Pictured is the Citrus Packing House which has been yellow tagged by the City of Fillmore until corrections are made. Tenants of the building have voiced their frustrations about the treatment and limited hours of operation imposed by the City.
Pictured is the Citrus Packing House which has been yellow tagged by the City of Fillmore until corrections are made. Tenants of the building have voiced their frustrations about the treatment and limited hours of operation imposed by the City.
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At the September 24 and October 8, 2019 City Council meetings, several tenants of the Citrus Packing House (CPH) complained about the treatment and the limited hours of operation imposed by the City of Fillmore’s yellow tag on the building. A “yellow tag” limits entry into a building until corrections needed for safety are made. Once the safety corrections are made, the yellow tag will be removed. The list of safety corrections was agreed upon months ago, after the City was allowed to inspect the entire building.

The building’s owner, David Storrs, is aware of the fire and safety conditions needing to be rectified and never applied for a business license or the other permits necessary to operate the CPH. For more than two years the City has been talking with Mr. Storrs about the code violations at the CPH and, although promises were made, no code violations were remedied until the City issued a red tag on the building. Then, within a week, the two most significant safety concerns were corrected, and the City was able to reduce the red tag to a yellow tag.

It is unfortunate that the tenants have been placed in this situation by Mr. Storrs, but the City has an obligation to enforce local and State building codes. As an example, at one point City staff discovered that two businesses with combustible materials were located dangerously close to one another within the CPH. It is the City’s responsibility to prevent this from happening, but City staff can only do so when landlords and tenants communicate with the City and apply for required permits and licenses.

Despite all of the delays and even though Mr. Storrs still does not have the permits required to operate the CPH and the plans he promised the City to address the fire and safety issues were due more than one month ago have not been submitted, the City is allowing him to keep the CPH open, for the benefit of the tenants. The increased hours for the occupancy of the CPH while the yellow tag remains were set at 7 AM to 7 PM Monday – Saturday per Mr. Storrs’s request. As he has made no further progress the City is unable, at this time, to further extend the hours.

The City has and continues to do what it can to work with the landlord to resolve the fire and safety issues at the CPH. The City has a responsibility to the CPH tenants and the citizens of Fillmore. Although it may not be a popular stance at this time, protecting the tenants and adjacent property owners is the right thing to do.

 


 
On Friday morning, October 11th, at the Fillmore Veterans Memorial Building, John Pressley of Fillmore donated a check for $1,000 to the Veterans Memorial building fund towards the roof repairs needed for the building.
On Friday morning, October 11th, at the Fillmore Veterans Memorial Building, John Pressley of Fillmore donated a check for $1,000 to the Veterans Memorial building fund towards the roof repairs needed for the building.
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Nelson Davila Cruz, 63, Los Angeles CA.
Nelson Davila Cruz, 63, Los Angeles CA.

A lottery scam investigation in Fillmore on Thursday, October 10th, led to the arrest of a Los Angeles man for felony conspiracy to commit a crime, obtaining money by false pretenses, elder abuse, and an out-of-county felony warrant.

On October 10th, at approximately 2:40 p.m., an elderly female entered Bank of the Sierra in the city of Fillmore and proceeded to withdraw a large sum of money from her account. Cruz entered the bank as the elderly female was conducting the transaction. Cruz appeared to have an unusual interest in the elderly female and her transaction which prompted bank employees to notify the Sheriff’s Office. Patrol deputies and detectives responded to the bank and Cruz was contacted scurrying out of the bank. Patrol deputies interviewed the elderly female who told them she was contacted by two suspects, a male and female, asking for her help cashing a winning lottery ticket. They convinced the elderly female to obtain “good faith” money from her account that was needed to cash the winning ticket. The two suspects handed the elderly female one of their cellphones and a male on the other line impersonated himself as a lawyer corroborating what she had been told by the two suspects reference the winning lottery ticket.

Detectives determined Cruz was working in concert with the unidentified male and female suspects and he was booked at the Main Jail for PC 532(a) / Obtaining Money, Labor or Property by False Pretenses, PC 182(a)(1) / Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, and PC 368(b)(1) / Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse. During the booking process, it was discovered Cruz had an out-of-county felony warrant for PC 487(a) / Grand Theft by Embezzlement and was a suspect in Long Beach case for a lottery scam.

The common methods for carrying out these crimes include targeting the elderly, suspects alleging he/she cannot cash the winning lottery ticket due to their nationality, suspects working in pairs of two or three, and the request to wire, transfer, or obtain money or goods in exchange for winnings from a fictitious lottery ticket. The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who believes they are possibly being scammed in a similar matter to contact local law enforcement.

Nature of Incident: Lottery Scam
Report Number: RB# 19-159713
Location: City of Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/10/19 @ 2:40 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Patrol Services and Detectives
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Nelson Davila Cruz, 63, of Los Angeles, Ca
Prepared by: Detective Shawn Pewsey #3867
Approved by: Captain Eric Tennessen

 


 
Several law enforcement agencies in Ventura County worked collectively to stop a countywide crime spree

On October 9, 2019, at 7:30 AM, Santa Paula Police officers responded to an armed carjacking report at 6th and Santa Paula St. The officers contacted the victims and learned their 2000 Chevy Silverado truck was stolen at gunpoint by a male and female juvenile. SPPD notified surrounding agencies of the incident, including details of the stolen vehicle.

At approximately 3 PM, SPPD received information from the Ventura Police Department that the stolen vehicle was spotted fleeing from a shopping center in Ventura after a female juvenile was arrested for shoplifting. The female subject was later identified as one of the two suspects involved in the carjacking incident that occurred earlier in the day in Santa Paula.

At about 3:30 PM, SPPD received additional information that the stolen truck was involved in a traffic accident on Highway 126 at Pyle Road, Fillmore. Four male juveniles and a female juvenile were arrested by Ventura County Sheriff's deputies after the suspects fled the accident on foot. One of the male subjects was later identified as the second suspect involved in the carjacking incident that occurred earlier in Santa Paula. The Santa Paula Police K-9 Unit searched the area where the suspects were arrested and discovered a loaded firearm fitting the description of the gun used during the carjacking incident.

Subsequent investigation revealed the subjects are known gang members and was involved in a countywide crime spree that spanned Santa Paula, Oxnard, and Ventura. The crimes included multiple armed robberies, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a loaded firearm, and attempted theft.

“This effort is a perfect example of local law enforcement agencies working together to share intelligence in order to solve a variety of crimes while remove dangerous gang members from the community,” said Chief Steve Mclean. “Thank you to the Santa Paula Police Department, Ventura Police Department, Ventura County Sheriff's Department, and California Highway Patrol for working closely to end this crime spree within eight hours of the first incident.”

The investigation is on-going.

Officer Preparing Press Release:
Assistant Chief of Police
Approved by: Chief of Police Steven McLean #1001

 


 
On Sunday, October 13th, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the Fillmore Police Department held scheduled police training at the VC Behavioral Health building, 840 Ventura Street. Pictured is the staging area set up outside the building, as officers inside practiced clearing the building from a burglary.
On Sunday, October 13th, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the Fillmore Police Department held scheduled police training at the VC Behavioral Health building, 840 Ventura Street. Pictured is the staging area set up outside the building, as officers inside practiced clearing the building from a burglary.
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"Life of Lulu" by Nick Johnson.
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Drop off box Thursdays & Fridays at Diamond Realty

Socks are one of the most needed items for the needy! This year we are once again holding a sock drive for Fillmore kids. Our goal is 1,000 pairs of new socks! Drop off box will be available Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Diamond Realty, 460 Santa Clara St., Fillmore. We will be accepting sock donations until December 1, 2019. New children’s socks only—toddler and up—no infant socks. There are donation boxes around the community. Questions? Contact Lorraine at 805.298.5318

 
Fillmore Lions Club announces their Annual Enchilada Dinner to be held Saturday, November 1st at the Veterans Memorial Building. Pre-Sale tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. At the door tickets will be $12 for adults & $7 for kids 12 and under.
Fillmore Lions Club announces their Annual Enchilada Dinner to be held Saturday, November 1st at the Veterans Memorial Building. Pre-Sale tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. At the door tickets will be $12 for adults & $7 for kids 12 and under.
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Fillmore High to host “Vaping Presentation: What Parents Need to Know”, October 22, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the Fillmore Unified School District auditorium, 627 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015. For more information call Alma Ixta at (805) 981-8475. Courtesy Fillmore High School website.

 
Photo of the Week: "My friend John" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, Tamron 16-300mm lens @48mm. Exposure; ISO 500, aperture f/11, 1/80 second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "My friend John" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, Tamron 16-300mm lens @48mm. Exposure; ISO 500, aperture f/11, 1/80 second shutter speed.
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Green to blah!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

'Tis the autumn season and reminiscing often leads to waxing whimsical. I grew up in a small New Jersey farming community. To the north of home, a raw unmolested forest of deciduous trees stood protected by thorny briars. On my hands and knees, my dog King and I would crawl through the briars to the secret path that led to our oasis along Shalk's creek. Every autumn, the landscape became the canvas upon which nature painted vivid scenes. Imagine an eyeful of colorful scarlet oak, vivid yellows from tulip poplars, and the golden leaves of black hickory. This potpourri of brilliant colors is much too majestic to be observed with a glance and dismissed. Enthralled with the essence of Mother Nature's creativity, my dog King and I would spend as much time as my mother would allow at a clearing in the forest along the creek. Occasionally a trout would break water leaping to catch an insect. Squirrels often joined us. Songbirds provided the melody, in G# of course. There is little that massages the feeling of awe better than such an experience.

Back at the house, mom's constant command: Bobby, rake the leaves! The unspoken reward: A leap into the giant pile I made. Giggles guaranteed! And I can still feel the cushioned landing. And smell the aroma of crushed leaves. Ah, sentimental and wistful affection for my childhood days. But I digress.

That was then and before I had a camera. Nevertheless, the memories remain as vivid as the colors. Green trees presently predominate here in Fillmore. Some leaves on the sycamore trees are beginning to turn, many dislodged by the recent Santa Ana breeze. But sycamore leaves don't turn a vibrant color. They simply go from green to blah. The only thing more depressing is not winning the Power Ball lottery.

Dazzling displays of autumn colors in Southern California are rare. However, the eastern Sierra is replete with color galore. Mono County woodlands provide some of the best golden-orange-crimson autumn colors in the western United States.

The Mono County website (monocounty.org) declares that the time to go is now. "Travel to Rock Creek, Mammoth Lakes, the June Lake Loop, Yosemite (Tioga Pass), Lundy Canyon, Bridgeport, Sonora Pass and beyond to see fall colors at their finest." Find hotspots at http://tinyurl.com/yyr5j5dv. Though my yearning to go is intense, previous commitments prevent it. Because the colors of autumn are a short season, not sure I can engage this year.

Tips for compelling photos of fall foliage. First, a dedicated camera is the tool of choice. A polarizing filter on your lens will enhance the vibrant colors. If you're at a creek, wet leaves on the bank shot with a polarizing filter make killer photos.

Light and weather are significant factors. Don't let overcast skies discourage you. Such conditions provide saturated colors. Overcast light will reduce harsh shadows and highlights bringing forth lovely colors that bright sun often dampens. Wait! If you prefer super shadows and highlights, direct sunlight will increase the tonal range with a touch of drama. And don't quit shooting too early. The blue hour, right after sunset or just before sunrise, often adds a delectable blue/purple hue to fall foliage. The golden hour - the hour after sunrise and before sunset - often adds a luscious touch of gold to the leaves.

Blue hour, golden hour, high noon, or any tick-of-the-tock: If there's light, I take delight in shooting what I behold. Go and make photos of fall foliage and send me your best photo!

The photo of the week is of John, made during the recent downtown photo walk.

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