The Eyeglass Factory will hold its grand opening on June 5 at 415 W. Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo. It will be featuring a variety of special offers for customers. … Watkins Cattle Company opened Watkins Ranch Butcher Shop at 105 E. El Roblar in Meiners Oaks. The shop offers pasture-raised all-natural beef, hormone- and antibiotic-free, aged to perfection. … Westridge Market and Fine Foods opened at 802 E. Ojai Ave. in Ojai, a specialty market with a butcher shop, bakery, liquor and candy store. … Gondola Paradiso at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard is the only place in Ventura County that a Venetian-style gondola cruise is available; ride along the Coral Islands under the guidance of a professional gondolier. …  Buddha’s Garden, a showroom with a vast selection of art pieces for the home and garden is open at 1924 E. Main St. in Ventura. The pieces include wood carvings, brass figurines and stone carvings. … CJ Wilson Mazda of Ventura will hold a grand-opening party on June 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 6500 Auto Center Drive. … Crush Salon and Dry Bar at 654 E. Main St. in Ventura with a talented styling team trained in the latest trends, cuts, styles, color, highlights and much more. … Johnson Family Dental will open a second location in Ventura at 103 S. Mills Road, suite 101, in the Pacific View Mall. The office will offer a full range of dental treatments and the most up-to-date dental technology available.


Maru Sushi and Grill opened at 1583 Spinnaker Drive at the Ventura Village Harbor. The Korean fusion cuisine and barbecue restaurant offers fresh fish, lobster and crab for selection straight from the tank as well as indoor and outdoor dining. Karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights. … Very Ventura Gift Shop and Gallery recently held its grand-opening party at 79 S. California St. in Ventura. The gift shop offers locally made products, including photography, jewelry, specialty foods and more. … Curator and designer Jamie Kohler has made her exquisite and unique merchandise available to the public on The site will serve as a vintage marketplace for home decorators, collectors and casual fans of beautiful old things. … Now open and coming soon at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard: Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream shop, offering a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties made with high-quality ingredients. J. Stephens is a retail shoe company specializing in both men’s and women’s high-end comfort shoes such as Pikolinos, Taos, Naot and more. Kriza Aveda Salon offers hair care and a variety of beauty services by a team of dedicated and talented professionals. Larsen’s Grill will offer an extensive menu with the finest prime steaks and freshest seafood. The steaks are aged for four to six weeks in a unique, large facility with a highly skilled butcher present at all times to monitor airflow, temperature and humidity. Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar serves a variety of meals: pastas, sandwiches, burgers, wok-fried dishes, brick-oven pizza and much more. The restaurant has takeout as well as a full bar and happy hour specials. Maria’s Italian Kitchen, the “neighborhood Italian Restaurant,” will offer a wide selection of dishes including, pasta, risotto, pizza, seafood, baked dishes, calzone and hot and cold sandwiches. Sabra Fish Grill will specialize in high-quality fresh fish dishes that are prepared quickly at affordable prices. Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is a country-themed bar offering sandwiches, ribs, burgers, meatloaf and more, with beer served in mason jars. It will feature an 85-foot guitar-shaped bar and a venue for live performances. White House/Black Market, a boutique offering unique, individual collections of clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories.

La Valle Mexican and Italian Restaurant reopened under the same owner as Ca’ Marco Ristorante Italiano at 1002 E. Ojai Ave., suite C-D, in Ojai. The restaurant offers an authentic Italian menu, including pizzas, pastas, dishes with chicken, lamb, fresh fish and more.

And the award goes to …
Steve Delsohn won the prestigious Peabody Award for a series of stories on the head trauma crisis in professional football. Delsohn is an on-camera reporter for ESPN and the varsity coach at La Reina High School. … The Ventura Chamber of Commerce (VCC) received the 2014 President’s Circle Award from the California Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes chambers for excellence in business advocacy and helping their members comply with California employment laws. VCC was one of 26 local chambers of commerce to receive the honor.

Moving on
Tim Allison, Martel Fraser, Tony Skinner and Yesenia DeCausus were elected as the new leaders of the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council. Allison of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770 has been appointed to the top position as executive secretary-treasurer. Fraser of UFCW Local 770 will serve as president of the board, Skinner of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and DeCausus of the United Domestic Workers will serve as vice presidents. … Tim Blaylock, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme, will join the national organization Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the director of major metropolitan area clubs. Blaylock will be based in Oxnard and will oversee nine states in the Pacific region.

Margo Byrne

Margo Byrne was recently promoted to chief operating officer at Channel Islands YMCA and was also named as a Top Woman in Business in nonprofit by the Pacific Coast Business Times. Byrne was selected from 110 nominations as the editor’s pick.

Moving on
Hugh Ralston, president and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation, will resign after 11 years of leading the organization through a time of record growth. Ralston plans to take on new challenges in nonprofits and through philanthropy; he will stay on through Sept. 30.

In the name of charity
The Ventura County Community Foundation and the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund partnered to create the first permanent revolving fund in Ventura County dedicated to building farmworker housing. The $100,000 fund will provide loans to developers who build units for agricultural laborers and their families. … Avenue Wheel Shop (AWS) donated a 2003-model Ford E250 van to the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura. The van is customized specifically for the organization’s use and AWS will maintain and repair it free of charge for five years.


… Students from DeAnza Academy of Technology and Arts presented the Ventura County Medical Center with hand-stitched quilts to be used by oncology patients undergoing cancer treatment. The students are members of the Kiwanis Ventura’s Builders Club and they spent four months making the quilts during their lunch hours. … Ted Mayr Funeral Home announced a renewed effort to collect gently used cell phones to support Cell Phones for Soldiers, a nonprofit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military and veterans. Cell phones and accessories can be dropped off daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the reception area at 3150 Loma Vista Road in Ventura. … Wheel Fun Rentals renewed its partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) for the “Biking Buddies” Program, providing free rentals to underprivileged children and their mentors around the nation. More than 5,000 Biking Buddies passes have been distributed to BBBS chapters this year, equating to $125,000 in rentals for 2014.

Lizabeth Hoppe was named Ventura County’s Teacher of the Year through the Ventura County Office of Education’s California Teachers of the Year program. Hoppe is a language arts, math, history and science teacher at Charles Blackstock Junior High School in Oxnard. Hoppe has been teaching in the county for more than 15 years and the award makes her eligible for the 2015 California Teacher of the Year. … Diane Rodriguez-Kiino, a California Lutheran University professor, received a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach at the University of Tokyo and Tsuda College in Japan during the 2014-2015 academic year. Rodriguez-Kiino is an assistant professor in the graduate school of education; she will teach courses on the history of diversity in American higher education and she will also establish relationships with Japanese officials and other Fulbright Scholars. … George Thompson, owner of George Thompson Diamond Company, awarded 180 students in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties with “Diamond in the Rough” scholarships. The scholarships were awarded to the top-10 high school seniors from 18 local high schools whose GPAs increased the most from their junior to senior years. Each student will receive a $100 check along with a framed certificate. … Santa to the Sea, a nonprofit, in association with the Oxnard College Foundation and Gene Haas Foundation, gave a $500 scholarship to each of 75 incoming Oxnard College students. … The Ventura College Foundation awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 Ventura College students. The awards ranged from $500 to $9,000.

The Ventura River Trail is now being recognized as a National Recreational Trail by the National Park Service. On June 7, from 11 a.m. to 2p.m., the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy and Friends of the Ventura River will celebrate National Trails Day and host a trail dedication ceremony, REI grant award presentation, guided tours and a raffle. The event is free and open to the public. … The city of Oxnard was awarded the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) GREEN REGION Sustainability Award for its Groundwater Recovery Enhancement and Treatment Program. The SCAG award recognizes projects for exemplary integrated land use and transportation and environmental planning that best exemplify the core planning principles of mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability.

Hub101 Camarillo will select five startup companies for a six-week mentorship-driven business accelerator program for Ventura County residents from July 23 to Aug. 27. The participants will receive action-based work sessions and mentor-based support from top Ventura County and Hub101 experts, entrepreneurs and executives. Hub101 Camarillo is now accepting applications at from entrepreneurs, founders and co-founder teams with early-stage ideas or companies.