July 21, 2024
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Our View: Exhibit a fitting tribute to CSUCI’s first 20 years


CSU Channel Islands is celebrating its 20th anniversary, with an up-close-and-personal look at developments on campus through the eyes of librarian Laura Worden.

A former student assistant, she has been through the entire two decades of CSUCI’s existence, and it was her job to help curate the show that’s up at the John Spoor Broome Library on campus.

It is worth noting how long it took for CSUCI to become Ventura County’s only four-year public university. Its born-on date is 2002, when the first class of students arrived, but the quest started in 1965, when State Sen. Robert Lagomarsino co-authored Senate Bill 288, which called for establishing a four-year university in the county.

In 1996, J. Handel Evans was appointed as planning president to search for property, and in 1997 State Sen. Jack O’Connell advanced a bill to transfer Camarillo State Hospital property to the CSU and create California State University Channel Islands. In 2001, Richard Rush was named founding president, and the first class of 629 transfer students started a year later.

The photo show and timeline are called “Honoring our Past — Building the Future.” It’s worth a stop. And while you are at it, admire the Sir Norman Foster-designed library that is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the region.


Continuity is a major theme in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Oxnard City Councilwoman Vianey Lopez to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors post that’s been vacant since Carmen Ramirez died in a tragic vehicle accident in downtown Oxnard.

Lopez is a staffer for Democratic State Sen. Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara, but her political pedigree extends back to the time when she was a district representative and scheduler for another Santa Barbara Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Lois Capps.

Lopez, 35, will serve out the remainder of Ramirez’s term, which extends until 2024. Although it’s officially a nonpartisan seat, the heavily Democratic district favors a registered Democrat.

Lopez ran for Oxnard City Council in 2018 and 2020, winning both times. She seems like the kind of consensus builder who will bring continuity to the Board of Supervisors, something that it needs as it replaces Ramirez, who was also serving as board chair.


Finally, we wish condolences to the friends and family of Leslie Ridley-Tree, a noted Santa Barbara philanthropist who has died at age 97.

She and her late husband Paul moved to Santa Barbara in 1988 and have given what could be more than $100 million in gifts and donations. Among them were more than $10 million to Sansum Clinic for a new cancer center. Other major donations went to UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, the New West Symphony and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She also gave to homeless causes, including Casa Esperanza.

She took over the aviation parts and repair company that her husband founded in the San Fernando Valley after his death in 2006, and managed it with a flourish. She loved music and was a former violin player and singer.

She had a presence that will be greatly missed.