Channel Islands National Park 100 Year Anniversary Event on Thursday, August 25th

Channel Islands National Park Celebrates 100 Years this Thursday on "Founder's Day" - the day that the National Park Service was created by President Woodrow Wilson.
When: Thursday, August 25th, 5-10 pm
Where: Ventura Harbor Village Main Lawn
Cost:    Free!
Bring:  Blankets, chairs, and warm layers (for the outdoor screening)
The party begins at 5:00 pm with yoga from Ventura Pop Up Yoga, live music, food, craft stations (including fabric block printing), and a beer garden serving the limited edition "1916-2016" ale from Surf Brewery.

At 8:00 pm, enjoy a special outdoor screening of selections from the new documentary, West of the West: Tales from California's Channel Islands. 

5:00-7:00 Food options from Ventura Harbor Village restaurants and speciality food trucks
5:00-8:00 Beer garden in upstairs patio adjacent to Main Lawn
5:00-5:30 Ventura Pop-Up Yoga demonstration
5:30-6:30 Gold & Gray Live Performance
6:30-7:00 Pound Fitness demonstration
7:00-8:00 Ventura Pop-Up Yoga class
7:00-8:00 Todd Hannigan Live Performance
8:00 Birthday Sing-along to celebrate NPS turning 100!
8:00 Outdoor screening of West of the West, featuring 6 of the film's 14 stories

Muddy Warriors Xperience 10K and 5K Trail & Obstacle Runs in Agoura Hills on Nov 20th

MUDDY WARRIORS™ XPERIENCE is a trail run that will test your strength, overall fitness and your will. This is not a traditional race. You will be challenged over trails, hills and fun obstacles.   You may register as an individual or register with a team. The MW XPERIENCE is about not quitting, helping people around you that need it and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

There are three course options for the Muddy Warriors Xperience at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills (2903 Cornell Road) on Sunday, November 20th

-10K Trail & Obstacle Run open to participants over 13 yrs of age
-5K Trail & Obstacle Run open to participants over 10 yrs of age
-1 mile Family Walk/Run open to anyone who wants to complete the obstacle course.

To learn more and to register, visit

CSU Channel Islands Fall Lecture Series Throughout Ventura County September to December

The CSU Channel Islands (CI) Fall Lecture Series will take guests around the world, back in time and into cyberspace with more than a dozen free public presentations at libraries throughout Ventura County.

This year, CI has added two new locations: the Ojai Library and the Newbury Park Library. Channel Islands Boating Center will be making an encore as the sixth location for this year’s fall series.

CI experts come from many of CI’s academic programs including Biology, History, English, Computer Science, Political Science, Performing Arts, and Sociology.

Camarillo Library, 4101 Las Posas Road

Lectures are Mondays from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 20 (this lecture will be held on Tuesday)

“The Syrian War and Its Political and Humanitarian Consequences” by Reha Kadakal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology.

Civil war in Syria has claimed more than 470,000 lives as of March of 2016, and continues to affect many other nations, including the U.S. Nearly five million Syrian refugees have been forced to flee and more than half of the refugees are children.

Kadakal, a native of Turkey, will give a first-hand account of what he saw in his country, and the ongoing impact of this humanitarian crisis.

Monday, Oct. 10

“Influenza A Viruses in Artificial Community Water Ponds: Potential for IAV Surveillance” by Zin Htway, Ph.D., Lecturer in Biology

Viruses that have the potential to wipe out the poultry industry here and in other major poultry export countries has been found in community water ponds in both the cities and countryside in Southern California. The Influenza A Viruses (IAV) are transmissible to both humans and birds. It’s a flu-like illness for humans, and can be deadly to birds. Htway will explain how the virus got into our ponds and fountains from its source in Southern China, and why it’s important to study this further, and perhaps develop a vaccine.

Monday, Nov. 14

“Re-visioning History: Women Poets, Mythology, and the Power of Storytelling” by Colleen Harris-Keith, M.L.S., M.F.A., Ed.D., Assistant Librarian

Our stories and mythologies are a part of us and connect us to our broader culture and values. The mythologies that surround us are often revitalized through poetry. Harris-Keith will discuss how contemporary women poets are reclaiming power by using mythological structures to create poetry and re-tell ancient stories in new skins. Harris-Keith will also talk about how community members might start their own re-visioning of beloved stories.

Monday, Dec. 12

“Recovering Imagination: Is There a Poem Unspoken Inside You?” by Claudia Reder, Ph.D, English Lecturer

The path of poetry begins when you pick up a pencil, or a piece of clay, and pay attention to the seeds of memory. Join us as we journey through poetry in this interactive workshop.  If you like to engage your imagination through writing, or if you have never written before but want to, this workshop is for you.

Newbury Park Library, 2331 Borchard Rd.

Lectures are Mondays, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 12

"Social Enterprises: Merging business and purpose" by Maria Ballesteros-Sola, MBA, Fulbright Scholar Lecturer in Business

Social Enterprises are hybrid organizations that merge purpose and profit. As these types of organizations become more prominent, there is confusion about the definition of a social business. This presentation will review the broad spectrum of social enterprises and their challenges and limitations. We will also talk about what’s going on at CI’s California Institute for Social Business 

Oct. 10

“Get SMART (Social Media Applications and Really-useful Tools)” by Brian Thoms, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Thoms will showcase a variety of useful and easy-to-use social media applications and how they can be used to stay connected and stay healthy. This presentation will feature demonstrations using popular social software such as Facebook and YouTube and popular health-related software such as Health Tap and Patients like Me. Thoms will also introduce his own social network SocialXYZ and health platform, Health e-Service to the audience.

Nov. 14

“Public Health Leadership in a Crisis” by Zin Htway, Ph.D., Biology Lecturer

During a crisis, public health leaders need four primary skills: 1) technical skills; 2) interpersonal skills; 3) conceptual skills; and 4) emotional skills. All of these skills come into play when coordinating, managing, and directing staff and resources during a tense situation. While orchestrating the public health personnel and resources, leaders in this role will also have to effectively communicate to the public and the media.

Ojai Library, 111 E. Ojai Ave

Lectures are Saturdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 3

“New Directions in Music Technology” by Ted Lucas MFA, EdD, Lecturer in Performing Arts

Guests will be treated to a live music demonstration as Lucas explains how computer technology came to dominate both the art and the business of music. Lucas will cover movie music, commercials and video games.

Oct. 1

“Southern California’s 19th Century Wine Industry” by Julia Ornelas-Higdon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

Discover the history of Southern California’s pre-prohibition wine industry. Learn about the diverse groups who built the wine industry, from Spanish missionaries, Mexicans, and California Indians to German, Chinese, and American immigrants. Ornelas-Higdon will explain what factors led to the demise of Los Angeles’s vineyards and wineries, and why the industry ultimately transitioned to Napa and Sonoma.

Dec. 3

“Liquid Histories: Madeira and Port Wine” by Rainer Buschmann, Ph.D., Professor of History

Sometimes sweet, sometimes dry, most of us have tasted fortified wine, but few of us know about the multifaceted history behind the marriage of grapes, sugarcane, and strong spirit. This lecture will highlight why the beautiful island of Madeira off the coast of Portugal became such an ideal place to grow grapes during the early period of Iberian expansion. The lecture will cover the role of fortified wine as America and Britain were forming their separate identities during the Revolutionary War period, and the development of the different Port and Madeira varieties by the 20th century.

Simi Valley Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road
Lectures are Sundays from 2 to 3 p.m.

Sept. 11  

“A Day in the Life of a Breast Tumor” by Zin Htway, Ph.D., Biology Lecturer

A detailed pathology overview of the diagnostic process of breast tumors and breast cancers from mammogram to molecular testing.

Oct. 9

"College Education Inside the Prison Industrial Complex" by Mariano Baez, Liberal Studies Lecturer

Incarcerated men and women can pursue a college education behind prison walls, thanks to a service learning course offered through a partnership between CI and the Ventura Maximum Youth Correctional Facility. Baez teaches CI students from a variety of majors on how to put together lesson plans and teach inside the prison. The program has helped educate about 60 females and 120 males in the last three years.

Nov. 13

“Greenhouse Gases and Microbes” by Patricia Tavormina, Ph.D., Biology Lecturer

We live in an age of rapid climate change, driven by fossil fuel use. Fossil fuel technologies and infrastructure regularly fail, impacting local ecosystems and adding to our global carbon footprint. Yet, nature can remedy these events, in part through the action of environmental microbes. Just as our gut microbes contribute to our personal health; environmental microbes can help balance large-scale environmental change. Come learn the similarities and differences in the way microbes respond to large scale gas leaks and oil spills, and how microbes help absorb some of the greenhouse gases we generate.

Dec. 11

“An Appreciation of the Chaparral Flora, with pre- and post-fire observations” by Steven Norris, Ph.D., Lecturer of Biology

Few can forget the 2013 Springs Fire that swept through Camarillo and threatened the CI campus. Destructive as it was, there was a scientific side effect akin to hitting the reset button on the plant communities, allowing scientists like Norris to observe and document how the area is recovering. Although an ichthyologist (studier of fishes) by trade, Norris has been exploring the chaparral flora in the foothills of Santa Monica Mountains since arriving in Camarillo in 2002.  In the habitats surrounding the CI campus, he’s identified and photographed nearly 130 native plant species. Many species are abundant, others are rarely seen, some didn’t appear until after the fire, and a couple are endangered. Each has its place in the ecology of the habitats, each has something unique to teach us, if we look closely enough.

Blanchard Community Library, 119 North 8th Street, Santa Paula

Lectures are Tuesdays, 6 to 8 p.m.

Sept. 20

“Robots of CSU Channel Islands: Some Talk the Talk, Some Walk the Walk” by David Claveau, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Imagine a human-like robot that reads aloud with emotion and inflection, changing its voice and posture like a human. At CI, Claveau and his students have been experimenting with robots to enhance the robot-human interaction. Claveau and his students have already built a robot that can walk on four legs, with most of its components created on a 3-D printer.

Oct. 18

“Family Storytelling Night: Traditions from around the World” by Claudia Reder, Ph.D., English Lecturer

All around the world families share stories to pass on values, traditions, history, a sense of humor, mischief, and recipes, while creating a sense of togetherness. Even what we can’t remember becomes a story. This presentation will create and share family stories while learning about storytelling traditions from around the world. Children who attend must be accompanied by an adult.

Nov. 15

“Danza Mexica: Indigenous Identity, Spirituality, and Activism ” by Jennie Luna, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

The Danza Mexica or Aztec Dance tradition of central México has migrated throughout the United States transforming the identity and spiritual politics of entire Mexicana/o communities in the process. Luna will discuss the historical, genealogical and contemporary trajectory of Danza, and the political-cultural-spiritual movements tied to Danza in both Mexico City and the U.S. Southwest.   The Danza traditions are constantly evolving, helping to reaffirm notions of self, homeland, spirituality, and community throughout the Americas. 

Dec. 6

“Reinterpreting Local History: La Voz de la Colonia, Ventura County’s Spanish Language Newspaper, 1926-1932” by Jose Alamillo, Ph.D., Professor of Chicano/a Studies

Labor struggles, school segregation, sports and entertainment were among the issues covered in La Voz de la Colonia, a Spanish language newspaper recently unearthed in the basement of the E. P. Foster Library. The paper was published from 1926 to 1932 in the city of Santa Paula, circulating through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. La Voz covered local, regional and national news that affected the U.S. Latino population in the area.

Alamillo will use La Voz de la Colonia to reinterpret key events in local history including the 1928 St. Francis Dam Disaster, the agricultural strikes during the Great Depression, and the segregation of Mexican students in public schools.

Channel Islands Boating Center, 3880 Bluefin Circle, Oxnard

Lectures are Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sept. 22

“There’s No Time Like Now! Cultivate Mindfulness to Enhance Overall Well-Being” by Christy Teranishi-Martinez, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology

Multitasking has become increasingly important in our fast-paced society. Smartphones, MP3 players, and navigation systems have become necessities in our day-to-day activities. However, overuse of technology and multitasking can lead to decreased attention and performance. In this lecture, Teranishi-Martinez will discuss strategies for cultivating mindfulness in order to foster creativity, improve relationships, and enhance overall well-being.

Nov. 3  

“In the Image of Elijah: Creating a Monastic Community in Medieval Italy” by Alison Perchuk, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

How do we create community? Typically we think of communities as arising naturally around some shared bond: family, religion, politics, favorite activities or sports teams. In 12th century Italy, it was an Italian monastery clinging to the side of a hill. In this lecture, Perchuk will take the audience back hundreds of years to see how the monastery the visual arts, architecture, and the surrounding landscape to create a sense of its unique identity—and how we can apply these lessons to understanding our own world today.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

4th Annual Labor Day Vintage Tractor Fair at Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula Sept 5

Free Family Fun at the 4th Annual Labor Day Vintage Tractor Fair at the Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula

Join Us for Fun, Games, Animals and Tractor Displays from 10:30am to 1:30pm on Monday, September 5 following the Santa Paula Labor Day Parade

The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum is proud to present its 4th Annual Labor Day Vintage Tractor Fair on Monday, September 5th, immediately following the Santa Paula Labor Day Parade. The event begins at 10:30 pm. More than two dozen classic farm tractors from decades past will be displayed by the Topa Topa Flywheelers Club on Railroad Avenue adjacent to the Museum. This celebration also features live music by Santa Paula’s favorite rock and roll band the Cruise Knights, food trucks, and many free activities for children, including a petting zoo from the Aloha Animal Experience, face painting by Fancy Pantz, and old-fashioned games, such as pedal tractor races, potato sack races and the egg toss.  There will be exhibits on display inside the museum as well, and crafts for kids to make and take home.

Admission to the fair and the museum, located at 926 Railroad Ave, Santa Paula, is free.  The Labor Day Vintage Tractor Fair is sponsored by the Limoneira Company and Ventura County’s Topa Topa Flywheelers.

Inside the Museum, visitors can view exhibits about agriculture in our air-conditioned historic building. Current exhibits are AG Air: Aviation in Agriculture, The Dirt on Tractors, which portrays the evolution of the modern tractor, and paintings by local artist Whitney Brooks Abbott. Kids can climb on a real Oliver tractor and visit the Museum’s active beehive. See if you can spot the Queen bee! For more information, call (805) 653-0323 x 303

2016 Pier to Peak Half Marathon in Santa Barbara on Sunday, September 4th


Santa Barbara's challenging Pier to Peak Half-Marathon on Sunday, September 4, 2016 takes you from the famous Santa Barbara Friendship Dolphins Fountain at the edge of Stearns Wharf, past the "Queen of the Missions" and on up an elevation of 3,996 feet to the majestic views at La Cumbre Peak.

Capture the panoramic layout of the city, Santa Barbara Channels and the Channel Islands. You can see where you started from 13.1 miles (sea level) earlier. Shuttle service takes you back to the start.

One of the more challenging races around town. Your quads and calves may be screaming at you, but it'll be worth it for the views at the finish.

More information and a link to the registration on is at

National Park Services Shares Ranching History "Horse Tales" in Newbury Park on September 10th

National Park Service horses help rangers and volunteers patrol the extensive trail system of the Santa Monica Mountains. From left to right: Cache, Jordan, Bayberry. Courtesy of National Park Service. 

National Park Service horses help rangers and volunteers patrol the extensive trail system of the Santa Monica Mountains. From left to right: Cache, Jordan, Bayberry. Courtesy of National Park Service. 

The National Park Service invites the public to tour historic Rancho Sierra Vista on Saturday, September 10 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. In addition to an optional one-mile hike, visitors of all ages can meet the National Park Service patrol horses and participate in activities related to the area's ranching past.

Located in Newbury Park, Rancho Sierra Vista's ranching history stretches back to 1803, when former soldiers Jose Polanco and Ignacio Rodriquez were granted Rancho El Conejo by the King of Spain. Through the years, this 48,672 acre land grant was subdivided and sold to various landowners. Modern ranching began here in 1937 when Carl Beal christened the area Rancho Sierra Vista. 

The event is free and open to the public. Meet in the main parking lot at 9am. The cross streets are Via Goleta and Potrero Rd in Newbury Park (entering "Rancho Sierra Vista" into a GPS system will take you to the wrong entrance).

Contact 805-370-2301 for more information. Rain (that would certainly be nice) cancels. 

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park System, it comprises a seamless network of local, state and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit