Ventura street dedicated to former councilman

Former Ventura City Councilman James Monahan has been honored with the naming of James Monahan Way, a street that runs parallel to city hall. 

Monahan served as a councilmember for 41 years, retiring in December 2018. The new street runs from Poli Street to the City Hall parking lot, where it meets the entryway to the Ventura Botanical Gardens.

Monahan received many accolades during his tenure, including being named the 2018 Citizen of the Year Award by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce. Monahan founded Ventura’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and was a vocal proponent of the recently opened veterans’ home in Ventura County.

Legislation will protect Carrizo Plain and other national monuments

Local environmental advocacy groups are applauding the introduction of federal legislation protecting national monuments across the nation, including the Carrizo Plain, part of which exists in Ventura County.

On Thursday, Feb. 7, the America’s Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States (ANTIQUITIES) Act of 2019 was introduced and cosponsored by more than 100 Democratic members of Congress, including both California Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein.

The Act officially declares Congress’ support for the 52 national monuments established between 1996 and 2018, reinforces existing law requiring an act of Congress to reduce or diminish a national monument, and enhances protections for presidentially designated national monuments to match that of congressionally designated monuments, including requiring proper funding and drafting management plans.

“We’re thrilled that this new Congress is taking its obligation seriously to protect and preserve our nation’s rich legacy of public lands,” said Los Padres ForestWatch Public Lands Advocate Rebecca August. “National parks, forests and monuments have faced countless threats. This bill will secure the future of these iconic landscapes so that we can all continue to explore and enjoy them for generations to come.”

Congressman Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, is one of the House co-sponsors. The Carrizo Plain, which exists within Carbajal’s jurisdiction, was established as a national monument in 2001 and is referred to as California’s Serengeti, covering more than 206,000 acres spanning San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Camarillo to host Parkinson’s Disease conference

The Parkinson’s Foundation will host an educational conference in Camarillo on Friday, Feb. 22, dubbed “Exercise and the Brain: The Parkinson’s Connection.”

Speaker Michael Jakowec, Ph.D., associate professor of research neurology at Keck School of Medicine of USC, will share information on how and why exercise impacts the brain.

“Exercise is an important part of managing Parkinson’s symptoms,” said Deuk Perrin, a Parkinson’s Foundation hospital safety advocate residing in Ventura County. “It’s good to try different exercises to find what you enjoy. I’m looking forward to moving and learning!”

The conference will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Camarillo Community Center Auditorium, 1605 Burnley St., Camarillo. Attendance is free, but registration is required. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org/ventura.

Entrances sought for California Strawberry Festival recipe contest

Think you’ve got a “berry” good strawberry-centric recipe? Prove it by entering it into the 36th Annual California Strawberry Festival’s “Berry Blast Off Recipe Contest” to be judged and decided upon on May 7.

Original, non-baked, sweet or savory-tasting strawberry dishes including sauces, desserts, entrées, dips, drinks, jams, spreads and everything in between are welcome.

Five finalists will be selected and on May 7, the contestants will have one hour to prepare and present their dishes before a panel of judges. The top two will get a shot to show off their strawberry skills at the Strawberry Festival on May 18.

Deadline for submission is Friday, April 5. For more information and to apply, visit www.CAStrawberryFestival.org.