COVID Deaths: A Closer Look at U.S. Data

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in our nation is of great concern.  Looking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website in order to decipher the death rates is like decoding impossible encryption.  This data, however, was deciphered by Dr. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Johns Hopkins University in her webinar titled “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” on November 11, 2020. Dr. Briand consolidated the COVID-19 death data from mid-March to mid-September 2020.  The data reported shows…

Reconnecting with the Past: Life Stories from a WWII Veteran

For Americans, World War II is fast becoming a distant memory from the textbooks of school classrooms. Very few people are left with first-hand remembrance of the patriotism that mobilized thousands to do whatever they could to fight for freedom. Leonard Zerlin doesn’t need a textbook because he lived through those pages of history. In fact, he has photo albums of archival pictures that he personally took during his time in the military…images of everything from daily life to the horrible realities of war’s devastation that capture a time of…

Los Angeles District Attorneys: Prop 20

As prosecutors who see how changes in the law actually play out in the justice system, we strongly support Proposition 20 which appears on the November ballot. Proposition 20 will make reasonable changes to fix some of the unintended consequences caused by Propositions 47 and 57 and AB 109 to make them comport with that for which the voters were told they were voting. Early Release for Violent Crimes When voters enacted Proposition 57, they were told it provided early release for “nonviolent offenders.”  Unfortunately, due to the way Prop…

The Other Death Toll

During the initial “stay at home” orders, most emergency rooms were eerily quiet.  Patients were not seeing their primary care physicians for preventative visits, and elective preventive procedures, such as colonoscopies or mammograms, were being deferred.  Emergency room visits for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes were abnormally low.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that “emergency department visits declined by 23% for heart attacks, 20% for strokes and 10% for uncontrolled high blood sugar in people with diabetes.”  With the high level of stress and fear of…

Vote Now; Here’s How

For the upcoming 2020 November general elections, Governor Newsom issued an executive order requiring every registered voter in California to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. If you have not received a mail-in ballot by October 16, 2020, contact the Ventura County Recorder’s office.  There are multiple other ways to vote. In-person voting is the recommended method of voting.  1. Early in-person voting began October 6 and will continue until October 30.  For registered Ventura County voters, your early voting center is the Ventura County Election Division Office at 800 Victoria Rd,…

California Bills Newsom has Signed into Law

AB 979 (Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena) AB 979 requires quotas based on race, ethnic, sexual preference, and transgender status for publicly held corporations headquartered in California. By the end of 2021 corporations need to have at least one board member from an underrepresented community, such as people of color or LGBT people. Corporations would be fined if they fail to comply, and the target would increase in 2022, requiring at least two or three directors from underrepresented communities, depending on the size of the board. AB 2218 (Miguel Santiago, D-Los…

How do you Handle Your Stress

“If you know the point of balance, you can settle the details.  If you can settle the details, you can stop running around.  Your mind will become calm.  If your mind becomes calm, you can think in front of a tiger.  If you can think in front of a tiger, then you will surely succeed.”  Mencius, Chinese philosopher. Stress happens. These past seven months have probably been the most stressful we, as a nation, have seen in our lifetimes.  The fear of the coronavirus, the shutdown of our world, the…

Relationship Talk: Q and A #3

Q:  Help!  Some of my closest friends and family members are choosing to vote for another candidate than I am.  I don’t want to lose close relationships.  How do I handle this?    —Samantha from Westlake Village A:  Sometimes it can be very challenging to talk with others who hold differing political views, especially when those views are expressed in, shall we say, passionate ways.  We’ve all seen discussions turn personal and ugly when it comes to politics, whether it be on the nightly news or on social media sites.  …

People of Conejo: How COVID Affects a Hairdresser

By Deidre Fisher as told to L. R. Ames On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18, my whole world changed.  That day, I learned that I—along with millions of other working people—would be prohibited from going to our jobs.   Just like that, starting the very next day, government orders had shut down “nonessential” workplaces because a virus had come to us.   My immediate response was one of great fear.  I felt then—as I do now—that shutting down was a catastrophe.  Our country’s economy had been the best it had been…

Seniors Rule: Ninety Year Olds on Our Tennis Courts

In the United States Tennis Association, there are three age groups—18 and over, 40 and over, and 55 and over. But there are eight men playing near Newbury Park High School who make up their own age bracket. The youngest is 74! The four oldest have played together for 25 years—Bob Fisher, the eldest at 92; Mark Stern and Jerry Lewi, both 91; and Bob Swanstrom, who is 90.  Most started the sport as kids. Jerry joked, “I’ve played longer than I’ve been married.” Anecdotes abound among these eight seniors.…