CSUCI, water agencies offer scholarship

California State University, Channel Islands, and the Association of Water Agencies Ventura County have signed a memorandum of understanding launching a scholarship program that allows CI students to attend AWA symposiums at no cost for at least 12 students and to present research at said symposium.

“We want to provide students with something more than a degree when they graduate,” said Environmental Science and Resource Management Lecturer Linda O’Hirok, Ph.D. “Water is the most important issue in Southern California and Ventura County, so they are very likely to get a job in this field.”

Outgoing CI President Richard Rush signed the memorandum on Thursday, April 21, at the AWA’s annual Water Symposium.

The students chosen to attend the symposium will be matched with an association representative who will act as “mentor” to the student for the day.

“This MOU helps us institutionalize our relationship with this group of water practitioners,” said Professor and Chair of CI’s Environmental Science & Resource Management program Donald Rodriguez, Ph.D. “This will bring our two organizations together to develop this next generation of water resource professionals.”

For more information on the association, visit www.awavc.org.

Wildfire Safety Fair to be held in Ojai

El Niño, for all intents and purposes, was a bust in Southern California. The chaparral-laden hills throughout Ventura County, parched from years of severe drought, are ripe for a summertime blaze. The Ojai Valley Fire Safety Council’s Wildfire Safety Fair is an opportunity for families and residents to get ahead of the danger, and have fun to boot.

Guests will have a chance to meet Smokey the Bear, Robby the 10-foot-tall firefighter and most of Ventura County Fire Department’s first responders.

“The Ojai Valley Fire Safety Council wants to be sure Ojai residents are prepared to reduce the threat of wildfire,” says grants manager Will Castagna. “We also want residents to know what to do to protect their families and property should a wildfire occur.”

Musical guests Alan Thornhill and Martin Young will provide entertainment, while food, several vendors and informational booths, as well as a fun zone for kids, raffles and more will be available.

The fair will be held at Ojai’s Sarzotti Park, 404 Park Road, Ojai on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.firesafeojai.org.

County inadequate to handle oil pipelines

The Ventura County Grand Jury has determined that no agency with authority over the multitude of oil pipelines that pass through the county has a firm grip on critical information such as test history, validity and risks associated with the total pipeline array.

The report, issued by the Grand Jury on April 18, says that while the information does exist in some capacity, it “is spread among multiple government entities” but that the “county does not have a thorough understanding of the state of the total crude-oil pipeline array within the County.”

The Jury’s recommendations include that the Board of Supervisors adopt the requirement of an annual report summarizing the state of crude-oil pipelines within the county and to take advantage of the various data provided by various regulatory agencies. The report should also identify at-risk pipelines discovered during testing and identify pipelines that have not been tested by third-party observers, a requirement of governing regulations.

The report would also finger pipelines out of compliance with conditional use permits and summarize spill events.

To read the report in its entirety, visit www.ventura.org/grand-jury.

She Nailed It! comes to Oxnard

Teams of four will compete during Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County’s “She Nailed It!” competition, wherein competitors will attempt to hammer a nail as quickly as possible into a 2×4 for a good cause. The team with the fastest nailing skills will be dubbed the 2016 She Nailed It! Champions.

Each hammering entrant is tasked with raising $250 in donations, which will go to support a home for a low-income family. The competition will take place at Lowe’s, 301 W. Gonzalez Road, Oxnard at 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.habitatventura.org

— Chris O’Neal