Kids World Wooden Playground at Alameda Park in Santa Barbara to be Renovated

Kids World, the unique wooden playground at Alameda Plaza, will soon undergo a major renovation to improve access, upgrade structural integrity, and preserve this important community feature for future generations. The playground will be temporarily closed to the public from September 5 to December 15, 2017. Alameda Plaza and the adjacent Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden will remain open during construction.


Kids World was originally constructed in 1993 by hundreds of community volunteers under the direction of Leathers and Associates, an internationally renowned company recognized for their one-of-a-kind playground designs. With the current renovation project, the City of Santa Barbara and its residents are making a significant investment to preserve this unique playground and upgrade the facility to meet today’s accessibility and building codes.

The playground will be deconstructed, worn posts and boards will be replaced, and the structure will be reassembled with building code-compliant hardware. Additional improvements include better access to the play area for 2-5-year-olds, additional gates and fencing to better secure play areas, and installation of rubber pads in high use areas to reduce maintenance needs. The overall aesthetics and adventurous atmosphere of the playground will remain intact. This renovation project, including design and permitting, is anticipated to cost approximately $650,000.

Reindeer at Santa Barbara Zoo for the Holiday Season, November 22 to January 1

SB Zoo Reindeer Holiday_1.jpg

For the first time in its 54-year history, the Santa Barbara Zoo will exhibit reindeer, on view only this holiday season from Wednesday, November 22, 2017, to Monday, January 1, 2018.

Two male reindeer, an adult named Holiday and a first-year calf named Lightning, will take up residence on the lawn opposite the Cats of Africa exhibit for holiday viewing. Winter-themed and holiday-related activities take place throughout the season, and Santa will be available for gift requests and photos on Wednesdays through Sundays from November 22 until Christmas Eve, December 24. There is no extra charge to view the reindeer.

The Zoo is open with the special hours of 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. It is open regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Lightning and Holiday allow the Zoo to help answer questions from local children such as: Do reindeer really exist?  What’s the difference between a caribou and a reindeer?  Do both male and female reindeer get antlers?  What’s the difference between antlers and horns? How big are their antlers? Do they make sounds? Can they fly?

The two reindeer are on loan from Windswept Ranch, located in the foothills above Antelope Valley near Tehachapi, California. The facility is home to a collection of animals including camels, llamas, zebra, alpacas, sheep, goats, horses, deer, and reindeer. Many of the animals have been rescued or rehabilitated. For more information, visit

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission is $17 for adults,

$13 for seniors aged 65+, $10 for children 2-12, and children under 2 are free. 

Parking is $7 weekdays, $10 on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Ventura County Library Opens New Location on Hill Road in Ventura on December 3rd

On December 3, 2017, a new branch of the Ventura County Library is opening on Hill Road across from the Ventura County Government Center. The 5,100 square foot facility is ideally suited for library services on the east side of Ventura. Hill Road Library is within walking distance of several schools and residential areas, is conveniently located on a bus route, and will provide a well-lit parking lot.

Hill Road Library will feature traditional library hours and services such as adult literacy tutoring, early childhood literacy classes, training classes, and a collection of print materials. The Hill Road Library will also make use of technology to expand services, including laptop computers available for check-out for use in the library and high speed internet access. Makerspace equipment like a 3D printer and desktop CNC carver machine will also be featured.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved ongoing funds in the amount of $250,000 to operate the new library, while the City of Ventura approved $50,000 annually that will allow for an additional 16 open hours per week.  The City also provided $25,000 for one-time capital expenditures.  The Ventura Friends of the Library raised and contributed $200,000, much of which came from used book sales to local residents. 

Come see the new library for yourself at the grand opening event: Sunday, December 3rd from 12 noon to 2pm.  Don’t miss the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 12:30pm!  Enjoy BBQ compliments of the Ventura Downtown Lions Club and music from Rubicon Harmonix.

The Hill Road Library is located at 1050 Hill Road in Ventura. Beginning December 3, 2017, hours of service are Monday through Wednesdays, 10am to 6pm; Thursdays, 2pm to 6pm; Fridays through Sundays, 10am to 2pm.

The Ventura County Library is available 24/7 at

County of Ventura Food Facility Closures in September/October 2017

The County of Ventura Environmental Health Division (EHD) protects public health and the environment by ensuring conformance with State laws and County ordinances pertaining to food protection, hazardous materials, hazardous waste, individual sewage disposal systems, land use, medical waste, ocean water quality monitoring, recreational health, solid waste, underground fuel tanks and vector control.

The EHD publishes food facility closures at

The following facility closures (exclusive of mobile facilities) were noted in September/October 2017. Keep in mind when reviewing this that there are many possible reasons for the closures, most of which are very temporary issues.

October 2017

Garman's Irish Pub & Grill, 932 E. Main Street, Santa Paula;

Rodent infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed- 10/27/17; Date reopened - 10/28/17

XIOMI, 2682 S. Ventura Rd., Oxnard;

No valid permit to operate;

Date closed - 10/25/17; No reopen date

Panaderia La Michoacana, 960 E. Main Street, Santa Paula;

Cockroach infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/25/17; Date reopened - 10/27/17

Establos Meat Market, 2633 E Ventura Blvd., Camarillo;

Inoperable refrigeraton resulting in unsafe food temperatures, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/24/17; Date reopened - 10/25/17

Sumo Sushi, 1490 E Daily Dr., Camarillo;

Unsanitary conditions in the food preparation and storage areas, inoperable refrigeration resulting in unsafe food temperatures;

Date closed - 10/24/17;Date reopened - 10/27/17

Norte Sur Mexican Grill, 2950 Johnson Drive, #131A, Ventura;

No hot water available at the facility for adequate hand washing or utensil washing;

Date closed - 10/23/17; Date reopened - 10/24/17

Las Delicias, 2611 E. Thompson, Ventura;

No permit to operate, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/18/17; Permit issued - 10/20/17

Peking Inn, 330 N Lantana St., Camarillo;

Unsanitary conditions in the food preparation and storage areas, inoperable refrigeration resulting in unsafe food temperatures;

Date closed - 10/18/17; Date reopened - 10/20/17

Red Brick Pizza, 4990 Telephone Road Unit 100, Ventura;

Inadequate refrigeration, resulting in unsafe food temperatures;

Date closed - 10/17/17; Date reopened - 10/18/17

Del Taco #730, 848 New Los Angeles Avenue, Moorpark;

Cockroach infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/16/17; Remodel completed date reopened - 10/27/17

Ruby's Cafe, 348 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard;

Cockroach infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/13/17; Date reopened - 10/20/17

Panda Express, 153 Cochran St., Simi Valley;

Overflowing sewage;

Date closed - 10/09/17; Date reopened - 10/09/17

Cisco's, 1712 Avenida De Los Arboles, Thousand Oaks;

No hot water for hand and utensil washing;

Date closed - 10/05/17; Date reopened - 10/06/17

Wok N South Mognolian BBQ, 2835 E. Main Street, Ventura;

Inoperable plumbing resulting in sewage backing up inside the facility and hand wash sink not operable, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 10/04/17; Date reopened - 10/05/17

Megu Sushi, 2868 Cochran St., Simi Valley;

Cockroach infestation;

Date closed - 10/03/17, Date reopened - 10/05/17

September 2017

Carrows, 2401 Harbor Blvd., Ventura;

Sewage overflow in parking lot, water to facility turned off;

Date closed - 09/30/17; Date reopened - 10/01/17

Taqueria El Tapatio #7, 2420 Saviers Rd., Oxnard;

Cockroach infestation, sewage on the surface of the ground and unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/29/17; Date reopened - 10/10/17

Pho Oxnard, 722 North Ventura Road, Oxnard;

Cockroach infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/28/17; Date reopened - 09/30/17

El Taco de Guadalajara, 3845 Telegraph Road, Ventura;

Unsanitary conditions, serious and repeated violations, failure to adhere to a compliance agreement;

Date closed - 09/26/17; Date reopened - 09/27/17

Pirates Grub & Grog, 450 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard;

Cockroach infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/19/17; Date reopened - 09/21/17

PHO Sriracha, 301 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Port Hueneme;

No valid permit to operate;

Date closed - 09/13/17; No reopen date

Jersey Mike's Subs-LG, 2041 N. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard;

No valid permit to operate;

Date closed - 09/13/17; Date reopened - 09/13/17

Copper Blues & Levity Live, 591 Collection Blvd., Oxnard;

Rodent infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/12/17: Date reopened - 09/13/17

Sportsman Restaurant, 53 California Street, Ventura;

Rodent infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/07/17; Date reopened - 09/08/17

KC's Market, 4200 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura;

Rodent infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/07/17; Date reopened - 09/15/17

Rite-Aid, 2738 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura;

Rodent infestation, unsanitary conditions;

Date closed - 09/06/17; Date reopened - 09/07/17

Coctele's La Princesa, Old Telegraph & Hwy 126, Fillmore;

Not returning to the commissary on a daily basis;

Date closed - 09/05/17; Date reopened - 09/06/17

Cruiser's Cafe, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura;

Equipment is inoperable resulting in food temperature violations;

Date closed - 09/02/17; No reopen date

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


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. 

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