Ojai Chautauqua Interview with Richard Hajas on the State of Water in the Ojai Valley
January 31, 2023
The purpose of The Agora Foundation’s Ojai Chautauqua panels is to engage Ventura County in civil discourse about controversial and highly passionate subjects. In 2023, The Ojai Chautauqua will produce a series on panels addressing the issues Ojai is facing, including water, tourism, housing, education, agriculture, environmentalism, and more. To this end, the linked video interview with Richard Hajas provides a starting place for our water conversation… what is our current state, what are our projected resources, and what should be done going forward?
Society is changing. Sustaining a civil conversation, a deep inquiry, and a train of thought are becoming rare talents. To meet this challenge, the Agora Foundation creates and fosters dynamic learning communities, centered on exploring the great texts and ideas that civilization has produced. Through rigor, inquiry, goodwill, and open dialogue, participants grow to become informed, inspired, and influential contributors within their communities. Understanding the foundations and developments of human society offers an insight into current events that is beyond reactive or reductive… it’s reasoned.
Richard Hajas – Board Chair of Casitas Municipal Water District and Board President of the Ojai Basin Ground Water Management Agency
Tom Krause – Board President of the Agora Foundation
Andy Gilman – Executive Director of the Agora Foundation
Key Points from the video:
- We have received two years of additional supply in Lake Casitas from the recent rain, with water still flowing into the lake, now giving the lake five years of storage at current use, if there is no rain during that five-year period.
- The lake at full storage provides ten years of storage, if there is no rain.
- Safe yield from the lake has become more prudent and manageable since the recent droughts.
- To whom is Lake Casitas responsible to?
- What factors are considered to determine safe yield and sustainable projection?
- How should we think about new development and agriculture in Ojai, as it pertains to water use?
- What are the best ways to reasonably manage our water supply?
- What is the current state of the Valley’s ground water basin?
- What are the main sources that contribute to Lake Casitas, and how has the Robles Diversion Canal performed in getting water into the lake?
- The balance between environmentalism and human water use.
- Using engineers versus lawyers to fix these water problems.
- The progress of the state water connections, as a back up for our supply.
- We’re in pretty good shape… for now. And our situation can be managed.
- The current status of the Endangered Species Act lawsuit along the Ventura River, initiated by the ChannelKeepers, and then by the city of Ventura.
- The impacts of removing the Matilija Dam.
- What can Ojai Valley residents and organizations do to help the situation?
Thank you for you attention. Please send questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ojai City Council Candidate Forum
OaK Grove School – 220 West Lomita in Ojai
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 – 5:30-7:30PM
Co-Sponsored by the Agora Foundation (the Ojai Chautauqua series), the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Ojai Valley News, this will be a great opportunity to hear from the candidates for Ojai’s City Council and to ask your own questions. The event is free and will also be live streamed on to various outlets.
Andy Gilman of the Agora Foundation and Laura Rearwin Ward of the Ojai Valley News
Oak Grove School – 220 West Lomita in Ojai
View the Online Ojai Chautauqua Panel
What is the Future of
Education After COVID-19?
Thursday, May 28, 2020 – 6:00-7:30PM PDT
These are unprecedented times and it’s unclear whether the worst is behind us. A vast majority of schools, at every educational level, have ceased on-site programs for the remainder of the school year. Many schools are also hesitant to set any definite plans for fall 2020, with so much still uncertain. In the mean time, most public and private institutions have moved to online learning and alternative approaches, with varying levels of success.
What is the best thinking in online learning, and where are schools finding success?
How are institutions looking at structural change in order to stay viable and effective?
How are leaders thinking about the future intersection of K-12 and higher education?
How will fields that have in-person practicum requirements fulfill their training?
What are schools that rely on international students planning to do next school year?
Will job training reorient to high-demand fields on a national scale?
In the spirit of civil discourse and objective inquiry, the Ojai Chautauqua will present a free, moderated 1.5 hour online panel presentation with a group of leaders from K-12 public and private organizations, a regional university, and a K-12 religious home school. During the discussion there will also be ample opportunity for audience members to write in questions for the panelists to address. We invite you to join us for this critical conversation as we look at options for the future of education.
Erika Beck – President of CSU Channel Islands
Jodi Grass – Head of Oak Grove School
Paul Lazenby – Director of Mother of Divine Grace School
Tiffany Morse – Superintendent of Ojai Unified School District
Tom Krause, Board President of the Agora Foundation
6:00 – 7:30PM PDT
Watch the August 25, 2019 Panel:
What is Education For?
Download the handout in PDF format. Click here.
Ojai Chautauqua Panel Series on Education –
What is Education For?
Sunday, August 25, 2019
3:00-5:00PM – Sane Living Center
316 East Matilija Street in Ojai
We all know that education of our young is vitally important, and we hold varying opinions about how successfully we think our schools are fulfilling this priority. But when we ask What is the goal of education?, we see deep and profound differences in beliefs. Are schools in the business of job training, character formation, civic preparation, socialization, or all of the above? Is education only for the young, or does the need extend to the adult population as well? Further, there is wide disagreement on what the best modes of education are. The options of public and private schools, home schooling, self-directed learning, outdoor education, and project-based learning curriculums are just a few of the choices parents have to make. Finally, how best can we evaluate the effectiveness of our schools when we disagree about what the aims of the schools should be?
This ongoing series on Education in the Ojai Valley will explores these questions, with experts presenting the many sides of these complicated issues in the spirit of informed, civil discourse. We invite you to join us on Sunday, August 25th as we set our course by asking:
What is Education For?
Tom Krause – Moderator
Jim Bailey – Co-Founder of Rock, Tree, Sky
Meredy Benson Rice – Director of Teaching and Learning, Oak Grove School
Katie Braude – Executive Director, Speak UP
Tiffany Morse – Ojai Unified Superintendent
Elizabeth Reyes – Professor (tutor), Thomas Aquinas College
Richard Yao – Vice President of Student Affairs, CSUCI
Future topics in the series will address standardized testing, charter schools, funding, class sizes, community involvement, and more. $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door
The purpose of the Ojai Chautauqua is to engage Ventura County in civil discourse about controversial and highly passionate subjects. The Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s.
The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.” The Ojai Chautauqua is continuing this movement, with a special focus on encouraging civil discourse on controversial and highly passionate subjects. The feedback so far has been phenomenal. Civil discourse is dangerously absent from all aspects of contemporary life. The result of this failing is not only sad… it is dangerous. If we can develop this essential ability, we can begin to affect a positive change to many aspects of life that can extend far and wide.