Amgen’s Coast Classic to help fund arthritis research

An alarming new report showing an increase in the rate of arthritis has spurred Thousand Oaks-based Amgen to offer incentives for riders in its California Coast Classic, an eight-day cycling ride in support of arthritis research and treatment.

The Center for Disease Control study published on March 10 shows that arthritis affects one in four people in the United States, an increase from one in five just a decade earlier. Citing the report, until June 30, California Coast Classic Bike Tour registration will be discounted by $50 for new riders, who will also receive a training pack valued at $125.

The race covers approximately 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles from Sept. 9 through 16.

While the news is dire, Shannon Marang Cox, ride director for the Tour, says there is hope.

“There are ways that people can help, like signing up for the California Coast Classic Bike Tour, which aims to raise over a million dollars to support the research, advocacy and patient support programs of the Arthritis Foundation,” said Cox.

For more information on the race, visit

Habitat for Humanity completes Santa Paula project

An eight-home development on Trinity Lane in Oxnard has been completed, a project launched by Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County in 2014.

Tenants of the new homes assisted in their construction alongside volunteers and will now move in, paying an affordable mortgage. Over 3,100 volunteers plus the homeowners put 60,000 hours into the construction of the homes.

Habitat says that a celebration of completion, which took place on Saturday, June 10, came at an important time in light of President Donald Trump’s budget request that could “eliminate funding, including the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME Investment Partnership Program, for programs that further Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to address the affordable housing crisis in Ventura County.”

“Today’s celebration goes far beyond the houses you see here,” told Rachel McIver, director of marketing and communications for Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County to a crowd of attendees on Saturday. “Together, with all the volunteers and supporters, we have built a better future for these eight deserving families. We believe that every child [deserves] a stable start in a safe and secure home, and the 26 children that have moved into Trinity Lane will get that.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity Ventura County, visit

Oxnard, Ventura see utility rate increases on July 1

The City of Oxnard has approved solid waste rate increases, effective July 1, and the city of Ventura Water customers should expect an increase as well.

The Oxnard rate increase comes in the wake of what the city says are higher costs of landfill use from “outside agencies,” specifically, via the Simi Valley Landfill & Recycling Center’s Waste Management Pass-Through and the Ventura Regional Sanitation District Pass-Through, where rates increased from 2013 to 2016 by between 4 percent and 6 percent.

Households can expect a 1 percent increase per household unit, ranging from 11 cents to 31 cents.

In Ventura, residents will see an increase as part of Stage 3 Water Shortage event. In 2014, Ventura Water approved a four-year increase due to the ongoing drought and residents should expect an increase due to “increased costs to operate and maintain” water and wastewater systems.

To calculate your new rate, visit and click on “Rate Calculator.” For more information on the Oxnard waste water rates, visit