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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

August 29, 1994|Fred Alvarez

SWEET ACRES: The corn is being given away, but there are some catches: You've got to pick it yourself and you've got to pick out the worms. . . . Green Foods Corp. is giving away 21,000 ears of sweet corn to Ventura County churches and charities. The crop was grown as a test of corn's ability to enrich the soil. And as with other Green Foods products, no pesticides or fertilizers were used. . . . "You'll find worms in our corn," Green Foods spokesman Stephen Hartmann said. "But that doesn't seem to be stopping anyone."

SWEAT EQUITY: Count among those racing to the harvest 17-year-old Vernadette Lacbain. She and other members of the Mary Star Of The Sea Youth Leadership group soon will comb the Oxnard field, picking as many ears as they can. . . . They plan to sell the corn as part of an ongoing effort to raise money for a trip to the Philippines to see Pope John Paul. . . . "I thought maybe we could use this corn to help us," said Lacbain, an incoming junior at Channel Islands High. "I hope we can pick a lot."

RED ALERT: Whatever happened to the Red Team? If you'll recall, it was a group formed last spring by the Ventura County Economic Development Assn. that tried but failed to lure Mercedes-Benz to the county. . . . "The Red Team is there at ready alert," said Carolyn Leavens, VCEDA's new president (B1). . . . Leavens said the Red Team currently is courting Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a New York engineering school looking to branch out West.

GREEN WITH ENVY: The residents around Westlake Lake must view Lake Sherwood with at least a twinge of jealously. Lake Sherwood is well on its way to solving its algae problem; Westlake Village has got it bad (B4).. . . Until recently, dead layers of the brownish-green plant grew with abandon on Lake Sherwood. . . . "Two years ago it was pretty bad," said Paul Culver, president of the Lake Sherwood Community Assn. "But they got after it and it has greatly improved."

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