(Frank Junior High School)
1ST PLACE (TIE)
Hannah- Beth Jackson
Best place to spot Intervention celebrities:
New Seasons Behavioral Health Clinic
Port Hueneme, (866) 486-4664
In some ways, A&E’s Intervention is an island in the sick world of reality television. Not that it exists on a higher moral plain than other shows or anything — chronicling the lives of suburban junkies in the days leading up to a surprise intervention by their family and friends, it exploits true-life drug addiction for entertainment — but no other series on cable manages to strike such a poignant balance of horrifying pathos and unintentional hilarity. That second part might sound insensitive, but as any avid watcher will tell you, the best installments usually feature an addict so far gone that the behavior takes on the form of absurdist comedy.
Take a recent episode focusing on Allison, a pretty twentysomething musician hooked on inhalants. As a child, she and her younger sister were allegedly molested by a man who ended up being acquitted of the crime. Later, her parents divorced, leaving her with deep abandonment issues. Harrowing and definitively unfunny stuff. But it’s hard not to giggle — if only to stifle feelings of unease — as she sucks on cans of computer keyboard cleaner between every sentence. Then enters Jeff VanVonderen, one of the program’s star interventionists, who strides onto the scene like an Old West sheriff looking to take out the deadliest gunslinger in town. When Allison initially refuses the offer for rehab, VanVonderen relays a message that if she does not accept, animal control will be contacted to seize her beloved kittens. She still won’t budge, so VanVonderen proclaims, with all the gravitas of a movie president ordering the deployment of a nuclear warhead, “We’re busting the cats.”
Where else on TV would such a bizarre scene be presented with this much seriousness? At the same time, while Intervention is a truly unique viewing experience, it is still a television show; and like all television shows, its subjects become celebrities the moment they appear on screen. And some of them end up right in our backyard. In Allison’s episode, for example, she eventually relents to treatment (after being handcuffed and taken in for a mental evaluation), is whisked off to New Seasons Behavioral Health Clinic in Port Hueneme, gets a blond dye-job and, a few months later, reports she is doing well. We are glad to hear it, and even more glad to know where to go for an autograph. Just don’t make her sign a can of keyboard cleaner. That would be rude.
— Matthew Singer
3RD PLACE (TIE)
Brendan James (Shades of Day)
Erik at Pangaea
Shannon at Sans Souci
Amy at the Star Lounge
Best place to people-watch:
The wall at the end of Seaward Avenue
While there are many notable places in Ventura County to sit down and enjoy the view of your fellow mankind, no place beats the wall at Seaward Avenue, and even my 4-year-old son can attest to that — he grabbed my towel and said, “Mom, this a good great place to people-watch.” With that, I politely sat down next to my young ’un and took in the scenery.
At any time on a warm day in Southern California, few places summon such an eclectic group of beachgoers to this natural playground — whether looking for good waves or a patch of sand to lie out or to toss a football over. All ages, shapes, sizes, colors and flavors can be found there — a proverbial smorgasbord of nature’s top of the food chain.
This is the one place where you can sit on the wall and see rough and tough motorcyclists decked out in black leather chaps and black bandanas cruising Seaward Avenue on one side, and scope out mommy in her polka-dotted bikini chasing after her three children on the other.
Seaward beach is not to be discounted during the wee hours of the night, either. On occasion, a skinny dipper or four can be found running wildly into the moonlit waves, flailing about because of the sheer coldness of the water and then running, covering certain body parts, scrambling for the clothes — an interesting sight for those who are tired of watching the Tonight Show.
— Michael Sullivan
Travis Greer (Jimmy Mooks)
Small Business Owner
Louise Bretz (Connexions)
Mary Grayr (Mary’s Secret Garden)
Erika Harding (Architexture)
Kezia Edwards (Cara Mia)
2ND PLACE (TIE)
Tony Barnes (Peace Thru Music)
Matt Thompson (Ventura PD)
Quinn Fenwick (Ventura PD)
Bryan Hayes (Ventura PD)