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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
 
Acorn reporter Dawn Megli sits down with Beverly Salazar Folkes, a Chumash and Tataviam elder and chairperson on the board of the Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks, to learn about local indigenous cultures and her own personal story. Support the show (https://www.theacorn.com/subscribe/)Av The Acorn Newspaper
 
Thousand Oaks Acorn editor and Branching Out host Kyle Jorrey gets to know Scott Steepleton, The Acorn’s newest reporter covering Agoura Hills, Oak Park and Calabasas. Scott shares how the journalism industry has evolved over the course of his career and break down the story behind several of his recent articles for The Acorn. Background: Food wast…
 
On Nov. 7, 2018, a gunman opened fire inside Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing 12 in the deadliest mass shooting in Ventura County history. Thousand Oaks Acorn reporter Dawn Megli has spent the past three years sharing the stories of Borderline's survivors, victims and the families left behind. In this episode, she sits down with Mic…
 
Branching Out host and Thousand Oaks Acorn editor Kyle Jorrey is joined by Simi Valley reporter Melissa Simon to discuss a recently published independent study looking at how the Woolsey fire might have impacted the Santa Susana Field Lab site. The peer-reviewed research indicates that radioactive contamination migrated off the Santa Susana Field L…
 
Thousand Oaks Acorn reporter Dawn Megli sits down with Mark McLaughlin, superintendent of Conejo Valley Unified School District, to talk about what it’s like to helm one of the largest school districts in Ventura County, the challenges it faces and why we have reason to be excited about the future. Background: School board signs superintendent thro…
 
Amanda Longan, a goalie for the US women’s national water polo team, stops by to share her memories of winning gold in the 2020 Tokyo Games. A graduate of Oaks Christian High School and USC, the Moorpark resident discusses her drive to succeed and why she’s so interested in the mental health aspect of competitive sports, plus her love for God and h…
 
Recorded in front of a live audience Oct. 7, 2021, at Oak & Iron, Branching Out host Kyle Jorrey speaks to four Thousand Oaks entrepreneurs about what can be done to improve nightlife in the city and boost efforts to make T.O. Boulevard a shopping/dining/drinking destination. Our guests: Drew Pletcher of Oak & Iron, Amber and Sean of of Five07 Coff…
 
In the wake of an attention-grabbing new report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, atmosphere research scientist Benjamin Hatchett of the Desert Research Institute joins Branching Out to talk about a 2019 study he worked on detailing the warming climate in Ventura County. Branching Out Find us on Twitter Email us at b…
 
Moorpark Acorn editor Dan Wolowicz joins Branching Out to break down how the paper's big Kanye West scoop came together. Plus, Thousand Oaks Acorn reporter Dawn Megli discusses her recent piece in Poynter about the mental health trauma that can come with reporting on local tragedies. Branching Out Find us on Twitter Email us at branchingout@theacor…
 
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Camarillo) joins Branching Out to talk on a range of subjects, including the failed recall of the governor and what comes next, her votes on housing bills SB 9 and 10, the pandemic failings of EDD and the state's approach to vaccines. Plus, Irwin, chair of the legislature's special committee on cybersecurity, discusse…
 
Reporter Makena Huey makes her Branching Out debut to discuss her latest stories for the Moorpark Acorn, including one detailing how a pedestrian bridge came to be named for an 11-year-old drowning victim. Plus, a profile of a local interfaith group working to provide much-needed goods to refugees arriving from Afghanistan. To contribute, go here. …
 
Brooke Lafferty joins Branching Out to discuss the subject of her inspiring story in the latest edition of Beyond the Acorn, just released last week. Plus, Acorn sports editor Eliav Appelbaum drops by to share his experience reporting on a beloved local softball coach lost to complications from the coronavirus. Background: Dancing with our future s…
 
Branching Out hosts Kyle Jorrey and Ian Bradley discuss the latest development in the Rebecca Grossman saga: the Iskander family civil lawsuits. Filed by the parents of brothers Mark and Jacob Iskander, who were killed in 2020 while in a crosswalk in Westlake Village, the complaints target both Grossman and the man she was allegedly racing with, as…
 
With area students returning in droves, Victor Hayek, deputy superintendent for the Conejo Valley Unified School District, sits down with Branching Out to share his life story and talk a little bit about how school funding looks on the heels of Gov. Newsom's $123-billion budget for education. Background District’s finance chief escaped war as child…
 
Camarillo Acorn reporter Alex Wilson joins Branching Out to break down some of the biggest stories coming from the other side of the Conejo Grade. Among them: how a rapidly expanding cannabis company plans to turn a Ventura County tomato operation into the largest marijuana greenhouse in the world. Plus, separating fact from fiction when it comes t…
 
Branching Out is joined by Timmy Heague, a local entrepreneur who owns and operates two comic book stores, to talk about how the collectibles industry took off during the pandemic and the ups and downs of being a small-business owner. Plus Ian and Kyle update the audience on two COVID-related stories we've been tracking. Branching Out Find us on Tw…
 
In the second of a two-part series, reporter Dawn Megli talks with former city council candidate Danny Chulack, a local clergy member who only recently came out as gay. Branching Out Find us on Twitter Email us at branchingoutpod@theacorn.com SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS! Tarantula Hill Brewing Company On Facebook and Instagram 244 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., …
 
In the first of a two-part series, Reporter Dawn Megli speaks with Lilly Berry about her journey to becoming a woman. Berry, an army veteran, talks about her youth in the community, her time serving in Iraq, and what life has been like since she began to transition, including how her relationships with her family and her wife have changed, and how …
 
Over the course of three hours at last week's Agoura Hills City Council meeting, members of the public shared a variety of opinions about why the city should drop it's recently filed criminal charges against Cronies Sports Grill. The city alleges the establishment has created and maintained a public nuisance since the owners chose to disregard coun…
 
On this week's episode Ian sits down with Ray Pearl, the executive director of the California Housing Consortium and a member of the Westlake Village City Council about the state's push to add more housing. Pearl discusses how a city like Westlake Village, which has no more undeveloped land to build on, can meet their state-prescribed housing numbe…
 
In honor of Independence Day, Dawn Megli sat down with Thousand Oaks resident and World War Two veteran Len Zerlin. Zerlin, who served in the Air Force, was a tail gunner in a Martin Marauder B-26 on D-Day, one of 36 missions he flew during the war. He was the recipient of both the Bronze and Silver Stars. Branching Out Find us on Twitter Email us …
 
Dawn Megli sits down with Jennifer Van Laar, a Simi Valley resident and the managing editor of Red State, a conservative news outlet. Van Laar's reporting brought to light then-Congresswoman Katie Hill's relationship with a member of her staff, and explicit photos of the representative, after which she resigned. Dawn spoke with Van Laar about how s…
 
On June 22, 2018 Tristan Beaudette was shot and killed while camping with his daughters at Malibu Creek State Park. Ian and Kyle revisit the so-called "summer of fear" that followed his death--what information came to light after he was shot, as well as the progress in the case against Anthony Rauda, the man charged with his murder. https://www.the…
 
Students from Conejo Valley Unified's Equity Task Force--Mia of Thousand Oaks High School, Cynthia of Westlake High School and Ava of Newbury Park High School--talk about their efforts over the past year, the challenge of trying to change the status quo and why they feel their work is so important. Plus, an old Branching Out friend pops in to say h…
 
Westlake Village resident Matthew Pall knows the effects of the opioid epidemic firsthand. He lost his girlfriend and later his best friend to overdoses, and has spent years as a paramedic, resuscitating people in the back of an ambulance. Pall has taken it upon himself to prevent others experiencing similar pain by founding Conejo Health, an organ…
 
Claudia Bill-de la Peña , current mayor of the City of Thousand Oaks, sits down with Branching Out co-host Kyle J. for a far-reaching interview about her 19 years on the City Council. Among the topics touched on: housing, homelessness, racism, and the council's recent controversial decision to update the city's land-use map for the first time in 50…
 
With summer around the corner and baseball in the air, Branching Out's in-house Dodger superfan David “DL” Lopez joins Kyle for a conversation with Kevin Klein, the founder of The Incline, a podcast dedicated to all things Los Angeles Dodgers. A Rio Mesa High School graduate, Klein started The Incline in a closet (no, seriously) in 2019, just a yea…
 
As matters of race and racism continue to roil Ventura County, reporter Dawn Megli sits down with LaShaun Aaron and Johanna Jones, co-founders of 805 Resistance, a grassroots organization dedicated to fighting racial injustice. Plus, longtime Thousand Oaks residents and mother/son duo Patrissha Rose Booker and Chaise Rasheed share their insights in…
 
Newbury Park's Ben Kuo sits down with Branching Out to share the incredible story of how he led rescuers to a lost hiker in the Angeles National Forest using nothing more than a cellphone image, his computer skills and a knowledge of satellite imagery. Attention to Detail: Amateur radio buff turned Twitter sleuth helps lead rescuers to lost hiker B…
 
The Branching Out team and Acorn reporter Becca Whitnall dive into the most significant findings of the long-awaited Borderline Report, which offered the public a glimpse into the sheriff's department response to the November 2018 mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill. Radio issues, hesitancy hindered rescue attempt Confusion reigned in minutes a…
 
Acorn Newspaper Managing Editor John Loesing leads this week's episode of Branching Out, which features an interview with California State Senator Henry Stern. The two discuss Stern's current legislative efforts, the state's pandemic response and recovery, wildfires and SCE, and the great housing debate. Related links: Lawmakers introduce bills to …
 
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…
 
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