ICE arrests include Los Angeles, Ventura Counties

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 188 people between Saturday, May 27, and Wednesday, May 30, in a Southern California sweep, with 17 of the arrests made in Ventura County.

The agency says that almost 90 percent of the arrestees had prior convictions that caused them to be targeted as part of the sweep, which focused on those the agency deemed “public safety threats.”

Ten of the arrests were made in Oxnard, four in Camarillo and three in Santa Paula. The sweep was part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration set in motion by President Donald Trump, and has netted over 41,000 arrests in 2017 thus far, a nearly 40 percent increase over the same time in 2016.

The raids targeted individuals in Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties as well. In February, a similar raid resulted in the arrest of 161 individuals, six from Ventura County.

On Feb. 9, Oxnard Police Chief Scott Whitney released a statement in conjunction with Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten, Sheriff Geoff Dean of Ventura County and the cities of Ventura, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley and Santa Paula, as well as Capt. Terry Roberts of the California Highway Patrol, reading that “Ventura County law enforcement has not historically participated in the direct enforcement of immigration laws” and that they “do not intend to change that practice.”

Ventura woman dies at music festival in Monterey County

On Sunday, May 28, 20-year-old Baylee Gatlin of Ventura died while attending the 14th annual Lightning in a Bottle festival held in Monterey County.

Gatlin was transported to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton in the early morning hours after what was described as a medical emergency. As of deadline, the cause of death was still under investigation; an autopsy was scheduled to be performed on Wednesday, May 31.

The festival is held yearly at Lake San Antonio and is described as “blending music, art, wellness and sustainability.”

Gatlin was an employee of Aloha Steakhouse and graduated from Foothill Technology High School before becoming a student at Ventura College.

Update 6/2/17: The Monterey County Sheriff’s Department has launched an investigation into the cause of death, but say that a toxicology report will not be available for up to six weeks. A GoFundMe has been launched to assist the family:

Santa Paula burn victim dies, perpetrator charged with murder

Jorge Chavez

On May 13, an as-yet unidentified homeless man was lit aflame while sleeping on a Veteran’s Park bench in Santa Paula.

Santa Paula Police say that 36-year-old Jorge Chavez, who was arrested later the next day and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, has now been charged with first-degree murder after the victim passed away May 23 at the burn center in Los Angeles County at USC Medical Center.

Police say they believe they know the identity of the victim but are waiting for DNA confirmation.

Chavez is well-known to the Santa Paula police, having had encounters with the department since 1999, with arrests for possession of a controlled substance, weapons possessions, driving without a license and more.

Chavez is scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on June 16.

Seabee Museum offers special tour

Curious what goes on behind closed doors at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme? Wonder no more! Museum Curator Kim Crowell will lead special behind-the-scenes tours on Saturday, June 10, for the curious and for aficionados of all things Seabee.

The tour is by appointment only and will be held two times, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. To make a reservation contact Jose Rivera at 982-6189 or email

Team Sistership takes part in Race 2 Alaska for second year

Michelle Boroski

On Thursday, June 8, Team Sistership sails again from the coast of Washington to Alaska, the first all-women team to have competed in the annual competition of endurance and perseverance.

Ventura resident Michelle Boroski, 59, will join returning teammate Johanna Gabbard, plus two new members, Stephanie York and Stephanie Maheu, all over the age of 50, on Sistership, the custom-built, no-motor boat, to set sail from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska, a 750-mile one-way journey.

The goal from 2016 hasn’t changed for the crew: to empower women of all ages. In last year’s race, the team raised over $8,000 for scholarships awarded to young women and girls.

To learn more about Team Sistership and track its progress, visit