Central Coast roundup

By El Latino newsroom

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) announces a limited waitlist opening for its Section 8 Voucher Program, the waitlist will be extended to June 17.

Section 8 Vouchers are issued to qualifying applicants allowing them to choose a unit to rent from private landlords. 

“This is a real opportunity for those in need of affordable housing. We are we very aware of the local housing crisis and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program can be an important part of the solution,” said Rob Fredericks, Executive Director/CEO of HACSB.

Participants pay a portion of their income toward rent, directly to the landlord, and the remainder of the contract rent is paid to the landlord by the Housing Authority.

Families, seniors, and disabled individuals are given priority on the Section 8 waiting list, which its ranking is based on date and time of application, and preference points.

HACSB began accepting applications online Monday, May 2.

To apply visit, www.hacsbwaitlist.org

For more information or if a reasonable accommodation is required, please contact the Housing Authority by phone at, 805.965-1071 or by email at info@hacsb.org.


A 43 year-old fake massage therapist, Bernardo Rojas Ruiz, of Santa Barbara, is currently in custody in the Santa Barbara County Jail and charged with two counts of felony unlawful sexual penetration and one count of misdemeanor sexual battery. 

The charged offenses occurred on June 6, and October 31, 2021. 

Both incidents occurred at Rojas Ruiz’s unlicensed massage therapy business which he has operated out of 1426 San Andres Street, which is also a party supplies and gifts store on Santa Barbara’s Westside.

The SBPD and the District Attorney’s Office are seeking the public’s help in identifying any additional victims or witnesses with knowledge of Rojas Ruiz’s criminal sexual acts. 

“If you have any information regarding Rojas Ruiz’s illegal massage therapy business or if you are a victim, please contact Investigator Judi Hall at the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office at (805) 568-2360”, said the SBPD.

One of the victims, in exclusive with El Latino Central Coast, stated that the experience was traumatic.

“He basically penetrated me and when I confronted him, he said that nobody will believe me. It was so shocking to know he has been abusing more women during all this time. I am happy he is finally in jail,” she said.


The City of Santa Maria unveiled a new sculpture to encourage recycling at the Hagerman Sports Complex, located at 3300 Skyway Drive, on Thursday May 12th.

 The colorful and functional sculpture depicts the theme of the ballpark with design elements that include a hitter, softball player, mitt, and ball. 

The sculpture is a collaborative project between the Utilities and Recreation and Parks Departments and was created by local welders Jeremy and Tammy Mogavero based on a conceptual design from the Utilities Department. 

“This piece encourages residents and visitors to recycle their bottles and cans by “pitching” them inside the sculpture, with the goal to fill it up”, said City officials in a press release.

The City stated that this is one-of-a-kind exhibit continues the City’s messaging to the community about recycling with intention. 

The Utilities Department funded this custom piece via a Cal-Recycle grant. 


During National Police Week, happening May 15-21, the Ventura Police Department (VPD) recognized the courageous police officers who’ve selflessly sworn to protect and serve Ventura and honors Corporal Eric Vazquez as the “Officer of the Year”.

“Corporal Eric Vazquez brings an incredibly positive attitude and work ethic to our team,” said Sergeant Mike Acquarelli. 

“Vazquez makes an effort to connect with and mentor younger officers and holds a variety of collateral assignments further developing his professional and leadership skills. He is truly an outstanding representative of our agency and the City of Ventura as a whole.”

Corporal Vazquez started with VPD as a police officer trainee in 2006 and has held assignments in patrol, gang prevention, major crimes, the Communications Center, and the Patrol Task Force. 

He is also a Field Training Officer and a member of the SWAT team. 

He was promoted to Corporal in 2017 and will be promoted to Sergeant in May 2022.

“I am extremely proud of our team of officers who’ve dedicated their lives to Ventura’s safety,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. 

“Our officers provide exceptional service with integrity, respect, and professionalism, and I am proud to lead an agency that is compassionate and dedicated to public safety. Their great work does not go unnoticed!”

National Police Week is also a time to honor those fallen officers who have given their lives in the line of duty, including the loss of Ventura Police Sergeant Darlon “Dee” Dowell who was tragically killed on August 7, 1978. 

The street in which the Ventura Police headquarters is located was named Dowell Drive in his honor.

Currently, the VPD has 137 sworn officers who have completed an intensive 6-month training academy, a 6-month field training program, and a one year probationary period.


Allan Hancock College bid a fond farewell to 16 retiring employees who contributed a combined 408 years of service to the college during an in-person recognition ceremony on May 13. 

This year’s honored retirees included employees who spent decades serving Hancock students, as well as staff members who worked to support students in attaining their educational goals. 

“These retirees dedicated their careers to supporting our students, staff and community, and furthering the college’s commitment to providing students in Northern Santa Barbara County with a quality education,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “They leave behind a legacy of service that they should be very proud of.” 

Retirees honored at this year’s ceremony included Hancock custodians David McMillan and Harold Ramirez, who retired after working at Hancock for 38 and 36 years respectively. 

Other honorees included Hancock Career Center coordinator Lynn Mayer, who retired after a 34-year career at the college. As Career Center coordinator, Mayer was responsible for coordinating the college’s annual 

Career Exploration Day events, which helped foster a college-going culture in thousands of area high school students. 

Mayer began her career at Hancock as a student worker in the late 1980s. 

“My favorite part of the job was always working with the students. It felt great helping them and it felt very rewarding seeing them succeed,” said Mayer.

The college also honored recently retired director of admissions and records, Marian Quaid-Maltagliati, for her 37-years of service at Hancock. 

Just prior to her retirement, Quaid-Maltagliati assisted with the development of the college’s landmark “Credit Where Credit’s Due” program, which automated the awarding of degrees for eligible students. 

“It was very fulfilling to see how the program made a difference is so many students’ lives,” said Quaid-Maltagliati.   


Last Tuesday the Ventura County Sheriff’s Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PCU), concluded an investigation that led to the arrest of Yassine Ayouch for selling narcotics utilizing social media applications.

During April, PCU detectives developed information that Ayouch was using various social media sites to advertise narcotics for sale and to set up drug transactions with customers in Ventura county. 

Based on follow up investigation, PCU detectives determined Ayouch was wanted on a felony arrest warrant for a probation violation and obtained a search warrant for his residence in the 1400 block of Flora Lane in Oxnard. 

With the assistance of GVRP detectives, PCU contacted Ayouch via social media and arranged to meet with him for a narcotics transaction in the City of Oxnard. 

Ayouch arrived at the designated location and was arrested on the warrant. 

At the time of his arrest, he was also in possession of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.

Detectives served the search warrant at his residence and seized 5716 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, scales, packaging material, a money counter, and $5,682 dollars.

Ayouch was arrested for Possession for Sales of a Controlled Substance, Sales of a Controlled Substance and the felony warrant, and was booked into the Ventura County Jail.

The suspect is currently in custody without bail due to his violation of probation warrant. 

The public may contact investigators from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or pharm.tip@ventura.org with additional information about this case, or any other information related to narcotics. 

The VCSO is an active member of the County Opioid Abuse

Suppression Taskforce (COAST), and comprehensive information can be found at www.VenturaCountyResponds.org.