Local Newswriter on John & Ken Show re: Ormond Beach Homeless Encampments

By George Miller

Hueneme Voice writer Christina Zubko was a guest on the John & Ken KFI 640 show this evening, on the subject of the homeless encampment problem at Ormond Beach, Oxnard. She got involved when it spilled over right into her Port Hueneme neighborhood.

John & Ken, Live Broadcast

You should be able to access the on-demand podcast at: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/john-and-ken-on-demand-20635765/

John/Ken noted that Ormond Beach is/was a relatively pristine nature/bird sanctuary, administered by the Nature Conservancy (NC), which they labeled “a phony non-profit environmemtal group.” True or not, they have been a major positive force in helping Ormond Beach.  The pair cited the snowy plover and Least Tern as protected species that inhabit the beautiful beach and wetlands areas. They said NC had allowed the vagrants to overwhelm the area. We are not aware of any Nature Conservancy police/enforcement capabilities to address that.

They cited news reports and drone camera videos as helping to focus attention on the situation, but believe that stories of a vagrant who severely kicked a dog did much to create public outrage.

They asked Christina to tell the audience about the homeless encampments situation and what’s being done with it. Christina told them that the Oxnard Police had affixed notices to vacate at the encampments and started evictions yesterday. A lot of city resources have been deployed to make sure that this happens, to clean up vast quantities of debris and offer help to those who will accept it, which is a problem. (Many are what is called “service-resistant- don’t want help). She said heavy equipment and huge dumpsters were deployed and were emptied repeatedly.

She said vagrants have moved elsewhere, including Hueneme Beach, which she is most unhappy about.

But this is the second time in a year that this problem has gotten out of hand, so the duo asked her what is being done to prevent a recurrence/make it “sustainable?”  The three are disappointed that no plan has been articulated to address the problems on an ongoing basis.

Zubko said that Oxnard Homeless Coordinator Mark Alvarado told her that their mission is to make sure that it happens, get services for those affected and have them gone from the site. 

She referred to homeless advocate Lang Martinez (who has written or collaborated on quite a few Citizens Journal articles, who had a serious meth addiction problem), who said that the vast majority of the people are addicts and not here just to loaf on the beach. 

Publisher’s note: Mr. Martinez tells me that he and two experts did an assessment of the population in these encampments and concluded that nearly all had addiction problems. He wants to help with outreach and treatment/sober living referrals to the local homeless population.

John/Ken wanted to know what is being done to keep them from coming back again. Zubko says she has asked that question of Police Chief Scott Whitney, Carmen Ramirez and other city officials but has not received an adequate answer to date.

Whitney previously told me that police resources are spread thin, so it is difficult to maintain multiple major sustained efforts. Right now a Plaza Park attempt is also going on. They have done Ormond Beach before and the Halaco Superfund site. Now Ormond Beach is an issue again. Legal constraints/court rulings have made enforcement more and more difficult. Zubko specifically cited AB109 and Prop47 as major impediments.  A court decision this year throws more roadblocks at removing people living on public property.

John, Ken and Christina were all relieved  that a current enforcement effort is underway, but are concerned about what happens after that.  The pair said it appears that Oxnard is not able to sustain the effort.

John and Ken did not voice any sympathy for those afflicted, saying they don’t want to see them, their fecal waste or drug paraphernalia and that they can go to the desert and have all the meth that they want — and more- but you get the picture. In contrast, the city wants to help these people, but in turn needs help to do that, which will come from the county, state and private organizations.  But we thank John & Ken for getting public attention for this.

John & Ken got involved in our special event surrounding the brutal murder of a restaurant patron on the Ventura beach promenade a couple of years ago. That event helped set off an enforcement and outreach program by police dept. and social services that seems to have achieved results. The show, broadcast right outside the Crowne Plaza, made thousands of people aware of the event and the problem.

 

Read complaint letter from US Fish & Wildlife Service: LOCAL, VEN, City of Oxnard Homeless Encampments, Ormond Beach, Comments, WSP, CLTE, 2019-CPA-0131

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George Miller is Publisher/Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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Rafael Stoneman

“Mr City Reporter, my name is Lang Martinez and Mr. Ward is one hundred percent true about playing a shell game that’s exactly what you are doing?”

Lang, do you mean Citizen Reporter? I don’t see anyone named City Reporter that made a comment.

Khepera House has a medical detox that accepts Medi-Cal/Medicare but there is a waiting list. I am unclear as to if the County of Ventura has a medical detox that accepts Medi-Cal/medicare. Does anyone know? It is important to have detox facilities ready that accept Medi-Cal/Medicare because the private detoxes are thousands and thousands of dollars.

When I have tried to find a rehab facility in the past for a loved one, it was very difficult if any signs of mental illness were showing because many of the rehabs do not accept people who may have a mental illness diagnosis. Having a clear list of rehab facilities that work with dually-diagnosed people, is important, as Lang has said.

Because meth addiction often creates what professionals call a “drug induced psychosis”, it will be necessary to have beds available in a facility that offers medical-detox for dually-diagnosed individuals, as Lang has said.

I have researched what facilities are available and it is hard to find an exact list. I ended up taking a loved one to Vista Del Mar but they were not necessarily well-equipped to handle the addiction aspect as they primarily focus on treating the mental illness aspect. And one of the main ways they do this is with medication. Medication is not always the best fit for all individuals.
My loved one was given a shot of Haldol that lasts 30 days on a slow release. It was not the best treatment for my loved one as it caused physical reactions like uncontrollable body movements and the inability to sleep well.

The last time I went to the Armory Shelter to try to admit a client, they were full. And I am unclear as to if they can provide a medical detox. Judging from the way it is set up, I don’t think they can, as it is one big room with bunk beds and in a medical detox, there would need to be isolation and privacy for some individuals. The Rescue Mission has some openings but I am unclear as to if they can handle a medical detox.

Lang Martinez

Mr City Reporter, my name is Lang Martinez and Mr. Ward is one hundred percent true about playing a shell game that’s exactly what you are doing? The City of Oxnard is trying to make themselves look good? It has been proven by my articles and the articles that I have collaborated on Inregards to the problems of the homeless people, my assessments I have established with professionals approximately 80 percent suffer from addiction and now I would definitely say the percentage is higher? Also if that percentage is higher than then they all one hundred percent are in need of mental health services? If its possible to reach out to these individuals and they do want help , they are in need of being of being detoxed and a facility that they could go to , I’m not aware of one are you ? Now if you had this facility they would need at least 14 days of detoxification and then you would have to bring in mental health services to do a assessment of what medications they might be in need to deal with their mental health issues? That’s why in most cases people in addiction are labeled dual diagnosed and they both have to be dealt with at the same time? The shelter is not equipped to offer this service or are the employees trained in this expertise to even deal with these individuals? Do you know we’re there is a place that they could go that I don’t know about? You mentioned beds available, I don’t have a clue were these beds are available for these individuals? I hope you weren’t referring to the shelter because that’s absolutely false there are no beds available at the shelter and I definitely do know because I’m out there on a daily basis and you are not ? So back to me making my point, if the City of Oxnard had this available, what drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers do you have availability for the men and women to go to ? I definitely qualify to know from personal experience that they would need at least 90 days minimum before they would even have any stability to go out in the real world and learn what it’s like to be a accountable member of society? If you have read any of my stories I have had sobriety 3 times 5 years and I worked in in the field of recovery in Los Angeles and even having the knowledge that I do have after my last relapse I had to myself go back into a rehabilitation facility myself and I know more than most when it comes to addiction? I challenge you to prove me wrong Inregards to anything that I am saying?

Michael Ward

Serious SHELL GAME playing with human lives!