Pictured: Ventura County is updating it’s land use “constitution.” which will govern all land use through 2040. 

by Kimberly Rivers

Public hearing on next 40 years of land use in Ventura County

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 11:30 a.m., the Ventura County Board of Supervisors will hold a public work session to review the current Draft of the 2040 General Plan. This is a document that will govern land use in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County for the next 20 years. It include seven sections including: Water, Transportation, Open Space and Conservation, Hazards, Economic Vitality. Portions of the document include goals and programs for a Climate Action Plan.

This phase is important in preparing the scope of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) phase of the update process, which will examine all potential environmental impacts of the update. The scope will be based on the goals, policies and programs in the Draft General Plan.

Prior to the hearing, public comment can be submitted in writing to General Plan Update Manager Susan Curtis. Comments may also be submitted in person at the hearing, which will take place in the County Government Center, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura.

The document and materials are online at www.vc2040.org. Comments and questions: Susan Curtis, General Plan Update Manager, 805-654-2497, susan.curtis@ventura.org.

Community College District approves solar for all campuses

Following an April 2019 resolution to make positive impacts on sustainability and climate change, the Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to install solar carports over existing parking lots at the three district colleges: Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark, producing a combined eight megawatts of renewable energy for the colleges. The projects are slated to be completed by the end of 2020. Chargers for electric vehicles will also be installed at the campuses.

Trustees commented that the move will bring financial benefits to the district along with reducing the carbon footprint of the colleges, something for which students have asked.

Grant to fund study of benefits of carbon farming in county

The Community Environmental Council (CEC), in partnership with the Ventura County Resource Conservation District, Limoneira, Agromin and the University of California Cooperative Extension have been awarded a $250,000 grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to examine and learn about the benefits of soil health and carbon farming practices in Ventura County.

The goal of the grant program is to increase climate change resilience in regional agricultural areas.

Initially, a young Limoneira citrus orchard will be mulched and have healthy compost applied. Soil metrics, water use, plant health and greenhouse gas emission data will be collected. The site will be included in the 2019 Ventura County Farm Day for the public to view the site and learn about healthy soil.

CEC, a nonprofit focusing on local climate change adaptation and mitigation, manages an existing Healthy Soils Project on a cattle ranch in Santa Barbara County and is a regional advocate for land-based carbon farming.

Nurses call off strike, call safety improvements a win

Following five months of negotiations which included nurses protesting in front of area hospitals, nurses at Dignity Hospitals in Ventura County have ended their strike, saying they have won improvements in the areas of patient safety and hospital security.

The new contract also ensures all nurses have specific training in the areas they are being assigned, which was an issue with “floating” nurses.

Adriane Carrier, an RN at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, said providing the best patient care was behind everything the nurses were asking for. “That is why we became nurses, and it is all we want. This bargaining team strongly recommends a ‘yes’ vote on the contract,” said Carrier.

Deadline to submit City of Ventura’s Mayor’s Arts Awards

Friday, Sept. 6, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to nominate a person for the Mayor’s Arts Awards, aimed at highlighting contributions to the cultural community and artistic achievement. Nominations can be made in seven categories, including:  Arts Educator, Art Student and Creative Entrepreneur.

More information available online or by contacting Kathryn Dippong Lawson at kdippong@cityofventura.ca.gov or 805-658-4720.