Ventura to receive Water and Energy Efficiency grants

Over 10,000 older-model water meters will be replaced with so-called Advanced Metering Infrastructure meters in the city of Ventura, which will allow for automatic data relay of water usage to the city’s water billing system and to customers, thanks to a grant via the Bureau of Reclamation.

The 2017 Water and Energy Efficiency Grants totaled $20.3 million for 43 projects across the western United States, coupled with non-federal funding sources for a total of $101 million. Canal lining, automated gates and control systems, and the advanced meters are all part of the improvements.

Congresswoman Julie Brownley, D-Westlake Village, announced on Friday, Sept. 1, that $300,000 had been procured for the city to complete the effort.

“Conserving water through improving water and energy efficiency is important to help communities stretch limited water supplies,” said Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen. “Through the projects announced today, Reclamation is helping local water managers with another tool in the tool kit to meet the ever-growing water demands.”

The meter replacements are expected to save 245 acre-feet of water annually, according to Peter Soeth, public affairs, from the Commissioner’s Office of the Bureau, which will “enhance the city’s ability to meet water demands during times of drought.”


Oxnard Police Activities League extends outreach

The Oxnard Police Activities League hosted its third annual K-12 Resource Fair with Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, in early August, and thanks in part to a $36,000 grant from the National Police Athletic/Activities League received at that time, PAL will extend its outreach into Oxnard’s Southwinds neighborhood.

PAL provides outreach and youth crime prevention programs and will partner with Haycox Elementary School for this particular endeavor.

“We believe it is vital to make sure all children have access to the tools that help them succeed,” said Oxnard Chief of Police Scott Whitney. “This program is allowing us the opportunity to ensure these children start the school year on a high note.”

To kick off the program, 1,100 backpacks filled with school supplies were handed out to students of Haycox Elementary from Aug. 23 to 25, with 500 already distributed during the Resource Fair on Aug. 12 for a total of 1,600.

The Oxnard Police Activities League is a citywide, after-school crime-prevention program that provides outreach to local youth, ages 7 to 18, to build positive relationships between youth, police officers and the community. For more information, visit

“Hold Onto Your Butts” comes to Pierpont in Ventura

The Ventura Vacation Rental Association and the Ventura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation have partnered in installing cigarette butt ash cans in the Pierpont neighborhood as part of Surfrider’s “Hold onto your Butts” campaign to collect butts that may otherwise end up in the sand or water.

Six cans have been installed: at the end of San Pedro near the state park, at the end of Greenock Lane (street adjacent to Marina Park), at the beach end of South Seaward Avenue, at “Schoolhouse” (Pierpont Elementary School) on the beach end of New Bedford, and at the pump houses on Dover and Weymouth lanes.

Last December, Surfrider installed ash cans in downtown Ventura and, according to their statistics collected, 2,500 butts upon first emptying, with the Downtown Ventura Partners safely recycling the butts.

For more information on the program, visit