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Demo-graphic: Whether we like it or not, Ojai has and is changing

This is part three of a four-part series looking at tourism and its impacts on the community. In this series we look at the perceptions and realities surrounding those impacts and the community’s ability to change.
Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
As discussions about tourism in Ojai have stretched on, some have expressed anxiety that Ojai is changing.
“We are at a crossroads, folks,” said Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston during the March 28 City Council discussion of the Ojai Tourism Improvement District (OTID) reauthorization. “There are two visions of what this community is going to be like.” 
Ojai's demographics are indeed changing.
The Ventura County 2040 General Plan Update Background Report, covering demographics and economics in Ventura County, shows that the Ojai Valley's population of young people has decreased over the past six years, while the population of those 65 and older has increased.
From 2010 to 2016, the Ojai Valley lost 390 residents younger than 18 and added 715 residents older than 65.
Ojai Unified School District (OUSD) enrollment is a stark illustration of this trend.
A 2015 enrollment study, commissioned by OUSD, shows that public school enrollment has decreased by 1,453 students since the 2000-2001 school year.
During the 2000-2001 school year, 1,325 students were enrolled at Nordhoff High School. The OUSD study projects that by the 2024-2025 school year, Nordhoff's enrollment will drop to 601 students.
While the Valley's population is changing, so is its economy.
According to Ventura County data, the Ojai Valley shed 204 management, business, science and arts positions from 2010 to 2014, while it gained 304 jobs in service occupations.
Ojai's housing stock also shows changes — with a larger portion of the population renting a place to live.
In 2015, the United States Census estimated that 64.1 percent of homes in the 93023 ZIP code are occupied by their owners. In 2000, that number was 68.1 percent.
In 2015, Census data indicates that 35.9 percent of 93023 homes were occupied by renters. In 2000, 31.9 percent of those homes were occupied by renters.
Census data indicates that in 2015, 312, or 3.6 percent, of Ojai homes were vacation homes or second residences. That number was 275, or 3 percent in 2010, and 217, or 2.5 percent, in 2000.
These numbers may be low, though, as census data only identifies “seasonal, recreational or occasional use” homes as a portion of vacant housing stock.
“Investors can afford to buy up commercial buildings, raise the rent so that it becomes out of reach of locals, and move in their own shops. I’m not saying this is happening in Ojai yet but I’m constantly told by both residents and business owners that their rent is going up,” said Councilwoman Suza Francina, 
Meanwhile, county data indicates that in 2014, the city of Ojai's poverty rate was 14.1 percent, compared to 11.1 percent countywide.
Ojai is certainly changing, but it's impossible to attribute those changes to tourism because of a lack of data quantifying the impacts of tourism locally.
To attempt to rectify that somewhat, the City Council voted March 28 to dedicate a portion of OTID's marketing budget to tourism impact studies.
“To my knowledge we've never done anything in terms of an analytic study in terms of what motivates tourists to come here, the trip origins, what the actual (hotel) occupancy profiles are,” said Councilman William Weirick. “I have asked for data like that and I have been told that it does not exist.” 
“It's a very appropriate thing to provide something that has this kind of research out of the OTID budget,” he added.
Visit http://vc2040.org to view demographic and economic data about Ventura County.

Latest sports

Mang is merciless for Wildcats

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Reagan Mang outruns a defender for a score in a recent win.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley sports editor
Villanova Preparatory School senior Raegan Mang had a huge game in the Wildcats’ 69-34 victory over the Pinewood Panthers Sept. 16 on the Villanova campus. 
Mang racked up 289 yards in total offense and scored seven touchdowns in the game, singlehandedly outscoring the Panthers.
On the ground the senior standout carried the ball 14 times
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Sunder proves heart beats size

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Ethane Sunder, who leads the Rangers in tackles this season, strong-arms a Carpinteria defender.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Take one look at Nordhoff High School (NHS) senior Ethane Sunder and you might think he is one of the top runners on this year’s cross-country team. Watch him play football and look at the stat sheet at the end of the night and that illusion goes out the window.
What you can’t infer from his size is that three games
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Rangers look to avenge 2016 homecoming loss to Fillmore

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Torrey Nicholson returns an interception for a touchdown against the Carpinteria Warriors. Nicholson scored two defensive touchdowns in the Sept. 15 game.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
When the Nordhoff High School (NHS) football team hosted the Fillmore Flashes last season, Fillmore handed the Rangers a 20-7 loss. To add insult to injury, the defeat came on Nordhoff’s homecoming evening. 
Nordhoff will have an opportunity to repay the favor Sept. 22 when it travels
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Rangers teams both throttle Carpinteria Warrior rivals

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff High School running back Brayden Rogers pulls away from Diego Perez, of Carpinteria High School, and manages to stretch the football across the goal line. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After losing the previous two times to the Carpinteria Warriors, the Nordhoff High School varsity football team had a lot to prove when it welcomed the Warriors to Ojai Sept. 15 for a nonleague game.
Nordhoff used a big first quarter to establish its dominance over the Warriors, rolling to a convincing 56-7 win and a 3-0 record on the season.
In their opening drive, the Rangers came up big with two fourth downs. Facing a fourth-and-one situation, quarterback Parker Johnsen handed
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OVS conquers Santa Cruz Island

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Photo courtesy of Ojai Valley School
Ojai Valley School teacher Zach Byars (right) and student Jaclyn Sersland try to catch a wave in their kayak at Santa Cruz Island. Each fall, all OVS high schoolers go on week-long camping trips all over California, from the Eastern Sierras to the Channel Islands.

Brotherhood drives Nordhoff line

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff Ranger offensive line is being anchored by (from left) Trevor Stout, Manny Bautista, Cade Sauer, Michael Trejo and Jacob Aranda. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley news sports editor
This season is pivotal in the Nordhoff High School football team’s quest to turn around a program that has struggled recently. Those struggles are not something Ranger fans are used to.
Leading up to the season, head coach Lance Wiggins believed this year’s team
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Villanova football improves to 3-0

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Villanova running back Anthony Martinez finds a gap in the Riverside County Education Academy defense.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
For the third week in a row the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team rolled to a dominating victory. VPS hosted the Riverside County Education Academy Wolf Pack Sept. 9 and won, 58-8.
Through three games, the Wildcats have outscored their
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Lady Rangers take down Seraphs in marathon match

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s volleyball team, shown here last season, is young this year, but figures to make some noise in the Tri-Valley League. 
Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent
Nordhoff High School’s girls’ volleyball team used its superior depth and height to upset visiting St. Bonaventure three games to two in each team’s Tri-Valley League opener Sept. 7.
But the Lady Rangers were no match for defending CIF champion Grace Brethren, losing 3-0 Sept. 12 in Simi Valley putting them at .500 going into a Sept. 14 match against defending league champion La Reina.
“It was definitely a team effort,” said head coach Rene Nakao-Mauch of the
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Carpinteria invades Ojai to face Ranger gridders

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff High School defense swarms a Beverly Hills runner in their week-two game.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
After last week’s bye, the Nordhoff High School football team will return to action Sept. 15 when it hosts the Carpinteria Warriors at 7 p.m. in a non-league contest.
The Rangers sit at 2-0 after victories over the Hueneme Vikings and
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Villanova volleyball off to an impressive start on the season

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Photo submitted
The Villanova Prep volleyball team huddles before hitting the court in a recent home match. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) volleyball program is off to a solid start this fall. Through their first six matches, the Lady Wildcats have posted a 4-2 record.
After opening their season with a loss to Laguna Blanca (0-3), they rebounded to four consecutive matches against Santa Paula, Dunn, Providence and Thacher.
Despite the opening loss, VPS got solid performances from Maddy Bailey who
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Williams defends Soule Park golf title

Ted Cotti, Ojai Valley News correspondent 
Robin Williams captured his fourth consecutive Soule Park Golf Club Championship title last weekend, firing a two-day, 3-under-par gross total 141. Jay Ackerman captured the net title, carding a 9-under 135. The pair will represent the club at the annual Southern California Golf Association Championships later this year.
Williams jumped out to a five-shot lead on the first day, posting a 5-under 67 on the strength of six birdies.
“I was very consistent off the tee and hit greens, which made it feel like a
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Nordhoff snaps home losing streak with 35-0 victory

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff High School junior Colby Stevens hauls in a touchdown pass from quarterback Parker Johnsen despite great coverage by a Beverly Hills defender.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
For the first time in nearly two years, the Nordhoff High School (NHS) varsity football team was able to celebrate a victory in front of its hometown fans. After a dominating 35-0 victory over the Beverly Hill
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VPS Wildcats off to a 2-0 start

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team is poised to have a big season and if its first two games are any indication, the VPS community should be in for an exciting fall. In their first game of the season, the Wildcats defeated Bright Star, 76-14.
They followed that with a dominating 64-8 victory over Desert High School.
“In eight-man football you never know what you are going to get,” said Villanova head coach
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