KidSTREAM Children's Museum in Ventura County Anticipated to Open in 2021

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KidSTREAM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed with a goal of opening a children’s museum in the former Camarillo Public Library building located at 3100 Ponderosa Drive, Camarillo.

The name of the proposed museum is KidSTREAM Children’s Museum in Ventura County. STREAM stands for: Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math.

The site will contain over 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor play space, including 16, 570 square fee of the reused library and 19,000 square feet of outdoor exhibit areas.

Design and feasibility studies took place in 2016-2017 and fundraising for this museum is in the works. Learn more and donate at www.kidstream.org.

Healing Garden Dedication Ceremony at Conejo Creek Park North on November 7th

The City of Thousand Oaks, along with the Conejo Recreation and Park District and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, will be hosting a dedication ceremony of the Healing Garden on November 7, 2019 at 3:15 p.m. at the Lakeside Pavilion at Conejo Creek North, located at 1379 E Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks. Park gates will open at 2:30 p.m. Please note that access to the park will be restricted until that time.

In response to the tragedy at the Borderline Bar and Grill in November 2018, where twelve lives were taken, the City and Conejo Recreation and Park District partnered to create a Healing Garden, a place where the community can reflect, grieve, remember, and heal.

Although Conejo Creek North Park is open during construction, public access to the park will be prohibited prior to 2:30 on November 7. The public is advised to allow ample time for parking, which will be available at Conejo Creek South with shuttles available.

Healing Garden construction updates can be found at www.crpd.org/planning/planning-documents.

What: Healing Garden dedication ceremony.

Where: Lakeside Pavilion at Conejo Creek North, 1379 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.

When: November 7, 2019. Gates open 2:30. Ceremony begins at 3:15.

Rocket Fizz Thousand Oaks to Close Its Doors on October 23rd

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Hector Diaz of Newbury Park sent over these photos showing the Thousand Oaks Rocket Fizz is closing its doors on October 23rd. It originally opened on December 3, 2010 across from Peet's Coffee and the former Baja Fresh on Moorpark Road at Wilbur.

Other Rocket Fizz locations that have come and gone in the local area include Camarillo and Westlake Village. The Ventura location remains open at 315 E. Main Street. rocketfizz.com

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Camarillo Health Care District Hosts Free "Produce Day" 2nd Thursday of the Month

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Camarillo Health Care District Hosts Free "Produce Day" in Partnership with FOOD Share

The Camarillo Health Care District, in partnership with FOOD Share, hosts a free “Produce Day” on the 2nd Thursday of each month, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at District offices located at 3639 E. Las Posas Road, Suite 117, in Camarillo.  Participants can select, at no charge, from a variety of seasonal produce items. Produce is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring bags (the flyer above says bags will be provided; but this has changed). There are no eligibility requirements. 

The District usually posts what produce is being offered the morning of each Free Produce Day event on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CamarilloHealthCareDistrict.

Health screenings and other services are also available in conjunction with this event, held every second Thursday of the month, at no charge. There are no eligibility requirements and produce is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call to register, (805) 388-1952, ext. 100.

The Camarillo Health Care District is a public agency formed in 1969 by the voters of the Pleasant Valley and surrounding areas to provide community health, wellness and safety services. Learn more at www.camhealth.com.

Robeks Juice Now Open in the Conejo Valley Plaza in Thousand Oaks

October 2019: Robeks Fresh Juice and Smoothie Store at 1404 N. Moorpark Road in the Conejo Valley Shopping Center is now open. Store hours are 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Sunday. Grand opening event on October 26th. Check for updates on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/robeksthousandoaks.

Robeks Juice now open!

Robeks Juice now open!

Progress (June 2019)

Progress (June 2019)

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January 2019:

There's a Robeks Juices and Smoothies coming soon to the Conejo Valley Plaza (aka Toppers Pizza Plaza), 1414 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. Don’t know the timing as of yet, but this will double the number of Robeks in Ventura County - the other one is at the Las Posas Plaza in Camarillo.

Previously this was Juice It Up Raw Juice Bar, which opened in Summer 2015 and closed in Summer 2018. Prior to that this was briefly Tizzy Yogurt Cafe (closed December 2014) and before that, Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt.

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Law Enforcement Rangers to Begin Patrols on Mountain Bikes and Horseback in the Santa Monica Mountains

Law Enforcement Rangers to Begin Patrols on Mountain Bikes and on Horseback

New Outreach Campaign Aims to Educate the Public on Trail Etiquette

Law enforcement rangers will begin patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains on mountain bikes and on horseback in an effort to educate visitors on proper trail etiquette, according to the National Park Service.

The weekly patrols, which will start October 1, will aim to dispel the confusion that can often arise on the 500 miles of multi-use trails in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.The trails are shared by hikers, bikers and equestrians. The 12-month educational campaign aims to clear up confusion on the trails.

“Let’s say you’re hiking on a trail and you come upon an equestrian coming up behind you and a mountain biker zooming downhill from the other direction - what is everyone supposed to do?” said Coby Bishop, Supervisory Law Enforcement Park Ranger. “Spending time in the outdoors should not be complicated and visitors are often unclear on who should yield and to whom.”

Yield means to slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop and pass others in a safe manner, he explained.

“We will be out there in a way that makes it easy to have conversations with the public about trail etiquette and how we can all be respectful toward one another while recreating,” Bishop continued. “Visitors are not always clear on these rules of engagement and that can turn into a safety issue that could have easily been avoided.”

The most basic rule on a multi-use trail is that the equestrian, sitting atop a very large animal who can sometimes become unwieldy or startled, does not yield to anyone and always has the "right of the way."

Upon spotting a horse, hikers and bikers should immediately stop and wait on the downhill side of the trail. Communicating with the rider is important. Say hello and ask how you should proceed. To a horse, a human voice registers to them that you are OK. Horses can perceive hikers wearing tall backpacks, big hats or even trekking poles as threats.

Individuals on bikes, in turn, should always yield to hikers and equestrians. Hikers should yield to equestrians.

Other trail etiquette rules include:

Listening for cyclists, runners and equestrians approaching from behind. If one hears “on your left” from behind, they should move to the right and allow them to pass.

When hiking in a group, hike single file on narrow trails or stay to the right side on wider trails. When hiking downhill, yield to those hiking up. Obey posted rules about dogs and keep them on a short leash (6’ or less)!

If hiking with a child, hold their hand when passing. Don’t approach or pet the horse without first getting permission.

All trail users should observe the 15 mph speed limit.

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 Service, 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 nps.gov/samo.

Santa Barbara Zoo Announces Asian Elephant "Little Mac" Is in Hospice Care

UPDATE 9/26:

Little Mac, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s 48-year-old Asian elephant, was humanely euthanized last night (Wednesday, September 25) at approximately 7 p.m. She was in her exhibit yard, surrounded by her keepers and other Zoo staff who have cared for her over the years. Her body was removed by crane to a truck and taken to the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory in San Bernardino, which is run by U.C. Davis, where a necropsy will be initiated today (Thursday, September 26). The results will take several weeks to be developed and will contribute to ongoing research into the health and welfare of elephants under human care.

This followed several days of what Zoo officials called hospice care for the elderly elephant who arrived at the Zoo from India in 1972 with her companion Sujatha (pronounced sue-JAW-tha), who died in October 2018.

This decision was made due to her declining condition as a result of her ongoing medical issues, some of which were common in geriatric elephants and some new medical problems that had developed since June.

“She faced chronic challenges with her teeth and arthritis in her legs, but her overall condition began declining in June due to the onset of additional medical problems. She continued to decline in spite of our best efforts, especially in the past two weeks,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s vice president of animal care and health. “We had exhausted the medical options available that would allow her to have a good quality of life. It was time to let her go.”

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SANTA BARBARA ZOO’S ASIAN ELEPHANT LITTLE MAC NOW RECEIVING HOSPICE CARE

Zoo and VNA Health Provide Staff and Guests with Grief Guidance

Little Mac, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s 48-year-old Asian elephant, now receives what zoo officials call hospice care following a sharp decline in her physical condition over the past two weeks.

She has suffered from intermittent gastrointestinal issues since a bout of colic in mid-June, and has lost weight. She has exhibited lowered activity levels, less engagement with training, and a loss of appetite. Last week, tests detected blood in Little Mac’s boli (dung), which she is being treated for. She also receives treatments for several ongoing medical conditions common in geriatric elephants, such as chronic arthritis.

After exhausting treatment options, she is being kept comfortable for as long as possible. Little Mac’s hospice care includes treating her symptoms, providing her with drugs to increase her comfort, and engaging her with her usual training, if she chooses.

“Just as with a beloved family member, we needed to take time to explore all options and make the best possible decision,” said Zoo President/CEO Rich Block. “This is certainly not the outcome we had hoped for or have worked toward. It is time to start considering euthanasia as a compassionate and respectful option for her. We’ve gone public about this to allow all of us to begin to cope with her passing.”

The Zoo has asked VNA Health (formerly Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care) to provide guidance for Zoo staff and guests in dealing with anticipatory grief, similar to that experienced by families with a loved one in hospice care. This includes a session with Zoo staff and a blog posting on the Zoo’s website about bereavement (www.sbzoo.org/loss) of loved ones and even pets and Zoo animals.

Donations in Little Mac’s memory can be made to the International Elephant Foundation at www.elephantconservation.org or to the Zoo’s Toys4Animals Amazon Wish List. Gifts of organic, pesticide-free tree trimmings and branches are also welcome (www.sbzoo.org/support/browse).

Little Mac at the Santa Barbara Zoo (Photo Credit: Rashun Drayton).

Little Mac at the Santa Barbara Zoo (Photo Credit: Rashun Drayton).

Little Mac’s Recent History

Little Mac has lived at the Santa Barbara Zoo since 1972. She has been the Zoo’s sole Asian elephant following the death of her companion, a 47-year-old Asian elephant named Sujatha (pronounced sue-JAW-tha), on October 16, 2018.

An Asian elephant is considered geriatric around age 40. At 48, Little Mac has exceeded the median life expectancy for Asian elephants in human care, which is 46.9 years. That means that half the animals live less than 46.9 years, and half live longer.

A behavioral study was recently conducted to help determine Little Mac’s future. Her options included to remain at her Zoo home of 46 years with keepers and an environment she knew, or to be moved to a different facility or sanctuary to be introduced to other Asian elephants.

“Little Mac initially was doing very well and showing good behavioral indicators of coping well with being on her own,” says Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s director of animal care and health. “Unfortunately, we have been grappling with increasing medical problems that affect her health, behavior, and overall well-being. We held out hope that she would bounce back, but her ‘bad days’ now greatly outnumber her ‘good days.’”

Early last week, keepers noticed a change in the color of Little Mac’s boli (dung). Tests suggest that there is bleeding in her intestines, which she is being treated for. Other zoo veterinarians experienced in geriatric elephant care and equine specialists have been consulted, but no diagnosis has been determined.

Elephants at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Little Mac arrived at the Zoo in 1972 at the age of 1½ years with her companion Sujatha and the Zoo’s elephant exhibit was especially designed for the two female elephants. It has been modified many times since 2004 to address the challenges of the elephants’ advanced ages. The two lived together at the Zoo virtually their entire lives. Neither of the two ever bred or produced offspring.

In the nearly 50 years since Little Mac and Sujatha arrived at the Santa Barbara Zoo, standards for elephant management were developed and have been adapted by the AZA. The current needs of the AZA elephant program focus on having bigger herds with breeding bulls, and larger exhibits.

Since that new focus was adopted, the Zoo was “grandfathered in” by AZA for the two elephants and their exhibit. But the Zoo doesn’t have space to expand the elephant exhibit to meet AZA’s current requirements, or to hold a bull elephant.

“We are looking ahead at a time of change. Nothing has been decided, but new animals will be coming to the Zoo,” adds Block. “We will keep the public informed as this process takes shape.”


The Santa Barbara Zoo is located on 30 acres of botanic gardens and is home to nearly 500 individual animals in open, naturalistic habitats. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), representing the highest level of animal care, and participates in AZA endangered species programs for California condor, Channel Island fox, and Western lowland gorilla, among others. A private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the Santa Barbara Zoo depends on community support, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements. Visit www.sbzoo.org.

The Nook Restaurant is Now Open in Newbury Park


UPDATE 9/18/19: The Nook opened today, Wednesday, September 18th

The Nook Restaurant in September 2019.

The Nook Restaurant in September 2019.

Posted 10/30/18:

The Nook Restaurant in October 2018.

The Nook Restaurant in October 2018.

Tipped off by Darts Promoter L. David Irete, I drove by the former Sooki’s Japanese Grill in the Ralphs strip mall at 579 N. Ventu Road in Newbury Park to find “The Nook Restaurant” sign up.

Though there was no sign of a local The Nook Restaurant in the Conejo Valley, a quick call to The Nook Restaurant on Ventura Boulevard in Encino turned up the fact that this indeed is a new, second location of this eatery.

The Nook serves breakfast and lunch with a menu that includes pancakes, crepes, waffles, French toast, scrambles, omelettes, Benedicts and more for breakfast. The lunch menu includes salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas and other items. www.breakfastatthenook.com

No other info at this point but I’m sure we’ll hear more soon!