News from around the Ojai Valley

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.

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Latest sports

That’s wild! Villanova on to CIF semis

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Villanova Preparatory School quarterback Bobby Caron picks up yards on the ground in a first-round playoff victory. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
It has been years since the Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team has played well into the month of November, but this year’s team hopes it can continue extending the season for a couple more weeks. 
With a Nov. 10 quarterfinal victory over Windward, the Wildcats have advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Next up for Villanova Prep will be a Nov. 17 road game against Mojave High School. 
The Mojave Mustangs have been one of the most dominant eight-man football teams in California over the last few seasons. In 2014, Mojave came to Ojai and narrowly defeated Thacher, 21-20, to claim the CIF-SS title.
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Nordhoff Lady Rangers cross-country runners make CIF finals

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Photo by Dave Settem
The Nordhoff High School Lady Rangers cross-country team includes (from left) Lizette “Bibi” Estala, Jasmine Ramirez, Maria Ruvalcaba, Sarah Avdeeff, Yamilet Herrera, Carla Rodas, Delyia Hackworth and Grace McHale.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ cross-country team took part in the CIF Southern Section prelims Nov. 11 and placed sixth in its Division 4 race, good enough to advance to the Nov. 18 CIF finals in Riverside.
“These girls have been working extremely hard and deserve some recognition,” said NHS coach Fender Carnine. 
The Lady Rangers finished behind La Cañada, El Segundo, Mayfield, Laguna Beach and Big Bear, but had two runners place in the top six which helped them advance to the finals.
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Wiggins earns second Coach of the Year award

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Despite finishing third in the Tri Valley League behind high-powered Bishop Diego and Grace Brethren, Nordhoff High School (NHS) head football coach Lance Wiggins was named Tri-Valley League Coach of the Year by his peers. 
Wiggins, who just completed his second year as the Rangers’ head coach, led NHS to a 6-4 record overall. The team went 1-2 in league play.
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VPS’ Bailey signs with Pepperdine

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Photo submitted
Villanova Preparatory School volleyball star Maddy Bailey recently inked her name to a National Letter of Intent and will compete in beach volleyball at Pepperdine University. Bailey will join her older sister, Kaity, at Pepperdine. Pepperdine has one of the premier beach volleyball programs in the country with players from all over the United States filling their roster. Maddy took a two-month break from the beach to play indoor volleyball for the Lady Wildcats. She has since returned to sand as she prepares for her college career.

VPS football passes first-round test

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football team remained perfect on the season with a lopsided, first-round, playoff win Nov. 4 against the Public Service Academy of San Bernardino Phoenix. With the 81-30 victory, the Wildcats will advance to the quarter-finals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Their next game will be on the road against Windward (7-3) Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. In their first-round game, VPS had seven different players find the end zone against the overmatched Phoenix who had only 15 players suited for the game. This week’s matchup should test the high-powered Wildcats and if they make it past Windward, they will face the winner of the Cate-Mojave game in the semifinals.

Official race results for the Oct. 28 October Classic announced

The following are the results for the October Classic 5K and 10K races held Oct. 28 in Ojai.
Name Place Gender Division Race Time
Fredrichson Thomas 1 M 18-29 5K 0:20:25
Baumgartner Cecil 2 M 60-69 5K 0:21:59
Diaz Paublo 3 M 13-17 5K 0:22:29
Fout Glenn 4 M 50-59 5K 0:22:53
Ramirez Vanesa 5 F 13-17 5K 0:23:31
Inouye Jason 6 M 40-49 5K 0:24:07
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Ranger golfers gain experience

Mike Miller, Ojai Valley Sports Editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ golf team recently finished its Tri-Valley League season with a 3-11 record, placing it sixth out of eight teams in the league.
According to head coach Dick Sebek, the Lady Rangers’ top player this season was sophomore Melissa Avila who also made the All-League Honorable Mention team. Avila’s season average was 55, with her best round being a 47 at Soule Park. The sophomore was also named Most Valuable Player by her teammates and coaches. 
The winners of the Jim Coultas Memorial Award (most improved player) were sophomores Ana Ketelsen and Valeria Lupercio.
“Both girls played on the golf team for the first time and ended the season by shooting rounds in the 50s,” said Sebek.
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Casitas Rowers show well in Sacramento

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Photo by Dan Holmes 
The Casitas Rowers masters men's four, Paul Lepiane (from left), Fabien Castel, Sailor Hawes, John McManus and Alex Laine, took gold for the second year in a row recently when they made the trek to Sacramento for the Head of the American River meet. The masters men's single took the gold for the second year in a row as well. The juniors also saw success with the lightweight men's double placing first, and both the varsity women's quad and the varsity men's single taking the silver. “As always our team displayed extraordinary sportsmanship as we placed in several events,” said coach Wendy Gillett.

Nordhoff girls advance to volleyball quarterfinals

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Sasha Frazier (center) hammers a ball home against Providence High School Nov. 2. The Nordhoff High School girls’ volleyball team hosted the second-round playoff game against Providence winning in thrilling fashion to advance to the quarterfinals. NHS narrowly defeated Providence, 26-24, 26-28, 25-18 and 25-20. The Lady Rangers will face Buckley High School Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at Nordhoff High School.

Villanova claims league title

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Villanova junior Anthony Martinez snags a ball past an Orcutt Academy defender. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) football program finished its regular season 9-0 and claimed the inaugural Mt. Pinos League title with a dominating 72-36 victory over highly ranked Orcutt Academy Oct. 28.
Orcutt Academy came to Ojai with a 7-1 record and a great deal of confidence, but the Spartans were sent home with their second loss after VPS ran around, over and through their defense.
VPS rushed for a whopping 339 yards on the night thanks to the blocking of their line and huge games from Anthony Martinez, Raegan Mang and Bobby Caron. 
The game was close in the early going after the two teams exchanged touchdowns to start the first quarter. Trailing 7-6, the Wildcats stepped up their game and reclaimed the lead with a Caron touchdown.
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Lady Rangers make it past first round

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Photo by Tom Moore
Kolbe Fink climbs the ladder to power a shot past the Coast Union front line.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School volleyball team won its first-round CIF Southern Section Division 8 game in convincing fashion against Coast Union High School Oct. 31. With the win, the Lady Rangers earned the right to host their second-round game, which was played Nov. 2 on the Nordhoff campus against Providence High School out of Burbank.
Nordhoff limped into the postseason having lost four of their last five matches, but head coach Rene Nakao-Mauch and company are heating up just in time for a run deep into the playoffs.
NHS finished their season 11-10 overall and 5-7 in Tri-Valley League action.
See next week’s Ojai Valley News for updates on the Lady Rangers. 

Rangers face must win game

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The Nordhoff High School varsity football team’s month-long run against highly ranked opponents finally came to an end Oct. 27 with a 52-0 loss to the Bishop Diego Cardinals. Bishop Diego came to town as the top ranked Division 6 team in the CIF Southern Section and they proved the polls were accurate with their dominating victory over the Rangers. Despite the best efforts of players like Ethane Sunder (above), Nordhoff’s record is now 5-4 and they will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak when they welcome Santa Paula to town Nov. 3. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will serve as Nordhoff’s homecoming game and if NHS hopes to advance to the post season, they will need to defeat the Cardinals.

Nordhoff doesn't have a prayer against Bishop Diego

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Bishop Diego defender Will Goodwin (right) tips a pass intended for Korey Stevens. 
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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
The ball sails wide and Stevens is unable to pull it in.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Nordhoff High School football fans had hoped for a competitive game when the Rangers welcomed top-ranked Bishop Diego to town Oct. 27. Rather than a competitive affair, the visiting Cardinals rolled the Rangers and improved to 9-0 on the season with a dominating 52-0 victory. 
The Rangers never threatened to score against the Cardinals and NHS was clearly outmatched early on. Bishop Diego running back John Harris was a thorn in Nordhoff’s side, scoring four touchdowns on the night while Adrian Soracco added two scored for the Cardinals.
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