Oxnard’s first powwow comes to the beach this weekend

The Oxnard Powwow Committee will host its first-ever powwow, a gathering of native peoples in celebration of their culture, at Oxnard Beach Park this weekend.

The First Annual Native American Peoples Intertribal Powwow will take place on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, and will feature members of local and out-of-state tribes with food, music and activities.

“Being able to sing, say our prayers on the grounds, to me that’s really important that we’re all able to come together and share this,” said Ben Martinez, committee advisor. “To come together and watch over our elders as well as our veterans, to be able to be there and honor them in that way and be able to honor each other in that way is very special.”

Sonny Flores, a Northern Cheyenne tribe elder, says that he feels the native community had been underrepresented in the area for some time and that the powwow was created to address that.

“We said, let’s get together and have a powwow for the people in Ventura County, not only for Oxnard, the whole county can come,” said Flores.

The powwow will take place at the Oxnard Beach Park, 1601 S. Harbor Blvd., Oxnard, on Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and on Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit, www.calendar.powwows.com/events/categories/pow-wows-in-california/.

Ojai celebrates county-first green designation

The City of Ojai will celebrate a Ventura County first on Friday: certification from the American Green Zone Alliance as an official Green Zone City.

The designation comes by way of the city working closely with AGZA and the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District in transitioning its landscape maintenance equipment such as mowers and other equipment into zero-emission, battery-powered machines, the first such move in Ventura County.

“The City of Ojai should be commended for this air quality and climate-friendly accomplishment; their successful conversion to zero-emission landscaping equipment will serve as an inspiration to other cities and entities such as school districts in the county,” said Mike Villegas, air pollution control officer.

AGZA says that the conversion to zero-emission equipment will prevent an estimated 82 tons of pollution from entering the atmosphere, no small feat in light of a new report from the California Air Resources Board, which projects that by 2020, pollution from gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment will surpass emissions from all passenger vehicles in the United States.

Ojai joins South Pasadena as the second AGZA certified Green Zone City in the country. A demonstration of the battery-powered equipment will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 12, at Libbey Park, 210 S. Signal St., Ojai. For more information, call 805-646-5581.

Ventura post office honors mural artist

The United States Postal Service will honor artist Gordon K. Grant, whose Depression Era mural depicting agricultural workers in the 1930s is featured at the Ventura Main Post Office, with a ceremony on Friday, April 12.

First painted in 1936-37, the Grant mural known as “Agriculture and Industries of Ventura” was funded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal initiative, which sought to put unemployed peoples to work, including artists. Artists across the country were commissioned to paint murals in local post offices depicting the history of the area.

Grant’s mural, which wraps around the inside of the building from the lobby through the entranceway, shows men and women at various stages of work including milking cows and carrying grain.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at Ventura Main Post Office, 675 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura. For more information, visit www.usps.com.

Gary Sinise to headline free TO concert benefitting Borderline, fire victims

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will headline a free concert in Thousand Oaks on Saturday honoring first responders and the victims of the Borderline shooting and the Woolsey and Hill fires.

The Concert for Defenders event will also feature Grammy-nominated Five for Fighting.

The Gary Sinise Foundation is an organization that supports veterans, first responders and their families by constructing smart homes for severely-wounded veterans and by aiding the children of veterans via its many programs. The free concert will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at California Lutheran University, William Rolland Stadium, 60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks.

To RSVP and for more information visit www.ConcertForDefenders.com.