Julio de 2001
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The inner sanctum
The Oxnard Journal -------------------------
In response to Larry's Open Letter
I should respond to a couple of traffic items in Larry Stein's open letter to Ed Sotelo:
The 101 Freeway crossing of the Santa Clara River project is entirely CalTrans as far as design and contract administration is concerned. I am not familiar with the contributory funding sources from the Cities of Ventura and Oxnard for the interchanges at Johnson Drive and Oxnard Boulevard, but they wouldn't appear in the operating budget for either city. I would guess there is an assessment for traffic impact that is earmarked with the collection of property taxes.
The widening of Rose Avenue between Fifth Street and Emerson Avenue is being constructed in three phases. This is due to environmental impacts - largely the eucalyptus trees south of Wooley Road - and the obtaining of matching federal funds from the Department of Commerce (creating new jobs for laborers). Phase 1 is underway, consisting of underground storm drains at Mountain View Avenue and at Emerson and Dupont. Phase 2 will consist of pavement renovation from PCH to Emerson, and Phase 3 will be the long-anticipated Emerson to Mountain View widening. Although the engineering design has been long done, there is still some right of way acquisition from parcels within unincorporated territory (County) and some eminent domain / condemnation issues outstanding, as well as price negotiations. It seems to be the case whenever City limits do not allow for uniform roadway widths.
In another related project, as part of the Rice/Pleasant Valley/PCH interchange (being administered by CalTrans), the stretch of Pleasant Valley Road between Bard Road and Butler Road is being designed to become four lanes. There is also Capital Improvement Project monies being earmarked for renovation of the existing pavement from the County Railroad crossing (near Terrace Ave.) to Bard Road.
Have Larry contact me (385-7826) if he has any further questions relating to local construction. As a surveyor, I generally know in advance of these projects, since the first step is to obtain topography for design purposes. I will admit, however, that the funding remains a mystery (or, rather, the time lag between my initial involvement and the ground-breaking).
Take care, Warren Smith
About that crazy Downtown Theatre...
Oxnard City Council:
This is important information regarding the proposed downtown theater project that the City of Oxnard hopes to fund with a HUD Section 108 loan guarantee.
This project has been ineligible for HUD funding from the beginning.
In order to quality for this particular type of HUD funding, a project is required to create a certain number of permanent, "full time equivalent" jobs.
But according to the Code of Federal Regulations, under Section 570.209, paragraph (b)(3)(i)(A), a project is ineligible if the amount of funding for any individual part of that project exceeds $50,000 for each new job created.
According to the city's own estimates in the original Section 108 application submitted last year, the cost for the theater/retail/restaurant complex would have exceeded $89,000 per job.
Even worse, the city's job estimates were grossly exaggerated, and the real cost would have been approximately $200,000 per job -- four times the maximum!
Furthermore, based on the information contained in Appendix B of the CDBG Desk Guide, which explains in detail the methods for applying this particular section of the law, there isn't any way in which the proposed downtown theater project could be eligible for HUD funding.
Any further effort to pursue HUD funding would be without merit.
The relevant documents can be downloaded from HUD's website at the following addresses:
Section 570.209 -- www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/rulesandregs/.
CDBG Desk Guide -- www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/library/deskguid.cfm.
(Please note that "deskguid" with the "e" missing is correct.)
A "Full Time Equivalent" (FTE) job is defined by HUD as follows: "One FTE is 2,080 hours of paid employment."
The number of FTE jobs is derived by adding up the total number of hours worked by all employees each year, and dividing by 2,080.
Chairman College Park Neighborhood
An Open Letter to Oxnard's City Manager...
July 10, 2001
From: Larry Stein
To: Edmund Sotelo - City Manager - City of Oxnard
RE: Annual Budget -Capital Improvement Projects
I do not see in the annual budget any references to the widening of the 101 Freeway over the Santa Clara River. This project has been on the drawing board for several years. As you are aware, this bottleneck at Oxnard contributes to backup of traffic sometimes as far away as Newbury Park (Friday Nights). Where is the budget for this project?
I did not see in the annual budget any references to the widening of Rose Avenue between Emerson and 5th St. Since the completion of the Rose Ave extension from Emerson to Channel Island Blvd., there has been a bottleneck along this stretch. When freight trains pass through, the bottleneck gets worse. This project was to have been started this March, but there are no signs indicating this project has started. The residents of Lemonwood have been promised a traffic light at the corner of Emerson and Rose for the last six years. We were told that when Rose is widened, the neighborhood would get its traffic light. The traffic engineer said in March of 2001, this light would be installed in December of 2001. Where is the budget for this project?
I left messages with Rita (385-7870) and Dennis (385-7429) asking about these two projects and they did not provide any answers even though they returned my phone calls.
I wrote you a letter last week regarding, among other thing, the budget of River Ridge. I have not heard from you on this project. The last time I wrote to you regarding a subject, it was regarding the Pacific Suns. You "didn't receive the first letter" and it took you 30 days to respond to the second letter. I hope my first letter regarding River Ridge was not lost. In regard to River Ridge, I did see on pages 13 and 14 in the Debt Service Summary (Annual Debt service requirement which is not included in Program Financial Summaries) two items regarding River Ridge. The first item was annual debt service of $821,450 of which $52,700 is for administration of this $2,700,000 debt. The second item was for annual debt service of $1,229,041 of which the administrative cost was $3,000. for this $11,870,000 debt. It appears that the debt servicing for River Ridge exceeds $2,000,000 annually. Pages 268 and 269 of the budget contain the budget for River Ridge. Pages B1 and B2 of the July 9,2001 Oxnard edition of the Ventura County Star includes an article on River Ridge. The newspaper article indicates that the golf course is so busy that golfers need to call 7 days in advance to make reservations. In the budget for 2000-01 there is an expected decrease in the number of rounds. In the 2001-02 and 2002-03 projections, there is an increase. Why is there this discrepancy? The newspaper article quoting the manager of the golf course states the weekday rate is $25.00 per round ($20.00 for Oxnard residents). The budget indicated that the average round of golf generated $37.33 in revenue in 1999-00 with increased increments to $39.01, $39.50 and $40.00 for the periods of 2000-01 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively. Please explain the difference. The budget highlights improvements to specific holes. The newspaper article talks about the new $10 million dollar course. Where in the budget is the new golf course discussed?
Sincerely, Larry Stein - Alternate Member - College Park Advisory Committee
Editor's Note::::: Larry ran for City Council in the 1990's and has been very active in Local Politics. He is a wiz at accounting and has the know-how to interpret how numbers get moved around to make things look good on paper and can tell when the City plays a shell game as they are doing with RiverRidge Golf Course.
Strange and Ecclectic STUFF....
EACH PAGE IS AN IMAGE - SO ALLOW time FOR PIPING UP OF THE IMAGE...
PALISADES PARK - NEW JERSEY------------------------------------------------------------
Riordan Opposition Building
"A number of Republicans are encouraging former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan to run for Governor of California in 2002. Riordan, however, is a RINO, (Republican In Name Only) like Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords.
"In fact, Riordan is a liberal who hired former Colorado Governor Roy Romer to head up the Los Angeles School District in 2000. Romer is former head of the Democratic National Committee (and) a friend of Bill Clinton... Instead of hiring a decent conservative to head up one of the largest school districts in the nation, Riordan tapped one of the most radical liberals available to oversee the education of children in the city.
"In addition, Riordan's closest mayoral advisors were involved in a 1994 scandal involving Webster Hubbell and his work as a consultant for the Los Angeles Airport. Evidence indicates that Hubbell did virtually no work for the airport, despite receiving $25,000 in consulting fees.
"Riordan is also for gun control. On KCRW's 'Which Way L.A.' Riordan once argued that he favored removing guns from homes even if it resulted in a citywide police sweep. He has argued for gun licensing requirements similar to license requirements for motorists.
"In short, Richard Riordan is a RINO who should not carry the banner of the Republican Party to run for California Governor. ... The state of California should have a clear choice between a conservative Republican and a Democrat -- not a choice between a Republican In Name Only and an ultra-liberal in the Democrat Party. Republican leaders should not encourage Richard Riordan to run for Governor."
- Phil Sheldon, ConservativePetitions.com
If you'd like to sign the "No Riordan" petition, go to:
Chandra Levy's Ex-boss Is One Sick Puppy
"The Drudge Report notes that (Rep. Gary) Condit's Web site carries an advertisement for 'Intern Opportunities.' Scroll down to the bottom left and you'll see a link to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Does this guy have a sick sense of humor or what?"
- Best of the Web, 7/5/01
Still Seeking Story Submissions.....
Send along your idea & even better a complete or tangible story....
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