Oxnard the site of Amazon’s next headquarters?

Move over, Seattle; Oxnard’s got Amazon’s number. In a bid to win the favor of the global online merchant’s quest to find a location for a second headquarters, the city of Oxnard has thrown its hat into the ring for consideration.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, City Manager Greg Nyhoff and Ventura County’s Deputy Executive Paul Stamper attended a “make-or-break” meeting in Sacramento at the behest of Gov. Jerry Brown. On offer from Oxnard through collaboration with Sakioka property owners: 4 million square feet of commercial space to accommodate 50,000 employees just off Highway 101.

“Amazon HQ2 would be a great addition to Oxnard,” says Kymberly Horner, Oxnard’s economic development director. “Oxnard residents would benefit greatly by having Amazon come to our community. As we move forward with the application process we will be looking at county impacts with local and regional partners.”

“For Oxnard, the benefits of bringing a world-class company like Amazon to our city are enormous,” says City Manager Nyhoff. “For Amazon, Oxnard would be something of an unexpected, but truly outstanding location right off Highway 101: affordable land, room to locate staff, a highly educated regional workforce, five regional universities, proximity to Los Angeles and several regional and international airports.”

Oxnard was expected to submit its application by Thursday, Oct. 19, to the state and to Amazon.

Buses potentially going global in County

When a big blue bus passes you by on the freeway, perhaps you’ll think of the shining Atlantic Ocean separating these United States from Europe, where a Paris-based company resides and sits as the front-runner to operate the Ventura County Transportation Commission’s intercity bus lines.

Seven bus lines run among Ventura County cities and Los Angeles and Santa Barbara County cities, carrying around 800,000 passengers a year. Since 2014, the buses have been operated by Camarillo-based Roadrunner Management Services. In March, however, Roadrunner accused the commission of breach of contract and filed a claim for $1.4 million, the amount allegedly owed for an increase in annual driver service hours.

The commission agreed to pay Roadrunner $750,000 in back payments. Under the settlement, Roadrunner had an option to sell its company by Sept. 30, as reported by the VCStar. The deadline has passed, but RATP Dev America, subsidiary of the French public transit operator RATP Group, has submitted a proposal to buy Roadrunner and the bus contract.

While the offer is on the table, the commission has released its own request for proposals from other operators, with a deadline of Feb. 14, 2018.

RATP operates in 15 other countries and operates London, England’s famous double-decker buses. No decision has been made as yet.

Port of Hueneme launches effort in Costa Rica

The Port of Hueneme assisted in launching ships full of supplies for the La Montana Christian Camps in Costa Rica on Wednesday, Oct. 4, in collaboration with several local organizations.

The port partnered with ENCOUNTER Bible Fellowship Church of Ventura, Del Monte Fresh Produce, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Ports America and Latin America Assistance (LAMA) after several months of ongoing efforts to support educational programs in the Central American country.

“At a time when disasters are hitting many parts of our world, we are proud that when we are called upon to support a humanitarian effort, the Port of Hueneme family of Commissioners, staff, stevedore companies, and longshoremen have all donated their time and labor to a mission supporting children in Costa Rica,” said Secretary of the Board of Harbor Commissioners Jess Herrera.

“The material that this container holds are all the materials used at the camp grounds. The purchasing power of the dollar is much better here in the States; the cost to purchase this same equipment down there would be much higher,” said Joe Pent, executive director of LAMA and La Montana Christian Camp.

The donated containers aboard the Star Pride V.38 ship is expected to arrive at Costa Rica on Saturday, Oct. 21. 

Active Shooter Scenario drills held countywide

You may see unusual activity in various places across the county on Wednesday, Oct. 25, as several active-shooter-scenario drills will be held at various locations.

Ventura County’s Public Health Department, Emergency Medical Services Agency, Emergency Preparedness Office, along with local, state and federal agencies, will be involved with this activity that occurs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Emergency Medical Services Agency says that this exercise “will provide 150-plus medical facilities in Ventura County with an opportunity to assess capabilities, and test communication plans, policies and procedures during a simulated active attacker incident.”

These events are not open to the public.

Breast cancer awareness month partnership

Ventura County Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution, has partnered with the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In November 2016, the credit union donated $2,340 to Ribbons of Life through contributions of VCCU members and employees. This year, the credit union plans to raise more through a combination of bracelet sales and individual donations.

Through October, the VCCU staff will make a $10 donation, which makes them eligible to wear a pink breast cancer awareness shirt and jeans every Wednesday. Additionally, VCCU will offer breast cancer awareness bracelets and buttons for any donation amount to its members at its eight branches, and 100 percent of proceeds will benefit the local nonprofit organization. They also have large pink paper cutouts to write messages and stick along the teller line.

To learn more about VCCU and its community services, visit www.vccuonline.net. To donate or get involved with Ribbons of Life, go to www.ribbonsventura.org.