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Sports Shorts

| Gazette, Sports | 2 hours ago

tim_haddock_web

Hockey
The Los Angeles Kings will play the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Kings are in a bit of a funk entering the playoffs. They are 2-5 in the last seven games of the regular season. They lost four of their last five games, including 4-3 in a shootout against the Anaheim Ducks in the regular season finale for the Kings.
Jonathan Quick has been in goal for four of the Kings’ five losses to end the season. That’s not a good sign for the Kings, as Quick is crucial to the Kings’ playoff success.

It’s not like Quick has been giving up a ton of goals in the losses. He gave up three against the Minnesota Wild and only two in a loss against the Vancouver Canucks.
Still, the close losses are problematic, especially with the playoffs underway.

During the regular season, the Kings and the Sharks split four games. The Sharks won the most recent meeting, 2-1, on April 3. The Kings won their first meeting in overtime, 4-3, on Oct. 30.

Here is a look at the matchups for the first-round playoff series between the Kings and the Sharks.

Centers: The Sharks have the definite edge here. Joe Pavelski led the Sharks with 41 goals and 79 points. He played in all 82 games and will definitely be an offensive force in the playoffs.

Patrick Marleau scored 33 goals and played in all 82 games for the Sharks too.

Logan Couture scored 23 goals and Tommy Wingels, the checking line center, scored 16 goals. The Sharks have plenty of offensive weapons at center.

Anze Kopitar was the top scorer for the Kings with 29 goals and 70 points. He played the full season and had an impressive plus-minus of 34.

Jeff Carter had a nice season as well, with 27 goals and 50 points.

Mike Richards’ numbers are not very good. He scored only 11 goals in 82 games. He also has a -6 plus/minus.

Wingers: The Kings have a slight edge here. Justin Williams scored 19 goals and Dwight King had 15, probably more than expected. The Kings traded for Marian Gaborik and he contributed nicely, with five goals and 16 points in 19 games.

The biggest concern is the offensive dropoff of Dustin Brown. The Kings captain scored only 15 goals and had 27 points. He needs to put up way better numbers in the playoffs if the Kings are going to make a deep run.

Brett Burns scored 22 goals at right wing for the Sharks. After that, the Sharks are pretty weak. Matt Nieto only scored 10 goals in 66 games. Oft-injured Martin Havlat scored 12 goals in 48 games.

Defense: This is the Kings’ strength, but an upper-body injury to Drew Doughty might change that. He scored 10 goals in 78 games, but missed the regular season finale against the Ducks. The Kings were probably playing it safe resting Doughty for the playoffs, but if his injuries linger through the playoffs, it won’t bode well for the Kings.

Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin have emerged as top defensemen in the league. Willie Mitchell is always a pest in postseason.

As for the Sharks, their defensemen aren’t much of an offensive threat. Jason Demers had only five goals and Dan Boyle was a -8.

Goaltenders: Jonathan Quick is always one of the top goaltenders in the league. It was no different this year. His 2.07 goals against average was the fifth best in the NHL.

But Antti Niemi has been pretty impressive in goal for the Sharks. His 39 wins are the second most in the NHL behind Semyon Varlamov’s 41 for the Colorado Avalanche.

Quick had a .915 save percentage and six shutouts in the regular season. Niemi had a .913 save percentage and four shutouts.

The edge goes to the Kings, but not by much.

Prediction: The Kings win the series in seven games if Doughty is healthy. They lose in seven games if he misses any games with an injury.

IndyCar
Two races into the Verizon IndyCar Series and Jack Hawksworth is officially the hard-luck driver of the series.

The rookie driver for the team owned by Valencia’s Bryan Herta had top-10 runs ruined by late-race crashes that were completely out of his control.

The latest incident happened at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Hawksworth was running in sixth place when he collided with a pack of cars that was leading the race. He eventually returned to the race three laps down and finished a disappointing 15th place.

“It’s hard knocks getting caught up in a mess for the second race in a row, but Jack was doing a great job,” said Herta, a former IndyCar Series driver and Hart High graduate. “The Charter Networks/Castrol Edge car was poised for a great finish again, so I think we have to take the positive out of this. We ran well and had a great weekend, despite the result, and now we head to Barber.”

Hawksworth met a similar fate in the IndyCar Series season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“It was a disappointing end to the day, getting taken out by the accident,” said Hawksworth. “It’s a shame. We struggled a little bit for speed in the race but we were hanging up front. Thanks to the team for all the hard work. They put in a big effort and it’s a shame we didn’t get the result.”

Mike Conway wound up the beneficiary of the melee in Long Beach. He won his second Grand Prix of Long Beach in the past four years.

The next race on the IndyCar Series is the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 27.

Track and Field
One final note: the Saugus girls 4×1,600-meter relay team set one of the fastest times in the nation at the Arcadia Invitational, but it was only good enough for second place at the meet.

The team of Ashley Heys, Samantha Ortega, Abigail Frankian and Sabrina Janes ran the relay in 20 minutes, 18.84 seconds. They finished behind Great Oak, which won the race in 20 minutes, 12.79 seconds.

Saugus posted the second fastest time in the nation in the relay. Great Oak posted the fastest time in the nation. The Saugus girls also ran the relay in the third fastest time in meet history, which was set by a team of girls from Saugus in 2008.

Tim Haddock is the sports director at KHTS AM 1220. He writes for the SCV Beacon, Ventura County Star, the Team USA website and covers auto racing for the K&N website. He can be reached by e-mail at tim@hometownstation.com. Follow him on Twitter @thaddock.

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Former City Council Candidate Calls Voting Rights Lawsuit “Garbage”

| City Council, Gazette, News | 2 hours ago

by Jessica Vidal

As Santa Clarita elects its first Latino City Council member, some residents question a lawsuit settlement regarding election inequality, including a losing candidate from last week’s election.

“Dante Acosta is the first Hispanic to win a spot,” said Berta Gonzalez-Harper, a losing candidate for City Council. “Had they waited to vote, the whole lawsuit would have been garbage. They could have continued with the lawsuit, but they (the plaintiffs) wouldn’t have won.”

The City of Santa Clarita was sued earlier last year due to civil rights discrimination, violating the California Voting Act of 2001, according to Santa Clarita City Attorney Joe Montes. This act was created and passed to make it easier for minority groups in California to prove that their votes are being diluted in “at-large” elections. “At large” means that all voters in the city can cast ballots for all open seats, and that council members represent the city as a whole, and not smaller districts within the city. The act does not require that there be an established geographic district where there is a minority concentration.

The City of Santa Clarita settled the lawsuit and agreed to the terms, including a $600,000 award. The trial was set for February of 2015. Why, then, was a decision made so quickly?

“I think that City Council jumped the gun,” said Gonzalez-Harper. “They should have waited for the results of the election. There had never been a Hispanic City Council member, but there were three running this year. There was a good possibility that at least one of us would have made the council.”

There were a total of three Hispanic candidates running for City Council this past election, Dante Acosta, Berta Gonzalez-Harper, and Gloria Mercado-Fortine.

Alan Ferdman, a candidate from the City Council election last week commented on the basis of the suit.

“I believe during the election, and I based everything on the fact, that every person in the community should have partial representation. If a minority group has a perception that they are not being represented it is up to elected officials to do what they can to remedy or convince the disenfranchised group that they are being thoroughly represented,” said Ferdman.

Ferdman went on to say that he thought that the Council’s means for deciding were wrong.

“I think that it would have been more prudent to hold off until they had the new council rather than making the decision at the last minute,” he commented. “I don’t understand the rationale as to why they settled the suit. They (the council) thought it would be too expensive to fight it. That’s wrong. A suit should be settled because you believe it to be correct not because you want to save money. That’s not convincing the minority community of being equally represented. They’re saying that they’re going to do the least we can do for the least amount of money in order to get off the hook.”

Gonzalez-Harper said that her reason for running was the lawsuit. She believes that the city could have saved that money and avoided problems, had they simply waited for the election to pass.

“They haven’t given any money yet, but, had they waited for the results, they would have seen that there was no basis for the lawsuit anymore. The City made a mistake, it’s a waste of money, I think. I don’t understand why there was such an urgency to vote.”
This act expands on the federal Voting rights Act of 1965. Critics of the act say that it inappropriately makes race an important and predominant factor in elections.

“The effects of the city’s at-large method of election are compelling,” the lawsuit states. “Despite a Latino population of approximately 30 percent in the city of Santa Clarita, no Latino has ever been elected to Santa Clarita’s City Council.”

This is a result of “a lack of access,” according to the suit.

“The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief barring the city from continuing its procedure of at-large elections,” said a KHTS article published in July of 2013.

Dante Acosta became the first Latino to win a seat on the Santa Clarita City Council since the city’s first election.

“I’m an American of Hispanic and Irish descent and I’m proud of my culture. As an American first it is somewhat distressing to put people in boxes and categories in order to allow them to be represented. I didn’t run on that platform, as far as the lawsuit is concerned, I wasn’t there. My answer would have to be hypothetical, I’m not comfortable commenting. I was not in favor of the lawsuit, it was not reasonable, given that we’ve had virtually no Hispanics run in past elections. It was not reasonable to settle right before the election where there were three candidates of Hispanic descent. How can there be rationally-polarized voting when a Hispanic has just won an election throughout the entire city? I don’t know what the legal technicalities of the law are or what the council recommended even with the knowledge that there were three Hispanic candidates running so I don’t know if they should have waited to settle. I don’t know what the legal technicalities are or if the electing of a Hispanic would have remedied the violation.”
In the past 10 years the Latino community has grown to represent about one-third of the City, yet it is not until now that there is a face on the council to show for it.

“If I was being cynical, I would say that the council members took the issue off the table so that the newly elected wouldn’t have a say. Marsha McLean was the only one that did not agree. She had guts while the others just settled,” said Gonzalez-Harper.

Council member McLean was not opposed to moving the election date.

“Sometimes you have to look at what’s right and wrong, and you have to fight what’s wrong,” McLean said in an interview with Hometownstation.com.

Kevin Shenkman, the attorney from Shenkman and Hughes representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit against the City of Santa Clarita, gave money to the democratic candidate Steven Daniels.

“He gave just under the legal limit to the democratic candidate Steven Daniels, a Caucasian, and nothing to myself, and to my knowledge, to none of the other Hispanic candidates. You would think that if the intention with the lawsuit was to help the Hispanics be represented in City Council that he would have given some money to a Hispanic candidate,” said Gonzalez-Harper. “I believe that this lawsuit was never about helping out the Latino community, it was about the money.”

According to sources, no California Voting Act lawsuit has been successfully litigated by a defendant.

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Celebrating Easter in Los Angeles

| Gazette, Police Blotter | 4 hours ago

robin sandovalby Robin Sandoval
Easter is a holiday celebrated by millions of Christians all over the world in honor of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Unlike other holidays, such as Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day, Easter is known as a “movable feast,” because the date is not the same each year, but determined by the vernal equinox.

Apart from the religious significance of Easter, there’s a commercial side, too. You’ve probably already seen the multitudes of Easter-themed chocolates, jellybeans and other candies placed prominently in the front of grocery stores. Doubtless, many a child will wake up early in the morning on Sunday to find an Easter basket filled to the brim with treats just waiting to be devoured.

Whether you celebrate Easter for its religious purposes or not, there are several activities being held all around the Los Angeles area that promise to be fun for the whole family.

Right here in the Santa Clarita Valley, there are many special Easter and Passover events planned: Sunrise services, e.g., “Passion Play” (a dramatic reenactment of Jesus’ life and death at Grace Baptist Church), and a sunrise matinee at Vasquez Rocks of Christ’s resurrection, complete with costumed actors (bring a chair), Easter egg hunts at many parks, a visit from the Easter Bunny, an Easter Lunch Train, communal seders, and special Easter menus are planned at many restaurants all over the city. For more information, log onto www.santaclaritaguide.com/PassoverEasterSCV.html.
For those who love heading out to the beach on the weekends, Malibu Bluffs Park is hosting the “Easter Hoppening” at 24250 Pacific Coast Highway. For the little ones there will, of course, be a customary Easter egg hunt. For mom and pop, there’s another hunt taking place later in the afternoon. Instead of candy, though, sports tickets, gift cards and dining coupons will be the prizes. It’s an all-day event that’s sure to please, young and old alike.
For those looking for something a little swankier this Easter Sunday, why not head over to the Beverly Hills Hotel’s famous Polo Lounge for brunch? If you bring the kids, guess what? There’s an Easter egg hunt going on there, too. Imagine indulging in a sumptuous champagne brunch on the terrace while the kids have fun hunting for Easter eggs.
If you’re in search of something a little more visually stimulating, Ray’s restaurant is providing a Mediterranean brunch at LACMA. Once you’ve had your fill of blue crab deviled eggs and smoked sturgeon, you can indulge in the beautiful works of art.

If you prefer to revel in the religious significance of Easter with hundreds of others, try it out in true L.A. style with a live mass at the Nokia Plaza. Sponsored by L.A. Live, the event includes a mass, as well as activities centered on kids: arts and crafts, an Easter egg hunt (for children ages 1-6) and tons of games and prizes.

These are just a few of the many, many special brunches and events being held Easter Sunday in the Los Angeles area. Whether you’re single, a couple, or a family spanning several generations, it’s guaranteed you’ll find something enjoyable to do this special holiday. Have a happy Easter!

Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. SCV Bail Bonds is located at 23734 Valencia Blvd., #300 in Santa Clarita. If you have questions or would like to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds.com, visit www.scvbailbonds.com or call 661-299-2245.

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‘Rockin’ Rodeo’ SENSES To Kick Off Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival

| KHTS AM 1220 | 4 hours ago

Category: 

Ride the mechanical bull, try out western food vendors and listen to band Highway Starr at the "Rockin' Rodeo" SENSES block party on Main Street from 7 to 10 p.m Thursday.

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Hero of the Week- Madeline Rossiter

| Scene in SCV | 4 hours ago

Maddie

Maddie

Nicknamed “Mads” by her YES I CAN class last year, 17-year-old Madeline Rossiter is now a peer mentor in the program at Canyon High School.

“Mads is our YIC hero because she had dedicated countless hours of her free time to help plan, prepare, and organize both our 10th and 11th Annual Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness Art and Music Festivals,” said Department Head Bret Lieberman. “She has demonstrated enormous empathy for her peers with autism and has been inspired to pursue a career as a special education teacher focusing on students on the autism spectrum, after falling in love with this population after her first year in YIC.”

Rossiter is a student trainer of Canyon’s Safe School Ambassador Program and helped train 200 of her peers and 20 teachers on the dangers of bullying and mistreatment on campus. She stands up for socially isolated students and advocates for anyone being bullied. She helped prepare an all-girls YIC slumber party after her peers with Autism expressed that they’ve never been invited to a sleepover before. She’s planned many social activities for her peers and also is a member of Safe Rides.

Hero of the week brought to you by Dr. Adrienne Fang, DDS, www.drfangdds.com 253-0588

“She demonstrates the best qualities I hope to see in our graduates, said Lieberman. “She continuously makes us proud.”

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BOE Santa Clarita District Office Opening Celebrated With Ribbon Cutting

| KHTS AM 1220 | 5 hours ago

Local, county and state government and Santa Clarita business leaders gathered at the new Board of Equalization Santa Clarita District Office on Thursday, for a ribbon cutting ceremony with BOE Board Member George Runner.

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BOE Santa Clarita District Office Opening Celebrated With Ribbon Cutting

| KHTS AM 1220 | 5 hours ago

Local, county and state government and Santa Clarita business leaders gathered at the new Board of Equalization Santa Clarita District Office on Thursday, for a ribbon cutting ceremony with BOE Board Member George Runner.

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The LA Dodgers Lead The San Francisco Giants 1-0

| KHTS AM 1220 | 5 hours ago

The Los Angeles Dodgers the San Francisco Giants. 

Score, 4th Inning

Dodgers: 1

Giants: 0

 


Don't miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.

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The LA Dodgers Lead The San Francisco Giants 1-0

| KHTS AM 1220 | 5 hours ago

The Los Angeles Dodgers the San Francisco Giants. 

Score, 4th Inning

Dodgers: 1

Giants: 0

 


Don't miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.

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Police Blotter

| Gazette, Police Blotter | 7 hours ago

A number of local residents were charged with taking things that didn’t belong to them last week.

A 28-year-old unemployed Newhall man was charged with making criminal threats.

A 31-year-old glass blower from Pacoima was arrested for possession of burglary tools, while a 60-year-old cashier from Sylmar and a 53-year-old unemployed Green Valley man were charged with burglary. Also, an unemployed 28-year-old Santa Clarita man, a 36-year-old salesman from Valencia and a 45-year-old hairdresser from Valencia were all accused of theft of personal property.

A 37-year-old loan officer from Valencia and a 29-year-old Sylmar delivery man were each charged with taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A 32-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita was accused of receiving stolen property with a value exceeding $400.

Then there were also some charges involving city entities. A 44-year-old Santa Clarita man was charged with intentional interference with public transportation. An 18-year-old Canyon Country student was cited for defacing/damaging property. And a 29-year-old unemployed Canyon Country woman was arrested for battery on a police officer/emergency personnel without injury.

A 20-year-old Stevenson Ranch man was charged with battery against a former spouse. And a 30-year-old mother from Canyon Country was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.
A 33-year-old dish washer from Canyon Country was arrested for sexual battery by restraint.
A 26-year-old unemployed Valencia man was arrested for arson of a structure or forest land.

Two Visalia men were picked up for transporting/selling/furnishing marijuana – a 22-year-old tire mechanic and a 26-year-old chef.

DUIs with priors
31-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita woman
53-year-old Castaic horse trainer
62-year-old caregiver from Ventura
57-year-old unemployed Wasco man
39-year-old unemployed Saugus man
33-year-old self-employed man from Lake Balboa, Calif.
23-year-old student from Palmdale
50-year-old maintenance supervisor from Newhall
44-year-old retail manager from Agua Dulce
44-year-old A/C technician from Canyon Country

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