After a 3-year delay, Ventura County’s $9-million Fire Station No. 27 is open for business. This state-of-the-art structure was left unfinished during two of the most devastating wildfires in California’s history during that time. The major contractor failed to perform, and there has apparently been no financial backup. Anyway, it’s open now, sporting three new bright yellow fire trucks and a Caterpillar dozer to. Clear brushy terrain. Everything seems to be in good order. It is reported the station can house nine firefighters and four engines. How this new station will effect Fillmore’s own volunteer fire department remains to be seen.
After a 3-year delay, Ventura County’s $9-million Fire Station No. 27 is open for business. This state-of-the-art structure was left unfinished during two of the most devastating wildfires in California’s history during that time. The major contractor failed to perform, and there has apparently been no financial backup. Anyway, it’s open now, sporting three new bright yellow fire trucks and a Caterpillar dozer to. Clear brushy terrain. Everything seems to be in good order. It is reported the station can house nine firefighters and four engines. How this new station will effect Fillmore’s own volunteer fire department remains to be seen.
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Over the next few weeks, Edison will be conducting aerial inspections on Fillmore equipment. You may notice an increase in aircraft activity in your area, including the use of helicopters and drones. We appreciate your support as this is part of our ongoing commitment supporting California’s fight against wildfires. For more information, please visit https://energized.edison.com/stories/drones-join-helicopters-inspecting-powerlines-in-high-fire-risk-areas
Over the next few weeks, Edison will be conducting aerial inspections on Fillmore equipment. You may notice an increase in aircraft activity in your area, including the use of helicopters and drones. We appreciate your support as this is part of our ongoing commitment supporting California’s fight against wildfires. For more information, please visit https://energized.edison.com/stories/drones-join-helicopters-inspecting-powerlines-in-high-fire-risk-areas
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Saturday, December 7th at 10am was the Fillmore Lion’s Club 18th Annual Christmas Parade. Although the rain tried to put a stop to the Parade, it went on. Santa and Mrs. Claus traded in the sleigh for the morning to take a special trip down Central Avenue aboard a Fillmore Fire Department fire truck. At the end of his ride, Santa made his way to the Fillmore Towne Theatre to take photos with the kids and families who brought their cameras. Photo courtesy Vanessa Granillo Alvarez.
Saturday, December 7th at 10am was the Fillmore Lion’s Club 18th Annual Christmas Parade. Although the rain tried to put a stop to the Parade, it went on. Santa and Mrs. Claus traded in the sleigh for the morning to take a special trip down Central Avenue aboard a Fillmore Fire Department fire truck. At the end of his ride, Santa made his way to the Fillmore Towne Theatre to take photos with the kids and families who brought their cameras. Photo courtesy Vanessa Granillo Alvarez.
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Miss Fillmore, First and Second Princesses Angelina Mynatt, and Alisa Velasco. Photos courtesy Miss & Miss Teen Fillmore Pageant Facebook.
Miss Fillmore, First and Second Princesses Angelina Mynatt, and Alisa Velasco. Photos courtesy Miss & Miss Teen Fillmore Pageant Facebook.
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Also, riding on the Fillmore Fire Engine 91 in this year’s Lions Club Christmas Parade are Fillmore City Council members showing their Christmas spirit. Photo courtesy Jan Lee.
Also, riding on the Fillmore Fire Engine 91 in this year’s Lions Club Christmas Parade are Fillmore City Council members showing their Christmas spirit. Photo courtesy Jan Lee.
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Saturday, December 14th was the 42nd Annual Piru Christmas Parade. Pictured are Miss Fillmore Ariana Ocegueda, Miss Teen Fillmore Monique Hurtado and the court marching in this year’s parade, waving to the crowd. Photos courtesy Miss Fillmore/Teen Fillmore Pageant Facebook.
Saturday, December 14th was the 42nd Annual Piru Christmas Parade. Pictured are Miss Fillmore Ariana Ocegueda, Miss Teen Fillmore Monique Hurtado and the court marching in this year’s parade, waving to the crowd. Photos courtesy Miss Fillmore/Teen Fillmore Pageant Facebook.
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On Friday, December 13th part of Central Avenue was blocked off for the Santa Stoll from 5pm – 9pm. The whole family could enjoy dinner, snacks, desserts, and shopping with local vendors/small businesses on both sides of the street, there were free pictures with Santa in the Towne Theater, a free jolly jumper, holiday music and a petting zoo where you could feed feathery/furry friends! Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook page.
On Friday, December 13th part of Central Avenue was blocked off for the Santa Stoll from 5pm – 9pm. The whole family could enjoy dinner, snacks, desserts, and shopping with local vendors/small businesses on both sides of the street, there were free pictures with Santa in the Towne Theater, a free jolly jumper, holiday music and a petting zoo where you could feed feathery/furry friends! Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook page.
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At last night’s School Board meeting the board discussed the Fillmore Unified Teacher Association tentative agreement as well as school year dates for 2020-2021, and Certificated Special Education, psychologist, nurse and other salary schedules for the upcoming year.
At last night’s School Board meeting the board discussed the Fillmore Unified Teacher Association tentative agreement as well as school year dates for 2020-2021, and Certificated Special Education, psychologist, nurse and other salary schedules for the upcoming year.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Approve Start and End Dates for 2020-2021 School Year
The Governing Board approved a start date for staff to be on Monday, August 17, 2020, followed by a first student day held on Thursday, August 20, 2020. Pending collaboration from both employee units, the last day for students would be June 3, 2021, followed by a teacher workday on June 4, 2021.

Approve Resolution 19-20-12 Regarding Census 2020 The Governing Board approved Resolution 19-20-12.

Approve Tentative Agreement between the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association (FUTA) and the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD)
The Governing Board approved the Tentative Agreement reached during the last mediation session.

Approve Certificated/Certificated Special Education/School Psychologist/Coordinator/Nurse/ROP/Vocational Salary Schedules
The Governing Board approved the Certificated/Certificated Special Education/School Psychologist/Coordinator/Nurse/ROP/Vocational salary schedules.

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved all personnel recommendations including new hires, promotions, resignations, and leaves.

 


 
Photo of the Week: "An oak, some lichen, Spanish moss and a Sunstar" by Bob Crum. Ah! Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm, no filters. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/22, shutter speed 1/100 second.
Photo of the Week: "An oak, some lichen, Spanish moss and a Sunstar" by Bob Crum. Ah! Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm, no filters. Exposure; ISO 1,000, aperture f/22, shutter speed 1/100 second.
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Creative Photography Part 2
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

My previous column concluded with notes about SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) photography. Briefly, I wrote that some say that SOOC is stupid! Others say that photographers who use Photoshop (or some other photo editor program) simply don't know how to use their camera. Conversely, others say that SOOC photographers simply don't know how to use Photoshop. To wit I add: no image straight of the camera is as good as it can be. Which begs the question: How much better does the image need to be?

SOOC purists claim that pristine unprocessed photos are superb. (sigh) Fact: All photos get processed in the camera. Light is converted to a digital file that is then processed by the camera's computer according to algorithms programmed by the camera engineers. Also, selecting a camera's 'picture style' setting will significantly affect the photo. An unprocessed SOOC image is a myth!

If the SOOC photo is a snapshot in the JPEG format and destined only for social media, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email, it will most likely be satisfactory. At best, such photos will only get a nano-second glance anyway. Image quality is of little or no consequence because we know that snapshots made day in and day out aren't what could be considered 'creative' photos. Right?

However, photography affords a high degree of creativity. But this creative aspect is not easily defined. In no quarter is there an agreed description or one that separates the craft from other mediums. But we can agree that through the application of various techniques both in-camera and in post-processing, creativity is integral. Mermaid boudoir photography is an extremely creative genre of photography in which I specialize. But I digress.

The photographer begins the creative process by programming the camera. Beyond the essential fundamentals-focus & composition-options include aperture and shutter speed determinations. For instance, determine a shutter speed to blur a fast-moving subject or blur the background. Also, to create a stop-action waterfall or blur the flowing water for a silky look. Depth-of-field considerations and more. Beyond the technical aspects of a camera, a creative photographer sees things that most others overlook. The ability to see things, and see them from a unique perspective, is a significant component of creative photography.

Composition is a foundation for creativity. Placement of the subject, including the decision to include negative space, often helps to separate the subject to draw attention to it. The use of color is another significant creative element. Think about using back-lit subjects to create a silhouette. Changing the perspective can create an uncommon and potentially interesting photo. If you're standing - kneel. Lay on the ground/floor. Or extend the camera high overhead. Note: Attaching your camera to your dog's tail as it walks down the street is not creative street photography: It's dogography!

Though this is an abbreviated discussion on creative photography, there's one more important element: Intention. Intentionally capture the image as mentally envisioned to the best of your abilities and that of your camera. For example, the photo of the week is an old oak tree that I came upon as the sun was lowering in the south-western sky. Regular readers know I brake for sunstar photographic opportunities. Although the lower background is replete with vegetation and thus a tad busy, it's OK. All the other components make for a captivating photo. Observe it again. See the enchanting lichen creating texture on the tree trunk & limbs? How many see the Spanish moss? Aha, I thought so. It's on the lower left tree limbs. I instantly saw all of these eye-catching elements. I then programmed the camera to create the sunstar rays and intentionally made the photo. Ah, such is the ecstasy of creative photography. Say again? Did I do any post-processing? Stay tuned!

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
(above) Tim Holmgren was appointed Mayor of Fillmore at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
(above) Tim Holmgren was appointed Mayor of Fillmore at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
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Fillmore City Council selected the 2020 Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem at Tuesday night’s meeting. The City Clerk asks the Council to nominate a Councilmember to serve as Mayor via a motion.... Fillmore City Council unanimously voted Councilman Tim Holmgren as Fillmore's new Mayor for 2020.

5. The Fillmore City Council meeting began with a presentation by Mr. Charles Richardson. Mr. Richardson apologized to City Manager David Rowlands and to Public Works Supervisor David Smallwood, for his previously mistaken accusation that the city was responsible for water quality at the El Dorado Mobile Home Park. Richardson subsequently learned the city had no part in determining water quality at the Park. He praised Rowlands and Smallwood for their handling of the issue.

See further discussion of issue on Fillmore City Council agenda: by Roxanne Hughes, PE, City Engineer.

8.A The City Engineer's recommendation that the City Council approve Final Map Tract No. 5520-5, authorize the Mayor to sign the map, and direct the City Clerk to record the maps with the County Recorder's office was approved unanimously.

8.B That the City Council adopt the plans and specifications and approve the advertisement for bids for the construction of the State Route 126 and State Hwy23 Utility Cover Adjustment Project, Spec. No. 18-01. DISCUSSION Caltrans recently completed asphalt concrete paving projects on State Route 126 (Ventura Street) and State Route23 (A-Street) that covered the manhole and valve covers that serve as access points to city owned water, sanitary sewer, and storm drain utilities. The Caltrans design team did not coordinate with City staff during that project’s design phase, however, the construction team did invite City Staff to the preconstruction meeting. Unfortunately, Caltrans did not include any adjustments for any “non-highway facilities” in their scope of work, nor did they coordinate with the utility owners, prior to beginning construction of the project. As a result, the utility covers are now below grade. The City, as the utility owner, is now required to raise the covers to match the new grade as a City project under an encroachment permit from Caltrans.

Staff will bring the construction bid analysis to Council with a recommendation for contract award, including a proposed final budget request and request for the required budget allocations and/or appropriations.

Recommendation approved.

8-E ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 19-3741 AMENDING THE CITY’S COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS RESOLUTION FOR NON-REPRESENTED MANAGEMENT/MID-MANAGEMENT AND PART TIME EMPLOYEES TO REFLECT NEW HUMAN RESOURCES ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT CLASSIFICATION AND THE NEW MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES.

The City Council adopted Resolution 19-3741 unanimously as recommended.

8-F CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION 19-3741 ADOPTING A FURTHER REVISED THE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE PAY SCHEDULE FOR ALL CITY OF FILLMORE EMPLOYEES.

Approved unanimously by Council.

8-G REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT IMPACT FEE INCOME AND EXPENSES PER GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 66006 AND CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-3742 MAKING FINDINGS REGARDING UNEXPENDED FEES.

City Council approved Resolution No. 19-3742 to accept the DIF income and expense report and make the findings required by state law with respect to a portion of DIF funds that are unexpended and were collected over five (5) years ago.

8-H REVIEW AND APPROVE FIRST READING OF ORDINANCE NO. 19-922, REPLACING FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 2.36, WITH A NEW TITLE 16 “WATER DEPARTMENT” TO INCORPORATE NEW WATER SHUTOFF PROCEDURES AS REQUIRED UNDER SENATE BILL 998 – THE WATER SHUTOFF PROTECTION ACT AND ADOPTION OF AN EXEMPTION FROM CEQA.

Ordinance approved.

8-I APPOINTMENT OF TO THE FILL ONE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE’S SEAT ON THE CITIZENS TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE/SOCIAL SERVICE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COUNCIL (CTAC/SSTAC). The purpose of the Committee is to act as an advisory board to VCTC for purposes of transportation planning and identification of unmet transit needs.

The Council appointed Aaron Todd to the position, and thanked him for volunteering for the position.

8-J COMMENT ON AND ADOPT PROPOSED CITY POLICY FOR PARKS AND RECREATION SPORT FIELD RENTALS.

No action taken.

8-K Council considered THE ADOPTION OF INTERIM URGENCY ORDINANCE 923 TO PROHIBIT THE CULTIVATION, MANUFACTURING, TESTING, STORING, AND CERTAIN SALES OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP IN THE CITY OF FILLMORE, DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF AND THE IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ORDINANCE PURSUANT TO GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 65858, 36934 AND 36937, AND MAKING A DETERMINATION OF EXEMPTION UNDER THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT.

Following discussion of health and safety issues relating to this discussion, Council voted 4-1 in favor of the interim urgency ordinance, with Councilman Lynne Edmonds dissenting.

The decision was taken after a lengthy discussion of contemplated action. Mr. William Steiger and Charles Steiger delivered thoughtful scientific reasons why the issue of growing and processing hemp (not marijuana) should be considered with reasonable controls to protect public health and safety. The ordinance mounts to a temporary moratorium on the processing of hemp.

8-L PUBLIC HEARING: CONSIDERATION OF RECOMMENDATION TO CITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ORDINANCE NO. 921, ADDING SECTION 6.04.42 OF THE FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENTS AND FINDING OF EXEMPTION FROM CEQA.

Council followed Planning Commission's recommendation to introduce Ordinance No. 19-921 and add Fillmore Municipal Code section 6.04.42 regarding affordable housing requirements and finding of exemption from CEQA.

 


 
(above) Last year’s Toy Drive Giveaway.
(above) Last year’s Toy Drive Giveaway.
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This year’s annual Fillmore Community Holiday Giveaway will be held Saturday, December 14th from 9 AM – 12 PM at the Fillmore City Fire Station, 711 Landeros Lane. This is the annual event where holiday commodities are given to the children who reside within the Fillmore Unified School District boundaries. Each child will have a picture taken with Santa Claus. They will also receive a new toy and reading book, a new coat and socks, holiday bags of groceries will also be available as well as a limited number of Christmas trees. Cotton candy, popcorn and candy canes will be distributed. The children and their families will be able to visit with First Responders and learn safety tips.

Annual sponsors of the event include our local Fillmore Police and Fire Departments, Santa Clara Valley Legal Aid, The Latshaw Foundation, One Step A La Vez, Soroptimist International of Fillmore, Saint Francis of Assisi Church, Fillmore Future Farmers of America, Sespe 4-H, Rotary International of Fillmore, Fillmore Lions Club, Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, Fillmore Citizen’s Patrol, Fillmore Search and Rescue, The Fillmore Fire Foundation and numerous other generous personal and business donors.

If you would like to help donate to the Fillmore Community Holiday Giveaway, you may give new toys, coats, books, socks or canned food; drop boxes are located at the Fillmore Police Station and at the Fillmore City Fire Station. Cash donations are gladly accepted, checks may be made out to “The Fillmore Fire Foundation” with a notation of “Holiday Giveaway”. Donations may be mailed to Fillmore Fire Foundation” PO Box 331, Fillmore , CA 93016 or for drop off, please contact Scott Beylik (805) 732-1101 or Keith Gurrola (805) 558-0932.

 
Fillmore Fire Department was awarded $45,000 in grant funding to purchase new emergency equipment. Pictured is some the current equipment the department uses.
Fillmore Fire Department was awarded $45,000 in grant funding to purchase new emergency equipment. Pictured is some the current equipment the department uses.
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VCTC Approves Funding for Critical First Response to Roadway Incidents and Emergencies
The Jaws of Life, which is used to extract victims trapped in their vehicles following a collision.
The Jaws of Life, which is used to extract victims trapped in their vehicles following a collision.
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On Friday, Dec. 6, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) approved a resolution to provide 25% matching funds for a Freeway Service Patrol (FSP). FSP, a program to assist disabled vehicles along congested freeway segments, will provide roving tow and service trucks on freeways during peak traffic periods when it goes into effect next year. FSP will emphasize support on high-congestion areas along the U.S. 101, such as between Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Oxnard. On S.R.118, FSP will focus on high-traffic areas around Simi Valley and Moorpark.

FSP is a joint program of the California Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol and State of California’s Service for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE). While an FSP has existed in Los Angeles and other counties for several years, the Commission’s action brings the program to Ventura County for the first time.

“FSP provides free assistance to motorists stranded in dangerous situations on busy freeways,” said VCTC Executive Director Darren Kettle. “It also helps improve air quality and traffic congestion by quickly re-establishing free-flowing roadway conditions.”

The FSP is one of two significant programs approved by the Commission and funded by SAFE in recent months. In October, the Commission awarded grants to five first responders to improve response to traffic incidents. VCTC received grant applications from the Fillmore Fire Department, Oxnard Police Department, Ventura Police Department, Ventura County Fire Protection District, and Ventura County Sheriff and elected to fully fund all five for a total grant amount in excess of $900,000.

• Fillmore Fire Department - $45,000.00
o Battery Operated Jaws Components
o LED Lighting System
o Traffic Control Devices
• Oxnard Police Department – $50,000.00
o Mobile Changeable Message Signs (2)
• Ventura Police Department (Major Incident Response Vehicle) - $437,519.62
o Major Incident Response Vehicle
o Faro Laser Scanner
o Wanco Sign Board
o Globug lighting
o Rubberneck Scene Barriers (3)
o Traffic Control Devices
o Vericom Accelerometer
o Master Tool Kit
• Ventura County Fire Protection District - $55,000.00
o Opticon Signal Preemption Moorpark/Simi
• Ventura County Sheriff – $318,000.00
o Opticon Signal Preemption
o Mobile Changeable Message Signs (6)
o LED Lighting System (2)
o Drones for mapping and photographic recording (6)

“The SAFE grants will help our local police and firefighters save lives,” Kettle said. “Each of the awardees has laid out a compelling plan to use grant funds to conduct critical traffic incident response more quickly, efficiently and safely.”
The SAFE program was established by The California Legislature in order to encourage the development of a motorist aid system comprised of multiple service elements and infrastructure along the California Freeway and Freeway System.

About the Ventura County Transportation Commission
The Ventura County Transportation Commission is the regional transportation planning agency committed to keeping Ventura County moving. Program information is available at goventura.org.

 

Please join us for the 42nd Annual Piru Christmas Parade and Festival on Saturday, December 14, from 12 - 6 pm. Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) is our Grand Marshal and will start the parade. Parade begins at noon and the Festival starts immediately after. There will be music by Juano & Friends, pictures with Santa, and a Corn Hole Tournament, to name a few of the festival’s activities. See you in Piru!