Eco groups sue over whale habitat protections

The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Foundation have sued the Trump Administration, alleging that it has failed to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean.

The suit, filed in district court in San Francisco on March 15, has been brought in hopes of forcing the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow the Endangered Species Act’s requirement to “designate critical habitat within one year of listing a species as threatened or endangered and not authorize actions that would damage that habitat.”

Two species of humpback whale were listed as endangered and a third as threatened in September 2016.

The Trump administration has run afoul of environmental groups in California in many ways since announcing in January that it would invite offshore drilling in federal waters, including those off the West Coast; but the Refugio oil spill of 2015, which dumped 21,000 gallons of oil into the waters north of Ventura, is still fresh on the mind.

“As cargo ships and crabbing gear slaughter West Coast humpbacks, the Trump administration won’t lift a finger to save these magnificent whales,” said Catherine Kilduff, attorney for the center. “The federal government needs to protect critical humpback habitat that’s prone to oil spills and dangerously dense with fishing gear and ship traffic. These whales need urgent action, not more delays.”

Ventura State Library’s County of the Month

Move over, every other county in California; Ventura’s taking the stage for the month of March as the California State Library’s California History Section’s County of the Month.
The designation recognizes organizations involved in preserving county-level culture and outreach, as well as history resources available to researchers at the State Library.

Ventura County is the seventh county to receive this award. The California History Section launched the County of the Month program in August 2017.

To read more about the award, including Ventura County fun facts and much more, visit www.library.ca.gov/california-history/county-month/.

T.O. art grant applications now being accepted

Nonprofit organizations seeking funding for cultural arts and special events have until Wednesday, April 11, to apply for a part of the city of Thousand Oaks’ $100,000 endowment fund, a grant established by the Cultural Affairs Commission.

The annual application period opened on Feb. 26 and will run through April 11, and events or activities funded through the grant must take place before June 30, 2018.

The commission will host an explanation session featuring information on how to apply on Tuesday, March 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Oak Room, Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. For more information on the grant, visit www.toaks.org/departments/city-manager-s-office/grant-opportunities.

Ojai launches government access livestream

If the thought of spending a Friday night at home in front of the television watching the goings-on of the Ojai City Council excites you, then have we got news for you: The city has launched a website featuring livestreams and recordings of council and commission meetings.

Previously, only subscribers to Spectrum cable had access to the channel. Now, all residents can visit www.ojaicity.org, click on “Government Access Channel” and watch meetings to their heart’s content.

The city says that it is working toward indexing meetings, similar to the system the city of Ventura already has in place, wherein users can click on a particular agenda item and be taken to that point in the recording.