by Daphne Khalida Kilea
dkkilea@aol.com

Opening

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County recently opened Habitat ReStore and office location at 1850 Eastman Ave. in Oxnard. The store accepts and sells surplus and most donations are tax-deductible. … On the Thirty opened at 706 Lindero Canyon Road, #752, in Oak Park. The restaurant serves gourmet pizza, artisan sandwiches and more, with 30 California craft beers and an award-winning mixology menu. The produce is local and organic and the meat is hormone-free and grass-fed. … Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU), a not-for-profit financial institution, is to open its second branch in Oxnard in fall 2016. Plans are drawn for an approximately 3,300-square-foot branch, which is to be located at The Collection at RiverPark shopping center in Oxnard at 2751 Park View Court, #113. … uBreakiFix Oxnard opened at 2381 Oxnard Blvd., at the intersection of Vineyard and Oxnard Blvd. uBreakiFix specializes in same-day repair service of small electronics, repairing cracked screens, water damage, software issues, camera issues and other technical problems at its more than 170 stores across North America.  Body SCENTsations recently opened at 740 E. Main St. in Ventura. The store offers natural soaps (various glycerin blends, olive and shea), shea body butters, vegan lip balms, natural perfumes and more. The bath and skin-care products are natural/handmade, earth-friendly and cruelty-free. … Homecomings Inc., the Housing Authority of the City of Ventura’s associated nonprofit, held a grand opening ceremony at 3005 E. Main St. in Ventura to celebrate the opening of Castillo Del Sol apartments. The multifamily complex contains 39 efficiency residences for extremely low-income individuals with special service needs.

Closing

Wetsand Surf Shop at 466 E. Main St. announced Feb. 26 on its Facebook page that it would be closing its doors. The closing date is tentative.

And the award goes to …

Ralph Edward James was honored with an award for Education and Social Justice during the Channel Islands (CSUCI) Fourth Annual African American Achievement Awards Luncheon. The event recognizes individuals who work to make the community a better place, and awards are distributed in the categories of Education, Healthcare, Civic Engagement, Social Justice, Athletics, Humanitarian and Arts & Entertainment. … Chris Sullivan earned Certified Financial Planner (CFP) status from the CFP Board of Standards after passing the CFP exam. Sullivan is a financial adviser at Oxnard’s Carey & Hanna Tax and Wealth Planners, a firm that has been serving Ventura County since 1985. The CFP certification allows for an expanded role in the firm and it also recognizes a standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. … CSUCI received the John L. Blackburn Award from the American Association of University Administrators. The award recognizes exemplary university leadership that demonstrates creative solutions to common problems in higher education. CSUCI was honored for its “CI 2025 Vision Plan: Envisioning Our Future” 10-year multilayered growth plan. … Wheel Fun Rentals was honored with the Best of Groupon 2016 Designation from Groupon during its Annual Best of Groupon Collection. The title is bestowed on local businesses for the popularity of their Groupon campaigns and high levels of customer service. … The Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB) is seeking nominations (deadline is April 15) for its 2016 Annual WDB Awards. WDB recognizes those who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to advancing workforce development in Ventura County. The individual, employer, organization or partnership may be nominated for one or more of four categories: WDB Youth Opportunity Award, WDB Collaborative Action Award, WDB Champion for Prosperity Award and WDB Leadership Award … The Westlake High School Academic Decathlon Team won the 2016 Ventura County Academic Decathlon and will advance to the state competition; this is Westlake’s fifth consecutive victory. Oak Park High School earned second place and won the “Super Quiz” part of the competition. Moorpark High School earned third place.

Moving up

Attorney Andreas L. Booher joined Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas & Zirbel (A to Z Law), where he will specialize in the areas of environmental law, water and land use. Booher earned his Juris Doctor in May 2015 and was admitted to the California Bar in Dec. 2015. He researched for the Content Creators Coalition, the Service Employees International Union Local 721 and participated in the 2014 California State Bar Student Environmental Negotiations Competition, the Interconnection Data Management Summit and was an intern with the California Public Utilities Commission. … Martin R. Erickson is the new public transit director for the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC). Among other experiences he brings to his new role, Erickson has previously served as Oxnard’s deputy city manager, the senior transit and transportation coordinator and manager of government affairs and grants for the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District.

In the name of charity

Ross Stores Inc. partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) for a three-week program, “Help Local Kids Learn,” where Ross Dress for Less customers have the opportunity to make a monetary contribution at checkout. The funds from the participating Thousand Oaks department store will be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley’s Power Hour program. … In collaboration with the Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura Chambers of Commerce, PODS will celebrate its 10-year anniversary by hosting a Spotlight on Charity Chamber Mega-Mixer on Thursday, March 24, from 5:30- 8 p.m., at PODS Storage Facility, 301 S. Rose Ave, Suite 104, Oxnard. Within the past 10 years, PODS has donated over $500,000 in logistics, providing PODS containers, trucks, fuel and employees for dozens of Central Coast charities including Big Brothers Big Sister of Ventura County, Casa Pacifica, FOOD Share, The City Center, Ventura Education Partnership, The Ventura Neighborhood for Learning, Santa to the Sea, Storyfest, Artwalk and veterans Stand Down events. … Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) employees volunteered a total of 810 hours in 2015 through its annual CommUNITY Giving program. Through the program, volunteer services were offered to several local nonprofit organizations, including FOOD Share, Schools on Wheels, Interface Children and Family Services, the Ventura County Museum and YMCA. VCCU also provided more than $120,000 in direct donations and charity sponsorships.

Education

Cal Lutheran University (CLU) has been designated a Hispanic-serving institution (at least 25 percent full-time undergrad Latino students) by the U.S. Department of Education. CLU is now eligible to apply for grants to increase services that will support academic achievement for Latinos and other students and also to reduce its costs related to work-study and other programs serving needy and low-income students. … Jean Krist, high school teacher at El Camino in Ventura, has been named February’s Teacher of the Month by the Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation.