Category Archives: Person to Person

Vol. 10, No. 4 – Nov 22 – Dec 5, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

Thanksgiving 2017! What are you thankful for?

Kelsey Burkan
age 70
Owner of Kelsey’s Vegan Bakery & Fudge
“I’m thankful that we’re all still here on earth and to have the opportunity to do the best we can, to be kind and loving to everyone.” She adds, “and always thankful for friends and family.”


Lorne and Aaron Marchant
ages 49 & 47 (brothers)
with Harvest Gathering Farm
Without hesitation, Aaron says “family! (but take my brother out of the equation).” Lorne responds, “yeah, he probably loves my kids more than me! Lorne adds that he is thankful “for personal growth and a knowledge of self”.


Wendi Mitchell
age 50
Co-Owner of Blue Ridge Honey and Member of Ventura Chamber
“I’m thankful for Wayne Scott, the researcher at Channel Islands University for all the hard work he’s doing to stabilize the health of Ventura County’s honey bees.”


Taylor Cooper
age 25
works at Ace Hardware
“I’m thankful for my family, they’re always there for me- 24/7 and 365! They are actually my friends because when you’re going through hard times, they are the ones there for you!”


Peter Nicholas
age 74
Retired Sales & Marketing Director
“I’m thankful that my wife and I came here from Wales 25 years ago.” Pete has had many health issues and was told 16 years ago that he had only one year to live! He attributes this to the health care he has received here and says, “I play golf, just took up bowling and I’m the champion shuttle board player at O’Leary”s!”

Susannah Kegler
age 26
Ventura College Nursing Student Currently working on her C.N.A. and applying to the Nursing Program in February
“I’m just thankful to be out of school and get to spend some time with my daughters!”

Vol. 10, No. 2 – Oct 25 – Nov 7, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked six influential members of our community:
“Do you feel Ventura should elect our mayor rather than having one selected from an existing council member by the city council?”

Suz Montgomery
Senior Advocate

Yes, we do need to elect a Mayor, but with the caveat that we also have a strong City Manager who will work in tandem with the Mayor. Four eyes and four ears are better than two. (BTW, aren’t we the only city out of ten in the County who doesn’t?) Ventura is a Charter City, not General Law City, again, the only one in the County. Thanks for asking and frankly this issue needs more discussion too.

Barbara Hinton
Creator of Chalk Art at the Harbor

It sounds as though things are going to change soon in terms of how the city council is elected, so if the citizenry wants to change how we elect our mayor, maybe now would be the time to do that. I believe it might make sense to have an elected mayor. Then the mayor would be accountable to the citizens for his or her decisions.

Barbara Brown
President Ventura Botanical Gardens

Currently, our mayor is chosen by council members to represent them at events and sign documents. Our mayor’s vote is equal to other council member votes. Elected mayors usually have political/veto power and serve as chief executive, often in lieu of a city manager. Electing a mayor will change our system of governance, requiring retooling. Right now, the city has decidedly important issues that require compliance—including new districting policies, water and waste. I believe that now is not the time for this consideration.

Erik Nazarenko
Mayor of Ventura

The fact that Ventura is moving to geographic districts for its city council rather than at-large elections makes it even more important to elect the mayor citywide. An at-large election process for mayor, similar to Santa Barbara and Oxnard, will allow voters to select an individual with a broad vision for the entire city. While electing rather than appointing the mayor will require voter approval at the ballot, I believe Venturans will welcome this change, especially given the fact that council members will soon be representing approximately 16,000 residents per district rather than all of the city’s 109,000 constituents. An elected mayor who can see and approach issues from the perspective of all residents will provide necessary balance to the election of other officials from narrower geographic areas.

Matt LaVere
Attorney and City Council Member

“If a majority of Venturans wanted a directly-elected Mayor, I would have no problem amending our Charter to achieve this. However, I think the current model works very well. Although all seven councilmembers have the same voting power, the council selects its own mayor. To become mayor, one must first earn the respect of all his or her colleagues. This is done through building bridges and working collaboratively towards a better Ventura. I believe the council has a strong track record in selecting its mayors.”

Jim Duran
Pastor and Creator of City Center

We have a government that gives the power to the City Manager. This means that an elected Mayor would not have any more power than one currently has. Let’s just keep it how it is and allow the Council to appoint the Mayor of Ventura. Also, if we elect a Mayor we may miss out on excellent candidates for our City Council. If one loses the Mayor seat, you may not serve on council yet, their qualifications may be above and beyond others that ran for council.

Vol. 10, No. 26 – Sept 27 – Oct 10, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked 6 Ventura Unified School District grads and students about their favorite high school subject and future plans.

Andrew Bergum
age 19
works at Play It Again Sports
Andrew just graduated from Buena High School June 2017. His favorite high school subject was anatomy and physiology, “I loved it so much! It was really cool!” Now at Ventura College and taking some difficult courses such as anatomy, intro to psychology, intro to kinesiology and statistics and communication, Andrew plans to transfer to a 4-year state school and major in prosthetics. He wants to take his prosthetics to third world countries one day!

Garrett Weinell
age 18
also works at Play It Again Sports
Garrett is also a recent grad, he graduated from Ventura High School June 2017. Favorite high school subject? “Government, because I like history and I’m more government inclined.” Now at Ventura College, he’s taking E.M.T. courses. When asked what happened to government Garrett said, “I don’t like politics” and denied running for office one day…

Jacob Somer
age 13
freshman at Ventura High School
“For my favorite subject, I have to go with math because I really like the teacher, Mr. Spellman. He plays music while we’re doing work and he’s friendly!” When asked how he likes his first year in high school he said, “It’s really different than middle school, but I like it.” Jacob is thinking of pursuing college for graphic design.

Sara McGuire
age 20
plays water polo for the V.C. Pirates
Sara is a Buena High School grad and tells me her favorite high school subject was physics, “It was kinda tough, I was the only girl in the class so it was special to me because I had to show up the guys!” She is currently taking music classes at V.C. and plans to get her Ph.D. at a private music conservatory. Sara wants to continue to water polo and adds, “I also play the cello.”

Paige Treloar-Ballard
age 21
another V.C. water polo player
Paige was a Foothill Technology High School graduate and for her favorite high school subject she said, “I really enjoyed physiology!” She just graduated from V.C. and is now headed to U.C.S.B. where her major is geography. When asked what happened to physiology, Paige tells me, “I’m very squeamish with blood, so I decided to explore other options. I took the geography class and really enjoyed it and the professor, Mr. “C”.”

Josie Thorp
age 17
student at Foothill Technology High School
Favorite class? “The sciences, especially life science because I like learning about life and I also get to work in the lab – that’s fun and interesting! I really like Mrs. Anderson for a teacher.” Josie currently works at the Ventura Aquatic Center as a life guard but plans to attend a 4-year college and do research someday in a lab, “that would be awesome!”

Vol. 10, No. 25 – Sept 13 – Sept 26, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked 6 Ventura surfers “Where’s your favorite surf spot in Ventura?” … and it was unanimous because these are all the same spot!

Lilly Givner
age 26
works at Ventura Surf Shop
“The Cove – probably because I grew up surfing there, it’s my number 1 go to.” Lilly learned to surf at age 13 and goes out 2-3 times a week.


Luke Williams
age 20
also works at Ventura Surf Shop
“Ventura Point because it’s definitely the most consistent break in Ventura, it usually always has a wave!” Luke learned to surf at age 14 but says he didn’t get serious until 15 or 16 and he goes every other day.


John Siman
age 16 another
Ventura Surf Shop employee
“C street! It’s just really fun and the whole stretch is well rounded, it can get big and scary up on top but it’s more friendly down in the cove. My favorite is the cove.” John has been surfing since he was 11 or 12 and goes out “like every day or every other day.”


John DeSurro
age 46
General Contractor / Musician
“The Point because you can surf it at high tide or low tide and you can use a variety of boards. I’m reading a book right now that names Ventura as one of the best surfing spots, it was the choice spot in the 60’s when I lived off Pierpont.” John’s daughter, Rhea goes out with her dad and rides on the nose of his board.

Maddie Maple
age 29
Middle School Teacher
“C Street by and large! I mostly come here for the people, I used to surf another spot because it’s closer to me but the people weren’t quite as welcoming. I tell people I chase the welcome not the wave, it’s a lot more fun to be here!” Maddie started surfing “off and on” at age 15 but now comes out “usually every day, we’re here a lot.”

Nicole Tenorio
age 44
Single Mom of 3 – does everything!
“C Street! The break is the best, you can almost always catch a wave, even when it’s flat it usually picks up and it’s a long ride!” Nicole has been surfing for 20 years but only gets out a couple times a month. She’s trying to get her 6-year-old son out there with her…

Vol. 10, No. 24 – Aug 30 – Sept 12, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked 6 Ventura residents familiar with the old Harbor Village entrance what they think of the new design …

Holly Hancock
age 61
retired manager at Target
“I don’t like it! I loved the stage and the grassy area, it was a good avenue to welcome people into the harbor. This just doesn’t “pop” – they were supposed to spray wash the ground with a blue resin. If you see the pictorial of how it was supposed to be, this doesn’t do it justice. At least plant King palms instead of these cheap ones!”

Havana Snyder
age 20
works at “Lost in Socks” in the harbor
“I think it’s really, really nice! It makes a big difference; all the improvements are bringing people in but it also helps that there’s no more construction!”


Chuck Russell
age 82
retired from television
“I think it looks really nice but I think they had to do it because of laws regarding the handicapped for entries and that type of thing. I think that’s why they did concrete work.”


Matthew Ficarelli
age 19
works at Copa Cubana in the harbor
“I think it brings more people in and makes it more accessible to the restaurants and shops. I like the decorations in the flooring, it’s more thematic for the area we’re in.”


David Wheat
age 65
retired handy man
“I’m disappointed because they played it off as some big beautification project and it’s fallen far short. Both my wife and I think it was a waste of money … and the amount of time it took!”


Cindy Cook
age 57
health program representative
“I really like the island layout but I miss the grass and the bandstand! It was welcoming to see people gathered around the live music on a beautiful afternoon. I do think this stuff (the kelp) will look much nicer with Christmas ornaments hung on it!”

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 – Aug 29, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

What’s Your Favorite Thing at the Fair?

Irene Vagi
age 52 with daughter Tatiana Vagi age 28
“The art and the animals, it’s different every year. You get to look at what people in your community are capable of, and of course those baby pigs!”



Alexa Garner
age 30
“The animals! All the animals! My best friend’s niece just won Grand Champion for her pig named Leo” (after Uncle Leo’s Little Red Barn?)



Michael Reed
age 64
“Besides the beer? I always like to look at the landscaping and it’s a tradition to ride the Ferris wheel – I love it! That’s why I come to the fair, to ride the Ferris wheel.”



Shannon Culligan
age 58 with Jordyn Hill age 23
“Ventura Cattlemen’s Sorority! We have an event that’s all about the cows and horses, they are numbered from 0 – 9 and we must sort them in less than 60 seconds.” Shannon’s been doing this for seven years.


Keith Moore
age 42 with sons Tyson 17 and Taite 13
“My favorite part is going home! Nah, people watching I guess and getting dressed up to go with my wife and family. This is about as dressed up as I get.”



Byron Gin
age 58 with Patty Jenkins age 52
“The fish tacos from Palapa, this is our second time! They are healthy, tasty, generous and easy to eat. We like to mix the hot and mild sauces. We also like the polish dogs and kettle corn.”

Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 – Aug 15, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

Do you think medical marijuana businesses should be allowed in the City of Ventura?

William “Bill” Moran
age 54
Real Estate Sales and Finance
“That’s such a hot topic – in general, I’m opposed to the legalization of marijuana, it’s an intoxicating drug that we don’t need. We’re lowering our standards and losing the difference between right and wrong, everything’s becoming tolerable – we’re living in a moral abyss.”

Jill Guertner
age 53
“I never thought I’d say this but, yes for some it’s a necessity for medical relief. I have personal experience with someone who needs this for chronic pain and sleep issues, it’s the only thing that’s worked.”

Trevor Morgan
age 22
works at Salzer’s Records
“Good question, I think it should be allowed and here’s why – residents have been very hesitant to have legal marijuana in the City due to an increase in crime that it might bring, that’s a short-sided view and the bigger picture isn’t being seen.”

Jonell McLain
age 71
Real Estate Broker
“Absolutely! I think it’s a proven fact that it’s safer than most of the pharmaceuticals, it’s the will of the people (to make it legal) and politics that keeps it away. I don’t believe it’s a gateway drug and it should be regulated like alcohol. Not to mention the tax revenues!”

Mattie Richardson
age 35
Manager at Salzer’s Records
“I lean more toward medical marijuana for people dealing with pain management, anxiety, Parkinson’s and seizures because I’ve seen opiate addiction.”


Marc Abbink
age 54 Actor
“I don’t think so, even though I think medical marijuana has its purpose, I don’t think dispensaries would be a good thing to have in Ventura. I think it would have a criminal element and attract a lot of undesirables to our city.”

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

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked vacationers “why are you vacationing in Ventura?”
Asked at the Crowne Plaza.

Renuka Narayan
age 56
from San Francisco vacationing with her sister Karen Ratlen age 50 (originally from the Fiji Islands)
“My sister hasn’t been to Ventura and Ventura’s really nice, especially the surf today. There are picturesque sunsets, the ocean, we like to swim and watch the surfers.” (And to read the Breeze of course)

Debbie Asadurian
age 62
from Moorpark vacationing with her grandkids Carl and Audrian
“We come up here because it’s so nice! We have the pier, the beach, the pool and all the great food!”


Kelly Miller and Dan Miller
both age 57 from Bakersfield
“To escape the heat, we like to take a week and relax, fish, walk the dog on the beach and shop in the Harbor”



Ginger Plumley
soon to be 15 from Redding, Ca.
vacationing with her grandmother and friends
“I just love the beach and coming here, everyone’s so nice! The weather here is much nicer and the ocean is my favorite!”


Tom and June Hartnell
both age 52
from Hawthorne vacationing in Ventura celebrating their 30th anniversary!
“We like it here because it’s right on the beach, nice views, nice breeze and we love looking at the ocean!” Romantic indeed! Happy Anniversary to The Hartnells!


Brandon Bailey
age 42
from Harrisburg, Pa. vacationing with Beth Seitz age 33 and Parker Seitz age 14
“Brandon’s here for two days on business so we figured we would stay 7 days and vacation. We plan to spend a lot of time at the beach, we love the Ventura beach and the sunny weather!”




Vol. 10, No. 20 – July 5 – July 18, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton
What type of housing do you think Ventura needs –
affordable or executive?

Connie Colloizo
age 51
Office manager for Dr. Faulstich D.D.S.
“Affordable housing! Prices are going up and that way everyone can afford their own home.”



Sally Campbell
age 68
Business owner at Spa Warehouse
“I think we need more executive type beach houses or apartments. Ventura is known for all the upscale restaurants, attractions and (of course) the beautiful beaches – perhaps people from the movie industry or young dynamic executive families would move here.”


Jessica McGuire
age 27
Does billing for The Trade Desk
“I don’t think Ventura needs either, I think we have plenty of both. I don’t qualify for low income and yet I don’t make enough to own an executive home – what about the middle class?”


Louie Luna
age 60
“I’d say the majority of people would say affordable housing, but I think they should still offer executive (expensive) homes. There is a difference between affordable and low-income housing. I think it’s a balance and I don’t think Ventura meets the balance.”


Bon Wakam
age 58
Business Broker
“I think we need both, but to attract a lot of big companies we need to have housing for the executives to live in and there is more of a shortage of executive housing.”


Dennis Stevenson
age 61
Construction Contractor
“They both have merit – low income housing allows more people to get into the housing market, but executive housing would bring wealthier people and with them they would bring commerce and jobs’”


Vol. 10, No. 18 – June 7 – June 20, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked 6 Ventura resident dads:
What’s your favorite way to spend Father’s Day?

Scott Brown
age 59
Navy engineer
“Hanging with my son Adam, we’ll probably go fly Adam’s drone.”
Scott is dad to 17-year-old Adam.


Alan Nelson
age 43
Environmental consultant
“I love starting off with breakfast with my wife Marie and the kids, and then hopefully a barbeque in the afternoon.”
Alan is dad to 10-year-old son Tyler and 7-year-old daughter Janelle.


Bret Klopfenstein
age 35
Teacher with the VUSD
“Hopefully be at the beach with friends. I also enjoy playing with my son, his favorite is Legos and he’s really good.”
Bret is dad to 2-year-old son Bo and he and his wife are expecting!


Phil Youker
age 73
Retired computer systems analyst
“I like to spend it with my grandkids, but I also like to watch the U.S. Open – that’s golf you know. The final round is always on Father’s Day, so I record it and watch it later.”
Phil is dad to 2 and granddad to 5.

David Potter
age 43
Operations Manager for FedEx
“I like to go out to eat, probably Wood Ranch – food and drink, relax and NOT work! With all the family, of course!”
David is dad to 21-year-old twin boys Nathan and Collin.


Jim McCurdy
age 66
works for Terry Berries
“I’ll spend the day with my grandson doing whatever he wants to do. He’s 2, he likes playing with trains and he loves to swim!”
Jim is dad to 1 son, 1 daughter and 1 (very lucky) grandson.