Re: Tim Schiffers' May 19 letter, "College Park is right place for museum":
I am writing as an ex member of the College Park Advisory Committee and the Chairman of the College Park Neighborhood. I was elected to CPAC by acclimation of the Chairs present at a general meeting of the Neighborhood program. As a member of CPAC I observed the usual partisanship of special interests. The one member of CPAC that had consideration for ALL the citizens of Oxnard was Martin Jones. The single most blatant example was and is the continuous verbal onslaught of the misleading use of College Park PUBLIC PARK LAND for a museum.
The representative of the farm museum is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ventura Museum and he was treated like royalty. It is not insignificant that the museum representative has connections with City Councilmen and staff and a majority of CPAC members. The farm museum Board in Ventura comprises 24 individuals of which more than twenty live outside of Oxnard. Mr.Schiffer is an employee of the Board. Possibly that explains his gross inaccuracies.
A few of Mr. Schiffer's inaccuracies:
1. No cost to the City? What the Ventura Board wants is a gift that is valued at more than a million dollars on the open market.
2. "Perhaps a new location can be found..." Where is this new location? Name the new location Mr. Schiffer. Will the Ventura farm museum pay for the relocation of the Rainbow Ladies or is that a bill for the Oxnard taxpayers?
3. "...exhaustive public process..." Yes, as usual, a process that led to the pre-determined conclusion. I remember vividly the same process led to the Pacific Suns and El Pueblo (both bankrupt and owing the City money, El Pueblo about $174,000) at College Park.
4. The vocal minority is just that. And they are for the Farm implement museum.
5. "The museum is a nonprofit organization...". Yes and it is a wonderful tax dodge for members that contribute any old piece of junk that has a provenance of fifty years. Interesting that associate museum members are appraisers.
I was asked to represent the community via the chairs of the neighborhood program. I did and became ill. The alternate I appointed, Ventura Fernandez the Chairman of the Interneighborhood Council Forum, all according to the bylaws of CPAC and the Neighborhood Program, was not seated at the direction of of the Chairman of CPAC. The INCF is an organization created by resolution of a past City Council. Of course the CPAC Chairman is also a member of the Ventura museum organization.
No conflict there. When I was a member of the CPAC Committee the Chairman never communicated with me. She did not return calls or faxes. But she always had an ear for supporters of the farm museum. The supporters then and now have always been a minority. Their motives are suspect and known to me. The Rainbow women are in the way. This noble Ventura Museum organization wants the two houses that have been the home of the Rainbow people for more than fifteen years. What will the museum do with the houses once the women are evicted by the City Council of Oxnard? After the museum has their meetings and parties the houses will be put to the commercial use of being a fast food vendor.
If Mr. Schiffer was not a hired hand of the Ventura museum one would expect that he would confine his remarks to geographical and cultural venues that he has knowledge. Such as the city where he lives: Santa Barbara. Or where he works: Ventura.
Chairman, College Park Neighborhood
Avocado Ave.-=-Oxnard, Ca 93030
From Lois Jones
There are guardian angels living at College Park. The presence of these angels help keep the park a safe place for all of us. These angels are such good neighbors most people don't know they live at College Park. Although I call the women who live at College Park "guardian angels", other people know them as the Rainbow Ladies. In 1985 the Rainbow Ladies moved to College Park to inhabit the two old farm houses on the site. These old houses were rundown and in great disrepair. There was no running water, no electricity, no front porch. All the windows were broken but one. The yard was a mess. The Rainbow Ladies with their own sweat totally rehabilitated these buildings. Today the two old houses and the grounds around them are in spotless condition thanks to these angels. It is possible these houses would not be there today if the Rainbow Ladies had not saved them.
The Rainbow Ladies do more than save buildings they also save lives. These old houses have been home to more than 1,000 women who have been helped by the Rainbow Ladies. But as with most things in life there is a dark side to this story. The Ventura Museum wants to take these houses from the Rainbow Ladies. This Ventura organization wants to use the houses for a farm implement museum. There are many old houses in downtown Oxnard and in Ventura County that could be used for a museum. But the Ventura Museum wants the homes occupied by the Rainbow Ladies. It is not fair to ask women who have invested time, money and energy in these homes to now get up and leave. How can any caring person even ask them to do so? How can anyone value storage of old farm equipment more than saving peoples lives?
Our guardian angels, AKA Rainbow Ladies, now need our help. The Rainbow Ladies don't want to move. College Park is their home. I don't want them to move either. The Rainbow Ladies' onsite presence has made College Park a safer place for all of us. The Rainbow Ladies should continue to be the caretakers of College Park. I hope everyone will tell the City Council we want, we need, the Rainbow Ladies at College Park.
On Tuesday, May 21, 2002, the Oxnard City Council will decide whether the Rainbow Ladies or the Ventura Museum will get these homes. Please tell the City Council you want the Rainbow Ladies at College Park. The Council Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers. If you can't come to the meeting please contact the City Council at the following addresses:
Write: City of Oxnard, 305 W. Third St., Oxnard, CA 93030
Phone: Oxnard City Clerk 385-7803
FAX: Oxnard City Clerk 385-7806
From Lois Jones
The date for the City Council meeting to approve the College Park MasterPlan has been postponed once again. According to Michael Henderson'soffice the meeting will not be on May 21 but TENTATIVELY has been setfor June 11.
I don't know why the City continues to put off the decision on CollegePark. Perhaps they are trying to find a "nice" way to evict the RainbowLadies. I believe the Star plans to print my letter in support of theRainbow Ladies this week. Hope some of you can write a letter also.
Thank you for your support and patience.
Just when I thought I wouldn't need to communicate with you for a fewweeks, the College Park date has changed again. Well actually I don'tknow when the park will be discussed at City Council but the Mayor hasput the status of the Rainbow Ladies on the May 21st City CouncilAgenda. The Rainbow Ladies will be discussed under Item "M" CityCouncil Business/Committee Reports.
Also being discussed under Item "M" at the City Council meeting is theLNG Plant at Ormond Beach. So for those of you who are interested inboth LNG and the Rainbow Ladies you can speak on both items Tuesday night.
I hope that some of you can come out and support the Rainbow Ladies. Ifyou can't come to the meeting please write to the City Council at
firstname.lastname@example.org Daniel Martinez the City Clerk
will inform the City Council that your comments were received and makeyour comments part of the Public Record.
Thank you for your support.
The master plan for College Park has been completed and approved by theRecreation and Parks Commission and will be on the May 14,2002, CityCouncil agenda for approval. This is not the park we were promisedtwenty years ago. However we did make significant accomplishments. Thesoccer community wanted 7 adult fields; they got four. The VenturaMuseum wanted 20 acres they have been limited to four acres. The 16acres not given to the museum is now open space and additional parking.
Following are features of the proposed
4 soccer fields with lights
5 baseball/softball fields with lights
3 acre dog park for large dogs
1 acre dog park for small dogs
Perimeter jogging/bicycle trail
1 children's play area for tots
2 children's play areas for school age kids
Approximately 629 parking spaces
4 acre farm museum
Grass volleyball court
2 full-court outdoor basketball courts
26,000 sq. ft. community center building with gymnasium. Plans are to
operate a PAL program and a police substation from this recreationbuilding.
The community center will be located next to the existing group barbecuearea and parking lot. The outdoor basketball court, volleyball court,children's play area for tots, and one of the play areas for school agechildren will be clustered around the community center. I have beentold by an Oxnard College employee, Eli Oakley, that Oxnard College plans to build a swimming pool by 2005 with some of the bond money recently approved by the voters. I believe however there will be a footprint of a swimming pool on the College Park proposed plan in case Oxnard College does not build a pool as they have promised. The final proposed drawing for College Park will be available at the Recreation and Parks meeting on Wednesday, April 24. The meeting will be televised starting at 5:30 p.m.
I can personally support this plan for College Park except for one item. It is proposed to give the Ventura Museum not only four acres but to also give the museum the two old homes on the site. It does not seem to bother the museum that they will be taking these homes from the Rainbow Ladies but it bothers me. About 15 years ago the Rainbow Ladies
fully restored these two old homes with their own sweat. The Rainbow Ladies treat drug and alcohol addicted women at this site and have served more than 1,000 women in the last 15 years. I intend to continue to fight against the eviction of the Rainbow Ladies by the City for the museum. I intend to protest the eviction of the Rainbow Ladies at the
City Council Meeting on May 14. Attached is a letter about the RainbowLadies that I am sending to the newspapers that I hope will be printed.
I hope all of you can send your own letters and attend the City CouncilMeeting on May 14 and ask that the Rainbow Ladies be allowed to stay intheir homes at College Park.
Thanks for Visiting the Oxnard Journal ----
On Monday the Parks and Recreation Commission will meet to finalizetheir recommendations for College Park. This meeting will not be held in Council Chambers so will not be televised. If you want to see whatthe Commission has to say about this matter please attend the meeting.Monday, March 25, 5:30 p.m., Oxnard Library Room B.
Thank you for your support.