Ventura’s new cycling lanes, safety award

That streak of green Ventura residents are seeing along Seaward Avenue is nothing to be envious about, but rather proud, as the city has implemented the first in a series of safety lanes for cyclists. On Sunday, June 4, BikeVentura celebrated the lanes with an inaugural ride while also observing the city’s recognition by the League of American Bicyclists.

The city began installing the green bike lanes in April, beginning with Main Street and Mills Road, and have recently completed addition of the lanes to Seaward Avenue and Sanjon Road. In an April release, the city cited the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Design Guide, which states that “colored pavement within a bicycle lane increases the visibility of the facility, identifies potential areas of conflict, and reinforces priority to bicyclists in conflict areas.”

In addition to the lane, so-called “bike boxes” have also been implemented. Bike boxes are designated areas at signals where cyclists can safely gather before proceeding and to safely make left turns.

Meanwhile, the League of American Bicyclists awarded the city a bronze award for safety, offering tips on how to improve to a silver award, such as adopting a “complete streets policy,” which would direct transportation planners and engineers to design with bicycle safety in mind and a suggestion to create a bicycle advisory committee. To read the full report, visit www.bikeleague.org.

For more information on BikeVentura, visit www.bikeventura.org.

Condors return to nest cam on Channel Islands

Bird is the word yet again on the Channel Islands, where the rare California condors have returned to nest in front of an online audience.

The public can watch the day-to-day activities of the California condor pair and their brood via livestreaming, color video provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in the Los Padres National Forest.

Activities include feeding and caring for the chick as well as bickering over whose turn it is to wake up and feed it in the middle of the night.

California condors are a federally endangered species with only 500 living in the wild, but have been the subject of a successful repopulation project. This is the third year of the webcam project in partnership with the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

To view the cam, visit www.fws.gov/cno/es/CalCondor/CondorCam.html.

Students compete in Sweets by the Beach

The results are in for the third annual Sweets by the Beach student culinary competition, and Rio Mesa High School has taken home top honors.

Three groups of student bakers from within the Oxnard High School District were chosen to compete after a preliminary competition. Each team had one hour to create a dessert using strawberry, chocolate and tamarind.

First place winners from Rio Mesa included students Sierra Furagganan and Savannah Wilkinson and teacher Cynthia Allen who made a dark chocolate panna cotta. Pacifica High School’s team consisted of Christina Carrillo and April Chavez Betancourt with teacher Kristen Ofeldt and Raymond Avalos-Gavutyan competed from Channel Islands High School with support from his teacher, Christie Biddison.

The winners were awarded with plaques and a future opportunity to experience a “Chef of the Day” job at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Resort, as well a silver spoon award and certificate from Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village.