Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Water: Take 1

Claire and John Meehan are stars of the Audience Choice Awards film “Drought Wars – The Family Fights Back.”

by Jennifer Tipton

March 22nd marked the 5th annual Water: Take1 Online Short Film Awards Ceremony presented by Ventura Water. Presented at The Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center in Ventura Harbor Village, the event draws attention to the challenges facing our water supply on a local, national and global level. More specifically: how we look at it, how we use it and how we share it.

Filmmakers from around the globe were invited to create a short (less than 5 minute) film to address the topic of water, and over 50 films were submitted. Ventura Water previewed them all prior to showing only the best of the best last evening.

Before the films were screened in a movie theater setting, movie-type snacks were provided to the viewers such as popcorn, sodas and candy – very clever indeed!

The films showed tremendous diversity – some were funny, some beautiful and some shocking. Many films were submitted from other countries and it certainly demonstrated that the concerns about our water supply are not limited to home.

The Grand Prize was $1,500.00 and was awarded to “Place of Sweet Waters”. This film addresses water scarcity as a result of social misuse, a very powerful piece of work.

The Audience Choice Award went to “Drought Wars – The Family Fights Back” where the kids provide tips and tricks to save water around the house. It is a delightful piece of work submitted by our very own Meehan family!

Ventura Water teams up with several sponsorships, but new this year they forged a promotional partnership with Shorts TV where submitted films were eligible for inclusion in a film showcase that aired throughout the month of March in honor of World Water Day.

All of the film festival’s finalists can be viewed at

Will the pig be replaced with a different mascot?

Foto: County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Green Pig succumbs to split seam.

Photo by Michael Gordon

Sham Hock, a.k.a. Pig O’ My Heart, has hogged the spotlight at County Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last time.

The giant inflatable pig, which has delighted parade-goers for nearly three decades, abruptly collapsed upon splitting a seam near the end of this year’s parade. The parade’s organizing committee determined the seam is unrepairable.

“It will need to go to its resting place in Pig Heaven,” said Nan Drake, co-chair of the organizing committee said. “Plans are underway for a proper Irish wake.”

Drake, however, added that plans also are underway to replace the 12-foot high by 20-foot long Sham Hock with a new parade mascot. “It will be a tough job replacing the pig and a fundraiser will have to be held,” she said.

It’s not the first time Sham Hock, which was created for $2,500 in 1990 during the parade’s early years has made news. It was kidnapped a week before the 2015 parade at a Ventura storage facility but was located by some clever detective work. A $100 reward was offered and Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan, who is also a parade committee co-chair, received an anonymous call telling him where Sam Hock could be found. And, luckily, the giant green pig rode in the parade, as usual. The kidnappers were never identified and the reward was never paid.

CAPS Media wins WAVE Award

Winning the award at the 2017 Community Media West’s WAVE Awards in Fresno.

by Elizabeth Rodeno

In March, the Alliance for Community Media West convened in Fresno for their yearly Western Access Video Excellence Award. This year, CAPS Media Center took home the WAVE Award for Best Government Access program! The winning program, the Ventura County News Channel’s “Featuring Ventura County – Channel Islands Harbor Patrol”, can be found on the CAPS Media YouTube channel. Congratulations to Bill Nash, the County of Ventura, and Gary Roll for the win. We are producing city, county, educational and other programs to garner more awards next year.

Our Radio KPPQ Membership Training returns! Join us April 4th and 5th and we’ll help you find your footing and your radio voice! The first session covers Membership Program Information and Preliminary Training and the second session is a Radio Presentation and Performance Practicum. Classes size is kept small to enhance student learning and ensure a solid foundation. This means classes fill up fast! Get in touch to reserve your spot!  Email us at for more information or to sign up. Listen to 104.1fm and let us know what you think of the new kid on the block.

In other radio news, CAPS Media is recruiting for an open intern position at the radio station to help with programming, recording and producing. It’s a great way to earn community service hours, learn and have fun. If you know someone interested in a career in radio, television, or the nonprofit world, send them our way! Interns will get an inside perspective on all aspects of radio production, as well as excellent on-the-job experience.

Coming up in April we have our regularly scheduled media classes. If you become a member this month, you can sign up for our April Orientation Class, happening Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 PM. We will also be offering HD Camera Class on Thursday, April 13th at 6:00 PM and Final Cut X Edit Class on Thursday, April 20th at 6:00 PM. These training classes are for CAPS Media Member/Producers to learn how operate video cameras, edit, run the studio and produce programs are scheduled on the CAPS Media website at Registration for all classes begins April 1st.

As always, you can watch Channel 6 to hear what the public has to say and watch Channel 15 to experience the city’s vision to provide the best and clearest information for all. And now you can tune into KPPQ at 104.1 FM to hear some great radio! All programs are also available to the public via streaming service on our website. Go to to see what our members are creating for you and sign up to be part of the story. A full year’s membership is just $25 for a TV membership and $75 for a TV and Radio membership. For more information, contact us at

Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 – April 11, 2017 – Person to Person

by Jennifer Tipton

Do you think Ventura needs more or less development?

All of those interviewed opposed most development.
If you have a different opinion we would love to hear from you at

Jessica Levenson age 44
Employee at Ventura County Schools Credit Union
“No, I don’t think that Ventura needs to be
developed. I think Ventura is beautiful the way it is.
Bringing more development, residential or commercial
will take away the beauty of the hillsides and the

Avery Burns age 31
Nursing Student
“I think Ventura’s at a pretty good place where
it’s at right now. I think there are improvements to be
made but they should be conscience ones. We have a
lot of infrastructure here. We should improve what we
have and not turn it into something else like LA.”

Bob Lynn, age 65
Business Owner
“I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve literally watched them
pave my childhood. We’ve not brought in any high value,
high paying jobs and as a result our sales tax is eroding.
City expenditures exceed sales tax. The city council should
be stewards of the public trust. In my opinion they’ve failed
miserably. We continue to put in low income housing and
provide low income jobs. All we’ve got is welfare.”

Josh Hill, age 44
Employee of All Pest & Repair
“I’m biased because I live here, but I’d actually like
to see less development until our city can get control
of our infrastructure and the budget.”


Kim Strange age 45
Employee of the City of Santa Barbara
“That’s a very tough question. We need more low
to mid income housing. I think there’s a need for


Leilani Formica age 76
Retired horticulturist
“I know we are going to need more development
for the people who pick our crops and the homeless
vets, no more huge homes.”

Ventura County Ag Week March 20-26

Take a morning trip through the farmers market with Kat Merrick of Totally LocalVC. From the Face Of Ventura by Johanna Spinks.

Ventura County Ag Week is a time to reflect on the importance of Ventura County farmers and ranchers and the county’s agriculture industry. It will take place March 20th -26.

Ventura County farmers and ranchers are truly stewards of the land; they are raising more on fewer acres and competing in a challenging global marketplace.  While also working to protect Ventura Counties precious soil and water resources.

The agriculture industry is essential to our economy and the way of life in Ventura County. Agriculture has been attracting farmers since the 1800’s and continues to be the number one employer in our county. Many of our founding farm families still remain today with the current generations carrying on their families’ legacy.

Ventura County students will have an opportunity to hear firsthand from local farmers, and chefs as they visit schools throughout the county during Ventura County Ag week.

Ventura County Ag Weeks goal is to highlight the important role agriculture plays not only to our county but the world.

Many events are planned:

March 21, Ventura County Ag Week Awards Luncheon and National Ag Day celebration.  Farmers, ranchers, chefs and ag educators will be honored at the 2017 Ventura County Ag Day Awards Luncheon, held at the Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula. The festivities will kick off with an opening speech by Henry Gonzales our Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner.

Thursday March 23rd – 5:30pm- 8:00pm- Free event.

Grapes and Hops 454 E Main St. There will be a free Meet the Farmer Mixer.  Close Des Amis, Ojai Vineyards, Surf Brewery and Topa Topa Brewing  will be on hand providing samplings of their locally produced libations. Come out and mix mingle with local farmers and taste the flavors of Ventura County.

Farm to Fork Cooking Class. Take a morning trip through the farmers market with a local Chef and our very own Kat Merrick of Totally Local. As they walk you through all the in’s and out of local sourcing. Saturday March 25th 9:30am – 11:30. $65 per person .

Guests will experience first-hand the connection from farm to fork at the Totally Local Ventura County Ag Week Farm Tour.

March 26th – 9:00 am – 2pm
Cost $85 includes lunch and tasting

Eat Local ~ Hug a farmer all week long

Local restaurants, wineries, brewers and purveyors will be highlighting their locally created weeklong specials.

Further information at or


Ventura College state champions inducted into hall of fame

Fifteen of the original alumnae attended the event

The Ventura College 1996 and 1997 women’s basketball state champions were formally inducted into the Ventura College Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony recently held at the Athletic Event Center at Ventura College. As part of their 20th anniversary reunion, the teams were the first in school history to be inducted into the Ventura College Athletics Hall of Fame.

The honorees travelled from around the world, including Washington, Tennessee and Paris, France, to return to the campus and proudly accept their honors.  Out of the 17 team members, 15 of the original alumnae attended the event.  The 1996 and 1997 women’s basketball teams earned the first two state championships for the Ventura College women’s basketball program.

Leading to the state championships between 1995 and 1997, the Ventura College women’s basketball team was nearly undefeated winning 71 out of 72 games. They outscored their opponents by an average margin of 35.7 points. “To look back at the accomplishments of these young women is very inspiring,” remarked VCCCD Trustee Stephen Blum.  “We will forever cherish the memory of their success and the pride of team spirit they contributed to the campus environment at Ventura College during that era,” added Blum.

The 1995-96 team finished 35-0, beating all opponents accept three by double figures, while the 1996-97 team finished 36-1, ferociously responding to an 81-75 loss to San Jose City in the final of the Gilcrest Invitational at College of the Sequoias; snapping a 42-game winning streak. Thereafter they didn’t just win their final 29 games, they put up 100 or more points a school-record seven times.

“The legacy that these women have left on sports at Ventura College is monumental. The team’s spirit of excellence and dedication exemplifies Ventura College athletics” shared Coach Ned Mircetic. The team members were presented awards by Ventura College President Greg Gillespie, Ventura County Community College District Trustee Stephen Blum, retired Ventura College assistant coach and team mentor David Breslin and coaching staff from 20 years ago, including head coach Ned Mircetic and assistants Tara McLean Emery and Maria Christine.

Dee Dowell Memorial Scholarship Award

Alex Brunk was a 2015 scholarship winner who received $3,500 from the VPOA.

The Ventura Police Officers Association (VPOA) is accepting applications for the 14th annual Dee Dowell Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships will be presented in May to honor Sergeant Darlon “Dee” Dowell, who was shot and killed on August 7, 1978. Sergeant Dowell is the only officer in Ventura’s history to die in the line of duty.

In selecting scholarship recipients, the VPOA will consider academic achievement, school and community service, and financial needs. Applications must contain all required information and be returned no later than April 14. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Scholarship Awards:

  • 1st Place $5,000
  • 2nd Place $3,500
  • 3rd Place $2,000
  • Honorable Mention(s) $500

Applicants must:

  • Be entering his/her freshman through senior year in college;
  • Plan a course of study related to the field of public service;
  • Be a Ventura resident or have graduated from a high school in Ventura within the past three years, or a Ventura Police Department employee or employee’s child.
  • Have a grade point average of 3.0 or better (based on a 4.0 system);
  • Maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better if selected as a recipient;
  • Submit a resume of school and community activities, including a copy of transcripts through the most recent semester;
  • Submit a typed essay of 1,000 words or less on “Service, what it means to me”;
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a public servant.

For additional information, please contact Cpl. Cameron Goettsche at 339-4400 or email at  Applications are available at the front desk of the Ventura Police Department located at 1425 Dowell Dr. – named after Sergeant Dowell.

Ventura County’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Ventura County’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held on March 11 on Main St.

The large crowd lining the street enjoyed a gorgeous Ventura day. The Parade is sponsored by Elks Lodge No. 1430 and featured marching bands, horses, music, wonderful cars and much more.

Judges for the parade were Connie Stahl, Elks Lodge #1430; Richard Rush, California State University Channel Islands; Erika Beck, California State University Channel Islands; Sue Georgino, Georgino Development and James Lockwood, Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Ventura County’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017

Project Understanding announces 2017 Shining Star Award Winners

Matt and Dawn Bianchini of Richard H. Bejune Memorial Foundation, Janine Dykstra and Sheldon who presented their Shining Star Award.

Project Understanding of San Buenaventura held their annual “Shining Star Awards” on Thursday, February 9, at the Poinsettia Pavilion. The evening event was a celebration where they honored their outstanding community volunteers and partners and was highly attended by city officials, legislative representatives, local business owners, the faith community and supporters.

Among the honorees were Meg Perry and Gina Norstedt – Administration Volunteer of the Year; Karen Collier and Carolyn Tabor – Tender Life Volunteer of the Year; David Ensminger – Tutoring Volunteer of the Year; Nita Perkins – First Step Volunteer of the Year; Joanna Norstedt – Food Pantry Volunteer of the Year; Oxnard Monday Club – Philanthropists of the Year; CAPS Media – Collaborating Partner of the Year; Richard H. Bejune Memorial Foundation – Community Partner of the Year; MortgageCouch – Business of the Year; Ventura Seventh-Day Adventists Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – House of Worship; Janine Dykstra – Employee of the Year; Carol and Larry Dawes – Donors of the Year; Charleen Morla and Kellie Meehan – Board Members of the Year; Karol Schulkin – Shalom Award; and Lynn Geller – Shining Star Volunteer of the Year.

Ventura Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann served as Master of Ceremonies. Many community leaders presented awards, including several government officials: Michael Powers, Chief Executive Officer, Ventura County; Matt LeVere, Ventura Councilmember; Patti Quiroz, representing Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson; and Jeannette Sanchez-Palacio, representing Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. County School Superintendent Dr. Stan Mantooth presented on behalf of the educational community.

Other presenters included Betsy Chess, Limoneira; Dave Schulze, Ventura Church of Christ; Sheldon Brown, Ventura Breeze; Lisa Anglin, Fidelity National Title; Rick Pearson, North Oxnard United Methodist Church (former E.D. of Project); Kevin Clerici, Downtown Ventura Partners; Aaron Shiah, ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning by Integrity; Suki Sir, Turning Point Foundation; and Dan Stevens, namesake of the Dan Stevens Shalom Award (former pastor of Orchard Community Church).

The event was generously sponsored by: Oxnard Monday Club, Riviera Bronze and the National Charity League Juniors of Ventura County.

“This was a pleasant event to honor our community volunteers and partners. It was great way to kick off our celebration for Project Understanding’s 40th Year Anniversary this year. The success of the past forty years truly could not have been done without the support, partnerships and dedication of those we celebrated tonight and those who have carried our organization and believed in our mission throughout the years,” said Jann Huling, President of Project Understanding.

Founded in 1977, Project Understanding provides hope by developing and directing resources for the purpose of transforming lives and community through justice, mercy and compassion. For 40 years, Project Understanding has been assisting people reach their highest attainable level of independence. For more information on Project Understanding, please visit