Pictured: Ventura County seeking input on plans for adapting to sea level rise. 

by Kimberly Rivers

Input sought on sea level rise adaptations

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 3 p.m., the Ventura County Board of Supervisors is holding a work session on sea level rise adaptations and is seeking public input on policies and actions the county should consider. No action will be taken at the work session. The staff report and policy recommendations will be released to the public on Sept. 5 with the agenda for the work session.

“It would be great to get input from more folks who visit and recreate on the coast,” said Aaron Engstrom, long-range planner with the Ventura County Planning Department.

Written comments can be emailed to him at: aaron.engstrom@ventura.org

The current draft reports are available online, and updated versions will be uploaded soon at www.vcrma.org/vc-resilient-coastal-adaptation-project.

Dogs find citrus disease across county

On Thursday, Aug. 22, after nearly a decade of spraying insecticides to prevent the disease from taking hold here, the Ventura County Farm Bureau (VCFB) announced the Huanglongbing (HLB) citrus disease is in Ventura County and efforts to convince all citrus growers — commercial and residential — to spray to kill the insect that spreads the disease will be increased.

“We have detected early HLB infection in almost all the places [tested],” said John Krist, CEO, VCFB. He said that in July a team of specialized dogs from Florida, trained to detect the bacteria that causes the disease, were brought to the county and taken to “20 ranches in high risk areas.” He declined to identify the ranch locations. The bug, a psyllid, which spreads the disease, has been detected in the county since 2010.

According to information online at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department two types of insecticides are used, first a pythrethoid, beta-cyfluthrin is applied to the leaves of the trees to kill adult and juvenile bugs immediately. Then imidacloprid (manufactured by Bayer) is applied to the soil for systemic, ongoing treatment. Both types are harmful to honey bees and application should not take place when trees are blooming.

Regarding whether alternatives to insecticides could be used, he said, “there are no alternative methods, organic methods don’t work, Integrated Pest Management doesn’t work,” to combat this disease.

If anyone growing citrus doesn’t stop the insect that transmits the disease, Krist said, “they’re dooming their orchards and posing a threat to their neighbors. And that threat is no longer theoretical.”

State to disallow cancer causing pesticide

Last week Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement to Dow and other chemical manufacturing companies that the state is immediately cancelling all current registrations of chlorpyrifos, an ingredient in pesticides commonly used in Ventura County, that also contributes to toxic air pollution. Those effected have 15 days (from Aug. 14) to appeal. Registration is required for use.

At the same time, Newsom reported plans to form a working group as part of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Department of Food and Agriculture to come up with a plan for ensuring California’s agriculture sector moves away from using hazardous pesticides.

This action comes just one week after Earthjustice, on behalf of community organizations, filed federal legal action when the U.S. EPA announced it would not ban the chemical linked to brain cancer in children.

“We are thrilled that the process to cancel brain-harming chlorpyrifos is moving. Our agricultural communities cannot wait any longer,” said Olga Medina with Lideres Campesinas, a member of Ventura County Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety.

Grant application for cultural nonprofits

Applications will be accepted Sept 2-27, 2019 for grants up to $20,000 from organizations that “focus on the cultural, social and/or educational needs of the Ventura County Community.” This grant opportunity is available through the Rebozo Festival Inc. More information at www.rebozofestival.org.

Supervisor endorsements announced

Several endorsements in the race for three seats on the Ventura County Board of Supervisor have been announced.

The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce has announced its endorsement of incumbent Supervisor Kelly Long of District 3. Hers is so far the sole contested seat and is being sought by Kim Marra Stephenson from Camarillo. All other candidates for supervisor are so far running unopposed.

Stephenson is endorsed by two former District 3 Supervisors, Kathy Long and Maggie Kildee, and three sitting Supervisors; Linda Parks, District 2; Steve Bennett, District 1 and John Zaragoza, District 5.

The Greater Oxnard Organization of Democrats has announced its endorsement of the three Democratic candidates for the three Supervisorial seats: Matt La Vere, candidate for District 1; Carmen Ramirez, candidate for District 5 and Stephenson.

The election is in November 2020.

Editor’s note: Shocker.

Oxnard locals asked for tips on city’s hidden gems

Visit Oxnard is seeking help from those in the know in Oxnard to help highlight some “hidden gems” for those visiting the area.

“We are hopeful that this exercise will help to elevate awareness of Oxnard’s lesser known treasures within our gem of a city,” said Brittney Hendricks, marketing and communications director for Visit Oxnard. Those who send in tips will be entered to win a prize that includes a hotel stay and trip to Santa Cruz Island. Email your tips for spots to visit to info@visitoxnard.com