Pictured: Members of Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers (CREW) are available for brush clearance work and are providing free crush clearance assistance to low income and disabled seniors in the Ojai Valley. 

by Kimberly Rivers


Wildfire fuel clearance deadline: June 1, 2020

Over 18,500 property owners have been sent Fire Hazard Reduction Program (FHRP) notices reminding them of the requirement to remove brush and other fire fuel to create a 100-foot defensible space between structures and open space where wildfires are a threat. For additional information on the Fire Hazard Reduction Program, call 805-389-9759 or email fhrp@ventura.org.    

Free wildfire prevention in Ojai Valley

The nonprofit organization Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers (CREW) is  providing various services to assist in wildfire prevention in the Ojai Valley. Services offered include free brush clearance for low income and disabled seniors and veterans and free chipping services for all property owners. On May 30 and July 11, homeowners can drop off material to be chipped or request “curbside chipping” from the CREW. Registration is required for curbside services. www.thecrew.org/firesafety.   

Coast Guard veteran Richard Brace, 73, at the Arbor Day tree planting on April 23 in Ventura. (Photo submitted.)

Tree planting honors veterans

On April 23, in celebration of Arbor Day, the city of Ventura planted 10 Brisbane box trees at the Veterans Home of California on Telephone Road. Plaques were placed at the trees honoring those who served in each branch of the military and memorial plaques will be placed dedicated to veterans of WWII and the Vietnam War. 

Ventura to consider reducing water shortage declaration

On April 16, the Water Commission for the city of Ventura voted to recommend that the city lower the level of water shortage to stage 2 due to receiving nearly 13 inches of rain so far this season. 

Lake Casitas is still below 50 percent capacity, at 44.8 percent. 

The Ventura City County will review this recommendation at their May 4 meeting and determine whether or not to alter the current stage of water shortage. 

Man charged in Simi stabbing death

The Ventura County District Attorney’s office has filed murder charges against Rudolph Neidhardt of Simi Valley (DOB 3/5/86) for the fatal stabbing of Michael Majewski, which took place on April 18 in Simi Valley. Neidhardt is in custody at the Ventura County jail on $530,000 bail and his arraignment is scheduled for May 29 at 1:30 p.m. at Ventura County Superior Court in courtroom 13. 

Stern joins call to prepare for “high risk climate future”

California Senator Henry Stern (Dem – Dist. 27) has joined a group of 20 state legislators from both houses — assembly and senate ― that have called for a plan to address future pandemic and climate disasters in anticipation of “compound crises.”  The proposal includes a focus on preventing job loss for the most vulnerable people while ensuring environmental protections are not rolled back. Resiliency plans would include a focus on job creation in sectors that can withstand disruptions and allocation of funds for investments in clean energy, housing, transportation, waste recycling and other infrastructure. 

The same group is seeking a climate change bond on the November ballot. 

100 percent passing rate at Moorpark College nursing program

Moorpark College has announced that its Fall 2019 class of nursing students had a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam, which places it well above the 83.5 percent national pass rate for first-time takers.

The class of 36 students were all first-time test takers. The NCLEX exam is only open to those who have completed an approved nursing program and focuses on a safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity and physiological integrity. 

 “Nursing is ever-present in the news right now with COVID-19, and it’s fulfilling to know that our graduates will continue to provide high-quality care even after the pandemic is over,”  said Julius Sokenu, interim president of Moorpark College. 

For more information, visit moorparkcollege.edu/departments/academic/nursing-science. 

Ventura County announces Earth Day Awards

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has announced five local recipients of the Earth Day Awards. The recipients are nominated by each Supervisor. 

Dist. 1:  Ventura Land Trust, an accredited land trust and nonprofit preserving open space in Ventura since 2003. VLT is currently working on the purchase of 2,100 acres of prime hillside property with the goal of opening the first large-scale, publicly accessible hillside nature preserve in Ventura. 

Dist. 2: Dan Hirsch, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, not only uncovered the 1970s nuclear meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Lab in Simi Valley, but for four decades has been fighting to get the site fully cleaned up. 

Dist. 3: Steven Gama and Laura Hernandez, councilmembers for the city of Port Hueneme, Weekly Port Hueneme Beach Cleanup. Gama and Hernandez became the site captains for Hueneme Beach for the 2016 Coastal Clean Up and soon realized that weekly beach cleanups were needed. Now they lead the grassroots effort every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Alaska 261 Memorial. 

Dist. 4:  George Kerr is recognized for his lifetime of re-wilding and habitat restoration with a special passion for the desert bighorn sheep. Kerr has volunteered and worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for over 40 years to protect the local population of desert bighorns and has carried on his father’s conservation program “Water for Wildlife,” which for over 60 years has developed sources of water in the sheep’s habitat.  

Dist 5: Florencia Ramirez is the author of Eat Less Water, a culmination of her knowledge and passion around advocating for conserving water by changing the food we eat. Each day a person consumes through their food between 500 and 1,300 gallons of water. Her book offers simple changes and choices to reduce water usage.