Pictured above is the Fillmore Academic Decathlon Team, taking 2nd Place at the VC Academic Decathlon. Pictured (l-r) top row: Fidel Escoto, Priscilla Rivero, Fernando Gomez, Crystal Rodriguez, Anthony Campos, Bryan Magana, Paola Ruiz, Isabella Palazuelos. Bottom row: Coach Kellsie Weis, Jason Martinez, Maritza Campos, Destiny Carrillo, Brianna Morfin, Kenya Vasquez, Erin Overton, Sophia Pina, Mariam Bazurto, Aliyah Heredia, and Daniela Ruiz.
Pictured above is the Fillmore Academic Decathlon Team, taking 2nd Place at the VC Academic Decathlon. Pictured (l-r) top row: Fidel Escoto, Priscilla Rivero, Fernando Gomez, Crystal Rodriguez, Anthony Campos, Bryan Magana, Paola Ruiz, Isabella Palazuelos. Bottom row: Coach Kellsie Weis, Jason Martinez, Maritza Campos, Destiny Carrillo, Brianna Morfin, Kenya Vasquez, Erin Overton, Sophia Pina, Mariam Bazurto, Aliyah Heredia, and Daniela Ruiz.
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The 2020 Ventura County Academic Decathlon competition concluded Saturday, February 2nd. This year the Fillmore High School Flashes had 18 competitors who elected to compete in the 10 grueling categories of the decathlon. They competed against 200+ students from 16 other high schools in over 20 hours of strenuous competition. The results of their efforts were revealed on the evening of Monday, February 3rd at the annual Ventura County awards ceremony.

Our Flashes brought home a grand total of 28 awards, with 21 individual medals, 6 special recognition awards, and 1 impressive team award. The students medaled in all 10 of the decathlon events, earning 4 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 9 bronze medals.

The biggest honor for our Flashes came at the end of the evening, however, when it was announced that the FHS team had earned a second place overall placement in their division. This is the highest placement the Flashes team has ever achieved, proving our students outwitted teams from many neighboring schools, including, Buena, Channel Islands, Pacifica, Rancho Campana, Rio Mesa, Royal, Santa Susana, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura high schools. Though they competed in a different division, the Flashes also outscored Oxnard and Oak Park high schools as well. Congratulations Flashes! The FHS Academic Decathlon program, Coached by Kellsie Weis, is in its fifth year since its inception. This year marks the team’s best showing yet. Detailed results are below:

Team Award:
Second Place Overall - White Division

Gold Medals Earned (4)
Isabella Palazuelos - Essay: Honors White Division
Erin Overton - Essay: Scholastic White Division
Erin Overton - Social Science: Scholastic White Division
Erin Overton - Art: Scholastic White Division
Isabella Palazuelos - Essay: Honors White Division
Silver Medals Earned (8)
Fidel Escoto - Essay: Varsity Blue Division
Isabella Palazuelos - Language & Literature: Honors White Division
Daniela Ruiz - Essay: Scholastic White Division
Daniela Ruiz - Interview: Scholastic White Division
Anthony Campos - Mathematics: Varsity White Division
Anthony Campos - Economics: Varsity White Division
Erin Overton - Economics: Scholastic White Division
Erin Overton - Science: Scholastic White Division
Bronze Medals Earned (9)
Isabella Palazuelos - Music: Honors White Division
Brianna Morfin - Essay: Varsity White Division
Jason Martinez - Language & Literature: Varsity White Division
Jason Martinez - Music: Varsity White Division
Jason Martinez - Art: Varsity White Division
Erin Overton - Interview: Scholastic White Division
Erin Overton - Language & Literature: Scholastic White Division
Fidel Escoto - Speech: Varsity Blue Division
Fidel Escoto - Music: Varsity Blue Division

Special Recognition Awards:
Priscilla Rivero - Commitment to Excellence Award
Erin Overton - Commitment to Excellence Award
Fidel Escoto - Team Spirit Award
Isabella Palazuelos - Team Spirit Award
Isabella Palazuelos - Highest Team Scorer: White Division
Aliyah Heredia - Highest Team Scorer: Blue Division

 


 

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Samuel Olguin Castro (DOB 2/25/73), of Moorpark, pled guilty to two felony conspiracies related to the illegal disposal of solid waste. Castro previously ran a company named “Sandbag Masters & Erosion Control” wherein he directed haulers of non-hazardous solid waste, such as dirt, concrete, tile and debris, to contact him for directions on where to dispose solid waste rather than sending it to a properly licensed landfill. Castro and his alleged co-conspirators hauled solid waste and disposed of it onto land not belonging to them, and without the authorization of the landowners of these locations. The case was investigated by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and the Ventura County Environmental Health Division.

Between August 17 and August 25, 2018, approximately 15 loads of waste, weighing approximately 150 tons, were dumped illegally at Somers Ranch in Fillmore. Additional illegal dumping by Castro and his alleged co-conspirators occurred at a number of other locations throughout Ventura County.

The District Attorney takes the illegal disposal of waste at unauthorized locations seriously and will investigate and prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent of the law.

Castro is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17, 2020, in courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Under the terms of his guilty plea, Castro faces up to 270 days in jail, will be ordered to pay victim restitution in excess of $400,000 and placed on felony probation for three years.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

 


 
This past weekend an Official Ballot Drop Box was installed in front of the Fillmore Library on the corner of Second Street and Central Avenue. Written on the side of the box “Tampering with drop box is a felony pursuant to Elections Code 18500. For any questions or concerns contact the Elections Division’s toll free at 1-800-500-3555 or at 805-654-2664.” Be sure to cast your ballots for this year’s election.
This past weekend an Official Ballot Drop Box was installed in front of the Fillmore Library on the corner of Second Street and Central Avenue. Written on the side of the box “Tampering with drop box is a felony pursuant to Elections Code 18500. For any questions or concerns contact the Elections Division’s toll free at 1-800-500-3555 or at 805-654-2664.” Be sure to cast your ballots for this year’s election.
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Photo of the Week "Two fisherman at sunset, Faria Beach" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII with Tamron 16-300mm lens @300mm. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/320th second.
Photo of the Week "Two fisherman at sunset, Faria Beach" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII with Tamron 16-300mm lens @300mm. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/320th second.
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Irrelevant?
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Based on several email comments received, irksome could describe the state of mind of a percentage of this column's readers. Puzzling is the recurring question: Why do I persevere in promoting the dead medium called photography? The question is relevant with respect to the advancing technology of the cellphone's ability to 'take' decent photos.

The following are relevant excerpts from the Guardian. "It's really weird," says Antonio Olmos. "Photography has never been so popular, but it's getting destroyed. There have never been so many photographs taken (300 million posted on FB every day) but photography is dying."

But what does Olmos mean by saying photography is dying? He argues that in the 1850s the rise of photography made many painters, who had previously made nice livings from painting family portraits, redundant. Now it's the turn of professional photographers to join the scrap heap. "Photographers are getting destroyed by the rise of iPhones. The photographers who used to make £1,000 for a weekend taking wedding pictures are the ones facing the squeeze. Increasingly we don't need photographers – we can do just as well ourselves."

"Don't get me wrong. I love iPhones and Instagram," says Olmos. "But what I worry about is that Kodak used to employ 40,000 people in good jobs. What have they been replaced by? Twelve people at Instagram.

But there's a stronger reason that makes Olmos argue photography is dying. "The iPhone has a crap lens. You can take a beautiful picture on the iPhone and blow it up for a print and it looks terrible."

But who needs prints in a paper-free world? "For me the print is the ultimate expression of photography," he retorts. "When I do street photography courses, I get people to print pictures – often for the first time. The idea is to slow them down, to make them make – not just take – photographs."

Guardian photographer Eamonn McCabe agrees: "At the risk of sounding like one of those bores defending vinyl over CDs, I think there's a depth to a print you don't get with digital. It took me back to the days when photography didn't make people like me lazy."

Why is digital lazy? "It's a scattergun approach. You snap away thinking, 'One of these shots will work', rather than concentrate on capturing the image."

McCabe used to take two rolls of 24 exposures on a typical assignment. "Now I can shoot 1,000 pictures in one of these sessions on digital – and I give myself a massive editing problem as a result. I don't think photography's dead, it's just become lazy. People are taking lots of pictures, but nobody's looking at them."

For a more positive sense of what digital and cameraphone technology has done to photography, I spoke to Nick Knight, the British fashion photographer who's just done two big assignments entirely on iPhone – a book of 60 images celebrating the work of the late fashion editor Isabella Blow. "I work frequently on the iPhone. It's almost become my camera of choice."

But what about the "crap" iPhone lens? "Who cares? The image isn't sharp? Big deal! One of my favorite photographers is Robert Capa, whose pictures are a bit blurry sometimes – I love them because he's captured a moment.

"What I'm into is a visual connection to what I'm taking, not pin-sharp clarity. It's absurd for people to think all photos need to be high-resolution – what matters, artistically, is not how many pixels it has, but if the image works. The machinery you create your art on is irrelevant." Irrelevant? Hmm. To be continued...

The photo of the week is of two fishermen at sunset. I particularly like how the light and shadows work on the fishermen and the soft light reflected off the ocean.

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

 


 
Pictured is the Fillmore Police Explorer post during their participation in the Bearcat Pull at the Chandler Arizona Police Department Tactical Explorer Competition. Fillmore finished 3rd in two competitions, the Explorer Bungee Pull and the Explorer Advisor Range. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Department.
Pictured is the Fillmore Police Explorer post during their participation in the Bearcat Pull at the Chandler Arizona Police Department Tactical Explorer Competition. Fillmore finished 3rd in two competitions, the Explorer Bungee Pull and the Explorer Advisor Range. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Department.
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Fillmore High School posted a sign announcing the ongoing construction of the Career Technical Education (CTE) Building Construction Project. Fillmore Unified was awarded $6 million in state funding for the Career Technical Education Facility, Agricultural & Transportation SDSR (Systems Diagnostic Service and Repair) Pathway buildings. The project timeline is scheduled as summer 2019 to spring 2021. Above is a computer rendering of one of the proposed Transportation SDSR (Systems Diagnostics Service and Repair) Pathway buildings. Rendering photos courtesy Fillmore Unified School District.
Fillmore High School posted a sign announcing the ongoing construction of the Career Technical Education (CTE) Building Construction Project. Fillmore Unified was awarded $6 million in state funding for the Career Technical Education Facility, Agricultural & Transportation SDSR (Systems Diagnostic Service and Repair) Pathway buildings. The project timeline is scheduled as summer 2019 to spring 2021. Above is a computer rendering of one of the proposed Transportation SDSR (Systems Diagnostics Service and Repair) Pathway buildings. Rendering photos courtesy Fillmore Unified School District.
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At last night’s City Council meeting a Ventura County Health Care Agency representative invited everyone to the Santa Clara Valley Town Hall Meeting on February 5th from 6pm – 7:30pm at the Fillmore Active Adult Center.
At last night’s City Council meeting a Ventura County Health Care Agency representative invited everyone to the Santa Clara Valley Town Hall Meeting on February 5th from 6pm – 7:30pm at the Fillmore Active Adult Center.

City Council asked staff to meet with representatives of the various sports leagues to get their comments on the proposed policy. City staff met with the leaders of the various youth organizations within the City that use the City’s recreational fields on December 18, 2019 and January 8, 2020 to discuss the City’s proposed field rental policy. After explaining the policy, the youth organization representatives all stated that they understood and supported the policy with an implementation date of January 1, 2021. In addition, the Parks and Recreation Coordinators have each been assigned specific organizations to serve as the main point of contact, to conduct pre-season, mid-season and end of season meetings and address any concerns throughout the year. These liaison designations will result in the “ownership” of each program by the Parks and Recreation Coordinators.

Council adopted the proposed City policy for reserving baseball, softball, football, and soccer fields throughout the city, unanimously.

8C. That the City Council was asked to adopt the proposed City policy for reserving baseball, softball, football, and soccer fields throughout the city.

8.A - AWARD OF CONTRACT FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STATE ROUTE 126 AND STATE HWY 23 UTILITY COVER ADJUSTMENT PROJECT, SPEC NO. 18-01

Caltrans completed asphalt concrete paving projects on State Route 126 (Ventura Street) and State Route23 (A-Street) that covered the manhole and valve covers that serve as access points to City of Fillmore-owned water, sanitary sewer, and storm drain utilities. The City, as the utility owner, is now required to raise the covers to match the new grade as a City project under an encroachment permit from Caltrans.

This project includes exposing and raising to the new finished grade the City-owned utility covers affected by the paving projects. The contract documents also include a scope of work for the contractor to prepare a traffic control plan for approval by Caltrans. The City has already obtained an Encroachment Permit from Caltrans for this project. The contractor will obtain approval of the traffic control plan as a part of obtaining a double permit off of the City’s permit.

Council unanimously approved the award of a contract to Toro Enterprises, Inc for the construction of the State Route 126 and State Hwy23 Utility Cover Adjustment Project, Spec. No. 18-01. and for allocation of additional funds to the respective budget accounts for this work.

8B. CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 20-3746 TO IMPLEMENT AN INCREASE IN POTABLE WATER RATES TO AN AMOUNT LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM
PERMISSIBLE AMOUNT FOR 2020 AS AUTHORIZED BY THE 2016 PROPOSITION 218 PROCESS; AND CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 20-3745 TO MAINTAIN THE SEWER RATES AT AN AMOUNT LESS THAN THE MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE AMOUNT FOR 2020 AS AUTHORIZED BY THE 2016 PROPOSITION 218 PROCES.

Motion was unanimously approved.

8D. City Staff recommended that the City Council conduct the public hearing and directed staff to submit the Clean Air Fund proposal to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District for the electric vehicle and two charging stations as detailed in Exhibit 1. Alternatively, the City Council could direct staff to submit a proposal for a portion of the items included in the draft proposal.

8E. Council approved the second reading of Ordinance No. 20-925 to adopt the 2019 Uniform Building and Fire Codes, with amendments.

REQUEST - From: Tiffany J. Israel, City Attorney that the City Council listen to the 2020 Housing Legislation Update and discuss these changes and any questions with staff.

DISCUSSION
In October, Governor Newsom signed into law 18 State housing bills aimed at addressing the State’s housing affordability crisis. All 18 bills became effective on January 1, 2020. The intent of these new laws is to break down legal barriers to housing production and to create more affordable housing. One of the consequences is, however, the State’s erosion of the city’s police powers to regulate land use. The new laws also make it more difficult to deny affordable housing projects.

Some of the bills will require the city to revise their ordinances or have them be deemed void, due to a conflict with statutory law. Staff has begun drafting some of the ordinances necessary to update the Fillmore Municipal Code.

 
The Fillmore Fish Hatchery has been closed to the public for maintenance and repairs since May 2018. The facility was expected to reopen in September or October but remains closed, and has yet to announce when it be will reopen. In the meantime all rainbow trout have been moved to Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County to accommodate the necessary work.
The Fillmore Fish Hatchery has been closed to the public for maintenance and repairs since May 2018. The facility was expected to reopen in September or October but remains closed, and has yet to announce when it be will reopen. In the meantime all rainbow trout have been moved to Mojave River Hatchery in San Bernardino County to accommodate the necessary work.
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The sign on the road leading to the hatchery that reads “Deliveries Ok, Hatchery Closed”. You can visit https://
wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Hatcheries/Fillmore for updated information.
The sign on the road leading to the hatchery that reads “Deliveries Ok, Hatchery Closed”. You can visit https:// wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Hatcheries/Fillmore for updated information.
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A large tree needed to be removed from Foothill Drive on Friday, January 24th. The street was closed to one lane while crews brought in a giant crane to safely remove the tree. The soil surrounding the root system was too soft, and the tree posed a danger to area homes and cars.
A large tree needed to be removed from Foothill Drive on Friday, January 24th. The street was closed to one lane while crews brought in a giant crane to safely remove the tree. The soil surrounding the root system was too soft, and the tree posed a danger to area homes and cars.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

2018-2019 Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Financial Audit
The Governing Board received a report and approved the audit.

Measure V General Obligation Bonds Financial and Performance Audit
The Governing Board received a report and approved the audit.

Governor's Budget Proposal
The Governing Board received information from Andrea McNeill, Assistant Superintendent of Business
Services, regarding the Governor's Budget Proposal.

Approve Change Orders #2-3 for Electrical Yard Infrastructure Upgrade at Fillmore High School, 555 Central
Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015, Project 2019-035
The Governing Board approved Change Orders #2-3.

Approve Division of State Architect (DSA) Construction Inspector Recommendation
The Governing Board accepted the DSA Construction Inspector Recommendation to approve Vernier Construction
Services for the CTE Building

Award Bid for RFP# 2020-003 for Special Inspection and Material Testing Services for Fillmore High School
Existing CTE Building Demolition Project and CTE New Building Construction Project
The Governing Board awarded the bid to Lowest Qualified Bidder: CTE South, Inc.

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved all personnel recommendations including new hires, promotions, resignations, and leaves.