West Coast Board Riders

When you put the city club aspect together it supports the community.

The West Coast Board Riders are a community united through city surf clubs and competition.

The top two teams from the Northern Division earn a spot to compete against the top two teams from the Southern Division for the West Coast Board Riders 2018 Finals which will be held in November in Huntington Beach. As it stands Ventura Board Riders Club sits in first place with the highest overall total points for both divisions. Ventura is on fire being lead by Team Captain Sean Hayes, Brett Jordan and Sean O’toole.

They could not have asked for a better day at the Pipe. The Ventura community was out in force to support their club and the level of surfing that was on display was second to none. The waves progressively got better and better as the day went on, with the sky’s opening up to the sun setting the stage for one of the absolute best finals the WCBR has ever seen. It was epic! The Northern clubs competing were Santa Cruz Board Riders Club, San Louis Obispo “SLO Board Riders”, Ventura, South Bay, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach Board Riders Club. The third and final qualifying event for the Northern Division is scheduled for July 7th in Santa Cruz at Steamer Lane.

The West Coast Board Riders events are the most fun and exciting surfing competition around. Surfing is in an individual sport, but when you put the city club aspect together, it naturally promotes the community bringing brothers and sisters together in the water and along the coast.


Volunteers plant 21 trees along Ventura Avenue

On Sunday April 29th a group of volunteers gathered at Restore Ventura for a quick meeting and then out into the community to plant a total of 21 trees along Ventura Avenue.

After a few months of planning and meetings with the city of Ventura, Restore Ventura was able to fundraise all the money needed to purchase the trees.

The Westside Community Council played a big role in helping facilitate the project.

Gerardo Gallegos was the project coordinator.

Ventura Water’s General Manager Kevin Brown

Brown had been on the job only 2 months when the Thomas Fires erupted.

by Jennifer Tipton

Before becoming Ventura Water’s General Manager, Kevin Brown, now a retired Navy Captain, worked in the Pentagon as chairman of the Strategic Laydown Assessment for the Chief of Naval Operations, a nine-billion-dollar annual program.

With an annual revenue of around $94 miilion, Ventura Water brought in Brown specifically for his strategic planning experience for infrastructure. He had been on the job only 2 short months when the Thomas Fires erupted.

On that fateful night, December 4th, 2017, Brown was at City Hall with most of the city staff for the initiation of Mayor Neal Andrews. “We were getting ready to celebrate our new mayor when phones started blowing up”, said Brown. Grabbed to the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) he was still so new to the job, he was just happy to be told we had one! In the Navy, they would routinely practice drills, but according to Brown, “for a city that had not had to do this for a very long time, the response was tremendous, all of the city came together quickly and that was impressive!”.

I asked, “are you aware some have asked where was the water when we needed it most? Do you feel we had enough water to combat the Thomas Fires?”

Brown assured me that there was ample water supply, “more than enough with what was brought in from Lake Casitas”. I then asked if there was a problem with the fire hydrants and he responded, “no, however, there were large water tanks we just couldn’t get to because they were surrounded by fire”.

He spoke of drought and disaster resiliency, “we’re constantly analyzing the system to see where it can be improved, such as, how homes are built and the utility systems – do they need to be changed? The Oxnard City Water Services has over 400,000 customers, they are worried about being cut off by a seismic event, we’re all looking at that”.

There are four water basins we draw from here in Ventura and four different organizations that oversee those basins, “it’s complicated”, said Brown.

According to Craig Jones with Ventura Water, the basins and the organizations that oversee them are:

  • Mound Basin – Mound Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency
  • Oxnard Plain – Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency
  • Upper Ventura River – Upper Ventura River Groundwater Sustainability Agency
  • Santa Paula – Santa Paula Basin Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

“Since 1971, Ventura has been paying for state water but never got it, because there’s no connecting pipeline”, said Brown, “this should be completed by 2022 – 2023”.

I discovered that what we’ve been paying for is the right to state water and we pay roughly $1 million per year; water delivery fees will be an extra cost once the pipeline is complete.

In Fall 2018 – Fall 2021, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) will be in place. Ventura Water will be replacing all manually read meters with automatic meters that relay readings remotely. The expected results are improved accuracy in readings and customer service, advanced leak detection and notification capabilities, the ability for customers to actively manage their water usage and enhanced water quality protection and conservation. Ventura Water is excited to implement this new technology.

Lastly, I asked Brown, “if you knew what was coming (Thomas Fires) would you have taken the position as General Manager with Ventura Water?” He sat back and chuckled, “oh boy… knowing then what I know today … yes, I would. It’s in my heart as an engineer and there’s so much going on here from water allocations to all the innovations, it’s just exciting each day to come to work!”

Ventura Water will be looking at revenue and rate structure changes starting winter 2018.

Rotary Club Of Ventura South holds First Annual Speech Contest for Ventura high schools

The senior winners are Jonathon Saldana, Alaina Hooks and Aspen Levitt.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South conducted its first annual speech contest for Ventura high school students with the finals held on Thursday, May 17, at the Tower Club in Oxnard. At the event, the Club awarded more than $4,000 in scholarships for first place, second place, and honorable mention to students from Buena, Foothill, and Ventura High Schools. First Bank in Ventura contributed $2,000 to the project.

Bob Davis, 2017-18 President of Rotary Ventura South, commented, “We’re excited to sponsor this first annual event as a means of supporting education in our community and encouraging students to develop their public speaking skills. We look forward to welcoming even more contestants in the coming years.”

Invitations to participate went out to all Ventura High Schools in March, and the initial round of competition was conducted on campus for students at the responding schools. The entrants were asked to prepare a four-minute speech on the American civil rights movement of the 1950s-60s.

The presentations were judged by panels of Rotary Ventura South club members using delivery, content, and their own discretion as criteria. They were John Weiss, Rosanna Colin, Bob Braitman, Mary Davis and Dante Honorico.

The winners are:

  • Kaitlyn Saldana – Freshman, Buena High School. First Place (Freshmen) – $1,500.
  • Angela Tang – Freshman, Buena High School. Second Place (Freshmen) – $750.
  • Joshua Cenzano – Sophomore, Buena High School. First Place (Sophomores) – $1,500.
  • Alaina Hooks – Senior, Foothill Technology High School. First Place (Seniors) – $1,500.
  • Aspen Levitt – Senior, Ventura High School. Second Place (Seniors) – $750.
  • Jonathon Saldana – Senior, Buena High School. Third Place (Seniors) – $300.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South is one of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs with 1.2 million members around the world. The clubs work together to promote peace; fight disease; provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; save mothers and children; support education; and grow local economies. Rotary Ventura South meets at noon every Monday at the Tower Club in Oxnard. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, visit venturasouthrotary.org.

The Ventura Police Department, partnering with allied agencies, conducted enhanced patrols

As part of the City of Ventura’s ongoing efforts to respond to concerns from the community as well as business merchants regarding illegal behaviors in the parks and surrounding areas of the downtown corridor, 4000 block of E. Main St, and the Victoria corridor, the Ventura Police Department, partnering with allied agencies, conducted enhanced patrols in the those areas on May 9. The officers involved included Ventura PD Motor Unit, Ventura PD Patrol Task Force, VCSO Mounted Enforcement Unit, Ventura County Probation and Ventura County Behavioral Health

The goal of the City of Ventura’s Safe and Clean Initiative is to ensure safe and clean public places for the entire community to enjoy. One of the core elements of this effort is to direct and leverage limited resources to better address illegal activity and quality of life behaviors in public spaces.

As a result of this effort a total of 13 arrests were made in the focus areas:

  • 4 arrests for being under the influence of a controlled substance (misdemeanor)
  • 1 arrest for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor)
  • 1 arrests for possession of a controlled substance and possession of a dangerous weapon (Felony)
  • 6 arrests for violation of probation
  • 1 arrest for a possession of a stolen vehicle warrant (Felony)

The locations of these arrests included:

  • 1 at Plaza Park, 600 E. Santa Clara St.
  • 2 at Mission Park, 190 E. Main St.
  • 4 at Promenade Park, 398 Figueroa St.
  • 6 at various other locations in the downtown corridor

The City of Ventura is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the community by making a concerted effort to support the Safe and Clean Initiative.

2018 Amgen Tour of California

On Monday morning, May 14, thousands waited anxiously for the start of Stage 2 of the 2018 Amgen Tour of California at the Ventura Pier. According to Amgen, 117 riders representing 30 countries are competing in the race. The field includes seven world champions and two current national champions. The athletes will have gone 645 miles before finishing Saturday in Sacramento. Local elected officials spoke briefly, including Ventura City Council members Matt LaVere and Christy Weir and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett

Summertime is Ventura County Fair time

The Ventura County Fair is Ventura County’s original Social Network, come out and connect with your neighbors, friends and families as we gather for a celebration of our great County. The Fair runs from August 1 through 12 and will feature unique exhibits, exciting contests, and entertainment, free with Fair admission.

The Ventura County Fair carries out the tradition of great values. Special admission days offer these opportunities to enter the Fair free or at low prices:

  • Wednesday, August 1: Dollar Day, $1 admission until 3PM.
  • Thursday, August 2: “Feed the Need” Food Drive. Bring 5 cans of food to donate to FOOD Share to receive a free return ticket to the fair, valid August 6-9.
  • Friday, August 3: Youth Day, children under 12 are admitted free all day.
  • Tuesday, August 7: Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Day, Seniors (62+) and Persons with Disabilities are admitted free all day.
  • Wednesday, August 8: “$3 Before 3” Day is; admission is $3 until 3PM.
  • Thursday, August 9: Military Appreciation Day, all military personnel holding a current, valid military ID will be admitted free. Thank you for your service!

If you are a kid or a kid at heart, Carnival Wristband Days are back again this year. On August 2, 6, 7, and 9, purchase a $30 wristband, good for unlimited carnival rides until 7:00 pm.

Grandstand concerts are a Fair favorite, visitors can see their favorite musicals acts and rodeos free with paid admission to the Fair.The Grandstand Entertainment begins on August 1 with Motor Sports, a great way to get revved up for 12 days of amazing fun. (Motor Sports requires a $5 admission in addition to paid fair admission.)

Rodeo Days at the fair are Saturday, August 11 and Sunday August 12.

Everywhere you look at the Fair you will see performers singing, dancing, playing music, making magic and more. This year’s grounds entertainment features Fair favorites like the All Alaskan Pig Races, Sweet Caribbean Steel Drums, Hypnotist Tina Marie and some new treats including Fido 500 Dog Show, Dezmo’s Blues Band and masking tape sculpture from Tapigami.

The Ventura County Fair makes transportation easy with free shuttle rides to and from the Fair. Convenient and comfortable, the shuttles begin ½ hour before the fair opens and bring visitors to the Fair’s front gate. No traffic hassles, no parking problems, free parking and free shuttle bus service to the Fair is available from 10:30 am until 11:00 pm Wheelchair capable busing is available from all sites.

Follow the Fair on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For hours, admission, schedules, and more information, please visit www.venturacountyfair.org or call 648-3376.​

Music that comforts the soul

Board-Certified Music Therapist Lori Sunshine strums the harp for hospice patient Geneva Fergusson.

Geneva Fergusson, diagnosed with bone cancer, was given six months to live, and was placed on hospice care. Three years later, she was holding strong at age 95, as she and her husband Fergie enjoyed a music therapy session with Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association’s Board-Certified Music Therapist, Lori Sunshine.

Sunshine arrived at the Fergusson home with a myriad of exotic instruments. The collection included a harp, Tibetan bells, xylophone, ocean drum, and various percussion instruments. Instruments are chosen for their beautiful sound and the ease of participants playing them. Songs are selected to stimulate meaningful memories and joy.

The purpose of hospice is to provide comfort care and emotional support to the terminally ill in their homes so that quality of life is maintained and family members may be active participants in care.

Music Therapy is a vital part of the interdisciplinary team Livingston Hospice provides. The interdisciplinary lineup also includes a medical doctor, nurses, therapists, social workers, home health aides, and chaplains to provide for the patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Volunteers that provide respite for caregivers and companionship for the patient round out the team.

According to Sunshine, the purpose of Music Therapy as an adjunct to hospice is “to increase spiritual support, peacefulness, and meaningful connections, to distract from pain, and enable participants to emotionally express themselves, both verbally and non-verbally.

To commence the session, Sunshine invited Geneva and Fergie to choose which instrument they would like to begin with. They chose the harp.

Because Sunshine has been with this couple for three years, she was able to immediately tune in to their needs and instinctively select songs that spoke to their souls. She gave Fergie an instrument, on which he strummed and gently sang as Sunshine played her harp and sang along too. They improvised together, in harmony, moving into tunes familiar and spontaneously created, as Geneva looked on lovingly, content to just listen and bask in her love for her life and husband.

At one point, Sunshine gently placed an instrument called a Kalimba on Fergie’s upper back, while playing and singing softly to him to help create positive energy with the vibrations, knowing of his tight neck and shoulder muscles.

In addition to the home visits, Lori Sunshine regularly provides Music Therapy for Livingston hospice patients at assisted living facilities. She brings drums and other instruments and welcomes other residents to join in the making of music.

Livingston is proud to have two Music Therapists. Laura Demiera Fercano brings joy to hospice patients with her keyboard and knowing just the right songs to sing.

Music Therapy is evidence-based, with research showing effectiveness for increased wellness of mind, body and spirit.
In Geneva’s case, Music Therapy may also be a part of prolonging her life. No one can know for sure, but she feels that as a part of the whole hospice experience, Sunshine’s visits have been overwhelmingly positive. “I’m sure Music Therapy has contributed to my longevity.”

BeeCause art installation realized

Four years from conception to funding, the BeeCause art installation has finally been realized. Community members painted hubcaps, under the direction of MB Hanrahan who designed this latest public art project for our Barranca Vista Recreation Center.

The project was funded by the California Arts Council, and City of Ventura Community Partnerships.

In addition to being colorful and fun, and involving our community, the project advocates for awareness and protection of native bees and honey bees.

Thomas Fire Stories Project premieres on CAPSTV

ECTV interviewed Ventura Fire Chief Endaya at CAPS studio.

The Thomas Fire Stories project will premiere on Friday, June 1 at 6pm on CAPS Media TV Channel 6. Every Friday evening a new story will début and repeat throughout the week on channel 6 and on CAPS Radio (104.1FM). The ongoing series features personal stories by fire fighters, first responders and community members impacted by the fire. The stories are supported by photos and videos contributed by the public and news agencies.

For the past few months CAPS Media has recorded dozens of first-person stories in the CAPS Media studio and at radio recording events throughout the county. The diversity and depth of the individual experiences is captivating, breath-taking and heart-warming. The Thomas Fire stories include first-hand accounts from fire fighters in the field and directing the army of response from command posts to citizens helping others, fighting to save their homes and fleeing for their lives. The unscripted accounts capture personal experiences of extraordinary heroism, sacrifice, tragedy and healing surrounding the Thomas Fire.

Each 30 minute story will rerun throughout the week. The stories also stream on capsmedia.org and are available on the CAPS Media website at capsmedia.org/videos. Audio recordings will air and stream on CAPS Radio, KPPQ 104.1FM.

The Museum of Ventura County is gathering all of the stories into an all-inclusive archive and will include some of the material in the museum’s Thomas Fire exhibit in the fall. Selected stories from the video series will be included in a comprehensive documentary scheduled to premiere in December – to coincide with the museum’s exhibit and the one-year anniversary of the Thomas Fire.

CAPS Media’s Digital Storytelling Summer program is accepting applications for three-day sessions on June 26 – 28, July 10 – 12 and July 17 – 19. The June 28 session will feature production in the CAPS Media studio, July 10 focuses on documentary production with field and studio production, and the July 17 session is geared to dramatic production. The sessions are geared to ages 10-15 and no experience in media or production is required. Every week crew members receive hands-on instruction in the use of video cameras, audio, lighting, studio production and postproduction editing. The fast paced, activity packed programs are directed by CAPS Media professional staff and assisted by student interns from El Camino’s award winning ECTV media program. Digital Storytelling Summer Sessions will teach teamwork and skills needed to produce commercials, documentaries, news reporting, comedy shows and more that include organization and teamwork. To learn more or sign up call the CAPS Media Center, 805.658.0500 or go to capsmedia.org.

Recently the CAPS Media crew recorded graduation ceremonies for Ventura College and the work continues with recording, broadcasting and streaming graduation ceremonies for El Camino High School (June 8) and Foothill Technical High School (June 14).

Everyone in the community is invited to tour the CAPS Media Center and learn more about the resources available to the public. General orientation sessions are held on the first Thursday of every month at 6pm at the CAPS Media Center which is located at 65 Day Road, on the eastside of Ventura College directly across from Foothill Technology high school. CAPS Media’s mission is to create an engaged and informed community through participation in electronic media. For more information, go to capsmedia.org or call 805-658-0500.