Anatoly Smolyansky of Los Angeles, CA., 39 years old.
A Sheriff’s helicopter was part of the search for a missing swimmer along with the Sheriff’s Dive team at Lake Piru.
A Sheriff’s helicopter was part of the search for a missing swimmer along with the Sheriff’s Dive team at Lake Piru.
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On the evening of August 25th, Anatoly Smolyansky tragically disappeared under the water at Lake Piru after jumping into the lake to rescue his five-year-old daughter who had fallen overboard. At the time of the accident, the boat was occupied by Mr. Smolyansky and his three children. All of the children were brought ashore safely, but Mr. Smolyansky never resurfaced and is presumed to have drowned.

After the accident, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department immediately deployed resources to the lake, which included a helicopter, a rescue swimmer, and Dive Team. A rescue diver searched under the water for over 40 minutes in lake conditions that allow for only six inches of visibility. In addition to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department resources, the initial search utilized 5 Ventura County Fire Department units (including a swift water team), Lake Piru Park Rangers, and approximately 80 volunteers from the Hatzolah Organization of Los Angeles. Search operations continued until approximately 2:00 AM the next morning, but Mr. Smolyansky was not located.

The recovery operation resumed this morning (August 26, 2008) at approximately 7:00 AM. A Sheriff’s helicopter and marine resources, including a high tech sonar system were brought to the location. A fifteen member Sheriff’s Dive Team, six boats, and approximately 70 volunteers from Hatzolah were involved in the search, which will continue until dusk.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has offered additional resources, which will arrive in an upcoming operational period. These resources are expected to include a boat, divers, and technical resources (including an underwater remote controlled mini submarine known as an ROV).

If necessary, the search will resume at approximately 7:00 AM on August 27th. In addition to the extremely poor visibility, the search conditions are difficult due to the water depths that range from 30 to 100 feet. The overall estimated area where the search is being concentrated is at least 500 yards by 500 yards. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the organizations that have lent their support to this operation.

 


 
(L-r) Capt. Tim Hagel, Sgt. Frank Underlin, Sr. Deputy Peter Frank, Sgt. Joe Devorick, Capt. Randy Pentis, Sgt. Paul Higgason, and Capt. Dave Kenney ran for Ventura County Cops Running for Charity in Iceland, July 2008.
(L-r) Capt. Tim Hagel, Sgt. Frank Underlin, Sr. Deputy Peter Frank, Sgt. Joe Devorick, Capt. Randy Pentis, Sgt. Paul Higgason, and Capt. Dave Kenney ran for Ventura County Cops Running for Charity in Iceland, July 2008.
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Our own Ventura County Cops Running For Charity (CRFC) adventure race took place during July. Seven Ventura County Sheriff Deputies competed as a team to successfully raise $33,000 for local Ventura County medical charities. We traveled to Iceland for an International 55Kilometer ultra-marathon trail race.
We arrived in Iceland to experience a nice, sharp, cold rain. Needless to say, we thought we were prepared. However, where was the snow? After all, the country’s name is not “Rainland.”
Soon, Iceland held up to the name and reputation as we traveled across the countless glacier covered mountains and valleys.
Iceland is the world’s newest landmass and is comprised of a giant series of glaciers, rivers, mountains and volcanoes ringed by beautiful, but cold farmland along the coast. A deep chill engulfed us as we stepped out of our bus to begin the race. We had traveled about 4 hours deep into the wilderness where “Raw” is the best descriptor.
We had about 15 minutes of prep time and the race gun was fired. It was surreal to see the seven of us running in rain and snow gear. Shiver was the word for the day, what a new experience for us. Remember, we practiced in Ventura County with the July trail temperatures that averaged between 95 and 100 degrees.
The race-day temperature varied between 30 to 35 degrees, and it brought on a constant shift between sleet/ice and horizontal rain. The 20 mph wind chill is what really brought on the challenge, driving our core temperatures to hypothermic as we ran through mountains ranges of rugged snow-fields and through (not over) 6 different rivers. CONTINUED »

 


 
Following a half-hour executive session at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Fillmore City Counsel Ted Schneider, far right, announced the city has purchased a half-acre parcel east of B Street, from the Fillmore-Piru and Saticoy Citrus Assn. for use of the water recycling Project. The land is located north of the railroad tracks. The price was $113,335.
Following a half-hour executive session at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Fillmore City Counsel Ted Schneider, far right, announced the city has purchased a half-acre parcel east of B Street, from the Fillmore-Piru and Saticoy Citrus Assn. for use of the water recycling Project. The land is located north of the railroad tracks. The price was $113,335.
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Fillmore City Council held its regular monthly meeting August 26, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The North Fillmore Initiative Report was presented. The Council approved a Water Softener Buyback program. The Council presented the Soroptimist Club with a proclamation recognizing the World Day of Peace. The formation of Community Facilities District #8 to manage the Fillmore Business Park was postponed, and some city development fees were slightly increased.

The Council approved a Brine Discharging Water Softener Buyback Program. The City will buy back softeners for $500-$750 each until the allotted $50,000 runs out. Right now, only 50 brine discharging water softeners have legal permits in Fillmore. There are an estimated 385 illegal softeners in Fillmore. The penalty for having an illegal softener is a $1000 fine and up to 30 days in prison. The Council voted to grant amnesty to anyone who voluntarily gives up their illegal softener. If the softener owner wants the City to uninstall the softener, a $50 un-installation fee will be deducted from the buyback price. The City is setting up a hotline so people can call in for more information or voluntarily report illegal water softener use.

According to a City memo, "With the construction on Central Avenue beginning to wind down, the merchants have scheduled a grand re-opening event for October 25, 2008." This event is the ArtHarvest, and it will feature not only sidewalk chalk art, but also visual art hung in area businesses, artists, musical entertainment, interactive art, and dramatic performances. An outdoor market, films, and lectures are also being planned.

The Council is supporting ArtHarvest and has approved a temporary use permit so that streets can be closed, but has authorized advertisement for bids for a Central Avenue Federal Pavement Improvements Project. According to another City memo, "The work consists of: cold planing existing pavement, asphalt hot mix overlay and striping from Hwy 126 to Sespe Avenue." The Council plans to award a contract for this work on September 23, and anticipates construction from October 13, 2008, to February 12, 2009. Public Works Director Bert Rapp assured the Gazette that a construction blackout period will be arranged so that the area will be neat and clean for the ArtHarvest Festival. The City's goal is for the street to be re-paved by Thanksgiving, in time for holiday shopping. Unfortunately, there is only one asphalt batch plant in Ventura County, and difficulties in scheduling asphalt deliveries might prevent this from happening. Rapp explained that the plant gives priority to larger CalTrans projects, and that one-day projects such as this one have lower scheduling priority. Brian Sipes suggested that the city use concrete instead of asphalt, and provided information on the advantages of concrete. The Council was receptive, but this particular project had to be approved by both the Federal Highway Association and CalTrans (an 18-month process), and changing materials now would not be timely. The Council instructed Rapp to submit future paving projects with both asphalt and concrete alternatives. The current project was submitted with asphalt and rubberized asphalt alternatives. Rubberized asphalt is more durable and environmentally friendly than regular asphalt. CONTINUED »

 


 
Rev. Ernest D. Miller
Rev. Ernest D. Miller

The WW II era Navy Chaplain's Gear Case of the Rev. Ernest D. Miller, former pastor of the Fillmore United Methodist and Fillmore Community Churches, has been donated to the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington, D.C.
The Chaplain's Gear Case and military artifacts were of interest to the Smithsonian Institute for their historical value to the Division of Military History and Diplomacy, at the National Museum of American History. The items were presented to Smithsonian Associate Curator, Kathy Golden, in Washington D.C., on July 21, 2008, by Rev. Miller's son, Dan Miller.
After graduating from Andover Newton Theological School, in 1942, Rev. Miller joined the Navy, in June of 1943, and served as a Lt. in the Chaplain's Corp. He ministered to both marines and sailors. He served at sea and on land in the Philippines and New Hebrides, in the S. Pacific Theater of Operations campaigns, during WW II. He also served at Quantico, Virginia, as well as Camp Pendleton and El Toro Marine Bases, in S. California. Chaplain Miller was assigned to the USS Oakland, serving in China, after the war. In 1948 he returned to civilian life and served as a pastor with the United Methodist Church; S. California Conference. He died, in Fillmore, in 1982 while pastor of the Fillmore Community Church.
Rev. Miller's, widow, Ruth E. Miller, a retired Fillmore High School teacher, resides in Fillmore.

 


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

On August 25, 2008, at approximately 0815 hours, deputies from the Santa Clara Valley Station in Fillmore and a Sheriff’s Department helicopter responded to the Sespe Creek area north of Grand Avenue in Fillmore, reference three overdue hikers. One hiker was immediately located by deputies at the north end of Grand Avenue and within minutes the two remaining hikers were located by the helicopter crew as they were hiking out of the Sespe Creek.
All parties were reunited with no one sustaining any injuries.

 


 
Photo of sheriff rescue copter on scene at drowning. Photo was taken last night while the copter rescue diver was underwater for 40 minutes searching. The search continues with huge family and Jewish Temple groups helping.
Photo of sheriff rescue copter on scene at drowning. Photo was taken last night while the copter rescue diver was underwater for 40 minutes searching. The search continues with huge family and Jewish Temple groups helping.
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Location: Lake Piru
Date & Time: August 25, 2008 @ 5:45 P.M.
Unit Responsible: West County Police Services – Fillmore / Santa Clara Valley Station.

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses, City of residence, Age
(V-1) Adult Male, Los Angeles, Ca., 39 yrs.

On August 25, 2008, at approximately 5:45 pm, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies assigned to the Fillmore / Santa Clara Valley Station responded to Lake Piru after receiving a call that two people were possibly missing at the lake.

When deputies arrived it was determined that the victim, a 39 year old Los Angeles resident, had possibly drowned after rescuing his five-year-old daughter who had fallen over board during a daytime outing on the lake.
A Ventura County Sheriff’s Department helicopter with a rescue swimmer on board was in the area and immediately began search operations. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team was also deployed. Search operations continued well into the night with negative results. Search operations are to continue at daybreak on Tuesday.

 
City budget issues, including controversial salary increases for staff, will be approved or denied by city council at regular meeting, sometime in September.
City budget issues, including controversial salary increases for staff, will be approved or denied by city council at regular meeting, sometime in September.
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We all know it takes money, lots of it these days, to run a country, a state, a business, a household, or a city, even one as small as Fillmore is. On a personal level, most of us understand that the only way to successfully survive and grow within one’s financial means, is to set a realistic budget and stick to it. A budget is a two-pronged battle that includes setting strict guidelines that accurately address anticipated income versus necessary obligations, and having the fortitude to live by them without dipping into savings.

City officials, like the head of a family, are the custodians of the wealth and health of their community. They make decisions that can affect thousands of lives for decades to come. One of their most important duties is to create a workable annual budget that accurately reflects available funds gathered from a great number of sources, and administer it wisely, very wisely! This is not an easy task, especially considering the numerous interests and influences involved. CONTINUED »

 
School Board members (l-r) Dollar, De La Piedra, and Wilde discussing the issues at Tuesday's meeting.
School Board members (l-r) Dollar, De La Piedra, and Wilde discussing the issues at Tuesday's meeting.
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Al Huerta spoke at last night’s school board meeting, in favor of public use of the new track and field.
Al Huerta spoke at last night’s school board meeting, in favor of public use of the new track and field.
Pictured above (l-r) Eagle Scouts Brian Mckeown, Daniel Landeros, Michael and David Watson. The boys received “Be the Change” honors for their campus improvements throughout the school district.
Pictured above (l-r) Eagle Scouts Brian Mckeown, Daniel Landeros, Michael and David Watson. The boys received “Be the Change” honors for their campus improvements throughout the school district.
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Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) School Board held the open session of its regular meeting August 19, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office. The Board implemented a new Public Use of Facilities Policy, approved a consulting contract to improve student achievement at Fillmore Middle School (FMS), and honored four local Eagle Scouts.

In keeping with this year's theme, "Be the Change," the Board honored four Eagle Scouts: Brian McKeown, Michael Watson, David Watson, and Daniel Landeros. The Scouts had improved the signs at the high school farm, the batting cage at the high school, and the landscaping at the high school and San Cayetano. Principal Jan Marholin of San Cayetano also thanked Brain McKeown and Troupe 406 specifically for their work on the landscaping in front of the school.

Also, several members of the public were present to argue that the public should be allowed to use the new FHS track. Several speakers mentioned the need for not only a flat surface, but a surface with measured distances. Reducing knee injuries was also a popular theme.

Everyone agreed that the track had been used by the community in the past, everyone agreed that the community would like to continue using the track, and most of the speakers were hoping for a compromise that would allow public access to the track without significantly increasing the risk of damages.

There was some debate about whether earlier campaigns had assured the public that the track would be for public use. City councilmember Scott Lee explained that people confused the pool initiative with the stadium improvements because the money that the city paid for the pool land was used to partially fund stadium improvements. In the end, it was determined that the decision to improve the track was not finalized until long after the bond and parcel tax had been approved, and that only a small portion of funding for the track came from funds related to Measure E and the pool maintenance parcel tax. CONTINUED »

 
Fire and police units responded to a call on east Guiberson Road, Saturday, about 10:00 p.m. A car was reported to be fully engulfed in flames after crashing into a power pole.
Fire and police units responded to a call on east Guiberson Road, Saturday, about 10:00 p.m. A car was reported to be fully engulfed in flames after crashing into a power pole.
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Upon arrival, rescue units found that the vehicle had been abandoned by the occupants, and no trace of them was found.
Upon arrival, rescue units found that the vehicle had been abandoned by the occupants, and no trace of them was found.
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Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair (Surveillance photo).
Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair (Surveillance photo).
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Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6
Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair (Surveillance photo).
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Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6
Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair (Surveillance photo).
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Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6
Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair (Surveillance photo).
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The Fillmore Police Department is seeking help from the public in the identification of two robbery suspects. Attached are surveillance photos taken inside the business of suspect-1.

Suspect-1: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, 5'6" - 5"7", medium build, short thick black hair ( Surveillance photo ).
Suspect-2: Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties, medium build, short
black hair

On Wednesday, July 16,2008 at about 8:50 P.M., a male suspect-1 entered Victor's Market located at 365 Main St. in the city of Fillmore. The suspect-1 grabbed two cases of beer and ran out of the store without paying for them. The store clerk followed the suspect-1 in his effort to stop the theft. The suspect-1 turned and punched the clerk on the face, then pulled out a knife and brandished it at the clerk. As this was taking place, a second suspect-2 walked toward the clerk and yelled obscenities at him aiding suspect-1 in his getaway with the beer. Both suspect s are believed to have driven away in a small black car. The clerk suffered minor injury that did not require medical attention.

The Ventura Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and criminal complaint against the suspects responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Fillmore Crime Stoppers at (805) 524-0970.