April 2015    

Crucial Water Town Hall Meeting

Tomorrow Evening in Ventura

Changes may be coming for Ventura Water customers on many water-related fronts in light of the Ventura City Council's support for adjusting water-use tiers and rates, as well as offering a new water-saving incentive program and revising the city's Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan - all to cope with the drought.


A Town Hall informational meeting for the public will be held at the city's Sanjon Maintenance Yard, 336 Sanjon Road, on Wednesday, April 29 at 6 p.m. A City Council public hearing will follow on June 8.


Before any changes are implemented, Ventura Water will bring a proposed new rate plan ordinance back to the City Council in June. Customers would be notified of the new rates in July and the new rates would become effective September 1, 2015.


The City Council last month acted on the recommendations of the Water Shortage Task Force, which recommended the changes after a series of public meetings to manage the ongoing drought.

The Council is considering implementing a new, four-tiered water rate structure that would send a strong message for conservation of Ventura's local resources. Under the plan, the highest residential users would pay more for their water - but not as much if they reduce use by 20 percent. The lowest users would have minimal impact. Commercial customers are expected to conserve by 10 percent during the current Stage 3 Water Shortage.


The City Council is also considering a new incentive program for customers who reduce outside water use. This program could be underway by summer or fall 2015. Since most water use is outdoors, the incentive plan focuses on irrigation efficiency devices and a turf removal and replacement incentive when property owners install a low-water alternative to grass. Finally, a proposed new Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan defines the six levels of a water shortage event. Ventura is currently in Stage 3, requiring a 20 percent water use reduction for residential properties.

Read more Ventura Water news in the monthly Pipeline e-newsletter, compiled each month with help from Amy Bentley and Cindy Daly of Whisenhunt Communications. You can subscribe to the Pipeline here.

Attend the CMHS State of the Health System Address May 7  


Gary Wilde

Community Memorial Health System extends an invitation to the public to the 2015 State of the Health System Address taking place Thursday, May 7th at Ventura County Museum in Ventura, with presentations beginning at 5:30. Light refreshments will be available.


Gary Wilde, CMHS President & CEO, and Dr. Stanley Frochtzwajg, CMHS Chief Medical Officer, will discuss how the health system is doing. The address will include details on:


* Healthcare reform

* Updates on the building projects in Ventura and Ojai

* Community programs and services

* A financial update


Space is limited and reservations are required. For free registration visit  www.cmhshealth.org/rsvp or call 1-800/838-3006.

New Businesses Opening

At Ventura Harbor Village


A food and beverage renaissance is taking place at Ventura Harbor Village. Here's what's coming:

  • Coffee Dock & Post, the only coffeehouse in Ventura directly on the water, is undergoing a major renovation and is upgrading menu offerings and services. Coffee Dock and Windrose Gifts are family-owned and operated businesses that are combining together to bring food, beverages and gifts in one space overlooking the boats at Ventura Harbor Village. Coffee Dock & Post will offer free Wi-Fi and a fresh café menu, featuring sandwiches and salads from local fresh-food vendors. A variety of coffees, pastries, smoothies and shaved ice will also be on the new menu. Coffee Dock & Post is set to reopen in late spring 2015.
  • Wild Local Seafood Co. is opening a new daily fish market at Ventura Harbor Village in summer 2015. This established fish and seafood market already enjoys a large and loyal clientele from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Hollywood, however, this will be Wild Local Seafood Co.'s first "brick and mortar" location. It is all about sustainable fishing practices for this establishment, led by Captain Ben Hyman. An emerging "seafood celebrity," Hyman has almost 20 years of experience working on commercial fishing vessels for species including tuna, crab, live rock fish, local black cod, live local halibut, squid and more. Wild Local Seafood Co. does not buy or sell any farmed fish or fish caught internationally; all seafood is caught under strict California and federal guidelines for size, season and by-catch, and only with sustainable practices.
  • Cupa Cubano is a new Cuban-American cuisine restaurant offering classic Cuban dishes like rice and beans, chicken Cuban-style, paella and fried plantains, as well as full bar service. Entertainment will include live music, jazz and dueling pianos as well as special live performances. An opening is expected in summer.
  • Boatyard Café features homemade corned beef hash; chicken fried steak; charbroiled Angus burgers smothered with chili, onions and cheese; burritos, wild salmon and eggs; sandwiches; salads; chowders; appetizers like crab-stuffed mushrooms; and seasonal fish grilled or pan-seared. The restaurant boasts an iconic fisherman's bar open into the evening with a lighter menu and outdoor seating. It's open seven days a week
  • Surf 'n' Suds at the Ventura Harbor Village - Saturday June 13, 2015. Sample 45+ top craft breweries while enjoying live bands and a DJ. VIP tickets are $65 and include a complimentary souvenir logo glass, beer samples and entry at 11:30 a.m. General Admission tickets are $50 and include a glass, beer samples and entry at 12:30 p.m. Designated Driver tickets are $20 and allow an 11:30 a.m. entry time plus all the entertainment. Consider arriving on the free Downtown-Harbor Trolley, by Amtrak or bus. Event tickets: www.surfbeerfest.com. Info:  www.venturaharborvillage.com.

Nan Drake And Melissa Sayer

Named Top Women in Business

Whisenhunt Communications congratulates Nan Drake, the Director of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations for Harrison Industries, and attorney Melissa H. Sayer from the Oxnard law firm of Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas & Zirbel LLP (A to Z Law). Both women were named among the top 50 Women in Business in the Central Coast in a special section published March 27 by the Pacific Coast Business Times.


The Times annually selects 50 women from Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties to honor for their exceptional leadership in the business community. This is Drake's eighth consecutive year and Sayer's second year receiving this honor.


Nan Drake

Drake has a long history of serving on the boards of many local charitable organizations in addition to her 35-year-plus record of public service in Ventura County. She currently, or in the past, has served on the boards of the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA); the Ventura and Carpinteria Chambers of Commerce; the Economic Development Cooperative, Ventura County; the advisory committee of the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance; and the Workforce Investment Board. She also co-chairs the Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade. In January 2013, VCEDA presented Drake with its Carl Lowthrop Golden Eagle Award, the organization's highest honor given annually to the volunteer demonstrating exemplary character.


Drake served as a Ventura City Council member from 1985 to 1989 and during this term served as a board member of the Ventura County Regional Sanitation District. In 1988 she was appointed to the Los Angeles Region of the California Water Quality Board by Governor George Deukmejian and was reappointed in 1991. She also served on the Outer Continental Shelf Committee under the California Department of Environmental Affairs (1987-1989) and was instrumental in getting a large grant for the City of Ventura for Seaside Park.


Melissa H. Sayer

Sayer provides business counsel services to clients ranging from individual entrepreneurs and investors to mid-sized growth companies. She handles a variety of business related transactions from formation to complex business sales and reorganizations, to agriculture and water.


Sayer serves on the VCEDA board and on the Strategic Advisory Committee for Women's Economic Ventures (WEV), an organization that assists low-income women become financially independent through business ownership. She also serves as a business advisor providing pro bono legal advice to WEV participants and is a member of the faculty of the Ventura County Community Foundation Center for Non-Profit Leadership. She is a member of the CSU Channel Islands Business and Technology Partnership.

(L to R) - Tyler Lang, Rogelio Pinedo, Matthew Huberty, Michael Anatole, Melanie Crandall, Michael Snowden, Cathy Milligan, Russ Charvonia
Channel Islands Group Announces
Reorganization, Name Change

Channel Islands Group, formerly Channel Islands Financial Group, is a local firm whose professionals have over 85 years of combined experience and deep roots in the community.


Channel Islands Group's independent professionals offer financial, mortgage and legal solutions under one roof.  As a fee-only, SEC-registered Investment Advisor, Channel Islands Group combines experience and expertise to offer a range of services, including financial planning, investment management, insurance planning, tax planning and strategies, retirement income planning, inter-generational wealth transfer, business succession, charitable planning and mortgage services.


Russ Charvonia of Ventura and Mike Snowden of Thousand Oaks are principals of Channel Islands Group.  Charvonia and Snowden, previously owners of The Renaissance Group in Ventura, continue to focus upon the retirement and investment needs of individuals, business owners, corporations and high net worth clients.  Snowden earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the Naval Postgraduate School.


Charvonia has 35 years of experience providing investment advice to individual and institutional clients.  He is also an attorney, and co-founded and operated an estate planning practice, The Renaissance Law Group, in Ventura, now Channel Islands Law Group.


Joining them is Cathy Milligan of Ventura, who has owned and operated a successful mortgage company, Marina Funding Group, and continues to assist clients with their mortgage needs. Milligan became a financial advisor in 2008 and she holds a real estate broker's license.  Rounding out the firm is Kentucky resident Tyler Lang, who previously worked in the private client group of a large bank serving high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families, as well as foundations, institutions and endowments.


Channel Islands Group shares an office with Channel Islands Law Group, consisting of Charvonia and attorney Michael Anatole of Moorpark. The attorneys focus on estate planning and mediation services, among other legal services.


Channel Islands Group is located at 121 N. Fir St. Suite H, Ventura, in the historic Elizabeth Bard Memorial building. Please call 805-652-6944, visit www.ChannelIslandsGroup.com or email info@ChannelIslandsGroup.com . 


For Channel Islands Law Group, Please call 805-652-6941, visit www.ChannelIslandsLawGroup.com or email info@ChannelIslandsLawGroup.com


Whisenhunt Communications writer Amy Bentley and graphic designer Cindy Daly assisted Channel Islands Group with a press release and a new brochure.

Ventura Harbor Harbormaster
Scott Miller Retires after 35 Years


Scott Mille

Much has changed in the Ventura Port District since Scott Miller left his job as a lifeguard in Long Beach to join the Ventura Harbor Patrol in 1980. Ventura Harbor Village was still in the development stage and a tiny wooden house served as headquarters for the Channel Islands National Monument.

Today, Ventura Harbor Village is a popular tourist destination with shops, galleries, restaurants and waterfront activities including harbor tours plus boat, kayak and paddle boat rentals. The Channel Islands National Monument is now a national park with a visitor center that welcomes 200,000 people each year.

Miller retires as harbormaster on April 25. Miller, who became harbormaster in 2000, supervised the Ventura Harbor Patrol, which provides 24-hour law enforcement, rescue and emergency services in the district. Miller also helped create the curriculum for the Department of Boating and Waterways "Masters Certificate of Achievement," which significantly enhanced training for Boating Safety Officers in smaller agencies. Miller helped design and maintain the Ventura Port District's first website, he took over Human Resource functions and helped with the professional development of the district's 44-member staff.

Miller was active in two statewide organizations, serving on the board of directors for many years, including a year as president, for both the California Boating Safety Officers Association and the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association. Miller also was California Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2003, which recognized his professional involvement both in CBSOA and as an instructor for "Basic Boating Enforcement Course" for the Department of Boating and Waterways.

Whisenhunt Communications wishes Scott all the best in his retirement years.

We also welcome the newly selected harbormaster, John C. Higgins of Ventura. Higgins has been a Harbor Patrol Officer since 1996.

Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks Opens 2 New Franchises 


The non-profit Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, which has successfully rehomed over 1,200 rescued dogs, announces the opening of two new franchises, one located in Santa Clarita and the other in the Sacramento area.


The first Shelter Hope Pet Shop is located in the Janss Marketplace in Thousand Oaks and is run by Shelter Hope founder Kim Sill of Thousand Oaks, with help from volunteers. Sill has taken the Shelter Hope effort and idea a step further and is gifting franchises to qualifying rescue groups.


Shelter Hope Pet Shop is a non-profit, charitable, volunteer-based organization devoted to finding homes for rescued pets, promoting animal education and awareness within the community. Located in shopping centers, Shelter Hope Pet Shops provide a fun, friendly place where visitors and volunteers can meet and interact with shelter or rescue animals needing adoption. This retail environment provides a pleasant setting where pets are introduced to people who may have never considered visiting a shelter.


A second Shelter Hope Pet Shop opened in Rancho Cordova in Northern California in October 2014, in the Nimbus Winery Village at 12401 Folsom Blvd., suite 106, in Rancho Cordova. A third Shelter Hope Pet Store is set to open April 16, 2015 in the Westfield Valencia Town Center, in the city of Santa Clarita.


Writer Amy Bentley assists Shelter Hope with press releases to the media.


For more information, visit www.shelterhopepetshop.org

Issue: 68
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Get Up and Get Moving: Regular Exercise Improves your Health - and Your Business


Running a business has great rewards but can also be very stressful. If you are stressed, chances are so is some aspect of your business. Spring is a time for renewal, so this month, focus on controlling stress with good nutrition and exercise. This can help ease business stress too.


If you aren't taking care of yourself, you can't give the best to your family, your friends, your coworkers, your business or your clients.


Stress hurts people personally and professionally. Statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) show that nearly 40 million adults are affected by stress and anxiety. Studies taken around the world show solid evidence supporting the health and wellness benefits of consistent, regular exercise. 


Here are some facts from those studies:

  • Exercise can elevate depressed mood and relieve anxiety and depression.
  • Exercise improves mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress.
  • Exercise helps physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression more than sedentary people.

The good news for busy entrepreneurs and working professionals is that it takes little time to reap the rewards of daily exercise. According to a recent study cited by the ADAA, a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout and deliver several hours of relief akin to taking an aspirin for a headache. Everyone can find 10 minutes to take a walk.


The best way to stay on track is to schedule daily exercise into your calendar. If you are just starting out, remember to take one step at a time. Begin with a 10-minute walk a few days a week. Just like your marketing efforts, the only way to get good results is to be consistent.


Article courtesy of Web Marketing Therapy,

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Client News In This Issue
Ventura Water
Community Memorial Health System (CMHS)
Ventura Harbor Village
Harrison Industries and A to Z Law
Channel Islands Group
Ventura Port District
Shelter Hope Pet Shop

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Visit Whisenhunt Communications' website www.whizcomm.biz.

Whisenhunt Communications new website

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The firm's many diverse clients make enormous contributions to the community and the public relations firm has been instrumental in helping them accomplish their goals.

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Stan Whisenhunt
Whisenhunt Communications