Ormond Beach: Violence Again and Volunteers Direct Anger at Oxnard and Halaco Slag Pile Owners

By Christina Zubko

In January and February, volunteers picked up over 16,000 pounds of trash on Ormond Beach and on February 29, 2020, they had cleared the entire length of Ormond Beach–from Hueneme Pier to Arnold Road–of trash that came from the homeless encampments that were finally removed at the end of 2019. 

 

March brought with it fears of COVID-19 and almost overnight, the progress that had been made on Ormond Beach, stopped. The homeless on the Halaco slag pile started moving around again and some re-established their encampments on The Nature Conservancy property. Near the dunes on the beach, two new tents sprung up. Local residents placed several calls to the Oxnard Police Department and to the Oxnard City Manager, Alex Nguyen.  Emails with geo-tagged photos that showed the precise location of the two new tents were also sent. A month later and the two tents remain. The trash has also returned. 
On Saturday, the day that Hueneme re-opened its beach, the violence returned as well. Hueneme Beach volunteers witnessed an ambulance respond to a homeless man who had been stabbed in the back on Ormond Beach.  The victim was bleeding profusely and had come to Hueneme Beach seeking aid. Less than a year ago, a homeless man living on Ormond Beach kicked a dog on Hueneme Beach and threatened junior lifeguards.

 

Hueneme residents and beach cleanup volunteers are angry.  They are angry at Oxnard’s failure to maintain law (specifically, enforce city ordinance 2906 and comply with Coastal Act Policy 30240 (a)) and order on Ormond Beach. They are angry that the owners of the Halaco slag pile are violating the CA Coastal Act by allowing an illegal housing “development” in a coastal zone. They are morally outraged that both the city and the slag pile owners have failed to protect a vulnerable population from Halaco’s toxic elements, not to mention COVID-19 concerns. They expressed this anger in a social media post, an excerpt of which follows.  All names have been concealed. 

 

EXCERPTED SOCIAL MEDIA POST:

 

Port Hueneme Homeless
The homeless folks have taken advantage of all the attention on Corona and have made their way back to the ocean side of the estuary away from their Halaco home.  Granted, [sic] all the volunteers time to pick up trash has been wasted as trash has blown everywhere from the encampments. 

 

EXCERPTED THREAD:
Anonymous Poster #1 
It is really hard to watch, over the last few months several thousand volunteers spent weekends cleaning up after the vagrant population who decimated the environment there.  Countless dumpsters filled, many tons of trash removed. The work stopped due to the Snowy Plover nesting season. It is illegal for anyone except scientists and law enforcement personnel to enter the area from March 1 until October 1.  The instant this happened vagrants started setting up encampments again. This occurred before social distancing was on anyone’s radar. What did Oxnard do? Nothing. What are they doing now? Nothing. What are they doing now? Nothing. What has OPD done in response to numerous complaints about the violations? Nothing. What has the City Manager of Oxnard done in response to the complaints? Nothing.

 

What happened when Oxnard ignored this situation last year? A hundred or more hard core criminals, meth addicts, and mentally ill people swarmed on to Ormond Beach, set up complex encampments and started victimizing the residents of Port Hueneme and South Oxnard. Some of these individuals came here from as far away as Texas. What did Oxnard do? Nothing until one of these crazed individuals repeatedly threatened and attacked the lifeguards and assaulted a small dog, kicking it 15 feet in the air. At this point OPD joined forces with PHPD and spent several months and hundreds of thousands of dollars evicting them.  Now they are letting them back in again.

 

I urge everyone who cares about our ocean, beaches and endangered species living on Ormond Beach to email the Oxnard City Manager, OPD, and all the City Council members and demand action. 

Anonymous Poster #2 
The endangered birds are being eaten…either they are protected or not. Who owns that land? The owner of that land is getting a tax break. City wants Surfrider to deal with it. Not their job!!

 

Anonymous Poster #1
…[sic] They are disturbing the nesting sites and scaring the birds away. The City of Oxnard owns the beach, the dunes and the lagoon.  They could have those people out of there today if they wanted.

 

Anonymous Poster #3
Although last year I heard from VAS that eggs were stolen as were the monitoring cameras trained on the nests.

 

Anonymous Poster #4 
I couldn’t agree more, Poster #1.

 

Anonymous Poster #5
I find it hard to believe that [sic] does NOTHING, even though this issue is repeatedly voiced.  No clean up involvement. Nothing! [sic]

 

Anonymous Poster #3 
Thank you, Poster #5.  One council member did participate in a few of the cleanups.  However, she was the only one of 7 council members who came to the cleanups. If someone knows different, please correct me.

 

Anonymous Poster #2 
Do you think the trespassers even care or realize those birds are endangered when they are hungry? The land owner needs to be held accountable as well as the city of Oxnard.

 

Anonymous Poster #3 
Amen. The land owner of the Halaco slag pile? Yes. He’s allowing a development to grow on his private property.  Actually, this is a violation of the Coastal Act.

 

Anonymous Poster #2 
He gets a tax break, too.  

 

Anonymous Poster #3 
Yes. It’s infuriating that he gets a tax break.  He has ignored all the nuisance code violations that Oxnard has cited him with.

 

Anonymous Poster #2 
Who is HE related to, seriously!

 

Anonymous Poster #6 
It’s disgusting that this has reoccurred. I spent a few Saturdays with many others filling bags and bags of trash and all for nothing!

 

Anonymous Poster #7
Has anyone called/emailed EPA?

 

Anonymous Poster #8 
Not good.

 

Anonymous Poster #9 
We have, but there have been a lot of changes there, so we will be starting from scratch.  Contact info is on the EPA/Halaco site. 

 

Anonymous Poster #10
Yesterday morning, one of the vagrants living on Ormond Beach was stabbed in the back and ended up coming to Hueneme to try to patch up his wounds…once again Oxnard is allowing meth heads, criminals and mentally ill people to occupy Ormond Beach  If they continue to allow this, the costs associated with this fiasco will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The local organization Friends of Ormond Beach encourages the public to email Oxnard City Council members to demand that they restore law and order on Ormond Beach.  The public can also submit a public comment about the need to enforce city ordinance 2906 and Coastal Act policy 30240 (a) to the Oxnard City Council by contacting the Oxnard City Clerk’s office at 805-385-7803 or go online to oxnard.org and search “all city meetings.”

 

The public is also encouraged to report illegal activity to the Port Hueneme Police Department (805) 986-6530 and Oxnard Police Department (805) 385-7600.

Christina Zubko, Ed.D. is a volunteer journalist, environmental activist, and a founder of Friends of Ormond Beach. She can be reached at [email protected].  Follow Friends of Ormond Beach on Facebook and Instagram.


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Anthony Chavira
Anthony Chavira
6 months ago

Very well said mike as a person that has a heart for all humans iv visited the helico properity on ocasion i watched it grow from 18 incampments to over 300 incampments i questioned why did our law in forcment and city Council let it grow so big.i was told by a tenate of halico that they have been servied notice to get off the properity .at this time i voice my opion on next door of witch i warned that an evition of this size would put the older folks in danger so they extened the date by two weeks and i was told that the city had an a emergancy meeting and had decided to take $400,000 of emergentcy funds to help these homless people then we had the wild fires and the move out date was again extened.after the fires were over about a month or so later law inforcement show up and force them all to leave.the beaches the parks some gated commuitys were being invaded with these homless because they had no where to go they were sleeping on the sides of private homes and all the commuity was put at risk of possible danger.and when a question about the money was brought up i was told that it went to the clean up of halico.when at fitst it was to be used to help relocate or get help for these homless people.i tried to stop this from happening people got held up on the bike path assalted at the park meranda and bubbleing springs some of the homeless were subject to harassment by our law inforcement and chase into other citys and remain.the santa clara and ventura rivers became safe havens for the homless.these people are human beings and treated like animals.if the money was there to help them then why treat them this way.the homeless incampments now are few now some are waiting to go into houseing but theres no where to put them the vegibon hotel is full other houseing is not availble to them and just this moring i got a phone call from a scared older lady that she was scared of being thrown out because of drones flying over them with a message to vacate the property.is this a scare tatic if lt is ask the people that filled up the houseing ment for homless why they couldent place them?because the women that called me and her friend had contacted some one that places them to be told there is nowhere to put them.and if they did the friend wouldnt be dead today.she was murdered on the april 9th 2020.and herself has no one to protect her .now that the person has been caught sure she feel safe.but when the drones flu over them she feels threaten.she wants off the streets.her health is not good and needs help.and i will keep my promise to not turn my back on her until she does get the help she needs.i take food and supplys to her almost dayly.so please have a heart and leave them alone.the city can help by puting trash dumpsters so they can pick up there trash.i try to bring some out my self.im 61 yrs old and it takes me time to go to the site but i still go out there.there is some there that would help keep that area clean they would stop cutting trees if they had portable stoves showers and fire wood.they are trying to survie.thank you again mike people like us are needed.

Michael
Michael
6 months ago

I find it kind of funny that you pass such judgement when I’m sure you don’t live there. A lot of homeless people get financial support and still chose to sleep outside because they chose to spend their money on other things! I know that some people are homeless due to losing their jobs and homes and that’s a temporary situation but there’re some that chose not to make a change in their lives. I’m from Santa Barbara and we probably have more homeless than a lot of cities because of our weather. When you’re living in your neighborhood though in Ventura, the house you paid over $600,000 for and you now have homeless people living there, using bushes as their bathrooms across the street, do you honestly feel that’s acceptable? They were shooed away from the beach area because of stabbing a and too many incidents but because of so many houses being built on the east end… they’ve ventured out and crime has increased incredibly. Cars broken into, packages stollen and vandalism. I am not saying to put them somewhere, I just know that some have housing or places to rest their heads and choose not to. Theirs no reason they can’t pick up after themselves when they have trash and act in a appropriate way. Just because you’re living in a tent, doesn’t mean you have to act horribly to other people. The community shouldn’t have to clean up tons of trash on multiple occasions because they can’t make it to a trash can!

Michael
Michael
6 months ago

To you Godless people. So what soon you too may become homless as they are.I am ashamed of all you as anonomous strangers. How dare you judge the homless as you have. Many of those people have been pushed lead even forced into where they are now. Yes many are addicted many are criminal.many are without hope as well from ever being anything more. And with people such as these haters hendering their survival and any chance at getting any kind of foot hold to rebuilding a life….a life you care nothing about nor do you even know why so many fall victim to this alternative way of living. It breaks my heart that you would so much as help a bird to survive yet not a fellow human soul.let them live let them be. Who the hell are you and were have you misplaced you hearts and minds.at least the homless can survive more then I can say an⅞