Woman found dead in water near Ventura Pier

The body of a 54-year-old woman was discovered in the water near the Ventura Pier on Sunday, March 17.

Surfers making use of the popular Surfer’s Point location noticed the body floating in the waters and pulled it nearer to the pier, where Ventura Harbor officials retrieved her. No obvious sign of death was noted and the identity of the woman was not released on Sunday pending notification of relatives.

High school students discuss immigration issues in series

Students of the El Camino High School at Ventura College are tackling the topic of immigration by getting up close and personal with immigrants in a series aired locally.

ECTV’s Immigrant Series gives students the opportunity to learn the stories of immigrants from different walks of life.

Phil Taggart, teacher and Ventura County Poet Laureate, said that the students’ interviews reflect a variety of histories and backgrounds.

“We got people who have come from Mexico but also people who came over during the Jewish diaspora from Germany during World War II. Of course, some were turned away; this woman was turned away and ended up in Uruguay and now lives here,” said Taggart.

Taggart said that the students chose the project themselves “because they wanted to talk about it” in light of the migrant caravan at the US-Mexico border.

“This is something they were curious about and they had their own opinions about it,” said Taggart. “And instead of us telling them what to think, they’re actually talking to people and making their own decisions about what this is and what has happened here.”

So far, the interviews that have been completed can be viewed online, with future interviews schedule prior to Ventura County Office of Education Board Meetings. For a full schedule, visit www.capsmedia.org.

County Science Fair and STEM Expo kicks off

Grab the vinegar and pull up a seat — a volcano is about to pop off at the Ventura County Science Fair and STEM Expo.

The Expo, now in its 65th iteration hosted by the Ventura County Office of Education, will feature 600 Ventura County students presenting over 500 projects ranging in topics from classic erupting volcanoes to new-fangled gadgetry. Also included in the activities for students will be a STEM Expo hosted by California Lutheran University during which career opportunities and exhibits will be on hand for exploration.

While the competition itself is closed to students only, a public project viewing will be held between 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25, at VCOE Conference and Educational Services Center, 5100 Adolfo Road, Camarillo. For more information, visit www.vcoe.org/ScienceFair.

Camarillo forum to be held on Clean Power Alliance

Calling all curious Camarillo citizens: A Clean Power Alliance forum will be held in your city on Tuesday, March 26.

The forum will cover the electrical and energy programs offered by the program during a presentation, followed by a question and answer segment.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at the Camarillo City Hall Council Chambers, 601 Carmen Drive, Camarillo. For more information, visit www.cityofcamarillo.org.

Lake Casitas OK to divert, Lake Piru 73 percent full

The long, hot drought is over after seven years of misery across the state, and with water flowing, changes are coming to the sun-parched Lake Casitas where the extended drought caused water levels to drop to historic lows.

Lake Casitas provides water to the Ojai Valley and a portion of Ventura. When the water flows — which up until recently hadn’t been the case — water is diverted from the Ventura River into the lake to replenish reserves. The Casitas Municipal Water District had not diverted water to the lake in some time due to the potential to harm habitat for the endangered steelhead trout and because the lake had received some water from storms in 2017 and 2018.

Lake Piru, on the other hand, has been declared to be 73 percent full following the storms. The lake, which is managed by United Water, had only been 15 percent full in October 2018. United says that 62.7 acre-feet of water has been harvested from Lake Piru and the Freeman Diversion facilities (which includes water purchases from northern California).

“And while this is more rain and purchased water than we have seen in a long while, we would still need 117,000 acre-feet more water to be completely out of the drought,” said Mauricio Guardado, general manager for United Water Conservation District.