BABY BOOMLET: Ventura County's population grew only...

BABY BOOMLET: Ventura County's population grew only slightly last year (B1), with the biggest gain of new residents in Oxnard. . . . The city added the largest number of new dwellings and led the county in births, with 3,857 babies born last year. Oxnard now accounts for 21% of the county's population, and nearly one-third of its births, preliminary figures show. Doy Williams, the county's supervising deputy registrar, keeps track of such numbers: "It appears that Oxnard does have a lot of births."

STAR POWER: Auditor-Controller Thomas O. Mahon is the first political candidate this year to plug into the high-wattage power of Ojai's movie stars. . . . Mahon hopes that the guest appearance of Malcolm McDowell will attract donors to his $100-a-head garden party Sunday afternoon in Ojai. Mahon said he doesn't know the star of "A Clockwork Orange" and other movies. His appearance was arranged by a supporter, county Risk Manager Robi G. Klein. "Malcolm is a friend of mine," Klein said. "His son and daughter go to the same school that my son goes to."

COLD SHOULDER: The state Department of Transportation admits that it goofed. First, it installed a metal-beam guardrail along the Ventura Freeway near the Rincon to prevent wayward cars from plunging into the surf. But the railing pushed the bike path closer to traffic. And one cyclist subsequently died in a collision with a car (Ventura County Life, Page 8). . . . So Caltrans replaced the rail with a concrete barrier and spray-painted 'No Parking' upside down. Now surfers can no longer see the waves and motorists are confused. As one cyclist put it: "If anything, it's more dangerous than it's ever been."

ON THE BENCH: Mike Scyphers remains suspended as Simi Valley High baseball coach despite a legal effort by parents of his ballplayers (C10). . . . A judge rejected their request to reinstate the coach, suggesting that Scyphers come to court instead. Meanwhile, detectives continue to probe alleged improprieties. Said Sgt. Mike King: "We don't have a date of completion yet."

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