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


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