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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

August 02, 1993|Fred Alvarez

HOT PROPERTY: As part of supplying Ventura County's power, Southern California Edison has amassed more than $700 million in property. Its most valuable land is beachfront property in Oxnard where the company long ago erected two towering power generation plants. . . . "I'm not surprised at all," Edison's area manager Mike Montoya said of the company's land value. "We're also one of the top property-tax payers in the county."

POLICE SPEAK: In an apparent attempt at humor, Ventura police have coined the phrase "residentially challenged" as a way of identifying the homeless. . . . "It's not an official term," said one police source, snickering at the verbal shorthand which began popping up in briefings and police broadcasts last week. "But in these days of politically correct terminology, it seemed appropriate."

HOMELESS ANSWER: Operators of a Ventura homeless shelter say they find nothing funny about the Police Department's sense of homeless humor. "It seems to me I've heard that term used before in a facetious manner," said Rick Pearson, executive director of Ventura's Project Understanding. "There is still a lot of misinformation and ignorance about who makes up the homeless population." . . . Despite a lingering recession that has slowed donations, Project Understanding continues to provide an ever-expanding range of services to the homeless (B1).

CATTLE DRIVE: How do you move 200 head of cattle? That's what rancher Hank Heeber has been trying to figure out since being told to vacate the Thousand Oaks property where he has raised cattle since 1973 (B5). . . . But if the rancher is considering an old-fashioned cattle drive, he'd better think again. "It just doesn't happen much anymore," said Bob (Cowboy Bob) Spencer, a genuine cowpuncher at Two Winds Ranch in Newbury Park. "But if he wants to try, hell, we'll go along with just about anything."

Top Property Owners

Ventura County companies with the most valuable properties*. So. Cal. Edison: $711,956 General Telephone: $568,040 Shell Oil: $315,843 Texaco: $278,961 Pacific Bell: $214,408 Continental Oil: $148,685 So. Cal. Gas: $146,118 Rockwell International: $138,224 * 1990-91 tax year, in millions. Source: Ventura County Statistical Abstract

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