Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over

They also held their annual Candlelight Vigil. Photos by Pacific Eagle Air Cam

Thousands of cyclists and volunteer “roadies” will embark on a 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, from June 4 through 10, united by a common cause: fighting to end HIV/AIDS. Over 2,200 cyclists camped overnight at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura on the way to Los Angeles. They also held their annual Candlelight Vigil to remember those who have died from AIDS.

This year, AIDS/LifeCycle participants raised more than $15.1 million to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Participants are ages 18 to 97 from nearly every state.

Now in its 16th year, AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 545-mile bike ride—not a race—that raises important awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic, in addition to funding services such as HIV testing and screenings for other sexually transmitted infections, HIV medical care, prevention services, and more.

“The commitment that AIDS/LifeCycle participants demonstrate to raising awareness and funds for HIV-related services is awe-inspiring,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner.

Since 2002, when AIDS/LifeCycle first began, participants have raised more than $236 million and completed more than 58,000 journeys on bikes from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“We’re living in unsettling times when the health care of many Americans, including those living with HIV or AIDS, is at stake,” says Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “That’s why we’re more grateful than ever for the heroes—and sheroes—of AIDS/LifeCycle who are journeying 545 miles to help end AIDS and care for those living with HIV.”

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over. Currently there are 1.2 million people living with HIV nationwide and an estimated 39,000 will become infected this year.

For more photos go to www.venturabreeze.com

Fair announces 2017 grandstand entertainment

The Fair will also feature nightly fireworks. Photo by John Ferritto

The Ventura County Fair, “Rooted in Tradition,” proudly presents the 2017 Grandstand Entertainment Series, including motor sports, music, comedy and rodeos.

The fair opens Wednesday, August 2 with Motor Sports, which requires a $5 admission in addition to paid Fair admission. (Children under 12 are admitted free with paid Fair admission).

Concerts and Rodeos are free with paid Fair admission.

This year’s list of entertainers, each with​ exceptional sound and style, will entertain Ventura County Fair visitors with every performance.

  • Motor Sports (Wednesday, August 2 at 6:30 PM) extra ticket required
  • Smash Mouth (Thursday, August 3@ 7:30PM)
  • Sugar Ray (Thursday, August 3@ 7:30PM)
  • Huey Lewis and the News (Friday, August 4 @ 7:30 PM)
  • KC and the Sunshine Band (Saturday, August 5 @ 7:30PM)
  • Dia de la Familia Concert (Sunday, August 6 @ 3:00 PM)
  • Billy Currington (Monday, August 7 @ 7:30 PM)
  • The Spinners (Tuesday, August 8 @ 1:00 PM)
  • Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (Tuesday, August 8 @ 7:30 PM)
  • Shinedown (Wednesday, August 9 @ 7:30 PM)
  • Gabriel Iglesias “Fluffy Mania” 20 Years of Comedy Tour (Thursday, August 10 @ 7:30 PM)
  • Wynonna and the Big Noise (Friday, August 11 @ 7:30 PM)
  • PRCA Rodeo (Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13 @ 2:00 and 7:00 PM)

2017 Grandstand Entertainment Series is sponsored by Chumash Casino Resort.

Schedules are subject to change without notice.

The Ventura County Fair “Rooted in Tradition,” Wednesday, August 2 through Sunday, August 13. For information visit www.venturacountyfair.org or call 648-3376.

Award winners

The ECTV Class of 2017 with Phil Taggart

Great news. Once again CAPS and ECTV were honored by the National Alliance for Community Media’s Hometown Awards. CAPS was awarded for its video Featuring Ventura- Counting the Vote for the Ventura County News Channel. The ECTV students from El Camino High School were awarded for the Best Community Event Coverage of Activism and Rallies for their episode ECTV – Social Awareness Night. Kudos to all.

Last week CAPS Media had the pleasure of once again covering the Knowledge Bowl which pits seniors from Suz Montgomery’s class with the senior dragons from Foothill High School. The seniors from Suz’s class won and many a fact were learned during the event held at the Ventura Townhouse. That’s just one of the events CAPS records with a full crew made up of faithful volunteers and staff.

There are spaces available for the renowned CAPS Media Digital Storytelling program. Young video storytellers, ages 10 to 15, get hands-on training with video cameras, audio recording equipment, studio green screen and computer editing to create the stories they want to tell. There are three week-long programs scheduled for July 10 (via Ventura Parks & Rec), July 17 and July 24. Each fun, creative and engaging program runs Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm. To learn more about the Digital Storytelling program, go to capsmedia.org.

CAPS Radio is on the air at 104.1FM. The recently launched Ventura community radio station is here for you. Drop by the CAPS Media Center on Tuesday June 27th for an open house with an introduction on how to become a radio host or volunteer. You can let us know what you think, what you like and what you want to hear on CAPS Radio KPPQ-LP at 104.1FM.

Become a Member/Producer of CAPS Media. Both our television and radio member programming is rich and diverse from travel to music to drama to politics and more. As a membership organization CAPS Media supports our Member/Producers’ creativity and helps them share their voices with the community.

Anyone who wants to share their story are encouraged to get involved at the CAPS Media Center. Those who live, work or attend school in the city of Ventura is eligible to become a member. Non-profit organizations are invited to join too. For annual fees of only $25 (individual) and $75 (non-profit organization), member/producers are trained by the knowledgeable CAPS Media staff in the art and fun of media communication. Once certified, member/producers may check out video cameras, tripods, and other gear for video production and book editing suites for postproduction to create the stories they want to tell.

Ongoing CAPS Media classes include new member orientation the first Thursday of the month. The HD Videography/Camera class is held the second Thursday and the Edit class follows up on the third Thursday. The CAPS Media website has all the info. Go to www.capsmedia.org to see a schedule of upcoming programs on Channel 6 & 15, search the archives for past programs, get info on upcoming video and radio classes and much more.

Ventura Hillsides Conservancy to host free community lecture, “Matilija Dam: Breaking the Barrier,”

On Thurs., July 20, at 7 p.m., the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) will host a free community lecture entitled “Matilija Dam: Breaking the Barrier. Paul Jenkin, founder of the Matilija Coalition and campaign coordinator for Ventura Surfrider Foundation, will discuss ongoing efforts to remove the obsolete Matilija Dam from the Ventura River. The goal of the Matilija Dam removal project is to restore fish passage to the upper watershed and natural sediment transport to local beaches.

Constructed in 1948 on Matilija Creek, a tributary of the Ventura River, the dam no longer serves its intended purpose. Over time the reservoir has filled with sediment, yet the crumbling concrete continues to trap sand that should flow downstream and replenish Ventura beaches.

The Matilija Coalition is a local organization that includes Ventura Surfrider Foundation, Patagonia, California Trout, and others. For nearly 20 years the coalition has been working with state and federal agencies to develop a strategy to remove the dam and restore the river. The proposed demolition of Matilija Dam, 16 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean, is part of a movement across the western U.S. to remove obsolete dams that are a danger to humans and an environmental threat to wildlife.

This free community lecture, a part of VHC’s ongoing Environmental Speaker Series, will take place in the Ventura Room at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road. Reservations are highly encouraged. To RSVP, visit www.venturahillsides.org/events. For more information, call VHC 643-8044.

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 – July 5, 2017 – Tech Today

We all WannaCry
by Ken May

On Friday, May 12, a new ransomware, called WannaCry, began circulating throughout the United Kingdom and Spain, rapidly infecting over 400,000 exposed workstations and servers at healthcare, financial, and other business sectors. This ransomware stood out for several reasons, including being the largest ransomware attack in history, and the first widely spread ransomware worm.

I had an exciting time analyzing this as it happened. I was in San Diego for the SANS Security West 2017 Cybersecurity conference as a facilitator. We all piled into a room late one night for an emergency session, while we shared data and studied what was happening in real time. Because of some of the connections I made there, I later was able to provide some assistance to the FBI Special Agent in charge of the WannaCry investigation.

The ransomware infection is Version 2.0 of WanaCypt0r (also known as WCry, WannaCry, and WannaCryptor). Unlike previous instances, this version takes advantage of the SMB vulnerability outlined in Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS17-010). This vulnerability was first exploited by the ETERNALBLUE malware, revealed by the ShadowBrokers leak in March, and targeted the Microsoft MS17-010 SMB vulnerabilities. SMB (Server Message Block) is a protocol primarily communicating on port 445 and is designed to provide access to shared resources on a network. Last fall, Microsoft propounded system administrators to disable SMB Version 1 on systems.

According to an FBI FLASH Alert, the WannaCry ransomware infects initial endpoints via a phishing campaign or compromised RDP (remote desktop protocol). Once the ransomware gets into a network, it spreads quickly through any computers that don’t have the patch applied. The worm-like capabilities are the new feature added to this ransomware.

New instances of this ransomware worm dramatically decreased following the activation of a “kill-switch” in the ransomware. A security researcher going by the Twitter handle @MalwareTechBlog noted an unregistered domain (www.iuqerfsodp9ifjaposdfjhgosurijfaewrwergwea[.]com) in a sample of the malware. WannaCry checked to ensure non-registration of the domain at some point prior to infection. According to the researcher, this was likely intended as a way to prevent analysis of the malware in a sandbox. If the domain is registered, WannaCry exits the system, preventing further infection. While this doesn’t benefit victims already infected, it does curb further infection. Of course, shortly after that, a new variant began making the rounds.

At least three separate Bitcoin wallets, controlled by unknown criminals were identified as part of the ransomware campaign. As of May 25th, a total of 302 payments totaling over $126,000 had been transferred. All in all, a shockingly small amount.

Some interesting notes:

  1. This was patched by Microsoft back in March, so anybody who got infected is over 2 months behind on installing security updates.
  2. 98% of the victims were running Windows 7.
  3. It’s estimated that there are currently over 1 million computers connected to the internet, according to scans, that are still vulnerable, and still haven’t been updated.

Install those updates, folks!

h/t: https://blog.barkly.com/wannacry-ransomware-statistics-2017

What Is WannaCry? Analyzing the Global Ransomware Attack

Ventura’s female veterinary innovators

Dr. Amy Vlazny of Ohana Pet Hospital reviewing a patient’s barium radiograph study.

Our beautiful beachside community is home to thousands of pets and dog walking-cat snuggling-bird smooching pet parents. Fortunately, it is also home to outstanding veterinary care—including almost thirty female veterinarians. Nationwide, veterinary schools report as much as 75 % of all veterinary medical students are currently women. What attracts women to this profession and how has Ventura been fortunate enough to attract so many?

Dr. Sarah Gray of Emergency Veterinary Care setting up the anesthesia machine for a patient’s surgical procedure.

Dr. Janis Shinkawa, one of the founders of Ohana Pet Hospital says she was a rescuer of birds at a very young age, but didn’t have the confidence to become a doctor. “I started out as a CPA at Ernst and Young in Hawaii and loved it. However, my calling to work with animals continued to nag at me.”

Dr. Shinkawa came here for an internship at Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group of Ventura (VMSG) and co-founded Ohana in 2012 along with Dr. Jill Muraoka, Dr. Nicci Quinn and Dr. Kate Byrne. “We thought it was important to keep talented doctors in the community,” states Dr. Muraoka.

Eight of the eleven doctors at the all-female practice have completed a rigorous medical and surgical internship. “Ventura has a lot of exceptional and caring veterinarians. It’s a great place for pet lovers.” Dr. Shinkawa hopes more women will strive to own their own practice. “Our industry is becoming more corporate. Having more privately owned veterinary practices will maintain the highest quality and service for our patients and clients.”

Dr. Shelly Wilson, founder of The Animal Doctor clinic says that she too finds working with animals rewarding. Dr. Wilson was only three or four years old when she decided she wanted to be an animal doctor. “When I see the relationships that people have with their animals and how deeply important they are and the happiness they bring, it’s awesome to know that I can support that in some way and be a part of that bond.”

The first woman veterinarian in Ventura, Dr. Karen Moore, opened Moore Veterinary Care in 1986. “When I was growing up and adults would ask, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’, my answer, ‘I want to be a vet!’ would perplex everyone. Their brow would wrinkle up and they’d look at me and say, ‘why do you want to join the military?’ Think about that, no one could imagine a girl wanting to become a veterinarian!”

Dr. Amy Vlazny says she was a shy kid who was more comfortable around animals. “I loved biology but realized as I got older that I wanted to go into a service-oriented profession rather than being cooped up in a lab all day.  Human medicine didn’t really appeal to me because it seemed so narrow and specialized. I found the diversity of cases in veterinary general medicine to be more exciting.” Dr. Vlazny says the best part about veterinary medicine is that she is constantly challenged and enjoys that each case is different. Dr. Moore agrees, “No two days are ever the same between the various maladies presented, and many different skill sets are developed and utilized to resolve them. It’s also a constantly evolving profession.”

Emergency Veterinary Care doctor Sarah Gray said she always loved science and animals. Board-certified veterinarians, Dr. Gray and Dr. Nancy Scott founded EVC in 2016 as a small animal emergency hospital supporting local veterinarians’ clients with urgent care seven days a week. Dr. Scott says she began her journey because she was more comfortable with sick animals than sick people, but found that working with pet parents has become her favorite part. The emergency hospital is open evenings until midnight and treats mainly cats and dogs. “We see a lot of vomiting, diarrhea, trauma and acute respiratory issues.” Dr. Gray also takes calls for a national pet poison hotline and specializes in toxicity and poison control. “We also handle post-ops for surgeries and do overnight care for other vets.”

What is the best part about modern veterinary medicine? According to Dr. Wilson it is the technology, “So many new capabilities, procedures, solutions, treatments are becoming available! There is almost nothing we can’t do for our pets that we can do in people!” Wilson says dogs and cats suffering from crippling arthritis can now be successfully treated in several different ways and live years longer than they ever have. Many cancers can be successfully treated to allow remission times of several years while maintaining an excellent quality of life. Cataract surgery is available for dogs and are many specialty facilities now that provide MRI, CT scanning, radiation therapies, and physical rehabilitation.

New cycling lanes on Seaward

No these new green areas on Seaward won’t grow if you water them they are new cycling lanes. These are just some of the lanes that you are seeing in Ventura. The City started “installing” them in other parts of Ventura in April. The Breeze cautions bike riders that you must still stay very alert when driving in these lanes because they don’t protect you from getting hit by a vehicle that might drive into a green lane.