New Oxnard transit facility breaks ground

On Wednesday, May 10, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, joined the Gold Coast Transit Department staff in a groundbreaking ceremony for what will become the district’s new eco-friendly operations and maintenance facility.

The 15-acre site will play host to the new facility that will be capable of hosting a fleet of 125 buses and will include an operations building, an eight-bay maintenance and repair building, a compressed natural-gas fuel station and bus wash.

Designed by RNL and Maintenance Design Group, the building is environmentally friendly, meeting all requirements of the California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) and and is expected to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -certified.

Completion of the project is expected by fall of 2018.

First Women United luncheon in Thousand Oaks

United Way of Ventura County’s affinity group Women United will host what it hopes to be its first annual luncheon on Thursday, May 18, featuring guest speaker and 2005 California Woman of the Year, Lateefah Simon.

Proceeds from the event will go to programs supporting single mothers in need in Ventura County who are working toward improving their lives.

“We are so fortunate to have Lateefah Simon as our speaker for our very first luncheon. She knows firsthand the plight of the single mother; she is an extraordinary speaker,” said Erin Simqui, event chair.

Simon became a 2003 MacArthur Fellow and has over two decades of service working in low-income communities advocating for civil rights.

“Our goal for this luncheon is twofold — we want to raise lots of money to assist single moms in the county and, more importantly, we want to build awareness about United Women and its mission,” said Leanne Neilson, chair of Women United.

The luncheon will be held at California Lutheran University’s Lundring Event Center, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, on Thursday, May 18. For more information, visit

Stamp Out Hunger this Saturday

This Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the annual National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger food drive, during which local letter carriers collect food donations for their local food bank. In Ventura County, carriers will collect in support of FOOD Share.

Residents are asked to leave protein-rich, nonperishable food items in bags next to their mailboxes for collection during regular delivery hours on Saturday, May 13. Items in particular demand include canned fruits and vegetables as well as spaghetti, rice, dry beans, macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter, all nutritious foods.

After being collected by postal workers, the food is immediately sent to FOOD Share’s Oxnard warehouse before being distributed to the needy with the help of other nonprofit groups.

For more information, visit

ENCORE Program teaches seniors new job skills

A new program dubbed ENCORE seeks to give seniors aged 50 and older new workforce skills for better professional opportunities.

The self-paced training program includes computer software skills, Internet basics, math, English and resume building. ENCORE is not a traditional lecture class, however, and students are given the freedom to study alone and seek assistance when needed at the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging in Ventura.

Student Norma Baer received a position after graduating from the course. Baer says she wanted to supplement her Social Security income and “got tired of sitting around the house,” having previously spent 40 years working at the American Consulate in Germany.

“I met a lot of ladies in my same position who wanted to keep learning and wanted to work,” Baer said.

While there is no charge for the class itself, there is a $10 registration fee. Classes are held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. or 10 a.m.-noon. For more information, call 289-7925.