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VENTURA COUNTY PERSPECTIVE

Legalized Gambling in Oxnard

April 08, 2001

Re "No Dice to Casinos," Ventura County editorial, April 1.

On Jan. 1, 1956, a resolution of intention to outlaw card clubs in Oxnard took effect. The City Council committee that recommended this action stated that "many police and social problems develop as a result of gambling. It is hoped that the county and other political jurisdictions study the problem and arrive at a similar decision in the interest of general county improvement."

On June 20, 1993, the City Council, after hearing loudly and clearly from residents, the ministerial association and the district attorney, again concluded that gambling detracted from our quality of life. Thus an and came to another attempt to bring organized gambling to Oxnard.

Recently an out-of-town concern submitted a proposal to the Board of Supervisors to locate a casino in Channel Islands Harbor within the city of Oxnard. A board majority quickly responded publicly to an outcry from nearby residents and the proposal was shelved without any official action having been taken.

Now the same proposal has shifted to the outlet center in Oxnard. Mayor Pro Tem John Zaragoza joined me in opposing the proposal immediately rather than waiting for a staff investigation as to the merits or demerits.

It is my hope that one more council members will eventually come to the same conclusion as the Board of Supervisors and Oxnard's previous councils. In that way a council majority can enable the city to quit wasting more valuable staff resources and meeting time pursuing a failed dream of realizing profits at the expense of our quality of life. Fact-finding trips cost money and take time.

It is very simple: The issue is gambling and what it does to a city. It is not whether enough money can be generated to fix the wrongs that gambling causes. Money cannot fix broken homes and destroyed lives.

MANUEL M. LOPEZ

Oxnard Mayor

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I would like to know what part of, "We do not want gambling in Oxnard or Ventura County," some members of our lackluster City Council fail to understand.

Ventura County supervisors and Oxnard residents have made their views clear, so why is it that Councilmen Dean Maulhardt, Tom Holden and Bedford Pinkard are asking for a feasibility study of Indian gaming in Oxnard?

Money? Please don't insult the citizens of this community and ask the lion for a any kind of study as to whether he should eat the lamb!

It is insulting to me to have members such as these on our City Council. If ever there was an argument for our neighborhoods to have councilmanic districts, this is it.

DENNIS C. RALPH

Oxnard

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Legalized gambling in Ventura County? Until they take the sin out of casino, we must not trade our communities' soul for Paragon's shekels of gold.

STEVE MORSA

Thousand Oaks

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