Central Coast roundup

Por El Latino Newsroom
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According to the City, annual increase is due to two factors: increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and the County of Santa Barbara’s tipping fees at the Tajiguas landfill and ReSource Center.

Rate increases due to CPI and the County tipping fees are allowed as part of the City’s franchise agreement with MarBorg. 

“The annual rate adjustment ensures the continued quality and reliability of our waste management services. As the costs associated with waste collection, disposal, and recyclable material processing rise, it becomes necessary to adjust rates accordingly This adjustment will allow us to maintain the high standards of environmental stewardship that our community values,” stated the Council in a press release.

MarBorg provides services to the City such as solid waste collection, collection of green waste, recyclables, and commercial food waste, free residential household hazardous waste drop off, free bulky items pickups, textiles recycling, unlimited free electronics pickups and recycling, and many other programs. 

At last, the City assured the revenue generated by the rate increase will help MarBorg to cover the increasing costs of collection, transport, processing, recycling, and disposal of materials.

Last week the Ventura County District Attorney Office revealed that Jacob Anthony Caliboso of Oxnard, was sentenced on June 11, to 30 years to life in prison, the maximum sentence allowed by law, for the 2020 deaths of Elva Andrade and Nevaeh Gomez. 

Caliboso was previously convicted by a jury on April 30, of two counts of second-degree murder.

Exactly four years ago, Caliboso was under the combined influence of Xanax and marijuana while driving westbound on Pleasant Valley Road, near Oxnard, when he crossed into oncoming traffic, colliding head-on with the victims’ motorcycle. 

Ms. Andrade died at the scene and her 7-year-old granddaughter, Nevaeh, died the next day at Children’s Hospital, in Los Angeles.

“The defendant’s callous conduct took the lives of two innocent people, and he deserved the maximum sentence,” said Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Leija, who prosecuted the case.

Investigators with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) determined Caliboso was traveling approximately 55 mph prior to the crash, and his brakes were never activated. During the course of their investigation, the CHP obtained over 1,000 Snapchat videos and photos where Caliboso is seen using large amounts of drugs and driving in the weeks leading up to the crash.

On the day of the fatal traffic collision, Caliboso posted nearly a dozen photos or videos of his drug use on Snapchat. 

A collection of those social media posts was presented to the jury showing Caliboso had chosen to engage in dangerous conduct and was indifferent to the consequences.

Andrade’s siblings and Nevaeh’s mother and grandparents, appeared for the sentencing hearing and provided victim impact statements to the court.  

The City of Ventura announced that after a national competitive solicitation process, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) awarded the City an additional $30 million under its WaterSMART large-scale water recyclingprogram to support the VenturaWaterPure project.

USBR Commissioner Camille Touton and Senator Alex Padilla announced this historic award in a formal ceremony alongside the Metropolitan Water District, Pure Water Southern California, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. 

These agencies received $159 million funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“The USBR funding is vital to the City’s long-term goal of drought-proofing our region. It offers much-needed support amidst inflation and rising costs. The assistance will contribute to our mission to deliver affordable, safe, and reliable water to our ratepayers while staying dedicated to environmental stewardship and ensuring a resilient water supply for all Ventura residents,” stated Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder.

VenturaWaterPure joins the many communities throughout California and globally in delivering purified recycled water, including San Diego, Monterey, Pismo Beach, and Orange County, which has operated a potable reuse facility for the last 40 years. 

VenturaWaterPure is a multi-benefit program that will recover, treat, and reuse water currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. 

This will create a new, local, drought-resilient water source that meets legal and regulatory requirements and is resilient to changing climate conditions.

“VenturaWaterPure is expected to deliver up to 20% of the City’s annual demand when fully operational,” said Ventura Water General Manager Gina Dorrington. 

Monday, deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Office (SBCCO), arrested a man in Santa Maria for intentionally setting fire to his residence the same day at the morning.

According to the authorities, at approximately 11:05 a.m. deputies responded to the 1400-block of Genoa Way,  for a report of a male subject who was breaking out the windows of a residence.

When deputies arrived, they noticed smoke coming from the residence and requested fire respond for a structure fire. Deputies learned that the resident, 52-year-old Rockie Ginter, had intentionally set the house on fire. While firefighters worked to extinguish the fire, deputies evacuated homes in the immediate area and temporarily closed the roadway. Additional deputies detained and later arrested Ginter for arson and vandalism. He will be booked at the Northern Branch Jail later today. Booking charges and bail amount are pending. 

There were no reported injuries to the public or first responders.  The suspect’s residence was the only residence damaged by fire. 

Ventura County Grand Jury Announces Release of its Report “Building Better Together: Suggestions for Smoother Permitting Processes” 

In response to public complaints, the 2023-2024 Ventura County Grand Jury researched the difficult and lengthy process to approve building projects in the cities of Oxnard and Ventura. 

The complexity of a project mirrors that of the approval process, a development project, like a multi-unit housing project, may take years, involving land use guidelines, laws, environmental regulations, public hearings and detailed plan assessments by multiple city departments. 

The process for permitting an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) can be less complex. 

The Grand Jury found that Oxnard and Ventura are not in compliance with state- mandated timelines in scheduling hearings for multi-unit housing projects. 

Additionally, Oxnard is not in compliance with state-mandated timelines for approving ADUs. 

According to the housing requirements for Oxnard and Ventura, both cities failed to meet their regional housing needs from 2014 to 2021. 

These shortcomings are caused by high turnover in leadership and staff, difficulties implementing and using software systems and inefficiencies in the approval process. 

The Grand Jury also found that Oxnard and Ventura are striving to improve their processes, hire staff and comply with state laws that combine stricter timelines with more flexible land use.  

The Grand Jury makes recommendations to remedy these deficiencies and recognizes the efforts to improve the process.  

The Ventura County Civil Grand Jury is a panel of 19 local citizens established to investigate public complaints about county, city or special districts management, practices and processes.