Stunning Orange Sunset the Night of Friday, December 14, 2018 from the Conejo Valley

‘Twas another beautiful evening in the Conejo Valley tonight, Friday, the 14th of December. Here are some shots of what the orange glowing sunset looked like from the Potrero Ridge Trail in Newbury Park.

The Twin Ponds Conservation Area in the Conejo Open Space is Protected Land

The Twin Ponds Conservation Area in the Dos Vientos section of Newbury Park is part of the public open space lands of the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency and is protected by a conservation easement to the California Department of Fish and Game.

 July 2014

July 2014

 January 2015

January 2015

 May 2016

May 2016

The ponds were originally constructed in the 1920s as part of the irrigation system for agricultural and cattle ranching operations at Dos Vientos Ranch. Today they serve as important habitat for Two Striped Garter Snakes and larger animals such as deer, bobcat, coyote and mountain lions that depend on a reliable source of water. Migrating waterfowl are occasionally abundant, especially in winter.

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COSCA and Fish & Game ask that we enjoy this scenic area but protect the ponds for the future and ask that we do not enter the water or allow dogs/horses to enter the water, disturb or remove any animal or plant or place any plants or animals, including fish, into the ponds.

To explore the ponds, take the Vista Del Mar Trail from one of several access points in the Dos Vientos area, including the corner of Via Ricardo and Via Rincon and the corner of Rancho Dos Vientos and Via El Cerro. This is a fun little hike to take the kids on and the ponds are only about a mile from the Via Ricardo/Via Rincon trailhead.

 Twin Ponds? What ponds? The ponds are completely dried up as of August/September 2016.

Twin Ponds? What ponds? The ponds are completely dried up as of August/September 2016.

The Corriganville Movie Ranch Site in Simi Valley is a Ventura County Historical Landmark

NOTE: Corriganville was severely burned in the Woolsey Fire of November 2018 and is currently closed. For updates, visit www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/parks/corriganville_park.php.

The Corriganville Movie Ranch Site in Simi Valley was designated a historical point of interest by the Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board in January 1982, then subsequently was redesignated as a historical landmark in August 1995.

Corriganville was a 1,500 acre piece of land in Simi Valley purchased by western film star Ray “Crash” Corrigan in 1937. The site was a working movie ranch for nearly three decades, and was used in the making of roughly 3,500 western films and television series such as Fort Apache, The Lone Ranger, and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Actors like John Wayne, Gene Autry, Johnny Weissmuller, Tex Ritter, Joel McCrea, Dale Evans and so many others filmed movies here.

 Corriganville today...the ranch burned down in the 1970s, leaving just these cement slabs and exterior walls.

Corriganville today...the ranch burned down in the 1970s, leaving just these cement slabs and exterior walls.

In 1949, the ranch opened to the public as “Corriganville,” a western themed amusement park. The ranch was later purchased by Bob Hope in 1965, deeming the ranch its alternative name, Hopetown. The ranch burned down in the 1970s and all that is left are the cement slabs and exterior rock walls of the barn. 

 View of Corriganville Park from a trail on the east side of the park. The trail takes you up to 118 Freeway and a wildlife corridor tunnel that takes you under the freeway into Rocky Peak Park.

View of Corriganville Park from a trail on the east side of the park. The trail takes you up to 118 Freeway and a wildlife corridor tunnel that takes you under the freeway into Rocky Peak Park.

In 1988, 190 acres of the original ranch was purchased by the City of Simi Valley and is now managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. Corriganville Park is located at 1601 Kuehner Drive, Simi Valley and is open to the public for hiking, walking and exploring. For a detailed compilation of historical aspects of the site, visit www.corriganville.net.

 A photo of the Corriganville Movie Ranch when it was an active movie set. Learn more about Corriganville and see a model of what it looked like in the 1960s at the nearby   Santa Susana Depot Museum  .

A photo of the Corriganville Movie Ranch when it was an active movie set. Learn more about Corriganville and see a model of what it looked like in the 1960s at the nearby Santa Susana Depot Museum.

Historic Structures Destroyed and Other Areas Burned by the Woolsey and Hill Wildfires in the Santa Monica Mountains

The Woolsey Fire of November 2018 has burned nearly 100,000 acres of land, including 20,839 of the 23,621 National Park Service (NPS) owned acreage within the boundary of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).

Other partners in management of the SMMNRA include California State Parks, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The Western Town at Paramount Ranch was destroyed. The only buildings left intact are the church building and train station. The NPS has announced “The Paramount Project” campaign to raise fund and rebuild Western Town in 24 months. Also destroyed was the residence of a park ranger. NOTE: PARAMOUNT RANCH WAS RE-OPENED TO THE PUBLIC ON 12/3/18.

 Farmer’s Exchange structure in the Western Town at Paramount Ranch

Farmer’s Exchange structure in the Western Town at Paramount Ranch

 The aftermath at Paramount Ranch’s Western Town.

The aftermath at Paramount Ranch’s Western Town.

The Morrison Ranch House in the Cheeseboro Canyon area of Agoura Hills, was destroyed. Rancher John Morrison and his family occupied this house in 1904 and lived and worked in the home for nearly 60 years. The original ranch house, modified over the years, dates back to the late 1800s. It is now gone.

 Morrison Ranch House one year ago - November 2017.

Morrison Ranch House one year ago - November 2017.

 Morrison Ranch House after the Woolsey Fire (Photo courtesy of Friends of Morrison Ranch House at  twitter.com/SantaMonicaMtns/status/1062025537927827456 )

Morrison Ranch House after the Woolsey Fire (Photo courtesy of Friends of Morrison Ranch House at twitter.com/SantaMonicaMtns/status/1062025537927827456)

Peter Strauss Ranch was decimated by the Woolsey Fire. The Rocky Oaks ranger residence and archives building were destroyed and Rocky Oaks park was just devastated; you can barely recognize it. The Arroyo Sequit ranger residence was destroyed.

The National Park Service’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area website at www.nps.gov/samo/index.htm will post updates.

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Other structures destroyed in the Santa Monica Mountains falling into lands maintained by other organizations include the M*A*S*H set at Malibu Creek State Park, the historic Sepulveda Adobe, Red House, White Oak Barn and Reagan Ranch. Malibu Creek State Park updates at www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614.

NOTE: THE TAPIA DAY-USE AREA WITHIN MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK WAS RE-OPENED ON 12/3/18. THE REST OF THE PARK REMAINS CLOSED.

Other California State Park properties impacted by the Woolsey and Hill Fires, include Leo Carrillo State Park (fire burned through the campground, the visitor center, sector office, employee residences, three lifeguard towers, Leo Shop structures, the Junior Lifeguard Complex and several restrooms) and El Matador Beach. www.parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/852

Also temporarily closed, but not on fire, include Point Mugu State Park, Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Point Dume State Beach, La Piedra and El Pescador Beaches and Topanga State Park.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority announced a number of parks it manages are closed as a result of the Woolsey Fire, including Escondido Canyon Park, Las Virgenes View Trail, Triunfo Creek Park, Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, Charmlee Wilderness Park, Zev Yaroslavsky Las Virgenes Highlands Park and others. (Updates at mrca.ca.gov/press/mountains-recreation-and-conservation-authority-issues-list-of-park-closures.) Amazingly, while much of Charmlee was burned, the structures survived.

On to Camarillo…Camarillo Grove Park sustained fire damage from the Hill Fire and is closed until further notice. Updates at www.pvrpd.org/parks/dog/grove.asp or 805.482.1996.

 MASH set at Malibu Creek Park in pre-Woolsey Fire days.

MASH set at Malibu Creek Park in pre-Woolsey Fire days.

 Reagan Ranch house in pre-Woolsey Fire days.

Reagan Ranch house in pre-Woolsey Fire days.

 Charmlee Wilderness Park entrance post-Woolsey Fire (Photo Credit: MRCA)

Charmlee Wilderness Park entrance post-Woolsey Fire (Photo Credit: MRCA)

 Charmlee entrance is greener, yet still dry, times.

Charmlee entrance is greener, yet still dry, times.

The replica Chumash Village at the Chumash Indian Museum / Oakbrook Regional Park was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire, which is so unfortunately as the place was just magical. However, most of the beautiful oak trees canopying the grounds were saves.

 Kristy’s Roadhouse Malibu and SIP Malibu at the corner of Kanan and Sierra Creek Road were destroyed by the Woolsey Fire.

Kristy’s Roadhouse Malibu and SIP Malibu at the corner of Kanan and Sierra Creek Road were destroyed by the Woolsey Fire.

Simi Valley and Oak Park: Update 12/7/18 - RSRPD indicates Challenger Park in Simi Valley and Eagle View Park in Oak Park remain closed. The public is asked to stay out of Corriganville Park, the Wood Ranch Trailhead open space and trails west of the Long Canyon Trail. Oak Canyon Community Park, including the dog park, are closed until further notice. Updates at rsrpd.org.

Calabasas: The Calabasas Bark Park at 4232 Las Virgenes Road is currently closed as a result of the Woolsey Fire.

Makeshift Memorial for Borderline Shooting Victims in Thousand Oaks

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This is a makeshift memorial for the Borderline Bar and Grill victims from the shooting on November 7th. It is located at the northeast corner of Moorpark Road and Rolling Oaks Drive.

There is a massive outpouring of support for the victims on display at this memorial, which was filmed here the morning of November 20th (subsequently some folks brought canopies to protect the memorial from anticipated rain on the 22nd - Thanksgiving Day).

Learn how to support the victims and their families at THIS LINK.

There is an extensive list of local fundraisers and tributes for Borderline victims and families on the Borderline Bar and Grill website at www.borderlinebarandgrill.com.

Sean Adler

Cody Coffman

Blake Dingman

Jake Dunham

Sgt. Ron Helus

Alaina Housley

Daniel Manrique

Justin Meek

Mark Meza Jr.

Kristina Morisette

Telemachus Orfanos

Noel Sparks

Letters of condolence are being accepted for the families of the victims listed above by the Thousand Oaks Police at 2101 East Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks.

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Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is Open to the Public the First Sunday of Each Month

The Santa Paula Airport was dedicated in August 1930. Today it is a non-towered facility with nearly 300 aircraft, handling approximately 97,000 arrivals/departures a year. Much of the original 1930’s-era facilities still exist and are used today, giving the airport a very authentic representation of the Golden Age of Aviation.

Located at the Santa Paula Airport, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the first Sunday of each month, with a array of hangars open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Upcoming dates: 12/2/18, 1/6/19, 2/3/19, 3/3/19, 4/7/19, 5/5/19, 6/2/19, 7/7/19, 8/4/19, 9/1/19, 10/6/19, 11/3/19, 12/1/19.

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Each of the privately owned hangars houses a variety of vintage aircraft and collections of various types, as well as other memorabilia, such as antique radios, model aircraft and race cars. Some hangars celebrate highlights of fascinating aviation careers, while others contain antique aircraft undergoing the process of restoration. Hangar owners or docents are available to answer questions. 

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You've got to take the time to stop by. It is fun, low key and quite interesting. The hangars are directly adjacent to the airfield, so you are guaranteed to see aircraft taking and landing up close. The range of items on display at the various hangars is quite diverse. In fact, one of the most extensive, well organized collections of vintage radios I've ever seen is located in one of the hangars.

 A look at just a few of the vintage radios currently on display in one hangar.

A look at just a few of the vintage radios currently on display in one hangar.

 Obviously an aviation aficionado in this hangar!

Obviously an aviation aficionado in this hangar!

The participating hangars are fairly well spread out at the 51 acre airport but if you're not up for walking, there's a complimentary tram that will take you around. These are some very nice people who have obvious passion for what they do and enjoy sharing it with the general public. I struck up several conversations with hangar owners and they were full of great stories and information.

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There is no charge for visiting the Aviation Museum, though donations are welcomed. Visit www.aviationmuseumofsantapaula.org or call 805.525.1109 for more information.

The Museum is not open on rainy days.

Directions: Arriving by car from the east, exit the Santa Paula Freeway (SR 126) at 10th street, turn right off the ramp, and then a quick left onto Harvard Boulevard. Turn left at the next signal at Eighth Street, under the freeway, left onto Santa Maria Street and park in the lot. Arriving from the west, exit the freeway at Palm Avenue, turn right and then a quick left onto Santa Maria Street, about a half mile to the end at the parking lot.

 Lots to see, both inside and outside of the hangars.

Lots to see, both inside and outside of the hangars.

L.A. Zoo Lights Holiday Light Display Runs From 11/16/18 to 1/6/19

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For the 5th year, the Los Angeles Zoo hosts LA Zoo Lights, a nightly holiday light display throughout a large section of the zoo. This jaw dropping display is sure to bring a smile to your face. There are lighted animals of all types, snowflake lane, twinkle tunnel, reindeer village, brightly lit monkeys all over the place and much more.

LA Zoo Lights will be held nightly, from November 16, 2018 to January 6, 2019, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.lazoolights.org. LA Zoo Lights is a rain-or-shine event.

But WAIT...discounted tickets available at bit.ly/LAZooLights2018 (affiliate link).

 Scene from LA Zoo Lights 2014

Scene from LA Zoo Lights 2014

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LA Zoo Lights will be held nightly, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from November 18, 2016 through January 8, 2017. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.lazoolights.org. LA Zoo Lights is a rain-or-shine event.