Veteran Ojai Day coordinator Jody James resigned from her position last week, leaving the future of the annual event uncertain.
After organizing the event for 20 years, James said she felt it was time to move on. “I voluntarily resigned,” she said. “It was one of the saddest, most difficult decisions I’ve ever made.”
The ban against certain types of shopping bags, that went into effect Sunday, prohibits retailers within the Ojai city limits from providing customers with single-use plastic bags. The ordinance also requires retailers to charge customers 10 cents for each paper bag they use.
The Ojai City Council passed the ban April 10.
At a hearing Monday for Alex Medina, the Mira Monte teen accused of murder, Ventura County Superior Court Judge James Cloninger granted two motions in favor of the prosecution. The court set a date of July 12 to argue whether documents subpoenaed by the prosecution will be released, as well.
“I want the trial to be fair. I want for everyone to be prepared, important documents in hand and for witnesses to do their jobs,” Cloninger said at the hearing.
The Ojai City Council may have passed an ordinance banning the installation of Smart Meters within Ojai city limits, but confusion still abounds as to the implications of this legislation.
The number of vehicle burglaries at trailheads in Ojai has more than doubled in the past two weeks in comparison to the previous month.
In the past two weeks, two cars and one motorcycle have been stolen from trailheads. One had been recovered as of Monday.
A new federal bill was introduced Tuesday that makes further progress toward Ojai mother Cally Houck’s goal — forcing rental car companies to repair recalled vehicles before offering them for rent or sale.
U.S. representatives Lois Capps (CA-23), Eliot Engel (NY-17) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) co-sponsored the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act OF 2012.
It’s been a little longer than a month since the 100 for Ojai Schools movement began, and already, more than $25,000 has been raised.
However, organizers say they still need thousands more to help stem teacher layoffs and keep class sizes low in Ojai’s public schools.
The fate of Ojai Day seems to have been decided, at least as far as the Ojai City Council can control. Although they took no action Tuesday, council members reaffirmed to city manager Rob Clark their desire to have the city sponsor the event this year while it searches for options for the future.
Pedestrian crossing signs were installed on Ojai Avenue Tuesday as part of a low-cost test to find ways to reduce pedestrian-related traffic accidents.
The stanchions are in place in three crosswalks on Ojai Avenue with two signs at each location. Designed to catch drivers’ attention by warning them to pay extra attention to pedestrians using the crosswalks, the signs were installed on the edge of traffic lanes in the street itself.
Overnight visitors to the Ojai Valley may soon face higher hotel bills to help fund efforts to draw even more tourists to the area. Beginning in November, guests staying at hotels, inns, bed-and-breakfasts, vacation rentals and retreats could be charged an additional 1 percent assessment of their room bills. The money collected would be used to promote the Ojai Valley through the work of the Ojai Visitors Bureau.
More than 50 years of service went down the drain Monday, when the outdoor rest rooms at the rear of Sarzotti Park were ripped down.
The old facilities were “so far gone,” said Greg Grant, the city’s director of public works — they had no doors on the stalls, major wood rot in the flooring and only one large sink outside the rest rooms. “And we had to bring it up to ADA (American with Disabilities Act) standards.”
The man accused of assaulting an Ojai veterinarian after his dog died will wait a bit longer to learn his fate after Superior Court Judge Nancy Ayers granted a continuance for his preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Scott Doornbos, 55, of Oak View, is being accused of battery and assault, as well as several additional felony charges. Doornbos allegedly assaulted Dr. Steve Sallen, owner of the Ojai Village Veterinary Hospital on Ojai Avenue Feb. 23.
The Ojai Trolley Service will have expanded hours and changes to its route beginning Aug. 19. This coincides with the return of the Gold Coast Transit bus to downtown Ojai’s Park & Ride lot.
If all goes according to plan, 24 low-income housing units could be built in the Ojai Valley in the next two to three years.
Last week, the Ojai Planning Commission conducted a conceptual review of a proposed housing development on the corner of Hermosa Road and Highway 33.
The property is owned by the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, which has teamed with the Area Housing Authority of Ventura County on the project.
Should it be built, the complex would fulfill a 2005 requirement by the city that the inn provide a minimum of 10 low-income housing units as one of the conditions of approval for a major renovation of the inn.
An Ojai-based horticultural social club plans to go to court if necessary to force the city of Ventura to reconsider its position on issuing the club a business license.
Shangri La Care Cooperative founder Jeff Kroll said Tuesday that the members-only club is tired of what it sees as feet dragging by the Ventura City Council to avoid setting rules that will fairly regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.
Casitas Municipal Water District took a firm step toward its possible acquisition of the Golden State Water Company’s Ojai operation through an eminent domain merger Wednesday.
The Casitas board of directors unanimously approved a proposal from David Taussig & Associates to help them form an Ojai community facilities district, that would replace Golden State as water purveyors for its current customers.
After more than 20 years of planning and revising, the city of Ojai began construction on the Fulton Street extension this week. The project will extend Fulton Street from Pearl Street, across the bike trail, so it connects with Bryant Circle.
City officials hope this will alleviate traffic congestion in the industrial area, particularly at Ojai Avenue and Bryant Street.
The competency trial for the Mira Monte teen facing murder charges in the death of 16-year-old Seth Scarminach began this week.
Wednesday, Superior Court Judge James Cloninger scheduled two weeks for the competency trial portion of People v. Alex Medina. Senior Deputy District Attorney Bill Haney said he expected to begin opening arguments today.
By the end of day five of the competency trial for the Mira Monte teen facing murder charges — five witnesses were expected to have testified to bolster the contention that Alex Medina is not able to assist in his own defense because of psychological issues.
A fire destroyed portions of a two-unit building on El Roblar Drive in Meiners Oaks Friday morning. The cause of the fire was unknown as of Friday afternoon.
The units housed David Whipple Goldsmith and Gallery 525.
The Ojai Planning Commission is drafting an ordinance that will establish standards designed to help residents, business owners and developers conform to exterior lighting standards with an eye towards enhancing the ability to see the night sky.
At the June 12 Ojai City Council meeting, Scott Kardel, public affairs director for the International Dark-Sky Association, said exterior lighting, particularly along streets and in public areas, is often wasteful and a liability to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and even migratory birds.
Ojai farmers are concerned about how the water supply in the East End could be impacted if a proposed change of water companies becomes a reality.
By approving a proposal from David Taussig & Associates (DTA) at last week’s board meeting, Casitas Municipal Water District began a process to determine the feasibility of transferring ownership of the for-profit Golden State Water Company’s Ojai operation to a public community facilities district.
In a position letter signed by Emily Ayala, Tony Thacher, Robert Calder Davis Jr., Al West, Roger Essick, Judy Munzig and Jim Coultas, they make it clear that their No. 1 concern is the protection of the Ojai groundwater basin.
When international rock star Lissie Maurus moved to Ojai more than three years ago, she came to mend a broken heart, seeking solace and sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Now, she’s trying to help mend broken homes, rocked by the devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Known in the music world simply as Lissie, the 29-year-old rocker will take a quick break from touring the Midwest and Northern Europe to hold a fundraising concert Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. at Libbey Bowl as a benefit for Changing Tides Orphanage in Haiti.
Big changes are on the horizon for horse owners in the Ojai Valley. New mandates from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board may soon require area horse properties to reduce the amount of horse waste on their property by 99 percent. This would apply to all in the Ventura River Watershed — basically, all of the Ojai Valley — and would be implemented within the next 10 years.
The visionary behind a project proposed for Meiners Oaks hopes it will become the model for similar projects throughout the world. But first, he has to buy the land and maneuver through the government beauracracy.
The pentaBEYOND building project is expected to include housing for people with disabilities, job training facilities and numerous services available to the public, according to project organizer David Griffin. Funded by private investors, it is the first part of a larger endeavor he hopes to expand into other countries.
The facility is slated for two lots totaling 5.5 acres, at 260 and 203 E. El Roblar Drive.
The California Highway Patrol reported Tuesday the death of longtime Ojai resident Ronnie Gene Hagar following a single-vehicle motorcycle accident on Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita.
After a little more than a month, the city of Ojai yielded to pressure and removed six pedestrian stanchions from Ojai Avenue.
The stanchions, upright signs designed to catch drivers’ attention, were removed from two crosswalks near the Arcade and one at Ojai Avenue and North Montgomery Street Wednesday.
Ojai is positioned to qualify as the fifth city in the world to be designated an International Dark-Sky community by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Wednesday, the Planning Commission adopted a resolution recommending the Ojai City Council adopt the Exterior Lighting Standards Ordinance that establishes a set of standards for outdoor lighting in Ojai.
The Ojai Valley moved closer to being a slightly-more expensive place to spend the night Tuesday after the Ojai City Council voted to approve the Tourism Business Improvement District’s (TBID) management district plan.
The TBID would add a 1 percent tax to the per-night charge for all temporary lodging in the Ojai Valley. Money collected from guests would be used to promote Ojai as a tourism destination through the Ojai Visitor’s Bureau.
With the November elections quickly approaching, Ojai Mayor Betsy Clapp has filed for re-election to the City Council, along with challengers Bob Daddi and Severo Lara.
Former candidate Leonard Klaif has opted to run for a position on the Casitas Municipal Water District board, and Councilwoman and former Mayor Sue Horgan has decided to end her political career.
After his nine-year stint enriching the community through the Ojai Music Festival, executive director Jeff Haydon is moving to a new position as chief executive officer of Caramoor, a renowned music and arts center in New York.
It has been determined an Oak View resident, charged with battery and assault for allegedly beating up an Ojai veterinarian, will stand trial.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco ruled there was sufficient evidence that defendant Scott Doornbos could have committed the crime. Doornbos will be answering to his charges at his arraignment, set for Sept. 27.
The new co-coordinators of Ojai Day are working full time to pull off the annual celebration and are confident the show, which had its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, will go on.
The city hired Ojai residents Lynda Killingsworth and Phil Casanta last week as co-coordinators of the festival, after longtime organizer Jody James resigned in June, citing a lack of support from the city.
Ojai Mayor Betsy Clapp wasn’t shy about letting her feelings toward the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s proposed “employee” housing plan.
“When I first read this, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it got this far,” said Clapp at the Ojai City Council Tuesday night meeting. “I’m shocked and disappointed that this proposal is even before us. This is a betrayal to our citizens … This is a disgrace and an embarrassment.”
When the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa sought the city’s approval to expand and renovate in 2003, the city conditioned the project on the Inn’s ability to offset the resulting increase in traffic to the valley by building a minimum of 10 units of housing for Inn employees.
A proposal that would have placed additional permit review requirements on proposed remodeling or demolition of Ojai buildings that are more than 50 years old was rejected by the Ojai City Council Tuesday.
“This is a train wreck right here,” said Mayor Betsy Clapp. “I think this is just too much of a mess to proceed with anything right now.”
Dale Sumersille resigned her position as Ojai Parks and Recreation director Tuesday, prior to a joint meeting between the Ojai City Council and its Parks and Recreation Commission. Sumersille’s last day will be Sept. 6 and no reason was given for her departure.
Casitas Municipal Water District (CMWD) is moving forward with the proposed takeover of Golden State Water Company’s Ojai service district. Its next task is to determine how much the utility is worth.
“There is no easy button for this kind of undertaking, that’s for sure,” said CMWD manager Steve Wickstrum.
One of the tools CMWD is using to accomplish this is a 57-page analysis by Ojai Friends of Locally Owned Water (F.L.O.W.) member, Richard Hajas, a former CMWD employee who once worked with Wickstrum.
A Mira Monte teen pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge at his arraignment in Ventura County Superior Court Tuesday.
Because 17-year-old Alex Medina faces life in prison, his defense team, Scott Wippert and Robyn Bramson, have requested Medina’s trial be set for sometime after June when their other trial obligations will conclude.
Criminal proceedings had been suspended for almost three years while Medina’s competency to stand trial as an adult was being determined. Aug. 7, a jury found Medina competent.
Medina is charged with first-degree murder.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy who was the victim of an attempted murder in 2010 took the stand Thursday in the first day of her alleged assailant’s trial.
Deputy Traci Salmon was the first witness in the trial of John Atkinson, 34, of Ojai.
Humane officers brought four emaciated horses to the Humane Society of Ventura County Tuesday, after removing them from an Oak View ranch. Two were full-sized geldings. The others were mini horses — a mare and a colt, possibly mother and son.
“It’s shocking that anyone could do this to an animal,” said Humane Society shelter director Jolene Hoffman.
Using the Henneke System of Body Conditioning, which is used to rate the condition of a horse from one to nine, Hoffman said these horses appear to be a one, the worst.
Just because it’s a cliché to say “it takes money to make money” doesn’t make it a falsehood. Knowing this, Hollywood actor and Ojai resident Malcolm McDowell gathered a few celebrity friends Friday to help bolster the Libbey Bowl Foundation’s production fund with a charity golf tournament, followed by a concert by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason and others.
Jury deliberation is expected to begin next week for Ojai defendant, John Atkinson, 34, who is on trial at the Ventura County Superior Court for allegedly attempting to murder a police officer in 2010.
Thursday, both the defense and prosecution rested their cases, and the court prepared to have closing arguments Monday, after which the jury would start deliberations. Atkinson is facing charges including attempted murder, second-degree robbery, and two counts of abuse of elders.
Friday at 11:30 a.m., Jake Larkin finally got what he and his family had been praying for: a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.
The 6-year-old grandson of Oaks at Ojai owners Don and Sheila Cluff has been battling severe aplastic anemia since February, when his bone marrow stopped producing red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. He’s been in Milwaukee for months, getting daily blood transfusions to keep him alive while his family and the National Marrow Donor Program searched for a bone marrow match.
After a three-week trial and more than two days of deliberation, a Ventura County jury found John Atkinson guilty Thursday of five felony offenses including attempted murder of a police officer.
Atkinson, 34, is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 5 on the charges, which include assault on a peace officer, second-degree robbery and two misdemeanor offenses of abuse on an elder.
About 200 people pledged more than $21,000 for Ojai Valley students Thursday at the Ojai Education Foundation’s annual breakfast event.
The money will go to the Ojai Unified School District in the form of grants for teachers and for technological improvements.
The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s latest proposal to fulfill its obligation to provide low-income housing for some Inn employees got a more favorable reception from the city than its predecessor.
At their Aug. 25 meeting, council members shot down the Inn’s prior proposition that involved building 24 units with the help of the Area Housing Authority (AHA).
But recently, a 12-unit apartment building at 408 Country Club Drive became available and the Inn seized the opportunity to make good on its promise by buying, rather than building, the units.
The Oak View resident who allegedly assaulted an Ojai veterinarian in February pleaded not guilty to all charges at his arraignment Thursday.
A pre-trial conference for 55- year-old Scott Doornbos is scheduled for Nov. 8. At that time, the court will set a trial date or determine if a settlement can be reached.
In a move intended to save the city of Ojai significant money a generation or two down the line, municipal employees hired after Monday will have to pay nearly all of their health insurance premiums when they retire.
Currently, the city pays 100 percent of its retirees’ health insurance costs and 80 percent of their dependents’ premiums. For city employees hired after Oct. 1, 2012, however, the city will contribute a little more than $100 toward health insurance when those workers retire. Dependents would receive nothing.
Last week, America’s top four rental car companies announced they have voluntarily agreed to stop renting or selling vehicles that have an unresolved safety recall.
The rental car companies have endorsed the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2012, which would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the authority to investigate and police rental car companies’ recall safety practices.
The Houck act was named after two Ojai sisters killed in a 2004 crash due to a safety issue with their Enterprise rental car that went unrepaired despite a recall by the manufacturer.
Ojai schools got a $42,000 boost this year thanks to a local mom and a former school board member who refused to sit back and watch as declining budgets increased student-to- teacher ratios.
“We have such high expectations of what a teacher can do, but some of those are unrealistic,” said Karen McBride, who teamed up with parent Elisa Oliver and other Ojai-area residents to create 100 for Ojai Schools, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for teacher retention in the Ojai Unified School District.
Ojai Valley News senior editor Lenny Roberts announced his retirement effective today.
Roberts, a 35-year resident of Ojai, began his newspaper career in March 1991 as a sports reporter and subsequently covered crime, courts and general assignments.
In 2001, he became managing editor until he voluntarily stepped down from that position in November 2010 due to vision impairment.
Planning to hitch a ride home from the bars on the downtown shuttle this weekend? Better make other plans.
Monday at 6:59 p.m., Adrianus “Dutch” VanHemert turned himself in to the Ventura County Jail to serve his 81-day sentence for “evading an officer with willful disregard.”
The conviction stems from an April 2010 incident when VanHemert was arrested for evading former Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Harris (now detective).
The Ventura County District Attorney’s office plans to charge the former treasurer of the Ojai Eagles Youth Football League with embezzlement at an arraignment hearing next month, said Deputy District Attorney Kim Gibbons.
Amber Workman, 37, is accused of stealing at least $35,000 from the nonprofit organization between 2007 and 2009, according to the Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department.
The Ojai resident was arrested June 27 after detectives say she allegedly stole between $35,000 and $49,000 from the league during her time as treasurer, officials said.
Despite voicing objections, the Ojai City Council voted 3-2 to approve a revised Housing Element to its General Plan Oct. 9.
The plan is mandated by the state of California and requires the city to prove it can accommodate 177 additional affordable housing units within 14 acres.
According to consultant Thomas Figg, the city faced possible litigation or punitive measures — including higher Regional Housing Needs Assessment requirements for the next Housing Element — if the Council had not taken action.
Thanks to the Ventura County Watershed Protection District ( WPD), flood insurance will soon be a thing of the past for hundreds of residents in Ojai’s East End.
After two years of review, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the WPD’s in-house study and proposed remapping of the East End alluvial fan flood plain.
When FEMA completes its revision of the flood maps to reflect the county study — which should happen some time in 2013 — about 210 parcels in the East End will be removed from the 100-year flood plain.
Ojai city officials and the owner of a blighted lot downtown could be close to an agreement that would allow the development of the property after nearly two decades of delays.
Jim Miller, the owner of the 1.18-acre lot at 501 E. Ojai Ave., next to the Skate Park, has plans from 1994 for a commercial development of two buildings totaling nearly 11,000 square feet.
Miller said city Community Development Director Rob Mullane contacted him, “out of nowhere,” to see if he was interested in restarting the project.
Despite numerous setbacks, including the resignation of 20-year veteran coordinator Jody James, Ojai Day is returning to Libbey Park and downtown this weekend.
After James resigned, the city hired Ojai residents Lynda Killingsworth and Paul Casanta to co-coordinate the event.
An employee at a ranch off Fairview Road in Ojai had an unexpected encounter with wildlife when he stumbled across a baby bear Oct. 12. A second, unrelated bear encounter occurred when a local woman walking her three dogs at 7 a.m. Oct. 19 was attacked by an approximately 250-pound mother black bear with a cub.
The Ojai Music Festival welcomed Stuart Meiklejohn as its new president. Meiklejohn, a resident of Ojai since 2005, received degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and practiced law in New York at the firm of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for 29 years.
An Ojai man died in a traffic collision while bicycling to Ventura Friday.
Phillip “Russ” Vivian, 61, was cycling when he collided with a Ford utility truck near Foster Park and Highway 33.
The Ojai Music Festival has announced the appointment of Abhijit “Ab” Sengupta as executive director, effective Nov. 26. Sengupta, most recently artistic director and chief executive officer of Fontana Chamber Arts, succeeds Jeffrey P. Haydon, who joined the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts Center as chief executive officer Sept. 17.
Next year, visitors to the playground at Libbey Park will find relief from the scorching summer sun if Ojai’s two Rotary clubs secure funds for the park’s approved shade structure.
“Basically everyone is happy with the layout and colors,” says city manager Rob Clark after the recent Ojai Parks and Recreation and Planning and Historic Preservation commissions’ review and approval of the structure. “Now it’s just a matter of raising the funds.”
The Ojai woman who is accused of embezzling more than $35,000 from the Ojai Eagles Youth Football League pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court.
Amber Workman, 37, faces from 16 months to three years in jail if convicted of felony grand theft , according to defense attorney Richard Hanawalt.
An early disposition conference (EDC) was scheduled for Jan. 9.
Ojai Valley Defense Fund donors and guests were treated to a rare opportunity Saturday afternoon, as renowned photographer and vintage motorcycle and car collector Guy Webster opened his showroom for the OVDF’s fall fundraising event. Over 100 people gathered at the Bryant Circle facility, including newly re-elected Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett and Ojai Mayor Betsy Clapp. While donations are still coming in, approximately $25,000 was raised at the Saturday event.
At least for now, it does not appear as though new charter schools will be coming to Ojai.
Tuesday night, the Ojai Unified School District board voted unanimously to deny petitions to add two new charter schools to its public school offerings.
The board and district administrators ultimately found that the two schools — dubbed Self-Design Youth Entrepreneurs Soar Learning Community (Y.E.S.) and Self-Design Learning Community at Central California (LCCC) — presented an unsound educational program for district students.
The Mosler Ojai Rock Quarry hurdled its final obstacle Tuesday when the Ventura County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal that could have cost the business $100,000 or more to meet state environ- mental standards.
“I am very surprised,” said Larry Mosler, owner of the Mosler Ojai Rock Quarry. “It is proper finally.”
Filed by the Stop the Trucks! Coalition, an Ojai activist group, the appeal sought to revoke the expansion of a reclamation plan approved by the Ventura County Planning Department in April, for the area around the quarry.
The California Coastal Horse Rescue organization is being sued by a neighbor who claims the nonprofit has neglected its Meiners Oaks property, causing manure smells and dust clouds “laden with E. coli” to drift next door.
Camille Sears, an atmospheric scientist and tangerine grower, is seeking emotional damages as well as compensation for the economic harm she says the dust has caused, according to the lawsuit filed Aug. 30 in the Ventura County Superior Court.
Anonymous knitters, working late at night, have wrapped dozens of poles in Ojai with brightly-colored yarn in the past few weeks, as well as cloaking local landmarks — including the metal horse in Rotary Park at the edge of town, the condor at the museum and the statue of the boy reading at the library — in impromptu woolen outfits.
The guerilla knitters do not want to be identified, but businesswoman Mary Kennedy — a supporter, although not a member of the group — agreed to speak for them. She said she helps by purchasing old afghans at thrift shops, and giving them to the knitters for their “pole bombs.”
In the last few months in Ojai it has become a seller’s real estate market, according to a several local real estate experts.
“The limited inventory at the lower end of the price range is creating a huge buzz,” explained Emily Wilson-Sandefur, certified mortgage advisor and vice president of Heritage Financial in Ojai. “With interest rates as low as they are and values still low, it’s a perfect opportunity for people to buy. Properties are now going for the asking price. We haven’t seen a market this healthy in years.”
Larry Hagman, who became famous around the world in the 1980s for his almost gleefully villainous portrayal of J.R. Ewing in the hit show “Dallas,” and who later chose to live with his wife, Maj, in an estate atop Ojai’s Sulphur Mountain for most of the last 15 years, died Friday from complications due to cancer. He was 81.
The Ojai City Council voted Tuesday night to extend for a year its moratorium banning the installation of Smart Meters in Ojai. Though the piece of legislation has been deemed “unenforceable” — and therefore is symbolic in nature — only one council member, Sue Horgan, felt the gesture was “futile.”
“This moratorium has been ineffective,” said Horgan. “I am hoping we can do more effective things.”
Other council members and city staff expressed the need to make the statement nonetheless while the California Public Utilities Commission, which has jurisdiction over the electrical companies installing the new wireless meters, considers aspects such as community-wide opt-outs.
The fifth time was the charm for the Nordhoff High School football program. After making it to the CIF-Southern Section finals in 1994, 1996, 1999, and 2007 and coming up short each time, the Rangers finally notched their first-ever CIF title on the gridiron Saturday night by defeating a tough North Torrance team, 31-14.
About 240 Ojai Valley Community Hospital supporters donned their finery and braved the showers Saturday night for an evening of dining and dancing at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, raising nearly $95,000 for hospital improvements.
Proceeds from the 11th annual Nightingale Ball, sponsored by the Hospital Foundation Guild, are being earmarked for the newly remodeled intensive care unit, and for the purchase and installation of new surgical lights for the operating room.
The 34-year-old man convicted of the 2010 attempted murder of a police officer in Ojai was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison Wednesday.
John Atkinson, apologized to the court during the sentencing hearing at the Ventura County Superior Courthouse.
“I am horribly, horribly sorry about everything that happened,” Atkinson said.
Much may have changed in the world since Gordon Byrne played football for Nordhoff High School in the mid-1950s, but one thing that has not changed is his affection for the sport. Byrne, who now lives in Thousand Oaks, has been watching Nordhoff football games since his time as a student and a player from 1953 to 1955. So when he learned that his alma mater had finally won the CIF-SS Northwest Division Championship Dec. 1, he decided he wanted to do something for the players.
In the process of looking for something to do to help the Ranger players, Byrne was inspired to start raising funds to purchase championship rings for the 2012 players who might not be able to afford to pay the $175 for their piece of history.
Monday morning, an Ojai Unified School District mechanic made an unwelcome discovery: the bus yard fuel tank was empty.
Approximately 2,300 gallons of diesel fuel had been stolen from the facility’s bulk storage tank overnight.
Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett and Peter Foy went head-to-head Tuesday, as they debated sending a letter urging state officials to pass laws that would ensure public disclosure of where hydraulic fracturing occurs, what chemicals are used in the process, and requesting assurance that the groundwater would be protected when it is used.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” is a drilling technique to extract oil or natural gas from rock formations by injecting sand, water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure. Currently, there is no requirement in California, nor in most other states, to report what chemicals are used in the fracking practices.
Ojai’s City Council underwent a change Tuesday as members bid farewell to Sue Horgan, a 12-year councilwoman and two-time mayor. Replacing Horgan is former Ojai Parks and Recreation Commissioner Severo Lara, who was sworn in Tuesday along with Councilwoman Betsy Clapp, City Clerk Rhonda Basore and City Treasurer Alan Rains who were recently reelected.
Nordhoff High School’s varsity football crew (above) got a standing ovation from hundreds of fans Sunday afternoon during a parade through downtown Ojai.
Gun control, mental health, societal failings — it’s easy to point fingers in reaction to tragedies such as the Sandy Hook shootings.
But in the Ojai Valley, police and school officials are focusing on action. Meetings are being set; lockdown drills are being reviewed; maps of the schools are being scrutinized. The fact that the Ojai Unified School District is out on winter break until Jan. 2 allows time for officials to discuss current procedures and alter them as needed without disrupting students in class.