The Ventura City Council will be asked at their meeting Monday night to approve and fund an environmental study into proposed changes in the city's noise ordinance. Right now the ordinance establishes noise limits based on the amount of noise measured at the location where the noise complaint is generated. The proposal is to set the standards based on levels measured at the source of the noise. City staff says this is the way it's done at the Santa Barbara Bowl, Libbey Bowl in Ojai, and the Hollywood Bowl. They say it would eliminate ambiguity when measuring noise levels at various receiving sites. They say it would make it easier for concert and other event promoters to monitor and control noise levels. The issue came up when the council considered the summer concert series planned for the city hall upper parking lot. Staff says changing the noise ordinance would "reduce the risks associated with potential noise complaints" during future summer concert series. The council will consider approval of the EIR study at their meeting Monday night at 6 PM at 501 Poli Street in Ventura.
Caltrans says there will be overnight lane closures on the 101 through the Mussel Shoals and La Conchita areas starting tonight and for the whole work week. The lane closures are part of the ongoing carpool lane project. Tonight (Sunday) starting at 9 PM one lane in each direction will be closed until around 6 AM Monday morning, maybe later on the southbound side. Then, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday night, one northbound lane will be closed from 7 PM until 6 AM the next morning. Southbound on those nights, the lane closure will be from 8 PM to as late as 9 AM the next morning, although they'll try to get it reopened earlier than that. The closures are needed so they can "shift" traffic lanes along the six mile stretch of the project. The "shift" will involve moving traffic into the center median (where the newly paved carpool lanes will be) so they can work on the outside lanes. The "shift" is expected to be completed by December 16th. The whole $102 million project between Mussel Shoals and Carpinteria is expected to be completed in early 2015.
A Ventura City Councilman wants to set up a special committee to review the city charter and propose any changes they think would be appropriate. Councilman Carl Morehouse will ask the council Monday night to direct city staff to come back with a plan to set up a Charter Review Committee made up of citizens who will look at any possible changes in the charter which was last reviewed and revised in 1986. Morehouse points out several changes that have been proposed by members of the community. They include holding city elections in even-numbered years along with every other city in the county. Even-numbered years are when voters select the Governor and President and more people vote in even-numbered year elections. Also consolidating the city election into those even-numbered year general elections would save the city money on election costs. Morehouse says there have also been suggestions that the citizens should elect the Mayor directly rather than have council members select the Mayor from their ranks. Oxnard, Simi Valley, and Moorpark currently elect their mayors directly. He says it's also been suggested by some that council members represent specific districts rather than be elected at large, as is currently done. He goes on to outline other proposals that have been made regarding changes in the city charter that could be explored by this committee.
Ventura police are investigating what they are calling a suspicious death. Officers responded to a report of a battery victim to the rear of 1795 S. Victoria Avenue shortly after 9 AM Sunday morning. Police and fire personnel arrived at the location and found the individual who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say because of the suspicious nature of the death their detectives responded to assist. Police are calling the deceased individual a vagrant. The name of the individual has not been released pending notification of relatives. The cause of death has not been determined pending an autopsy. The Ventura County Coroner's Office is involved in the investigation along with police and they are not releasing any information at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call Ventura PD at (805) 339-4441.
The storm that moved through Ventura County Saturday brought a couple of inches of snow to the mountains and between a tenth and a half inch of rain. It forced closure of Interstate Five through the Grapevine for three hours Saturday morning. Highway 33 through the Los Padres National Forest was also closed for several hours due to snow but reopened with chains required. The rain caused some vehicle crashes, but there were no major incidents related to the storm. Saturday night and Sunday should be clear and dry but continued cold.
Rainfall amounts through 4 PM Saturday from the Ventura County Watershed Protection District…
VENTURA COUNTY COASTAL
CAMARILLO (KCMA).................. 0.22
CSU CHANNEL ISLANDS............... 0.12
OXNARD - NWS...................... 0.26
OXNARD CIVIC CENTER............... 0.20
SILVERSTRAND BEACH................ 0.11
LA CONCHITA....................... 0.23
VENTURA COUNTY WESTERN VALLEYS
STATION CANYON.................... 0.36
MATILIJA DAM...................... 0.22
STEWART CANYON.................... 0.33
LAKE CASITAS...................... 0.38
FAGAN CANYON...................... 0.24
SOUTH MOUNTAIN.................... 0.27
RED MOUNTAIN...................... 0.59
VENTURA COUNTY EASTERN VALLEYS
LAKE PIRU......................... 0.16
THOUSAND OAKS..................... 0.09
SYCAMORE CANYON DAM............... 0.16
ROCKY PEAK........................ 0.24
SIMI VALLEY....................... 0.30
CIRCLE X RANCH.................... 0.16
VENTURA COUNTY MOUNTAINS
APACHE CANYON..................... 0.12
LOCKWOOD VALLEY................... 0.11
WHITE LEDGE PEAK.................. 0.39
NORDHOFF RIDGE.................... 0.19
ORTEGA HILL....................... 0.08
ROSE VALLEY....................... 0.20
OLD MAN MOUNTAIN.................. 0.20
ALAMO MOUNTAIN.................... 0.03
Oxnard police are investigating a shooting incident. It was reported shortly before noon in the 1800 block of Napoleon. It appears that a passenger in a red sedan, possibly a Ford, got out and fired several rounds that struck a house and another vehicle. There were people working in front of the home, but no one was injured. The passenger got back into the suspect vehicle and it fled the area according to witnesses. Police are investigating and looking for the suspect vehicle.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has released the name of the man who was killed in a crash off Highway 118 in Simi Valley Friday morning. 26-year-old Kyle Webb of Simi Valley was pronounced dead at the scene. The CHP's preliminary investigation indicates that Webb was traveling at 90 miles per hour on the westbound 118 shortly after 7 AM Friday morning when he drifted off the right shoulder of the freeway at the Kuehner Drive off ramp and crashed, the vehicle traveling over the off ramp and coming to rest on its top off the side of the off ramp. Ventura County firefighters conducted a heavy rescue operation to rescue Webb from the wreckage, but it turned into a recovery operation when they determined that he had died. No other vehicles were involved in the incident which shut down the Kuehner off ramp from WB 118 for several hours Friday morning.
Oxnard police say they've arrested three suspects and are looking for the fourth in connection with a rash of street robberies late Thursday night and early Friday morning. The first happened around 10:19 PM in the 400 block of Pleasant Valley Road. A 17-year-old Oxnard resident was robbed of his cell phone and wallet by four subjects including one wearing a bandanna. Then, around 12:13 AM in the 100 block of Delores Court, a 19-year-old was beaten and robbed. He was treated for moderate injuries to his head and face. Again, multiple subjects were involved in that crime. Then, at 12:37 AM, an Oxnard officer was flagged down in the 2300 block of El Dorado Avenue by two Oxnard males, one 19 and the other 20, who said they'd been assaulted and robbed. They pointed to a vehicle that contained the suspects. The officer immediately stopped the vehicle. A male wearing a bandanna and black hooded sweatshirt fled on foot. The officer stayed with and detained the three suspects still in the car as other officers responded and helped in the arrest of those individuals identified as 19-year-old Salvador Avalos, 26-year-old Efrain Parra, and 27-year-old Jose Villa Lobos, all from Oxnard. Police believe all three robberies are related. Meanwhile, the hunt for that fourth suspect continues. Anyone with information should call Sgt. Alex Arnett at (805) 486-6211 or the Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 982-7070, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Ventura police are looking for a burglary suspect who led the authorities on a pursuit late Thursday night in Ventura and Oxnard. Ventura police were called to the Color Me Floral store in the 5500 block of Valentine Road in Ventura around 9:45 PM to a report of a burglary. The suspect had stolen aluminum siding from the business. The owner had confronted the suspect who had fled in a van that police spotted on Olivas Park Drive. There was a brief pursuit on Olivas Park and Harbor Boulevard but when the suspect got onto the 101 freeway going southbound in the northbound lanes of the freeway, police discontinued the pursuit and notified the CHP. The suspect was spotted going the wrong way on the freeway and then on Johnson Drive in Ventura and later on Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard. During that time the authorities did not pursue the suspect because he was driving so recklessly. Instead, officers set up traffic breaks to protect other drivers from the suspect. Ultimately the suspect disappeared and police are still looking for him. No one was hurt.
The Ventura County Fire Department plans to launch a series of controlled burns beginning tomorrow in the hills above the city of Ventura. Friday's planned or prescribed burn will involve only 47 acres in Barlow Canyon but between now and May of next year, the department plans to burn a total of 2100 acres. Each controlled burn will start in the morning and be wrapped up by mid afternoon. The weather conditions will have to be conducive for an effective burn but also within a window of safety to make sure the fire doesn't get out of control. Firefighters will not only start the burn but also monitor it, keep it under control, and ultimately extinguish it. The fire departments for both the city of Ventura and the county have been involved in intensive planning for this controlled burn along with the APCD. Fire officials say the goals are not only to create a fire break to limit movement of future wildfires, but also to reduce the spread of invasive species and improve valuable habitats. They also say the controlled burns provide training for firefighters and increase public awareness of the dangers of wildfires. Residents are requested to keep an eye out for road signs or postings in the area when there will be a controlled burn.
A Piru man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for a May 2012 shooting incident in that community which left two other young men injured. 35-year-old Mark Anthony Plunkett had earlier pleaded guilty to several charges including assault with a firearm in connection with the shooting that injured two brothers. One brother suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The other brother suffered a minor wound to his arm. Both brothers, in their 20's, recovered. The authorities say all three were gang members but the shooting stemmed from a personal dispute. After the shooting, Plunkett fled to a trailer in Piru where he was involved in a standoff with deputies for several hours before finally giving up without further incident. Deputies originally arrested Plunkett for attempted murder but he was never charged with that because the victims refused to cooperate with the authorities.
Ventura police looking for two suspects involved in a stabbing incident in the area of Kimball Road and Telephone Road Thursday afternoon. Police say the victim and suspects were on a Gold Coast Area Transit bus when they were involved in an altercation around 3:15 PM. The victim fled the bus in the area of Telegraph and Kimball Roads and ran south on Kimball to the Shell Gas Station at Kimball and Telephone with the suspects chasing him. That's where they attacked him and he was stabbed. The suspects then fled the area. The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening wounds. The two suspects were both described as male Hispanics, 25-35 years of age and wearing dark clothing. They both were on skateboards. One was heavy the other thin. Anyone with information should call Ventura Poice at (805) 339-4441.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office says a Simi Valley man shot and killed his neighbor and then turned the gun on himself. It happened in the 3300 block of Billie Court in Simi Valley early Tuesday morning. They say the 59-year-old man shot his 61-year-old female neighbor multiple times then shot himself once in the head. The Medical Examiner classified her death as a homicide and the man's death as a suicide. The shootings happened in front of two homes on the block. They were both pronounced dead at the scene. The name of the woman has been released. She is identified as Pamela McClain. The man was identified as James Richard Wahe. Police have not offered any motive for the murder-suicide. They say that while the two were neighbors and knew each other in that capacity, they did not have any other relationship beyond that.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office and prosecutors from six other California counties have settled an unfair business practices suit against the suppliers of the most widely distributed ready-to-use propane grilling tanks in the United States. The companies behind Blue Rhino and AmericGas Cylinder Exchange have agrees to pay a combined total of $1.8 million dollars to settle the lawsuit which alleged their labeling practices were deceptive to consumers. The Ventura County DA says that in 2008, faced with rising fuel costs, the companies reduced the amount of propane in each tank from 17 to 15 pounds. That reduced the grilling time by one to one-and-a-half hours. Prosecutors alleged that even though each tank had a label indicating 15 pounds, the metal cages where the tanks were stored had signs that said the tanks were "full" or as still containing 17 pounds. The suit also alleged the companies made statements in their ads and on product placards that were misleading to consumers. Blue Rhino agreed to pay $1 million and AmeriGas agreed to pay $800,000 in civil penalties and costs. The companies also agreed to abide by a court injunction that requires them to make sure that the actual amount of propane in the tank is made clear in every way possible. The DA's office says the companies cooperated with the investigation.