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Thousand Oaks, California

From Academic Kids

Thousand Oaks is a city located in Ventura County, California. The city honors the many mighty and ancient oak trees that grace the area with local ordinances protecting them. The city seal is adorned by the symbol of an oak tree. Thousand Oaks is affectionately referred to by locals as "T.O.". Recently, the city has a total population of 126,081, and it has approximately 55 square miles (142 km²). Thousand Oaks is the location of California Lutheran University. The city is part of a regional area called the Conejo Valley, which includes Thousand Oaks proper, Newbury Park, and part of Westlake Village. In fact, the Los Angeles County/Ventura County line crosses right through the middle of Westlake Village; thus, Westlake Village, 91362 is technically part of the city of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, whereas Westlake Village, 91361 is its own city, separate and distinct from Thousand Oaks in Los Angeles County.

Contents

History

The area was once occupied by the Chumash people. It later was granted by the Spanish government as part of a large ranch. In the late 19th Century it was on the stagecoach route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The "Stagecoach Inn", was built in 1876. The Janss Corporation purchased 10,000 acres (40 km²) in the early 1900s. Janss eventually created plans for a "total community" and the City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated in September 1964.

The Stagecoach Inn, in the Newbury Park section of the city, is now a California State historical designated site and popular museum. Another popular tourist attraction, The Chumash Interpretive Center, in the Lang Ranch section of the city, is a county park that boasts 2000 year old Chumash cave drawings, available for viewing with a guide by appointment only.

Many Hollywood celebrities have called the Conejo Valley their home over the years. For example, American Actor of the 1930s and 1940s, and longtime Thousand Oaks resident, Joel McCrea and his wife, Frances Dee McCrea, lived, raised their children, and rode their horses on their ranch in what was in the 1950s just an unincorporated area of Eastern Ventura County. The civic-minded and philanthropic McCreas ultimately donated several hundred acres of their personal property to the newly formed Conejo Valley YMCA for the fledgling City of T.O. as it is affectionately known. Both the City of T.O. and the Conejo Valley YMCA have each recently celebrated their respective 40th anniversaries. Today, the Joel McCrea Park on which the Conejo Valley YMCA rests is a perpetual testament to the McCreas' generosity and community spirit, for which the people of the region are very grateful.

Virginia Mayo, film star of the 1940s, lived in the area for many years. Mayo gifted her extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia to the Thousand Oaks Library. The Thousand Oaks Library also has an extensive collection of American Radio programs and memorabilia archived comprising the best of Radio's Golden Age.

Other well known property owners and real estate investors in the area over the years have included comedian Bob Hope, whose holdings once comprised what is now known as the Lang Ranch section of the city.

Corriganville is the name of an area in the region that was used regularly for filming Hollywood Westerns for T.V. and the Movies. Ray "Crash" Corrigan was a famed stuntman who owned and rented out the property to the studios. A steakhouse bearing his name and housing some of his memorabilia is still operated by his descendants and is today located on Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Jungleland USA was one of Southern California's very first theme parks. Wild animal shows entertained thousands in the 40s and 50s. Many T.V. and Movie productions were filmed there and made use of the park's trained animals. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza today stands on the hundreds of acres that is the former site of the park.

Conejo Valley Days is the name of the festival held in Thousand Oaks annually each April since the 1960s. The weekend is marked by a parade down Thousand Oaks Blvd. attended by thousands and filled with floats populated by enthusiastic, civic-minded citizens. A Chili Cookoff and old-fashioned midway-style Carnival and Rodeo round out the festivities.

Geography

Thousand Oaks is located at 34°11'22" North, 118°52'30" West (34.189489, -118.875053)Template:GR. It is situated in the Conejo Valley.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 142.5 km² (55.0 mi²). 142.1 km² (54.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.29% water.

Demographics

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As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 117,005 people, 41,793 households, and 31,177 families residing in the city. The population density is 823.5/km² (2,132.8/mi²). There are 42,958 housing units at an average density of 302.3/km² (783.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 85.09% White, 1.06% African American, 0.54% Native American, 5.87% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 4.51% from other races, and 2.82% from two or more races. 13.10% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 41,793 households out of which 37.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% are married couples living together, 8.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% are non-families. 19.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.75 and the average family size is 3.15.

In the city the population is spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $76,815, and the median income for a family is $86,041. Males have a median income of $62,814 versus $40,634 for females. The per capita income for the city is $34,314. 5.0% of the population and 3.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.2% of those under the age of 18 and 5.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Property values in this area have appreciated more than 100% in less than ten years, during the late 90s and early 2000s.

The city is regularly lauded as one of the safest large cities in the United States in nationwide newspaper stories.

Youth sports

Organized sports and recreation for children and teenagers is a major focus of the community. AYSO soccer, Conejo Youth Basketball Association, Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, girls' softball, organized swim team leagues, ice hockey, and even organized lacrosse and field hockey involve hundreds and even thousands of participants and their parents year in and year out. The term soccer mom applies to many such parents.

In the Summer of 2004, the Little League National Championship team hailed from Thousand Oaks. The "Conejo Valley East" team of 11 and 12-year olds won all of their regional playoff games, the national playoffs in Texas, and then went on to play in Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the Little League World Series, televised nationally live on ABC-TV, against the team from Curaçao, Caribbean, which ultimately won the International title. Upon returning home, the local National Champions were treated to a parade down Thousand Oaks Blvd. in their honor and commendations at the ensuing ceremony by regional and statewide politicians, and baseball stars including former major leaguers Ron Cey, Jay Johnstone, Dave Stewart, and Jim Anderson as well as Baseball Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson. The kids on the team and their parents later enjoyed V.I.P. status at ceremonies at Angel Stadium and Dodger Stadium.

Notable residents

Celebrities that make the Conejo Valley, and specifically Thousand Oaks their home include actors Heather Locklear, Mickey Rooney, Tom Selleck, Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, teen actress Amanda Bynes of Nickelodeon TV, 60s singers Frankie Valliand Frankie Avalon, actor David Lander, better known as "Squiggy" of TV's Laverne & Shirley, and legal activist Erin Brockovich. The Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick, 70s and 80s Disco Diva Donna Summer, and Broadway performers George Ball and Amanda McBroom (who wrote Bette Midler's hit single, The Rose) also live in the area. The late bandleader and composer, Artie Shaw, who was married to Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, also lived for many years in the Newbury Park section of Thousand Oaks. Actor Kurt Russell, son of actor Bing Russell, and longtime companion of actress Goldie Hawn, was born and raised in Thousand Oaks. Anne Lockhart of TV's Battlestar Gallactica (daughter of June Lockhart and granddaughter of Gene Lockhart) lives in the area and is very involved in local community theater groups including The Santa Susana Players. Many well known sports personalities live in the area including Baseball Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson. NHL Hockey great Wayne Gretzky and his wife live in the area and are co-owners of a popular restaurant. Olympic ice-skating champion Scott Hamilton and his wife live in the area as well. Olympic Diver Greg Louganis is an avid dog lover and has been spotted with his pooch in tow at Petsmart near his home in nearby Oak Park.

Singer and songwriter Richard Carpenter, of The Carpenters fame, lives with his wife in Thousand Oaks and is a prominent supporter of the arts, as well as an avid antique car collector. In 2004, Carpenter and his wife pledged a generous $3 Million gift to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Foundation in memory of Karen Carpenter, Carpenter's late sister and former member of their duo.

Lyle Wagner of the Carol Burnett Show also makes his residence in Thousand Oaks

Politics

Today the city boasts a very active, and historically "slow-growth"-minded city council, though this trend may be changing. Along with the ordinances protecting the numerous mighty oaks, the city's leaders and residents alike boast of the ring of protected land, free from development, that surrounds the city's borders and which may account for the accelerating land values in recent years. Real Estate Developer Rick Caruso, noted in Southern California for his appointment to the Los Angeles Police Commission, received a "sweetheart" deal in the minds of many to create a new multi-acre outdoor mall on the grounds of the old Jungleland property adjoining the Civic Arts Plaza. Many today question the motives of the city council with their award of this deal and their continued hunger for increased sales tax revenues in a city that is already blessed with extraordinary annual largesse deriving from commerce at the Thousand Oaks Auto Mall, one of the world's largest.

Thousand Oaks is one of the few cities of over 100,000 which does not directly elect its mayor; rather the council members take turns rotating into the position. Current members of the city's council include the recently re-elected Ed Masry, attorney and activist. Masry achieved notoriety beyond his own community when Albert Finney portrayed him opposite Julia Roberts in the 2000 Academy Award-winning film, Erin Brockovich.

Points of interest

External links

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Template:Cities of Ventura County, Californiade:Thousand Oaks

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