On Saturday, April 9, 2022, the City of Fillmore, Fillmore Fire Department, Ventura County Deputy Sheriff ’s Association (VCDSA), VC Fire Department and Thin Blue Line Ventura County held the unveiling of “Max Piña Way” in honor of Max Piña for his years of service and dedication to the community. He passed away last year. Max was a former Fillmore Police Officer, community leader and much more. The ceremony began at 11:30am with Fillmore Mayor Diane McCall's welcome speech, Max’s wife Susan Piña spoke on behalf of the family, and VC Undersheriff Monica McGrath, along with other guest speakers who shared all of Max’s contributions to the community. Fillmore City Manager Dave Rowlands and Assistant Sheriff Chris Dunn had the honor of unveiling “Max Piña Way”, which now stands next to the Fillmore Police Department where he served from 1971 to 1999. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Saturday, April 9, 2022, the City of Fillmore, Fillmore Fire Department, Ventura County Deputy Sheriff ’s Association (VCDSA), VC Fire Department and Thin Blue Line Ventura County held the unveiling of “Max Piña Way” in honor of Max Piña for his years of service and dedication to the community. He passed away last year. Max was a former Fillmore Police Officer, community leader and much more. The ceremony began at 11:30am with Fillmore Mayor Diane McCall's welcome speech, Max’s wife Susan Piña spoke on behalf of the family, and VC Undersheriff Monica McGrath, along with other guest speakers who shared all of Max’s contributions to the community. Fillmore City Manager Dave Rowlands and Assistant Sheriff Chris Dunn had the honor of unveiling “Max Piña Way”, which now stands next to the Fillmore Police Department where he served from 1971 to 1999. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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(l-r) Mark Ortega, Amy Berger, Bene Ambrosio, Linda Nunes, Joanne King, Michelle Smith, Lauren Berger, Jan Lee, and Coleen Chandler.
(l-r) Mark Ortega, Amy Berger, Bene Ambrosio, Linda Nunes, Joanne King, Michelle Smith, Lauren Berger, Jan Lee, and Coleen Chandler.
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By Jan Lee

After a 2 years being closed for public safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibitors and spectators turned out to see the beautiful displays at the Fillmore Flower Show.

The City of Fillmore Civic Pride Committee volunteers planned and worked over several months to accomplish the Flower Show. Local gardeners, from the very young to seasoned experts, brought their prized flowers and plants to share with their neighbors. It was amazing to see the diversity of entries; common native plants and blooms to exotic varieties from around the world. The sense of pride and enthusiasm from the gardeners was contagious. Thank you for sharing your “beauties” with us!

We congratulate the following top of division winners:
Division I, Rose: Joanne King, floribunda rose, Fourth of July
Division II, Iris: Michelle Smith, bearded iris, cinnamon
Division III, Other Flower: Mark Ortega, pink amaryllis
Division IV, Bouquets: Linda Nunes, pink roses
Division V, Arrangements: Coleen Chandler, snowball viburnum
Division VI, Miniature Arrangements: 4X4 inches, Jan Lee; 10X10 inch Amy Berger
Division VII, Potted Plants: Bene Ambrosio, crown of thorns—BEST OF SHOW!
Division VIII, Dish Garden: Mark Ortega
Division IX, Youth Arrangement: Lauren Berger
Division X, Youth Composition: Isabella Minjares

We especially thank everyone who took the time and effort to enter their plants and flowers who did not win top of division. What kind of show would it be with just 10 displays? There were a pincushion protea and a king protea that attracted a lot of attention. The succulents and cacti in the potted plant division were beautiful this year. The judges were quite impressed! Roses took a beating in the hot weather and wind just a week before the show, but there were still dozens of roses in many lovely colors. Many visitors had never even heard of a snowball viburnum before this weekend! The bouquets and arrangements gave all attendees a chance to see how nature’s beauty can be enhanced by the hands of creative people. All the effort was greatly appreciated.

We had many youth entries this year. It was fun to watch these young artists arrange their flowers with special extra items to express just exactly their vision. Ms. Doris Nichols, art teacher extraordinaire at Fillmore Middle School, displayed the wonderful floral art created by her students. Amelia Aparicio brought art and compositions from participants in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. There were compositions from all schools in the Fillmore School District. The judges had a hard time picking just one winner. Way to go students! (and the teachers, parents and group leaders who help and encourage them).

The cafe with sweets and fruity tea was popular. The plant sale was successful. Many youth took home a succulent of their own. Each day there was delightful, live background music provided by accomplished musicians. Saturday, flautist Deven Leon played for us. Sunday, guitarist Barry Cooper provided the music. Thanks to both of them.

A HUGE thank you goes to the vendors who donated items for the door prize drawing. They are: Diamond Realty & Investments, El Pescador Restaurant, Green Thumb Nursery, Meguer Ditchian/ Tracks; King & King Ranch; La Flor Bonita- Rosa Agraz; Los Altos Estilo Jalisco Restaurant; Nancy Cope Jams & Marmalades; Otto & Sons Nursery; Roan Mills Bakery, Sandi Ward’s Train Stop, Teresa Norris; The Treasure Station; Vallarta Restaurant; Yanni’s Restaurant. Be sure to thank them when you stop by to eat, buy something or invest. A special thank you to Otto and Sons for all the roses and plants to decorate the room.

One more thing, it was fun to listen to some of the comments as people walked around looking at the plants and flowers. A child said, as he rushed from table to table, “Oh Mom! Look at this! Did you see this one? Oh wow! How pretty!” There were families and friends seen in deep discussion as to what type of flower this could be. “I have never seen this before.” “Look and see who grew this.” “Oh, I have one like that.” “This is great!”

If you missed the Fillmore Flower Show this year, we will do it again next year. If you participated, thank you. Fillmore is a special place filled with talented and generous people. Congratulations!

 


 
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting Pastor Leslie Lanier, of Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church, among nearly a dozen others, came to the thank the City for rejecting the proposal to host a Pride Resource Fair this year.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting Pastor Leslie Lanier, of Wayfarer's Chapel Lutheran Church, among nearly a dozen others, came to the thank the City for rejecting the proposal to host a Pride Resource Fair this year.

About a dozen people came out (no pun intended) to thank the City of Fillmore for its decision to not sponsor a Pride Resource Fair this year, as it did in June 2021.

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8. NEW BUSINESS
All items passed 5-0, with the Mid-Year Budget accepted and filed.

8.A CITY COUNCIL APPROVE OF PROPOSED USES OF AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS SR - AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDS

8.B CITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION OF A CONTRACT WITH RSG TO ASSIT WITH COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS OF THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT SR - RSG ARPA ASSISTANCE

8.C FY 2021-22 MID-YEAR FINANCIAL REPORT FY 2021-22 MID-YEAR FINANCIAL REPORT

8.D CITY COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF POTENTIAL FUNDING REHABILITATION FOR THE VETERANS MEMORIAL DISTRICT (VMD) BUILDING SR - RENOVATION MEMORIAL BUILDING

RECOMMENDATION That the City Council approve a loan agreement with the District to fund the upfront costs of the $1.2M Phase 1 project for the VMD renovation project.

8.E INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCE NO. 21-938 UPDATING FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODER CHAPTER 15.38 “FIREWORKS” FILLMORE - STAFF REPORT UPDATE TO FMC CHAPTER 15.38

8.F CONSIDERATION OF AN AGREEMENT TO PURSUE A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FOR 908 B STREET STAFF REPORT - AGREEMENT WITH JEM

8.G REQUEST BY A NEW OWNER TO WAIVE PENALTIES AND INTEREST OWED ON CFD 6 FILLMORE STAFF REPORT - CFD 6 - REQUEST TO WAIVE PENALTIES AND INTEREST

8.H APPOINTMENT TO FILL ONE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE’S SEATS ON THE CITIZENS TRASPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE/SOCIAL SERVICE TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COUNCIL (CTAC/SSTAC) VCTC_CTAC_STAC_APPOINMENT_STAFF_REPORT

8.I APPOINTMENT TO THE PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION SR - PARKS AND REC COMMISSION 2022 APPOINTMENT

8.J APPROVE THE 2022-2023 VENTURA COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICE LEVEL REQUEST VENTURA COUNTY ANIMAL SERVICES SERVICE LEVEL- STAFF REPORT

 


 
On Wednesday, April 6th, 2022, at approximately 10:00am, Fillmore Police Department was investigating a bomb threat at Fillmore High School causing students and staff to be evacuated, and surrounding streets closed. Fillmore Fire was staged for precaution; no explosives were located. The Ventura County Sheriff ’s Bomb/Arson Unit was on scene and Simi Valley PD, along with Ventura City Police K-9 and CSU Northridge Police Department. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Wednesday, April 6th, 2022, at approximately 10:00am, Fillmore Police Department was investigating a bomb threat at Fillmore High School causing students and staff to be evacuated, and surrounding streets closed. Fillmore Fire was staged for precaution; no explosives were located. The Ventura County Sheriff ’s Bomb/Arson Unit was on scene and Simi Valley PD, along with Ventura City Police K-9 and CSU Northridge Police Department. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

The Fillmore Police Department conducted a multi-agency evacuation and search of Fillmore High School in response to a bomb threat.

At approximately 10:00 AM, the front office of the Fillmore High School received a bomb threat to the school’s campus. The high school’s staff immediately notified the School Resource Officers (SRO), who were able to coordinate with patrol deputies and the high school and Fillmore School District a safe evacuation of all students and staff within minutes of the threat.

Members of the Sherriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit, Fillmore Detectives, and Fillmore Patrol Deputies arrived to assist with a search of the school. Several K-9 Units assigned to surrounding law enforcement agencies also responded with K-9’s trained in bomb detection provided mutual aid for the search.

The responding units conducted an extensive search of the high school’s campus. The search teams found no evidence of bombs or suspicious items. The teams determined the school to be safe, and students were allowed to return to campus for their final classes.

The Fillmore School District worked closely with Fillmore Police Department to provide support and safety for the students during the evacuation. Fillmore School District staff and the Fillmore Police Department set up a central location for parents who wanted to pick up their children before the end of school.

The SRO’s close partnership with the high school and the school district staff allowed for the prompt response of patrol units and school support resources for the safety and care of the students. The Fillmore Police Department takes pride its relationship with the Fillmore School District and its schools which led to an efficient and coordinated effort during this incident.

The investigation into the threats is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the threats is encouraged to call the Fillmore Police Department or Ventura County Crime Stoppers at the below listed numbers.

Nature of Incident: Bomb Threat
Report Number: 22-44615
Location: Fillmore High School
Date & Time: 04/06/2022 10:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Patrol, Fillmore Detective Bureau, School Resource Officer Unit, Sheriff’s Bomb/Arson Unit, Several Police K-9 Units
Prepared by: Sergeant Will Hollowell
News Release Date: 04/06/2022
Media Follow-Up Contact: Fillmore Police Department, Deputy Jonathan Schnereger, (805) 524-2233
Fillmore School District: Fillmore Superintendent Christine Schieferle, (805) 524-6036
Approved by: Captain Jose Rivera

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).

 


 
On April 10, 2022, at 7:48pm, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Fillmore City Fire and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported injury vehicle accident that had just occurred in the area of Fourth Street / Goodenough Road. Arriving fire crews reported two vehicles with two patients being transported to the hospital, conditions unknown. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel—AE News.
On April 10, 2022, at 7:48pm, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Fillmore City Fire and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported injury vehicle accident that had just occurred in the area of Fourth Street / Goodenough Road. Arriving fire crews reported two vehicles with two patients being transported to the hospital, conditions unknown. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel—AE News.
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Fillmore’s Chalk Festival was well attended on Saturday, April 9. Lots of kids and parents decorated the sidewalks in front of Fillmore City Hall with colorful chalks. A live music trio played some great oldies but goodies, and Mr. Softee showed up to the delight of ice cream lovers.
Fillmore’s Chalk Festival was well attended on Saturday, April 9. Lots of kids and parents decorated the sidewalks in front of Fillmore City Hall with colorful chalks. A live music trio played some great oldies but goodies, and Mr. Softee showed up to the delight of ice cream lovers.
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The Fillmore Citrus Fruit Association in 1906. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The Fillmore Citrus Fruit Association in 1906. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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The Fillmore Citrus Association Lemon Packinghouse in the 1930s.
The Fillmore Citrus Association Lemon Packinghouse in the 1930s.
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Building boxes for Sparr Fruit Company circa 1915, with two workers smiling while they stop building for a photo.
Building boxes for Sparr Fruit Company circa 1915, with two workers smiling while they stop building for a photo.
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Sparr Fruit Company circa 1910.
Sparr Fruit Company circa 1910.
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Loading freight car, 1930.
Loading freight car, 1930.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum
Agriculture was what built Fillmore and the surrounding communities. First it was dry land farming such as barley and lima beans. Then came orchards, especially apricot and walnuts. Soon some settlers started planting citrus trees, especially oranges. In 1889, C. C. Elkins planted the first commercial orange grove in the Fillmore area. With the growth of citrus in the valley, packinghouses were soon needed.

The Fillmore Citrus Association was formed in 1897 with David Felsenthal as president. In 1899, the Association bought property for $50 at Sespe Avenue and A Street and built its packinghouse on the site for $1,500.

Soon more packinghouses followed. Some were locally owned like the Fremlin-Walker Packinghouse off Santa Clara Street.

Others were owned by companies from elsewhere. One of the earliest of these was the Sparr Packinghouse. Sparr was a Riverside, California, company which opened a packinghouse in Fillmore in the first decade of the 20th century. The packinghouse was on the southwest corner of Main and Central. The first packinghouse burned in 1913 and was rebuilt. The later building burned in 1970.

By 1930, Mutual Orange Distributors, which had started in Redlands in 1910, had a packinghouse in Fillmore on Old Telegraph Road.

In 1913, Frank Erskine, who had been with a citrus association in Whittier, was hired as the manager of the Fillmore Citrus Association. Besides overseeing the construction of a new orange packinghouse in 1918 and a new lemon packinghouse in 1924, he also organized two bands made up of employees, the Fillmore Citrus Association American Band and the Fillmore Citrus Association Mexican Band. According to the business card of the bands, “Music for any occasion at reasonable rates. Either band separately or the two bands consolidated. Proper instrumentation in any number of men from sixteen to fifty.” The bands performed throughout the region as well as on the radio. Erskine left the Fillmore Citrus Association in 1929 to join the newly formed Ramona Savings and Loan.

As the citrus industry expanded in the area, more workers were needed. Jobs included not just picking the oranges, but loading field boxes weighing as much as ninety (90) pounds onto wagons and later trucks. Once the fruit was at the packinghouse it had to be unloaded and then washed. In 1916, mechanical washing machines were installed at the Fillmore Citrus Association orange packinghouse. The fruit had to be graded for size and quality, then packed into boxes by local women workers. The boxes again had to be loaded into trucks or train cars. Mechanics to work on the machinery of the packinghouse and truck drivers were needed.

To ease the labor shortage for pickers, in 1941 the Fillmore Citrus Association built a labor camp in Fillmore. In 1942, they contracted with the Villasenor family, who owned a local restaurant, to provide meals for those living at the camp. This evolved into the Villasenors managing the camp and, in 1979, buying the camp.

Finally, in 1946, the Fillmore Citrus Association built a second orange packinghouse. This building now houses Nova Storage which recognizes the building’s history with murals of citrus crate labels on the building.

Only one citrus packinghouse continues to operate in Fillmore, the Villa Park Orchards Association packinghouse at the former MOD location. The other buildings have been repurposed to avocado packinghouses, artist studios, and storage facilities. Whatever their use, they are a reminder of why Fillmore came to be.

 
Construction is going full steam on the Fillmore Library Expansion Project which began in November of 2021; the project will be adding a Classroom, Reading Room., Computer Room, Study Rooms and STEAM/Innovation Lab. The project is funded by the CA State Library, CDBG, City of Fillmore, and Fillmore Wigley Bequest Trust Account. It’s managed by Ventura County Public Works Agency, the Architect Anderson Kulwiec Appleby and the Contraction is Monet Construction. Total cost for construction is $1,940,000 and the anticipated date of completion is August 2022.
Construction is going full steam on the Fillmore Library Expansion Project which began in November of 2021; the project will be adding a Classroom, Reading Room., Computer Room, Study Rooms and STEAM/Innovation Lab. The project is funded by the CA State Library, CDBG, City of Fillmore, and Fillmore Wigley Bequest Trust Account. It’s managed by Ventura County Public Works Agency, the Architect Anderson Kulwiec Appleby and the Contraction is Monet Construction. Total cost for construction is $1,940,000 and the anticipated date of completion is August 2022.
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The Street Sign Dedication Ceremony for Max Pina Way will be held Saturday, April 9th at 11:30am in the alley next to the Fillmore Police and Sheriff Station. The City of Fillmore will honor Fillmore Police SGT. Pina, VCSO Deputy and City of Fillmore Resource Officer, for his decades of service with the citizens and youth of Fillmore. Thank you to Fillmore City Manager Dave Rowlands and Fillmore Police Chief Capt. Garo Kuredjian for their support and suggestions which helped with the location and decor of the sign. The Mayor and Fillmore City Council members, along with Ventura County Sheriff Aad Undersheriff, will be attending. Please join Max’s family and friends at the celebration! There will a be hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks available
after the ceremony.

 
On March 26th, Fillmore High hosted their Beautification Day along with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Mentor Club, Fillmore students and other local community programs and members. Photo courtesy Fillmore High Flashes blog.
On March 26th, Fillmore High hosted their Beautification Day along with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Mentor Club, Fillmore students and other local community programs and members. Photo courtesy Fillmore High Flashes blog.
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This year, after returning to in-person learning, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Mentor Club at Fillmore High School (FHS) decided to have a FHS Beautification Day on March 26, 2022. Beautification Day consisted of Fillmore students and community members picking up trash, rocks, raking leaves, painting the faded blue wood tables and faded walls, pruning rose bushes, and scraping gum from the campus sidewalks. Each year for the past ten years, the youth of the FHS Mentor Club have been creating one big community project for the student members to organize throughout the school year. Throughout the years, the projects they work on have been a beneficial learning experience for the youth in a variety of ways. They had the experience of working in a group and brainstorming ideas. Collectively they had peer discussions to resolve the logistics of the project. After they decided on the project, there was a list of "to-do" tasks that they divided among one another. The project was integrated into their community. Our youth present their project to city council members, school administrators, and local adult service clubs such as the Fillmore Lions and Rotary Club. All high school students and mentors had an opportunity to get involved with the community and make connections. Some students felt more confident planning, others speaking in public, and others working hands-on. As their supervisor, I see how they develop their social skills as they continue in the Mentor Club. Some of the benefits of volunteering in their community include the chance to network and meet new people, learn new skills and increase self-efficacy while making a positive impact in their community. The event was well attended by both students and community members. FHS students liked that their campus shined a little bit more than usual. Thank you to the Fillmore Lions and Rotary Club members who participated, the Fillmore Lions Club for sponsoring the pan dulce in the morning, and the pizza lunch. A BIG THANKS TO ALL THE FILLMORE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (FUSD) STUDENTS that volunteered on a Saturday morning and to the FUSD for the cleaning supplies and continuous support.

Amelia Aparicio,
Program Site Manager,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County