Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Local man, 22, sentenced for burglarizing pop star’s home | www.toacorn.com | Thousand Oaks Acorn

Local man, 22, sentenced for burglarizing pop star’s home | www.toacorn.com | Thousand Oaks Acorn: "Rusty Edward Sellner, 22, received the sentence May 20 in L.A. Superior Court.

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Sellner pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree residential burglary on Feb. 11, said Deputy District Attorney Brad Harmon with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

On Dec. 16, 2014, Sellner broke into Cyrus’ Toluca Lake home while she was out. He made off with a large amount of personal property belonging to Cyrus and her brother, Harman said.

In addition to his recent conviction in L.A. County, Sellner, a 2010 Conejo Valley High School graduate, has had two previous felony convictions in Ventura County, one for grand theft auto and one for commercial burglary, according to Superior Court records.

The crimes played a role in determining his sentencing, Harmon said.

“Mr. Sellner’s criminal history was taken into account, as well as the circumstances of this offense, in deciding to make the offer of two years in state prison,” he said."

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TO Acorn Carnival will raise funds for new nonprofit’s causes /Memorial for Jenny June

Carnival will raise funds for new nonprofit’s causes

A member of the Conejo Valley Kiwanis Club has formed a nonprofit family foundation, the Matthew Project, to raise money for various local charities that support animal welfare and provide aid to families and veterans in need.
To introduce itself, the foundation will host a free carnival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat., June 6 at Oakbrook Neighborhood Park at Erbes and Pederson roads in Thousand Oaks.
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The family event will have bounce slides, obstacle courses, popcorn and games. The fundraiser is not sponsored by the Kiwanis.
For more information, call Kristine Stith at (805) 907-6223 or email jkstith2@gmail.com

June memorial planned for well-known local homeless woman

Services delayed after coroner’s ruling
By Becca Whitnall

ON HOLD—A memorial for June Don, a homeless woman known to the public as Jenny or Freeway Annie, is planned for next month. A friend of Don’s who is planning the service has been delayed by red tape. ON HOLD—A memorial for June Don, a homeless woman known to the public as Jenny or Freeway Annie, is planned for next month. A friend of Don’s who is planning the service has been delayed by red tape.Homeless Jenny’s not been forgotten.
Plans for a public memorial for June Don, known to locals and friends as Jenny, are still underway— they’ve just been delayed.
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Don, who for three decades roamed the area from Agoura Hills to Newbury Park and often called a bench near Gelson’s in Thousand Oaks home, died in February from complications resulting from an infection. She was 78.
Also known to some as “Freeway Annie,” Don was usually decked out in her trademark wigs, makeup and tight dresses. She was featured in an Acorn story last July when the paper learned she was living in a San Fernando Valleynursing facility.
“You’d see her while driving down the street and wonder, ‘What did I just see?’” longtime friend Michelle Munyon said.
Since Don’s death, Munyon’s been working to take possession of the remains and provide a proper burial. But since they are not related—and Don has no known family—Munyon has run into obstacles.
Munyon, who four years ago helped Don get off the street and into a San Fernando assistedliving facility, had power of attorney over her friend’s finances but not her person, so now the courts must get involved for burial plans to move forward.
In Los Angeles County, where Don died, if a next of kin cannot be located the body is sent to the county morgue where it is cremated and held for a maximum of three years before being discarded, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of the coroner’s office.
“If somebody from the outside is interested in claiming the remains, they get a court order and the remains are released to them,” he said.
Munyon is in the process of seeking an attorney to help and hopes to have a June 21 memorial to coincide with Don’s birthday, but in the meantime she’s learned more details about her friend.
“(The county) did some research and determined her father’s name was Frank Coronado and her mom’s name was Alfreda Schmidt,” Munyon said. “She was born June Ethel Coronado in New Orleans.”
Munyon said she sees a silver lining to the delay.
About five years ago, she raised money on Don’s behalf. She used it to help care for Don and planned to spend the remainder on her burial, but with the county cremating Jenny’s remains, the cost goes down signifi cantly.
“I almost feel like it was God’s hand because now we have this money to help others in Jenny’s situation,” she said.

Preemptive protest | www.toacorn.com | Thousand Oaks Acorn

Preemptive protest | www.toacorn.com | Thousand Oaks Acorn: "
2015-05-28 / Community

Preemptive protest
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1 Points Mentioned

MARKED—A “Not Protected” sign was hung from a large oak tree at Lombard Street and Thousand Oaks Boulevard last week. The tree and another like it sit on a long-vacant lot now targeted for development. Beverly Hills-based Cambra Realty has submitted a pre-application for construction of three buildings there, including medical offices, retail shops and apartments. The trees are on private property. “Not Protected” signs, placed by anonymous members of the public,first appeared after dozens of oaks were chopped down at Westlake Plaza last year. "

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Special election results could impact park and rec board if ED JONES WINS

Special election results could impact park and rec board

Jones win would mean another vacancy
By Becca Whitnall

Ed Jones Ed JonesDepending on the outcome of next week’s Thousand Oaks City Council special election, the Conejo Recreation and Park District may be left to fill a vacancy of its own.
If current CRPD board member Ed Jones—one of four candidates vying for the city post—is elected June 2, he’d be leaving with three and a half years left on a four-year term. Jones was reelected to a second term in November.
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“He obviously can’t serve in both capacities, so he’d have to resign his seat,” CRPD General Manager Jim Friedl said. “That basically gives us the option to fill by appointment, call a special election or wait for the next general election (in 2016).”
The decision would fall to the remaining four directors, who are unlikely to consider calling for a special election given the cost, board member Susan Holt said.
“I’d be in favor of an appointment,” Holt said. “The cost of a special election, as we now know, is about $200,000. That’s what the city is putting out for this election.”
Director Chuck Huffer went as far as to say a special election would be “off the table” because of the price tag.
Jones, who’s got one week left to campaign and walk precincts, said he doesn’t want to put the cart before the horse but imagines if he does win the board would follow past precedence.
“If I were to win—and let’s face it, I have some formidable opponents— they’d do what they did when Mike Berger retired,” Jones said.
The last time CRPD had to replace a director midterm was when Berger resigned in December 2008 because he was leaving the area. At that time, the board appointed John Short after interviewing 19 applicants, Friedl said.
Jones said he feels comfortable stepping away from the board because he has faith in rec and park leadership.
“It’s a beautiful organization, and it’s a wonderful and cooperative board,” he said. “Jim Friedl is a knowledgeable and strong general manager.
“The people who are there are talented and receptive to the public. I believe they’re the mainstays, and I’m sure they’ll find many qualified candidates.”
Judging by their actions this election, it’s uncertain if Jones’ fellow board members share the same affection.
None of the CRPD directors has given him an endorsement. In fact, directors Joe Gibson and Huffer have come out publicly for Jones’ opponent Dan Roundtree.
“I think Ed needs to decide what he wants to do when he grows up,” Gibson said in an interview. “He’s run for park board twice, and he’s run for council during both of those terms.”
Jones, who helped create the city’s original General Plan, said he’s only running for the council because he feels the city is headed in the wrong direction.
“That’s Joe, he’s very outspoken but is a good man,” Jones said. “But the truth is the city has gone off track, and I want to get it back on course.”

Roundtree outspending opponents 3 to 1 LOANS himself $72,000!!

Roundtree outspending opponents 3 to 1

By Anna Bitong
With less than a week to go until Election Day, Thousand Oaks City Council candidate Dan Roundtree is running away with the title of biggest spender.
According to campaign finance disclosures submitted last week, the current planning commissioner has spent $64,119 on his campaign as of May 23, three times as much as any other candidate.
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Roundtree has raised $ 16,697 in campaign donations and loaned himself another $72,000, including a $30,000 loan reported on May 19 and a $12,000 loan filed May 26.
Between May 17 and 23, the most recent statement period, Roundtree reported spending $35,560 on campaign mailings and Acornadvertising.
The other three candidates have spent significantly less on their short-run campaigns to replace former Councilmember Jacqui Irwin, who joined the Assembly in December, leaving with two years left on her term.
The second-highest spender, Ed Jones, reported $21,535 in expenses through May 23.
In the latest statement period, he reported paying $2,635 to the Acorn for advertising and $4,057 for postage.
Jones has raised $3,770 in donations and loaned himself $20,000: $15,000 at the start of his campaign and $5,000 on May 22.
Rob McCoy has thus far spent $18,989, a far cry from how much he spent in last year’s Assembly race against Irwin, when the candidate dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on his highprofi le campaign.
In the previous statement period, which covered April 19 to May 16, he spent $8,500 on signs, professional services (such as legal and accounting services) and other expenses.
McCoy is the top fundraiser in the council race thus far with $20,350 in donations plus two $500 loans, one from Corona del Mar resident Donald Mc- Clure, pastor of Calvary Way Ministries, and the other from Malibu resident Linda Maglos. Both loans were received after the last filing deadline.
Chaise Rasheed has received
$450 to date, including $200 he gave himself.
He reported spending $270.
The local campaign ordinance has been changed and now requires candidates to report donations of $100 or more received after May 23, the last day of the statement period, within 24 hours, said Antoinette Mann, deputy city clerk.
“In between now and Election Day, anytime they get a contribution of $100 or more they have to file a 497 (form),” Mann said. “We are doing our best to get them up (online) as quickly as we receive them.”
The election is Tues., June 2.

MUST READ: Ahead of Election Day, hear from the four candidates on the biggest issues facing T.O.

One city, one vote: People will have say June 2

Ahead of Election Day, hear from the four candidates on the biggest issues facing T.O.
Editor's note: Quotes from candidates were compiled from various forums that took place during the campaign.
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Age: 84
Profession: Part-time college professor
Family: Married to second wife, JoAnn,
for 19 years. He has five children and 13
Education/Experience: Graduated from
Occidental College with a bachelor’s
degree in English and from Cal State Los
Angeles with master’s in government. On
the board of directors of the Conejo Recreation and Park District; served one term on
the T.O. City Council (1970-74) followed
by 12 years on the Ventura County Board
of Supervisors (1975 to 1987). Served on
committee that reviewed city’s original
master plan.
On future of Measure E: “Forty-five years ago we planned for a valley with about 140,000 people. That’s about what we have now. I’m not saying that you close the doors and don’t let anybody else in, (but) I think this is a very well-balanced community. . . . All our services, our schools, utilities and so forth are all planned for a population of about this size, so I don’t see a need to go above that.”
On building housing on Thousand Oaks Boulevard: “I think the housing on Thousand Oaks Boulevard is not well thought out. The parcels are too small. Right now, you might live next door to an auto repair shop, a massage parlor, a car dealer. . . . You can’t stroll and find beautiful little shops and boutiques.”
On the drought and rationing water: “I think we ought to make water conservation a patriotic goal, the way we did rationing in World War II. . . . I have found that young people quite often have better ideas than seniors. I’d like to have an essay contest to get the kids involved. We are in a desert situation here.”
On employee salaries at City Hall: “I think we need salary studies. . . . We need to justify every salary by making sure that person has something to do. We need to have a comparable worth study to make sure the salaries are deserved and they’re accurate.”
On oak tree ordinance: “We made a commitment to preserve oak trees because of their beauty. This was an oak forest once. . . . The planning commission (recommendation) sent to the City Council allows any homeowner to take down three trees for any reason at all. I think there should be a prudent purpose (for cutting trees).”
On attracting new businesses: I believe that government should try to be hospitable to business because retail gives us sales tax revenue. We should make it known what a wonderful place this is. . . . I am not in favor of any giveaways, not like some cities making an arena for a sports team. This is a great place to be, and (businesses) don’t need public money to operate.”
On city sharing cost of Thousand Oaks Auto Mall improvements: “I’m not in favor of giving public money to private enterprise. . . . Some of those car dealers are wealthy people. Let them spend their own money. Let them build a parking structure. I don’t think it’s right to spend our public money on that enterprise.”
On housing for seniors: “People don’t want to have assistedliving units in their neighborhood. It seems to me that mobile homes are the most likely place that seniors can find affordable housing.”
On alleviating traffic: “We don’t have a grid system here so public transportation is very difficult. . . . Thousand Oaks Boulevard is the most heavily trafficked east-west street with over 28,000 trips a day. If you’re going to all of a sudden introduce traffic calming and perhaps cars from another 500, 600 houses, traffic is not going to move.”
Age: 50
Profession: pastor, educator
Family: Married to Michelle for 24
years. They have five children and one
Education/Experience: Graduated from
Cal State Fresno with a bachelor’s degree
in history; former manager at companies
such as Helene Curtis and Unilever; ran
for Assembly in November.
On future of Measure E: “Measure E was approved by the voters. If it needs to be amended or updated, it needs to be done by a vote. The citizens need to resolve that, not the special interests, not the politicians.”
On building housing on Thousand Oaks Boulevard: “(The city) is projecting a decline in revenue and an increase in costs. . . . Our police and fire (cost) has doubled. The 9-to-5 downtown would go to an 18-hour downtown (with) higher density, mixed use. We’re not laid out in a grid pattern in the city. We have neighborhood patterns (that are) harder to reach for our first responders. So this is a great increase in cost.”
On the drought and rationing water: “(The state) has done no storage facilities to capture water in our state. And now they’re putting it upon the citizens of Thousand Oaks and pushing it down to the local jurisdictions to police one another. It’s a mandate from the governor, so we’re going to be required as a city to address it.”
On employee salaries at City Hall: “There are no sacred cows in any government. Everything has to be examined. . . . This is our money and it must be observed and spent properly. We must live within our means.”
On oak tree ordinance: “If there are trees that are damaged or in danger of (damaging properties), we have to expedite through city services the ability for homeowners and business owners to remove those trees as necessary.”
On attracting new businesses: “Businesses need to have a relationship with the city fathers. One of the greatest things that can happen is to have an open dialogue and communication with them. . . . To have an open ear to see how you can help is something necessary because our families need jobs.”
On city sharing cost of Thousand Oaks Auto Mall improvements: “In this case, where the city puts up its half of the share of the money and then the other half the car dealers put up is also the city’s money that they loaned to them, that’s a sweetheart deal that I’m not in favor. I just don’t see the return on investment in relation to this. I think it was bad planning and they’re putting it on the backs of the citizens.”
On housing for seniors: We have a great concern about uprooting oak trees. We should have an even greater concern about uprooting our senior citizens. We must provide housing and protect them.”
On alleviating traffic: “If we’re going to have higher density houses and mixed-use facilities in the downtown region, that’s going to increase traffic. There has to be an idea to address the higher density and what’s already massive congestion on Thousand Oaks Boulevard.”
Age: 28
Profession: fashion consultant
Family: single, no children
Education/Experience: No college degree; ran for City Council in November;
worked on campaigns for Julia Brownley,
Fran Pavley and Jacqui Irwin.
On future of Measure E: “If we do raise the cap on Measure E, we have to balance it to make sure that any increase in those units does not leave seniors out and does not leave out workforce housing, because once you raise the cap and put it all toward luxury housing, even if you do find the money to build affordable housing, you won’t have the units to do it.”
On building housing on Thousand Oaks Boulevard: “We do need mixed use because we need workforce and senior housing. For seniors, mixed use works because they can walk to shops. . . . Overall the intentions of the plan miss the target groups. Seniors need affordable housing (but) developers want to (build) luxury housing.”
On the drought and rationing water: “I agree with the water rationing measure. . . . Homeowners are doing their part. As I’m out canvassing, I see a lot of brown lawns. I see where people have removed their lawns and put in drought-tolerant plants. It’s time for the City of Thousand Oaks to move toward doing that (at city facilities).”
On employee salaries at City Hall: “We have to look at upper-level staff, the city manager, city attorney. . . . We really have to look at their benefits. We also have to go down the line and do a redundancy check and make sure there are no positions that are doing the same thing.”
On oak tree ordinance: “We need to restore that oak tree ordinance to where it was before. We have to protect our namesake. We don’t want to open up the Acorn in future decades and be talking about the last oak.”
On attracting new businesses: “The Chamber and the city can do a better job of bridging the gap between residents and business because for years it’s almost been a battle. The residents feel as if they’re pitted against business. . . . Council members need to be ambassadors for the city. We’ve got to go out there and tout the city to business.”
On city sharing cost of Thousand Oaks Auto Mall improvements: “I oppose the auto mall giveaway. It’s just ridiculous that the auto mall was given a no-money-down loan, which is something that a sensible bank would never do. Why should a city do that with taxpayer dollars?”
On housing for seniors: With the visioning project, seniors did not seem to be a high priority there and we are an aging city. We’ve got to respect our elders. . . . Let’s honor our seniors. Let’s make sure they have housing.”
On alleviating traffic: “Portions of the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan could alleviate traffic. . . . We can also do better at providing better public transportation. I would like to see . . . an East County transit authority similar to Gold Coast Transit in the West County.”
Age: 55
Profession: certified financial planner
Family: Married to Laurie for 28 years.
They have two children.
Education/Experience: Graduated
from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in
sociology; completed Certified Financial Planner certification program at Cal
Lutheran University; Thousand Oaks
planning commissioner since 2012; has
volunteered for community organizations
including Westlake PONY Baseball and
Westlake High School Baseball Boosters.
On future of Measure E: “Measure E has served this community well. I agree with all the candidates: if it’s going to go anywhere, it’s going to go to the voters. . . . Measure E is the law, and as we’re building out the boulevard, we have that as parameters to keep us in check.”
On building housing on Thousand Oaks Boulevard: “If you live downtown and you don’t have to take your car to go to other facilities, that’s going to help out on the traffic. . . . Mixed use can accomplish some of our housing needs for our younger folks and our seniors, it will help encourage businesses, and it’s going to make it more of a vibrant downtown. . . . We don’t want to overbuild. We are not going to become the San Fernando Valley.”
On the drought and rationing water: “There are a number of folks who won’t make a change until it hits them in the pocketbook. . . . We need to have community participation on what we’re all going to have to deal with going forward.”
On employee salaries at City Hall: “During the last recession, (the city) had to make the unpopular decision of firing 107 people. . . . If in a similar situation, I think Dan Roundtree would make the tough call to be able to let go of people in order to provide essential services. Police and fire will be maintained always.”
On oak tree ordinance: “(We need to) protect oak trees as best as we possibly can (and) we need to encourage planting of new trees. These older trees are going to die. If we’re penalized for planting trees, they’ll never come back. And we have to recognize property rights.”
On attracting new businesses: “Why isn’t the City of Thousand Oaks pitching itself and all of its benefits for both business and residents more often? We have such a great story here. It’s such a great place to raise a family and to do business. . . . Entrepreneurs and startups don’t need huge mega buildings. . . . We have to have the facilities before they’re going to come.”
On city sharing cost of Thousand Oaks Auto Mall improvements: “We have to support the auto mall as best as we possibly can. . . . It’s a balancing act between the auto mall and the city, it can’t be all or one. We all need more parking. If it’s simply (improving) roads and infrastructure, I’m supportive because they are city streets.”
On housing for seniors: “Unless we make some changes, I don’t see a bright future for a lot of our senior groups. Right now, when they’re wanting to downsize from the classic threebedroom, two-bath house, where are they going? They’re going to Camarillo. . . . We need to have more staff people who have expertise in senior housing.”
On alleviating traffic: “We could encourage people to do ride sharing or . . . encourage businesses to start their hours maybe a little bit earlier to get people off the road. . . . By spreading the day over a longer period of time, you reduce the traffic throughout Thousand Oaks Boulevard and the surrounding community.”

2 none election 1 pro Jones TO Acorn letters 052815 Trans kids just want to use WC

2 none election 1 pro Jones TO Acorn letters 052815

Trans kids just want to use WC

As I was flipping through the Acorn last week, I was not expecting something which would give me cause to celebrate for the rest of the day.
The passage of the School Success and Opportunity Act, which grants transgender students usage of the restroom they identify with and participation in “sexsegregated school programs and activities” was a huge victory not only for myself, but for the LGBT community as well.

A transgender friend of mine simply sighed in relief and said, “Now I can actually go to the loo at school” while another grinned and replied, “I’d better get my lacrosse gear out of the closet.”
Those concerned for the privacy of cisgender (those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth) students can rest easy: Trans students simply want to go to the bathroom, not harass those already there.
I’m proud to be a member of the LGBT community, and for the first time I can be proud of my transgender friends on the sports field.
Avery Joffe
Thousand Oaks

Housing needed, not industrial

Regarding the proposed rezoning near Amgen from high-density residential to industrial (Acorn, May 21), the city’s senior planner says the area’s not suitable for housing because “it’s in a substantially industrial area and it is not close to schools, parks, shopping and other services.”
Did our planners not realize these glaring deficiencies at the time they originally zoned it for homes?

Drive around this specific area and see all of the empty industrial space. Do we really need more industrial space?
I’ve lived here 40 years and worked in this specific area for 30 years. The last thing we need is more industrial space to sit empty or to attract more people to come where we have no housing available. Remember, we are built out.
Or do we need living quarters for seniors or young families (like our own grown son/daughter) or low-income or even homeless? Perhaps some of these needs could be met with factory-built or modular homes or apartments or whatever? High density, as in current zoning.
I propose the city get creative, buy the land, do the infrastructure, build units, rent/lease them out. Be the landlord. Maybe compete with private developers to get it started, or completed, or what?
We need high-density residential, not industrial.
Richard Bloomgren
Newbury Park

Case drags on as city fights seniors

Please remember the 19 deceased seniors from Ranch Mobile Home Park when you vote next week. They lived only steps away from my house, but I wasn’t aware of what happened to them until two years ago when they helped me fight the city and two greedy developers who wanted to change the zoning in my neighborhood in order to build two enormous buildings in the two empty lots immediately adjacent to my home.
Despite “no” votes from Claudia Bill-de la Peña and Al Adam, the rents of these most vulnerable elderly residents inThousand Oaks were unfairly raised. Six different law firms then stepped in to fight for the seniors pro bono. But, disgustingly, our city has spent hundreds of thousands of our taxpayer money to pay an outside law firm to repeatedly challenge the rights of the seniors in court.
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This money could have been used to help the seniors instead. But in every single court case, the city has lost, which now leaves Thousand Oaks taxpayers vulnerable to millions of dollars in punitive damages.
This case has dragged on for nearly five years because the city has fought disclosure every step of the way.
During this time the seniors have struggled to pay the rents that continue to increase. Some have been forced to turn off air conditioning and furnaces, and others struggle to pay for food or medications. Nineteen seniors have now passed away while waiting for a resolution.
For the sake of seniors, oaks trees, Measure E and the prevention of a massive traffic tsunami, please vote for the man with a proven track record: Ed Jones. We can’t afford to take a risk on anyone else.
Kay Sikra
Thousand Oaks