Key Dates Announced for June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election in Ventura County

Ventura County Clerk Recorder/Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn has announced key dates for the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election regarding candidate filing, nomination documents and Vote By Mail Ballots.

Candidates may submit signatures of registered voters in lieu of the filing fee. Signatures in-lieu of the filing fee may be obtained from the Ventura County Elections Division beginning Monday, January 4, 2016, for the following offices (subject to change):

Voter-Nominated: President/Vice President, United States Senator, United States Representative in Congress: 24th, 25th, 26th, and 30th Congressional Districts, Member of the State Senate: 19th and 27th State Senate, and Member of the State Assembly: 37th, 38th, 44th, and 45th Assembly Districts.

Nonpartisan: Judge of the Superior Court and Ventura County Board of Supervisors: 1st, 3rd, and 5th Supervisorial Districts.

Signatures in-lieu of filing fee for all offices, with the exception of the office of Judge of the Superior Court, must be filed at the Ventura County Elections Division by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Candidates for the office of Judge of the Superior Court must file their signatures by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

Official nomination documents for candidates may be obtained beginning Tuesday, February 16, 2016, as February 15, 2016 falls on a holiday, at the Ventura County Elections Division, Lower Plaza, Hall of Administration, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura. Official nomination documents must be filed with the Ventura County Elections Division by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016.

Information regarding filing for these offices and the filing fee amounts may be obtained by calling the Ventura County Elections Division at (805) 654-2664, or by visiting the Ventura County Elections Division website: www.venturavote.org.

Vote By Mail Ballots for the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election will be available beginning Monday, May 9, 2016 through May 31, 2016. Voter registration will close on Monday, May 23, 2016. Voter registration is available online at www.registertovote.ca.gov. Voters may also call the Elections Division to request a voter registration card be mailed to them.

Sweet Escapes In and Around Ventura County

  "Sweet Escape" by Chuck Trunks

"Sweet Escape" by Chuck Trunks

Looking for something to do around Ventura County but also looking for money missing from your wallet? Not to worry, there are plenty of escapes that won't cost you an arm and a leg around town. In fact, our mission in life here is to ensure you have hundreds of inexpensive, fun options in Ventura County and surrounding areas!

Free upcoming local events

Free things to do

Free kids' activities

Kids eat free deals

Get free food and stuff at Ventura County area eateries

That should get you started...but here's some more:

Family events

Upcoming 5K/10K events

Send your kids to a local summer camp

Go on a bike ride

Swimming and water play around Ventura County

Visit a local farmers' market

Go bowling

Throw a birthday party for your kid

Visit a museum

Not enough choices? Continue exploring Conejo Valley Guide and I can guarantee you'll find something fun to do.

Leaf Blower Guidelines in the City of Westlake Village

Yes, the City of Westlake Village has "recommended guidelines" for the operation of leaf blowers that was approved by the Westlake Village City Council on June 27, 2012.

The detailed Guidelines are available on the City's website at www.wlv.org but here are the highlights:

  1. Leaf blowers are only to be used between 7am and 4pm on weekdays and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays. Sundays and legal holidays are banned from use of gas powered leaf blowers.
  2. One must use leaf blowers at the lowest speed possible...if a higher speed is ABSOLUTELY needed, one must do so for no longer than two minutes.
  3. Mufflers and air filters must be used and serviced/cleaned periodically.
  4. One must observe wind direction when operating the blower...and must blow in the same direction of the wind (except of course if the wind is blowing into your neighbor's property, city streets/gutters or the lake, in which case you might want to stop blowing).
  5. Actually, one must NOT use leaf blowers when there are excessive winds or when any doors or windows are open.

Bottom line: When the area to be cleaned is small, grab a broom or rake and have at it. The guidelines state that failure to abide by the guidelines "could result in legal prohibitions against the use of leaf blowers."

The neighboring City of Thousand Oaks has no such guideline. The general Noise Ordinance in Chapter Five of the City's Municipal Code indicates that no powered equipment such as "backpack blower" (not to mention lawn mowers, edgers, etc.) shall be used between 9pm and 7am. That should explain why you never hear your neighbor mowing their lawn at midnight.

Conejo Valley Guide Followers Resolve to Pay it Forward and Get Healthy in the New Year

In a random drawing today on the Conejo Valley Guide Facebook page, CVG Facebook fans were asked for a new year's resolution for the fast-approach year 2016.

Tied for first place in the drawing, far ahead of the other responses, was to get healthy and to "pay it forward." 

Giving back, or paying it forward, was a popular choice, with responses like "give back to the community and volunteer," "perform at least one pay it forward moment each month," "look for an opportunity each day to help someone," "put a smile on someone's face every day" and "do more random acts of kindness."  I like that!

After getting healthy/healthier and paying it forward were the following resolutions (in order of number of mentions): Exercise/Play Sports,  Be Happy, Explore New Places, More Family Time, Get Positive, Bet a Better Job and Be a Better Me.

Some other motivational responses:

"Spread the happiness, peace and love this world so dearly needs"

"Be grateful every day for what I have and spend more time with loved ones"

"Smile more and have a more positive attitude"

"Be happy, less stressed and live in the moment"

"Live each day as if it's the last, with much happiness"

"Let the little stuff go and handle the big stuff with grace and deep thought"

"Eat healthier, purge negativity and see the library"

and last but not least, "Stop spending so much time on Facebook."

Neat Residential Holiday Light Display on Pathfinder Avenue in Westlake Village

 Scenes from the pathfinder avenue holiday light show in 2014

Scenes from the pathfinder avenue holiday light show in 2014

The awesome holiday light display at 4903 Pathfinder in Westlake Village is back this 2015 holiday season! Starting December 4th through Christmas from 6-9PM every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, weather permitting, stop by to see "snow" falling and a light show synchronized to music, with shows running every 15 minutes.

Monday through Thursday the lights will be on. Bring your food donations for the local Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank too!

Also, on December 24 bring your family, friends and kids; there will be Elves and other holiday characters handing out candy!

Pathfinder2.jpg
Pathfinder3.jpg

Ventura County Area Schools in Newsweek 2015 Ranking of Nation's Top High Schools

In August, Newsweek published its 2015 ranking of the nation's "top public high schools." The rankings were based on data from 16,285 public high schools from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Researchers determined the ranking by selecting schools at perform in the 70th percentile or higher in standardized state testing. From there, the ranking was done using the following criteria:

  • 10% of ranking based on "Holding Power" or the proportion of 9th graders that stay enrolled through 12th grade.
  • 10% based on the ratio of school counselors to students.
  • 17.5% based on SAT/ACT test score performance.
  • 17.5% based on AP/IB dual enrollment composite.
  • 20% based on graduation rate
  • 25% based on college enrollment rate.

Based on the above methodology, four local area schools made the top 500:

Oak Park High School ranked 120th overall and 18th in California

Westlake High School ranked 210th overall and 26th in California

Thousand Oaks High School was 215th overall and 27th in California

Calabasas High School was 339th overall and 43rd in California.

See more at www.newsweek.com/high-schools/americas-top-high-schools-2015.

Christmas Around the World Exhibit Back at Reagan Library after Six Year Hiatus

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is bringing back, after a six year hiatus, the Christmas Around the World exhibit.  The exhibit opens November 14 and runs through December 21. 

Designed by Reagan staff and constructed by a team of volunteers, the exhibit features Christmas trees festively decorated to reflect each of the 26 countries visited by President Reagan during his eight years in office.

"What countries did he visit?" you may ask. That would be Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados, France, Italy, Vatican City, United Kingdom, West Germany, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, South Korea, China, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, Grenada, Indonesia, Iceland, Finland and the Soviet Union.

In addition to the 26 trees will be a special White House Tree - a reproduction of the Reagans' tree complete with "Reagan Red" decorations and hand-blown glass ornaments.

The Reagan Library is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission is: $16.00, $13.00 for seniors 62+, $9.00 for children 11-17, $6 for children 3-10 and free for children 2 and under.  For more information, visit www.reaganlibrary.com. Located at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley.