Boys & Girls Club of Fillmore gave away goodie bags filled with school supplies to the first 75 youngsters who stopped by between 3-5pm on Halloween. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley Facebook Page.
Boys & Girls Club of Fillmore gave away goodie bags filled with school supplies to the first 75 youngsters who stopped by between 3-5pm on Halloween. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley Facebook Page.
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(l-r) Tim Holmgren, Ari Larson, Mark Austin, Christina Reyes-Villaseñor, Esther (Sivakami) Taylor
(l-r) Tim Holmgren, Ari Larson, Mark Austin, Christina Reyes-Villaseñor, Esther (Sivakami) Taylor
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City Council Candidate Tim Holmgren:
Reelecting Tim Holmgren
As Election Day approaches, I want to take a moment and talk about what I will to do once reelected. Fillmore is a beautiful place to live and I have always focused on the best interest of our community. If reelected, I will continue working on the things that are important to all of us.
I’ll keep moving Fillmore forward in a more business-friendly direction, which will continue to build stronger economic development, stimulate job growth and revitalize the downtown business community.
I’ll continue to support law enforcement, and to reach out and hold conversations with all members of our community. Everyone in our city plays an important role in making Fillmore a stronger community.
I’ll continue to represent the interests of our community on local, county and regional boards and commissions; working to make sure that our local groundwater continues to meet the needs of the basin for the next 50 years. Working together with the leaders from other Ventura County cities to address concerns common to the county as a whole. Representing Fillmore on a regional level making sure we have a voice when decisions are made that affect all of us.
Finally, I will strive…as I always have, to preserve our small-town charm and culture. Together, we will make sure that Fillmore continues to be the kind of place you want to raise your family - the last, best small town in Southern California. I appreciate your support and I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

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City Council Candidate Mark Austin:
I have lived in the Fillmore area for nearly 25 years. I joined the City Council 4 years ago after serving 12 years as a Fillmore Planning Commissioner. I understand how the local government works and know how to get things done. My agenda for Fillmore is as follows
Strengthen and Grow the Local Economy - Attracting and retaining local businesses is a top priority. I will continue to work to streamline the permit process to help our businesses. As your council member, I will continue to make job and business creation in Fillmore a top priority.
Provide Public Safety Resources for a Secure Community -The City of Fillmore is recognized as one of the safest cities to live in the State of California. Over the past 4 years, I have provided the funding needed to maintain our police and fire departments. As your council member, I will continue to ensure our public safety professionals are provided with the resources needed to keep our community safe.
Maintain and Improve Our Small-Town Quality of Life - Fillmore is best known to people outside our community as a quaint small-town with a strong sense of community. Through smart planning and managed growth, we can keep this atmosphere. Throughout my years as a Planning Commissioner and City Council member, I have focused on maintaining and improving our unique small-town character. As your council member, I will continue this focus.

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City Council Candidate Ari Larson:
Hello, my name is Ari Larson and I am running for Fillmore City Council.
If elected I will continue to work hard as I have been for years for our great town of Fillmore.
The businesses in our community are of utmost importance to me. I understand that a robust community has to have healthy and thriving businesses. I have worked to promote, assist and support local businesses via membership in FAB (Fillmore Association of Businesses), Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau and California Women of Agriculture.
I am also part of the solution to the needs in our community. I have initiated programs and events that benefit the entire community. I am on the board of diverse non-profits, that assist the elderly, children, women and those affected by cancer (Rotary, Santa Clara Valley Hospice, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, Soroptimist International of Fillmore, RFL and Girl Scouts, Community Giveaway committee). I am one of two Fillmore residents appointed by the city to represent us at the VCAAA (Ventura County Area Agency on Aging); I volunteer for Meals on Wheels and am on the Veterans Day Committee.
Being bilingual has helped me communicate with both English and Spanish speakers. I am Hispanic and am able to understand both cultures.
I will continue working towards keeping our city a place where families want to raise their children -- a place where people are given opportunities to reach their full potential and where our economy is thriving. That includes promoting education at all levels.
Lastly, I was honored and humbled to have been named 2019 Fillmore Citizen of the Year. I believe that as citizens of a small community we need to face our challenges in a manner that unifies us. For more information, please go to my Facebook page under Ari Larson. Thank you, I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

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City Council Candidate Christina Reyes Villaseñor:
My Fillmore priorities:
1. As a community, take account of our assets/resources (social services, nutrition, (mental) health, family, economic, local business, housing, transportation, natural resources, artistic, cultural, etc.). Use this as the basis for a City/community-sponsored resource center (on-line initially) where residents can obtain information and services and share/contribute services, skills and talents. 2. Help expedite the construction of two affordable housing projects coming to Fillmore, communicate publicly about this process and explore other potential spaces and funding sources for further housing options.
3. Study potential methods to provide relief to our high water/sewer bills, including: low-income assistance, re-financing the debt, using renewable energy, new revenue sources, and switching to City plant maintenance.
Mis prioridades para Fillmore:
1. Como comunidad, tener en cuenta nuestrosrecursos (servicios sociales, nutrición, salud (mental), familia, economía, negocios locales, vivienda, transporte, recursos naturales, artísticos, culturales, etc.). Esta será la base para un centro de recursos patrocinado por la ciudad / comunidad (en línea inicialmente) donde los residentes pueden obtener información y servicios y también contribuir con servicios, habilidades y talentos. 2. Ayude a acelerar la construcción de los dos proyectos de viviendas asequibles que llegarán a Fillmore, comuníquese públicamente sobre este proceso y explorar otros espacios y fuentes de financiación para otras viviendas asequibles3. Estudiar métodos potenciales para aliviar las altas facturas de agua/alcantarillado: la asistencia para personas de bajos ingresos, el refinanciamiento de la deuda, energía renovable,nuevas fuentes de ingresos y cambio al mantenimiento de la planta por parte de la ciudad.

***

City Council Candidate Esther (Sivakami) Taylor:
My vision is to prioritize local business, youth and family support, equity and inclusivity, affordable housing, and environmental stewardship.
First I will focus on affordable housing solutions and community resource centers, while expanding on our community-led food sharing network. Second, I will reevaluate city policies through a lens of inclusivity to improve the safety and success of our local youth, including allocating funds toward comprehensive mental health and youth engagement programs. Third, I will work to preserve the health of our local ecology by updating our environmental planning elements to promote sustainable land stewardship. Learn more at futurefillmore2020.org.
Mi visiĂłn es priorizar las empresas locales, el apoyo de los jĂłvenes y las familias, la equidad y la inclusiĂłn, las viviendas de bajo costo y la administraciĂłn ambiental.
Primero, me enfocaré en soluciones de viviendas de bajo costo y centros de recursos comunitarios, mientras amplío nuestra red de distribución de alimentos liderada por la comunidad. En segundo lugar, reevaluaré las políticas de la ciudad a través de una lente de inclusión para mejorar la seguridad y el éxito de nuestra juventud local, incluida la asignación de fondos para programas integrales de salud mental y participación de los jóvenes. En tercer lugar, trabajaré para preservar la salud de nuestra ecología local actualizando nuestros elementos de planificación ambiental para promover la administración sostenible de la tierra. Obtenga más información en futurefillmore2020.org

 


 
On Thursday, October 22nd, Fillmore Chief of Police Garo Kuredjian presented Jan Marholin, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of SCV, with a check for $10,000 from the Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department to support its Learning Loss Programs due to Covid-19. The clubs are connecting with youth, not only onsite but also using a virtual club which can be accessed at www.bgclubscv.org. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley.
On Thursday, October 22nd, Fillmore Chief of Police Garo Kuredjian presented Jan Marholin, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of SCV, with a check for $10,000 from the Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department to support its Learning Loss Programs due to Covid-19. The clubs are connecting with youth, not only onsite but also using a virtual club which can be accessed at www.bgclubscv.org. Courtesy Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley.
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On Tuesday, October 27th at 5:45am, California Highway Patrol closed off westbound lanes of Highway 126 at Main Street to investigate the death of a bicyclist who died after a collision with a white four-door sedan. Traffic was diverted through one of the eastbound lanes while CHP investigated the scene. The driver of the sedan stayed to contribute to the investigation. No arrests were made at the time of the incident which is still under investigation.

 


 
From May to October of this year the multiple VC Sheriff units worked together to complete 18 illegal marijuana cultivation investigations on public or private land in and around the Los Padres National Forest in Northern Ventura County. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department.
From May to October of this year the multiple VC Sheriff units worked together to complete 18 illegal marijuana cultivation investigations on public or private land in and around the Los Padres National Forest in Northern Ventura County. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department.
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The Ventura County Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, in partnership with the Sheriff’s SWAT Team and the Sheriff’s Aviation Unit, has completed 18 illegal marijuana cultivation investigations on public or private land in and around the Los Padres National Forest in Northern Ventura County. Those investigations yielded 74,600 marijuana plants and 1,500 pounds of harvested marijuana. Eleven suspects were arrested, and 84 firearms were seized at the grow sites. This is a significant increase in plants, processed marijuana, firearms, and arrest from previous years.

The Sheriff’s Office has worked consistently with the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program in the eradication of illicit marijuana cultivations on public lands. The Sheriff’s Office receives grant funding from the Forest Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration to locate, investigate, and eradicate illegal marijuana cultivation sites in the Los Padres National Forest. These marijuana cultivation sites are littered with legal and illegal pesticides and herbicides as well as trash. The natural vegetation is removed and the land is terraced which causes erosion. Water is diverted from streams for irrigation and becomes contaminated with poisons that eventually runoff into Ventura County watersheds.

Many cultivation sites are located miles from roadways or trails. Helicopters are utilized to transport law enforcement personnel in and haul marijuana, trash and supplies out of the grow sites. Thousands of pounds of marijuana and trash are taken to a refuge disposal site and buried. The marijuana produced from these illegal cultivation sites are sold on black market, with very little overhead costs, making the illicit marijuana business very profitable.

The impact on public lands continues to increase with the amount of trash, growing supplies and chemicals left behind after a marijuana cultivation is completed. It is not uncommon for investigators to locate carbofuran, a pesticide, in the grow sites and applied to the plants. The Environmental Protection Agency banned carbofuran in the United States in 2010 because the pesticide is extremely toxic to animals and humans. According to the labels, the carbofuran that is being found in the grow sites have been imported into the United States from Mexico or China.

Other illegal activities are also occurring at marijuana cultivation sites. Human trafficking, labor trafficking, illegal firearms, other drugs like methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine are found along with butane honey oil labs, which place a significant risk to the public.

The Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies, will continue to enforce local and state marijuana cultivation laws. Anyone with information about illegal marijuana cultivation or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit at 805-383-8700 or the Ventura County Crime Stoppers Tip Line 800-222-8477.
Nature of Incident: Marijuana Eradications
Location: Ventura County
Date & Time: May through October 2020
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau
Prepared by: Sergeant Jason Hendren
Approved by: Captain Brian Slominski

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).

 
Last week a traffic collision occurred on Citrus View in Piru. Once on scene crews found a black car overturned on its topside. Cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Last week a traffic collision occurred on Citrus View in Piru. Once on scene crews found a black car overturned on its topside. Cause of the crash is still under investigation.
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Cactus Flat School, 1889.
Cactus Flat School, 1889.
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Cienega School, 1873
Cienega School, 1873
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San Cayetano School, 1889
San Cayetano School, 1889
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Mountain View School, 1892 (built in 1890)
Mountain View School, 1892 (built in 1890)
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Sespe School, 1896 (built in 1889)
Sespe School, 1896 (built in 1889)
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Mountain View School, 1909
Mountain View School, 1909
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The Old School on Central Avenue, 1930 (built in 1874)
The Old School on Central Avenue, 1930 (built in 1874)
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Fillmore Cafe the old school after the fire, 1936
Fillmore Cafe the old school after the fire, 1936
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

By the 1870s more and more settlers were arriving and claiming land along the Santa Clara and Sespe rivers. These were families who had come from all over the United States looking for a new place to call home, settle down and raise their families.

In 1871, the Frederic Sprague family arrived at the Sespe from Placer County. The family included his wife, Clare, a son, Hartley, who drove one of the wagons, and daughters, Iva and her twin, Inez, and younger sister Nellie. They came by way of Santa Barbara and had to cross the sandy beach north of Ventura. They lost one of their two wagons in the sand that day and had to wait until the next low tide to retrieve it.

Sprague had filed a homestead preemption claim on 160 acres of the disputed Rancho Sespe owned by Thomas More. (He and More had an ongoing argument about Sprague’s claim and he will always be connected to the 1877 More murder. But that’s another story.) Once settled in the Sespe, the Spragues farmed and operated a small grocery store close to Atmore Road where stage drivers could stop and change horses. Within the first year, Iva’s twin sister, Inez and her sister, Nellie, died of typhoid fever.

Education was important to the settlers so in 1874 Frederic and his 13 year old daughter, Iva, and 14 year old son, Hartley, traveled by wagon to Ventura to purchase wood for the building of a school. The school he built was located on the north side of the Santa Clara River near the current north approach of the Bardsdale Bridge. It was 20’ X 30’ and, depending on teacher’s estimates, either 11’, 12’, or 16’ high.

Like all schools of the period it was one room with the teacher’s desk on a platform on one end very similar to the 1873 Cienega School. According to Clara Smith, a teacher in the district in 1886-1887, “a water bucket and tin dipper stood just inside the door…There was a bookcase on the left side of the door with 150 volumes many of which are above the ability of the children to read…The children sit in rows facing the teacher, whose chair and desk occupy a place on the platform at the other end of the room. To the right of the teacher stands a manikin which shows the relative position of the different organs of the human body. This is the nearest approach to the instruction in hygiene which the children will receive.”

In 1879 the little school was moved to the east bank of the Sespe just a little north of today’s railroad bridge where it served as both church and school.

The old school building was moved once again in late 1888 from the east bank of the Sespe to a location two lots south of Sespe St. on the east side of Central Ave where it served the Fillmore School District as an office.

By early 1889, the school district served enough children to split into 3 districts. They were the Sespe, San Cayetano, and Fillmore School Districts. The Sespe and San Cayetano districts built new buildings immediately, but the Fillmore district had to wait a bit for their new building.

With their old school moved to town and their new school being built, students attended the Cactus Flat School. Their parents loaned the boards for the temporary building but wanted them back uncut. So each board was numbered and eventually returned to the owner. The photo shows how irregular the building was. This little school was on the east bank of the Sespe north of Fifth Street and West of Goodenough Road, about where Candelaria and Catalano Streets are now in 2020.

In 1890, the children who lived on the east side of the Sespe moved to a brand new school located on the northwest corner of Sespe and Mountain View. It was used until 1909 when the larger Mountain View School was built on the east side of Mountain View between Main St. and Sespe.

In 1890, Dr. John Hinckley bought the old school building that Sprague built and moved it across Central Ave. to a lot on the northwest corner of Sespe and Central. He remodeled it, added a room, and used it as his office and Fillmore’s first drug store. He later sold the building to Owen Miller who turned it into a restaurant. Dr. Hinckley moved his office and home on the corner of Ventura St., now Hwy 23, and Central Ave.

Herky Villaseñor used the old school building briefly in the 1930s until he moved his tamale factory to Main and Clay St.

In 1936, Mr. O.M Topley took over the restaurant intending to open a beer parlor but in May, 1936 the building was destroyed by fire.

This building represented 40 years of Fillmore’s pioneer history from its beginnings as an unnamed dusty spot in the road to a thriving farming community. By 1936 the community was well established with schools, churches, businesses and about 2,800 residents. Within two weeks of the fire, Clara Ida Sprague Sheldon, who had told the story of the old school to the newspaper, had died. Two years later in 1938, Hartley Sprague who rode to Ventura with his father to buy wood for the first school, also died. The pioneer period was ending.

 
Reynaldo Hernandez, 54, Piru.
Reynaldo Hernandez, 54, Piru.

The Fillmore Investigative Bureau concluded an investigation into a Piru resident that lead to charges related to stalking, trespassing and theft. The suspect, Reynaldo Hernandez, was involved in targeting a woman who lives in Fillmore.

During the month of September 2020, investigators received information that Hernandez was involved in trespassing on a property in the 800 block of Blaine Ave. Hernandez had been caught by the homeowners on their property and had been asked to leave.

A subsequent investigation by detectives revealed Hernandez had trespassed onto the victim’s property and took woman’s underwear that were in an outside laundry area.

Detectives conducted a search of Hernandez’ residence and located evidence belonging to the victim. In addition, investigators located other woman’s underwear in his possession. Detectives also learned Hernandez had repeatedly unlawfully entered the victim’s property over the past few months.

The investigation led to Hernandez’ arrest for charges of 602.5 PC- Trespassing, and 646.9 (a) PC- Stalking. Hernandez remains in custody pending $200,000.00 bail.

The investigation is ongoing. Detectives believe Hernandez might have targeted other victims in the region. The Fillmore Investigative Bureau is requesting the public’s assistance for information related to the theft of woman’s undergarments or other related items. Please call one of the investigators listed below for information.

Prepared by: Sergeant Vince Alvarez
News Release Date: 10/20/20
Approved by: Captain Garo Kuredjian
Nature of Incident: Stalking / Theft Suspect Arrested
Report Number: RB# 20-123005
Location: 800 block of Blaine Street, Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/19/20, 3:05 P.M
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Police Department Investigations Bureau
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence, Age
(S) Reynaldo Hernandez, 54, Piru, Ca

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 October 15th at 3pm a semi-trailer truck transporting lemons overturned on Highway 126 west of O’Reilly Auto Parts in Fillmore, spilling lemons along the highway. Crews redirected traffic while a tractor scooped up the lemons blocking the road. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
On October 15th at 3pm a semi-trailer truck transporting lemons overturned on Highway 126 west of O’Reilly Auto Parts in Fillmore, spilling lemons along the highway. Crews redirected traffic while a tractor scooped up the lemons blocking the road. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
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On Tuesday, October 20th at 4:14pm, a hit & run accident was reported at Bellevue and Chambersburg Road in Bardsdale. No injuries were reported. Cause of the incident is under investigation.
On Tuesday, October 20th at 4:14pm, a hit & run accident was reported at Bellevue and Chambersburg Road in Bardsdale. No injuries were reported. Cause of the incident is under investigation.
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