Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Get involved at CAPS

stuff CAPSManny Reynoso and Jairo Brito on location at the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade.

By Elizabeth Rodeno

Our new board president, Cliff Rodrigues is a long time resident of Ventura who has taken the mantle of board chair of CAPS Media. Along with the rest of the board, he is devoted to CAPS Media and our mission. Cliff’s career as an educator, first at Cabrillo Jr. High, then with the Ventura County Office of Education in charge of bi-lingual education and then on the board of the VUSD, offers years of experience in what we consider one of the primary missions of CAPS, educating. As Cliff says “Being part of the CAPS Media board for the last couple of years has shown me that having public access channels is the perfect vehicle for keeping the community involved and up-to-date on what is happening in local government. It is also the perfect platform for the public to produce programs that reflect what is going on in the community.”

So what is going on in the community? Just recently our El Camino Television student producers had the opportunity to cover the Social Awareness conference hosted by El Camino High School at the Wright Event Center. Field production, with its audio and lighting challenges, provide these students even more experience. This is one more step on the journey to becoming professional news journalists.

It’s around this time that our calendar begins to fill up, as if we have not been busy. Just around the corner is The Festival of Talent, a grand event featuring the talented youth of Ventura. CAPS Media has long been a supporter of the event; recording, editing and broadcasting the entire show. Our full production crew features the committed students and volunteers honing their production skills. Go to our website to get a behind the scenes peak at the event and we will see you there on February 27.

On March the fifth, head to Westpark, the City’s oldest park for an open house. Westpark, an important feature on the Westside has undergone recent upgrades and included a full roster of community classes and events. Come out and enjoy the fun, with games, activities and tours. We will be out there filming and taking in some of the festivities.

March the 12 is the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, broadcast live on channel 6. This year in celebration of the 150th Anniversary, the Grand Marshalls will include some of the first families of Ventura. This event has it all, dancers, marching bands, important politicians, and of course the big green pig.  As always we’ll get you up close to the festivities and you can re-live it on channel 6 after the big day.

Check out our new website with all the info you need to sign up, reserve your space in a class and catch not only the CAPS Media productions on Vimeo but watch the channels live streaming from your computer. Go to Thanks to Donald who has work diligently to create the new website.  Driving down Day Road you’ll catch sight of our sign and that means you need to drop in and say hello.


Tickets going fast to Ventura Hillsides Conservancy’s 7th Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival

On Friday and Saturday, March 4 & 5, 2016, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) will present the 2016 Wild and Scenic Film Festival (WSFF) at Ventura’s Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road. Now in its 7th year, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival offers audiences the chance to enjoy a series of inspirational award-winning short films that celebrate the beauty and bounty of our natural world.

This popular festival, which includes a different line up of approximately 10 films each night, helps to connect the Conservancy’s work to similar environmental efforts around the globe. In addition to viewing films, attendees also enjoy popcorn, food, beer, wine and the chance to win high-end items in a raffle that includes original artwork, outdoor gear, dining-out certificates and much more.

“This year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival line-up is one of our best yet,” said Derek Poultney, VHC Executive Director. “Audiences can experience the excitement of rowing down the Colorado River in a wooden dory, the expansiveness of flying over Baja California with National Geographic photographers and the beauty of exploring underground caves rarely seen by man.”

Ticket prices for VHC members are for $15 for General Admission or $25 for “Silver Circle” seats. Silver Circle tickets include reserved seating + one drink ticket for a glass of beer or wine. Non -VHC Member ticket prices are $20 for General Admission or $30 for Silver Circle Tickets. The event has grown in popularity to the point that tickets sell out each year.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival, which also serves as a membership drive for VHC, is supported by donations from several local businesses and community organizations. The Ventura County Credit Union is the 2016 Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors include: Castoro Cellars, City of Ventura Environmental Sustainability, County Commerce Bank, For Your Home Furniture, Great Pacific Iron Works, Patagonia, Poseidon Brewing Co., Two Trees Brewing Co., REI, Ventura Water and Whole Foods.

To purchase tickets, visit and click on the Events tab. To become a member of VHC, click on the “Donate Today” button on the website’s home page. For more information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call VHC at 643-8044.

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, founded in 2003, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and providing access to Ventura’s hillsides and the Ventura River. The organization is supported by over 400 members, local business and government partners.

Do you know the way to San Jon?  Ask a librarian.

Ventura 1877 Courtesy Museum of Ventura County
Ventura 1877 Courtesy Museum of Ventura County

By Gail Field

You probably already know the street named San Jon, but if you needed a map or any other information about Ventura, you could very well find it in the Research Library of the Museum of Ventura County.

Charles Johnson, the library director since 1989, makes the case for the library’s uniqueness.  “With over 150,000 resources, our mission is to serve the public—to help them with whatever information they need.  There is no place that has more resources about Ventura County than this library. We house over 300 linear feet of manuscripts, 50,000 positive photographs and twice that many negatives. We have 10,000 maps, 5,000 books, and over 700 architectural plans and drawings. We have an extensive ephemeral collection including such items as war bond booklets and gas ration coupons from the 1940s. In addition, our library volunteers have clipped and saved newspaper articles every day since 1977, when the library opened.”

This year the City of Ventura celebrates its 150th anniversary on April 2. The Research Library is working with the Museum Collections Department, preparing an exhibit entitled “Ventura @ 150: Celebrating the City of Good Fortune,” which will open on April 1 at the Museum and will include photographs, early documents and artifacts.

Johnson has seen many requests come to the library from local citizens, corporations, attorneys, land managers, and more.  “We’ve had such a variety of inquiries—companies wanting information on agriculture, architects requesting plans for renovation projects, land use experts looking to see where the adobes were built and where the walls underneath those adobes still lay buried. Cal Trans recently contacted us about the possible impact of planned highway construction at the California Street off ramp on any important cultural resources. California fourth graders come to our library for their California mission projects.  We’ve been able to give them what they need.”

If you have traveled on San Jon Road, you’ve probably noticed that the spelling of San Jon varies from map to street sign, and wondered, where did the name come from? The museum houses information on street names as well. No one is quite sure about the exact origins of this particular street name, but the Research Library copy of the Ventura County Historical Society Quarterly (winter 1972) devoted to Ventura County place names explains that the term comes from the Spanish word, “zanja, zanjon, or sanjon” meaning “ditch or channel.” The road follows the path of the Sanjon Barranca, which was exactly that—a “big ditch,” that often flooded during rainy seasons.

You already know the way to San Jon, and with the help of the Research Library, you can find a vast resource of even more fascinating facts on our own Ventura County.

The Research Library is housed in the Museum at 100 E. Main St. Phone: 653-0323, ext. 320 or






Breeze publisher Sheldon appeared on “Girls On The Air”

stuff KVTAOn a recent Saturday Breeze publisher Sheldon appeared on “Girls On The Air”, a live community radio show every Saturday, heard at 1pm on local station KVTA AM1590. The show’s hosts are Traci Mahone, Liz Selleck, Karen Campbell and Deborah Delaney. They discuss all kinds of topics in a conversational style. Among other topics Sheldon explained how, and why the Ventura Breeze was launched 9-years ago with daughter Staci. He stated “I was possessed by an alien from a parallel universe.”

Tech Today with Ken May

What is Linux?

Sheldon sent in this request to me, and I think it might be useful for some of you out there that may have heard of Linux, and were wondering what it was all about. There are essentially two things needed to have a functioning computer: hardware and software. Hardware comprises all the physical components that you put together, and software is all the programs that you run to get work done. It used to be that you could only run certain kinds of programs on certain hardware, but that is mostly a concern of the past. These days, you can install whatever operating system you wish on most hardware, and have pretty good luck at getting it all working. The operating system is the underlying software the provides an environment and interface to make those programs run. Some common operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Apple’s OSX, and various different types of Linux.

The history of Linux began in 1991 with the commencement of a personal project by Finnish student Linus Torvalds to create a new, free operating system. This means anybody can download the code and install it on any hardware they want, without needing to pay for a software license. Because Linus shared the code under an open source license, anyone is free to make their own version, or to contribute fixes and enhancements.

There are thousands of different distributions of Linux, but only a few that have achieved mainstream popularity.

Ubuntu, which is built on the Debian platform, has easily been the most popular version, and is one of the easier to use variants. Before that, Red Hat, and OpenSUSE were quite popular. Right now, the most popular specific distribution, according to, has been Linux Mint, itself a variation of Ubuntu.

Why is it better? Linux Mint tries to ‘just work’ out of the box, and succeeds far better for the average user, than many distributions that came before it. Also, you really do not have to worry about viruses anywhere near the level you would on Windows, or even OSX.

What’s the catch? Linux does not run windows software. Not by itself. You can install a special program that can run some windows software under Linux, called “WINE,” but this can get complicated very quickly, and no software vendor will support this. Additionally, it will be like learning how to use a computer all over again, since nothing will be where you expect it, from years of using Windows or OSX. Also, please do not attempt to use Linux on your main computer, un less you know what you are doing. It can very easily wind up wiping out your data, if you aren’t careful. I would recommend trying it out on an old computer that can safely be erased.

That being said, there are often local groups that will help you get to know Linux, and how to use it.

If you would like to give Linux Mint a try, it can be downloaded from the default version is called the “Cinnamon” desktop.

Ventura Music Festival appoints Susan Scott as Executive Director

stuff VMFThe Board of the Ventura Music Festival has announced the appointment of Susan Scott as Executive Director. Scott served as consultant to the Festival last year and is well known to the arts and general nonprofit communities in Ventura County. Among her other accomplishments, Scott directed the three-year ArtsLIVE project of the Ventura County Community Foundation, served as Managing Director of Theater 150 in Ojai, and was founding Executive Director of the Bell Arts Factory in Ventura which is celebrating its ten year anniversary.


Hector Cristena-Cruz Hector Cristena-Cruz accepts position as Commercial Fleet Account Manager at Paradise Chevrolet

chevy guyWith 23 years in the auto industry, 18 of those in the commercial truck and fleet end Hector Cristena-Cruz has decided to take on a new Location and has accepted a position as Commercial Fleet Account Manager at Paradise Chevrolet in Ventura.  Hector will be working with the same companies, cities, county agencies, school districts and individuals that  he’s  had in the Los Angeles area, And now is here to provide all Ventura County with the full line of Chevrolet trucks, custom utility vehicles, vans, SUV’s and automobiles for your fleet or personal use.


Magical Night at the Poinsettia Pavilion

Treat your Valentine, or your entire family, to an evening of magical entertainment on Saturday, February 13.

That’s the date of the Poinsettia Pavilion’s second annual Evening of Magical Enchantment.  The event includes a stage show with three world class professional magicians.  In addition, there will be close up magicians performing in the audience.

The bill includes comedy magician Shawn McMaster, a native son of Ventura, whose unique brand of magic and mayhem have been featured in appearances on such TV shows as Masters of Illusion and America’s Got Talent.

He will be joined by Arthur Trace.  Known as The Artful Deceiver, Trace’s many awards include Stage Magician of the Year at the famous Magic Castle.  He’s also a past winner of an international award for magical entertainment that is equal to winning a medal at the entertainment Olympics

David Zirbel, another performer of global stature, will be presenting his trademark classic magic and illusions.  It will be one of his remaining appearances before he departs on another performance tour of Japan.

The entire event will be MC’ed by Ventura’s own Dan “Pizza Man Dan” Collier.

Prior to the stage show and during intermission, guests will be entertained by Ventura-based magicians who will be demonstrating close-up effects in the audience.  The local magi include Bob Lynn, Jim Spencer, and James Lantiegne, who is the resident magician with White Rabbit Entertainment which also operates the White Rabbit Magic Shop on Portola Street in Ventura.

In addition to the unparalleled magical entertainment, guests will be helping to enhance the Poinsettia Pavilion, since the event is a fund raiser to underwrite improvements at the Pavilion.

The doors open at 7 p.m.  Auction items, adult beverages and other refreshments will be available.  The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Advance purchase tickets for this magical experience are $30 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under  Tickets are available on line at or at the Poinsettia Pavilion office.  Admission at the door is $35.  For information contact 648-1143.





Opera Santa Barbara announces ‘Opera Lab’ Tour of local elementary schools

The Opera Lab, Opera Santa Barbara’s innovative outreach program for children, will tour area elementary schools beginning next month, company officials have announced. Opera Lab sessions will take place in February and March. Additional sessions will be added in late March and early May as needed.

The Opera Lab is an interactive program designed to teach students the rudiments of opera. Guided by four professional singers specially trained in improvisation, participants learn the art form’s building blocks and use them to create their own opera, which is performed for them on the spot.

The popular program is offered free of charge. Schools can request an Opera Lab session at For more information, call 898-3890 or email

Founded in 1994 by Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett, Opera Santa Barbara is committed to presenting productions and educational programs of the highest quality. Additional information is available at