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Illegal drivers on Pierpont Beach got stuck and caught in the act

Sometime early Saturday two individuals in a SUV decided to drive across the sand berms on Pierpont Beach. They started at San Pedro and got as far as Brockton LN before they got stuck.
unnamedBoth the Ventura Police and the State Park Rangers arrived shortly thereafter. State Parks pulled them free.
I wonder how much this is going to cost these individuals. Hopefully, enough to make them think twice about doing it again.
Murray Robertson

Ventura Police Department’s Community Academy is coming!

The Ventura Police Department’s Community Academy is coming! Have you ever wanted to know the who, what, when, where, why and how of police operations? Not the ‘TV’ version, but the actual facts? Here’s your chance! The Community Academy will take you on a ride-along with a patrol officer, show you what a SWAT team does, let you experience a simulated firearms training course, give you a look at issues Officers face in our community and much, much more.

The Community Academy is scheduled to begin March 22 and will be held on 9 consecutive Tuesday nights from 6:00- 9:00 p.m. with a final class and graduation on May 17. Each night features a new topic, with speakers, demonstrations, and discussions. We’ll answer your questions and give you an in-depth behind the scenes look at police operations.

Class dates: March 22, March 29, April 5, April 12, April 19, April 26, May 3, May 10 and May 17.

Class Location: Ventura Police Department 1425 Dowell Drive Ventura CA 93003 *May 3 class meets in Camarillo at the Criminal Justice Training Center.

Community Academy participants are selected by the Ventura Police Department through the application process. Applications are available from the Department or through the online web application found at

Potential candidates must meet the following criteria: minimum age of 18 years, live or work in the City of Ventura, no felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions within two years of application. A background check is required.

The success of any police department depends largely upon the cooperation and support it receives from the citizens it serves. The Community Academy aims to educate residents on the capacity and operations of the department so that we can work together to make Ventura a better place to live, work and play.

For more information, please contact Civic Engagement Specialist Ashley Bautista 339-4317.


VCEF Names El Camino High School Instructor Jean Krist February Teacher of the Month

Jean Krist receives award for excellence in education

The Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation (VCEF) recognized Jean Krist, educator at El Camino High School (ECHS) in Ventura, California, as February’s Teacher of the Month. On Feb. 23, 2016, VCEF board member, Pattie Braga, joined elected representatives and members of the business community to present Krist with a plaque commemorating the award.


Krist, who has been teaching for more than 30 years, works with ECHS students in grades 9-12, providing instruction in multiple subject areas. Beyond the classroom, she serves as chair of numerous curriculum-related committees, participates in the school site council, coordinates the school’s Geo Challenge and Knowledge Bowl academic competitions, and frequently attends student performances such as recitals, plays and concerts.


“Jean is one of those teachers you wish you could clone,” said ECHS principal, Cheryl Burns. “She is always eager to pitch in, and her efforts continually enrich the experiences of our students. She dedicates countless hours outside of class time to working with any student that needs her, and our students know that they can count on her to do everything in her power to help them succeed. She’s brought so much to this school and has introduced so many positive changes for both students and teachers, including a quiz grader that’s made all of the teachers lives easier.”


In addition to her daily work with students, Krist is also committed to ongoing professional development. She regularly attends classes and workshops on topics ranging from the Common Core to distance learning, and in 2015, she received a scholarship to participate in one of The Cullman Center Institute for Teachers’ summer seminars.


The Teacher of the Month presentation was attended by: Jean Krist, Teacher of the Month honoree; Pattie Braga, Ventura County Credit Union; Dr. Michael Babb, Ventura Unified School District superintendent; Debbie Golden, Ventura Unified School District board member; Brad Hudson, Office of Congresswoman Julia Brownley; Steve Offerman, Office of Supervisor Steve Bennett; AJ Valenzuela Jr., Office of Assemblymember Das Williams; Stephanie Caldwell, Ventura Chamber of Commerce; Stephen Joyce, Ventura Travel Professionals; Kerry Swift, massage therapist; Jim Duran, The River Community Church; Janine Dykstra, Project Understanding; Greg Bird, Gold Coast Broadcasting; Stephanie Lundquist, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach; Cynthia Duque, Gold Coast Transit; Randy Jewell, The Ventura Downtown Lions Club.


Teacher of the Month nominees must be credentialed teachers and display certain qualities, such as outstanding commitment to students, service to school or district committees, involvement in projects on their own time and/or participation in youth-focused activities in the community. All principals and parent-teacher organizations from schools within the Ventura Unified School District are eligible to submit nominations. For more information about the Teacher of the Month program, please contact Pattie Braga, chair of the Teacher Appreciation Committee with the VCEF, at or 805-477-4052.



The Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation (VCEF), under the auspices of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, works to provide a business link to the economic, educational, cultural and environmental interests of the Ventura regional community. More information about the VCEF can be found at

Friendship Sangha of the Heart hosting free program Mar. 7

On Monday evening March 7th the Friendship Sangha of the Heart, a Spiritual Growth Program of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura (UUCV), will be hosting this special free program. Join us in the Sanctuary of the UUCV for meditation practice at 7:00 pm, the book talk with Timber Hawkeye at 7:30 pm or both. Everyone is welcome! Timber says, “What I love about Buddhism is that it’s not a religion… It also doesn’t require other beliefs to be wrong, but rather strengthens your existing faith (whatever it may be).”

Museum of Ventura County and Channel Islands National Park, host “Tales of Island Life” festivities Mar. 6

On Sunday, March 6, from 11 am to 4 pm, the Museum of Ventura County, in partnership with the Channel Islands National Park, hosts a fun-filled day for families with the theme “Tales of Island Life.” This is one of the occasional Sundays that the two organizations will jointly host in celebration of the Channel Islands National Park’s 36th anniversary, as well as the commemoration of the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary.

“Tales of Island Life” is an all-day event on March 6 that will celebrate the human history of the Channel Islands.

All-day children’s activities include:

A large “touch tank” that introduces kids to the real sea life that exists on the islands in the tide pools—SEE and TOUCH sea anemones, sea urchins, starfish, sea cucumbers, and hermit crabs.

Meet Buddy, a red-tail hawk (aka Buteo jamaicensis) from the California Hawking Club. The red-tailed hawk is widespread in North America, partially due to historic settlement patterns, which have benefited it.  On the Channel Islands, the red-tail hawk is mostly found on San Miguel Island.

All day crafts:  make fish prints, make a fox origami, participate in an archaeological dig, and make your own Channel Islands button.

Ranger-led demonstrations tell kids about the Junior Ranger program, and kids can meet Tigran Nahabedian, the Channel Islands’ first underwater Junior Ranger.

Other all-day activities for kids include a career scavenger hunt, photo ops with a cutout pinniped, fox or park ranger.

A living history program will be presented that will feature the story of sea captain’s wife, Margaret Eaton.

National Park Service staff will share how they protect the park resources at stations on island fox recovery, kelp forest monitoring, shipwreck surveys, historic preservations, and more. Attendees can ask divers, scientists, archeologists, and others about their careers.

Timed events

  • At 12:00 pm, Betsy Lester Roberti will give a program that describes her childhood memories growing up on the remote, rugged, and windswept San Miguel Island in the 1930s and 40s.
  • At 2:00 pm, Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau will lead a conversation about the past, present, and future management of the park. Visitors are encourages to ask Superintendent Galipeau anything they want to know about the islands!
  • The park film, Treasure in the Sea, will be shown at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.

The event on March 6 is free for all, as part of the Free First Sunday program at the Museum of Ventura County.  Refreshments will be available for sale from Aaron’s Tacos food truck, West Bar-B-Que and Kona Ice.


Martin R. Erickson named VCTC’s Public Transit Director

The Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) filled a crucial position today by naming Martin R. Erickson its new Public Transit Director. Erickson will supervise VCTC transit activities.

“Martin’s knowledge of local transportation and community issues makes him ideal to address the transit challenges in Ventura County,” said VCTC Executive Director Darren Kettle.

Erickson, a Ventura resident, will supervise countywide transit organization/reorganization studies, short-range transit planning, operation of the VCTC Intercity Transit services, development of the region’s coordinated paratransit plan, the countywide smartcard program, and transit information and customer services. He will also be responsible for management, financial oversight and policy analysis for Metrolink commuter rail and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner intercity rail service through Ventura County.

Erickson’s professional life has centered on Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, including serving as Deputy City Manager for the City of Oxnard. He previously served Oxnard as its Senior Transit and Transportation Coordinator. For the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District, Erickson worked as a Manager of Government Affairs and Grants and as a Planning Manager.

Erickson received his master’s degree—with a specialization in Management, Economics and Politics—from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Erickson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission is the regional transportation planning agency committed to keeping Ventura County moving. Program information is available at

Catherine Bojorquez joins the Ventura County Community College District as Budget Director

Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Bernard Luskin today announced that Catherine Bojorquez has joined the VCCCD as the Budget Director.  Bojorquez reports directly to Vice Chancellor David Keebler, Business and Administrative Services.  She is responsible for coordinating the development and maintenance of the annual budget and reporting the District’s fiscal and student workload information to the State Chancellor’s office.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are happy that Cathy has chosen to join the District,” said Chancellor Bernard Luskin.  “We welcome and appreciate the contribution she will make in meeting our reporting obligations to the state.”

Bojorquez joins the District with more than 15 years of budget and accounting experience in education.  She was the Chief Business Official at Pleasant Valley School District in Camarillo, and Assistant Superintendent at Santa Paula Elementary School District (now Santa Paula Unified School District). She also served as the Director of Budget and Accounting at the Fillmore Unified School District and Santa Paula Elementary School District.

“We are proud to have Cathy as a new member of our budget and finance team,” said Vice Chancellor Keebler.  “Her background in education is especially critical in maintaining the District’s mission of responsible financial stewardship.”

Bojorquez holds a Certified Public Accountant license and learned many of the facets of higher education during her time auditing community colleges in Northern California before relocating to Ventura County.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Accountancy, Concentration from California State University, Sacramento.

Tender Life Maternity Home Walkathon

Join your friends at the Tender Life Maternity Home Walkathon on  Saturday, March 5, at The River Church. The walk will start at 9:45. Registration begins at 9:00am.

The Tender Life Walkathon is a great way to involve your family and friends in a fun, charitable experience. The walk is less than 2 miles. Simply ask people you know to sponsor you in support of Tender Life Maternity Home, a nonprofit program that provides pregnant women with safe housing and supportive services.

For 30 years, Tender Life Maternity Home, a program of Project Understanding, has offered a loving and supportive environment for women who desire to carry their babies to term but lack the necessary means to do so. Download registration form by visiting