On Tuesday, December 10th at 2:37pm, a traffic collision occurred involving a Chevrolet Express van and two Thomas school buses on Telegraph Road east of Cummings Road. (Photos courtesy Ventura County Fire PIO)
On Tuesday, December 10th at 2:37pm, a traffic collision occurred involving a Chevrolet Express van and two Thomas school buses on Telegraph Road east of Cummings Road. (Photos courtesy Ventura County Fire PIO)
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On December 10, 2019, at approximately 2:37 p.m., minor injury traffic collision occurred involving a Chevrolet Express van a Thomas School Bus (First Student) and a separate Thomas School Bus (Ventura Transit).

A male driver, age 57 of Montebello, was stopped at a stop sign in a white Chevrolet Express van on southbound Cummings Road at Telegraph Road.

A female driver, age 42 out of Ventura, was stopped in a yellow First Student School Bus with one student on board (age 6), on Telegraph Road, just west of Cummings Road.

A male driver, age 41 out of Fillmore, was driving a yellow Ventura Transit School Bus, with four 17-year-old students on board from Santa Paula, on Telegraph Road just east of Cummings Road.

The driver of the Chevrolet van attempted a left turn from Cummings Road onto eastbound Telegraph Road. The driver of the Chevrolet failed to check westbound traffic on Telegraph Road and crossed directly into the path of the Ventura Transit School Bus. This resulted in a collision between the Chevrolet and the Ventura Transit School Bus. The collision caused the Ventura Transit School Bus to continue westbound and collide into the stopped First Student School Bus. After the collision, the Ventura Transit Bus became partially engulfed in flames. Luckily all parties were able to exit safely from their vehicles. The male driver of the Chevrolet Express van and two children age 6 and age 17 were transported to Santa Paula Hospital with minor injuries.

The collision is still under investigation. Anyone who witnessed or has information regarding the collision should contact the Ventura Area CHP office at (805) 662-2640.

 


 
On Sunday, December 8th the Fillmore Fire Department and Fire Foundation hosted their annual Chicken Dinner and Toy Drive Fundraiser. From 5pm to 7pm people dropped off an unwrapped toy or a $10 donation and received a BBQ chicken dinner plate to go or they could dine inside the station. Pictured above are a few kids loading up the Fillmore Fire Truck with toys which will be given away at the Toy Drive Give Away on Saturday, December 14th at the Fillmore Fire Station.
On Sunday, December 8th the Fillmore Fire Department and Fire Foundation hosted their annual Chicken Dinner and Toy Drive Fundraiser. From 5pm to 7pm people dropped off an unwrapped toy or a $10 donation and received a BBQ chicken dinner plate to go or they could dine inside the station. Pictured above are a few kids loading up the Fillmore Fire Truck with toys which will be given away at the Toy Drive Give Away on Saturday, December 14th at the Fillmore Fire Station.
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Jose DeJesus Rodriguez (Courtesy SFPD).
Jose DeJesus Rodriguez (Courtesy SFPD).

Courtesy San Francisco Examiner https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/sfsu-student-allegedly-shot-and-killed-b...

In the months before she was fatally shot at a house near Lowell High School, 21-year-old Valeria Villagomez had become the victim of an abusive relationship, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The college student had just started dating 20-year-old Jose DeJesus Rodriguez this summer when he allegedly began choking her, calling her a “whore” and demanding she delete her social media account.

Then last Thursday afternoon, officers responding to a 911 call at a house near 26th Avenue and Eucalyptus Drive spotted Rodriguez walking outside shirtless and with blood on his hands.

Villagomez, a student at San Francisco State University, had been shot in the head with a revolver.

These are the details of the case alleged in a motion from prosecutors seeking to hold Rodriguez in jail without bail.

The District Attorney’s Office filed the motion Tuesday ahead of his first court appearance at the Hall of Justice.

Inside the courtroom, Rodriguez stood before San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harry Dorfman wearing a County Jail jumpsuit with a chain around his waist.

“The public safety threat here is paramount,” Dorfman said, before ordering that Rodriguez remain in jail until the bail motion is heard next week. “The facts alleged appear to be weighty in favor of the accusation.”

Suzy Loftus, the newly appointed interim district attorney, was sitting in the front row of the courtroom gallery alongside Kathy Black, the executive director of La Casa de las Madres, a shelter for battered women.

“The most dangerous place for a woman is in her home,” Loftus said outside the courtroom.

“When we see this type of horrific crime,” she said, “it’s important to remember that if anyone in San Francisco knows anyone who they think might be a victim of domestic violence, certainly to report it to the police.”

The killing marked the 32nd reported homicide in San Francisco so far this year and the second killing of 2019 that appeared to be related to domestic violence.

But Black said the problem of domestic violence is much broader than homicides.

“When we only focus on the homicides, we are not looking at the thousands of victims who suffer less-than-lethal acts of domestic violence every single day,” Black said. “We have to really be focused on the big, total picture.”

Her organization responded to 8,914 calls from domestic violence victims and their allies in one recent year, and made 1,177 calls to survivors after police responded to their abuse, according to its 2017-18 annual report.

Rodriguez is facing three felony counts including murder and a domestic violence-related charge. He has not yet entered a plea, but his attorney called the shooting an accident.

“Preliminary information suggests that this was a tragic accident that resulted in the death of someone Jose loves dearly and has been close to since childhood,” said Brian Pearlman, a deputy public defender.

“We look forward to seeing all the materials the government has as soon as possible so both families can get the answers they deserve,” Pearlman said in a statement.

In the bail motion, Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart said Rodriguez has no ties to San Francisco and is from Southern California, where he has been arrested twice before. One of the arrests was gang-related, he said.

Swart said Rodriguez attempted suicide while in police custody at the Hall of Justice before allegedly attempting to take a gun from an officer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Rodriguez is said to be medicated for bipolar disorder and had previously threatened to kill Villagomez and himself before, according to Swart.

After the shooting, Rodriguez was allegedly the person who called 911 to report that Villagomez was shot. Swart said police found Villagomez “lying on the floor in a pool of blood” and a revolver on the bed.

Swart said Villagomez had told a friend she was contemplating breaking up with Rodriguez. But there was no evidence that the alleged domestic violence had been reported to police before.

In a message to the campus community, SFSU President Lynn Mahoney mourned the loss of Villagomez without mentioning her by name.

“The tragic and untimely death of a student takes a particularly deep emotional toll,” Mahoney said last Friday. “I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the student’s family and friends.”

Students can access university counseling services at (415) 338-2208.

Rodriguez is scheduled to appear in court again next Tuesday at 9 a.m for arraignment and the bail motion.

La Casa de las Madres has a 24/7 domestic violence crisis line that can be reached at (877) 503-1850.

 


 
Pictured is the Pacific Coast Shockwaves Fillmore Cross Country team which competed in the AAU Jr. Olympics on Saturday, December 7th: (l-r) Niza Laureano, Emily Arriaga, Leah Laureano, Aaliyah Tarango, Paola Estrada and Joshua Estrada. Photos courtesy Coach Evelio Arriaga.
Pictured is the Pacific Coast Shockwaves Fillmore Cross Country team which competed in the AAU Jr. Olympics on Saturday, December 7th: (l-r) Niza Laureano, Emily Arriaga, Leah Laureano, Aaliyah Tarango, Paola Estrada and Joshua Estrada. Photos courtesy Coach Evelio Arriaga.
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Paola Estrada on her way to becoming the National Champion in the 3000 meters 9 and 10-year-old girls race in Knoxville Tennessee this past Saturday.
Paola Estrada on her way to becoming the National Champion in the 3000 meters 9 and 10-year-old girls race in Knoxville Tennessee this past Saturday.
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Pictured out in front is Emily Arriaga running up the hill in the 3000 meters girls 9 and 10-year-old race where she earned the “All-American” award. Photos courtesy Coach Evelio Arriaga.
Pictured out in front is Emily Arriaga running up the hill in the 3000 meters girls 9 and 10-year-old race where she earned the “All-American” award. Photos courtesy Coach Evelio Arriaga.
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Niza Laureano sprinting towards the finish line to help her team earn 2nd place in the competition.
Niza Laureano sprinting towards the finish line to help her team earn 2nd place in the competition.
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Submitted by Coach Evelio Arriaga

The Pacific Coast Shockwaves Fillmore Cross Country concluded their season by competing at the AAU Jr. Olympics which took place Saturday, December 7th, 2019 at Knoxville Tennessee. The PC Shockwaves is an organization that focuses on teaching young kids powerful life skills such as perseverance, resiliency, collaboration and “Dare to dream big” through the sport of running. Young athletes from all PC Shockwaves, which includes the LA and Ventura county areas, collaborate with the goal of creating a competitive team that can challenge other teams at the National competition level. The Fillmore site was able to send six local athletes to Knoxville, TN to compete at the Jr. Olympics. The kids worked hard every single day, rain or shine at any location that was available to us. This ultimately helped the kids to compete at any terrain or conditions against anybody. You may have even seen them practicing near the Riverwalk Bike Path in the grass area under a light which they set up for every practice powered by a generator.

Knoxville Tennessee was an amazing experience for all the kids. They performed extremely well. Our first local runner competing was Joshua Estrada. He helped his team reach the podium as a 3rd place team by running the 4000 meters course in 15:53.12 and placing 131st overall. The next race included Niza Laureano running the 3000 meters event where she finished 50th with a time of 12:44.14. Niza’s team finished 2nd overall on a very competitive field of runners. After this race the 9 and 10-year-old girls 3000 meters race was next. This group is loaded with very talented runners which included two of our local athletes, Emily Arriaga and Paola Estrada. These two girls were up to the challenge and performed amazingly. Paola Estrada finished second overall with a time of 12:11.37 and first in the group of 10-year-old girls earning the title of National Champion in this category. Emily Arriaga finished 8th in the 9-year-old category with a time of 12:56.35 and earning the recognition of “All-American” which is only given to the top 8 runners. These two girls along with the other Shockwaves from our other sites led their team to become National Champions. Aaliyah Tarango was our next runner who was ready to participate in the 2000 meters race. She run a personal best time of 9:02.92 while finishing 8th in her category and earning the “All-American” recognition. Our last local runner, Leah Laureano participated in the 6 and under 1000 meters race. She ran a personal best time of 4:48.99 while finishing 7th overall and becoming an “All-American”. What an amazing performance from all our runners. We appreciate all the love and support from the community sponsors; Triple Mortgage, Re/Max Gold Coast Realtors, El Pescador, State Farm Insurance, La Michoacana Bakery, and Mejia’s Nursery, Inc. your support helped create life long memories for these kids.

 


 
Photo of the Week: "Fillmore’s beautiful snow-capped mountain tops" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @48mm. Exposure; ISO 125, aperture f/11 and 1/250th second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Fillmore’s beautiful snow-capped mountain tops" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @48mm. Exposure; ISO 125, aperture f/11 and 1/250th second shutter speed.
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To Photoshop, or not!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Besides the inclement weather, I can't always do what I used to regularly do like photograph the Fillmore Christmas parade. So disappointed that I didn't get to present Santa my 'wish list' directly. After all, I've been exceptionally good all year. Now I have to hope that my letter to Santa got to his North Pole address. Considering the purported effects of climate change, perhaps the Post Office will need to deliver my letter by boat. But I digress.

I previously mentioned that with a new camera in hand, you need photo editing software. Well, I received a few emails from astute readers reminding me that if the photographer got it right in the camera, in the first place, there's no need to edit the photo afterward. Hm, if only I didn't open those emails! Though I gave considerable thought to ignoring the comments, to do so would be a disservice because it's a relevant point.

Who will argue that it's a good idea to 'get it right' in the camera in the first place? Technically speaking, it's referred to as 'Straight Out Of Camera' (SOOC) photography. However, mention SOOC at a gathering of photographers around a campfire and you can hear the yelling punctuated with a smattering of profanity miles away. The staunch proponents of each camp, (SOOC) and (Post Process), ferociously present arguments defending their chosen position. I can attest that incongruous cacophony renders noise-canceling headphones useless.

It makes sense to get as much as possible right in the camera. After all, in addition to composition, we all know that proper exposure is essential. White Balance is equally important. Remember, out of focus photos cannot be fixed afterward. Many times I anguished over a photo of exquisite, compelling content (mermaids), delightfully composed (in a boudoir setting), but slightly out of focus. It's heartbreaking to have to put such photos in the trash. Um, I don't delete them, I sneak them into a folder labeled 'To avoid Heartbreak.' Works for me!

Imagine that I'm about to make a fantabulous photo. I see the green light in the viewfinder indicating focus accomplished. I slowly push down on the shutter button. CLICK. Ah, the histogram reveals a proper exposure and the composition is compelling. Bingo! I can take that photo straight out the camera and make prints or submit it to numerous social media websites for the world to enjoy. Bidda bing-bidda boom, DONE! It may be done for the SOOCers but not for me! I've said several times in this column that no photo straight of the camera is as good as it can be.

The perennial argument robustly ensues. Some say that SOOC is stupid! Others say that photographers who use Photoshop (or some other photo editor program) simply don't know how to use their camera. Conversely, others say that SOOC photographers simply don't know how to use Photoshop. The contentious quarrel rages on. Photoshop is indeed a powerful photo editor, and learning how to use effectively is not for the faint of heart. It takes serious dedication to learn all that PS is capable of accomplishing. In any event, neither argument is valid. Times up, to be continued.

I made the Photo of the Week after a recent pre-winter storm. I roamed hither and yon making several photos of the snow-capped mountain tops. One particular location provided multiple delightful compositions. Of several photos made at the location, I particularly like this image because of several photogenic components and the overall composition. BTW, it's not SOOC but processed much less than an Oscar Mayer hot dog!

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
Thank you to all who came out to the 2nd annual City of Fillmore Community Tree Lighting this past Sunday, December 1st. We’d like to thank the Orange Peelers Bell Choir & Sembradores Church Choir for coming out to perform and for giving free hot chocolate, cookies and treats to everyone in attendance! We’d also like to thank Fillmore & Western Railway as an in kind sponsor for this year’s beautiful tree, Diamond Realty & Villegas Public Affairs for tree decorations, Diane and Steve Sutton for the custom star & last but not least City of Fillmore Fire Chief Keith Gurrola and the entire Fillmore City Fire Department for their hard work and dedication to our tree AGAIN this year. Lastly, thank you to Mayor Diane McCall for the appreciation speech and leading our countdown! Lighting the tree this year was Ariana Ocegueda, Miss Fillmore 2019 and her court. There was even a special visit from Santa Claus thank you Santa for making a special stop in Fillmore for Fillmore’s Community Tree Lighting! [Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page]
Thank you to all who came out to the 2nd annual City of Fillmore Community Tree Lighting this past Sunday, December 1st. We’d like to thank the Orange Peelers Bell Choir & Sembradores Church Choir for coming out to perform and for giving free hot chocolate, cookies and treats to everyone in attendance! We’d also like to thank Fillmore & Western Railway as an in kind sponsor for this year’s beautiful tree, Diamond Realty & Villegas Public Affairs for tree decorations, Diane and Steve Sutton for the custom star & last but not least City of Fillmore Fire Chief Keith Gurrola and the entire Fillmore City Fire Department for their hard work and dedication to our tree AGAIN this year. Lastly, thank you to Mayor Diane McCall for the appreciation speech and leading our countdown! Lighting the tree this year was Ariana Ocegueda, Miss Fillmore 2019 and her court. There was even a special visit from Santa Claus thank you Santa for making a special stop in Fillmore for Fillmore’s Community Tree Lighting! [Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page]
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Pictured is Fillmore High School Principal John Wilber who presented the school board with the fall 2019 sports review for Fillmore High School.
Pictured is Fillmore High School Principal John Wilber who presented the school board with the fall 2019 sports review for Fillmore High School.

Board meeting highlights for the Fillmore Unified School District

Fall 2019 Sports Review
The Governing Board received information from John Wilber, Fillmore High School Principal, regarding Fall 2019 sports participation.

Fall 2019 Sports Medicine Review
The Governing Board received information from Breanna McLain, Director of Sports Medicine, regarding Fall 2019 sports medicine data.

Approve Pre-Qualified Pool of Division of State Architect (DSA) Construction Inspectors for Various District Projects
The Governing Board approved the pre-qualified Construction Project Inspectors for current and future Measure V Bond Projects.

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved all personnel recommendations including new hires, promotions, resignations, and leaves.

 


 
On Monday, December 2nd at 9pm the Howard Family Christmas Light Show from Fillmore was featured on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight. The Howard’s Christmas light show began November 29th and will run nightly through January 1st. Located at the corner of Wildwood and Edgewood near Rio Vista Elementary School, you can listen from your car on radio station FM 97.7, or listen outside. They do ask that you not block their neighbors’ driveways, and please don’t blast the music. Courtesy Howard Family FB page: https://www.facebook.com/HowardFamilyLightShow
On Monday, December 2nd at 9pm the Howard Family Christmas Light Show from Fillmore was featured on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight. The Howard’s Christmas light show began November 29th and will run nightly through January 1st. Located at the corner of Wildwood and Edgewood near Rio Vista Elementary School, you can listen from your car on radio station FM 97.7, or listen outside. They do ask that you not block their neighbors’ driveways, and please don’t blast the music. Courtesy Howard Family FB page: https://www.facebook.com/HowardFamilyLightShow
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On Wednesday, December 18th the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Watershed Protection District along with the United Water Conservation District is celebrating the completion of the Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project. Pictured is the project while under construction. Photo courtesy Ventura County Public Works Agency.
On Wednesday, December 18th the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Watershed Protection District along with the United Water Conservation District is celebrating the completion of the Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project. Pictured is the project while under construction. Photo courtesy Ventura County Public Works Agency.
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The Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Watershed Protection District (VCPWA WPD) and United Water Conservation District (UWCD) are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

The project will capture runoff from the existing storm drain system, treating approximately 17 acre-feet per year (AFY) of runoff from 36 urban acres located in the Piru community. The captured runoff will be transported to the existing but inactive UWCD Piru Spreading Grounds and will be spread to recharge the Piru Groundwater Basin. Before entering the spreading grounds debris, sediment, trash and other pollutants will be removed by a pre-treatment device, a 10-ft diameter Continuous Deflective Separation (CDS) unit.

“The Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project will have dual benefits to improve water quality to meet compliance with Bacteria Total Maximum Daily Load and groundwater recharge/ water supply enhancement,” explains Ewelina Mutkowska, VCPWA WPD, Stormwater Program Manager. “This will help improve the water quality of Piru Creek and add recharge to the Piru Groundwater Basin. Capture of stormwater runoff is a sustainable source for groundwater recharge, and we need to look for more similar opportunities to enhance our water supply sources countywide”.

Under pre-project conditions, storm drains directed stormwater runoff to Piru Creek on its way to the ocean. The Santa Clara River (SCR) downstream of Piru Creek has documented bacteria water quality impairments and is subject to federal Clean Water Act regulations set by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LA-RWQCB). As described by the LA-RWQCB, available monitoring data indicates that the major contributors of bacteria loading to the river and SCR Estuary are dry- and wet-weather urban runoff discharges from stormwater conveyance systems. This project, funded by the State Proposition 1 Storm Water Grant Program, captures urban runoff, improves water quality and recharges groundwater.

Ribbon Cutting:

Who: VCPWA Watershed Protection District, United Water Conservation District to host a ribbon cutting for the Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project
When: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Piru Spreading Grounds