Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On May 13th, 2008, at approximately 07:30 PM, the victim Mario Ramos 23, of Fillmore was stopped in his vehicle in the area of Fourth Street and B Street, in Fillmore. The suspect vehicle, a white newer Chevrolet Avalanche, with paper plates, pulled in front of the victim’s vehicle blocking its exit. Two suspects exited their vehicle and confronted the victim, who was still seated in his vehicle. One of the suspects made reference to a local street gang and punched the victim on his face and head several times. The second suspect entered the passenger side of the vehicle and took the victim’s property. Both suspects fled the area in the Chevrolet Avalanche.
The victim reported the crime several hours later from his residence. The victim was treated and released by AMR for contusions and swelling to his face and forehead as a result of the crime.
Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (805) 494-TALK (Thousand Oaks / Moorpark), (805) 385-TALK (Camarillo / Oxnard / Port Hueneme) or Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233.

 


 

Bardsdale Cemetery, Monday, May 26, 2008 – 11:00 a.m.
Opening Remarks – Monty Winkler
Presentation of Colors – Veterans of Foreign Wars
Pledge of Allegiance – Scout Troop #406 and Cub Scout Troop #3400
Special Music – Heritage Valley Bible Church
Memorial Day Message – Senior Master Sergeant Roy L. Nichols, Retired Air Force Served in WWII, Vietnam and Korean Wars
Placing of Wreath – William Burnet
Memorial Service – Rev. Sherwood Haisty
Special Music – Heritage Valley Bible Church
Reading of the Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country – VFW
Commander John E. Pressey
Volly- Honor Guard, VFW
Taps – Bob Thompson
Conclusion of Service

Piru Cemetery, Monday, May 26, 2008 - 9:00 a.m.
Introductory Remarks: Patricia Chavez
Opening Prayer: Minister Chuck Mahry, Methodist Church
Opening Song: Dora Sanchez
Presentation of Colors: Veterans Foreign Wars Lead by: Comdr. John Pressy
Pledge of Allegiance: Roshelle Castillo
Guest Speaker: Jay Woods, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Placing of the Wreath: George Real
Reading of the names: Patricia Chavez
Honor Guard Presentation: Veterans of Foreign Wars
Playing of Taps: Bob Thompson
Closing Prayer: Minister Chuck Mahry, Methodist Church
Closing Song: Dora Sanchez
The Piru Cemetery is located at 3580 Center Street. For more information: Piru Cemetery District P.O. Box 516 Piru, Ca. 93040 805-521-1752.

 


 
David M. Warnock-Ortiz, United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1)
David M. Warnock-Ortiz, United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1)

1996 Fillmore High School Graduate and United States Army Warrant Officer One (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz, 30 years, is serving at the Army’s Fort Bliss located in El Paso, Texas. He also attended San Cayetano Elementary School and Fillmore Junior High School. While in the Army David is taking college level courses pursuing a degree in computer science.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is married to Sonja (originally from Mississippi), who he met while stationed in the military in Colorado. Together they have three sons; Isaiah 6 years, Israel 5 years and Zion 1 year. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is the son of Julia Ortiz and James Warnock of Fillmore. His Maternal Grandparents are Fred and Virginia Ortiz of Fillmore and his Paternal Grandparents are the late Ronald and Lillian Warnock of Fillmore. He has one sister, Darlene Leighton, 33 years, living in Texas.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz comes from a long line of family members who have served in the United States Army; Grandfather Fred Ortiz served during Korea, Grandfather Ronald Warnock also served in the Army as did Uncles Ray Ortiz Sr. and Pete Cervantez and Cousin Ray Ortiz Jr. all of Fillmore.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz enlisted in the Army in September 1996 after graduation from Fillmore High School where David played football for two-years. He initially enlisted as a Military Policeman and was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). While there he completed Air Assault School, and then deployed to Egypt as part of a multinational training exercise. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz has also been assigned in Korea, where he worked at a Military Intelligence compound protecting classified materials. He then returned to the United States and moved to Fort Carson, Colorado where he was assigned to patrol and direct combat support of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR).
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz said that while in Colorado, “I married my wonderful wife Sonja and had our first son Isaiah”. (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz then deployed to Bosnia with the 3rd ACR as part of SFOR 7 (Stabilization Force). When he returned he was assigned to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he was promoted to sergeant and began working in Military Police Investigations, conducting misdemeanor level investigations. While at Fort Rucker he and Sonja had their second son Israel. At Fort Rucker he submitted an application and was accepted to become a Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Agent. CID Agent's conduct felony level investigations for the Army wherein the Army has an interest. He was accepted in 2003 and attended the Apprentice Special Agent Course, which was a four month course where he learned crime scene processing and photography, interviews and interrogations, advanced self defense and weapons training, computer crimes training, fraud training, and investigative techniques pertaining to child abuse, sexual assault, and death/murder investigations. He also attended a second course, where he was trained in Protective Services.
Upon graduation he transferred to Fort Benning, Georgia, and then deployed to Taji, Iraq. After his deployment he returned to Fort Benning and he and Sonja had their third son, Zion. While at Fort Benning, (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz applied for, and was accepted to, attend the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Candidate School. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Warrant Officer. The newly appointed Warrant Officer moved to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas where he is currently stationed. His current assignment is with the 76th Military Police Detachment (CID) where he conducts felony level investigations on a daily basis involving military personnel.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz has earned two Army Achievement Medals, three Army Accommodation Medals, three Good Conduct Medals, Overseas Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Ribbon, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and Non-Commissioned Officers Developmental Ribbon.
(WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz is a career soldier and he is proud to serve his Country protecting all of us here at home. We wish (WO1) David M. Warnock-Ortiz safe travel and thank him and his family for their sacrifices. His service is greatly appreciated.

 


 
Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

In January, the Governor proposed a $4.8 billion funding cut to education that would have a devastating impact on our school district. In Fillmore, the estimated loss in funding for 2008-09 is nearly $900,000. In addition to this loss due to the Governor’s proposal, an additional $700,000 in on-going costs must be budgeted into the 2008-09 school year budget. The reduction in funds from the state in addition to the on-going costs means that the Fillmore Unified School District must reduce our overall 2007-08 school year budget by $1.6 million for the new school year, 2008-09. In response to this information, the District began immediately containing costs (reduction in office supplies, elimination of conferences, etc.) and developing a potential budget reduction list in January. Our Board has been meeting since February to review potential cuts in preparation for approving a final budget for the 2008-09 school year in June. Be assured that we will do all we can to preserve vital programs and minimize employee layoffs as we develop next year’s budget.

Educational Budget Crisis
On March 4, our Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in opposition to the Governor's proposed cuts, which would be the largest in the history of education in California. Every parent, student and staff member can have a voice in the fight to protect public education in California. I encourage all of you to take a moment and write to our elected officials in Sacramento to voice your concern about the budget crisis and the effect it will have on our children's futures. The names of our elected officials are: Senate-George Runner, 5097 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4017, fax 916-445-4662; Senate-Tom McClintock, 3070 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4019, fax 916-324-7544; Assembly Audra Strickland, 4208 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 94249, phone 916-319-2037, fax 916-319-2137.
I want our employees, parents and community to know that protecting students and staff from the harm the proposed Governor’s budget proposes is our top priority. However, such severe cuts to our funding will necessitate the loss of some services. We have already had to cut some summer school offerings. In addition to this item, the Board has been studying a variety of potential budget reductions. Some areas the Board is considering include: Eliminating in-town bus service; Reducing positions and utilizing their funding sources to provide more service; and Reducing the budget needed to replace aging technology equipment.
We want to keep moving in the positive direction that we have begun together these past two years. Board members, leaders, teachers, support staff, parents, and moreover the entire community have all worked especially hard to make Fillmore Unified a district that focuses on student achievement, providing a safe environment, and meeting the unique needs of all our students.

 


 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Location: Fourth Street at B Street, Fillmore, Ca
Date & Time: May 13th, 2008 / 07:30 PM

Unit Responsible: Fillmore Police Department

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses City of residence Age

(V) Mario Ramos Fillmore 23
(S) Unknown Hispanic Male
(S) Unknown Hispanic Male

On May 13th, 2008, at approximately 07:30 PM, the victim was stopped in his vehicle in the area of Fourth Street and B Street, in Fillmore. The suspect vehicle, a white newer Chevrolet Avalanche, with paper plates, pulled in front of the victim’s vehicle blocking its exit. Two suspects exited their vehicle and confronted the victim, who was still seated in his vehicle. One of the suspects made reference to a local street gang and punched the victim on his face and head several times. The second suspect entered the passenger side of the vehicle and took the victim’s property. Both suspects fled the area in the Chevrolet Avalanche.

The victim reported the crime several hours later from his residence. The victim was treated and released by AMR for contusions and swelling to his face and forehead as a result of the crime.

Anyone with additional information about this crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (805) 494-TALK (Thousand Oaks / Moorpark), (805) 385-TALK (Camarillo / Oxnard / Port Hueneme) or Fillmore Police Department at (805) 524-2233.

 


 
Shirley Spitler (left) and former Mayor Roger Campbell, hand Grad Night Live founder Raeleen Chaney checks for nearly $6,000 in support of this life-saving event. Illness has prevented Mrs. Chaney from fund-raising this year. Time is short and several thousand dollars more are needed to pay for the Fillmore High School senior grad night event.
Shirley Spitler (left) and former Mayor Roger Campbell, hand Grad Night Live founder Raeleen Chaney checks for nearly $6,000 in support of this life-saving event. Illness has prevented Mrs. Chaney from fund-raising this year. Time is short and several thousand dollars more are needed to pay for the Fillmore High School senior grad night event.
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First to speak at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Fillmore City Council was Clay Westling. Mr. Westling reminded the Council that they had 15 days to respond to the petition presented to city hall which seeks to halt the Reider housing plan in north Fillmore. More than 800 signatures were collected in a short time to validate the petition.
Westling also criticized the Council for not using PERC, a construction firm, in the competition for the city’s new water treatment plant. He noted that the City of Santa Paula recently chose PERC to construct its treatment plant, adding that PERC “had the lowest capital cost.”
Gayle Washburn also joined in the criticism of the Council for not choosing PERC for the construction of the city’s treatment plant. She told the Council that there was a “substantial difference” in construction cost, and that Fillmore would have saved $16 million with PERC, instead of the company the Council chose. She stated “no one [from the Council] called me” for information.
Council approved funding for the construction of the city’s new swimming complex. Completion is expected by January, 2009.
Former Councilman and Mayor, Roger Campbell, spoke next. He, in an aside, reminded Ms. Washburn that PERC “chose not to bid on the Fillmore plant”, that they had not participated in the bidding, and were, therefore, irrelevant to the issue of cost. This fact has been explained many times to those who repeatedly raise this issue.
Campbell reminded the Council that the highly successful Grad Night Live program was in danger of failing this year for lack of funding. Founder of Grad Night Live, Raelene Chaney, joined in a plea for assistance. This program has saved the lives of countless high school grads since its inception more than 17 years ago. The program provides a free cruise with entertainment, overnight, to help avoid dangerous, often alcohol based activities by exuberant new grads.
The City’s independent audit report was approved by Council for the fiscal year 2006-007.
Agenda item 8-J, a request for approval of the allocation for this year’s work by Boyle Engineering on the water treatment plant was questioned by Councilwoman Patti Walker. Ms. Walker stated that she had trouble with this request, stating “I have trouble trying to explain why I get a $3 million dollar grant and I have to turn it over to you” [Boyle Engineering]? It’s difficult to understand this objection, because the grant money is earmarked for this purpose, and allocating yearly, instead of paying for all work in a lump sum, saves the city money, and can be spent only for this purpose. The Boyle water treatment plant is under budget and on time.
The owner of Fillmore’s Taco Bell contributed $3,500 to the fund, M.T.S. Consulting contributed $2.500, and Campbell presented a check for $250. All Fillmore residents are urged to help this effort in the short time left before graduation.
Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, told the Council that the El Dorado Mobil Home Park will not get the traffic light they have hoped for on Highway 126. CalTrans has rejected the project because traffic in and out of El Dorado was deemed insufficient to meet its standards. A very strong effort, for many years, has been made, unsuccessfully, to argue for the light. Griffin Industries, developer of Heritage Valley Parks, adjacent to El Dorado, will construct a rear roadway connecting with Mountain View, when the next phase of housing is complete.
Several Resolutions concerning lighting and landscape for District No. 2 were approved. Please refer to the City of Fillmore website link on fillmoregazette.com for detailed information.
Acting Fire Chief, Pat Askren, reminded landowners that weed abatement is absolutely necessary, and that if owners failed to take action to eliminate these fire hazards the city must do it at considerable expense to owners.
Several approvals were granted for contract work on the Waste Water Treatment Plant and requests for changes in other Plant and levee
In executive session, negotiations concerning property owned by Herb Haase in north Fillmore, off B Street were undertaken. The price and terms of payment were at issue, for a narrow strip of land needed for the completion of the B Street extension into north Fillmore.

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On April 26, 2008, the Fillmore Police Department and deputies from the Gang Unit responded to a report of a fight in the front parking lot of “Llamas Market”. Investigation revealed that it was not a fight but a robbery of two customers that had just left the market. The suspects battered the victims and stole approximately forty-five dollars worth of merchandise from the victims. The suspects fled the area prior to the deputies’ arrival.
The two involved suspects were identified and subsequently arrested shortly thereafter. The two suspects, Ruben Ramirez 20 and Albert Rodriguez 22 both of Fillmore, were charged with robbery and commission of a crime for the benefit of a street gang. The two suspects were booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility without incident. The incident is being investigated as a gang-related crime. Courtesy of Fillmore Police Department Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

 
Tragedy hit the community of Fillmore Thursday when resident Danielle Barrett, 16, lost her life in a car accident on Grand Avenue, outside city limits. 
Barrett was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee just before 1:00 p.m. at a high rate of speed when she lost control of her car, ran onto the dirt shoulder, overturning several times before coming to a stop in an orange grove. Barrett, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the car and suffered head trauma and internal injuries. She was taken by helicopter to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where she died that evening.
Three passengers were also injured; Michael Castaneda, 18, and Torrey Phillips, 16, both of Fillmore, were taken by ambulance to VC Medical Center. Passenger Barry Meyer, 18, of Fillmore, was taken by ambulance to Santa Paula Hospital. All three were treated for minor scrapes and released.
Tragedy hit the community of Fillmore Thursday when resident Danielle Barrett, 16, lost her life in a car accident on Grand Avenue, outside city limits. Barrett was driving a 2001 Jeep Cherokee just before 1:00 p.m. at a high rate of speed when she lost control of her car, ran onto the dirt shoulder, overturning several times before coming to a stop in an orange grove. Barrett, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the car and suffered head trauma and internal injuries. She was taken by helicopter to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, where she died that evening. Three passengers were also injured; Michael Castaneda, 18, and Torrey Phillips, 16, both of Fillmore, were taken by ambulance to VC Medical Center. Passenger Barry Meyer, 18, of Fillmore, was taken by ambulance to Santa Paula Hospital. All three were treated for minor scrapes and released.
Photo by Chris Egedi
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Army Private First Class George T. Poppic III
Army Private First Class George T. Poppic III

Army Private First Class George T. Poppic III, 23 years old, is a 2002 Villanova Preparatory School Graduate. Located in Ojai, Villanova Preparatory School is a Catholic, co-educational, day and boarding school where cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity are welcomed and embraced. Founded in 1924, Villanova is the only Augustinian co-ed boarding school in the United States. PFC George Poppic III also attended Mt. Carmel School in Santa Barbara for elementary and middle school. After high school, he went to Wyotech in Sacramento; he received his diploma for Automotive Technician. He currently has 1969 Bronco under construction. He is a Fillmore resident and is currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas with the 3rd Brigade 1st Infantry 6-4 Cavalry.

Army Private First Class George T. Poppic III is the son of Debra (Kevin) Edwards of Fillmore and George Poppic Jr. of Sacramento. Grandson of the late Maternal Grandparents Nick and Gladys Niederkorn of Glendora, California and the late Paternal Grandparents George and Lois Poppic of Santa Barbara. Prior to enlisting in the Army PFC George Poppic III was employed at William L. Morris as a mechanic and worked in the oil fields for Excalibur.

PFC George Poppic III enlisted with the Army on January 4, 2007 and his job specialty is as a “Cavalry Scout”. He tells me, “A cavalry scout are usually referred to as the "eyes and ears of the battle field" meaning we are out front watching and reporting on the enemy and their movements. We are sent out in smaller groups than the normal infantry and are not meant to engage the enemy as they are, but to report to the higher echelon and they will make decisions on what to do (have us engage, call for fire, bypass, call for reinforcements).”

PFC George Poppic III will be deploying soon to Afghanistan with the expected departure date of some time in June. He has been awarded the Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and two Army Accommodation Medals.

In addition to anything automotive, his interests, PFC George Poppic III tells me; have to do mainly around any sort of off road racing. He said he mostly likes desert racing.

All the citizens of this Valley wish PFC George T. Poppic III safe travel, deployment and we look forward to his return home.

 
This is Conceptual Plan number 7, provided by the city. One major change has been made to this rendering, and that is the addition of an exit area on the west side of the parking lot. It is hoped that completion of this swimming complex will occur in December of 2008. The Gazette incorrectly stated completion for December, 2009, in last week’s edition.
This is Conceptual Plan number 7, provided by the city. One major change has been made to this rendering, and that is the addition of an exit area on the west side of the parking lot. It is hoped that completion of this swimming complex will occur in December of 2008. The Gazette incorrectly stated completion for December, 2009, in last week’s edition.
Enlarge Photo

In the fall of 2005, the citizens of Fillmore passed by a two-thirds majority, Measure B5, a special $15 per year tax per residential parcel or dwelling unit, to generate funds for the maintenance and operation of a new year-round community pool. Two and a half years later, and the heat of summer upon us, the pool is still a daydream to the residents of Fillmore.
When it is built, the new, year-round, competition sized, heated pool will be located on the former site of the old, debris-laden pool that served Fillmore High School and the community for decades. The Ventura County Environmental Health Department closed that pool due to numerous health and safety violations after the summer of 2000. Repairs and refurbishment to bring the pool to code and reopen would have exceeded half the cost of replacement, both options financial impossibilities for the Fillmore Unified School District. The long-standing critical need for recreational facilities in Fillmore, and the passage of Measure B5, prompted the City to purchase the site from the District for full market value as required by law.
Besides the inoperable pool, the property included four community-used tennis courts. Original plans called for construction (financed through the Redevelopment Agency with redevelopment funds) of the new pool, locker rooms and bathrooms and refurbishment of the four existing courts. However, to accommodate parking facilities, new plans account for only two, newly constructed tennis courts. As months went by, the tentative completion date of spring 2007 was extended. The City sites serious challenges and other issues that caused unforeseen delays, including property appraisals, the lack of drawings for existing school plumbing, construction plan changes, sewer plant and storm drain issues, prioritizing the new skateboard park on C Street, and a staffing shortage.
The big question is, will the pool and its accompaniments ever become a reality and when? Councilmember Scott Lee answers with a definite “yes”! The current plan includes; May 5, 2008 contracting bids opened; July, start construction; December 31, tentative completion date; January 2009 through March, limited use; April, opened to the public. Construction issues concerning high school use requirements are in the process of being resolved. The City, owner and operator of the complex anticipates the project (cost estimate: $6,385,000), to be completed on time and under budget. The City Recreation Department and the School District will enjoy joint use the facility.
What has become of the funds collected by the City from the citizens of Fillmore over the past two years? Those funds, deposited in a separate trust account, cannot and will not become part of the City’s general fund, as B5 specifically and legally restricts the use of those funds only for maintenance and operation of a community swimming pool. Additional funds will be collected from the School District and reasonable pool entrance fees for those using the pool.
The pool and tennis courts at the high school location are not the only project underway in this effort to improve recreational facilities in Fillmore. C Street, next to the old sewer plant is the planned site for a new park. The first phase includes a large playfield, a skateboard park, two basketball courts and two tennis courts, at a cost of $4,500,000. The project is out for bids with tentative completion planned for December 2008. Phase two plans (estimated cost $4,830.000) include two additional basketball courts, two additional tennis courts and two baseball fields. In the meantime, the City intends to hydro seed those areas, making them suitable for soccer play.
Whether we like it or not, Fillmore is growing, and it is past time for our recreational facilities to modernize and grow too, to accommodate our residents of all ages. We applaud the City for its efforts on these projects that are definitely a step in the right direction. However, for now, we must continue to daydream, until our promised courts and fields are buzzing with recreational activity, and we see our children splashing happily in the community swimming pool.