Fireworks Hill in Thousand Oaks Has Hosted the City's Fireworks Show for Decades

So called "Fireworks Hill" is located in the center of Thousand Oaks, enveloped by McCloud Avenue on the northwest, St. Charles Drive on the northeast, Wilbur Road on the east, Marin Street on the south and Hillcrest Drive on the southeast.

The hill is passed by tens of thousands of commuters each day as it can clearly be seen from the 101. 

For decades, the annual City of Thousand Oaks 4th of July Fireworks have been launched from this hill, a 27 acre parcel that was acquired by the City of Thousand Oaks in 1994. According to an April 7, 1994 Los Angeles Times article, the top of the hill was graded three decades prior.

According to minutes from the April 5, 1994 City Council meeting, city council voted by a 3 to 2 vote to acquire the property from the Robert A. Franklyn Estate for $540,000, plus $5,000 in estimated escrow closing costs.

While the general public is not given access to Fireworks Hill on the 4th of July, the fireworks launched from this site can be seen from quite a large radius in the surrounding area. Here's to a great Independence Day!

Independence Day events and activities throughout Ventura County

Fireworks Hill shown here in early January 2016, when three were snow capped peaks in the background.

Fireworks Hill shown here in early January 2016, when three were snow capped peaks in the background.

Filmed at Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, "The Biggest Little Farm" Documentary Is a Must See

My kids had no idea what the film was about. I had heard good things about “The Biggest Little Farm,” and on a hot Sunday afternoon we headed over to the Regency Westlake Village to catch the 1 pm screening.

The Biggest Little Farm is a documentary that follows the dreams of John and Molly Chester and their dog, Todd., as they achieve their dream of creating a certified biodynamic farm. This farm happens to be Apricot Lane Farms, located right here in Moorpark (10700 Broadway Road).

Prior to pursuing the farm, Molly was a private chef and food blogger, while John was a career documentary filmmaker.

The film was truly an engaging tale of how these farmers found the inspiration to create their dream, enlist the help of many others - investors and support team - build the farm and sustain it, encounter numerous obstacles and challenges, and find creative solutions to these challenges.

It was a wonderful film to bring the kids to see. The film brought a lump to my throat many a time. The farm animals played a large part in the film and led us through emotions of joy to sadness, cheerfulness and grief. The story flowed nicely and the hour and a half brought not a dull moment.

While most of us would never entertain the thought of opening a farm, the lessons of perseverance and finding clever solutions in the film is of value to all. I’m glad I brought my teenage sons to the film.

Visit www.thebiggestlittlefarmmovie.com for showtimes at local theaters. Highly recommended!

Learn more about Apricot Lane Farms at www.apricotlanefarms.com. Their produce, meat, eggs and products are available at the Thousand Oaks Farmers’ Market and Calabasas Farmers’ Market, as well as at the Erewhon store in Calabasas.

Annual Hay Bale Sighting in Hidden Valley

Every year in the May/June time frame we are greeted by this display of hay bales on the farms lining Potrero Road in Hidden Valley. This annual sight reminds us that we are about to enter the summer months.

SWIMMING AND WATER PLAY IN VENTURA COUNTY

LOCAL AREA BEACHES IN MALIBU TO CARPINTERIA

SUMMER FAMILY MOVIES IN VENTURA COUNTY

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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.

Hillside Letters in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County

There are over 500 hillside letters, or “mountain monograms,” in the United States, including 81 in California. What are hillside letters, you ask. They are simply large single letters, abbreviations and sometimes even messages erected on a hillside, usually by a school or town.

The Big “C” overlooking UC Berkeley (From Wikipedia; public domain)

The Big “C” overlooking UC Berkeley (From Wikipedia; public domain)

One well known hillside letter is a giant concrete block letter “C” built in the hills overlooking UC Berkeley that was constructed on March 23, 1905.

We have our share of hillside letters here in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County, some of which you may be aware of…others, perhaps not.

The mountain monograms visible in our neck of the wood include:

The letters CLU on Mt. Clef Ridge above Cal Lutheran University are maintained by students.

Hilltop A overlooking Agoura High School up a steep hill. Made out of wood, I believe.

Here is a view of the letter VC north of Ventura College in late April 2019.

Here is a view of the letter VC north of Ventura College in late April 2019.

If you drive north up Catalina Street, west of Ventura High School, you will be able to see this letter V on the hillside.

The letter F is located in the hills west of Fillmore and is quite easy to see.

This letters SP letters in the hills south of Santa Paula is cleared brush. They originated originated in 1922. More information on THIS PAGE.

Happy Face Hill in Simi Valley is not a mountain monogram but is perhaps the visible hillside attraction throughout Ventura County.

Point Mugu, Mugu Rock, Sycamore Cove Beach Featured in 2018 Russell Dickerson "Blue Tacoma" Video

It was pointed out on the CVG Facebook Page that Mugu Rock was prominently featured in the 2018 music video by country music singer Russell Dickerson “Blue Tacoma.” That indeed is the case. The song is the second single from his 2017 debut album Yours.

But there’s more than just the majestic Mugu Rock in this 3 1/2 minute video. I see the beach adjacent to Mugu Rock, Sycamore Cove Beach in the nighttime campfire scene and even Hueneme Beach Park in the eating-Chinese-food-out-of-the-cartons-on-the-beach-with-red-wine-in-plastic-blue-cups scene at 48 second into the video.

One last observation. The lyrics start with “Wheels rolling on an old Toyota. Twist top on a Sunkist soda.” For the record, the Toyota Tacoma in the video looked like a pretty late model to me. Not old at all. In the car’s cupholder appeared to be an iced coffee. No signs of a Sunkist soda.

Sycamore Cove Beach

Sycamore Cove Beach

Adjacent (southeast) to Mugu Rock.

Adjacent (southeast) to Mugu Rock.

This image was taken a number of years ago at a sand sculpture contest at the Hueneme Beach Festival, when they still held the festival.  Notice the palm trees in the background compared to the Chinese food eating on the beach scene at 48 seconds into the video.

This image was taken a number of years ago at a sand sculpture contest at the Hueneme Beach Festival, when they still held the festival. Notice the palm trees in the background compared to the Chinese food eating on the beach scene at 48 seconds into the video.