Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Council to Decide Vacant Seat; Morgan to Speak

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The West Ranch Town Council will be selecting a candidate to fill the vacant council seat at its Wednesday November 1st council meeting. There are two candidates vying for the council seat that was vacated when Paul Ash resigned in September.

At the October meeting there were three candidates that had turned in applications for the vacant seat. Two of the three were present, Don Fleming and Chuck O’Connell, at that meeting and had an impromptu opportunity to say a few words on why they would like to be selected for the open council seat. Since then, Mr. O’Connell has decided to withdraw his application for personal reasons.

Gary Morgan, who was not at the October meeting, will be given an equal opportunity to speak for a few moments at the beginning of tomorrow nights council meeting. At a later point in the meeting the Council President will call for nominations and then the entire council will vote cast votes for those candidates that were nominated.

Reminder: Town Council Meeting Tomorrow Night

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The West Ranch Town Council will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, November 1st at 6:30 PM in the Southern Oaks Community Center located on Southern Oaks Dr. The center is located in the Southern Oaks neighborhood off of Pico Canyon in Stevenson Ranch.

Tomorrow nights meeting will feature an update on the Lyons Canyon/Warner Ranch project. Also on the agenda will be regular updates from the Sheriffs department, LA County, Parks and recreation. The special guest speakers are Chris Fall and Larry Mankin of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A View from Another Side

NOTE: Our New site can be found at www.WestRanchBeacon.com

Eric Rosenberg is a community volunteer in Stevenson Ranch and is a candidate for the Stevenson Ranch Community Association board of directors. He attends most of the community meetings in the West Ranch area and is an informed resident. Eric is a new to the West Ranch Beacon and is a guest commentator expressing his views on politics, local issues and the upcoming election. As with all columnists, these are his own views and don't necessarily reflect those of the West Ranch Beacon.

I spent the past two weekends reading every line of the various propositions that will be on the ballot November 7th, plus every word I could find on all the candidates running for office. Since I know many special interests have seriously confused the actual meaning of many of these propositions, and because very few people will actually take four days to read anything other than the short biased summaries for each proposition, and because not everyone has an extremely knowledgeable attorney as their spouse to whom they can pose legal questions, I'd like to offer my non-partisan advice on how to vote.

I am not a member of either the Democratic or Republican Party; my philosophy is a combination of Libertarian and Green with a few handpicked positions from the two major parties. Basically, I'm an Independent beholden to no one who has the ability to make up my mind without worrying about how the "party faithful" will feel. I don't get fooled by silly catchphrases like "stay the course," "cut and run," etc., nor bamboozled by people throwing out labels such as "liberal" and "conservative." Talking points and repetition have absolutely no affect on me (other than to annoy me!), so no matter how many ads the oil companies run against Proposition 87, I'm still going to vote based on the actual text and meaning of the proposition!

If you and your readers are now comfortable with me as a voter and agenda-less community participant, then let's move on to my suggested positions for the coming election. (If you're not comfortable, it's probably because you don't like people who question your group's positions, regardless of which political party you belong to. If you've lost the ability to sincerely question your leaders, then you've lost the ability to stay informed and be objective. "You're either with us or against us" is 3rd grade playground logic and should not be relied upon for your decision making. Don't be held hostage and blindly follow the party line...that's what Islamic terrorists do, not Americans.)

Here are the candidates and propositions I recommend based on my research and fact-checking:
1) Governor – Arnold Schwarzennegger
2) Lieutenant Governor – Tom McClintock
3) Secretary of State – Bruce McPherson
4) Controller – Tony Strickland
5) Treasurer – Mehul M. Thakker
6) Attorney General – Kenneth A. Weissman
7) Insurance Commissioner – Dale F. Ogden
8) State Board of Equalization (2nd District) – Bill Leonard
9) State Senator – Dianne Feinstein
10) U.S. Representative (25th District) - Robert Rodriguez
11) Member of State Assembly (38th District) - Cameron Smyth
12) Castaic Lake Water Agency - (At Large) Isaac Lieberman / (Division 3) Carole Lutness

While I would have preferred to vote for Michael S. Wyman for Attorney General and Todd Chretien for Senator, I just cannot accept their errant positions on immigration which are so important to the fiscal future of our state. Sorry! (I would also have liked to find out some information on David W. Erickson for Congress, but he has no website, no e-mail contact, a single phone number that's always busy, and almost no other public information that I could find! Maybe his only goal was to get on the ballot??)

I also can't support Howard "Buck" McKeon for U.S. Representative because of some very dubious decisions he's made, like using campaign donations to pay family members $152,362 for working on his election (of which $74,462 went to his wife), for his inability to reverse California's 12% deficit of Federal funding vs. what we pay in as taxpayers, for his weak refusal to debate his challengers in a public forum, and for his very slimy attempt to take credit for killing the Cemex mining expansion (which was NOT halted) by getting the City of Santa Clarita to pay for "Thank You, Buck" banners audaciously posted in the public right-of-way that made it sound like McKeon succeeded, when in fact he did nothing other than belatedly introduce a bill to Congress (HR 5471) that was dead on arrival.

Now for the propositions:

1A – YES
1B – YES
1C – NO
1D – YES
1E – NO
83 – NO
84 – YES
85 – NO
86 – YES
87 – YES
88 – NO
89 – YES
90 – NO

It would take many paragraphs of analysis to explain the above votes, but I truly believe those positions are in the best interest of our state. The really smarmy part of these propositions is how many are worded to mean one thing but actually accomplish something else, plus the deceptive ads all over television that completely misrepresent what your YES or NO vote will accomplish.

For example, 1C sounds like it's a very charitable proposal to help battered women and low-income seniors find housing, when in fact 1C does nothing to make housing more affordable! Another example – Proposition 1E claims to protect California's drinking water supply, but it doesn't have any effective provisions to do this! Propositions 83 and 85 sound like good common-sense moral measures, yet both laws set legal precedents that would negatively impact many other areas of law and government, neither law actually achieves the main goals they claim, and both have failed legal and logistical tests in other states. And don't even get me started on Prop 87! This is a very good measure for the state, but you'd never know that if you listened to the 30-40 grossly misleading ads per day that the oil industry pays for to try and scare people into voting "no."

So there you have it. All I can hope is that the electorate thinks for itself, does the necessary research to make informed decisions, and votes for the best solutions for our state's and country's problems. I sincerely believe the above recommendations fulfill that criteria, and I know that others will disagree for various reasons. But if those reasons are ignorance, "because my party told me to disagree," apathy, or misguided hard-headedness, then it's not a valid rebuttal and we should ignore their vacuous shouts. Vote for what is right, not because you're "left" or "right."

Eric Rosenberg,
Guest Commentary

Friday, October 27, 2006

Gift Nights for Soldiers: Better than a Movie

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The average age of the American soldier in the Middle East is 22. That means that for every warrior who is 24, there is one who is 20. This is an age where a family holiday traditions are still fresh in the habits of a person. In particular, when you are in Iraq or Afghanistan these days, a time designed for peace and understanding is especially hard to put together.

I realized this recently at the Christ Lutheran Church in Valencia, as I was eating one of that church’s at-cost dinners it serves on Wednesday nights just to bring people of the community together.

It is this church’s members who package the boxes sent from anyone in Santa Clarita to the soldiers under fire in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had brought a bunch of new military magazines I had found at a magazine store in the K-Mart shopping center off San Fernando Road. As a “military brat” who grew up in and around bases in my childhood, I know how the many military-history books in base libraries somehow give soldiers the strength of a historic perspective. Others that evening gave whatever they thought could not be easily found in a war zone that much of the time doesn’t even have electric power.

I have enough years of being associated with military life to know many soldiers are finding a new family in their soldierly world. Their family backgrounds may range from extremely tightly knit to virtual estrangement. There are also many former foster children who find a guiding hand in the military after the state cuts off their foster family life at their high-school graduations. But let’s face it – we could all use a mom and dad to be there for us into our adult years, even as very close friends.

Through the dedicated leadership of lay activist Karolle Blackson, the Christ Lutheran Church has filled in with some of the family-like support that soldiers overseas appreciate in a way that the rest of us in our easy lives cannot imagine. Every month go the packages and personal message from Santa Clarita to Iraq and Afghanistan.

As I observed at the outdoor dinner, the parents of the church were using this service opportunity as a teaching moment for their children. “What can we do to help our soldiers?” asked parents in a way that they made sure their children alongside then would remember that question. I couldn’t help but think that these scenes – showing people bonding to soldiers they have never met – recalls something that directors like Frank Capra used to celebrate in their movies, but which is too seldom observed today

For the readers of this article, the answer to the question of “what can we do to help our soldiers?” can be found by calling the church right now at 661-259-0200 (they answer the phone during business hours), or simply bring something to send to the church at 25816 Tournament Road in Valencia. The deadline to give gifts for the holidays is November 7. The church members then take care of all the packaging. You might find me packaging, too. However, I promise leaders of my good church there is little danger of my changing my Christian membership so long as my church creates the kind of holiday support for our soldiers as I have seen at Christ Lutheran.

- Chris Sharp

College of the Canyons - Yes on Measure "M"

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We received a very nice note from Diane Van Hook, President of College of the Canyons, thanking the Beacon for helping to spread the word on the importance of Measure “M”. Here is what she had to say:

On behalf of “Citizens for College of the Canyons Yes on Measure M” Campaign, I want to personally thank you for your commitment to this campaign and for all of the extra effort you have invested to help us be successful on November 7th.

As someone who values education, I know you understand:

• The role the community college plays in opening that door for tens of thousands of individuals in our valley as well as thousands of local employees per year who are employed throughout our valley;

• The fact that we offer quality education at an extremely affordable cost ($20 per unit, $600 per full load per year versus $3000 at CSU and $6500 at UC, Plus room and board);

• That we will use the $160 million to add classrooms and labs and expand access to train more nurses, law enforcement professionals, prepare students to transfer, and provide technical training for highly skilled positions that exist in our valley but need people to fill them;

• That we will expand our capacity to accommodate the ever-increasing number of high school students (60%+) who come directly to COC and the eleven hundred that attend each semester while in high school (tuition –free) to get a jumpstart on their college educations and save their families money at the same time; and

• That Measure M is an investment in our community, our businesses, our families, and our college future.

Thank you for getting the word out. I appreciate your extra efforts. Your efforts are special to us and will make a difference.

Thank you!

Waste Management Declines Council Invite

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In recent weeks, residents of the Stevenson Ranch and Westridge communities have raised questions regarding the fuel surcharge that Waste Management instituted last year. As the price of fuel increased many companies pasted those costs onto customers in the form of a fuel surcharge that was added to regular service bills.

Now that fuel costs are coming down closer to 2005 levels; the question is being raised that these charges should be reduced and/or eliminated. The West Ranch Town Council extended an invitation to representatives of Waste Management to attend the November Council meeting to discuss the fuel surcharge issue. Waste Management officials have declined the invitation.

This appears to be a strategic mistake on the part of Waste Management as it has raised concerns that there is more to this story than meets the eye. As it turns out, only the unincorporated residents are being charged the fuel surcharge; city residents are not being charged this additional cost. That begs the question; are the unincorporated residents subsidizing the trash collection for the City of Santa Clarita residents?

Waste Management officials declined to speak about the fuel surcharge and would only direct inquiries to their website. The fuel surcharge was no where to be found on either the local or national web site. The matter will be discussed further at the Council meeting on November 1st.

West Ranch Town Council Meeting November Agenda

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The West Ranch Town Council will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday November 1st at the Southern Oaks community center starting at 6:30 PM. The community center is located on Southern Oaks Drive in the Southern Oaks community off of Pico Canyon in Stevenson Ranch. The following is the agenda for the November meeting:

A. Call to Order/Roll Call

B. Gary Morgan

C. Approval of October Minutes

D. Treasurers Report and Banking Update

E. County Updates
1. Doug Newell Parks and Rec.
2. Sheriff's Liaison
3. CHP Liaison
4. Bob Haueter LA County
5. DRHorton- Lyons Canyon Presentation

F. Guest Speakers- Larry Mankin/Chris Fall SCV Chamber

G. 1. Garbage Collection Fuel Sur-charge
2. Appointment to vacant council seat
3. December- Steve Sturgeon/ Hart School District
4. Update on Town Hall meeting with Castaic TC, Aqua Dulce TC, and
Supervisor Antonovich. Date, time, location TBD

H. Committee Reports

1. Election 2008
2. Security/Public Safety
3. Governmental Relations
a. Homeless Shelter Task Force
b. Westridge HOA and TPC issues Update
4. Westridge and Southern Oaks Liaisons
5. Sunset Point Liaison

I. Old Business

J. Public Comment

K. Adjournment

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Guest Speaker Shuffle For West Ranch Town Council

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Due to a scheduling conflict guest Attorney Scott Campbell will not be speaking at the Wednesday, November 1st West Ranch Town Council meeting. Scott will be giving his presentation on the Brown Act on a, yet to be determined, later date.

Instead, Larry Mankin and Chris Fall will be giving a presentation on the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. Chris and Larry were originally scheduled for the December meeting and have graciously agreed to come to the November meeting. They will be giving an overview of all the good work the Chamber is doing in our Valley.

The December West Ranch Town Council meeting on Wednesday December 6th will now feature Steve Sturgeon from the Hart School District. Steve will be discussing the importance of getting a new High School built in Castaic and the potential impacts on the West Ranch communities if that new school is delayed.

Household Hazardous Waste Round Up: City & County effort.

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On Saturday November 4th at College of the Canyons from 9:00 am to 3: pm Los Angeles County and the City of Santa Clarita will holding a household hazardous waste round up.
Residents are encouraged to bring items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original labeled containers. Please do not mix the items together. There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste per trip. Be prepared to leave your containers. Remove all other items from your trunk.
What you CAN bring to an event (examples):
• Brake fluid, paint, paint thinner, cleaners with acid or lye,
pesticides or herbicides, household batteries and car
batteries, pool chemicals, motor oil, oil filters, expired
pharmaceuticals, anti-freeze, and fluorescent light bulbs.
• Household electronic waste which includes:
Computer monitors, televisions, computer CPUs,
keyboards, printers, cellular phones, etc.

What you CAN’T bring to an event:
• Hazardous waste and electronic waste from businesses.
• Explosives, ammunition and radioactive materials.
• Trash and tires.
• White goods such as refrigerators, stoves and washing
machines, etc.

BUSINESS WASTE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.For a complete listing of what you can and cannot bring or information on events, contact:
(888) CLEAN-LA • www.888cleanla.com, or
(800) 238-0172 • www.lacsd.org

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

CalArts Happenings this Week

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Tuesday Oct 24
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Syndromes and a Century
FILM/VIDEO: The heralded Thai filmmaker screens his latest work, Sang sattawat ( Syndromes and a Century ), a meditation on memory, love and reincarnation against the backdrop of goings-on at two provincial Thai hospitals.
CalArts, Bijou Theater, 7 pm. Call 661-253-7800 for ticket information.

Wednesday through Sunday Oct 25-29Betontanc: Wrestling Dostoevsky
REDCAT: This high-velocity dance theater work from the acclaimed Slovenian company is driven by provocative texts by Dostoevsky and live music by the Ljubljana group Silence. Performing in the round, the six young dancers of Betontanc (”Concrete Dance”) amaze with their inventive and intensely physical sense for movement. Presented as part of The Sharon Disney Lund Dance Series.
Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater. Wed Oct 25-Sat Oct 2, 8:30 pm. Sun Oct 29, 3 pm. Click headline for ticket info.

Monday, October 23, 2006

US welfare system faces accounting overhaul

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Krishna Guha, a Financial Times writer inWashington, reports “a radical new approach to government accounting that would require the US administration to account for the cost of future social security payments year by year as people build up entitlements will be proposed on Monday.”

“The proposal by the federal accounting standards advisory board (FASAB) – which would also require the government to account for benefits accrued under Medicare and other social insurance programmes in the same way – is unprecedented internationally. It would radically change the presentation of US government finances, in effect bringing forward the cost of rapidly increasing social security and Medicare obligations and greatly increasing the reported fiscal deficit.”

Read the entire Financial Times article, click on the headline above.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Traditional Media Outlets are Cutting and Running!

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Dovetailing with several pieces that I have written and a recent piece by Jeff over at SCVtalk.com there are more signs of cracks in the dike of traditional media. NBC/Universal announced that it would slash costs at its news division and abandon expensive primetime dramas.

The main reason being given for the cuts at NBC/Universal is that viewers and advertisers are flocking to new kinds of media. These trends are affecting all the traditional media companies. Top media executives are now acknowledging that the “entire way content is being distributed is going to change in a fundamental way.”

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that when the New York Times bought the Boston Globe in 1993 it was betting “on the future of the highly educated, affluent Boston market.” It turns out now that that educated, well-heeled target market is on the leading edge of the digital migration that is “pummeling” profits at the Boston Globe this year.

Video games, broadband internet, cell phone data services, iPods, Tivo, and a myriad of other devices and services are fracturing readership across all age groups. It’s not just today’s twenty-something’s that are getting much of their news and information online, it is spanning all generations. My parents who are in their mid-seventies are surfing the internet daily checking their “personalized” news page and getting various types of information when they need it.

The idea of picking up a newspaper is becoming more arcane when you can get up to the minute news instantly online whenever you want from multiple sources. What is so amazing is the amount of information that is available; why would you go anywhere else but to a computer or wireless device. Which begs the question, how do newspapers compete in the digital age?

Well, I don’t pretend to have all the answers but it does appear that there are options especially for local papers. It requires radical thinking and a breaking with tradition, the re-writing of the rules. In fact, I believe that there are plenty of ideas that would improve the image, circulation and ad revenue for a local paper. But it requires change! Unfortunately, a lot of people in media don’t like change and that’s one reason why the blogosphere is proliferating here in Santa Clarita and elsewhere.

A Greek philosopher once said, “the only constant in life is change.” That is something that has been lost on the local fish wrap as evidenced by its precipitously declining readership over the years.

-Dave Bossert

Friday, October 20, 2006

Exclusive: Council Candidate Withdraws

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In breaking news, venerable community volunteer Chuck O’Connell has decided to withdraw his name from consideration for the vacant West Ranch Town council seat at this time. According to Mr. O’Connell; “Being retired [for a second time] there are several time consuming issues that I'm currently involved in that could impact upon my availability for WRTC (West Ranch Town Council) matters in the immediate future.”

Mr. O’Connell, who has been a tireless advocate for the community, has been serving as the Sunset Point liaison to the West Ranch Town Council for several years. He said that he would be “pleased to continue in my present capacity as Sunset Point Liaison, if the Board so desires.” Chuck went on to say; “Good luck in your selection process and to the Board as it continues work, as a most effective body, protecting the best interests of the residents of the West Ranch area.”

Some Council members were surprised by this development while others were not. Some board members were aware that Chuck was wavering on submitting an application for the vacant seat. That information was made public at the October West Ranch Town Council meeting. Chuck felt that, “Since you have other qualified candidates for the Board seat, I request that my name be withdrawn.”

With this notification, the candidates vying for the vacant seat on the West Ranch Town Council Board has dropped from 3 to 2. The two other candidates are Gary Morgan and Don Fleming. The Council will decide on one of those candidates at the Wednesday November 1st public meeting.

Mr. Smyth Goes to Sacramento, if.....

NOTE: New site can be found at www.WestRanchBeacon.com

Please welcome Chris Sharp, the newest columnist to the West Ranch Beacon. Chris is a local High School teacher and a wonderful writer. He will be writing a regular column for the West Ranch Beacon on a variety of topics. Today’s column is a great piece to start off Chris’ association with our blog, it paints a very nice portrait of Cameron Smyth, Republican nominee for the 38th Assembly District

Consider the drama of Cameron Smyth, Republican nominee for the 38th Assembly District, former mayor of Santa Clarita, on the city’s city council over the past half dozen years. There’s more. Often looking younger than his mid thirties, he has installed a pictorial sense of his presence that has been missing from our political science since Churchill chewed his cigar and waved two fingers in the air. Smyth may be just as pictorial with political photos of milk on his lip and by his habit of running into intersections like the star football player he was, directing traffic during city blackouts.
He is running this year against a worthy challenger in Lyn Shaw, chair of the Women’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party. Both are classy leaders, which is unusual in our elections, and both deserve a place where they can influence the direction of California. However, in this very tough and even race, it is Smyth who represents a new and refreshing political style, and it is Shaw who is from the old school and the old boxed thinking.
Ironically, there are Democratic leaders now that are particular concerned to defeat the most capable and the most promising Republican candidates. Interestingly enough, they seem to be more content with the least original and the least promising Republicans, who are less likely to progress into greater responsibilities.
In other words, a new Ronald Reagan might be good for America, but it would not be good for the Democrat Party, so most of the Democratic efforts are concentrated into nipping the best people in the bud. Smyth is one of those who create opposition-party fears that he might become an important leader of our state.
Not that Smyth is Reagan. He has his own style, more like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” where his anger flares not as a posture of partisan payback but over what he sees are instances of injustice. This might include his right to participate in a public breakfast prayer, or he might call someone on misleading campaign mail. At the same time, he does not demonize or generalize Democrats, but talks with them – as he does with his current opponent -- respectfully as individuals.
Like Reagan when he ran for governor, Smyth does not have a personal fortune to create a power base, but like all efficacious leaders – Reagan, Churchill, Roosevelt included -- he has an innate gift for using sight and sound symbols to bring out the best in his community.
Simply put, Smyth is too original for us to lose in any kind of Democratic mudslide this election year. What Democrat leaders are not telling us now is that Democrats as well as Republicans lose if Smyth does not get chance to amplify his leadership talents on a state-wide level.

By Chris Sharp

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Pritsker: Containing Expenses?

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As reported here at the West Ranch Beacon, Keith Pritsker is one of the candidates running in the Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) Board of Directors upcoming election. He is also one of two individuals who had signed the recall petition recalling the entire HOA board.

Keith stated on his application that he believed one of his goals and an objective if elected was to “contain association expenses”. Yet the last time Pritsker served on the master HOA board expenses actually soared especially in the area of legal fees to the associations’ law firm.

Here are the facts; Keith previously served on the Stevenson Ranch HOA Board from 2000 through 2001. In 1999, the year prior to Keith getting on the board, the association legal expenses were a little more than $23,000. For the year 2000, while Keith was on the board, those legal expenses spiked to more than $60,000 and for 2001 the legal fees were nearly $44,000.

Keith left the HOA board in late 2001 and the following year the total legal expenses dropped back down to the low $20,000 range. It is clear from the documentation that the association spent an unusually large amount of funds on legal fees during Pritsker's tenure on the HOA board. Much of these funds were apparently wasted, according to sources, because of Keith Pritsker.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Reminder: HOA Meets tonight

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The Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) has its regular monthly meeting tonight, Wednesday October 18th. The meeting begins at 6:00 PM in the large side room at the IHOP located on Pico Canyon in Stevenson Ranch.

This will be the last regular HOA meeting before the November Recal election takes place. Tonights meeting should prove to be interesting from a spectaor point of view.

Islamic Militancy - Seed for the Next Dark Ages

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We teach our collegians well about the period known as the dark ages but do we thoroughly explain what brought on this horrible period across the globe? With little fanfare the answer to that question is an unequivocal no.

Let’s do the math here. The marriage of civil and ecclesiastical power is without dispute the singular cause of the horrors of the dark ages. When the authority of the state and the church are wed, people suffer. The equation goes like this. If I am a Muslim, Christian, Catholic or Jew I may practice my religion without fear of persecution, reprisal or rejection. I still must obey civil law but the judicial body won’t besiege me with charges for the beliefs I hold about God and faith.

When any particular religion becomes the state sanctioned religion then I can be prosecuted for my lack of compliance. Once Catholicism was the state sanctioned religion and for one thousand years the Pope ruled across the globe, with an iron hand. Some say the reformation ended that and some like to call it the recovery, that is, the recovering of the simple gospel message and the abandoning of the burgeoning religious rules and mandates of the church. Is Islam bringing this kind of terror into civilization again?

In America the idea of the separation of church and state is all that stands between us and that kind of tyranny. Of course the separation of church and state is mostly a perception and not actually a law. The law in America simply states that the congress will not make any laws governing religion. This is a law we can live with in the most literal sense of the word. In Islamically ruled nations not believing in the state sponsored religion can and does cost lives.

News agencies have reported that an Iranian man, Mr. Issa Motamdi has been arrested and charged with apostasy. His crime was giving his son a Christian name. Even before his trial which is not likely to be any more than a travesty there is talk of execution.

In the Central Sulawesi area of Indonesia it is reported by the BBC News that three girls were attacked on their way to school. The three who traversed through a cocoa plantation on their way to a Christian school were beheaded. Dozens of Christians have been brutally murdered in this region since 2001 as militant Muslims seek to set up another Islamic state there.

Most people in what still might be referred to as a civilized world take exception to this kind of brutality in the name of any religion. With all her faults, excesses and problems America could be counted upon to deal seriously with this kind of brutality especially toward children. No religious preference would keep the perpetrators of such crimes from being prosecuted and most likely jailed for life or executed.

To the Christian it is sad thing when someone turns to another religion or another God and misses the salvation that comes only from the Savior of the world. Yet, no where in scripture are they called upon to execute any form of summary judgment against those who choose not to believe. Jesus Christ may have been many things but he is never any less than civilized, perhaps we could say he is a gentleman.

The constitution of the United States could also be said to be a gentleman if it had human attributes. It provides the security to believe the dictates of our conscience without fear of tyranny.

Most of the presidents in our history have been protestant and in the last twenty five years Protestants have met and surpassed the number of practicing Catholics in America. It would be hard to imagine the absurdity of making Protestantism America’s state religion. We would then be very busy prosecuting Catholics and those in other religions. We can only thank God that something this absurd has never been found appealing to even the most confused factions of our body politic.

By Rev. Bresciani who is the author of two Christian books and columnist at several political news sites online and publishes commentaries at Articlecube.com.

HOA Recall Election Escalates

The Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) recall election taking place on Monday November 13th is starting to get heated. There has been much discussion amongst residents and delegates within the HOA regarding the true motivations surrounding the recall.A resident at the Diamond Head sub-association reported receiving a phone call threatening to “smash” in their head. The caller believed that the resident has been responsible for distributing information regarding David Harvey and his involvement in the recall petition.

Much more to come as this story continues to develop.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Antonovich Honored With NAACP’S Justice Award

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The Altadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has chosen Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich as the 2006 recipient of its “Justice Award.” Dr. Sandra Thomas, State Director of the NAACP, presented the award at the Freedom Scholarships and Awards Luncheon on September 10th in Pasadena. The theme of the luncheon was “Conscience of a Nation,” the same theme of this year’s NAACP 96th Annual Convention held at the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee from July 9 through 15, featuring Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Cruz on Personal Responsibility

NOTE: New site can be found at www.WestRanchBeacon.com

I originally intended to write about politics, given the upcoming November election, but given the last several weeks, I started thinking about society and each individual's role in it. More importantly two separate crimes committed against children made my blood boil, not just as a member of society, but as a Father of two small children. I hope both criminals are reserved a special place in hell for their crimes.

As many of you might recall, a shooter in the Baldwin Village area of south Los Angeles ran up to a family, who just returned from McDonalds. The shooter shot the father, who he mistakenly thought was a gang member, but much worse, after shooting him, the shooters turned his weapon toward the victims 3-year-old daughter and shoot her point-blank in the chest! The father survived the attack and the daughter was killed instantly. Through a joint task force between the LAPD and the FBI, the accused was arrested in the San Bernardino area.

I cannot recall prior to this gang-related shooting in which a toddler was an intended victim. This begs the question as to why shoot a little girl? Hopefully during the trial, this question and many more will be answered. Will the shooter take responsibility for his actions? My guess is that he will blame society for his problems or his upbringing, which in turned caused his actions. In other words, he will blame everyone else except himself for the death of the little girl.

In Pennsylvania, a man walked into a school and shoots 11 girls. Five of the 11 girls were killed. After shooting his victims, the shooter took his own life. According to a recent Newsweek article, the first girl to be killed was the oldest one in class. She was just 13 years old. She informed the shooter, that he could kill her first. She did this in the hope by sacrificing her life, that the others would be safe. After the killer shot her, the second oldest, who was only 12 stood up and made the same offer. The 12-year-old was killed as well. I deeply admire that through their convictions and faith, both girls were given the strength too stand-up to the shooter. I am in awe of the Amish people who have reached out to the shooter's family. The Amish community was almost given one million dollars from people across our country. In addition, to providing for the victims' families, they also made sure that the shooter's children were also provided for. The killer left several notes and blamed an event from 20 years ago for his actions that took six innocent lives.

It appears to me more and more, that people do not accept responsibility for their actions, there is always some excuse or justification. Congressman Ney from Ohio, who pled guilty to a felony, which originated from the Abramhoff scandal, is still serving in the House of Representatives. Former Congressman Foley checked himself in an Alcoholic Rehab, better yet how about the famous Twinkie defense. Back in the 1970s, a defendant in the San Francisco area was found not guilty, because he ate too many Twinkies which caused his sugar level to increase and made him not responsible for his actions.

As members of society, we need to take responsibility for our actions. If you hit a parked car and no one was around, would you leave a note? If you witnessed a car accident, would you pull over to see if anyone needed help or would you offer to be an eyewitness?

There are numerous types of responsibility. Such as our responsibility to our parents, children, siblings, employers and employees, just to name a few.

After God blessed my Wife and me with two children, we not only became responsible for their well being, but also raising them to interact with society and to prepare them for adult life. This does not mean that they don't get upset or angry, they do. The bigger question is how do they deal with their anger. Is it okay to get angry? Absolutely, people are complex and have wide range of emotions. But its not how you are feeling any given day, but rather how you react to your emotions.

I teach my children everyday to be respectful of other people and to treat people the way you want to be treated. The way I do this is by trying to set an example for my children, by being respectful of others and treating people the way I want to be treated.

Michael Cruz

Monday, October 16, 2006

West Ranch Beacon Transforms to New Site

NOTE: New site can be found at www.WestRanchBeacon.com

When I first started the blog in November of 2005 it was truly on a whim because I felt the local paper was and is doing a terrible job in covering the West Ranch communities. It was a surprisingly simple process to set up the original blog and I immediately posted some of my previous writings.

It quickly became a place that I could post some of my thoughts on the various issues that concerned me and might be of interest to others. The blog was also a way to post news and meeting announcements that were not being covered or posted elsewhere. The existence of this blog site starting spreading by word of mouth and online; which, by the way, is known as “viral marketing”.

The West Ranch Beacon has grown beyond any expectations that I had last year. In fact, I had no expectations except that I now had a place to vent whether anyone cared or not. As it has turned out, a lot of people apparently do care and hence the thousands of hits the site has been receiving monthly.

New technology is changing the way we get information in our lives. I think if one looks at what has gone on in the music industry you can see how technology is reshaping the way an industry functions. The rulebooks are being completely rewritten.

This is what is happening with the newspaper medium. More and more people are getting their information, whether local, national or world, on-line. The industry is in the throws of figuring out how to change and evolve with all the innovations cropping up daily. Just look at the LA Times and its parent company the Tribune making recent news. Many papers are being forced to reduce staff because of declining circulation and advertising revenue. We are in the beginning stages of a consolidation that will forever change the newspaper industry as we know it.

It is quite interesting to receive phone calls weekly from print reporters asking about posting on our site. It is also frustrating to see the local papers taking story ideas off of our site and not crediting us for them. This is happening at an increasing rate and I have the email evidence to back it up!

The next iteration of the West Ranch Beacon is located at www.westranchbeacon.com . We have gone from a blog to a website so you may want to book mark the new address. You can click through on the headline above and once you do take note of the many new features and links the site has to offer.

Based on all the feed back that I received personally and through various contacts it was clear that our readers wanted to have a way to easily communicate their thoughts and comments to us. We have listened and added a comments feature and an email address for easier communication.

This two-way communication will be one that is managed. I’ll happily post comments that disagree with something that I or another columnist has written on a topic as long as the comments are written in a factual, well thought out and professional way.

There is a bunch of links listed on the right side and we are happy to add more. Just drop us a note and if the link is relevant to our readership we’ll post it. We are very much interested in shaping this website based on your suggestions and recommendations.

One thing for sure, I will keep posting information and commentary on this site whether people care or not and if the local paper actual starts to improve (doubtful) or not. Simply put, I am doing this because I think that there is a need and because I care about our community. I am beholden to no one; I only want to see our community as a whole be informed and determine its own destination. The truth is that that scares the heck out of an awful lot of people in the Santa Clarita Valley!

Dave Bossert

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Indecent Exposure Arrest on The Old Road

Sheriff's Deputies on the day shift logged an arrest for indecent exposure on The Old Road Friday. Jerry Hattox, a 45 year old white male, was arrested without incident near the intersection of The Old Road and Pico Canyon. Hattox was charged with indecent exposure after being observed by three witnesses. The witnesses are employees of the newly opened La Quinta Inn hotel on The Old Road.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Air America Radio files for Chapter 11

Air America Radio, the liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a network official told The Associated Press. The network had denied rumors just a month ago that it would file for bankruptcy protection.

It appears that nobody is interested in listening to whiners all day! Click on the headline for the entire story.

In the Immigration Debate, Children Deserve Better

By Kathleen A. Moccio (NewsUSA) - Immigration has moved to the forefront of national debate. Sharp divisions have emerged on the subject as Congress deals with various pieces of legislation directly or indirectly related to immigration. Yet given the immense coverage and expansive debate, the one aspect of the immigration issue that is often overlooked is what happens to the children.

Every day, unaccompanied immigrant children enter the United States. America for them still represents the land of opportunity - sometimes it is economic opportunity, sometimes it is the opportunity for true safety, and often it is both.

Many young ones travel here to escape abusive or other unsafe conditions. They weather the harshest elements to get here. Sometimes they fall victim to predatory traffickers who victimize and exploit them. And they go through all of this with a traumatic sense of separation from home and family.

When they arrive, the children have no way of knowing what lies ahead for them, but they have hope - hope that the place they have come to is far better than the place they have come from.

Unfortunately, these hopes are not fulfilled for many of the unaccompanied children who enter the U.S. More than one-third of the youth, once detained, are held in the same detention centers that house juvenile criminals and likewise are treated as criminals.

Yet some federal agencies responsible for the children's care neglect to keep current records or share information on these unaccompanied immigrant children, who are trying to navigate through court proceedings without sufficient guidance or representation.

For too many, the detention period is indefinite. Others eventually are linked with counsel or placed in foster care, although the conditions are not always sensitive to the child's special circumstances.

The government needs to ensure that the children's best interests are considered from the very first point of contact. Unaccompanied immigrant children deserve to be treated with dignity, and must have their basic human rights respected.

This is yet another reason why Congress and the administration need to work out a comprehensive immigration reform. Piecemeal policies do not work. In the past, these attempts that mainly focus on enforcement measures have failed to resolve the underlying issues that continue to drive immigration, failed to benefit either side of the fence, and most importantly they failed to create better conditions for the children who still arrive with the hope of knowing the American Dream.

Kathleen A. Moccio is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and an advocate for immigrant and refugee children. She recruits volunteers and develops training for the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, a co-venture between AILA and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

SCVTalk.com- Annexation or Incorporation: Why Should We Care?

Over at SCVTalk.com there is a good post by Chris Austin with her opinions on the question of annexation or incorporation. It is a good read and presents an argument for annexation. However, there are a number of issues that Chris has over looked. Click on the headline above to link to Chris's full article.

For instance, she claims that the unincorporated residents are putting a "strain on the city" services. Actually the opposite is true; the residents are spending millions annually within the city limits which is contributing to the sales tax revenue for the city. Most notably are all the automobiles, many high margin luxury vehicles, being sold at the Valencia Auto Mall to residents of the unincorporated areas.

This is the reason why the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Auto Dealers were opposed to any duel park fee structure at city parks. Also, it should be noted that the City can only charge the duel fee at some city parks. Any park that was taken over from the County by the City when it was formed can not use a duel fee system. Further, any City park that used Prop "A" money is also prohibited from charging higher fees to non-city residents.

City Councilman Frank Ferry pushed hard to have the duel fee system proposal passed as a way to punish the unincorporated areas, notable the west side, for not annexing to date. His bulling tactics have done a lot of damage to relations for residents both in and out of the City.

Let's face it; the residents of the unincorporated areas around the City of Santa Clarita have contributed enormously to the well being of the city's coffers with millions in tax revenue. The argument that Chris Austin lays out has some good points but misses some of the bigger picture.

Exclusive: Ranch HOA Candidate Profiles, Part V

Over the past week we made an effort to keep the community informed about the upcoming HOA recall election/ annual meeting of delegates and we have been running a profile on each of the candidates that are seeking a board seat. Today we present the final two candidates that are running for the Stevenson Ranch Community Association board.

Jeff Stevenson’s main goal is to see a better association. He has served for sixteen years as a member of the association board. During that time Jeff has been an incredible volunteer in the community. There are frequent examples of his selfless and energetic support of the community especially during times of crisis. Whether it has been a fire, earthquake, or some other natural disaster Jeff has always been there to lend a hand.

Jeff has been a part of a number of Civic organizations and has participated in just about every community event over the past decade. He has helped out on the July 4th show every year since its inception.

Don Whaley would like to serve the best interests of all members of the community association. He would like to keep an open mind on all issues that come before the Board of Directors and to keep a sound fiscal policy for the Association.

His experience includes being a member of the Finance Committee for seven years. He has served as a member of the Security Committee and is currently Chairman of that committee. Don has attended at least 90% of the Board meetings for the past 10 years.

Mr. Whaley has been with the Civic Committee for eight years and the Civic Association for three years. He has served as the Treasurer of the Civic Association for the past two years. Don also served for three years on the Stevenson Ranch Town Council (now the West Ranch Town Council) and was a founding member of the Park Committee.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

HOA Recall Part III: Harvey on the War Path

It appears that David Harvey, one of the co-signers of the HOA recall petition, is keeping very busy calling HOA delegates in Stevenson Ranch. According to several delegates; Mr. Harvey has been “pushing his own agenda” against one of the incumbent Stevenson Ranch Community Association Board members. All of the statements appear to be so baseless that several attorneys are being consulted as this is not the first time Mr. Harvey has engaged in such conduct.

David Harvey seems to have taken a similar tact three years ago and many delegates complained vigorously to the master association Board. As a result a policy was instituted to protect delegates from this type of harassment in the future. It appears Board candidate Keith Pritzker may have shared a delegate list with David in an attempt to possibly slander and negatively influence the election and recall.

In previous articles posted on this site, we noted that Mr. Harvey’s apparent problems have arisen from an incident with Sky Security, the private security company that patrols Stevenson Ranch, which occurred earlier this year. We have also recently found out that there were similar incidents with the two previous association contracted security companies involving David Harvey.

The West Ranch Beacon has confirmed that Harvey’s attempts to have the Security Officer fired failed and that an official warning letter was placed in his file with the master association. This action by the HOA board seems to have motivated Mr. Harvey recent actions.

Mr. Harvey (who is treasurer at Diamondhead a sub-association in Stevenson Ranch) apparently sent a memo out to all the Diamondhead residents stating Sky Security is being replaced with the Copper Eagle security company. In fact the owners were told not to call Sky Security. This action appears to be ill-conceived since Sky Security is under contract to the Stevenson Ranch Community Association, the master HOA and the Diamond Head residents pay for their services. It appears that the residents of Diamondhead, who seem to have been excluded from voting on a new security company, are now paying for two security companies and may not even know it.

Further aggravating the situation is that Mr. Harvey, as the Diamondhead treasurer, has apparently refused to turn over the sub-association financial records. This has prompted some residents to raise questions of possible financial improprieties. A case in point; owners have complained that the Diamond Head Board holds it meetings in the morning at IHOP when many owners are at work which prevents them from attending. In fact David Harvey seems to have had an attorney at a recent hearing to represent him and it is the same attorney that represents the Diamond Head Homeowners Association. This gives the owners concerns raising the question, who paid for the attorney?

That coupled with Keith Pritsker who has been accused of costing the master association thousands in legal fees and contributing to additional master association financial problems could prove to be “disastrous to the community” said one resident.

Canyon Advisory to Discuss Measure “M”

On Wednesday, October 18, 2006, Dr. Dianne Van Hook- Superintendent-President of the
College of the Canyons, will be attending the Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting to discuss the College of the Canyons- Canyon Country Campus. In addition, Ms. Rita Garasi, Campaign Chair for the Yes on "M" committee, will be discussing Measure M.

There is no cost for the event and the public is invited to attend.

The meeting will take place at 7:00 pm at the Sports Complex Center located
at 20850 Center Pointe Parkway in the George Carvalho Banquet Room.

For further information, please contact Al Ferdman at 661.713.9344 or via e-mail at ferdmana@dslextreme.com.

Exclusive: Ranch HOA Candidate Profiles, Part IV

Eric Rosenberg brings ten years of fiscal management experience to his candidacy, promising to act as an assertive voice for all homeowners who demand accountability for higher assessments, slow action on important community issues, and over-the-top enforcement of the more arcane sections of our CC&Rs while obvious, gross negligence goes seemingly unpunished. While applauding all candidates who run on the standard platform of "improving the quality of life and our property values," Mr. Rosenberg believes his unique skills, comprehensive experience, and ability to build consensus on tough issues will enable him to give homeowners what they demand: a safe, clean, debt-free community.

After attending the Master Homeowner's Association Board and Town Council meetings regularly for the past four years, Eric decided that it was time for him to give back to the community by helping to curtail ballooning HOA costs; create plans to alleviate long-gestating problems (such as iron fence maintenance, fountain disrepair, overlooked landscaping issues, increases in vandalism, and general community safety issues); and offer measured, non-partisan solutions to the issues that currently divide our Board so severely.

Mr. Rosenberg would consider his primary job on the HOA Board to be representing the desires and needs of all homeowners and the community's fiscal health. He does not believe candidates should run for personal gain or to resolve power struggles. Rather, an elected Director should work hard for transparency, accountability, and responsibility to his constituents. Since the assessment money the HOA Board spends is yours and the families' you represent, Eric believes that it is absolutely imperative that the Board's Directors do their best to spend it wisely, responsibly, and fairly.

Among other contributions, the HOA Board nominated Eric in early 2005 to assist the Newsletter Committee chair in revamping The Ranch Newsletter's look, layout, and grammar. In the coming months, Mr. Rosenberg plans to add a Letter to the Editor section; concise, regular reports on all HOA Board meetings and decisions; and more regular reports from Euclid Management on how they're spending your assessments.

Mr. Rosenberg thanks Betty Griffin, Paul Ash, Dave Bossert, Lynette Findlay, and Walter Hall for their endorsements. Eric hopes that the credibility their support brings, plus his experience and enthusiasm, will earn him your endorsement, your trust, and your vote.

Dave Siemienski would like to represent all Homeowners views for the mutual benefit of the community. He would like to ensure complete representation of all points of view and thorough research before any decisions are made.

Mr. Siemienski has a keen understanding of community issues and a problem-solving background from city government and private business. Communication is his specialty, and he pledges to promote a better way of keeping all residents informed on key issues.

His experience includes being the City of El Segundo liaison for the Park Vista Senior Housing complex, President of Reach Out Against Drugs (R.O.A.D.) a non-profit corporation and a Youth Counsel Member of the Glendale Youth Authority 1998-2000.

Dave’s Civic activities include being a charter member of the National Advisory Board for Cold Stone Creamery, Inc., past President (1987) of the Teamsters Union, El Segundo, and he was awarded Citizen of the Year 1992 by the Lions Club, El Segundo.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fish Wrap Broiled on One Side

For years there have been complaints around town that the local paper, The Signal, regularly gets facts and quotes wrong. There have also been accusations that the paper does not allow for both sides of an argument to be heard or that it is heavily biased to the one side they favor.

That seems to be confirmed once again with the lopsided coverage of the Stevenson Ranch recall election. The first story on the recall that was run in the Fish Wrap was so off that mark that we here at the Beacon viewed it as fiction. With subsequent stories appearing over the last several weeks there is no doubt that the Signal is heavily biased to supporting Mr. Pritsker and his views.

It is no wonder, The Signal has not kept pace with our ever changing valley. The Santa Clarita valley, with a population of more than 250,000 residents, has doubled in size over the past decade yet The Signal has an anemic subscriber base of around 13,000 according to knowledgeable sources. That would be roughly 5% of the valley population. Granted, they appear to be printing around 25,000 copies, still only about 10%, if that. Presumably the addition 12,000 copies are being used to house break dogs and line bird cages!

Various insiders and former employees have said that the circulation for The Signal has actually decreased as a percentage of the population over the past 25 years. That I find sad because a local newspaper should be continually growing and evolving with the community it serves.

A year ago I wrote a piece that was critical (no surprise) of The Signal that the papers editorial staff refused to print (shocking, I know!) and the substance of it still rings true. Here is a portion of that commentary:

“The Signal has not kept up with changes and growth here in the Santa Clarita Valley. It is not representing the entire valley but rather a smaller and, let’s face it, bygone version of this valley. Plain and simple, The Signal has not grown in unison with the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley.
It has spotlighted the fact that The Signal is basically on the slippery slope of irrelevance headed towards being nothing but an advertising circular, neither taken seriously nor purchased for any other reason than coupon clipping and yard sale notices.

The Signal's readership has been declining in comparison to the tremendous growth that the valley experienced. In fact, there are very few Signal readers in the west side communities in comparison to the population. The truth is that The Signal has covered very little on the west side, which in turn has done nothing long term to build a readership.

Yes, a newspaper is about building a readership through the dissemination of information pertinent to those readers and is supported by advertising. It’s 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.

There was a glimmer of hope at The Signal when the paper got a new publisher and the hope that there would be some major changes. Sadly though, there have not been any major changes that would correct The Signal’s current course and bring the paper towards credibility and relevance. Instead, several key reporters and staffers have left the paper further weakening the integrity of The Signal. That says it all!”

That piece still applies today as it did last year. Since then, I started this blog The West Ranch Beacon primarily because our local paper has failed to keep step with the diversity of our valley and appears, from time to time, to be a tool for the city. This site has grown beyond any expectations that I had last year. In fact, I had no expectations except that I would have a place to vent whether anyone cared or not. As it has turned out, a lot of people apparently do care and hence the thousands of hits the site has been receiving monthly.

Change is important to the vitality of any individual and/or organization. As a side note, I would point out that even this blog will be going through some changes based on the feedback, both positive and negative, that we have received from our readers. Constantly striving to improve and better oneself is a basic human trait. That probably explains why the primates running the local Fish Wrap have not been able to evolve!

Dave Bossert

Exclusive: Ranch HOA Candidate Profiles, Part III

Zack Noory has the goal to uphold the CC&R’s and ensure fairness when dealing with all members of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association. He has had some experience having served two years on the Board of Directors of the Windwood HOA, a senior association.

Zack had been a Manager and Director of Business Development for the Action Property Management Company for five years. He did not list any other community or civic activities or involvement.

Keith Pritsker would like to improve the quality of life of association residents, maintain property values and “contain association expenses”. He has been a long-time resident and community activist in the support of the apparent best interests of the residents.

Pritsker has served as the past Treasurer of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association and was a past President and Board Member of The Arts Community Association. He also served as a past President of the Stevenson Ranch Town Council, now called the West Ranch Town Council, and was a chair of the Land Use Committee.

More From Jack: Diplomacy 101

After hearing all the rhetoric the past few days from all over the political spectrum on why it is so vital to have direct, one on one talks with North Korea, I feel that we all may need a little refresher in diplomacy 101. Or for some of you, a first time lesson in international diplomacy.

When, in the 1990's we had direct, one on one talks with North Korea regarding their nuclear ambitions, we came to an agreement. We provide them with energy and food needs and they halt enrichment of uranium. It was a noble attempt and surely it was worthy of trying by the Clinton administration. No one can fault them for this attempt. Even though it obviously had failed. ANYTHING was bound to fail at that point with a crazy rogue regime like the North.

It seems to had worked initially, until about the year 2000, when the North revealed to the world that they had in fact not halted their enrichment program, but instead took it underground and out of the public eye and the eyes of the international Nuclear inspectors. They were able to have someone else provide them with food and fuel ( USA ) so they where then able to devote more of their budget to the clandestine nuclear program.

In the end, when the world found out about the North's program there was a collective sigh, sans the USA, which was concerned and worried. See, when the North cheated, they cheated on the hated USA, and the rest of the world probably thought that that was pretty funny. However, no country, especially China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, wants a nuclear armed crazy regime as their neighbor. So, they laughed, but they were none the less very very worried.

The New US Administration knew exactly what to do. If you go back to direct talks, then you go back to the same ole same ole. We give them stuff, they cheat and the world laughs again. So, this time the Bush administration decided to put the ball in the hands of the "Friends" of Li'l Kim and the North Koreans. This time, if they cheated or lied their friends would be ticked off. See, they would be cheating on their friends, not the hated USA. The friends that support them and want to get along with them.

So, they cheated and lied and back stabbed their friends China and Russia. Now their friends are mad as hell at them and they are now concerned for THEIR own safety. Even they cant control the crazy Li'l Kim. So now, all their own nuclear arsenals are aimed at their friend, the North Koreans. Bet Li'l Kim never thought about that eventuality eh? Once you get a nuclear bomb you end up on all the other nuclear states target map FAST!

So, after the Nuclear test the other day, what's the BIG message out of the North Koreans? They want direct, one on one talks with the USA and NO ONE ELSE. Why? Because they want to be able to cheat and lie once an agreement has been signed and then have the world laugh at the USA once again when they disregard the agreement. The world would blame the USA not the North Koreans. That's what they want. They cheat and lie and we get the blame. Kinda like the September 11 attacks. Terrorists hijack planes and fly them into buildings and kills thousands and the goofy's in the world blame the US Government. They blame Clinton or Bush or whomever. Not the people that did it.

We WONT go for that again with the North. And all you people out there who are using this GLOBAL problem as an example of why we need to have direct, one on one talks with them and why we need to get George Bush or whomever out of office are just plain self serving and ignorant and obviously not very well heeled or informed.

Its not about politics at home, its about doing the right diplomatic thing internationally for the safety and well being of the whole world, not just your desire to elect a Democrat or Republican to office in November to get even for losing or to gain control politically. For once, start thinking about the rest of the world and doing the right and smart thing and not your self!

Jack Murphy

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Exclusive: Ranch HOA Candidate Profiles, Part II

Lynette Finlay (Incumbent) feels that the Board of Directors is essential to the upkeep and improvement of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association. In order to fulfill this duty, the Board’s goals should include the protection, maintenance and enhancement of our property value. Organized, detail fiscal management and consistent enforcement of the CC&R’s is important in managing our community.

Ms. Finlay has been a member of the Stevenson Ranch community since 1993 and has served as a community volunteer for years. She has served on several boards and was elected to the master association Board and served for five consecutive years. Lynette has served on the Security Committee since its inception in 1997 and has served on the Landscape Committee for two years in 1997 and 1998. Additionally, Lynette has served on the Finance Committee since it was founded in 2000.

Lynette is responsible for the revamp of the community news letter and chairs the Stevenson Ranch Newsletter. She has worked closely with Eric Rosenberg, a community volunteer and Board candidate, on the redesign of the newsletter format.

Lynette’s community association experience includes being a Board Member of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association since 2001 and serving as the Treasure from 2001 to present. She was the McCambridge Town Homes President and Board Member from 1984 through 2003. A Board Member of the Community Association Institute Greater Los Angeles from 1991-1997; serving as President from 1996 through 1997. Ms. Finlay was also a delegate for Greater Los Angeles- California Legislative Action Committee from 1997 to 2004. She has spoken, both locally and nationally, on various topics concerning community associations.

Her Civic activities are equally impressive. She has been on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Santa Clarita Chapter from 1999 to present and was a member of the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, Santa Clarita chapter from 1995 to 2001. She has served on the Stevenson Ranch Town Council (now the West Ranch Town Council) from 1998-2000 and was a founding member of the Stevenson Ranch Civic Association serving as a Director and Treasure from 2000 to 2001.

Walter Hall (Incumbent) would like to enforce the CC&R’s uniformly throughout Stevenson Ranch and to treat all homeowners & sub-associations equally and fairly. He would like to serve the interests of all the associations’ members.

Walter’s experience includes serving as a Board Member of the Stevenson Ranch Community Association. He is Chairman of the Fountain Committee, the Fence Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee.

Dial “M” for More Classrooms at COC

The Citizens for College of the Canyons (COC) has mailed out literature on what the Measure “M” bond initiative means to the community and to College of the Canyons. Basically, Measure “M” was placed on the upcoming November ballot for consideration by voters because the college is out of classroom space.

In 1996 COC served 6900 students; today, even with the additions and improvements of recent years, the campus struggles to provide enough classrooms for over 18,000 students. Many class sections, both night and daytime courses, are closed due to a lack of classroom space. This has resulted in reduced class offerings for students.

Over 3,100 adults applied to the college in Fall 2005, but could not enroll because of space issues. Over 2,200 more students are on wait lists for required classes each semester. COC would have to add more than 300 sections to serve these students, and there is currently no classroom space to do so.

At the same time, as the costs of higher education at colleges across the country escalate, community colleges are the colleges of first choice for the majority of people who aspire to attend college and/or update their skills so they can secure well-paying jobs. That is true of College of the Canyons, where student enrollment is up 11.5% over Fall of 2005. Over 60% of the William S. Hart Union School students attend COC at this time.

COC also has a college training partnership with over 300 local businesses which are thriving and growing. In order to continue this proud tradition of meeting the community’s needs, the college needs a “yes” vote on Measure “M this November.

You can get more information on Measure “M” at: www.citizens4M.com or click on the headline above to link to that site.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jack Attack: Um, we are not Nazi's, really!!

Last week, a prominent Democrat named Bruce something, wrote a Op Ed for the Signal in which he called President Bush and all his "henchman" today's Nazi's. He then went on to say how moderate and representative of America today's Democratic party is and that we should all vote for them in November.

Whew, I am so happy that he and his little group of unwanted's represents all of America when he stands with and affirms the views of our local Corvette owner Gary Horton, Hugo Chavez, Iran's President ( yeah, I cant spell his name ) as well as the great Leader of North Korea, Lil' Kim.

Lets get serious. This crazy grandstanding and name calling is NOT representative of the Democratic Party. This writer is actually just barely a Democrat. In fact I would be willing to bet that most Democrats would like him and his ilk to leave the party and join the party of least resistance. One where the motto is "Better Red then Dead". They can be the EMU Party. That's the bird that bury's its head in the dirt when ever danger is afoot.

The Democrats are a change'n folks. There is new leadership locally and smart, well thought-out ideas arise from the new blood. I am talking about Mr. Michael Cruz. A writer on these pages as well. Someone who doesn't call his friends and neighbors Nazi's because they happen to support a different President. Someone who respects other peoples ideas and plans. That doesn't mean Mike likes my ideas mind you. As a matter of a fact, he tells me where I am wrong quite often. But he tells me to my face ( actually the phone ), not behind the curtain of a Op Ed piece or a banner in the 4th of July Parade.

I recall walking with Mike on a very cold and rainy night, campaigning for City Council together and I brought up Iraq. I espoused my usual rah rah rah BS and how it will all turn out great and you better buy Iraqi Dinar soon while its still cheap. Mike was optimistic as well, but to a point. He pointed out that General Anthony Zini has called for more troops in the Baghdad area and that the population and situation there is ready for more sectarian violence and that unless we fill that city up with soldiers it was going to get much worse fast. Well, That was in April when he told me this.

Its now October and guess what, Mike Cruz was right. He was right because he studied the situation, listened to all sides of the argument and then came to what he thought was a sound solution based on a potential growing problem and a solution to that problem. He didn't say we were all Nazi's, he didn't say I was an idiot for supporting Bush and his team. He just said that the leadership is not looking at the big picture and is ignoring their critics when they should at least listen to them. He doesn't necessarily like Bush or other Republicans, but he doesn't think they are Nazi's. He would rather have a strong Democrat in their because he thinks a strong Democrat would fight the wars better. Not that they would not fight any wars ever.

Mike was right. Actually, in most cases he continues to be right on the issues we discuss. And it starts to make me think. If the majority of Democrats where like Mike Cruz, I have to admit, that I would possibly be a Democrat. To that point I also have to say that as a Republican there is currently only one Democrat locally I support 100% and that is Mike Cruz. A Catholic, a smart guy and one who is trying to guide his party towards normalcy locally by appealing to us all, not just to Carol and Bruce and the other 10 people who's opinions we see and read each week and just irritate us to no end.

Yes, there is a HUGE ray of hope for the Democratic Party and the rays are beaming from SCV. The future for Mike Cruz and Democrats like him is wide open. We are all looking to support local candidates who are honest, up front and mean what they say and say what they mean. But most of all, the bulk of us don't like to be preached to by unemployed rat trappers and called Nazi's. When you insult the President by calling him and his supporters Nazi's you are calling me a Nazi and frankly that is just plain dorky. No one takes a Corvette driving, sailboat tacking, golf club dress code bashing environmentalist serious so they certainly are not gonna take a commune loving, camera wearing Scotsman and his anti-American rants serious.

The future of Santa Clarita is in the hands of people like Mike Cruz and Cameron Smyth. You should not care what party either of them belong to because it doesn't matter. They are both good and honest men who want to succeed in political life and do what's right for our Valley.

Support Cameron in November with your votes and when the time comes support Mike Cruz when its his turn. Dont listen to the BS from the left or the right. These are two good men who care about our valley and the direction we go in the next 10 plus years!!!!!


Exclusive: Ranch HOA Candidate Profiles, Part I

In an effort to keep the community informed about the upcoming HOA recall election and the annual meeting of delegates we will be running a profile on each of the candidates. These profiles will be presented in alphabetical order and will be featured in five parts over the next week.

Deborah Cabaza has lived in the Stevenson Ranch community for seventeen years and has seen many changes during that time. Her main goals and objectives for the Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) board of directors is to maintain and improve the quality of life our community.

She believes that board members have a duty to the community they serve and should not pursue their own agendas to the detriment of the community. Deborah is open to the ideas of the members on how better the association can serve and assist the community.

Ms. Cabaza has been a volunteer at the Diamond Head Condo complex for many years. She has served as a board member of that association and has attended all the master association annual meetings for the last four years as well as many regular meetings. Deborah is familiar with many of the issues that are facing our community today.

Aside from her experience serving on a sub-association board, Deborah has volunteered her time with various organizations including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the PTA. She also served as a Union Steward at Providence Medical Center.

Kristin Draper is a wife, mother and homeowner who wants to insure that the association spends wisely, communicates clearly with homeowners and keeps our community safe, clean and up to date so that property values continue to grow. She would like to work with the County, the Euclid Property Management and the homeowners to achieve these goals.

Her experience has come from having been a Western Regional Sales Manager for a six billion dollar company prior to having children. She brings to the table an understanding of how business works; contract negotiating skills and a working knowledge of budgets.

Aside from those attributes, Kristin has been a volunteer and member of Child Help USA, and a Board Member of the Parents Association at the local school. She also has been the Chairperson the last two years for one of the largest school fundraisers to date.

Update: Stevenson Ranch HOA Issues Recall Information

The Stevenson Ranch Community Association (HOA) has announced that the associations’ annual meeting has been combined with the recall meeting as is scheduled for Monday, November 13, 2006. The meeting will be held at 6:00 PM at the IHOP located at 24737 Pico Canyon Road in Stevenson Ranch.

The first order of business at the November 13th meeting will be dealing with the recall of the entire HOA Board. According to the documentation, if the recall vote does not pass, the following homeowners have placed their names in candidacy for the three available Board seats: Deborah Cabaza, Kristin Draper, Zack Noory, Keith Pritsker, Eric Rosenberg, Dave Siemienski, Jeff Stevenson (incumbent) and Don Whaley.

In the event that the recall vote does pass then all five of the Board seats will be up for election and the following two incumbent candidates will be added to the ballot: Lynette Finlay and Walter Hall.

The candidates appear to have varied degrees of experience with the community from very little involvement to a wide depth and breath of knowledge of the community association. The West Ranch Beacon will be profiling many of the candidates, in alphabetical order, leading up to the election in November.

Austin's Power Flames Out into a Whine on SCVTalk.com

There is a new post over at SCVtalk.com from Chris Austin. The first portion of her post primarily deals with Carl Boyer¹s talk at the Wednesday October 4th West Ranch Town Council meeting. It is well written and appears to be well researched. If you click on the headline it will link you to her full piece.

The second part of her post is another personal attack on me! She is upset that I mentioned on this blog that she had shown up at the West Ranch Town Council meeting but bolted at the end of the meeting without introducing herself to me. She apparently was afraid of a “confrontation” in front of my “peers”.

Chris claims that I am attacking her personally in various pieces that I have posted. A number of those posts never even mention her name. For example, she claims that I have called her a “snarky idiot” which I don’t believe I ever linked her name to. But hey if she feels as though the shoe fits by all means she can wear it.

The fact is that there are a number of people that I have referred to as “communists”, “knuckle-draggers”, “monkeys”, “snarky idiots”, “morons”, “jack-asses”, and a bunch of other equally colorful adjectives. I like those names, there fun and they make people smile when they say them or read them.

Unfortunately, Chris seems to think that her opinions about the west side matter even though she doesn’t live in the West Ranch communities. Well, to me, they really don’t matter because Chris lives in Canyon Country. Now, that may sound harsh and I risk being called an “elitist” again but there is a level of truth to it.

If I were to start writing about what I thought should be done in Canyon Country to improve life for its residents then all hell would break loose. I would have a lot of nerve making suggestions on ways to improve aspects of that part of the valley since I don’t live there. Well guess what, Chris needs to tone done her rhetoric on what the west side should or should not be doing. She neither lives her nor attends the meetings on a regular basis.

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but they need to use their heads when stepping into discussions. If you don’t live in our community and want to start attaching me, and yes you started attacking me, then don’t start crying when I hand it back to you. If you want to label me an “elitist” then don’t complain when you’re referred to as a “communist”.

Chris is clearly an intelligent individual so maybe it is time that she focuses her energies on improving her own community and contributing in a positive way. It is always so transparent to see someone constantly looking at what the next person has instead of focusing on what they have and how they can contribute.

I’ve seen this over and over again where people are constantly focused on trying to get everything the next person has; it all has to be equal in their minds. Instead, how about being happy if someone has gotten rewarded for his or her hard work and maybe thinking that if you work hard you might improve your lot in life.
No, that is not how the liberal mind works. Those types are only interested in getting every bit that the next person has without actually paying their dues. This explains why Chris couldn’t stand by and let the West Ranch community “negotiate” or raise questions about annexation. If her community didn’t do that than by golly no one will!

Chris bolted from the West Ranch Town Council meeting last week because she couldn’t look me in the face. She could not come up and introduce herself to me because she didn’t possess the confidence in what she had been writing about me to look me in the eye.

She wants to debate me on some of these issues “in a responsive forum”. But here’s the thing, I really don’t want to have a debate with someone who does not live in the community in which we are discussing. It is that simple, any issue that involves the West Ranch communities is one that the residents of those neighborhoods that make up the West Ranch area should weigh in on, not someone who lives elsewhere and has already decided “that what they have I have to have too”. She can weigh in when her City annouces that they are putting something on the ballot and wants the City residents to exspress an opinion and vote on it.

Sure, Chris is entitled to her opinion; it’s her first amendment right. She can say anything she wants but has to realize that when she starts to speak for a community she doesn’t live in then she opens herself up to be criticized. Telling someone to “just shut up” is another telltale sign of a screaming liberal; a person who does not want to let the other side express their views because they may be different or, God forbid, they may be right.

I have plenty of tolerance and respect for people; it’s just that I reflect back what I receive. If Chris wants to paint me with a brush of misconceptions and lies she shouldn’t get upset when I call her on it. Chris’s opinion of me is one that is misguided, ignorant, “insulting” and “offensive”. But hey, by all means she can keep rambling on as it is very entertaining watching her get her panties in a bunch over a community she doesn’t live in!

Dave Bossert
Exposing the Whiners

Friday, October 06, 2006

SCVTalk Posts Review of Boyer Talk and Council Meeting

It’s always nice to see somebody from outside the West Ranch area attend one of our community meetings. It’s even better to see that person post a review of the meeting like Jeff has done over at SCVTalk.com. Thank you Jeff!

Jeff’s article is a well written reflection of primarily Carl Boyer’s talk at the Wednesday night West Ranch Town Council meeting. The piece did cover some other items on the agenda briefly such as the new office buildings being proposed at Magic Mountain Parkway and the vacant council seat. It is the type of unbiased, accurate writing I wish there was more of in our local media. Then again, the local blogosphere IS becoming our valleys local media!

Click on the headline above to read Jeff’s entire article at www.SCVTalk.com

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Update: Naked Woman in Jake K Park

As a follow up to a piece we published early last week regarding the naked woman at Jake K. Park in Stevenson Ranch. According to the Sheriff’s Department a call came into the Sheriff station that an apparent homeless woman was changing her clothes in the park in view of the Pico Canyon Elementary School on Thursday, October 19th.

When deputies arrived, the woman was fully clothed and walking away from the park. She was cooperative with the deputies and said she was heading toward the Social Security office. There was no cause at that time to warrant an arrest.

While it is disturbing to know that she took all her clothes off in the park, it is not something that deputies could have arrested her for since they did not witness it. There would have had to be a citizen’s arrest made for indecent exposure. That, however, won’t have been in the spirit of that law and the charge would not have held.

Sun CEO Wants to Blog Freely

The LA Times has an interesting article from Bloomberg News repoting that Sun's CEO has asked the SEC to tweak disclosure rules so he can break company news in his online diary. Sun Microsystems Inc. Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz has asked U.S. regulators to relax corporate disclosure rules so he can announce company news on his personal blog.

"If we have material news to disclose, we have to hold an anachronistic telephone conference call or issue an equivalently anachronistic press release," Schwartz wrote in his online diary Monday. "I would argue that none of those routes are as accessible to the general public as a blog, or Sun's website."

You can click on the headline above to read the entire story at the LA Times website.

Exclusive: Fleming, O’Connell Submit for Vacant Council Seat

It was announced last night that Chuck O’Connell, West Ranch Town Council liaison to Sunset Point, and Don Fleming, a resident of Westridge Estates, have submitted applications for the vacant council seat. Both gentlemen were present at last night’s west Ranch Town Council meeting.

With Chuck and Don throwing their hats into the ring for the seat; that brings a total of three candidates that are vying for the vacant council seat. The third candidate is Gary Morgan who had run for a West Ranch Town Council seat in the July election and lost.

Morgan is being automatically considered for the seat and did not have to re-submit an application. Gary was not present last night and is known to have attended only one West Ranch Town Council meeting in the past several years.

Both Fleming and O’Connell had an opportunity to say a few words about their candidacy for the council. Don Fleming spoke first and expressed his desire to see that we continue to preserve the safe lifestyle that the West Ranch area enjoys. He was passionate in wanting to keep a watchful eye on the attributes that make our communities on the west side a great place to live.

Chuck O’Connell expressed similar views and elaborated on his involvement with the West Ranch Town Council. As the Sunset Point liaison to the council, Chuck spoke about his accomplishments working with the county in getting the abandoned Guy Guys store cleaned up. He also pointed out the work that he has done on getting a much needed traffic light on The Old Road and dealing with the big rig parking problem on Pico Canyon. Chuck reported that the county traffic studies he initiated are almost complete and will result in a speed limit reduction along Pico Canyon which will make that part of the community safer.

The West Ranch Town Council will discuss all the candidates at the November 1st council meeting at which time there will be a call for nominations. The sitting council members will vote on those candidates that garner a nomination by a council member. Once a winner is announced that person will be sworn in by Bob Haueter, Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

SCVTalk.com Attends West Ranch Council Meeting

Jeff who runs the SCVTalk.com blog site turned up last night in Southern Oaks to attend the West Ranch Town Council meeting. He came up and introduced himself to me after the meeting and we had a chance to speak for a few moments.

I asked him if the woman that was sitting next to him was Chris Austin and it was. She bolted once the meeting ended which is too bad because I would have liked to have said hello to her. Although we don’t always see eye to eye on various topics it would have been nice to speak with her face to face. Maybe she is still angry at my comments about her “espousing communist doctrine”!

It is always nice to be able to put a face with a name and I was glad to at least meet Jeff. He complimented us on having a good meeting which lasted just under 90 minutes. We both agreed that community meetings, like last nights council meeting, are under covered by the local media. That is a void that the local blogosphere is filling and filling quite well!!

West Ranch Town Council Approved September '06 Minutes

West Ranch Town Council
Minutes for the Meeting Dated: September 6, 2006

A. Call to Order / Roll Call:
a. Meeting called to order at 6:30 pm by Dave Bossert
b. Present: Dave Bossert, Paul Ash, Randal Winter, James Zimmerman, Betty Griffin, Brian Toqe, Ron Mechsner
c. Absent: None

B. Approval of August Minutes
a. Approved by a vote of 6-0 with change to time of adjournment.

C. Treasurers Report
a. New balance of $2189.75.

D. County Updates
a. Fire Department - Chief Gil update on Los Padres/Angeles National Forest
i. Stephanie English introduction - Community Service Representative for fire department and community
ii. Fire is not threat to freeways at this time.
b. Parks and Recreation Update – Doug Newell
i. Katherine Ritner - Assistant Director of Northern Region
ii. Al Letner – Santa Clarita Manager of Parks
iii. Richard Rioux Park - Patriot day September 10th - 9am to 10am; Pastor Steve Staples presentation
iv. Soccer games starting Saturday – over 100 kids involved
v. Fall concert in park events – Saturday, September 16 – 6pm – 8pm
vi. October 31 - Fall Festival
vii. Turkey Toss - November 22, 3:30pm to 5:30pm
viii. Expression session – Saturday October 14 at 10am – 12pm
ix. Richard Rioux Park Tennis Court details - Katherine Ritner. Two courts at Richard Rioux park. Should take one year to complete. We have the money to put in light, but Bob Haueter asked if we should put them in – TBD at this time. Location of the courts was set back in the 1990's, but Bob Haueter was willing to look at what has been set in stone already. Conversation is to continue. Per Bob Haueter, they could find the funds if the community wanted it. Katherine will return at the next meeting with diagrams of the parks.

c. Sheriff Liason
i. Roger was not present. Cheryl provided update.
ii. Recent car burglaries in have occurred in the Hardy Neighborhood. Also burglaries in the Valencia Marketplace.
iii. Stevenson Ranch discussed traffic issues at their HOA meeting specifically where Pico Canyon median ends.
d. CHP
i. DUI arrests recently as a result of sting operation.

e. Cal Trans Update
i. Genie Bonefilio – regardingn I-5, SR-14, & SR-126.
A. I5 repairs for two more months
B. City of Santa Clarita is working on Magic Mountain Phs 2.
C. Hasley Canyon & I-5 - Roundabout project at interchange. Fall 2006 start date
D. Commerce Center Drive /SR-126 - Grade separated intersection project continues
E. Lyons Ave on/off Ramp - funding is concern. Landscape Architect needs to be involved. 405 at Roscoe is possible model for this site.
f. General County Update – Bob Haueter
i. Good Guys situation has improved
ii. Bob's responsibilities now include all the SCV.
iii. The high school district is talking to Northlake developer Suncal to request a high school be built. Concern is that golf course will not be built. Next Castaic TC meeting will include debate for school or golf course. This will affect west side high schools. It is in the interest of the West Ranch TC to be involved in this.
iv. Stephanie English is asked to attend all TC meetings.
v. Pico Canyon - Speed check just completed. 50 mph limit could be lowered. 48mph was average speed measured.
vi. No stopping signs will be installed at south side of Pico between Old Road and Stevenson Ranch Parkway. Temporary parking in front of the school will stay.
g. Regional Planning Update
i. Suzie Tan with Regional Planning introduced pending projects south of Pico Canyon.
ii. Tract 53653. Warner Ranch or Lyons Canyon. 186 units. 96 SfA and 90 Senior. Private parks sit and trails along the old road. CUP requested for area. Proposeing removal of 167 oak trees. Total oaks was unknown at this tiem. Suzie will get back to us. Sept 18 comments will tell us whether all pending issues have been resolve.d. EIR wqaas required and is going through county internal review. Public hearing prior to the
iii. Tract 50242 - 7 single family lots.
iv. Tract 52905 - Aidlin and Baker is applicant. Filed in 2002 for 37 units on 93 acres. Included one oak tree removal. EIR requried and applicant is to re-submit.
v. Tract 52796 - Also Aidlin & Baker. 202 units was prior submittal for 102 single-family detached units. Updated EIR wil be requested.
vi. TTM 61996 - Legacy - Stevenson Ranch Ph 5.
h. School Board Update
i. Presented by Steve Tanning, Mike McGrath, Mike ?, and Mark Winger
ii. Pico and Stevenson Ranch are full and frozen. Pocket development causes issues for schools
iii. Proposed school site west of TTM 50242. No infrastructure at this site at this time. No guarantees that this will work.
iv. Lyon Canyon Fee is worth 1.5MM at this time.
v. Next steps include CA Dept of Education is to look at the map.
vi. School costs 500K per year to operate - not including teachers. Cost of recent elementary school was 15MM.

E. Thank you to Paul Ash for his service to the town council

F. Committee Reports
a. Castaic Vision Committee position opening. Randy Winters was asked to consider sitting on this committee. Dave Bossert will email meeting information. Bob suggested an alternate be considered.
b. Election Committee - Appointment to vacant Town Council position. Application process was discussed. Interviews contemplated as well. Appointees would be required to live in the jurisdiction. Vote will take place at November meeting. Applications available at this meeting.

G. Proposal for possible guest speakers – potential guests to be discussed.
a. Carl Boyer will be speaking in October
b. November- Scott Campbell, Attorney to speak on the Brown Act
c. December- Larry Mankin/ Chris Fall, SCV Chamber of Commerce

H. Town Hall meeting for West Ranch area proposed by Dave Bossert to Bob Haueter.
a. The West Ranch Town Council would like to reach out to the other local town councils.
b. General forum and Q&A format will be appropriate.
c. Planning is still 5 to 6 months out – Spring-time potentially

I. Security

J. Government Relations
a. Homeless Shelter Task Force. 6 properties meet requirements now. Owner ship is issue. Towsley Canyon site is only site at this time possibly in the County. Sept 27 is next meeting.
b. Temporary site is needed at this time. City of Santa Clarita would like to share the burden with the whole valley. Six sites are in the City of Santa Clarita at this time. Towsley Canyon site is city land surrounded by County. Towsley site lends itself to temporary homeless shelter. Site for this year is set. Facility is closed during the days. Sheriff Dept only reported 6 related calls, and the community was not significantly impacted.
c. TPC Meeting with Lennar and Westridge HOA
i. Lennar made offer for maintenance responsibility. Westridge HOA to review at next meeting.

K. Community Liasons
a. Westridge
i. HOA board still trying to reach quorum for election
b. Southern Oaks
i. None
c. Sunset Point
i. Good Guys update – County is still being resolved. County to consider legal action.

L. Meeting adjourned at 8:00pm