CSU Channel Islands installs first female president

Erika D. Beck, Ph.D., will become California State University, Channel Island’s second president after current President Richard Rush retires in June. Rush, CSUCI’s inaugural president, has served for 15 years.

Erika D. Beck

Erika D. Beck

Beck hails from Nevada State College in Henderson, Nevada, where she currently serves as provost and executive vice president.

Before her tenure as provost and executive vice president at NSC, Beck served as the dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the director of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a faculty member in the psychology department, and chair of the Faculty Senate at the 3,500-student campus.

“Dr. Beck’s demonstrated achievements and academic credentials make her the ideal next leader of CSU Channel Islands,” said CSU Trustee Larry Norton, chair of the Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the President.

CSU Channel Islands Provost Gayle Hutchinson was promoted to President of CSU Chico by the Trustees as well.

Ojai nonprofit seeks to provide for fieldworkers

In 2013, a fire ripped through low-income apartments used by Oxnard fieldworkers and their families, leaving 27 families with nothing.

It was then that cofounders Judy and Ted Lucas sought to assist in any way they could, thus establishing Friends of Fieldworkers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that seeks to provide basic essentials and assistance to in-need families.

Friends of Fieldworkers has provided everything from clothing to in-home libraries and recently raised $1,000 to supply shoes for 44 children. Judy says that the organization is seeking donations to establish a scholarship fund and technical support in the creation of a 24-hour helpline.

“Ted and I found that there were so many needs in the community that were beyond us, so we decided to start this foundation,” said Judy. “Instead of putting Band-Aids on problems, we can really do long-term good by giving access to more resources.”

For more information on Friends of Fieldworkers, visit Facebook and search “Friends of Fieldworkers” or call 312-0579.

Moorpark approves HERO PACE program

The city of Moorpark has joined nine other Ventura County cities in adopting the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy program, also known as PACE, which will allow residents to install environmentally friendly improvements to their homes.

The HERO PACE program gives homeowners loans for the improvements and allows repayment through their property tax bills over varying periods of between five and 20 years.

The city of Ventura adopted the program in 2015, as did Oxnard and Port Hueneme in 2014. Thousand Oaks has also adopted the program with a launch date set for this spring.

The program employs area contractors and provides training in the installation of the various efficient products ranging from solar panels to weather-resistant windows and doors. Since its inception, HERO has provided $10.8 million in financing for almost 500 projects in Ventura County.

The HERO Program is available and taking applications in Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Fillmore and Simi Valley. Moorpark residents will be able to submit applications by this summer. For more information, visit www.HeroProgram.com.

Rare frog given chance to recover in Ventura Countyredfrog

Once on the ropes, a rare amphibian has been given a second chance to thrive on Los Angeles and Ventura County protected lands.

The California red-legged frog (Rana
) has seen a 70 percent decline in population over its historical range, but will get a good shot at recovery thanks to the recently signed Safe Harbor Agreement, a 50-year voluntary conservation agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California State Parks.

“Through the Safe Harbor Program, private and non-federal landowners, like California State Parks, can proactively support species’ recovery by restoring or managing habitat for those species on their lands, with assurances that other land uses, like visitor recreation opportunities or maintenance activities, are not restricted,” said Eric Morrissette, senior fish and wildlife biologist for the Service in Ventura.

In early March, red-legged frog eggs were collected in the Simi Hills and transported to Leo Carrillo and Malibu Creek State Parks with the goal of creating a new population of reproducing adult frogs. Historically, the frog’s range stretches from Baja California, Mexico, to parts of northern California.

— Chris O’Neal