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In This Issue
Waste Haulers Gain Updates on Compost Recycling Laws
St. Patrick's Day Parade Celebrates 'The Sporting Life'
Mayor Says Ventura Growing Stronger While Keeping Its Charm
Ojai Chamber Celebrates Best Businesses at Annual Gala
Ventura Unified's 'Festival of Talent' Showcases Students' Creative Gifts
Agromin Earns Pac Biz Times' Agribusiness Innovation Award
Ventura Music Festival's 2nd Annual Cabaret
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Waste Haulers Gain Updates on Compost Recycling Laws
Environmental consultant Evan Edgar talks with members of the Ventura County Waste Haulers Association, including Agromin CEO Bill Camarillo (left), me, Harrison General Manager Lynn Harrison (hidden) and Mike Smith, Ventura County Area Director for Waste Management.
Members of the Ventura County Waste Haulers Association learned it's going to be an interesting four years with President Trump and California legislators at odds over environmental protection.

President Trump is proposing major cutbacks in the Environmental Protection Agency, while California is "doubling down" and moving forward with a series of enacted laws to meet recycling and food waste diversion goals, Evan Edgar told about 25 attendees during a meeting held at Gold Coast Recycling & Transfer Station on March 24.

Evan Edgar with Harrison President Ralph Harrison.
Edgar is an environment consultant specializing in solid waste management, recycling, composting and renewable energy issues. A Sacramento insider for over 25 years, Edgar discussed seven - yes, seven - new California waste diversion laws and the challenges waste haulers, like Harrison Industries, will face in the years to come. This is especially the case if funding from the federal government for much-needed compost and yard waste processing facilities is cut.

"The state isn't being defiant of Trump," Edgar said. "We're moving forward because we're protecting the environment while at the same time growing California's economy. We're also setting an example for the rest of the world on climate-change issues."

I can say that Harrison Industries is doing all we can to meet the state's food waste diversion goals. For five years we have run a pilot program in which we collect food waste from over 120 supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals and schools throughout the Ventura County and Carpinteria. We've diverted over 7,000 tons of food waste, but our efforts have been stalled as our strategic partner Agromin is still going through the permitting process for an anaerobic digester it purchased five years ago. When in operation, the digester will convert food waste into biofuels.

Edgar gave an impressive presentation, and helped confirm our commitment to one day reach "Zero Waste."
St. Patrick's Day Parade Celebrates 'The Sporting Life'
It was a great thrill to serve as co-chair of the 29th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. This year's theme was "The Sporting Life: The Games We Play" and I believe it was our best parade ever!

For starters, we couldn't have prayed for better weather. We enjoyed glorious sunshine, and the turnout was the largest we've ever had. Hundreds upon hundreds of parade-goers lined both sides of Main Street, from Old Mission San Buenaventura to Laurel Street. And, of course, most were dressed in green!

The parade drew over 70 entries, including floats sponsored by civic groups, nonprofits and local businesses and restaurants; marching bands; car clubs; horses; clowns; dancers; youth groups; fun-loving adult groups - you name it. Local politicians also were out in force, including U.S. Congresswoman Julia Brownley, State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, Assemblywoman Monique Limon, County Supervisor Steve Bennett, Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn and members of the Ventura City Council.

A big thanks to the parade's Grand Marshal, surfing champion Mary Osborne, and her sidekick for the day, Haole, Ventura's surfing 8-year-old yellow Labrador retriever.

Sadly, however, Sham Hock a.k.a. Pig O' My Heart has hogged the spotlight at the parade for the last time. Our giant green inflatable pig abruptly collapsed upon splitting a seam near the end of the parade, and our organizing committee has determined the seam is unrepairable.

So Sham Hock will need to go to its resting place in Pig Heaven. Plans are underway for a proper Irish wake. But we also plan to hold fundraising events so a pig can rise again.

I want to thank co-chairs Jim Monahan and Brian Brennan and the rest of the St. Patrick's Day Committee members, as well as Lance Baird, his assistant Cindy Jones and 70 members of Ventura Elks Lodge No. 1430 for their help putting on such a great show. It was a lot of hard work, but - as always - also a lot of fun!

Mayor Says Ventura Growing Stronger While Keeping Its Charm
Erik Nasarenko gave his second Ventura Chamber of Commerce State of the City address as Ventura mayor on March 9 at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

It was a great talk by Nasarenko. He said he looks forward to leading the effort as Ventura continues to grow stronger economically while retaining its charm. The mayor noted a growth in the Transient Occupancy Tax, or "hotel bed tax," which is the amount the city collects when tourists stay in our hotels. In 2016 the city collected almost $6 million, he said, thanks to efforts from the Visitors and Convention Bureau to bring more tourists to Ventura.

Nasarenko also thanked voters who approved Measure O on the November ballot, which will raise local sales taxes by ½ of a cent. Beginning April 1 our local sales tax will be 7.75 percent and it is expected to generate $10.8 million annually. The mayor said the first thing the city will do with the money is to address immediate infrastructure improvements, including streets, tree wells, street medians and sidewalks.

The audience was also happy to hear Nasarenko say that the city cannot grow an economy without growing local businesses. He noted the near-completion of the new Community Memorial Hospital, the expansion of the Ventura County Medical Center, and the construction of the new Kaiser Permanente medical campus will all be completed in 2017. These medical facilities demonstrate Ventura's commitment to healthcare and wellness and to bringing high-paying jobs to our community.

Harrison Industries was a sponsor of the State of the City address and as chair of the Ventura Chamber's Executive Committee, I was happy to hear all the mayor had to say. Harrison Vice President Jim Harrison and Engineering Director Mike Harrison also attended.
Ojai Chamber Celebrates Best Businesses at Annual Gala
The Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrated its best businesses and nonprofits at its annual gala on Feb. 23 at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.

Harrison Industries, a gala sponsor, congratulates the winners: Small Business of the Year - NoSo Vita; Customer Satisfaction Leader of the Year - Heritage Financial; Health & Wellness Award - HELP of Ojai; Best New Chamber Member - Deer Lodge; Spirit of the Ojai Valley - Humane Society of Ventura County; and Taste of the Town - Ojai Certified Farmers Market.

The Ojai Chamber also honored businesses, nonprofits, schools and agencies for 60 years of continuous membership. Those honored are: Rains department store; Golden State Water Company; Southern California Gas Company; Ojai Unified School District; Southern California Edison; Ojai Valley Inn & Spa; Jacobs & Jacobs; Friend's Ranches; Besant Hill School; Casitas Municipal Water District; Ojai Music Festival; Villanova Preparatory School; and the Ojai Center for the Arts.

The evening included cocktails, dinner, dessert, silent and live auctions and wonderful singing and guitar music from the Ojai Valley's own Alan Thornhill. And, of course, you couldn't beat the venue: the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.
Ventura Unified's 'Festival of Talent' Showcases Students' Creative Gifts
Over 200 students from the Ventura Unified School District's elementary, middle and high schools dazzled a crowd of more than 1,000 people at this year's 16th annual Festival of Talent, held Feb. 25.

Harrison Industries is a proud Chalkboard sponsor of this entertaining event held in the Ventura High Auditorium. This year's theme was "Rock the World," and there were pianists, singing groups and dancing groups galore. In addition to the show, tickets were available for a pre-concert pasta dinner hosted by the Ventura Unified Leadership Council.

The Ventura Education Partnership produces the Festival of Talent in conjunction with VUSD and the Ventura Kiwanis Club. The Festival of Talent raises funds for VEPGrants, a grant program for VUSD teachers that has a big impact on learning.

And kudos to Brian McDonald of the Rubicon Theatre Company, who directed this outstanding event!
Agromin Earns Pac Biz Times' Agribusiness Innovation Award

Bill Camarillo
A hearty congratulations to Harrison Industries' strategic partner Agromin and CEO Bill Camarillo for winning the Pacific Coast Business Times' 2017 Central Coast Innovation Award in the Agribusiness category.

It's an award that's well-deserved. For over two decades, Harrison Industries has transported all the grass clippings, tree branches and leaves that you place in your tan yard waste container to Agromin. The company uses cutting-edge technology to convert tons upon tons of green waste materials into its organic mulches, compost, wood chips and other products that naturally fertilize plants and trees.

Agromin also is in the planning stages of transforming its existing green waste compost facility in the Santa Clara Valley to a much larger commercial organic recycling center that will convert food waste into biogenetic renewable energy.

The company has more than 240 premium soil products and sells them at 41 retail locations in Ventura County and throughout Southern California and online at These products save water, help reduce soil erosion and reduce the use of non-organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides - making our air and water cleaner.

Agromin was honored at the Pacific Coast Business Times' awards ceremony on March 16 at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.

Way to go, Bill, and your staff at Agromin!
Ventura Music Festival's 2nd Annual Cabaret

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Nan Drake
Harrison Industries

phone: 805-701-9809