How We Work: Conejo Pest Control Inspector

Route Clearance: Private First Class Brena (left), SGT Allen (middle), and Specialist Landis (right), had just come back from a 15-hour clearance mission in Taji, Iraq. SGT Allen was stationed at Camp Taji with the 84th engineers in the 3rd squadron of the 2nd Calvary Regiment. By Joel Allen as told to L. R. Ames I have a kind of unusual job—I get rid of fleas, termites, pill bugs, earwigs, bedbugs, and cockroaches.  Those last three we call “specialty bugs.”  You’d be surprised how many people call us with bedbugs,…

Seth Viso Eagle Scout Project: Scout Troop 711

On Saturday, August 29, Seth Viso’s friends, family, and fellow scouts gathered to paint the large restrooms at the new Hillcrest Christian School campus, former site of  Pinecrest Elementary School. Viso, a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 711, is working on his Eagle Scout project. He is 16 years old and is a sophomore at Beacon Hill Classical Academy.   As a Life Scout, a candidate for the Eagle Scout rank must develop, plan, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to a religious institution, school, or…

Enegren Brewing Company: Local, Handcrafted Beer

Chris Enegren started brewing beer in his college dorm room at Loyola Marymount University, but as he quickly outgrew his friend’s on-campus apartment stove, he knew he needed something bigger.  After a year of brewing stove to stove, his fellow Lacrosse teammate Joe Nascenzi offered his backyard and garage.  The rest is history, and in 2010 Chris, his brother Matt, and Joe co-founded Enegren Brewing Company with the goal of making handcrafted German lagers and ales for the people of Ventura County and beyond to enjoy.  However, like so many…

Conejo Youth Serving the Community

  All photos were taken before COVID.   Amidst a world that feels as if it is all but completely shut down, many have taken the opportunity to rise up and reach out to serve people in need through simple acts of service. The members of Trinity Pacific Christian School’s Service Club have been volunteering in our community for the past ten years and are refusing to let current events put a standstill to caring for those in need.          “People have always needed help; now the pandemic has caused…

Hezi Sheli and the Israeli Martial Arts Academy—Equipping the Conejo Valley to Persevere

Honor, sacrifice, courage, and perseverance perhaps sound like admirable virtues exclusive to the military or to those of another era. However, Hezi Sheli and the staff at the Israeli Martial Arts Academy (IMAA) are instilling these virtues in the next generation through their world-class training in Krav Maga and mixed martial arts.  Hezi Sheli is one of the highest ranked and experienced Israeli Self Defense instructors in the U.S. His gym, the Israeli Martial Arts Academy, teaches martial arts and self-defense classes, including Krav Maga. Krav Maga, literally “contact combat,”…

A West Coast Deli with East Coast Charm

Those who grew up on the East Coast know the art and charm of the neighborhood deli. Much more than a food stop, the deli operates like a community center, a multigenerational gathering place where the owners know their customers personally, even extended family members. Ernie Zoumot has brought the charm of the East Coast deli to the Conejo Valley in Dos Vientos with the Village Trader Market and Deli. The Village Trader Market is Ernie’s “labor of love.” After working in the corporate world for more than 25 years,…

Hair Stylist Turns Rock Star

Anyone can make lemonade from lemons, but Newbury Park hair stylist Michelle Robertson can squeeze joy from rocks! After spending 25 years honing her creative skills and building a loyal clientele, the coronavirus arrived and challenged Michelle to meet her clients’ needs and bring light to those experiencing the pain of social distancing.  The Conejo Valley’s thriving beauty industry was no match for the pandemic. Thousands of stylists and barbers were forced to abandon salons and clients, while scrambling to file for unemployment and pursue other options.  Salon space rental…

Thousand Oaks Native in Space Force

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hanah Abercrombie Thousand Oaks native, 2nd Lt. Olivia Gillingham, became the first United States Space Force (USSF) member at the Vandenberg Air Force Base located in Santa Barbara.  Gillingham was a graduate from Grace Brethren High School in 2015 where she played varsity softball for four years and participated in many other school activities. After graduating, she moved on to the prestigious United States Air Force Academy where she pursued a BS in biology. After being commissioned, Gillingham was assigned as an acquisitions…

California Senate Bills Leave Children Unprotected

Since Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996, new legislation related to California’s sex offender registry has been limited. California Senate Bill 384 and Senate Bill 145 represent new legislation affecting which sex offenders are placed on the Sex Offender Registry and for how long they must remain on that list.  Current law requires sex offenders to register for life, but SB 384, which was signed into legislation in October 2017 and takes effect on January 1, 2021, amends that requirement. The bill changes the registry so that a majority of…

Father Junipero Serra’s statue to be removed

On July 16, the Ventura City Council unanimously voted to remove the long-standing statue of Father Junipero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall. After a five-hour meeting that included Ventura citizens, Catholic scholars, and Black Lives Matter protesters, the City Council determined that the statue is “not a historical landmark” and called for its immediate removal due to Serra’s alleged atrocities against the Chumash community.  As city council member Sofia Rubalcava, who has a BLM frame displayed on her Facebook profile picture, said that the decision to remove the…