In Brief

In Brief

Businesses gear up for Red Cross Month
Several businesses across Ventura County have scheduled a series of special events to raise money for the local chapter of the American Red Cross in celebration of National Red Cross Month.

On Wednesday, March 18, Topper’s Pizza in Oxnard will forward 20 percent of its profits from 5 to 9 p.m. to the Red Cross, as will Angelo’s Chicken Shack in Camarillo on March 24 for the hours of 5 to 8 p.m.

On March 27, the Camarillo Young Professionals Group will host a casino night from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura, and a percentage of proceeds from the event will be donated directly to the chapter, according to an announcement.

Camarillo’s Element Coffee has already participated in the awareness effort, having donated 20 percent of its proceeds from March 7.

Donations for Red Cross Month can be made on the Web through or by calling 339-2234, ext. 212.

Peace gathering response to surge in local violence
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme will hold a youth peace rally this weekend.

On Saturday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Second Annual Kids First Peace Rally takes place at the club’s branch at 126 E. Seventh St., Oxnard.

According to an announcement from the club, the recent surge in violence in the area serves as inspiration for the rally, a grassroots effort to bring concerned citizens together in support of positive choices and programs for kids.

A number of guest speakers, from the club’s president to representatives for Congresswoman Lois Capps and County Supervisor John Zaragoza, are scheduled, as well as a panel discussion that will feature former gang members who work with troubled youth.

Free membership to the club will also be offered throughout the day. For information on the event, contact Tiffany Lopez at 815-4959, ext. 207, or

EDC program saved 140 jobs in ‘08
A business enhancement program headed by the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC) salvaged 140 local jobs totaling $140 million last year, reports show.

The EDC’s Business Enhancement Program, also known as Business 911, targeted the county’s 23,000 small businesses with 200 or fewer employees, where it offered financial assistance to those that were struggling due to the recession. The program is a partnership with the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Ventura County.

Bruce Stenslie, the EDC’s director, said in a press release that in 2008 the group also partnered with the City of Ventura on its Business Assistance Program, executing five small business loans totaling $225,000. The EDC, he said, now has 42 open loans in the city, totaling $1.1 million.

The group’s Web site is

In Brief

In Brief

Economic crisis examined at CSUCI talk
A former president of J.D. Power and Associates will visit Cal State University Channel Islands in Camarillo next month to discuss the origins, consequences and responses to the country’s current fiscal problems, according to a press release.

Steve Goodall will present “Dealing with the Economic Downturn” on March 6 at noon. Goodall, who was president and CEO of the consumer survey group from 1996 to 2003, will follow his presentation with a question-and-answer period.

The event is sponsored by the university’s Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics.

For information regarding the event, contact Amber Weir, CSU events coordinator, at 437-8548 or

$50K grant to cover two music fest seasons
A two-year, $50,000 grant has been awarded to the Ventura Music Festival from the Irvine Foundation’s Creative Connections fund, which goes toward programming for the festival’s 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Cheryl Heitmann, the festival’s executive director, said she hopes the grant money will allow the festival to explore new options such as the addition of crossover concerts.

The music festival, now in its 15th year, will be held from April 30 to May 9.

Nava appointed to Coastal Conservancy
State assembly member Pedro Nava will serve for the first time on the California Coastal Conservancy, according to an announcement from the 35th District representative’s office.

Nava, a longtime champion of solving environmental issues along the Ventura coast, was selected to serve on the seven-member conservancy board for an indefinite term by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, said Nava’s spokesman, John Mann.

The conservancy’s charge, Mann says, is in protecting, restoring, enhancing and purchasing coastal resources.

Nava, who is the current state assembly representative on the California Ocean Protection Council, previously served for eight years on the state coastal commission.

Westlake church hosting Habitat for Humanity fundraiser
Following the start of construction for a Habitat for Humanity home last week in Oxnard, a fundraising dinner for the nonprofit organization will be held next month in Westlake Village.

Volunteers from St. Maximillian Kolbe Church will host a “Habitat to the Max” dinner and auction on March 28. Funds raised from the event will go toward supporting the building of additional Habitat homes in Ventura County.

Tickets, which cost $50 a person for the dinner, are now on sale. For further information, contact Suzzi Crouch with Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County, 485-6065 or






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