With $625 million dollars in project funds, Engineering Services is helping build numerous construction projects for local hospitals, libraries, and fire stations.
With $625 million dollars in project funds, Engineering Services is helping build numerous construction projects for local hospitals, libraries, and fire stations.
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While Ventura County Public Works Agency’s  Engineering Services (VCPWA-ES) may not be familiar to the general public, their work managing capital construction, land development, and county surveying all contribute to many important community additions. Along with building the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) Hospital Wing, their latest projects include working with the Health Care Foundation of Ventura County to build a Ronald McDonald Family Room at VCMC, a new conference room and computer lab for the Fillmore Library, as well as numerous construction projects for local fire stations and other facilities.

The Ronald McDonald family room at VCMC will provide support for families of pediatric patients to have a family dinner, do homework with their other children, and catch up on work while remaining close to their loved one. Construction began in July and will be the largest family room in the Ronald McDonald system, consisting of a kitchenette, large dining table, washer and dryer, play area, tv area, and workspace. In addition, there will also be a Respite Room for people to relax in quiet and rest.

“The new Ronald McDonald Family Room will be an incredible addition for VCMC and our patients,” said Dr. John Fankhauser, CEO at VCMC. “We greatly appreciate the work VCPWA-ES is doing to build this room and give families the space they need to relax and recharge.”

VCPWA-ES will also begin work in Winter 2020/21 to help build a new, versatile computer lab space and conference room for the Fillmore Library and their patrons. The project will nearly double the square footage of the existing library, providing added gathering space and bringing additional child and adult learning activities to the community.

“We are thrilled to be extending our support,” said Shawna Schlageter- Project Manager at VCPWA-EGN. “This project can be used as a prototype for future library expansions and bring hands on learning to the community.”

Other VCPWA-ES projects include a remodel of VCMC’s Pediatrics 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor, Thousand Oaks Fire Station, Ojai Fire Station, a schematic review of Santa Paula Fire Station, and finishing up an office for Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VC APCD).

 


 

On Sunday, October 10th at single car crash occurred on Highway 126 east of Piru, near Pena Ranch Road killing one person. Moorpark CHP reported a 2020 Ford Sedan was traveling west bound on Highway 126 at an undetermined rate of speed, veering onto the shoulder and into a drainage culvert. It then flipped onto it’s roof and caught fire, according to authorities. When Ventura County Firefighters arrived on scene the car was fully engulfed in flames and crews had to remove the victim from the wreckage with heavy equipment. By 8:40pm crew were able to extinguish the flames and determined the driver DOA at the scene. Authorities closed down westbound traffic for four hours, diverting traffic to the center median. The Ventura County medical examiner later reported that the driver was 27-year old Tyler Moore of Sherman Oaks. Cause of the crash is still under investigation. It is undetermined whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

 


 
Outdoor playgrounds in California have been given the green light for reopening. Ventura County recommends the following attached in pictures of signage at all playground equipment locations in Fillmore (public parks). Do recognize the following as well; all playground equipment & all other surfaces at Fillmore public parks are not being sanitized by City Staff; by using the equipment you are doing so at your own risk. Stay safe everyone. Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page.
Outdoor playgrounds in California have been given the green light for reopening. Ventura County recommends the following attached in pictures of signage at all playground equipment locations in Fillmore (public parks). Do recognize the following as well; all playground equipment & all other surfaces at Fillmore public parks are not being sanitized by City Staff; by using the equipment you are doing so at your own risk. Stay safe everyone. Courtesy City of Fillmore Facebook Page.
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With election day around the corner, the County of Ventura Elections Office has a list available of the approved ballotdrop locations. For the City of Fillmore, the ballot box is located outside the Fillmore Library. Please report any possible unauthorized ballot boxes or issues to Erika Herrera, Deputy City Clerk at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov, or by phone to 805-946-1712. Courtesy City of Fillmore website.
With election day around the corner, the County of Ventura Elections Office has a list available of the approved ballotdrop locations. For the City of Fillmore, the ballot box is located outside the Fillmore Library. Please report any possible unauthorized ballot boxes or issues to Erika Herrera, Deputy City Clerk at eherrera@fillmoreca.gov, or by phone to 805-946-1712. Courtesy City of Fillmore website.
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There have been recent reports of groups promoting unofficial ballot drop boxes that are not affiliated with Ventura County Elections. In some instances, they are promoting these ballot drop boxes as “official” or “secure.” The use of unauthorized, non-official ballot drop boxes is prohibited by state law.

Voters who want to return their ballot at a drop box, should only use official county drop boxes. Official ballot drop boxes are clearly recognizable, designed to meet state standards for security, and bear the official Ventura County Elections logo. Ventura County’s Official Ballot Drop Boxes look like this:

Clerk-Recorder, Registrar of Voters Mark Lunn stated, “My office works hard to conduct fair and impartial elections and to provide safe and secure options for voters to return their ballot, to say I’m disappointed that people would make a concerted effort to deceive voters would be an understatement.

Elections are all about trust and unofficial drop boxes are not safe. There is no way for the voter to know if their ballot reaches our office as cast and this certainly undermines public trust. My message to those that are putting out these boxes is ‘cease and desist this activity, you’re not being helpful and you’re undermining the process.’”
Locations of official Ventura County Elections drop boxes can be found at VenturaVote.org.

Unofficial drop boxes should be reported to Ventura County Elections immediately at (805) 654-2664 or after business hours, elections@ventura.org.

Tips for voters:
- You can return your Vote By Mail using the prepaid postage return envelope or by bringing it to any official drop box, voting location, or the Ventura County Elections Division.
- Voters can also choose someone to return their ballot. Only choose someone you trust to return your ballot. You and the other person must sign the back of the return envelope. Never give your ballot to someone else unless you have completed, signed, and sealed the return envelope.
- Sign up for ballot tracking. You can sign-up at wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov to get automatic notifications by text message, email, or voice message about the status of your Vote By Mail ballot. You’ll be notified once your county has received your ballot, once it has been counted, and if there are any issues with the ballot.
- Get information on voting from trusted, official sources—the Ventura County Elections Division and the Secretary of State. Resources for Ventura County voters are available at: VenturaVote.org. The Secretary of State has resources for California voters at vote.ca.gov.

For more information, please visit the Elections Division website at VenturaVote.org or call (805) 654-
2664.

 


 
Last year's dinner.
Last year's dinner.
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The Lions Club of Fillmore will be having the very first drive-by and pick-up dinner event on Saturday, November 7th from 5:00-7:00. Pre-sales required. Text 805-904-5424 or any Lions Club Member to pick up tickets or have them delivered. Due to the pandemic restrictions the menu has changed and the price of the ticket is lowered from $12 to $10. The menu is: 3 delicious meat enchiladas with rice and beans and a pandemic cookie.

Fillmore Lions Club has a long history of service to the community, starting in 1927 with the first enchildada dinner in 1948.. The profits of the meal will go to support local groups such as sports teams, the Fillmore High School Art Show, and local youth organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, the Mentor Program and the youth of One Step a la Vez.

Following Helen Keller’s recommendation, Lions provide service to persons needing help with their vision which ranges from getting glasses to providing medication in third world companies to eliminate childhood blindness.

In addition, the Lions Club sponsors a yearly Youth Peace Poster Contest and high school Speech Contest on a relevant topic as well as hosting the Annual Christmas Parade and college scholarships for youth living in the Fillmore Unified School District area.

If you are interested in becoming a member or visiting the club, please contact 805-904-5424 or any Lions Club Member.

 
Stephens Store about 1907 with "Stephens' Hall" in the background.
Stephens Store about 1907 with "Stephens' Hall" in the background.
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Part 1
Richard Stephens about 1912.
Richard Stephens about 1912.

Photos and story courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

From “The History of Stephens’ Store” by Ellen M. Finley, July 1988

The northwest corner of Main and Central, now the location of the new Segovia’s Fillmore Market (2020 - Estrella’s), is one of Fillmore’s most historic sites.

Before the city was recorded in Ventura in 1888, one of the oldest of its few buildings stood on this corner, a large two-story rooming house operated by E. Bailey Turner. Since Turner was Fillmore’s first postmaster his building also housed the first post office, a front bedroom in the rooming house.

By 1898, Turner’s two-story building had been replaced by a one-story tin structure where Richard Stephens operated a general merchandise store. He soon purchased the entire corner property and in 1910 constructed a new building which still stands. Since that time, a period of 78 years, this building has been in continuous operation as a general store or a combination grocery and meat market.

Richard Stephens was one of Fillmore’s leading pioneers and an outstanding citizen. Born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 31, 1870, he left his native land in his early 20’s. After a year on a ranch near Hollywood, he came to Fillmore on April 6, 1895. His first job was that of a clerk in the general merchandise store of a fellow countryman, James Duncan, who conducted business at the northeast corner of Main and Central in the store built by C. C. Elkins in 1888. Popular with customers from the start Stephens soon acquired an interest in the business, becoming a partner in 1898. When Duncan died on November 17 of that year, Stephens became sole owner of the business. He was also appointed Fillmore’s sixth postmaster, ironically on the same day that Duncan died.

About this time, C. C. Elkins sold his store to C. A. Harmonson (2020 note – C. A.’s name was either Columbus Arizona or Columbus Augustus, little wonder he went by his initials). Duncan and Stephens moved across the street to the northwest corner, taking the post office with them. After Duncan’s death, the store was known as “Richard Stephens – The Post Office Store.” Just north on Central Avenue there was a large packing house. Stephens had long recognized that Fillmore needed a hall in which to hold meetings and entertainment, so he took over the packing house in the evenings. Stephens’ Hall, as it became to be called, used rows of packing boxes as seats. There was a stage about three feet high with a corner walled off at each side for dressing rooms. One popular early-day entertainer was Charles Heatherly who gave serious, humorous, and dialect recitations, with music by Arthur Sallee, pianist. Admission was 25 cents, with children 15 cents and reserved seats 35 cents. Dances were held frequently on Saturday nights – admission $1. When a traveling theatrical company came from a one-night stand in Santa Paul, the Fillmore Herald declared with obvious sincerity: “Fillmore is becoming more like New York City every day.”

To be continued……

 
On Friday, October 2nd at 4pm on East Guiberson Road in Bardsdale, a traffic collision occurred involving a motorcycle and a deer. Authorities responded quickly to the scene and found the motorcyclist in a ditch on the south side of the road. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital, and the deer was reported DOA at the scene.
On Friday, October 2nd at 4pm on East Guiberson Road in Bardsdale, a traffic collision occurred involving a motorcycle and a deer. Authorities responded quickly to the scene and found the motorcyclist in a ditch on the south side of the road. The motorcyclist was transported to the hospital, and the deer was reported DOA at the scene.
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On Monday, October 5th, at approximately 3:30am, Ventura County Sherriff’s were called to the 1000 block of Meadowlark Drive in Fillmore to follow up on an investigation of an accidental shooting. It was determined that a Fillmore boy accidentally shot himself. The boy was transported to an area hospital and is expected to recover. There was no additional information.

 
On Wednesday, September 3rd at 2:09pm, a traffic collision at 3500 Grimes Canyon was reported, stalling traffic traveling north bound. Emergency crews found a black pickup truck with serious front-end damage by the side of the road. No details were available at the time of the accident. Cause of the crash is unknown.
On Wednesday, September 3rd at 2:09pm, a traffic collision at 3500 Grimes Canyon was reported, stalling traffic traveling north bound. Emergency crews found a black pickup truck with serious front-end damage by the side of the road. No details were available at the time of the accident. Cause of the crash is unknown.
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Today, Ventura County moved off the most restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 watch list, which means schools could soon have the option of reopening for in-person instruction at all grade levels. If Ventura County maintains its status for two additional weeks, schools may choose to reopen as early as Wednesday, October 21. However, it will be up to each individual school district to determine exactly when they can safely begin welcoming students back to class. Some schools may choose to reopen their campuses later than October 21 for a variety of reasons.

When they do reopen, schools will need to maintain strict social distancing, keeping students and staff at least six feet away from each other. This means classrooms can only be filled to a fraction of their normal capacity. Schools are also required to keep the same groups of students together to the greatest extent possible to limit the number of people each student is exposed to throughout the day.

In elementary grades, many schools will comply with these rules by bringing only a portion of students to class each day. On the days they are not in class, students will continue receiving instruction through distance learning. This hybrid approach will allow all students to have some in-class instruction a few days per week.

The situation becomes much more complicated in middle school and high school where students switch classrooms and mix with different groups multiple times a day according to each student’s unique schedule. Because of this and the fact that classrooms cannot be filled to capacity, it will be extremely difficult to create a workable in-person schedule at the middle and high school levels. As a result, some schools may determine that the best option is to continue with full-time distance learning.

In addition to scheduling and safety considerations, school districts need to ensure there are enough teachers available to resume in-person instruction. Many teachers are in high risk groups, which could prevent them from returning to class. Others may have reservations about being in a crowded school environment while the pandemic is ongoing.

Another issue that complicates reopening is transportation. Because of social distancing requirements, school buses will not be able to carry the usual number of students. It’s very likely there will not be a sufficient supply of buses and drivers to provide transportation to all students who may need it.

“We recognize that people have passionate feelings on both sides of the school reopening issue, and we want nothing more than to get students safely back to class,” said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “I urge everyone to understand that school district leaders are working to reopen in the most responsible way, which may mean spending additional time on distance learning at some schools.”

All Ventura County schools have prepared detailed reopening procedures that will help ensure the safety of students and staff when they return to campus. They include:

• Face coverings will be required for all staff and for students in third grade and above.

• Classrooms will be arranged to keep everyone at least six feet apart.

• Students will be kept in consistent groups (cohorts) as much as possible.

• Parents will be instructed to keep students home whenever they have a temperature or show symptoms.

• Anyone experiencing symptoms at school will be sent home.

• Facilities and equipment will be disinfected on a regular basis.

• School officials will work with Ventura County Public Health on contact tracing if positive cases arise.

• Athletic training and conditioning are allowed with social distancing, but actual competitions are on hold pending further guidance from public health officials.

• Staff will receive COVID-19 testing as required by state and local regulations.

• Staff and students will receive health screenings on a regular basis.

Each school district is communicating independently with parents and students about their reopening timelines. For additional information about reopening protocols, see the Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools at www.vcoe.org/framework.