FILLMORE, California – People across the world can get up-close-and-personal with an endangered California condor chick in real-time through live streaming video of a cliff-side nest in a canyon on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California.

California condor chick #980 hatched on April 10. Its parents are nine-year-old female condor #563 and 19-year-old male condor #262. This is the pair’s first nesting attempt together and their first year on the live streaming Condor Cam as a pair. This is female condor #563’s second attempt at raising a chick, and the chick’s father, condor #262, fledged one other chick in the past with a previous mate.

Followers of the California Condor Cam watched a chick hatch live in the wild for the first time in history from another cliff-side nest on Hopper Mountain NWR in 2015. Since then, livestreaming video of California condor chicks have gained worldwide attention – attracting hundreds of thousands of viewers from all over the world.

“Today’s technology allows researchers like us to observe nests in remote locations without having to trek into the backcountry and wait for days, sometimes weeks, at observation blinds for a glimpse of the condors,” says Dr. Estelle Sandhaus, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s director of conservation and science. “With this live stream, the public can share in the thrill of seeing these rare and highly endangered birds care for their chick, and follow its development before it takes its first flight. What was once only seen by a few scientists is now available to anyone with an internet connection.”

In California, wild condors nest, roost or fly in the mountains of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties, and the western Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The 2018 nesting season was a record-breaking one, with 12 nests in the mountains of Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern counties. Six of those nests were successful, the most ever in the Southern California flock.

“The success of last year’s nesting season was really monumental for the condor recovery program and a testament to the hard work of all the partners involved in this effort,” said Nicole Weprin, wildlife biologist with the Service’s California Condor Recovery Program. “We’re hopeful for another successful nesting season this year, and thrilled that the public can share in our excitement by watching the Condor Cam.”

The number of California condors dropped dramatically in the mid-20th century, leading the Service to designate the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. By 1982 there were only 22 of the iconic birds left in the wild. Today, due to intensive, ongoing captive breeding and recovery efforts led by the Service in conjunction with multiple public and private partners, the California condor population has grown to just under 490 birds worldwide, with more than half of the population flying free.

Today the number one killer of California condors is lead poisoning, caused by condors feeding on carcasses containing lead bullet fragments. Peer-reviewed research shows that lead poisoning is a serious health problem for both wildlife and humans, and the Service is working with partner organizations and the hunting community as it transitions to the use of non-lead ammunition alternatives. Hunters are continuing their proud tradition of wildlife conservation by using these non-lead alternatives.

Another threat specific to condor chicks is “micro trash.” Micro trash are small coin-sized trash items such as, nuts, bolts, washers, copper wire, plastic, bottle caps, glass, and spent ammunition cartridges. Condor parents collect these items and feed them to their chick, which can cause serious problems with the chick’s development. While it is not completely understood why this occurs, many biologists believe that the condor parents mistake these items for pieces of bone and shell which provides a source of calcium if fed to the chick.

Conservation efforts toward the recovery of the California condor are achieved only through partnerships amongst federal and state agencies, together with private landowners and organizations. The Pole Canyon Condor Cam is made possible through access provided by private landowners, and through the financial and technical support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Santa Barbara Zoo, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and Friends of California Condors Wild and Free.

"The condor cams are unlike any other offering on the internet. Each year we've streamed from a different site and pair, and the differences among all these nests and individuals have given viewers a unique opportunity to understand more of the richness and variability of the condor's life history,” said Charles Eldermire, Cornell Lab Bird Cams project leader. “That's not just good for viewers—it's good for the condors, too."

To watch the Condor Cam, visit: www.allaboutbirds.org/condors

 


 

A presentation on the history of winemaking in Ventura County, and wine tasting from a local vintner will highlight “The Days of Wine and Spirits at Rancho Camulos” on Saturday, June 15 at 4:00 PM.

Historian Judy Triem will share her extensive viniculture research. Most people do not realize that between 1850 and 1900 some of the finest wine and brandy in all of California was produced at Rancho Camulos (which was then actually part of Santa Barbara County).

Following the presentation, local vintner, Bruce Freeman of Clos des Amis near Santa Paula will provide wine tastings of his locally grown, locally produced fine wines.

The tastings will be complemented by a delectable charcuterie board.

Spend an afternoon in the beautiful Heritage Valley and support the non-profit Rancho Camulos Museum’s historic education and restoration efforts. Your $30 donation will include Museum membership. Reservations should be made at.URL:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/days-of-wine-spirits-at-rancho-camulos-muse....

 


 
Comments Period Ends June 10 Amid Claims of Efforts to Obstruct Public Input

Tens of thousands of public comments have already been submitted in response to the Trump Administration’s court-ordered study on the impacts of fossil fuel drilling and fracking across more than one million acres of federal land and mineral estate. The study covers nine central California counties, from Monterey County in the north to Ventura County in the south, and from the coast inland to the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The 45-day public comment period ends on June 10.

In its draft study of the environmental impacts of hydrologic fracturing, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed no changes to its 2015 plan to allow new oil drilling and fracking in and adjacent to national forests, parks and monuments, state, county and city parks, beaches, wildlife refuges, rivers, reservoirs, schools, and other areas especially sensitive to environmental and health impacts. Even parcels along the Pacific Crest Trail remain in the plan.

Over 150 people attended each of the three meetings last month, in Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, hosted by the BLM as part of the public comment period associated with the release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Amid expressed concerns about water, schools, and health impacts like asthma, residents speaking at the meetings expressed outrage at the Bureau of Land Management’s refusal to record their comments and to add them to the project record. Moreover, the BLM refused to respond to a unanimous request by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to hold a public hearing in Ventura County. A similar request by Congresswoman Julia Brownley was similarly ignored.

“Apparently, the BLM is more concerned with the public feeling like they are heard than actually hearing from the public,” said Los Padres ForestWatch Public Lands Advocate Rebecca August. “The BLM is fast-tracking this process at the expense of public participation, and is refusing to make any changes to its plan to address the known environmental and public health impacts of fossil fuel drilling and fracking on public lands.”

The BLM considered just 211 of over 8,400 letters submitted during last year’s scoping period, claiming that 97.5% of public comment, which was overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal, was not what it deemed substantive and original.

The DEIS is subject to new guidelines, imposed by the Trump administration, which restrict the length of the study to no more than one year and 150 pages, regardless of the project’s scope and complexity. Environmental impact studies are critical to understanding how a project might impact water, air, soils, wildlife, archeological resources, other land uses, and public health. They also are meant to identify and explore project alternatives that may be more suitable to a particular site, and often take years to develop.

“This is the public’s last chance to weigh in on this misguided proposal that threatens our region’s air, water, wildlife, and favorite outdoor recreation destinations,” said Jeff Kuyper, Executive Director of Los Padres ForestWatch. “The fate of our region’s iconic landscapes are at stake, and we need residents throughout the region to send a message loud and clear that our public lands belong to the people, not the oil industry.”

ForestWatch has posted the BLM’s GIS data on an easy-to-use interactive map showing the parcels open for drilling and fracking.

The BLM is accepting comments on its study of drilling and fracking until June 10. This is the only comment period on the agency’s study until a decision is issued, which is expected in September. The public can submit comments to BLM via an easy on-line portal at www.LPFW.org/fracking or directly through the BLM’s website.

According to the BLM data, the plan will open several key parcels in Ventura to drilling and fracking, including:

1. Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Ilvento Preserve, a 80-acre parcel, the first land acquisition for OVLC, donated by the Ilvento Family in 1997. Located on a ridge near The Thacher School in the east end of Ojai Valley, the Preserve is host to diverse native plant communities and important wildlife corridors. The parcel is open to the public and features breathtaking views of the Ojai and Upper Ojai valleys, Topa Topa Bluffs, and Chief Peak.

2. The Thacher School in Ojai. The 40-acre parcel – located between Thacher and Reeves creeks – is on the eastern edge of campus, and the mineral rights below the parcel are owned by the federal government. The parcel contains a popular hiking trail near the school’s Gymkhana Field where students practice their horsemanship skills and participate in annual competitions and races.

3. A privately-owned 40-acre parcel is located between Sisar Canyon and Koenigstein Road in Upper Ojai.

4 .Nearly 1,500 acres of federal public land adjacent to and within one mile of the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, which serves as the hub for efforts to reintroduce endangered California condors into the wild Several parcels between Fillmore and Piru, a scattering of parcels on the ridge separating Lake Casitas from Highway 101 along the coast, several parcels in the hillsides behind the City of Ventura.

5. A small parcel on Boney Mountain in Point Mugu State Park.

6. A few parcels in the Upper Cuyama Valley and near Frazier Mountain in the far northern portion of the county.

7. Naval Base Ventura County: the Port Hueneme Naval CBC, the Pt. Mugu Naval Base, and all of San Nicolas Island (one of the eight Channel Islands located offshore Ventura County).

 


 
Part 1 of 2
The Bardsdale Cemetery held its Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27th at 11 a.m. The Ceremony began with a fly-over by the 805th Navion Squadron. Opening remarks were by Lynda Edmonds, Board of Trustees. Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop #406, and Cub Scout Troop #3400. This year’s featured speaker was Captain Douglas W. King, Civil Engineer Corps, Chief Staff Officer Naval Base Ventura County. Capt. King is a Seabee Combat Warfares Specialist, Warranted Contracting Officer and Acquisition Professional Community member. He has been awarded the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal and other awards. He is married and has three daughters. The Reverend Bob Hammond of St. Stephens Anglican Church gave the Memorial Service, and special music was provided by the Bardsdale Methodist Church Choir, and Cub Scout Troop 3400. Presentation of Colors was Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fillmore Post 9637, Tom Ivey and Ismael Alonzo. Placing of the Wreath by Dmitri Gurkweicz. Also assisting in the ceremony was VFW Post 9637, Boy Scout Troop 406, Cub Scout Troop 3400 and Bob Thompson. The Boy Scouts put out the flags on Friday, May24th, and they were picked up by the Bardsdale 4H on Tuesday, May 28th. Reading of Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country was led by Jim Rogers. Taps was by Bill Morris. A special thank you to Garcia Mortuary for furnishing the doves to conclude the service, and to the P.E.O. for furnishing cookies. The Board of Trustees of the Cemetery District is as follows: Gabe Asenas, President, Lynda Edmonds, Secretary, Rita Rudkin, and Kathryn Wren Gavlak; Manager Doug Basolo, staff Damian Foster. Photos courtesy Bob Crum.
The Bardsdale Cemetery held its Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 27th at 11 a.m. The Ceremony began with a fly-over by the 805th Navion Squadron. Opening remarks were by Lynda Edmonds, Board of Trustees. Pledge of Allegiance by Boy Scout Troop #406, and Cub Scout Troop #3400. This year’s featured speaker was Captain Douglas W. King, Civil Engineer Corps, Chief Staff Officer Naval Base Ventura County. Capt. King is a Seabee Combat Warfares Specialist, Warranted Contracting Officer and Acquisition Professional Community member. He has been awarded the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal and other awards. He is married and has three daughters. The Reverend Bob Hammond of St. Stephens Anglican Church gave the Memorial Service, and special music was provided by the Bardsdale Methodist Church Choir, and Cub Scout Troop 3400. Presentation of Colors was Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fillmore Post 9637, Tom Ivey and Ismael Alonzo. Placing of the Wreath by Dmitri Gurkweicz. Also assisting in the ceremony was VFW Post 9637, Boy Scout Troop 406, Cub Scout Troop 3400 and Bob Thompson. The Boy Scouts put out the flags on Friday, May24th, and they were picked up by the Bardsdale 4H on Tuesday, May 28th. Reading of Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country was led by Jim Rogers. Taps was by Bill Morris. A special thank you to Garcia Mortuary for furnishing the doves to conclude the service, and to the P.E.O. for furnishing cookies. The Board of Trustees of the Cemetery District is as follows: Gabe Asenas, President, Lynda Edmonds, Secretary, Rita Rudkin, and Kathryn Wren Gavlak; Manager Doug Basolo, staff Damian Foster. Photos courtesy Bob Crum.
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A computer rendering of one of the proposed Career Technical Education Facility building. Fillmore Unified is scheduled to begin construction in the summer/fall of 2109. Photos courtesy Fillmore Unified School District.
A computer rendering of one of the proposed Career Technical Education Facility building. Fillmore Unified is scheduled to begin construction in the summer/fall of 2109. Photos courtesy Fillmore Unified School District.
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Fillmore Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Adrian Palazuelos.
Fillmore Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Adrian Palazuelos.

Project Origins:
The Fillmore Unified School District completed a robust review of district facilities through a Facility Master Plan process in 2016 during which district stakeholders (students, parents, community members, and staff) provided input about facility needs. The Career Technical Education facility became a top priority for Fillmore USD as a result of the Facility Master Plan given the age of the current buildings and the needs of the programs (Transportation and Agriculture) moving forward. Additionally, the State of California announced the competitive process to fund career pathways for up to $3 Million in new construction. The Governing Board supported staff to prepare applications for each pathway, Transportation and Agriculture, with both receiving a reservation of funds for a total of $6 Million.

- The Fillmore USD Agriculture pathway is one of 70 applications approved by the State Allocation Board to receive $3 Million in reserved funds for new construction.

- Today's action has resulted in a total of $6 Million in matching funds from the State of California reserved for the new construction of the Career Technical Education Facility on the Fillmore High School campus.

The State Allocation Board took action at their meeting held today in Sacramento to approve $125 Million in projects for the fifth funding cycle of the School Facility Program Career Technical Education Facilities Program. The Office of Public School Construction received 220 applications for consideration in the fifth funding cycle of which 70 applications were selected for approval.

The Fillmore Unified School District Agriculture Pathway project was one of the 70 projects awarded resulting in an additional $3 Million of matching dollars for the construction of the new Career Technical Education Facility.

The district was previously awarded $3 Million in matching dollars in May of 2018 for the Transportation SDSR (Systems Diagnostics Service and Repair) Pathway bringing the total amount of funds for Fillmore USD to $6 Million in matching funds. The matching funds are identified for the new construction of the Career Technical Education Facility on the Fillmore High School campus. The project is currently under review by the Division of the State Architect and staff is eagerly anticipating final approval in the coming weeks. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in the Summer/Fall of 2019. The Fillmore USD's partner in this process is the professional architectural firm of West Group Design.

Fillmore Unified was the only Ventura County school district to receive $3 Million in matching funds for new construction as part of the fifth funding cycle. District Superintendent, Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, shared, “we are especially proud of the contributions by district staff and our Agriculture Advisory in their work to complete an application that stood out at the state level in this process. The application accurately captured the current practices in our district community to support Agriculture and the compelling vision for the program’s future. The matching funds from the state and Measure V, $35 Million General Obligation Bond approved by voters in November 2016, will enable us to realize our dream for the educational facility our students deserve.”

ABOUT FILLMORE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) is a preschool, TK-12, and adult education public school district located in Ventura County. Fillmore USD Is an integral part of the city of Fillmore, population 15,420, and is the area’s single largest employer. The unincorporated community of Piru, population 2,114, is located seven miles east of the city of Fillmore and is also served by the Fillmore Unified School District.

VISION Fillmore Unified School District provides a culture of high expectations where every student achieves future success.

MISSION Every day we develop high performing students who become engaged and productive members of society.

ABOUT WESTGROUP DESIGNS
Westgroup Designs (WD) is a comprehensive Planning, Architecture, Interior Design and Branding firm with locations in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Founded in 1989, WD values passion, integrity, execution, teamwork and an enthusiasm for discovery. We specialize in educational, civic, healthcare, and commercial facilities, ranging from tenant improvement, reinvestment and renovations to new ground-up buildings and campuses. WD is forefront in the industry with its dedication to Innovative Design, Client-Focused Solutions and Reliable Service.

 
At approximately 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, a 5-car accident occurred on Highway 126 immediately east of Cavin Road. One passenger was reportedly ejected from a vehicle, in critical condition and was airlifted to a local hospital. The Ventura Star reported “Of the 11 patients, at least one suffered serious injuries and two suffered moderate injuries. The extent of other injuries was unknown. Six patients were taken to local hospitals via ambulance, while the remaining five were medically cleared at the scene.” Eastbound and westbound traffic was diverted to Guiberson Road. Only three damaged cars remained when the Gazette was able to access the accident scene. Ventura County Fire Department was on scene as were two units from the Fillmore Fire Department. No further information was available concerning the condition of injured persons.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, a 5-car accident occurred on Highway 126 immediately east of Cavin Road. One passenger was reportedly ejected from a vehicle, in critical condition and was airlifted to a local hospital. The Ventura Star reported “Of the 11 patients, at least one suffered serious injuries and two suffered moderate injuries. The extent of other injuries was unknown. Six patients were taken to local hospitals via ambulance, while the remaining five were medically cleared at the scene.” Eastbound and westbound traffic was diverted to Guiberson Road. Only three damaged cars remained when the Gazette was able to access the accident scene. Ventura County Fire Department was on scene as were two units from the Fillmore Fire Department. No further information was available concerning the condition of injured persons.
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(l-r) Kathryn Weaver, 22, Bakersfield; Kayla Gularte, 21, Santa Barbara
(l-r) Kathryn Weaver, 22, Bakersfield; Kayla Gularte, 21, Santa Barbara
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Shoplifting turns to Robbery, Conspiracy
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Two suspects were arrested for robbery and shoplifting charges after stealing laundry detergent and other items from a local merchant. The two suspects were also found to be suspects in similar cases in Fillmore and in Santa Barbara County throughout the week.

On May 23rd, 2019, deputies responded to a robbery in progress at the Dollar General store located at 1154 W. Ventura Street in Fillmore. Deputies learned two females entered the store and selected multiple laundry detergent containers and exited the store without paying. An alert store employee observed the crime and confronted the two, identified as Kayla Gularte and Kathryn Weaver, in the parking lot. When contacted, Gularte sprayed the employee in the face with pepper spray and assaulted him in order to escape. Gularte ran to the parking lot where Weaver was waiting in a getaway car. The subjects fled the area westbound on the 126 Highway.

Sheriff Dispatchers were able to obtain precise information from the reporting party and relay the suspect description to patrol deputies. A Sheriff’s sergeant observed the vehicle travelling on the highway towards the city of Santa Paula. The sergeant and other deputies conducted a high risk stop on the suspect vehicle and the females were taken into custody. A search of the car revealed nearly 100 items that appeared to be stolen. Deputies recovered the stolen goods from
Dollar General, along with additional laundry soap, women’s undergarments, razors, and fragrances.

Detectives learned Gularte and Weaver are suspects in a theft that occurred in Fillmore earlier in the week and one that occurred in Santa Barbara county earlier in the day. The investigation is ongoing.

Gularte was arrested and booked for the following charges; 211PC- Robbery, 182 (a)(1) PCConspiracy, 273 a(a) Child Endangerment, and 22810 (g)(1) PC- Use of Tear Gas.

Weaver was arrested and booked for 459.5 (a) PC- Shoplifting and 182 (a)(1) PC- Conspiracy.

There is a current trend of thieves stealing laundry detergent from stores across the region.

Investigators discovered that the popular and recognizable laundry detergents are being stolen and traded on the street for cash and/or drugs.

Nature of Incident: Laundry Detergent Thieves Apprehended
Report Number: 19-79368
Location: 1154 W Ventura Street, Fillmore
Date & Time: May 23, 2019 1:00 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Police Department Patrol / Investigations
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Gularte, Kayla, Santa Barbara, 21
(S) Weaver, Kathryn, Bakersfield, 22

Prepared by: Sergeant Vince Alvarez
Approved by: Captain Eric Tennessen

 
(l-r) Raul Martinez, 22, Fillmore; Victor Orozco, 28, Fillmore; Joshua Lopez, 24, Fillmore
(l-r) Raul Martinez, 22, Fillmore; Victor Orozco, 28, Fillmore; Joshua Lopez, 24, Fillmore
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Three Fillmore residents, who have gang ties, were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after attacking a subject at a Fillmore restaurant and bar.

On May 7th, 2019, patrol deputies responded to a fight at a restaurant located in the 300 block of Central Avenue in Fillmore. Deputies learned three subjects attacked a patron who they perceived as having a gang affiliation. Deputies were able to identify the suspects as Joshua Lopez, Victor Orozco and Raul Martinez, all Fillmore residents. Deputies learned that Lopez struck the victim multiple times with a chair and Orozco and Martinez continued the assault by hitting and kicking the victim, who sustained minor injuries. The suspects fled the scene prior to the deputies’ arrival.

Investigators obtained additional information about the crime and were able to locate the suspects’ and take them into custody. Lopez, Orozco and Martinez were arrested for 245 (a)(1) PC-assault with a deadly weapon, 182 (a)(1) PC- conspiracy and 186.22 (a) PC- street terrorism.

All three subjects remain in custody at the Sheriff’s Main Jail.

Nature of Incident: Assault with a Deadly Weapon Arrests
Report Number: 19-70545
Location: 300 Block of Central Ave, Fillmore
Date & Time: May 7, 2019 9:10 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Investigations
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Lopez, Joshua, 24, Fillmore
(S) Orozco, Victor, 28, Fillmore
(S) Martinez, Raul, Fillmore, 22

Prepared by: Sergeant Vince Alvarez
Approved by: Captain Eric Tennessen

 
Photo of the Week "Released doves fly home from the Bardsdale Cemetery Memorial Day Service" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm. Exposure; ISO 500, aperture f/11 and 1/320 of a second.
Photo of the Week "Released doves fly home from the Bardsdale Cemetery Memorial Day Service" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm. Exposure; ISO 500, aperture f/11 and 1/320 of a second.
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Stuck feet = stagnant photos
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

As an Air Force veteran, Memorial Day is especially relevant. While based at Kadina Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, I experienced the loss of two crew members who were also dear friends. The term “ultimate sacrifice” didn't mean much until I experienced it firsthand. I welcome the assignment to photograph the Bardsdale Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony and also to honor the fallen military service men and women who, in defense of our country, paid with the ultimate price--their lives.

This assignment is perfect for describing the advantages of an all-in-one zoom lens spanning an ultra-wide spectrum of focal lengths. The Tamron 16-300mm lens is a supremely versatile photographic tool. Frequent readers know that I use it because 1) as a photojournalist, I seldom have time to change lenses and 2) Not having to change lenses helps keep my camera's sensor clean. Every time a lens is removed from an interchangeable lens camera, dSLR or mirrorless, dust can enter. It will show up in photos!

Photographing the Bardsdale Memorial Day ceremony is not particularly difficult. But it's not an airshow featuring fast-flying jet planes, or Indy-race cars, or even mermaids sunbathing, so creating interesting photos is challenging.

Review the photos, newsprint and online, and you'll notice I move a lot. Always moving changes the perspectives. Stuck feet = stagnant photos (remember that the next time you go to London, Paris or Rome). I then only need to concentrate on the photo composition. Photo composition is one of those mysterious intangibles. I can teach the craft of photography, but creativity, well, that's a subject for another day.

Two parts of the ceremony are challenges. One is the rifle volley. It consists of the honor guard firing blank cartridges three times. Even in burst mode, I have yet to capture a muzzle flash. The challenge is exacerbated because the honor guards use low-volume powder cartridges. Best I can do is get discharged cartridges flying in the air after being fired. Still not an easy photo capture.

The other is the beautiful white doves. They fly FAST! I put the camera in a slow-burst mode, which is about one frame per second. In fast burst mode, the camera would fire about seven frames per second. But the images are a tad slow going from the camera computer to the SD memory card. Which means it begins to buffer after about three seconds. Anyway, this year I was in position, the dove box in front of me, the birds flying from left to right. As the handler released the birds, I began shooting. Well, wouldn't you know that some of the doves didn't get the memo? "When the box door opens, take off and fly away." The handler opened the box door, and only half flew out. Now I'm confused. Do I photograph the ones flying away or wait, and maybe the others will catch up and make a great flock? I didn't wait. I began firing. The photo of the week is the second frame of a six-series burst. Then I started tracking the second bunch leaving the box. Remember, these magnificent birds fly really fast. No problem. Wrong! Following them was a problem. Remember the discussion about blur? Pan (track) with the subject to blur the background. At the Memorial Day ceremony, blurring the background meant blurry people!!! Wrong procedure in the wrong place. Anyway, I caught my mistake just in time to capture one photo with doves without blurring the ceremony participants. Next year!!!

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