Sladek’s short stay
California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks announced July 23 that President Dr. John Sladek resigned, effective that day. Sladek, who was appointed president in 2006, came to CLU from the University of Colorado, where he was a vice chancellor and neuroscience researcher. He will return there to continue research into the debilitating effects of Down syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.
In the release, Sladek characterized his move back to Colorado as an opportunity to focus his passion for his research and to be closer to his family. He was still on an unpaid leave of absence from the University of Colorado.
Rev. Dr. Howard Wennes will serve as interim president until a successor to Sladek is found. The school’s board of regent’s could take up to a year to find a new president.
Sladek was the school’s sixth president. During his tenure CLU experienced its largest-ever freshman class. According to a release from the university, Sladek oversaw a new budget model for university salaries and helped reach out to alumni and private donors to increase giving.
Man turns self in for hit and run
After a weekend-long search for a suspect in a July 20 hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of a 45-year-old woman, the Ventura Police Department announced July 22 that a man was arrested after he turned himself in.
Beth Dunn was killed after riding her bike through the intersection of Victoria Ave. and Thille Street in Ventura, near the Ventura County Government Center. Dunn was killed after she was struck by a Ford F150 pickup truck. The truck was traveling on Victoria and failed to stop at a red light on Thille. After it struck Dunn, the driver drove off into the government center. Witnesses performed CPR and called for help, but Dunn passed away at the Ventura County Medical Center.
Two days later police announced that 20-year-old Randall Painter, of Ventura, turned himself in for the incident. He was arrested and charged with felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter and booked into Ventura County Jail.
Fire under investigation
No injuries were reported in a July 22 fire that brought 15 firefighters and three fire engines to the scene of a fire at 919 Albany Ave. in Ventura. Ventura Fire Department officials said after the incident that the cause of the fire was under investigation by the department’s own investigator as well as officials from Southern California Edison and The Gas Company.
A press release describing the blaze said that the first unit on the scene determined the fire occurred in the house’s attic, above the garage. It took eight minutes to douse the flames, which the release said appeared to originate in the garage near a water heater before spreading up through an opening into the attic.
The owner was home during the fire and was told about it by a friend who arrived on the scene and saw the blaze.
Building and safety inspectors from the City were expected to examine the electrical system at the house on July 23.
Bus-Home repairs begin
With a lawsuit brought by the City of Ventura against the contractor who built the controversial Bus-Home public art project at the north end of the pacific view mall, repairs and paint remediation have begun.
Built in 2004, the bus transfer center has been the target of derision from many public observers who view the project, which resembles a bus transforming into a house, as an eyesore that wasted public funds. At a cost of $2.2 million dollars, the center was dedicated in 2002. Since 2004, paint has been peeling from the structure.
City maintenance staff determined that the paint coating failed and the city has sued the general contractor who built the center because of the failure.
According to a release from the city, the remediation will be complete by the end of the year. The city will also construct additional shelter materials to increase protection for bus riders from rain and other inclement whether.