The Number of Registered Voters in Ventura County Has Increased Nearly 10% Over the Last Seven Years

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The Ventura County Registrar of Voters website has up to date counts of the number of registered voters in Ventura County. We like to track the totals from time to time to see the trends.

On May 12, 2012, there were 406,644 registered voters in Ventura County, consisting of:

  • 157,539 Democrats

  • 150,919 Republicans

  • 77,994 Nonpartisans

  • 20,192 Other

Approximately seven years later, in May 2019, there are 445,217 registered voters, a 9.5% increase, including:

  • 176,712 Democrats, a 12% increase

  • 130,228 Republicans, a 14% decrease

  • 110,225 Nonpartisans, a whopping 41% increase

  • 28,052 Other, also a large 39% increase

Can’t remember if you are eligible to vote? Look it up at THIS LINK. What I’ve found with this Voter Eligibility Search function is that, unlike a search engine, your search terms have to be precise. If you are registered as Richard King, if you type Rich King into the search, it will not find you.

Register to vote online at registertovote.ca.gov.

Katy Perry's Latest Single "Never Really Over" Filmed at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas

Katy Perry announced her new single, “Never Really Over,” yesterday at katyperry.com. Those of us that live here in the Conejo Valley and nearby areas in Ventura County may recognize the surrounding in that video.

Yes, this video was filmed at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas. This 588 acre gem in the Santa Monica Mountains is maintained by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority. The property was owned and developed by razor blade kingpin King C. Gillette. Also located here is the Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center - believe it or not, in what was formerly the horse stable for the Gillette Mansion.

Screenshot from video shows the entrance to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas.

Screenshot from video shows the entrance to King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas.

King Gillette Ranch entrance on a recent spring day.

King Gillette Ranch entrance on a recent spring day.

Another snapshot from the video shows the actual Gillette mansion in the background, situated on King Gillette Ranch.

Another snapshot from the video shows the actual Gillette mansion in the background, situated on King Gillette Ranch.

A similar view from the expansive, beautiful lawn at King Gillette Ranch.

A similar view from the expansive, beautiful lawn at King Gillette Ranch.

National Park Service Contingency Plan During Federal Government Shutdown

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With our Federal government once again in "shutdown" mode for the last several days. each government agency put together contingency plans for operations in the absence of appropriations.

The National Park Service (NPS) was created on August 25, 1916 by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. As of 2018, the NPS maintains 418 properties, including 60 protected national parks (which includes our local Channel Islands National Park). 

According to the National Park Service Contingency Plan:

  • Parks will suspend all activities and secure facilities that operate using lapsed appropriations, except those essential to respond to emergencies.

  • Visitor services are suspended, including restrooms, trash collection, campgrounds, permits, public information, etc. (Regarding campgrounds, NPS notes that visitors will not be asked to leave but are advised that there are no services during a shutdown, including check-in/check-out services, and ensuring availability of sites upon arrival.)

  • Visitor centers, like the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center at Channel Islands National Park, are closed.

  • Special events hosted by the National Park Service are cancelled.

  • Park websites and social media will not be maintained.

For more information about shutdown contingency plans, visit the U.S. Department of the Interior website at www.doi.gov/shutdown.

Boy Scouts of America Launches "Scout Me In" Campaign for Boys and Girls

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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently unveiled the new Scout Me In campaign that features girls, as well as boys, in its iconic Cub Scout program for the first time. Starting this summer, all kids are invited to say, “Scout Me In,” as they join the fun, adventure and character-building opportunities found in Cub Scouts. 

The Scout Me In campaign celebrates the BSA’s expansion to serve families and welcome girls and boys into Scouting in communities across the country. It reinforces that the mission and core values in the Scout Oath and Scout Law are welcoming, inclusive and foundational for both young men and women. Since announcing the BSA’s historic decision to welcome girls into Scouting, more than 3,000 girls across the nation have already enrolled in the BSA’s Early Adopter Program and are participating in Cub Scouts ahead of the full launch later this year.

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

Visit the Boy Scouts of America Ventura County Council website at www.vccbsa.org.

U.S. Adults with College Degrees More Likely to Be Married Than Non-Degreed Adults

The Pew Research Center recently published an report of the education gap in marital status in the United States. Here are some highlights of the study:

  • Overall, approximately 50% of adults are married today, down from 59% 25 years ago and 72% in 1960. That said, the rate has been fairly stable at 50% in recent years.
  • Marriage rates are down because the median age for first marriage has increased by 7 years since 1960 and there's a higher proportion of never married Americans as well adults living with a partner instead of a spouse.
  • Marriage rates vary quite a bit based on level of education. In 2015, 65% of adults 25+ with a four year college degree were married, compared to 55% with some college and 50% who did not attend any college.
  • Marriage rates have always varied by race and ethnicity. As of 2015, marriage rates for 18+ adults were 54% of whites, 61% of Asians, 46% of Hispanics and 30% of blacks. Pew noted that this marriage gap has been existed for many years.

So bottom line is, you're more likely to be married if you have a college degree. Read more at this link.

And if you ARE looking to tie the knot for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or beyond time, there's a compilation of over 170 local venues throughout Ventura County, stretching to Santa Barbara and Malibu at THIS LINK.

How Are Tropical Storms Named?

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With all of the terrible news stemming from tropical storm Harvey in Texas and now Irma in Florida, there's been banter in my household regarding where these names came from, who names them, why we name storms, and so on.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains lists of names used for each of ten different tropical cyclone basins around the world. There is an international committee that maintains lists of names in each basin. Each region has its own set of naming rules. 

When are names assigned to storms? Once the storm produces sustained wind speeds of over 33 knots, or 38 miles per hour.

The storms impacting Texas and Florida are in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic basin. The naming convention in this basin has six lists of names that are used in rotation. As such, the 2017 list of names, which started with Arlene and ends with Whitney, will be used again in 2023.

When a storm is particularly deadly or costly, the name is retired. In addition to Katrina in 2005, Sandy in 2012 and Harvey in 2017, a whole host of other names have been "retired" since 1954. Carol, Janet, Audrey, Donna, Agnes, Gloria, Hugo, Keith, Wilma, Felix, Ingrid, Matthew and dozens more names will no longer be used to name a tropical storm. See www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames_history.shtml for more retired names.

The names are alphabetized in the Atlantic basin but do not include names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z. Xavier, you're off the hook.

Atlantic tropical storms were originated by the National Hurricane Center starting in 1953. This was subsequently transitioned to the WMO.

From 1953 to 1978, only women's names were used. Men's names were introduced in 1979 and are alternated with women's names (but what about gender-neutral names like Pat - I dunno).

Why are names used? Because it makes it easier to get the word out to the public when a name is used.

How do they come up with the names? It is up to each committee but names are selected that are familiar to those who live in each region.

The 2018 list of cyclone names in the Atlantic region are: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie and William. Visit public.wmo.int/en/About-us/FAQs/faqs-tropical-cyclones/tropical-cyclone-naming to see the other names currently on deck.

Let's look at the Western North Pacific and South China Sea basin naming convention. There, each country contributes names, like Damrey (Cambodia), Fenshen (China), Meari (DPR Korea), Usagi (Japan) and so on.

The Reality Behind Amgen Telling Trump That the Company Will Hire 1,600 Workers in 2017

First I saw it in Facebook posts, then in all the major newspapers. Trump's Press Secretary Tweets out that Amgen's CEO indicates Amgen will be adding 1,600 jobs. An L.A. Times story followed up with Amgen that the company plans to hire 1,600 people in the U.S. this year, including both "new skills" folks and to replace folks that have left the company through attrition. Is this really newsworthy?

Let's take a closer look.

The key word here is "attrition." Every company has attrition, also known as turnover. People quit, get laid off, terminated, etc.  What is Amgen's attrition rate? This is not publicly known information, although a State of California Employee Training Panel issued a report showing a turnover rate of 11% in September 2015.

Let's be conservative (not in the political sense) and cut that by about a third, down to a rate of 8%. Amgen has roughly 12,000 U.S. employees out of 19,000 total. At 12,000 employees and an attrition rate of 8%, Amgen would have to hire nearly 1,000 people in the U.S. in 2016 just to replace existing jobs.

That hypothetically leaves about 600 "new" positions, which is great, but not particularly significant for a company of 18,000 employees. Don't get me wrong...it's wonderful that our local pride and joy is hiring. But this is not particularly worthy of major newspaper coverage and a special "Tweet" by the White House Press Secretary.

Amgen trends in headcount compared to revenue generated per employee from 2006 to 2016. (Source: Derived from Amgen Annual Report and 10-K)

Amgen trends in headcount compared to revenue generated per employee from 2006 to 2016. (Source: Derived from Amgen Annual Report and 10-K)

As you can see in the chart above, the trend does not appear to be a friend of jobs. While revenue has grown at a compound annual growth rate south of 5% over 11 years, total headcount has dropped by 4% in the aggregate. This has made Amgen a much more efficient company, at the expense of jobs. But that is typical for a company of Amgen's size to continue delivering value to shareholders - look to cost cutting to offset stagnating revenue growth in order to drive the bottom line.

Most large public companies go through this cycle...grow, grow, grow...stagnate...restructure. In 2014, Amgen announced a restructuring plan involving 3,500 to 4,000 staff reductions and consolidation of facilities in Washington, Colorado and Thousand Oaks.

In any case, it is great to see Amgen hiring. There are currently over 500 jobs listed worldwide for our local Fortune 500 resident in the Conejo Valley. Visit careers.amgen.com to learn more.

And for links to over 300 local employers throughout the Conejo Valley, Greater Ventura County and surrounding areas, visit THIS PAGE.

And on one last marginally related note, here is a compilation of the first sentence of Amgen's annual "Letter to Shareholders" from its CEO over the last 10 years. Maybe it's time to hire a more interesting writer! :) Let's see what the 2016 letter looks like** when published this coming March at investors.amgen.com. Exceptional, landmark, extraordinary, momentous and _____________. What will it be? President Trump might use "tremendous," "incredible" or perhaps, "yuuuuuge!"

** UPDATE: Amgen changed it up a bit with "For Amgen, 2016 was a strong year..."

  • 2015 was a momentous year for Amgen.
  • 2014 was an extraordinary year for Amgen--
  • 2013 was a landmark year for Amgen.
  • 2012 was an exceptional year for Amgen.
  • We're proud of what Amgen accomplished in 2011 - a solid year
  • 2010 was a year of challenges met and promises delivered...
  • In 2009, Amgen...weathered the most challenging economic environment in our 30-year history.
  • 2008 was a good year for Amgen...
  • 2007 was not the year we expected.
  • I am pleased to report that Amgen delivered excellent performance in 2006.