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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

March 21, 1994|Kenneth R. Weiss

SHIFTING GEARS: Peace is pushing a growing number of defense and aerospace firms to look for profit in building electric cars or other clean-burning vehicles (D1). . . . As is the case with APS Systems in Oxnard, some firms can minimize the employment casualties of the Cold War's end. "Despite the downturn in military-related business, we have been able to maintain our entire staff," said Steve Melkonian of APS. The 30-person firm still makes aircraft equipment, but is also busy building prototypes of an electric bus.

SOUR NOTE: Eight months before the Civic Arts Plaza auditorium opens, the 1,800-seat theater has spawned complaints of snubbing one of Ventura County's two symphonies and giving an unfair boost to the other (B4). . . . The director of Thousand Oaks' Conejo Symphony objects to the Oxnard-based Ventura County Symphony playing Wednesday night during the auditorium's first full week of operation. Everett Ascher persists in his complaints, even though the Conejo Symphony snagged the better weekend dates.

HALL OF FAME: One is the winningest football coach in Ventura County history. Another is a five-sport letterman from Oxnard High School in 1937. A third is described as a legend among community softball leagues. . . . All of them, on June 18, will be inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame. "It's a great honor," said John Reardon, head football coach of Rio Mesa High since 1968. As for his title of winningest coach? "That's probably true because I've been around for so long."

CATCH THE BULLET: Ventura County supervisors get a chance this week to be bullish on the bullet train. They will consider endorsing high-speed rail service that could whisk passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 5 1/2 hours. The 125-m.p.h. train would stop in Ventura County along the way. It would also help restrain the 33% surge of traffic projected for the Ventura Freeway within 15 years.

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