A small structure fire occurred in the 400 Block of Fillmore Street at approximately noon on Thrusday October 13th. No injuries were reported.
A small structure fire occurred in the 400 Block of Fillmore Street at approximately noon on Thrusday October 13th. No injuries were reported.
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Christian Conaway (center) of Fillmore takes first place in nationals. More information on Conaway’s win can be found at http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-10174735
Christian Conaway (center) of Fillmore takes first place in nationals. More information on Conaway’s win can be found at http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-10174735
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Conaway leading another racer into Nersh Crash Corner.
Conaway leading another racer into Nersh Crash Corner.
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Conaway leading another racer out of Crash Corner
Conaway leading another racer out of Crash Corner
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With a tailwind at his back Christian Conaway, of Fillmore, flew in from college late Friday night to compete in the International Gravity Sports Association 2011 U.S Nationals Race held at Frank G. Bonelli Park in San Dimas on Oct 9 and 10th.

Conaway had blazing speed and ran the course with determination to earn the #1 fastest qualifier stops in both Classic Luge and Street Luge. His street luge time was almost 2 seconds faster than the 2nd fastest competitor. In a sport that is often separated by 1/1000 of a second, a 2 second lead is phenomenal. The field was comprised of racers from the USA and Canada; in total 21 racers competed in the Street Luge category.

In his second heat race on Sunday Conaway was leading the 4 man field down the course into Nersh Crash Corner at 52 mph and drifted out exiting the corner and went into the safety barriers and hay bales. That usually signifies the end of future podium photos, but not on this race day. Surprisingly the 2nd and 3rd place racers also drifted out and made contact into the safety barrier. The 4th place racer lost focus and dislodged from his luge. Conaway was the second person out of the hay bales and jumped back onto his luge and used his massive start technique to push his way back to the front of the pack and crossed the finish line in 1st place. Numerous other racers throughout the weekend were not as fortunate and exited the safety barriers in need of medical attention. Conaway advanced to the Final Medal Round.

Racing against Conaway was Mike McIntyre, Kolby Parks and Max Capps. Conaway blasted off the start line to gain a sizable lead and had a huge lead coming into Crash Corner, which is a favorite viewpoint for spectators and action photography. Conaway let it all hang out and hardly braked as he railed his line through the corner without scrubbing off speed. But McIntyre was on the move and made a pass on Parks after the corner, stealing Parks’ second place hopes that day. However McIntyre was unable to make up ground on Conaway who crossed the finish line in first place earning him the North American Street Luge Champion.

In Classic Luge Conaway didn’t fair quite a well. In the first round of racing he came into Nersh Crash Corner will a lot of speed but was unable to keep from contacting the hay bales which took him out of medal contention. He was placed in the Consolation Finals and won that event, placing him in 5th place overall in Classic Luge.
Conaway went from the podium ceremony straight to the airport to catch the red-eye flight back to Provo, Utah. (Story Courtesy Conaway Family)

 
(l-r) Brooks, Washburn and Sipes.
(l-r) Brooks, Washburn and Sipes.
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Joan Archer and John Scoles addressed the Council and thanked city staff for all the effort that went toward trying to get the access gate to the track field installed at Fillmore High School. Archer said she has spoken with others who have not been asked for their track club dues this year and wondered who was in charge of it.
Joan Archer and John Scoles addressed the Council and thanked city staff for all the effort that went toward trying to get the access gate to the track field installed at Fillmore High School. Archer said she has spoken with others who have not been asked for their track club dues this year and wondered who was in charge of it.

With Council Members Patti Walker and Steve Conaway absent, some of the items on the October 11, 2011 Fillmore City Council Meeting’s agenda had to be held over until the next meeting. But the next scheduled meeting (Oct. 25th) was canceled and the next meeting won’t be until November 8th leaving only one meeting per month for November and December to complete this year’s items.

At meeting the names of the new members of the Planning and Film Commissions were announced, deciding the status of the proposed side access gate to the running track at the high school, approving next year’s City Council Calendar, an announcement that the 2011-2012 budget had been completed and three presentations; one on tobacco sales in Fillmore, one on the Towne Theatre and one by the Ventura County Sheriffs Department.

There was little discussion on the new appointees to the Planning and Film Commissions and the Council went quickly over the names; except to thank all those that submitted an application. The applicant chosen for Film Commission was Carrie Broggie and for the Planning Commission: Christopher Hoy, Robert Smith, Mark Greenwell and Barbara Cobotti.

Captain Steve Wade from the Ventura County Sheriffs Dept. addressed the Council with a proposal to the City to jointly apply for a $125,000 grant available from California Emergency Management Agency. The California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (CalGRIP) Initiative funds grant programs for anti-gang efforts at the local level and makes available other resources to at-risk youth, crime victims, law enforcement agencies and local communities. The grant period will begin January 1, 2012 and end on December 31, 2013. Only cities that do not have a current Cal EMA CalGRIP grant award may apply. The CalGRIP Program requires a dollar-for-dollar (100 percent) match of all funds requested. Applicants are required to distribute at least 20% of grant funds to one or more Community Based Organizations and must reflect this in their proposals. The deadline to apply is November 7th. Wade told the Council the Sheriffs Dept would manage the grant and the write the reports required to the State. The Council agreed that it would be a good move by both parties.

Members of the Fillmore Family Coalition presented a proposal regarding the regulation of tobacco products in Fillmore. Alejandor Elias from the Dept. of Public Health addressed the Council first, followed by Kathy Cook, Co-Chair Ventura County Tobacco Education and Prevention Coalition and Christina Villasenor, Tobacco Control and Public Health Advocate.

Research and fieldwork has shown that 1 in 5 (21%) stores selling tobacco products in Fillmore are selling to minors, which is much higher than the State average of 5.6%, Villasenor stated. Therefore they are asking the Council to consider a proposal; that all retailers who choose to sell tobacco products in Fillmore obtain a Tobacco Retail License (TRL) and renew it annually.

The annual fee funds enforcement programs that prevent sales to minors. Villasenor went on to say that fines and penalties include suspension and revocation of the license and have proven to be an effective tool when used and sales to minors have decreased, often significantly, in communities that have implemented a strong TRL. There was no decision by the Council at this time.

Also on agenda, approving next year’s City Council Calendar. Mayor Gayle Washburn suggested that there be less meetings in the coming year. The Council Members participate on a multiple of Commissions, both formal and ad-hoc committees and serve as city representatives and liaisons to various organizations and outside agencies.
City Manager Yvonne Quiring informed the Council that a council member (no name was given) had come to her and suggested that if the agenda of a meeting had only a few items on it, that those items be held over to the next meeting so that that member would only have to attend one meeting instead of two. The revised meeting calendar has a total of 22 meetings and a “dark” period from mid-July to late August.

John Scoles and Joan Archer addressed the Council and thanked the staff for all the effort that went toward trying to get the access gate to the running field at Fillmore High School. The proposal was presented in 2009 to the Parks and Recreation and supported by a group of people from the Runners and Walkers Club. The Club had hoped to have the City “front” the $7,071 needed to install the gate, with the goal of repaying the City over a period of time using yearly dues of $25 per member. But the Club would need 100 members and at least 3 years to reimburse the City. Today’s City’s budget is in such dire straights that it could not supply any funding at this time. What the Council did suggest to Scoles and Archer was that if the Club could come up with 75% of the required monies, the Council would consider approving the remainder on the condition that the Club reimbursed those funds over time. Archer asked if the City’s website could advertise for members and informed the Council that she and others she’s spoken with have not been asked for their dues this year and wondered who was in charge of doing it. She added that the pool is costly but the track has very little overhead and informed the Council that when she called City Hall during the summer for information she received only excuses and very little cooperation and stated, “I will do all the promotion…we miss using it all this summer due to the delays” and “We will collect the dues and will be happy to work with anyone.”

Mayor Washburn, who chairs the Towne Theatre Subcommittee along with Councilmember Brian Sipes, gave the 20 in attendance a handout on the status of the Theatre. The Theatre owes over $400,000 to the General Fund and has seen a decline in revenues since 2005. Suggestions were a third party contract manager, non-profit take over the Theatre or sell the Theatre outright. The item needed to be brought back to the Council when all members are present.

 

The Sales Tax Ballot Measure Informational Presentation, held Wednesday, October 5, addressed the City Tax Initiative, which will be voted on November 8, 2011. City Manager Yvonne Quiring gave a presentation on where the City stands financially and what impact the tax increase will have if passed and what to expect if it doesn’t. About 15 people attended the meeting, many with questions for the Council.

The presentation began with explaining the sources of revenue used to supply the General Fund. Quiring gave a breakdown: Property Taxes ($1.9m), Sales Tax ($670k), Fees for Services $468k (approx. $200k development related), Franchise Fees ($331k) License and Permits ($147k), Grants ($99k), TOT ($65k), Fines and Forfeitures ($62,500).

Next was what services are provided by the General Fund: Police ($3.1m), Fire ($785k), Parks ($100-$150k), Recreation and Pool subsidy ($71 pool $29 rec.), Finance/City Attorney/City Manager/City Council, Community Development (Planning), Public Works (streets, trees, sidewalks).

Quiring explained that over the past couple of years the cost of housing has gone down and with that so have property taxes, cutting into some of the revenue the City once received. Adding to the problem are increases in the cost of both pension and Sheriffs services. Quiring remarked “We went into the year with literally nothing.” The city has cut $2.9 million in costs and used its reserves over the last two years to balance the budget which decreased the General Fund 40%.

On June 1, 2011 Fillmore cut CONTINUED »

 
Bobby Castenada and Diane Volker
Bobby Castenada and Diane Volker

With the Local Fillmore Economy looming, many resources have been DRAMATICALLY depleted. A Recreational Resource that comes to mind is our own Fillmore Senior Center. Many Seniors have already adjusted to living on a fixed income. They look forward to enjoying their "Golden Years" in having fun, being active with friends. On October 7th, 2011 the local Carnales Motorcycle Club- East County Chapter, donated a $600 Check to the Fillmore Senior Center. By holding an Annual Fundraiser they were able to raise this money in hopes of helping out the Senior Center. Support Your Local Carnales Motorcycle Club! Pictured above Bobby Castenada and Diane Volker.

 
Last Sunday, Brian Ball participated in the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Above Ball celebrates because he beat the qualifying time to go on to the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, Texas. Ball said he needed to run 1 hr 5min flat or faster to qualify, and he ran 1hr 4min 49sec, giving him a good ll second cushion for his first U.S. Olympic Trials. After the race Ball proposed to his girlfriend Hayley Rasmussen of Reno, Nv. Ball is from Fillmore California.
Last Sunday, Brian Ball participated in the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Above Ball celebrates because he beat the qualifying time to go on to the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, Texas. Ball said he needed to run 1 hr 5min flat or faster to qualify, and he ran 1hr 4min 49sec, giving him a good ll second cushion for his first U.S. Olympic Trials. After the race Ball proposed to his girlfriend Hayley Rasmussen of Reno, Nv. Ball is from Fillmore California.
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A collision in Bardsdale took place about noon Friday, at the intersection of Sespe Street and Bardsdale Avenue. A Dodge 3500 pickup struck a four-door sedan. One female passenger in the sedan was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. No other personal injuries were reported. The pickup suffered minimal damage to the front end. The car sustained significant damage to the right-center.
A collision in Bardsdale took place about noon Friday, at the intersection of Sespe Street and Bardsdale Avenue. A Dodge 3500 pickup struck a four-door sedan. One female passenger in the sedan was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. No other personal injuries were reported. The pickup suffered minimal damage to the front end. The car sustained significant damage to the right-center.
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(l-r) Superintendent Dr. Alan Nishino and School Board Member Virginia De La Piedra.
(l-r) Superintendent Dr. Alan Nishino and School Board Member Virginia De La Piedra.

Changes are coming to the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) and to schools throughout the country. These changes were discussed at the October 4, 2011 school board meeting by Assistant Superintendent Michael Johnson and will be implemented in all California schools. They are a new standard in teaching that the California State Board of Education adopted on August 2, 2010. The new Standards for English-language arts and mathematics called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and will be phased in over the next 2 to 4 years. The CCSS are changes for kindergarten through 12th grade that establish clear and consistent education standards along with a common method to measure and report the performances of all students with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn. The Standards are not a curriculum. They are a clear set of shared goals and expectations and were developed in collaboration with teachers and school administrations with the goal to better prepare students for success in college, career, and the competitive global economy.

Presently each state has its own set of standards, and consequently, what students are expected to learn varies from state to state. Most states, with the exception of Texas, Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota and Virginia have adopted the Standards with an explicit agreement that no state would be required to lower its standards.
Local teachers, principals, superintendents and others will decide how the Standards are to be met. Teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the individual needs of the students in their classrooms.

Chrissy Schieferle, Principal of Mt. Vista Elementary, explained to the FUSD School Board that the standards also vary within the FUSD schools. She mentioned three students who recently changed schools within the district and upon entering the new classroom were completely out of sink with the lessons being taught. To address this, Schieferle along with Mary-Allyn Garcia, 5th grade teacher also from Mt. Vista, gave a presentation of the Pacing Guides Task Force.

The purpose of the Task Force is to develop a district-wide system of teaching and a core curriculum that works to identify the state standard requirements and provided each student the instruction needed to advance to the next level. The curriculum is presented in a calendar format and describes what the students should learn from each lesson: grammar, word analysis, reading comprehension, English structure. Each grade k-6 throughout the district receives the same lessons; with the lesson reinforced through review and building on what has already been taught.

The Task Force will have all the FUSD schools working together and will consist of 24 teachers, one teacher from every k-6 grade level throughout the district. Data will be collected and annualized to find which practices work best.

At the end of the presentation Dr. Alan Nishino, FUSD Superintendent, spoke to the board and the faculty about the need to get the students involved in their learning and not just have passive students, but the goal of having students who aggressively work at learning.

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(seated) Salomon Barajas and Eloisa Hurtado Barajas, along with their children Angel Barajas, Maria Elena Barajas, Margarita Romero, Pedro Barajas, Juana Viramontes, Evaristo Barajas, Jose Luis Barajas, and Ricardo Barajas.
(seated) Salomon Barajas and Eloisa Hurtado Barajas, along with their children Angel Barajas, Maria Elena Barajas, Margarita Romero, Pedro Barajas, Juana Viramontes, Evaristo Barajas, Jose Luis Barajas, and Ricardo Barajas.
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Mr. and Mrs. Salomon Barajas celebrated their 75th Wedding Anniversary by a special Mass on Saturday October 1, 2011, officiated by Father Salvador and Deacon Ramon Rodriguez at Saint Francis of Assisi Church. Accompanied by family and friends the couple renewed their wedding vows, followed by a reception at the Veterans Memorial Building with plenty to eat and drink and dancing to the music of a local band, approximately 400 individuals attended the event.

Salomon Barajas was born in Michoacan, Mexico on January 8, 1916 and Eloisa Hurtado Barajas in Piru, Ca. on May 22, 1921. On one of those trips that Eloisa's parents made to Mexico, the couple met and soon after married on February 9, 1937. Out of this union came eight children: Angel, Maria Elena, Margarita, Pedro, Juana, Evaristo, Jose Luis and Ricardo. They also have 18 Grandchildren, 19 Great Grandchildren and one Great Great Grandchild.
The entire family immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in 1963, resided in Piru for about a year and then moved to Fillmore in 1964.

Salomon worked at Tips Restaurant in Castaic for over twenty years and at the time of his retirement was employed by P.P.G. Industries in Valencia. Eloisa was always a stay at home Mom and kept very busy raising their eight children.

The couple stated that their secret of a lasting relationship has been love and mutual respect, never fight to win an argument, instead learn how to compromise.

God bless our family and all those that have supported us for so many years. Thanks for all the memories you shall be in our hearts forever.

 
(l-r) Corey Cole and Curtis Cole, student athletes at Concordia University
(l-r) Corey Cole and Curtis Cole, student athletes at Concordia University
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Curtis and Corey Cole are attending Concordia College in Minneapolis - St. Paul Minnesota together this year on athletic scholarships. With academics first on their minds, the two young from Fillmore also are playing Football for the Golden Bears.

Curtis is in his second year at Concordia, studying to be a teacher and a football coach. Last year, as a starting guard on the Offensive line, he found great success for the Golden Bears. He was named O-Lineman of the Week two times last year with the team going to the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs Missouri.

I asked if he likes going to Concordia. “Oh yeah, it is a great place to go to school, until it snows. I hate the snow! The people are nice here.” He is also hoping that the team will win the conference this year. “That is the number one goal for me this year; then getting to the playoffs.” I asked if he had any personal goals for himself. “I would like to make All-Conference this year, but I want the team to do good first.”

Curtis is in his senior year of College this year, and will graduate in May. Out of Fillmore High School in 2007, Curtis went to Arizona State, and Redshirted from the Sun Devils his first year there. Then he made a bold move to come back to Fillmore to transfer to Ventura College, where he made an instant impact on the Football Team. He was All-Northern Conference, Ventura J.C. Lineman of the year in 2008 and 2009, J.C. Rookie of the year in 2008, played in the Orange Coast Bowl in 2009, and most important of all he made The Dean’s List in 2009.

Curtis and Corey are CONTINUED »

 
 
2011 F.H.S. Homecoming Court for Fillmore High School. Pictured standing (l-r) Freshman Princess Elizabeth Ruiz, Second Senior Princess Kenya Medina, Homecoming Queen Jaynessa Lopez, First Senior Princess Vivian Calderon, Junior Princess Laura Garnica, and Sophomore Princess Katie Magana. Kneeling (l-r) Freshman Prince Andrew Bonilla, Second Prince Sammy Orozco, Homecoming King Robert Bonilla, First Prince Johnny Golson, Junior Prince Joseph De La Mora, and Sophomore Prince Carson McLain. [Photo’s by KSSP Photographic Studio]
2011 F.H.S. Homecoming Court for Fillmore High School. Pictured standing (l-r) Freshman Princess Elizabeth Ruiz, Second Senior Princess Kenya Medina, Homecoming Queen Jaynessa Lopez, First Senior Princess Vivian Calderon, Junior Princess Laura Garnica, and Sophomore Princess Katie Magana. Kneeling (l-r) Freshman Prince Andrew Bonilla, Second Prince Sammy Orozco, Homecoming King Robert Bonilla, First Prince Johnny Golson, Junior Prince Joseph De La Mora, and Sophomore Prince Carson McLain. [Photo’s by KSSP Photographic Studio]
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Grand Marshal Nada Vaughn
Grand Marshal Nada Vaughn
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City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Monday, October 3rd – 7:00 p.m. Lions Scout House, 128 Sespe Avenue.

Wednesday, October 5th – 6:30 p.m. Town Hall Meeting – City Council Chambers, 250 Central Ave.

Tuesday, October 11th – 10:00 a.m. El Dorado Estates 250 E. Telegraph Road - Community Room

Tuesday, October 11th – 12:30 p.m. Fillmore Senior Center - 533 Santa Clara Avenue

For further information or questions, please call 524-1500.

 
A bolt of lightning struck the Sespe Mountains this past Friday evening, delaying the football game by 30 minutes. [Photo by KSSP Photographic Studio]
A bolt of lightning struck the Sespe Mountains this past Friday evening, delaying the football game by 30 minutes. [Photo by KSSP Photographic Studio]
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Grocery workers from seven UFCW local unions voted on Friday and Saturday to ratify a contract that took nearly eight months to negotiate and had Californians from Mammoth to the Mexican border preparing for what appeared to be an imminent strike.

As recommended by the Union leadership, the members voted to approve an agreement that was reached on Sept. 19 with negotiators from Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons and UFCW Locals 8, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442.

This is a pooled vote of all the local unions in Southern California. In keeping with the union’s longstanding policy, the actual numbers are not being released.

The widespread impact of the averted crisis was evident in the faces of those who voted throughout Southern California. Business leaders, clergy, community activists and politicians ultimately played a role in the grocery workers’ struggle to preserve affordable health care as the campaign reached into local neighborhoods for public support.

Many saw the impending fight as part of an ongoing struggle to preserve middleclass values, predicting that the outcome would affect workers in many industries well into the future. Despite an awareness of the battle’s historical significance, the grocery workers in Southern California were anxious to see how the final agreement would impact them directly.

“There was a sense of relief when people had a opportunity to really look over the new contract and see what was in it,” said food clerk Mario Frias, a 22-year Ralphs employee.

“This package protects our members’ access to affordable comprehensive health care for themselves and their families,” union leaders said. “That was our top priority throughout the negotiating process.

“We owe our success to our members, who stood united and strong, and to all of our loyal customers who pledged their support for the workers.”

The new contract affects approximately 62,000 workers in a region that spans between Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties in the north, the Mexican border in the south and the Arizona border in the east. Its term will extend from March 7, 2011, to March 2, 2014.

 

The City of Fillmore will be holding a Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste drop off this Saturday, October 1, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. Items excepted are: oils, paints, household pesticides, and anything electrical. The drop off will be at the City Yard at the Corner of A St. and Sespe St. For more information please contact the City of Fillmore at 805-524-3701.

 
(l-r) Hall of Fame inductee Jim Fauver with his son Jeff Fauver. [Photo’s courtesy Dick Diaz]
(l-r) Hall of Fame inductee Jim Fauver with his son Jeff Fauver. [Photo’s courtesy Dick Diaz]
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(l-r) Tom Ecklund and Brad Edmonds. Edmonds is a 1989 graduate of FHS.
(l-r) Tom Ecklund and Brad Edmonds. Edmonds is a 1989 graduate of FHS.
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(l-r) Debby Curnett and C.D. “Buck” Basolo. Basolo is from the Class of 1946.
(l-r) Debby Curnett and C.D. “Buck” Basolo. Basolo is from the Class of 1946.
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The family of 1972 FHS graduate Gabriel “Booty” Sanchez.
The family of 1972 FHS graduate Gabriel “Booty” Sanchez.
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J.V. Cheerleaders escorted a few of the Hall of Fame recipients on the field. Adolf Valquez is wearing his Lettermans Jacket. Right is Jim Reisgo.
J.V. Cheerleaders escorted a few of the Hall of Fame recipients on the field. Adolf Valquez is wearing his Lettermans Jacket. Right is Jim Reisgo.
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Wow, has it been a year already, well nearly a year, since the first Induction Ceremony to the Fillmore High School Sports Hall of Fame?! The Fillmore High School Sports Hall of Fame's second annual ceremony for the inductees was held on Saturday, September 17th at 7:00 pm in the Fillmore High School gym. The gym was filled with family, friends and many of last year's inductees were there to congratulate this year's inductees. The inductees included; one coach, sixteen athletes and five championship teams. I learned that Girl's Softball had even been played indoors in 1925!

The idea of a Sports Hall of Fame came to Fillmore High School Coach Joe Woods four years ago. It was not until the passing of a former Fillmore High School Graduate and student athlete football player Dean Kenfield, (Class of 1940) that Coach Woods decided it was time to act on his idea. Dean was a classmate of Joe's father and the father of 2010 Inductee Vernon Kenfield (Class of 1971). Joe said it was time to get his project started since he had become painfully aware that many of the players from years ago were gone. He formed a committee and began the project in January of 2010 and began this year’s planning the Monday after last year’s ceremony concluded.

In order to be considered for induction into the FHS Sports Hall of Fame there were a number of criteria to be considered by a committee of seven; Dick Mosbarger (Class of 1947), John Scoles (Class of 1959 and a 2010 Inductee), Mike Marostica (Class of 1965 and a 2010 Inductee), Debbie Basolo-Curnett (Class of 1969), Coach Joe Woods (Class of 1979) Lynn Hasty-Cole (Class of 1985 and a 2010 Inductee) and Jamie Arundell Latshaw (Class of 1993 and a 2010 Inductee). For the 2010 inductees the years of 1914 thru 2000 were the years for the nominees to have attended FHS and been involved in any of the sports programs to be considered. This year the years of 1916 thru 1997 were considered for induction.

The criteria to be considered was someone other than the nominee had to nominate the person; the nominee had to have graduated from FHS at least ten years ago; the nominee had to have participated in a sports program at a lower level such as Junior Varsity, or at the Varsity level, or played multiple sports at either levels; the nominee's scoring would be enhanced if the nominee had won any sports awards; if the nominee went on to college weight would be given to the nominee's scoring; a scoring enhancement would be given if the nominee played any amateur athletics after graduation; a scoring enhancement would be given if the nominee went on to play professional sports; and finally, a scoring enhancement would be given if the nominee went on to coach any sport.

The 2011 honorees were: CONTINUED »

 
Fillmore and Piru residence held their Annual Relay for Life walk this past Saturday. The event took place at Shiells Park and ran for 24 hours. It began at 10:00 am. The event had approximately 475 residents and brought in close to $71,000. Their goal is $75,000 and the money is still coming in.
Fillmore and Piru residence held their Annual Relay for Life walk this past Saturday. The event took place at Shiells Park and ran for 24 hours. It began at 10:00 am. The event had approximately 475 residents and brought in close to $71,000. Their goal is $75,000 and the money is still coming in.
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Members of Fillmore's FFA were recognized for winning many awards at the County Fair.
Members of Fillmore's FFA were recognized for winning many awards at the County Fair.
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(l-r) Virginia De La Piedra recognizes Joe Ricards (and all of Fillmore's FFA members) for wining many awards at the Ventura County Fair.
(l-r) Virginia De La Piedra recognizes Joe Ricards (and all of Fillmore's FFA members) for wining many awards at the Ventura County Fair.
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The first order of business on Tuesday, September 20 at the meeting of the Board of Education for the Fillmore Unified School District was to recognize the many awards received at the Ventura County Fair by students in the Fillmore Chapter of Future Farmers of America. Of note and in attendance: Marc Zavala- First Place (out of 300) for Swine Showmanship, Swine Reserve Grand Champion; Macie Wokal- Reserve Grand Champion Replacement Heifer; Aaron Largon- First Place Steer Showmanship; Sierra Blankenship- Second Place Swine Showmanship. The Fillmore FFA took first place for keeping their area ship shape. The Board then presented Joe Ricards with a certificate acknowledging his dedication towards, and support of the FFA program in Fillmore.

Student Representative Sammy Martinez reported on the events currently going on during Homecoming Week at Fillmore High School. Various games and events are taking place culminating in a parade and dance this weekend. The end of the quarter is fast approaching and in October the Senior Ball will take place.

The first speaker during public comment was Norma Perez Sanford, “I’m here to say Thank You.” She explained how she has been “holding onto the Dr. Neil Schmidt Family Resource Center” in Fillmore and that it is time for her to move on. Sanford commented on the many generous donors and volunteers who contributed to provide needed items to families and children in Fillmore through the Center and thanked the Board for the opportunity to serve. Next a resident of Piru, Danny Golson presented a question to the Board regarding an “impact fee [given to FUSD in] February 2011.” In written correspondence obtained by the Gazette FUSD was paid $269,414.64 in impact fees from Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). This payment is meant to mitigate the effects of growth in the District resulting from the current construction of farm-worker housing on East Center Street in Piru. Golson asked the Board “How [was that money] divided [among the schools]?” Board President Virginia De La Piedra reminded Golson that the Board cannot legally respond to questions posed during public comment but that she is sure the information can be obtained. Later in the meeting, during the time allocated for the Superintendents report, Director of Business Services Michael Bush responded to Golson’s question, “Developer fees can only be used to mitigate future growth [and] cannot be used for modernization of existing classroom units.” He further explained, “[the impact fees have been] set aside to mitigate growth in the district… it will be used to mitigate growth.” Bush was unable to respond to a question of how it will be used to mitigate growth prior to the press deadline. California Education Code Section 17620 states, “The governing board of any school district is authorized to levy a fee…against any construction…for the purpose of funding the construction or reconstruction of school facilities.” XXX In addressing another question Bush explained how Edge Development, the general contractor building Rio Vista School, is receiving payments. He explained that in 2006 FUSD “entered into a mitigation agreement with Griffith Homes which subsequently was assumed by Hearthstone”; he went on to state that the agreement outlined how the District would work with the developer to “apply for State money.” That was done and FUSD received a State grant for Rio Vista. Pursuant to State law that money was deposited in an account with the Ventura County Office of Education and will be used to pay construction costs as bills are signed off. Bush reported that so far the State funds are paying for “Contractor [fees], architect fees and the DSA Inspector [fees].”According to the materials provided to the Board, FUSD paid Edge Development $368,087.48 on August 2, 2011. Bush then informed the Board on the ongoing State budget process and how it is likely to lead to midyear cuts this school year. He informed the Board about Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of SBX1 6 which according to the Governors press release dated September 16, 2011 would have “[required] the Director of the Department of Finance to consult with legislative leaders on alternatives to the cuts outlined in the [State] budget and thereby raise questions that could affect the Sales of Revenue Anticipation Notes and General Obligation Bonds.” Essentially Brown was concerned about the States credit rating and maintained the “trigger” language contained in the approved budget. That language leads to automatic cuts in several areas including K-12 education should the State revenue not meet projections. Bush reported that at this point those projections are not met, thus he expects midyear cuts for FUSD to be triggered in December. The projection for this fiscal year was that State revenue would be up $4.1 billion from last year, Bush stated “Not only are we [not ahead $4.1 billion], we are $134 million short of last year.” When the automatic cuts take place, according to Bush, it will result in $350 per student reduction for FUSD, resulting in a total cut of $1.2 million. Bush reminded the Board that those cuts will result in the elimination of “100% of our home [to school] transportation and 4% of our revenue limit, our general purpose monies.”

Director of Human Resources Todd Schieferle reported that negotiations with CSEA (California School Employees Association) are set to begin on September 21, 2011. He also informed the Board that the Alternative Governance Board presented staff at Piru Elementary School with a timeline for the year, which included dates for site visits, and deadlines. On Friday, September 23 the Middle School will receive its timeline from the AGB. Three schools (Fillmore Middle School, San Cayetano Elementary and Piru) in FUSD are working with the AGB in order to improve test scores and student achievement in an effort to get those schools out of “PI” (Program Improvement) status.

Assistant Superintendent Michael Johnson updated the Board on progress related to the instructions of Superintendent Alan Nishino to make sure that District-wide systems are in place in various areas to create a common background for learning for all students in FUSD. Johnson described two “crucial committees” that are already in place in FUSD but are being revamped under his direction, “[Their appointed tasks and] direction are going to be slightly different than in previous years.” First he described the Essential Standards Committee (ESC) “consisting mostly of elementary school teachers” and the second committee “is a K-12…Curriculum Committee”. He explained how the existing ESC has been “broken up into three different task forces.” The first, Report Card Task Force, will focus on ensuring that report cards are “standard based, so that the report card measures what the State says [is] essential for our students to learn.” The second group will work on the Pacing Guide for teachers. They will examine the curriculum and then “map it out so the standards are covered throughout the year.” Johnson explained that these guides are crucial tools for teachers to ensure that the essential standards are covered in the time available and “[they will ensure] that there is time given for re-teaching and intervention.” The third task force will focus on assessment, and it will be based on the pacing guides. Assessments will be done at the end of each trimester so that teachers will know where the gaps in learning are, and can re-teach or intervene depending on what is needed for that particular student. These three groups are working now. The Curriculum Committee is broken up into five groups that “will be looking at systems” at every campus, in every classroom throughout the District. The idea is to ensure that a second grader at Piru and a second grader at Sespe are held to the same expectations and that all adults in the classroom are held to the same standards as well, creating a common background in learning for each student. The first three groups are, Study Habits, Classroom Climate, and Teaching Strategy. Johnson continued “Two areas that really need addressing, because there is no scope and sequence that has been developed in these two areas. One is Math, we would like to have a sequence from 6th grade to 12 in the area of Math addressing three curricular areas- Pre-Algebra, Algebra and Geometry.” He explained that the hope is that the “standard offering in the 6th grade will be pre-algebra, 7th grade algebra …8th grade geometry.” He explained that the middle school has already made changes in offering algebra in the 7th grade, by looking at students who are testing proficient in Math and putting them in algebra. “We’re starting to make the changes and have high expectations of our students. Now it’s essential that when you make these changes you have support for the kids.” He explained that the Math Task Force will support teachers in determining when to re-teach, how to re-teach and when to intervene so students are not being left behind. The final group will focus on creating a “scope and sequence” throughout the District in writing. “The high school already has a program, the elementary has a program, the middle school [does not].” He charges the Writing task force with coming up with a program “that will be supported all throughout [the District].” These 5 areas are aimed at training all students in a common system “so that when they get to high school, the teachers know what to expect.” The administrators have the duty of handling the different task forces at their campus. Johnson said the goal of all of this is to have a truly “unified district” and referred to a recent statement made by Nishino “ I’ve served in two or three unified districts, and I’ve yet to see one.”
Nishino began his remarks with “If you have no plan, no target, you surely won’t hit it.” He explained “We are going to have targets and road maps to allow our kids to be successful…The big gap we have, especially at secondary, is you have kids coming from different schools with different information… they don’t have the same background…different vocabulary, sometimes different textbooks…It’s not fair to our teachers [or students, to have to test on items that have not been taught].”

All consent and action items were approved. Meeting adjourned with future meetings set for October 4 and October 18.

Meeting Video

 

Joey Hurscher, 31 of Piru, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of arson. The fire was reported at approximately 1:40pm and Hurscher was standing outside the home when engines from Fillmore, Santa Paula and Los Angeles County arrived. Hurscher admitted to setting his house in the 3500 block of E. Telegraph Road on fire. No one was injured.

 
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