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BIG SPENDERS: Enjoyment of the great outdoors...

BIG SPENDERS: Enjoyment of the great outdoors can come with a big price tag. . . . The average camping party shells out about $180 just getting to and from campgrounds in Ventura County and elsewhere in California, a state study shows. Once there, they spend $73 a day on camping fees, food, souvenirs and side trips. . . . Those figures sound just fine to park officials in Ventura County battling government funding cuts. “Parks provide more to local and state economies than generally is recognized,” parks spokesman Wes Chapin said.

SENIOR TECHIES: With lots of time, knowledge and life experience at their command, it seems only natural that senior citizens are among the fastest-growing groups of home-computer users (E3). . . . At Camarillo’s Leisure Village, where computer use is on the rise, Anne Wolfson is fast becoming a whiz. She took a course four years ago, after she visited a library and couldn’t figure out how to turn one of the contraptions on. “Kids came in and started using them--bing, bing, bing,” said Wolfson, 72. “I figured if they can do it, I can too.”

STADIUM RACE: And the winner is--Ventura. . . . Or, maybe not. A committee ranked Ventura first over Camarillo and Oxnard as the best place to build a Class A baseball stadium in the county (B1). But a Camarillo landowner has also offered a deal. Will a stadium ever get built? “We’re on track, but the verdict is still out as to which site,” said Bill Little, Camarillo’s city manager.

SCOTTISH CHAMP: Melissa Webster of Oxnard has danced her way to a national championship for the second year in a row. . . . The 14-year-old won the U. S. title in Scottish highland dance in the under-15 age category in the Capital District 17th Scottish Games in Albany, N. Y., earlier this month. . . . Last year, she won in the 13-and-under division. And the La Reina High School student doesn’t limit herself--she also dances with the Channel Islands Ballet Company.

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Happy Camping

Californians spent nearly $1.9 billion while staying at the state’s campgrounds in 1992. Here’s a sample of spending in some counties, in millions:

Riverside County: $253.4

Los Angeles County: $109.3

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San Diego County: $92.5

Orange County: $76.3

Ventura County: $29.8

Source: California Trade and Commerce Agency

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