Thousand Oaks Philharmonic Champions Young Artists

 Article Tracy Marcynzsyn | Photography Ben Malkin  One man’s vision to provide local student musicians with the experience of a lifetime spearheaded the creation of the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, a nonprofit that specializes in making young artists’ dreams come true for the past 18 years and counting.  Founded in 2000 by local music teacher Edward Francis, inspired by a talented,…

Stand Up To Cancer Raises Millions toward a Cure

 Article Bruce Falstein  When the curtain goes up this month on Stand Up To Cancer’s sixth biennial fundraising telecast, the stage will be filled with A-list celebrities. But just offstage will be another, less-heralded group taking their own well-deserved bows: nine dynamic women—seven of Stand Up’s original cofounders, plus two more of its current leadership, many of them bold-faced names…

Janet & Sheri • Real Estate Agents

 Article and Photography  The first thing you’ll notice when you meet Janet and Sheri is their ability to listen. You get the distinct feeling that they care about what you want to achieve. They believe that understanding their clients’ wants and needs is of utmost importance in order to negotiate the best possible outcome.  Janet and Sheri clearly explain what…

ACT Today!

 Article Alicia Doyle  ACT Today!—Autism Care and Treatment—is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to raise awareness and provide services and support to families to help children with autism achieve their full potential.  “What makes us unique is that parents apply for the treatment they feel their child needs, as they are the best qualified to determine that need,”…

A Wine Country Weekend in our Community

We never left the Conejo and Santa Rosa Valleys, and enjoyed Jazz Night at NABU Wines in Westlake Village featuring great music and fine wine from Malibu and Napa, hosted by Greg Barnett. An incredible premium wine tasting of 93+ scoring wine at Al Lago. Blair Allen's Santa Rosa Valley vineyard followed. Who needs to … Continued

Hot Summer Nite Fest Spices Up the Conejo

The Old Boney Mtn Hot Summer Night Festival featured an international hot sauce competition, cornhole tournament and unlimited tastings of craft beers, wines and food to benefit The Grossman Burn Center Foundation’s Fireman’s Fund. Guests rated 100 hot sauces from 10 countries and 20 states on Appearance, Aroma, Texture, Flavor, Heat and Overall Impression. Photography Dana … Continued

Local Schools Make the Grade

 Article Tracy Marcynzsyn  Agoura High School  Awarded a Silver ranking by the 2017 U.S. News and World Report list of Best High Schools, Agoura High School strives to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring Chargers who are active citizens engaged in 21st century learning.”

Private School Pride

 Article Alicia Doyle  Conejo Valley’s private schools provide students with a range of offerings in addition to strong, academic curriculums.  Ascension Lutheran School

Sports Academy: Full Circle Fitness

 Article Alicia Doyle  Sports Academy is a 96,000-square-foot facility that’s all about creating full-circle athletes of all ages and skill levels.   “From the beginning Chad and Leah have had a very special vision for Sports Academy—from basketball to beach volleyball, sports medicine to sports psychology, novices to pros, Sports Academy is dedicated to helping athletes grow physically, mentally and emotionally,”…

Dedicated Teacher Takes Top Honors

 Article Kateri Wozny  Sequoia Middle School Eighth Grade Instructor Shannon Baranski has many reasons to celebrate this year.  The 36-year-old Camarillo resident was recently awarded “Teacher of the Year,” having been named “Teacher of the Month” in April. The awards, given through collaboration with the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Conejo Valley Unified School District’s (CVUSD) “Teacher…

Day Drive Destinations for Summer Fun

 Article Tracy Marcynzsyn  California offers a diverse array of getaway destinations within easy driving distance. Whether traveling the coast, inland or up to the mountains, a few hours’ easy drive can lead to exciting new locales perfect for exploring and relaxing with family and friends.  Big Bear

Jon Macks Pens “A Capitol Fourth”

 Article Adrienne Wigdortz Anderson  Jon Macks knows how to throw a 4th of July party. For 14 years, he’s written A Capitol Fourth, broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. He will again this year. (Check local listings for time.)  “The ingredients are basic,” says Macks, a WGA award-winner and eight-time Emmy nominee. “Terrific hosts, great music, big stars and…

“Just Another Family Tree” Rooted in Cassidy Legacy

 Article Tracy Marcynzsyn | Photography Provided    The star of this month’s 5-Star Theatrical production, “Just Another Family Tree,” says he feels “very blessed and very fortunate” to be a part of his star-studded family, which is anything but average.

You Can’t Spell “AMazinG” without AMG

 Article and Photography Will Andre    Founded as a passion project in 1967 by two Mercedes-Benz engineers hell-bent on creating racing engines from their rolling stock, the AMG brand has always been about driving performance, and it is now tasked with bearing that torch globally for its parent company, Daimler AG. AMG's mission has deviated little over its 50-year history.…

Local Men Making a Difference

 Article Kateri Wozny  Darin Arrasmith  Home: Simi Valley.

Applauding Altruism

 Article Kateri Wozny  The Luxury Realtor  Rosemary Allison, Estate Director, Rosemary Allison - Realtor

Gathering With Girlfriends

 Article Tracy Marcynzsyn | Photography Janet Barnett Photography  Celebrate friendship with a girls’ day out. Whether a pampering day at the spa or a fun-filled afternoon or evening sipping wine and enjoying live music, local venues ideal for friend adventures abound. Here we cover a few of our favorite locales for female festivities where fun and lasting memories are sure…

Dancing to New Heights

 Article Adrienne Wigdortz Anderson    Dreams can come true. 

Shameless Plug-Ins

The Mercedes-Benz brand has long been synonymous with luxury, quality and performance, but even the century-old icon of the automotive industry is not immune to the ever-present winds of change. When the first Mercedes-Benz-branded vehicles came onto the market in 1926, the commercial engine work of Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, and that of Karl Benz had already celebrated their…

Soli in Malibu:

“Modular units are the future, not only for dwellings, but also for the hospitality industry,” says world-renowned hospitality icon, Michael Bedner, whose firm, Hirsch Bedner and Associates (HBA) was a leading hospitality design company for more than 50 years.

Malibu Comfort:

From concept to completion, The Sofa Guy Design Studio offers personalized service along with contemporary designs for the home or office. Positioned on the Pacific Ocean, this multi-level Malibu estate underwent a complete transformation. In collaboration with the estate owners, Paul Trent (The Sofa Guy) carved a new house from within the old one, an undertaking that required the predetermination…

Conejo Open Space Foundation:

Conejo Valley’s natural beauty and ample open space include 151 miles of multi-use trails and thousands of acres where native plants and animals thrive. With about a third of the Conejo Valley designated as permanent open space, owned and managed by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA), the nonprofit Conejo Open Space Foundation plays a vital role in ensuring…

Therapy Pets Create Smiles, Relieve Stress 

Doc and Reba spend countless hours visiting assisted living facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Bringing joy and happiness to others has been a focus of their life since they’ve been a year old. Now 8 years old, Doc and his 5-year-old “sibling” Reba also serve as leaders, modeling appropriate behavior and assisting others in their training to become therapy…

Dog-Friendly Destinations

With their well-earned reputation as “man’s best friend,” dogs enjoy spending time with their families at home and out on the town! Luckily, more and more places are welcoming dogs than ever before. From restaurants and beaches to hotels and hiking trails, look for dog-friendly designations and be sure your four-legged friends are well-behaved and friendly before taking them out…

Shelter Hope Pet Shop: 
Saving Animals 
With a Little Help From its Friends

Since the Shelter Hope Pet Shop opened at Janss Marketplace in 2011, the nonprofit rescue effort has saved between 40 and 60 dogs a month—celebrating close to 5,000 adoptions to date.

The Little Angels Project: Saving Grace for Animals

Found in a shelter with a severely damaged eye, Pirate the cat was given the very minimum dose of painkillers while waiting to be euthanized. But when The Little Angels Project heard about Pirate’s plight, he was pulled from the shelter and given the veterinary care he needed—ultimately saving his life.

Local Playwright Discovers Passion at a Later Stage in Life

 George Corbin didn’t retire when he retired.  He left State Farm in 2004 after working for 37 years in leadership positions, including Director of Human Resources. But the Thousand Oaks resident isn’t the type to spend retirement parked in a Barcalounger glued to the TV set. He has always been active—traveling with his college sweetheart and wife of 50 years,…

Valentine’s Food & Fun

Are you looking for something fun to do for Valentine’s Day? Restaurants and venues throughout the Conejo Valley and beyond offer special events for sweethearts seeking a romantic experience, including wine and chocolate tastings and dinner dances. Here’s a glimpse of Valentine’s Day activities to choose from.

Cultivating the Arts in the Conejo:

Established in 1969, the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley continues to this day operating on one central goal: to strengthen the cultural community of the Conejo Valley region.

Art Trio Joins Forces to Celebrate Love

Three local arts organizations make musical history this month with their first ever collaboration, “Music of the Night: Love Changes Everything,” an evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Annual Wellness Fest Focuses on Healthy Living for Seniors

The Annual Wellness Fest at the Goebel Adult Community Center is a gathering of local businesses and public service agencies that focus on supporting positive, mindful living for the senior population in and around the Conejo Valley.

Pepperdine Rings in the New Year with Musical Performances to Entertain & Delight

Pepperdine University kicks off the new year with an exciting lineup of musical 
performances at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. Serving as an arts hub for the community, the Center links professional guest artists with Pepperdine students and more than 50,000 patrons annually.

The Shape of True Health: Work Your Body, Refresh Your Mind, Rejuvenate Your Self

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~John Muir

Holiday Home Tours Open Doors for Local Charities

With Christmas just around the corner, two nonprofit organizations are once again presenting holiday home tours showcasing elaborately decorated private residences and more with the overall goal to raise money for local efforts.

Local Celebs Shout Out for Favorite Charities

‘Tis the Yuletide season when visions of charitable giving dance in your head. Wondering where to volunteer or send donations? Find inspiration in these local celebrities’ favorite organizations:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Brighten Spirits with Holiday Angels Program

Many of the children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County live in economically challenging situations, making the holiday season an especially difficult time for these youngsters and their families.

Surfing Sparks Sea Change for Special-Needs Kids

A Walk On Water provides children with special needs the chance to do exactly that—walk on water.

5th Annual Ventura County Farm Day: Celebrating the Land & Hands That Feed Us

On Saturday, November 4, more than 20 Ventura County farms will open their doors for the public to experience a day of agricultural activities and tours during the Fifth Annual Ventura County Farm Day. Agriculture is Ventura County’s No. 1 industry, with some 100,000+ acres of crops harvested in the county in 2014, according to the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner’s…

For the Love of Wine: Santa Ynez Valley Vintners Score Points with World-Class Wines

Our area’s many benefits include its proximity to Santa Barbara County, some 90 minutes away. Those who enjoy excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah will find the Santa Ynez Valley to be a world-class wine aficionado destination. In fact, the Pinots from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA are so distinctive, you know where they come from the moment you taste…

Ladling Out the Love

The Conejo Valley and its environs are wonderful places to live, but finding affordable housing for our homeless and low-income residents is often an issue. In fact, the dearth of affordable housing in our area has been an ongoing topic of discussion for nearly 40 years.

Locals Unite in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and since 1993, millions of passionate participants have joined forces to take steps against breast cancer in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual 3- to 5-mile walks each year.

Journeys of Hope: Breast Cancer Survivors Share their Stories

Cancer-free for 24 years, Harriet Sheinberg’s breast cancer journey began in 1986, when her younger sister was told that her tiny little bump was “nothing” because she was too young to have breast cancer. “The needle biopsy proved she was not too young,” Sheinberg recalls. Beverly had surgery to remove the tumor and radioactive seeds implanted in her breast—and at…

Cancer Support Community Paints the Town Pink

Serving about 3,000 individuals affected by cancer each year, the Cancer Support Community thrives on the belief that no one has to face cancer alone. “There is no other organization like us in this area,” says Kayo Matsumoto, program director of the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara.

Diagnosing, Treating & Surviving a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

More than 200,000 women nationwide are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Most commonly, breast cancer is detected by screening mammogram. When found and treated early, breast cancer is usually curable. When not curable, breast cancer may still be treated to prolong and improve quality of life. Ongoing improvements in detection and therapy continue to incrementally drive better patient outcomes.

Community Rallies to Clean Up Sea of Debris at 33rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day

This month on September 16, thousands of Californians will join to clean up their local beaches, creeks, rivers and lakes for the 33rd Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Last year’s event drew some 60,000 people who removed more than 8,000 pounds of trash from beaches, rivers and parks throughout the state.

Piping Pastor Served Community with Heart & Soul

When Gary Alan Dickey began as senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of Westlake Village 14 years ago, he memorized the church pictorial directory so he could call everyone by their names the first Sunday he was there. “That was about 500 people,” recalls Dickey, 71, of Westlake Village. “The first Sunday I preached I told the congregation that…

Thailand

Smaller in landmass than the state of Texas, the country of Thailand is near bursting with culturally rich activities and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the tenacious traveler. This peninsula in Southeast Asia crams a variety of landscapes into its small borders. From sprawling urban developments to sparse and sweeping rice fields. Thick wooded mountains reside in the North while a lush…

Honoring Teachers who Make the Grade

Raised by two educators in the Ventura Unified School District, Trudy Tuttle Arriaga started following in her parents’ footsteps when she became a teacher’s aide in the classroom. During this time, “someone was kind enough to say, ‘you’d be a great teacher’,”’ remembers Arriaga, of Ventura. So, she returned to school to earn her master’s degree in Educational Administration and…

Michael Towbes Leaves a Living Legacy

Santa Barbara’s Michael Towbes built a legacy of giving back that continues, despite his recent passing last April. The 60-year Santa Barbara resident wore many hats—beloved civic leader and philanthropist, award-winning builder, successful property manager, head of Montecito Bank & Trust, and devoted family man—and touched thousands of lives and hundreds of nonprofits with his generosity during his lifetime.

Mastering Teenage Stress

Every year, the American Psychological Association takes our emotional temperature and reports the results in a research study titled, “Stress in America.” This year, for the first time, children were included in the survey and asked about their stress levels. The conclusion: Not only are our kids feeling more stressed, but unfortunately, parents aren’t aware of the stress their children…