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NAWBO VC hosts “Clear the Smoke Around Marijuana in the Marketplace” June 19

NAWBO Ventura County hosts “Clear the Smoke Around Marijuana in the Marketplace”
~ an informative evening for employers and business owners

Join NAWBO Ventura County (NAWBO VC) on Tuesday, June 19th at the Wedgewood Center, 901 Sterling Hills Drive, Camarillo from 5:30pm-8:00pm for a must-attend presentation about Proposition 64, the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana and how it impacts your business as an employer. The dinner meeting is open to all and seats may be reserved at www.NAWBOVC.org.
Guest speaker Rabiah Rahman, Esq. of Strauss & Strauss, APC, will address many questions and concerns
employers are raising about their rights and liabilities with regards to marijuana use by employees. Rahman
will discuss:

  • California’s new recreational marijuana law
  • Employers’ rights and obligations under the law
  • What effect the law will have on drug-free workplace policies
  • Whether employers must accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana
  • Drug testing policies
  • Employees’ rights

Rabiah Rahman is an employment and labor law attorney who received her law degree from the UC Berkeley
School of Law. While at Berkeley she interned for the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney
General in the Criminal Appeal Division, where she defended criminal appeals on behalf of the State of
California. She currently works at Ventura-based Strauss & Strauss, APC.

“NAWBO supports business owners as they traverse the challenges and successes of entrepreneurship,”
stated Elaine Hollifield, President of NAWBO VC. “We feel the topic of recreational marijuana and employment
law is extremely important to understand for our members and the business community overall and are thrilled
to bring this important discussion to Ventura County.”

NAWBO Ventura County – The local Ventura County chapter of NAWBO is committed to strengthening the
wealth creating capacity of its members while promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial
Ventura County community. Additionally the local chapter focuses on creating innovative and effective change
in the business culture, building strategic alliances and transforming public policy for the benefit of its members.
Membership is open to women sole proprietors, partners and corporate owners as well as those businesses
that support women owned businesses. Learn more: www.nawbovc.org.

Dee Dowell Memorial Scholarship Award Winners

Winner Philip Drescher accepting his check from VPOA board members Schuyler Heard, Mike Hibdon and Bill Griffin.

The Ventura Police Officers’ Association (VPOA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 15th annual Dee Dowell Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships are to honor Sergeant Darlon “Dee” Dowell, who was shot and killed on August 7, 1978. Sergeant Dowell is the only officer in Ventura’s history to die in the line of duty.

In selecting scholarship recipients, the VPOA considered academic achievement, school and community service, financial needs, and the following requirements:

Applicants must:

Be entering his/her freshman through senior year in college;

Plan a course of study related to the field of public service;

Ventura resident or have graduated from a high school in Ventura within the past three years, or a Ventura Police Department employee or employee’s child.

Have a grade point average of 3.0 or better (based on a 4.0 system);

Maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better if selected as a recipient;

Submit a resume of school and community activities, including a copy of transcripts through the most recent semester;

Submit an essay of 1000 words or less on “Leadership, what it means to me”;

Submit a letter of recommendation from a public servant.

2018 Scholarship Awards Winners:

1st Place $5,000.00 Philip Drescher

2nd Place $3,500.00 Haiden Henderson

3rd Place $2,000.00 Elissa Root

The VPOA thanks all of the applicants and congratulates the 2018 winners of the Dee Dowell Memorial Scholarship!

“Be honest, be safe, and look forward to each day.” Sgt Dee Dowell.

Happenings at the Museum

Proceeds from this concert will go toward the purchase of a bookmobile.

Live Performance Benefit and Fundraiser was a big success on Saturday May 19 at the Museum of Ventura County. The concert featured two-time Grammy Winner Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings and Fingerstyle Guitarist of the Year. Juber displayed his acoustic firepower with Beatles medleys, his own compositions and Won’t Get Fooled Again, by the Who.

Proceeds from this concert will go toward the purchase of a bookmobile to be used by the Ventura County Library to better reach and serve all residents of Ventura County.

The Museum has announced the recipients of the Bonita C. McFarland and Forum of the Arts 2018 scholarships. This year’s scholarships as recommended by the Museum’s Fine Arts Committee:

  • Kyle L. Cobian, who will be graduating from Foothill Technology High School in Ventura
  • Lane Domke, who will be graduating from Foothill Technology High School in Ventura
  • Marissa Gonzales, who attends Ventura College
  • Elaine Sanders, who will be graduating from Foothill Technology High School in Ventura
  • Elwood Walker, who will be graduating from Thousand Oaks High School

An awards reception was held on Wednesday, May 30, in the Museum Courtyard. Family members, instructors and supporters attended.

The Bonita C. McFarland scholarship is named for a generous benefactor to the arts in Ventura County. The Forum of the Arts scholarship takes its name from the organization originally created in 1961 which was the first arts organization to offer grants to the local arts community. The funds for the scholarships are generated from two endowments, held and administered by the Museum of Ventura County. The scholarships are available to any high school senior preparing to enter college in the fall of 2018 or any continuing college level student of the visual arts who is also a Ventura County resident.

Recipients of the Bonita C. McFarland awards with Barbara Barnard Smith and Elena Brokaw.

Ventura County writer-journalist Ivor Davis was in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel half a century ago to witness the horrendous assassination of the man who would be President—Senator Robert Kennedy, younger brother of John F. Kennedy. On Wednesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. – the 50th anniversary of the assassination – Davis will appear with an eyewitness account, which vividly brings to life that shocking night in American political history. Admission is $5 for museum members, $10 for non-members

Leonard Bernstein at 100 – a tribute, presented by the Ventura Music Festival and the Museum of Ventura County, to an artist whose impact has transcended genres and generations, Sunday, June 24, in the Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Pavilion. This presentation will celebrate the life of Leonard Bernstein, a great American composer, conductor, pianist and humanitarian during this, his centenary year. The reception starts at 3 p.m., with the program beginning at 4 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at www.venturamusicfestival.org. For more information, call 805-648-3146.

Strong Thomas Fire recovery efforts in the City of Ventura

New homes will soon start replacing the lost ones.

The City of Ventura has issued the first full-home Thomas Fire rebuild permits to property owners who lost their homes in the fire last December. The City of Ventura Community Development Department worked closely with the homeowners and architects to issue building permits.

The Ventura City Council took several steps early on to help residents rebuild homes on fire-damaged properties by instituting a streamlined and expedited approach. After the Thomas Fire, policy changes were made to accelerate the recovery process such as a allowing homeowners to maintain their legal nonconforming status and instituting a 14-business day turnaround for permit plan check(normally at least 6-weeks). To help review rebuilding permits, the City contracted with outside firms to support the workload and ensure Thomas Fire rebuilding applications are given priority.

“We have made rapid progress,” said Mayor Neal Andrews. “It’s been just five months since the Thomas Fire and we will continue to work diligently and support the needs of our residents to reinvest in their properties.”

Additionally, the City established a Thomas Fire Rebuild office to expeditiously serve residents and improve the workflow. “It’s been a tremendous team effort,” said Community Development Director Jeffrey Lambert. “Collaborating with local architects early on and working with departments citywide has been the key to our success.”

In the City of Ventura, the Thomas Fire destroyed 524 homes and damaged approximately 168 homes.

City staff has held more than 125 one-on-one meetings with homeowners and design professionals.

Torch Run benefits the Ventura County Special Olympics

You might get to see some of the Ventura Police Officers, K9 Officers, police volunteers and Chief Corney who gathered for this photo taken at the St. Pats Parade.

On Thursday, June 7, at 8:00 am, the Ventura Police Department (VPD) will participate in the annual Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) benefiting Ventura County Special Olympics. This will be the twenty-ninth year the Ventura Police Department has supported this effort.

At 8:00 am, Ventura Police Officers and Civilian Personnel, City of Ventura Employees, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Agents, Mile 26 Sports Ventura Running Club and Special Olympics Athletes, will meet at the steps of Ventura City Hall and carry the Special Olympics’ Torch, also known as the Flame of Hope, through the streets of Ventura. Community members are encouraged to come out and cheer on the participants as the Flame of Hope makes its way through Ventura.

The Special Olympics Southern California LETR is comprised of nine different “legs” ranging from San Luis Obispo to the California-Mexico border. Legs are run in conjunction with various members of law enforcement agencies from throughout the region and Special Olympic Athletes. All legs will ultimately meet at the California State University at Long Beach (CSULB) as the Flame of Hope enters the stadium and the cauldron is lit to mark the opening ceremonies beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 9th. The games will take place on June 9 and 10 at CSULB.

The LETR is an international fundraising and public awareness campaign for the Special Olympics and is comprised of the Torch Run, Tip-A-Cop, and other fundraising events. For over twenty-five years, Ventura County law enforcement agencies have been raising tens of thousands of dollars annually to benefit Special Olympics of Ventura County. The money helps Ventura County Special Olympics to offer free, year-round, sports training and competition to over 700 individuals with intellectual disabilities ages eight years and up, who participate in seventeen sports at forty-five training sites throughout Ventura County.

Approximate Timeline of Ventura Flame of Hope Route:

8:05 am: The Flame of Hope will begin its journey from Ventura City Hall and travel south on California Street

8:30 am: Then the Flame will travel east onto Thompson Boulevard to the Five Points Intersection

8:40 am: From the Five Points Intersection the Flame will continue East on East Main Street to Telephone Road

9:00 am: South on Portola to Ralston Street where it will pass by the Ventura Police Department

9:10 am: East on Ralston Street to Johnson Drive

9:30 am: South on Johnson Drive and over the 101 Freeway Footbridge where the Flame will be handed off to members of the Oxnard Police Department on Ventura Road

First Thomas Fire rebuild in Ventura is underway

The Fuller’s are number one.

by Richard Lieberman

Six months ago, the Thomas Fire raged through communities in Ventura County. Burning nearly 282,000 acres and destroying 1,063 homes and buildings. Today in our on-going series we examine the re-building process of one homeowner in the Scenic Way Dr., community. Homeowners Ed and Sandy Fuller are the first homeowners to receive re-build permit approval from the city.

We met Ed and Sandy Fuller at the site of their destroyed home, burned to the ground during the fire. The re-build had already begun, and the organized chaos of the job site was evident. A new structure on the property was already in the final stages. The small out-building will serve as Ed Fuller’s workshop, and office during the re-build process. Still remnants of the destructive fire could be seen around and on the site. Burned shrubs, the remnants of burned and disfigured trees and plants all a reminder of the devastation the fires caused.

“There is no sense in grieving about it for a long time the loss was the loss.” Fuller said. “The reality is its just things and things can be replaced” he added. Like others the Fullers were glad that they got out safe. “We did get out with a few of our photos, some of our important documents, we had enough time.” said Fuller. The Fullers even managed to get out with a few paintings that held sentimental value to them. They evacuated to a friend’s house on the same street and the house didn’t start to burn until three in the morning” said Sandy Fuller. “All we could see was this huge fireball wafting across our property.”

One possession that meant a great deal to Ed was a wooden toolbox that his grandfather had made that was in his woodshop that burned to the studs. “To me it was big deal.” Added Fuller. After getting to see the damage the fire caused Sandy said, “We looked at each other and said we know how to re-build we know how to do this.”

Some of the Fullers neighbors have also begun the re-building process and Fuller believes some will even surpass them on the re-builds. “Since the fire we are probably closer to our neighbors than we have been.”. he said. “We even met neighbors that we had not met before.” Added Fuller. “Now it seems like everybody knows everybody.” He added. “We try to encourage each other, this is what we did to get through this process, this is what we did to get through permitting or this is who we are using for whatever. Were all trying to help one another.” Sandy said.

Ed Fuller retired now but was a construction manager for a large oil company so “I am very familiar with the construction process. “he said. The Fullers are acting as general contractor for their re-build. Their insurance company paid only 75% of total value, and Fuller added “most contentious thing we have with the insurance company is some of the personal property.”

When asked about how the city has responded Sandy responded, “When we went into Building and Safety with our architect we took our plans to a back room and with all the department heads and they mark up the plans with what is additionally needed.” “What most people need to know is that most of the rules and guidelines are state mandated and not city rules that make the process so overwhelming.” She said.

When asked about the timeline for completion Ed said” We have an incredibly aggressive timeline with the hope of celebrating Christmas in our new home.” “We are just finishing compaction and next week we expect start laying the foundation.” Fuller said.

“The only thing I can say in conclusion, in the end this can be a very positive experience.” Ed Fuller added.

Yolanda Bundy, Chief Building Official at the Building and Safety Division, Ventura was instrumental in aiding and guiding the Fullers in expediting the permit process for the first permit to be issued for re-building after the fires.

“We’re very excited that the Fuller family is on their way to rebuilding.” “It was a true team effort” said Bundy. The detailed and comprehensive effort by the Fullers was instrumental in speeding the process. “The Fullers were very responsive and cooperative throughout the process.” Bundy added. Acting as their own general contractor the Fullers were able to present to the city plans that met the requirement of both local and state governments. “The quality of the plans provided by their design professionals was a key to successfully helping us meet our goal of issuing their permits with a 14- day business turnaround.” Bundy continued.

Bundy also commented “We want our community to know that we care about them, and that we are committed to working with both Thomas Fire Rebuild applicants and with all the other permit applicants who come into our office at city hall daily. As members of the Ventura community we take our role in helping our community build or rebuild very personally. We all need these milestones of hope right now.”

Ventura Harbor Village celebrates Pirates Day

Hold onto your valuables when you see the pirates.

Ahoy all you landlubbers and buccaneers – head to Ventura Harbor Village for a newly designed pop-up pirate experience at the 13th Annual Pirates Day on Sunday, June 10th from 11:00am – 4:00pm. Pirates Day 2018 offers guests an unforgettable voyage around the Village as the “Streets of Port Royal” with pirate characters, entertainment, activities, and photo opportunities around every corner.

For one day only, Ventura Harbor Village transforms into the “Streets of Port Royal”. Venture along the waterfront to find pirates in sword fights by professional Pirates for Hire, mermaids, treasure, exotic birds, live entertainment, rum drinks, and pirate eats. Keep an eye out for Reece Ryan’s on-land Kids Pirate Ship, Captain Jack, Hook & Tink (look-a-likes), belly dancing, and strolling pirate musicians. Take an exclusive look inside the underwater Mermaid Curse Ultimate Escape Room. Visit Port Royal Privateers’ historical encampment, unique vendor booths for face painting and henna body art or find precious wares, such nautical-themed loot. Unique selfie spots everywhere you turn!

Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in their best pirate garb! Strut in the Pirates Day costume contests held throughout the day for different age brackets

For grog and grub, Village restaurants offer a variety of cuisine for hungry crews; including roasted turkey legs and rum specials. Live entertainment will range from Steel Drummers to the Sword Coast Medieval Fighters Club. Ventura Harbor Pirates Day gives you a chance to get in your best piratical gear and wander by the sea to interact with pirates and gypsies of all ages.

Admission and parking for Pirates Day are free. Book your overnight stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort or Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor. Catch the Downtown – Harbor Trolley for a free ride to Pirates Day.

For a list of shopping and dining specials and entertainment schedule please visit VenturaHarborVillage.com, or call 477-0470. The 2018 Pirates Day is supported by Cumulus Broadcasting, VC Reporter, The Ventura Breeze and The Santa Clarita Signal.

Non-profit affordable housing developer has opened a new office in Ventura

One of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing properties, the El Patio Hotel in Ventura provides affordable and safe housing for County residents.

To better serve the Ventura County community, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH), the largest nonprofit affordable housing developer on the Central Coast, has opened a new office in Ventura.

Although the office is new, the organization is not new to the community. Through its 48-year-old home ownership program, 62 families built their own homes at Villa Campesina in Moorpark in 1991 and, in 2003, 47 first-time homeowners earned the keys to their own front doors at Citrus Pointe in Piru.

In 2011, PSHH took ownership and remodeled the landmark El Patio Hotel in downtown Ventura. The rehabilitation project preserved the historical integrity of the property while upgrading and furnishing the 41 existing rooms to studio apartments for low-income individuals, including the formerly homeless.

The new Ventura office, located at 474 E. Santa Clara, will principally be used for meetings with community groups, with office hours by appointment only. Members of the public in search of affordable housing can visit www.pshhc.org, call the main San Luis Obispo office at 781-3088 or stop by any PSHH property to speak to an onsite manager.

Founded in 1970, PSHH has the mission of building homes and providing site-based services that offer opportunities to change lives and strengthen communities. PSHH serves low-income working families, seniors and veterans; it is also provides welcoming environments for those living with disabilities and the formerly homeless. In addition to its rental properties, PSHH offers homeownership opportunities through an owner-builder, “sweat equity” program that has seen nearly 1,200 homes successfully constructed. Through its properties and offices, PSHH has a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, manages over 1,800 rental units, and employs nearly 200 staff members.

For more information on PSHH, visit www.pshhc.org, email info@pshhc.org or phone 781-3088.

The American Red Cross raises funds for military families and veterans

From Ride for the Red Allyn Rice, Jim Sennett , Denise Rice, Ken Bauer, Diane Krehbiel-Delson, Kris Meathrell , Susan Wolf and Kevin Delson.

The American Red Cross of Ventura County, a leading humanitarian organization with nearly 600 volunteers, held the kickoff of its third annual Operation: Ride for the Red cycling event. The ride took place on Saturday, May 19, and all proceeds support the organization, which helps members of the military, veterans, and their families prepare for, cope with and respond to the challenges of military service.

There were three rides going through Ventura County, a century (100 miles) a metric century (about 62 miles)  and a half metric century (30 miles) . Each registered rider received a rider bag with several free items. All active and retired veterans road for free.

“Each time we participate in Operation: Ride for the Red, I’m overjoyed by how the community comes together to support such a worthy cause,” said Ken Bauer, ride event director for Operation: Ride for the Red. “It’s such a fun way to bring the community together to raise support for the military, veterans and their families. We owe a big thanks to our sponsors for allowing the Red Cross to host this ride year after year.”

The Red Cross is able to help local military families thanks to the generosity of donors who support the SAF program. This year’s Operation: Ride for Red sponsors included California Resources Corporation (CRC), Wells Fargo, Premier America Credit Union, and Capital Insurance Group (CIG), in addition to many generous in-kind donors.

Ride for the Red was created by passionate, local volunteers eager to share the story and history of the Red Cross SAF program. Since 9/11, the Red Cross has served more than one million military families, and it is the only military service organization that supports military families from the day they enlist through their time as a veteran.

To donation, or learn more http://www.redcross.org/local/california/central-california/ride-for-the-red.

Nationwide, knitters unite on The Longest Day

Teresa Valko and Lois Perry present a Greenfield Memory Care resident with a blanket knitted on The Longest Day in 2017.

by Lori Harasta

Five years ago, Teresa Valko participated in the first Alzheimer’s Association’s “The Longest Day” by walking from dawn to dusk. Sixteen hours and 36 miles later, she unlaced her shoes, examined her blistered feet, and said, “There’s got to be a better way.”

Valko is not just passionate about ending Alzheimer’s disease, a monstrous malady that has claimed way too many of her own family members. She also loves to knit. “A day without knitting would be like….what am I talking about? I have no idea what a day without knitting is like!”

Her two passions merged last year when she joined with Anacapa Yarn Shop Owner Lois Perry to form the “Yarn Ballz to End Alz” knitting team. On Summer Solstice, the doors opened at sunrise and closed at sunset. In the hours between, 80 fiber enthusiasts participated in the “knit-along”, assembling squares out of donated yarn into Afghans.

he blankets were later donated to memory care facilities throughout Ventura County. The team’s first-time haul of $17,500.00 wasn’t accomplished just by knitting. Non-knitters were also part of the fundraising team, donating money, refreshments, and raffle prizes.

Perry was thrilled at the success of the event. “We owe it all to those people who worked so hard to make it happen. We just put out the call and they rallied. It was a lot of fun, and heartwarming to have the support of so many.”

According to Valko, “Death from Alzheimer’s disease increased 123% between 2000 and 2015. It is the only cause of death in the top ten for which there is no cure, no prevention, and no treatment.
“The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. For them, every day seems like the longest day.”
The goal is to raise funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support, and research programs.

This year, Valko will unite knitters nationwide. She will fly across the country to support a team in Baltimore, Maryland. From there, she will go to Austin, Texas where a team will participate at a well-known yarn store called Hill Country Weavers. Nationally-known knitter Ann Budd in Colorado will have a knitting team. Budd lost her mother to Alzheimer’s. Currently there are 17 teams across the nation. The journey will be covered via Instagram – @wcbelle and Twitter – @WCBelle68 all day June 20th and 21st.

On June 21 (or thereabouts), people across the country will participate in The Longest Day with team names such as “Bordeaux for Brains”, “Blistered Soles” “AZL PALZ” and “Doodling to end Dementia”. The activity possibilities are endless. Since Summer Solstice falls on a Thursday this year, it should be noted that celebrating on Saturday is perfectly fine.

According to Valko, “It is an opportunity for participants to do what they love to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s.”

If you are interested in joining and/or supporting the “Yarn Ballz to End Alz” team, please go online to http://act.alz.org/site/TR/LongestDay2018/TheLongestDay?px=4610412&pg=personal&fr_id=10935. For activity ideas, and to form a team, go to www.alz.org/thelongestday.

What will you do on The Longest Day to end Alzheimer’s?