Countering COVID with Sports

Some people have seen this pandemic as limiting and problematic. But it can also be an opportunity.  Some athletes have used this year to develop their fitness to its highest potential. Zach McClain (“Zmac”) is the owner and head coach of a fitness training group called WideOutU.  Zmac says he tried to create something for young athletes that he didn’t have growing up—an affordable, fun, family environment that offered speed training, strength training and conditioning, and coaching in specific sports.   He attended college on a football scholarship and had a…

December 1776: The Month That Saved America

Washington Crossing the Delaware is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by the German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.  It is located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Many Americans don’t realize how close their country came to never being founded.  From August 1776 until the end of December 1776 and the Battle of Trenton, George Washington’s rag-tag army was constantly on the verge of total defeat.  Poor strategic decisions, illness, hunger and desertion plagued the Continental Army.  The well-trained British Army, the greatest in the world at…

The Christmas Truce of the Great World War

The Christmas truce of 1914 was neither planned nor expected. Since late summer, the opposing British and German forces had been engaged in trench warfare, leaving the bloodstained ground between them a veritable no-man’s-land.  This was the last place anyone expected to find peace on earth, or good will towards men.   There was no directive for a cease-fire from Kaiser Wilhelm.  Pope Benedict XV had called for an armistice, which was officially rejected. There would be no peace, and there was no  Geneva Protocol to mitigate the horrors of warfare. …

What Does It Take To Get Into Westpoint

The United States Military Academy (West Point) is one of the most prestigious and most difficult universities to be admitted to.  Since being founded on March 16, 1802, among its alumni are two U.S. Presidents, 37 State Governors, 33 Members of Congress, 20 astronauts, and 93 Rhodes Scholars.  The Academy focuses on four developmental domains: academic, physical, military, and character.  West Point seeks well-rounded candidates who demonstrate excellent academic ability (60 percent), leadership potential (30 percent), and successful Candidate Fitness Assessment (10 percent).  Upon graduation, cadets will serve five years…

How to Get a Job in the Navy as a Civilian

Try a Job with the Navy The recent COVID-19 pandemic has upset work environments and greatly affected millions of Americans in the job market across the US. If you live in Ventura County and are in the process of applying for a local job, consider a position with one of the local navy agencies. Government jobs provide decent wages and good benefits. Government workers often have paid time off, paid holidays, and affordable health insurance, as well as retirement plan options, alternative work schedules, and flexible working conditions.   The United…

Changing Lives: Teen Challenge

Since 1972, Teen Challenge has been working hard in Ventura County to help women who have nowhere else to turn.  Rosie Weir, the director of Teen Challenge in Ventura County, sat down with The Conejo Guardian to offer an inside glimpse into the lives of the girls in their program.   How do the girls come to be here? About 40% of our girls would be in jail if it weren’t for Teen Challenge.  If the courts make a recommendation to send the girls to Teen Challenge instead of prison, we…

Covered 6: Training the Few to Protect the Many

Fires, civil unrest, pandemic concerns, and political strife—all of these are hitting our community hard. But Chris Dunn and Bryce Eddy are not letting these obstacles get in the way of keeping our community safe. They are tackling the challenges to train residents in managing the various threats that they may encounter, from wildfires to active shooters. “Covered 6” is the name of this security academy in Moorpark. It is a military term for “got your back.” The peaceful beauty of the 20,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility belies the building’s…

Sam Gutnik Nominated as Future Medical Leader

Newbury Park High School senior Sam Gutnik was honored recently with a nomination to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders’ “Award for Excellence.” The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, and determination to serve humanity in the area of medicine and research sciences.  Gutnik is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field relating to sports, possibly orthopedic surgery.  “My biology teacher, Mr. Erickson, got me interested in the medical field,” said Gutnik. “I had just hurt my collarbone in football, and I realized I could help other…

Reconnecting with the Past: Life Stories from a WWII Veteran

For Americans, World War II is fast becoming a distant memory from the textbooks of school classrooms. Very few people are left with first-hand remembrance of the patriotism that mobilized thousands to do whatever they could to fight for freedom. Leonard Zerlin doesn’t need a textbook because he lived through those pages of history. In fact, he has photo albums of archival pictures that he personally took during his time in the military…images of everything from daily life to the horrible realities of war’s devastation that capture a time of…

Seniors Rule: Ninety Year Olds on Our Tennis Courts

In the United States Tennis Association, there are three age groups—18 and over, 40 and over, and 55 and over. But there are eight men playing near Newbury Park High School who make up their own age bracket. The youngest is 74! The four oldest have played together for 25 years—Bob Fisher, the eldest at 92; Mark Stern and Jerry Lewi, both 91; and Bob Swanstrom, who is 90.  Most started the sport as kids. Jerry joked, “I’ve played longer than I’ve been married.” Anecdotes abound among these eight seniors.…