Pictured:Water and Sanitation Director Joe Pope, Community Advisory Committee (CAC) members Diana Enos, Dave Hutter, County Supervisor Linda Parks, CAC member Kirby Thomas, and Lynette Buchanan-Roth. Photo courtesy of Ventura County Public Works. 

by Kimberly Rivers

kimberly@vcreporter.com

Clear water coming to Somis

Well water supplied to the Ventura County unincorporated community of Somis by the Ventura County Water District No. 19 will run clearer now thanks to an upgrade of the existing water well that supplies water to residents. The upgrade follows a mandate from the California Water Resources Control Board, that treatment be applied at the wellhead to improve water quality. 

According to the Ventura County Public Works Agency, the discoloration has been the result of “excess naturally occurring minerals” iron and manganese, which cause the water to appear milky, brown or reddish in color. Officials have reported that the water is safe to drink, but not aesthetic or ideal for laundry, drinking or other residential use. 

Three horizontal greensand filters, a reclaim tank and chemical treatment will be used on Well No. 2 located on Bradley Road. The district serves about 781 residential and 235 agricultural accounts, in addition to 35 commercial or industrial customers. 

District 19 already has a similar treatment facility at Well No. 4, located on Balcom Canyon Road. 

A state grant of $2.3 million and a loan from Ventura County are funding the project, expected to be complete by April 2022. Bowe Contractors Inc. is conducting the work with design services by Michael Baker International Inc. and MSO Technologies.

Westlake Village company to pay over $1 million for misleading customers

On July 9, Erik Nasarenko, Ventura County District Attorney (VCDA), reported a settlement of a civil action against a Westlake Village company, Leaders Merchant Services, LLC (LMS) for allegations of violating state laws relating to unfair competition and misleading advertising. 

The charges allege that sales staff at LMS did not fully inform customers about fees related to setting up card and electronic payment services. These actions occurred with small and mid-sized businesses and nonprofit organizations across the United States. 

LMS must pay $1 million in civil penalties and $250,000 in recovery to the VCDA’s office. Restitution of over $800,000 must also be paid to customers who filed complaints. 

MICOP’s backpack drive for kids in need

The Ventura County-based nonprofit organization Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project/Proyecto Mixteco Indigena (MICOP) is working to raise $10,000 and fill 600 new backpacks with school supplies for local Indigenous children. 

Monetary donations and school supplies are being accepted. To donate supplies contact jessica.brandon@mixteco.com or by phone 805-329-1584. Online donation portal at www.classy.org/give/348099/#!/donation/checkout.

Free meals for Oxnard children, Fridays through Aug. 20

Free meals are being distributed on Fridays to all children in the Oxnard area throughout the summer as part of the National School Lunch Program administered by the Oxnard Union HIgh School Nutrition Services Department. No documentation of any kind is required. Special needs adults enrolled in the Adult Transition Program are also eligible. 

All children ages 18 and younger can receive a meal bag at the following locations, days and times, which will contain seven days worth of meals, breakfasts and lunches. Meals can be picked up by a parent/guardian or a student at the cafeteria windows. Distribution will take place each Friday through August 20. 

Fridays, 7 a.m.-12 p.m. 

Hueneme High School, 500 W. Bard Road, Oxnard

Oxnard High School, 3400 W. Gonzales Road, Oxnard

Adolfo Camarillo High School, 4660 Mission Oaks Blvd., Camarillo

Fridays, 10-11 a.m. 

Soliz Library, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard

Fridays, 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

Garden Acres Mutual Water Co., 2838 Friedrich Road, Oxnard

OUHSD Summer School in-person students must pick up their meals on campus on days of instruction. 

Persons interested in receiving more information should contact: 805-385-5749.

House Farm Workers scholarships announced

Litzy Hernandez, Jesus Martinez and Bryan Rodriguez have each been awarded a $3,000 scholarship for college in the Sixth Annual Ellen Brokaw House Farm Workers Scholarship program. 

Hernandez is currently attending University of California, Berkeley, in a graduate pre-law program and hopes to serve clients as an immigration attorney. 

Martinez, an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley’s architecture program, worked in several positions during the pandemic to help his family, while completing full-time university coursework. 

Rodriguez, currently at Ventura College, plans to transfer to a UC or Ivy League school in the future in pursuit of a degree in Political Science.