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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 1, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
Ventura police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Saturday morning near the Ventura River. A group of people pulling weeds near a homeless encampment called police about 8 a.m. after finding the body. The man appeared to be older than 40, but his identity was not immediately known. It was unclear how long he had been there, said Ventura Police Lt. Brian Roberts.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2006 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Leonard Biga came out west from Maryland, hoping to find a steady job. When he didn't, he took to sleeping in his truck, then on the streets. Last winter, the 53-year-old carny was squatting with other homeless people under a two-lane bridge on the dry bed of the Ventura River when police, fearful of winter flooding, forced them out of even those makeshift homes. Biga was tired -- tired of being dirty, tired of getting pushed around. His life seemed at a low point.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2000 | TINA DIRMANN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Ventura River is among the nation's most endangered rivers and its only hope for recovery is the removal of the Matilija Dam, according to a study released today by a conservation group. The Ventura River is ranked third in the country, behind Oregon's Lower Snake River and the Missouri River, on a list of 13 rivers facing the most "immediate, severe environmental degradation," according to American Rivers' annual report of the nation's most threatened waterways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2005 | Amanda Covarrubias, Times Staff Writer
Natural seepage from the ocean floor is unlikely to be the source of oil that has killed or injured more than 1,000 seabirds along the Southern California coast, so investigators are focusing on inland wells that might have become uncapped during recent record rainstorms, state officials said Friday. Tests revealed that oil on the birds' feathers didn't match the consistency of oil from natural seepage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 22, 1990 | JOANNA M. MILLER
The Ojai Valley Sanitation District must install a $5-million filter system to clean up the waste water it discharges into the Ventura River, state water authorities said Monday. The sanitation district has until July, 1993, to comply with the order, which will reduce the viral and bacterial count of the district's treated waste water, the Regional Water Quality Control Board of Los Angeles decided in a meeting held in Ventura Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 1994 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ventura city officials are poised to embark on a wildlife restoration effort at the mouth of the Ventura River, the culmination of a decades-long push to shore up the ecologically sensitive habitat. The Ventura City Council on Monday is expected to approve the estuary management plan and earmark $193,000 for the first phase of the project: digging up exotic plants that are choking out native shrubs and replacing them with native plant species.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 1995 | CONSTANCE SOMMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Saying Ventura's Main Street Bridge might topple if it is not repaired soon, Ventura City Councilman Jim Monahan on Friday proposed diverting the Ventura River eastward to give crews better access to the bridge's supports. "This is a very small window we have," Monahan said, adding that more storms could hit Ventura soon. "If the bridge drops, we'll have a big problem."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 1998 | GARY POLAKOVIC, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As a boy, Ed Henke hauled in giant steelhead from the Ventura River. It was a rite of passage shared by fathers and sons in the 1930s, when the silvery fish teemed in the river. Today, shopping carts and debris clog former fishing holes. Southern steelhead are endangered. And an imposing dam in the Santa Ynez Mountains blocks the ocean-faring fish from spawning grounds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 1995 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Blankets, batteries, radios, boots, beer cans, bicycle parts, suitcases, sleeping bags, stripped wire, broken couches, rusty lawn chairs and five-gallon plastic drums full of mysterious substances. It sounds like a yard sale. But to the surprise of about 150 volunteers, these items were just part of a long list of junk pulled from the dusty floor of the Ventura River during a massive cleanup effort Saturday launched by a local service club.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 1993 | FRED ALVAREZand STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
After tracking a Pacific storm as it inched across Ventura County through the night, a weary Hassan Kasraie received a frantic phone call about 4 a.m. Wednesday. "The meteorologist called and said the storm was just sitting there and dumping a bunch of water on the upper part of the Ventura River," said the county flood control manager. "That got everyone all excited."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2004 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
With winter approaching, homelessness in Ventura has once again become a hot-button issue. But at Project Understanding, an assistance center on the city's west end, the focus doesn't fluctuate with the seasons. As it has year-round for two decades, the church-supported nonprofit provides food, hot showers and laundry services to the needy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2004 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Even though he had plenty of warning, moving day came too soon for Randd Leinke. In three years of living on the Ventura River bottom, he managed to collect piles of bicycle parts and mounds of clothing. His bamboo-lined compound was crammed with walkers and wheelchairs, golf bags and beach umbrellas -- all of it jealously guarded by an ill-tempered mutt named Petey.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2004 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Efforts to demolish Matilija Dam as part of a long-awaited Ventura River restoration project got a major boost Thursday with the announcement that federal funding is close at hand. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) helped secure nearly $79 million for removing the dam and affiliated restoration projects as part of the 2004 Water Resources Development Act, according to Boxer's office.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2003 | Tracy Wilson, Times Staff Writer
Trying to preserve the small-town character of a city nestled between the ocean and rolling hillsides, Ventura residents have embraced some of the toughest growth-control laws in California in recent years. But faced with a slow economy and skyrocketing housing costs, a citizens committee is now eyeing a swath of grazing land outside the city limits for potential expansion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2003 | Suzie St. John, Special to The Times
Water and environmental officials gathered Thursday to break ground on a multimillion-dollar project designed to open miles of spawning streams to the endangered southern steelhead trout. The project, which is expected to cost $7 million to $9 million and be completed by next fall, will enable adult steelhead to swim upstream around the Robles Diversion Dam to spawn and allow young steelhead to return downstream to the Pacific Ocean.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2003 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
A Ventura County water agency has received a federal permit to build a $6-million fish ladder at a Ventura River dam, moving the project that is intended to help in the recovery of the endangered steelhead trout one step closer to reality.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 1995 | PAUL ELIAS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A judge refused to place convicted polluter F. John Appel on probation Monday and instead sentenced him to 60 days in jail for dumping tons of debris into the Ventura River from 1991 to 1994. Investigators said that most of Appel's debris eventually ended up on Ventura beaches after the heavy rains earlier this year. "It also further exacerbated flooding in his neighborhood," said David W. Wilma, an Environmental Protection Agency special agent in charge of criminal investigation.
SPORTS
July 20, 1988 | Rich Roberts
Steelhead fishing on the Ventura River will never be what it was in the good old days before Matilija Dam and the Lake Casitas Reservoir. But it won't get any worse, because of a recent court victory by the Friends of the Ventura River. More important, the case could have lasting implications for future disputes involving state water resources as fisheries.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2003 | Gary Polakovic, Times Staff Writer
Efforts to save a once-prolific game fish skidding toward extinction in Southern California are foundering over a dispute about who should get Ventura River water -- the fish or the people of the Ojai Valley. In a classic confrontation between water users and wildlife advocates, both sides are frustrated with progress to balance competing water needs along the Ventura River.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2002
A public meeting to discuss plans to build a fish ladder on the Ventura River near Ojai is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Sunset Elementary School in Oak View. Plans to recover the endangered steelhead trout are tangled in a debate over water rights.
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