Patti Walker
Patti Walker

The newly elected City Council Members, City Clerk, and City Treasurer were sworn in at the City Council Meeting on December 9, 2008. The Council honored outgoing City officials for their public service, elected the Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem, made appointments to City Council Committees and Outside Agencies, and conducted City business. After intense discussion, the Council decided not to provide a track at the Fillmore Middle School.

City Clerk Shirley Spitler administered the oath of office to Council Members Gayle Washburn, Jamey Brooks, and Steve Conaway. She then administered the oath of office to incoming City Clerk Clay Westling and incoming City Treasurer Norma Gutierrez. Westling then presided over the mayoral election.

The Council elected Patti Walker as Mayor, and Gayle Washburn as Mayor Pro-tem. Laurie Hernandez was also nominated for Mayor Pro-tem, but was not elected.

County Supervisor Kathy Long presented honors to Cecilia Cuevas and Scott Lee. Long noted Cuevas's work on the Library Commission, noted her work with the Red Cross (especially with disaster preparation), and praised her "willingness to take on tough issues and do her homework". Long said that Lee had served for a total of thirteen years, and thanked him for stepping up to fill the vacancy left when a Council Member resigned in March 2007. She noted that his passion for serving the community extended beyond City Council to the Boy Scouts and other organizations.

Walker presented honors on behalf of the Fillmore Friends of the Library. Walker thanked Lee for donating 100% of his Council salary to the Friends, praised Cuevas for her service on the Library Commission, and thanked her for the expanded library hours.

Walker presented proclamations on behalf of former Mayor Conaway and the Council to Lee, Cuevas, outgoing City Clerk Shirley Spitler, outgoing City Treasurer Grace Donahue, and former City Treasurer Angela Mumme, commending and thanking them for their service. The Council recessed for a congratulatory reception with coffee, cookies, and cake.

Jim Higgins from the Higgy Foundation appeared with young people, Alissa Reyes and Joe Salazar, to: thank Scott Lee and Cecilia Cuevas for their service; remind Council Members to be models of honesty and integrity for community youth; and announce that they had provided refreshments for the reception. They requested that the Council meetings start with a prayer, like Congressional and Senate meetings, and that the City have an annual Youth Summit to set community goals. CONTINUED »

 


 
The following was received from Jeff Sweeney, Fillmore Unified School district Superintendent, on Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

“Good Day, Recall that the District had filed a writ against the Ventura County Office of Education following a disagreement we had over the interpretation of an Interdistrict Transfer Policy. On Monday, we received the results of the writ hearing. The following will summarize the findings. I have also attached a more in depth informational page.
The writ the District filed asked the judge to rule in two areas: 1) Rule on the interpretation of Education Code… In essence, which Interdistrict Transfer policy should be implemented? The County’s first policy (The one we are currently using and the one that was used four years prior to our implementing it.) or the County’s second policy. 2) Overturn the decision of the VCOE Board regarding four families who were allowed to leave FUSD under the new VCOE Board policy; and in summary…
1) The judge declined to make a decision on whether the County’s first policy (our interpretation) or its second policy was correct. In other words, he did not take a stand on who was right nor interpret the law for either one of us; and
2) The judge ruled that the four families do not need to enroll in Fillmore because the issue is moot and does not need to be resolved. What does this mean? He said the application for the students to leave was for the 2007-08 school year, and that he does not need to rule on this as the school year has passed. He did not consider that the students are enrolled this year at Santa Clara; he only ruled on the narrowness of the fact that the school year in question has passed.
As the court chose not to advise us in this matter, we will continue to use our current interpretation of the policy until further notice.
Fillmore’s Board will discuss this decision in Closed Session next Tuesday. Feel free to contact me or Evalene Townend for more information.”
Enclosed attachment dated December 8, 2008: Fillmore Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, Writ follow-up:
“The Fillmore Unified School District believed that the Ventura County Board of Education was in error of their jurisdiction when they, in June 2007, reversed their long-standing policy governing Interdistrict Transfers for all Ventura County schools. We believed they based the change of this policy on an erroneous interpretation of Education Code, therefore the need to have the interpretation resolved by the Court. CONTINUED »

 


 
The operation recently moved from 30 acres in Fillmore to 124 acres in Wheeler Canyon.
The operation recently moved from 30 acres in Fillmore to 124 acres in Wheeler Canyon.
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Fillmore’s Sharon Palmer owns and operates Healthy Family Farms.
Fillmore’s Sharon Palmer owns and operates Healthy Family Farms.

Tucked away against a hillside three and a half miles down Wheeler Canyon Road outside of Santa Paula, you will find Healthy Family Farms, owned and operated by Sharon Palmer. Sharon moved her farm operation from thirty acres in Fillmore to this 124-acre location about seven months ago, to expand her operation and to take advantage of cooler temperatures. Sharon raises a variety of poultry, including chickens and ducks, plus seasonal turkeys. A large herd of Saanen-Nubian goats provides artisan cheese. Lamb is also seasonal. All animals are fed an organic, vegetarian-based diet, free of corn and soy; they are free-range, meaning they are free to roam within their enclosures and are not confined to “factory farm” type cages. Sharon says they are in the process of adding a greenhouse fodder system in order to become fully sustainable. She is also planning to plant an orchard with apricot and sugar pear trees, where her poultry herds can run around freely.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Sharon was hosting “Harvest Day” at the farm. Ventura County residents who had pre-ordered a turkey arrived to pick them up and to wander around the farm on a self-guided tour of the barns, animal facilities, and cheesemaking room. Fresh, organically-grown vegetables for sale were beautifully displayed, along with flower bouquets of fall colors. Eggs and artisan goat cheese were also for sale. Many had made it a family outing; some children were seeing real, live farm animals for the first time. Sharon proudly said that their animals are all cared for like part of the family, and are processed humanely by small processors.
Sharon began humane and organic farming in 2003 after visiting a food processing plant where animals were mistreated and pumped up with antibiotics. She determined to raise food for her own family and for others who appreciated locally- and organically-grown meat, eggs, cheese, and produce. She and her children work the farm together, each having their own daily chores. Sharon sells her farm goods at most area Farmer’s Markets, so you can find her at the Wednesday and Saturday Markets in Ventura and the Sunday Market in Ojai.
Knowing where and how their food is grown and the farmer that grew it is becoming more and more important to many families. Trucking and shipping food products from long distances only increases their costs and degrades their quality. “Buy fresh, buy local” is becoming the new motto. Those of us who live in California and in Ventura County are fortunate to have most everything we need grown right here. Healthy Family Farms is part of this new push for sustainable and local eating, so visit them at a Farmer’s Market soon, or contact them at HealthyFamilyFarms@gmail.com.

 


 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

The city is awaiting a response from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board to its request to pay the $222,000 fine assessed for discharged into the Santa Clara River. Fillmore’s water treatment plant was built in 1955 and is unable to achieve water purity at the level of current standards.
Although construction on the city’s new $33 million treatment plant is about three quarters finished, the fines are not negotiable. Under legislation passed created by California’s Democrats, and passed by former Democrat Grey Davis, the fines are mandatory.
The new treatment plant (to begin operation April, 2009) will prevent any discharge to the river, avoiding any future fines. According to Bert Rapp, Fillmore’s Director of Public Works, the city hopes the (RWQCB) will permit payments on the fine instead of the burden of paying the entire amount immediately. The city has also requested that $115,000 be payable towards a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) instead of the State. A payment schedule would greatly ease the burden on the city’s budget.
Further fines are expected because the city’s old treatment plant cannot deal with the new water quality standards. If we receive heavy rains the fines will be greater. The city has asked that the State Board combine all penalties until they can be processed and settled at once.
Water bills for Fillmore residents are not expected to go up due to these fines. Funds from other accounts will probably be used, including the possibility that money from the general fund would be made available.

 


 
Private Tabetha Solorio
Private Tabetha Solorio

2008 Fillmore High School Graduate Tabetha Solorio, 18 years, has graduated from the United States Marine Corps Boot Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), Parris Island, South Carolina. Tabetha left for Parris Island on August 25, 2008 for a challenging thirteen weeks of military training and graduated on November 21, 2008. In addition to FHS Tabetha also attended Sespe Elementary and Fillmore Middle Schools and enjoyed playing basketball.
Private Tabetha Solorio is the daughter of Maria Barragan of Fillmore and Guillermo Solorio of Arizona. She is the granddaughter of Trinidad Barragan of Palmdale, California and the late Guadalupe Barragan. Private Tabetha Solorio has two brothers; Robert Solorio, 21 years, of Arizona, Adam Solorio, 20 years, of Fillmore and one sister Samantha Valdez, 22 years, of Fillmore. Her Cousin Monique, 2 years old, Fillmore misses her auntie very much and can’t wait to see her after her graduation. She also has seven uncles, 4 aunts and too many cousins to mention that all miss Private Tabetha Solorio very much and are extremely proud of her service.
Today I spoke to a very proud mother, Maria Barragan, and to Private Tabetha Solorio after she returned home from a well-deserved shopping trip to the mall with some of her friends. Private Tabetha Solorio told me she enjoyed Marine Boot Camp and she sounded very excited about her future training as a United States Marine. She is home on leave until December 2nd when she will leave Fillmore for Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for Military Combat Training. She also will complete her Military Occupation Specialty Training (MOS) at Camp Lejeune in Supply and Accounting. Camp Lejeune is the home of "Expeditionary Forces in Readiness" for the past 65 years, and throughout the years, it has become the home base for the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group and other combat units and support commands. Private Solorio anticipates that after her advance training she will be assigned to the East Coast and soon deployed to Afghanistan. CONTINUED »

 


 
Pictured (l-r) School board member David Dollar, Mayra Regalado Migrant Student of the Year, Laura Quintana Migrant Parent of the Year, and Homero Magana Migrant Alumnus of the Year.
Pictured (l-r) School board member David Dollar, Mayra Regalado Migrant Student of the Year, Laura Quintana Migrant Parent of the Year, and Homero Magana Migrant Alumnus of the Year.
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Pictured (l-r) District Manager for Wells Fargo Bank Ernie Pineda, San Cayetano Principal Jan Marholin, and Branch Manager Eric Irie. Pineda and Irie were honored by the School Board for being part of the “Be The Change” program.
Pictured (l-r) District Manager for Wells Fargo Bank Ernie Pineda, San Cayetano Principal Jan Marholin, and Branch Manager Eric Irie. Pineda and Irie were honored by the School Board for being part of the “Be The Change” program.
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The open session of the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board meeting was held November 18, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office. The Board presented "Be the Change" awards and Migrant Education awards. The Board decided to stand by its earlier decision to raise Public Use of Facilities fees.

Superintendent Jeff Sweeney reported that Fillmore High School (FHS) was well prepared for the WASC accreditation exit interview. He said that the FHS staff deserves to be proud of how it handled the accreditation process, and the District is waiting to hear from WASC how many years of accreditation have been awarded.

The Board and Tricia Gardias, Migrant Education Coordinator, presented Recognitions of Achievement for the Migrant Education Program. The Board Meeting Agenda listed the qualifications for each award, and Gardias described each person's accomplishments. Laura Quintana is Migrant Parent of the Year. That award goes to "parents who become involved in their children's education, strive to further their education and get involved in school and community". Quintana has served two years on the Migrant Advisory Council, attends English Learner Advisory Committee meetings, and has three children (an Eighth Grader, a Sixth Grader, and a toddler). Mayra Regalado is Migrant Student of the Year. That award goes to students who "exhibit exceptional leadership", maintain a GPA of at least 3.5, and "plan to continue their education and involvement in their school and community". She has a 4.33 GPA, is taking three Advanced Placement classes (Calculus, Physics, and Spanish), teaches Catechism at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, and hopes to attend UC Davis or San Diego State University. She also plays soccer at FHS, and had to leave for practice after receiving the award. Homero Magaña is Migrant Alumnus of the Year. That award goes to "those students who become professionals, exhibit exceptional leadership, get involved in school/community activities and always strive to further their accomplishments". Magaña graduated from Moorpark College with Honors, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, has participated in State and National Conferences, and is a Counselor at Moorpark High School.

Garrett Reilley reported that the FHS Boosters and Associated Student Body are attempting to subsidize a bus rental so that students can afford to travel to 29 Palms to cheer the FHS football team as it plays in the semi-finals this Saturday.

San Cayetano Elementary School Principal Jan Marholin introduced Ernie Pineda, District Manger for Wells Fargo Bank, and Eric Irie, Branch Manger for Wells Fargo Bank. The Board honored Pineda and Irie as part of the "Be the Change" program. Marholin thanked Pineda and Irie for their help with the grant used for the fall harvest festival at San Cayetano. Marjolin reported that, due to extra publicity from newspaper articles and flyers, teachers at all four elementary schools received $85 each for classroom use. CONTINUED »

 


 
Saturday at approximately 12 p.m., a single vehicle traffic accident occurred on Highway 126 near Old Telegraph Road. A Jeep headed east crossed over the westbound lane of 126, traveling through a wire fence and
into a avocado grove, shearing-off several trees.
Saturday at approximately 12 p.m., a single vehicle traffic accident occurred on Highway 126 near Old Telegraph Road. A Jeep headed east crossed over the westbound lane of 126, traveling through a wire fence and into a avocado grove, shearing-off several trees.
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No serious injuries were reported. The cause of the accident was not made available.
No serious injuries were reported. The cause of the accident was not made available.
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California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol

On November 28, 2008 at approximately 2:34 a.m., a fatal collision involving a four-year-old passenger of a Ford Focus, occurred on SR-126 eastbound, just west of the 10th Street off-ramp. The collision caused the closure of SR-126 eastbound between Palm Avenue and 10th Street for over five hours.

Lucia Cardoza, 24 years of age from Fillmore, was driving her 2005 Ford Focus on SR-126 eastbound at an unknown speed, west of the 10th street off-ramp. At the time, her two children, ages one and four, were in the backseat of the vehicle. For unknown reasons, Cardoza’s vehicle swerved out of control across the traffic lanes toward the right shoulder. The left side of her vehicle then collided into a metal guard rail. The impact then caused her vehicle to rotate back into the traffic lanes. The Ford Focus was subsequently struck by a 1998 Town and Country van, which was traveling eastbound on SR-126. Following the second collision, both vehicles came to rest within the traffic lanes.

At some point during the incidents, Cardoza’s four-year-old child was ejected from the vehicle. He was found laying in the center median by emergency personnel who responded to the area, but was later pronounced deceased at the scene. Cardoza, along with her other child, was transported to the Ventura County Medical Center where she was placed under arrest by CHP officers for DUI. She was admitted into the hospital and was expected to undergo surgery for her injuries. The extent of injuries to the one-year-old child is unknown at this time.

Maria Rangel, the driver of the van, along with her three passengers, was transported to Santa Paula Hospital. They were later released with only minor injuries. The incident is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

 
The new Fillmore swimming pool complex received about a dozen Palm Trees, Monday. They encircle the pool area. The complex is due to open in January and will include two tennis courts, large swimming pool, office and dressing rooms, and a play area for younger children.
The new Fillmore swimming pool complex received about a dozen Palm Trees, Monday. They encircle the pool area. The complex is due to open in January and will include two tennis courts, large swimming pool, office and dressing rooms, and a play area for younger children.
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Matthew R. Cobos
Matthew R. Cobos

2007 Fillmore High School Graduate Matthew R. Cobos, 20 years old, is serving in the United States Navy in Bahrain. Bahrain, which means “two seas,” is an archipelago in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia. Matthew R. Cobos is Master at Arms Petty Officer Third Class (MA3) with an Anti Terrorism Task Force. In addition to FHS Matthew attended Saint Sebastian Elementary School and Fillmore Middle School. He was active in Raiders Youth Football, Fillmore Little League, and FHS Varsity Football where he wore the #40 jersey, and FHS Track.

Matthew’s Mother is Rebecca Lewis, of Fillmore. His siblings are Madison A. Cobos, 22 years, a student at San Francisco State and Meghan A. Cobos, 17 years, a senior at Fillmore High School. His Maternal Grandmother is Aggi Oschin and Step-Grandfather Michael Grossman of the Santa Clarita Valley. Maternal Grandfather is Earl Lewis and Step-Grandmother Shirlee Lewis of the Santa Clarita Valley. His Paternal Grandparents are Tillie Cobos and the late Rudy Cobos, of Las Vegas, Nevada. Grandfather Earl Lewis served in the United States Navy and Grandfather Rudy Cobos served in the United States Air Force.

MA3 Matthew R. Cobos entered United States Navy Recruit Training on September 12, 2007 and graduated on November 9, 2007 from the Naval Station Great Lakes, Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois. At Recruit Graduation Matthew was hand picked along with a few others to perform in the Honor Guard at the Recruit Graduation Ceremony. Having attended that graduation ceremony I know that this is quite an honor.

MA3 Matthew R. Cobos completed Master at Arms “A” School on January 24, 2008. A Master at Arms provides Navy Ships and commands with force protection and is an antiterrorism specialist who assists in maintaining good order and discipline, performs law enforcement, and physical security duties. MA's enforce appropriate military orders and regulations, make apprehensions, conduct investigations and interrogations and prepare required records and reports. Due to the unique functions and trust inherent in the MA rating, the quality of personnel selected is of paramount importance and requires strict adherence to eligibility criteria. An MA is responsible to enforce military rules and regulations to maintain military discipline. An MA will also perform physical security duties and conduct preliminary investigations, provide Anti-terrorism Force Protection (ATFP), organize and train personnel assigned to security, perform overseas shore patrol duties, conduct crime prevention programs, operate brigs (jails), assist in crowd control and confrontation situations, handle and care for dogs that detect narcotics and explosives. In very simple terms the MA is the law enforcement arm onboard a Naval Ship or at a Naval Station.

To perform his duties MA3 Matthew R. Cobos is trained to use: M16 Assault Rifle, M9 semiautomatic 9 mm pistol, M500 shotgun, M60 machine gun and he is non-lethal weapon qualified. MA3 Matthew R. Cobos completed Naval Security Force Indoctrination for Naval Security Force in Bahrain. In Bahrain, he is involved in anti-terrorism force protection. He also completed Police Special Forces Tactics from Special Security Force Command of the Ministry of the Interior from the Kingdom of Bahrain. From the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, he completed Security First Responder and also completed Surveillance Detection & Counter Surveillance training. MA3 Matthew R. Cobos has also trained with Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) Companies in close quarters combat.

MA3 Matthew R. Cobos is required to have a security clearance in order to perform his military duties as a Master at Arms. This is necessary because the military possesses information and technology which could be helpful to our enemies. The unauthorized release of this information can compromise our nation's national security. Unauthorized release can cause battles and wars to be lost, missions to be ineffective, and can result in the death or injury of military and civilian personnel. To obtain this clearance an extensive investigation must be conducted. A security clearance investigation is an inquiry into an individual’s loyalty, character, trustworthiness and reliability to ensure that he or she is eligible for access to national security information. The investigation focuses on an individual’s character and conduct, emphasizing such factors as honesty, trustworthiness, reliability, financial responsibility, criminal activity, emotional stability, and other similar and pertinent areas. All investigations consist of checks of national records and credit checks; some investigations also include interviews with individuals who know the candidate for the clearance as well as the candidate himself. Having received this security clearance is a great testament to MA3 Matthew R. Cobos character.

We here in the communities of Fillmore and Piru wish MA3 Matthew R. Cobos a fruitful career in the United States Navy, safe travel and thank him and his family for their sacrifices now and sacrifices in the future to keep our Country strong. MA3 Matthew R. Cobos is truly an American Hero.