∙ I am so very sorry to report that the most wonderful person, Breezy (Deena) Gledhill, has passed away from cancer at only 45 years old. Last summer, Breezy told us she was cancer free, which was incredible news. But, cancer does what it wants and returned with a vengeance. Her spirit through all of this was unbelievable and an inspiration to all who knew her.
Breezy first approached me over 10 years ago to become an account executive for the Breeze. With that name, I immediately hired her. Without her, the paper would not exist as her ability to positively interact and engage people was a rare talent.
I considered her to be my adopted daughter and will miss her always.
∙ The 2022 Fall Chamber Business Expo is on Thursday, August 25, 4-6:30pm at Four Points by Sheraton, Ventura Harbor. The Breeze will have a booth there right by the finger food buffet (and several restaurants will offer food). Come say hello, have some food, meet local merchants and enter a chance to win a free ad in the Breeze.
∙The Ventura City Council has approved raises for City Manager Alex McIntyre and City Attorney Alex Heglund.
Each will receive a 5% cost-of-living increase and a one-time lump sum worth 1.75% of their salary. Councilmembers approved the increases at their August 1 regular meeting.
Councilmember Mike Johnson voted against the raise, noting that the council already approved a 2% merit increase for McIntyre in March.
McIntyre’s annual salary will increase from about $280,000 to more than $294,000. Heglund’s annual salary will rise from $237,000 to more than $248,800.
These are in keeping with what other cities pay for these services. Think of McIntyre as the head of a very large corporation.
∙ A new location is coming to the Downtown Farmer’s Market very soon.
The community is invited to the grand re-opening of the Downtown Ventura Certified Farmer’s Market on Saturday, August 27, at its new location on Main St. starting at Palm St. continuing west to the San Buenaventura Mission. A ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Chamber of Commerce will take place at 8:00am.
The Downtown Ventura Farmers’ Market is hosted every Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm and operated by the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association (VCCFM). I like the existing layout that can be meandered through as compared to the lineal one that will be on Main but will hold my final opinion after shopping there.
∙ The total attendance for the 2022 Fair was 270,486. A little less than the last one in 2019 of 302,783. I think this is still a good turnout, as some people are still concerned about COVID (and maybe Monkeypox). Plus, many people have become accustomed to not going out.
∙ Jim Duran has announced that he will be running for the Ventura City Council in the upcoming November elections in District 6. He stated, “I do not take this decision lightly and I believe this is the time for me to serve.” Based on my experience “I see an opportunity to make some very positive changes in our city.” More about him and other candidates in future issues.
∙Ventura attorney Maureen Houska, 57, has been selected to serve as judge with the Ventura County Superior Court. The appointment was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Houska is a founding partner of Woo Houska LLP, a firm in Ventura that specializes in representing public entities, business, law enforcement, school districts and public transit.
∙ Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) announced it has been selected as a recipient of a grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the amount of $12,117,144 to purchase hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, install a new hydrogen fueling station, and implement a robust workforce development and training program.
The grant award, made under FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities and Low and No-Emission Vehicle programs, is part of the FTA’s announcement to invest $1.66 billion into 150 transit agencies across the nation, in efforts to meet President Biden’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The funding will be used to replace thousands of older bus models, with new zero-emission transit buses across the country.
∙ Shortly before having their opening ribbon-cutting (as reported in the Breeze), Ventura city officials have ordered the Crown Classics and Hot Rods dealership to stop construction after it was determined that the building unsafe and that the business failed to obtain required building permits. The decision came days before their grand opening on July 30.
Building inspector Tim Fiske said he knew Crown Classics was renovating the exterior of the former Toys R Us building on Johnson Ave. but was not aware major construction had taken place inside.
Also, a city fire inspector noticed the overhead sprinklers were painted over and the fire alarm wasn’t operational. After red-tagging the building, the city gave Crown Classics permission to move forward with the grand opening event on the condition the public not enter the building.
Boy, you need to get the right permits to avoid major issues. I can only imagine how much this delay will cost them. Reminds me of several years ago when the Pierpont Inn stated making major structural changes without permits to part of a building and was red tagged and still has not re-started construction.
∙ With great sadness, Oxnard Mayor John C. Zaragoza and the City Council joined the community in mourning the loss of Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, who passed away recently following injuries she sustained as a pedestrian involved in a vehicle collision.
Supervisor Ramirez served on the Oxnard City Council for ten years prior to being elected
Ventura County’s District 5 Supervisor in 2020. She worked as a longtime legal aid attorney serving low-income communities in Ventura County.
Said Mayor Zaragoza, “I offer my sincere condolences to her husband, Roy Prince, and her family. We will miss Carmen tremendously. We worked together often, while I was serving as Supervisor and she was Oxnard’s Mayor Pro Tem, and this camaraderie continued when she was elected Supervisor and I served as Mayor. She was passionate about environmental justice and creating a better future for our City. Her kindness, love and deep compassion for the community was felt by everyone. She will be dearly missed.”