A Fillmore resident was killed Tuesday afternoon on Grimes Canyon Road, between Moorpark and Fillmore, near Egg City. Robert Retzinger, 47, died in a solo motorcycle accident while driving northbound on Highway 23 at 3:50 p.m. Retzinger was transported to Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks where he was pronounced dead at 4:53 p.m. The crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

 


 
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Fillmore Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, shows a map of the city’s 11 storm drains, which flow into the Santa Clara River. A workshop on the new storm water permit and water softener prohibition was held Monday, July 7. Several hundred residents attended.
Fillmore Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, shows a map of the city’s 11 storm drains, which flow into the Santa Clara River. A workshop on the new storm water permit and water softener prohibition was held Monday, July 7. Several hundred residents attended.
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A City Workshop was held at the Memorial Building on Monday, June 7, 2008 to discuss three major issues facing Fillmore residents. Approximately 300 citizens and City Council members were in attendance to watch the presentations by Public Works Director, Bert Rapp.
The first presentation was on the EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit. The new permit will require, among other things, retrofitting 22 miles of public streets with bio-retention areas and that each existing home and business install onsite storm water treatment. Bio-retention areas are grounds that have been landscaped with plants that can absorb pollutants and naturally convert them into non-hazardous materials. The city installations and maintenance would cost residents $900 per year or $75 per month in addition to their cost to install and maintain their own onsite storm water treatment devices. Existing City storm drains must have treatment installed within two years. Automatic mandatory minimum penalties for violations would be $3,000 per offense. This could escalate into $231,000 per day in fines for the city.
The second presentation was on the chloride levels in city water. The city is exceeding the current 100 milligrams per liter of chloride limit by approximately 37 milligrams per liter. The primary cause of this overage is the approximately 450 Fillmore residents who use Brine Discharging Water Softeners. If all in-home Brine Discharging Water Softeners were eliminated, the city would be in compliance and could avoid charging all residents an estimated $35 dollars per month fee.
The third presentation was on the FEMA Flood Insurance Survey. FEMA is in the process of revising the Fillmore Flood Insurance Rate Map. The preliminary map would require any resident with a federally insured home loan to purchase flood insurance as well as restrict the city’s ability to issue building permits for room additions, new homes, and business buildings. Rapp noted there were several errors in the report and he believes once these errors are corrected, these new requirements will be lifted.
Many public comments were heard by Rapp, city council members, and fellow citizens. One resident, referencing the spirit of the founding fathers of this country, stated, “The presentation, as good as it is, and as accurate as it is, seems to be geared toward: this is what we have to do, we’re asking you, ‘how are we going to do it?’ But I take the attitude is, we’re having to deal with an agency that’s out of control; totally out of control, made up of avid environmentalists. Rather than think, ‘how are we to do it?’ I’d rather have the council and the citizens’ figure out how do we not have to do it.” The sentiment received much applause.

Please find below all three power point presentations that were presented at the meeting.

 


 
CPL Jesus T. Lomeli, United States Army
CPL Jesus T. Lomeli, United States Army
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Here’s a scoop from a life long Fillmore citizen who is currently deployed to Iraq with the US Army. My name is CPL Jesus T. Lomeli, son of Jesus and Elisa Lomeli, and older brother of former Miss Fillmore Yeseni Lomeli. I also have three other sisters, Susie, Briana and Deanna Lomeli, who are currently attending school in Fillmore and actively involved in the community.
I was born at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital and attended San Cayetano and Sespe Elementary schools. I attended Fillmore Middle School during the building process and graduated from Fillmore High School, Class of 2002. I then attended Oxnard College full time and worked at the local Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep dealership in Fillmore. The financial burden of attending school was creating a problem and the first solution I came across was a GI Bill offered by the Army to pay for my schooling.
I enlisted in the Army in October 2003 and attended Basic Training in March 2004 at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina. Once I completed Basic Training, I attended Advanced Individual training as an Automated Logistical Specialist in Ft Lee, Virginia which I graduated at the top of my class being recognized as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. I was then stationed in Baumholder, Germany and have lived in Europe since. I deployed for the first time in 2005 in support of OIF III in the volatile Anbar Province on a Marine Base called Al Taqqadum. I returned the end of 2006 and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
I then spent another year in Germany on track to separate from the Army in March 2008 and return to California and finish my schooling. I was involuntarily extended by the infamous stop-loss and am currently deployed in support of OIF V at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Eastern Baghdad. I am currently assigned to the Convoy Security Platoon and provide security in Combat Logistics Patrols through downtown Baghdad. I am on my second tour in Iraq assigned to the 47th Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
I am currently taking on-line college courses, working on completing my BA. Once I am done with this tour I am separating from the Army and pursuing a career in the medical field. I have every intention of returning to Fillmore once I am ready to start a family.
I have seen a lot of the continental states, many European countries and parts of Southwest Asia, and nothing compares to the weather, scenery, and community that Fillmore has to offer. I am proud of my little town and can't wait for this tour to end so I can once again become a permanent resident of Southern California.
CPL Jesus T. Lomeli, 1AD 2BCT 47TH FSB, US Army. P.S.: If any community members would like to contribute any care packages, as hygiene and other items become hard to come by they can mail them to: Convoy Security Platoon, B CO 47TH FSB, 1AD 2BCT, APO, AE 09308.

 


 
The new 2008 Ventura County Fair poster was presented to Mayor Steve Conaway during Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.
The new 2008 Ventura County Fair poster was presented to Mayor Steve Conaway during Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.
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Fillmore City Council held its regular monthly meeting July 8, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Councilmember Laurie Hernandez was welcomed back. The City of Fillmore Redevelopment Agency also met during the Council meeting.
The North Fillmore Area General Plan Amendment Initiative was thoroughly discussed. City Attorney Ted Schneider explained that because the initiative has received verified voters’ signatures for over ten percent of the City’s voters, the Council must either adopt the initiative or place it on a regular election ballot. The initiative must be placed on the ballot at least 88 days before the election. The Council also had the option of ordering an impact report. The Council ordered an impact report, including an analysis of the initiative’s impact on affordable housing, circulation, and its potential economic impact on jobs. The report will be ready by August 7th, and is estimated to cost less than $20,000. The Council voted to put the initiative itself on the November 4, 2008 ballot.
The Council approved the “Fillmore Realities” position paper in response to the FEMA flood map problem and its impact on the proposed annexation of certain areas to the City. The Council adopted the June 27th Addendum to Initial Study and Negative Declaration Fillmore Business Park Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report. The Addendum and position paper will be conveyed to the Local Agency Formation Commission of Ventura County (LAFCO). The Council approved sending the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to Washington D.C. to lobby against the FEMA flood map. The Council approved a Memo of Understanding with Ventura County Watershed Protection District for preparing a response to FEMA flood map revisions.
Marcus Hernandez alleged that a volunteer firefighter has been carrying a taser and harassing and intimidating people in Fillmore. Hernandez pointed out that there were no city guidelines regarding the use of tasers by city employees, and asked the council to look into whether the use of tasers was appropriate and authorized in this case. Mayor Steve Conaway stated that this was a personnel matter, but added, “City policies stipulate that harassment is not tolerated.” The council respectfully considered Hernandez’s comments, requested that any victims come forward to provide the council with more information in writing or in person, and assured the public that complaints like those are confidential. This matter was placed on the agenda for the next Council meeting.
The Council adopted resolutions regarding a change in the Traffic Level of Service for the intersection of Highway 126 and A Street. The standard was lowered from D to E. This accurately reflects the number of lanes and turn lanes there. The City’s General Plan was amended accordingly. No physical development is involved. The change was reflected in the Fillmore Business Park Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report.
The Council approved a response to the Ventura County Grand Jury report titled “Fillmore-Piru Memorial District Reorganization.” The Grand Jury’s report called for the special district responsible for operating and maintaining the Memorial Building to be dissolved. The Council is urging the LAFCO board not to dissolve the District because it provides and maintains an essential service to the community.
The Council approved a letter from Mayor Steve Conaway to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors regarding the truck traffic going through Ojai from the Ozena Valley Ranch Gravel Mine. The strongly-worded letter effectively argues that the trucks should not be re-routed through Fillmore.
There was discussion about which position the Council should take on Proposition 7. According to a representative from Southern California Edison, the proposition would “mandate utilities by the year 2025 have 50% of the energy that we procure on behalf of all of our customers be renewable.” He argued that the proposition does not take into account the costs to do so, is poorly written, and does not provide enough time. Brian Sipes made a public comment that the proposition is 42 pages long, and should be thoroughly considered before the Council determines its position. The matter will be discussed further at the next City Council meeting.
A representative from the Ventura County Fair presented this year’s Fair poster. The Ventura County Fair will be from July 30th to August 10th. The entertainment schedule has been determined, and the Beach Boys will be performing.
Upon the recommendation of Public Works Director Bert Rapp, the Council approved the contract plans and specifications for the construction of the Santa Clara River Permeable Weirs. The Council also authorized advertising for bids on the project.
A loan agreement was made between the Council and the Fillmore Redevelopment Agency. The City is providing a short-term loan of $142,500 for the Central City Project Area Fund.
The Council designated Mayor Steve Conaway as the voting delegate to the League of California Cities Annual Conference in Long Beach in late September. Mayor Pro Tem Cecilia Cuevas and Patti Walker are alternates.
The contract for Fire Department and Public Works Yard Improvements is going back out for bids because the generator was not included in the original advertisement.
Construction on River Park is proceeding. The contract was awarded to PIMA Corporation. If the contract’s contingency money is not spent, then the City will add tennis courts, more bathrooms, and/or basketball courts to the contract later. The skate park will be finished in December.
The Council approved a change order enlarging the drainage pipes for the Fillmore Recycling Plant. The cost increase will be paid for by the two developers involved. The exact amount of the cost increase is not yet determined.
The Council discussed the deplorable state of the Shiells Park restrooms and is considering remedies.
At the August 26th City Council meeting, the policy of publicizing city employee salaries will be discussed. Jamey Brooks had commented earlier that he did not believe city salaries should be secret.

 


 

Fillmore Patrol Deputies were dispatched to an injury collision in front of 1157 Ventura Street. The occupants were trapped in their 1987 Mazda pick-up truck that had collided with the rear end of a parked semi-truck trailer. The trailer was parked off the highway on the south side of the roadway. Initial investigation by Deputies and Fillmore Fire Department EMS determined the two occupants were severely injured.

Fire personnel took nearly an hour to extricate the occupants from the heavily damaged vehicle. Both occupants Candalario DelGado-Sanchez (approximately 20), and Rene Ayala (approximately 24) both from Oxnard, were transported to Ventura County Medical Center by AMR ambulance.

The passenger succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital at 0627 hours. The driver sustained multiple injures and was admitted in the hospital Intensive Care Unit.

Due to the lack of witnesses, there were no immediate indications why the driver drifted off the roadway.

Investigation is continuing as to the cause of the collision and possible criminal charges filed against the driver.

 
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Russell Watts, 55, of Pacoima was killed in a small plane crash at approximately 1:30pm on Wednesday July 2nd near 2200 Guiberson Road in Piru.
Russell Watts, 55, of Pacoima was killed in a small plane crash at approximately 1:30pm on Wednesday July 2nd near 2200 Guiberson Road in Piru.
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Early reports indicate the plane was traveling westbound and crashed near the top of a 100 foot embankment.
Early reports indicate the plane was traveling westbound and crashed near the top of a 100 foot embankment.
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Fire crews remained on scene to extinguish several small brush fires ignited by the wreckage.
Fire crews remained on scene to extinguish several small brush fires ignited by the wreckage.
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Fillmore Police Tagging Investigator Gene Torres, left, inspects the guns, ammunition, computers and other stolen property confi scated during a recent search warrant and probation searches at 7 city locations. Deputy Torres directed a 50-offi cer task force comprised of Fillmore Police and Ventura County Sheriff Deputies. Computers and cell phones taken from the residents of the arrestees will be searched for additional information.
Fillmore Police Tagging Investigator Gene Torres, left, inspects the guns, ammunition, computers and other stolen property confi scated during a recent search warrant and probation searches at 7 city locations. Deputy Torres directed a 50-offi cer task force comprised of Fillmore Police and Ventura County Sheriff Deputies. Computers and cell phones taken from the residents of the arrestees will be searched for additional information.
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On June 3, 2008, the Fillmore Police Department investigated a residential burglary and felony vandalism in the 900 block of Wileman Street in Fillmore.
As a result, police detectives identified the suspects as being tagging members of the All Faded Krew (AFK). A tagging crew such as AFK typically commits felony vandalism and other felonious crimes. They tend to conspire to destroy both public and private property. AFK is no exception, they burglarized the house on Wileman and kicked in the walls then stole numerous items.
The Fillmore Police Tagging Investigator is Deputy Gene Torres. Earlier in June, Deputy Torres arrested 2 adult and 3 juvenile AFK members for the original burglary. It was those arrests that assisted us in the investigation.
Deputy Torres conducted lengthy surveillance on the tagging crew and established intelligence information that lead to a Ventura County Judge issuing search warrants on seven Fillmore locations that AFK members used to conduct criminal activities.
On July 1, 2008, at about 0700 AM, Deputy Torres directed a 50 officer task force comprised of Fillmore Police and Ventura County Sheriff Deputies.
The task force served the 7 search warrants in the following locations: 500 Block East Telegraph, Fillmore, Block Via Rodeo, Fillmore, Block Wileman Street, Fillmore, 900 Block Wileman (Second Location), 1300 Block Cottonwood Lane, Fillmore, Block Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, 200 Block Avon Lane, Fillmore.
Six teams responded to the tagger residences and served the search warrants and probation searches. The following were arrested: 15 year-old male AFK tagger was arrested for Felony Residential Burglary, Conspiracy and Felony Vandalism. 23 year-old Daniel Montelongo was arrested for Felony Residential Burglary, Conspiracy and Felony Vandalism. 27 year-old Efrain Salazar was arrested for Felony Possession of Cocaine and Felony Possession of a Firearm.
In addition, Officers confiscated tagging evidence from search warrant locations that ties the AFK suspects into 20 open vandalism cases throughout Fillmore. We were shocked to discover and confiscate numerous illegal firearms including an AK-47 Assault Rifle with an 80 round magazine and numerous loaded clips. Also recovered were a shotgun and three high- powered semi automatic handguns.
The investigation is continuing against the AFK tagging crew and there are potential additional arrests pending. “Tagging crews are becoming bold and have obvious access to illegal firearms. They tend to be the breeding grounds for gang activity and The City of Fillmore has a zero tolerance of their criminal activities.”
Anyone with information about graffiti vandalism, or any other crime, are urged to call Crime Stoppers at (805) 524-0970 (Fillmore), Gang Hotline at 1-888-584-2647 or the Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233.
Courtesy of Fillmore Police Department Ventura Count Sheriff Department.

 
Commander Jim Rogers and Jr. Vice Commander Vic Westerberg, VFW Post 9637 Fillmore, CA, present a Blue Star Banner to Esperanza Hurtado, mother of Staff Sgt. Alfredo Hurtado Jr. “I would like to present you with this Blue Star Banner in honor of your son Staff Sgt. Alfredo Hurtado Jr. We would like to thank you and your family for all your sacrifices.” Note: Staff Sgt. Hurtado Jr. served in the United States Army in Mosul, Iraq in 2005 and received a Purple Heart& Bronze Star. He is now serving as a recruiter at Fort Guachuca, Arizona.
Commander Jim Rogers and Jr. Vice Commander Vic Westerberg, VFW Post 9637 Fillmore, CA, present a Blue Star Banner to Esperanza Hurtado, mother of Staff Sgt. Alfredo Hurtado Jr. “I would like to present you with this Blue Star Banner in honor of your son Staff Sgt. Alfredo Hurtado Jr. We would like to thank you and your family for all your sacrifices.” Note: Staff Sgt. Hurtado Jr. served in the United States Army in Mosul, Iraq in 2005 and received a Purple Heart& Bronze Star. He is now serving as a recruiter at Fort Guachuca, Arizona.
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A joint School Board-City Council meeting was held Tuesday. Left to right, City Councilmember Scott Lee, school board member John Garnica, Councilmember Cecilia Cuevas, school board members Liz Wilde, Virginia De La Piedra, and Councilmember Patti Walker.
A joint School Board-City Council meeting was held Tuesday. Left to right, City Councilmember Scott Lee, school board member John Garnica, Councilmember Cecilia Cuevas, school board members Liz Wilde, Virginia De La Piedra, and Councilmember Patti Walker.
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Bill Faith praised the city for keeping Safe and Sane fireworks legal.
Bill Faith praised the city for keeping Safe and Sane fireworks legal.

Fillmore City Council and Fillmore Unified School District School Board held a joint meeting July 1, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. It was followed by a brief City Council meeting.
Fire Department Captain Bill Herrera gave an overview of the Fourth of July plans. All school grounds will be closed and blocked off with fences where necessary. The aerial fireworks show has been moved to the middle school, and there will be no ground show. City Manager Tom Ristau has mandated a zero tolerance policy for illegal fireworks; police and firefighters will be patrolling the parks and shopping centers. There is a $1000 fine for possessing or using fireworks that fly or explode.
A few people spoke up during the time allotted for public comments. Bill Faith praised the city for keeping Safe and Sane fireworks legal, mentioned the importance of sales for non-profit organizations’ fundraising efforts, and provided a list of over 200 other cities in California that also allow fireworks.
Roger Campbell recommended that the city lobby the federal government to postpone approving and publicizing the FEMA study results and maps by arranging appointments with local representatives and sending people to Washington D.C. Keith Greenburg introduced himself as a representative of the company taking over management of the water treatment plant. He stated that he and his colleagues are looking forward to participating in community life here in Fillmore.
FUSD Assistant Superintendent Mike Bush spoke on behalf of Superintendent Jeff Sweeney and Ruth Ricards, Director of Child Nutrition, regarding problems with push-cart vendors. Elementary school students have been avoiding school food in order to buy sweets and snacks from push-cart vendors after school. The carts sometimes block sidewalks, causing children to enter the street, and children are running across streets to get to the carts. The problem is particularly bad on First Street. There was discussion as to whether the vendors were licensed, and the city council is considering the possibility of creating a city ordinance to restrict the vendors from selling when children are being dismissed from school.
Kim Tafoya, Cross Country Coach at Fillmore High School, presented information on an upcoming Striders Club and Cross Country team trip to Mammoth. The student athletes will “team-build and run” on various trails around area lakes. Coach Paul Fitzgerald was also there to answer questions. The Board voted to approve the trip.
The Council increased the City Manager's charge order authorization for the River Street at Highway 23 traffic signal construction project to $23,000. The increase includes the under $10, 000 cost of an emergency vehicle interrupt system that will allow emergency vehicles to change the signal to a green light. According to the recommendation memo, the increase also provides for "the event an unforeseen circumstance arises while the Council is dark for the summer and the signal is under construction".
Some joint business was efficiently conducted without much discussion. The Council verified that the city had allotted money in the budget for a School Resource Officer. The Council and Board approved the effluent disposal system construction schedule. The schedule coordinates between the city and school district to save money and allow continued use of school facilities during construction. The Council and Board also approved a reimbursement agreement for certain improvements between the Stadium and Pool Complexes, so that construction can proceed in a cooperative manner, saving money for both the City and FUSD. A storm drain and fences are included in that agreement. The Council and Board voted to approve a 60 year easement agreement between the city and school district to install, maintain, and repair the storm drain. An easement agreement involving the City's new pool complex is under development.
There was a discussion about hanging banners around the city to honor individuals from Fillmore who are in active military service. Virginia De La Piedra is concerned that there are not enough poles available. The Council requested that she provide an estimate of how many people would be honored.
The Council briefly discussed an Ojai committee's attempt to stop mining trucks from traveling Highway 33 by re-routing them onto the 126 and past Frazier Park. The Council affirmed the impracticality of the proposed route, and the Mayor Steve Conaway will be sending a position letter to the county to avoid the possibility of that plan being implemented.
Scott Lee mentioned that the city now owns a fingerprinting scanner.

 
Police Captains: Tim Hagel and Randy Pentis
Police Captains: Tim Hagel and Randy Pentis
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In China from left to right is Captain Randy Pentis, Sargent Paul Higason, Sargent Frank Underlin, Captain Dave Kenney and Captain Tim Hagel.
In China from left to right is Captain Randy Pentis, Sargent Paul Higason, Sargent Frank Underlin, Captain Dave Kenney and Captain Tim Hagel.
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As if running a marathon isn’t difficult enough, a team of sheriff’s department runners will compete in an ultra marathon July 12th on some of the most challenging terrain on planet Earth. The team consists of Fillmore Capt. Tim Hagel and former Capt. Randy Pentis.
Known as Cops Running For Charity, the team will run a 35-mile course across the undulating glaciers and volcanoes north of Reykjavik, Iceland to raise money for charity. Situated on the northern portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a study in geologic contrasts. Known as the land of fire and ice, the European island nation boasts several active volcanoes and massive glaciers.
“After that run, our legs will feel like they’re on fire, and we’ll need lots of ice…so, I guess we’re going to the right place,” said Sheriff’s Captain Randy Pentis, who leads the team of sheriff’s deputies.
The team is serious about their commitment to raising money for medical charities. This year, the focus will be to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Money raised for the JDRF will be presented on behalf of Senior Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wright, who has been battling type one diabetes for most of his life. Most people know Ryan as a dedicated husband and father, and a tough prosecutor who goes after narcotics dealers. He also is struggling to retain his eyesight, since suffering from diabetic retinopathy in both eyes. Diabetes affects many areas of the human body and is a slow, silent killer if not strictly controlled.
Captain Pentis knows the effects of diabetes all too well. His son, Dominic, also has type one diabetes.
“This has always hit close to home for me,” Pentis said. “I understand how diabetes can affect someone…and their whole family.”
The team has always championed causes close to home, despite the far-flung international challenges they are determined to take on. For the past several years, the team of adventurers has chosen a different exotic locale to test their endurance and supported a variety of charities along the way. Last year, the team invaded China for the Great Wall Marathon, which involved running much of the race on the steep steps of the historic structure. The previous year, the team ran across the dunes of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia.
Capt. Hagel spoke of the motivation behind the team’s commitment to run. “We simply challenge ourselves with the perceived impossible. We train about 30-50 miles per week and run thousands of miles a year; seven cops running in world class extreme running events. We don't have all the fancy trainers, team doctors, and support crews. We only have one another, our families and community. We are not the fastest, and in fact...we will never find first place. But we win each race with the satisfaction that we are raising money to support healthy children and fighting chronic disease that attacks our family, friends and citizens that we protect. Our challenge can't compare to the challenge that someone who has a chronic disease fights each and every day.”
Other charities that have benefited from the team’s hard work have been the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, the Alzheimer’s Foundation, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and Hospice.
For this year’s race, the team has set a tough training regimen to prepare for the upcoming event. Many weekends have been spent in Sycamore and La Jolla Canyons running on steep trails that mimic the terrain they will face in Iceland.
Anyone interested in supporting CRFC can contact Captain Randy Pentis at (805)494-8248 or by e-mail at randy.pentis@ventura.org