On Monday, November 11th at 10am on Central Avenue, Veteran’s and their families were invited to participate in a Veteran’s Day Parade, ceremony and barbecue lunch. Veterans and their families were also invited to march in the parade, as well as ride in one of the classic cars provided by Sespe Creek Car Events. Pictured is a portion of Fillmore Boy Scouts Troop 406 marching in this year’s parade carrying a banner listing the names of all the Veterans from the Fillmore, Piru and surrounding areas who gave their lives for their country. Immediately after the parade at the Veterans Memorial Building a ceremony “Honoring Our Hero’s” was held to recognize those who have served. Also recognized was the Grand Marshal John Munoz, who served in the US Army from 1966 – 1968.
On Monday, November 11th at 10am on Central Avenue, Veteran’s and their families were invited to participate in a Veteran’s Day Parade, ceremony and barbecue lunch. Veterans and their families were also invited to march in the parade, as well as ride in one of the classic cars provided by Sespe Creek Car Events. Pictured is a portion of Fillmore Boy Scouts Troop 406 marching in this year’s parade carrying a banner listing the names of all the Veterans from the Fillmore, Piru and surrounding areas who gave their lives for their country. Immediately after the parade at the Veterans Memorial Building a ceremony “Honoring Our Hero’s” was held to recognize those who have served. Also recognized was the Grand Marshal John Munoz, who served in the US Army from 1966 – 1968.
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Pictured above is Master Carpenter and Furniture Maker John Galbraith inside his workshop at The Citrus Packing House in Fillmore.
Pictured above is Master Carpenter and Furniture Maker John Galbraith inside his workshop at The Citrus Packing House in Fillmore.
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Another Casualty of the City vs Packing House Red Tag

The giant old Packing House building sits quietly in the center of Fillmore, across from the fire station. Traffic hustles on A Street and Landeros Lane, going to school and work. Now and then, fire engines race off to save somebody. Students walk by on the sidewalk. Nobody even looks at the old building, it's just part of the background. It's there, and has been there, for more than 100 years.

But underneath the building is a giant basement, extending the entire length and width of the building, with a giant hallway that runs down the middle, big enough that trucks can drive in and out for loading and unloading. From outside, it all looks quiet. But down below, surrounded by thick concrete, things are happening. Machines are running. Craftsmen are hunched over their benches. Things are being made. It's another working day in the Secret Underground Laboratory.

Today, with special permission, I'm inside, in the basement. It's cool and dark, and I'm venturing deep down the long hallway, rows of compartments and rooms on both sides. Some are being used for storage, some are empty, and some are walled off into private workshops. I find a wooden wall with the sound of a table saw behind it. Built into the wall is an odd Dutch-style door. Odder yet, the Dutch-style door has a pair of miniature doors built into it with a string hanging down. I imagined pulling the string would trigger some kind of puppet play. I learned pulling the string rings a bell that signals a guest has arrived.

I'm visiting the shop of John Galbraith, Master Carpenter and Furniture Maker. John is a tall, strong man with silver hair and weathered hands. He builds custom wood projects of many kinds – special display furniture for commercial stores, complex home office shelving units, parts for boats – and he's always booked with clients. His shop is crowded, full of tools and workbenches, and parts of jobs in progress – teak boards, walnut panels, hand carved trim pieces – the smell of fine sawdust fills the air.

John is full of stories, speaking in many voices with a quick wit. A real character. John has studied acting in the past and still occasionally does small parts for fun. He was born in Ireland, lived in England, and then spent most of his adult years in Toronto, working as a contractor and carpenter. In 1968, John drummed in a blues band with Geddy Lee, who went on to become the front man for the rock band Rush. John moved to the Los Angeles area in 2012 and worked as a contractor out of his garage.

In Los Angeles, John met David Storrs, and did a few contracting jobs for him. David had just bought the Fillmore Packing House building and invited John to ride up and see it, and explained how he wanted to turn the building into a center for small craftsman shops. David suggested John set up a workshop here, and become one of the early tenants. At that time, the only tenant was Steve Butcher, upstairs, restoring Airstream trailers. John put together a quick shop in the basement, and started working from there. As other Craftsman tenants moved in, he moved down the hall to his current spot, and built it up nicely. He's been in his current shop for six years.

John lives in Los Angeles and serves clients all around the city; but his workshop is here in Fillmore. This is where he builds his projects and does the real work, quietly, underground. He's an example of how Craftsman businesses can operate in a small city like Fillmore. He's one of the Secret Underground Craftsmen.

Unfortunately, in August of this year, the City of Fillmore red-tagged the building and locked everyone out of their shops for 5 days. Since then, The City has kept the building yellow-tagged and limited everyone’s access to their shops. The hour and day restrictions have made getting work done difficult for everyone, and people are leaving, including John.

Although John is leaving Fillmore, he is available for hire and hopes to have many excuses to come back to visit the many friends he’s made here in town. You can contact John via his website at www.johnbgalbraith.com

 


 
At last night’s city council meeting Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 9637 was recognized as the Best Trunk at this year’s second annual Trunk or Treat event.
At last night’s city council meeting Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 9637 was recognized as the Best Trunk at this year’s second annual Trunk or Treat event.
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Fillmore City Council Meeting

8. D - PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF REVENUE BONDS ISSUED BY THE CALIFORNIA MUNICIPAL FINANCE AUTHORITY IN THE AMOUNT OF $53,000,000 FOR THE ACQUISITION AND CONSTRUCTION OF 77 UNIT MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL UNITS LOCATED AT 210-220 SANTA CLARA STREET

It is recommended and approved that the City Council:1) Conduct the public hearing under the requirements of TEFRA and Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”); and2) Adopt the resolution approving the issuance of the Bonds by the CMFA for the benefit of the Developer, or its subsidiary or affiliate, to provide for the financing of the Project. This resolution is solely for the purposes of satisfying the requirements of TEFRA, the Code and the California Government Code Section 6500, et seq.

8. A The City Council received and approved contract status report regarding citywide landscape and tree maintenance services and provided direction to address the need for landscape irrigation system repair and maintenance. A contract amendment with Mariposa to add irrigation system maintenance into the base contract was discussed and approved.

8. B. City Council approved the Agreement for Construction of Development Improvements with Packing House Opportunity Fund, LLC, a California limited liability corporation (“Developer”) to ensure the timely construction of improvements to the existing building at 341 A Street (“Building”).

Although the City does not take shutting a business down lightly, after years of delays and lack of follow through on needed repairs by the owner of the Property, on August 15, 2019 the City issued a “red tag” on the Building pursuant to the California Building Code. With the red tag in place the Building could not be occupied until the unsafe conditions were corrected and the City authorizes limited entry. The red tag was issued because the Building was an unsafe structure for occupancy and being used or occupied without a certificate of occupancy. The two most significant conditions posing a danger to the people working in the building, which danger the City takes seriously, included the i) lack of required means of egress (exits), including non-complying exit stairways and exit doors; and ii) lack of required occupancy separation walls between tenant and/or separate occupancy spaces.

None of the current businesses within the Building, including the owner, have business licenses. As part of the process to bring the Building into compliance with all applicable codes the owner and tenants will be required to obtain and maintain business licenses, which will result in the payment of nominal fees to the City. Moreover, once the Improvements have been constructed, the Developer may rent additional space in the Building to new tenants, subject to compliance with applicable City regulations.

8.C. ADOPT RESOLUTION 19- 3740 AUTHORIZING APPLICATION FOR AND RECEIPT OF SENATE BILL 2 (SB 2) PLANNING GRANTS PROGRAM FUNDS.

City Council took the following actions: A. Determined that the consideration of Resolution No. 19-3740 is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to Section 15378 of the CEQA Guidelines; and Approved Resolution No. 19-3740 authorizing staff to submit an application for grant funding from the SB 2 Planning Grants Program.

8.E. Council Adopted the Human Resources Administrative Assistant (Confidential) job description.

 


 
Timothy Fulp, 70 of Sun Valley
Timothy Fulp, 70 of Sun Valley

A Sun Valley man was arrested in connection with the theft of lawfully grown hemp plants and now faces multiple drug related charges.

In the early morning hours of 11/08/19, deputies responded to a theft that just occurred in the 4000 block of E. Telegraph Road. A security guard who was hired to monitor a hemp farm observed a male subject holding a large bag. The guard ordered the subject to stop, but he refused and fled on foot. Suspecting there may be an accomplice, the guard checked the area further and found a second subject lying in the field among marijuana plants. This suspect was identified as Timothy Fulp. Deputies discovered multiple trash bags filled with recently cut hemp plants. They also located hedge clippers that appeared to be used to cut the crop and methamphetamine on the ground. During a search of Fulp, deputies also recovered drug paraphernalia. The second suspect was not captured. Fulp told deputies that he believed the hemp he was stealing was marijuana that contained THC, which is the key ingredient in the psychoactive drug.

Fulp was arrested for the following charges; 487 (a) PC- grand theft, 182 (a)(1) PC- conspiracy, 11377 (a) HS- possession of a controlled substance, 11364 (a) HS- possession of drug paraphernalia and 11550 (a) HS- being under the influence of a controlled substance. Fulp is currently in custody pending arraignment on 11/13/19, his bail is set at $50,000.00

The hemp plants that are grown in the region have an extremely low percentage of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and are grown primarily for industrial purposes. The plants may look and smell the same as marijuana with higher levels of THC but the due to the hemp plants low THC levels, it is difficult to experience the intoxicating effects as non-industrial marijuana.

Nature of Incident: Theft of Lawfully Grown Hemp Plants
Report Number: 19-175370
Location: 4000 E. Telegraph Road, Piru
Date & Time: 11/08/19 2:00 am
Unit(s) Responsible: West County Patrol Services
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S) Timothy Fulp, 70 of Sun Valley
Prepared by: Sergeant Vince Alvarez
Approved by: Captain Garo Kuredjian

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).

 


 
(l-r) Anthony Tapia, 18 of Fillmore and Roman Rodriguez-Landeros, 19 of Newbury Park.
(l-r) Anthony Tapia, 18 of Fillmore and Roman Rodriguez-Landeros, 19 of Newbury Park.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Two teenagers were arrested in connection with a vandalism spree that occurred throughout the City of Fillmore.

On 10/19/19, a sergeant from the Fillmore Police Department observed two suspicious subjects walking near the intersection of First Street and Old Telegraph Road. The sergeant attempted to contact the individuals, but they immediately ran. Deputies gave chase and followed the subjects to a nearby residence. Deputies were able to make contact with the occupants of the home. While doing so, they identified Roman Rodriguez-Landeros and Anthony Tapia as the subjects who ran. During the investigation, deputies noticed that both teenagers had fresh paint on their hands. Deputies learned that Tapia and Rodriguez- Landeros spray painted property in the area with graffiti. Deputies were able to establish probable cause to arrest them for misdemeanor vandalism. They were cited and released on a promise to appear citation.

Later that day, deputies discovered a large amount of graffiti throughout the City of Fillmore. The graffiti was similar to the markings discovered earlier in the morning. The Fillmore Investigative Unit conducted follow up and linked Tapia and Rodriguez-Landeros to the additional graffiti. The vandalism exceeded the criteria for felony vandalism. Detectives authored search warrants for Tapia and Rodriguez-Landeros’ residences in Fillmore and Newbury Park. Upon service of the warrants, investigators collected additional evidence that linked the suspects in the crime spree.

Tapia and Rodriguez-Landeros were arrested for the additional charges of conspiring to commit felony vandalism. Rodriguez-Landeros posted bail and is currently out of custody pending his court hearing. Tapis remained is currently in custody and has a court hearing on 11/12/19, his bail is set at $20,000.

Nature of Incident: Graffiti Vandals Arrested
Report Number: 19-164596
Location: City of Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/19/19 2:30 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Patrol Services/ Investigations Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age
S-1 Roman Rodriguez-Landeros, Newbury Park, 19
S-2 Anthony Tapia, Fillmore, 18
Prepared by: Sergeant Vince Alvarez
Approved by: Captain Garo Kuredjian

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).

 


 

Courtesy Safety for Citizens
10:07pm on Monday night, November 11, CHP, Ventura County Fire Department and AMR paramedics responded to a vehicle crash on Grimes Canyon Road in Bardsdale between Fillmore and Moorpark.
The crash was described as a semi truck rollover. There was an initial report the driver may have been trapped, however the driver was reported to be out by the time the first fire engine arrived, according to radio traffic.
The location of the crash on Grimes was reported to be a blind corner, according to CHP. CHP said there were initial reports traffic had been coming in hot around the corner. All lanes were said to be blocked.
The driver reportedly had an injury to their arm, according to CHP. The semi was hauling uniforms, according to radio traffic. The driver was being transported by ambulance to the hospital. A cause for the crash was not available.

 


 

Monday, November 11th: a high speed chase began on Interstate 5 (I-5). California Highway Patrol (CHP) attempted to stop a vehicle traveling southbound on the I-5 for speeding and the chase began. The car continued traveling westbound to SR 126, passing through Santa Clarita into Ventura County. The vehicle then took Highway 23 in Fillmore through to Grimes Canyon into Moorpark and travelled south to Thousand Oaks. The car was clocked traveling at 120 miles per hour, Ventura County Sherriff’s Department took over the chase and ended it at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, where the three suspects fled on foot through the mall. Evidently they purchased new clothes and changed to evade the police. Sheriff’s Deputies with help from CHP officers, searched the mall. Sightings of the suspects were reported, but were not found: the search was called off. Police are still looking for the suspects.

 


 
Photo of the Week: "Ahoy, the dog, who forgot the breath fresheners" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @28mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/11, 1/60 shutter speed. Light source-Manfrotto Lumimuse.
Photo of the Week: "Ahoy, the dog, who forgot the breath fresheners" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode, Tamron 16-300mm lens @28mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/11, 1/60 shutter speed. Light source-Manfrotto Lumimuse.
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Phonetographer's nightmare!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Todd Spangler, N.Y. digital editor at Variety.com digital news, wrote this: Instagram tests hiding likes. What? No likes? Beyond disastrous!

For all not familiar with Instagram, it's a free social networking service consisting of sharing photos and videos from phonetographers! Like most social media apps, Instagram allows you to follow users that you're interested in following. This creates a feed on the homepage showing recent posts from everyone you follow. You can Like posts and comment on them. (yawn)

Those with a personality disorder known as narcissism thrive on "likes" for their posted photos or videos. Such types should hurry and stock up on antidepressants because 'likes' are going bye-bye. Sorry, phonetographers, I realize that this news is like a dagger to the heart of your cellphone posts. How many likes did you get for that selfie with your cute little chihuahua? Ain't going to happen anymore!

Spangler reported that "Instagram is about to launch a test of removing like counts from posts in the U.S. — and, predictably, the idea has been met with a range of reactions ranging from praise and support to concern and mockery."

The hope is that the change can reduce anxiety among Instagram users, to make social media less of a competition, especially among younger people, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explained in announcing the U.S. test at the Wired25 event Friday.

'I think you also have to rethink some of the fundamentals about how Instagram works, and so that's what we're trying to do with private like counts,' he said. "The idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.'

Mosseri added, "We will make decisions that hurt the business [in the short term] if they're good for people's well-being and health — because it has to be good for the business over the long-term."

Spangler added: "Feedback started pouring in immediately. Some opined that removing like counts (while still making them viewable to Instagram users for their posts) will effectively destroy a pivotal piece of the platform's social currency."

"If Instagram gets rid of likes, half of Los Angeles will be out of business," quipped Tommy Alter, supervising producer at "Desus & Mero" on Showtime." Nonsense!

"Without likes, recognition in the art world returns to 'who you know' or subjective elitist tastes," artist Peter DeLuce tweeted. Really?

The move to do away with 'likes' is intended to "make Instagram a safer place and to stop users from allowing 'likes' to dictate their content." That's good news. I was growing weary of having to get my revolver out when going to the Instagram website. But not sure how 'likes' would in any way dictate content. Wait. But of course! A bazillion 'likes' of a mermaid boudoir photo would indeed dictate submitting more of the same content. Why not enjoy ten bazillion 'likes'-the honey of narcissists.

I have an Instagram account but have not yet posted any photos or video. Why not? 'Likes' are useless if not accepted at Subway or Vons. Besides, I love what I do photographically speaking. It's fun done for personal pleasure. And it scratches my creative itch. Whether or not anyone likes a photo I made matters not. Besides, all art-including photography-is subjective.

If you're not sure you should open an Instagram account, take a free narcissistic evaluation test: https://www.psycom.net/narcissistic-personality-disorder-test. If you pass, promptly open the account-you'll fit right in.

Photo of the week is Doggie Ahoy up close and personal at Trunk or Treat. Please give him a breath freshener!

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
On Thursday, October 31st at about 6:15pm, smoke and flames could be seen to the south-west above South Mountain near Santa Paula, traveling downhill into Somis, and eventually threatening Santa Paula. The Maria Fire broke out near a Southern California Edison power line that had been re-energized less than 15 minutes before the fire ignited. As of Tuesday, November 5th, the fire had burned 9,999 acres and was at 95% containment.
On Thursday, October 31st at about 6:15pm, smoke and flames could be seen to the south-west above South Mountain near Santa Paula, traveling downhill into Somis, and eventually threatening Santa Paula. The Maria Fire broke out near a Southern California Edison power line that had been re-energized less than 15 minutes before the fire ignited. As of Tuesday, November 5th, the fire had burned 9,999 acres and was at 95% containment.
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“Another victim of the City’s treatment of him and his family”
Jonathan Wilson, Creator of the GuitarViol.
Jonathan Wilson, Creator of the GuitarViol.

Underneath the Citrus Packing House is a mysterious place, known as the Secret Underground Laboratory. It actually is underground, and is somewhat secret. A group of craftsman have their shops down here, where they make specialty products. All sorts of odd noises come from these shops. Big woodworking saws droning and hand files scraping, routers screaming and small hammers tapping. Yes, strange things are being created down here in the cool, dark basement.

Some of these craftsmen are Luthiers; they build musical instruments with strings. And sometimes, you can hear them being tested, echoing down the long underground hallway. Right now, as I stand here, I can hear what sounds like some kind of electric guitar. Chords and riffs. But then it smoothly blends into sweeping arpeggios with the choppy staccato of a bow. A violin, or a viola? Now, it almost sounds like an orchestral string section! What kind of instrument does that?

And so, today I enter the strange world of Jonathan Wilson and his Togaman GuitarViols. Jon has spent most of his life in the musical instrument business, starting out in retail sales in a small music store. He learned to repair and then build guitars, and that evolved into him inventing a new instrument of his own, the GuitarViol. Nobody else makes anything quite like them. Visually, the GuitarViol looks sort of like a guitar, with a body and a neck. But the body is a distorted shape, with a narrow waist and a large lower bout. And the fingerboard is very odd. It's made to be played with a bow.

The basic idea comes from an old instrument called the Arpeggione, which was a bowed guitar invented by Johan Staufer in 1823. It was a guitar, designed to be played with a bow. Jon has brought that instrument concept back to life, and refined it into his modern GuitarViol. The Togaman name is derived from a famous painting “Noces de Cana” that depicts the Biblical wedding feast where water was turned to wine. The Toga wearing Viol player (Paolo Veronese) in the painting is holding his Viol horizontally and playing it with a bow, underhand, pointing down. This depiction of the unusual playing form led to Staufer's invention of the Arpeggione. The importance of this figure in the painting led Jon to adopt the Togaman name as his brand and logo.

Jon makes different models of these GuitarViols, all-electric, semi-acoustic, and fully acoustic. Most of them have six strings, tuned like a normal guitar. They are all held and played the same way. The electrics have wild body shapes, carved from solid wood. The acoustic models are built up from thin bent wood, similar to a cello body, a hollow thin structure with sound holes. The fingerboard is radically rounded, like a violin or viola, and it has raised cross-wise ridges that act like frets. It's made from a special black epoxy, cast in silicone rubber molds. The GuitarViol is a complicated instrument to build, a mix of classic Luthier woodworking and some modern high technology. All done right here in this shop. And in the bay next door, he's working on the next generation version, made entirely of carbon fiber resin. Available in another year or two.

The sound of a GuitarViol is somewhere between a guitar and a viola. It can do fast, nasty riffs like an electric guitar. Or a sustained rich note like a viola. It can hit precise notes like a fretted guitar, but it can also do smooth slides, like a violin. Its range spans from the highs of a violin to the lows of a viola. In the studio, through some electronic gear, a GuitarViol can even sound like most of a string section. You've heard them. Jon's GuitarViols are very popular with the composers and recording artists who do the soundtracks for movies and TV series. They are his main customers. A single artist in the studio with a GuitarViol can create a full rich background with delicate detail and sweeping drama. Efficiently, minimizing studio time.

An early customer of Jons' is Tyler Bates, who used his GuitarViol in 2006 to create the score for the movie 300. More recently, he's used it for the sound track of John Wick 2, and there's even a scene in the movie where Tyler is playing it on a stage in the background. GuitarViols can also be heard in the background of Game of Thrones, City On a Hill, and many other movies and shows. Most of Jon's instruments are busy at work in studios around the movie and game industry. They do appear occasionally on stage in gigs, but they are mostly used in the studio.

Every GuitarViol is hand made by Jon and his son Andrew, in their small shop here in the Secret Underground Lab. No employees, no parts made overseas, or anything like that. He has some standard models, but most are special order with some custom features. They sell for $4000 to $7000, and there's always a waiting list. All sales are directly through him, and his web site. He doesn't sell through dealers or stores. Jon's business is a clear example of the modern Craftsman-type business. A hidden little mini-factory, building expensive hand-made products, and selling them worldwide through the internet.

Last Friday, Jon moved his GuitarViol operation out of the Secret Underground Lab, and out of Fillmore. He's settled into a small shop in Valencia, which is higher rent, but less of a drive from his home. But, the main reason he decided to move out was his frustration over the prolonged mess with the City about the building codes for the Packing House, and how he felt he was treated by the City. Jonathan said, "I love Fillmore and I'm proud of what we all created at the Citrus Packing House; but my loyalties are to my family and my customers."