Author: Nancy Lackey Shaffer

“THIS IS WHAT COMMUNITY IS ABOUT” | Talking Pride, protests and more with Diversity Collective

PICTURED: The Diversity Collective Ventura County team, from left: Kelly-Marie Jones, Genevieve Flores-Haro, Tess Allen, Dahkotahv Beckham, Ken Barrow, Patricia Logan, Roland Catabona and Luis Andrede. <em>Photo by N. Lackey Shaffer</em> by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer Diversity Collective Ventura County has been a lifeline for LGBTQ+ locals since its founding in 2014. Stepping into the void left by the Rainbow Alliance, which closed in 2011, DCVC has served as an umbrella organization for several endeavors aimed at supporting the health and well being of Ventura County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexual, asexual and other individuals and allies. These...

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BANJOS AND MANDOLINS | J2B2 headlines VMF at the Drive In

PICTURED: Patrick Sauber, Mark Fain, John Jorgenson and Herb Pedersen of the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band. Photo by Mike Melnyk by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer If 2020 had been a typical year, the 26th Annual Ventura Music Festival would have been kicking off this weekend. This summer is unlike any other, of course, and so VMF has moved its programming online with the Music Connects digital concert series. The festival did manage to put together one live show, however, thanks to the Ventura County Fairgrounds and its drive-in entertainment technology. VMF in partnership with Concerts in Your Car will present...

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REMEMBERING GERD KOCH | The abstract expressionist left an indelible mark on Ventura County

Gerd Koch rendered within one of his paintings. Photo courtesy of Donna Granata/Focus on the Masters by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer Ventura College, Studio Channel Islands, Focus on the Masters — some of the most important art and education institutions in Ventura County are indelibly linked to the late, truly great Gerd Koch. The renowned abstract expressionist passed away on June 26 at the age of 91, but remains firmly enmeshed in the area’s cultural fabric, both through his own extraordinary work and the influence he wielded as a teacher and mentor, helping to shape creative minds for over...

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IN GOOD TASTE | In good health

PICTURED: Avocado toast with gluten-free bread from Food Harmonics. by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer With rising COVID-19 cases on our mind and a specific focus on health in this issue, we take a break from our typical restaurant reviews to offer up a handful of eateries that offer more than just great flavor. If you’re looking to nourish something beyond the basic appetite, look to these restaurants serving fresh, locally sourced and healthful meals. Food Harmonics 254 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai 805-798-9253 $4-16 Takeout available Food Harmonics is all about the balance. The downtown Ojai restaurant looks to...

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RETRO REVIVAL | Drive-in entertainment revs up this summer

PICTURED: Comedian Trevor Wallace opened for Super Duper Kyle at the Ventura County Fairgrounds June 26-27. (Photo courtesy of CBF Productions) by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer The drive-in theater is a blast from the past. Dating back to the 1930s (the first true drive-in theater opened in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in 1933), its heyday took place in the 1950s and ’60s, and the very notion of the drive-in brings up images of letterman jackets and poodle skirts. As televisions improved and VCRs made it possible to enjoy feature films at home, drive-ins declined in popularity, going nearly extinct in...

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