Category Archives: Featured News

“We are so excited about re-opening the Gardens”

A large gathering attended the grand opening for the Botanical Gardens.

The Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) held its grand reopening on Saturday, November 3. The Gardens have been closed nearly one year since the Thomas Fire. The fire swept through the entire 109 acres of the park; very few plants were spared.

Now many of the original plants are showing signs of recovery, and many new specimens have been planted. Fire-damaged walkways were repaired or rebuilt. A new hand-hewn rock staircase is now in place and the long-awaited Merewether Welcome Center is open.

Funded through the generosity of Mike and Loretta Merewether and designed by architect Martha Picciotti, the Center includes a check-in kiosk, an information center, educational space, a stage, a community gathering area, storage and a much-needed restroom.

A limited morning event, attended by hundreds was held including a ribbon cutting with Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere, along with a Welcome Center dedication. At noon, the Gardens opened to the public.

“We are so excited about re-opening the Gardens,” states Barbara Brown, VBG President, who also lost her home in the Thomas Fire. “This will be a very bright moment for a community that has struggled through a very difficult year. “

“With the regrowth and expanded plantings needed after the Thomas fire, it has become clear that ongoing financial sustainability is critical for the maintenance, operation and expansion of the Gardens,” said Joe Cahill, Executive Director. “We are implementing a membership fee, but we want visitors to enjoy the Gardens affordably, so we’ve kept the annual fee to $45 per year, or for those who aren’t members, $7 per day, children 18 and under, are free. For those who can’t afford the low annual membership, EBT cards will be accepted.”

Mike Merewether told the gathering “It was a joy to see this become a reality and thanks to all for their support.  We are so glad to be here to see it come to fruition. It feels more like Spring than Fall – a time of new beginnings.”

“The Welcome center will be an exciting place for learning, volunteering and connecting with one another and Nature. It is a testament to a good public private partnership. It is significant to me that it is exactly 100 years after the Grant family donated the land for Grant Park to the City.”

“With growth of garden and Welcome Center, comes a need for more Staff.  Thus far we have managed with a small staff and many volunteers. As Fundraising Campaign Chair, I would be remiss in not mentioning that we have many opportunities and need for financial support / naming opportunities ranging from the new stage behind us, to flower beds, trees or even steps.”

The Welcome Center was designed by Architect Martha Picciotti who stated “It’s with great pleasure that I am here today, celebrating with all of you the culmination of one of many seeds that have been planted since my involvement, beginning in 2008 with this wonderful organization and group of people. I especially want to thank the Cities Jeff Lambert and Dave Ward, without whom this would not have been possible. “

“From Joe Cahill I came to understand the importance of creating a welcome center. It had to be affordable and easy to build, as funds were limited. I was always interested in shipping container design and I met Matt Roberts, who would be selling and outfitting shipping containers in Camarillo. Matt volunteered to take over as project manager for the build out. Not only did he provide the shipping containers at cost, Matt donated hundreds of hours.”

The opening of the welcome center represents many people coming together. Major donors like the Meriwether’s, Matt, Noah Greer and Nicole Horn, who designed and supervised the installation of the entry gates, platform and landscaping, Ken Luci who donated his electrical expertise and Dave Schaub, a local builder for supervising the foundation.”

“Today my heart is full of gratitude and love for all of the wonderful people who have made the welcome center and botanical gardens possible.”

To find out visiting information and more, visit www.VenturaBotanicalGardens.com and on Facebook.

People are dismayed at the racism, gun violence and hate speech becoming prevalent

Many hundreds remembered the many victims of hate and re-affirmed their belief at Temple Beth Torah. Photos by Bernie Goldstein

by Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller

On Friday, Nov. 2, at Temple Beth Torah, prayers, songs, words of healing, and unity in response to the violence in a Pittsburgh synagogue were expressed. Ventura clergy, civic leaders and people of good faith, remembered the many victims of hate, re-affirmed our belief in goodness and humanity, and welcome this Shabbat, a day of peace.

The outpouring of anger and grief at the massacre of 11 people in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27 tells us that people of all faiths are as dismayed at the racism, gun violence, and hate speech that is becoming “hate d’jour” in our country.

It can be a church, a mosque, a temple, a synagogue, a pre-school, a nightclub, a high school—and it has been all these, multiple times now– because hate, when fanned by fear, so easily becomes violence.

My people is a people acquainted with Anti-Semitism. I am asked, why do people hate Jews, and I can only respond, why do people hate? We know the traditional stereotypes of Jews plied by anti-Semites. But our contemporary political world coupled with social media has fanned anti-Semitism, from a radical left bent on delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist, to right-wing nationalists who see Jews as foreign invaders.

Our college campuses are exactly where alt-right groups go to recruit young people and spread hateful ideology. We have watched the internet become a cesspool of filth, with language and visuals that are so repugnant that we can’t even describe them. There were almost 3 million anti-Semitic tweets in the year before the last election. FBI and Anti-Defamation League Statistics tells us the facts of this growing hate and the violence it begets: anti-Semitic incidents rose almost 60% in 2016, more than any other religious minority.

We are not the only victims of hatred and racism- Anti-Muslim crimes are up 19%, and in racially motivated hate crimes, African Americans were targeted in 3,489 race crimes, about half of race crimes in 2016. The neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville in August 2017 didn’t come out of nowhere. It was the expression of this hate: Noe-Nazi chants of “Jews will not replace us”, the beating of a black man DeAndre Harris, the plowing of a car into civilians, taking the life of Heather Heyer. There are almost 1,000 hate groups that exist in America, and many that describe themselves as militias. Fear, and inflammatory speech, coupled with high powered assault weapons. Is this our vision of America? Our years of complacency must be over.

It is enough to lose 11 innocent people for being in prayer on a Shabbat morning. It is incomprehensible that Vicki Jones and Maurice Stallard should go to their Kentucky Kroger’s to buy food for their families and be murdered for being black. I am left with no words that a prayer service at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston should have welcomed a white racist three years ago into their circle and then have 9 members including the pastor murdered by him, in his hopes of starting a race war. And the list goes on and on, especially when we widen the circle from racial and religious intolerance, to political intolerance, gender intolerance and general hate. Marjorie Stoneman High School, the Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas concert venues, where does mass violence end?

Our Jewish community grieves these recent deaths, and all these deaths, as do good people across this country and the world. After each massacre we hope that things will change. If we have learned anything, it is not to be complacent. There can be no co-existence with racism, or anti-Semitism, in this country or anywhere. There is no political future for a country that sees every else as “the other” and to be feared. We are better than this. These murders, and the climate that allows this violent culture to thrive, is tearing at the fabric of our country and our democracy. Like the mourner’s ribbons worn by the family members in Pittsburgh to signify that someone had been torn out of their lives, something is being torn out of the heart of decent America. Judaism teaches that we are to turn grief into good deeds. It is time, again, to speak out, for the country we want to live in.

Temple Beth Torah is located at 7620 Foothill Road.

Then the mic was opened; tributes and tears flowed

Community members came together to honor Neal Andrews. Photos by Bernie Goldstein

by Jill Forman

“Pay Tribute to This Wonderful Man” that is how Kathy Powell, the chair of Lift up Your Voice, worded a reminder for a celebration of the career of Neal Andrews. Andrews has served on the Ventura City Council since 2001, and is currently mayor. This is his last term.

Community members came together on Tuesday evening October 30 to honor Andrews for his tireless activism in the area of homeless services and celebrate what he has meant to those who often felt they were alone in their mission to help the less fortunate.

Attendees included local clergy, friends and neighbors, members of several congregations, city officials, social service workers, and homeless individuals.

The event, jointly sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church and Lift Up Your Voice, the church’s homeless advocacy group, was an outpouring of appreciation and gratitude. Reverend Dana Worsnop of the UU Church, said, “Neal gas been such a great partner working on issues of homelessness for this community and the city council. The church is thrilled to be able to host this party.”

Purple star-shaped balloons decorated the UU community room, ad a banner that said “Thank You Neal.” About 50 celebrants shared appetizers and talked about their experiences with Neal and the long road it has been to have a permanent homeless shelter in the city. As Andrews’ political career is ending, after 25 years of struggle, that shelter is on track to open within the next year, an event that would never have happened without his unflagging support.

“Neal has been our friend and our advocate for the city with his focus on the vulnerable,” said Kate Mills, a nurse who started and ran the One-Stop Drop-In Center when she worked for Public Health.

“It is rare,” said Sue Brinkmeyer, the chair of the Homeless Prevention Fund, “That somebody gets to hear first-hand how much he is loved and admired by so many.”

After a welcome by Rev. Worsnop who emphasized what a “strong, wonderful partner” he had been, Andrews was presented with a memory book: friends, colleagues and admirers had emailed tributes to Powell and they were mounted in a book by Kappy Paulsen, a UU member and scrap booker. Powell stated that the book is really a tribute to everyone attending, all of who had worked along with Neal to help those who need assistance.

Then the mike was opened; tributes and tears flowed. Andrews was praised for his insight and dedication, a champion who has modeled how to serve the community. An honest man, with wisdom and gravitas, who stands up for what is right even when he was the only one. “We love you…thank you…you make me want to be a better person.”

Of course, there were laughs too; someone remembered how Andrews stayed until 4 a.m. at a council meeting. “Never again,” he joked. It was mentioned that community activism is a 7-day-a-week commitment.

Karol Shulkin, who worked for Homeless Services, recounted a task force meeting with the members desperately trying to figure out how Ventura was ever going to get a shelter. Andrews said, “We need a champion.” And that’s what he became.

Mills read a list of jobs and accomplishments Andrews had held over his long career of service. And then Andrews spoke, with his voice breaking and interrupted by cheers. He made an impassioned speech that the attendees need to remain involved in public life. If something is wrong, speak up against it. If something needs doing, do it. And don’t give up. Two standing ovations followed.

It has been said that Andrews has “The soul of a Quaker and the heart of a lion.” This is one lion whose roar has shaken people up and made a difference.

Thank you Neal.

VPD has new officers

New police officers, Chief Corney and others at the graduation ceremony.

Nine new Ventura Police Officers graduated from the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center’s Academy on October 12, 2018. The recruits completed 25 weeks of instruction provided through the combined efforts of local law enforcement agencies and other criminal justice entities. The intense training and education prepare these recruits for the responsibilities of serving the community as peace officers.

The Ventura Police Department welcomes the following new officers: Christopher AguilarRyan BischofRichard KeyJake MaulhardtKent McLaySamuel OrozcoKenneth PattonRobert Sipes and Jordan Trujillo.

The Ventura Police Department continues to accept applications for Police Officer Trainees for the April 2019 Academy! As a police officer fighting and preventing crime, protecting the innocent, and serving the community is what you do daily, but it is the individuals selected to serve who are leaders, have courage, integrity, self-discipline and compassion who make a difference in our community.

More information and an online application is available at www.venturapd.org.

Susan Rungren provides update on plans for pipeline

In May 2018, Susan Rungren became Ventura Water’s Assistant General Manager.

by Jennifer Tipton

Susan Rungren began her career with the City of Ventura in 1999 as the Utilities Engineer for the City’s Water and Wastewater Divisions and has served as the Water Resource Manager for the last seven years. Mrs. Rungren obtained her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer. She has professional affiliations including the Association of California Water Agencies of Ventura County.

In May 2018, she became Ventura Water’s Assistant General Manager. In this position, Rungren shepherds key future water projects such as the State Water Interconnection Project and the VenturaWaterPure project that will maximize the reuse of recycled water. She works closely with Ventura Water, the Community Development Department, Public Works Department, as well as stakeholders and community organizations to meet long term water supply demands.

I asked if it’s true the City of Ventura has been paying the state $1M/year since 1971 for the rights to state water.

“The City has been paying for our rights to the 10,000 acre-feet since 1971. All State Water Project (SWP) contractors pay an annual fee, regardless of the amount of SWP water received, to help pay for the system and ongoing maintenance costs. The annual fee varies, but the cost to the City has recently been about $1M/year. The City has taken advantage of the opportunity, when available over the years, to recoup a portion of these costs by transferring our annual allocation to other SWP contractors.”

Is there consideration of dropping the pipeline?

“Although this has been discussed over the years, the City considers State Water as an important supply source to improve system reliability. The City currently depends fully on local water supplies consisting of surface water from the Ventura River and Lake Casitas, groundwater from three local groundwater basins, and recycled water from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility. These supplies have been sufficient to meet demands to date, but continued drought conditions, heightened environmental requirements, compounded by continued population growth are threatening the City’s ability to meet water demands and will require supplemental supplies.”

Where will the state water come from once the pipeline is built?

“The State Water Project is a water storage and delivery system of reservoirs, aqueducts, power plants and pumping plants that starts in Northern California and extends south more than 700 miles – 2/3 the length of California. The nearest SWP wholesaler to the City of Ventura is Calleguas Municipal Water District. Calleguas imports and distributes water from Metropolitan Water District, water that arrives via the SWP. The proposed connection point to Calleguas system is near their Springville Reservoir facility, located in the southwest portion of the City of Camarillo.”

Have we started to build the pipeline?

“We have begun the studies at this time. The City of Ventura in conjunction with Calleguas, the United Water Conservation District and Casitas Municipal Water District recently completed a Pipeline Alignment Study. We are now preparing an Environmental Impact Report for the preferred alignment. Upon completion of the environmental documents, the next steps before construction can commence will be completion of agency agreements, right of way agreements, permits and project design.”

Will the pipeline increase Ventura’s water supply?

“Although the City’s entitlement is 10,000 acre-feet per year, this allocation is subject to availability as established by the Department of Water Resources. Based on historical allocations, the range of available SWP water has been 5% to 100% over the last 25 years. The water projected to be delivered by the SWP is not being considered as a reliable means of increasing water supply volume for the City on an annual basis but will give the City flexibility to utilize SWP when it is available in lieu of water from Lake Casitas, groundwater or Ventura River water. Additional benefits to the City include improving water quality and providing an emergency/backup supply for Ventura Water’s proposed reuse project, VenturaWaterPure.”

Would water delivery fees from the state cost extra once the pipeline is completed?

“Yes, additional payments are made by each SWP based on the amount of SWP water delivered to their agency”.

Lastly, once the pipeline is completed, will our water bills go down?

“Ventura Water is owned by the City of Ventura and its water and wastewater customers. The water and wastewater functions are enterprise business entities that do not make a profit and their expenses and revenues are accounted for in proprietary funds, separate from the City’s General Fund. Customer rates must generate sufficient revenues to sustain operations, maintenance, debt payments and capitol improvement projects as well as the costs of oversight and administrative functions performed by the City. Every dollar paid is invested locally to ensure that our community continues to have reliable, quality water services today and into the future. The rate increases are needed to keep pace with inflationary expenses, renew our aging pipelines, facilities and growing regulatory and environmental compliance requirements”.

Anticipated completion for the pipeline is 2022 – 2023.

What the heck are pianos doing downtown?

Cast members from Rubicon’s production of Return To The Forbidden Planet and piano artists singing at a Downtown piano.

The idea of putting the pianos downtown was that of Kirby Ward, Rubicon’s new Education and Outreach Director.

The “Keys to Rubicon” piano project was inspired by a similar installation in Denver, CO. That installation has been in place for over a decade now and is one of Kirby and Beverly (the other new Education and Outreach Director) Ward’s favorite parts of touring through Denver.

Beverly stated, “Kirby and I have worked here at Rubicon many times and are always surprised to hear people around town ask, “What’s Rubicon?”. It catches us by surprise. The Company’s been presenting professional theatre in Ventura for 20 years and yet there are still folks who don’t know that we’re here or what we’re trying to achieve. We felt like the pianos are a terrific way to engage people on the street and either remind them of Rubicon’s presence or let them know about the Company for the first time. These pianos grab you on so many levels – visual, auditory, tactile.”

She went on to say, “I found the pianos in a couple of places – on Craigslist as well as through people who heard about the project and reached out to me. The Craigslist “free” section routinely has several free acoustic pianos listed. I contacted a bunch of owners and came up with a list of 5. Then I hired 4 strapping young men, rented a truck and we drove all over Ventura and even up to Santa Barbara to collect the pianos and get them out on the street. It was fun! Hard work, but really fun. Since the initial pianos went out, we’ve had 2 more pianos donated to the cause by The Arc Foundation Thrift Store and The Child Abuse and Neglect Thrift Store. We had to apply for a temporary art installation permit from the City. We requested the pianos be on the street from late August until January 4, 2019 and got approval.”

Beverly met local artists Sarah Flesher and Michelle Nosco at a community meeting for the Ventura Arts Council. It was happenstance but very fortuitous! Michelle enlisted Erin O’Brien to help with her first piano. Both Michelle and Sarah are each painting two pianos.

There are currently three on the street. Two more will be out soon. They are unlocked and available for anyone and everyone to play during day time hours. So, gather some friends and have a sing-a-long.

The pianos will be removed on January 4, 2019. At this point there are no plans to try and save them as the weather will have taken quite a toll. That said, for anyone who falls in love with the artwork, the Rubicon may offer them up to the highest bidder.

Altrusa supports our community in many, many ways

From Altrusa Beverly Mueller, Treasurer; Sharon Knapp, President; Angel Golesorkhi, Member and Susan Leonard, Secretary (past President).

Altrusa International of San Buenaventura, Inc. has been a service organization here in Ventura since 1948.  It was founded in 1917 and just celebrated 100 years. The focus of their founder, Mamie L. Bass, was literacy; however, Altrusa has also supported and donated many volunteer hours to other endeavors to better our community.

Altrusa is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization where all their services, scholarships and fund-raising projects go to the local community. Altrusa is an acronym.  Amity – Loyalty – Talent – Reciprocity – Unity – Service – Achievement.

On Oct. 17, four amazing Altrusa ladies delivered a car load of school supplies to the East side’s Westpark and to Anita Diaz. Even though they purchased most of the supplies at a discounted rate, Altrusa still had to pay for them.

Anita Diaz, Westside Youth Programs Coordinator Westside Community Center, with the wonderful PEAK kids.

Members have been involved in projects for women and men in transitional houses, supported Family to Family in supplying meals to folks who need them, participated in Make a Difference Day, volunteering at the Veterans Home to keep their library in order, make books available to the teens of Santa Paula through the Teen Scene Program at Blanchard Community Library, have read to students on “Cat in the Hat” Day and other projects over the years.

Altrusa International has clubs in eight countries. Altrusa’s mission statement is ”Our country is as great as we, it’s citizens make it. Therefore, we pledge our loyalty to its ideas and its endeavors for the welfare of mankind. We strive to fulfill our civic obligations.”

Altrusa offers to the business and professional people of the community an opportunity to touch each other’s lives and be broadened by an interchange of interests and by a sympathetic consideration of the viewpoints of others. They are always seeking volunteers (and contributions).

Regarding their relationship with Westpark, Susan Leonard stated, “Our partnership with Westpark has existed for nearly twenty years. We started our relationship at the request of one of our members, Margot Martin.  Margot was a strong volunteer force in the City of Ventura and was famous for recruiting our club to join her on her journey.  The club started our support of the children of Westpark by donating school supplies.  Children need “tools” to learn, so this project was a good fit of our club.  A few years ago our members gained the renowned title of “the pencil ladies”.  Since then we have made other contributions as needed to help the center grow under the direction of Anita Diaz.  We have seen the wonderful development and transformations that have taken place over the years.  It has been our pleasure to be a small part of this positive place for children.”

About 70 PEAK kids formed a single line as they entered the gym to accept the supplies. As they passed by the row of adults welcoming them, they shook the hands of each (with a few hugs thrown it). PEAK is an after-school partnership that includes the City of Ventura Department of Parks & Recreation, Ventura Unified School District and Ventura Police Activities League (PAL). PEAK was formed in 2002 to develop and implement an inclusive after school program for elementary and middle school children to provide a safe and supervised after-school education, enrichment and recreation programs for students.

Coordinator Anita Diaz told the Breeze, “Altrusa has become very special to Westpark’s after school program. Their support of providing after school homework and art supplies has allowed our children to have materials needed for them to do homework and creative projects.  In addition to school supplies, Altrusa has also donated money to our scholarship fund which helps us provide for youths who may not be able to afford some of our sports and camp programs. Altrusa has been a part of Westpark for nearly 20 years and their unselfish support of providing for our children cannot be measured.”

Ventura City Council selects Alex McIntyre as new city manager

McIntyre has been City Manager for the City of Menlo Park.

The Ventura City Council announced today that it has selected Alex McIntyre as the new City Manager of Ventura. McIntyre is scheduled to begin with the City in mid-November. He replaces Mark Watkins who left in December 2017 after five years in the City Manager position.

I believe Alex’s experience, enthusiasm and inclusive leadership style make him an ideal fit to be Ventura’s next City Manager,” said Deputy Mayor Matt LaVere.  “I know Alex is eager to begin his work here alongside Council, City staff and all of our residents for the betterment of our community.”

McIntyre served as the City Manager for the City of Menlo Park since 2012.  Prior to his position at Menlo Park, McIntyre served as Chief Assistant County Administrator with the County of Marin from 2006-2008, and before that was Town Manager of Tiburon from 2000-2006.  He also served as Town Manager of Portola Valley from 1997-2000.

McIntyre holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

In accordance with the City Charter, the City Manager is appointed by the City Council as the administrative head of the City government.

Walk with NAMI Ventura County in the 14th Annual NAMI Ventura County Walk

The Walk is a tradition that provides an opportunity to raise awareness about mental illness.

The 14th Annual NAMI Ventura County Walk – NAMI Ventura County Mental Health Hero’s Remaining Strong benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be on Saturday October 13, at the San Buenaventura State Beach Parking (near the Pier). Check in and registration will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the start time for the 5k walk beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Walk will be held rain or shine. There will be a pre-walk program from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. which will feature speakers from the Ventura County community.

The Walk is a tradition that provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the facts of mental illness, to erase the stigma associated with mental illness, and to raise funds so that NAMI Ventura County can continue to offer all their programs and services at no cost to persons who can be helped by those services. It gives everyone a chance to show their support for the efforts put forth by NAMI Ventura County.

NAMI bases their mission on the principles of support, education, and advocacy for persons impacted by mental illness. They provide classes for family members, providers, and persons with a lived experience of mental illness. They also present in schools, hold support groups for family members, and provide outreach to persons who come to see persons who are in the inpatient psychiatric units in Ventura County. NAMI Ventura County also has a Peer to Peer class for persons in recovery and a Connections support group for persons in recovery as well.

The Walk in Ventura County is a fun family event with activities for children and opportunities to socialize. It also provides our community with a way for us all to come together to show our support for needed services for all persons impacted by mental illness.

To register as an individual walker or to form a team and/or to find information about sponsorships please call 805.641.2426 or visit www.namiventura.org.

Serra Cross

Volunteers and professionals are helping to restore the cross.

by Councilmember Christy Weir

The Thomas Fire devastated our Ventura hillsides, including Serra Cross Park. All of the vegetation was burned, and signs, fence, trash cans, picnic tables, lights and sprinkler system were destroyed. The cross caught fire, but thankfully only a small section suffered major damage. We have discussed the option of replacing it with a new wooden cross, but the public has let us know that the scorched section serves as a vivid reminder of Ventura’s resiliency and strength through this disaster.

We have spent the past ten months working on the park: removing burnt landscaping; cutting down dead trees; removing thousands of broken bottles and other debris that collected over decades and was revealed by the fire; grading the grassy area and installing new irrigation; installing new sod and hundreds of plants; sanding and repainting damaged metal benches and trash cans; mulching paths; planting ten new oak trees; replacing the up-lights that illuminate the cross at night. All of this work was done by Dafau Landscape, Halter-Encinas Landscape, Creico Electric and many dedicated volunteers.

The gates to the park have been locked since December, so there has been no vehicle access. All of the gates are located on City-owned property (Grant Park), and will be reopened when the City Parks Department decides that public access is safe. All 106 acres of Grant Park burned and there has been a massive effort by the Ventura Botanical Gardens and city staff to renovate the park for all of our residents to enjoy again.

Serra Cross Park is owned and maintained by the Serra Cross Conservancy, a non-profit formed in 2003, when the city decided to sell the cross. Renovations after the fire have been very expensive and donations are welcome. Future plans include new signage, reclaimed wood picnic tables, fencing, a variety of trees, sidewalk, curb and parking lot improvements.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Serra Cross Conservancy at PO Box 48, Ventura CA 93002. Our website is www.serracrosspark.org, and we are now booking weddings and other events for 2019. We look forward to welcoming the public back up to the cross in the coming months.