Crush bill possibly postponed
After House Democrats made what Elton Gallegly called an unwarranted technical change, his animal crush video bill is unlikely to be signed into law this year.

“Nearly everyone agrees that Congress must stop the creation and distribution of videos that graphically depict the abuse and killing of animals,” Gallegly said. “My bill to outlaw crush videos passed the House in July by a 416-3 vote.

The Senate passed a slightly modified version in September by unanimous consent. But instead of passing the Senate version, the House today passed a resolution agreeing to the Senate version – but with an unwarranted amendment that makes it unlikely the bill will become law this year.”

Currently, it is a federal crime to conspire to violate any federal criminal law, with punishment up to five years in jail.

The recent House amendment would strip language that makes it a federal crime, punishable by up to seven years in jail, to attempt or conspire to create or distribute a crush video. This amendment, Gallegly suggests, would have very little impact on the Senate version of the bill.

With the bill likely dead for this session of Congress, Gallegly has vowed to continue his efforts to outlaw crush videos.

 “I will continue to work with the Senate to pass the bill this year in the few days left in the lame-duck session. If we are unable to reach agreement, I’ll be back with a bill in January.”

A heart of gold
The Rio School District will be honoring a Rio community member during the celebration of the grand opening of the Office of Student and Family Services Nyeland Center, Thursday, Nov. 18.

The presentation of the Fourth Annual Golden Heart Award will honor a dedicated Rio community leader, which will be announced at the time of the event.

Representatives for Supervisor Zaragoza and Assemblyman Nava will be in attendance to present resolutions. Claudia Harrison, executive director of First 5 Ventura County, will make a short presentation.

The Born Learning Trail, installed by the United Way of Ventura County’s Latino Action Team, will be unveiled at the event, which will also feature refreshments, live entertainment and information about services offered and family activities.

The Rio School District encompasses six elementary and two middle schools and a community day school. There are more than 4,500 students in the district, which serves the unincorporated community of El Rio, the RiverPark development and portions of the city of Oxnard. For more information, visit

CLU makes it ea$ier
Private school education for a public school price? The scholarship was so popular that California Lutheran University is expanding its program that provides a private school education at a public school price to include students accepted at University of California, San Diego, for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The CLU Guarantee Scholarship: Private Education, Public Price allows incoming students who are also admitted to one of five UC schools to attend CLU for the cost of attending the public university. The other universities are UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis and UC Berkeley. The innovative program, which has garnered national media attention, started with incoming freshmen during the 2008-2009 year and later expanded to include transfer students.

The savings on tuition, books and living expenses for students who entered this fall is $16,160. This is the difference in the price for full-time residential students attending CLU, which is $46,192, and the average price of attending the four state universities, which is $30,032. The 2011-2012 scholarship award amount will be announced in spring after the universities have updated their tuition and fees.

The CLU Guarantee Scholarship is open to all students applying for the traditional undergraduate program and the Adult Degree Evening Program. It has no income or residency requirements. Students can also receive federal, state and institutional aid, based on need, to further reduce the cost of attending CLU.

If students make satisfactory academic progress and meet GPA requirements, they can renew the scholarship each year. The amount will increase every year if the cost of attendance goes up.

The number of students receiving CLU Guarantee Scholarships jumped from 56 last year to 99 for 2010-2011.

Let’s get physical
Cabrillo Middle School’s Summerfest project received an award last week for its efforts to help Ventura County children get physically active and fit from Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld, chairman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Steinfeld presented Summerfest with a $10,000 grant for winning the statewide Event of the Year in the 2010 Spotlight Awards presented by the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation. Summerfest 2010, it its fifth year, served more than 6,000 children and families.

Summerfest activities included an elementary school run, dancing and a bike rodeo where kids could bring in their bikes for expert repair and instruction.