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Fans lament loss of museum's iconic Dippy

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 10 hours 43 min ago

LONDON (AP) - Dippy the dinosaur is being retired from London's Natural History Museum - and his fans aren't happy.

The museum announced Thursday that the 85-foot (26-meter) plaster skeleton, which has been on display for more than a century, is to be replaced in the main hall by the skeleton of a blue whale.

Dippy is a plaster replica of a diplodocus, a dinosaur that lived in North America 150 million years ago.

The original was unearthed in Wyoming in 1899 and is housed at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave Britain the plaster copy in 1905 after a request from King Edward VII.

Dippy is slated to be replaced in 2017 with a real 83-foot (25-meter) whale skeleton. Natural History Museum director Michael Dixon said the change was part of a 10-year overhaul of the museum, "focusing on the real and authentic."

"Much loved as Dippy is, he's a plaster cast replica of a diplodocus, and one of a number around the world," Dixon said.

The news drew protest from Britons who recalled childhood visits to the museum. Some expressed outrage on Twitter using the hashtag #savedippy, and an online petition called for the dinosaur to be spared.

"Nothing can quite capture the imagination of children in the same way that dinosaurs do," said children's author James Mayhew, whose book "Katie and the Dinosaurs" was inspired by a visit to the museum.

"It's a London landmark," Mayhew said.

The museum said it was looking into the possibility of sending Dippy on tour.

MH370: Search for survivors called off

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 11 hours 1 min ago

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been officially declared an "accident" and the search for survivors has been called off, authorities said Thursday.

Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation released a statement that said that all 239 people aboard the Boeing 777 were now presumed dead.

"It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident," said Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation. "All 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives."

The underwater search for wreckage in the Southern Indian Ocean will continue. Malaysia is pursuing criminal charges, according to Reuters.

Rahman acknowledged that the announcement would "be very difficult for the families and loved ones."

The announcement is intended to enable victims' relatives to begin the process of claiming compensation.

The announcement comes more than 10 months after MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. 

The plane is believed to have crashed in the South Indian Ocean.

5 things stopping you from saving money

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 11 hours 58 min ago

Spending comes easily to many of us, but learning how to save can help much more in the long run. One reason saving may seem more difficult is all the necessary expenses you incur like rent or mortgage payments and food. You may think you have heard it all before about cutting back spending, but everyday habits and attitudes may be keeping you from reaching your savings goals.

1. Not keeping track

One of the best ways to increase savings is tracking your costs and creating a budget every month. This way, you can see where your money is going and set attainable goals without totally compromising your lifestyle. It’s important to distinguish needs from wants so you can cut back on “extras” if need be.

2. Refusing to cut back

If you are not willing to cut costs to boost your savings, you will likely fail to see consistent growth in your savings. It’s a good idea to break any splurging habits you have (like if you can never stroll through a certain store without spending), create a more frugal budget and search for painless ways to spend less. Some ways to do this — ignore sales, eat out less, consider doing for yourself some of the things you currently pay others to do and switch to generic products. You can unsubscribe from retail emails and change your usual walking route so you aren’t tempted by the book or outfit in the window you pass.

3. Not being prepared

You cannot always predict what will happen to you and the costs you may face. The money you were socking away for savings may end up being swallowed up by an unexpected expense. Having an emergency fund separate from your savings will help insulate your savings goals against whatever may come. Every little bit helps but it’s a good idea to work toward having three to nine months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. This can help ensure you don’t go into debt when one of these unexpected major expenses arise. The lifetime cost of debt is staggering, and a better credit score can help you lower that cost. You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com to see where you stand.

4. Holding too much debt

If your debt load is siphoning your potential savings, you will likely stay in the red for a long time. As soon as you secure a reasonable emergency fund, it’s a good idea to aggressively tackle your debt. Whether you choose to pay off the highest-interest-rate debts first or pay down the smallest balances first, it’s important that you commit to paying it all off. The faster you free yourself of debt, the more money you will free up to meet your savings goals.

5. Making excuses

Last but certainly not least, your attitude may be holding you back from savings. It may be easy to think of reasons holding you back from saving but these are only mental roadblocks getting in the way of a secure financial future. Try to change how you view your fiscal priorities so you can focus on what actually gets you to your goals.

More from Credit.com

The Lifetime Cost of Debt Calculator
5 Steps to Get Control of Your Finances
How to Save Big Without Feeling Deprived

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

Fed Flags Midyear Rate Hike---Or Later

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - 12 hours 58 min ago
The Federal Reserve signaled it would keep short-term interest rates near zero at least until midyear, while also setting the stage for tough decisions in the coming weeks about whether it should wait even longer.

Ventura man accused of restaurant stabbing

Ventura County Star - Local News - 15 hours 24 min ago

A 26-year-old Ventura man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stabbing another man at a restaurant, officials said.

The incident was reported about 1:50 p.m. at La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant, 100 N. Ashwood Ave. in Ventura. Callers reported seeing the suspect, later identified as Cameron Calabrese, running from the restaurant, police said.

Ventura College officers saw Calabrese running near Baylor Street and Telegraph Road, and he was arrested after a short chase, police said.

Officers said Calabrese and a 27-year-old Ventura man were arguing inside the restaurant when Calabrese used a small knife to stab him in the shoulder. Police said the two men knew each other but their exact relationship was unknown.

The victim was treated at the scene and taken to Ventura County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Calabrese was booked into Ventura County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

Ventura man accused of restaurant stabbing

Ventura County Star Top Stories - 15 hours 24 min ago

A 26-year-old Ventura man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stabbing another man at a restaurant, officials said.

The incident was reported about 1:50 p.m. at La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant, 100 N. Ashwood Ave. in Ventura. Callers reported seeing the suspect, later identified as Cameron Calabrese, running from the restaurant, police said.

Ventura College officers saw Calabrese running near Baylor Street and Telegraph Road, and he was arrested after a short chase, police said.

Officers said Calabrese and a 27-year-old Ventura man were arguing inside the restaurant when Calabrese used a small knife to stab him in the shoulder. Police said the two men knew each other but their exact relationship was unknown.

The victim was treated at the scene and taken to Ventura County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Calabrese was booked into Ventura County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

2 Thousand Oaks riders arrested in drug offense

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 11:50pm

Two men were arrested in connection with a drug offense Wednesday in Thousand Oaks, officials said.

The arrest was made just before noon on Westlake Boulevard south of Avenida De Los Arboles after officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a code violation. Officers learned the driver of the vehicle was operating the car for the Uber ride service, police said.

Officers contacted the car's passengers and found them to be in possession of about one-quarter pound of concentrated cannabis, also known as butane honey oil, and $2,000, authorities said. Further investigation discovered the men were using the car service to take them to a drug deal where they would sell the concentrated cannabis, authorities said.

Police said a typical dose of the concentrated drug is one-tenth of a gram and that the men had more than 1,000 dosage units of the drug, officials said.

Cody Jens, 24, of Agoura Hills, and Luke Karasiuk, 22, of Thousand Oaks, were arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale and booked into county jail, authorities said.

Local Roundup, Jan. 28

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 10:47pm



At Buena

Buena: Jordan Starr scored 13 points. Tanner Gray had eight points and four assists. Dalton Beavers and Taylor Sturgeon each had eight points.

Santa Barbara: Bolden Brace scored 23 points and Ben Clay had 22.

Records: Santa Barbara 20-4, 3-1 Channel League; Buena 14-6, 1-3.



At Ventura

Ventura: Dustin Houck had 14 points and five rebounds. Bryce Fausset scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half.

Record: Ventura 15-7, 3-1 Channel League.



At Camarillo

Oak Park: Riley Battin had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Michael Alvarez scored 21 points. Wes Slajchert had 15 points and six assists.

Camarillo: Brandon Adair had 10 points.

Records: Oak Park 15-7, 5-0 Coastal Canyon League; Camarillo 11-14, 0-5.



At Santa Paula

Nordhoff: Atticus Reyes scored 13 points and had two steals. Nick Lewis had 10 points and eight rebounds. Tyler Rogers had 10 points and three assists. Luke Boyd grabbed eight rebounds and had three points.

Record: Nordhoff 9-11, 2-4 Tri-Valley League.



At Hueneme

Oxnard: Taylor Kirkham had 23 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Marquis Sedeno recorded 10 points and seven rebounds. Aaron Lee finished with eight points, five rebounds and four assists.

Hueneme: Baldemar Morales scored eight points.

Records: Oxnard 17-7, 5-0 Pacific View League; Hueneme 3-15, 0-5.



At Rio Mesa

Rio Mesa: Rajon Martin scored 14 points. Justin Roque and Dylan Haskell each had eight points.

Channel Islands: Fernando Romero scored seven points and Francis Juliano had six.

Records: Rio Mesa 9-13, 4-1 Pacific View League; Channel Islands 4-14, 1-4.



At Villanova Prep

Villanova Prep: Eastin Bartholio scored 15 points and Jacob Greenspan had 11.

Cate: Nick Thomas had 16 points and Nate Wilson finished with 12.

Records: Villanova Prep 11-9, 6-2 Frontier League; Cate 4-9, 1-7.



At Malibu

Thacher: Mitch Weil scored 23 points and Manny Aruho had 13. Mohammad Bakhiet added 10 points.

Record: Thacher 7-3, 5-2 Frontier League.




At Pacifica

Rio Mesa: Cece Lucas scored 10 points and Julia Barroquillo had nine.

Pacifica: Celeste Salazar had six points, nine rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Records: Rio Mesa 16-6, 6-0 Pacific View League; Pacifica 11-13, 3-2.



At Newbury Park

Newbury Park: Kayla Overbeck finished with 19 points, five rebounds, six steals and three assists. Avery Brunk had 12 points, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. Kate Foultz scored 11 points.

Thousand Oaks: Alexa Coubal scored 14 points and Taylor Halby had 10.

Records: Newbury Park 10-12, 4-1 Marmonte League; Thousand Oaks 17-4, 2-3.



At Moorpark

Royal: Jessica Garner scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Melissa Ohmie had 12 points and eight rebounds. Jessica Gonzalez recorded seven points and eight assists. Mayrav Ben-Aderet had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Record: Royal 10-12, 2-3 Coastal Canyon League.



At Oak Park

Camarillo: Sydney Arikawa scored 23 points and Simone Lewis had 13. Cameran Bahnsen had four points and eight rebounds.

Oak Park: Clara Matsumoto scored 10 points.

Records: Camarillo 15-7, 5-0 Coastal Canyon League; Oak Park 2-3 in league.




At Camarillo

Camarillo: Nikolas Chunglo scored off an assist from Mitchell Costello in the 70th minute. Jordan Duran recorded his 11th shutout of the year.

Record: Camarillo 10-5-1, 3-2 Coastal Canyon League.



At Royal

Royal: Anthony Manzanares and Thomas Hogan scored two goals apiece. Carlos Espinosa had a goal and an assist. Scott Moyer, James Bodnar and Hogan each had an assist. Josh Stokka, Kyle Myers and Henry Hong played well on defense. Fernando Lanuza had two saves in goal.

Record: Royal 14-4-4, 4-1-0 Coastal Canyon League.



At Carpinteria

Santa Paula: Pedro Magana, Gio Acosta, Ricky Zamarron and Mane Hernandez played well for the Cardinals.

Record: Santa Paula 3-2 Tri-Valley League.




At Santa Paula

Santa Paula: Jasmine Ambriz and Paola Gonzalez scored three goals apiece. Griselda Diaz and Jennifer Magana each scored a goal. Lizbeth Garcia, Nataly Parra and Jennifer Magana each recorded two assists.

Record: Santa Paula 10-6, 4-1 Tri-Valley League.



At Moorpark: Courtney Worstell was spectacular in goal for her third consecutive league shutout. Taylee Lidelle, Lauren Talbot, Beth Wade, Dominique Campbell and Jessie Ortega played well on the back line. Nicole Green scored off on an assist by Gillian Mathews. Kelsey Rouse, Sarah Hernandez and Green controlled the midfield.

Record: Moorpark 8-6-3, 3-1-1 Coastal Canyon League.



At Oak Park

Oak Park: Hannah Adler and Jordyn Bradbury both had two goals and an assist. Jianna Zeolla scored a goal and Lauren Bay had two assists. Paige Harrington had an assist.

Record: Oak Park 14-2, 4-1 Coastal Canyon League.



At Newbury Park

Newbury Park: Hayley Greenblatt and Kristina Krehbiel scored goals off assists by Tara McKeown. Maddie Murray scored off an assist by Maddy Spanglar assist. Emma Holmstrom scored off an assist by Emily Curtis.



At Calabasas

Agoura: Sofia Chambers scored on a free kick in the 15th minute. Jordyn Morris had seven saves in the shutout. Kendall Allen played exceptionally well.

Record: Agoura 9-6-4, 2-2-1 Marmonte League.




At Malibu

Foothill Technology: Lezly Plahn had six goals and five steals. Megan McKillican finished with five goals and four steals. Ariana Singer recorded three goals and nine steals. Taylor Wreesman had three blocks and one steal.

Record: Foothill Technology 20-3, 5-0 Frontier League.



At Royal

Royal: Bailey Moore had four goals, two assists and three steals. Jenna Hurst had four goals and four steals. Sydney Hurst scored four goals. Morgan Molloy had three goals, two assists and a steal. Megan Abarta had two goals, four assists and six steals. Lauren Wiksell had a goal and four assists. Goalie McKenzie Richards made four saves and goalie Shaleigh Russel had a save and an assist.

Record: Royal 14-8, 4-0 Coastal Canyon League.




At Channel Islands

Channel Islands: Bianca Montes (111 pounds), Annabel Medina (121), Judith Reyes (189) and heavyweight Crystal Gomez won by pin as the Raiders won the first dual meet in program history.




At Whittier

Cal Lutheran: Chelsea Jacoby scored a career-hgh 32 points. Sofia Cruz had 16 points and Jessica Salottolo had 12. Katy Lindor added 10 points.

Records: Cal Lutheran 11-6, 6-2 SCIAC; Whittier 7-9, 3-5.

VC women tops MC in first-place showdown

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 10:35pm

It took Brooke Zamora and her freshmen teammates a moment to adjust to the cross-county rivalry.

“It is way more intense than any other game, that’s for sure,” Zamora said. “That makes it fun.”

By the time the freshman from Royal High stepped to the line to give the Ventura College women’s basketball team a three-point lead with six seconds to play Wednesday night at Raider Pavilion, she was ready.

“I just tried to block everyone out,” Zamora said. “They were normal free throws.”

Zamora had 16 points and nine rebounds as the first-place Ventura College women’s basketball team held on for a 60-57 win at second-place Moorpark College.

Freshman point guard Aubri Smith had 13 points and five assists and sophomore forward Micaela Pericone-Kapp had 12 points and nine rebounds as the No. 7-ranked Pirates (19-5, 6-0) completed the first cycle of Western State Conference play unbeaten.

Dagmar Ramirez and Sydney Bennett had 14 points apiece and Lindsay Neuner had 10 points for Moorpark (12-9, 4-2), which followed Saturday’s one-point loss at Cuesta with another heartbreaker.

“I told the kids I was really proud of them,” Moorpark coach Remy McCarthy said. “There’s some things we could have done to change the outcome and that’s encouraging. You can’t sulk. Right now it’s really important that we get ready for Hancock (on Saturday).”

Despite playing without star sophomore Ashley Ontiveros, who suffered a concussion in the final moments Saturday, Moorpark jumped out to a 10-4 lead and controlled much of the first half.

VC settled down behind Zamora and Pericone-Kapp, who splashed three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Pirates their first lead, 18-14, with 6:34 left in the half.

Zamora’s late jumper gave VC a 31-22 lead at the break.

“Brooke was on fire,” Pericone-Kapp said.

Moorpark made two real runs at snapping its 24-year-old losing streak to its cross-county rival.

Christina Provenzano, thrust into the starting lineup in Ontiveros’ place, drained a 3-pointer as the Raiders opened the half on a 9-2 run to close within 33-31 with 16:10 left.

Again, VC responded from the outside. Smith and Pericone-Kapp followed with consecutive 3-pointers to steady the ship and Pericone-Kapp dropped another 3 to give the Pirates a 47-36 lead with 10:44 left.

Moorpark wouldn’t wilt. Jessie Sager scored inside and Neuner and Provenzano made 3-pointers to pull it within 48-47 with 6:04 to play.

“I don’t think that we ever lost our drive to win,” Sager said. “We played as hard as we could the whole game.”

Havanna Vanello’s 3-pointer pulled Moorpark even, 50-50. Bennett and Neuner followed two Zamora free throws with jumpers to give the Raiders the lead. Bennett’s three-point play gave them a 57-54 lead with 3:09 left.

“I was like, ‘What the heck is happening?’ ” said Pericone-Kapp.

Sandra Ortiz scored on the right block and Carolyn Ruffino drained a runner to put VC back ahead, 58-57, with 1:38 to play.

“I couldn’t believe it, but I think we handled it well,” Pericone-Kapp said. “We slowed it down and utilized the strengths in our offense. That helped us and we just calmed down.”

Ruffino also had a key offensive rebound as the Pirates held possession for much of the final minute before Moorpark followed Zamora’s icing free throws with a potential game-tying 3-pointer, which bounced off the back rim at the buzzer.

“You always want to give yourselves a chance,” McCarthy said. “We really missed a golden opportunity.”

That was the oh-so-slim decider of another dramatic rivalry night at Raider Pavilion.

“It was a really great game,” Pericone-Kapp said. “It was more competitive. There was more to lose. There was more passion in the game.”


Joshua Brooks and Larry Bush had 16 points apiece, Jeremiah Gray had 15 points and Austin Howell had 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the Moorpark College men’s basketball team held off Ventura, 79-76.

Four days after Moorpark (13-10, 3-3) faded down the stretch at first-place Cuesta, it converted 8 of 8 free throws in the final 68 seconds to close out the victory.

“We just kept fighting,” Moorpark coach Gerred Link said. “Ventura kept fighting. They just kept coming back.”

Ventura (8-14) fell to 1-5 in WSC North play, despite a game-high 25 points from sophomore Vondel Faniel.

Moorpark led 68-57 with 7:15 to play, but VC whittled the deficit down to 73-72 on Jalon Wilson’s jump shot with 30 seconds to play.

Up to Six Million Households Facing Health Insurance Penalty

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 10:07pm
As many as six million households may have to pay a penalty for not having had health insurance coverage last year as required under the Affordable Care Act. The fine for not carrying insurance in 2014 is $95 per adult, or 1% of family income, whichever is greater.

St. Bonaventure holds off Santa Clara

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 9:49pm

Up by 12 at the break, the St. Bonaventure High boys basketball team saw its lead shrink to three near the end of the third quarter.

The Seraphs didn’t fret and didn’t fold. They didn’t waver in what shaped up as their biggest game of the regular season.

“I see this as a sign that this team continues to mature,” St. Bonaventure coach Patrick Frank said after his team’s 64-48 victory over visiting Santa Clara on Wednesday night. “They continued to believe in themselves, in the team, and that pulled us through tonight.”

St. Bonaventure restored the momentum with a 6-0 run at the end of the third quarter, and stretched it out for a victory that all but wraps up the Tri-Valley League championship.

With their seventh consecutive victory, the Seraphs improve to 6-0 in league and 13-9 overall, and build the lead to two games with four to go.

Santa Clara falls two games back at 4-2 (7-14 overall).

“It’s a big, big win for us,” said senior guard Jake Todey, who notched 19 points, including 12 in the final half. “It’s our first goal to win the league championship and this is a big step in that direction.

“We kind of expected (Santa Clara) to come back at us in the second half. We stayed in the system and stayed together as a team. That’s how you win games like that.”

Thomas Frank also tallied 19 points for the Seraphs, with four 3-pointers in the first half and five on the night. Santa Clara’s hot hand was Isaiah Nichols with a game-high 21 points, including 15 in the final two quarters.

“We played hard,” said Santa Clara coach Bobby Tenorio.”We were really hoping to pull into a tie for league lead, and we gave it a good run. We fell short but that still leaves us with a lot to play for. We can finish second in the league and get a good seeding heading into the playoffs.”

The game’s moment of truth came in the third quarter.

Trailing at 32-20 at halftime, the Saints came out aggressive and snapped off a 16-7 spurt.

A 3-pointer by Larry Grefalda with 2:39 left in the period sliced the disadvantage to 39-36.

Thereafter, a charging call on a potential three-point play went against the Saints. Nichols followed with 3-point attempt that spun deep into the basket, before spinning out.

Then the Seraphs took charge.

Three consecutive baskets, including a drive to the basket by Todey and an inside shot by Frank, upped the lead to 45-36 at the end of three periods. The Saints never got closer than eight points again.

St. Bonaventure takes charge of the league race, but Frank expects his players to stay focused. At least that was the message in the postgame locker room.

“I told them that we haven’t won anything yet,” he said. “We’re not a league champion after tonight. We do have a target on our backs, and teams are going to come after us the next four games.”

A hot first quarter and a hot first hand by Frank lifted St. Bonaventure to a 32-20 lead at halftime.

Frank knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to build the lead to 15-8, then added a 3-pointer at the top of the second period to extend the advantage to 24-8.

Santa Clara didn’t help its cause in the first quarter.

The Saints missed 7 of 10 shots, took a pair of offensive fouls and committed three turnovers in the opening quarter.

But Santa Clara settled down, going on a 10-2 run in the second period to cut the deficit to 26-18.

St. Bonaventure closed with its own mini-run, at 6-2, to hike the edge to 32-20 at half’s end.

The Seraphs had six 3-pointers in the opening half, including one apiece by Darius Vines and Ryan Basaldua.

High Court Halts Oklahoma Executions

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 9:19pm
The Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked the executions of three Oklahoma inmates while their challenge to the state’s lethal-injection protocol is under consideration at the court.

Oaks tops Westlake in first meeting

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 9:12pm

Oaks Christian School junior Samantha Bruder tries to treat every game the same way. She is competitive and wants to win them all.

But even Bruder had to admit Wednesday night had a little added meaning.

Oaks Christian and Westlake were meeting in girls soccer for the first time in history.

Oaks Christian is the new kid on the block in the Marmonte League and Westlake is the six-time defending league champion.

It appears there will be a changing of the guard.

Sisters Samantha and Jackie Bruder scored goals to lead Oaks Christian to a 2-1 victory over Westlake at Oaks Christian School.

Oaks Christian (11-0, 5-0) remained undefeated while Westlake (7-1-4, 2-1-2) suffered its first loss.

“This win was amazing. Going into the game we were all super pumped and ready,” Samantha Bruder said. “I know a lot of girls on their team and play club with them, so it was extra exciting to play them.”

Samantha Bruder gave Oaks Christian the early lead in the 14th minute when she dribbled half the field and slotted a shot into the left side of the goal.

“I saw the goal and knew 0-0 was very dangerous and knew we had to score,” Samantha Bruder said. “Right when I was about to shoot, I said to myself: ‘I am going to score,’ and I did. It always feels great to celebrate with my teammates.”

Freshman Jackie Bruder doubled the Oaks Christian advantage in the 26th minute by corralling a long ball from junior Megan Demijohn and scoring for a 2-0 lead.

The game became more physical in the second half as Westlake battled to stay in contention.

Sophomore Brooke Wynalda cut Westlake’s deficit in half by scoring on a 25-yard free kick with 12 minutes remaining to pull the Warriors within 2-1.

Jackie Bruder nearly increased Oaks Christian lead back to two in the waning minutes, but her shot bounced off the left post.

Westlake pushed vigorously for the equalizer in the final two minutes. Sophomore Hannah Sharts had the best opportunity on a 30-yard free kick that sailed just over the crossbar.

“Sam Bruder is a tremendous player and we didn’t do a really good job in the first half dealing with the situation defensively,” Westlake head coach Frank Marino said. “We lost our shape a little bit and that was kind of the difference in the game. But I was pleased with how we played overall, especially in the second half.”

Oaks Christian head coach Sebastian Alvarado was happy his program emerged unscathed in the first round of league.

“It’s a good league win for us and it puts us seven points up from everybody else. That is the way I look at it,” he said. “I thought in the first half we had some chances to score and Sam putting that ball away was a turning point.”

Although Oaks Christian is likely to end Westlake’s league title reign this season, Marino said he doesn’t mind having the Lions finally on the schedule.

“I think it’s good. They provide a good level of competition,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with them being in our league. I think it’s great for our league and makes us better.”

Video Feature: Signs That Virtual Reality Is on the Verge of Taking Off

New York Times - California News - January 28, 2015 - 9:00pm
Major technology and media companies are investing heavily in virtual reality, a signal that the experience may soon be ready for mass consumption.

Californians support Obama's immigration policy

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 9:00pm

Californians overwhelming support President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration that would protect as many as 4 million people living in the country illegally from the threat of deportation, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, finds 69 percent of California adults support the president’s action, including 89 percent of Latinos and 55 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

The results suggest Californians back the action much more strongly than Americans as a whole. An ABC/Washington Post poll in December found 52 percent of adults nationwide support the executive order.

“Californians settled on this issue quite a while ago,” said PPIC pollster Mark Baldassare. “They support immigration reform and a path to citizenship.”

The poll, conducted over landlines and cellphones, surveyed 1,705 Californians from Jan. 11-20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

Likely because the Democratic president took the action on his own and it has been condemned by the Republican leadership in Congress, Baldassare noted that the partisan split on opinions of the executive action was much more pronounced than partisan differences on the broader issue of comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for those already living in the country illegally.

Approval among Democrats of the executive order stood at 83 percent, with only 35 percent of Republicans in support. About two-thirds (65 percent) of independents favored the action.

Previous PPIC polls have found bipartisan support among Californians for comprehensive immigration reform.

In other findings, the poll shows Californians are generally optimistic about the condition of the state. Among adults, 57 percent believe the state is headed in the right direction and 58 percent expect good economic times in 2015.

That optimism is reflected in the approval ratings of elected officials, which were up across the board.

Approval of Obama’s performance rose to 60 percent, up 11 percentage points from October. It is now at its highest level since July 2013.

At the state level, approval of Gov. Jerry Brown’s performance is at its highest level since he took office this time around in January 2011 — it stands at 61 percent. Brown’s level of public approval has marched steadily upward since 2011, when it stood at 40 percent.

Approval of the performances of Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, the Legislature and Congress is also moving upward.

“When the president’s, the governor’s, the Legislature’s and Congress’ approval ratings all go up, you’re looking at a time when people are feeling much, much better about the economy,” Baldassare said. “That raises everyone.”

On issues related to the state budget, the poll found Californians are almost evenly split on the question of whether to extend the temporary tax increases voters approved with the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012.

A one-quarter percent increase in the sales tax is scheduled to expire in 2016, and an increase in income-tax rates for those with annual incomes of $250,000 or more will be in place through 2018.

The poll found 50 percent of adults and 52 percent of likely voters favor extending those increases.

Brown has said he intends to stick by his promise that those tax increases would be temporary, but some advocates are proposing that a measure be placed on the 2016 ballot asking voters to extend the increases.

Sick Child’s Father Seeks Vaccination Requirement in California

New York Times - California News - January 28, 2015 - 9:00pm
Carl Krawitt, of Marin County, argued that parents who refused to have their children vaccinated against diseases like measles were putting his son at risk.

Obama's Tax Proposals Unlikely to Boost Middle-Class Incomes

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 8:36pm
A new analysis suggests that President Barack Obama’s recent tax proposals would do little to boost incomes for middle-class households, and actually could wind up raising taxes on many.

Few Fireworks at Hearing of Attorney General Nominee

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 8:26pm
Attorney-general nominee Loretta Lynch vouched for the legality of recent Obama administration decisions on immigration at her relatively tame confirmation hearing before lawmakers.

GOP Split on Obama Request for More Defense Spending

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 8:08pm
President Barack Obama will send Congress a fiscal year 2016 budget next week proposing both military and domestic spending at levels surpassing the limits lawmakers agreed to in a hard-fought 2011 deal.

Romney Focuses on Inequality in Speech

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 28, 2015 - 7:41pm
Mitt Romney tested a platform for a possible new campaign for the presidency that focused on easing economic anxiety and adopting a muscular foreign policy.
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