Refugio Ruvalcaba
Refugio Ruvalcaba

Friday, April 2, 2010 at 1051 Am Hours: - Fillmore - Threats - 500 Ventura St. - 27 year old Refugio Ruvalcaba, went to a local Fillmore business. Ruvalcaba was described by employees as irritable and at one point during the conversation, threw a softball sized rock at the head of one of the employees. The employee was able elude the rock. Before leaving the business, Ruvalcaba punched an employee and threatened to return and kill everybody at the business. About 15 minutes later, deputies responded to a gun brandishing call at a different location in the city. Deputies determined it was Ruvalcaba who was the suspect in gun incident as well. Witnesses said Ruvalcaba appeared to be under the influence of drugs and had displayed a handgun. Due to the severity of the crimes, Deputies set out a dragnet in the city and in short time located Ruvalcaba on the other side of town and took him into custody without incident. gun Ruvalcaba was booked in jail for felony street terrorism 422 P.C felony assault with a deadly weapon 245 P.C., and misdemeanor battery 242 P.C.



(Information from Cheri Carlson, Ventura Star)
Many teachers’ jobs may be saved next year as a result of a recently announced tentative agreement between the Fillmore Unified School District and the teachers union. According to a Ventura Star report, many of the nearly 70 pink slips recently sent to certificated employees, including teachers, administrators, and others, may be rescinded.

The District and union have agreed to resolve a serious funding problem by cutting the school year by five days, creating a retirement incentive program, and increasing class sizes by one student. Ratification by the school board and the teachers is still necessary.

Union President Theresa Marvel is said to have expressed her satisfaction with this solution, which must still be accepted by approximately 10 teachers.

The District is faced with a third year of state funding cuts for its K-12 classes. State law dictates that school districts must issue any layoff notices by March 15. About $2.8 million is expected to be cut for the 2010-2011 school year. Superintendent Jeff Sweeney is noted to have stated that during this three-year period, the state will have cut approximately 20 percent of the district’s budget.

The recommendation of the state Charter Schools Advisory Commission (as of April 6) to approve charter school conversion status on Piru School, may make handing-out some pink slips necessary.

Even with cut-backs in classes, Sweeney is said to assure students that students would not be deprived of college-prep classes.



Alejandro Garcia, 27 of Fillmore, was convicted on April 1, 2010 of Resisting, Obstructing, Delaying of a Peace Officer or EMT, and Battery Upon an Officer and Emergency Personnel.

On July 3, 2008, Garcia was observed by Officer Danny Delpit and EMT Patrick Maynard as he ran from Rite Aid with a suitcase of beer, tossed it into the window of a waiting car behind the store, and dove into the window himself.

Delpit and Maynard were in an unmarked vehicle with emergency lights on top, patrolling for illegal firework activity. Emergency lights and siren were turned on and Garcia and the driver were told to pull over. They stopped in the middle of River Street.

Officer Delpit approached the car, with gun drawn, as Maynard waited in the car.

Garcia argued with the officer and grabbed at her weapon, which she then holstered and tased him. He did not submit, according to witnesses, and raised his fists in a combative stance. Delpit deployed her baton in an attempt to subdue Garcia.

Maynard observed the subjects resistance and exited the vehicle and tased Garcia again, giving Officer Delpit the opportunity to handcuff him.

Other police units then arrived on scene, arresting Garcia, who remained combative.

Garcia has served approximately four months in county jail and was fined $145. He had pleaded Not Guilty to both charges.

FUSD Superintendent Sweeney welcomes new school board member Michael Saviers at Tuesday night’s meeting.
FUSD Superintendent Sweeney welcomes new school board member Michael Saviers at Tuesday night’s meeting.
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Theresa Marvel, President of the Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association said “You did not create the financial mess we're in, but you do have the opportunity to create a win for students by keeping keeping low class sizes, keeping our graduation requirements and keeping Sierra High.” “Let students win every day in our community.”
Theresa Marvel, President of the Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association said “You did not create the financial mess we're in, but you do have the opportunity to create a win for students by keeping keeping low class sizes, keeping our graduation requirements and keeping Sierra High.” “Let students win every day in our community.”

Newly appointed provisional Board member Michael Saviers took the oath of office at a joint meeting of the Fillmore Unified School District Board and the City Council Tuesday night March 29.

A packed audience witnessed the ceremony as Superintendent Jeff Sweeney swore in Saviers, who was then introduced to the City Council. Saviers replaces David Dollar, who resigned. “I look forward to the challenges of the next eight months,” he said. “I'll give it my best.”

Board member John Garnica read a joint resolution between the school district and the city council to have a cooperative governance relationship for the benefit of the community. Mayor Patti Walker said, “When I speak in other communities about our relationship they are in awe and jealous.”

Theresa Marvel, President of the Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association, congratulated the new board member before she asked the board to rescind 67 Reduction in Force (RIF) notices. “You did not create the financial mess we're in, but you do have the opportunity to create a win for students by keeping keeping low class sizes, keeping our graduation requirements and keeping Sierra High,” she said. “Let students win every day in our community.”

Parent Kelly Kause told the board, “I'm concerned about CONTINUED »


The Guiberson fire, which burned 17,500 acres in September 2009 was caused by a spontaneous combustion much pile. Santa Ana winds contributed to the fast-spreading fire which threatened 1,000 structures, with 600 homes being evacuated.

A total of 2,750 personnel were called out to battle the fire, including 200 fire engines, 32 bulldozers, 21 helicopters and 8 air tankers. A converted DC-10 jumbo jet, converted into an air tanker, was used to drop fire retardant on the flames.

The fire cost more than $9 million, and 10 firefighters were injured in the blaze, including smoke inhalation and heat-related injuries.

Mulch piles need to be turned regularly to prevent heat buildup and will combust if not properly maintained. The mulch pile owner has not been cited.

Gerardo Sillas
Gerardo Sillas

Fillmore gang member goes on crime spree on balcom at bradley above bardsdale shoots farm dog, robs driver. On Sunday, March 28, 2010, Ventura County Sheriff's deputies were made aware of a carjacking that occurred at approximately 0555 hours in the 7400 block of Bradley Road, Somis. A 56 year old male victim was driving his 2006 BMW on Bradley Rd. when he observed an obstruction blocking both traffic lanes in the 7400 block. The victim stopped, exited his vehicle, and began moving the obstruction from the roadway. The suspect, Gerardo Sillas, emerged from the shrubbery and pointed a handgun at the victim. The suspect demanded the victim's wallet and vehicle. After the victim complied with the suspect's demands, the suspect fled with the victim's wallet and vehicle. The victim called authorities using his cellular telephone. The suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed in the 8000 block of Balcom Canyon. The suspect then fled the area on foot. Deputies searching the area found the victim's vehicle a short time later with major damage in a field. As the search continued, a 911 call was received from a resident in the 8000 block of Balcom Canyon. The caller reported his dog sustained a gunshot wound. It was later determined that Sillas shot the dog shortly after crashing the victim's vehicle. The dog was stabilized and the wound did not appear to be life threatening. Shortly thereafter, a 17 year old male who was working in a field on Posita Road saw the suspect who brandished a firearm at him. As a result of the brandishing, an additional 911 call was received reference a "man with a gun" at the end of Posita Road.

Deputies and CHP units quickly converged on the location and confronted Sillas who was disarmed and arrested. Sillas was booked at the Ventura County Main Jail for carjacking, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, brandishing, cruelty to an animal, and resisting arrest. Additionally, Sillas is a known gang member from the city of Fillmore. Therefore he was also booked for street terrorism. The investigation is being handled by the Sheriff's Gang Unit.

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

On Friday March 26, 2010, a Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy was arrested as he arrived at work. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit concluded its investigation of Deputy Anthony LaGrasta. LaGrasta, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department was arrested for Child Annoying and sending harmful matter to a minor by telephone messages, electronic mail, Internet, or commercial online services.

Anthony LaGrasta was booked into the Ventura County Sheriff’s Detention Facility without incident. He has been released after posting bail in the amount of $10,000. Deputy La Grasta has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and departmental investigations.

Location: Sespe Avenue at Central Avenue, City of Fillmore
Date & Time: March 26,2010 @ 1815 hours
Unit Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses City of Residence Age
(S) Anthony LaGrasta Ventura 35 yrs
(V) Female 16 yrs

Preparing officer Release: Sergeant Joe Evans

Follow-Up Contact: Captain Ross Bonfiglio 805-654-2417

Date of Media Release: March 26, 2010

Approval: Captain Rick Barrios

Pete Egedi, former Fillmore Fire Chief
Pete Egedi, former Fillmore Fire Chief

Information from Mike Harris, Ventura Star

Pete Egedi (39) former Fillmore Fire Chief, will stand trial for one count of embezzlement and three counts of grand theft for allegedly stealing money from a city fire department stipend fund.

Egedi is accused of stealing more than $25,000, money spent on his wife, gambling debts, paying for a city employee’s abortion, and for a wide screen TV for his home. All four counts are felonies, and if convicted, Egedi could spend up to four years, eight months in state prison. He has pleaded not guilty and has been released on $10,000 bail.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Drescher is quoted “It’s the people’s position that the defendant had his own personal slush fund.” Detective Sgt. Cary Peterson, of the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau, testified (according to the Star report) that former Fillmore Fire Chief, Pat Askren, revealed that Egedi “spent a lot on cars and boats and had a heavy gambling problem.” Defense attorney, Mark Pachowicz of Camarillo, has characterized Egedi as “a great guy who didn’t do anything wrong. ... He didn’t commit any of the offenses that he is charged with.”

Detective Sgt Peterson stated that Egedi stole the money from a Fire Department account he controlled at Santa Clara Valley Bank. This account also held federal emergency services money and proceeds from benefits.

It is reported that in April of 2008, former Fillmore Finance Director Barbara Smith, following a tip from Fillmore Disaster Coordinator Patrick Maynard, discovered 20 checks in the amount of $27,950 endorsed by Egedi or his wife. Egedi was entitled to $1,200 a year from this account. According to Smith’s testimony, Egedi overbilled the city $13,000 for work not done by his volunteer firemen. Peterson testified that Maynard told him that Egedi kept an emergency services reimbursement check for about $51,000 instead of turning it over to Barbara Smith. Maynard told Peterson that the fire department, under Egedi, was run “like a paramilitary operation where the chief wasn’t questioned.”

Peterson also testified, according to Maynard, that Egedi had issued a check from the stipend account for $800 to pay for a city employee’s abortion at Planned Parenthood in Sherman Oaks, and that he had been coerced by Egedi to drive the employee to the clinic.

Egedi had been on administrative leave since April 2008, and he was fired in October 2008. Egedi was Fillmore Fire Chief from 2005 to April 2008. He is scheduled for arraignment April 9.

Louie Cid Garcia
Louie Cid Garcia

Louie Cid Garcia entered into heaven to be with our Lord on Friday, March 19th surrounded by his loving family. He was born on July 28th, 1922, to Epitacio and Refugia Garcia and was one of eight children.

As a young boy, he enjoyed running through the hillsides of Simi Valley. He grew up a rancher's son and learned the trade of farming. He could grow ANYTHING with his green thumb and a nail. Whatever you wanted to know about how to heal a plant or the seasons for growing or planting, he knew it all. His knowledge far exceeded any book you could ever purchase. He was lovingly known by his mother as “mi négro” or “négro” as his siblings would call him.

At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in WWII. With the 5th armored infantry, under General George S. Patton, his platoon stormed the beaches of Normandy and helped to liberate prisoners of war in Germany. He was also part of a secret force called the “Ghost Division” which infiltrated European boundaries. He will always he our hero.

After returning from war, he met his wife Viola and together they raised seven children. For 25 years, he had been employed as a foreman for Livingston and Graham and was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 12.

He was very proactive with the St. Vincent CONTINUED »

Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Human Resources Consultant Bev Jones disclosed that 66 Fillmore Unified School District teachers and two administrators received layoff notices for the 2010-2011 school year.

Accusation packets were sent Monday by the District to those employees who want a hearing with a hearing officer and the District, which is set for April 19. Employees who received the reduction in force notices were chosen, based on seniority and job availability in the District next year. For example, 13 of 25 teachers at Mountain View School have received notices. Those laid off can “bump” someone with lesser seniority in positions that they are qualified to fill. The District is trying to eliminate the expected $887,000 deficit in next year's budget. They are currently in negotiations with the teacher's union to try to eliminate the deficit.

Theresa Marvel, the FUSD Teacher's Association President, said they have presented the District with some other ways to cut the deficit then at the classroom level. “We have a great proposal on the table for the District,” she said. The teachers agree to take off five days without pay next year. Marvel said this would still meet the State requirement for 175 student days. Another proposal is to pilot a change in the health insurance program from Net Access to the Net Value program. The union has also put out a retirement proposal for senior teachers. The cost savings would depend on the number of people retiring. Marvel said they are proposing for next year that class size in grades K-3 would increase from 23 to 25 students. That would eliminate the need for one teacher. “I am thoroughly concerned,” Marvel said. “I cannot see how teachers would believe that eliminating class size reduction is helpful. We want our kids to be educated and prepared, she continued. We're here to work at educating students in the best way. We want our community to wear yellow ribbons to show support for our teachers. We also want the community to call school board members and attend school board meetings.”

Marvel feels the District wants to CONTINUED »