California Minimum Wages Increase Again on January 1, 2018


Pursuant to California Senate Bill No. 3 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April 2016, on January 1, 2018, the California minimum wage increases from $10.50 to $11 per hour for employers with 26+ employees and from $10 to $10.50 for employers with 25 or less employees (with the exception of California sheepherders...which you can read about more HERE).

The overall target of the legislation is $15 per hour for all employees by January 1, 2023 (companies with 26+ will get there by January 1, 2022; one year earlier than smaller companies).

Future Minimum Wage Increases for Employers with 26+ Employees:

  • 1/1/19: $12/hour
  • 1/1/20: $13/hour
  • 1/1/21: $14/hour
  • 1/1/22 until adjusted again: $15/hour

If your employer has 25 or fewer employees, there will be a year lag in the increases highlighted above.

  • 1/1/19: $11/hour
  • 1/1/20: $12/hour
  • 1/1/21: $13/hour
  • 1/1/22: $14/hour
  • 1/1/23: $15/hour

So, if you are a minimum wage employee at a smaller company, you will be making slightly less than your "larger" company counterparts in California until 1/1/23.

After 2022, the minimum wage will generally be increased by the lesser of 3.5% or the annual inflation rate.

More on California minimum wages at


If you are a minimum wage employee in the City of Los Angeles, different rules apply:

Employers with 26+ Employees in City of Los Angeles:

  • 7/1/17 to 6/30/18: $12/hour
  • 7/1/18 to 6/30/19: $13.25/hour
  • 7/1/19 to 6/30/20: $14.25/hour
  • 7/1/20: $15/hour

Employers with 25 or Fewer Employees in City of Los Angeles (or 26+ Employees with approval to pay a deferred rate):

  • 7/1/17 to 6/30/18: $10.50/hour
  • 7/1/18 to 6/30/19: $12/hour
  • 7/1/19 to 6/30/20: $13.25/hour
  • 7/1/20 to 6/30/21: $14.25/hour
  • 7/1/21: $15/hour

More on L.A. City minimum wage laws at

And of course, there's the irrelevant (at least to the majority of, but not all, states) Federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which established the now current Federal minimum wage at $7.25/hour as of July 24, 2009.

Where to Volunteer to Decorate a Rose Parade Float


During winter break, many parents struggle to find something new and different to do with the kids. Something you may not have thought about is - volunteering to help decorate a Rose Parade entry! Talk about a unique experience!

As you are probably aware, Rose Parade floats must be completely covered by flowers and other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds and bark. It's a lot of work decorating those masterpieces! 

So how do you go about volunteering? Start with this list of commercial float builders and organizations that build their own floats for volunteer opportunities. The minimum age is generally 12 or 13 and you must sign a waiver.

Commercial Float Builders:

Self-Built Float Organizations:

New Year's Eve Options in Ventura County and Adjacent Areas


The year 2017 is coming to a close and for the New Year's Eve procrastinators out there, your time is running short. Here is a compilation of New Year's Eve party and activity options in and around the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County. To add an activity, contact us!

(For more information about the events highlighted below, click the links. We attempted to link to websites and Facebook pages that will provide you with additional details. Also note that this list is limited to places that have entertainment, a party, midnight toast, etc.)

Ventura Improv Company New Year's Eve Fundraiser and Gala at the Rubicon Theater

New Year's Eve Party at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks

New Year's Eve Live Comedy at AMC Dine-In Thousand Oaks

New Year's Comedy at Ventura Harbor Comedy Club

Bogie's New Year's Eve: Havana Nights in Westlake Village

New Year's Eve Party with Live Band at Hong Kong Inn in Ventura

New Year's Eve with Comedian Bert Kreischer at Levity Live in Oxnard

New Year's Eve Party at Crowne Plaza Hotel at Ventura Beach

New Year's Eve Dinner Train at Fillmore and Western Railway in Fillmore

New Year's Celebration at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley

New Year's Eve Party at Discovery Ventura

New Year's Eve Show at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills

Eleven of My Favorite Things to Do In and Around the City of Ventura


Incorporated in 1866, the City of Ventura is the county seat of Ventura County. The official name of Ventura is the city of San Buenaventura. Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Franciscan priest Junipero Serra on March 31, 1782 and was named after Saint Bonaventure. Enough with the history are some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful city!

You can't miss the 1,600 foot long Ventura Pier, with its panoramic views, fishing and ocean-breezes. There's a cool little playground area in the sand just west of the pier, bicycle rentals nearby, miles of beachfront bike path and Surfers' Point. San Buenaventura State Beach stretches from the Ventura Pier down south past the homes of the Ventura Keys.


Ventura Harbor Village is home to 33 acres of harborside activities, shopping and restaurants. There's an arcade with an antique carousel, boat rides, kayaking and sailing and quick access to family-friendly Harbor Cove Beach and Surfer's Knoll Beach. Also within a short walking distance is the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, an inspirational and interactive source of information about the Channel Islands National Park. Bring the kids!

  Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Ventura Harbor Village is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

For some of the most spectacular views of Ventura, stop by Grant Park / Serra Cross Park. You can drive up there, or park above the historic Ventura City Hall building and walk to Grant Park via the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. This nice 1 mile trail, opened in October 2012, will give you a nice little workout, with views along the way. (NOTE: THE THOMAS FIRE OF 2017 SEVERELY BURNED THIS AREA AND MAY BE CLOSED AS A RESULT.)

 A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. (Taken prior to the devastating Thomas Fire of December 2017.)

A view from the Ventura Botanical Gardens Demonstration Trail. (Taken prior to the devastating Thomas Fire of December 2017.)

Golf N' Stuff is a family favorite, especially when it's really hot in the Conejo Valley and you're looking for an outdoor alternative to the beach.  The kids never tire of the two 18-hole mini golf courses, bumper boats, large, nicely appointed arcade, go karts and bumper cars. Sign up with their email club and receive periodic 2 for 1 deals.

 Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Mini golf fun at Golf N' Stuff Ventura.

Another popular family choice is oceanfront Marina Park in the Ventura Keys, a decent sized park with plenty of grassy area, a newer playground and path to adjacent picnic and viewing area Soter Point. We enjoy riding bikes from the park to the Ventura Beach Path.

 Marina Park Beach

Marina Park Beach

In Downtown Ventura, the Museum of Ventura County hosts a collection of over 30,000 pieces of fine art and historical items and a changing lineup of exhibits displaying items of local relevance. The Museum's Research Library houses over 150,000 resources related to the history of Ventura County. And the Museum regularly hosts public events geared towards all ages as well as free admission the first Sunday of each month.

View From Grant Park in Ventura and Serra Cross in January 1956

 Panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura in three photos taken in January 1956.

Panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura in three photos taken in January 1956.

Here's a panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura taken in January 1956. Shortly after Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura, a large wooden cross was placed on top of the hill overlooking the Mission church.

The original cross, damaged over time by the elements, was replaced in the 1860s. That cross blew down in a storm on November 5, 1875 and was not replaced for 40 years.

 The cross at Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in 2015.

The cross at Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in 2015.

A new wooden cross was placed by a local women's service club on September 9, 1912. In 1918, Kenneth and Tonie Grant donated the surrounding hillside to the City of San Buenaventura. Roads to the cross were built around 1920. The circular stone pedestal and concrete pathway the cross now sits atop was built in March 1932. The cross that sits there today, a bit charred from the Thomas Fire, was replaced by the city in 1941.

The Serra Cross Conservancy is seeking donations at to help restore the cross and surrounding property.

 Serra Cross in January 1956, from a private collection.

Serra Cross in January 1956, from a private collection.

Residential Holiday Light Displays in the Conejo Valley and Surrounding Areas

There are an amazing number of spectacular residential holiday light displays throughout the Conejo Valley and Ventura County this 2017 Christmas season! We've compiled this list of displays that are synchronized to music. Click the links below for more detailed information about each display. Since these are residential displays, timing can and will vary and of course be impacted by rain (yes, let's hope we get some rain!) and other factors.

Residential Light Displays:

For all sorts of holiday season events and activities, click THIS LINK.

Christmas and Other Holiday Season Events Around Ventura County


Hop onto the holiday bandwagon and check out some of these dozens of events in and around Ventura County, most of which are FREE! Christmas parades, Santa visits, carnivals, train rides, holiday runs, holiday home tours, boutiques, nativity displays and lots of holiday music and entertainment!

This list will be updated regularly as we move our way through the Thankgiving and Christmas holiday season! Submit additions here.

Do contact event coordinators as things sometimes change! Also, some events require RSVP.


Residential Light Displays:

Past Events:

  • Sat 11/11: Santa's Arrival at The Oaks Mall (10am to noon)
  • Sat 11/11: Annual Tree Lighting and Santa's Arrival at Simi Valley Town Center
  • Fri 11/17: Holiday Tree Lighting at The Promenade at Westlake
  • Sat 11/18: Tree Lighting at The Collection at RiverPark
  • Sat 11/18: TOHS Holiday Boutique
  • Sat 11/19: Santa Paws Event at Ventura Beach Marriott
  • Thu 11/23: Thanksgiving Day Pumpkin Smash at Santa Barbara Zoo
  • Thu 11/23: 13th Annual Turkey Day Dash in Thousand Oaks
  • Thu 11/23: 4th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K in Simi Valley
  • Thu 11/23: 10th Annual Ventura Turkey Trot 5K and Kids' 1K
  • Sat 11/24: Santa Parachutes Into Janss Marketplace
  • 11/24-11/26: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura
  • Sat 11/25: 68th Annual Santa Paula Christmas Parade
  • 11/29-12/2: Simi Valley Festival of Trees
  • Fri 12/1: 67th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Oxnard
  • Fri 12/1: 65th Annual Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade
  • 12/1-2: Village Voices Chorale Holiday Concert in Thousand Oaks
  • Fri 12/1: Christmas at the Camarillo Ranch
  • Fri 12/1: Camarillo Old Town Winter Walk & Tree Lighting
  • Fri 12/1: Calvary MOPS Christmas Boutique in Westlake Village (9AM-Noon)
  • Sat 12/2: 56th Annual Oxnard Christmas Parade
  • Sat 12/2: Run for Holiday Fun 5K/10K at Camarillo Family YMCA
  • Sat 12/2: 10th Annual Oxnard Tamale Festival
  • Sat 12/2: Ventura Winter Wine Walk and Holiday Street Fair
  • 12/2: Holiday Homes Tour in Westlake Village
  • 12/2: Holiday Fair at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo
  • 12/1-12/3: Simi Community Christmas International Creche Exhibit and Music Performances
  • 12/1-12/3: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura
  • 12/1-3: Cal Lutheran Christmas Festival Concerts in Thousand Oaks (buy tix in advance)
  • 12/1-3: No Room at the Inn Nativity Display in Camarillo
  • 12/2-12/3: Cancer Support Community Holiday Boutique in Westlake Village
  • 12/2-12/3: Festive European Christmas Marketplace at Ventura Harbor Village
  • 12/2-12/3: Ventura County Ballet Company Presents "The Nutcracker" in Oxnard
  • Sun 12/3: Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in Agoura Hills
  • Sun 12/3: Winter Celebration at Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas
  • Sun 12/3: Las Posadas Celebration at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks
  • Sun 12/3: "Santa Paws" Event and Craft Fair in Ojai
  • Sun 12/3: Holiday Open House at Stagecoach Inn Museum Newbury Park (1-4PM)
  • Sun 12/3: Snow Leopard Festival / Sledding at Santa Barbara Zoo
  • Sun 12/3: 6th Annual Holly Jolly Half Marathon, 5K/10K in Camarillo
  • Tue 12/5: Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event at The Commons at Calabasas
  • Tue 12/5: Holiday Boutique at Conejo Adventist Elementary School Newbury Park (3-5PM)
  • 12/6: Santa Nights at the Camarillo Ranch House
  • Wed 12/6: Hanukkah Party at Cal Lutheran
  • Thu 12/7: Sankta Lucia Service at Cal Lutheran
  • Sat 12/9: CANCELLED DUE TO IMPACT OF FIRE 56th Annual Camarillo Christmas Parade
  • Sat 12/9: Santa Photos and Holiday Fun at Malibu Country Mart (noon to 4pm)
  • Sat 12/9: Santa at the Adobe in Agoura Hills
  • Sat 12/9: 52nd Annual Holiday Parade of Lights at Channel Islands Harbor
  • Sat 12/9: Westlake Village Symphony/Los Robles Children's Choir Concerts
  • 12/8-12/10: Ventura County Ballet Company Presents "The Nutcracker" in Ventura
  • 12/8-12/10: Dudley House Victorian Holiday Boutique in Ventura
  • 12/9-12/10: Footworks Youth Ballet Presents "The Nutcracker" in Oxnard
  • 12/9-12/10: Free Photos with Santa and Toy Drive at Hollywood Storage in Newbury Park
  • Sun 12/10: CANCELLED DUE TO FIRE Santa to the Sea Half Marathon and 5K in Oxnard
  • Sun 12/10: Holiday Sing-Along Family Event at The Shoppes at Westlake (3-6PM)
  • Sun 10/10: Boys & Girls Club of Moorpark Holiday Boutique (10AM-3PM)
  • Sun 12/10: 39th Annual "Homes for the Holidays" Home Tour and Boutique in Camarillo
  • Sun 12/10: Olivas Adobe Holiday Candlelight Tours in Ventura (CANCELLED)
  • Tue 12/12: 1st Day of Hanukkah Celebration at Janss Marketplace Thousand Oaks
  • Tue 12/12: Giant Ice Menorah Lighting Event in Newbury Park (5PM)
  • 12/13: Santa Nights at the Camarillo Ranch House (4:30pm)
  • 12/13: Chanukah Celebration at Simi Valley Town Center (7pm)
  • 12/12-14: 11th Annual Holly Trolley Tours in Oxnard
  • Thu 12/14: Holiday Open House at Malibu City Hall
  • Thu 12/14: Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Festival at Pacific View Mall (7-8PM)
  • 12/15-16: 41st Annual Ventura Harbor Holiday Parade of Lights
  • Sat 12/16: Winter Wonderland and Holiday Marketplace at Ventura Harbor Village
  • Sat 12/16: Santa Photos and Live Carolers at Malibu Country Mart (noon to 4pm)
  • Sat 12/16: Snow Day at Simi Valley Town Center
  • Sat 12/16: 6th Annual Purrs & Paws Holiday Boutique & Vintage Market in Ojai
  • 12/16-12/17: Free Photos with Santa and Toy Drive at Hollywood Storage in Newbury Park
  • 12/16-12/17: Arctic Lights Event at America's Teaching Zoo in Moorpark
  • 12/16-12/17: 24th Annual "The Nutcracker" by Pacific Festival Ballet in Thousand Oaks
  • Sun 12/17: Chanukah Festival at Ventura Harbor Village (2-4:30PM)
  • Sun 12/17: 10th Annual Chanukah Festival in Moorpark (4:30-6PM)
  • 12/18: Santa Nights at the Camarillo Ranch House
  • 12/18: Westlake Village Symphony Messiah Sing-Along at Calvary Church Westlake Village
  • Tue 12/19: Hanukkah Celebration at Janss Marketplace Thousand Oaks
  • Wed 12/13: Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Celebration at The Commons at Calabasas