In Brief

In Brief

 

Flying B-29 Superfortress coming to Camarillo
FIFI, the Commemorative Air Force’s iconic Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, will arrive at the Camarillo Airport on Monday, March 2, as part of a World War II display through March 8 at the Commemorative Air Force Southern California facility.

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is best known as the airplane whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.

Accompanying aircraft include the CAF SoCal wing’s P-51 Mustang Man O’ War; two very rare fighters, a Supermarine Spitfire and Mitsubishi Japanese Zero; a C-45 Expeditor and several other vintage military airplanes. Visitors may tour the B-29 cockpit and purchase rides in many of the airplanes.

Tours will be available at varying times, March 2 through 8, $5-10. Rides in the bomber are available and range in price from $75 to $1,895. The CAF SoCal Wing and Air Museum is located at 455 Aviation Drive, Camarillo. For more information, call 482-0064.

Lecture to discuss politics of GMO labeling
Genetically modified organisms will be the subject of a talk at the Simi Valley Public Library this weekend, and lecturer Panda Kroll is hoping for a nuanced debate.

The lecture, “The Great GMO Label Debate – Science, Politics and the Court of Public Opinion,” is part of CSU, Channel Islands’, Lecture Series and will focus on the debate over whether or not to label food products made using modified ingredients.

Kroll, adjunct faculty in the Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics at CSUCI for the MBA program and an attorney at Benton, Orr, Duval and Buckingham in Ventura, says that fear can sometimes obscure the facts.

“The FDA has determined that the current crops producing GMOs are not harmful to human health,” said Kroll, who adds that foods labeled organic can’t contain GMO products and that the rising popularity of organics and producers choosing to label products voluntarily should be what drives the movement. “Recently, there has been a huge, huge spike in products that are labeled non-GMO, and these have become very popular.”

This talk in the CSUCI Lecture Series will take place on Monday, March 2, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Simi Valley Public Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley. For more information, visit www.simivalleylibrary.org.

Music therapy brings peace to end-of-life care
A new program designed to ease pain, suffering and anxiety in patients admitted to hospice or hospital care utilizes music as a means by which to bring calm to an otherwise turbulent time.

The Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association’s Music Therapy Program is headed by musician and certified licensed therapist Lori Sunshine, who has been practicing her musically inspired therapy for 30 years, and has been at Livingston since January.

“Music therapy is not designed to be entertainment, but that could be a part of it,” said Sunshine. “I’m trained to use music to bring about the best and most positive outcome possible.”

In order to determine which musical style or songs would pair well with the patient, Sunshine will either interview the individual or, if he or she is unable to talk, interview the family or caretakers. Sunshine says that music can bring calming neutrality to a tense situation.

“If everyone is arguing in the room, I’ll find a neutral piece of music or everyone’s favorite and ask them to sing with me, and suddenly there’s a smile on their face,” said Sunshine.

Musical therapy is said to benefit a patient by assisting in pain management and awareness and can even assist in recalling memories.

For more information, visit www.lmvna.org/hospice_care/music-therapy.html.

In Brief

In Brief

 

CSUCI student chosen to present in front of Congress
CSU, Channel Islands, will send one student to Washington, D.C., this April for the 2015 Posters on the Hill event, wherein students present undergraduate research to members of the U.S. Congress.

Dana Cochran is one of 60 students nationwide chosen to present as part of the event that helps members of Congress understand “the importance of undergraduate research by talking directly with the students whom these programs impact.”

Cochran said the goal of her research was to build a database that would allow doctors to input brain scans and find out whether the mathematical coordinates on the shape of the corpus callosum indicate the possibility of schizophrenia.

While studying as an undergraduate, Cochran was invited to join a research group headed by Channel Islands’ Associate Professor of mathematics Kathryn Leonard, Ph.D., where she flourished. Leonard says Cochran’s research can be used in the real world by physicians worldwide.

“Doctors are currently diagnosing schizophrenia by hand,” said Leonard. “This process would help speed up the diagnosis.”

Leonard says that Cochran’s work is “one of many things that can put Channel Islands on the map,” and that Cochran has a natural ability.

“She seemed to really enjoy working on problems for the problem’s sake,” said Leonard. “Not just because she wanted a good grade, but because she is intellectually curious.”

PODS offered as free storage for displaced veterans
Fourteen veterans and their families are being offered free storage for their belongings while affordable housing is renovated ahead of their arrival.

The City Center transitional living community provides temporary residence for families in need and came to the assistance of the veterans.

“A local nonprofit came to me and asked if I could house 14 families,” explained Jim Duran, executive director of The City Center and pastor at the River Community Church in a press release.  “I had the space, but could not take in the families until the rooms were renovated.”

Eleven of the 19 rooms, however, are undergoing a $25,000 renovation project; concrete will be poured and sinks installed, to name a few upgrades. During that time, PODS of Tri-Counties will house the families’ belongings free of charge.

“PODS is honored to help out The City Center in their efforts to offer a handup to the homeless veterans who have loyally served our country,” said Steve Yapp, owner of PODS of Tri-Counties.  “They are a wonderful organization that does so much, without the use of government assistance, to provide these families with housing, food and financial coaching so that they become self-sufficient.”

For more information on the project and for information on how to donate, visit http://www.thecitycenter.org/donate-2/.

Free microchip implants for pets
The Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks is now offering free microchipping for dogs and cats as part of an effort to expand the service.

The process involves a small microchip inserted under the skin of the animal, in what the shelter says is a quick, mostly painless process. If the animal were to go missing, Animal Control could scan the pet for information needed to bring it home.

The Shelter was inspired to offer the service after the rescue of Madison, a 4-year-old mixed-breed dog, went viral on YouTube. Madison (whose real name is Halo) and her owner were reunited four months after she went missing.

“Halo’s owners were lucky to be reunited with their dog. If she had a microchip implant, her four-month missing ordeal could have been avoided,” said Sill. “We hope that many cat and dog owners will bring their pets to get a free microchip implant.” 

Shelter Hope Pet Shop is a nonprofit agency that rescues dogs from shelters throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and promotes animal humane education. The shop is open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

For more information, visit www.shelterhopepetshop.org.

In Brief

In Brief

 

Sen. Jackson backs repeal of vaccination “personal belief exemption”
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has thrown her support behind a bill introduced by Sens. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and Ben Allen, D-South Bay, that would repeal the personal belief exemption giving parents the ability to opt out of vaccinating their children prior to entering public school.

California would join two other states — Mississippi and West Virginia — with strict rules regarding vaccinations if the legislation were to pass.

“We cannot ignore science! We cannot condone putting other children at risk!” wrote Jackson on Facebook. “It’s time to take a strong stand for our kids and our communities.”

 

Measles, once considered eradicated in the U.S., has made a resurgence after an outbreak at Disneyland spread to neighboring communities. Since, over 100 people, mostly in Southern California, have come down with the virus; 11 are in Ventura County.

Measles is an infectious viral disease that creates a distinct red rash on the body, generally causing fever, cough and runny nose. For those who contract the airborne virus, there is also a risk of inflammation of the brain, pneumonia or blindness.

Jackson says that parents’ fears of damage caused by vaccinations are thoroughly unfounded and that the effects of the viruses are much worse than any perceived threat by the vaccine.

“The vaccines have been victims of their own success,” said Jackson. “I remember polio. I got the measles, I got the mumps, and I got chickenpox. I spoke with a woman who went deaf in one ear because of the measles.”

In California, parents are able to withhold vaccinations from their children if their personal beliefs stand in contrast to the injections. In many affluent communities in California, vaccination rates have dropped significantly over the past 10 years.

Hearings on the legislation are expected to be held in March. Jackson hopes for a “robust and thorough debate on the issue.”

Group pushes for new wildlife corridor over 101
The Sierra Club of Ventura County can claim success after the State Coastal Conservancy approved $1 million toward the start of a wildlife corridor overpass in Agoura Hills.

The board voted unanimously to fund the California Department of Transportation’s environmental assessment and develop initial designs for the potential overpass, which could be used by deer, mountain lions and other animals that use Liberty Canyon as a passage from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Los Padres National Forest.

If constructed, the overpass — modeled after similar overpasses in Wyoming and Canada — would be the largest in the world.

Jim Hines of the Sierra Club says that wildlife uses Liberty Canyon as a natural passage and that the 101 freeway that cuts through the land is dangerous for the animals.

“Liberty Canyon is a natural wildlife crossing; the problem is that there are eight lanes and a divider in between,” said Hines. “There are numerous car and truck strikes on mostly deer and mountain lions crossing that region.”

After the research phase, more money will be needed if the plans move to actual construction. Early estimates put the cost in the $10 million range

— Chris O’Neal

Free income tax assistance from AARP tax aide
AARP Tax Aide, in conjunction with the IRS, is providing free income tax preparation assistance and e-filing for seniors and low-to-moderate-income adults of any age through April 15. AARP membership is not required. Appointments required are noted.

In Ventura: Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Ave., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Also at Foster Library, 651 E. Main St., Ventura in the Topping Room, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

In Oxnard: Wilson Senior Center, 350 N. C St., on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon; and at the Oxnard Library, 251 S. A St., on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m.

In Camarillo: Camarillo Health Care District, 3639 E. Las Posas Road, building 117, on Wednesdays from noon to 3 p.m. Appointments required; call 388-1952. Also at the Camarillo Senior Center at 1605 E. Burnley St. Appointments required; call 482-4881.

In Port Hueneme: Port Hueneme Community Center, 550 Park Ave. on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to noon.

For Santa Paula and Fillmore: Santa Paula Community Center, 530 W. Main St., on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In Ojai: available by appointment only at Little House of Ojai, 111 W. Santa Ana St., on Thursdays from noon to 3:15 p.m. Call 646-5122.

In the East County: Goebel Senior Adult Center in Thousand Oaks; Moorpark Senior Center, 517-6261 for appointments; Simi Valley Senior Center, by appointment at 583-6363; and at the Newbury Park Library, 2331 Borchard Road.

Taxpayers must bring social security cards for themselves, spouses and any dependents, picture ID, copy of 2013 tax return, and all 2014 documents showing income from all sources, including wages, social security, interest, dividends, investments, self-employment and pensions. Taxpayers itemizing deductions should bring total figures for each category of deduction, including medical, charitable contributions, property tax, mortgage interest, etc.

— Contributed

In Brief

In Brief

 

Police say no trace of accelerants were found in the case of homeless man caught on fire

An incident involving a local Ventura homeless man found ablaze on a Ventura beach two weeks ago has taken another turn, with the Ventura Police Department saying that no trace of accelerants, including lighter fluid, was found.

The case drew national attention when it was learned that the man, John Frazier, had told police that three young people had doused him with lighter fluid and set him on fire in the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 17. Frazier was taken to the LA USC Medical Center’s burn ward where he has remained since.

Frazier had been unable to talk since the incident, in an induced coma for his recovery, after suffering third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body. As of Tuesday afternoon, police were waiting to talk with Frazier, who was expected to be able to talk on Wednesday.

Ventura Police Sgt. Ryan Weeks says that they “know it didn’t happen” the way that Frazier said it did.

The story will be updated at www.vcreporter.com this week should Frazier wake from his coma and the police be able to speak with him.


16th Annual Nordic Symposium to explore Iceland at CLU

Vikings and volcanoes: Anyone with a basic knowledge of Iceland can name at least these two traits of the Nordic country, but the 16th annual Nordic Symposium is looking to change that, as it makes Iceland its subject.

An island located on the barrier between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans, the country has built itself up over thousands of years as a financial powerhouse leading the way in renewable energy, saturated with historical and geographical treasures.

Topics will range from Vikings and Icelandic history in “The Ins and Outs of Icelandic History” presented by Elisabeth I. Ward, Ph.D., director of the Scandinavian Center at Pacific Lutheran University, to “Iceland and Energy — Global or Local?” by HS Orka CEO Ásgeir Margeirsson,

Apostolos Athanassakis, Ph.D., is from Greece, and currently resides there after having spent 44 years as professor emeritus in the Classics Department of UCSB. Athanassakis will present “Viking and Homeric Values — Intriguing Parallels: The Case of Iceland.”

“Both societies were warrior societies, but these similarities go further back to the prehistory of both peoples,” said Athanassakis, who will explain in his talk how trade routes opened up the possibilities for Iceland, a country far removed from the southern European country of Greece, so it could influence the country’s politics, religion and societal values, and vice versa.

“We can learn a great deal from Homeric, Norse and Icelandic culture,” he said. “We can learn a great deal about social systems that work, systems of justice and so forth and so on.”

The symposium will begin with “Iceland: Land of Fire, Ice and Vikings” on Friday, Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. and conclude on Saturday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m. with a dinner of traditional Icelandic cuisine and a performance by Icelandic singer-songwriter Anna Mjöll.

For more information and tickets, visit www.scandinaviancenter.org/nordic_spirit/.

Small insect appearing in Ventura bugging locals
Ventura residents have swarmed the phone lines of local pest control offices looking for answers regarding an invasion of the bug kind in recent weeks, but residents have no reason to be concerned, though they are understandably annoyed.

The insects at first glance resemble mosquitoes, though they are lacking the distinctive blood-sucking mouthpieces. Rather, the insect, according to pest control experts, is a fungus gnat.

This particular variety of fungus gnat, the Leia varia, thrives on decaying organic matter such as leaves, mulch and, yes, fungus. After Ventura’s recent rains, the first such for a long while, the larvae of the fungus gnat, which can survive through drought for long periods of time, began to hatch and have appeared in droves.

Ventura County Agricultural Deputy Commissioner Ellen Craig says that the department has received numerous calls regarding the insects, but that they are rather benign and should eventually go away on their own.

Craig adds that to keep your home fungus-gnat free, insure that screens are in proper working order and sealed. Insecticides and other sprays are not useful in controlling the insect.

California residents use 20 percent less water in December
The State Water Resources Control Board announced this week that the statewide urban water conservation rate climbed to 22 percent in December, assisted by a rainy streak at the end of 2014.

“Today’s announcement is welcome news that demonstrates the importance of outdoor water savings,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus in a press release. “We have just gone through the driest January on record and it appears we are entering a fourth year of drought, which is awful to contemplate but we must.  Conservation is still the smartest and most cost effective way to deal with this difficult drought.”

In a survey of nearly 400 water retailers statewide, the amount of water conserved statewide jumped from 10 percent in Nov. to 22 percent in Dec., in year-over-year water use comparisons.

Since adopting the Emergency Water Conservation Regulation in July 2014, the 22 percent rate has been the highest. Since data collection began, more than 134 billion gallons of water have been saved compared to 2013, which the state says is enough to supply 1.8 million California residents for a year.

The Control Board urges residents to continue conservation efforts in preparation for another dry year.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Loni Love Headlines Levity Live

    September 20 @ 7:30 pm - September 22 @ 9:00 pm
  3. 2019 Quilt Rooms and Gardens Tour

    September 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  4. 3rd Annual Southeast Ventura County YMCA Reach For The Stars Gala

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  5. Premiere Party for “Beyond Function: Fiber, Wood and Clay”

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  6. Fundraiser for Channel Islands Marine and Wildlife Institute (CIMWI)

    September 21 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
  7. Oxnard National Drive Electric Vehicle (EV) Showcase

    September 22 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Chamber On The Mountain presents Tomer Gewirtzman, Pianist

    September 22 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  9. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    September 23 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  10. Dancer’s Body Barre

    September 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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