ESPRIT DE CORE: Teachers reach for an...

ESPRIT DE CORE: Teachers reach for an old student trick today to win over voters. Educators and other school boosters are rolling a giant apple into Thousand Oaks to grab some attention for Proposition 1B. The June 7 ballot measure would offer $1 billion in bonds to pay for new school construction. Standing 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide, the red apple arrives by flatbed truck. . . . It’ll be the centerpiece of an afternoon rally at Thousand Oaks High before heading north on its statewide tour.

TRAPPING TOURISTS: While Ventura casts for tourists with its newly refurbished pier, Oxnard trumpets its July jazz and blues festival to attract visitors. . . . As summer fast approaches, hotels, restaurants and other tourist-dependent businesses are gearing up for their busiest season in years (Valley Business, Page 11). . . . Ventura hotels did unusually well in January and February, normally the slow period. And the city’s tourism office predicts more than 1 1/2 million people will visit county beach communities before Labor Day.

TIME TO HOWL: He’s on the road, again. But this time, poet Allen Ginsberg hits the highway without his beatnik buddies. . . . Today, the 67-year-old makes a pit stop at the Ventura Bookstore from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sign copies of his latest book of poems: “Cosmopolitan Greetings, 1986-1992.” Judging from the picture on the jacket, the balding, bespectacled bard looks more like an English professor these days than a Beat Generation visionary or bearded, love-beaded ‘60s guru.

TECH HIGH: In a room that once housed wood-shop classes, saws have been replaced by software. . . . The Technology Lab at Sequoia Middle School in Thousand Oaks (B4) is outfitted with four kinds of computers and a dozen workstations, offering the latest link to high-tech careers. “The new tools are not the hammer and the bench vise. It’s a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, a robotic arm,” said Richard Nicholson, president of a statewide trade association. “The tools have changed, so we just need to change with the times.”