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Assisted living experts meet with local representatives

senior cypressMaybe this truck will be at the Classic Car Show?

Steve Spira, executive director from Cypress Place Senior Living recently participated in “Day in Your District”,  an event to help local representatives recognize and understand Assisted Living providers .

The event coordinated by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA) gave attendees from Cypress Place the opportunity to meet with Hillary Blackerby, senior Field Rep to Assemblymember Das Williams. The meeting allowed the opportunity for the Assisted Living experts from Cypress Place to discuss a variety of topics and issues important to the Assisted Living industry with their local representative.

Assisted Living refers to a special combination of housing, personalized supportive services, and 24-hour staff designed to respond to the individual needs of those who require help with activities of daily living.

This senior housing option is a non-institutional, home-like setting that promotes maximum independence and dignity for each resident and encourages family and community involvement.

That community involvement will be on display on September 16, at Cypress Place when the senior community hosts their Classic Car Show and 70’s Party.  Open to the public, the event will have food, music, dancing, prizes for best car, best dancers and best outfits.  So get out your bell bottoms and disco ball, and get ready to get your groove on.

Wave your geek flag at Central Coast Comic Con August 28-30

event comic conThe goal of Comic Con is to provide a weekend fully packed of family fun.

The Superheroes, Super villains, gamers, anime fans, fan boys, jocks, costumers, and everyone in between are coming back to wave their geek flag at the Central Coast Comic Con August 28 – 30. The new signature end of summer event is returning to the Ventura County fairgrounds for its third exciting year.

The history of this area and the fairgrounds itself makes it easy to bring in stars of movies, comics, TV and the Internet to help in this charity awareness event. This year the event is bringing stars like Sid Haig, Michael Jai White, Doug Jones, cast members from American Horror Story, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and many other popular shows. Plus Creators like Bob Layton, local comic legend, Howard Chaykin, Brian Pulido, Marvel comics legend, Allen Bellman and a mix of upcoming writers and artists.

Each year local artists have this avenue to display and offer their wares for all to see. From artist to authors to movie stars, each have joined in to meet their fans and make dreams come true. Popular culture vendors and talented musicians are available to add to the excitement of each of the days..

Sunday has always been dedicated as “Kids Day” with Costume Parades, the joy of Disney Princess shows for the princess in your life and Wrestling and Power Rangers, for that warrior in your family. Children/young adults 10 and under are free with a paid adult ticket all weekend long. Discounts are available at the gate for all of our local military members as a means to say thank you.

Central Coast Comic Con (C4) is the accomplishment of a long time goal to return to the community that we grew up in. The company behind the popular culture convention, WTF Events INC, is working to become a reliable resource for youth groups, disadvantage families and activists towards the artists and creators of the future. Their motto is “Community first”. They work with charity and community groups like the Coalition and Big Brothers Big Sisters to change lives and better our community by bringing awareness to the many issues of our youth such as anti bullying, reading and art programs in addition to kids charities. These cars will provide a special ride for that child in the hospital or a ride for the youth in a local parade and so much more!

Visit and see just what C4 has to offer for our community and its members.

For more information about the event please see their ad in this issue or go to

Breeze: Our own Jaime Baker will be there selling his original artwork and some prints of his artwork, along with doing his wonderful custom caricatures. Be sure to hi for us.


First Veterans Transitional Housing opens in Ventura

stuff turning pointPhoto by Bernie Goldstein
Government, veteran, business representatives and Turning Point staff surround Congresswoman Julia Brownley.

Turning Point Foundation has opened the first Veterans Transitional Housing facility on the central coast. On August 5th Congresswoman Julia Brownley cut the ribbon at the grand opening. The Veterans Transitional Housing facility is located at 43 E. Vince St. in Ventura.

Based on 27 years of experience, Turning Point Foundation identified a tremendous need for supported transitional housing for veterans suffering from mental illness that are homeless to address their particular barriers to success. The goals of the program include obtaining residential stability for mentally ill veterans that are homeless through supported transitional and permanent housing, increasing life skills and income stability, and obtaining self-determination by sustaining a personal Wellness and Recovery Action Plan.

Turning Point’s primary means of engagement with potential veteran clients is the organization’s Our Place Safe Haven, a 10-bed shelter and Multi-Service Center, which provides overnight emergency shelter and drop-in services to more than 350 homeless persons each year, 12% of whom are veterans. Since 1995, Our Place Safe Haven has served as a “community living room” where homeless persons can drop-in and get a cup of coffee, food to eat, socialize with others, take a shower, do their laundry, make phone calls, get their mail, talk to a Case Manager and get counseling.

Turning Point Foundation currently serves over 762 clients each year through safe haven, shelter, supported housing and rehabilitation programs. Turning Point is the only local non-profit agency that addresses the critical community needs of mentally ill adults in Ventura county.

To identify potential residents, Turning Point’s Street Outreach team networks with the police and other mental health and social services agencies serving homeless persons, follow up on leads concerning potential clients, as well as make regular visits with food and supplies to areas where homeless persons are known to congregate in Ventura County, and through VA referrals.

Turning Point currently has three employees who are veterans, and are looking to hire more.  These employees have the peer experience and connect compassionately with homeless veterans.

To learn more about Turning Point Foundation, and a personal tour beforehand with their Executive Director, Jason Meek, please call 652-0000 x108.


Ventura County Fair Parade

stuff-fair-parade-collage---CopyThe 2015 Ventura County Fair Parade was held on Saturday, August 8 in historic
downtown Ventura.

Marching bands, drill teams, acrobats, clowns, horses, school groups, antique automobiles,
clubs and organizations marched down Main Street from Aliso Lane to Palm
Street in celebration of the 140th Ventura County Fair. The Fair Parade has become
Ventura’s premier parade.

Diesel Technology Program at Ventura College

A partnership was formed on August 11th as the Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees approved an action to establish a new Diesel Technology Program at Ventura College under a five-year, $900,000 agreement between Ventura College, Ventura College Foundation, and Gibbs Truck Centers.  Chair Dianne McKay, Chancellor Bernard Luskin, and the Board of Trustees recognized Ed Gibbs, Sr., President/Owner, and his son, Ed Gibbs, General Manager/Owner, of Gibbs Truck Centers at a public Board meeting at the District Administrative Center in Ventura.

“The Board was pleased to approve this new community relationship with Gibbs Truck Centers.  Building successful pathways for our students would not be possible without innovative partnerships. With the Gibbs’ support, we are able to provide students in Ventura County the education and experience needed to access both good and available job opportunities,” stated Board Chair Dianne McKay.  Chancellor Bernard Luskin commented, “This Diesel Technology program represents the first of its kind in Ventura County.  We feel privileged to create this program with Gibbs Truck Centers and appreciate the Gibbs’ generosity and vision.”

Their business needs for qualified mechanics inspired Ed Gibbs, Sr. and Ed Gibbs to fund the new program and create an onsite lab for students at Gibbs Truck Centers, which is headquartered in Oxnard.  Matt LaVere, Ventura College Foundation Board Member, initiated discussions between the Gibbs, Ventura College, and the Ventura College Foundation.  “Over the five-year term of our funding agreement, the program is expected to graduate 100-150 technicians with all the skills needed to succeed in our industry, from soft skills like customer service and ethics, to technical knowledge of engines,” said Ed Gibbs.  Dr. Greg Gillespie, President of Ventura College, commented, “Ventura College is excited to have the opportunity to administer the program and supply faculty, students, and curriculum approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).  Classes will start in fall 2016, and the first graduating class is anticipated in spring 2018.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the diesel technology field are expected to grow nine percent from 2012-2022.  The national average pay was cited as $42,320 annually in 2012.

Assisted Hospice Care to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model

Assisted Hospice Care has been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The model provides Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit and dually eligible beneficiaries who qualify for the Medicaid Hospice Benefit the option to elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice and continue to receive curative services at the same time.

All eligible hospices across the country were invited to apply to participate in the model. Due to robust interest, CMS expanded the model from an originally anticipated 30 Medicare-certified hospices to over 140 Medicare-certified hospices and extended the duration of the model from 3 to 5 years. This is expected to enable as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who receive services from participating hospices to experience this new option and flexibility.

Participating hospices will provide services under the model that are currently available under the Medicare hospice benefit for routine home care and respite levels of care, but cannot be separately billed under Medicare Parts A, B, and D.  Services will be available around the clock, 365 calendar days per year and CMS will pay a per beneficiary per month fee ranging from $200 to $400 to participating hospices when delivering these services under the model.  Services will begin starting January 1, 2016 for the first phase of participating hospices and in January 2018 for the remaining participating hospices.

Individuals who wish to receive services under the model must fall into certain categories:

Must be diagnosed with certain terminal illnesses (e.g., advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome);

Must meet hospice eligibility requirements under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit;

Must not have elected the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit within the last 30 days prior to their participation in the Medicare Care Choices Model;

Must receive services from a hospice that is participating in the model; and

Must have satisfied model’s other eligibility criteria.

More information is available at



Medicaid can help, but is last resort option

senior baby boomers “Are you sure that I’m a baby boomer?”

Baby Boomers, retiring at a rate of roughly 10,000 per day, may have unrealistic notions about what their future long-term care needs could do to their bank accounts.

When a recent Nationwide Financial consumer survey asked for an estimate of how much a year of nursing-home care will cost in 2030, the Baby Boomers who were surveyed guessed an average of $111,507. The actual estimated costs – $265,000 – are more than double that.

That extreme underestimate indicates many of those Baby Boomers may be unprepared to handle the costs of long-term care and could end up relying on Medicaid to pay for it, which isn’t the best option, says Chris Orestis, a senior health-care advocate and CEO of Life Care Funding (

“One problem is that people wait until they are in the middle of a crisis before they start trying to figure out long-term care options and how to pay for them,” Orestis says. “Long-term care is expensive. It’s natural that families want to do whatever they can to help take care of a loved one, but they can go broke in the process.”

Medicaid certainly can help, Orestis says, but it’s best to avoid going that route if at all possible. Here’s why:

  • Lack of personal choice. Most forms of home care and assisted living are paid for privately, which means you must have resources other than Medicaid to pay the monthly out-of-pocket expenses. But when people go on Medicaid they lose their ability to choose what kind of care they want and where they will go. Usually, instead of home care or assisted living, a person on Medicaid goes into a nursing home and in most cases will share a room with another patient. “That’s not the way most people want to end up after a lifetime of working hard and raising a family,” he says.
  • Becoming impoverished. Medicaid was created to be a last resort and that’s exactly the way families should view it. To qualify, you need to be below the poverty line, which means you will need to spend down your assets to get there. “Once you go on Medicaid, you have in effect become a ward of the state.”
  • State budgets are strained. Because of all those aging Baby Boomers, the number of people needing long-term care is growing, escalating the long-term funding crisis. Political leaders want people to remain on private pay as long as possible because Medicare and Medicaid can’t keep up with the growing demand for long-term-care services.

A better option available to many people is to convert their life-insurance policy into a long-term care benefit plan, he says. Seniors can sell their policy for 30 to 60 percent of its death-benefit value and put the money into an irrevocable, tax-free fund designated specifically for their care.

That fund is professionally administered with payments made monthly on behalf of the individual receiving the care.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the possibility of converting life insurance policies, Orestis says.

“I’ve been lobbying state legislatures to make the public aware of their legal right to use this option,” he says. “It’s important that, as people age, they know about all their options so they can avoid making potentially costly mistakes.”

Chris Orestis is a nationally known senior health-care advocate and expert, is CEO of Life Care Funding (, which created the model for converting life insurance policies into protected Long-Term Care Benefit funds. He created the model to provide an option for middle-class people who are not wealthy enough to pay for long-term care, and not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

Breeze: This is not a recommendation to use his company but is provided for general information and knowledge.

Vol. 8, No. 23 – August 19 – September 1, 2015 – Professor Scamp

Scamp“It’s nice to know that help is available if I have a medical problem, or need a lift to the vet”

scamp bath

“ Do short hair dogs need to take a bath daily? I get a little dizzy in the washer-dryer but I look very handsome after”

Thank all of you who attended the FelixNFido adoption event held on Sunday at the Ventura Harbor. It was nice meeting you.

My good friend Victoria Usher wrote the following for me while I was napping, but I made a few comments.

The limit on how many cats residents can own in their home in Los Angeles may soon be relaxed in order to help raise the number of pet adoptions and help prevent felines from being euthanized in very crowded shelters. As of right now, it is illegal to have more than three cats without a kennel permit. In order to change this, a proposal must be made which would have to go through the city’s animal welfare committee and then after that it would need the City Council’s approval. Councilman Paul Koretz, chairman of the city’s Personnel and Animal Welfare and many others are really pushing to move forward with this so that residents can have as many as five cats. There are obviously people that have their doubts about making this change but in the end if it does happen not only will there be more cats in loving homes but there will also be less cats that have to be unnecessarily euthanized in packed shelters. No matter what, it’s all about what’s best for the cats. ( And I’m getting used to cats now that I live with one, they’re not too bad-Scamp).

The Working Cats program helps rescued cats with street-smart skills find homes. But not only will they find good homes, they will find good homes that will put their street smart skills to better use. A perfect example of this would be Pacino, a brown tabby from Los Angeles. Pacino had apparently lived on the streets of Los Angeles for quite some time, always running from danger and never knowing when or where his next meal would come from. But then one day he was turned in at one of the L.A. County animal services shelters. Pacino never thought he would be adopted by anyone; after all he was far too aggressive and distrustful. He never ever suspected that someone like Melya Kaplan who had started the Working Cats program in 1999, would come along looking for a cat just like him with a street-smart attitude. Pacino then became a nighttime warden at the Original L.A. Flower Market, always making sure that rodents never got out of hand. There are many other cats just like him that have also been recruited by an animal rights nonprofit to find homes in places that could use cats street-smart qualities. Because of the Working Cats program, all kinds of cats are rescued from different shelters and sent to locations such as private homes, businesses and schools. The Working Cats program has placed about 500 cats in about 50 locations. That is absolutely wonderful. These are the types of programs that we need more of in this world. Not all animals are alike, just as not all of us humans are alike. We all just want to find a place that we belong. The Working Cats program has done that for these cats and it’s a beautiful thing.

There has been a recent new study of ancient wolf DNA that is now telling us that dogs actually split from wolves as many as 27,000 to 40,000 years ago instead of 11,000 to 16,000 years ago, as earlier genome research had previously suggested. The genetic material used for this analysis was a small piece of rib bone, which belonged to a male wolf that lived on Siberia’s Taimyr Peninsula. During an expedition to this region, Love Dalen, first author Pontus Skoglund of the Harvard Medical School and their colleagues found this specific genetic material. At first they were all unsure if the sample came from a modern or ancient wolf, but radiocarbon dating later revealed that the animal did live about 35,000 years ago. After studying the animal’s DNA and then comparing it to genomes of modern wolves and dogs, the team all figured that there must have been a three-way split between the Taimyr, dog and wolf linages. (They must have all likes eating because that is my favorite thing to do, besides writing of course-Scamp)

Ojai Events and News

The City of Ojai has established a Second Residential Dwelling Unit Compliance process to allow property owners to legalize dwellings constructed without record of permits. Such units are often guest houses where kitchens have been added or garages which have been converted.

The program is operative for a limited time only ending December 21, 2015; units may not be currently recognized in the City’s inventory of housing. At the end of the program, unpermitted second dwelling will become subject to all City codes and regulations currently in effect.

Property owners who believe they may have a second residential dwelling unit which could meet the program criteria are encouraged to obtain a preliminary consultation with the City’s Building Official or the City-credited Ombudsman. The Ombudsman support process allows property owners to seek out the assistance of parties independent of the City to assist in determining if a unit qualifies to be legalized as a second dwelling unit on your property. Information provided to the Ombudsman is confidential and will not be provided to the City or other agencies.

If you have any questions regarding the information above or processing of a project in general, please contact the City’s Building Official at 646-5581 x116 or via e-mail at

The management of diabetes, a common disease that causes long-term damage to the body, will be the focus of a free seminar Community Memorial Health System, held on Saturday, Aug. 22.

Tricia Westhoff-Pankratz, M.D., a clinical endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid disorders, diabetes and pituitary diseases, will lead the discussion during the seminar to be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the banquet room at Soule Park Golf Course, located at 1033 E. Ojai Ave. in Ojai.

Dr. Westhoff-Pankratz will cover new therapies available to treat diabetes and ways patients can limit prescriptions to reach their goals. She also will discuss current blood glucose goals and how they change with age; the new modalities in treating diabetes; and whether patients can “get rid” of diabetes.

Registration is free but reservations are required. Visit or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800/838-3006.

Future scheduled Speaker Series events include: the Treatment of Low Back Pain on Sept. 1 at Community Memorial Hospital; Ethics in Healthcare event: Disneyland, Measles and Vaccines: Should Parents Call the Shots, on Sept. 10 at the Museum of Ventura County; and the Breast Cancer Symposium on Oct. 3 at the Ventura Beach Marriott.

Course 2 of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition Food Preparation Series is a sourdough bread and cheese making class on Saturday, August 22nd, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Instructor, Katie Zack, will share the basics of sourdough bread making and how to make a soft goat cheese.

There is a suggested donation of $35 for OVGC supporting members and $40 for non-members. Reservations are required and the class is limited to 12 participants. Visit for full details or call (805) 669-8445.

galerie102 presents Britt Ehringer’s “Insanely Beautiful” from August 22 – September 20. Opening reception with the artist will be on Saturday, August 22 from 5 – 7 p.m.

Artist Britt Ehringer examines the subjective expression of beauty in our culture and its outer boundaries in a solo show of new works featuring paintings, photography and sculpture. Straddling beauty and insanity, Ehringer questions what is considered beautiful and to what degree beauty exists in counterpoint to society’s, oft-times, rigid judgement of the beauty found on the “fringes” of “proper society.”

A self-taught artist with an irreverent pop-art sensibility and a penchant for tongue in cheek social commentary, Britt Ehringer deftly layers color, image and social message, with his multiple use of mediums, that defy easy definition of his work into a specific art canon.

Ojai Raptor Center, (ORC) a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of birds of prey and other wildlife, and to providing educational programs to teach communities about wildlife and our shared environment.

Sunday October 25th 2015, ORC will open its doors to the public for a rare opportunity to meet our non-releasable “ambassador” raptors, and tour the Center which is home to the largest flight aviary in CA. The Center is closed to the public year-round due to the sensitive nature of wildlife in rehabilitation.

Hawks, falcons, and owls will be on hand to greet guests along with stage presentations the entire afternoon. There will be plenty of fun activities for children, a silent auction, and a chance to release a raptor with ORC staff. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

Ojai Raptor Center Open House asks for a suggested donation of five dollars for entry. This is a dog-free event. Handicapped parking will be available. Additional parking will be located 1 mile from the Center with a Pegasus shuttle running every 10 minutes. Please visit for more info.

Vol. 8, No. 23 – August 19 – September 1, 2015 – Harbor Patrol Blotter

8-1 5:33pm, harbor patrol received a report of a two vessels near the Surfers Knoll groin in need of assistance.  Officers responded in two separate boats.  Upon arriving on scene, one of the vessels was observed in immediate danger in the surfline.  Patrol passed a tow line to the small disabled vessel.  The boat was rescued along with all ten souls onboard.  The other vessel was not in immediate danger and was assisted without incident.
8-1 7:54pm, received a dispatch to a water rescue at Emma Wood group camp.  Officers responded in the fireboat from the harbor.  The victim was rescued from a rip current and released at the scene.
8-2 3:45pm, officers observed a vendor, 805 jetski rentals operating without a permit at the public launch ramp.  He was contacted and advised of the violation.  The individual is under investigation for operating without a permit.
8-5 7:15am, officers received a report of a stolen standup paddle board from a VIM tenant.  After a few days of investigation, the board was discovered for sale on craigslist.  The incident is under investigation.
8-6 12:05pm, officers received a report of a vessel sinking at the fuel pier.  Patrol responded and dewatered the fishing vessel.  With assistance from a crew member, the source of the leak was discovered in the rudder post.  The owner was notified and was en route from Long Beach to repair the boat.
8-7 4:25pm, officers received a report from lifeguards of a stingray strike at Surfers Knoll Groin.  Patrol responded, assessed and treated the injury, transported the patient to his vehicle where a family member drove him to a local hospital for further evaluation.



1200pm, harbor patrol received a dispatch to a water rescue near the South Jetty.  Officers responded by boat to assist lifeguards with four persons caught in a rip current.

5:23pm, officers were dispatched to a person not breathing on their sailboat in Ventura West Marina.  After arriving on scene it was determined that the male had died earlier and was not viable for resuscitation.