Category Archives: This ‘n’ That

Ventura Breeze has a new editor

stuff Evinstuff Evin insetThe Ventura Breeze has a new editor 10-year old Evin Brown. Even though he is very young because of his relationship with the Breeze publisher he has been reading the Breeze since he was 2. As his first change to the paper he has decided that classified ads can be on the cover.

Breeze Reader Poetry

The Universe
Joshua Henry Jones Jr.

Count o’er the million leagues from here to yonder star.
On then. On to the next count of a million more.
Sum up the myriad gleams that light the night;
Add too, the orbit where the cold bright moon doth soar.
That done, return to earth and with thy mind outline
That huge expanse called space; and then out from our Hearse
Of changing dust dream out the words-The Universe.


Ode to an Encyclopedia
James Arthur

O hefty hardcover on the built-in shelf in my parents’ living room,
O authority stamped on linen paper, molted from your dust jacket,
Questing Beast of blue and gold, you were my companion

on beige afternoons that came slanting through the curtains
behind the rough upholstered chair. You knew how to trim a sail
and how the hornet builds a hive. You had a topographical map

of the mountain ranges on the far side of the moon
and could name the man who shot down the man
who murdered Jesse James. At forty, I tell myself

that boyhood was all enchantment: hanging around the railway,
getting plastered on cartoons; I see my best friend’s father
marinating in a lawn chair, smiling benignly at his son and me

from above a gin and tonic, or sitting astride his roof
with carpentry nails and hammer, going at some problem
that kept resisting all his mending. O my tome, my paper brother,

my narrative without an ending, you had a diagram of a cow
broken down into the major cuts of beef, and an image
of the Trevi Fountain. The boarding house,

the church on the corner: all that stuff is gone.
In winter in Toronto, people say, a man goes outside
and shovels snow mostly so that his neighbors know

just how much snow he is displacing. I’m writing this
in Baltimore. For such a long time, the boy wants
to grow up and be at large, but posture becomes bearing;

bearing becomes shape. A man can make a choice
between two countries, believing all the while
that he will never have to choose.

Vol. 8, No. 26 – September 30 – October 13, 2015 – Answer In A Breeze

Q. The Time Warner Co. is digging Telegraph and Dunning to connect St. Bonaventure High to fiber optic networks. They say they already serve the church and presumably the hospital. The presence and absence of the fiber optics in various neighborhoods can affect the decision by an employer to locate there.  It would be an interesting read to find out more and about where it is and isn’t in town.

Kioren Moss, MAI

A: We really don’t have any plans for future fiber optic lines that are pursed by the city and public funding since this is mostly generated by private companies.  Therefore, we just react to requests from communication companies regarding impacts to public streets and right of way to put these facilities in.  From a pure business standpoint in our City, I’ve heard there is a need for faster internet service that fiber optics can provide.

So if you want to discuss how the City works with these companies to facilitate their infrastructure with the least impact on the community, then please contact me.  If you want to discuss how the City would encourage enhanced internet service for our business community, you should probably contact our Economic Development Manager, Leigh Eisen.

Rick Raives ([email protected])
Public Works Director City of Ventura

If you have a question you would like answered send it to [email protected] and we will try to get an answer for you.


Nikos Valance appointed to Ventura Port District Board

stuff ValanceValance is also a board member of the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy
Photo by Kyle Sallee

The Ventura City Council has appointed Nikos Valance, a local attorney, economist and lecturer at California State University Channel Islands, to his first four-year term on the Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners.

Valance, a New York native, also is a board member of the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and he previously served for four years as member of the Manhattan Community Board in New York.

“In New York I was always very active in civic affairs and community projects. Once I settled in Ventura, I wanted to be more active and also give to the community,” he said. “I’m really thrilled about living in Ventura and enthusiastic about the potential of the Harbor.”

Valance would like to see the City of Ventura and the Ventura Harbor grow as tourist and vacation destinations, and work together more closely. He’d also like to see more art events and activities at Ventura Harbor, such as artists painting outdoors and a theater for plays. “It would enhance the whole ambiance at the Harbor.”

An attorney and economist, Valance is excited to be teaching economics for the Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics at California State University Channel Islands.

Valance has several areas of interest and specialties in his work, including: business and human rights; domestic and international water policy; local and regional sustainable economic development; systems of local and regional governance development; natural resource development; and the rights of indigenous people domestically and internationally.

The Ventura Port District is committed to providing quality, marine-oriented, visitor- serving assets and a safe environment for the public. The Ventura Harbor is a premier recreational harbor in Ventura County offering a variety of amenities for boater enthusiasts and visitors, including easy access to the Channel Islands, recreational fishing activities, boatyards, fuel docks, tours, rentals, cruises, vibrant yacht clubs and a new public launch ramp. Ventura Harbor has five marinas with 1,500 boat slips. Visit to learn more and view the Port District board agendas. The Board of Port Commissioners conducts regular meetings that are open to the public on the second Wednesday starting at noon and the fourth Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. each month.

City of Ventura’s Laura Pfeifer recognized in National Safety Council’s sixth class of NSC Rising Stars of Safety

city pfieferOn August 27,  the National Safety Council announced its sixth class of NSC Rising Stars of Safety – a group of future leaders dedicated to making workplaces safer.  The 40 honorees have promoted a cycle of continuous improvement within their organizations and created initiatives focused on measurable outcomes of the NSC’s Journey to Safety Excellence.

The City of Ventura’s Laura Pfeifer, of the Public Works Fleet and Facilities Division was among the national honorees.  Public Works Director Rick Raives said, “What an honor it is to have our City of Ventura staff included in this national recognition. Through Laura’s safety program coordination, the Public Works department was injury free for more than one year, which is a commendable achievement.” For information about the National Safety Council Rising Stars of Safety program, visit

Book Nook

The Panaro Brothers Winery located at 4517 Market Street, 654-1577 features a Book Nook. Stop by, have a cool glass of wine and visit the Book Nook that has books for sale by local Ventura County authors, including James Francis Gray, Sheila Lowe, Sheli Ellsworth, Sheldon Brown, Libby J. Atwater, Karin Lehmann, Robin Sanford, Elaine Clark Aldrete, Ron Fischer and Chuck Engel. The winery features first Friday book readings, so mark your calendars for the next one on Friday, October 2, at 5:30 p.m.

Vicki Graves receives Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses

stuff GravesCommunity Memorial Health System nurse, Vicki Graves, is a recent recipient of the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a peer-elected awards program the hospital participates in each quarter. Nurses are nominated for the DAISY awards by patients, family members and colleagues. Graves, a registered nurse in the CMH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is known at the hospital for her compassionate care, concern, and dedication to patient health.

Each quarter, a nurse is selected to receive the Daisy Award by an awards committee. At a presentation given in front of the nurse’s peers, patients and leadership, the honoree receives a certificate of commendation for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.”

Ventura County Firefighters of the Year and Citizen Heroes honored

By Karen Helen Szatkowski

The Kiwanis International of Ventura, co-hosted by Oxnard and Thousand Oaks clubs, put on their 13th Annual Event to honor many of the local firefighters and several citizen heroes at the Crown Plaza Hotel on the Ventura Beach on September 11th.

The evening ceremonies were opened by the Ventura City Firefighters Pipes & Drums accompanied by the Ventura County Honor Guard which was an exciting and moving start. Many city and county dignitaries and fire officials were in attendance as well, introduced by the Mayor of Ventura, Cheryl Heitmann.

The first honoree, Captain John Harber, was presented the Firefighter of the Year by the Santa Paula Fire Department.  Captain Harber took a school program under his wing which gained wide praise.

The Ventura County Fire Department awarded a Firefighter of the Year from each of the five battalions starting with Firefighter Joseph Dullam of Battalion 1; Captain Richard Toukdarian of Battalion 2; Firefighter Ryan Flitt of Battalion 3; Firefighter Mark Villasenor of Battalion 4 and Firefighter Lucas Beller of Battalion 5.  Exemplary first responders all.

Firefighter Josh Massie earned the Firefighter of the Year in the Oxnard Fire Department as his IT talent allowed the change in the vitally important radio program to mature smoothly.

Paramedic/Firefighter Chad Panke, Firefighter of the Year with the Fillmore Fire Department, has been involved in implementing the County of Ventura’s Cardiac Arrest Management Program as well as the EMS system.

Paramedic/Firefighter Drew DeRousseau, as Firefighter of the Year for the Ventura City Fire Department is known as the “question man”.  Drew wants to know why, when, where, what and who. In his 3 1/2 years with the Department he has found many answers.

Fire Engineer Torrey Anderson of the Federal Fire Department moved from volunteer firefighter at the Fillmore Fire Department to the Federal Fire Department in 2007 as a full-time employee.

Many of these recipients were not able to attend the ceremony as they were deployed to fight the walls of flame scorching Northern California.

Along with these lauded public servants, Kiwanis awarded Citizen Hero Honors to people that jumped in and saved others in danger.  Maria Esparza happened upon a burning car on the freeway and managed to pull an infant from the back seat while Brian Neilsen, who also stopped to see if he was needed, pulled the driver out of the car.  Josh Powers, visiting the beach during a nasty rip tide, swam out and saved a friend and his own fiancée who were both very close to drowning. Lastly Richard Rychlowski rescued a neighbor from a fire consumed home next door just seconds before help arrived.