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Branching Out is a weekly podcast expanding on the stories published in the Acorn Newspapers. Reporters and editors will discuss the impact of the stories they report and delve deeper into the issues affecting their communities.The Acorn Newspapers cover the communities of Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Simi Valley and Moorpark.
 
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show series
 
In honor of Earth Day this month, the Branching Out team is joined by Kat Selm, a member of the recently formed Conejo Climate Coalition, a group of environmentally-minded residents trying to provoke change at the local level. For more information on the Conejo Climate Coalition: conejoclimate.org Facebook Twitter For information on Thousand Oaks E…
 
Ian and Kyle return just in time to check in with Acorn sports editor Eliav Appelbaum about one of most unusual high school sports seasons on record; plus, which former prep star just broke a 35-year-old collegiate record? Lastly, Kyle chats with leaders of the Ventura County Community College District—including Chancellor Greg Gillespie—about how …
 
Reporter Dawn Megli spotlights the prevalence of human trafficking in Ventura County and efforts being made to rescue and support its victims. Interviews include Shannon Sergey, CEO of Forever Found, a Simi Valley-based nonprofit that seeks to prevent, rescue and restore child trafficking victims; and Stacy DeWitt, founder of James Storehouse, a Ne…
 
Reporter Monique Abrahamsen speaks with Kattya Birvette-Ortega and Linda Quiquivix of Abundant Table, a non-profit, organic farm based in Camarillo. Their conversation, recorded in one of the farm's fields, covers the organization's emphasis on growing food sustainably, educating the community and access to healthy food. Find Abundant Table online:…
 
Thousand Oaks Acorn reporter Becca Whitnall speaks with Joan Aruajo, who is in charge of Ventura County's vaccination site at the Ventura County fairgrounds. They talk about what residents can expect when they make an appointment and how the county is handling the vaccination process. Then she speaks to Katherine Kricorian, a Santa Susana High Scho…
 
It's part two of Women’s History Month and The Acorn's female editorial staff are taking over Branching Out for the next five weeks. (Kyle and Ian will be back behind the mics in April.) Simi Valley Acorn reporter Melissa Simon sits down with Simi Valley City Councilmember Elaine Litster for a discussion of how Litster balances her civic responsibi…
 
It's Women’s History Month and The Acorn's female editorial staff are taking over Branching Out for the next five weeks. (Kyle and Ian will be back behind the mics in April.) Beyond the Acorn editor Allison Montroy hosts this week's episode with an interview with Laura Allen and Dana Miller, two of the nation's first female Eagle Scouts. The Simi V…
 
Signs the coronavirus is releasing its grip on Southern California are everywhere: Sports are returning, schools are on the brink of reopening and, most importantly, the case rate continues to fall precipitously. The Branching Out crew strike a positive tone about the current state of COVID-19 locally and look at what activities could be resuming n…
 
It's Restaurant Week! In honor of the annual ode to local eateries (Feb. 19-28), Branching Out welcomes Mark LaValle of Hatch Cafe & Market in Agoura Hills and Luis Sanchez of Mouthful Eatery in Thousand Oaks to dish about the ups and downs of owning a restaurant during the pandemic and how it's changed their outlook on life and the business. Plus,…
 
Branching Out is joined by 18-year-old political activist Aleyah Ewing, founder and co-host of a brand-new hyperlocal podcast dubbed "RadioSimi." Ewing, a native of Simi Valley, explains how the show came to be and talks in depth about the shifting demographics and politics of her hometown. Plus, another development in the Rebecca Grossman saga. Re…
 
Ian and Kyle discuss the latest revelation in the Rebecca Grossman murder investigation. Plus, Camarillo Acorn reporter Brooke Stanley talks about her work reporting on the status of local hospitals and how doctors and nurses are handling the ongoing surge. Finally, the latest on the vaccine rollout and a few things you must know before decided whe…
 
Moorpark Acorn reporter Christina Cox joins Branching Out to discuss the state of schools amid an unprecedented rise in new cases of COVID-19, and to help explain the rules that allow some campuses to remain open while others cannot. Plus, Ian and Kyle talk the hurdles facing California's vaccine rollout and the debate over who should receive the s…
 
Branching Out is joined by James Bozajian, a former Los Angeles County assistant district attorney, to break down the latest news in the cases against Rebecca Grossman and Anthony Rauda. Plus, Bozajian weighs in on reform-minded and controversial LA County District Attorney George Gascon, and what’s next with the Ventura County DA’s office now that…
 
Branching Out welcomes Jonathan Serret, recently named cultural affairs director for the City of Thousand Oaks. Serret, a Moorpark resident, discusses his new role and his views on arts/entertainment's place in the time of pandemic. Plus, what's on the horizon for the Bank of America Performing Arts Center and what's in store for when live shows fi…
 
Kyle and Ian address the challenge of reporting on COVID-19 amid a backdrop of public distrust and criticism the Acorn has faced for its coverage. Plus, breaking down ICU capacity and signs that our local hospital is feeling the effects of the latest surge. Nurses’ union, HCA at odds as COVID takes turn for worse Dining ban creates outdoor eating d…
 
Kyle and Ian break down the new regional stay-at-home order and what it means for Acorn readers. Plus reaction to the City of Agoura Hills' victory against the Bureau of Cannabis Control over the right for local government to ban the delivery of marijuana within their jurisdictions and what it could mean for other cities. CHECK OUT OUR SPONSOR! Oak…
 
On this week's episode, the Branching Out team delves into the challenge of reporting high-profile stories involving high-profile people, as well as what goes into deciding when, and when not to, publish, and how to manage expectations from the community. Show links: https://www.theacorn.com/articles/notes-became-familys-nightmare/ https://www.toac…
 
BRANCHING OUT THIS WEEK IS SPONSORED BY OAK & IRON With the votes (most of them at least) finally tallied, Acorn Newspaper managing editor John Loesing and Calabasas City Councilmember and Branching Out political analyst James Bozajian discuss the results of statewide ballot measures and what impact they could have locally. Results of Statewide Bal…
 
BRANCHING OUT THIS WEEK IS SPONSORED BY OAK & IRON With the buzz of America's historic vote still in the air, Kyle and Ian are joined by Jana Goldsworthy, head of the Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park, to talk about the museum's ode to suffrage and how they're adapting to serve audiences in the COVID era. Plus, local election results and we int…
 
Branching Out welcomes Acorn reporter Dawn Megli to take the audience behind the scenes of her recently completed three-part series on local homelessness. Plus, editor Allison Montroy on her team's efforts to highlight distinguished local women (past and present) in the latest issue of Beyond the Acorn. To read Dawn's entire series, go to Invisible…
 
Former Thousand Oaks planning commissioner and three-time City Council candidate Mic Farris joins Branching Out to share his insights into T.O. politics (past and present) and what to expect (and not to expect) in the final week of campaigning. Plus, Allison Montroy, editor of Beyond the Acorn magazine, stops by to share what's in store for Beyond'…
 
Kyle's out of the office for this one, but the voice the Branching Out Intro, Acorn Newspaper managing editor John Loesing stepped in for an interview with political analyst James Bozajian. The two discuss statewide ballot measures, the pros and cons of each, and how likely they are to pass. They round out the interview with a discussion of some lo…
 
Ian and Kyle talk with Simi Valley Acorn reporter Melissa Simon about all the October surprises popping up in Simi's local races as well as an elections office flub that's left one mayor candidate threatening to sue. Plus an update on the case of two boys hit and killed in a Westlake Village crosswalk. Voter guide info still incomplete Racial divid…
 
Ian and Kyle discuss last week's story about the death of two young brothers who were hit while trying to cross the street in Westlake Village, and the challenges of reporting on such tragedies. Plus, a plug for the Acorn's new Election 2020 websites and Kyle learns the hard way what happens when you leave an open pen in your pocket. https://www.to…
 
Agoura Hills Planning Commissioner Jeremy Wolf, district director for state Sen. Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), sits down with Branching Out to touch on several environmental topics, including the proposed wildlife bridge over the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon and a recent bill banning businesses from using a particular type of rodenticide that is awai…
 
Ian and Kyle are joined by Shawn Moradian, president of the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Association. The trio discuss recent efforts at revitalizing the popular stretch of road and what hurdles stand in TOBA’s way. Plus Moradian shares his views on a proposition in November’s ballot that he says jeopardizes the future of millions of small businesses in…
 
Page designer David Lopez joins the Branching Out team to share news about the new Acorn Newspapers Instagram account (@acornnewspapers). Plus a check-in on the Oak Park Unified School District's efforts to address concerns about racial insensitivity in OPUSD and Ian and Kyle reflect on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. …
 
The Branching Out crew is joined by the newest member of the Acorn family, Camarillo Acorn reporter Brooke Stanley, to discuss some of the stories she's tracking in West Ventura County. Among them: the lasting effects of this summer's Black Lives Matter protests, the latest on a new Amazon distribution center opening in Camarillo and the start of t…
 
Ian and Kyle break down the governor's newly revamped system for guiding the state's second attempt at reopening from COVID lockdown and what it means for Ventura/LA county businesses, schools and life in general. https://covid19.ca.gov/ https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/ Support the show (https://www.theacorn.com/subscribe/)…
 
Kyle and Ian sit down with Las Virgenes Unified Superintendent Dan Stepenosky to discuss the atypical start of the 2020-21 school year, which for most local districts began on Aug. 19 with online classes only. Stepenosky recalls the shutdown in March and what it was like to prepare to reopen schools only to be told a month out to remain in remote l…
 
Kyle sits down for an interview with Pastor Kirk DeWitt of Conejo Church in Thousand Oaks to discuss how the pandemic has affected his congregation and how they've adjusted to constantly shifting public health orders while still trying observe religious traditions. A 44-year resident of the Conejo Valley, DeWitt shares what he thinks is the shutdow…
 
Kyle reports back from the scene of Sunday's illegal worship services at Godspeak Calvary Chapel Newbury Park, where Pastor Rob McCoy and his congregation defied a court order demanding they stop gathering indoors in violation of county and state health orders related to the coronavirus. Now the pastor is facing a fine and jail time as a result. ht…
 
Kyle talks one on one with Thousand Oaks bar operator Drew Pletcher about navigating public health orders during the pandemic and still keeping the doors open. Plus a breakdown of what assistance has been available for small businesses and what assistance is needed in the future. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options…
 
As schools announce they're keeping campuses closed to start the year, Ian and Kyle discuss what needs to happen to get kids back into the classroom. Plus a showdown is brewing between Ventura County Public Health and a local pastor. Lastly, details about the victim of a murder-suicide in Agoura Hills. https://www.theacorn.com/articles/schools-are-…
 
Kyle and Ian do a quick catch-up after two weeks off, but then dive into an interview with Tara Carruth, who works for Ventura County to help the homeless. Carruth has been heading up the county's involvement with the statewide Project Roomkey--an effort to turn hotels into homeless housing. Support the show (https://www.theacorn.com/subscribe/)…
 
Ian and Kyle share the latest on the Ventura/LA counties' sudden spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations. Plus, Ventura County sheriff's search of a private property leads to wild rumors and speculation. Plus a discussion on The Acorn's policy regarding letters to the editor and what it can be a double-edged sword. Increased cases Ventura County …
 
After a local college student's Black Lives Matter banner was vandalized multiple times, he decided to install a remote camera to keep watch. What that camera captured has led to the arrest of three individuals on suspicion of vandalism, two of whom work for the County of Ventura, one in the jail system and the other in the district attorney's offi…
 
Danielle Borja, CEO of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, join the Branching Out team to discuss the state of local economy and everything to Chamber is doing to get the word about the importance of shopping local as well as to support small businesses directly through its new Conejo Valley Business Relief Funds. Plus Ian and Kyle break…
 
Ian and Kyle look back at a week's worth of Black Lives Matter demonstrations occurring from Camarillo to Calabasas to Simi Valley, including the voices of the protesters themselves. Plus a discussion of journalism vs. activism and the perceived pitfalls of "both sides" reporting. https://www.toacorn.com/articles/protests-persist/ https://www.simiv…
 
Kyle and Ian do a quick breakdown on the protests that have arisen in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. With curfews in place across Los Angeles County, things have been quiet from Westlake Village to Calabasas, but across the county line in Thousand Oaks, things have been getting heated. Kyle's got the la…
 
As the California economy slowly opens up, Kyle and Ian find the space to talk about something other than COVID-19: namely plans to convert the long-vacant Kmart building on Hampshire Road into the largest mixed-use development in Thousand Oaks. Plus a crazy weekend on the freeways and a shoutout to moms everywhere. On Twitter: @BranchingOutPod Ema…
 
As California's stay-home order approaches Month 3, Ian and Kyle discuss growing frustration in some segments of the population and calls for patience from local officials. Plus a breakdown of the situation at local beaches and news of outbreaks at local businesses. https://www.theacorn.com/articles/grocery-employee-turns-up-sick/ https://www.toaco…
 
Quarantine got you down? Lighten the mood with a puff of Branching Out. Ian and Kyle overcome their latest technical difficulties to discuss Ventura County's new stay-home order and its impact on the community. Plus a look at the situation in LA County and signs that the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak in California may be coming to an end (please!)…
 
Public safety or religious liberty? Ian and Kyle connect via Zoom to discuss some of the stories emerging after three weeks of stay-home orders start to take their toll on residents, including a local pastor's decision to go ahead with communion in defiance of county and state laws. Plus, a look at the constantly changing coronavirus "code of condu…
 
Forced apart by stay-home mandates, Kyle and Ian get creative to discuss the rapidly changing world created by the coronavirus, including the shuttering of parks, beaches, schools and most businesses. Plus a look at how the Acorn Newspaper is adjusting to the new world, including reporters working remotely and trying to provide daily coverage via t…
 
Kyle and Ian discuss the recent orders from Los Angeles and Ventura Counties that residents stay in their homes to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. It's not all reason for fear though--the National Guard isn't patrolling the streets. Many businesses are still open, but people should be asking themselves do they really need to go? Ian does his…
 
By the time this episode airs, some of these facts will have changed, but that's how it's been with the Coronavirus, which has been been spreading throughout the country. Kyle and Ian discuss local closures, documented cases, and the public's reaction to the ongoing pandemic. Social Media: Branching Out Ian Bradley Kyle Jorrey Support the show (htt…
 
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