Free Dignified American Flag Disposal Offered to the Public at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks

Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks – Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory has announced that it will provide free dignified U.S. flag disposal year-round to the community. Community members are encouraged to bring tattered and worn flags to the office at 5600 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. The flags will be transported to the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Crematory and destroyed in an appropriate manner.

“The United States flag is a revered symbol of freedom and justice and should be treated with the highest respect,” said Tamara Eacker, general manager. “This extends to its eventual retirement and destruction, which is why we are offering this free service to our community.”

No other symbol captures the power and glory of our nation. It has flown as our national emblem in some form without interruption since 1777. The American flag remains a living piece of history and a source of pride and unity for all Americans. It embodies the very qualities that make our nation great: liberty, justice, freedom, love of country and national purpose.

The United States Flag Code formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which Americans give respect to the flag. It states that, “The flag, when it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” The code also provides information on the use and display of the flag. Visit this link to read the complete U.S. Flag Code.

For more information, contact Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks at (818) 889-0902.

About Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks

Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory, FD 1344, in Westlake Village, Calif., is a proud Dignity Memorial provider. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,800 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, call (818) 889-0902 or visit www.piercebrothersvalleyoaks.com.

First Thursdays Gourmet Food Trucks at Plaza Park in Oxnard

The first Thursday of the month is Gourmet Food Truck Night in Oxnard's Plaza Park, 519 South C Street. Each event brings 8 to 12 of the hottest trucks in the southland. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with DJ entertainment, friends, and downtown restaurants and shops joining in the party with late hours and specials. Plenty of free parking on street and in public lots. More information at downtownoxnard.org/activities/food-trucks

Upcoming Dates as of 2/5/19: March 7

Simi Valley Police Department Warns of Increase in Wallet Thefts

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The Simi Valley Police Department has noted an increase in the theft of wallets taken from woman’s purses while shopping at local grocery stores.

Shoppers are being distracted by a female and/or male suspect. While distracted, the suspects are reaching into women’s purses and removing their wallets. Credit and debit cards are the items needed for a shopping spree on your dime. The usual purchases are gift cards, which are untraceable. Retail businesses do not request IDs to validate credit card ownership due to their corporate policies.

The SVPD would like to remind you STAY ALERT! DON’T BECOME A VICTIM!

  • Never leave your purse or backpack unattended in the shopping cart.

  • Always zip your purse or backpack closed to prevent any thefts.

  • If a fellow shopper interrupts your shopping to ask a question or make small talk, be sure that that your purse is not unattended in the shopping cart.

  • Secure your property to the cart’s safety belt or use a caribiner to attach your purse or backpack. (SVPD is giving away FREE keychain caribiners from the front desk, located at 3901 Alamo Street, Simi Valley).

  • Report suspicious subjects to the stores management.

    Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and crime complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or Text “BUSTED” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

VCCF Update on Conejo Valley Victims Fund, Fires and Scholarships

Some updates from the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF):

A good place to start for those seeking aid in recovery from local disasters is Ventura County 2-2-1. Visit THIS LINK for an intake form to start the process (THiS LINK for Spanish).

Note that VCCF continues to raise support for those impacted by the Thomas Fire as well. For those individuals in need of financial assistance in relationship to the Thomas Fire who are not currently working with a case manager, they should reach out to 2-1-1 so they can be assigned to the appropriate organization.

Conejo Valley Victims Fund

The final protocol for financial support for those impacted by the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting has been finalized at THIS LINK.

The deadline for submitting a claim is February 18, 2019. For more information, visit www.ConejoValleyVictimsFund.org.

Hill Fire/Woolsey Fire Sudden and Urgent Needs Effort Update

The VCCF has granted more than $1,125,321 since the start of the Hill and Woolsey fires, including:

  • $150,000 to the Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross (Red Cross) for an Emergency Response Vehicle

  • $115,000 to the Red Cross for Ventura County Recovery Coordination

  • $146,250 to the Red Cross for General Operations Support

  • $1,394 to Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship for Evacuation expenses for horses, additional staffing, fuel for trailers, stall cleaning   

  • $10,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley for expenses related to serving children during school closures, club clean-up, and counseling services              

  • $30,000 total to KCLU Public Radio (California Lutheran University) with $20,000 to replace damaged main transmitter and supporting equipment and an additional $10,000 for matching funds for the campaign to replace equipment, which they met.

  • $5,000 to 805 Help to support their immediate response to bring online access to our community during the fires

  • $15,000 to Senior Concerns for adult daycare, meals and support for our community’s seniors who were evacuated and need care

  • $5,350 to Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association to help cover costs associated with evacuations of those on hospice

  • $7,000 to the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $9,500 to the Southeast Ventura YMCA to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $1,827 to Mark Watring Stables for the evacuation of 43 horses, hauling of feed and water supplies, and overtime

  • $25,000 to the Economic Development Collaborative for General Operations Support as they serve business owners impacted by the fires

  • $21,500 to Cal State Channel Islands Foundation to feed and house students evacuated by the fires

  • $500 to Cal Lutheran University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership to sponsor a free webinar entitled “Fundraising in Response to a Community Crisis”

  • $445,000 to the Southeast Ventura County YMCA to provide individual assistance to families affected by the fires.

  • $6,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard & Port Hueneme to help cover expenses related to serving children during school closures.

  • $5,000 to Fly-Hope Dream to cover flights for fire survivors.

  • $10,000 to Little Angels Project to cover costs of veterinary care for injured animals.

  • $16,000 to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center to provide lodging and basic needs for people and animals.

  • $100,000 to Salvation Army for case management and basic needs assistance.

Nonprofit organizations responding to the needs from the fires should complete and submit their brief application at www.vccf.org.  Organizations can submit more than one time as needs arise. 

VCCF Scholarship Program

The VCCF Annual Scholarship Program is still accepting applications for local students pursuing their career and educational goals. Over $1 million in assistance is available in 2019.  The application deadline is January 30th.  Apply at www.vccf.org

City of Moorpark Prohibits Residential Short-Term Rentals

Residential Short-Term Rentals (STRs) are defined as residences that are rented out for periods of 30 days or less, frequently through online rental marketplaces such as AirBnB, Homeaway and VRBO.

In October 2018, the Moorpark City Council voted to ban STRs because of concerns of disrupting neighborhoods.

Rentals are still allowed in the city for over 30 days at a time, such as renting a room to a student or doing a vacation house swap.

STRs are also banned in Calabasas and Ojai as well as unincorporated areas in the Ojai Valley.

Update From Ventura County Community Foundation Regarding Distribution of Funds

Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) President Vanessa Bechtel has provided an update regarding distribution of funds thus far in connection with the recent tragedies in our area.

Conejo Valley Victims Fund

The first two rounds of support to the victims and survivors of the Borderline shooting have been distributed. VCCF awarded an immediate $70,000 in $500 pre-paid Visa cash cards so immediate basic needs could be met through the Thousand Oaks Victims Assistance Center.

VCCF also awarded a total of $240,000 to help cover memorial costs to families who lost loved ones. Chief of Police Tim Hagel personally delivered the funds to the families during this devastating time.

Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire Sudden & Urgent Needs Effort

Over $500,000 in funds have been distributed thus far in connection with relief from the recent wildfires in the area:

  • $150,000 to the Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross for an Emergency Response Vehicle

  • $115,000 to the Red Cross for Ventura County Recovery Coordination

  • $146,250 to the Red Cross for General Operations Support

  • $5,000 to 805 Help to support their immediate response to bring online access to our community during the fires

  • $15,000 to Senior Concerns for adult daycare, meals and support for our community’s seniors who were evacuated and need care

  • $5,350 to Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association to help cover costs associated with evacuations of those on hospice

  • $7,000 to the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $9,500 to the Southeast Ventura YMCA to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $1,827 to Mark Watring Stables for the evacuation of 43 horses, hauling of feed and water supplies and overtime

  • $25,000 to the Economic Development Collaborative for General Operations Support as they serve business owners impacted by the fires

  • $21,500 to Cal State Channel Islands Foundation to feed and house students evacuated by the fires

  • $500 to Cal Lutheran University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership to sponsor a free webinar entitled “Fundraising in Response to a Community Crisis” (contact nonprofit@callutheran.edu for details)

VCCF is working to award funds as quickly as possible to nonprofit organizations serving those in need during this challenging time. The organization is particularly interested in supporting organizations who are assisting in housing and basic needs, animal welfare, business and resiliency support for our community and medical needs of individuals as a result of the fires. The application is very short and should take no more than 15 minutes to submit at www.vccf.org.

805 Undocufund

This is a collective effort to ensure undocumented individuals and families impacted by natural disasters have the support they need. Please join us in helping support our neighbors during this challenging time at www.vccf.org.

VCCF Scholarship Program

VCCF has launched its 2019 Application for College Scholarships and thanks to local generosity will be awarding $1.147 million in scholarships to local students this year – more than ever before! The deadline for applications is January 30, 2019 at 10 p.m. PST.

How You Can Make A Difference

Applications for Support: Massive wildfires that cause severe displacement make connecting and supporting fire victims challenging. While VCCF has received some organizational applications for support, FEMA has received a modest number of applications for direct fire victim support. Please encourage those impacted by the fires to apply with FEMA as soon as possible and to also open a case with 2-1-1 who can help connect resources to those in need.

Fundraising for the Conejo Valley Victims Fund: VCCF is in the final stages of raising funds to support the families of victims and survivors of the Borderline shooting. We are working with Ken Feinberg, Special Master of the US Government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, who has volunteered to help advise us during this time. Please encourage all you know to donate now and offer support to those impacted by this tragic event at www.vccf.org.

Support Services: Please help spread the word that Kaiser Permanente is offering free support groups in Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura for the Borderline tragedy and fires. Please contact them directly at (805) 449-3442.

SIP Malibu Grapes and Kristy's Roadhouse Malibu in Agoura Hills Destroyed by Woolsey Fire

Among so much other devastation from the Woolsey Fire, SIP Malibu Grapes and Kristy’s Roadhouse Malibu at the corner of Kanan Road and Sierra Creek Road in Agoura Hills were destroyed.

The owner of SIP has announced that they will be exploring different options to rebuild and recover. To hear about what’s going on and how you can help, sign up for updates at www.sipmalibugrapes.com.

No word at this time regarding future plans, if any, for Kristy’s Roadhouse.

Las Virgenes Fire Relief Raises $30,000 for Woolsey Fire Victims in First Two Days

Las Virgenes Fire Relief Raises $30,000 for

Woolsey Fire Victims in First Two Days

Parent-Run Relief Organization Partners with Local Businesses to Serve Impacted Families

D isplaced residents "shop" at LV Fire Relief's donation center.

Displaced residents "shop" at LV Fire Relief's donation center.

In the days during the devastating Woolsey Fire in Southern California, a group of parents in the Las Virgenes Unified School District founded LV Fire Relief (LVFR). LVFR raises money and collects physical donations to serve district-area families whose homes were lost or severely damaged. Nearly one hundred student and staff member families either lost their homes or have been displaced long-term following major damage.

“We believe in the power of community,” said Jenn Kurtz, involved Agoura Hills resident and parent group president with children in three LVUSD schools, who organized the swift creation of LVFR with the blessing of school district leaders. “Some of these families have lost everything. Can you imagine being 9 years old and knowing that your house and everything in it is gone?” Families can seek help at lvfirerelief.org.

LVFR accepts financial donations in partnership with the Southeast Ventura YMCA. “Donations will be distributed on a need basis, and 100% of the funds will go to the families,” said Kurtz. The group is also collecting physical donations of non-perishable food, household goods like paper and cleaning products, baby products, and housewares. Donations have come from businesses, Baby 2 Baby, and individual donors from all over Los Angeles, some driving from as far as Long Beach and Pasadena.

A vacant office space has been loaned to the effort by the Dale Poe Real Estate group and the Agoura Business Center. Volunteers made up of teachers, staff, parents, students, and other community members organize donations and walk fire victims through selecting much-needed items that will help them get through the next several months. The space was nearly filled within its first day, and displaced families came to “shop” for clothes, toiletries, and other items lost in the fire. One recipient broke into tears at the sight of such generosity. “I’ve been fine up until this point,” she said, “but this put me over the edge.”  

About LV Fire Relief

Founded in response to the destruction of the Woolsey Fire in November, 2018, LV Fire Relief raises money and collects goods for families who lost their homes or have been displaced long-term by severe damage to their homes. LV Fire Relief is a community effort by local parents, staff, students, and business owners, and is not affiliated with the Las Virgenes Unified School District. Donations are processed with support of the Southeast Ventura YMCA, and are tax-deductible. For more information about LV Fire Relief or to learn how to donate, drop off supplies, or volunteer, please visit lvfirerelief.org.