by Richard Lieberman
October 24th 2007 the first issue of the Ventura Breeze made its debut on the Ventura scene. Today we take a look back and offer a compilation of articles from the past nine years. With 240 issues under our belt, we have lived up to our original philosophy of being the only truly local newspaper in the City of Ventura. We have as promised in our first issue continued to focus on neighborhood news, local government, events, business news, and remain committed to providing our readers with the most up-to-date news and information that is of concern to our readers.
“It’s Election Time!” headlined our first issue, “with plenty of candidates to choose from.” The candidates then were Deputy Mayor Christy Weir, Council member Bill Fulton seeking re-lection. The incumbents were joined by challengers Lou Cunningham, Mike Gibson, Doug Halter, Jerry Martin, Brian Lee Rencher and Carroll Dean Williams. Several issues faced voters that year including the addition of a Walmart on Victoria Avenue, the building heights of development in midtown, and generating more economic activity for the city. The school Board race was on as well and the candidates then were, incumbents Barbara Fitzgerald, and Debbie Golden. Challengers included Monique Dollone, Lupe Hekelnkaemper, David Norrdin, and Carroll Dean Williams.
Wednesday, October 8th 2008 debuted our second anniversary issue that featured important issues of concern to Ventura residents. “Is the devil really coming to Ventura?” was the headline and story by John Arthur Ingram outlining some Venturan’s opposition to the proposed Walmart that was slated to replace the K-Mart at the Victoria Avenue location. Will Rogers’ America was playing at the Rubicon, The city council approved a water and sewer rate increase and Professor Scamps column made its first debut.
October 7th, 2009 and our third anniversary edition premiered. Headlining the issue was a story from the Ventura Police Department. “A few words from the VPD about graffiti” VPD suggested residents immediately remove graffiti as soon as it occurs it is the best prevention against future incidents. Over the course of twelve months a juvenile admitted to vandalizing city property over 100 times costing the city $20,000 to repair the damaged areas. Another article headlined “Local Pastor accused of bilking church member” Solid Rock Christian Center’s pastor Alonzo “Lonnie” McCowan and his wife Kimberly were arrested for allegedly deceiving Leo Gilmond, 86 to signing over the deed to his Ventura home.
October 6th 2010 our fourth anniversary issue made it to the newsstands. Headlining the issue was a story by Rebecca Wicks titled “The hillsides were alive with the sound of music” Presented by the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and featuring Emily Lou Harris, Colbie Caillat, the Gin Blossoms and WPA.
October 19th 2010 saw our fifth anniversary issue hit the streets. Measure H was on the ballot and called for a limited tax to be used only for specific educational purposes. Looking to raise $4.5 million annually. Bill Fulton was Mayor, and the Kinetic Sculpture race returned to Ventura Harbor.
October 31st 2012 our sixth anniversary The Breeze series “Faces of Ventura “featuring portraits of local Venturans by artist Johanna Spinks continued with a portrait of Karyl Lynn Burns Artistic Director of the Rubicon Theatre.
October 16th 2013 the seventh anniversary issue was published. Among the headlines then were, “Community Intervention Court’s first success” A story outlining the first successful graduation from the program which was deigned to deal with and work with people habitually charged with specific municipal infractions. Another story reported on the 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s iconic album “Thriller” A world record attempt was to be made worldwide with thousands of dancing Zombies across the globe. In Ventura, scores of dancing un-dead will perform at Ventura Harbor.
October 15th 2014 edition our eighth year had headlines about the Assistance League of Ventura County underlining the Leagues three goals “Every single child deserves to be safe, happy and looking forward to a bright future” City and school leaders were urging voters support Measures D and E calling for city and school board elections on even-numbered years.
October 14th, 2015 the ninth anniversary of the Breeze was upon us and our headlines in this issue concerned the Ventura Music Festival announcing its 2016 season, the Kinetic Sculpture Race returning to Ventura Harbor, then Mayor Cheryl Heitmann would hold an informal chit-chat event held at the Ventura Townehouse on telegraph rd., The Pierpont Racquet Club celebrated 38 years in the Racquet Sports and Fitness industry , and publisher Sheldon Brown in an editorial explained the pros and cons of approving a proposed 55 luxury executive home project.
Heading into our tenth year we thank our readers, our staff, our advertisers and readers for their continued support and interest. Here at the Breeze look forward to remaining your local newspaper and the source for local Ventura news.