Sunday, April 30, 2006

More on the Manzer Threat

One of things I like about business traveling is that you get moments of alone time. It's time that I like to use to reflect on events, conversations, or just about anything. Currently I'm out of the country and am able to have one of those moments of solitude and reflection right now.
I've been thinking about this past week and the threat of violence doled out by Darryl Manzer. It certainly angered those of us who volunteer on the West Ranch Town Council. When I saw that column by Manzer, I immediately wanted to respond in writing to The Signal. A blatant threat of violence on some elected community representatives is just outrageous.
As the week progressed, several of us filed written complaints with the County Supervisors’ office. And yes, there was a Sheriff Deputy dispatched to the Signal office contrary to what some have been told. The Sheriff did review the columns content and threat. There are also several lawyers looking at this as well.
Now, the response to Darryl Manzer is being handled by Paul Ash the President of our Town Council. Unfortunately the piece Paul wrote will not appear in its entirety. He was told it was to long and it had to be edited. Then he was told that it would have to broken up over several articles. In essence, it is being watered down!
No surprise there since Darryl is a good friend of one of the staff members at the Signal! This is one of several reasons why I don't bother writing to the Signal. It is very biased. They, the managing and editorial staff, have a very high opinion of themselves which is only over shadowed by their apparent lack of journalistic integrity. They want to keep whatever arguments one sided in their favor hence the hatchet job they are happy to do on those in the community with a different view point.
More to come shortly!

Friday, April 28, 2006

CalTrans Full Closure of 14 Freeway May 7th

ROUTE 14 TO CLOSE AT ESCONDIDO CANYON

SANTA CLARITA – The California Department of Transportation will close the
Antelope Valley Freeway (Route 14) in both directions at Escondido Canyon
Road on Sunday, May 7, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Detours will be posted and traffic control will be in place.

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

Estimated to complete in spring 2008, the project will increase hillside
stability, protect the roadway and improve safety.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More on Stonecrest Annexation

If you click on the headline above it will link you to a piece by Steve Huerta regarding the potential Stonecrest annexation. There are some similarities between Stonecrest and the West Ranch Communities. For starters the City of Santa Clarita wants both and has attempted to "take" both using deceptive tactics.
As many who follow the local political scene may know, there are patterns that form in the valley. Anyone who stands up and starts to ask questions, in the spirit of getting educated or trying to understand all the facts regarding an issue, is almost immediately branded a "lackey" for some entity. The person may be called a "lackey" for the County or a "stooge" of the developer or branded a "liar". This is a consistent pattern that I have seen over and over again towards individuals who have the intellectual capacity to ask questions, sometimes tough questions.
I have talked about this before, if you start asking questions of city officials, or anyone for that matter, and they start to get agitated or angered by your questions instead of giving you a straight answer then they are not dealing with you honestly. This is what is happening to Steve Huerta! He is a resident of Stonecrest, which the City of Santa Clarita is trying to Annex, and he is asking questions.
The City wants Stonecrest because it is the gateway to the Cemex Mine. The city doesn't give hoot about that community, it is only willing to "take" it in order to get their hands on the mine. Why the mine? It certainly isn't because the city wants to stop the mine's impact on the valley. No, the city wants it for the tax revenue. Plain and simple, it's about the money!
If residents like Steve Huerta don't stand up and ask questions about the city's motives then the Stonecrest community will most assuredly be screwed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

West Ranch Town Council to Meet on May 3rd

The West Ranch Town Council is scheduled to have it's regular monthly meeting on Wednesday May 3rd at 6:30. The meeting is held at the Southern Oaks community center. On the agenda for May will be a discussion of the up coming council election and regular committee reports.
Also on the agenda, representatives from the Westridge Homeowners Association Board of Directors will be discussing opposition to the proposed privatization of the Tournament Players Club (TPC). At issue is the maintenance of the slopes surrounding the golf course and how that is impacting the HOA financially.
It should be noted as well that in light of recent threats, there will be a stronger than normal Sheriff presence at this meeting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who is Darryl Manzer? Why did he threaten the Town Council?

I don't know much about Darryl Manzer except that he use to live in Mentryville and he apparently now lives in Virginia. One scary fact is that he is former member of the military. That last bit is what I find so disturbing about this guy's blatant threat of bringing firearms to the next Town Council meeting. If you click the headline above it will link you to a page of pictures and you'll see he is someone who should not be making threatening statements of potential violence. That one with the machine gun is scary!
Some might say "come on he isn't serious" or "it's only a joke", but I would say you can't joke about firearms or bombs or any kind of potential violence these days. The world today is very different from the one most of us remember from our childhoods. It is a world that is filled with some evil individuals and groups terrorizing the law abiding and innocents. Apparently, Mr. Menzer responded to the uproar over his column by saying he was just trying to be funny, it was satire. Well, I for one don't buy that excuse. That is like the guy who was taken into custody because he was joking about a bomb on a plane. Sorry Darryl, threatening to bring firearms to a meeting with elected representatives of the community is not a joke or satire. Your buddies at The Signal should have known better as well.

News Flash: Sheriff "Raids" Signal Office!

Alright, alright, it was a catchy headline! But, in reality a Sheriff Deputy was dispatched to The Signal offices today to investigate the published threat against the West Ranch Town Council. Let's hope that the primates running that advertising circular are now looking at this as a serious matter.
The next step is to get this ridiculous "newspaper" to print a retraction and an apology. That would be the right thing for the managing and editorial staff to do, which means don't hold your breath!

Supervisor Antonovich being Urged to look into Threats

Members of the West Ranch Town Council are urging Supervisor Antonovich to look into the recent published threats against the Town Council volunteers. In today's day and age such threats must be taking seriously and all the irresponsible, threatening parties held accountable.

Council Threat Ripples through Community

The threat of firearms being brought to the next West Ranch Town Council meeting has rippled through our community with a flurry. Many residents that have seen the article written by Darryl Manzer are upset and outraged that it was published in the local "paper". The general consensus is that the it was an irresponsible and unprofessional act by the editorial staff The Signal.
One resident sent an email that sums it up: "I am outraged over this article and this totally convinces me against any annexation whatsoever!". This one article coupled with the antics of the City has done a lot of damage in a short period of time!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Signal publishes Threat against West Ranch Town Council

I realize that not many people read The Signal very much anymore. It is known that as the population of the Santa Clarita Valley has grown the readership of The Signal has actually declined.
That said, it is absolutely outrageous that The Signal would publish a column in which the author doles out a threat. If you missed it yesterday, The Signal published an article entitled "Why Would They Want Home Rule". The column was authored by Darryl Manzer and basically threatens to bring firearms to our next Town Council meeting. The exact quote from the column is as follows: ....I could gather those guys together again and get some horses to ride to your next "town council" meeting, with the same firearms".
In recent weeks a commercial airliner made an emergency landing and a passenger was taken into custody for merely mentioning a bomb on the plane; it was a threat. A school in Kansas took a posting by a student on the internet seriously enough to have him and several other students arrested because it was a threat. I view the statement above by Darryl Manzer the same way, it is a threat. In today's environment such comments can no longer be taken lightly or ignored.
So for The Signal to publish that threat is completely irresponsible on the part of the editorial and managing staff. Just when you thought that The Signal couldn't sink any lower it is clearly hitting a new low for this advertising circular that has been passing itself off for a newspaper.

The Signal Suppresses Local Volunteer; Again!

Below is a letter that was sent to the The Signal by Steve Huerta defending himself and correcting the erroneous spin from The Signal's opinion staff. Steve forwarded it to me because it had not been published.
This is nothing new to those who have experienced this before. It is common knowledge around the valley that The Signal regularly mis-quotes, spins, and leaves out the facts. It is difficult to call The Signal a newspaper as that would be an insult to other newspapers and to jounalistic integrity.

Stonecrest Residents Have The Right To Vote On Annexation!

It's amazing what lengths THE SIGNAL's opinion staff will stoop to try and debase me, and stop the residents from having the right to Vote. They have insinuated that I'm in collusion with CEMEX, and a "liar." THE SIGNAL has made themselves the voice for the City government, and many others in the community share the same opinion.

I've spoken the truth about the issues of annexation at Stonecrest. I spoke about the issues when asked by the residents, to provide balance to the City's claims. This has always been about the right to Vote, whether it's yes or no. I've spoken the truth about the City plans to eliminate the firm Hillside Maintenance cap of lower Stonecrest, and replace it with one that includes a Consumer Price Index of 3% that can be applied once cost reach $700. I've spoken the truth about increased taxes for streetlights and stormwater services, which came from City documents. I've spoken the truth about the rights of Stonecrest residents to call City Sheriffs if there is an emergency. I've spoken the truth about the CEMEX mine, and that the City can't stop it even if they annex the additional 1,885 acres. Ask the Mayor and Council members to tell you CEMEX won't mine there. They've said they don't oppose "historical" levels of mining, and that's not guaranteed. I've also spoken the truth about City-hood benefits, like elimination of the County utility tax, which is based on individual home usage, lower trash collection fees, and park and recreation fees. A City planner misspoke when he said I wasn't telling residents about the utility tax. He should check his copy of the information sheet more closely.

THE SIGNAL's opinion writers, with their mighty pens in hand, have sought to use me as a way to divert the attention of the residents. Residents must ask themselves, what other reason could the City possibly have to want to annex Stonecrest and beyond? In a more recent column, residents in other un-incorporated areas were asked to get off their bums and annex. I have no problem with annexation, but residents should Vote on it, and not let LAFCO back-door it in. In a Letter To The Editor in THE SIGNAL, an area resident said that the right to Vote is a lie. The rules of annexation, as carried out by LAFCO, provides this possibility for residents. Maybe he should study them before he puts pen to paper.

The residents must realize that if this decision is left in the hands of LAFCO, who will green-light it, it does't mean that the majority of residents wanted it. A vote is the only true measure of what the community really wants.

I fully expect THE SIGNAL's opinion staff to spin this rebuttal against me, and the right to Vote. Despite all their personal attacks, at the end of the day it comes down to one thing - The Right For Stonecrest Residents To Vote!

Steven Huerta

Friday, April 21, 2006

LANE CLOSURES FOR I-5 CARPOOL LANE CONSTRUCTION 4/21 – 4/22

Sylmar/North San Fernando Valley – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close the following lanes of the Golden State Freeway (I-5), as part of a $41.6-million project to construct High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), or carpool lanes, on northbound and southbound I-5 from State Route 118 to State Route 14:

FRIDAY, APRIL 21:

·5 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Up to two lanes of northbound I-5 from State Route
210 connector to State Route 14
·8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – One lane of northbound I-5 from I-405 to
eastbound State Route 210 connector
·9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – The westbound State Route 210 connector to
northbound I-5
·9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – The southbound I-5 connector to I-405 truck bypass

OVERNIGHT FRIDAY, APRIL 21 TO SATURDAY, APRIL 22:

·6 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Up to two lanes of southbound I-5 from State
Route 14 to Balboa Blvd.
·6 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Up to two lanes of southbound I-5 from State
Route 14 to Balboa Boulevard
·6 p.m. to 11:59 a.m. – The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Paxton Street
·7 p.m. to 8 a.m. – Up to two lanes of southbound I-5 from State Route
14 to Roxford Street

Will the Left ever understand?

What's it going to take before the far left in this county to realize that we are at war? I read over and over how George Bush is a liar, a criminal while others call him the worlds #1 terrorist. I have a little advice for the left. No one takes you seriously when you make absurd and off the wall statements like that. If you don't like President Bush, fine you don't like him. But to call him a terrorist is an insult to free people all over the world. And lets face it, your not doing any service to our country or our Military and their families when you say these things.

So, in essence when you call the President of the United States a terrorist you are essentially calling everyone who believes in his resolve and approach to this war terrorists. So you don't like it when we call you un-patriotic and anti-American, well we don't like it when you indirectly call us terrorists. The only saving grace for us on the right is that you on the left who make these crazy statements are few and far between. You don't represent the over all attitude of the country or the world. You think you do, because you only know and speak to others like you. When you see all the movies coming out of Hollywood that lean your way politically you start to think your right and that everyone agrees with your goofy ideals. Understand, most of America thinks Hollywood is crazy. We see it as entertainment not propaganda and validation as you do.

Your next challenge is Iran. We WILL do something. The rest of the world cant. Both financially and militarily they unable to. We can and we have the will. If Iran is allowed to develop a Nuclear weapon the first target will not be the USA. It will be somewhere is Eastern Europe or Israel. Everyone knows this. So why is it the USA's responsibility to "take care" of the problem? Simple. We can and we have the backbone to deal with people being mad at us. We look at Hitler and Europe and say, hey why didn't you all stop him before he started a war and killed 50 million people? They didn't have the will or the leadership. Mainly, the leadership. Someone not concerned about day to day polls but leading the free world and bringing freedom and Democracy to the world.

Your challenge as liberals is to take a stand. You are either with us and united in protecting America and the people of this world or you are against us and will continue to do everything you can to undermine our reputation and standing in the hearts and minds of the citizens of Mother Earth. Mullahs with Nuclear weapons are not in he best interest of you secularists. Your hatred for George Bush and your apathy for the rest of the world will shine through very clear if you are on the wrong side of history again.

Jack Murphy

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Local Environmentalist and Others Litter City


Lynn Plambeck and other former City Council candidates have littered the city with campaign signs which are still up almost a week after the election. This is visual pollution! It is offensive that whenever there is an election that these signs and placards are posted all over town and never taken down immediately after the election. Many of these signs are left up for weeks after an election.
Honestly, it is shocking that a local environmentalist like Lynn Plambeck would litter the city with signage and placards and not have volunteers go around and remove these after her lose. This makes her look like a hypocrite! She is always screaming about the environment but hey it's okay for her to through her garbage all over the city.
I think that the City of Santa Clarita should go around and remove these signs two or three days after and election and charge the candidates a fee for the service. This might help add some much needed revenue to the City's till!

New signs Reinforce Identity


If you haven't noticed there are some new signs in our communities welcoming everyone entering. These signs were installed by Los Angeles County as a way of identifying the individual communities of the west side. There are signs for Stevenson Ranch, as pictured, and Castiac along The Old Road.
I like these new signs as it gives a welcoming to new visitors and a sense of identity. I grow up on the east coast and these kinds of signs are common place; Welcome to the Village Massapequa in the Township of Oyster Bay. It is a very warm and inviting sign and I'm glad the County has installed these around our community.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Where? On the road to nowhere

Here is an article on the Traffic in the Santa Clarita Valley by former City Council candidate Jack Murphy. Enjoy!


Traffic traffic and more traffic. Welcome to the San Fernan, um Santa Clarita Valley. As our Valley's population swells so does the traffic. Each new household brings in on average at least one new car to our roads. Is this just what we have to live with the rest of our lives or is there a solution to this growing crisis?

Having just completed a few months of Campaigning that included many meet and greets, forums, debate and tons of glossy mailers I have found a few ideas on congestion reduction actually viable. In this, my first story for the Mighty "The Beacon" I will discuss one plan that I found both interesting and easily implemented. The two things we tax payers like. Cheap and easy.

Candidate Ken Dean from Canyon Country had this basic idea. Have a set speed limit on all main roads in the Valley and have all the lights timed to meet those speeds. This concept would in theory keep traffic moving, especially during heavy volume periods, albeit at possibly lower speeds. Ken said that the City of Chicago, Illinois does this and it is what makes their traffic run so smooth. Now, I have been to Chicago and for the life of me I cant remember traffic patterns. I remember Gino's pizza, Rush street and the kitchen floor of a friends one bedroom Dearborn Street apt. And frankly, I have to work hard to remember that much.

The only way to see if this is a doable plan is to actually try it. So, a few weeks ago I did just that. From Canyon Country to Valencia to Stevenson Ranch over the 5 at Lyons and back over at Mcbean. The verdict: If the lights were timed it would work. It would NOT work at the proposed 35 miles per hour and if the other motorists didn't want to kill for doing 35 I wanted to kill me for doing 35. It did however work at 45 miles per hour. Again, the lights would need to be timed but at 45 miles per hour I was able to keep pace or even over take cars on most roads except Soledad. I think the average speed on that road is like 100. Wait until semi trailers start using that road via the cross valley connecter. But that's for another day.

So we move major congested streets and intersections from sensors systems to timers, reduce or increase the speed to a set level of 45 and traffic should flow smoother. The best part of this is that it is cheap and easy to try. If it doesn't work we can all look back and say, well at least it didn't cost $240 million like that "other" road. Is this worth a try? Sure. Heck we can buy plastic bags to cover the speed limit signs that say 35 and set the lights on the timer systems and see what happens for a few weeks. If it doesn't work, take the bags off the signs and reset the lights. Seems pretty simple. But then again, if it seems too easy and costs too little, you will never get a politician to endorse it.

Jack Murphy
Saugus, CA

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Status Quo is Alive and Well

Well the day after the City of Santa Clarita council election shows that the status quo is alive and well. The local shopper commented in an editorial that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and so goes the election. There was a very diverse slate of candidates that ran but ultimately the low voter turn out proved to be favorable to the incumbents.
Marsha McLean was the top vote getter with 4857 votes or 16.79%. Frank Ferry was number two, very appropriate, with 4781 votes or 16.52%. Laurene Weste got 4553 votes or 15.74%. Mark Hershey made a very good run at a seat with 3817 votes or 13.19%.
I actually thought that at least one of the incumbents would have lost out. Many were predicting that Marsha McLean would possibly lose her seat, were they wrong! It certainly doesn't look like the relationship between the city and the unincorporated areas will be changing anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Annexation Opinion Missing the FACTS!

Dear Diane Savanian,
I have read the first and second part of your three part commentary on annexation and can’t wait to see the third part in the "Mighty" Signal. Normally I would have waited to read the final installment but your pieces were so rife with misinformation and hearsay that I couldn’t wait any longer. You see, I respect the fact that you have an opinion, which clearly is pro-annexation, but I don’t respect that you have not done your homework when it comes to the facts. Some of your statements are nothing more than the regurgitation of spin doctors at the Santa Clarita City Hall and perpetuated by the local papers.

You stated numerous times in your column that you have “heard” this or that around town. The real kicker was your admission that you haven’t attended a West Ranch Town Council meeting for years. In fact I can say that you have not been to a Town Council meeting on the west side for at least two and half years. So basically you have missed out on the monthly conversations and updates regarding annexation. You have also not contributed your view point to those discussions. What you have missed is a group of elected council members that are genuinely interested in making sure that our communities are treated fairly and respectfully.

In regards to the sheriff services in the unincorporated areas of the valley you are truly misinformed. One just needs to do the math and look at the facts. First, the City of Santa Clarita, as you stated, has 15 Deputies per shift for the city which has a population of approximately 175,000. That would be roughly one Sheriff Deputy for every 11,667 residents.

The flip side is that the unincorporated areas surrounding the city have a population of approximately 49,375. The non-city areas have 15 Sheriff’s Deputies (yes, 15!)not the 2 you "heard" were patroling the unincorporated ares. There are 9 Deputies working in radio cars serving West Ranch, Castaic, and unincorporated Canyon Country, 4 are assigned to Pyramid Lake and Gorman, 1 in Community Relations, and 1 is assigned as a School Resource Deputy.

But wait there’s more, we have an Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) patrol which consists of 2 Sergeants and 6 deputies and as of April 24th 3 COPS Deputies. As a side note, the West Ranch Town Council and the Stevenson Ranch Civic Association lobbied for, and the Sheriff received, state grant money to fund the OHV patrol.

Now, let’s divide 49,375 by 6 assigned Deputies (we won’t include the OHV patrol, the COPS Deputies and only part of the regular Deputies for the most populated West Ranch/Castaic areas) to the unincorporated areas and you get roughly one Sheriff Deputy per 8230 residents.

Big difference huh! Going by square miles is ridiculous since much of the unincorporated area surrounding the city falls into the Santa Susana Mountain Conservancy, private land, or developer owned land virtually all of which has no population.

This would account for the FACT that crime is lower in the West Ranch Communities. In fact, according to the Sheriffs, crime has been trending lower for some time in the West Ranch communities and actually trending higher in the City of Santa Clarita. You would have known this had you attend the West Ranch Town Council meetings where we get a monthly update from the Sheriff’s department.

Let’s face it, if you want to blindly jump into the arms of the City of Santa Clarita without first fully investigating the issues and facts, be my guest. I’m sure that there will be plenty of Lemmings that will follow! But for me, I would rather ask hard questions, investigate the information being disseminated from all sides and truly understand the facts before I make a decision. Annexation is a complex matter that requires time and intellectual understanding, not basing important decisions on things we “hear around town”.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Santa Clarita City Council Elections Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday April 11th, is the City of Santa Clarita city council elections. Do the entire valley a favor and get your city friends out to vote Frank Ferry off the council. Of all the candidates he is the one, dubbed King Frank by some, that should be booted off the council. His tactics and arrogant behavior have been divisive to the valley as a whole. He considers himself a shoe-in and it would be nice to see him get a surprise. Here are a few websites to review other alternatives:

http://scvgop.org/local.php

www.voteformurphy.org

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Old Glory, No Worse for the Wear!


It's hard to believe that the oak tree once dubbed Old Glory made national attention just a few short years ago. The tree was used by local environmental groups as a pawn to try and prevent the widening of Pico Canyon. The hordes of people and media circus from outside of our community, including the tree squatter, who professed to care about this majestic oak are long gone. The venerable tree is as beautiful as ever in it's springtime bloom and no worse for the wear.
Old Glory, in it's new location on Pico Canyon near Stevenson Ranch Parkway, is resting quietly in a terrific natural park area for all to enjoy. In our fast paced lives it's nice to stop and smell the flowers once in a while or in this case take in the visual majesty of this Oak, a wonderful display of Mother Nature.

Friday, April 07, 2006

West Ranch Town Council Approved March Minutes

Thanks to Ron Mechsner for taking such great minutes. This will now be a regular feature on this blog. The minutes will only be posted after the council approval.

West Ranch Town Council
Minutes for the Meeting Dated: March 1, 2006

A. Call to Order / Roll Call:
a. Meeting called to order at 6:35 pm
b. Present: Paul Ash, Dave Bossert, Ron Mechsner, Brian Toqe, Randal Winter, Betty Griffin
c. Absent: James Zimmerman
B. Approval of February Minutes
a. Approved by a vote of 6 – 0
C. Treasurers Report
a. Treasurer was not in attendance, no formal report provided. The balance is believed to be the same as for the February report - $989.75.
D. Presentations to the Council
a. Steve Teeman – Castaic Town Council and a member of their Vision Committee made a presentation based on the information developed by the Committee and the Castaic Town Council regarding Incorporation and LAFCO.
i. Steve advised that the presentation remains a ‘work in progress’
ii. The presentation was a representation of the process and a timeline developed for the Castaic Town Council for Incorporation of a New City based on working back from the current end date (7/1/09) for bill AB1602. This Legislation is currently being considered in Sacramento that would restore for a limited period of time funding for new cities from vehicle license fees. (VLF revenues were ended in 2004.)
iii. The question was posed to the West Ranch Council as to our interest to partner / work with Castaic Town Council towards incorporation as well as an offer for discussion regarding boundaries. Paul Ash indicated that an answer would be provided to Castaic Town Council in 30 days.
b. Virginia Maloles representing Los Angeles County made a presentation to the Council on the proposed franchise system for the open-market areas of unincorporated Los Angeles County (36 total – 18 for the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley areas) regarding solid waste collection. The areas could be exclusive, semi-exclusive, or open / non-exclusive. Bids were being collected for the entire area – 7 major categories in the evaluation process. Public meetings are scheduled for 4/27 (Castaic Sports Center) and 5/26 (LA Cty Public Library in Canyon Country).
c. James McCarthy – Park Project Coordinator, North Agency, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation made a presentation to the Council regarding a proposed improvement to Jake Kuredijian County Park. Parks and Recreation was seeking Council feedback as to adding either a Restroom facility to the Park or Children’s Playground area to the Park.
i. The decision was made to poll residents / park users to determine their preference as well as meet with the School officials, PTA, and the Stevenson Ranch HOA to determine their preferences / concerns before making a decision next month.
E. County Business
a. Parks & Recreation – Doug Newell: Flag Football starting – will run from 3/11 to 5/20. The Skateboard facility was temporarily closed as the program was being re-evaluated given the safety concerns (many trying to use w/o safety equipment. Ground Maintenance for the softball field scheduled for 3/14. Newsletters available on other upcoming events (Easter egg hunt, etc.) Also present, Al Evans, Park Manager for Santa Clarita Valley –Sylmar area – responsible for park programs, special events in the area.
b. Sheriff’s Department – Deputy Sgt. Wallace indicated that crime was down significantly in the month – Feb 06 being the quietest month in 6 years. The rest of the SC Valley did not match this. The incident on Hemingway from late Jan is still an open investigation.
c. Supervisor Antonovich’s office – Bob Hauter: Presented a County of Los Angeles Certificate of Appreciation to Lennar Corporation for their efforts and partnership with the County and Community at the Parks.
F. Committee Reports
a. Community Liaisons:
i. Randall Winter – Southern Oaks: Nothing to report
ii. Brian Toque – Westridge: HOA is attempting to enforce a 1 to 1 ratio of vehicles to licensed drivers at each residence with government vehicles being exempt.
iii. Chuck O’Connell – Sunset Pointe / Enclave: Reported continued positive response from the community regarding the revised Lyons Canyon project.
iv. Stevenson Ranch HOA: None.
b. Bylaws Committee – report by Paul Ash. Discussion on Election Standards and Timeline. Staggered election – top 3 vote getters, 2 year term, next 4 vote getters – 1 year term needed initially to establish new pattern of 2 year terms. Additional discussion (executive meeting to be planned) needed regarding confirming timeframe (around 4th of July) and fee / application process for candidates. Final report anticipated for the April Council Meeting.
c. Public Safety & Security: Covered in County report – 2 vehicle burglaries only.
d. Parks – Dave Bossert: Meeting in mid March with County Fire Department regarding 4th of July show. Needs volunteers and assistance for the show – particularly on the day of the show at the park.
e. Government Relations – Dave Bossert: More activity is planned by this committee. Met with Lennar – viewed new design plans for the work currently underway around Magic Mountain. More information to be presented at a future meeting. Work involves new residential / office units.
G. Old Business
a. None
H. Meeting Adjourned at 8:19 pm.

It's Spring and time for some Action!

With spring upon us, hopefully the end of rain is in sight, it's time for action on several fronts. As you can see we have a nice new look for the Blog and I will be trying to add more pictures going forward.I would like to have more contributors to the blog. Ron Mechsner has done a terrific piece on the school board meeting last week and I hope to see him contribute more. If you or anyone you know is interested please let me know. I'm around!
Also, I think that this year will bring a lot more west side activity. Apparently the City of Santa Clarita has asked the Westridge Homeowners association to form an Annexation committee. Isn't becoming a quasi-political organization against the spirit of an H.O.A.? That'll be interesting to watch!
There are also lots of discussions going on with how to respond to the City's two tier park fees that are a slap in the face of non-city residents. One thing for sure is that we are a very creative bunch.
I have to say Councilman Ferry's outburst, which was peppered with personal attacks, at last weeks City Council meeting really energized me!!!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

AGENDA WEST RANCH TOWN COUNCIL April 5, 2006

Here is the agenda for tonight's West Ranch Town Council meeting. Hope to see many residents at the meeting as there are important topics to discuss including the Lyons project update.

A. Call To Order/Roll Call
B. Approval of February Minutes
C. Treasurers Report and Banking Update
D. Presentation
1. Jasch Janowicz re Lyons Canyon Update
E. County Updates
1. Parks and Rec
2. Bob Haueter
F. Committee Reports

1. Election Standards and Timeline, Budget and Seats
2. Security/Public Safety
3. Governmental Relations- City/County Park Fee Differential
4. Parks
5. Westridge and Southern Oaks Liaisons
6. Sunset Pointe Liaison
G. Old Business
H. Public Comment
I. Adjournment

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

West Ranch Town Council April meeting

The West Ranch Town Council will be holding its regular monthly meeting on 6:30 PM Wednesday April 5, 2006 at the Southern Oaks Club house. Agenda to be posted soon.

Santa Clarita City Council Alternatives!

Here are a few site to check out some of the other candidates that are running for Santa Clarita City council:

http://scvgop.org/local.php

www.voteformurphy.org

Monday, April 03, 2006

CalArts World Music Festival starts Wednesday April 5th!

The World Music Festival kicks off on Wednesday April 5th with a 8:00 PM performance of Fe Fe. CalArts World Music faculty member Alfred Ladzekpo will perform in the first play he has written, Fe Fe, an African love story featuring African music and dance by CalArts African Storytellers and Dance Ensemble.
Thursday, April 6th @ 8:00 PM, Balinese Music and DanceBalinese music and dance gamelan Burat Wangi (fragrant offering) will perform new pieces Ratnayu and Legong Taksu along with Monkey Chant. Directed by I Nyoman Wenten, dance director Nanik Wenten and special guest Dewa Putu Beratha.
Friday, April 7th @ 8:00 PM, North Indian Classical MusicAn evening of North Indian classical music featuring maestros Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (tabla), and Aashish Khan (sarod).
Saturday, April 8th @ 8:00 PM, African Music and DanceCalArts students and Alumni working under the direction of Kobla Ladzekpo and Beatrice Lawluvi present an exciting evening of traditional West African music and dance from Ghana, Benin, and Togo.
Sunday, April 9th @ 8:00 PM, Javanese Music and DanceTraditional dances, a new dance drama, traditional and world premiere instrumental works performed on the CalArts gamelan Kyai Dorodasih under the direction of Djoko Walujo. Rooted in centuries of tradition- at times elegant and stately or lively and boisterous- this large and elaborate collection of precision tuned bronze metailphones will be played by 30 musicians. Works include two new instrumental compositions by Djoko Walujo, including trumpets, field drums, violas and cellos.
General Admission for each performance is $7, Alumni $3, Students, Faculty, Staff and Seniors $2

Couple of articles on City Council Candidates

If you didn't see the local papers this weekend and this morning here are several links. These are articles that speak of alternative candidates for the City of Santa Clarita city council elections. Check these out:
http://www.the-signal.com/
http://www.dailynews.com/santaclarita/ci_3664073

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Rage of Frank Ferry Part III; "Boss Tweed is Stuffed in an Attic"


I think that part I and part II of The Rage of Frank Ferry was a sufficient rebuttal to Frank's city council outburst. His comments had nothing to do with the park fee issues in the city but everything to do with annexation. To be clear, I am wanting the best possible deal for my community; whatever that may ultimately be. Thinking that we should just mindlessly jump into the arms of the city because they want it or demand it is not an option. The city was actually taking a step forward with the round of discussions that started last year with the West Ranch Town Council but have now taken a giant step backwards with how they have handled the park fee issue.

As for Frank, I would hope that his childish tantrum and personal attacks on someone with a different viewpoint have shown all who care about the Santa Clarita Valley just how important the upcoming city council elections will be to the future of the entire valley. The city voters should look seriously at all of the candidates that are running and really questions the worthiness of the incumbents. Frank's tactics and behavior have done a disservice to not only the City but also to the unincorporated communities as well.

I would encourage anyone who is voting in the Santa Clarita City Council election to look at some of the other candidates. It would be in the best interests of the entire valley to get rid of Frank Ferry and elect someone who can bring in some fresh views and some civility. It might even be doing Frank a favor since he is apparently in the middle of a bitter divorce and is hold up in some attic apartment in the city!