Photo: The Del Monte Valiant docked at the Port of Hueneme. Photo submitted. 

by Kimberly Rivers

New ship tech reduces port emissions

Two new refrigerated container vessels owned by Fresh Del Monte Produce are part of a six-ship fleet which utilize new design technology to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions that contribute to air pollution. The ships are bringing bananas and pineapples to market through the Port of Hueneme.

“Today, shipping accounts for the largest portion of our global energy use,” said Hans Sauter, chief sustainability officer with Fresh Del Monte Produce. “In 2018 we committed to lead by example and reduce our vessel emission by 10%. With the addition of these six new container vessels, we are well on our way, estimating a savings of nearly 19 thousand metric tons of fuel each year.”

The two ships, Valiant and Harvester, utilize a “hybrid scrubber system” designed to remove particulate matter and sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides from the exhaust of the large marine engines that power the ships. All of the new ships also use a shore power connection, making the vessels zero emission while they are at port. 

 Linda Sumansky new director of VenturaWaterPure

On March 22, Linda Sumansky began her new role as program director for the city’s VenturaWaterPure program. 

Linda Sumansky, new director of VenturaWaterPure. Photo submitted.

Sumansky was selected through a national search, and comes from eight years with the city of Santa Barbara, where she served as principal civil engineer and project manager for three major capital improvement projects for its water system. She has 35 years of experience in municipal engineering projects, 19 of which deal with water, as well as budgeting for capital projects. 

Her role, under the direction of the city manager, will be to oversee and manage the VenturaWaterPure program, which will divert, treat and reuse water that is currently being discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. The program includes an advanced water purification facility. 

Sumansky holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. 

Relaxed rules gives options but not directive for school reopening

On March 23, state health officials reduced the distance required between students in classrooms to three feet from six feet. Ventura County has the option to impose stricter rules than the state’s adopted three-foot guidance for social distancing in classrooms. 

The Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) points to studies showing that the smaller distance does not increase spread of the coronavirus as long as masks are worn. The rules still require six feet distancing between students and staff. 

VCOE notes the change may not affect plans in local school districts that already implemented or plan to implement hybrid or fully-in-person instruction on campus. According to a March 23 statement from VCOE, “most local districts have already implemented or will soon launch hybrid schedules” offering a combination of in-person and distance learning across grade levels. State officials also announced that band, drumline, cheerleading, choir and drama can all resume while adhering to guidelines for low-contact youth recreational activities.
For more information about local district reopening plans, visit:

Got the shot? Get a free book. 

Bank of Books in Ventura is offering a free book to local residents who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. 

“The current free book offer is a way of saying thanks to the many that have been safe and helped see us make it through these difficult times,” explains Clarey Rudd, owner of Bank of Books. “We hope to give away thousands of free books.”

The beloved Downtown Ventura book shop, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary later this year, gave books away following the Thomas Fire and is now hoping to encourage vaccination. Residents can bring their vaccination record card and choose a free book from the Community Support Book Cases in the store. 

Bank of Books, 748 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-643-3154,