As former police chief Bob Gonzales settled into his new role as Santa Paula City Council member, it occurred to him that there was no recognition for the two officers who have died in the line of duty for the city.
According to Santa Paula Police Chief Stephen MacKinnon, those would be Marshal Henry Norman and James Barmore. Norman died in 1913 as a result of wounds received when he responded to a complaint about shots being fired; Barmore passed away 40 years later after losing control of his motorcycle while responding to an accident call.
At a formal discussion Monday night, it was decided that an ad hoc committee would plan a memorial, and is set to include MacKinnon, City Council members and citizens including James Barmore’s son, Tim Barmore.
The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, an organization with a simple mission of preserving open spaces and hillside expanses in the area, is moving on up. The group is now on the hunt for an executive director to lead it through its fourth year. According to a VHC press release, the ideal candidate would be adept at garnering support from the community, monitoring fundraising, working with volunteers and board members and researching issues of land use and preservation.
VHC was founded with the intention of serving as a cooperative effort between other conservation organizations, public agencies, property owners and other citizens. No land has yet been acquired, but the agency is optimistic about on-going talks with landowners and boasts nearly $500,000 in assets.
The search is a testament to the largely volunteer-based organization’s progress, and to the healthy support of 850 paying members. The job listing has been posted to a variety of non-profit organizations within the U.S. More information may be found at www.venturahillsides.org.
Something they can all agree on
In a bipartisan show of solidarity, all female representatives currently serving in the Senate — from California’s own senators Boxer and Feinstein, to Republican senators Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas — drafted an initiative focused on a universal concern: adequate afterschool resources for students.
In a letter addressed to President Bush, the 14 women urged the president to allow for a greater flow of funding for afterschool programs, citing such programs’ importance in providing children safe places to be before parents arrive home. Called the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Afterschool Initiative, the proposal was launched as Bush plans his Fiscal Year 2008 budget proposal, which is due to Congress in February. Of particular concern is the fact that none of the funding increases OK’d by the No Child Left Behind Act have been put into action.
Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit group concerned with after-hours care of children, claims that 26 states were under-funded in this area and were unable to give support to growing afterschool programs in 2006.
Remembering Dr. King
Ground was broken Nov. 13 for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, and the monument in the nation’s capital has become a local cause.
The honorary structure will be less in the tradition of the Lincoln Monument, and more in the vein of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall: To be housed on four acres, the planned monument has been described as “crescent-shaped,” and will be a stone’s throw from the Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln memorials. The $100 million needed for this endeavor will come from private donations.
Local businesses and community members have stepped up to represent Ventura County’s contribution, setting a goal of $1 million in donations. To that end, a fund-raising dinner is scheduled in Westlake, where UCLA basketball coach John Wooden will join civil rights activist and contemporary of Dr. King Reverend Clinton A. Benton. Local chanteuse Jeanne Tatum and her quintet will perform, as will a Hindu dance team. In addition to Benton’s address, the winner of the Ventura County Star’s contest, entitled “Why Dr. King Deserves a Memorial,” will speak.
The dinner is sponsored by the Ventura County Martin Luther King Jr. Naitonal Memorial Campaign and will be held Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel in Westlake Village. $150 per person, or $1,500 for a table of 10. For tickets or information on donating to the fund, call 485-7303 or 496-2982.
Feed the need
Those PODS containers behind Vons won’t fill themselves, and FOOD Share of Ventura County reminds us that contributions of non-perishables don’t only benefit strangers, but, increasingly, any family or neighbor trying to make it in a city whose cost of living is considerable.
Still, the county has fallen short of FOOD Share’s goals, and has reached only the 20 percent mark of the 170,000 pound “Holiday Challenge,” putting the count at far behind where it was this time last year. Twenty-two participating Von’s markets around the county welcome donations up until Dec. 24.