November 21, 2023
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Life is precious takeaway from terror attack in Nice


Westlake Village financial planner John C. Lindsey had just arrived in Nice for a family vacation when his ordeal began. After an “awesome Bastille Day fireworks show,” the July 14 terror attack started with a crowd running toward him and his son-in-law as he enjoyed a celebratory cigar.

They immediately “ducked back into their hotel,” made sure their group was safe and watched the terrible events happening just 100 yards away unfold on CNN. Later, Lindsey bore witness on Facebook to grief-stricken families, sprawling, impromptu memorials and a nation once again stunned by an act of terrorism.

Lindsey described the strange mix as Nice returned to normal. “There is a great deal of anger and yet those here are respectful of the fallen” he wrote, even as people move forward with their lives.

Later they learned how lucky they’d been. Their hotel, Le Meridien, was potentially the last target of 31–year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who killed 84 people with a stolen truck before he was shot dead by police.

The public response was fierce. “The French crowd attending President Hollande’s visit here today were furious at him for not having done enough to prevent this carnage,” he said, adding his own view that the U.S. response to the rise of ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism has been weak. “It’s not so hard to say,” he wrote.

The memories were indelible. A panicked crowd operating without logic or rules. Nearly being knocked over by a woman “half my size” who was running at full speed. Parents desperately trying to scoop up their kids and carry them to safety.

In an email exchange, he wrote, “The strong probability is that more attacks will occur in the U.S. Whatever we do we cannot allow our lives and schedules to change as much as possible in the aftermath of an attack. Awareness of our surroundings at all times is key to having any success in defeating terrorism. Love your family and keep them close. Live life like it is precious. It is.”

Ventura tackles homeless problem

A coalition of business, government and nonprofit leaders is helping the city of Ventura take key actions in dealing with a burgeoning homeless problem.

Part of the discussion involved eventually moving the city’s homeless shelter out of the downtown core and making more services available to homeless populations. City Council member Cheryl Heitmann, city staff including

City Attorney Peter Brown, Greg Van  Ness of Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services, the Ventura Chamber, public safety agencies and Jason Meek from Turning Point have made an impressive start tackling what has become a chronic problem.

CSUCI engineering finding niche

Finally, a congratulatory note to outgoing CSU Channel Islands President Richard Rush and Assembly member Jacqui Irwin on the launch of the CSUCI engineering program and degrees in security systems and mechatronics.

New President Erika Beck will take over this summer with CSUCI positioned for strong relations with the region’s technology firms and Naval Base Ventura County, which anticipates considerable turnover as its aging workforce retires.

By developing its engineering programs around niche opportunities, CSUCI will be able to target scarce resources, foster interdisciplinary studies and advance its reputation in the CSU system.