Causes Significant Drop in FHS Attendance
Marcus Reggie Ortiz, 18, of Fillmore
Marcus Reggie Ortiz, 18, of Fillmore

Fillmore High School experienced a huge decrease in attendance on January 13, 2020 due to a threat of violence at the school, posted on Snapchat and shared on Facebook. Parents responded with concern and action, keeping their students home for the day, causing a “significant” drop in attendance, according to FUSD Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos.

Marcus Reggie Ortiz, 18, of Fillmore, was arrested by Santa Paula PD on Friday, January 10, 2020 - 422 PC Criminal Threats. Ortiz was convicted of 594 (b) (1) PC Vandalism and 647 (h) PC Prowling in November 2019, pleading guilty.

Comments on social media regarding threats continued to post even after Ortiz’s arrest. Fillmore Police Chief Garo Kuredjian stated, “The public should contact law enforcement directly if they have information related to criminal conduct. Posting potential criminal conduct on a social media instead of contacting law enforcement may compromise a criminal investigation.“

The ongoing social media comments drew a reaction from Ventura County Sheriff’s Rep Kevin Donoghue, who posted this response to the rumors on Facebook (Fillmore News…What’s Happening Today?): January 12-“Greetings, this is in regards to some posts listed previously describing a threat to the Fillmore High School. The Sheriff’s Office and the Fillmore Police Department, along with the Fillmore Unified School District, are aware of the situation. The threats are being actively investigated. However, at this time there does not appear to be any credible threat to public safety.”

Donoghue’s update - “The purpose of this message is to notify you that the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) received information this evening regarding a threat to student safety made on social media. District staff immediately contacted Fillmore Police and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office regarding the posting made on social media. At this point law enforcement has no indication that threat is credible. Our partners in law enforcement will have a positive presence on the Fillmore High School campus tomorrow.”

Donoghue’s final post - “This is a brief follow up to the report of threats at Fillmore High School. Our detectives interviewed the source of the original threat yesterday afternoon and concluded no crime had occurred and there is no actual threat or danger to the community. That brief investigation has concluded and again, no crime could be established and no one was taken into custody. Since yesterday, there have been additional reports of other suspicious social media posts. We are investigating each one as they are reported, but so far there is nothing that is credible or concerning. The Sheriff's Office will have a heightened presence with existing regular patrols around the schools over the next few days simply to give people peace of mind.”

FUSD Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos released this message to the community: “Important Message for Fillmore Unified School District Families-A message from Fillmore Unified School District:

“Good evening this is Dr. Palazuelos the Superintendent of the Fillmore Unified School District with an important message for district families

I am reaching out to you this evening to ask for your help in keeping our schools safe for students and staff. If you or someone you know has information regarding a threat to the safety of others in our schools, it is important that you immediately provide that information to law enforcement. All reports of a threat to safety are treated very seriously and will be investigated by our partners with the Fillmore Police and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

For example, on Sunday, January 12, 2020 district administration and law enforcement received a report of a threat to Fillmore High School students that was being circulated on social media. Law enforcement conducted an investigation and determined that the threat was not credible. A FUSD Connect Ed phone call was provided to all Fillmore High School families to alert them of the report and actions to ensure safety at school today.

Earlier today a post appeared on social media with another threat to Fillmore High School which law enforcement has already determined to not be credible. There is no threat to the campus and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure everyone’s safety. Any individual creating a false threat to district schools or individuals could face disciplinary as well as criminal charges.

I am asking each of you to help us ensure that schools, students, and staff are safe by reporting any information that threatens our safety directly to law enforcement. Additionally, I urge our entire district community to report any individual who is creating or sharing false threats to our law enforcement partners. All of us can do our part to ensure the safety of others.

Thank you for helping us ensure that all Fillmore Unified schools are safe.”

The following was noted in the FHS January 14th School Bulletin: “It is very important that you understand that you cannot have any kind of knife, a real or pretend gun, paint ball guns, or any other kind of weapon at school. You cannot make any kind of a threat to a student or staff member. You also cannot have or be under the influence of any drug or have drug paraphernalia at school. Your school and school board have ZERO tolerance for these things. Students have been expelled for having these items at school. No excuse for not knowing that these things are not allowed at school will be accepted. Take this seriously and help keep your school safe for you and everyone. These rules apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including when school is not in session. Thank you.”

 


 
Tuesday, January 14th new military banners were presented to the families of those who have served or are serving in the armed forces. They will be installed along Central Avenue at a later date. Banners presented were for Chad Petuoglu (Army); Dianna Cardoza (Navy) represented by Lorraine Perez (mother) and Esmeralda Garcia (aunt); Marshall F. Martinez (Army) represented by Kathryn Leon Martinez (mother), Fernando Rangel (father) and Felicia Martinez (sister); William J. Tran-Wyche (Marines) represented by Carolina Lopez and Lolita Wyche-Bowman; and William H. Ross (Army) represented by Amber Ross (wife), Liam, Cooper and Mason Ross (sons).
Tuesday, January 14th new military banners were presented to the families of those who have served or are serving in the armed forces. They will be installed along Central Avenue at a later date. Banners presented were for Chad Petuoglu (Army); Dianna Cardoza (Navy) represented by Lorraine Perez (mother) and Esmeralda Garcia (aunt); Marshall F. Martinez (Army) represented by Kathryn Leon Martinez (mother), Fernando Rangel (father) and Felicia Martinez (sister); William J. Tran-Wyche (Marines) represented by Carolina Lopez and Lolita Wyche-Bowman; and William H. Ross (Army) represented by Amber Ross (wife), Liam, Cooper and Mason Ross (sons).
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Fillmore City Council
Fillmore City Council
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Fillmore City Council’s IT Consultant Patrick Maynard conducted a demonstration on the new translation system for the City Council to use for future meetings so all who attend can participate no matter their language.
Fillmore City Council’s IT Consultant Patrick Maynard conducted a demonstration on the new translation system for the City Council to use for future meetings so all who attend can participate no matter their language.

7.A Staff recommendation that the Successor Agency Board approve and direct staff to submit to the VCCOB and California Department of Finance the ROPS 20-21 and Administrative Budget FY 2020-21 and authorize staff to make any changes needed.
Motion passed unanimously.

7.C Ordinance No. 19-924 was introduced for the renumbering of Chapter 5.12 of the Fillmore Municipal Code to Chapter 5.13, amending Chapter 5.12 to require undergrounding of utilities, and finding of exemption from CEQA.

This measure to strengthen undergrounding of electrical services was passed unanimously.

7.D Staff requested that the City Council conduct a public hearing, adopt the report on the measures taken to date to alleviate the conditions that led to the moratorium, and adopt Urgency Ordinance No. 20-926 to extend the moratorium on the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, storing and certain sales of industrial hemp for ten months and 15 days.

Staff recommended that Council conduct a public hearing; and 2.Adopt the 10 day report regarding Interim Urgency Ordinance No. 19-923 which imposed a moratorium on the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, storing, and certain retail sales of industrial hemp;and3.Waive full reading and adopt Interim Urgency Ordinance No. 20-926 as read by title only; and4.Direct staff to continue studying the impacts on cities of the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and storing of industrial hemp and to begin the preparation of a non-urgency permanent Ordinance establishing zoning and other necessary restrictions on the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, and storing of industrial hemp and sale of products containing CBD, if the sale of those products requires FDA approval, and the products do not have such approval. Following lengthy discussion, Council approved all provisions unanimously.

7.E INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCE NO. 20-925 TO ADOPT THE 2019 UNIFORM BUILDING CODES AND FIRE CODES WITH AMENDMENTS.

The City Council is requested to:1.Introduce Ordinance No. 20-925 to adopt the California Building, Residential, Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, Green Building Standards, Energy, Fire, Historical, Existing Building, International Swimming Pool Code and International Property Maintenance Code. DISCUSSION-The State’s Health and Safety Code (Section 17958) mandates that the California Building Standards Commission adopt and publish the California Building Code (Title 24 California Code of Regulations (“Title 24”)) every three (3) years. The 2019 Edition of Title 24, which incorporates the below-list model codes, became effective statewide on January 1, 2020. If adopted, after a public hearing to be held on January 28, 2020 this ordinance will amend portions of Chapter 5 of the Fillmore Municipal Code (FMC) to adopt these updated uniform codes.

Request was passed unanimously.

7.F, AUTHORIZATION TO REHABILITATE THE INFIELD OF THREE BALLFIELDS AT SHIELL’S PARK

The Engineer's estimate to rehabilitate the three infields at Shiells Park is $47,000; this includes a 10% contingency. This is not a budgeted item in the City’s approved FY19/20 Budget. The budget for this project will require an appropriation from the General Fund reserves.

To rehabilitate the infields, the existing top surface would be cut into a depth necessary for the installation of 3” minimum of ‘Pro Gold’ infield mix and will be leveled to existing control points such as the outfield, dugouts, and backstop. This approach was recently used to reestablish the west ballfield at Two Rivers Park and should resolve the drainage problems.

Authorization to rehabilitate the infields was approved unanimously.

7.G CITY COUNCIL REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF THE POTENTIAL USE OF AN AUTOMATED TRANSLATION SERVICE.

Council approved the demonstration of this new translation system, to be used together with the existing system. Patrick Maynard –IT Consultant, introduced the system to Council. City Council provided direction to staff on the implementation of automated Microsoft Translation Service for City Council meetings. In August of 2019, City staff was made aware of a free technology offered by Microsoft that enables real-time, textual translation of numerous spoken languages in the form of text on a screen. In an effort to ensure equal access to all City Council meeting discussions, staff tested this technology for implementation as an alternative to live translation and had positive results. How it Works Words spoken into the sound system are sent to a computer that is running the Microsoft Translation Service. Using automated speech recognition technology, the computer translates the spoken English words into Spanish (or one of 54 other languages) in the form of text on screen. This screen can then be displayed in the Council Chambers and viewed by those participating in the meeting. In addition to viewing the translated text on screen, participants may join the meeting virtually on a smart phone, tablet, or laptop using a unique QR codeor short code. This will allow the meeting participant to view the textual translation in real-time in any one of 54 available languages.

Council approved the Staff request, unanimously.

 


 
On Friday, January 10th at 9:30pm a vehicle fire was reported on Highway 126 east of Piru, and approximately 3 miles west of the Los Angeles County line. The fire started in the cab of a stopped semi-truck, causing all lanes to close to through traffic while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Traffic began flowing between east and westbound lanes by 10:07pm, and lanes re-opened completely later that evening. Cause of the fire is still under investigation. Photo courtesy California Highway Patrol.
On Friday, January 10th at 9:30pm a vehicle fire was reported on Highway 126 east of Piru, and approximately 3 miles west of the Los Angeles County line. The fire started in the cab of a stopped semi-truck, causing all lanes to close to through traffic while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Traffic began flowing between east and westbound lanes by 10:07pm, and lanes re-opened completely later that evening. Cause of the fire is still under investigation. Photo courtesy California Highway Patrol.
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Thursday, January 9th at 4:05pm a two-car collision was reported at the corner of Olive and Ventura Street on Highway 126. Upon arrival crews found a Toyota Tundra and a white Hyundai Hybrid collided into one another. An injury was reported. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Thursday, January 9th at 4:05pm a two-car collision was reported at the corner of Olive and Ventura Street on Highway 126. Upon arrival crews found a Toyota Tundra and a white Hyundai Hybrid collided into one another. An injury was reported. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
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A CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) class is being offered in Fillmore starting on Tuesday, the 4th of February. The class is free and is made possible by FEMA grants. The CERT class and program is administered by the Ventura County Fire Department and supported locally by the Fillmore Fire Department.

The topics covered during the CERT training include general emergency readiness and response, fire safety and small fire suppression, disaster medical including triage and treatment, search and rescue, team management/incident command, safe travel and disaster psychology. The class provides approximately 24 hours of classroom and field emergency preparedness and response training.

The CERT class begins on Tuesday, February 4th and will meet from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on Tuesdays for 6 weeks with a disaster simulation drill at the conclusion of the 6 classes, on a date yet to be determined. The class and training are being conducted at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 1017 1st Street, Fillmore.

The class is intended for adults with possible provisions for youth aged 16 to 18.

To register for the class or with questions text Steve Lazenby at 805-794-6094 or email Steve at steve.lazenby@ventura.org

 


 
Photo of the Week: "Cover photo made on a boat at a marlin fishing tournament at Green Turtle Key, Bahamas."
Photo of the Week: "Cover photo made on a boat at a marlin fishing tournament at Green Turtle Key, Bahamas."
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Frame #35 the cover shot!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

For hundreds of years phonetographers have been predicting the imminent extinction of dSLR cameras. iRule with my iPhone their rallying cry. Tsk tsk. Here in the 21st Century, dSLR and mirrorless cameras are flourishing. Viva la photography!

After last week's column, many of my traditionalist readers began to wonder if I succumbed to the dark side. Rest assured that one (lucky) photo of a honey bee from my Samsung S10+ does not make me a phonetographer. Yet!

I previously wrote that I'd spend a day shooting with my Samsung S10+ to learn it's strengths and weaknesses. However, life has a unique way of intruding and messing up plans. In the meantime, join me on a brief photographic experience involving 'real' photography. The kind that makes the hair on your head curl and your ears wiggle with a giggle.

We're going back to 1987 when I was shooting with a Canon A-1 film camera. She was sleek and beautiful and had dials and buttons. And the sound of the shutter was musical. But 40 years ago, photography was also exasperating. Shooting film meant shot budgeting was critical. A roll of film had a finite amount of frames - 24 or 36. Seldom did I shoot 24-exposure film - too limiting. In many situations, even a 36-exposure roll of film wasn't sufficient. Thank goodness the A-1 camera didn't have a 10-frame 'burst' mode. Brrrrrrrrt, next roll of film please!

As associate editor (writer and photographer) for the Southern Star boating & fishing magazine, the publisher assigned me to cover a week-long marlin fishing tournament at Green Turtle Key in the Bahamas. I know, a dreadful assignment. Thrilled until the publisher gave me five rolls of 36-exposure film and said 'don't come back without a cover shot’. Only FIVE rolls for a week-long shoot? Send Larry instead, I pleaded.

On the island, I had to choose one boat and shoot happenings on only that boat. What if? Fishing Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday, fish Thursday and Friday with 3 p.m. lines in on Friday. As feared, nothing happened on MY boat all week. NOTHING! Doom and gloom ensued! Then, at 2:30 p. m. Friday, the deckhand yelled: MARLIN! And angler Doc Copage hooked up. Hallelujah! After radioing headquarters, it doesn't matter how long it takes to boat the marlin.

I had the last roll of film in the camera. As the angler brought the huge marlin close to the boat, I began shooting, judiciously, cognizant of the significance of the moment! There were several unsuccessful attempts to boat the mighty marlin. Twelve shots taken, 24 frames left. Later, when the deckhand had the fish by the bill at the transom, this was it! I fired off fifteen more shots only to watch the marlin slide back into the water. With only nine frames left, I was sweating but not from the hot Bahama sun. I quickly climbed up on the flybridge to shoot from above the deck and waited. As the exhausted marlin was finally brought aboard, I shot the last nine frames while holding my breath.

Shooting on a white boat on a brightly-lit ocean, both with copious amounts of glare is worrisome. Too much can go wonky. Anxiety gripped my gut like a vise. Concentrating on the composition, did I nail the exposure? Did I focus accurately?

Back in Ft. Lauderdale, with much riding on the outcome, the staff held their collective breaths during film processing. At last, the photo editor came out of the darkroom with two raised thumbs. Sigh! Frame number 35 of the last roll of film made the magazine's cover. Sweet success and fulfillment. Such experiences constitute the thrill and travails of photojournalism. And the passion continues. Photo of the week is the Southern Star magazine cover featuring my photo. Happy shooting!

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 
Katrionna Furness
Katrionna Furness

The Fillmore High School Swimming Records board has been update to reflect the historic wins of Katrionna Furness during her junior and senior year at the school, 2018-19. She broke every school swimming record except the 100 Breast, which she never competed in at FHS. Katrionna won the 2018 Division 4 100-backstroke title at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) in May 2018, representing FHS. She was the first swimmer in Fillmore High School’s history to win a CIF championship in the sport. She also placed 3rd in the 100 Freestyle in 2018, and competed in the 2019 CIFs. Katrionna now attends Cal State East Bay, where she is majoring in Nursing. She competes on the Pioneers’ swim team, and continues to improve her PRs. She is also a dual athlete, competing on the college track team. Congratulations, Katrionna!

 
If you walk down Center Street in Piru and take a look up at the streetlights you will see military banners hanging in honor of those serving or who have served our country from the Piru community. Inset is a close up of what the banners look like, each banner reads “Piru Supports our Troops” with the service person’s name displayed.
If you walk down Center Street in Piru and take a look up at the streetlights you will see military banners hanging in honor of those serving or who have served our country from the Piru community. Inset is a close up of what the banners look like, each banner reads “Piru Supports our Troops” with the service person’s name displayed.
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Pictured is Miguel Martinez (center) a 6th grader from Fillmore Middle School who received a signed baseball glove and photo from Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also pictured is FUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Micheline Miglis (left), District K-12 Counselor Norma Pérez-Sandford, and Support for the Kids Founder Lynda Miller (far right) who presented to the glove to Miguel on December 13th, 2019.
Pictured is Miguel Martinez (center) a 6th grader from Fillmore Middle School who received a signed baseball glove and photo from Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also pictured is FUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Micheline Miglis (left), District K-12 Counselor Norma Pérez-Sandford, and Support for the Kids Founder Lynda Miller (far right) who presented to the glove to Miguel on December 13th, 2019.
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Support for the Kids Founder Selects Fillmore Dodger Fan

Donor Justin Turner, third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was looking for a "little boy who loves the Dodgers" to receive a signed baseball glove and Dodgers picture.

Lynda Miller, Support for the Kids Founder was the person who received the glove originally and chose Fillmore as the city to locate a Dodger fan.

Several young boys and girls were found, but none met the highest criteria to receive this great honor. Finally, after a week of searching, he was found! Miguel Martinez is a straight-A 6th grade student at Fillmore Middle School. He is well liked by his school peers and teachers. His 6th grade Counselor Steven Jerrems says; "Miguel is an outstanding individual in every sense of the word. A compassionate friend, respectful to all, and a dedicated student. I cannot begin to imagine a more deserving or kinder kid to receive Justin Turner's signed glove and picture."

Upon receiving Justin's wonderful gifts by Ms. Miller at the Fillmore Middle School office lobby, surprised and full of emotions, Miguel said, "It is exciting and a once in a life-time thing. It's cool to have received this gift. Most of my cousins like baseball, too."

We are all happy for our student, Miguel Martinez, and his proud parents, Angelica Andrade and Jesus Martinez.