Reusable Bag Day is an educational grassroots event hosted by the Surfrider Foundation Ventura County Chapter along with local community groups. We are asking holiday shoppers and retailers to forgo single-use, plastic shopping bags in favor of reusable bags to help protect the oceans and Ventura’s beauty one reusable bag at a time.

Surfrider Foundation and City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability Division volunteers will be out front at the Vons on Main St. and Ventura Ave. near the Ventura River from 10am-Noon on Saturday December 12th handing out free reusable bags to shoppers! Get your reusable bags now and remember to vote YES on the statewide plastic bag ban referendum item in November 2016.

Plastic bag litter is one of many issues around Ventura that impacts the ocean and reusable bags help to address TMDL (total maximum daily load) limits set by the EPA. Cities and residential neighborhoods create concentrated levels of bacteria (pet waste), nitrates (herbicides & pesticides), litter, and other unnaturally occurring contaminates that can enter our stormdrains and waterways. To mitigate this, there are stormwater pollution prevention best management practices to help keep our waterways clean and free of these pollutants such as choosing reusable bags to help reduce litter.

70 year old woman rescued after falling through living room floor into basement

Just before noon on Saturday, Dec.5 , in the 2000 Block of Hyland Ave a 70 year old woman was walking from her living room through a hallway when she accidentally fell through an opening to the basement that was 8 feet deep. The vertical fall resulted in multiple injuries and possible fractures of the arm, hip, and leg. The home was estimated to be built in the mid 1900’s and the basement served as a utility room for a floor heater and water heater. The only access to the space was a straight vertical ladder.

TechRescue1“The major difficulty was access– the room was compartmentalized with concrete supports, and we could only get one paramedic down inside the vertical shaft to provide for treatment and to place the patient in a rescue harness”, stated Fire Captain Thom Hoffmann. “There was only one way in and one way out, and the only option of getting her out safely, was to construct a hoist system in the narrow hallway system to lift the patient out.”

Firefighter paramedics splinted extremities and placed the patient in complete cervical spine immobilization in the cramped space. Advanced life support was delivered in addition to pain medications prior to moving the patient. A rescue system was assembled in the cramped hallway to create a high point in which a rope and pulley assembly could gently lift the patient vertically through the opening. It took rescuers 71 minutes to get the patient safely out of the shaft and onto the gurney.

Techrescue3During the fall, numerous pipes and ducting systems were compromised and it was suspected that the victim and rescuers were potentially exposed to asbestos. Firefighters provided for rapid decontamination of the patient prior to being received at the local trauma center. The patient was transported in serious but stable condition.

Due to HIPAA we are prevented from disclosing an individual’s protected health information (PHI). We may not release information regarding patient’s names, DOB, address, SS# or medical status.

Ventura City Fire responds to multiple, simultaneous fires near NB-101 / EB-126 freeway interchange

On Sunday Nov.19 Ventura City Fire personnel responded to multiple, simultaneous fires reported in the general area of the NB -101 / EB-126 freeway interchange, during a period of gusty winds.Structures at a nearby mobile home park were initially reported to be threatened, prompting a full first-alarm structure fire response to that location, but were quickly determined to be non-threatened upon arrival of units in that area. First arriving engine companies responding to the reported structure fire found a large body of wind-driven fire, in heavy brush and trees, moving rapidly across the freeway interchange area. The fire was spotting well ahead of itself and across the freeway, with flame lengths up to 40 feet. Additional companies responded to a nearby downwind location where several palm trees had ignited and were casting a large shower of embers over several commercial buildings. The fire, smoke, and crews operating in the area, resulted in closures of the 101 freeway in both NB and SB directions, as well as the EB 126. The two separate incidents eventually were merged into one single incident, and through a prolonged cooperative effort, involving multiple agencies, the fire was contained and ultimately suppressed. The origin of the fire was reportedly in the vicinity of a homeless encampment and remains under investigation.

Ventura City Firefighters on scene at Montgomery Ave home fire in 3 minutes

Residents of a single family home located in the 700 block of Montgomery Ave. were awakened to the smell of smoke and the sound of fire alarms in the early dawn of Nov.27.. The home owner quickly ran into the living room from his bedroom and witnessed the television set and the items on top of an adjacent hutch– on fire. He evacuated his wife and 1 year old child and grabbed an extinguisher and fought the blaze.

Ventura City Firefighters were on scene in 3 minutes and ensured the fire was completely extinguished and performed salvage and overhaul to preserve as much personal property as possible and mitigated damages. The fire remained contained to the entertainment center. Whereas the fire directly entered the wall cavity through a wall speaker, an investigation with a thermal camera discovered that the heat and smoke damage was contained within the wall due to fire blocking.

A common military phrase often used by one of Ventura’s Police Commanders, ‘Victory Favors the Prepared’, was evident this morning. An unattended candle started the fire on a credenza that spread to a speaker and television. However, based on the preparation of the resident, a complete disaster was avoided and now the emergency is relegated to being an inconvenience.

A modern whole house smoke detector system, quick access to a fire extinguisher, swift actions by the occupant, and quick response by the fire department are credited in minimizing the emergency.

The Ventura City Fire Department would like to remind residents to be careful in placing and using candles and make sure they are never placed near combustibles, nor ever unattended. Additionally, as temperatures fall and the use of heaters increase, we are asking residents to have older furnaces and floor heaters inspected, a common cause of fires in older homes.

Looking back at severe weather in Ventura in 1992 & 1998

If you are so inclined, take the time and watch these videos.

News coverage of 1992 floods in Ventura, CA.
Ventura River floods the RV park off of Main St.
PART 1 10 Minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjTZEY9i…

PART 2 The first 4 mins are about Ventura and then it goes to LA if you scan forward to the 7.39 mark it picks back up in Ventura

Less than 3 min promo video of the Ventura RV Park. It gives a great overview of the area that was shown flooded out in the previous videos.

1998 Ventura River Flood Highlights
Shows the raging Ventura River and Matija Dam by Ventura County Watershed Protection …

Here is a link to many articles written about the flooding from the 1992, 1997-98 and 2005 storms

1992 Ventura, California flood, part 1 of 2
Television news coverage of the 1992 floods at Ventura, CA. Part 1 of 2

Ventura City Fire Department responds to fire burning in Ventura River bottom adjacent to Ventura County Fairgrounds

fire (1)On Nov.23, at 9:25am the Ventura City Fire Department received a report of a fire burning in the Ventura River bottom adjacent to the Ventura County Fairgrounds. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a 75’ x 100’ fire burning in the aforementioned location. Firefighters extinguished and overhauled the fire with hand tools and water achieving full containment 2 hours after the initial report. The cause of the fire was determined to be an escaped warming fire from a nearby homeless encampment. No firefighters were injured as a result of this incident.

Black Friday was black smoke

Just after the official start of Black Friday, at 12:40am shoppers at the Pacific View Mall reported seeing active smoke pouring from the roof at Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Active alarms were ringing and employees had yet to start their shift, thus the building was empty at the time of the alarm. First arriving firefighters made access into and on top of the building.

As firefighters made access into the building, the air was clear of smoke. Crews investigated the interior while the truck company and an additional engine company made access to the top of the building via the aerial ladder. Crews on the roof encountered a fully involved heating and air conditioning unit. Flames erupted from the unit, however the roofing material had not completely become involved in fire. The fire was knocked down in approximately 13 minutes keeping the fire contained to the forced air ventilation unit and surrounding area. A thorough inspection made sure that the fire did not spread beyond the ventilation system into the roof structure.

Initial damage estimates were $20K. The building manager arrived on scene and worked with Ventura Fire’s Prevention specialist to ensure a smooth opening for the business in the morning. There are no expected impacts beyond needed repairs to the unit. The building was left in the care of Lowe’s management.

The Grandes Dames are the ultimate Rubicon Theatre volunteers

The Grandes Dames recently held an elegant luncheon at the Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo. The Grandes Dames host several luncheons and events, each year at different upscale locations  throughout Ventura County including country clubs, hotels and yacht clubs.

The luncheons include wonderful entertainment provided by cast members who perform at the Rubicon Theatre. Jennifer Lee Warren entertained the gathering with her amazing voice and engaging personality. She recently returned from her appearance Off-Broadway in Rubicon’s own “Lonesome Traveler”.

Several Rubicon staff and actors spoke to the theater lovers and volunteers. These included Rubicon co-founder Karyl Lynn Burns, the theatre’s Producing Artistic Director and Brian McDonald who introduced several of the cast members that will appear in the upcoming production of A Christmas Story.

About 20 years ago, five of Ventura’s movers and shakers put their heads together and came up with a great idea when they decided to create an organization of grand ladies to support the Rubicon.

They decided to call their volunteer group the Grandes Dames – Ambassadors for the Rubicon who support the theatre through volunteer activities.

Both men and women (yes, there are a few lucky men who volunteer though they are usually called Grandes Gentlemen) attend the luncheons. Guests are always welcome and many go on to become Grandes Dames.

The Grandes Dame’s quarterly luncheons and membership fees helps to supports Rubicon activities and covers the cost of the luncheons.

The Rubicon is always looking for dedicated volunteers. If you want to learn more, visit www.rubicontheatre.org, or call them at 667-2900. You can also stop by the theatre itself which is located at 1006 E. Main St.

Ventura and Gold Coast Recycling celebrate 25th anniversary

Photos by John Ferritto

Gold Coast Recycling and Transfer Station, established in 1990 to help local cities, including Ventura, and the County of Ventura meet state mandates to cut the amount of trash they send to landfills in half, held a 25th anniversary celebration on Nov. 19.

Gold Coast Recycling and business partner Harrison Industries honored the cities they serve – also including Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ojai, Fillmore and Carpinteria – as well the County of Ventura with Certificates of Appreciation during the event at the 75,000-square-foot facility in Ventura.

stuff gold coast insetGeorge Harrison, general manager of Gold Coast Recycling, presented certificates of appreciation to representatives of the cities, chambers and communities Harrison serves for helping the communities exceed the trash diversion goals of California Assembly Bill 939, passed in 1989.

“We couldn’t have reached these state goals without the extraordinary commitment of the citizens, businesses and institutions of all of the jurisdictions, and for that we thank them also,” Harrison said.

Working in conjunction with Harrison Industries, GCR established a three-barrel curbside program for trash, recycling and green waste for residents and a white recycling bin program for businesses as well as roll-off and Construction & Demolition programs for both businesses and residents, GCR processes over 90,000 tons of recyclable materials each year.

Government officials presenting GCR with certificates of congratulations included State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann and Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan. Representatives of the offices of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, State Senator Fran Pavley and Assemblyman Das Williams also presented certificates of congratulations.

In the future Harrison Industries and GCR will be adding green and food waste recycling bins for its business customers, in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1826, which takes effect in 2016. AB 1826 is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and create a source of green energy.