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 kelley@callutheran.edu.

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


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