Happiness amid the heartbreak is possible

Today marks exactly one year since our 12 loved ones died in the tragedy at Borderline. Tomorrow, it will have been exactly a year since the Woolsey fire started and, to this day, we still find it hard to fathom those “72 Hours From Hell,” as our bold headline back then proclaimed. On one unforgettable day, brothers, sisters, best friends, […]

Honor the 12 by spreading kindness, humor, courage

COMMENTARY /// Remembering Borderline

Nov. 7. For many years, that box on the calendar had been a day that brought special joy to my heart. It wasn’t a date that went by casually or unnoticed. It has been both the celebrated birthday of a good friend and also a day I marked in my heart to remember the faithfulness of God toward our family. […]

‘Tears and hugs’

At approximately 11:20 p.m. Wed., Nov. 7, the unimaginable happened. That was the moment we discovered that our 19-year-old daughter had been witness to a mass shooting at Borderline. We brought her home in a state of numb disbelief, and watched the news through the night as the horrors of the events unfurled. The next evening, the community came together […]

A year later, what have we learned?

What specifically has been learned from the recent deadly fires in our area? Did we learn that some of the most devastating fires are caused by downed power lines? What are we going to do about those ugly, costly, flimsy power poles and vulnerable power lines that are the source for many of the most devastating wild fires? Are the […]

Key questions still remain

As I watched the footage of the fires in this fire season, one reporter leaned over the barrier at the edge of the 118 Freeway, and ran her fingers through dried weeds that bordered that freeway. I have been noticing as I drive the freeways that there are stretches along them that are overwhelmed by high dry weeds, “fire fodder.” […]

Fire, flood at Seminole Springs create ‘pop-up’ forest with uncertain future

On the Trail

Before the Woolsey fire altered their surroundings, red-winged blackbirds had always gathered at dusk to roost amid the cattails that fringed the lake in the community of Seminole Springs in rural Agoura. The little lake is gone now, its shallow depths buried in sediment and runoff debris that came blasting down denuded mountainsides. Layers of moist nutrient-rich muck was all […]

Winds, fires and no electricity the real tricks this Halloween

Ah, Southern California in the fall. It’s that time of year when the winds kick up, the temperatures rise and the threat of fire greets practically every new day. It feels like we’re living in one big haunted house, and if Mother Nature huffs and puffs any harder we’re all going to just blow away. But, hey, there’s always pumpkin […]


Lake’s 50th

I wanted to correct the statement by Mr. Tramonto that there was no swimming allowed in the Westlake Village Lake. We moved to the First Neighborhood in 1967 and at that time there was swimming allowed in the lake. They even had a sandy beach we would go to with our lunches and beach towels and swim in the lake […]

Response to article on homelessness

A recent letter writer finishes his letter with the question, “I wonder who (Oak Park writer’s) notions bring comfort to.” I feel obligated to answer: me. In a small Midwest town, I have a 62-year-old brother who has been homeless for most of his adult life. My parents moved to the country, but “empowered” my brother to squat in the […]

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