FOREIGN RELATIONS: In November, they came for Thanksgiving dinner. Now they're back for the final course. . . . Two hundred Japanese high school students from Kokusai Business School near Tokyo will visit Oxnard College today as part of a semi-annual cooking demonstration. . . . At Thanksgiving, the students learned to fix turkey and mashed potatoes. This time, they'll whip up pastries. . . . "I guess you could say they're back for dessert," college spokeswoman Cathy Garnica said.
QUAKE RELIEF: Simi Valley officials are set to decide how to spend nearly $5.5 million in earthquake relief funds (B4). . . . The money is the city's share of $127 million in federal money paid to cities most damaged by the earthquake. . . . "What we tried to do was identify the key areas throughout the city in need of help," Deputy City Manager Laura Herron said. "It really took a lot of juggling because even though it seems like a lot of money, there are still more projects than we have funding for."
DEAF EDUCATION: Deaf children face countless hurdles on the road to education (B1). . . . But in Ventura County, where more than half of the deaf children have Spanish-speaking parents, those obstacles loom even larger. Even as the children learn sign language, they often lack the ability to communicate with their parents. . . . "The children don't know the language of their parents and the parents don't know the language of their children," said Coleen Ashly, spokeswoman for a deaf advocacy group. "It causes a great barrier."
PARTY ON: Ventura County's first factory outlet mall is planning a party for its June 10 grand opening. . . . The mall, in Oxnard between Rice and Rose avenues, will celebrate with three days of magic shows, marching bands and mariachis. . . . "It's been demonstrated that the Oxnard Factory Outlet, like other outlet facilities, will help draw tourists and discount shoppers alike," said Keith Kennon, one of the project's partners.