Category Archives: Facebook

Free Erosion Control and Fire-Safe Landscaping Class at Ventura College Feb. 7

Ventura Residents Are Invited to the Erosion Control and Fire-Safe Landscaping Class, Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7-9:00 pm at Ventura College’s Wright Event Center.

This FREE Class will help property owners make informed decisions about erosion and sediment control implementation as well as fire-safe landscape planning post-Thomas Fire. Learn about post-fire best management practices and important factors to consider when managing wildfire impacted landscapes.

Featured Speakers:

Rich Casale is a recently retired USDA NRCS employee who served as an NRCS natural resource conservationist for nearly 43 years in California. Rich is a Certified Professional Erosion and Sediment Control Specialist.

Sabrina L. Drill, Ph.D. is the natural resources advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner temporarily increases service to Santa Barbara County

The Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® will temporarily increase train service to Santa Barbara County beginning Saturday, January 20, 2018, by adding one additional roundtrip between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to help accommodate travel demand during the continued closure of Highway 101.

Since train tracks reopened on Thursday, January 11, 2018, following the devastating mudslides near Montecito, the Pacific Surfliner has served as the only viable ground transportation option for thousands of people between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. In response to the unprecedented demand for train travel in the area, 15 additional railcars were secured from throughout the state to add more than 2,000 seats to the 10 daily Pacific Surfliner trains serving Santa Barbara County.

Even with the additional railcars, which have been operating since Sunday, January 14, Pacific Surfliner trains remain extremely busy, with demand exceeding available seating capacity on many trains. The added roundtrip will supplement the existing Pacific Surfliner service by adding nearly 1,000 more seats and providing an additional travel option into Santa Barbara County until the reopening of Highway 101.

To book travel and receive service updates, visit www.pacificsurfliner.com and follow @PacSurfliners on Twitter. You can also call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or use the Amtrak app.

Additional information meetings set in Ventura for CalRecycle debris removal services

Two additional informational meetings have been scheduled in Ventura for residents in the city of Ventura and the unincorporated areas of the county affected by the Thomas Fire who are seeking debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged or destroyed property. The information to be presented in these meetings is identical, so residents can attend the most convenient meeting for them.

The meetings will be held:

Saturday, January 13, at 11:00 a.m.
Ventura Baptist Church
5415 Ralston Street, Ventura.

Tuesday, January 16, at 6:00 p.m.
Ventura Baptist Church
5415 Ralston Street, Ventura.

At the meetings, residents will hear information from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) about the second phase of the debris removal. After the presentation, representatives from CalRecycle and CalOES will be available for breakout sessions with residents to answer individual questions. Spanish translators and sign language interpreters will be available at both meetings.

CalRecycle teams are already out in neighborhoods visiting residents who have signed up for the program and submitted their Right-of-Entry forms. The actual removal of debris from those properties will begin very soon. And, CalRecycle will continue to add debris removal teams as the number of program participants increases.

There is no cost to the property owner for this phase of the work, however residents will need to provide right-of-entry (ROE) forms, insurance information and other important paperwork to allow the clean up their property. It is strongly suggested that residents sign up for this service as soon as possible and submit the proper paperwork to facilitate the safe removal of the debris and ash by CalRecycle.

The final deadline to submit the paperwork is January 22, 2018. Copies of the ROE and other forms are available at www.venturacountyrecovers.org and the informational meetings. CalRecycle has opened an Operations Center at 290 Maple Court, Suite 120 in Ventura. Forms and information will be available there as well as the Hall of Administration at the County Government Center and Ventura City Hall.

Seminar on Local Investment in Energy Generation Jan. 11

The Ventura County Climate Hub invites the public to a panel discussion about localizing sources of energy for our region. Topics will include the progress for cities joining Los Angeles Community Choice Energy, the challenge from the CPUC that may delay participation, So Cal Edison’s plans for a 4th power line into our region, and the status of a grant application by Ventura County to fund accelerated residential energy efficiency. The implications of the upcoming So Cal Edison Request for Proposals for regional energy generation and storage will be explored, along with the feasibility and funding of an independent analysis of the power grid for the Moorpark-Goleta region.

Ventura County Climate Hub is a grassroots, non-partisan local affiliate of 350.org with 26 local partner organizations and hundreds of people engaged in the full spectrum of ways to reverse climate change.  Partner organizations like CFROG and World Business Academy report on their actions and campaigns.

Thursday, January 11,  6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St,  rear parking lot to Fellowship Hall.

Ventura County residential and commercial taxpayers can do more to develop renewable energy projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create local jobs and stimulate our economy. The California Public Utilities Commission is proposing to seriously delay the development of those opportunities. We will discuss in particular the CAISO analysis of the 4th power line proposed by SoCal Edison and the need for an independent analysis that explores the potential to localize generation in the Moorpark-Goleta region of the grid. We will learn more about the potential for 100% localized Distributed Energy Generation with solar and other sources from rooftops, parking lots and battery storage. A limiting factor for localization of the regional grid is the willingness of commercial property owners to support and participate in projects. The potential for more generous feed-in tariffs under Los Angeles Community Choice Energy is of great importance in motivating property owners to invest

Informational meetings regarding fire debris removal Jan. 4 and Jan. 6

Informational meetings have been set for residents affected by the Thomas Fire who are seeking debris removal services from CalRecycle for severely damaged/ or destroyed property.  Two meetings will be held in Ventura. Meetings will also be held in Ojai and Santa Paula. Fire victims are invited to attend whichever meeting is the most convenient as the information presented will be identical at each meeting.

The first meeting in Ventura will be held on Thursday, January 4 at 6pm, and the second Ventura meeting will be held on Saturday, January 6, at 11am. The meetings will take place at Ventura Baptist Church, 5415 Ralston Street, Ventura. Times, dates and locations for the other meetings will be released as soon as possible.

During the meetings, residents will hear information from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) about the second phase of the debris removal. After the presentation, representatives from CalRecycle and CalOES will be available for breakout sessions with residents to answer individual questions.

Participation in the Phase II clean-up process has been approved by both the Ventura City Council and the County Board of Supervisors. During Phase II, teams from CalRecycle will remove the remaining debris (including building foundations) from properties with destroyed residential structures.

 There is no cost to the property owner for this phase of the work, however residents will need to provide right-of-entry (ROE) forms, insurance information and other important paperwork to allow the clean up their property.

 It is strongly suggested that residents sign up for this service as soon as possible and submit the property paperwork to facilitate the safe removal of the debris and ash by CalRecycle. The final deadline to submit the paperwork is January 22, 2018. Copies of the ROE and other forms are available at www.venturacountyrecovers.org and the informational meetings. CalRecycle anticipates opening an Operations Center at 290 Maple Court, Suite 120 in Ventura on Tuesday, January 9. Forms and information will be available there as well as the Hall of Administration at the County Government Center and Ventura City Hall.

Workshop on renters’ rights at Ventura County Government Center Dec. 27 at 4pm

On Wednesday, December 27, the County of Ventura, in partnership with the City of Ventura, is hosting an informational workshop to help renters understand their rights.  The workshop will provide information covering a wide variety of topics including: tenant rights and responsibilities; landlord rights and responsibilities; unexpected rent increases and price gouging; and affects to lease agreements if a housing unit was destroyed or is uninhabitable due to the Thomas Fire.

Several reports of price gouging, sudden eviction of existing tenants, landlord refusal to clean smoke and ash in units not directly damaged by the fire, and imposing illegal restrictions on new rentals have been received. This workshop will address these and other issues and provide an opportunity to ask questions from experts to help protect our residents from unscrupulous activity.

 The workshop will be held Wednesday, December 27, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Administration, Lower Plaza Assembly Room (LPAR), located at 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009.  The workshop is presented in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, Jewish Family Services, CAUSE, the Housing Rights Center, and Many Mansions.

 For questions, please contact Tracy McAulay, County of Ventura, at 805-662-6792. Additional information about fire recovery efforts can be found at www.VenturaCountyRecovers.org.

Local Assistance Center in Ventura closing Saturday, Dec. 23

After serving for two weeks as a one-stop center for fire recovery information and assistance, the Local Assistance Center that was jointly run by the County and the City of Ventura will close its doors on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 5 p.m. Residents still seeking services are encouraged to visit the Center by Saturday, or may obtain services after Saturday at existing local County and City offices.

The County of Ventura and the City of Ventura opened the Center on Dec. 13 at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura to assist residents from all areas affected by the Thomas Fire. It has been staffed by a wide array of County, City, State and Federal agencies, as well as a number of non-profit organizations.

“The Local Assistance Center, which has helped 1,968 households to date, has served as a great example of how County and City government can work together to aid our residents across jurisdictions,” said County Executive Officer Mike Powers.

Residents have used the Local Assistance Center to start their recovery from the fire. Information is available on debris removal, permits, housing, rental assistance, vital records, property assessments, public assistance, crisis intervention and stress management, and even services such as replacing driver’s licenses. Health care resources are available on site to provide assistance, education, and connections to other health services in the community.

 “The assistance center provided a very useful service as the County and the City and our partners responded to the substantial needs of our community and those most directly affected.   While the use of the center has decreased significantly over the last few days, the City will continue to offer a full array of direct services and assistance to folks at City Hall.  Those that still need help can contact us at City Hall or come to City Hall where we have a fire related service counter established”, said Dan Paranick, Assistant Ventura City Manager.

The Local Assistance Center will remain open on Thursday, December 21st and Friday, December 22nd 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, December 23rd, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The County has also opened Recovery Information Center trailers in Ojai and Santa Paula which will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, Dec. 22.  These two locations offer debris removal and permitting information, public assistance and housing/rental assistance, and connections to Health education, resources and counseling.

“We can continue to serve people effectively and efficiently through our regular channels,” said Barry Zimmerman, Director of the County Human Services Agency, which oversees the Center.   Contact information for agencies that have been present at the Local Assistance Center is attached.

To further aid fire victims, Ventura County Recovers (venturacountyrecovers.org) continues to offer a registration feature that allows residents to register their contact information to receive information on specific topics. They can also register the address of their damaged or destroyed property so that officials can proactively provide them with information and official notices related to the rebuilding process.

Trash Pickup Not Available in Evacuation Areas

Harrison Industries advises that trash pickup is not being allowed in mandatory evacuation areas until further notice. No removal of fire debris can occur from properties without a hazardous material inspection conducted by either the Environmental Protection Agency or the State Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Several areas affected by the Thomas Fire have been under mandatory evacuation.

Not only are trash trucks not permitted in some evacuation areas, no debris  bins can be provided to property owners for the purpose of fire debris removal without the authorization of the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.

On Dec. 8, the Ventura County Public Health Officer declared a Local Health Emergency to limit the public’s exposure to hazardous substances.

This Declaration enables the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to survey damaged properties and remove household hazardous wastes at no cost to property owners. It also enables property owners to participate in a voluntary Fire Debris Clearance program administered through the State Office of Emergency Services (OES) and CalRecycle.

Property owners who opt out of the Fire Debris Clearance Program must obtain permission from the Ventura County Environmental Health Division before beginning the removal of fire debris to ensure the private debris removal, transport, and disposal is conducted in a manner that does not endanger the community.