At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting the Fillmore Flashes Football team was presented a plaque for a successful season. Pictured above (l-r) Coach Matt Dollar, Christian Prado, Ralph Sandoval, Mayor Patti Walker, Victor Moreno and David Esquivel.
At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting the Fillmore Flashes Football team was presented a plaque for a successful season. Pictured above (l-r) Coach Matt Dollar, Christian Prado, Ralph Sandoval, Mayor Patti Walker, Victor Moreno and David Esquivel.
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Council members all worked long into the night taking care of city business.
Council members all worked long into the night taking care of city business.
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During Tuesday night’s council meeting, John Scoles spoke in regards to allowing the community to have access to the high school’s all-weather track. As it stands the public is not allowed to run on the track.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting, John Scoles spoke in regards to allowing the community to have access to the high school’s all-weather track. As it stands the public is not allowed to run on the track.
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Local pastors Bob Gartner and Ernie Rangel were in attendance at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Rangel and Gartner asked the council to waive the fee’s for their event that will be held at Delores Day Park, February 15. The Fillmore Area Misterial Association will be hosting festivals to reduce crime and violence in Fillmore.
Local pastors Bob Gartner and Ernie Rangel were in attendance at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Rangel and Gartner asked the council to waive the fee’s for their event that will be held at Delores Day Park, February 15. The Fillmore Area Misterial Association will be hosting festivals to reduce crime and violence in Fillmore.
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Fillmore City Council met at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at City Hall. The meeting lasted approximately 6 hours before going into executive session. Almost 10% of the agenda was postponed to future meetings, but the new Council is becoming substantially more efficient with each meeting. The Council heard City Clerk Clay Westling, honored the Fillmore Flashes Football Team, received updates on downtown signage, made plans to modify the Housing Element, discussed safety laws for the new skate park, and supported upcoming community events.

City Clerk Clay Westling presented a proposal intended to specify his responsibilities and request the Council's help in implementing new procedures and policies regarding those responsibilities. After extensive discussion and some compromises on both sides, the Council and Westling reached an agreement. Westling and City Manager Tom Ristau will meet after City staff's Agenda Preparation Meetings, so that Ristau can receive input from Westling on how to make each Council Meeting Agenda more readable to ordinary citizens. The Council decided to require staff to provide agenda packets by the Wednesday evening a week prior to the City Council Meetings, so that council members have time to ask questions and receive answers about agenda items before the meetings.
Westling and Ristau will cooperate to find a staff member who is willing to be Deputy City Clerk and allow Westling to provide some sort of input on his or her performance review. Ristau will familiarize Westling with the locations of City records. City staff has provided Westling with a workspace in City Hall, where he will be on weekday mornings at 10 a.m., and access to a private conference room as needed. Some issues were tabled to gather more information for future discussion.

The Council authorized City Manager Tom Ristau to enter into a contract amendment with HDR Engineering so that the Housing Element could be modified to accommodate Measure I. The amendment is not to exceed $16,500.The California Department of Housing and Community Development requested major revisions, including the identification of where the units removed from the North Fillmore Specific Plan could be located. Fillmore will host a second Housing Element Workshop at 6 p.m. on January 28th. CONTINUED »

 


 
A Sheriff’s officer is shown outside Yolanda’s Beauty Palace, which was robbed Saturday, January 10th, at about 1:30 p.m. An adult male forced the solo victim to a room and stole a small amount of money, according to police reports. No weapon was shown. The incident is still under investigation.
A Sheriff’s officer is shown outside Yolanda’s Beauty Palace, which was robbed Saturday, January 10th, at about 1:30 p.m. An adult male forced the solo victim to a room and stole a small amount of money, according to police reports. No weapon was shown. The incident is still under investigation.
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Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

As we begin the new year and our second semester, it is important to pause and recognize the hard work and talents of our teachers, our staff members, and our administrators. We have outstanding schools because of their dedication to the education of our students, and because of the continued support of our parents and community. Many thanks to all as we strive to be the best educator for our students!

A new year is a time of hope and brings with it a renewal of our dedication to our personal and professional lives. The new year affords us all the opportunity to review the past year, reflect upon our successes, and create resolutions or goals for 2009. These are the tools that allow us to look to the future in anticipation of improving our lives or the lives of others around us.

In that light, the Fillmore Unified School District’s Board of Education set a goal last year to create solutions as we anticipate future growth in our District. They formed an advisory committee comprised of staff and parents to review our current school configurations, which simply put, is what grade levels are taught in each of our schools. Looking to our future, we need to think about how our schools are organized as we will build another elementary school in three years. We also anticipate more students attending our schools because of new housing developments in the community.

The committee reviewed options other school districts have used to organize their students. We are considering some of their ideas for our schools. For instance, do we want the new school (Rio Vista Elementary) to become a K-6 grade configuration? Do we want to re-examine our other schools’ grade level configurations? Are we interested in creating magnet schools that focus on performing arts or math/science or act as a “school within a school?” There are many ways we can address out students’ needs.

The advisory committee created a list of recommendations for the Board of Education; they have the final vote on any changes. That list was presented to Board members in December.

The committee would like to receive input from parents, staff, and community members in Fillmore and Piru. We will be mailing to you a survey in the coming weeks asking for input on the issue of how we might configure our schools. Please take a few minutes to answer and then return the survey to your student’s school or mail it to or drop it off at the District Office. It is very important to us that your thoughts and needs are considered as we look at the possible changes. The committee will review the results and provide additional recommendations to the Board.

We hope the new year is filled with excitement of looking to the future. The Fillmore Unified School District looks forward to your involvement in helping to shape its future. Enjoy a blessed and healthy new year.

 


 
The new city clock will soon be placed on its pedestal at a space a few feet south of the bucket shown in this photo. It is hoped that curbing, power, and the planting of roses will be completed in the next few weeks.
The new city clock will soon be placed on its pedestal at a space a few feet south of the bucket shown in this photo. It is hoped that curbing, power, and the planting of roses will be completed in the next few weeks.
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Above, Private First Class Joseph Ponce and United States Army Sergeant Kevin “Buddy” Edwards, are both assigned to the United States Army’s 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment.
Above, Private First Class Joseph Ponce and United States Army Sergeant Kevin “Buddy” Edwards, are both assigned to the United States Army’s 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment.

Two young men from Fillmore are serving together in the United States Army and in the same unit are on their way to Afghanistan! United States Army Sergeant Kevin “Buddy” Edwards and Private First Class (PFC) Joseph Ponce of Fillmore are both assigned to the United States Army’s 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment located at Fort Drum, New York. Both were home for Christmas before their Unit is to be deployed in early January 2009 to the Wardak Province in Afghanistan. The Wardak Province is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. Wardak Province is located in the center of the country and its capital is Meydan Shahr. The population, about 70,000, is a mixture of Tajiks, Hazaras, Pashtuns and smaller groups of Aimaks.

Sergeant Kevin “Buddy” Edwards, 25 years, is a 2002 FHS Graduate and he is the son of Kevin Edwards (wife Debra) and Donna Villanueva (Smith), (husband Roy Villanueva), of Fillmore. Roy is a retired United States Army Ranger. Sergeant Edward’s Maternal Grandparents are, Ronnie and Chris Smith of Fillmore. His Paternal Grandmother, Sharon Stewart lives in Oregon. His Paternal Grandfather was the late Jim Edwards. Jim’s widow, Rebecca Edwards, lives in Ten Mile, Oregon. Sergeant Edwards siblings are U.S. Army Specialist Michael “Mikey” Edwards, now stationed in Honduras, Anthony Edwards, 16, a Sophomore at Fillmore High School and Brett Edwards, 14, an 8th grader at Fillmore Middle School.

Sergeant Kevin Edwards is a Military Intelligence Analyst. In this position he has obtained a “Military Top Secret Clearance.” The intelligence analyst supervises, performs, or coordinates, collection management, analysis, processing, and dissemination of strategic and tactical intelligence. Sergeant Kevin Edwards prepares all source intelligence products to support the combat the commander. Additionally he assists in establishing and maintaining systematic, cross-referenced intelligence records and files and receives and processes incoming reports and messages. Sergeant Kevin Edwards assists in determining significance and reliability of incoming information, in integrating incoming information with current intelligence holdings and prepares and maintains the situation map. He contributes in the analysis and evaluation of intelligence holdings to determine changes in enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities, and probable courses of action. Other duties include the preparation of Order of Battle records using information from all sources and in the preparation of strength estimates of enemy units. Sergeant Kevin Edwards is also responsible for proofreading intelligence reports and assists in consolidating them into military intelligence. He prepares Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) products. Without a doubt for any military combat operation someone in the position of Sergeant Kevin Edwards plays a critical role on the battlefield.

Sergeant Kevin Edwards’s first Duty station was in Heidelberg, Germany with V Corps. His unit deployed from Germany to Iraq where Sergeant Edwards was in charge of monitoring/analyzing the volumes of information received in Operation Iraqi freedom during 2006 as a part of the Multi-National Force in Iraq. Sergeant Kevin Edwards actually worked in Saddam's palace every day and was promoted to Specialist at a ceremony there as well.
Sergeant Kevin Edwards and PFC Joseph Ponce are now stationed at Fort Drum, New York with 10th Mountain Division, 3rd Brigade. The 3d Brigade Combat Team is trained and ready for rapid deployment anywhere in the world to destroy the enemies of America in close combat. The 3rd Brigade, one of the Army's new modular Brigade Combat Teams Unit of Action (BCT/UA), is designed to be a highly deployable unit that will enhance the Army's ability to project power from U.S. bases while simultaneously preparing forces for full spectrum operations. The 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment assigned to the reorganized modular 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, will carry on the tradition of forebears by leading change and enabling combined arms operations with devastating fire support. CONTINUED »

 


 
Pictured (l-r) School Board President John Garnica, Mountain View Elementary Principal Chrissy Schieferle, deputy Tony Biter, Sergeant Dave Wareham and Captain Tim Hagel. Starting next week “Adopt a Cop” program will begin at the elementary schools.
Pictured (l-r) School Board President John Garnica, Mountain View Elementary Principal Chrissy Schieferle, deputy Tony Biter, Sergeant Dave Wareham and Captain Tim Hagel. Starting next week “Adopt a Cop” program will begin at the elementary schools.
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Fillmore's Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 6, 2009. The Board discussed potential changes to the schools, heard facilities updates, honored the Sheriff's Department, and prepared for upcoming meetings.

Mountain Vista Elementary School Principal Chrissy Schieferle with Captain Tim Hagel and Sergeant Dave Wareham presented the Adopt a Cop Program, which is starting next week. The pilot program calls for a cop to mentor each of the three fourth grade classrooms at Mountain Vista by visiting at least once a month. Three deputies have volunteered: Tony Biter, Leo Vasquez, and Danni Delpit. Hagel explained that the program is expected to provide elementary students with an opportunity to build positive relationships with cops in Fillmore. The deputies will start with 40 minute visits to discuss character development; a positive attitude will be the first character trait covered. The program will result in a police presence on campus three out of four weeks per month, will not cost the schools or Sheriff's Department anything, and is expected to prevent negative stereotypes of cops from developing. Board President John Garnica, on behalf of the Board, thanked the Sheriff's Department for their involvement, and honored them with a "Be the Change" commendation.

The Board started to discuss the Reconfiguration Committee Recommendations. The Board asked staff for more information on expanding the home school/independent study program to increase ADA, changing elementary schools to K-6, changing Piru elementary to K-6 or K-8, reviewing school boundaries, and developing a newcomer's class to prepare recent immigrants with limited English skills before they enter general education classrooms. The Community Survey was finalized over the winter break, but has not yet been sent out. The Board acknowledged that discussing the many Recommendations would take considerable time, and actions would be carefully considered.

There will be a joint City Council and School Board meeting on January 27, 2009. The Board plans to include on the agenda: the City-District Joint Facilities Use Agreement, concerns regarding the potential for a track at Fillmore Middle School (FMS), the status of the recycled water projects (including their impact on available fields and how to time projects so that enough fields are available this spring and summer), and the military banner project. The Board is looking forward to getting to know the new Council. CONTINUED »

 
A water line broke on New Year’s Eve at the intersection of 4th Street and Central Avenue. It was repaired overnight and back on line by 8:00 a.m. New Year’s Day. The Public Works employees gave up their holiday evening and New Year’s Day was shot after working through the night, according to Bert Rapp, Director of Public Works. The water main was installed in the 1920’s and was a 10” diameter cast iron pipe. The city
is unsure as to why the line broke, said Rapp. The city had replaced a portion of the pipe from River Street to Sespe Avenue this past summer with the Central Avenue Storm Drain project. Rapp also stated that the city would like to replace the entire pipe up Morris Drive but does not have the money for the project at this time. They will be applying for an infrastructure grant to fund the replacement, if they get the opportunity.
A water line broke on New Year’s Eve at the intersection of 4th Street and Central Avenue. It was repaired overnight and back on line by 8:00 a.m. New Year’s Day. The Public Works employees gave up their holiday evening and New Year’s Day was shot after working through the night, according to Bert Rapp, Director of Public Works. The water main was installed in the 1920’s and was a 10” diameter cast iron pipe. The city is unsure as to why the line broke, said Rapp. The city had replaced a portion of the pipe from River Street to Sespe Avenue this past summer with the Central Avenue Storm Drain project. Rapp also stated that the city would like to replace the entire pipe up Morris Drive but does not have the money for the project at this time. They will be applying for an infrastructure grant to fund the replacement, if they get the opportunity.
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Above is another angle of how far the hole from the water line break went across Central Avenue. Crews worked through the night to have it back on line by 8:00 am New Year’s Day.
Above is another angle of how far the hole from the water line break went across Central Avenue. Crews worked through the night to have it back on line by 8:00 am New Year’s Day.
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According to Bob Sube, who supervises Fillmore School District structure development, the high school track is undergoing significant corrective surgery. The all-weather track, which is composed of several layers of rubber particulate and a clear synthetic over-sheet sprayed with grit for traction, was not level. The lower spots collected water and made the surface less suitable for runners. This was the second major flaw discovered by Bob Sube. The first problem was related to sub-standard artificial turf. The entire playing field had to be removed and replaced. The cost was covered by warranties in the construction contract, as was the cost of leveling the track. The final coating for the track should be finished this weekend. The total cost of these corrections is estimated to be near $200,000. Mr. Sube has done an exceptional job of overseeing the District’s new construction. The Gazette recently found him checking-out Sespe School’s new playground equipment on his day off. He saw to it that a proper border was poured and a soft layer of material was placed under the equipment before it was put into use. This playground is avidly used by children from kindergarten through second grade.
According to Bob Sube, who supervises Fillmore School District structure development, the high school track is undergoing significant corrective surgery. The all-weather track, which is composed of several layers of rubber particulate and a clear synthetic over-sheet sprayed with grit for traction, was not level. The lower spots collected water and made the surface less suitable for runners. This was the second major flaw discovered by Bob Sube. The first problem was related to sub-standard artificial turf. The entire playing field had to be removed and replaced. The cost was covered by warranties in the construction contract, as was the cost of leveling the track. The final coating for the track should be finished this weekend. The total cost of these corrections is estimated to be near $200,000. Mr. Sube has done an exceptional job of overseeing the District’s new construction. The Gazette recently found him checking-out Sespe School’s new playground equipment on his day off. He saw to it that a proper border was poured and a soft layer of material was placed under the equipment before it was put into use. This playground is avidly used by children from kindergarten through second grade.
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Above a truck was damaged by an IED, a 152 mm artillery shell which blew off the passenger side tire and put a hole in the engine.
Above a truck was damaged by an IED, a 152 mm artillery shell which blew off the passenger side tire and put a hole in the engine.
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Above and below, a military truck damaged by a 152 mm artillary shell in Afghanistan.
Above and below, a military truck damaged by a 152 mm artillary shell in Afghanistan.
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I just watched the You Tube, “Do You Remember Me” video by Lizzie Palmer in this weeks online Fillmore Gazette. And, at the same time I received the below communication and photos from United States Army Staff Sergeant Gilbert Zavala who is serving in Afghanistan and soon to rotate home. Both the video and SSgt Gilbert Zavala’s email awakened me to how real it is that we have young men and women from both the communities of Fillmore and Piru serving so far away from home in some very dangerous places. Even though I write about these young men and women often for The Fillmore Gazette I too get lulled into the small town language of how we know them and who their family members are here at home. Their links to us back at home are interesting, but what they are doing away from home is should be much more important to all of us.

Not long ago I received another email from SSgt Gilbert Zavala that outlined a terrible firefight his unit had been in where two other soldiers had been killed, others wounded, and only SSgt Gilbert Zavala and one other soldier had survived unscathed. I chose not to write about it at that time because I felt it may be to disturbing. But, I now feel that it may be important for all us to be reminded that these young men and women from our community are in harms way daily while they serve our Country to hopefully protect all of us from the harm others are trying to place before us. We should always try to remember them, appreciate them and thank them and their families every opportunity we can for their service, and sacrifices they make for us. Their service is truly heroic! They are the true American Heroes in our lives and communities; not rap singers, sports, or Hollywood celebrities who seem to get so much more attention.

As you have noticed in each weeks Gazette there is a list of all the men and women known to me who are now serving in the military, in all branches of the military. Some I have written about and some I haven’t. If you know them, or a member of their family please take the time to thank them for their service and their sacrifices. I know they will appreciate knowing you care.

Also, you will soon be made aware of a program to honor these young men and women by our community: On Central Avenue their will be banners on the light poles with the names of those young men and women from the Fillmore/Piru communities currently serving in the military. This is an effort begun by Virginia de la Piedra, in conjunction with the City of Fillmore, Fillmore Unified School Board, Veterans of Foreign War and the Fillmore Sunrise Rotary as another way to say thank you and to honor those that are currently serving.

Here is the email I received from SSgt Gilbert Zavala:
“Hello Everybody, It's been a while since I last wrote so here's an update.
My replacements are now in country and should be at my location soon. Hopefully our transfer goes quickly so we can get out of here smoothly. We went on a mission yesterday and just got back a little while ago. We got into a firefight with the Taliban, got 4 enemy KIA and we suffered 1 Afghan police KIA and 1 Afghan security force soldier wounded. I worked on the gun shot wound victim with the medic since we were on the same truck, unfortunately the Afghan Police officer suffered a deep internal wound and we were unable to save him. The next
morning we didn't really fight at all; the Taliban just watched us and I think they didn't have enough ammunition. We later had a truck stuck in the mud and so we had to do recovery operations. When we trying to get the truck out, my truck broke the towing line. I got out and picked up the pieces and removed the pins. After that, the truck was going to move out of the way and I didn't get back in the truck and so it moved about 50 ft forward. When the truck was about to crest the little knoll it hit an IED, a 152 mm artillery shell and blew of the front passenger side tire and put a hole into the engine. No-one was injured, just bumps and bruises. There was another IED found about 15ft in front of the truck and to the left side (driver side) this time. It's pretty much my last mission so we went out with a bang I guess. That's pretty much it, same old stuff, different day.
Well talk to you all later.
Gilbert”

Thank you SSgt Gilbert Zavala for your service and sacrifices and thank you the family of SSgt Gilbert Zavala the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make. SSgt Gilbert Zavala is truly an American Hero!

 
Bert Rapp, Fillmore’s Director of Public Works, has reason to be proud of the new water treatment plant. It is coming in ahead of schedule and more than $3 million under budget. The plant is about 85 percent completed. And will be running in March.
Bert Rapp, Fillmore’s Director of Public Works, has reason to be proud of the new water treatment plant. It is coming in ahead of schedule and more than $3 million under budget. The plant is about 85 percent completed. And will be running in March.
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“Construction is coming along smoothly,” said Public Works Director Bert Rapp of Fillmore’s 80% completed Water Treatment Plant. The Gazette staff got a sneak peek at how it all works last week, and the plant will be open for public tours in March 2009.

Rapp pointed out that the most complicated part of the construction is starting up the plant. The plant must be working properly by September 9, 2009. In March, the plant will process clean water for a two or three week basic test of the system. In April or May, the plant will begin operating.

The wastewater enters the plant through underground pipes and is split into two channels. The wastewater goes through a coarse screen which removes larger pieces of junk. The junk goes into dumpsters. All of the dumpsters are expected to be emptied weekly. The plant is designed to take advantage of the electric company's varying rates. The plant must run constantly to maintain operational bacteria levels, but equalization basin storage will allow the plant to store some wastewater to be processed when the electric company's rates are lowest. After going through a coarse screen, the water is either stored or continues the process. The concrete basin in which the water is stored is coated with a yellow protective material that will protect the concrete for 20 to 30 years.

The hydrogen sulfide gas is kept out of the water to minimize corrosion. Every portion of the processing plant which has the potential to stink will not release odors because the air will be suctioned away by blowers to a biofilter containing wood chips which will remove the sulfides and any other odor-producing materials from the air. The blower room is noisy, so it vents out noise toward the highway. There are three beds of deodorizing wood chips. The wastewater then goes to a grit classifier, which is a seven or eight foot deep cone. Gravity and the shape of the cone cause the water to spin. Sand and other grit collects in the bottom and is pumped into a dumpster. The wastewater passes through fine screens. The screens are self-cleaning and can capture materials even as small as hair.

After passing through fine screens, the water enters the headworks for the oxidation ditches, which remove nutrients. The oxidation ditches include three different types of bacteria in different sections: anaerobic (without oxygen), hybrid, and aerobic. Air-flow pipes in the bottom of the aerobic section ensure that the bacteria have plenty of oxygen. The wastewater passes through membranes to a screw-press for dewatering. The biosolids are converted into pellets off-site by Toland.

The treated water goes into a water holding tank, and is distributed for public irrigation of schools and parks, or percolated back into the ground. Unlike the current water treatment plant, this plant will not discharge any water into the river. Not having river discharge avoids costly complications.

Besides plant buildings, the site contains a maintenance building, and an office building with a lab.