BUCKLE UP: An Oxnard man's tragic accident,...

BUCKLE UP: An Oxnard man's tragic accident, when he was thrown from the back of a vehicle and left paralyzed, is statistically rare (B1). There were 17 such accidents in Oxnard in 1993 and 1994, and the number of passengers not using proper safety restraints--required by a state law passed 20 months ago--seems to be down dramatically, Oxnard Traffic Officer Ken Klopman says. "The numbers are down 60% to 70%. . . . When you see someone riding in the back of a truck, most often it's someone who says they're unfamiliar with the law."

SAFE AND SECURE: Along with scores of Ventura police to keep the peace at the Ventura County Fair is the fair's own 200-member private security force (B1). . . . Security Director Mark Zelman says the number of incidents these days is low compared with the turbulent 1980s. "People are coming to watch the shows, not to get out of hand," he says. "Times are tough and it's getting a lot more mellow."

TROJAN TUNES: Rousing marches filled the air in northern Oxnard this week. . . . Arthur C. Bartner, director of the USC Marching Band, was back at the Raiders training camp to put his nearly 300 student musicians through three days of grueling practice. . . . "I don't think people realize how hard they work," says Bartner, band director since 1970. The band's 10 hours of weekly rehearsal rivals the practice time of the school's top-ranked football team.

SAY WHAT? If you think that you need a computer to merge onto the superhighway, Mark Monro, whose firm provides voice mail political messages for local candidates, says think again. . . . "We call this the audio superhighway," said Monro, co-owner of the Ventura Voice-Tel franchise. "You can reach it from any touch-tone telephone." . . . The company has more than 3,500 Ventura County clients, with candidates among his newest users (B1).

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