Deputy Anthony Biter
Deputy Anthony Biter

The Thousand Oaks Police Traffic Bureau is investigating an injury traffic collision involving an on-duty Thousand Oaks Police Motor Officer that occurred on Wilbur Road north of St. Charles Drive in the City of Thousand Oaks. Marcia Obrien was driving her vehicle south on Wilbur Road. Deputy Biter was riding his police motorcycle north on Wilbur Road in the #1 traffic lane. Obrien entered the left turn lane at the location in preparation for a left turn into the driveway of the Center Oaks Plaza shopping center. Obrien then turned left across the northbound lane of Wilbur Road as Deputy Biter was approaching. Deputy Biter’s motorcycle collided with the front end of Obrien’s vehicle causing Deputy Biter to lose control of his motorcycle. Deputy Biter was then ejected from his motorcycle. Deputy Biter was transported to Los Robles Hospital via ambulance for his injuries. Obrien was not injured during the collision. The cause of the collision is still being investigated. At this time alcohol / drugs do not appear to be a factor in this collision. Anyone who may have witnessed this collision is encouraged to call the Thousand Oaks Traffic Bureau at (805) 494-8271.

 
Councilmember A. Eduardo Gonzalez recused himself from voting on delinquent water bills, during Tuesday night’s Council meeting.
Councilmember A. Eduardo Gonzalez recused himself from voting on delinquent water bills, during Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

The October 23, 2012 Fillmore City Council Meeting had only two items on the agenda, delinquent water accounts and appointing a temporary employee; but the public comments seem to go on and on. Many of those who stepped up to the podium during this time basically repeated the same dislike of Martin Farrell, owner of The Fillmore Gazette, as they have done at almost all council meetings for months. Some used the podium as a campaign tool to show their grasp of Fillmore’s financial history and former Council Member Patti Walker spoke of how unfair and damaging it was for a newspaper to reveal that a council member owed an outstanding water bill of $95,000 to the City and asked those in support to standup to “tyranny”. Over an hour and a half of speakers address the Council as the political drama continued.

Some in attendance had come to the scheduled public hearing on El Dorado Mobile Home Estates vesting tentative parcel map for ownership conversion, but it was postponed until Friday, November 2nd 6:30p.m. Fillmore City Hall, due to parties involved not being able to attend until that date.

Only one of the two items on the agenda went into any real discussion and that was the Water Utility Bill Cycle and Delinquent Accounts. Before this item was discussed Council Member A. Eduardo Gonzalez made a statement admitting he has a large outstanding water bill. He said he and his wife have discussed the issue and decided not to declare bankruptcy adding, “I am not going to run away from this. I’m not going to hide away. I’m going to make every effort to pay for it.” Gonzalez stated that he has not asked for a deduction or reduced amount on the bill. Later a man who had been sitting in back of the room stepped up to the podium and asked Gonzalez, “Are you a respectful man?” and then repeated it and asked again. To which Gonzalez answered, “Yes.” The man just looked at him and turned around and walked out of the chambers.

When the water bill CONTINUED »

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

On October 19, 2012, Deputies from the Santa Clara Valley Sub-Station responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 3600 Block of East Telegraph Rd, Piru. Upon their arrival, they were contacted by the reported victim, Wayne Cain, who said he and his business partner, Raymond Grams, were arguing over owed wages. Cain accused Grams of intentionally knocking him down with his car. Cain suffered minor injuries during the incident. He was treated by medical personnel at the scene and released.

During this investigation, it was discovered that Cain and Grams had a large marijuana cultivation in and around the residence where the original incident occurred. Narcotics detectives were called and assumed responsibilities for this portion of the investigation. A Search Warrant was obtained for the residence where a sophisticated marijuana growing operation was discovered. Several rooms of the rented property contained marijuana plants, high intensity lighting on automated tracks, multiple air conditioning units, exhaust fans with carbon filters to reduce odors, and propane fueled carbon dioxide generators. 541 marijuana plants were seized.

Cain was arrested for CONTINUED »

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

Sheriff’s Narcotics Detectives received reports of methamphetamine sales by Juan Villa, occurring at a residence in the 700 Block of Akers St, Fillmore. Information obtained during surveillance led to the issuance a search warrant for the residence. On 10/19/2012, members of the West County Street Team executed the search warrant and discovered approximately 11 grams of methamphetamine in the bedroom identified as Villa’s. Prior to the execution of the search warrant, Villa had been detained for a vehicle code violation by Santa Clara Valley Sheriff’s Patrol Deputies, and was subsequently arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance. Based on the evidence discovered during the search warrant, Villa was also arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale. He was booked into the Sheriff’s Main Jail.

Nature of Incident: Narcotics Arrest
Report Number:
Location: 700 Block Akers St, Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/19/2012 1130 hours
Unit Responsible: Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, West County Street Team
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Juan Villa Fillmore 34
Deputy Preparing Media Release: Sergeant Mike Horne
Media Release Date: 10/23/2012
Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Mike Horne, 805-383-8700
Approved by: Captain Mike Hartmann

 
On Thursday, October 4th, four new Military Banners wre installed. Family and friends came out for the dedication. Pictured above are the banners: Victoria A. Hernandez, Jose A. Patino, Marcelino Zavala, and Juan Carlos Garcia.
On Thursday, October 4th, four new Military Banners wre installed. Family and friends came out for the dedication. Pictured above are the banners: Victoria A. Hernandez, Jose A. Patino, Marcelino Zavala, and Juan Carlos Garcia.
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By now you are all aware of Fillmore's own 2010 Fillmore High School Graduate and United States Marine Corps, Corporal Jose A. Patino, calling and then emailing me from Afghanistan to learn how he could have a Military Banner with his name displayed in Fillmore. Since that initial request the Fillmore and Piru Communities have donated $2,250 towards the purchase of not only Corporal Patino's Military Banner, but the remaining monies were generously donated to remain in the account for partial grants for future Military Banners for those men and women currently serving from the Communities of Fillmore and Piru and requesting Military Banners! I am also happy to report that Corporal Patino's Military Banner and those of three others; Victoria Hernandez, United States Navy Marcelino Zavala, United States Marine Corps and Juan C. Garcia, United States Army were installed on Thursday, October 4th at 10:00 A.M. on Central Avenue just North of Highway 126. Family and friends were present in large numbers in front of the Fillmore Unified School District Offices for the presentation of the Military Banners and pictures before they are installed by City of Fillmore Public Works Crews.

Below is the most recent email I received from Corporal Patino acknowledging the Military Banner that will be displayed in his honor:
“Good morning sir,
I apologize for the delay I just recently arrived to another F.O.B "Camp Dwyer". I read all your emails and I am truly speechless. All the effort you have put into not just helping myself with the privilege of displaying my own banner, but with the time and respect of attending the rededication memorial of 1st
Lieutenant Toby Gritz. Without the Fillmore Gazette I would have no idea of what's going on in my home town of Fillmore. Knowing that you also did your time as a Marine I know you remember that our Marine Corps has a saying "ONCE A MARINE, ALWAYS A MARINE " and you have truly held that to the highest standards by taking your time to help the WHOLE community of Fillmore in the hard work and efforts you put into the Gazette. I would like to thank the community of Fillmore & Piru for all the tremendous support in making this possible. I would also like to thank my family; Rebecca and our son Dominik " daddy will home soon son" , along with my mother Gabriela, sister Gaby and my brother Ruben. Thank you for all the support and love you have given me. Mr. Diaz, you can contact Rebecca Botson at (deleted) to coordinate the presence of my family. Once again Mr. Diaz I am truly thankful for the help you have given me. SEMPER FI and I'll see you soon Sir.”

Receiving an email CONTINUED »

 
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
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Question No. 5: With city budgets shrinking, what cost saving measures would you propose/consider? What funding avenues/changes would you make concerning the community pool?

DOUGLAS TUCKER:
I believe that in addition to cost saving measures we should be looking at revenue generating measures. To increase revenues; we have several projects in town that have already received approvals, such as portions of the Business Park. This project has been waiting for the city to move forward. This one project will bring much needed revenue and jobs to the city. 2) We need to review our contracts with city consultants /contractors. How much is the city paying for these consultants and contractors? On at least two occasions, the city council had been asked to show the benefits of laying off employees and replacing them with consultants and contract employees. To date no answer has been provided. The city council needs to stop making emotional decisions on fiscal issues. Regarding the pool, we must explore all options to reduce cost and increase users. The city should offer a monthly pass, just like gyms, not just pay to swim passes. The reoccurring monthly fees would help the pool budget and allow the users to gain greater access to the pool. We should work with our youth groups more and advertise the Kiddie Play area which is available for party rentals. If we market it properly the use of the pool and hopefully the track, combined with our back country roads we have an excellent Triathlon training facility. The city should accept American Water’s offer to pay for the pool chemicals. We need to look at the possibility of privatizing pool operations and maintenance thereby turning it into a revenue source. The pool is something that we should take pride in, but we need to be practical and ensure that the pool is self-sustaining.

RICK NEAL
One of the first CONTINUED »

 
FUSD board and cabient members
FUSD board and cabient members
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Scott Lee, representing the Lions Club International, presented FUSD with a check for $200 to be used for recognition plaques.
Scott Lee, representing the Lions Club International, presented FUSD with a check for $200 to be used for recognition plaques.

At the October 16, 2012 Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board Meeting Assistant Superintendent Michael Johnson presented the Board with FUSD’s Academic Performance Index (API) Report and the status of the schools that are under Program Improvement (PI). The AIP scores give a sense of where the schools are today and what gains or loses have been made over the past five years. Parents of students attending the district will be happy to learn that the Alterative Governance Board (AGB) schools have made double digit growth. Their growth points are: Mountain Vista Elementary 48, Piru School 85, San Cayetano 36, Sespe School 17, Fillmore Middle School 5, Fillmore High School 55, Sierra High School 152, District overall 35.

Johnson informed the Board that most of California’s primary through high schools can expect to fall into PI at least once more, adding, “There are 26 different ways for a school to fail” and most schools have at least one deficiency. He went on to say that the challenge is to sustain momentum once the school starts improving.

One challenge FUSD has taken on is raising the bar on Math. Last year 55 seventh graders took algebra with 27 of them becoming proficient or advanced. This year 81 seventh graders are taking algebra and 51 are taking geometry. But what is impressive is that 201 eight grade students are taking algebra. Many of the students were encouraged by the success of the Summer School Math Bridge Academy which will be adding pre-algebra, algebra II, and chemistry to the summer 2013 session. Dr. Alan Nishino, FUSD Superintendent, said the goal is to allow those who want to move forward that option…” Raising the bar means the students are better prepared.” John Wilber, Principal at Mountain Vista, informed the Board that every freshman is enrolled in biology this year adding that it was quite a task to achieve, but they did it.

Johnson also went CONTINUED »

 
Grad Nite Live received a $1000 check from Owen & Minor - West Region Sales Office, Tuesday, October 16. Owen & Minor - West is a distributor of medical and surgical supplies and equipment. Pictured above (l-r) Deana Martinez, Martin Cisneros, Natalie Gibbs, Raelene Chaney, and CJ Leggett. Not pictured: Joe Hince, Pedro Suarez, Berta Campbell and Dan Mercado.
Grad Nite Live received a $1000 check from Owen & Minor - West Region Sales Office, Tuesday, October 16. Owen & Minor - West is a distributor of medical and surgical supplies and equipment. Pictured above (l-r) Deana Martinez, Martin Cisneros, Natalie Gibbs, Raelene Chaney, and CJ Leggett. Not pictured: Joe Hince, Pedro Suarez, Berta Campbell and Dan Mercado.
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I had a meeting a couple weeks ago involving business for the Bardsdale Cemetery where I serve on their Board of Directors. Doug Basolo, the Bardsdale Cemetery Manager, asked me to meet him at the cafe located inside of William L. Morris Chevrolet, 1024 Ventura St., for coffee and to discuss some documents I needed to sign. Well I had to stop and think for a second because I had forgotten there was a cafe there and actually thought it was no longer in business, but off I went to meet Doug for coffee while he ate breakfast and I reviewed the papers he needed me to sign.

When I first sat down at Doug's table I was totally taken aback by the plate full of food he was attacking and the thickness of the Black Forrest Ham slice on his plate! Then a nice young man exited the kitchen and filled a cup of coffee for me and engaged me in easy conversation. As it turned out this was David Asher the co-owner and chef of the cafe now known as the Orange Rush Cafe.

Not that I know everyone in Fillmore, but it was obvious to me that David was, as they say, “Not from around here!” David told me that he had opened the Orange Rush Cafe in July of this year and so far he was pleased with the support he has been given. He told me he is from Orlando, Florida and since opening the Orange Rush Cafe he has come to know a lot of local people from Fillmore who frequent his Cafe. David told me that for now he is only open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. David did tell me he will start a dinner service on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm and will be open each Friday and Saturday after that. Impressed with this newcomer to Fillmore! I told David that I would like to write an article about his Orange Rush Cafe and promised him I would be back for lunch with my wife, Carolyn, soon.

I got to CONTINUED »

 
Monday, October 15, a Red Fox was spotted on top of a shed on Fillmore Street.
Monday, October 15, a Red Fox was spotted on top of a shed on Fillmore Street.
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A hummingbird also spotted the Fox.
A hummingbird also spotted the Fox.
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Council Member Edwardo Gonzalez, owner of Fillmore Convalescent Center and Orange Blossom Villa.
Council Member Edwardo Gonzalez, owner of Fillmore Convalescent Center and Orange Blossom Villa.
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City Clerk produces data four months after initial Records Request
Water Sewer Billing Records History received from the City of Fillmore on October 5, 2012, for Fillmore Convalescent Center, Orange Blossom Villa (pages 1-3), and an attached residence (pages 4-5).
Water Sewer Billing Records History received from the City of Fillmore on October 5, 2012, for Fillmore Convalescent Center, Orange Blossom Villa (pages 1-3), and an attached residence (pages 4-5).
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[Update 10/16/12 - Added Public Records Request Images]

Questions were raised again about the Gazette’s alleged bias at Tuesday’s city council meeting. Several speakers, including the city clerk’s wife, complained that the Gazette had falsely accused Clay Westling of being politically prejudiced. Mrs. Westling stated that the Gazette had wrongfully criticized the clerk of failing to comply with Freedom of Information Act emails and Public Records Requests. She maintained that all requests for information were answered completely and in a timely manner.

While each request made of all other council members for water/sewer billings were in fact provided in a timely manner, Councilman Eduardo Gonzalez’ information was not. The first Freedom of Information Act request was made on May 25, 2012. Other requests for Gonzalez’ billings were made in June, July, and two in October. On July 12 the Gazette received an email from Mr. Westling stating: “The City of Fillmore has provided you with all of the records on this topic [Gonzalez] that exist.” “...In the meantime I am treating this topic as closed. Respectfully, Clay Westling, Fillmore City Clerk”

Copies of this message were sent to Yvonne Quiring and Glenda Jay, under “RE: Utility Bill-Council Member Gonzalez.”

On July 11, 2012, the Gazette answered that the information was “significantly incorrect and incomplete, according to recent personal communications between Mr. Gonzalez and myself” [Martin Farrell]. A Public Records Request was sent on October 2, 2012, with this note: “In the event this request is again ignored this issue will be referred to the Ventura County District Attorney for resolution.”

On October 5, the Gazette received some billing information on Gonzalez, though still incomplete, with copies sent to “Rigo Landeros; Glenda Jay; Laura Seo”.

The Utility Billing Account History Report we received indicates Gonzalez has an outstanding balance of more than $95,000 as of September 27, 2012 on his Fillmore Convalescent property.

The Gazette also received billing information from Westling for Gonzalez’ other property, Orange Blossom Villa, for $688 which appears to apply to a single unit of the 66 units involved. A second Public Records Request for Orange Blossom was emailed to City Clerk Westling on October 5 requesting water/sewer history for all units. No response has been received to date.

Mr. Gonzalez’ delinquency amounts to nearly 20 percent of the entire outstanding water/sewer billings. At last night’s council meeting council members Conaway, Sipes, and Washburn voted to send closed, delinquent accounts to collection. Councilmen Jamey Brooks and Gonzalez voted not to send the accounts to collection (under $250,000 in closed accounts were on the city books, with $131,000 of that now closed and in collections).

With over $500,000 in open delinquent water/sewer accounts outstanding, the question remains why wasn’t Councilman Gonzalez vetted before being nominated by Jamey Brooks, seconded by Gayle Washburn, and appointed to the council? Gonzalez was appointed the week of January 11th, 2012; his delinquent bill as of January 26th was $46,189.98 for the Convalescent Center alone. At the January meeting Councilmembers Steve Conaway and Brian Sipes said they wanted more discussion with Conaway motioning for Alex Mollkoy to be nominated, but no one would second Conaway’s motion. Then in a 3 to 1 vote with very little discussion, Washburn, Brooks and Conaway voted to give the seat to Gonzalez; only Councilmember Brian Sipes voted against it.

Another question remains - has the Fillmore City Clerk been involved in a cover-up of Councilman Gonzalez’ delinquent water/sewer billings, which exceed $95,000 for his Fillmore Convalescent Center property? Or, is it merely a question of incompetence? Westling and Gonzalez have been long-time allies in Fillmore politics, dating back to Measure H and I, (November 2008) and the “Sewercide” group (opposing the water treatment plant).

A more complete timeline and record of communications between the city clerk and the Gazette will be posted to fillmoregazette.com next week.

 
Council Members (l-r) Conaway, Brooks, Washburn, Sipes and Gonzalez.
Council Members (l-r) Conaway, Brooks, Washburn, Sipes and Gonzalez.
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Retiring Officer Jerry Peterson and his wife
Retiring Officer Jerry Peterson and his wife

The tension at the October 9, 2012 Fillmore City Council Meeting was extremely high as parties from both sides of the ticket, incumbents and new candidates accused the other side of tampering with their political signs. All the political drama kept Fillmore’s Police Chief Monica McGrath busy watching and directing some in attendance to their proper place and at times having to check on the foyer to tone down the loud angry talk that could be heard inside the Council Chamber. There was an hour of public comments mostly from one group that sat together on the north side of the chamber. This group would give a loud applause when someone from their group gave a condemning announcement. This seems to have become a common practice since non-incumbents have announced they were running for office.

Through all the political drama, there were agenda items that were attended to. They included a proclamation to retiring Sheriff Jerry Peterson, an award to Fillmore from United Way, discussion of the 2011-2012 year end budget adjustments, uncollectible utility accounts, budget adjustments regarding the Transportation Development Act and a Community Development Block Grant.

Taking the spotlight CONTINUED »

 
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
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Question No. 4: With the two letters of No Confidence submitted by city staff regarding ex-city manager Yvonne Quiring, how do you see morale being restored at city hall and in the council that ignored the letters?

SANDRA PELLA:
Question 4 states, “the council ignored the letters;” a statement not based upon fact. The council did respond to the 2 letters of No Confidence drafted by Roger Campbell, an individual who was not employed on city staff, and had no authority to interfere with employee relations. The council addressed allegations from city staff in 2 city council meetings, and spent city funds to conduct 2 investigations. It was found that Yvonne Quiring had acted in a professional and appropriate manner in her dealings with staff.
This incident became a morale issue at city hall because standard policy was not followed; a procedure that is the norm in most organizations. Grievance issues follow a process of levels. The first step is to bring the grievance to the supervisor, and if there is no resolution to the matter, then the grievance is taken to a higher level. In the case of the city staff’s grievances against Ms. Quiring, this standard procedure was not followed. There might have been a resolution on the first level had this process been utilized.
Morale in any organization is restored when employees understand the organization’s vision, goals and policies, and their role in meeting the organization’s objectives. It is management’s responsibility to state the vision, direct the goals and to provide tools necessary for employees to succeed. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines one aspect of morale as, “the sense of common purpose with respect to a group.” Morale is maintained when employees understand policy with regard to grievances and follow the policy guidelines. Communication is always a major key to resolving issues. Problems in the workplace can usually be worked out with cooperation and communication.

MANUEL MINJARES:
There were many CONTINUED »

 

Christian Conaway pulls off a double by winning both Classic Luge and Street Luge at the IGSA NorAm Race held on Oct 6 & 7 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. As a result of his series points standings, totalling 2 Gold medal, 2 Silver medal and 1 Bronze medal, he earned the 2012 IGSA North American Series Street luge Championship.

In the final race of the 2012 IGSA North American Championship Series Conaway dominated the competition on Saturday by setting the fastest qualifying times in both Street Luge and Classic Luge. Conaway bested the time of the second fastest rival by more than two seconds. In a sport that is measured in thousandths of a second a 2 second lead is rare. Conaway uncorked a 1:04.272 on his second qualifying run leaving everyone else racing for second fastest qualifying position. Christian was visibly pleased with his results on Saturday but based on his demeanor he knew he had work to do on Race Day. “Qualifying is qualifying, but it isn’t racing” he said.

IGSA President Marcus Rietema wrote, “Christian Conaway continued the dominance he'd shown in qualifying (on Saturday) to win the street luge race and the NorAm points championship. Conaway, who was competing in his final race before heading out on a two-year mission for his church, left all of his rivals racing for second. He built huge leads off the starting line with a monster push and then rode perfect lines through O-Tang corner all day long leaving no chance for his fellow racers to catch him.” Conaway also went on to race and win in the Classic Luge event against a large field of racers.

The North American Series consists of eight races held in Mexico, Canada and the United States. Capping off the 2012 season with the North American Series Championship was a fitting way to go out on top as he takes a two year leave from racing to provide service to others in Bogota Columbia.

 
U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Phillip C. Diaz and United States Army Specialist Michael P. O’Neal.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Phillip C. Diaz and United States Army Specialist Michael P. O’Neal.

Yesterday, Saturday, September 29th, while talking with my son, United States Navy Petty Officer Second Class Phillip C. Diaz 26 years, who is currently serving in Afghanistan, we had one of those great moments that will always be remembered by our family! It started out by my son interrupting our conversation with, “Holy #@$%$#@!” My heart skipped a beat and I was shaken after he said that because I had about three very bad scenarios running through my mind as I asked him if he was OK! Phillip responded, “Its Michael!” The ‘Michael’ Phillip was referring to is Phillip's nephew and my oldest grandson, United States Army Specialist Michael P. O'Neal 20 years, who is also serving in Afghanistan at a Forward Operation Base much farther south of Bagram Air Force Base where Phillip is stationed.

After talking with both Phillip and Michael I had them promise to take a photo of this moment for me and put it on Facebook! They did just that and by the time I signed on to Facebook later that day there were numerous posting from people in Fillmore and Ohio where Michael is from acknowledging the photograph. Thank you again for bringing our currently serving military members closer to home with the technology we are all fortunate to have available, like reading the Fillmore Gazette online, that can bring them closer from so far away! Our men and women currently serving are truly American Heroes and I know we are all thankful for the sacrifices they make daily for us and will make in the future.

 
Sunday, October 7th, at about 4:30 p.m. the Fillmore Fire Department responded to a tree limb down on the corner of A St. and Ventura St. When Fillmore Fire personnel arrived on scene, they found a very large tree limb had fallen onto a vehicle that was parked underneath the tree. No injuries to report.
Sunday, October 7th, at about 4:30 p.m. the Fillmore Fire Department responded to a tree limb down on the corner of A St. and Ventura St. When Fillmore Fire personnel arrived on scene, they found a very large tree limb had fallen onto a vehicle that was parked underneath the tree. No injuries to report.
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2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
2012 Fillmore City Council Candidates (l-r) Manuel Minjaras, Rick Neal, Douglas Tucker, Gayle Washburn, Sandy Pella and Alex Mollkoy.
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Question No. 3: What actions taken by the current council in the last two years do you agree with most and why? What actions do you disagree with most and why?

SANDRA PELLA:
Actions taken by the current city council in the past two years that I agree with most include:
1. I strongly support the current council’s decision to pursue negotiations with American Water in order to reduce operating and maintenance cost of the water treatment plant. Costs imposed by the operation of the water treatment plant, coupled with the impact of the recession, have adversely impacted Fillmore businesses, schools and households.
2. I agree with the current city council’s commitment to be openly transparent in all decision making policy.
3. I agree with the current council’s efforts to provide a streamlined budget that is user friendly, and for conducting budget workshops that encouraged more participation from the public.
4. I strongly commend the current city council for managing to balance the budget despite criticism for taking necessary actions in order to keep the City of Fillmore solvent.
5. I agree with the current city council’s endeavor to target every possible revenue source, and with supporting the Fillmore Chamber of Commerce as well as other local agencies, to promote filming and tourism. Just since July, filming in Fillmore has generated income in excess of last year’s entire revenues.
The action taken by the current city council in the past two years that I most disagree with most involves a recent decision not to censure Council Member Steve Conaway for violating the Brown Act. As an elected official of the City, every council member is held to a high standard of ethics. The other council members voted to admonish Council Member Conaway for his conduct, thereby being prudent in not expending City monies to pursue further action.

DOUGLAS TUCKER:
As stated at CONTINUED »

 
Members of the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department
Members of the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department
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The members of the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department will be wearing pink shirts for the month of October to join the effort to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Statistics show that every 2 minutes there is a new diagnosis of breast cancer. Every 14 minutes a life is lost to the disease. Over 40,000 people will die this year; about 400 of them will be men. 85% of all those diagnosed have no family history. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; the leading cause of death in women between ages 40 and 55.

The Firefighters of the Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department would like to remind every woman to have annual breast exams; to provide encouragement to those women who currently battle the disease; and remember those who have lost the battle with this disease.

 
Sunday, at approximately 2 p.m. a single vehicle accident occurred on Old Telephone Road. The female driver of a Jeep SUV heading westward lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the north drain ditch. She was transferred by ambulance to an undesignated hospital with undetermined injuries.
Sunday, at approximately 2 p.m. a single vehicle accident occurred on Old Telephone Road. The female driver of a Jeep SUV heading westward lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the north drain ditch. She was transferred by ambulance to an undesignated hospital with undetermined injuries.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

The Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) Board Meeting began with a public hearing on the sufficiency of textbooks and instructional materials for the K-8 grade provision of standards-aligned and structured English immersion program for the 2012-2013 school year. Also on the agenda was a presentation of a reading event being held later this month for 3rd graders along with an update on Math and English test scores.

Jennifer Weir, Special Populations Coordinator will be partnering with nonprofit Right Road Kids President Paula Phillips, to host a Family Reading Celebration event for FUSD 3rd graders and their families. The event is made possible through a generous grant provided by Reading is Fundamental and Macy’s Department Stores. The grants ranged from $1,000 to $5,000, with Fillmore receiving $5,000, the highest amount. The goal of the grant is to motivate students about the importance of reading, empower families, encourage community support and promote partnerships with educators and parents. The motivational program’s focus is the importance of reading at home, parents/siblings reading to kids and parent classroom involvement. Students attending will receive Right Road Reading Packs, script for the Free Book Store, along with the entertaining programs and edible treats for everyone. The event will take place at Fillmore Middle School on October 23rd between 5:00-7:00 p.m. Fliers will be sent home with all FUSD 3rd graders and parents are encouraged to pre-register by Friday October 5th to assure their child and family members will receive the free materials. Parents or an adult family member must accompany their children. For more information contact Jennifer Weir at 805 524-8036 or jweir@fillmore.k12.ca.us

Although notice was given CONTINUED »

 
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