Food Truck Thursday at Camarillo Ranch House Every Last Thursday of Month

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Throwback Thursday Food Truck Fest at the Camarillo Ranch is on the last Thursday of each month from 5-9PM, April through September 2019. Upcoming dates: April 25, May 30, June 27, July 25, August 29, September 26.

Ten food trucks will be there plus beer and wine will be for sale. Free admission! For more information, visit www.facebook.com/camarilloranchfoundation or www.camarilloranch.org.

What to know before you go:

  • The Camarillo Ranch House will be open for tours ($5 donations greatly appreciated for the house tours).

  • Pets are welcome but must remain on a leash.

  • Please do NOT bring your own alcohol or coolers.

  • The Camarillo Ranch is non-smoking facility. If you need to smoke, please step onto the sidewalk on Camarillo Ranch Road outside of the gates.

  • Parking is available on Camarillo Ranch Road and next door at 4001 Mission Oaks.

  • The Ranch will be closed until just before 5:00 pm, early arrivals and setup will not be permitted.

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.

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: TBA

Santa Barbara Zoo Announces Bradley The Golden Retriever, the Zoo's First Ambassador Dog

Bradley, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s first Ambassador Dog.

Bradley, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s first Ambassador Dog.

The Santa Barbara Zoo announced today that its latest addition is a ten-month old Golden Retriever named Bradley, who is in training to be the Zoo’s first Ambassador Dog.

As Ambassador Dog, Bradley’s overall duty “is to connect with Zoo guests so they can understand and care about all animals, especially those in the wild animals.”

“Bradley can connect with people in ways many of our other animals can’t,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Vice President of Animal Care & Health. “If people care about animals, then they are more likely to want to save them in the wild by preserving habitat, making sustainable choices, and other actions we talk about here at the Zoo.”

Dr. Barnes reports that Bradley is still young, so the training is takes place at his pace and is going quite well.

Bradley with Kristen Wieners

Bradley with Kristen Wieners

If it goes as hoped, Bradley will eventually participate in keeper talks on subjects like responsible pet choices and animal training using positive reinforcement. He may be involved in education programs such as Zoo Camp. He might provide outreach to local schools, retirement homes, hospitals, and elsewhere.

“Though they might catch sight of him with his handlers and wearing his ‘In Training’ vest, Bradley is not ready to meet the public,” adds Barnes. “Currently, we tell people not to make a special visit to the Zoo just to see him. He’s rarely visible and not on a regular schedule.”

About Bradley’s Training

As with the Zoo’s other animal residents, Bradley is trained using positive reinforcement, meaning he is rewarded for good behaviors and following instructions, and ignored or redirected for negative behaviors. The Zoo has retained a professional dog trainer who works with Bradley most days and is training specific staff to work with him as well.

“The goal is to guide him into making the right choices on his own,” says Dr. Barnes. “The training is currently going well, but will last as long as needed. Some training will continue indefinitely, to keep Bradley engaged as an ambassador dog.”

About Bradley

Bradley is an English Cream Golden Retriever who was born on May 12, 2018. The “English Cream” refers to the light color of his fur. His original family lived in Northridge and had him as a young puppy. A family member’s unexpected medical development made it impossible for them to care for a puppy. The Zoo adopted him when he was nine months old.

“Zoo staff spent six months visiting dog rescue facilities and following leads for a dog with the right temperament to be trained as our ambassador,” said Dr. Barnes. “Bradley has what we were looking for.”

Bradley lives at the Zoo. It is hoped that he will eventually make visits to local schools, retirement homes, hospitals, and community events, but that depends on his training.

His sleeping area is in a heated office. The Zoo’s security guard checks on him several times during the night and gives Bradley toilet breaks. Bradley has a fenced exercise and play area on Cabrillo Lawn, across from Cats of Africa. There he is allowed to run free and play, and have play dates with specially selected dogs. During breaks from training, Bradley also has “Sniff Time” while on the leash, when he is allowed to follow his nose and explore the Zoo.

“Zoo animals are not unfamiliar with dogs, as service dogs sometimes accompany guests,” says Dr. Barnes. “However, his presence does help reinforce that the sight or smell of a dog is normal. So far, Bradley has responded well to zoo animals by remaining calm in their presence. Acclimating him to the other animals that live at the zoo is part of his training.”

Bradley is sponsored by a local family that wishes to remain anonymous and is recognized at the Zoo simply as “Jackson and Alaia.”

Dogs in Zoos

Ambassador dogs are not uncommon in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). The Oklahoma Zoo debuted canine animal ambassador Max, a two-year-old terrier mix, in summer 2018. Other zoos with ambassador dogs include the Denver Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (Tacoma, Washington) and Rosamond Gifford Zoo (Syracuse New York).

While dogs are sometimes used as companion animals for specific species, Bradley does not go into any animal enclosures.

The Santa Barbara Zoo provided dog companions for African lion cub Kiki when she was being hand-raised in 2004. The San Diego Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, and Metro Richmond Zoo, among others, have had companion dogs for cheetah cubs.

The Santa Barbara Zoo

Known as one of the world’s most beautiful zoos, 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 Asian elephant, California condor, 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 Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission $18 for adults, $13 for seniors 64+, $11 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $11.

Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month "Spotlight Myeloma" Skylight is Back Again at Amgen in Thousand Oaks March 17-29

Spotlight Myeloma Skylight from Amgen’s corporate headquarters (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

Spotlight Myeloma Skylight from Amgen’s corporate headquarters (Photo Credit: L. David Irete).

Flashback to March 2018…there was a blue beam shining into the sky in Newbury Park for a number of nights and I was determined to find the source. I found it! The beam was coming from our local biotech powerhouse Amgen. The bright blue nightly beam was part of Amgen’s month-long “Spotlight Myeloma” initiative as part of Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.

March 2019 once again is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month, a time to recognize the patients, caregivers and healthcare providers who work courageously to improve the daily lives of patients living with this incurable blood cancer. Once again, Amgen will be shining a nightly beam into the sky; this year’s burgundy beam will shine March 17-29.

Although it’s the second most common blood cancer, multiple myeloma is rare. It’s estimated that only 32,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease this year.

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.

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