Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 17, No. 15 – April 17 – April 30, 2024 – Mailbox

“How Long?”

Wiliiam Gohlke

Tom Watson, eight-time golf major champion said,  “A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind.”

The City of Ventura is fortunate to have two such golf courses (Buenaventura and Olivas Links) that not only provide recreation but are revenue generating assets.

Unfortunately, Buenaventura suffered severe damage in 2023 from flooding during the winter rainstorms. At present, it appears to be on track to being repaired as only a nine-hole course. However, nine holes will impact revenue by 75% according to the City’s own Golf Administrative Report dated 2017.

Olivas Links was redesigned by Forrest Richardson and reopened in 2007. It was immediately recognized as one of the “Top Ten Municipal Courses” by Golfweek. The city directed Mr. Richardson to make the course a “destination venue for golfers,” not only county residents, but for non-resident golfers. According to 2022-2023 Parks and Recreation data the course has admirably accomplished this goal with 30% of rounds played by non-residents who pay higher green fees than residents. Unfortunately, Olivas is not able to realize its full revenue potential due to unsightly dilapidated temporary trailers that are 17 years old.

Harry Vardon, a six-time British Open Champion golfer said, “More matches are lost through carelessness at the beginning than any other cause.”

This is certainly true when we become aware of how much money has been expended to rent these trailers. That amount is approximately 3 million dollars according to a reliable source. If a decent clubhouse and cart storage structure had originally been built, both structures would now be paid off and additional revenue generated from food and merchandise sales.

How long before our current Ventura Mayor and City Council members recognize the need to improve this infrastructure? This investment will not only enhance revenue lost to Buenaventura downsizing but will maintain the course as a “destination venue for golfers.” The National Golf Foundation indicates that 26 million people play golf in the United States. Most importantly, our junior golfers and future golfers of tomorrow have expanded by 40%. Golf is growing and Olivas requires first class infrastructure facilities.


Vol. 17, No. 14 – April 3 – April 16, 2024 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

I’m writing on behalf of everyone working at New Art City Theatre – the Advisory Board, the volunteers, the artists, and Kirby and myself – to thank you for the article about our upcoming Festival ’24! We’re grateful for the shout out, especially since Festival ’24 is FREE! We hope to be an addition to the already rich cultural scene, but we can’t achieve that goal unless folks know what we’re doing.

You do incredible work in our community. You keep people abreast of what’s happening (and what isn’t). The Breeze is vitally important to all of us in our beautiful town, and you’re providing such a wonderful service to the residents of Ventura.  So thank you, again.


Bev Ward
Co-Founder/Co-Producing Artistic Director
New Art City Theatre


Maybe at one time the Albinger Archaeological Museum (On Main across from the County Museum) was something to see and explore. But now it is just a large wasted space. Perhaps a good location for a much needed downtown parking structure.

William Bray


The employees at Olivas Links do an outstanding job, but faced with these antiquated trailers their efforts are marginalized.

William Gohlke

Vol. 17, No. 13 – Mar 20 – April 2, 2024 – Mailbox

by Veterans for Responsible and Efficient Government Editors

The evidence continues to mount, proving a problem exists with Ventura Water, the Water Commission and VenturaWaterPure.

In 2019, the Carollo Report presented several options to Ventura to VenturaWaterPure, many of which were less expensive. However, the Ventura Water Department convinced the City Council to ignore the report’s options.

A September 12, 2019 report titled Ventura Water Supply Projects and Alternatives shows estimated project costs of another $320 million plus annual operating expenses of $29.Million for VenturaWaterPure. Yet, the Carollo Report presented options costing a mere $50 million for the project and operating costs of only $3.9 Million.

Now after five more years of operating without any severe limitations, more damning evidence surfaced this month when Water Commissioner George Amandola resigned from the commission. Mr. Amandola cited various problems he saw within Ventura Water, the Water Commission, and the City Council. Critical points in the resignation letter are a stultified, bureaucratic, autocratic Ventura Water Department. He lacks confidence in the project management and financial planning for VenturaWaterPure. He also felt that Ventura Water had neutered the Water Commission and prevented it from doing its duty.

These are not frivolous accusations made by an outsider. These are observations made by an insider, capable of seeing the entire landscape of what’s happening with VenturaWaterPure.

Meanwhile, the project’s costs mount. Today, they are half a billion dollars, and it is reasonable to believe they will go even higher. With no ceiling on cost increases, Ventura Water ratepayers bear the burden. Soon, the project’s costs will triple the price of water.

What more evidence does the City Council need to finally admit that there are problems with the Water Department and the Water Commission? How long will the city hide its head in the sand before taking action?

City staff often uses the Consent Decree as an obstacle in addressing Ventura’s water problems. This Consent Decree addresses two issues. Part one is cleaning up the estuary. Extracting the wastewater from the estuary is being accomplished.

Part two is developing a practical use for extracted water. Ventura Water has named this Ventura WaterPure. However, nowhere does it say that Ventura WaterPure must be a stand-alone facility. There are also exceptions to allow for an extension of the timeline of the Consent Decree. Conditions to extend providing proper reuse of the extracted water are financial feasibility and proof that there is a sincere effort to comply with the Consent Decree. Ventura can meet both of these standards. An extension is reasonable and justified.

The major cost factor is that Ventura believes it must have a separate, stand-alone facility to treat the extracted water. While nobody says Ventura WaterPure needs to stop, it simply needs to be processed differently.

Oxnard has an underutilized recycling facility. Ventura Water has refused to consider this option, which would cost Ventura over $200 million.

To solve this issue, the City of Ventura must reconsider all options, including treating the wastewater in Oxnard. The city must issue an up-to-date formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to the City of Oxnard and United Water. Oxnard’s and United’s responses must come directly from them (not via a Ventura Water Department Consultant) and be on their letterhead.

If Ventura partners with other agencies, it must demand documentation for those alternatives. Please do not rely on Ventura Water or its consultants’ estimates and projections. Additionally, Ventura must have a cash flow projection that includes timelines, operating, maintenance, and taxpayer fee schedules.

It’s time for the 2024 Ventura City Council to meet its fiduciary duty. The council must force Ventura Water to provide reliable alternatives to VenturaWaterPure. We now know the “cost to go it alone” exceeds the $200 million Ventura Water projected in 2019. Collaborating with other water agencies may be less costly.

Contact your City Council and demand:

Get a new Request for Proposal (RFP) from the City of Oxnard and United Water.

Have Ventura Water produce a cash flow projection analysis.

Install a new Water Commission with the authority to manage this process and make decisions in the rate payer’s best interest.

Vol. 17, No. 10 – Feb 7 – Feb 20, 2024 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon and Richard

Thank you so much for the coverage of the Skyline entrance wall refurbishment. It was a really great project and I appreciate the recognition. It’s always wonderful when neighbors see a problem and work together to fix it.

I would be remiss not to recognize Jim and Kathy Ackerman, and Alison Bryant, all of whom played significant roles in the success of this project.

Jim Ackerman was the project manager. Without his leadership and enthusiasm, this project would never have come to fruition. He cares about our community and has volunteered much of his time to keeping Ventura safe and beautiful. Alison and Kathy did a great deal of work with fundraising and speaking to our neighbors. Without their help, we wouldn’t have received the donations needed to get the project done.

And lastly, I want to thank all of the neighbors who donated to make this happen. It’s amazing what we can do together.

Barbara Brown
Chair, College Area Community Council

Hello Sheldon,

Thank you so much for including the post article and pictures in The Breeze. The committee was very excited to see it!!
Again, thank you so much.

Debbie Gohlke
Soroptimist International of Oxnard

Vol. 17, No. 09 – Jan 24 – Feb 6, 2024 – Mailbox


In your latest issue you write, “We now have an official state bat – the Pallid bat – and an official state mushroom – the Golden Chanterelle”.
Good for the Mushroom. Ventura used to have a Mushroom Farm next door to Olivas Adobe. Maybe it is time for the City of Ventura to designate the Mushroom Farm a Historical Landmark.

Michael Gordon

Michael: Only if we also have a Ventura bat.


We applaud your position on Hamas. Many writers forget there was a cease fire in place on October 6th. The attack of October 7th breached that peace.

Robert Myman

Vol. 17, No. 07 – Dec 27, 2023 – Jan 9, 2024 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

I’m sorry that in your ‘As I See It’ column you made light of the fact that schools received a donation of washers-dryers. Some kids come to school wearing the same clothes over and over again, and are either teased mercilessly or shunned.  As a former teacher, I can’t tell you how many times I would’ve appreciated having a place for kids to do their wash at school. We did have a clothes closet for kids who needed articles of clothing, and they could have slipped into those while completing their task.

The rest of your ‘As I See It’ column was pretty spot on!

Carol Spector


I’m not sure if you were trying to be funny regarding your remarks about washer/dryers at school and a student receiving an A for clean clothes.  If you were, you weren’t. If you are unaware that there are some students who do not have access to a washer/dryer in their home or tent or car then shame on you.  The schools I worked at (one of them considered a wealthy school) had washers and dryers in the locker rooms that were used for equipment but we had staff members who were very aware of students who did not have access to such luxuries and allowed them access to them.  It was a simple gesture that completely changed a students outlook on school and society.

Ruth Burkhart

Dear Carol and Ruth: Thank you very much for clarifying this for me and our readers. I had no idea this was a serious problem. I do apologize for my ignorance. I know Whirlpool (and maybe others) are installing these in our schools for free.


Vol. 17, No. 03 – Nov 1 – Nov 14, 2023 – Mailbox


A reader who described herself as a senior was very critical of the downtown street closings.  I am also a senior woman and my husband and I are delighted with Mainstreet Moves!  First of all, we never parked “right in front” of our favorite stores because it had all become metered parking!  We park in the many free lots.

We do not miss the noisy hot rods, motorcycles and revving pickup trucks that used to use Main street as their “parade” venue.   We notice so many more people, especially young people and young families there now that it isn’t “gasoline alley”.  Thank you for extending this through 2024, Ventura!

Cheryl Garrison


Your information of CA Gov. Newsom signing several bills aimed at bolstering protections for LGBTQ+ people warmed my heart. Setting timelines for the required cultural competency training for public school teachers and staff is genius.

A civilized democracy evolves with the changing times, and is inclusive in the needs of all citizens.

I have signed up for email news from Gov. Newom. I receive newsletters from CA Attorney General Bonta and am grateful for the good job he is doing for the justice of all citizens.

Thank you again for keeping us informed.

Diane Garber

As you get older, three things happen.
The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.
~ Sir Norman Wisdom

Vol. 17, No. 02 – Oct 18 – Oct 31, 2023 – Mailbox

Dear Sheldon,

Thank you for your donation of free add space in the Breeze for our Pooch Parade. It was a wonderful event and I hope you enjoyed the day.  We’re grateful for your continued support!

Dee Vitrano
Board Secretary
Canine Adoption & Rescue League

Our wonderful reader Sean McSherry sent us a very nice card and the following note.

“Dear Ventura Breeze. Thank you. Your newspaper is great and enjoyable. Happy anniversary. Sincerely, Sean McSherry.”

Thank you Sean, nice you took the time to do this.


I sent this to our city council (note this was larger, has been reduced to print here):

I’ve waited all this time to send this letter, hoping the closure of Main Street for Main Street Moves would be rescinded. No such luck. Main Street remains closed. And for me, it’s a tragedy.

I’ve lived in Ventura County since 1976. Some of my happiest shopping moments have been driving down Main Street, parking in front of a favorite store, and spending money! Buying stuff! Going to the movies! Having a meal! All because I could park and easily enter a store.

But now you’ve made that impossible. I’m a senior now, and mobility is an issue. Safely walking is difficult. And dangerous (because of those stupid brick chevrons in the sidewalk — do you know how easy it is to catch your toe on the raised lip of the cement? I’ve fallen 3 times! For me, the chevron sidewalks are more falls waiting to happen.

If I want to go to a store or restaurant that is directly on a corner, perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to snag one of the few parking spots on the corner. And then I can struggle in. But if there is no parking there, or if the store I want to go to is in the middle of the block, I have to go in back of the stores, into the few parking spots available.

So what you’ve done is put all of Main Street out of reach for me. I’m old. I’m disabled. I can’t walk like young people. But I have money to spend, I just can’t do it on Main Street. The old Ventura I’ve loved for 50 years is out of reach.

And if all else fails —cancel Main Street Moves. I can’t imagine the shopowners on Main Street are making money. There are too many alternative places to shop and people will vote with their feet if they don’t like the inconvenience and obstacles Main Street Moves presents.

Kristine Lundquist

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
~ Albert Einstein

Vol. 17, No. 01 – Oct 4 – Oct 17 2023 – Mailbox


I consider you to be a highly educated person. We have the same Alma Mater (U of M) I am pretty sure you completed your education there.

It’s a shame that the only comments made about Hunter are about drug use and firearm possession. Do you not know how much money he received and the false job titles under fake non-profits?

Sheila Murphy

Sheila: First of all, even though I was born in Detroit I’m a USC grad (Am I still a highly educated person?)To be fair I also said “and perhaps other Biden transgressions far exceeds this particular item.”

Correction to the article, Ventura Women’s Conference:  Balancing the Successful You/
Please go to this website for further information and to register:
It will be on Saturday, October 21.

The burden of the self is enlightened when I laugh at myself.
~ RabindranathTagore