Ventura County Public Health Officer changes position on face masks, no longer advising against wearing them in public. Instead, he supports those residents who wish to cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel to doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits. The face coverings should not be hospital grade at this time because there is a shortage and our health professionals need them. Masks should be homemade and cover the nose and mouth. There are numerous sites online which demonstrate or give patterns for how to make fabric masks. The Camarillo Sewing Brigade provides video instruction at the following link. Additional instruction at the following link. Fabric masks can be washed and used again.

For decades, Public Health officials nationwide and locally have said that wearing a mask for protection against the flu is unnecessary for the general public. Now, Ventura County Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin says circumstances have changed. “There is growing evidence that people can have COVID-19 without any symptoms and that they can pass it to others at this stage. Many people wear masks thinking it will protect them from a virus, and in certain cases it may. That may also be true for COVID-19 especially if accompanied by good hand hygiene and social distancing, but now there may be a better reason to wear a mask; it will decrease the chance of you spreading it to someone else if you have the infection asymptomatically.”

This is particularly important if decreasing spread means not infecting a senior or someone with other chronic conditions. “In light of building evidence, I support those who wish to wear a mask in public. I don’t think everyone must do so, but I look upon those who do as making a responsible decision. I never thought I’d say that.” It is imperative though, that the use of masks by members of the public not contribute to the shortage of personal protective equipment needed by first responders like health care workers. If someone chooses to wear a mask in public, it should be home made, at least until there is no more shortage. “I’m not ready to wear a mask yet but I will respect those who do. It’s going to be hard for me to not start wearing one,” said Doctor Levin. “Covering your face doesn’t change the orders everyone must abide by to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing, but it’s an extra layer of protection that I think is reasonable to add.”

The rationale for covering one’s face comes from the belief that transmission occurs primarily through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics may filter. This not only helps to reduce the risk a well person can breathe those droplets in, but also protects others around someone with mild or no symptoms who may not yet realize they have the COVID-19 infection. Face coverings may be worn anytime a person is outside of their home, even in offices of essential businesses.

“We must work together to stop the spread and save lives in our County,” said Doctor Levin. “That means that flattening the curve may benefit from another layer of protection against the virus. Consider the additional step to cover your face.” Health officials continue to stress that frequent hand washing, social distancing and staying home are the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay in your place, maintain your space and cover your face.

 


 
On Saturday, March 27th John Tunis and the Band hosted their first ‘outdoor’ parking lot performance at Fillmore’s Greenfield Care Center for the residents to enjoy during these hard times. Pictured above are band members Bruce Johnson, Mal Stich, Garr Wharry, Greg Agostinelli, and John Tunis. Photos Courtesy John Tunis.
On Saturday, March 27th John Tunis and the Band hosted their first ‘outdoor’ parking lot performance at Fillmore’s Greenfield Care Center for the residents to enjoy during these hard times. Pictured above are band members Bruce Johnson, Mal Stich, Garr Wharry, Greg Agostinelli, and John Tunis. Photos Courtesy John Tunis.
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For months John Tunis and the Band have performed once a month at the Santa Paula Senior Center, but due to the Coronavirus outbreak the center is closed to all visitors.

Band member John Tunis had a thought to call Activities Director of the Greenfield Care Center Marrhias Gonzales and asked if the Band could perform live music for the residence to enjoy.

The Band would set up in the parking lot and residence opened up their windows and listen as the band played Saturday morning for all to enjoy.

The band plans to performs every Saturday morning going forward as long as they will allow.

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

A Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy yesterday received confirmation that he has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This is the first known case in the county involving an employee of the sheriff’s office. The deputy, who is assigned to the Detention Services Division, began experiencing symptoms recently during his days off. He immediately quarantined himself at home pending the outcome of the test.

The deputy is feeling better, and is anxious to return to work.

Efforts are being made to evaluate individuals with whom the deputy had contact prior to experiencing symptoms.

The sheriff’s office continues to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among its staff and inmate populations.

Prepared by: Captain Eric Buschow
Approved by: Sheriff Bill Ayub

 


 
Heather’s chalk art drawing is a good reminder to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Don’t forget to participate in the Fillmore Chalk Fest this Saturday, April 11th.
Heather’s chalk art drawing is a good reminder to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Don’t forget to participate in the Fillmore Chalk Fest this Saturday, April 11th.
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“Lately we’ve been hearing and seeing what we CANT do due to COVID-19.... let’s focus on what we CAN do! Let’s come “together” for #FillmoreChalkFest. Join us & every member of the Fillmore community to partake in this special event. Saturday April 11th decorate your sidewalk/driveway with chalk-art, this is a fun way to come “together” while still honoring the Stay at Home Order placed on us all.

Take pictures of your art work & post on social media tagging @cityoffillmore & using the hashtag #FillmoreChalkFest so we can see all of the beautiful & creative works Fillmore comes up with!

If you don’t have a sidewalk or driveway to decorate, there is still time to order window chalk so you can decorate your windows at home. We hope you’ll “join us “in this fun project in celebration of the Fillmore community coming together to have some fun during these trying times!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityoffillmore/photos/a.1200594716737108/193517...

 


 
On Friday afternoon, April 3rd on Guiberson Road going towards Piru, small clouds of smoke were seen from Highway 126. Turns out it was a controlled orchard burn to clear the way for new trees.
On Friday afternoon, April 3rd on Guiberson Road going towards Piru, small clouds of smoke were seen from Highway 126. Turns out it was a controlled orchard burn to clear the way for new trees.
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Thank you to Mikey and Clay for making sure the seniors and compromised health customers who shop at Vons Market have their time to shop, from 7am to 9am, Monday through Friday. Courtesy Jennafer Wiebelhaus-Ramirez Facebook page.
Thank you to Mikey and Clay for making sure the seniors and compromised health customers who shop at Vons Market have their time to shop, from 7am to 9am, Monday through Friday. Courtesy Jennafer Wiebelhaus-Ramirez Facebook page.
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City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

The City of Fillmore is prepared to ensure continuity of government during this pandemic. Based on the guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the California Governor’s Office to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City Council meeting will be available online and broadcasted on Channel 10 and via the City’s website as described below. The Council Chambers will not be available to the public. On March 17th, Governor Newsom implemented Executive Order N-29-20, which excuses a legislative body, under the Brown Act, from providing a physical location (while social distancing requirements are mandated) for the public to observe and comment if certain conditions are met. A physical location does not need to be provided if the legislative body:

1. “[H]olds a meeting via teleconferencing and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically;”

2. Implements a procedure for receiving and “swiftly resolving” requests for reasonable modification or accommodations from individuals with disabilities, consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and resolving any doubt in favor of accessibility;

3. Gives advance notice of the public meeting and posts agendas according to the timeframes and procedures already prescribed by the Brown Act (i.e. 72 hours for regular meetings and 24 hours for special meetings); and 4. Gives notice of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment, in each instance where notice or agendas are posted.

If there is a change in the means by which the public may observe and comment, this requirement can be satisfied by advertising this change using “the most rapid means of communication available at the time” within the meaning of Government Code section 54954(e). This includes posting the change to the body’s website.

The City of Fillmore remains committed to continuing to employ social distancing, holding online meetings, and, as a result, is requiring the public to interact with us online or via mail and phone. Accordingly, to participate in our public process for Council and Planning Commission meetings, please review the guidelines below:

1. You are strongly encouraged to observe the live stream of the City Council’s meeting by logging to our website and clicking on the link for the applicable meeting date. Please note that for streaming to take place, the meeting must be live. If you are unable to join us during the live streaming period, the recording of the video should be available the morning of the next business day on our website.

2. To make public comments, under the public comment portion of the agenda or on any agenda item, a new City Manager’s policy, the Temporary eComment Policy has been implemented. Please submit your comment to the Deputy City Clerk via email at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov . The comment period for each regular meeting agenda will begin at 4:30 p.m., the Friday before the Tuesday meeting. The comment period will close once the applicable section of the agenda has been completed at that meeting. Although eComments will be distributed to the City Council and read out loud during the “Public Comment” time of the Council meeting or at the applicable item for an item on the agenda, eComment users should not expect responses to their comments made under “Public Comment” time.

3. Personal information volunteered by the user in their eComment is treated as a public record and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

4. The City Manager’s Office will be responsible for the administration of eComment constituent submittals in accordance with the foregoing user policy requirements.

As the Deputy City Clerk is undertaking several functions during the Council meeting, to endeavor to have your comments provided at the appropriate time, please format your eComment as follows before emailing the comment to eherrera@filmoreca.gov:

• Title of email message: Public Comment Meeting Date: XX-XX-XXXX (add date of the meeting) Agenda Item XXX (identify which item)
• Name
• Contact Information
• Comment on subject matter jurisdiction or specific Agenda Item (please keep comments to under 500-word count)

If you have any questions, please contact Erika Herrera at 805-946-1712 or email at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov. Next City Council Meeting is Scheduled for April 14th, 2020.

 
Conceptual drawing of monorail. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Conceptual drawing of monorail. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Billboard advertising the venture.
Billboard advertising the venture.
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Groundbreaking ceremony for the Fillmore Mononrail which took place July 7th 1927. Pictured is Clarence Arrasmith, City Manager, standing. Seated L to R: Dock Wyatt (Santa Paula); Mayor W. H. Price; P. S. Coombs, VP Sespe Development Company; J. O. Groves, head engineer, Sespe Development Company; Joseph McNab, chairman of the ceremony; David J. Reese, Ed Goodenough; reporters.
Groundbreaking ceremony for the Fillmore Mononrail which took place July 7th 1927. Pictured is Clarence Arrasmith, City Manager, standing. Seated L to R: Dock Wyatt (Santa Paula); Mayor W. H. Price; P. S. Coombs, VP Sespe Development Company; J. O. Groves, head engineer, Sespe Development Company; Joseph McNab, chairman of the ceremony; David J. Reese, Ed Goodenough; reporters.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

1927 was the high point of the Roaring 20s. Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, Ford brought out its new Model A and Fillmore was going to get a Monorail – well maybe……

In May, 1927, Mr. P. S. Coombs came to town. He told city leaders he was formerly chief engineer for the city of Chicago and was now the vice-president of the Sespe Development Company, a Delaware corporation. The Sespe Development Company had determined that developing the Sespe Hot Springs area with a hotel and health spa would be a wonderful idea and to facilitate people’s travel to the hot springs, a monorail would be built. He even had a conceptual drawing of the monorail. The Chamber of Commerce agreed that this would be a wonderful idea. For many years local folks had enjoyed the hot springs and recently there had been people from Los Angeles traveling to the Sespe for “the cure.” Wasn’t there already the Hot Springs Hotel and a spa? This was a Fillmore joke, since the hotel was a shack without even an outhouse and the spa was some tarps hung on poles around one of the hot springs.

Coombs was soon joined by Dr. Ernest Basher who said he represented a medical group from Los Angeles interested in developing the health spa, as well as Frank Buren, president of the Sespe Development Company and J. O. Groves, head engineer. A crew was brought in and a wagon road was blasted through to Grassy Flat where the main construction camp would be.

While this was going on, W. E. Campbell, a well-known Fillmore real estate agent, was appointed to sell shares in the company to the public at $100 per share (about $1500 in today’s money). The conceptual drawing now adorned the Chamber of Commerce’s letterhead with the slogan “Home of the Monorail”.

On July 16, 1927 a dedication ceremony was held chaired by John McNab. McNab was the founder of the Sespe Land and Water Company which had originally purchased the land Fillmore was on from the heirs of Thomas More. It was the Sespe Land and Water Company who had sold the land to the Southern Pacific for the depot, thus creating the town of Fillmore. P. S. Coombs gave a rousing speech about the plans for the monorail – why it might go as far as Bakersfield or even San Francisco. Those purchasing shares now would not regret it, think how much your shares in Ford would be if you had bought early! Eventually Mayor W. H. Price dug the first shovelful of dirt with a silver plated shovel and the project was officially started.

Within a week, P. S. Coombs, Buren, Groves and Basher had all disappeared along with the silver plated shovel. In September, the Chamber of Commerce was reported as “wanting an inquiry as to what has become of the monorail project.” That was the last heard of the project. Fillmore had been suckered. When the old timers were asked bout the project didn’t seem to want to talk about it. If anyone finds some monorail stock certificates among their family papers, they have no value, but the Museum would love to have one for our collection.

For more on Fillmore’s history, visit fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org.

 
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Dear Fillmore Unified School District Families,
The purpose of this letter is to provide district families with an update on actions in support of students and the introduction of our Distance Learning for students. Our Board of Trustees and district staff hope that you and your families are healthy and safe during this difficult time. The Fillmore Unified School District believes deeply in continuing our efforts to support our students and remains committed to providing meals and instruction even though our physical schools are closed.

General Information
- All Fillmore Unified Schools and facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.
- District owned facilities and offices are closed to the public and visitors.
- During our closure you may see staff from Child Nutrition, Maintenance, Technology Services, Management, etc. in our facilities. Each of them is performing an "essential service" and is working to ensure continued supports for our students.

Meal Distribution
- Fillmore Unified is committed to providing meals for district students during the closure including during the upcoming Spring Recess.
- Meal distribution is now occurring once a week during which students are provided with a "5 day pack" of meals (5 breakfasts and 5 lunches).
- Meal distribution occurs at the following sites: a Mountain Vista Elementary School a Fillmore Middle School a Piru Community Center
- Our next meal distribution was scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the above locations.
- Communication regarding the meal distribution can be found on the district website, www,fillmoreusd.org or via Blackboard Connect Ed messages

Spring Recess
-The scheduled Spring Recess is April 6th-10th, 2020
- We encourage families, students, and staff to use this time to care for themselves and others.

Distance Learning
- Beginning April 13, 2020, Distance Learning will focus on providing district students with instruction that is directed and supported by your child's teacher(s)
- Teachers will be establishing initial contact with students between April 13-20, 2020
- Students in all grades will be supported by their teacher(s) with specific differences based on grade level
- Children enrolled in Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1° grade will receive work packets created by their teachers as well as weekly contacts with the teacher
- Students in grades 2-12 will receive access to instruction through the use of technology. Devices, iPads for students in grade 2 and laptops for students in grades 3-12, and network access will be provided to any Fillmore USD student who needs them to participate in instruction.
- Information on the distribution of technology will be provided to families during the week of April 6, 2020
- All district teachers, specialists, and managers will be using the Microsoft Teams platform to work together to support student instruction.
- Students in grades 2-12 will also receive access to Microsoft Teams where they will have opportunities to meet with their teacher(s) in video conferences and access assignments to complete.
- The Fillmore USD Microsoft Teams access is limited to district employees and enrolled students only.
- Resources for students and families to learn how to navigate with Microsoft Teams will be made available to district families.
- A list of digital learning resources are already available to all students on the district website under the title Distance Learning Support Class of 2020 Graduation, Senior Events, etc.
- The Fillmore Unified School District Governing Board remains committed to honoring the Class of 2020 at a time when the risk to the health and safety of our district community is no longer present.
- We remain in close contact with our county health officials and do not yet know when we can provide an update on this topic given the current circumstances.

Our teachers, principals, and other staff have been hard at work to prepare for providing instruction beyond our traditional schools and classrooms. We look forward with optimism to the opportunities for our teachers to work with your child through Distance Learning. As questions arise, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. Together we will be able to navigate through the current challenges. Keep healthy and thank you in advance for your patience throughout this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Adrian E. Palazuelos, Fillmore Unified Superintendent

 
Photo of the Week: "Gertrude, the Queen of the Harford pier, Port San Luis Harbor, Avila, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @59mm. Exposure; ISO 800, aperture f/11, 1/125 second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Gertrude, the Queen of the Harford pier, Port San Luis Harbor, Avila, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @59mm. Exposure; ISO 800, aperture f/11, 1/125 second shutter speed.
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Four days and three scary nights
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

I confess that this dastardly COVID-19 pandemic is troublesome. Being on the highly vulnerable list, worry is unavoidable. While I can't change the events, the circumstances are forcing me to reexamine some aspects of my life. But details are not fodder for this column. Instead, while confined to home, I'll admit that I've whiled away many hours reminiscing. Ah, the joy of nostalgia. Also thinking about how all of this might affect my photography future. But I digress.

Back in PP (Pre-Pandemic) days, many of my 'phonetography' friends struggled to understand why I continue to carry around a heavy black object (camera) hung from my neck. Because it's complicated, I struggled mightily to summarize an answer in less than 3,000 words. I never get to finish my answer.

I experienced the military in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Kadina Air Base, Okinawa. On leave in Tokyo, Japan, I bought my first camera. The first photos were of snow-capped Mt. Fujiyama (Fuji-san). On that day, photography became my middle name and has since added thousands of hours of excitement and enjoyment.

Upon my honorable discharge, I entered the workforce (WTVJ-TV Miami) to earn a living to support a growing family. I didn't yet have sufficient photography experience to work in that field. Nevertheless, I had a new purpose for photography: Photographing the kids as they grew!

Photography also gives me a reason to travel and explore new places. Like most people, there's a degree of pleasure from memorable experiences when going somewhere new. More importantly, I get to exercise and enjoy unlimited creativity.

The majority of my adult life was in South Florida, where I unceasingly explored the terrain from Lake Okeechobee to Key West. The rest of the state also explored as time permitted. I would peruse outdoor magazines and look with awe at many of the fascinating places to visit. In one magazine, I saw exciting photos of the Okeefenokee Swamp.

In the 1860s, the Lee family moved to Billy's Island in the heart of the Okeefenokee and lived off the land for decades. Though fire and the Civilian Conservation Corps removed most evidence of human activity on the island, the cemetery, rusty remnants of the logging camp, along with an Indian mound remained.

I had to see (experience) this mysterious swamp. In my inflatable raft, I spent four exciting days exploring the waterscape and three scary nights camping on Billy's Island. A story for another time. Note that I survived buzzing skeeters, giant spiders, slithering water moccasins (cottonmouth snakes) and cantankerous alligators. And for all this fascinating wildlife, I had only three rolls of film and one bottle of Jack Daniels.

Relocating to California after Hurricane Andrew, a camera in hand, the drive to explore the countryside continued. Why not? California has a plethora of rich, tantalizing photo ops ripe for photoing!

There are some places I frequently visit because of the variety of photo ops in one trip—for example, Gopher Glen farms in See Canyon. Gopher Glen farms grow a variety of scrumptious heritage apples, the kind you'll never find in a supermarket. Oh, don't get me started on their apple butter and apple cider. Soooo good.

After my annual purchase of goodies, I usually visit the Woodstone Marketplace, a country-style, counter-serve restaurant offering delish deli eats at Avila. Afterward, on to the Harford pier, replete with wildlife, including mermaids. There's never something to photograph.

From the archives, the photo of the week, showing me her better side, is blushing Gertrude, Queen of the Harford Pier at the Port San Luis Harbor.

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