Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Memorial stair climb recreates climb up the Twin Towers

Stair Climb remembers September 11. Photos by Patricia Schallert

Ninety-one Ventura firefighters, police officers, and members of the community gathered to honor fallen 9/11 first responders by re-creating the 110 floor climb up the Twin Towers.

The Stair Climb is organized by the Ventura City Honor Guard and Ventura Fire Foundation. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the Ventura Fire Foundation’s mental health programming for firefighters and their families.

It was held September 9, at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel.

Bagpipers lead the procession to start the climb. Firefighters and police officers, some in full gear climbed the stairs as families and guests cheered them on.

Along with dozens of individuals, teams from the following groups were represented.

Culver City Fire,District 1 County Supervisor Matt LaVere,FBI Los Angeles, Fillmore Firefighters,Flying Embers,Limitless,Oxnard Fire, Performance Wellness and Injury Prevention,Persistence Culture, San Bernardino County Fire,Santa Barbara PD SWAT,Stronghold Fitness, The Vent,Ventura City Fire,Ventura County Fire,Ventura Police Dept and Visit Ventura.

Daniel Brackett will be performing in Aladdin

From Pierpont Elementary to Broadway.

Daniel Brackett has played many leading roles in musicals growing up in Ventura: a wriggly Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland at Pierpont Elementary, a shirtless Mowgli in Jungle Book at Rubicon Theatre, a rebellious Ren in Footloose at Ventura High. But Daniel these days is performing in perhaps his biggest role, and certainly on the biggest stages, of his life as a cast member in Disney’s North American Tour production of Aladdin.

Part of a 30-member actors’ equity (the union representing professional theatre actors) cast, Daniel landed a role as ensemble and understudy for two roles – Omar and Aladdin. Daniel began rehearsals for the show in New York City last summer, and has been part of the show since its opening last October in Schenectady, New York. Since then, Daniel has criss-crossed the continent, doing 8 shows a week in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, Montreal, Denver, to name a few.

Linda Ottsen, a premier voice teacher in the area and retired Ventura College faculty, exclaimed: “I always knew Daniel was destined for a career in musical theatre, but to be cast in a national Disney tour immediately after graduating from college was a happy surprise!” Ms. Ottsen began teaching Daniel his freshman year of high school and continued to follow his performances and include him in her studio recitals even while Daniel was in college at Elon University in North Carolina.

Ms. Ottsen’s favorite memory is of Daniel’s senior year performance of Maria from the musical West Side Story, with Ventura High’s orchestra at their year-end concert. “We had worked on that song so much during his voice lessons – it is one of the most difficult tenor songs,” Ms. Ottsen remembers

Daniel’s longtime trombone teacher, Paul Hunt, director of music at Ventura High School, conducted that performance of Maria, and first met Daniel when he was in middle school. “Daniel was shorter than me at the time!” jokes Mr. Hunt. Daniel displayed a quick affinity for the instrument and Mr. Hunt placed him in the honors wind ensemble group as a freshman, and as principal trombonist his sophomore through senior years. But Mr. Hunt had to share his star student with the drama department – “I just knew he was going to get cast as the lead in the musical.”

And indeed, Daniel was cast by Stefoni Rossiter, director and drama teacher for Ventura High, in many productions. “Daniel has always had a serious, respectful, professional demeanor,” says Ms. Rossiter, “Even when he was just in sixth-grade playing Winthrop in The Music Man, I could tell he was dedicated, prepared, creative, and so talented – he had such a sweet voice and presence on stage!” Ms. Rossiter came to fully appreciate Daniel’s potential when she cast him as Cat in the Hat in Seussical: “He had all the singing and dancing down, but he was able to trust me and trust himself in adding a zany, silly, unscripted playfulness to his performance. . . it was a magical transformation for him and I remember thinking, Daniel Brackett is really going places!”

Brian McDonald, who directed Daniel in Rubicon Theatre Company productions spanning from 2010-2017, also thought it was “obvious that Daniel was gifted and would find his home on the professional stage.Daniel clearly loved what he was doing, but he also took great pride in the work that it took to do it well,” Mr. McDonald recalled.

Daniel Brackett will be the whole city and community of Ventura’s son coming home when he appears at the Pantages in Aladdin which runs for 3 more days. More information about the show, including the official link to purchase tickets, is available at

Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival

Photos by Patricia Schallert

On September 9 &10, the Ventura Harbor became alive with chalk as 20 chalk artists applied their skills to the concrete walkway. All as part of the Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival. Besides the chalk art there were booths that offered pottery and other works of art. Proceeds from the annual event go to Food Share.



CAPS/ECTV Crew produces safety video for schools

CAPS is holding an open house.

Meet the new CAPS/ECTV Crew – the talented high school students at El Camino in the media education program at CAPS. Recently the ECTV team worked with Ventura Police school resource officers (SROs) to produce a new school preparedness instructional video for teachers and students in the Ventura Unified School District.

The ECTV program was created by CAPS in partnership with the VUSD. The career education program provides high school students with hands-on training in all aspects of media production including writing, directing, producing, recording, and editing their own award-winning programs.

KPPQ’s DJ of the month is Kathleen Good, host of “In the Women’s Room”. She has been a member of CAPS for fifteen years which constitutes nearly her entire retirement. For eight years she produced environmental videos for CAPS-TV.

When CAPS Media invested in a local community radio station—it was a no-brainer for Kathleen to propose a show. The format came together almost instantly because she had been working with women’s issues as well as environmental issues, and had honed skills such as preparation, timing, sequencing, interviewing skills, as well as storytelling.

Kathleen says” “In the Women’s Room” is your place for enlightening discussions with experts about our history, health, psychology, politics, workplace, art, child-rearing, literature, social and economic issues, environment, and much, much more. Every woman knows what the issues are—we live them every day!” Tune in Monday and Wednesday at 8a, Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 1pm on KPPQ at 104.1fm or streaming on myTuner.

Join us for a special CAPS Open House on Thursday, October 5th from 4-p.m. to 8pm at the CAPS Media Center. Everyone is invited to drop by, meet the CAPS crew, tour the facility, and enjoy brief, hands-on, informative demonstrations on all aspects of media production including videography, studio, radio and podcast production, scripting and storytelling, live streaming, video editing and much more.

CAPS is Ventura’s public access media center, managing Channel 6 (public) and Channel 15 (government and education), plus KPPQ radio at 104.1fm and video streaming. CAPS crew members provide expertise and service to the City of Ventura by covering City Council and other meetings at City Hall, as well as producing informational public service videos and more.

At the CAPS Media Center, the team offers one-on-one training to the public in all aspects of media production helping CAPS Members to produce their own projects. In addition, CAPS has all the tools Members need to produce their stories including cameras, tripods, sound gear, editing computers and more.

Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Ventura is welcome to become a CAPS Member and take advantage of the training and resources CAPS has to offer. Currently CAPS Members include teenagers, young and mid-career professionals, educators, storytellers, retirees, and everyone in between. In addition, CAPS Members also include local community councils, and nonprofit, faith-based and other community service organizations throughout Ventura.

The CAPS Media Center is located a 65 Day Road, between Loma Vista and Telegraph, on the east side of Ventura College directly across from Foothill High School.

Join us for the CAPS Open House on Thursday, October 5th. Discover a world of limitless creative possibilities at CAPS. We know you’ll be surprised and enjoy the people you’ll meet and what you’ll find inside the CAPS Media Center.

Love VC, Inc. Presents Love Ventura – A City Wide Day or Service

Love VC, Inc. and Title Sponsor Greg Abrams of American Pacific Mortgage proudly presents the second annual “Love Ventura – Day of Service”.

The Love VC, Inc 501c3 kicked off this annual day of service in

October of 2022 and found that it was a great success, as measured by their goals. With the goal of 10 projects serving a variety of non-profits and organizations spread across the city of Ventura, and aiming for 100 volunteers, the non-profit was pleased to host 188 volunteers, ranging in ages from 1 to 80 years old.

The 2023 day of service kicks off October 7th and has grown since last year’s inaugural event, currently hosting 16 projects and the goal of 300 volunteers. The event starts off with a morning rally at Plaza Park, in downtown Ventura. DJ Jon D, of Nautical Thrust, will be energizing the crowd with music, while volunteers get checked in or signed up, collect their free Love Ventura t-shirt, grab some breakfast, and enjoy vendors and a few activities to get excited and motivated for their day. We encourage all participants to join the rally. This is an exciting way to see the magnitude of volunteerism provided to show our city some love; all in one day!

The day is focused on connecting, giving and serving with collaboration at the core. The city of Ventura has a wide array of non-profits, individuals and organizations that provide services to the community, that it only makes sense to highlight, promote and partner with them! Volunteers can find all opportunities at where they can see descriptions and details for each project and register their spot for the day.

Love VC, Inc. is proud to bring Love Ventura to the city as an annual day of service, providing projects that range in both difficulty and function, making it possible for all ages, abilities and desires to participate – from manual labor and beautification projects, to painting and cleaning, and encouragement projects that work directly with people.

Additional details include:

Love Ventura is held on October 7, 2023
Morning Rally at Plaza Park (Thompson Blvd/Fir St) from 8:00-9:45am
Service Projects begin at 10am and end at 1pm
Volunteers are asked to pre-register for their desired project at
To learn more about event host Love VC, Inc. – visit
Love VC, Inc. has the sole focus of inspiring our community to love each other through connecting, giving and serving.


Wedding held at Olivas Adobe

On September 12, Megan Senate was united in matrimony with Webster Nygard at the beautiful Olivas Adobe. Maid of Honor was Jasmyn Christenson and best man was Veck Nygard. Parents of the bride and groom were in attendance at the garden wedding and reception at the historic landmark where the ceremony was held.