Preserving freedoms in times of crisis

During the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans felt a renewed call to study and uphold their First Amendment rights. These rights are so vital to American life and liberty that Founding Father George Mason, a writer of the U.S. Constitution, refused to sign the Constitution because it didn’t have these guaranteed “basic freedoms.” Fittingly, Mason later became known as the father of the Bill of Rights, which is an empowering set of basic laws that have helped to keep America free for more than 230 years. First Amendment rights are rooted…

Jaron Micah Music “Hold Fast”

Jaron Micah Bundy is no ordinary seventeen-year-old teenager. While others have played video games and spent me in the pool, Jaron has been working on his debut EP titled “Hold Fast” which was released Friday, June 26 th. This refreshing worship music from a young local artist comes at a time when the world needs a little solace amidst such chaos. “Everyone has been impacted by these past few months,” Jaron says, “personally it’s been a trying time as I’ve sensed myself and others greatly need rays of hope among…

Residents concerned, shocked by Ventura County plans to isolate, quarantine

Ventura county hit the national headlines when controversy about the county’s plans to aggressively isolate, trace and quarantine potentially COVID-19-infected people went public. It began with a Monday, May 4, press conference in which Dr. Robert Levin, who was identified as the director of public health for the county, made the following statements: “As we do more testing, we will find more and more people who have COVID-19,” said Levin, “and again, we will isolate every one of them and we will find every one of their contacts, and we…

Making life work in Conejo: A Reminiscence

Story told by Carol Venus and written by L. R. Ames In 1974, the air pollution was really bad in Whittier, so my first husband and I decided to move to Thousand Oaks, which was better for his heart condition. We were lucky to find a house in the Conejo Country Homes, built in 1958 — the first tract in the city. We got the house for $20,000, and I still live in it. The going rate for that tract at that time was $24,000, but this house had a…

One heart, one hope, beautiful outcomes

Daniel and Heather Fowler, co-founders of Child Hope Services, have served and supported thousands of foster kids, youths and families in Ventura County and the surrounding counties. Child Hope Services was birthed out of the Fowlers’ experience of being foster parents themselves. With three biological children of their own, their journey began as they saw the great need for foster care in their own community. “I cannot begin to explain what it is like to bring broken, helpless, confused and emotional kids into your home” Heather said. “The help provided…

When Parents are not Informed

Many things remain up in the air about what the 2020-2021 school year will look like for students in Conejo Valley schools. Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) is publicly calling for a “Reopen & Redesign,” and safety is cited as its number one stated concern: “Safety is our top priority. CVUSD will follow state and local SAFETY public health guidelines with the safety of our students, staff, families and broader community at the forefront of everything we do.” Let’s look at safety in light of a major change CVUSD…

The Missing Touch

It has been several months since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine and the scientific data is in. The number of individuals who have contracted the coronavirus and the number of related deaths are dramatically lower than predicted. While many breathe a sigh of relief, another virulent affliction is materializing from behind masks and locked doors. I am speaking of the significant mental health crisis we are now facing in our country as a result of this shutdown. A brand-new, unpublished study by researchers Jean M. Twenge and Thomas E.…

Weddings in the age of the coronavirus epidemic

Photo by Ethan Olson

Written by Laura Spach and Joel Kilpatrick Taylor Olson and Andrew Meyers, both 21, met and fell in love at Azusa Pacific University. They planned to get married August 2, 2020 — and then COVID-19 hit. “One of my friend’s wedding got canceled, so they had a courthouse wedding,” says Andrew, who is from Eugene, Oregon. “Then they had a drive-by wedding so people could say congrats and drop off a gift.” Like a number of couples trying to get married in the age of COVID, Taylor and Andrew decided…

A Psychologist Reflects

No one expected the year 2020 to begin like this. No one expected a microscopic virus to bring such panic and hysteria to our world. Yet here we are. Living in fear and uncertainty can create feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. The buildup of these feelings can have a traumatic impact. As individuals and as a community, we are experiencing what is called “collective trauma.” This worldwide pandemic is having a destructive psychological impact with potentially massive long-term consequences. The stress of prolonged isolation, financial worries, relationship conflicts, grief, and…