Last updated October 13, 2020 at 4:21 PM, https://covid19.ca.gov/holidays/

Holidays usually mean gathering with friends and extended family, attending parties, hosting dinners, traveling, and celebrating time-honored customs. But some holiday activities promote congregating and mixing of households, which increase the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Enjoy your holidays safely. Follow guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and plan safer, alternative celebrations that don’t spread coronavirus to your family and in your community.

Halloween

Plan lower-risk celebrations, like:

• Joining online parties for costume contests or pumpkin carving

• Enjoying activities from your car like drive-through Halloween displays or drive-in movies

• Having fun at home with scary movies, a candy scavenger hunt, or turning your home into a haunted house

• Putting on costumes and going on a physically distanced walk with your household

• Dressing up your home or yard with Halloween decorations

Many traditional Halloween celebrations – such as parties and in-person, door to door trick-or-treating – pose a high risk of spreading COVID-19 and could put your family and loved ones at risk. These activities involve face to face interactions with people from different households, and if an infection is detected among a participant, it will be very difficult to find and notify those who may have been exposed.

For more low-risk Halloween activities, read CDPH’s Guidance for Safer Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Celebrations during COVID-19.

Día de los Muertos

For safety, celebrate Día de los Muertos only with other members of your household, or online.

Some low-risk activities are:

• Placing altars outside or in a front-facing window so they can be seen from a distance

• Creating virtual altars online that can be shared through email or social media

• Creating altar cards that can be sent in the mail

• Visiting cemeteries only with your household. Wear masks and physically distance from others. Limit time you spend there.

For more low-risk Día de los Muertos activities, read CDPH’s Guidance for Safer Halloween and Dia de los Muertos Celebrations during COVID-19.

Your local health department may have additional restrictions. Check your county’s COVID-19 website for information about Halloween and Día de los Muertos in your community.

 


 

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that county residents should be mindful of potentially unlawful social media posts during the current political climate. While we support a citizen’s right to free speech and the posting of personal opinions on the internet, there are risks and potential criminal liability associated with intentionally causing the harassment of others.

Electronically publishing a person’s personal identifying information for the purpose of causing that person to suffer fear or harassment may constitute a crime under what is commonly known as “doxing.” Any person who intentionally places another person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of that person’s immediate family, by an electronic communication and for the purpose of causing that person unwanted physical contact, injury, or harassment by a third party, may be guilty of a misdemeanor. “Harassment” means knowing and willful conduct that is directed at a specific person, that serves no legitimate purpose, and would be considered as seriously alarming, annoying, tormenting, or terrorizing to a reasonable person. Personal identifying information can include a digital image, an electronic message of a harassing nature, a home address, or phone number.

The District Attorney wholeheartedly supports and defends our tremendous liberty and freedom of speech, and there are currently many subjects worthy of robust public debate in our community. However, residents should be aware that First Amendment rights are not unlimited, and we encourage the community to be mindful that the law prohibits doxing.

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

 


 
The Store circa 1911, about when Stephens sold it and it became Cash Commercial Store.
The Store circa 1911, about when Stephens sold it and it became Cash Commercial Store.
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Part 2
Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings about 1923 when Stephens was vice president of the bank.
Pacific Southwest Trust and Savings about 1923 when Stephens was vice president of the bank.
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Trinity Episcopal, circa 1940.
Trinity Episcopal, circa 1940.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Part 2

In the years before Stephen built his new store, the old-time lock boxes for the patrons of the post office were located on the outside of the building. The arrival of the mail was an exciting event. Rain or shine, everyone gathered outside the store to get their mail and exchange the latest news with their neighbors. On September27, 1907, the big topic of discussion was the electric light Stephens had strung across Central Avenue from his store to the store of Harmonson and Rood. This was Fillmore’s very first street lighting. Stephens’ new building, which opened on March 12, 1910, was a one-story structure of stucco over brick, designed mission-style and built by contractor J. C. Blair. The post office was separate from the store with its own entrance as well as an entrance from the store. Over the outside entrance to the post office, a flagpole was erected. This flagpole remains in place today (1988), though it is no longer in use. In addition to the post office, this modern store offered general merchandise, a meat market, a public telephone, and a small jewelry store run by John Lawton. A six-foot cement sidewalk, one of the first in downtown Fillmore, was put in at the new building. At the store’s corner entrance, which faced both Main and Central, the sidewalk at the threshold featured the owner’s name set in green and white tiles. The tiled name remains in place to this day (2020 – it is still in place).

Like most of the early businessmen of Fillmore, Richard Stephens was deeply involved in the affairs of the community. He was one of the organizers and a director of the Fillmore State Bank until 1913 when, with others, he organized the Fillmore Branch of the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Santa Paula. After that institution was consolidated with the Pacific-Southwest Trust and Savings, Stephens became vice president of the Fillmore branch. In addition to many other interests, he owned several extensive citrus ranches He and his wife Stella, whom he married in San Diego on Christmas Day in 1903, were members of a group instrumental in bringing the Trinity Episcopal Church building from the Bard Estate in Port Hueneme in 1933, to land donated by Stephens.

Perhaps because they had no children of their own, Richard and Stella Stephens were most generous to the children of Fillmore. Each Halloween they opened their lovely home at 554 Central Avenue to the children of the community. Each Christmas they were hosts to all the children at a special picture show at the local theatre where the small guests were given treats and gifts.

It is appropriate to call attention to Fillmore’s past. Much of that past is vanished now, remembered only by words and pictures. But some of the past is still with us today, a part of our everyday lives. Nowhere is there a better example of this blending of past and present than the Fillmore Market (2020 Estella’s Market), Richard Stephen’s old store, still serving the people of Fillmore as it has since 1910. Next time you pass that historic northwest corner of Main and Central, look down to see the green and white tiles spelling out the name “Stephens”. Part of Fillmore’s past is still part of Fillmore’s present.

 


 
57-hour weekend full closure of northbound lanes on State Route 23 (SR-23) from U.S. 101 to Janss Road in Thousand Oaks for pavement rehabilitation.
57-hour weekend full closure of northbound lanes on State Route 23 (SR-23) from U.S. 101 to Janss Road in Thousand Oaks for pavement rehabilitation.
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VENTURA COUNTY — The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces a 57-hour weekend full closure of northbound lanes on State Route 23 (SR-23) from U.S. 101 to Janss Road in Thousand Oaks for pavement rehabilitation. The weekend closure includes southbound and northbound U.S. 101 connectors to northbound SR-23.

57-HOUR WEEKEND FULL CLOSURE 10/23 to 10/26:
• Fri. 8 PM until Mon. 5 AM: NB Lanes of SR-23 from U.S. 101 to Janss Rd
• Fri. 8 PM until Mon. 5 AM: SB + NB U.S. 101 Connectors to NB SR-23
• Fri. 8 PM until Mon. 5 AM: Hillcrest Dr on-ramp to NB SR-23
• Detour Signs Will Be Posted
• Southbound Lanes of SR-23 Will Remain OPEN

Residents and businesses located near the freeway may experience noise, vibrations and dust associated with construction activities. Motorists should expect delays and are strongly advised to use alternate routes. Real-time traffic information can be found at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.

All work is subject to change due to weather or construction-related issues. More information about the SR-23 Pavement Rehabilitation Project is available at: https://tinyurl.com/yxst2dfh.

Caltrans reminds drivers to be “Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

 


 
With $625 million dollars in project funds, Engineering Services is helping build numerous construction projects for local hospitals, libraries, and fire stations.
With $625 million dollars in project funds, Engineering Services is helping build numerous construction projects for local hospitals, libraries, and fire stations.
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While Ventura County Public Works Agency’s  Engineering Services (VCPWA-ES) may not be familiar to the general public, their work managing capital construction, land development, and county surveying all contribute to many important community additions. Along with building the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) Hospital Wing, their latest projects include working with the Health Care Foundation of Ventura County to build a Ronald McDonald Family Room at VCMC, a new conference room and computer lab for the Fillmore Library, as well as numerous construction projects for local fire stations and other facilities.

The Ronald McDonald family room at VCMC will provide support for families of pediatric patients to have a family dinner, do homework with their other children, and catch up on work while remaining close to their loved one. Construction began in July and will be the largest family room in the Ronald McDonald system, consisting of a kitchenette, large dining table, washer and dryer, play area, tv area, and workspace. In addition, there will also be a Respite Room for people to relax in quiet and rest.

“The new Ronald McDonald Family Room will be an incredible addition for VCMC and our patients,” said Dr. John Fankhauser, CEO at VCMC. “We greatly appreciate the work VCPWA-ES is doing to build this room and give families the space they need to relax and recharge.”

VCPWA-ES will also begin work in Winter 2020/21 to help build a new, versatile computer lab space and conference room for the Fillmore Library and their patrons. The project will nearly double the square footage of the existing library, providing added gathering space and bringing additional child and adult learning activities to the community.

“We are thrilled to be extending our support,” said Shawna Schlageter- Project Manager at VCPWA-EGN. “This project can be used as a prototype for future library expansions and bring hands on learning to the community.”

Other VCPWA-ES projects include a remodel of VCMC’s Pediatrics 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor, Thousand Oaks Fire Station, Ojai Fire Station, a schematic review of Santa Paula Fire Station, and finishing up an office for Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VC APCD).

 

On Sunday, October 10th at single car crash occurred on Highway 126 east of Piru, near Pena Ranch Road killing one person. Moorpark CHP reported a 2020 Ford Sedan was traveling west bound on Highway 126 at an undetermined rate of speed, veering onto the shoulder and into a drainage culvert. It then flipped onto it’s roof and caught fire, according to authorities. When Ventura County Firefighters arrived on scene the car was fully engulfed in flames and crews had to remove the victim from the wreckage with heavy equipment. By 8:40pm crew were able to extinguish the flames and determined the driver DOA at the scene. Authorities closed down westbound traffic for four hours, diverting traffic to the center median. The Ventura County medical examiner later reported that the driver was 27-year old Tyler Moore of Sherman Oaks. Cause of the crash is still under investigation. It is undetermined whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

 
Outdoor playgrounds in California have been given the green light for reopening. Ventura County recommends the following attached in pictures of signage at all playground equipment locations in Fillmore (public parks). Do recognize the following as well; all playground equipment & all other surfaces at Fillmore public parks are not being sanitized by City Staff; by using the equipment you are doing so at your own risk. Stay safe everyone. Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page.
Outdoor playgrounds in California have been given the green light for reopening. Ventura County recommends the following attached in pictures of signage at all playground equipment locations in Fillmore (public parks). Do recognize the following as well; all playground equipment & all other surfaces at Fillmore public parks are not being sanitized by City Staff; by using the equipment you are doing so at your own risk. Stay safe everyone. Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page.
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With election day around the corner, the County of Ventura Elections Office has a list available of the approved ballotdrop locations. For the City of Fillmore, the ballot box is located outside the Fillmore Library. Please report any possible unauthorized ballot boxes or issues to Erika Herrera, Deputy City Clerk at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov, or by phone to 805-946-1712. Courtesy City of Fillmore website.
With election day around the corner, the County of Ventura Elections Office has a list available of the approved ballotdrop locations. For the City of Fillmore, the ballot box is located outside the Fillmore Library. Please report any possible unauthorized ballot boxes or issues to Erika Herrera, Deputy City Clerk at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov, or by phone to 805-946-1712. Courtesy City of Fillmore website.
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There have been recent reports of groups promoting unofficial ballot drop boxes that are not affiliated with Ventura County Elections. In some instances, they are promoting these ballot drop boxes as “official” or “secure.” The use of unauthorized, non-official ballot drop boxes is prohibited by state law.

Voters who want to return their ballot at a drop box, should only use official county drop boxes. Official ballot drop boxes are clearly recognizable, designed to meet state standards for security, and bear the official Ventura County Elections logo. Ventura County’s Official Ballot Drop Boxes look like this:

Clerk-Recorder, Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn stated, “My office works hard to conduct fair and impartial elections and to provide safe and secure options for voters to return their ballot, to say I’m disappointed that people would make a concerted effort to deceive voters would be an understatement.

Elections are all about trust and unofficial drop boxes are not safe. There is no way for the voter to know if their ballot reaches our office as cast and this certainly undermines public trust. My message to those that are putting out these boxes is ‘cease and desist this activity, you’re not being helpful and you’re undermining the process.’”
Locations of official Ventura County Elections drop boxes can be found at VenturaVote.org.

Unofficial drop boxes should be reported to Ventura County Elections immediately at (805) 654-2664 or after business hours, elections@ventura.org.

Tips for voters:
- You can return your Vote By Mail using the prepaid postage return envelope or by bringing it to any official drop box, voting location, or the Ventura County Elections Division.
- Voters can also choose someone to return their ballot. Only choose someone you trust to return your ballot. You and the other person must sign the back of the return envelope. Never give your ballot to someone else unless you have completed, signed, and sealed the return envelope.
- Sign up for ballot tracking. You can sign-up at wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov to get automatic notifications by text message, email, or voice message about the status of your Vote By Mail ballot. You’ll be notified once your county has received your ballot, once it has been counted, and if there are any issues with the ballot.
- Get information on voting from trusted, official sources—the Ventura County Elections Division and the Secretary of State. Resources for Ventura County voters are available at: VenturaVote.org. The Secretary of State has resources for California voters at vote.ca.gov.

For more information, please visit the Elections Division website at VenturaVote.org or call (805) 654-
2664.

 
Last year's dinner.
Last year's dinner.
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The Lions Club of Fillmore will be having the very first drive-by and pick-up dinner event on Saturday, November 7th from 5:00-7:00. Pre-sales required. Text 805-904-5424 or any Lions Club Member to pick up tickets or have them delivered. Due to the pandemic restrictions the menu has changed and the price of the ticket is lowered from $12 to $10. The menu is: 3 delicious meat enchiladas with rice and beans and a pandemic cookie.

Fillmore Lions Club has a long history of service to the community, starting in 1927 with the first enchildada dinner in 1948.. The profits of the meal will go to support local groups such as sports teams, the Fillmore High School Art Show, and local youth organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, the Mentor Program and the youth of One Step a la Vez.

Following Helen Keller’s recommendation, Lions provide service to persons needing help with their vision which ranges from getting glasses to providing medication in third world companies to eliminate childhood blindness.

In addition, the Lions Club sponsors a yearly Youth Peace Poster Contest and high school Speech Contest on a relevant topic as well as hosting the Annual Christmas Parade and college scholarships for youth living in the Fillmore Unified School District area.

If you are interested in becoming a member or visiting the club, please contact 805-904-5424 or any Lions Club Member.

 
Stephens Store about 1907 with "Stephens' Hall" in the background.
Stephens Store about 1907 with "Stephens' Hall" in the background.
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Part 1
Richard Stephens about 1912.
Richard Stephens about 1912.

Photos and story courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

From “The History of Stephens’ Store” by Ellen M. Finley, July 1988

The northwest corner of Main and Central, now the location of the new Segovia’s Fillmore Market (2020 - Estrella’s), is one of Fillmore’s most historic sites.

Before the city was recorded in Ventura in 1888, one of the oldest of its few buildings stood on this corner, a large two-story rooming house operated by E. Bailey Turner. Since Turner was Fillmore’s first postmaster his building also housed the first post office, a front bedroom in the rooming house.

By 1898, Turner’s two-story building had been replaced by a one-story tin structure where Richard Stephens operated a general merchandise store. He soon purchased the entire corner property and in 1910 constructed a new building which still stands. Since that time, a period of 78 years, this building has been in continuous operation as a general store or a combination grocery and meat market.

Richard Stephens was one of Fillmore’s leading pioneers and an outstanding citizen. Born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 31, 1870, he left his native land in his early 20’s. After a year on a ranch near Hollywood, he came to Fillmore on April 6, 1895. His first job was that of a clerk in the general merchandise store of a fellow countryman, James Duncan, who conducted business at the northeast corner of Main and Central in the store built by C. C. Elkins in 1888. Popular with customers from the start Stephens soon acquired an interest in the business, becoming a partner in 1898. When Duncan died on November 17 of that year, Stephens became sole owner of the business. He was also appointed Fillmore’s sixth postmaster, ironically on the same day that Duncan died.

About this time, C. C. Elkins sold his store to C. A. Harmonson (2020 note – C. A.’s name was either Columbus Arizona or Columbus Augustus, little wonder he went by his initials). Duncan and Stephens moved across the street to the northwest corner, taking the post office with them. After Duncan’s death, the store was known as “Richard Stephens – The Post Office Store.” Just north on Central Avenue there was a large packing house. Stephens had long recognized that Fillmore needed a hall in which to hold meetings and entertainment, so he took over the packing house in the evenings. Stephens’ Hall, as it became to be called, used rows of packing boxes as seats. There was a stage about three feet high with a corner walled off at each side for dressing rooms. One popular early-day entertainer was Charles Heatherly who gave serious, humorous, and dialect recitations, with music by Arthur Sallee, pianist. Admission was 25 cents, with children 15 cents and reserved seats 35 cents. Dances were held frequently on Saturday nights – admission $1. When a traveling theatrical company came from a one-night stand in Santa Paul, the Fillmore Herald declared with obvious sincerity: “Fillmore is becoming more like New York City every day.”

To be continued……