Author: Alex Wilson

GETTING BY WITH SOME HELP FROM MY FRIENDS | Finding comfort and community in a meditation group

PICTURED: Koi pond at Deer Park Monastery, where members of Ventura’s “Friendship Sangha of the Heart” sometimes travel together for meditation retreats. Photo by Alex Wilson by Alex Wilson The coronavirus pandemic shuttered the doors of churches and other spiritual gatherings, but a Zen Buddhism meditation group I belong to made a successful move to the online meeting platform Zoom. Even though we were no longer able to form our usual circle for our weekly meditation, we found comfort from sharing our practice online during these troubling times. It also helped me cope with significant personal setbacks in my...

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STOP AND RESET | Local music industry finds its creative spark during the shutdown

PICTURED: Kelly’s Lot performs for a live broadcast from Ojai Underground Exchange. Photo courtesy of Kelly Zirbes by Alex Wilson When the coronavirus caused the sudden shutdown of the live music industry, music industry professionals were profoundly impacted. Even so, some musicians are finding a silver lining; a chance to stop and reset, and discover new ways to stay connected to fans. “We’re right there with you. We can’t wait to get back out and play.” One local band that had hopes dashed for a planned East Coast tour is Yächtley Crëw. The self-described “Titans of Soft Rock” play...

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“YOUR HOUSE HAS BECOME YOUR SET” | CSUCI dance teacher finds creative solution to virtual classes

PICTURED: Heather Castillo’s students dancing over Zoom on May 18, 2020. Photo by Heather Castillo by Alex Wilson The sudden and unexpected switch from classroom teaching to online learning poses challenges for all instructors and students, but classes in the arts present some of the steepest learning curves. While a math, English or computer class might be relatively easy to move online, ones that involve pursuits such as dancing, theater or music might seem almost impossible without having students in close proximity.   Arts instructors are now forced to improvise and create brand new teaching methods, which is apparently sparking...

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SO LONG, SATs | CLU to drop standardized testing

Pictured: Prospective CLU students will no longer be required to submit SAT and ACT test scores as part of their admission package, starting in Fall 2021. (Photo submitted) by Alex Wilson California Lutheran University (CLU) officials recently decided to stop requiring standardized test scores from prospective undergraduate students starting with the Fall 2021 semester. The permanent switch to a test-optional admissions policy at the Thousand Oaks-based university has been in the works for several years, and was not directly related to the serious difficulties facing educators due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Some researchers believe high school GPA is a...

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HEALTHCARE 2.0 | Doctor-patient interactions go high tech during the pandemic — and just may stay that way

PICTURED: Dr. Neil Jorgensen interacts with a patient via a tele-video platform. Photo courtesy of Ventura County Health Care Agency Ambulatory Care by Alex Wilson The coronavirus pandemic is speeding adoption of new high-tech ways for doctors and patients to communicate, while eliminating the need for some patients to visit a medical office or hospital in person. Those methods include “telemedicine” which can involve phone calls, Internet video chats and other types of virtual doctor visits, as well as seemingly old-fashioned house calls by doctors. The use of telemedicine has been growing steadily in recent years. The trend has...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Online Meditation Retreat

    July 25 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm