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  • An enormous, eye-catching paper mache octopus is situated at the start of the ArtWalk exhibition on Main St., Ventura, greeting attendees as they enter the event. Inspired by Ventura’s natural environment, this work of art highlights the abundance of sea creatures that call our oceans home.


    ArtWalk: Showcasing Ventura’s creative crowd

  • As students start to settle into the new school year, exciting activities planned in the quad help keep the morale high. Foothill Techs sports teams have started to pick up speed and students are now settling into their classes.


    FDP-TV: Season 2, Episode 3

  • A scenario thats unfortunately all too common in modern gaming is a videogame having a less than stellar launch. However, there are times when the developer has the luxury to go back and turn the game into a respectable piece of media, such as No Mans Sky.


    When a videogame redeems itself

  • Also referred to as a red tide or an algae bloom, the brilliant blue waves are caused by phytoplankton that emit blue light when disturbed. In previous years the event has been rare to find, occurring sparsely. Recently, primarily during the summer of 2023, bioluminescent waves could be seen splashing the shores of Ventura County.


    Bioluminescence: Wonders of the bright blue ocean

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) Girls Volleyball took a devastating loss of 3-1 in a league game against Bishop Diego High School. Students, Addi Fallon 25, Zac Crist 24 and Petra Falcocchia 24, show their support with colorful face paint. Many students also dressed to the theme of the game, which was cowboys and cowgirls.

    Girls' Volleyball

    Girls’ volleyball beat by Bishop Diego 1-3 in hard fought game

  • Throughout the city of Ventura, pollution is washed down to the beaches through rivers and gutters, depositing cups, bags and other various trash onto our beaches and into the oceans.


    Just how deadly is stormwater runoff?

  • The charming exterior of Butter and Fold attracts many customers at all hours of business. From the elegant teal and gold color scheme to the waft of freshly baked breads, it’s impossible to simply pass by without taking a peek inside.


    Butter and Fold: The perfect place to satisfy your pastry cravings this fall

  • At the Olivas Links Golf Course, on Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls golf team faced off in a league match against Bishop Diego. The Dragons played well and won the match with an overall score of 249-303. Pictured above, Maddie Wicks 26 concentrates as she putts her ball toward the pin, finishing hole five with three over par.

    Girls' Golf

    Recap: Girls’ golf takes Bishop Diego 249-303

  • On Sept. 22, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) competed in their first Tri-County Athletic (TCAA) league meet. Foothill Tech races with five girls on varsity, including Danika Swanson-Rico 25, Bennett Rodman 26, Kalea Eggertsen 26, Emma Anderson 26 and Isabella Efner 25. They warm-up on the start line, exchanging words of encouragement and waiting for the queue to begin the race.

    Cross Country

    Cross country starts off strong at first league meet of the 2023 season

  • With beloved melodies and nostalgic anthems dating back over a decade, fans and general audience members alike enjoy singing along to her award-winning album, Fearless, from 2008.


    The Eras Tour: an adventure spanning 17 years of music 

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys water polo hosted a home game against their opponent Malibu High School (Malibu). With lots of splashing, Ethan Ortiz 24 attempts to find an open teammate to give Foothill Tech an advantage to win their league match.

    Boys' Water Polo

    Recap: Boys’ water polo bested by Malibu

  • Students of Foothill Tech try to make button pins of their own design at Back to School Night. This college and career class provides an opportunity to learn life skills and creativity.


    Foothill Tech welcomes parents and guardians at Back to School Night 2023

  • In the teen show “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” an adaption of the popular Young Adult novel, protagonist Belly Conklin navigates her love life in a triangle between brothers Jeremiah and Conrad Fisher.


    “The Summer I Turned Pretty”: In Defense of the Fisher Boys

  • During F.I.R.E and lunch, members of the Associated Student Body worked hard to prepare an assembly line of delicious In-N-Out for the Class of 2024.


    Class of 2024 connects through In-N-Out Burger and festivities

  • On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 19, 2023 girls tennis played against the Villanova Preparatory (Villanova) School Wildcats. The tennis team huddles together and chants in a pregame ritual before beginning their matches.

    Girls' Tennis

    Girls’ tennis triumphs over Villanova in first league match

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the much anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed and beloved video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Announced in 2019 by Nintendo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12, 2023 after nearly four years of waiting. Since its release, the game has been met with widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The game directly follows the events of its predecessor, building upon them and expanding an already immense world. Writer Kelly Quinn shares his thoughts.


    “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is victory for gaming

  • The three cakes that were reviewed were Lemon, Pumpkin Spice and Red Velvet all topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.


    A dive into Nothing Bundt Cakes: America’s largest specialty cake company

  • Comprising of 12 songs, Olivia Rodrigos new album GUTS is her second studio album and was released on Sept. 8, 2023. Rodrigos first studio album, SOUR, released in 2021, was critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, making her second album long anticipated. Writer Isheeta Pal takes on the task of listening to GUTS and reviewing it, delving into its key themes and messaging.


    Album Anatomy: “GUTS”

  • A sign displayed in the store highlights the unique vendors in the store as well as promoting shopping from local artists.


    Hey! Friends shows Ventura why shopping locally matters

  • Christopher Nolan hits it out of the park once again with his brilliantly done biopic about the man who invented the atom bomb, Oppenheimer.


    “Oppenheimer” is a mind-blowingly impactful film

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School Board: Madhu Bajaj (District 4)

Madhu Bajaj (District 4)
Madhu Bajaj (District 4)

INTERVIEWER: What is your background as a Venturan? 

MADHU BAJAJ: My family and I came to Ventura in 2005. I grew up in Westlake Village so I was familiar with Ventura, but I started living here in 2005 and my son was about a year old. My husband and I were new business owners in town. We purchased Fast Signs of Ventura, which we now have owned since then. We were just working and got involved in the community right away—that’s kind of our thing—joined the Chamber of Commerce and became active with them, and then as our son got older and went to school, started volunteering in our schools and volunteering in the broader community, as well. So I really love the city of Ventura and it’s important that I give back and ensure that Ventura is an amazing place to live and work. That’s important to me.

INTERVIEWER: At the end of your term, if elected, how will Ventura Unified schools be using technology in ways they aren’t right now? What will be your steps to achieving that result?

BAJAJ: I think technology is really important and I think it’s important that we offer a well rounded and broad approach to education that’s mindful of the usual ways of doing things—that are not just technology focussed. Technology is clearly the wave of our future and making sure that all kids of all ages have access to technology and know how to use it is really important to me. Personally, we had our son on a laptop at the age of one because we knew that computer use and being comfortable and familiar with electronics was going to be important in his future career. And I think I want all kids to have that exposure. I’ve heard stories of kids coming in to do their testing and some of them don’t know how to use a mouse. They’ve never seen a mouse because the most they’ve done is with a finger on an iPad or a cell phone if they’ve even done that. I think at the end of my term I would want to make sure that all kids have access to computers, to laptops and that they know how to use them.

INTERVIEWER: In your opinion, what is the next step to ensuring high school students are prepared for Common Core curriculum and its standardized testing (SBAC)?

BAJAJ: Preparing our high school students for those two things is important, but really we need to be preparing our high school students for life after high school. And so I want to see us really emphasize the strengths of common core as the teaching of how to work collaboratively with other students and with adults because once they get out into the real world, that’s what the real world is. Whether is personal life, whether is professional, whether its a project that you’re working on, people who are more effective at working with other people will do better in life.

The same thing with creativity, critical thinking, communication—it’s all of those. One, they lead to a more rich life—it’s more fun, it’s more interesting—but those are also the skills we need for the future. So I think we need to be providing our teachers with training if they need it and resources so that they can really bring common core teaching alive in our classrooms, and so our students can really benefit from it and learn the concepts, practice them, and then as they move forward with their lives use those in their college career, in their jobs, whatever they choose to do.

INTERVIEWER: The Ventura Unified budget for this year is around 188 million dollars. If I gave you ten million dollars more today to invest in our school district however you see fit, how would you spend it?

BAJAJ: I think I would want to invest the money into making sure that all of our campuses have amazing campus cultures. For students, of course, that’s what school is always about. We have to make sure that our school environments are safe—that they’re nurturing, that they’re conducive to learning—but they also should be kind and caring and supportive. One step up from that, I feel really strongly that if we don’t take care of our staff and out teachers and make sure that they have great work environments, they can’t work at their best on behalf of the kids. I would want to invest in making sure that we have a really happy school community across all schools, across the whole district, so that people feel really included and connected with school.

INTERVIEWER: What do you think is the most pressing issue facing our schools today and how can it be addressed?

BAJAJ: One of the most pressing issues is the achievement gap. Some kids are doing incredibly well in our schools and have access to and are fully engaged in their learning and really benefiting so greatly. Not all students are able to access all of those opportunities, and so really looking at what are the additional supports that we need to put in place to make sure that all kids have access to really great education. I know we have amazing classes, but a lot of times not everybody can get into those classes—or we have amazing programs. And it’s limited how many kids can participate. Looking at what we’re offering, but more than just what we’re offering; what are the challenges that are keeping some kids from participating in these really cool programs that are helping kids succeed, and then provide them with support to make sure that they get on a track for success.

INTERVIEWER: Sometimes to students, school board policy decisions seem to come out of nowhere. Most students don’t know their school board members, don’t know when the board meets, and aren’t informed about the decisions the board makes on a regular basis, like for example decisions about curriculum or disciplinary policies. If you are elected, how do you plan to cultivate a closer relationship between the board and the students, ensuring that they get a chance to speak on issues that pertain to them and are informed of decisions once they happen?

BAJAJ: This is something that’s really important to me. My career has been mostly in non-profit management and a lot of its been in working with youth-serving programs and as a part of that we are trained and we work in ways to ensure that we are always seeking out feedback from the people that we’re trying to serve. And not only seeking out their feedback but including them in the process.

As I’ve been going through my campaign I actually have sat down with my school students a couple of times to talk with them and find out: do they know what a school board is, what do they know that the school board does what are their concerns, what are their hopes and dreams, what do they love about our schools to start getting a feeling of what students want.

I really think that all of our kids, even little ones are brilliant and our students are our future. You guys are really smart and we should be really connecting with you, engaging you more in decision making, in making sure your feedback is asked for but also included with decisions are made and that you’re a part of the process. It’s really so vital.


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