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Businesses open in Ojai

Although many areas of the Ojai Valley suffered significant damage during the recent Thomas Fire, a vast majority of the businesses survived and are happy to be serving locals and our wonderful visitors alike. 

Throughout the recovery process, the Ojai Valley News will compile a list of businesses that are open as well as those that were impacted and may need a little time.

Click here to see the businesses open after the Thomas Fire.

Click here to see the businesses currently closed because of the Thomas Fire.

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News from around the Ojai Valley

Motorcyclist injured in Upper Ojai collision

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
A motorcyclist was injured March 18 in a late afternoon collision on the Ojai-Santa Paula Road.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Christopher Coggins, 19, of Oxnard was westbound just west of Sulphur Mountain Road at 5:55 p.m. when his Honda CBR 600 struck the rear of a Land Rover, also westbound. 
“The rider of the motorcycle was ejected, sustaining major injuries,” CHP Officer Kevin Denharder said March 21. “He was transported to an area hospital by a unit from the air squadron of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.”
Dernharder said the incident remains under investigation by the CHP.
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Latest sports

Former Nordhoff kicker Cooper Garcia signs with UMass

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Cooper Garcia boots an extra point in Nordhoff’s 2013 CIF Southern Section title victory over El Segundo.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
When Cooper Garcia played for the Nordhoff High School (NHS) football program, he was known for his powerful right leg and clutch kicks. Those abilities recently earned the 2015 NHS graduate a full-ride scholarship to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) where he will kick for the Minutemen.
After his playing days at Nordhoff, Garcia enrolled at Ventura College and played for the Pirates for two seasons, using his redshirt year.
“It was a big step up in competition because it is a top-five program in the state, so it was a great experience for me,” said Garcia.
The journey to UMass wasn’t smooth for the former Ranger. Early in his college career he lost his kicking form and struggled to make the kicks he was accustomed to knocking through the uprights.
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Wildcats miss playoffs, but have hope

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Photo by Tom Moore
The Villanova defense surrounds Nordhoff’s Courtney Abraham during a game earlier this season.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) girls’ basketball team will not advance to the postseason this year, but did take a major step forward in rebuilding its once-proud program.
Under new head coach Dan Mercer, the Lady Wildcats finished the season 5-15 overall and 3-11 in league play, a huge improvement over the previous season that saw the program go winless.
The Lady Wildcats ended the season with a hard-fought 35-32 victory on the road against Bishop Diego High School.
Madison Fabbian led the way with 23 points including a clutch three-pointer that gave VPS a six-point advantage with 45 seconds to go.
Mackenzie Hicks and Faith Cottam led the way in rebounding with 16 and 12, respectively.
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Ojai Rotary honors Callahan

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Photo submitted
Greta Callahan, a standout student-athlete at Mira Monte Elementary School recently earned the Rotary Physical Education Project Student of the Month Award. For her efforts, Callahan was presented with a certificate and a check for $200. “Greta has consistently shown improvement in the development of her physical capabilities during P.E. classes,” said teacher Richard Byrd. “Further Greta fully participates in every activity with excitement and vigor. Thus I feel that her participation allows her to stand out as a positive role model for other students. Regardless of the task or activity I can witness Greta’s progression throughout this year.”

Thacher, Nordhoff girls advance to CIF

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Photo by Tom Moore
The Nordhoff Rangers and Thacher Toads tip off a key Frontier League contest recently.
The Thacher School and Nordhoff High School girls’ varsity basketball teams split a pair of games last week but each advanced to the CIF-SS Division 5AA playoffs.
Trailing the Toads by one game at the start of the week, the Rangers moved into a tie for third in the Frontier League standings with a 29-17 victory Feb. 6.
Nordhoff was led by Grace Bergmann with 12 points, five rebounds, five blocks and six steals, and Courtney Abraham contributed seven points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Thacher, however, held the pair to a total of two points in a Feb. 9 rematch on the Upper Ojai campus, avenging the loss with a 29-21 win.
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Thacher finishes season with win over Villanova

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
The Thacher School and Villanova Preparatory School (VPS) soccer teams met on the VPS campus Feb. 7 for one of the final Frontier League games of the regular season. Thacher rolled to a 7-3 victory despite Villanova senior Kevin Pena (No. 10) scoring two goals for the Wildcats. Thacher ended its season with a record of 4-8 while Villanova finished 1-14. 

Front Nine finds putting magic

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Photo submitted
Front Nine golfers Jane Spiller, Susan Edge and Denise Brennecke enjoy a day on the Soule Park Golf Course. 
Greg Edge, Ojai Valley New contributor
Front Nine Golf Club members recently played a round of “Magic Putt,” during which they could declare a one-putt on a hole of their choice once on the green.
Coming in first, with a net score of 34, was Marilyn Bliss.
Second place went to Denise Brennecke with a net-35 total.
Third place involved a four-way tie between Susan Edge, Linda Nugent, Jane Spiller and Ronnie Rodrigues.
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Thacher turns up the heat

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Photo by Carin Yates
Thacher freshman Skyler Nova (No. 14) leads a fast break with teammate junior Alika Williams hot on his heels. 
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
When the high school basketball playoffs roll around, one can safely bet The Thacher School boys’ basketball team is going to be right in the mix. For the last 11 seasons the Toads have extended their season by qualifying for the postseason. 
“We graduated last year’s starting five and 90 percent of our scoring and most had us finishing last in our league this year,” head coach Jason Carney said. “I have four freshmen on the team, which hasn't occurred since the 2003-04 season.”
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Lady Rangers claim league title

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Nordhoff’s Maria Ruvalcaba (No. 6) and Thacher’s Zanna Gulick-Stutz (No. 9) go after the ball in a key Frontier League game Feb. 3.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
The Nordhoff High School (NHS) girls’ soccer team has enjoyed one of  its best seasons in recent memory this winter. Despite missing all of their preseason games due to the Thomas Fire, the Lady Rangers are currently 11-3 overall and 10-2 in the Frontier League, which is good enough for first place and the 2018 Frontier League title. 
“Our girls have really come together this season. Having consistency in terms of coaches and players has really made a big difference for us,” said head coach Matt Wilson. “We have a good core group of players and they all get along and that has made a big difference in their play,” he added.
Nordhoff made the short trip to The Thacher School Feb. 3 and pulled off a clutch 2-1 victory to take control of the Frontier League standings.
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Ranger grapplers make prelims

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Ojai Valley News photo by Ken Brown
Harrisson Gregory gets top position and looks to finish his opponent from Santa Barbara High.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Ten Nordhoff High School wrestlers took a big step forward Jan. 7 when they competed in the Tri-Valley League championships and placed high enough to advance to the CIF Southern Section prelims. 
“This is the best any Nordhoff team has ever done,” said head coach Paul Clementi. Highlighting the evening for the Rangers was the performance of senior Harrisson Gregory, who won the league title at 184 pounds.
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NHS hoopsters edge Toads

The girls’ basketball teams at Nordhoff High School (NHS)  and The Thacher School are battling down the stretch for Frontier League playoff spots.
The two teams faced off Jan. 6 at Nordhoff with NHS walking away with a 29-17 victory. 
After the game, both programs sat at 7-5 in Frontier League action with another game scheduled for Feb. 9 at 4:30 p.m. on the Thacher campus.
The two teams are fighting for the final playoff berth behind Grace Brethren (12-0) and Fillmore (10-2).
After winning seven in a row, Thacher dropped its last three games while NHS has made up ground in the standings by winning four of its last six games.

Despite rocky start, several area hoop squads are looking to finish the season strong

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Nordhoff senior Ian Perkins splits two Villanova defenders and goes to the hoop in a non-league game.
Mike Miller, Ojai Valley News sports editor
Basketball teams in the Ojai Valley continue to recover from missed practice time, a lack of early-season conditioning and canceled non-league games, but ready or not, the postseason is right around the corner. 
At Nordhoff High School (NHS), the girls’ team is enjoying a solid season. Currently the Lady Rangers are 9-8 overall and 5-4 in league play. Head coach Ted Cotti and crew are in the mix for a playoff berth.
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Nordhoff girls’ soccer improves to 6-1 in league

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts 
Nordhoff High School’s (NHS) girls soccer team is 6-1 in Frontier League play and tied for first place with The Thacher School. Thanks to the efforts of players such as freshman Elsa Callahan (center), the Lady Rangers have a shot at a league title this winter. Next up for NHS will be a Feb. 2 home game against Carpinteria at 6 p.m. and then a road match against Thacher Feb. 3 for a huge league game at 3 p.m. Nordhoff won the first match, 3-1, on Jan. 23. 

Rangers take a bite out of Sharks

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Photo by Tom Moore
Grace Bergmann (No. 12) and Angel Westbrook (No. 41) crash the boards for Nordhoff.
Angel Westbrook, who waited until her senior year to try basketball, scored a career-high 10 points, and fellow senior Morgan Mays added seven points and blocked four shots to lead Nordhoff High School’s (NHS) girls’ varsity basketball team to a 36-20 win over Malibu Jan. 30 in Ojai.
The Lady Rangers improved to 5-4 in Frontier League competition and 9-8 overall with their timely win over Malibu.
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Special publications

2018 Mind, Body & Spirit
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2017 winter Ojai Valley Visitors Guide

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2017 Best of the Ojai Valley
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October 2017 Student Union

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2017 Senior Living Guide
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2017 Women of the Ojai Valley
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2017 Ojai Tennis Tournament magazine

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