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Harvard Tops a Record Year for College Gifts

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 9:23pm
Colleges and universities received a record $37.5 billion in donations last year, led by massive gifts to Harvard, Stanford and other already-wealthy schools.

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.

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.

Indiana to Expand Medicaid Coverage

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 7:33pm
Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence is moving ahead to extend Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers under the federal health law after securing a key concession from the Obama administration.

Attorney General Nominee Takes the Stage

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 7:26pm
Loretta Lynch will step into the Senate spotlight on Wednesday as the Justice Department she has been nominated to lead considers a series of hot-button issues ranging from possible civil-rights violations by police to government leaks.

Agency Weighed Spying at Gun Shows

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 7:19pm
A federal agent proposed using license-plate readers to scan vehicles around gun shows in order to aid gun-trafficking investigations, according to a 2009 internal Justice Department email.

Time capsules buried in Thousand Oaks

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 6:36pm

With little fanfare other than taking a few photos, members of the Thousand Oaks Living Time Capsule Committee and city representatives on Tuesday sealed three large durable-plastic containers filled with memorabilia to be opened at quarter-century intervals, providing the city with a living history.

Among the items locked in time are K-cup automatic coffee brewing containers, an empty medical marijuana container and plastic bags.

“We’ve banned plastic bags, so they could be something people haven’t seen then,” said committee Chairman Michael Arndt, a theater professor at California Lutheran University.

The project, titled “The Roots of Our Lives — A Living Time Capsule,” is designed to celebrate the city of Thousand Oaks and its history as it unfolds, Arndt said.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the past and future. I especially like including the names of all the people who have signed the time capsules,” said Arndt, a member of the committee that first encapsulated various items exemplifying 1994, with the idea of opening the first time capsule when the city celebrated 50 years.

The 1994 time capsule was opened last summer, and the items it contained were put on display at a reception in October. Arndt said some of the items are already out of date, including VHS video tapes and floppy computer disks.

“Remember, this was during the advent of computers, and there wasn’t an Internet as we know it today,” he said. “Hopefully, when the capsule is opened (in 2064), the items will go to a museum where they will have machines to look at them.”

Daryl Reynolds, a member of the original time capsule committee in 1994 and currently a member of the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission, remembers cutting out newspaper articles to include.

“We called ourselves the cut-ups because we just sat and cut up newspapers,” she said.

She and Arndt said the two big stories of that time were the Northridge earthquake and the O.J. Simpson trial.

Arndt said the idea of “living time capsules” came up because so many people bury time capsules, only to lose track of them later.

“We wanted capsules that would be opened at various intervals,” Arndt said.

During Tuesday’s encapsulation, three containers were placed inside a concrete bench in a grotto that celebrates the history of Thousand Oaks. City street maintenance workers Frank Anguiano and Michael Parrotta carried out the task.

“They are heavy and difficult to grasp,” said Parrotta, who agreed with Anguiano that they probably would not be around to see the time capsules opened in 2039 — the 75th anniversary of the city.

Both men said they enjoyed looking at the items that were unearthed over the summer.

Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña thanked the committee for its dedication to preserving history as it happens.

“It is so important to share our history with future generations,” she said. “This just shows how dedicated the members of the community are.”

The three capsules entombed in the concrete bench include one from 1994 that will be opened in 2064. The other large capsule includes items from 2014 that also will be opened in 2064. The final capsule, smaller than the rest, will be brought out in 2039, with more 2014 items. A fourth, empty capsule will be filled and placed with the rest of the capsules in 2039.

Time capsules buried in Thousand Oaks

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 6:36pm

With little fanfare other than taking a few photos, members of the Thousand Oaks Living Time Capsule Committee and city representatives on Tuesday sealed three large durable-plastic containers filled with memorabilia to be opened at quarter-century intervals, providing the city with a living history.

Among the items locked in time are K-cup automatic coffee brewing containers, an empty medical marijuana container and plastic bags.

“We’ve banned plastic bags, so they could be something people haven’t seen then,” said committee Chairman Michael Arndt, a theater professor at California Lutheran University.

The project, titled “The Roots of Our Lives — A Living Time Capsule,” is designed to celebrate the city of Thousand Oaks and its history as it unfolds, Arndt said.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the past and future. I especially like including the names of all the people who have signed the time capsules,” said Arndt, a member of the committee that first encapsulated various items exemplifying 1994, with the idea of opening the first time capsule when the city celebrated 50 years.

The 1994 time capsule was opened last summer, and the items it contained were put on display at a reception in October. Arndt said some of the items are already out of date, including VHS video tapes and floppy computer disks.

“Remember, this was during the advent of computers, and there wasn’t an Internet as we know it today,” he said. “Hopefully, when the capsule is opened (in 2064), the items will go to a museum where they will have machines to look at them.”

Daryl Reynolds, a member of the original time capsule committee in 1994 and currently a member of the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission, remembers cutting out newspaper articles to include.

“We called ourselves the cut-ups because we just sat and cut up newspapers,” she said.

She and Arndt said the two big stories of that time were the Northridge earthquake and the O.J. Simpson trial.

Arndt said the idea of “living time capsules” came up because so many people bury time capsules, only to lose track of them later.

“We wanted capsules that would be opened at various intervals,” Arndt said.

During Tuesday’s encapsulation, three containers were placed inside a concrete bench in a grotto that celebrates the history of Thousand Oaks. City street maintenance workers Frank Anguiano and Michael Parrotta carried out the task.

“They are heavy and difficult to grasp,” said Parrotta, who agreed with Anguiano that they probably would not be around to see the time capsules opened in 2039 — the 75th anniversary of the city.

Both men said they enjoyed looking at the items that were unearthed over the summer.

Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña thanked the committee for its dedication to preserving history as it happens.

“It is so important to share our history with future generations,” she said. “This just shows how dedicated the members of the community are.”

The three capsules entombed in the concrete bench include one from 1994 that will be opened in 2064. The other large capsule includes items from 2014 that also will be opened in 2064. The final capsule, smaller than the rest, will be brought out in 2039, with more 2014 items. A fourth, empty capsule will be filled and placed with the rest of the capsules in 2039.

FCC Warns Hotels, Others Not to Block Personal Wi-Fi

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 6:23pm
FCC officials issued a warning that it will prosecute businesses, including hotels and other establishments, that block people from using personal Wi-Fi networks.

New measles cases reported in Ventura County

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 6:21pm

Two more Ventura County residents were diagnosed with measles Tuesday afternoon with one of the cases believed linked to Disneyland.

The new illnesses bring the county’s measles count to eight cases. Across California, at least 73 cases of the illness have been confirmed with 50 cases linked to Disney.

At least 14 more cases have been linked to Disneyland in six other states and Mexico.

Measles outbreak: What you need to know

Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer, said one of the county’s new cases involved a visit to Disneyland Resort in Orange County. He said the other person is believed to have been exposed to a known measles case in the county.

Neither case appears linked to illnesses reported last week at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo or at a Citibank branch in the same city.

Officials were working to identify people with contact to the two new cases. Levin said he wasn’t aware of any possible exposure in high-traffic public places.

Neither of the two people were hospitalized but both were still dealing with the illness, Levin said. He declined to offer more specifics about the cases, citing patient confidentiality.

A blood test confirmed one of the new cases. Test results aren’t known for the second case but the symptoms and the Disney connection prompted officials to label the case as measles, Levin said.

Measles is considered eliminated from the United States but can be brought here by travelers.

Symptoms may include a fever as high as 105 degrees, cough, runny nose and red eyes. A red rash may emerge in a few days, first on the face and then moving downward. Not all cases bring all of the symptoms.

The illness can take 21 days for the disease to emerge. People are believed to be contagious four days before the rash appears and four days after.

The airborne disease is highly contagious. It’s rarely fatal but can cause complications that require hospitalization.

Levin estimated that about 95 percent of the population is immune because they’ve been fully vaccinated or previously contracted the virus. He urged people who are not vaccinated to get immunized.

New measles cases reported in Ventura County

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 6:21pm

Two more Ventura County residents were diagnosed with measles Tuesday afternoon with one of the cases believed linked to Disneyland.

The new illnesses bring the county’s measles count to eight cases. Across California, at least 73 cases of the illness have been confirmed with 50 cases linked to Disney.

At least 14 more cases have been linked to Disneyland in six other states and Mexico.

Measles outbreak: What you need to know

Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County public health officer, said one of the county’s new cases involved a visit to Disneyland Resort in Orange County. He said the other person is believed to have been exposed to a known measles case in the county.

Neither case appears linked to illnesses reported last week at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo or at a Citibank branch in the same city.

Officials were working to identify people with contact to the two new cases. Levin said he wasn’t aware of any possible exposure in high-traffic public places.

Neither of the two people were hospitalized but both were still dealing with the illness, Levin said. He declined to offer more specifics about the cases, citing patient confidentiality.

A blood test confirmed one of the new cases. Test results aren’t known for the second case but the symptoms and the Disney connection prompted officials to label the case as measles, Levin said.

Measles is considered eliminated from the United States but can be brought here by travelers.

Symptoms may include a fever as high as 105 degrees, cough, runny nose and red eyes. A red rash may emerge in a few days, first on the face and then moving downward. Not all cases bring all of the symptoms.

The illness can take 21 days for the disease to emerge. People are believed to be contagious four days before the rash appears and four days after.

The airborne disease is highly contagious. It’s rarely fatal but can cause complications that require hospitalization.

Levin estimated that about 95 percent of the population is immune because they’ve been fully vaccinated or previously contracted the virus. He urged people who are not vaccinated to get immunized.

Offshore Atlantic Part of 5-Year Drilling Blueprint

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 6:17pm
The Obama administration proposed to eventually open up part of the Atlantic to oil and natural-gas production while also saying it would restrict waters off Alaska’s shore to drilling.

Independent Panel Proposes Changes to Military Pensions

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 6:06pm
A special commission looking for ways to revamp U.S. military benefits is expected to call for the creation of a new 401(k)-type retirement system as part of an overhaul of the existing Pentagon pension plan.
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