Jim Sasser
Jim Sasser

It’s Jim Sasser’s 75th birthday on September 6th! You might wonder who in the world is Jim Sasser? Many in Fillmore, who were around from 1979 through 2003 knew Jim as the owner of Jim’s Union Gas Station and Towing Service, and enjoyed the excellent service he and his staff provided. Not as many people knew of Jim’s positive presence in the community beyond his business activities.

James Sasser was born the eldest of three children, in Dyersburg, Tennessee in 1933. He attended school while working to help support his family during those difficult times. Seeking work, he moved to Chicago at the tender age of sixteen, where he met and married his wife Patricia in 1954. Shortly afterward, the U.S. Army knocked on his door, and he served a tour of duty in Wiesbaden, West Germany, where the young couple’s first child, daughter Donna, was born. Upon his discharge, the Sassers relocated to Baltimore, Maryland and added two boys, James W. and David, to their family.

There, Jim opened his first business, a full service gas station and towing service in 1970 and operated it until 1979, when he relocated to Ventura County, CA. He opened Jim’s Union Gas Station and Towing Service at A Street and SR 126 in Fillmore the same year and brought AAA® service into the area.

Through his years in our area, Jim’s eye was not only on business. His numerous philanthropic activities included contributions to the Boys and Girls Club; providing tow trucks to Fillmore High School for parades; offering summer jobs to high school students; volunteering at the Commission of Human Concern of Ventura County by providing transportation for the homeless to shelters, and working with the Food Share Program. In addition, he was a great mentor to many local youths.

After retiring, and selling the business in 2003 to his long time friend and partner, Zahid Shah, the grandfather of four remained an advisor until 2005, subsequently returning with Patricia to Tennessee, and numerous family and friends. Nevertheless, Jim Sasser’s friends and co-workers in Fillmore still remember and miss him. They, and especially the staff at Jim’s Fillmore Towing and Auto Repair (located at 1515 Ventura Street), including Zahid, Bobby, Javier, Dino, Poncho, Adrian, Janet and Kris, wish him the happiest and healthiest of 75th birthdays, and a giant cheer for each quarter century of his amazing life.

 


 
New officers were installed at the Bardsdale 4-H Banquet. Back row (L-R) President Natalie Garnica, V.P. Candace Stines, Secretary Alexus Galassi-Duncan, Treasurer Brooke Aguirre, Community Service Coordinator Tabitha Tucker. Front row Sergeant-at-Arms Chloe Stines, Song Leader Aubree Duncan, Phone Caller Jazmin Martinez, Sergeant-at-Arms Sonya Gonzales, Comm. Service Jessica Mayhew.
New officers were installed at the Bardsdale 4-H Banquet. Back row (L-R) President Natalie Garnica, V.P. Candace Stines, Secretary Alexus Galassi-Duncan, Treasurer Brooke Aguirre, Community Service Coordinator Tabitha Tucker. Front row Sergeant-at-Arms Chloe Stines, Song Leader Aubree Duncan, Phone Caller Jazmin Martinez, Sergeant-at-Arms Sonya Gonzales, Comm. Service Jessica Mayhew.
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A hungry crowd enjoys a beautiful evening under the sycamore tree at Otto & Sons Nursery to honor Bardsdale 4-H fair buyers and members achievements.
A hungry crowd enjoys a beautiful evening under the sycamore tree at Otto & Sons Nursery to honor Bardsdale 4-H fair buyers and members achievements.
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Bardsdale 4-H held their annual Appreciation Banquet last Saturday to thank their Fair animal buyers and to highlight the members achievements. A crowd of over 80 enjoyed a warm evening Tri-tip BBQ by Andy & Danny Klittich and Brian McKeown. Special thanks to El Pescador for supplying the rice, beans, and salsa; to Beylik Farms for tomatoes and tables; to Rigo Landeros for the BBQ grill; and to Otto & Sons Nursery for the beautiful location. The Fair Buyers were presented with framed pictures of the 4-H members and their animals, and an awards table displayed crafts and projects entered at the Fair. (Look in the Patterson Hardware window downtown to see a sample of their great work!) The evening concluded with the installation of officers and a slideshow of annual highlights compiled by Jessica Raye. Thanks again to all our Fair Buyers, community supporters, adult leaders, and active members who made such a great year possible!

 


 
This 220 lb. Blue Marlin was caught by Fillmore native Steve Micarelli off the coast of Cabo San Lucas while on vacation August 8, 2008 with no help from Rex Wilson or Ray Hoover.
This 220 lb. Blue Marlin was caught by Fillmore native Steve Micarelli off the coast of Cabo San Lucas while on vacation August 8, 2008 with no help from Rex Wilson or Ray Hoover.
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Conway Spitler
Conway Spitler

In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years—one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal unfettered immigration. Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe.
Today Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe. (Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of "racism" by liberal media across Europe—even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.
If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark's history, culture, and a Danish language test. You must live in Denmark for seven years before applying for citizenship. You must demonstrate intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark, you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won't find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family to Denmark with you.

My prayers go out to those of us who live on River Street!
Central Avenue and River Street have been closed so we now have to go east on River Street to get to the city.
Then we put our lives in jeopardy crossing the highway. The autos coming from the east just speed along and then you watch the ones coming from the west which are going at a better pace since they had the stop light at Central Avenue. In fact it is putting anyone in jeopardy just to join the fast moving vehicles going east and west on the highway.
Perhaps we need a highway patrol vehicle sitting in the area--this would at least slow them down a bit.
It is realized that we need the sewer, but couldn't more thought be given to the people who live in the area and something worked out to make driving safe in the area?
The big question is: "How long is it going to take to get all this done so life can return to normal, especially in the Central and River Street areas?

 


 

On September 2, United Water Conservation District will begin its annual fall release of water held behind Santa Felicia Dam in Lake Piru. From September 2 into early November, United will release 48,400 acre-feet of water -an acre-foot represents the amount of water sufficient to cover an acre of land to a depth of one foot and is the amount generally used by two average households in one year. This annual operation, representing the primary reason for the dam's construction in the 1950s, is essential for providing for the water needs of the Santa Clara River Valley and the Oxnard Plain.
This year's release, the largest since 1995, will lower the lake level approximately 60 feet from its current level. About half of the water will recharge groundwater supplies between the dam and United's Vern Freeman Diversion Dam at Saticoy, and the other half will supply surface water to agriculture on the Oxnard Plain and will be spread to replenish coastal groundwater supplies.
The release will provide a welcome supply of water to the ecology of the Santa Clara River Valley during a time of year when the river would otherwise naturally be dry. It will also provide United staff the opportunity to conduct studies relative to fish passage, percolation rates of groundwater basins and river channel cutting.
In speaking about the release United's General Manager, Dana Wisehart, noted, "Water supplies in Ventura County are currently sufficient to provide for our needs, but if this next winter is another dry one our supplies will begin to be seriously strained. It is important to do what we can to conserve now. We need to be sure that we continue to have enough water to provide for people and the environment in our area."

 


 
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
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Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
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Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
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Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
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Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
Can you identify this picture? Do you know any of the people in it? Please let us know so we can add a caption here. Thank You.
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The Ventura County Library Commission met in their regular session on Thursday August 21, 2008.
Among the agenda items approved by the commission was one which directed the Library Director, Jackie Griffin, to work with the County Executive Office and the City of Thousand Oaks to look into the possibilities of ending library fees between districts in the county.
The fourteen libraries of Ventura County give free library service to anyone in the state of California, as do the cities of Oxnard, Moorpark and Santa Paula. The City of Thousand Oaks charges most residents of Ventura County, outside the city limits, $80.00 annually for a library card. In addition, the County Library also pays the City of Thousand Oaks approximately $187,000 annually to provide library service to residents of Ventu Park, Newbury Park and Lynn Ranch.
In the last two years, 1,578 residents of the unincorporated areas have used the Thousand Oaks Library, while 2,600 Thousand Oaks residents have used the Ventura County Library.
In 1998 when Ventura County agreed to pay Thousand Oaks for unincorporated residents to use Thousand Oaks libraries, the Ventura County Library was unable to provide adequate library service in those areas. In recent years, Ventura County has built a new community library in Oak Park and the new Camarillo Library has opened. In addition, the Ventura County Library offers many online services that all residents of Ventura County (including residents of the City of Thousand Oaks) can access online for free including e-books, homework help and 47 databases.
“We appreciate the service that the City of Thousand Oaks offered unincorporated residents when there were no other libraries in the area” said Director Griffin, “but times have changed and we’re all on a level playing field with library service wide-spread throughout the county. It would be great if Thousand Oaks would join the rest of the libraries in Ventura County in providing free library services to all residents.”

 

VENTURA, CA - On September 6th 2008, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, the Ventura Family YMCA will host its 2nd Annual Back to School Backyard Bash to promote a safe and healthy 2008-2009 school year.

School may be back in session but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. The Backyard Bash will feature activities for the whole family including jolly jumps, games, aquatics and sports activities, FREE food, music, special educational guests and a healthy recipe contest.

The Back to School Backyard Bash will also feature an array of special guests like Sandy Curwood, Nutritional Director for the Ventura Unified School District; Mike and Traci Lamm, owners of Channel Islands Kayak, who will provide a kayak demonstration in the YMCA pool and educate children on water safety; Game Crazy, a local video game distributor who will educate children and parents on the rating system and provide information on how video games can be a great source of exercise; Rabobank will be educating parents on the importance of saving for college and providing information to establish the right type of savings account for their family; Valerie Zeko owner of VenturaParent.com will provide information about their online guide to family resources and activities in Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai and Camarillo. Representatives from the Ventura Family YMCA will also be available to discuss the YMCA’s No Join Fee for all new members as well as scholarship options for individuals and families in the area. Plus, the Ventura Police and Fire Department will make a special appearance to educate children on back to school safety.

The event will also feature a “Healthy Recipe Contest” where participants have the opportunity to bring their favorite healthy dish to share and event attendees vote on the evening’s best dish. The contest winner will enjoy a FREE 6 month family membership to the YMCA (a $500.00 value) and dish recipes will be available for all food dishes that are entered. For more information on how to enter visit www.venturaymca.org.

Come see how we’ve been building strong kids, strong families and strong communities for Ventura since 1887 and join us in a new generation of health, family and friendship at the YMCA!

About the Ventura Family YMCA
The Ventura Family YMCA serves over 20,000 individuals annually through facility memberships, before & after school childcare, day & resident camps, youth sports, swim lessons, teen programs, and many more healthy lifestyles and community enriching programs throughout Ventura, Oxnard, Ojai, Santa Paula, and Saticoy. The Ventura Family YMCA is located at 3760 Telegraph Rd., Ventura, CA 93003. Visit www.venturaymca.org or call (805) 642-2131 ext 24 for more information.

 
Afternoon Patrol With Oranges, color photograph by John Fielder.
Afternoon Patrol With Oranges, color photograph by John Fielder.
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Located at the City of Santa Paula’s California Oil Museum

“Art About Agriculture” is an agricultural art exhibit which will be held September 6th through November 16th at the City of Santa Paula’s California Oil Museum, 1001 E. Main Street in historic downtown Santa Paula. The purpose of the exhibit is to promote Art About Agriculture by exploring all the facets of agriculture from workers to water, from machinery to soil and to the food that goes on our plates.

The public is cordially invited to the opening reception on Saturday, September 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. with music and refreshments for your enjoyment. All work in the exhibit will be for sale.

Art About Agriculture features art by 35 artists working in both two and three-dimensional media who create art that in some way draws its inspiration from our agricultural heritage and/or contemporary agriculture. That inspiration includes, but is not limited to, depictions of rural landscape, farm animals, farm products, rural life, and art that in a more abstract way deals with issues and ideas related to agriculture.

In addition to the first, second and third prizes there will be the prestigious Limoneira Purchase Award of $1,000.

The Ag Art Alliance was formed in 2007 by Gail Pidduck and John Nichols. Jennifer Heighton joined them recently. For more information on the exhibit and future activities visit www.agartalliance.com.

WHAT: Ag Art Alliance 2nd Annual Exhibit “Art About Agriculture”
WHERE: California Oil Museum, 1001 E. Main St. Santa Paula, CA
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 6th from 4 to 7 PM
EXHIBIT DATES: September 6 - November 16, 2008

 
The entryway to Fillmore's new swimming pool complex has been paved, with curbs.
The entryway to Fillmore's new swimming pool complex has been paved, with curbs.
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The concrete floor of the swimming pool has been poured. It is now covered with a plastic sheeting in order to facilitate curing.
The concrete floor of the swimming pool has been poured. It is now covered with a plastic sheeting in order to facilitate curing.
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This photo was taken shortly before the pool's floor was poured. A heavy re-bar grid-work is in place to receive the concrete.
This photo was taken shortly before the pool's floor was poured. A heavy re-bar grid-work is in place to receive the concrete.
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This photo shows the entrance way to the pool complex before being recently paved.
This photo shows the entrance way to the pool complex before being recently paved.
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A different photo angle, looking East, of the swimming pool after the floor was poured.
A different photo angle, looking East, of the swimming pool after the floor was poured.
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Candlelight Installation Ceremony.
Candlelight Installation Ceremony.
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Shown above are Fillmore Lions President, Bill Edmunds and keynote speaker, Ted Fusco, Past International Director.
Shown above are Fillmore Lions President, Bill Edmunds and keynote speaker, Ted Fusco, Past International Director.
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“March of the 2008-2009 District Cabinet Officers” took place on Saturday, August 16, 2008, hosted by the
Fillmore Lions Club. The full day event held at the Veterans Memorial building was coordinated by Fillmore
Membership Chairman, Lion Jim Austin and his wife Phyllis, and included seminars and meetings. It concluded
with dinner, prizes and a Candlelight Ceremony installing District 4A-3 Officers. Nearly 100 were in attendance.

 

Secure free booth space for Sunday, November 9th , to sell two-dimensional Fine Art at the Fillmore Annual Home Tour sponsored by the Fillmore Historical Museum, 350 Main Street. A 10% commission will be charged. There are 10 booth spaces available indoors in the newly renovated Fillmore train depot, 4 spaces in the outdoor gazebo and 10’x10’ outdoor spaces on the depot grounds. Ribbons will be awarded. Set up and judging time 9-11, open time 11-4.
For applications: Luanne Perez 524-0925 or Joanne King 524-4904.

 
Fillmore High Alumni Association
Fillmore High Alumni Association

The Fillmore High Alumni newsletter, "Flashbacks" was put in the mail last Friday by the hard working group of volunteers made up of Joyce Basolo, Jane Johnson, Maxine Merry, who brought along her brother, J. C. Taylor, Jolene Stethem and Em Wendel. By the time you read this, hopefully you will have already received your copy of the August issue, but if not, please contact the alumni office at 524-0416 or at staff@FillmoreHighAlumni.com. Kathleen McCreary has done another wonderful job of putting together this issue, which includes letters regarding the Gritz Brothers of the 1960's, a great article from Doug Gibby about his days at Sespe Elementary, class reunion notices from Conway Spitler for the class of '38, Florene Campbell Ernst for the class of '48 and Bob Horn for the class of '58. A recap of the alumni dinner, along with a number of pictures of attendees at the dinner are also included. More pictures from that dinner will be appearing on the alumni website shortly, as well as in the November issue of "Flashbacks". Be sure to look for it, and if your subscription runs out this year, please send in your renewal before December 31.
The quarterly alumni board meeting was held Monday evening, August 18 at Mark Ortega's home with eight members in attendance. Two new members, Glenda DeJarnette and Tricia Urea-Gradias were elected as new members and were welcomed to the board of directors. The 2008 alumni dinner was discussed and all agreed it was a huge success.
The 2009 alumni dinner will be held Saturday, June 6 at the Memorial Building. Plans for this dinner will be discussed at a later meeting, but the dinner will be catered by Gary Laird, class of '76. The alumni scholarships were discussed, and continued discussion will take place at the Scholarship Committee meeting in September. Decisions will be made as to how the scholarships will be distributed and if more emphasis will be placed on the Continuation Grants. Work is progressing on getting the Shasta Daisies growing again on the school farm to be used once again on the Junior arches for graduation. The alumni association will again be present at the home football game between Fillmore and Santa Paula, to hand out information and memberships to alumni. The latest issue of the "Flashbacks" was handed out to each member present. The next board of directors meeting will be held on Monday, November 17.

 

2008 PiruFest set for Labor Day Weekend Attracts More Sponsors, Exhibitors and Events:
Event Planners report that Saturday, August 30th Festival continues to catch the attention for music, art, food and assortment of vendors and entertainment.
Planning and scheduling efforts for the 8th Annual PiruFest continue to take shape as this Saturday, August 30th event approaches. The day will kick off at noon and continue until 10 p.m. at the beautiful Piru Depot and Gazebo Plaza Park on Center Street in the historic downtown district. This year’s event will offer entertainment, an assortment of vendors, a horseshoe tournament, community art project and other activities that promise to be enjoyed by all ages.
The Piru Neighborhood Council, with support from private and community partners, organize this exciting annual festival. Event planners are proud to announce that other area organizations are joining to ensure this affair is a success. The Piru Petroleum Club, Lake Piru Recreation Area, Fillmore-Piru Citrus Association, Piru Parks Commission, Laverne Nursery, Rancho Temescal, Poncho’s Restaurant, Bennett’s Honey, Supervisor Kathy Long, Ventura County Redevelopment Agency, Pacific Beverage Company, and International Paper Company have come on board to support the day’s attractions.
The PiruFest 2008 Organizing Committee, chaired by Stephanie Acosta, continues to work with vendors and exhibitors to make this festival a memorable one. A just-announced exhibit and sponsorship by Lake Piru Recreation Area will include an opportunity for two lucky festivalgoers to win a half-day rental of one of their popular and brand new pontoon boats. Other exhibitors and vendors range from tasty food choices, local crafts, music, and popular clothing items. Health and nutritional representatives as well as educational resources available in the Heritage Valley will provide valuable information for sustaining a healthy community.
According to Committee Chairwoman Acosta, planning efforts are moving forward at a rapid pace as this Labor Day Weekend event nears. With this in mind, it will feature young performers from Inlakech Cultural Arts Center. These young performers are sure to bring the Piru Depot and landmark gazebo plaza to life as they gracefully dance, perform and entertain the crowd with their beautiful and rhythmic dances and music.
Later that evening, the popular Dan Torres and the Piru River Band will headline from 6-10 pm. Known for their variety of current and “oldie” tunes, Dan and his band always get the crowd on their feet and on the dance floor. They have performed in the valley for many years and have always included family, including wife Irma, their sons and other local artists. Torres and his band have a 30-year history of memorable shows, including past performances with Little Joe & La Familia among others. This year’s event will also showcase one of the band’s newest musicians. Their 10-year-old grandson, known locally as “D-3”, will join in on lively precision tunes showcasing his amazing percussion talents.
Throughout the day, a group of young students will embark on a community art project to transform a local wall from a graffiti target to a tasteful representation reflecting the area’s diverse and rich background. Students from Piru and Fillmore schools will get involved in the development and “hands-on” experience for this effort. This activity will take place along a section of the pedestrian trail that parallels the valley’s historic railroad line in Piru. Carlos Callejo, an experienced and recognized artist, will coordinate work on this project. Callejo was recently selected by the County of Ventura to develop a significant public art project along another Piru stretch of the trail.
All are invited to join in on what is sure to be a wonderful celebration of this unique and family-oriented town and its rich contributions to the region.

 
The Human Body
Conway Spitler
Conway Spitler

The human body is a machine that is full of wonder. Human body facts will leave you wondering why in the heck we were designed the way we were.
Scientists say the higher your I. Q. the more you dream.
The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the male sperm.
You use 200 muscles to take one step.
A full bladder is roughly the size of a soft ball.
The human brain cell can hold five-times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet
Your body gives off enough heat in 30 minutes to bring water to a boil.
Your teeth start growing six months before you are born.
When you are looking at someone your love, your pupils do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.
Your thumb is the same length of your nose.

Here are some statistics from 1903:

Average life expectancy in the U. S. was forty-seven (47).
Only 8% of the homes had telephones.
A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars. There were only ;8,000 cars in the U> S. and only 144 miles of paved roads. Sugar cost 4 cents a pound. Coffee was 15 cents a pound. Eggs were 14 cents a dozen. The five leading causes of death in the US were:
pneumonia and influenza
tuberculosis
diarrhea
heart disease
stroke
The American flag had only 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was 30.
Canned beer and iced tea had not been invented.
One in ten U. S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6% of all American had graduated from high school.
Just think what it will be like in the next 100 years.

 
Picking pumpkins at Faulkner Farms.
Picking pumpkins at Faulkner Farms.

Picking pumpkins, hayrides, a petting zoo, mini train rides, and live entertainment are just some of activities planned for the Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival at Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula. For four weekends in October, the historic Ventura County farm, nestled in a beautiful country setting, offers a bounty of delightful family activities. The month-long celebration is sponsored by the Santa Paula Rotary.
New this year is a giant trebuchet. Trebuchets were used in the Middle Ages to fling canon balls into or over walls surrounding towns. Instead of canon balls, the Pumpkin Patch trebuchet will launch pumpkins 150 to 200 feet in the air, landing with a splat in a designated area. "It should be quite a sight," says Mike Mobley, Santa Paula Rotary president.
A trip to the Faulkner Farm pumpkin patch will also provide plenty to eat: barbequed tri-tip, country chicken sandwiches, whole and slices of fresh baked pies, kettlecorn, caramel apples and lemonade will be served during the festival.
"Many long-time residents of Southern California have wonderful memories of picking pumpkins at Faulkner Farms," says Mobley. "It's been a tradition for more than 30 years. There's nothing like picking pumpkins on an actual farm surrounded by acres of open fields."
George and Roda Faulkner built their large Victorian era farmhouse and barn in 1894. Both buildings remain on the 27-acre property. The Hansen Agricultural Trust now owns the site.
This is the second year that the Santa Paula Rotary Club is sponsoring the pumpkin patch. Also lending support and volunteering are members of Future Farmers of America, 4-H, Youth Football, Isbell Jr. Condor Cancer Crushers, Latino Town Hall and others. "The Rotary is involved in many community activities," says Otto Schimmel, a Santa Paula Rotarian and harvest festival organizer. "Proceeds from the festival will go toward scholarships, junior achievement, Christmas baskets for the needy, Christmas stockings for convalescent home residents and ongoing financial support for healthcare, youth organizations, the arts and international projects."
The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 4 and 5, 11 and 12, 18 and 19 and 25 and 26. Faulkner Farm is at 14292 W. Telegraph. For more information and directions, call 888-522-1884 or go to www.faulknerfarmpumpkinpatch.com.

 

The Rancho Camulos Museum took “Best of Show” at the Ventura County Fair this year. Each year the Associated Historical Societies and Museums of Ventura County sponsor and judge a collection of shadow boxes from individual museums members. Rancho Camulos Museum participates each year with Hillary Weireter organizing the exhibit.
This year the emphasis for Rancho Camulos was on docents who volunteer at the museum. This year Hillary was well rewarded with a massive blue ribbon for “Best of Show.” These exhibits are located in the Ag Building at the Fair.
The Rancho Camulos Docent Council is the volunteer group that does the hands-on work at the museum. Docents participate in everything from school field trips, gardening and tours and also support the Museum Board in membership and fundraising. New docents completing training last month were Vyonne Angel, Ken Asarch, Pat Hamilton, Mike Harutunian, Sue Myers, Jennifer Nichols and Connie Tripp. The next training class will be in January 2009. Anyone interested in joining this group is encouraged to call the museum at 521-1501. Over 40 members and families enjoyed the docent annual summer picnic last Sunday at the Museum. Lynda and Jerry Edmonds did the barbecue for the potluck. Members spent the time visiting and enjoying the grounds—things they are usually too busy to do.
The next regular bi-monthly docent business meeting will be August 23rd at the museum with plans for the fall book sale and “Ramona” event on the agenda.
The museum is open for tours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 and by special appointment. For a nearby, interesting, historical site to entertain out-of-town visitors, consider an afternoon at Rancho Camulos Museum and gift shop.

 

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten issued a Consumer Protection Alert today to Ventura County residents regarding a series of recent mailings to county residents which appear to be in violation of the law. Within the last week, numerous residents have received mailings from entities with names like “Property Tax Reassessment” and “Property Tax Adjustment Service” which purport to offer to file a request for a property tax reassessment for a fee.
Because these solicitations did not inform the recipient that they can file their own request for reassessment with the Assessor’s Office without any fee, the solicitations are in violation of California law. Section 17537.9 of the Business and Professions Code requires solicitations from assessment appeal application filing services to include specific disclaimers that the solicitation is not associated with any government agency. Any outer envelope must bear on its face, in capital letters and in conspicuous and legible type, the following notice: “THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT.” Further, the top of every page of the solicitation must bear, in 12 point bold print enclosed in a box formed by a heavy line, the following specific language:
THIS ASSESSMENT APPEAL APPLICATION FILING SERVICE IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THE ASSESSED VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN INFORMAL ASSESSMENT REVIEW, AT NO COST, BY CONTACTING THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE DIRECTLY. IF YOU AND THE ASSESSOR CANNOT AGREE TO THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY OR IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO CONTACT THE ASSESSOR YOU CAN OBTAIN AND FILE AN APPLICATION, AT NO COST, ON YOUR OWN BEHALF. AN APPEALS BOARD HAS THE AUTHORITY TO RAISE PROPERTY VALUES (BUT IN NO CASE HIGHER THAN THE PROPOSITION 13 PROTECTED VALUE) AS WELL AS TO LOWER PROPERTY VALUES.
A failure to include either disclaimer is a misdemeanor.
The solicitations also violate Civil Code section 1716 by soliciting payment of money by another by means of a written statement or invoice, or any writing that reasonably could be considered a bill, invoice, or statement of account due. Section 1716 requires that each such solicitation bear a disclaimer that “THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED ABOVE UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER,” and that the disclaimer shall be conspicuous boldface capital letters “at least as large, bold, and conspicuous as any other print on the face of the solicitation but no smaller than 30-point type.” A violation of section 1716 is a misdemeanor.
Residents who receive such letters may refer the letters to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Also, residents may obtain detailed information regarding property reassessment procedures by contacting the County Assessor’s Office at (805) 654-2161 or by reviewing the Ventura County Assessor’s Web site which discusses the process for submitting an Application for Decline in Value (http://assessor.countyofventura.org/taxsavings/declineinvalue.html). Residents can also view additional information and advice from the County Assessor’s Office regarding such solicitations at: http://assessor.countyofventura.org/pdfs/Press/PressRelease060308.pdf

 
 

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and the Ventura County Library wants to make sure that your child has smartest card of all – a library card.

Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.

“A library card has always been the most important school supply of all,” says Jackie Griffin, Director, Ventura County Library. “Kids can come to the library to get homework help and check out books, but they can also check out free music, DVDs and use the Internet to make after school life a little more fun. There’s a lot happening at the Ventura County Library community libraries.”

A recent study by the American Library Association also showed that families use libraries to spend time together. Forty-four percent of survey respondents report taking their children to the library for this reason.
Library Card Sign–up Month began in 1987. For more information on how you can sign up for your library card, visit your local community library.

The Ventura County Library community libraries include Avenue Library, Camarillo Library, Fillmore Library, E. P. Foster Library, Meiners Oaks Library, Oak Park Library, Oak View Library, Ojai Library, Piru Library, Ray D. Prueter Library, Saticoy Library, Simi Valley Library, Albert H. Soliz-El Rio Library, and H.P. Wright Library. The library is also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.vencolibrary.org.