Category Archives: City News

Results for Ventura Police Department Traffic Unit Sept. 1 DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint

The Ventura Police Department Traffic Unit scheduled a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint for September 1, 2017, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. The deterrent effect of High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug impaired crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized proactive DUI operations are conducted routinely.

In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. The Ventura Police Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests, affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

In California, alcohol involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 serious injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing, delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.

Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more. The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and even a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Ventura Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1’.

The checkpoint was conducted at 9:00 p.m. and was located on southbound Victoria Ave south of Ralston Street. The checkpoint concluded at 2:45 a.m. and at the conclusion of the Checkpoint, the final results are as follows:

  • 662 Vehicle were screened through the Checkpoint
  • 32 Field Sobriety Examinations (FST’s) were performed
  • 1 person was arrested for DUI out of the Checkpoint
  • 1 additional person was arrested for DUI during the Saturation Patrol
  • 1 Vehicle was towed for 14601 VC (Suspended Drivers License)
  • 6 Drivers were cited for 12500(a) VC (Driving without a Drivers License)
  • 4 Drivers were cited for miscellaneous violations

City of Ventura classes and programs

Explore, discover and create this fall; registration for City of Ventura classes and programs now open

Fall is a great time of the year to explore, discover and create through the programs and classes offered in My Ventura, the City of Ventura’s comprehensive recreation guide. Registration for classes is now open.

Browse the new recreation guide online at http://www.cityofventura/recreation and pick-up a copy or sign-up for classes at the Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships Department at City Hall, Room 218 or by calling 658-4726, Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm (closed alternate Fridays).

In addition to the traditional educational and recreational classes offered by the City, individuals and families can explore new interests such as bus and walking tours to various Southern California locales. Participants can also discover the unique stand-up paddle glow light tour in the Ventura Harbor or take part in creative classes including pottery, music, dance and social activities for all ages.

“Our Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships staff has outdone themselves this year with our offerings of classes and programs in the fall guide. We encourage our residents to get out and explore our parks, discover a new hobby, and create a lifetime of memories with friends and family. We look forward to seeing all members of our community come together to enjoy all that fall has to offer in Ventura” said Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships Director, Nancy O’Connor.

Classes are held at facilities throughout the city and out of town locations. Please make sure to register early; some classes fill up fast. Residents can also stay active by visiting Ventura’s parks system that includes more than 800 acres of parkland and facilities serving various interests from sailing, surfing, tennis, dog parks, league sports, skateboard parks, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Barking out loud

K9 and VPD officer showing their stuff at June 10 event held in the Harbor by the Herman Bennett Foundation to raise funds for our K9 officers.

by the VPD

On Friday, August 18a, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the Ventura Police Department (VPD) will hold the 6th Annual “Bark Out Loud” Comedy Night benefiting the department’s K9 Unit. The event takes place at the historic Olivas Adobe.

The evening begins with a cocktail hour from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., dinner will be served at 7:00 p.m. and the comedy show will begin at 8:00 p.m. Comedy will be provided by the Ventura Comedy Club.

K9 Teams will be on site conducting demonstrations throughout the evening and also roaming the crowd so individuals can meet the officers and their partners. The evening’s festivities also include a silent auction and raffle.

Tickets are $60 and are available for purchase at:

On average the cost for a canine is $12,000, with an additional $8,000-$10,000 for training and certification, all of which is paid for through donations to the VPD K9 Unit. All of Ventura Police canines, past and present, have been purchased through community donations and event fundraising. The K9 Unit appreciates the support of the community and the many businesses and organizations that have sponsored the crime fighting team!

The Ventura Police Department currently has three K9 teams and two K9s in the canine academy. K9s are assigned to the Patrol Unit so that a team is on-duty seven days a week, providing around the clock service to the community. We have used K9 teams for over twenty years. Our agency was one of the first law enforcement agencies in Ventura County to use canines. All of our canines are German Shepherds and they live at home with their handler/officer and their families.

Our department, along with other law enforcement agencies from Santa Barbara and Ventura County, train weekly with Dave Inglis, one of the foremost K9 trainers in the United States. Weekly training sessions typically cover such skills as searching, apprehension, drug detection, obedience, agility, and confined searches.

K9 teams are used for a variety of public safety assignments. The two most frequent uses are to locate fleeing suspects and to find illegal drugs. Canines can search an entire warehouse, for example, in much less time than a team of officers could perform the same job. Canines can sniff out hidden suspects thereby making them more effective in this situation than their human counterparts. Using K9 teams allows us to perform a variety of dangerous tasks in a quick and safe manner.

Nominations for the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards are due

The 13th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards nomination forms are now available online at, until August 31. These awards recognize the artistic achievements and contributions to the cultural community of Ventura residents in seven categories:

Arts Patron, a business or individual whose strong support of the arts has been ongoing through philanthropic and/or volunteer service

Artist in the Community, an established individual artist in any discipline for artistic excellence and singular efforts in contributing to Ventura’s cultural vitality

Creative Entrepreneur, a locally owned for-profit business which exemplifies the impact and vitality of Ventura’s creative economy

Arts Leader, a nonprofit arts professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, organizational stewardship, and partnership within the arts community

Arts Educator, an individual or organization whose achievements and contributions to arts education have been significant and far-reaching

Emerging Artist, a working artist under 40 who has demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to Ventura’s arts community (students are ineligible)

Student Artist, an active student artist in any discipline under the age of 19 who has demonstrated outstanding promise and commitment to the arts

“Ventura’s thriving art community allows us all to experience the beauty, stories, and diversity of our city,” said Mayor Erik Nasarenko. “The Mayor’s Arts Awards are an important way to showcase the exceptional work and talent of local artists, teachers, and patrons that enrich our city and contribute to the economic and cultural well-being in Ventura.”

In September, a panel of community members representing the arts and business worlds, will review applications based on: the significance and magnitude of the nominee’s contributions; leadership in the arts community and commitment to service to the arts; benefit and impact of the nominee’s contribution to the citizens of the City of Ventura; and potential contribution to the arts in the emerging artist and student artist categories. The panel’s selections will be presented to Cultural Affairs Commissioners who will make recommendations for the Mayor to approve. The Mayor will announce honorees on October 9, and present each recipient an award, at a reception on November 2, including a limited edition artwork, Mark of Excellence, created by Lis J. Schwitters. The awards are presented as a joint project of the City Manager’s Office and the Office of Cultural Affairs.

City of Ventura August dance classes

City dancing classes
Check out more classes on web-site
Call 658-4726 to register, if you already have an ACTIVENET account online, . Classes held at the Barranca Vista Center, 7050 E Ralston St in Ventura. To register call (805) 658-4726. Unless noted.

Pop Dance with Cassie Lawhead
Mini-Pop Dance 3-4 years (Pre-school)
*8/21-10/30 M 3:15-4 pm $85 #9700
Pop Dance I 5-8 years (K-2nd)
*8/21-10/30 M 4-4:45 pm $85 #9701
Pop Dance II 9-12 years (3rd-5th)
*8/21-10/30 M 4:45-5:30 pm $85 #9702
Energetic boys and girls mix and move to hip hop and jazz! Wear your funky attitude, comfortable attire and rubber soled shoes. Parents may stay for first and last class only. *No class 9/4. Performance for family & friends on Saturday, Nov. 4 at BVC.

Ballroom Dancing 16 years-adult
8/22-9/26 Tu 7:30-8:30 pm $55 #9032
Enjoy the magic of smoothly moving across the floor with the waltz, fox trot, swing and rumba!

Swing and Nightclub Dancing 16 years-adult
8/22-9/26 Tu 8:30-9:30 pm $55 #9035
Swing the night away, East & West Coast style! No partner needed.

Beginning Argentine Tango 18 years-adult
8/23-9/27 W 6:30-7:30 pm $70/person #9063
Tango in no time with our “true basics in six weeks” class. Classes held at The House of Dance, 3007 Bunsen #E in Ventura.

City Council to give Museum $125,000

Museum of Ventura County given temporary fix.

On July 10 The Ventura City Council voted to give the Museum of Ventura County $125,000 dependent on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approving additional funding and set other conditions.

The Council specified that funding could last up to five years, assuming the museum meets specific benchmarks and Ventura has the money. The Museum must show how it will one day be able to support itself, start assessing a collection of 181,000 documents and artifacts, begin the process of developing an $8 million endowment and look at ways to turn its programs and offerings to be more appealing to all age groups who will visit often .

The Ventura City Council didn’t specify where the money would come from, instead directing the city staff to return with either potential sources of funding or cuts. City Manager Mark Watkins said the money could come from the general fund reserve which
the council is trying to build up to equal three months’ worth of operating expenses.

They agreed that the new half-cent sales tax should not be used to help fund the Museum.

The approval also stipulated that the Museum provide a detailed budget and plan for how it will change the way it operates, as well as meet fundraising milestones.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors Foy the no vote)a one-time contribution of $125,000 to help fund the Museum’s reorganization plan to stem a five-year trend of deficit spending and create a new business model.

The Museum’s Board Of Directors will meet to set a course to accomplish that the City and County stipulated. In part Elena Brokaw Interim Executive Director, Museum of Ventura County stated “With deep gratitude to our community, I’m delighted to report to you that yesterday the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a one-time contribution of $125,000 to help fund the Museum of Ventura County’s reorganization plan to stem a five-year trend of deficit spending and create a new business model for the museum.’’

“This giant step forward means the museum will be able to implement an aggressive capital campaign and strategic plan for a sustainable operational mode, all while we continue to deliver fresh programming to the community and visitors.”
A capital campaign to secure an $8 million endowment within the next five years.

Engage a museum consultant to help develop an improved business model that incorporates the endowment income and reduces dependence on private donations.

Assess, inventory, catalog and properly house the museum’s one-of-a-kind collection of Ventura County history and art, which includes the County of Ventura Historical Collection.

Attract an expanded audience to diversify who the museum serves, where the museum provides programming and how the museum engages its audience in museum activities.

MVC exhibitions tell the story of the County’s past and celebrates the art and artists of our community. It operates two museums, the Main Street Museum and the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula, as well as the MVC Research Library. In the past five years, MVC has faced significant operating deficits. In an effort to operate the County’s two most important historical museums, MVC board and staff have worked to reduce costs and expand both earned and contributed revenue, and still faced a budget gap.

“With widespread community support and funding from the County and City, we’re optimistic that our reorganization plan will be successful and the Museum will continue to be a major asset to our community’s quality of life,” Brokaw said.

Planning Commission to act on ADU

On August 9th the Ventura Planning Commission will consider the provisions of the accessory dwelling unit ordinance.

You may review the Planning Commission Staff Report and Draft Ordinance at While the August 9th hearing has this item as No. 4, the earlier items may move rather quickly.

ADU is Item No. 4 on the agenda. Please note on the first page of the agenda is an informational box that describes how you can participate in the public hearing process and methods to provide input if you cannot attend the hearing on August 9th. The Planning Commission does value your interest. On January 9, 2017, the City Council adopted an Interim Urgency ADU ordinance.

Couple of notes of interest as you review the Staff Report and attachments:

The 11 page staff report highlights the major provisions of the ADU standards and gives rationale and context to the proposed standards. Most attachments are maps and graphics

The Ordinance is Attachment B, contained as Exhibit A of the PC Resolution. While it is about 25 pages, note that the standards are in the first 8 pages; the rest of the pages are all the different zoning regulations across numerous documents (Development Codes) that must be updated with ADU term and then remove old 2nd unit regulations. Therefore if you read through the 8 pages you are informed of the new rules.

“The project proposes the establishment of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (“ADU”)

Ordinance. This proposed ADU Ordinance would replace previous city regulations for

residential second units and carriage houses contained in the City municipal code and

the City’s form based development codes. This proposed ordinance is in response to

recent State Law amending California Government Code Section 65852.2 (“Section

65852.2”), which limits the City’s ability to regulate or limit new ADUs. Effective January

1, 2017, the two bills-Assembly Bill 2299 (“AB 2299”) and Senate Bill 1069 (“SB

1069”)-require cities to either adopt an ordinance that complies with the new

restrictions and specific standards or apply only the specific state standards set forth in

amended Section 65852.2. The draft ordinance is contained in Attachment B and these

proposed ADU regulations are discussed in the Staff Analysis section of this report.”

Ventura City Council makes progress on Economic Development in Focus Area One

by city staff

On July 24, 2017 the Ventura City Council approved a General Plan Amendment, Specific Plan amendment, and Sign Agreement within the Auto Center Specific Plan that will make the surrounding area significantly more conducive to economic investment. The amendments pave the way to increased economic vitality by improving accessibility, visibility, and circulation in the Ventura Auto Center.

In January, the City Council reinstated economic development and vitality as one of its top priorities, emphasizing progress on Focus Area One and the Auto Center Specific Plan. Ventura Auto Center employs more than 1,000 workers and is the City’s top revenue generator. The new amendments are consistent with the policies and actions contained in the 2005 General Plan and make the area more supportive of business investment.

“This is a significant step for economic well-being in Ventura,” said City Manager Mark Watkins. “With the City Council’s support, Focus Area One is positioned for long term growth and expansion.”

The revisions to the Auto Center Specific Plan add 7.5 acres to the Specific Plan area to facilitate a road widening, installation of new signage and improved circulation for motorists by creating safer vehicular travel lanes.

The adoption of the Auto Center Specific Plan Sign Agreement allows additional signage locations and an 82 foot high multiple-user, electronic, reader-board sign. A sign content agreement limits the type of content displayed and allocates the amount of time dedicated to specific types of advertising, including public service announcements such as Amber Alerts and Ventura events. Visitors and residents will see an improvement in the identity of the Auto Center with new signage visible from US 101 and Olivas Park Drive.

Last year, the City installed a new sewer pipeline to bypass the decommissioned Montalvo wastewater plant. An earthen levee will also be constructed to protect the site from the adjacent Santa Clara River and allow for new construction and the highly anticipated extension of Olivas Park Drive which will connect to Auto Center Drive and Johnson Drive, significantly improving access to the auto dealers.

Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 – Aug 15, 2017 – City classes

Check out more camps and classes on web-site.

Call (805) 658-4726 to register, if you already have an ACTIVENET account online, visit Camp held at the Barranca Vista Center, 7050 E Ralston St in Ventura unless noted.

Fairytales in the Park for Families
8/12 Saturday 4pm FREE
Fairytales in the Park is celebrating its 23nd season! Join us at Barranca Vista Park for a production of The Clash of the Titans. Bring a blanket, picnic and low lawn chairs. For more information call -654-7553

The Aerial Studio: Cirque-Themed Summer Camp 6-16 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 9 am-3 pm $325 #8498
8/14-8/18 M-F 9 am-3 pm $325 #8499
Explore all the different Cirque arts and work towards a themed showcase for the last day of camp in our Cirque training center! We offer trapeze, silks, hammock, dance, acrobatics and more! Wear clothes without zippers that cover underarms and knees. Camp held at Aerial Studio 4476 Dupont Ct, Suite B.

NASA Space Academy CAMP 6-11 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 9 am-12 pm $179+$35 materials fee #8504
Study stunning space phenomena, and unlock the mysteries of meteors and secrets of space travel and rocket science. Learn about Living in Space by working on a model space station just like a real astronaut!

Young Creators: Stop Motion Animation CAMP 10-12 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 9 am-12 pm $190 #8531|
Work with your favorite toys to create fun and original stop motion animations as you learn basic concepts such as camera angles, storyboards, scripting elements and theme as well as voiceovers and a musical score. Note for Parents: Bring large sized toys from home for animating. No LEGOS or small toys. Bible Fellowship Church, 6950 E Ralston St, Pavilion #1.

Rock & Roll High Music Camps 6-12 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 9 am-3 pm $299+$25 materials fee #8535
Form your own rock band, write a song, make a CD, do a photo shoot and music video–all in one week with a performance for the parents on Friday. Guitars, bass, drums and microphones provided. All experience levels welcome.

Capturing Color Art CAMP At Red Brick Gallery 8-15 years
8/7-8/9 M-W 9 am-12 pm $120 A Little Bit of Everything #8617
Push your creativity and understanding of art into a new direction! Work in a variety of mediums including watercolors, acrylics, pencils, mixed media, print making, mosaics and sculpture. All supplies are included in the cost of class. Red Brick Art 4601 Telephone Road #112 (Telemark Business Center). To register 658-4726.

Billy Clower Cheer Camp 3-9 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 9 am-12 pm $130 3-5 years #8638
8/7-8/11 M-F 1-4 pm $130 6-9 years #8639
Enjoy building cars out of cardboard boxes and racing around fun obstacle courses. Car Campers will dance daily to the “Cars 3” soundtrack and make fun costume pieces and props. Billy Clower Dance Studio, 75 MacMillian Ave. To register 658-4726.

Survivor Challenge CAMP 7-12 years
8/7-8/11 M-F 1-4 pm $120+$35 materials fee #8624

You and your tribe will be challenged in sports, group competitions, individual contests, mind games, cooking and much more. Race through obstacle courses, target practice and create nature inspired meals, make a Hunger Games bow and arrow and survival kit. Bible Fellowship Church, 6950 E Ralston St, Pavilion #1 in. To register 658-4726.

Jedi Engineering Using LEGO® Camp 5-7 years
8/14-8/18 M-F 9 am-12 pm $190 #8525
The Force Awakens in this introductory engineering course for young Jedi! Explore engineering principles by designing and building projects such as LEGO® X-Wings, R2 Units, Energy Catapults, Defense Turrets, and Settlements from a faraway galaxy. Bible Fellowship Church, 6950 E Ralston St, Room 206 . To register 658-4726.

Jedi Master Engineering Using LEGO® CAMP 8-12 years
8/14-8/18 M-F 1-4 pm $190 #8526
Discover key engineering concepts such as gear trains, worm drives, pneumatics and eccentric motion as you build LEGO® X-Wings, AT-AT walkers, Pod Racers, Star Destroyers, Cloud Cities, Settlements, Fortresses and other complex machines and structures in this advanced engineering course for young Jedi. Bible Fellowship Church, 6950 E Ralston St, Room 206 . To register 658-4726.

Ventura City Council approves portion of Measure O revenue

On June 12, the Ventura City Council voted unanimously to approve $1.64M of
Measure O revenue annually to keep all fire stations in Ventura open. Consistent with the
Measure O ordinance, the ongoing funding will maintain nine rotating full-time firefighters who
staff Fire Station 4 (three firefighters daily), located at Telephone Road and Montgomery
Avenue, and ensure the fire station remains open for the next 25 years. The Measure O
funding was approved with the adoption of the City’s fiscal year 2017-2018 Operating Budget
of $278M; Ventura’s General Fund budget is $110.6M.

“The City Council is upholding the promise we made to Ventura voters,” said Mayor
Nasarenko. “All revenue from Measure O stays right here in Ventura and this initial allocation
will help to maintain fire and paramedic response times for the 15,000 calls for service
received each year from citizens who need emergency care.”

The FY 2017-2018 balanced budget reflects the City Council goals to steward Measure O
dollars responsibly, create and maintain economic development and vitality, and enhance the
response to homelessness. General Fund budget highlights include: increasing the City’s
operating reserves by $1.5M to prepare for the future, funding for public safety to improve
emergency communications center response, and one-time funding for the parks
ambassador program. The City held four public workshops and two public hearings regarding
the proposed operating budget for FY 2017-2018.

In November 2016, Ventura voters approved Measure O, a half-cent transaction and use tax
for 25 years that will generate $10.8M annually to maintain vital services. In accordance with
the San Buenaventura Municipal Code Section 4.129.160, the Measure O Citizens Oversight
Committee reviewed and unanimously recommended that the City Council approve ongoing
funding to staff Fire Station 4.

The City established a separate Measure O Fund to review expenditures and ensure that
they are appropriate under the Measure O ordinance. An annual, independent financial audit
of the funding is required.

Fire Station 4 was closed in 2010 as a result of budget cuts. To maintain area coverage and
keep the fire engine in service the City applied for and received two, 2-year Staffing for
Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants consecutively from Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2010 and 2013 totaling nearly $5M, to provide
previous staffing levels for four years during the economic recovery. The total cost to
maintain a fire station is approximately $2.23M annually; Measure O dollars will fund the
staffing for Fire Station 4 and the City’s General Fund will cover the operating expenses.