PICTURED: Paul Blatz, former mayor of Ojai, died March 26, 2021.

Former Ojai Mayor Paul Blatz dies

Paul Blatz, former Ojai mayor and city council member, passed away on March 26, 2021 after a battle with cancer. He was 69. 

He served as a city councilmember in Ojai between 2010-2018, and as mayor in 2013 and 2016. Prior to that he served for 10 years on the Ojai Planning Commission from 1998 to 2008. 

Blatz was a practicing attorney and the founder of the Blatz Law Firm in downtown Ojai. 

Alwin Sauers VCCCD Classified Employee of the Year

Alwin Sauers Jr. has been named the 2021 Classified Employee of the Year for the Ventura County Community College District, and he is now qualified to be considered for the state award. 

Sauers is known across the Ventura College campus community for his “Ask me” button and his willingness to help. For over seven years has focused on serving students. As an essential worker, Sauers takes special care in guaranteeing the cleanliness of the campuses during the pandemic and always.

Other employees nominated were Thomas “Tommy” Arellano, the athletic equipment manager at Moorpark College, and Gabriela Rodriguez, student services specialist of Oxnard College. 

Mountain lion confirmed killed by vehicle

A necropsy performed by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab in San Bernardino confirmed that P-78, a male adult mountain lion whose neck collar emitted a mortality signal found on Dec. 26, 2020, died from massive injuries, likely sustained from being hit by a vehicle. 

His remains were found along San Francisquito Creek, a tributary of the Santa Clara River in Valencia. He had a broken front left leg. 

The large cat also tested positive for exposure to five different anticoagulant rodenticide compounds and bromethalin, a neurotoxic rodenticide. 

P-78 was a frequent traveler across the I-5 freeway and spent time in the Santa Susana Mountains. His tracker collar had just been replaced in November 2020 and he appeared in good health at that time. He is the 23rd mountain lion since 2002 to die from road mortality in the area where the cats are being studied by the National Park Service. 

Super Bowl LVI will be in Los Angeles in 2022

On March 30 the National Football League announced Super Bowl LVI will take place on Feb. 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. 

It has been nearly three decades since the Super Bowl took place in the area. 

The stadium will hold an audience of over 100,000. 

CalEPA Environmental Justice Grants

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Small Grant program application period is open now through June 30, 2021. 

Nonprofit groups and tribal governments are eligible to apply for funds to support environmental justice projects. Maximum grant amount is $50,000 over a term of 18 months. 

A variety of environmental and public health objectives can qualify for fundings including disseminating information about environmental challenges and decision making processes, enhancing local capacity to respond and adapt to climate change impacts, or ensuring safe drinking water. To obtain an application package or check eligibility requirements, please visit CalEPA’sEnvironmental Justice Small Grants Program.

Applications can also be requested by writing to: California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Secretary, Attn: Leticia Syslo, EJ Small Grants Program, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, CA 95812 – 2815; or by emailing Leticia.Syslo@calepa.ca.gov; or by calling 916-601-9893.