July 15, 2024
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Street smarts: California Strawberry Festival makes in-person return at VC Fairgrounds


The California Strawberry Festival will cross the Santa Clara River to the Ventura County Fairgrounds in downtown Ventura when it returns as a live event on May 20-21 after a three-year hiatus due to COVID.

“We are thrilled to relaunch the California Strawberry Festival in 2023 at the Fairgrounds,” says Dean Kato, Chairman of the California Strawberry Festival Board of Directors.  He said the festival had outgrown its space at Oxnard’s College Park; back in 1991, the festival moved from Channel Islands Harbor to the College Park location.

Proximity to Highway 101, plenty of parking and Amtrak access helped seal the deal, festival brass added.


*The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office wants anybody who suspects they have been the victim of price-gouging, or who has information regarding potential price-gouging, to file a complaint with the District Attorney’s Office by calling 805-568-2300 or at https://da.countyofsb.org/da/consumer-protection.

*The County of San Luis Obispo Office of Emergency Services has posted recovery information for the public on their ReadySLO.org website for those in need of assistance.

*Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, a national organization based in Santa Barbara, has information for people with diabetes who have been impacted by the storms and need emergency resources, including supplies of insulin. You can learn out more at www.sansum.org.


Aera Energy and the Ventura College Foundation created a new endowment that provides STEM scholarships.

The Aera Energy STEM Scholarship Fund will award annual scholarships to students seeking a degree and interested in pursuing a career in the energy sector.

The endowment was launched through an initial $25,000 donation from Aera in Dec. and a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student every April. 

Students must apply by Jan. 20 to be eligible. For more about Ventura College Foundation scholarships go to https://venturacollegefoundation.org/scholarships/.


More than 100 students from 40 different high schools throughout Ventura County competed in the annual Hackathon by the Sea all-nighter in early January in Camarillo. The Ventura County Office of Education and the Hacker Fund hosted the event where a team from Nordoff High in Ojai won the top prize.


People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH) has received a $25,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. The funding will benefit Latinx students in the PSHH College Club, which prepares students bound for higher education with resources, mentorship, and scholarships. The application was sponsored by Pacific Premier Bank.


Westmont College philosophy professor David Vander Laan, has won the American Philosophical Association’s 2022 Alvin Plantinga Prize. The award, which comes with a $10,000 award, honors Vander Laan’s doctoral adviser, an influential professor of Christian philosophical thought. The prize recognizes “Satisfaction in the End without End,” a paper to be published in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.


NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council will meet in a hybrid format at the Santa Barbara Zoo on Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. The meeting will recognize council members and feature the sanctuary superintendent’s report. Info at https://channelislands.noaa.gov.


Ventura Land Trust’s 20th anniversary includes an artist’s competition in 2D.

The winning design will be revealed at VLT’s birthday party, at Topa Topa Brewing Co. in Ventura on February 24th. The organization was founded as the Ventura Nature Conservancy prior to a name change. Info at www.venturalandtrus.org/artcontest.


*SANTA MARIA LIFTOFF: The Chino-based Planes of Fame Museum is raising money for an expansion project at the Santa Maria Airport. A donor will match donations up to $1 million through Feb. 28.

*NEW APPOINTMENT: CPA firm Glenn Burdette has promoted Craig Filipponi to its executive team. Filipponi is now principal in the firm’s Paso Robles office where he has worked for 10 years.

*IMPROVED DIGS: Wrapping up a facilities improvement plan that began in 2017  Goodwill Central Coast has completed a full renovation of its Grover Beach store, completing an update to all 16 of its stores in SLO, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

*MARDI GRAS IN SB:  CASA of Santa Barbara County celebrate Mardi Gras on Feb. 4 with the King and Queen of CASA Mardi Gras 2023 – Frank and Scottie Ortiz. *BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Finch & Fork donates $1 to every Old Fashioned sold in support of partner Uncle Nearest who is also donating $1 in a bid to raise up to $1 Million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  It is partnering with Black-owned pharmacy and Spirit of Small Business winner PureLuna Apothecary for a