Fillmore Captain Garo Kuredjian spending time with Mountain Vista Elementary students as part of the Adopt-A-Cop program which is being brought back to Fillmore Unified School District. Photo courtesy Mountain Vista Elementary blog.
Fillmore Captain Garo Kuredjian spending time with Mountain Vista Elementary students as part of the Adopt-A-Cop program which is being brought back to Fillmore Unified School District. Photo courtesy Mountain Vista Elementary blog.
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Deputy Gonzalez at San Cayetano Elementary answering student questions and interacting with them during recess, as part of Fillmore Unified School District’s Adopt-A-Cop program in partnership with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Photo courtesy San Cayetano Elementary blog.
Deputy Gonzalez at San Cayetano Elementary answering student questions and interacting with them during recess, as part of Fillmore Unified School District’s Adopt-A-Cop program in partnership with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. Photo courtesy San Cayetano Elementary blog.
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When Chrissy Schieferle returned to Fillmore Unified School District [FUSD] as Superintendent in 2021, she knew she wanted to bring back the very successful Adopt-A-Cop program.

The program originally began back in 2009 when Schieferle, then Principal of Mountain Vista Elementary, became aware of some of her fourth-grade students exhibiting at-risk behaviors. She worked with teacher, Mrs. Nutley, researching prevention/intervention programs used by schools across the country, and were most impressed with the “Adopt-A-Cop” program.

The Adopt-A-Cop program provides elementary students with an opportunity to build positive relationships with cops in Fillmore. The program’s goal is for kids to experience the human side of law enforcement through interactive discussions and working with students on teacher designed activities that build character. Students take these positive experiences home and express them with friends and family, further strengthening law enforcement’s relationship with the communities of Fillmore and Piru.

Superintendent Schieferle said, “One of our district goals is to build collaborations with the community. The Adopt-A-Cop program is a great collaboration with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department [VCSD]. When I talked to VCSD Captain Kuredjian about restarting the program, he was happy to help and worked to identify deputies excited to work with students at our 4 elementary schools. Captain Kuredjian and the deputies all enjoy interacting with students, playing with them at recess, and recognize the value of being positive role models while building strong relationships with students.”

 


 
The long wait is nearly over for the Fillmore Library Expansion Project! Its Grand Reopening is set for November 19th from 10am to 5pm. Back in August 2019 the library received $1.5- million in state funding to support the Fillmore Library Expansion Project. And in October 2021 the library closed for the project to begin the expansion. It will include a STEM MakerSpace, a classroom, several study rooms, new public computer stations, and effectively double the footprint of the existing library.
The long wait is nearly over for the Fillmore Library Expansion Project! Its Grand Reopening is set for November 19th from 10am to 5pm. Back in August 2019 the library received $1.5- million in state funding to support the Fillmore Library Expansion Project. And in October 2021 the library closed for the project to begin the expansion. It will include a STEM MakerSpace, a classroom, several study rooms, new public computer stations, and effectively double the footprint of the existing library.
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On Friday, October 28th, the Fillmore Flashes defeated long standing rival Santa Paula for their 111th meeting of the
teams. Above are the Varsity Football and Cheer teams celebrating after the big win and being named Citrus Coast
League Champs which allows Fillmore to advance to the Playoffs this Friday, November 4th against Santa Ana High
School in the first round of CIF Playoffs. Photo credit Crystal Gurrola. Additional details courtesy Max Preps: On Friday, October 28th, the Fillmore Flashes defeated long standing rival Santa Paula in their 111th meeting of the two teams. After a long, hardfought game between the teams the final score for the varsity game was 35 – 28, JV lost to Santa Paula 2 – 7. The Flashes varsity also claimed the title of League Champs, going undefeated in their league (Overall record 8 – 2; League record 4 – 0). This win allows the Flashes to advance to the 2022 CIF Southern Section Playoffs Bracket and will play away against the Santa Ana at the Santa Ana Bowl Stadium 662 N. Flower St., Santa Ana 92723. (Overall record 7-3) on Friday, November 4th, at 7pm.
On Friday, October 28th, the Fillmore Flashes defeated long standing rival Santa Paula for their 111th meeting of the teams. Above are the Varsity Football and Cheer teams celebrating after the big win and being named Citrus Coast League Champs which allows Fillmore to advance to the Playoffs this Friday, November 4th against Santa Ana High School in the first round of CIF Playoffs. Photo credit Crystal Gurrola. Additional details courtesy Max Preps: On Friday, October 28th, the Fillmore Flashes defeated long standing rival Santa Paula in their 111th meeting of the two teams. After a long, hardfought game between the teams the final score for the varsity game was 35 – 28, JV lost to Santa Paula 2 – 7. The Flashes varsity also claimed the title of League Champs, going undefeated in their league (Overall record 8 – 2; League record 4 – 0). This win allows the Flashes to advance to the 2022 CIF Southern Section Playoffs Bracket and will play away against the Santa Ana at the Santa Ana Bowl Stadium 662 N. Flower St., Santa Ana 92723. (Overall record 7-3) on Friday, November 4th, at 7pm.
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On Friday, November 4th, the Sespe Players and FHS Drama Club will be back in action performing “The Cathedral…of Doom!” at the Sespe Auditorium on November 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th at 7pm, and November 6th at 2pm. Above is Roberto Munoz with Jordyn Hastings in the background practicing their performances for their upcoming debut.
On Friday, November 4th, the Sespe Players and FHS Drama Club will be back in action performing “The Cathedral…of Doom!” at the Sespe Auditorium on November 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th at 7pm, and November 6th at 2pm. Above is Roberto Munoz with Jordyn Hastings in the background practicing their performances for their upcoming debut.
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After many years the Sespe Players are back, along with the Fillmore High School Drama Club! Josh Overton, the President of The Sespe Players and advisor of the Fillmore High School Drama Club, has written a new play, The Cathedral… of Doom! It will be preformed at the Sespe Auditorium on November 4th, 5th at 7 p.m., November 6th at 2 p.m. and the following weekend: November 11th, and 12th at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 for students and $10 for adults.

The cast and crew have been working hard for the last few months to bring you this fantastic show for all to see. It is a story of love, and love lost. It has good guys and bad guys, music, and dancing.

The cast and crew starts with one man, Josh Overton. The Writer, Director, Stage Builder, and best friend to all of us. Josh’s Assistant Director is Jessica Givan, Stage Manager is Kitty Munoz, Choreographers are Hannah Faith and Kitty Munoz, Lighting by Jennifer Hurd, and Sound by Lennon Bedau.

The cast includes the talents of Alex Aguirre,Ruby Bronsten, Fatima Campos, Fidel Escoto, Hannah Faith, Lilly Faith, Jordyn Hastings, Natalia Herrera, Henry Hurd, Brandy Lengning, Mabel Lengning, Adrianna Limon, Isabella Liu, Diana Martinez, Kitty Munoz, Jillian Munoz, Roberto Munoz, Emily Perez, Pagoda Redfern, Cameron Reilly, Cheyenne Rose, Cody Sanchez, McKenna Taylor, Manny Valenzuela, and Joe Woods.

You will love this play! The Cathedral… ofDoom! features songs from The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Oingo Boingo, and more! It has never been done before! You will laugh, you might cry, you could be scared, you will sing along and even tap your feet. All of that for a very small price. And to top it all off, come early - the first 100 people will get a seat cushion. And if you have ever been to the Sespe Auditorium you know what a treat that will be.

So come on everyone, come support the Arts of Fillmore! The cast is very talented and you will have a great time. We in the cast and crew would love to see as many of the seats filled as possible, so make your plans and I’ll bet you will want to see it twice!The Cathedral… of Doom! is an awesome play so come and have fun. We will see you there!

 


 
The four candidates running for 2 Full Term Fillmore City Council Seats are (l-r) Zachary Lotshaw, Carrie Broggie, Luis Rodriquez and Albert Mendez.
The four candidates running for 2 Full Term Fillmore City Council Seats are (l-r) Zachary Lotshaw, Carrie Broggie, Luis Rodriquez and Albert Mendez.
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Elections 2022 will be held on November 8th.

Fillmore City Council has two full-term (4-year) seats on council and four candidates, Carrie Broggie, Albert Mendez, Zachary Lotshaw and Luis Rodriquez.

The Gazette submitted 3 questions to each candidate. The three specific questions were:

1. Qualifications which prepare you to serve on Council.

2. What actions taken by the current council in the last two years do you agree with most and why? What actions do you disagree
with most and why?

3. What is your vision for Fillmore if elected/reelected? What do you perceive as the five most important priorities for the
city?

ZACHARY LOTSHAW

1. Qualifications which prepare you to serve on Council.

To be a qualified representative, you need to know the people you represent. I’ve spent much of my time getting to know people from all walks of life - from serving in my church, providing child care to families, working with community groups, organizing street clean ups, and helping our disadvantaged by connecting them to needed resources. My many years of service have taught me to meet people where they are in life, listen with an open mind, and organize to make a difference.

Additionally, my educational path has enhanced those skills to best serve my community. I have my Bachelors in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Law and Public Policy from CSU Channel Islands and am currently a law student at the Colleges of Law in Ventura. I will use my education to craft sound and equitable public policy, utilize up-to-date best practices, and apply my knowledge and skillset to ensure Fillmore has a bright, sustainable future.

2. What actions taken by the current council in the last two years do you agree with most and why? What actions do you disagree with most and why?

I am pleased that the current council has provided our Downtown direct support through grants to help revitalize their facades. This current funding is a one-time allocation. If elected, I would continue working closely with our local businesses, identify their needs, and find creative solutions to provide support.

I am disappointed with the lack of attentiveness the current city council has given to our vital Housing Element of the General Plan. The city paid an outside firm over $160,000 to finish the element by October of 2021 (before it was due to the State). When that didn’t happen, the city was given another date, which came and passed, and then another. The draft was only recently published. There is no reason why the council did not prioritize the Housing Element and push for its completion. It is now so late, we have likely lost grant/funding opportunities from the State as a result. Housing planning must be prioritized.

3. What is your vision for Fillmore if elected/reelected? What do you perceive as the five most important priorities for the city?

If elected, I will continue my lifelong dedication to service by focusing on: affordable/accessible housing, public safety, decreasing the cost of energy, improving access to city services, and revitalizing our Downtown. With the opening of the Mountain View Apartments, we saw roughly 800 applications from Fillmore residents, the need for housing is dire. I envision working directly with developers to bring in affordable housing developments, and with the Sheriffs to enhance our public safety. I plan to collaborate with State and Federal partners to address our energy needs - especially to push for safe infrastructure, lowering the need for emergency shut offs, and securing lower rates for our residents. I will be proactive in outreach to our Spanish-speaking residents and other communities that often feel disconnected from local government. My vision for Fillmore is that it remains true to the community I love, and that as a Councilmember, I help to ensure all residents have a sense of belonging and that together, we build a safer and healthier community.

I hope to earn your vote by November 8th. Learn more at www.ZacharyForFillmore.com.

CARRIE BROGGIE

1. Qualifications which prepare you to serve on Council.

I have worked in public service most of my adult life. As a member of the District Attorney’s management team for 27 years, I became an advocate for public safety and learned the importance of having a safe community. Additionally, I served as a Fillmore city council member from 2014 through 2018. I was also mayor of Fillmore in 2017. I have been serving as a planning commissioner for our community for four years. I am intimately familiar with issues that are impacting our community.

2. What actions taken by the current council in the last two years do you agree with most and why? What actions do you disagree with most and why?

I believe our city council has done an exemplary job of moving our city forward through some very tough times. One need only compare the city budget of two years ago to the budget we have today. Beyond this statement, I am not in a position to agree or disagree with decisions made by this current council because I have not been privy to the full context of facts that each council member had when they voted to pass/not pass an agenda item.

3. What is your vision for Fillmore if elected/reelected? What do you perceive as the five most important priorities for the city?

My vision for Fillmore is to see it retain and improve upon its quaint, small-town charm while moving forward with business development and housing affordability. My five most important priorities for the city are:
1) Work to keep Fillmore a united community by preventing the divisiveness that is impacting the rest of the country from permeating our community.
2) Focus on our youth by seeking out venues and activities that they can engage in and demonstrating to our youngest citizens that our community cares about them.
3) Fight Sacramento to prevent new legislation from infringing upon our City’s right for local control. For example, legislation was just signed into law that permits developers to bypass reviews by our planning commission and city council, allowing them to construct residential projects in locations not zoned residential.
4) Improve our infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, underground pipes, and bike paths. Our historical downtown district is currently being assessed for improvements, and I will ensure that recommendations made by our merchants and citizens are implemented.
5) Enhance our city parks, see the dog park improvements completed and reopened, and develop other recreational areas. I want to partner with our County representatives to develop marked, accessible hiking trails so our residents are able to spend more time making use of our beautiful surroundings.

ALBERT MENDEZ

1. Qualifications which prepare you to serve on Council.
I have spent the past 8 years serving on the city of Fillmore Planning Commission. During this time, I have learned how to review projects related to land, housing and the permit process. I have become familiar with documents such as the Fillmore master plan, downtown specific plan and the Heritage Valley Park Specific Plan.

2. What actions taken by the current council in the last two years do you agree with most and why? What actions do you disagree with most and why?
I agree with the council’s decision to eliminate specific employment requirements for large warehousing and distribution uses in the business park. This eliminated the requirement of one job for every 900 square feet of floor space for Warehouse and Distribution Facilities over 45,000 square feet in the Business Park zone, Ordinance # 22-939.
The action I disagree with the most is not passing the housing element. As of today, the housing element for the city of Fillmore is not done. I disagree with this because the city is not eligible to receive grant money that is available for housing in the city.

3. What is your vision for Fillmore if elected/reelected? What do you perceive as the five most important priorities for the city?
My vision of Fillmore would be a vibrant and thriving downtown business district. A city that businesses want to do business in, a city that invests in infrastructure, community, parks/outdoor space and public safety.
The top five most important priorities for the city would be;
• Downtown business-attracting more business to Fillmore
• Infrastructure Needs. i.e paving our roads, replacing way finding signs, maintain parks, information Technology.
• Creating a plan for our homeless population
• Addressing our housing needs, crating more affordable housing, build for our community
• Adding more service for our senior citizens

LUIS RODIGUEZ

1.
I was born and raised in Fillmore and went to school here from K through 12. I have spent most of my life with a passion for the Arts, Fitness and Business. I spent 12 years helping people of all ages work on their fitness goals and get back into health as a Fitness Instructor. I spent 3 of the last 4 years working for the FUSD where I helped develop an Art Class at Sierra High School and put together Engaging and Educational projects for the Fillmore Middle School ASES program as Program Coordinator.

Growing up with my town allowed me to see the community as Family. Working with the children of people who I grew up with solidified that feeling for me. I truly believe I am in a unique position to help bring this community together.

2.
After hearing out David Rowlands on the Sierra Northern Railway decision, it became obvious that this city is willing to make tough decisions for the benefit of the community. Although bad press and community displeasure, City Council and Planning stayed strong on their decision to protect the town from a potentially disruptive business model and activities that may affect the publics quality of life.

One thing I disagreed with over the years was the absence of certain projects such as the Sespe Creek Car Show and the 4th of July Fireworks. The Car Show was outdoors and there was no doubt that the attendance would have been lower than usual so missing it two years really put a damper on Fillmore’s and made an emotionally tough time more difficult.

3.
My vision for this City is to reinvigorate the cultural identity of Fillmore. We will undoubtedly be losing tourism with the absence of the train. Over the years many mural projects have fallen through. Creativity and Unity used to be the Identity of Fillmore and I feel like it has been losing some of its identity. We need to be a destination, not just a pass through.

I would also like to emphasize a focus on jobs, we need to attract residents and tourists to our existing businesses while bringing in more opportunities. We recently acquired RSI which is a great technological resource for the future of our youth. Our Business Park has plenty of space for more industries such as assembly lines, manufacturing, and engineering to occupy. As new homes are being developed, we will need more opportunities for our residents to make living wage jobs.

 

Fillmore Flashes will host long-time rival Santa Paula for the 111thmeeting of the two towns on Friday, October 28th: JV4pm & Varsity 7pm. The game is SOLD OUT, pre-sale tickets went on sale this past Monday, and sold out fast for the big game. You can live stream the game on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/c/FillmoreVideoProduction or you can check out the VCSTARs Game of the week. GO FLASHES!!

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

An investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes -Financial Crimes Unit leads to the arrest of Claudia Portugal Cornejo for four (4) felony counts of Grand Theft, four (4) felony counts of Presentation of Fraudulent Claim, two (2) felony counts of False Presentation of Another, one (1) felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Crime and the arrest of Sergio Cornejo for one (1) felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Crime.

Claudia and Sergio Cornejo own and operate Fillmore General Services in the city of Fillmore. Claudia Cornejo informed clients of their business and family they qualified for Covid Grant Relief funding through the Business Assistance Grant Program offered by the county of Ventura and the California Grant Relief Program offered by the State of California. Claudia Cornejo charged a fee for their services to apply for the grant funding. Claudia and Sergio Cornejo doctored tax documents to elevate gross income. Claudia then submitted fraudulent business certificates and manipulated documents to obtain grant funding for clients who were otherwise not qualified for grant funding. Claudia and Sergio Cornejo did the same for their own grant funding.

Investigators believe Claudia Cornejo secured $95,000.00 in grant funding from fraudulent submission of documents to the county of Ventura and State of California during the time period of June 2020 to November 2021. Claudia and Sergio Cornejo were arrested in Fillmore on October 20, 2022.

Claudia Cornejo was booked into the Pre Trial Detention Facility. Claudia Cornejo’s bail has been set at $50,000.00 dollars.

Sergio Cornejo was booked into the Pre Trial Detention Facility. Sergio Cornejo’s bail has been set at $50,000.00 dollars.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident or may be a victim is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Jason Cantrall at 805-384-4744.

Nature of Incident: Arrest of Fraud Suspects
Report Number: 21-144558
Location: Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/20/2022 @ 12:00 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes -Financial Crimes Unit, Fillmore Police Department
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age
(S) Claudia Portugal Cornejo, Fillmore, 49
(S) Sergio Cornejo, Fillmore, 52
(V) County of Ventura – County Executive Office
(V) State of California
Prepared by: Jason Cantrall, Sergeant
Approved by: Victor Medina, Captain

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
On Wednesday, October 19th, 2022, Fillmore Fire Department and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported heavy traffic collision at River Street and Lemon Lane, Fillmore. Instead of a TC, firefighters found a gushing fire hydrant, apparently caused by an errant forklift operator. Firefighters were able to shut down the hydrant before it caused too much damage, no injuries were reported. Public works remained on scene, and the forklift operator went somewhere to dry out. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Wednesday, October 19th, 2022, Fillmore Fire Department and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported heavy traffic collision at River Street and Lemon Lane, Fillmore. Instead of a TC, firefighters found a gushing fire hydrant, apparently caused by an errant forklift operator. Firefighters were able to shut down the hydrant before it caused too much damage, no injuries were reported. Public works remained on scene, and the forklift operator went somewhere to dry out. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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On Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, at 9:18am, California Highway Patrol, Ventura County Fire, AMR Paramedics, and Fillmore Patrol Services were dispatched to a reported traffic collision on SR23/Chambersburg and W. Guiberson Road. Arriving firefighters reported two vehicles involved, two patients, and both vehicles with front-end damage. According to the CHP, the white Lexus was trying to pass and crashed into an oncoming white pickup truck. It is unknown whether the truck was on the straight-away or turned out from a side street. Both patients were transferred to hospital, condition unknown. Fillmore Patrol Services had southbound and northbound lanes of SR23 shut down for over an hour until the scene was cleared. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Tuesday, October 25th, 2022, at 9:18am, California Highway Patrol, Ventura County Fire, AMR Paramedics, and Fillmore Patrol Services were dispatched to a reported traffic collision on SR23/Chambersburg and W. Guiberson Road. Arriving firefighters reported two vehicles involved, two patients, and both vehicles with front-end damage. According to the CHP, the white Lexus was trying to pass and crashed into an oncoming white pickup truck. It is unknown whether the truck was on the straight-away or turned out from a side street. Both patients were transferred to hospital, condition unknown. Fillmore Patrol Services had southbound and northbound lanes of SR23 shut down for over an hour until the scene was cleared. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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On Saturday, October 22nd, the VC Sheriff’s Department conducted a compliance check of 41 registered sex offenders throughout the City of Fillmore to be sure they were in compliance. [Stock photo]
On Saturday, October 22nd, the VC Sheriff’s Department conducted a compliance check of 41 registered sex offenders throughout the City of Fillmore to be sure they were in compliance. [Stock photo]
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On Saturday, October 22nd, 2022, Sheriff’s detectives conducted compliance checks at the residences of forty-one (41) registered sex offenders throughout the City of Fillmore and the surrounding unincorporated areas. The compliance checks were funded through the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE / ELEAS) program.

Thirty-two (32) of the sex registrants were confirmed to be in compliance with their registration requirements. Nine (9) registrants were not contacted because they were either not home or had moved. Sheriff’s detectives will follow-up to determine if the nine registrants not contacted are out-of-compliance.

The Sheriff’s Office aggressively pursues prosecution of those sex registrants who fail to comply with their registration requirements. Detectives will be conducting similar sweeps on an ongoing basis to verify the registered sex offenders in our community are living at their reported residences and remain in compliance with any probation or parole terms. Residents of Ventura County can visit the Megan’s Law website (www.meganslaw.ca.gov) to familiarize themselves with the sex registrants in their community.

Nature of Incident: Sex Registrant Compliance Sweep
Report Number: N/A
Location: City of Fillmore and Surrounding Unincorporated Areas
Date & Time: October 22nd, 2022
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau
Prepared by: Sergeant Hector Macias
Approved by: Captain Victor Medina

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).