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Friendly business competition to start on April 1

Athletes and dignitaries  kicked-off the 2017 Corporate Games at Ventura Community Park. Photo by Michael Gordon

To kick-off the 2017 Corporate Games, company employees, families and friends attended an opening ceremony at Ventura Community Park on Saturday, March 25.

The festivities included a business and health fair, music, demonstrations, jolly jumpers and interactive games, arts and crafts, food trucks and more.

To help, the celebration the Aquatics Center was open to the public for free.

Nearly 80 businesses throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are preparing for the five weeks of friendly competition, which begins Saturday, April 1 with beach volleyball, surfing, MB2 Racing, and soccer. Teams compete in four different divisions – based on company size – for gold, silver and bronze medals and a chance to be crowned Overall Team Champion during the Closing Ceremonies at Ventura Harbor on May 6.

Corporate Games is a fun way to develop team-building, plus it provides great health benefits. This year’s theme is “Play for the Fun of It!”  With a proven track record of building camaraderie through teamwork and lasting relationships among company employees, the games offer a wide variety of events so companies can tailor participation based on staff interests.

Corporate Games is hosted by the City of Ventura and many wonderful sponsors.

Schedule and information is available at or call 658-4738.

Water: Take 1

Claire and John Meehan are stars of the Audience Choice Awards film “Drought Wars – The Family Fights Back.”

by Jennifer Tipton

March 22nd marked the 5th annual Water: Take1 Online Short Film Awards Ceremony presented by Ventura Water. Presented at The Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center in Ventura Harbor Village, the event draws attention to the challenges facing our water supply on a local, national and global level. More specifically: how we look at it, how we use it and how we share it.

Filmmakers from around the globe were invited to create a short (less than 5 minute) film to address the topic of water, and over 50 films were submitted. Ventura Water previewed them all prior to showing only the best of the best last evening.

Before the films were screened in a movie theater setting, movie-type snacks were provided to the viewers such as popcorn, sodas and candy – very clever indeed!

The films showed tremendous diversity – some were funny, some beautiful and some shocking. Many films were submitted from other countries and it certainly demonstrated that the concerns about our water supply are not limited to home.

The Grand Prize was $1,500.00 and was awarded to “Place of Sweet Waters”. This film addresses water scarcity as a result of social misuse, a very powerful piece of work.

The Audience Choice Award went to “Drought Wars – The Family Fights Back” where the kids provide tips and tricks to save water around the house. It is a delightful piece of work submitted by our very own Meehan family!

Ventura Water teams up with several sponsorships, but new this year they forged a promotional partnership with Shorts TV where submitted films were eligible for inclusion in a film showcase that aired throughout the month of March in honor of World Water Day.

All of the film festival’s finalists can be viewed at

Will the pig be replaced with a different mascot?

Foto: County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Green Pig succumbs to split seam.

Photo by Michael Gordon

Sham Hock, a.k.a. Pig O’ My Heart, has hogged the spotlight at County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last time.

The giant inflatable pig, which has delighted parade-goers for nearly three decades, abruptly collapsed upon splitting a seam near the end of this year’s parade. The parade’s organizing committee determined the seam is unrepairable.

“It will need to go to its resting place in Pig Heaven,” said Nan Drake, co-chair of the organizing committee said. “Plans are underway for a proper Irish wake.”

Drake, however, added that plans also are underway to replace the 12-foot high by 20-foot long Sham Hock with a new parade mascot. “It will be a tough job replacing the pig and a fundraiser will have to be held,” she said.

It’s not the first time Sham Hock, which was created for $2,500 in 1990 during the parade’s early years has made news. It was kidnapped a week before the 2015 parade at a Ventura storage facility but was located by some clever detective work. A $100 reward was offered and Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan, who is also a parade committee co-chair, received an anonymous call telling him where Sam Hock could be found. And, luckily, the giant green pig rode in the parade, as usual. The kidnappers were never identified and the reward was never paid.

City Council mulls homeless shelter

Will a homeless shelter reduce the amount of homeless in Ventura? Photo by George Robertson

by Randal Beeman

Advocates who have spent upwards of two decades lobbying the City of Ventura for a permanent emergency homeless shelter will have to wait another month for a final vote authorizing the project. After making several small changes Council members will reconsider the revised ordinance at their April 20th meeting.

At their Monday, March 20th meeting, Council members heard from a number of local advocates for the homeless, including representatives of the faith community and social service providers who explained that a full time shelter would save the City money in addition to being an ethical imperative. Several audience members related personal testimonies on the plight of our homeless population.

While there is no proposal, site, or operator for the potential shelter, the City has designated a non-residential area – the Arundell neighborhood – for the facility. Council members discussed the language for an Emergency Shelter Zoning Ordinance and Map Amendment to shape the eventual size, scope, and operational guidelines. Councilmember Matt LaVere thanked audience members for their diligence on the issue, which has been a major humanitarian and quality of life concern in the community for many years.

Presently, the proposed law calls for a shelter with a capacity of 55 beds, and any potential operator would have to conform to a number of requirements including having a plan to provide security, to offering a variety of social services on site. There seemed to be a consensus among council members that this facility is needed and is long overdue, noting that any operator would be functioning under a conditional permit that would be periodically reviewed by the Council. The shelter is intended for short-term emergencies and will serve as a conduit for social services intended to keep people from returning to the streets.

Audience members who addressed the Council were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea. Stephanie Caldwell, President and CEO of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and member of the Stakeholders Task Force on the homeless, presented a power point on the homeless problem, noting “it is more costly to keep the status quo than to house people.”

Other speakers lamented the high rental rates in the City that exacerbate the homelessness problem. John Jones, advocate for farmworker housing, noted that affordable housing had become the biggest issue in the state with some 130 bills on the issue currently being considered in Sacramento.

Other speakers implored the City to consider allowing space for pets. Cappi Patterson, representing Buddy Nation, promised that if pets would be allowed her organization would cover the cost of feeding and caring for the animals, including veterinary care. Patterson enjoined that pet ownership promotes “reliability, responsibility, and dignity.”

Another speaker spoke of innovative “Navigation Centers” that focus on getting people into housing first, then addressing issues like substance abuse and a lack of state issued ID cards after getting folks off the street, an idea that has seen success in other cities and countries.

Councilmember Christy Weir admonished that any shelter should offer some sense of privacy and dignity, instead of warehousing people in large rooms full of cots and bunk beds. After making several changes in the language and scope of the ordinance, Council members delayed taking a vote on the ordinance until the April 20th meeting in order for the public to review the changes.

In other Council business, the City accepted a grant from the National Police Dog Foundation, with Police Chief Ken Corney offering thanks to Suzanna Underwood for initiating the process along with assistance from the Wood-Claeyssen Foundation.

There was also a budget workshop presented by City of Ventura Finance and Technology Director Gilbert Garcia and staff. Garcia provided a summary of the City’s financial picture and the potential problems with pension costs and maintaining a City-owned golf course. While discussing potential use of Measure O money, (Measure O was passed by voters last November to raise the sales tax in Ventura), Councilmember Mike Tracy suggested that discussion of how that money is budgeted should be guided by the citizens advisory panel, which has yet been appointed.


CAPS Media wins WAVE Award

Winning the award at the 2017 Community Media West’s WAVE Awards in Fresno.

by Elizabeth Rodeno

In March, the Alliance for Community Media West convened in Fresno for their yearly Western Access Video Excellence Award. This year, CAPS Media Center took home the WAVE Award for Best Government Access program! The winning program, the Ventura County News Channel’s “Featuring Ventura County – Channel Islands Harbor Patrol”, can be found on the CAPS Media YouTube channel. Congratulations to Bill Nash, the County of Ventura, and Gary Roll for the win. We are producing city, county, educational and other programs to garner more awards next year.

Our Radio KPPQ Membership Training returns! Join us April 4th and 5th and we’ll help you find your footing and your radio voice! The first session covers Membership Program Information and Preliminary Training and the second session is a Radio Presentation and Performance Practicum. Classes size is kept small to enhance student learning and ensure a solid foundation. This means classes fill up fast! Get in touch to reserve your spot!  Email us at for more information or to sign up. Listen to 104.1fm and let us know what you think of the new kid on the block.

In other radio news, CAPS Media is recruiting for an open intern position at the radio station to help with programming, recording and producing. It’s a great way to earn community service hours, learn and have fun. If you know someone interested in a career in radio, television, or the nonprofit world, send them our way! Interns will get an inside perspective on all aspects of radio production, as well as excellent on-the-job experience.

Coming up in April we have our regularly scheduled media classes. If you become a member this month, you can sign up for our April Orientation Class, happening Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 PM. We will also be offering HD Camera Class on Thursday, April 13th at 6:00 PM and Final Cut X Edit Class on Thursday, April 20th at 6:00 PM. These training classes are for CAPS Media Member/Producers to learn how operate video cameras, edit, run the studio and produce programs are scheduled on the CAPS Media website at Registration for all classes begins April 1st.

As always, you can watch Channel 6 to hear what the public has to say and watch Channel 15 to experience the city’s vision to provide the best and clearest information for all. And now you can tune into KPPQ at 104.1 FM to hear some great radio! All programs are also available to the public via streaming service on our website. Go to to see what our members are creating for you and sign up to be part of the story. A full year’s membership is just $25 for a TV membership and $75 for a TV and Radio membership. For more information, contact us at

Emergency Veterinary Care opens in Ventura

Dr. Sarah Gray and Dr. Nancy Scott have opened a newly established small animal emergency hospital in Ventura.

Board certified emergency and critical care specialists Dr. Sarah Gray and Dr. Nancy Scott have opened Emergency Veterinary Care, a newly established small animal emergency hospital in Ventura. The practice provides urgent care and veterinary emergency services seven days a week until midnight, with overnight patients receiving 24-hour care.

Emergency Veterinary Care is temporarily operating out of Ohana Pet Hospital at 4547 Telephone Road i while they develop the perfect location to care for the urgent care needs of local pets. They can be reached at 701-7664.

Drs. Gray and Scott are well-respected criticalists in Ventura County and have worked together locally saving pets’ lives for more than a decade. They bring a combined 20+ years of specialty veterinary experience to Emergency Veterinary Care.

Dr. Sarah Gray received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis before attending Iowa State University to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Dr. Gray has completed several emergency and critical care internships, both locally and in Pennsylvania and completed her residency in Emergency and Critical Care medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Gray has lived and worked in Ventura County for over 10 years and is particularly well versed in the areas of toxicology, fluid resuscitation, respiratory diseases and trauma. In her spare time, Dr. Gray is a veterinary consultant for a nationwide animal poison control center.

Dr. Nancy Scott received her Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University and her Masters of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan. She went on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis. Dr. Scott completed a rotating internship at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital before returning to UC Davis to complete her residency in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care. After completing her residency in 2005, Dr. Scott moved to Ventura where she joined a local veterinary specialty hospital and established a renowned emergency and critical care department. She is particularly knowledgeable in critical patient anesthesia, post-operative patient management, poly-trauma and management of severe electrolyte disturbances.

When asked about their new practice, Dr. Gray expressed, “Dealing with a beloved pet in crisis can be extremely stressful; Dr. Scott and I are strongly committed to addressing the cat and dog emergency needs of our community.” Dr. Scott added, “Yes, we truly want to ensure that we take care of the pets AND their families when it comes to managing family pet emergencies.”

Learn more about Emergency Veterinary Care at

Fall Prevention Coalition named Health Champ

Health champions for 2016.

by Lori Harasta

The Elderly Fall Prevention Coalition of Ventura County earned the “Health Champion Award” for 2016.

Annually, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors presents “Health Champion” awards to local community organizations on behalf the Partnership for a Healthy Ventura County.  Recipients are recognized for their efforts toward achieving the vision of the Partnership: that Ventura County will be recognized as the healthiest county in California.

Clearly, falls impact health. One-third of adults over the age of 65 and one-half of adults over the age of 80 will fall each year. More than 40% of seniors recovering from fractured hips are unable to ever return home.  Ventura County has more seniors over the age of 80 than any other county in California.

Recognizing these facts and observing patients’ pain and suffering far too often, Dr. Thomas Duncan, Chief of Staff and Co-Director of Trauma at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) formed the Elderly Fall Prevention Coalition (EFPC) of Ventura County in 2013, partnering with other agencies serving Ventura County.  A primary partner is the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA), headed by Director Victoria Jump.

People that have fallen are referred by emergency medical services or hospital staff to a Fall Prevention Coordinator who interviews and refers patients to appropriate programs and services.  There is a 90% overall acceptance rate of services offered and participation has significantly reduced secondary falls compared to non-participants.

One of EFPC’s goals is to educate the community and facilitate changes in behavior to prevent initial falls of elderly residents.  The education committee plans and presents two fall prevention forums per year.  A forum in Spanish (translated to English) is planned for Saturday, April 29th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Santa Paula Senior Center.  For more information, call 477-7300.

In addition, four evidence-based exercise programs are now serving seniors in Ventura County.

A Matter of Balance is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults.

Stepping On offers people information, strategies, and exercises to reduce falls and increase self-confidence in situations where they are at risk of falling.

Walk with Ease is proven to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis; increase balance, strength and walking pace; build confidence in one’s ability to be physically active; and improve overall health.

Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance is a research-based balance training regimen designed for older adults and people with balance disorders.


To find out more about the evidence-based fall prevention exercise programs listed above, call Dina at VCAAA 477-7300.


Channel Islands Park Junior Ranger Day April 15

Junior rangers can also view the remains of a pygmy mammoth.

Channel Islands National Park invites the public to celebrate the annual Junior Ranger Day at an event on April 15, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the park visitor center in the Ventura Harbor. This free event will feature family-friendly activities, ranger-led talks, and the park’s junior ranger programs.

Children will have the opportunity to participate in three different junior ranger programs at the event, allowing them to earn badges as a Channel Islands National Park Junior Ranger, an Underwater Explorer, or a Junior Paleontologist.

The event will also feature family-friendly activities that children of all ages can participate in, including fish prints, buttons, dolphin masks, and more. At 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, a park ranger will discuss marine adaptations and ocean stewardship at the center’s marine life exhibit. At 1:00 pm, there will be an interactive children’s program about adaptations of seals and sea lions and at 2:00 pm, a ranger will lead a children’s program on bird beak adaptations.

Information about the national initiative, Every Kid in a Park, which invites all fourth graders to visit their public lands and waters for free, will also be available for parents and children.

The Every Kid in a Park program was created so that fourth graders and their families could discover our nation’s wildlife, resources, and history, for free. All fourth graders can get their pass online, at Every Kid in a Park, after they complete a fun, educational activity. They can trade the paper pass for a more durable pass at participating federal sites nationwide.

This past year 342,209 people visited Channel Islands National Park. Additional day visitors and overnight campers to Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands increased island visitation by about 10 percent.

There was a 20 percent increase in visitation to the mainland visitor center in the Ventura Harbor, due in part to the many fourth grade students that participated in the Every Kid in a Park program. The park had a corresponding 75 percent increase in the Junior Ranger program, with over 4,000 kids participating.

“We are particularly excited about the increase in visitation from fourth grade students to the park. This year we expect over 5,000 fourth graders will visit, thanks to the Every Kid in a Park grants we received from the National Park Foundation, National Park Trust, and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau.


Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 – April 11, 2017 – Events

Events by Ana Baker

Ventura Poinsettia Dance Club meets every Monday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill. Ballroom, swing, Latin, mixers and line dancing. Members $10, non-members $12. Call Rick at 415-8842 for more information.

DBSA Ventura, the local chapter of the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) hosts two regular, confidential, peer-led, self-help support groups in the County. Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bible Fellowship Church at 6950 Ralston. Email, visit or call 253-3289 for more information. 1p.m. to 3p.m. at the New Visions Center on the first and third Saturdays of the month. At 1065 E. Main.

Ventura’s ACBL Duplicate Bridge Club offers games for all levels of play.  Learn the game, play with your peers, and earn master points while you are having fun.  There is a game every day of the week.  Check out their website at   Life is Better with Bridge.

April 1: You are invited to a Lenten Evensong on Saturday at 5 p.m.  Haydn’s glorious Harmnonie-messe, will be presented. Helen Farson conducts our chamber ensemble and chorus from the keyboard.  Admission is always free.  Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church.  6300 Telephone Rd. Please call 641-9646 if more information is desired.

April 1: Ventura Improv Company at NAMBA!8pm NAMBA Performing Arts Space, 47 South Oak St.Tickets: $10 | Available at venue the night of the show. Shows are a fast-paced mix of scenes, improv games and music. If you like Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, you’ll love improv! Shows last approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes. They welcome the whole family, but generally recommended for 12 and over.

April 2: Old-Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Association presents free music concert on the first Sunday of every month at the Poinsettia Pavilion from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Next concert session features the ever popular “Old Grass Band”.  Call 517-1131 for more information.

April 2: Dudley Historic House Museum. Timeline Photo Display of Ventura’s History Beginning in 1866, featuring over 100 period photographs assembled by Dudley docents in celebration of the City’s 150th anniversary last year.  The museum is located at the corner of Loma Vista and Ashwood.  For further information please call 642-3345 or visit the website at www/

April 4:  Mended Hearts of Ventura. Come share if you have had heart surgery or stent implant.
Group meets the first Tuesday each month at the Community Memorial Hospital – 8th floor, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. They have excellent speakers, leading Cardiologists, Nutritionists, Dietitians, etc. from our area who give excellent information. Contact: Richard Hatcher 644-2733

April 5: The Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers Club, (BCNN ) is a group of active women of all ages who live in Ventura, Oxnard, or Port Hueneme. Please come to our monthly meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meeting will be held at the Knights of Columbus.  Enter the parking lot from Santa Clara Street.   No charge for meeting and no reservation is required.  April is Poetry Month and our BCNN Poetry Group will present their Annual Reading to the membership. For additional information, please visit our Website at: or call 988-0795.

April 6: The Ladies Luncheon  same great menu and fantastic view at new location the Poinsettia Pavilion. Sit-down Luncheon Buffet (Limited Seating) 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. $27 Pre-register, $30 at the door. Table space available for vendor products only.

Vendor tables are $5 for 3′ of space and $10 for 6′ of space and available for selling products only. Register at

April 8: San Buenaventura Women’s Club will hold the 6th Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser at Poinsettia Pavilion on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Come for a chance to win a Door Prize, or bid on Opportunity Baskets, Silent Auction and Wine Pull.  Fashions will be provided by The Dress barn.  Help support local charities in Ventura County.  Tickets are $35 paid in advance.  Contact for more details.

April 8: The Ventura Beginning PC Users Group will meet at Cypress Place, 1220 Cypress Point Lane,  on Saturday, April 8 at 9:15-12:00 for “Spring Cleaning the Computer” and “Reliable Medical Web Sites”.  All beginning and intermediate computer users are welcome.  Phone 648-1368 for more information.

April 10: “Relive the Passover Exodus” with Rabbi Yakov & Sarah Latowicz. Few Jewish holidays evoke the same warm sentiments as Passover. Bringing the warmth and tradition of this festival to the Ventura Community, Chabad of Ventura is inviting all residents to participate in community Seders to be held on Monday night at 7:30 pm, at the Pierpont Racquet Club. 500 Sanjon Rd.

All are welcome to join the community Seder, regardless of Jewish affiliation or background. Suggested donations are $54 per adult and $26 per child. No one will be turned away for lack of finances. For reservations or to sponsor someone in need at the Seder please visit

April 12: The Ventura County Camera Club will hold a critique meeting on Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m. at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Rd. A professional photographer from the area will critique member’s prints and digital images. Each month a special topic is chosen which features some interesting aspect of photography. This month’s topic is “Abstracts” and Bill Hendricks will judge. Anyone with an interest in photography is welcome and admission is free. For more information about the club visit

April 13:  The Ventura County Professional Women’s Network (VCPWN) monthly dinner meeting. A wonderful way to network with local business owners. Register for dinner online at  Guest speaker Kim Pagano, host of the Kim Pagano Show on 1590 KVTA radio. Founded in 1982, VCPWN has enjoyed a long tenure of promoting the professional and personal growth of Ventura County women through education, mutual support and sharing of resources.  For more information about the event

April 14: Good Friday Service,  7 pm First United Methodist Church
1338 E. Santa Clara Ave. Easter Cantata, with full choir and chamber music ensemble.