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Bravo (dean's lists, graduations)

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 4:06pm

NAMED

Christopher J. Schneider was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of Thousand Oaks High and Moorpark College.

Joel Partridge, of Simi Valley, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Jamie Honea, of Simi Valley; Jacqueline Kossoff, of Oak Park; and Dimi Elah Mayorga, of Oxnard, were named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at the University of Evansville.

John Woodward, of Westlake Village, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at the University of Albany.

Michael Hammer, of Thousand Oaks, and Melody Sonnemann, of Simi Valley, were named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Bucknell University.

Rachel Crane, of Ventura, has been named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Macalester College.

Alex Krauss, of Oak Park; Kathleen Borchard, of Somis; and Paige Bartholomew, of Thousand Oaks, have been named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Furman University.

Amy Christine Stallard, of Simi Valley, was named to the president’s list for the 2014 fall term at Schreiner University.

Kevin Chilton, of Oak Park, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Nichols College.

Haylee Haas, of Moorpark, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Bryant University.

Numerous local students were named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The students include Zachary Beethem, of Moorpark; Hannah Bauer, of Simi Valley; Nicole Levine and Levi Smith, of Thousand Oaks; and Jared Kaufman, Jack Rickelmann and Patrick Rosenberg, of Westlake Village.

Margaret Oaks, of Simi Valley, and Mary Weyrich, of Ojai, were named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Providence College.

Melissa Barsamian, of Camarillo, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Theresa von Szilassy, of Camarillo, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Drury University.

Erika Stutts, of Ventura, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at George Fox University.

Jessica Poff, of Simi Valley, has been named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Muskingum University.

Haley Grant, of Ojai, was named to the fall 2014 dean’s list at the University of Portland.

Sean O’Keefe, of Ventura, was named to the 2014 fall dean’s list at Graceland University.

EARNED

David McAlpine, of Ventura, earned a bachelor of science degree with a focus in criminal justice management from Union Institute and University.

Shannon Byrd, of Simi Valley, graduated from George Fox University on Dec. 13 with a master of arts degree in teaching.

Tax return help to be available again

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:59pm

Q: Each year, I have my income taxes done at the Goebel Center. I have two questions: Is that service being offered again this year, and who is eligible for this service?

A: Yes, tax preparation services will be offered again this year. The services will be available at two locations from Tuesday through April 15.

Services will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays at the Newbury Park Branch Library, 2331 Borchard Road. Services will be offered in Thousand Oaks from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at a new location — the Conejo Creek South community room, 1350 E. Janss Road, across the street from the Goebel Center.

All services are on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations will be taken. These free services are available to seniors age 60 or older at any income level and to people with incomes of $50,000 or less, regardless of age.

As in past years, taxpayers whose returns include Schedule E (rental income) are not eligible. Also, those with Schedule C (profit and loss from a business) will be eligible only if profit and expenses are under $10,000.

Taxpayers should be prepared to present a Social Security card and picture ID. They should bring Social Security benefits statements (SSA 1099), wage and earning statements (W2s and 1099s), property tax bills, interest and dividend statements (1099 INT, 1099 DIV and 1099B), as well as costs of stocks and bonds with the dates bought and sold, copies of 2013 federal and state tax returns, bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit, and other relevant information about income and expenses.

Taxpayers using this type of services at other senior centers and libraries should call that specific location in advance to check for the days and hours of services and whether appointments are required.

Q: Has the Thousand Oaks Council on Aging announced the program for its February meeting?

A: Yes. The council’s Feb. 4 meeting, in recognition of National Heart Month, will present a program on the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Vishra Dev, chief of cardiology at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. Once considered a disease of older men, heart disease is now known to affect both men and women. The presentation will address strategies to remain healthy as well as the latest treatment options. The meeting will start at 1 p.m. in the Civic Arts Plaza boardroom, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Visit http://www.toaks.org/seniors or email councilonaging@toaks.org for more information about the council’s program series.

Q: I am trying to educate my widowed mother about protecting herself from identity theft, but my words are falling on deaf ears. Can you help?

A: Identity theft is a serious crime that can cost you time and money and destroy your credit and good name. There are three steps you can take to protect yourself. Think of them as the three D’s: deter, detect and defend.

You can deter identity thieves by protecting your vital information. This can be accomplished by shredding all documents that contain personal information before disposing of them. Protect your Social Security number — give it out only when absolutely necessary. Don’t use obvious passwords such as your birth date, mother’s maiden name or last four digits of your Social Security number. Keep your personal information in a secure place at home.

You can detect suspicious activity by being alert. Be aware of when bills should arrive each month. Make inquiries if they don’t. Have you been denied credit for no apparent reason or been contacted about a purchase you did not make? Any of these occurrences require your immediate attention.

Inspect your credit reports and financial statements on a timely basis. Question any discrepancies. If you suspect identify theft, take action and defend against it. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Close any accounts that have been tampered with and file a police report.

Identity theft happens in many ways, including trash diving, skimming credit card numbers, phishing on the Internet, diverting your billing statements to another location and old-fashioned stealing.

It isn’t hard to protect yourself. Just take a few simple steps and incorporate them into your everyday schedule. It will pay off, saving you time, money and grief in the long run. Play it safe rather than being sorry.

HAPPENINGS

Feb. 17 and Feb. 26, 10 a.m.: mileage reimbursement program presentation, SCAN Health Education Center, 6633 Telephone Road, Suite 100, Ventura. Call 658-0365 for reservations.

Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362. Call 495-6250 or email betty@seniorconcerns.org (include your telephone number.) You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

1 injured in fiery Camarillo crash

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:45pm

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

The crash was reported about 3:16 p.m. near the intersection of Village Commons Boulevard and East Pleasant Valley Road, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

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

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

Classes, expo and other events planned

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:43pm

Camarillo

Center will offer various activities

The Pleasant Valley Senior Center will have two activities at 1605 E. Burnley St.:

The center will host lunch and a movie at noon Feb. 5. Lunch will cost $5, and the screening of “The Hundred Foot Journey” at 1 p.m. will be free.

There will be a Valentine’s dance from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in the community center auditorium. The Seniors of Note Big Band will provide music. Admission will be free.

Call 482-4881 to RSVP.

Thousand Oaks

Adult school plans art instruction

The Senior Enrichment Program at the Conejo Valley Adult School will offer art classes for seniors at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road:

A watercolor workshop with Tom Winans will start Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon and run for 10 weeks.

Oil and acrylics painting classes with Jerry Ferguson will start Feb. 23 and continue for 10 weeks.

Class times are 9 a.m. to noon or 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Each class will cost $90. Call 497-2761 for more information.

Ventura

Expo to feature health vendors

The Health and Wealth Expo will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at Cypress Place Senior Living, 1220 Cypress Point Lane.

Life coach and author Oya Thomas will be the keynote speaker. There will be free blood pressure and mini-stroke screenings, free balance and hearing tests, veteran benefit information and more.

Admission will be free. Call 650-8000 to RSVP. Visit http://www.cypressplaceseniorliving.com for more information.

Ventura County

Classes share about diabetes

Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association will hold free classes to share information about Type 2 diabetes.

Here’s the schedule:

1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday at Livingston Memorial, 1996 Eastman Ave., Suite 109, Ventura.

1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks.

10:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 4 at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi.

2:30-4 p.m. Feb. 4 in Room 3 at the Camarillo Community Center, 1605 E. Burnley St.

Call 642-0239 for more information.

Joint replacement to be discussed

Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association will hold two classes to prepare individuals for total knee or hip replacement surgery.

Home preparation, exercises and information about rehabilitation will be discussed.

Here’s the schedule:

10-11 a.m. Feb. 11 in third-floor Classroom 2 at St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, 2309 Antonio Ave., Camarillo.

1-2 p.m. Feb. 10 at Sunrise Senior Living, 190 Tierra Rejada Road, Simi Valley.

Call Barrie Gilster at 797-7699 to RSVP.

 

Simi police say 2014 was safest year on record

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 3:43pm

Simi Valley’s crime rate per thousand residents fell to an all-time low in 2014, according to preliminary statistics released this week by police.

“We’re safer now than when we were the safest city,” Simi Valley City Councilmen Glen Becerra and Steve Sojka both said at the council’s meeting Monday night, thanking the city’s police chief, Mitch McCann, who was in attendance, and his department.

Throughout the 1990s, Simi Valley was frequently able to tout, based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Data, that it was the safest city in the country with a population of at least 100,000.

But the city’s 2014 crime rate — 14 crimes per thousand residents — is lower than the 1990s rates.

In 1999, for instance — the last time or one of the last times that Simi Valley said it was the safest city in the country with a population of at least 100,000 — the rate was 15.16 crimes per thousand residents.

In 2013, Simi Valley’s rate was 14.8 crimes per thousand residents, the second-safest year on record.

In 2014, Part I crimes — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, auto theft, and arson — decreased by 4.68 percent compared to 2013, according to the Simi Valley Police Department’s preliminary statistics for the year.

“The department ... is pleased to announce that 2014 is on track to be the lowest crime rate per 1,000 residents ever recorded in the city of Simi Valley,” the department said in a release. Simi Valley incorporated in 1969.

There were no homicides in 2014, compared to three in 2013; 24 robberies in 2014, 31 in 2013; 89 aggravated assaults both years; 348 burglaries in 2014, 344 in 2013; 1,176 larceny thefts in 2014, 1,233 in 2013; 94 auto thefts in 2014, 132 in 2013; 12 arsons in 2014, 16 in 2013.

An expanded legal definition of rape by the FBI resulted in an increase in reported rapes in 2014, police said. The new definition is, “penetration, no matter how slight ... without the consent of the victim.”

In 2014, 27 rapes were reported under the expanded definition. In 2013, under the more narrow definition, nine rapes were reported. Using the narrower definition, in 2014, there would have been fewer reported rapes than in 2013 — eight, police said.

The 2014 statistics will be finalized in March or April after detectives complete their investigations of crimes that occurred in November and December, McCann said. That may result in the department reclassifying a few of those crimes such as a robbery to a burglary. But McCann said he doesn’t expect any significant changes in the numbers.

McCann, who became chief in 2012, attributed the city’s historically low crime rate to several factors.

“First and foremost is the synergy in our community,” he said in an interview. “We live in a really pro law enforcement community. So we have residents here who are willing to call us at the first sight of something suspicious.”

McCann also cited the support of the City Council, which “has really given us the resources in order to properly police our city,” and the department’s dedicated officers.

“So I think it’s a compilation of all those things kind of coming together right now,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing. And it’s just a way for us to be able to track that, ‘Hey, we’re doing a good job for our community.’”

City Manager Eric Levitt said Tuesday the city has not decided whether it will crunch the crime numbers to determine its latest rank among cities nationwide with populations of at least 100,000. But he said the city will certainly monitor if other groups or cities release new such rankings.

In 2013, Simi Valley was ranked the third-safest city in California and the seventh nationally, with populations of more than 100,000. Neighboring Thousand Oaks ranked first in California and fourth nationally.

The FBI advises against using its data for such rankings, saying many variables should be weighed in comparing crime rates among cities.

McCann said that while such rankings are nice, he’s more focused on Simi Valley’s crime rate per thousand residents being at an all-time low.

“As far as our ranking, that’s neat, but for me, it’s that we were able to keep the crime going down and protect our citizens,” he said. “That’s always been job No. 1 in Simi Valley.” He cautioned, however, that California Proposition 47, which reduced some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, could cause crimes rates in Simi Valley and throughout the state to increase in 2015. Voters approved the ballot initiative in November.

Simi police say 2014 was safest year on record

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:43pm

Simi Valley's crime rate per thousand residents fell to an all-time low in 2014, according to preliminary statistics released this week by police.

"We're safer now than when we were the safest city," Simi Valley City Councilmen Glen Becerra and Steve Sojka both said at the council's meeting Monday night, thanking the city's police chief, Mitch McCann, who was in attendance, and his department.

Throughout the 1990s, Simi Valley was frequently able to tout, based on the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Data, that it was the safest city in the country with a population of at least 100,000.

But the city's 2014 crime rate — 14 crimes per thousand residents — is lower than the 1990s rates.

In 1999, for instance — the last time or one of the last times that Simi Valley said it was the safest city in the country with a population of at least 100,000 — the rate was 15.16 crimes per thousand residents.

In 2013, Simi Valley's rate was 14.8 crimes per thousand residents, the second-safest year on record.

In 2014, Part I crimes — homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, auto theft, and arson — decreased by 4.68 percent compared to 2013, according to the Simi Valley Police Department's preliminary statistics for the year.

"The department ... is pleased to announce that 2014 is on track to be the lowest crime rate per 1,000 residents ever recorded in the city of Simi Valley," the department said in a release. Simi Valley incorporated in 1969.

There were no homicides in 2014, compared to three in 2013; 24 robberies in 2014, 31 in 2013; 89 aggravated assaults both years; 348 burglaries in 2014, 344 in 2013; 1,176 larceny thefts in 2014, 1,233 in 2013; 94 auto thefts in 2014, 132 in 2013; 12 arsons in 2014, 16 in 2013.

An expanded legal definition of rape by the FBI resulted in an increase in reported rapes in 2014, police said. The new definition is, "penetration, no matter how slight ... without the consent of the victim."

In 2014, 27 rapes were reported under the expanded definition. In 2013, under the more narrow definition, nine rapes were reported. Using the narrower definition, in 2014, there would have been fewer reported rapes than in 2013 — eight, police said.

The 2014 statistics will be finalized in March or April after detectives complete their investigations of crimes that occurred in November and December, McCann said. That may result in the department reclassifying a few of those crimes such as a robbery to a burglary. But McCann said he doesn't expect any significant changes in the numbers.

McCann, who became chief in 2012, attributed the city's historically low crime rate to several factors.

"First and foremost is the synergy in our community," he said in an interview. "We live in a really pro law enforcement community. So we have residents here who are willing to call us at the first sight of something suspicious."

McCann also cited the support of the City Council, which "has really given us the resources in order to properly police our city," and the department's dedicated officers.

"So I think it's a compilation of all those things kind of coming together right now," he said. "It's pretty amazing. And it's just a way for us to be able to track that, ‘Hey, we're doing a good job for our community.'"

City Manager Eric Levitt said Tuesday the city has not decided whether it will crunch the crime numbers to determine its latest rank among cities nationwide with populations of at least 100,000. But he said the city will certainly monitor if other groups or cities release new such rankings.

In 2013, Simi Valley was ranked the third-safest city in California and the seventh nationally, with populations of more than 100,000. Neighboring Thousand Oaks ranked first in California and fourth nationally.

The FBI advises against using its data for such rankings, saying many variables should be weighed in comparing crime rates among cities.

McCann said that while such rankings are nice, he's more focused on Simi Valley's crime rate per thousand residents being at an all-time low.

"As far as our ranking, that's neat, but for me, it's that we were able to keep the crime going down and protect our citizens," he said. "That's always been job No. 1 in Simi Valley." He cautioned, however, that California Proposition 47, which reduced some nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors, could cause crimes rates in Simi Valley and throughout the state to increase in 2015. Voters approved the ballot initiative in November.

Workshop, play and other events planned

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:30pm

Calabasas

Workshop to focus on positive outlook

The Calabasas Library will present a workshop for adults, "Creating a Positive Outlook for the New Year," at noon Saturday at 200 Civic Center Way.

Call 818-225-7616 for more information.

Piru

Ranch museum plans re-enactment

Rancho Camulos Museum will hold a re-enactment of "Ramona" author Helen Hunt Jackson's January 1882 visit to the rancho, 5164 E. Telegraph Road.

The suggested $5 donation will include a docent-led tour.

Visit http://www.ranchocamulos.org, email info@ranchocamulos.org or call 521-1501 for more information.

Port Hueneme

Public can receive help with taxes

Free AARP/IRS income tax preparation help will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays from next week through April 13.

No appointments are required. Call 986-6542 for more information.

Thousand Oaks

Youths will perform Disney musical

The Young Artists Ensemble will present Disney's "Aladdin, Jr." from Friday through Feb. 15 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. There will be four extra performances with the addition of actors with special needs from Feb. 20-22.

Tickets cost $17 for adults and $16 for children, students and seniors or $10 for shows Feb. 20-22. Visit http://www.yaeonline.com or call 381-1246 for tickets.

Pianist will present lecture, recital

"Piano Man" Jeffrey Jacob will perform at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Overton Hall at California Lutheran University, 60 W. Olsen Road.

Admission is free. Visit http://www.callutheran.edu or call 493-3306 for more information.

Ventura

Bowling to help cancer society

Buena Lanes and the Ventura Men's Bowling Association will host Bowl to Strike Out Cancer on Feb. 7 at 1788 Mesa Verde Ave.

Cost is $25. Cost will include bowling, an event T-shirt, barbecue, silent auction and a bag raffle.

All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. Call Dana Fink at 656-0666 to sign up.

Westlake Village

Run will support fight against cancer

The Westlake Village Pancreatic Cancer Run/Walk will be Feb. 14 starting at Westlake Village City Hall, 31200 Oak Crest Drive.

On-site registration will start at 7 a.m. The 10K will start at 8 a.m. and the 5K run/walk will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Visit http://www.2015westlakewalkrun.kintera.org or call 866-789-1000 for more information.

Staff reports

Police seek help identifying suspected thief

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 3:30pm

Thousand Oaks police sought the public's help in identifying a man suspected of stealing women's wallets, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities said there were several reports last month and this month of wallets being stolen from women's purses in cities across Ventura and Los Angeles counties. They suspect the man in the photo is working as a team with another man to distract the women. In most cases, the woman's purse was inside the shopping cart and provided the suspected thieves with easier access. The suspects then use the women's credit cards to make purchases totaling over $10,000, police said.

The photo was taken from surveillance video in one of the recent theft reports. Police said both men were believed to be 25-30 years old, authorities said.

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 2:47pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) - Amgen Inc. (AMGN) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.29 billion.

The Thousand Oaks, California-based company said it had profit of $1.68 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $2.16 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.05 per share.

The world's largest biotech drugmaker posted revenue of $5.33 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts. Analysts expected $5.19 billion, according to Zacks.

“2014 was really an outstanding year for us,” Amgen CEO Bob Bradway told shareholders in the company’s earnings call Tuesday.

One of Amgen’s objectives for 2014 was to improve profitability for Enbrel, its arthritis drug, and Bradway said that goal was achieved.

Bradway said 2014 was a watershed year for research and development at Amgen, and 2015 will be important for launching new products.​

Amgen expects full-year earnings in the range of $9.05 to $9.40 per share, with revenue in the range of $20.8 billion to $21.3 billion.

Amgen shares have fallen slightly since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has dropped slightly more than 1 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $158.89, an increase of 34 percent in the last 12 months.

- Star reporter Stephanie Hoops contributed to this story.

Robbers Crash Into Wells Fargo Museum to Steal Gold Nuggets

New York Times - California News - January 27, 2015 - 2:41pm
While worth only about $10,000, the gold nuggets have sentimental value to the large bank, which was founded during the gold rush of the 19th century.

Famous Dave's BBQ closes in Thousand Oaks

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 2:37pm

One of three Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant locations in Ventura County has closed.

The restaurant at 3980 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. closed sometime last week. Notes taped to the front doors direct patrons to the chain's restaurant at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard. A Famous Dave's BBQ also remains open in Simi Valley.

"We appreciated your patronage & it was a privilege serving the community of Thousand Oaks," the note reads.

The Thousand Oaks site opened in the summer of 2009 at a former Applebee's. By Sunday, all but one of the exterior signs had been removed from the building. Some furnishings and most of the interior decorations also were gone.

Calls to the Minnetonka, MN., corporate headquarters of Famous Dave's of America, Inc. were not returned. The chain's restaurants also have been are referred to as Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que.

Haider Alawami, economic development manager for the city of Thousand Oaks, said the restaurant closed without fanfare. "They didn't call us. We don't know yet who might be taking over the space."

In November, two inspections of the Thousand Oaks restaurant by the Ventura County Environmental Health Division found ongoing problems with wiping cloths, light shields and the storage of food in an "outdoor/unapproved" area. (For details, click here.)

The Oxnard location opened in late 2013 at 2770 Seaglass Way. An environmental health division inspection on Nov. 13 found "repeated violations" at the site. (For details, click here.)

On Nov. 25, an Employment Development Department hold was placed on the alcohol license for the Oxnard location. The restaurant still is able to serve alcohol.

"All that means is that, if the owners of the license were to sell it, that hold would have to be lifted before the sale could go through," said Leslie Pond, district administrator for the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 

The Simi Valley location opened in 2006 at 1229 Simi Town Center Way. This month, an environmental health division inspection of the restaurant found inoperable plumbing, inadequate water temperature for hand-washing facilities and "repeated violations." (For details, click here.)

In a media release dated Dec. 29, Famous Dave's of America, Inc., announced the closure of three restaurants in the Richmond, Va. area and described itself as in "transition." At the time, the chain was operating 50 company-owned restaurants and claimed 139 franchisee-run units in 34 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and one Canadian province.

Former Thousand Oaks mayor dies

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 2:27pm

Elois Zeanah, a former mayor of Thousand Oaks, has died.

Zeanah, 73, died Friday at her home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after battling lymphoma for more than a year, according to an article in the Tuscaloosa News.

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks announced Zeanah’s death at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday in Ventura. Zeanah was instrumental in the battles to preserve Ahmanson and Jordan ranches, Parks said.

She served on the City Council from 1990-98 and as mayor in 1993-94, according to the city of Thousand Oaks website.

A memorial service and burial were scheduled Tuesday in Alabama. According to the Tuscaloosa News, she is survived by her husband, James; son, Derek Zeanah, of Statesboro, Georgia; and daughter, Kristen Zaleski, of Hermosa Beach. For more information on her service, visit http://tinyurl.com/n3nes56.

Former Thousand Oaks mayor dies

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 2:27pm

Elois Zeanah, a former mayor of Thousand Oaks, has died.

Zeanah, 73, died Friday at her home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, after battling lymphoma for more than a year, according to an article in the Tuscaloosa News.

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks announced Zeanah’s death at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday in Ventura. Zeanah was instrumental in the battles to preserve Ahmanson and Jordan ranches, Parks said.

She served on the City Council from 1990-98 and as mayor in 1993-94, according to the city of Thousand Oaks website.

A memorial service and burial were scheduled Tuesday in Alabama. According to the Tuscaloosa News, she is survived by her husband, James; son, Derek Zeanah, of Statesboro, Georgia; and daughter, Kristen Zaleski, of Hermosa Beach. For more information on her service, visit http://tinyurl.com/n3nes56.

Police seek help in finding laundry burglar

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 2:23pm

Sheriff’s officials Tuesday released surveillance photos of a man suspected of stealing coins from washing machines at three local laundry businesses.

Officials believe the man pried open numerous washing-machine coin boxes and took the money early Dec. 1 at two self-serve laundry businesses in the Ojai Valley, and Nov. 5 at a Camarillo laundry.

The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying the man. Anyone with information should call detectives at 646-1414 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest could bring a $1,000 reward.

Police seek help in finding laundry burglar

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 2:23pm

Sheriff’s officials Tuesday released surveillance photos of a man suspected of stealing coins from washing machines at three local laundry businesses.

Officials believe the man pried open numerous washing-machine coin boxes and took the money early Dec. 1 at two self-serve laundry businesses in the Ojai Valley, and Nov. 5 at a Camarillo laundry.

The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying the man. Anyone with information should call detectives at 646-1414 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest could bring a $1,000 reward.

10 beers to serve during your Super Bowl party

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 2:21pm

Hosting a Super Bowl party is an American rite of passage. No pressure, but you don’t want to screw it up.

It’s often the beer that separates a pleasant get-together from a classic party. Anyone can pick up a couple cases of the popular domestics, but many drinkers are becoming more savvy about their suds.

It might be time to raise the bar at your bash.

Beer expert Pat Fahey, a master cicerone, said his ideal beer lineup for a lengthy gathering such as a Super Bowl party should consist of lower alcohol content selections. “You don’t necessarily want to serve something that will have them hammered by the end of the first quarter,” Fahey said.

Most of these brews shouldn’t be hard to find and will add some excitement to your guests’ drink selections this Sunday:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

This one is a given and can be found in grocery stores across the country. India Pale Ale (IPA) has become the top-selling craft beer style in the country in recent years and Fahey said it won’t alienate people who don’t consider themselves beer aficionados. “Even for people who don’t have a lot of beer experience, this is a popular choice,” Fahey said. He added that the popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a “world-class example” of that style.

Guinness Blonde American Lager

For more than 250 years, Ireland-based Guinness has been keeping beer lovers happy — and buzzed. This new style promises a lighter taste than what many of your guests might expect from Guinness. Fahey liked this one for a Super Bowl party because “it’s approachable,” adding that he served it at his family’s holiday gathering last year. The company’s website promises its Blonde American Lager is “crisp, light, but flavorful” with citrus characteristics.

Goose Island Sofie

Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. is one of the most widely-available craft beer brands in the business and this elegant flavor will appeal to your most sophisticated Super Bowl party guests. Fahey once again praised this Belgian-style Farmhouse Ale for its approachability. The folks at Goose Island recommend pairing Sofie with shellfish.

Goose Island Matilda

Like Sofie, this Goose Island offering is a Belgian-style beer but in this case it’s an IPA with a slightly higher alcohol content. Fahey said experienced beer tasters may be familiar with Matilda but, “It’s new and different and interesting for people that haven’t had something like it.”

Lagunitas IPA

This selection from California-based Lagunitas Brewing Company might not be easily found in the eastern United States but if you can track it down, Fahey fervently recommended it. On its website, the company claims you’ll be able to “knock back more than one without wearing yourself out.” In fall 2013, sales statistics showed Lagunitas alongside Dos Equis and Angry Orchard as fast-growing brands.

Harder-to-find beers to serve on Super Bowl Sunday:

Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils

When pressed to select his ultimate Super Bowl beer wishlist, Fahey listed this German-style Pilsner at the top. It’s refreshing, light and straw-colored, making this an approachable craft beer for casual drinkers. Firestone Walker Brewing Company is based in California and Fahey said it will likely be a difficult find for people who don’t live in the west.

Victory Prima Pils

For people who live in the eastern United States, Fahey recommended this craft pilsner from Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company. At 5.3 percent alcohol by volume, Prima Pils likely won’t put your guests on the floor. The drink can be paired with seafood, pizza or burgers, according to the company’s website, making it ideal Super Bowl fare.

Founders All Day IPA

This is another approachable IPA that Fahey recommended because of its low alcohol content. “It’s easy to drink and fantastically delicious,” he said. All Day IPA contains 4.7 percent alcohol by volume and is one of the flagship year-round offerings from Michigan-based Founders Brewing Co.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter

If you want to serve something dark, Fahey gave the thumbs-up to this flagship offering from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery. Despite its imposing chocolate tint, Black Butte won’t knock your guests out thanks to its 5.2 percent alcohol by volume measure.

Anderson Valley The Kimmie, The Yink, & The Holy Gose

It’s moniker is a mouthful but Fahey said this German-style gose (pronounced “Go-zuh”) beer is refreshing and slightly tart. Gose beer dates back to the year 700 and according to Fahey, “has recently become extremely popular.” If you can’t find Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s offering, several sizable craft breweries have made their own in recent years including Samuel Adams and Magic Hat.

Now let’s just hope the game is as good as the beverages.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.

Fannie, Freddie Regulator Defends Actions

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 2:19pm
A top housing regulator defended a series of decisions made in his first year on the job that the regulator believes will improve access to housing but critics say could increase taxpayer risk.

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 27, 2015 - 1:49pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) _ Amgen Inc. (AMGN) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.29 billion.

The Thousand Oaks, California-based company said it had profit of $1.68 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $2.16 per share.

The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.05 per share.

The world's largest biotech drugmaker posted revenue of $5.33 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts. Analysts expected $5.19 billion, according to Zacks.

Amgen expects full-year earnings in the range of $9.05 to $9.40 per share, with revenue in the range of $20.8 billion to $21.3 billion.

Amgen shares have fallen slightly since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has dropped slightly more than 1 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $158.89, an increase of 34 percent in the last 12 months.

U.S. Spies on Millions of Drivers

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 27, 2015 - 1:03pm
The Justice Department has been building a database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret intelligence-gathering program that scans hundreds of millions of records about motorists.

Santa Paula panels talk about traffic

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 27, 2015 - 12:36pm

Calling it a “momentous” occasion, Santa Paula’s City Council and local school board convened a rare joint meeting Monday, with traffic problems around the city’s only high school topping the agenda.

Santa Paula Unified School District’s governing board and city council members heralded the meeting, held at the Santa Paula Community Center, as the start of a much-needed partnership between the two bodies. Although no definite date was set for the next meeting, the two sides agreed to continue working together to solve issues impacting the city and its schools.

“We’re inseparable,” Mayor John Procter said. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s our duty to work with you guys.”

Central to Monday’s discussion were concerns about traffic congestion, pedestrian safety and lack of parking around Santa Paula High School. Residents in the area complain the high school has become an “event center,” with school and city-run sports teams and other groups using the campus for practices and games almost every day. The result, residents say, is a crush of traffic along Santa Paula Street and constant parking struggles in the surrounding neighborhoods because there are not enough spaces at the school for visitors to park.

In a presentation to the board and council, resident Kyle Campbell begged for better planning around parking and events, “traffic calming” and pedestrian safety measures such as speed tables and crosswalks, and more enforcement of traffic violations. He also called for expanded parking restrictions around the school.

Earlier this month, the City Council approved a residents-only parking district for one street near the school, Palm Court. However, Interim Public Works Director Brain Yanez said the council will discuss expanding the district at its regular meeting next week.

The city is also working with consulting firm, Stantec, to commission a traffic study of the area, which City Manager Jaime Fontes said will be paid for with the help of the school district. Stantec senior planner Dennis Lammers told council and board members that the study would examine remote parking possibilities, and could include projections on likely traffic patterns following the development of new homes in East Area One.

Yanez said a scope of work for the study should be complete in the next few weeks, but declined to specify a date for completion of the project.

In the meantime, fears that the parking problems could spur cutbacks in sports clubs using the high school prompted push back from several parents, teachers and coaches, who said access to athletics teaches children good values and keeps them out of trouble.

Santa Paula High School Principal Elizabeth Garcia urged everybody to work together to resolve the parking issues without impacting the school’s sports programs. She said the school has built up its sports offerings to 17 programs with over 600 students participating.

“We’re trying to give kids more to do,” she said.

Board and council members said there are no plans to cut sports programs.

East Area One could be part of the solution. Project manager Mike Penrod, who also presented at Monday’s meeting, said the mostly residential development will include a 37-acre park with sports fields, which could be used by local teams. There is also potential for a gym to be built at the park site, he said.

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