Public expresses opposition to more drilling in county

Of the 8,399 comments the U.S. Bureau of Land Management received regarding oil drilling and fracking in public lands, a majority were opposed, according to a report released by the agency.

The Bureau, also known as the BLM, opened a 30-day survey period in August 2018, ending in September, seeking public input on potentially opening up federal land for oil drilling and fracking. According to the report, just 0.2 percent of respondents wrote in favor of oil drilling and fracking.

“The BLM report proves what we already know — that residents and businesses throughout the Central Coast are overwhelmingly opposed to drilling and fracking our region’s iconic landscapes,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch.

The idea to open new lands to potential drilling or fracking has been met with stark opposition from environmental groups, Native American tribes, several members of the California legislature, including Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, District 1, who penned a letter to the BLM expressing opposition.

The BLM will now draft an environmental impact statement with the public comments in mind.

Scholarships available for Camarillo, Somis students

If you’re a graduating senior living in Camarillo, Somis or the Santa Rosa Valley, you could be in line for a $1,000 scholarship, should you be up to penning a piece on the history of your neighborhood.

The Stan Daily Scholarship is awarded to the senior who pens the best piece of original research related to the history of the Pleasant Valley area. Past submissions have included pieces on local people, places and events that have taken place in the area.

If you don’t know where to start, Pleasant Valley Historical Society members suggest picking their brains for a topic. Members will also provide students with a tour of the museum.

Deadline for submissions is April 30. For more information, visit

$400,000 in new housing funds for Ventura County

Several local housing authorities have partnered to distribute $400,000 in Housing Choice Voucher funds from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Mainstream Voucher Program.

The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) with the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura and the Oxnard Housing Authority will be able to help up to 45 families countywide with the funds provided by the federal department.

“This partnership among housing agencies is the first of its kind in our region and reflects an ongoing trend of partnership among county and city jurisdictions in Ventura County to combat increasing homeless concerns,” said HACSB’s Chief Executive Officer Denise Wise. “This Housing Authority partnership and competitive grant win contributes significantly to our efforts to provide affordable housing in an increasing costly Ventura rental market for disabled residents.”

The HUD Mainstream program funds assist non-elderly persons with disabilities “who are transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings, at serious risk of institutionalization, homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless,” said a release from the HACSB.

For more information and to determine eligibility for the program, call 211.

Residential area known as Wagon Wheel opens in Oxnard

Oakwood Communities announced the completion and grand opening of its luxury rental community, The Junction at Wagon Wheel at 2601 Wagon Wheel Road, Oxnard, also known as Oxnard “Golden Triangle.”

The Junction at Wagon Wheel features an abundance of excellent amenities including large spacious parks, jogging and walking trails, state-of-the-art fitness centers, a six-story parking structure, spacious decorated model homes, an elegantly appointed community room, meandering paseos, plus a vibrant Town Square.

The project began in 2013 after years of litigation to try and preserve the iconic Wagon Wheel motel that had deteriorated into disrepair since its heyday in the 1950s.