Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Ventura Girls Fastpitch 10u Silver Western C District Champions

Top row coaches Larry Molina, Malissa Thompson, Jim Thompson, John Higgins, Shaun Jacobs, and Manager Justin Welch. Players are Taylor Bellitski, Addison Dutter, Adeline Luttenberger, Gianna Speer, Delanie Thompson, Kennedy Welch, Ivy Higgins, Kaylin Jacobs, Valentina Garcia, Mailie Norris and Andrea Molina. 

Congratulations to the Ventura Girls Fastpitch 10U Silver team for becoming the 2022 USA Softball of Southern California Western C District 10U All-Star Tournament Champions in Newbury Park Father’s Day weekend.

The team started the tournament Friday night defeating La Canada Spartans (Gold) 12-0. They continued their winning streak Saturday defeating Moorpark Gold All-Stars 6-2 and Camarillo Silver All-Stars 13-5. Sunday morning, they garnered another win against the undefeated Newbury Park Gold All-Stars 3-2, giving them an undefeated record and automatically advancing them to the championship game.

In this 2-game elimination tournament Ventura Silver headed to the Championship Game Sunday afternoon with no prior losses. After waiting 4 hours to find out who their opponent would be in the Championship game, Ventura Silver once again played Newbury Park Gold and lost 11-0 the first game, forcing them to play a second championship game to determine the ultimate winner.

However, the girls did not let the loss bring their spirits down. Instead, they used the defeat to pump themselves up for the second game. After three innings Ventura failed to score any runs and gave up 2 to Newbury Park. During the 4th inning Ventura scored 5 runs taking the lead and holding it. During the 5th and final inning Ventura Scored 4 more runs. For a final score of 9-7 to clinch 1st place and became the 2022 USA Softball of Southern California Western C District 10U All-Star Tournament Champions!

With an overall All-Star season record of 14-5-1 these girls have worked hard, practicing 3 times a week with multiple games on the weekends.

Next stop the 2022 Southern California C State Championship in Lancaster.

The team is sponsored by Kirby Auto Group, Paradise Chevrolet, Sushi Yusho, Theis Construction, Higgins Financial and Insurance Services, and their families.

Free Concerts at the Country Fair with Ocean Air

All this fun and free concerts. Photo by Richard Lieberman

The VC Fair has announced the 2022 Grandstand Entertainment Series. Fair visitors can see favorite musical acts and rodeos free with paid admission to the fair.

Good vibrations and great live music will be the standard for the 2022 Grandstand Entertainment series, sponsored by Chumash Casino and Resort. The VC Fair Grandstand Arena, presented by Firestone 805, will present 8 free concerts covering a range of music from Country to Pop, Rock R&B and Funk.

This year’s list of Fair entertainers will satisfy Ventura County music lovers with every unique performance:

All Grandstand Concerts and Rodeos are free with Fair admission!

  • Martina McBride; Wednesday, August 3 at 7:30PM
  • KC & The Sunshine Band; Thursday, August 4 at 7:30PM
  • The All-American Rejects; Friday, August 5 at 7:30PM
  • Blue Oyster Cult; Saturday, August 6 at 7:30PM
  • Día De La Familia Concert; Sunday, August 7 at 3PM
  • (performers will be announced at a later date)
  • The Beach Boys; Monday, August 8 at 7:30PM
  • Clay Walker; Tuesday, August 9 at 7:30PM
  • Cheap Trick ; Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30PM
  • PRCA Rodeo: Friday, Aug. 12 at 7:00 PM; Saturday, Aug. 13 & Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2 and 7PM

The 147th Ventura County Fair, “A Country Air with Ocean Air”, begins Wednesday, August 3 and runs through to Sunday August 14. For more information please call (805) 648 -3376 or visit

The Bookmark  About Libraries and Friends 

by Mary Olson

Avenue and Saticoy library branches are participating in Lunch at the Library June 20 through July 28. Ventura County Library, in partnership with Ventura Unified School District through the USDA Summer Food Service Program, is making free lunches available at these locations for children and teens 18 years and under. You do not need to sign-up, show identification, or make an application. Lunch will be served on a first come, first served basis.

This program feeds minds and bodies by serving lunches, promoting literacy and preventing the learning loss that can occur when children are out of school during the summer months. Librarians will be taking the opportunity to introduce visitors to library resources and activities relating to nutrition, food waste and farm-to-table and will provide take-home STEAM kits for kids to explore science, math and technology concepts.

Lunch is served
Avenue Library, 606 N. Ventura Ave., M TU W TH, 11am-12pm
Saticoy Library, 1292 Los Angeles Ave., M TU W TH, 12pm-1pm

Hill Road Library has initiated a quarterly book club for adults who appreciate children’s literature. The second meeting of the Wise Owls Book Club will be Tuesday, July 12, at 5 pm. The book to be discussed is Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson. In this book, the Hart family of Portland, Oregon, faces many setbacks after Ryan’s father loses his job, but no matter what, Ryan tries to bring sunshine to her loved ones. Visit the Hill Road Library to pick up the latest Wise Owls Book Club selection.

E.P. Foster will host Bilingual Musician/Singer Nathalia on Monday, July 25, 11 am to noon. Bilingual singer Nathalia is a wonderful performer who will sing in both Spanish and English for children of all ages! This event will be held outside on Main Street.

Ventura Friends of the Library will hold a book sale on Saturday, July 16, 10 am to 3 pm at the Vons at Telegraph and Victoria (6040 Telegraph Rd.) As always, your purchase of quality used books at bargain prices benefits the libraries of the city of Ventura by providing funds for book collections and programs!

The Friends have received an unusual book donation – a collection of more than 700 volumes concerning the Civil War. These include documents from the Union and the Confederacy, memoirs of generals and published academic and popular histories. None of these will be on offer at the July book sale. We are in the process of researching the items in an effort to assure that they are appropriately offered for sale or donated to libraries or academic institutions. If anyone with expertise in vintage or antiquarian books would like to assist in this project, please email

New Curriculum of Safety

by Kylee Brown 

Whether a teacher has twenty years of experience in the classroom or two months, most are now required to add a new subject to their academic planning in the current school environment: educators are working to plan for safety in schools in the event of a live shooter, and calming worried students afraid their school could be next. This unthinkable idea has increasingly become a grim reality across the U.S.

Lauren Lanski has seen more of her students affected by the recent shootings.

Lauren Lanski has been with the Ventura Unified School District for 15 years, the last five as a Health Education, Career Technical Education, and PE teacher at Buena High. She said that with the recent increase in school shootings, she’s seen that more of her students have been affected. “After the last major shooting in Texas I’ve noticed that some of my students were scared, and a few didn’t come to school,” said Lanksi. “I validated their feelings, and at the same time, tried to reassure them that I felt safe and that we’d be ok.” However, she shared that she has been on heightened alert for several years. “In the last few weeks with the increase of school shootings, I am constantly staring at everyone on campus to make sure there’s a reason that they should be here,” she said.

She does not believe teachers should have to be armed. “I personally do not want to be armed with a gun at school. If I truly felt that afraid that I should have to carry a gun, I’d have to personally reconsider what I’m doing,” said Lanski. 

Lawren Agnew teaches preschool and trusts her school’s protocols.

Some teachers feel it should be up to individuals to decide if they want to carry a firearm in the classroom. Lawren Agnew is a new preschool teacher and a high school cheer coach. She said she is confident in her school’s active shooter protocols but nervous in the presence of guns. When asked if teachers should be armed in the future, she responded, “If they feel comfortable enough to be armed, then yes, I feel like it would be up to the teachers if they feel comfortable doing it or not.” Agnew said that if schools allowed teachers to carry on campus, the school should be responsible for paying for proper training. Amidst the gun violence in schools nationwide, she still feels safe. “You do what you’ve got to do to protect yourself and keep those kids safe.” she said.

It also falls to the teachers to reassure, prepare, and protect students. Marcia Amegadzie has taught PE and Health at Buena for the last ten years. Amegadzie takes an open and strategic role in starting the conversation with her students for tactics to stay safe. “I tell them, ‘don’t ever be sitting ducks.’ I say I would be the first line of defense, and they should look around the classroom to see what they could pick up to use as a weapon,” she said. “My approach is, again, if we see a clear path, let’s get the heck out of here.”

Marcia Amegadzie has open talks with her students about taking action to stay safe.

She believes in taking strategic action, but she is very much against teachers carrying on campus. “I feel like that is just a massive disaster waiting to happen if teachers are armed,” said Amegadzie. “If a teacher ever feels threatened by a student, what are they going to do? They could say ‘I felt my life was in danger,’ and the student could possibly be innocent, but it’s that teacher’s viewpoint of the student and situation. I just think that’s a really, really terrible idea.”

Amegadzie suggested that more significant investments should be made on campus security instead of focusing money on arming teachers. “In general, schools just need to be more aware, more alert,” she said.

Editor: If you are a teacher, student or parent we would love to hear from you about teacher’s being armed.


Ventura Rotary Fireworks Show and Family Picnic is back

After a two-year absence due to COVID restrictions and challenges, The Rotary Club of Ventura is bringing back the annual 4th of July Fireworks Show and Family Picnic at the Ventura College athletic fields. This year, the event will be held on Sunday, July 3rd with gates opening at 5 pm and the fireworks show beginning at approximately 9 pm.

Mr. Ken Leandro, Rotary event chairperson, explains, “When we contacted the pyrotechnic companies at the start of year, they could not guarantee that they would have an experienced operator available on July 4th. Their business, like many others, imploded the past two years and is facing staffing challenges. Since the dates fall on Sunday/Monday this year, we decided to hold event on Sunday, July 3rd to ensure we have an expert pyrotechnic operator and a world-class fireworks show. We’re so excited to bring the event back, and this year’s show will be awesome!”

The event almost didn’t come back because of funding challenges too. Mr. Rob Van Nieuwburg, president of Ventura Rotary, explains, “Costs to put the event on have skyrocketed, and our biggest sponsor in past years was not able to return at that level. A couple months ago we were facing a bleak outlook.” Thankfully, two local companies have stepped up as major new sponsors ensuring the event is held. “We’re so grateful that The Trade Desk is supporting the event. This dynamic company was launched within a technology incubator program at Ventura’s City Hall and their support is indicative of their roots and commitment here,” says Van Nieuwburg.

Ventura Rotary also gives big thanks to major new sponsor Wheelhouse.

Ventura Rotary is also grateful for the businesses and organizations that have continued to support the event including the Ventura Auto Center, Hofer Properties, Community Memorial Health Systems, EJ Harrison, and the Crown Plaza Ventura Beach.

Says Van Nieuwburg, “All proceeds from this event directly support the local charity work that Rotary does year-round including programs like Coats for Kids, 3rd grade dictionaries, Perspectives on Peace college scholarships, essay contests, holiday events for underprivileged kids, weekly free eye clinics and much more.” Leandro adds, “So when a family buys a ticket to the event, or a business supports through sponsorship, they really are contributing to their own community.”

As in past years, the event is family-focused with a Kids Zone featuring many bounce houses and organized games like potato sack races and water balloon toss. This year, thanks to sponsors, fun on the bounce houses is included with child’s admission!

Families can bring a picnic, a blanket and soft low back folding chairs, and there will also be tasty food available from several Food Trucks. The main stage will have live music and fun giveaways. (No glass. No alcohol. No pets.)

Tickets are available for online purchase at Tickets can also be purchased at the gate (cash only at the gate). For more information, please visit where details are updated regularly.

Note: The VPD wants to remind you that fireworks are illegal in the City of Ventura.

Fourth of July is synonymous with sun, fun, barbequing, and fireworks. The Ventura Police and Fire Departments encourage community members to enjoy a safe and sane Fourth of July and do their part to help prevent fires and injuries caused by illegal fireworks.

During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Ventura Police Department will deploy as many police resources as possible to help catch fireworks violators. If you see a neighbor lighting fireworks, call 9-1-1 if the activity is in-progress or poses an immediate threat to yourself or others.

Anyone found in possession of fireworks, or caught using them, could be fined up to $1,000 and/or receive a jail term of up to a year.

Chef William Traynor brings passion and sustainability to the Crowne Plaza’s New Moofish Cafe

Traynor stays innovative by exploring new styles and trends and reading many cookbooks.

by Amy Brown

Executive Chef William Traynor discovered an affinity and ability for cooking early in life during Home Economics classes during high school. In fact, by his senior year, the school had him help teach some of the classes. After high school he enrolled in the Santa Barbara City College hotel restaurant culinary program, and in the subsequent years worked his way up the ladder in this demanding and competitive profession. Once he graduated from the program in Santa Barbara, he held an apprenticeship at the American Culinary Federation, which included a role at what was then Fess Parker’s Red Lion. He later moved to San Francisco, where he further honed his craft in opening restaurants like Restaurant Lulu.

He returned to Santa Barbara in 1996 and has worked in prestigious locations in Los Angeles and Ventura County area ever since. His most recent appointment as Executive Chef at the Crowne Plaza is opening the Ocean Friendly-certified Moofish Cafe. This accreditation from the Surfrider Foundation demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and environmental best practices, including stringent criteria for reducing items like single use utensils, plastics, polystyrene and paper. The new surf-themed restaurant located on the boardwalk near the pier also embraces a commitment to locally sourced and grown ingredients and a “Farm-and-Sea-to-Fork” philosophy, and includes its own herb garden used for the menu on its back deck.

During his long and successful career, Traynor’s been influenced by a range of successful thought leaders in the restaurant world. “My first chef was Larry Ross in Santa Barbara, he basically threw me into roles in every single kitchen in the apprentice program at that multimillion-dollar food and beverage outfit,” said Traynor. “Bakery, fine dining, banquet—it was really valuable.” He also worked for James Beard winner Reed Hearon, and later was hired as the second American chef every hired at Padres Martini Bar in Agoura Hills. “Another major influence on my career was working with Tim Kilcoyne, at the Sidecar restaurant in Ventura,” he said. “He was focused on using local ingredients 12 years ago, before anyone else was really doing it.”

Traynor shared that he stays innovative by exploring new styles and trends and reading many cookbooks. “I experiment a lot in the kitchen and see what works and what doesn’t. Whatever is looking good at the famers market I’ll pick up and play around with it,” he shared. “Being in California it’s hard to get bored—we’re so lucky to have all of these wonderful ingredients available.”

He said he appreciates the freedom he is given by the company to be creative, and in helping create the new restaurant and its menu. Its beachfront location makes following another passion easy–he also keeps some of his surfboards stored on the wall of the restaurant, along with signed boards from surfing superstars like Rob Machado and Kelly Slater, and a video screen with a feed from the surf camera on the roof of the Crowne Plaza. Chef Traynor regularly paddles out early in the morning right out front at C Street. When asked for advice for anyone considering a career as a chef, he said, “Choose the chefs that make the types of food you like to eat, and learn from them. Don’t worry about the money—if you have the passion, the money will follow.”

Museum of Ventura County reception

The Museum’s transformation led visitors on an historical journey. Photos by Patricia Schallert and staff

The Museum of Ventura County held an open reception introducing the new exciting exhibitions and welcomed guests to a free event on June 18th, in Ventura. The Museum debut included All That Glitters Is Not Gold, Always Keep Creating, Chromatic: The Museum in Six Colors and Behind The Curtain:An insider’s look at the George Stuart Historical Figures.

The Museum’s transformation led visitors on an historical journey, from the 1920’s as lived by residents of Ventura County and through 100 years of collected Country artifacts displayed in eye catching chromatic brilliance, to a celebration of Carol Rosenak’s artistic range.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold is about the surprising history of the 1920s and Prohibition in Ventura County. As population and wealth boomed, creativity flourished – but so did a tide of repression and exclusion. This exhibit tells the local story of the jazz age through collections and archives.

The event included fine finger food, wine and music.

On June 15, an exclusive behind the scenes, pre-public opening press tour with Actor Curator of Collections, Renee Tallent and Research Library & Archives Director, Deya Terrafranca was held unveiling the exciting 2022 exhibit transformation.

The Museum of Ventura County is located at 100 E Main St. The Museum celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, the California Channel Islands and the surrounding region through its collections, exhibitions, events, educational programs, publications and its research library, and serves as a gathering place for the community.

The Museum has two locations – the main museum is located at 100 East Main Street, Ventura, California (805-653-0323). The Agriculture Museum is located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula, California (805-525-3100). Both museums are open Thursdays through Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. –

Ribbon Cutting at Ventura Music Hall

Music Hall donates $10,000 at ribbon cutting. Photo by Michael Gordon

by  Shirley Lorraine

What a transformation! From lowly beginnings as a popular bowling alley, to the Discovery music venue and now to this – the Ventura Music Hall, a venue specializing in bringing in entertainment of myriad genres suitable for a wide range of ages.

The June 16 event featured a plaque presentation by Ventura Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Stephanie Caldwell, as well as the ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Hall has been open for a few months and now it is official. The venue is a revamped, redecorated welcome sight, featuring a large kitchen, bar, comfortable and ample seating, accessible dance floor and stage.

Thomas Cussins, President of Ineffable Music, expressed his sincere thanks as he stated how warmly embraced he and his project has been by Venturans. He said “this shows how Ventura grows and cares about the arts. It is our mission to bolster the arts, impact the community and give back to the organizations that comprise this wonderful community.”

To that end, a portion of each ticket sold will support local arts and nonprofit causes. At the ribbon cutting, a $10,000 check was presented to the Ventura Music Festival to continue its mission of bringing world-class music to arts patrons. Susan Scott, VMF Executive Director, and VMF Board members gratefully accepted the ceremonial donation.

The Ventura Music Hall is located at 1888 E. Thompson Blvd. Sign up for the newsletter at to see the talent line up.

Ventura Land Trust presents July Plein Air Painting Workshop at Harmon Canyon Preserve

Ventura Land Trust broadens its public program offerings with an Artist-Led Plein Air Painting Workshop on Saturday, July 9th at 8:00 am at Harmon Canyon Preserve. Artists Debra Holladay, Laura Wambsgans, and Marian Fortunati will offer instruction for beginner and experienced artists on how to capture Harmon Canyon’s natural landscape through composition, form, color, and paint handling.

Participants will receive instruction as a group and one-on-one. Group discussion will allow painters to learn from one another. Ventura Land Trust staff will join the workshop to share elements of Harmon Canyon Preserve’s natural and cultural history.

Painting en plein air, the French expression for “in the open air,” is the act of leaving the walls of a studio and painting in the outdoors. Artists explore how to paint form and light, with its changing, ephemeral qualities, with portable paints and easel.

Plein air painting allows me to focus and interact in real time to understand and learn about a place,” says workshop leader Debra Holladay. “Experiencing the light, color, sound, smell, temperature, and touch magnifies and records my experience through paint.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of working en plein air is seeing things you’ve never noticed before, like the color of dry grass or a fleeting neon edge where light bends or reflects. I hope to share that aspect of seeing and how to translate it into paint with participants of the workshop, in addition to a basic approach to transforming a blank canvas into a painting.”

The workshop is $20 for Ventura Land Trust members and $30 for non-members. Participants can view a fill list of suggested painting supplies and register for the workshop at

Vol. 15, No. 20 – June 29 – July 12, 2022 – Community Events

Events by Ana Baker

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one due to suicide, do not hesitate to join our Survivors of Suicide Loss grief support group. Livingston’s Grief and Bereavement Program are committed to maintaining an open, accepting, confidential atmosphere, meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 6:30 – 8 p.m. If you would like to register this support group or would like more information on other bereavement groups that we offer, please contact Stacia Sickle at 805-389-6870 x452 or at Visit for more information.

The Ventura Senior Men’s Group continues to meet for a social lunch and program at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura on the first and third Tuesday each month. Men of all descriptions are always welcomed to stop in to sample our shenanigans.  Bob Likins at 805-587-1233 or Rick Follenweider at 650-520-1098 can supply details.

Hope and Help for Overeaters. Is your eating out of control? Are you feeling fat? Overeaters Anonymous can help. Saturdays, 10-11a.m. at 133 S. Laurel Street, Ventura (building next to the church). For more information, call Amy at (805) 340-5882. Donations only.

July 2: Sespe Fly Fishers of Ventura will be conducting our monthly “First Saturday” introductory Fly Rod Casting and Intro to Fly Fishing clinic. There is no charge and all are welcome. Chumash Park, Petit and Waco. 9-11a.m., in East Ventura, off Telephone Rd.
For more information: Casting Program Coordinator Thomas Hall (805) 377-5249

July 3: Old-Time Country Bluegrass Gospel Music Assoc. will be playing at the Poinsettia Pavilion 3451 Foothill Road, Sunday, 2-4 p.m. Live Music on stage. Jamming in the Canada Room. Free Admission. Free parking and open to the Public. For more information call 805-517-1131 or visit Facebook: OTCBGMA

July 6 & 20: Parent grief support group. The Compassionate Friends (TCF) of West Ventura County provides free grief support for families after the death of a child. Parents, grandparents and siblings over 16 are welcome to join us on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom. First-time attendees join the call at 6:45 pm. We provide peer-led support where you can openly grieve without being judged. If interested, please contact (805)-835-9100 and leave your email address so we can forward the Zoom link via email a few days before the scheduled call. For more information, visit or contact Laura Lindsay at (914) 610-8918. We welcome you to this club no one ever wants to join. We understand grief and are here to help you take the next step in your healing journey.

July 8, 9, 10: NAMBA Performing Arts Space is thrilled to announce the 2nd Annual Women’s Voices Festival July 8, 9, and 10th. In the spirit of Hollywood Fringe, Solo Fest, and LA Women’s Theater Festival, Namba Arts, in collaboration with Producer Robyn Migel, brings three unique stories illuminating women’s voices. With over 30 shows being vetted, only three will be nominated for NAMBA’s prestigious “Splash” award.
Nominees will be announced on Saturday, June 25; the winner to be announced Sunday, June 26 at the Hollywood Fringe Awards Ceremony. Stay tuned or visit for more details!

July 12: The Ventura peer support group of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) will resume its free weekly meetings on Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 5654 Ralston St. Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. Enter by way of the main door. Please bring your own N95 mask.
For more information, go to the website or Wendell Jones at (805) 640-6472, or email him at

July 12: The Ventura County Writers Club is offering a class at the Pleasant Valley Parks and Rec facility at 1605 Burnley in Camarillo. Noreen Lace will speak on the legal liabilities of memoir writing. Lace is an educator at CSU Northridge where she earned her MA and MFA.  The class will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to all interested parties. Call (805)-300-1365 for more information.

July 17: The Ventura and Santa Barbara County chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) will meet Sunday, in the Campus Student Center of Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Rd. at 11a.m. There will be a mart where items will be for sale followed by lunch. An informational meeting and a presentation on a topic on clocks or watches will start at 1p.m. More information about chapter 190 can be found at