Whole Foods opens in Oxnard
Whole Foods market unfurled a Now Open! banner on the side of its Oxnard store this morning and opened the doors to at least 800 people who came early to see its offerings. "Fabulous," declared Ventura resident Shaun Loyal. "I’'m blown away. The quality is outstanding and they're giving samples I'm speaking the truth." The line to get in began forming at 4:30 a.m. at the new store in The Collection at RiverPark. Whole Foods staff members passed out sliced tree-ripened peaches to the waiting crowd as music played and drawings were held. After the doors opened the store rapidly filled as people inched their way through, stopping for samples and taking in the newness of it all.
Ventura County Star 201306191035
NSA director says plot against Wall Street foiled
The U.S. foiled a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange because of the sweeping surveillance programs at the heart of a debate over national security and personal privacy, officials said Tuesday at a rare open hearing on intelligence led by lawmakers sympathetic to the spying. The House Intelligence Committee hearing provided a venue for officials to defend the once-secret programs and did little probing of claims that the collection of people's phone records and Internet usage has disrupted dozens of terrorist plots. Few details were volunteered.
Associated Press 201306190919
Banks fall short in helping struggling homeowners
A new report says homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure must wait too long for their loan modification applications to be reviewed by some of the nation's top mortgage servicers. Such delays can plunge borrowers deeper in debt. Joseph A. Smith, the independent monitor of last year's national mortgage settlement, said Wednesday that while the banks are doing a better job complying with new mortgage servicing rules, more needs to be done. The settlement between 49 states, federal government agencies and lenders JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial set new rules for how banks handle troubled home loans.
Associated Press 201306190832
Budget office view boosts Senate immigration bill
Supporters of a far-reaching immigration bill in the Senate see fresh momentum from a report by the Congressional Budget Office that says the measure would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits by billions of dollars. Congress' nonpartisan scorekeeping agency said that the immigration bill would decrease federal red ink by $197 billion over a decade and $700 billion in the following 10 years as increased taxes paid to the government offset the cost of benefits for newly legal residents. The White House said the report was "more proof that bipartisan commonsense immigration reform will be good for economic growth and deficit reduction."
Associated Press 201306190828
Boehner: Senate bill weak on border security AP 201306180810
Oxnard council favors utility
subsidy for low-income seniors
Oxnard's poorest seniors could get some help with utility bills down the road. The City Council Tuesday night said they wanted details drawn up for a program to subsidize utility bills for eligible seniors. The proposal, which would cost an estimated $200,000 a year, was the least expensive by far of three options discussed. The other two would have included all of the city's lowest-income residents, with annual costs estimated at $1 million-$2 million. Tuesday's action did not signify formal approval of a plan. Rather, the council considered rough outlines and indicated which approach they favored. Staff members will return with a beefed-up proposal, including funding options. City utility bills cover water, sewer and trash services. The average monthly residential bill is $114.91. If approved, the program would provide participants with a $25 monthly discount.
Ventura County Star 201306180620
House to consider cuts to food stamps
A wide-ranging farm bill the House is considering would cut food stamps by $2 billion a year and make it more difficult for some people to qualify for the domestic food aid program. Passage of the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill could depend on the level of cuts to the $80 billion-a-year program. Many House conservatives have said the cuts don't go far enough, while liberals have argued against any cuts, saying the House farm bill could take as many as 2 million recipients off the rolls. The cuts are about 3 percent of the food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The chamber is expected to begin voting on 103 amendments to the farm legislation, including bids to reduce or expand the food stamp cuts, on Wednesday.
Associated Press 201306190111
Victim injured in Oxnard carjacking
One man was listed in stable condition Tuesday night at Ventura County Medical Center after he was stabbed while thieves took his vehicle in Oxnard, police said. The carjacking was reported at 8:28 p.m. in the 500 block of East Second Street. Witnesses said three males from 18 to 20 years old stabbed the 26-year-old man and then took his vehicle. Police found the vehicle nearly an hour later in the same area where it was stolen.
Ventura County Star 201306190024
Authorities say man found dead in Oxnard mobile
home killed himself after shooting cousin
Authorities Tuesday determined that a 40-year-old man found dead in a motor home Sunday killed himself after shooting his cousin several times. Oxnard police Sgt. Christopher Williams said early in the investigation that information on the death and injuries was inconclusive but that no suspects or weapons were missing. Police later said Eduardo Zarate Farias shot his cousin several times in the upper body for unknown reasons before shooting himself. "It was a bit of a complicated mess," said Craig Stevens, a Ventura County senior deputy medical examiner. "But we have determined that this was a suicide.
Ventura County Star 201306182234
Gov't report: Smooth launch unsure for health law
There's no guarantee that President Barack Obama's health care law will launch smoothly and on time, congressional investigators say in the first in-depth independent look at its progress. But in a report to be released Wednesday, the congressional Government Accountability Office also sees positive signs as the Oct. 1 deadline approaches for new health insurance markets called exchanges to open in each state - in many cases over the objections of Republican governors. Additionally, the report discloses that the administration had spent nearly $400 million as of March to set up the infrastructure of a sprawling system involving major federal agencies, every state, hundreds of insurance companies, and millions of citizens, among them many individuals seeking coverage for the first time.
Associated Press 201306182108
Oxnard man charged with murder in fatal crash
An Oxnard man has been charged with murder in the death of a woman killed in a single-vehicle crash last week outside Ventura. Jose Luis Rodriguez, 25, appeared in Ventura County Superior Court on Tuesday. He was charged with murder, driving under the influence causing injury to another passenger and driving with a suspended license. Rodriguez was driving south on Victoria Avenue near Olivas Park Drive about 2:20 a.m. June 14 at a high rate of speed when he failed to negotiate a curve, according to authorities. The vehicle ran off the road and overturned into an embankment. Esmeralda Noemi Bello, 21, of Oxnard, was in the back seat. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ventura County Star 201306181837
Birds return to refurbished Steckel Park aviary
Move-in day at the Steckel Park aviary was far from quiet. Ventura County Animal Services returned dozens of birds, from a nesting peahen to seven tiny parakeets, back home Tuesday. As they moved from traveling cages to refurbished digs near Santa Paula, their squawks, twittering, coos and an occasional shriek provided a soundtrack. "I'm just so happy," said Donna Gillesby, deputy director of county animal services. "We had an all-staff meeting this morning, and we all cheered for them."
Ventura County Star 201306181828
SEC to require mea culpas in some big settlements
The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission says the agency will start requiring companies and individuals to admit wrongdoing in some big settlements. Currently, under a longstanding practice, the SEC allows companies and individuals to settle charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing. Critics, including a federal judge, have complained that policy doesn't deter repeat violations. Mary Jo White says the SEC will now demand admissions of wrongdoing in cases involving serious fraud or harm to investors, and where "it's very important to have that public acknowledgement and accountability." She disclosed the planned policy change Tuesday at a conference organized by The Wall Street Journal.
Associated Press 201306181751
Oxnard woman denies embezzle-
ment from Ventura nonprofit
An Oxnard woman accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from a nonprofit pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court. Lorena Varela, 47, appeared before Judge Kevin McGee and pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts. Marc Leventhal, senior deputy district attorney, said Varela was a bookkeeper for The Arc of Ventura County. She’s accused of stealing $426,000 from the Ventura-based nonprofit, which serves residents with developmental disabilities. The theft occurred from April 2004 to September 2012, Leventhal said.
Ventura County Star 201306181640
Military plans would put
women in most combat jobs
Declaring "the days of Rambo are over," a top general said Tuesday that cultural, social and behavioral concerns may be bigger hurdles than tough physical fitness requirements for women looking to join the military's special operations units. Maj. Gen. Bennet Sacolick, director of force management for U.S. Special Operations Command, said having seen women working alongside commando teams in Afghanistan, he is less concerned about their physical strength than the social issues that could arise. His comments came as military leaders mapped out plans Tuesday to develop physical and mental standards for thousands of combat jobs and slowly bring women into front-line positions, including possibly Navy SEAL teams or Army Ranger units, where they historically have been banned from serving.
Associated Press 201306181603
Report: Too many teachers, too little quality
The nation's teacher-training programs do not adequately prepare would-be educators for the classroom, even as they produce almost triple the number of graduates needed, according to a survey of more than 1,000 programs released Tuesday. The National Council on Teacher Quality review is a scathing assessment of colleges' education programs and their admission standards, training and value. The report, which drew immediate criticism, was designed to be provocative and urges leaders at teacher-training programs to rethink what skills would-be educators need to be taught to thrive in the classrooms of today and tomorrow. "Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms" with an ever-increasing diversity of ethnic and socioeconomic students, the report's authors wrote.
Associated Press 201306181314
Another flaw in the human character
is that everybody wants to build
and nobody wants to do maintenance.
(1922 - 2007)
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