On Saturday, December 28th at 3:59pm, 2652 Grand Avenue, a barn/granny flat fire was reported. Nearly 20 engines from both Fillmore Fire and Ventura County Fire responded quickly to the scene and found the detached barn, which had an apartment on the upper level, consumed in flames. All occupants were out of the barn according to firefighters. Law enforcement was called to help with traffic while crews worked to extinguish the fire which was put out by 4:30pm. Cause of the fire is still under investigation.
On Saturday, December 28th at 3:59pm, 2652 Grand Avenue, a barn/granny flat fire was reported. Nearly 20 engines from both Fillmore Fire and Ventura County Fire responded quickly to the scene and found the detached barn, which had an apartment on the upper level, consumed in flames. All occupants were out of the barn according to firefighters. Law enforcement was called to help with traffic while crews worked to extinguish the fire which was put out by 4:30pm. Cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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Shawn Ducreay, 20, of Lakewood.
Shawn Ducreay, 20, of Lakewood.

A Lakewood man has been arrested in connection with a commercial burglary that occurred in Fillmore.

On September 21, 2019, deputies responded to a burglary investigation at a restaurant located in the 600 block of Ventura Street. Deputies learned that a suspect smashed the glass front door and entered the business. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and fled the scene. Deputies summoned the help of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Crime Scene Investigators (CSI).CSI Technicians were able to collect vital DNA evidence at the scene. The evidence was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). CODIS is a database which allows crime laboratories within the United States to share and compare DNA information with one another.

The DNA samples collected at the restaurant linked Shawn Ducreay to the crime. Investigators conducted an extensive background check on Ducreay and learned he was staying in the city of Lakewood. On December 20th, 2019, investigators located Ducreay in his vehicle and he was taken into custody.

Ducreay was booked into the Pre-Trail Detention Facility for PC 459-Burglary. He remains in custody on $10,000.00 bail and has a court hearing on January 6th, 2020.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Forensic Sciences Bureau (FSB) played an integral role throughout the investigation. FSB is a full-service laboratory responding to all law enforcement agencies in Ventura County. The 31 full-time forensic scientists and 8 support staff of the FSB analyze approximately 8,000 cases per year.

Nature of Incident: Burglary Suspect Apprehended
Police Use DNA to Help Arrest Fillmore Burglary Suspect
Report Number: 19-148862
Location: 600 Block of West Ventura Street Fillmore
Date & Time: September 21, 2019 3:30 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Investigative Bureau/ Sheriff’s Crime Lab/ Gang
Unit (S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(A) Shawn Ducreay, 20, of Lakewood
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).

 


 
Pictured is newly appointed Fillmore Middle School Principal Trina Tafoya
Pictured is newly appointed Fillmore Middle School Principal Trina Tafoya

December 13, 2019

Dear Fillmore Unified District Community,
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of changes in leadership taking place at Fillmore Middle School, Sierra High School, and Heritage Valley Independent Study. The changes will take effect on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Fillmore Middle School:
New Principal
- Ms. Trina Tafoya will be the new Principal of Fillmore Middle School. Ms. Tafoya is a professional educator who has worked at the secondary level with experiences as a classroom teacher, Teacher on Special Assignment, Assistant Principal, and Principal. She is currently in her second year as Principal of Sierra High School and brings with her a wealth of experience in advocating for the academic success of all students.
Departure of Assistant Principal, Alicia Pane
- Alicia Pane has served our District with distinction as an accomplished Teacher on Special Assignment and most recently as an Assistant Principal at Fillmore Middle School. Mrs. Pane will be leaving Fillmore Unified du to a full family move to the East Coast. We wish her safe travels and continues success.
Education Services
- Assistant Superintendent Micheline G. Miglis will resume her full-time duties as the Assistant Superintendent of Education Services. She will provide ongoing support to
Fillmore Middle School and all Fillmore Unified schools in her role as Assistant Superintendent. Thank you Ms. Miglis for your work in leading Fillmore Middle School.

Sierra High School and Heritage Valley Independent Study:
Mr. Pablo Leanos returns as Principle of Sierra High School and Heritage Valley Independent Study. Mr. Leanos is a professional educator who has worked at the middle and high school levels with experiences as a classroom teacher, counselor, site administrator, and Principal on Special Assignment.

Congratulations to our leaders on their new roles and opportunities. Each of our school leaders have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting all students and work tirelessly to promote academic success. Thank you in advance for your continued support of Fillmore Unified Schools.

Sincerely,
Adrian E. Palazuelos, Ph.D

 


 

On Sunday, December 29th at 4:20pm California Highway Patrol responded to a crash reported on Highway 150 in Ojai, also known as Ojai-Santa Paula Road. A motorcyclist was riding a 2017 Harley-Davidson westbound on Highway 150 and for reasons still under investigation, lost control of the bike and went off the road, hitting a mailbox and tree before coming to a stop. The rider was pronounced dead at the scene. On Monday, December 30th the rider was identified as Austin Reed, 20, of Fillmore. Cause of the crash is still under investigation.

 


 

Fillmore’s Margaret’s Concina closed back in March of 2017 after 40 years of service to the community. On Wednesday, December 25th the following was posted on the Margaret’s Cocina Drive - In Facebook page: “Happy Holiday to everyone. Been a while since we have posted anything on here. Just wanted to say that it’s been a few years now that we closed but after a long wait, we were just notified by the Ventura County Health Dept. that we have been approved for our blueprint plans to reopen; now we’re just waiting on the City of Fillmore to approve these plans to pass. Hoping for positive thought for the next approval of plans to pass, then we can start construction…Hoping to re-open Fall of 2020.”

 


 
Part of the “Raise the Roof” Fundraiser series with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fillmore Post 9637 and Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial District
The 2nd Annual Sweetheart Hop is part of the “Raise the Roof” Fundraiser series with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fillmore Post 9637 and the Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial District. Our wonderful community building needs a new roof and a few other renovations, so why not have fun while we “Raise the Roof” on February 1st 2020 at the Veterans Memorial Building? Come out for a night of dinner, dessert, dancing live music performance, cash bar, photo-op plus silent auction! Ticket options to be announced. To sponsor a table, contact City of Fillmore Parks and Recreation Department at 524-1500 ext 713.
The 2nd Annual Sweetheart Hop is part of the “Raise the Roof” Fundraiser series with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fillmore Post 9637 and the Fillmore-Piru Veterans Memorial District. Our wonderful community building needs a new roof and a few other renovations, so why not have fun while we “Raise the Roof” on February 1st 2020 at the Veterans Memorial Building? Come out for a night of dinner, dessert, dancing live music performance, cash bar, photo-op plus silent auction! Ticket options to be announced. To sponsor a table, contact City of Fillmore Parks and Recreation Department at 524-1500 ext 713.
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Pictured is Alumni Board member and Scholarship Committee member Tricia “Urrea” Gradias (FHS class of 78), along with Alvaro Nathan Garnica (FHS class of 2012) who is one of the 2019 Continuing Education Grant awardees.
Pictured is Alumni Board member and Scholarship Committee member Tricia “Urrea” Gradias (FHS class of 78), along with Alvaro Nathan Garnica (FHS class of 2012) who is one of the 2019 Continuing Education Grant awardees.
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Submitted by FHS Alumni President Mark Ortega

In September of 2019, the Fillmore High Alumni Association awarded $18,000 to Fillmore High graduates from our Continuing Education Grant Program. Over 25 Fillmore High graduates were awarded 2019 Continuing Education Grants. Alvaro Nathan Garnica is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and is currently working on his Pharmaceutical Doctorate Degree at University of Southern California. All Graduates of Fillmore High School are eligible to apply for the award. The application can be printed out from the Alumni's website at www.fillmorehighalumni.com (Click on Scholarships). The deadline to hand in applications is June 30th. Congratulations to all the 2019 Continuing Education Grant recipients. If you are a member of the Alumni Association you can see a complete list of the 2019 awardees by logging into the Alumni's website. Do so by clicking on the "Members Only" page link at the top. If you are not a paying member of the Association, you can pay online by clicking on the "Membership" link.

 


 
Photo of the Week "Brush Creek north of Kernville, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens @16mm. Exposure: ISO 100, aperture f/16, shutter speed @1/25th second.
Photo of the Week "Brush Creek north of Kernville, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens @16mm. Exposure: ISO 100, aperture f/16, shutter speed @1/25th second.
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Happy New Year!
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

This column concludes editing the previous photo of the week. (review online) Recall that I exported the image (from Adobe Lightroom program), in the tiff format, to Photoshop Elements 2020 (PSE), with NIK plug-ins. In the tiff format, it's now a digital photo, not just data.

A few photographers wrote asking why I don't export to Photoshop (PS) instead of Elements (PSE). I could have, but PS compared to PSE is like comparing a Dodge supercharged 6.2L Hemi Hellcat engine producing 797 HP to a Toyota 2.5L 2Arfe 4-banger. Since I'm not creating 50 layer composites, I don't need the power of PS. Editing a Fillmore parade photo with Photoshop would be like driving my 454 HP Maserati GT sport coup three blocks to Vons to fetch a banana!

Photoshop Elements is Photoshop without some bells and whistles. It's like my Maserati V8 running on four cylinders. Most PSE editing functions are similar to PS. However, add NIK plug-ins to PSE and PSE sings like Lady Gaga. Presently, the plug-ins include Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine2, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Viveza. I use Color Efex Pro 4 and Viveza 2 extensively. The key that makes NIK plug-ins so fantabulous is their U-Point technology. It's awesome sauce!

Let's edit! If the image has excessive digital noise (in low-light photos), I use Imagenomics, a third-party plug-in. On occasion I use both Imagenomics and NIK Dfine because they use different algorithms. Plug-in algorithms are better than boiled beet greens. But I digress.

In the original capture, Spanish moss on the tree limb is the wrong color. Using Viveza, I put a U-Point on the moss, closed down the circle of influence so that only the moss is affected and adjusted hue, saturation and brightness. Ah, much better.

I created another U-Point placed on the tree under the Sunstar. The bright sun washed out the green color, restored it with the 'green' slider and an increase of saturation. I also applied 'structure' to the overall image to enhance the tree's leaves.

Afterward, I applied 'Tonal Contrast' with a Color Efex Pro filter. Satisfied with the photo's enhancements, the last step was to resize the image and resolution. Bidda bing-bidda boom-DONE. And almost as much fun as a bubble bath with a mermaid.

While some profess photo editing is a time-consuming pain-in-the-buttocks, I embrace it as a creative exercise. And it's not rocket science. Learn it and it's like eating ice cream.

It's a new year and time to reassess the direction for this column through 2020. Some have said that I often get too technical. Others look forward to more in-depth technical info. I need your feedback. Please take a moment to email me your preferences. It's important! Also, please tell me your status: photographer, photography enthusiast, wannabe photographer or phonetographer. Include your favorite photographic genre: Landscapes, portraits, pets, wildlife, flowers, street photography etc. and if you are you more interested in photography or post-processing (editing)? Also, might you be interested in participating in a photography club get together once a month? Think fun! Receive a shooting assignment, submit your photos the following month to be reviewed & discussed. Please write now before you forget! I am looking forward to hearing from all of my 2,395, 557 readers! Happy New Year!!!

The photo of the week, Brush Creek, is from my nostalgic archives of photographic haunts. Scenic Brush Creek, north of Kernville, presents a variety of fantabulous photo ops, with or without mermaids.

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

 
Pictured is La Verne Nursery’s float “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” which was one of the top contenders in this year’s parade.
Pictured is La Verne Nursery’s float “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” which was one of the top contenders in this year’s parade.
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Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshal because of her devotion to the Piru community. She gives of herself unconditionally to her family, friends and the community. She defines Piru and what Piru is all about, being one - FAMILY. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshal.
Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshal because of her devotion to the Piru community. She gives of herself unconditionally to her family, friends and the community. She defines Piru and what Piru is all about, being one - FAMILY. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshal.

Submitted by Piru Neighborhood Council

The 42nd Annual Piru Christmas Parade and Festival, on Saturday, December 14, was a huge success.

Anna Ramos (aka “Peter”) was chosen as this year’s Piru Grand Marshall because of her devotion to the Piru community. We were honored to have Peter as our Grand Marshall.

There were 24 entries with several competing for the “Piru Disney” theme awards. Piru School’s “Let it Snow” and La Verne Nursery’s “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” took top honors.

The Fillmore Marching Band and the Mariachi Band were entertaining - as always – followed by music by Juano & Friends – which got the crowd dancing.

Piru’s first Corn Hole Tournament attracted 14 teams and was enjoyed by all.

There were several booths selling toys, blankets, and other miscellaneous Christmas items.

The Carnales MC East County – hosted the Toy Give Away for the 12th year – joined this year by the Nosotros Car Club who also donated toys for the kids in Piru.

We want to thank our sponsors: San Salvador Mission, Piru Pizza, Piru Petroleum Club, Rancho Temescal, and Fillmore Piru Citrus. We also want to thank all the volunteers – as well as the Piru Neighborhood Council for making this event a success.

 
Fillmore High Head Football Coach Sean Miller
Fillmore High Head Football Coach Sean Miller

After two years at Fillmore Flashes Head Football Coach Sean Miller has resigned. Miller has a 15 – 5 record over the last two years, making playoffs and breaking several school records, such as passing yards in a game - 311 against Carpinteria on September 27th; most passing yards in a season - 1,875, and 24 touchdown passes in a season.

The team was only able to play eight games in regular season due to cancelations against Santa Clara and long time rival Santa Paula, because of the Maria Fire.

Fillmore finished the 2019 regular season 7-1, which got them into the Citrus Coast League CIF-Southern Section Division 13 playoffs, where they beat South Pasadena in the first round but fell short to Yorba Linda in the 2nd round of playoffs.

Coach Miller, who still teaches at Fillmore High, is focusing on obtaining his Masters Degree, and has recommended Flashes Defensive Coach Tony Tafoya for the job.