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Santa Clarita Gazette and Free Classifieds is a locally owned weekly publication. Each week you will find news, opinion, sports and more plus over 200 classified ads online and in print! Each week’s issue is printed and distributed on Thursdays and Fridays, the full edition is also here on the web site on Thursdays as a page flip. All of the articles and classified ads are online and display ads are printed and appear on various pages of the web site to correspond with the print ad.

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California School Choice Announces a Special Event in Support for National School Choice Week

| Community | January 18, 2020

On January 25th, California School Choice will announce as part of celebrating National School Choice Week, their campaign for a California State initiative (The Freedom of Education Act) that will enable all parents to enroll their K-12 children in the public, charter, private or parochial school of their choice. Tuition assistance to be provided through individual Education Savings Accounts funded by the State’s education budget. Campaign President Michael Alexander reported that this will be the greatest advancement for our children’s education in the Golden State’s History.

Positive Student Impact:
Many students in California have already benefited from School Choice. Students who have taken advantage of the education provided by charter, private, parochial and home schooling have demonstrated superior academic performance over the public schools in their own neighborhoods. Parents are relieved that they can send their children to schools that better reflect their values. Alternate education focuses more on academics rather than social engineering and SeXXX education. Importantly, the initiative will force all of schools to compete for our education dollars. The free market will encourage higher performance with lower costs.

Location:
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Community Room
1812 Verdugo Blvd
Glendale, CA 91208

Registration begins at 9AM Program begins at 10 AM. Questions and Answers Panel and lunch at 11:30 AM, ends 2 PM

Speakers will include:

Rebecca Friedrichs author of “Standing up to Goliath” Rebecca recently met with the President regarding School Choice.

Larry Sand, president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network speaking on the academic failures of public schools.

Gina Gleason of Faith and Public Policy out of Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills speaking on SeXXX Education and Opt-out petition,

Vicki E, Alger of Independent Institute will be speaking on ESA’s

Michael Alexander, radio personality and president of California School Choice

Register for the event at www.CaliforniaSchoolChoice.org/nscw

For more information on School Choice Event: www.californiaschoolchoice.org

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

| Opinion | January 18, 2020

By Dale Paule

The way Mister Rogers saw things in his neighborhood made him a hit on television, and for good reason, because his philosophy was of the basically classic, “Do Unto Others…” and there’s nothing wrong with that. That is, if those “others” do the same.

To be honest, I think most people really do believe this because when it happens, well, the result is “bingo,” you have, “a beautiful day in the neighborhood!”  But for some reason, some neighborhoods always seem to inherit that one person, the one who was the eldest child in the family (you know the one I mean), that one that just has to take control over everything and everybody.

And when you think about it, pretty much the same thing happens on a much larger scale in neighborhoods all over the world.

Politicians try, and succeed, to make the problems of the world as complicated as possible, and suggest that only they have the solutions to get us through each inevitable crisis. In reality, many of the world’s “big” problems are no more complicated than those we experience every day in our own neighborhoods. Let’s imagine, as an example, a typical American neighborhood; one that’s been around long enough to have established a friendly relationship among its inhabitants. Then, one day a new family moves in and it’s happy folks cheerfully welcome the newcomer to the “Beautiful Neighborhood.”

Sounds corny, doesn’t it — like one of those old black and white “feel-good” movies? Well, unfortunately, judging by the standards set in some parts of our present society, such behavior has long gone out of style; way out of style!

And the reason is because that newcomer who was so happily and cordially welcomed into the neighborhood has decided suddenly they don’t approve of certain things their neighbors do or say. Things like the colors they choose to paint their houses, or they water their lawn too often, or in the winter they used their fireplace for burning wood, and the smoke adds to the “climate change crisis!”
The list of grievances goes on and some even dare to complain about hearing their neighbors wishing each other “Merry Christmas.” Oh, the humanity! And God forbid they put up those glaring, gaudy lights on their houses that actually spell it out where anyone can see it; and I won’t even go into their reaction to the Easter Bunny.

The next thing found offensive was when the newcomer’s children tearfully informed their parents that their new school was “forcing” them to pledge allegiance to the flag.

By this time, open hostility blankets the neighborhood.  Then election time comes around and gives the newcomers an even bigger reason to be offended: signs supporting a favorite political candidate being openly displayed on front lawns everywhere, and then, in an act of outrageous political blasphemy, signs supporting, “TRUMP” began springing up!  That was the last straw for the newcomers; that meant WAR!

The neighborhood began receiving hate letters from organizations they’d never heard of, and attorneys from all over added their threat letters to the pile; all with the same command: “cease and desist.”

Tensions rose as professional protesters were bussed in and flooded the neighborhood, loudly picketing their now bewildered, and definitely no longer “Beautiful Neighborhood!”

Well, no need to go on; we’ve all been reading about and watching similar events for a long time now.  So far, it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down, and in fact, if anything, it’s spreading to the remaining few untouched neighborhoods. Maybe yours?

All we can do now is hope that sooner or later common sense will return and bring back those, “Beautiful days in the neighborhood.”

And what, you ask, does Mr. Rogers think of it all? It’s hard to say; Mr. Rogers doesn’t live here anymore!

Zonta Club’s Women in Service Nominations Due

| Community | January 17, 2020

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Women in Service nominations are due January 28th. These nominations are for outstanding women volunteers, 16 years or older, who provide services for local non-profit organizations that improve the lives of women and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley and make our community a great place to live. Individuals can be re-nominated if they have not received the Carmen Sarro Award for exceptional service and giving.

Women in Service Recognition Luncheon event to be held Saturday, May 2, 2020 at Sand Canyon Country Club. Nomination forms and additional information available at www.scvzonta.org.

Talking to My Daughter About War and ‘Megafires’

| Opinion | January 17, 2020

By John L. Micek

We were on the way to ballet rehearsal. It’s my favorite 30 minutes of the day. It’s a chance to break away from work, and to touch base with my only child. She’s 14 now. And it won’t be long before she’s driving herself. I treasure these moments.

“So,” I asked her. “How was school today?”

“We were arguing about whether we’re more likely to die from World War III or climate change,” she said.

Her response stopped me cold, but I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

With the dogs of war straining at the leash, the missiles flying in Iran, and our bellicose and unstable commander-in-chief lurching from one scarcely believable justification to the next, the prospect of another American forever war on the other side of the globe didn’t seem all that far-fetched.

First up, I disabused her of the notion that any of her classmates might be drafted, reassuring her that there was no such movement afoot on Capitol Hill. Nor would there likely ever be one. The American military remains an all-volunteer force comprised not of the nation’s elite, but of the sons and daughters of Main Street America. Trump’s voters. Some of my daughter’s classmates – if they ever heed the call to serve – may well be among them.

She seemed relieved at that news. Talking to her about the threat of climate change was another matter entirely.

it seemed to me there were decades remaining before the Earth might ever be rendered uninhabitable because of climate change, I offered. Which didn’t mean that we shouldn’t do all we can right now, I added.

“But Australia is burning,” she countered, her brown eyes wide with alarm, anger creeping into the edges of her voice.

She had me there. I’d seen the photos of scorched koalas and dead kangaroos. The endless walls of flame. It’s difficult to find the words to describe the scale, and the scope, of the ecological and human catastrophe that’s unfolding on the other side of the world.

As of this writing, NPR was reporting that a hellish “megafire” comprising an unfathomable 1.5 million acres, an area three times larger than any known brush fire in California, had taken shape in New South Wales and Victoria, the country’s most populous states.

That’s on top of the 135 bushfires in southeastern Australia that have left at least 26 people dead, killed more than 1 billion animals and damaged or destroyed nearly 3,000 homes.

Writing in the New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman observed that, in a more rational time, the fires, which have been partially a result of climate change, “would have represented a turning point.”

“After all, it’s exactly the kind of catastrophe climate scientists long warned us to expect if we didn’t take action to limit greenhouse gas emissions,” he wrote. “In fact, a 2008 report commissioned by the Australian government predicted that global warming would cause the nation’s fire seasons to begin earlier, end later, and be more intense – starting around 2020.”

And all this got me to thinking about the world that we’re bequeathing to my daughter and her classmates.

While much is better about the planet, there’s still much to be concerned about. And the threat of an uninhabitable globe should lead us to a united search for solutions, not juvenile taunts hurled at a teenager by one of the most powerful people on Earth. Even one dead child in an elementary school classroom should motivate us to find ways to reduce violence, not watch hopelessly as more bodies pile up.

I’m still firm in my belief that it’s not too late for us to shrug off all that divides us, and to work together to fight these existential threats.

But that means having a nation that engages with the global community not denigrates it; one that rejects the false choice that less gun violence somehow means fewer rights; and one that doesn’t stare each over the trenches, each irrevocably convinced that its way is the only way.

My daughter – and all our children – deserve far better answers than the ones we’ve been giving them.

Copyright 2020 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at jmicek@penncapital-star.com and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek.

Wine of the Week: Valentine’s Day

| Entertainment | January 17, 2020

By Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery 

What could be a dreamier way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by bringing your loved one to Reyes Winery for a specially prepared wine-pairing dinner?

Every year, we have had a pink, purple and red themed meal inside the barrel room. This year’s menu is no different. I source all my fruit and vegetables from a local farm. I go and pick out the produce that will pair the best with each wine for the different courses. I have focused on the award-winning Syrah to be a part of this very special meal.

For the month of February, Reyes Winery’s Tasting Room focuses on Syrah and the Syrah blends. We will feature our 2015 Syrah, one of Robert’s favorite wines. It won a Bronze medal in the 2018 San Francisco Wine Competition and Wine Enthusiast Magazine (05/2018 Edition) gave it 90 points. Our estate Syrah has delightful aromas of coffee, smoke and blackberries. It’s been aged in French oak for 18 months, which gives this wine a light, toasty note. It is well balanced with notes of black apricots for a velvety finish. It pairs well with short ribs braised in Coffee Ancho Chile sauce, aged gouda or tiramisu.

This week, I am planning the menu, so stay tuned on our website to see this year’s special menu.

Social media has a hashtag for it, #SyrahDay. Join the movement and drink lots of Reyes Winery Syrah. Take a photo of you, your wine and your wine glass; #SyrahDay, #Shiraz, #InternationalSyrahDay, #RedBlends, #DoubleGold, #ValentinesDay, #ValentinesDayDinner and #ReyesWinery.

COC Football Players Earn All-American Honors

| Sports | January 17, 2020

Wide receiver Alonzell Henderson and center Jordan Palmer are representing College of the Canyons as selections to the California Community College Football Coaches Association (CCCFCA) All-America Team, headlining a class of honorees that also includes four All-State Team selections.

COC sophomore middle linebacker Charles Ike and sophomore quarterback Armani Edden join sophomores Henderson and Palmer as members of the 2019 Region III All-California Community College Football Team.

The annual CCCFCA All-American and All-State selections are made in cooperation with the JC Athletic Bureau. A complete listing of the 2019 CCCFCA All-American and All-State teams is included here.

This is the second straight season that Canyons has had at least two players named to the All-American team. This year also marks the sixth straight season that the Cougars have had at least one player named to the All-State team.

Henderson finished the 2019 campaign with 57 receptions for 1,016 receiving yards and nine touchdowns to also earn a unanimous Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division, Northern League First-Team honors. Henderson topped the 100-yard mark in seven of 11 games and recorded a pair of multi-touchdown games along the way.

Likewise, Palmer was also a unanimous National Division, Northern League First-Team honoree in 2019. Ranked as the No. 2 JUCO center in the nation, Palmer recently signed with Middle Tennessee State University, an NCAA Division I program in Murfreesboro, TN.

Ike, another unanimous selection to the Northern League First-Team, recorded an impressive 107 total tackles, two sacks and 10 tackles for loss to lead the Cougars’ defense and rank fourth in the state. However, his 72 solo takedowns tied for the state’s top mark. He posted double-digit tackle totals in four of the final five games down the stretch including a season-high 20 stops during COC’s first round playoff victory over Saddleback College.

Edden was named the 2019 SCFA National Division, Northern League Offensive Player of the Year award after finishing the season with 33 total touchdowns (27 passing/six rushing), 3,044 passing yards and a 63.7 completion percentage. The young signal caller tossed at least one touchdown in 11 of 12 games, while also using his legs to rank third on the team in rushing with 270 yards on the ground.

Canyons (9-3, 4-1) shared the 2019 National Division, Northern League championship with Ventura College (8-3, 4-1) and Long Beach City College (7-3, 4-1) before moving on to host Saddleback College in the first round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

The Cougars defeated Saddleback 58-53 in the opening round of the postseason before falling to eventual state champion Riverside City College in the Southern California Championship game.

A Glimpse of the Future – California 2040

| Community | January 17, 2020

Part three of three-part series on what California will be like in 20 years.

By Rob Werner

Roads
People vote for taxes for roads that continue to deteriorate. But there are higher priorities — Caltrans and designated union contractors require increasing labor costs and added requirements for any work.

Automated highways with programmed exits were created once government granted liability immunity.

Gun Control
California adopted large taxes on bullets, manufacture liability for misuse and personal insurance requirements for weapon owners, all effectively decreasing ownership.

Cyber Voting
California established cyber voting to insure voter participation. California works with the census insuring everyone is counted. People are not asked about immigration status. Everyone receiving benefits is contacted, and an election aid assists them in electronic voting. It’s better than vote harvesting.

The Homeless
The homeless rate increased when we were at full employment and job openings were everywhere. With our open-door immigration policy, it doubled. When the recession hit, it doubled. When the depression started it doubled again.

The state tried solving the problem via increases in the minimum wage, but this led to more homelessness. Rent control protecting renter’s rights was followed by a decline in available property. Billions spent by Los Angeles, California and the federal governments only temporarily reduce the increase of homeless individuals. This housing has now deteriorated to drug and crime infested ghettoes.

Long ago, California accepted the homeless in public parks then it provided temporary housing. Public parks are now homeless housing zones. Park budgets assist in cleaning parks.

When neighborhood watch groups harassed the homeless and homeowners assaulted them allegedly to protect private property, it was deemed a hate crime. No neighborhood watch group or homeowner’s association can have weapons. Homeowners who infringe on the rights of the homeless face legal action that includes confiscation of property.

Cyber voting has succeeded in perpetually increasing the number of voters who demand redistribution of wealth. Yesterday’s progressives are continually adjusting their policies to meet demands.

Before the last election cycle there was a mass selling of second homes owned by legislators in California. The legislature then passed a law declaring that all California second homes would be confiscated under public domain laws. Such homeowners were given three months’ notice. After that the homes were appraised and sold. This provided a needed resource for the homeless.

Many progressive Democrats lost primary races to New Progressives as the old group was too conservative. There are still too many homeless. Riots demanding a solution occur frequently. The Governor met with new Democrat party leaders and agreed on a final solution to the housing problem.

The Assisted Housing Act specifies it is the duty of every citizen to help insure no one goes homeless. It recognizes everyone’s right to a decent living space. It also recognizes we don’t need mansions. Everyone is entitled to 750 feet of living space and every family is entitled to an additional 250 feet per member. Those owning homes exceeding this allocation are required to share the excess living space. Violations will result in confiscation of the property.

The association President of an upscale walled community said, “If this is implemented it will mean a civil war against the Peoples Republic of California.” The Governor responded, “These radicals have no weapons to enforce these threats and will promptly be punished.”

Inclusive Play Area Grand Opening Set for January 25

| Community | January 16, 2020

Finishing touches are being put on the City of Santa Clarita’s first Inclusive Play Area, which began development in 2019 at Canyon Country Park (17615 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91387). The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to join the City for a grand opening celebration at the Inclusive Play Area on Saturday, January 25, from 10 a.m. to noon.

A brief speaking program featuring the City Council and project partners will be followed by the official opening of the play area when those of all ages and abilities will be able to explore the variety of elements in the expansive western-themed space for the first time. The Inclusive Play Area includes a number of features suggested by residents throughout the public input process, including a dual-track inclusive zipline, sensory-friendly elements, accessible connections to existing facilities and large shade structures to protect visitors from the elements in the summer months.

The play area provides opportunities that welcome everyone, regardless of age or ability, to play, learn and grow together. The result is a place where residents and their children can go to have experiences that promote integrated play for all and develop physical, cognitive, sensory and social skills.

For more information about the Inclusive Play Area at Canyon Country Park, please contact project manager Elena Galvez at egalvez@santa-clarita.com.

Local Crime

| Police Blotter | January 16, 2020

A 26-year-old woman from Newhall was charged with terrorizing causing fear. A 60-year-old from West Hollywood who works in psychology was charged with robbery. A 51-year-old store clerk from Pacoima was arrested for trespassing on railroad property. A 23-year-old man who works in recycling was charged with residential robbery. A 38-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was charged with possession of tools with intent to commit vandalism.

DUI arrests include:

41-year-old resident supervisor from Sylmar
58-year-old government worker from Newhall
37-year-old caregiver from Palmdale
42-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country
32-year-old machinist from Saugus
23-year-old fiber engineer from Palmdale
37-year-old plumber from Littlerock
35-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country
30-year-old store manager from Canyon Country
31-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
28-year-old manufacture analyst from Canyon Country
20-year-old receptionist from Glendale
36-year-old body shop employer from Los Angeles
23-year-old self-employed Sun Valley resident
30-year-old property manager from Burbank
45-year-old truck driver from San Pedro

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

29-year-old homeless individual
24-year-old transient from Newhall
43-year-old saw operator from Castaic
39-year-old unemployed resident of Newhall
31-year-old alarm system installer from Canyon Country
29-year-old carpenter from Canyon Country
42-year-old construction worker from Frazier Park
29-year-old unemployed man from Canyon Country
24-year-old automation worker from Newhall
33-year-old massage therapist from Canyon Country
37-year-old Canyon Country customer service agent

Letters to the Editor

| Opinion | January 16, 2020

Letter to the Editor: “Opportunist”

Steve Knight could not beat Katie Hill. He was not going to run against her in 2020, because he knew he could not win.

Then when she resigned, he entered the race. He is just going to split the Republican vote and we will end up with another liberal Democrat.

Steve, please take this opportunity to drop out of the race, and support a hard working fellow veteran Mike Garcia. Who was not afraid of Katie Hill.

-D. Osorio

RE: Write-In Campaign for Katie Hill

How foolish letter writer Denise Larson is. She “actually” feels sorry for Katie Hill and wants her to run again in March. Ms. Hill left Congress because she was afraid of an upcoming ethics investigation. What was she hiding? No one kicked her out. She took off and blamed everyone but herself for her lies and mistakes. She was to immature for Congress (most Democrats are). Her “proudest” moment was when she unfairly voted for the phony impeachment of President Trump based on 100% no good reason. Don’t any one feel sorry for Ms. Hill. She only has herself to blame.
-Lynda

 

RE: Alan Ferdman’s Column on Homelessness

Dear Editor

Thank you to Alan Ferdman for his opinion article January 10th clarifying the Homeless problem we face.

Indeed our community, as well as the County and State, are challenged as this will continue to be an ongoing problem. How we go about handling it starts at the local level from citizens who contribute ideas and solutions to legislators guarding the funding purse strings.

Congratulations on the City bringing together a Homelessness Task Force, but I agree with Mr. Ferdman, this group must be open to all those who want to contribute and understand how and where taxpayer money will be spent.

The City response beneath his article that “…reporters do attend Task Force meetings and frequently report on what happens for public education” is inadequate.

Homelessness Task Force meetings organized by the City Council should be posted with agenda, open to the public, with questions allowed by anyone willing to contribute solutions to this ongoing problem.

We are fortunate to have citizens in Santa Clarita who scrutinize difficult problems, and therefore should be given the opportunity to work hand-in-hand to solve this social challenge.

Meeting behind closed doors might only stagnate finding solutions.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D

 

 

Michael Corleone Could Teach Trump a Lesson about Iran

| Opinion | January 16, 2020

By Dick Polman

Before Donald Trump began to slur his words and concoct fake verbs like “tolerize,” he declared on Wednesday that “as long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon…Their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We’ll never let that happen.”

Great. If that’s what he wants, perhaps he’d take a deal that among other things compelled Iran to cut its uranium-enriching centrifuges by nearly 75 percent until the late 2020s and submit to ongoing international inspections.

Oh wait! Those were the terms of the historic nuclear deal that Trump tore up two years ago because it had one fundamental problem: It was a signature achievement for Barack Obama. So of course it had to go.

Obama had embraced the credo best expressed in Godfather II by Michael Corleone: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” If Trump was not a husk of a human ruled by petty pique, he would understand the wisdom of entrapping a foe via international engagement. But because he’s so hung up on Obama, and so personally weak, he had to flex what he thinks is “strength.” His disastrous decision to tear up the nuclear deal has ramped up the dangerous tensions that presently plague us.

“The logic of Tehran’s response is straightforward and utterly predictable: If the United States wants to make life difficult for Iran, its leaders will demonstrate that they can make life difficult for the United States too,” explained Stephen Walt, one of our smartest foreign affairs experts. “It wouldn’t take more than a shred of strategic thinking to anticipate Iran’s response and recognize that unilateral pressure was not going to work.”

But Trump, lacking a shred of strategic thought, apparently couldn’t fathom the possibility that Iran would refuse to knuckle under, that instead it would lash out. The result is the current tit-for-tat violence that could trigger a war.

That’s why Obama’s embrace of the Corleone credo made perfect sense. Alas, Trump’s impulsive instinct is to destroy every last vestige of Obama’s work – as evidenced Wednesday by his oft-repeated false accusation that Obama funded terrorism. Thanks to the “foolish” nuclear deal, he said, the Iranians “were given $150 billion…The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”

In truth, the actual amount was reportedly closer to $50 billion and, contrary to Trump’s insinuation, it was not American taxpayer money. It was Iran’s money that had been frozen until the signing of the nuclear deal in 2013. Nor does Trump have any proof that the sums owed to Iran were specifically spent to manufacture the missiles Iran had launched. What he said Wednesday, in his latest attempt to smear his predecessor’s achievement, was just the usual stew of lies and bellicosity.

I was reminded of a conversation I had in 2015 with Ami Ayalon, a former director of Israel’s domestic security service. Ayalon was visiting Philadelphia, at a time when candidate Trump was attacking Obama’s nuclear deal. Ayalon told me that Trump was being foolish: “To kill the deal is to kill American leadership in the Middle East. Their assumption that we should simply reject this deal, and that we could then go back and negotiate a better deal? This is nonsense. This can only be heard from a person who does not understand anything about Iran.”

Nor, of course, does Trump understand anything about democracy. His spinners went to Capitol Hill Wednesday, ostensibly to explain why he was right to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, but mostly to tell Republican senators that they should not dissent or debate the warrior-in-chief’s decisions. Which prompted a conservative Republican senator, Utah’s Mike Lee, to blow a gasket in front of the press corps:

“(It) was probably the worst briefing I’ve seen at least on a military issue in the nine years I’ve served in the United States Senate,” Lee complained. “I find it insulting and I find it demeaning to the Constitution of the United States. It’s un-American. It’s unconstitutional. And it’s wrong.”

Leave it to Trump to shred every remnant of the Corleone credo. As evidenced Wednesday, he can’t even keep his friends close.

Copyright 2020Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com

8th Annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off is Getting Spicy

| Community | January 16, 2020

Santa Clarita Valley Charity Chili Cook-off is set to feature 40 amateur chefs to compete for the most prestigious awards of the event.

The 8th annual SCV Charity Chili Cook-off, and organizers are looking for sponsors and chili cooker contestants. The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 (St. Patrick’s Day) at The Hyatt Regency in Valencia. Chefs will go head-to-head in an effort to take the People’s Choice and Judges Choice awards for the top three chili’s in each category.

The earnings raised this year will be donated to two local charities, FeedSCV and the Wish Foundation wellness centers.

FeedSCV will use the donation for their weekend backpack program from FeedSCV, “Ready To Learn.” The program currently serves The Newhall School District. It provides meals for kids identified as “in need” by the district’s social services, some, classified as homeless. That can include kids staying with relatives (couch-surfing) or living with parents in cars or RVs, or similar circumstances. Each Friday, the kids get to take home a backpack filled with “shelf-stable” single-serving meals for the weekend: Three meals per day and a few snacks as well. Volunteers acquire the food, stuff the backpacks, and deliver them to the schools each week. Currently, the program is nearing capacity and the additional funds will allow increased capacity both in terms of food, and access to a larger assembly site.

The WiSH Education Foundation’s mission is to bridge the gap in state funding; we fund programs that are not paid for by tax dollars alone.  Our goal is to provide the tools for success in the classroom and to benefit as many students as possible with our dollars.  Our funding focus is STEAM with an emphasis on the Arts – we strongly feel that all students, regardless of interest and passion, deserve support to reach their potential.  At this time and given the recent tragedy at Saugus High School, WiSH is focusing attention and detail on wellness across the district.  That directed funding would provide whatever is needed for the mental wellness of our student body across the district which would include wellness centers, a tech-free safe space that offers classes, seminars, self-help and triage for those needing a break any time during their school day. WiSH is also raising funding to renovate the Saugus High quad as a comfortable and social gathering space for the campus.

“We hope to raise more money than ever for these two charities this year,” said event co-founder Nicole Stinson. “It has been humbling to watch this event gain popularity each year, and I am excited with our new celebrity judges so far this year Eve Bushman with Eve Bushman Consulting and Eves Wine 101, Austin Dave an award-winning multimedia journalist and two additional judges to be announced in the coming weeks.

Since 2012, the chili cook-off organizers have donated the proceeds to different local nonprofit organizations.

Those who attend the upcoming chili cook-off will have the opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, silent and live auctions, casino tables and a 50/50 opportunity drawing.

“Opportunities are still available for sponsors, to register to be a chili cooker contestant, and a vendor” said event organizer, Steve Portaro. “So, grab your secret family recipe, get your chili pot out of storage, and get cooking.”

Contestant fees are $125 per person, while general admission tickets are scheduled to be sold online for $25 before Feb. 14 and $30 after Feb.14. In addition, a limited number of advance-purchase VIP tickets are also available for $65, which includes early entry at 5:30, one drink ticket, VIP area access, VIP parking, swag bag and VIP hors-d’oeuvres.

For more information please visit www.scvcharitychilicookoff.com or call Nicole Stinson Estate Realty Group 661-816-4234 or Steve Portaro 310-800-3064.

Doctor’s Diary: Dodging Bullets

| Community | January 16, 2020

He fell and couldn’t get up, requiring hospitalization. A surgical procedure corrected the problem. On discharge, medications were changed including stopping a water pill and potassium.

This 87 year old military veteran faced many combat situations and survived. He followed discharge instructions explicitly, taking blood pressure and other vital signs every day.

The third week post-hospitalization, his wife called and said he was unable to come to an office visit because of weakness and low blood pressure. I did a house call.

Indeed in his daily diary, blood pressure had slowly decreased over the previous 10 days. So did his weight despite unchanging dietary habits.

Looking at his medication bottles from a mail order pharmacy, he was still taking a water pill and potassium. “It came in the mail two weeks ago and I assumed one of you doctors wanted me to remain on them.”

Obviously there is no communication to some outside pharmacies as new changes are not implemented. How many times a day does something like this happen in our country?

He survived combat heading into his nineties. Now he has to continue dodging bullets in an all too often faulty healthcare system.

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.

Spring Auditions Open for the SCV Youth Orchestra

| Community | January 16, 2020

Calling all musicians! The Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) welcomes musicians who are experienced (minimum one year) with their instruments, from violins to guitars. SCVYO, a non-profit organization, opens its arms to new and returning students starting February 8th at the College of the Canyons Valencia campus. Through one encompassing audition to access their prowess, musicians could be given the opportunity to join multiple SCVYO ensembles based on their performance. Ensembles include Novae Sinfonia, Orchestra, Chamber Music, Prelude Strings, Guitar Orchestra, Prelude Winds & Brass and the SCV Brass Ensemble.

Joining SCVYO is as easy as 1-2-3! Simply go online to https://www.scvyo.org/auditions to check your desired ensemble skill requirements, pay the audition processing fee, then choose your appointment time. The audition processing fee is $30, and all auditions are to be unaccompanied. No piano, other instrumentation, teachers or parents are permitted in the audition room for the duration of the audition.

Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has served the Santa Clarita Valley Community and surrounding areas for over 50 years, providing a variety of enriching instrumental education programs for students eight years and older. To learn more about SCVYO programs or to donate, please visit our website at www.scvyo.org. For more information contact our Executive Director at info@scvyo.org.

Notes from an Extreme Centrist: The Nexus Between Impeachment and the Iran Chronic…

| Opinion | January 16, 2020

By Ronnie Nathan

Both national soap operas highlight the necessity of reigning in the Imperial Presidency.  From my point of view, as serious as withholding arms from Ukraine for purely selfish reasons may be, the most significant charges against the President are illegally sabotaging Congress’ allocation of funds and refusing to comply with legally issued congressional subpoenas for witnesses and documents.  Similarly, in the case of the recent episode with Iran, killing Soleimani was a good thing. Doing it without conferring with the appropriate congressional leadership in advance and failing to have a credible explanation for why Soleimani posed an imminent threat are very serious abuses of presidential power.  In both cases, these abuses pose real dangers to our Constitutional balance of powers and system of checks and balances.

In the case of the impeachment issues, my Ever-Trumper friends’ best argument is that the House should have gone to court and allowed the 3rd branch of government, the federal judiciary, decide if withholding the Ukrainian military aid and the subpoenas issued by the House were legal and proper.  In a perfect world they are correct. In the world we live in, however, because resolving these issues in the courts takes so long, months and even years, it is effectively not an option for restraining unfettered presidential power.  We can have a new president and administration by the time the courts resolve the issue!

In the case of the Soleimani strike, this is just the latest chapter in the perennial conflict between Congress’ power to declare war and the president’s power as Commander-in-Chief.  Trump and all the presidents of both parties in modern times are correct. In the case of an imminent threat there isn’t enough time and the potential for leaks eliminating military surprise preclude the possibility of getting congressional approval before taking any military action.  But congressional approval and conferring with appropriate congressional leadership are two very different things. Certainly, in this most recent instance, congressional leadership could have been and should have been informed and included in the decision-making process, even acknowledging the President as the Decider-in-Chief.

Trump should be impeached and removed from office for illegally sabotaging Congress’ allocation of funds and refusing to comply with legally issued congressional subpoenas for witnesses and documents.  Every future president should be prevented as a result of this consequence for engaging in this unconstitutional abuse of presidential power. He won’t be, and that will change the balance of power between the branches until a future Congress acts more responsibly, if it ever does.  Congress should reassert its right to be part of the decision-making process before we launch our military against an adversary. That was the clear intent of our Founders. It hasn’t because too many politicians from both parties are afraid of taking potentially unpopular difficult votes.  But that’s their job!

In both cases, this is a deeply CONSERVATIVE position and it is profoundly ironic that the party once associated with conservative principles now trumpets (pun intended) the imperial presidency on steroids!

The Other Woman

| Opinion | January 16, 2020

By Harry Parmenter

There’s another woman in the house.  And my wife isn’t happy with her. At. All.

They just aren’t on the same wavelength—literally.  My wife asks her something and she responds coolly, a studied, indifferent monotone.  She is not a good listener. She gets things wrong. It could be a memory issue or it could be intentional.

Female conflict; it’s getting ugly early.

Trying to effect rapprochement between any couple, let alone the opposing personalities in this case, is a tall order.  Churchill, Kissinger, Kirkpatrick…I bet they’d all rather negotiate peace in the Middle East than referee this relationship.

I myself have no problem with this new member of the household.  Of course, I usually just ask her to play “The Funhouse” on KHUG every Sunday afternoon, which she does without question.  Her crisp, polite timbre is comfortingly Stepford-like, giving me the warm, fuzzy feeling of being king of my castle, master of my own domain.

With my wife, however, it is war all the time.  She asks her to make a shopping list, then later goes to amend it but finds the list is wrong.  She asks her to set an alarm which fails to go off at the correct time. Frustrated, temperature rising, she asks what the h-e-double-toothpicks is wrong with her.  These inquiries fall on deaf ears, resulting in either silence, a pleasant but firm denial of responsibility or a referral to consult something somewhere else. Passive-aggressive, to say the least.

My wife seethes: Alexa is in the house.

The rise of the robots has crossed into my personal space and we are experiencing technical difficulties.  The most maddening flaw is robots don’t argue. When Alexa is put on the spot about a misstep (“Pickles were on that shopping list!”) she/it/whatever does not return fire, which we humans secretly crave.  I mean, let’s face it, a little conflict, a sharp volley of rebuke and a pair of raised voices let off steam, satisfying the inevitable pagan anger quotient. Nobody is Zen all the time. I bet even Gandhi got peeved if his dhoti popped open unexpectedly during a peace march.

Alexa cannot be rattled.  My wife can yell at her, just like I yell at the remote control, and both devices have the same placid, infuriating non-reaction.  When we lash out we NEED a response, or at least some pliant cowering. Alexa, unlike the mute remote, speaks and acts like a real person but without emotion, without retaliation.  Doubly infuriating.

Artificial intelligence has just begun to infiltrate our lives and by 2030 Alexa’s digital descendent will no doubt be able to reply with a tart, “buzz off.”  Robots will give us convenience and efficiency benefits galore, but I predict the short human fuse may get even shorter, and we will have to resort to what we do best: attack a loved one.

Meanwhile Alexa is here to stay unless someone brings the sledgehammer down.  And to think she was a Christmas present.

Another woman in the house; never a good idea.

L.A. GOP Endorses Navy Fighter Pilot Mike Garcia for Congress

| News | January 16, 2020

Last Saturday the Los Angeles County Republican Party endorsed former Navy Fighter Pilot Mike Garcia for the upcoming 25th Congressional district elections, capturing more than two-thirds of the committee’s vote. In winning the endorsement, Garcia defeated former Republican Congressman and longtime Los Angeles politician Steve Knight.

The support of the Los Angeles County Republican Party adds to the tremendous momentum Mike Garcia is gaining across the district. With the endorsements of over 30 current and former elected officials including Governor Pete Wilson and Congressmen Elton Gallegly and Buck McKeon, as well as over 200 veterans and 200 volunteers, Garcia is well-positioned as the top candidate for the upcoming primary and special election in March. Furthermore, as the top Republican fundraiser in the race Garcia has received contributions from over 7,000 donors and will report raising nearly $900,000 since entering into the Congressional race.

“Today’s endorsement is recognition of the hard work our team has done in building a winning grassroots organization, and I am truly humbled by the LA GOP’s support,” said Garcia. “Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind a fighter and a patriot who can win and will bring a strong, new voice to advocate for our district in Washington.”

The 25th district encompasses the cities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster and the northern part of the San Fernando Valley.  The median income is $76,866 and the ethnic breakdown is 45.8% White, 8% Black, 7.7% Asian and 35.3% Hispanic.  The only Democrat, prior to 2018, to carry the district in the last 18 years was Obama, by less than 1%.
  
To learn more about Mike and his campaign for Congress, visit https://ElectMikeGarcia.com.

Clippers’ Shaky Start To Season

| Sports | January 16, 2020

By Diego Marquez

After a mediocre start to the 2019-20 NBA season, the Clippers franchise is looking for answers after their 28-13 start that currently has them in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference standings on Wednesday.

Acquiring Leonard from the Toronto Raptors after winning the 2018-19 NBA Championship, the first in the franchise’s history, the Clippers seemed to be an automatic lock to make the playoffs.

Then on July 2, after a meeting between Leonard and Oklahoma City forward Paul George, George requested a trade to the Clippers. Which was an extreme shock to the Thunder’s general manager Sam Presti.

With George on board, the Clippers became the instant preseason favorites to win the 2019-20 NBA Championship.

Things have not gone as planned with Leonard and George seeing action together only 18 times this season. Leonard has been attributing “load management”, while George is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that was operated on during the offseason. George missed the first 11 games because of the injury.

The Clippers seem to be figuring out just how to utilize the two superstars alongside the rest of the Western Conference’s fourth-place Clippers, winning four of the last six games.

Letter to the Editor: Bill Reynolds

| Opinion | January 15, 2020

Embellisher Knight
It seems that every time I see another post on Face Book by Steve Knight he’s bragging that he’s the only candidate that can “hit the ground running” in Washington D.C. upon election to Congress. However, every 25th District Veteran and every influential citizen, including my numerous friends and neighbors I’ve spoken to have told me this past year it’s simply shameful that Knight hit the ground “doing the slow walk” during his last election campaign. It’s true. By all accounts Knight’s poor effort was analogous to Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. His passion to campaign effectively was missing in action hence he was pounded by a far left rookie who faked her way into Congress. It turns out, Katie Hill was utterly unqualified and completely out of her element which came to the forefront with her outrageous unethical lewd conduct sending her into early resignation. What a major embarrassment for Steve Knight and our GOP, let alone the Democrat party.

Hitting the Ground Running
In the complete opposite to Knight’s lackluster performance we have combat Veteran, Navy fighter pilot, successful businessman, and proud family man Mike Garcia. Garcia has consistently demonstrated his strong work ethic diligently working day and night since launching his campaign early last year. Mike Garcia’s vigorous dedication has garnered him front runner status along with capturing many impressive endorsements including an endorsement from the prestigious Los Angeles GOP handedly beating out Steve Knight. Furthermore, Mike gained robust support and campaign contributions from our Veterans, private citizens and numerous influential public officer holders throughout our 25th District.

Splitting GOP Votes
In my opinion the very best Steve Knight could accomplish is taking a wrecking ball to this election and handing our Congressional seat to yet another radical left winger like he did in 2018. The honorable deed for Steve Knight is to immediately bow out and save his family’s reputation.

Bill Reynolds
Vietnam Veteran
Valencia, California

SCAA Presents Its First Reception of the Year

| Entertainment | January 10, 2020

The Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) is inviting the public to view its latest exhibition, “A Time to Reflect,” and its first reception of the year. The event will be centered on their latest show “representing inner and outer resolutions, physical reflections, self-discovery and looking back on the past.”

The reception for this art installation will be taking place Jan. 10 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be snacks, drinks, and music for attendees to enjoy.

If you cannot make it to the reception, don’t worry, the show will be available from January 10 to February 16 at the SCAA. Gallery hours are Fridays from 5 – 8 p.m., Saturdays from 2 – 8 p.m., and Sundays from 2 – 5 p.m.

For more information about the SCAA, visit www.SantaClaritaArtists.org. The SCAA is located at 22508 6th Street in Newhall, Calif., 91321.

The Lord Helps the Homeless Who Help Themselves

| Opinion | January 9, 2020

by Harry Parmenter
Despite all the political handwringing about homelessness, California’s approach is to let it run amok. We have normalized abnormal behavior. The creep is insidious.

For example, within the last month I have seen in the SCV:

  • A man urinating in the middle of the day on the grass rimming the parking lot on the northwest corner of Soledad and Bouquet, a dozen feet from a bus stop. I watched this through the window as I ate lunch across the street. He was in no hurry and appeared sane.
  • A man or woman (unclear) swaddled in filthy clothes and amassing large black plastic trash bags to accompany a shopping cart of sad possessions on the sidewalk outside of Starbucks in the T.J. Maxx shopping center on Soledad. I have seen this person several times now in what appears to be his or her residence. Sanity questionable.
  • A barefoot, shirtless man crossing a Soledad crosswalk on a cold, windy day, then waiting for the light to change so he could cross the entryway to the Vons shopping center at Sand Canyon. Sane.
  • Another shirtless man, this one wearing shoes, on another cold, windy day walking briskly down the sidewalk just a block west of where I had seen the other guy, but no relation. Sane.
  • A disheveled man talking animatedly to himself in the parking lot of the Newhall Jack in the Box at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, temperature 36 degrees. Not sane.
  • A man in a worn fedora and throwback hobo clothes trudging back and forth regularly on Sand Canyon to and from Vons, carrying his provisions back to his secret resting spot somewhere south of the railroad tracks. Sane.
  • A man lying practically in the street on Sand Canyon, again, just beyond the railroad tracks, his torso sprawled across the curb onto the dirt, his legs splayed on the concrete, feet near the white line just a few feet from the road where vehicles swoop by at 35 mph and up. Beside him was the inevitable shopping cart, nearly drifting into oncoming traffic. Sanity questionable.

Only after driving by this last sad case did I call the Sheriff’s department, where the dispatcher took down the information after initial indifference, before I emphatically reiterated the guy might be hit by a car. Not that law enforcement can do much about the homeless problem; their hands are tied. Nobody is doing much about it, and even the Supreme Court punted, leaving a lower court ruling in place that struck down a law criminalizing sleeping in public places if no shelter space is available.

I know nothing about any of the people mentioned above, but I do believe they, like all of us, have made choices in life. Of course, mental illness and affordable housing are factors in many cases, but still, people make choices, including sponging off the government or one’s family or committing the unsavory acts necessary to survive on the street. Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it.

Go on YouTube and watch the local news documentary “Seattle is Dying.” This is the future of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and, potentially, the SCV.

Again, this is no fault of law enforcement; it is the politicians who have fostered this development by refusing to address it in the name of sanctuary and identity politics, and have bred a culture of entitlement that elevates the individual’s right above those of the collective.

My daughter has been homeless and endured degradations I don’t even want to know about. A while ago, I went searching for her in Santa Barbara, traversing the streets, shelters and multiple congregation spots of the truly great unwashed. I walked into the beautiful old Santa Barbara public library only to be greeted by an odor that made Goodwill smell like Bed Bath & Beyond. Everywhere homeless people sat or slumped, reading, pretending to read or just passed out. The only “safe place” I could find in the place was the children’s reading room downstairs.

I was going to investigate a tent city by the 101 freeway despite extreme caution from a social worker I’d met that morning. I parked off the exit ramp and slipped a pocketknife into my jeans, but was unable to find the secret entrance to the compound. A few days later in beautiful downtown Burbank, I noticed a guy with a bandana and laminated vest crossing the street just ahead of me. I initially mistook him for a city worker before noticing the machete he brandished by his side. He stepped through a hole in the fence leading down to the 134 freeway and vanished. I later learned machetes are the weapons of choice in homeless enclaves, where territorialism abounds and intruders take their lives in their hands by invading their turf. A badass government worker in Santa Barbara told me he never goes down there without armed security. Good luck with that pocketknife, Harry.

I’ve learned from my daughter and the worlds she’s entered that it’s very difficult to change a homeless person’s behavior. Yes, there are the industrious people who’ve lost their jobs or had a tough break and are forced to sleep in their car or on the street out of desperation, yet yearn to return to being a productive member of society.

The reality is, however, that the homeless population is dominated by addicts and people who simply do not want to work, do not want to be responsible, do not want to follow the rules and norms of the rest of us, as long as they can avoid a job and just get high. These are addicts who beg, borrow and steal and have no compunction about living in public spaces and being a blight on society. Shelter and housing are a start, but drug rehabilitation is the only ultimate hope for those who want to return to the real world. The Rhode Island-based treatment program seen in “Seattle is Dying” offers hope and ideas worth considering.

If we can refocus the issue, we can help those who want it and blunt the creep. Or we can continue to normalize the abnormal and watch the creep continue, closer and closer to home.

A Fresh Gesture of Concern from the Fellowship of the Furrowed Brow

| Opinion | January 9, 2020

by Dick Polman

Year three of the man-child administration was much like his first two, only more so. But before you compel yourself, for the sake of your sanity, to forget so much of what you saw and heard, perhaps you can be tempted to test your smarts on this year’s most memorable rhetorical sewage. Give it a try. Amaze your family and pets. And no peeking at the answers below!

1. Trump frequently opined about wind turbine power (although, in his words, “I never understood wind”). He decreed that wind turbine power is responsible for several terrible things. Which ones?

a) It causes cancer
b) It spews tremendous tremendous amount of fumes
c) It forces us to flush toilets 10 times
d) It shatters our old-fashioned light bulbs
e) It gives us bird graveyards

2. True or false: Trump said that “there has never been, ever before, an administration that’s been so open and transparent.”

3. Trump falsely stated (for the fourth time) that a certain someone was “born in a very wonderful place in Germany.” To whom was he referring?

a) Hitler, who was actually born in Austria
b) Melania, who was actually born in Slovenia
c) His own father, who was actually born in New York
d) Hungarian dictator Viktor Orban, who was actually born in Hungary

4. Trump, referring to the Mueller report, said: “They did a report and there was no obstruction.” But according to the Mueller report, how many times did Trump commit obstruction of justice during the Russia probe?

a) Zero times. For once, Trump was accurate.
b) Three documented times
c) Six documented times
d) Ten documented times

5. True or false: Trump flunky Devin Nunes, the California congressman, sued a Twitter account called Devin Nunes’ Cow, because Devin Nunes’ cow had “bullied” him for moving his dairy farm from California to Nebraska.

6. “Crazy Nancy and Shifty Schiff” is…

a) A new hipster rock band in Brooklyn
b) A new cartoon show pitched by Stephen Colbert
c) An improv remark from Trump at a recent rally
d) A new ice cream flavor from Ben and Jerry
e) A trending Twitter hashtag

7. Trump recently said: “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” Who does he believe should be executed?

a) The NATO leaders who laughed at him behind his back
b) The patriotic civil servants who fed information to the Ukraine whistleblower
c) The patriotic diplomats who testified at the House impeachment hearings
d) The national security reporters who use anonymous sources
e) The Canadian broadcasters who cut his scene in “Home Alone 2”

8. Jeff Van Drew, the New Jersey congressman who was elected in ’18 as a Democrat, defected to the GOP and pledged his “undying support” to Trump. When voting on House bills in 2019, how often did he undyingly support Trump?

a) 83.7 percent of the time
b) 53.7 percent of the time
c) 11.7 percent of the time

9. A judge recently ordered Trump to pay $2 million in restitution. What had he done wrong this time? Which answer is true?

a) He’d stolen money that he fund-raised for military vets and spent it on himself
b) He’d shortchanged plaintiffs in the Trump University settlement
c) He’d screwed small contractors in Atlantic City, and finally had to pay up
d) He’d failed to pay Hachette Book Group after bulk-ordering 50,000 copies of Don Jr’s “Triggered”

10. True or False: Trump will become the first impeached president to win re-election, losing the popular vote by five million but eking out an Electoral College squeaker, which he will call the greatest landslide victory since the era of ancient Rome.

ANSWERS: 1. (a,b,e) 2. True 3. (c) 4. (d) 5. True, except that Nunes moved his cows to Iowa. 6. (c) 7. (b) 8. (c) 9. (a) 10. Who the heck knows? That one’s a freebie. Happy New Year!

Copyright 2019 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com

Letters to the Editor

| Opinion | January 9, 2020

Last week at our monthly wine and card party, all thirteen of us (one is a widow) agreed that Katie Hill got a raw deal and no support, forcing her to resign.

We would like to start a “write-in” campaign and thereby show her that lots of us care and support her. Hopefully we can figure out how to do that and be ready for the March vote.

Denise W. Larson
Agua Dulce

 

Now that Julian Castro has dropped out of the race, Elizabeth Warren is the only authentic Hispanic running for President.

Max
Valencia

 

Measure US is the most important single item on March 3, 2020 ballot for voters in the Sulphur Springs Union District. . If approved by more that 55% of the voters, the district will borrow $78,000.000, eight short years after borrowing $72,000,0000. Repayment for these bonds comes from a direct tax placed on each parcel of land in the District.

Councilman Robert (Bob) Kellar is an influential advocate for passage and placed his name on the ballot argument in favor, choosing the title “Santa Clarita City Council.”

The City Council adopted and revised their norms and procedures with restrictions on members representing individual opinions. Section 2 (B) reads “when representing their individual opinions and positions, Councilmembers should explicitly state they do not represent the City Council of the City, nor should they allow the inference that they do”.

The purpose is to avoid confusion among the electorate whether the opinion reflects that of the individual or the city council. If it reflects the opinion of the city council, the item had to be placed on the agenda for consideration, subject to noticing requirements of the Brown Act. Importantly, citizens would have had the right to attend the meeting and provide public comment.

Whether deliberate or inadvertent, Bob Kellar’s use of the title Santa Clarita City Council on the ballot argument is a violation of the council’s norm and procedures with real consequence for the eventual outcome. The imprimatur of council approval is not authorized.

The city council has a legislative committee that screens legislation and sometimes recommends that the council take a position of support or opposition.To the best of my knowledge, the city council never considered Measure US in public session

Thousands of voters in the Sulphur Springs School District who read the voter pamphlet will be deceived and mislead into believing the the Santa Clarita City Council considered this bond issue in a public session and took a position of support. Swaying voters is the intention of the measure’s consultants and advocates.

I believe the city council must remedy to this situation with a strong outreach effort to advise the voters that the neither the city not the council has taken a position of support for Measure US.This may include public outreach and a letter to the voters in the district.

There is no propitiation from Councilman Kellar that can substitute for collective city council action to address this unfortunate situation.

The council must enforce their norms and procedures if they are to mean anything. Now is time for the city council to deal with this issue and take appropriate action.

The voter pamphlets are being printed and absentee ballots will soon be in the mail. Time is of the essence.

I urge the city council to rise up to the challenge before it.

Steve Petzold
Principal Officer
The Center for Truth in School Bond Measures ID # 1408280

Wilk Introduces Measure to Combat Cemex Mega-Mine Project

| News | January 9, 2020

In his first order of business for the 2020 legislative session, Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District has introduced Senate Bill 797 (SB 797), a measure that would give the public the opportunity to weigh in before the Cemex mega mine can proceed.

“I have been committed to stopping this mining project for years and will continue that fight with Senate Bill 797,” stated Wilk. “The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ruled last year that Cemex owes the government more than $25 million in ‘in lieu of’ production payments because the mega-mine never went into production. While it is another nail in the coffin, we want to use every tool in the shed to ensure this mining proposal is done for good.”

SB 797 will re-open the public protest period on a State Water Resources Control Board application when a decision has not been made within 30 years from the applications original filing date.

“We can’t control what the federal government does, but we can impact how the state looks at these issues. A project of this magnitude should never be allowed to proceed after 30 years without allowing public comment,” said Wilk. “SB 797 will allow community members and locally elected officials the opportunity to make a case to state regulators as to why the Cemex mega mine would be disastrous to the Santa Clarita Valley.”

SB 797 will be referred to the appropriate Senate policy committees for hearings in the coming months.

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