The main topic of discussion at the School Board Meeting was the low academic performance of the High School.
The main topic of discussion at the School Board Meeting was the low academic performance of the High School.
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Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board held the open session of its regular meeting November 4, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office. The Board heard an update from the Fillmore High School (FHS) Principal, approved a higher Developer Fee, discussed middle school math, and honored Bill Herrera.

FHS Principal John Wilber reported on the WASC accreditation process, school achievement, teacher collaboration, school safety, and parental involvement. The teachers and staff are collaborating to find solutions to problems with grades, tardiness, and discipline.

FHS has historically had a relatively high number of D and F grades among Freshmen and Sophomores, particularly in Math and English courses. There are 197 students with a grade point average (GPA) below 2.0. There are over 1100 students, and almost all students have six classes. Although the number of students with D's or F's was not available, Assistant Principal Ellen Green said that 84% of the grades are C's or better, 9% are D's, and 7% are F's. Staff are considering and testing systematic solutions to the problem. Teachers have agreed that the grades are low due to unfinished homework and unfinished class assignments. Board Member Virginia De La Piedra noted that in an informal poll conducted last year, students essentially admitted that their homework was not done because they were lazy. FHS is implementing after-school tutorials, contacting parents, and clearly explaining the grading requirements to students. FHS has also been brainstorming ideas and researching methods used at other schools. Wilber noted that a school in Ventura instituted 60-minute lunch periods, and students who did not have their homework done were required to spend 35 of those minutes in class. According to Wilber, one Ventura mother said that her student went from a GPA of 1.38 to 3.5 after this policy was adopted. FHS students must have at least a 2.0 GPA and a minimum number of credits to participate in extracurricular sports.

FHS is struggling with tardy students. Staff are calling parents of tardy students and limiting tardy student's access to rallies, dances, and football games when detentions have not been served. CONTINUED »

 


 
Gerardo Rodriguez being put into a police car after a brief pursuit last Sunday afternoon.
Gerardo Rodriguez being put into a police car after a brief pursuit last Sunday afternoon.
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Gerardo Rodriguez, age 24, of Fillmore, was arrested Sunday, November 2, after a brief police vehicle pursuit, then on foot. At approximately 3:45 p.m. Rodriguez was arrested by Mountain View. He has been charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest, under the influence, and two (2) counts felony child endangerment. Bail has been set at $50,000 for each child endangerment felony count. There were numerous outstanding warrants on Rodriguez at he time of his most current arrest.
Rodriguez was arrested on September 22, 2008, on suspicion of theft and child endangerment, stemming from a September 14 incident at Kohls Department Store in Ventura. Rodriguez and Yanira Camargo, 22, of Fillmore, were observed stealing items for the store by a security guard. When the guard attempted to stop them, they fled on foot, leaving their 4-year-old daughter rolling in a cart through the parking lot, nearly being struck by a vehicle.
It is not clear whether the child was the same victim in Rodriguez’ most resent arrest. Rodriguez also had outstanding warrants at the time of the Kohls’ arrest.

 


 
Part Two
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore
Shiells Canyon Oil Production.
Shiells Canyon Oil Production.
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Joseph D. McNab’s farseeing vision of Fillmore in the late 1800s and the town’s early success in business and ranching was a product of a splendid, bountiful valley of Prime agricultural soil, sound planning, and the determined pioneering spirit of its settlers. Trains, the engine responsible for opening the area, carried passengers and freight through the valley and beyond. With accessible transportation, Fillmore’s reputation grew as a great place to earn a good living and raise a family. Nevertheless, with increasing popularity of automobiles in the early decades of the twentieth century, passenger train service decreased. The last passenger train stopped at our station on January 13, 1935, marking the end of an exciting era, and refrigerated trucks soon replaced freight trains laden with the fruits of our valley. Alas, the Southern Pacific Company closed down the Fillmore stop in 1974. Today, the recently restored train depot, an integral part of our town’s initial growth, is part of the Fillmore Historical Museum. The stop, utilized by the Fillmore and Western Railway, is also the scene for many Hollywood productions.

Besides the booming citrus, walnut, apricot, row crops and honey industries of the early days, Ventura County was known as the “Mother of Oil”. The Union Oil Co. drilled shallow wells within sight of the Fillmore site, beyond the end of Sespe Ave. as early as 1880. Hundreds of deeper wells and numerous oil companies were in operation by 1911, creating a multitude of jobs. In 1924, the Ventura Refinery became the Fillmore Texaco Refinery also employing many locals during the decades.

Despite extensive leasing and a minor oil boom, the refinery closed in 1950, too small to be economical in meeting production demands of the many types of oil used in a modern society. These days, the refinery is utilized as a pumping station. In an ad in the September 18, 1958 issue of the Fillmore Herald, Standard Oil declared, “The United States will use more oil in the next fifteen years than we did in the last one-hundred.” And, that the company is “reinvesting a big share of our income in the never ending search for petroleum to meet the growing needs of motorists, industry, homeowners, farms and the Armed Services.” Many area oil fields such as the Shiells Canyon Field (the biggest field close to Fillmore), Sespe Oil Field, Torrey Field and Elkins Field are still in operation however, overall oil production has decreased 23% statewide since 1996. There are far fewer jobs in the oil fields than there were a half century ago. CONTINUED »

 


 

Former Fillmore Mayor Mike McMahan, 51, was arrested, cited and released on Tuesday, November 3rd at approximately 4:15 p.m. at his First Street residence, according to Ventura Sheriff Public Information Officer Ross Bonfiglio. McMahan was cited after witnesses called the Sheriffs department complaining that McMahan had stolen ‘Vote Yes on Proposition 8’ signs from private and/or public property.
Officer Bonfiglio stated that the sign owners wanted petty theft charges filed against McMahan. Numerous/multiple signs were stolen, according to Bonfiglio, and prosecution is up to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
McMahan served as mayor of Fillmore from 1992-93.

 


 

FILLMORE City Council
5/7 71.43%
Vote Count Percent
- 1. JAMEY BROOKS 1,048 - 14.50%
- 2. GAYLE WASHBURN 1,046 - 14.47%
- 3. OMERO MARTINEZ 993 - 13.74%
- M. CECILIA CUEVAS 969 13.41%
- STEVE CONAWAY 939 12.99%
- NORRIS ''RED DOG'' PENNINGTON 808 11.18%
- MARCOZ HERNANDEZ SR. 742 10.27%
- ROYCE DAVIS JR. 668 9.24%
WRITE-IN 15 0.21%
Total 7,228 100.00%

FILLMORE Unified SD - Gov Brd Mem.
25/27 92.59%
Vote Count Percent
- 1. JOHN GARNICA 1,831 - 30.93%
- 2. VIRGINIA A. DE LA PIEDRA 1,732 - 29.26%
- JOHN HOLLADAY 1,506 - 25.44%
- MARK A. AUSTIN 831 - 14.04%
WRITE-IN 20 - 0.34%
Total 5,920 100.00%

FILLMORE City Clerk
5/7 71.43%
Vote Count Percent
- 1. CLAY WESTLING 1,458 - 52.22%
- SHIRLEY J. SPITLER 1,313 47.03%
WRITE-IN 21 0.75%
Total 2,792 100.00%

FILLMORE City Treasurer
5/7 71.43%
Vote Count Percent
- 1. NORMA E. GUTIERREZ 1,232 - 43.56%
- ANGELICA RICHARDSON 843 29.81%
- GRACE M. DONAHUE 737 26.06%
WRITE-IN 16 0.57%
Total 2,828 100.00%

Measure H City of Fillmore North Specific Plan Ref
5/7 71.43%
Vote Count Percent
YES 1,530 -59.28%
NO 1,051 - 40.72%
Total 2,581 100.00%

Measure I City of Fillmore General Plan Amendment
5/7 71.43%
Vote Count Percent
YES 1,534 - 56.25%
NO 1,193 - 43.75%
Total 2,727 100.00%

Measure M Piru Cemetary Maint.
12/12 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
YES 299 - 86.67%
NO 46 13.33%
Total 345 100.00%

 


 

FILLMORE City Council
1/7 14.29%
Vote Count Percent
- OMERO MARTINEZ 194 - 8.33%
- GAYLE WASHBURN 401 - 17.21%
- MARCOZ HERNANDEZ SR. 189 - 8.11%
- ROYCE DAVIS JR. 239 - 10.26%
- STEVE CONAWAY 303 - 13.00%
- M. CECILIA CUEVAS 269 - 11.55%
- NORRIS ''RED DOG'' PENNINGTON 346 - 14.85%
- JAMEY BROOKS 386 - 16.57%
WRITE-IN 3 - 0.13%
Total 2,330 100.00%

FILLMORE Unified SD - Gov Brd Mem.
18/27 66.67%
Vote Count Percent
- JOHN HOLLADAY 436 - 25.97%
- MARK A. AUSTIN 262 - 15.60%
- VIRGINIA A. DE LA PIEDRA 478 - 28.47%
- JOHN GARNICA 500 - 29.78%
WRITE-IN 3 - 0.18%
Total 1,679 - 100.00%

FILLMORE City Clerk
1/7 14.29%
Vote Count Percent
- CLAY WESTLING 432 - 50.06%
- SHIRLEY J. SPITLER 430 - 49.83%
WRITE-IN 1 - 0.12%
Total 863 100.00%

FILLMORE City Treasurer
1/7 14.29%
Vote Count Percent
- ANGELICA RICHARDSON 285 - 33.22%
- GRACE M. DONAHUE 307 - 35.78%
- NORMA E. GUTIERREZ 264 - 30.77%
WRITE-IN 2 - 0.23%
Total 858 100.00%

Measure H City of Fillmore North Specific Plan Ref
1/7 14.29%
Vote Count Percent
YES 470 - 62.75%
NO 279 - 37.25%
Total 749 100.00%

Measure I City of Fillmore General Plan Amendment
1/7 14.29%
Vote Count Percent
YES 476 - 58.62%
NO 336 - 41.38%
Total 812 100.00%

 

Happy Election Day!

For up to the minute election results, please visit us online right here starting tonight at approximately 8pm.

P.S. Don't forget to vote! The Ventura County Recorders Office provides a very easy to use tool to locate exactly where to vote. It can be found at this link. Click here to find out where to vote

 
Major Bill Edmonds.
Major Bill Edmonds.

Major Bill Edmonds, a 1989 graduate of Fillmore High is currently taking a course of study at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterrey. He will graduate in December with a Masters in Military Tactics and Strategy. His Masters thesis is on Profiling Terrorists. Major Edmonds is in Special Forces. He recently returned from a tour in Iraq where he served in Mosul.

Major Edmonds and his wife Cheryl will return to Washington for more intensive study at the
Pentagon. Edmonds graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo of his graduation class. Edmonds has been a Army Ranger, and Airborne Army before his present assignment in Special Forces. He has had tours of duty in Kosovo, and Kuwait as well as assignments in the U.S. At Fillmore High Edmonds was involved in football, wrestling, and as a volunteer for the fire department and forest service.

 
At Tuesday night city council meeting Mayor Steve Conaway presented a proclamation to Pearl Lee Broughton, for her invaluable volunteer service to the Senior Center. Pictured (l-r) Annette Cardona, Pearl Lee Broughton, Mayor Steve Conaway, and Lori Nunez.
At Tuesday night city council meeting Mayor Steve Conaway presented a proclamation to Pearl Lee Broughton, for her invaluable volunteer service to the Senior Center. Pictured (l-r) Annette Cardona, Pearl Lee Broughton, Mayor Steve Conaway, and Lori Nunez.
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Fillmore City Council met October 28th at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The Council honored Pearl Lee Broughton and the employee of the quarter, heard a presentation on Chloride Control, and prioritized improvements to support downtown businesses.

The Council approved a draft of the City's housing element to be submitted on October 29, 2008. There will be a public workshop explaining the housing element and soliciting public comments on the draft on November 18th. The draft will be under review for 60 days after submission. Modifications are expected. The housing element draft is posted on the Fillmore City website (http://www.fillmoreca.com/) in the Planning Department section.
The United Water Conservation District (UW) and the Santa Clarita Sanitation District (SCSD) presented the Chloride Control Concept. Phil Friess, Head of SCSD Technical Services Department, and Dan Detmer, Senior Hydrogeologist at UW, spoke. Friess explained that the Upper Santa Clara River stakeholders had developed a plan to meet the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board's Chloride Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). The Alternative Water Resources Management (AWRM) plan was based on TMDL special studies and includes requesting localized adjustments to the Water Quality Objectives.

Studies included an Agricultural Threshold Study, a Threatened and Endangered Species Study, an Anti-degradation Analysis, and a Groundwater Surface Water Interaction Model. The Ag study found that avocados were more sensitive to salt levels than strawberries and nursery crops. Avocados can be damaged if chloride levels reach over 117 milligrams/Liter. Studies showed that threatened and endangered species were less sensitive than avocados. Therefore, the SCSD is requesting Site Specific Objectives (SSO) for water quality in the Upper Santa Clara River area between Piru Creek and the Saugus Water Reclamation Plant (WRP). The Water Quality Objectives call for a chloride limit of 100 mg/L. SCSD, with the support of UW, will request a limit of 150 mg/L in the area between the Ventura/LA County line and the Valencia WRP, and will request a limit of 117-130 mg/L in the area (known as "Reach 4B") between the Ventura/LA County line and Piru Creek. 117 mg/L would be the usual limit and the 130 mg/L would only apply in times of drought, when the State water supply would have higher levels of chloride. Camulos Ranch is the only agricultural site within Reach 4B, and it would be provided with a separate water supply if the 117 mg/L limit was breached. CONTINUED »

 
Shown (l-r) are Captain Tim Hagel, Sheriff Bob Brooks, JDRF Official Captain Randy Pentis, Undersheriff Craig Husband, and Sergeant Joe Devorick.
Shown (l-r) are Captain Tim Hagel, Sheriff Bob Brooks, JDRF Official Captain Randy Pentis, Undersheriff Craig Husband, and Sergeant Joe Devorick.
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Sheriff Bob Brooks presented a check for $10,000 Thursday morning, Oct. 16th, for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on behalf of Cops Running For Charity, which is a team of sheriff’s deputies who compete in physical endurance challenges throughout the world to raise money for a variety of medical charities. The presentation took place at the Sheriff’s Dept. Shooting Range in Camarillo.

The group recently ran a 35- mile ultra-marathon course across the volcanic landscape in Iceland. In 2007, the team ran a marathon on the steps of China’s Great Wall, and in 2006, they trudged across the dunes of the Sahara Desert in Tunisia in a grueling 70-mile race. Each race has been a physical and mental test for the team. Their focus in each race has been giving back to the communities they serve.

The group has raised thousands of dollars for medical charities, including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), Hospice, and Alzheimer’s.

During Thursday’s event, Sheriff Brooks will also present a $2,500.00 check to ALS on behalf of Detective Sergeant Joe Devorick’s father, who was a sergeant with the Oxnard Police Department and died of ALS two years after his retirement.

The group recently presented a $5,000.00 check to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Members of CRFC will be available at Thursday’s event to answer questions about their unique adventures and to explain their motivation for helping the community.

Officer Preparing Release: Senior Deputy Eric Buschow.