Ventura County sees 16 percent decrease in crime in 2018

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department has announced that in 2018 crime dipped by 16 percent from the year prior by every measure save for one due to the Borderline shooting.

The data represents statistics from the five cities serviced by the Sherriff’s Department — Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai and Thousand Oaks — as well as the unincorporated portions of the county.

The dip comes via the Uniform Crime Reports that include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and arson. The only category which saw an increase was homicide accounting for the 12 who were killed during the Borderline shooting in November. The year prior had a total of five homicides; 2018 counted 18.

Aggravated assaults dropped by 26 percent, however; robberies dropped from 117 reported in 2017 to 89 in 2018; and so-called violent crimes saw a 21 percent decrease. Property crimes continues to be the Department’s most reported crime, at 89 percent of total calls. Arson saw the biggest drop, down 51 percent from the year prior with 17 reported crimes in 2018 down from 35 in 2017.

New Ventura County jail breaks ground in Santa Paula

Ground has been broken on the construction of the Todd Road Jail in Santa Paula, a 64-bed jail to house inmates with medical and mental health issues.

On Wednesday, March 6, a ceremony was held at the site located at 600 Todd Road in Santa Paula. The 64,000 square foot jail has been in the planning stages for several years, a project of The Health and Programming Unit, a result of the state of California’s adoption of realignment that requires longer stays for some inmates in county jails.

The total cost of the jail is $61.3 million, with 90 percent funding acquired from California’s Board of State and Community Corrections.

Patagonia hires former EPA counsel as environmental advocate

Ventura-headquartered outdoor apparel company Patagonia has hired Avi Garbow, who formerly served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s general counsel under President Barack Obama, as its first dedicated Environmental Advocate.

Garbow will “provide strategic leadership and vision to Patagonia’s robust environmental advocacy efforts,” wrote the company in a statement.

Patagonia is no stranger to butting heads with officials over environmental advocacy. In December 2017, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke directly attacked the company over its opposition to President Donald Trump’s move to shrink Utah’s Bears Ears national monument by up to 80 percent, which the company said would allow for mining and oil exploration via private companies.

Patagonia says that Garbow’s main focus, however, will be on the climate crisis.

“As Patagonia’s Environmental Advocate, Avi will provide leadership and strategy to our commitment to the planet,” said Rose Marcario, president and CEO. “He will help us advance policies that support land and water, renewable energy and regenerative organic agriculture. These are solutions that can not only curb our carbon problem, but also reverse it.”

“The need for private sector leaders to protect our environment, conserve our lands, and address the climate crisis has never been greater,” said Garbow.

Ventura hospital receives new heart-surgery tech

Community Memorial Hospital has recently added a new, minimally-invasive option for those looking forward to their next heart procedure.

The procedure known as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement can repair a damaged valve without removing it, instead replacing it with an artificial valve through the femoral artery in the groin via long catheter.

“The TAVR procedure is reducing the need for open-heart surgeries in some instances and hastening patient recovery,” said Dr. Omid Fatemi, Community Memorial Health System’s medical director of structural heart and high risk revascularization. 

The new procedure will take place in CMH’s new Ocean Tower, which includes a state-of-the-art cath lab where within the first week of opening four successful TAVR procedures have been performed.

For more information, visit www.cmhshealth.org.