Upcoming Events

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Is Legal Cannabis Good for Ojai?

Sunday, July 28, 2019
3:00-5:00PM – Matilija Auditorium
703 El Paseo Road in Ojai

$20 pre-sale, $25 at the door. Click here to get your tickets.

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The legal history of cannabis in the United States began with state-level prohibition in the early 20th century, with the first major federal limitations occurring in 1937. Starting with Oregon in 1973, individual states began to liberalize cannabis laws through decriminalization. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis, sparking a trend that spread to a majority of states by 2016. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Now that this development has been in place for some time, what outcomes have been quantified, and what benefits have been construed?

a) Has there been any change in traffic accident rates?
b) Has there been any change in crime rates?
c) Has there been any change in reduced pain medication use?
d) Has there been any change in hospitalization rates?
e) Has there been any change in adolescent cannabis use?
f) Have there been tax benefits for cities and states?
g) Has legalization changed the black market trade?

We look forward to exploring this complicated and divisive issue with a  panel of experts as they discuss these and other questions of legal cannabis. Panelists to be announced soon.

 


 

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The Social Ecology of Education:
Why should all local citizens care about public and private education in the Ojai Valley?

Sunday, August 25, 2019
3:00-5:00PM – Matilija Auditorium
703 El Paseo Road in Ojai

$20 pre-sale, $25 at the door. Click here to get your tickets.

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We all have concerns about the future of our Valley. Will we have enough water? Will our environmental resources and natural beauty be protected? Will local government act intelligently to manage the threat and the opportunity of growth? We are rightly concerned about these issues, but some would argue we have not paid enough attention to perhaps our most important natural resource, namely the cultivation of intelligence in our community. The need for education is not limited to young people, it extends to the adult population as well. Intelligent decisions about critical issues are not likely to be made by uneducated citizens. High-quality, local education is critical to Ojai’s future.

The effects of education on the larger community extend even further than sound decision making – since 2000, Ojai’s school-age population has been diminishing. Most public schools in the valley are operating at 60% below capacity, with one public elementary school closure last year and the possibility of future closings on the horizon. Non-profit organizations and volunteers have augmented arts instruction and other subjects where funding has been cut. Ojai also has an unusually large number of private schools. Some of these private schools are experiencing lower enrollment, but in general the private schools are seen, rightly or wrongly, as disconnected from the larger community. Finally, adult education has largely been taken on by non-profit organizations, with public offerings just receiving funding for limited programs in the last few years. In all of these cases, a coherent community vision that incorporates all of these concerns has not been present, with huge sections of our community completely separated, and perhaps disinterested, from any conversation about the current and future state of education in our Valley.

Is our public education system serving the goals of our students (young and old), and are we spending enough money to make sure that happens?
 
Can charter schools make a difference in education quality and attract more families to Ojai?
 
Can private schools play a larger role in the community?
 
Beyond the direct involvement of parents with school-aged children, how can the entire community become informed and energized about education in Ojai?
 
Informed by state and national trends, what can we, the citizens of Ojai, do to make local education differences that will affect us all?

This panel will bring together representatives from a range of public and private K-12 and college institutions, who will discuss how the Ojai community can support quality education, and why this effort is vital in sustaining the community we cherish.