All posts by admin

The Art Tales contest for writers inspired by art is now open

Previous Mayor Cheryl Heitmann addressing last year’s Art Tales at Foster Library

The City of Ventura is pleased to sponsor the eighth annual creative writing contest inspired by art, in partnership with E.P. Foster Library. Selections from the Public and Municipal Art Collections at Ventura City Hall are rotated annually to a special second floor exhibit space near the library’s rear (children’s) entrance in an effort to make them more accessible to the community.

Visit E. P. Foster Library or the links below and choose the artwork that inspires you to create and enter your own poem or short story, 500 words or less by April 4, 2016.

  • Free and open to all writers worldwide
  • Prizes in 3 age categories

“Artist Next Door/Our Local Story” is the Art Tales theme for 2016, celebrating Ventura’s 150th birthday in April, through four artists whose works in the Municipal and Public Art Collections tell our city’s unique story by depicting its classic neighborhoods, citrus orchards, proud history and hip downtown.”

Click the links below to view and download featured art, contest info and the required release form:

Teachers can contact Art Tales curator Tobie Roach at 658-4759 or to request printed copies of materials for your classes and for further contest information.

More news about Art Tales can be found at

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – City of Ventura Classes

City of Ventura Classes check out hundreds more on our web-site

Call  658-4726 or 654-7552 to register, if you already have an account online, visit

Classes/Events held the Barranca Vista Center ~ 7050 Ralston Street in Ventura unless otherwise noted

Explore with Me  2.5-5 years
1/6-2/10           Wednesday      5:15-5:45 pm   $60 for one adult & one child   #42133
1/8-2/12           Friday               10:30-11 am     $60 for one adult & one child   #42134
Discover the world of art through the eyes of your child with such hands-on activities as sculpture, painting, collage, drawing and gardening. Instructor Jennifer Benitez.

Drawing & Painting for Youth  8-18 years
1/7-2/4             Thursday          3:30-4:45 pm   $64      #42141
Explore relevant artists and their styles to create your own acrylic paintings and pencil and charcoal drawings. Instructor Catherine Broger.

Primal Feat  18 years-adult
1/10     Sunday             4-5:30 pm        $15/session or $65/for 6 sessions         #42056
1/31     Sunday             4-5:30 pm        $15/session or $65/for 6 sessions         #5517
The body is meant to move! for this fun, intuitive experience we dance in our bare feet or soft dance shoes and comfy clothes. No dance partner or dance experience is required. Instructor Liz Galvan. Classes held at 2343 E Thompson Blvd #A. To register 658-4726.

Cook With Me  2-5 years

1/16     Saturday           10:30 am-12 pm           $45
You and your child will create a toddler-friendly full course meal from drink, appetizer and main course to dessert! Explore different food textures in the kitchen. Your child will boost his or her confidence as he or she works on fine motor skills. Supplies included. Instructor Jennifer Benitez.

Floral Design Workshop  2-5 years
1/16     Saturday           1-3 pm             $45
Learn how to create stunning centerpieces with wild flowers or plants from your own yard using color, creativity and the therapeutic energy of flowers. Supplies included. Instructor Jennifer Benitez.

Basic Guitar  9 years-adult
1/19-2/23         Tuesdays          7-8:30 pm        $55      #5623
Learn folk and pop strums, patterns and chord progressions. Students provide own acoustic or electric guitars. Instructor Randy Covington. At Dudley House, 197 N Ashwood St. To register call (805) 658-4726.

Move Like The Animals  3-6 years
1/20-2/24         Wednesday      3:45-4:30 pm   $65      #5687
This program for boys and girls links motor learning to reading, singing and imagination and develops self-esteem through the fun and excitement of learning to walk like a bear, roll like a cat, crawl like an alligator, do many monkey things and more! Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. Instructor Erin Clark. At Billy Clower Dance Studio, 75 MacMillan Avenue.

Alice Ludes celebrates 103rd birthday at Lexington

senior Lexington
Photo by Michael Gordon

A former resident of the Lexington, Alice Ludes came back to celebrate her 103rd birthday on Monday, December 21st. She sang along with her family and Lexington friends as her son played Christmas Carols on the piano. She called the Lexington her home for many years before she went next door to the Victoria Care Center.

The Lexington Assisted Living has prided itself on providing housing and quality care at affordable prices to seniors for almost 25 years offering independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care in Ventura.


Gallery V “New Beginnings” exhibit

art galleryVAlong with every ending, there is a new beginning.  Gallery V – the newest fine art gallery downtown Ventura – is kicking off 2016 with the “New Beginnings” exhibit.   Brought to you by Very Ventura Gift Shop and in collaboration with renowned local artist, Gerald Zwers – New Beginnings artists reception will be held Jan. 23rd from 6pm-9pm. Exhibit runs through Feb 28th.  Located inside Very Ventura Gift Shop at 540 E. Main Street.

Keeping your memory sharp

“Now if I can only remember why this string is on my finger?”
“Now if I can only remember why this string is on my finger?”

Many people worry about becoming forgetful. They think forgetfulness is the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Over the past few years, scientists have learned a lot about memory and why some kinds of memory problems are serious but others are not.

Age-Related Changes in Memory

Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems.

Some older adults also find that they don’t do as well as younger people on complex memory or learning tests. Scientists have found, though, that given enough time, healthy older people can do as well as younger people do on these tests. In fact, as they age, healthy adults usually improve in areas of mental ability such as vocabulary.

People with some forgetfulness can use a variety of techniques that may help them stay healthy and maintain their memory and mental skills. Here are some tips:

Some memory problems are related to health issues that may be treatable. For example, medication side effects, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic alcoholism, tumors or infections in the brain, or blood clots in the brain can cause memory loss or possibly dementia. Some thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders also can lead to memory loss. A doctor should treat serious medical conditions like these as soon as possible.

Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, can make a person more forgetful and can be mistaken for dementia. For instance, someone who has recently retired or who is coping with the death of a spouse, relative, or friend may feel sad, lonely, worried, or bored. Trying to deal with these life changes leaves some people confused or forgetful.

The confusion and forgetfulness caused by emotions usually are temporary and go away when the feelings fade. The emotional problems can be eased by supportive friends and family, but if these feelings last for a long time, it is important to get help from a doctor or counselor. Treatment may include counseling, medication, or both.

Plan tasks, make “to do” lists, and use memory aids like notes and calendars. Some people find they remember things better if they mentally connect them to other meaningful things, such as a familiar name, song, book, or TV show.

Develop interests or hobbies and stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

Engage in physical activity and exercise. Several studies have associated exercise (such as walking) with better brain function, although more research is needed to say for sure whether exercise can help to maintain brain function or prevent or delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Limit alcohol use. Although some studies suggest that moderate alcohol use has health benefits, heavy or binge drinking over time can cause memory loss and permanent brain damage.

Find activities, such as exercise or a hobby, to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. If these feelings last for a long time, talk with your doctor.

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – Mailbox


With the appointment of a non-council member to the mayorship and his advocacy of a sales tax increase, this city’s reached a new low. So the council dodges any flack by using an outsider to announce new fees is as cynical a move as the new water agency being forced down our throats. A sales tax increase was defeated years ago-how do they expect this one to pass? Where’s all the money? Where’s the income from the traffic lights and the parking meters? And why is the internet service on the avenue so slow and unreliable? The east side has fiber optic, and a new sports complex. The Avenue gets Kellogg Park-whee! Sheldon, your cheerleading only goes so far-why don’t you call these guys on their games?

Richard Goad


Not sure where you get your information but you definitely need a new source. All of our mayor’s (Erik Nasarenko in this case) are city council members who the council selects to be mayor.

And Ventura does not have a sports complex, new or old.



I was swimming laps at The Pierpont on Christmas Eve when my swimming buddy and fellow Rubicon chef, Doris Cowart, joined me. When we arrived at one end of the pool at the same time, she exclaimed that I was famous! She told me she said to herself, while reading the article,”I know her!” That was how I found out my aricle was in the paper.

Back in the locker room, she told everyone who would listen…it was nice that she took the lead so I didn’t have to! I gathered up a number of copies of The Breeze on my way out the door to send to family and friends. So, Sheldon, you have made me famous! Thanks! Happy New Year!

Kay Rich

Greetings- 150 years ago in Ventura

Tom Scott, of the Penn RR (and a  family ancestor) had acquired 240,243 acres and spent $165,000.00 in gold on Calif. oil lands by January 1865. He bought all of the Ojai Valley and most of downtown Ventura. Rancho Calleguas (5916 acres), Rancho Canada Large (6660 acres), Rancho Ojai (17717 acres) and a group of other ranchos, including what is now Oxnard and Ventura.

Regards –

John H. Stewart

“How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity”

~ William S. Burroughs

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – Ventura Music Scene

music scene (1)Happy New Year!
By Pam Baumgardner

First off, I’d like to wish you a very happy new year.  I’m already hearing the rumblings of changes coming to Ventura’s music scene; they’re good changes too. As they’re verified and come to fruition, you know I’ll be passing along the good news to you.

Ozomatli was indeed the perfect way for Discovery Ventura to kick off their music line up for the new year with a packed-to-the-gills house. Spencer the Gardener warmed up the crowd getting everyone in the dancing mood.  Spencer Barnitz describes the band as a rotating list of stellar players and that evening they added to the mix for the first time trombone player Skabone Stan who tours with Pato Banton. Discovery’s two-year anniversary is coming up the week of January 18th.  I’m looking forward to many more cool shows there.

As you can tell, I’m always delighted to learn and meet talented musicians who have worked as session musicians and/or have toured in support of world renowned artists because you have to be that good; and I found out first hand just how good they are as a couple of hot drummers have been playing around town.  First Shawn Jones has had drummer Herman Matthews with him the last couple times he played Sunday afternoons at W20 at the Watermark.  Matthews has toured with Tower of Power, Kenny Loggins and more than seven years with Tom Jones.  Then there’s Alvino Bennett playing with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Robin Trower, Chaka Khan and he’s about to go out on tour once again with Dave Mason; he was spotted at one of Tommy Marsh’s blues jams at Bombay’s and then sat in with Shawn Jones switching seats with Matthews for a couple of tunes this past Sunday.

Gypsy Stew will be releasing a new CD this month with half the 12 songs being originals.  Don Cook of the band said the music is what they like to call “Outlaw County,” old school as opposed to new country. The CD will be available at their shows as well as on their website They’ll be playing at the Star Lounge Friday, January 8. The release party will be at the Chop Shop Bar & Grill in Simi Valley on Saturday January 23.

And finally, Ventura is losing one of its own, Russ Camp (4 on the Floor, Stundexim, Camp Franco) when Camp moves up north; one of his final shows will be with BOHICA at Golden China on Saturday January 9 5:30 – 9:30 pm.  Camp has been a mainstay in Ventura for over 20 years always supporting other bands and filling in when needed. He’ll be missed.

Do you have any music related news or upcoming shows you want help publicizing?  Send all information short or long to, and for updated music listings daily, go to


Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – Events

Events by Ana Baker

Would you like to meet new friends? Whatever the reason, Ventura’s Conversation Group is the right place for you. This eclectic group meets Wednesdays from 4p.m. to 5:45p.m. Located at the Yolanda’s Mexican Restaurant at 2753 Main St. Several people usually stay for a drink and a bite to eat afterward. Be sure to bring an interesting topic to discuss.

Free admission stage show, 2p.m. to 4p.m. First Sunday of every month.  Old Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Assoc. Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Rd. For more Information call 517-1131.

Ventura Poinsettia Dance Club meets every Monday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45p.m. Located at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill. Ballroom, swing, Latin, mixers and line dancing. Members $9, non-members $11. Call 407-9971 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. The evening meeting takes place every Tuesday from 6:30p.m. to 8p.m. at Bible Fellowship Church located at 6950 Ralston Street in Room 301 of Building 300. Email, visit or call 253-3289 for more information.

The daytime meeting is held from 1p.m. to 3p.m. at the New Visions Center in Ventura on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Turning Point Foundation’s New Vision Center is located at 1065 E. Main Street. Email, visit or call 746-3106 for more information.

Jan.8:  The General George S. Patton, Jr. Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution luncheon meeting will feature the program ” Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage and the American Revolutionary War “, presented by a distinguished panel consisting of Georgine Herd, Pat Harmon, and Dr. Sunny Vazquez-McMullen, all members of the Conejo Valley Genealogy Society.  The luncheon event will take place in the Garden Room, Marie Callender’s Restaurant on Friday at 11:30 a.m.  All SAR & DAR Compatriots, friends, and visitors are welcome to join us.  The cost for lunch is $20 per person, and includes a slice of Marie Callender’s pie.  For additional information or for assistance in determining your possible Revolutionary War genealogical roots, please call Bill Bays 650-3036 or Robert Taylor 216-7992.  For information regarding SAR membership and chapter activities, visit

Jan.9: Unitarian Universalist Church will feature, Practicing living joyfully in the present moment with Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo. The day will begin with the documentary film Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas, featuring Leslie’s story and artwork, and will be filled with opportunities to practice living joyfully in the present moment. A gratitude offering will be gratefully accepted, but is not required ($35 suggested). Sponsored by the Friendship Sangha of the Heart, a Spiritual Growth Program of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo has been a beginning meditator and aspiring mindful person for over 40 years. Now resettled at the Channel Islands Harbor, she continues to make Buddhist textile art on commission and to teach mindful art-making to students around the world through her Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program. For more about Leslie

Jan.12: Audubon Society It’s all about bees.  Dr. Ruben Alarcón will discuss the diversity of bees, their importance for native plant communities and agricultural systems, and ways homeowners can promote bee populations.  He is a pollination ecologist and associate professor of Biology at CSU Channel Islands. Program will be held at the Poinsettia Pavilion, Foothill Road beginning at 7:30 p.m.


Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – Police Reports

Possession of Stolen Property

On Thursday, December 17th, at 2:30 a.m., unknown suspects smashed a window of the Trek bike store, located at 4060 East Main Street, and stole five bicycles.

On December 21st, VPD Street Crimes Unit detectives received information that a local vagrant, Timothy Nelson, was in possession of one of the stolen bikes and that he frequented a camp below Telephone Road near the train tracks.

Detectives responded to this location and located Nelson along with a stolen Trek bike. Nelson was arrested for possession of stolen property and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Nelson was later booked at the VC Jail.

Two other vagrants were located in the camp and arrested for unrelated offenses.

Sandra Dillard was arrested for an outstanding parole warrant and Jose Capo was arrested for possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

The other stolen Trek bikes were not located.

Armed Robbery

 On Saturday, December 26th, at 5:47 a.m., the VPD received a call of a robbery that had occurred at the USA gas station at 887 North Ventura Avenue. Officers learned that an unknown male wearing a black ski mask entered the business and brandished a silver handgun, pointing it at the clerk, Ivan Mejia.

The suspect, a white male, demanded the money from the register, and then fled from the business westbound towards Barnett Avenue. Officers searched the area and were unable to locate any suspects matching the description. Mejia was unharmed during the commission of this crime.

Commercial Burglary

On Saturday, December 26th, at 10:00 a.m., the VPD received a call of a commercial burglary at the Salzer’s Records store, at 5777 Valentine Road. The business owners reported that they had received a security alarm activation the previous day, when they were closed for business. They had checked the exterior of the business, found it to be secure, and thought it had been a false alarm.

On Saturday, employees discovered that a glass display case was shattered inside the business and numerous items of merchandise were missing.

An officer reviewed the video and got a good description of the suspect, who appeared to be a vagrant. The officer located Torin Davey at a nearby fast food establishment and recognized him as the suspect who was seen on video committing the burglary. Davey was also found to be in possession of several items that were taken during the burglary. Davey was arrested and booked at the VC Jail.

Resisting Arrest

On Saturday, December 26th, at 4:00 p.m., a VPD officer was patrolling the area of the Ventura Pier, 668 Harbor Boulevard, when he observed a subject he recognized as having felony warrants for his arrest. The subject, Michael Fiegel, was sitting with several other subjects underneath the pier.

The officer contacted Fiegel, who immediately became uncooperative. Once the officer’s back up arrived, they attempted to take him into custody, but he resisted. Fiegel tried to hit the officers and grabbed the officer’s bullet resistant vest, scratching the officer’s neck. He continued to resist until a taser was deployed, which allowed the officers to take him into custody.

After being cleared at VCMC for minor injuries he sustained during the arrest, Fiegel was booked into the VC Jail.

Arson Arrest

Zavala-Lopez set her boyfriend’s vehicle on fire.
Zavala-Lopez set her boyfriend’s vehicle on fire.

On Sunday, December 27th, at 8:21 a.m., the VPD received a call from William Skinner reporting that his ex-girlfriend, Jacqueline Zavala-Lopez, was disturbing his residence in the 5300 block of Basie Street and attempting to break his front window. Before officers arrived, Zavala-Lopez had left the area. Skinner received a message from Zavala-Lopez telling him to check his vehicle, which was parked in an apartment complex parking lot across the street. It was discovered Zavala-Lopez had intentionally set his vehicle on fire.  The VC Fire Department was dispatched and extinguished the fire.

Officers worked with the Skinner, who convinced Zavala-Lopez to meet him in downtown Ventura. Zavala-Lopez was spotted by officers near the Starbucks, where she was taken into custody.

Zavala-Lopez was arrested and booked into the VC Jail.

The fire department personnel determined Skinner’s vehicle was a total loss.


 On Wednesday, December 30th, at 6:30 p.m., the VPD received a call reporting a robbery. The victim, Michael Hurtado, was approached by three suspects in front of Red Barn Liquor, located at 1285 North Ventura Avenue. The suspects confronted Hurtado and demanded money from him. Then, they physically attacked Hurtado by punching and kicking him. Hurtado sustained minor injuries but they were not life threatening.


All three suspects were described as Hispanic males, 25-30 years old. They were all wearing dark clothing, and fled in an unknown direction. The investigation is ongoing.


Vehicle Pursuit


On Thursday, December 31st, at 2:27 a.. the VPD received a call from the victim of a road rage incident, stemming from a disturbance at the Golden China Restaurant. Earlier in the evening, the victim asked the suspect, Adam Wareham, to leave the restaurant due to his behavior. As the restaurant was closing, Wareham returned to the restaurant and began following the victim. The victim felt threatened so he called 9-1-1.


Officers located Wareham in the area of Victoria and Ralston, and initiated a traffic stop.   Rather than stopping his vehicle, he accelerated. The pursuit continued in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the Pacific View Mall. The vehicle was located abandoned near Grove Street and Foothill Road.


Wareham was found hiding in the barranca near Hall Canyon. He was taken into custody and booked at the VC Jail.

Vol. 9, No. 7 – January 6 – January 19, 2016 – Harbor Patrol Blotter

12-27 3:55pm, received a dispatch to a person trapped in a dumb-waiter.  Officers responded and assisted Ventura fire with extraction of the victim.  The patient refused further evaluation and was transported by a relative to the hospital.

6:05pm, while on patrol, officers observed several hoopnets placed illegally in the harbor entrance.  They were unable to locate the owners so the nets were confiscated and placed into found property.  

  12-30 3:00pm, while on patrol in the fireboat, officers observed 4 swimmers caught in a rip current.  Ventura County fire was on scene on the beach observing the swimmers also.  The swimmers were coached via P/A safely back to shore.
  1-02 1:30pm, received a report of stolen lawn ornaments from a mobile home park resident in the last few nights.  Officers advised they would investigate and directed the victim to file an online report with Ventura PD.

10:07pm, received a dispatch to a medical at Brophy Brothers in the village.  Officers responded and assisted Ventura fire and AMR.  A family member was being disruptive but was convinced to let the first responders do their work.

11:38pm, received a dispatch to an ill person wandering around the launch ramp.  Officers responded and found a local transient who has been acting strangely today but was in no need of medical assistance.  Ventura PD and harbor patrol escorted the individual out of the Harbor.

  1-03 6:30am, officers are gathering weather information for the upcoming storms next week and making preparations for the predicted large swells and strong south winds.