Taking cues from the politically disenchanted, the profoundly exhibitionist and 13-year-olds the world over, the VC Reporter has decided to launch its own arsenal of up-to-the-minute introspection … and the occasional link to funny videos of pandas sneezing.

That’s right: Ventura’s own alternative newsweekly is jumping feet first into the blogosphere.

On “Sour Grapes,” John Larsen and Matt Singer become virtual roomies: Larsen takes the opportunity to review the scores of movies he watches weekly but does not have the word allotment to comment on in the Reporter, all the while marveling at the good, the bad and the ugly of small-screen entertainment; Singer writes of his Netflix-enabled habit of exploring the vast cinematic universe, directed by (often obscure) directors. Check out “Hunting and Pecking” for Stacey Weibe’s discussion of her love of the written word, be it in print, projected or scrawled form. On “Popscura,” Saundra Sorenson spares her poor friends frenetic e-mails about the her disgust with the current state of democracy and how much she loves the Irregular Choice line of shoes, instead posting her pop culture reflections on an all-access webpage, one sure to be chock-full of links to Washington Post editorials and youTube. In keeping with the Spanish proverb, “The belly rules the mind,” editor Stephanie Kinnear muses on “Primitive Comforts” as she explores the world of gastronomical delights: local eateries, the joy of cookbooks and her own personal decisions regarding lunch hour.

Facelifts, Santa Paula-style

In keeping with the focal project of Santa Paula’s 1996 Downtown Plan, the newly completed South Paseo Project was unveiled on Sept. 3. The 4,200-square foot structure was once a plumbing store, but when the Santa Paula Redevelopment Agency Acquired it a decade ago, it put into motion plans to create retail spaces, an open patio area, public restrooms, office space and a connection to Main Street. Now, the retail zone hosts a gallery specializing in Mexican and Central American art, with a host of small businesses to follow. South Paseo is the first step in a series of planned façade improvement for businesses to the east of the structure, namely four storefronts between Mupu Grill and Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. Although the planning stage was completed by 1998, insufficient funds kept development on the backburner. No general tax dollars for the city were used; instead, the $730,000 project was supported by the Santa Paula Redevelopment Agency and the city’s FEMA seismic retrofit grant program.

New facelift projects will again be funded in part by the Redevelopment Agency and by the business owners involved.

The South Paseo structure is located at 926 Main Street, Santa Paula.

Support the supporters

The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children acts as an advocacy group, information resource and support network for relatives and relations of victims of violent crimes. In addition to providing a wealth of information about the emotional and legal implications of coping with a loved one’s violent death, PMC offers programs like Second Opinion Services, or SOS, with independent pathologists available to investigate incomplete or suspicious homicide investigation and coroner findings. PMC also publicizes the message that “Murder is not entertainment,” challenging what the organization views as the entertainment industry’s casual and often gratuitous approach to violent crime.

The Ventura County chapter of this organization will host a fundraising parking lot sale, with all proceeds going to self-help groups for grieving individuals impacted by murder and community education programs that aim to lower the murder rate of children.

The sale will take place on Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, 800 Hobson Way. Donations of sale items are appreciated, and will be accepted between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. Cash donations are also appreciated, all of which are tax deductible. For more information about the organization, visit www.pomc.org.

See ‘em in action!

Community forums will be held through the next month in order to give the public the chance to meet and hold open dialogue with Conejo City Council contenders. On Oct. 5, at 7 p.m., the Thousand Oaks/Westlake Chamber of Commerce Forum hosts an event at the Los Robles Green Banquet Center, 299 Moorpark Rd., offering each candidate two minutes for introductory statements, three minutes for closing statements, and a 2-minute cap on responding to questions from the chamber. On Oct. 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the League of Women Voters will televise a forum at the Scherr Forum Theater to the Civic Arts Plaza, with forum format to be announced. For more information, please visit www.thousand-oaks.org.