Author: Nancy Lackey Shaffer

OUT OF THE BOX | Staff favorites streaming now

PICTURED: Call the Midwife on Netflix and by VCR staff and contributors Even as the county opens up by small increments, entertainment opportunities remain minimal. Television continues to be a welcome distraction, and we asked VCReporter staff and contributors for their recommendations for quality, though-provoking or just plain fun options to stream right now. Kimberly Rivers, staff reporter The West Wing (Netflix) provides a calming escape into a fantasy, fictional government where thoughtful, passionate people are working for the people — all the people — and most problems are solved in under an hour, or a few episodes. There is...

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TURNING THE TABLES | Local restaurants look for new business models to survive the lockdown

Pictured: 2686 Kitchen has been working with World Central Kitchen to help feed frontline workers. To date, the restaurant has donated more than 1,200 meals. (Photo submitted) by Kateri Wozny The impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry can’t be overstated. With no dining onsite allowed for the time being, eateries are struggling to find some way to keep the doors open until they can get back to business as usual — which may ultimately look dramatically different from what it was before the pandemic. Pared-down menus, reduced staff, discounts and specials have been the key to survival for...

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ARTS BRIEFS | News in art and culture from around the county

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer Help The Collection honor local heroes The Collection at RiverPark invites the local community to contribute to a planned monument wall honoring essential employees who continue to work outside the home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Collection is collecting photos and messages of appreciation for hospital staff, grocery store employees, gas station workers, police officers, firefighters and all other essential employees. Photos and messages can be emailed to through May 22. For submission guidelines, rules and more information, visit  Camp Quarantine High Street Art Center’s April production of In the Heights has been...

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STAYING QOOL UNDER QUARANTINE | Little Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage 

PICTURED: Van Zandt in the studio for his Underground Garage radio show. by L. Kent Wolgamott Stuck in his New York apartment, Little Steven Van Zandt decided he’d dig back through the archives of his weekly “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” syndicated radio program and create something special for those who are laboring under the coronavirus quarantine. He called the new program “The Qoolest Quarantine Qollection” and found a host — “Trenton Quarantino,” another of his many alter egos. “I’m thinking everybody’s home, everybody’s trapped at home, let’s give them some extra special content,” Van Zandt said in a late-April phone interview....

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IN GOOD TASTE | Great deals on Tap

PICTURED: Social Tap’s Taco Bar, clockwise from top left: Short rib barbacoa, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, rice, beans and flour tortillas. (Photo by N. Lackey Shaffer) by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer Social Tap 1105 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura 805-667-8485 $4-45 One drawback to being safe at home is being tired of your own cooking. I am therefore grateful that takeout continues to be available, and I am especially appreciative of institutions such as Social Tap, which has created some great meal deals aimed at those wanting to indulge on a budget.  Social Tap’s limited to-go menu still has...

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