Arsenal Comics grand opening.

The second Ventura County location of Da Hickory House will open at The Collection at RiverPark, 2790 Seaglass Way, in Oxnard. The barbecue restaurant will offer many fan favorite dishes from the existing Ventura location menu and will also offer a variety of new dishes. Da Hickory House also offers catering services for private parties, company events, fundraisers, and sells goods at local Ventura County farmers markets. … SafePort Cannabis will open at 353 W. Channel Islands Blvd. in Port Hueneme. The 2,500-square-foot family-operated business will offer premium cannabis in store and through its delivery service in Ventura County, serving both medical and recreational clients. …  Arsenal Comics & Games opened at 3431 Telegraph Road in Ventura. The shop offers new and vintage comic books, tabletop games, graphic novels, toys, snacks and more. Arsenal also offers free gaming space for people looking to meet up and play board games. It is the local retailer’s second location in Ventura County.


Southern California automaker Karma Automotive has expanded to Chicago, Seattle and its third showroom in the Southern California market, Karma Westlake, 250 S. Cord Ave. in Thousand Oaks. As part of the Rusnak Automotive Group, Karma will accompany luxury automotive brands such as Audi, Bentley, Jaguar and Maserati.

Name change

GM Services was renamed to Greenrock Performance (1473 Town Square, Ventura). The business, owned by Christopher and Claudia Raiti, provides the biker community with quick, reasonably priced repairs and high-quality performance upgrades. Greenrock Performance recently hosted festivities to celebrate the name change.

Thomas Fire

ThomasFireHelp received a $12,500 grant from the Ventura County Community Foundation to further support the ongoing recovery of those affected by the Thomas Fire, Montecito Mudslide and Holiday Fire. The Gene Haas Foundation matched the grant, bringing the total to $25,000. For homeowners, renters and business — SBA disaster loan assistance, deadline Oct. 15, visit Thomas Fire Long Term Recovery Group offers case management service; visit For business assistance, the Small Business Development Center (Economic Development Collaborative-VC) offers no-cost business advising to those affected by the disaster; visit To support ThomasFireHelp, visit

And the award goes to … 

Dave Sabedra

Ellen Brokaw and Dave Sabedra were honored as 2018 Housing Heroes by the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). Brokaw received the Rodney Fernandez Advocate Award. She is president of the Brokaw Ranch Company, and as the founding and current board member of House Farm Workers!, she has been working with committed activists to address the critical need for farmworker housing. Sabedra received the Jaime Bordenave Professional Award. He currently serves as the CEDC board chairman but his commitment to the board of directors spans 35 years. … Arthur James Downer, Ph.D., was recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) during the ISA Annual International Conference and Trade Show. Downer was the recipient of the 2018 ISA R.W. Harris Author’s Citation Award. The honor is given to authors who consistently publish timely and valuable content related to the field of arboriculture. Downer has a doctorate in plant pathology; he is a farm adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension, teaches classes in arboriculture and plant pathology at California Polytechnic University in Pomona and has presented at conferences around the globe with active research that has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed articles. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley (BGCGCV) were honored by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) at the BGCA Pacific-West Leadership Conference. BGCGCV received the 2018 E.A.G.L.E.S. Bronze award, which recognizes recipients for achieving a set of standards that are an outcome-based assessment of the board’s responsibilities and impact on the organization; BGCGCV earned 85 percent or more of the Board Governance Key Performance Indicators which define a strong organizational board of directors. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) were acknowledged by the Ventura County STEM Network at the 2018 STEMtastic Celebration Awards Ceremony. BGCOP received the STEM Champion Award for its ongoing work and commitment to teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The award is given to individuals, companies and organizations that have been key champions of high-quality STEM learning. … The Port of Hueneme was honored by the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) at the annual AAPA Energy and Environment Seminar. The Port received the 2018 Comprehensive Environmental Management Award for its development and execution of a comprehensive plan that seeks to enhance the environment through sustainable, efficient and green port operations.

Moving up

Russel Bradley

Attorney Karen L. Gabler was named to the Super Lawyers’ 2018 list of Top Women Lawyers in Southern California, which appeared in September’s issue of Los Angeles magazine. Gabler is a founding attorney in the Camarillo-based law firm of LightGabler; she was recognized for her expertise in employment law. … Mary Maranville was appointed to the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives 2018 board of governors. Maranville is the founder and CEO of Ventura-based Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture, a nonprofit organization that teaches children about the importance of agriculture and the origins of their food. … Kevin Elliott was selected as the Los Padres National Forest – USDA Forest Service supervisor. Elliott was recently honored at a reception by the Los Angeles Forest Association and Backcountry Horsemen of California, Los Padres Unit. … Six individuals have joined the Ventura County Leadership Academy as board officers and members, each for two-year terms. Melissa Baffa will serve as president. Baffa is a development officer, foundation and corporate relations, for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She is also an instructor with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, Channel Islands, and a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust. Tom Cohen will serve as vice president. Cohen is a partner at Cohen Begun & Deck LLP. Rudy Gonzales will serve as secretary. Gonzales is government relations manager for So Cal Edison. Sharon Cromartie will serve as treasurer. Cromartie is vice president of administration for Kids & Families Together. Jennifer Caldwell, Herb Gooch and Pattie Mullins will serve as board members. … Dale Villani was added onto the board of directors for Community Action of Ventura County. Villani is CEO of Gold Coast Health Plan, where he works to ensure that the Plan’s members, which include 1 in 5 Ventura County residents, have access to high-quality medical care and services.

Moving on

Dave Bobardt, the community development director for the city of Moorpark, announced his retirement as of Dec. 27, 2018. Bobardt oversees the city’s Planning, Building and Safety and Code Compliance Divisions. He was responsible for streamlining the development review process, preparing dozens of updates to Moorpark’s zoning ordinances and Building Code, and overseeing numerous residential and business projects. He joined the city of Moorpark in 2002 as a planning manager, following nearly 15 years with the city of Glendale and other planning work with both the public and private sectors before that.

In the name of charity

The BGCGCV received a $50,000 grant from the Harriet H. Samuelsson Foundation. The funds will be used to support BGCGCV’s Strong Communities, Resilient Youth program which includes resiliency-related trainings for staff and members, and the development of youth-led safety committees at each Club site. … The Veterans Transitional Housing Program (VTHP) received $1,000 and a smart television for veteran residents following a fundraiser by 801MC. At the VTHP, a lunch was hosted for the veterans, 801MC members, family and Turning Point organization staff by Jorge DeLeon, Branch Manager and Caldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.


Melanie Pribisko, Ph.D., an assistant professor of chemistry at CSUCI, is the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research a possible sight-restoring wireless chip. Pribisko and her research partner, Robert Chow, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of physiology and biophysics at the Keck School of Medicine and the University of Southern California, were awarded the funds for their project: “Molecular Artificial Retina for Vision Restoration After Photoreceptor Loss.”Kaitlin Callahan and Emily Martin received a scholarship from the Coast Guard Foundation for the 2018 school year. CGF awards scholarships to family members of U.S. Coast Guards to help them pursue higher education. … Rose Avenue School in Oxnard was honored by the California Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Coalition for adopting a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in the school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. The School received the Silver Level Recognition Medal; PBIS is used to create positive school environments with proactive strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors.


The Office of the Ventura County Medical Examiner received a $24,500 donation from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation. The funds will contribute toward more than doubling the office’s body storage capacity in the event of a mass fatality incident or disaster by purchasing a combination of permanent and collapsible racks with trays to maximize the facility’s current refrigeration space. An estimated $65,000 in improvements will increase the capacity to 48 bodies (currently 16); the balance of the funding will come from the office’s approved department budget.


The Port of Hueneme was awarded $360,000 of Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) funding through the Department of Homeland Security. The funding will go toward security enhancements at the Port, including cutting-edge surveillance video cameras, license plate readers, motion detection sensors, and infrastructure to support the newest security technologies. Since 2015, the Port has received over $1.24 million in federal PSGP funding.