Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 – July 5, 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

Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 – April 11, 2017 – Mailbox


Tourism is the best thing that can happen to Ventura! It creates jobs, gives us all more fun restaurants and places to visit, and helps fuel progress. Rather than complain about it (overcrowding, homeless) , the most productive thing to do is get involved, show up to City Council and public planning meetings, and ensure it is good, well thought out growth that benefits everyone.


Eric Rosenberg from Old Town

“Let’s keep this parade moving.”

Dear Editor,

Yesterday, Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Main Street was lined with parade watchers, and the parade entries were lined up as far as the eye could see.  The parade progressed on a very slow procession toward the Judges Reviewing Stand; most of the time the parade was at a standstill while the entertaining entries stopped at Chestnut Street to perform for the Judges.

When the Judges Reviewing Stand was located at California Street the entertaining entries could perform while crossing California Street.  California Street seems to be much more level and wider; thereby allowing the entertainers to slow, but continue up Main Street.

The officials who approve the parade route, timing, and location of reviewing stands should take all this into consideration during the approval process, and offer solutions to avert avoidable delays.  Keep the parades moving in an orderly fashion.

Michael Gordon

PS Google Earth shows the following widths:
California St.  85 feet wide.
Chestnut St.    68 feet wide.

Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.
~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Vol. 10, No. 12 – March 15 – March 28, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

I would like to first say that the City of Ventura has done a fantastic job of trimming up the landscape along Seaward Ave. west of Ocean, near the train bridge. It is so much better to look at and for the pedestrians…now there is more available sidewalk.

It’s just wonderful, until you get to the chain-link fence section on the westbound side. It is a real mess full of palm branches and dead limbs, etc.. Who is responsible for upkeep of that area ? The landscaping appears to have all been planted at the same time along the street.


Christi Cunningham in Ventura

Hi Breeze:

Please make sure that if you covered the Trump Support/Anti-Trump Protest today (we didn’t), you state in your article that the Pro Trump contingent were from out of the area; specifically from L.A. and Orange County. The anti-Trump contingent, of which I was one, were made up of Venturans.

As an participant/observer of the protest, I thought you’d like to write up my observations or quote them.  In most cases the people there were polite and willing to just make their stance known. However, you had about 6 male ProTrump supporters who mingled with the anti-Trump contingent trying to get them to talk with them just so they could talk over their opinions. Listening was not their strong point. There were a couple of anti-Trump supporters that became belligerent in response. But most of the observed push came from the Pro Trump group from L.A. or Orange County. It was also obvious that those Pro Trump supporters intermingling had media equipment so they could then post their admittedly, one sided views on the web or twitter. Most of these were young college age students enjoying their use of media.

One other oddity that struck me, as cars drove by, I found that the Trump supporters often honked their horns in support. While the anti-Trump supporters just gave a thumbs up. Interesting.

Thanks for your time,

Joanne Fields, Venturan


I see that somebody’s proposing a new law allowing cyclists to roll through stop signs, saying that fewer cyclists will get killed if they don’t have to spend as much time on the road. Sorry, but I can’t see how rolling thought stop signs ever kept anybody from getting killed. I think you’ll have the opposite results more often than not. It’s like allowing them to take the entire lane in traffic. You don’t even have to swerve to take out several of them, they’re right there in front of you.

I really see these laws as an attack on sportsmanship, making it far too easy to run over them. The next thing you know they’ll be requiring those spandex cycling outfits they like to wear to have a target on the back.

But then the current administration is trying their damnedest to defund Planned Parenthood, so maybe this is somebody’s idea of population control.

Truly we live in interesting times.

Alfred J. Lewis



I just have to say that we love the way the Breeze is going. You have created a wonderful bi-weekly local newspaper and we hope it becomes essential reading for all of Ventura!

Shane from Ojai Concert Series

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.
~ Michelangelo

Vol. 10, No. 11 – March 1 – March 14, 2017 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon

There is so much in your Opinion piece that I hardly know where to start. I guess your equivalency between your middle school wandering, off the path, toward stupid that was never perpetrated and only involved two teachers in a simple context of “exercising boredom” and the perpetration by two equally stupid youngsters that “exercised racism” in the context of Black Lives Matter and an alarming hate movement nationwide is most disturbing.

I certainly am not asking that these kids be prosecuted for a hate crime and, to my knowledge, they have not. But in this staid and peaceful community, largely white I might add, most of us are shocked and more than annoyed by the images celebrating the lynching of several African American men.

My granddaughters attend Buena and although they didn’t know the boys they were tearful when they saw the images and discussed it with friends.  Apropos of the hurt that can be inflicted, my one Hispanic granddaughter is the VP of the Black Student Union and she felt a wave of nausea about the whole thing.

The comment regarding the “maturating brain” seems, in your context, to rely entirely on biology which is about half the story.  Since the act carried out by the boys is a multiplicity worse than a torn up blackmail letter, I am hopeful that there will not be a grandmother around to soothe them very much in the punishment that will and should be applied.  That is the compliment of biology that will help in maturing their brains.

In friendly critique,

Karen Helen Szatkowski

Please read my response to this in my column on page 5. This is very important stuff.


Thank you so much for your recent article with the picture of my painting and the notice that Buenaventura Art Assoc. was having a donation request during the month.  Our back mirror is just full of hearts from people who have donated.  I know we would not have had such a good response without your helpful column.  We at BAA all thank you, Mr. Brown and “The Breeze” for helping make this so special.

Karen Wu

Hi Sheldon,

Just picked up my copy of the Breeze at the Ojai Library. I prefer the paper version to read through … accompanied by my early morning coffee. Thanks so much for including Guy Webster even in the Ojai News!  And also thanks for keeping your publication so healthy with lots to read. As the local Ventura paper (VC Star)gets smaller and smaller I rely on publications like yours for news and events – Kudos!

Warm Regards,

Myrna Cambianica Education Chair:
Ojai Photography Club

Happiness doesn’t depend on what we have, it depends on how we feel towards what we have.
We can be happy with little and miserable with much.
~ W.D. Hoard

In our last issue we had a GUEST COLUMN regarding Buddy Nation credited to Debra Reeves. Even though Debra is very involved with Buddy Nation this article was written by Cappi Patterson (now they are both famous).


Vol. 10, No. 10 – February 15 – February 28, 2017 – Mailbox

Sheldon @ Ventura Breeze

In response to the guy who took offence with substitution of the word “Dog” for “God” he obviously doesn’t know what dogs mean to people who love them like family!

I think the attached*expresses what God “for those who are religious” would have felt as well!

Sincerely one of your many readers

* Photo of God’s finger touching the paw of a dog with caption “I’ve turned my own name around and have called you Dog, my friend.”


The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, saved my life. I had health insurance. I needed brain surgery. My health insurance company kept delaying approvals for necessary MRI and CT scans to find out what was wrong. Because they refused to pay for the CT scan that was needed to confirm a diagnosis, I had to pay for one of them out of pocket. They assigned an RN to my case to reduce costs. But, because of public pressure, when the Affordable Care Act was being drafted, my surgery was eventually approved by the insurance company in 2009.

As Congress moves forward on a path towards repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, it is critical that our nation’s communities retain access to high-quality hospital services we need and deserve. Our hospitals not only provide lifesaving care, but they are also key economic engines, providing jobs and security to the entire community.

I am greatly concerned that legislation repealing the Affordable Care Act could leave in place devastating and historic cuts to my hospital. We need your help to protect access to care and our nation’s local economies.

This means that if legislation is approved that repeals the Affordable Care Act, it is imperative that it either replaces the coverage losses simultaneously or repeals the Medicare and Medicaid hospital reductions embedded in the law, so we ensure our community hospitals have the resources they need to care for American families and communities.

Kathy Miller-Ventura

Hi Sheldon,

I am a huge proponent of private property rights but simply can’t wrap my head around any of the arguments for allowing STVRs to operate in residential districts.

I can’t afford a gardener but believe I am entitled to lawn service whether I can afford it or not. Pygmy goats are the cutest things ever and would keep my weeds at bay, thus improving the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Pygmy goats are quieter and less annoying than the neighbors’ barking dogs.

Pygmy goats need veterinarians, groomers, feed, bedding and whatever else they need to thrive and survive – all services and goods I would never purchase but for the pygmy goats. Thus, I’ll create jobs and bring in revenue for businesses and the city.

To help defray costs, make ends meet, and to keep them from sitting idly by when I can’t use them, from time-to-time I’ll rent the pygmy goats to the neighbors. The children, many of whom would never have an opportunity to interact with pygmy goats, will be thrilled, enlightened and enriched by the experience. My pygmy goats could also provide love, affection and comfort for some of the elderly and lonely among us (which is way more than any STVR could do.)

The only people who would complain are whiny, petty and jealous neighbors who either can’t or didn’t think to buy their own pygmy goats.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to fully fully appreciate that our city can choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore. I also never dreamed that I could actually keep pygmy goats in my small backyard here at the beach. Fortunately, I guess all I need to do is ask the city to not enforce the zoning codes and issue me a pygmy goat permit. It’s a win-win all around!

Did I mention that I’m a huge proponent of private property rights and that pygmy goats are the cutest things.

Sharon L. Rishel
Pierpont Resident

Talk is cheap, except when  Congress does it
~ Anonymous