Burgerim Gourmet Burgers opened at 440 E. Main St. in Ventura. The restaurant offers miniburgers in twos, threes or a party box that can be customized from various options to meet a customer’s particular cravings or dietary needs (such as vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian). … Mockingbird Moon opened at 5976 Telegraph Road in Ventura. The shop caters to spiritual and magical needs, offering a variety of crystals, gemstone and silver jewelry, sage, incense, books, cards, magical tools and life coaching, insight, guidance and communications with the other side by top-voted psychic readers who have over 30 years of experience.


Buenaventura Art Association (BAA) will move to 432 N. Ventura Ave. in Ventura. The new location will have space for both solo and group shows, an artisan store, and more community workshops, talks and demos. BAA’s plans include a large, flat-screen television with AV hookups to screen art-related videos for informal gatherings and discussions, and to present slideshows of previous exhibits.


The whimsical eatery Wicked’s Brew at 4561 Market St., Ventura, has closed for “restructuring.”

Thomas Fire

The Economic Development Collaborative — Ventura County (EDC-VC) received $200,000 from Gene Haas Foundation and $250,000 from Pacific Western Bank to help businesses impacted by the Thomas Fire. The funds launched a loan fund that benefits undercapitalized and disadvantaged businesses affected by the fire and subsequent mudslides that may not qualify for commercial credit. … The Ventura Education Partnership for Thomas Fire victims received a total of $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Camarillo. Half of the funds were raised when members “passed the hat” at a meeting in January, which their Foundation matched. … The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura received 200 bikes from The Specialized Foundation through its one-for-one donation program; for every Specialized Riprock, Hotrock or Hotwalk purchased nationwide, the Foundation matched and donated a bike to Boys & Girls Clubs affected by natural disasters. The donated bikes (for Boys & Girls Clubs kids and other children, nonprofits and Ventura families affected by the Thomas Fire) were assembled in less than three hours by over 40 volunteers led by specialized experts.

And the award goes to …

Nicky Gore-Jones was honored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara. Gore-Jones is the executive director of the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC) and she was recognized for her actions during the Thomas Fire. SPARC executed an emergency evacuation on the shelter’s animals on the night the fire began and, following the evacuation, took in animals found as strays from around the fire, got them medical treatment and safely boarded the animals in alternate facilities. … Dawn Dyer of Dyer Sheehan Group was recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners, California (NAWBO-CA) for outstanding leadership and business acumen. Dyer received the 2018 California Woman Business Owner of the Year award during NAWBO-CA’s annual BRAVO luncheon. She has over 30 years’ experience as a land use expert, market analyst and real estate consultant to public agencies, major corporations and private investors throughout Southern California. … Connie Rutherford received the 2017 Recovery Champion award for the Pacific Southwest Region from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rutherford is a local botanist who was honored for her work to advance the recovery of endangered and threatened species along the California coast. … The Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau was recognized by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce at the 68th Annual Community and Business Awards Luncheon. The Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau won the Oxnard Trophy award for its contribution to the local economy. The bureau reports that year-to-date, Oxnard has had the highest increase in occupancy (8.2 percent), average daily rate (6.2 percent) and the rev par (14.9 percent) over the last year of all Ventura, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo Counties. … The City of Thousand Oaks’ budget engagement project, “Your City, Your Priorities,” has earned an Award for Excellence in Government Finance from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This is one of only 10 awards issued by the GFOA, which serves more than 19,200 members and represents approximately 8,000 agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

Moving up

Oxnard Mayor Pro Tempore Carmen Ramirez was appointed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC). LGAC helps the EPA develop strong partnerships with local governments to provide more efficient and effective environmental protection at the community, state and federal levels. LGAC members are selected based on their demonstrated leadership experience, proven record of service to their communities, and involvement in effective environmental protection services and programs at all levels. … Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) added Naomi Ontiveros and Victor Rodriguez to its Board of Directors. Ontiveros, an Oxnard resident, is a consultant for the Department of Rehabilitation. She previously served on the Cabrillo board for five years, ending in 2006.  Rodriguez has been a human resources professional for nearly 20 years. He is currently the Director of Human Resources at 4over LLC in Glendale. Rodriguez grew up in Cabrillo Village, a farmworker community from which CEDC originated. … Ingrid Hardy was chosen as the new assistant city manager for the city of Thousand Oaks. Hardy has nearly two decades of public service leadership and a professional sports background, having most recently served as the director of cultural and community services for the city of Oxnard. In her new role, she will oversee all city departments and work closely with the City Manager, City Council and the greater community. … The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks elected Daniel Crosby as the newest member of the museum’s board of directors. Crosby is the principal and co-founder of SPS Limelight Agency. … Marilyn Peake joined the board of Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture. Peake is a community outreach officer at VCCU. Prior to VCCU, she worked for CSU, Channel Islands (CSUCI), and local nonprofit organizations, including Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County. … Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast celebrated its 2018 Brownilympics which had the theme “Every Girl Goes Home a Winner.” The event was held to enhance each young girl’s self-worth through a day of fun and activities that also allowed dads to participate with moms and their girls. … Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) has become the ninth credit union in California to become a Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) designated organization. Juntos Avanzamos credit unions employ bilingual, culturally competent staff and leadership, and they accept alternative forms of identification; VCCU held a proclamation and flag-raising ceremony to celebrate.

In the name of charity

On May 30 the Camarillo Rotary Foundation awarded $10,000 in scholarships to deserving local students. Awards also were given to three students for the best essay on the 4-Way Test. … The final numbers of the amount raised at Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food and Brew Festival are still being determined, but it is estimated that the Festival raised over $575,000 (net) toward the $3.2 million budget gap that Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families must cover each year to support its valuable programs serving Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties’ foster and at-risk youth and their families. … Interface Children and Family Services raised $125,000 for programs helping to combat domestic violence and human trafficking at its Fifth Annual Love Is Brewing Champagne Luncheon and Tea presented by the Community Memorial Health System and Hammer-Hewson Associates. … The Ventura County Library Foundation raised over $10,000 during a benefit concert for 120 people at the Museum of Ventura County. The concert featured two-time Grammy winner Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings and Fingerstyle Guitarist of the Year. The funds will be used to help purchase a bookmobile for the Ventura County Library, enabling better reach and service to all residents of Ventura County.  … Ventura County based nonprofit organization Citizens For Responsible Oil & Gas (CFROG) has been awarded a $496,000 two-year grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as part of the implementation of AB617, legislation aimed at identifying effective, community based solutions to improve air quality in the most overly burdened neighborhoods.


CSUCI professor Heather Castillo is the recipient of the 2018 President’s Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Castillo is assistant professor of performing arts and was recognized for her imaginative, inclusive and enthusiastic contributions to CSUCI’s performing arts dance program such as the successful Arts Under the Stars, now a two-night multimedia, multidisciplinary gala with three stages and art installations. … California Lutheran University (CLU) alumnus Erik Fruth received a Fulbright U.S. Student Study/Research Award, becoming the first CLU applicant to receive the program’s most competitive student fellowship. Fruth of Camarillo graduated magna cum laude with degrees in global studies and German in 2014; he has received funding for his proposal to spend 10 months in Laos studying stakeholder interaction regarding hydropower development along the Mekong River. … ABC Kids Preschool opened on the campus of the Boys & Girls Club of Oxnard at 1900 W. Fifth St. in Oxnard. The preschool was the fifth to open as a result of a community investment loan fund created by First 5 Ventura County and administered by EDC-VC. The fund has created more than 318 new high-quality preschool spots, 107 of which are for the especially scarce, high-value infant and toddler age group. … The Little Tree Preschool earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC utilizes a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early-education programs and recognize drive quality improvement within early learning environments. Little Tree Preschool program is for students ages 2 to 5 years old; to earn the accreditation, the preschool met NAEYC criteria and was also prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during its five-year accreditation term.


The Fillmore-Piru Citrus Association (FPCA) recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the addition of an avocado packing line to its citrus packing operation at 357 N. Main St. in Piru. The packing line is the first phase of the process to enable FPCA to relocate its lemon packing operation and modernize its orange packing line. 


The Santa Monica Mountains Fund recently hosted a party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The 153,000-acre mountains form the largest urban national park in the country; they are next to the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by freeways, with 17 million people living within a one-hour drive. Funds raised at the event will support efforts toward wildlife conservation, nature education and trails management in the Santa Monica Mountains.