Camarillo Corner

amarillo Corner
will help keep our classmates current with present day Camarillo.  I want to thank Shirley Granger (Pitts) for this suggestion, THANKS Shirley.   We take it for granted that everyone knows what is happening in Camarillo.  Many of our classmates have moved away several years ago and haven't been back.  Our sleepy city of 1969 has grown up.   FOR MORE CURRENT INFO PLEASE CHECK OUT THE VENTURA COUNTY STAR

The City area of Camarillo is 19.29 square miles (12,348.46 acres).  We get more than 300 days of sunshine each year.  Camarillo enjoys a Mediterranean climate often described as one of the most ideal on earth.Camarillo's elevation is 150 feet above sea level. It is in the Pleasant Valley portion of the Oxnard Plain. We now have over 61,000 residents and growing.

Camarillo High's Scorpion Makeover Stings Some

Stadium art redone for special seating

By Marjorie Hernandez
Friday, September 11, 2009

James Glover II / Star staff 9/11/9 CAMARILLO - Jennifer Smith of Camarillo High School Scorpion painted the new scorpion.  The old scorpion was sand blasted off to make room for a new smaller scorpion that will make room for Camarillo High School to add VIP seating at the stadium.

The old scorpion is visible behind Scorpions quarterback Jeff Mathews during a practice session one year ago.

For Camarillo resident Paula Hultman, size matters.

Hultman said she was proud every time she saw the gigantic painting of Camarillo High School’s mascot — a scorpion — as she traveled on Highway 101.

Painted over the school’s stadium steps, the massive blue-and-white arachnid stood about 37 feet tall and 25 feet wide, its menacing claws visible from the freeway.

About two weeks ago, however, the icon disappeared, stinging some longtime Camarillo residents like Hultman. A new, slightly smaller scorpion has been painted below where the original was.

“I have been a Camarillo resident for 31 years, and that iconic arachnid has been a visible landmark for decades ,” Hultman wrote in an e-mail to The Star. “I am not alone in my sadness and disbelief that such a fixture to the community is no longer there.”

School officials, however, said it’s not the size of the arachnid that’s important, but how much money it can generate for the athletic program.

Plans are in the works to create a VIP “Scorpions Club” section where the massive mascot once stood. The new section will be in the five top rows of the stadium steps, so the painted mascot had to be removed, said Principal Glenn Lipman.

Different packages will be available for the new stadium seats, including two seats for $250, four for $450 and six for $675. Club members will get passes to every home game for every sport, plus preferred parking.

School officials and the booster club came up with the fundraising idea. The school hopes to earn about $18,000 annually from the Scorpions Club, which will benefit all sports, said booster club President David Benson.

“It will draw community members back to the school,” said Benson, a Camarillo High alumnus. “When you come back to the games, people in the section will have nice stadium seats and they will also have in-seat service.”

Benson said 80 of the 150 premium seats already have been reserved. They should be installed in time for the football team’s third home game, against Oak Park on Oct. 9, Benson said. The booster club plans to install 30 more seats next year.

A shadow of its former self

Although the old arachnid was water-blasted about two weeks ago, rough patches on the concrete stadium still show its faint outline.

For the past week, Camarillo artist Jennifer Smith has been painting an updated version of the mascot.

At 24 feet high and 35 feet wide, it’s a version of the school’s logo, with a navy blue “C” and a silver-gray scorpion and bordered by royal blue and white.

Smith expects to finish the painting today.

Although still massive, the new arachnid is blocked from view from Highway 101 by a wall.

Smith, who has painted the school emblem in other areas of the campus, said she has gotten positive feedback about the new scorpion.

“Now it’s got a lot of detail and a more realistic scorpion,” Smith said. “Once people see the new, blue stadium seats go in, it will make more sense.”

Painting evolved over years

It’s not the first makeover for the stadium mascot.

A few years after the school opened in 1959, students in an art class painted the first arachnid on the stadium steps, Benson said. Painted in orange and yellow with white and black outlines, it was a “menacing, vibrant vision,” Benson said.

The problem was, the colors were too close to those of rival Oxnard High School, so the arachnid was painted over in 1974 in Camarillo blue and white, Smith said. The scorpion was repainted in 2002, then finally washed off in late August.

“It was like watching a time capsule go away,” Benson said of the washing.

While she understands the school’s motivation, Hultman said she and other motorists will miss the familiar landmark.

“It’s a minor significance in so many ways, considering what is going on in the world today, but sometimes when you grow up with something that’s been so significant to you, you’re sad to see it go, because you just took it for granted,” Hultman said Friday.

“I guess the scorpion had to take one for the team.”

For more information about the Scorpions Club, call Gaye Wismann at 312-2103.

        Camarillo State Hospital / California State University Channel Islands         e
One of the big changes was with the Camarillo State Hospital. The campus is a rare architectural find, built in the Mexican colonial style in the 1930's.  Featuring buildings constructed around central courtyards, it would more easily be taken for a resort than the mental institution it served as for decades-- until the late 1990's. The State Hospital was closed down in 1997.and was converted into a State University. There were several movies filmed at the CSH, Pearl Harbor 2001, Say It Isn't So 2001,The Ring 2002 and Soul Plane 2004 to name a few.  They also filmed TV shows such as The Biggest Loser, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and the X-Files. N'SYNC, filmed one of their music videosat the hospital grounds. Here is the link ffrom the 1932 Camarillo Paper headlines for the opening of the Hospital

As a student-centered, four-year, public university known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural, and international perspectives, California State University Channel Islands has quickly become a destination university for students from throughout the state.
The University opened its doors in August 2002, as the newest and 23 rd member of the CSU system. The work began to authorize the financing packages for development of the below-market-rate housing units on the campus for faculty and staff. The housing for faculty and staff began in 2002 that incorporates a mix of rental apartments, townhouses and single-family residents.  Housing continues to grow as the University welcomed more than 3,590 students in the fall of 2007. The second phase of student housing was completed this summer with the opening of Santa Cruz Village. This phase of student housing adds more that 450 beds to the University’s current capacity of 360 beds at Anacapa Village. Included in the facility are computer rooms, lounges, a dance studio, and an array of other public spaces for students.Campus infrastructure improvements continue at a brisk pace with the opening of a new campus parking lot; a new bookstore location and renovated of dining facility. The University continues to add academic programs and serves as an economic engine for our community, region, and state.

 Aerial view of Channel Islands University

Council approves letter in opposition to prison hospital 7/25/2008

You might remember the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. It was a juvenile detention facility on Wright Road known as the "Girl's School"  This facility was located on the back side of the Las Posas estates.  I remember riding horses with Mel McCartney and other classmates around this facility. An outside company is proposing a prison hospital as the former California Youth Authority.

Mayor Charlotte Craven said she was worried about whether the prison hospital could cause a housing shortage in Camarillo if medical professionals and inmates' relatives move into the city. The city of Camarillo residents have been signing a petition to block this prision hospital.

3M Company / Imation 7/23/2008

The Camarillo plant was originally built by 3M in the early 1960s. 3M was on the right hand side of the 101 heading towards the conejo grade.  In 1996, Imation was formed as a spinoff from 3M to handle data storage. Imation's main business was originally magnetic tape, but the product has been adding higher capacity at lower prices in recent years, driving down profits.The plant has been around longer than the incorporated city and used to be the largest employer in town, although employee numbers have dwindled over the years.Growing areas of business for the company include optical storage, such as CDs, and flash memory. For the moment there are no plans for anyone to occupy this facility. 

Camarillo Library

You may recall the old Camarillo Library on the corner of Ventura Blvd and Glenn drive around 1919.  You may recall Mrs. Flynn was our librarian in the early 1960's.  Our teachers from Pleasant Valley School used to line us so we would walk to the library. I recall Randy Elliott and I playing catch as we walked with our classmates to the library. When you entered the library there was the wooden cabinet with long wood drawers filled with index cards.  This was how we looked up the books we wanted by the dewey decimal system.  The Camarillo Chamber of Commerce now occupies the old library.

Several years later another library was bullt.  It was located at 3100 Ponderosa Drive just to the North of Los Altos School. It was 16,500 square feet much larger then our old library.  In the summer of 2003 Grant funds were awarded to the City in the amount of $15.6 million to build a new 65,000 square foot facility on a 10-acre site on Las Posas Road.  In December of 2005 the Board of Supervisors voted to transfer the Camarillo Library building and the site at 3100 Ponderosa Drive to the City of Camarillo for the sum of one dollar

In the summer of 2003 Grant funds were awarded to the City in the amount of $15.6 million to build a new 65,000 square foot facility on a 10-acre site on Las Posas Road. The total cost for our new library was $24,033,036.  In December of 2005 the Board of Supervisors voted to transfer the Camarillo Library building and the site at 3100 Ponderosa Drive to the City of Camarillo for the sum of one dollar.  March 31, 2007 marked the opening day of the Camarillo Library.

There are 52 computers available for public Internet use. There are over 150 magazines subscriptions available at the Library. The Library has the Camarillo Daily News from 1926-1993.

This is a beautiful picture of the courtyard as you enter the library

This area of the library is for the kids

                                                   Downtown Camarillo                                               e

Downtown Camarillo has undergone an extensive renovation over the past few years as seen by these pictures of Ventura Blvd.

                                      Ventura Blvd. 1961                                                                                                 
Ventura Blvd. 2006

As Old Town project drags on, frustration starts to show

Merchants say work hasn't yielded benefits

Joe Rice did a lot of the restoration work on old town Ventura Blvd.

Tracy Browning, left, and daughters Emma, middle, and Ashley visit one of the stores in Camarillo's Old Town, "Margo's Miniatures and More." Owner Margo Plummer says she's optimistic about the future of the shopping area.

Becky and Don George, who have lived in Camarillo since 1972, stroll down Ventura Boulevard in Camarillo on a recent Sunday. They say the Old Town area has improved but the renovation process has been hectic.

Ventura Boulevard in the Old Town section of Camarillo is entering its final phase of redevelopment, a dozen years after the project began, city officials say.

Business owners along the boulevard laud the landscaping and other street improvements that have been put into place, but they're frustrated with a 12-year process that has yet to yield the economic turnaround that both city officials and business owners envisioned.

"It's the slowest redevelopment project I've ever seen," said Antonio Williams, owner of Enoteca Toscana, a wine bar and trattoria at Fir Street and Ventura Boulevard. "It's frustrating for business owners who invest time and money only to still see empty lots and abandoned storefronts."

Across the street from Williams' business is a vacant lot surrounded by a chain-link fence. "It's ugly and it's not very welcoming," he said.

Officially known as the Camarillo Corridor Redevelopment Project, the renovation of Old Town got under way in 1996.

"We had a goal of not forgetting about Old Town," said Bob Burrow, community development director for Camarillo. "At that time, the City Council made it clear that they believed Old Town was a unique place and needed attention."

"The first plan was for streetscape improvements," Burrow said. "That has been successful, and we're getting a lot of positive feedback on it."

The plan involved narrowing the boulevard and providing wider sidewalks to allow for fewer cars and more pedestrian traffic. The renovation also included using colored concrete, turn-of-the-century-style streetlights and new statues at various spots along the boulevard.

"I've gotten tremendous feedback," said Cammie Hardy, owner of the Old Town Studio Gallery on the boulevard. "Everybody loves the look of it all."

"Everybody's happy with the streetscape," said Tom Kelly, CEO for the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. "But parking in the long run is the issue, and we need more."

City officials point out that parking is on the agenda for this next phase of redevelopment.

"We only have limited funds, and we can't get everything done at once," Burrow said.

"We've got a lot of plans for the boulevard, including parking improvements as well as owner participation in private property improvements," he added.

"We still feel that Old Town needs more renovation. The action plan that's in place isn't quite good enough yet."

Burrow specifically cited the following as targets for more renovation: the old fire station at the Lewis Road offramp, Dizdar Park, the old Los Primeros School site and the old courthouse.

When it comes to the condition of Old Town, Camarillo resident Charlie Festerling shared the feelings of other residents at the Saturday farmers market in the courthouse parking lot.

"It all has to do with the abandoned school and this courthouse," Festerling said. "They sit right in the middle of the boulevard and kind of break it up. They ought to bulldoze the both of them and create a parking area. That would allow people to walk around and enjoy the shops."

Williams concurs: "If Old Town is really going to become a destination, it's going to have to have an anchor, a theater or something, and it's going to need more parking." He also said that a sound wall should be reconsidered as well.

"Have you ever tried to sit out in front of Ola's for example and eat? You can't hear anything but the freeway."

The project's 12-year history reflects some hurdles. First, city officials had to change the zoning for Old Town to allow the remake they envisioned.

"We recognized it had potential, but we saw a need for new kinds of shops and stores," Burrow said. "The old resale shops, for example, didn't draw in a lot of economic activity," he said.

"The rezoning allowed for a lot of uses that aren't available in commercial areas," said Edward Burns, Camarillo's redevelopment director. "We wanted to be certain that the character of Main Street in Old Town was kept. The rezoning laws allowed for restaurants to have outside seating, for example."

But after the rezoning, another time-consuming delay popped up.

"We couldn't act until Caltrans came in and redesigned the ramps and connection between the 101 and Lewis Road," Burrow said.

Despite the progress, Jeff Walker, managing partner for J.J. Brewsky's and the chairman of the Old Town Association run by the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, wants to keep the project in the forefront of city officials' minds.

"Old Town is still an undiscovered section of Camarillo," he said. "We're making a concentrated effort to glam the place up a little bit and get it back on track."

Walker pointed out that when redevelopment began, there was talk of making it the central feature attracting students from the new CSU Channel Islands.

"None of that happened," Walker lamented, "but we're not giving up yet."

Businesses have faced their own problems. Camarillo Plumbing and Painting's venerable old storefront draws constant complaints and praise, from visitors and business owners alike, about the state of its circa-1915 building.

According to the company's vice president and co-owner, Kevin Nunn, "We were hoping that when they put the new freeway onramp in, they'd take us out. But that didn't happen.

"We drew plans for a redesign, but the city didn't like them. When we went back for a second set of plans, the cost was $475,000, and we said, Forget that,' " Nunn said. "Our latest plans call for a change of the facade, and that cost is around $225,000."

The Chamber of Commerce's Kelly, who has been involved in recruiting new business for Old Town, is optimistic about the future.

"Where there are empty storefronts, we are looking at in-fill development," he said. "The Old Town Association's job is to work with the city to provide solutions to the problems we're facing."

You can see by this picture how nice the restoration looks.  The new storefront facades, center medium and the palm trees.

                                     Camarillo's Premium Outlet Mall                                         e
The Camarillo outlet mall is huge ! There are two different shopping centers, the Main Court and the Fashion Court. Each center is jam packed with name brand discount outlet shops. Plan on spending at least a half of a day shopping the many different stores. You can find just about anything you want including: fine leather and luggage, accessories and jewelry, house wares and home furnishing, gifts and specialty items, designer fashions and sportswear, children's clothes and much more. Ample parking is available at both centers and there is a food court where you can rest up and enjoy a meal. If you are at least 50 years of age you can take advantage of an added 10% savings on Tuesdays by simply presenting a photo identification with your proof of age to the cashier at participating stores. This mall is located between Carmen Drive and Las Posas Road on Ventura Blvd.  This has been a HUGE hit and people come from all over to see this upscale mall.

Promenade project strolls along in Camarillo Retail center to enter its next phase

Jim DeStefano couldn't help but notice the scene on his way to work in the morning and coming home in the evening.

"Whatever it is, it's a big project," said the Camarillo resident and father of three. "I just assumed it's another part of how Camarillo is growing."

What DeStefano and other commuters have been seeing on the east side of Las Posas Road and south of Highway 101 is earth moving — the beginning of one of the largest and most visible projects along the highway in Camarillo.

Chelsea Property Group, owner of Camarillo Premium Outlets, is finishing grading the area with an eye toward building 264,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space along Ventura Boulevard, west of Edwards Cinemas.

The Promenade has been in the process of laying down utilities and creating building pads for foundations. After soil compaction is checked, the next stage of construction will start as building permits are issued and structures begin going up, officials said.

"They have to be able to demonstrate that they've got their grading compaction verified" before building permits can be issued, said David Anderson, assistant director of the city Community Development Department.

The developers and the city expect completion of the project in the spring of 2009.

Brian Hassett, general manager of Camarillo Premium Outlets, explained the company's plan for the new Promenade.

"While there will be more outlet center tenants for the project, it's still going to be considered a different type of shopping experience," he said. "We did try to focus the project's use to have a good deal of tenants such as sit-down restaurants that will more aptly function alongside a theater, which is currently going through a major renovation."

No details are yet available as to what stores or restaurants will be in the center, which will be about half the size of the 450,000-square-foot Premium Outlets.

The Promenade is being designed with a California Mission style of architecture.

"Chelsea worked extensively with the city of Camarillo, to create a signature architectural look specific to this project," Hassett said.

"There'll be some free-standing restaurants as well as the main center," said Anderson. "We worked with them to really sort of beef up the pedestrian traffic use. (Chelsea) has designed a large plaza with walkways and a different theme than the Outlet Center."

The courtyard was designed as a multi-use area, not just a brief respite for shoppers.

"The thought was that the plaza would not only be an amenity for the shopping center and its customers but could also be jointly used for potential functions the city may participate in," Hassett said.

More of Camarillo's building projects of late have involved walkways, paths and pedestrian traffic areas in attempts to cut down on auto traffic congestion.

According to Hassett, Chelsea "understood the desire of the city to have a project that was not only pedestrian friendly but would provide for connectivity and synergy between the proposed project, the existing theater and the existing Camarillo Premium Outlets."

Chelsea officials also had to work with Ventura County and federal officials to make the project a reality.

The county allowed the nearby Camarillo Airport's aging water system to be transferred to the city as part of an arrangement to secure approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to change a decades-old military flight-path easement that restricted building heights on the shopping center site.

"We worked over a three-year period in a cooperative manner in what became a win-win-win situation for the city of Camarillo, the county of Ventura and Chelsea Property Group," Hassett said. "Ultimately, all three entities will end up with a very fine project that will be an amenity to the community and generate jobs and sales tax revenue for the city and county."

Springville called a new way of living

Springville, the proposed 173-acre mixed-use land development project in Camarillo, represents a new approach to the city's long-term housing needs, city officials said Wednesday.

"Springville represents a major shift for Camarillo. It will be a self-sustaining community — people can walk from their house to the market or the ice cream store or a restaurant," said Randy Richard, senior planner. "They won't have to get in the car and drive."

During a 90-minute presentation Wednesday at a public forum in Oxnard hosted by Housing Opportunities Made Easier — a Ventura-based nonprofit organization that advocates greater housing availability and affordability — Bob Burrow, Camarillo's director of community development, and Richard spoke about the evolution of the Springville project.

The audience included planners from other Ventura County cities, affordable housing advocates, engineers and real estate developers.

The Springville plans call for 1,350 housing units, including 90 senior units, commercial retail and office space and two parks. Burrow said there will be a mix of housing densities, including single-family homes on small lots, townhomes, condominiums and apartments.

"We looked at density as a tool to bring down the price. Because of the slower housing market, it makes this type of housing very attractive when the turnaround comes," Burrow said.

He said 20 percent of the units will be designated for low- and moderate-income families, and those units will be integrated into the whole, not built into one designated area.

"We recognize the need for low- and middle-income housing, and I'm optimistic about what Springville has to offer," said Arlene Adline, HOME president and director of development for the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura. "What they're proposing is a wonderful mix of housing types with a village atmosphere."

The Springville development area is on the north side of Highway 101, south of West Ponderosa Drive and west of Las Posas Road. It is three-fourths of a mile east of Central Avenue.

The proposed development has had its share of challenges. Burrow said it was originally planned on a much bigger scale, with 2,400 housing units but had to be downsized when city planners determined it wasn't feasible.

With its close proximity to the airport and to an earthquake fault zone, risk assessment studies had to be prepared and evaluated, and noise mitigation measures will have to be implemented for housing units exposed to aircraft traffic.

One of the project's biggest hurdles was overcome in February, when the City Council, in a 3-2 vote, agreed to rezone 159 acres from rural exclusive to several zoning designations, which allows the development to move forward.

Burrow said the next looming problem for the development is a new Highway 101 interchange, which will cost $40 million.

"The city will contribute about $11 million. The rest will have to come from the developers," he said.

Soda shop to replace landmark Buckhorn Bar

Family-oriented Rocket Fizzz business is coming to Old Town in Camarillo

By Mark Storer .... Correspondent Friday, October 17, 2008

The former site of the landmark Buckhorn Bar and Saloon in Camarillo's Old Town is about to reopen with some lighter fare.

The Buckhorn, a Ventura County fixture for decades, will become Rocket Fizzz, whose owners describe it as a family-friendly soda, candy and novelty shop.

The store, at 2619 E. Ventura Blvd., will open as soon as mid-November if all goes well, co-owners Ryan Morgan and Robert Powell said.

The old saloon closed at the end of 2005 after Powell, the building's owner, did not renew its lease. In the 1930s, Powell's grandfather Jack Richmond bought the property.

Rancher Andrew Cawelti constructed a building on the spot in 1905 and rented it out as the Buckhorn Cafe, which later added a bar. For many years, it had a poker room in the back.

When Powell didn't renew the bar's lease, he told city officials he wanted to put in a more family-oriented establishment.

His partner in the venture, Morgan, came up with the idea of Rocket Fizzz, basing it on some of the novelty candy and soda shops found in places like Old Town Sacramento.

"It's essentially a tourist-type business but not in a tourist destination," Morgan said.

"The idea is that we're going to feature about 1,400 different types of soda pop and ... old-fashioned candies and toys that kids will like," he said. Rocket Fizzz will also feature a hot dog or sausage cart.

"Camarillo spent a lot of money on Old Town," Powell said. "But there are not a lot of old-fashioned things in Old Town. We wanted to change that.

"We wanted to bring something to the community that it can really benefit from. We wanted to build a place for families and kids."

To that end, a walled-in patio is being added so families can be outdoors while keeping kids safe and away from traffic.

The store is being rebuilt from the floor up. Morgan and Powell said no remnant of the Buckhorn will remain.

During the work, various items have been found, including horseshoes and several old bottles that formerly contained root beer extract used for making root beer at home.

"It's a very diverse corner," said Powell of the building he owns, which also houses Tony's Pizza and the Establos meat market.

Councilman Mike Morgan, Ryan Morgan's father, said the new business will be a welcome change. "Toward the end of its life, there weren't the most savory characters there (at the Buckhorn), and business wasn't as good, of course," the councilman said.

Rocket Fizzz has obtained all of the necessary permits from the city, the owners said.

District officials say campus likely a decade away
By Michelle Knight
Oxnard Union High School District does not plan to build a new high school in Camarillo anytime soon but has decided that making improvements at Adolfo Camarillo High School will be a top priority.

In a study session in Oxnard last week, Superintendent Bob Carter presented trustees with a list of facility improvements he developed with Assistant Superintendent Randy Winton.

Carter told the board that, after several discussions with City Manager Jerry Bankston about future growth in Camarillo, a new high school won’t be needed for 10 years or more.

City officials foresee no large-scale housing developments on the horizon that would call for another high school in Camarillo, Carter said later.

“There will be a new high school in Camarillo; there’s no question about that,” although it’s unknown when, he said.

Topping the list of 25 improvements for the district’s one alternative and six comprehensive high schools is the purchase of land to build another high school in Oxnard. Second on the list is building an $11-million performing arts center at Camarillo High.

Also, several other projects at Camarillo High are among the district’s top 10 facility improvements. They include building a swimming pool and outdoor theater, establishing a technology magnet school, replacing stadium lighting, paving the upper parking lot and constructing a greenhouse for floriculture classes.

“Staff’s No. 1 priority is Camarillo High School,” Carter told the board.

Winton said it’s possible for the district to undertake multiple projects at a time. Oxnard Union has had more than 50 projects under construction at one time, he said.

At Rio Mesa High, the district plans to build a larger and more modern facility for the hospitality, tourism and recreation courses, fix broken concrete in the quad area and replace stadium lighting with more energy- and cost-efficient lighting.

The district has about $170 million available now for 19 of the facility improvements, Winton said, including a $135-million bond that has yet to be issued. If the board wants to make the rest of the improvements, the district might be eligible for additional government funds, he said.

Those projects would include building a solar photovoltaic field at Rio Mesa High and a second gymnasium at Camarillo High. Carter said the district may partner with the Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District to build the $14.6-million gym at the high school.

Winton told the board that because it’s been widely reported that construction bids are coming in at 20 percent less than expected, now is a good time to begin building projects. He said most of the projects on the list could be completed in three years or less.

Building a new campus for Frontier High School is No. 19 on the district’s to-do list. The district wants to move the alternative high school from the Camarillo Airport because it isolates the school from the community and limits the resources the district can take advantage of, Carter said. If the school was in an industrial area in Oxnard, the district could partner with nearby businesses to develop creative curricula and vocational training, he said.

Among the improvements the district plans for its other schools are replacing the condemned swimming pool and visitors bleachers at Hueneme High, building swimming pools at Channel Islands and Pacifica high schools and modernizing the facility at Oxnard High for the hospitality, tourism and recreation courses.

Trustees are expected to discuss the facility improvement list at the Sept. 23 meeting. After the list is finalized, perhaps in October or November, construction can begin soon thereafter on several projects, including the swimming pool at Camarillo High, Carter said.



Many of you most likely remember Capehart tract in Camarillo.  This is where many of our classmates and friends lived.  It was the Navy housing just off Las Posas Road.  Several years ago they changed the name to Catalina Heights.  Then around 2007 they started to tear down the large complex as it was very old and outdated. After two years it is nearly completed and looks great.

Camarillo housing for military families nearly ready

By Marjorie Hernandez
Monday, July 6, 2009

Housing will soon be available for military families in Camarillo as construction on the Catalina Heights development moves toward completion.

A total of 315 homes will be available for U.S. Navy families in a mix of duplexes, triplexes, quadruplexes and single-family homes.

“It’s going to look nice and new,” said project manager Rob Gish as he drove through the construction site on Monday. “Some of these homes are almost complete and should be done in about two weeks.”

Clark Realty Capital, Lincoln Properties and the Navy have been collaborating on the project for the past year and a half. The three entities have developed a partnership and formed San Diego Family Housing LLC, which owns the 52 acres off Los Posas Road and Calle La Cumbre, and other sites throughout Southern California, said Morgan Rogers, Clark Reality spokesman.

The land, which was previously owned by the Navy, also had 315 homes, which were built in the 1950s and were “old and outdated,” Rogers said.

Many of the families who once occupied those homes moved into available military base housing in Point Mugu or Port Hueneme or decided to find housing on their own, said Teri Reid, public affairs officer for Naval Base Ventura County.

All of the new homes at Catalina Heights should be completed by 2010, Rogers said. The single-family homes have three to four bedrooms and garages. Of the 315 homes, 15 will be handicap accessible units, Gish said.

The housing is strictly for those enlisted in the Navy and the families must meet eligibility requirements, said Nancy Meissner, regional property manager for Lincoln.

Navy housing officials are currently working on the eligibility criteria. Plans are in the works for a town hall meeting in August where officials will go over the application and eligibility process, Reid said.

Last week, construction crews were busy working at the site, with some duplexes, triplexes, quadruplexes near completion. The framework is up for the single-family units, and the slabs for the last few homes hardened in the sunlight.

Developers decided to keep an existing youth center in the middle of the development. The center was still in good shape, needing only superficial improvements, Gish said.

Camarillo city officials said the new homes are a welcome improvement to the neighborhood.

“We are pleased with the development and modernization of the new construction and appreciate the cooperation we’ve had with the developers and the Department of the Navy,” said Camarillo City Manager Jerry Bankston. “There will be larger units for families, and we are extremely happy for the military personnel who will have nicer units to live in.”


This beautiful church has stood as a prominent fixture in the Camarillo landscape. It looks so beautiful as you head North on highway 101 both during the day and at night when it's lit up.  The church went through an extensive renovation several years ago.  Here is a link which will give you the history of this awesome church.

Enjoy this video of Camarillo as there is some old and some new.

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This is a great video of Oxnard in 1961 with a population of only 34,000 people.  We used to shop at the Fox Market shown in this video since Camarillo didn't have a full size Supermarket. You will notice the S&W stamp sign under the Fox Market Sign.  Mel's Diner is shown where many of us ended up after cruising A Street. Notice the gas station sign showing 28 cents and all the new housing tract signs shows houses for $14,500.

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School board OKs IMAX-like theater for Camarillo High

By Marjorie Hernandez
Originally published 05:29 p.m., September 10, 2009
Updated 05:29 p.m., September 10, 2009

Plans to build an outdoor movie theater with IMAX-like screens at Camarillo High School took a big step forward this week.

The Oxnard Union High School District board Wednesday night unanimously approved plans to allow Texas-based Schlosser Constellation Inc. to build the $1.5 million outdoor theater. If state officials sign off on the project, the theater will include two high-definition, 50-foot-high, 200-foot-wide screens with “IMAX-like” quality, Camarillo High Principal Glenn Lipman said.

The theater would feature reclining seats equipped with outlets for viewers to plug in headphones for sound. It would be built between the varsity baseball field fence and the football field.

“I’m excited, because it brings opportunities in two parts,” Lipman said. “One, it will have educational value, and two, it will bring some money to the school that will help support our technology.”

The company, not taxpayers, would cover the cost of building the 1,000-seat theater. Schlosser officials estimate the facility could generate $453,000 in its first year and about $1 million annually for the next 15 years, said Randy Winton, Oxnard Union’s assistant superintendent of business services.

Lipman said Camarillo High would use the theater for free during the school year to show educational programs, special televised events, and game film for athletic teams to review, among other things. The screens would be connected to DirecTV and the Internet.

The revenue would come from ticket and concession sales for family films to be shown to the public from May to October when the school is not using the theater. The back of the giant screens would serve as billboards, bringing in additional revenue, Lipman said.

Profits would be split equally between Schlosser Constellation and the school district, after the company receives reimbursement for expenses including construction costs plus 7 percent interest, and staffing, licensing and management fees.

Lipman said Camarillo High would be the first in the nation to get such a state-of-the art outdoor theater, although the Texas company is considering other school sites as well.

The plans now will be submitted to the Division of State Architect, and if approved, the theater could be completed within eight to 15 months, Lipman said.

“It’s big business on their end and it will be big for education on our end,” Lipman said. “I think there will be a lot of interest once this moves forward.”