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CAMARILLO, Calif. - My wife and I frequently make the drive up Interstate 5 to visit family in Northern California. The drive is efficient, but usually boring. So, like many people, we’ve loaded up our iPhones with our favorite music and we listen to that for hours.

It’s songs we both love, so often we sing along. It wasn’t until recently that it dawned on me that our car windows are clear and passing drivers can see in as easily as we can see out.

I know this because recently I was idly looking out the windows, admiring the scenery, when I turned to look out the passenger side window and sang a line from a Randy Travis song directly into the face of a man driving a white pickup in the lane next to us as we were going down the Grapevine. Unfortunately, the line was, “I’m gonna love you forever. …” He accelerated away rapidly and we never caught back up to him. He might have wanted it that way.

http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/bill-nash-evolving-sources-of-music-help-drive-some-great-road-trips_81525331
Columnist Bill Nash and his wife are fans of car driving trips and he writes about how music has sustained them in various forms over the years.
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NEWBURY PARK, Calif. - The longtime chief of the county Area Housing Authority retired this month amid achievements and a lingering controversy.

Douglas Tapking, 66, of Newbury Park, led the nonprofit agency for 19 years, a period marked by expansion and high marks from the federal government for management of a major housing program for low-income residents. In a memo summing up his career, Tapking reported assets exceeding $142 million and hundreds of new units in the agency’s broad turf encompassing six local cities and unincorporated county territory.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/county-news/housing-agency-chief-retires-with-achievements-and-controversy_11178014
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Named
Mary C. Clyne, of Camarillo, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Elizabethtown College.

Brooke Yasman, of Moorpark, and Nicole Teitel, of Ventura, were named to the 2015 spring president’s list at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Nicole Schumacher, of Simi Valley, was named to the 2015 spring president’s honor roll at Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City.

Katianna Tron, of Camarillo, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at the College of William and Mary of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Nelson VanWagoner, of Ventura, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s honor roll at Lawrence Technological University of Southfield, Michigan.

Justin Phillips, of Simi Valley, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania.

C.J. Almaraz, of Camarillo, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Travis Goodwin, of Simi Valley, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Rock Island, Illinois.

Katherine Rice, of Oxnard, has been named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Morehead, Kentucky.

Caleb Stokols, of Thousand Oaks, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Elise A. Begg, of Newbury Park, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York.

Haylee R. Haas, of Moorpark, was named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Michael Hammer, of Thousand Oaks, and Melody Sonnemann, of Simi Valley, were named to the 2015 spring dean’s list at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Graduated
Cal Michael Hedberg, of Moorpark, graduated from the University of Rhode Island in May in Kingston, Rhode Island.

Honored
The Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation named Doug Kidwell, teacher at Pacific High School in Ventura, June’s Teacher of the Month. Foundation board member Pattie Braga, along with elected representatives and members of the business community, presented Kidwell with a plaque June 8.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/community-news/bravo-local-residents-earn-academic-honors_05419921
Area residents receive recognition for their hard work.
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VENTURA, Calif. - As she sat watching hundreds of people stream past — most decked out in their red, white and blue best — Faye Campbell reflected on the 40th procession of Ventura’s homegrown Fourth of July Pushem Pullem Parade.

“This is my baby,” said Campbell, who was working for the city of Ventura when she got the idea of having a parade of families in honor of the nation’s bicentennial celebration in 1976.

“I woke up at night worried sick that no one would come. Then I woke up worried sick that too many people would come. But it was wonderful,” she said. “Everybody brought their kids and everybody was excited about our history.”

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/ventura/ventura-parade-street-fair-pull-in-a-crowd-for-fourth-of-july_12974319
Ventura’s home­grown Fourth of July ­Pushem ­Pullem ­Parade makes its 40th procession.
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WASHINGTON — It’s summer vacation time, and that typically means a lot of credit charges.

During recent online chats, I received a number of questions about credit, including this blunt message from a reader: “Why hate on credit cards?”

I’ll answer that question in a bit, but here’s a brief rundown of some of the other questions that readers had.

Q: Should I have a cash reserve while paying off credit-card debt?

Michelle Singletary: Yes, you still need to save when you are in debt. If you don’t and something comes up, you may get further in debt.

http://www.vcstar.com/business/columnists/michelle-singletary/michelle-singletary-dont-spend-your-summer-building-debt_82455384
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As a five-hour hearing on the Refugio oil spill unfolded in Santa Barbara last month, California lawmakers grew increasingly impatient with the key witness, Patrick Hodgins, director of security and safety for Plains All American Pipeline.

The company owns 17,800 miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in North America and is the operator of Line 901, which ruptured May 19 along the Gaviota Coast, resulting in the spill of 100,000 gallons of crude oil, including 20,000 gallons that flowed into the Pacific Ocean at Refugio Beach.

From the witness stand, Hodgins haltingly recounted the timeline of events that day — how the line was remotely shut down by operators at a control room in Texas at 11:30 a.m., how it wasn’t until 12:43 p.m. that company personnel visually confirmed a spill and, 45 minutes later, determined Line 901 was the source, and how a company worker notified the National Response Center at 2:56 p.m.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/state/officials-push-for-pipelinesafety-reforms-in-wake-of-refugio-spill_10981143
As a five-hour hearing on the Refugio oil spill unfolded in Santa Barbara last month, California lawmakers grew increasingly impatient with the key witness, Patrick Hodgins, director of security and safety for Plains All American Pipeline.
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ROCHESTER, Minn - How about spending a week’s vacation immersing yourself in a layman’s medical school? Last month I did just that at the famed Mayo Clinic. It’s the most unique travel experience I’ve ever encountered.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is ranked No. 1 on the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report List of Best Hospitals. It has been near the top of that list for more than 20 years. It’s also the home of the world-renown Mayo Medical School.

During my week in residence some of the nation’s top doctors, professors and other health care professionals gave us an introduction to the latest advances in medicine. And after what I heard, I can assure you that medicine is in a dramatic state of change these days.
http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/travel/david-loe-mayo-clinic-offers-a-unique-travel-experience_82333613
Travel writer David Loe writes about a travel program at the Mayo Clinic that offers the general public a look at the latest advances in medicine.
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VENTURA, Calif. - On Tuesday, Briana Bouffard of Ventura will answer a question.

Is she smarter than a fifth-grader?

The episode of the game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” in which Bouffard competes will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Fox. While banned from revealing the outcome of the show, Bouffard recounted how she became involved.

“I was checking one of the moms’ groups on Facebook when somebody posted that they were looking for people with outgoing personalities to be on ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?’” she said. “So I sent an email with my real estate marketing video — I’m the ‘real estate mom.’ I never thought I’d end up on TV.”

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/ventura/are-you-smarter-venturan-competes-on-game-show_08719522
On Tuesday, Briana Bouffard of Ventura will answer a question: Is she smarter than a fifth-grader?
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OJAI, Calif. - It's been almost a year since a water main break flooded the historic Ojai Playhouse theater and adjoining The Village Jester restaurant, prompting the shutdown of both venues.

Inside the more than 100-year-old building in downtown Ojai, what remains of the only movie theater in town is a hollowed-out shell. The plush red seating is gone, replaced by a dirt floor strewn with rubble. There's no movie screen or stage, just the wooden skeletons of unfinished walls. Sunlight spills through a gap in the back corner, offering a glimpse of cars parked on the street.

Other parts of the building remain damaged, too, with The Village Jester the least scathed but still awaiting foundation repairs so it can reopen.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/ojai/2014-water-main-break-brings-flood-of-complaints-in-ojai_78425633
It’s been almost a year since a water main break flooded the historic Ojai Play­house theater and adjoining The ­Village Jester restaurant, and the businesses remain closed.
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SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Patriotism was in full swing Saturday during the Fourth of July celebration at Simi Valley's Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, which drew about 4,500 guests with presidential re-enactments, patriotic craft-making and family games.

Judeanne Wiley, of Thousand Oaks, posed for a picture with C. Roger Cooper, who came from Highland to represent President George Washington.

"The Reagan Museum is such a great museum," Wiley said. "The setting is so beautiful, and I love George Washington."

Cooper said Washington was mysterious.

"His death request in his will was for Martha to destroy all of their personal correspondence at the time of his death, and she destroyed all of the letters, which were probably very descriptive about what was going on in the prosecution of the war," Cooper said.

J.P. Wammack, of Montrose, has been portraying President Abraham Lincoln for 15 years, taking over the role from his father, who suffered a stroke. His father, an insurance salesman, enjoyed portraying the president at events, and his son drove him when he got older.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/simi-valley/presidents-patriotism-get-spotlight-at-reagan-librarys-fourth-of-july-celebration_95173439
Patriotism was in full swing Saturday during the Fourth of July celebration at Simi Valley's Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, which drew about 4,500 guests with presidential re-­enactments, patriotic craft-­making and ­family ­games.
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OXNARD, Calif. - New cars being stored at Oxnard’s College Park may not be allowed there.

The city’s recent deal with Global Auto Processing Center Inc. of Port Hueneme is bringing in revenue — up to $39,000 a month — for cash-strapped Oxnard.

But the California Department of Parks and Recreation has expressed concern the usage might not comply with original grant terms.

General Services Director Michael Henderson said Wednesday the city was still waiting to receive a letter from state parks officials, so he couldn’t be certain of their objections. City offices were closed Thursday and Friday.

But he believes the issue involves conditions of grant funds used to buy the park land in the early 1960s. Acreage bought with that money “is still to be used only for outdoor park and recreation purposes,” Henderson said.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/local-news/oxnard/car-storage-at-oxnards-college-park-may-have-to-go_58623473
A recently arranged vehicle storage area on an undeveloped portion of Oxnard's College Park may not be allowed by state parks officials. Neighbors have already complained about lack of access and bright lights.
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Camarillo
Program focuses on getting rid of stuff
Lifetree Café will host “Upsizing Life by Downsizing Stuff: Living Large in an 84-sq-ft House” at 7 p.m. Thursday at 71 Loma Drive.

The program details how to live a happier life by getting rid of stuff. The program features a filmed interview with Dee Williams, author of the best-selling book “The Big Tiny.”

Admission to the 60-minute event is free. Snacks and beverages are available. For more information, visit http://www.Lifetreecafe.com or call 482-3313.

Speaker addresses Social Security
Judith Gerhart, CFP, CDFA, will host Savvy Social Security Planning for Women from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at Hampton Inn, 50 W. Daily Drive.

Attendance is free. To reserve a seat, email jg@judithgerhart.com or call 388-4776.



Newbury Park
Public can donate suitcases, pajamas
The public can donate gently used suitcases and new pajamas of any size to be given to Interface, a nonprofit aiding abused women and children, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. July 12 at 2500 Borchard Road.

For more information, call Pam Chandler at 498-4812.



Simi Valley
Public can be part of blood drive
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s Community Blood Drive will go from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday at 40 Presidential Drive.

To schedule an appointment, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code RRPresLibray or email Jenny Mandel at Jennifer.Mandel@NARA.gov. Spaces are limited.



Thousand Oaks
Public can see the play ‘Godspell’
Conejo Players Theatre will host performances of “Godspell” through Aug. 2 at the Conejo Players Theatre, 351 S. Moorpark Road.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Tickets are $18 or $20. To order tickets, visit http://www.conejoplayers.org or call 495-3715.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/community-news/blood-drive-play-and-other-events-planned_70213669
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The latest news from across Ventura County, including Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Camarillo, the Conejo Valley, Simi Valley and Moorpark.
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The community news source for Ventura County

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News for your community
Camarillo: www.VCStar.com/camarillo
Ventura, Ojai: www.VCStar.com/ventura
Oxnard, Port Hueneme: www.VCStar.com/oxnard
Conejo Valley: www.VCStar.com/conejo-valley
Simi Valley, Moorpark: www.VCstar.com/simi-valley