Dallas Cowboys offering grants to local nonprofits

Benevolent spirit Jerry Jones, team owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has donated $10,000 to the city of Oxnard, funding four $2,500 grants to area nonprofits that provide services to Oxnard residents.

The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation provided the funds to the city as “a token of appreciation to the community for welcoming the Dallas Cowboys, America’s team, to Oxnard for the popular Cowboys summer training camp,” according to an Oxnard press release.

Interested organizations may apply for grants by filling out applications available at the city manager’s office, 300 W. Third St., fourth floor, or on the city’s website at www.oxnard.org/CowboysCharity. Completed applications must be submitted to the city manager’s office by mail, in person or by email at charities@oxnard.org by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.

Four nonprofits will be chosen at random to receive the grant, and winners will be announced at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. For more information, call 385-7450.

CI Maritime Museum dedicates days for private tours

Private groups looking to score a view of the Channel Islands Harbor whilst browsing a collection of maritime art and artifacts have a reason to celebrate this month as the Channel Islands Maritime Museum announces Tuesdays and Wednesdays being set aside exclusively for them.

CIMM’s Groups Only days give any group of 10 or more, including but not limited to home schools, clubs, meet-ups and otherwise, access to the museum’s grounds. Customized tours may also be booked, based upon “unique interests.”

“The feedback has been wonderful,” said Michele Bara, CIMM tourism director, noting that New West Symphony, U.S. Naval Alumni and other groups have already taken advantage of the set-aside days. “These groups are excited to have exclusive access to our rare maritime collections, and being able to enjoy a lunch and a lecture along with a docent tour has made their visits exceptional.”

For information on group or educational tours, contact Bara on Thursdays and Fridays at 984-6260.

Eco groups defend denial of crude-oil train

Phillips 66 has filed a lawsuit challenging the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission’s denial of the company’s proposal to construct a crude-oil train terminal in Nipomo, which would guide trains transporting crude oil through Ventura County en route to the station.

Following a yearlong hearing process that saw environmental and community groups testify in opposition to the project, voicing concerns over safety and the environmental impact such a depot could have, Phillips 66 has challenged the commission’s conclusion that the site proposed for the project contained valuable and rare habitat protected under the California Coastal Act and by other local ordinances. Along with the lawsuit, Phillips appealed the decision to the San Luis Obispo Board of Commissioners.

A coalition of environmental advocacy groups (Environmental Defense Center, Sierra Club, Communities for a Better Environment, Center for Biological Diversity, Surfrider Foundation and Stand.earth) were granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit, expressing concern about the environmental risk and the public review process.

“Because the public played such a critical role in convincing the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission to deny the project, it is important that our organizations be allowed to participate in the court proceedings as well,” stated Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Environmental Defense Center (EDC). “Phillips 66’s attempt to reverse the Planning Commission’s decision to protect environmentally sensitive habitats should be handled through the normal agency appeal process, not the courts.”

If constructed, the Phillips 66 terminal could allow for up to 7 million gallons of crude oil to be shipped up and down the California coast weekly.

The groups have asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed, and that motion will be heard on Feb. 16.