Category Archives: Coronavirus

Colorful travels with safety in mind

Egret at Dusk, watercolor, Lorna Amundson

Members of Buenaventura Art Association are brightening lives and outlooks during the COVID-19 pandemic with safe, socially distant shows at two Ventura locations, Bell Arts Factory on Ventura Avenue and Ventura Harbor Village.

Face masks are required and operating hours have changed at both galleries.

At Buenaventura Gallery in Bell Arts, solo exhibitions by featured artists Kathy Bodycombe and Lorna Amundson are on display through Sept. 19, concurrent with a Members’ Choice group show of 2D and 3D works. Paintings by a previous Outstanding Merit Award winner, Louisa Wallace Jacobs, have a central spot on the gallery’s Triangle Showcase.

Acadia National Park, oil on canvas, Kathy Bodycombe

At Harbor Village Gallery & Gifts, a new Members’ Show is on view and available for purchase through Sept. 14, along with the art and artisan crafts by the venue’s 10 resident artists.

Solo show artists Amundson and Bodycombe, longtime BAA members, use different media to explore the natural world in paintings. Amundson, a watercolorist, has been painting for about 30 years; Bodycombe works in oils on canvas and has been doing so for 20 years.

“My favorite part of creating art is capturing the feeling of a place or activity,” said Amundson, who has 13 paintings in her Bell Arts show, plus many original pieces and more than 100 greeting cards for sale at Harbor Village Gallery. Watercolor landscapes are frequent subjects and “Most work focuses on the natural world, some of which is done on site plein air, but increasingly is including work from photographs and imagination.”

Before coronavirus limits, she often found her inspiration on trips to the Yosemite Valley, where some of her paintings are available at Yosemite National Park’s Ansel Adams Gallery.

Bodycombe has seven paintings in her solo show, plus two in the members’ show. Her specialty is coastal landscapes, mostly from California travels (plus one example from Maine), although she also is relying more these days on photos she’s taken previously, she said.

She describes them as “a simplified impressionistic style, capturing the shapes as well as the light along the coastal landscapes. I enjoy taking what I see and creating an image that captures the view, perspective, light, mood and ambiance of a particular place in nature.”

Buenaventura Gallery, in Studio 30 at Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, is open noon-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment by calling 805-648-1235. The Ventura Harbor Village location, at 1559 Spinnaker Drive, unit 106, is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Mondays.

For more about the 66-year-old nonprofit artists’ cooperative and its programs, visit or call during gallery hours.

The State of California requires face coverings to be worn on public transit

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), has promptly adhered to recent state requirements released by Governor Gavin Newsom. The mandate requires face coverings to be worn state-wide in public settings, including public transportation. If a VCTC Intercity bus rider doesn’t have a mask, one will be provided.

“VCTC is committed to keeping both our riders and drivers safe,” said Darren Kettle, VCTC executive director. “Thankfully, we had already seen compliance with the CDC’s recommendation to wear face coverings, so we do not foresee an issue with this update.”

For more information on the state of California’s requirement, visit

To read about VCTC’s response to COVID-19 and to stay updated on Intercity bus service, riders can:

Call: 1.800.438.1112 (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

Check and/or GOVCbus app

Sign up for our email alerts here

Email questions to

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

The Ventura County Transportation Commission is the regional transportation planning agency committed to keeping Ventura County moving. Program information is available at

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation receives grant funds

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has received grants totaling $117,143 to support residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grants include the following:

Wells Fargo, $50,000 in funds for rent and utility assistance, non-food essentials, educational laptops, and children’s activity bags for residents

Bank of America, $20,000 in funds for rent and utility assistance and non-food essentials for residents

Neighborworks America, $22,143 in funds for two unrestricted grants.

National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, $15,000 in funds for rent and utility assistance and non-food essentials for residents.

City National Bank, $5,000 in funds for rent and utility assistance and non-food essentials for residents.

Ventura County Community Foundation, $5,000 in funds for rent and utility assistance and non- food essentials for residents.

“The majority of the funds we received will be used toward rent and utility assistance for residents as well as non-food essentials that include paper goods, cleaning products,” said Denise Bickerstaff, Director of Business Development and Administration at Cabrillo. “The funds will be deployed along with donations we’ve received to our Emergency Assistance Fund to help our residents.

Cabrillo houses nearly 4,000 residents in affordable housing units throughout Ventura County, including low-income individuals and families, farmworkers, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

“There’s a lot of exciting work going on at Cabrillo right now. Essential work that will help our residents who are most in need and provide services to get them through this pandemic and perhaps turn it into something positive, so families can enjoy the extra time with their families without all the worries. That isn’t something we could do on our own without the support of the community and these grantors,” Bickerstaff said.

In addition to the grants, Cabrillo’s Emergency Assistance Fund has raised a total of $3,260 in individual donations to assist its residents. Donations to this fund can still be made at

All students will learn remotely until January 2021

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously on Friday, July 17, to move to a full distance learning model for the entire Fall 2020 semester citing stability and safety as their main reasons. The Board considered input from staff, parents, and local and state officials when making this decision. This week it was announced that many Ventura County Districts were moving to distance learning for the start of the Fall 2020 semester and Governor Newsom announced that schools must stay on a distance learning model until the county they are in has remained off of the state monitoring list for at least 14 days. VUSD will begin online on August 18, 2020. The District has also moved to a 1-1 technology environment ensuring that every student will receive a District device.

We have learned from past experiences that providing stability to our families for long term planning rather than switching between models each time a surge happens in our County was important to us,” stated Board President Sabrena Rodriguez. “The Board does reserve the right to make a change to this decision if there is a dramatic turn of events that would allow students to physically return to our campuses safely and according to state and local guidelines.”

We understand the hardship this may cause some of our families. We will do everything we can to assist our families in providing connections and resources to help our VUSD community’s various needs. We have worked diligently over the last few months, redefining our distance learning plan based on feedback from staff and families, training our teachers on our new platforms, and allowing them time to build courses to prepare for this scenario. We are ready,” stated Dr. Roger Rice, Superintendent.

CAPS Media crews producing coronavirus updates for City and County

CAPS Media crews are working closely with Ventura City and County officials to provide accurate and updated information on the coronavirus emergency. For the City, CAPS produces weekly videos with City officials in the CAPS studio and out in the community. Recent videos include an update with Estelle Bussa, the city’s economic development manager in which Estelle shared important information for Ventura businesses regarding current safety protocols for dining, shopping and social distancing in Ventura.

For the County, CAPS Crews are covering all of the weekly COVID-19 County updates at the government center and in the community including the most recent location productions at Limoneira and at the Ventura County Public Health Department in Oxnard. CAPS facilitates the live streaming of the press conferences by the County and posts the media, including Spanish language translations of the messages at and

All of the City and County informational videos are being distributed on multiple platforms including City and County websites, CAPS Media, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. Rest assured, CAPS Crew members are taking every precaution to stay safe during these productions.

At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has not deterred the talented DJs and producers at CAPS Radio at 104.1fm from continuing to produce programs. CAPS Media Radio Station Director Elizabeth Rodeno is also directing a campaign to have listeners, DJs and producers record brief audio diaries about what their lives are like during this extremely unique and challenging time. Broadcasters from Australia to Ventura submitted audio shorts about local community organizations and activities. Kat Merrick, Pam Baumgardner, Kathy Good, Nadine Piche and other KPPQ DJs are providing personal insights, public service information, fitness and health tips and more.

If you have a message to share on KPPQ, Ventura’s public access radio station, record your 30 to 60 second daily entry and email it to Tune into 104.1fm to hear the latest updates from the city and county. Special thanks to everyone who submitted videos for CAPS.

CAPS Media is also producing a brief History of the Ventura Pier video for Pier Into The Future, the nonprofit organization that supports the landmark with fund raising events throughout the year. The local nonprofit is a long-standing supporter and organizational member of CAPS Media. The history of the pier video will premiere on Friday, July 31, in support of the Pier Sunset Dinner which is modified from the annual sit-down event to a drive-by, pick-up meal at the pier with food provided by local restaurants and caterers. For more information go to The video will be streamed and aired on all CAPS media outlets.

Due to the Coronavirus emergency the CAPS Media Center is closed to Members and the public until further notice. CAPS Member/Producers can submit programming via the online portal at for broadcast and streaming on CAPS public access television Channel 6 and on CAPS Radio KPPQ 104.1FM. All of us at CAPS Media hope everyone is Staying Safe and Healthy during this challenging time.

Good News!! Buenaventura Gallery is open!!

Fridays & Saturdays: Noon-4 pm
Current Exhibit thru July 25
New exhibit begins JULY 31

For the time being, open hours will be Fridays and Saturdays only, noon to 4 pm, and by appointment. As we figure out what is needed for staffing (and with more volunteer help!) open days and hours could increase.

Harbor Village Gallery & Gifts is also open
Friday thru Monday, 11am to 6pm.

Here’s another selection from a member artist of what is occupying their thoughts and hands during these troubled times.

Nancy Raymond: I have been printing note cards. I slip my card in with BAA info on the back, address and phone number. Then I hand out a card to all the nurses and doctors I visit, which is quite a few. Last year I sold $110 worth of cards from the Ventura Visitors’ Bureau.

Estate Planning in a Pandemic

You may sleep better at night if you have made the effort to secure your estate properly.

by Jayson Cohen American Legacy Solutions

The ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted life in countless ways. The health crisis has led many people to examine their own mortality and realize that they are not prepared for the end of life situations. As the crisis continues to rage on, it is more important than ever to make sure that your will and other important estate planning directives are in place.

According to, 52% of people over the age of 55 do not have a will or other vital estate planning documents in place. While it can be a bit more challenging to get these directives signed and notarized during a pandemic, it is still possible to get it done. Here five things that you need to include in your estate planning document.

Will: The backbone of any estate planning document is the will. This legal document governs the distribution of assets and wealth after your death. This document can also be used to appoint guardians for minor children.

Advanced Care Directive: In today’s uncertain times, an advanced care directive is an essential piece of your estate planning process. Also called a living will, this document lays out what type of medical care you wish to receive should you become terminally ill. In this document, you can outline plans for life-support directives and organ donation wishes. Having a living will in place will take a substantial amount of pressure off of your loved ones if you are unable to make your own medical care decisions.

HIPPA Authorization: While combing through all of your healthcare directives, be sure to devote time to declaring a HIPPA authorization. The federal Health Insurance Affordability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) legislates privacy rules for medical records. A HIPPA authorization allows you to release your medical records to designated individuals. Most people give this authority to their spouse, children, and other close family members. This allows others to effectively communicate with healthcare providers about your condition if you are hospitalized.

Health Care Power of Attorney: In addition to an advanced care directive, a health care power of attorney will ensure that your medical care future is secured. This legally binding power of attorney will allow you to name a trusted individual to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so yourself.

Financial Power of Attorney: Lastly, it is important to give a specified person the authority to direct your financial transactions if you are not able to do so. Depending on your state’s rules, you may need witnesses to sign this power of attorney to make it legally binding.

Considerations to Make in Light of COVID-19: With many states still in various

stages of closure, it can be challenging to procure the necessary witnesses and notarizations of signatures needed to legalize your estate planning documents. Be sure to talk with your estate planner about possible options for you to finalize these papers. Before the pandemic, there had already been 23 states that had passed legislation that enabled remote online notarization using two-way audiovisual communication. Because of the crisis, Arizona, Iowa, and Pennsylvania have also permitted online polarization. In addition, other states have passed legislation or issued executive orders that allows for remote witnessing.

Steampunk Dada Electric Carnival Saturday, August 22, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Patchwork by Christine Morla

An Online Gala Streamed Free on Zoom! Online Auction August 8 – 23

The Focus on the Masters Arts Archive & Library (FOTM) together with Cumulus Media is pleased to announce Steampunk Dada Electric Carnival. This annual Benefit for Arts Education supports community art enrichment programs, including our award-winning Learning to See Outreach that brings quality arts education to schools and community centers.

Joining is free. You can support arts education by bidding on our auction, purchasing a Celebration Bag and Opportunity tickets and ‘raising your paddle’ for Fund-a-Need. For only $20, you can make it extra special with a curated Steampunk Dada Passport delivered to your home before the event!

The highlight of our online auction is “Marking Time”, a collection of one-of-a-kind clocks created by FOTM documented artists to mark these historic times. Gift certificates, art from local artists and experiences will also be available for bidding. All purchases will be available for a socially distanced pickup August 24 – 28 at the FOTM offices in Ventura.

Learn more and register for free on our website:

Sponsored by Cumulus Media and Jordan Laby

John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band Car Concert

On Thursday, July 16th, I attended the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band with my girlfriend Sue Maxfield at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. This was the first time I had ever been to a concert in my truck. We made sure we had enough snacks and batteries for our radio. It was easy to enter and park. The Bluegrass Band put on a great show. It was great to see how everyone in their cars got to interact with flashing lights and honking horns. The only irritating part was security walking around with their dogs and screaming at us to put our masks on when we were trying to enjoy our snacks. Otherwise it was a great night.

Devin Kress

How local parents and students will cope with remote learning in the fall

by Carol Leish

Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth, with the approval of Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Leven, decided on July 16, 2020, “That nearly all public and charter schools will not reopen for the 2020-21 school year due to the concerns of coronavirus cases in California. Even though we want nothing more than to bring all students back to class where their educational, social and developmental needs can be met, we can’t do that, in good conscience, now at a time when the coronavirus is surging in our state and in our region.”

Ashley and Gavin enjoying staying at home.

Ashley Pope and Carlos Hernandez’s son, Gavin, will be starting the second grade in the fall. “Since he’s an only child,” according to Pope, “I worry about the long-term consequences of keeping him away from his peers for all this time. He’s very social and doesn’t understand why he can’t see his friends or go anywhere that is fun.”

Pope says that she worries how long school will be out. “Gavin’s in a moderate/severe class for most of the day, and is integrated into a typical class for some subjects with an aide to help him. Since he usually gets speech and occupational therapy at school, he’s missing access to those services now.” She also says, ‘There are a lot of kids in which distance learning simply does not work for them, and that there are parents and teachers who are willing to take calculated risks so that they can continue to progress socially, emotionally, and academically. By speaking for the majority of special education students and parents, I feel that students desperately need to return to school as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Marlin and Dylan enjoy the outdoors.

Julia and Omar Dominguez have two sons Marlin and Dylan. One will be going into seventh grade. The other one will be going into fifth grade. Julia said that she didn’t like the online platform since March for either of her sons. She said that, “The program for middle school (Edgeunity); and, the program for grade school (Canvas) were both too generalized and not personalized. Also, subjects at the middle school level were covered too quickly for my middle-schooler. And, subjects at the elementary school level were not that interesting for my grade-schooler.”

Julia said that, ‘We have decided that I will be homeschooling for both, Marlin and Dylan, through a program through Ojai, which is the Oak Charter School Curriculum. With this program, parents, like me, get to choose how online versus book learning is best for our children. Also, I’ll be able to individualize the lessons.” She said that she’s glad that, ‘The charter school curriculum that I’ll be using does have educational standards to adhere to. I’m also glad that I’ll be able to teach my sons piano and Spanish, and to have flexibility in ways of teaching them.”

Thus, through remote learning or homeschooling for the foreseeable future, with no date being set for when students and teachers will return to the classroom, Ventura is going through a new reality now.

Would you (and your kids) like to tell Carol your thoughts about schools re-opening? If you do contact her at