“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."

 


 
Fillmore Gazette stock photo from last year’s Fillmore Santa Paula game. Photo courtesy Crystal Gurrola.
Fillmore Gazette stock photo from last year’s Fillmore Santa Paula game. Photo courtesy Crystal Gurrola.
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On Friday, November 1st the Fillmore Flashes were scheduled to play at Santa Paula for their 109th meeting. Unfortunately, due to the Maria Fire which broke out last Thursday, the teams were forced to cancel the game.

On Saturday, November 2nd a tiebreaker was needed and the teams left it up to a coin toss. The Hueneme High School athletic director, Pablo Gallegos flipped the coin and Coach Sean Miller made the call and won the toss. The Flashes will advance to the playoffs. The Flashes will play at home against South Pasadena this Friday, November 8th 7:30pm.

 


 
Friday, November 1st at 10:16am a white Chevy Silverado truck and a white Honda Accord crashed causing the Honda to swerve into a guardrail. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Friday, November 1st at 10:16am a white Chevy Silverado truck and a white Honda Accord crashed causing the Honda to swerve into a guardrail. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
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Wednesday, October 30th at 6pm a head on collision occurred between a Honda Civic and Nissan Altima at the corner of Bardsdale and Grimes Canyon Road. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Wednesday, October 30th at 6pm a head on collision occurred between a Honda Civic and Nissan Altima at the corner of Bardsdale and Grimes Canyon Road. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
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On Tuesday, November 5th, the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association protested outside before the school board meeting. When the meeting began, the board room was filled with supporters and speakers for the teachers who are in negotiations with FUSD regarding health benefits and salary.
On Tuesday, November 5th, the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association protested outside before the school board meeting. When the meeting began, the board room was filled with supporters and speakers for the teachers who are in negotiations with FUSD regarding health benefits and salary.
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Information/Discussion Presentations
The Governing Board received four presentations at the November 5, 2019 regular board meeting. Presenter is listed in parenthesis next to the presentation title.

Approve Notice of Completion for Roof Restoration at Mountain Vista Elementary School, Project 2019-022—Midstate Sheetmetal, Inc.—Contract $799,450.00
The Governing Board accepted the Notice of Completion for purchase order F19-01343, Roof Restoration at Mountain Vista Elementary, completed by Midstate Sheetmetal, Inc.

Approve Notice of Completion for Gymnasium Roof Restoration at Fillmore High School, Project 2019-025—Western States Roofing, Inc.
The Governing Board accepted the Notice of Completion for purchase order F19-01390, Gymnasium Roof Restoration at Fillmore High School, completed by Western States Roofing, Inc.
Contract Amount: $ 378,000.00
Change Order #1: $ 20,000.00
Change Order #2: $ 4,794.00
Change Order #3: $ 1,784.53
Total Contract Amount: $404,578.63

Award Bid for Fillmore High School Existing CTE Building Demolition Project & CTE New Building Construction Project
The Governing Board awarded the bid as follows:
Project#: 2020-003
Project Description: Fillmore High School Existing CTE Building Demolition Project & CTE New Building Construction Project
Contractor: Novus Construction
Amount: $15,349,000.00

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved all personnel recommendations including new hires, promotions, resignations, and leaves.

 


 
On Thursday, October 31st on Halloween night the City of Fillmore hosted the 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat event from 5pm – 8pm. Central Avenue was blocked off and local clubs, venders, and shops lined the streets with their Halloween decorated trunks and passed out candy to all the trick or treaters who stopped by.
On Thursday, October 31st on Halloween night the City of Fillmore hosted the 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat event from 5pm – 8pm. Central Avenue was blocked off and local clubs, venders, and shops lined the streets with their Halloween decorated trunks and passed out candy to all the trick or treaters who stopped by.
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Photo of the Week: "Gray haired young girl strolling the street at Trunk or Treat Halloween night" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @28mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/10, shutter speed 1/60 seconds.
Photo of the Week: "Gray haired young girl strolling the street at Trunk or Treat Halloween night" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera, manual mode with Tamron 16-300mm lens @28mm. Exposure; ISO 16000, aperture f/10, shutter speed 1/60 seconds.
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'A' or 'P' & Lumimuse
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

Emails floweth forth, rushing on the cyber river with a voracious torrent. Actually, given the message from Glen P., a trickle was preferred. Glen P. is upset. He wrote to say that he puts his camera on 'A' (Automatic) mode but then can't adjust the aperture or shutter speed to get a correct exposure. Hm, I thought 'A' mode meant automatic mode. Aha, dictionary.com says: 'Automatic'; (aw-tuh-mat-ik), having the capability of operating independently. Glen, it's like your Ferrari 488 GTB. Put the automatic transmission in 'Drive', mash the pedal and go! The tranny shifts automatically, right? Your camera is like that. Frame the composition to suit, mash the shutter button and whoosh, the camera's computer shifts the aperture and shutter speed automatically for proper exposure! Eazy peazy. In 'A' mode, even phonetographers can make exquisite photos with a camera! Or not.

Why not use 'A' mode all the time? Because 'A' mode doesn't always produce the desired photo. The camera doesn't know whether or not the subject is moving or that I might want more depth-of-field than provided. According to embedded algorithms, the camera sets arbitrary lens aperture and shutter speed settings to achieve a proper exposure.

But, 'A' mode is significant when learning the exposure triangle-aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Make a photo in 'A' mode and check the settings the camera chose. Study the image depth-of-field, brightness level, blur if present if the subject is moving, etc. Practice enough and you'll soon know a lot about the exposure triangle.

Glen was also puzzled between 'A' mode and 'P' mode. Not surprised, considering that it's one of the most asked questions. 'A' mode is an entirely hands-free operation. Exposure is automatic and determined by the camera's computer. The camera's light meter measures the light entering through the lens and adjusts shutter speed and the lens aperture. In 'P' mode, many (not all) cameras provide a few exposure options depending on the shooting circumstances. Varying 'ISO' is one such option to compensate for situations like shadows, or snow scenes and such. Another option is 'Exposure Compensation' (EC) for minor exposure adjustments. I use EC a lot for mermaid portraits.

I suggest that photographers with a new camera (read the manual) and begin shooting in 'A' mode. After gaining an understanding of the exposure variables, advance to 'P' mode and play with ISO options to further your understanding of the exposure triangle. After accumulating sufficient time operating the camera, you'll be ready to go all out and take total control of the camera in 'manual' mode. You'll feel like you’re being released from a straight jacket.

The Halloween Trunk or Treat event was another fantabulous event providing a cornucopia of photo ops. And don't we learn from past photo endeavors? Because flash photography is not applicable at such events, Trunk or Treat was a fortuitous opportunity to use my Manfrotto Lumimuse 8 LED light. This mini light mounts on the camera's hot shoe. Unlike a flash, the Lumimuse is a constant light source and controllable. A four-step dimming control regulates the light intensity. It worked about 50% of the time. Problem was selecting the right intensity on moving subjects while framing the photo. Eventually the Lumimuse got knocked off the camera by a roving rhino and broke. Sigh!

Selecting a photo of the week was a struggle. Ultimately decided on this lovely little girl dressed as grandma. So adorable! Because it's a night photo, I decided to use a B&W preset in Lightroom for an 'old photo' look which included some film grain to fit the 'old lady' theme. Creativity rules!

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

 
Geiman Romero, 48, of Los Angeles
Geiman Romero, 48, of Los Angeles

A second suspect has been arrested in connection with a lottery scam where an elderly woman was coerced into withdrawing a large sum of money from her bank.

On 10/10/19, three suspects were involved in a lottery scam in the City of Fillmore. They targeted an elderly resident by claiming they possessed a winning lottery ticket. The suspects provided the victim with a ride to her bank. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Geiman Romero. Romero and his co-conspirators requested that the victim withdraw a majority of her balance. They convinced her that the money will be repaid when the lottery ticket was cashed. When the victim entered her bank, an alert teller felt the transaction was out of the norm. The bank employees notified the Fillmore Police Department. Upon arrival, deputies interrupted the scheme and arrested one of the suspects. However, Romero and a female suspect fled the scene.

Investigators obtained information on the whereabouts of Romero. On 10/23/19, investigators located Romero near his residence in the 500 block of Park View Street in Los Angeles. He was arrested and booked in jail for PC 664 / PC 532(a) / Attempting to Obtain Money, Labor or Property by False Pretenses, PC 182(a)(1) / Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, and PC 368(b)(1) / Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse, with bail set at $500,000.

The common methods for carrying out these crimes include targeting the elderly, suspects alleging he/she cannot cash the winning lottery ticket due to their nationality, suspects working in teams of two or three, and the request to wire, transfer, or obtain money or goods in exchange for winnings from a fictitious lottery ticket. The Fillmore Police Department encourages anyone who believes they are possibly being scammed in a similar matter to contact local law enforcement.

Nature of Incident: Second Suspect Apprehended in Lottery Scam
Report Number: 19-159713
Location: 500 Block of Sespe Ave Fillmore
Date & Time: 10/23/19 @ 8:00 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Investigations Bureau
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
S- Geiman Romero, 48, of Los Angeles

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).

 
Presentation "How Medicare Works"
 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

Posted Monday at 8:39 a.m. on The City of Fillmore Facebookpage:

We understand the inconvenience of having your power turned off, and the frustration of not knowing when it will be restored. Power could be shut off for hours or days, depending on weather conditions. Southern California Edison (SCE) determines when power is turned off and when it is safe to turn power back on. If you have questions, please contact Southern California Edison (SCE): 1-800-655-4555 or 1-800-611-1911, or visit www.sce.com/psps. Again, these determinations are made by SCE. The City Council is very concerned about these power shut-offs and has contacted SCE and your California State Representatives about this situation.
HERE ARE THE RESOURCES:

SCE publishes the outages on this website: www.sce.com/PSPS. Scroll down to “Ventura County” and click on any PDF that says “Fillmore” to find out which circuits are being affected.

After SCE issues the notice, Ventura County Office of Emergency Services updates this resource with info from SCE: https://www.vcemergency.com/. Click on the map. Enter your address into the interactive map to find out which circuit you are in and if you are currently affected by a PSPS.

Register for emergency notifications at https://www.vcemergency.com/

Register for power outage notifications at www.sce.com/PSPS.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

CITY HALL, FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENT: Will remain open.

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: With possible power outages in our community, please expect that traffic signals within the outage area may lose power. In that case, all vehicles are to treat the intersection as an all-way stop, per state law. Stay alert and be patient while driving.

SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS: All residents, including those who need continuous power for special medical equipment, are strongly encouraged to visit www.sce.com/PSPS, or call (800) 655-4555, and update their emergency contact information with SCE.