Category Archives: Home Page Links

Where happiness comes in waves at the Ventura Harbor

Celebrate seaside entertainment all summer long.

The sights and sounds of Summer continue weekly at Ventura Harbor Village through Labor Day with a stellar line up of live seaside entertainment and an array of after dark experiences.

Set sail into the weekend with harborside entertainment at Ventura Harbor Village where a menagerie of summer seaside vibes is in the air on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Revel in genres that include Blues, Pop, Rock Soul, Caribbean, and Reggae.

A roster of top-notch local DJs set the stage and take turns showcasing an ongoing musical variety (made possible by Party Proper!) as part of NEW Friday Nite Seaside DJ Set from 4-7 pm every Friday through Labor Day weekend. Stroll the Seaside Promenade Stage and embrace some evening bliss as the sun goes down and sound turns up. Enjoy the sea-inspired soundtrack while meandering the waterfront and sipping cool cocktails on the patio of a nearby restaurant.

Amid a toe tapping upbeat tropical vibe, visitors celebrate the return of the destination’s popular live Steel Drum Performances with Steel Drum Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. at the seaside Promenade Stage which showcases breathtaking views of both the harbor and mountains. Arrive early to shop, dine and relax at one of the Village’s scenic restaurants and savor fresh seafood, a variety of cuisine choices, and toast to summer with refreshing hand-crafted cocktails

Showcasing a variety of duos and trios with a musical line-up that includes pop to soul and rock to a blend of Caribbean and reggae, Ventura Harbor’s live Summer Sundays live musical performances, from 1-4 p.m. on the oceanfront Promenade Stage, are the perfect way to spend the afternoon. With an array of options to sit back, relax and listen to music on the scenic Promenade patios, on the water aboard a kayak, SUP, electric boat, or on a paddle boat, all offer ways to get the best floating seats in the harbor.

 

Combatting teen vaping is focus of new website

Nearly a third of Ventura County eleventh graders say they have tried vaping.

The Ventura County Office of Education has launched a new website called The Triple Threat to Teen Health that’s aimed at combatting the serious problem of teen vaping. The website is available in English and Spanish at vaping.vcoe.org. “While many may think vaping is a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes, the most popular vaping products all contain nicotine and have a high potential for addiction,” said Dr. César Morales, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “This new website gives parents, guardians, students and educators an important tool to learn about the real risks that vaping poses to our students,” he said.

Nearly a third of Ventura County eleventh graders say they have tried vaping. Many young people are attracted to the thousands of sweet flavor options and slick new device designs used by the vaping industry. In addition to vaping nicotine products, students are using e-cigarettes to consume concentrated cannabis (marijuana). Both nicotine and cannabis use can permanently affect adolescent brain development.

Just before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was investigating cases of severe lung injuries caused by the vaping of these unregulated cannabis products. A recent Stanford University School of Medicine study showed a strong link between youth vaping and an increased risk of lung injury related to COVID-19 infection. Additional research by the University of California and Stanford University has found a concerning connection between nicotine, cannabis, and electronic vaping products.

In an effort to address this risk, the Ventura County Office of Education’s Comprehensive Health and Prevention Programs department has created a new website called The Triple Threat to Teen Health. The site is intended for use by parents, guardians, families, and school staff. It provides an initial introduction to these three intersecting issues that pose a significant health risk to today’s young people. It also offers local resources for those who would like to learn more or to get help with addiction.

While the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) shows that Ventura County students’ use of conventional cigarettes has been on a downward trend for the last two decades, vaping devices are being used at dramatically higher rates at every measured grade level. Only recently has the initial data from the most recent CHKS suggested that student vaping behaviors have dropped slightly. In addition, students’ “perception of harm” caused by vaping devices has increased dramatically – across all grade levels and in nearly every demographic. While additional analyses are pending, this suggests that public messaging and education on the risks of vaping are having an impact on teens.

The Ventura County Office of Education provides a broad array of fiscal, training and technology support services to local school districts, helping to maintain and improve lifelong educational opportunities for children, educators and community members. VCOE also operates schools that serve students with severe disabilities and behavioral issues, provides career education courses, and coordinates countywide academic competitions including Mock Trial and the Ventura County Science Fair. Learn more at: www.vcoe.org.

Adopt a bright and caring and personable teenage boy from Kidsave Summer Miracles Program

Weston is a smart and caring 14-year-old foster child from Columbia.

by Carol Leish

Sueanne Chadbourne is a lawyer who does personal injury, governmental defense and social services work. Her husband, Stephen, does operations/distributions for a medical device company. William (Weston) is staying with their family here in Ventura. They also have their own 16-year-old son.

Sueanne said, “Recently my family welcomed a smart and caring 14-year-old foster child from Columbia. Weston, who doesn’t have a family of his own, will be with us in our home for five weeks. As an older kid, his chances of finding an adoptive family in Columbia are slim to none. We are hoping that this visit with us will give him the opportunity to meet parents who will love and care for him. He is staying with us and he is hoping to meet prospective parents here who will nurture and support him. He traveled here with Kidsave, a nonprofit organization that helps older kids who need families find their forever homes.”

“Kidsave’s Summer Miracles Programs gives older orphans from oversees the chance for a family.” Their website: www.kidsave.org, also says, “Kids travel to the United States for a memorable 5 week stay. While the kids are here, they learn about the U.S. culture, attend summer camp, and experience life with an American family.”

“With your support, our innovative programs both here and abroad give older kids in foster care a voice and a choice in who they get to know and who will ultimately become their forever family. And, with an estimated 8 million children living in institutional care worldwide, and more than 440,000 in foster care here in the U.S., the need has never been greater.”

Sueanne Chadbourne emphasized that, “Weston has a great temperament. He is looking for a new start. He is great with little kids and great with pets, too. He is sweet and well-behaved. He is definitely mature for his age of only being 14 years old.”

“He is polite, loving, and and a funny young man that loves being outside. He is a great bike rider and loves soccer and basketball. He hopes to become a lawyer when he grows up. He has so much to offer and is a joy to be around. He’s a special kid who deserves to be in a loving family that can support his every step of life.”

Those interested in giving Weston a chance to grow in a supportive home, please contact either, Lauren Reicher Gordon (Sr. VP and Director Family Visit Program), at (310) 642-7201; or, Madeline Thrachtenberg (Summer Miracles Assistant Program Manager), at (310) 241-3083. Or email either of them at: summermiracles@kidsave.org. By becoming an adoptive family, you will be giving Weston the chance to thrive in a loving and supportive home.

VCAAA wins national awards for Senior Nutrition Garden, COVID-19 Response

A volunteer helping plant at the Senior Nutrition Garden.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is the recipient of three National Mature Media Awards and an Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies of Aging (n4a). Projects that received acknowledgement include the Senior Nutrition Garden, LIVEWell, and the Robotic Pet Companion and Walk with Ease video productions, both of which are being recognized among the nation’s best marketing, communications, and educational materials produced for older adults.

The VCAAA’s Senior Nutrition Garden, which won an Innovations Award, was honored for expansion efforts designed to increase harvests and provide even more fresh, organic produce to older adults living in Ventura County.  The 2021 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American Aging Programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.

LIVEWell, which won a Bronze Award from the National Mature Media Awards, is the premier resource guide for older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers in Ventura County. LIVEWell is published annually with content available in English and Spanish.

The VCAAA Robotic Pet Companions video production received a Bronze Award from the National Mature Media Awards, while the Walk with Ease video production received a merit award. Both were produced as part of the VCAAA’s COVID-19 Response.

“The VCAAA is honored to receive this recognition and is proud of the impact our marketing and communication efforts have made on the community, particularly through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Victoria Jump, Director of the VCAAA. “We take pride in the work we produce and strive to find new ways to strengthen our methods of communication so that we can continue to empower Ventura County residents to remain healthy and engaged in the community.”

For more information, visit www.vcaaa.org or call (805) 477-7300.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, an agency of the County of Ventura, is the principal agency in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals, caregivers, and individuals with disabilities to live in a community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services.

 

July is Parks and Recreation Month

The beautiful view from Grant Park. Photo by Michael Gordon

The City of Ventura is celebrating Parks and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and inviting the community to share experiences, memories, and stories about what parks and recreation programs mean to them.

“Parks and Recreation Month provides a great opportunity to highlight the beauty of Ventura’s open spaces and parks, the importance of recreation facilities, and the positive impact they have on our wellness and quality of life,” said Mayor Sofia Rubalcava. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, parks and recreation centers have been essential in contributing to Ventura’s strength, vibrancy, and resiliency.”

The City of Ventura Parks and Recreation Department maintains 31 traditional parks, 34 linear parks, three community centers, and offers an average of 2,058 recreation programs annually.

In celebration of this national tradition, the City has planned various activities for residents of all ages and abilities, including weekly challenges to inspire and entertain community members. Weekly prize drawings will be given to people who share photos or short videos of their adventures.

“Parks and recreation programs are at the center of many life experiences and memories. Local parks are places to gather with friends and family, spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, sites that connect us with essential community services, and so much more,” said Ventura Parks and Recreation Director Nancy O’Connor. “I am proud to lead a team of amazing people who work hard to keep providing essential recreation programs and maintain Ventura’s beautiful trees, open spaces, and facilities.”

According to NRPA, 93% of adults in the U.S. say their mental health is improved by services offered by local park and recreation professionals and agencies.

For details, visit  www.cityofventura.ca.gov/ParksRec, or follow the Ventura Parks and Recreation Facebook page.

For information about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.

Expansion of Hillmont Psychiatric Unit alleviates waits for patients in crisis

The unit has the capacity for 43-beds.

by Carol Leish

“The Hillmont Psychiatric Unit was built in 1995 and licensed for 43 beds,” according to Ashley Bautista, Public Information Officer for Ventura County. “It replaced a 28-bed unit that had been licensed since 1978.

“The unit has the capacity for 43-beds, and is currently staffed for 36 patients. The average length of stay is for 11 days. This increased to 14 days during the COVID-19 crisis. If Hillmont is full, patients are sent to Vista del Mar, here in Ventura, or out of the county to Northridge, Glendale, or Southern California Hospital in Van Nuys.
“With the $2 million proposal, part of Ventura County’s $2.5 billion budget, which was recently approved,” according to Bautista, “an additional 7 staffed beds will be bringing the total capacity of Hillmont up to 43 beds.

“Yes, we agree that the County needs more beds/chairs/placement sites, and we are looking at the full continuum from the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit to Crisis Stabilization Unit /Crisis Residential Treatment to residential treatment and board and care to incrementally enhance the eco-system at all levels,” according to Bautista. “Since the county has a need for it with its population of 840, 000, future expansion plans include: adding Crisis Stabilization Units (6 chairs), which will be coming this fall to St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard; Crisis Residential Treatment (16 beds), which will be coming to Santa Paula this fall; and, a Locked Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility (80-120 beds), which we are looking to bring to Ventura County in the near future.”

“Concerning the Advisory panel urging an option for longer hospitalizations of those who are severely mentally ill in Ventura County,” according to Bautista, “I’ll refer to us (Ventura County), adopting the provisions of Welfare and Institutions Code #270.10 et seq. (Article 4.7 of Chapter 2 of the Lanterman-Petris-Short [LPS] Act) (hereinafter WIC & 5270) which discusses the possible provision for people requiring acute psychiatric treatment longer than that currently afforded under the Welfare and Institutions Code & 5250, in order to avoid the costly and unnecessary filings of Temporary Conservatorship petitions. Thus, if adopted, a WIC & 5270 hold would allow an individual with serious mental illness to be held for up to an additional 30 days. But, if the person in question is stabilized, the hospital can discharge that person earlier without approval from the court or a conservator.

“The above recommendations are supported by both Ventura County Behavioral Heath and Ventura County Medica Center. When it is determined that an individual is gravely disabled and has not stabilized in 17 days, the hospital either discharges and subsequently re-admits (if they missed the window to file for temporary conservatorship), or files for temporary conservatorship which is more restrictive than an additional 30 days. Rights are protected by affording the individual a probable cause hearing.”

Dr. Fankhauser, CEO of both Ventura County Medical Center & Santa Paula Hospital, states: “We are committed to providing high quality, compassionate care to this population (those with mental illness), here in Ventura County.”

CAPS Media Productions for Mayor’s State of the City Message

Welcome to Summer. Here’s a roubust CAPS congratulations to all 2021 elementary, middle, high school and college graduates and their families throughout Ventura. CAPS Media was thrilled to be part of the celebrations by covering and livestreaming the ceremonies from Buena High, Ventura High, El Camino High, Foothill High, Pacific High and VACE. The extensive productions held in the Buena, Ventura and Ventura College football statiums required all-hands-on-deck efforts and long hours for all CAPS Crew members. Following the productions, CAPS received a kind note from Marieanne Quiroz, Communications Coordinator for VUSD, “Thanks to your CAPS team for the incredible work work in making our graduations so special! We could not have done it with out them!”

Immediately following the graduations the work continued when the entire CAPS Media crew pitched-in to produce a set of special videos for Mayor Sofia Rubalcava’s recent “State of the City” update. The videos included individual messages by the City’s seven Council Members (Sofia Rubalcava, Doug Halter, Mike Johnson, Jeannette Sanchez-Palacios, Jim Friedman, Lorrie Brown and Joe Schroeder). The council member messages were recorded on location in their respective districts with each member sharing perspectives on the past, present and future of the city. A second video featured thirteen City department directors sharing personal messages on the past year’s unprecedented challenges and insights into plans for future for their respecrive departments.

“CAPS is a valued and appreciated partner. Thank you for your talents, and contributions in greatly enhancing the City’s ability to share its stories” convayed in a note from Heather Sumagaysay, Public Information Officer for the City of Ventura.

The complete presentation will be repeated (broadcast and streamed) on CAPS Media Channel 6 throughout the month and the individual videos with the City Council members and City Staff will air and stream interstititally on Channel 6 and 15 as well as included on the CAPS Media website at capsmedia.org/videos/.

Recently the CAPS Media Executive Board met to discuss various issues including the question of when to reopen the CAPS Media Center to CAPS Members and the public. Due to the pandemic the CAPS Media Center has been closed for the past 16 months. The board members discussed numerous considerations including the encouraging vaccination rates in Ventura County, the State and County guidelines for public buildings, the recent emergence of the Delta variant, and potential surges and decided to continue with the cautious position of keeping the CAPS Media Center closed to the public for the next few months.

Despite the CAPS Media Center being closed to Members and the public, the CAPS Media staff continues to work throughout the pandemic shutdown. CAPS crews are in the community and in the CAPS studio every week recording and producing multiple informational and educational and supervise the broadcast of numerous meetings at City Hall including City Council meetings. The CAPS Crews have covered th County COVID updates as well as videos for County Fire, Health, Public Information and other departments.

At the same time CAPS Media Center staff continue to broadcast and stream television programming on Channel 6, Channel 15 and online. Plus, CAPS radio – KPPQ 104.1FM,continues broadcasting and streaming a vast variety of engaging original and acquired radio programs. Go to capsmedia.org for more information.

All of us at CAPS Media encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The sooner we are all vaccinated the sooner we can open the CAPS Media Center to our Members and the public. Our thanks to everyone for continuing to Stay Safe and Stay Strong during these challenging times.

Ventura College Foundation distributes over $640,000 in scholarships 

Scholarship recipient Jimena Pérez Arroyo came to the U.S. from Mexico.

The Ventura College Foundation awarded 400 scholarships to 228 students totaling $642,758 for the 2020/21 academic year. 

Students were notified this month of their scholarship awards. Scholarship amounts range from an average of nearly $2,400 for continuing students to an average of nearly $4,000 for students who are transferring to four-year universities in the fall. Over half of the winners received multiple scholarships. 

“Despite the challenges during the school year because of the pandemic and virtual learning, many Ventura College students were able to excel in their academic studies,” says Rob van Nieuwburg, Ventura College Foundation board chair. 

Scholarships were awarded in all academic fields which included STEM, art, health and liberal arts. Recipients came from nearly every city in Ventura County including Ventura (75), Oxnard (65), Santa Paula (27), Camarillo (13), Fillmore (8) and Port Hueneme (6). 

A recipient of two scholarship awards this year, Bryan Rodriguez and his older sisters are the first in his family to attend college. His parents immigrated to America to provide a better life for their family.  

Scholarship recipient Jimena Pérez Arroyo, 18, came to the U.S. from Mexico at nine with her mom seeking a better future. “I was taught the value of education and hard work,” says Pérez Arroyo who attends Ventura College full time and works part time.

Pérez Arroyo knew she wanted to be a pilot since she was 12. She excelled in math and science throughout her schooling and is now studying engineering at Ventura College. 

Even though in-person award celebrations aren’t allowed due to COVID restrictions, the Ventura College Foundation is still virtually celebrated the 2021 scholarship awardees, the donors who made the awards possible, and the sponsors of the Scholarship Awarding Week of Celebration. Videos and the 2021 scholarship awards program can be viewed at https://venturacollegefoundation.org/awardevents2021/. 

The Ventura College Foundation is grateful for the continuing support of scholarship event sponsors. They include Edison International, Miracle Mile Advisors, Citizens Business Bank, Searle Creative and Bank of the Sierra. 

For more about scholarships and other support services provided by the Ventura College Foundation, go to www.VenturaCollegeFoundation.org. 

Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset.

Visit Ventura is awarded “Best Place to Work” for the fourth year in a row

Visit visitventuraca.com/contact/staff to learn more about the Visit Ventura team.

The Pacific Coast Business Times has once again honored Visit Ventura with their “Central Coast Best Place to Work” award.

This marks the fourth year in a row that Visit Ventura has been selected as a “Best Place to Work,” but, suffice to say, 2020 was not a conventional work year.

“It was a year of adjusting and readjusting, again and again,” said Marlyss Auster, Visit Ventura President & CEO. “There were some stressful times, but through it all our team maintained the same upbeat attitude they’ve always had. And we never lost sight of our overall mission to do the next right thing to help our community. Thank you, Pacific Coast Business Times, for kindly honoring us. And thank you, wonderful Ventura, for working alongside us to do that next right thing.”

Through creative thinking and various award-winning campaigns, Visit Ventura helps spearhead a tourism effort that generates close to $300 million in annual visitor spending and, equally important, creates roughly 2,600 jobs in Ventura. Perhaps less known, tourism’s dollars help bolster Ventura’s General Fund, which, among other things, helps fund the city’s fire and police forces, build the city’s roads, and finance the city’s schools. Now more than ever, tourism will play a critical role in the recovery of the economy — from the national front to local hometowns.

“We all know how hard the pandemic has been on Ventura’s economy,” said Auster. “And tourism will be the economic driver that not only sees Ventura to its feet, but sees Ventura thrive. Our amazing team will continue to work hard to see that happen.”

The “Best Place to Work” awards began in 2016. They represent feedback across an organizational structure and were quickly embraced by the community thus increasing their prestige. Workplace factors such as compensation, paid time off, community involvement, and overall corporate culture are considered.

Ventura College Foundation receives nearly $185,000 gift from Aurora Loss Estate

Aurora Loss with scholarship winner Vanessa Apodaca.

Ventura College Foundation, which provides financial support to students and programs of Ventura College, received $184,105 from the estate of long-time Ventura College supporter Aurora Loss who passed away in April 2020 at age 102. Loss has a 20-year history of giving to Ventura College Foundation to fund scholarships for Ventura College nursing students. 

Loss’ donation is divided equally with $92,052 designated for the establishment of the Aurora Loss Scholarship Fund endowment and $92,052 to the college’s nursing department for the purchase of medical training equipment. The scholarships will be managed and awarded through the Ventura College Foundation. 

Loss grew up on a farm in a mining town in Montana. An independent and career-driven woman, she attended Billings Business College and soon was employed in the engineering industry and as a government administrator during WWII.

Her career included working at the Pentagon. While in Washington D.C., she became ill and was hospitalized. Doctors minimalized her symptoms but she received the support of a nurse who advocated for her. Loss believed the nurse helped save her life. She never forgot the nurse’s kindness. When Loss eventually relocated to California, she found an opportunity to reciprocate by supporting Ventura College’s nursing students with scholarships and program support.

Dr. Sandra Melton, director of the college’s School of Nursing & Allied Health, had the opportunity to have lunch with Loss on several occasions and to take her on a tour of the nursing school.

Currently, 151 students are enrolled in the Ventura College two-year nursing program. The program normally enrolls up to 200 students, but the pandemic temporarily limited the number of enrollments. The students use life-like manikins (also known as patient simulators) in the learning process. These manikins are computer controlled and simulate breathing, life-like sounds, heartbeats, pulse and other bodily functions. As a tribute to Loss’ generosity, one of the manikins is being named, “Auntie LaLa” in her memory. 

“The manikins allow students to use their critical thinking skills to perform patient assessments and administer patient interventions in a safe environment,” says Melton. 

Melton says her department currently uses three high fidelity adult, pediatric and birthing simulators and is considering adding a more advanced wireless child simulator with Loss’ donation. The department will also purchase additional medical equipment with the funds. “It’s important that students have access to practice with the same equipment that they will use in local hospitals,” she says. “We’re always updating our program with the latest technology.” 

The nursing program is one of the most expensive on campus. Students must purchase textbooks, uniforms and medical supplies such as stethoscopes, and pay for drug testing, CPR certification and licensing exams. “Scholarships help offset some of these costs,” says Anne Paul King, Ventura College Foundation executive director. 

The Ventura College nursing program enjoys a 100% hiring rate for those graduates seeking employment with the majority of graduating students accepting positions locally. “The generous donations from Aurora Loss will support the degree completion of our nursing students,” says Ventura College President Kim Hoffmans who is also a registered nurse. 

For more information about scholarships and other support services provided by the Ventura College Foundation, go to www.VenturaCollegeFoundation.org.