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Ventura Water to install new, smart meters to help customers use water efficiently

Ventura Water employees installing new smart meter.

by city staff

Ventura Water has started replacing the old, manually-read water meters throughout the city with new, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), also known as smart meters.  Smart meters provide wireless communication between the meter at your home or business and Ventura Water (your local water utility).  Water customers will immediately realize the benefit of smart meters through the ability to detect and notify consumers of costly leaks within 24 hours rather than finding out at the end of a 60 day-billing cycle.   Other benefits include improved accuracy and the ability for customers to actively manage their water usage and therefore have a better knowledge of how much water they are consuming on a consistent basis.

In the fall of 2017 approximately 32,000 water meters for Ventura’s residential and commercial customers will be replaced.   The meter upgrades will be installed in multiple phases of about 1,000 meters per month for a three year period.

A smart water meter, often referred to as sustainable water management technology,  looks very similar to the existing meter but has an added device that relays readings remotely.   Smart meters are considered among the most innovative technologies available to manage and predict usage and, ultimately, they will help improve conservation efforts for the entire community.

Once all the meters are installed, Ventura Water plans to implement monthly billing (instead of bi-monthly) in 2020.  The existing water meters are old and due for replacement.  The new smart meters give customers more information and control of their water usage, and offer environmental benefits by reducing the need for meter readers.

Are the new meters safe?  Yes, the AMI technology is safe, much safer than cell phones, laptops, Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens and similar commonly used equipment.  The AMI Meter radio frequency transmissions only contain the reading, error codes and meter ID – protecting the customer’s personal information.

Ventura residents have done a great job conserving water and have made efficient water practices a way of life.  In March 2017 our water demand was down by 31% compared to March 2013.  The City of Ventura remains focused on responding to the water challenges we are facing and will continue to implement projects that diversify our water portfolio and improve future water reliability.

“Ventura Water works in partnership with our community to be efficient and plan for the unpredictable future.  Hundreds of residents have participated in our turf replacement Water Wi$e Incentive Program, free Water Conservation Survey visits and other programs,” said Ventura Water Acting General Manager Joe McDermott.

Sistership Crew goes for a new record

Stephanie York, Capt. Michelle Boroski, Johanna Gabbard and Stephanie (Scout) Maheu taking up this year’s challenge.

by Gail Field

Setting a world record isn’t for the faint of heart. Michelle Boroski can attest to that, as she is the Captain of Team Sistership, an all-woman crew that finished the Race2Alaska boating contest last year as the first all-woman team to do so.

Taking up this year’s challenge, the team sets sail again on June 8 for the 750 mile boat race, also known as the R2AK, from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan Alaska.

Members of the Team Sistership crew, including three from Ventura, are Michelle Boroski, Johanna Gabbard, Stephanie York, and Stephanie Maheu, all over the age of 50.

‘We want to set an example for women and girls by showing that they can accomplish great things with determination and skill,” says Michelle Boroski.   “This is what has empowered me to accept the challenge of this very special race.”

The R2AK is a unique race with few rules.  Any boat qualifies but must remove the motor and must have some type of human power mechanism. The Sistership is a Corsair F-27 trimaran, owned and refurbished by Boroski, and has 2 custom sliding seat rowing stations on each side of the boat.

The team will face many challenges in the R2AK.  Some of what they face has to do with weather, such as changing tides, currents and wind direction, all of which factor into the speed of the boat.  When the winds die down, the crew has to row the 3.000 pound boat, and that takes time and muscle power.  In last year’s race they spent about 70 hours rowing and lost time having to recover by sleeping off exhaustion.  It took the team eleven days to arrive at the Ketchikan destination. In spite of the many obstacles last year, the team came in 15th in a field that began with 45 boats, with only 26 completing the race.

Team members are not daunted by the obstacles, but rather see them as part of their message.  “We want to do the race again this year to keep alive the inspiration for women to engage in adventurous sports and being more active,” says Johanna Gabbard.

“As women in our 50s, we want to dismantle the age and gender stereotypes we face,” adds Boroski.  “Because we are primarily healthcare providers, we recognize that sometimes people’s concept of aging and what that means can be a barrier to staying active.”

Last year the crew was able to raise $8,000 for scholarships for women and girls in education and to provide on-the-water opportunities at the Northwest Maritime Center in Washington. This year they have also joined with the Ventura Community Partners Foundation to offer scholarships for local women and girls so they may participate in active, healthy programs in sports, sailing, aquatics and fitness.

This is a hugely popular race to watch, and this year the public can follow real time tracking by logging on to their website. In addition, donations to the cause are gratefully accepted at  Their motto describes their mission in just a few words:  “Active Women: Aging Proud, Growing Bold.”

Family-friendly event held at the Aquatic Center

Board President Ed Wehan addressing the crowd at the launch of VCPF. Photo by Bernie Goldstein.

On May 17 a celebration was held for  the launching of the Ventura Community Partners Foundation (VCPF) at Ventura Community Park and Aquatic Center, 901 S. Kimball Road.  The family-friendly event will be held at the entrance to the Aquatic Center and included remarks by Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko, as well as refreshments, games and prizes.

The VCPF is a new non-profit established to build community and enhance the livability of Ventura by developing and maintaining parks, recreation and cultural opportunities through partnerships and sustainable, diverse funding.  For more information, including ways to get involved, visit  or

David De Candia

At the event VCPF members thanked  Board Member David De Candia for his $5,000 gift to provide local youth with Ventura youth basketball programs and swimming scholarship opportunities.  As the first donor supporting the new Ventura Plays Scholarship program, the De Candia family name will be engraved on the Donor Wall at the front entrance of the Aquatic Center.

VCPF Board Members   Ed Wehan (President), Kevin Clerici (Secretary), Patrick Davidson (CFO), David De Candia, Paul Drevenstedt, Michele Newell, Berta Steele and Norbert Tan were all there to celebrate the day.

In the US, the majority of children enter sports and other recreation classes around six years old.  Families with low income, single mothers and minorities start their children in recreation classes almost two years later on average, with available funds being the limiting factor in early action.

“The new recreation scholarship program, Ventura Plays, increases opportunities for all children to engage in community sports, art and cultural activities.  Through scholarships the Foundation provides, we level the playing field so more of Ventura’s children can play and develop the social and health skills and habits they will rely on for the remainder of their life,” stated Mayor Erik Nasarenko.

A Beatles tribute in song and story

Harmonix kids:  Nico Wicklin, Gus Graham, Daniel Brackett, Riley Conrad, Cassidy Craig, Jesse Graham, (concert-master:) Miriam Arichea , Maddie Gambon. The kid on the lower row left is Ivor Davis.

Rubicon Theatre’s much acclaimed Harmonix singers are teaming up with local author Ivor Davis for the first ever concert of its kind in America. The Harmonix will appear with Davis in a concert collaboration to benefit Rubicon Theatre. The concert will be held at 5:30 pm on Saturday, May 27.

Entitled “Ticket to Ride: A Beatles Tribute in Song and Story,” the performance will showcase the Rubicon Harmonix singing familiar Beatles melodies, interspersed with inside stories about the Beatles from Davis, who was assigned to cover the Beatles as a reporter for London’s Daily Express and traveled with the group on their first history-making tour to America.

Also featured will be the newly formed Rubicon Broadway Juniors (youth age 9-13), who will join the Harmonix on a few iconic songs such as In My Life and Imagine.

The event will include a Beatles trivia game, with three winners bringing home a signed copy of Davis’ award-winning book, The Beatles and Me On Tour.

The concert is a fundraiser to benefit Rubicon Theatre’s scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to nearly 70% of the students who participate in Rubicon’s summer performance camps.  Tickets range from $50 for show only to $250, which includes a three-course dinner with wine.   Purchase of a VIP table for $2000 includes dinner for 8 plus a signed copy of Davis’ book.

The event will be held at the gardens of a private residence in Ventura.  Tickets must be reserved in advance via the Rubicon Theatre box office: or  667-2912, x234.

The Rubicon Harmonix, founded in 2011 and directed by local concert pianist and attorney Miriam Arichea, is an 8-person youth performing ensemble of 16-18 year olds who have performed extensively in diverse community events.

Three Ventura Rotary Clubs invest in the Ventura Botanical Gardens for today and tomorrow

It was the first visit to the site for many Rotarians

by Mary Kay Doubek

Saturday, April 29 was Rotarians at Work Day for 1.2 million members globally.  In Ventura, the Downtown, East, and South clubs joined forces on a single project so they could make a bigger impact in the community they love.

“Ventura Botanical Gardens is an ideal place to show the power of Rotary,” stated Downtown Ventura Rotary President Betsy Chess.  “60 local Rotary, Rotaract (18-30 ages), and Interact (high school ages) members set aside their Saturday morning and were able to clear invasive plants and brush from a quarter mile stretch of trail above Summit Drive.  There certainly was an impressive stack of weeds when we were done.”

Joe Cahill, VBG Executive Director, added, “The trails are in use more than ever this spring.  Along with the 60 Rotarians on site that day, there were thousands of trail walkers and 500 or more participants and spectators in the Ventura Police Department-sponsored Mud Run.  Later that afternoon, the Ventura Climate March came through the gardens too.”

After working up their appetites, Rotarians were treated to Domino’s Pizza from East Ventura Rotarian Husam Hishmeh at the future site of Rotary Plaza at VBG.  It was the first visit to the site for many Rotarians, who were enthusiastic about putting the Rotary name up at Ventura Botanical Gardens.  Project organizers Bruce and Kathy McGee of Rotary East described the features to be developed for Rotary Plaza.  It will include a gathering place for 50 or more people, as well as the Rotary Wheel and Four Way Test, symbols of the “service above self” motto that Rotarians live by.  They will be placed in a setting which offers unobstructed panoramic views of the gardens below, as well as city hall, and the ocean and islands beyond.

“We are confident we can build the financial support within Rotary to make this investment in Ventura Botanical Gardens,” said Bruce McGee.  “Any way you look at it, Rotary Plaza is a fantastic project.  Foremost, we want to endorse Ventura Botanical Gardens, the best and biggest new public asset in Ventura in our lifetime.  VBG is already a gift to every member of the community we love, and it will be enhanced dramatically over the next 30 years to be enjoyed for many generations to come.  Secondly, the superior location of the plaza at a crossroads by the top of the first trail, will naturally attract people.  Many will stop to look and learn about the values of Rotary via an online app they can access on their mobile phones.  Founded 110 years ago and now counting over 35,000 clubs globally, Rotary is committed to serve others near and far.  Now, more than ever, the world needs more people who live by our club’s guiding principles of truth, fairness, goodwill, and friendship.  Who knows, some visitors to Rotary Plaza at VBG may even decide to become Rotarians themselves in their own communities.”

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – CAPS

Caps Media Summer Digital Storytelling Program

In July the popular CAPS Media Digital Storytelling program kicks off at the CAPS Media Center for students, ages 10-15.  Young videographers, film makers and video storytellers get hands-on training with video cameras, audio recording equipment and computer editing software to create the stories the crew wants to tell.  Registration is open for the three week-long programs scheduled July 10 – 14 (in association with Ventura Parks & Rec), July 17 – 21 and July 24 – 28.  Each fun, creative and engaging program runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm.  The fee includes a t-shirt, use of pro gear and instruction, and a free CAPS Media membership for a year.  To learn more about the Digital Storytelling program, go to

CAPS Radio is on the air at 104.1FM.  The recently launched Ventura community radio station is here for you.  Drop by the CAPS Media Center for a tour and learn how to become a radio host and DJ.  Two-part training classes begin at 6pm on Thursday June 1 and Monday June 5.  Even if you don’t have an idea for a show just yet, come to class and you’ll get inspired.  If you prefer to produce a program, report news, fundraise for KPPQ, spread the word about an idea or issue you care about, CAPS Radio is the place for you.  To reserve a spot in the class, call now at 805.658.0500 or go to the CAPS Media website. And, listen in and let us know what you think and what you want to hear on CAPS Radio KPPQ-LP at 104.1FM.

Become a Member/Producer of CAPS Media.  With our new radio station, the CAPS Media Center has new membership options.  Both our television and radio member programming is rich and diverse from travel to music to drama to politics and more.  As a membership organization CAPS Media supports our Member/Producers’ creativity and helps them share their voices with the community.

Aspiring (or experienced) journalists, photographers, videographers and storytellers are invited and encouraged to get involved at the CAPS Media Center. Anyone who lives, works or attends school in the city of Ventura is eligible to become a member. For annual fees of only $25 (individual) and $75 (non-profit organization), member/producers are trained by the knowledgeable CAPS Media staff in the art and fun of video and radio communication.  Once certified, member/producers may check out video cameras, tripods, and other gear for video production and book editing suites for postproduction to create the stories they want to tell.

Ongoing CAPS Media classes include new member orientation the first Thursday of the month, the next one is June 1st. The HD Videography/Camera class is held the second Thursday and the Edit class follows up on the third Thursday. We introduce our newest class, the production/storytelling class to be held May 25th and every fourth Thursday of the month.

The CAPS Media website has all the info.  Go to to see a schedule of upcoming programs on Channel 6 & 15, search the archives for past programs, get info on upcoming video and radio classes and much more.

Mehta at the Museum: the story of American classical music

Join spellbinding Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta for music and stories.

The community is invited to join the Ventura Music Festival’s spellbinding Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta on Sunday, June 4th, at 3pm, where he will spin music and stories about the people and developments leading up to what is recognized today as authentically American Classical Music.

The event is free and open to the public.

Included in the story: the starts and the misfires, the impact of European composers, the importance of Jazz, the landmark contribution of Gershwin, the distinctly American imagery and music of Aaron Copland followed shortly after by the glorious work of Samuel Barber. Ojai’s John Biggs the well-loved composer of numerous  rich classical pieces will also be there

Besides serving as Ventura Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Mehta is Special Project Director of the San Diego Symphony.

Located at 100 E. Main St; ample parking is provided. On June 4th, the Museum is open all day for its “Free First Sunday” event featuring a celebration of the Summer Solstice and the new exhibit, Secret Paintings, by Michael Pearce.

While Mehta at the Museum is an admission-free event, reservations are requested. Simply go to VMF’s website – – and the Mehta at the Museum link on its homepage. Click and reserve.



Wine in the Pines

Great live music and wine-themed vendors completes this wonderful heavenly mountain setting.

by Mark & Debbie Bailey  Owners, The Wine Room Gallery, PMC

Fine wine lovers; mark your calendars for Saturday, June 10th, for the annual Pine Mountain Club “Wine in the Pines” in the Pine Mountain Village Center, an easy and scenic 90-minute drive from Ventura.

From 1-4pm (noon to 4pm with a VIP ticket) you’ll be able to taste exciting wines from throughout California’s wine- growing regions, with dozens of premiere wineries to choose from. If you need a break from too much fine wine, then enjoy some cold craft beer or cider from several wonderful breweries. And then there’s the food; some of Kern County’s favorite restaurants will be on hand serving everything from classic gourmet finger-food to good-ol’ western barbeque, to Asian and other culinary delights to compliment the fine wine. Want a food pairing for the brews? Then how about a bacon-wrapped gourmet hot dog from “Brazil’s Gourmet Hot Dogs” of Bakersfield? Feel like cooling off and satisfying that exotic sweet tooth? “Mountain Dream Café and Ice Cream” will be serving ice cream topped with Late Harvest Ampelos Cellars Viognier.

Due to its immense popularity last year, we will once again have a specific Lompoc Wine Ghetto section in the PMC Village Center, featuring many of the wonderful Ghetto Wineries.

Great live music and wine-themed vendors completes this wonderful heavenly mountain setting. Proceeds this year benefits the American Cancer Society and various local non-profits.

You must be 21 or older to purchase tickets for Wine in the Pines and ID’s will be checked at the entrance. General Admission to the wine festival is just $55 in advance and $70 at the door if any tickets remain. VIP tickets allow for an intimate early noon entry. They are $80.00 and must be purchased in advance. This event usually sells out, so buy your tickets early. Admission includes wine & beer tasting, a logo glass, a custom wine glass holder plate, fabulous food, live music and scenery like none other.

Pine Mountain Club is located just 20 minutes west of Interstate 5 at the Frazier Park exit. For a map and directions, hotel and cabin rental links and other information, go to, or email

Tickets for Wine in the Pines can be purchased online at the event website: Wineries wishing to pour at this world-class event can click on the winery link also located on our website.

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – Events

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

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   Life is Better with Bridge.

Country Western Line Dancing every Tuesday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Instruction every night. Mooselodge, 10269 Telephone Road. More information

The Ventura County Philatelic Society meets the first and third Mondays each month — 7:30-9:30pm at the Church of the Foothills, 6279 Foothill Road.  Admission and parking are free.
Stamp trading and camaraderie.
Contact or 320-1601

May 25: David Deutsch Executive Director of NAMI,  the National Alliance on Mental Illness will speak about what NAMI offers including: Family Support Groups & NAMI Connection support groups, the “Family to Family Education Program,” and the “Mental Health Provider Program.Thursday, at 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

CAREGIVERS office, 1765 Goodyear Avenue, Suite 205.

May 27: The Ventura Tennis Club, in partnership with the Ventura Recreation and Community Services, is hosting a bi-annual Ventura Tennis Day on Saturday from 9:00 am to 3 pm. The event will be held at the Camino Real Tennis Park.

The event will include clinics for adults and kids from 9 am to 12 noon with pro Scott Burton and staff. After a break for refreshments, raffle and announcements there will be organized doubles play in the afternoon.

The Ventura Tennis Club is a non-profit community based club bringing tennis enthusiasts of all ages and abilities together for social and competitive play.  Information:

June 1: Ladies Luncheon 8th Anniversary “Celebrate your Inner Goddess” Instead of having a sponsor for June event spend more time networking, playing games and many more surprises! There’s limited seating so sign up today! Wear a flowing skirt or blouse and get an extra raffle ticket! Bring a raffle prize to share!

11:30am – 1:00pm Doors open at 11:15 am | $27 pre-registration  $30 at the door Sit-down Luncheon Buffet  Poinsettia Pavillion.

June 2&3: Gold Coast Concert Chorus presents Good Eats, A Feast of Musical Fun
Be a guest as they sing their way through a gourmet evening of song.
Do you have a favorite song about food? There is a good chance that GCCC will be singing it!
Enjoy the “Food, Glorious Food” on “The Night They Invented Champagne”, because “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” in “Strawberry Fields”.
Friday June 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm
Saturday June 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm
St. John’s Lutheran Church – 1500 North C St., Oxnard
Tickets: Adults $15.00, Sr./Student $12.00, Child under 12 $5.00
616-7269 or

June 3: On Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Ventura Friends of the Library will hold a Book Sale at the Vons at Victoria and Telegraph  (6040 Telegraph Road) .Quality used books at bargain prices.  All genres, including  special interest, vintage;  fiction, including classics and current hardcover and paperbacks; non-fiction, including biography, science, engineering, religion, travel, cooking, history, California history, art, music, self-help, education, parenting, sports, craft books, children’s books;  dvds, books on cd and tape, puzzles, and more.

June 4: The 1892 Dudley Historic House Museum will be open for docent-led tours by the “Mrs. Dudleys”  from 1 to 4 p.m. accompanied by period music in the parlor and upstairs library landing.  Admission is free.  The museum is located at the corner of Loma Vista and Ashwood.  For information please call  642-3345 or visit

June 4: On Sunday,   3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions are holding their Monthly Meeting:   Students’ Dreams for Our Nation, Dreams for Our World at E.P. Foster Library, Topping Room 8th grade students from Oxnard will present their research and the educational products they created as part of their year-long Common Core Project-Based learning. See what 13 and 14 year olds are concerned about locally and globally.

Admission free. Kristin Jensen Storey  889-3650

For more information on Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions and how you can get involved

June 4: Old-Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Association presents free music concerts on the first Sunday of every month at the Poinsettia Pavilion from 2-4pm. Featuring the authentic “Old Country Grass Band”. 517-1131 for more information.

June 6&20: The Ventura Retired Men’s Group welcomes interested men to their semi-monthly Tuesday lunch ($15) meetings at the Ventura Elks lodge. This regular congenial social event, besides a healthy, satisfying meal, supplies a welcome atmosphere to talk and joke, hear a speaker on a variety of relevant topics and brighten your week. Learn more from Steve at 642-1359

June 8: The Ventura County Professional Women’s Network (VCPWN), one of the county’s long standing organizations supporting the interests of women business owners and professionals, is hosting their monthly dinner meeting..  Dinner meeting is the second Thursday of every month at the Wedgewood Banquet Center, 5:30 PM.  Register for dinner online at

Guest speaker, Heather Moreno, MA, specializes in working with professionals who struggle to squeeze health and weight loss into their busy schedules. Heather loves to see her clients fully enjoy what they eat and how they feel, regain their energy, and get back to being themselves again.

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – Library Events

E.P. Foster Library

A California Native Plant Society Lecture 6/20 Tuesday @ 7-9pm .Tarja Sader “Studies of a National Park Botanist” presented by the California Native Plant Society, Channel Islands Chapter.

E.P. Needlecraft and Fiber Arts Club
6/8 & 22 Thursdays @ 10:30am
Get together with makers from all across the fiber-arts world.

Children’s Events Summer Reading (SR) Show: Luce Puppets!
6/21 Wednesday @ 11am & 3pm

Summer Reading (SR) Show: Silly Science! 6/28 Wednesday @ 3pm Silly Science Ric Morton Science Extraordinaire! Celebrate Summer Reading on the 2nd Floor!

Gaming Daze
6/16, 23, & 30 Fridays @ 2-4pm
Gaming Daze with both plugged and unplugged options! Play the WiiU and board games!

6/20 & 27 Tuesdays @ 3:30-5pm
Join us for creative STEAM projects! Rocket Launch and Necklace Coding!

3D Printing Club
6/22 & 29 Thursdays @ 2-4pm
Our 3D Printing Club inspires individuals to explore this emerging technology through hands-on experiences.

Father’s Day Crafternoon
6/15 Thursday @ 3:30-5pm
Join us for a Father’s Day Crafteroon!

Avenue Library

Gaming @ the Library
6/6, 13, 20, 27  Tuesdays 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Socialize and strategize with Wii games and board games

STEAM  Boxes
6/7, 14, 21, 28 Wednesdays 3:30pm – 4:30pm

6/7 LED Circuit Art , 6/14 Bot Draw 3:30-4:30, 6/21 Gumdrop Bridges 3:30-4:30, 6/28 Lava Lamp 3:30-4:30. Create and build! Use your imagination and engineering skills with these fun STEAM activities! Aimed at children ages 9 and up.

Superbrain Yoga 6/10 Saturday 10:00am – 12:00pm Simple exercises to relieve stress and make you smarter!

Saticoy Library

6/6, 13, 20, 27 Tuesdays 3:30pm – 4:30pm

6/6   LED Circuit Art  6/13 Draw Bot  6/20 Gumdrop Bridges 6/27 Lava Lamp  Create and build! Use your imagination and engineering skills with these fun STEAM activities! Aimed at children ages 9 and up

Gaming @ the Library
6/7, 14, 21, 28  Wednesdays 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Socialize and strategize with Wii games and board games

Summer Reading 2017 “Reading by Design”

6/12 10:30am
Kick Off Show Luce Puppets.  @ ATLAS Elementary School

6/22 3:00pm Silly Science with  Professor Ric Morton @  E.J Harrison Boys & Girls Club 11321 Violeta St, Ventura, CA 93004

6/29 3:00pm Magic with Shawn McMaster @ Saticoy Library