Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

A benefit for Notes for Notes™

A benefit for Notes for Notes™ (N4N™) – Music Making for our Youth – this coming Friday at the Squashed Grapes:

Support a remarkable organization that brings music making to youth: Notes for Notes™ (N4N™) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that designs, equips, and staffs after-school recording studios inside Boys & Girls Clubs offering youth the opportunity to explore, create, and record music for FREE. N4N Studios are packed with professional instruments – guitars, basses, drums, keyboards/synths – and equipment – DJ gear, digital music workstations – and full recording facilities. Beyond providing access to equipment and resources, N4N educates youth about careers both on the stage and behind the scenes and is expanding throughout the country.

And we now have a Notes for Notes studio right here in Ventura as we continue to position ourselves in the forefront of music making! As they have done for years now – Adam Randall and Josh McNutt at the Squashed Grapes are making it happen. This time it’s partnering with Notes for Notes to bring this concept to Ventura and making a Notes for Notes studio a reality here.

So, join us at the Squashed Grapes for a benefit ($20 cover and more if you feel moved to do so) for a fun evening of good music to support this marvelous cause: It’s  Friday, August 25 at 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Music by Jazz Villains and Hans Ottsen Quartet.

Squashed Grapes 2351 E Main St. 643-7300

Kick off Step Up

A ribbon cutting ceremony by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce will kick off Step Up Ventura’s open house on Saturday, August 26 from 3pm-5 pm at 1767 E. Main St. In collaboration with Magic Carousel Preschool and Academy, Step Up Ventura’s program will offer supportive serves to homeless children 18 months to five years who will be attending Magic Carousel as preschool students.

As Magic Carousel provides full-time childcare and preschool to homeless children, Step Up Ventura’s attachment focused, trauma-informed services will help these children be successful academically, emotionally and socially.

Step Up Ventura’s program for the homeless students at Magic Carousel includes services rich with one-on-one time, expressive arts, pre-literacy, self-management and problem solving. Parent coaching and parent-child relationship building will give children and their families a safe, nurturing place to connect, heal and learn.

There are about 3,000 homeless children aged zero to five in Ventura County. This includes children living in temporary/transitional housing, shelters, over-crowded/uninhabitable places, and on the street.

By age five, many of these children are emotionally stressed, developmentally delayed and/or unready for kindergarten. They are at risk for acute illnesses, mental health difficulties and learning problems. These high risk factors can lead to unstable relationships, school failure and other problems. Step Up Ventura’s therapeutic program coordinated with Magic Carousel’s preschool hopes to change that.

Applications for Step Up Ventura’s program at Magic Carousel began August 14. These all day, year round services are made possible with funding from private donors, grants, faith-based organizations, businesses and the City of Ventura. People interested in donating, volunteering or having a child attend Magic Carousel and participate in Step Up Ventura’s program can contact Step Up Ventura at or 665-3385.

Step Up Ventura is a local non-profit whose mission is to promote family stability and school success by providing accessible therapeutic services to homeless children ages zero to five.

Environmental activists groups Stand Together to save our national heritage

Activists in Ventura County are standing together to support the end of the current administration’s policies on National Monuments, the environment, and climate change. The demonstration will take place at the Ventura County Government Center located at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Telephone Road on Friday, August 18, at 6pm.

The Stand Together has been planned jointly by a number of local environmental groups, foremost among them. the Los Padres Chapter of Sierra Club. In commenting about the reason for the event, Jim Hines, Chapter Chair and member of the Sierra Club National Public Lands Team stated, “An attack by the Trump Administration on America’s national public lands is an attack on America itself.”

Local groups also joining in the Stand Together include Ventura Climate Hub/Ventura 350, the Justice for All Coalition, Indivisible Ventura, CFROG (Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas), and GrassrootsVentura.

The event is in reaction to the presidential order which would shrink or rescind National Monuments to. Only five of the monuments under review have been declared safe, and those five do not have resources which can be exploited. The Trump administration’s move to dismantle and degrade our public lands is hugely unpopular. Not only are National Monuments, public lands, ocean shelters and wildlife threatened — the very agencies charged with protecting our environment are being shunted aside so that clean air and water regulations will be negated.

Organizers invite the public to stand together to support the preservation of this country’s natural heritage, the environment, and also to protect the climate which allows for the natural world to be maintained. Participants should bring their signs and flags, wear comfortable shoes, and park legally parking lots or side streets adjacent to the Ventura County Government Center. America is in danger of losing our country’s wild places, and this event is a time to show voice your dissent to this trend.

The Democratic Club of Ventura’s first “KEEP IT BLUE” fundraiser a success

Diane Underhill, Carol Lindberg and Steve Bennett accepting Social Justice Award.

The Democratic Club of Ventura’s inaugural summer fundraiser Sunday, July 30, sold out with more than 200 guests in attendance. The fundraiser will support Democratic candidates and causes now and leading up to the 2018 election. Club campaign funds increased by thousands of dollars due to impressive ticket sales and sponsors whose support will help the Democratic Club of Ventura (DCV) promote good candidates.

Attendees filled the Historic Ventura City Hall’s Atrium with energy and enthusiasm as community members and elected representatives met and discussed important issues while attendees enjoyed great music and food prior to the start of the program.

Following opening remarks by DCV 2nd Vice Chair & Fundraising Chair Diana Sparagna, DCV President Matty Park introduced the master of ceremonies, California State Democratic Party Chairman, Eric C. Bauman. Speakers included Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko, Ventura Councilmembers Cheryl Heitmann and Matt LaVere, Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett and John Zaragoza.

DCV Awards Chair Carol Lindberg presented the Social Justice Award to Maricela Morales, Executive Director of Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and the Environmental Award to co-recipients Diane Underhill, Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation (VCHP) and Steve Bennett, Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR).

The afternoon wrapped up with photo opportunities and more discussions on issues of importance by those in attendance.

Watch for events to come from the Democratic Club of Ventura at or look for Democratic Club of Ventura on Facebook.

Ventura County welcomes new community resource center for the LGTBQ community

Steve Somann, President of DCVC is cutting the ribbon assisted by supporters. Photo by Bernie Goldstein

Diversity Collective Ventura County was proud to hold the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the Community Resource Center on Thursday, August 3rd at their new location at 2471 Portola Road, Suite 100 in Ventura.

The LGTBQ Community in Ventura County has been without a community resource center since 2009 when Rainbow Alliance moved to smaller offices due to cuts in HIV-AIDS funding at the state level, and ceased operations completely in 2011.

Diversity Collective Ventura County will run its HIV-AIDS Education and Prevention Program from the center as well as house partner organizations The Free 2 Be Me Foundation, Rainbow Umbrella, HOPE Counseling Center, and Baumer Law Group.

“It is our hope to expand free rapid testing services to the most critically needed areas of the county such as Oxnard. Currently, there is no community-based organization providing these free services and according to a 2014 needs assessment there are over 1,400 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Ventura County and the numbers continue to increase” said Michael MacDonald, Board of Directors.

This year’s Ventura County Pride Festival is a fundraiser for the Community Resource Center. Joseph Summers, Vice-President of DCVC states “Diversity Collective relies on proceeds raised at the festival to sustain the new center. Proceeds raised from the minimal cover charge, sponsorships, and beverage and merchandise sales go to sustain the new center. Ventura County Pride is an all-inclusive family friendly festival celebrating our diversity in the LGBTQ community. It’s is our main objective to celebrate, educate and advocate for the LGBTQ community. There will be live entertainment all day long, over 60 vendors offering education and advocacy for our community, food trucks, retail booths, and adult beverages”.

Steve Somann, President of DCVC stated, “An LGBTQ Community Resource Center has been in the back of my mind since Diversity Collective Ventura County started in May 2014, and a priority for me personally since becoming President in January 2016. I’m elated that the LGBTQ community as well as anyone else who needs information about programs and services will now have a safe place to call, visit, volunteer, which brings about an awareness to all in the community.”

Diversity Collective Ventura County is a community based nonprofit 501c3 organization. Promoting advocacy, education, and mental and physical health for the LGBTQ community in Ventura County via the community resource center, programs and community events. It is the parent organization of Ventura County Pride, AIDS Walk Ventura and The Diversity Gala. All proceeds raised through fundraising efforts go to fund DCVC and its community programs.

Tickets on Sale for “Pier Under the Stars”

Pam Baumgardner, Staci Brown and Diane Brown enjoying a previous Pier Under the Stars.

Tickets are now on sale for Pier Under the Stars—the 24th annual benefit for the historic Ventura Pier on Saturday, October 7th, from 5-8 PM. Each year more than 800 residents and visitors attend this beachfront culinary fair adjacent to the pier to sample the county’s best food and spirits provided by over 50 area businesses. This year marks the 24th anniversary of Ventura’s premier wine, beverage and food event.

Restaurants, cafes, wineries and breweries serve their signature dishes and beverages from tented booths along the seaside Promenade while guests enjoy live music, dancing under the stars and an amazing silent auction. It’s a community celebration to honor the City’s 144 year old pier.

The sell-out event hosted by Pier into the Future–-a non-profit 501 c (3)—“is a much anticipated community gathering of friends that raises funds for our beloved Pier”, said Pier Into the Future Executive Director Jenise Wagar. The organization was founded by a group of dedicated community leaders, in partnership with the City of Ventura, to establish an endowment fund to maintain and enhance the historic Ventura Pier for future generations to enjoy. The organization has contributed over $540,000 to the City of Ventura over the last 24 years to enhance the Pier.

General admission tickets are $75.00 and include food and beverage tasting and a commemorative Pier wine glass. A limited number of VIP tickets are offered at $150 each. VIP tickets include all of the benefits associated with General Admission, plus early entrance to the event at 4:30 pm and a reserved seat at a VIP table along the promenade. Local restaurants, wineries and breweries who are interested in sampling their food/drink at the event can call 804.7735.

Tickets are available on line at or by calling 800.838.3006. Visit for more information.

Eatery celebrates anniversary with block party and massive Cornhole Tournament

The nation’s largest cash cornhole tournament will take place as part of Spencer Makenzie’s 8th annual End of Summer Block Party. This California-classic multi-day party will feature the eatery’s award-winning food, ice cold drinks and craft beer, and a free concert with rockin’ local bands on Saturday evening, as well as DJs spinning great music throughout the tournament for players and spectators alike.

Now in its 8th year, the Cornhole Throw Down has continued to grow into a national event, hosting incredibly skilled players of all ages from states across the country. This year’s competition includes teams from: Alabama; Arizona; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Michigan; Nevada; North Carolina; Ohio; Kentucky; Texas and Virginia – and of course, California. Additionally, notable Cornhole Leagues/Teams from across the nation are sending some of their best players: 702 Cornhole (Las Vegas, NV); TCL (Texas); Original Cornhole (Arizona) and KB Games (Arizona) are all sending players to join the games.

Not to be outdone, California is putting its best foot forward as well, with teams from across the state coming to Ventura in droves.

This competition is unique because it is accessible to players from all walks of life – and due to the size of this tournament, the competition is fierce.

Spencer Makenzie’s 8th annual End of Summer Throw Down will take place from Friday, August 25 through Sunday, August 27. Friday’s activities are from 6 to 10 pm and include check in for players, a D.J. and live music provided by popular local band Rey Fresco.

Saturday and Sunday are devoted to the tournament and free play, accompanied by a D.J., with food and drink available for purchase. Saturday night features live bands. There is no charge to attend the all-ages End of Summer Block Party and Throw Down. Spectators and participants are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. The Throw Down will take place at Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Co., located at 806 East Thompson Blvd. For more information, please visit or call 643-8226.

News Survey

by Jennifer Tipton

I asked 20 Venturans that read the Ventura Breeze:
What are your other sources for news?
And -do you think the Breeze should have a column for international news, state or government?

Lucy Maddux
age 55
also reads the VC Reporter.
I don’t think that’s why people pick up the Breeze, they just want to see what’s going on locally, I like to look for new businesses or things to try out.”

Boni Howery
age 59
also gets news from the internet and the VC Star.
“No, I personally don’t think it’s necessary. There are a multitude of news outlets readily available, community news is about what is going on in our own backyard. I enjoy reading about my hometown, a place I feel connected to. I learn something new about Ventura every time I read a Ventura Breeze issue – leave all the world weariness to another news source.”

Ashley Pope
age 27 gets her other news from Facebook, KTVA and the VC Star Sunday edition.
“No, I think people read the Breeze because they want to know what’s happening in Ventura. Maybe ok to do some statewide news but definitely wouldn’t go international, I’d skip that page.”

Bob Emerick
age 58 also watches CBS news.
“I think it should stay local.”

Frank Boross
age 64
gets other news from KTVA and online. “I don’t think it would hurt. It’s a good idea, everybody seems to be a news junkie.”

C.J. Barnett
age 35 also reads the LA Times, BBC, NPR, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal – all on her phone she says. (Did someone just say news junkie?)
“Yes, it should, how else do you know what’s going on in Sacramento?”

David Glaser
age 57 gets news as well from the internet.
“Maybe some, but that’s not why I look at the Breeze.”

L.B. Tempkin
age 56
gets other news from radio, KCLU and KRW.
“I like local news, there’s enough of the other stuff going on.”

Boid Goodman
age 56
says he only gets other news when he hears about it, then he looks it up on his phone.
“I think local events are fine.”

Alex Guertler
age 54
gets all other news on his phone and says his wife can’t believe how many news apps he has.
“I like the Breeze just the way it is.”

Barry Pillard
age 66 also gets his news from the internet, telephone and word of mouth.
“If they’ve got the space, fine. It would give people a chance to see what they might not see anywhere else.”

Danny Blanco
age 46
gets other news from the internet – online news.
“Of course! It’s very important, I was a political science major.”

Jack Doughty
age 68
also reads the VC Star, the VC Reporter and Ventana.
“Everybody’s getting news on their device and it changes every minute (shows me CNN on his phone). If it has a direct effect on Ventura then yes, it makes sense.”

Melinda Escalante
age 41
catches her other news on channel 3.
“No, because if you want the extras, pick up the LA Times or watch another channel.”

Jim Molina
age 58
also gets news from the internet, the VC Star and TV.
“Probably a little bit, but I read the Breeze because it’s about what’s going on around here.”

Teresa Ramirez
age 45
gets other news on the TV (15 minutes in the morning while she gets ready for work).
“No, I like just our stuff.”

Kristy Campos
age 30
also checks the Independent, an online news source.
“No, I like the local news in the Breeze.”

Colleen Russell
age 60
acquires other news from the VC Star and TV.
“No, I like the local stuff, everything in there is light and breezy.” (gotta love this answer!)

Marshall Culver
age 32
only reads the Breeze.
“I think so, it’s always helpful.”

Edie Fowkes
age 75 also reads the VC Star, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal.
“Well, for people that only read the Breeze – yes!”

And there you have it!

Constant creativity at the CAPS Media Center

You can view the Fair Parade online at

The CAPS Media Crew captured all of the festivities in the 2017 Ventura County Fair Parade. Grand Marshal Edgar Terry of Terry Farms led a dazzling display of marching bands, floats, horses, vintage cars, tractors, clowns, city and county representatives, queens, princesses, celebrities, and other fair folks filling Main Street for the annual event. With Tim O’Neil and Jerry Breiner calling the play-by-play, CAPS Media’s live coverage of the parade aired live on CAPS Media Channel 6 and live streamed on The parade has been rebroadcast and streamed multiple times and you can view the event online at
Recently CAPS Media produced the first in a series of Measure O video messages to highlight the projects and programs being supported by the successful initiative. Mayor Erik Nasarenko hosted the video at Fire Station 4. Thanks in part to Measure O funding, Fire Station 4 will continue to provide vital services to the east side of the Ventura community. CAPS Media is also working with city departments to produce additional stories of interest for airing on the channel, website and social media in the next few months. And CAPS Media is pleased to be a creative partner with the Museum of Ventura County to help with the revitalization and storytelling of the historic and valuable resources in Ventura and Santa Paula.

The new school year is also a good time to become a Member/Producer at CAPS Media. Every month CAPS Media offers new member orientation meetings on the first Thursday. HD videography/camera classes are held on the 2nd Thursday and Final Cut postproduction editing classes are on the 3rd Thursday. The next CAPS Radio (KPPQ, FM 104.1) training is on the 4th week: Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 & 24. Every class is fun, informative and engaging. Member/Producers receive hands-on instruction in videography, video editing, radio production and more. All classes begin at 6pm at the CAPS Media Center, 65 Day Road. Once trained member/producers may check out CAPS Media’s video cameras, tripods, audio gear and other production equipment to record their story and then book postproduction editing suites to craft the story they want to tell.
Go to 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. Every member of the community is welcome and encouraged to visit the CAPS Media Center to take a tour and consider becoming a Member/Producer. CAPS Media is a nonprofit, membership organization located at 65 Day Road on the east side of Ventura College. Anyone who lives, works or attends school in the city of Ventura is eligible to become a Member/Producer at CAPS Media. Annual fees are only $25 for an individual and $75 for a non-profit organization. CAPS Radio is an additional annual fee of $50 for DJs. For complete information go to

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.”