During the public comment session on agenda items, Justine Fischer spoke to the FUSD Board concerning the coming federal census. She reminded everyone of the importance of including all children who, if not counted in this census, could be left out of benefits when they reach middle school age within the 10-year period.
During the public comment session on agenda items, Justine Fischer spoke to the FUSD Board concerning the coming federal census. She reminded everyone of the importance of including all children who, if not counted in this census, could be left out of benefits when they reach middle school age within the 10-year period.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On Saturday, January 18th, 2020 at approximately 1452 hours, Officers of the Santa Paula Police Department were contacted by a female victim in the parking lot of K-Mart. It was reported that a female suspect had brandished a knife at the victim. The suspect reported to be armed with a knife and still in the area. While officers were still investigating, the female suspect was located vandalizing a van. Officers made contact with the female who dropped to her knees and would not comply with officers commands while speaking incoherently. A Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy was in the area and responded to assist SPPD officers. Once on scene he was able to advise the suspect was possibly involved in an arson in the city of Fillmore earlier in the day at the 1300 block of Waterford Lane. Additional resources were requested from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and a Ventura Police Department K9 team. After numerous attempts to gain compliance from the suspect officers approached the suspect utilizing a police shield to subdue the suspect and safely take her into custody. The suspect was found to be in possession of a fixed blade knife and a folding pocket knife. The suspect was transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the vandalism.

The investigation is currently ongoing and anyone with any information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Allen Macias at 805-525-4474 Ext 220.

Officer Preparing Press Release: Sergeant Michael Hoppin #1027
Approved by: Commander Scott Varner #1022

 


 
Thank You Fillmore Fire & VC Sheriff’s Department

The Fillmore Fire and Sheriff’s Department along with FUSD Board Member Scott Beylik stopped by San Cayetano to meet with ASB Student Members for the “great ball giveaway.” Playground balls were donated to the school and to all FUSD elementary schools for the children to enjoy during recess. It also happened to be the kick-off for San Cayetano’s “Be A Buddy-Kindness Matters Week,” hence the timing of this amazing gesture of kindness was fitting. The students and staff of San Cayetano thank community leaders for serving as great role models of kindness and generosity, and on behalf of our San Cayetano staff, students and families, we thank you from the bottom of our heart! Courtesy San Cayetano School Website.

 


 
Picture is an example of a Kubota KX41-3VR1 which was stolen from the 2800 block of Telegraph Road in Fillmore. A photo of the actual stolen vehicle was not available. Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Picture is an example of a Kubota KX41-3VR1 which was stolen from the 2800 block of Telegraph Road in Fillmore. A photo of the actual stolen vehicle was not available. Courtesy Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Stolen Vehicles:
Case # 2019-194908
Date/Time: 10/02/2019
Location: 2800 Block of Telegraph Road, Fillmore
Year: 2010
Make/model: Red/White Kubota KX41-3VR1
Vin: 20628

Hemp Thefts:
Thefts of Hemp in Ventura County were prevalent in 2019 with 10 reported incidents where hemp plants were stolen from local agricultural fields. Arrests were made in several of the cases and several more are being investigated. The crimes, other than Etting Road, do not appear to be related. The following is a summary of the crimes:

Case # 2019-175065
Date/Time: 11/08/2019
Location: 4000 Block of E. Telegraph Rd., Piru
Summary: Investigation ongoing

Case # 2019-175370
Date/Time: 11/08/2019
Location: 4000 Block of E. Telegraph Rd., Piru
Summary: One subject arrested.

Owner Applied Number "OAN" Program
In an effort to deter crime; farmers, ranchers, rural businesses, and commercial businesses can be assigned a 5-digit identification number, which is unique to each property owner. This number is combined with a five-digit FBI number (CA056) to create a ten digit Owner Applied Number (OAN), e.g. CA0560000M.

Owner Applied Numbers are meant for use on large equipment, such as farm machinery, trailers, etc. They can also be applied to commercial business equipment; such as construction, rental yard or landscaping equipment. Residential belongings, such as electronics, appliances, sporting goods, cameras, tools, etc. are best marked with the owner’s California Driver’s License number, e.g. A1234567 CA.

These OAN’s, and correlating property ownership information, are entered into a Sheriff’s Department computer database, which allows property owner data to be retrieved immediately by law enforcement personnel. Stolen property marked with an OAN is entered into a national database, which is accessible by law enforcement throughout the United States.

OAN’s serve two basic purposes:
- By placing an OAN sign at each entrance of rural property, we can immediately establish owner information. We can then contact the owner or agent to clarify or notify them of any suspicious or criminal activities.
- Marking valuable property with the ten-digit OAN not only discourages theft, but also enables law enforcement to identify and return the property in the event it is stolen. Identifiable property is crucial to the successful prosecution of thieves.
For OAN application and additional information contact Detective Aaron Grass at (805) 384-4726 or aaron.grass@ventura.org.

General Crime Prevention Tips
- Create/maintain/inventory list of all equipment with serial numbers, make/model, year, color, capacity and any other information that would help in identifying lost/stolen items.
- Bring major equipment/tools in from fields/orchards each night and lock in a barn or shed. If equipment must be left in a field/orchard overnight, consider placing in a location where it can be seen by staff.
- Keep farm equipment/vehicles away from road where it can become susceptible to theft and vandalism.
- Keep equipment/other items locked in a building or secured to a stationary object with case hardened chains and padlocks.
- Do not leave equipment and tools in open cargo compartments of vehicle.
- Lock tool boxes and other storage compartments.
- Keep storage areas clean and organized to keep track of equipment and tools.
- Lock up chemicals in secure storage areas.
- Request that chemicals be delivered when they are needed to prevent long term storage/theft problems.
- Install GPS tracking devices on equipment and vehicles which may assist in locating the items if stolen.
- Note any suspicious vehicle or person that you notice on or around your property and send the information to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

 


 
Pictured are entries from last year’s flower show. Courtesy Jan Lee.
Pictured are entries from last year’s flower show. Courtesy Jan Lee.
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A new year! A new decade! Resolve right now to participate in the 2020 Fillmore Flower Show, May 2nd and 3rd. The theme this year is “Fairy Tales and Flowers.”

The Civic Pride Committee thought this whimsical theme might inspire participation. You have lots of time to think creatively about your entry.

It is still winter you say? If you are wondering what to do with your roses, Otto and Sons Nursery has the Rose University that will answer your questions. Or, just drop by a nursery if you have questions or are looking for some plants. There is also a lot of information available online.

The flower show has categories for single stem roses, single stem iris, other single stem flowers. Every year there are interesting and beautiful entries in all of these categories. Bouquets, arrangements, and potted plants will also be on display. Students may enter an arrangement or write an essay or poem. All are welcome.

Mark your calendar today. Set a reminder for at least two weeks in advance so you can look around your garden to find your entry flowers. Watch for further information as we approach May. The Fillmore Flower Show is truly a fun community event with a 100 year history. Don’t be left out!

 


 
Photo of the Week: "Two bees, 1 gathering sweets, the other taking a load to the hive" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Samsung S10+ cellphone... whoa... just kidding! Real photo data: Canon 7D2 with Tamron 16-300mm lens @300mm. Exposure; ISO 200, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/250th second.
Photo of the Week: "Two bees, 1 gathering sweets, the other taking a load to the hive" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Samsung S10+ cellphone... whoa... just kidding! Real photo data: Canon 7D2 with Tamron 16-300mm lens @300mm. Exposure; ISO 200, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/250th second.
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Sacred Moments
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Imagine that I'm walking on a pier in the Ventura Harbor. My 'real' camera is home. A pelican dive-bombs me and lands on my head. As I bring out my cellphone for a selfie, the pelican smiles, and poops. Phew, this bird ate stinky herring for lunch. Anyway, I push the big white button on my cellphone and PRESTO, instant snapshot for social media.

In the chimerical scene above, I took a snapshot, not a photo, with my cellphone. But as good as the snapshot may be, something intangible and significant is missing.

Continuing to play with my Samsung S10's camera, I sense that every time I hold the approximately 3" X 6" glass-faced device, it lacks charisma, duende, and enchantment. It's splendid for making phone calls and communicating via texts and email. But without dials and buttons, it's not a real camera!

The S10 has five lenses. Operational modes include photo, pro photo, live focus, live focus video, video, panorama, night super slow-mo, slow-motion hyperlapse and food. Ho hum.

The 'food' mode is silly. In night shot mode, the device says to hold your phone steady while taking night shots probably because the shutter speed is at the lowest setting. In panorama mode, the device says to tap the camera button, then pan slowly in one direction. Automation makes the pano image. Everything is automated. However, in pro photo mode, I can adjust ISO and shutter speed. Color temperature, tint, contrast, saturation, highlights and shadows are also adjustable with sliders. I found these adjustments weak and minimal at best. Yawn. Creativity is sacrificed with the operating mode limitations and automation.

Waxing philosophical, one of the elusive elements of photography seldom - if ever - described or talked about is the act of becoming one with a 'real' camera. Some will render this esoteric given that you can't see this 'oneness', nor can you feel it, you can only experience it. Camera brand and model are irrelevant. More important is that the camera enables us to execute an essential part of the creative photographic process.

As photographer Ming Thein wrote, "If you don't feel like your getting a positive emotional return from handling and shooting with the camera, then you're probably not going to be inclined to use it as much, which in turn means you shoot less, experiment less and make worse images." Cellphones disguised as a camera does not give me an emotional return.

A 'real' camera becomes an extension of my vision. As I view a scene or object to be photographed, and bring the camera to my eye, I am simultaneously envisioning a multitude of creative options. Adjustments for the light and the scene are made in the moment. Time, the concept that it is, becomes suspended. Consecutive moments dissolve into a form of unequaled meditation. At some point, I press the shutter button to capture an instant moment of time and light. I immensely enjoy these sacred moments. Relishing the experience is an understatement.

From observation to pressing the shutter button might have taken minutes yet feels like seconds. Though the preceding may sound abstruse, the emotional component of the creative process is real. Oh, lest I forget, the cellphone's tactility - the responsiveness to stimulation of the sense of touch - is woefully suboptimal, IMO.

Less I will be misunderstood; I like my Samsung S10+. The technology is spectacular. But as good as most of the snapshots look, they cannot supplant those from a 'real' camera. So, premature to consider changing the title of my column to Focus on Phonetography.

Photo of the week, two bees, made with my Canon 7DII. See it online to appreciate the photo details.

Note: Because of recurring health issues, I may need to suspend writing the column temporarily. Stay tuned.

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

 


 
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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