by Chris O’Neal and Michael Sullivan
FOOD Share former-CEO Jim Mangis dies
Jim Mangis, former CEO of FOOD Share and manager of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, has died at the age of 62. In only 18 months, Mangis doubled the amount of food donations to the Ventura County arm of Food Forward as well. Contributions may be made in his memory to Food Forward or the Ventura City Corps. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura.
United Water may be sued under Endangered Species Act
It’s an old saga, one that has seen many challenges and questions regarding usage of the Santa Clara River. Now, an Endangered Species Act lawsuit could potentially take the battle to court.
The Wishtoyo Foundation, its Ventura Coastkeeper Program, and Center for Biological Diversity have issued a notice to the United Water Conservation District of an intent to sue if change doesn’t come to the Vern Freeman Diversion Dam, which, according to the conservation groups, “prevents virtually any steelhead from returning to prime habitat and degrades habitat downstream.”
Jason Weiner, general counsel for the Wishtoyo Foundation, says that UWCD has had many opportunities to address the issues but hasn’t made any progress on proposals for more environmentally friendly diversions introduced in 2010.
“Not only is steelhead, vireo, flycatcher and cuckoo restoration possible, but it can be accomplished while providing enough water to maintain agricultural and municipal land uses in the Oxnard Plain,” said Weiner. “Restoring these species to the Santa Clara River is vital to providing nearby residents and the river’s marginalized communities with their right to enjoy and benefit from healthy, functioning ecosystems.”
Addressing the issues would prevent the lawsuit from going to court, says Weiner, adding, “We have almost no faith that United could make those commitments.”
Back to basics with the Sierra Club
The local Sierra Club’s annual Wilderness Basics Course runs Feb. 24 to May 4 this year, designed to help you learn how to be prepared, overcome fears and enjoy our backcountry trails.
Now in its seventh year, WBC students range from teens to seniors, are single or part of a couple or a family, and their experience levels range from novice to day-hiker and expert.
The scope is all-embracing as local professionals demonstrate gear, navigation, first aid and so much more. What is learned in the classroom is practiced with day hikes, overnight car camp and backpacking.
For details, go to www.lospadres.sierraclub.org/wbc.