Category Archives: City News

Ventura City Fire Department respond to fire at two story residential home

On April 29, at 3:33pm, Ventura City Fire Department responded to a report of smoke coming from a two story residential home in the 2300 Block of Woodpecker Ave.  Upon arrival fire crews found a fire burning in a bedroom on the second floor that had extended into the attic. Firefighting efforts were initially hampered by boarded up windows and locked doors throughout the structure. Firefighters extinguished the blaze 25 minutes after arrival. Firefighters searched the house for occupants during the firefighting effort but none were found.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries when portions of the second story ceiling collapsed.  Both firefighters were treated and released from a local hospital.

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.

City Public Works removed 2,757 graffiti cases from Ventura last year

Community members can help keep Ventura safe and clean by reporting graffiti

by city staff

City of Ventura Public Works staff removed, painted, blasted or chemically treated 2,757 graffiti cases last fiscal year.  Outfitted with paint, rollers, gloves and environmentally safe cleaner, the team travels throughout the city responding to issues reported by other staff, attentive community members and tips received on the graffiti hotline.  The graffiti removal efforts are impressive, and so is the time frame in which they are cleaned up.  Nearly all graffiti instances are removed within 24-48 hours, which is a testament to the City’s great work in keeping Ventura safe and clean.

In addition to our Public Works team removing graffiti, the Ventura Police Department responds to calls for service related to graffiti, tagging, and spray paint.  From April 2016 through March 2017, Ventura Police filed 156 graffiti/tagger crime reports and arrested nine people for graffiti vandalism.

In 2012, the City of Ventura collaborated with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Union Pacific Railroad to remove graffiti with a shiny new coat of paint, install surveillance cameras, new lighting and fencing, and add other physical safety barriers to deter trespassers and vandalism on the bridge trestle. The trestle is an important area to remove graffiti — it is highly visible to visitors and the 94,000 motorists who pass it each day.

Nearly five years later, the City remains committed to keeping the bridge and other locations throughout Ventura graffiti-free. Recently, Public Works staff removed approximately 25 square feet of graffiti on the trestle, which required coordination with Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol because freeway lanes needed to be closed for public safety during the graffiti abatement.

Graffiti vandalism happens on both public and private property.  Property owners can discourage graffiti tagging by using good lighting to deter vandals, planting trees, shrubs or climbing vines to restrict access to tempting walls, and rapidly removing graffiti to send vandals a message that their defacement has little chance of being seen.

Community members can help keep Ventura safe and clean by reporting graffiti in the City of Ventura, at 654-7805.

City of Ventura classes and camps

Check out hundreds more on web-site. Call 658-4726 to register, if you already have an ACTIVENET account online, visit

To see a whole menu of summer offerings visit  To have a summer camp brochure mailed to you call 658-4726. Classes held at the Barranca Vista Center, 7050 E Ralston St in Ventura unless noted.

Friday Night Tap
5/12-6/9               F              6:30-7:30 pm      $40         #8018
Learn basic steps, combinations and routines to upbeat rhythms and music. Classes are progressive but designed for the beginner. Instructor Elli Busch. No class 5/26. Classes held at Billy Clower Dance Studio, 75 MacMillian Ave. in Ventura.

Painting Landscapes Big and Small  7-12 years
5/17-6/14            M            4-5:30 pm            $50+$10 materials fee    #7973
Paint landscapes with trees, mountains, waves, waterfalls and other details using many techniques. Join artist Jen Livia at 4601 Telephone Rd #112 each week to explore new subjects and paint them in a variety of styles to discover our own unique style. All supplies provided.

Preventing Separation Anxiety  18 years-adult
5/20       Sa           10 am-12 pm                      $20         #7700
Learn how to help if your dog barks or whines, destroys things and has potty accidents while you are away from home. Led by Registered Veterinary Technician/Certified Professional Dog Trainer Shannon Coyner. Please leave your dog at home for this seminar. Classes held at 3521Arundel Circle #B.

AM Zumba®  18 years-adult
5/22-6/28            M/W     7:45-8:45 am      $65 or $7 drop in fee       #8966
Start your day with an exciting and effective Latin dance Zumba® workout. Bring water, towel and mat and dress comfortably. Walk-in fees are due at start of class. Certified Zumba® Instructor Dala Sondors. No class 5/29.

Ballroom Dancing  16 years-adult
5/23-6/27            Tu           7:30-8:30 pm      $55         #9030
Enjoy the magic of smoothly moving across the floor with the waltz, fox trot, swing and rumba!

Swing and Nightclub Dancing  16 years-adult
5/23-6/27            Tu           8:30-9:30 pm      $55         #9033
Swing the night away, East & West Coast style! No partner needed.

Arbor Day tree planting held at Westpark Community Center

Students from assisted in planting three different species of trees. Photo by Richard Lieberman

In celebration of National Arbor Day, the City of Ventura Parks Division invited the public to a tree planting event Wednesday, April 26 at the Westpark Community Center.

Students from PEAK (Program Enrichment for After-school Kids) assisted the City’s Urban Forestry staff in planting three different species of trees.  Each year, more than 500 elementary and middle school children participate in PEAK activities where they receive safe and supervised after-school homework assistance, nutritional snacks, art, music, computer science, fitness and sports programs.  PEAK is a partnership between the City of Ventura, the Ventura Unified School District and the Police Activities League (PAL).

The City of Ventura’s Urban Forestry Division is responsible for approximately 30,000 City trees, and regulates all planting, pruning and removal of trees in the public right-of-way.  City trees are an important part of our community – they produce oxygen, help reduce air pollution, cool our streets by lowering temperatures in the shade, provide sound dampening and wind buffers, provide a habitat for animals and improve the aesthetic quality of life.

According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, Arbor Day started in April 1872 when more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska at the urging of J. Sterling Morton who first proposed the tree-planting holiday at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture.

For more information about the City of Ventura’s Urban Forestry Division, visit or call the Tree Hotline at 667-6519.

Joe McDermott has worked for the City of Ventura since 2002

Dear Valued Customer,

With great pleasure and enthusiasm, I would like to introduce myself as Ventura Water’s Acting General Manager. I am a registered engineer with over 20 years of experience in the Civil Engineering profession with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.

I have had the pleasure of working for the City of Ventura since 2002.  Some of my most accomplished achievements as Assistant General Manager for Ventura Water include the development and implementation of the VenturaWaterPure Demonstration Facility and launching demand management initiatives such as Ventura’s Water Wise Turf Removal Incentive Program and the Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan.

I have been working diligently with staff to plan and set the stage for constructing new water supply projects. These include potable reused water under the VenturaWaterPure Program, and a pipeline that will finally give Ventura access to the State Water Project.

With many great projects and challenges ahead, I am honored to serve Ventura Water as we continue to work toward a safe and sustainable future.


Joe McDermott,
Ventura Water Acting General Manager

City of Ventura classes and camps

Check out hundreds more on web-site

Call  658-4726 to register, if you already have an ACTIVENET account online, visit

Registration open now for The City of Ventura’s Summer full and half day camps in cooking, theatre, dance, circus, rock & roll, fine arts, Legos, science and so much more. To see a whole menu of summer offerings visit  To have a summer camp brochure mailed to you call 658-4726

5/13       Saturday              4pm                       FREE
Fairytales in the Park is celebrating its 23nd season! Join us at Barranca Vista Park for a production of Peter Pan 3: The Switcheree.  Performances are the 2nd Saturday of every month through September. Bring a blanket, picnic and low lawn chairs. 7050 Ralston St.

Murals & Roses Annual Art and Garden Exhibit
5/14       Sunday                 11am-3pm          FREE
Come visit the historic Olivas Adobe for a wonderful exhibit featuring Marguerite Hardman’s stunning, enormous murals and the Olivas Adobe’s own spectacular rose garden in full bloom. Admission is free.

Line Dance with a Twist  18 years-adult
5/1-6/5                 M/W                     1-2 pm                  $60         #8010
Experienced line dancers enjoy exercise fun with a twist of salsa, ballroom and jazz. Instructor Jackie Ringhof. No class 5/29. Classes held at the Barranca Vista Center, 7050 E Ralston St.

Social Ballroom  16 years-Adult
5/1-6/12               M            7:30-8:30pm       $70         #9058
Beginners get on the floor after just a few lessons. The 6 week session includes Foxtrot, Swing, and Cha Cha. Leather or Suede bottom shoes required. No sneakers of flip flops. No partner needed. No class 5/29. Classes held at The House of Dance, 3007 Bunsen #E in Ventura.

Beach Yoga  16 years-Adult
5/2-5/25               Tu/Th                    9:00-10:10 am                    $85         #8947
Increase flexibility, tone the lungs and instill peace with classic Hatha-style breathing and postures, for all levels. Park on Martha’s Vineyard Ct. by Pierpont School. Bring large towel, yoga mat, sunglasses and/or hat. Please wear sunscreen. Instructor Nisahna Engel.

Courage in the Kitchen  16 year-adult
5/2 & 5/16           Tu           6-8 pm                  $80+$20 monthly supply fee       #8055
Get processed foods out of the pantry and learn to cook with fresh, seasonal and budget-friendly ingredients. We’ll meet to study recipes, learn new techniques and create meals that include vegan and vegetarian options. For view each month’s menus visit The $20 supply fee is due to instructor at first class. Classes held at the Barranca Vista Center.

LEGO® Wheeled Wonders  5-10 years
5/6         Sa           10 am-12 pm      $30         #7704
Build and reengineer such motorized vehicles as massive monster trucks, record setting race cars and luxurious RVs. please register by the Wednesday before class. Classes held at the Barranca Vista Center.

Basic Guitar  9 years-adult
5/9-6/13               Tu           7-8:30 pm            $55         #8041
Bring your own acoustic or electric guitar to learn folk and pop strums, patterns and chord progressions. At Dudley House, 197 N Ashwood St. Instructor Randy Covington.

Construction to begin on Kellogg Park Project

The City in conjunction with Trust for Public Land, will begin construction this month on Ventura’s newest park located on N. Ventura Ave. transforming a vacant lot to a neighborhood space for all residents to enjoy and engage in physical activity.  As envisioned through the community plan, the 2.41 acre park will feature community gathering spaces, an amphitheater, playground area, outdoor exercise equipment, and a perimeter walking path. Completion of the park is slated for April 2018.

As the park construction gets under way, residents will see initial improvements including site grading and installation of water-efficient irrigation and drainage infrastructure. Once the major infrastructure is completed, California native trees, shrubs and other sustainable landscape will be planted to convert the lot into a green space.

Project construction cost for the park is $4.5M, which includes $1M from California Natural Resources Agency, Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program grant, $815,650 from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing and Related Parks Program grant, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation Land and Water Conservation Fund awarded the City a $1.5M grant.

Donor naming opportunities are available and contributions to Kellogg Park are considered tax deductible under state and federal law and are administered by the Ventura Community Partners Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. To make a donation, contact Katrina Maksimuk at  658-4775 or

For more information visit kellog park