The people of Ojai have shared a one-of-a-kind insurance policy since 1939: a building at 113 S. Montgomery St. called the Ojai Art Center. During the dedication ceremony for the Community Art Center of the Ojai Valley (the center’s original name) nearly 80 years ago, founding member Charles Butler told attendees, “You, who have made this center possible, must keep it alive, vital and a force for good. This is a permanent insurance policy you have written for yourselves — an insurance against the improper use of leisure time.” The policy’s current steward is Teri Mettala, executive director of...Read More
Author: Karen Lindell
The California Welfare and Institutions Code likely ranks low on a list of inspiring reading material. Yet a section of the code’s legalese has inspired a line of Oxnard-based street apparel: the Fifty150 Brand. Section 5150 (pronounced “fifty-one-fifty”) of the code refers to the involuntary psychiatric hold placed on mentally ill people in California. Robert Quiroz, founder of Fifty150, a downtown Oxnard clothing store and online retailer, is redefining the term and its association with “crazy.” “The message is about being crazy chasing your dreams and overcoming obstacles,” Quiroz said. “It’s about being passionate.” Actor-comedian George Lopez has given...Read More
Ojai’s Libbey Park is a picturesque but finite space. More than 20 years ago, painters, potters and musicians (and patrons of each) crowded together among the oaks when Art in the Park, the Ojai Music Festival and a Ventura County Potters Guild show took place the same weekend in June at the downtown park. “We used to get this flood of people flying through to the band shell in a rush for the music festival — it was crazy,” said Bonnie Caruk, an Ojai resident and painter who has been participating in Art in the Park for two decades....Read More
Inevitable roadblocks arise when trying to open an institution of public higher education in California: space, funding, parking, environmental concerns. And if that institution is run jointly by the University of California and California State University systems, another thorny problem arises: quarters or semesters? “We just called them ‘quarmesters,’ ” said Joyce Kennedy, laughing, as she talked about scheduling conflicts when the UC/CSU Ventura Learning Center opened at 3585 Maple St. in Ventura in 1974. Kennedy is the author of Conflict of Visions: The Birthing of a University. Yes, at the end of the book, California State University, Channel...Read More
“What sort of things do you remember best?” Alice ventured to ask. “Oh, things that happened the week after next,” the Queen replied in a careless tone. — Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass In Wonderland, memories are magical. In real life, mangled brain cells get in the way. “I think memory is everything, really,” said Zoe Murdock of Ojai. “If we don’t have our memories, I don’t know if we’re even a person.” Murdock explores the meaning of memory in her new novel, Man in the Mirror, featuring a main character who grapples with a problem usually reserved...Read More
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