In Brief

In Brief

Emma Wood campground hibernating for winter season
Attention, campers: The “Closed” sign at one entrance of Emma Wood State Park is no mistake.

Parks officials in Sacramento are hoping that the temporary closure of a portion of the park’s campgrounds in Ventura will save them up to $6,000 in operational costs, as dictated by state budget constraints.

The Emma Wood Ventura River Group Camp will be shut down until March 31, said Jerry Weil, the Ventura Sector superintendent for the state parks department’s Channel Coast District.

“Mainly because of our budget situation, we’re trying to make cuts wherever we can, which is really difficult,” Weil said this week. “Even before the budget cuts, we were operating on a pretty slim budget.”

Weil said the campsite, one of five at Emma Wood, was approved for closure during a period viewed as mostly off-season, when fewer people utilize the grounds during the winter.

“The decision was made at the Sacramento level that we were going to keep all the parks open,” explained Weil, “but make seasonal closures or hour reductions to make up the deficit.”

McGrath State Beach in Oxnard also remains closed, albeit temporarily. According to Weil, as a precaution the beachfront was closed in anticipation of flooding and should reopen by the beginning of the new year next month.

Other state-run parks and beaches in Ventura County south of Mugu Beach, which include Thornhill Broome, Sycamore Cove and Sycamore Canyon campground, have avoided reductions in hours or outright closures because their funding is subsidized by help from the National Parks Service — $900,000.

Those properties receive the parks service aid because they fall within the state park Malibu Sector of Ventura County, where the Santa Monica Mountains, a parks service-run recreation area, is located, says Alphonse Pepito, another state parks superintendent.

Pepito said it is likely any one of the other Ventura County parks or beaches would have endured cuts had that funding been unavailable.

“With the reduction we would have had, we would have lost approximately seven positions for just this sector,” he said.

—Paul Sisolak

Camarillo hit with holiday vehicle vandalisms
Notwithstanding Santa Claus’ once-a-year trek to Camarillo last week, police have responded to at least 17 visits from vehicle vandals in the city this month — 11 on Christmas alone.

In each incident, according to a press release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, which polices Camarillo, vehicle windows were shot out with BB guns during late night and early morning hours.

Six incidents, on Aqua Verde Court, Ridgeview Street, Fieldcrest Drive, Buenos Tiempos Drive and Mesquite Street occurred overnight on Dec. 19, police said.

The remaining 11 took place overnight on Dec. 25 on Los Pueblos, Ladera Vista, Creekside and Rancho Calleguas drives, and Paseo Montelena.

No suspects have been caught and police are seeking any information that may help in solving the vandalisms, which may be provided by calling the Camarillo detectives division at 388-5100. Ventura County Crime Stoppers, which pays up to a $1,000 reward for information, also welcomes tips at its hotline, (800) 222-TIPS.

— Paul Sisolak

University hosting Senior Fest
Cal Lutheran University’s Senior Fest 2010, a day of fitness, theology and other workshops for older adults, will be held Jan. 14, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., at the school’s Samuelson Chapel in Thousand Oaks.

The “Passing on the Faith” event will feature several workshops led by CLU faculty and staff. It will also include devotions, lunch and a presentation by the Association of Lutheran Older Adults, an inter-Lutheran movement based in Baltimore. The keynote address for the program, noted in a CLU announcement, will be delivered by the Rev. Roland Martinson, an author and professor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

Registration for Senior Fest is $25 per person prior to Jan. 5 and $30 afterward. To register, go to callutheran.edu/seniorfest.com For more information, contact Linda LeBlanc at either 493-3936 or leblanc@callutheran.edu.

— Paul Sisolak

Camarillo students donate more than three tons of food
In an effort to tackle hunger, students from nine Camarillo schools, eight of them in the Pleasant Valley School District, donated 6,600 pounds of food to FOOD Share, the county’s biggest regional food bank.

The district’s yearly Stuff-a-Bus holiday food drive brings together students, staff and faculty to collect food for Food Share and the 55,000 people it serves each month.

“We very much appreciate the Pleasant Valley School District’s ongoing support of Food Share,” said Bonnie Weigel, CEO and president of FOOD Share, in a press release. “In this difficult economy, we see more families struggling to put food on their tables and know that every donation helps to alleviate hunger for those in need.”

Participating schools, and their donations, included:

Pleasant Valley School District Office, 181 lbs;
El Descanso Elementary, 970 lbs;
La Mariposa Elementary, 552 lbs;
Las Posas Elementary, 298 lbs;
Las Colinas Middle School, 853 lbs;
Monte Vista Middle School, 1,351 lbs;
Santa Rosa Technology, 565 lbs; and
Tierra Linda Elementary, 1,840 lbs.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, call 983-7100 or go to www.foodshare.com.

— Michael Sullivan

Inaugural Boys & Girls Club art show at E.P. Foster
Artwork by members of the five Ventura, Saticoy and Oak View clubs will be on display at the first annual Boys & Girls Club art show on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6 p.m., at Ventura’s E.P. Foster Library. Refreshments will be served by members of the teen leadership group Keystone Club. Sandra Laby, Gwenlyn Norton, John Brant, Sharon Fleur and Jack Halbert will judge the entries Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m.

The following art mediums will be included in the judging: monochromatic drawing, multicolored drawing, pastel, watercolor, oil or acrylic, printmaking, mixed media, collage and sculpture. The winner from each category will advance to the regional competition and be entered into the next phase of the Boys & Girls Club of America’s National Fine Arts Exhibit competition.

The goal of the arts program, one of the five diversified core programs offered by the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura, is to enable young people (ages 6 to 18) to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through knowledge and appreciation of the visual, tactile and/or performing arts, according to a press release.

The other four age-appropriate club programs are focused on: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and live skills; and sports, fitness and recreation. The club has a no-discrimination policy on the basis of race, religion, gender, culture, national origin, sexual orientation or financial considerations.

For additional information, to schedule a tour or volunteer, go to www.bgclubventura.org or call 641-5585.

— Michael Sullivan

In Brief

In Brief

Red Cross starts $5 campaign
A single Abraham Lincoln — that is, the monetary kind — is what the local branch of the American Red Cross is seeking for its holiday donation campaign.

Considering the current economic crunch, the Ventura County Red Cross is asking local residents to donate just $5 in the nonprofit’s “$5 Saves a Life” effort, proceeds of which will be used for emergency response funding.

According to the Red Cross Web site, $5 provides blankets for a family; $10, a meal for someone displaced from their home; $20 provides disaster volunteer training; $100, a cot, blanket and supplies for disaster victims; and $250 gives a family of four a week’s supply of food.

Donations can be made in American Red Cross canisters, which can be found throughout Ventura County at local retailers and businesses. Contributions, which remain in the county, can also be made by visiting www.5dollarssavesalife.org.

— Paul Sisolak


Four Rotarians head to Bangladesh

A group of Rotary Club members from Ventura County are headed to Bangladesh for a study exchange program, according to a press release.

Marjorie Wass, Andrea Barkan, Jim Bailey and Kevin Clerici, said Wass, will leave for Bangladesh in early January and return in February, where the group will tour the country, meet with Bangladeshi professionals in similar fields and tour Rotary projects in the country. 

The trip, she said, is coordinated through local Rotary District 5240, which sends a team of young professionals through the GSE program once a year to a different country.

— Paul Sisolak

“Coats for Kids” begins sixth year
Though the California winter is mild when compared to other parts of the country, a coat donation campaign is nonetheless gearing up its sixth year in Ventura County.

The Coats for Kids Project is sponsored by the Ventura Rotary Club and Four Seasons Cleaners, where residents are asked to donate both used and new coats and sweaters for children in need of warm clothing this season.

Last year 5,000 coats were given to needy children and adults in the greater Ventura community. This year’s goal is to double that amount, according to the Rotary’s Web site; coat recipients are affiliated with other nonprofits including the Boys and Girls Club, the Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army, local churches, Casa Pacifica and other service groups.

Collection boxes for the Coats for Kids project can be found throughout Ventura County at businesses, schools, government centers and public parks, until Dec. 31.

— Paul Sisolak

Local drink company wins prestigious award
The Ventura Limoncello Company was awarded the Platinum Medal at the inaugural SIP World Spirits Competition, held Nov. 14 in Los Angeles, for its Limoncello Originale. A panel of 100 consumer judges got past the layers of detailed marketing, brand recognition, price point disparity, and most critically, the bias of established judges, according to a press release.

Owner James Carling believes the award will give his lemon-flavored liqueur even more credibility in a competitive market.

“We just got the award, it will serve as point of sale material and really show to our competition that it is higher quality and higher caliber. Similar to a wine that wins, our winning means we have a very high quality limoncello,” Carling said.

In a blind tasting, the judges graded each brand strictly on aroma, taste and finish. The SIP Awards granted honors at four levels; bronze, silver, gold and platinum medals.

— Michael Sullivan

 

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