Vol. V, No. 20                                                                                                        December 2019

Ho! Ho! Ho!

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Port Hueneme kicks off the Holidays.






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The Senior Luncheon Returns

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Mariachis Hueneme entertain the crowd.


For more than a quarter century the Port Hueneme Senior Luncheon has been one of the great events of the Holiday Season.


Mayor Will Berg, Harbor District Executive Director Kristin Decas, and Harbor Comissioner Jess Herrera serve up the banquet at the Carpenter Center.

At City Hall

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City Manager Bids Adeiu

The City Council bade farewell to City Manager Rod Butler after three years of service.

Mayor Will Berg cited Mr. Butler’s efforts to develop the cannabis ordinance, and pass the Measure U sales tax as crowning achievements. "He made it look easy," Mayor Berg said.



Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp, the senior Councilmember, recalled the difficult era when Mr. Butler took over. "He’s checked off every box on the list," she said.


Mr. Butler recounted the turbulent time when he was hired. "That council hired me on a 5-0 vote. There weren’t many 5-0 votes."  When he took over, every top management employee had left the organization. He regards the reconstruction of the city’s human resources department as one of his top achievements. "I had the chance to build my own team," he said. "You had the ability to pick great talent," Mayor Berg added.


Mr. Butler will take over as city manager in Jurupa Valley. He has family in Riverside County. "That’s really my home," he said. The 101,000 population community is California’s youngest city, incorporated in 2011. "There are a lot of legacy problems, but a lot of opportunity," the new city manager said.


Mr. Butler expects the new Port Hueneme city manager to be onboard in two to three months. "We’re well into recruitment," he said.


Police Chief Andrew Salinas will serve as Interim City Manager.

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Chief Salinas


Sister City

The Port Hueneme City Council has agreed to send a letter to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, to request the establishment of a Sister Cities program. Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s Conference on Citizen Diplomacy. Over 500 cities in the United States participate in the program.

Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz-Schnopp has worked to develop the local program. In regard to Puerta Vallarta she pointed out the similarities between the two cities. "We have a base, we have a port. People go out to all over the world," she said.




Puerta Vallarta was the originating city for Flight 261. "I believe this ties our communities closer together," Member Muñoz-Schnopp said.

Flight 261 Memorial


The City has also approved permits for recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Flight 261 disaster.


Former Port Hueneme Police Chief, Steve Campbell has assumed the leadership for the Flight 261 families. He spoke of "The attachment for Puerto Vallarta" pointing out that sculptor Bud Bottoms, who created the Hueneme Beach memorial, also mounted a dolphin statue in the Mexican city. "How could this happen on the 20th anniversary?" Mr. Campbell asked about the Sister City proposal. "I know the families would support the Sister Cities program," he said.


A large program is planned for the 20th anniversary commemoration with over 300 people expected to attend. Recognition will be given to representatives of all the agencies who participated in the recovery efforts. Mr. Campbell singled out Councilmember Laura Hernandez as "One of the first emergency responders that we dealt with that day." Member Hernandez was a member of the Sheriff’s Department Emergency Response department.

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Committee Assignments

With a vacancy on the Citizens' Advisory Commission, Richard Nick will fill that post. Ricky Woodrow will join the Measure U Oversight Board.


Shrinking Shore


The Mugu shoreline has been receding to an alarming degree.


"If we lose the runway, we don't have a base." Capt. Jeff Chism, Commanding Officer of Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) led a tour of the coastline on the Base.  As a consequence of an ongoing lack of sand replenishment at Hueneme Beach, erosion at the Mugu portion of NBVC has reached a critical level.

Elected officials and staff from Port Hueneme, Oxnard, Ventura County, Congressmember Julia Brownley's office, the Regional Defense Parnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21), and the Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment (BEACON) got a first hand example of conditions at the beach.

Officially, dredging is the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Channel Islands Harbor maintenance project. The projected rate of erosion is about 100,000 cubic yards of sand per month. Historically, replenishment has been much less than that due to insufficient funding from Congress.


Capt. Chism leads a discussion of coastal erosion.


While Hueneme Beach has received more sand over the last four years, the severe deficit that the City experienced in the mid 2010's has worked its way down the coast to Point Mugu.


RDP-21 and the City of Port Hueneme plan to seek more funding from Congress. The County of Ventura also has sand available in the Calleguas Creek watershed that would be close to the Mugu coast. It is unclear how any such local sand would be funded and permitted.



Brian Brennan, Executive Director of BEACON considers conditions on Mugu Lagoon.

Building Technology Bridges

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Alan Jaeger addresses RDP-21.



"According to Federal statute, I am a highly qualified and competent individual." Alan Jaeger, ORTA Manager, Naval Surface Warfare Center, PHD Technology Transfer Program, gave a recent presentation to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21).  The lengthy title means that Mr. Jaeger is responsible for developing partnerships between the military and the private sectors.

"Dual use" and "technology transfer" are the watchwords of the day. The intent is to accelerate technology development by encouraging the use of both military and private sector efforts working together.  "If we don’t use it, we have to make it available to the private sector," Mr. Jaeger explained.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy is focused on "Ways to harness innovation by building technology bridges." "How do we accelerate capabilities?" Mr. Jaeger asked.

The answer is efforts such as "Coastal Trident", "One of the largest port-maritime security exercises in the country";  Educational partnerships with local schools and universities focused on "workforce development"; co-operative research and development; and STEM activities in local schools that lead to "meaningful engagement with students and teachers." 6400 students are enrolled in Ventura County schools. Mr. Jaeger expects the education program to expand into Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties as well.

One of the most interesting local programs is Fathomwerx , described by Mr. Jaeger as "A space where we can come together as government engineers and have a physical presence where we can get through walls." The Oxnard Harbor District has provided the space, and Fathomwerx has provided "$3.5 million of cutting edge equipment." Fathomwerx is "a place to work" in public/private partnership.

Mr. Jaeger is looking forward to the next generation. $450,000 in grants, internships, and research are available to "universities across the country." He sees summer interns as the future for the next "10, 20, 30 years". "If you’re the smartest person, we want you."


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Brownley and Davis Introduce CONTRACT Act, Supporting Air Traffic Controllers




Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced the Continuity for Operators with Necessary Training Required for ATC Contract Towers (CONTRACT) Act of 2019. This legislation would eliminate financial disincentives that make it hard for federal contract towers to recruit and hire trained, well-qualified, retired FAA controllers.

"Ventura County airports play a key role in our region’s economy. Keeping all of our air traffic control towers open and fully staffed is critical for safety and helps our airports serve businesses and aviation enthusiasts in our region," said Congresswoman Brownley. "This bill will ensure that FAA air traffic controllers, who choose to continue to work after the mandatory FAA retirement age of 56, can help us meet staffing needs at contract towers without losing their hard-earned retirement benefits. I want to thank Congressman Davis for co-authoring this important bill, and I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues, including Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), to move the bill through the legislative process."

"Many of our smaller airports across the country operate using contract towers, but current restrictions under the law are discouraging air traffic controllers from working in our rural areas," said Congressman Davis. "This bill will help our contract towers recruit and retain controllers by allowing federal controllers to continue receiving their Social Security annuity payment while working at contract towers. Ensuring contract towers are properly staffed is critical to safety and the local economies these airports serve."

There are currently 256 air traffic control facilities participating in the FAA’s Federal Contract Tower Program. However, these towers often find it difficult to hire trained and well-qualified retired FAA controllers. FAA air traffic controllers are required by law to retire at 56 years of age, but under current law will lose a portion of their Social Security benefits if they continue to work.  The CONTRACT Act will eliminate this penalty for those who choose to work as controllers at federal contract towers. These experienced FAA employees should have the opportunity to use their skills at a federal contract tower without facing a financial penalty. Congress has provided a similar exemption to retired federal controllers who become air traffic control instructors.

This legislation is supported by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), U.S. Contract Tower Association (USCTA), and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).


VCTC Presents: Boys & Girls Club Art Contest


The Ventura County Transportation Commission partnered with the seven Boys & Girls Clubs in Ventura County for an art contest over the summer. The goal of the art contest was to engage young people in thinking about the role of transportation in their lives and communities. The winning artwork is now proudly displayed on five VCTC Intercity buses.


Special thank you to the Boys & Girls Clubs for participating in the contest and congrats to all the winners!


Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme

Jocelyn, Age 12

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura

    • Joselyn, Age 12

  • Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley

    • Abi, Age 10

  • Boys & Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley

  • Tariq, Age 13

  • Boys & Girls Club of Camarillo

    • Leila, Age 11

  • Boys & Girls Club of Simi Valley

    • Maryem, Age 13

  • Boys & Girls Club of Moorpark

    • Savannah, Age 13



History by the Minute

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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 Sixties in Port Hueneme during this segment of History by the Minute.

Al Jalaty


Between 1948 to 1961, the office of the Port Hueneme Police Chief seemed to possess a revolving door.  After Chief Elmer Morehouse resigned his position on March 31, 1961, Lt. Al Jalaty was initially "borrowed" from the County Sheriff's Department and then permanently hired three months later.  

It didn’t take him long to rack up such impressive accomplishments as replacing divisive police department personnel, creating juvenile, detective, and traffic divisions in the department, establishing a policy of monthly squad meetings, establishing a training program using Sheriff’s Department instructors, supervising the refurbishment of the city’s jail, and adding a complete photographic darkroom to help solve crimes.

Brick Wahl



I could hear a pair of great horned owls calling to each other just now, first the female’s somewhat higher pitch, sort of like that of a mourning dove. Then the male’s deeper, louder response.

They alternated like that for several minutes. Each call was five or six notes in a monotone, breathy and eerie, and by day would be buried under the cacophony of mockingbirds, but in the weird silence of our neighborhood tonight, like a country town and not just a couple miles from Hollywood and downtown, I could hear them plainly even though the windows are shut.

I snuck outside to see if I could glimpse a silhouette, but nothing, just the haunting notes back and forth. Soon only the female called, the male having stolen away in silence.

Then she too stopped, and there was almost complete silence but for the steady hum of traffic on the freeway in the distance.

Steve Provizer Reviews


Mea Culpa

I'm complicit in one of the worst hazards of the season: The "Best of" list.




All-electric seaplane makes first flight.

"In ten years I hope you look back and remember this day."


97% of Local Governments Behind on Housing Goals

Over half of local governments given "D" or "F" grades.

California City News

Old Weather

19th century log books yield a treasure trove of meteorological history.

Port and Terminal


Aerial Inspections in Your Neighborhood


Over the next few weeks, we will be conducting aerial inspections on our equipment. You may notice an increase in aircraft activity in your area, including the use of helicopters and drones. We appreciate your support as this is part of our ongoing commitment supporting California's fight against wildfires.

For more information, please visit https://energized.edison.com/stories/drones-join-helicopters-inspecting-power-lines-in-high-fire-risk-areas


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J. Sharkey, Editor and Publisher