The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 20, October 2016

Friends Raise Funds for Library

Competing for the coveted “Best Hat” award

Kicking off the Port Hueneme social season, the Friends of the Ray D. Preuter Library held their annual fundraising tea generating over $4100 for literacy programs and activities at the library.


Norton Sound Memories

Norton Sound veteran Bill Stewart shares a laugh with Dr. Luskin and Mayor (Ret.) Orvene Carpenter

From Seaman to Chancellor

Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Bernard Luskin recounted his career as a Yeoman on the USS Norton Sound AVM-1 as part of  the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speakers Series.

With a history that began in the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Norton Sound was originally commissioned as a sea plane tender, became the first missile test ship, and finished her career as the Naval Defense Test Ship known as “The Galloping Ghost of the Hueneme Coast”. 

Remarking on the number of Norton Sound veterans in attendance, Dr. Luskin said, “I can’t lie. Too many of you know the history.”

Reporting aboard in 1956,  Seaman Luskin was asked if he knew how to type. An affirmative answer resulted in his being appointed the Captain’s Yeoman.  Apart from being the “Captain’s major go-fer,” he recounted, “I was in charge of liberty chits — I was a big shot!”

In 1958 the Norton Sound set off for the South Atlantic on a mission that was so secretive that course was set around Cape Horn rather than through the Panama Canal. “Most of the crew had no idea what was going on,” Dr. Luskin recalled.

The Argus mission was to complete the first launch of a nuclear missile from a ship at sea “in the history of the world.”  Although this has been described as “the most dangerous missile launch ever,” to the young Yeoman it just “looked like a giant video game.”  “I thought it was just a game… I didn’t know it was dangerous ’till I started researching this talk!” he exclaimed. 

Yeoman Luskin’s station during the launch was on the bridge of the Norton Sound wearing a headset and relaying communications from all of the Argus participants.  While the official Navy film of the event “looked good, … I heard what was going on. They fired ’em and prayed. They didn’t know if they’d come back and hit us! Most of the officers went and hid,” he recalled.

Operation Argus led to the discovery of the Van Allen Radiation Belt.  Dr. Luskin called it “one of the greatest nuclear experiments ever.”  “The whole world changed in 1958 and the Norton Sound was right in the heart of it.”

Lamenting that the ship was sold for scrap after her service as a Test Ship, Dr. Luskin said, “The Navy is not too smart some times. They took this iconic ship and made it into soup cans. The Norton Sound should be sitting in this harbor like the Midway in San Diego. It’s as important as the Wright Brothers’ airplane.”

Marveling at his own career advancing from Seaman to Chancellor, Dr. Luskin credited an “arrogant Ensign” who berated him for his lack of education. “You ought to go to college,” he was told. Taking the advice, he enrolled at Ventura College and spent the next 15 years attending classes while working part time. “I never missed a semester,” he said. “I went to Ventura College and now I’m the Chancellor.”

With 48,000 veterans in Ventura County, Dr. Luskin is working to establish a Veterans’ Center in the Community College system. The “New GI Bill is changing the character of America,” he said.

Recognizing the efforts of his students, he remarked, “There are a lot of people like me, except I’m the Chancellor.”  Appreciative of the success in his life he gave credit to his time in the Navy, “Being on the Norton Sound and the GI Bill changed my life.”

Yeoman Luskin’s service medals

Knights Honor Judge

Judge Manuel Covarrubias addresses Knights of Columbus

“For the People We Serve”

Superior Court Judge Manuel Covarrubias was recently honored by the Oxnard Council 750 of the Knights of Columbus at their annual Civic Night.

Judge Covarrubias has served as a jusdicial officer for 22 years and was appointed to the Ventura County Superior Court in 2002 by Gov. Gray Davis.

The Oxnard native spoke of his humble beginings as the son of a carpenter with a 9th grade education and a mother who had only gone as far as third grade.  His ties to the community have remained strong.

“Our court is here for the people we serve,” he stated, “Without you we would not succeed.”

Judge Covarrubias concluded by quoting Franklin Roosevelt, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”


See You Next Summer!

The Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce held its last Sunset Supper of the season at Hueneme Beach Park.  We look forward to the trucks’ return next year.

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

Long-time residents Dorothy Ramirez and Helen Brant used to call it the “Hueneme Spirit.” Both Ramirez and Brant had been 20-year proprietors of competing grocery stores in old Hueneme, yet they also shared a 75-year friendship. So how did they do it?

Instead of adhering to the “dog-eat-dog” tenets of capitalism, they chose, instead, the “love thy neighbor” tenets known as the “Hueneme Spirit.” When one ran out of a staple like bread or milk, the other would not hesitate to supply what was needed from her own grocery store shelves. Can you imagine such unselfish cooperation between Ralphs and Vons?

Ted Moranda, in his book Me ‘n’ Paul and Old Hueneme, recalls an old-timer named Bill Paxton who spent years taking care of a bed-bound neighbor. “And he didn’t get a penny for it” Moranda wrote in his memoir, adding that while he had never seen Paxton in church, “he was a kind and considerate guy and we all knew it.”

The “Hueneme Spirit” is not a novel concept —doing unto others as you would have them do unto you — but given the hate-based rhetoric that seems to be the norm even on social media these days, it’s the only antidote to all the negativity that has made Port Hueneme anything but the “Friendly City by the Sea.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of present day positives to inspire each and every one of us, but they seem to get lost in the divisive din that demands our attention morning, noon, and night.

Take, for example, the thousand or so Hueneme residents who spend their precious time helping out in the classrooms, coaching on the playing fields, tutoring at the Homework Center, participating in church outreach programs, raising funds for the Prueter Library or Hueneme Beautiful, offering emergency aid with the Red Cross, or just pitching in whenever and wherever a need arises.

They volunteer, not to be recognized or rewarded in some tangible way, but because they want to make Port Hueneme a better place. And they have been doing so, not just for a few months prior to an election, but sometimes for decades.

When long-time residents visit the Museum, they often lament those things that no longer exist: the Lima Bean Picnic, various businesses on Market Street, a hometown newspaper, Dennis the Menace Playground, the Women’s Improvement Club, Harbor Days, and the Men’s Follies.

Yet there are still ample opportunities for community—even at this time of economic crisis for our city.

Communication with City Hall is now a two-way street—thanks in part to social media. You can also meet your neighbors (and their dogs) on walks to the Lighthouse or along Bubbling Springs park. You can enroll your family members in recreation classes for all ages or hear local experts simply by showing up at the Distinguished Speaker Series at the Museum.

When funding for the Junior Lifeguard program had to be cut, volunteers threw a fundraiser to raise scholarship money for those families who couldn’t afford to pay. And for those who lament the passing of the Hueneme Beach Festival, why not join other volunteers in planning an event that is self-sustaining instead of costing the taxpayers $50,000 a year.

Isn’t it time we brought back the Hueneme Spirit? I suspect we will all be the better for it.

Brick Wahl

Republican Civil War

Odds are that the GOP will lose a couple dozen seats in the house this year.

It seems as of now highly doubtful that they’ll lose more than that. Very effective gerrymandering by GOP controlled statehouses have left enough Republicans in safe districts that can withstand even a severe drubbing of their presidential candidate and a big increase in Democratic voters. But the irony is that the Republicans in districts that are not safe veer to the more moderate side of the GOP, being that the districts they are in are not conservative enough to have elected a Tea Partier. Democrats will pick up those seats, leaving a GOP majority in the house that, though smaller, will be even more conservative than it is now.

Trump won’t win the White House, and a lot of Republican senators will be losing their seats because of Trump and likely losing the majority to the Democrats, but the House will be more Trumpified than it is now.

There has been a long running Republican trend since 1980 (maybe since 1978) where every election brings more hard line conservatives into the House than before. In 1994–seven elections after the Reagan landslide in 1980–Newt Gingrich took control of the House GOP and set it firmly to the right. Indeed to the right of Reagan, certainly to the right of George H.W. Bush. Clinton’s national health insurance plan was destroyed by the Gingrich revolution.

Fast forward ten more congressional elections and Paul Ryan–more Reagan than Reagan just four years ago–is now far too moderate for most conservatives in the House (and among Republican Party rank and file) and in all likelihood will not be Speaker in 2017. Just four years ago he was hardline conservative. Now he is a RINO.

Every Republican you see interviewed seems to see nothing but intra-party civil war and bloodletting. Meanwhile, the demographics in the general population run against them, and their base grows smaller and smaller.

Parties do disappear sometimes. The Federalists were gone by the 1820’s after being dominant in the first twenty years of the country. The Whigs elected presidents before the Civil War and were national and growing until they almost instantaneously disappeared in the late 1850’s.

But we’ve had two dominant parties since the Civil War, it’s hard to imagine one disintegrating completely. Yet that is what seems to be happening. A surreal time. Perhaps it is just a phase and the GOP will re-emerge. Perhaps it will split into multiple parties. The liberal Democrat in me snickers. The historian in me looks on in astonishment.

To think I lived to see this day.

Read More Brick Wahl at


No Drone Zone

Airshow organizers say unmanned vehicles not welcome.


USS Zumwalt Commissioned

Latest DDG 1000 “next generation” warship named for famous admiral.


Patriots in the Baltics?

NATO mulls deployment of defensive missile system.

At the Museum

During the month of November, the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speaker Series will be celebrating all U.S. Military Veterans—but especially those who are residents or former Port Hueneme residents.
November 5, 2016 “50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War”

11:00AM-12:30PM at the Museum (220 Market St.) 
Sharing their very personal memories of Vietnam will be:

Captain Bill Hodge, a combat pilot conducting bombing missions over Hanoi and Haiphong.

Captain Bob Quinn, Seabee officer and Purple Heart recipient who supervised construction at I Corps .

Master Chief Jim Daniels, who led Seabee construction work near the Rock Pile and who lost his son Bill Daniels to the Vietnam War in 1973 (death attributed to Agent Orange).

USMC Corporal Ron Mongeau, a machine gunner at Khe Sanh & the Rock Pile as well as a self-described “jungle grunt with the First Marines.”

November 11, 2016 “2016 Veteran’s Day Celebration” 9:00AM-10:30AM at City Hall (250 North Ventura Rd. Port Hueneme, CA).  Celebration Program Speakers include: Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long, Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Sharkey and Retired Master Chief Jim Daniels (Veteran of WW II, Korea, and Vietnam).

Port Hueneme’s very first Veterans Day Celebration is being sponsored by the City of Port Hueneme Historical Museum, VFW Post 3935, Navy League, Sea Cadets, and Chamber of Commerce.

The program will include:

The Presentation of Colors by the Hueneme High Naval Junior ROTC; Pledge of Allegiance by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corp Ben Moreell Battalion; “God Bless America” by the Boys and Girls Club of Port Hueneme & Oxnard; Reading of Hueneme Purple Heart names from WWII, Korea and Vietnam by Captain Bob Quinn, Korea and Vietnam Veteran; and Reading of Hueneme KIA names by VFW Wonnie Wood Post Commander Clay Cowgill, Iraq Veteran.


November 19, 2016 “Celebration of WWII Greatest Generation” 11:00AM-12:30PM at the Museum (220 Market St.).  
According to the Veteran’s Administration, approximately every three minutes, a memory of World War II—its sights and sounds, its terrors and triumphs—disappears. These men and women are now in their nineties or older and are passing away at the incredible rate of approximately 430 a day. 
The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum has discovered five Greatest Generation Veterans and invited them to share their stories:
US Navy Chief (Retired) Joe Villalino, the son of a Bataan Death March survivor.
US Marine Corps Corporal (Retired) Orvene Carpenter, who served as a Machine Gunner in SBD TBF dive bombers.
US Navy Master Chief (Retired) Jim Daniels, who served as a Seabee construction engineer.
U.S. Navy Lt. Commander (Retired) Gabe Pesce, who served as a linguist specializing in Japanese.
US Army Corporal (Retired) Ralph C. Nichols, who served at Fort Shafter (Honolulu, Hawaii) in crypto clearance.
Very Special Guests: WWII combat infantry veterans from American Legion Post 12.

For further information please contact: Beverly Kelley
Email: Phone:  805 488-0363

Address of Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum:  220 Market St. (Corner of Market St. and Hueneme Rd.) Port Hueneme, California 93041  Phone:  805 986-6542
The history of the Port of Hueneme is so rich and complex that it’s going to take three presentations to tell the entire story.
As a part of its Distinguished Speaker series, The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 Market Street) has already hosted Will Berg, the Director of Marketing for the Oxnard Harbor District, first, on June 4, 2016 and second, on June 11, 2016.  Berg initially spoke about Port History from 1865 to 1975 and on his second visit he tackled the record from 1975 to the present.

Will Berg will return on Saturday October 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM to “Review where the Port is now and Where it’s headed.”

“Earlier this year,” according to Berg, “the Port of Hueneme closed the books on yet another consecutive year of growth.  Jobs have been added, cargo volumes are up, new customers are using the Port.  A 2013 economic impact report identified 191 jobs for local residents. An updated study completed this year shows 413 Hueneme residents directly employed as a result of Port activities.  The Port depends on these hard working citizens and by any measuring stick, this employment rate is a good thing.”

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.

Are You Prepared for the Next Earthquake?

Californians must practice and be prepared for the next earthquake. Being prepared can help your family survive and recover quickly after an earthquake. Today millions of people around the world will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during the annual Great Shakeout.

Here are some reminders for earthquake preparedness:
  • Identify the risk in your area. Go here to find out if you live in an earthquake prone zone.
  • Consider strengthening or retrofitting your home if it is not structurally sound. The California Brace and Bolt program can assist in strengthening your home.
  • Plan and practice with your family what to do in an earthquake.
  • Remove, relocate, or secure anything that could fall and hurt someone, block an exit, or start a fire.
  • Assemble a disaster preparedness kit with first aid supplies, canned food and a can opener, water, blanket, battery-operated radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
You may want to consider purchasing earthquake insurance. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not usually cover earthquake damage, and it is in your best interest to ensure that you are properly covered. In most cases, it can take 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to take care of this before the next big one happens.

I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to stay in touch by email, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson State Senator, 19th Senate District


Showing the unbeatable spirit that has made him a cycling icon, Peter Sagan capped off an amazing 2016 that saw him win the Visit California Sprint Jersey and add 2 stage wins to his 15 total at the Amgen Tour of California with his second consecutive World Championship title. 
With a flat course expected to end in a sprint finish, the 2017 World Championships in Qatar were a major goal for every sprinter in the professional peloton. After the dust had settled, the podium held only former World Champions Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, as the closest challengers to Peter’s title of World Champion.
The King of California and World Champion makes his return to California this November for the ultimate VIP Cycling event in Westlake Village! For more information, or to register for the Ultimate VIP Weekend click here.

How would you like to trade in your black tuxedo for a blue one?

United States Air Force Bands are world-renowned and look to recruit top talent from all communities across this great country. There are opportunities for instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, audio technicians and arrangers. Through musical performances, Air Force Bands honor our veterans and service members, inspire audiences and connect communities both in the U.S. and overseas to the Air Force and America.

To find out more and to get information on auditions and requirements, go to .

Hidden Track: Buckwheat ZydecoHey Ma Petit Fille

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

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol II, No. 19, October 2016

Bringing Home the Gold!

City Honored for Efficiency Programs

The City of Port Hueneme was recently honored with three Beacon Spotlight Awards for Best Practices in Energy Efficiency.

The Beacon Program is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative. The SEEC is an alliance between three non-profit organizations and California’s four Investor-Owned Utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commisssion.

Port Hueneme received  “Gold” Level awards for greenhouse gas reductions and sustainability practices. A 60% reduction in energy savings resulted in a “Platinum” Award.

The City has undertaken a range of activities from more efficient electrical use in city buildings, to homeowner assistance, to battery recycling.

Information on various city programs is available online.

Water efficient landscaping:

Green building:

Battery recycling:


Business waste evaluations:

Tree City USA:

Green parks:

Bicycle and walking trails:



Tracking the Sand

Ventura County Harbor Director Lyn Krieger discusses Channel Islands dredging project

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Lyn Krieger recently gave a presentation on dredging for Channel Islands Harbor.  It is the sand trap at Channel Islands that provides the replenishment for Hueneme Beach. Officially the project is designated as navigational dredging for C.I. Harbor. Consequently, the County of Ventura, led by Director Krieger is the lead agency for securing funding.

Ms. Krieger recounted that as early as 1943 the Naval Base was experiencing flooding due to the erosion of the shoreline caused by the Harbor jetties. Pictures taken in 1945 clearly show extensive erosion along the shore.

In 1953 Congress appropriated the funds to build Channel Islands Harbor. The spoils from the dredging were used to rebuild the Port Hueneme shoreline. The entire Surfside neighborhood was created from sediment dredged in the harbor construction.

Most importantly, Channel Islands Harbor was designed as the location of the sand trap that would hold two years’ worth of sediment for the periodic dredging.

Unfortunately, as Director Krieger pointed out, “There’s a difference between what Congress authorizes and what it budgets.”  By 2012 there had been “an eight year stretch where there was no Federal budget,” and while Channel Islands may have been short changed,  “a number of harbors were eliminated entirely from funding.”

During the disasterous 2013 cycle, the Army Corps of Engineers budget was based on 75% of the previous five year average — years that were short due to the Congressional budgetary failure and Continuing Resolutions that froze funding at radically reduced levels. 

Ms. Krieger gives a great deal of credit to Congresssmember Julia Brownley for getting the largest share of funding in project history for the 2014 replenishment.  2.25 million cubic yards of sand were moved around to Hueneme Beach. 

This year the recommended budget amount was $12.58 million, but the final appropriation was reduced to $4.5 million. Still one million cubic yards of sand are scheduled to reach Hueneme Beach beginning in October.

But the battle continues. Ms. Krieger had just returned from Washington, D.C., where she had been working with the California Association of Port Authorities to secure sufficient funding.
Describing a “good news, bad news” situation, Director Krieger lamented the failure of Congress to, once again, pass a budget. However, the Continuing Resolution that provides this year’s funding is based on last years budget — “one of the higher years,” she stated.

Unfortunately, the dredging is scheduled to continue into January, but the Continuing Resolution expires on December 9.  Further Congresssional action is needed.  “Without a long–term budget, there is no way for the Corps to get extra money to us,” Ms. Krieger explained. 

The continuing battles take their toll, not only erosion damage, but in time spent.  “When I first got here this was 5% of my job,”  the Director said, “now it’s 40%.”

The future seems to be troubled as well.  “There are a lot of competing interests. Revenue is flat and the cost of everything keeps going up.”

Director Krieger’s powerpoint is available:



Officer of the Year

The Carefree Living Association of Hueneme Bay recently hosted its annual First Responder Awards ceremony at the Association Clubhouse.

Port Hueneme Police Officer Matt Harbin was recognized as the Police Officer of the Year.  Officer Harbin has been a full-time officer since 2014, but began his career as a Police Explorer in 2010.  He is the son of Dispatch Supervisor Geri Harbin.

His commendation states, “Officer Harbin consistently and reularly leads the department in self-initiated contacts and arrests. He is known by his peers as a true team player and was recently chosen to be a Field Training Officer to new Reserve Officers.”

Fireman Delachone Short of the Ventura County Fire Department was honored as the Firefighter of the Year. Fire Captain Mark Frailey commented, “He is selfless in every way, putting the needs of others first — Fireman Short, a true professional.”

The Paramedic of the Year award was this year given to all the Gold Coast Paramedics. Gold Coast which traces its origins back to 1949, was cited for its outstanding cardiac care.


Local Authors at the Library

Librarian Bernadette MacDowell snaps a photo of author Angelique L’Amour

The Ray D. Preuter Library recognized “Indie Author Day” by hosting a presentation by local authors. 

Samantha Perkins presented her novel approach to teaching beginning piano, Handy Houses: Memorize the Piano Keys in 5 Minutes!

Ruby Lang described her childhood in England during World War II, having been both a child evacuee and a London resident during the Blitz. Her book, Faces In the Windows was written to honor the children and families who shared her experience.

Angelique L’Amour, the daughter of famous author Louis L’Amour, discussed the experience of maintaining a household while undergoing cancer treatment. Her book Chemo, Cupcakes, and Carpools covers a serious topic with levity and equanimity.


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

Isaac Newton once wrote, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore… whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Speaking of seashores, in my humble opinion, there is no better way to learn about Newton’s law of gravity, falling apples aside, than trying to construct a sandcastle at the beach.
The idea for the 21st Century version of a Hueneme Sand Sculpture contest was the brainchild of Donna Breeze who has always been passionate about keeping Hueneme Beach Park from remaining “the best kept secret in Ventura County.”  Since her entire family enjoyed digging in the warm sand, she figured that a castle competition might provide the perfect introduction to “The Friendly City by the Sea.” 

Brick Wahl

Cat Up a Tree

Neighbor’s cat stuck up in our back yard tree for the third day now. So far all attempts at rescue have failed. All it has to do is climb down six more feet and it can be rescued. So of course, being an idiot cat, it climbs up another ten or twenty or thirty feet. From there it could also go another six feet and leap onto the roof.


No one ever said cats were smart. Cute, OK, but not smart. Natural selection in house cats eliminated that sort of thinking in favor of snookumsness a long time ago. Hell, the dumb things can’t even conjugate a simple verb intelligently. I can haz cheeseburger, sheesh.

And so there we are, three days of standing around the trunk of the tree and looking up as the stupid if adorable little beast looks down and cries at us like it’s our fault.

Perhaps it is our fault. We domesticated them. Leopards don’t get stuck in trees. Then again leopards eat people. It’s important to keep things in perspective.

Tonight we will wind up picnicking around the tree, eating pork loin, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and drinking wine, just to torment the little dope into coming down for a morsel.

Not that it will work.

Instead we will probably be attacked by raccoons. They, at least, are smart. And annoying. If cats were smart they’d be just as annoying, and we’d never have domesticated them.

Problem solved.

Read More Brick Wahl at


Russia Moving Missile System to Kaliningrad

Tightening the vise on the Baltics?

Two New Littoral Combat Ships Get Their Names

USS Marinette and USS Mobile will be the latest additions to the LCS fleet.

Only in Texas?

The boom in Texas wind power may not transfer to other locations.

Air Quality Plan Available for Comment

The Draft 2016 Ventura County Air Quality Management Plan is now available for review and comment at

The District is proposing adoption of the 2016 AQMP, which presents Ventura County’s strategy (including related mandated elements) to attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard, as required by the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Photochemical air quality modeling indicates that Ventura County will attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard by 2020 using local, state, and federal clean air programs.
The 2016 AQMP presents a combined state and local strategy for attaining the 2008 federal 8-hour ambient air quality standard for ozone by the statutory compliance deadline of July 20, 2021.
The 2016 AQMP was prepared to satisfy federal Clean Air Act planning requirements for areas designated as serious federal 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas, including, but not limited to, updated air quality information, an updated emissions inventory, local and state air pollutant control measures, new emission forecasts and projections, a new federal conformity budget for transportation projects, a reasonable further progress demonstration for precursors of ozone (reactive organic gases and nitrogen oxides), a demonstration that Ventura County will attain the 2008 federal 8-hour ozone standard, and contingency measures.
The public hearing will be held at the following time and location:
December 13, 2016
1:30 p.m.
Ventura County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Meeting Room
800 South Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA  93009
You are invited to attend this meeting and be heard on this matter.  Please direct any comments, questions, or requests for additional information to Chuck Thomas at or 805/645-1427.
Written comments may be mailed to 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, CA, 93003, faxed to 805/645-1444, or e-mailed to< or 805/645-1427. 

Written comments may be mailed to 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, CA, 93003, faxed to 805/645-1444, or e-mailed to and should be received no later than November 9, 2016.

At the Museum

The Story of the USS Norton Sound

Sat, Oct 15, 11:00 AM 

Hueneme Museum 220 Market Street Port Hueneme

The anchor and the bell belonging to the Port Hueneme-based USS Norton Sound, the Navy’s first guided missile ship, are two of the most prized artifacts at the Museum.

Who better to tell the USS Norton Sound story than Navy veteran (1956-1958) Bernie Luskin, who served as Captain’s Yeoman aboard the famous ship.

After graduating high school (where he had taken typing), this first generation American (his parents were born in the Ukraine when it was Russia) was assigned to manage the Captain’s Office. He breezed through military office management courses and was advised by his superiors to enroll at Ventura College—a suggestion that would radically change the trajectory of his life.

He would not only earn his AA, BA, MA and Ed.D., but would also be licensed as a school psychologist and Marriage and Family Therapist.

Dr. Luskin, a proud alumnus of Ventura College, has been the CEO of eight colleges and universities (including Moorpark and Oxnard Colleges); divisions of several Fortune 500 companies, authored best-selling books and produced Emmy award-winning television programs. 
His wife Toni Luskin is an accomplished lifetime equestrian and holds a Ph.D. in Human Development. The Luskin family boasts two sons, Matteo and Ryan, and have permanently settled in Moorpark, California.


Coming October 23:  Ventura County Pioneers Lucy Levy and Minnie Cohn Discuss Local Jewish History

Famed Re-enactors to Present

Connie Korenstein (Lucy Levy) is a retired educator who devotes her time now to historic research, tours, writing and performing living history presentations, historic fashion consulting and fashion shows. She is a docent at Heritage Square and the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, as well as the Dudley House in Ventura.  Connie has performed a variety of historic characters throughout Ventura County.
Diane Mautner (Minnie Cohn) is an educator, speech pathologist, and a twice-published author who also docents at Heritage Square.  In addition to working on a collection of biographies based on diverse characters she met while traveling with her husband Ray to all fifty states, she is looking forward to the publication of a children’s picture book at the end of the year.
Connie and Diane have collaborated on several other living history programs including “Music of the Gilded Age to the Broadway Stage” and “The Brandeis Daughters in Conversation” and “An Interview with Sarah Josepha Hale, The Godmother of Thanksgiving.”

Hidden Track: The Dropkick Murphys — “Which Side Are You On?

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

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 18, September 2016

San Salvador Comes to Channel Islands

The replica of Cabrillo’s famous ship of discovery paid a visit to Channel Islands Harbor

Kathy Long Bids Adieu

Supervisor Long Speaks at the Bard Mansion

Third District Supervisor Kathy Long bid farewell to the city she has represented for the past twenty years.

In a presentation to the Friends of the Bard Mansion, she recalled Astronaut Jim Lovell’s Christmas broadcast from Apollo 8, viewing the Earth as a “grand oasis in the vastness of space.” 

Taking the long view, she decribed her efforts by refernecing Nelson Henderson, “planting trees under whose shade I do not expect to sit.”  “My two decades in office are just sand on the beach,” she mused.

The Supervisor cited three areas of particular pride:  Keeping Santa Paula Hospital open, serving as co-chair of the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century to advance the interests of Naval Base Ventura County, and working to protect Ormond Beach the “last remaining coastal wetlands” in California with its “great economic value”. 

Ms. Long acknowledged that any achievement “takes the community” to accomplish, “working hard to never lose track of who you serve.” 

Although public service can be at times fractious and difficult, the Supervisor concluded by reminding the audience of “the joy of sharing this wonderful oasis.”

When asked what she planned to do in retirement, her answer was simple, “Play,” she said.

Tracy Sisson-Phillips, Kathy Long, and Sylvia Muñoz-Schmopp share a moment at Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Anticipating the Unexpected

Dr. Melissa Mizdor addresses the Regional Defense Partnership

In a recent presentation to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century, Dr. Melissa Midzor, Director, Electronic Warfare Integrated Laboratories Division Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, discussed the powerful but invisible world of electronic warfare and testing.

Dr. Midzor set the stage by describing how the Warfare Lab can integrate real or simulated hardware with real or simulated environments.  Just as in a video game, a formation of defenders can be deployed against a formation of threats. “In the lab, you can control the environment,” Dr. Mizdor explained. 

“How can they talk together? How can they work together?” Testing in the lab is designed to eliminate some of the interoperability problems that surfaced during the Afghan War.

Venturing into “gee whiz” territory, Dr. Mizdor described the High Power Chamber which contains radio waves so powerful “they would melt a normal chamber”. 

The Warfare Lab is also connected to different labs across the country, allowing for real time mission level testing among multiple entities.  A simulated UAV can be “flying” in one lab while connected to other labs saving “gobs of testing”, and millions of dollars in the real world. 

With all the success of the Warfare Lab, Dr, Mizdor also noted some challenges: the increasingly crowded RF spectrum; funding that has dropped off after the Iraq War; and an acquisition process where “compatibility is buried way down there somewhere.”

Looking forward, Dr. Mizdor sees the challenge of the Warfare Lab as anticipating the unexpected. [We need to be] “working on waveforms we’ve never seen before,” she said.  Simulations are only as good as the imagination of their designers.  [We should] “use our technology to emulate the art of the possible” instead of trying to “replicate what’s already out there.” 


Electric Cars on Display

Alternative fuels advocate Kent Bullard shows off his new Nissan Leaf

Recently a number of electric car owners in conjunction with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District met at Channel Islands Harbor to display a wide variety of electric vehicles both old and new. APCD is sponsoring a Discount Voucher program to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.


From the Quirky

To the Exotic


On January 23, 2014, Ventura County APCD and Plug in Central Coast hosted a public workshop to discuss the recently released EV Readiness Plan and EV Charging Station Maps. This Plan was developed under the California Energy Commission Grant No. ARV-11-002. In addition, this workshop provided information on current grant opportunities to install publicly accessible EV charging stations in the county.

On September 1, 2016, Ventura County APCD staff held a free drawing for 75 EV Discount Vouchers worth $2,200 off certain Battery EVs and $1,100 off other Plug-in Battery and Hybrid EVs. There are 37 EV Vouchers remaining after the drawing, but the EV Vouchers for the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Fiat EV, and BMW i3 are no longer available. Download the short PEV Voucher Discount Application here for PEVs and voucher amounts still available for the program, and submit to our office. Remaining vouchers will be issued on a first-come, first served basis.

For more information, contact Stan Cowen at (805) 645-1408 or Vouchers may only be used at participating Ventura County dealerships. Make your best deal, and then show them the voucher for additional savings. Local dealerships have agreed to match the voucher amount with at least an equal discount off the sales price, which is in addition to manufacturer discounts, state and federal incentives. Per APCD Board: Vouchers may not be used with PEV trade-ins, but normal lease expiration is allowed. Vouchers may be used toward vehicle purchases or leases.

Beach Showers Turned Off

The Beach Showers were turned off due to tampering/vandalism and excessive water run-off. Apparently, users started packing the button with sand so that the shower would stay on, unfortunately for long periods of time.  It got a lot of notice and complaints due to the drought, so the showers were turned off.  The City will be working on a modification that will time the duration of the shower being on.

—From City Staff

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

Isaac Newton once wrote, “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore… whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Speaking of seashores, in my humble opinion, there is no better way to learn about Newton’s law of gravity, falling apples aside, than trying to construct a sandcastle at the beach.
The idea for the 21st Century version of a Hueneme Sand Sculpture contest was the brainchild of Donna Breeze who has always been passionate about keeping Hueneme Beach Park from remaining “the best kept secret in Ventura County.”  Since her entire family enjoyed digging in the warm sand, she figured that a castle competition might provide the perfect introduction to “The Friendly City by the Sea.” 

Brick Wahl

Four score and seven tweets ago…

Donald Trump has utterly transformed the way the media covers the presidential election. Now, running on issues is considered a weakness by both Trump and the media. Try as you might, you will see almost zero coverage of any actual issues this week. Trump and the Alt-Right dominate the media’s thinking. When Tom Brokaw screams that Hillary needs to see a neurologist immediately, you can see just how fundamentally news coverage has been altered.

And unless you spend hours daily on Twitter, you will be completely mystified as to how this is happening.

But it’s happening because Trump turned Twitter into the dominant medium this campaign, even more so than television itself, and on Twitter the news cycle runs in seconds, with everyone trying to be the first person to tweet the latest story.

When Gary Johnson made his “What is Aleppo” goof on Morning Joe (on MSNBC), he was barely a minute away from the set when panelist Mark Halperin–one of the country’s leading political reporters–got him on his iPhone. Within two minutes that conversation was broadcast on the air, with Johnson still inside the building, but even more remarkably, Halperin tweeted about that phone conversation while still talking to Johnson. That news cycle was literally less than sixty seconds, and “What is Aleppo” was trending within two minutes (I watched it happen.)

I think the reason that news coverage of the campaign is so distorted is that political reporters and pundits are addicted to Twitter. 140 characters or less. Even telegraphy was not so terse. Ironically, though, vastly more of us voters get our news on social media from Facebook instead of Twitter, and the disconnect between media and voters has never been so stark.

We each live in our own social media universes. You and me here, on Facebook, and reporters and pundits on Twitter, and neither platform can access the other. That happens second hand, via television news. Twitterized reporting is stretched out into news stories and pundits shouting at each other, which filters into Facebook and down to us. “I was just asking a few farmers about grain prices & all they wanted to talk about was how the Clinton campaign handled the media Sunday” Mark Halperin tweeted today. It’s like policy issues don’t even exist.

Trump will lose the election–he gets slaughtered on Facebook–but his campaign stays even in the media because he tweets incessantly, and the media follow every tweeted utterance like it is a message from on high.

No one, not even Hillary now, can compete for the media’s attention when the media have become conceptually twitterized. It certainly beats doing any real issues reporting. You can’t discuss, say, the ramifications of the new Filipino president pivoting his nation away from the U.S. and towards China in 140 characters or less. Anything politically newsworthy today can be no more than a catch phrase. Even sound bites are too long for Twitter.

And certainly sound thinking is.

The Gettysburg Address, a mere 272 words long, has 1,369 too many characters and spaces for Twitter. 87 yrs ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty & dedicated to the prop that ppl are created equal. That’s about all that fits.

Then on to the real news that Lincoln picked up a case of smallpox in Gettysburg.


British Cadets Stuck on Ship

Hanjin bankruptcy leaves cadets with no place to go.

New Littoral Combat Ship Launched

Future USS Wichita hits the water. (video)

Navy Links Missle with Joint Strike Fighter

A new advance in defensive capability. (video)


The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum made history on September 17, 2016.

While Ventura County celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month included the Consul de Mexico “El Grito” at Olivas Adobe and the Oxnard Mexican Independence Day Fiestas Patrias, Port Hueneme City Councilmember Sylva Muñoz-Schnopp‘s event at the Museum was the very first celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in the city’s history.

It’s probably about time. Hispanics make up more than 54 percent of the population in the “Friendly City by the Sea.”

National recognition of Hispanics and their contributions to this country started in 1968 as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson.  The celebration was subsequently expanded on August 17, 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to a thirty-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

In between being delighted by the colorful Oxnard College Ballet Foklorico and the world-class Mariachi Aguilas de Mexico, Ms. Schnopp introduced the standing room audience to the history of the Hispanic culture here in Ventura County. 

Did you know that:

   · Presently (in 2016), 56.6 million Hispanics make up 17 per cent of the population in the United States?

     · By 2060, the number of Hispanics is projected to double to 119 million.  To put that figure into perspective, the number of Hispanics in this country will be second only to Mexico, where the population is expected reach 123 million?

      ·  By 2020, the spending power of Hispanics will exceed that of millennials?
Thanks to a generous contribution by Dr. Purna Pai, the Distinguished Speaker Series at the Museum, which averages two presentations a month, is now being videotaped.  You can find a video of the Hueneme Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration by clicking on:

(Part I)  (Part II)


At the Museum

Director of Harbor Department, Channel Islands Harbor,

Lyn Krieger

will explain the Channel Islands Harbor Sand Trap Dredging and Replenishment of Hueneme Beach
at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum
on October 1, 2016 at 11:00AM


Lyn Krieger, who will have just returned from meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, will share the latest news about the October dredging.  During her 20-year tenure, she has overseen 12 dredging cycles that have moved over 17 million cubic yards of sand. 

As Director, Ms. Krieger oversees Harbor operations, including ground leasing, development projects, Harbor Patrol, maintenance, and finance.
She has supervised projects to enhance or upgrade both private and public developments including Channel Islands Harbor Marina, Marine Emporium Landing, Hampton Inn, Toppers, Anacapa Isle Marina, Waterfront Homes, Channel  Islands Landing, Channel Islands Boating Center,  Channel islands Maritime Museum, the Harbor revetment, the public launch ramp and Paz Mar Apartments.

Lyn Krieger received her BA from Wheaton College, and her MA from the University of Chicago in the areas of business, public policy and law.

CLU Announces Center for Non-Profit Leadership

The Center for Non-Profit Leadership has moved to California Lutheran University. Information is available at the website:

Hidden Track: Aaron Neville — “Gotta Serve Somebody

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

The Hueneme Pilot

The ePilot

Vol. II, No. 17, August 2016

August Afloat

A busy weekend in Channel Islands Harbor

History at the Museum

Penny Wolcott and Joanna Bard Newton share a moment        Photo BMK

Georgia Newton Pulos presented a history of the Bard family in Port Hueneme as part of the Port Hueneme Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series.  More than a speech, the presentation provided an opportunity for many of the founding figures of the Port City to renew connections.

Georgia’s mother Joanna is the daughter of Richard and Joan (Boyd) Bard, the granddaughter of Sen. Thomas Bard.  The Boyds began ranching in the Santa Inez Valley in 1885. Their ranch, Los Olivos, was on the site of what is now the village of the same name. 

The Bards married in 1916 and set up housekeeping in “The Bungalow”, the house now known as Quarters A.  Joanna was born in 1917 while her father was away serving as an Army officer in World War I.

In 1918, Victory was celebrated with a big parade in Oxnard and Richard got down to the business of running the Berylwood estate.

Berylwood at the time was a self-sufficient agricultural operation with both food and cash crops as well as dairy cows.  It was in this pastoral setting that the Bard offspring spent their childhood under the strict supervision of a German nurse.

Joanna attended Hueneme Grammer School before departing for the Santa Barbara Girls’ School.

Excitement came to the local beach when the famous Rudolph Valentino came to town to film The Sheik.  Joanna recalls heading out with her nurse to watch the filming and catch a glimpse of Hollywood glamour. 

In 1925, Richard began his fourteen year quest to build the Port of Hueneme. He made so many trips to Washington, D.C. that the fledgling Pan American Airlines awarded him a commemorative plate.  Finally, in 1939 his dream was realized with the groundbreaking for the new harbor.

Whatever plans Richard may have had were soon overwhelmed by the onset of World War II.  Richard returned to service as one of the famous “Monuments Men” rescuing stolen artwork from the Nazis. He eventually served as the military governor of Kassel, Germany before returning home and winning election to the county Board of Supervisors.

Meanwhile, Berylwood became a military base. Quonset huts replaced vegetables in the garden and the sound of boots marching on the cobblestone walkways marked the end of its pastoral existence.

Joanna was never a fan of our famous local weather. “Dripping fog or howling east winds,” is how she recalls it.  In 1951 Richard moved his family to the drier climes of Somis, leaving the old estate in the hands of the U.S. Navy.  The Bards’ tenure in the city they had founded had come to an end.


Georgia Newton Pulos presents at the Museum as Joanna Bard Newton looks on

The Great Bank Robbery

Orvene Carpenter, long time Mayor and Councilmember, recalls the time the Bank of Hueneme fell victim to a plot that could only have been hatched in Hollywood.

It seems that during the darkest days of the Great Depression, a movie crew came to town looking for a perfect location to shoot a gangster film about a bank robbery. They just loved the interior of the old bank and deemed it a perfect setting for their cinematic caper.

For several days they set up filming in intricate detail scene after scene, many involving “stage money” as a prop for the robbery.

On their last day of shooting, it seems the property master had forgotten to bring the stage money.  One can imagine the scene with the great Hollywood director berating his hapless employee for his stupid negligence.  As this was only going to be a very short scene, would the bank be willing to help out and provide some real cash to substitute for the stage money? Such a favor would save a great deal of time and probably the prop master’s job as well.

Wanting to be a good sport and a part of Hollywood history as well, a bank employee obligingly provided a bundle of cash to provide an air of authenticity to the production.

This was all very exciting for the sleepy hamlet, and with the entire town watching, the director yelled, “Action!”  Unfortunately, there was some problem or other marked by confusion and a display of temperament. In frustration the director called for a break. The actors and crew headed outside, got into their cars and drove off, never to be seen again.

Oh yes, the money went with them.

The “camera” proved to be nothing more than a wooden box as empty as the bank vault  they left behind.

A video of the presentation is available at

Wings Over Camarillo


Hellcat waiting for action

The Commemorative Air Force at the Camarillo Airport has a very special collection of aircraft, most in flying condition. A B-25, F6F, and SNJ are all part of the collection, but the crown jewel is a Supermarine Spitfire that was given a frame-up restoration in the local hanger.

All these aircraft and many others were on static display and in the air at the annual Wings Over Camarillo Airshow.

For anyone interested in old warbirds and local aviation history the CAF Museum, 455 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, is open Tuesdays thru Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.


The Sheriff’s new chopper

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

Ray D. Prueter, who passed away at the age of 87, would have cheered the resurrection of the Hueneme Pilot—first as a print weekly from 2008 to 2011 and then as an electronic newspaper in 2015—for restoring a sense of identity to Port Hueneme.   He never got over the fact that during his first year in office, the original Port Hueneme Pilot (1951-63) unceremoniously closed its doors and Dama Hanks, the editor, would have to settle for writing the “Pilot Section” of the Oxnard Press-Courier as a special feature every Thursday. 

Prueter was an individual who managed to get along with nearly everyone—a skill that would be sorely tested during “Annexation Wars” with Oxnard and the seemingly never-ending skirmishes over the Port. 

What was his secret?  According to two-time mayor Anthony Volante, “Ray, who was a mentor to me, did not consider himself a politician.”

Yet Prueter and his council were not always successful.  Looking to annex the beach communities west of Channel Island Harbor, they ultimately lost battles with both Oxnard and the Navy, whom they hoped to persuade into permitting a public right of way through the base. 

Prueter may have been a Rotarian, a 50-year member of the Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce, and Port Hueneme’s first Citizen of the Year, but he, along with other local businessmen, wasn’t above garbing himself in glitzy women’s apparel for the infamous Harbor Days’ “Men’s Follies.”  If you are interested, there are photos on file at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum.  In addition, Prueter valued his lifetime Hueneme PTA membership, met regularly with the Channel Islands Navy League and served on the board of the Friends of the Thomas R. Bard Mansion. 

Brick Wahl

Sham 69

I saw Sham 69 at the Whiskey (the Dead Kennedys opened) back in 1979. Right there on the Sunset Strip. Great set. I loved Sham 69. Loved that first album. OK, it was dumb. Way dumb. The Ramones looked like intellectuals compared to Sham 69.  It wasn’t exactly poetry. It was oi. Oi! None of us Californians had ever even heard somebody say oi! before punk rock. Now snot nosed rich punks from Pacific Palisades would say oi! Oi? Yeah, oi! It was a very deep time.

The hippies had Dylan. The Beats had Ginsberg. And punks had oi. Well not all punks. Just the less coherent ones. Swilling beers and yelling oi! They don’t say it now, though. They grew up to be lawyers. But this was 1979, and they were all here at the Whiskey for Sham 69.

Though criminal as they tried desperately to look, none of them stole the microphone when Jimmy Pursey, the singer, stuck the mic in the audience for the sing along. A bit of English football camaraderie, that. If the Kids are United, we all chanted, they shall never be divided. Deep stuff. Rhymed even.

To this day when I hear that ferocious guitar riff I can’t help singing along, me, a very late middle aged jazz critic, singing if the kids are united, they can never be divided.

Sham 69 did White Riot in their encore, too, the Clash song. Jimmy Pursey stuck the microphone into the crowd again and the kids all sang I wanna riot, a riot of my own!

They repeated it. Repeated it again. And started to repeat it one more time when the microphone cut out. Jimmy pulled the microphoneless cord back from the crowd and shrugged. “They’ve stolen the microphone!” a stage hand yelled.

The band roared on, Jimmy grabbed another mic and finished the tune. The audience was mad with testosterone, swirling, bouncing, pushing and shoving. It was a moment of punk rock heaven. Meanwhile the stage was flooded by stage hands and sound men and bouncers peering into the boiling mass, looking for the culprit. “No one leaves till we get the microphone back!” someone announced over the PA.

Let me explain. I was in a punk rock band then — the drummer — and we had drums and guitars and amplifiers and even an avocado ranch to practice at. But we didn’t have a microphone. Our singer had to scream bloody murder to be heard above our proto hardcore din.

Suddenly right there in front of me was this beautiful, state of the art, zillion dollar microphone. Being a drummer, I didn’t make the connection between it and us, but my guitar player–who shall remain nameless, as he has three beautiful daughters and a grandchild–did. “Take the mic!” he yelled into my ear. “What?” “Take the mic! Steal the mic! We need a mic!”

So I stole it. It took a tug or two but it came off the cord. I stood there in the packed crowd, staring at it. “Hide it!” my guitar player yelled. “Hide the mic! Stick it in your pants!”  So I did.

A small army of bouncers began moving through the crowd. Big dudes, muscular, mean. The sound man announced that someone had stolen the microphone and no one was going to leave ’till it was returned. They began patting people down on the floor. “We better return the mic,” I said stupidly. My guitar player rolled his eyes. “Then they’ll know that you stole it,” he said.

It dawned on me that it was actually me who had stolen it, and it was in my pants, feigning manhood. I must have looked panicky. “Drop it on the floor,” my guitar player said, “and we’ll tell them we found it.”

So I retrieved it from my pants and dropped it on the floor. He picked it up and yelled “Hey! We found it! We found it!” He held the microphone aloft for all to see. Several bouncers rushed over. “He found it,” one said. “He found it,” said another.

My guitar player said, “Since we found it for you, can we go backstage and meet the band?” The bouncers rolled their eyes. “C’mon, we found this expensive microphone for you!” He whined like that for thirty seconds. “OK, alright, let them backstage for a minute.”

And lucky felons that we were, we were led through the mass of sweating kids, past several other bouncers and either up or down some ancient stair to the backstage area.

It wasn’t what I expected. No lush chairs. No cocaine on mahogany tables. No greenless M&Ms. And the girls appeared perfectly nice and fully clad. Someone with an English accent said these guys found the microphone and want to meet the band. The girls rolled their eyes prettily.

We were led into another room and there, exhausted, was Sham 69. Oh my god, real rock stars. It was like meeting the Rolling Stones in 1965, if the Rolling Stones were midgets. Because Sham 69 were dinky, like five foot tall. Well, five foot four maybe. We towered over them. I remember them peering up through exhausted eyes. Back home guys our size were always trouble, the toughest football hooligans. Here we were just kleptomaniac punk rockers.

I shook Jimmy Pursey’s hand. “You were great,” I said, with genuine originality. “Fanks,” he said.

Their manager ushered us out again. “C’mon now, the lads have another set to do.” Back up (or down) the stairs we went, thanking the bouncers profusely. They thanked us for finding the microphone. “You guys really helped us out,” they said. “Most people would have tried to steal it.” I still feel a tinge rotten about that.

Then they let us out a back door and into the December night, where the punks were chucking beers at passing cars.

Meanwhile a buddy of mine I didn’t know yet mouthed off to the bouncer at the door when they tried to search him for the microphone and got worked over good. Beat up by bouncers at the Whiskey for being such a punk. He told me this twenty years later and I laughed it was so funny but I bought him a beer for his pain.

When he reads this I’ll have to buy him a whole six pack.


What Climate Change Will Look Like

A dispatch from Baton Rouge.

F-35 Still Falls Short

Pentagon’s chief tester points out problems.

New Littoral Combat Ship Delivered

USS Detroit scheduled for commissioning.

At the Museum

Councilmember and former Mayor, Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp will be leading our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on September 17, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Since the history of Ventura County is richly threaded with the names of Spanish and Mexican pioneers, we decided to celebrate Hispanic History Month and invited Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp to help us out.

Not only does she trace her heritage back to the early 20th Century in Ventura County, but as a former executive with AT&T Wireless, she also served as a former National Director of Multi-Cultural Initiatives, where she led the way in Spanish-language marketing, media, and public relations.

Those of you who attended her presentation last year on Mexico’s Cristero Revolution already know Councilmember Schnopp to be an entertaining speaker, expert researcher, and gifted historian. In addition to her wealth of expertise and experience, you can’t help but notice her deep commitment to the citizens of Port Hueneme.  All you have to do is look back at her fruitful meetings with State officials to ensure the protection of the Hueneme Beach shoreline when federal funding proved inadequate; her ongoing efforts to promote local business with the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC) and the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA); or her successful lobbying for Naval Base Ventura County with the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) Taskforce.

Back to School Tips From the Sheriff’s Office

It’s that time of year; the first day of school is August 24, 2016. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind motorists, students and parents to practice basic traffic safety skills when traveling to school. The start of the new school year brings traffic congestion around the schools as well as a rise in pedestrian traffic. We suggest car-pooling or using an alternate drop off and pick up site away from the schools. This will help relieve traffic delays. The following tips are provided to ensure the safety of the students and serve as a reminder to be vigilant while traveling in a school zone. Parents, please discuss traffic safety with your children whether they are walking, riding a bicycle or being driven to school.


  • When crossing the street, continue to scan both directions for approaching cars.
  • Pay attention to all traffic signals and crossing guards.
  • Use marked crosswalks and cross at controlled intersections when possible.
  • Wear reflective clothing or bright colors so drivers can see you.
  • Plan a safe walking route to and from the school or bus stop.
  • When waiting for the school bus, stay out of the street and avoid horseplay.
  • If riding a bike, ALWAYS wear a helmet. They are required on all bicycle riders under the age of 18. It’s the law.
  • Ride on the right side, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Walk your bike when crossing the street.
  • Know bicycle laws.
  • Be watchful around schools and bus stops for children in the street. Do not double park.
  • Pay attention to crossing guards.
  • Watch your speed in school and residential zones (25MPH). Leave early and give yourselves ample time to arrive at your destination.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road.
  • Do not text or use your cell phone while driving.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully, be observant in all directions.
  • Impeding the flow of traffic to wait to enter a school parking lot could result in a citation.
  • Do not allow your child to exit the vehicle into traffic lanes; safely drop them off at curbside.
By adhering to the traffic related tips provided, the number of collisions in an around school zones can be reduced. Please drive safely. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is committed to traffic safety through education and enforcement. From the first day of school and the upcoming weeks ahead, there will be extra uniformed officers by our schools addressing the rules of the road, with emphasis added to distracted drivers and seat-belt violations, as well as pedestrian laws.

Hidden Track: Rodney Crowell — “I’m Still Learning How to Fly

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