CITY OF VENTURA
APPOINTS NEW VENTURA
WATER GENERAL MANAGER
Introduction Paragraph By: J. B. Robinson
Column By: Whisenhunt Communications
Because of the importance of water to the City of Ventura, we are adding the appointment of Kevin Brown to the front page of the Halloween Edition of Our Town Biz. No, this is no hoax; it is real. It APPEARS, and I repeat APPEARS, the City of Ventura has selected a qualified person to manage our water problems here in Ventura.
Brown has been appointed to the position of Ventura Water General Manager. Brown was selected through an open recruitment process and joined the City of Ventura on September 18, 2017.
Brown has more than 28 years of public sector experience as a Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer with a focus on customer satisfaction, environmental compliance, planning, budgeting, design, construction and facilities maintenance programs. He managed 10 unique water and sanitation districts negotiating interagency agreements, establishing water standards, maintaining systems and building new capacity.
Brown is a licensed professional engineer with professional affiliations including the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Public Works Association. He is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University Advanced Executive Program. He has a master's degree in Business Administration from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, and a bachelor's degree in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy.
Brown will manage Ventura's water and wastewater division that accounts for more than $94.5 million in annual revenue serving over 28,000 customers with a staff of 90.
HISTORIC OLIVAS ADOBE
SHOULD IT BECOME A CALIFORNIA
OFFICIAL HAUNTED HOUSE?
By Richard Senate
The State of California has two officially designated haunted houses. One is the Whaley House in old Town San Diego, the other is the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Both have been investigated and documented as really haunted. I believe that the state should recognize a Third Haunted Site - the Ventura Olivas Adobe. The number of paranormal events at the Olivas Adobe far exceeds the ones reported at Whaley house and the infamous Winchester House. Both are well known for their ghosts; however, Olivas has recorded events that go back decades.
The stories of ghosts date back to the 19th Century; however, the modern accounts start in 1972 when it was opened as a historic house museum. Staff and visitor tell of encountering a number of phantoms. The most seen is that of a lady in a long black dress who walks the second floor and looks out the window. It is thought that the ghostly woman is the restless shade of Teodora Olivas, the wife of the builder and the mother of his 21 children. She continues to be reported, however, if she walks the old hacienda, she isn't alone. Other ghosts seen here are: the phantom of a little girl in a white night dress, a ghost monk in a brown robe, a woman in a white (wedding?) dress, a little boy in brown, a man in a big hat and boots, a woman with a baby and a ghostly watch dog, chained up on the porch, by a phantom chain. These ghosts have been seen, photographed, videotaped and recorded on tape.
Years ago the TV show "Sightings" (Fox) came to the old adobe to investigate the site. Experts were brought in and at the end of the taping the director said that of all the houses the team visited in the United States, only three produced paranormal results - the Olivas Adobe was one of the three. They recorded a phantom voice, and the psychic they brought in saw the face of a man in one of the mirrors of the house.
I believe it is time that the State of California recognizes the ghosts of Olivas Adobe with the recognition as this important historic site as the third official haunted house in the Golden State! If you agree, contact your assemblyman (or woman) in Sacramento and urge them to take up the cause and have Olivas recognized once and/or all as an official haunted house.
WHERE TO SEE GHOSTS
IN VENTURA THIS HALLOWEEN
By Richard Senate
As the autumn descends upon Ventura, and the nights become cool and fog shrouded the mind turns to supernatural things, ghosts and haunted houses. It is at this time people ask where they can go to see a ghost for themselves. Seeing real ghosts is a rare event, however, one is well worth the search. Seeing a ghost changes a person. People who have such events happen become more spiritual, more open minded. In many ways, witnessing the paranormal can cause people to rethink ones views of the world. What places could a person go to see a phantom? I have presented a list of site. But remember to be on your best behavior!
- The Olivas Adobe in Ventura. This historic house, now a museum, has many stories of ghostly encounters in both nighttime and daytime. The most seen ghost is that of a lady looking out the second floor window. Its open for tours every weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours by costumed guides are $3 and well worth the time. Ask about the ghosts and ask the Docent to play the old music box (ghosts seem to come out when the old music maker is played). The gift shop has several books on ghosts as well.
- The Tavern restaurant and bar in Old Town Ventura. Second floor women's rest room is rumored to have a ghostly lady who wears a long old style green dress. She is detected with a sharp cold spot. Others report weeping here in the chamber where legend says she took her own life. She is also seen on the staircase landing, heading to the rest rooms.
- Ventura's City Hall has several in house ghosts including a ghostly judge, and a floating head! The most seen shade is that of an older woman, perhaps the unhappy ghost of a murderous woman who was sentenced to death back in the 1950s.
The men's restroom on the first floor is said to the "haunt" of the floating head. City Hall can be toured every workday; however, keep down the screams, people are trying to work here.
- The Ventura Cross on the hill above the city is a popular landmark; however, at night a faceless woman is said to haunt here. She wears a long white dress, with long sleeves. Her hair is wild, and jet black; however, her most remarkable feature is the fact she has NO FACE - just a blank where a face should be! Legend say she is the phantom of a Native American woman who was lured to the spot by a cruel Spanish soldier who had his way with her, and to keep her from telling what he had done, he killed her, and buried her body near the old cross. Now she returns to seek justice and for her body to be given a good Christian burial.
- The Big Fig Tree in Plaza Park has grown here since 1874. It is haunted by the spirit of a man wearing a top hat and tails. He walks near the tree and stories say he is the ghost of a local politician from the 19th Century, who was caught with his hand in the taxpayers coffers. When his corruption became known, he took his own life. Now, he haunts Plaza Park - where stories whisper he hid some of his ill-gained fortune in a metal box. If you see him ask where he buried it - maybe he will tell you!
- The Ventura Theater on Chestnut Street has a bevy of ghosts. Perhaps the most dramatic is that of a headless woman in a white gown, who dances on the stage!. Another ghost is that of a 1920s era gangster in a natty suit and slick-backed hair - one who haunts the balcony and men's restroom. Another ghost taps women on the shoulder. When they turn around, he asks them one question "What?" then vanishes away.
- The Zander building in Downtown Ventura has several ghosts - and perhaps our most famous one as well. A ghost woman walks the hall, as does a little girl and a man with wire-rimmed glasses in a gray suit. He might be the shade of George Zander the builder of the structure. BUT, the most famous ghost is none other than Johnny Cash the popular folk singer and actor. Once he had an office here in the early 1960s. After his death people reported phantom guitar music and a shadow form. Was it the Man in Black - returning for another encore? Who knows?
J. B. Robinson
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MANY GREATS REST AT
VENTURA'S IVY LAWN CEMETERY
By Richard Senate
The Ivy Lawn Cemetery dates back to 1917; and, few know that many celebrities and near celebrities are buried there. Ivy Lawn holds such diverse personalities as movie stars, sports heroes, a politician, a famed automobile designer and even one of the Munchkins from MGMs classic "The Wizard of Oz." A short listing of a few of the greats include the following:
Ethel Clayton (1882-1966) Movie Star. Her career began with the birth of the film industry. Her first film was "Justified" shot in 1909. A beautiful starlet in the silent era she managed to make the transition into talkies. Her last two films were the 1947 version of "The Perils of Pauline" and Alan Ladd's "The Blue Dahlia." In her latter roles, she played stuffy wealthy matrons; she, however, is remembered for her early years in such silent classics as "Sunny Side Up", "Journey's End" and "Maggie Pepper" (1919) in which she played the lead. She is also known for playing herself in the World War One film "The Volunteer" where she urged American women to follow her lead and support the war effort by volunteering for the Red Cross. In her long career she appeared in 147 films.
Bessie Eyton (1890-1965) Movie Star. She began her career on the Broadway stage and effortlessly made the transition to silent film. She appeared in dozens of westerns and movie serials. Many of her films cast her with Tom Mix as the love interest. She is best known for "The Thundering Herd", "The Face of Fear", "The Fifth Man", "The Man Grom Texas" (1916). Her last film was "A Girl of Gold" shot at the close of the silent era in 1925. She retired from the screen after appearing in 85 films. For her many low budget westerns she was given the title of "The Maid of Gower Gulch", after the spot in early Hollywood where the Moving Picture people hung out looking for jobs.
Knox Manning (1904-1980) Voice actor/radio announcer. He was the narrator in numerous films, serials, and radio programs. His voice was heard in many of the movies produced in the Golden Age of Hollywood. His film credits list such forgettable features as: "Captain Video", "Atom Man vs Superman", "Congo Bill", and "The Hit Parade of 1947." In Radio he was the announcer for the "Desi Arnez Radio Show" (1947) "Brenda Starr Reporter", "The Phantom" and the "Batman" radio show. He is best known as the pitchman and announcer for "The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."
John (Johnny) Leal (1905---1996) Performer/Movie Star. Known to his friends as "Charlie", he was born in Bakersfield. A midget, he was blessed with a good singing voice and found work at a side show in Long Beach. He worked at the 1933 World's Fair in New York and appeared in the signature film of the worlds fair - "A Century of Progress." In this film he played a miniature Will Rogers! He was cast in the MGM classic "The Wizard of Oz" as one of the Munchkins. His voice was one of the few selected for the film (with modification). He also appeared in the film "An Angel comes to Brooklyn" (1945). In World War II, he assembled airplanes. His small size enabled him to work in places other could not.