Author: David Michael Courtland

GETTING THE JOB DONE | Reimagining education amidst COVID-19

PICTURED: Rio Plaza Elementary teacher Denis O’Leary leads students through the Pledge of Allegiance on May 1. (Photo submitted) by David Michael Courtland As the 2019-20 school year wraps up, local educators forced by the COVID-19 crisis to teach remotely say they are getting the job done, despite being unprepared for the sudden switch to distance learning in March. “We went out on Friday the 13th and thought we’d come back on Monday, but that was it,” recalled Michael Armstrong, who teaches fourth grade at McKinna Elementary School in Oxnard.  There were some bumps, to be sure. Issues around...

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VENTURA COUNTY RESPONSE TO COVID-19 | Town hall teleconference hosted by Irwin and Stern focused on stay-at-home compliance, resources

by David Michael Courtland Ventura County residents have mostly cooperated with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “stay safe at home” order, Sheriff Bill Ayub said during a telephone conference about the coronavirus on March 27. Ayub spoke during a Friday town hall held jointly (and virtually) by Assemblymember Jaqui Irwin and State Senator Henry Stern to present the latest information about the response to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 20, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered California residents to stay home as much as possible and many businesses to close in an extraordinary effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That being...

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“He knows where Ventura County is” | Local leaders discuss environmental justice at Tom Steyer’s Climate Town Hall

Pictured: Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, former Senator Fran Pavley, Christen Hebrard, with Young Democrats of America, and  Senior Climate Advisor for Tom Steyer’s campaign, Vien Truong.  Photo by Kyle Keyser by David Michael Courtland Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer talked about his support of their efforts to deal with climate change at the Climate Warriors’ Town Hall held at the community center of the Oxnard Performing Arts Center (formerly the PACC) on Monday, Feb. 17. “It’s not often you know a [presidential] candidate; I’ve shaken hands with two or three of the others,” said former State Senator Fran...

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OXNARD HOMELESS SHELTER PLANS DROPPED | More comprehensive solutions sought

Pictured: Property at 1258 Saviers Road, Oxnard.  by David Michael Courtland Oxnard city officials have dropped plans for a homeless shelter near Five Points that drew heavy opposition from neighborhood residents and business operators. City Manager Alex Nguyen told the city council at a meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 7, that rushing to sign a lease for the building at 1258 Saviers Road would give the city only a temporary solution to homelessness. “I’ve given staff direction to terminate that effort and pursue another location where we can have a more comprehensive set of solutions,” Nguyen said, outlining a more...

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PACC BACK ON TRACK? | Oxnard in talks to keep performing arts center open

Pictured: The courtyard at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center (PACC).  by David Michael Courtland Efforts are under way to keep Oxnard’s Performing Arts and Convention Center (the PACC) going, Oxnard City Manager Alex Nguyen told the City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Nguyen said he is talking with Lance Sterling of Sterling Venue Ventures about taking over management of the center, which has been teetering on the brink of closure because of the city’s budget cuts. Sterling operates the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, among other ventures. “The goal is...

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