In Brief

By Chris O'Neal 12/12/2013

Ronald Reagan Library vandalized

Vandals hit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library last Friday, tagging the entryway sign with anti-capitalist slogans and profane phrases about the former president.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 7, security responded to the entrance sign located on Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, which was found blanketed in graffiti.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library Director of Communications Melissa Giller said that the graffiti can’t be traced to any particular group or individuals.

“Unfortunately, graffiti is a problem everywhere,” said Giller. “I can’t say either way if it really was an attack against President Reagan or not. It could easily have been some people who were looking for a place to graffiti and saw an easy target. We may never know.”

Some of the phrases used — “Death to Capitalism” and “F*** Reagan” — may give the impression that the vandals might have been politically motivated, but Cmdr. Roy Jones of the Simi Valley Police Department disagrees, saying that politically charged vandalism isn’t a problem in the area.

“I’m not even sure if that graffiti was politically motivated,” said Jones. “I think it was an isolated incident.”

By Sunday morning, the graffiti had been removed.

Freezing temperatures damage local crops

Old Man Winter is bearing down a little hard on Ventura County this month, most noticeably in Ojai, where ranchers have been forced to take emergency measures to protect their crops.

Avocados and citrus were in dire straights this past weekend when a cold front threatened to destroy or damage the crops. The cold weather, which has wreaked havoc on most of the country, brought blizzards to the Midwest and elsewhere while driving local temperatures down to below freezing overnight Sunday and Monday.

Emily Ayala of Friends Ranch in Ojai isn’t certain how much damage was done to their crop of Pixie tangerines and other citrus just yet, but is taking measures to prevent further harm.

“We burn gallons of propane every night and the wind machines are on,” said Ayala. “It’s a little bit early to know how much damage we’ve got, but we probably have damage.”

On Monday night, the temperatures dipped down to 26 degrees, a temperature at which the citrus can freeze, destroying the fruit’s membrane, making it dry when thawed.

At Friends Ranch, fans draw warmer air down into the crop while pipes pump in warm water in an attempt to rescue the crops. The temperature, however, may have been a bit too cold.

“I’m thinking, especially on my younger trees with exposed fruit, we’re going to have losses. I don’t know how much yet.”

Frost season continues through the month and into January.


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