Author: Michael Sullivan

LETTERS | August 2017

updated Aug. 18. Ongoing problem of SB 54 According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Senate Bill 54 may be in jeopardy. This should come as a relief to all Californians. In April of this year, the bill’s author said, “No one wants dangerous or violent criminals roaming our streets,” but that is precisely what SB 54 will ensure. As currently written, the bill would force Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents into our communities to find criminals instead of allowing them to be picked up while in custody. Additionally, the bill seeks to define who...

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YISSEL BARAJAS

AGRICULTURE Yissel Barajas Chief human resources officer Reiter Affiliated Companies of Oxnard, the world’s largest fresh multi-berry producer Tell us about your education and the various successes and hurdles you experienced as a professional. My parents are immigrants from Mexico and worked in agriculture to support our family, and as the oldest of four siblings I was the first to attend a university. Although they could not guide me on the pathways to obtaining a higher education, my parents did always encourage me to pursue my educational goals. I attended UCLA and received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master’s Degree in urban planning. As a result of my personal background, my career has always been focused on giving back to the community and in my current position in agriculture I focus on creating a respectful and fulfilling work environment for all employees. Why did you decide to get into ag work and what are hurdles for women in particular to advance in that industry? My early career was in affordable housing and when the chance to transition into agriculture knocked at my door, I realized this would be a dynamic opportunity with great potential to leverage my personal and professional experience. I decided to work for Reiter Affiliated Companies because my personal values aligned with the company’s values, and we share a desire to implement...

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MICHELE M. CASTILLO

JUSTICE Michele M. Castillo Superior Court Judge, Ventura County First Latina to serve on bench in county, public defender for nine years What is your educational background? What were the main hurdles in becoming an attorney? I attended  Buena and Santa Barbara High Schools, UCLA (graduated with two bachelor of arts degrees, one in history, the other in women’s studies), Thomas Jefferson School of Law (J.D. degree), and the University of Oxford (Oxford, England, earning a certificate in international human rights law and the international rights of women). The main hurdle towards becoming an attorney was financial. Law school is very expensive. I worked several jobs and took out student loans to pay for my education. Why did you decide to become a lawyer and specifically a public defender? I became a lawyer because I was drawn towards social justice. It is a passion that I developed at a very young age. I became a public defender because it allowed me to think outside the box, be creative and represent those who could otherwise not afford an attorney. Why did you decide to move from being an attorney to a judge? My motivation for becoming a judge came from the following: to insure that justice prevails, uphold the integrity of the justice system, uphold laws, improve society (MLK Jr., “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this...

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THE WOMEN’S ISSUE | Breaking the glass ceiling

As my family and I sat at the boarding gate for Delta Air Lines in Detroit on Aug. 5, I noticed something that I had never paid attention to before, maybe because it had never been so apparent as it was at that moment, given I had been planning our special women’s issue for the last few months, or it was simply unusual, but our pilot was a woman, Capt. Mary L. Larson. As we entered the plane, I became even more aware of how unique this whole situation was: the copilot, Erin Cole, was also a woman. According to...

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Which side are you on?

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference …. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.” — Elie Wiesel, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Samantha Bloom of Maumee, Ohio, seemed to be especially perplexed over the weekend when reporters came to her house to talk to her about her son, James Alex Fields, 20, who had just been arrested after plowing his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring at least 19 other people. Bloom, who was unaware of his arrest, said she thought...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Shakespeare: A Celebration

    June 9 - September 28
  2. Channel Islands Harbor Fine Art Festival

    August 19 - August 20
  3. Studio Channel Islands hosts KidSTREAM-sponsored Solar Eclipse Event

    August 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  4. Ojai Pops Orchestra Concert

    August 20 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  5. Experience the Eclipse 2017

    August 21 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm