Vol. 6, No. 1 January 2020
Considering "the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to" there comes a time when, despite our best intent, further endeavor is no longer practical. Therefore The Hueneme Pilot is suspending operations.
It has been a privilege to serve our community. We trust that we have provided a service of value, information, and amusement. Our fondest wish would have been to continue as our city continues to grow and change, but with no staff, we have been faced with, what the engineers call, single point failure. As your editor will be unable to continue, there is no one left to carry the banner.
The history of The Pilot, as the history of our city, has always been fragile. The original Herald was replaced by The Pilot under the stewardship of Dama Hanks. Loran Lewis revived The Pilot until the 2008 recession. Your present editor brought back an online publication.
The dire state of newspapers today is well known. The tradition of subscriber supported publications is, for all purposes, over. Who then shall "tell the people?" We did our best to bring life to the often boring, sometimes trivial, but always essential facts of civic life.
It is at the local level that government most closely touches the community. In Port Hueneme there are one hundred people who get up every morning and make all "this" happen. The trash gets picked up, the wastewater gets pumped, the police patrol the streets so that we can regard the neighborhood with pride.
Presently, thanks to the cannabis industry, our city is maintaining a position of prosperity. Historically, we recognize that booms are followed by busts. Port Hueneme must always be ready to take advantage of every opportunity.
The late Carl Haeberle described Port Hueneme as "the little engine that couldn't" — "I think I can, I think I can... Oh no, I don't think I can!" But we can. The essential element is courage. We are not a "poor little town." We are a vigorous and vital community. The future is bright if we let it be so.
We need to update the potable water system. We need an updated business license fee. Most importantly, we need to recreate our historic downtown area on Market St. The State of California has emphasized the need for new housing. This could be the opportunity to revitalize a new city center that could lead to a generation of prosperity.
Coastal erosion has been, and always will be, an ongoing problem not just for Port Hueneme, but for every coastal city. Congressmember Julia Brownley has performed yeoman service in battling the Congressional establishment, but more must be done. For the first time the Navy is actively working with local authorities to help ameliorate the problem. Yet a more total effort toward coastal resilience is essential.
Port Hueneme has a long and colorful history. There is a reason why the Chumash found this such an attractive place. Thomas Bard made a town. Richard Bard built the port as the city boomed through the War. The colorful characters who had the temerity to incorporate a city that was destined to hang on through sheer grit and luck, gave way under the leadership of Walter Moranda to a more professional organization.
Dick Velthoen led the city into the modern world. Orvene Carpenter, Dorrill Wright, and Doc Templeman, brought stability. Toni Young brought us into a new age of development, regulation, and revenue.
Change comes as it should. A new generation rises as the old one fades into memory. These are indeed parlous times. There is no guarantee that our endeavors will succeed. But we must believe that we have the power to create a better world. We cannot afford to fail.
And so we must continue in that work that began so long ago. Port Hueneme is a special place. Despite the depredations of the troublesome and vexatious, our people are marked by a fundamental optimism and a belief in community.
It is our fondest wish that this beautiful and fragile place be held close to our hearts and that Port Hueneme always be a great place to live.
It's a beautiful day in Port Hueneme!
Copyright 2020 The Hueneme Pilot All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
516 Island View Circle
Port Hueneme, California 93041
J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher