Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 – Aug 29, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon (Governor) Brown:
This is in response to your Editorial of 8/2/17. You are entitled to your Opinion/Editorial, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as you did re the Ventura County Museum. I have to walk 6 blocks on my WW II disabled legs to the bus stop and then make two transfers to get to the Ventura Museum. But it has always been worth the effort as I had been a speaker at the Museum once and other times as part of the audience. The last visit was one of the best with four UCLA Doctors who spoke on cancer.

It’s what is in the museum that is of importance. Just as you don’t marry a girl by her beautiful dress but by other qualities like personality thoughtfulness, kindness, Inner beauty. Even the Reagan Library/museum is more beautiful and meaningful on the inside than the outside.

Unfortunately, you had not attended the Museums many other programs such as the one of the Japanese American WW II incarceration. Even the Librarian/curator of the Japanese American museum in Little Tokyo was a recent speaker which you neither attended nor reported on. I was a speaker also, but did not see you.

As the editor/owner of the Breeze. you have the right and opportunity to criticize and mention both sides of the situation. Obviously you had not attended the recent gala and SRO educational forum by the four UCLA MD Professors sponsored by the Museum. You would have enjoyed even the violin quartet, wine, et al.

Forgive my critical response as I was a former editor of our high school weekly and also of our English language teachers monthly in Japan. I also shouldn’t be criticizing a fellow reporter/writer. I really do enjoy the “Ventura Breeze and it’s even free!

Ted Wakai

Thank you for taking the time to write this and express your different opinion. I wish more readers would. And double thanks for fighting for our country.
(it should be noted that his opinion was reduced in size)

In our last issue Mike L Merewether asked “Where is the marquee from Mayfair Theatre that sat in the dirt for years after all the fuss and $$ the city spent in having it moved?”

One of our smart readers (they are all smart) Sharon Krumdieck told us that it is at the Seabee Museum so we sent our star photographer Richard Lieberman there to take a photo of it.


I must agree with your opinion in the August 2 issue about the city funding of the Ventura County Museum. The Museum must get its house in order and strive to fulfill its mission to preserve and tell the story of Ventura County. I know that the new Director, Ms. Brokaw, will do a great job. If anyone can turn the museum around it is this accomplished woman. I believe Ventura County needs its own Art Museum. We have grown and should have a museum of art to rival that of Santa Barbara County. We have the art and we are becoming known as an art capital in the west. We also need an expanded history museum to tell the elaborate story of this blessed corner of California. These two museums –each with its own mission– could well make Ventura a cultural hub of the Southcoast.

Richard Senate, Ventura

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.
~ Lily Tomlin


Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 – Aug 15, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Concerned Ventura Residents

For the fourth time in eight months the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) rejected an application by the City of Ventura to expand its boundary.

The application was for a new development known as Northbank, which is a project to allow for the construction of 193 residential units in East Ventura near Saticoy.

LAFCO heard the proposal on four occasions: November 16, 2016, February 15, 2017, April 19, 2017, and again on July 19. LAFCO has not been convinced that Ventura has an adequate long term water supply for its new developments.

LAFCO’s CEO showed that the Ventura’s own documents demonstrate that Ventura has a water deficit. Apparently, Ventura believes that there is “water aplenty” but they are unable to explain “where it is”. LAFCO Commissioners are simply doing the job required under California law. Also, it is the obligation of the City of Ventura to fulfill its commitments to provide necessary information.

The people behind the Northbank project may be rightly frustrated, but Save Our Water Ventura is more concerned about our current residents.

How can Ventura continue to give away scarce water supplies? Isn’t it time for a water connection moratorium?

Charles Spraggins, Save Our Water Ventura


The City reviewed its water capacity and confirmed there is adequate water supply to expand the City’s boundary and accommodate new construction in east Ventura. While current water supplies are indeed strained due to the drought, there is an adequate amount to serve this and other projects that have been in the works for many years now. We agree that the long-term sustainability of water supplies is vital. That is why the City is working hard to diversify its water portfolio and augment supplies with new sources. This includes a potential connection to the State water system within the next 3-4 years and the construction of an Advanced Purification Facility for Potable Reuse by the year 2023. These projects will not only augment existing water supplies and improve system reliability, but will also have the ability to enhance the quality of drinking water on the east end of the City.

Joe McDermott

Acting Ventura Water General Manager


Please know I so much appreciate the attention the Breeze brought to Estella’s (the dog) situation and her need for help to get her surgery and medical treatment paid for. As a result of Estella’s photograph and story on The Pet Page in the July 5 – July 18 issue of the paper much more needed money was donated. Thank you so very much. I am sure the entire Buddy Nation crowd feels the same way I do.

Also thank you for letting us know about the passing of precious Sherlock Patterson. Your paper was the only way some of us found out. To honor Sherlock’s precious life and memory I made another donation to the Estella fund in Sherlock’s name.

Many, many people in Ventura depend on the Breeze as an important source of community news. Thank you for making this possible.

Betty Okrent

PS: I also thought information about the R.U.F.F. program was vitally important. I do hope other communities adopt similar programs. And the article about Gavel was perfectly delightful. I most certainly enjoyed it. So thanks again.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Vol. 10, No. 21 – July 19 – Aug 1, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon:

Thank you again for putting Estella’s pic & plea in The Breeze(needed medical treatment). It has brought in well over $1,000 in a week … yay! The best people read The Breeze, that’s for sure.

Cappi Patterson

I second that thank you Sheldon! Such amazing and compassionate people are in the world. It helps restore my faith in humanity when I see people pull together to help the innocents. Because of your piece in the Breeze we are so close to our goal! Thank you!!!

Debi Reeves, President & Founder Buddy Nation helping the homeless dogs of Ventura

Dear Mr. Brown

Just want to say “Thanks” again for your coverage of our Harbor Gallery 1st Yr. anniversary and my exhibit at the Ojai Art Center. The pictures are great, and Mary-Jo looks wonderful! She also sends her thanks to you — we need all the publicity we can get at our little gallery and the turn out that day was terrific! We will help keep our customers aware of your special paper.

Karen Wu


I like your coverage but wish you had said Mark Watkins made $300,000 last year.

Historic Preservation is out of control and just adds cost and delay; 40 year old test is ridiculous, and notable architect is over reach ( Where is the marquee now from Mayfair Theatre that sat in the dirt for years after all the fuss and $$ the city spent in having it moved) No mention of Ventura Realty four prior suits against the city.

Mike L Merewether


A recent report paints an interesting picture of bottled water marketing practices, claiming the industry has been working to convince consumers that bottled water is more pure than tap water despite no evidence to support the claims. The report claims bottled water costs over 1000 times more than tap water per fluid ounce and uses more than 2000 times more energy to produce; the purity of tap water is better regulated and in fact, most bottled water is filtered tap water, anyway.

According to a Scientific American article, bottled water is ripping off consumers to the tune of 1900 times the cost of tap water, and bottlers aren’t revealing where their water comes from: “…18 % of the 173 bottled waters on the U.S. market today fail to list the location of their source; a third disclose nothing about the treatment or purity of the water inside their plastic bottles.” The Natural Defense Council reports that 90 percent of the money consumers pay for bottled water actually covers everything but the water itself: bottling, packaging, shipping, marketing and other expenses, and profits.

Nate Spencer-Ventura-who drinks tap water that is cold

The easiest person to deceive is one’s self.
~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Vol. 10, No. 20 – July 5 – July 18, 2017 – Mailbox


It seems all the schools and Cities are headed over to the Harbor beaches these days instead of State Parks. Who wants to pay $10 when you can park for free or what bus driver wants to pay $100 when they can park for free. Plus less vagrants and a lot more amenities. The Harbor is doing things right.

Christy’s (City council member Christy Weir) article on the Santa Clara Homeless Camps was truthful much like something Rob Orth would have written. If you’re in the trenches you get a much better perspective. Note that Cheryl (City council member Cheryl Heitmann) was also over there in the riverbed with Christy.

Pokeman…the City is great at issuing permits…but it ends there…no attention to detail. Just recently they posted via email that the Mountain to Sea marathon was to be on Saturday…it was on Sunday and I got my notice in the snail mail on Wednesday days after the event. Better late than never I guess.

Robert Georgeson

Thanks Breeze:

Ventura Breeze Newspaper is a huge supporter and we are so happy to call them a partner in making Ventura an even better place to call home. A huge round of applause to Ventura Breeze for their support of the 5K and 1 Mile Survivor Walk!


Hi, Sheldon –

A belated thank-you for your story in the Ventura Breeze about the 2017 CFMS-AFMS National Gem Show! We enjoyed a terrific show and all three days saw fantastic foot traffic! On behalf of the hosting Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, our sincere thanks for your help in getting the word out to our local public!

Best regards,

Jim Brace-Thompson
Ventura Gem & Mineral Society

It is not enough to be busy, so are ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
~ Henry David Thoreau

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 – July 4, 2017 – Mailbox


Every time that I try to go to the harbor I can never find a place to park. Especially when it is really hot in other places and those “out siders” come here to cool off. I know that tourists are important to the harbor businesses but they can’t find a place to park either. Are there any plans to add a parking structure?

Deena Hill

Deena: We hope so because things could get worse because two future projects might be happening in the Harbor. See my column on page 4 for a brief description of them. I would assume that they will provide for parking on-site.



I think that the planning commission’s vote approving further enhancements to our auto center is very important. I hope that the city council approves this also when it goes to them. Unlike Oxnard’s auto center (you must drive through it on the way to several big box stores) the only time one drives past our auto center is to look at cars or play poker. Development behind the center will correct this and the street certainly needs widening.

Frances Paredes


I needed to share this. I’m on the Surfliner stopped at the Ventura stop and saw the conductor get a Breeze! I talked with her and she said she gets one to see what’s going on in Ventura. She’s looking forward to having every other weekend off so she can spend a weekend in Ventura. She mentioned interest in the fair.

Jean Scott


I think the spending of way over $2 million for the new bridge enhancements on California is absurd. The only difference that I see is a not very good looking higher rail. I certainly hope that it didn’t cost Ventura all of that money.

Chuck White Ventura


More than half of the funding (57%) for this project is from transportation grant funding with 53% from Federal Transportation grant funding and 4% from local Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds. The balance of the funding is from state gas taxes (37%), and the City’s Public Art Fund (7%).

Perhaps you will like it better when the new lighting poles are installed.

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

Vol. 10, No. 18 – June 7 – June 20, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon and Diane:

As a dog owner myself I share in understanding your deep sadness upon losing Scamp. Your article of looking for him and he not being there tore at my heart for you . Scamp was the lucky one to have you two as his loving parents.

Our sincerest condolences.
Teryn & Bart Bonime


As a 30 yr. resident and avid reader of the Breeze I am shocked at this article about (name withheld).  Yes sadly this is about my son. It was a rental car and not a car stolen and all this will be resolved by him and the courts.  I am writing because with so very many daily awe full confirmed crimes/stories  reported  why  you would choose to report a “non incident”  as  news worthy?  Not what I have enjoyed or known of and about the Breeze to report?

I would rather see the names and faces of people I should truly be looking out for in our neighborhoods, albeit the Ventura star helps with that.


(name withheld)


Name withheld

Why are you calling a police report an article? We write articles and just report police reports. Do you really expect us to somehow play jury and decide who in each police report is innocent or guilty? That is for a judge or jury to decide.

If this was indeed a rental car (name withheld) will be  eventually found innocent or the case won’t even go to court. When this happens please let us know and we will be happy to report that to our readers.

We have police reports in every issue that you have enjoyed.

The following is at the beginning of our police reports. “Police reports are provided to us by the Ventura Police Department and are not the opinions of the Ventura Breeze. All suspects mentioned are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

Thank you


Les asked me what I wanted for  wedding present.

“A dog.” I answered. “I want two things I never had growing up: a dog and a Christmas tree.

She moved house to house with us from Berkeley to El Cerrito to Richmond to Altadena to Los Angeles. She lived to be 12 years old. In old age she developed painful arthritis and heart problems. We opted to put her to sleep. It seemed the humane thing to do, yet I still feel guilty about that decision.

For months after she was gone, I swear I could hear the tinkle of her license hanging on her neck. I’d look around, call her name.

Es Cole

Good morning Sheldon,

I want to let you know that a contribution to Buddy Nation has been made to honor  the life and memory of precious Scamp.  We were all very saddened to read the news that Scamp had passed. I know he soared very high when he left his earthly body behind, because he was so loved.

Sending love and light for your journey of healing.

For Them

Debi Reeves, President & Founder

Buddy Nation helping the homeless dogs of Ventura

Dear Sheldon Diane and Savana:

We wanted to extend our condolences to you upon learning the Ventura Pooch Parade, that professor Scamp has crossed over the rainbow bridge.  We have enjoyed reading his column for several years and appreciated his insightful perspective on things.

In addition to his illustrious career Scamp was also a member of your family and you must miss His presence very much .

We’ve recently had to say goodbye our first dog Rosie, and  had to make difficult quality of life decisions regarding how and when to say goodbye so we can empathize with your loss .

Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.

Katherine Warren and Pete Dibble

There is nothing more provocative than minding your own business
~ William S. Burroughs

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


Contrary to The Star, Yes, You are doing “something right”!  Lots right !  Congratulations and Thanks for doing a great job and valued service to our community

I must admit to shedding a tear or two in reading about your goodbye to Scamp  So sad

Thanks again

Mike Merewether


So sorry to see Scamp has passed on. He was Ventura’s mascot. I feel like he belonged to all of us. We will all miss him.

Cheryl Heitmann

Hello Sheldon

I read your column about losing Scamp. Again my heartfelt condolences

Suggest to Diane:

Look online at one of the local shelters for a middle aged hairy something for you and Diane. I highly suggest getting another dog.

Although Scamp will Always be in your hearts, there is room for more, you’ll see. And there’s a homeless dog out there who will love you just as much as Scamp did!

Mindy Benezra

Dear Sheldon & Diane:

Our hearts go out to you on your loss of Professor Scamp. He was a great dog and we enjoyed his wise words in every edition. He had a wonderful life and made the world a better place.

It is hard to deal with it the passing of a doggy child but comfort is in knowing you were the very best parents. All of our hearts felt sympathy.

Marilyn, Gary and Belle Rudolph (Scampclub Aug.,2015)

His words will continue. Read my article.

Dear Sheldon and family,

I am saddened to read about Scamp’s passing; it is always a difficult task to let someone go on to their next journey alone. I feel sure you all provided the best support you could in arriving at the final decision.

Michael Gordon

Sheldon & Diane:

Honoring all that you both gave to Scamp and all that he gave to you. My heart hugs your hearts.

Patty Jenkins

You practice and you get better. It’s very simple.
~ Philip Glass

Vol. 10, No. 16 – May 10 – May 23, 2017 – Mailbox


This is what people see as they enter Ventura on Amtrak. It is real disgraceful. Isn’t there any way to get rid of it?

William Green


Yes there is but very complicated. First it is on Amtrak property so can’t be done without there okay and security people on hand. Second city graffiti folks cannot paint private property. The only way is getting the address of the building (s) and reporting to the city. They will inform the owner to remove it and if not done in a certain time the city (with Amtrak assistance) can remove it.


Council members,

I was amazed at the post by VREG regarding water bill payment outsourcing for letter opening proposed at a City Finance Department meeting, without a reduction offset in cost savings. The outsource will cost the City $29,600 per year and will double that when the billing period is doubled.

“Minuscule”, as stated by the staff member to the question of cost savings, is not $29,600, let alone double that. That is derived by the number(s). If there is no reduction of cost elsewhere, then the increase is 100% of the new expenditure. The Finance Department was not able to answer a fifth grade math word problem!

The real question is how deep within staff, and how high within the decision making body of the City does incompetence go? And do we really want to know, it is too depressing!

John Whitman-Ventura

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
~ Josh Billings

Vol. 10, No. 15 – April 26 – May 9, 2017 – Mailbox

Hi Sheldon:

I just sent Breezy our Ventura Friends of the Library Ad for your May 10th issue.  The Friends are using this ad to express a heartfelt thank you to Supervisor Steve Bennett and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for their approval of the new east side Hill Road Library in Ventura.  We are very grateful for their support of our libraries and especially for restoring east side library services to Ventura.

I am quoting Dr. Seuss in our ad: “You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax.  All you need is a book.”  And we have Supervisor Bennett and the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to thank for bringing the magic of libraries back to the east side of Ventura at last! There are many exciting things planned for this new

In addition, if one of these days (this is the day) you could mention The Ventura Friends of the Library are raising money for furnishings and other items for this new location it would be great.  Donations can be made at: or P.O. Box 403, Ventura CA 93002.

Marianne Coffey
Vice President
Ventura Friends of the Library

Ooops again. In a  recent front page NAWBO article outlining outstanding local business women of Ventura County Heidi Whitcomb, owner and CEO of Ventura Rental Party Center, Inc. was awarded the  NAWBO “Woman Business Owner of the Year 2017” and was not mentioned in the article.

Heidi Whitcomb is a second-generation owner of Ventura Rental Party Center Inc. who has been at the helm of the business since the mid 1980’s.  She has designed and coordinated thousands of events from intimate family gatherings to corporate. A firm believer in community involvement she has provided services for  the Ojai Music Festival, Community Memorial Health Systems events, Casa Pacifica Food & Wine Festival along with various other non-profit, corporate and private events.

In this photo, from our last issue, showing  the Women of the Year, as chosen by 19th District State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson the second from the left is Kim Stephenson (A last year winner) and not Kim Evans that we said it was who was a winner this  year. Our apology to the correct Kim who is always a winner.


Wherever the crowd goes, run the other direction. They’re always wrong.
~ Charles Bukowski

Vol. 10, No. 14 – April 12 – April 25, 2017 – Mailbox

To publisher

So sorry he (Scamp) is not well. Dad may have a title, but everyone knows who the real mascot of The Breeze is.

My dogs have loved meeting Scamp at various Breeze sponsored events through the years.

We are here for whatever you may need.  Sending good wishes .


HI Sheldon,

I read the Breeze today about poor Scamp.  I am so sorry.  Pets just don’t live long enough.  I am very sad for you, Diane, and Scamp.  I think even Savana will miss him.

I agree with you about the golf courses.  If we want the city to take a hit on a golf course for the benefit and draw of tourists, okay.  But we don’t need two of them.  I would like to see some of the land for one of them used as a park, and some used as a tiny house enclave for the homeless (with social services all in one place), or for veterans, or both.  I would like to see a nice bike path.  I would like to see Ventura become more friendly to RVers by having a place they could park overnight (self-contained aka boon docking) for a minimal fee, like $10 or so.  In the summer there are few options for RVers.  The beach ones are quickly filled, and the Ventura RV resort charges an outrageous $65-105 per night.  The city does not allow RVers to park anywhere in the city overnight.  We are losing this tourist biz.  If we had a reasonable place to just park overnight, we could send the trolley round there and take those tourists to where they can spend some money.

That’s my suggestion list.
Anyway, back to Scamp.  I hope this sorrowful time is not too terrible.
Alison Carlson


Thanks for your kind words about Scamp, are tough times for us. See his article for an update.

To the Editor:

The article written by “City Staff” regarding Local Home –Based Businesses is absolutely correct. “The economy gets a boost because more money spent at a local business stays in the local area. Local dollars are re-spent as payroll, goods and services……and even as donations to community charities”. Further, the article notes the multiplier effect of local dollars spent. This is the very same factual economic concept that I have written about several times, including in the Breeze, with regard to Vacation Rentals. Vacation Rentals are a negative to our economy because the owners, for the greater extent, and their booking agents reside not in Ventura but elsewhere. Some are out of the State. There is not a possibility that a vacationer, here for a week can out spend a full time resident living in that same residential home. This article points to the hypocrisy of our City Council and staff. They have ignored the beneficial economic benefit to businesses in Ventura by not allowing vacation rentals. Instead they prefer to collect a 10% “bed tax” going directly to the City coffers, and not supporting businesses for a better economy. The taxes they do collect are at the cost to neighbors living next to these quasi-hotels. What arrogance! I believe that we have had enough. It is time to change the form of government in Ventura, starting with an elected mayor. We also need to query each person running for council on there position on vacation rentals, or any other economic fallacy, and vote accordingly.

John Whitman

Ventura, Ca


There was a time that I agreed with you concerning historical buildings, but after open debates with others, I have changed my mind. Here is my reasoning.

The reason to preserve Ventura’s history is to make sure that future visitors and citizens are given a glimpse into our past way of life.

Here’s an example. Ventura at one time had so many horse hitching posts and wagon street rings that most thought nothing of removing them. There were plenty. As the years went on, we are now down to a few. Now the city puts some value on them as historical. Why ? The reason is not that they are beautiful , but because they are a historical utility item from our past way of life. They are rare now.

Just as rare are barns and carriage houses within the city limits. They were once plentiful,  but now very rare in our unique city. They are historic because they are rare.

Buildings considered for historical status should not need to be beautiful or build by noted architects. Being a rare glimpse of Ventura’s true past should be part of the consideration process. Rare is the key word.

The Top Hat may not be beautiful, but it is a rare downtown example of what our city looked like. Once gone , future visitors and citizens will not have a true historic view of our historical downtown area. So many great examples of our past are lost to short sighted business people and council members.

Change is inevitable and should be done carefully. We only have one historical downtown area. Historical areas draw tourist who bring in tourist dollars. Leave the Top Hat downtown.

Condominiums are usually never charming nor historical yet.

Mike Art

Great paper:

Just a thought City Council is wondering what to do with the 1/2c sales tax. Drive the city streets and what to do with the money will come to y’all.

Some potholes are tire eaters. Of course the money will probably go to increased salaries and perks for the bureaucrats. But it would be a nice idea to put a little down on the streets.

Charlie Hillman


Street repair is one of the things being considered for the use of the additional money. An oversite committee is being formed to watch over the City Council’s use of the money perhaps you should apply for a position on the committee.

As far as increased salaries for City Council members that won’t happen so they will just need to be happy with the $600 they get now per month (or around $5.00 per hour for the time that they spend on city and other committee matters).

A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
~ Thomas Jefferson