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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

June 04, 1993|Gary Gorman

TEMPORARY FIX: Ventura County leaders praised Gov. Pete Wilson's proposal to extend a half-cent sales tax and earmark the $700 million raised for public safety (A3). But they cautioned that the six-month extension would probably be just a Band-Aid for the county's hemorrhaging budget. "It doesn't deal with long-range financial problems," county Budget Director Albert Bigler said. Supervisor Vicky Howard said the plan may help the Fire Department, which faces the prospect of station closures.

SHOP TALK: While The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks gets a $7-million face lift (Section B), officials in Ventura expect to release an environmental impact report on the planned expansion of Buenaventura Plaza within a few weeks. "We'd like to be building by early next year," plaza spokeswoman Lori Gatto said. . . . The expansion would double the mall's size, add three department stores and allow Buenaventura to replace The Oaks as the largest mall in the county. Stumbling block: So far, no department stores have agreed to move in.

HE DELIVERS: The movie "Stand and Deliver" portrayed Jaime Escalante's success at encouraging poor Latino students in East Los Angeles. Tonight, Escalante comes to Oxnard to fire up members of the Ventura County Minority Business Group. Escalante, who now lives in Sacramento, will deliver a keynote speech at the group's awards dinner and present a $4,000 scholarship to a minority student. "He's an inspiration to students to stay in school and excel," said Nancy Jackson of Ventura County National Bank, a sponsor of the event.

FOR JULIE: When 16-year-old Julie Clark died last year of a rare heart virus, her Simi Valley High School softball teammates dedicated their season to her memory. . . . That determination powered the team to a 25-1-1 record and a spot in tonight's Division I championship game against Los Alamitos. "We're thrilled," said Julie's father, Roger Clark (C12).

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