"Life of Lulu" by Nick Johnson.
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Photo of the Week: "Autumn snow-capped mountain north of Fillmore. A chilly harbinger of the winter to come?" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, auto mode, with Tamron 16-300mm lens @200mm. Exposure; ISO 100, aperture f/10, 1/250th of a second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Autumn snow-capped mountain north of Fillmore. A chilly harbinger of the winter to come?" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, auto mode, with Tamron 16-300mm lens @200mm. Exposure; ISO 100, aperture f/10, 1/250th of a second shutter speed.
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P or A is OK
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Look at you, grinning from ear to ear. You're so proud of yourself for scoring a great camera deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I'm also proud of you. Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, or a Panasonic? All great brands. Say again? You bought a Hasselblad H6D 400c 100mp camera? Wow! Congratulations! Back to reality.

Of course you promptly inserted the battery followed by the SD or Compact Flash card. Then you turned on the camera and UH OH, sooooo many options. The menu looks like that of a French restaurant - Bouillabaisse, coq au vin, escargots de Bourgogne. Com'on, you know the drill: READ THE USER MANUAL! Sorry about yelling but you know that it's important to learn how to USE your new camera.

I get it. Many camera user manuals look like they were written in gibberish. Camera user manuals are not particularly user friendly. Relax! Youtube to the rescue. In the youtube search box, enter your camera brand and model. Unless you bought a closeout Shenzhen Ruoxing B88 camera on eBay for $4.95, there's a good chance that someone has published a hands-on tutorial for your camera. Such tutorials can get you up to speed in a jiffy. Two other resources: https://www.creativelive.com/ and https://www.udemy.com/. Either or both may have a tutorial for your specific camera. When I bought my Canon 7D Mark II camera, I found a great tutorial on Creative Live. The cost was negligible, and I learned a great deal about my camera in about an hour.

You don't have to actuate every sub-menu item. It's OK to begin with the camera in either 'P' (Program) or 'A' (Auto) mode and let the camera determine exposure as you focus on focus and the composition. After making a photo in 'auto' mode, study the photo data (ISO, aperture & shutter speed) to see the settings the camera used to get the proper exposure. It will help you prepare for manual mode. Also, check the LCD to view the histogram. The histogram is a graphical illustration of the image exposure. Some of my histograms are hysterical! But I digress.

Now that you know how to use your new camera, you are about to embark on a phenomenally creative adventure. Feel free to jump for joy in advance. Back down to earth, there's one more important detail: RAW or JPEG? Remember, JPEGs are camera processed. To start, JPEGs are fine because they eliminate editing afterward. JPEGS are usually OK for snapshots in adequate light. But at some point, JPEGs will disappoint you. You will then realize that RAW files enable a much larger latitude for editing to achieve the photo you desire for print or digital distribution. At that time, you will need to obtain a photo editing program. It's an integral part of becoming a 'photographer'. But software is a subject for another time. Watch this space, as they say on TV.

A brief word about, ahem, "phonetography". All 2,683,957 regular readers of this column know that my old trusty LG G3 cellphone died a sudden death a month ago. One moment it was alive and functioning fine-the next, no pulse. It's resting on a hand towel because after all these years sitting on my hip at the ready, I have not yet been able to 'let it go'. In the meantime, I'm (impressed) with the, ahem, photos my new Samsung S10+ produces. A harbinger of becoming a phonetographer? Whoa! Be nice and perish that thought!!!

Photo of the week is a north Fillmore mountain top covered with a lovely blanket of snow. Ah, such is the splendor of wintry landscapes.

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

 


 
A stabbing at Elva’s Center Market in Piru resulted in an arrest on Thursday, November 21st. The crime was reported at 2:07 p.m. at the popular market, located at 3969 Center Street in the small rural town. The victim suffered a stab wound to the shoulder and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Deputies located the suspect, Troy Dunn, 51, of Piru, shortly after. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into county jail, with a bail of $20,000.
A stabbing at Elva’s Center Market in Piru resulted in an arrest on Thursday, November 21st. The crime was reported at 2:07 p.m. at the popular market, located at 3969 Center Street in the small rural town. The victim suffered a stab wound to the shoulder and was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Deputies located the suspect, Troy Dunn, 51, of Piru, shortly after. He was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into county jail, with a bail of $20,000.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Last year, an increasing number of residential burglaries were reported in several Ventura County communities; particularly during the daylight savings time period. These burglaries shared some commonalities, including the residences being located near open spaces and hiking trails. Several of these homes were within gated communities that employ private security. While this is an extra layer of security for the resident, it did not prevent the suspects from approaching the properties on foot through these open spaces and entering the backyards.

These burglaries occurred during the holiday months, often when victims were briefly out to dinner or left their homes vacant for several days while on vacation. Suspects looked for indicators that the residence was unoccupied and then forced entry inside. A large number of these crimes occurred between 5 pm to 9 pm. Suspects targeted jewelry, small safes, and valuables, mostly within the master bedroom. It is possible in some cases that the suspects watched the residence and waited for the occupants to leave.

An extensive investigation employing numerous resources within the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of several suspects who were committing some of these burglaries. Undoubtedly, these arrests have prevented some additional burglaries, however, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like homeowners and residents to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their property:

• Leave interior lights or a television on and a vehicle in the driveway to give the appearance the home is occupied.
• Install high quality exterior cameras with clear day and night time resolution that is at face level.
• Have cameras cover common entry points such as front door, back windows and back sliding doors.
• Choose camera systems that can alert you of activation with an app on your phone.
• It is also important to be familiar with your camera security system so that you can access and or download the footage if needed.
• If you’re leaving for days at a time, let neighbors know and consider having someone check on your home while you’re away.
• The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office offers Vacation House Checks through our Volunteers
In Policing (VIP’s) programs or as extra patrol requests:
- Fillmore Police and Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 524-2233
- Headquarters Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 654-2668
- Thousand Oaks Police and Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 371-8398
- Moorpark Police and Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 532-2700
- Camarillo Police and Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 388-5100
-Ojai Police and Sheriff’s Station ~ (805) 646-1414

• While away, store your jewelry and valuables in a secure safe or hidden location. These criminals have been known to defeat some safes, so a safe deposit box is a safer alternative.
• If you choose to have an alarm; choose one with glass breakage detection.
Remember to call 911 if you witness a crime or discover you are a victim of a crime. If you are away from your home and receive an alert from your camera system and confirm suspicious activity, make the Sheriff’s Communication Center your first call at (805) 654-9511. If you call
911 from another jurisdiction, your call will be delayed while the agency answering routes your call to us.
Take note of the make, model, and license plate of any suspicious vehicles that are parked in the neighborhood that look unfamiliar. Immediately report suspicious persons that are trying to conceal their identity or are acting nervous. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office requests that you do not approach suspicious persons or vehicles. Call the Sheriff’s Communication Center to report suspicious activity, and a deputy will respond to investigate.

Nature of Incident: Evening Burglary Trends and Safety Tips
Report Number: Multiple
Location: Ventura County Communities
Date & Time: Evening Hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Services
Prepared by: Detective Theodore Stern
Approved by: Captain Denise Sliva

 


 
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

The Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) met with representatives from the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association (FUTA) on November 25, 2019, for the third mediation session. The mediation session was held at the District Office (627 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, California) beginning at 9:14 AM. FUSD and FUTA reached a Tentative Agreement at 3:39 PM on Monday, November 25, 2019.
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TENTATIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FILLMORE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE FILLMORE UNIFIED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

The District and FUTA agree to maintain the terms of the July 1, 2016-2019 collective bargaining agreement between the parties status quo for that term, plus one additional year, through June 30, 2020, except for the following modifications:

1. All certificated bargaining unit salary schedules, with the exception of the Hourly/Daily Extra Pay Certificated Assignment schedule shall be increased by 4.0% effective July 1, 2018. All certificated bargaining unit members actively employed by Fillmore Unified School District on June 30, 2019 shall be eligible for all retroactive pay.

2. All certificated bargaining unit salary schedules, with the exception of the Hourly/Daily Extra Pay Certificated Assignment schedule shall be increased by 2.5% effective July 1, 2019.

3. Health and Welfare Benefits under Article 5 shall remain status quo.

4. Article 19, Class Size, shall be modified as stated in the signed April 24, 2019 tentative agreement (attached hereto as Exhibit 1).

5. The parties’ signed February 26, 2019 Tentative Agreement for the MOU on Collaboration shall not be implemented.

6. For the 2019-2020 school year, the parties shall implement their February 26, 2019
Working Agreement for one additional middle school grade level chair at 6th grade (attached hereto as Exhibit 2).

7. The parties agree to defer implementation of the February 26, 2019 Working Agreement goal planning, performance observation, and final evaluation forms pilot until school year 2020-2021 (attached hereto as Exhibit 3). The evaluation committee shall resume meeting during the 2019-2020 school year to draft language to support the pilot forms. The goal of the evaluation committee is to present updated contract language for article 11 when negotiations begin for 2020-2021.

8. There shall be no reopener negotiations for 2019-2020. Both parties shall sunshine their proposals for school year 2020-2021 by March 27, 2020. Negotiations shall commence within 30 days after the sunshining process is complete.

9. Both parties shall take this agreement for ratification as a package and shall support ratification. No single element of this package shall be voted on separately. Should both parties not approve this agreement in its entirety, the entire agreement shall be null and void.

There will be a general meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd at 3:30 in room 8 at San Cayetano to go over the tentative agreement in more detail. Voting will commence at each site beginning Wednesday, Dec. 4th - Friday, Dec. 6th. Votes will be counted at 3:30 at San Cayetano on Monday, December 9th. All members are encouraged to attend to witness the count.

 


 
Saturday, December 7th at 10am will be the 18th Annual Fillmore Lions Club Christmas Parade, taking place on Central Avenue. Pictured above is a photo from last year’s Christmas parade.
Saturday, December 7th at 10am will be the 18th Annual Fillmore Lions Club Christmas Parade, taking place on Central Avenue. Pictured above is a photo from last year’s Christmas parade.
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Believe it or not, the Fillmore Lions Club Christmas Parade is right around the corner. This year’s Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 7th. As always, Santa will trade in his sleigh for the morning and make his special trip down Central Avenue aboard a Fillmore Fire Department fire truck. At the end of his ride, Santa will make his way to the depot to take photos with the kids, so make sure to bring your camera to take pictures.

The Christmas Parade is open to individuals, businesses, civic organizations, school bands, church groups, car clubs and equestrians. Just about any group or person who wants to celebrate the season with a “themed entry” is welcome and there is no cost to enter the parade. To be a part of the Christmas Parade, send an email to FillmoreChristmasParade@gmail.com and an application will be sent to you. Or visit our website at FillmoreLionsClub.org and click on the parade poster to find the application. For questions or additional information, please contact Lion Scott Lee at 524-1896.

Please remember that the parade route will be posted “No Parking” from 8:00 am to approximately 12:00 pm on the day of the parade on Central Avenue from Third Street to Santa Clara. Cooperation from residents is needed in order to keep vehicles off of the parade route during that time for the safety of parade participants and spectators.

Although the Fillmore Christmas Parade has a long standing tradition in Fillmore, it was in danger of being cancelled in 2001 when the parade lost its’ sponsor. The late Hank Carrillo suggested the Fillmore Lions Club assume the responsibility for the Christmas Parade as a service to the community and the Lions Club continue to sponsor the Parade in Hank Carrillo’s honor. Fillmore Lions wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing you on December 7th!

 


 
Some may have noticed that the old Skillin and Carroll Mortuary building closed down back in September of this year. The building has a new sign in its place that reads “Perez Family Funeral Home.”
Some may have noticed that the old Skillin and Carroll Mortuary building closed down back in September of this year. The building has a new sign in its place that reads “Perez Family Funeral Home.”
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On Friday, November 22nd Leo Bunnin was back in Ventura County with the Grand Opening of Bunnin Chevrolet of Santa Paula. Over 300 customers, city and county officials, chamber members and Bunnin employees “rocked the tent” as Leo Bunnin (center) cut the ribbon to make Bunnin Chevrolet of Santa Paula officially open.
On Friday, November 22nd Leo Bunnin was back in Ventura County with the Grand Opening of Bunnin Chevrolet of Santa Paula. Over 300 customers, city and county officials, chamber members and Bunnin employees “rocked the tent” as Leo Bunnin (center) cut the ribbon to make Bunnin Chevrolet of Santa Paula officially open.
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Photo of the Week: "Sun reflection on green unicycle in Central Avenue shop window" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera, manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/22, 1/500th second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Sun reflection on green unicycle in Central Avenue shop window" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7D MKII camera, manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @16mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/22, 1/500th second shutter speed.
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Prepare to pounce!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Is 'time' an abstract mental construct, or does it exist independent of human consciousness? 2019 is like a wisp of smoke, briefly observed before rapidly dissipating. Doesn't it seem like July 4th was last week? Now Thanksgiving is abruptly upon us.

This Thanksgiving, and always, thank you! I am so grateful to have so many ardent readers. In my wanderings around our town of Fillmore, many of you have told me that you enjoy reading this column. It's because you tell me that my column is worth the three minutes to read that I faithfully continue to pound the keys on my keyboard week in and week out.

The day after Thanksgiving is the vexatious Black Friday! And you can hardly wait to leap eagerly into the pandemonium, right? Relax, you have no choice! Like Black Holes, Black Friday possesses such a powerful gravitational pull that not even the stingiest budget can prevent you from spending wildly. With your list in hand, you mysteriously find yourself inline at 5 a.m. for the 6 a.m. store opening. The idea that you could escape the gravitational pull of Black Friday ads is folly. Resistance is futile, so compelling are the tantalizing tales of your heroic conquests. The idea that you could sleep in and retain a firm hold on your money is utter fantasy. Imagine the coveted treasures should you prevail and survive the rough-and-tumble melee. Keyword: Survive!

Photographers, and wannabe photographers, Black Friday is your optimum opportunity to buy the camera, or lens, that you've been lusting for while saving enough money to treat me to lunch-for six months! Remember, cellphone cameras are virtual cameras pretending to be a camera. You deserve better. The best cellphone camera is no match for a dedicated camera for creating desired photos-snapshots notwithstanding! Camera manufacturers are producing an impressive variety of fantabulous cameras.

First, distill your needs from a long list of options. Are you primarily a landscape, portrait, macro, fashion, sports, travel, wildlife, event or street photographer? And do you also intend to record videos with your camera? The type of photography you will shoot the most will help you determine the best-suited camera while keeping in mind many cameras can be effectively used for various kinds of photography.

DPreview.com writes: "A Canon EOS M200 is a capable, inexpensive and easy-to-use compact mirrorless camera. Its image quality and autofocus performance are solid, its video performance is passable, and it's an excellent option for new users looking for their first dedicated camera." Also, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an excellent all-around inexpensive camera. If you prefer Nikon, the brand has a couple of quality entry-level cameras. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 with a 14-42mm and 45-150mm lens can be bought at Samy's Camera for $497.00! Imagine that! For a pocket camera while traveling Europe or a U.S. national park, the Canon Powershot G9 X MarkII is perfect. For a tight budget, consider the Canon Powershot ELPH 180.

Online retailers like Adorama often present some phenomenal photo gear sales. For example, a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR with 18-55mm IS and 75-300mm III Lenses for $399.00, free shipping and no sale tax. Awesome deal! The link: http://tinyurl.com/smjgzye. To shop closer at home: samys.com and hoopercamera.com. Happy shopping!

Cyber Monday (CM), the Monday after Black Friday, often also present great deals on tech gear and photo editing software. Do your research! KNOW precisely what brand and model camera (or photo-related item) that you want so when you see it on sale- POUNCE! Great deals disappear quickly. For example, I need a new TV. I know exactly what Samsung model I want. I'm ready to pounce!

Happy Thanksgiving.

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

 
Pictured above is Charles Richardson, resident of El Dorado Mobile Estate Park, holding up one of three dirty water filters at last week’s city council meeting, to demonstrate the issue of poor water quality at the park.
Pictured above is Charles Richardson, resident of El Dorado Mobile Estate Park, holding up one of three dirty water filters at last week’s city council meeting, to demonstrate the issue of poor water quality at the park.
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On Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, Fillmore and El Dorado Mobile Estates resident Charles Richardson address the City Council with his concerns over the water quality at the El Dorado, and a city rep’s comment back in 2004 about a coming water fix.

Following are Mr. Richardson’s opening remarks, which were emailed in August 2019 to City Manager Dave Rowlands: “Our discussion went back and forth but in October the City Manager ceased communications with me. David Smallwood wanted to meet with me at my house but that did not happen either. That is why I’m here tonight under Oral Communications.”

“I met with Bert Rapp about the dirty water at El Dorado. I installed a whole house water filter in November 2004. We moved to El Dorado on November 14, 2004.

“First filter, best I could buy. He (Rapp) reimbursed my $30, I think. Suggested using a corrugated type filter. Stated that when new houses around El Dorado are built, there will be a hook-up to our “closed system”. Stated that a hookup to El Dorado’s water system would create an open loop system thus cleaning up our dirty water.”

Mr. Richardson then showed several dirty water filters from his home. Sixty-one filters replaced every three months at a total cost of $20 per filter, and total to date cost of $1,220.

His solution request? New water line in stalled on east side of Pole Creek, tied into that line with El Dorado at Coronado, a cul-de-sac street just next to the newly installed water line.

Jump to 2019, and a lot of dirty water under the bridge.

“I expected Mr. Rapp’s solution to be applied to El Dorado when the new water system was installed about one month ago, but that did not happen.

“I’ll be back every two weeks if necessary until El Dorado’s dirty water is rectified. Please expedite the new hookup with the newly installed water line at Pole Creek.

“Thank you for your attention and dealing with this major issue.”

The Gazette will keep you up to date on Mr. Richardson’s quest.