Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

A vacant lot has been transformed into a beautiful garden

The large lot behind the Museum of Ventura County, on Santa Clara, is now a permanent and temporary garden of sculptures and metal tee-pees. It opened on September 22 and included live music and a food truck.

The project, “Echoes of a Recent Past.” was created by Ventura artist Paul Lindhard from Art City Studios located off of Ventura Ave.

Many of the materials came from the buildings that were demolished across the street.

“Echos of a Recent Past” can easily be viewed from the street as folks drive by looking through the chain-link fence. It will be open during special events and accessed from Santa Clara.

Elena Brokaw, The Museum Barbara Barnard Smith Executive Director told the Breeze
“We are very thankful to Paul Lindhard for his vision and hard work. He and his team transformed an ugly empty lot into a beautiful and sustaining art installation and place of peace and contemplation. The space is not only attractive – the artwork speaks to the transformation of space, and the temporal nature of our built environment.”

Deputy Director of the Museum Denise Sindelar went on “The Museum of Ventura County had 237 attendees at the opening reception for Paul Lindhard’s Echoes of a Recent Past art and garden installation. There were musical and aerial performances set to the backdrop of the setting sun on the evening of the Autumnal Equinox. The evening began with a ceremonial Chumash blessing offered by tribal leader Julie Tumamait-Stenslie

County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez in CAPS Media studio

Recently CAPS Media produced a set of informative videos with Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez in the CAPS Media studio directed to renters throughout the county that have been impacted by COVID-19. Recorded in English and Spanish the informational videos provide renters facing eviction with clear direction on how to obtain assistance from the County and other resources. The videos and other information can be viewed at

CAPS Media’s local Radio station – KPPQ, 104.1FM is adding new programming every week. New episodes of In The Women’s Room, Teen Centric and Ventura Vibe!, are being added to the scheduled. Plus new shows selected from outstanding programs throughout the country are added to the 24×7 mix on KPPQ.

The KPPQ team is also working Ventura’s creative community to develop and distribute personalized podcasts on a variety of topics. Plus the continued expanision of KPPQ has fostered a search for a media intern to help with programming, social media and more. Anyone interested in working with the KPPQ crew should send a message to

ECTV, the award-winning student internship collaboration between CAPS Media and El Camino High school is gearing up for the new school year. Mentored by CAPS Media staff and utilizing the resources at the CAPS Media Center, El Camino high school students write, produce, direct, host, and edit magazine-style video and podcast programs on topics of interest and concern to teenagers. Student topics range from drug abuse and discrimination to racial prejudice, the climate crisis and more in their self-titled ECTV series.

The innovative program teaches students how to use digital, computer-based tools and technology to create, develop and communicate their stories. The program includes hands-on training with HD video cameras, audio recording equipment, digital editing equipment and graphic software. In addition to developing hands-on media skills the students receive high school, college, and community service credits. This year the ECTV program expands into the KPPQ study for training in radio production and podcasting.

For more information on how to become a member/producer at CAPS Media and information on programming and more, go to

Due to the COVID-19 emergency the CAPS Media Center is closed to Members and the public until further notice. CAPS Member/Producers can submit programming via the online portal at for broadcast and streaming on CAPS public access television Channel 6 and on CAPS Radio KPPQ 104.1FM.

All of us at CAPS Media encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The sooner we are all vaccinated the sooner we can fully enjoy our beautiful community, and the sooner we can reopen the CAPS Media Center to our Members and the public. We hope you all Stay Safe and Stay Strong during these challenging times.

Ventura Boys & Girls Club nearing teen center reopening

VCCAR members present check to Peter McClintock with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura was forced to close its facility in West Ventura in June over a dispute with the Ventura Unified School District over state grant requirements. Since then, club officials have been scrambling to find an alternate facility where they can reopen their teen center as a first step in reopening the entire club – a fixture in the low-income neighborhood since 1968.

Those efforts took a giant leap forward this month when the Young Professionals Network (YPN) of the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors donated $10,032.89 to the Boys & Girls Club – the proceeds of its wildly successful fundraising auction in August.

“We were so surprised at how much we received. It was a godsend,” said Peter McClintock, the club’s director of resource development. “The YPN group was so much fun to work with and they’re really focused on helping the community. We are so grateful.”

Patti Birmingham, the club’s CEO, said reopening the teen center is extremely important as it provides mentoring and support for teens who otherwise would have too little of either.

“Most of their parents are working two jobs at the least, and most of the parents can’t really help them with their homework,” she said. “The teens’ experiences are limited – lots of kids in that end of town haven’t even been to the beach. And that can lead to a lot of bad choices in a dangerous environment. They need a safe space and mentoring to get through middle school and high school and into a job or a career.”

Birmingham added that they are close to closing a deal and have set an ambitious date of Nov. 1 to open. At worst, they are confident the center will be open by the end of the year and expect to have between 80 and 100 teen members. The donation will be applied to the start-up costs.

The group reached out to Jack Dyer, owner of Topa Topa Brewing, who has a long track record of helping with fundraisers, and he immediately agreed to host the auction and to contribute a portion of the proceeds to the club.

While the auction proceeds will greatly benefit the teen center opening, the club is still looking for additional support for ongoing operational costs and to reopen programs for younger children. For more information, contact Peter McClintock at (805) 641-5585.

VCCAR is a professional trade association of nearly 2,000 licensed real estate agents in western Ventura County, including the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Santa Paula, Fillmore and Port Hueneme.

St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo earn national recognition

Sherri Greif, Nurse Practitioner, Stroke Program Manager and Nicole Schumacher, Neuro Nurse Practitioner are proud of the recognition.

Dignity Health—St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo (SJHC) have received the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Quality Achievement Award for their commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.

Get With The Guidelines-Stroke was developed to assist health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients.

Each year program participants apply for the award recognition by demonstrating how their organization has committed to providing quality care for stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, participants also provide education to patients to help them manage their health and rehabilitation once at home.

“We are pleased to recognize St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital Camarillo for their commitment to stroke care,” said Lee H. Schwamm, M.D., national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

“Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The
Guidelines quality improvement initiatives can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

SJRMC and SJHC also received the Association’s Target: StrokeSM Elite Plus award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

Additionally, both SJRMC and SJHC received the Association’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecutive months for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

Namba presents The Honey Whiskey Trio

Trio tells stories through song and stomp, highlighting the musical traditions of American Folk Music.

“Prepare to be stunned by The Honey Whiskey Trio. They create moving vocal music but you will also see and hear elements of dance and theatre in their performance. They draw deeply from the well of American musical tradition. We are thrilled to have them as part of our series of Americana-themed shows this Fall” said Namba Arts Musical Director Doc Ventura.

Courtney Gasque Politano, Ann Louise Jefferies Thaiss and Christina Wilson began singing together in each other’s living rooms as an emotional and musical release. In 2013, after seeing the impact of their music on the contemporary A cappella community, these sisters in song solidified their style as American Folk and picked up instruments to further enhance their vocally driven sound.

Today their passion for music education, community outreach, and singing unapologetically continues to drive them. They create, arrange, and explore music from the front porches, music halls, and hymn books of early America, sharing it with students, adults, and life-long music lovers across the United States.

Tickets for this show are $20 and may be purchased at the Namba Arts website Please note that proof of vaccination or Covid test must be presented to enter.

Other upcoming Americana music shows at Namba Arts this Fall are: The Carolyn Sills Combo Nov 13, The Healers ft. Henry Carjaval Nov 19, Phil Salazar and the Kinfolk Nov 20, Anna May December 4.

Ventura Land Trust Presents OAKtober celebrating our community’s oak trees

Dr. David White spoke at the October 2 event.

Through the month of October, Ventura Land Trust will celebrate its first annual OAKtober with a series of events that acknowledge and celebrate Ventura County’s oak trees and ecosystems.

Oaks are the foundation of several major ecosystems in Ventura County. Each oak is central to home to a hundred interdependent plant and animal species. Trees work for us by cleaning air and water, sequestering atmospheric carbon, buffering climate extremes, and reducing energy usage. Oaks reduce flooding and support our native wildlife. Oaks, and trees in general, provide important benefits that provide the foundation for our individual and planetary health.

VLT and event partners will drive awareness of the value of oaks across California, while developing a community network to support these important oak ecosystems. Scheduled events include:

On October 2, OAKtober featured Once Upon a Watershed Program Director Dr. David White and Melina Watts, Author of Tree.

Guests met at the Harmon Canyon Preserve trailhead and walked a short distance to an oak grove with trees that are over 300 years old. Dr. David White spoke about the central role of oaks in the ecosystem in Harmon Canyon Preserve and gave tips on how to grow an acorn into a sprout help the young tree to mature. Writer Melina Watts read from her 2017 novel Tree, the story of a California live oak from the point of view of the tree.

On October 30, from 9-10:30am, in partnership with Los Padres ForestWatch, LPFW Conservation Director Bryant Baker, known on Instagram as @bryanttheshrublander, will lead a presentation on Harmon Canyon Preserve’s signature oak woodlands. This presentation will delve into the habitat, biology, and natural history of oak woodlands in Ventura County’s hills and the Los Padres National Forest. Guests will meet at the Harmon Canyon Preserve trailhead and walk a short distance to a Harmon Canyon oak grove to see and learn about the trees up close. Location: 7511 Foothill Road, Ventura.

Other events will be announced as they are scheduled. Guests are encouraged to RSVP for OAKtober events at Space is limited. Find more OAKtober resources at

The mission of Ventura Land Trust is to permanently protect the land, water, wildlife and scenic beauty of the Ventura region for current and future generations. Founded in 2003, Ventura Land Trust believes that preserving open space and providing public access enhances the economy, quality of life, and public well-being of Ventura and surrounding communities.

The organization currently owns and manages land along the Ventura River and in the Ventura hillsides, including the 2,100-acre Harmon Canyon Preserve, opened in June 2020. Harmon Canyon Preserve is Ventura’s first large-scale nature preserve. All preserves are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk for free. Ventura Land Trust received accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance in 2019. Learn more and become a member at

Lenny and Susan LaCroix Trio

On Saturday, October 2, the Lenny and Susan LaCroix Trio entertained visitors to the Ventura Harbor playing by the carousel building. Susan is the President of the Channel Cities Jazz Club that presents monthly concerts at The House of Dance, 3007 Bunsen Ave.

The next concert will be on Sunday, October 17th, from 1-4 pm, featuring The Barrelhouse Wailers.

Fundraising event for Nasarenko’s campaign District Attorney

Photos by Richard Lieberman

On Sunday, September 26, a fundraising event for Eric Nasarenko’s campaign for Ventura County District Attorney was held at Café Ficelle in Ventura. A crowd of well wishers and Ventura officials gathered at the café to show their support for Nasarenko’s current campaign for District Attorney. Among those attending were ex- Ventura police chief Mike Tracy, Darin Schindler current police chief, Ken Corney ex-police chief and former city council member Christy Weir who all enjoyed the wonderful finger food provided.


City Council Member Jim Friedman on proposed opening of area behind Ventura Auto Center:

We asked City Council Member Jim Friedman (District 5)to comment on the proposed opening of the area behind the Ventura Auto Center:

After years of discussion, planning and deliberation going back to 2004, the Ventura City Council unanimously approved terms for a development agreement that would open up the area behind the Ventura Auto Center for future commercial development. This area, known as Focus Area One, has been confirmed and reconfirmed as an economic development priority by the city councils since 2005.

Slated for big-box retail and other compatible uses, Focus Area One is seen as an area for increased sales and property tax revenues. As city expenses increase, finding additional sources of revenue is critical if the city is to continue to provide the level of services that resident have come to expect.

The challenge with Focus Area One is that it is in a flood plain and in order to develop it, a levee along the Santa Clara River between Ventura and Oxnard must be built. Additionally, the long planned for extension of Olivas Park Drive needs to be constructed. On the city’s traffic circulation since the late ‘70s, the extension of Olivas Park Drive would improve traffic flow in the area and make retail investment in the area more attractive for retail developers.

This development agreement is a great example of a public private partnership. Essentially, the city will be responsible for the road construction and the land owners will be responsible for the construction of the levee. The estimated cost of the project is approximately $35 million dollars with the city being responsible for approximately two-thirds of the cost. City traffic mitigation fees which have been collected on development projects since the 1980’s will be used to fund the construction of the road extension. The landowners are dedicating land for the road extension at no cost to the city.

This agreement couldn’t have come at a better time as the city continues to be challenged with rising costs and employee retention. The city currently has 81 vacancies which makes providing services difficult at times. The city of Ventura competes with other cities for employees, so when revenues are insufficient to provide competitive salaries and benefits, service levels decline and residents are negatively affected.

This project can be a huge shot in the arm for city revenues, but it is clearly not enough. I believe city leaders must work to make doing business with the city of Ventura easier, not harder as some prior councils have done. The city of Ventura is fast becoming a retirement community that will ultimately not be able to provide adequate services to its residents.

The city must be more progressive when it comes to economic development. Short of raising taxes and fees, economic development is essential to helping the city deal with the challenges of losing its competitive edge with other cities and providing essential city services. Providing strong public safety services, smooth streets and sidewalks, parks and recreational amenities all cost money. Failure to step up economic development efforts will surely have a negative effect on the quality of life in Ventura.

Jim Friedman