Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Tuff Sheds replace domes at River Haven

Jason Meek, Turning Point Executive Director cutting the ribbon at Tuff Shed celebration. Photos by Michael Gordon

Twelve years ago, Turning Point Foundation took a group of people living along in the river bottom in tents and started them on the path to hope and the promise of better things to come: A new beginning at River Haven where they have been living in cleverly-designed Geodesic domes that have surpassed their lifespan of five years by many years.

On July 27, a ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the new small houses made by Tuff Sheds as a replacement for the domes. Tuff Sheds have a 30-year guarantee.

Funded by the community and Turning Point Foundation, River Haven has been helping homeless people turn their lives since 2006. Turning Point’s case managers help residents with securing a source of income, job training, medical attention, drug, alcohol and mental health services. In 2017 River Haven served 29 residents, and Turning Point’s case manager helped nine people to find permanent housing.

There are no obvious indications that such a community exists right near the entrance to the Ventura Harbor. The City of Ventura owns the over two-acre land while Turning Point Foundation, a non-profit mental health agency, runs the community.

At the cutting Nicholas Deitch,R.A. (Mainstreet Architects and Planners, Inc.) Turning Point Board of Director stated “River Haven is a great example of how we as a community can take collective action together, to help offer people a way out of homelessness. Look at all of the partners who have come together to help make this happen. Public, private, corporate and faith-based, all working together. We don’t need to feel powerless. We can work together to cause real changes in people’s lives.”

Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann said of the new sheds “With many of the domes at River Haven failing, the city purchased a Tuff Shed to replace one of the domes and the community has stepped up to replace almost all the rest. One replacement was a cabin constructed by girls attending a summer camp hosted by the National Association of Women in Construction (reported in last Breeze). Many of these girls knew nothing about construction but found out they could develop new skills and construct a 120 square foot tiny home soon to be used by one of the residents at River Haven. One young woman told me she was now considering a career in construction.”

“ River Haven has proven to be a successful transitional living space for homeless individuals who need a safe place to start a path to more permanent housing. The city is committed to its success and is so appreciative of the partnership with many organizations and individuals in Ventura to help it continue with the new structures; providing its residents with a safer and more durable place to live.”

Ventura County Fair Poster Contest winners announced

James Lockwood Fair Public Relations and Marketing Director congratulating the winners.

Ventura County children in grades 5-12 competed in the ninth Ventura County Fair Poster Contest with entries that illustrated the Fair’s 2018 Theme: “A Country Fair with Ocean Air.” Of 59 entries, three were chosen by a panel of judges as the winners of the 2018 Ventura County Fair Poster Contest.

First Prize went to Carys Garvey (15). Carys attends El Camino High School in Ventura, where she will be entering 10th grade in the fall. Carys has varied interests, including photography, music, running, science and math. Carys is also a founding member of STEMbassdors, a Ventura nonprofit company dedicated to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills in K-12 education. She enjoys having the opportunity to learn STEM skills such as CAD and engineering. Carys has been doing art since she was very young. Although she plans to pursue a science degree in college, she hopes she can continue integrating art and creativity into her future career. Carys is honored to have her artwork used for the 2018 Ventura County Fair poster.

Second place was won by Madison J. Lonis (18) a two-year AP artist at Buena High School. She enjoys painting her depiction of the world around her, and taking any artistic opportunities that come her way. She has been doing art for most of her life, and continually pushes herself further with every piece. In her future she wishes share more of her art with others and become a high school art teacher.

Third place was awarded to Katherine Curtis (13) of Simi Valley. She just completed 8th grade at Hillside Middle School, where she was a member of an award winning Mock Trial team and enjoyed the art classes offered there. These classes covered a variety of art mediums including drawing, painting, ceramics, and digital illustration. Her favorite mediums are pen and ink and her drawing tablet.

Katherine really enjoys spending her time drawing from life and coming up with her own (usually fantasy inspired) characters. In addition to drawing, she likes to spend her time reading and watching movies. She also has an interest in law, which she hopes to pursue along with art through future classes when she begins her Freshman year attending Santa Susana High School.

“Congratulations to the talented winners of this year’s contest,” said Barbara Quaid, Fair CEO, adding, “Every artist who entered can be very proud of your uniquely crafted contributions to our community. You have told us many personal Fair stories, each in your own talented way. We thank every child who participated and encourage all children to continue creating and making art to share with us at the annual Ventura County Fair.”

Cash prizes were awarded to the 3 winners by James Lockwood and their artwork will be used to promote the 2018 Ventura County Fair. All contest entries will be displayed in the Youth Expo at the Ventura County Fair,

For more information about the Ventura County Fair, and to see the winning designs, please visit

$26,250 donation set a Stonefire record

Monica White, FOODShare President & CEO accepting a large check from Stonefire Grill.

On June 12 Stonefire Grill Ventura presented a check for $26,250 to FOODShare. A record amount from all of their opening donations.

Stonefire Grill collects money for all of their new restaurants partnering with a local non-profit whose values and core mission align with theirs. At other locations they have partnered with the Pediatric Therapy Network, United Way Habitat for Humanity and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The amount is determined based upon all beer and wine sales(good thing Venturan’s like to drink) along with all gratuities collected which are matched by Stonefire. For their Ventura pre-opening events, beer, wine and gratuities totaled $13,125, so they matched that amount for a total donation contribution of $26,250 to FOOD Share.

Stonefire stated “We believe that being of service to the greater community, not only through food, but through our daily action, is simply the right thing to do. It’s at the core of who we are and it demonstrates to our own team how important it is to be a small but meaningful part of something much greater than one’s self. We are happy to serve.”

Monica White, FOODShare President & CEO told the Breeze “Stonefire Grill in Ventura, in partnership with FOOD Share recently invited friends and family to an invite only, pre-opening celebration weekend. Guests were treated to a complimentary meal at the new location in Ventura. While not required, guests were encouraged to tip generously. All tips and beverage proceeds were generously matched by Stonefire Grill and donated to FOOD Share of Ventura County.

“An appreciative group of board members, staff and volunteers for FOOD Share attended the check presentation on July 12 and were thrilled to receive a check in the amount of $26,,250. We cannot thank our new friends at Stonefire Grill enough. When they asked us to invite our friends and family, I think they were surprised, yet pleased, at the number of FOOD Share supporters that showed up” said Monica White.

Jennifer Caldwell, Director of Marketing did the calculations as the group posed for a photo in front of the restaurant. “With this donation, FOOD Share can provide 78,750 meals!”

As Ventura County’s food bank, FOOD Share serves nearly 75,000 people each month through their 200 partner pantries and agencies. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, the FOOD Share team was grateful and appreciative of the donation from Stonefire Grill.

More information at

Contest from June 20 Issue

In our June 20 issue we had a contest that we thought would be difficult but our readers are too smart (of course). This minor league baseball team played at Seaside Park (the fairgrounds).

Pro baseball in Ventura lasted from 1947 to 1955. The New York Yankees were the first sponsoring the Ventura Yankees from 1947 to 1949. The Braves from 1950 to 1952. The Ventura Oilers played as an unaffiliated club in the California League in 1953.

25th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival—A Weekend of Sizzling Music, Dance & Food

The festival is a celebration of all things salsa.

Hot Latin sounds, exotic dancing and spicy culinary flavors are all part of the 25th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival. The festival, July 28 and 29, is a celebration of all things salsa–the food, music and dance. Festivities take place at Plaza Park, Fifth and “B” streets in historic downtown Oxnard from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. both days.

Festivalgoers can dance to the beat of Latin bands including Janeen Puente, and her orchestra who are performing on Saturday at 4:45 p.m. Puente has a strong southern California following. Closing out Sunday’s lineup is Orquesta Tabaco Y Ron. Performing at 4:45 p.m., this 12-piece “Big-Band” orches­tra is composed of musicians from all over Latin America.

The festival’s salsa-tasting tent is filled with dozens of samples of salsa and hot sauce from local restaurants and gourmet grocers. Admission to the tent is $5 per person and includes a bag of fresh Mission tortilla chips and 10 tasting tickets.

The two days also feature a vendor marketplace, international cuisine, community stage, a kids’ zone and the annual “Dancing With Our Community Stars” contest to raise money for local charities.

This year’s Friday Night Kick Off Concert, July 27, features Poncho Sanchez and his fiery stew of infectious melodies and rhythms from a variety of Latin American and South American sources. The concert is also at Plaza Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with the concert from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. As part of the 25th festival celebration, general admission is free. Bring your own food. Beer and wine margaritas will be available.

The festival is presented by the Oxnard Downtowners and sponsored by Bud Light, Gold Coast Broadcasting, Mission Foods, Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau and other community partners. Festival proceeds go back into downtown Oxnard and to help pay for events including the Oxnard Farmers Market and Oxnard Christmas Parade.

About 40,000 people attend the festival each year. Festival admission and parking are free. Main stage seating is just $5. For festival information, call 805‐535‐4060, email or visit or on Facebook.

Soak in summer fun with Waterfront Wednesdays

Join us for Colorful Cocktails after our swim.

Escape the heat this summer from dawn to dusk for a midweek seaside sojourn to Ventura Harbor Village as it kicks off its annual Waterfront Wednesdays every Wednesday in July and August, 2018. Find fabulous seaside dining, one-of-a-kind boutique coastal shopping, and play by the sea! Sway to the sounds of the steel drum from Noon to 3 p.m. and live music into the evening, this unmatched enclave is the epitome of living the California summer lifestyle.

Waterfront Wednesdays offers Top 5 Deep Blue Deals on tap on the seashore at Ventura Harbor Village:

Seaside Cool – On the water fun from boat rentals, to toes in the sand at the Harbor beaches, and coastal wear & finds at boutique shops to keep cool this summer weather on the water or on the shore. Summertime finds at Ventura Harbor Village. (15-50% Boutique deals for Waterfront Wednesdays. Plus, local artisans offer art activities for Wednesdays- from painting to bracelets! )

Free Channel Islands live program at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center just a few minute walk from Ventura Harbor Village every Wednesday from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Explore the underworld beauty and wonder of the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary or on the island shore with wildlife and flora in the Visitor Center theatre, where guests can listen, watch and interact with Rangers at the Channel Islands.

Colorful Cocktails & Delicious Cuisines – come try something new every Wednesday with lunch, dinner and Happy Hour menus perfect for sharing with friends & family. Unwind from the day with amazing wines, craft beer, refreshing cocktails and a variety of options featuring French, Cuban, Seafood, Greek and American cuisines for lunch or dinner with stunning views of the waterfront. (Waterfront Wednesday deals feature complimentary appetizers, $10 entrees, Happy Hour menus, wine specials, and more!)

Engage the Family Seaside Off Screen- Waterfront Wednesdays offers kids a complimentary Scavenger Seaside Scavenger Hunt from Noon -3 PM for prizes, an Escape Room features Wednesday booking specials, and renting a kayak, pedal or electric boat, jet ski or stand up paddle board gets you extra time on the water on Wednesdays. Watch for free tours & tastes weekly.

Sounds of Summer Resonate on Waterfront Wednesdays overlooking the boats in the Harbor kicking off with a live Steel Drum Noon -3 PM reminiscent of a tropical vacation. Live bands entertain over cocktails and delicious appetizers every Wednesday evening at multiple restaurants on the waterfront for classic summer nights.

For a listing and details of all the Top 5 Deep Blue Deals visit

Ventura Aquatic Center Dive-In Movie Friday, July 20

It’s time to dive into summer! Join the staff at the Ventura Aquatic Center for a dive-in movie! Attendees are invited to order pizza or bring a picnic dinner and float the night away under the stars while watching Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. For more information, visit the Aquatic Center website or call 805-654-7511.

Doors open at 7:30 pm, movie begins at 8 pm

$5 per person, children 2 and under are free

A few Ventura County Fair 2018 entry days still open

Whether it’s a hobby or your profession, showcase your talents by entering in the Ventura County Fair.

The online entry guide includes a complete list of departments, entry divisions & classes, and entry dates. The complete entry guide can be found at under the “Entry Guide” tab.

From July 20-22, the Amateur Fine Arts, Gems & Minerals, Home Arts (excluding baked goods, table settings and cooking contests), and Youth Expo & 4-H/Grange will be accepting entries between 10 AM and 5 PM.

Hobbies, Models and Collections are to be entered July 27-29 between 10 AM and 5 PM.

Dates for entries in the Agriculture Department vary based upon classes. The Amateur Beer and Wine Contest as well as the Olive Oil Contest will be accepting entries on July 27, 4 PM – 6 PM and July 28, 9 AM – 4 PM. Produce Day 1 entries are being accepted July 31 from 7 AM – 5 PM.

If you have any questions, please contact the Ventura County Fairgrounds at (805) 648-3376.

The Albinger Museum

The Albinger Museum, located next to Mission San Buenaventura, was once the home to five different cultures spanning 3,500 years of history. Learn about the Chumash Indians, Chinese immigrants and others who resided on the site by viewing displays, and archaeological digs uncovered in 1974. During the summer, until Sept. 3 the Museum is open from 11am-4pm.

Named after Ventura Mayor (1969-1973) Albert R Albinger, the museum is built on the home site of saloon keeper, and early mayor, Angel Escondon.

Displays of stone bowls, shell beads, arrowheads, bone whistles, crucifixes, bottles, buttons and pottery inside the exhibit building are complimented outside by excavations of the foundations of the lost mission church, Native American barracks, a Tomol (plank canoe reproduction), a well and the oldest standing structure in Ventura County – the mission water filtration building.

For more information visit

Amgen Foundation’s “Biotech Summer Experience” workshop

Photo by Bernie Goldstein

Ventura College hosted students from Oxnard’s Santa Clara High School for the Amgen Foundation’s “Biotech Summer Experience” workshop. Students, mostly seniors at Santa Clara High School, were exposed to skills of advanced biotechnology including working with DNA and bacteria. Andrea Ocampo, Alyna Zarate and Sabrina Ramirez are shown performing lab testing. The Amgen Biotech Experience is an innovative four-day science education program that provides research-grade equipment, supplies, curriculum, and professional development to middle and high schools. The program features a hands-on molecular biology curriculum designed to introduce students to the excitement of scientific discovery.