Michael Franzese will share his story at Cal Lutheran
Michael Franzese
Michael Franzese

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A former New York mob boss will share his story of transformation at California Lutheran University on Thursday, March 12.

Michael Franzese will present “Former Mob Boss and Prison Inmate Turns to Faith” at 7 p.m. in Lundring Events Center on the Thousand Oaks campus.

Franzese grew up as the son of the notorious underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family. He became a crew captain, and his scheme to avoid taxes on wholesale gasoline sales netted him and the organization $3 million a week or more in the early 1980s. In 1986, Fortune magazine listed Franzese as 18th on its list of “The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses.”

Indicted in 1985, Franzese spent three years in federal prison in the late 1980s for racketeering and tax conspiracy. While in prison, he began reading the Bible and decided to leave the Mafia. After moving to Los Angeles County, he was arrested for tax fraud and did another stint in prison for the parole violation from 1991 to 1994.

Franzese’s first book, “Quitting the Mob,” was written with Dary Matera and published in 1993. He updated and expanded the story of his life and how he changed paths after falling in love and becoming a Christian in his 2003 autobiography “Blood Covenant.” He also wrote “I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss” and “The Good, the Bad and the Forgiven,” which were both published in 2009. Copies of his books will be available for purchase at the event.

He now travels around the country speaking to at-risk youths, athletes and business executives about his story and encouraging them to make positive changes in their lives. Franzese has appeared widely in the media, including Life magazine, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, GQ, the “Today” Show, Fox News, Fortune magazine, “48 Hours” and “NBC Nightly News.”

In October, Franzese released the autobiographical film “God the Father,” whose title is a play on that of the classic film “The Godfather.” The film uses animation, reenactments and news clips to illustrate Franzese’s ascent to the top of the mob ranks, his fall and his religious conversion.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cal Lutheran’s Department of Criminal Justice, Office of Campus Ministry and Young Life College club are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Robert Meadows at 805-493-3484 or Helen Lim at 805-493-3550.


John Palmer covered top stories for 4 decades at NBC
John Palmer
John Palmer

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - The daughter of late NBC correspondent and news anchor John Palmer will discuss her father’s memoir and her own career as a “Today” show producer at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at California Lutheran University.

The free public event featuring Molly Palmer will be held in Ullman Commons 100/101 on the Thousand Oaks campus. Jannette Jauregui, an adjunct member of the Communication Department faculty, will moderate the discussion. Newsreel highlights from both journalists’ careers will be shown.

Molly Palmer will discuss her father's memoir, “Newscatcher,” which was released posthumously in October. The book includes stories about Palmer growing up in Tennessee and the path that led to his four-decade career in TV news. He died at the age of 77 in 2013.

John Palmer worked for NBC from 1962 to 1990 and from 1994 until his retirement in 2002. He served as news anchor on “Today” from 1982 to 1989. He reported on some of history's most memorable moments including the early days of the civil rights movement, crime and politics in the streets of Chicago and New York City, turmoil in the Middle East, the Challenger disaster, the aftermath of 9/11 and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. As an NBC News White House correspondent, he covered presidential politics from the Jimmy Carter administration through George W. Bush’s first years in office. He broke the news of the Carter administration’s failed attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran and received the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage for his reporting on the story.

Molly Palmer is an Emmy Award-winning producer who has worked for the Los Angeles bureau of “Today” since 2006. She has covered a wide range of stories for “Today” including the 2015 Super Bowl, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the 2007 California wildfires that prompted the largest evacuation in state history. She helped produce Matt Lauer's exclusive interview with Jermaine Jackson at Neverland ranch days after Michael Jackson's death in 2009. She covered the 2011 shooting that severely wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others, and booked several eyewitnesses who contributed to the breaking news coverage on “Today” just hours after the tragic movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.She has produced a number of celebrity interviews for “Today” including Savannah Guthrie's recent visit with Idina Menzel ahead of her Super Bowl performance, a Maria Shriver interview with Rob Lowe, and Natalie Morales' 2014 interview with Barbra Streisand about heart disease. She also covers the Golden Globes, Oscars and Emmy awards each year.

Ullman Commons is located at 101 Memorial Parkway. For more information, contact Jauregui at jjauregui81@gmail.com.



CA State Old Time Fiddlers will meet on Sunday 2/22/15 from 1:30-4:30pm at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View. The public is invited to play, listen and dance to Country Western and Bluegrass music. Free admission and parking, refreshments available. calfiddlers.com or call 805-797-6563.


Click here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H9SHK55 to get your free eBook today.

Sunday, March 1, 3 pm
Richard Schloss
Richard Schloss

On Sunday, March 1 at 3 pm, the Museum of Ventura County presents an artist talk and gallery tour by artist Richard Schloss. The artist will discuss his solo exhibition, Painting the Light: California Landscapes of Richard Schloss, including a description of how his painting technique has developed over time. This will be followed by a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception sponsored by the Museum’s Fine Arts Committee.

Richard Schloss got his start at UCSB, where he earned his Master’s in Fine Art. As a member of the famed Oak Group of painters, Schloss brought attention to open spaces and stunning coastal settings that raised awareness (and funds) for nature preservation along the Central Coast.

Reservations requested: Please contact Tina Nielsen at tnielsen@venturamuseum.org or (805) 653-0323 x330 to attend.

This event is $5 per person and free for museum members.


Concert will include classical, jazz and cartoon music
Dan Geeting
Dan Geeting

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - The California Lutheran University Saxophone Quartet will present a program of classical and jazz selections at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, in Samuelson Chapel.

“Saxomania!” will feature music ranging from classical to jazz to a cartoon surprise. The program will include “Diffusion for Saxophone Quartet” by Gordon Goodwin, “A Study in Contrasts” by jazz legend Sammy Nestico, Lennie Niehaus’ arrangement of “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills, “Saxophone Quartet No. 2” by Gordon Jacob and songs by American composer Arthur Frackenpohl, Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla and French composer Georges Bizet.

The quartet includes veteran faculty member Dan Geeting and community members Richard Bunter, Patrick Ingram and Don Nardone. Geeting joined the Cal Lutheran faculty in 1984. He conducts the University Symphony and teaches music history and music appreciation in addition to woodwinds.

The student Honors Saxophone Quartet will join in for a truly “Saxomaniac” finale. Student musicians are Brian Hix from Sisters, Oregon, Andrew Pineda from Ventura, Keanu Quick from Santa Clarita and Jenessa Well from Welches, Oregon.

Donations will be accepted.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus. Additional parking is available at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit CalLutheran.edu.

‘Killing Us Softly 4’ to be screened at Cal Lutheran

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will screen the latest update to a documentary series exploring advertising’s depiction of women at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5.

“Killing Us Softly 4 – Advertising’s Image of Women,” part of Jean Kilbourne’s influential and award-winning series, will be shown in Richter Hall on the Thousand Oaks campus in honor of International Women’s Day. A panel discussion will follow.

Released in 2010, a decade after the previous installment, the 45-minute documentary takes a fresh look at American advertising and discovers that the more things have changed, the more they’ve stayed the same. Breaking down more than 160 print and television ads, Kilbourne uncovers a steady stream of sexist and misogynistic images and messages that work to undermine girls and women in the real world. At once provocative and inspiring, “Killing Us Softly 4” challenges another generation of students to take advertising seriously and to think critically about its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, gender violence and contemporary politics.

Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s, she began exploring the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems.

She is the author of the 2000 book “Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel,” which won the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology, and co-author of the 2009 book “So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids.”

Kilbourne is a 2015 recipient of Boston University’s highest alumnae honor and has also received awards from many other organizations including the National Organization for Women, the Academy for Eating Disorders, the Entertainment Industries Council and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In 2006, she was profiled in “Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975” and is one of 21 journalists, media activists and educators included in a “Media Heroes” deck of trading cards.

Richter Hall is located in the Ahmanson Science Building, which is south of Memorial Parkway and east of Pioneer Avenue.

Cal Lutheran’s Gender Studies Program and the Ventura County Chapter of the American Association of University Women are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact Peter Carlson at 805-493-3435 or pcarlson@callutheran.edu.

Cal Lutheran event features UC researcher and author
Alice S. Yang
Alice S. Yang

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - A University of California history professor will explore the effects of the postwar alliance between the U.S. and Japan on collective memories of the war in both countries at California Lutheran University.

Alice S. Yang will present “Historical Memories of World War II in the U.S. and Japan” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Lundring Events Center. The free event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II is part of the university’s Artists and Speakers Series.

In her presentation, Yang will compare campaigns for apologies, redress and reparations by Japanese-American internees, Allied prisoners of war and Korean “comfort women.”

Yang is an associate professor of history, provost of the Adlai E. Stevenson College and co-director of the Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories at UC Santa Cruz. In her work with the center, she examines how issues such as war origins, the atomic bomb, reparations and racism have been subjects of contention in postwar U.S. and Japan. The center’s faculty and students explore the relationship between history, memory and contemporary politics.

She is the author of “Historical Memories of Japanese American Internment and the Struggle for Redress” and “What Did the Internment of Japanese Americans Mean?” and co-author of “Major Problems in Asian American History.” She is currently completing “Patriots, Prisoners and Protesters: Asian Americans and the War on Terror.”

Yang has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation, Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, the Pacific Rim Research Program, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, and the Institute for Humanities Research.

She joined the UCSC faculty in 1993 and received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. She holds bachelor’s degree in English and American literature and a master’s degree in social studies from Brown University. She earned a master’s and doctorate in history from Stanford University.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The event is sponsored by the Cal Lutheran History Department, the Phi Alpha Theta honor society, the Artists and Speakers Series and the Asian Studies minor. For more information, contact David Nelson at 805-493-3318 or dnelson@callutheran.edu.

“Forlorn and Forsaken” by Breezy Winters (Brooks Institute), photograph, Collection of the artist.
“Forlorn and Forsaken” by Breezy Winters (Brooks Institute), photograph, Collection of the artist.
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“Astronaut Study #2” by Thadius Taylor (Ventura College), oil on canvas paper, Collection of the artist.
“Astronaut Study #2” by Thadius Taylor (Ventura College), oil on canvas paper, Collection of the artist.
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“Adequate Pipe” by Dylan Gasaway (Ventura College), high fired ceramic, metal, wood and reclaimed materials, Collection of the artist.
“Adequate Pipe” by Dylan Gasaway (Ventura College), high fired ceramic, metal, wood and reclaimed materials, Collection of the artist.
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SANTA PAULA, CA – The Santa Paula Art Museum will introduce the next generation of California art and artists in its newest exhibition, Next Generation Revisited, featuring students from Brooks Institute, California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands and Ventura College. The student show will premiere Saturday, February 28, 2015 with an opening reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Admission to the reception is $10.00 for SPAM members and $15.00 for the general public. Students of all ages will be admitted free.

Next Generation Revisited celebrates the significance of the relationship between an artist and his/her teacher, and recognizes the profound influence they can have on one another. The students featured in the exhibition were specially selected by their own teachers for their emerging talents, fresh perspectives and, most importantly, their hard work and dedication to their crafts.

The student show will feature art in a variety of two and three-dimensional media. The works are bold and thought-provoking and explore a variety of contemporary themes like science, technology and war. Each artwork will be accompanied by a narrative written by both teacher and student describing how each has been inspired by the other. As student Megan Petree says of her Ventura College professor Jenchi Wu, “I would not be the artist I am today without her guidance.” The exhibition will run through July 5, 2015.

The Santa Paula Art Museum is located at 117 North 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum’s regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and is free for museum members and students. For more information, please contact the Museum at (805) 525-5554.

Dean Zatkowsky by photographer David Baker.
Dean Zatkowsky by photographer David Baker.

Written by Writer/Contributor Brian Berman

Free for All

After six years of awesome and inspirational leadership for the Ojai Photo Club, Dean Zatkowsky has hung up his president’s hat, but will continue as a club member. The club membership wholeheartedly thanks him for his tireless service and for bringing the club into the technological age. A new team will take over the tasks of running the organization with the same enthusiasm, programs and dedication to education, inspiration and camaraderie.

The first meeting of 2015 will kick off with David Baker, Ojai Images photographer and website architect, who will present the “ins and outs” of the new Ojai Photo Club website. The talk will includehighlights of the amazingly easy way for members to submit images for review by the invited guest presenters. His presentation will be followed by a “Free for All” evening of self-review. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Help of Ojai’s Kent Hall, 111 Santa Ana Street, Ojai, CA.

The “Free for All” will be held in lieu of a judge reviewer. Members will submit one image, either in print or digital format, and explain their point of view and ask for questions. A problem photograph may be submitted and the audience may offer suggestions for improving the image.

Full details on the club are available at our new website: http://www.ojaiphotoclub.com. The website includes information on membership, newsletters, submission guidelines, a tribute video to Zatkowsky and more.

Monthly presentations are part of the Ojai Photography Club’s community service and education outreach. Visitors are welcome to attend.

The club, which is devoted to education, inspiration, and camaraderie, meets on the third Tuesday of each month, February – November. Only members may submit images for critique.


Camarillo, CA - When she needed advice, Jerilee Petralba would always stop by Kathy Musashi's office at CSU Channel Islands (CI).

"When I was a student, I would bounce ideas off her," Petralba, 35, said.

Later, Petralba came to work at CI in the same building and her friendship with Musashi flourished. They were 30 years apart in age, but shared a love of art.

Musashi was a quilter and Petralba was studying for a degree in graphic design at CI.

Almost 11 years after they met, both women have distinguished themselves as artists and have, for the first time, collaborated on an exhibit called "Rendered Into Pieces."

The show, which opened Jan. 26 and runs through Feb. 18, has an opening reception Thurs., Feb. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the CI Palm Gallery at 92 Palm Drive in Camarillo.

The exhibit combines Musashi's work—a modern take on the traditional art of quilting— with Petralba's work in cutting edge digital design.

"It is like an exploration between quilting and digital," Petralba said. "We've never created anything together before."

Both women discovered their art as a second career. Petralba earned her degree in liberal arts at CI before returning to get another baccalaureate degree in graphic design, then began to create artwork with her graphic design skills.

Musashi discovered quilting as a young adult after taking a hiatus from sewing while raising her family.

"I sewed a lot as a kid," Musashi said. "Once I had to put a zipper in my kid's pants, that was the end of that," she said.

Musashi didn't realize how professional her pieces were until her coworkers arranged a one-woman quilt show for Musashi when she retired from CI in 2014.

"I got a lot of nice compliments," she said.

What: "Rendered Into Pieces" exhibit reception
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Date: Thurs., Feb. 12
Where: CI Palm Gallery
Address: 92 Palm Drive, Camarillo
For more: Call 437-2772 or click on: http://art.csuci.edu/gallery/camarillogallery.html.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world's largest yearbook. The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state. Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones. For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit https://classof3million.calstate.edu/

"Tulip Bouquet" by Carol Henry
"Tulip Bouquet" by Carol Henry
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Artist creates prints by projecting light on photo paper

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - One-of-a-kind flower images will be on exhibit from Thursday, Feb. 26, through Friday, April 10, at California Lutheran University’s Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture.

An opening reception for “ShadowGraphica,” which features the works of artist Carol Henry, will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 28.

Henry is a darkroom artist who creates botanical images without using a camera or film. She has spent three decades making the monoprints in the darkroom by projecting light through the cells of a flower directly onto Cibachrome paper. She calls her darkroom prints “florachromes” and “shadowgraphs.”

Because no negative is involved in Henry’s photographic process and the flowers can withstand only a single exposure, each image is one-of-a-kind. The Swiss photo paper Cibachrome has been discontinued due to the popularity of digital photography, so Henry’s inventory of unexposed paper is diminishing.

In addition to dozens of the unique Cibachrome prints, the exhibit will include 8-by-10-foot digital enlargements that place the viewer within the frame of the art piece, able to roam the colorful forms and explore the translucent work much as an insect might.

Inspired by the floral paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, Henry worked for years to develop a photographic technique that would allow her to explore the internal spirit and essence of flowers. While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography and design at Northern Michigan University, Henry discovered the technique one afternoon while she was confined to the college darkroom due to a howling blizzard.

Henry is the photo director at Carmel Visual Arts. She spent more than three years as the fine print specialist for the Ansel Adams Gallery and was a three-year artist in residence at Studio Channel Islands Art Center. She is a charter member of Women in Photography International.

She has been represented in more than 30 galleries and 200 exhibitions. Her work is widely collected both nationally and internationally and is in many permanent and corporate collections.

The gallery is located in the Soiland Humanities Center on the south side of Memorial Parkway on the Thousand Oaks campus. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Cal Lutheran’s Art Department is sponsoring the free exhibition and reception. For more information, call Michael Pearce at 805-444-7716 or visit CalLutheran.edu/kwan_fong.

Actresses Kevlyn Holmes (left) and Cecilia Lindgren. Photo by Brian Stethem.
Actresses Kevlyn Holmes (left) and Cecilia Lindgren. Photo by Brian Stethem.
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In play, violent attack transforms lives of couple

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University’s Theatre Arts Department will present a play about the transformation of a couple’s lives after a violent attack from Feb. 25 through March 1.

The Mainstage Production of “Stop Kiss” will be performed at 8 p.m. daily Wednesday, Feb. 25, through Saturday, Feb. 28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, in the Black Box Theatre on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The play by the American playwright Diana Son was produced off-Broadway in 1998 at The Public Theater in New York City and extended three times. One of the stars was Sandra Oh of the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

After Callie meets Sara, the two slowly fall in love. Their first kiss provokes a violent attack that puts one of the women in a coma and transforms their lives in ways they could never anticipate. Throughout “Stop Kiss,” relationships are explored, formed and ended. Scenes alternate between the timeline leading up to the kiss and the aftermath.

“’Stop Kiss’ isn’t a play about homophobia or about gay rights, though it certainly may make you think about those topics,” said director Jocelyn Hall. “This is a play about love and how two people, who just happen to be women, manage to find it with each other as well as with themselves.”

Hall, an adjunct faculty member, earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Cal Lutheran in 2005 and went on to earn a master’s degree in fine arts from California State University, Long Beach. She also studied improvisation and sketch comedy at IO West in Hollywood, where she performs monthly. Along with teaching, she continues to pursue acting in the theater and on camera. She was awarded the Best of Fringe award for her work in a production of “Three Tables” at The Hollywood Fringe Festival.

The play stars Kevlyn Holmes, a psychology major from Gazelle, and Cecilia Lindgren, a theater arts major from Thousand Oaks.

The Black Box Theatre is located in the Theatre Arts Building at 141 Memorial Parkway.

Admission is $10. For more information, call 805-493-3415.

Local Photographer Mario Rodriguez captured City Hall last week. Thank you for the great photos Mario.
Local Photographer Mario Rodriguez captured City Hall last week. Thank you for the great photos Mario.
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Photo by Mario Rodriguez
Photo by Mario Rodriguez
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Photo by Mario Rodriguez
Photo by Mario Rodriguez
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Free event at Carmike part of International Film Series

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University’s International Film Series will continue with a free screening of the Chinese film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

The 2000 film directed by Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee will be shown with subtitles at 7 p.m. at Carmike Thousand Oaks 14.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which is rated PG-13, takes place in Qing Dynasty China, where miracles are credible and spirits and gods are present in the human world. Here, it is not unbelievable for Zen warriors to float through the air, skim the water and battle in trees and on rooftops. Pain, revenge and duty bind people in this world, but in the after life, love and faith linger on.

The lavish and exciting fantasy became the highest grossing foreign-language film ever released in the United States and was a rare example of a subtitled film that achieved widespread stateside success. Its many awards include four Oscars including Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director at the Golden Globes, and four British Academy Awards including Best Director.

Lee was one of the first Chinese-born directors to find critical and commercial success on both sides of the Pacific. He made his directorial debut in 1992 with the dramatic comedy “Pushing Hands,” the first in a trilogy dealing with conflicts between older and younger generations. He directed his first Hollywood film, “Sense and Sensibility,” in 1995. This was followed by “The Ice Storm” in 1997, “Ride With the Devil” in 1999, “Hulk” in 2003, “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005 and “Taking Woodstock” in 2009. He earned the 2013 Academy Award for Best Director for his latest film, “Life of Pi.”

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Carmike Thousand Oaks 14 is located at 166 W. Hillcrest Drive.

The festival, sponsored by the university’s Department of Languages and Cultures with support from Pearson Library, will continue with the German film “The Lives of Others” on March 12 and the French film “Mood Indigo” on April 15.

For more information, contact Debby Chang at 818-865-9772 or ddchang@callutheran.edu.

Cal Lutheran concert will honor Thousand Oaks couple
Thomas Trotter. Photo credit: Adrian Burrows.
Thomas Trotter. Photo credit: Adrian Burrows.

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - An internationally renowned British organist will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at California Lutheran University.

Thomas Trotter of Birmingham plays the sole concert in this year’s Orvil and Gloria Franzen Organ Program Series. The program will include works by George Frideric Handel, John Stanley, Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and Paul Hindemith, as well as contemporary composers James MacMillan and Errollyn Wallen.

One of Britain’s most admired musicians, Trotter became the first organist honored as Best Instrumentalist by the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2002 and received the International Performer of the Year Award from the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in 2012.

Appointed Birmingham City Organist in 1983, he is also the organist at St. Margaret’s Church in Westminster Abbey and a visiting fellow in organ studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. He is a recording artist and tours on four continents, playing at renowned concert venues and festivals.

This year’s Franzen series event honors Thousand Oaks residents Eugene Craig and Jennifer Zobelein for their generous support of the university’s Music Department. The couple, who earned teaching credentials from Cal Lutheran and taught elementary school for more than a decade, are music enthusiasts. Jennifer, who wrote “A Forest of Pipes: The Story of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ,” plays the organ and piano. Craig, who has performed with the Conejo Players, plays the organ and piano in addition to the accordion and guitar and also composes music. The Ventura County Arts Council named them the Arts Philanthropists of the Year in 2012.

Donations will be accepted.

Samuelson Chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane. Additional parking is available at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit CalLutheran.edu.

Award-winning Christopher Cokinos will discuss birds
Christopher Cokinos
Christopher Cokinos

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - An award-winning nature writer will talk about extinct bird species at California Lutheran University in February.

Christopher Cokinos will present “Re-civilization: Extinction, Heresy and Hope” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, in Overton Hall. As part of his talk, he will read selections from his 2000 nonfiction book, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds.” The free event, part of the university’s Artists and Speakers Series, ties into Cal Lutheran’s emphasis on multidisciplinary approaches and environmental issues.

Cokinos is an associate professor of English at the University of Arizona where he teaches creative writing and curates The Next American Nature and Science Writing series. Affiliated with the university’s Institute of the Environment, Cokinos has strong interests in research-based nonfiction writing on nature and science, and science fiction as literature. Other interests include climate change (especially geoengineering), extinction, natural history, space sciences, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and improving science communications.

He is the author of the literary nonfiction book “The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars,” the lyric essay collection “Bodies, of the Holocene” and the poetry chapbook “Held as Earth.” His current book project is a history of the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

“Hope is the Thing with Feathers” won the Glasgow Prize and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. For “The Fallen Sky,” Cokinos received a National Science Foundation grant to participate in a meteorite-hunting expedition in Antarctica. The book was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize.

Cokinos’ books have been featured and praised in such media outlets as “All Things Considered,” People magazine, the Boston Globe, Nature, Science, and Natural History. His poems, reviews, essays and aphorisms have appeared widely in such publications as Poetry, Science, Birder World, Hotel Amerika, Orion, The New York Times and The American Scholar. His essays have won the John Burroughs natural-history essay prize and the FineLine Lyric Prose Prize from Mid-American Review. He contributes to both the Los Angeles Times and High Country News.

Overton Hall is located south of Memorial Parkway and west of Regent Avenue on the Thousand Oaks campus. For more information, contact Jacqueline Lyons at jlyons@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3825.


CA State Old Time Fiddlers will meet on Sunday 2/8/15 from 1:30-4:30pm at the Oak View Community Center, 18 Valley Road, Oak View. The public is invited to play, listen and dance to Country Western and Bluegrass music. Free admission and parking, refreshments available. calfiddlers.com or call 805-797-6563.

Robert Thies
Robert Thies
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Event features accomplished pianist, violinist, cellist

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - California Lutheran University will present the Premier Players in concert at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, in Samuelson Chapel.

Pianist Robert Thies and violinist Lorenz Gamma will join Cal Lutheran faculty cellist Joyce Geeting in a performance of music by Antonin Dvorak, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert and Zoltan Kodaly as part of the university’s Artist and Speakers Series.

As the Gold Medal Award winner in the 1995 International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Thies is the only American pianist to win a Russian competition since Van Cliburn’s triumph in 1958. Thies is described by the Los Angeles Times as a pianist of “unerring, warm-toned refinement, revealing judicious glimmers of power.” A frequent recitalist in the United States and abroad, he has developed a reputation for his genuine interpretations of intriguing and delicately balanced programs. The Los Angeles resident he has worked and recorded with top studio musicians and film composers. His playing can be heard on Mychael Danna’s Oscar-winning score to “The Life of Pi” and he was a featured pianist on Danny Elfman’s concert piece “Serenada Schizophrana.”

Born and educated in Switzerland, Gamma is a violinist who, like Thies and Geeting, has enjoyed a diverse career as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, recording artist and teacher. The Los Angeles resident has performed internationally a large part of the string quartet repertoire of more than 50 composers, as well as most of the other standard chamber music repertoire of more than 80 composers. Gamma dedicates himself with passion to coaching chamber music in addition to teaching violin. He has given master classes in the U.S., Europe and Asia and has taught violin at several universities. His private and professional violin students have won numerous prizes and gone on to continue their studies at prestigious music schools.

Geeting has been featured in televised solo and chamber performances in Europe and the U.S., served as a soloist and faculty member for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria and toured Western Europe with the Collegium String Quartet. The Simi Valley resident has performed as a soloist with festivals in Austria and Italy and as a guest artist with symphonies throughout the U.S. The Los Angeles section of the American String Teachers Association named her the 2014 Studio Teacher of the Year and she has numerous award-winning students as well as former students who are professionals throughout the U.S. and in Europe and South Africa.

The free concert is part of the university’s Artists and Speakers Series. The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane. Additional parking is available at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visitCalLutheran.edu.


SANTA PAULA, CA – “End of Bees,” a tantalizing look into a world made of earthly elements.

“End of Bees,” the art of Elena Horowitz-Brookes, is the current exhibit at the Ventura College Santa Paula site. A Meet the Artist Reception will take place Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:00 PM. The exhibit will run through March 12, 2015.

Elena Horowitz-Brookes’ recent series, “End of Bees,” is a lyrical depiction of altered reality concerned with depth and space. Defying her own post-apocalyptic world with whimsy, the alluring colors and flower-like shapes are juxtaposed with a sense of anxiety, urgency even. Striped teardrop shapes echo powerless bees—frustrated without their stinging power, as they spit and ooze into the primordial garden. Elena's often complimentary color scheme is tweaked, creating an acidic charge unexpected in the abstracted fields, while hints of feminism dance in egg shapes around her acrylic works on canvas. Elena's work is a tantalizing look into a world made of earthly elements but still not our own. She explores the richness of those elements and creations just beyond our grasp; not in an attempt to define or categorize, but simply to ponder and admire. In this manner, Elena's paintings and works on paper do not force their viewer to believe any which way. Open for interpretation, they are open arms to exploration and expression. www.elenahorowitz-brookes.com

Art Exhibitions at the Ventura College Santa Paula site offers students and members of the community a forum for the presentation, interpretation, and discussion of artworks, from a variety of media within an educational setting. An on-going series of exhibitions by visiting artists encourages individual thinking, develops visual literacy, supports local artists, and inspires a lifelong commitment to the arts. For more information contact (805) 525-7136 or vcsp@vcccd.edu. The Ventura College Santa Paula site is located at 957 Faulkner Road, 106, Santa Paula, CA 93060. Parking and admission are free. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Follow the event online: https://www.facebook.com/events/193410630829569

Mixed-media Ojai artist exhibits work at the Ag Museum

The Museum of Ventura County presents Contemporary Impressions: The Artwork of Kate Hoffman at its Agriculture Museum, opening February, 7, 2015 and remaining on view through May 31, 2015. The opening reception will be held Saturday, February 7, from 4-7 pm. Award-winning artist Kate Hoffman is familiar to many people in Ventura County for her paintings of horses and other animals, as well as for the fluid blue and green water of her seascapes.

She usually paints in oils on large surfaces, blending rich, earthy colors with outlined suggestions of shape and volume. Her images are simple and loose, and her surfaces are often rubbed to suggest the dimension of the canvas, paper and gesso underneath. This exhibition comprises 12 large works, mostly oil on canvas and many of which depict horses.

“My goal,” she says, “is to create an avenue directly into the emotion of the painting, whether it’s a horse, a giraffe or a tiny boat on a vast green sea.”

Hoffman studied at the Art Students’ League in New York and at the Instituto Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, including the Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico and The Logan House Gallery of the Beatrice Wood Foundation in Ojai. Her work can be found in many private collections, as well as the permanent collections of the Ojai Valley Inn and Rotary International U.S Headquarters in Chicago.

The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum is located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula, California, in their historic downtown. Hours are 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children 6-17, free for children ages 5 and under, and for Museum of Ventura County members. The first Sundays of every month is free to the public. For more information, go to www.venturamuseum.org or call (805) 525-3100.