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August 27, 1993|Gary Gorman

DARK PARKS: The largest park operated by Ventura County is also the longest--nearly seven miles long, in fact. Rincon County Park straddles the Old Rincon Highway, offering beachfront parking for thousands of RVs. . . . But three other big county parks are undeveloped. Officials are still studying a plan to allow camping and horseback riding at Happy Camp, north of Moorpark, parks planner Theresa Lubin said. Efforts to develop Camarillo Regional Park south of Camarillo have been on hold since a 1990 bond issue failed. . . . Next March, an interpretive center will be completed at the long-closed Oakbrook Regional Park in Thousand Oaks.


Ventura County's largest parks, in acres. Point Mugu State Park: 13,300 Rincon County Park: 4,480 Happy Camp Park: 3,700* Wildwood Regional Park: 1,700 Oakbrook Regional Park: 438* Camarillo Regional Rec. Area: 355* McGrath State Beach: 295 Tapo Canyon Park: 211 Soule Park: 207

* undeveloped

Source: Ventura County Public Works

PEST DECONTROL: Some of California's major growers have dramatically reduced pesticide use (A1), a trend mirrored on many Ventura County farms. "The growers are doing what they can to move away from chemical control," said Rex Laird of the Ventura County Farm Bureau. Reasons: cost, regulations and concern that overuse creates disease-resistant pests. . . . Consumers can help, Laird said. "If they were not so demanding in terms of visual quality, it would go a long way toward reducing chemical use."

POLITICAL ENTREES: Guess what Ventura County politicians are cooking up now: recipes, to be included in a fund-raising cookbook for the Ventura campus of Cal State Northridge. Director Joyce Kennedy said dishes to be included are Rep. Elton Gallegly's Santa Fe chicken, Supervisor Vicki Howard's Swiss steak V8, and former Rep. Robert Lagomarsino's avocado pie. . . . The $10 volume will be out in time for the campus telethon Oct. 30.

PERSUASIVE PREACHER: It's only fitting that Simi Valley's Old Methodist Church is becoming a community culture center (B4), City Historian Patricia Havens said. "It's always been a community building," she said. . . . When the church was built in 1924, she said, Minister Ralph Lee assessed everyone in town for donations--regardless of their religion. Most paid, Havens said.

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