Engineering Teacher Strives to Build Student Success

"To reach a child's mind, a teacher must capture their heart." —Dr. Haim Ginott

Local Schools Make the Grade

Schools throughout the Conejo Valley are especially unique for their award-winning programs, high test scores and graduation rates that lead the majority of their students to top colleges and universities. Here is a glimpse of what schools throughout Conejo Valley have to offer:  

Memories of Back to School

Whenever I hear “back to school,” it takes me back to when my children were young and going through the school years. Having four children, it was a busy time. Back to school meant getting back on schedules, new outfits and shoes and all new school supplies, and of course, a new backpack. I was a room mom for each…

Harmony Place: Promoting Recovery, Health & Happiness

When it comes to recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, environment is crucial. That's why licensed clinical social worker Jeff Schwartz, LCSW, created Harmony Place, where men and women struggling with addiction can go to find a safe, loving, caring and nurturing community in which to heal. Located in the serene and beautiful Woodland Hills neighborhood of Walnut Acres, Harmony…

Ascension Lutheran School Nurtures Family Feeling

With mental health issues, stress and anxiety on the rise for students of all ages, schools are looking for new and creative ways to support their students by providing a more nurturing and connected school experience for all children. Ascension Lutheran School in Thousand Oaks implemented the House System this year with exactly that in mind. Creating a school community…

College Bound

This fall, like thousands of other parents, I will take my baby to school, just as I have hundreds of other times, but this time will be different. This September, I’ll drop my little girl off at school, but I won’t be picking her up later that afternoon—no, this time she’s off to college, where she will likely remain until…

Easing Into the New School Year

Preparing to go back to school is often a combination of excitement and overwhelm. With each incredible new chapter, undoubtedly comes a new set of challenges.

A Great Summer

While no one really needs to tell me that our communities in the Conejo Valley and Malibu are really special, the past several weeks have been a cultural epiphany for me. The commute to Hollywood or downtown L.A. for quality music and theater has always been a point of frustration for us. However, the combined … Continued

August 2019 Around Town

Midsummer’s Eve The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks invites you to attend the 18th annual “Midsummer Eve Wine Festival” at the Hyatt Regency Westlake on Saturday, August 17from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sample acclaimed California limited-production handcrafted wines, microbrews and hors d’oeuvres while perusing fabulous auction items donated by local businesses and residents. Since … Continued

36th Annual California Strawberry Festival Delights with Sweet Treats

Guests flocked to Oxnard for a weekend of strawberry-related contests, dishes and drinks from over 50 food vendors—the make your own strawberry shortcake booth staffed by local students enrolled in culinary classes and the amazing array of strawberry treats, from chocolate-covered strawberries to quesadillas with strawberry salsa and even strawberry pizza were a huge hit!

Dance Masters Swing to the Beat

Dance Masters Ballroom celebrated the wonders and fun of ballroom dancing. Led by owners Ashlieya Mariano and Neff Fisher, a pair of experienced and talented dance professionals, a fun time was had by all.

Connecting Careers to the Classroom:

Walk into any classroom at the Ventura County Office of Education Career Education Center Moorpark campus and it quickly becomes evident that these are not your typical school rooms. Rather than the usual cluster of numerous desks, these classrooms may surprise campus visitors with their unusual accoutrements, including a recording studio, a radio station and even hospital beds and equipment—that’s…

“Tequila Nights & Wine Flights” Benefits Creative Steps

Creative Steps provides individualized day programs and vocational support for persons with moderate to severe disabilities as they leave the school system and enter community life. Their recent fundraiser helps support their Conejo Valley and Ventura County-based staffing and activities. AureliaFoundation.org/ | 818.940.8286

New West Symphony Premieres TITANIC Live Under the Stars

Thousands attended the stunning world-class U,S, West Coast première of TITANIC Live presented by New West Symphony, Ludwig Wicki, Eric Rigler Music and Maria Z at California Lutheran University. Composed by the late James Horner, the iconic score was performed by 130 musicians and singers, highlighting the high quality of the arts in the community. Photography Ben Malkin, Erin Rodewald

Charity Karaoke Singing for a Good Cause

At this month’s Charity Karaoke: Sing for a Cause event, 20 local nonprofit representatives will compete on stage with a live band at The Canyon, Agoura Hills on August 11, each vying to win “Best Performance” and a $1,000 prize for their charity. Before the on-stage event, contestants are collecting donations for their nonprofits, with the aim of winning the…

Summer Fun

This summer make it a point to spend some quality time with family and friends exploring some of the many exciting activities and events around town and (not too far!) beyond. Both young and old will enjoy making memories to last a lifetime.

Broadway in Your Backyard:

5-Star Theatricals, the Ovation Award-winning resident musical theatre company of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide the highest-quality theatre experience as well as serve their community with the many outreach programs they offer.

Aldik Home:

For more than half a century, Aldik Home has been a go-to source for anyone near Los Angeles looking to beautify their homes. For those looking to upgrade their outdoor space with high-quality patio furniture, there is nothing like Aldik Home’s collection of Summer Classics on the market.

The Importance of Childhood Hearing Testing

Most parents are familiar with the need to screen their newborn’s hearing in the hospital, but after being given the green light, they lack awareness about the importance of testing their children as they grow.

The Sleep Shoppe:

I’m Fred Kunke—the very proud founder and owner of all four locations of The Sleep Shoppe. Over 30 years ago, I was a young man who developed a passion for the mattress industry and how the power of sleep could improve the quality of someone’s life. Driven by this dream, I went out one day and purchased a pickup truck.…

Make It a Great Summer in Your Own Backyard!

Summer has always been my favorite time, especially when I was a kid, and then when my own children were younger. How many adults view summer the same way by really taking time off work?

The State of Things

More random and maybe even unorganized observations… I warned you about this when I “riffed” last month, so here goes. Will I be in the wrong if I run over a pedestrian when they carelessly cross in front of my vehicle with their nose buried in their iPhone? A batch of teenagers fumbled onto Lindero … Continued

July 2019 Around Town

California Dreamin’ Meadowlark Service League presents the 32nd annual Taste of Camarillo, Sunday, July 28, from 1-4 p.m. at Camarillo Ranch (201 Camarillo Ranch Road) in Camarillo. One of three major MSL fundraising events each year, A Taste of Camarillo helps support area nonprofit organizations. The event kicks off with a Wine Auction Gala on … Continued

Caldera Medical Partners with Habitat for Humanity

Agoura Hills medical device company Caldera Medical renewed their community outreach effort and partnered once again with Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County. Caldera Medical employees were tasked to build kids’ playhouses intended for military and veteran families. The Caldera team collaborated on this artistic endeavor and ultimately created three playhouses: two pirate-themed and one “under the sea” design.

Adroit Celebrates Westlake Grand Opening

Adroit Development led by their President Michael Owens celebrated the grand opening of their North Ranch Estates Luxury hillside gated community in Westlake Village.

“Camelot” Premieres in the Conejo

Pacific Festival Ballet celebrated the world premier of "Camelot" in the Fred Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Composer, Eric Allaman and PFB Artistic Director, Kim Maselli created the concept, libretto and music for this original ballet. A sold-out house greeted the performance with much acclaim.

Alzheimer’s Luncheon Honors Caregivers

Talk show host and Alzheimer’s Champion Leeza Gibbons received the Alzheimer’s Leadership Award at the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative, Ventura County’s Second Annual “Your Brain Matters” Luncheon at the Four Seasons Westlake Village in May. Led by Chair Amy Commans of the Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter, the event focused on brain health and honored … Continued

LA Kings’ Bob Miller Tees Up with Local Nonprofit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County held their 2019 Golf Classic at the Saticoy Club. This year's host was Bob Miller of the LA Kings. The event raised over $200,000 to help support, mentor and improve the lives of young people throughout Ventura County.

United Way of Ventura County:

A local nonprofit is setting the bar by focusing on education, financial stability and health for the well-being of Ventura County residents.

Lighten Up at Westlake Body Contouring:

When then-retired chiropractor Dianne Lalena Sandberg, D.C., first discovered the amazing power of LED light therapy to essentially “melt” fat and dissolve inches, she resolved to share this technology with the public.

Own Your Health: Proactive Tips for Men

If you are burdened with complicated health problems, you have probably been referred to Dr. G. In practice for over 30 years, Dr. Miguel Gonzalez is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases. For many years, he was busy managing hospital patients in the Los Robles Hospital ICU/CCU as well as a thriving primary and pulmonary care practice. In…

Celebrating Men

 Eric Allaman, Composer  Former Malibu resident, currently in Sonoma County  Words to Live By: One day at a time!

The Total Joint Program at Los Robles Health System

Thousands of hip and knee replacement procedures are performed around the country to provide patients with a better lifestyle, post-surgery. Los Robles Health System has offered the Total Joint Program at Los Robles since 2012—where patients are provided with a personalized care plan through their hip and knee replacement journeys. Since its start 7 years ago, Los Robles’ Total Joint…

Laughing Dog Inn Keeps Dogs Happy & Coming Back for More!

While some dogs dread taking a trip to a doggie daycare or boarding facility, Laughing Dog Inn’s canine visitors can’t wait to get out of the car when they arrive. A Disneyland of sorts for dogs, the Santa Rosa Valley pet resort offers boarding and daycare, training and spa treatments for four-legged friends of all shapes and sizes.

Art Studio Agoura Inspires Community Artists

“Humans have been expressing themselves through painting since before they had speech or writing. Everyone, regardless of technical ability, has something to say through their art,” says Art Studio Agoura Owner Elena Avanesova.

Good Find in Thousand Oaks

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of finding just the right piece of furniture or décor. Whether it’s the perfect armchair for a cozy corner reading nook, a dining set for indoor or outdoor entertaining, beautiful knickknacks or a stunning piece of wall art, it’s always fun to find that item that will add a special dash of color and…

Role Models Matter:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Q 360 Taps Into Healing Energy

Q 360, a state-of-the-art healing center designed to foster optimal health in mind-body-spirit, uses a holistic approach to harness a wide range of energy fields to accelerate healing and amplify healing capabilities. The following Q&A features input from Aaron Cameron, Founder & CEO, and Dr. Stephen Sokolow, Executive Director.

 “Riffing”

Since this month’s issue is our Men’s Issue, this department is always assigned to me. I will take the prerogative of doing whatever I please, which is riffing on whatever comes to mind. Kind of a jazz improvisation that becomes a momentary theme. While a riff often repeats itself, I will just ride on a … Continued

June 2019 Around Town

Experience the “Titanic Live!” New West Symphony and California Lutheran University host the West Coast premiere of the greatest love story ever told presented with live orchestra outdoors under the stars. The event takes place Saturday, June 22, 7:30  to 11:30 p.m. at the CLU William Rolland Stadium, 60 W. Olsen Road, in Thousand Oaks. … Continued

Boat Bash Benefits Senior Concerns

Once again generosity and fun prevailed at Senior Concerns' annual Boat Bash fundraiser at the Westlake Yacht Club.  Photography Ben Malkin & Charles Oliver

Oaks Christian Gala Graced by Former President

Over 800 guests gathered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for The Oaks Christian School Dinner Auction Gala. A record of over $1.5 million was raised. The event was honored with the presence of special guests George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States and his wife, First Lady Laura Bush (2001-2009). Photography by … Continued

Community Welcomes Yarrow Family YMCA

After 20 years of planning, designing, fundraising and construction, the 60,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art Yarrow Family YMCA opened its doors to the public April 27. It features a fitness center, eight-lane indoor lap pool, warm water pool, gymnasium, group exercise classes, meeting space, café and lounge—plus gorgeous views of the Conejo Valley. Photography Ben Malkin

Divorce Mediation: Creating Agreements for Life

What do we know about divorce? It can be a scary, emotionally devastating and financially destructive process that can cause long-term damage to families, especially children, but is that inevitable? 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County: Mentoring Potential

Across Ventura County, youth are facing more adversity than ever before.

Leading Ladies

Community leaders grace us with their presence, perseverance and ability to achieve their dreams while making a positive difference in the lives of others. Here, we celebrate a handful of incredible local women who inspire with their service, accomplishments and commitment to succeed.

RestoraVita Boosts Women’s Health

As an OB-GYN, expert in Functional Medicine and the founder of RestoraVita Medical Group, Dr. Rosimar Torres-Leon—who is also a mother and wife—knows firsthand how fatigue and other debilitating symptoms can affect women striving to do it all.

Hadassah Aims for Safer Schools

With the problem of gun violence affecting so many throughout the nation and close to home, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer served as moderator during the 5th Annual Hadassah Dine & Discuss event addressing the topic: “If Not Now, When? A Conversation About Gun Violence in American Schools.”

Journey to the Brighter Side of Life

Ladies the brighter side of life is not just a walk or a jog, it’s a journey.

“Women Elevated!”

Celebrating its 20th year, BRAVO celebrates women in business and leadership who are breaking barriers, forging new ground and pursuing their goals with fearless fortitude.