Ventura Breeze celebrates 10 years providing hometown news

• WOW, WOW and WOW! Pinch me – it can’t be true that we just completed our tenth year of publication. Our first issue, on Oct.24, 2007, is shown on this cover.

Besides not knowing anything about the newspaper business when Staci Brown and I launched the Ventura Breeze, we didn’t know if Venturans would accept a very local newspaper, or if Ventura even needed one. It turns out both of these things turned out to be true. Ventura has embraced the Breeze and has come to love it. What I hear most from readers is, “We love reading the Breeze.”

There are so many people to thank, so I’m sure I will overlook some very deserving people. I want to thank our dedicated readers, our fabulous advertisers who keep us in business, our unbelievable dedicated staff, and our writers, photographers and distributors.

All of the “Breezers” deserve a hearty thank you.

A few of these people have been with us since the beginning:

  • Staci Brown – who is now the Publisher Emeritus
  • Professor Scamp – who almost made it to our 10th year issue
  • Rebecca Wicks
  • Suz Montgomery
  • Studio Nothing (Alfred J. Lewis)
  • Bill Green

A special thanks needs to go out to these people as well:

Alfred J. Lewis of Studio Nothing who does a great job laying out the paper and who also acts as my personal therapist by always telling me, “Don’t worry we will get the issue out, have we ever missed one?”

And a very sincere thank you to Senior Account Executive Breezy Gledhill whose perseverance in selling ads keeps us afloat. Without her, there wouldn’t be the Ventura Breeze for you to read. And, the best part, is that she loves doing it and our advertisers love her too.

Thanks also to Cindy Summers for making our website, and Facebook pages look outstanding, along with writing some of our articles.

And to Jaime and Ana Baker for going way beyond with their great support of the Breeze – from delivering papers, to writing articles and creating great caricatures, to setting-up our (actually their) Ventura Breeze booth at all of the events we attend.

Last, but not least, I want to give a special shout-out to my wife, Diane, who no longer says to me, “Are you nuts getting up to write at 3am, and is this still costing us money?” And, who puts up with me every day (well, some days maybe not so much).

Here are a few lows that we saw during our ten years.

We lost a few wonderful contributors and friends:

The passing of Jim Spencer, who, with wife Shirley, wrote our theater reviews. Wonderful Shirley is carrying on with their family tradition.

Nanci Cohen, a friend and contributing writer.

Professor Scamp, my buddy, who I miss dearly every day.

Lance Cole, who always had a joke to tell.

Alfred Lewis’ wonderful wife Cathi who kept Alfred focused and out of trouble (not an easy task) so he could work on the Breeze.

We also lost several Face of Ventura portrait sitters painted by Johanna Spinks. Not contributors, but they became a special part of the Breeze through their portraits and stories.

There have been many highlights, of course. Here are just a few:

Alfred, lying in a hospital bed at CMH, working on an issue on his large computer screen.

The Face of Ventura portrait series by Johanna Spinks, and the amazing party that we had at the Museum of Ventura County to celebrate it.

Winning several awards (I’m sure I’m missing some) including:

Turning Point Foundation’s Champions of Mental Health

Ventura County Area on Aging Optimal Aging Champion Award Age-Friendly Media Award

Ventura Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year

Sponsoring many non-profits and great events including Pier Under the Stars, CARL (Canine Adoption & Rescue League), and the City’s Music Under the Stars.

Appearing on radio station KVTA and CAPSTV and now having a weekly radio show on KPPQLP (that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t publish the Breeze).

Getting into trouble with our April Fools’ Day issues –

Sharing just this one. We published a story about the City Council approving an absurd Walmart concept that included golf courses, ponds and bowling alleys. A gentleman who was shocked that the Council had approved this project appeared at a City Council meeting. After assuring him that it was a joke, ex-Councilmember Carl Morehouse looked at the CAP’S camera and said, “Sheldon, we love ya, but don’t do that again.” Just the incentive that I need!

The paper going to all color and increasing in size.

And, personally, just being a big part of our glorious city. The many people who come up to me (from 13 to 93 and above) to tell me how important the Breeze is to them, and to Ventura. This alone makes it all worthwhile, and rewarding. I thank you all again for supporting us.

Here’s to the next 10!

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