by Kimberly Rivers

LA Sheriff’s detective will serve three years for sex with child

Agoura resident Neil David Kimball was sentenced in Ventura County Superior Court for the maximum sentence of three years at state prison and ordered to pay $50,000 to the victim as a result of being convicted of child molestation. Kimball must also register as a sex offender.

Kimball met the victim in 2017 when he was a detective with the Special Victim’s Unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The 15-year-old child had reported that she was a victim of sexual assault in Los Angeles County. Kimball was investigating the case, developed a relationship with the child and ultimately was charged and convicted of committing lewd acts and sexual intercourse with a child.   

The case was prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault and Family Protection Unit.

County supervisors approve plan to plant two million trees

On Aug. 6, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to plant 2 million trees over the next 20 years on county owned lands as part of the update to the land use rules of the county.

Linda Parks, Supervisor from District 2, said in a letter to the board that the trees are needed “because trees play a major role in combating global warming.”

During public comment John Davis, a resident of Upper Ojai, said the plan needed to be rethought because most of Ventura County is “chaparral” or “riparian” habitat and planting that many trees could negatively impact those areas.

The plan allocates $50,000 each year to cover the cost of planting and maintenance of the trees.

Oxnard College launches Dream Resource Center for undocumented students

On Aug. 14 Oxnard College celebrated the grand opening of the new Dream Resource Center to provide support services for undocumented students and families. Services at the center include, “Know Your Rights” workshops, Dream Act application help and mental health services.

Part of the center includes a “Dreamer’s Club,” which according to the college’s website, aims “to create a safe space for all students in which our AB-540 students and Allies work to educate and empower our community.” AB-540 was signed into law in 2001 and allows legal permanent residents, undocumented college students and citizens to apply for instate college tuition.

The center, located in the Associated Student Government Building, room 109 and is open Monday and Thursday 8 a.m – 5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Rancho Simi bans rodenticide

Citing concerns about long-term impacts to wildlife, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District Board of Directors voted to ban the use of rodenticides for managing pests. The change will impact parks and facilities in Oak Park and Simi Valley. The ban includes first- and second-generation anticoagulants. Instead of poisons the district will use traps and other means to deal with unwanted rodents.

Anticoagulants have been under scrutiny by the public and environmental organizations for their effect on mammals and predators higher up the food chain. The poisons do not kill the rodent instantly, instead allowing the animal to move about while the poison causes internal organ failure. When affected animals are eaten by mammal or raptor predators, the poison can build-up, causing death. 

VC Arts Council names new President

Last month the Ventura County Arts Council named Wendy Osher president of the board of directors following the departure of long-time president Todd Collart.

“We have been advocating for the arts and providing arts opportunities and education to residents for over 20 years,” said Osher. “As facilitator for all county artists and arts organizations, we aim to share the valuable work we and our partners do with a broader population, and to increase communications within our robust arts community.” She said the council is planning to develop new support for their work in order to expand access.

Existing programs include “Arts and Juvenile Justice,” aimed at providing arts education to minors in the juvenile justice system, and a new program, “Spanish Language Poetry Open Mic,” to be held at the VCAC space at the Pacific View Mall.

Ojai Valley Trail closed with detour

Ventura County Public Works has announced the temporary closure and rerouting a portion of the Ojai Valley Trail due to construction on a diversion canal aimed at reducing flooding in the area. Beginning Aug. 15, bike riders and pedestrians will be directed to a detour using Santa Ana Road.