Category Archives: Mailbox

Vol. 16, No. 14 – Apr 5 – Apr 18, 2023 – Mailbox

Hello Sheldon,

It’s good to see you writing op eds for the Ventura Breeze again.  I stopped reading the VB after you stopped writing for it, but now I am back.  I hope you continue as I greatly enjoy your informative and incisive writing.

Best regards,

Jim Sullivan
Ventura, CA

PS. I applaud your comments about Fox News.  It’s just astonishing to me that so many people can support them and Mr. Trump.

Jim : Thanks for your comments. Truthfully, I’m very concerned about the future of this country.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
~ Thomas Edison

Vol. 16, No. 13 – Mar 22 – Apr 4, 2023 – Mailbox

Dear Breeze:

The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society held its “Diamond Jubilee” Show at the Fairgrounds over the weekend (2 weeks ago), and it proved to be one of our largest and best, which is saying a lot since this was our 60th show!  My sincere thanks to the Ventura Breeze for helping to get the word out to our community.
Jim Brace-Thompson, Publicity & Educational Outreach Chair
Ventura Gem & Mineral Society

In out last issue the phone number listed was not complete.
The City is seeking vendors and sponsors for the 46th Annual 4th of July Street Fair and Pushem-Pullem Parade. This year’s event is themed “Celebration by the Sea” and will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, in Ventura’s Downtown District.

For questions and more information, contact City of Ventura Recreation Coordinator Allyson DesBaillets at [email protected] or (805) 654-7749.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
~ Albert Einstein


Vol. 16, No. 09 – Jan 25 – Feb 7, 2023 – Mailbox


These photos from January 19, 2023 capture the aftermath of debris deposits from heavy rains and surf on Ventura’s beach and the continuing erosion of our bike and pedestrian path and the beachfront itself. The surging Ventura River, laden with trees, plants, posts, and housing materials from way up river, empties into its estuary just west of the city, then ocean currents and high waves push it to shore.

The City is practicing a strategy called Managed Retreat, which is a form of adjustment to climate change effects. You are right to assume that there is only so far we can go before we start retreating into the city itself. The restoration aspect of this is very chancy. Rocks, old walls and abandoned infrastructure meant to shore up the coast get washed away. The dunes did stay mostly in place this time.

Robert Chianese, Ph.D.,

A man walks into a hotel and asks “Do you take children?”
The clerk replies “No, only cash or MasterCard.”
~ Bree Schultz

Vol. 16, No. 08 – Jan 11 – Jan 24, 2023 – Mailbox


In your last issue (page 8) you had a photo of the Pierpont Bay Bath House. What was that? Could you give me more information?

Robert Allen Ventura


Re. Ventura Breeze
Vol. 16, No. 7
December 28, 2022 – January 10, 2023

“Aera Energy and the Gene Haas Foundation help Ventura Teens explore STEAM”

This article reports that Aera Energy made a $25,000 donation to the STEAM program at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Ventura. The Aera-Ventura representative states that it is working to “improve the lives of residents in the communities where our employees live and work!”

It’s too bad that statement conflicts with Aera’s $7,400,000 contribution to the effort to defeat Measures A and B, eliminating sensible environmental requirements on the oil and gas industry adopted by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors (VC Star 5/22/22). Now they are suing the County over home and school setbacks for the oil industry and increased bond requirements, costing the taxpayers millions to
defend (VC Star 10/6/22).

It’s hard to believe that Aera Energy wants to “improve the lives” of anyone, least of all the young people who will have to live with the consequences of the climate disaster they are spending millions to perpetrate.

Don Price Ventura

Editor note: We have asked Aera to comment on this but did not receive a response from them.

Approach the New Year with resolve to find
the opportunities hidden in each new day.
~ Michael Josephson

Vol. 16, No. 07 – Dec 28, 2022 – Jan 10, 2023 – Mailbox


Thanks for printing the article by Richard Senate. The way the Missions allowed Spanish soldiers to kill the Natives and rape their women is disgusting. They were slaves and yet no reparations have ever been offered. It was the only slavery in California except when Native American tribes made slaves of other tribes defeated in raids and warfare. I am not sure what happened back then and I question Mr. Senate’s story. The Mojave is quite far from the Ventura Mission. I have heard there was a Native American upraising around 1819. General DeLaGuerra chased Chumash fleeing and killed them all. Disease ravaged the population and without slaves the missions fell apart. Anyway, if interested, there is a great class at Moorpark College. And at Santa Barbara city college spring 2023.

Maryanne deGoede


This time of year I reflect on what Ventura needs to  have to attract visitors.  There is a line in the Musical “Hello Dolly” I recall, Barnaby says he wants to go to New York’s Barnum’s Museum to see the stuffed White Whale.  It was something that excited him to see this unique display. That’s what Ventura needs a “White Whale” something that no one else, no other city in the west, has. It must be grand and  will serve as a magnet for tourism. But, what could it be?  I am sure the creative readers of the Breeze maybe able to come up with something that could draw people to our community. Remember–it must be unique. Here are some of my ideas: Good and bad.

1. A signature event. Santa Barbara has “Old Spanish Days,” Oxnard has “The Strawberry Festival” what do we have?  Well, most of the calamari consumed in the state come out of Ventura’s Harbor.  We could have a Calamari Festival at the Harbor with our mascot Carmen Calamari (Think a squid version of Carmen Miranda).  We could have Calamari Burgers, Calamari ice cream!  A Calamari parade!

2. A suggestion was put forward many years ago for a Steam Punk, Captain Nemo like aquarium at the harbor to honor the sea life of the Pacific Coast. It could also Honor Jules Vern the French Writer who invented the future.

3. Maybe we need a focal point for the city. A statue that will draw people from all over.  A signature image. Something non-controversial like a native American.

4. Maybe a large, ornate town clock like they have in Europe. That would ring and have animated performers.

5. Maybe a special dish that was developed in Ventura? Corn taquitos were invented here! The Ortega Chili was developed here by Mr. Ortega. That could be a creation to be celebrated!

Maybe you have some better ideas.

Richard Senate

June Fog

The cloudy mist,
A sprinkle in the air.
Fog looms heavy,
Yet the winds are near.

Early Harbor breeze,
Parts the clouds.
Breaks the June fog,
Pushes it off the pier.

By Jeff Russell

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
~ Margaret Mead

Vol. 16, No. 06 – Dec 14 – Dec 27, 2022 – Mailbox


“Ain’t Misbehavin’ ’’ a musical review, celebrating the Music of Fats Waller, running at The Rubicon to December 18, simply should not be missed. The set alone may be the best of the best in Rubicon’s 24 years!

I had the good fortune to attend the director’s preview last evening and became an instant fan of Wren T. Brown who is a 4th generation entertainer in his family. In 2007, Brown founded Ebony Repertory Theatre (ERT), the first African-American professional Equity theatre company in Los Angeles history where he serves as its producing artistic director from inception to the institution’s now-15-year anniversary

Rubicon has the good fortune to have Beverly and Kirby Ward at the Rubicon helm, with a Broadway singing and dancing history of their own, amazing contacts and youth education background and outreach!

Mike Merewether  24 year Rubicon supporter


Just finished reading the letters to the editor and the news that Sheldon is backing down or riding off into the sunset as the Opinion writer. What a mistake on his part and please tell him no…!!! We all love him!!   Listen, the old saying is “if you aren’t made of leather, have a tough backbone” or don’t write an opinion column or run for a political office.  Last time I looked his approval rating was twice that of both Biden and Trump.  Sheldon and I both agree that the world and the human race is only doing one thing…Dumbing down.  No one reads a classic book, what is literature? and what is a true novel….and the Generation X<<Y<<and Z think that Shakespeare is a very expensive trout fishing reel! Sooooo sad…..Anyway, where do we go from here?

Christopher Dryden


I was wondering how hiring two more police officers was a better way of helping the homeless in Ventura?? Make me understand why $400,000 is better spent on police officers than to perhaps pay for hotel vouchers or food , laundry or showers basic human needs that aren’t being met in the city of Ventura. I can surely benefit from such a bit of kindness or understanding that there are no beds in Ventura for a dual diagnosis. Please realize that anyone is just a paycheck or eviction away from homelessness. The answers to the provision of resources for the homeless isn’t being met by hiring two more people to arrest’s a total misallocation of funds.

Dierdre Richmond

The only good reason to leave a party without thanking the host and hostess is if you weren’t invited.
~ Bix Bender

Vol. 16, No. 05 – Nov 30 – Dec 6, 2022 – Mailbox


Like myself, so many people will miss your opinion section in the Breeze, even when you’re not correct, your readers adore you. I hope this monumental change doesn’t cause readership to diminish, like it did when the Reporter sold years ago. Did you sell the Breeze?

Laural Starr

Laural: “When you’re not correct”- When is that? I’m still publisher-editor not going away. So won’t lose readers I’m sure. Actually, might gain a few Trump fans.


I am going to miss your opinions.

I agree that the Constitution needs major revisions that can be done through Articles and Amendments. In the Article V, of the Constitution, The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case,shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourth of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior the the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no Sate, with its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

For example, the Constitution of the State of California was recently changed to clarify the allowance of abortions.

Diane Garber Ventura

Diane: Thanks for the explanation. Keep sending in your opinions and we won’t need mine.


Ventura Breeze

I will not be supporting Mr. Trump in the Republican primary season. I think we’ll have better choices.

Mike Spence


In the last issue you stated “Regarding my decision to stop writing my column 87.3% of readers are very upset and 20.2% are very happy. You may be a good writer but a bad mathematician that is 107.5% which is impossible.

Clair Moore Ventura

Clair: I disagree. In high school the top grade is a 4 so a 4 is 100%. But some kids obtain a 4.5 grade which is 1.125%. When I played high school sports the coach said to give 110%. When you but a dozen doughnuts 12 is 100% but they give you 13 which is 1.08%, so I’m correct.

Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
~ George Burns

Sheldon Where Art Thou?

Regarding my decision to stop writing my column, 87.3% of readers are very upset and 20.2% are very happy that they do not need to spend their valuable time reading every word of my article in every issue just to make sure they still think I’m an idiot. Now, they can send in “their” opinions without calling me an idiot and can also enjoy reading Ventura’s favorite newspaper.

A reader (see below) says my writing is radical left-wing propaganda, which is complete nonsense (maybe I’m a communist also). They are my opinions. As always, I welcome yours.

These are some of what I have written about, hardly propaganda of any sort – again just my opinions:

I believe that Donald Trump is destroying our democracy and our country and is solely responsible for the January 6th insurrection and should end up in prison (for several reasons).

I believe all women have a right to have an abortion. I don’t believe abortion is a moral issue – it’s a religious issue and those who are opposed to it just wish to propagate a particular religion.

I think a she should be able to marry a she and a he should be able to marry a he. They have the same right to be happy just like “real men” like me.

I dislike guns. I do not think that they protect individual owners. They are more apt to be used to commit suicide, family members killing family members (in some cases 6 year old’s accidentally killing their sister or brother).

I think the Supreme Court justices should have term limits (perhaps eight years). The justices don’t make decisions interpreting the constitution – they make decisions on their lifetime of either being conservatives or liberals. Perhaps they should be arbitrarily selected by just grabbing people off the street so we don’t know if they are conservatives or liberals. I also think Clarence Thomas should be removed.

The Constitution needs major revisions – it is completely irrelevant to today’s standards. We need a constitutional convention to start updating and revising it. The first one was held in 1787.

I think TV sports announcers should not wear suits and ties, they’re not doctors.

These are a few of our reader’s comments.


I just read your latest Breeze, where you said it would be the last editorial. I really enjoy reading you Opinion/Editorial page.

It has facts and the source of the facts, something rare in today’s media.
People today tend to follow their favorite news makers without searching for both sides of a situation.

Looking at both sides is just too much work. It makes things simple, but most situations really aren’t simple. Hooray for our side.

And the news businesses do this because it brings sales to advertisers, and profits to the businesses bottom line.

A situation of greed, not truth or balance.

Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You
Nelly Wall

Nelly: No one got the best of me just too much work right now. And I never called them jerks.

Dear Sheldon,

I am very sorry to see you are giving up your column, I thoroughly enjoyed reading each issue. The dialog that can create conversations in our community is very important. Although I can understand your frustration with people that are not supportive. It’s a lot of effort.

Thank you for all you have done for the Breeze.


Seri: Still doing everything else for the Breeze just not this. Nothing to do with “not supportive” readers just too much work right now. Not supportive readersis what freedom of speech is all about.

Dear Ventura Breeze

I want to let you know how thrilled we (We? Do you speak for many?) are to see that
you will no longer be carrying Sheldon’s column.

Most of us are moderate in our politics, and it sickened us to read his radical left wing propaganda in your paper. (Disliking Trump is hardly being radical left wing)

Usually opposing views are welcome in legitimate newspapers, but unfortunately the Ventura Breeze was full of his polarizing false comments. (opposing views have always been welcome but the only ones we ever received are like these that never explained opposing views just criticize me. They are always welcome so send them in).

Since Sheldon is both publisher and editor of this paper, I am sure my letter will not be published. (Well,here it is. Are you disappointed?)

Enjoy the results of election day Sheldon, you will see that most of America will not support the increased crime, inflation, anti-semitism, open borders and high gas prices you appear to ignore.(All Americans do not support these things. Do you know people who do?)

G-d Bless America (That always helps)
Melanie Couture, RN, PHN
Ventura Harbor


Say it isn’t so Sheldon!? Your opinion/editorial section is one of my favorite things about the Breeze! Hopefully after a bit of mind rest you’ll be back! You have always been very diplomatic and expressive and I love the way you encourage others to explain and support their side.? Conversation and curiosity are so important, especially these days!

Maggie McKinney

Maggie: One of my favorite things also. Maybe one day again but not for now.

Mr.  Brown.   Your decision to withdraw from your editorial writing is a bad mistake.   You are the only reason I read your paper.   Can’t stand local politics and other nonsense you cover.   Your comments help keep some semblance of reality in your publication.

Bob Lombardi

Bob: Thanks, I think.


We pretty much get to choose our own path in life, so if you’re tired of doing your editorial column you’re entitled to take a break. I just hate to think it’s because of some yazoos who don’t quite grasp the concept of free speech.

Yazoos are as entitled to express themselves as anybody else, they just can’t do it well enough to get the point across and thereby resort to quoting bumper stickers, Fox News hosts and the Bible. When that fails, and it almost always does, they loudly demand that the dissenting opinions be modified into something that coincides with their preconceived notions or, more likely, be discontinued.

I always hate to see the perpetually aggrieved get their way, but if it is indeed time to take a break, so be it. Otherwise, get your fanny back behind that keyboard and let the good times roll.

Alfred J. Lewis

Dear Publisher:

Alas and alack, at the news that Mr. Sheldon Brown is hanging up his boots and will no longer be entertaining us with his pertinent comments, criticisms, observations about this crazy world we find ourselves living in, plus all the good stuff that makes a column worth reading.  Don’t forget: the column is called “Opinion/Editorial” and indeed that’s what I enjoyed most about Mr. Brown’s pontifications. Sure not every reader agrees with what he pens: That’s why it’s called Opinion!

A reader who  (as Mr. Brown notes) wrote to say because he doesn’t like what he reads in the Breeze, particularly in the publisher’s column, and is very unhappy with the publication.  I would advise that like minded individuals of that irritable ilk, should first of all try to get real, get a life and be more specific.

For decades some of the greatest newspapers have irritated, excited and inspired readers. That’s what it’s all about:

I have been in the newspaper business all my life and I should remind readers, that’s what publications are supposed to do. Inspire. Irritate, Provoke and entertain.

Didn’t some fella once said something along the lines of :
You can’t please all of the people….all of the time.”

And that’s what Mr. Brown has been doing.

Sheldon, please come home from time to time—all is forgiven!

Ivor Davis, Ventura
Author of: Manson Exposed: A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder and The Beatles and Me on Tour 

Ivor: Than you very much, coming from a “real writer” I appreciate it. I know people who don’t write might not appreciate the time involved in writing a simple column. Research, thinking, writing, re-writing are all time consuming and my plate runneth over right now so something had to be removed.

Maybe if I’m bursting to be heard you might hear from me again.

Dear Sheldon,

I have not known you long but I want to say thank you for a job well done. It was a pleasure to meet you and I for one appreciated your writing talent.
Does this mean the Breeze is gone and no one to take the helm?

Pam Briscoe from Focus on the Masters

Pam: Thank you. The Breeze is not gone and “it’s alive.”

Hi Sheldon

I am going to miss your comments in the Breeze. It has always been my favorite part of the paper. I hope you are well.

Happy Election Day, I hope


When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President;
I’m beginning to believe it.
~ ‘Clarence Darrow for the Defense’ by Irving Stone.

Vol. 16, No. 03 – Nov 2 – Nov 15, 2022 – Mailbox


Thank you for all you have done.  We gained a number of new members thanks to the info in The Breeze.  I love the Breeze and I think you do a bang up job.

Lauraine Effress BCNN


Several years ago, I met Sheldon Brown and was invited to write for the Ventura Breeze. It’s been a wonderful experience to be a part of our hometown paper. Now, I have finally published my first book Off the Chart: A Nurse’s Journey of Heart and Humor. It’s a memoir of my nursing career here in Ventura; but along with my own stories, I share the stories of some very remarkable co-workers and patients that I’ve met along the way. In fact, it was their stories that drove me to write this book. In the world of nursing, they say if it wasn’t charted (documented) it wasn’t done. These are the stories behind the scenes in healthcare; the ones you’ll never read in a nurse’s notes. The book is not intended to be limited to the medical community; there’s information that should interest everyone from eighteen to eighty-eight! And of course, you can’t write a book about healthcare during a pandemic and not talk about that too.

Available at and

I’ve also created a website/blog for nurses to share their off-the-chart stories at

I’ve done 99 articles for the Ventura Breeze, and (if he’ll still have me), I plan to make number 100 something super special!

Jennifer Tipton

Hi Sheldon

I had a brother who was a quadriplegic in the 80’s and we worked hard developing handicap parking in California along with several paralyzed associations. It was always designed to help people who couldn’t walk. Today, it seems every Dr is willing to issue these plaques if someone has a pimple on their butt. I’m sick of these so called handicap people parking in spaces where real disabled people who can’t walk have their space stolen by one of these “entitled” people park.

Today topped it all. I saw a Harley (2 wheeled) parked in a handicap zone at a restaurant where there was plenty of spots available right next to the spot. I would love to know what others feel about this situation as it has to stop.

Leon Rousso

William Greenberg
What is so funny about triangle shaped bike wheels?
Larry Chiro

You will need to Google Pythagoras to figure it out so I won’t tell you.

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
~ Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Vol. 16, No. 02 – Oct 19 – Nov 1, 2022 – Mailbox

Hi Sheldon,

Just a quick note to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading the Breeze during the year and a half since I moved to Ventura.

I never miss scanning the Opinion/Editorial section as I always find it informative, and appreciate your often pithy humor.

Keep up the good work, and don’t let any bad tempered readers get you down!

Fereva May Lawrence
(Former Editor of the Outlook newspaper in La Canada Flintridge)

To Patricia at the Ventura Breeze

(From Sherry): I wanted to express our appreciation for your helpfulness on Saturday, September 3rd, at the 2022 Aloha Beach Festival. My husband Don, was having trouble getting up and so you and another lady as well as some volunteers helped him out. Also you provided him with bottled water, which was very much appreciated on such a hot morning. I’m not sure of the name of the lady who was with you, also from The Breeze, who was very helpful, too. 

(From both of us): We’ve lived in Ventura for decades and before that we were regular visitors here. We’ve always found it to be the friendliest town out of the various places that we’ve lived. We also wanted to express our condolences to you and your colleagues in regards to the recent passing of your Breeze staff member Breezy Gledhill. It seems that this has been a year  of losses of people who we have heard about like Breezy or others who we knew somewhat like Suz Montgomery. We also lost someone who we knew who was the leader of  the Santa Monica Astronomy Club who recently died of complications from cancer. Your cousin, William Schallert, and his grand nephew sometimes liked to attend the meetings there. We belonged to the Club a long time ago but still keep track of their activities through Zoom.

Again, thanks for your help,

Donald A. and Sherry L. Berry

Patricia- Thank you for your kind words. The other Breeze staff member was Yana Khiyod.


I am much in favor of education, but in the face of falling enrollment and already high housing prices, it seems wrong to me to be asking the public to support this bond measure which is not an insignificant amount and will add to inflation and increased housing costs when we already have a housing affordability and supply issue. The school district holds so much land, much of which is not in use, and could be sold to finance needed building upgrades. (Do we really need air conditioning in our moderate climate, with school out during summer? I don’t have AC at our home and do ok with just fans)

I am open to other views, but with nearly ½ of our population being renters who unrealistically may expect owners to bear this cost without passing it on, I think renters and policy makers need to consider the ramifications

Now if it were a bond issue to support new housing on school land for teachers or staff , that would be another matter

Mike Merewether

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
John Lennon