Luna Grill opened at 691 Collection Blvd., suite 1100 (The Collection at RiverPark), in Oxnard. The restaurant offers classic Mediterranean dishes, including freshly made kebabs, hummus, falafel, baklava and more, prepared with non-GMO ingredients and locally harvested produce. … Xielo Artisan Desserts opened at 212 W. Fourth St. in Oxnard. The shop offers a variety of treats, including traditional Mexican pastries, Guadalajara-inspired raspados (shaved-ice), fusion crepes and hot chocolate drinks prepared with craft cacao from Oaxaca, Mexico. … Tampa Hardware opened at 663 W. Channel Islands Blvd. in Port Hueneme. The individually owned ACE
store offers a vast selection of supplies to fix, repair and maintain the home or business. … A Smart Garden will open at 33 S. Palm St. in Ventura. The full-service garden center will focus on sustainability, drought-intolerance and organics and will offer monthly gardening classes, organic goods, demonstration gardens and more. The ribbon cutting will be on March 20, 4- 5 p.m. and the grand opening will be on March 25, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., with tours of the nursery, hourly raffles, free giveaways and light refreshments.


Pin-ups Hair Design by Robert Ramirez is moving from midtown Ventura to 1050 E. Front St., unit D, in downtown Ventura. The salon will continue to offer award-winning hair services at the new warehouse-style location, The Garage.

Moving up

Henry Gonzales

Darren Elliot and Michelle Zdybowicz were named as advisers to the Small Business Development Center of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, available for free consulting services to area businesses. Elliot is creative director for UNet Solutions and has extensive experience in media and marketing. Zdybowicz is a licensed customs broker for Animal Nutrition Division at JH Biotech Inc., trilingual in English, Mandarin and Korean with expertise in international business. … Perla Hernandez Lastra joined project management firm S.L. Leonard and Associates as a senior project manager. Hernandez Lastra is a LEED-accredited professional and previously served as the project manager on the 115,000-square-foot Marciano Art Foundation Museum adaptive reuse project, with a construction value over $21 million. … Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann was named chair of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County’s board of directors. Heitmann is currently serving her second term on the Ventura City Council. Chris Meissner will serve as vice chair. Meissner is the president and CEO of Meissner Filtration Products. Peter Zierhut, a senior-level director at Haas Automation Inc., will serve as secretary/treasurer. … Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) appointed new members to its board of directors and senior management team. Councilmember Jim Hensley, appointed by the city of Port Hueneme; and Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann, appointed by the city of Ventura, will join the five-member GCTD board. Director of Engineering and Construction Reed Caldwell will also oversee fleet and facility maintenance, following the retirement of Rob Lurie, longtime director of fleet and facilities. … Margarida Eidson is the new business manager of the Ventura Women’s Center. Eidson was previously the human resources director of a technology services company and the director of All American Ballet. She will be responsible for restructuring operations, adding to the client base and pursuing new avenues for the Center to serve the community. … Leslie Cornejo and Shanté Morgan-Durisseau have been reappointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the Ventura County Fairgrounds board of directors. Cornejo serves as board vice president and is the owner and manager of Santa Paula Travel Service. Morgan-Durisseau is faculty at CSUCI where she teaches communication and critical thinking. … Henry Gonzales was reappointed as Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner. Gonzales and his staff manage a $2 billion local agricultural economy. He will serve for four years; this is his third term. … Ventura County Treasurer-Tax Collector Steven Hintz has selected Sue Horgan, former Ojai Mayor and City Council Member, to be Ventura County’s new Assistant Treasurer and Tax Collector. Horgan, currently a vice president and private banker at Union Bank, has an extensive public service and finance background, bringing 35 years of experience to the position.  … The Rev. Dana Worsnop was officially installed as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura (UU). Worsnop joined the UU in August of last year.

And the award goes to …

Coleen Filipinas received the 2017 Live Your Dream Award from Soroptimist of Camarillo during its 37th birthday luncheon. The cash award is presented to motivated women who are the primary financial supporters of their families and seek to improve their lives by furthering their training or education but lack the resources to do so. … Nathan Llorin was named Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme. The competition recognizes outstanding contributions to family, education, the community and the Club as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Eighteen-year-old Llorin is an honors student at Oxnard High School with a 4.27 grade-point average, vice president of the National Keystone Leadership program and an athlete playing basketball for Team Intensity. … The Hueneme Chamber of Commerce will host its 77th Annual Community Awards Dinner on March 17 at the Historic Bard Mansion. Larry and Roberta Downing will receive the Citizen of the Year Award, Jessica Lamb will be honored as Business Person of the Year, and Tamah Figg will be the recipient of the Chairman’s Award. The Chamber will also recognize public servants: Officer Mathew Harbin, CM1 Brett Renaker, CA1 Donovan T. Nuusolia, Engineer Derek Harper, Capt. Alex Garcia, Carrie Burton and Fred Camarillo. … Tracey Coert was named 2016 Employee of the Year by the City of Ventura and Thomas Hoffman was selected as 2016 Supervisor of the Year. Coert works at the Ventura Police Department and Hoffman at the Fire Department. The awards are given to city employees who are role models for public service and exemplify the city’s commitment to excellence. Seventeen other employees from various departments were recognized as nominees for the awards; 12 for employee of the year and five for supervisor of the year. … Montecito Bank and Trust and the city of Ventura were honored by New West Symphony for their support of its Harmony Project. The bank was named Business of the Year for its longtime commitment to the Harmony Project and various philanthropic efforts, including its community dividends program and employee volunteerism. The city of Ventura was named Community Partner of the Year for its support of youth and the arts through its Office of Cultural Affairs and its support of the Harmony Project through its cultural affairs grants. … Camarillo Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Chandra Pugh won the Crisis Intervention Team officer of the year award on Feb. 27, the ceremony held at the Ventura County Behavioral Health Advisory Board meeting. She was among seven nominees up for the award. Chandra, a 23-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, was selected for her ability to seek out unique solutions to difficult problems, especially when dealing with homeless mentally ill people. … The Ventura County Fair was recognized at the Western Fairs Association’s Convention and Trade Show at its Achievement Awards Ceremony. The fair won a total of five First Place, four Second Place and one Third Place awards in various categories. … Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau (VVCB) earned an award in the 60th Annual Adrian Awards from Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. VVCB won the Gold Adrian Award for its public relations campaign showcasing Ventura during the Tour of California in 2016.

In the name of charity

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) recently released the findings of an internal audit revealing the number of youth served by the organization increased 13 percent to 10,400 children annually from its previous figure of 9,200, last verified three years ago. … Sunkist Elementary School in Port Hueneme finished its program in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Student Series Campaign, where students raise money for blood cancer research by bringing spare change to school or other means possible. Sunkist bypassed its initial goal of $5,000 and raised $6,790. The school has held the LLS campaign each year for seven years, bringing the total to more than $40,000.


The nursing program at CSU, Channel Islands (CSUCI), was named one of the top 25 nursing programs in California, ranking No. 11 out of 127, based on analysis from RegisteredNursing.Org. The program was chosen because of its high student retention rate and the high number of graduates who pass the National Council Licensure Examination. … Four grants were awarded by Ventura Education Partnership, the organizers of Ventura Summerfest. The funds, totaling $11,540, will aid health and wellness programs benefiting Ventura Unified School District students and were made possible in part by the ongoing support of Clif Bar Mountains2Beach Marathon.


The Ventura County Public Works Agency Watershed Protection District received a $455,837 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board for its proposed Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge project. The proposed project will be a collaborative effort with the United Water Conservation District and will capture runoff from 123 acres in Piru to remove sediment, trash and other pollutants.

Parks and Rec

Mel Vincent Park held a grand opening on Feb. 18 at 668 Calistoga Road in Camarillo. The five-acre park off Springfield Road includes outdoor fitness equipment, two playgrounds, four half-court basketball courts, two sand volleyball courts, picnic tables, covered picnic shelter and a meandering concrete path. … On Feb. 16, the city of Oxnard held a groundbreaking ceremony at 455 W. Clara St.on the corner of Clara and Courtland streets in Oxnard to celebrate the Southwinds Park Improvement Project, a $1.1 million project funded by Community Development Block Grant. The improvements (such as new lighting, renovated restrooms, exercise stations and barbecue areas, replacement of the existing play areas, additional new fencing and bollards) will enhance safety and overall visitor experience.