Unprepared for the worst

September 17, 2009

Just yesterday, the biggest news that came out of Thousand Oaks was that the Bad Ass Coffee Company (who brews some damn good java) would be changing its name to Royal Aloha Coffee.

Connotations to that holiest of Kona beans aside, the owner of the fine establishment said the name change was “to make the community happy.”

If anyone is aware of the demographics in this county, they’ll know that Thousand Oaks is very buttoned up, leaning to the right. It’s the Orange County of Ventura County. They’ll also know that what offends in T.O. wouldn’t make one bit of a stir elsewhere in Ventura County, where bigger problems prevail.

It’s sad to consider this when hearing about the very grim news this morning of a murder-suicide in Thousand Oaks, a community known not just for its mainstream, idyllic image, but one that is ultra-low in crime.

An FBI report released this week revealed that T.O.’s crime rate of 15.4 percent was less than HALF than that of the City of Ventura, in 2008.

Generally speaking, T.O. has had nothing on Oxnard’s gang wars and Ventura’s frequent domestic violence outbreaks, thefts and sometime murders that have grown at an alarming rate.

That’s why when fatalities occur over the Conejo Grade, it rocks T.O. hard, a community that seems wholly unprepared for that type of trauma.

According to reports, the last homicide in Thousand Oaks was more than a year ago. In Ventura, or Oxnard, and even quieter towns like Camarillo, you can lose count of the carnage every month.

It’s a sign that we must always have community awareness that crime will happen, and can happen, anywhere. We have to be vigilant of anything that seems suspicious in our neighborhood.

It sure comes as a wake up call to what really is hard news, and what is not.


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