El Dorado Mobile Home Estates park held a Shake Out earthquake drill Thursday, November 13. HOA President Paul Schifanelli reported great success with the drill.
El Dorado Mobile Home Estates park held a Shake Out earthquake drill Thursday, November 13. HOA President Paul Schifanelli reported great success with the drill.
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El Dorado Mobile Home Estates held its own Shake Out earthquake drill Thursday, November 13. The HOA and park management coordinated the disaster preparedness event. Two block captains were assigned to each of 6 sections and the entire park was covered by the captains in half-an-hour, which in a disaster translates to excellent time. Twelve captains participated; under normal circumstances there are four block captains assigned to each section. Pictured are, Park Manager Helen Rosette. HOA President Paul Schifanelli, and Relief Manager Karen Torres.
El Dorado Mobile Home Estates held its own Shake Out earthquake drill Thursday, November 13. The HOA and park management coordinated the disaster preparedness event. Two block captains were assigned to each of 6 sections and the entire park was covered by the captains in half-an-hour, which in a disaster translates to excellent time. Twelve captains participated; under normal circumstances there are four block captains assigned to each section. Pictured are, Park Manager Helen Rosette. HOA President Paul Schifanelli, and Relief Manager Karen Torres.
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A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California resulting in extreme shaking and non-functioning electricity and phone lines throughout the Santa Clara Valley at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2008! Well, not really, it was just a statewide drill billed as the Great Southern California Shakeout. We all recognize that natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and fires will occur as they have throughout our valley’s history, along with the possibility of others too scary to mention. El Dorado Mobile Home Estates is in the midst of preparing for just such an emergency, thanks to Voice of El Dorado Homeowner’s Association’s president, Paul Schifanelli; Patrick Maynard, Disaster Coordinator for the City of Fillmore; on-site park manager Helen Rosette, and the participants of the HOA’s Emergency Block Captain Program. Many participants are graduates of invaluable CERT training, a seven-week course presented by Deputy Chief, Special Operations of the Fillmore Fire Department, Royce Davis.

During the drill, twelve members of the Emergency Block Captain Program, under the direction of Rosette and relief manager Karen Torres, assembled into teams of two. Each team searched one of six sectors for possible emergency scenarios, placed in envelopes in selected mail tubes by the Fillmore Fire Department. Team members immediately reported to home base with walkie-talkies, where and when a depicted situation was discovered, and if it needed critical or additional attention. At home base, a large map with the layout of the park, provided by Maynard served to pinpoint and mark problematic locations. In the event of a real disaster, this program could save time and lives. The entire operation took less than an hour and deemed very successful by all for a first run. Officer Tony Biter acted as liaison to the park, home to hundreds of seniors.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept, developed and implemented in 1985 by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), addresses the likelihood that citizens will be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. The Department recognized that basic emergency training of citizens, including disaster survival and rescue skills could help improve early survival statistics until responders or other assistance could arrive. CONTINUED »

 


 
From left, Roger Campbell and Zahid Shah asked for, and received, council approval of Mr. Shah’s development at E Street and Highway 126.
From left, Roger Campbell and Zahid Shah asked for, and received, council approval of Mr. Shah’s development at E Street and Highway 126.

Fillmore City Council met November 25 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The Council approved a business development near E St. on the north side of Highway 126, prioritized Water DIF spending, heard an update on the Water Recycling Program, and provided for Zoning changes.

Fire Chief Bill Herrera announced that the annual toy drive at the Fillmore Fire Dept. has started. The Fire Station is accepting toys from now through December 14th, when a chicken dinner will be provided to donors for each toy delivered during the drive. The dinner will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., take-out or eat-in.

The Council held a public hearing regarding Zahid Shah's business property at 1515 Ventura St. The business involves towing, impound, and auto repair. Shah had asked that Development Impact Fees (DIF) be deferred until Certificate of Occupancy rather than be due when the building permits are issued. Community Development Director Kevin McSweeney said that the DIF was approximately $167,000. According to the agenda item memo, the Finance Subcommittee wanted the project to become permanent before approving deferment. The Planning Commission denied Shah's request for the proposed project to be modified from a temporary five year approval to a permanent approval at a public hearing on October 22, 2008, and Shah appealed that decision at the November 25th public hearing.

The business's neighbors were unhappy with the property's appearance, and fought against permanent approval. McSweeney pointed out that the property is currently under construction and Shah is willing to accommodate neighbors' concerns. Neighbors Kathy Yeats and Bill Zellmer spoke. Dick Sliger read a letter from Trudy and Steve Garner. Significant concerns included the compatibility of that type of business with a residential area, traffic, and the view that the property would present not only to neighbors, but to all people approaching Fillmore from the west on Highway 126. Shah, represented by Roger Campbell, presented an artist's rendering of the proposed permanent buildings. The picture included a Railroad-Craftsman style building with a two-story section and a one-story section, adjacent to a residential garage and house. The house and garage already exist, and are located in a commercial zone. The exterior of the garage would be updated to blend in with the new building and the neighborhood. An impound lot, used car sales, and towed cars would be located behind the new building and blocked from sight by fences. Permanent approval requires the widening of E St., and additional street lights. There are plans for the eventual installation of a traffic signal at E St. and 126 to accommodate the anticipated Business Park on the other side of 126. CONTINUED »

 


 
Kenneth McDermot, 63, laid down his 2005 Honda after colliding with Thomas McAdam, 67, at the corner of River and A Street. McAdam was traveling eastbound on River in his Dodge Ram; McDermot was traveling south on A Street and was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Both vehicles were towed away.
Kenneth McDermot, 63, laid down his 2005 Honda after colliding with Thomas McAdam, 67, at the corner of River and A Street. McAdam was traveling eastbound on River in his Dodge Ram; McDermot was traveling south on A Street and was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Both vehicles were towed away.
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A new traffic signal has been installed at the site, but has not begun operation as yet.
A new traffic signal has been installed at the site, but has not begun operation as yet.
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The Great Southern California Shake Out of 2008.
The Great Southern California Shake Out of 2008.
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Fillmore was on high alert Thursday, November 13th, as the State of California declared a mock state-wide emergency with a hypothetical magnitude 7.8 earthquake, ie: The Great Southern California Shake Out of 2008.
The drill was ready for Fillmore, but was Fillmore as ready as it could be for the drill? Logistics for the drill were complex, with “victims” at the Veterans Memorial building segregated on different colored triage tarps indicating levels of injury; green was “walking wounded”, yellow was “delayed”, and red was “immediate.” Approximately 35 volunteer citizens, 12 police officers, 15 firefighters, and city staff participated.

A series of hands-on exercises geared toward potential damage scenarios took place throughout the day. Ventura County Office of Emergency Services Officials activated their emergency operations center for approximately 48 hours and simulated similar scenarios. An increased number of City of Fillmore Fire Department and Ventura County Sheriffs Department personnel were visible city-wide.

The state-wide drill was considered the largest in U.S. history, with approximately 5 million people participating at different levels. In Ventura County public agencies, schools, residents and emergency responders were involved.

Scientists spent over a year creating the realistic scenario which would more than likely take place along the San Andreas Fault. The drill was estimated to cost $2 million to organize and execute state-wide. The USGS and its partners received financial support from corporate sponsors including the Home Depot Inc., Tyco Electronics, and State Farm Insurance Co.

 


 
At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Sespe School Cafeteria Manager “Grandma” Lou Hoover was presented the “Be the Change” award.
At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Sespe School Cafeteria Manager “Grandma” Lou Hoover was presented the “Be the Change” award.

Board Member Liz Wilde chaired the open session of the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board meeting November 18, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the District Office. The Board heard updates from the Sespe Elementary School and Piru Elementary School Principals, and honored Lou Hoover. The Board approved field trips, math textbooks, and a Use of Facilities Agreement with Ventura College.

The Board honored Sespe Elementary School’s Cafeteria Manager, Lou Hoover, for exemplifying the District’s motto: “Be the Change”. Principal Geri Lunde introduced the honoree, and said that she provided not only great food, but also great care of the cafeteria, staff, and students. The students call her “Grandma Lou”.

Sespe Principal Geri Lunde and Piru Principal Richard Durborow provided updates on plans to improve student academic achievement and parent outreach.

Lunde emphasized her successful attempts to increase parent involvement. The school has reached out to English Learners' parents by holding English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) meetings monthly at 8 a.m. The meetings include information on how parents can help their children learn. At past meetings, parents have received handouts on how to read aloud to their children and how to help children be responsible. Recent meetings have had a turnout of approximately twenty parents. The next ELAC meeting at Sespe will be in January. School Site Council meetings have also provided education for parents.

Sespe teachers have been trained in using ADEPT to test English Learners, so that they can acquire current information about their students’ English proficiency and meet students' needs now rather than waiting a year for CELDT test results.

Durborow presented three strategies that Piru Elementary School is using to improve student learning: data teams, rubrics and exemplars, and identifying academic terms in math. Durborow noted that his third strategy is intended to improve scores on standardized math tests. He said that students who lack math vocabulary often have difficulty understanding and answering math questions even if they know how to solve the problems.

Piru teachers are collaborating in data teams. They use the allocated time to discuss student achievement data, review best practices, share ideas, and develop new strategies.

Durborow explained Piru's use of rubrics and exemplars. Rubrics are systematic lists that correlate score levels with detailed descriptions of (or standards for) work at each level. Rubrics provide a standard scoring method that allows for comparison of student progress. In the example Durborow gave, a Score of 2.5 is associated with the description, "There are no major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes, and partial knowledge of the more complex ideas and processes." Rubrics are sometimes used to provide objectivity when grading essays, short answers, classroom participation, etc. Piru teachers are collaborating to develop their own rubrics. Exemplars are samples of student work that help people to understand the descriptions in a rubric. Rubrics with exemplars clarify expectations, and promote good communication between teachers and students. Durborow explained, "Examples of student work are placed in the classroom and act as guides to facilitate independent work habits and the successful completion of assignments at higher levels of proficiency." Durborow said that self-assessment is a powerful way to improve student learning. Teachers at all grade levels at Piru are using rubrics and exemplars, and Durborow expects all Piru teachers to be using them soon.

Durborow mentioned that school safety is much improved from when he started working at Piru years ago. He also mentioned that a Piru teacher wants to teach English to English Learners' parents; the administration is setting up a night class. CONTINUED »

 


 
F.M.S. Basketball Coach Joey Alcantar, Piru Petroleum representative Linda Edmonds, and Principal Todd Schieferle.
F.M.S. Basketball Coach Joey Alcantar, Piru Petroleum representative Linda Edmonds, and Principal Todd Schieferle.
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The Fillmore Middle School Basketball Program was in need of funds for referees so the program could get underway. Boys Basketball coach, Joe Alcantar asked the Piru Petroleum Club if they could help with this and the Club funded the referees for the season. Youth activities and high school scholarships are a large part of the Club's donations to the community.

Piru Petroleum Club has a membership of about 80 people from various areas of the County. Membership is open to anyone and the dues are $40 per year. Lunches are the 2nd & 4th Fridays of each month and Family Night Dinners are the 3rd Thursday of each month. There are no meetings in December. The New Year will begin with lunch the 2nd Friday of January.

A New Year's Eve Dinner-Dance will be held at the Club with a steak dinner, drinks, and dance to the music ofDJ Paul Vaiz. Tickets are available from Board members @ $45 per person. Board members are: President, Gil Escoto, Vice-President, Pat Casas, Secretary-Treasurer, Lynda Edmonds, Richard Arias, Greg Taylor, Rob Frost, Jerry Edmonds, George Real, Tim Lovelace, Vie Piche, Don Downey, Jim Rogers and Bill George.

 


 
The Santa Paula Hospital Auxiliary Sewing Committee held an opportunity drawing, with this beautiful quilt as the prize. Shown are Auxiliary members Carolyn Laskey, Jane Duchacek and Marilyn Marson, all of Fillmore, who worked three hours every Monday to create gift items for SPH patients and their families. Marivel Avila was the winner of the drawing.
The Santa Paula Hospital Auxiliary Sewing Committee held an opportunity drawing, with this beautiful quilt as the prize. Shown are Auxiliary members Carolyn Laskey, Jane Duchacek and Marilyn Marson, all of Fillmore, who worked three hours every Monday to create gift items for SPH patients and their families. Marivel Avila was the winner of the drawing.
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Santa Paula Hospital, the “Hospital on the Hill” has many friends and supporters, but none more dedicated than the Santa Paula Hospital Auxiliary Sewing Committee. Three dedicated women, Carolyn Laskey, Jane Duchacek and Marilyn Marson, all of Fillmore, meet every Monday morning for three hours in the conference room of the hospital’s James Knight Administration Building, to create wonderful gift items for SPH patients and their families.

Laskey, began volunteering twenty-five years ago when the hospital was known as Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. She currently volunteers at the front desk on Thursdays. Marson volunteers at the front desk on Friday mornings while Duchacek works in the gift shop. The ambitious core group, brought together by Marson in May 2008 produce soft, stuffed creatures including teddy bears, fish, kittens, ducks and other endearing creatures for child patients, as well as knitted caps and flannel blankets with whimsical patterns for newborns. With help from Friends of the Auxiliary, they completed 93 cuddly animals, 36 blankets, 4 afghans, 21 pillows, 25 NICU pillows, 72 caps, 7 Christmas stockings, and a wonderful fundraiser quilt.

During Christmas week, newborns will receive an extra special gift, hand made “stocking type boots”. The ladies are also working on white, stretchy, loomed beanie caps with green and red tassels to be given to the newborn babes throughout December.

Laskey, Duchacek and Marson also take projects home in order to keep up with the demand. The work keeps growing as SPH, a satellite campus of Ventura County Medical Center expands its service, and they are looking for additional volunteers for this worthwhile endeavor.

To help raise funds for materials and supplies, the industrious trio held an opportunity drawing for a beautiful bunny quilt. Supportive hospital staff and employees helped raise $275 through ticket donations, earmarked for a new batch of precious creations. The drawing was held on November 12. Marivel Avila, Fillmore resident and an employee at VCMC’s main campus, was the lucky winner.

You do not need to know how to sew if you would like to volunteer your time. Stuffers and pattern cutters are welcomed. Donations of fabrics, thread, baby yarn and other related items are always appreciated as well. Join the Santa Paula Hospital Auxiliary Sewing Committee and you will find that their motto is true, “A Stitch in Time Saves the Mind”. As a bonus, your efforts will make others feel good too.

For information, to donate or to volunteer, please call:
Debbie Hill, Director of Volunteer Services, (805)652-6695

 


 

Anna Maldonado, 15, has a big heart—and a lot of hair. On Tuesday, Nov. 18th, Anna took her grandmother and grandfather, Esther and Juan Jacinto, her teacher A Cut Above Stacia Helmer and her Fillmore High School Special Education class to Terri’s Beauty Salon to watch her get her hair cut for Locks of Love, a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Salonist Debra Burhoe, a cancer survivor, cut Anna’s hair while everyone watched. “That was very special,” stated Burhoe, who is now cancer-free, after being treated for the disease in 2004-05. “I am free as we speak.” Terri’s Salon & Boutique is owned
by Terri Hastings and Patricia Padilla. The hair is prepared by being bound with a rubber-band and bagged immediately after being cut. The Gazette thanks Anna for her generous act!

 


 
Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala in Afghanistan.
Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala in Afghanistan.
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Gilbert Zavala
Gilbert Zavala
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I have received frequent emails from United States Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala since he deployed to Afghanistan and I recently asked him to write an update on his experiences there to include some recent pictures that he could share with the people of the communities of Fillmore and Piru. Below is what he sent me for publishing in the Fillmore Gazette. We all here back at home wish United States Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala safe travel while in Afghanistan and on his return trip home and thank him and his family for their sacrifices they have made during his service. Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala is truly an American Hero!-Dick Diaz

By United States Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala in Afghanistan:
After High School many people often wonder what they want to do when they graduate. As for me I wanted to be a soldier like my father, grandfather, uncles and other relatives had been. After 14 yrs in the Army I sometimes feel like a kid again, getting to do things that few of my friends or family have done or seen. When I was a boy I played Army like many other kids and had fun doing it with all my friends, pretending I was shooting a gun and blowing things up, thinking how cool it was. One never realizes at that time and place how what you pretend to do or want to do is so far from the truth.

After just passing six months on my 4th deployment, I find myself in the Helmand Province which is the most hostile place in all of Afghanistan. So for our small operational force, we often have several missions where we have to live out of a rucksack, sleep next to our trucks in hostile areas for several days with limited food, water, ammunition and few basic amenities that we are able to carry with us. Camping and hunting with my father and brother in the Sierras comes close, but then again there wasn’t Taliban hunting us. Since we arrived 6 months ago, my team and I have been in at least 12 major engagements all of which have been in the past 4 months. Several days ago our small element came under an attack from fighters in the area next to the Helmand River. The Taliban had fired first but we soon gained the upper hand with our constant air support. The Taliban had gathered several fighters with rocket propelled grenades and Russian PKM machine guns in an open area. Almost immediately after, a small force of fighters attacked from the right side and for the next 45 minutes in one of the most intense firefights, which at one time was roughly no more than 30 yards away as we fought through the hail of bullets. With all the fighting that ensued, no American or our Afghan soldiers that were with us received any injuries. CONTINUED »

 


 
Pictured above Lois Freeman-Fox and Virginia Newman. Freeman-Fox and Newman had art work on display at the art
festival that took place this past Sunday.
Pictured above Lois Freeman-Fox and Virginia Newman. Freeman-Fox and Newman had art work on display at the art festival that took place this past Sunday.
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