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Public invited to free Civil War talk on July 6 at the Olivas Adobe

Members of the public are invited to attend the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters (OAHI) general meeting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, July 6, at the Olivas Adobe, 4200 Olivas Park Drive in Ventura, to hear about OAHI activities, and the “Native California Cavalry and its activities and impact during and after the Civil War” by the featured speaker, Museum of Ventura County Director of Education & Outreach Megan Gately.

“Hear about local Union soldiers and their triumphs and tragedies during the mid-1800s. Learn about the California Column, the Civil War’s most Western battle and the shock waves from the East Coast felt out here in the West,” says Ms. Gately. Along with stories from the Civil War, she will present artifacts from the museum’s collections. A social hour with snacks begins at 5:30 pm with the presentation at 6 pm.

Megan Gately has a bachelor’s degree in Education and History from the University of Arizona, and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership & Policy from Arizona State University. She has worked extensively with historians and educators at the Arizona Historical Society and the Minnesota Historical Society. She also served as the founding director of education and outreach at the Museum of the Horse Soldier in Tucson, AZ. Megan has returned to her native Southern California—she is originally from Solvang and went high school in Thousand Oaks—to continue her career in museum education at the Museum of Ventura County, which is celebrating 103 years serving the community.

“The OAHI offers weekend training programs to become a docent at the Olivas Adobe, dress in period costumes and share the multi-cultural history of this landmark site through school field trips, weekend tours and special events,” says OAHI President Rose Burtchby.

City of Ventura and State Parks Urge Safety for July 4th Holiday

Enhanced beachfront patrol to ensure a safe and clean Ventura

The City of Ventura and State Parks urge citizens to ensure a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday by observing local laws that prohibit fireworks in the city of Ventura. Ventura Police, Fire and State Parks will provide increased law enforcement presence on the sand and beachfront area to mitigate the use of illegal fireworks and keep citizens and their property safe.

Given the dry and potentially dangerous conditions from the ongoing drought fire safety is a priority. Even a sparkler can cause injury or start a fire from dying embers hitting dried out vegetation or a shake shingle roof. Residents are encouraged to attend a professional fireworks show such as the Ventura Rotary Club Fireworks Show & Family Picnic held at Ventura Community College.

“On behalf of the fire department, we wish residents and visitors an enjoyable and safe holiday,” said Fire Chief David Endaya. “We urge everyone to refrain from using fireworks, especially with the dry conditions.”

Fireworks pose a significant risk to health and safety and civil infractions for possession or use of fireworks in the city of Ventura carry a penalty of $424. Violators are liable for damages and fines. Ventura police and fire departments will be patrolling neighborhoods throughout the city for fireworks violations.

The City and State Parks are also gearing up to keep Ventura beaches clean from litter that is often left behind by beachgoers and visitors on the 4th of July weekend. The City will be placing more than 100 temporary trash bins, donated by Harrison Industries, on the sand and public areas at Ventura’s busiest beaches including two miles of San Buenaventura State Beach. Convenient and readily accessible bins will help prevent litter from adversely impacting water quality and our beaches.

“We want to keep Ventura beaches looking good,” said State Parks Ventura Sector Superintendent Tyson Butzke. “The holiday always brings more guests and trash to the shoreline. We want to remind visitors to protect our shared environment by picking up their trash.”

The City is also hosting a Volunteer Beach Cleanup July 5, to clean up leftover debris in key areas. Volunteers can sign up at

How safe are Ventura County’s Special Education Schools?

by the Grand Jury

When parents send their children to school in the morning, they trust their children will have a productive day of learning in a safe environment. Similarly, when teachers report to work they hope to focus their efforts on teaching without fear for their safety and that of their students. Unfortunately, with the increase in school violence over the past several years, children, parents, and teachers no longer feel as safe as they once did.

The 2015-2016 Ventura County Grand Jury opened an investigation based on a public complaint about safety in the Phoenix schools in Ventura County. The Phoenix schools servestudents with serious emotional disturbance from all of Ventura County and the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

From this investigation, the Grand Jury learned that Phoenix schools provide an intensive educational program for their students through low enrollment and high staff-to- student ratios. Although Phoenix students often act out in frustration, the staff is well trained in, and regularly uses, techniques to de-escalate hostile behavior at the earliest possible stage. Despite the consistent use of positive behavioral interventions, administrators at the Phoenix-Airport campus call law enforcement an average of two to three times weekly for situations they are unable to de-escalate. However, responding patrol officers may not have Crisis Intervention Team training to be able to deal effectively with these emotionally disturbed students. The Grand Jury also learned that it is the position of the Ventura County Office of Education that having a dedicated School Resource Officer would escalate rather than defuse volatile situations in the Phoenix schools.

The National Education Association has established best practices regarding school safety. These practices recommend that schools partner with law enforcement (and social service agencies) to promote a safe environment. Ideally, a sworn School Resource Officer should be dedicated to one school and work collaboratively with staff and students to build positive relationships and to support administration with crisis intervention.

The Grand Jury recommends that the Ventura County Sheriff and the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools formalize a collaborative relationship to increase law enforcement presence on all Phoenix campuses. Additionally, the Grand Jury recommends that the Ventura County Sheriff ensure that any patrol officers who may be called to respond to a Phoenix school have Crisis Intervention Team training. Finally, the Grand Jury recommends that the Ventura County Board of Education authorize and seek funds for a dedicated School Resource Officer for the Phoenix-Airport campus.

The complete report may be accessed at; click on the Annual Reports tab and consult “Fiscal Year 2015-2016.”

Simple Steps to Good Health – June 2016, Fitness Tips


by Elisabeth Mondragon

5 Ways to Sneak in Exercise This Summer

Summer is the perfect time to check in with your healthy lifestyle goals. You might be spending less time in a gym but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on exercise. Be creative and exercise outside! Spending active time with your family or friends outdoors is an easy way to sneak in exercise and summer fun in the sun. Here are five fun ideas.

daily-morning-walk-41. Early morning walks
The thought of being outside in the summer afternoon heat can be daunting. Why not take a morning walk instead? You can even take your coffee with you, just make sure you’re walking fast enough to get your heart rate up. A lap around a scenic park, a brisk stroll down the beach or even a couple of loops around your block will ensure your day gets off to a healthy start. Bring your dogs and kids if you have them!

poolexercise2. Pool exercises
There are endless opportunities to enjoy time at the pool during hot summer months. Whether you have a club membership, access to a neighborhood pool or even a day pass to the public pool, why not turn this essential summer pastime into a workout! Instead of lounging on the edge of the water, jump in! If you have kids, play Marco Polo or judge a handstand contest. If not, grab a buddy and work up a sweat racing laps or even doing water aerobics! Bonus points if there’s a water slide – all that walking up stairs is a great workout for your legs.

familysoftball23. Family field day
This is a fun, active way to celebrate a summer birthday or family reunion. Take the focus off the treats and concentrate on good old-fashioned competition instead! Kids and adults can participate in a backyard games, making this a good activity for the whole family. Burlap sack races, water balloon fights, basketball and hula hooping are activities that will get your hearts pumping. Don’t forget to drink water! The hardest part will be deciding who will be on each team!

beachcleanup4. Volunteer
Feel good and do good – what could be better? There are thousands of outdoor volunteer opportunities across the country. Pick an active one, like rebuilding hiking trails, picking up trash at a local beach, planting trees or building a house for the less fortunate. Even if you only have one open weekend to commit, chances are there’s a need to fill in your community.
beachvolleyball5. Recreation Leagues
Your city likely has sports leagues for all ages, whether it’s a 20-somethings kickball league, a weekly tennis game or a family softball tournament. You probably won’t even notice the exercise part — you’ll be distracted by the competition and socializing! Don’t forget to walk around, stand or cheer when it’s not your turn to participate. Getting your friends and family involved will help you stay motivated to attend.

Ventura County wildlife expert to discuss how to reduce human-coyote conflicts, June 30

On Thursday, June 30, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) will host “Coexisting with Coyotes,” a free open-to- the-public presentation providing information about coyotes, their behaviors and how residents can reduce human-wildlife conflicts. Wildlife biologist David Lee will make a presentation and discuss the recent uptick in urban coyote activity. The presentation, which will take place from 7 – 8 p.m. in the Poinsettia Pavilion’s Canada Larga Room, 3451 Foothill Road, will be followed by a question and answer session.

Known as “song dogs,” coyote nighttime yips and howls are often heard coming from the Ventura hills. Coyotes howl to communicate to other pack members, to coordinate hunts, establish territories and simply to let other coyotes know where they are. All too often coyotes are given a ‘bad rap’ but in reality, they are one of North America’s unique wildlife species.

During California’s ongoing drought, human-coyote interactions have increased. Coyotes on the lookout for food and water are venturing into gardens, backyards, alleyways, parks and open spaces. Favorite non-wild coyote foods include garbage, fruit from landscaped trees, and even the occasional small pet.

Lee, a senior biologist with Davey Resource Group (DRG), will discuss ways homeowners can discourage coyotes from entering their properties and how to react when they encounter a coyote in their neighborhood.

To RSVP, please visit For more information, call VHC at: 805-643- 8044.

Local National Parks Benefit our Economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2015 shows the economic benefit of Channel Islands National Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to our local economy in supporting 761 jobs with a cumulative benefit to the local economy of nearly 74 million dollars.

324,815 visitors to Channel Islands National Park in 2015 spent over $19 million and 797,217 visitors to the federal land in Santa Monica National Recreation Area spent over $34 million in communities near the parks.

“The NPS has a presence in every community in the United States including ours,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

“The scenic vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains inspire thousands of people to visit each week,” said David Szymanski, superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “We are delighted that so many visitors enjoy our park and also that their visits have such a positive impact on the local economy.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.

The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by- year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in California and how the National Park Service works with California communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

Breaking the silence among neighbors

Dr. Joseph Attias, neurophysiologist and audiologist from the University of Haifa, will be speaking about breakthroughs in rehabilitating deafness and his work in Israel done in cooperation with the Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Among Dr. Attias’ findings is that the incidence of deafness in Jordanian children is four times greater than for Israeli children. His research also has found that children under 17 months should not have cochlear implants if the deafness is caused by malfunctioning connections between hair cells and the auditory nerve.

Dr. Attias was born in Morocco and has lived in Israel since 1962. He is a full Professor, Department of Communication Disorder, University of Haifa. He has published extensively and is a sought after speaker internationally. He is currently teaching at USC.

The presentation to be held Friday, July 1st, beginning at 6:30 pm, is being sponsored by Congregation Am HaYam, 4839 Market Street, Unit C, and the University of Haifa. Join the congregation for a light supper at 5:30 pm or for more information about Dr. Attias’ presentation, please or 232.6442.

Grove Incident: Up to 700 barrels of crude oil spilled in Hall Canyon, Ventura, CA

A press conference was held at 12noon today at the San Buenaventura State Beach parking lot, 901 San Pedro Street regarding the crude oil pipeline spill in Hall Canyon, Ventura.

There are no evacuations and no health risks to the community.

At 5:30a.m. today a crude oil spill was reported in the city of Ventura in Hall Canyon, and originated in the northwestern part of the city.  The spill traveled a half mile from the Prince Barranca into Hall Canyon, where it has been stopped.  Early reports confirm up to 700 barrels have flowed into Prince Barranca. The pump station where the leak originated has been shut down, and any flow at this point is residual.

The cause of the leak is undetermined and under investigation.

The flow ends in a catch basin in the Prince Barranca and does not flow to the ocean.

The incident is currently in the containment and evaluation phase; and the flow has been stopped before it could reach the ocean, minimizing environmental impacts.

One road closure is in effect at Hall Canyon Road and Fairview Drive.

Emergency responders are assessing any other areas the oil may be flowing to, and HazMat is monitoring air quality.

Community members were sent the following VC Alert message to keep them updated on the incident, “The oil spill in Hall Canyon is currently contained in the Prince Barranca.  Crews will be working around the area and residents are advised to avoid contact with the oil and take safeguards to protect pets and property.  Residents may smell strong odors and at this time air quality monitoring is taking place.  Further information will be released as it becomes available.”  Residents may request VC Alert notifications by texting “VC Alert to “313131”.

Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) annual Empowerment is Priceless event

business WEVNearly 300 women and men attended non-profit Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) annual Empowerment is Priceless event held on May 12th at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel. The breakfast fundraiser recognized WEV’s 2016 Trailblazer, Business of the Year and Volunteer of the Year award winners. WEV clients also shared their personal experiences as entrepreneurs and how their businesses have evolved as a result of their involvement with WEV.

WEV’s Trailblazer Award is presented each year to a woman who is a pioneer in her industry, exemplifying courage, vision and the tenacity to overcome barriers. This year, WEV honored Kate McLean, former president of the Ventura County Community Foundation and a leading advocate for social good in the Ventura community.

The 2016 WEV Business of the Year award went to Reyna Chavez, owner of Scrubs on the Run Uniforms and Accessories, Inc., one of the region’s only providers of high-quality scrub uniforms and accessories for medical professionals.