Naval Base reminds residents of drone ban

As unmanned aerial vehicles increase in popularity, so to do incursions into areas in which they should not be. At Naval Base Ventura County in the last few weeks, several drone sightings have forced the base to issue a stern warning to operators: Keep out.

Naval Base Ventura County, along with every other base in the United States, has a strict no-fly zone over military-owned land, which includes UAVs, commonly referred to as drones. Theresa Miller, public affairs officer, says that recent sightings have prompted the Commander to issue his warning.

“It was a question of, are they aware that they can’t be on the base or in our airspace in the event that people are landing?” said Miller. “Typically, there aren’t issues, but since there have been a couple repeated sightings it was our response to issue a reminder.”

Miller also notes that if a drone is to be operated within 5 miles of an airport, Federal Aviation Administration guidelines require operators to inform the tower. Furthermore, according to FAA guidelines, if you fly a drone within 5 miles of a military base, you must contact airfield operations.

No fine exists as of yet for drones that penetrate military airspace. Perhaps, however, operators should keep in mind that during a counter-drone training exercise known as Black Dart, which took place in July and August of 2015 at NBVC, a Marine sniper riding in a UH-1Y helicopter shot a test drone out of the sky.

County launches electric vehicle voucher program

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, perhaps a cool $2,200 might push you toward purchasing a full battery-electric vehicle. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, in partnership with the Ventura County Community Foundation, has launched the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Voucher Program to provide discount incentives for 80 new clean-energy vehicles cruising county roads.

The vouchers, worth $1,100 for hybrid electric/gasoline vehicles, or $2,200 for full battery-powered vehicles, come by way of a $122,000 grant from the Clean Air Fund, a $1.5 million program created by the 3M Company.

Participating dealerships in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo and Oxnard will accept the vouchers to go toward the purchase of various electric vehicles, dealership specific, which include the Fiat 500E, Chevy Leaf and the plug-in Sonata, to name a few.

Applications for vouchers will be randomly selected on Sept. 1. For more information and to apply, visit www.vcapcd.org.

Lawsuit filed over statewide recycled water rule

The Wishtoyo Foundation has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that new recycled water regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board in June fail to meet requirements of the California Constitution, Water Code and public trust doctrine.

Mati Waiya, Chumash ceremonial elder and Wishtoyo Foundation executive director, said in a statement that the lawsuit “has significant implications for Ventura County.”

“Local recycled water projects should be managed to help restore the Santa Clara River’s in-stream cultural resources the Chumash depend upon, endangered fish and wildlife, including the Southern California steelhead and the recreational and educational opportunities for economically and politically marginalized residents in Oxnard, Ventura, Saticoy, El Rio, Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru.”

In December of 2015, Wishtoyo filed a lawsuit against the State Water Resources Control Board and Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board over a recycled water permit issued to the city of Oxnard for its Advanced Water Purification Facility.

The State Water Resources Control Board’s Office of Chief Counsel said that they do not comment on pending litigation, save that “we will vigorously defend the State Water Board’s action.”

Triumph for Oxnard boxer in Brookly

Miguel Angel Garcia, aka Mikey Garcia — former two-time WBO world champion in the featherweight division — stepped back into the ring on Saturday, July 30, after a two-year hiatus as if he had never left, knocking down former WBC featherweight champion Elio Rojas four times before the match was stopped in the fifth round. The fight was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Showtime Championship Boxing.

“I didn’t feel any ring rust,” said Garcia post-match. On the future, Garcia says that his “objective is to challenge for a title at 135 pounds, then perhaps unify titles in that division if the opportunity presents itself.”

Garcia’s record improves to 35-0, with 29 knockouts.