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Police search for person in Simi Valley

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 28, 2015 - 1:03am

Rescue crews were sent early Wednesday to an area of south Simi Valley where police were looking for a suicidal person, authorities said.

Crews initially were called to the 900 block of Crosby Avenue at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

By 1 a.m., the search was centered in the area south of Hillside Middle School, which is in the 2200 block of Fitzgerald Road.

Ambulance and rescue crews were in the area in case they were needed, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Police search for person in Simi Valley

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 28, 2015 - 1:03am

Rescue crews were sent early Wednesday to an area of south Simi Valley where police were looking for a suicidal person, authorities said.

Crews initially were called to the 900 block of Crosby Avenue at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

By 1 a.m., the search was centered in the area south of Hillside Middle School, which is in the 2200 block of Fitzgerald Road.

Ambulance and rescue crews were in the area in case they were needed, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Police respond to fight at Camarillo restaurant

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 11:09pm

Police responded Tuesday night to a report of a fight at a restaurant in Camarillo, authorities said.

The fight was reported about 10:35 p.m. at the Sportsman Restaurant, 4426 Central Ave.

Authorities said about eight to 10 people were involved in the fight.

Three units with the Ventura County Fire Department as well as deputies with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office responded to the disturbance.

Police respond to fight at Camarillo restaurant

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 11:09pm

Police responded Tuesday night to a report of a fight at a restaurant in Camarillo, authorities said.

The fight was reported about 10:35 p.m. at the Sportsman Restaurant, 4426 Central Ave.

Authorities said about eight to 10 people were involved in the fight.

Three units with the Ventura County Fire Department as well as deputies with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office responded to the disturbance.

2 Thousand Oaks crashes linked to rain

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 10:55pm

Thousand Oaks police said Tuesday that traffic accidents a day earlier were linked to rainfall.

A 21-year-old Thousand Oaks man was driving his vehicle west on Avenida De Los Arboles about 7:30 p.m. Monday when he lost control of the vehicle and it hit a tree, police said. Rescue crews freed the trapped man and he was taken to Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries, police said.

Another driver lost control of his vehicle around 5:05 p.m. Monday while traveling west on Borchard Road. The vehicle hit a lamppost, although the 16-year-old driver from Thousand Oaks was not injured, authorities said.

Police said the rain-slick condition of the roads was a contributing factors in the crashes.

Oaks Christian beats Westlake, 62-55

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 10:54pm

It’s officially a three-team race.

After losing by just three points against Thousand Oaks last Friday, the Oaks Christian School boys basketball pulled into a tie for first place in the competitive Marmonte League with a rugged 62-55 win at Westlake High on Tuesday night.

Tyler Harris scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Lions pulled away down the stretch to earn the victory and create a three-way logjam atop the league with the Warriors and Thousand Oaks.

“When you’re out there you see what’s working,” Harris said. “And in the fourth quarter you can turn it on sometimes and just take what the defense gives you. Coach drew up some good plays at the end and we finished.”

Harris also had a game-high nine rebounds, along with Westlake’s Michael Hanshaw. The senior forward, said Oaks Christian (11-8, 4-1) was prepared for the showdown.

“We felt pretty comfortable with our game scheme going in,” he said. “We watched some film on them and we knew that if we played zone and kept them out of the middle, we could win.”

Oaks Christian led 11-7 after one quarter, but Westlake (17-5, 4-1) pulled ahead 26-22 at halftime — thanks to a huge second quarter by sophomore forward Adam Hess, who scored nine points and had three rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in the period.

The Lions held Westlake star point guard Isaiah Brooks scoreless in the first half as part of tenacious defensive effort.

“I think tonight we played phenomenal defense,” said senior forward Austen Moye, who finished with 10 points, four blocked shots, six rebounds and three assists. “We were holding Isaiah (Brooks) down, and on the offensive end that just created more and more for us.”

“We saw film on (Westlake) against Thousand Oaks,” Moye said. “We knew they were good, but we knew we could beat them, too. So we just came out and played our own game.”

Westlake enjoyed its biggest lead, 31-23 after a 3-pointer by Luis Herrera (six points) early in the third quarter. But the Lions went on a 14-5 run and took the lead, 37-36, on a 3-pointer by Dominic Rector (six points).

A free throw by Harris and a basket by Colby Parkinson (five points) increased the Lions lead to 40-36. A putback by Westlake’s Michael Hayon (11 points, six rebounds, two blocs) ended the third quarter at 40-38.

“When you don’t think (enough) of the opponent and you don’t magnify every possession, sometimes it’s going to bite you at the end of the game,” Hayon said. “They just outhustled us.”

First-year coach Richard Hill was pleased with Oaks Christian’s effort.

“The boys played with a great deal of heart tonight,” he said. “They were focused. Westlake is a very good team, very well-coached, but our boys just had it going tonight.

“This is exactly what you want in this Marmonte League. We belong here. We came to stay. ... And like you saw tonight, it came down to a team that just gets that extra rebound and fights for that loose ball.”

Oaks Christian’s Isaac Lee scored 11 points and had two steals. Ryan Hiepler had eight assists, five points and two steals. Alex Chinian had eight points, eight rebounds and three steals.

For Westlake, Brooks finished with seven points, six assists and two blocks. Drew Brackens scored nine points.

Police investigate death of Ventura man

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 10:48pm

Ventura police were investigating the discovery of a man’s body Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

A passerby reported an unresponsive man was lying in a vacant lot about 3 p.m. in the 4200 block of Transport Street, which is near Donlon Street.

Patrol officers responded to the scene and found the body in a large, open area of overgrown weeds, police said. There was no obvious cause of death or any other information about what may have occurred, authorities said.

The dead person’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family, but police said he was a 45-year-old Ventura man.

Police said they did not know whether the man’s death involved any foul play. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

At the scene Tuesday night in the area dominated by business and industrial parks, crime scene tape was visible and there was a mobile police command post. An officer sat in a patrol car nearby. Authorities said no members of the public would be allowed at the scene overnight and that detectives would be back Wednesday to canvass the area as part of the investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call 339-4467.

Police investigate death of Ventura man

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 10:48pm

Ventura police were investigating the discovery of a man’s body Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

A passerby reported an unresponsive man was lying in a vacant lot about 3 p.m. in the 4200 block of Transport Street, which is near Donlon Street.

Patrol officers responded to the scene and found the body in a large, open area of overgrown weeds, police said. There was no obvious cause of death or any other information about what may have occurred, authorities said.

The dead person’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family, but police said he was a 45-year-old Ventura man.

Police said they did not know whether the man’s death involved any foul play. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

At the scene Tuesday night in the area dominated by business and industrial parks, crime scene tape was visible and there was a mobile police command post. An officer sat in a patrol car nearby. Authorities said no members of the public would be allowed at the scene overnight and that detectives would be back Wednesday to canvass the area as part of the investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call 339-4467.

Georgia Man Executed for Killing Fellow Inmate

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 9:25pm
Georgia executed a man who killed a fellow inmate despite arguments from his lawyers that his execution was prohibited by the Constitution because he was intellectually disabled.

Obama Drops Plan to Raise Taxes on '529' Accounts

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 9:23pm
The Obama administration said it would drop a controversial plan to raise taxes on so-called 529 college-savings accounts, after the proposal sparked widespread criticism over its potential impact on the middle class.

1 injured in fiery Camarillo crash

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 9:19pm

One person was injured Tuesday afternoon in a fiery crash in Camarillo, officials said.

The crash was reported about 3:15 p.m. near Village Commons Boulevard and East Pleasant Valley Road, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Initial reports indicated two vehicles were involved and one was on fire.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office responded to provide traffic control in the area.

One person was taken to St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital.

Storm Lashes U.S. Northeast

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 9:12pm
A powerful winter storm lashed the Northeast on Tuesday, dumping more than two feet of snow on some parts of the region but falling short of predictions of a crippling, widespread onslaught.

‘Hotel 22’

New York Times - California News - January 27, 2015 - 9:00pm
This short documentary shows a 24-hour bus line in Silicon Valley, which the region’s homeless use as a shelter at night.

Getting Immigrants ‘Right With the Law’ Benefits All

New York Times - California News - January 27, 2015 - 9:00pm
Representative Janice Hahn, a California Democrat, and the Latino Victory Project discuss comprehensive immigration reform.

Good Riddance to the Foam Take-Out Carton

New York Times - California News - January 27, 2015 - 9:00pm
Containers that don’t lend themselves to recycling are on the way out, if not via national legislation or the E.P.A. then through local and state laws.

Supervisors reject Anterra's rezoning request

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 8:25pm

The Anterra Corp.’s bid for a zoning change that would have allowed oil-field waste disposal plants to operate in protected farmland in Ventura County was denied Tuesday after a three-hour hearing in Ventura.

Voting 4-1, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors rejected county planners’ recommendation to continue researching and analyzing a proposal from the company that operates a disposal site amid farm fields at 1933 E. Wooley Road near the Oxnard city limits. At this stage, the planners were asking for direction to continue working on the proposal in preparation for returning to the board with a finished product in one to two years.

But supervisors were not willing to take the preliminary step, saying they saw no compelling reason to change a policy enacted 15 years ago by a previous Board of Supervisors. They found the move inconsistent with health, safety, public welfare and good zoning practices as well as incompatible with adopted land use plans and policies.

Supervisors John Zaragoza, Steve Bennett, Kathy Long and Linda Parks opposed going ahead with the study. Supervisor Peter Foy favored it, arguing that the county needs to promote jobs and economic growth.

Zaragoza, who represents Oxnard, adamantly opposed the proposal. A map showed that three sites qualifying for oil-field waste disposal operations under the zoning revision were in the Oxnard area.

“For the longest time, Oxnard has been a dumping site,” Zaragoza said. “ I want this stopped immediately.”

In a letter to supervisors, Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff urged the board to deny the proposal or revise it to exclude continued operation of the Anterra facility.

Oxnard residents who spoke to the board bashed the proposal, as did several environmental groups. They said they were worried about groundwater quality, particularly in the case of an earthquake. A study commissioned by the city discounted the possibility of groundwater contamination, noting that the waste is injected thousands of feet into the ground away from aquifers.

Bennett said he was unwilling to change land-use policy when the county has so much land in open space and industrial zones where oil-field disposal sites are permitted.

“In my mind, it would have to be viewed as essential,” he said.

The decision reaffirmed an earlier Board of Supervisors’ decision in 2000 prohibiting the use in land zoned exclusively for agriculture. The vote also killed any further processing of a separate proposal by Anterra to triple the size of its operations.

Anterra was seeking amendments to the county’s noncoastal zoning ordinance to allow the company to operate on the site after 2018, when its permit expires. The land-use change could not benefit just one company, so the revisions had to apply to any oil-field operator who met the criteria.

Under the narrowly framed proposal, seven of 25 properties in the agricultural exclusive zone would have qualified, including Anterra’s Oxnard property. The facilities had to be on a site with existing, active wells; be next to a public road; and encompass no more than three acres of already developed land.

“Not one inch of land is lost to agriculture,” Anterra attorney Peter Goldenring told the board.

Anterra operates the county’s only commercial establishment for disposal of the petroleum waste materials, mostly brine, at this time. The Santa Clara Waste Water Co. accepted oil-field waste but has been shut down for two months after a toxic explosion and fire.

Geologist Jim Hill told the board the facility is needed in the Ventura County region, the third-largest oil-producing area in California.

“The economics of the wells are dependent on being able to dispose of those brines effectively, cheaply and in an environmentally sound way,” he said.

Anterra can still apply to the Ventura County Planning Commission to continue operations at their current level after its permit expires in August 2018 but cannot seek an expansion.

The District Attorney’s Office is investigating the company over hazardous-waste questions, but no charges have been filed. The company also was cited by county planning officials for exceeding daily truckload limits of 24 per day but is now complying, officials said.

Goldenring declined to comment on the decision and the company’s options.

Supervisors reject Anterra's rezoning request

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 8:25pm

The Anterra Corp.’s bid for a zoning change that would have allowed oil-field waste disposal plants to operate in protected farmland in Ventura County was denied Tuesday after a three-hour hearing in Ventura.

Voting 4-1, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors rejected county planners’ recommendation to continue researching and analyzing a proposal from the company that operates a disposal site amid farm fields at 1933 E. Wooley Road near the Oxnard city limits. At this stage, the planners were asking for direction to continue working on the proposal in preparation for returning to the board with a finished product in one to two years.

But supervisors were not willing to take the preliminary step, saying they saw no compelling reason to change a policy enacted 15 years ago by a previous Board of Supervisors. They found the move inconsistent with health, safety, public welfare and good zoning practices as well as incompatible with adopted land use plans and policies.

Supervisors John Zaragoza, Steve Bennett, Kathy Long and Linda Parks opposed going ahead with the study. Supervisor Peter Foy favored it, arguing that the county needs to promote jobs and economic growth.

Zaragoza, who represents Oxnard, adamantly opposed the proposal. A map showed that three sites qualifying for oil-field waste disposal operations under the zoning revision were in the Oxnard area.

“For the longest time, Oxnard has been a dumping site,” Zaragoza said. “ I want this stopped immediately.”

In a letter to supervisors, Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff urged the board to deny the proposal or revise it to exclude continued operation of the Anterra facility.

Oxnard residents who spoke to the board bashed the proposal, as did several environmental groups. They said they were worried about groundwater quality, particularly in the case of an earthquake. A study commissioned by the city discounted the possibility of groundwater contamination, noting that the waste is injected thousands of feet into the ground away from aquifers.

Bennett said he was unwilling to change land-use policy when the county has so much land in open space and industrial zones where oil-field disposal sites are permitted.

“In my mind, it would have to be viewed as essential,” he said.

The decision reaffirmed an earlier Board of Supervisors’ decision in 2000 prohibiting the use in land zoned exclusively for agriculture. The vote also killed any further processing of a separate proposal by Anterra to triple the size of its operations.

Anterra was seeking amendments to the county’s noncoastal zoning ordinance to allow the company to operate on the site after 2018, when its permit expires. The land-use change could not benefit just one company, so the revisions had to apply to any oil-field operator who met the criteria.

Under the narrowly framed proposal, seven of 25 properties in the agricultural exclusive zone would have qualified, including Anterra’s Oxnard property. The facilities had to be on a site with existing, active wells; be next to a public road; and encompass no more than three acres of already developed land.

“Not one inch of land is lost to agriculture,” Anterra attorney Peter Goldenring told the board.

Anterra operates the county’s only commercial establishment for disposal of the petroleum waste materials, mostly brine, at this time. The Santa Clara Waste Water Co. accepted oil-field waste but has been shut down for two months after a toxic explosion and fire.

Geologist Jim Hill told the board the facility is needed in the Ventura County region, the third-largest oil-producing area in California.

“The economics of the wells are dependent on being able to dispose of those brines effectively, cheaply and in an environmentally sound way,” he said.

Anterra can still apply to the Ventura County Planning Commission to continue operations at their current level after its permit expires in August 2018 but cannot seek an expansion.

The District Attorney’s Office is investigating the company over hazardous-waste questions, but no charges have been filed. The company also was cited by county planning officials for exceeding daily truckload limits of 24 per day but is now complying, officials said.

Goldenring declined to comment on the decision and the company’s options.

Two Ex-Vanderbilt Football Players Convicted of Raping Woman

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 8:17pm
A jury convicted two ex-Vanderbilt University football players, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, of raping a former student inside a dorm room.

Moorpark College baseball returns to field

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 8:17pm

More than a thousand days later, the Moorpark College baseball team returned to the field Tuesday afternoon.

Call it reopening day.

Thirty-three months after becoming a budget-cut casualty, the Raiders were rebooted.

The rain held off, the clouds burned off and the home team won. Freshman Wyatt Birg pitched seven shutout innings to give Moorpark a winning return to the diamond, 3-0, over visiting Antelope Valley.

"It was just a fantastic day," Moorpark athletic director Howard Davis said.

Former Moorpark coaches Jerry White, Ken Wagner and John Keever attended a short pregame ceremony. Four administrators, including Bernard Luskin, the school's interim president, threw out the ceremonial first four pitches before a strong crowd.

"Howard did a great job with the first-ball stuff," Moorpark coach Mario Porto said. "Some of these guys, they don't know (the history of the program). But I think they got a feel for it.

"How many times have you ever seen that many people in our stands on a Tuesday afternoon? They're looking up there going, ‘Holy cow.' "

Birg (1-0), a Thousand Oaks High product, allowed only five runners over seven innings. Freshmen reliever Michael Deleon pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Thomas Luevano got the save with a perfect ninth.

Strong pitching, solid defense and a couple of key hits? It was as if MC baseball had never gone away.

"We played good defense and our pitchers pitched well," Porto said. "That equals a win, usually."

In retiring the side in order in the top of the first, Birg needed just five pitches to whiff the first batter to step to the plate at Moorpark since April 28, 2012.

Moorpark took the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Garrett Kueber and Luevano drew one-out walks and Ryan Mulville singled to load the bases.

After Kueber scored on an infield error, the Raiders left the bases loaded.

Birg made the 1-0 lead hold up through the meat of the game, but not without some help. Left fielder Riley Conlan made a diving stab of Fernando Reyes' drive to take away a double in the top of the second. Shortstop Terrell Tate and second baseman Kueber combined for double plays to end the top of the third and fourth.

"On defense, we played well," Porto said. "We turned some double plays."

Antelope Valley's best opportunity came in the sixth, when it loaded the bases with two outs on a wild pitch, a walk and an infield single. Birg escaped the jam by getting cleanup hitter Joe Mauldin to fly out to right field

"I left my slider up a lot and I got lucky," Birg said. "My fastball was one of the best pitches I had today. I could spot it up and that's what got them."

Catcher Parker Hindle had an RBI double in the sixth and Conlan singled, stole second and third and scored on an overthrow in the seventh to give Birg some insurance.

"Oh yeah, one run and you're going, ‘I can't give up anything.' " Birg said. "Once they put two on the board, I was like ‘All right, it's smooth sailing from here.'

"It was really important to come out and get the first ‘W' for the season. It'll boost our confidence.

With the first one out of the way, the Raiders can now focus playing baseball, rather than restoring a program.

"It was a good day for everybody," Porto said. "We're happy, but we've got things to work on. That's my job."

Renovated apartment complex has grand reopening

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 7:51pm

The newly renovated 397-unit River Ranch Apartments in Simi Valley had its grand reopening Tuesday night.

Decron Properties Corp. bought the complex for $70 million in 2012 and has spent $14 million renovating its interiors and exterior.

Los Angeles-based Decron is marketing the apartments as needed quality housing for middle-class families.

Monthly rents range from $1,325 for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit to $1,995 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit, according to Decron's website, http://decronproperties.com.

Decron CEO David Nagel was joined at a ribbon-cutting by Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber, other members of the City Council and other community leaders.

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