thousand oaks

Photo by David Grannis

A documentary on California’s historic drought produced by a South Coast college professor and his students will be screened this week.

The film “Turf Wars: SoCal Water Conservation” takes a deep look into the state’s severe drought and its impacts.  It was created by a film professor and his two students at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. 

Karie Portillo Guerra, who was a student when she helped create the film, says it was eye-opening to see the devastation in Central Valley towns that had pumped their groundwater dry.

Two South Coast scientists have been awarded a large grant for research on proteins.

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks analytical chemistry professor Katherine Hoffman and organic chemistry assistant professor Jason Kingsbury have received a $195,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to work with undergraduate students to research proteins that enable pathogenic bacteria to thrive.

A plan to replace an outdated fire station in Ventura County is moving ahead, after County Supervisors approved buying land from a church to build a new facility.

A former South Coast city official who eventually moved to the Central Coast has died.

Dan del Campo was a former Thousand Oaks City Councilman, and Mayor in the late 1990’s, and early 2000’s. He and his wife moved to San Luis Obispo County, where he worked at a Paso Robles radio station for six years, hosting a popular midday talk show.

In January, he was appointed as a San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner.

Details of his death weren’t released. Del Campo was 69 years old.

A multimedia exhibit on the horrific realities of human trafficking comes to the South Coast for three days. 

“The Apathy Effect Exhibit: Igniting Empathy to End Exploitation” in the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks was open to the public on Friday and Saturday, and it continues on Monday.

A man who’s been interim City Manager for a Ventura County community has been promoted to the top job.

The Thousand Oaks City Council unanimously selected Andrew Powers as City Manager. Powers has been with the city for nearly a decade, and has been Assistant City Manager since 2013. Before that, he worked for the cities of Ventura and Raleigh, North Carolina managing media relations. He was appointed interim City manager last July.

Authorities are investigating after a high speed chase turns into a deadly accident on the South Coast.

CHP said it happened in the Conejo Valley on Saturday  around 5 p.m. when an officer noticed that a motorcycle with no license plate was speeding on Highway 101 westbound near Las Virgenes Road. The officer stopped the rider, who then fled, and a pursuit began.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of blaze which damaged eight condos in Ventura County.

The blaze hit a two story complex on the 200 block of Oak Leaf Drive IN Thousand Oaks at about six last night. The fire spread through the attics of the complex.

No one was hurt, but 16 residents were displaced by the fire, which took about 90 minutes to fully contain.

Authorities are investigating a string of burglaries that happened overnight on the South Coast.

Ventura County Sheriff's officials said burglars broke into businesses in Thousand Oaks between Friday night and early Saturday morning and stole cash.

"Money from registers, potentially cash drawers," Captain Ian Laughlin said. "But some of the locations had been ransacked, so typically that will take a little longer for the employees or management to figure out what specifically was taken.  So, I don't know if there are any specific items of value taken."

A city council in Ventura County which fired its city manager has appointed its assistant city manager to temporarily fill the post.

The Thousand Oaks City Council fired Scott Mitnick last week, without detailing the specifics for the action.

Assistant City Manager Andrew Powers was named interim city manager this week, while the city council looks at what it wants to do on a permanent basis. Powers joined the city’s staff in 2007 as its public information officer, and was upped to Assistant City Manager in 2013.

The City Manager of one of Ventura County’s largest cities has been fired.

The Thousand Oaks City Council unanimously voted Thursday to terminate the contract of Scott Mitnick, who’s held the city’s top non-elected post since 2005. The action came after a more than half day long closed door special meeting of the City Council yesterday.

Mayor Joel Price issued a statement saying the city council is heading in what he called a “different direction.” The council didn’t provide any specifics as to what led to the firing, citing the fact that it’s a personnel matter.

The nation’s largest cycling race is underway, and headed to the Central and South Coasts.

Peter Sagan won the first leg of the Amgen Tour of California San Diego yesterday. The Slovak cyclist is the current world champion. Today, the cyclists race from Pasadena to Santa Clarita.

Then, on Tuesday, the tour comes to our region. Stage Three will take cyclists from Thousand Oaks to Santa Barbara, and Stage Four is Morro Bay to Monterey.

Conejo Valley Days

A large festival that attracts thousands of people to the Conejo Valley is celebrating its 60th anniversary as it continues through the weekend. Conejo Valley Days started on Wednesday, May 11 and runs through Sunday, May 15 at Conejo Creek Park South in Thousand Oaks.

Lucy Ferrier from Santa Paula reads one of her favorite Shakespearean sonnets. 

“Shakespeare really speaks to the human condition and the human heart," she said. "Things we’re feeling and fearing and dealing with today.”

There’s excitement in the Conejo Valley over word that Southern California’s new pro football team, the Los Angeles Rams, will be based in the area for the next few years, while their stadium is being built.

The Rams will hold the spring and in-season training workouts in Thousand Oaks, and their corporate office will be in Agoura Hills.