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March for reproductive justice held in Ventura

The event was spearheaded by the Women’s March national organization. Photo by Patricia Schallert

The Supreme Court signaled it is prepared to dismantle women’s reproductive rights when it refused to stop Texas’ SB 8, which made abortion illegal after six weeks and instituted a bounty system on violators. On December 1st the Court is scheduled to hear Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi case which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks.

“Roe v Wade is under attack like never before in its 50-year history,” said Miriam Mack, Justice For All Ventura County Board Member. “Our march, along with marches in over 600 communities across the country, is intended to show the Court that a woman’s right to control her reproductive destiny is a human right that must be protected.”

Hundreds of Ventura County women (and men) marched on Saturday, October 2, at noon at Ventura City Hall. Marching were Justice For All Ventura County, along with the Ventura County Reproductive Rights Network, Planned Parenthood, Indivisible Ventura, Women United for Change and others. They marched to the State Court of Appeals Building at Santa Clara Street and Figueroa Plaza.

The effort is spearheaded by the Women’s March national organization and is intended to send a message to the Supreme Court that 77% of the country wants to preserve the protections of Roe v Wade and state legislative actions to limit that right cannot stand.

The march was disciplined and peaceful and the signs sent a clear message that the protections of Roe v Wade must be preserved.

For more information go to https://justiceforallvc.org/.

A vacant lot has been transformed into a beautiful garden

The large lot behind the Museum of Ventura County, on Santa Clara, is now a permanent and temporary garden of sculptures and metal tee-pees. It opened on September 22 and included live music and a food truck.

The project, “Echoes of a Recent Past.” was created by Ventura artist Paul Lindhard from Art City Studios located off of Ventura Ave.

Many of the materials came from the buildings that were demolished across the street.

“Echos of a Recent Past” can easily be viewed from the street as folks drive by looking through the chain-link fence. It will be open during special events and accessed from Santa Clara.

Elena Brokaw, The Museum Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director told the Breeze
“We are very thankful to Paul Lindhard for his vision and hard work. He and his team transformed an ugly empty lot into a beautiful and sustaining art installation and place of peace and contemplation. The space is not only attractive – the artwork speaks to the transformation of space, and the temporal nature of our built environment.”

Deputy Director of the Museum Denise Sindelar went on “The Museum of Ventura County had 237 attendees at the opening reception for Paul Lindhard’s Echoes of a Recent Past art and garden installation. There were musical and aerial performances set to the backdrop of the setting sun on the evening of the Autumnal Equinox. The evening began with a ceremonial Chumash blessing offered by tribal leader Julie Tumamait-Stenslie

County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez in CAPS Media studio

Recently CAPS Media produced a set of informative videos with Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez in the CAPS Media studio directed to renters throughout the county that have been impacted by COVID-19. Recorded in English and Spanish the informational videos provide renters facing eviction with clear direction on how to obtain assistance from the County and other resources. The videos and other information can be viewed at venturacountyrecovers.org

CAPS Media’s local Radio station – KPPQ, 104.1FM is adding new programming every week. New episodes of In The Women’s Room, Teen Centric and Ventura Vibe!, are being added to the scheduled. Plus new shows selected from outstanding programs throughout the country are added to the 24×7 mix on KPPQ.

The KPPQ team is also working Ventura’s creative community to develop and distribute personalized podcasts on a variety of topics. Plus the continued expanision of KPPQ has fostered a search for a media intern to help with programming, social media and more. Anyone interested in working with the KPPQ crew should send a message to radio@capsmedia.org.

ECTV, the award-winning student internship collaboration between CAPS Media and El Camino High school is gearing up for the new school year. Mentored by CAPS Media staff and utilizing the resources at the CAPS Media Center, El Camino high school students write, produce, direct, host, and edit magazine-style video and podcast programs on topics of interest and concern to teenagers. Student topics range from drug abuse and discrimination to racial prejudice, the climate crisis and more in their self-titled ECTV series.

The innovative program teaches students how to use digital, computer-based tools and technology to create, develop and communicate their stories. The program includes hands-on training with HD video cameras, audio recording equipment, digital editing equipment and graphic software. In addition to developing hands-on media skills the students receive high school, college, and community service credits. This year the ECTV program expands into the KPPQ study for training in radio production and podcasting.

For more information on how to become a member/producer at CAPS Media and information on programming and more, go to capsmedia.org.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency the CAPS Media Center is closed to Members and the public until further notice. CAPS Member/Producers can submit programming via the online portal at capsmedia.org for broadcast and streaming on CAPS public access television Channel 6 and on CAPS Radio KPPQ 104.1FM.

All of us at CAPS Media encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The sooner we are all vaccinated the sooner we can fully enjoy our beautiful community, and the sooner we can reopen the CAPS Media Center to our Members and the public. We hope you all Stay Safe and Stay Strong during these challenging times.

The Ventura Fire Department goes pink in October

For the 11th consecutive year, the Ventura Fire Department will partner with the Ventura City Firefighters Association and various Downtown Ventura businesses to support and promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month by selling pink, embossed department t-shirts.

Limited-edition t-shirts are available to the public during the month of October, while supplies last. Additionally, Ventura firefighters will wear pink t-shirts from October 1-15, to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment in the battle against breast cancer.

This year, funds raised through t-shirt sales will be donated to Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation, a local non-profit and independent grassroots organization that helps women and families affected by breast cancer by providing education, advocacy, and emotional and social support.

Residents can purchase pink shirts or donate to the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation at the following participating local businesses:

  • Anacapa Brewing Company
  • Ventura Chamber of Commerce
  • Crush Salon & Dry Bar
  • Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack, downtown location only
  • Tiki Girl 
  • Ventura Visitors Center 
  • Very Ventura Gift Shop and Gallery 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, t-shirts will not be available for sale at any Ventura Fire stations.

To learn more about the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit www.RibbonsVentura.org.

Ventura Boys & Girls Club nearing teen center reopening

VCCAR members present check to Peter McClintock with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura was forced to close its facility in West Ventura in June over a dispute with the Ventura Unified School District over state grant requirements. Since then, club officials have been scrambling to find an alternate facility where they can reopen their teen center as a first step in reopening the entire club – a fixture in the low-income neighborhood since 1968.

Those efforts took a giant leap forward this month when the Young Professionals Network (YPN) of the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors donated $10,032.89 to the Boys & Girls Club – the proceeds of its wildly successful fundraising auction in August.

“We were so surprised at how much we received. It was a godsend,” said Peter McClintock, the club’s director of resource development. “The YPN group was so much fun to work with and they’re really focused on helping the community. We are so grateful.”

Patti Birmingham, the club’s CEO, said reopening the teen center is extremely important as it provides mentoring and support for teens who otherwise would have too little of either.

“Most of their parents are working two jobs at the least, and most of the parents can’t really help them with their homework,” she said. “The teens’ experiences are limited – lots of kids in that end of town haven’t even been to the beach. And that can lead to a lot of bad choices in a dangerous environment. They need a safe space and mentoring to get through middle school and high school and into a job or a career.”

Birmingham added that they are close to closing a deal and have set an ambitious date of Nov. 1 to open. At worst, they are confident the center will be open by the end of the year and expect to have between 80 and 100 teen members. The donation will be applied to the start-up costs.

The group reached out to Jack Dyer, owner of Topa Topa Brewing, who has a long track record of helping with fundraisers, and he immediately agreed to host the auction and to contribute a portion of the proceeds to the club.

While the auction proceeds will greatly benefit the teen center opening, the club is still looking for additional support for ongoing operational costs and to reopen programs for younger children. For more information, contact Peter McClintock at (805) 641-5585.

VCCAR is a professional trade association of nearly 2,000 licensed real estate agents in western Ventura County, including the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore and Port Hueneme.

St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo earn national recognition

Sherri Greif, Nurse Practitioner, Stroke Program Manager and Nicole Schumacher, Neuro Nurse Practitioner are proud of the recognition.

Dignity Health—St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo (SJHC) have received the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

Each year program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are pleased to recognize St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

“Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The
Guidelines quality improvement initiatives can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

SJRMC and SJHC also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

Additionally, both SJRMC and SJHC received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”
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Local veteran given experimental drug

Bennett’s journey has not been an easy one.

by Sheli Ellsworth

In 1943, nine-year-old Maureen Bennett came down with meningitis—an inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. “They’d done lumbar punctures to diagnose, and I had terrible nosebleeds. Some people told us to use brown paper or a clean dime under my upper lip to stop the bleeding–it rarely helped. I was miserable. I remember being in bed and seeing company walking outside past my bedroom window towards our front door. That was the last thing I can recall before going unconscious,” says Bennett. “I was told that I began convulsing and my parents, aunt and uncle put me in the car and raced to the hospital.” Bennett’s father tore up the road between the towns of Coleman and Saginaw, Michigan while her uncle prayed. “Dumb luck got us to the right hospital. Our family doctor had called ahead, but my dad just followed the signs that said ‘hospital’ and it turned out to be the right one.” Bennett’s temperature was 106° F.

Doctors at the Saginaw hospital told her parents that they had a new experimental medication that might save their daughter’s life. “They said, ‘We have this drug but it could leave her a vegetable; it could kill her, but it might let her live.’ My parents had no choice.” The doctors experimented with the dosage because not enough was known about the drug.

One afternoon, six weeks later, Bennett woke up from her coma. “My mom screamed and nurses came running. I couldn’t get out of the hospital fast enough. I soon went home, but I couldn’t walk. I scooted a chair around like a walker and I leaned on its back.” Maureen recovered and became her mother’s helper, caring for her five younger siblings.

The drug Bennett had been given was penicillin.

Two years later in 1945, Sottish scientist-physician Alexander Fleming, Australian pharmacologist-pathologist Howard Florey and German-British biochemist Ernst Chain shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery and development of penicillin. It is estimated that 80-200 million human lives have been saved by penicillin. Originally derived from the Penicillium mold on melons, the name penicillin was chosen “to avoid the repetition of the rather cumbersome phrase: mould broth filtrate,” according to Fleming.

Bennett’s journey has not been an easy one. She served in the U.S. Navy as a teletype operator for four years and was in the Army reserve for sixteen. Eventually, she married and had four boys. “Then my husband abandoned us and we lived in my Falcon car for a while. I eventually went to nursing school and worked as an LVN for ten years.” She also worked as a mail carrier. Bennett, who now goes by the last name Finlay, is unable to tolerate most medications which is a problem for someone her age. “The doctors think I can’t take medications because of the penicillin. I’m in pain most days, but I can’t take pain pills. They just put me out.” A resident at the Veterans Home-Ventura for the last seven years, she is now dependent on a mobility device at the assisted living facility. “But, I’m fortunate that I had someplace to go. Many are not so lucky.”

Note: Do you know (or are) a senior with an interesting story to tell let us know at editor@venturabreeze.com.

Education to facilitate changes for the better for people with mental illness

by Carol Leish MA

“On September 8, 2021” according to Mary Haffner, an advocate for people with mental illness, “NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Advocacy Group held a countywide Town Hall to address the needs of people with mental illness.”

During the Town Hall, it was discussed that: “Because of the gaps in services to people with mental illness, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Advisory Board recently passed a unanimous motion requesting that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approve an independent assessment regarding the continuum of care for people with severe mental illness. Through this comprehensive assessment, it will become possible to reduce the number of people who continue to cycle through successive hospitalizations, incarcerations, and homelessness. Other counties in California have conducted similar assessments and the California State Auditor has recommended that all counties do so, too.”

The NAMI Town Hall also focused on the fact that, ‘The gaps in Ventura County are significant, from crisis care to long-term care. As for crisis care, Ventura County has no psychiatric facility that can directly admit psychiatric emergencies. Someone in crisis with a psychiatric emergency must first wait in a general hospital emergency room. However, other California counties have facilities that allow them to pass hospital emergency rooms so that they can receive prompt treatment. In addition, Ventura County has only 8 chairs for crisis stabilization. For a county of 846,000, this is woefully deficient. As for long-term care, Ventura County has only one 43-bed locked facility, which is currently staffed for 36 patients (July, 14, 2021 ‘Ventura Breeze’: ‘Expansion of Hillmont Psychiatric Unit alleviates waits for patients in crisis.’). There are few Board and Cares, and not enough supportive housing to support long-term rehabilitation and care. As a result, people who need a higher level of care may end up at a sober living home with inadequate supports, thus setting them up for relapse and getting caught up in the cycle again.”

“Ventura County appears to have the second highest percentage of inmates classified as ‘open mental health cases,’ according to a review of the latest numbers from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC),” according to the NAMI Town Hall. “With no needed intercept model diversion program, and a dire lack of crisis care, and very few options for long-term treatment and housing, people with severe mental illness cycle into either jail or homelessness.”

Haffner believes that, “We don’t do more to help those with severe mental health issues because I believe that discrimination and stigma play a big role in our society’s failure to provide adequate treatment. We have normalized the jailing of people with mental illness and we have too many people who don’t want any treatment facilities in their communities. This is why leadership is so important. We need leaders who understand the illness and who are willing to educate the public and work towards solutions.”

Vol. 15, No. 01 – Oct 6 – Oct 19, 2021 – The Pet Page

∙ Since 1992, the Spay and Neuter Animal Network, otherwise known as SPAN, has made it their mission to reduce dog and cat overpopulation throughout Ventura County by raising public awareness about the direct consequence of irresponsible breeding.

Today more than ever, responsible dog and cat owners like you play the most significant role in the solution to overpopulation by spaying and neutering your pets. SPAN shares in that responsibility by providing financial assistance to pet owners who would otherwise be unable to pay for this procedure.
SPAN is a highly regarded nonprofit and recognized for commitment to their mission and overall success. Over the last 30 years, SPAN has provided financial assistance for the spay and neuter of over 35,000 thousand dogs and cats.

“SPAN receives hundreds of requests for financial assistance every year. Our ability to help pet owners is directly related to our Thrift Store sales, Legacy gifts, and unrestricted cash donations. Thanks to our all-volunteer staff at SPAN, we are proud to say that 100% of our income is used towards spay and neuter procedures.” — SPAN Board of Directors
For more about SPAN, their mission, and opportunities to assist, please visit at www.spanonline.org.
Shop the SPAN Thrift Store, located at 110 N. Olive St. Suite A Ventura (Please visit website for store hours). SPAN Thrift Store Phone: 805-641-1170

∙ Veterinary Viewpoint: Raising healthy puppies
Dr. Joanna Bronson

Lack of sleep is normal for new puppy owners. Puppies play hard, eat, and sleep. Potty training should rotate around any change in activity. Puppies will have to relieve themselves after playing, eating, and sleeping, and any other form of excitement, usually every hour for puppies a month old or younger.

Thankfully, the potty-training process usually goes smoothly when consistency is followed. There may still be occasional accidents, and during inclement weather, an indoor potty-training pad may come in handy. The important thing is not to punish the pup when an accident happens. He’s doing what nature tells him to do. Praising him when he does go outside is a good thing.

If an accident is discovered, and he is close by, pick him up, take him outside and walk a bit. Do not rub his nose in it his accident.

Any new puppy should be closely chaperoned inside and outside. New puppies want to chew anything in sight. Rocks, twigs, leaves, etc., all taste and crunch satisfactorily. Watch and remove any objects before they get lodged or swallowed.

Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, it’s best to avoid dog parks and contact with other dogs. If your puppy is small enough to carry, you may expose him to watching other animals, while keeping him safe from touch.

Puppies like to bite, you and everything in sight. Their teeth are horribly sharp. Exchange your flesh for a toy and trying to keep him occupied with appropriate chew toys, but make sure that toys cannot be easily dismantled and parts swallowed or get stuck in his mouth.

Also, be aware of poisonous substances and plants. Keep the garbage and all human food out of reach. Medications should always be kept out-of-sight. Electrical cords are very tempting to chewers and can be deadly through electrocution.

∙ Dr. Joanna Bronson of Bronson Veterinary Services,

Whether you’re a new dog owner or a seasoned pup parent, there’s always something new to learn about taking care of your pet.

Keep your dog on heartworm medication
Add extra water bowls around the house to prevent dehydration in older dogs
It’s best to make your older dog’s trip to the water bowl as short and easy as possible.
Making sure your older dog has constant access to water can help prevent dangerous dehydration.

If your dog has difficulty climbing stairs, it’s a good idea to keep their food and water bowls on the ground floor of the house.

Give your dog personal space if they need it. All dogs are different — some pets love to snuggle up, but others don’t like to be closely cuddled or held.

Long play sessions, active games, praise, and treats are all ways to show your dog that you love them without invading their personal space.

If you’re struggling to train your dog, miscommunication may be the problem.
Giving dogs inconsistent verbal cues can be confusing for them. For example, telling your dog to “go potty” one day and “go pee” the next can be confusing.

Instead, train your dog using the exact same word or phrase every time and try to keep those cues short, like saying “down” rather than “go lay down.”

Try to keep your dog’s diet consistent
Suddenly changing your dog’s food could upset their stomach or give them diarrhea.

Brush your dog’s teeth every day
Just like those of humans, dog’s teeth should be regularly brushed to avoid cavities and bad breath.
If you aren’t able to brush your dog’s teeth, talk to your vet about products that your dog can chew on to control tartar buildup.

Make and keep regular vet visits
Dogs can sometimes develop health problems that aren’t obvious to the untrained eye, so it’s important to schedule routine visits to the vet.
Regular checkups are also opportunities to monitor your dog’s dental health and keep them up-to-date on vaccinations, which can help you avoid costly interventions in the future.

Resist the urge to bend the rules, even on special occasions. For example, allowing your dog on the furniture as a treat but then scolding them for jumping on the sofa the next day can be very confusing, so try to establish clear house rules and stick to them.

Praise your dog for good behavior instead of scolding them when they’re naughty
Instead of scolding your dog for being afraid or nervous, try showering them with praise when they calm down or giving them a treat when they appropriately react to a stressful situation.

Just as humans may develop neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease as they grow older, our aging canine friends also can develop dementia, also referred to as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CCDS), a complex of behavioral and neurological symptoms the prevalence of which increases with age.

“Hurry up I need to go!” Savana