Pictured (l-r) San Cayetano Principal Jan Marholin, Alex Turcios, Kayla Garcia, Joe Cronin, Ms. Melanie Chisholm, and Joe Giunta. The students presented a NASA experiment at Tuesday night’s School Board meeting. Photo by Harold Cronin.
Pictured (l-r) San Cayetano Principal Jan Marholin, Alex Turcios, Kayla Garcia, Joe Cronin, Ms. Melanie Chisholm, and Joe Giunta. The students presented a NASA experiment at Tuesday night’s School Board meeting. Photo by Harold Cronin.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

David Dollar has resigned as a trustee of the Fillmore Unified School District and board members decided at Tuesday’s board meeting to appoint his replacement.

Dollar submitted his letter of resignation to the County Board of Education where it was forwarded to Fillmore Board President Tony Prado. Prado read the letter to an overflow crowd at the February 2 meeting.
Instead of holding a special election run by the county, which would be billed to the district, Prado said: “Consensus is that we will appoint someone to fill the position.” Under FUSD bylaws the board shall advertise in the local media to solicit candidate applications. A committee consisting of less than a quorum of the board shall ensure that applicants are eligible for board membership and announce the names of the eligible candidates. The board shall interview the candidates at a public meeting, accept oral or written public input and select the provisional appointee by a majority vote.

Interested applicants must be 18 or older, a U.S. Citizen, live in the FUSD boundaries and not be an employee of the district. Applications should be submitted by March 1 at 4:30 pm Applications can be picked up at the FUSD office at 627 Sespe Avenue. Interviews will take place at the regular board meeting on March 9. The appointment will be made on March 23. The new board member will take the oath of office on March 30 during a joint session with the City Council at the City Hall.

San Cayetano School was chosen last year to participate in a NASA grant for a program called Space Kids where they interact with astronauts. They are one of 10 schools in the country to be chosen and even had to compete with college students to get the grant. Four students, along with their fifth grade teacher Melanie Chisolm and school Principal Jan Marholin, demonstrated their project. The project concerns reduced gravity, also know as micro gravity. The students have participated in video conferencing with their assigned astronaut. The community is invited to their Science Night April 8 where the micro gravity will be present to give more information.
The board heard an updated report from Fillmore High School Principal John Wilbur on graduation requirements and the advanced placement program. He said their goal is to provide students with a rigorous high school experience, similar to other California high schools. He told trustees that they have four reading intervention classes for students who are reading at the sixth grade level or below. They also have three math intervention classes. Wilbur added that the WASC Accreditation Committee recognized the rigor in FHS curriculum and graduation requirements and the number of students meeting the challenge. The AVID program is also there to help all students, whether or not they are in the advanced placement program or not.

Karen Ashim, FHS Head Counselor told the board of recent college graduates from Fillmore, including two from Harvard, one from Stanford, one from the Air Force Academy, two from the University of San Diego, two from USC, three from Cal Lutheran University, one from Loyola and one from Azusa Pacific University. “We have more students graduating from college than Moorpark High,” said Board President Prado.

Mike Bush, Assistant Superintendent for Business told the board that the budget shortfall is still unresolved. What the budget gap will be is still uncertain and Bush said the district is still in talks with the CSEA (California State Employees' Association) and the FUTA (Fillmore Unified Teachers' Association). Bush said one possible avenue to make up for the budget gap would be to cut student days by five, which would save $578,000. “The board can set the calendar but the employee work year is negotiable,” Bush added. Another budget saving idea would be to switch the health benefit plan. That would save $500,000. The last idea is the realignment of categorical funding.

The next regular board meeting will be held February 16 with a closed session at 5:15 pm and the public session at 6:00 pm in the board room at 627 Sespe Avenue.

 
Pictured above are the six contestants who participated in the student speaker contest held Monday, February 1, at the Scout House. The topic was “Universal Healthcare”: (L-R) Lynn Ferguson, Winner Robby Munoz, Erik Orozco, Chloe Keller, Alondra Gaytan, and Ashley Leagan. Munoz received $75 and the chance to compete in the Lions Zone Speak Off in Simi Valley on February 25.
Pictured above are the six contestants who participated in the student speaker contest held Monday, February 1, at the Scout House. The topic was “Universal Healthcare”: (L-R) Lynn Ferguson, Winner Robby Munoz, Erik Orozco, Chloe Keller, Alondra Gaytan, and Ashley Leagan. Munoz received $75 and the chance to compete in the Lions Zone Speak Off in Simi Valley on February 25.
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Pictured (l-r) Filmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros, Fillmore Fire Captain Patrick Maynard, Oxnard Firefighter Alex Hamilton.
Pictured (l-r) Filmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros, Fillmore Fire Captain Patrick Maynard, Oxnard Firefighter Alex Hamilton.
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State Route 126 hosts upwards of 100,000 vehicles per day resulting in several fatal traffic collisions each year. City of Fillmore Firefighters are faced with the constant challenge of responding to major traffic collisions and providing citizens top-notch service with aging equipment.

The California Office of Traffic Safety has awarded the City of Fillmore Fire Department a grant in the amount of $10,889.00 to purchase additional heavy rescue tools and vehicle stabilization equipment to be used for traffic collision responses.

“As firefighters, it is imperative we reach traffic accident victims as quickly as possible” said Fillmore Fire Chief Rigo Landeros. “This new and improved equipment will add to both the safety of the victim and the firefighters working. Another added benefit is the increased efficiency of which the rescue is performed.”
The grant package received is part of a State of California Office of Traffic Safety grant made available to all California fire agencies. In 2008, City of Oxnard Fire Department Firefighter Alex Hamilton began orchestrating local agency efforts by compiling the regional application, representing all Ventura County Agencies. Each local entity was responsible for submitting a list of their needs as well as justification supporting those requests. Following a competitive review of applicants, Ventura County was selected to receive upwards of $182,000 in grant funding.

Grant funding comprises approximately 5% of the City of Fillmore Fire Departments annual operating budget making it instrumental in the ongoing fiscal health an stability of the organization.

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

01/20/10-01/26/10
Search Warrant
01/20/10
300 Block Clay St.
01/20/10
100 Block Main St.
01/22/10
100 Block Main St.
01/25/10
500 Block Main St.
Theft Other
01/20/10
500 Block Central Ave.
01/25/10
Central Ave. / Santa Clara St.
Threats – Verbal/Written
01/20/10
700 Block 4th St.
Narcotics Violation CONTINUED »

 
 

The Piru Charter School petitioners feel that education reform is the civil rights issue of our time. A good education is inextricably linked to our rights as American citizens. We are disappointed that Ventura County Board members have not supported our vision of quality school choice. Their denial of our petition is in clear opposition to the intent of the Charter Schools Act and the vision of educational reform recently outlined by the Governor of California and the President of United States. Quality education is a fundamental right and if given a chance charter schools can play an important part in erasing the “achievement gap” that exists in many “low performing” schools including Piru Elementary.

It is fundamentally unfair that Americans’ educational opportunities are so heavily influenced by dysfunctional school districts like Fillmore Unified School District where because of poor leadership and a reluctance to implement educational reform strategies each of their four elementary schools and their only middle school find themselves currently identified as a “low performing” school by the California Department of Education.

The Ventura County Board of Education had an opportunity to support Piru Charter School and make a clear choice to promote educational reform in Ventura County now and for generations to come. Many families and students will be disappointed as they learn that their wishes for quality school choice were ignored. To these parents we suggest you hold the Ventura County School Board members who voted against the charter petition accountable at the polls during the next election. As parents and voters you deserve more than “business as usual” from your elected officials.

Piru Charter School petitioners will appeal this CONTINUED »

 
Chief Tim Hagel addresses the fi rst Sheriffs Explorer’s meeting for Fillmore.
Chief Tim Hagel addresses the fi rst Sheriffs Explorer’s meeting for Fillmore.
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The Fillmore Police Department has organized the first explorer program in many years. On January 21, 2010, at 6:30 pm., the Santa Clara Valley Explorer Advisors had their first meeting with the explorer candidates.

The advisors are Deputy Leo Vazquez, Deputy Gabe Gonzales, Deputy Daniel Ozuna, Deputy Nora Sanchez and Cadet Leanne Thompson. Youths residing in the Fillmore and Piru areas were asked to sign-up if they were interested in becoming involved in the program. There were a total of 23 candidates and their parents that attended the meeting.

Fillmore Police Chief Tim Hagel, Sergeant Dave Wareham, Fillmore High School Counselor Isela Larin, Jermaine Bell from Boy Scouts of America, and Ventura Explorer Rockwell Ellis also attended. Deputy Gonzales gave a presentation about the program and what is expected of each individual. The purpose of the explorer program is to train young men and women of today for a future in the law enforcement field and to develop an interest in law enforcement.

The explorers will learn the mission of the department and the duties of deputies, build self-confidence and discipline, learn how to handle emergency situations, learn about the community and public relations, and develop leadership qualities. They will receive training in different areas of police work and will perform a variety of tasks under the direction of the Sheriff’s Department.

The explorer program is an organization of young adults CONTINUED »

 

Jorge Hernandez has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for causing a collision that killed two local disc jockeys in September 2009.

Hernandez, 24, was driving under the influence of alcohol on the wrong side of Highway 118 near Rose Avenue at 5:36 a.m.

Killed were David Garcia, 33, formerly of Fillmore, and Alex Estrada, 33, of Ventura. Garcia’s wife, Sonia, 26, was critically injured and remained in a coma for a month.

The two popular disc jockeys had attended and just left a Relay for Life cancer walk in Fillmore, when the collision occurred.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, had no criminal record and accepted responsibility early, which Ventura County Superior Court Judge Edward Brodie took into account in sentencing. Hernandez was also ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution.

Hernandez has two children, a 3-year old and a baby, who was born when he was in jail.

 
Public Works Director Bert Rapp explained to city council that Two Rivers Park will need sod to replace the failed hydroseed.
Public Works Director Bert Rapp explained to city council that Two Rivers Park will need sod to replace the failed hydroseed.

Two Rivers Sod
“This is not an easy item,” said Public Works Director Bert Rapp on Tuesday night, asking council to approve the installation of sod at Two Rivers Park, where hydroseeding has failed. The grass, hydroseeded in September 2009 (10 acres), is not growing as anticipated.

“It has not grown as it should have grown,” stated Rapp, citing improper care by the contractor after seeding.
Negotiations have been going on with the contractor to rectify the problem “on his nickel” according to Rapp. This approach yields the Change Order price of $156,000 to upgrade to sod.

He made it clear that the contractor was “absorbing [the] pain of the problem” financially. The contractor will pay $3,000 per day after April 15th if the sod is not “mowable” at one inch. Motion for sod passed 3-0.

Two Boys & Girls Club sites close
Interim Chief Professional Officer Sheila Tate began Tuesday’s council meeting by announcing the closing of three Boys & Girls Club sites, two in Fillmore. As of January 31st the North Fillmore and Rancho Sespe Clubhouses will close due to financial pressures. Tate said the organization is consolidating and reorganizing, and hopes the closings will be temporary. Displaced members are encouraged to attend the First Street Boys & Girls Club.

Tate thanked Santa Clara Valley Disposal, Big Brothers and Sisters, American Girl Scouts and the Fillmore School District for their involvement in helping the Club. She also announced that actor/activist Martin Sheen will be the keynote speaker at the Breakfast of Champions on Feb. 26. Anyone with questions or suggestion can contact Tate at 805-525-7910.

Take Your Family to Dinner for the Club CONTINUED »

 
February 1st

Monday, February 1 will be the Fillmore Lions Student Speaker contest. So now is the last chance t( enter and win $75 for winning and $25 for entering. The topic is "UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE-HOW WILL IT AFFECT US?" The outcome of this debate will affect all of us for years to come.

The winner of the Fillmore contest Feb. 1 will move on and compete for $21,325 in prize money and scholarships. Call Bill Edmonds at 524-4839 or see Mr. Josh Overton at the high school. All high school age youth who reside within the Fillmore High School District boundaries are eligible to compete. This includes home taught students as well as Fillmore residents who attend other high schools. This also includes foreign exchange students.

Students who wish to enter may contact Bill Edmonds at 524-4839 or Josh Overton at the Fillmore High School drama room. Edmonds emphasized that this public speaking competition will be very worthwhile to the students and interesting to their parents and to the community. Public speaking competition will also look very good on college applications and resumes.

Time is drawing short and students should start at once. It takes time to develop and practice a good speech. Act now. The contest will take place Monday, Feb. 1 beginning at 7:00pm at the Scout House at the end of Sespe.

 

The Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley has been working on a reorganization and revitalization strategy the last 3 months that has brought needed change and enhanced communication and partnerships throughout both communities of Fillmore and Santa Paula. In order to strengthen service delivery and to ensure stability, the Board has decided to temporarily suspend services at 3 sites effective January 31, 2010 and will continue operations at 2 sites in Fillmore and Santa Paula.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley are encouraging parents to send their children to the Clubhouses that will remain open: FILLMORE - Fillmore Clubhouse, 565 First St., 524-0456. SANTA PAULA - Las Piedras Clubhouse, 431 13th St., 933-3676.

In order to cut expenses, the Santa Paula Clubhouse at 1400 Harvard Blvd. will be closed temporarily. This will also make room for a renovation project that has been funded through grants and collaboration with the City of Santa Paula. Construction includes a rebuild of the public restrooms on the outside of the building, a remodel and enlargement of the entry to the Clubhouse, updated wiring, and installation of heating and air conditioning.

The 2 other closures at Rancho Sespe, CONTINUED »

 
The Los Padres National Forest mountains above Fillmore received a blanket of snow last week.
The Los Padres National Forest mountains above Fillmore received a blanket of snow last week.
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Weather related accidents pile up. Sunday, at approximately 5 p.m., the driver of this car was eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle and dropped down a 25-foot embankment near Atmore Road off Highway 126. The car then clipped several lemon trees, destroyed a steel pipe gate, struck a paved work road, and proceeded down another 15-foot embankment, crashing into a creek. The car then spun around 90 degrees, narrowly missing a power pole, ending up wedged into a concrete culvert, inches away from a high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The driver suffered a few minor scratches to his hand. No passengers were involved.
Weather related accidents pile up. Sunday, at approximately 5 p.m., the driver of this car was eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle and dropped down a 25-foot embankment near Atmore Road off Highway 126. The car then clipped several lemon trees, destroyed a steel pipe gate, struck a paved work road, and proceeded down another 15-foot embankment, crashing into a creek. The car then spun around 90 degrees, narrowly missing a power pole, ending up wedged into a concrete culvert, inches away from a high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The driver suffered a few minor scratches to his hand. No passengers were involved.
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Monday, early afternoon, this Honda Civic was involved in a two-car collision on Highway 126, also near Atmore Road. The car crashed over a ditch, through a heavy steel fence and approximately 100 feet into a lemon orchard. The other vehicle seemed to sustain minor damages. Cause of the accident was not available at press time. No serious injuries were reported.
Monday, early afternoon, this Honda Civic was involved in a two-car collision on Highway 126, also near Atmore Road. The car crashed over a ditch, through a heavy steel fence and approximately 100 feet into a lemon orchard. The other vehicle seemed to sustain minor damages. Cause of the accident was not available at press time. No serious injuries were reported.
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After little more than a day’s rainfall the Sespe Creek begins to roar. The day before only a trickle flowed through a parched, boulder creek bottom. By afternoon of the second day, a U.S. Geological Services (USGS) team measured the flow under the Old Telegraph bridge traveling past a 12-foot deep area, at 10-feet per second. The next storm will greatly increase the flow.
After little more than a day’s rainfall the Sespe Creek begins to roar. The day before only a trickle flowed through a parched, boulder creek bottom. By afternoon of the second day, a U.S. Geological Services (USGS) team measured the flow under the Old Telegraph bridge traveling past a 12-foot deep area, at 10-feet per second. The next storm will greatly increase the flow.
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Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Fillmore Unified School District Trustees have learned that the district needs $2.2 million dollars to break even next year.

Mike Bush, Assistant Superintendent for Business told the board at this weeks meeting that “We're dead with less.” He went on to say that it's expected that the state will take away at least $2.1 million dollars to help make up for the state budget deficit. Bush added that if the state takes the additional money, that means that the state will have cut the Fillmore school budget by 20 percent over the past three years. This equals $3.6 million dollars. Bush said the state budget is $19.9 billion dollars “Out of whack.”

Board member John Garnica noted that California has the lowest credit rating in the country and he pointed out that California has dropped to last place in spending per pupil for education.

Bush also brought to the board the issue of insurance costs for district employees. The district now pays all the costs of the HMO Blue Shield Access Plus and the staff members may choose to purchase a Blue Cross PPO plan. He suggested the district switch from the Access Plus plan to Blue Shield Net Value. This plan would save the school district $150 per month per employee. Bush said the plan has the same basic benefits and the same doctors as the Access Plus. The savings to the district would be over $500,000 dollars, Bush added.

Human Resources Consultant Bev Jones said CONTINUED »

 

Will Piru Charter School offer a true educational alternative? The answer is a resounding yes!

Piru Charter School supports the Educating the Whole Child approach to learning that includes: using researched-based instructional strategies to increase student achievement, using a social-emotional development program that impacts the attitudes of children in a positive and profound way, and using aerobic exercise to focus, motivate, and invigorate students. This powerful three-step recipe for student success is a true educational alternative and will be the only school in Ventura to offer it!

Lower class size in grades 4-6 to 24 students will mean that all students will receive more of the individual attention they need to successfully enter middle school, high school, and college. As educational material in mathematics, language arts, and the content areas becomes more complex, and as some parents are less able to help their students at home, it is educationally unsound to increase class size to THIRTY-TWO students in grades 4-6. Piru Charter School will be the only school in FUSD to offer this exciting and important student to teacher ratio!

Keeping struggling students in core instruction, rather than having them sent to CONTINUED »

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

The National Weather Service has predicted that several large storms will bring significant amounts of rainfall to the county next week. As the storms approach, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Aviation / Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind all residents of the dangers that can come with this type of weather.

As the rain makes its way to the rivers and streams, please stay away from the moving water and be aware that the water can be an attractive nuisance to children. It only takes a small amount of water to wash away vehicles and cause drivers to lose control. As a preventive measure, do not attempt to cross moving water either on foot or in a vehicle. Remember that even normally shallow water crossings can become hazardous during heavy rains, as flows increase during these times.

It is especially important to report any suspicious or dangerous activities in or around waterways over the following weeks. Prevention and early detection is key to avoiding possible tragedies, and in an actual emergency time is of the essence.

 
Including Local Farming and Ranching Communities
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Location: Todd Road Jail, 600 S. Todd Road, Santa Paula, CA
Date & Time/ RB#: January 18, 2010
Unit Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Department--Todd Road Jail

In anticipation of heavy rains expected to last through the weekend of January 23rd and 24th, the Ventura County Sheriff's Todd Road Jail facility began issuing sandbags on Friday, January 15th. The Jail initially had 3,000 sandbags filled and ready for immediate pick up on a 24-hour basis. To date, approximately 800 of those sandbags have been given out to the public. The Jail has the capacity to fill an additional 10,000 bags if significant flooding issues become a concern within the county.

Members of the public and government agencies needing sandbags should go to the Todd Road Jail with a vehicle capable of transporting the sandbags. Further instructions will be provided via intercoms at the gate or public lobby entrance.

Public notification of this assistance program was made through the Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services and through the highly effective Farm Watch email network. Farm Watch is an email network administered by Captain Tim Hagel at the Sheriff's Santa Clara Valley Station. It is primarily designed to keep local farmers and ranchers informed of crime trends and other issues affecting rural areas of the county. In general, rural areas are impacted much more severely during heavy rainstorms.

 

MUD SLIDE ADVISORY

WITH THE RAIN FORECAST FOR MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY JANUARY 22ND THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR MUD SLIDES ON THE HILLS ABOVE FILLMORE.

Fillmore is forecast to receive 6 to 12 inches of rain by Friday January 22nd with periods of high intensity rainfall. The hillsides may become saturated increasing the possibility of mud slides. The current forecast from the National Weather Service for next week is:

“At this time there should be one system on Monday, another one on Tuesday then the strongest storm on Wednesday/Thursday. Current rainfall projections continue to indicate 4 to 8 inches of rain for coastal and valley areas between Sunday and Friday...with 8 to 16 inches in the foothills and mountains. Local amounts over 20 inches are quite likely in favored coastal slope locations.”

If this rain develops as forecast or intensifies, there is an increasing probability of debris flows from the hillsides above Fillmore. Debris flows occurred in 1993, 1998 and 2005. Debris flows typically come down during heavy rainfall and without warning. Everyone in the immediate vicinity of the steep hillsides should use caution.

SAFETY MEASURES YOU CAN TAKE:
• Avoid being at the base of a steep hillside during or immediately after periods of heavy rain.
• If your home is vulnerable, avoid downstairs areas nearest the hillside, or seek shelter in the home of family or friends away from affected hillside areas.

FOR UPDATED INFORMATION VISIT:
National Weather Service: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?wfo=lox&sid=lox&pil=q...
Fillmore Fire Website: www.fillmorefire.com & www.fillmoreca.com
Updates will be available through the rain period on AM Radio 1620

 
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