Ventura Code Enforcement SCAM ~ The Ojai and Ventura VIEW
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CLICK HERE ~ VENTURA COUNTY GRAND JURY - 2011-2012 Final Report City of Ventura Code Enforcement, June 19, 2012
3-15-11: Look Out City of Ventura/Ojai.... Something's coming down the Pike.....and You're Next....
A Bill About to go to the Florida House of Rep. Protecting Citizens Rights....
CLICK HERE ~ Proposed Florida House of Representatives Homeowners Bill of Rights ~ CLICK HERE FOR DRAFT COPY

More Information


Truth To Power
5/18/12: Phonehenge West's Kim Fahey Gets Five Years' Probation For Building Code Violations

May, 2009: Money Hungry Govt...

Debt Ridden Ventura City Council $ Desperately Targets $eniors $ With $elective Code Enforcement
The Ojai and Ventura VIEW, May 09
PDF Code Enforcement Story, Pages 4 & 21
or Entire Issue May, Issue 14
Revenue Razin'
After Losing $10 Million in Risky-Get-Rich-Quick-'High-Risk'-Bad-Investments a few years ago, the City of Ventura in an attempt to Squeeze money out of Ventura Citizens, schemed a program in January [2009] of Selective Housing Code Enforcement, Targeting Fixed Income Seniors with the Threat of 'Pay up & Comply... or Else...'
Despite Bad Economy City Goes Fundraising...
- by Camille Harris
The City Council in Ventura, under financial pressure, has now directed Code Enforcement to proactively target anyone and everyone where they can identify a code violation. This is an abrupt change from complaint-based enforcement in place since the very beginning of the department. This new policy affects owner-occupied homes, as in the case of Les Goldberg.
Mr. Goldberg is 90-years-old, with cancer. In spite of his age and cancer, he takes in the homeless and distributes food four days a week to agencies that distribute food to the homeless and poor. Recipient of the Jefferson Award from Jackie Kennedy, he is known as "Hero of the Homeless" and is the author of Living Judaism My Way. Mr. Goldberg believes that what truly matters in life is what one can do for others.
Now he needs a good lawyer who has courage equal to his own. He is most angry that the money he is forced to pay the city will not go to help the homeless. He is angry because he knows that the majority of the elderly will not be able to come up with the money to upgrade their homes to the city's satisfaction and may be put out themselves. Mr. Goldberg finds it ironic, that after having fought to save the homeless for over 40 years, he is now the victim of a policy which he says will create more homelessness.
One proactively cited person, Susana Escobar, has a disabled senior in her second unit, and she will be forced to put him out as she doesn't have the $50,000 required to meet the city's demands. Her mortgage was granted upon having the modest income from the rental, so she may not even be able to keep up the payments and could lose her home.
Another senior, Laura Swenson, had to evict her low-income son from the safe second unit that was in place when she bought her property 16 years ago to support her retirement.
Another low income senior and nationally known artist, Michael Pedizwiatr, had to put out his low income renter and says he will have to sell his home and leave Ventura because he cannot financially meet the city's demands.
The Ojai and Ventura VIEW, May 09
(Cover Detail)
Approach to Reform: Unresponsive
Unfortunately, the City of Ventura has established a pattern of not responding until there is a lawsuit, as in the case of the expensive failed 911 fee attempt, Helen Yunker (see story page 21, April, 2008/Issue 1 Online) and the city's refusal to even count the signatures on the VCORD (Ventura Citizens for Responsible Development) View Petitions by the legal deadline. In the name of compassion, however, a class action lawsuit may be called for when we see the most vulnerable of our population facing homelessness and financial ruin.
Without comprehensive code reform for the 21st century, the elderly will still be vulnerable to subjective police powers and a code that can be interpreted by whim.
Getting Grandma's House
Perhaps the city is planning an Amnesty program.
A member of the city's staff already wrote, "Amnesty, then Be Nasty !" The nasty part would be, once on the property, the city demands tear downs of additions or whatever else they can find, no matter that it is safe or not. This would bankrupt a senior on social security.
A member of the city Council said to the effect , "We've got to get these old people out of their homes." The City Manager, Rick Cole justified his staffing increase for Code Enforcement as new "revenue opportunities." Cloaked in the disguise of safety, could the real purpose be to reassess property taxes to a higher level from hardship sales of the homes of the elderly and low income residents? Fines and fees go to support the Code Enforcement department, but property taxes go to the General Fund to be spent at the whim of the City Council.
Challenges are Linked
There are two challenges that must be addressed to protect the poor and the elderly and both can be accomplished through Grandfathering with a private home safety inspection.
1. Legalizing second safe affordable units. This allows seniors to remain in their homes and the poor to have safe, affordable shelter while allowing the city to meet state affordable housing requirements. The reason this must be done by private, state and city licensed home safety inspectors brings us to the second challenge.
2. Grandfathering past improvements. Ventura, historically, has been a blue-collar town and people did their own maintenance and improvements. Ventura turned a blind eye and the pattern of Don't Ask Don't Tell was firmly established. The older properties have been continually improved since the town began and sometimes citizens needing to choose between fees to the city or going without, chose to put the money into their homes and improved their properties without permits.
Therefore, you can't do one without the other because seniors will not let the city onto their properties to inspect a second unit, knowing they will be cited for everything and anything that came before. An amnesty plan for second units wouldn't be successful without grandfathering for prior improvements.
What We Need
What we really need is a true Citizens Committee to recommend comprehensive code reform for the 21st century. Ventura's codes are onerous, subjective (what's "unsightly?") and are simply impossible for some of the older homes to meet.
Their proactive, rather than complaint-based, approach also lends itself to selective enforcement and will be used to quell dissent. I cannot begin to tell you how many are frightened to speak up, from the bottom to the top of the economic spectrum, no one is safe from subjective police powers.
Citizens need to know that they have the right to deny access to their properties under the 4th Amendment. If you are a senior or low income person at risk of this policy or can help, please contact us at or 805-648-1902
- Camille Harris, VCORD
(Ventura Citizens for Responsible Development)
Feb 28, 2011: State Sponsored Invasion
of Privacy ~ Big Brother is Watching...
City of Ventura Peering into Your Back Yard With Satellite cameras ~ Mandatory Resale
Inspection Reports???
The State of the City of Ventura/Ojai... Proactive/Gestapo Code Enforcement
From: Cam Harris <>
Date: Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM
Subject: Comments on item 7
To:, Bill Fulton <>, Brian Brennan <>, carl morehouse <>, Christy Weir <>, Jim Monahan <>, Mike Tracy <>, Neal Andrews <>, Neal Andrews <>
Dear Mayor Fulton, Deputy Mayor Tracy, Councilmembers Monahan, Andrews, Morehouse, Weir and Brennan,
the goals given by you to the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative [VSHC] included economic benefits, promote permit pulling and ensuring safety. The number one category of input from the public was fear of code enforcement, and reducing fear was one of the goals you assigned to the committee. Many have a concern the Staff's recommendations will increase fear, prevent permit pulling and prevent economic benefits from accruing to our city and community. Here's why: 1. Code Enforcement's staff report, did not acknowledge the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative's six recommendations designed to reach the goals you assigned.
2. Instead, the staff focused on other goals not requested by the community: a. resale inspection program to discover any un-permitted improvements, b. rental registration program that could require you to register your own home if you had to rent it out for an emergency leave of absence
There is no path to wholeness for citizens in the Code Enforcement staff's recommendations. It is a continuation of an outdated punitive process.
3. Lack of due process is a serious issue and it was sidestepped in the Staff's report, but clearly addressed in the VSHC report, through the establishment of the Citizens' Review Board.
4. When a property is turned over to the county for a collection process that can end in foreclosure, no objective party reviews the citations (some were cited for the sin of weeds..was it an elderly person who needed their lawn mowed?)
5. Continued Unjust Prosecution: Since the City staff admits that their records of permits are incomplete, some of these folks may have been prosecuted unjustly for not having permits that actually were pulled in the past and lost by the City.
6. The citizens' input has been distorted by the Code Enforcement Staff. The staff edited 56 recommendations by the public to indicate the policies the public desired were already in place. Upon closer scrutiny, that is simply not so.
7. Code Enforcement claims it would cost the city too much money to improve a process, but there is no corresponding revenue projections.
8. Staff refuses to inform citizens of all rights and remedies at first contact to reduce fear. They say that would cost the city $200,000. It's a one-time form letter that would reduce fear. Fear Continues
9. Staff refuses to drop the harsh practice of clouding titles for non-safety violations so a person cannot access their equity or a buyer cannot get a mortgage. This is a serious financial taking without due process. Increases Fear.
10. Staff refuses to stop the harsh method of turning property owners over to the county for a collection process that can end in foreclosure. Our City's actions initiate a potential foreclosure process. Every other city in VC uses small claims court or a collection agency. Another financial taking without due process. Increases Fear.
11. Staff did not acknowledge the committee's recommendation for a reasonable Compliance program, so only two remedies remain, be wealthy enough to hire an architect and start from scratch, or tear it down. Increases Fear and Violates General Plan.
12. Staff refuses to allow due process or oversight through a Citizens Review Board so the road to financial ruin still has no Due Process. Without this, there is no legitimate community participation for buy-in. Increases Fear.
13. Staff ignored the committee's specific recommendation for an aggressive marketing plan , so whatever is done would not be known by the general public. Defeats Goal for Economic Benefit and Community Buy-In.
14. Staff refuses to disallow searches without a warrant for code violations through the use of satellite cameras in the sky. This violates our 4th Amendment Right to Privacy. Insisting this is ok because it has not been heard yet in the Supreme Court should not be the basis for inclusion in our City's policies. Increases Fear A better measure would be: Is this the right thing to do and will it reduce fear?
15. Staff insists that those with second units must live on their properties. What if they have to go into assisted living? Some are there already. Must they move back home?
16. Staff does not address compliance with State Civil Code 1941 (essentially HUD standard,) which Staff has given "selectively" as the standard of compliance. Increases Fear and Reduces Economic Benefit.
Some key recommendations of the committee, were dismissed or not addressed:
All of these Ensure Safe Housing:

A. Due process and citizen oversight through a Citizens Review Board. Staff claims the Construction Appeals Board does this. According to the Chair of that board, the CAB regards do-it your-selfers as competitors. Their members are Building professionals and there is an obvious conflict of interest. An objective forum for grievances and due process is needed (a jury of one's peers.) This would Reduce Fear, and Create Equity
B. The Resolution to allow legalization of Ventura's safe non-conforming properties, both commercial and residential. Creates Economic Benefit, Promotes Permit Pulling, Reduces Fear, Creates Equity, Ensures Safe Housing and Creates Community Buy-in.
C. A Realistic Compliance program. Reduces Fear and Creates Economic Benefit.
D. An aggressive marketing program to inform the public. Creates Economic Benefit, Reduces Fear.
E. Substitution of private home safety inspectors for city inspectors. Creates Community Buy-in, Reduces Fear and Creates Economic Benefit.
Within the VSHC six recommendations are the details that make them work, such as mitigating adverse neighborhood impacts and city liability. By ignoring the six recommendations of the committee and instead, rephrasing the 56 prior recommendations that were used to implement and detail out the six recommendations, the process is corrupted and confused. An ordinary person who did not work for code enforcement could not understand it. Adopting just Code Enforcement's recommendations will prevent community buy-in, increase fear, not ensure safety, discourage permit pulling and no measurable economic benefit would accrue to the city or community. Ignoring the Collaborative's recommendations and instead adopting the staff reommendations defeats our community's need for a re-building of trust and partnership.

The Ventura Safe Housing Committee spent up to two years to build a safer, more efficient ship, rather than adding more deck chairs to the Titanic. Some members of the VSHC are willing to continue and organize the Citizens Review Board to help the staff implement the improvements desired by the community. This is the highly skilled volunteer help our Mayor requested in his State of the City address. This is your first opportunity to "walk that talk."
Please let the people help you move Ventura forward, as you requested,

- Camille Harris
"The way to escape from a problem
is to solve it."
State of the City ~ Ventura

"We Believe [City of Ventura]
code enforcement is on the right track..."
- VCReporter Management,
Editorial, April 30, 2009

NOTE: When the Government Owns the Media: Southland Publications (owner of Ventura shopper publication, VCReporter), Pasadena, California was co-founded by Ventura City Manager Rick-'King'-Cole, who has openly promoted Ventura's intimidatory Code Enforcement policies as a "revenue" generator. (See "Debt Ridden" Column this page).
"All That is Needed for Evil to Succeed is, that Decent Human Beings Do Nothing"
- Edmund Burke
4/2008: Why Ventura is The Broke Capitol of the World!
Who's Money is it Anyway?
Who's Watching The Store
Over At Ventura City Hall...?
The City of Ventura LOST $10 Million Dollars over 3 years ago (well before the recent economic crash), through their ambitious high-risk investment plan; having placed precious taxpayer dollars with Bear Stearns (BS) private assets, which went belly up in the JP Morgan fiasco. This reduced Ventura's get-rich-quick-scheme to pie-in-the-sky. Most cities invest their cash assets in highly safe Treasury instruments and other government-backed securities.
VIEW Detailed Financial Analysis
Go To Page 4 & 5:
Ventura Overules The U.S. Constitution
City of Ventura ~ Headed for an Expensive Lawsuit?
Wed. June 8, 2011: Robert McNamara and the Institute for Justice were dismissed last night at the Ventura City Council Meeting by Ventura City Attorney Ariel Calonne as a "hack" Libertarian group which, Calonne said, doesn't know much about the U.S. Constitution. This is despite the fact that Mr. McNamara is quoted in a number of national media outlets as a Constitutional expert. (Interestingly enough, about this time of year in 2008 when Calonne was hired by the City of Ventura he, himself, was ON PROBATION, (with a Boulder, Colorado based Probation Officer no less...) which The VIEW feels must qualify Calonne as nothing less than a "Hack" himself !!! Seems to be an obvious case of the Kettle calling the Pot black! (SEE EXCLUSIVE STORY "Does the Ventura City Attorney Need an Atorney?" May 2008, Ojai and Ventura VIEW, Page 7) Apparently Mr. Calonne intercepted a letter (see link below), written by Mr. McNamara, addressed to the City of Ventura Planning Commission from the Institute for Justice. The letter stated that the proposed Ventura ordinance with the 1987 restriction was unconstitutional. The Planning Commissioners were not given the opportunity to read the letter before... they voted, and they voted to approve the revenue driven ordinance. Letter: 6/6/11: McNamara - Institute of Justice Hammers City of Ventura on Illegal Code Enforcement
NOTE: According to the Institute For Justice Website, (LINK HERE), "Robert McNamara serves as a staff attorney with the Institute for Justice. He joined the Institute in August 2006 and litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases protecting First Amendment, property rights, economic liberty and other individual liberties in both federal and state courts.
Currently, Robert is lead counsel representing a group of Philadelphia tour guides challenging a law that would make it illegal for them to give tours without first obtaining a special license from the city government—literally making it illegal for them to talk about the Liberty Bell for compensation. His practice has also included representing Bill Brody, a Westchester County, NY, property owner who is fighting against his state's outrageously unfair eminent domain procedures and a group of Colorado homeowners in their fight to be able to speak freely about politics without subjecting themselves to the threat of lawsuits from their political opponents.
Robert's opinions and views on constitutional issues have appeared nationwide in outlets including including: Air America, All Things Considered, Hannity and Colmes, Fox News Channel, Marketplace, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and others.
In 2006, Robert received his law degree from the New York University School of Law. While at NYU, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, a scholarly publication dedicated to the critical examination of classical liberal ideas. In 2003, he earned a dual degree in Communications and Political Science from Boston University. Robert McNamara is a member of the Virginia bar.
SOURCE: Institute for Justice Web
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. McNamara obtained his Law Degree from New York University School of Law (NYU Law), ranked 5th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, wheras Mr. Calonne obtained his Law degree from the Hastings College of Law, which was ranked 42nd by U.S. News & World Report. Time will tell if Lawsuits develop and if Calonne can muster the legal huevos to keep the City of Ventura out of Hot Water!
PRESS RELEASE: Vta: 1/8/2011 ~ Sat. Jan. 22 Meeting Announced
Grandfather Ventura ~ Information on the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative Project for Code Enforcement Policy Improvements. Recommendations to be presented to the City Council in Feb., 2011
- Final Public Meeting to approve recommendations on Grandfathering, Amnesty, Code Enforcement Policies, etc.
- Were your concerns about Code Enforcement addressed? Attendees will decide what matters most. Your opinion only counts if you voice it.
- Jan. 22, Sat., 12 Noon to 2pm, Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave.
You can preview the 54 DRAFT recommendations
presented by the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative's Goals Subcommittee Click Here
- Public Meetings Were Held July 21st, 2010 and Sept. 11, 2010 with approximately 220 participants. Transcribed Input is available on the Public Records Page where YOU WILL FIND such items as;
Draft Recommendation for Citizen Review Board, Draft of Problem Identification Presentation submitted to the VSHC Committee by the Goals Subcommittee December 8th, 2010, 54 Draft Recommendations from the VSHC Goals Committee, Transcribed Public Comment and Draft Recommendations from Goals Subcommittee by Five Topics of Reducing Fear, Promote Permit Pulling, Grandfathering and Amnesty, Economic Benefits and Ensuring Safe Housing, A primary list of issues from the volunteer community members on the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative, other Issues of Concern. info.
April 2009 Vta City Council Meeting on Code Enforcement: (L-R) Pete Cosenza, Phil Marquez, 94-years old, Rosanna Carlson (Marquez), Angelina Marquez (Phil's wife), and Barbara Marquez-O'Neill.
Phil is a WWII Veteran, was born in Oxnard and has lived in Ventura over fifty years. The City of Ventura Code Enforcement Dept. cited Phil for a "possibly substandard" housing condition, which could result in the fixed income resident receiving a bill from the city, upwards $15,000 to 'comply'.
Ironically, June 14, 2004, Phil was 'honored' as Community Treasurer-Ventura Oral Historian, from Councilman Brian Brennan, (then Ventura Mayor by Rotation), who deemed the date "Phil Marquez Day"!
May Issue #14
Ojai and Ventura VIEW
- Editor
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Marquez passed away on Feb. 15, 2011 in the presence of his loving family. For More information on the above noted meeting, PDF Code Enforcement Story, Pages 4 & 21 and Entire Issue May, Issue 14
4/2008: Why Ventura is The Broke Capitol
of the World!
Who's Money is it Anyway?
Who's Watching
The Store Over At
Ventura City Hall... ?
The City of Ventura LOST $10 Million Dollars over 3 years ago (well before the recent economic crash), through their ambitious high-risk investment plan; having placed precious taxpayer dollars with Bear Stearns (BS) private assets, which went belly up in the JP Morgan fiasco. This reduced Ventura's get-rich-quick-scheme to pie-in-the-sky. Most cities invest their cash assets in highly safe Treasury instruments and other government-backed securities.
VIEW Detailed Financial Analysis
Go To Page 4 & 5: April, 2008/Issue 1 Online
Feb 28, 2011:
Contact: Camille Harris
Citizens' Recommendations Ignored by City Staff
Following public outcry over increasingly harsh code enforcement practices and a door-to-door inspection program, the City Council of Ventura, seated a citizens' committee to gather public input and return with recommendations for improvements. Now the citizens' committee, the Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative [VSHC], has learned that their recommendations were not even acknowledged in the City staff’s Administrative Report of February 14, 2011. Some members of the VSHC believe that the City staff report not only soils the integrity of the collaborative's work, but is being used to implement a pre-designed plan, that works counter to the public's recommendations.
The city has attempted on prior occasions to implement mandatory resale inspections and rental registration programs, in order to discover improvements or maintenance performed without a city permit. The City's staff recommends them again under the guise of responding to the citizens' report. Complicating the issue is the City's admission that it has lost many of these permits.
See Interview Video of Accused Violators Video
After engaging at public workshops, the VSHC committee found that primary public issues were more about public fear of code enforcement's exercise of police powers, and the public's lack of an affordable recourse and due process rights, than safety to their homes. Some Collaborative members feel the city's move is more about meeting the city directive for Code Enforcement to become revenue neutral or self-funding, rather than about safety itself.
Citizens have been in a state of fear as they learned that the City clouds their titles for any code violation, including weeds. This prevents them, including the medically sick or unemployed citizens from accessing the equity in their homes.
The city is also under attack from homeowners over the city's use of a process that can end in foreclosure if the homeowner cannot pay the high fines and penalties imposed by the city. Property owners are claiming their Constitutional rights are being denied because there is no third party review of citations or objective forum for a grievance to be heard prior to their being turned over for the foreclosure process or having their titles clouded. One Hundred Fouty-Five homes have been turned over to the county for this collection process.
The City Council will vote on whether to accept the City staff's recommendations or whether to hear the voice of the people from the VSHC on February 28th, 2011 at City Hall in Ventura, California at 6 pm, PST.
- Camille Harris
"The way to escape from a problem is to solve it." - Alan Saporta

Info Control

"We Believe [City of Ventura] code enforcement is on the right track..."
- VCReporter Management,
Editorial, April 30, 2009
VIEW Public Service Announcement
LETTER: Feb 24, 2011
Fred Evans
Real Estate Agent Rebukes Ventura Code Enforcement Scam

Subject: From Fred Evans
Date: February 24, 2011 6:36:28 PM PST

From: []
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
If the realtors and the public don't oppose the staff's recommendation on February 28th [2011], we can look forward to resale inspections with no affordable compliance program, a discriminatory legalization policy...only a very restrictive policy for second units (i.e.owner must live on property), no addressing of neighborhood impacts... nothing for the commercial properties or individual homes. Also, no due process for the citizens or participation in the process.
Continued financial takings through clouding of titles and collection through foreclosure at the county. Prosecution of folks for not having permits, while the city admits it has lost them. Violation of privacy through satellite use. All of these issues were addressed by the VSHC [Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative], and their recommendations were ignored. The City Council owes it to the VSHC committee to directly address their recommendations instead of allowing staff to use the committee as a foil to push its own agenda.
If the citizens, realtors, small landlords, and homeowners don't speak up for themselves on February 28th, the two years of work by members of the VSHC was a waste. The VSHC can only do so much without the public's voice and support. The fear factor needs to go away once and for all.
Self-government will not survive as a spectator sport.
People need to show up and speak up, or be victims. Feb. 28th 6 pm. City Hall, item 7 on the agenda.
Thank you for your time-

- Fred Evans
Office: (800)-504-SOLD

4TH AMENDMENT Right Against Illegal Search/Seizure
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

"[The People] are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty."
- Thomas Jefferson
"They made us many promises but they kept only one. They promised to take our land - and they did."
- Red Cloud, Oglala-Lakota
c. 1822-1909
May/2009: Letter - Stacked Deck
Dear Mayor Weir &
Councilman Andrews,
- Michael Pedziwiatr
I was present at the appeal board meeting of David and Laura Swenson. I feel your own 90-year-old grandmother would not stand a chance against a bunch like these.
Two members were absent. Because of this the Swensons should be entitled to another appeal.
This was a stacked deck that no card shark in Vegas would dare bet against. I feel this is a sham. I will not abide to be judged by an unfair and biased group. I will somehow by whatever will and strength I have bring this to a higher authority.
Please do the right thing and enable your citizens with our proper rights.
The right to liberty, privacy and the pursuit of happiness. My right to be an artist is being threatened. I was not informed that a warrant was needed to see my property. Why do they not inform you of this right ?
I felt threatened and harassed by phone calls from the fire inspector.
This was why I let them in.
My property was not cited for safety code violations !!!
This type of power is unsafe and not just. The code enforcement department
cannot be fair. In twelve years there have been no fires or problems on my property
that indicate an unsafe environment. I live across the street from a fire department !
I feel violated and trod upon. This is unfair.
Please abate this unfair problem that is causing me great stress and loss of sleep.
The members of the board really gave no thought or discussion regarding SAFETY.
The discussion focused on the permit that was not paid for 50 years ago.
Why should we be held accountable for this ? Why should our personal property be taken away from us by our own government ? Would you destroy a structurally sound cottage that you owned and know is safe ? What purpose does this serve ? Do you really wish to uproot a family that contributes to this city in a multitude of ways ?
These are my feelings. I am hurt by your actions, The City of Ventura, CA.
and those of the code enforcement inspectors.
My sister was a dispatcher for the East Chicago Fire Dept. for many years.
I became friends with her squad. I constructed an art piece in honer of the fallen firemen of nine eleven.
The action of this city's fire inspectors paints a stain upon and blemishes
these realities/memories.
I wait to see the path you chose at the city council meeting this next Monday.
I expect your course of action to be the fair and correct one.
Thank you.
Respectfully yours,
Michael Pedziwiatr

LETTER: 6/9/2009
Representative Nava
To: Pedro Nava, Assemblyman (D-Ventura-Oxnard-Santa Barbara, 35th District)
Subject: Help Citizens Please !
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009
Dear Mr. Nava,
I do not know if you can actually do anything about our problems here but I feel you do need to be informed.
The City of Ventura is unfairly targeting housing and trying to raise money for their coffers by proactively enforcing housing codes that they have ignored for 30 - 50 years. The code enforcement division is unfairly bullying, seniors, poor people, people of color. They talk their way into our homes without informing us of our right to seek a warrant.
They threaten homeowners with $400 a day fines. (8th amendment- cruel and unjust fines!).
They are telling me that I owe them $14,000.00 for past fees/fines ?
Is this cruel and unusual treatment ?
I am at present unemployed even though I hold a master's degree.
I have no health insurance for my family. My home is my only hope for any type of retirement. I feel that the City of Ventura is trying to take this away from me. I feel stressed in these economic times. This city is causing me sleepless nights and depression.
Please look into this by contacting this email for Camille Harris:
She will send you news articles and more detailed information about our situation. They have targeted over ninety families at present. Many are elderly and poor. They will force them out !
If you are unable to help then please pass this on to anyone who can. A lawyer from out of Ventura county will help.
I thank you for taking time to read this.
Michael Pedziwiatr
(Tax paying, law abiding citizen)
2010: Property Rights: Code Enforcement SURVEY, etc...
Venturans are famous for their opinions, and this survey proves that reputation. The percentage of votes, by issue, speak for themselves.
The Ventura Safe Housing Collaborative and the city staff will have public input from two surveys, two public workshops, public testimony and letters. If you haven't given your opinion yet, then send it on now to the chair of the stakeholder committee, Jill Martinez at
Their Goals Committee is ready to begin drafting recommendations as requested by the City Council. Read the results of this survey below.
What the People Want!
1. When [the city] Requests an interior inspection of a property, should residents be informed of their 4th Amendment Rights to refuse such inspection?
Answered question, 385
Skipped question, 6
Yes, 94.3 percent (363)
No, 5.7 percent (22)
2. If the city is Unable to collect on fines levied for un-permitted improvements or maintenance, should the city be able to foreclose on the property after five years?
Answered question, 375
Skipped question, 16
Yes, 9.6 percent (36)
No, 90.4 percent (339)
3. Should the City Disavow the use of satellite imagery to locate code violations?
Answered question, 362
Skipped question, 29
Yes, 70.2 percent (254)
No, 29.8 percent (108)
4. Should the City Grandfather (if they're safe, let them be) all properties as they sit today if owners can demonstrate the property is safe and habitable?
Answered question, 382
Skipped question, 9
Yes, 92.7 percent (354)
No, 7.3 percent (28)
5. Should the City Waive penalties and provide amnesty for property improvements and maintenance made without permits prior to the 2007 Property Maintenance Code?
Answered question, 376
Skipped question, 15
Yes, 91.8 percent (345)
No, 8.2 percent (31)
6. Prior to Enforcing non-life-safety violations, should the City be required to provide understandable information online and in booklet form listing 1. What requires a permit and 2. What it costs?
Answered question, 380
Skipped question, 11
Yes, 97.6 percent (371)
No, 2.4 percent (9)
7. Should Penalties, Timelines and procedures be readily available and easy to understand online with Yes or No answers?
Answered question, 384
Skipped question, 7
Yes, 98.2 percent (377)
No, 1.8 percent (7)
8. Should the City Provide public education workshops addressing compliance with Public Safety Requirements?
Answered question, 380
Skipped question, 11
Yes, 83.7 percent (318)
No, 16.3 percent (62) 380
9. Should all Codes and Policies be reviewed by an objective community advisory council every four years to assure policies are aligned with Community values?
Answered question, 351
Skipped question, 40
Yes, 86.0 percent (302)
No, 14.0% (49)
10. Is it Necessary for an Owner to live on the property where there is a rental?
Answered question, 374
skipped question 17
Yes, 4.5% (17)
No, 95.5% (357)
11. Should Tenants and Landlords have an objective third party, not employed by the city, to whom they may confidentially express their concerns and receive information?
Answered question, 362
Skipped question, 29
Yes, 83.7% 303
No, 16.3% 59
12. Should the Number of occupants be limited on a second unit or "Granny Flat?"
Answered question, 373
Skipped question, 18
Yes, 87.4% 326
No, 12.6% 47
13. Should Permit Fees be on a sliding scale (Low income owners or seniors pay reduced fee)?
Answered question, 366
Skipped question, 25
Yes, 69.9% 256
No, 30.1% 110
14. Should the Property Owner or resident have a choice of safety inspectors, by either a private home safety inspector or a code enforcement officer?
Answered question, 373
Skipped question, 18
Yes, 78.3% 292
No, 21.7% 81
15. Should the City Require mandatory code inspection for all foreclosed properties?
Answered question, 349
Skipped question, 42
Yes, 50.4% 176
No, 49.6% 173
For more information or to provide your comments.
- Camille Harris

Truth To Power
OUTSIDEr LINK: 5/17/12: Super PACs Tell Lies, but the Media Spread Them Source:
5-29-12 Occupy National Gathering: June 30 - July 4
5-29-12 Eating This Could Turn Your Gut into a Living Pesticide Factory
5-29-12 U.S. Envoy Under Fire in Russia After 'Shocking' Speech
5-29-12 James L. Gattuso: Put Brakes on Plan to GPS Track Truckers
5-29-12 Flame Cyber Attack: Israel Behind Largest Cyber Spy Weapon Ever?
5-29-12 Insurers Forcing Patients to Pay More for Costly Specialty Drugs
5-29-12 Exporting WAR: Italy to Acquire Robotic Warfare Capabilities from U.S.
5-29-12 Three Years After Taxpayer Bailout, Bank of America Ships Jobs Overseas
5-29-12 Fukushima-Contaminated Tuna Caught Off California Coast
5-29-12 Randol Stebner, Tacoma Man, Lights Fires In Home Depot To Support Friend's Local Store
5-29-12 Panetta: U.S. is Ready to Stop Iran from Creating Nuclear Weapons
5-29-12 The Impending Violence of the Failing Right Wing
5-28-12 You Can Change the Channel, but Local News Is the Same
5-28-12 Bilderberg Concerned Over Mass Protests
5-28-12 Our Female Service Members Do Not Deserve This
5-28-12 House to Vote on Ron Paul Bill to Audit the Federal Reserve
5-28-12 Cougar and Wolves Battle in the Bitterroot
5-28-12 How Shameless Oligarchs Plunder Our World: From 1990s Russia to Present-Day Oklahoma
5-28-12 UK has changed for worse under Queen Elizabeth: Poll
5-27-12 Wall Street Titans Outearned by Mainstream Media Czars
5-27-12 A Last (Chemical) Gasp for Bees?
5-27-12 Video/Story: Vatican in Chaos After Pope's Butler Arrested for Leaks
5-27-12 Snapshots of the Student Movement in Montreal
5-26-12 Fox guest: 'Regulators are Professional Destroyers'
5-26-12 Will South Dakota voters rock the nation and send message to the establishment?
5-26-12 [Video] Tepco release Reactor 4
5-26-12 Video: Paul Krugman Destroys Every Republican Argument for Austerity
5-26-12 Illinois Illegally Seizes Bees Resistant to Roundup; Kills Remaining Queens
5-26-12 All Military Bases in Mideast Region Within Range of Iran Missiles: IRGC Cmdr.
5-26-12 Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don't want the government spying on you (and they include 'pork', 'cloud' and 'Mexico')
5-25-12 YouTube Video: NYPD Brutality During May 22nd Peaceful Protest
Lessons from The Savings and Loan Debacle: The Case for Further Financial Deregulation
Video: How to Start a Revolution: Learn from Iceland!
5-25-12 Maple Spring: Nearly 1,000 Arrested as Mass Quebec Student Strike Passes 100th Day
5-25-12 Lavish Government Spending: Host Of Lavish Vegas Conference Leaves GSA
5-25-12 Milestone Marked in $13.5 Billion Aircraft Carrier Ford Construction
5-25-12 Marc Faber: 100% Chance of Global Recession
5-25-12 Facebook's stock debut shows not all investors are equal
5-25-12 Third Case Against Occupy Wall Street Protester Is Thrown Out
5-25-12 Hours Left to Save the Amazon
5-25-12 Facebook, Executives and Morgan Stanley Sued by Investors Over Disclosures
5-25-12 Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food
5-25-12 Average CEO Pay 2011 Nearly $10 Million At Public Companies: AP Study
5-24-12 Are We Witnessing the Death of the Big-Box Store?
5-24-12 Executive Hipocrisy: They're Finally Getting Google's Number
5-24-12 Cesium-137 Contamination: Fukushima Amounts to Four Chernobyls
12-13-07 YouTube Video: Is Junk Media Making You Sick???
5-25-12 West Side of the Reactor4 Building Bulged
5-25-12 Chicago Police Fight For NATO Summit Compensation
11-24-08 True News 13: Statism is Dead - Part 3 - The Matrix
5-24-12 VIDEOS/PHOTOS: Mass arrests: Over 700 Canadian Protesters Detained in Police Crackdown
5-24-12 Innocence And Injustice In 'Central Park Five'
5-24-12 Utility Says It Underestimated Radiation Released in Japan
5-24-12 Blatant Corruption Exposed as EU Blocks France's Ban on Monsanto's GMO Maize
5-24-12 Economist Worries '20 or 30 Billionaires Control Everything' in The Automated Future
10-21-10 U.N. Urged to Freeze Climate Geo-Engineering Projects
5-22-12 FBI Quietly Forms Secretive Net-Surveillance Unit
5-18-12 YouTube Video: Fukushima Japan in DIRE Straights: Update for The Last Week 5/18/12
5-24-12 Fukushima: Spreading Contamination of Tritium
5-24-12: Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown: Cut Spending, Tax Equitably
5-24-12: Revolt Against Vaccines Leads to Mass Exodus From Texas Colleges
5-23-12 Feminist Scholar Judith Butler Foresees Rising Repression Against Protests in the Western World
5-23-12: Senate Panel Approves Five-year Extension of Warrantless Wiretapping Program
5-23-12: GOP Budget Cuts Leave Agencies Too Broke To Police Wall Street, Top Regulators Tell Congress
5/23/12: Breaking News: Small Business Loses Money and Gives Up on Facebook
5-23-12 Media Blackout as Obama Appoints First Ever Assassination Czar
5-23-12 70 reports of police misconduct on Sunday at NATO protest, says National Lawyers Guild
5/23/2012: Facebook's Zuckerburg: As Crooked as They Come: INSIDER TRADING:How Zuckerberg Cashed in $1.13 BILLION Worth of his Personal Shares BEFORE Stock Cratered - Now Could it End Up at $10?
5-23-12 Zimmerman rode with Sanford Cops
LINK: Suppression of Small Town Newspapers Alive and Well in America
5/22/12: Water Level is only 40cm From the Bottom in Reactor1
2010: Inside Job, Narrated by Matt Damon (1hr:48min Full Length HD)
5/22/12: Sheriff Joe Sends Birther 'Investigators' To Hawaii On Taxpayer Dime, Including Sheriff's Deputy
2012: Afghanistan: Killing for Opium: If You Speak Out, You're 'Suicided'
5/22/12: The New, Strikingly Dishonest Ad from Crossroads GPS
5/22/12: Obama Spending Binge Never Happened
2012: Amazon Dumps American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Due to "Public Concerns" about ALEC's Union-Busting, Voter-Suppression Agenda
5/22/12: Bain and Financial Industry Gave Over $565,000 To Newark Mayor Cory Booker For 2002 Campaign
5/22/12: Hackers Gained Access to U.S. Justice Department Website
5/21/12: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Banned Staff from Researching Fukushima Contamination
5-21-12 An Entrepreneur Bankrolls a Genetically Engineered Salmon
5/21/12: "No NATO, No War": U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Return War Medals at NATO Summit
5/20/2012: The Rise of the New Economy Movement
5/20/2012: 6.2 Magnitude Quake Shakes Japan
5/20/2012: Chicago Police Accused of Planting Evidence in 'Molotov Cocktail' PLOT/NATO Summit
5/20/2012: Tepco Banned Freelance Journalists from Taking Cameras to Fukushima Plants
5/20/2012: A Sea of Robin Hoods Tell the G8, "It's Time to Tax Wall Street!"
5/20/2012: Dam bursts at Frac Sand Mine, Sends Runoff into St. Croix River
5-20-12 Marathon Oil: Toxic Flaring Shale Gas in the Eagle Ford Shale
5-19-12 Koch Operative Steered $55 Million To Front Groups Airing Ads Against Democrats; Ads Assailed Candidates Over Abortion, 9/11, Medicare
5/19/2012: Stop Needlessly Testing Tobacco Products on Animals
5/19/2012: Dan Rather to Maher: Corporate Media Consolidation is Politicizing and Trivializing Journalism-Story/Video
5/19/2012: Police: 20,000 Anti-Corporate Protesters March in Frankfurt
5/19/2012: National Lawyers Guild Decries Terrorism Charges Against Occupy Activists Protesting NATO Summit
5/18/2012: An Open Letter to the World on the Governmental Destruction of the Environment in Canada
5/18/12: FBI to Investigate Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Administration for Bribery Relating to Gubernatorial Appointments
5/18/2012: Phonehenge West's Kim Fahey Gets Five Years' Probation For Building Code Violations
5/18/2012: The Organic Watergate: Alarming Report Reveals USDA's Cozy Relationship with Corporate Agribusinesses in 'Organic'
5/18/2012: Bill To End Indefinite Detention Fails In House
5/17/12: Security tightens as NATO summit nears
5/17/2012: Senator's to Unveil the "Ex-Patriot Act" to Respond to Facebook's Saverin's Tax 'Scheme'
5/17/2012: Bee kills in the Corn Belt: What's GE Got to Do with it?
5/17/2012: Postal Service To Start Closing Plants This Summer
5/16/2012: 14 State Governors Under Fire from White House for Forming Citizen Militias Not Under Federal Control
5/16/2012: YouTube Video: Tsunami Debris In Juan de Fuca Strait, Washing state
5/16/2012: U.S. Govt Sees U.S. Citizens as The Enemy? Drone Spotted Over Elgin Week Before NATO Summit?
5/15/2012: Obama Has Signed 3 New Executive Orders
5/15/2012: Petition: Don't turn Pagan Island into a Garbage Dump
5/15/2012: Banker Greed Continues Unabated: JP Morgan Debacle Shows Deep Systemic Risk Unchanged
3/28/2011: Iceland, a country that wants to punish the bankers responsible for the crisis
5/15/2012: Elitist Billionaire Peter Peterson Spent Nearly Half A Billion In Washington Targeting Social Security, Medicare for Execution
5/14/2012: Talking Surveillance Cameras Coming to U.S. Streets
5/14/2012: Totalitarian State: Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service' Suppression of Protesters and H.R. 347
5/14/2012: JPMorgan Executive Resigns After $2 Billion Trading Blunder
5/13/2012: Thousands Test the Waters in Mass 'Sunday Stroll' in Moscow (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
5/13/2012: BREAKING: HISTORIC JUDGMENT. Bush & Associates Found Guilty of Torture
5/12/2012: The Most Dangerous Drug in The World: 'Devil's Breath' Chemical from Colombia Can Block Free Will, Wipe Memory and Even Kill
5/12/2012: Address to the People of California: Governor Brown Discusses 2012-2013 State Budget
5/9/2012: U.S. Senator Sounds Alarm About 'Precarious' Fukushima Situation, Warns of Imminent Release of Radiation
5/9/2012: Feds Declare Martial Law Red Zone Around Chicago Loop For Nato Meeting
5/12/2012: NDAA Vote Next Week: End Indefinite Detention!
5/12/2012: Fukushima Daiichi: The Truth and the Future
5/12/2012: The Radical History of Mother's Day
5/12/2012: The Nuclear Industry and Fukushima: A Giant Nail in the Coffin of Humanity
5/11/2012: Bees & Pesticides: State of the Science: 22 Page Report Released Finds Pesticides Responsible for Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
5/5/2012: FBI Wants Backdoors to Watch You in Facebook, Twitter, Skype & Instant Messaging
Seven Videos of Journalists Arrested at Occupy Wall Street Events Nationwide
5/2012: Noam Chomsky on America's Economic Suicide
5/2012: Yolanda Quesada Fired From Wells Fargo For Shoplifting 40 Years Ago
5/2012: U.S. National Debt - What They Won't Tell You
New Secretive Group Admits It Is Going To 'Swiftboat' President Obama On National Security
5/2012: Firefox Creators Mozilla Attack Congress; Denounce CISPA
5/2012: Sacred White Buffalo Slaughtered; Reward For Catching Killer Grows
5/2012 Pass the California DISCLOSE Act
5/2012: Don't Let Boehner Replace Defense Cuts with Poverty Program Cuts
Occupy the FBI
5/2012: The New Wall Street Racket Looting Your City, One Block at a Time
5/2012: AT&T and Verizon Aren't Lawmakers. Defeat SB 1161
5/5/2012: CBS News San Francisco: Small Town (Ojai) Organizes Mutiny Against Water Company Over High Rates
5/2012: Gold Rush Imperils Peru's Rainforest and Animals
5/2012: Obama Seizes Control Over All Food, Farms, Livestock, Farm Equipment, Fertilizer & Food Production Across U.S.
5/2012: VIDEO: No Individual Taxes. We are being Robbed By the IRS!
5/2012: Welcome to Forgotten People - The Navajo Nation - Arizona
5/2012: Move to Amend - Ojai Group
5/2012: Corrupt Kentucky sheriff brought down by reporters
5/2012: Iceland forgives mortgage debt to save its economy
5/30/12: Hedges: How Our Demented Capitalist System Made America Insane
4/30/2012: “A Staggering Mess” as Tsunami Debris Hits Alaska Coast Early
4/11/12: How the 1% Screw Us Over: Robert Reich Explains How Mitt Romney Got Obscenely Rich
4-9-12 Ethics, Campaign Reform Measure Inspired by Occupy Movement
3/25/12: Smart Meters are Dangerous
3/14/12: Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail - The Bank has Defrauded Everyone from Investors and Insurers to Homeowners and the Unemployed. So Why Does the Government Keep Bailing it out?
2/1/12: CBS Ousts 4 For Bush Guard Story
1/16/12: Senate Bill Authorizes Feds To Revoke Citizenship Of Americans
11-6-2011 Video: Operation Proper Exit: A Return to the War Zone
6/11/11: Fukushima: It's Much Worse Than You Think Scientific Experts Believe Japan's Nuclear Disaster to be Far Worse than Governments are Revealing to the Public
3/14/11: WSJ: How Nuclear Reactors Work ... And the Dangers When They Don't
10-21-2010 U.N. Urged to Freeze Climate Geo-engineering Projects
11-17-05 Concentration Camps in the U.S.?
Keep Smiling
Who Owns Your Thoughts? When the News Becomes Just Another Racket and 'LOCAL' Becomes Just Another Marketing Buzzzz Word
Who Really "Occupies" the
Corporate Media?
Ventura's Very Own Totalitarian State
"owned" media

Tall Tales.... The most ideal situation for a bureaucrat, control the media......................
- VENTURA FIRED City Manager Rick Cole "co-founded Southland Publications" which is Pasadena based. Southland owns the "VENTURA" VCReporter/Ventana faux
'no-alternative' Corporate Publications....
Working Together to
vCORPORATE MEDIA with Government: Togetherness Forever...
- "Last year, we made a modest addition to our Code Enforcement staffing." - Ventura FIRED City Manager Rick Cole, April 20, 2012, Coles Blog: A Save and Clean Ventura
- "We Believe [City of Ventura] code enforcement is on the right track..." - VCReporter Management, Editorial, April 30, 2009
KEEPING the People In Line:
Totalitarian State Control Over Private Citizens: Big City Code Enforcment Rule Over Ventura Citizens is RAMPANT!!!
Govt Manipulation of the Media
"Where government owns the media, citizens are poorer, die younger, have higher infant mortality rates, less access to sanitation, there is more corruption, and less developed capital markets. Where media is privately owned, the opposite is true..... By acting as the gatekeeper to the media industry, government can keep out potential media providers who might be hostile towards their policies and throw out existing media producers who do not serve its ends. In this way entry regulation gives government a powerful method of indirectly manipulating mass media." -

VENTURA: - VCReporter/Ventana ~ Southland Publications, Pasadena, California. (Paper-in-the-Pocket: Southland Publications was co-founded by Ventura City Manager Rick-'King'-Cole!
- Ojai Valley News ~ Buchanan Publications/Tuscaloosa, Alabama?
- Reuters ~ Purchased by the Rothchild banking family in the 1800s. Reuters was recently purchased by Associated Press, Europe?
- Forbes Magazine ~ Malcolm Forbes (billionaire)/NYC?
- Getty Images ~ Getty Communications (J.Paul Getty...)/Seattle?
- VCReporter/Ventana ~ Southland Publications, Pasadena, California. (Paper-in-the-Pocket: Southland Publications was co-founded by Ventura City Manager Rick-'King'-Cole)?
- The Economist ~ Owner, The Economist Group, half of which is owned by the Financial Times, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC. A group of independent shareholders, including many members of the staff and the Rothschild banking family of England, owns the rest./London?
- VCStar ~ E. W. Scripps Co., Cincinnati, Ohio?
- Santa
Barbara Independent ~ two silent partners from NYC, Marianne Partridge, Randy Campbell. NYC?
How "buy Local" Are You?
Draining The Pond?
In Corporations 'You' Do Trust?
more info.
THE PRESS - Body Snatched: Talented or Tortured?
They are usually a little quieter than most (except when their dark side shines), often when you catch their eye there's a fearful flash that flickers across their eyes, they are the CORPORATE MEDIA AMONG US.... like something out of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, beware the Corporate Media is not some obscure idea, some foggy entity that exists somewhere in some high rise skyscraper far far away..... they are also in Ojai, Ventura, Santa Barbara Living among us..... true, they may be talented, but their true gift is in allowing themselves to be puppeted by the string pullers who attach to them from far far away in those high rise buildings...... ~ VIEW, editor, Jan/2012
See How Easily Ventura/Ojai Govts. & Special Interests Manipulate Scruffy MAINSTREAM Out-of-Town Media CarpetBaggers......
And THE VIDEO LINK: Click Here: Watch Sheldon Brown's Theft and Destruction Video: Click Here www.YouTube/OVVtaView (It's Here!!! Check VIEW, Issue 25/Apr. '10, Page 2......The Theft... The Lies... The Videotape...)
more info.

...and More Legal Problems

Another Conviction...
...for Sheldon Brown....Why indeed.... did Sheldon Brown advocate and personally Thieve The VIEW, preventing distibution of the paper? Anyone's guess what lurks in Sheldon's disingenuous self-effacing manner... but.... Perhaps because the VIEW exposed Brown (See The VIEW, Issue 17/Aug. '09, Page 5), after Sheldon ripped off a Church in Oxnard.....?
Sheldon failed to perform on a contract.... according to a Ventura County Judge who CONVICTED Brown (see VIEW, Issue 26/May. '10, Page 18)... Find Out How the L.A. transplant, (Ventura Breeze/Publishing/Building contractor "L.A. Sheldon Brown") picked the pockets of a trusting Oxnard Church, (VIEW, Issue #17, Aug. 09) Page 5.
Said Sheldon of this moral epiphany, "...I have no intentions of returning any money."
- Sheldon 'A Million Excuses' Brown
Churches No Longer Safe
in Ventura County ?
"Lil' L.A." Sheldon Beyond Reproach ?
"I don't want to talk about it right now,really..."
- Former Ventura Breeze Ad Rep.
Do You Feel Sorry for Sheldon yet ?
RIP Aaron Swartz, 1/11/2013
Cathy Elliot Jones
VIEW Exclusive
by Cathy Elliott Jones, Esq.
Jan. 2013: "Aaron Swartz helped create the Internet," CNN declared shortly after his death at the age of 26 on January 11, 2013. It was a tribute to a child prodigy who co-created RSS at the age of 14; originally Rich Site Summary, now Really Simple Syndication - RSS is a Web-publishing technology for delivering syndicated content from frequently updated sites, such as blogs or news websites. RSS allows Web consumers to receive the latest stories on a feed without having to constantly revisit their favorite pages.
"If you subscribe to a podcast - or receive automatic updates from - you have Swartz to thank," reported CNN.

Aaron, who also co-founded Reddit, one of the most popular websites on the Internet; who founded; and who was instrumental in defeating The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), the passage of which corporations so greedily sought; was facing a federal trial on 13 felony charges and a possible 35-year prison sentence pursuant to the archaic Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. His body was discovered in his New York City apartment, the cause of death attributed to suicide by hanging. His alleged crimes? Downloading documents of historical significance and research papers - research largely funded by taxpayers - that had been digitalized and were now "owned" by JSTOR and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (JSTOR did not want Aaron prosecuted, and released for free the documents Aaron had sought. MIT, however, decided to cooperate with an investigation headed by the United States Secret Service, no less - and in doing so, effectively placed the noose around Aaron's neck.) Aaron, who once said: "Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves," believed knowledge should be free for everyone. "Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity," he urged.
It was a sentiment he expressed when he wrote in a blog at the age of 13: "My name is Aaron Swartz. I'm a 9th grader at the North Shore Country Day School. In the summer of 2000, I finally realized that school wasn't working. I decided to do something about it.... I'm tired of outdated teaching practices where the students don't learn anything. I'm tired of constantly being prepared for more preparation. I want something new, something worthwhile, something better.”
Traditional schooling never seem to take with Aaron; after declaring his independence from the tedious process of 'preparing to be prepared,' he mainly studied at home. Although he enrolled at Stanford in 2004, he only stayed a year, saying he did not find it a "very intellectual atmosphere." At the time of his suicide, he was a fellow at Harvard University's Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption.
In agonizing detail, 603 pages of The United States v. Aaron Swartz have been released, exposing not only our broken legal system, but also the deadly, calculated precision with which the government broke a brilliant young man. Also revealed was more detail about the immunity agreement reached between Aaron's ex-lover, Quinn Norton, and Aaron's tormentors, which resulted in her testifying before the federal grand jury that ultimately indicted him, and the affirmation that she would have been tapped to testify for the prosecution had Aaron been able to survive until a trial occurred.
It is old news that Norton (@quinnnorton on Twitter), 13 years Aaron's senior and a tech and science writer (occasionally for Wired Magazine), a photographer, and a blogger, had been granted immunity, and testified before the grand jury. References to a "secret agreement with feds to avoid prosecution"; and WIRED reporter
Quinn Norton soon to be 2nd most hated snitch in hacker community after Adrian Lamo were circulating around Twitter as early as December 2011, all relying on a link to a single letter written on August 12, 2011, as an initial discovery response by United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who plays West Side Story's spiteful and lonely Anita with remarkable accuracy as she struts and leads her band of Sharks. The link contained two sentences that ricocheted around the web: 3. Promises, rewards, or inducements have been given to witness Erin Quinn Norton. Copies of the letter agreement with her and order of immunity with respect to her grand jury testimony are enclosed on Disk 3. (USA v. Aaron Swartz - Criminal Document #20).
But the release of the court case reignited the controversy, along with the usual speculations, denials, and rationalizations. On Facebook, one tells lies to one's friends. On Twitter, one tells the truth to strangers. When @timeoutcorner tweeted upon release of the court case: “Takes some serious balls to be all boo-hoo at the funeral of one's ex, when one was paid to be a snitch against said ex." Swartz LINK ("Balls" LINK), the reaction was fast and furious. Australian Internet activist @Asher_Wolf was her typically scolding self: "@timeoutcorner you need to stop. she took the 5th." Apparently, Asher did not pause to check her facts with Quinn herself, who pleaded her own case by claiming in a tweet: "my gj testimony didn't do the prosecution one damn bit of good" (LINK: (LINK: (LINK: ”@postmodern _mod3) (LINK: my gj testimony didn't do the prosecution one damn bit of good).
Although dear Asher was incorrect when she asserted about Quinn: "she took the 5th,” in reality the destruction of Aaron Swartz had already been long underway.
Reading through the 603 pages that comprise The United States v. Aaron Swartz brought recurring images from Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities: Dissatisfied and disgruntled prosecutors screaming, "We've found him, the Great White Defendant!" But instead of a bankster fat cat as their fictional prey, Ortiz & Co. were not jealous of Aaron because they thought he had financial worth and lived a lavish lifestyle. It was worse than that. They wanted to add the Smartest Kid on the Block to their collection of skulls and items on their resumes. He was The One who counted among his close friends the likes of Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, who broke down and sobbed on during an interview on Democracy Now shortly after Aaron's death; the Boy Wonder; the Internet sensation who, despite his accomplishments had disdain for financial gain, wanting nothing more than for ordinary people to have free access to knowledge. That he was more revered than his persecutors will ever be, as they toil daily doing just the opposite - locking up the ever evolving definition of Bad Guys - must have grated on the sensibilities of the United States Attorneys. It is reminiscent of the way the "gifted kids" were bullied in school before it became cool to be a nerd. But being a "nerd supremacist," as Jaron Lanier wrote in the Atlantic, ironically on December 20, 2010 - just as Aaron was supposedly in the midst of his JSTOR/MIT escapades -- has its own set hazards. Aaron found that out the hard way. (The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks, The Atlantic, December 20, 2010.)
Evidence of this nerd backlash, born not just of envy but of fear, can be found in the government's Motion for a Protective Order (Pages 77-82), filed on September 27, 2011, two and a half months after the grand jury returned an indictment on July 14, 2011, charging Aaron with four counts of wire fraud, computer fraud, theft of information from a computer, and this last one amuses, as though Aaron had been spray-painting graffiti: Recklessly Damaging a Computer. The motion asserts the necessity "to protect victims in the case from the very real risk of serious and irremediable harm while permitting the effective production of additional materials pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 and the Local Rules of this Court." Seven reasons were listed to justify this "very real risk of serious and irremediable harm," and it is the final one that bemuses the most: "earlier posted on one of his websites,, a call-to- arms entitled "Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto" which concluded "We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerrilla Open Access." (Emphasis in the original.)"
That he wrote those words when he was only 21 years old, and nearly two and one half years before the occurrence of events for which he was charged, apparently did not make them, or Aaron himself, any less "threatening" to our illustrious United States Attorneys. Instead, perhaps his youthful manifesto was the motivation for adding Aiding and Abetting to each of the charges he faced. Or perhaps he had company in his efforts to liberate knowledge. Perhaps the answer lies within the Ortiz letter itself.
The letter itself was not rooted in altruism: the government is required by law to provide evidence to a defendant facing federal charges. How much evidence is provided is invariably a protracted battle. As Ortiz ticked through her obligatory list, she arrived at the category "Exculpatory Evidence Under Local Rule 116.2(B)(1)," Ortiz sniffed: "The government is unaware of any information that would tend directly to negate the defendant’s guilt concerning any count in the indictment. However, the United States is aware of the following information that you may consider to be discoverable under Local Rule 116.2(B)(l)(a)." And at the very bottom of the list were the damning words that revealed that Quinn had cut a deal: 3. Promises, rewards, or inducements have been given to witness Erin Quinn Norton. Copies of the letter agreement with her and order of immunity with respect to her grand jury testimony are enclosed on Disk 3." (Pages 100-108, the entry itself found on Page 104)
But included in the same paragraph that is supposed to provide evidence that could exonerate Aaron, Ortiz also added: - While not a defense or material, one or more other people used or attempted to use scrapers to download JSTOR articles through MIT computers during the period of Defendant Swartz's illegal conduct. On the evening of November 29, 2010, the network security team at MIT was contacted and investigated journal spidering occurring on the site of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. It was tracked to a group of shared computers on which anyone at MIT can host a virtual machine. It was determined that a virtual machine had been compromised. The user was notified that scripts placed on it were downloading journals from JSTOR, IEEE and APS. The machines were taken offline early the morning of November 30, 2010. (Page 104) Other "witnesses" are referenced, including a "student" who allegedly identified Aaron from a photo (Page 103), and two "case-in-chief" witnesses are mentioned, but not identified. Inexplicably, that notoriety was reserved only for Quinn Norton.
These revelations prompted a letter from Aaron's attorney to Stephen Heymann (for some reason reminiscent of Richie Valens' older, drawing-by-numbers brother in La Bamba), dated May 8, 2012, requesting production of additional discovery, including: 11. Any and all Grand Jury testimony provided on or about June 16, 2011, and any memoranda of interview with Quinn Norton; (Pages 200-201) Heymann, who now calls to mind that dreaded teacher who always wanted you to show your work, requested that Aaron's defense provide him with a "legal basis" for the discovery being sought. In a responsive two-page letter dated May 10, 2012, Aaron's attorney addressed the ex-girlfriend issue by stating: 3. As to paragraph 11, [Any and all Grand Jury testimony provided on or about June 16, 2011, and any memoranda of interview with Quinn Norton] Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). (Pages 203-204)
The Brady case is a landmark SCOTUS decision in which the prosecution had withheld from the criminal defendant certain evidence, in violation of the 14th Amendment. Brady evidence includes statements of witnesses or physical evidence that conflicts with the prosecution's witnesses, and evidence that could allow the defense to impeach the credibility of a prosecution witness.
A subsequent discovery motion filed on June 6, 2012, by Aaron's defense did not address @quinnnorton's testimony and interview notes, so I assume they were provided - which the United States was obliged to do pursuant to Brady. However, it did request as follows PARAGRAPH 15. This paragraph asked the government to "identify the origin of any and all statements of Aaron Swartz including but not limited to emails, text messages, chats, documents, memoranda or letters, i.e., to identify the source from which each statement was received and the legal procedure used to obtain each such statement of the defendant." (Page 196) Further, the motion sought: Paragraph 1 requested that the government provide "[a]ny and all grand jury subpoenas - and any and all information resulting from their service - seeking information from third parties including but not limited to Twitter. MIT, JSTOR, Internet Archive that would constitute a communication from or to Aaron Swartz or any computer associated with him."
Paragraph 20 requested "[a]ny and all paper, documents, materials, information and data of any kind received by the Government as a result of the service of any grand jury subpoena on any person or entity relating to this investigation.” (Page 197) Being forced to duel for every scrap of evidence - whether harmful or helpful - seeps into the marrow of one's bones. Further, a 16-page Superseding Indictment was filed by the government on September 12, 2012, adding an additional nine counts against Aaron - all 13 carrying the same Aiding and Abetting charge. (Pages 240-256)
I assume that, when subpoenaed, Quinn Norton intended to invoke her 5th Amendment privileges. That right would have been co-opted by a crafty immunity deal - there is no need to refuse to testify if the testimony will not be self-incriminating. Still, without the immunity agreement, I am uncertain of the prospective success of an attempt by her to rely on 5th Amendment guarantees. Close family members can argue that they should not be forced to testify against each other, but cousins, nieces, nephews, and so on, are not considered close enough to qualify. (United States v. Seewald, 450 F.2d 1159 (1971)) As an ex-girlfriend, that argument would not have held up. If, on the other hand, she was considered a potential defendant, then an immunity deal would have been the only method by which to elicit her testimony.
Since the released documents do not contain the information tucked into "Disk 3," I will not speculate about the terms of the immunity deal, whether it was use immunity (meaning her testimony could not be used against her, but independently discovered evidence could), or if it was transactional immunity (meaning she could not be prosecuted at all in the matter about which she was testifying). One thing is certain: Quinn Norton was boxed in by The United States. How and why remains a mystery I cannot solve. Besides, it is not my story to tell. That right - to do so or to not - belongs only to @quinnnorton.
On February 4, 2013, Congress held its own memorial for Aaron Swartz. California Rep. Zoe Lofgren has called for revisions to the CFAA, which she has dubbed, "Aaron’s Law." California Rep. Darrell Issa has called for a congressional investigation of the prosecutorial overreach that hounded Aaron to death. Hackers - close friends of Aaron's - do no believe those efforts go far enough in addressing the problem of an antiquated and ambiguous law, burgeoning technology, and disproportionate punishment for Internet "crimes" people are often unaware they are even committing. It is their fervent belief that only those who understand computer science and technology possess the know-how to fashion Internet laws that are productive and proportionate for the advancement of American society; certainly driving hackers to suicide or locking them up indefinitely only demonstrates fear of the best and the brightest scientific minds - a tradition that can be dated back to Galileo or even as recent as Alan Turing. (Aaron was the second hacker who committed suicide while being pursued by US Attorney Heymann; Ortiz' husband had the gall to take to Twitter to criticize Aaron's parents and his obituary before Aaron was even buried - an act he no doubt regretted when it was discovered by Anonymous). One such group can be found at I have been asked to serve as the legal advisor, and wrote the dedication that appears at the bottom of the page: “To honor one of the most inspiring, innovative thinkers of our time, the content of this site is and will remain public domain - as is the United States law it is based on - in memory of Aaron Swartz and all other hackers who have given their lives or freedom.”
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cathy Elliott Jones, Legal Director, Cathy is a litigation attorney whose areas of focus include constitutional rights, government and law enforcement abuse, Internet freedom, and children's rights, particularly those associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She is a former board member of the Asperger's Association of America and founder of One Child at a Time, a nonprofit organization providing assistance to families of children and young adults with special needs. She has initiated and participated in conferences and state and federal lobbying related to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
"We Believe [City of Ventura] code enforcement is on the right track..."
- VCReporter Management,
Editorial, April 30, 2009
Changing Weather PatternsHow Financial 'Downturns' are Spun to the scorned public. Fixed Government, Special Interests, Financial Institutions, Big Media, Corps. & Wall Street present bad financial news like a freak weather pattern completely out of their control. Fact is they always work it to their advantage, profiting from the people's hardhip. They Always manage to theft Private profits for themselves at Public taxpayer losses.
Actual Way Government/Special Interests, Financial Institutions/Big Media, Corporations & Wall Street cronies Intentionally Create underegulated Financial Crashes; then run off with big Private Profits and cause harm to and destruction of Public taxpayer solvency (called Theft).
Ventura city hall errandboy BUSTED
Convicted VeNtUrA BrEeZe Publisher Sheldon Brown.....
a Convicted friend of Ventura City Government &
The Ventura Chamber of Commerce......
where LINK criminal behavior
is Awarded
Shady Sheldon ~ Shifty
Ventura Breeze Character...
Shifty Incident... Waaaaa?
Thief and Liar: L.A. Publisher CAUGHT
LINK to Video
BROWN CONVICTED: As Published in THE VIEW pdf: Pg 2 Issue 25, April 2010: The People of the State of California, Plaintiff vs. Sheldon Brown, Defendant ~ PC.490.7 (B)(A) Unlawfully Taking More Than 25 Copies of a Free or Complimentary Newspaper with Intent to Harm Competitor ~ Breeze Publisher Sheldon "L.A." Brown Convicted of Theft
April, 2010: Sheldon Brown, editor, publisher, and "chief bottle washer" of the Ventura Breeze was convicted April 2 in Ventura Superior Court of the Oct. 17, 2009 Criminal Theft of The Ojai and Ventura VIEW.
Brown's noted disingenuous "apologies" and rationalizations didn't wash with the DA or the court either as he received his sentence. I honestly think Sheldon is "sorry" but he is only sorry that he got caught. His pleas for sympathy were thinly disguised veils for his true unmaskable nature.
The people that Sheldon was hurting are the Advertisers of the VIEW, and as a "newspaperman" Sheldon should understand this, and know that he's hurt the VIEW advertisers. Now he has the nerve to Target the same Merchants, who his selfish actions have damaged.
Is this the kind of person you would want to advertise with?
And so, as any law enforcement officer will tell you, Sheldon's thievery, attempted censorship, subsequent lies to try to mislead, his cap-in-hand pleas to Ventura city officials (apra-pro pals & part of his stable of friend-in-hand politicians; regular Breeze propaganda 'columnists' - so an outlaw publisher for 'outlaw' politicians...) still, this was no match for the solid surveillance video (
Click Here) evidence of his unsuccessful chicanery, trickery, foolery and thievery. Sheldon still owes The VIEW $140 for the 70 copies of the VIEW he stole, despite his own Oct. 27, 2009 email in which he promises, "I would be happy to pay for these papers if you will tell me where to send a check."
For Sheldon, The Ojai & Ventura View, P.O. Box 1824, Ojai, CA 93024, just as it has always been published in the VIEW box [on page 2]. Let the healing begin. We're still waiting Sheldon for the "check is in the mail..."
- Editor
UPDATE Dec./2011: DEADBEAT Defaulter List
-- REWARD --
The Ojai and Ventura VIEW is offering a Reward to anyone else providing electronic/photographic evidence of the Theft or Destruction of VIEW papers. Ron Rowe and Mary Long will personally present a bottle of hand-picked Charles Shaw Cabernet or Merlot. For More information stay tuned !
When the public's access to information is restricted or censored, the public suffers. When an individual, or government, or other media source or media/government cohort seeks to restrict the Press and First Amendment right to Free Speech, the public suffers. When this is done in the midst of an election, the voting public and ultimately our democratic and free way of life suffers. With the U.S. in such recent dire straits, the free discussion of ideas now more than ever, is necessary to provide a way out.
- Joel Anderson, editor, VIEW
Crooks Always Think They're Too Smart to Get Caught ~ The Ojai and Ventura VIEW is offering a Reward to anyone providing electronic/photographic evidence of the Theft or Destruction of VIEW papers.
More info.
The Wild,Wacky and Zany World of 'Ivory Tower Boy' Sheldon Brown and the Ventura Breeze.... Sheldon Cited by the Ventura P.D........ Convicted by the Ventura County Court System... And Loved by the Ventura City Council........
Brown Has Conviction
VENTURA PD CRIME: VIDEO INCIDENT: Posted Sun. Oct. 25 - BREAKING NEWS: CAUGHT ON TAPE - Theft of The Ojai and Ventura VIEW - Video (See VIDEOLINK --> The Sheldon Brown Theft/Destruction Video: Click Here www.YouTube/OVVtaView ) The Nature of Politics.... The Ivory Tower's Boy:Sheldon Brown: First the theft, then the lies, then the half-truths...then the Conviction from Ventura County Judge...-> (see VIEW, Issue 25/Apr. '10, Page 2)
Upholding The Fascist State
Jan. 26, 2012: U.S. Drops in Press Freedoms Ranking ::: The U.S. Dropped from #27 to #47 in Reporters Without Borders' 10th Annual Press Freedom Index 2011-2012, released Jan. 26. The report noted that U.S. Police Crackdowns (censorship, physical attacks, arrests) on Reporters during ongoing Occupy Wall Street Movements were significant. Beginning last year, this marks a dark downturn in the United States, which represents itself internationally as the world model for free democracy. A new low has now been achieved by the U.S. in utilizing totalitarian and repressive tactics to repress the free press and, in turn, suppression of an overwhelming number of U.S. citizens.
More Information: Save The
"We Believe [City of Ventura] code enforcement is on the right track..."
- VCReporter Management,
Editorial, April 30, 2009
Is the Corporate Press Subject to Manipulation by every threat wielding self-interest that comes down the Pike?
Does the city of ventura "own".... the VCReporter??? Ask Rick Cole.....
The "LA"Reporter......
Are You NOT Local? Sending Your Ad Dollar to the big black hole of Los Angeles?
The "VC"Reporter & Ventana are in fact owned by Southland Publications, Pasadena, California which was
co-founded by Ventura City Manager Rick Cole
STATE OWNED MEDIA Alive and well... in VENTURA COUNTY......
Glossy People
Glossy Content
"We like this place pretty much the way it is"
- Brett Bradigan, (sed May 2011)
fired Ojai Valley News editor
THIS PAGE INCLUDES: IDIOT BLOGGERS: ~ Find out what happens when a group of idiots with too much time on their hands put their pea brains together....

Can you Save Your Town? Or Are You Just another Crony to the Cabal of Special Interest?
The Faux-Media and
the Damage Done

Is your News just a little too watered down for what's really going on... They never give you the Real story? It's NO ACCIDENT! Don't forget the Mainstream Stagnant Press and the damage done.... Idiot Ventura-County-Mainstream Media & Faux Alternative-Chain-Newspapers, & idiot bloggers (Those Lazy Dawgs...) have helped enable our Financial Mess and are Twisting & still Sucking UP to Corporate America in Desperation, those who caused the mess in the first place. Why the struggling, sedated not-local corporate Mainstream Press (LA Based-VCReporter (LA ad rag), Star Free Press, Remote-Controlled OVSnooze, etc.) can't help but suck up to the archaic failed systems of government & business as usual... How 'Local' are you?
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