Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Happy 5th Birthday KPPQ Radio!

CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP Radio station is celebrating a major milestone in February: 5 years of delivering non-stop, award-winning original and specially curated programming and entertainment to local and worldwide listeners.

KPPQ-LP FM 104.1 is Ventura’s only non-commercial, public radio station. The CAPS Media station belongs to the public and reaches more than 100,000 people in Ventura and countless more worldiwide.

Launched in 2017 the vibrant radio division of CAPS Media has grown steadily in a few short years to become one of the most engaging and go-to sites in Ventura. KPPQ broadcasts 2/47 everyday at 104.1 FM, and streams worldwide on myTuner radio and Week in and week out KPPQ-LP’s everygrowing cadre of volunteers create innovative and engaging programming in the state-of-the-art radio studio in the CAPS Media center or, often during COVID crisis, in their home studios, delivering an eclectic mix of programming to KPPQ-LP listeners.

“The radio platform empowers women by keeping the conversation going, to highlight the stories of our local women and all that we are doing right here in our community—the place where change happens!Kathleen Good, Host of In The Women’s Room

“CAPS Media’s KPPQ-LP is such a great service and resource for our community. Being able to validate and share so much talent by playing music from local artists on my show is such a privilege.” Pam, The Pam Baumgardner Music Hour.

“ I was looking for a creative way to connect with my community. KPPQ opened my eyes and my heart to radio and podcasting. I have truly connected with my community through Ventura Vibe!” Nadine Piche, Host of Ventura Vibe!

“I have had a voice in the community … I’m thankful we have such a gem of a resource in our community and cannot wait to see what they do in 2022!” Michelle Hoover, Producer, Fireside Tailes for Wolfgang

“Our work with CAPS Media and specifically what we’ve done in collaboration with KPPQ has been one of our most rewarding partnerships. Youth that have had the opportunity to be interviewed in the studio always walk away from that experience inspired and excited. It’s been a great privilege to partner with them.” Craig Rosen, Host of Teen Centric, Director of the Arts & Youth Justice program

“Elizabeth Rodeno and the good people at CAPS media helped me learn radio production. With their wonderful facilities and training…I have gone on to create two radio shows and an international podcast. THANK YOU CAPS and happy 5th birthday.” Mary Labrie, Host of Women of A Certain Age and The Shiver Show

“In a world where it seems corporations are deciding what we view or listen to – with a lack of diversity in the programming – I treasure the ability to hear the perspective of members of the community and, when it comes to music, to be able to listen to programming by individuals who have non-mainstream tastes. CAPS Media is a treasure and KPPQ is my favorite radio station!” Kevin Wallace, Host of Ojai Dream, a music and talk show.

“KPPQ does a wonderful job representing our community. I am grateful they have given me the opportunity to share my passion, my blues record collection in my show “Doc’s Delta Blues Lounge. The team is awake and interested fully committed to producing interesting content of high quality.” Doc Ventura, Doc’s Delta Blues Lounge

“We’re so fortunate to have a unique community radio station like KPPQ. Not only does it serve as a local media source for information and entertainment, but it gives content creators like myself a creative outlet to share our interests! “Mark X, Pure Rock Show

The ever-evolving KPPQ operation was envisioned, masterminded and co-founded by CAPS Media’s Elizabeth Rodeno. Elizabeth has been the KPPQ driving force and station manager since its inception.

“As station manager of KPPQ and one of the founders, along with Evan Carpenter, Chief Engineer, I am thrilled to be part of Ventura’s Community radio station as we celebrate its 5th year on the air. Since 2017 when we flipped the switch on the only non-commercial community radio station in Ventura, producers have sat behind a microphone and shared their voice and the voice of Ventura County across the globe. I’m really proud to see how our station and membership has grown and thrived these past 5 years and I look forward to the next 5 years.” Elizabeth Rodeno, KPPQ Station Manager

KPPQ airs 24/7 on 104.1fm radio and streams worldwide on myTurner Radio and on Everyone interested in learning more about KPPQ-LP including how to become a Host or DJ, or provide information on an upcoming event, can contact Elilzabeth Rodeno, at

Everyone at CAPS Media and throughout Ventura congratulate KPPQ-LP on its momentous 5th birthday. We all look forward to many more years of creative, informative and entertaining programming and services to the community.

Tree Town

Harmon Canyon is home to many mature Coast Live Oak trees, which were blackened in the Thomas Fire. Some were destroyed, but most are still alive and showing healthy new growth after the recent rains. California native oaks are resilient and can live hundreds of years, providing shade and habitat for wildlife.

Ventura Unified School District salutes its Board of Education

Ventura High is one of Ventura’s 26 elementary, middle, and high schools. Photo by Patricia Schallert

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) is proud to join more than 1,000 local educational agencies in the state to recognize board members’ contributions during School Board Recognition Month. In this time of unprecedented challenges in nearly every sector of life, board members have worked tirelessly to support student learning and social-emotional health in our District.

“Board members are our elected representatives and a vital link between the school district and the community,” said VUSD Superintendent Dr. Roger Rice. “The board sets the foundation and vision for the District, directs resources where they are most needed, and ensures accountability to the community by monitoring progress toward goals. Their end goal, of course, is to support and elevate student achievement.”

During this challenging year, the VUSD Board of Education has worked with our staff to:

Close the digital divide by providing every student with a device, direct resources to students most in need, provide healthy and safe environments for our students and staff , provide compelling educational programs for our all students and so much more.

The Ventura Unified School District Board of Education Trustees are Matt Almaraz, Sabrena Rodriguez, Velma Lomax, Jerry Dannenberg, and Amy Callahan.

“I hope you will join me in saluting our hard-working board members for their support of our students through effective policies and their continued advocacy for more resources at the state level,” said Superintendent Rice.

The district is made up of an early childhood education program, 26 elementary, middle, and high schools, with more than 16,000 school-age students, an adult education center, 2,000 staff, and a wealth of parents and community members who all strive to help our children find their passion—academically and personally. For more information, visit or call 805-641-5000.

Person To Person

by Amy Brown 

Looking Back and Ahead in Ventura 

Lawren Agnew:
Preschool teacher/ Varsity cheer coach

What did you see in Ventura in 2021 that was encouraging?

We’re all masked up, but I find it encouraging to hope for a future of not that. It was great being outside more, seeing people’s smiles, it really gave me hope for the future. Everything we’ve been through, just seeing how positive and generous and nice people are, even in a pandemic, whether it’s just to open a door, and be encouraging to each other. I think last year we were able to be more comfortable around people—before that in the pandemic, we were nervous to even talk to a stranger. Last year we had football games, and great to be able to get together again, outside while taking other safety precautions. Spreading their joy with everyone around them really encourages me for the future. I loved getting dressed up again in 2021, it was nice not being in pajamas all the time.

 What would you like to see improve in the city in 2022?

Well, of course the pavement and roads need to be improved. I hope one thing they don’t change is downtown, with the ability for folks to be eating outside.

 What did you personally learn from last year?

I’ve been a really adaptable person, but this last year especially, with all the ups and downs, not just Covid, but life in general, I learned to be more adaptive and always have a plan. I learned to be more open to other plans—instead of being stubborn with my one plan—and see what can work. Also being more appreciative of the little things, and enjoy people more, and be more outgoing.

Britney Mendoza:
Owner, Candle company

What did you see in Ventura in 2021 that was encouraging? 

It was more encouraging that the community was finally coming through outside, and not stuck inside. I’m a vendor, and got to see markets outside, people becoming a unit and taking care of each other in a big community and also in their own small community. For example, I have what are called candle cousins, I’m not the only candle maker in Ventura county—there are at least six others, and now we all get together online, and have meetings, letting each other know, ‘I’ll be at this market,’ so we aren’t in each other’s way. It’s kind of nice, since you’d think they’d just be competitive, but it’s not like that at all—I see that people are very helpful.

What would you like to see improve in the city in 2022?

I would like to see that the testing sites come back, so they’re more accessible and you don’t have to have a doctor’s appointment. I’d like to see the small mom and pop stores get more support—I’m so afraid you hear a lot of stores not making it, we have a lot of small businesses, it’s unfortunate to see them closing because they don’t have the right tools to reach their customers.

 What did you personally learn from last year?

I grew as a person to have more patience and tolerant with myself and towards other people as we all navigate through these tricky times.

I also learned patience in starting a new business, Thirty Four Charms, in July, and everything is not going not be happy go lucky the​ first few months. However, it’s going very well, we just landed a local retail spot. Starting a new business is terrifying, but extremely exciting at the same time. This is going to be a big year, I manifest it, I believe it and now I am seeing it.

Tommy O’Halloran:

What did you see in Ventura in 2021 that was encouraging?

Most impressive thing I saw was on Main Street, with the restaurants outside doing the best they could to keep things alive and kicking. Having that accessibility was amazing.

It seems like the city did a good job trying to keep the people that are actually homeless off the streets, either sheltered or directed to help. The city stepped up and offered services, like on the river bottom on Harbor, they went through and so many different sections of county services showed up and started helping these people with housing and clothing. It was pretty impressive.

 What would you like to see improve in the city in 2022?

I’d like to see them address all the potholes, and for sure make more available test sites.

 What did you personally learn from last year?

That wearing a mask is really no big deal. I know some people resisted. Think about somebody other than yourself, why not just take the precaution?

And of course, patience. Just give it a little more room—there’s no hurry to get to the next red light, and do what you can for others.

Black Bear Diner opens in Ventura

Photo by Patricia Schallert

Black Bear Diner has opened its 2nd Ventura County location at 2401 E. Harbor Blvd in Ventura. The first Black Bear Diner in Ventura County opened in Simi Valley on May 28, 2019.

Founded in 1995, Black Bear Diner is a fast-growing family restaurant with over 110 locations. Breakfast is served all day. Learn more at

The Bookmark About Libraries and Friends

by Jill Forman

What’s going on?

As I write this, the facilities of the City and County of Ventura are closed to the public. Emergency and essential services continue to function.

Having misplaced my crystal ball…the original reopening date for the libraries was January 26 but no updates have been posted. The City has extended its closure until January 31.

The libraries are functioning with their normal hours. Readers can reserve their books online and pick them up at the branches. Computer kits are available. Storytimes have been held outdoors at Foster, online at other locations.

The Ukulele Jam took January off. Open Mike continues in a virtual format.

Carts of books for patrons to browse and check out are outdoors at Foster. Hill Road has books displayed in their window and another display of “Books About Books.”

The Mobile Library is still making stops; their schedule is available on the library web site.

Speaking of the website, it is

Book groups (online?:)

Hill Road – Tues Feb 22nd at 5 p.m. The Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelley

Foster – On hiatus until April.

Ventura Friends of the Library News

Our financial reports have come in for the end of the year. Considering that our physical sale venues were closed for half the year, the numbers are impressive.

Book sales totaled at $31,000 (all figures rounded off:)

Foster Bookstore – $10,300

Hill Road shelves – $1100

Amazon sales – $9400

EBay sales – $500

Bulk sales (at warehouse) – 1000

Warehouse sales (to book dealers) – $2700

In-person book sales – $3700

Online Bookstore – $2200

Other income comes from donations, investments and Memberships. Showing how much the community supports the libraries, donations and grants came in to the tune of $12,000 and memberships totaled $14,200. As a result of hard work, flexibility and perseverance the Friends were able to give the libraries the gift of $53,500 last year!

Book Donations – Donation bins are outdoors during curbside hours at Foster and Hill Road. Please, just one bag of books at a time. The warehouse continues to accept donations on Fridays 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Due to the huge amounts of donated books we are receiving, we can still use volunteers at the warehouse.

Books, and our libraries, have helped many of us through the last two years. The Ventura Friends of the Library have supported all these efforts with time, money, and a lot of work. So…here’s my blurb of the day: Join Ventura Friends of the Library. Student: $10; Individual: $25; Family: $35. Download application to become a member, join online, or make a donation:

What makes whale watching a great activity?

Island Packers, the official boat concessionaire to the Channel Islands National Park, has daily departures to the Channel Islands National Park from Ventura Harbor Village and is now offering Winter Whale Watching excursions. Book your spot today to view these magnificent mammals at

A winter Whale Watch is a perfect way to gather with family and friends to view Pacific Gray whales migrating through the Santa Barbara Channel from their feeding grounds in Alaska to their breeding grounds in Baja. Pacific Gray Whales are normally sighted in the National Marine Sanctuary near Anacapa and Santa Cruz Island continues through April 23, 2022. This mammoth migration of over 20,000 whales and 6,000 miles twice a year remains a major attraction in Southern California.

Sightings of the southern migration began in December for Pacific Gray Whales, and we also saw Humpback Whales, Fin whales, and occasionally Orcas. Common Dolphin are enjoyed year-round, delighting passengers as they frolic with the boat, and ride the bow and stern waves. For our most recent sightings visit or find us on Twitter.

The half-day Winter Whale Watch Cruise provides stunning views of the Ventura coastline or the Channel Islands; depending on where the whales may be sighted. Winter Whale Watch excursions are available now thru mid-April from Ventura and/ or

Channel Islands Harbor departing at 9:30 a.m. and/or 1:30 p.m. Rates for half-day trips are $42 for adults, $38 for seniors, and $30 for children 3-12. Children 2 years old and younger ride free. All-day trips with landings and camping trips to Anacapa and

Santa Cruz Island are also available year-round. On Santa Cruz, both Scorpion Anchorage and Prisoner’s Harbor are now open. All-day trips run from $ 63.00 to $ 120.00 per adult.

What makes whale watching a great activity:

Affordable family fun – half day excursions start at $42 for adults; $30 for kids

Flexible – winter trips depart twice a day, almost daily (weather permitting) until mid-April

Educational – crew aboard the whale watching cruises have many years of experience sighting whales on the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel and will narrate and inform guests about all the varieties or marine mammals seen on your cruise

Get in touch with nature – it is not just whales that make the area so special; you may also see sea birds, sea lions, and the coastline of the offshore islands while onboard

Safety protocols keeping visitors to the Channel Islands safe and comfortable include:

  • Passenger loads are limited to under 75% capacity to better facilitate social distancing
  • Island Packer employees are health screened before every shift.
  • Eating and drinking permitted outside cabin area
  • Passengers are required to wear face covering on board vessels.
  • Office and boat crew wear appropriate PPE when in contact with the public.

For more information about Island Packers, call 805-642-1393 or book or visit online at

Major gifts help secure the future of Rubicon Theatre Company

Building photo by Patricia Schallert

Nancy Allen and Karyn Jackson had been attending Rubicon productions for more than twenty years.

Rubicon Theatre has received an extraordinary donation and a commitment for a future legacy gift that will help ensure a bright future for the organization. As a result of the generosity of Karyn Jackson of Arcadia (a former Ventura resident), her sister Nancy Allen of Ventura, and Nancy’s husband Leo Allen, Rubicon has been able to purchase a four-unit property on Poli Street which will be used to house visiting artists. Additionally, the company has also received a pledge for a future legacy gift which will mean a new name for the building that houses the company at Main and Laurel in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District.

Founded in 1998, Rubicon is regarded as Ventura’s premier non-profit professional theatre company and has served more than 480,000 residents and visitors with award-winning productions.

According to Board President Doug Halter (member of the Ventura City Council), “This is the largest single gift in Rubicon’s 23-year-history. It is a remarkable tribute to the world-class artistry that has been a hallmark of Rubicon productions, and a vote of confidence in the future. We could not be more touched by the largesse of these special friends, or more grateful to them for making sure that Rubicon is here for future generations.”

Adds Karyl Lynn Burns, Rubicon Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director, “I truly feel that this was divine providence. From the moment we met, we all felt that this was ‘meant to be.’ It was difficult at first to know just how, but Karyn and Nancy’s passion for the theatre and for the artists who do the work is so moving. Their joy in life has been making memories for others. It’s the way they have lived their life and a practice modeled for them by their father.”

Burns was initially approached about the Poli property by two members of Rubicon’s Board of Advisors during the run of Shrek, Jr. at Villanova this summer, Rich Stewart and Harriet Clune. The two were volunteering as ushers for Rubicon’s outdoor education performances with fellow members of the Ventura East Rotary Club. Rich had served on the facilities committee for the theatre some years before and recalled that Rubicon spent $100,000 to $150,000 a year on artist housing. Stewart and Clune’s neighbor Karen Heyrend, had told them about a property within walking distance of the theatre that had four-units and five-rooms. The couple put Heyrend and Burns together.

When Heyrend took Burns, Rubicon Co-Founder James O’Neil and Director of Outreach Beverly Ward to see the Poli property, it was love at first sight. “It was beautiful and perfectly kept-up,” says Burns, “just the kind of place we try to rent for artists so that they get a sense of Ventura’s history and feel at home and comfortable.”

“We had just refinanced the mainstage theatre through Brian Donovan, Market Manager at Montecito Bank & Trust,” says Halter. “We knew we could make the Poli payments in terms of cash flow and that it would reduce overall production costs.”

Russ Charvonia, a wealth advisor and charitable planning attorney, donated his time to explore the possibility of a win-win scenario and Heyrend facilitated a meeting with the Allen’s and Karyn Jackson, who had owned the property at one time and had a passion for the community and the theatre.

With help and advice from Brian Donovan at Montecito Bank & Trust, Rubicon was able to secure the loan for Poli. Karyn Jackson decided not only to donate enough for the down payment, but also to make a legacy gift to rename the theatre.

“Karyn is such a humble person,” says Halter. “She often gives anonymously.” She and Nancy and Leo join the Meister and Laby families in being major cornerstone contributors to theatre and the arts in our region.”

In February the theatre building will be renamed Rubicon Theatre Company at The Karyn Jackson Theatre. The name of the company will remain the same. The Poli visiting artist property will be named in Nancy Allen’s honor, with a Plexiglas wall display telling the “Tale of Two Sisters”.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to Rubicon Theatre Company as the company prepared to open, or to learn more about underwriting or sponsorship opportunities, contact Beverly Ward at (805) 667-2912, ext. 280, or For information about upcoming Rubicon events and programming, or to receive e-news from Rubicon, go to, or call Guest Services at (805) 667-2900.

Local youth teams up with Ventura County Fairgrounds Foundation  to support agricultural programs

Money was raised through the sale of a 270-pound pig donated by 18-year-old Allison Reiman.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds Foundation has announced the dedication of $69,760 to the Ventura County Fair Livestock Department. The money was raised at the 2019 VC Fair Junior Livestock Auction through the sale of a 270-pound pig donated by 18-year-old Allison Reiman of Santa Rosa Valley 4H. The funds will be used for essential needs for the Livestock Department including pig panels and pens.

Miss Reiman lives in Camarillo and has been involved in the Fair Livestock programs for 13 years, raising various species of small and large livestock, starting when she was five years old. A senior at Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley, she plans to pursue a degree in animal science.

“It is so rewarding to hear that the donation is playing a role in the betterment of the facilities at the fairgrounds,” said Reiman, adding, “The Ventura County Fair is a place where I, along with many others, found a passion and appreciation for agriculture. Supporting and preserving these programs is vital when it comes to teaching the next generation of youth the importance of hard work, responsibility, and leadership. It was truly an honor to be able to give back to the Ventura County Fair by doing something I love. I hope that it will continue to impact future generations in the way that it did me.”

Accepting the award on behalf of the Fair, CEO Barbara Quaid commented that the VC Fair Livestock Auction, scheduled for August, is an integral part of the annual Ventura County Fair, stating “After having been postponed for two seasons due to the COVID 19 pandemic we are very excited to resume the Livestock programs along with the many other Fair programs that we have all been waiting for. We are grateful to the Fairgrounds Foundation for this generous dedication and we join them in their continuous praise and support of the hard working youth of Ventura County and for the Fair.

The Fair’s Livestock department provides an important program for Ventura County Youth in 4H, Grange and FFA groups as well as children with independent projects. The auction is an important tool in the vocational education of children who are pursuing or interested in a career in agriculture and related industries. The Livestock auction takes participants through the steps of acquiring an animal for auction, raising the animal in a manner that is consistent with state and local marketing standards, showing the animal in competition and finally bringing the animal to auction where the culminating experience of their hard work includes the rewards, both monetary and awards.

The mission of the Ventura County Fairgrounds Foundation is to provide financial support for improvements to the grounds, capital projects, equipment and programs in order that the Ventura County Fairgrounds continue to be an exemplary multi use community resource.

For information and to make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation please visit

To learn more about the 2022 Ventura County Fair, August 3-14, please visit