In Brief

In Brief

Sleek architecture lands CSU library design award
A library on the campus of Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo has won a design award from an architecture magazine, the university has announced.

The John Spoor Broome Library was named one of 50 winners of California Construction’s Best of 2008 contestants, earning a spot in the publication’s Outstanding Architectural Design category, which recognizes both construction and design excellence throughout the state.

The 137,000-square-foot library, completed this year, was designed by Lord Norman Foster, integrating an existing building of Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival architectures with modern designs of glass, metal and concrete.

Currently, the library houses 75,000 bound books, 180,000 electronic books, and other audio/video media.


NAMI offers free courses
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Ventura County has announced it will offer a free, 12-week course in both Ventura and Westlake Village, beginning this month.

The “Family to Family” course will be held in Ventura at the county’s public health department’s auditorium at 3147 Loma Vista Road, every Thursday starting Jan. 8, 6:30-9 p.m.

In Westlake Village, the class will begin on Jan. 15 for 12 Thursdays, 6:30-9 p.m., at the Calvary Community Church, 5495 Via Rocas.

An announcement from NAMI says the class is for family members, partners and friends of individuals suffering from major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia on schizoaffective disorder, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, and co-occurring brain disorders or addictive disorders.

To register or for more information, e-mail or call 641-2426. Classes are limited to 25 people.


Employment law specialist to bring expertise to Oxnard breakfast
An expert in the field of employment law is scheduled to speak on the complexity of the subject at next week’s Good Morning Oxnard Breakfast, according to a press release from the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, who is hosting the event.

Jim Kuns, a senior consultant with the Employers Group, will take a look at some of the more advanced labor laws when the breakfast is held on Jan. 8, 7:15-9 a.m. at the Residence Inn, 2101 W. Vineyard Ave., Oxnard.

For information on the event, e-mail


Chamber citizen of year noted for homelessness activism
Karl Keller, a Ventura activist known best as the volunteer chair of the city’s social services task force, is the 2008 Citizen of the Year for the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.

Keller was honored at the chamber’s 12th Annual Poinsettia Awards Luncheon on Dec. 9 at the Ventura Marriott, where Keller, a longtime member of the task force, has worked toward curbing homelessness in Ventura.

“It’s humbling,” Keller said this week of the award. “I’m glad to be able to help, throw some surplus energy to working on the (task force’s) 10-Year Strategy. I’ve had a bunch of wonderful people to work with, which makes it great fun.


$10K reward for Circle K slaying
A $10,000 reward is being offered by a convenience store chain for information leading to the capture and conviction of two men involved in the killing last week of one of its clerks.

The reward was announced by Circle K Stores after Sean Odle, 30, was shot dead in the early morning of Dec. 26 at the chain’s Midtown Ventura location during a failed robbery attempt. Ventura police have released a surveillance video of the crime, showing two hooded men entering the store around 4:30 a.m., where Odle had been manning the store. One kept watch at the front door, while the gunman, who was armed with a rifle, is shown aiming and firing one shot.

Both men are seen fleeing shortly after without having taken any cash or merchandise. Information about the crime should be directed to Ventura PD Detective Dirk Boon, 339-4479 or 339-4416. For anonymous tips, call the PD’s Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

Watch the surveilance video here


In Brief

In Brief

Service to honor homeless community
A memorial service honoring the 14 homeless people from Ventura County who have died this year will be held this weekend in Ventura’s Plaza Park.

The vigil, 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21, falls in accord with National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day and is being sponsored by two area Unitarian parishes: the Universalist Unitarian Church in Santa Paula and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ventura.

Of the former, the church’s pastor, Carolyn Price, chairs the Task Force to End Homelessness in Santa Paula; similarly, the Rev. Jan Christian from the Ventura congregation is active with the church’s Life up your Voice project. Both efforts, according to the pastors in a press release, are aimed at bringing a homeless emergency shelter to the area; currently, there are none in Ventura or Santa Paula.

The service will feature the names of those who have died homeless, original music and readings from various religious traditions. Hot drinks, cookies and bags with personal items will be provided by the Ventura church’s youth group.

Donations of blankets, jackets and bedrolls are welcome.

For more information on the event, call 644-3898.

The afterlife of X-mas trees
An area green materials recycler is reminding the holiday-conscious to remain environmentally conscious by recycling their Christmas trees at the end of the yuletide.

According to Bill Camarillo of Agromin in a news release, approximately 70,000 to 100,000 Christmas trees collected annually throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are recycled into soil products used by local agricultural operations and landscapers.

“Because of these efforts … (a) Christmas tree may be part of the mulch you use in your garden next spring or it may have helped grow lemons, avocados or strawberries on local farms,” he says.

To help with the after-Christmas recycling effort, Camarillo says residents should be sure trees are free of ornaments, tinsel, nails and tree stands before placing them in green recycling bins at the curb.

$350K grant dividing among county groups
Twelve socially-based nonprofits across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have been awarded a $350,000 grant from the McCune Foundation, the group has announced.

The prizes were announced last month for organizations committed toward immigration reform, mass transit needs, neighborhood safety and other vital issues, a press release from the foundation said.

Groups from Ventura County who benefited are the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Ventura County, $36,000; the Ventura County Community Foundation, $25,000; the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, $35,000; and FEERD, the

Foundation for Educational and Employment Resources Development, $30,000.

Those who would like to be considered for next year’s grant funding cycle can submit a letter of inquiry to the foundation by Jan. 15. Details are available at

Gallegly rejects auto bailout
Elton Gallegly won’t be supporting a bill to bail out automakers from the country’s financial crisis. The congressman representing the 24th district voted against it last week.

“This is a union protection plan. It alone dooms the American auto industry because it places the unions — which are a large part of the problem — outside of the solution,” Gallegly was quoted in a news release.

The bill would require auto makers who take part to submit their restructuring plans by March 31, 2009, instead of requiring them to actually have the restructuring plans in place by March 31. According to the release, some industry executives have suggested in public statements that the companies could be competitive by 2012.

Part of the reason for Gallegly’s vote, he said, was that while the plan calls for the American taxpayer to obtain stock in any auto maker that takes part in the bailout, the stock would be worthless if the auto makers fail, which is guaranteed by the plan.

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