Thursday, June 29, 2006

A cop out on my part. But a good one

Here is "My view from the bleacher seats in SCV" Jack Murphy's column early for the holiday weekend. As a reminder, Jack's opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of the West Ranch Beacon or its other contributors.

I never ever like to use other peoples material for my essays, but I have to this time. It's not a cop out on my part, it's just that I have not found a better story to describe the war on terror then this below. It's short so please take the time to read it. I get worried and concerned as most people do when I see and read about Iraq. I want us to succeed and move on. But I always fear that the people of Iraq just don't care enough to start to take control of the problem themselves. This is just something for all of us to think about. maybe its really NOT the people in Iraq we should worry about but Bin Ladin and his followers.

I don't believe the below is a slam against Rep. John Murtha. I do honestly think that he is speaking from the heart and I do not denounce his intentions albeit wrong in my opinion.

I admit that if John Murtha speaks for the Democrat's then I am happy because honestly, good or bad, he is the first one to come up with a real plan to be debated. And debate is a very good idea for us as a country. I am happy we debate. In France they riot over political questions and in Iraq apparently they blow up each others Mosques. Here we yell and scream and then write about it. I like our way better. I get to go to bed by 9 still and wake up to plant flowers or something.

Ok, here it is and its short. Taken from The Weekly Standard, July 3rd - July 10th edition. Scrapbook section. Author unknown.

Jack, Meet Osama

"When we went to Beirut, I said to President Reagan, 'get out.' Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, ' well, Beirut was a different situation. We cut and run.' We didn't cut and run. President Reagan made the decision to change direction because he knew he couldn't win it. Even in Somalia, President Clinton made the decision, 'We have to, we have to change direction.'...We need to change direction. We cant win a war like this...At some point you got ot reassess it like Reagan did in Beirut, like Clinton did in Somalia. You just have to say, 'okay, its time to change direction."

Representative John Murtha,
Urging a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq,
meet the Press, June 188,2006

"We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American Government and the weakness of the American Soldier, who is ready to wage cold wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less then 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia...After a few blows, [The Americans] ran in defeat...They forgot about being the world leader and the leader of the of the new world order. [They] left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat."

Osama Bin Laden,
ABC New Interview, May 28, 1998

Jack Murphy

Shaking Things Up Again with some Satire

I originally set this blog up on a whim because I didn’t think that there was an outlet for me to publish opinion pieces, news that was relevant to our community and the occasional satire. Yes, you read that right, satire which would make me the occasional satirist.

The dictionary defines satire and satirist as follows:

satire n. 1. a) A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit. b) The branch of literature constituting such works. 2) Irony, sarcasm, or caustic wit used to attack or expose folly, vice, or stupidity.

sat•i•rist n. 1) One who is given to satire, especially a writer of satirical works. 2) a humorist who uses ridicule and irony and sarcasm.

Yesterday, I posted a piece titled “CalArts and Vista Valencia Golf Course Possibly to Annex into West Ranch!” in which I wrote in “sarcasm and folly” that some how an annexation was afoot for CalArts and the golf course. I laid out the theory that there was an un-named “river” running through the West Ranch community and that it was a “tributary” to the Santa Clara River. Complete bunk! A total joke that was poking fun at the way the City of Santa Clarita has tried to circumvent our community in regards to annexation. I even went so far as to call residents, which I am one, “pesky homeowners”.

Well, by mid-afternoon the prime mates and knuckle draggers at the local advertising circular (fish wrap) had their panties in a bunch and were calling County officials to find out if this was true. God help us all!!! Now, I have been told for years that apparently the local fish wrap regularly tries to piece together stories from other publications and that in recent months they apparently have been reading this blog daily to get information that is turned into content.

Let me tell you, there was a butch of us around the Santa Clarita Valley and the County who had a really great belly laugh yesterday. The phones were ringing and the emails were flying! It was absolutely astounding to us all that the local “paper” actually took the posting seriously even after I signed it “..sometime satirist”.

As for the simpletons at the “fish wrap”, here’s the thing, if I ever post an essay on say “Martians Buying Real Estate in West Ranch”, that there is “A Discovery of a New Sub-Continent west of I-5”, or maybe that “The Bureau of Land Management Okays new Kryptonite Mine”, just check and see how I signed the piece. If it says “satire” or “satirist” anywhere take it as just that, satire. Please don’t bother calling County Officials when you read some satire as it just wastes their time and makes you look like even bigger fools than you already are.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

News Conference to Announce Formation of Joint Powers Authority (JPA) between County of Los Angeles and City of Santa Clarita

Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich, will hold a news conference announcing a Joint Powers Agreement with the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to provide for the management and oversight of the open space dedications resulting from the Newhall Ranch and Westridge development projects. Approximately 4,350 acres of open space will be acquired and managed by the JPA. The JPA allows for the acquisition, development, improvement, management and conservation of park and open space lands dedicated for public purposes of passive and active recreation, wildlife habitat protection and conservation projects.

Speakers will include Paul Novak, Deputy, Office of Mayor Michael D. Antonovich; Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney; City of Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste; Joe Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy; Greg McWilliams, President, Newhall Land and Sherry Teresa, Center for Lands Management.

The press event is Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. on the west side of The Old Road street. There is a driveway entrance from southbound Old Road, halfway between Valencia Blvd. and McBean Parkway. Backdrop is the oak savannah of the initial 150 acres to be dedicated to the JPA. There is a dirt clearing that will accommodate parking. (Los Angeles & Orange County 2005 Thomas Guide page 4550, D6)


North Los Angeles County near “Grapevine” – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) advises motorists traveling over the upcoming July 4 Weekend on the northbound Golden State Freeway (I-5) north of Santa Clarita near the “Grapevine,” to please PLAN AHEAD and LEAVE EARLY to avoid expected holiday-related delays
-- due to
an ongoing lane closure on northbound I-5 at Templin Highway, approximately five miles north of Castaic. The lane closure is caused by an earlier mudslide and ongoing slope stabilization repairs. Three northbound lanes and all southbound lanes remain open to motorists.

Motorists can expect delays of up to 30 minutes on Friday, June 30; Saturday, July 1; Sunday, July 2; Monday, July 3; and Tuesday, July 4.

The speed limit is reduced to 45 miles per hour in the construction zone for the safety of the motoring public. Motorists are also reminded that traffic fines are doubled in freeway work zones. In Santa Clarita and Castaic, The Old Road is a suggested alternate route during periods of congestion.

Take Advantage in the Disposal Business

There is an advantage to knowing your community and Chris Fall recognizes that. After eight years with Waste Management and 11 years in the industry, Fall has embarked on his own business enterprise – Advantage Disposal. As president and CEO, Fall is already on his way offering roll-off bins and temporary services.

Advantage Disposal will start commercial routes beginning July serving the unincorporated areas of Santa Clarita and the Antelope valleys. He believes in a more personal touch and recognizes the frustration customers may have when it comes to dealing with large corporations. He has ordered his first set of trucks and bins and has been making the rounds to let the community know about the new service.

“I think I know what the community wants and what they desire,” Fall said. “I can provide that service. I know this business extremely well and I have people working with me that are just as knowledgeable.”

Fall said he learned a valuable lesson early on when it comes to business. “It is not as much of who you know, than it is who knows you,” he said. “I know a lot of people in both valleys and it is more about who is willing to say they know me and want me to provide their disposal and recycling service.”

“I am starting to feel the garbage love, so to speak,” Fall said with a smile

Fall has a proven record of his commitment to both the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. He serves as chairman of the SCV Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Antelope Valley Illegal Dumping Task Force and the regional advisory board of the Painted Turtle, a campground for terminal ill children, to name a few. Fall said will continue to support several charitable groups in town including the Lexus Jazz & Blues Festival, the Boys and Girls Club auction and the Hoefflin Foundation, "Evening Under the Stars" event.

“I am dedicated to these communities and I want to stay involved,” Fall said. Advantage Disposal is ready to serve your needs. Do you have the Advantage?
For more information, contact Fall at 661/252-0023.

CalArts and Vista Valencia Golf Course Possibly to Annex into West Ranch!

Last year the City of Santa Clarita tried to annex the Valencia Commerce Center, which is in Castaic, by claiming a connection through a drainage ditch that ran under the 5 Freeway. At the time it seemed ridiculous to claim a connection essentially through a drainage pipe but then the whole Stonecrest annexation issue popped up a number of months ago.

What the Stonecrest annexation spotlighted was that the City of Santa Clarita could go down a dry river bed, bypassing the Stonecrest community, to annex the Cemex Mine. I started to think about that and realized that there is a river in West Ranch that crosses the 5 Freeway. That river starts high in the Santa Susana Mountains above Pico Canyon and makes itself known during heavy rainstorms. Last year it was a raging river during some of the worst storms in half a century and made its connection to the Santa Clara River known. Our river is actually a tributary to the mighty Santa Clara River that rages through the Santa Clarita Valley.

Although our river doesn’t currently have a name, I’m hoping that we can call it the West Ranch River, it nonetheless is a river bed and crosses under the Valencia Market Place, the 5 Freeway and cuts through the Vista Valencia Golf Course on its way to the Santa Clara River. This is the key to CalArts and the golf course annexing into the West Ranch area. Let’s face it, if the City of Santa Clarita has the option of going down the Santa Clara River bed to annex the Cemex mine then nobody should object to the West Ranch community going down a river bed to annex CalArts and the golf course.

CalArts will be the prize since the school pumps more than $33 million into the local economy annually. It is also an internationally known art institute which is just the kind of organization that would fit in nicely with our community. As for the golf course, well you just can’t have enough open spaces where folks can whack a small white ball towards a little hole in the ground.

Tomorrow, the Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich will be holding a press conference on the Old Road in the West Ranch community and I’m hoping that the official naming of our river will be part of that press event. Hopefully all the paperwork will have been completed by then. That will be the first step in being able to get this annexation going and we won’t have to deal with any pesky home owners, just a school and a business!

Dave Bossert
Commentator and Sometime Satirist

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The West Ranch Beacon to give away $1000's

The West Ranch Beacon will be giving away thousands of dollars in FREE Sattellite TV systems at the Stevenson Ranch Fireworks Show this year. That's right, FREE gift certificates that are worth up to $1000 will be given away (while supplies last) to anyone and everyone attending this years Stevenson Ranch Fireworks Spectactular. You don't have to live in the West Ranch area to receive this FREE gift certificate, you don't even have to live in California to receive one of these absolutely FREE gift certificate. All you have to do is show up to watch the Fireworks Show and you can get a FREE gift certificates worth up to $1000.
Each certificate is good for a satellite dish, up to four receivers with remotes, and installation all for FREE. What is great about this offer is that the certificates are completely transferable so if you want to give to a relative, friend or loved one anywhere in the 50 U.S. States FREE satellite TV you can!
Look for the booth at the Stevenson Ranch Fireworks show as you enter the park and get your FREE gift certificate courtesy of The West Ranch Beacon and Dish Direct!

4 Candidates vie for 3 West Ranch Town Council Seats

With days to go before the submission deadline, there are currently only four candidates vying for the three seats on the West Ranch Town Council that are up for election. The deadline for candidates is this Friday June 30th for all applications and the $300 fee to be submitted.
The election is taking place on Tuesday July 4th at the Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch. The polls will open at 4:30 PM and will close at 8:45 PM. All registered voters in the West Ranch area which includes Sunset Point, Southern Oaks, Stevenson Ranch and Westridge are eligible to vote in this election.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Dirt on Annexation

A few days ago I met a resident of the Stevenson Ranch community, will call him “Bob”, and we had a nice conversation about the real estate market. Bob asked me, in the midst of this pleasant discussion about homes for sale, what the deal was with annexation. He was interested in knowing why we didn’t just annex so his kids could be treated as equals in regards to the City of Santa Clarita parks programs.

I asked him what he knew about annexation and he admitted that he knew very little. So I told him that was the point, the majority of the West Ranch community knows little or nothing about the whole question of annexation. I told him that the West Ranch Town Council has been trying to gather up information on the three options that the community has; annexation, city hood, and staying as is in the County. He was surprised that the community had options and agreed that the more un-biased information he could get the better he would be able to make a decision.

I pointed out to Bob that it is not a simple decision because there are so many services that the West Ranch area receives daily, weekly and monthly that our community needs to make a thorough comparison. This is something that our town council has been attempting to do over the years but it seems that it has gone in fits and starts with the City. It appears that every time we have sat down with the City to ask questions the meetings never seem to continue. At some point issues or items get brought up that the City just doesn’t even want to discuss.

One of the items that the City doesn’t want to talk about is the Mello-Roos bonds that many in the West Ranch area are paying off. By the way, a Mello-Roos bond issue allows for financing of public improvements and services. The services and improvements that Mello-Roos can finance include streets, sewer systems and other basic infrastructure improvements like, parks, libraries, museums and/or other cultural facilities. Bob had initially thought that the Mello-Roos bonds were for financing the schools and was surprised to learn that these bonds were actually used to put in the infrastructure in the community including the widening of the over passes at Lyons Ave and McBean Parkway.

I asked Bob a simple question, if you bought a new car and financed it over a 4 year period and two years into the payments were told to give that car to a stranger but continue to make the car payments for the remaining two years, would you? He said no, of course not! Think of the Mello-Roos bonds in the same way, why would you give the community away for nothing but continue to pay for the infrastructure? It just seems logical that we would talk about this issue.

But wait a second, not every one in the West Ranch communities is paying off a Mello-Roos bond! That’s right, some neighborhoods had the infrastructure costs amortized into the price of their homes and that certainly needs to be taken into consideration. That would have to be part of the discussion which would be adding to our collective education.

Bob realized at the end of our conversation that the question of annexation was a complex one and that our community does need to get much more information. This is something that the West Ranch Town Council has been having many conversations about with the County, LAFCO and the City over the years. It is a shame that the City keeps breaking off talks and instead tries to circumvent the Town Council and community when ever possible. That behavior is only prolonging the process and in turn making it increasingly more difficult to count annexation as an option.

Just as a reminder, it was about 5 or so years ago that Councilman Frank Ferry told the West Ranch Town Council that if we didn’t annex, the City would bury us! Still haven’t felt any shovels full of dirt dropping down on us yet………………….

Assembly Candidate Smyth to speak at July 4th Celebration

Cameron Smyth, candidate for State Assembly for the 38th District, is confirmed to speak at the Stevenson Ranch July 4th Fireworks Spectacular. The event is scheduled to begin at 7:30 on Tuesday evening July 4th at the Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park located on Faulkner Dr. in Stevenson Ranch.
The fireworks show is being presented by the Stevenson Ranch Civic Committee in association with Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation and is a free event to the community. The park will open to the public on July 4th at 4:30 PM. Residents are encouraged to walk to the park as there will be no parking inside of the park and there is limited parking on the streets around the park.
More updates to come over the coming week.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sen. John McCain: Inspiring in Burbank!

Today I had an opportunity to hear Sen. John McCain speak at our Burbank office. He is not only a great American but also a very inspiring speaker. I have always liked the Senator for a number of reasons but mainly because he comes across as a very moderate and pragmatic individual. For me, he represents the every person in America, neither to liberal nor to conservative.

Senator McCain spoke for about twenty-five minutes before fielding questions from the audience. The three main topics he touched on were 1) out-of-control spending in Washington D.C., 2) Immigration, the hot topic today, and 3) the War in Iraq.

On spending the Senator was passionate about the fact that we are mortgaging our children and grandchildren in respect to the amount "pork" that is being earmarked onto legislation. One example was the recently passed Highway Bill which had over 1000 earmarks attached to it when it was signed. It included the now famous $200+ million dollar bridge to an island in Alaska that has a population of 50. If nothing is done about this now then later on down the road the American Public will have to swallow some very harsh medicine.

Sen. McCain spoke about the Immigration Bill that he and Sen. Ted Kennedy are co-sponsoring. He clarified what some conservatives have wrongly characterized as an amnesty program, which it is not. He strongly spoke about enforcing the immigration laws and punishing illegal immigrates for breaking the law, not rewarding them with amnesty. The Senator went on to say that our great country was built on immigration it should continue but legally.
On the Iraq War the senator told us that things are improving but that it will continue to be a tough road and that more serviceman and woman are going to be injured and/or die.

He went on to say that this is not a war against Iraq but a war against radical fundamentalists who are out to destroy our way of life. I could not agree more! I equate these radical fundamentalists in the Middle East with the German Nazi Party during the 1930's and early 1940's. They want to destroy everyone and anyone that has a different belief system and a different culture then they do. These Islamic Fundamentalists will stop at nothing to destroy Western culture. We must stay the course and fight these terrorists one by one, country by country until they decide to live in peace. He was hopeful that Troop levels could start to reduce significantly by 2008-2009.

Finally, Senator McCain talked about the bi-partisan’s in Washington D.C. and the fact that the system is "broken". The lobbying scandals, the party bickering all of it isn't working anymore. Amen! He believes that this is the most divided that Congress has ever been and believes that we may see this come out at the polls in November with lower voter turn out. It certainly is clear that system is not only broken at the Federal level, but at the State and Local levels as well.

He was asked if he was going to run for President in 2008 and smiled while being none committal. Senator McCain would certainly make an excellent President based on what I saw first hand. He was candid, funny and truly knew what he was talking about on the various topics that were discussed.

Six Flags may be Sold or Dismantled!

It is being reported today that Six Flags Company is planning on selling up to six of its parks including Magic Mountain here in the Santa Clarita Valley. The company is exploring a sale or the possible closing and dismantling of these parks.
The company is facing mounting losses and is looking for ways to reduce its dept load. In recent years Six Flags has faced various challenges including a proxy fight last year and declining attendance.
At Magic Mountain, there have been many problems associated with gangs and teens loitering without spending any money. This has apparently driven the family segment of the parks attendance away from the park. They may have been able to stem the tide of red ink had Magic Mountain management tried to cater more towards the local families.
I can tell you that I have never, in the 26 years that I've lived in the Santa Clarita Valley, ever stepped foot in Magic Mountain. In fact, it is referred to in the entertainment industry as "Six Stabs Tragic Mountain". It's no wonder they are having the problems they are currently. What's more amazing is that it could be a great park for the entire family if they just tried to think outside the box.

Shall we dance some more?

Jack Murphy has been submitting occasional opinion pieces to the West Ranch Beacon for several months. Starting last week, Jack will have regular Friday opinion piece on our blog site titled "My view from the bleacher seats in SCV". As a reminder, Jack's opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of the West Ranch Beacon or its other contributors.

In my continuing effort to find out what a true moderate is I routinely visit my new friends at their local SCV blog sites. Tootsie Farklepants at and over at Matt's site, These are two liberal Democrat sites that reflect not only the feelings of the writers but their audience as well. There are other sites here locally, but they do not reflect the local flavor as these folks do. As for the other sites round town, their authors and writers are interested in their own opinions and no one else's. They don't read the other blogs and disparage the writers of other sites as nuts or wackos. Yet their sites offer no conflicting points of view and often tend to be harsher towards the opposition. Imagine Sean Hanidity with-out Combs but instead with Rush Limbaugh. Fun for a while but what's the point? Debate is more fun and actually accomplishes things. But to be sure the "other" sites are not interested or invested, they mostly cut and paste from National News wires. Visit the two named sites above for a great taste of the Democrat points here in the Valley, they don't cut and paste. They write like we do here in The Beacon.

I note these sites for you because I feel it is very important for you all to go there and explore and read. Both are very well written and the writers are very passionate. As with me you may not agree with all that they write, but I hope you find it an important part of your political maturation on a daily basis. You see, in order to actually be a moderate you have to be able to appreciate how others feel. You may not agree with them but you have to accept the fact that other people have opinions and that their opinions are important too. And recognize that many others offer the same opinion as them and one day those opinions may prevail in local and National politics. You have to be able to accept and move on. Dot org.

I go back to my original statement. A moderate is someone who places the good of the people before the good of the party. Period. I can think of a few politicians on the National stage that are moderates to me. Joe Lieberman is one for sure. Joe votes and speaks his mind and what he believes. It will never win him a presidential election as a result but he cares more about the policy then the position. Mark Warner is another. When he speaks you can see he is talking about policy and not politics. I may not agree with them, but It is so clear with these two men what they feel deeply. On the other side of the isle is Tom Tancredo. Yes, everyone's favorite Republican to hate. Why? Because he talks policy over politics. Always has. The Republicans are mad at him and so are the Democrats. That's the mark of a policy man not a politician. Not my kind of Republican however.

Locally here in SCV, lets look at the person everyone likes. Maria Guitziet. I have never personally met Maria, but I know her husband well enough. I respect her. I respect her opinion and I respect her philosophy. She is smart and dedicated and everyone knows that. She places policy above politics and it shows in her professionalism and skill. Have you ever met someone that said Maria is bias or out of the main stream? Nope. Not I either. That's what we need more of here in the Valley. People Like Maria. I don't care what Maria thinks about the Iraq wart or abortion or tax's at this point. What I see is a smart lady who is open to new ideas and suggestions and puts forth policy based facts not fiction.

I am waiting for the person in my party to step forward and be "that" person. The person that everyone respects. Whether they agree with the base political foundation of that person or not, they respect her/him. There is nothing wrong with debate as it is healthy and usually leads to better well thought-out decisions. Is it Mark Hershey or Dwight McDonald in the GOP? Or is it Bill Kennedy? I don't know.

Let's find that person before the next election.

Jack Murphy
Political Commentator

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What to See and Do? Check out the Santa Clarita Guide

The other day we received a call from a very nice woman at the Santa Clarita Guide inquiring about the details for the Stevenson Ranch Fireworks show this year. With the exception of major holidays, the Santa Clarita Guide focuses on recurring annual events or regular activities offered in the valley.
The Santa Clarita Guide is a result of five years of research and has become a useful resource to local businesses when trying to hire from outside of the area.

The Guide is the only online, photo-rich resource to the Santa Clarita Valley, including city, county, and state, federal and private organizations. While they include complimentary links to organizations such as The West Ranch Beacon, they do appreciate their advertisers--without whom they could not provide these services.

The Santa Clarita Guide does not intend to ever display traditional advertising, but rather provides viewers with photos of the places and businesses throughout the valley. Visitors to the Santa Clarita Guide will find out everything from the cheapest gas in the valley to whom to call when the neighbor's dog doesn't cease barking. They'll learn where to go for treatment if bit by a rattler (only Henry Mayo has anti-venin in the valley), and they'll find a comprehensive list of activities. Click on the headline above to link to their site or use this address:

Scoop: Trash Collection in the Ranch Compromised by City Contract

For many years the trash collection in the Stevenson Ranch community was picked up on Monday mornings like clockwork. That all changed this year when back in mid-April Waste Management decided, without community input, to switch the trash collection day to Fridays. This switch apparently was necessitated due to the new route specific contract that went into effect in the City of Santa Clarita according to Waste Management officials.
This switch was upsetting too many in the community who were very use to getting rid of their trash after the weekend. Now they were faced with garbage from the weekend sitting in the trash containers all week long and, to add insult to injury, the service became problematic. Residents have been voicing their dissatisfaction about the new trash collection day and the decline in service since the switch over several months ago.
In the past three weeks, there have been a number of conversations between members of the West Ranch Town Council, The Stevenson Ranch Community Association and Waste Management regarding these problems. Kevin Burke, the new territory manager for Waste Management, has been very responsive to the communities concerns and has taken this matter seriously.
At last nights Stevenson Ranch Community Association meeting, Kevin announced that the trash pickup in Stevenson Ranch will now revert back to the original Monday collection. He went on to say that Waste Management was committed to working with the community and that they will be looking at the reallocation of assets in the next week or so in order to bring back the Monday collection day. As soon as they are able to rework the routes a letter will be set out to the entire community notifying residents of the change from the current Friday collection back to Monday trash pickup.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Friendly Letter to the WayBack Machine

Dear Darryl,
A friend of mine passed on a link to your column titled “Stooge of the City Council Gives up His Title” in which you partly give a critique of what it must be like to be on the local town councils. I realize that much of your veiws are from the "wayback machine" you like to ride. You did make several statements that I do agree with whole heartedly and other statements I don’t agree with at all.

Being on a local Town Council is a thankless job! It is also thankless volunteering in an area where there are many armchair quarterbacks (local and out of town critics) constantly throwing stones at everything you do. Most of those folks don’t participate in the betterment of the community. In fact, most of them don’t attend the local community meetings like the Town Councils or the community association meetings that usually happen on a monthly basis. Instead they just cause problems after the fact with misinformation, false accusations, and generally attempting to better them selves at the expense of the community as a whole.

Why do these Council volunteers endure? It’s simple, because all of the members care deeply for their families and for the betterment of the community, for creating a safe community, and for working towards a better tomorrow. Most people don’t want to get involved though because of the time commitments and the potential ridicule, harassment, and possible liability.

You are dead wrong though, on the assertion in your column, that some how “It has to hurt those town council members emotionally when they hear the annexation offers from Santa Clarita.”Won't we get a say in the future?" "How do we know the City Council will care as much about West Ranch, Castaic, Agua Dulce, Acton — fill in the blank — as we do?"

Trust me; it will not hurt “emotionally” or otherwise one bit to see the governing issues of the West Ranch Communities get resolved as long as they do get resolved fairly. I would be happy to see the West Ranch Communities annex into the City of Santa Clarita or a new city formed or stay in the county! In fact, I would happy to no longer be involved in the political aspect of the community. Frankly, I would much rather continue being a community volunteer with the Stevenson Ranch Civic Committee doing events like the 4th of July fireworks show.

If you had attended the local West Ranch Town Council meetings you would have heard, on a monthly basis, that an elected group of volunteers has tried to investigate properly all the options available in regards to the communities self-determination. As recently as last summer a group of West Ranch Town Council members, myself included, embarked on a series of meetings with the City of Santa Clarita to investigate annexation. We had several meetings and the City was supposed to propose a second series of meetings that would have taken place in the fall. Our town council has not heard back from the City, they have not followed up. By the way, gathering all this information was intended to educate ourselves, our community and to be able to open up meaningful negotiations about a possible annexation into the City of Santa Clarita.

Darryl, you have to realize, there have been no “offers” from the City of Santa Clarita to annex! The City has taken the stance that we (the West Ranch area) would be lucky to annex into the City. In fact, a red faced and yelling Frank Ferry made that perfectly clear to me during his child-like outburst at a City Council meeting. By the way, City Councilman Ferry has done an enormous amount of damage with the rhetoric that has spewed from his pie hole.

I don’t, however, think that it would be fair for the community to just give ourselves away for free. If an annexation were to happen it must happen through a thoughtful and intelligent negotiation. If the City doesn’t want to participate in such a dialogue than an annexation of the West Ranch area isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever. You should know that if the City of Santa Clarita had been respectful of the West Ranch Town Council and taken us seriously a deal on annexation could have been done 5 or 6 years ago. It would be much tougher to forge a deal now, although not impossible. It is the Santa Clarita City Council and City management that have faltered on this issue due to the tactics and bad advice they are following.

Currently, the City has embarked on yet another bad tactic of once again circumventing the community and West Ranch Town Council by recruiting a person or two to run in this July’s West Ranch Town Council election. The City is trying to get an individual on the West Ranch Town Council that will happily push for an annexation with out any negotiation. That would be a disservice to the entire community. But hey, that’s politics right? Wrong! It is just another example of the complete disrespect and arrogance the City of Santa Clarita seems to have for the outlying unincorporated communities.

You are right when you said, “Santa Clarita must recognize the value of the town councils. It won't work any other way.” Trying to circumvent the council by cherry picking a community or an area has not worked and will not work. Trying to stack the Town Council with stooges won’t work either! I am, however, all in favor of your suggestion that we “clear everything on the table right now and start fresh” which has been done now several times over the years. Unfortunately, I am not sure that the City folks are willing to do that based on their current activities.

The “One Valley, One Vision” is a great concept but the City clearly has viewed it as a “One City, Our Vision” program. That attitude speaks volumes of how the City operates and for the complete disregard the City has for the unincorporated communities in the Valley. Don’t worry, no one is planning on burning you at the stake as it would be a waste of some fine firewood.

-Dave Bossert

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Best Fireworks Show in the Valley!!!

On Tuesday July 4th the Stevenson Ranch Civic Committee will present the 8th Annual Fireworks Spectacular at the Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch. This years show is set to be the biggest and best show to date with over 600 aerial displays and more than a 1000 ground effects being set off by our professional pyrotechnics crew.
Once again, for the 8th straight year, the event is free to the public. The show is generously funded through donations from local organizations and businesses including: Newhall Land/Lennar, The Stevenson Ranch Community Association, Waste Management, Advantage Disposal, Galpin Motors, Tim Reed/ Realty Executives, The Stevenson Ranch Community Church, and The West Ranch Beacon.
More updates coming over the next two weeks including special guest speakers.

Monday, June 19, 2006

L. A. County Fire Department to Conduct Live-Fire Training Burns at the Pitchess Detention Center

Castaic (CA) - Weather, air quality, and fuel conditions permitting, the County of Los Angeles Fire Department will conduct annual wildland live fire training burns on the property of the Pitchess Detention Center/Wayside Honor Ranch. This is a Los Angeles County Sheriff facility located in Santa Clarita. This live-fire training is an integral part of the Departments preparation for the upcoming wildland fire season. These small training burns will be in a very controlled setting and will not involve more than an acre of light fuels at a time.

Residents in the area may experience some temporary noise pollution from water dropping helicopters, fire engines and work crews during the training burns. There may also be some temporary inconvenience from smoke odors, particularly to smoke-sensitive persons.

WHO:County of Los Angeles Fire Department

WHAT:Live-Fire training burns - less than 10 acres per day

WHERE:On the property of Pitchess Detention Center/Wayside Honor Ranch, LA County Sheriff facility

WHEN:Monday through Friday June 19 - 23, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Live-Fire training burns may be cancelled if conditions are not favorable and rescheduled at a later date.

Castaic: Annexation and Shopping Around

The Castaic Town Council sent a letter, a few weeks ago, to the City of Santa Clarita inquiring about annexation. The Castaic Town Council was asking if the City of Santa Clarita would be interested into annexing the entire area including Val Verde. Of course, the City is jumping at the opportunity and communicated with a "yes, we'll take you all" response.
I spoke with a few folks in Castiac recently and commented positively on the fact that their community was shopping around. It is healthy and appropriate to be looking at the various governing options that are available to the community. The one suggestion that I did make was that the Castaic leadership needs to do a line by line comparison between the County and the City services. This is something that will require a number of meetings to accomplish.
The West Ranch Town Council started this process last year and did have several meetings. Each meeting focused on various services; i.e. Parks, Tree Trimming, Street maintenance, Fees, Trash, etc. We asked a lot of questions! Unfortunately the process was never completed because the City did not follow up with dates for the remainder of the meetings.
The one pattern that has emerged in dealing with the City is that they do not like being asked a lot of questions. But this is part of any comparison shopping! In order for a community to be able to decide on their own self-determination they need to ask an awful lot of questions and compare every service, fee, tax and anything else they deem important.
The City has taken the stance of smearing any individual that raises questions or suggests that a negotiation take place in regards to an annexation. Just look at what has been happen in the Stonecrest community. Several members of the community have been asking questions in regards to the proposed annexation and the City has been slamming these people. The local advertising circular has been right there to help support the City regardless of the questions being raised.
The following is a reprint of piece I wrote in early 2005 on comparison shopping in regards to the annexation question. This is not just for the Castaic Town Council to ponder, but for any community that is looking at annexation.

When I go shopping for anything, big or small, I tend to be a comparison shopper. If I’m in the supermarket it usually entails comparing ingredients or nutritional information from two different brands of the same product. For instance, are the Vons Pop Tarts really the same as the Kellogg’s brand but just less expensive?
Generally the amount of time spent doing comparisons is in direct relation to cost of the particular product. For example, I don’t spend a lot of time comparing milk but I will spend an awful lot of time researching and comparing cars. Part of that research involves asking lots and lots of questions and sometimes questioning the answers to make sure that I understand all the information that is being disseminated. Basically I am educating myself on whatever topic or product that I am interested in learning about.
For the past several years I have been doing just that in regards to annexation or the other options that may be available for the west-side communities. I’ve read government documents, visited our elected officials, question members of LAFCO, and yes, even gleaned an occasional fact out of the local newspapers.
The one thing that I learned when I was a teen is that if you ask the right questions you’ll eventually ferret out the truth. If during the course of asking questions the person your questioning starts to get agitated and doesn’t want to give or validate their answers there is a good chance that they are hiding something. That becomes a red flag and usually makes me quite suspicious.
In my opinion, that’s exactly what is happening right now with the issue of annexation in the Santa Clarita Valley. Members of the community, myself included, are asking questions, sometimes very tough questions, of the City. These are legitimate questions as they involve comparing the unincorporated areas of the valley with those of the City. Question about parks, recreation, taxes, road maintenance, etc. These are questions that need to be asked so that the community can make an intelligent and informed decision at some point in the future as to the governmental status of our neighborhoods on the west-side.
This is why I have been writing these commentaries so that some of those questions can be asked publicly and also to point out when the questions are not being fully answered. It is clear from the response to my last commentary that I am asking hard questions that are making some people squirm because they seem not to want to talk about the whole truth. We should all be suspicious of this type of behavior.
Recently my suspicions were validated in several articles that appeared in the local papers. Both articles pointed out the that the City of Santa Clarita in fact is trying to circumvent the Castaic Town Council on the question of annexation. The proof is in the pudding as they say!
So there we are, we are doing some comparison-shopping and asking lots of tough questions that some in the City don’t want to answer. Instead the City has chosen to try and bypass the elected town councils, or not give a complete answer to questions. Further, they have gotten a former Mayor of Santa Clarita, a “use-to-be”, to try and defend the City and it’s bizarre behavior.
It begs the question, why doesn’t the City want to be forthright with all the information being asked for? Why have they attempted to dodge the Town Councils so many times? Why is the City giving vague and misleading answers?
It’s time that the City starts to show transparency in its quest to annex neighboring communities. Trying to cherry pick the Valencia Commerce Center or other areas is inappropriate and is a divide and conquer tactic that will short change the residents of the Castaic and west side communities.
Most people in this valley can think for themselves and can make intelligent decisions. If they are presented with all the information that is being asked for, they can then make clear well thought out comparisons.
Don’t be “bamboozled” by people who don’t want give you the entire answer to your questions. And certainly don’t be bamboozled by a former City of Santa Clarita Mayor, a use-to-be, that tries to brand any questioning as “anti-city rhetoric” as that person doesn’t have the best interests of the unincorporated communities in mind.
It will pay dividends to be an informed and smart comparison shopper!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Stevenson Ranch Softball League Championship Game Tomorrow

The Stevenson Ranch Softball League, part of the Stevenson Ranch Civic Committee, will be having its final championship game of the season on Saturday June 17th at the Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park. The game begins at 1:00 PM sharp on the ball diamond in the center of the park. Trophy presentation will be immediately following the game.
It's always a fun time watching 30 and 40 something friends and neighbors reliving their the glory days of youth running, hitting and catching as if they were back in high school again. The entertainment factor is always bumped up a notch or two! Its an the perfect way to spend a little time mid-day on a lazy summer afternoon.
Dr. Richard Rioux Memorial Park is located on Faulkner in the heart of the Stevenson Ranch community.

Cell phones are a Menace!

We've all seen it over and over again a motorist driving along, completely clueless to their surroundings, chatting away on their cell phone. Either they are driving to slow, not able to use their directionals due to both hands being occupied, or doing something completely ridiculous while not paying attention because they are talking on the cell phone.
The Daily News has an article on a horrific crash that happened on the 14 Freeway because some guy was apparently reaching for his cell phone. You can click on the headline to link to the full Daily News article.
Is it that important to be chatting away on the phone all the time? It's absolutely insane to see some of these people cruising along the freeways talking endlessly about who knows what. They do it, not out of some urgent need usually, but because they can. It only demonstrates that these individuals have complete and utter contempt for the other drivers sharing the road around them.
I truly hope that Los Angeles or California follow what has been done elsewhere in enacting a hands free cell phone law while driving. We really need it!

Real Estate Hitting the Brakes

The signs go up every weekend, at strategic corner location throughout the community, saying "For Sale", "Open House", and "Price Reduced". These areas are becoming more and more crowded with a hodgepodge of real estate signs all vying for the attention of passersby’s.
Real Estate has hit the brakes in the Santa Clarita Valley and that’s fine for some of the more seasoned real estate agents in the area. It is a chance for a pause in a market that has been on a torrid pace of double digit price growth for the last several years. It’s also a chance for a shake out of the number of agents, people who jumped into the real estate market to make a quick buck when real estate basically sold itself.
More telling are the recent rash of articles on the local and national housing market. Barron’s recently published a special report titled “Second-Home Glut” (May 29, 2006) sighting that “vacation homes are flooding the market, sellers are cutting asking prices by up to 40%.” That article, like others, has pointed out that many areas of the country are experiencing a fast deceleration in home sales both new and previously owned. This is especially true in over heated markets like Las Vegas, south Florida, Scottsdale and Palm Springs.
As a recent issue of the Economist pointed out, “Perhaps most telling, builders have recently become a lot glummer. With Wells Fargo, a big bank, the National Association of Homebuilders publishes a monthly index of builders’ perceptions of the housing market. This index fell by six points in May to 45.
(A score below 50 suggests that more builders reckon the market is poor than think it good)” The article went on to say “Economists at Goldman Sacks estimate, from the fall in the homebuilders’ index, that construction will fall at an annual rate of 10-15% in the next four quarters.”
Today’s Los Angeles Times has a good article on the plunge in new home orders at KB Homes. The builder also issued a statement slashing forecasts. Bruce Karatz, KB Chief Executive, stated that “After experiencing several years of accelerating demand for new homes, we are now operating in amore difficult market environment.” Click on the headline above to read the entire article.
Recently, we had an opportunity to speak with a local banker regarding the mortgage real estate market in the greater West Ranch area. He told us that his phone has been ringing off the hook with people concerned with the rising interest rates. Many of these homeowners were only able to buy homes in the West Ranch communities by using interest only or adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Some of these homeowners are starting to squirm as their mortgage payments are adjusting upwards.
With the quick drop off in the market it may be too late for many to sell their homes quickly. It appears that the rush for the exit is already in full swing based on the inventory figures for the Santa Clarita Valley. The number of homes on the market in the valley is five times the number this time last year with over 2100 homes for sale. Just click through to one of our advertisers in the banner above to check out the inventory listings. As the glut in homes on the market grows it only looks obvious that prices will start softening soon.
Our suspicion is that it is going to get a lot tougher for the real estate market in the coming year or so before it starts getting any better. It may be a repeat of the previous downturns in Southern California like that of the early 1990’s.

New Weekly Column: "My view from the bleacher seats in SCV"

Jack Murphy has been submitting occasional opinion pieces to the West Ranch Beacon for several months. Starting this week, Jack will have regular Friday opinion piece on our blog site titled "My view from the bleacher seats in SCV". As a reminder, Jack's opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of the West Ranch Beacon or its other contributors.

what's a moderate?

What is a moderate? In my crazy messed up mind, a moderate is someone who believes in what's good for the people and country FIRST and the party second. I happen to think that about 75% of what the Republican party believes in is good for the country and 25% of what the Democrat ( they are the Democrat party, not the Democratic party incidentally ) is good for the good ole USA.

So, are you a moderate or are you a mindless robot for your party? Do you do what ever your party leadership tells you to do? Do you think they way they tell you to think? Or do you take everything in and make up your own mind?

I have posed a few questions for you to peruse and score. This is your chance to see what box you belong in. If your like me, its a small box on a small bus and your wearing hockey equipment to school. Get it? Small bus, hockey equipment.......Ok, forget it. Just take the quiz.

Question #1. The Iraq war was,,,, a). George Bush finishing his fathers war. B). An oil grab. C). An administration truly concerned about future terrorism and where terrorists might get weapons to use against the world.

Question #2. True or False. Only Republicans use power for their own personal benefit, such as is a alleged with Tom Delay.

Question #3. True or False. Any candidate is fine to replace Cameron Smyth for City Council as long as that candidate is a Republican.

Question #4. True or false. The Cross Valley Connector will improve traffic flow in Santa Clarita and was well worth the 300 million price tag ( not completed ).

Question #5. True or false. Hillary Clinton is a strong and determined woman who has held fast in her beliefs and would make a truly great president if given a chance.

Question #6. True of False. John McCain is a great leader and a war hero. His religious beliefs and the fact that he is a republican in good standing make him my ideal choice for president.

Question #7. True or False. Annexation of any area out-side SCV city limits is a good thing for that unincorporated area. The city would be doing that area a favor by taking them under their wings.

Question #8. True or false. You feel that if someone poses's a different opinion than you they can NOT be your friend.

Question #9. True or False. Lynn Plambeck is your ONLY choice from the Democrat party. Period.

Question #10. The following would be considered a great City Council. Bob Keller, Marsha Mclean, Michael Cruz, Dwight Mcdonald and Loraine Weste.

A moderate would answer C, F, F, F, T, F, F, F, F, T. If you did NOT answer it this way then you are out of whack one way or another. You need to sit back and think about the person you are. Do you only talk to Republicans or Democrat's? Expand your horizons. Meet mew people and listen to new ideas. Free speech is good for others too ya know.

My best friends are ALL Democrat's. Strange as it sounds. I don't agree with 90% of what they believe in but I would rather talk to them then people who agree with me. I have never agreed with Gary Horton in the local "newspaper" but I NEVER miss his column. I don't wish him ill in the least bit and as a matter of a fact I met him and he seems like a hell of a guy. I think he is wrong and that's that. Life goes on. One day he may prove me wrong but until that day, I just read and have fun and move on.

You should all do the same. Life would be so much more enjoyable for the rest of us in the bleacher seats herein SCV.

Jack Murphy
Political Commentator

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Alert: Full Closure of 14 Freeway Sunday Again!

SANTA CLARITA – The California Department of Transportation will close the Antelope Valley Freeway (Route 14) in both directions at Escondido Canyon Road near the city of Santa Clarita on Sunday, June 18.

Southbound Route 14 will be closed from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. Northbound Route
14 will be closed from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Closures and detours will be posted on electronic message signs. The California Highway Patrol will assist with traffic management at the site.

The closure is in relation to a slope stabilization project above Route 14 between Soledad Canyon Road and Escondido Canyon Road. The $12.6 million project involves cutting back the slope and installing retention systems using cable net or wire mesh.

This closure will recur every Sunday for approximately three months. Estimated to complete in spring 2008, the project will increase hillside stability, protect the roadway and improve safety.

Are you a Democrat, Republican Or Southerner?

A friend of ours sent this along to us and we had such a good laugh it was worth passing on to our readers.

Are you a Democrat, Republican Or Southerner?
Here is a little test that will help you decide. The answer can be found by posing the following question:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children.
Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

Democrat's Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to
society and to my children?
Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was
stabbing me?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier
street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days
and try to come to a consensus.

Republican's Answer:


Southerner's Answer:


(sounds of reloading).


Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow

Son: "Can I shoot the next one!"

Wife: "You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!"

Tonight: Assembly Candidate Cameron Smyth Speaks in Stevenson Ranch

Republican candidate for Assembly District 38, Cameron Smyth will be speaking to the Santa Clarita Chapter of the California Republican Assembly at 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at the IHOP located at 24737 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381. Please RSVP to Vanessa - Phone: 661-263-1857 / E-mail:

Reminder: Magic Mountain/I-5 Expansion Groundbreaking Tomorrow!

Two-Year Project Begins on Major Roadways and Freeway Ramps
For those who regularly travel the areas around Six Flags, Magic Mountain Parkway, the Valencia Industrial Center and the Old Road the Expansion of Magic Mountain Parkway/I-5, including the freeway on/off ramps, will be welcome news indeed!
A special groundbreaking event will be held for the Magic Mountain/I-5 Expansion project on Friday, June 16 at 11 a.m. The location for the event is on The Old Road, directly across the street from Hamburger Hamlet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Amazing response to this Blog!

Well I have to say that I was a bit amazed to see just how popular this blog has become. Yes, we were getting a number of people telling us that it is being read by a lot of folks around town and that even the knuckle draggers at the local advertising circular were looking at it daily.
I have to admit, all the great comments that were coming back to us regarding the West Ranch Beacon were nice but we didn't really think that the penetration of this blog was as big as it is now evident. We just now looked into the number of page impressions or hits that this blog has received, I have to say that even I was impressed that it is in the thousands.
Realize, we started this blog because there was no voice in the local "newspaper" for those of us that live in the West Ranch communities. There was virtually no coverage of our neighborhoods and if there was it was a usually negative jab swirling around annexation issues. It was clear that the local "newspaper" was not interested in presenting local issues in an unbiased fashion.
So, on a whim, we started this blog as a vehicle to disseminated information and opinions that were relevant to the West Ranch communities and the valley as well. It was an outlet for information and opinions that otherwise was being suppressed or buried by the local "newspaper". Last year I wrote a piece that the primates at the local advertising circular refused to print because it was critical of their "newspaper". Here is excerp form that opinion piece:
Yes, a newspaper is about building a readership through the dissemination of information pertinent to those readers and is supported by advertising. Its not about pandering to the advertisers at the expense of the readers as has so often been displayed by The Signal.
Unfortunately if nothing is done to correct this situation it will eventually create a need for a real community newspaper and not a glorified advertising circular that The Signal has been turning into. Nature abhors a vacuum and will fill it when one appears. That will be true for The Signal. Sure, there have been some local upstarts attempted in the past that have not gotten traction but that speaks volumes that the need exists.

It appears that the vacuum is being filled to some degree by our little blog based on the response and verified by the numbers!

Senseless Killing in Valencia Marketplace

There was a tragic murder at the Mamma Mia Pizzeria early Monday. The victim was 72 year old Eddie Politelli, an employee of the pizza shop, who was apparently murdered by what was described as a Latino male. Click on the headline for the full story in the Daily News.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More on the Community "Farm" Evictions

Thanks to The West Ranch Beacon contributor Ron Mechsner for pointing out the following from an MSNBC article:

Owner Ralph Horowitz had said he would sell 10 acres of the land to the farmers for $16 million, but the farmers -- even with the support of the mayor and celebrities -- have been unable to come up with the asking price.

"I'm not real happy with this group," Horowitz told NBC4. "Even if they raised $100 million this group could not buy this property. It's not about money. I don't like their cause. I don't like their conduct. So, there's no price that I would sell it to them for.

"Where does this kind of 'you owe me' mentality end? How good is that for America? What they should have said to the taxpayers of LA and to me is, 'This is a gracious country. Thank you for letting us have our garden here, but we realize our time is up. We've had our 14 years.'"

Mr. Horowitz hits the nail on the head with his comments. It's that "you owe me" mentality, the constant "take, take, take" without giving back that is dragging this country down. If someone, like Mr. Horowitz, does something decent and nice for the community it would be appropriate to honor him with at least a thank you. Instead, the guy is being sued, picketed, and cursed!

You can click on the above headline to see the entire article at MSNBC.

Great Article on the Los Angeles Community Farm

If you click on the headline above it will take you to a Yahoo News article on the community farm controversy near downtown Los Angeles. It is a terrific article that really strikes at the heart of the story. The property owner allowed the community to use his land for free, for nearly 15 years, and he is now being sued by a small group as a thank you. Unfortunately that action will be a deterrent to other land owners who might have thought about a similar arrangement in the future.
Part of that group includes the Jonny-come-lately activists that always show up for the cameras and reporters like John Quigley. You might remember Quigley as the tree sitter in Stevenson Ranch. He was the guy that showed up one day under the guise of saving a tree. This, of course, is the oak dubbed Old Glory that the local environmentalists were using as pawn to prevent the widening of Pico Canyon.

Candidates Speaking around Town

Thanks to the SCVGOP for the notice regarding the following Candidates speaking around town this week:

Republican candidate for State Controller, Tony Strickland will be speaking to The Southern California Alliance of Young Conservatives at 7:00 PM on Wednesday June, 14, 2006 at Republican Headquarters in Newhall. This meeting is open to everyone. Call (661) 253-3206 to RSVP or for more info.

Republican candidate for Assembly District 38, Cameron Smyth will be speaking to the Santa Clarita Chapter of the California Republican Assembly at 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at the IHOP located at 24737 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381. Please RSVP to Vanessa - Phone: 661-263-1857 / E-mail:

Same Ole Same Old

As our City continue to grows and expand we face a tough issue. The age of our City Council. With the departure of Cameron the average age of our City Council grows greatly. Is this good for our City? 40 some things and 60 year old people who have no young children making decisions for people in SCV, where the great many of us have young children.

The concerns of the average person here is not even on the radar of this City Council. We worry about Child predators, poor and failing schools ( Newhall elementary) and a growing population of citizens who migrated from the valley changing our once quaint city into a newer version of San Fernando. The City Council is concerned about the cross valley connector and defending prior decisions in the local papers. I see that most of the city council spends way too much time at local charity events in efforts to raise their OWN popularity. They need to get to work. I have yet to see any of them follow through with one campaign promise. Marsha Mclean still does NOT answer her phone contrary to her debate statements that she always answers her phone and is the full time council-woman. Hum.

As we approach the "Special Election" in January-ish, we have a choice. Keep putting the same ole same OLD on the City Council in SCV or bring in fresh young thinkers. Republican choices should be in the 50-70 range. However, a man like Michael Cruz would bring energy and leadership to this stale and aging body. The more I talk to Michael Cruz the more I like him and his ideas. He is smart and very personable and best of all he smiles all the time.

West Ranch and the other Town Councils would have a great friend in SCV with Michael Cruz. If you don't think I am non-biased in my opinion and that I am not thinking about what is best for all of us consider this. Michael Cruz is a Democrat and I am a very conservative Republican.

Jack Murphy
Political Commentary

Monday, June 12, 2006

Work to Begin on Magic Mountain/I-5 Expansion Project

Two-Year Project Begins on Major Roadways and Freeway Ramps
For those who regularly travel the areas around Six Flags, Magic Mountain Parkway, the Valencia Industrial Center and the Old Road the Expansion of Magic Mountain Parkway/I-5, including the freeway on/off ramps, will be welcome news indeed!
A special groundbreaking event will be held for the Magic Mountain/I-5 Expansion project on Friday, June 16 at 11 a.m. The location for the event is on The Old Road, directly across the street from Hamburger Hamlet.

The City of Santa Clarita, working in partnership with the County of Los Angeles, Caltrans, MTA/Metro and Newhall Land, will begin constructing this multi million dollar project which when complete will substantially improve traffic flow near the Valley’s major work centers. The project will relieve existing and future traffic congestion, including measures to improve safety, increasing roadway capacity to meet future anticipated development and traffic growth. There are 11 stages factored in to this improvements; the duration of each stage will range from 10 to 100 working days. The goal of “stage construction” is to maintain a minimum of two traffic lanes in each direction throughout the entire construction duration on the mainline, ramps, and local streets.
This multi-faceted and complex project includes the reconstruction of the Interstate 5/Magic Mountain Parkway Interchange and the realignment of The Old Road. This includes reconstruction of all four freeway ramps, a new auxiliary lane in advance of the northbound off-ramp, widening of Magic Mountain Parkway from The Old Road to the proposed northbound ramps, necessary tapers on Magic Mountain Parkway to join existing, and realignment and widening of The Old Road from approximately 550 meters south of Magic Mountain Parkway to approximately 450 meters north of Magic Mountain Parkway. The project also involves relocating the Chevron gas station on the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road from its current location to a new location directly west where the new intersection will be located.
The contractor, Security Paving, has 520 working days to complete the work and construction is anticipated to begin this summer. It is estimated that construction will be completed by September 2008. The total cost for this project, including design, environmental work, property acquisition and construction is approximately $43.7 million which is primarily being paid for paid for by the Valencia and proposed Westside Bridge and Thoroughfare Districts through an advancement of funds from Newhall Land ($33.2million). The Valencia Bridge and Thoroughfare District is a joint District administered by the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles. The proposed Westside Bridge and Thoroughfare District will be administered by the County of Los Angeles. The remaining funds for this highly anticipated project are coming from MTA/METRO ($10.5 million)..

Ballet Dances the Night Away

The Santa Clarita Ballet Company performed "Beauty and the Beast" and "A Mid Summers Night Dream" at 2:00 and 7:30 on Saturday at the COC Performing Arts Center. Both performances were not only spectacular but were nearly sold out. The performances showcased the dance talents of local students along with professional dancers to create a wonderful experience. The production was visually impressive in the quality of the sets and the outstanding choreography. The Santa Clarita Ballet Company is the brainchild of Corinne Glover, a true visionary of the dance world.
Its amazing to think that the Santa Clarita Valley has what is fast becoming a world class ballet company. When you think of ballet, one usually envisions New York, Chicago, or the Russian Ballet; not little old Santa Clarita. Just 20 years ago Santa Clarita was a sleepy little farm community and now it is a thriving community that can sustain not only a ballet company, but an orchestra, a couple of community theaters, and there are even some art galleries popping up.
Cultural Arts are part of the very fabric that makes an ordinary community a great community. This is part of what has been transforming the Santa Clarita Valley over the last several decades into a "full service" community. Hopefully the next 20 years will bring even more visionaries that can continue to strengthen our arts community.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Alert: Full Closure of the 14 Freeway

SANTA CLARITA – The California Department of Transportation will close the Antelope Valley Freeway (Route 14) in both directions at Escondido Canyon Road near the city of Santa Clarita on Sunday, June 11.
Southbound Route 14 will be closed from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. Northbound Route
14 will be closed from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Closures and detours will be posted on electronic message signs. The California Highway Patrol will assist with traffic management at the site.
The closure is in relation to a slope stabilization project above Route 14 between Soledad Canyon Road and Escondido Canyon Road. The $12.6 million project involves cutting back the slope and installing retention systems using cable net or wire mesh.

This Weekend around town

There are several major events going on in the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend. First, The Santa Clarita Ballet Company will present its spring performance tomorrow night, "Beauty and the Beast" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The performances are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. June 10 at the Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia.
The shows are close to being sold out and there are only a handful of tickets still available for both performances. Tickets to these performances range in price from $22 to $28 and are available by calling the Santa Clarita Ballet at (661) 251-6844.

Also, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita will hold its 35th Annual charity auction. This years theme is "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere". The event is located at Mann BioMedical Park, 25104 Rye Canyon Loop, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Doors open at 5 p.m. First Bid Board Closing at 7:15 p.m. Dinner 6 to 7:30 p.m. Live Auction begins at 7:30 p.m. Call(661) 254-3063 for reservations and information.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Update: Stonecrest Annexation

A protest petition was filed with LAFCO regarding the recent request for the Stonecrest community to annex into the City of Santa Clarita. Many residents in the Stonecrest subdivision have raised question as to the legitimacy of the original signature petition. There has also been concerns to the actual percentage of the community that was included in the original request.
Aside from questions being raised regarding the petition, there is a lot of confusion over the information being disseminated by the City of Santa Clarita. Some residents seem to think that the annexation to the City of Santa Clarita will be a panacea for the Cemex Mine issue. City Councilman Bob Keller has pointed out that the City will not be able to stop production at the mine. The City only hopes to reign in production to "historical" levels.
In the meantime, Congressman Buck McKeon is introducing a bill to try and resolve the ongoing Cemex Mine issues. You can click on the headline above to read the Daily News article on the bill Buck is sponsoring.

Update: Taggers Arrested, Crime "Practically Zero"

At Wednesday mornings Security meeting in Stevenson Ranch and last nights West Ranch Town Council meeting there was some very positive news from the Sheriffs Department regarding crime in the greater West Ranch area.
First, the there has been an arrest of several individuals for tagging various walls. The interesting aspect of this is that these individuals were from outside the Santa Clarita Valley. The taggers had traveled here to spray paint graffiti on some fresh, clean walls! Fortunately a Sheriff Deputy in a helicopter spotted these criminals in the act and was able to get backup to make the arrest.
The best news was that the Sheriff liaison confirmed that crime in the West Ranch area is "practically zero". In the past month there has been virtually no burglaries. It was pointed out that there has been some auto break-ins along the Old Road and Pico Canyon by the retail areas.
The Sheriff liaison at both meetings reminded residents to not leave valuables in their vehicles. This would be inviting crime!

West Ranch Town Council May meeting Minutes

West Ranch Town Council
Minutes for the Meeting Dated: May 3, 2006

A. Call to Order / Roll Call:
a. Meeting called to order at 6:35 pm.
b. Present: Randal Winter, Betty Griffin, Paul Ash, Brian Toqe, Ron Mechsner
c. Absent: Dave Bossert, James Zimmerman
B. Approval of April 5, 2006 Minutes
a. Approved by a vote of 5 – 0.
C. Treasurers Report
a. James Zimmerman – Treasurer not present therefore no report provided. Paul believes that there were no significant changes from the April report.
D. County Business
a. Parks and Recreation Department
i. Successful Adult / Senior Health Fair took place April 29th. There were about 200 attendees.
ii. Summer Day Camp will start June 26th and run until August 11th.
iii. Dog Obedience classes are going to be offered at the park. They will run 8 weeks in duration (July 15th to September 2nd).
iv. Smart Gardening Workshop to be offered – Water wise / Backyard Composting – Date is July 29th.
v. 4th of July Fireworks – Tuesday, July 4th
vi. Summer Basketball signups – 6/20-27th
vii. Youth Co-ed Soccer will start August 21st – Season to kick off on September 9th.
viii. Summer Concert in the Park – July 22nd.
ix. Patriot’s Day – Remembrance Service – September 10th
x. Paul Ash, on behalf of the Council, expressed our thanks to the Parks & Rec Department for increasing the number of events at the Park – providing more options and choice for our residents.
xi. No change in status on the Skateboard area.
xii. Also discussed next steps regarding the choice of facility improvement for Jake Kuredijian Park – choice of either a public restroom or a tot lot. The restroom will cost more than lot, but per Bob, Supervisor Antonovich will cover any shortfall.
1. Discussion that Newhall School District / Pico Canyon School needs to be part of the decision process. Bob has a meeting scheduled with Dr. Winger – will discuss.
2. Any restroom would be closed at sunset – and remain closed until dawn when Park reopens.
3. General consensus is that a public restroom would the preferred improvement for the Park.
4. Bob advised that the County has no plans or intent to cede / turn over control of this Park or others to any organization.
b. Supervisor Antonovich’s Office – Bob Hauter
i. Regarding the increased Graffiti – the County executed a contract for a company to repaint / repair reported graffiti. Having a contract in place will result in faster turnaround and cleanup times. If need to report – call 287-3656. This service is NOT available for private property – clean-up is the responsibility of the property owner. This is only for public property.
ii. Briefly discussed Sheriff / CHP response times – as this information has been frequently misrepresented by City of Santa Clarita in discussions with communities regarding annexation.
iii. Based on last Supervisors’ Meeting – funds for 60 additional LA County Sheriff’s provided. It is believed that most of these 60 will go to increase coverage in unincorporated parts of LA County.
E. Committee Reports
a. Community Liaisons:
i. Randall Winters - Southern Oaks: Nothing to report.
ii. Brian Toque – Westridge: Attending the meeting, were 2 representatives from the Westridge HOA – including Gary Morgan, President of the Westridge HOA
1. Brian and Paul attended the Westridge HOA meeting on April 5 – the meeting conflicts with the West Ranch Town Council scheduled meeting time. It is the goal of the West Ranch Town Council to encourage open communications across the West Ranch communities – and that the last meeting, and the attendance at the Council Meeting is a big step to achieving better communication.
2. Westridge HOA is responsible for 1048 homes.
3. Gary introduced to the Town Council an issue of major concern to the Westridge HOA – the plan for the Privatization of TPC Golf Course. The predefined requirements were met – and the intent is for the Course to become a private course. Westridge HOA intends to oppose the privatization of the Course – and is looking to obtain support in this opposition from the Council.
a. About $1M per year of HOA funds are spent for joint maintained property.
b. Paul Ash has copies of the letters – and will work with all to get meetings scheduled to review the numbers, the requirements, and try to achieve an acceptable compromise for all. This is something that would be fast-tracked.
c. According to information provided – the course could go private as soon as 9 to 12 months from now.
iii. Chuck O’Connell – Sunset Pointe / Enclave: Comments related to the quick response of County personnel to address the graffiti.
iv. Stevenson Ranch HOA: Numerous complaints of reckless / dangerous skateboarding on streets in Stevenson Ranch. There are no specific laws on this that the CHP can enforce.
1. A team to be assembled – Ron Mechsner, Betty Griffin, and SR HOA Security Committee to get together with Supervisor Antonovich’s Justice Deputy to determine options / action steps to address this before there is a serious injury.
b. Bylaws Committee:
i. Election Standards and Information
1. Election Day defined as July 4th – at Richard Rioux Park. We are still evaluating the possibility of weekend polls. If this does take place – they will occur in either Southern Oaks or Westridge or both. The details are to be determined and updated when complete.
2. 3 Seats will be up for election. The other 4 seats will run for re-election next year. 2 Year terms.
a. The 3 seats are – the seats held by the 2 appointed replacements (Ron Mechsner, Brian Toqe), and Paul Ash.
3. The timeline will be pushed out a little bit – but there is a plan application cut off of 6/1/06 ($300 fee required with the application). This cut off is needed to ensure time to get the announcements into The Signal.
4. Randal Winter made a motion to accept the Election information as defined. Brian Toqe seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 5 – 0 vote.
c. Public Safety & Security:
i. LA County Sheriff – Sgt. Wallace
1. Major effort underway to ID / stop the tagging / graffiti that is underway.
2. Earlier in the day, 70 deputies raided 60 locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley in a probationary sweep – including 6 in Stevenson Ranch that resulted in 12 arrests (3 in Stevenson Ranch) on a variety of charges including weapons possession. Most of those arrested were juveniles.
3. Crime stats for the West Ranch communities are up from the previous month – School Spring Break a contributory factor. Vehicle thefts up – most between midnight and 6am – cars on the street / in driveways with valuables in plain view the main targets.
d. Government Relations
i. Officers from the Westridge HOA were asked to join the West Ranch Town Council Government Relations Committee.
ii. Paul Ash reported on the status of the Homeless Shelter Task Force. 2 Meetings held on the issue to date. Paul discussed the specifics of the Shelter’s size and dates of operation. The goal is a permanent location for those dates – non-residential area. One subcommittee of the Task Force tasked with investigating locations.
1. 178 People used the Shelter in the 2005-6 seasons. 3339 total bed / nights – including those who were put into hotel rooms. Majority of attendees from the Santa Clarita Valley – only 13 from outside the Valley.
2. Most are not ‘hard core’ homeless. There were only 15 Police calls all season related to actions / issues with residents of the Homeless Shelter at the Homeless Shelter.
iii. Paul Ash reported, and provided copies of a letter to the West Ranch Town Council from a property owner who states that the Lyons Canyon developed by DR Horton will land lock their property. County will investigate – but believed that no property is being landlocked.
F. Old Business
a. No old business to address.
G. Meeting Adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Alert: West Ranch Town Council Meeting Tonight

The West Ranch Town Council will hold its regular monthly meeting tonight, Wednesday June 7th at 6:30 PM at the Southern Oaks Community Center. On the aganda will be the regular committee reports, the election update, and an update on the slope issues between the Westridge HOA and the TPC Golf Course.
For the complete agenda click on the headline above.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Election Day with relatively few Surprises

Pictured above is Scott Wilk, Cameron Smyth and family at the Republican Headquarters in Newhall announcing election results as they came available after the polls closed on Tuesday night. Scott gave periodic updates as the results flowed in over the internet.
The evening bash was hosted by the Smyth Campaign with friends, family and supporters gathering to cheer on the expected win. Locally and County wide there were no big surprises.
Cameron Smyth easily won with roughly 80% of the vote compared to challenger Mary Barrientos' 20%. That would be classified as a "cake walk".
Both Propositions 81 and 82 crashed and burned with no votes of 56% and 59% respectively.
There are no changes at the County Board of Supervisors; Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky easily retained their seats. It will be business as usual at the County.
Lee Baca, who was being challenged by four other lawman, received a vote of confidence by garnering 67% of the votes cast. Now lets hope that two of his challenges, Ken Masse and Ray Leyva, can get volunteers to take own all of there lawn signs that have littered the community for weeks!
Statewide, it appears that Arnold will be challenged by Democrate Phil Angelides for the Governors office. It was a tight race for the Democratic opposition to Schwarzenegger. Angelides and Westly both were in the gutter slinging mud in a knock down, drag out fight that was downright embarrassing. Westly seems to have flushed $35 million of his personal fortune.
It looks like the GOP held it's own in yesterdays election. Down in San Diego the battle over disgraced ex-Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's seat had been vaulted to national attention as a bellwether for the fall elections. Former Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray received 53% of the vote.
Of course, our own beloved Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon is doing just fine with a fantastic track record for the 25th Congressional District. With his new position on the Education Committee and all that he has done for education in the 25th District,Buck should have no problems come November.

Your NEW Santa Clarita City Councilman??

Everyone who is familiar with Local SCV politics is surely aware of the relationship between Ed Colley and Frank Ferry. If you don't know how they work together let me personally hit the refresh button in your brain for you.

When Frank runs for office, Ed apparently uses his PAC to literally go after whomever is seen as the closest threat. This past election it was Henry Schultz and Lynn Plambeck that Ed and Frank went after. The hit mailers Ed sent did their job but were not horrible, but none the less were sent totally to benefit Ed's boss Frank Ferry. And the amount he spent was minimal. Frank won the election and seems to have spent about 50% of his war chest. Leaving about $60,000 still in the bank for the next run. Or so you would think. Frank told the local papers that he was going to use the rest of his money to support "other" candidates in future elections. Hmm.

Now for the gossip part. From about 10 different people I have heard the following. It seems that Ed Colley may be running for the vacant seat on City Council. The seat that Camron will vacate when he moves to the State Assembly.

Now fast forward to December, January and February. Ed Colley for City Council signs may go up all over town and $60,000 worth of hit pieces being mailed out to ANYONE who dares to challenge Ed. That would be 10 times the amount Ed spent on hit mailers during the last election to throw Henry and Lynn off the bus.

Everyone in this valley was mad as hell about those mailers that Ed sent out. Republicans and Democrats. Some dismissed it as just dirty politics as usual, but they were still mad about it. Well, they work folks and if you think $5-10K did its job on Hank and Lynn imagine what $60K will do to everyone else who challenges Ed. Bill Kennedy, Mark Hershey, Michael Cruz, Joe Messina, Dwight McDonald and the other 5 yet to be named will get blasted. This next election may be the most highly contested in the City's history and the lines are being drawn early. A lot of friends will not be friends when its over.

Worse. Imagine hating those hit mailer "garbage" and seeing your candidate, Frank Ferry, not use your money during his recent win and then go on to use YOUR money to support a candidate you don't like by doing hit mailers under a 527 group name. How ya feeling about it now?

Folks, that's what you get when you put politicians in office who care about nothing more then just winning elections. So, with out further delay, I give you the replacement for Cameron Smyth, your potentially new City Council member for Santa Clarita, Ed Colley!

Jack Murphy
Political Commentator

Great Feedback!

Thanks to all of our readers for the terrific feedback over the past several months. We have been getting some very positive comments and great suggestions from an ever growing readership. It is clear that our blog is gaining traction and filling a much needed void in the community. No wonder, we're not in the back pocket of any municipality or are we lap dogs for big advertisers like the local advertising circular seems to be!
One thing that we can tell you is that The West Ranch Beacon will continue to strive to improve and grow. We're not going to rest on our laurels, but rather we will increase our readership with your very thoughtful suggestions. As always, look for some big surprises growing forward!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Alert: West Ranch Town Council Meeting This Wednesday June 7th

The West Ranch Town Council will hold its regular monthly meeting this Wednesday, June 6th at the Southern Oaks community center. The meeting begins at 6:30 and will include regular committee reports as well as an update on the July 4th elections.


June 7, 2006

A. Call To Order/Roll Call
B. Approval of May Minutes
C. Treasurers Report and Banking Update
D. County Updates

1. Bob Haueter LA County
2. Kathleen Ritner- LA County Parks and Recs “State of the Parks”
3. Doug Newell Parks and Rec
4. Sheriff’s Liaison

E. Committee Reports

1. Election- Volunteers
2. Security/Public Safety
a. Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Chase Homeowners concerns
3. Governmental Relations
a. Homeless Shelter Task Force
b. Westridge HOA and TPC issues Update
c. Request to Lennar/NLF re update on Newhall Ranch
4. Westridge and Southern Oaks Liaisons
5. Sunset Pointe Liaison

F. Old Business
G. Public Comment
I. Adjournment

Opinion: Who's in charge round here?

That's it. I am disgusted. I throw up my arms. I quit. What do they want? Money? Freedom? My House? My Cars? What do they want? Oh, they just want to ruin everything in site because they really have no understanding of the costs associated with remediation of the property they destroy and the impact they have on society.

I am talking about the tagger's and wild teens in SCV. More over I am referring to the generation of Kids that we are seeing start to assert their poorly learned skills upon our society. Yes, that age group that now has their drivers licenses and along with that zero respect for anyone or anything. I am disgusted by their behavior and their actions. And their actions say a lot about their parents and their upbringing.

I see the kids across the street from my house parking their cars in front of the fire hydrant only two years after a fire burned up to the backs of our houses and the fire department could not get to the hydrant to refill the bladder on the truck. I call the Sheriff and they come out and ticket the kids in the "Monster" trucks. $150, $250 and $350 bucks and yet these same kids, after getting tickets park their cars right back in front of the fire hydrant. You confront the parents and the parents say, I cant control them. Well folks, if you cant control them, the Sheriff cant control them, who can? Apparently no one can and these kids don't really seem to care do they? They get a ticket and their parents promptly pay it. So, there goes the value of money for these kids. Why would they stop parking illegally? They don't have to pay anything for it. Why should they stop tagging, the $20,000 in remediation fees that the family paid didn't come out of the kids savings account did it? Nope.

I think back to my first car. In 1984 I saved enough money to buy a VW bug. Rusted and beat up. Then my next car when that died was a Chevrolet Chevette. Both cars cost way under a grand. I see kids now get their license and all of a sudden they have the nicest cars on the street. BMW, Mercedes and the all new Monster trucks. Cars that cost $30 and $40 thousand dollars. All for a kid who just turned 18, has no job and more importantly has no respect for anyone or anything. It used to be that a few kids in a average school had the nice cars because their parents where wealthy. Not these days. Not with house prices controlling cash flow.

As parents we all want the best for our kids. We want them to have what we didn't have but in so doing that we take away the one thing that we ALL had and that is respect. Respect for elders, respect for authority and respect for other peoples property. This day when everyone is property rich and uses that equity to lavish gifts of cars and trips to kids who have earned nothing has to end. Parents need to get back to the morals and ethics of OUR parents and set curfews, demand a job to pay for the new car and gas and start being a part of their kids lives so you can tell if he is spray painting walls or doing drugs and hanging with the wrong kids.

The old saying is coming true RIGHT NOW FOR US; " It has to get worse before it gets any better". Well, its gotten a lot worse and now is the time for it to start getting better.

Jack Murphy

This Week: Get Out and VOTE

Tomorrow, Tuesday June 6th, is election day. Regardless of your party affiliation you should exercise your right to vote. Here are a few web sites that are worth checking out. The Santa Clarita Valley Congress of Republicans is a good site for all those who are moderate to conservative in their views. Here is the link to that site;
The West Ranch Beacon fully endorses Cameron Smyth as the Republican Candidate for the 38th Assembly District. Cameron, who is a Council Member and past Mayor of the City of Santa Clarita is a person of integrity and will fight for his constituents. We have experienced first hand his respectfulness and conciliatory nature and believe that he will do a lot of good for our valley while in the Assembly in Sacramento. Check out his web site to see where he stands on all the issues;
Finally, when it comes to political view points The WestRanchBeacon does want to acknowledge Blue Santa Clarita a Liberal blog that has been kind enough to have a link to ours. We will reciprocate in our next upgrade! Although we don't always agree with what is written in that blog it is important to hear all view points on issues that effect our lives and our community. You can check them out at;

Update: Ranch Un-Tagged Just as Quickly!

Less than a week ago we reported that an area in Stevenson Ranch had been tagged; scroll down to see the full story entitled "Stevenson Ranch Tagged; Again!". The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has removed the graffiti almost as quickly as it had appeared on both the sidewalk and the curb. Kudos to the County for the quick response!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Opinion: Pointing Out the "Horses Ass"

As many in the Santa Clarita Valley know by now, our local advertising circular, also know as The Signal, is often fraught with mis-quotes, half truths, stories that are pieced together after the fact and opinion pieces that are filled with false claims. If you are involved in the local politics at all and have a different point of view, than you know just how awful the advertising circular can be in slamming you. They can more or less say anything they want because they can hide behind the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
If you haven’t noticed, the advertising circular is a tool of its major advertisers and of the City of Santa Clarita. Take for example the Sunday column, or should we say ranting, of Darryl Manzer. In his latest attach against Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Darryl apparently has a pathological hatred for the Supervisor, he goes off on the Cemex Mine and claims that the Supervisor could have gotten the votes to block it. Claiming that Supervisor Antonovich could have gotten the votes to stop the Cemex Mine is basically saying that somehow the Supervisor has the power over the others members of the Board of Supervisors to get his own way. That is a downright insult to the four other County Supervisors and to the political process itself. From time to time you get out voted and that goes on everyday across our great country. In politics you win some and you lose some, its called democracy!
Darryl also claims that Supervisor Antonovick has a “personal helicopter so he can get around the district faster”. Where is the proof to back up these accusations? There is none! One only needs to pick up the phone and make a few calls to get the facts. The truth is none of the Los Angeles County Supervisors has a personal helicopter. I would challenge Manzer or the prime mates running the local advertising circular to prove otherwise. Show the public absolute proof that Supervisor Antonovich has a “personal helicopter” that is for his own use or the use of any of the other County Supervisors for that matter.
Step back for a moment and understand that all of these false accusations are being made by a guy that lives in Virginia. The advertising circular actually has a columnist that comments on local issues and he doesn’t even live in the Santa Clarita Valley. Darryl Manzer does not attend local community meetings, he doesn’t attend County Board of Supervisor meetings, City Council meetings, Town Council meetings or any other meetings yet he can write a column filled with misinformation in the “local paper”.
Unfortunately, Manzer can write any kind of rubbish he likes and his friends at the advertising circular will print it. They don’t care if there is any truth to what is being printed, so long as it is self-serving and further attacks everyone and anyone that has a different viewpoint than their major advertisers and the City of Santa Clarita. The Signal is not representing the entire valley but rather a smaller and, let’s face it, bygone version of this valley. This is something that is chuckled about, on a regular basis, by many.
Columns like those from Manzer, a use-to-be resident, continue The Signal’s slide down the slippery slope of irrelevance; an advertising circular, neither taken seriously nor purchased for any other reason than coupon clipping and yard sale notices. Yes, a newspaper should be about building a readership through the dissemination of unbiased information or factual opinions pertinent to the local readers and should only be supported by advertising. It’s not about pandering to the advertisers and friends at the expense of the readers as has so often been displayed by The Signal.
I don’t expect anything to change! Darryl Manzer’s column in the local advertising circular will continue to do a hatchet job on a good people, like the Supervisor, but in the end will only further display his ignorance and stupidity. Or, to use some “western” terminology that Darryl can understand, apparently he likes to display himself as a Horses Ass.