Category Archives: Opinion/Editorial

Vol. 11, No. 5 – Dec 6 – Dec 19, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  I apologize that your favorite newspaper is a day late due to the loss of electricity. More fire coverage in Dec. 20 issue. Go to Ventura City website for current information: www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1254/Thomas-Fire

•When we heard that a fire started near Steckel Park in Santa Paula, we certainly wouldn’t have imagined that it was going to decimate so many structures across Ventura. With winds over 50 mph, fire moves too fast to manage. How sad for all the folks who lost their homes and those in the apartments who lost their belongings. I was at the fire lines where firefighters – whose job it is to fight fires – had to standby in many cases and watch as structures burned to the ground. And, it is heartbreaking to see the Botanical Gardens, with so much love, money and energy poured in, now gone.

•  The City Council is still dealing with how to determine the boundaries for council members that will need be elected by districts, and not at-large.

Currently, there are 7 members of the Ventura City Council. Each member must be a registered voter in the City and is elected at-large. Each member represents the interests of the City as a whole.

Many district boundaries have been submitted by Venturans for consideration. The more I think about it, I am opposed to election by districts.

If only one person runs in their district they would be automatically elected to the council even if they only received one vote.

If there are several highly qualified folks running for the council living in the same district, only one could be elected.

I think at-large council members has worked just fine for Ventura and has not favored one area over another.

•  The Museum of Ventura County has named Elena Brokaw as its permanent Executive Director. She has been the interim executive director since 2016.

The museum has faced large financial issues. It recently receive $125,000 from both Ventura and from the Ventura County. The Museum has also obtained larger financing from corporate and individual gifts. I hope that it can be used to make the museum more interactive and fun for the whole family.

Elena has been my guest on KPPQFM104.1. If you would like to hear her interview, visit www.venturabreeze.com Face OF Ventura and select her show. You might find other shows to be of interest as well (or perhaps not). If you have a recommendation of who I should have on my show please let me know.

•  LA County saw an increase in reported hate crimes last year linked to white supremists, with a wave of incidents targeting Jews, African Americans and Muslims. I wonder why that is?

• Every day another well-known male is being fired because of sexual harassment accusations. Some even admit to it and apologize. Minnesota Public Radio said that it was severing all business ties with Garrison Keillor, the creator and retired host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” after allegations of “inappropriate behavior” with an individual who worked with him. Good grief, no one is more all-American then him.

Pretend for a second that there is a TV show called the Apprentice and that one of the male judges made this statement – “You know,” said (you fill in the name), “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women-I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the xxxxxxxx. You can do anything.”

This judge would be immediately fired, or become President of the United Sates.

•  I received an email from a reader (glad that he does read the paper even if to just get mad at me). In part he said, “that’s why I always grab your paper to make a large carbon footprint with my chimney bbq starter.” So now I know that there is yet another reason to read the Breeze besides lining the bottom of your bird and rabbit cages with it. We may need to print more copies.

•  Amigos Restaurant in downtown has been shut down by the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission). The notice doesn’t say why but the space is for lease, so Amigos is gone. Will yet another Mexican restaurant open there?

•In a previous issue, I questioned why the national anthem is played at sporting events (does this make me un-American or just curious?).

Here’s a timeline of how the national anthem became a sports tradition in the first place:

1814: Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner.

1889: Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy called for the song to be played whenever the American flag was raised.

1916: President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order declaring the “Star Spangled Banner” the American national anthem.

1918: The song was played spontaneously during the seventh-inning stretch on September 5, 1918, during Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. After this, other baseball parks began to play the song on holidays and special occasions, and Red Sox owner Harry Frazee made it a regular part of Boston home games.

1931: Congress passed an act officially confirming the “Star Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, and President Hebert Hoover signed it into law.

1941-42: Playing the national anthem before the start of regular season baseball games became the standard. And with the U.S. in World War II now, the National Football League also included the playing of the anthem before games.

1945: NFL commissioner Elmer Layden said, “The playing of the national anthem should be as much a part of every game as the kickoff. We must not drop it simply because the war is over. We should never forget what it stands for.”

2009: NFL players began standing on the field for the national anthem before the start of primetime games. Before this, players would stay in their locker rooms except during the Super Bowl and after 9/11.

Vol. 10, No. 4 – Nov 22 – Dec 5, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  Some of our readers are confused about whether we can use their names in the Breeze. We, in fact, do not need permission to do so. Also, in most cases, when a person is outside – in the public – we do not need permission to include a photo of them. The exception is if the individual is under the age of 18, then we need parental approval.

Newspapers are, by definition, designed to serve the public’s interest. “Put simply, the public interest is about what matters to everyone in society. It is about the common good, the general welfare and the security and well-being of everyone in the community we serve.”

If you think about this, we, and every other newspaper would need to get permission from every person mentioned in every article, press release, police report and photo.

We, of course, don’t use a name in a manner that might create a liability problem. We can’t (or shouldn’t) make a definitive statement such as, “xxxxxx xxxxx killed his neighbor” unless that individual has been convicted of the crime.

•  In our “Mailbox” section there is a letter taking me to task for some of my comments (please read it). I really appreciate getting emails from readers that don’t agree with me.

I wish that I received more that took me to task for what I say. Very important in a free society that we can discuss things in a civil manner, especially in the press. Except, of course the “fake news” about our president.

The only thing that I ask is that you tell me why you think I’m wrong or I won’t print it. If you think my opinion on a subject is wrong I want to hear yours.

•  The West County Emergency winter shelter for homeless people is scheduled to open Dec. 15 at the National Guard Armory until March 31, at 1270 Arundell Ave. All people deserve at least this minimum protection during what can be a cold winter. Nobody deserves to be left out in the cold/rain. Try it a few times and see how it feels.

•  Speaking of the homeless, many of these people are clinically mentally ill. I hear people asking why we allow the mentally ill on our streets? Why don’t we just arrest them and put them in jail? Aren’t they all violent?

According to the UC Firearm Violence Research Center, no more than 4-5% of all violence is committed by the mentally ill.

There are very specific laws regarding how folks can be incarcerated against their will, especially the mentally ill, and for very good reason.

Section 5150 is a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code the (Lanterman–Petris–Short Act or “LPS”) which authorizes a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a person suspected to have a mental disorder that makes them a danger to themselves, a danger to others, and/or gravely disabled. A qualified officer, which includes any California peace officer, as well as any specifically-designated county clinician, can request the confinement after signing a written declaration stating the psychiatric diagnosis that the diagnosing medical professional believes to be the cause or reason why they believe the patient to be “a danger to themselves or others” or the psychiatric disorder that has rendered the patient incapable of making their own medical treatment decisions.

Basically speaking, a danger to themselves means they have attempted suicide, a danger to others doesn’t mean yelling at people or even threatening to harm them. It means physically assaulting them, and gravely disabled means not even able to feed themselves to the point if left alone they could die.

•  On Nov.12, the Cave, which is located inside Ventura Wine Company, held their Holiday Wine Tasting. The event featured wine tasting of over 100 wines, appetizers, music by the Vanise Terry Band and a keepsake wine glass. 250 tickets were sold, and it appeared that everyone showed up. The Cave is located at 4435 McGrath St.

• By now, I assume you know that 3 freshman members of the UCLA basketball team shoplifted (I don’t need to say that they were suspected of this crime because they admitted doing it). They took items from several stores while the team was in China for a game.

One of the players originally stated, “I ain’t (I just added ain’t to my computer dictionary so it doesn’t highlight it) got nothing to say.” So much for student-athletes.

And his dad said, “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.” Good grief his son is representing his family, his school and his country and his dad thinks it “ain’t” that big a deal. Would it be a big deal to him if his son had used a gun to hold up the stores?

UCLA has announced that it has indefinitely suspended the players from the team.

UCLA’s Coach, Steve Alford, said the three players will not participate in workouts or practices, will not travel with the team and will not dress for home games during the suspension, which is indefinite because the school is going through its legal process with the three students.

I certainly hope that their punishment from the school is more severe than a brief suspension.

•  Ventura has now shut down the entire main building at the Pierpont Inn Wyndham Garden, located at 550 Sanjon Rd. The lobby, Austen’s Restaurant, offices and other uses are located in this building. The rooms remain open.

It has been over two years since the City first red-tagged (means shutting it down) a portion of the main building because DKN Hotels that own the Inn started construction without obtaining the required permits.

It is just amazing to me how a large company can be so clueless.

This means that the restaurant will miss income from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s eve.

The Pierpont Inn is Landmark No. 80 on the city’s registry of historic locations which makes this an even more serious situation.

Vol. 10, No. 3 – Nov 8 – Nov 21, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  As you probably know, the State has mandated that Ventura selects councilmembers by districts, and not at-large. The City Council is working to make this happen.

I certainly agree that more racial diversity on the council is important. But I do not agree with those appearing at City Council meetings saying that they are underserved in Ventura because we have an all-white City Council.

I have not observed our City Council slighting areas of Ventura because of the “whiteness” of the members or appear to not consider the needs of all citizens. Though, I do agree that more minority representation on the Council would be a good thing so that all Venturan’s feel that they are represented equally.

A good example of this is the Westside. When people on the Westside requested a new park, the Council took action and found the funds to create Kellogg Park.

The Westside contains one of the most comprehensive, and most utilized parks in Ventura, Westpark. It provides the only public indoor basketball court in Ventura, the Boys and Girls Club, what was one of only two city libraries (we will soon have a third), a senior center and a bike path to Ojai. .

Having districts still might not make the council more diverse, though, as only voting will do that. According to “city-data.com” Ventura is 25% Hispanic, which is about 27,000 residents. This is much more than enough voters needed to put a Hispanic member on the council.

•  I don’t understand why some folks put out all three of their trash cans on pick-up day. If they can’t remember which two cans will be picked up, they can just look up and down the street to see what neighbors have done.

•  Funny regulation that doesn’t seem to make sense: A neighbor got sited by the city for parking his boats on his driveway – but on gravel. Ventura ordinance says, “All driveways, drive aisles, parking areas, and accesses to such parking areas required by this chapter, as well as all outdoor display areas for vehicles and all outdoor storage areas, shall be completely surfaced with asphalt or Portland cement concrete surfacing or other acceptable surfacing materials, including permeable materials such as block pavers, as approved by the city engineer. Adequate drainage shall be provided for all such surfaced and paved areas in accordance with the requirements of the building official and the city engineer.”

As a result, his boats, that were parked about 20 feet back from the street, had to be moved right up to the sidewalk for all to see.

•  The Ventura City Council is continuing to decide how to spend the rest of this year’s money coming from our recently passed sales tax. Voters approved Measure O in November, and it is expected to bring in about $10.8 million per year.

There is an oversight committee that makes recommendations to the council on how to spend the money. Even though the council is not legally bound by the committee’s recommendations, it is good that the committee continues to advise the council on how to best use the money on our behalf.

These are the committee members:

Kathlene Bokoloes, Marni Brook, Kristopher Hansen, Bill Hickman, David Jaffe, Jordana Ybarra-Telias and Mary Laurel Rutledge

Their next meeting is on November 9, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall. You are welcome to attend and speak.

•  Breeze writer Paul Peterson will continue to write about the legalization of marijuana in California and how Ventura is dealing with it.

Regarding a recent City meeting to discuss marijuana he stated, “We were the only media represented and were called out for special recognition for the story we did, and that the sequel is eagerly awaited. A woman held up the paper in the crowd (room was pretty full) and said, “I hope everyone sees this in our Breeze.” I spoke with Jeff Lambert, Ventura’s Community Development Director, before and after the meeting and we agreed to talk more. He also introduced me as “repping” the Breeze and we got applause. I have offered to help them sort out things because I have invested time in all these confabs. He seemed eager to accept my input. The crowd was 100% for cannabis and no naysayers were in sight. There were quite a few of medical patients there to testify.”

To hear my radio show on KPPQLP 104.1 fm discussing marijuana regulations in Ventura and other cities and states, got to www.venturabreeze.com “Face of Ventura” (by the top) and listen to the show Cannibis (show 014).

•  On Oct. 23, it was hotter here than in Death Valley (102 vs 100). If I had known that, I would have gone there to cool off.

•  I know that people-kill-people and not guns, but it sure is easier for people to kill people if they can shoot 600 of them from the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel in a matter of minutes.

I have changed my mind about the second amendment being law. I think that we should adhere to it but it should just allow single shot guns available in 1791 when it was passed.

•  I don’t understand people that say professional athletes should just play sports, shut-up and not express their opinions about politics or anything else. They have the same rights to their opinions as you and me. Blame the media (and Trump) for making a big deal out of their opinions if you want to blame someone.

There is much concern about some athletes expressing their views by not acting properly while the National Anthem is played at sporting events. To me, the answer is quite simple – don’t play the anthem at sporting events. I don’t understand why it is played to begin with. What does it have to do with a sporting event?

Vol. 10, No. 2 – Oct 25 – Nov 7, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  The Public is Invited to meet Ventura Water’s new General Manager Kevin Brown on Nov. 2, 5:30- 6:30 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli St. An opportunity to learn more about our water situation and plans for the future.

Lake Casitas, which supplies water to the Ojai Valley and parts of Ventura, dropped to 38% capacity recently. That’s a little higher than this time last year, but not enough to get us out of our water shortage so drink gin and tonic instead of water (and bathe with a friend).

•My radio show (and that of Ventura Breeze music writer Pam Baumgardner and others ) on KPPQLP104.1FM can now be heard on computer, etc. even when you are in Paris. CAPS Radio, KPPQ 104.1 FM has joined CAPS Television (Channel 6 & 15) by streaming programming on the web 24×7. Station is a little difficult to pick up because it is low wattage but is very clear this way.

My show(13 so far) is on Mon., Wed. and Sat. at 10am and some other undisclosed times. CAPS is always looking for folks to start their own TV or radio show so go to CAPSMEDIA to find out more details. Not as intimidating as it seems and they teach you how to do it.

•  The City Council has ratified the re-appointments of City’s representatives, Suz Montgomery and Lori Harasta, to the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council. Proud of them, both contributors to the Breeze.

•Consortium Media + Public Relations has announced that Lysa Urban has joined them (see article in this issue). Lysa spent many years with the city. Wish her all the best in her new position (and keep sending us ads).

•  Ventura County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector, Steven Hintz, has announced that his office has concluded negotiations with ACI/OPAY, the County’s on-line and credit card processor that reduces the cost to taxpayers who use a credit card or an electronic check to make payments to his office. The new rate for electronic checks is $1.50, down from $2.00. Now the question is where to spend the extra 50c?

•  The Ventura Unified School District and its teacher and support staff unions could not come to an agreement on salary increases. Now a state mediator will be brought in to come up with a solution.

What I have never understood is where does the zillions of dollars brought in by the state lottery, and the school fees paid for every building permit in California go? Why do teachers still need to pay for some of their own classroom supplies?

•  In this issue we have an article regarding the state’s mandate that Ventura must select council members by council districts and not at-large.

Councilmember Christy Weir said “The council had little choice but to move to districts unless we want to spend a lot of taxpayer money fighting something we probably will lose.” City Attorney Gregory Diaz stated the same thing at the recent council meeting.

Weir said moving to districts translated to people giving up rights, rather than gaining them. Instead of voting for all seven council members, now people would only get to vote for one council member every four years, she said.

Personally I am against all seven councilmembers having to live in seven different districts in Ventura. If acceptable to the state I think four by district and three at-large makes more sense.

We would not have some excellent councilmembers that would be excluded from the council because they live in what will become the same district. Some districts may not have qualified candidates that will end up on the City Council.

In September 2014, the City Council appointed a citizens Charter Review Committee and the charge to the Committee included reviewing district-based elections. This would need to be approved by Ventura’s voting. It was determined at that time that other charter revisions were more important to be on the ballot which were approved.

The direct voting for a mayor was also considered but not placed on the ballot. On page 23 we have some opinions regarding this, would love to hear yours.

•Speaking of the City Council, I wish to thank Councilmember Mike Tracy for his kind words in congratulating the Ventura Breeze on our 10th anniversary at a recent City Council meeting. Always with his great sense of humor. Who would have thought that an ex-chief of police could be so funny.

•  Trumpism (I’m sorry I just can’t help myself). Regarding Puerto Rico. “Only 16 have died (up to 50 and more coming). You are very lucky it could have been much worse.” Puerto Rico father “My wife and two daughters died but I feel much better now knowing that it could have been much worse.”

•  ”Hypocrisy” you don’t need to look it up, here it is.

Pennsylvania Republican antiabortion congressman Tim Murphy had engaged in an extramarital affair. When he found out that she might be pregnant he told her to get an abortion.

He has previously stated “I am so proud the House passed this important bill to clearly stand for the dignity and value of all human life, both the born and the unborn. We will once again be a nation committed to honoring life from the moment of conception onward and ensuring American taxpayer dollars are never spent to end a life before it even begins.”

I guess he thought it was okay because it was his dollars and not taxpayer’s.

•  There is a fear of everything and a word to describe it. Triskaidekaphobia is fear or avoidance of the number 13. It is also a reason for the fear of Friday the 13th, called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. The term was used as early as in 1910 by Isador Coriat in Abnormal Psychology.

•  The public can report damage from graffiti by leaving a message on the City of Ventura’s Graffiti Removal Hotline number at 654-7805.

Ventura Breeze celebrates 10 years providing hometown news

• WOW, WOW and WOW! Pinch me – it can’t be true that we just completed our tenth year of publication. Our first issue, on Oct.24, 2007, is shown on this cover.

Besides not knowing anything about the newspaper business when Staci Brown and I launched the Ventura Breeze, we didn’t know if Venturans would accept a very local newspaper, or if Ventura even needed one. It turns out both of these things turned out to be true. Ventura has embraced the Breeze and has come to love it. What I hear most from readers is, “We love reading the Breeze.”

There are so many people to thank, so I’m sure I will overlook some very deserving people. I want to thank our dedicated readers, our fabulous advertisers who keep us in business, our unbelievable dedicated staff, and our writers, photographers and distributors.

All of the “Breezers” deserve a hearty thank you.

A few of these people have been with us since the beginning:

  • Staci Brown – who is now the Publisher Emeritus
  • Professor Scamp – who almost made it to our 10th year issue
  • Rebecca Wicks
  • Suz Montgomery
  • Studio Nothing (Alfred J. Lewis)
  • Bill Green

A special thanks needs to go out to these people as well:

Alfred J. Lewis of Studio Nothing who does a great job laying out the paper and who also acts as my personal therapist by always telling me, “Don’t worry we will get the issue out, have we ever missed one?”

And a very sincere thank you to Senior Account Executive Breezy Gledhill whose perseverance in selling ads keeps us afloat. Without her, there wouldn’t be the Ventura Breeze for you to read. And, the best part, is that she loves doing it and our advertisers love her too.

Thanks also to Cindy Summers for making our website, and Facebook pages look outstanding, along with writing some of our articles.

And to Jaime and Ana Baker for going way beyond with their great support of the Breeze – from delivering papers, to writing articles and creating great caricatures, to setting-up our (actually their) Ventura Breeze booth at all of the events we attend.

Last, but not least, I want to give a special shout-out to my wife, Diane, who no longer says to me, “Are you nuts getting up to write at 3am, and is this still costing us money?” And, who puts up with me every day (well, some days maybe not so much).

Here are a few lows that we saw during our ten years.

We lost a few wonderful contributors and friends:

The passing of Jim Spencer, who, with wife Shirley, wrote our theater reviews. Wonderful Shirley is carrying on with their family tradition.

Nanci Cohen, a friend and contributing writer.

Professor Scamp, my buddy, who I miss dearly every day.

Lance Cole, who always had a joke to tell.

Alfred Lewis’ wonderful wife Cathi who kept Alfred focused and out of trouble (not an easy task) so he could work on the Breeze.

We also lost several Face of Ventura portrait sitters painted by Johanna Spinks. Not contributors, but they became a special part of the Breeze through their portraits and stories.

There have been many highlights, of course. Here are just a few:

Alfred, lying in a hospital bed at CMH, working on an issue on his large computer screen.

The Face of Ventura portrait series by Johanna Spinks, and the amazing party that we had at the Museum of Ventura County to celebrate it.

Winning several awards (I’m sure I’m missing some) including:

Turning Point Foundation’s Champions of Mental Health

Ventura County Area on Aging Optimal Aging Champion Award Age-Friendly Media Award

Ventura Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year

Sponsoring many non-profits and great events including Pier Under the Stars, CARL (Canine Adoption & Rescue League), and the City’s Music Under the Stars.

Appearing on radio station KVTA and CAPSTV and now having a weekly radio show on KPPQLP (that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t publish the Breeze).

Getting into trouble with our April Fools’ Day issues –

Sharing just this one. We published a story about the City Council approving an absurd Walmart concept that included golf courses, ponds and bowling alleys. A gentleman who was shocked that the Council had approved this project appeared at a City Council meeting. After assuring him that it was a joke, ex-Councilmember Carl Morehouse looked at the CAP’S camera and said, “Sheldon, we love ya, but don’t do that again.” Just the incentive that I need!

The paper going to all color and increasing in size.

And, personally, just being a big part of our glorious city. The many people who come up to me (from 13 to 93 and above) to tell me how important the Breeze is to them, and to Ventura. This alone makes it all worthwhile, and rewarding. I thank you all again for supporting us.

Here’s to the next 10!

Vol. 11, No.1 – Oct 11 – Oct 24, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

• WOW, WOW and WOW! Pinch me – it can’t be true that we just completed our tenth year of publication. Our first issue, on Oct.24, 2007, is shown on this cover.

Besides not knowing anything about the newspaper business when Staci Brown and I launched the Ventura Breeze, we didn’t know if Venturans would accept a very local newspaper, or if Ventura even needed one. It turns out both of these things turned out to be true. Ventura has embraced the Breeze and has come to love it. What I hear most from readers is, “We love reading the Breeze.”

There are so many people to thank, so I’m sure I will overlook some very deserving people. I want to thank our dedicated readers, our fabulous advertisers who keep us in business, our unbelievable dedicated staff, and our writers, photographers and distributors.

All of the “Breezers” deserve a hearty thank you.

A few of these people have been with us since the beginning:

  • Staci Brown – who is now the Publisher Emeritus
  • Professor Scamp – who almost made it to our 10th year issue
  • Rebecca Wicks
  • Suz Montgomery
  • Studio Nothing (Alfred J. Lewis)
  • Bill Green

A special thanks needs to go out to these people as well:

Alfred J. Lewis of Studio Nothing who does a great job laying out the paper and who also acts as my personal therapist by always telling me, “Don’t worry we will get the issue out, have we ever missed one?”

And a very sincere thank you to Senior Account Executive Breezy Gledhill whose perseverance in selling ads keeps us afloat. Without her, there wouldn’t be the Ventura Breeze for you to read. And, the best part, is that she loves doing it and our advertisers love her too.

Thanks also to Cindy Summers for making our website, and Facebook pages look outstanding, along with writing some of our articles.

And to Jaime and Ana Baker for going way beyond with their great support of the Breeze – from delivering papers, to writing articles and creating great caricatures, to setting-up our (actually their) Ventura Breeze booth at all of the events we attend.

Last, but not least, I want to give a special shout-out to my wife, Diane, who no longer says to me, “Are you nuts getting up to write at 3am, and is this still costing us money?” And, who puts up with me every day (well, some days maybe not so much).

Here are a few lows that we saw during our ten years.

We lost a few wonderful contributors and friends:

The passing of Jim Spencer, who, with wife Shirley, wrote our theater reviews. Wonderful Shirley is carrying on with their family tradition.

Nanci Cohen, a friend and contributing writer.

Professor Scamp, my buddy, who I miss dearly every day.

Lance Cole, who always had a joke to tell.

Alfred Lewis’ wonderful wife Cathi who kept Alfred focused and out of trouble (not an easy task) so he could work on the Breeze.

We also lost several Face of Ventura portrait sitters painted by Johanna Spinks. Not contributors, but they became a special part of the Breeze through their portraits and stories.

There have been many highlights, of course. Here are just a few:

Alfred, lying in a hospital bed at CMH, working on an issue on his large computer screen.

The Face of Ventura portrait series by Johanna Spinks, and the amazing party that we had at the Museum of Ventura County to celebrate it.

Winning several awards (I’m sure I’m missing some) including:

Turning Point Foundation’s Champions of Mental Health

Ventura County Area on Aging Optimal Aging Champion Award Age-Friendly Media Award

Ventura Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year

Sponsoring many non-profits and great events including Pier Under the Stars, CARL (Canine Adoption & Rescue League), and the City’s Music Under the Stars.

Appearing on radio station KVTA and CAPSTV and now having a weekly radio show on KPPQLP (that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t publish the Breeze).

Getting into trouble with our April Fools’ Day issues –

Sharing just this one. We published a story about the City Council approving an absurd Walmart concept that included golf courses, ponds and bowling alleys. A gentleman who was shocked that the Council had approved this project appeared at a City Council meeting. After assuring him that it was a joke, ex-Councilmember Carl Morehouse looked at the CAP’S camera and said, “Sheldon, we love ya, but don’t do that again.” Just the incentive that I need!

The paper going to all color and increasing in size.

And, personally, just being a big part of our glorious city. The many people who come up to me (from 13 to 93 and above) to tell me how important the Breeze is to them, and to Ventura. This alone makes it all worthwhile, and rewarding. I thank you all again for supporting us.

Here’s to the next 10!


Bill Green’s first cartoon that appeared in the first Ventura Breeze issue. It has been colorized to celebrate our anniversary.

Vol. 10, No. 26 – Sept 27 – Oct 10, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

• As a reminder, our web site www.venturabreeze.com has a lot of additional content and goodies, plus some interesting information about some of our ‘Staff”.

•The latest internet rumor had a rogue planet, dubbed either Nibiru or Planet X, striking the Earth on Sept. 23, wiping out mankind. It’s not the first time Nibiru has made its appearance in the world of online conspiracies, though it’s gained such traction this time that even the U.S. space agency NASA addressed the issue.

“Various people are “predicting” that the world will end Sept. 23, 2017 when another planet collides with Earth. The planet in question, Nibiru, doesn’t exist, so there will be no collision,” NASA said in a statement this week.

So I wasn’t sure if I should bother working on this issue but took the chance that the world wouldn’t end (it didn’t, but does seem to be falling apart).

•In 2004, Alice Rogoff (wife of billionaire David Rubinstein) bought the Anchorage Daily News for $34 million. Recently the paper was on the brink of closing down when a federal bankruptcy judge approved a deal selling the paper for $1 million. More than 125 newspapers have folded between 2004 and 2014.

This is why it is so important to support our great local advertisers and community in order to keep your “loved” Ventura Breeze thriving. Unless, of course you want to buy it for $1 million, then I’ll find something else to do (like even retire).

•We have a cover article regarding a community meeting for all Venturans to offer input as to how the city should approach the new pending marijuana regulations. It is about time for our City Council to take their heads out of the pot and deal with this issue.

I know that lots of folks use pot to just get high, and they have no problem getting it, it seems, but people who really need marijuana for their medical needs require an easier way to purchase it.

•Turkish prosecutors began laying out an indictment against turkey’s leading secular newspaper saying it is part of terrorist organizations. In reality, the case is just part of a crackdown against papers that are critical of the government. At least I just receive nasty letters (not from our City Council of course).

•Trump to Kim Jong-un: “your mother wears army boots”. That should shut him up. Maybe they should just exchange lollipops next to make up.

• “Make Argentina Great Again” – the U.S. Department of Agriculture has lifted the ban on importing lemons from Argentina for the first time in 16 years.

•Iran has banned women from dancing , cycling, listening to certain music, watching soccer matches and now…….Zumba. I’ll bet that they are still allowed to cook, keep house and have babies.

•Do you know the 11-states that seceded from the union that created the civil war? A good time to know what they were.

Convinced that their way of life, based on slavery, was irretrievably threatened by the election of President Abraham Lincoln (November 1860), the seven states of the Deep South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) seceded from the Union during the following months.

When the war began with the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861), they were joined by four states of the upper South (Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia).

Are you surprised that Oklahoma wasn’t one of them? During the Civil War, most of the area of present-day Oklahoma, was called the Indian Territory. The Five Civilized Tribes decided to support the Confederacy, and about 3500 of them served in Confederate units. Two major Oklahoma units were the Confederate Indian Brigade and the Union Indian Home Guard.

•A housing development project referred to as Northbank (located off Telephone Rd. at the end of North Bank Dr.), has been making its way through “the system” for more than twelve years. The Ventura City Council approved the project last year but because it is in Ventura’s “sphere of influence” and not in the city it also needed the Ventura Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) approval to turn the county land over to the city. They recently voted 6-1 to do that.

The city will be responsible for providing water, sewer and emergency services to the area’s future residents.

Obviously, water had been the last issue holding up the project. Commissioners approved the project based on the city showing it has the water. Assistant Ventura Water General Manager Joe McDermott told commissioners that he felt very comfortable Ventura can provide the necessary water.

The city’s Design Review Committee and Planning Commission have already approved it, but the project will require some modification to meet the conditions set down by LAFCo.

I am in favor of well controlled and monitored development. Cities become stagnant without it.

•I know that most of you feel that our homeless situation is getting worse, but it isn’t. LA County’s homeless population has increased by 23% over the last year even though there has been an increase in placing the homeless in to housing. Ventura County’s homeless population dropped to its lowest level since an annual survey began in 2007, which includes Ventura. The survey is mandatory for agencies to receive federal funds aimed at reducing homelessness.

Ventura has taken many steps to reduce its homeless population including approving an ordinance that allows full-service homeless shelters (in certain areas) that will provide overnight stays and the many services required to assist the homeless, which includes facilities that can accommodate dogs.

Vol. 10, No. 25 – Sept 13 – Sept 26, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

• In this issue we have an article which states, “The California Office of Traffic Safety is again announcing that September is “California Pedestrian Safety Month.” This campaign began last year in response to the rising number of pedestrians being killed and injured on California roadways.”

It is amazing watching people (not just teenagers) cross the street in a crosswalk while looking down at their cell phones while never making sure that cars are actually stopping for them. It is if they are saying, “If you kill me while I’m in the crosswalk, you are in big trouble because I will sue you.” Sometimes I have the urge to get close and blow my horn except they might throw their phones in the air and break my windshield.

To me, the red-hands that display on some of our stoplights (downtown mostly) telling pedestrians that they have a red light and shouldn’t cross the street, are a joke. As soon as the light turns green pedestrians walk across the street even if the red-hand is shown. And, cars making turns can’t assume that the person will not be crossing, which makes it even more dangerous. How many times have pedestrians given you a dirty look (and other things) even though you have the right of way?

The police could just write tickets for those crossing against the red-hand for a week and Ventura would have lots of extra money. I’m for removing them completely.

• In one of our police reports in this issue, we have the following information regarding a person who had stolen a car. “During the last month, Marrufo has been arrested on three different occasions by the Ventura Police Department. He was previously arrested on 08/19/17 for a residential burglary in the 100 block of Brent St. and on 09/07/17 for prowling a residence in the 2000 block of Pierpont Blvd.”

I don’t get it – I thought that the three-strike law was supposed to prevent this scenario (though I know judges have a little discretion). Do we need to wait until a person commits murder or some other serious crime to keep criminals in prison?

McGrath State Beach Park just re-opened after being closed for about 3 years. The berm that keeps water from running out of the Park needs to break naturally when the estuary floods. The problem is that it doesn’t break naturally when we are in a drought.

Most years, winter rain and snowmelt force enough water down the river to break through the berm. It can’t be broken manually because of protected species and other state regulations. So the camp ends up under many feet of water.

When the berm breaks, the water drains out to the ocean, floodwaters recede and campsites dry out but are not usable and the bathrooms are destroyed.

There are long-term plans for moving the campground to higher ground farther up the beach and restoring more of this area to wetlands but with all of the environmental reviews and approvals this will take many years.

I certainly hope that the weather cooperates and McGrath can stay open until it can be moved. But it might just be a waste of time, money and effort if it just keeps flooding depending on father nature.

• Upcoming guests on my Face of Ventura radio show (on KPPQLP Ventura – 104.1fm) include Cathy Puccetti discussing Storyfest, Julianna Fjeld, Regional Director Tri County GLAD( Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness), Mark Robinson, who interpreted with sign language for Julianna and Jeffrey Lambert, Community Development Director City of Ventura. The shows air Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10 am, and some other surprise times.

• If you were wondering why the dirt lot across from the WAV is now fenced off, this property has been sold by the city to a developer who’s looking to develop the entire block. The WAV has never had adequate parking and now have lost some of it (something to do with Ventura becoming a bicycle city, so we don’t need cars).

•If you don’t know who Roger Federer is, he is a great tennis player (maybe best ever) but as a gentleman and roll model he is even greater. After losing in the US Open, he said, ”Of course it is a pity, but Juan Martin deserves it more. I feel I have no place in the finals. The way I played or am playing right now it is not good enough, in my opinion, to win this tournament. It’s better I’m out and somebody else gets a chance to do better than me.”

I wonder why TV networks show the crowd as often as the players at tennis matches? Do they think tennis is boring?

Music Under The Stars presented its final concert of the season last Saturday. My, time goes fast when you are old. If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to attend a concert next year. One of our “funnest” events.

•Amazon is looking for a city to build another headquarters (HQ2). It will bring billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the area that they select. Amazon said it would give priority to areas with more than 1 million people that are within 45 minutes of an international airport, which means that we will probably not be considered.

•The reason that your computer doesn’t get hacked much is that real hackers don’t want to bother with you, but still be cautious. Hackers just breached credit monitoring company Equifax obtaining personal data of 143 million consumers including names, social security numbers, birth dates and driver’s license numbers. If you are exposed, I would recommend monitoring your bank accounts, credit cards and credit reports for suspicious activity.

Vol. 10, No. 24 – Aug 30 – Sept 12, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  KPPQ CAPS Radio (KPPQLP, FM 104.1) is hosting an open house and community information discussion on Wednesday October 4th at 6pm at the CAPS Media Center at 65 Day Road. Everyone interested in community radio is invited to tour the center and join the exchange of programming ideas and direction for the radio station. You may even end up with your own radio show.

My radio show, Face of Ventura, airs on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 10am and some other surprise times. The shows can also be listened to on our web site at www.venturabreeze.com and clicking on “Face of Ventura” where you can also see a photo of my guests.

On my recent shows, we talked about the City Center and the Ventura Botanical Gardens. If you have suggestions of who I should interview, please let me know.

•  In our last issue, I explained why we weren’t revealing the name of the Ventura police officer who attempted suicide. Because his name (Aaron Drake) has been in many papers and other media, we have an article in this issue regarding this terrible tragedy.

•  Our Person to Person article in this issue asks people what they think of the new design at the Harbor Village entrance. Would love to hear your opinions also.

Congratulations to photographer Michael Gordon for this photo.

•  Congratulations to Breeze contributing photographer Michael Gordon for making the cover of the NTSB book (National Transportation Safety Board) with his photo of the grounding of the fishing boat Day Island in Ventura. Another one of his photos is included with the article.

•  Another email you should never open is: “John (or some other name) Urgent Your Pending Payment”. Hackers just trying to get into your computer.

•  The new wing at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) has opened. Hopefully the opening of the new CMH will be coming up soon.

The $305 million north tower includes an emergency room, intensive care, outpatient laboratory, surgery, labor and delivery, pharmacy and other departments. It was first unveiled in June with a celebration ceremony.

Glad to see Mayor Eric Nasarenko enjoying the concert at Music Under the Stars. He is the handsome one. Photo by Pam Baumgardner

•  A sold out crowd at the Music Under the Stars concert on August 12th heard the Motown tribute Blue Breeze Band. A great group, one of the very best to ever appear at these summer music concerts. I assume it was sold out because concertgoer’s thought that they were the Ventura Breeze Blues Band.

Only 2 concerts remain this summer: Fantastic Diamond and Lisa Haley. If not sold out, get your tickets and enjoy the wonderful music and venue. See Ventura Music Scene on page 20 for more information and other great music events.

•  The California State University system will no longer require intermediate algebra because “they might rarely use it in everyday life.”

Using this logic, why should students be required to take history or any other classes that they rarely use in everyday life?

•  Per an article in this issue, things might be looking up at the Museum of Ventura County regarding funding and keeping the facility it open. But just keeping it open really doesn’t mean much unless the museum can attract many more visitors on a consistent basis.

• The famous LA Fairfax area Canter’s Deli just received a C grade from the health department. Some patrons are shocked thinking that this is a food rating. This is not a food review, it is a health rating (like bugs, etc.).

• Ventura is in the process of exploring the cost of hooking up to state water and developing a water-reuse program (about time). Water officials are also recommending that the city remain in a Stage 3 Water Shortage Event, which requires households to cut water by 20%, or pay higher rates.

Part of that is driven by the Lake Casitas’ water level, which is at 40.2% and dropping — the lake was at 48% when the rates were adopted and groundwater supplies remain very low.

The Water Commission (an advisory body to the council) approved staying at the Stage 3 level.

Resident Dan Cormode, a frequent speaker at city council meetings about our water concerns, thinks that the supply is overly optimistic and “fails to address the potential impact of several issues adversely impacting the availability of various resources. ”All of the city’s water resources are threatened,”, he said.

I certainly do not like the way some Venturan’s are cutting their water usage by letting their front yards just get covered with weeds. I’d rather see dirt if they don’t want to plant succulents. I just think some folks are using it as an excuse to just not care what the front of their homes look like.

•  Because there was so much information available to print in this issue, a few articles didn’t make it in. You can read them at www.venturabreeze.com, plus lots of other things like weather and surfing reports.

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 – Aug 29, 2017 – Opinion/Editorial

•  Regarding the Ventura County Fair, I was glad to see that Harbor Blvd. was left open as an accessible route to the Fair this year. Never did understand why traffic was diverted at Sanjon .So much easier to just take Harbor all the way through.

Odd to me why folks attending the concerts (or comedy show this year) on the main stage start waiting in line as early as 11am for shows that start at 7:30pm. Each row of seats has 80 chairs so the 400th person entering would need to sit way back in row 5. And if a person wanted to stand by the stage, he/she could do that even after the show has started.

“Always keeping my eyes open for Ventura news”.

I was going to bungee this year, but I wasn’t able to because they had to shut the attraction down due to a malfunction. Oh well, maybe next year.

Amazing to me that in just a short few days all of the rides, businesses, etc. are gone and on their way to the next fair.

•  I have always wondered if the Breeze should have a column covering international, state or government news, etc. So we took an informal poll and asked 20 readers to weigh in (poll in this issue). Fourteen people said they like the Breeze just the way it is. Of the six that said yes, only a few were a definite yes, so we’ll keep the coverage just the way it is.

•  The Ventura City Council has approved a funding agreement that will finalize $125,000 of support for the Museum of Ventura County. We’ll have an article on this topic in our next issue.

The agreement reads:

“Approve and authorize the City Manager to execute a Funding and Services Agreement, including milestones, with the Museum of Ventura County for a term of six-months, August 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018; $125,000 to support general operations.”

The document can be found at https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9152 if you want to read the whole thing.

To me, the most important thing is to hire a professional (curator) to make the Museum much more enjoyable, which the Museum says they will do.

•  I have been getting emails stating that my Capitol Credit Card has exceeded its credit limit. These type of email alerts are just ways of hackers taking over your computer. Don’t ever open emails, even if they look real unless you absolutely know the source. If you aren’t sure, just make a call to the company. All of your credit cards, etc. have a contact number on the back, so use it.

•  An artificial intelligence program just annihilated its human competition at a world championship video game contest. The AI win stunned the gaming community, because bots (robots) are generally considered inferior to expert human players.

This one is from Open AI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm with backing by entrepreneur Elon Musk, of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX:
Even though he supports it, Musk wants to ensure that AI doesn’t grow unchecked and become the death of humanity. Musk said that AI is “more of a risk than North Korea.” Computers have also defeated the best humans in traditional board games like chess and Go.

Maybe a computer can publish the Ventura Breeze, and I can find something else to do.

•An update on the Ventura Police Officer who recently attempted suicide on July 28th while at the police headquarters. Good news, the officer is expected to survive.

On August 2nd, the Ventura County Star parent company Gannett Co. of McLean, Virginia, made a Public Records Request to the City for the release of the officer’s name.

Even though the City believes there is a strong argument to not release the officer’s name under exclusions to the Public Records Act, they have decided to do so rather than engage in a protracted and potential costly legal proceeding, which would not be in the best interest of Ventura.

The attempted suicide was a very personal and tragic event for the family. To respect the privacy of officer and his family during this very difficult time, the Breeze is withholding his name. We can tell you that the officer is a sixteen-year veteran of the Ventura Police Department.

•  Regarding North Korea, when President Donald Trump stated that he will bring “fire and fury” that the world has never seen,” I assume that he knows that we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. So the worst “fire and fury” would need to exceed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. So, my question is, would we need to drop three nuclear bombs or just one that exceeds the tonnage of “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”? Certainly hope that we won’t find out.

•  According to an annual report compiled by scientists around the globe, 2016 was the warmest year on record for the planet as a whole, surpassing temperature records that date back 137 years. The conclusions contained in a draft federal report on climate change is conclusive that human-induced global warming is real and if left unchecked the consequences could be dire.

So, quit complaining when our local temperature reaches 80 and we are all sweltering.

•  Even though the closing of Ringling Bros. circus is a win for animals and animal rights, I think it is sad that they shut down completely. Still would have been great family entertainment without the animals.

•   As if you care, these are the cities of Ventura County (total population of about 850,000).
Camarillo
Fillmore
Moorpark
Ojai
Oxnard
Port Hueneme
Santa Paula
Simi Valley
Thousand Oaks
Ventura