Cast Your Ballot 2020

For the upcoming 2020 November general elections, Governor Newsom issued an executive order requiring every registered voter in California to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. If you have not received a mail-in ballot by October 16, 2020, contact the Ventura County Recorder’s office.  There are multiple other ways to vote. In-person voting is the recommended method of voting.  1. Early in-person voting began October 6 and will continue until October 30.  For registered Ventura County voters, your early voting center is the Ventura County Election Division Office at 800 Victoria Rd,…

Ventura County Charges Church with Contempt of Court

Rob McCoy, pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, went before Ventura County Judge Vincent O’Neill, Jr., on August 21 to face a contempt-of-court-charge. The charge stemmed from an August 7 temporary restraining order issued by the court.  McCoy explained, while accompanied by his attorneys, “People need to be in fellowship… I never thought we would come to a place where our governor would declare our churches non-essential.” The terms of the restraining order banned 1,000 Godspeak Calvary Chapel attendees from gathering for indoor worship services in Ventura County.  …

Governor Newsom shuts down schools

On July 17, Governor Newsom announced that public and private schools in 32 counties, including Ventura county, on California’s “watch list” are mandated to go completely online for fall 2020. According to Newsom, COVID-19 poses too great a safety threat to justify a return to school unless the county stays off this list for fourteen consecutive days. According to the California Department of Public Health, July 16, there has been no COVID death for ages 0 to 17 years old.  While Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) had already announced…

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…

Governor Newsom shuts down churches again

Governor Newsom announced guidance prohibiting congregants from singing or chanting out loud on July 1st. This was followed by Newsom’s latest order on July 13th  that prohibits indoor gathering at houses of worship. While the initial ban did not expressly prohibit people from attending church, it did ask them to refrain from singing or chanting even while wearing the proper masks and being socially distanced.  One local church has taken a creative approach to this initial guideline. Living Oaks Community Church in Thousand Oaks has stated that although the church…

CVUSD crafts financial plan to weather budget crisis

Conejo Valley Unified School District

In a 4-1 decision on June 30, the CVUSD Board approved a 2020-2021 District budget that includes plans for a loan of $25 million to make up a shortfall in funding from the State of California. The State has signaled to school districts that they can eventually expect full funding but portions of that money may be deferred because of revenue shortfalls at the State level due to the effects of COVID-19 and shutdowns. California is facing a projected $54 billion reduction in revenue and Governor Gavin Newsom and the…

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…

Is Communion an “Essential” Service?

Last Supper stained glass in Basel Cathedral

By Jim Clark Last weekend was Palm Sunday, which for Christians around the world marks the beginning of Holy Week. Controversy erupted when Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park, California provided communion to its members at their church despite the State of California “stay at home” order. This government order came with an extensive list of exceptions for individuals, services and industries engaged in activities deemed to be “essential” to public well-being.  Despite following CDC guidelines for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Godspeak was technically violating those…

Coronavirus, Local Preparedness for a Global Emergency

By Janet Stephenson As of January 28, 2020, the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China has been officially designated a global emergency by the World Health Organization. The declaration came after China reported more than 7,800 cases and 170 deaths, as well as reported cases in eighteen other countries, including the United States, South Korea, Canada, Japan, and France. In a press conference statement, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China but because…