Vol. V, No. 13                                                                                                    August 2019



Fire on the Field!



The crowd at the 39th Wings over Camarillo Airshow was treated to a pyrotechnic display as part of the traditional warbird demonstration.

Vicky Benzing's Stearman loops over the aircraft on display.

​Automobiles are always a part of the show.

​History is close enough to touch at Wings Over Camarillo.

At City Hall

"Hueneme Beach" is Back

"We have an opportunity with this cannabis bubble to invest in our community," said Police Chief Andrew Salinas as he presented a "Hueneme at 75" initiative to the City Council.  Estimating that Port Hueneme has "three to five years until other cities catch up" Chief Salinas and consultant Steve Kinney recommended investing cannabis revenues in a program of community improvements and "rebranding".

"It was a wise choice to bring cannabis into the community," Mr. Kinney stated. He offered a three point program that would capitalize on the City’s new-found prosperity:

First would be an update of the Orvene Carpenter Community Center to "make it more functional — a real jewel for the community," Mr. Kinney said. Second, "reinvest for all neighborhoods" focusing on the beach and parks. Third, change the city’s name as part of a 75th Anniversary celebration.


Development of a new Parks Master Plan would result from community input in public meetings. "It’s going to be driven by our community," said Chief Salinas.


Funding is proposed to come from the 5% cannabis community benefit contribution, sales tax, state grants, REACH funding, and the City/Port Community Benefit Fund. In regard to State grants, Mr. Kinney asserted that "we’ve got projects that match them tremendously." REACH is a city sponsored non-profit organization.


Most controversial is a proposal to change the name of the City of Port Hueneme to Hueneme Beach.

Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp recalled that in 2010-11 then Mayor Norman Griffaw made an identical proposal. "We had a lot of folks saying no," she said.


Councilmember Steven Gama stated, "I think branding is real important. We want to be a positive place for the youth of South Oxnard."


The Council was generally supportive of the overall initiative.


"It’s an opportunity to step forward and to create a community for the next generation," said Member Muñoz-Schnopp.


Mayor Will Berg added, "This looks like great stuff."


Council Doles Out Raises

The City Council ratified new contracts with both the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Port Hueneme Police Officers Association (PHPOA). The SEIU represents the majority of City employees. th contracts will run for a three year term.

The SEIU agreement grants a 4% salary increase in the first year, followed by 3% increases in years two and three. Additional $3000 lump sum payments will be made in July of 2019 and 2020. The contract includes additional technical changes to leave time, vehicle use, and reimbursement for damage to eyeglasses.


According to staff reports, the new contract will cost the city an average of $388, 670 per year. 36% of the cost will be borne by the general fund with the reamainder coming from enterprise funds and the Housing Authority.


The PHPOA has had a lawsuit pending against the City over Social Security payments and Medicare contributions. The lawsuit will be dropped as part of the new contract.

The City Council has granted a 5.5% salary increase for each year of the contract in addition to lump sum payments of $7500 for July 2019 and 2020. The city’s insurance contribution will be increased by $150 per month. Additional technical changes to leave time, deferred compensation, and incentive pay are also part of the new contract.

The average annual cost of the new contract will be $559,172 per year, almost all from the General Fund.


Addressing the employees from the daïs, Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp said, "Now we have the funds, it’s an opportunity to recognize all of you."


New Initiative on Sand

Brian Brennan

The City Council received a presentation from Brian Brennan, the Executive Director of the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON) on the state of sand replenishment at Hueneme Beach. BEACON is a joint powers authority consisting of the counties of Ventura and Santa Barbara and all the cities between Point Mugu and Point Conception.

Although the engineering specification for the biennial dredging project calls for 2.4 million cubic yards of sand, typically the actual amount has fallen short. Erosion on Hueneme Beach is caused by the Navy owned jetties at the entrance to the harbor, and is a Federal responsibility. The amount of sand actually received depends on the amount of money appropriated by Congress in each budget cycle.


In discussing the most recent cycle, which produced less sand than was expected, Mr. Brennan explained that "The dredge broke down and there were a lot of storms. When the dredging stops, erosion goes on."


Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp recalled 2013 when the sand deficit grew so large that part of the sidewalk washed away. She cited the buried revetment that was eventually permitted by the Coastal Commission. During his time as a Coastal Commissioner, Mr. Brennan was instrumental in effecting a change in policy that allowed such a structure.

Referring to the existing funding formula, Member Muñoz-Schnopp said, "I believe the model is broken. Most of the money gets taken up by fixed costs. I say flip the model."

Mr. Brennan suggested that the Mayor "invite the parties together" to discuss legislative strategy.

As the owner of Channel Islands Harbor and the sand trap, Ventura County is the official lead agency for the dredging project. The Oxnard Harbor District, the Navy, and BEACON are all interested parties that would be invited to participate.

"We want 2.4 [million cubic yards]," Mr. Brennan said.

— Ed.

Cannabis Cultivation Gets OK

The City Council approved Port Hueneme’s first cannabis cultivation operation in the old Hardy Moll Building.  Green Ocean Cannabis Cultivation will build an indoor hydroponic facility. Green Ocean  plans to sell to local dispensaries with no public sales of its own.



Revenues are expected to range from $346,650 in year one to $831,960 in year three. Return to the City is expected to grow from a minimum of $17,333 to $41,598.



Breeze Named to Oversight Board

The City Council named Donna Breeze to the Measure U Oversight Committee, replacing Chuck Morgan who resigned his position due to moving out of the area.

An appointee of Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp, Ms. Breeze is a Financial Analyst with the County of Ventura. She has a long history of community service in the City.


City Issues Statement on Homeless Issue:

The City of Port Hueneme, Port Hueneme Police Department and the City Council have been actively taking steps to ensure the safety of all Port Hueneme residents in response to the transient issues directly associated with the Ormond Beach encampments and vagrancy issues that impact our city.

The Port Hueneme Police Department, at the direction of City Manager Rod Butler and Chief of Police Andrew Salinas, has begun aggressively patrolling Hueneme Beach, has authorized additional patrols of the area day and night, and now has a dedicated officer who will be located there for the next several weeks to be immediately available to address transient issues.

As the City of Oxnard begins the difficult process of evicting the transients in the near future, the City of Port Hueneme has offered its resources and assistance; including allocation of police officers and volunteers, lending of heavy equipment, additional supply of refuse containers, and eventually, a coordinated community beach clean-up day. Police Chief Salinas would like the residents of Port Hueneme to know that his department will continue its efforts to keep our City clear of transients and address vagrancy issues, as protecting our residents is the Police Department’s first priority.

Furthermore, the City Council will be provided an in-depth update on the progress and planned steps to be taken to clean-up Ormond Beach at their meeting of September 3, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber. Residents and community members are strongly encouraged to attend in person, watch the live Council meeting on the City’s website, or submit written comments prior to the meeting.


Blue Die Is "Food Coloring"

In response to concerns of the community, the City has issued the following statement:

Blue Weed Spray – Spraying the Blue Stuff


For the last couple of decades, the City of Port Hueneme, Public Works, Landscape Maintenance Division has employed a Qualified Applicator to spray the landscape areas around the City for Weed Abatement.

With a particularly wet year, as opposed to the last several drought years, weeds have been popping up in the parks, sidewalks, parkways and medians. In an effort to keep up with the routine Landscape Maintenance and provide a higher quality of service, the City has hired a local applicator company to provide weed abatement of the City maintained Landscape areas.

This year, you may notice weed spraying will become quite visible in the next two weeks. Some of the lawns, parks, flower beds, parking lots, parkways and medians may have a blue hue.

The blue color is just an indicator dye that allows the weed control applicator to see where they have already sprayed. The dye is basically food coloring and by itself is not harmful in any form. This helps prevent excessive overlapping and over spraying which makes the applications safer and more economical.

The weed abatement when used according to label directions, poses no unreasonable risk to people, wildlife or the environment.


"What We Don't Know"


Richard Senate spins ghost stories at the Museum.

"The paranormal exists everywhere." Noted ghost hunter Richard Senate recently brought his tales of the supernatural to the Hueneme Historical Society Museum. "Our minds fill in what we don’t know," he explained.  

A legend during his high school days in the Conejo Valley was the "Black Dog of Death" said to inhabit Pioneer Cemetery. One night Mr. Senate and his friends went out to search for the beast. They were seized with a moment of terror as they spotted two red eyes watching their movements. It was "a huge jackrabbit," he said. "That was my first ghost hunt."

Originally, Mr. Senate was not a believer. "But one night I saw one," he said. "It was so real I thought it was a person."  

Ventura County seems to be rich territory for ghost hunting. "This county is full of them," Mr. Senate said.  The Ojai Valley is an especial hot spot. "Creative people seem to have more ghosts," he speculated.

Ojai is home to a headless motorcyclist and the ominous "Char Man", the result of a teen-age prank gone wrong. Apparently Char Man "hates teen-agers and rock and roll."

Hotels, theater, and historical sites such as the Olivas Adobe and Glenn Tavern Inn, all are likely spots for ghosts according to Mr. Senate. "Heratage Square is your best bet" [for finding ghosts], he asserted.

As to his old hometown, "When I go back to Thousand Oaks it’s sad for me. All the buildings I knew are gone," Mr. Senate said. Nonetheless, "I wonder if the Performing Arts Center is hauted. They built it over the site of Jungleland."

"Maybe ghosts are just slips in time," Mr. Senate mused. "But even if these stories are folklore, they should be preserved." "Wherever man goes, he brings ghosts with him. If they ever build a base on the Moon, I bet they see ghosts."

More ominously, Mr. Senate has noticed a recent increase in paranormal incidents. "the last time I noticed a spike in activity was before 9/11," he said.


30 Years of GOOD Club

Hannah-Beth Jackson, Julia Brownley, and Fran Pavley enjoy the moment.



With a podium set before a giant blue wave background, the Greater Oxnard Organization of Democrats (GOOD Club) held a 30th Anniversary celebration at a packed Casa Lopez in Oxnard. Current and former elected officials, community activists, and supporters joined to acknowledge victories past and to gear up for the 2020 election.


Former State Senator Fran Pavley reminded the crowd of the history of Democrats in Ventura County. "Remember we had Elton Gallegly in Congress, Tony Strickland in the Assembly, and Tom McClintock in the Senate. Today we have Jacqui Irwin in the Assembly, Hannah-Beth Jackson in the Senate, and Julia Brownley in Congress."

Jonathan Tolmach (Jane's grandson), Carmen Ramirez, and Tim Flynn converse.


Recycling Deal "Close"

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin received the Blue Wave Award. Member Irwin used the occasion to announce progress in recycling legislation. "We’re very close to getting a deal with the bottlers" to achieve a 50% recycled content standard for plastic bottles, she said.

Assemblymember Monique Limón received the Jane Tolmach Award. Jane Tolmach was the first woman elected to the Oxnard City Council and the only woman to have served as Mayor.



Congressmember Julia Brownley left no doubt that this was an election year. "We must work to get rid of that horrible man," she proclaimed. No one present had any doubt about to whom she was referring.


The  Peoples' Lawyer

Connie Korenstein as Susan Brandeis. 


In the guise of a 1948 radio show, Connie Korenstein brought to life the character Susan Brandeis, a daughter of Justice Louis Brandeis in a recent presentation at the Hueneme Historical Society Museum.


As a young Boston attorney, Brandeis became known as "The Peoples’ Lawyer" for his advocacy of social justice and anti-trust litigation. In 1906, scandal rocked the unregulated insurance industry leading Brandeis to declare the business "a legal racket".  His anti-trust activities as well as his 1914 book Other Peoples’ Money and How the Bankers Use It brought him to the attention of President Woodrow Wilson who nominated him for the Supreme Court.

Confirmation proved to be a difficult process. It was not just Mr. Brandeis’ social activism that generated opposition, but the fact that he would be the first Jewish Justice that caused the proceedings to drag on for a then unheard of six months.

During his 23 years on the Court, he established a record not only of social justice, but also issues such as the right to privacy and workers’ rights. Justice Brandeis believed that labor and management should be "nearly equal in strength", according to Ms. Korenstein.

After his retirement, Justice Brandeis continued to work pro bono for the NAACP. His legacy lives on in Brandeis University, founded from the older Middlesex University, the only university in Boston that didn’t have a Jewish quota.


Museum Speaker Series on Video


Archives of previous speakers are available on YouTube:



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 Kelley@callutheran.edu.  We will be exploring the Fabulous Fifties in Port Hueneme during this segment of History by the Minute.

Harbor Days

Not only did July 4, 1955 mark the first Harbor Days celebration but also the 15th anniversary of the official opening of the Port of Hueneme. Harbor Days would remain an annual celebration for the next 46 years.


The crowd that gathered to watch the parade, which was led by a color guard from the Construction Battalion Center, was estimated at 20,000.   In addition, a carnival entertained visitors during the day and fireworks filled the sky over the pier at night.

The event was also a successful fundraiser that netted $1,500 to develop recreational facilities at the proposed Hueneme Beach Park.

Brick Wahl



Haven’t had vertigo in a while. How pollen gets in the Eustachian tubes I have no idea.

Anyway it was back yesterday, relegating me for hours to the couch so I wouldn’t sway and teeter and fall leaving a path of destruction in my wake. You’d be amazed how far you can fall when you’re six and a half feet tall. Six and a half feet, actually.

So I didn’t.

The cane helped, though walking with vertigo and a cane is a bit trickier. I practiced going up and down the stairs a few times. A little wobbly but getting it.

"Don’t fall," someone said helpfully. So I didn’t. Indeed I didn’t fall during the entire flare up.

That used to be a regular feature, falling and sometimes awesome bruises. I’d get up and pretend it didn’t happen, like a cat running into a plate glass window. I meant to do that.


Better today though. Better since last night in fact. I stood up from the couch, walked three steps and loudly exclaimed Mein Fuhrer, I can valk! That startled whoever it was passing by the window. I heard their concerned stage whispers. Not everyone has seen Dr. Strangelove, apparently. I’m sure they think I’m a Trump voter.

Anyway, I could walk, and did, right into the kitchen and did the dishes.


WW II Wreck May Explode

The SS Richard Montgomery has been sitting on the bottom near the coast of England for seventy five years with 7000 tons of munitions in the hold.



Navy to Stand up New Cybersecurity Position


After a scathing security revue, the Navy boosts its  cyber defense.



The Blood of the Crab

The blood of a pre-historic animal is critical to modern medicine, but will the crab survive?




Steve Provizer Revues

D.A. Pennebaker — Documentarian extraordinaire


An appreciation of the late filmmaker.


At the Museum

September 7

Curt Osterhoudt "Railroad History of V C"

Sat 11:00 AM PDT

September 13

Friends of the Bard


Charles Johnson "Dr. Cephas Bard"

Fri 5:30 PM PDT

Historic Bard Mansion

Get Tickets

September 14

Chief Andrew Salinas "State of Cannabis in Port Hueneme"

Sat 11:00 AM PDT

September 21

Frank Barajas "Chicana/o Movement in Ventura County"

Sat 11:00 AM PDT


Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum


220 Market St., Port Hueneme

Movies in the Park Presents Moana


Friday August 30

8:15 PM


Hueneme Beach Park

Oceanview Pavilion

Performing Arts Theatre by the Beach

575 E. Surfside Drive Port Hueneme is proud to present

Colors by the Sea Summer Art Walk and Craft Fest

Saturday Sept 14, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. FREE admission.

This free event will feature talented Local Artist’s and Vendors from Ventura County, Food Trucks and much more!

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to meet local vendors and Artists.

For additional information call Oceanview Pavilion at (805) 986-4818.


I am pleased to announce the launch of the 2019 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 26th District – a competition for middle school and high school students to create their own software applications and learn more about programming and how they can help their communities through technology and innovation.

Coding and computer science skills open doors of opportunity for young people across the nation, and what better way to learn more about these important fields than through hands-on experience. If you know a student who is interested in STEM, coding, or creating their own app, I encourage them to participate. Students of all coding experiences are welcome.

More information about the Congressional App Challenge, as well as how to register, can be found here. Students must register by September 15, 2019 to participate. Final submissions are due by November 1, 2019.


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