She is among many of children diagnosed with cancer who have benefited from services provided by Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF)

Fillmore resident Felicity Pastrana, at age 10, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is among many of children diagnosed with cancer who have benefited from services provided by Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF).

As the finale to Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s incredibly successful Gold Ribbon Campaign held in September for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we want to continue to raise awareness for children dealing with cancer by honoring special young heroes in your community who want to share their story about their personal journey with cancer.

Below is a personal story about Felicity Pastrana’s journey:

When Fillmore 10-year-old, Felicity Pastrana walked out of her fifth-grade class in Ventura County one day in November 2015, she never imagined she wouldn’t be returning to school for the next two years.

On Nov. 18, 2015, Felicity was diagnosed with leukemia and her daily routine quickly transitioned from sitting in class with her friends, to fighting for her life. Her studies consisted of working with a home hospital teacher on a weekly basis, provided she wasn’t too sick to meet.

When she was well enough to return to school, TBCF was there to cover the cost of an in-depth neuropsychological test through its Educational Advocacy Program to assess the negative impact from chemotherapy treatments on her development and learning. The result of the test provided a case for an Individualized Education Plan to be developed so that she could receive special education classes.

As part of the Educational Advocacy Program, TBCF additionally covered the expenses of a state credentialed teacher to provide tutoring for Felicity.

“Despite the enduring trauma her body had been through, Felicity always showed up with a smile and excitement to see what new learning adventures awaited her. It was more than just assistance with the academic transition, it was a time to listen, guide and validate the multitude of feelings that surrounded her as she was trying to live life as a child again,” Felicity’s tutor Tyra shared.

“If she didn’t receive that extra help, she would have had a much harder time. She is now in remission and receiving As and Bs in her 8th-grade classes in Middle School!” said Felicity’s mom, Victoria.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) is a non-profit organization providing financial and emotional support to families of children with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Services are providing to families that have a child diagnosed with cancer up to age 18 and continue until they reach 21 years of age. teddybearcancerfoundation.org

 


 

Submitted by By Rick Beavin, California Market President, Humana

If you’re one of 56 million Americans eligible for Medicare, it’s important to understand coverage options when selecting your health plan for 2020. Research can take time, and many people find working with a licensed health insurance agent helpful when deciding between Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplement plans. Answering these five questions can help you make an informed choice during the Medicare Annual Election Period, October 15 to December 7:

Are my doctors, hospitals and specialists in network? Most Medicare Advantage plans offer online tools to help you find doctors and hospitals that are in a plan’s network. A licensed agent can also help you look up hospitals and doctors to see if they’re in a plan’s network and taking new patients and confirm what’s in network if you’re a seasonal resident.

Which plans will cover my prescription drugs? Original Medicare does not cover most prescription drugs. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, or you can sign up for a Part D Prescription Drug Plan separately. A licensed agent can look up the medications you would like covered and help you estimate what the cost of each drug would be on a plan.

Are there new, innovative benefits I should consider? Beyond vision, hearing and dental coverage, if you aim to become healthier, look for fitness program benefits as many Medicare Advantage plans offer a gym membership. If you travel or appreciate technology, virtual doctors are helpful services when you can’t see a doctor right away. Most Medicare Advantage plans now offer transportation to doctor appointments and the gym.

Will a zero monthly premium plan save me money? Private insurers help keep premiums down through programs like disease and chronic care management, which help people better manage health conditions and, in turn, reduce medical costs. You’ll still need to pay your Medicare Part B premium, which covers medical services and preventive care. You might want to use the additional premium dollars you save for out-of-pocket medical costs, such as co-pays.

Do I need to sign up for Medicare Parts A and B if I’m still working? If you or your spouse have health insurance from an employer, you can delay enrolling in Medicare until the employment or the coverage stops. At that point, you’re entitled to a special enrollment period of up to eight months to sign up for Medicare without incurring any late penalties.

Resources are available to help you in this process, including licensed sales agents, local seminars, and websites such as medicare.gov and humana.com/Medicare. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (or TTY: 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or call Humana at 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week.

As with any major decision, proper research will go a long way toward making the best plan choice for your personal health care needs.

Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization, and stand-alone prescription drug plan, with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on plan renewal.

 


 
Pictured at extreme right, Dr. Jesus Vega with students at Santa Paula campus.
Pictured at extreme right, Dr. Jesus Vega with students at Santa Paula campus.
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Last Thursday the Gazette's publisher had the pleasure of meeting with Patti Blair, Administrative Officer to the Chancellor and Board of Trustees, VCEC Assistant Dean Dr. Jesus Vega, and Sarene Wallace, VCCCD's marketing department, at the East Campus in Santa Paula.

Dr. Vega's unique experience as a first-in-family college graduate was discussed. A more complete personal biography will be published in the Gazette next week.

The Ventura County Community College District (Moorpark, Oxnard, Ventura, and Santa Paula) is experiencing significant growth these days. The East Campus in Santa Paula now has 123 students. Courses leading to certificates in areas such as medical assistant, child development, sociology, criminology, agriculture business and Ag economics are popular.
The campus also provides hybrid courses in arts and humanities.

Online courses are becoming more popular, and high school-college courses are available.

The visit was very informative concerning the growth, popularity, and availability of courses. We agreed that college education is available to students at any age today. The college is also focusing on studies and professions which have a significant financial benefit on all students.

Many thanks to Patti Blair, Dr. Vega, and Sarene Wallace for making the visit possible. Expect to hear more, in greater detail, from the growing Santa Paula East Campus in the near future.

 


 
Fillmore cousins, Alexis Amaro, 7, and Destiny Amaro, 5, are learning about keeping their Fillmore community clean by volunteering to pick up trash that disrespectful people dump in public places. They were seen cleaning up the public parking area east of Central Avenue behind downtown businesses. Hopefully the idea of “Volunteer Clean Up” will spread faster than the spreading of trash. Great job girls! You should be proud.
Fillmore cousins, Alexis Amaro, 7, and Destiny Amaro, 5, are learning about keeping their Fillmore community clean by volunteering to pick up trash that disrespectful people dump in public places. They were seen cleaning up the public parking area east of Central Avenue behind downtown businesses. Hopefully the idea of “Volunteer Clean Up” will spread faster than the spreading of trash. Great job girls! You should be proud.
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Volunteers Help Clean Up Fillmore

Courtesy Jan Lee

September 21, 2019 was the 35th Annual Coastal Clean Up Day. This year more than 1000 inland and coastal sites along our watersheds were cleaned. Many volunteers from Fillmore participated. Young boys and girls, students, Scouts, Council members, senior citizens and other friends and neighbors all put on gloves, grabbed grabbers and trash bags and fanned out around town to pick up litter that can find its way into our waterways and the ocean. Jaclyn Ibarra, an FHS alumna and Fillmore Lion’s Club member, worked to organize various community groups and individuals for trash pick up.

For years, the Fillmore Lion’s Club has regularly done highway clean up along Highway 126. It is one of the many projects Lion’s Club does to improve our community. This year they combined highway clean up with a clean up the watershed project. The Fillmore Civic Pride/Volunteerism Committee is another of the many groups who participated in Coastal Clean Up Day. This group plants and maintains the planters along Central, helps keep the bike trail clean and sponsors the Fillmore Flower Show. Other organizations and individuals do many things to keep Fillmore beautiful. Thank you volunteers!

 


 
Fillmore Civic Pride/Vision 2020 announced their May 2019 Yard of the Month winner. Pictured left to right is Fillmore Civic Pride/Vision 2020’s Ari Larson presenting Kassandra Quintero (holding Rocky) and friend Maria Felix (holding Riley). Photo Credit Nancy Alonzo.
Fillmore Civic Pride/Vision 2020 announced their May 2019 Yard of the Month winner. Pictured left to right is Fillmore Civic Pride/Vision 2020’s Ari Larson presenting Kassandra Quintero (holding Rocky) and friend Maria Felix (holding Riley). Photo Credit Nancy Alonzo.
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The May 2019 Yard of the Month went to the home of Kassandra Quintero. She said the inspiration for the front yard came from her dad Jesse’s passion for gardening. The house at 220 Saratoga St. in Fillmore is on a long, thin plot of land. Jesse made use of the full area by being creative with statues, lawn furniture, plants and trees, which include four different types of roses, jasmine on the wall and an arch leading up to the house. Kassandra says the jasmine is her personal favorite because of the fragrance. They also have palm trees, pygmy date palms, lycianthes rantonnetii and box plants (also known as buxus), as well as an orange tree that sits in the middle of the yard. Some of the accessories added include a water fountain in the very front of the yard with flowers planted inside. A set of vintage chairs, table and matching bird cage and a bench at the end of the yard complete the pleasing and serene look. Kassandra was presented with a $40 gift certificate courtesy of Otto & Sons Nursery (1835 Guiberson Rd. Fillmore.) The Yard of the Month project is sponsored by Fillmore Civic Pride/Vision 2020. For information or to submit a nomination for yard of the month please contact Ari Larson 805.794.7590 or petenari55@hotmail.com

 
Pictured right is Kelly McCall, Plant Manager for Ameron Pole Products, who spoke to the Rotary Club. He explained that the company began in the 1970’s, mainly manufacturing street light poles. By the 1980’s they were manufacturing concrete poles of many different designs, to match the various buildings and communities where they will be installed. Ameron not only manufactures the poles, but also delivers and erects them. They are in partnership with SCE for all pole replacements in Southern California. They are also the second largest employer in Fillmore. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
Pictured right is Kelly McCall, Plant Manager for Ameron Pole Products, who spoke to the Rotary Club. He explained that the company began in the 1970’s, mainly manufacturing street light poles. By the 1980’s they were manufacturing concrete poles of many different designs, to match the various buildings and communities where they will be installed. Ameron not only manufactures the poles, but also delivers and erects them. They are in partnership with SCE for all pole replacements in Southern California. They are also the second largest employer in Fillmore. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
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Pictured are Rotary President Ari Larson and Rotary member Dave Wareham who was presented with a Paul Harris pin. Dave had made a special donation to the Rotary Foundation in memory of Don and Ruthie Gunderson. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
Pictured are Rotary President Ari Larson and Rotary member Dave Wareham who was presented with a Paul Harris pin. Dave had made a special donation to the Rotary Foundation in memory of Don and Ruthie Gunderson. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
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Pictured is Rotary President Ari Larson and speaker Harlan Green, from the Montecito Rotary Club. He informed the Club about the Congo Peace School, located in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. His Club has been sponsoring this area for many years, starting with a water project and now the school. The Bukavu Mwangaza Rotary Club requested that we aid them in raising funds to furnish and equip the school to teach 522 students in 6 Elementary, 6 Secondary grades, plus 2 preschool grades. The Montecito Club has a Global Grant and will be matching up to $9,000 in donations from other District Clubs. Fillmore Rotary will be involved in this project. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
Pictured is Rotary President Ari Larson and speaker Harlan Green, from the Montecito Rotary Club. He informed the Club about the Congo Peace School, located in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. His Club has been sponsoring this area for many years, starting with a water project and now the school. The Bukavu Mwangaza Rotary Club requested that we aid them in raising funds to furnish and equip the school to teach 522 students in 6 Elementary, 6 Secondary grades, plus 2 preschool grades. The Montecito Club has a Global Grant and will be matching up to $9,000 in donations from other District Clubs. Fillmore Rotary will be involved in this project. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
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Fillmore cousins, Alexis Amaro, 7, and Destiny Amaro, 5, are learning about keeping their Fillmore community clean by volunteering to pick up trash that disrespectful people dump in public places. They were seen cleaning up the public parking area east of Central Avenue behind downtown businesses. Hopefully the idea of “Volunteer Clean Up” will spread faster than the spreading of trash. Great job girls! You should be proud.
Fillmore cousins, Alexis Amaro, 7, and Destiny Amaro, 5, are learning about keeping their Fillmore community clean by volunteering to pick up trash that disrespectful people dump in public places. They were seen cleaning up the public parking area east of Central Avenue behind downtown businesses. Hopefully the idea of “Volunteer Clean Up” will spread faster than the spreading of trash. Great job girls! You should be proud.
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During a special ceremony Rotary Club President Ari Larson and Sponsor Scott Beylik inducted Kelli Couse into the Rotary Club of Fillmore. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
During a special ceremony Rotary Club President Ari Larson and Sponsor Scott Beylik inducted Kelli Couse into the Rotary Club of Fillmore. Photo Courtesy Martha Richardson.
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After thorough discussion, research, and public comment, the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion at the August Board meeting to construct and install underlit solar carports on existing parking lots at Ventura, Oxnard, and Moorpark colleges. This action dovetails with the Board of Trustees’ adoption of Resolution in Support of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability in April, which outlined support of future initiatives to positively impact sustainability and climate change.

In their comments, Trustees mentioned the benefits of cost savings to the District and the environmental benefits of a reduced carbon footprint.

“For many students, questions of sustainability are real and immediate in ways that we have not seen before,” said Trustee Josh Chancer. “Climate change is going to have significant impacts in their own lifetimes. The energy and enthusiasm of students for our environment can lead the rest of us in the right direction.”

Added Trustee Larry Kennedy, “I believe it’s a good use of our resources to move forward with innovation that will help us reduce our carbon footprint.”

The three colleges will have a combined eight megawatts of solar power. Ventura College’s underlit solar carports will be at two existing parking lots, and at Oxnard College they will be on the north and northwest sides of the campus. The Moorpark College solar carports will be located on the campus’s north and northeast sides. Each college will also have EV chargers. Construction at the campuses is expected to begin in 2020 and be completed before the end of the year.

About Ventura County Community College District
The Ventura County Community College District is a member of the 115-campus California Community College system, and serves more than 32,000 students annually. The District’s three colleges- Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura- offer programs in general education for degrees and certificates, transfer to four-year colleges and universities, career technical education, and provide opportunities to engage in co-curricular campus activities. For more information, please visit www.vcccd.edu.

 
Several Rotarians gathered to prepare dictionaries for the Rotary Club of Fillmore Literacy Project. They will be delivering dictionaries to each 3rd grader in the District. Photo courtesy Martha Richardson.
Several Rotarians gathered to prepare dictionaries for the Rotary Club of Fillmore Literacy Project. They will be delivering dictionaries to each 3rd grader in the District. Photo courtesy Martha Richardson.
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Part 1 of 4
From July 31st – August 11th the Annual Ventura County Fair has always been well attended with people from all over who come out to enjoy a “County Fair with Ocean Air”. Photos by Bob Crum.
From July 31st – August 11th the Annual Ventura County Fair has always been well attended with people from all over who come out to enjoy a “County Fair with Ocean Air”. Photos by Bob Crum.
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Pictured are Rotary President Ari Larson, Dave Berg, Martha Richardson and Joe Aguirre. The Rotary Club of Fillmore enjoyed a program presented by Dave Berg. He plays in a blue grass band, has been a journalist and writer, and has spent 20 years as the co-producer of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. He talked about Jay Leno’s work ethic and how he treated the show as a business. He expressed admiration about the way Jay always told jokes that everyone could relate to and they brought people together, rather than divide them as other comedians do. Jay is a creature of habit such as eating the same things every day, and wearing the same type of clothing every day. It makes life easier when you don’t have to make decisions about those things and instead just concentrate on jokes and monologues and making them the best they can be. Dave has written an interesting book called, “Behind The Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show.” The forward is by Jay Leno. Photo courtesy Martha Richardson.
Pictured are Rotary President Ari Larson, Dave Berg, Martha Richardson and Joe Aguirre. The Rotary Club of Fillmore enjoyed a program presented by Dave Berg. He plays in a blue grass band, has been a journalist and writer, and has spent 20 years as the co-producer of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. He talked about Jay Leno’s work ethic and how he treated the show as a business. He expressed admiration about the way Jay always told jokes that everyone could relate to and they brought people together, rather than divide them as other comedians do. Jay is a creature of habit such as eating the same things every day, and wearing the same type of clothing every day. It makes life easier when you don’t have to make decisions about those things and instead just concentrate on jokes and monologues and making them the best they can be. Dave has written an interesting book called, “Behind The Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show.” The forward is by Jay Leno. Photo courtesy Martha Richardson.
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On Monday, August 12th Fillmore Unified School District teachers gathered for a welcome back goodies from the FUTA, and breakfast hosted by FUSD. Many teachers were wearing red to protest the actions of the Fillmore Unified School District managers. Teachers are currently in negotiations with FUSD regarding living wages ad health care. Photos courtesy Fillmore Unified Teacher’s Association Facebook page.
On Monday, August 12th Fillmore Unified School District teachers gathered for a welcome back goodies from the FUTA, and breakfast hosted by FUSD. Many teachers were wearing red to protest the actions of the Fillmore Unified School District managers. Teachers are currently in negotiations with FUSD regarding living wages ad health care. Photos courtesy Fillmore Unified Teacher’s Association Facebook page.
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Article courtesy California Teachers Association and Fillmore Unified Teachers Association

The 200 Fillmore Unified Teachers Association (FUTA) members were seen wearing red on the first day of school, August 12, to protest bad behavior by Fillmore Unified School District managers. Fillmore teachers are at impasse in negotiations with this financially healthy district over a living wage and health care.

“There is no other expenditure more important than investing in a stable and highly qualified team of educators to work directly with our students,” said FUTA President Tammy Ferguson. “We want to attract and retain the best teachers for our students. Educators simply want a living wage and health benefits for their families.”

Teachers are outraged district managers gave salary hikes and health benefits to district administrators while offering the professionals who work with students every day a low salary proposal plus a plan that significantly reduces and limits health benefit payments for only FUTA membership.

“What kind of school district spends more for administrators and management positions than any other school district in Ventura County, but consistently keeps their educators the lowest paid in county? What kind of school district treats one group of employees disparagingly by giving them less money for health benefits?” Ferguson asked.

“It is beyond my comprehension that the School Board and Superintendent would willingly treat our educators with such little respect knowing they are on the front lines of educating the students and the face of Fillmore Unified,” she added. “Our students deserve better. Our educators deserve better.”

FUTA declared impasse in June. A state mediator appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) will now be brought in to help the parties reach an agreement.

 
On Sunday, August 11th at noon to 2 p.m., at the Fillmore Active Adult Center, the Heritage Valley Relay for Life of Fillmore held a Cancer Survivor luncheon. Survivors received a free lunch, and guests received a lunch with a $6 donation. This year’s event was well attended; everyone enjoyed the food, raffles, and entertainment which was provided. This year’s Relay for Life Heritage Valley will be held Saturday, September 14th at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. They will also be hosting FREE Breakfast for Survivors being served at 8 a.m. before the opening ceremonies which begin at 9 a.m. for the Survivor Lap! Survivors Register for Relay for Free at www.RelayForLife.orc/HeritageValleyCA
On Sunday, August 11th at noon to 2 p.m., at the Fillmore Active Adult Center, the Heritage Valley Relay for Life of Fillmore held a Cancer Survivor luncheon. Survivors received a free lunch, and guests received a lunch with a $6 donation. This year’s event was well attended; everyone enjoyed the food, raffles, and entertainment which was provided. This year’s Relay for Life Heritage Valley will be held Saturday, September 14th at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. They will also be hosting FREE Breakfast for Survivors being served at 8 a.m. before the opening ceremonies which begin at 9 a.m. for the Survivor Lap! Survivors Register for Relay for Free at www.RelayForLife.orc/HeritageValleyCA
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