MALATHION CHALLENGE: A lawsuit alleging that malathion...

MALATHION CHALLENGE: A lawsuit alleging that malathion caused a teen-ager to go blind could alter the way state officials notify residents about aerial spraying of the pesticide (A1). . . . In Camarillo, where malathion is being used to eradicate a Mediterranean fruit fly infestation, opponents would welcome the change. "We're not even being warned about the potential risk to the eyes," said Terri Gaishin . . . Despite concerns about malathion's health risks, the state maintains that it is safe.

MIXED MESSAGES: Deficit projections keep climbing for Ventura County and the city of Ventura--but elsewhere in the county economists are forecasting a healthy fiscal year ahead (B7). . . . Consumer spending helped fuel the comparatively cheery predictions at an annual economic conference. But falling property tax revenues have prompted the gloomy warnings on the county government front.

HOPE AWARD: Sheila Cluff, owner of The Oaks at Ojai health spa, has turned her energies to raising funds for the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles. . . . "I'm just thrilled at the support Ventura County has given," said Cluff, who also owns a Palm Springs spa. . . . On Sunday, Cluff will receive the hospital's Spirit of Life award for her efforts and for helping pioneer the fitness movement. Not one to rest on her laurels, Cluff will co-host a telethon for the county's Cal State Northridge campus in March.

POLICE RAID: The Los Angeles Police Department will make its first-ever recruiting foray into Ventura County on Saturday in Oxnard. . . . The effort is part of an LAPD push to hire more than 1,000 recruits this year. Minorities, and women in particular, are encouraged to apply. Cop wanna-bes should be prepared to take a written exam, write an essay and sit through a presentation by LAPD officers. For information, call (800) 252-7790. . . . Oxnard, meanwhile, may be stuck with the leftovers. The department isn't accepting applications until June, according to a job hot line.

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