Target shooting damages Los Padres Forest

A report from the Los Padres Forestwatch points a finger at unregulated target shooting as “one of the most serious threats to natural resources and public safety” in the Los Padres National Forest.

The multiyear investigation included forest lands in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern Counties and surveyed 94 target shooting sites within the regions, where enthusiasts make use of everything from paper targets to household appliances. The investigation found that most of the items are then abandoned, resulting in litter made up of shotgun shells, lead bullets and other items.

“Our surveys revealed an epidemic of target-shooting debris and damage across the forest,” the report concludes. “Many of these shooting sites are within footsteps of fragile waterways and popular campgrounds, trails and recreational hotspots.”

Ventura and Kern Counties had the highest number of dispersed shooting sites. One concern, among many others, is the large amount of lead accumulation that can take place over time

The report recommends that the Forest Service close the Los Padres Forest to target shooting and establish a series of well-managed official shooting ranges.

The report can be found by visiting www.LPFW.org/forest-in-the-crosshairs.

Ventura Vet Center holds open house

An open house in commemoration and tribute to Vietnam War veterans will take place at the Ventura Vet Center on Tuesday, March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day, a national holiday.

In 1979, the Vet Center program was established by Congress in recognition that many Vietnam veterans were having difficulty reintegrating into society. The Centers provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services.

The Vietnam War took the lives of 58,000 United States armed forces members and over 300,000 were left wounded. In 2012, President Barack Obama designated March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day.

The Ventura Vet Center’s open house will feature counselors on hand to provide information and coordination of services, and to talk, if needed. The Ventura Vet Center is located at 790 E. Santa Clara St., suite 100, in Ventura. For more information, visit www.vetcenter.va.gov.

PODS Moving and Storage celebrates 10 years

PODS (Portable On-Demand Storage), the portable shipping containers that appear on driveways only to be whisked away to a new location a few days later, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a mixer and party in Oxnard.

The event will feature food, drinks, a raffle and entertainment provided by Elvis impersonator Scot Bruce.

Since its inception, PODS has taken part in a multitude of area charitable events, donating over $500,000 in containers, trucks, fuel and employees for events hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, Casa Pacifica and FOOD Share, to name a few.

The event will be hosted in collaboration with the Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura Chambers of Commerce. A $10 donation at the door will benefit local charities such as FOOD Share, The City Center, Ventura County Rescue Mission and more.

“It is gratifying to see the community of businesses come together to not only celebrate our 10 years in business but also to support causes as worthy as these five charities,” said PODS owner Steve Yapp.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 24, 5:30-8 p.m. at the PODS storage facility, 301 S. Rose Ave, suite 104, in Oxnard. $10 entry includes five raffle tickets and a beverage. For more information, call 644-6503.

— Chris O’Neal