Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

It is hard to believe the end of the 2008-2009 school year is here. I believe that this has been an exciting and productive year and I sincerely hope that each of you feels the same. I have seen several positive changes as I look around the District. I trust you have seen the changes to each of our facilities. Work was completed at the FHS stadium, giving the school and community a state-of-the-art facility. In addition, FHS was painted and Piru is in the final stages of fresh paint and a new technology infrastructure. New playground equipment was installed at Sespe and new fences installed at Mountain Vista. And, by the time the new school year begins on August 19, FMS will have a brand new field that will be watered by a recycled water project funded by the City.
There has been growth in other areas, too. The following highlights represent a few of our accomplishments over the course of this school year:
San Cayetano Elementary School participated in a robotics competition and had two student teams finish first and fourth overall.
San Cayetano’s Principal, Jan Marholin, was recognized for excellence by the local Soroptimists and the County’s administrative organization.
Fillmore High School received a six year accreditation via the WASC process. CONTINUED »

 


 
California Environmental Protection Agency State Water Resources Control Board First Year Results of Contaminant Monitoring Program show Mercury and PCB’s Remain a Problem in Sport Fish in California Lakes

The State Water Resources Control Board's Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) has released the first findings from the largest survey ever conducted in California of contaminants in sport fish from lakes and reservoirs. The results are from the first year of the two year, statewide survey.

The results indicate that problems exist in some areas of the state. Mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the two greatest concerns. Mercury contamination is largely a legacy of California mining, and can also reach lakes through the air. It is a persistent problem throughout much of the state. Twenty-six percent of the lakes surveyed had at least one fish species with an average mercury level that exceeds the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) threshold for considering a consumption limit. OEHHA cannot develop new recommendations based solely on data from this study.

The results for area lakes are as follows (350AVE1=ANCOVA-based average for 350 mm fish at location 1 regarding Largemouth Bass): LAKE PIRU .46; CASTAIC LAGOON .18, CASTAIC LAKE .39; LAKE CASITAS .38; LAKE HUGHES .20; MALIBU LAKE .12; PYRAMID LAKE .37; WESTLAKE LAKE .09; PYRAMID LAKE .37.

PCBs were second to methylmercury as a potential health concern to consumers of fish caught from California lakes. Approximately thirty-six percent of the lakes had a fish species that exceeded OEHHA’s Fish Contaminant Goal. However, only 1 percent of the lakes sampled had a species with an average concentration level that exceeds OEHHA’s threshold for considering a recommendation of no consumption. PCBs are persistent chemicals that are now banned in electrical, industrial and other applications. Other pollutants were also found, but generally at low levels. CONTINUED »

 


 
Pictured (l-r) Outgoing Fire Chief Bill Herrera, Captain Bob Thompson, New Fire Chief Rigo Landeros, and Retired Fire Chief Pat Askren.
Pictured (l-r) Outgoing Fire Chief Bill Herrera, Captain Bob Thompson, New Fire Chief Rigo Landeros, and Retired Fire Chief Pat Askren.
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With Mayor Patti Walker absent, Mayor Pro-tem Gayle Washburn presided over the May 26th City Council Meeting. The Council honored the new Fire Chief and the outgoing Fire Chief of the Fillmore Fire Department, discussed how to make ends meet in Lighting and Landscaping Districts that are not paying their own way, approved change orders for the Water Treatment Plant, set a public hearing for June 9th to discuss garbage collection fee increases, heard public comments, and heard an update from the public and staff on landscaping at Riverwalk Park.

The Council formally appointed Rigo Landeros as the new Fire Chief. Transitional City Manager Larry Pennell presented the appointment. Pennell explained how the firefighters had been evaluated to determine who would be Chief. He not only said that Landeros was the most qualified candidate, but also complimented him on his training, level of experience, leadership skills, and interpersonal skills. He noted that Landeros had been Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief since 1992, and was 2005 Firefighter of the Year. City Clerk Clay Westling swore Landeros into office. Landeros thanked Pennell, Bill Herrera, the Council, the Fillmore firefighters, his wife Laura, and his family. He said that he would work to preserve the high standards currently in place at the fire department.

The Council recognized Outgoing Fire Chief Bill Herrera for his exemplary service. Pennell congratulated Herrera on a job well-done. Mayor Pro-tem Gayle Washburn on behalf of the Council presented him with a proclamation citing his goodwill, energy, fairness, friendliness, and enthusiasm. The Fillmore Fire Department gave Herrera a commemorative white-leather fire helmet and a large plaque containing a life-size highly-polished axe. They presented red roses to his wife Kathy. Herrera thanked his family, the firefighters, and the duty captains. He said that he was sad to be resigning, but knowing that the department would be in capable hands made it easier. He said, “Rigo’s going to do an awesome job.” CONTINUED »

 


 
Twins!Twins!Twins!
The Class of 2009 is one of the largest graduating classes ever with 281 seniors. This year at Fillmore High School graduation you may be seeing double. In the past you might have had one or two sets of twins graduating at Fillmore High, but this year you will have six sets of twins wearing the royal blue graduation gowns and walking through the arches. Among these students you will fi nd two sets of boy twins, David and Michael Watson with plans to attend BYU, and Joshua and Giovany Robles. The three sets of girl twins, Nicole and Jessica Aguilar Alba, Ivonne and Noemi Magana Garcia and Claudia and Sonia Rincon (not pictured). The one set of a brother and sister are Erica and Serfin Quilo. All fi ve sets will be attending Ventura College. Commencement ceremonies will take place on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 7 pm at Fillmore High Football Stadium.
The Class of 2009 is one of the largest graduating classes ever with 281 seniors. This year at Fillmore High School graduation you may be seeing double. In the past you might have had one or two sets of twins graduating at Fillmore High, but this year you will have six sets of twins wearing the royal blue graduation gowns and walking through the arches. Among these students you will fi nd two sets of boy twins, David and Michael Watson with plans to attend BYU, and Joshua and Giovany Robles. The three sets of girl twins, Nicole and Jessica Aguilar Alba, Ivonne and Noemi Magana Garcia and Claudia and Sonia Rincon (not pictured). The one set of a brother and sister are Erica and Serfin Quilo. All fi ve sets will be attending Ventura College. Commencement ceremonies will take place on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 7 pm at Fillmore High Football Stadium.
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Twenty farms expected, over 350 join
Police Chief Tim Hagel
Police Chief Tim Hagel
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Difficult economic times seem to bring out the best, and the worst, in people. News stories appear daily about the “random acts of kindness” people are moved to perform for others who are struggling. Some stand in line for hours at job fairs, willing to take any job so they can support their family. Others, however, decide that crime is the way to go. Regular reports appear in the newspaper about gang activity in Fillmore; rural areas have experienced their share of crime as well. Farmers have seen an increase in theft of equipment and fruit, as well as graffiti “tagging” and trash dumped on their properties. Packinghouses and oil companies out in the country have been hit too. To address these problems, Captain Tim Hagel, Fillmore’s police chief for the last fourteen months, has initiated a Farm Watch program.

Capt. Hagel, a member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department for 22 years, understands very well the problems farmers face, as he farms with his brother 40 acres of avocados at the top of Grimes Canyon Road. Capt. Hagel oversees 27 officers who cover a territory of 455 square miles, including the farmlands from Wells Road to Magic Mountain, and from the summits of Balcom Canyon and Grimes Canyon Road to Gorman, including upper Ojai. He started Farm Watch when he arrived in Fillmore; he sees it as more than just a task force assigned to investigate rural crimes—“I was looking for the next level of connecting us,” he said. Recognizing that farmers are for the most part very private and independent sorts, but who readily help their neighbors in time of need, he decided the best way to connect rural folks was by an email newsletter and a telephone and email reporting system. The response to this program has been astonishing; he expected maybe twenty farms would participate. “I never thought that we would get up to 350” members to sign up, he said, adding that this list includes other law enforcement and county agencies and political representatives who are interested in what is happening out in the country. This program is unique, not just in Ventura County, but in the whole state. CONTINUED »

 


 
Our nation’s veterans were honored on Monday, May 25, at Bardsdale Cemetery in a ceremony with opening remarks from Supervisor Kathy Long. Presentation of Colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fillmore Post No. 9637; Pledge of Allegiance by Scout Troop #406 and Cub Scout Troop #3400; Special Music by Bill Bartels and Pam Torres. The Memorial Day message was presented by Colonel George Compton, US Army, Retired. His military awards include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, multiple Bronze Stars and the Air Medal and the Purple Honoring our Veterans Heart. Placing of Wreath by William Brunet; Placing of Bouquet by Gold Star Wives; Memorial Service by Rev. Bob Hammond, Dayspring Anglican Church; Reading of the Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country by VFW Commander Jim Rogers; Volly by Honor Guard, VFW; Taps by Bob Thompson. The cemetery board gives special thanks to Boy Scout Troop 406 and Cub Scout Troop 3400 for placing the flags, and the Sespe 4-H for collecting the flags.
Our nation’s veterans were honored on Monday, May 25, at Bardsdale Cemetery in a ceremony with opening remarks from Supervisor Kathy Long. Presentation of Colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fillmore Post No. 9637; Pledge of Allegiance by Scout Troop #406 and Cub Scout Troop #3400; Special Music by Bill Bartels and Pam Torres. The Memorial Day message was presented by Colonel George Compton, US Army, Retired. His military awards include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, multiple Bronze Stars and the Air Medal and the Purple Honoring our Veterans Heart. Placing of Wreath by William Brunet; Placing of Bouquet by Gold Star Wives; Memorial Service by Rev. Bob Hammond, Dayspring Anglican Church; Reading of the Names of Those Who Died in the Service of our Country by VFW Commander Jim Rogers; Volly by Honor Guard, VFW; Taps by Bob Thompson. The cemetery board gives special thanks to Boy Scout Troop 406 and Cub Scout Troop 3400 for placing the flags, and the Sespe 4-H for collecting the flags.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

An investigation by the Fillmore Police Gang Unit of two incidents of gang violence in the City of Fillmore led to the service of five search warrants at homes in the cities of Fillmore and Moorpark. The searches led to the arrest of four suspects involved in the two incidents, and two subjects were arrested on unrelated drug charges. The District Attorney’s Office, Santa Paula Police and Sheriff’s Gang Unit assisted in the warrant service.

The investigation of this incident began on February 28, 2009, when at about 9:00 P.M., at least four Fillmore gang members were attending a family party at a hall located in the 500 Block of Second Street, in Fillmore. The gang members exchanged words with a guest (victim) at the party and subsequently battered the victim. On Thursday, May 21, Francisco Torres 18, Fillmore, and two juveniles were arrested for felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, vandalism, battery and street terrorism. Torres was booked at the Main Jail, with bail set at $100,000. The two juveniles were lodged in juvenile hall pending further proceedings. Suspect DeAnza Espinoza 19, Fillmore, was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and booked at the Main Jail. His bail was set at $10,000. The search warrants were served in the 600 Block of Via Rodeo, 300 Block of McNab Ct, 300 Block of D St. and 700 Block of Del Valle in Fillmore. CONTINUED »

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

2019 hrs: FILLMORE: S091460820 - Fight in Progress / 300 Block A Street, FI. RP advised that two subjects were fighting in front of the location. Josue Martinez 25 years and Rene Hernandez 38 years began fighting today. Martinez suffered a head laceration from being hit with a large rock by Hernandez. Hernandez was also struck with a large branch by Martinez. Martinez and Hernandez were both arrested for Felony 245 PC Battery and transported to jail 09-12995 2330 hrs: FILLMORE: S091460943 - Observation Arrest / King Street and Howard Street, FI. Deputy Rodriguez (6A21) observed a vehicle that matched the description of a hit and run suspect vehicle from earlier in the day. The driver, Oscar Arevalo 33 years old was arrested and booked in jail for Felony 12020 PC - Possession of a Billy. Club and Misdemeanor Hit and Run 09-012989. Courtesy of Fillmore P.D.