2022-04-02 E-Edition


Number of fatal ODs continues to rise

94% increase since 2019

Simi Valley resident Stella Alvarez lost one of her friends, a fellow Royal High School student, to an accidental overdose in 2018. The teen—remembered as kind, joyful and a friend to all— had been taking drugs with his friends, who found him lifeless the next morning. The tragedy left many feeling shock, heartbreak and guilt. “It was a big reality […]

County to hire outside firm to review HR department

In the wake of Ventura County CEO Mike Powers’ exit last month following allegations that he for years mistreated a female employee along racial, sexual, and professional lines, an independent auditor will review the county’s human resources employee complaint process, as well as whistleblower protections. After appointing an interim county executive officer, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously March 22 […]

Moorpark arson case paused

Defendant’s mental state questioned

A judge granted a public defender’s request last month to pause the case against Shaka Watkins, a transient accused of trying to set fire to a Moorpark home, until doctors have a chance to determine if Watkins is competent to stand trial. Watkins, 34, was arrested Nov. 19 after attempting to burn down the home in the 100 block of […]


March 20 A 29-year-old man was arrested March 18 for resisting arrest, according to a March 20 report. Near Bard Street and Spring Road, a 28-year-old man was arrested March 18 for being under the influence of drugs and possessing a switchblade and leaded cane, according to a March 20 report. March 21 Forgery was reported in the 14000 block […]

EDITORIAL: The complicated intersection of drug use and crime


Last month, two reports were issued separately—one on overdoses, the other on crime—but it’s not hard to see the correlation between the two. On March 10, the Ventura County medical examiner’s office released its findings on fatal overdoses in 2021. Fifteen days later, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office issued its uniform crime report, a tally of violent and property crimes […]

Political Cartoon

Doesn’t support message, but does the First Amendment

I’m writing to publicly voice my support for Thousand Oaks Police Chief Jeremy Paris. His response to unwanted White Lives Matter visits to our county is admirable, and should serve as an example to leaders of law enforcement who may be inclined to respond differently. As he simply yet eloquently stated to the Acorn, it is not the job of […]

Rising up from the ash heap to new life

Roots of Faith

“Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.” These familiar words can be heard in many funeral services, a stark statement of our mortality and vulnerability. The phrase is no doubt based on Genesis 3:19b, when God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after they sinned: “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” In a burial, […]