The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on October 29, 1987 · 216
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 216

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 29, 1987
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VENTURA COUNTY Thursday, October 29, 1987 VC Part IX 3 Authors of Growth Blueprint Fear Disaster DAVID BUTOW Lot Angela Timet Frank Salazar says he is "so much more than just a clarinet player." Symphony's Local Talent Finds Itself Out of Tune By MEG SULLIVAN, Times Staff Writer After playing his violin for the Ventura County Symphony Orchestra for three years, Camarillo electrical engineer Doug Widney realized last year that he was out of his league and resolved to rectify the situation. He quit. "It's not that I was that bad," the 27-year-old second violinist good natured-ly explained. "It's just that the symphony was getting so much better." "Suddenly," he said, "I was playing with people who did nothing but play music all day while I was tinkering with a computer." Other acknowledged amateurs in the symphony have found themselves in the same boat. A bulwark of local culture since it was founded 26 years ago on a $500 budget, the symphony is increasingly becoming a professional operation an upsetting trend to many of the musicians who have been loyal to it since its leaner days. Reward of Hostility They complain that their loyalty has been rewarded with hostility from a management that wants to replace them with more polished musicians from outside the county. Symphony administrators counter that they simply want to provide county residents with the most sophisticated classical music they can, and that where players come from does not matter as much as how well they play. Signs of the orchestra's increased seriousness abound. Last July, the orchestra hired its first professional manager, Karine Beesley, an arts management specialist with two years' experience at the Ventura Arts Council. It also was recognized by the American Symphony Orchestra League as "a metropolitan orchestra" a ranking reserved for groups that have raised more than $250,000. And, bit by bit, local musicians are being replaced by out-of-town talent. In the past two years, the orchestra, which draws on a pool of about 200 musicians, has hired 17 players and only one of them, Camarillo flutist Ann Erwin, was local. By contrast, five of the 10 musicians hired during the 1985-86 season hailed from Ventura County. When the symphony offers its second concert of the season this weekend, only 31 of the 78 musicians performing will be Ventura County residents. When the Ventura symphony wrapped up its first year under conductor Frank Salazar in June of Please see LOCAL, Page 2 The Surf Board of Directors Seeks Lore of the Shore By STEVE CHAWKINS, Times Staff Writer In a few years, the cry of "surfs up!" on Ventura County beaches will stir the customary pack of trim blond teen-agers, the usual knot of middle-aged men still searching for the perfect wave and perhaps at least one curator, presumably wiping zinc-oxide ointment off a pair of horn-rims. The last would direct a million-dollar surfing museum, the biggest in the world, situated somewhere in coastal Ventura County. That, at any rate, is the dream of 25 old surfing buddies, including a Ventura police lieutenant, a Hawaiian judge, oil executives, insurance agents, attorneys and an educator, who constitute the board of directors of the United States Surfing Hall of Fame and Museum. To be sure, the year-old board's 1987 operating budget is something less than $2,000, but fund-raising has not yet begun in earnest, board Chairman Ronald Benner said. The nonprofit group will solicit funds from surfboard and sportswear manufacturers, oil companies and public agencies, said Benner, a printing-company executive who lives in Westlake Village. It will hold special events, such as the second annual C Street Longboard Invita-Please see SURF, Page 13 By JESSE KATZ, Times Staff Writer A long-awaited report on which Ventura officials are expected to base plans fos growth has been described as "a blueprint for disaster" by several members of the committee that drafted it. At least three of the 14 members sitting on the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee said this week that they will release a minority report criticizing the group's recommendation to let the city grow from 87,500 to 122,000 people by the year 2010. The disaffection, which comes at the end of nearly 1V4 years of study, stems from what dissenting members say was inadequate information provided to them about future water supplies. Additionally, the committee failed to address the impact of growth upon traffic and community services another short coming that made the report's population projections unrealistic and irresponsible, the dissenters charged. "It will create nightmares for people who live in Ventura now and those who will live here in the future," said committee member Neil Moyer, enforcement manager for the county Air Pollution Control District. "The plan does not balance out expectations with reality." Catherine Bean, a retired elementary school teacher who represented the League of Women Voters on the committee, agreed. "We didn't have all the information we needed to make intelligent decisions," she said. "My hope is that, in some cases," the recommendations "are disregarded." Committee member Rebecca Fox also agreed. "I certainly feel real frustrated," she said. If the report "gets voted in as is, or gets even more development put in, I'll still live in Ventura, but I'll be real unhappy about what I'll see." The citizens advisory committee was appointed by the City Council in July, 1986, as part of the state-mandated process requiring cities to periodically review their planning guidelines. After meeting 40 to 50 times over the last 16 months, the committee made its recommendations public three weeks ago. The final report is to be released next month. The Planning Commission and the City Council will then review the report at public hearings before adopting a comprehensive plan outlining the city's growth policies. City planner Ann Chaney said that time and staffing constraints made it difficult to provide committee members with all requested information. Other data such as where and how the city will get water to meet the projected growth is simply not available, Chaney said. "I empathize with the frustration they had," she said. "I would have preferred that kind of information up front. But it just wasn't available, and it's still not available. We don't know whether we're going to have state water, and we still may not know for a number of years." City officials have hoped that Ventura's water supply, which is capable of supporting up to 102,000 people, will be supplemented by tapping into the State Water Please see GROWTH, Page 8 ; s lit.;- . . u hi jfJrr rfj " - ' "r DAVID BUTOW Loi Angela Times Working with the care of a surgeon, Wilbur Rubottom shapes the hairline of his wooden replica of Father Serra. Rubottom is assisted by Jack Holman. wmmmm . wmmmmmmmmmmmm yu " ''V1 TraMsformatiomi Retired Cabinetmaker's Rendering of Father Serra Helps Resurrect a Statue Ravaged by Sea Air, Time By JESSE KATZ, Times Staff Writer Original drawings are used to reproduce the features of the life-size statue down to the shape of the missionary's cheek. .l;;t y' 't I - Toting his customary brown-bag lunch, Wilbur Rubottom unlocked the door of the empty shop at 10 a.m. and walked into a makeshift studio thick with the scent of wood chips. After heating water for a cup of decaffeinated coffee, the 73-year-old retired cabinetmaker removed his carving tools and arranged them in surgical fashion, evenly spaced, with sharpened edges all pointing in the same direction. Then, as he has done for six days of every week in the last nine months, Rubottom slid a plastic tarpaulin off a block of laminated lumber to reveal a likeness of Father Junipero Serra, the Spanish missionary known as "the Apostle of California." "We don't have a 'mother hen complex about it," Rubottom said. "And we can't engage in fantasies, like saying it's taking on a life of its own because it's not It's just a piece of wood that we're trying to give some form and beauty to." Since the beginning of the project in February, busloads of schoolchildren, senior citizens and tourists have poured in to watch Rubottom and his team work in the public studio, a converted livery on Palm Street in downtown Ventura that the city has leased for him. With temperance and modesty, Rubottom has led a group of 16 carvers shaping an exact replica of a 51 -year-old concrete statue of Serra that is slowly deteriorating in front of City Hall. Built by John Palo-Kangas, a Finnish-born sculptor from Meiners Oaks, the statue's sand and gravel aggregate has been affected by Ventura's moist sea air. The monument has cracked on the outside and crumbled within. After the wooden replica is finished, sometime near the end of the year, a mold will be made from it, and a bronze figure will be cast to replace the decaying statue. The wooden version will probably be displayed in the new City Hall atrium, and the county Historical Society Museum or the San Buenaventura Mission will probably house the original statue. Serra founded the mission and eight others from San Diego to San Francisco. As each cut into the figure, 9 feet by 4 feet, has become more delicate and critical, most of the woodworking team has had to step aside and let Rubottom's muscular hands shape the half-tonslabofbasswood. " Usually with the help of two other carvers, he meticulously defines the missionary's hairline, forms the low-slung cowl, sharpens a cheekbone. He pauses only to answer questions from visitors. "Some people come by and ask, 'Have you always been a whittler?' " Rubottom said. "My response is that a whittler is someone who sits on the front porch making chips and spitting tobacco. I have never been a whittler." A husky and vigorous man, Rubottom acquired his woodworking skills as a high school Please see STATUE, Page 6 A Lesson in Mortality Shirley Weeks was 10 when her father, John Palo-Kangas, completed the concrete statue of Father Junipero Serra that stands in front of Ventura City Hall. But she never thought that, 51 years later, the monument would be so decayed that a team of woodworkers would be asked to carve a replica. "I feel badly that it's deteriorating," said Weeks, a record analyst for Ventura County. "I figured when I was a child that concrete is something that lasts forever, that a statue is something that lasts forever, that a monument is something that lasts forever. To find, 50 years later, that it doesn't is sort of saddening." Palo-Kangas, who died in 1958, made the publicly financed sculpture under the Works Projects Administration initiated during the Depression. Please see WEEKS, Page 6 Shirley Weeks, daughter of original sculptor.

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