Ventura County 2-1-1 for Human Service Programs

Ventura County 2-1-1 provides a quick, easy, free and confidential way to obtain information and local referrals for these types of services:

  • Basic human needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and other support

  • Physical and mental health resources, including intervention services, crisis counseling, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and health insurance programs

  • Employment support, including unemployment assistance, job training, education assistance, transportation help, etc.

  • Support for elderly and disabled individuals, such as convalescent care, home health care, meal services and transportation services

  • Children, youth and family support, including childcare, after school programs, family resource centers, mentoring, recreation, tutoring, protective services, etc.

  • Volunteer opportunities and donations

Ventura County was the first county in California to launch 2-1-1 service on February 11, 2005.  The Ventura County 2-1-1 service is staffed 24 hours a day and is managed by Interface Children & Family Services with the support of the Ventura County United Way and First 5 Ventura County. Additional support is received from the County of Ventura, the County of Ventura Health Care Agency, the County of Ventura Human Services Agency, and the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Ojai and Thousand Oaks.

For more information about 2-1-1, visit www.211ventura.org.

Identify Local Sex Offenders Using California Megan's Law Website

MegansLaw.jpg

California was the first state in the nation to initiate a Sex Offender Tracking Program in 1947, but until 1996, when California Megan's Law (CML) was initiated, information about sex offenders was not publicly available. 

Megan's Law is named after seven year old New Jersey girl Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a known molester who lived across the street from her family. All states now have a form of Megan's Law. On September 24, 2004, AB 488 was signed into law in California, providing the public Internet access to sex offender information at www.meganslaw.ca.gov.

This is a website that deserves a look, particularly by anyone who is a parent. While the website is not meant to "punish" sex offenders, it is a useful awareness tool. The search engine on the site allows you to search by name, address, city, zip and county, as well as within a two mile radius of parks and schools. You can also review the results of your search in both map and listing format.

Within seconds you can identify the 860 (as of April 2018) registered sex offenders in Ventura County, including photos, names, vital stats like date of birth, height and weight, their offenses and, where applicable, their addresses.

The information in the CML database is not always up to date for each individual. The severity of the offenses for each individual vary from the more violent (rape, battery) to statutory rape, indecent exposure, etc.

How to Change Background Themes In the New Firefox Quantum

For over a decade I've been a Firefox user but in recent years my Web browser usage has migrated more towards Google Chrome because Firefox has slowed and consumed too much memory. I frequently had to close and restart Firefox as it slowed and/or froze so frequently.

Today when I turned on my computer, Firefox installed version 57.0, Firefox Quantum. Mozilla says that it is better, faster and uses less memory! GOOD! They also say it is 30% "lighter" than Chrome, which alludes to memory usage. GREAT!

Hoping for the best with this new Firefox update! But one thing annoyed me when it first opened on my screen. The tabs were dark with white font. I don't like that. I right-clicked and messed around, hoping to change it back to the light background I was used to, to no avail. I searched the Web for answers and couldn't find anything quickly for mere mortals like myself.

Then I happened upon the quite simple answer and screenshotted it for those, like me, who aren't fans of change when forced upon us.

Here's the annoying (to me in any case) browser tabs and menu that came with the new Firefox Quantum. How to change it? Click the menu item and scroll to Customize.

Here's the annoying (to me in any case) browser tabs and menu that came with the new Firefox Quantum. How to change it? Click the menu item and scroll to Customize.

In the Customize menu screen, click Themes.

In the Customize menu screen, click Themes.

Then you will see the background Themes that came with Firefox Quantum. I changed it from the Default Theme to the Light Theme and, wallah, my issue was gone. There are plenty of other Themes out there by clicking Get More Themes. Not me, though. I like it simple.

Then you will see the background Themes that came with Firefox Quantum. I changed it from the Default Theme to the Light Theme and, wallah, my issue was gone. There are plenty of other Themes out there by clicking Get More Themes. Not me, though. I like it simple.

Firefox color scheme is back to the same ole boring look I've used for years. YES!

Firefox color scheme is back to the same ole boring look I've used for years. YES!

Seat Belt Scare on Father's Day 2011 - Keep a Sharp Object in Your Car

Note: This was originally posted on July 13, 2011 but since several commenters have experienced the same issue with seat belts that will not retract, I am moving this front and center once again. Please be extra cautious with kids and seat belts.

Father's Day was outstanding for me and my family. Family lunch in Ojai and bicyling in Ventura. But something happened that could have made this the worst day of my life.

 

After we finished riding bicycles and playing around at the beach we came back to the car. My wife asked if she could buy something with my older son as my 5 year old, teenage stepson and I waited in the car. We were pretty tired from the day's activities.

Within 15 minutes my 5 year old started doing what 5 year olds do. Goof off. Play aro

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What to Do When Someone Appears Suicidal on Facebook

Someone connected to me as a friend in Facebook posted a single word on her page tonight. The word was "Suicide."

The actual post

The actual post

To be honest I don't recall why this person connected with me as I don't remember her from high school decades ago. But I am connected with her and, like others, her post caused me concern. I couldn't ignore it.

The first 10 or so comments were pleas to her. "Can I help?" "Are you ok?" "??" "What's going on?" "We're all concerned" "Where are you?"

There was no response from the woman and the comments changed: "Can somebody message her daughter?" "Has anyone contacted her?" "Do you know her?" "I tried messaging her" "Her voicemail is full"

I took it upon myself to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to ask for advice. The problem was that no one really knows where this person is.

After about a minute, I spoke with someone on the Hotline and she indicated in this situation, that Facebook has a "Report Suicidal Content" function at www.facebook.com/help/contact/305410456169423 that allows users to report direct threats of suicide. I did so. As did others.

Facebook's response was "Thanks for reporting this to us. We take these situations very seriously. We'll review the information you provided and may contact the appropriate authorities to follow up on this matter. If you encounter a direct threat of suicide on Facebook, you should contact your local law enforcement or suicide prevention agency right away. If possible, you should also encourage the person who posted the content to contact their local suicide prevention agency. Please rest assured that these reports are kept confidential."

Thankfully one of the individual's friends knew the address she had moved to and contacted law enforcement. An officer is currently checking on her. No word as of yet.

As a product of the pre-smartphone days, I find it maddening to see messages like "I texted her" "I messaged her" " I sent a friend request to her daughter" etc.  Sometimes you just have to get on the phone and call. And that's what one of her friends did.

But the good news if Facebook has provided a platform for several dozen friends of this woman to work together in real time, share information and take an action.

Top Hiring Employers in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas in Mid-May 2017

According to the State of California Employment Development Department, the preliminary estimated unemployment rate in Ventura County was 4.6% in March 2017, down from 4.7% in February 2017 and 5.2% in March 2016. The rate was 5.7% in March 2015, 7.1% in March 2014, 7.9% in March 2013 and 9.4% in March 2012. So in 5 years the unemployment rate in Ventura County has dropped by over 50%.

There are currently an estimated 20,000 folks looking for work in Ventura County out of a labor force of 433,100. Let's take a look at local employers in Ventura County and adjacent areas with the highest number of posted job openings as of mid-May 2017.

CLICK HERE FOR OVER 300 LOCAL AREA EMPLOYER JOB LISTINGS

City of Oxnard - 24 jobs www.governmentjobs.com/careers/cityofoxnard

Community Memorial Hospital - 66 jobs www.cmhshealth.org/careers/job_search.shtml

County of Santa Barbara - 27 jobs www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sbcounty

County of Ventura - 48 jobs www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ventura

Deckers Outdoors - 29 Goleta jobs www.governmentjobs.com/careers/sbcounty

Farmers Group - 75 Woodland Hills jobs www.farmers.com/careers

Guitar Center - 35 Westlake Village jobs www.guitarcenter.com/pages/careers

Los Robles Medical Center - 63 Thousand Oaks jobs losrobleshospital.com/careers/search.dot

Medtronic - 44 Northridge jobs www.medtronic.com/us-en/about/careers.html

Orbital ATK - 27 Goleta, Northridge jobs careers.orbitalatk.com/res_joblist.html

Procore - 62 Carpinteria jobs www.procore.com/jobs/openings.php

Oxnard School District - 33 jobs www.oxnardsd.org/pages/Oxnard_School_District/Departments/Human_Resources

PennyMac - 39 Moorpark, Agoura jobs www.pennymacusa.com/careers.php

Pepperdine - 38 Malibu staff jobs jobs.pepperdine.edu/cw/en/listing

Raytheon - 75 Goleta jobs jobs.raytheon.com

Regal Medical Group - Over 50 SF Valley jobs www.regalmed.com/regalcareers.cfm?rc=car 

Sage Publications - 30 Thousand Oaks jobs  www.sagepublications.com/careers

Simi Valley Hospital - 38 jobs www.simivalleyhospital.com/career/jobs.php

Skyworks Solutions - 28 Newbury Park jobs careers.skyworksinc.com

Sonos - 39 Santa Barbara jobs careers.sonos.com

Dignity Health (St. John's) - over 100 local jobs www.dignityhealthcareers.org/careers/Search-Jobs/index.php

Engility - 37 Ventura County jobs careers-engility.icims.com/jobs/intro?hashed=0

The Trade Desk - 24 Ventura jobs thetradedesk.com/join-us/open-positions

Ventura County Community Colleges - 103 jobs www.governmentjobs.com/careers/vcccd

Viking Cruises - 20 Woodland Hills jobs www.vikingcruises.com/about-us/careers.html

Yardi - 26 Santa Barbara jobs www.yardi.com/US/CareerOpportunities.aspx

Aerovironment - 51 Simi Valley jobs www.avinc.com/careers/jobs/category/simi_valley

Amgen - 171 Thousand Oaks jobs careers.amgen.com

Bank of America - 135 local area jobs careers.bankofamerica.com/us

Blackline Systems - 29 Woodland Hills jobs www.blackline.com/careers/positions

BrightView (formerly ValleyCrest) - Over 20 local area jobs jobs.brightview.com

Centene (formerly HealthNet) - Over 100 Woodland Hills jobs www.centene.com/careers/search-jobs

Child Care Resource Center - 33 SF Valley jobs www.ccrcca.org/about/work-at-ccrc

Goodwill Industries - over 20 Ventura County jobs www.goodwillvsb.org/index.php/join-our-team

You Will Be Amazed By How Much Google Knows About You on the Google "My Activity" Page

If you use an Android phone, YouTube, Google Search, Google Maps and other Google products, chances are Google has more data on you than you could imagine on "Google My Activity."

Google knows what searches you've done, websites you're visited, YouTube videos you've watched, what you've voice searched for and where you've been (if you use an Android phone).

Let's take a closer look at myactivity.google.com

Today I was at the local vernal pond at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa with my son to look at the tadpoles and frogs. My son found saw a group of tadpoles acting out The Walking Dead by apparently feasting on a dead tadpole. At his urging, I pulled out my phone and tapped the Google Voice Search icon and said "do tadpoles eat other tadpoles." And sure enough, My Activity showed that I did search for it and provided a recording of my query.

Now if you forget where you were some day and are looking for a reminder, My Activity can help you with that too. Simply click Other Google Activity then under Location History click Visit Timeline. I clicked this and "today" and saw a map of everywhere I went today while carrying my phone. Kind of creepy actually. But also potentially useful...where was I on Christmas Day 2015? Searching My Activity turned up the fact that we were actually in the Florida Keys.

Searching Location History under Other google Activity reminded me that I was in the Florida Keys on Christmas Day 2015. Google My Activity is a great memory jogger!

Searching Location History under Other google Activity reminded me that I was in the Florida Keys on Christmas Day 2015. Google My Activity is a great memory jogger!

I took a look at activity prior to January 1, 2015 to see what Google had on me and it showed all my YouTube activity, including searches and videos watched.

Some folks may get a grin out of reviewing their activity. I apparently was helping my kid with geometry homework on April 13, 2016:

So the good news is that if you don't want Google stockpiling all of this data you can do something about it. Click "Activity controls" where you can manage the tracking of your web and app activity, location history, device information, voice and audio activity and YouTube search history You can also go to "Delete activity by" and remove any or all of what has been recorded.