In Brief

In Brief

 

Oxnard woman convicted of killing newborn
A jury convicted Oxnard woman Rosalba Cruz Moran of first degree murder on the morning of Monday, Nov. 23, of her newborn child after leaving it in an agricultural field in Camarillo in May 2012 — her infant was found dead three days after its birth. The jury was sent to deliberate Moran’s fate on Friday, Nov. 20.

During the trial, prosecuting attorney Anne Spillner cast Moran as a cold-blooded monster who left her newborn to die in a strawberry field out of spite for the baby’s father, who refused to help her.

“Baby John Doe never got a name. He lived a short life of pain because his mother left him in a puddle of blood, helpless and defenseless,” in the same ditch he was born in, Spillner said.

Spillner sharply contrasted the hard facts gathered by Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators with Moran’s own testimony, calling the farmworker a manipulative liar who let the baby die out of spite.

Defense attorney Joe Lax told the jury that Moran is not a killer but a victim, a woman from Oaxaca whose “Stone Age” background left her unprepared for motherhood.

Walking the jury through Moran’s actions in light of a desperate mindset, Lax said her living situation left her unable to take care of a baby, forcing her to make a similarly desperate decision.

Moran lived in a wooden box in the backyard of her family’s Oxnard home, said Lax, adding that she worked six days a week for so little money that she was left with no time or resources to care for a child. She also testified that she feared being thrown out of her home if she brought the child there.

During the investigation, however, Moran gave conflicting versions of the event.

Moran, 23, face 25 years to life in prison, remains in jail and is on an INS hold. She will be sentenced Jan. 7.

Women’s volleyball team wins national title
The California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team, the Regals, has won the school’s first NCAA team title, defeating the No. 6 rated Wittenberg University Tigers from Ohio.

The win is a first for a CLU team to bring home an NCAA Division III title. The title match took place on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena in Michigan, resulting in a clean sweep of the rival team, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-16.

This was the third NCAA championship appearance for the team but the first win, avenging a 2011 loss to Wittenberg in the quarterfinals, which eventually resulted in a Wittenberg championship.

Another hat in the ring for Supervisor race
Pleasant Valley School Board President Kelly Long has announced her intention to run for Ventura County Board of Supervisors, District 3, currently held by Supervisor Kathy Long, who will forgo running for a fifth term.

Kelly Long, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Long Beach, has been a manager in a multimillion dollar business as well as school board president and a working mother.

On her campaign website, Kelly lists addressing traffic congestion and affordable housing as top priorities if she were to claim the seat and lists herself as a fiscal conservative. Citing her education, she notes that bringing STEM careers to Ventura County is a priority.

“The biomedicals are something we need to keep here,” said the candidate. “It worries me when I hear that my friends, our friends, in the community are being laid off. It would be fabulous if we could bring technologies back into this area.”

On the agenda for whomever sits on the Board of Supervisors in the next few years is the renewal of SOAR — Save Open Spaces and Agricultural Resources — which Kelly Long says she supports.

“I think we need to make sure we contain our urban sprawl and keep the beauty of Ventura County,” she said. “We also need to make sure that it’s sustainable so that we can continue our economy. It’s going to take some strategy on how we can make the two to work hand in hand.”

In Brief

 

Oxnard woman convicted of killing newborn
A jury convicted Oxnard woman Rosalba Cruz Moran of first degree murder on the morning of Monday, Nov. 23, of her newborn child after leaving it in an agricultural field in Camarillo in May 2012 — her infant was found dead three days after its birth. The jury was sent to deliberate Moran’s fate on Friday, Nov. 20.

During the trial, prosecuting attorney Anne Spillner cast Moran as a cold-blooded monster who left her newborn to die in a strawberry field out of spite for the baby’s father, who refused to help her.

“Baby John Doe never got a name. He lived a short life of pain because his mother left him in a puddle of blood, helpless and defenseless,” in the same ditch he was born in, Spillner said.

Spillner sharply contrasted the hard facts gathered by Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators with Moran’s own testimony, calling the farmworker a manipulative liar who let the baby die out of spite.

Defense attorney Joe Lax told the jury that Moran is not a killer but a victim, a woman from Oaxaca whose “Stone Age” background left her unprepared for motherhood.

Walking the jury through Moran’s actions in light of a desperate mindset, Lax said her living situation left her unable to take care of a baby, forcing her to make a similarly desperate decision.

Moran lived in a wooden box in the backyard of her family’s Oxnard home, said Lax, adding that she worked six days a week for so little money that she was left with no time or resources to care for a child. She also testified that she feared being thrown out of her home if she brought the child there.

During the investigation, however, Moran gave conflicting versions of the event.

Moran, 23, face 25 years to life in prison, remains in jail and is on an INS hold. She will be sentenced Jan. 7.

Women’s volleyball team wins national title
The California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team, the Regals, has won the school’s first NCAA team title, defeating the No. 6 rated Wittenberg University Tigers from Ohio.

The win is a first for a CLU team to bring home an NCAA Division III title. The title match took place on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena in Michigan, resulting in a clean sweep of the rival team, 25-23, 25-18 and 25-16.

This was the third NCAA championship appearance for the team but the first win, avenging a 2011 loss to Wittenberg in the quarterfinals, which eventually resulted in a Wittenberg championship.

Another hat in the ring for Supervisor race
Pleasant Valley School Board President Kelly Long has announced her intention to run for Ventura County Board of Supervisors, District 3, currently held by Supervisor Kathy Long, who will forgo running for a fifth term.

Kelly Long, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Long Beach, has been a manager in a multimillion dollar business as well as school board president and a working mother.

On her campaign website, Kelly lists addressing traffic congestion and affordable housing as top priorities if she were to claim the seat and lists herself as a fiscal conservative. Citing her education, she notes that bringing STEM careers to Ventura County is a priority.

“The biomedicals are something we need to keep here,” said the candidate. “It worries me when I hear that my friends, our friends, in the community are being laid off. It would be fabulous if we could bring technologies back into this area.”

On the agenda for whomever sits on the Board of Supervisors in the next few years is the renewal of SOAR — Save Open Spaces and Agricultural Resources — which Kelly Long says she supports.

“I think we need to make sure we contain our urban sprawl and keep the beauty of Ventura County,” she said. “We also need to make sure that it’s sustainable so that we can continue our economy. It’s going to take some strategy on how we can make the two to work hand in hand.”

In Brief

In Brief

 

County sued over 19 oil well permits
Three environmental conservation groups have sued Ventura County over its permitting of 19 new oil wells along the Santa Paula Canyon Trail.

By a vote of 3-2, Ventura County Supervisors approved the permits in October, sparking outcry by the groups as well as by over 1,000 users of the popular trail through a petition.

The suit was filed in Ventura County Superior Court by Los Padres ForestWatch, the Center for Biological Diversity and Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas, which say that the county failed to conduct a proper environmental study of the potential risks of the project.

“Santa Paula Canyon is one of the crown jewels of Ventura County, with thousands of residents and visitors enjoying this wilderness destination each year,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Santa Barbara, in a statement. “More drilling here will ruin the outdoor recreation experience while reducing local tourism dollars and harming local businesses.”

The suit also brings into question the county’s compliance with zoning ordinances governing the application process for new oil wells. Additionally, the suit names California Resources Corporation, the permit applicant, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, the state’s largest oil and gas production company.

Ojai workshop to address horse, farm stormwater runoff
Watching horses and their riders pass by is as commonplace as picturesque sunsets in the Ojai Valley. With an impending record-breaking El Niño-fueled rainy season on its way, however, pollutants mixed in with runoff from farms, particularly from horse manure, are being addressed in a workshop aimed at horse owners on how to keep manure and its nutrients out of the Ventura River.

The Ventura River has been deemed an impaired water body by the Environmental Protection Agency due to algae growth spurred on by excessive nutrients in the water, specifically nitrogen and phosphorous, which are found in horse manure and have been deemed contributors to the river’s status.

The Ventura County Resources Conservation District is hoping to work with horse owners to voluntarily meet requirements ahead of the regulations coming from the State Water Quality Control Board in the distant future (2023, to be exact), and is hosting a workshop to address concerns.

Environmental Specialist Dana Bogdanich with the Conservation District will host the workshop and says that owners can prevent runoff by storing manure on impermeable surfaces or containers, covering it with a tarp and adhering to “basic manure management” techniques.

“Picking it up, especially in confined areas like stalls, or having it hauled off,” said Bogdanich, “or composting it themselves or letting someone else take it and compost it for them.”

The Ventura County Resource Conservation District will host “Are You Ready for El Niño?” Learn how to prepare your horse property for a very wet winter workshop this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Help of Ojai’s Little House, 111 W. Santa Ana St., Ojai. For more information, visit www.vcrcd.org.

Website to help filmmakers in location scouting
A new website developed by the Ventura County Film Commission will make finding filming locations in the county, and obtaining permits to do so, easier for filmmakers looking to use the county’s landscape as scenery.

The site, www.venturacountyfilm.com, lists available locations with photographs and details and also features information on whom to contact in order to begin filming there.

Within the county, there are 16 different permitting jurisdictions, according to Ventura County Film Commission film liaison Bill Bartels, who adds that filming in the county continues to grow.

“In 2014, we had in excess of 800 permits and the equivalent shooting days of over 1,800,” said Bartels. The film industry in the county has had a $35 million economic impact locally, he adds.

While most of the permits are issued for filming on county-owned property, Simi Valley saw the next most permits issued in 2014 (82), followed by the cities of Ventura (43) and Thousand Oaks (41). Notable shoots in Ventura County include this year’s True Detective and the upcoming Westworld series, both on HBO.

For more information, visit www.venturacountyfilm.com.

In Brief

In Brief

 

Take a Hungry Person to Lunch day returns to Ventura
Members of the community will sit down for a conversation over lunch around Ventura for a little bit of understanding and compassion on Thursday, Nov. 19 just before the holiday rush, as part of the second annual Take a Hungry Person to Lunch campaign.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura will host the event, where volunteers will be paired with members of the community who may be homeless or moving through a transitional living program in order not only to be fed but to learn of the issues facing them and their communities.

“There’s a real sense of understanding that comes when people sit down and break bread together, and that’s what the day really is about,” said Sue Brinkmeyer, interim director of the Lift up Your Voice program, a branch of the church.

During the inaugural event, 50 hosts and their guests were paired up and sat down for a lunch at one of several participating restaurants in downtown Ventura. Brinkmeyer says that meeting face-to-face with the homeless or needy helps one to better understand their individual situations.

“Many times there are myths out there about what’s causing homelessness or what the route out of homelessness needs to be,” said Brinkmeyer. “This helps start the discussion of what we as a community can do to help end homelessness in this community.”

For more information on how to volunteer as a host, call 910-8860.

Civil suit brought against Israeli ex-PM Ehud Barak in T.O.
The relatives of a 19-year-old U.S. citizen who was killed during a 2010 raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla by Israeli forces are suing the former prime minister for the raid in which nine activists died.

The deceased, a dual-Turkish and U.S. citizen by the name of Furkan Dogan, was filming when Israeli forces stormed the flotilla that carried 700 activists who were trying to circumvent Israel’s blockade of the Gaza strip to bring humanitarian aid to the inhabitants. Dogan was shot five times, once in the head, according to this family’s lawyers.

Barak was attending an event in Thousand Oaks in October when his bodyguard was given papers detailing the lawsuit, who then handed the papers to him.

The case is being presented to the U.S. Federal Court under the Alien Tort Claims, Torture Prevention and Anti-Terrorists Acts. Barak cannot be arrested since the case is a civil suit.

Conservation project connects LA, San Diego, Ventura
A new program launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program will connect three Southern California cities through conservation efforts to educate young people who might not have had interactions with nature in their backyards.

The SoCal Project’s goal is to connect urban youth with nature through the conservation and restoration of the natural habitat, such as the Los Angeles River in LA and, in Ventura, through the California Condor Recovery Program.

“The most important aspect of the mission is to create a new generation of nature lovers in our urban areas,” said Margie Hernandez, publicist. “It’s mostly targeting the youth to help them discover these refuges in their own backyard, and hopefully create in them a love of nature.”

Representatives in each city will educate students on wildlife in their respective neighborhoods via visits to their schools or outdoor programs. At the Santa Barbara Zoo, the California condor has been the subject of a special educational program, for instance.

To watch a short video on the initiative, visit https://vimeo.com/143045681

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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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