Ventura workshop to discuss chronically homeless

A public workshop will be held next week to address issues involving the city of Ventura’s chronically homeless population.

Organizers hope that the Workshop on Community Homeless will provide education and promote “community ownership” around homelessness, foster multi-agency relationships to open dialogue on solutions and to develop strategies to end homelessness in the city.

Peter Brown, Ventura’s community services manager, says that though the number of homeless has declined in recent years, the percentage of chronically homeless has risen to above 50 percent of the homeless population in Ventura. The national average is just above 20 percent.

“When you look at the numbers, you can say that we have done a fantastic job helping those who want assistance and want to move past their homelessness,” said Brown. “What you might also ask is what is it about the programs and services we provide that is not being taken advantage of by the hardest-to-serve populations, the chronically homeless.”

The Ventura City Council will also be in attendance and take part in think-tank activities with attendees, the results of which could be presented to the council in June, says Brown.

The workshop will take place on Monday, April 18, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at The Derby Club at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Island View Room, second floor, 10 W. Harbor Blvd. in Ventura. For more information and to RSVP, call (562) 972-4033.

Speaker to discuss creation of Oxnard Performing Arts Center

If you’ve ever been curious about the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, here’s your chance to learn a little about the people who helped lay the foundation.

Soroptimist International of Oxnard will host guest speaker Chelsea Reynolds, new manager of the Center, on Wednesday, April 20, who will talk about the club’s involvement in the creation of the Performing Arts Center and, more specifically, in the creation of the center’s fountain.

Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization for professional women working to improve the lives of women and girls, founded in 1921. The meeting will take place at the Courtyard Marriott, 600 Esplanade Drive, in Oxnard at 7:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.oxnardsoroptimist.org.

Increase in air traffic atNaval Base Mugu

Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, yes, it is actually more planes than usual as a so-called “Large Force Exercise” will be taking place this week at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu.

The base will host a multitude of aircraft from across the country as part of the exercise, including an alphabet soup of F-18s, aircraft from China Lake, Lemoore and Los Angeles and other squads from Maryland, Nevada and Florida.

The aircraft began arriving at the base on Tuesday, April 12. The exercise itself is expected to take place April 17-29. The base says that residents of Oxnard and Camarillo “may experience increased jet activity and noise during this time.”

Grand Jury application deadline extended

The Ventura County Civil Grand Jury is looking for new members to hear various items on the county’s agenda for the next session and has extended the deadline for application through to Friday, April 22.

The all-volunteer watchdog group investigates complaints received from the public and, after investigation, issues a report with recommendations addressing the issue.

To qualify for a seat, a potential juror must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, a resident of Ventura County for at least one year and have sufficient knowledge of English. For more information, visit www.ventura.org/grand-jury.

— Chris O’Neal