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The Los Feliz Neighborhood of Los Angeles Gets its First Boutique Hotel

New York Times - California News - January 30, 2015 - 6:00am
In a creative-class enclave not known for its lodging options, Hotel Covell is opening above the beloved hangout Bar Covell.

Rap mogul arrested on suspicion of murder

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 5:35am

Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has been arrested after his suspected involvement in a hit-and-run incident that left one man dead on Thursday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Knight, 49, is being held on suspicion of murder and has a $2 million bail.

Capt. John Corina of the Los Angeles Country Sheriff's Department told the newspaper that Knight was arguing with two men at about 3 p.m. Thursday on the set of the upcoming movie "Straight Outta Compton." About 20 minutes later, the two men were leaving a nearby restaurant when Knight ran them over with his truck in the parking lot.

Witnesses told police that the truck knight was driving hit the pair before backing over them and driving away.

One victim, believed to be 55-year-old Terry Carter, died. The other victim, identified by Entertainment Weekly as Cle Sloan, 51, was injured. The Los Angeles Times reports at least one of the victims was a member of the film crew. The man's death is being treated as a homicide.

In 1991, Knight co-founded Death Row Records with Dr. Dre. The label was instrumental in pioneering the gangster rap subgenre that became popular in the early 1990s. Among the label's artists were Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur.

Knight has been arrested several times, serving prison time in 1997 for violating his parole from a previous assault case. In October 2014, he was arrested in Las Vegas after allegedly stealing a photographer's camera.

DUI crackdown planned for Super Bowl Sunday

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 30, 2015 - 5:30am

As the Super Bowl nears, officials are urging motorists to designate a driver or plan a sober ride home ahead of Sunday festivities.

The Automobile Club of Southern California analyzed crash data from the California Highway Patrol and found a 77 percent increased risk of alcohol-related traffic collisions causing injury and death across the state on Super Bowl Sunday.

The analysis reviewed the number of alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes occurring from 5 p.m. Sunday through 4 a.m. the following day for the last five Super Bowls and compared it with other Sundays in January and February.

There have been 294 fatal and injury crashes on Super Bowl Sunday the last five years.

Another recent AAA report found that 10 percent of motorists admit to driving when their blood alcohol level was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

“Super Bowl Sunday celebrations and alcohol consumption go hand-in-hand,” said Chris O’Quinn, the CHP’s assistant chief. “The CHP encourages game-day fun but discourages driving under the influence and any other unsafe driving. If you plan to drink, please prevent a tragedy by designating a sober driver, calling upon public transportation or considering Tipsy Tow service as a reliable option.”

The auto club’s Tipsy Tow service will give a drunken driver and their vehicle a tow home for free for up to 7 miles. After that, the driver is expected to pay the rate charged by the tow provider. The service will be offered from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday. The tow provides a one-way ride for the driver but not passengers.

The CHP and some other law enforcement agencies will have DUI checkpoints and expanded patrols Sunday. As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign, Thousand Oaks police will deploy DUI saturation patrols from 3 to 11 p.m. at previous hot spots for DUI-related crashes and arrests, officials said.

“Drunken driving is completely preventable,” Thousand Oaks police Capt. Jim Fryhoff said. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive — but never do both.”

Thousand Oaks police also said those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications should remember that drinking small amounts of alcohol can intensify the impairment effects.

DUI crackdown planned for Super Bowl Sunday

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 5:30am

As the Super Bowl nears, officials are urging motorists to designate a driver or plan a sober ride home ahead of Sunday festivities.

The Automobile Club of Southern California analyzed crash data from the California Highway Patrol and found a 77 percent increased risk of alcohol-related traffic collisions causing injury and death across the state on Super Bowl Sunday.

The analysis reviewed the number of alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes occurring from 5 p.m. Sunday through 4 a.m. the following day for the last five Super Bowls and compared it with other Sundays in January and February.

There have been 294 fatal and injury crashes on Super Bowl Sunday the last five years.

Another recent AAA report found that 10 percent of motorists admit to driving when their blood alcohol level was above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

“Super Bowl Sunday celebrations and alcohol consumption go hand-in-hand,” said Chris O’Quinn, the CHP’s assistant chief. “The CHP encourages game-day fun but discourages driving under the influence and any other unsafe driving. If you plan to drink, please prevent a tragedy by designating a sober driver, calling upon public transportation or considering Tipsy Tow service as a reliable option.”

The auto club’s Tipsy Tow service will give a drunken driver and their vehicle a tow home for free for up to 7 miles. After that, the driver is expected to pay the rate charged by the tow provider. The service will be offered from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday. The tow provides a one-way ride for the driver but not passengers.

The CHP and some other law enforcement agencies will have DUI checkpoints and expanded patrols Sunday. As part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” campaign, Thousand Oaks police will deploy DUI saturation patrols from 3 to 11 p.m. at previous hot spots for DUI-related crashes and arrests, officials said.

“Drunken driving is completely preventable,” Thousand Oaks police Capt. Jim Fryhoff said. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive — but never do both.”

Thousand Oaks police also said those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications should remember that drinking small amounts of alcohol can intensify the impairment effects.

Four killed In Kabul shooting

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 5:26am

Three U.S. contractors and one Afghan national are dead after a shooting Thursday in Afghanistan. 

The shooting happened Thursday evening on a base at North Kabul International Airport. Several sources say the gunman was an Afghan soldier or someone in an Army uniform, though those reports haven't been officially confirmed. 

But if true, this would be another so-called "green-on-blue" attack, where Afghan soldiers or police officers turn their weapons on coalition forces. There have been fewer of these attacks in recent years, but this one comes just weeks after the U.S. and NATO officially ended their combat mission in the country.

Around 12,000 coalition troops, mostly from the U.S., are still stationed in Afghanistan and are focused on training the country's security forces.

Thursday was an especially violent day across Afghanistan: A suicide bomb targeting a funeral killed 17 people and injured 36 others, while a separate Taliban attack on a village killed 18, including seven Taliban soldiers.

First 5 wants to hear from Ventura Co. parents

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 30, 2015 - 5:01am

First 5 Ventura County wants to hear from parents as it plans for the future.

The publicly funded agency provides child development, health and support services for children up to age 5 and their families. As officials develop a strategic plan, they want to find out what parents think is needed and what challenges they face in Ventura County.

Surveys are available in English and Spanish online through Feb. 9 at http://www.first5ventura.org. For a paper copy, contact Kathy Rangel at 648-9990 or krangel@first5ventura.org.

The information is confidential and will be used for planning local programs and services, the agency said.

First 5 wants to hear from Ventura Co. parents

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 5:01am

First 5 Ventura County wants to hear from parents as it plans for the future.

The publicly funded agency provides child development, health and support services for children up to age 5 and their families. As officials develop a strategic plan, they want to find out what parents think is needed and what challenges they face in Ventura County.

Surveys are available in English and Spanish online through Feb. 9 at http://www.first5ventura.org. For a paper copy, contact Kathy Rangel at 648-9990 or krangel@first5ventura.org.

The information is confidential and will be used for planning local programs and services, the agency said.

KCLU wins five awards

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 30, 2015 - 5:00am

National Public Radio station KCLU won five Golden Mikes for excellence in broadcast news coverage at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California's 65th annual awards ceremony held recently at the Universal Hilton in Universal City.

Four of those awards were won by news director Lance Orozco. He captured awards for best news reporting, best entertainment reporting, best sports reporting and best use of sound.

Jim Rondeau, the station's former director of operations and programming, who is now the director of college broadcast services at Saddleback College, was honored for best newscast under 15 minutes.

KCLU won half the awards given out in its division for radio stations with five or fewer staff members. Broadcast newsrooms from San Luis Obispo to the Mexico border competed.

KCLU has won more than 80 Golden Mikes since 2001.

KCLU serves Ventura, Santa Barbara and southern San Luis Obispo counties and can be found online at kclu.org. The station is a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

KCLU wins five awards

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 5:00am

National Public Radio station KCLU won five Golden Mikes for excellence in broadcast news coverage at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California's 65th annual awards ceremony held recently at the Universal Hilton in Universal City.

Four of those awards were won by news director Lance Orozco. He captured awards for best news reporting, best entertainment reporting, best sports reporting and best use of sound.

Jim Rondeau, the station's former director of operations and programming, who is now the director of college broadcast services at Saddleback College, was honored for best newscast under 15 minutes.

KCLU won half the awards given out in its division for radio stations with five or fewer staff members. Broadcast newsrooms from San Luis Obispo to the Mexico border competed.

KCLU has won more than 80 Golden Mikes since 2001.

KCLU serves Ventura, Santa Barbara and southern San Luis Obispo counties and can be found online at kclu.org. The station is a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

IRS Eases Repayment Rules

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 4:19am

Consumers who received too much in federal tax credits when buying insurance on the health law’s marketplaces last year got a reprieve of sorts from the Internal Revenue Service this week. Although they still have to repay some or all of the excess subsidies, the IRS won’t ding them with a late payment penalty if they don’t repay it by the April 15 tax deadline.

“They’re trying to make this work,” says Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who’s an expert on the health law.

The amount people received was based on an estimate of their 2014 income. At tax time, that amount has to be reconciled against consumers’ actual income on IRS Form 8962. If consumers or the marketplace underestimated their 2014 income, they may have received too much in tax credits and have to pay back some or all of it.

How much people have to repay is based on their income and is capped at $2,500. People with incomes over 400 percent of the poverty line have to repay the entire amount, however.

This penalty reprieve only applies to the 2014 tax year. The IRS will allow people to repay what they owe on an installment basis. But be forewarned: Interest will continue to accrue until the balance is paid off.

Please contact Kaiser Health News to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

CIA Taps Undercover 'Spider' as Top Spy

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 30, 2015 - 3:23am
The Central Intelligence Agency has selected a new top spy, tapping an undercover veteran who played a central role in developing personal relationships with Afghan leaders after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Longtime Ventura College art teacher dies at 93

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 30, 2015 - 2:33am

William H. McEnroe, who was hired in 1950 to help develop the art department at Ventura College and then spent the next 32 years teaching there, died Jan. 25 at his home in Olympia, Wash. He was 93.

Donna Granata, founder of Focus on the Masters, a nonprofit organization based in Ventura that researches and documents the lives of area artists, announced McEnroe’s death on Thursday.

“Bill was an instrumental figure in helping to shape the Ventura County art community and beyond,” Granata said in a news release.

MCENROEART.COM
This piece by William H. McEnroe is titled "Covered Bridge."

According to Granata, McEnroe was hired by Ventura College not long after he graduated from Stanford University. To populate the college’s fledgling art department, he went on the hunt not only for good teachers, but exceptional artists who were making a name for themselves in the contemporary art scene. Among his first hires were Jack Baker, to teach painting, and William Winterbourne, to teach ceramics. Soon, the full-time art faculty expanded to 14, including Carlisle Cooper, Gerd Koch and Hiroko Yoshimoto.

It wasn’t McEnroe’s plan to stay at Ventura College. “I thought Ventura would be a temporary stop en route to Yale,” he told Granata.

But stay he did. Over the next three decades, he taught watercolor, art history, art appreciation and scene design. He chaired the college’s Fine Art Division for 14 years and was the founding director of the New Media Gallery.

Hooked on art

From his first class as a 9-year-old in Fargo, North Dakota, McEnroe was hooked on art.

“I didn’t even know what art was but I thought, ‘This is what I want to do with my life,’ ” McEnroe told The Star in 2011.

McEnroe’s family moved from Fargo to a suburb of Boston and, when he was in high school, he began taking life drawing classes at the Boston Museum School of Fine Art.

After the United States entered World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and served from 1942 to 1946 on submarine chasers in the Atlantic and Pacific. According to Granata, he was assigned to a high-speed personnel carrier in San Francisco, which delivered 5,000 troops to various South Sea battle areas. In 1945, McEnroe was aboard the first ship to enter Japan’s Osaka Harbor after atomic bombs dropped at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

When the war ended, McEnroe enrolled at Long Beach City College on the GI Bill. A summer painting course in the High Sierras, offered by San Jose State College, plunged him deeper into art.

“It was wonderfully thrilling and we were painting all day, every day,” he told The Star.

Encouraged by the dean, he enrolled at San Jose State, majoring in art and theater. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1949 with honors, married Carolyn Rucker, a sculptor, and went right into a graduate program at Stanford University.

“I knew if I wanted to go into the academic world I had to have more in my pocket than a bachelor’s,” he said.

McEnroe took as many credits as possible at Stanford.

“I studied 23 hours a day,” he said. “I didn’t even let my wife wear corduroy because it made noise when I was studying.”

The result was a master’s degree in 1950, again with distinction in art.

MCENROEART.COM
This pastel, titled "Country Store," was inspired by a store William H. McEnroe used to visit as a kid in a tiny village in northern Vermont.

While at Stanford, he was recruited by Ventura College and hired to begin teaching that summer.

“I was the No. 2 man of a two-man art department,” he said. “In 1951 Jack Ball left, making me the sole member and department head.” The college moved to its present location in 1955 and the art staff eventually grew to 14 full-time instructors and the department expanded to include music, theater, photography and dance.

After 14 years, McEnroe got tired of the administration aspect of the job and went back to teaching and painting.

“We bought a large, old house two blocks from the campus to accommodate an expanding family of five children,” he said. “I used to get up at 4 a.m. and paint in an old shed just to find time in a busy schedule, which began with 8 o’clock classes. I eventually built a big, beautiful studio.”

Watercolor had always been his medium of choice.

“Watercolor has a swagger about it, if done right, that other mediums lack,” he said. He was elected a signature member of the National Watercolor Society in 1961.

‘New adventures’

McEnroe retired from Ventura College in 1982. In 1989, after a brief stint living in Cambria, California, he and his wife moved to Olympia.

McEnroe always encouraged his students to take risks. “The greatest rewards await the artist who is prepared to go off on completely new adventures,” he wrote on his website, mcenroeart.com.

MCENROEART.COM
This William H. McEnroe painting is titled "Call of the Loon."

Over the course of more than 50 solo shows, he heeded that very advice.

“I operate on the premise that the wheel has already been invented, several times,” McEnroe wrote. “While it may be comforting to paint the cute, red barn over and over, the bigger challenge is to find other, newer ways to paint the same subject. My goal is to create something that has never been seen before, something exciting and new.”

In Olympia, he discovered two new passions: pastels and poetry.

“All my art junk was in storage when someone gave me a 12-stick set of colored pastels and, whoopee, I was off,” he told The Star. “Need a color? Pick up a stick and, wham, there it is, glowing, no mixing, no messing with brushes, no solvents.”

Experimenting with pastels, he developed a technique he called “fractured light.”

“I randomly break up the unity of an area by inventing spaces for new colors within the boundaries of another color,” he said. “It’s always an excursion of discovery. The marvelous thing about this process is there is no formula. You are discovering as you go — hey, I can use this color. Two colors collide and vibrate against each other. It’s endless what you can do. Really thrilling.”

In 2010, he published a book of his paintings titled, “La Grande Livre,” accompanied by free verse poetry.

“I never wrote a line until 2010,” he said. “It seemed to me this was a proper way of interpreting the visual part of it. Then I discovered I had a penchant for this. Almost every painting I’ve done since, I’ve written poem about. It seemed like an natural extension; sign the painting, write a poem.”

McEnroe is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carolyn; twin sons Shawn, of Tumwater, Washington, and Kelly, of Ventura; daughters Darcy Chutan of Oxnard, Meredith Meersman of Alexandria, Virginia, and Stephanie McGregor of Olympia; four nieces and nephews; and five grandchildren.

To see his art and read his poetry, visit mcenroeart.com.

We had questions, he had answers

In February 2011, The Star asked McEuen to answer a quirky set of questions about his life and career. These are his answers:

Describe your art in three words, without using adjectives: Scrambled invented facts.

Color that best represents you: The color that happens to be on my brush at the moment.

Smell that best represents your art: Chocolate and cinnamon (spicy and deep).

Object that best represents Ventura County: In the 1850s, ships from the East Coast called at Ventura Bay and traded goods for cattle hides from coastal ranches and delivered them back east to be made into leather goods. Today, I imagine it’s oil, table produce, citrus and new-age industries.

If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be?: I would be the captain of a four-masted square-rigged sailing ship who also wrote poetry.

Favorite place for artistic inspiration in Ventura County: Upper Sespe Creek.

Someone who inspires you who is not an artist: Maya Angelou (poet and writer).

Art supply you can’t do without: Erasers.

Best advice you’ve received about art: “Nolo bastardo carborundrum” (“Don’t let the bastards get you down”).

First thing as a kid that you drew or painted?: “Henny Penny and Her Chicks.”

Something posted on your refrigerator: The next doctor’s appointment.

How would you define a “master”?: One who has exhaustively and deeply explored all aspects of his profession.

Favorite comic strip: “Pogo.”

“I’m most proud of ___ “: I am most proud of my wonderful family.

Favorite flower, cereal and candy: Black-eyed Susan daisy, Blueberry Trail Mix, homemade fudge.

Who do you think will win the Oscar for best picture?: I couldn’t care less.

“An artist is ____ “: An artist is an Explorer!

Ventura beats Buena to clinch CIF berth

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 10:35pm

After seeing its 28-0 lead shrink to 28-24 in Thursday night’s Channel League showdown with crosstown rival Buena, the Ventura High boys wrestling team put its postseason fortunes in the hands of sophomore Joel Lopez and junior Chris Reyes.

Lopez, wrestling at 126 pounds, pinned Xavier Mendez to end the Bulldogs’ string of match wins at five and up the Cougars’ lead to 10 points.

A few minutes later, Reyes (132) sealed the victory for Ventura when he pinned Boula Markos as the Cougars won by a 40-30 margin.

Ventura earned second place in the Channel League behind champion Dos Pueblos, clinching a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Team Duals in two weeks.

“Words can’t describe how amazing it feels to go out there and do that for my team,” Lopez said. “With the crowd cheering, it was an amazing atmosphere. I knew I could pin him. I knew we needed the points and to do it for my teammates feels awesome.”

“It’s the best moment of my life,” Reyes said. “It feels amazing to go out and score the points that won the match for our team and clinches us a spot in the Duals.

“After seeing Joel pin his man, I went out there with the idea of going hard and not giving up. To end up pinning him feels so amazing.”

As Reyes came off the mat following the win, the junior leapt into the arms of head coach Mike Gacha as his teammates surrounded him.

“For those kids, it makes all the hard work seem worth it,” Gacha said of Lopez and Reyes. “They’ve both had some struggles, so for them to do what they did tonight is great to see. Those are the moments you live for as a coach.”

Gacha and his coaching staff opted to roll the dice in the early matches by having their first three wrestlers go up a weight class.

Luke Tada, normally at 138, earned six points against Nico Priedo, who had to retire early due to an injury, in the 145-pound match.

Justin Ledesma, usually at 145, moved up to 152 to take on Paul Munoz. In one of the closest matches of the night, Ledesma won 8-6.

Diego Kress won his match with Brady Yarbrough with a decision and Brandon Hickle (170) pinned Josh Mizrahi.

“I knew I was going to beat him,” Hickle said. “He is a good wrestler. His style is a little funky, but I felt like I could pin him. We wanted to get off to a fast start.”

After Justin Yale (182) won his match over Adan Andrade by decision, Angel Abundez (195) finished off Ventura’s roaring start with a pin of Roberto Martinez.

“As a senior this is my last time here, so it feels great to go out and win and help my team,” Abundez said.

Down 28-0, Buena refused to quit.

Anthony Ross defeated Tyler Gacha 8-4 for Buena’s first points. A few minutes later, heavyweight Tristan Castro pinned C.J Alarcon to pump up the Buena faithful.

“I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and I knew I needed to do something for my team,” Castro said.

Freshmen Juan Gutierrez (106) and D’Angelo Jones (113) followed with pins. Marquis Moreno (120) beat Zach Weisshaar by decision to cut Ventura’s lead to 28-24.

But Lopez and Reyes turned the momentum back to Ventura for good.

“I’m disappointed with the outcome, but I love the way we performed,” said Buena’s first-year coach Kane Hobbs. “I loved the way our kids just didn’t give up and they just kept fighting.

“We have a very young team so this was a great measuring stick for us to see where we are at. It’s also a great learning experience for us to grow on. Ventura is a great team and they wrestled well tonight. We’re disappointed but we feel good about our team’s future.”

Faith leaders call for end to homelessness

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 9:52pm

A group gathered at the foot of the Ventura City Hall on Thursday, calling on business, faith, civic and community leaders to finally, at last, once and for all, end homelessness.

They held signs — “Let’s come together to end homelessness,” “Ending homelessness is good for everyone” and “Housing First! Everyone deserves a helping hand!” — as vehicles drove by with drivers honking in support.

“This is not about divisiveness. This is not about confrontation,” said the Rev. Jan Christian of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. “It’s about how we’re going to work together to end homelessness.”

The Ventura Interfaith Ministerial Association organized the event, galvanized in part by the recent violence against a homeless man, nearly burned alive as he slept on a city beach.

“It’s time to identify a place for a crisis center,” Christian said.

The act “horrified” Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller of Temple Beth Torah.

“It violates our humanity to the core, does it not?” she asked the crowd of roughly 100.

Hochberg-Miller said in her 18 years in Ventura, she knows of thousands of hours spent on task forces and committees, heard various leaders pledging support.

She could not have imagined all these years later, “so little progress has been made.”

Organizers urged people to come to Monday night’s City Council meeting and speak up on the issue.

Sue Brinkmeyer, interim director of Lift Up Your Voice, a homeless ministry within the Unitarian Universalist Church, plans to be there.

She’ll be asking the city for a zoning change, which would required if there can be any shelter of the kind she envisions.

There are areas in the city where overnight shelters are permitted, and areas where daytime social services are permitted. But there is nowhere in the city where the two are allowed together without a use permit.

There is no year-round shelter in Ventura, only a seasonal one that opens between Dec. 1 and March 31. It opens at 6 p.m. and all who stay must leave by 6 a.m.

“Instead of turning them in to our parks and tourist centers, keeping them where we can help them get what they need” should be the goal, she said.

Brinkmeyer favors having various locations being allowed to offer such services.

As the speeches finished, the group sang of peace and of standing together for change.

Abigal Austin, 11, of Ojai, sang as her dad played as part of a guitar duo.

“I don’t think it’s fair or right to have anyone sleep on a bench or in a park,” she said. “So I stand with people who say we should try to end it.”

Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at 501 Poli St.

Faith leaders call for end to homelessness

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 9:52pm

A group gathered at the foot of the Ventura City Hall on Thursday, calling on business, faith, civic and community leaders to finally, at last, once and for all, end homelessness.

They held signs — “Let’s come together to end homelessness,” “Ending homelessness is good for everyone” and “Housing First! Everyone deserves a helping hand!” — as vehicles drove by with drivers honking in support.

“This is not about divisiveness. This is not about confrontation,” said the Rev. Jan Christian of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura. “It’s about how we’re going to work together to end homelessness.”

The Ventura Interfaith Ministerial Association organized the event, galvanized in part by the recent violence against a homeless man, nearly burned alive as he slept on a city beach.

“It’s time to identify a place for a crisis center,” Christian said.

The act “horrified” Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller of Temple Beth Torah.

“It violates our humanity to the core, does it not?” she asked the crowd of roughly 100.

Hochberg-Miller said in her 18 years in Ventura, she knows of thousands of hours spent on task forces and committees, heard various leaders pledging support.

She could not have imagined all these years later, “so little progress has been made.”

Organizers urged people to come to Monday night’s City Council meeting and speak up on the issue.

Sue Brinkmeyer, interim director of Lift Up Your Voice, a homeless ministry within the Unitarian Universalist Church, plans to be there.

She’ll be asking the city for a zoning change, which would required if there can be any shelter of the kind she envisions.

There are areas in the city where overnight shelters are permitted, and areas where daytime social services are permitted. But there is nowhere in the city where the two are allowed together without a use permit.

There is no year-round shelter in Ventura, only a seasonal one that opens between Dec. 1 and March 31. It opens at 6 p.m. and all who stay must leave by 6 a.m.

“Instead of turning them in to our parks and tourist centers, keeping them where we can help them get what they need” should be the goal, she said.

Brinkmeyer favors having various locations being allowed to offer such services.

As the speeches finished, the group sang of peace and of standing together for change.

Abigal Austin, 11, of Ojai, sang as her dad played as part of a guitar duo.

“I don’t think it’s fair or right to have anyone sleep on a bench or in a park,” she said. “So I stand with people who say we should try to end it.”

Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at 501 Poli St.

2 horses struck, killed by vehicles west of Piru

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 9:26pm

Two horses died after being hit by vehicles Thursday night on Highway 126 just west of Piru, sending at least two people to a hospital.

The California Highway Patrol reported the crashes about 6:08 p.m. on Highway 126 near Hopper Canyon Road.

Both horses died in the crashes, the patrol reported.

Rescue crews reported one person suffered minor injuries and another suffered moderate injuries. Both people were taken to Ventura County Medical Center, officials said.

Westbound lanes of Highway 126 were still blocked at 6:50 p.m. but were reopened by 8:30 p.m., the patrol reported. Two cars were being towed away with major front-end damage, CHP said.

Responding agencies included the Fillmore Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Santa Paula Fire Department.

Celebrating Images of a Long-Gone Florida

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 9:00pm
An exhibition in Daytona Beach will showcase artists who began documenting the state’s vanishing landscape more than a century ago.

Suge Knight, Music Executive, Is Questioned by Police in Hit-and-Run

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 9:00pm
The police in the Los Angeles area had been searching Thursday for the hip-hop executive Marion Knight, known as Suge, who was believed to have been involved in a fatal hit-and-run.

A Huge Victory for Homeless Veterans

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 9:00pm
Credit the new secretary of veterans affairs for embracing, in Los Angeles, the once radical-sounding idea that the sick and the troubled need housing first.

Los Angeles to Build Housing for Veterans

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 9:00pm
The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to settle a three-year-old lawsuit brought on behalf of homeless veterans by pledging to build permanent and transitional “bridge” housing.
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