The vast burning of the Thomas Fire did not surprise Rick Halsey, California’s leading expert on chaparral, but it frustrated him enormously. “The loss of life and property in this last set of fires [in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties] is just unacceptable,” he said. “If we had been addressing these fire risks the way we should have been, and focusing on protecting lives and property instead of treating vegetation, we could have made a real difference.” Halsey has been leading independent efforts to better understand and prepare for fire in Southern California for nearly 30 years as the...Read More
Author: Kit Stolz
The Thomas Fire, now said to be the largest wildfire in California’s recorded history, began during a high-wind event on Dec. 4th, in two separate locations in Ventura County, according to Cal Fire (the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). At 6:26 on the evening of Monday, Dec. 4, said the Ventura County Fire Department, a fire broke out to the east of the KOA Campground near Steckel Park, about 2 miles north of Santa Paula. Santa Ana winds gusting up to 80 miles per hour drove the blaze toward Thomas Aquinas College and to the west, across...Read More
A plan to drill four new oil wells at an existing one-acre oilfield processing operation near mobile home parks in Oxnard has spurred a coalition of environmental justice activists to appeal the proposal and gather signatures from local residents in opposition. Two organizations, Food and Water Watch (a statewide environmental group) and local group CFROG (Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas), have appealed a permit granted to a Bakersfield oil company to add four oil and gas wells to existing operations in the Cabrillo oil-field area two miles west of Highway 101. This is on unincorporated land near Oxnard...Read More
Even in the highly privatized, fenced and controlled landscape of Southern California today, large carnivores — mountain lions — range wild and mostly free through the hills and peaks of steep and rocky Ventura County. These mountain lions (also known as cougars or puma) eat only meat and prefer deer. The male of the species is about as large as a human, but much stronger, with hugely powerful hind legs. Grown mountain lions can leap — according to wildlife biologists — as much as 16 feet into the air and 40 feet at a bound. They slink relentlessly through...Read More
Ross Emery, who has been pounding the drums for 30 years for Ragin’ Arb and the Redheads — the band known as “the Rolling Stones of Ventura” — has taken his band’s famous volatility to a new level: respectability. He’s the promoter/evangelist behind the new incarnation of the Roadshow Revival (formerly Johnny Cash Music Festival) that has been running in the early summer in Ventura since 2009. In past years it filled the Ventura County Fairgrounds with up to five stages and 10,000 people, featuring performers such as Kris Kristofferson, the Blasters and Los Lobos. Last year, it moved...Read More
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