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State board hears of Navy preservation work

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 2:49pm

A brief update on Naval Base Ventura County’s encroachment prevention program was given to the California Coastal Conservancy on Thursday morning. The state agency held its meeting at Ventura City Hall.

Anna Shepherd, the base’s Community Plans and Liaison Officer, told conservancy board members that the base is one of the last coastal military installations where development has not encroached.

“We will never receive a base like this again,” Shepherd said.

The base has three locations, in Port Hueneme, Point Mugu and San Nicolas Island. Her update focused mostly on rural Point Mugu, where wetlands make up more than half of the 4,312-acre site.

The Navy is currently working with Oxnard, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land on environmental preservation around the base, she said.

Several longtime advocates for Ormond Beach and a wetlands restoration project there spoke in support of the Navy’s efforts. The item was for informational purposes only and did not require a board decision.

State board hears of Navy preservation work

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 2:49pm

A brief update on Naval Base Ventura County’s encroachment prevention program was given to the California Coastal Conservancy on Thursday morning. The state agency held its meeting at Ventura City Hall.

Anna Shepherd, the base’s Community Plans and Liaison Officer, told conservancy board members that the base is one of the last coastal military installations where development has not encroached.

“We will never receive a base like this again,” Shepherd said.

The base has three locations, in Port Hueneme, Point Mugu and San Nicolas Island. Her update focused mostly on rural Point Mugu, where wetlands make up more than half of the 4,312-acre site.

The Navy is currently working with Oxnard, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land on environmental preservation around the base, she said.

Several longtime advocates for Ormond Beach and a wetlands restoration project there spoke in support of the Navy’s efforts. The item was for informational purposes only and did not require a board decision.

Last call not so final at Billy O's in Ventura

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 2:28pm

Part pizza joint, part live-music venue and 100 percent dive bar, Billy O's will close at its original midtown Ventura location after presenting its annual Super Bowl Sunday bash.

Owners Steve and Margo Butler said they hope to reopen the business by early March at its new home, the former Pangea Lounge at 1644 E. Thompson Blvd.

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

Construction of a five-story parking garage behind the current Billy O's location at 2819 E. Main St. will begin in March or April, Ellingson said. An adjoining, two-story building that houses the hospital's nurse training center, construction offices and other programs is slated to be torn down later in the year. Its occupants will be relocated to what is now Billy O's and other neighboring sites owned by the hospital.

Final events at Billy O's original location include two nights of live music and a Super Bowl barbecue. Regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekends.

Thursday: Karaoke night starts at 9 p.m.

Friday: The rush to play the corner stage one last time will start at 5 p.m. with a lineup of 12 bands. Scheduled to appear are Ill Repute, False Confession and Los Creepers. No cover charge.

Saturday: What's being called "The Final Show at Billy O's" will start at 4 p.m. The 15-band lineup includes Le Meu Le Purr, Death Benefit and Suburban Moms. No cover charge.

Sunday: The Billy O's Super Bowl BBQ Bash starts at 2 p.m. It includes barbecue plates with side dishes. The cost is $12 for tri-tip, $10 for pork ribs, $8 for barbecue chicken and $5 for a hot dog.  

For information, call 652-0327 or check the Billy O's Facebook page here.

(A separate, more detailed version of this story will appear in print and online.)

Last call not so final at Billy O's in Ventura

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 2:28pm

Part pizza joint, part live-music venue and 100 percent dive bar, Billy O's will close at its original midtown Ventura location after presenting its annual Super Bowl Sunday bash.

Owners Steve and Margo Butler said they hope to reopen the business by early March at its new home, the former Pangea Lounge at 1644 E. Thompson Blvd.

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

Construction of a five-story parking garage behind the current Billy O's location at 2819 E. Main St. will begin in March or April, Ellingson said. An adjoining, two-story building that houses the hospital's nurse training center, construction offices and other programs is slated to be torn down later in the year. Its occupants will be relocated to what is now Billy O's and other neighboring sites owned by the hospital.

Final events at Billy O's original location include two nights of live music and a Super Bowl barbecue. Regular business hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekends.

Thursday: Karaoke night starts at 9 p.m.

Friday: The rush to play the corner stage one last time will start at 5 p.m. with a lineup of 12 bands. Scheduled to appear are Ill Repute, False Confession and Los Creepers. No cover charge.

Saturday: What's being called "The Final Show at Billy O's" will start at 4 p.m. The 15-band lineup includes Le Meu Le Purr, Death Benefit and Suburban Moms. No cover charge.

Sunday: The Billy O's Super Bowl BBQ Bash starts at 2 p.m. It includes barbecue plates with side dishes. The cost is $12 for tri-tip, $10 for pork ribs, $8 for barbecue chicken and $5 for a hot dog.  

For information, call 652-0327 or check the Billy O's Facebook page here.

(A separate, more detailed version of this story will appear in print and online.)

Report Says Bronx Public Defenders Took Part in Antipolice Video

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 2:25pm
New York City’s Department of Investigation said two staff members at a Bronx public defenders organization took part in a music video advocating the killing of police officers.

Cherrie resigns from Ventura

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 2:16pm

Matt Cherrie, whose successful reign as head coach of the Ventura High boys water polo team included a Division 2 runner-up finish in 2006, has resigned the position after 12 seasons, athletic director Dave Hess said Thursday.

Cherrie is leaving for family reasons, said Hess. With two young children, he will share the parenting duties with his wife.

“The door is always open for him, if and when he decides to return,” Hess said.

Ventura is now accepting applications for the post. Information: email David.Hess@venturausd.org or call 805-641-5116.

Books of The Times: James Green’s ‘The Devil Is Here in These Hills’

NY Times Books - January 29, 2015 - 2:12pm
James Green’s history of the coal-mining uprisings in West Virginia in the 1920s and ’30s drives home the misery of working conditions and the violence of the confrontations in that era.






Carlisle: Sunday to be all about the game

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 2:08pm

There will indeed come a time Sunday when the pads will be laced, the helmets will be put on and, yes, the footballs will be inflated and Super Bowl XLIX will be played.

The “Deflategate” scandal has taken up the biggest chunk of the run-up to the game and you can expect it to also take up a big chunk of Sunday’s NBC pregame show, which starts at 9 a.m.

But truly, very little of Super Bowl Sunday will have anything to do with Deflategate.

“By the time we get to Sunday, I think the narrative may be a little different than it is right now,” NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels said earlier this week. “Certainly if it’s something brand new we’ll get to it and we’ll express how we feel about it and what the facts are. But we’re not here to rehash everything that’s taken place over the last two weeks.”

THE BIG FIVE-O

The Super Bowl is nearly a half-century old and two things it has never achieved are these: an overtime game and a game with a 50 TV rating. The former would probably produce the latter.

NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus was asked this week if he thought with all the controversy surrounding this year’s game if he thought we might see the first 50 rating.

“Boy, I hope so. It would be nice,” he said. “I just think in this era of media fragmentation, people are doing a variety of things.”

Nielsen ratings measure households and estimate viewers. Networks have complained for decades that ratings don’t really give an accurate picture of exactly how many people are watching the Super Bowl, which is such a communal event.

“If you (believe) Nielsen reports essentially 115 (million), 120 million people watch the Super Bowl,” said Lazarus. “There’s a little over 300 million people in the country. That does not account for bars, parties, other things. I believe that the number is underreported somewhat substantially. And there are a lot more people watching the Super Bowl in group gatherings, whether it’s at universities, clubs, other places. Would that get us all the way to a 50? It might. But we’re not going to get credit for that.”

A rating is the percent of households with TVs tuned to a show. The biggest Super Bowl rating of all time was the 49.1 CBS got for Super Bowl XVI in 1982 for the 49ers and Bengals. Last year’s game earned a 46.7 for Fox. Since 2010, the Super Bowl has averaged a 46.2 rating.

SUPER BOWL OVERFLOW

NBC has sold out on its Super Bowl ads, according to Variety, managing to maintain its $4.5 million asking price for a 30-second spot. The market had some resistance to it, demonstrated by the 15 first-time sponsors.

NBC stations will also have Super Bowl programming Saturday night. “Super Bowl Zone” will air at 7:30 p.m. Highlights include behind-the-scenes look at the F-16 flyover with Carolyn Manno and an interview by Rodney Harrison with Rob Gronkowski. That will lead into “Saturday Night Live Presents A SNL Sports Spectacular” at 8 p.m., followed by the NFL Honors at 9 p.m., hosted by Seth Meyers.

Super Bowl radio broadcasts will be aired on KVEN (1450 AM) and KFWB (980 AM). SiriusXM Satellite Radio will offer 10 different broadcasts: the national feed and the feed of each team as well as broadcasts in Spanish, Japanese, German, Chinese, French, Hungarian and Portuguese.

VOICE FROM THE PAST

Inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Monday was Allin Slate. If the name is unfamiliar, Slate pioneered Los Angeles sports talk radio in the 1960s on KABC (790 AM). He also worked KIEV (870 AM) and KNX (1070 AM). Tapes and scripts of his programs are in the collections of the Thousand Oaks Library. ... Bob Miller of the Kings was honored for best TV play-by-play by the SCSB and also received a lifetime achievement award Saturday from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. ... Former Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken, seven months removed from an ATV accident that left her paralyzed, will return to work for the Pac-12 Networks, as an analyst on the USC-Cal swim meet at 2 p.m. Friday. ... Peter Oosterhuis has retired after a 20-year career as golf analyst for CBS. Taking his spot will be Frank Nobilo. ... USC has signed a four-year contract extension with KSPN (710 AM) to broadcast its football and basketball games. KSPN has been the USC flagship since 2006.

Carlisle: Lynch makes jerks out of all

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 1:58pm

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has uncovered an essential truth of workday life during this Super Bowl week: We’re all “just here so we won’t get fined.”

At Media Day, that’s all Lynch would reply to any question that was asked him. He stayed the minimum amount of time required and then bolted.

Certainly, the “reporters” who show up for Media Day often ask questions even more nonsensical than Lynch’s answers, but that shouldn’t give him a free pass to act like a jerk.

Lynch indeed has been fined for blowing off media obligations in the past, so perhaps we should just be grateful he graced us with his presence at all. But the obligation also carries the responsibility of cooperation. When Lynch refuses to cooperate, he not only makes a jerk out of himself, he also makes jerks out of the media and out of his fans.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said this week Lynch is just “being true to himself.” But former coach Tony Dungy, who will appear on NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show, said he would advise Lynch to get along with the media.

“I had a player like that in Marvin Harrison,” Dungy said. “Marvin did not like to talk. He was very quiet and a little afraid of the cameras. What I talked to Marvin about was it’s part of the job. It’s like lifting weights and going to meetings. It’s like practicing. It’s like playing in the game. It’s a part of what you have to do. Just go out there and do your best and we’re going to be fine.

“Marvin took that, and he was never one who was going to give long answers. He was never going to have his own press conferences. But he came around and did a good job. I think that’s how I would approach it. Every coach is different. Every player is different and (the coaches’) relationship with their players.”

Rodney Harrison, Dungy’s pregame show partner, believes Lynch is wasting an opportunity.

“Obviously, I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms and I’ve dealt with guys that didn’t really want to deal with the media,” Harrison said. “When I look at Marshawn Lynch, I look at the tremendous platform and the opportunity that he has. He has a lot of people and a lot of kids looking up to him. As an African‑American man that has seen his grandparents not able to have that same platform or to even go out and struggle to try to get an education and get held back for not being able to do certain things, it’s just very frustrating to me when you have the type of opportunity that he has and not to utilize it. Because there are a lot of kids and a lot of young people that look up to him that he could really influence.

“So, yes, it’s important. It’s his job, but also he has a tremendous platform and opportunity to really influence the youth, and that’s what it’s about. As much as he may not think that he’s a role model, there are kids, they love Skittles because of Marshawn Lynch. There are kids that are running in the backyard and trying to do different things that he brings each and every week. When you play in the National Football League, it’s not just about breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns, but it’s about representing your culture and representing everything that the people before you have worked so hard and struggled (for) so you can have certain opportunities.”

SIX-HOUR SHOW

NBC’s Super Bowl coverage from Glendale, Arizona, starts at 9 a.m. with its six-hour pregame show. In addition to Dungy and Harrison, Dan Patrick will host and be joined by Josh Elliott, Hines Ward, Mike Florio and Peter King.

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will be a guest analyst. Also, Liam McHugh will be an on-site host, Carolyn Manno and Randy Moss will report from the team hotels, and Doug Flutie will appear in on-field segments.

Among the peripheral pregame festivities, Tara Lapinski and Johnny Weir will interview celebrities attending the game, halftime performer Katy Perry will be interviewed by Elliott and Savannah Guthrie of NBC News will interview President Barack Obama.

Jim Carlisle covers TV-Radio sports for The Star. Email address: jcarlisle@vcstar.com. Follow on Twitter: @VCSJimCarlisle.

Should Unvaccinated Children Stay Home to Protect a Vulnerable Classmate?

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 1:55pm
For a student unable to be vaccinated in California, the risk of measles exposure isn’t as small as his family believes it ought to be.

There’s More to Winning an Oscar Than Meets the Eye

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 1:45pm
A look at how much money Hollywood studios spend promoting a film for Oscar glory.

Senate passes bill approving Keystone pipeline

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 1:38pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan bill to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, defying a presidential veto threat and setting up the first of many battles with the White House over energy and the environment.

The 62-36 vote advanced a top priority of the newly empowered GOP, and marked the first time the Senate passed a bill authorizing the pipeline, despite numerous attempts to force President Barack Obama's hand on the issue. Nine Democrats joined with 53 Republicans to back the measure.

Still the vote was short of the threshold needed to override a veto, and the legislation still must be reconciled with the version the House passed.

This bill "is an important accomplishment for the country," said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We are hoping the president upon reflection will agree to sign on to a bill that the State Department said could create up to 42,000 jobs and the State Department said creates little to no impact on the environment."

Democrats framed the bill as gift to a foreign oil company that would have little benefit for the American people, because much of the oil would be exported. They tried and failed to get amendments on the bill to construct the pipeline with U.S. steel, ban exports of the oil and the products refined from it, and protect water resources.

The Senate agreed to add an energy efficiency measure, and went on the record saying climate change was not a hoax and the oil sands should be subject to a tax that helps pay for oil spill cleanups. Oil sands are currently exempt.

"This bill is a disgrace," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate environment committee. "We tried on our side to make this a better bill and they turned us away."

First proposed in 2008, the $8 billion pipeline project has been beset by delays in Nebraska over its route and at the White House, where the president has resisted prior efforts by Congress to force him to make a decision. In 2012, Obama rejected the project after Congress attached a measure to a payroll tax cut extension that gave him a deadline to make a decision. The pipeline's developer, TransCanada Corp., then reapplied.

Obama has said he will not be forced to make a decision on the pipeline, which requires presidential approval because it crosses an international border, until the review process concludes. Federal agencies' comments on whether the project is in the national interest are due Monday.

Environmental groups have called on Obama to reject the project outright, saying it would make it easier to tap a dirty source of energy that would exacerbate global warming. The State Department's analysis, assuming higher oil prices, found that shipping it by pipelines to rail or tankers would be worse for the planet.

Supporters say the pipeline is a critical piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs during construction and boost energy security by importing oil from a friendly neighbor.

In Los Angeles, a Crop of Art Fairs to Suit All Tastes

New York Times - California News - January 29, 2015 - 1:15pm
The city’s biggest art week of the year finds happenings all over town, from Santa Monica Airport to far-off Agoura Hills.

College donations reach record high

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 12:41pm

People gave more to colleges last year, with donations reaching a record high.

Donors increased their contributions by 11 percent, according to a survey by the Council for Aid to Education.

A significant chunk of those donations went to highly competitive schools, with Harvard topping the list.

In California, five universities are among the top 20 in donations. Stanford placed second on the list, and USC was third. Three University of California campuses also placed in the top 20: UC San Francisco at 12, UCLA at 16, and UC Berkeley at 18.

Parents of a child who fell call authorities

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 12:40pm

The parents of a child who had fallen at home called authorities while driving east along Highway 126 to get the child medical help late Thursday morning.

Mike Lindbery, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department, said authorities were called because of a "change of status" of the child. Lindbery would not elaborate on what was behind the child's change of status.

A rescue helicopter landed next to the 126 to help out in the emergency. The child's parents were near the Los Angeles County line when they made the call, Lindbery said. He would not say where the parents lived, only that the child apparently fell at home.

From staff reports

Cal State trustees approve new fee for students

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 12:28pm

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The California State University board of trustees has approved a new, voluntary charge to support operations of the statewide student association.

The student involvement and representation fee that was passed Wednesday would charge $2 per student, per semester The Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1ChmbH3).

However, students will be able to opt out of paying it before they register.

The nonprofit association advocates in Sacramento and Washington on behalf of students. The group currently is funded by the chancellor's office, and member fees are collected by individual campus student associations

California State Student Association Chairman Devon Graves and others said the fee will provide a steadier source of funds and give the group greater autonomy.

"It's all about independence," he told the Times. "We will be able to extend the student voice on every campus and system-wide."

Some campus organizations opposed the new fee, arguing that there was too little information on how the revenues would be spent.

The fee will take effect this fall.

In other action at its meeting in Long Beach, the board moved to place tighter controls on other student fees that have drawn criticism as a backdoor way to raise tuition.

The board voted unanimously, with one abstention, to require changes in how so-called student success fees are enacted, after students complained that they weren't consulted and lacked adequate information on how revenues were being used.

The charges have been enacted at a dozen of the system's 23 campuses and range from $162 to $830 when fully implemented. These fees come in addition to tuition, room and board.

Men accused of using Uber to get to drug deal

Ventura County Star - Local News - January 29, 2015 - 12:26pm

Two Conejo Valley men were arrested Wednesday in Thousand Oaks after they hired a Uber driver to get them to a drug deal, police said.

The arrest was made about noon on Westlake Boulevard south of Avenida de los Arboles after deputies pulled over a vehicle for an unspecified violation. Officers learned the driver was operating the car as a Uber taxi service, police said.

Officers found the two passengers in the back seat had a quarter-pound of concentrated cannabis known as butane honey oil and $2,000, authorities said. The men were using the car service to take them to a place where they planned to sell the drugs, authorities said. There was no indication that the driver knew anything about the drugs.

Police said a typical dose of the drug is a 10th of a gram and the men had more than 1,000 doses.

Cody Jens, 24, of Agoura Hills, and Luke Karasiuk, 22, of Thousand Oaks, were arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance for sale and booked into county jail, authorities said.

Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in video

Ventura County Star Top Stories - January 29, 2015 - 12:22pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Justin Bieber has apologized for his bad behavior in a new video posted to Facebook.

The singer says in a 2-minute video posted early Thursday that his "arrogant and conceited" attitude over the last two years was just to cover up his true feelings. He said growing up in the industry is tough.

Bieber visited "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday and said he was "nervous" about the appearance. He said he didn't know how people would react to him.

The 20-year-old was heavily booed at the Fashion Rocks event last year, and his recent Calvin Klein ad was ridiculed. His tumultuous behavior has ranged from a DUI arrest to egg-tossing vandalism in Calabasas to clashing with a paparazzo.

Bieber also said he wants people to know he has a caring side.

Air Force to Open Additional Satellite Launches to Competition

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 12:22pm
The Pentagon will announce plans next week to open more space rocket launches to competition, paving the way for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to try to win its first military business, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan.

Yellen Tells Senate Democrats U.S. Economy is Strong

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - January 29, 2015 - 12:20pm
An upbeat Janet Yellen at a private luncheon on Thursday told Senate Democrats the U.S. economy is strong.
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