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Local Roundup, Jan. 30: Nichols nets 40

January 30, 2015 - 10:55pm

BOYS BASKETBALL

SANTA CLARA 77, SANTA PAULA 54

At Santa Clara

Santa Clara: Isaiah Nichols poured in 40 points and also had 12 rebounds and seven assists. Nichols is the first Saints boys basketball player to score 40 points in game since Shon Tarver had 44 in 1989-90. Jake Mejia had 16 points and six rebounds. Brazil Sullivan had 10 points and four rebounds.

Santa Paula: Jesus Nava and Isaac Ramirez each scored 16 points. Alex Rios had 11 points.

Record: Santa Clara 8-14, 5-2 Tri-Valley League; Santa Paula 5-17, 2-5.

 

ST. BONAVENTURE 71, CARPINTERIA 31

At Carpinteria

St. Bonaventure: Jake Todey had 11 points and seven assists. Thomas Frank finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Robert Bravo scored 10 points.

Record: St. Bonaventure 14-9, 7-0 Tri-Valley League.

 

NORDHOFF 55, BISHOP DIEGO 46

At Nordhoff

Nordhoff: Luke Boyd finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Atticus Reyes had 14 points, two steals and two assists. Rocardo Hernandez had 12 points and five rebounds.

Record: Nordhoff 10-11, 3-4 Tri-Valley League.

 

VENTURA 74, DOS PUEBLOS 60

At Dos Pueblos

Ventura: Dustin Houck had 19 points, six steals and five assists. Alec Norman had 18 points and four rebounds. Isaac Gilbert had 14 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Record: Ventura 16-7, 4-1 Channel League.

 

OAK PARK 56, ROYAL 36

At Oak Park

Oak Park: Riley Battin recorded a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Wes Slajchert had 15 points and seven rebounds. Michael Alvarez finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

Royal: Paul Moore scored 12 points and Austin Arnoldini had eight.

Record: Oak Park 16-7, 7-0 Coastal Canyon League.

 

CAMARILLO 66, SIMI VALLEY 60 (OT)

At Simi Valley

Camarillo: Brandon Adair scored 18 points with four 3-pointers. J.J. Montesinos had 15 points.

Simi Valley: Kyle Hamilton had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan Bollar scored 16 points. Brian Lowe and Jordan Alexander each had eight points.

Record: Camarillo 12-14, 1-5 Coastal Canyon League; Simi Valley 10-12, 3-2.

 

THOUSAND OAKS 67, CALABASAS 60

At Calabasas

Thousand Oaks: Luke Romacker and Matt Hauser each finished with 15 points. Josh Hauser scored 13 points and Derek Ludlow had 12. The Lancers sealed their 10th straight 20-win season.

Calabasas: Justin Bessard had 19 points and Conner Longmire had 16 points.

Records: Thousand Oaks 20-3, 5-1 Marmonte League; Calabasas 13-10, 2-4.

 

WESTLAKE 68, AGOURA 57

At Agoura

Westlake: Isaiah Brooks had 16 points and seven assists. Michael Hayon had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Hanshaw scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Agoura: Ky Feldman scored 25 points and Hudson Miller had 12.

Records: Westlake 18-5, 5-1 Marmonte League; Agoura 13-11, 1-5.

 

RIO MESA 43, PACIFICA 42

At Rio Mesa

Rio Mesa: Justin Roque, Garrett Bilby and Ryan Abraham each had 10 points.

Pacifica: Daniel Moraga scored 10 points.

Records: Rio Mesa 10-13, 5-1 Pacific View League; Pacifica 11-12, 2-3.

 

OXNARD 70, CHANNEL ISLANDS 37

At Channel Islands

Oxnard: Taylor Kirkham scored 15 points and Matt Rodriguez had 14. Marquis Sedeno had 13 points.

Channel Islands: Fernando Romero had 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Records: Oxnard 18-7, 6-0 Pacific View League; Channel Islands 4-15, 1-5.

 

OAKS CHRISTIAN 61, NEWBURY PARK 38

At Newbury Park

Oaks Christian: Alex Chinian had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Austen Moye scored 14 points and Ryan Hiepler had 12.

Newbury Park: Jon Sampson scored nine points.

 

FILLMORE 50, VILLANOVA PREP 36

At Fillmore

Fillmore: Aaron Cronin scored 17 points and Hayden Wright had nine points.

Record: Fillmore 5-4 Frontier League.

 

GRACE BRETHREN 77, THACHER 73 (2OT)

At Grace Brethren

Grace Brethren: Brian Henmi scored 21 points and Johnny Aguilar had 19.

 

MALIBU 73, FOOTHILL TECHNOLOGY 55

At Malibu

Foothill Technology: Nick Vaughan had 27 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Dale Starr had seven points and three rebounds. Colin Vallance had eight rebounds and five assists.

Record: Foothill Technology 2-8, 2-6 Frontier League.

 

BUENA 74, HUENEME 20

At Buena

Buena: Jordan Starr scored 20 points and Allen Quintero had 13. Dalton Beavers had 11 points and Spencer Tilkens finished with 10. Tanner Gray had nine assists.

Hueneme: Baldemar Morales scored 14 points.

Records: Buena 15-6, Hueneme 3-15.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

OAK PARK 45, ROYAL 40

At Royal

Royal: Jessica Garner had 25 points and eight rebounds. Mayrav Ben-Aderet had eight points and seven rebounds.

Record: Royal 10-13, 2-4 Coastal Canyon League.

 

CAMARILLO 72, SIMI VALLEY 42

At Camarillo

Camarillo: Cameran Bahnsen had 16 points, Sydney Arikawa finished with 11 and Sammy Perricone-Kapp had 10.

Record: Camarillo 16-7, 5-0 Coastal Canyon League.

 

THOUSAND OAKS 58, CALABASAS 49

At Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks: Alexa Coubal had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Halby scored 14 points. Katie Johnson had 12 points and six rebounds.

Record: Thousand Oaks 18-4, 3-3 Marmonte League.

 

OAKS CHRISTIAN 56, NEWBURY PARK 36

At Oaks Christian

Oaks Christian: Katie Campbell had 13 points, three blocks and three assists. Roxy Barahman had 11 points and seven rebounds. Sydney Boyer had 12 points.

Record: Oaks Christian 16-5, 6-0 Marmonte League.

 

BOYS SOCCER

WESTLAKE 2, AGOURA 0

At Westlake

Westlake: Mark Correlli scored off an assist by Will Ball. Rasa Blourtchi scored off an assist by Royce Miller.

Record: Westlake 8-9-1, 5-1 Marmonte League.

 

ROYAL 3, OAK PARK 1

At Oak Park

Royal: Anthony Manzanares scored two goals and had an assist. Angel Perez scored a goal. Josh Stokka and Johnny Martinez each had an assist. Scott Moyer played well in the midfield. Kyle Myers and Henry Hong were solid on defense. Conner Lott had three saves in goal.

Record: Royal 15-4-4, 5-1-0 Coastal Canyon League.

 

CAMARILLO 1, SIMI VALLEY 0 (OT)

At Simi Valley

Camarillo: Mitchell Costello converted a penalty kick. Jordan Duran earned his 12th shutout of the season. Ryan Schwartz and Mati Montory played well on defense.

Record: Camarillo 11-5-1, 4-2 Coastal Canyon League.

 

CATE 3, SANTA PAULA 1

At Cate

Santa Paula: Ricky Zamarron scored the lone goal on a header.

Record: Santa Paula 10-3-3, 3-3 Tri-Valley League.

 

ST. BONAVENTURE 1, THACHER 0

At St. Bonaventure, Thursday

St. Bonaventure: Isaiah Lozano scored from near midfield, assisted by Andrew Garcia. Goalie Aidan Kistler earned his third shutout. Nick Parvex and Jonathon Bergum led a strong defensive effort.

Record: St. Bonaventure 5-7, 5-3 Frontier League.

 

GIRLS SOCCER

OAKS CHRISTIAN 3, NEWBURY PARK 2

At Oaks Christian

Oaks Christian: Sam Bruder scored two goals and Megan Demijohn had one as the Lions remained unbeaten. Jackie Bruder, Erin Philen and Karisma Carmichael had assists.

Record: Oaks Christian 12-0, 6-0 Marmonte League.

 

AGOURA 2, WESTLAKE 2

At Westlake

Agoura: Lena Silano scored off an assist from Liz Ankerskow. Ankerskow scored off an assist from Lauren Hsuan. Jordyn Morris had 12 saves.

Records: Agoura 9-6-5, 2-2-2 Marmonte League.

 

CALABASAS 2, THOUSAND OAKS 2

At Thousand Oaks

Calabasas: Kiley Lumley scored the tying goal on an assist from Emily Lyon. Britni Ebert scored off an assist from Siena Ereshena. Lina Ahmed made seven saves.

Record: Calabasas 8-4-1, 5-1 Marmonte League.

 

ROYAL 2, OAK PARK 1

At Royal

Royal: Zoe Hasenauer and Brea Pilkington scored goals. Ally Kraus-Saravia and Megan Henderson had assists.

Oak Park: Rachel Mach scored a goal.

Record: Royal 14-5-2, 4-2 Coastal Canyon League.

 

SIMI VALLEY 3, CAMARILLO 2

At Camarillo

Simi Valley: Nikki Flores scored the game-winning goal off an assist by Britnee Joaquin. Taylor Biehl and Carly Elias had goals. Hannah Hernandez played well in net.

 

SANTA PAULA 2, NORDHOFF 0

At Santa Paula

Santa Paula: Jasmin Ambriz scored two goals, assisted by Natasha Martinez and Paola Gonzalez.

Record: Santa Paula 11-6, 5-1 Tri-Valley League.

 

ST. BONAVENTURE 1, LA REINA 0

At St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure: Julianne Abeloe scored the goal off an assist by Alyssa Murray. Amanda Wray earned the shutout in net.

 

OXNARD 5, CARPINTERIA 0

At Oxnard

Oxnard: Ashley Cruz registered a hat trick. Daisy Cervantes had a goal and an assist. Paulina Aldrete scored a goal and Kailee Morehead recorded two assists.

Record: Oxnard 16-4-1.

 

GIRLS WATER POLO

NORDHOFF 8, VILLANOVA PREP 3

At Villanova Prep

Nordhoff: Tayler Cobb scored four goals and Lexi May had two. Meryn Slaght recorded nine blocks in net.

Record: Nordhoff 3-3 Tri-Valley League.

 

SCHURR 12, NEWBURY PARK 5

At Newbury Park

Newbury Park: Suzie Smith had three goals and an assist. Amy Reeves finished with a goal, an assist and four steals. Morgan Hillard scored a goal. Holly Waddle had 11 blocks and two steals in net.

Record: Newbury Park 19-7.

 

COMMUNITY COLLEGE BASEBALL

CYPRESS 4, VENTURA 3 (11 INN.)

At Cypress

Ventura: Dylan Coman went 2 for 5 with an RBI. Codi Santana was 2 for 5. Jackson Simonsgaard struck out 10 in six innings.

Records: Cypress 2-0, Ventura 0-2.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

CAL LUTHERAN 9, VENTURA 0

At Cal Lutheran

Cal Lutheran: Sarah Baker and Rebecca Gold won their doubles match 8-1. Annette Sousa and Emily Werman won their doubles match 8-4. Sousa and Baker each swept their singles matches.

Record: Cal Lutheran 1-0.

Julie Jason says 8 percent returns are possible

January 30, 2015 - 10:00pm

In my first column of 2015, we talked about 8 percent as a potentially attainable return for an investor with a long time horizon — say, a youth starting his first job, or a young grandchild who inherits an IRA (individual retirement account).

Many of you emailed me asking to give some examples of such historical returns.

There are a number of studies that focus on historical market returns, most notably Ibbotson, which is a product of Morningstar, the independent research house. The text, "Ibbotson SBBI Classic Yearbook: Market Results for Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation," starts with data going back to 1926.

Any serious do-it-yourself investor needs to make the yearbook mandatory reading, each and every year. It is a wealth of information on the markets, as well as special studies — for example, the unpredictability of small stock returns.

While you have to be careful about seeing historical returns as predictive, they are useful in providing insights on different types of markets and how different financial instruments have acted in different economic and historical periods — and potentially how they may possibly act in the future given the same or similar set of circumstances.

For long-term investors, long-term-holding-period returns become relevant, and inflation becomes an important part of the mix, especially since most investors who have a long-term view want to secure a retirement lifestyle of their choosing — that means preserving purchasing power.

If you look at the Ibbotson database from 1926 through 2014, you'll notice that after you factor in the ravages of inflation, there is a clear choice that pulls ahead of all others.

During the 1926-2014 time frame, Treasury bills returned 3.46 percent compounded annually before inflation, but only 0.5 percent in inflation-adjusted returns.

Long-term government bonds returned 5.67 percent compounded annually before inflation, and 2.65 percent after inflation.

Long-term corporate bonds returned 6.07 percent compounded annually in nominal terms. In inflation-adjusted terms, 3.04 percent.

But large-company stocks returned 10.12 percent compounded annually before inflation is taken into account and a 6.97 percent compound annual return after inflation. Small-company stocks returned 12.17 before inflation and 8.96 percent after inflation.

So, back to our question: Can an individual investor achieve an 8 percent return? The answer is yes, if history repeats itself. To replicate large-company stock returns, one invests in a well-run S&P 500 index fund with low expenses. One has to accept interim price moves, which can be dramatic. Think 2008, when the S&P 500 fell 37 percent. Or Oct. 19, 1987, when the market fell 20 percent in one day. Over long periods of time, one views those drops as minor blips.

What about mutual funds that might offer less volatility than large-company stocks represented by the S&P 500 index?

Using another Morningstar database, I made a very simple search: balanced mutual funds that had very long track records. Of the dozen funds that were started before 1950, all of them had lifetime returns that fell within the 8 percent or higher range through the end of 2014.

They had different start dates, ranging from the late 1920s through the 1940s, so the returns are not directly comparable. But they tell a story.

What is interesting is that two aggressive allocation funds in the list of 12 had lower returns (7.58 percent and 8.65 percent) over their lifetimes than the remaining 10. The 10 less aggressive allocation funds returned (from low to high) 7.6 percent; 8.28 percent; 8.74 percent; 8.85 percent; 9.26 percent; 9.36 percent; 9.63 percent; 9.96 percent; 10.44 percent; and 11.13 percent.

These funds are survivors of radically different markets over time and have every chance of continuing to survive as time goes on.

I did another search for U.S. equity funds with similar timelines, but more aggressive investment approaches than the allocation funds. The lifetime returns of the 26 funds ranged from a low of 3.33 percent annualized since inception to a high of 13.07 percent. As a group, the 26 funds averaged 9.24 percent annualized since inception.

To order a copy of the 2014 Yearbook ($185), which will be available in March, call 312-384-4000, or email Morningstar at product sales at productinfo@morningstar.com.

Newbury Park routs Oaks Christian, 6-1

January 30, 2015 - 9:50pm

Quinn Allan and Weston Spencer have been teammates on various club and high school teams, settle in as longtime friends and share leadership roles for the Newbury Park High boys soccer team.

Never, ever have they found themselves where they were Friday night.

Playing together up front as attackers in a soccer game.

It might not be the last time.

Spencer tallied two goals and three assists and Allan notched one goal and two assists as Newbury Park rolled to a 6-1 victory over visiting Oaks Christian School in a key Marmonte League.

"We've never had a chance to play up top together," said Allan, a junior. "We've always told coach that we would work really well together. I think tonight we showed what we can do."

Said Spencer: "We've always wanted the chance to play alongside each other. I definitely think it makes us a dangerous team."

Allan's hard smash into the net — off the assist by Spencer — broke a scoreless tie 35 minutes into the opening half.

The dam burst open in the second half.

Spencer, a senior striker, headed in a shot at the 50-minute mark, converted a penalty shot six minutes later and ignited a five-goal surge that was both decisive and stunning.

Newbury Park coach Guy Sanford said his team is gaining steam just as the players define their roles.

Allan started out the season as a defender, moved to midfield, and now has shifted up front. An ankle injury suffered in Wednesday's win over Thousand Oaks led to Allan's move to striker.

"We finally have a complete lineup," said Sanford. "We needed (Allan) in the back end to start the season. Now he's playing up front and looking very strong."

So is Newbury Park. The Panthers improve to 3-2-1 in league (7-2-1 overall) and shape up as a top contender in a wild and wacky league race.

"I've played on a lot of teams, in club and in high school, and this is the wildest race I've ever seen," said Allan. "We beat a team, and they turn around and lose to a team that just beat us."

Even in a five-goal victory, the latest league came was really anything but simple.

Oaks Christian (2-4, 7-5-3) controlled much of the first half and missed on several scoring opportunities.

Only four sparkling saves by Panthers goalie Matthew Schleich, including a diving stop at the 15-minute mark, kept the game scoreless.

Allan's score just five minutes before halftime changed everything.

"The first goal in these league games is usually so important," said Allan. "It seems to put the momentum in your favor and it's really hard for the other team to catch up."

Oaks Christian is playing without starting goalkeeper Ian Hartford, who is out for the season with a torn tendon in his knee. The Lions are also suffering through a wave of flu illnesses.

To compound matter, the Lions were playing with nine players at game's end due to seven yellow cards and two reds.

But in this league, one loss is hardly fatal.

"We've got to regroup and come back strong for the next game," said Oaks Christian coach Greg Dmitrowski. "If we score early, it's a different game. Even down 2-0, we can come back. But it got away from us after that."

For the Panthers, Dean Phillips converted a penalty kick and Ryan Brecht and Ben Bynder added second-half goals.

Michael Florey scored for Oaks Christian in stoppage time.

Longtime patrons recall Billy O's in Ventura

January 30, 2015 - 8:26pm

Paul Larson of Ventura can list the dates of his first and anticipated last visits to 2819 E. Main St. with such clarity that he might as well be reading them off a tombstone.

May 1, 1978: On the day they moved into town from Santa Barbara, Larson and his wife, Penny Larson, stopped for a meal at what was then called the King & I restaurant.

They found pan-fried lobster on the menu and a dining room decorated with red-velvet drapes and matching flocked wallpaper.

“It was pretty elegant back then,” Larson said.

Feb. 1, 2015: Larson plans to pay his respects as the combination pizza joint, dive bar and live-music venue now known as Billy O’s prepares for its last official day of business — and Super Bowl Sunday BBQ Bash — at its original location.

Hot dogs, pork ribs and tri-tip will be on the menu. Drinks will be served at the U-shaped bar with its Formica burl wood top and padded green vinyl bumpers.

“I always go for a little while, and then I go home to watch the game,” Larson said of his Super Bowl Sunday strategy.

“It really is like Cheers in there. Everybody really does know your name. And if they don’t when they sit down, they will when they get up.”

Billy O’s last last call will be at 1:30 a.m. Monday, although longtime patrons know the bar clock is 15 minutes fast.

And then?

And then Larson will follow when Billy O’s reopens at the long-vacant former Pangea Lounge at 1644 E. Thompson Blvd.

“I do business with people who do business with me,” said Larson, an independent insurance broker who counts Billy O’s as a client.

Billy O’s owners Steve and Margo Butler hope to have the new place open and offering drinks and live music by early March. Pizza will come later, after they find a food trailer equipped with the necessary ovens, Steve Butler said.

The move is happening in anticipation of the next phase of construction related to the new Community Memorial Hospital, said Michael Ellingson, vice president of marketing and development. .

Construction of a five-story parking garage behind the current Billy O’s will begin in March or April, Ellingson said.

The adjoining, two-story Midtown Building — home to the hospital’s construction offices, nurse-training center and other programs — is slated to be torn down later in the year to create a new access road. Its occupants will be relocated to what is now Billy O’s and other neighboring sites owned by the hospital.

Hospital representatives met with the Butlers about seven months ago to discuss the move, Ellingson said.

IF YOU GO
Part pizza joint, part live-music venue and 100 percent dive bar, Billy O’s will close at its original midtown Ventura location after events this weekend. It is moving to make room for new tenants related to the construction of the new Community ­Memorial ­Hospital.
Saturday: What’s being called “Old Billy O’s Last Stand” will start at 4 p.m. The 15-band lineup includes Le Meu Le Purr, Death Benefit and Suburban Moms. No ­cover.
Sunday: The Billy O’s Super Bowl BBQ Bash starts at 2 p.m. It includes barbecue plates with side dishes, $5 ­to ­$12.
Regular business hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (2819 E. Main St., 652-0327).

The bar and other businesses have stayed on rent-free for the past few months in hopes of helping ease the financial burden of moving, Ellingson said.

As the moving date neared, Margo Butler worried about finding another location with enough parking and distance from residential neighbors.

“I didn’t realize how unique this place was in having both,” she said.

The fact that the Butlers succeeded in finding a new location has their approximately 10 employees and countless local musicians breathing collective sighs of relief.

“This is the grass roots place for music in Ventura. All styles. All levels. No other place does what Billy O’s does,” said Erik Richards, owner of the recording label and studio Somis Sound.

Billy O’s started as a restaurant in the mid 1990s, when it was owned by Steve Butler’s father, Dwight Butler. The elder Butler also owned the Santa Barbara restaurant Billy Bob’s and saw the Ventura site as a sister location, inspiring its name.

Steve Butler recalls that his father also was involved with the Ventura restaurant when it was the King & I. Dwight Butler returned to the premises after it moved through different management as a gay bar called The Charleston Club and as an Irish bar called Shillelagh’s.

There may have been others whose names he doesn’t remembers, said Steve Butler, who grew up in and around the business before taking over a little more than a decade ago.

This week, he and Margo have been overseeing such pre-move tasks as deciding which pieces of kitchen equipment and memorabilia to put up for sale on eBay.

But some items will be saved for reuse at the new location. Among them: the scepter-like door pull on the interior side of the ladies room door.

“We’re not sure where it came from, but I’ve been told we have to bring it, or else” said Margo Butler.

Man arrested in Meiners Oaks explosions

January 30, 2015 - 7:22pm

Authorities said they arrested an Ojai Valley man Friday on suspicion of making and detonating an explosive device in Meiners Oaks, authorities said.

The arrest came after a report of loud explosions about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday near North La Luna Avenue and Fairview Road drew a response from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and Ventura County Fire Department, authorities said.

Deputies learned the explosions might be coming from an address on North La Luna Avenue, but they were unable to locate the responsible person or evidence.

An investigation revealed Travis Ross, 24, as a suspect, authorities said. Deputies said Ross had been filling plastic bags with a mixture of oxygen and propane, then using a slow-burning fuse to detonate them.

There were similar reports over the summer, but it was not known whether Ross was linked to them, authorities said.

Ross was arrested Friday on suspicion of making and detonating an explosive device, authorities said, and booked into county jail with bail set at $100,000.

Highway 101 closures announced for next month

January 30, 2015 - 6:36pm

Caltrans announced several intermittent closures on the southbound side of Highway 101 from Carpinteria to the county line next month, officials said Friday.

Starting Sunday, the highway is closed during the night for a few days from Ballard Avenue in Carpinteria to the Ventura and Santa Barbara county line. The No. 1 and 2 lanes will be closed at 9 p.m. The rest of the lanes will close at midnight until all the lanes reopen at 6 a.m. Monday, officials said.

The No. 1 and 2 lanes will close again at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. All lanes will be closed at midnight both Monday and Tuesday until reopening at 6 a.m. the following day, Caltrans said.

The closures are related to a 6-mile carpool lane project from Mussel Shoals in Ventura County to Carpinteria in Santa Barbara County. Granite Construction is the contractor on the $102 million project, which is estimated to be completed by mid 201, officials said.

This birthday party will be the mane event

January 30, 2015 - 6:07pm

He’s almost 1 year old, loves his food, has a mischievous sense of fun and weighs about 270 pounds.

He’s also having a birthday party, and everyone’s invited.

On Feb. 8, Ira, an African lion cub at America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College, will officially celebrate his first birthday with cake and presents.

He’s unlikely to join in with the singing of “Happy Birthday,” though, since he’s only just beginning to find his voice, said Mara Rodriguez, zoo operations technician.

“Since he’s come here, he’s been learning to roar,” she said. “Soon, the roar will come in and he’ll practice and practice, and one day, you’ll hear him from 5 miles away.”

The college’s Exotic Animal Training and Management program is inviting the public to come and celebrate with Ira, who’ll one day be king of the campus, and see how much he’s changed since he arrived at the zoo at the end of September.

The cub has grown quickly over the past four months, since he left the Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson, Nevada, said Rodriguez.

He’s also developed a perfect personality.

“He’s really attracted to people, and he’s curious and inquisitive and he loves to watch what people are doing and he loves to participate in training,” Rodriguez said. “We’re just really happy that he’s here.”

Rodriguez said that in addition to being a great resource for students in the program, Ira offers a unique opportunity for people to watch an African lion grow from cub to adult. She noted that anyone visiting the zoo each month until Ira turns 3 will see incredible changes as he matures and his mane grows out.

Ira enjoyed some rec time Friday afternoon with his two student trainers, Christy Johnston, 25, and Kaetlyn Weidum, 28.

As Johnston walked toward the arena, Ira immediately sensed she was coming and bounded in her direction.

The excitement and affection were mutual.

“It’s so cool. It’s just such a rewarding feeling,” said Johnston, who’s from Chicago.

Weidum got the same rowdy welcome as she arrived with one of his three meals of the day.

As he played with the students, Ira rubbed his head and body along the chain-link fence around the enclosed arena and stood on his hind legs with his front paws against the fence — above his head — trying to get closer to them.

Because of Ira’s size and strength, no one is allowed into the arena with him or into his enclosure. But handily, he’s a sucker for meatball-size pieces of ground beef; in fact, he consumes 10 to 15 pounds of food a day.

Using the meat as an incentive and reward, Johnston has managed to train Ira to lie down and roll over 360 degrees on her command.

“It’s been an amazing learning experience with an animal, where you can’t put any hands on him and you can’t go in there with him to show him what you want,” Johnston said. “It’s like learning a whole other language and another way of communicating.”

Weidum said she’s enjoying learning from Ira.

“We learn how quickly he works, how he works,” she said. “He just has energy and he just learns things so much faster than other animals.”

IF YOU GO

The zoo will open at its usual time of 11 a.m. on Feb. 8, with Ira’s birthday festivities beginning at 1 p.m. with a round of “Happy Birthday.” Visitors can sample Ira’s birthday cake and watch him play with his presents Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and children ages 2 to 12 and free for children under 2. Tickets can be bought using cash or checks only. Visit http://zoo.moorparkcollege.edu for more information.

Man arrested in Ventura sexual battery incident

January 30, 2015 - 6:02pm

Police arrested a man Friday in connection with a sexual battery incident that occurred last weekend in Ventura, officials said.

David Sanchez, 20, was arrested at 9:15 a.m. his home in the 200 block of Rosewood Avenue after officers served a search warrant at his house. He attempted to flee from his residence but was taken into custody, arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and booked into county jail, police said.

Sanchez was identified as a person of interest in a Jan. 25 incident in which a woman was slapped on the buttocks around 3:40 p.m. while running on the Botanical Garden trails at Grant Park near Brakey Road, authorities said. The woman turned around to face the male suspect and took a fighting stance when he grabbed her wrists and didn’t let her go. After she tried to kick the man he let her go and ran away from the area, officials said.

Police learned that three weeks before the Jan. 25 incident the victim saw the same man at the park but was able to avoid him. The man also followed the victim for about a quarter of a mile on the park trail and made vulgar comments about her three months before the January confrontation, authorities said.

The victim positively identified Sanchez as the suspect in all three occurrences, police said.

Zeanah was a fighter for Conejo open space

January 30, 2015 - 5:51pm

A conservative who loved the environment and a Southern lady who barked at developers, Elois Zeanah was different things to different people, but everyone would agree she was no shrinking violet.

The former Thousand Oaks mayor died last week in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she had lived with her husband since 2003. She was 73 and had been battling lymphoma.

Former Thousand Oaks Mayor Jaime Zukowski called Zeanah a pioneer.

“She had more courage and vision and dedication than any person I’ve ever known,” Zukowski said by phone from Boulder, Colorado. “It’s hard to believe she’s gone.”

News of Zeanah’s death spread throughout Thousand Oaks, bringing back memories of the 1990s, when the city was in the midst of rapid growth.

At the start of Zeanah’s eight-year tenure on the City Council, the Civic Arts Plaza was not yet built and the governing body convened every week in meetings that lasted longer than most people’s workday.

Councilman Andy Fox, who served on the council with Zeanah, remembered meetings that routinely lasted until 2 a.m.

“Elois certainly had a lot of stamina,” Fox said. “She had passion and conviction for things that were important to her.”

Every meeting would be jam-packed with multiple hearings on land use considerations and public works projects.

Former City Manager Grant Brimhall said that during those long meetings, the council was “considerably better behaved than the British Parliament.”

“There was a great deal going on with strongly held divergent perspectives,” Brimhall said. “Through it all, there was a golden thread of love for the community. That golden thread of love for the community helped knit together what we have today, which is an extra-special place.”

During those contentious debates, Zeanah firmly stood on the side of open space and slow growth. She favored homeowners associations and was deeply concerned about overcrowding.

“Her views were much in favor of preservation of the community,” Brimhall said. “She was concerned about any deterioration of the neighborhood.”

As mayor, Zeanah started the Mayor’s Business Roundtable, an opportunity for businesses to provide input.

She is credited with the preservation of Ahmanson and Jordan ranches and taught other environmentalists about the legislation available to preserve open space.

“She wasn’t anti-development; she was for measured growth,” Zukowski said.

When it came to planning and development, Zeanah was often the lone dissenting vote or in the minority of a split vote.

Her fiery and unwavering style got her a fair share of foes.

She was accused of stalling a wastewater treatment plant project that ultimately cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to some, or millions, according to others.

Just one year before her second term was up, opponents started a recall campaign, which ultimately failed. Some of those behind the recall are still active in the community today.

“Elois was not afraid to take a minority position to fight for what she believed in,” Zukowski said. “She was fearless.”

A lifelong Republican born in Alabama, Zeanah was both fierce and feminine, speaking in a Southern drawl. She was a political mentor to Zukowski, a lifelong Democrat, and to Linda Parks, who was Zeanah’s ally on the council and has since become a county supervisor.

“What I admire in her most was her great faith in humanity and the possibility for an individual to make a difference,” Zukowski said. “Her faith was in the citizenry, not in the institution of government.”

Hollywood orchestrator headlines Swing Night!

January 30, 2015 - 5:24pm

Ladd McIntosh — the orchestrator for such big-screen Hollywood hits as “Speed,” “Gladiator,” “Spy Kids,” “Shrek 2” and “Friday Night Lights” — brings his Swing Orchestra to Moorpark on Friday, Jan. 30, to headline Swing Night! at the Arroyo Vista Recreation Center.

The annual event, presented by Moorpark High School’s jazz program, also will feature Moorpark High’s A and B Jazz Ensembles. There will be a silent auction with jazz vinyl releases, Disneyland tickets, gift baskets and more. Pizza, snacks and drinks will be for sale. Proceeds will benefit the school’s instrumental music program.

McIntosh honed his composing/arranging skills during the 1960s as a student at Ohio University, leading the school’s Jazz Workshop Band to first place at the inaugural American College Music Festival in Miami Beach, Florida in 1967. He also won the Duke Ellington Composer Award at that festival.

 

 


After college, he played in Las Vegas bands; got his master’s; and started teaching jazz at the University of Utah. In 1977, he began a 19-year stint teaching jazz at CSU Northridge. In 1992, he began orchestrating film scores. To date, he’s worked on more than 125 movies.

According to his website, laddmcintosh.com, McIntosh has a “penchant” for giving his compositions off-beat titles, like "A Quadrant of Frogs and One Great Hysterical ‘Ribbet’,” "Hollywood Bull Shtick," "The Incredible Tail of Marula Pyps," "Music for a Different Planet Dying in Another Time,” "Dried Gooshies” and “Steaks ’n’ Beans at Mormon Lake Lodge.

Swing Night will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, in the Sycamore Room at Arroyo Vista Recreation Center, 4500 Tierra Rejada Road, Moorpark. Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information, visit moorparkmusic.org or laddmcintosh.com.
 

 

 

Records show vaccination gaps in county

January 30, 2015 - 5:05pm

At an alternative school in the mostly white community of Agoura Hills where six-digit household incomes are the norm, 35 percent of the students have not been fully vaccinated for measles.

Even more students at this campus, Mariposa School of Global Education — nearly 42 percent — have been declared exempt from various mandated vaccinations, according to data from Las Virgenes Unified School District.

Most parents have documented their concerns about exemptions in a personal belief form required by the state to avoid the mandate. Some of them worry the shots may be linked to autism or cause other harm, fears public health officials say are either flat wrong or distorted.

“I am not injecting three live viruses in my children because less than 100 people have the measles,” said Mindy Johnson, a parent of two children at the school and director of a drug and rehabilitation center. “ ... I’m a college-educated woman who is an executive and I have researched this extensively.”

The words and the cluster of people who refuse vaccinations worry public health officials. They contend breaks in California’s chain of immunity created a measles outbreak that has brought 91 cases to the state.

In Ventura County, at least eight people have been diagnosed with a highly contagious virus considered eliminated in the United States. The local cases have brought possible exposures at a preschool, a university campus, a bank and a community college campus.

The local cases of a disease labeled 15 years ago as eliminated in the United States are the county’s first since 2013.

“The gap between immunized and potentially immunized is the place where all of the new measles cases are coming from,” said Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer. “The consequence is the re-establishment of some of these diseases. I would not like to live in a world where children get polio every summer. I would not like to see more kids die of whooping cough than already do.”

Click on the image to find a school's vaccination rates.

Opting out

Records provided by schools to the California Department of Public Health showed about 91 percent of the kindergartners in Ventura County entered school with all mandated vaccinations for diseases ranging from measles to hepatitis B.

About 7 percent of the students were enrolled conditionally, meaning they still needed to obtain some vaccinations. A sliver of students — less than 1 percent — were unable to receive vaccinations because of other medication or illnesses.

Parents for about 3 percent of the students have declined vaccinations by completing a personal beliefs exemption form. Most of them received counseling by health care professionals about the risks involved with their choice. People who cited religious reasons for vaccination concerns can bypass the counseling.

The exemptions happen in clusters linked to an intriguing chain of demographics.

“Generally what you find is that the parents who refuse tend to be higher income and higher educated and they tend to be white,” said Daniel Salmon, co-author of a 2013 study that looked at exemption rates in California.

Linked to affluence

The 25 schools with the highest personal belief exemption rates in Ventura County range from schools where 8 percent of the kindergartners have opted out to private Oak Grove School in Ojai. There, 10 of 15 kindergartners have nonmedical exemptions.

The sites with the highest rates include home-school programs, alternative schools, private sites and public facilities. The Conejo Valley is headquarters for 11 of the 25 highest exemption schools, with five in Ventura and three in Ojai.

None are in Oxnard, a city with a median household income of $60,784 compared to $100,476 in Thousand Oaks.

“The people in the less affluent areas just tend to do what they’re told,” said Dr. Ken Saul, a Thousand Oaks pediatrician with a practice that includes a handful of people wary of vaccinations. He said the people wary of shots soak up so much research they sometimes get confused by it.

Some pediatricians evict families who don’t vaccinate from their practices. Saul sees convincing them to change their thinking as his challenge.

“I admit there are risks but I convince them that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks,” he said.

People who opt out of vaccinations tend to distrust government, including public health authorities, said Salmon, a researcher and deputy director at the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“The science says they’re very, very safe,” he said of vaccines. “They’re not perfectly safe. Safety is on a continuum.”

‘A parent’s choice’

The Las Virgenes Unified School District serves an area that includes northwestern Los Angeles and a corner of unincorporated Ventura County. District Superintendent Dan Stepenosky noted the vaccination rates recorded by the state can change during the year as nurses work on getting more students vaccinated.

Data from the district for 11,292 students of all grades shows about 593 — 6 percent — are exempt from vaccinations. Stepenosky noted the district rate exceeds the 92 percent immunity mark some public health officials use as a benchmark.

He said that on three occasions this school year, unvaccinated kids were sent home because of illnesses that emerged on a campus, twice because of chickenpox and once involving whooping cough.

He also respects the rights of parents who refuse vaccinations.

“Schools have very little say,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s a parent’s choice.”

Of the 361 students at Mariposa School in Agoura Hills, 146 are exempt from vaccinations in a rate some attribute to the families attracted to an alternative campus.

Mindy Johnson said research and independent thinking play a role too.

“I may be in a circle of parents who aren’t afraid to stand up to our doctors,” she said. “We don’t have our pediatrician on a pedestal.”

Johnson, of Westlake Village, decided not to have her kids vaccinated because of the number of women she met who said their children were harmed by immunizations.

She worries about autism. She worries about aluminum salts and gels used in vaccines.

Saul, the Thousand Oaks pediatrician, contends the measles outbreak is pushing some parents to reconsider vaccinations. Johnson is not one of them.

“These are common childhood illnesses. These are not deadly diseases. It’s OK to be sick,” she said, attributing the attention heaped on 91 cases of measles to the media.

“I think it’s a slow news cycle,” she said.

Raining frogs

Other debates involve reports from the California Department of Public Health regarding 45 cases where vaccination status is known. In six cases, people were fully vaccinated and still contracted measles.

“It kind of confirms to me that vaccinations might not be a terrific idea for everyone,” said Sue Turner, a Ventura midwife.

Salmon of Johns Hopkins said alleged links between autism and vaccines have been disproved. He said concerns about aluminum have been studied and categorized as a nonissue.

Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say two doses of the MMR vaccination is 97 percent effective against measles. Levin said cases where vaccinated people obtain the illness may be linked to vaccinations administered in the 1970s, children who received their first dose before their first birthday or medicine stored in a warm environment.

People wary of vaccinations tend to link anything that happens after a shot to the shot, said Dr. James Cherry, a pediatrics research professor from UCLA. He quoted a favorite saying by a friend.

“Some people who go outside after a rainstorm and see frogs on their lawn believe it rained frogs,” he said.

Police investigate robbery in Oak View

January 30, 2015 - 5:05pm

Police were investigating a bank robbery Friday in the Oak View area of Ojai, officials said.

The robbery was reported about 4:22 p.m. at Rabobank, 410 Ventura Ave.

No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made, officials said.

West county pet of the week: Toby

January 30, 2015 - 3:51pm
Toby is an adult neutered Chihuahua. His owner had to go to a nursing home & Toby is mourning the loss. He really needs to be in a home with a lot of love & a good lap to sit in. He has charmed shelter staff & volunteers. He walks nicely on leash & has very loving personality.   You can meet Toby at the Humane Society of Ventura County in Ojai. His reduced adoption fee of $75. includes neuter, vaccinations, free veterinarian check, microchip implantation, ID tag & years of love.   For more information on Toby or other adoptable animals, or to volunteer, call (805) 646-6505 or visit www.hsvc.org. The shelter is located at 402 Bryant St in Ojai. Hours are Monday - Saturday 10 - 5.

East county pet of the week: Perma

January 30, 2015 - 3:51pm

Perma is a lovely dilute tortie female who is about 3 years old.

She was a privileged member of her previous family and slept on her owner’s bed, but she was thought to have some medical problems that they could not deal with. She has a tiny bladder stone, but no treatment is needed. As a precaution, she is being fed a special food.

She seeks people out to gain attention and prefers it that way rather than having people go to her, and a patient approach works wonders. Come work your charms on this sweet kitty. Request A4788334 to adopt Perma.

The shelter is at 29525 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills. Pets occasionally have already been adopted. Call 818-991-0071 or visit http://animalcare.lacounty.gov to check availability.

Ventura County pet of the week: Oreo

January 30, 2015 - 3:51pm
Who doesn't love Oreos? Especially when they come with two ears and a fluffy tail.   Our boy Oreo is a curious, frisky bunny who delights in hopping and playing around the house. He enjoys attention and purrs when being petted! Oreo has great litter box habits and craves his daily serving of greens, especially parsley. At age seven, Oreo still has lots of years left in him and would love to find a safe and caring home where he can live indoors.     You can adopt Oreo, A607409, at Ventura County Animal Services, 600 Aviation Drive in Camarillo.   The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Call 388-4341 or visit http://www.vcas.us for more information.

Variety show, programs and other events planned

January 30, 2015 - 3:51pm

Camarillo

Program to focus on stem-cell efforts

Lifetree Café will host a discussion about stem-cell therapies at 7 p.m. Thursday at 71 Loma Drive.

The program will include a film featuring an interview with Dr. Christopher Centeno, who performs orthopedic procedures using adult stem cells in both the U.S. and elsewhere.

Admission to the hour event is free. Snacks and beverages will be available. Visit http://www.lifetreecafe.com, email lifetreecafe@peacecamarillo.com or call Pastor Rob at 482-3313 for more information.

Center will host peace pole planting

The Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living will mark the beginning of the season for nonviolence by planting a peace pole in the center’s sacred garden from 10-11 a.m. Saturday at 340 Mobil Ave.

Participants can plant seeds of peace. The Rev. Grace Lovejoy and county Supervisor Kathy Long will share inspirational words on peace.

Visit http://www.cslcamarillo.org for more information.

Ojai

Speaker to focus on sustainability

The Ojai Library will present a talk titled “Towards a Sustainable Global Community” at 2 p.m. Saturday at 111 E. Ojai Ave.

Craig Quick, an international broadcast developer, will speak.

Call Mary Lynch at 646-6019 for more information.

Simi Valley

Middle school plans variety show

The Sinaloa Middle School PTSA variety show will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the multipurpose room at the school, 601 Royal Ave.

Performances will include comedy, singing, dancing and instrumental music, including piano, guitar, cello and fiddle. The theme of the show will be the musical “Grease.”

Call Anthony Gulino at agulino@gmail.com or 300-0127 for more information.

Casino-style event to help youth club

The Boys & Girls Club of Simi Valley’s casino night and Texas Hold ’em poker tournament will be Feb. 7 at Lost Canyons Golf Club, 3301 Lost Canyons Drive.

A donation of $50 for general admission will include a buffet, casino games, opportunity drawings for a variety of prizes, a live band and more.

Visit http://www.bgcsimi.com, email bgcofsv@bgcsimi.com or call 527-4437 to RSVP or for more information.

Ventura

Library schedules variety of events

The E.P. Foster Library will host upcoming events at 651 E. Main St.:

The library will offer “Makeshop: Dancing Art Robots” from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday on the second floor. Participants will be able to build a robot out of a battery pack, vibrating motor and washable markers.

As part of the CSU Channel Islands lecture series, Blake Gillespie, professor of chemistry, will present “Folding Them In: Using Science to Teach Science” from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday.

Call 648-2716 for more information.

 

Sheriff announces body-camera pilot program

January 30, 2015 - 3:51pm

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean announced Friday during an annual lunch with supporters that his agency will soon start a pilot program to have deputies wear body cameras.

A total of 12 deputies in Thousand Oaks and Ojai will begin wearing video cameras on their chests, glasses or collars next month.

Dean, speaking Friday at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation’s annual lunch, said that while some deputies are hesitant about body cameras, law enforcement agencies that have used them report drops in assaults and complaints against officers.

Capt. Cory Rubright said the Sheriff’s Office had been looking into getting body cameras since June, before the idea gained traction in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The office has consulted with other nearby police agencies on which are the most effective, Rubright said.

The pilot program will last for two months, and officials will evaluate the results, he said.

Ventura police began testing them last year, and Oxnard police plan to get them.

During the lunch at the Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo, Dean also discussed local effects of prison realignment and November’s passage of Proposition 47, both of which have led to the release of inmates convicted of nonserious crimes.

He said that while realignment helped bring rehabilitation programs to the county, it also led to the county’s jails being overcrowded. That, in turn, led to more assaults against jail deputies, he said.

Now, Prop. 47, which changed many drug and gun offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, is leading to offenders getting out of jail and back on the streets faster, Dean said.

“It is easing the overcrowding of the jails, but those people are now back in the community” Dean said.

The sheriff Friday also highlighted the achievements of the county’s pharmaceutical crimes unit, crime lab and a program that helps his agency get surplus equipment from the Department of Defense.

At the end of his presentation, Dean played a video tribute to Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko, who was hit and killed by an alleged drunken driver in October.

5 displaced after Santa Paula fire

January 30, 2015 - 3:47pm

Five people were displaced Friday after a house fire in Santa Paula, officials said.

The blaze was reported about 1:45 p.m. in the 1000 block of East Santa Paula Street.

Responding crews found a small fire in the bedroom of the home, which was quickly knocked down.

Two adults and three children were displaced. The cause of the fire was not available.

The Santa Paula Fire Department responded, with assistance from the Ventura city and county fire departments, officials said.

Aniston crashes Santa Barbara tonight

January 30, 2015 - 3:30pm

Jennifer Aniston has been called “America’s Sweetheart.” She became a household name playing Rachel Green on the hit TV show “Friends.” She married and divorced Brad Pitt, and became tabloid fodder.

She ventured onto the big screen in films such as “The Good Girl,” “Office Space,” “Friends with Money” and “Marley & Me,” as well as romantic comedies such as “The Break-Up,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Picture Perfect.”

Her latest film, “Cake,” is about as far removed from Rachel Green as it gets. She plays a woman grappling with tragedy who becomes fascinated with the suicide of a woman in her chronic-pain support group.

Aniston figures to dish on much of this and her career arc when she pops into the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday night to pick up the Montecito Award, given for a series of standout performances. Who knows, she may tell us what she really thinks of being chased by the paparazzi.

Redmayne, Jones honored in Santa Barbara

January 30, 2015 - 3:02pm

Actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones looked almost like a perfect couple straight from English royalty Thursday night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, he decked out in a sleek, form-fitting Ralph Lauren suit and she in a black, V-neck cocktail-length dress from Osman.

They aren’t married in real life, but they were together to pick up Cinema Vanguard Awards in large part for playing famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and his first wife, Jane, in “The Theory of Everything.”

Many believe the two, both Oscar nominees in the lead acting categories, pulled that off brilliantly — including the two principals in the story. Jane has said she was “astounded” at how Jones stole her personality and mannerisms, and Hawking has said that Redmayne at times was him.

“He’s been very generous in his praise,” Redmayne said on the red carpet outside the Arlington Theatre.

Two years ago, Redmayne came to Santa Barbara to pick up an award fresh off his turn in “Les Misérables” as a relative newcomer. He arrived Thursday night as the odds-on favorite to win the best actor Oscar on Feb. 22, though he like many nominees brushed that aside.

“Well, I don’t know,” Redmayne said on the carpet. “It’s such a huge, wondrous frenzy that I have no take on any of it.”

If he wins, he might just celebrate with a beverage that might cause waves back in England. Asked what his favorite pint is, Redmayne smiled and replied, “I’m a Peroni guy,” a nod to an Italian beer.

Redmayne and Jones, both in their early 30s, looked natural together. “Theory” screenwriter Anthony McCarten, also an Oscar nominee, noted that synergy as he presented them with their Santa Barbara awards.

“Both of them are unfairly talented, cruelly good looking and unnaturally articulate … and young, still so young,” McCarten said as the crowd laughed.

He, Redmayne and Jones spoke of how “Theory” isn’t a straight biopic, but one layered with what Redmayne called “an incredibly complicated and passionate love story.”

Jones said she read McCarten’s script and found “there was a lot to get my teeth into, such depth … a love story asking broader questions.”

Earlier, on the red carpet, she said playing Jane was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” adding, “It’s been an incredible honor to bring her story to life and show how she was key to his survival.”

Redmayne noted that he and Jones spent months at an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, clinic to learn more about the disease that caused Hawking’s physical condition to deteriorate. He traced specific muscles that declined, sometimes studying old photographs, and learned the physical toll of how Hawking climbed stairs. He worked with a dancer on the physiology of movements.

Hawking visited the set during a fireworks scene and stole the show with his aura-like presence and trademark lighted computer. “It was the greatest rock star entrance I’ve ever seen in my life,” Redmayne said as the crowd roared.

Jones found Stephen and Jane receptive to what they were doing, adding, “They both have this dry sense of humor — and absolutely no self-pity from either about what they’ve been through.”

Redmayne and Jones talked openly of acting nerves and fears between film clip montages at the tribute inside. Jones noted how they had auditioned many times — “and got turned down,” Redmayne interjected, to which Jones replied, “Yes, we commiserated.”

They’re in a better place now. And Redmayne won’t forget his visits here.

“I love Santa Barbara; I don’t want to leave Santa Barbara,” he said, noting an especially good recent sunset. “It’s utterly beautiful here.”

Come some three weeks from now a few miles south of here at the Oscars, he might get a big stamp of approval on how far his career has risen.