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The 11th Annual Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest

Be sure to visit the Ventura Breeze at Earth Day and get a free copy of the Breeze.

This free event is the perfect way to spend a day with the whole family. The festival is the largest Earth Day celebration in Ventura County, attracting thousands of visitors and featuring 100+ exhibitors. This community driven event will take place in Plaza Park off Thompson St. in the heart of Downtown Ventura on April 21 from 10am-4pm.

Each year over 200 volunteers work hard to make the event a success. For 2018 expect to enjoy all-day entertainment on two stages, a children’s zone full of fun activities, free yoga classes throughout the day, scavenger hunt, raffle, silent auction, reading to adoptable dogs, food trucks, Green Car Expo and much more.

This year join the Earth Day Family Bike Ride organized by Channel Island Bicycle Club departing from Channel Islands National Park Headquarters on Spinnaker. Check in at 8:30am, arrive at the Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest at 10:15am. For more information go to: http://www.cibike.org/activities–events.html.

Organized by Ventura Charter School of Arts and Global Education in cooperation with the City of Ventura. All proceeds from the day‐long event go toward funding enrichment programs for Kindergarten through eighth‐grade students at the tuition‐free public school. Your support builds a conscious community that shapes our future generations.

Entertainment lineup including Jade Hendrix and Sea at Last along with other local talent . To learn more go to www.venturaearthday.org.

Ventura Land Trust hosts environmental lecture April 19

Jim Danza will lead discussion on protecting Ventura County’s rivers, creeks and streams.

On the evening of Thurs., April 19, Ventura Land Trust (VLT) will host a community environmental lecture entitled “A River Runs Through It – the Beauty, Benefits and Importance of Ventura County’s Waterways,” at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Rd. Beginning at 7 p.m., this second in VLT’s 2018 Environmental Speaker Series, will he led by Jim Danza, Asst. Professor of Geography at Oxnard College.

Jim Danza will highlight the importance of understanding, appreciating and protecting Ventura County’s rivers, creeks and streams and will discuss river water conservation, the importance of flood plains, the need for urban planning along watersheds, wildlife/urban interface and VLT’s ongoing restoration work along the Ventura River.

“I have spent the past 35 year advocating for the protection of rivers and watersheds,” said Danza. “To imagine Ventura County without it’s rivers, is to imagine our county without its agriculture or human settlement. Whether through the rivers’ flows or its interaction with groundwater or soil, rivers are a source of life.”

According to Danza, the numerous rivers, creeks and streams that run through Ventura County provide water for drinking, growing crops, manufacturing, energy and transport. They also help to prevent erosion, dispose of waste and provide natural protection from flooding.

Now in its third year, the Ventura Land Trust’s Environmental Speaker Series is one of many ways VLT works to educate the public about important environmental topics. The non-profit land trust’s Big Rock Preserve, where they lead free outdoor environmental field trips for local students and community groups, suffered significant damage in the Thomas Fire.

A suggested donation of $10 per person will be collected at the door to go toward fire restoration work at Big Rock Preserve. Space is limited and reservations are highly encouraged. RSVP at: http://www.venturalandtrust.org/environmental_lecture_20180419

James “Jim” Danza is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Oxnard College and President of the Friends of the Santa Clara River Board of Directors. Danza has 25 years of experience as a professional planner (urban, environmental, and water resources), adjunct professor, environmental leader, and wilderness skills educator. He has degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies and is a certified planner under the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). His professional experience includes water resources and environmental planning, including lead civil planner at Naval Base Ventura County for 21 years.

The Ventura Land Trust (formerly the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy) is dedicated to permanently preserving and protecting the land, water, wildlife and scenic beauty of the Ventura region for current and future generations. Founded in 2003, the 501(C)(3) non-profit organization is supported by over 600 members, local businesses and government partners. The land trust manages 90 acres of land along the Ventura River and is negotiating the purchase of its first hillside property. The Ventura Land Trust’s offices are located in the Poinsettia Pavilion. For more information, visit www.venturalandtrust.org.

Renaissance of Railroading

Vintage passenger and dining cars date back as far as 1914.

On April 28th-29th prepare to be entertained and amazed by what can only be imagined as the “Renaissance of Railroading.” Steam Railfest 2018 is a celebration of the steam engine, railroading, antique tractors, vehicles and engines, vintage wares and oddities, unique performances, early transportation and culture mixed with a bit of Steampunk fun. There will be live steam locomotive train rides, a Citrus Packing House Caboose Ride Adventure, Dr. Solar’s Gypsy Wagon Medicine Man Show, Gene West “The Toymaker”, antique carousel rides, creative vendors & artisans, unique exhibits, model railroads, movie props, the Orchard Bluegrass Band, delicious food & more! Admission to the festival is free! There is no other family festival quite like this one. So mark your calendars for one of the biggest events in Ventura County’s little historic town of Fillmore, CA! Visit http://steamrailfestival.com for more info.

The Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society non-profit organization is hosting this one-of-a-kind event. Established in 1993, the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society’s mission is to assist in the preservation and restoration of the railroad corridor between Montalvo and Saugus, California. This railroad corridor, commonly referred to as the Southern Pacific’s Santa Paula Branch, is a unique and historic asset to the residents of the Santa Clara River Valley and surrounding areas. To maximize the economic, educational and recreational value of this asset, the organization will acquire, preserve, exhibit and operate historic railroad equipment; in addition, it will collect and display artifacts, photographs and operational documents unique to the region.

Sponsoring the event is Fillmore & Western Railway. This legendary railroad is home to vintage passenger and dining cars that date back as far as 1914. It’s also home to a 1913 fully restored and operating #14 Baldwin Steam Engine. Fillmore & Western is known as the “Home of the Movie Trains” that have been used in film productions such as Disney’s Lone Ranger, Water for Elephants, Sea Biscuit, Get Smart, Bedtime Stories, Race to Which Mountain, Tall Tail, Inception, Anger Management, Fear Factor, X-Files, Bones, Westworld, American Horror Story, Criminal Minds, CSI and many more. They welcome all production companies to visit and contract with them to film either on-site or on location throughout the United States. Additionally, they have a wide variety of train related props for use on sets.

Another amazing part of this railroad is the opportunity to ride the movie trains! All year long they offer train tours such as Weekend Scenic adventures, Murder Mystery Comedy Lunch & Dinner trains, Holiday trains, Special Event trains, Steam train rides, School trains & privately chartered Group trains. Visit fwry.com or call 524-2546 for more details.

Ventura Breeze “un-official” Name The Green Pig Contest

The Ventura Breeze is holding an “un-official” Name The Green Pig Contest for the pig that was back in the St. Pats Parade. Send you suggestions to editor@venturabreeze.com. They will be submitted to the pig committee for consideration. The Breeze will select our winner and the lucky person will win ham and eggs at their favorite restaurant.

Patty Jenkins sent her suggestions even before the contest started. “ShamHock” or HamSchock.

Photo by Michael Gordon

The Ventura Townehouse holds Monthly Community Appreciation Breakfast

On Thursday, March 22 they “appreciated” the Ventura Breeze. Representing the Breeze were Publisher Sheldon Brown and Senior Account Executive Breezy Gledhill. “Come enjoy and honor our local contributing hometown newspaper. This paper gives so much to all of Ventura’s seniors and citizens” stated their invitation to residents and family members.

The MC for the breakfast was Director of Marketing Samantha Crisp who chose, along with residents to honor the Breeze.

Applications for assistance still available

The application deadline for $1.5 million in assistance from the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund for those impacted by the recent disasters has been extended to April 30.

The application for individual hardship assistance is available now at vcunitedway.org in English and Spanish. The United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund will support residents in expenses related to housing, livelihood/income and habitability of their homes.

Applicants can submit a completed form to one of the partnering agencies listed at vcunitedway.org to speak with a case manager. Victims should gather any documentation to substantiate needs, such as rental agreements, campground rental fees, costs replace trade tools (could be prices from online or physical stores) or insurance invoices.

Eligible applicants are Ventura County residents, and household income limits are determined by family size of 120% AMI or less.

The United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund has grown to more than $4 million. The next phase in disbursements will center on long-term recovery. To contribute, visit unitedwaythomasfirefund.org.

Since 1945, United Way of Ventura County has advanced the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on education, income and health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life. We support local services and programs that are more than just ‘stop gap’ measures, but rather solutions that help create lasting change. We invite everyone to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. When we work together in common purpose, we LIVE UNITED. For more information about United Way of Ventura County, visit www.vcunitedway.org.

ECTV crew wins WAVE awards in Sacramento

Phil Taggart, Ethan Messecar and Annabelle Augustine, representing the ECTV student producers proudly show off their 3 WAVE awards.

Congratulations to the El Camino High School ECTV Crew for winning a series of WAVE Awards at the Alliance for Community Media Western States Regional Conference in Sacramento. Annabelle Augustine and Ethan Messecar represented the ECTV crew at the event along with Phil Taggart, director and mentor of the CAPS Media/El Camino High School media program. ECTV won first place awards in three categories: Informational Talk Show, Youth Division, for ECTV: Spocabulary, Halloween and Digital Citizenship; Informational Lifestyle, Youth Division, for ECTV: California Islands; and Informational Culture, Youth Division, for ECTV: Travel & Photography.

The ECTV program is a collaboration with Ventura Unified School District, El Camino High School, VC Innovates and CAPS Media. As a career pathways education program, students receive hands-on instruction to master video cameras, audio, lighting, studio production and postproduction editing. In addition, the ECTV members develop Digital Storytelling skills including conceptualizing, storyboarding, writing, producing, on-camera reporting, interviewing, directing, and production management.

Mentored by Taggart and unitizing the extensive production facilities at the CAPS Media Center, the El Camino students create magazine-style programs on topics of interest and concern to themselves including drug abuse, discrimination, gun control and more. The ECTV programs air on CAPS Media television and are archived and stream at capsmedia.org.

The Thomas Fire Stories Project has begun and is a major success. The extensive undertaking is a collaboration with Ventura City Fire and Police, Ventura County Fire, Sheriff, and Office of Emergency Response and the Museum of Ventura County. The year-long, comprehensive project includes an ongoing series of television and radio archival recordings with those whose lives were dramatically changed the night of December 4th.

Members of the public, fire fighters and first responders and others are sharing remarkable first-person stories at recording sessions throughout the county. Selected stories will air and stream on CAPS radio (KPPQ 104.1 FM) and on CAPS Media television, stream on capsmedia.org, and may be included in the comprehensive Thomas Fire documentary. All of the recordings will be included in the historic archival project at the Museum of Ventura County.  

During the past few weeks Thomas Fire audio recording sessions took place at the Ojai Valley Museum and Ojai Library and they continue on Saturday, March 31 from 11am-4pm at the CAPS Media Center; on Monday, April 2nd at the EP Foster Library from 5-7pm, and on Saturday April 14th at the Avenue Library from 10am-2pm. More audio recording sessions will continue at the Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula on Sunday April 22nd from 11am-3pm and at the Museum of Ventura County on May 20th from 11am-3pm.

Everyone with a story to tell is invited to participate. The audio recording process is simple and enjoyable and typically lasts 10-15 minutes.  CAPS Media staff and volunteers help the storytellers share their experience in their own words. The result is unscripted, unrehearsed, engaging and compelling first person stories. If you have a Thomas Fire Story to share or know someone who has a great story to tell, drop by and record the experience. Visit capsmedia.org to find a convenient day and time to record your story and add it to the museum’s historic archive.

If you have photos or video to contribute to the archive, go to capsmedia.org for instructions on how to contribute photos, video and other media. If you have a story to share, email thomasfirestories@capsmedia.org or call the CAPS Media Center at 658.0500.

World Central Kitchen back to Ventura

Chef Jose Andres returned to Ventura.

by Jennifer Tipton

Due to the recent heavy rains, many were required once again to evacuate their homes and on March 21st Chef Jose Andres of World Central Kitchen returned to Ventura. Our very own Chef Jason Collis said, “Chef Andres said he wouldn’t stop until the last person in need is fed in Ventura and he meant it!”

The numbers of evacuees grew slowly with thirty on March 22nd and increased to forty on the 23rd however, with numbers this low there was no need to mobilize the Mission Kitchen. Chef Collis stated, “looks like we will go unscathed with this storm which is great news for all of us in Ventura!” When news got out that Chef Collis and World Central Kitchen were once again at evacuation centers providing meals, many of our Ventura neighbors wasted no time offering to help out.

Chef Andres thanked Collis by saying, “On behalf of World Central Kitchen, thank you for the amazing job you are doing for the people of Ventura. You are amazing people, you are the heroes, and we love you”.

Ocean Water Quality Monitoring Report

Storm water runoff can transport physical hazards into the ocean. Photo by Richard Lieberman

As part of the Ventura County Ocean Water Quality Monitoring Program, the Environmental Health Division is providing the following precautionary information for the public. Rainfall that is significant enough to result in runoff can flow into storm drains, channels, creeks, and rivers that empty onto the beaches of Ventura County. In general, 0.2 inches (2 tenths of an inch) of rainfall may be enough to create significant runoff conditions.

There is a potential for storm water runoff to carry disease causing bacteria to the beaches and into the ocean water. In addition, storm water runoff can transport physical hazards such as partially submerged tree limbs and logs into the ocean that could result in serious physical injury. Contact with this runoff water will result in an increased risk to human health and should be avoided for at least 72 hours after all rainfall activity has ended.

As a result of the recent and predicted rainfall, the public is advised to avoid body contact with all storm water runoff and ocean water at all Ventura County beaches. Any items that may have come in contact with runoff or ocean water should also be avoided. If contact occurs, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Any shellfish on or from Ventura County beaches may have also been exposed to this contamination and should not be eaten.

This advisory will remain in effect for 72 hours (3 days) after all rainfall has ended.

Bacteriological sample results for specific beaches are also available on the Environmental Health Division hotline (recorded information), 805/662-6555, and on the Division’s Web page at:

http://vcrma.org/envhealth/technical-services/ocean/index.html

You can also view any current beach advisories and learn about the State ocean water quality standards on the VC Safe Beaches app, available for Android and Apple devices.

Ventura Family YMCA gives to employees who lost homes

Dana is one of the staff who received $1,000.00.

At the YMCA Campaign Report Night on Feb. 23, four employees who lost their home from the Thomas Fire received $1000 from the Ventura Family YMCA. The $4000 was donated from San Francisco YMCA’s emergency relief fund.

Every year, the San Francisco Y donates to a fund to support YMCAs that have experienced disasters or have other dire needs. “When the Director of Human Resources heard about the fires in the Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, he gathered the team together and they determined, right away, that they wanted to support the work that Ventura YMCA was doing to help those impacted by the fire,” said Margo Byrne, Chief Operations Officer of the Channel Islands YMCA.

The Ventura Y has elected to keep the names of the four employees anonymous. At the report night, one of the employees shared her story about how the YMCA helped her during the Thomas Fire. The Y staff member explained that they didn’t take anything when they initially evacuated with her four children. “We were up to the left of Ventura High School so we weren’t that concerned.”

When her neighbors started evacuating, she and her family left to her father’s house. When they arrived, she asked her father to take her back to the house to pick up a few items. They returned to find her whole street on fire, and they left with nothing.

The morning after her house had burned down, Amy Bailey Jurewicz, Executive Director for the Ventura Family YMCA, was the first to check on her. The employee stated, “I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt if the Y had not offered the childcare that they did, I would not have made it through this.”

At the end of the night, Amber Stevens, Associate Executive Director at the Ventura Family YMCA, stated, “We have amazing staff here. It’s nice to be able to say we can help when we hear our staff is in trouble.” The Y also paid all of their employees for hours while the facility was closed during the fires.

Information about the Ventura Family YMCA, visit http://www.ciymca.org/Ventura or call 642.2131.