McGrath Beach Campground closed due to flooding

Officials announced on July 10 that the campground at McGrath State Beach is closed due to flooding.

“I have no idea as to what is the cause. Typically we don’t see intrusion into the campground after a good winter of rain until September or October, and then it usually takes weeks to get to the level we had show up in two days,” said Tyson Butzke, chief ranger.

He explained that water typically backs up every year after significant rainfall, which causes the water to breach over the sand bar at the estuary. The nearby Ventura Water Reclamation Plant has a permit to discharge millions of gallons of treated waste water into the Santa Clara River and that water will eventually “back up . . . and at a certain point floods the park,” said Butzke.

The campground will be closed until the waters rescind and any needed repairs are completed.

Beach access is still open through Surfer’s Knoll in the Ventura Port District. For current conditions and park status call 805-968-1033.

Free furniture for young adults leaving foster system

Young adults leaving the foster care system will receive free furniture and other necessities as they transition to life on their own. Aspiranet, a statewide organization supporting former foster youth, is partnering with Ashley HomeStore in Oxnard to implement its Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) program. The TAY program provides an apartment and furniture to young adults and offers free classes like résumé building. Through the partnership, beds, dressers, sofas and other household essentials are provided at no cost.

State and local representatives will be on hand on Thursday, July 25, at 11 a.m. at Ashley HomeStore, 1721 Ventura Blvd. in Oxnard as the furniture is presented to hear from the young adults about what being in the foster care system was like for them.

SPAN hosting spay and neuter clinics in Ventura and Fillmore

Spay and Neuter Animal Network (SPAN) is hosting a series of mobile low-cost spay and neuter clinics. The clinics are part of SPAN’s work to reduce the number of unwanted pets in Ventura County. During the past year over 1,000 cats and dogs were spayed or neutered. The next clinics are on Thursday, July 18, at the Shiells Park parking lot, 649 C Street in Fillmore and on Thursday, July 25, at the SPAN Thrift Shop parking lot, 110 N. Olive Street in Ventura. Clinics open at 7:30 a.m. Call 805-584-3823 for an appointment.

Grant funds for CSUCI teacher support, water safety programs 

California State University, Channel Islands, hosts a statewide program called the California Physical Education-Health Project, aimed at supporting new physical education teachers across the state. The project has received a $51,300 grant aimed at supporting teachers in underserved areas working in the physical education and health fields. Some of the grant funds will be used to enhance the New Teacher Academy at CSUCI, a week-long training for PE teachers to help prepare them for their first year of teaching.

Another grant was awarded to the CSUCI Channel Islands Boating Center, from the California Division of Boating and Waterways, a state agency responsible for ensuring public access to California’s waterways and promoting safe recreational boating. The $42,000 grant will support the center’s safe boating education program for local low-income kids.

The Channel Islands Boating Center is open to the public year round and offers popular summer camps related to boating, the Channel Islands and the local marine environment.

Aug. 1 deadline for grant funds for artists impacted by Thomas Fire

The Ventura County Arts Council and CreativityWorks have launched the Creative Community Thomas Fire Recovery Grant program, providing financial assistance to artists who suffered losses related to the Thomas Fire and resulting debris flows.

Impacted working artists are encouraged to apply for grants ranging from $250 to $2,500. A working artist is defined as an individual working in any artistic discipline or creative industry, including visual, literary, performing, music, folk, media or applied arts traditions. Those artists who have adapted their skills for teaching, nonprofit work, healthcare, government or commercial applications are also encouraged to apply.

The creative economy in Ventura County supports nearly 20,000 jobs and in 2008 generated $2.1 billion on economic activity in the county. Grant awards are funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council with additional support from the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation of Ojai. Application and more information available at