Jillian Morris of Fillmore. Jillian is of the members of the new Kings Corner Pony Club Riding Center.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, November 28th, 2011
Lexington, Kentucky - The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., (USPC) announces the recognition of the Kings Corner Training Stables, located in Fillmore, CA, as a USPC Riding Center. As a recognized Pony Club Riding Center membership to Pony Club is available to youth 25 and under who join the Kings Corner Pony Club Riding Center. For adults interested in the program, there is also a Horsemasters Program.
Members through a Pony Club Riding Center do not have to have their own horse and will have access to the full Pony Club program. This includes learning to ride on the flat, over jumps, and in the open. In addition, members will be able to “rate” their riding ability and horse management skills against an established standard of proficiency and be able to participate in center, regional, and national activities.
Each of the ten Pony Club ratings is more difficult than the preceding one, and requires Pony Club members to learn more about horses and their care and to become increasingly accomplished riders and teachers of riding and horse care to younger members. The top rating, ‘A,’ is reached by fewer than one in 300 and denotes throughout the international horse industry a highly competent and knowledgeable horseperson.
There are approximately 10,000 members of Pony Club in over 625 clubs and centers throughout the country. Along with an emphasis on helping its members learn to ride and care for horses, Pony Club promotes teamwork, a sense of responsibility, safety, good moral judgment and self-confidence.
The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including most of our Olympic Equestrian team members, have Pony Club roots. Members range in age, from as young as 4 through age 25. Activities are English-riding based, with a new western riding curriculum being introduced this year. Members ride both horses and ponies, depending on the size of the rider and the discipline in which s/he is competing.
All Pony Club competition is team competition, much like the Olympic Games, where members learn the importance of cooperation and teamwork.
Taurie Banks of Fillmore is the Center Administrator and Instructor for Kings Corner Pony Club Riding Center. Taurie is a graduate Pony Club member and is certified as an Instructor by the United States Eventing Association. She is also certified in Equine Sports Psychology.
For more information on the Kings Corner Pony Club Riding Center, please contact Taurie Banks at (805) 727-3444 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Joe Woods — Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
On this Thanksgiving I have so much to be thankful for. I have the four greatest kids in the world. I know all of us who have kids can say this, but I feel strong that they are just that--great. I also have the greatest mother of all time. When it is her time to go (not for a very long time), God will open the gates of Heaven and say "Shirley come right in."
I always love the last Thursday in November. We get to come together with family and friends, break bread together, catch up on what is going on in our lifves, and watch a little football. What a great day!
I was also thinking the other day about what makes me thankful. I am so lucky and blessed with my family. And I am lucky to have a job where I get to come in contact with some great people at work everyday, Fillmore High School. Not only the staff, but some of the greatest young men and women go to school there. I get to see how hard they work in what they do at the school everyday. It could be in art, woodwork, F.F.A., drama, band, sports, and most important good old fashion school work.
Most of you may know that I am a proud Fillmore High School alumni. I am and forever will be a Fillmore Flashes! I would like to tell you about the number one and oldest Flashes still with us, and why we should all be thankful for him.
From the class of 1935 Burtis 'Burt" Davis. On December 28th this year Burt will turn 94 years young. On the 28th of December 1917, on Olive St. here in Fillmore, Burt was born in the home of Nelle and Phad Davis. He went to school Fillmore with some good old friends like Richard "Toolie" Palmer, Roy Hays, and Aaron Myers, just to name a few.
When Burt went to Fillmore High School he played basketball and tennis. He always wanted to play football but mother Nelle said no to that . So he was the manager for the football team. He was also trusted by the great County and High School Hall Of Fame Coach Eugene "Red" Kennedy to have a set of keys to the gym. This gave him and his friends a chance to go into the gym to play all the basketball they wanted.
In the days that Burt played sports for Fillmore High School, the tennis team would all hop in a car or truck and drive themselves to the matches. One day on the way to Santa Barbara, when the road was right on the beach at the county line, you had to wait for the tide to go out so you could dive on it. Burt was in the back of a truck with some of his teammates when they got into a traffic accident. The boys that were in the back of the truck flew out. Two of the kids needed to go to the hospital. Burt was on of the lucky ones who brushed himself off, and still played tennis that day.
In 1935 after graduation from Fillmore High Burt was asked by Red Kennedy to become an Official for football games. Little did he know at the time that this was the start of a very long career. Burt would go onto be an Official for basketball, football, baseball, softball, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and swimming until 1986. That adds up to 51 years folks.
Burt was always known to be loud, straight down the line, fair and knowledgeable of the game. And he did it all with that great big Burt Davis smile that he still has to this day. He always felt that to make a good Official you needed to be in the background and let the kids play the game. It always upset him when the Official wanted to be the center of attention. The game and the players should always be the story, not the Official and his calls.
On June 19th, 1941 Burt married the love of his life Phyllis Higgins. They spent 69 wonderful years together util Phyllis past away last year.
Burt went into the service during WWII. While in Germany Red Kennedy needed someone to be an Official for football games so he got hold of Burt. Burt said that he loved doing it. All the special treatment came his way with all the boy's over there. Good food. Good places to stay. He got the royal treatment. They wanted him to stay in the service, but all he wanted to do was to come back to Fillmore and his loving wife Phyllis.
Phyllis and Burt have three daughters; Lynn Cook from Waco Texas, Laurie DeAlejandro from Ventura, and Valerie Newland from Fresno. He also has 10 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. That is what Burt Davis is thankful for.
After the service Burt went into being an Official. In 1949 he was a charter member of The Channel Coast Official Association. He and still great friend and Ventura County Hall of Famer Cal Houston worked together on the playing fields all over the state and beyond, and behind the scenes. They still call and talk to each other almost every week, even though Cal has moved Montana.
Burt worked at high school, junior college and college level sports over the years in places like the L.A. Coliseum, Anaheim Stadium, and the Shrine Bowl at the Rose Bowl. He was known as the number one "White Hat" Official in football. Burt also worked for the Dallas Cowboys in Thousand Oaks in the 1970's and 80's when they had a training camp at Cal Lutheran. He had a good friendship with Pro Football Hall Of Fame Coach Tom Landry.
Any one of us who know Burt can say if there ever was a Hall of Fame for just being a great person, Burt would see the doors open up for him there also. He is sharp as a tack, and still has all the time to say hello to everybody he comes in contact with. He will always tell you a story with a gleam in his eyes and a smile on his face. And to me this is one more great thing I will be thankful for on this Thanksgiving. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving Fillmore!
By Ventura County Sheriff Department — Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
On 11/8/2011, members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Bureau, West County Street Team, and the
In the campsite and surrounding area, detectives found an estimated 130 lbs. of manicured marijuana drying on tarps under trees. The camp had sleeping equipment for several people and a large store of food and supplies were found. It appeared to investigators that the camp had been used that day and they believed the suspects were possibly still in the area. A footpath with fresh footprints was located heading into a rugged canyon above the campsite. Detectives followed these tracks for approximately one half mile when they came upon seven subjects: Jose Inzaunza 40, Bruno Mata 24, Luis Diego 27, Jesus Chavez 20, Juan Hernandez 30, David Aispuro 20, all from Losa Angeles, and Miguel Martinez 42, Compton. These subjects were trying to elude deputies and had come to a dangerous cliff area with nowhere else to hide. The detectives assisted the exhausted men up the steep hillside to a location where they could be airlifted out. It was determined these subjects were involved in the marijuana cultivation discovered in the area. They were all arrested and subsequently booked into the Sheriff’s Main Jail.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages those who frequent the Ventura County backcountry to report any suspicious activity to authorities.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Fillmore High School would like to thank our sponsors Fillmore Sunrise Rotary, and Fillmore Noon-time Rotary for their generous donations and support of our Career Day. Also, we’d like to thank all the following representatives who took time out of their busy day to speak with our students at the 2011-2012 Career Day: U.S. Army, Wells Fargo Bank, Cal State Channel Islands, Cal Lutheran University, The C.R.E.W., FIDM, City of Fillmore Fire Department, County of Ventura Environmental Health Department, Lu Ross Academy, Marines, Moorpark College, Diamond Realty & Investments- Mrs. Robledo, Regional Occupational Program, Santa Clara Valley Job & Career Center, UCSB-Early Academic Outreach, Ventura College, Child Development Center, Air Force Recruiting Office, Ventura County Probation, School Psychologist- Barbara Peterson and Jessica Siegel, DeVry University, Wm L. Morris Chevrolet, UCLA- Joe Torres, Ventura College student nurses, Teacher- Mr. Overton, Moorpark C.H.P., Fillmore Family Medical Group – Dr. Johnston and Rosa Roldan, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Forest Service, (Above) Artist-Jesus “Chuy” Rangel, FBI, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab, FUSD Speech Pathologists, Veterinarian- Dr. Lidikay, and Lizette, Dentist- Dr. Beer, Martha, Vereniz, and Annely, Zanotti Floral Design, Santa Paula Insectary, Cal State University Northridge, Grand Canyon University, Medical Billing- Cathy Frias, Architect- Monica Casas, Oxnard College, Superior Bail Bonds- Martin Basaldua, Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura Technology Developmental Center.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
On Monday, November 21, 2011 at the Scout House, the Fillmore Lions Club presented donations to several groups at Monday’s meeting: Lions Club Scout House Foundation Boy Scout Troop 406, $5,000; Liaison Brett Chandler Fillmore Fire Department – Toys for Tots $500 – Chief Rigo Landeros and Captain Al Huerta Santa Clara Valley Hospice transportation fund $750; Elias Valdes, Chairman of the Board Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley for One Step a la Vez $1250 – Cindy Escoto, Site Director; Fillmore High School Girls Volleyball $250. Coach Tanya Gonzales; Junior Varsity Coach Tiffany Gonzales, Fillmore Little League $250 Vice-President Valarie Sandoval and Umpire in Chief Dutch Morales; Sespe Players $250 Janet Foy; Fllmore High School Softball $250 Coach Eddie Ortiz and JV Coach Brenda Ortiz; Sheriff’s Explorer Cadet Post 2958 (Fillmore) $200; Fillmore Dream Soccer team $250; League Champions, money is to be paid to A.Y.S.O. for playoffs, Captain Keith Johnson and Coach Claudia Toledo
By Dick Diaz — Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
When Did You Stop Loving Me?
I remember when you brought me home. You thought I was adorable and you couldn't get enough of my sloppy kisses! I wagged my tail endlessly, jumped as high as I could and ran in circles chasing my tail when any of you came home. I heard the family discussing what they wanted to name me, but since I was a girl the names were limited to sweet and clever ones. There were no suggested Butch, Sergeant, or Mac so I was destined to be a Peanut because of my size and brown coat. The kids argued over who would sleep with me. There was even discussion of a rotation schedule so that it would be fair and evenly distributed. Everyone promised to take care of me by feeding me and cleaning up after me. I had it made! You really loved me then. I was your little Peanut.
I know when your love started to fade. It was when the big one we all called Dad stepped on a pile of my poo on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I did that before we all went to bed knowing one of you would clean it up on your way to brush your teeth just before you scooped me up and took me into your room to snuggle with me under the covers. I know you saw it because you said something to me about being a bad girl. That was the beginning of breaking the many promises you made to care for me. Soon Dad was losing his temper and threatening to get rid of me if everyone around the house didn't start chipping in and taking care of me.
It was the teenaged girl with the pretty blonde hair that made the final mistake. She was running late and she left the house still talking on her cell phone without giving me a thought. She forgot to let me out into the backyard for the day. It wasn't my fault because I tried to get her attention by barking and scratching at the back door, but she just kept talking on the phone. She got into a waiting car and drove away. After she was gone I thought what the heck and began to nose around the house and enjoy myself. After all I am still a puppy! I first tore up a favorite doll in the baby's room given to the baby by a now departed grandma. While there I felt the urge and left a real cool amount of liquid on the hardwood floor that could hardly be seen, but unfortunately it soaked in and left a stain on the wood, then into Dad's room and into the closet. Oops another urge, having learned my lesson I hid this one in a shoe and chewed on another shoe because I was getting bored. How could I have known these shoes were Dad's favorites, and of course I have now ruined two pairs of shoes!
After about four hours of such fun things as unrolling the toilet paper in all the bathrooms, dragging underwear, ties and socks everywhere, I decided to take a nap. I was soon rudely awaken by Dad when he came home saw the mess and discovered I had been left in the house. Dad scooped me up and soon I was in the car and going for a ride with him. I loved riding in the car and eagerly got onto his lap so I could see out the window. I was happily surprised that he still wasn't mad at me, but was trying to bond with me by driving me out to the country. We went to a dead end road near the creek where he got me out and set me on the ground. What fun I was having! I romped around running in circles and chasing every lizard I could scare up until soon I realized Dad had driven away and forgot me. I ran after him down the road barking, but he was going faster than I could run to keep up and other cars were now coming up the road and swerving to miss me. Scared I was going to be hit I quickly turned back to where Dad forgot me and hid under a tree barking to let Dad know where I was when he realized his mistake and came back for me. I was sure that he would turn right around when he realized it, but soon my bark got weaker and I began to whine because my throat was now sore.
Night started to fall and it was getting cold. I was getting hungry, but there was nobody around to feed me, love me, or argue who gets to sleep with me tonight. There were other dogs howling down near the creek and they scared me with their yelping. I had never heard a dog yelp that way and it seemed as if there were thousands of them just a few yards from where I was waiting! They didn't sound very friendly so I didn't call out to them. After dark had fallen fully a car pulled up and I could hear loud music and laughing. They are back I thought outloud and I ran from the brush where I had been hiding from the howling dogs. I ran towards the car. The young people in the car were now outside of the car and throwing bottles into the creek and laughing loudly when they heard the glass break on a rock and fall into the flowing creek. When one of them saw me he threw a bottle at me and laughed louder than before! I ran towards where I had been hiding and when I looked back I noticed the teenaged girl with the pretty blonde hair. I thought she saw me! I wondered if she still loved me and came to take me home! The man she was with threw another bottle towards me and they all laughed and got back into the car. They drove away fast, throwing gravel into the brush as their tires spun in the loose dirt shoulder. I was alone again. Me a small female Chihuahua left at the end of a road to fend for myself. How did this happen when all of them promised to care for me and love me. I never stopped loving them. Why did they stop loving me?
The next day another dog, a mix of some sort, was left by the side of the road just like me. His name was Mike and he promised to care for me. He said we would be just fine if we stuck together. Days passed and many people came to the end of that road. Some left food for us, but we were so afraid of people by now we didn't realize some were trying to help us so we hid until they left. Together we learned to survive, but each day we were there at the end of the road we got weaker and more skittish of humans. The howling dogs were getting closer each night and the cars came and went leaving behind their messes. We were both so defeated! As determined as we were to survive, we both could see our days were numbered. Why did our families stop loving us? We never stopped loving them! Why did they abandon us?
There has been and increase in the “dumping” of small dogs in the rural areas surrounding Fillmore in the past couple of months. One single dumping included five young small dogs! Three were rescued by caring residents and either kept as pets or taken to Dog Rescues. The fate of the other two is not known. Rather than dumping these loyal pets you are encouraged to call, stop by, or email the Humane Society of Ventura County, 402 Bryant St, Ojai, 805-646-6505, email@example.com. They will care for these loving creatures until they are found good homes. Another resource is AM Pet Supply and Grooming, 341 Central Ave, Fillmore, 524-7387. AM Pet Supply and Grooming has been very generous in rescuing and placing abandoned pets. As of this writing Peanut and Mike are still living at the end of that road and residents are trying to care for them so that they can be taken into good homes. That is if they become trusting enough to be rescued! A cold rain has started to fall in and around Fillmore as Peanut and Mike snuggle to stay warm and dry under the brush. Please don't abandon unwanted pets!
By Gazette Staff Writer — Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Brandon McInerney avoids a retrial by pleading guilty to shooting Larry King. The jury deadlocked in the first trial, with some saying prosecutors were being too harsh in trying him as an adult.
A teenager who fatally shot a gay classmate in the back of the head during an Oxnard middle school computer lab will spend 21 years in prison under a plea deal reached Monday, closing the books on a case that drew international headlines and ignited debate on how schools should handle sexual identity issues.
Brandon McInerney, who was 14 when he pulled a gun out of his backpack and shot Larry King two times at point-blank range, will be kept behind bars until he is 38 under the terms of the deal struck by Ventura County prosecutors.
In an unusual arrangement, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree and voluntary manslaughter. In return, prosecutors agreed not to go forward with a second trial, which could have resulted in a life sentence.
The family of the victim... http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1122-gay-shooting-20111122,0,425...
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
On Monday, November 14, at 9:30pm the City of Fillmore Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire
Five FHS students, members of the National FFA Organization, gave a presentation on the convention they attended in October. The convention was held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
By Jean McLeod — Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
It was standing room only at the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board Meeting on Tuesday night, November 15. Some had come with presentations, others with thankful appreciation and some with grievances.
During the comment section of the meeting Richard Townend, whose two sons attend FHS, addressed the Board wanting answers as to why FUSD is currently providing medical insurance for his sons. Townsend’s ex-wife, Evalene Townend, ended her employment with FUSD a year ago and is now employed at Pleasant Valley School District (PVSD). But unlike PVSD, FUSD covers its employee’s medical insurance and Mr. Townend wants to know why a third party employed at FUSD is claiming the boys as dependents and using FUSD medical coverage. Townend says that the boys are not the FUSD employees dependents and would like to know who approved this and why. He suggested that the school district check all their employees to make sure others are not receiving the District-paid medical coverage who are not qualified to receive it. Townend said he sent an email 41 days ago asking FUSD to look into the matter but never received a response, adding that with the poor financial shape of the District, they cannot afford to provide medical insurance to those who are not qualified.
Bullying and harassment was another grievance brought by Gus the uncle to a student who is a junior at Fillmore High School (FHS). He stated that his nephew has been bullied for the last two months at FHS by four students who belong to a local gang. There have been several incidents that have taken place both on and off campus. The uncle stated that the harassment has take place at school on a regular basis but also at the student’s home and at the Pacific View Mall where it became physical and required others to step in to stop it. He asked the Board for the school’s guidelines on bullying and that the District “take more serious measures” in addressing it. When interviewed and asked if he, the student, had brought this to FHS Administration and what he would like done to remedy the situation, the student stated that the school has accused him of instigating the situation and suspended him for the language he used when addressing the gang members. As to what he feels could resolve the situation, he said he would be open to mediation to resolve it or that those harassing him be reprimanded.
Fillmore Middle School’s (FMS) Principal Dr. Ellen Green, along with seven faculty members, gave a presentation of the Revised Site Plan which began with “Purpose, Beliefs and Goals” focusing on six priorities; improve reading, writing, math, close the achievement gap between subgroups and raise proficiency among English Language Learners and students with disabilities, improved teaching techniques, technology support to enhance instruction, increase and improve parent involvement. Green proudly stated FMS’s new mission statement, Think, Believe, Create, Achieve and added, “We believe that all students can learn.”
This won’t be an easy task; for the last nine years FMS has failed to meet State Standards, continually remaining in Program Improvement Status. Since 2008 the school has declined even farther in English, history, mathematics and science; with the exception on science which improved in 2010-2011.
Language proficiency is a huge hurdle for educators at FMS. Of the 830 students 24% are English Language Learners, 12% Initially Fluent English Proficient and 23% Reclassified Fluent English Proficient. To address this, the English Language Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss ways to build English skills and catch the students who are falling behind. Another change being implemented to address unprepared students is making sure they do their homework. Any student who has not completed his/her homework is required to finish it during lunch under a teacher’s supervision.
It seems some of the chalkboards have been replaced with new technology and other interactive tools that enhance learning, but these new items come with a price that requires items be introduced to a few classrooms at a time. Green and the other presenters are enthusiastic about the work being done, but Green admitted the financial problems are huge stating, “We’re confined with our budget.”
A presentation was also given by five FHS student members of the National FFA Organization (also known as Future Farmers of America) who attended the 84th FFA Convention held on October 18-23 in Indianapolis, Indiana. All the presenters gave great descriptions of what they had learned and enjoyed while attending the convention. The students listened to motivational speakers and various sessions, toured processing plants, learned about mold prevention on harvested crops, dairy farms and the production of milk and the importance of environmental systems like bee production. But it wasn’t all learning, there was plenty of fun as the students visited the Indy Speedway, enjoyed a Blake Shelton concert, and wandered through a corn maze.
FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students and could be seen as each of the FFA member explained the impact the conference had had on them, such as; a renewed inspiration and motivation to be active in their community, greater leadership skills, the importance of agriculture and the many related industries, being less judgmental and a better understanding of others.
Sammy Martinez, FHS Speaker of the House, informed the Board that the Associated Student Body (ASB) is planning a convention with Santa Paula ASB. Also on the students’ agenda is Renaissance Week which began on the 14th and ends the 18th with a rally and all classes have ongoing fundraisers.
By Dick Diaz — Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
No more No pay, No play
When I first heard that the historical method of partially funding Fillmore High School Sports was in serious jeopardy, and in fact by law, has been eliminated, I thought of how important sports was for our son Phillip. Both Carolyn and I agreed that if it were not for Fillmore High School sports and the regimental training and academic requirements to participate in sports, our son, who otherwise lacked the motivation to maintain his attendance and grades, would have struggled to get through high school. I really need to stress “motivation” here because my son had the ability and support at home to academically perform well, but it took the academic requirements placed upon Fillmore High School's student athletes and his love of sports to encourage him to do well. It went beyond academics and motivation though; he learned about “inspiration” from other athletes who lacked the natural athletic ability to play a standout game, but still tried their hardest to help the team. He learned about team work and how to understand coaches who pushed him to get his head in the game! But, I am sure many of you have your own stories of how Fillmore High School Sports positively affected maybe you, one of your children, or relatives, or one of your neighbors, which is why I think it is so important to ensure that Fillmore High maintains their ability for reaching out for partial funding for Fillmore High School Sports programs. What created this situation is, by law, the elimination of the mandatory Athletic Participation Fee all of us, until the current school-year began in August of 2011, gladly provided so our sons and daughters could play Fillmore High School sports.
Since 1879, Article IX, Section 5 of the California Constitution has required that the State of California provide a system of free public schools. In 1984, the California Supreme Court clarified the intent of the Constitution and ruled unequivocally in Hartzell v. Connell that public schools cannot charge students or families any fees as a condition for participating in “educational programs,” including extracurricular activities.”
So why did the American Civil Liberties Union CONTINUED »
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
(l-r) Adrian Mejia, Alexander Gonzalez, Anthony Rivas, Jose Almaguer, Isaac Gomez, Jaime Magdaleno and Jordan Mendoza. Not in Race: Hugo Valdovinos and Justin Beach). The team will travel to CIF Finals this Saturday at Mt. Sac where they will compete to advance to the State Championship in Fresno, California.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
James Lacotts, 49 of Fillmore, was killed Friday night, November 11th, near Piru in a one-car accident. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:15am.
It had been raining for several hours when Lacotts’ car crashed into a cement retaining wall on Pacific Avenue, north of Highway 126. The car left the road and entered a drainage ditch before hitting the wall.
A 19-year old occupant was transported to Henry Mayo Memorial in Santa Clarita for moderate injuries. Alcohol may have been a factor in the accident; it appears neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt. Lacotts had two citations for not wearing seatbelts, one in 2004, one in 2005.
Lacotts was cited for a DUI last month and was scheduled to appear in Ventura Count Superior Court on November 16th.
By Ventura County Sheriff Department — Monday, November 14th, 2011
At approximately 12:20 a.m. Saturday, a single-vehicle, hit-and-run traffic collision occurred at Ventura St. and Mountain View St. in Fillmore. A white, 1999 Ford F150 pickup truck collided with a light pole on the side of the road, requiring a Southern California Edison crew to respond for repairs. The truck’s driver and passenger fled the scene before police and fire personnel arrived. Moments before the collision, the truck had been seen in the area of Central Ave. and Ventura St. and might have also been in the parking lot of Burger King. Anyone who saw the truck and its occupants before the collision, witnessed the collision itself, or has information about the driver or passenger is asked to call the Fillmore Police Department.
Report Number: 110025782
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
By Joe Woods — Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Frank “Turtle” Estrada, Combat Fighting League M.M.A. Champion.
Yes Fillmore, he did it again. Frank “Turtle” Estrada is still the 145 pound Combat Fighting League M.M.A. Champion!
Last Friday night at the Woodland Hills Marriot “Turtle” put his title on the line against a very game fighter named Jose Medina out of the Adrenline M.M.A. Gym.
“He was the toughest guy I have faced yet,” said ‘’Turtle”. “He would not give up. He had a lot of heart.”
Medina came in the fight weighing 143 pounds. “Turtle” came in at 144.4 pounds. By fight time he was at 151 pounds and ready to go.
Medina has a wrestling background. “He was scrappy.” said “Turtle”. “He was hard to catch. He had good stand up skills. I knew then I was in for a war.”
While waiting for the fight to start “Turtle” was focused on what had to be done for another victory to come his way. “I was ready to go. I trained hard and this was going to be my reward for it all” said the young fighter. “I did not come in too hyped. I knew this was going to be tough.”
As always when “Turtle” fights he has a huge Fillmore crowd to root him on. This was the case Friday night. “I love the fans from Fillmore. They are always behind me. Thanks for the support. ‘When I hear them it gets me pumped.”
First of three, two minute rounds got off to a quick start. The two fighters started in the stand up position. Then “Turtle” started to pin Medina to the cage. When he got him where he wanted him, he got a few good punches in on him. “I wanted to overwhelm him. But he was scrappy. I think I won the first round,” said “Turtle”.
When the second round started “Turtle” said he felt more confidence. “I was more aggressive then he was in the first round, I was ready to go.” The round started about the same. But about half way through “Turtle” was
‘’I knew when they took the point away from him, I took the round. This was new water for me so I took some deep breaths in the corner and listen to my Coaches.”
He said he thought he was in better shape than Medina, so he stuck with his game plan--be aggressive and pin him to the cage so he could get some good in close punches on him.
“He never hurt me in the fight. When the bell rang I knew I won the fight. But it was a war!”
The pro-”Turtle” crowd went crazy after the ring announcer said that he won the fight. “I shook my opponents hand, then took a little victory lap around the cage.” After some hugs and high fives from family, friends,
“The announcement was made. I will have my first Pro Fight sometime early in 2012. This is what I have always wanted. It is not a dream, but the next step for me. I plan in the future to go after more titles.”
‘’Turtle” wanted to thank his coaches at Cazadores Boxing and M.M.A., and West Coast Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, and M.M.A., Brain Espinosa, Jamie Toney, Fredo Lemus, “Grandpa” John Hernandez, and Jay Scratch. Also his teammates, his brother Jose “Froggy” Estrada, Jesus Garcia, who won Friday night, David Tubb, the new 170 pound C.F.L. Champion, Joel Tinkard, Mose Aiti, and Justin Rodriguez.
And he could not have done any of this without his sponsors. The Lab, Sugerbeets and Iron Horse Bar and Grill in
When I asked this young man if he had anything else to say to Fillmore, he said, “I just want to thank all the sponsors that make it possible for me to fight. And to the people of Fillmore, thank you for always coming to my fights.
Without roots like the ones I have in Fillmore, there is no base to stand on. Thank you!”
Council members discuss the validity of a Special Meeting that was ultimately cancelled.
By Jean McLeod — Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
A Proclamation accepted by Lynne Brooks (center) recognizing the Soroptimist’s efforts on behalf of Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Also pictured Patti Walker (left) and Mayor Gayle Washburn (right).
The November 8, 2011 Fillmore City Council meeting had proclamations and a few disagreements, and former city manager Roy Payne bringing to council and city’s attention the contract associated with the Hwy 126 Business Park concerning $1 million owed the city. Also on agenda was the future of the Town Theatre, Passport Applications, the contracts between the Tourism Bureau and the Fillmore & Western Railway, the City’s contract with E. J. Harrison for street cleaning and solid waste removal, and the resignation of Councilmember Patti Walker.
Former City Manager Roy Payne and Rod MacDonald of KDF Communities addressed the Council about the past Business Park contract with the City. Payne reminded the Council that all those involved in the contract negotiations are no longer with the City and the details and the money owed the City could be forgotten. Payne asked that it be reviewed annually and the resolution be put on the record and reminded the Council that when City Engineer Bert Rapp left there was over $1 million owned the City on the project.
Also, shortly after the meeting started, Walker stepped down from the dais and addressed the remaining Council announcing her resignation as of the end of the night’s meeting, stating, “The following statement is addressed first to the citizens of Fillmore and second to you, Mayor and the Fillmore City Council.
It is with heavy heart I am announcing my resignation from the Fillmore City Council. An unexpected opportunity presented itself that my family and I could not overlook. We have purchased a home in the Fillmore zip code, but located outside of the Fillmore City limits. With your indulgence, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratefulness I have experienced in my representation of the City for nine years.
Lastly, I have had the honor to work with a wonderful group of people who comprise the staff and my current colleagues Mayor Gayle Washburn, Pro Tem Jamey Brooks, and Council Members Brian Sipes and Steve Conaway. As volunteers for the greater good of Fillmore you have taken on what many term a thankless job. I thank you for the hard work and time you devote to keep Fillmore on track. It has been my pleasure to be a part of the process and I wish you all the best.” When asked what prompted Walker to run for City Council back in 2004, she responded, “I fought City Hall and I won.”
The remaining Councilmembers responded to Walker with heartfelt gratitude for her hard work and dedication as a councilmember. Mayor Washburn saying, “There is a huge loss to not having you on the Council.” Sipes responded, “I will be contacting you when I need advice.” Conaway commented that Walker was always prepared before coming to a meeting. Brooks agreed and added, “Patti served through blood, sweat and tears…she did her homework and ours.”
The law requires the council seat be filled within 60 days, if that is the course council decides to take (fill out an application and be interviewed by the selection committee or full Council in open session, or through an appointment). The seat may also remain open until the next election, June 5, 2012. Mayor Washburn scheduled a special meeting for 11am the following morning, Wednesday, to address it, but there was some disagreement on the timing; the Brown Act requires 24 hours advance notice be given the Council Members and City Manager Yvonne Quiring had not sent the notice out in time to meet that requirement. The next scheduled time that all members could agree upon was not until December 13th which is the next Council Meeting.
A real problem with regards to the newly vacant seat was covering the 16 committees that Walker sat on and required quick action by the Council to decide who would or could cover them. Conway commented, “Patti has been the most diligent in attending those community meetings.”
Also on the agenda was the Towne Theatre and what the City should do with it. The Theatre is the pride of Fillmore’s downtown and many of the town’s residents have an emotional attachment to it, but in recent years the Theatre has been a financial drain and owes $400,000 to the General Fund. There was a consensus among the Council that the future contract/lease being offered require the Theatre be available for all forms of entertainment and open to the community. Conaway reminded the Council that the City also needs to protect its assets, such as the projector. Janet Foy of the Sespe Players told the Council she has a committee trying to gather information on what they can do on a possible association with the Theatre.
Fillmore & Western Railway (FWR) representative Julie Latshaw told the Council the FWR does not want to lock and unlock the doors to the public restrooms anymore and that they did not agree to the restroom’s maintenance. There was an agreement and a contract drawn between the Tourist Bureau and the FWR that stated they would maintain and lock/unlock the restroom doors. As stated in the original proposal to the Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau from the FWR; Fillmore & Western Railway Co. would like to assume control of the public restrooms attached to the building. The key would be available for check-out for restroom use, much like a service station.
The City’s Finance Director Glenda Jay brought up the problem of having less staff to meet the services once offered by the City. She told the Council the City is finding it difficult to process passports due to the cuts in employees and suggested those seeking the service go to the Post Office. The processing can take up to an hour and a half for a family and there is not enough City staff to provide this service any longer. In the past the City had up to four individuals certified and trained to accept passport applications. Today there are only two employees processing passports and those employees also service the main counter; as a result sometimes service is backed up for other customers. Jay informed the Council that the City is required to pass an audit to be a certified processing agency and the two employees must be re-qualified. Conaway asked if doing it by appointment would improve the situation, and was told No. Jay said the $25 application fee is set by the Federal Government and each application costs $5.25 in postage, but when the Post Office provides the service they do not have to pay that additional cost. A vote was taken and with a 3 to 2 vote, with Conaway and Sipes No, Washburn, Walker and Brooks Yes. The Council decided to no longer process passports effective December 1, 2011.
There was a Proclamation accepted by Lynne Brooks recognizing the Soroptimist’s efforts on behave of Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Prevention Month.
Video: Meeting Highlights
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Congratulations to Fillmore Dream Boys 10 & U Travel Team. The team won the Silver Metal (second place) in City of Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup International Cup Tournament October 28 – 30. Fillmore played against teams from Las Vegas. They won their first game 6-0, second game 11-1 and to advance to the Championship game with Arizona by winning their third game 11-0. Pictured; Sal Navarro Head Coach and Juan Cruz Assistant Coach. Players Reny Navarro, Luis Sosa, Juan Rodriguez, Yobany Figueroa, Sergio Ramos, Matthew Hernandez, Octavio Rodriguez, Brayan Arevalo, Marcos Cardenas, Jonathan Perez Cesar Lopez, Carlos Vargas, Eric Torres, and Jose Gallegos.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
.75 cent sales tax proposed by city officials failed
The city of Fillmore held a special election Tuesday, hoping to raise its sales tax by 0.75 percent to 8 percent to generate monies for the city coffers. The tax revenue would have been less than $500,000 a year. But the 1,168 voters would went to the ballot box rejected the tax increase with 739 (63.27%) voting NO, and 429 (36.73%) voting YES.
The tax increase would have expired in 5-years, or sooner if Fillmore’s disagreement with the cities of Livermore and Industry over nearly $2 million sales tax revenue from Owens & Minor is settled in Fillmore’s favor.
The proposed "Fillmore Works" project at the site of the old Texaco Oil Refinery Superfund site located in East Fillmore along Pole Creek.
By Gazette Staff Writer — Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
On Thursday November 3rd, 2011, Chevron and EPA officials presented the history, cleanup, and future plans for the old Texaco “Fillmore Works” Oil Refinery property located on the east edge of town along Pole Creek. The site, now called the “Pacific Coast Pipeline Site” (PCPL) is planned for new development that will include commercial, industrial, open space and hiking trails. Two documents that help tell the history and future plans for the site are located here:
Future Plans for the Site: http://chevron.barnettcox.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Chevron_11x17_ActionPlanHandout_READER.pdf
Video of the November 3, 2011 presentation at San Cayetano Elementary:
By Jean McLeod — Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
The November 1, 2011 Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board Meeting was attended by a number of Principals from schools throughout the District. The goal of the collaboration of faculty and administration was teamwork with an effort to attain a new standard that will leave behind a system that is failing. Today’s challenge for educators and administrators are the profound changes that are essential to assess 21st Century skills.
The major change being developed for FUSD is the Task Force Program (TFP). The TFP is a district wide nine member team that began gathering data at the beginning of the school year to analyze the relationship between cause variables, such as teaching practices, curriculum and assessments. The goal is to address the needs of students throughout the district and the factors that are most strongly associated with improved student achievement; and getting ready for the Common Core Standards (CCS) that will be implemented in all states throughout the country within the next 2 to 4 years.
Each member’s recommendations have been researched with updates on effective instruction through the use of collected data. The end result is gaining a system that supports school improvement with a goal of implementing high-impact educational strategies.
Assistant Superintendent Michael Johnson referred to the work being applied as an online report card, stating, “It’s a major change that impacts what we do in the classroom…measures the students by what they’re required to know and our students will be prepared to graduate high school.” Johnson went on to say, “Some might ask, ‘Why do all these changes?’ because the old way isn’t working.”
Scott Carroll, Principal of Sespe Elementary, is the head of the Essential Standards and Benchmark Task Force. Carroll is tasked with completing field testing of the third trimester assessment for English Language Arts and the three trimester benchmark assessments for Mathematics. Carroll presented the Board with examples of the new TFP’s exam and assessments. Using strategies developed by Dr. Douglas Reeves, Carroll explained that these changes will allow teachers and administrators to take effective action now that will both improve performance on current state assessments and help prepare students and teachers for the CCS. Carroll stated that the questions one must ask when forming such tests and assessments is, “Does it have endurance? Does it have leverage? Does it develop student readiness for the next level?” He went on to say that subjects such as Algebra are started way before the 6th grade and is built upon each preceding year.
Sespe Elementary is 45% English as a second language (ESL) students, so it presents some great challenges to the schools teachers. Carroll stated that Sespe is five years behind where it should be and there’s a lot that needs to be accomplished to catch up, adding that methods are only part of the equation. “It’s the teachers that make the difference.”
FUSD Superintendent Dr. Alan Nishino believes that what was administered 50 years ago is outdated today and that assessments must be open, not secret. Students must be given what they need to know and have it reinforced; not have to question what they need to know to take a test. He went on to state, “We need to question all ways of teaching…there is more than one way, and in the end the whole system benefits.”
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Bush informed the Board that the building of Rio Vista School is now being framed on the west and east sides and that the problem with the unwanted “residents” has been resolved and they have vacated.
Fillmore High School’s (FHS) Student Body President Sammy Martinez informed the Board that the blood drive for United Blood Services held on Tuesday was a great success with 55 participating; which include both adults and students.
Martinez also added the many activities coming up; Santa Paula Week celebrating the rival football game on Friday and a rally on Wednesday October 9th in the FHS gym; Noontime Activities everyday next week; Sophomore class Carwash fundraiser for the Sadie Hawkins Dance; Class officers are doing a fundraiser by selling blankets they’ve made for $25; Carrier Day at the Memorial Building Friday November 4th; Junior Class will be planning the Junior or Senior Prom to be held at the Saticoy Country Club and Seniors are ordering the announcements for graduation.
By Jean McLeod — Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
The North Fillmore Police Storefront has accomplished a great deal since its beginnings over 16 years ago, from saving a child’s life to turning Christmas into a time of joy for many children; it has been a great asset to the residents of Fillmore.
Established September 10, 1995 through a COPS More Program Grant applied for by Lt. Dick Purnell along with an $18,000 Family Preservation Grant received in early 1996, the Storefront began with three positions: DARE office, Special Enforcement Deputy, Community Resource Officer.
The Storefront sits on property contracted by the City of Fillmore with a leased price of one dollar per month, which includes a child’s park. Today it is primarily run under the guidance of retired Sheriffs Officer Max Pina who serves as the Community Resource Officer.
Pina’s long carrier with law enforcement started in January 1965 as a Reservist with the Santa Paula Police Department and joined Fillmore Police in August of 1971. Later in 1986, when the City of Fillmore contracted with the VCSD, Pina signed on with the Sheriffs and retired in November of 1999 after 34 years of service.
With a goal to educate the public and promote the importance of formal education thus benefiting society as a whole, the Storefront has its priorities heading in the right direction. While overseeing a wide breadth of programs throughout the years, it has provided the community with over 40 services; everything from emergency food, citizenship classes, child gun safety classes, computer classes, crisis intervention and CPR classes, to name a few. Yearly 14,585 people receive assistance with an average of 20 to 130 people helped on any given day. Since 1995 over 197,264 Fillmore and Piru residents have received help and services.
One of the most rewarding CONTINUED »