At 3:25 p.m., Tuesday, a Suzuki motorcycle struck a three-quarter ton Dodge pickup on Highway 126 at Cavin Road. According to one witness, the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed, eastbound, before striking the truck. The driver of the truck was attempting a left turn, heading westward. The motorcycle driver was thrown from his bike and the bike traveled for a considerable distance after the collision. The biker was airlifted from the scene with undisclosed injuries.
At 3:25 p.m., Tuesday, a Suzuki motorcycle struck a three-quarter ton Dodge pickup on Highway 126 at Cavin Road. According to one witness, the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed, eastbound, before striking the truck. The driver of the truck was attempting a left turn, heading westward. The motorcycle driver was thrown from his bike and the bike traveled for a considerable distance after the collision. The biker was airlifted from the scene with undisclosed injuries.
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2002 Fillmore High School Graduate, Now Stationed at Aviano, Italy
United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio.
United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio.

This article began with an email from the older brother of Pedro Rivera-Aparicio, Roque Rivera. Roque asked me if it was possible for me to do an article about his brother, without his brother being contacted for the information I needed. His request was because he wanted to surprise his brother with the article. Roque told me that Pedro would be proud that his community would want to honor him with an article about his service in the United States Air Force. Although unusual I thought it was a worthy cause and enlisted Rogue as my assistant in gathering the necessary information. Now that the article has been written and I have gotten to know Pedro, through Roque, I am thankful that I was allowed to participate in Roque’s surprise for his brother Pedro!
United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera- Aparicio, 24 years, is a 2002 graduate of Fillmore High School. He also attended San Cayetano and Sespe Elementary Schools, and Fillmore Middle School. Although not avid in Fillmore sports Pedro did participate in AYSO Soccer, but his primary interest has always been working on cars.
Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio is the son of Roque and Leonor Rivera of Fillmore. His Paternal Grandparents are Isaias and Maria de Jesus Rivera and Maternal Grandparents Gregorio and Ernestina Aparicio. His siblings are Nancy Rivera 28 years, Roque Rivera 26 years, Francisco Rivera 22 years, and Victor Rivera 17years all living in Fillmore. Pedro has other family members who have also served in the military; Brother Roque Rivera who served with the United States Army from 2001-2005. Roque is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom having served there for thirteen months as an Infantry Sergeant. While in Iraq he was with a Scout platoon conducting sniper missions, raids, patrol missions and reconnaissance. And, Cousin Jose "JR" Tamayo of Moorpark who has been with the United States Marines for approximately a year.
Prior to his current assignment Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio attended a Special Purpose and Equipment Maintenance Technical School at the Port Hueneme Seabee base in Port Hueneme, California. For his hard work at the school he was recognized as the schools distinguished graduate. Although the school is managed by the Navy but is open to soldiers in other branches.
Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio is stationed in Aviano, Italy supporting the 31st Fighter Wing assigned to the 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron (31st LRS). He enlisted on May 11, 2004 and completed his Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio reenlisted October 10, 2007 and thinks he may make the Air Force a career. He is currently a Staff Sergeant Select awaiting his permanent promotion to Air Force Staff Sergeant.
Aviano Air Base is located at the base of the Dolomites at the northern end of the Po Valley, the largest agricultural plain in Italy. The base is 35 minutes from skiing at Piancavallo and an hour from the beaches of the Adriatic. The closest large city is Pordenone, about 10 minutes away, and Venice is only an hour and a half away by auto or train. The host wing at Aviano is the 31st Fighter Wing, which maintains two F-16 fighter squadrons to conduct regional and expeditionary operations under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) or national tasking.
The 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron delivers and sustains combat logistics readiness support through professional vehicle, supply and fuels management. The unit plans and executes surface, rail, air and sea movement of passengers and cargo for the 31st Fighter Wing, Geographically Separated Units (GSU) and US and NATO deployed forces. The 31st LRS executes base deployment operations while maintaining a robust capability to deploy personnel/cargo in support of Air Expeditionary Force (AEF). More than 449 active-duty, Reserve and Civilian employees are assigned to the Logistics Readiness Squadron. The squadron is responsible for over 1200 vehicles valued at over $58M, stock accounts valued at over $521M, and the receipt, storage, quality and issue of over 42M gallons of fuel and cryogenics products annually. The unit manages 618 Unit Type Codes tasking 4,370 personnel and 1,942 short tons of cargo and maintains a War Reserve Materiel program valued at $1.5M. The 31st LRS also operates the wing's Support Agreement office, maintaining more than 20 support agreements with $25M in reimbursements annually.
Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio has earned two achievement medals: one for performing First Aid on an injured civilian. The civilian was cutting wood and cut two of his fingers off. The award reads, "Airman Rivera's quick reaction and immediate first-aid care on a fellow mechanic proved invaluable as he tended to a severe hand injury. While working on a self-help project, a co-worker accidentally amputated two fingers on his right hand as he was cutting wooden planks on a table saw. Without hesitation, Airman Rivera promptly used his self-aid and buddy care training to cover the injury and control bleeding with a make shift bandage made out of his Battle Dress Uniform shirt."
The other award for all his work, while at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. This included his participation during Hurricane Katrina. The award says, "During this period, Airman Rivera's exceptional skills and knowledge of heavy equipment were instrumental in the flight maintaining an average 93.7 percent vehicle-in-commission rate during the last 2 years. Additionally, Airman Rivera was vital in aiding the movement of 2.5 million pounds of critical first-aid and food supplies for three costal counties, after Hurricane Katrina."
In addition to his other duties Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio assists his fellow Airman as a Airman Against Drunk Driving Representative- Staff Sergeant Select Rivera-Aparicio would be ready to go pick up a fellow Airman who are unable to drive a motor vehicle because of their alcohol impairment. He does this as a volunteer and on his free time.
Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio has been on two deployments. One to Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan as a Vehicles and Material Handling Equipment Journeyman. And, the other to Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar as a Third Country National Security Escort. His deployments have been in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom with the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. The Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is a joint task force of United States Central Command. It is a component of the United States response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. CJTF-HOA focuses its efforts on conducting unified action in the combined joint operations area of the Horn of Africa to prevent conflict, promote regional stability, and protect Coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism.
Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio has earned military ribbons and medals for; Air Force Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, Air Force Training Ribbon.
I know that Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio is fortunate to not only have a proud Brother like Roque, but his entire family is proud of his service and sacrifice. All of us here in Fillmore and Piru wish Staff Sergeant Select Pedro Rivera-Aparicio safe travel and thank him and his family for their service and sacrifices to protect our freedoms.

 


 
An editorial by Wanda Castel de Oro

Remember the old tv show “Who’s the Boss?” That’s what I’ve been wondering lately while observing the last two meetings at the Fillmore Senior Center.
Two gatherings have been held; May 19 and June 2, 2008. I prefer not to call them meetings since that would imply authority, continuity and decorum. These Board meetings are supposed to be run by the Board, according to their bylaws and Ms. Cardona’s repeated declarations. However, the first meeting was headed by City Finance Director Barbara Smith, Community Facilities Supervisor Annette Cardona and Board President Bill Brunet. Smith and Cardona did all the talking, in that order. They also led the June 2 meeting, along with Board members Loretta Dunehew and Nick Robles, who came in 20 minutes late. Not that I fault Mr. Robles. It was the first meeting he had attended in four years and didn’t expect to see a room full of irritated people waiting to hold someone accountable for the center’s decline and financial waste. Mr. Robles said someone had called him a few days before and told him it was “very important” that he come to the meeting. He said he was “surprised” to see the people there; heck, he said he didn’t know he was still on the Board after four years. He said he knows it’s been four years because he stopped attending after his heart attack. “I was used, to tell you the truth. I feel like a damn fool.” Mr. Robles is both right and wrong. He was used; but he is not the fool.
Knowing they had to avert blame, someone was stacking the deck, or the head table, if you will. Who called Mr. Robles after four years to come sit at the Board table and pretend it was business as usual? That’s called usury of the elderly at its worst. They are just lucky he isn’t my father.
So who’s the boss? The City or the Board?
Before I go any further rumor has it the Bylaws have been amended, so maybe you can have a meeting once every four years and still call yourself a Board. I would call it a Stealth Board, to go with the Stealth Bylaws, which no one can find. Attempts by me and several others to actually obtain the amended Bylaws have failed. That sound you hear coming from city hall at midnight may be typing.
Ms. Cardona announced at the June 2 gathering that the Bylaws were “in Lori’s computer” and would be made available at the center. That would be Lori Nunez, the center’s Stealth Director. I saw her once… When I asked why she was not at the gatherings I was told she was “in the kitchen” filling in for Lucille Rivas, who is on medical leave from the center. I asked if they couldn’t get someone to fill in in the kitchen for one hour so Lori (who is the contact person for the seniors) could hear their concerns. Both City Finance Director Barbara Smith and Ms. Cardona said Lori didn’t need to be there, the Board is the decision-maker.
Really?
I spoke with Mr. Brunet Tuesday; he also told me he had not been to a meeting of the Board of Directors in four years. He said he was sent a notice in the mail for both meetings. He also said he was unaware that May 19 was an open meeting, expecting to see only Ms. Cardona, and Board members Loretta Dunehew and Nick Robles. He was blindsided, my word not his.
He said someone had inquired to Ms. Cardona about the bylaws after the June 2 gathering and she told them to call him, otherwise known as passing the buck. He said he had “no idea about any bylaws”. He could be working for the city.
Mr. Brunet also said the only time he was contacted by Ms. Cardona in the last four years is when she would call him to sign papers for money, because he’s the President of the Board. I can see the paper sliding over in front of him now. He also said, “We [the Board] didn’t handle any money.” Both he and Mr. Robles really wanted to make that point—and I don’t blame them. Mrs. Robles said she was “treasurer in name only.”
Board member Loretta Dunehew told me it had been at least a year and a half since she had attended a meeting.
I wonder how the city was able to apply for grant money, and receive city subsidy/redevelopment of $20,000, without a “real” Board? The center is an incorporated entity; doesn’t that require a Board that actually meets? Isn’t it kind of an un-Board? And don’t even let me hear the word “Quorum”.
Too often, because of vulnerability which sometimes comes with age, this particular demographic group is taken advantage of, even in this benign way.
Ms. Smith was at the June 2 gathering to explain the center’s budget to the audience and the un-Board. Ms. Smith is professional, well spoken and benevolent; you could hear it and see it when she answered the elderly audience. My only question concerning Ms. Smith is why was she at the first gathering on May 19 and why did she lead it? And while I’m asking, why was City Manager Tom Ristau at that earlier meeting? He’s got a city to manage. Maybe I just answered my own question.
Let me say that the city has been very generous to the center. Redevelopment monies, insurance, and maintenance are provided by the city to the center. The center would not be open without the city’s assistance, unless of course, Ms. Cardona made it a priority in her job to seek more grants and funding. How ironic.
Why Ms. Cardona still draws 10-percent of her paycheck from the senior center revenue when she has done as little as possible to earn it, I don’t know. The Board doesn’t exist, the building has been empty except for a small number who participate in senior nutrition (1-6) and new grants have not been received in years. Have they been sought? Someone at the June 2 gathering asked about the distribution of the grant money for the center; is a certain percentage earmarked for service vs. salary? The answer was no. Ms. Cardona said, and I quote, “It [grant monies] can be used all for salaries if they want to.” I contacted a representative at United Way and unfortunately that statement isn’t too far from the truth.
Gayle Washburn presented an expense sheet based on the 2008-09 city expense report (not yet adopted at the time). Her figures reflect a Total Personnel & Operating expenditure of $133,255; Total Overhead(Y) of $118,187; % Overhead = 89%. That translates to 11% going towards direct service to the seniors, or $15,068. When Ms. Washburn presented the 89% Overhead to the attendees, there was no comment from the head table.
What I saw at these two gatherings is a group of energetic, intelligent, informed citizens who want a place to gather as a community and enjoy each other’s company. They want activity and companionship and fun. And I think they are going to get it. This group of citizens is going to create an active, vibrant Board and get the senior center back to what it was pre-Cardona.
One of the bylaws allows for the attending audience to vote in Board members. The audience Monday seemed eager to take that avenue at the next gathering on June 23, 2008. I strongly support that option.
Finally, before the end of the “meeting” people started to mill around. When one woman asked a question of Smith and Cardona, she was told they couldn’t answer the question because the meeting had been adjourned. Actually, there was no adjournment, the meeting just fizzled out and dissolved, much like the center itself.

 


 
Part Two

Dr. Mark Pratt, a local dentist and his daughter Kristyn, a Cal State Northridge student of speech pathology, recently returned from a humanitarian adventure. They traveled to the tiny, northern mountain village of Zacualpa, Guatemala, administering urgently needed dental care for its inhabitants and those of the remote Mayan village of Turbala. Father and daughter participated in a two-week hands-on-project coordinated by Amigos de Guatemala, a partnership created by Rotary Clubs International to provide quality international service projects in the Quiche district of the impoverished country.

Dr. Pratt and his daughter report treating as many as fifteen patients a day per dentist, performing simple and surgical extractions, fillings, root canals and cleanings. Every child required major dental work and most visitors to the clinic, child or adult, were in varying degrees of pain. None had ever been seen by a professional dentist. Untrained practices and home remedies, administered without antibiotics or anesthesia are a normal course of treatment. Donated dental services exceeded over $40,000 in value.

The climate is warm and damp. Southwestern lowlands border the Pacific Ocean, while Belize and the Caribbean Sea create the country’s northeastern boundary. Most of the topography is hilly or mountainous, interspersed with high valleys, grassy plains and forests. Timber, chrome, silver, gold, copper, iron and lead are natural resources. Nevertheless, agriculture is the primary industry with the raising, processing and exporting of crops including, sugarcane, coffee, bananas, cocoa, beans and rice, cotton, essential oils (citronella and lemon grass), and lumber. Hand crafted pottery is locally made and sold to tourists in village marketplaces.

Guatemala appears to be a tropical paradise. However, the people who call this enchanting landscape home have often suffered violence, isolation, sickness, natural disasters and crushing poverty throughout their history. The first human settlers arrived in the area from the north, more than 10,000,000 years ago. Those original tribes cultivated maize around 3500 BC. Centuries later, another populace, the Mayans, one of the most advanced and studied ancient civilizations, succumbed to a horrific drought around 900AD. European explorers arrived in the early 15th century bringing epidemics that nearly devastated the native Quiche populations. Two hundred years later, Spanish Conquistadors overran Guatemala. Though not as abundant in gold and silver as Mexico and Peru, during these centuries, plunderers stripped the territory’s natural wealth of sugarcane, blue dyes, cocoa and magnificent precious woods, shipping them to Spain to enrich kings and queens, palaces, churches, the aristocracy and themselves.

In 1821, Guatemala won its independence from Spain and was incorporated into the Mexican empire, eventually separating to become an independent country of revolts and revolutions. During the 1870’s coffee became an important crop. The United States wielded considerable influence on the struggling country during the Cold War years with the USSR (1950-1990), supporting the Guatemalan Army with training, weaponry and funds. The CIA played a significant roll in overthrowing a freely elected president in a 1954 coup d’etat. In 1961, the Guatemalan government provided airfields to the United States during the Bay of Pigs invasion, and authorized military training for 5,000 anti-Castro Cubans.

Guatemala’s modern history has been fraught with guerilla groups, rightwing paramilitary organizations, death squads, torture, revolts, civil wars, overthrown governments, disappearances, scorched earth policies and government sponsored genocide against indigenous populations in addition to loss of life from severe earthquakes, massive flooding and mudslides from hurricanes and four active volcanoes. As recently as 1982, 45,000 Guatemalans fled to Mexico to live in camps. The year 1996 brought peace accords ending decades of civil war. Successful democratic presidential elections followed. Free trade agreements have been implemented with other Central American countries and Mexico. Nevertheless, the country ranks amongst the highest in the world in murder rates and lowest in convictions.

Despite moving into modern times, Guatemala City (the capitol), population 2,000,000, is nearly the only place where professional medical and dental attention is readily available. An additional 5,000,000 people live within the urban area. Distance and poverty prevent the balance of the population from receiving services. The average farm-worker earns $1 per day, leaving more than 56% living below poverty levels, primarily in the highlands and mountainous regions. The government sponsors public elementary and secondary schools; however, students’ parents are responsible for uniforms, books and supplies. If their parents can spare the expense, poverty-stricken rural children often walk hours to reach local schools. In addition to public schools, private, paying schools are available to middle and upper class children primarily in urban areas. Sixty-nine percent of the population over fifteen years of age is illiterate, the lowest rate in Central America.
Both Dr. Pratt and his daughter are no strangers to volunteering. Kristyn’s first mission trip was to Rotan, Honduras with a group from the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Dr. Pratt’s first mission trip, teaching one year of chemistry in a school in Borneo while still attending college, inspired him to become a dentist. A military dentist, needing an assistant in his absence, taught the future dentist the art of extracting teeth. Dr. Pratt went on to graduate from Loma Linda University, School of Dentistry in 1985. He practices family and cosmetic dentistry in Fillmore.

In spite of cultural and language barriers, the inhabitants of Zacualpa, mainly Indian, and the Mayans of Turbala tried their best to accommodate the volunteers. Most volunteers roomed in the church convent in Zacualpa and the church-school children performed their native dance in a welcoming presentation. Several villagers volunteered their help and time, and some acted as translators. Although offered, none took money! The days flew by in a flurry of rewarding work, especially when the team saw the grateful smiles upon the faces of people with so little.

Recognizing the tremendous needs of these forgotten people, Dr. Pratt plans to return next year with Amigos de Guatemala and minister to the poorest of the remote Mayan communities. He says that although the trip is difficult, the work hours long, the living and working conditions very poor, along with the strong possibility of getting sick from the food, Guatemala and its people have left an imprint that tugs upon his heart every day. Kristyn feels the same, and hopes she can accompany him again.
If you would like more information, go to www.amigosdeguatemala.org/Hands-on
or www.mayanfamilies.com

 


 
Mayor Steve Conaway greets members of the Southern California chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America in front of city hall. Club members paid an unexpected visit to Fillmore, Monday and treated residents to a glittering display of pre-1916 automobiles.
Mayor Steve Conaway greets members of the Southern California chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club of America in front of city hall. Club members paid an unexpected visit to Fillmore, Monday and treated residents to a glittering display of pre-1916 automobiles.
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A head-on collision resulted in a double fatality on Friday, May 30th at approximately 4 p.m. on highway 126, just east of Old Telegraph Road. Kenneth Nemson, 58, of Elk Grove and Henry Charles Farner, 22, of Fillmore were both killed in the accident.
A head-on collision resulted in a double fatality on Friday, May 30th at approximately 4 p.m. on highway 126, just east of Old Telegraph Road. Kenneth Nemson, 58, of Elk Grove and Henry Charles Farner, 22, of Fillmore were both killed in the accident.
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Farner was driving this pickup truck eastbound on Highway 126.
Farner was driving this pickup truck eastbound on Highway 126.
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Fillmore’s war heroes honored at Middle School’s Pride in America Day. From left, Richard Schuck, Bud Untiedt, Victor Westerberg, William Preciado, J. C. Woods, Wendell Tilley, and John Pressey. This year’s program was attended by a disciplined and respectful student audience, and especially dedicated to Staff Sergeant Felix Gabriel Chavez, U.S. Army, who is recovering from severe injuries suffered by an improvised explosive device (IED) while fighting in Iraq. A special slide presentation was shown, with a thank you message from Gabriel Chavez.
Fillmore’s war heroes honored at Middle School’s Pride in America Day. From left, Richard Schuck, Bud Untiedt, Victor Westerberg, William Preciado, J. C. Woods, Wendell Tilley, and John Pressey. This year’s program was attended by a disciplined and respectful student audience, and especially dedicated to Staff Sergeant Felix Gabriel Chavez, U.S. Army, who is recovering from severe injuries suffered by an improvised explosive device (IED) while fighting in Iraq. A special slide presentation was shown, with a thank you message from Gabriel Chavez.
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Fillmore dentist Dr. Mark Pratt and his daughter Kristyn, a Cal State Northridge student of speech pathology, recently returned from the village of Zacualpa, Guatemala, where they administered urgently needed dental care to its inhabitants and those of the remote Mayan village of Turbala.
Fillmore dentist Dr. Mark Pratt and his daughter Kristyn, a Cal State Northridge student of speech pathology, recently returned from the village of Zacualpa, Guatemala, where they administered urgently needed dental care to its inhabitants and those of the remote Mayan village of Turbala.
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Part One

Dr. Mark Pratt, a local dentist and his daughter Kristyn, a Cal State Northridge student of speech pathology, recently returned from a humanitarian adventure. They traveled to the tiny, northern mountain village of Zacualpa, Guatemala, administering urgently needed dental care for its inhabitants and those of the remote Mayan village of Turbala. Father and daughter participated in a two week hands-on-project coordinated by Amigos de Guatemala, a partnership created by Rotary Clubs International to provide quality international service projects in the Quiche district of the impoverished country.

Mexico’s southern neighbor, Guatemala is a Central American country of 42,000 square miles and nearly 13,000,000 people. Although heavily laced with pure Indian, more than half of her people are of Spanish, Spanish and Indian, and European descent. There are many dialects in use, nevertheless Spanish is the official language and spoken by the majority.

Fillmore dentist realizes humanitarian adventure Amigos de Guatemala Roman Catholic is the predominant religion in Guatemala, a republic since 1889. Upon a trip to the northern highlands of Guatemala, a Rotarian, Bob Hatmaker recognized the intense need of assistance of the region’s inhabitants, especially the Mayan population. He solicited other Rotarians to volunteer their time and funds, and the project Amigos de Guatemala was born. To date, nineteen Rotary Clubs, other service clubs and individuals, participate in the project volunteering time, securing donations of goods and services and raising funds.
This year marked their second trip, and Mark Pratt, a local dentist and his daughter Kristyn’s first to Zacualpa. Joining the group of volunteers on February 3, some on hand from January 27, the Pratts flew from Los Angeles to Guatemala City. They navigated a grueling six-hour trip through the mountains on curving, onelane roads before reaching the village of three hundred poverty-stricken souls.

Twenty-six volunteers, responsible for their own travel expenses, participated during the two-week project, all with the goal to help improve the quality of life in Zacualpa, and the Mayan village of Turbala. The majority of volunteers labored laying brick, hauling fill, mixing cement and pouring concrete to build new school bathrooms, classrooms and a paved path through the rough terrain from Zacualpa to Turbala, location of the only public elementary school. Dr. Pratt, Dr. Rick Holm, from Marina, Ca. and Ms. Pratt set up dental facilities in a garage in Zacualpa. With little indoor plumbing and no sewer system, raw sewerage often floods the streets during the rainy season. Everyone prayed for good weather.

From February 3 through February 9, the two dentists, along with assistance from Ms. Pratt, treated their patients’ decayed teeth and other serious dental problems with equipment and donated pharmaceuticals, including pain medications, antibiotics and dental hygienic supplies, carried from the United States. Dr. Pratt and his daughter report treating as many as fifteen patients a day per dentist, performing simple and surgical extractions, fillings, root canals and cleanings. Every child required major dental work and most visitors to the clinic, child or adult, were in varying degrees of pain. None had ever been seen by a professional dentist. Untrained practices and home remedies, administered without antibiotics or anesthesia are a normal course of treatment.

Donated dental services exceeded over $40,000 in value. The prevalent lack of dental health is attributed to a mainstay diet of corn, poor oral hygiene and preventative measures. In addition, daily consumption of inexpensive candies and bagfuls of sugarcane-sweetened water is rampant among impoverished children. Villagers, most who earn their living from farming the single corn crop per year, appear twice as old as their years, and besides dental disease, suffer from malaria, yellow fever and other contagious illnesses, contracted when they or others work in the coastal areas harvesting sugarcane. To be continued in next week’s edition.

 
From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.
From left, Mayor Steve Conaway, Councilman Scott Lee, and Councilwoman Patti Walker, accomplished substantial business at Tuesday’s regular meeting, though two other council members were absent.
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City council agenda item 9-A, Request for Leave of Absence by Councilmember Lauri Hernandez, was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s regular city council meeting.
Ms. Hernandez apologized to the Council for the necessity of her request, stating she was struggling with alcoholism and that she deeply regretted letting people down. She also told the Council she anticipated taking up her responsibilities again sometime in late August.
Mayor Conaway, Councilmembers Scott Lee and Patti Walker expressed their sympathy and support, unanimously approving the request. Councilwoman Cecilia Cuevas was absent.
Administrative Services Manager, Steve McClary, presented a report certifying the Results of the examination of a referendum filed against resolutions approving the Reider project off Goodenough Road, adjacent to the Traditions tract. The referendum was filed May 1, 2008, and 700 signatures have been verified, which exceeds the minimum number required. McClary told the Council it had two options, it could either place the issue on the ballot for the November 4 election, or repeal, in whole or in part, the resolutions which approved the Reider plan. Council certified receipt and findings of the report. The issue will be reconsidered in the near future.
Director of Public Works, Bert Rapp, announced that recently increased sewer rates can now be reduced. According to Finance Director Barbara Smith, “...revised sewer service rates for Fiscal Years 2008/09 ($72.00) and 2009/10 ($80.00) are 15% and 18% respectively below the authorized maximums.” “Since then, WRP construction has progressed significantly (now 50% complete) and is under budget by $3 to 4 million, construction cost savings have been identified and implemented, detail planning for the transition from the existing treatment plant to the new WRP has become more detailed, reducing the number of unknowns and associated contingencies.” The reduction was attributed to the hard work of Roy Payne and Dave Berkhart. He also cautioned that if the future financial picture should change dramatically, the rate could revert to $98 per month because bond obligations required that revenues be maintained in the black.
Council announced that the Fillmore, 1887 Southern Pacific depot will be dedicated an historical building on Saturday, May 31, 2 to 4 p.m. This concludes 10years of planning and restoration. Refreshments will be served and plans for the future discussed. All are welcome at 350 Main Street.
Council was reminded that the lease contract on the Fillmore Equestrian Center will soon expire. No date was mentioned. This lease has been the subject of significant controversy in the past due to alleged breaches of contractual obligations by the lessee.
Approval of a permanent four-way stop at the intersection of Central Avenue and Santa Clara Street was approved. Both the police and acting interim Fire Chief, Bill Herrera and Police Chief Tim Hagel both approved of the plan, stating this move would improve traffic safety significantly.
The plan for the B Street extension from Old Telegraph Road into north Fillmore was approved. Negotiations to acquire a strip of land on the east side of B Street failed, which necessitates building a jog in the roadway. Mr. Rapp told the Council that $400,000 in grant money is available now to finish the work. $25,000 in Redevelopment money was appropriated to pay for removal of sidewalk on the west side of B Street, and the construction of a three-foot tall link fence as well as curb, gutter, and street, all in asphalt.
Mayor Conaway stated that Lemon Way Home Owners Association members were very positively disposed to the work.
Councilman Scott Lee lauded those who attended the special meeting of the Senior Center Board of Directors last week. He said he was anxious to see a staff report of Center issues, and looked forward to more volunteer workers to make the facility more attractive to senior residents.
Lee also alluded to the fact that the construction of Fillmore’s swimming pool complex is taking its first steps with final details on the timeline being discussed with contractors.

 
Maximum Enforcement Period begins Friday, May 23, at 5 p.m.
California Highway Patrol
California Highway Patrol

The Memorial Day Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins this Friday, May 23, at 5 p.m. and continues through midnight, the following Monday. Up to 80 percent of all California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers will be out working the road over the holiday weekend to help ensure everyone arrives at their destination safely.
During last year’s Memorial Day MEP, 37 people were killed in collisions on California roadways. In addition, CHP officers arrested 1,614 people for driving under the influence.

Three “don’ts” for all motorists to remember: Don’t speed. Don’t drink and drive. And don’t forget to wear your seatbelt.