Pictured: K-9 Roscoe. Ventura County Sheriff’s Office photo. 

by Kimberly Rivers

K-9 Roscoe Remembered

On July 28 the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced the passing of K-9 Roscoe, a bloodhound who served for 10 years and was specifically trained for “man trailing” to locate lost or missing people. In his career he had eight walk-up finds, including locating a 10-year-old boy in Upper Ojai in 2015. He will be missed by the officers, including handler Michael Grossman. 

805 Ag Kids livestock shows and auction Aug. 5-13

805 Ag Kids, an  independent nonprofit organization, has for the second year organized a way for kids to show and sell their animals despite the pandemic-induced closure of the Ventura County Fair in 2020 and 2021. The group’s efforts are keeping alive a 146-year tradition of youth livestock shows and auctions in the county.

The auction will be online only, but participants will be allowed to hold in-person showings, which will not be open to the public. 

On Aug. 5 and 6, the in-person market shows will take place for 153 participants in local 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA), Grange and independent registrants at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. 

Aug. 11-13 the Online Junior Livestock auction will take place, allowing registered bidders to bid on animals at their convenience. 

Aug. 13, 4-8 p.m., is the in-person Buyers BBQ for all registered buyers to celebrate the show, auction and participants. The barbecue will be held at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and all registered buyers will receive a ticket. 

Details online at www.805agkids.com.

2020 crop and livestock report released

On July 29, Ventura County announced the release of the 2020 Ventura County Crop and Livestock report from the office of the Agricultural Commissioner. Gross value of agriculture was estimated at $1.9 million, a small decrease. 

Crop values and production numbers were influenced by the pandemic but strawberries remain the top crop at $575.3 million. 

Industrial hemp (not the same crop as cannabis) dropped out of the Top 10, with cabbage ranking 10th. Blueberries jumped 119% with a value of $38.7 million. 

Cut flowers saw a 27% decline, dropping out of the Top 10 for the first time since 1983.

The number of organically farmed acres in the county decreased but the value of organic crops rose 1.8% from 2019, demonstrating strong demand for organically grown produce. 

The 2020 Ventura County Crop Report is online at cdn.ventura.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2020-Crop-Report.pdf.

 County CEO contract renewed

On July 27 the Ventura County Board of Supervisor renewed the five-year employment contract with county Chief Executive Officer Mike Powers that includes a 5% increase in salary to $328,974.83. 

Powers began serving as county CEO in 2010 and has consistently received “exceptional” performance assessment ratings from the Board of Supervisors during his 11 years in the post. 

New protections for victims of wildfire

New state legislation is in effect that offers additional protections for homeowners in the event of a wildfire. Senate Bill 872 has been signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and includes the following provisions: 

• Insurance companies are prohibited from deducting the value of land when paying an insurance claim if the wildfire survivor opts to relocate rather than rebuild their home. 

• Those under mandatory evacuation orders will receive additional living expenses for a minimum of two weeks, even if there is no damage to their residence. Longer payout timelines for “good cause” are available. 

• Insurance companies are prohibited from restricting payout of living expenses in the event of damaged infrastructure but no damage to the actual residence. This applies when damage to power lines and water lines may make the residence uninhabitable. Payouts can include funds for portable generators and portable water sources. 

• Four months is the minimum amount of time that additional living expenses must be covered, if requested, in the event of a total home loss. 

• When filing claims, wildfire survivors do not have to use a company-specific form for listing lost contents and groupings can be listed such as clothing, shoes, books, rather than having to list individual items.

• Insurance companies must offer a 60-day grace period on payment of policy premiums for properties located within the affected area defined in the declared state of emergency. 

 Wildfire survivors can contact the Department of Insurance for help with insurance claims or policy questions at 800-927-4357 (HELP) and through online chat at insurance.ca.gov.