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Eyes on the Sky

By on June 13, 2014 in Events

Film Screening and Drought Panel Discussion with Filmmaker Steve Nicolaides And Guests

Saturday, June 28, 2014 – 10:00 AM
Ojai Playhouse – Downtown Ojai

Unless you are Rip Van Winkle or have had your head underground the past five years, you know there’s an ongoing drought in the Western United States. Is it climate change or just another extended drought in the long history of droughts in the west? Film maker Steve Nicolaides goes on the road to see first-hand how the drought is affecting the lives of people from Ogallala, Nebraska to San Diego, California.

Eyes on the Sky is an impartial look at the present and the future of fresh water in our cities and farmland, a film meant to promote citizen discussion and prompt public action. Water is integral to every aspect of life, and the west’s complicated relationship to it is the film’s focus. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our communities, and the future generations to understand what’s happening with water in the west.

This All About Ojai event is free to members and students and $10 for non-members. Become a member today! A family membership is just $35 per year. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation contact Marti Reid at 805 649-6852 ext 2, or sign up now

About the Filmmaker

STEVE NICOLAIDES was born in Los Angeles in December, 1948. ! Starting from the ground up, he worked in Saturday morning kids programing, gradually gaining experience to become a member of the DGA as a production manager. As such, he managed nearly twenty movies-of-the-week, including Emmy-nominated films “Roe v. Wade”, “Berlin Tunnel 21”, “Will There Really Be a Morning”, “The Ordeal of Patty Hearst”, and “Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story”.

In 1984 he met director Rob Reiner and began a working relationship that included the films “The Sure Thing”, “Stand By Me”, “The Princess Bride”, “When Harry Met Sally”, “Misery”, and “A Few Good Men”.

In 1991 he produced John Singleton’s Academy Award-nominated “Boyz N The Hood”, and went on to work with John on “Poetic Justice” and “Shaft”.

Throughout the nineties and the 2000s he produced a number of box-office and critical successes, including “The Forgotten”, “The School of Rock”, “Nacho Libre”, “Buddy”, “Little Big League”, “The Deep End of the Ocean”, and finally “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”

About the Panel

Steven E. Wickstrum

Mr. Wickstrum is currently the General Manager for the Casitas Municipal Water District.  Throughout his 30 years at Casitas, Mr. Wickstrum has performed a wide variety of engineering services that have resulted in improved reliability in the local public water resource system.  Some of the challenges answered at Casitas include protecting Lake Casitas after the wildfires of 1985, solving water quality requirements with the application of direct filtration treatment process for water delivered from Lake Casitas, direct response to local water system emergencies during natural disasters, and reporting on the Casitas water supply and demand status.  He speaks regularly about responsible stewardship of local water resources.

Mr. Wickstrum is a registered civil engineer in California, and holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.


Emily Thacher Ayala

Emily Thacher Ayala is a fourth generation Ojai citrus farmer, working for her family’s business, Friend’s Ranches and helping run the Ojai Pixie Growers Association. Emily spent time away from the valley studying biology, teaching in Costa Rica and attending graduate school at UC Davis to study agricultural pest management. She appreciates Ojai’s history and learning from the generations of farmers before her while looking forward to the future of Ojai’s agricultural landscape. Emily was raised on Ojai Pixies and promotes great Ojai citrus wherever she goes.


Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan is the groundwater department manager at United Water Conservation District. He is a California certified geologist and hydrogeologist and is on the board of directors of the American Groundwater Trust. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s in geology at Indiana University.  He also is a part-time coach for the Santa Paula High School baseball team.


Elise Minichiello

Elise Minichiello recently graduated Dickinson College in Pennsylvania with a B.S. in environmental science. Growing up on a river in North-Western Connecticut, she developed a love and appreciation of the environment and water systems from a young age through swimming, camping, and water quality monitoring in high school. That passion for water continued through her time at Dickinson as she became a student “Watershed Coordinator” at the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), a non-profit organization run out of Dickinson’s environmental studies department focused on providing capacity building technical assistance to Pennsylvania communities so they may monitor, protect, and restore local waterways. Through three academic years and two summers at ALLARM, Elise helped facilitate comprehensive services, including volunteer water quality monitoring workshops, environmental education lessons, and stream restoration projects, enabling groups to use critical scientific tools to enhance environmental quality and fully participate in community decision-making.

Elise is currently teaching the environmental focused classes “Go Green” and “Animal Advocacy” as a part of the Ojai Valley School Summer Program. While the East Coast communities Elise has been a part of so far do not have water scarcity concerns, she has become dedicated to using what she has learned as an Environmental Education Coordinator at ALLARM to help campers learn about the conservation and protection of California’s natural resources. Elise is excited to be able to learn about the water crisis currently facing the state along with her students while developing a greener community with campers.


Other Guests Still to be Confirmed

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