County launching mass shooting awareness program

In response to last year’s Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks and other mass shooting events in the state, Ventura County has launched a program aimed at preventing future mass shootings.

“People are the eyes and ears for our deputies and city police officers,” said Sheriff Bill Ayub. “We can’t be everywhere, so we rely on the public to report dangerous, strange or unusual activity. We don’t want to ‘pick up the pieces.’ We want to stop something before it starts.”

Two 24/7 hotlines now available: “See Something, Say Something” 805-654-9511 and for those in crisis, 866-998-2243. More info at: www.ventura.org/vcsafe.

Help VC get counted: Join the 2020 Complete Count Committee

“The most pressing issue facing our community,” said Vanessa Bechtel, director of the Ventura County Community Foundation. “… is that Ventura County is 59th in the nation most at risk for an undercount,” in the 2020 Census. She was speaking on Aug. 7 at the Ventura County Civic Alliance presentation of the State of Region Report. “For every person we fail to count, [we lose] $2,000, per person, per year for 10 years. If we miss 3,000 children in Oxnard, that is $60 million.” It will impact child care, school lunches, disability, wastewater treatment and more.

“There are only 11 hours of meetings left of the 2020 Complete Count Committee,” said Bechtel. She is asking members of the public, company representatives and all stakeholders to participate in the next meeting to plan for the census: Tuesday, Aug. 27, breakfast is served 8:15- 9 a.m., meeting 9-11 a.m. at the Ventura County Community Foundation, 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard, Camarillo.

Court orders opioid maker to provide anti-overdose med

An administrative court action resulting from a claim filed by the California State Board of Pharmacy has pharmaceutical manufacturer McKesson Corp. agreeing to provide $1.5 million worth of the anti-overdose drug naloxone for free to first responders and nonprofit organizations working on the front lines of the opioid epidemic.

McKesson now has 120 days from the effective date of the order (Aug. 28, 2019) to provide the court with a plan for distributing naloxone.

The company has been fined and reprimanded for failing to report suspicious orders of controlled substances to the federal drug administration.

Record number of pets adopted

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) reports that during last weekend’s Clear the Shelters event, 167 shelter pets found homes. Last year, 105 animals found homes during the special event. That number includes 85 cats, 55 dogs, 18 rabbits and nine other types of animals.

“The highlight of the day was one Santa Paula family who adopted nine animals, two kittens and seven farm-type animals for their five-acre property,” said Randy Friedman, marketing manager for VCAS.

 County launches farmworker housing resource center

On Thursday, Aug. 22, Ventura County is launching the Farmworker Resource Program aimed at supporting the needs of the nearly 36,000 farmworkers in Ventura County. The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved the program in October 2018 as a division of the county Human Services Agency.

Data on farmworkers in Ventura County.

The program’s goals include building trust between the farmworkers and other stakeholders in the agricultural community and ensuring that farmworkers have access to mechanisms for addressing workplace issues and support in navigating various government agencies.

Staff of the program are trilingual (English, Spanish, Mixteco) to ensure all members of the farmworker community can be served.

The program is headquartered in Oxnard, with offices in Santa Paula and Fillmore. Hours at each location are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For additional program information, call 805-385-1899 or email HSA-AGFRP@ventura.org.

— Kimberly Rivers

Latest OSD bond proposal

Oxnard School District trustees are showing interest in putting another construction bond measure on the ballot for district homeowners to consider.

“I’d like to request … an analysis done on what impact a future bond would (have),” Trustee Jesus Vega said at the board’s Aug. 7 meeting.

Board President Veronica Robles-Solis also asked for a summary of the details given to the board at the July 26 special meeting where the possible bond measure was proposed.

At that meeting, education consultants reported on 2012 and 2016 construction bond measures approved by OSD voters, adding that another $125 million bond measure is doable.

OSD Superintendent Karling Aguilera-Fort said on Aug. 15 that he’d present the information the board requested within 90 to 120 days, emphasizing trustees haven’t strictly decided to float a bond measure.

“The board’s directive was to look at all the possibilities for school improvements,” Aguilera-Fort noted.

But Trustee Denis O’Leary said other board members are “chomping at the bit” to put another construction bond measure before district homeowners.

O’Leary, who is regularly on the losing end of 4-1 board votes, says quality of education has slipped in OSD because the board is distracted with construction.

“I believe that my fellow trustees feel popular because they spend money,” O’Leary said on Aug. 14. “We have far more meetings dedicated to construction and few concerning academics.”

— David Michael Courtland