Construction begins on Ventura Harbor hotel expansion

An expansion of the existing Holiday Inn Express and Suites has begun, which will add an additional 40 rooms.

With the addition, the hotel will have a total of 109 rooms and will feature an expanded lobby and new front exterior entryway.

Vice president of Brighton Management Victor Dollar says that the hotel is 95 percent booked year-round.

“Our occupancy has been so high that it’s created the demand,” said Dollar.

The expansion comes at a time when the Ventura Harbor is seeing several new projects, including a 300-apartment, mixeuse development, and a high-end hostel and luxury hotel by H. Parker Hospitality proposed for the area toward the end of Spinnaker Drive.

18-year-old lawsuit over toxic paint nears end with first settlement

Over 22,000 homes in Ventura County, where the use of lead paint created a toxic hazard, could have the problem solved by a proposed $60 million settlement 18 years in the making.

In the year 2000, Santa Clara County filed a public nuisance lawsuit against three lead-paint manufacturers, NL Industries Inc., ConAgra Grocery Products Co. and Sherwin-Williams Co. for their roles in manufacturing lead paint used in homes built before 1951.

Since the lawsuit was filed, 10 other cities and counties have joined in, including Ventura County in March 2011. The settlement deal includes NL Industries Inc., while litigation involving ConAgra and Sherwin-Williams is ongoing.

In 2010, 34 Ventura County children tested positive for elevated levels of lead, which can lead to severe and permanent developmental effects on the brain and nervous system.

Funds acquired for Rice Avenue bridge in Oxnard

At an event held on Tuesday, May 22, Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, announced that $68.6 million in funding for a bridge lifting South Rice Road over railroad tracks in Oxnard near East Fifth Street had been acquired, a longtime requested project for the site of several high-profile-train-versus vehicle incidents.

The funding is part of more than $1.2 billion procured through Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, funds set aside for cities and counties in Southern California for improvements and upgrades to streets and roads.

In 2015, the crossing at Rice Road was the scene of a deadly incident in which a Metrolink train collided with a pickup truck. The driver of the truck fled on foot and the train’s engineer later died from injuries sustained. The intersection prior to that had been the site of several incidents and has the dubious distinction of being dubbed the most dangerous crossing in the state.

“I’m incredibly thankful to Gov. [Jerry] Brown for working with my office to make this project a priority,” said Irwin. “The Rice Avenue grade separation is a decades-long project that will save lives, improves air quality and freight movement, and brings good paying jobs to the region.”

Career workshops to be held in Oxnard

Oxnard job seekers beware: A career workshop is coming to your neighborhood in the month of June.

The West County America’s Job Center will host several workshops with various themes.

On June 1 and 15, “Résumés that Sell” will give attendees the opportunity to walk away with a portfolio that shows off professional skills. June 8’s “Winning Interviews” workshop offers participants the tools to make a good first impression; and June 12 is a workshop dedicated to veterans.

For more information, including a full schedule, call 204-5171. The West County America’s Job Center is located at 2901 N. Ventura Road, third floor, Oxnard.