Category Archives: Home Page Links

Three Ventura Rotary Clubs invest in the Ventura Botanical Gardens for today and tomorrow

It was the first visit to the site for many Rotarians

by Mary Kay Doubek

Saturday, April 29 was Rotarians at Work Day for 1.2 million members globally.  In Ventura, the Downtown, East, and South clubs joined forces on a single project so they could make a bigger impact in the community they love.

“Ventura Botanical Gardens is an ideal place to show the power of Rotary,” stated Downtown Ventura Rotary President Betsy Chess.  “60 local Rotary, Rotaract (18-30 ages), and Interact (high school ages) members set aside their Saturday morning and were able to clear invasive plants and brush from a quarter mile stretch of trail above Summit Drive.  There certainly was an impressive stack of weeds when we were done.”

Joe Cahill, VBG Executive Director, added, “The trails are in use more than ever this spring.  Along with the 60 Rotarians on site that day, there were thousands of trail walkers and 500 or more participants and spectators in the Ventura Police Department-sponsored Mud Run.  Later that afternoon, the Ventura Climate March came through the gardens too.”

After working up their appetites, Rotarians were treated to Domino’s Pizza from East Ventura Rotarian Husam Hishmeh at the future site of Rotary Plaza at VBG.  It was the first visit to the site for many Rotarians, who were enthusiastic about putting the Rotary name up at Ventura Botanical Gardens.  Project organizers Bruce and Kathy McGee of Rotary East described the features to be developed for Rotary Plaza.  It will include a gathering place for 50 or more people, as well as the Rotary Wheel and Four Way Test, symbols of the “service above self” motto that Rotarians live by.  They will be placed in a setting which offers unobstructed panoramic views of the gardens below, as well as city hall, and the ocean and islands beyond.

“We are confident we can build the financial support within Rotary to make this investment in Ventura Botanical Gardens,” said Bruce McGee.  “Any way you look at it, Rotary Plaza is a fantastic project.  Foremost, we want to endorse Ventura Botanical Gardens, the best and biggest new public asset in Ventura in our lifetime.  VBG is already a gift to every member of the community we love, and it will be enhanced dramatically over the next 30 years to be enjoyed for many generations to come.  Secondly, the superior location of the plaza at a crossroads by the top of the first trail, will naturally attract people.  Many will stop to look and learn about the values of Rotary via an online app they can access on their mobile phones.  Founded 110 years ago and now counting over 35,000 clubs globally, Rotary is committed to serve others near and far.  Now, more than ever, the world needs more people who live by our club’s guiding principles of truth, fairness, goodwill, and friendship.  Who knows, some visitors to Rotary Plaza at VBG may even decide to become Rotarians themselves in their own communities.”

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – CAPS

Caps Media Summer Digital Storytelling Program

In July the popular CAPS Media Digital Storytelling program kicks off at the CAPS Media Center for students, ages 10-15.  Young videographers, film makers and video storytellers get hands-on training with video cameras, audio recording equipment and computer editing software to create the stories the crew wants to tell.  Registration is open for the three week-long programs scheduled July 10 – 14 (in association with Ventura Parks & Rec), July 17 – 21 and July 24 – 28.  Each fun, creative and engaging program runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm.  The fee includes a t-shirt, use of pro gear and instruction, and a free CAPS Media membership for a year.  To learn more about the Digital Storytelling program, go to

CAPS Radio is on the air at 104.1FM.  The recently launched Ventura community radio station is here for you.  Drop by the CAPS Media Center for a tour and learn how to become a radio host and DJ.  Two-part training classes begin at 6pm on Thursday June 1 and Monday June 5.  Even if you don’t have an idea for a show just yet, come to class and you’ll get inspired.  If you prefer to produce a program, report news, fundraise for KPPQ, spread the word about an idea or issue you care about, CAPS Radio is the place for you.  To reserve a spot in the class, call now at 805.658.0500 or go to the CAPS Media website. And, listen in and let us know what you think and what you want to hear on CAPS Radio KPPQ-LP at 104.1FM.

Become a Member/Producer of CAPS Media.  With our new radio station, the CAPS Media Center has new membership options.  Both our television and radio member programming is rich and diverse from travel to music to drama to politics and more.  As a membership organization CAPS Media supports our Member/Producers’ creativity and helps them share their voices with the community.

Aspiring (or experienced) journalists, photographers, videographers and storytellers are invited and encouraged to get involved at the CAPS Media Center. Anyone who lives, works or attends school in the city of Ventura is eligible to become a member. For annual fees of only $25 (individual) and $75 (non-profit organization), member/producers are trained by the knowledgeable CAPS Media staff in the art and fun of video and radio communication.  Once certified, member/producers may check out video cameras, tripods, and other gear for video production and book editing suites for postproduction to create the stories they want to tell.

Ongoing CAPS Media classes include new member orientation the first Thursday of the month, the next one is June 1st. The HD Videography/Camera class is held the second Thursday and the Edit class follows up on the third Thursday. We introduce our newest class, the production/storytelling class to be held May 25th and every fourth Thursday of the month.

The CAPS Media website has all the info.  Go to to see a schedule of upcoming programs on Channel 6 & 15, search the archives for past programs, get info on upcoming video and radio classes and much more.

Mehta at the Museum: the story of American classical music

Join spellbinding Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta for music and stories.

The community is invited to join the Ventura Music Festival’s spellbinding Artistic Director Nuvi Mehta on Sunday, June 4th, at 3pm, where he will spin music and stories about the people and developments leading up to what is recognized today as authentically American Classical Music.

The event is free and open to the public.

Included in the story: the starts and the misfires, the impact of European composers, the importance of Jazz, the landmark contribution of Gershwin, the distinctly American imagery and music of Aaron Copland followed shortly after by the glorious work of Samuel Barber. Ojai’s John Biggs the well-loved composer of numerous  rich classical pieces will also be there

Besides serving as Ventura Music Festival’s Artistic Director, Mehta is Special Project Director of the San Diego Symphony.

Located at 100 E. Main St; ample parking is provided. On June 4th, the Museum is open all day for its “Free First Sunday” event featuring a celebration of the Summer Solstice and the new exhibit, Secret Paintings, by Michael Pearce.

While Mehta at the Museum is an admission-free event, reservations are requested. Simply go to VMF’s website – – and the Mehta at the Museum link on its homepage. Click and reserve.



Wine in the Pines

Great live music and wine-themed vendors completes this wonderful heavenly mountain setting.

by Mark & Debbie Bailey  Owners, The Wine Room Gallery, PMC

Fine wine lovers; mark your calendars for Saturday, June 10th, for the annual Pine Mountain Club “Wine in the Pines” in the Pine Mountain Village Center, an easy and scenic 90-minute drive from Ventura.

From 1-4pm (noon to 4pm with a VIP ticket) you’ll be able to taste exciting wines from throughout California’s wine- growing regions, with dozens of premiere wineries to choose from. If you need a break from too much fine wine, then enjoy some cold craft beer or cider from several wonderful breweries. And then there’s the food; some of Kern County’s favorite restaurants will be on hand serving everything from classic gourmet finger-food to good-ol’ western barbeque, to Asian and other culinary delights to compliment the fine wine. Want a food pairing for the brews? Then how about a bacon-wrapped gourmet hot dog from “Brazil’s Gourmet Hot Dogs” of Bakersfield? Feel like cooling off and satisfying that exotic sweet tooth? “Mountain Dream Café and Ice Cream” will be serving ice cream topped with Late Harvest Ampelos Cellars Viognier.

Due to its immense popularity last year, we will once again have a specific Lompoc Wine Ghetto section in the PMC Village Center, featuring many of the wonderful Ghetto Wineries.

Great live music and wine-themed vendors completes this wonderful heavenly mountain setting. Proceeds this year benefits the American Cancer Society and various local non-profits.

You must be 21 or older to purchase tickets for Wine in the Pines and ID’s will be checked at the entrance. General Admission to the wine festival is just $55 in advance and $70 at the door if any tickets remain. VIP tickets allow for an intimate early noon entry. They are $80.00 and must be purchased in advance. This event usually sells out, so buy your tickets early. Admission includes wine & beer tasting, a logo glass, a custom wine glass holder plate, fabulous food, live music and scenery like none other.

Pine Mountain Club is located just 20 minutes west of Interstate 5 at the Frazier Park exit. For a map and directions, hotel and cabin rental links and other information, go to, or email

Tickets for Wine in the Pines can be purchased online at the event website: Wineries wishing to pour at this world-class event can click on the winery link also located on our website.

Arts & Eats in downtown Ventura May 20

Arts & Eats will be held in downtown Ventura on Saturday, May 20 from 6 – 8pm. Over a dozen galleries, restaurants and shops open their doors for art receptions and complimentary tastes. The event is free to the public.  At 5pm, Pop-Up Yoga will have a yoga class at Plaza Park.

Frances Elson and Chris Weber will display their art in “No Boundaries” at Fox Fine Jewelry from May 18 – July 9  with an Art Reception on May 20 from 6 – 8:00pm. Musician Corinn Conant will sing and play guitar during the reception.

For more information on Arts & Eats, contact Debbie Fox at Fox Fine Jewelry, 560 East Main St. 652-1800 or

Circus Vargas unveils original new production – SteamCirque!

Circus embarks on a brand new epic adventure under the big top!

Goggles, gears, and gadgets set the stage for Circus Vargas’ 2017’s retro-futuristic production, SteamCirque! Join them on a journey of fantastic proportions where children of all ages will marvel at the wacky and wonderful cast of characters that come alive in this exciting steampunk, science-fiction fantasy inspired circus odyssey!

Arrive 45 minutes early for an entertaining, interactive pre-show celebration, where kids can create their own magic under the big top, learning circus skills such as juggling, balancing and more! Meet and mingle with the entire cast after each performance. Capture the fun by posing for pics or selfies with your favorite cast members, all part of an unforgettable Circus Vargas experience!

An eccentric group of adventure seekers stumble upon a traveling circus in an imaginary Victorian city, far, far-away. SteamCirque’s peculiar protagonist, part magician-part inventor, attempts to industrialize the circus by incorporating his steam powered mechanical contraptions into the ordinary, typical circus rigging, filling the big top with new, imaginative acrobatic apparatus for the artists to perform their acts.

“SteamCirque is inspired by adventure, colored by imagination and brought to life by the amazing cast of Circus Vargas!”

Join for an amazing experience, under the big top as Circus Vargas celebrates its 48th year and create new and treasured memories for generations to come! This wonderful show has something for everyone! It’s 2 hours of amazing music, lights, magic, acrobats, aerialists, daredevils, comedians and more!

General admission tickets are $17-$32 for children and $27-$37 for adults. Reserved Ringside seating is $52-$67 for children and $57-$72 for adults. For Circus Vargas performance dates, times and to purchase tickets, visit, call 877-GOTFUN-1 (877-468-3861) or visit the box office at each location. Follow Circus Vargas on Facebook and Twitter for updates, discounts and behind the scenes video.

In Ventura: Ventura County Fairgrounds

  • Thursday, May 25 – Monday, May 29
  • Thursday, May 25 – 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 26 – 4:00pm, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, May 27 – 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, May 28 – 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7:00pm
  • Monday, May 29 – 2:30pm, 6:00pm



History maker to speak  at Senior Health Expo

Gabriel just wanted to become an actor.

Gabriel Cordell never intended to make history, at least not in the way he eventually did.  He just wanted to become an actor.

In 1992, two months after his 22nd birthday, Cordell was en route to his first professional audition when an accident changed his life forever. His Jeep was hit and flipped, and Cordell was ejected from his vehicle, hitting a telephone pole that crushed his spinal cord. The accident left him paralyzed from his mid-chest down.

After four months of recovery and physical rehabilitation, Gabriel continued to pursue his dream of being an actor, now as a paraplegic. He established his acting career on stage and screen, with credits including Dexter, Numb3rs and Joan of Arcadia.

​At the age of 42, Cordell focused on a different kind of role. He set out to become the first person to roll across the United States in a standard, manual wheelchair — a 3,100-mile journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  The inspiring trek is the subject of an upcoming documentary film called, Roll With Me: A Journey Across America.

Completing the coast to coast journey in just 99 days, Cordell has made it his life’s purpose to inspire and empower people all over the world, by showing through his actions that anything is possible.

Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura is thrilled to announce that Gabriel Cordell will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming Health & Wealth Expo on Wednesday May 24,  from 11a.m. to 1p.m.

“We are thrilled to have Gabriel as our guest speaker,” said Mike Macke, director of sales and marketing at Cypress Place.  “His story is amazing and will inspire anyone who hears it.”

Along with the keynote presentation, this year’s Health & Wealth Expo at the senior community will include over 30 vendors offering everything from free blood pressure and mini stroke evaluations, free balance and hearing tests, free wealth management information, to veteran benefit information.  A free healthy gourmet lunch will also be provided.

Raffle prizes will be given away throughout the event including one grand prize; a 50” HD flat screen TV.   Admission is free and the event is open to the public.  Free shuttle parking will also be available at Ventura Baptist Church.

Corporate sponsors for the event are Assisted Home Care & Hospice, Coastal View Healthcare Center, Mission Home Health, Victoria Care Center, and Glenwood Care Center.

For more information or to RSVP, please call 650-8000.  To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura, visit their web site at

Walk with NAMI Ventura County in the 13th Annual NAMI Ventura County Walk

Last year’s NAMI Walk was attended by hundreds of concerned folks.  

by Jennifer Tipton

NAMI Ventura will be holding their annual walk on May 6. The NAMI Walk raises awareness about mental health issues and it is also a fundraiser for NAMI Ventura County. The funds raised from the Walk are what makes it possible for NAMI to offer all their classes, programs, and services at no cost to anyone. Please join in at 9  am at the Ventura promenade!

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 of 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 all of 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.

David Deutsch is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in the field of mental health for about 13 years, as the executive director at NAMI, David is also a certified addiction treatment counselor and he states that often substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders go hand in hand. David reports, “we are an organization that doesn’t charge anything to anyone, the walk is our biggest fundraiser, it’s what makes it possible for all of our programs and services to be free.” According to David there were 1,500 people last year with 84 teams and over 1,300 walkers.

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 visit

12th Annual Summerfest full of healthy family fun

Friendly, low-key runs encourage youth to start the day with a little physical activity. Photo by Jessica Miranda Photography


Mark your calendar to attend Summerfest on Saturday, June 3. You won’t want to miss this 12th annual free family fun celebration of healthy living. Presented by Ventura Education Partnership (VEP) and the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) in alliance with the City of Ventura, Summerfest will be held at Ventura Unified School District’s Education Service Center, 255 West Stanley Avenue from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The day kicks off with a 3,000 Meter race and 1-Mile run/walk. These friendly, low-key runs encourage elementary and middle school youth and their parents to start the day with a little physical activity. Details and registration forms will be available soon at

All activities at this day long, family-friendly event focus on encouraging attendees to have a fit, active and healthy lifestyle. Among the experiences offered at the many community and health-related booths are sports clinics, a Fun Zone, hands-on craft activities, a rock climbing wall, healthy food, garden tastings and so much more! Summerfest is also bringing back its popular Star Athlete’s Selfie Station and is pleased to announce that former Buena High School student and Indianapolis Colts NFL linebacker Freddy Keiaho and pro-surfer Mary Osborne have both confirmed their attendance to sign autographs, pose for pictures and answer questions from our local youth athletes.

Our committee works very hard to bring this healthy living event to the community each year,” stated Ann Marie Bidlingmaier, Summerfest event chair and coordinator of health and prevention programs for VUSD. “We are able to keep Summerfest free due to the generous ongoing support of our sponsors, especially Clif Bar Mountains2Beach Marathon, which has once again committed a minimum of $20,000 to Ventura Education Partnership for the continued promotion of health and wellness in our local schools.” To become a sponsor or secure a booth for Summerfest 2017, which draws 3,500+ attendees, contact Kay Giles or Ivone Quintero-Cagnacci at

The mission of the Ventura Education Partnership (VEP), a community-based, non-profit, non-political association, is to support and enrich education in the Ventura Unified School District through community partnerships. This all-volunteer group fosters community recognition of the work of district teachers and staff and enlists the participation of parents, businesses and community members in the education of our District’s children.

It’s an opportunity to ask questions about the state of the press

Breeze publisher Sheldon will be one of the presenters at “Meet the Press”.

The public can “Meet the Press” for questions, comments, and learn about how the local media puts it all together, thanks to the Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS). Afterward, you are invited to eat with the press.

“It’s an opportunity to ask questions about the state of the press in Ventura County and voice wishes and expectations to those providing our news services,” said Suz Montgomery, chair of the VCS, which is sponsoring the panel. The event host is the Ventura Adult and Continuing Education (VACE) arm of the Ventura Unified School District. The barbecue lunch is free, complements of the Downtown Ventura Rotary.

It begins at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 27 at VACE headquarters, 5200 Valentine Rd. Please RSVP at 648-3035 to ensure enough food.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Tim Gallagher, former editor of the Ventura County Star and features four journalists, representing four print news outlets with a nod to radio and TV affiliations. They are:

Ventura County’s daily newspaper, Ventura County Star, featuring its new news director, Darrin Peschka, recently promoted due to the retirement of John Moore.

Peschka knows Ventura intimately, serving as a Star editor for 14 years, overseeing community news, business, and city and county government.  She has a journalism degree from the University of Kansas and is now working on a master’s degree in public policy at California Lutheran University.

Ventura County Reporter, a weekly edited since 2008 by Michael Sullivan, who began her journalism career in 2006 at the Business Journal in Fresno, covering four counties in the Central Valley. She graduated from CSU-Northridge with a BA in journalism after earning an AA in journalism from Oxnard College.

Her style is “to keep it interesting, honest and informative.”

The bi-monthly Ventura Breeze was created by Sheldon Brown and his daughter, Staci, in 2007 with the simple task “to inform Venturans regarding events, happenings and news,” he said, “despite having absolutely no knowledge of the newspaper business we launched the paper.”

An architect by profession who has taught extension classes at Ventura College, Brown now knows a bit more of the news business during his golden years, venturing further into his own radio show on the new CAPS live-stream KPPQ-FM at 104.1.

John Hankins is a career journalist who owned a news bureau and clipping service covering the tri-counties from 1970 until 2000, when he opted to jump over deadlines into semi-retirement. He learned the art of reporting on the job during the turbulent 60s, working for the Oakland Tribune, L.A. Times and Time Magazine. He has a BA degree in English from UC-Santa Barbara.

He continues to edit, write and design the Sierra Club’s Condor Call, which covers environmental news and outdoor activity for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.