Author: Nancy Lackey Shaffer

RISKY BUSINESS | For adventure filmmaker Bryan Smith, going to extremes is all in a day’s work

Bryan Smith has built a career out of living on the edge. The avid outdoorsman is as comfortable kayaking rough ocean waves and Class VI river rapids as he is climbing sheer rock faces and hiking and biking rugged mountain trails. Smith has turned his passion for risk-taking into a business, bringing his camera along for the ride to document his adventures for National Geographic, Discovery, Disney and many others. His work has taken him from the dangerously wild rivers of a Russian peninsula to frozen Niagara Falls to the extensive underwater caves of the Bahamas — and beyond....

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PUBLIC SPECTACLE | Magical Musical Tour

“The best mobile recording studio in the world” came to Ventura last week, giving local students a demonstration in music production, recording and broadcasting. The John Lennon Educational Bus, a massive touring bus founded by Yoko Ono and packed with all the equipment required to record music and video, visited Sheridan Way Elementary and Cabrillo Middle School. Students had the opportunity to explore the bus and its equipment, and worked with Grammy-winning guitarist Laurence Juber and bus team leader Gabriel Smith to produce their own music videos. A magical afternoon of making music was had by...

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WESTERN EXPOSURE | Marc Berger comes to the Oxnard Public Library

He’s a big-city kid from the East Coast, but Marc Berger’s heart has long resided in the American West. The singer/songwriter, who grew up in Philadelphia and New York, discovered the West’s wide-open spaces as a 21-year-old college student. “Just before I was about to start law school [at Rutgers University], I had this friend,” Berger recalls. “He was a Christian Arab from Israel, and we were a couple of wild guys. We decided to get in a car and see America.” What they found stunned them — and changed Berger’s life for good. “I had no idea what...

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YES, PUPPET | Axtell Expressions will debut its Trump dummy and other new products at KAX4 in Oxnard

“No puppet . . . no puppet. You’re the puppet,” Donald Trump famously stated to opponent Hillary Clinton during the third and final presidential debate in October 2016. Thanks to professional puppet studio Axtell Expressions, Trump really is a puppet — and not merely by reputation. Steve Axtell, founder, CEO and creative director of Axtell Expressions, will be unveiling his newly created Trump doll at the fourth annual KAX Conference, taking place Jan. 25-28 in Oxnard. KAX is, of course, “the conference of variety family performers,” a gathering of magicians, puppeteers, ventriloquists and other children- and family-focused entertainers. Co-hosted...

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Unbottling potential at Cork

Cork 1930 E. Main St., Ventura 667-8866 www.corkventura.com $11-30 Cork might be the new kid on the wine-and-beer block, but it should have no problem competing with the more established tapas locales around town. From the stylish décor to the numerous beverage offerings to an inventive menu featuring everything from pickled mushrooms to pork belly macaroni and cheese, there’s a lot to love at this Midtown eatery and wine shop. My dining partner and I met up on a Friday afternoon shortly before 5 p.m. — and a good thing we did. Within half an hour, the mostly empty...

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Upcoming Community Events

  1. Rebecca Campbell: You are Here

    January 20 @ 8:00 am - April 6 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Mass Appeal: The Art of Corita Kent

    January 27 - April 3
  3. Et in Arcadia Ego

    February 3 @ 10:00 am - April 6 @ 4:00 pm
  4. Much Ado About Nothing

    February 3 @ 8:00 pm - March 5 @ 5:00 pm
  5. Toastmasters Public Speaking “Speechcraft Workshop”

    February 6 @ 7:00 pm - May 22 @ 8:45 pm