College District announces chancellor position finalists

The Ventura County Community College District has announced six finalists for consideration to fill the role of chancellor. The District has had an interim chancellor, Bernie Luskin, since May 2015, and in May 2016, the District paid $29,000 to a private firm to help find its new Chancellor.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One year later, the six finalists are: Dr. Jerry L. Buckley, who has served as dean of mathematics, natural sciences, exercise science and wellness at Grossmont College in 2005, and in 2013 served as assistant superintendent/vice president of academic affairs at College of the Canyons, among other achievements; Dr. David El Fattal, who currently serves as vice chancellor, business and administrative services, for the Ventura County Community College District; Dr. Greg Gillespie, who has served as president of Ventura College for four years; Dr. Otto W.K. Lee, president of Los Angeles’ Harbor College; Dr. Melinda Nish, who currently serves as the executive advisor to the president at the College of the Marshall Islands; and Arturo Reyes, who is in his fifth year as the superintendent/president at the Mendocino-Lake Community College District.

A community forum will be held on Monday, March 20, at the Ventura County Office of Education, 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo (exact time to be decided). For more information, visit www.vcccd.edu.

Moorpark DREAMer invited to Trump’s address to Congress

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, invited Martha Zavala Perez of Moorpark to be her guest at President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Martha Zavala Perez was brought from Mexicali, Mexico, to the United States at the age of 1 by her parents. Martha was unaware of her legal status until she was in high school, when she expressed a strong desire to apply to college and encountered resistance from her parents.

Today, Perez holds a bachelor’s degree from CSU, Channel Islands, and a master’s degree from Pepperdine University, after obtaining DREAMer status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Perez is currently a special consultant to the vice president for student affairs at CSUCI, working in the Undocumented Student Services office, which supports undocumented students in their pursuit of higher education.

“I invited Martha Zavala Perez to the joint session because I want President Trump, and all Americans, to know her story of hard work and success, as well as Martha’s incredible passion and commitment to service in our community,” said Brownley.

Ventura County doctors named in statewide probation report

Eleven doctors in Ventura County have been named as being on probation, according to a report released by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. The doctors’ actions vary from excessive prescribing to gross negligence and drug use.

A joint hearing was held on Monday, Feb. 27, to determine whether the state’s Medical Board is fulfilling its mission to protect health-care consumers. The question of whether or not patients should be notified if their physicians are on probation was a key question at the hearing. Currently, California does not require physicians to disclose that they are or have been on probation.

At the hearing, Board President Dr. Dev GnanaDev said that forcing physicians to reveal their status would “destroy the doctor-patient relationship,” while committee Chairman Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Francisco, said that not doing so is “dishonest.”

In 2016, Hill proposed SB 1033, which would have required “physicians, podiatrists, acupuncturists and chiropractors on probation for serious offenses such as sexual misconduct, substance abuse, gross negligence, or a felony conviction related to patient care to notify patients of their probationary status before visits take place,” but the bill did not pass. New legislation is expected to be introduced later this year.

Ventura Farmers Markets see success in SNAP program

The Market Match and the Cal-Fresh (SNAP) food programs offered by the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association have been successful, according to the Association, in alerting Cal-Fresh/SNAP recipients that benefits are redeemable at certain farmers markets.

Market Match uses California grant dollars to match or double a portion of federal nutritional assistance benefits when used at certified farmers markets.

“This is a win-win for both our farmers and shoppers who benefit from this program,” said Karen Schott, operations manager for the Association. “We have seen over a 100 percent increase in program utilization since we started offering Market Match, and we are delighted to join together in this public-health partnership.”

The current grant ends in Spring 2017 and the Association is currently applying for another grant, which would begin in July and extend the program for another two years. For more information on Ventura County farmers markets, and locations that accept benefits, visit www.vccfarmersmarkets.com.