Natural Gas Flame North of La Conchita in Ventura County

Here are some views of the flame burning just north of the 101 near La Conchita. Taken from La Conchita Beach. You can often see the flame while approaching La Conchita from the southbound 101. The flame is derived from natural gas waste matter from oil drilling in the area. La Conchita Beach can be accessed via an undercrossing under the 101 from La Conchita or from Mussel Shoals on the rough or Rincon Point (via the La Conchita Bike Path).

Local area beaches in Ventura to Carpinteria

("Eternal Flame" cover by Eraina Joy.)

Birthday Party Places In and Around Ventura County

Trying to figure out what to do for your kids' birthday parties in and around Ventura County? We've got you covered with this compilation of over 150 birthday party options in and around Ventura County, spanning from Ventura to Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Westlake Village, Newbury Park and surrounding areas. We have categorized venue by "type" as best we can.  Contact us if you have something to add!

How Bills Become Law in the California State Legislature

The California State Legislature is made up of two houses: the 40 member Senate and the 80 member Assembly, representing the people of the State of California.

All legislation begins as an idea or concept. Ideas and concepts can come from a variety of sources. The legislative process begins when a Senator or Assembly Member decides to author a bill.

A Legislator sends the idea for the bill to the Legislative Counsel where it is drafted into the actual bill. The draft of the bill is returned to the Legislator for introduction to the Senate or the Assembly.

A bill is introduced or read the first time when the bill number, the name of the author, and the descriptive title of the bill is read on the floor of the house. No bill may be acted upon until 30 days has passed from the date of its introduction.

The bill then goes to the Rules Committee of the house of origin where it is assigned to the appropriate policy committee for its first hearing. Bills are assigned to policy committees according to subject area of the bill. For example, a Senate bill dealing with health care facilities would first be assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for policy review. Bills that require the expenditure of funds must also be heard in the fiscal committees: Senate Appropriations or Assembly Appropriations. Each house has a number of policy committees and a fiscal committee. Each committee is made up of a specified number of Senators or Assembly Members.

During the committee hearing the author presents the bill to the committee and testimony can be heard in support of or opposition to the bill. The committee then votes by passing the bill, passing the bill as amended, or defeating the bill. Bills can be amended several times. Letters of support or opposition are important and should be mailed to the author and committee members before the bill is scheduled to be heard in committee. It takes a majority vote of the full committee membership for a bill to be passed by the committee.

Each house maintains a schedule of legislative committee hearings. Prior to a bill's hearing, a bill analysis is prepared that explains current law, what the bill is intended to do, and some background information. Typically the analysis also lists organizations that support or oppose the bill.

Bills passed by committees are read a second time on the floor in the house of origin and then assigned to third reading. Bill analyses are also prepared prior to third reading. When a bill is read the third time it is explained by the author, discussed by the Members and voted on by a roll call vote. Bills that require an appropriation or that take effect immediately, generally require 27 votes in the Senate and 54 votes in the Assembly to be passed. Other bills generally require 21 votes in the Senate and 41 votes in the Assembly. If a bill is defeated, the Member may seek reconsideration and another vote.

Once the bill has been approved by the house of origin it proceeds to the other house, where the procedure is repeated.

If a bill is amended in the second house, it must go back to the house of origin for concurrence, which is agreement on the amendments. If agreement cannot be reached, the bill is referred to a two house conference committee to resolve differences. Three members of the committee are from the Senate and three are from the Assembly. If a compromise is reached, the bill is returned to both houses for a vote.

If both houses approve a bill, it then goes to the Governor. The Governor has three choices. The Governor can sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without his or her signature, or veto it. A governor's veto can be overridden by a two thirds vote in both houses. Most bills go into effect on the first day of January of the next year. Urgency measures take effect immediately after they are signed or allowed to become law without signature.

Bills that are passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor are assigned a chapter number by the Secretary of State. These Chaptered Bills (also referred to as Statutes of the year they were enacted) then become part of the California Codes. The California Codes are a comprehensive collection of laws grouped by subject matter.

Undercrossing From La Conchita to La Conchita Beach in Ventura County

La Conchita Beach is a pleasant, sparsely occupied mile or so long strip of pristine beach sandwiched between Mussel Shoals and Rincon Beach. There's no parking or facilities. To get there, your options are to ride or walk in from Rincon Beach or find a spot in La Conchita and take this tunnel that takes you from Surfside St in La Conchita to the beach. Or you can park in one of the few available spots on Old Pacific Coast Highway in Mussel Shoals (same street the Cliff House Inn is located on.)

Fun to explore around here on this beautiful beach. I can see why residents of this community, which has been devastated by landslides several times over the years, stay in this unique location paralleling the 101 and the Pacific Ocean. Ventura and Carpinteria area beaches compiled at THIS LINK.

Murals at the South End of Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, Labor Day 2019

Labor Day 2019 was actually my first time at the far south end of Silver Strand Beach, south of the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. I ran there from the Harbor via Victoria Avenue down to the end of Ocean Drive, where it dead ends at Sawtelle Avenue.


On the other side of this wall is a park dedicated to the 500 foot La Jenelle shipwreck here in April 1970. Portions of the ship remain, filled with rocks, as part of a jetty there at the south end of Silver Strand. La Jenelle Park lies on the other side of the wall and fence.

September 2 (Labor Day 2019) will be a day of mourning in the local area, as it was the day that 34 people lost their lives aboard the Conception off the coast of Santa Cruz Island.after a fire broke out on the ship around 3 in the morning. Five crew members escaped. The Conception was chartered for a 3-day scuba diving voyage.

U.S. National Park Service Free Entrance Days


There are over 400 national parks covering over 84 million acres throughout the United States and its territories.  The majority of these parks do not charge entrance fees (though parking fees often apply). As for the 124 national parks that do have entrance fees, there are a number of designated "fee free" days each year.

Here are the National Park Service Free Entrance Days in 2019:

  • January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

  • April 20 (First Day of National Park Week)

  • August 25 (National Park Service Birthday)

  • September 28 (National Public Lands Day)

  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

The parks that normally charge a fee that are free on the above dates are listed at California parks in this category include:

Plenty of other amazing national treasures are on this list, like Grand Canyon National Park.

And of course there are two national parks in Ventura County that are always worth exploring:

For more information about the National Park Service, visit

Daylight Saving Time Ends on the First Sunday of November


Daylight Saving Time ends on the first Sunday of November each year in the U.S. (with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii). In 2019, that will be Sunday, November 3rd at 2 a.m.

At 1:59:59 a.m. on that Sunday, your clocks will revert back to 1 a.m. Yes! FALL BACK!! An extra hour of sleep!

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave us an extra month of DST by starting DST 3 weeks earlier and ending it one week later.

For my more precise readers, it is officially called Daylight Saving (not Savings) Time. So if you want to annoy your friends, correct them any time they call it Daylight SavingS time.

Also as one website I found mentioned, Daylight Saving Time is technically inaccurate, since we don't really gain daylight. It would more appropriately be called Daylight Shifting Time but I don't see that being a high priority initiative.

Falling back is probably my favorite day of the year as I thoroughly enjoy the gift of an extra hour. I despise the Daylight Saving Time transition and rant about it here.