Posts Tagged ‘California Beach town’

Essence

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Justin's Note

It is in recognition of the ironical that I communicate essence via digital connection. But here is the deal, if we get what essence is, we walk into balance as human beings and digital becomes an asset of high worth.

The note above was written during the last days of my friend Justin Doty, as he eyed his end here. It was shared by his life long love, Harmony Scott.  Breathe, then take it in. What he says on the note pad is exactly what I said, as I launched into my career in Photography.

Solitude created me as an Artist. I am not special in that regard.

essence |ˈesəns|
noun
the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, esp. something abstract, that determines its character: conflict is the essence of drama.
• Philosophy a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
• an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.

So much of life gets lost in being led by the voice on the end of a digital leash. I have been thinking a lot about that of late. You may want to as well, possibly. Do your connections make you happier? Or do they lead to something else?

You see, we are informed by essence. Anything less, is just inferior. Being informed is very significant to our sense of peace and yes, personal power as individuals, and vital members of a community or tribe.

Here is an interesting performance by Nahko Bear. Life. Essence. The song is called “Wash it away” .

I have been spending a lot of time in the water this week. Some radical life stresses were left at the shore, as I was forced to follow the call of the Ocean’s voice and conditions, that is such an intrinsic part of who and what I am, and informs my career as a water photographer and film maker. Here are a couple of about 40 A listers.

Taylor Bruynzeel

Glow

I got to spend some time with my colleague and friend Shawn Alladio this week. By phone. Again, the digital leash. We don’t talk much by phone. But it helps some time. It generally leads us to the essence that is our friendship. The real.

My friend Tom Pohaku Stone and his family dropped in this week as well, headed down coast after a board building stint in Watsonville. Their essence left me feeling embraced, and loved.

Ed Brenegar, who has been staying with Donna and I, hit the road for his home and Church on the East Coast this week. He has been working on a project called the Spectacle of the Real. I highly recommend his latest entry, titled “The Art of the Real”  for those of you in pursuit of essence.

My lovely wife and I got to share a beautiful Indian Summer eve on the beach here in Ventura the other day. Here is an image. She is actually shooting an iphone video of the sight to share with her Betty B Community. Not everyone gets to see what you do. This is where sharing matters: when it leads to the happiness and connectedness of others.

Indian Summer

Mind the white noise that is modern digital culture. Surround yourself with the real. In so doing, your life and work will matter.

This connection culture is all so very new. There is much to be learned in the managing of it’s digital tools so that our lives enhance rather than degrade in their usage.

Essence is everything.

Golden California

 

Pursuing Happy

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Happiness Is

Happiness Is

One of the things that always strikes me about Bali and the Balinese is the degree of happiness which exists.

Some may say that being happy is a choice. Well it is, sort of. But not the type of selection one may suspect. Happiness is in the choices open to you as an individual and member of a Community, and in the case of a Citizen of the US, the pursuit of it, is a National Guarantee.

Here is a fantastic read on Happiness, by Dr William B Stewart. Take close note of what he says about the US Bill of Rights and Constitution.

Peace

Peace

I very recently returned from Bali, a supposed “Third World” nation, to Ventura California. A place that by all rights and history, should be a bastion of freedom and happiness, seeing it was founded on the backs of settlers who became ranchers, farmers and  oil field workers. One would call those, “salt of the earth” types. People whose families and existence were based on the pursuit of happiness.

However, (and I write this with great reluctance) a cancer moved into my Community in the past decade. Lubricated by money and the pursuit and love of it, a Socio-Political faction obtained control of the town through the City Council and hiring of a dis-re located City Manager to run the town, which proved to be at the expense of the freedom and happiness of the township, which is a Corporation.

Repressive Disconnect

Repressive Disconnect

As the US economy spiraled into a new abyss, those people engaged in a philosophy of  City Governance one would at best call repressive, and at worst Totalitarian. The irony of course, being that most of the empowered are rather well paid at Taxpayer and Community expense.

Red Light Traffic cameras were installed, as a means of obtaining a new source of income. Parking pay stations were installed in the Downtown as a means of controlling traffic and the populace, under the guise of progress, killing it, at the expense of 1.8 million dollars. Only two City Council members resisted fairly consistently, Jim Monahan and Neil Andrews.  City  Mayor Bill Fulton, City Manager Rick Cole and the other Council members,  pushed for all of it,  on occasion, shouting down and conspiring against any who disagreed with the repressive and money losing attempts to create a “Sustainable Urban development” out of what is really a sprawling village.

Home

Home

I have long been involved in Ecological Study and Rules development and the more foot to the ground aspects of Environmentalism and Progressive development. I have never seen such an obvious attempt at Greenwashing and false flag flying under the guise of Sustainability, as I have seen by the leadership at large in Ventura Ca. Look into the backgrounds of the various members of City Governance and their allegiances, and you will find development companies and interests. You will find six figure salaries. You will find  a potential for corruption that makes Indonesian Govt look like a school for choir boys.

In Sustainable Systems, architecture demands that needs be met with available assets, thereby perpetuating the system itself. What Ventura has gotten shoved down it’s throat by these well compensated individuals is the opposite of that. It is the definition of Parasitism, where eventually the foreign entity kills or severely damages the host.

For this Community to thrive, the drain on it  must be removed.

Ever hear of the term “Proactive Zoning and Code Enforcement”? That is where the City Zoning and Code enforcement people show up at the door, flash a badge (They are actually NOT Law Enforcement) and ask to enter your home under the guise of A) Having a complaint lodged by some mystery person or B) Just wanting to make sure that your property is “safe”.

Then, IF the homeowner is gullible enough to let the inspector in, that CITY EMPLOYEE cites the occupant of the home (citizen) for anything that they can find and fine them for. Cannot pay it? No problem. The City of Ventura leins the home and it goes on the list for collection by the County Tax Assessor and sale later, by the County of Ventura if you still cannot pay. No kidding. Approx 148 homes are currently on that list and the Institute for Justice in Washington DC sent a letter to the City (watch their video on the 14th Amendment!), saying it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Not one of these homeowners was offered time payment plans or a hardship application.

A once proud heritage

A once proud heritage


So there is a City Council Election next week in Ventura, and three seats are being contested. The incumbents have made clear choices about their and the City’s future happiness. The challengers, (With the exception of candidate Cheryl Heitman, who moved to Ventura from Thousand Oaks this year) are long term members of the Community. Some have at great personal expense, fought against what has been done to their town. One of them, Ken Cozzens, is a retired Sheriff and local business owner (both highly qualifying vocations to have represented in office). Another, Carla Bonney, even went so far as to acquire nearly 12k Citizen signatures that would place the parking pay stations on the ballot, only to have her community building efforts be halted by City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who had been informed of the efforts all along. What he did looked very bad. It may have been what it looked like. It may not. But in any event, the people who all thought they should get the opportunity to VOTE on the changes rammed down their throats by the Mayor, City Council, Rick Cole and the Downtown Ventura Organization, were denied that opportunity.  Get the picture?

There is more. Much more.  I HATE dirty laundry, and my town like many, has skeletons which maybe ought not be exhumed. Or maybe they should? Ever read about our town Cemetery that was turned into a dog park illegally? Today, dogs walk where bodies still lie interred, the area scraped of grave markers, which were dumped in Hall Canyon. The City uses the issue to distract the public from the real issue: this large Midtown section of the city is the only section that has no real parks, so people continue to fight over the use of a cemetery. Legally, that is exactly what it still is. People’s families and the History of Ventura are buried there! No park for you, but here, have this cemetery. The dead won’t mind. After all, they are dead. The act violates all manner of State and Federal codes as well as the basic conventions of humanity in every culture of the earth. To make matters even more onerous, one James Sumner, a Medal of Honor holder, is also interred there. Ventura just wanted a park. Parks are happy places. Cemeteries are about something else. The bodies lie there still. Understand?

Goal of Governance

Goal of Governance

Now don’t get me wrong. Politics are dirty business and politicians seldom are leaders of any real sort. They typically only follow the money trail. So why expect Ventura to be different?

Because Venturans live there. And for that reason this tract of Coastal Land could possibly be one of the most vital assets in California. But only if Venturans determine the direction and application of Law, Civil Liberty, and Development. We must pursue Happiness. We must seek it out, architect it, and make it work for our future generations. There is smart growth in that. Anything less is just demise.

As the Occupy Movement and  crime in high places, struggle together for control, the only real chance for happiness, is for the community to assume control of it’s destiny, and in doing so, be allowed the opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. It is why I will not expatriate, much as I love the peace that exists elsewhere in the world. It is why I am and remain, an American. That is my choice. I am not paid to be here. I want to be here.

Want to see a happy future for your children? Occupy your town. Take it back from those who are there to milk it for personal gain. You and I must do this. There is no one else with that responsibility, who will do it for us.

I hope things change, yes. But regardless of who is in a City Govt position, we all have an investment in our Communities, and must believe it to be worth all of the struggle to restore, and must understand, that eventually, the townships of America will be occupied by the Citizens, and not prurient interests hiding behind false flags.

Icon of  Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Icon of Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Seems like a prudent thing to me: the pursuit of happiness. For everyone. It is why our founders wrote it into the Law.

My son Josh produced this. A young man who is an idealist rooted in the realism of our National Socio-Political condition.  A Venturan.  No Substitute.  He gets it. So should we.

Love your family. Cherish your Community. Occupy. Take your town back. Make it YOUR homeland. You restore our Country by doing so.

That is an honorable thing.

Light Fantastic: Happiness

Light Fantastic: Happiness

A California Opus

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Napa Orange Gold

Napa Orange Gold

Chapter 5 in the California Series.

I have not always lived in California. My Dad was going to college on the GI Bill in Milwaukee Wisconsin, at Marquette University. I had never asked him why, being from Hawaii, he chose the Mid West. He met my Mother there. That was where my two Brothers and I were born.

We were sick a lot as infants. The family pediatrician had told my parents that our Hawaiian genetics may have been to blame, as we did not tolerate the cold of  hard, Midwestern Winter very well. In fact, I ended up in the hospital. I remember the experience vividly. It was a bleak time of laying in an oxygen tent in a ward, and staring out a third floor hospital window, looking at the City, watching.

Eventually, the family moved to California where my Father explored his career as an Engineer. My parents bought a home in Whittier California.  The design of the first computer, as well as launch of the Space program, became a regular part of our household, via my Dad’s work.

In some ways, we were healthier in the warmer climate of California. However, a problem arose. I developed allergies. Those caused a lack of energy, and attendant respiratory problems. I began getting injections twice a month (one in each arm), which helped alleviate the symptoms. I still get a phantom muscle ache, when I think about those shots.

I recall days where one could not see the nearby foothills, which created the basin in which Whittier is located, such was the density of the smog prevalent in California in the 1960’s. It had been around this time that the massive citrus groves disappeared from the area, being replaced by housing tracts and strip malls. Part of a methodical, concreting over of the Los Angeles area.

I was already a swimmer at this point, having learned to bodysurf, ride foamies, and inflatable mats, at the beaches in and around Newport, Huntington, Palos Verdes and South Bay. I swam for a local AAU team. But those allergies were a persistent problem. The only time I had true respite, was when we were at the beach.

Due to my diminutive size, and sort of sickly nature, my parents decided that I needed to wait to get a surfboard. By this point, it had been a topic of discussion for a couple years. But my water activities, which included fishing and diving, kept me pretty busy.

I craved those idyllic long days at the beach. I have fond memories of ten hour days in the water,  a piece of chicken, or a few rice balls, snatched on the run, from the picnic lunch my Mom would have made, very early that morning, as she loaded up the white 1955 Chevy wagon, for the long (to me) drive to the beach. I had fallen for California.

Timeline

Timeline

(more…)

Apocryphal Wave

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
Genesis

Genesis

California Series Ch. 2

Maybe it is the surge in weird news. Maybe it is being too closely informed of the goings on in Ventura City, where I live. But I found myself at a bit of a loss when I heard of the latest greatest mean spirited shenanigans of some local politicians. It was so depressing that these elected officials could treat the people I live with so poorly and with such disrespect, that I found myself in a cave today.

So while I was in there I did some Art. In this blog are three images, and they are called the Apocryphal Wave Series.

Here, I will save you the trouble.

apocryphal |əˈpäkrəfəl|
adjective
(of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true

Revelation

Revelation

I found these photographs buried in a 27,000 image edit file (digital cave) this evening and decided to paint a little bit. Brightened my mood.

Here is a little editorial piece written by Camille Harris today. She pretty accurately describes what is happening to Venturans. But it is more than just my podunk little town. It is all of California. Yep. You know what comes next. As California goes….

Time to build something apocryphal. No one will notice. Everybody does it.

So here you go. Three images. They are real.  Okay, so they may NOT be photorealistic, but at least someone is being honest around here.

Proverb

Proverb

Seth Godin pounds a few nails into the framework of restructuring, in this blog.

So, cognitive dissonance well in hand, I have crept out of the digital cave and seeing “it” sleeping on the hillside, have tipped the first cow in the series. Take your community back. You live there. You pay for it. Your children deserve that. It is how this State will return to health. It is where safety health and happiness lie. Mind the cow though.

 

Ventura Groans

Friday, September 10th, 2010
Ventura

Ventura

The following was written to me by Dr Ed Brenegar, who heads up the Community of Leaders

It was written in reference to a close look I am taking at the Ventura City Council’s decision to implement pay parking in my town. What at first glance, was described to be a rather benign plan to regulate business traffic in downtown, quickly became rather apparent, to instead be a near Draconian attempt, based on poor business decisions and supposition, to change my town forever.

I have people I am accountable to, and advised by. Ed is one of those advisors. This is what he said to me regarding my town.

We are at a point in time that is historic. So much of what comes across my screen are attempts to understand, and to promote a particular view that is intended to be the final answer or resolution to the complexity of life. What I see in a lot of this is the attempt to simplify the issues to one thing. I don’t think things are simple at all, and attempts to make them so end up trivializing the issues and some really good ideas. People are searching for meaning and fulfillment, and all the traditional forms, but ideological and institutional are at best inadequate, if not failing to provide a way forward. If there ever was a time where faith mattered, it is now. Not a blind faith of hoping against hope in the dark, but a faith that searches and creates a path of living that is able to manage the ambiguities of life. It isn’t simplistic, or sentimental, or ideological or divisive. It is clear, focused and action oriented. From my perspective, the issues aren’t ideas and relationships, but systems, structures, infrastructures and the mechanism for how we will work together in the future. Power based systems, like our current system of government, are failing because they are providing no check on individual greed, because there is no real accountability. I don’t have the answers to these big questions, but I do know that we are on an unsustainable course.

I learned a little while ago that it appears the pay parking plan starts in Downtown Ventura on Sept 14th, and will eventually be implemented elsewhere here as well. So what is the big deal, you may ask, doesn’t somebody have to pay?

You already do, with taxes on basic commodities and in your property taxes, if you own a home. Your local merchants pay as well.

Where is the projected income from the pay parking supposed to go? Two thirds goes to support the meter system which is based on a three year contract. The remaining third is slated to go for maintenance of downtown City bathrooms etc. Downtown has a city bathroom. Yep. Two that I know of. If you want to be robbed, stabbed or otherwise accosted, one is located right behind our new Ventura County Museum.

In other words, the meters are potentially fiscally pointless. In fact, if they follow some of the other poor choices, like our City traffic light camera program, they could potentially cost the taxpayer a fortune. Then there is also the reality of the infringement on personal freedoms the enforcement of paid parking will place on the public. Also the unfair strain and ill will it will bestow on an already over burdened enforcement and legal structure. I won’t go into the affect regulation has on free market economies. Suffice it to say, retail traffic goes on the path of least resistance and cost.

Seth Godin speaks on the affects of something being broken here.

So now civic responsibility and obligation to future generations, requires me to question those that govern me. I do not take this lightly. I am not happy about it either. With business and personal pressures, and creative projects, demanding more of my life’s remaining moments than ever before, this was not something I needed, asked for, or wanted. I did not run for City Govt. I voted for it.

When someone holds political office they engage a sworn duty to protect the public trust and interest. It is so important, this tenet, that we actually have laws regarding conduct of elected officials. Here is a look at one aspect of violation of the public trust.

Ventura and many California towns have an unpublished history of passing into law (Municipal Code) things that are sometimes possibly in violation of State and Federal laws. They do this,( in the same manner that PRIVATE business entities do), to satisfy basic income needs, in order to provide for the continued existence of City infrastructure. Typically, these local ordinances stay in place till someone mounts a legal challenge. The fait acomplis in this, is that the City is in service to it’s Citizens. So if they do something to hurt that legal relationship, there are severe consequences.

When a challenge occurs, the City has several courses of action that it may take. Here are some:

Ignore the entity which will either go away, possibly having been marginalized, and convinced the action is imprudent.

Change the law.

Settle the claim out of court and file on the City liability insurance coverage, which may require the claimant to agree to not speak about the settlement (law stays in place generally, as the legal claim disappears).

Take the claim to trial in court where it will be examined for compliance with State law first and ultimately Federal. If the city is found to have violated those laws, defense is very difficult, as the City has in it’s employ, litigators, also known as City Attorneys. So if found to be in violation of the law, the blame game comes to a halt pretty quickly, as you see exactly where the buck stops.

The last choice, is what Cities do not want to ever occur. Here is why. If a City Government, which is an incorporated entity, has been found guilty of violation of State or Federal law in the writing of and enforcement of it’s municipal codes, and on examination, it turns out that they have been making claims on their insurance for errors and omissions, the Insurance provider will generally be required to cancel that Corporation’s policy, as legally as you cannot insure crime. Why was it a crime? Because the City has in house legal counsel. They know the law. This demonstrates intent.

Then, as the corporate structure evaporates, the officers of that city which wrote the municipal code, become potentially individually liable for crime, and in turn are open to civil litigation for the damage wrought by that code.

What can occur, as now the City has in effect, killed its ability to govern, is that the duty of Governance may be turned over to the county. What this does is completely eliminate a layer of government (and expense to taxpayers). This is not as implausible or positive, as it appears to be at first.

Fiscal viability of an entity is based on the simple law of cause and effect. Public inability to pay for Government creates pressure on Government to survive. If that Government collapses, the obligation to Govern goes to the next highest authority. With a City collapsing, the burden of governance can fall on the County. This has been seen lately. So the fiscal system is intertwined. The public must thrive for Government to exist. If it falters, and the cost of Governance stays rigid, it all collapses in on itself eventually.

Ventura is in trouble financially, because California is in trouble, and State budget funded income streams are fast disappearing. What the disappearance of State and in some cases Federal funds does, is place extreme pressure on the City to survive. So the City makes fiscal choices based on increasing income. And Ventura has made some possibly poor legal and business choices as Government typically does not run their business according to benefit being equal to or in excess of cost. This is due to the historic existence of external capitalization via State and Federal funding and tax revenues etc.  Need I elaborate?

Time for my town to do something. It starts with me. I hate battle. Someone always has to die. But I have little choice in this one. That makes me angry. It may do the same to you as well if you take a CLOSE look at what has been happening to the people and your town itself.

A parable. Author unknown.

TWO WOLVES~

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people….
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

On Saturday, Sept 11 (YEP) at 11 am at Cabrillo Middle School at 1426 East Santa Clara St.  Camille Harris and a group of deeply invested Venturans, will meet with the City of Ventura over what are purported to be onerous violations of Civil Rights and breech of law by various Ventura City department employees and contractors in the area of Code and Permit enforcement.

Her website is Grandfather Ventura.

Over the past year I have watched Camille and other concerned citizens stand before City Council (You can watch it on local Cable access television) and be marginalized, talked down to, and ignored by some people in City Govt. If you own property, a business, have family history or intend to raise a family in the City of Ventura in the future, it would be in your and this town’s best interest to show up.

If you do, marginalizing your concerns and sweeping municipal code under the carpet as being legal, because the City says it is, may become a rather imprudent choice for your City Government.

I believe in this town. I know many of the folks in and from here, from the streets, on up to high ranking levels of Government and finance. It is one of the reasons I live in, work, and promote Ventura globally through my work and network of colleagues. I have a vested interest in protecting this place, because of those close personal relationships. I am accountable for what I do, or neglect to do, that goes beyond a salary. I think that we all do.

It is not ABOUT parking meters. It is about how Ventura wants the future to appear after current City management and leadership have moved on, and we are all just a memory. What will remain is what we did.

So do it. Input and affect YOUR Government. You voted your Government in to office. They get paid, by you. Better make sure that it is YOUR interests being protected, and the laws of your Country being abided by. You can either do it together and stand as a community where everyone will benefit, or fall, one by one. This is it for our country today. Just as it was when our Ancestors came here. Time to choose.

Time to help Camille and your neighbors

Time to support our teetering Country.

It starts at home. Pretty song, by Carina. It says a lot.

On a lighter, but still serious note: Bill Mahr in an American commentary.

Your home.


© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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