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Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - 12:56pm
  • Today Just Got Worse: The man arrested on murder charges after his three-wek-old daughter was found dead Saturday is also facing sex-related charges. KHTS
  • Canyon Country Intruder Gets Kicked Out: "I just grabbed him and chucked him really hard, and he crashed into the door and then he runs out." A Canyon Country man arrested on suspicion of burglarly apparently didn't realize his neighbor is a martial arts instructor. The Signal
  • City Seeking Postal Help: The City of SClaritra is reaching out to residents for support in entreating the U.S. Postal Service to keep a location in Newhall. The longtime Lyons branch closed recently after the lease ended, and a temporary branch has been set up in Stevenson Ranch. News Release
  • SCVi Students Glide Through Class: Pretty cool story out of local charter school SCVi, where students are learning about aviation by getting up close, hands-on experience with a glider. KHTS
  • Crappy Situation for State Tax Board: Someone really wanted to send a message to the state Franchise Tax Board, sending the Sacramento office a box full of dog feces. LA Times
  • Going Up: Home prices in the SCV went up for the third year in a row in 2014, up 12 percent over 2013. The Signal
  • LA Times Notices SCV Homeless Problem: "Santa Clarita is wealthy and pretty and has great parks and walkways. But we also have family issues and drug problems and alcoholism and housing that people can't afford." Reporter Sandy Banks explores the sandy banks of the Santa Clara River and talks with Bridge to Home director Tim Davis about SCV's homeless issues. LA Times

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Monday, January 26th, 2015 - 8:30am
  • Three Weeks In, the Saddest Story of the Year: A 30-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of murdering his three-week-old daughter. She was reported missing Friday night, and the man reportedly led investigators to the body Saturday after a search had been underway for hours. An autopsy is set for today. KHTS The Signal LA Times
  • Rallying Support: An online fundraiser is already underway for the family of Baby Ellorah. KHTS
  • Initial Optimism: Local educators are optimistic about Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, that includes an increase in K-12 spending of roughly $2,600 per student in the 2015-16 school year. The Signal
  • Preservation Ordinance Up for a Vote: The County Board of Supervisors is poised to decide Tuesday on historic preservation ordinance that would establish procedures for protecting properties throughout the county. SCV News
  • 10 Years of Changes: "Metrolink has come a long way in 10 years: We can safely say we now have the safest commuter rail system in the country.” Today is the anniversary of the Metrolink that killed 11 people and injured 180, and in the decade since the agency has made a number of safety changes. Daily News
  • A New Pets Mart: "It was, and remains, equally important to me to make healthy pet food and supplies accessible to people of all incomes." Canyon Country gets a new pet food and supply store, in the form of Protein for Pets. The Signal
  • Remembering a Capitol Legend: A long and detailed obit by Stephen K. Peeples of John Palladino, longtime Friendly Valley resident and former Capitol Records executive, who died recently at 94. SCV News
  • The Homicide Problem: "If they know who did it and they know he’s in Mexico, then what does it take to do something about it? I don’t want something to happen 20 years from now — when I’m dead.” Of the more than 11,000 homicides in L.A. County over an 11-year span, nearly 5,000 remain unsolved. Daily News
  • It Couldn't Last Forever: We've all been enjoying continually dropping gas prices, but analysts say the party's probably coming to end as wholesale prices increase. LA Times

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Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - 12:49pm
  • Newhall Library Meets the Gold Standard: The city announced this week that the Newhall Library completed in 2012 has been award federal Gold LEED certification for its sustainable design features. SCV News
  • Dropping Numbers: For the first time in 12 years, the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their kids using a "personal belief" exemption dropped in 2014. LA Times
  • Burying the Lead: Yeah, yeah, yeah, public health officials are strongly encouraging vaccinations to prevent measles, which is continuing to spread. However, the REAL kicker of Luke Money's story is the fact that Henry Mayo employs a certain Dr. Frankenstein. The Signal
  • Surface Service: The City Council is poised to approve a contract Tuesday night (Agenda Item #6) for work at City Hall including modification of existing ramps and handrails and parking lot paving. The reccomended vendor is a Moorpark-based company whose bid of $157,072 was  the lowest of eight bids submitted. The only Santa Clarita-based company to bid came in with a bid for roughly $270,000. Side note: Unfortunately, the city has changed how it posts meeting agendas on its website, so I can no longer link to individual agenda items. Agenda
  • Joining Forces: The relatively new, 150-member SCV Latino Chamber Commerce is dissolving and joining forces with the SCV Chamber of Commerce next month. The Signal
  • New Assistant Head for CHS: Canyon High School has a new assistant principal, a 10-year veteran of the Hart district. KHTS
  • Kunak Returns: John Kunak was named president of the Castaic Area Town Council, replacing outgoing prez Flo Lawrence. KHTS
  • Parental Concerns: "There is a perception today that children are under constant threat, even as crime rates drop to some of the lowest levels in decades. And there is an inclination, unfortunately by many, to take their own determination of what’s best for children and codify it into law." Christine Korenthal weighs in with some concerns about parenting by law. The Signal
  • A Water War Truce: "Ted Schade, the official in charge of air quality in the Owens Valley, had fought the city of Los Angeles for over 24 years to control the dust in the region. Upon the completion of the deal, he dropped the mic and tendered his resignation." A truce of sorts emerges in the long battle between Ownes Valley and L.A. that inspired "Chinatown". LAist
  • What They Make: The Sacramento Bee has a searchable database of state employee's salaries. In case you're wondering what folks like George Runner are earning. SacBee

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - 12:20pm
  • Manslaughter Charge in Rowher Flats Crash: A 28-year-old Granada Hills man was arrested and charged with manslaughter after a drunken crash left his passenger dead, 1,500 feet down a ravine at Rowher Flats earlier this month. KHTS
  • 'Not Guilty' Plea from Snyder: Former Valencia High School baseball coach Jared Snyder pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he embezzled between $10,000 to $15,000 over six years. SCV News
  • County OKs One-Stop Shop: County officials gave a green light to the creation of a searchable public database of municipal data including information on budgets, crime stats and more. CBS
  • A Bad Year for DUIs: SCV deputies made nearly 300 DUI arrests in 2014. No word on how many were made at checkpoints. KHTS
  • Speaking of DUIs...: Deputies chased a suspected DUI motorist through Canyon Country, purusing on foot when the driver and passenger fled, and disappeared, into a neighborhood. The Signal
  • New Trial Sought in Murder Case: A man found guilty in a 2011 robbery that resulted in a Good Samaritan's death is seeking a new trial. KHTS
  • This Will Be Interesting: Starting Sunday, the LA News Group will start publishing a series thatr's the result of a 18-month investigation into the scope of unsolved homicides in Los Angeles County. I'm curious to see what shows up from the SCV. Daily Bulletin
  • Fighting Back: In the wake of a spreading measles outbreak that started at Disneyland, health officials are taking preventative measures. In Huntington Beach, more than 20 high school students without immunization proof were ordered to stay home for several weeks after a student came down with measles. LA Times

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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - 8:06am
Last year, we shared an LA Times report that five elementary schools in the SCV reported what experts consider dangerously high rates of parents opting out of vaccines. While the numbers are looking better, several SCV schools are still reporting Kindergarten and 7th grade exemptions in that danger zone where herd immunity is compromised. Herd immunity for measles and whooping cough is threatened when over 8% of parents refuse to vaccinate their kids, more on that later.
Schools require students to get certain vaccinations, but parents can claim exemptions based on personal beliefs. Since last year, parents claiming an exemption are required to receive vaccine counseling from a health care practitioner, unless they claim a religious objection to the counseling itself. 
After doubling in recent years, Kindergarten exemptions are actually down 19% from last school year, and the number of SCV schools with dangerously high exemptions is down to three from five. The LA Times feature didn't cover 7th grade exemptions, but it turns out we had five schools above that threshold last year, too. That number is down to two for this school year. 
Here's the list of schools reporting personal Kindergarten and/or 7th grade belief exemption rates of over 8%: 
SchoolDistrictExemption Rate
Santa Clarita Christian (K)Private22%
SCVi (K)Hart (Charter)20%
SCVi (7)Hart (Charter)19%
Trinity Classical Academy (K)Private10%
Sierra Vista Jr. HighHart 9%
The figures for these schools are pretty alarming, and they don't even take into account the percentage of kindergartners who aren't up-to-date on their vaccines (full data here).
Herd Immunity
Apart from the obvious risk to their own children, the decline in vaccinations it threatens the "herd immunity." The herd immunity is when nearly everyone in a group is vaccinated, and it prevents outbreaks from occuring. Without it, there is a much higher risk of infection for unvaccinated schoolchildren, younger children, the elderly and anyone with compromised immune systems. This video explains it really well.

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   14 Comments »
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 - 12:19pm
  • Warrant Out for ex-VHS Baseball Coach:"It’s definitely justice served but also a very sad day for students and faculty. It stirs up all the dirty laundry about our school." An arrest warrant was issued for former Valencia High varsity baseball coach Jared Snyder, for charges of embezzlement. He was ordered to appear in court today. KHTS The Signal
  • City Taking Steps for Pedestrian Improvements: 2015 will bring a host of pedestrian improvements around SClarita, including more ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps. KHTS
  • Saugus Speeder Slapped With Jail Time: A man who led sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase through Santa Clarita was sentenced to six months in jail and hit with a $510 fine. The Signal
  • No Contest in Molestation Case: A 22-year-old Newhall man is facing three years behind bars after pleading no contest to molestation charges. KHTS
  • An SCV Legend: Today would have been Scott Newhall's 101st birthday. Every former Signal journalist I know who had a chance to work with him is grateful, and the rest of us really wish we'd had that opportunity. SCV History
  • Shelter Near Capacity: The SCV winter shelter has been operating at near capacity, as it seeks more volunteers for an upcoming county homeless count. KHTS
  • Winger Leaving His Mark: The board of the Newhall School District agreed to name its office building at the corner of Wiley Canyon and Orchard Village roads for Superintendent Dr. Marc Winger, who retires jan. 31. SCV News
  • A Sweet Legacy: "Nothing can happen to a Tootsie Roll. We have some that were made in 1938 that we still eat." The longtime CEO of Tootsie Roll has died at 95. Daily News
  • COC Doesn't Make the Grade: College of the Canyons was not of 15 state community colleges selected to offer four-year bachelor's degree programs. KHTS
  • Cracking Open the Blue Book: TV producer and UFO enthusiast John Greenewald has compiled Project Blue Book, a database of 130,000 pages of declassified Air Force documents about UFO sightings. Fast Company
  • SCV's Oscar Tie-In: Among this year's Oscar hopefuls is American Sniper, which did a lot of filming at Blue Cloud Ranch here in SCV. KFTV

Posted by Josh Premako   |   1 Comment »
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Monday, January 19th, 2015 - 8:30am
  • The Kids Are Alright: “I’m very humbled. I started volunteering in the eighth grade. All of these buildings are a part of our history and need to be persevered in such a way that future generations can enjoy them.” An SCVi student received a county award for his local historical society work. KHTS
  • Fighting for the House: A Lancaster woman is fighting to keep the red-tagged Canyon Country house of her late father, which the city has labelled an eyesore and wants to demolish. The Signal
  • The Story That Launched a Comment War: Sheriff's deputies' guns-drawn response to a report of juveniles looking like they were trying to hotwire and steal a car at the mall launched a flood of back-and-forth comments in the Santa Clarita Community group on Facebook. The Signal 
  • Local Schools Get State Nod: Two local schools got a nod from the state Superintendent of Public Instruction as "schools to watch." Castaic Middle School was recognized for 12 years of continuous improvement, while High Desert School in the Acton Agua Dulce district was recognized for three years of improvement. KHTS
  • The MLK Day 411: In addition to a celebration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., there are a number of closures locally today. The Signal
  • Glimpsing History: "He ate there; he strategized there, he struggled there. It definitely was the place he would go to collapse after walking the streets of Birmingham." A look inside the remains of the motel that was MLK's "war room" in Birmingham. AL.com
  • Seeing the Light of Day: 65 years later, a photo essay by Life's first black photographer finally sees the light of day. LIFE
  • Serving Up History: One of the longest-serving restaurants in the county, the Saugus Cafe marked 116 years over the weekend. SCV History
  • City Adds 30th Park: The city is getting ready to cut the ribbon on its latest park, 17-acre RiverVillage Park located off Newhall Ranch Road. The Signal 

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  Recent Comments:
Clarita writes:
Worth noting that the Los Angeles Times rather than the advertising flier none as The Signal,...
posted: ~ 13 hrs. ago.
HenryJennings writes:
I'm kinda happy about the new post office location -- Christmas packages were a cake walk as no...
posted: ~ 15 hrs. ago.
bjkehoe writes:
a map of local schools using zip codes to show vaccination rates ...this was on CBS local news a...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Clarita writes:
It appears from the chart that it is Christian parents leading the pack on non-vacination rates: ...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Ken writes:
No big deal. Mine (and hopefully yours too) will be vaccinated so their risk will be zero. The...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
IHeartSCV writes:
They actually did a study on this (not a particularly great one, but it passed peer review) from a...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Timothy Myers SR writes:
I am now convinced that the only solution to this is to publicly and RUTHLESSY, shame, humiliate...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Mike writes:
That's good to hear. SCCS had lower K numbers last year and their 7th grade numbers were lower...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Nurse Mary writes:
Does not represent SCCS as a whole. There are 19 PBE's in grades K-12 with an enrollment of 472. I...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.
Mike writes:
See Page 57:...
posted: ~ 5 days ago.

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