Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum Opening at Simi Valley Town Center


The Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum is opening its doors at the Simi Valley Town Center on Saturday, December 15, 2018. It is located directly across from the Vans store in the mall in a space of over 10,000 square feet. The address is 1555 Simi Town Center Way, #230.

The International Skateboarding Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by Todd Huber. It was created to honor the passion, dedication and contributions to skateboarding history and culture by skateboarders and cultural icons through the decades.

The Museum displays hundreds of skateboards and other skating artifacts going back decades. There are some fascinating home-made specimens of boards on display. There will also be an skating art gallery, gift shop, theater/library (over 600 skating videos as well as skating magazines) and skate shop. They will also be able to build skateboards at the facility.

The Museum also has a mini skating ramp with a fun wall ride available to local youth for a fee.

Admission to the museum will be free, but donations are welcomed.

Visit to learn more and to support the cause.

Old school. REALLY old school.

Old school. REALLY old school.

Nearly complete mini ramp at Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum.

Nearly complete mini ramp at Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum.

Holiday Ice Rink at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks to Return November 8, 2018 through January 27, 2019


The Holiday Ice Rink at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks, 2200 E. Thousand Oaks Boulevard is coming back yet again this year, beginning on Thursday, November 8, 2018 through January 27, 2019.

Tickets to the rink can be purchased onsite at the ice rink ticket window. All tickets priced at $15, including admission and skate rental.

For a limited time, get ice skating for two, including rentals, plus hot chocolate, for $29 (regular price $40) at (affiliate link).

Hours: Mon-Thurs 12-9PM, Fri 12-10PM, Sat 10AM-11PM and Sun 10AM-9PM

Special holiday hours: 11/17-11/25 and 12/21-1/6 opens at 10am daily


Reindeer Arrive at the Santa Barbara Zoo for the Holiday Season on November 20, 2018


Cookie and Peppermint, those slightly-less-famous reindeer, arrive at the Santa Barbara Zoo to celebrate the holidays on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 10am.. Winter-themed and holiday-related activities happening throughout the holiday season.

The Zoo is located at 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara. Admission to the Zoo is currently $18 for adults, $10 ages 2 to 12 and $13 for seniors 65+.


California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks to Relocate to The Oaks in November


To accommodate its continued growth as one of Conejo Valley’s premier art museumsthe California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) has entered into a strategic partnership with The Oaks – a Macerich property. The museum will vacate its current location on Thousand Oaks Blvd. and move into a new 5,500 square-foot facility at The Oaks, located at 350 West Hillcrest Drive. The new location will feature expanded exhibit space, new resources for educational programming and special event space. The museum will be located on the second floor between Nordstrom and Macy’s, across from JCPenney, and will be easily accessible from the parking structure.

The grand opening of the museum will coincide with the exhibition of Kevin Sloan: A Collection of Rarities on November 8, 2018. Sloan, a Denver-based painter whose work is characterized by a deep reverence for the natural world, will take visitors on a surreal journey examining the precarious position facing wildlife today. The museum anticipates 15,000 visitors during the exhibition run and has developed accessible educational materials and public programs to complement the exhibition.

Since 2015, CMATO has exhibited acclaimed artists at the City’s property; welcomed thousands of visitors from throughout Southern California; and seen its membership, donors, and volunteer contributions steadily increase. During this time, CMATO received two substantial gifts: Shawn and Letal Skelton ($100,000) and Larry Janss ($100,000). Both donors are committed to providing the means for CMATO to be a cultural gathering place for generations to come and fully support the move to the Oaks.

As part of CMATO’s mission to be a place for authentic and meaningful engagement with art, the museum’s new location will accommodate larger exhibitions, provide more robust programming and feature dedicated areas for participatory and interpretive experiences. The space will also provide greater exposure opportunities for museum sponsors. Plans are currently underway for CMATO to collaborate with Macerich on major events throughout the year, including its School Cents program.

About CMATO:

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) is a cultural institution dedicated to engaging, educating and uplifting the human spirit through the palette of art. Established in 2008, the museum showcases established and emerging contemporary artists, with a unique focus on participatory art. As part of its mission to connect people to creativity, ideas and to each other, CMATO features rotating temporary exhibitions, artist lectures and educational programs that foster discussion, participation and an appreciation for the visual arts. To learn more or to become a museum member, visit

About Macerich:

Macerich, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States.

Macerich currently owns 52 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 48 regional shopping centers. Macerich specializes in successful retail properties in many of the country’s most attractive, densely populated markets with significant presence in the Pacific Rim, Arizona, Chicago and the Metro New York to Washington, DC corridor.

A recognized leader in sustainability, Macerich has earned NAREIT’s prestigious “Leader in the Light” award every year from 2014-2017. For the third straight year in 2017 Macerich achieved the #1 GRESB ranking in the North American Retail Sector, among many other environmental accomplishments. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the Company's website at

Sapwi Trails Community Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Thousand Oaks on September 22nd


The Conejo Recreation and Park District announces its Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Sapwi Trails Community Park on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 9 am to noon.

This 145 acre park is located in the open space between Erbes Road (at Scenicpark Street) on the west and Westlake Boulevard east, with Avenida de los Arboles on the north.

The park has numerous features, including disc golf course, trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, playground, bike park, terraced areas with picnic benches and more.

The park will not have irrigated turf.

More information at

Two Koalas to Begin a One Year Stint at the Santa Barbara Zoo on April 28th

SB Zoo Thackory and Edmund.jpg

Two furry, eucalyptus-loving marsupials will soon take up residence at the Santa Barbara Zoo for a one-year visit to increase awareness of the challenges facing them and other native Australian species.

Koala “ambassadors” Edmund and Thackory go on view in a special outdoor exhibit near the Zoo Train station beginning Saturday, April 28, 2018 during regular Zoo hours.

“Koalas are iconic animals for Australia, as it’s the only place they are found in the wild,” says Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health and Care, who was born and received her veterinary degree in Australia. “But there are major challenges there that threaten koalas and other native animals and plants in Australia. Having Edmund and Thackory in Santa Barbara for a year allows our guests not only to appreciate these two little guys, but also to discover the changes affecting their native habitat.”

Dr. Barnes names habitat destruction and fragmentation, prolonged drought and other extreme weather events, and predation by feral cats and dogs as major issues affecting koalas and other native species.

“But it’s not just on land. Animals in Australia’s oceans, including the Great Barrier Reef, also face the impacts of sea level rise, ocean warming, and increasing seawater acidity, among others,” she says.

About Edmund and Thackory

Edmund and Thackory are on loan from the Los Angeles Zoo (LAZ) and San Diego Zoo (SDZ), respectively. As with all koalas in American zoos, the pair officially “belong” to Australia. In addition to obtaining standard permits to bring them to Santa Barbara, the Zoo was required to make a formal request to the Australian government (which was approved) including details of their accommodations, plans for their dietary needs and any medical needs.

The Santa Barbara Zoo has committed $2,500 per month during the koalas’ residency to Australian koala habitat conservation as part of the SDZ’s Koala Loan Program. While LAZ does not have a loan program, they have a thriving koala population and need temporary housing for young male koalas, like Edmund, to mature before moving to another zoo.

Edmund was born on September 1, 2015, at LAZ. His sire, Lincoln, was born at the Taronga Zoo in Australia. Thackory was born June 15, 2011, at SDZ and his name is the Aboriginal word for “heavy,” as he was a particularly large joey when he first emerged from his mother’s pouch. He has represented the SDZ Koala Loan Program at Zoo New England in 2013 and Indianapolis Zoo in 2015.

“Koalas are solitary by nature, and adult male koalas are very territorial and don’t do well in groups when other males are present. So there are single males that need homes,” says Dr. Barnes. “Edmund and Thackory are part of a cooperative breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), but not breeding at this time. So, our zoo provides a home for them, much like we have a bachelor troop of Western lowland gorillas.”

The two will be housed separately in adjacent outdoor covered enclosures, separated by a wall. They also have heaters, but the elements should not be a factor. “Santa Barbara’s climate is similar to that of the east coast of Australia, part of their native range,” notes Dr. Barnes.

Their food will come from a eucalyptus plantation in Arizona, where it is grown specifically for koalas, is approved by the SDZ’s Koala Loan Program, and used by other zoos across the country. Their diet may be supplemented with local eucalyptus, if the proper species and sources are identified.

Though they appear cuddly, the public will not be allowed to hold these koalas. Dr. Barnes explains, “Even though Edmund and Thackory were both born in zoos, they are not trained to be held. Some koalas raised by humans become accustomed to being held, especially in Australia, including orphaned or rehabilitated wild koalas. It is dangerous for anyone other than a trained zoo professional to attempt to hold either of these two.”

Other “Aussie” Species at the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo already houses a number of Australian species. Birds include black swans at the Zoo’s entrance, laughing kookaburras and tawny frogmouths that share an enclosure in the courtyard, a blue-faced honeyeater in the Tropical Aviary, and sulphur-crested cockatoos only visible from the Zoo Train that regularly come out with keepers to meet guests.

Of the four Australian reptile and snake species at the Zoo, three also leave their holding areas in the Eewww! exhibit for meet-and-greets with guests: blue-tongued skink, bearded dragon, and woma python. A frilled dragon is on view in Eewww!, near the entrance to Tropical Aviary.

About 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, Channel Island fox, and Western lowland gorilla, among others. A private nonprofit corporation, the Santa Barbara Zoo depends on community support, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements. 

The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission is $18 for adults, $13 for seniors aged 65+, $10 for children 2-12, and children under 2 are free.  Parking is $8 weekdays and $11 on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit

Dog Park Slated for Westlake Village in Spring 2018

Update 9/30/17:  Slated opening date is late Spring 2018.

Update 7/2/17: Final plans in place for the new dog park. It will open in late fall 2017. On-street parking along Oak Crest Drive will be available for approximately 25 cars. More details at

Posted 9/2/16: In April 2016, the City of Westlake Village City Council approved a plan to design and construct a dog park on a 1.19 acre city-owned parcel at the southwest corner of Oak Crest Drive and Agoura Road.

Oak Crest Drive and Agoura Road actually happens twice. This intersection is the one closer to Lindero Canyon (the other one is at City Hall).

Dog park is slated to go in at the southwest corner of Agoura Road and Oak Creek Drive in 2017.

Dog park is slated to go in at the southwest corner of Agoura Road and Oak Creek Drive in 2017.

The plan is for a 14,160 sq ft small dog area and 18,120 sq ft large dog area with separate entrances. Other features include natural turf, pet washing stations, seating, drinking fountains, trash and pet waste receptacles and security lighting.

The total budget is $830,300 and the project is scheduled to begin in February 2017.

You Never Go Wrong With a Costco Hot Dog

Six years later (January 2017) and the Costco Hot Dog and drink is still just $1.50.

Originally Published February 24, 2011

For $1.50 I enjoy the simple enjoyment of a Costco hot dog and a soft drink. It is always a bargain, and for another $1, I love the huge churros that they offer, washed down with a $1.50 berry smoothie. Since I usually eat pretty healthy, this occasional splurge causes me no feelings of guilt.

This is one big hot dog, and the buns are always fresh, wrapped the same way they serve them at Dodger Stadium. And around the corner there is mustard, ketchup (ycchh, I'm hoping the ketchup is limited to kids' hot dogs under age 10), relish and onions.  I love the onion know, the one where you turn a crank and the chopped onions barrel out on top of the hot dog.

Ah yes, to live life to its fullest, one must stop by and dine on one of those $1.50 hot dog/soda combos at Costco.