NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In its annual list of the best places to live, Money magazine found Ventura County less desirable--ranking us 84, down from 42 in 1994. Among our problems, according to the mag, are California’s dwindling financial condition and worsening air pollution. . . . “Selfishly, I’m glad it’s going down. That means fewer people will choose to move here,” jokes Maggie Kildee, chairwoman of the County Board of Supervisors. For perspective, Ventura still fares much better than San Luis Obispo, ranked 116, and Santa Barbara, which is 126 on the 300-community list.
GOOD BOOKS: Officials at the county’s Library Services Agency are optimistic that Ventura voters will pass the Measure L property assessment, one of three library issues on the ballot in November (B1). “People really want their libraries open,” says Trish Cavanaugh, the agency’s community relations manager. “It’s less than $3 a month--that’s less than the price of a book or a video.” The $1.2 million to be raised would help expand library hours to six days a week from the current three, she says.
ON YOUR TOES: Ballet Ventura, official school of the Channel Islands Ballet Company, has more than 180 students, but only six of them are male (Ventura Life, Page 6). “It is the American mentality,” said school owner Kathleen Noblin. “Men are supposed to be rugged. . . . And God forbid their sons should have an artistic bent.” During the ballet season, male dancers are specially recruited to perform the more rigorous male leads in performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella.”
BRAVO BLACKTOP: Businesses along California Street in downtown Ventura are pleased that a $3.6-million downtown renovation--on hold for weeks because of a labor dispute--is back on track (B2). The torn-up street will be paved in time for Saturday’s county fair parade. . . . “It’s absolutely wonderful,” says Roger Porter, a manager at the Bella Maggiore Inn. “It’s been inconvenient, but it hasn’t hurt the business that much.”