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Oxnard beats Hueneme to take over 1st

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 8:41pm

Releaguing took a sharpener to the already thin line between the best and the rest in the Pacific View League.

And no one is riding that edge, right now, better than the Oxnard High boys soccer team.

Winger Raymond Pereira finished playmaker Miguel Coronel’s cross in the 65th minute as the host Yellowjackets won by a one-goal margin for the fourth straight PVL match Thursday night, 1-0 over visiting Hueneme.

“We play these close games all the time,” first-year Oxnard coach Chris Conte said. “Every game is so close.”

The result pushed Oxnard (12-3-3, 4-1-1) into sole possession of first place, a win ahead of idle Pacifica (11-3-1, 3-1-1).

“It puts us on a good trajectory,” Conte said, “not only in league but for playoffs, too.”

Hueneme (2-4-3, 1-3-1) starts as many freshman (two) as seniors (two), after graduating 14 seniors off last year’s PVL title-winning team. But Oxnard was admittedly wary, considering the talented Vikings had won the teams’ previous meeting, 2-0, on Jan. 13.

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“We have moments when we play,” Hueneme coach Tuck Engelman said. “But sometimes we let other teams take us out of what we’re trying to do.”

Oxnard dominated much of the first half without taking advantage.

Coronel’s beautiful cross created a golden chance in the 15th minute and Arthur Morales’ back-heel set Coronel up in the 39th minute, but the finish was dragged wide.

“I was mad, but I wasn’t going to get down on myself,” Coronel said. “I was going to go harder ... It doesn’t matter how many times you miss, it matters how many times you score.”

Hueneme woke up just before halftime with a pair of impressive flurries that nearly netted the opening goal.

“It’s a game of opportunities,” Engelman said. “If you don’t take advantage of them, you don’t win.”

The momentum carried over into the second half and nearly paid off in the 52nd minute, when sophomore Erik Lopez drove a 30-yard rocket off the Oxnard crossbar.

“That was really scary,” Pereira said.

Just as a 10-minute spell of pressure hinted toward another Hueneme win, Oxnard struck in 15 minutes to play.

An Oxnard break was half-cleared, which Coronel collected along the left sideline. The senior attacker skipped past a defender and floated a near-post cross for Pereira to force home.

“I took some guy and I just chipped it,” Coronel said. “Raymond came in and just headed it in.”

Said Engelman: “It was like four waves and we only brought three on that play.”

With just five teams in the league and eight matches in league play since Camarillo’s move to the new Coastal Canyon League, the result means Oxnard will have a chance to clinch the PVL by beating second-place Pacifica next Thursday.

“We’re in a good spot,” Perreria said.​

Dartmouth Banning Hard Alcohol From Campus

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 7:59pm
Dartmouth College is banning hard alcohol from its campus and putting its fraternities on notice they need to reform or disband.

States Work to Strike Deals for Hep C Drug Discounts

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 7:13pm
Missouri and Connecticut are among the states that are negotiating or securing discounts on expensive new hepatitis C drugs in exchange for making them the preferred options for their state’s Medicaid recipients.

Steps taken to control measles at Simi preschool

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 7:07pm

Public health nurses and others worked Thursday to contain a measles exposure that could involve more than 40 people at a Simi Valley preschool.

A child was diagnosed with the contagious disease earlier this week in a case linked to a Disneyland trip, according to Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer.

Initially disclosed without details about age or the preschool on Tuesday, the case is one of eight in Ventura County.

The child attends Little Explorers Preschool Academy in Simi Valley and was there Monday and Friday, sparking concerns about exposure, Levin said.

A preschool official identified the child as a toddler now in quarantine at home. She said more than 40 people, including staff members and students, were at the preschool Monday and Friday.

She said tests confirming the illness have not been received, but the child’s symptoms and trip to Disneyland led to the measles diagnosis.

In the wake of that, public health officials administered blood tests at the school to figure out who is immune. The preschool official who asked not to be identified said 99 percent of the preschoolers and staff members previously had been vaccinated.

The official said the toddler diagnosed with the illness also had previously received the first of two doses of the vaccine. The other dose is given before children enter kindergarten.

At least one child received vaccine this week as a potential blockade to the illness, Levin said. The vaccine can protect people from the virus if used within 72 hours of the original exposure. Others were given a serum, immune globulin, that can offer protection within six days of exposure.

The preschool includes a program for infants. Four children less than a year old — too young for the vaccination — were given immune globulin.

“It will either prevent them from getting measles or make it milder,” Levin said.

Until health officials can confirm immunity, people who could have been exposed are being asked to stay at home or at the preschool.

The preschool, 5165 Cochran St., remains open to existing students and staff members.

Levin said the immune globulin and an estimated societal immunity rate of 95 percent make him think the site is safe. He also noted that it operates as a closed community, meaning outsiders have little access.

Public health officials have contacted parents and others who could have been exposed.

“It’s a highly contagious disease, so we’ve done everything we can to contain it,” Levin said. “We’re not going to know we’ve finished this until we stopped having the cases.”

As of Wednesday, 79 people in California were diagnosed with measles. More than 50 of the cases are linked to Disneyland.

A week ago in Ventura County, public health officials scrambled to contain exposures at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo and a Citibank branch in the same city.

The Little Explorers official emphasized that no one else has shown symptoms and that parents and staff members are following public health instructions. She said there’s no reason for panic.

“Everyone is doing what they can to make sure our kids are safe,” she said.

The illness is rarely fatal but can cause complications that can put people in the hospital. It may take as long as 21 days for the virus to emerge.

Symptoms include cough, runny nose, reddened eyes and high fever. Two or three days after the first signs, tiny white spots may appear in the mouth. Then a rash can emerge, starting on the face and moving downward.

On the Net: http://www.cdc.gov/measles

Steps taken to control measles at Simi preschool

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 7:07pm

Public health nurses and others worked Thursday to contain a measles exposure that could involve more than 40 people at a Simi Valley preschool.

A child was diagnosed with the contagious disease earlier this week in a case linked to a Disneyland trip, according to Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer.

Initially disclosed without details about age or the preschool on Tuesday, the case is one of eight in Ventura County.

The child attends Little Explorers Preschool Academy in Simi Valley and was there Monday and Friday, sparking concerns about exposure, Levin said.

A preschool official identified the child as a toddler now in quarantine at home. She said more than 40 people, including staff members and students, were at the preschool Monday and Friday.

She said tests confirming the illness have not been received, but the child’s symptoms and trip to Disneyland led to the measles diagnosis.

In the wake of that, public health officials administered blood tests at the school to figure out who is immune. The preschool official who asked not to be identified said 99 percent of the preschoolers and staff members previously had been vaccinated.

The official said the toddler diagnosed with the illness also had previously received the first of two doses of the vaccine. The other dose is given before children enter kindergarten.

At least one child received vaccine this week as a potential blockade to the illness, Levin said. The vaccine can protect people from the virus if used within 72 hours of the original exposure. Others were given a serum, immune globulin, that can offer protection within six days of exposure.

The preschool includes a program for infants. Four children less than a year old — too young for the vaccination — were given immune globulin.

“It will either prevent them from getting measles or make it milder,” Levin said.

Until health officials can confirm immunity, people who could have been exposed are being asked to stay at home or at the preschool.

The preschool, 5165 Cochran St., remains open to existing students and staff members.

Levin said the immune globulin and an estimated societal immunity rate of 95 percent make him think the site is safe. He also noted that it operates as a closed community, meaning outsiders have little access.

Public health officials have contacted parents and others who could have been exposed.

“It’s a highly contagious disease, so we’ve done everything we can to contain it,” Levin said. “We’re not going to know we’ve finished this until we stopped having the cases.”

As of Wednesday, 79 people in California were diagnosed with measles. More than 50 of the cases are linked to Disneyland.

A week ago in Ventura County, public health officials scrambled to contain exposures at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo and a Citibank branch in the same city.

The Little Explorers official emphasized that no one else has shown symptoms and that parents and staff members are following public health instructions. She said there’s no reason for panic.

“Everyone is doing what they can to make sure our kids are safe,” she said.

The illness is rarely fatal but can cause complications that can put people in the hospital. It may take as long as 21 days for the virus to emerge.

Symptoms include cough, runny nose, reddened eyes and high fever. Two or three days after the first signs, tiny white spots may appear in the mouth. Then a rash can emerge, starting on the face and moving downward.

On the Net: http://www.cdc.gov/measles

GOP's Walker, Gearing Up for 2016, Emphasizes His Faith

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 6:52pm
Gov. Scott Walker won a following among conservatives for taking on unions in Wisconsin. Now, as he gears up for a presidential campaign, he is talking about his faith as an evangelical Christian.

D.A. clears officers in shooting of cyclist

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 6:48pm

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office issued a report Thursday finding California Highway Patrol officers were justified when they shot and killed a Casitas Springs man in 2013 near Faria Beach.

The Jan. 5, 2013, incident involving the death of Theodore Keiper began as he rode his motorcycle along the Pacific Coast Highway. Authorities said Keiper was speeding, and an officer with the patrol tried to pull him over, but Keiper failed to yield.

Investigators said in their findings that Keiper was traveling 92 mph in a 45 mph zone.

During a pursuit, Keiper went onto Hobson Road and then onto Padre Juan Canyon Road, which passes over Highway 101 near Faria Beach and into a canyon, officials said. The chase ended after Keiper crashed down an embankment on the west side of Padre Juan Canyon Road. Investigators said Keiper and his motorcycle went down a 35-foot ravine.

Patrol officer Frank Paramo and Ronald Hensic, a patrol cadet who was with Paramo at the time, approached Keiper with their guns drawn. They said Keiper was still wearing his helmet and was standing near his damaged motorcycle. Keiper had blood on his hands but did not “appear to be seriously injured,” investigators stated in their report.

Patrol officer Michael Trenery arrived on the scene, and he and Hensic went down the embankment to handcuff Keiper and help him, the report states. Investigators said Keiper refused to keep his hands in the air and refused to get on the ground after being ordered to do so. They said Keiper turned his back toward Trenery, shouted a profanity and added, “I’m going to shoot you.”

Investigators said Keiper reached into his vest and again threatened to kill the officers.

Paramo fired five rounds at Keiper from the top of the canyon, investigators said. Three bullets hit Keiper in the upper chest and neck, investigators said. Trenery also fired at Keiper, hitting him in the abdomen, investigators said.

Keiper later was handcuffed, they said.

Investigators said officers tried to “render medical aid,” to no avail.

Paramedics pronounced Keiper, 58, dead at the scene.

Investigators said Keiper had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent at the time. An autopsy showed he also had marijuana in his system, they said.

A replica gun was found near where Keiper was shot, although authorities did not directly link the replica to Keiper.

The district attorney investigates all officer-involved shootings in Ventura County.

 

On the Net:

http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Keiper-OIS-report-FINAL-012915.pdf to read the full report.

D.A. clears officers in shooting of cyclist

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 6:48pm

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office issued a report Thursday finding California Highway Patrol officers were justified when they shot and killed a Casitas Springs man in 2013 near Faria Beach.

The Jan. 5, 2013, incident involving the death of Theodore Keiper began as he rode his motorcycle along the Pacific Coast Highway. Authorities said Keiper was speeding, and an officer with the patrol tried to pull him over, but Keiper failed to yield.

Investigators said in their findings that Keiper was traveling 92 mph in a 45 mph zone.

During a pursuit, Keiper went onto Hobson Road and then onto Padre Juan Canyon Road, which passes over Highway 101 near Faria Beach and into a canyon, officials said. The chase ended after Keiper crashed down an embankment on the west side of Padre Juan Canyon Road. Investigators said Keiper and his motorcycle went down a 35-foot ravine.

Patrol officer Frank Paramo and Ronald Hensic, a patrol cadet who was with Paramo at the time, approached Keiper with their guns drawn. They said Keiper was still wearing his helmet and was standing near his damaged motorcycle. Keiper had blood on his hands but did not “appear to be seriously injured,” investigators stated in their report.

Patrol officer Michael Trenery arrived on the scene, and he and Hensic went down the embankment to handcuff Keiper and help him, the report states. Investigators said Keiper refused to keep his hands in the air and refused to get on the ground after being ordered to do so. They said Keiper turned his back toward Trenery, shouted a profanity and added, “I’m going to shoot you.”

Investigators said Keiper reached into his vest and again threatened to kill the officers.

Paramo fired five rounds at Keiper from the top of the canyon, investigators said. Three bullets hit Keiper in the upper chest and neck, investigators said. Trenery also fired at Keiper, hitting him in the abdomen, investigators said.

Keiper later was handcuffed, they said.

Investigators said officers tried to “render medical aid,” to no avail.

Paramedics pronounced Keiper, 58, dead at the scene.

Investigators said Keiper had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent at the time. An autopsy showed he also had marijuana in his system, they said.

A replica gun was found near where Keiper was shot, although authorities did not directly link the replica to Keiper.

The district attorney investigates all officer-involved shootings in Ventura County.

 

On the Net:

http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Keiper-OIS-report-FINAL-012915.pdf to read the full report.

Rotary clubs buying dogs for veterans

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 6:41pm

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jason Haag stood at the front of the banquet room at Los Robles Golf Course in Thousand Oaks on Thursday next to the one he credits with saving his life: a 4-year-old German shepherd named Axel.

Speaking in front of the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club, Haag explained how he returned home from two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury.

Haag, a Purple Heart recipient, reached out to K9s for Warriors, an organization dedicated to training and providing service dogs to wounded veterans suffering from the two problems afflicting Haag as a result of post-9/11 military service.

Haag was matched with Axel through the program.

“Axel set the reset button for me,” Haag said. “He saved my life. Axel gave me the ability to feel happiness and opened the door for me to experience life again.”

Haag was invited to speak this week to the Rotary clubs in District 5240 that are working together to buy more service dogs for retired military personnel who suffer from the problems. The money raised will go to K9s for Warriors.

The need for service dogs is critical and overwhelming, with a yearlong waiting list for this group alone, said Haag, who travels the country from his home in Virginia to speak about the organization.

After being diagnosed in 2003, Haag said, he became a recluse, living in the basement of his family’s home for more than a year and a half. He had anxiety and nightmares and relied on large amounts of alcohol and pain medication to make it through the day and fall asleep at night.

His wife issued an ultimatum for him to seek help, and he eventually found K9s for Warriors — and Axel.

Haag said the dog will lead him out the door to a safe area if Haag has a panic attack. If Haag has a nightmare or night terror, Axel will wake him up by gently pinning him down and softly biting his arm until Haag can collect his thoughts.

“Before Axel, if I had one of those night terrors, it would take me days to recover,” Haag said.

“Most importantly,” he added, “he gave me my family back.”

K9s for Warriors has paired 157 dogs with veterans since 2012. It costs $20,000 to train each dog in the program, Haag said.

Veterans pay nothing for the dog or for a three-week training program at the K9s for Warriors facility in Jacksonville, Florida.

The dogs are rescued from animal shelters and receive three to nine months of training before they are paired with a veteran.

“Axel was actually two days away from being put down at the animal shelter, if you can believe that,” Haag said.

Haag pointed out that there are 184 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed among veterans every day, and a vet commits suicide every 65 minutes. Dogs have been known to stop veterans from picking up a weapon and harming themselves.

“We’re saving two lives,” Haag said. “We’re not only saving the vet’s life, but we’re saving the dog’s life. In the grand scheme of things, $20,000 to train each dog is pretty cheap.”

Norm Nagel, past president of the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club, served 38 years in the military and said he has seen many veterans come home with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Something like this is a much-needed program,” he said.

Obama Seeks 7% Rise in Spending Above Caps

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 6:40pm
President Barack Obama will propose government spending that is 7%—or $74 billion—over caps he and congressional Republicans agreed to in a bipartisan deficit-reduction deal over three years ago.

As Silver Dug In, Young Guns Revolted

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 6:33pm
The move to oust New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from his leadership post was due in no small part to newer Democratic members who coalesced to resist the Mr. Silver’s last efforts to cling to power.

U.S. Watch: News Digest

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 6:25pm
California Snowpack Expected to Be Below Normal; Ice Jam on Platte River Begins to Break Up

Petrochem refinery to be removed

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 6:16pm

A closed petroleum refinery will be removed from its site north of Ventura by the end of the year, county officials announced Thursday.

Under a compliance agreement with the county, the owner-operator of the Petrochem refinery off Highway 33 has agreed to remove all equipment and machinery, Supervisor Steve Bennett said.

The work represents the last piece of the cleanup of the plant that closed decades ago, he said.

Residual liquid waste and contaminated soil have already been cleaned up under a separate enforcement action by the county and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

The owner removed storage tanks on the property while the parties were negotiating the agreement, but the machinery and large rusting pipes remain, Bennett said.

“All that will be gone by the end of the year because of the agreement,” he said.

A representative for the owner-operator could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Petrochem refinery to be removed

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 6:16pm

A closed petroleum refinery will be removed from its site north of Ventura by the end of the year, county officials announced Thursday.

Under a compliance agreement with the county, the owner-operator of the Petrochem refinery off Highway 33 has agreed to remove all equipment and machinery, Supervisor Steve Bennett said.

The work represents the last piece of the cleanup of the plant that closed decades ago, he said.

Residual liquid waste and contaminated soil have already been cleaned up under a separate enforcement action by the county and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

The owner removed storage tanks on the property while the parties were negotiating the agreement, but the machinery and large rusting pipes remain, Bennett said.

“All that will be gone by the end of the year because of the agreement,” he said.

A representative for the owner-operator could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

State park reopens after weekslong closure

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 6:11pm

During heavy rain on Dec. 12, mud and rocks flooded down steep ravines and over roads, trails and campsites. During the past several weeks, crews have cleaned up and made repairs, rebuilding stretches of fire roads that were scoured in the storm.

While the park reopened, access is limited by the adjacent Pacific Coast Highway closure. The highway also was closed because of storm damage and repairs are ongoing. Until the highway reopens, people can access the state park through Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park.

La Jolla Canyon Trail will remain closed in the park because of severe damage from the storm. Park officials said rocks wiped out part of the trail, and there is no date yet for when it will be able to open.

Classic cars join Reagan Library exhibit

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 6:11pm
Cars on loan from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles arrived at the Reagan Library to join an exhibit.

Rod McKuen, Poet and Lyricist With Vast Following, Dies at 81

NY Times Books - January 29, 2015 - 6:04pm
The author of dozens of books whose work met with immense commercial success if little critical esteem, Mr. McKuen was once described as “the unofficial poet laureate of America.”






Highway 101 wildlife crossings gets $1 million

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 5:59pm

The California Coastal Conservancy on Thursday signed off on $1 million to help develop a proposed wildlife crossing on Highway 101 in Agoura Hills.

Caltrans will receive the grant funds to pay for required environmental reviews and engineering designs. It is one more step in a process that proponents hope will yield a crossing under, or over, the busy highway near Liberty Canyon Road.

Over the past 10 years, Caltrans and other agencies have sought various grants and funding for the project but have been turned down.

“It’s one of several wildlife crossing projects Caltrans is involved with in this region, but it is by far the most critical,” said Barbara Marquez, senior environmental planner with Caltrans.

The location is ideal because organizations have protected land to the north and south of the freeway, she told the Conservancy board at Ventura City Hall on Thursday.

Researchers know animals head that way to cross into the Santa Monica Mountains. But the wildlife turns back when it can’t find a route across the 101, she said..

After hearing testimony in support of the project from several residents and elected officials, the state board unanimously voted to award the grant.

“I think this is a great project,” said board chairman Douglas Bosco. “We’ve appropriated a lot of money for fish passage and other wildlife measures. But this is a very unique project.”

While the crossing would be built for all wildlife, it’s the mountain lions that have garnered much concern and attention. Surrounded by freeways, the ocean and the Oxnard Plain, researchers say the local population is isolated and too small.

The National Park Service has studied the mountain lions here for more than 12 years. Researchers have found that the inability for mountain lions to get out of or into the Santa Monica Mountains has led to inbreeding, low genetic diversity and lions killing other lions.

For the local population to survive, males have to come in from other areas with higher levels of genetic diversity. Young mountain lions also need to expand into new territories.

In October 2013, a mountain lion from out of the area was killed on the Agoura Hills highway, bringing renewed attention to the proposed wildlife crossing.

The National Wildlife Federation, which has launched a campaign to raise money for the project, applied for the Conservancy grant on Caltrans’ behalf. The work on the studies funded with the grant is expected to be finished by mid-2017.

Officials also will need to secure money to pay for final engineering designs and construction.

“For me, this is a community rallying around a project,” said Beth Pratt, California director of the Wildlife Federation.

“This has been sort of stalled for some time,” Pratt said. “Caltrans needs the seed money, the investment to get to shovel ready and to get the plans.”

Also on Thursday, the board also heard an update about Naval Base Ventura County’s efforts to prevent incompatible development around its Point Mugu site by working on habitat preservation efforts with Oxnard, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land.

Staff writer Gretchen Wenner contributed to this report.

Nuclear-Dump Cleanup Gets More Complicated

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 5:47pm
The cleanup of a radioactive-waste dump in a small Pennsylvania town will likely be more complicated and risky than originally envisioned, and cost nearly 10 times as much.
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