California Leaders Mislead Public, Reduce Penalties for Crimes with Deceptively Named Propositions

Historically, America’s approach to criminal justice swings back and forth like a pendulum between an emphasis on punishment and an emphasis on rehabilitation. Wisdom incorporates both approaches, but in California, the pendulum has swung heavily toward the rehabilitative aspect of accountability as opposed to punishment. While setting aside a full comparison of the two approaches, this article focuses on the current government’s tactic of misleading the public about propositions that use a message of “public safety” to impose significant criminal justice reforms. It is the responsibility of governments to be…

Clarity on the Process of Recalling a Governor

There’s a lot of talk about Governor Gavin Newsom’s potential recall, but not as much clarity. Some readers certainly remember the recall of Democratic Governor Gray Davis in 2003. Still, it is an excellent time for all California citizens to refresh their minds on the recall process. Recall elections happen in three phases: petition, fiduciary and scheduling. Let’s look at each one.

Ventura County Drops Lawsuits Against Local Businesses

On March 17, 2021, Ventura County dropped its lawsuit against five local businesses that had defied closure orders by remaining open: Pizza Cookery, Mrs Olson’s Coffee Hut, Colosseum Gym, House of Gains, and Anytime Fitness-Westlake. At the center of the businesses who chose to fight back is an organization called “BRAVE,” an acronym standing for “Businesses Representing American Values & Enterprises.” Matt Brimigion, the president of BRAVE, says it started at a table in his business, Mrs Olson’s Coffee Hut, with three other people who felt the need to push…

Supervisor Linda Parks Faces Recall

A notice of intention to circulate a recall petition against Supervisor Linda Parks (District 2) was filed with the Ventura County Clerk/Recorder’s office on February 23, 2021. District 2 includes Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, Las Posas Valley, Oak Park, Hidden Valley, Somis, Lake Sherwood, California State University Channel Islands and portions of eastern Ventura County. The effort began after Parks and three other supervisors — Matt LaVere, Kelly Long and Carmen Ramirez — voted on January 12 to initiate litigation against 18 businesses for repeated violations of State…

Proposition 19: What You Need to Know, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Income Tax

Proposition 19 passed with a very narrow margin in California and is bringing major changes to property tax assessment rules.  There are some good things about the changes for a select group of people. However, there are major changes to parent-to-child or grandparent-to-grandchild transfers that used to be exempt from property tax reassessment. I’ll cover the good news first, then the bad news, and then what can be done now before Prop 19 goes into effect.   The Good  Starting April 1, 2021, homeowners over age 55, victims of wildfires or…

COSCA: Preserving the Beauty of the Conejo Valley

A beautiful ring of green hillsides surrounds the valley in which we live. Although the valley floor is now covered with houses and businesses, at one time it was more like a savannah, characterized by grass, grazing livestock, and oak trees, with stream channels traversing it—particularly, the main Arroyo Conejo and its north and south branches.  While the appearance of our area has changed significantly over the years, many acres of undeveloped hillsides and open space remain intact.  For that, we can thank the foresight of local citizens, large property…

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,…

Cast Your Ballot 2020

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,…