted his package to the Port Hueneme Library, he received a thank you note from librarian Mary Lynch.

The odyssey of the little book remains a mystery, but Lynch suspected that the child of a sailor stationed at Port Hueneme during World War II must have checked it out and failed to return it.   The families of military men, who have historically received special treatment under the law because of the nature of their work, would not have been held responsible for the fine, which was calculated, just for fun, in the amount of $3,640.

Apparently, nobody at the library noticed that the book had gone missing in 1944.  Six years later, when the population of Port Hueneme started to explode and many of the newcomers were ardent readers, the situation would have been much different.  Mrs. Sidney Hamiter, librarian at the tiny Port Hueneme library located in the Women’s Improvement Club, reported that during the month of July in 1958, the library had checked out a grand total of 3,089 books.  That statistic becomes even more remarkable when you realize that the library only housed around 4,000 volumes.

Brick Wahl


Watching Spellbound. First time. In fact, it was one of the only Hitchcock flicks I’ve never seen. And I keep getting so lost. It’s all about Freudian analysis, which is one of those archaic things that few understand anymore. But everyone did back then. Hitchcock just assumed that a sophisticated audience in 1945 would understand the dialog. But that was half a century ago, and since then the study of the mind became the study of the brain. It’s all about neurology now, mechanics over assumptions.

So it’s kind of like trying to watch a movie based on Marxist theory. As recently as the seventies a sophisticated audience would understand the basics of Marxist thought and a plot would have to explain little. It might have been excruciatingly dull, but the hip crowds would get it. Now most of us would be lost, Das Kapital in all its turgid detail finally relegated to the 19th century. Oh it hangs on in some academic circles, in literary theory and semantics, but once all those professors retire it’ll disappear, and all the Marxist allusions in films of the sixties will be understood only by historians. People will read about them somewhere and try as hard as they can to understand, but they won’t. Just like we can be so bewildered by Freudian psychobabble. It obviously meant something to them back then…but you had to be there.

I suspect that Chomsky will go the same way, relegated to philosophy courses where the elegance of a theory is more important than its scientific legitimacy. We still study Aristotle even though, face it, he was wrong about a lot of things. But the elegance and brilliance of his thought in the context (i.e., he thought it up a helluva long time ago), and the influence it had on Western thought, makes it key to the study of Western philosophy. Just don’t quote him in your biology class.

And Chomsky’s brilliant theories, so simple (unlike his prose) will be studied as a key to language…even though the neurological evidence is a little light so far. I mean his generative theory should hold up (although there have been some doubts thrown up there too…namely the language of the  Pirahã in the Amazon) but there is no center of universal grammar uncovered so far; we are not born with all the grammar in the world set in our head, like some perfectly formed language homunculus.

Of course no one makes movies based on Chomskyan theory. The dialog would drag. “For any transformation which is sufficiently diversified in application to be of any interest, the fundamental error of regarding functional notions as categorical appears to correlate rather closely with nondistinctness in the sense of distinctive feature theory” she says breathlessly, her nude body glistening…..they couldn’t even show that on Sundance.

Anyway Spellbound is nearly over. Gregory Peck is in the clutches of the police, and Ingrid Bergman is still gorgeous. But I dunno, somehow Ingrid’s saying “People fall in love, as they put it, because they respond to a certain hair coloring or vocal tones or mannerisms that remind them of their parents,” doesn’t have quite the same punch as “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.” That, Bogie could understand.

Uh oh. Surprise ending. I won’t say who or what. No spoiler me. But Ingrid figured it analyzing dreams. Something symbolized a revolver. Voila! The killer revealed. Dreams, you know. Last night I dreamed that my wife and I had to take two separate submarines across the East River to get to Brooklyn. Obviously the submarines are phallic. I don’t know about the East River, though. Whatever.

Anyway Bullitt‘s up next. That one I can understand. Gunfights, car chases, Jacqueline Bisset in a miniskirt and go-go boots. Maybe she’ll be in my dream tonight. Of course I won’t remember even if she is … I almost never remember my dreams. Not even dirty ones. Submarines I remember.

And without Freud, a submarine is just a submarine.


How Putin’s Western Front Thwarted His Pivot to the East

Are China and Japan buying what Russia is selling?

Defense Bill Calls for Big Funding Boost for Facilities

Congress plays catch up on maintenance.

Supercomputers Redefining  “Tree of Life”

How many species of life exist on Earth?  UC Berkeley researchers using supercomputer to study DNA of thousands of species to build a new organizational model.

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum

will unveil a plaque commemorating “Grandpa,” Port Hueneme’s beloved Monterey Cypress tree on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM on the museum grounds behind the Museum located at 220 Market Street.

As a part of the celebration, Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Sharkey will be sharing his personal memories of August 4, 1997, when a steady stream of Port Hueneme residents filed past “Grandpa” to reminisce, mourn, and pay their last respects to the “Friendly City by the Sea’s” oldest citizen.  The event also included a candlelight vigil at sunset, members of the Chumash tribe giving thanks while burning sage, and the reading of a poem especially composed for the occasion.

The plaque explains that the Monterey Cypress once stood over 100 feet tall and boasted a trunk with a diameter in excess of six feet.  A 12-ft portion of the trunk weighed a staggering 17,500 lbs.

While the actual age of the tree has always inspired lively debate, arborists claim that “Grandpa” reached the ripe old age of 375 years, and at its demise, was acknowledged as the “second oldest Cypress in California.” 

For more information, please contact Beverly Kelley 805 488-0363

Free Your Bike from Weekday Confinement;

Use These Tips to Bike to Work, May 16 to 20

On weekends, your bicycle whisks you along ocean trails, canyon rides, adventures with your friends. But come Monday, you cast your bike aside. And every time you glance at it, you feel its resentment. Its pain.

Free your friend from weekday confinement and use it for a car-free commute! Bike to Work Week is the perfect time to try a cycling commute, and VCTC will help you integrate your cycling with transit. Bring your bike on board any blue VCTC bus from May 16-20 and we’ll waive the fare.

If you are a first-time (or infrequent) cycling commuter, here are a few rules and tips to help you – and your bike – ride safely.

Here are six tips to remember:

  • You are responsible for loading, securing and unloading your bicycle from the under-bus storage bay; the driver will assist with opening and closing bay doors.
  • Get the driver’s attention before you load or unload your bike.
  • Make your bike “bus ready” by removing water bottles, pumps or any loose items that might fall off.
  • Remember that VCTC is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged bicycles.
  • Never cross the street in front of the bus – passing traffic cannot see you coming around the bus.
  • Tandem bikes or bikes with motors (wet-cell batteries), solid wheels, large racks, child seats, trailers or other large attachments are not allowed.
  • Bike storage space on board VCTC buses is limited, so arrive early and be prepared to lock your bike at the stop if necessary.

Wait, there’s more! Four pit stops, including two pit stops on Thursday, May 19, will break up your ride to work and offer some sustenance. Each pit stop will have

  • Free bike tune-ups
  • Giveaways
  • Coffee, water and breakfast treats

Staying safe during your commute should be your top focus. Here are five tips to help you safely commute through urban areas:

Observe: Absorb what happens in the fluid environment surrounding you. Learn the behavior of drivers. How many creep into a right turn without looking for a bicycle? Will the driver in the parked car ahead open her door without checking for you?

Be Predictable: Make it easy for drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists to predict your intentions. Forgo sudden lane changes or quick maneuvers. Avoid weaving between vehicles or suddenly riding on a sidewalk. Of course you are an innovative and creative person, just save those traits for when you are not cycling.

Follow Traffic Laws: Ride with the traffic flow and obey all traffic laws. Stop at the stop sign. Stop at the red traffic light. Review the bicycle-riding laws of your community (riding on sidewalks is just one rule that varies from city to city).

Follow with Distance: Following a friend’s wheel through the Ventura County countryside is one thing, but following closely on an urban street is another. Are you following a skilled rider or a neophyte? Will they brake suddenly for something you take in stride? Be cautious of other riders.

Be Boring: At least in your choice of routes. You will soon become an expert on your route—the potholes, the obscured right turn, the intersection where pedestrians cross when they shouldn’t—and this knowledge becomes crucial to your safety.

Want more Ventura County transportation news? Visit our blog.


Get Ready for the Amgen Tour of California

Latest BMC Racing News

Amgen Tour Home Page

Hidden Track: The Original Caste — “One Tin Soldier

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. 9, April 2016

Earth Day

All creatures great and small enjoy Earth Day.

Despite the April drizzle, children, adults, and more than a few officials came out to Plaza Park to celebrate all that Mother Earth has to offer.

And an electric machine or two as well.

City Loses Community Leader

Paul Boog, Port Hueneme’s representative to the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, recently passed away. Mr. Boog had a long history in local government and community service having served on numerous advisory boards during his time in Port Hueneme, most recently on the Recreation and Fine Arts Commisssion as the Advisor on Senior Concerns. 

Assistant City Manager Carmen Nichols commented, “Paul was a very vibrant member of our community and will be sorely missed.”

Bob Brant

We have learned at press time of the passing of Robert “Bob” Brant one of the great citizens of our community. A gentleman who will truly be missed.

Making Targets Look Real

Richard Burr Addresses RDP-21

“You’re just shadow boxing if you don’t have a target.” Richard A. Burr, Director, Direct Threat/Target Systems Department, Naval Air Systems Command, in a presentation to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century, explained the importance of live target exercises to the readiness of the fleet. 

While “drones” have lately been making the news, the history of unmanned aircraft actually dates back to 1924.  By 1946, target activity was consolidated at Point Mugu.

Director Burr addressed the challenge of presenting a realistic target at an affordable price. “The goal is to shoot ’em, so you don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.”  A test using the latest Mach 2.5 targets can cost over $1.5 Million.

Typically, the older model targets last 10-15 missions. Part of the mission of the  Target Systems Department is to capture, repair, and reuse the unmanned “drones”. 

“We build, deliver, and maintain targets for air, land, and sea,” the Director explained. The facility at Port Hueneme produces 100 high speed boats per year that are used in “swarm boat” training. Additionally, with the “pivot to the Pacific” there has been a renewed focus on “battling on land.” 

At the heart of the Department’s mission is cyber-technology.  The right electronics can make a small target “look” like a realistic enemy threat.  “How do we present targets, and how do we defend against cyber threats?” Director Burr posited.

As with many other sectors at Naval Base Ventura County, the Target Systems Department is looking for qualified civilian workers.  The Director would like to hire 28-30 people per year to fill his staffing needs.

Gene Fisher, the Co-Chair of RDP-21 pointed out that “Test and Evaluation hasn’t kept pace with threats. During the past ten years, we’ve not been investing in the infrastructure of this country.  A lot of the issues for the next ten years will relate to targets.”


Orange Helicopters

Department of Homeland Security sources have said that Ventura County should begin to see Coast Guard helicopters based at Point Mugu by the end of May. The Coast Guard is moving north from Los Angeles and Naval Base Ventura County will be one location from which the Coast Guard will deploy. 

It is predicted that by 2018-19 more than 200 people will be working with the Coast Guard at Point Mugu.


Wizards of Water

Bill Varnava points to controls on a water filtration system

During these times of scarce water supplies, there is a lot of discussion about the potential for desalinating seawater. Right now, on the Port Hueneme section of Naval Base Ventura County the engineering wizards of the Expeditionery Warfare Center (ExWC) are experimenting with some of the most efficient desalination systems in the world.

In a presentation for members of the Port Hueneme Water Agency, these efforts were put on display.

Efficiency is important — saving a penny per gallon can add up quickly when millions of gallons are being produced — but for military application mobility is also important.  ExWC has water treatment systems that can be deployed by truck, ship, or helicopter wherever a water supply is important. On remote San Nicolas Island the local desalination plant saves thousands of dollars that would otherwise have to be spent transporting water across the channel in barges.

The technology for purifying water is well established — there are not likely to be any revolutionary breakthroughs — but a more efficient filter or a longer lasting pump can make a big difference in the overall cost of production. 

 In the Port Hueneme laboratories of ExWC, the wizards of water are searching for ways to make the recovery of seawater more and more practical.

Where the water comes in
Testing different components in the laboratory

Coming Here to Win

Rohan Dennis in the lead           Photo courtesy @BMC Racing Team

With all the support vehicles, team cars, mechanics, and tv cameras, a major professional bicycle race is often described as “a motorcycle rally with a few bikes thrown in,” but at its best, world class cycling is a competitive team sport of complex tactics and individual heroics played out before some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.

Port Hueneme will witness some of that pageantry and drama as the Amgen Tour of California powers through town on Tuesday, May 17.

The leading team in the world, sponsored by Swiss cycle maker BMC, is based in Santa Rosa, California. With a long history in American professional racing, Jim Ochowicz, the President/General Manager of BMC Racing,  recently granted an exclusive interview for the ePilot.

“As an American team we’re very focused on the Amgen Tour of California,” he said. “We’re bringing a formidable team and want to be competitive from the first day to the last.”

“We’re going there to try to win the race,” he asserted. “The American races have always been a focus for us.”

Much like a football team with specialized players, a cycling team carries a big roster with riders to match every circumstance.  When asked about the roster for the Amgen Tour of California, Mr. Ochowicz mentioned Australian Rohan Dennis, winner of two Tour de France stages, along with American Brent Bookwalter as contenders for the overall victory.

Powerful Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez, sprinter Jempy Drucker, and American time trial specialist Taylor Phinney are also expected to ride.

When asked about American star Tejay van Garderen, Mr. Ochowicz stated that he was focused on the Tour de France — that was his “primary goal.”  However, with Greg van Avermaet‘s brilliant start ruined by a broken collarbone, it remains to be seen what roster adjustments will be made.

As a long time advocate for American cycling, Mr. Ochowicz explained the importance of the Amgen Tour of California: “We need races like the Amgen Tour of California to allow American teams to participate at that level of sport and provide an opportunity for younger Americans to get visible, and for us to see them in action against us. While they might not get the chance in Europe to do that, they can certainly do that at the Amgen Tour of California, and you never know what that might bring for them or for us in the future.”

Team BMC                      Photo courtesy @BMC Racing Team

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
Second of Two Parts

Admittedly, Princess Hueneme couldn’t have looked worse.  Having exhausted herself during months of searching and wearing rags that had seen a long ocean swim and miles of dusty roads, she no longer resembled a beautiful princess.  Furthermore, Princess Hueneme was so humiliated by the witch’s laughter, she turned away and conceded defeat.   Yet it was at that precise moment that her husband was finally able to resist the witch’s evil spell.  He just could not allow Hueneme to walk away.  Together the couple returned to their dwelling at Point Mugu.

But even though she tried, Princess Hueneme was too immature and wounded to forgive and forget what her husband had done.   She kept seeing her husband making love to the witch.  Although he did everything he could, the husband couldn’t regain the trust his wife once had in him.  It soon became apparent that the couple would never be able to capture the bliss they had once shared.

In despair, Hueneme jumped into the sea and was immediately turned into stone.  She became the landmark we know today as Mugu Rock.  When Hueneme dove into the sea, her husband didn’t hesitate.  He followed her into the ocean and his long hair became the seaweed that can be found encircling Mugu Rock.  Their prayers were answered.  In only this way, or so the Chumash legend goes, could the two star-crossed lovers be together forever.

Brick Wahl

Day Trip

Rented a Dodge Ram pick up yesterday and headed out to the desert. No CD player. The low point had to be east of Pearblossom in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a 38 Special rock block to listen to. Hold On Loosely has been earworming its way into my skull since, breaking me down like my own personal Room 101, southern rock. Freedom is slavery, war is peace, you see it all around you, good lovin’ gone bad. The high point musically was…well, there was no high point. A lot of high desert hard rock and ranchera.

We had dropped by Charlie Brown Farms in Littlerock for a date shake, then the long drive out to Barstow. The desert is great from the cab of a climate change special, you feel like Mike Dukakis in a tank.

The 18 was closed, and they dog legged us along the 138 and then up another desert road to rejoin the 18 near Phelan. They farm a lot of meth out in Phelan. Cook it right on the rocks. A guy explained it to me one night, unbidden. I don’t think he had slept in years.

We passed through Barstow, picked up the 40 for a couple miles and got off at the Calico exit. Calico Ghost Town has been a slow favorite since I first went there when I was a kid. Hell, that was over half a century ago.

Back then I thought it looked like a less fun Knotts Berry Farm (apparently Walter Knott had grown up in Calico, and used the proceeds from the mine to recreate Calico in Buena Park) but I didn’t know then that you could take your beer right on the train. Doubtless some of the appeal for me is how the old pre-Snoopy Knotts Berry Farm was cloned from the place, somehow redolent of ancient times in Southern California. Fantasy world and Calico girls I’m coming back.

But to be honest my single favorite thing there is the extraordinary display of tortured seismology looming over the parking lot. Sedimentary layers bent all which ways, even straight up vertical. It screams earthquake, but all you hear is desert silence.

After Calico we went over to Rainbow Basin Natural Area, the reason for the pick up truck and 38 Special, it was perfect for driving the back roads. Not a bit of pavement in the place, just badlands bisected by narrow twisting graded road, gullies, loose rocks, and the occasional diamondback rattler.

It is a perfect riot of geology, the land eroded for so many eons was absolutely gorgeous. This was once–actually several times–a large Miocene lake bed. Winter rains carve it anew every year, and tectonics torture the area–there’s a syncline to die for–though the black layers of ash are from better days, when nearby Amboyand the Cima Dome were alive with volcanoes.

Nearby are layers packed with fossils–most of the large mammal fossils you will see in our local museums that were not plucked from the La Brea Tar Pits came from the Rainbow Basin and thereabouts.

Somewhere in the middle a Foreigner rock block came on and I turned off the radio. There was no other sound at all. Not a bird, not a bug, not even a breeze. Nothing.

After a glorious couple hours in Rainbow Basin, we tooled back on down Irwin Road towards Barstow in our giant pick up truck, trying not to go too fast. It’s the Hemi, I explained to the wife, just to actually use Hemi in a sentence.

We hopped a left onto Old Highway 58 for Idle Spurs, still my favorite steak house ever. Incredible steak and a couple Jamesons. (You can pretend I took a picture of our food here.)

We took our time eating, thoroughly enjoying it, and it was nearly dark as we climbed back into the cab of the pick-up, a little too late to drive all the way home on the 66. I love that old trestle across the Mojave, linking the two sides of Barstow, north and south of the tracks. Nearby was the old Harvey House, and I can only imagine the disappointment of Judy Garland fans who pilgrimage here. For a moment I thought “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” was going to stay in my head forever, like “The Trolley Song” did one terrible year after hearing it on a Palm Springs radio station twice in one weekend, but it disappeared back into the closet.


We turned right onto the 66 and as we headed west Barstow faded into Lenwood and then into nothing. It was too dark for sightseeing, and the excursion was nearing the twelve hour mark anyway, so we made for the interstate. All seemed perfect, the last of the light disappearing behind the mountains as we got back on the 15 heading south, nestled contentedly in the cab of our gas guzzling monster truck. There was just the night, the road, and us.

There is something profoundly reassuring about driving through the desert in the dark, just you and the wheels and the stars.

Then a rock block of Boston interrupted my philosophizing. Egad. People livin’ in competition, the singer explained, and all he wanted was to have some peace of mind. Bad seventies memories came flooding back and I realized that I was entering my 59th year to a soundtrack of lame classic rock.

I hate these songs, with all their inane lyrics and uninspired riffs and soulless guitar solos. Can’t I find any good driving music out here in the desert? More Than a Feeling came on, and as the singer watched Marianne walking away, away, awaaaaay, I asked the Lord in a moment of existential crisis why, oh why, had He forsaken me. The Lord let the guitar solo finish before answering.

The desert is beautiful but cruel, He said, like good lovin’ gone bad.


BRAC off the Table?

“There is a significant and dangerous gap between the military we have and the military we need.—Sen Ayotte

Dismal Prospects for Container Shipping

Freight rates expected to deteriorate.


PH Rates High in Fiscal Health

California Policy Center gives best ratings to Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Camarillo locally. Among the best in California.

Mystery at the Library

Who:  Author Beverly Kelley

What:  “The Cold Case Cozy—Think Jessica Fletcher as a Set of Triplets Living in Port Hueneme”

When:  Sunday May 1, 2016 2:00 to 4:00pm 
Where:  Prueter Library 510 Park Ave. Port Hueneme
Why:  Speaker at the Annual Meeting
Mystery lovers are cordially invited to the 30th Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Port Hueneme Library.  After a brief business meeting and installation of officers at 2:00 PM, Port Hueneme’s  Beverly M. Kelley will present  “The Cold Case Cozy—Think Jessica Fletcher as a set of triplets living in Port Hueneme.”

With two Hunter Triplets Mysteries (The Oldest Cold Case in Port Cabrillo, and Second Oldest Cold Case in Port Cabrillo) already published, Kelley is presently hard at work on a third. All her novels are inspired by actual unsolved murder cases from the early seventies.

In her previous life, Dr. Kelley taught communication courses for thirty-five years in the department she founded at California Lutheran University. As a professor, she also published three nonfiction books on the history of political film as well as numerous scholarly articles on various subjects.  In addition, she was a former radio and television talk-show host, frequent contributor to the Ventura County Perspective pages of the Los Angeles Times, and retired last year from an eighteen-year stint as an opinion columnist for the Ventura County Star.

Today she spends her days as a volunteer—for the Port Hueneme Friends of the Library, the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum, and as Chloe the Therapy Dog’s loyal human companion.

Free Old Time Concerts

The Old Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Association presents free concerts from 2:00-4:00 PM, the first Sunday of each month at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura,  The Association is founded on the principal of preservation of old time country music played on original style musical instruments.


The American Cancer Society event covered in the last issue was the Port Hueneme Bark for Life.

Hidden Track: Fred Small — “Heart of the Appaloosa

Copyright 2016 The Hueneme Pilot  All rights reserved.

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516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041

J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher