Oak View oversized vehicle ban begins

Beware, RV and other oversized-vehicle owners: The community of Oak View has enacted a ban on parking said vehicles on public streets, effective immediately.

In June, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance prohibiting the parking of oversized vehicles on Oak View streets after receiving complaints from residents in the area. Residents told the Board that the vehicles “reduce safety at intersections” and have “contributed to traffic accidents,” as written in a letter submitted to the Board by Supervisor Steve Bennet, District 1, in June.

Enforcement began on Wednesday, Sept. 19, and 16 signs have been installed around the community with details on the ordinance. Vehicles that exceed 25 feet in length, 7 feet in width or 8 feet in height are all subject to the ban.

Opponents of the ordinance cite a lack of affordable storage for recreational vehicles in the Ojai Valley, but Bennett said in June that public comments received on the ordinance “strongly favored prohibiting the parking of oversized vehicles.”

To read the ordinance and to see a full map of the affected area, found on the County Board of Supervisors agenda, June 18, item 55, visit https://bit.ly/2ORMwos.

Nationwide emergency alert test Wednesday

Do not be alarmed; it’s only a test of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert System, coming to personal devices on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 11:18 a.m.

The test, originally scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20, had been postponed due to Hurricane Florence and ongoing emergency response efforts.

The emergency message will come with a “Presidential Alert” headline, followed by a loud tone and special vibration. FEMA says that the test has been scheduled to assure that the system would work during a national emergency.

The text alert will be followed by a one-minute radio and television emergency alert broadcast. Again, do not be alarmed, it’s only a test.

Ventura County Writers Club launches short story contest

Writers, grab your pens and get scribin’; the Ventura County Writers Club is currently accepting entries for its 18th annual short-story contest.

The Club hosts two divisions, one for adults and one for high school students, with cash prizes awarded to first through third places at a ceremony to be held in Camarillo in January.

Submissions of previously unpublished, family-friendly short stories of no more than 2,500 words are being accepted now through Wednesday, Oct. 31. For more information and further details, visit www.venturacountywriters.com.

County service program saves $33 million in decade

The County of Ventura Service Excellence Program, launched in June 2008, has thus far generated more than $33 million in annual savings according to numbers released by County Executive Officer Mike Powers’ office.

“We’ve completed more than 1,100 improvements across our agencies and service areas,” said Powers. “As a result, customers have experienced shortened wait times, higher-quality services, more online access to services and extended hours of service. We want our customers to be able to spend more time online and less time in line. The program has also reduced overhead costs, which translates into freezing or minimizing fee increases, freeing up resources to further enhance services.”

Just over 4,700 county employees have received service training under the program, which Powers says gave the county the capacity to handle issues involving the Affordable Care Act and implementation, foster care reform and the Thomas Fire, to name a few.

“In every case, the Service Excellence Program gave us the internal capacity to resolve issues and meet customer needs,” said Powers. “One example of this is the expedited building permit process for Thomas Fire survivors.”

The program has been shared with other cities and counties in California, and ongoing training with California State University, Channel Islands, has been implemented.