A relaxed cat at Camarillo’s new cat cafe.

The Purrfect Cat opened at 5800 Santa Rosa Road (Santa Rosa Plaza) in Camarillo. This is Ventura County’s first cat cafe where the opportunity is provided for humans and cats to interact in a relaxing environment. The cafe offers pre-packaged drinks, Wi-Fi, books, cat yoga classes, a Flea market and more. … ALDI grocery store will host the grand opening of its Oxnard store on Aug. 17, starting at 8:25 a.m. at 635 S. Ventura Road. Festivities will include an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, Golden Ticket giveaway to the first 100 shoppers, produce for a year sweepstakes, ALDI reusable eco-friendly bag giveaway and sampling of ALDI exclusive brand products. … Blaze Pizza — Fast-Fire’d Custom-Built Artisanal held a grand opening at 3890 Thousand Oaks Blvd. (Northgate Plaza) in Thousand Oaks. The restaurant offers signature and build-your-own artisanal pizzas made on a hot open-flame oven using fresh ingredients. It also offers gluten-free dough, vegan cheese, freshly made salads, s’more pies and a selection of wine and draft beer. … Diversity Collective Ventura County (DCVC) will have a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 3 (5 p.m.-6 p.m.) for its Community Resource Center located at 2471 Portola Road in Ventura. The Center will allow the DCVC and its community partners the opportunity to provide programs, events and meetings for the LGBTQ community. … Coconut Crab recently opened at 394 E. Main St., suite B, Ventura. It is an Exotic Thai Bistro with a Cajun/creole twist … Ecugreen Jewelry and Textiles opened recently at 231 E. Main St., Ventura. Ecugreen is helping to end the animal ivory trade through fashion by using self-sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. … La Cosecha Modern Cocina at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach Hotel recently held a grand opening at 450 E. Harbor Blvd. in Ventura. The restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine with modern and local influences, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Award-winning executive chef Luis Martinez leads the remodeled 140-seat beachside restaurant, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. … Step Up Ventura, a nonprofit preschool focusing on the needs of homeless children, will be hold a ribbon cutting and  open house on Aug. 26th  from 3– 5 p.m. at 1767 E. Main St. in Ventura. The event will include snacks, tours and speakers telling how Step Up Ventura is making a difference in the community. Step Up Ventura expects to have children 1½ to 5 years old starting preschool by the day after Labor Day. 

Under new ownership

Hollywood Beach Personalized Fitness (HBPF) is open at 3600 Harbor Blvd. (Marine Emporium Landing) in Oxnard. New owners Chris and Karen Newton are implementing a complete renovation and update of HBPF, which provides members with personal training at affordable prices.

And the award goes to …

Roberto S. Juarez was named the 2017 Veteran of the Year by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks. Juarez is a Vietnam veteran who was a member of the elite RRF (Ready Reactionary Force) whose job was to prevent infiltration by enemy soldiers. He has been the recipient of the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Purple Heart. Juarez has been active post-war, including chairing the Seasonal and Agricultural Workers Advisory committee and the Rural Health Advisory Committee for four governors (current), growing Clinicas del Camino Real, which now has a budget of $90 million but had only $60,000 and five employees when he became CEO in 1978. … Kevin Knoedler won first place in the NASA Space Robotics Challenge at the Global Robotics Competition in Houston, Texas which aimed to help programmers develop software for humanoid robots who will someday assist astronauts. Knoedler is a programmer from Newbury Park who, with his Coordinated Robotics team, earned $125,000 for first place and an additional

Arturo Hernandez

$50,000 bonus for accomplishing a perfect run by completing all the required tasks. … Arturo D. Hernández is the recipient of the Latino Leadership Award from the Pacific Coast Business Times. Hernández is the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) board vice chair and has spent 26 years as an elected board member of the VCCCD, Oxnard Union High School District and the Rio School District. The award acknowledges individuals from leading industries in the tri-county area who have exceptional records of success in business and community service; he was honored during the Pacific Coast Times 2017 Latino Business Awards. … Ian Ingram, this year’s Ventura County Ambassador, won the title of Golden State Youth Ambassador and a $2,000 scholarship at the California State Scholarship Competition (CSSC) sponsored by Youth Focus Inc. CSSC aims to recognize and select exceptional youth to serve as ambassadors representing Youth Focus Inc. and sharing the importance of giving back to their communities. Ingram is a junior at Foothill High School in Ventura and plans to pursue degrees in engineering and computer graphic design. … St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC), a member of Dignity Health, was recognized by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce at the 67th Annual Community and Business Awards. SJRMC’s Acute Rehabilitation Center received the 2017 Innovative Business of the Year award for implementing a series of measure changes that increased patients’ functional improvement by 12 percent from 2015 to 2016. As a result, discharged patients were more functionally (eating, grooming, bathing, walking, memory, etc.) independent than in previous years.

Moving up

Capt. Rafael A. Acevedo assumed command of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), from Capt. Stephen H. Murray during a recent change-of-command ceremony. Acevedo is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate with an extensive naval operations background. He most recently served as the fleet readiness officer for the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems in Above Water Systems. Outgoing commanding officer Murray was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal for his outstanding leadership, drive for excellence and accountability. … Three individuals were added to the City of Port Hueneme’s staff to help continue its goal to improve the city’s financial status and quality of life. Al Burrell was named finance director. His immediate goal is to restructure the city’s budgetary process. Steve Kinney was named economic development consultant to lead the city’s business retention/attraction efforts, maximize the development and reuse of city- owned properties and help with overall revenue enhancement initiatives. Tony Stewart was named deputy community development director. He will aim to reorganize and improve community development functions, including parking enforcement, permit processes, neighborhood improvement and code compliance. … David C. Creswell was appointed as the next Ventura Unified School District superintendent. Creswell most recently served a decade as an associate superintendent and has extensive experience as a teacher, principal and administrator. He was selected after a four-month search that included 51 candidates, and was to begin his duties on Aug. 1. … Mary Maranville was named chief executive officer of Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG), which she founded in 2008 to help students, families and the public learn and appreciate the origins of their food. Maranville most recently served as the organization’s executive director; she is co-founder of Veteran Farmers of America, which provides veterans with two-week internship programs with local farms. … Four members have joined the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy board of trustees. Dennis Kulzer retired in 2013 after 10 years as Ventura’s fleet services supervisor. He currently volunteers with local homeless programs, Channel Islands Restoration and the Ventura Botanical Gardens. Susan LeFevre is an adjunct professor at CSU, Channel Islands (CSUCI), and an independent education consultant who also currently serves on the Oxnard College Foundation Board. Scott Weiss is a certified public accountant and managing partner of CPA firm Weiss, Bowens and Magson LLP. He is also a real estate broker and an arbitrator for the Ventura County Bar Association. Don Wood recently completed a 34-year career in the telecommunications industry and has spent nearly 30 years serving as a member and past president of the Ventura Education Partnership. … David Keebler was appointed as interim president for Ventura College (VC). Keebler has 34 years of experience as a community college administrator, having held senior leadership positions at several community colleges, including Pasadena, Truckee Meadows in Reno, Nevada, and Lane in Eugene, Oregon. He has been at VC since 2008 and has mostly served as vice president of business and administrative services. He assumed his duties on July 1.

In the name of charity

Whole Foods Market donated 5 percent ($11,776) of its June 22 net sales from its Oxnard, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo stores to SEEAG. The funds will support SEEAG’s agricultural educational programs, including providing classroom agricultural education and free field trips.


CSUCI students Natalie Huerta, Jerome Manion, Kyle McHugh, Jessica Silva and Dale Perizzolo were each awarded $20,000 through the California Coast Noyce Mathematics Partnership, a scholarship project between the National Science Foundation and CSUCI. Huerta, Manion, McHugh, Silva and Perizzolo are juniors who will receive $10,000 a year to fund their educations and, in return, teach for two years in a “high needs” school district, one year for each year of funding. Seniors Ana Rodriguez and Michael Ruiz were awarded $10,000 each as they pursue their teaching credential. … CSUCI won a New Media Consortium Center of Excellence Award from New Media Consortium. CSUCI was one of two universities, out of 14 finalists worldwide, to receive the honor. The award recognizes NMC member institutions with outstanding records of integrating technology with learning or creative expression. The CSUCI Teaching and Learning Innovation team received the award at the 24th Annual NMC Summer Conference because, with its online learning tools, faculty members can access new information about digital classroom innovations at any time, the digital techniques are able to be adopted and adapted by other campuses, and the digital teaching techniques are humanized to assure that students develop human connections with instructors and each other. … Four local students were named as scholarship winners by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Thomas Jackson Terry (Agoura Hills) of Agoura Hills High School received the National Merit St. Olaf College Scholarship. St. Olaf is a Lutheran Church liberal arts college in Minnesota. Colton W. Hayse (Camarillo) of Oaks Christian High School received the National Merit Baylor University Scholarship. Baylor University, located in Texas, is where he plans to study biochemistry. Julia R. Didziulis (Thousand Oaks) of Thousand Oaks High School received the National Merit Scripps College Scholarship. Scripps College is a private liberal arts college for women within California’s Claremont College; she intends to study chemistry. Tary B. Kallman (Thousand Oaks) of Westlake High School received the National Merit Brandeis University Scholarship. Brandeis is a small research university 10 miles outside Boston, Massachusetts. Kallman aims to pursue the field of medicine. The College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the recipients’ sponsor institutions.  … Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, announced Monday, July 31, that the National Science Foundation has awarded a $49,180 grant to California Lutheran University to fund a multiday institute, gathering representatives from eight Southern California colleges and universities to find, develop, and implement innovative ways to transform and modernize life science education.


Ventura County is the recipient of a $211,000 grant from Caltrans, awarded under the FY17-18 Sustainable Transportation Planning Grants — Sustainable Communities. The county will use the funds for the Ojai Valley Highway 33 Multimodal and Community Enhancement Study. This involves the study of the highway from Casitas Springs to Route 150 in Mira Monte and producing a plan that improves pedestrian/bicycle/mobility options, reinforces the area’s assets and supports highway operations and community character.