You are cordially invited to join us at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church annual FIESTA this Sunday, October 1, 2023 which will take place in the church parking lot at the southwest corner of Hwy. 126 and C Street in the beautiful city of Fillmore, CA, 93015. Come have lunch and dinner--tamales, enchiladas, asada tacos, sugar churros, nachos and hot cheetos, ice cream, shaved ice, fruit cocktails, sodas, fresh waters, bake sale and more!
Beginning at 10 am Sunday morning and ending at 5:30 pm after the Grand Drawing of the First Place Winner who will win $1,000 cash, it will include The Blessing of the Animals at 10:30 am, entertainment, music, Bingo, Loteria, Kids' Games with great prizes, Car Show, Raffle and a Silent Auction. Those Lottery tickets are only $2 each, so buy a dozen and be a winner! Second Prize $500 cash, Third Prize $250 cash in your pocket! The address is 1048 West Ventura St., Fillmore, CA 9305. Come one, come all!

 


 
Pictured right is Rotary President Scott Beylik inducting new member Brad Briggs. He and his family are new to Fillmore coming from Camarillo. His company is Steammaster Carpet cleaning. Courtesy Rotarian Martha Richardson.
Pictured right is Rotary President Scott Beylik inducting new member Brad Briggs. He and his family are new to Fillmore coming from Camarillo. His company is Steammaster Carpet cleaning. Courtesy Rotarian Martha Richardson.
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AYSO Epic Program celebrates major success in its 2nd year in Fillmore. AYSO EPIC, (Everyone Plays in our Community Program, formerly known as VIP) provides athletes with disabilities the additional support they need to fully participate in a quality soccer experience with the help of buddy volunteers. The program has more than doubled in its second year in the Fillmore community and continues to grow with the help of EPIC Coordinator, Nancy Rodriguez Hernandez, the AYSO board, led by Regional Commissioner Arnold Muñoz, and our buddy volunteers. AYSO EPIC is always looking for Buddy Volunteers; if you’re interested, please contact coach Nancy at (323) 385-1106, or aysovipfillmore@gmail.com. Photo credit Tatiana Tsybulevsky Burgos; inset photo credit Nancy Rodriguez Hernandez.
AYSO Epic Program celebrates major success in its 2nd year in Fillmore. AYSO EPIC, (Everyone Plays in our Community Program, formerly known as VIP) provides athletes with disabilities the additional support they need to fully participate in a quality soccer experience with the help of buddy volunteers. The program has more than doubled in its second year in the Fillmore community and continues to grow with the help of EPIC Coordinator, Nancy Rodriguez Hernandez, the AYSO board, led by Regional Commissioner Arnold Muñoz, and our buddy volunteers. AYSO EPIC is always looking for Buddy Volunteers; if you’re interested, please contact coach Nancy at (323) 385-1106, or aysovipfillmore@gmail.com. Photo credit Tatiana Tsybulevsky Burgos; inset photo credit Nancy Rodriguez Hernandez.
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Fall with its cooler weather and ripening fruit has arrived! Civic Pride Volunteers have decided to present a Fall/Harvest/Halloween award for the best decorated yard! The yard will be chosen on October 15th, so you have a few weekends to decorate, and Linda Nunes will write up the winner, so people can take a tour around town to see the winner and the honorable mention yards. The winner will be given a $50 gift card to Otto & Sons Nursery, so get your creative skills in motion! Courtesy Linda Nunes.
Fall with its cooler weather and ripening fruit has arrived! Civic Pride Volunteers have decided to present a Fall/Harvest/Halloween award for the best decorated yard! The yard will be chosen on October 15th, so you have a few weekends to decorate, and Linda Nunes will write up the winner, so people can take a tour around town to see the winner and the honorable mention yards. The winner will be given a $50 gift card to Otto & Sons Nursery, so get your creative skills in motion! Courtesy Linda Nunes.
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Decision Comes on Eve of Appeals Court Hearing; County, Groups Work Together to Defend Ordinance from Legal Challenge

Ventura, Calif. – The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a new ordinance providing safe passage for wildlife and vehicles at 14 existing wildlife crossing structures (e.g. bridges and road culverts). The ordinance limits certain types of development and land uses within 200 feet of the crossings, which are located near the Ojai Valley and more remote areas within the Los Padres National Forest.

This action aims to help wildlife such as mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, foxes, deer, and even fish continue to use the structures to safely cross busy roads like Scenic Route 33. They also improve driver safety by allowing animals to move under roads rather than across them.

“Ventura County has taken another important step to secure a safer future for our region’s wildlife,” said Los Padres ForestWatch executive director Jeff Kuyper. “This action will ensure that animals can safely roam—and drivers can safely travel—across the vast landscapes of Los Padres National Forest.”

“Establishing setbacks is a simple way to encourage wildlife to use bridges and culverts to navigate the urban wild,” said Tiffany Yap, D.Env/Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “I hope other communities take Ventura County's lead and consider improving wildlife connectivity for mountain lions, bears, deer and other wildlife victims of our dangerous roads.”

The proposed ordinance received overwhelming support from the public. Over 770 letters of support were submitted to the County from individuals and 18 conservation organizations. Representatives from state and federal agencies including Caltrans, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority also commented favorably.

“We applaud Ventura County’s commitment to protecting our region's important wildlife corridors, from the Los Padres National Forest to the Santa Monica Mountains,” said Dennis Arguelles, Southern California Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Ventura County’s leadership is a model for all jurisdictions in taking a proactive stance to address our catastrophic loss of biodiversity. Their dedication is instrumental in building resilient local ecosystems – for the safety of wildlife to live and roam.”

The adoption marks the culmination of a multi-year effort by the Ventura County Planning Division to establish a county-wide balance between private property interests and the need to protect Ventura County wildlife from vehicle-related mortality. The action is also a major victory for conservation groups that continue to defend these wildlife protections in court.

In 2019, Ventura County approved a new program requiring environmental reviews for projects that may hinder wildlife connectivity between areas of the Los Padres National Forest, the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills. The northern Ventura County unincorporated area, however, was not included during the process at the time. Instead, the Board directed the Ventura County Planning Commission to further examine the need for protections in that area.

The 2019 ordinances were challenged in court by the Ventura County Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business, and the California Construction and Industrial Materials Association. Four conservation groups, including Los Padres ForestWatch, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the National Parks Conservation Association formally intervened in the case to support the County’s position.

In April, 2022, a Ventura County Superior Court Judge ruled on the side of county leaders and conservationists and upheld the ordinances. Industry groups later appealed that ruling. The California Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case this week, and a decision is expected later this year.

In the meantime, this week’s decision by the Board of Supervisors completed the picture by establishing protections for 14 wildlife crossing structures in the northern Ventura County unincorporated area, including within the Los Padres National Forest.

For Immediate Release
September 18, 2023

Contact: Jeff Kuyper, Los Padres ForestWatch, 805-770-3401, jeff@LPFW.org
Dr. Tiffany Yap, Center for Biological Diversity, 510-847-5838 tyap@biologicaldiversity.org
Caitlyn Burford, National Parks Conservation Assocation, 541-371-6452, cburford@npca.org

 

In October of 2023, CIT Ventura County will host its 60th Crisis Intervention Team Academy Class. This milestone will have resulted in the CIT Program having trained nearly 2200 first responders, communication operators, and key designated personnel. The CIT program goals are:
• Reduce the intensity of a crisis using de-escalation strategies.
• Reduce the necessity to use of force on people in crisis.
• Promote pre-custody diversion.
• Collaborate with persons using mental health services, their families, the community, and the stakeholders to build and support a vibrant and accessible crisis system.

Modeled after an international program created in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988, the Crisis Intervention Team program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or addiction disorders, intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families, and other advocates. It is an innovative first-responder model of police-based crisis intervention training to help persons with mental disorders and/or addictions access support and medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system. It also promotes officer safety and the safety of the individuals in crisis.

The 40-hour training requires an instructional team of 50-60 mental health clinicians, peers, persons with lived experience, and law enforcement professionals.

The Ventura County CIT program was created in 2001 as a response to law enforcement leaders’ recognition that there was a growing need for law enforcement to be able to safely respond to crisis calls for service, reduce the use of force, and compassionately connect people with services while avoiding incarceration.

Ventura County is unique in the State of California because every law enforcement agency participates in the same training program.

The program staff’s two full-time employees to manage the program. The program is funded by a collaborative partnership through a law enforcement memorandum of agreement and VCBH memorandum of understanding. CIT has also maintained a strong working partnership with NAMI since 2001.

Nature of Incident: Ventura County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Celebrates its 60th CIT Academy Calss
Report Number: N/A
Location: Ventura County
Date & Time: October 2023
Units(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Law Enforcement Crisis Intervention Team:
Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Ojai Police Department
Ventura Police Department Fillmore Police Department
Oxnard Police Department Camarillo Police Department
Simi Valley Police Department Thousand Oaks Police Department
Port Hueneme Police Department Moorpark Police Department
Santa Paula Police Department
Ventura County Behavioral Health Department (VCBH)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Prepared by: Aaron Kitzman, CIT Program Administrator II
Captain Jason Hendren, Countywide CIT Law Enforcement Administrator

Approved by: Captain Jason Hendren

 
On Wednesday, September 13, the Rotary Program was presented by Fillmore Unified School District staff members (l- r) Rosanna Lomeli, Nancy Luna, Maria Hurtado and Trina Tafoya, along with Rotary President Scott Beylik. They informed the Club about the Wellness Centers and resources provided, at each school, to aid the students and families. The Wellness Centers provide mental health services, trained wellness peers and counselors. This has been especially important since Covid when the students were isolated at home and are now having to adjust to the chaotic life of classrooms and school. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
On Wednesday, September 13, the Rotary Program was presented by Fillmore Unified School District staff members (l- r) Rosanna Lomeli, Nancy Luna, Maria Hurtado and Trina Tafoya, along with Rotary President Scott Beylik. They informed the Club about the Wellness Centers and resources provided, at each school, to aid the students and families. The Wellness Centers provide mental health services, trained wellness peers and counselors. This has been especially important since Covid when the students were isolated at home and are now having to adjust to the chaotic life of classrooms and school. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
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The photo above of the author’s great-grandfather was taken in 1902, Juan De La Cruz and great-grandmother Dolores (Fernandez), George William and younger brother Ernest. Photo courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The photo above of the author’s great-grandfather was taken in 1902, Juan De La Cruz and great-grandmother Dolores (Fernandez), George William and younger brother Ernest. Photo courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Above are the three amigos, George William, the author’s grandfather (Mark Aguirre), his father George Benjamin (in uniform) and Joe Nunez, 1944. Photo courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Above are the three amigos, George William, the author’s grandfather (Mark Aguirre), his father George Benjamin (in uniform) and Joe Nunez, 1944. Photo courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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George William and his brother, Ernest Aguirre holding a colt, c 1910.
George William and his brother, Ernest Aguirre holding a colt, c 1910.
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Marge Aguirre holding a bouquet of her beautiful roses.
Marge Aguirre holding a bouquet of her beautiful roses.
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Above is a photo taken in 2018 after Marge Aguirre passing; George B. and Marge Aguirre's Children, left to right Andrew, Chris, Elizabeth, Philip, Michele, Tim, Mark, Angela, Kim, Matt.
Above is a photo taken in 2018 after Marge Aguirre passing; George B. and Marge Aguirre's Children, left to right Andrew, Chris, Elizabeth, Philip, Michele, Tim, Mark, Angela, Kim, Matt.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum, Written by Mark Aguirre is sharing the history of his family. Does your family have a story to tell?

When I began to collect the records of my ancestors, I began to understand how they helped build and become part of the communities of Camulos, Piru and Fillmore. It began with the arrival in the Santa Clarita Valley of my two great great grandfathers and grandmothers. Theirs is a tale of American migration, arriving with nothing and building something substantial. They – along with their children and grandchildren – became land owners, started businesses, fought in world wars and raised large families.

THE FIRST TO ARRIVE: Juan B Fernandez (1842-1900), Jesus Aguirre (1825-1902), Petra Soto (1855-1934) and Conception Gonzales (1842-1912)

Both Juan and Jesus migrated into this country from different towns in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, and their lives would mirror each other’s. Juan came from Rayon in 1854 and Jesus from Pitiquito in 1870. It is likely that they both worked for Camulos Ranch. Juan and his wife, Petra Soto, raised ten children, and so did Jesus and his wife, Conception Gonzales. Both Juan and Jesus homesteaded 160 acres up in Piru Canyon and died before their wives. Petra and Conception became landowners. In 1907, Petra sold her land (where Lake Piru is today) and built a house in Santa Paula. The Aguirre homestead was in the hills east of Piru Creek. Oil was discovered there and still produces small royalty checks for the Aguirre family.

THE BUILDERS: Juan De La Cruz Aguirre (1875-1964) and Dolores Fernandez (1876-1970)
Juan De La Cruz Aguirre (Cruz) began establishing a foothold in the Valley. He married Dolores Fernandez in 1899, becoming one of three Aguirre siblings to marry Fernandez siblings. Cruz and Dolores raised ten children. They lived at the base of where Piru Dam would eventually be, mostly to stay close to the Aguirre homestead. Cruz worked for David Cook, who built the Piru Mansion, and eventually started a business carting hay up and down Torrey Canyon. Cruz and his sons also hauled lumber to Santa Paula and Newhall. In 1921, Cruz purchased 14 acres from Edgar Goodenough and planted orange trees. He lived in a house on his land, which became the Aguirre Ranch. It was halfway between Fillmore and Piru on the south side of old Telegraph Road. Later, he purchased another six acres that were adjacent to the ranch from David Felsenthal. I’m not sure if the oranges they grew were profitable, except for one year when there was a freeze in Florida that caused the price of California oranges to skyrocket. Cruz and his sons ran the ranch until he died in 1964 and Dolores died in 1970. Both are buried in Santa Paula.

THE RANCHERS: George William Aguirre (1900-1996) and Lillian Nuñez (1905-1998)
My grandfather, George William Aguirre, was Cruz’s eldest son. He met Lillian Nuñez, my grandmother, when she was grading oranges at the packing house in Piru. He had been working as a muleskinner for his father, Cruz, since he was pulled out of Piru School in the seventh grade. He owned a car, which was rare, and he and Lillian went for long drives around the county and up the Grapevine on their first dates. Lillian had migrated with her family from Guanajuato, Mexico, around 1909. She married George William in 1924 and they had two children, George Benjamin (my father) and Evelyn (Ramirez). During the summers of the late 1920s, my grandparents packed my dad and his sister into their car and drove to the Central Valley to pick fruit. They lived in the car with two small children for weeks at a time, and I remember stories about the work, which was hard, plentiful and paid well enough. Eventually, in 1924, my grandpa found permanent work at a large ranch just west of the Aguirre land that was managed by Goodenough. He worked there for more than 60 years. My grandmother worked at the Sunkist packing house in Piru for almost the same amount of time. In the late 1940s, they built a house on the Aguirre ranch where my brothers and sisters spent many years celebrating family, playing poker and eating beans and tortillas. Both my grandpa and my dad loved sports, and they went to many sporting events. They even drove down to San Diego one Sunday to watch the Hollywood Stars play the San Diego Padres. They took me and my brothers to the LA Coliseum to watch the Dodgers and then, of course, to the new Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers and Angels.

THE HOMEMAKERS: George Benjamin Aguirre (1924-1994) and Marjorie Terrel (1928-2018)
George Benjamin Aguirre, my father, was born in 1924, attended the Buckhorn School, played basketball and baseball for Fillmore High School and graduated in 1942. In 1943, he joined the Army Air Corps and became a bombardier on a B-24 bomber. He served in western China starting in 1945 and told me that their main mission was to protect the Burma Road supply line from the Japanese. He attended Ventura College and Denver University. My dad was hired by the Fillmore School District in 1954 as a business manager and eventually bought a new three bedroom house on Walker Lane in 1962. He met my mother, Marge Terrel, in Denver and they married in 1951. She was raised in the Texas Panhandle, right in the middle of the Dust Bowl. It was a difficult childhood for her; both her parents died when she was very young. My dad’s love of sports washed over to his kids, as most of my brothers and sisters played football, basketball, volleyball and tennis for Fillmore High School. Notably, my sister Michele played volleyball for four years at Cal State Long Beach and my nephew Noah scored the most points for Fillmore High School basketball. My mom was an incredibly active woman, not only raising our large family but turning the yard into a beautiful rose garden. She made quilts, one for each of her ten children. She also won the Good Housekeeping magazine-sponsored great quilt contest in 1975. Her quilt was the winner for California, which had more than 2,000 entries.

 
Chrissy Schieferle, Superintendent of FUSD Schools and Rotary Program Chair introduced the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, which Dr. Isaac Houng is in charge of. It is an after-school program for TK-6th grade, and includes academics, enrichment, nutrition, physical activities, and more. It is a program for kids and for families who work. The Program also partners with Boys & Girls Club in the summer. Ann Thille is in charge of the Discovery Center where they have Family Nights with hands-on stations for kids and parents to learn about science. Pictured (l-r) is Dr. Isaac Houng, Ann Thille and Rotary President Scott Beylik presenting them with a mug as a thank you. Courtesy Rotarian Martha Richardson.
Chrissy Schieferle, Superintendent of FUSD Schools and Rotary Program Chair introduced the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, which Dr. Isaac Houng is in charge of. It is an after-school program for TK-6th grade, and includes academics, enrichment, nutrition, physical activities, and more. It is a program for kids and for families who work. The Program also partners with Boys & Girls Club in the summer. Ann Thille is in charge of the Discovery Center where they have Family Nights with hands-on stations for kids and parents to learn about science. Pictured (l-r) is Dr. Isaac Houng, Ann Thille and Rotary President Scott Beylik presenting them with a mug as a thank you. Courtesy Rotarian Martha Richardson.
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On Tuesday morning, September 19, crews were spotted along Highway 126 near Norman’s Nursery working on multiple power lines.
On Tuesday morning, September 19, crews were spotted along Highway 126 near Norman’s Nursery working on multiple power lines.
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St. Francis of Assisi Church is pleased to invite you to our annual Rosary prayers and Procession which will take place this year in the Church patio, with the Procession taking place once around Two Rivers Park. The event, on Saturday, October 14, 2023, will start in the patio at noon sharp, and, weather permitting, proceed to the park. Bring yourself, your family, your children, and be blessed as you all participate in the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. See you there! For information, contact Olivia Galvez at (805) 368-4944.

 

The Fillmore Police Station will be hosting a program to educate newly licensed and future drivers. This program will take place on Monday, September 18, 2023, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Fillmore High School Library. The “Start Smart” Program is a cooperative effort between California Highway Patrol, Fillmore Police Station, teenage drivers, and their parents/guardians.

In an ongoing effort focused on community outreach, this is a proactive, educational program
geared toward reducing potential risk on our roadways. Start Smart is designed to help young
drivers and their parents/guardians understand the responsibilities associated with driving a
motor vehicle. Start Smart will show how poor choices behind the wheel can change the lives of
everyone involved. Our goal is to raise awareness and reduce the number of teen-related
injuries and deaths due to traffic collisions.

Call the Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233 for reservations. Space is limited to 20 students and their parents/guardians. There is no charge to attend the program.

 
 
Fillmore Civic Pride has announced the September 2023 Yard of the Month winner as Chris Webb who also received a $50 gift certificate to Otto & Sons Nursery. Photo credit Linda Nunes.
Fillmore Civic Pride has announced the September 2023 Yard of the Month winner as Chris Webb who also received a $50 gift certificate to Otto & Sons Nursery. Photo credit Linda Nunes.

By Linda Nunes, August 29, 2023

Civic Pride Volunteers have selected the yard of Chris Webb at 625 Santa Clara St. for the September, “Yard of the Month” award. Otto & Sons Nursery has generously supported this program since it began in 2003 & now awards a $50 gift certificate to the nursery. Chris was very excited to receive the award & “loves” Otto & Sons Nursery!

Chris told us that she grew up in Ventura, but always loved Fillmore, so when she saw this home come on the market, 7 years ago, she purchased it. She showed us a framed photo of the yard with grass & large bushes hiding most of the house…”so I will remember what it looked like”, Chris said.

We learned that she has been a lifelong gardener & calls herself a “food gardener.” She also calls herself a “strictly” organic gardener.

Her vision was to have many fruiting trees & we saw loquat, two types of avocados, apricot, pomegranates, and several small citrus trees in wooden ground planters. Blueberry bushes, butterfly bush, a lovely red rose, snapdragons, & salvia along with strawberry plants grew in these planters.

Her son, Joe Anderson, of Joe Anderson Landscapes, joined his father in building a beautiful arbor entrance to the yard which has a black wrought iron fence around, created gravel walkways that surround the wooden planters, and set up a micro irrigation system with timers. Four varieties of grapes are at the front of the yard on a decorative wooden arbor. He helps maintain the yard & prunes the trees to keep them small, but Chris said she enjoys pulling weeds as a relaxing exercise.
Wildflowers are the favorite type of flower for Chris & she grows everything from seed. I saw old fashioned Cosmos & Honeysuckle Vine on a trellis. Near the porch steps, was a Europs (in Sunflower Family), plant with yellow daisy type flowers & Chris said she has this plant in every yard.

And for the first time in my life, I saw an Ashwagandha bush. I had heard of this plant from Asia being used for medical conditions. Chris said the leaves & roots can be used, but she is just allowing it to flourish. (WebMD does have some warnings about using it.)

Take a stroll along this portion of Santa Clara St. & enjoy looking into this beautiful yard with Craftsman artistry & love of gardening evident!

 
Above is the new building at 527 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, back in 1957, which is now Bank of the Sierra. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Above is the new building at 527 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, back in 1957, which is now Bank of the Sierra. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Frank Erskine
Frank Erskine
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

In 1927, thirty men met at the Piru Citrus Exchange to discuss nothing that had to do with citrus, but everything to do with their community. They met to form a building and loan association that would serve the needs of the Piru and Fillmore areas. They formed what would become Ramona Savings and Loan.

In 1963, Frank Erskine wrote to a new depositor who asked how the name was chosen. This is his explanation:
“Piru is a village of about 500 persons a few miles east of Fillmore. Back in 1926 a young preacher there had the idea it would be ice to organize a savings and loan, and applied to the state Commissioner for a permit. The Commissioner ruled that Piru was too small a town but if Fillmore would join he would consider the matter.
So those interested in Piru came to Fillmore and enlisted some of hose here, including a man named Erskine who was manager of the citrus association.

We held several meetings and there was much discussion as to whether we could make it pay in so small a town. Finally a permit was issued and we had to have a name. The majority of the organizers were in Fillmore, but the idea was born in Piru, so we hesitated about calling it Fillmore Savings, and did not think Piru was the proper name. The stream thru Fillmore is known as the Little Santa Clara River.

So we adopted the name “Little Santa Clara Valley Savings and Loan.” Plenty long.
The Commissioner objected as there was another association near San Jose, where there is another Santa Clara River, with a very similar name. So we were stymied.

Then I suggested Ramona. Many years ago Helen Hunt Jackson wrote a book which for many years was a best seller. It was the story of Ramona and Allesandro. 13 miles east of Fillmore, and in the Piru area, is an old adobe house that was built on a Spanish grant, and this house was the home of the servant girl Ramona. It has always been known since as the home of Ramona. As we were to be helping people acquire homes, I said one of the most famous homes in California was that of Ramona, and why not call this association Ramona Savings. No one had a better idea, so that is the story.”

The new business was capitalized with $75,000. It had a seven-man board of directors which initially included: Hugh Warring as president, W. H. Price, vice-president, David Felsenthal, Harry P. Brown, Charles W. Padelford, Frank Erskine and J. M. Horton (this J. M. Horton was a major rancher in the Piru area, not the principal of Fillmore Union High School).
They leased space in the Orange Leaf building at 350 Central Avenue and opened for business on April 15, 1927. Ramona made its first loan less than a month later to Mrs. Mary Jones in the amount of $2,300 to build a house on Clay St. In 1927, the directors authorized a 6% interest on passbook accounts and in December offered the public the chance to by certificates at 7% for a five-year term.

As of the Association’s 50 anniversary, in 1977, they had never missed an interest payment. By that time they had grown to over $30,000,000 in assets and were a major lender for home buyers in the area.
The Association eventually settled in the building on the southwest corner of Central and Sespe and in 1956 built a new building at 527 Sespe (now occupied by Bank of the Sierra).

Frank Erskine soon left his position as manager of the Fillmore Citrus Association to manage Ramona. He took a very hands-on approach, often inspecting the property involved in the loan himself. He did not hesitate to tell prospective customers exactly why Ramona would not be offering to lend the money. In at least one case he told the applicant the building should be condemned it was in such poor condition.

At the same time, there were many instances where a debt was carried as long as possible to allow the customer to catch up on payments. Solvency, however, was a prime concern especially during the dark days of the Great Depression.
It was not unusual for banks and other businesses to give our inexpensive items to its customers. Ramona was no exceptions. Match books, pen holders, coin purses, coasters, lighters all with the Ramona Saving and Loan logo were found all over Piru and Fillmore. Undoubtedly the most treasured item was the annual calendar with photographs of local landmarks on it. The Piru Mansion was featured several times over the years.
Ramona Savings and Loan had a presence in the community with floats in all the local parades, window displays and dressing up for Halloween and Fillmore Festivals.

Over the years there had been several offers to purchase the Association. Finally in 1984, Ramona was sold for $4 million to Donald Magano and John Molinaro. The headquarters was moved to Orange with a branch only in Fillmore. Under the new ownership, questionable loans were made and in 1986 Federal and State Regulators seized Ramona and transferred its assets to a newly chartered Ramona Federal Savings and Loan. It was too late to stop the downhill slide and in February 1988, the Association was closed down by regulators with no notice. There is more to the story than there is space here to tell it, but both Magano and Molinaro were convicted of more than 30 counts of bank fraud and conspiracy.

It’s a sad ending for something that was started for such good reasons and served its community so well for so long.

 
Above is Fillmore Rotary speakers Howie Freedman and Susana Willeford with Rotary President Scott Beylik presenting them with a rotary mug as a thank you. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
Above is Fillmore Rotary speakers Howie Freedman and Susana Willeford with Rotary President Scott Beylik presenting them with a rotary mug as a thank you. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
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The Rotary Club of Fillmore enjoyed two speakers Susana Willeford, Executive Director and Howie Freedman, Assistant Director from the Santa Clara Valley Hospice. This is a non-profit Home Support Group who has been serving our area for over 40 years. They have an office in Santa Paula at 217 N. 10th Street Monday - Friday from 9am – 1pm and one in Fillmore at 642 Lemon Way. The Fillmore office is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 10am -12pm, by appointment the phone is 805-525-1333. They have many services from grief support, to caregiving training, to medical equipment lending program wheelchairs, hospital beds, adult diapers etc. Everything is free. They are also happy to receive monetary donations as well as used medical equipment in good condition. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 365, Santa Paula, CA 93061.

 
Left is Regina Stehly Nunez who always does the Flower Show Cafe and on the right is Doris Nichols who brought all her Middle School students art work for display.
Left is Regina Stehly Nunez who always does the Flower Show Cafe and on the right is Doris Nichols who brought all her Middle School students art work for display.
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August 27, 2023

By Linda Nunes

Civic Pride Volunteer Committee will resume their monthly meetings, September 20, 2023, after taking a summer break. We meet at 1:30 pm in the Council Chambers until the elevator is repaired.

And what is Civic Pride Volunteer Committee? What have they done in our Fillmore community? What do they do?
Civic Pride Volunteer Committee began in the late 1990’s, when the city cast a vision for 2020 with the formation of 9 committees that would promote: Quality Education, Civic Pride in the
Community, Volunteerism, Connecting Community Through Communication, Strengthening Public Safety, Maximizing Recreation & Social Opportunities, Preserving Agriculture in the Santa Clara River Valley, Balanced Economic Growth, and Managing Growth in the Community.

Would you be surprised to know that the only surviving committee that has continued to serve & function, would be Civic Pride Volunteer Committee?

Our group has worked over the years to beautify the downtown, Central business area, by refurbishing all the large cement pots & stucco planters, with watering systems, new soil & plants, beginning in 2012, involving many different community groups & placing a plaque with their names on each pot. We continued to fertilize, weed & prune these until the city landscape crew took over.

We refurbished the weed-filled planters in the east & west side of Central parking lots with succulents, weed barrier & watering timers on the west side.

We have encouraged homeowners to keep their yards, attractive & well maintained by awarding a “Yard of the Month” gift card provided by Otto & Sons Nursery, who have supported this project since its’ inception.
We have joined with other groups in discouraging litter & graffiti-picking up trash. We participate in the Annual Coastal Cleanup event coming each September. We planted California Poppies & Lupines along the bike paths & paid to hydro mulch these seeds at city entry points.

In the past, we put on Artwalks downtown to high light local artists & businesses with musicians playing.
And we brought back a wonderful Fillmore Flower Show that began in 1919, ended in the late 1990’s and started again in 2009. Except for Covid closure, this show has continued to involve all ages, live music, and an opportunity for youth to showcase their artwork, & poetry/essays. This event is returning April 14, 15, 2024 & remains free for the publics’ enjoyment on Saturday, Sunday from 1-4pm.

It takes many volunteers to grow & propagate plants for the boutique, handle all the publicity, gather donations for the drawings, put out signage, set up the show on Friday, & be ready at 7am with tables, Saturday morning to receive all the entries, provide treats for the Café refreshments , and then take it all down until next year.
Come to our meeting at City Hall, September 20, at 1:30pm and express your civic pride with involvement!

 
 
On Friday, August 25, 2023, from 6pm to 8pm, the City of Fillmore hosted their Summer Music Series & Movie in the Park. They had food trucks, venders, live music by DJ Danny and as the sun went down folks were able to gather and enjoy watching Super Mario Brothers. Photo courtesy https://www. facebook.com/cityoffillmore.
On Friday, August 25, 2023, from 6pm to 8pm, the City of Fillmore hosted their Summer Music Series & Movie in the Park. They had food trucks, venders, live music by DJ Danny and as the sun went down folks were able to gather and enjoy watching Super Mario Brothers. Photo courtesy https://www. facebook.com/cityoffillmore.
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In observance of the Labor Day holiday, employees of Santa Clara Valley Disposal will be taking the day off on Monday, Sept. 4. As a result, Fillmore residential customers will have their trash, recycling and yard/organic waste collected on Saturday, Sept. 9, one day later than usual. The regular Friday collection schedule will resume the following week.

Remember that Harrison’s residential customers can place all three carts curbside every week, as Harrison collects all waste weekly – including food waste, which is now recyclable. All food waste should be put into paper or plastic bags, and the bags should be closed tightly and tossed into the yard/organic waste cart.

Harrison Industries serves the cities and surrounding unincorporated areas of Ventura, Ojai and Camarillo as well as the unincorporated areas of El Rio, Somis, Ojai Valley, the Channel Islands beach communities and the city of Carpinteria as E.J. Harrison & Sons; Fillmore and surrounding unincorporated areas as Santa Clara Valley Disposal; and the unincorporated areas of Newbury Park as Newbury Disposal.

For more information, visit www.ejharrison.com.