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STILL OFF-LIMITS: Nearly a year after the...

STILL OFF-LIMITS: Nearly a year after the slaying of Thousand Oaks nurse Kellie O’Sullivan, a 400-page grand jury transcript that prosecutors used to link suspect Mark Scott Thornton to the case is still unavailable to the public (B1). . . . First Amendment experts say Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath has no right to seal the transcript. But McGrath has argued that releasing the document could jeopardize Thornton’s right to a fair trial.

CAPITOL VISIT: Ten years old may be a bit young to schmooze with politicians in Sacramento, but Newbury Park fifth-grader Keith Goss will be doing just that today. . . . Keith won an essay contest sponsored by Assemblyman Nao Takasugi (R-Oxnard)--and top prize for his piece on tackling homelessness was a day in the Capitol. He got some of his essay ideas from the two nights he spent at a shelter last winter. “They were kind,” he said of his shelter companions.

EYES SKYWARD: The recent spate of astronomical phenomena--Jupiter’s spectacular encounter with comet fragments and last week’s Perseid meteor shower--has even the most grounded Earthlings looking to the heavens. But for amateur astronomers, stargazing has long been a pleasurable pastime. . . . One prime spot for scanning the skies is 8,200-foot-high Mt. Pinos in Frazier Park (B1). As many as 300 stargazers converge there on weekends--many with their own high-powered telescopes. “When I’m looking out there, I’m imagining someone else looking back,” said Amos Almeida of Moorpark.

BEACH TRAFFIC: On these hot August days, the traffic jams on the main roads to Ventura County’s beaches are bigger than ever. . . . One question to Street Smart (B1) is whether the summer gridlock in Ventura could be improved by redirecting beach traffic from the Seaward Avenue off-ramp from the Ventura Freeway to the San Jon Road off-ramp. . . . But Caltrans Engineer Bob Houle says that would make matters even worse.

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