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Agoura martial arts school takes competition to the mat

KARATE KIDS—In late June, five students ages 10 to 17 from the Agoura Hills World Champion Karate School competed at the USA International Martial Arts Championships in Las Vegas. They came home with 17 first-place awards, four seconds and four thirds. Top left, Maria Gorodnya, 17, of Westlake Village took first in intermediate point and continuous sparring. After moving up […]

Too much screen time? Chances are your eyes are really feeling it

One study shows Americans spend more than17 hours a day using technology


The world may be opening up, but electronic devices are not shutting down. As children and adults shift from learning and working remotely, screen time and the associated side effects may decrease, but people will still be spending hours in front of a computer or with a digital device. Even before the pandemic, the average American spent over 17 hours […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage disaster prep with go bags

Don’t think you need an emergency kit? Think again. Jolted awake at 3 a.m. by a neighbor’s knocking, Aaron and Jacqueline Pate were greeted by the sight of flames encroaching on their neighborhood amid thick smoke and ash from the wildfire that had been miles away when they went to bed. “We grabbed the go bags, the kids, the dog […]

A solution to those high textbook costs

Textbooks and supplies are often among the largest educational expenses college students face. As a result, 65% of college students have avoided buying textbooks due to high prices, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. To make textbooks more accessible, the Ventura County Community College District has established the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) […]

Holiday show auditions

Auditions are scheduled for “Home for the Holidays,” a Youth Theatre Intensive production, at 5 p.m. Tues. and Wed., Aug. 10 and 11 at Conejo Players Theatre, 351 S. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. Performances are 7 p.m. Fri. and Sat., Dec. 10 and 11; and 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun., Dec. 11 and 12. The directors/producers are Elena Mills and […]

COLLEGE STANDOUTS

Michelle Florey of Agoura Hills and Lydia Bachman, Kayla Jou and Raegynn Moody of Westlake Village earned spring 2021 dean’s list honors at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Kate Otto of Agoura Hills, Ryan Speert of Oak Park, and Julia Feinbloom of Westlake Village made spring dean’s list at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. Riley deVarennes of Agoura […]

Pandemic pets not getting the love owners once showed



Working from home and needing companionship, many people adopted animals during lockdown, but now as they return to their pre-pandemic lifestyle, some are returning their pets. Shelters across California filled with surrendered animals the past several months, with some locations reporting twice as many surrenders since restrictions have loosened, according to a July 8 Reuters article. Why? For some pet […]

A day to celebrate the mutts we love

National Mutt Day is Sat., July 31. America has a long history of affection for mutts. Two of cinema’s most famous dogs, Spike from “Old Yeller” and Higgins from “Benji,” were mutts adopted from shelters. Heroic mutts such as Balto, the sled dog who brought lifesaving diphtheria medication to remote corners of Alaska, are immortalized in bronze statues. Even the […]

When the owner’s away, the animals worry

Experts say it’s not uncommon for pets to feel anxious or to get lost now that people are returning to work and leaving home more often. “Be aware of what your pet needs, and really watch them,” said Donna Gillesby, deputy director at Ventura County Animal Services. Like many people, Gillesby adopted a dog during the pandemic. Now that she […]

Moms aim for a Gigi’s Playhouse



When a mother is determined to make something happen for her child, nothing can stop her. Bring 12 mothers together and nothing is insurmountable. Simi Valley residents Kirsten Riddick and Cara Armstrong and Chatsworth resident Laurie Samaan are on a mission to open a local GiGi’s Playhouse achievement center for people with Down syndrome. GiGi’s Playhouse Inc. is an Illinois-based […]


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