FREE WILL ASTROLOGY by Rob Brezsny ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Choose the least important day in your life,” wrote Aries author Thornton Wilder. “It will be important enough.” I recommend that you make those your words to live by in the next two weeks. Why? Because I suspect there will be no tremendously exciting experiences coming your way. The daily rhythm is likely to be routine and modest. You may even be tempted to feel a bit bored. And yet, if you dare to move your attention just below the surface of life, you will tune into subtle glories...

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REYES PEAK PROJECT UNDER FIRE | Ventura County, Ojai and environmental groups challenge USFS over wildfire prevention plan

PICTURED: Mixed conifer forest on Pine Mountain. Photo by Bryant Baker/Los Padres ForestWatch by Alex Wilson Rising over 7,000 feet, with panoramic views stretching across Los Padres National Forest to the Pacific Ocean, nearly everyone agrees Pine Mountain north of Ojai is worth protecting. Considered sacred by Chumash people, Pine Mountain is nearly devoid of humans when covered by a blanket of snow in the winter, the solitude only punctuated by wind rushing through the trees and bird song. During warmer months it’s beloved for camping, stargazing and rock climbing.  But the question of how to preserve Pine...

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PICTURED: John Barrick speaks with voters in the Ojai Valley. Submitted photo by Alex Wilson When prosecutor John Barrick talks about his bid to unseat Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko in next month’s election, Barrick inevitably returns to the topic of making crime victims his top priority.   Nasarenko cites his achievements in office since his appointment last year as reasons voters should re-elect him, as well as his experience as the former mayor of Ventura. Nasarenko said he created the first mental health unit in the DA’s office for times when treatment and rehabilitation is more appropriate than...

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JUNE 7 ELECTION SPOTLIGHT VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF | Longtime colleagues Ayub and Fryhoff face off

PICTURED: Sheriff Bill Ayub on the campaign trail. Submitted photo by Alex Wilson Bill Ayub and Jim Fryhoff have both served with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office for about three decades, but are now facing off against each other in a heated race for Ventura County Sheriff.  The department has about 1,300 employees, a $300 million annual budget and provides law enforcement services for county unincorporated areas and five of Ventura County’s 10 cities. Sheriff Ayub ran unopposed in the last election after former sheriff Geoff Dean decided to retire, and is hoping voters are pleased with how...

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CANINE COMFORT | VPD introduces new therapy dog Asher

PICTURED: Ventura Police Department therapy dog Asher at VPD headquarters. Photo by Meghan Schade by Alex Wilson Everybody loves meeting Asher. He’s a calm dog with extremely soft fur who loves to be petted. Asher is a 1-year-old Cavadoodle, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and poodle mix, a breed known for having a gentile demeanor. He’s also hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed fur like other dogs. Asher’s attributes will serve him well as the Ventura Police Department’s first therapy comfort dog. Police Chief Darin Schindler decided to enhance the department’s wellness program when he took the top job about...

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