Getting real

30 01 2015

I was looking over our comments today on our website (VCReporter) and came across one on the editorial where a particular person “Fresno27” said we (I) was ill (I’ll [sic]) informed about the Affordable Care Act so We (I) should therefore “get real.”

The comment is actually: Get real, or do you work for “them.” Obama care does nothing to address the actual cost of health care. So eventually premiums will go up taking a bigger bite out of one’s paycheck! Maybe you should talk w/ Raymond Freeman, or do some actual research before you spout off on a subject you are I’ll[sic] informed.

The fact is, we (I) never claimed to be an expert on this subject. We (I) wrote about things that are fundamentally true, some things that needed to change and did and that millions have signed up for health insurance.  And that’s really it. But this comment says premiums will go up. And i concur–I even wrote in the editorial that they will. But they were going to go up anyway  with or without the ACA. This person, apparently, wants solutions to out of control  health care costs in general. Don’t we all?

I get where Fresno is frustrated. I am too. So are a lot of people. But the truth is, I have no clue how our legislators are trying to fix increasing health care costs, if they are at all, or whether they need to be as high as they are or not. A legislator or two will spout of about trying to do something, but, eh … nothing really changes. In the meantime, however, the ACA helps prevent those high costs from falling on those who simply can’t afford to pay them.

Mr or Miss Fresno27, i get your dilemma. But I do hope you get mine. Should we just wait until legislators untangle this sickening mess of out-of-sight health care costs or should we put something in place that will help people get their bills covered and the health care they need? The latter seems reasonable while we figure out the former.

Long time, no blog

8 08 2014

Howdy, partner.

I apologize for falling off the map…. I have been doing most of my semiquasi blog posts via the great social networking machine called Facebook. But here I am, about to lose my mind with this fair traffic in Downtown Ventura, upset about Gaza, Ukraine, ISIS in Iraq, frustrated about the drought, anxious about upcoming elections, etc., etc., etc.

At least I have my health. But I did lose two friends to cancer this year. I did find out a friend of the VCReporter, a young man who had stage four testicular cancer, made a full recovery and is back in school. So there’s that.

And off we go into election 2014.

Thinking about Oxnard’s new city manager

11 04 2014

After reading this today, it got me thinking… Is there really ever a right person to manager an entire city. My gosh, look at Bell ! What a crying shame that was! Oxnard has had its own issues. Modesto too. Recently, though, I have had a couple of people come to me about trying to stave off what may be a disaster in the making with Greg Nyhoff. I, however, have a little more faith in Nyhoff. I can’t really explain why at this point — it’s a gut feeling– and I may eat my words later, but I am open to giving this guy a chance. After all, given Oxnard’s track record, who would actually be willing to take on such a task? And as far as I can tell, even though Modesto has various difficult and frustrating shortcomings under Nyhoff’s leadership, he took his position in Modesto on the brink of the Great Recession. Having lived in the Central Valley from 2006-2008 and I was in regular communication with friends there afterward, I truly know how bad it got and whoever was in charge at that time had quite a task to deal with. Since Modesto didn’t fall off into the great abyss of insolvency, I’d say, bravo. You didn’t leave your city in shambles. And that’s more than most could have hoped for.

I know as a journalist, I have due diligence to report and keep our local officials in check, but I’d hate to throw the baby out with the bath water. In fact, this guy hasn’t even gotten into the tub yet. Still, though, Oxnard needs a courageous and ethical leader at its helm. I hope Nyhoff is the one and the City Council made the best decision… I’m optimistic.

Obama gets worst ratings for State of the Union address

30 01 2014

As much as I’d like to give my haters what they want and agree that Obama is failing, the bottom like is this:
No one cares, period. (Yes some do but not enough.)
Too many are disenfranchised from the electoral process, it doesn’t matter who is president. I think john McCain and Romney would have had just as bad or a worse turnout for their state of the union because, well… We are tired. Of the same ole bs.
Not sure when we will care again when we have streaming video and the internet.

If I hear one more Republican saying…

24 01 2014

nonsense like this:

I swear I’m gonna…. Go about my regular business because it’s just not surprising any more.

In my opinion, most likely these few vocal extreme right wingers will be the demise of their party.

The 2014 political landscape could change drastically after November. Only time will tell. Time for some damage control, and maybe some duct tape for these loudmouths who clearly have no idea how damaging their words are.

I’m in love … with Paris!

6 01 2014

After an eight day trip to Paris, I have come back with a new perspective on life and the world and America and my hometown and so much much more. 

In a city established several thousands of years ago, compared to the US and especially my little hometown of Ventura, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Maybe i turned a blind eye, but in Paris, i saw no blatant racism or condemnation over religious issues. I didn’t hear bickering over immigrants. Obesity appears to be a nonissue. It seems more people smoke cigarettes there than here but we have more people dying from lung cancer. People are open about sex and the human body. They aren’t ashamed about nudity. There is a certain richness, decadence, to the lifestyle of Parisians but it is all so very authentic, it makes me wonder what the hell we are doing here. 

My eight days in Paris has me on a mind bender right now. Not sure I will ever be the same.

Massage Parlors in Ventura–who’s to blame?

1 08 2013

In June, the Massage parlor across the street from my work at the corner of Main and Fir streets in Ventura–and I am referring to the one that has shaded windows and a very small waiting room, right next to Elixir and Ventiki–was the scene of a horrific crime. The sole woman there was confronted by a man just released on parole, was raped repeatedly and beaten and her only words were no police. We know the owner of the parlor is Jimi of Jimi’s Tattoos in Port Hueneme. I haven’t asked him yet if I can talk to his staff about their career “choice” yet. Maybe I should.

But it really gets under my skin that we know nothing about whether these women are actually choosing these careers or paying off some debt to come to America. I am open minded and think we should just legalize prostitution and regulate it. I am not for women who fear the police after being brutally beaten.

I just saw a man walk into the parlor just a few minutes. My first instinct was to go talk to him when he was done with his massage about his experience, about whether or not he knew anything about the women who work there other than whether they have soft hands or calloused hands. Since the city of Ventura acts like it has it hands tied, it won’t set aside money to do repeated sting operations on suspicious outlets, I wonder if there was some way to stop the demand–talk to the customers, wait outside until they are finished–then maybe finally we could get some traction on this.

As i stated before, I am all for LEGALIZING prostitution and regulating it but what we are doing right now, what we don’t know about these women, the owners of these parlors, it’s not right. What can be done?