Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 - 8:20am
Wow so much news I almost need to do twice-Daily briefs to keep up. Here goes and pardon the brevity:
- Politico calls it: McKeon is officially pondering retirement next year. I guess even an Animal Husbandry major couldn't keep that horse in the barn, especially after GOP stalwarts from both the east and west of the SCV were outed and/or announced that they would seek to replace our Congressman. That's right Steve of the Knight klan, hailing from AV, will take on Tony "Beanstalk" Strickland, dragging his carpet over from Ventura. GOP feathers to fly. Also McKeon endorses Thornberry as head of HASC since even if he ran again in 2014, he's termed out of the powerful Chairperson role. POLITICO, SIGNAL
- Doh: The City of Santa Clarita increased the speed limit on the street where Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were killed Saturday during a review of speed limits city-wide last year. Also, the CHP tells the LA TIMES that officers themselves can hear drag races going on on Rye Canyon all the time. But you know, they can only do something if they catch them. LA TIMES
- Valencia, Built as Promised: Quote from the Times piece: "“It’s a great road for racing your car up and down because it’s a sweeping curve," Lyon said. "If you come up here at 10 or 11 at night, you’ll hear the performance cars racing in the area.”He said that if people are going to race, the street is probably the safest place to do it because it's so quiet and there are no pedestrians."
- In other Walker news, his sister is outraged at talk that people think Walker may have been enjoying spirited motoring prior to his death, Deputies are going to start ticketing people because mourners are parking in a hazardous way and driving poorly, Vin Diesel made an appearance yesterday at the roadside memorial and the paparazzi flew helicopters to capture the sad scene, Tyrese Gibson will organize the funeral for his friend Walker, automotive experts at TMZ suspect a power steering failure may have caused the crash, we may learn autopsy results today, and finally, the Signal has advice for you on how to talk to your children about the death of Paul Walker.
- Almost forgot: There will be big memorial on Sunday for Walker and Rodas. Race fans are organizing and it'll be held at the crash site. FACEBOOK, Smith @ KHTS
- How did a Jeep come to be stuck on the railroad tracks near the Newhall train station? Well it did, and it was empty thankfully, but a Metrolink train struck it Monday night. Car is ruined but no one was hurt in the train or on the ground. SIGNAL
- Shenkman, the attorney who spoiled Palmdale's party and just might have succeeded in getting their municipal election tossed out, says he may repeat the same process against Santa Clarita ahead of our April 2014 election. Which would be incredible. You thought 2012 was dramatic? SIGNAL
- Really now: The big Hart/Valencia game on Friday evening won't be held at COC but rather Valencia High's substandard field because Valencia should get "home" advantage. Valencia's stadium isn't subpar exactly, it just can't hold as many crazy high school football fans as COC, 2000 less to be specific. And come on, COC is every high school's home stadium. Hey Refs, let the fans attend! SIGNAL
- Friend and sharp open space financial accountability panel member Jim Farley was somewhat taken aback at a recent Planning Commission meeting when he saw Commissioners delay approval for a cell phone tower that looked like a Eucalyptus tree. Why'd they delay? Well, some SCVers protested the cellular tower installations because they're afraid of cancer rays. Here here to Jim's point! Science people. You do know that microwave radiation is all around and passing through you everywhere you are, right? From wifi to cosmic rays, there's no escaping it. So please let the cell companies build their awesome camoflauge-faux-Eucalyptus-tree-towers so we can all have more precious 4G. FACEBOOK
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 - 8:22am
- Mike Devlin with the scoop: Tony Strickland has filed papers to run on the GOP ticket for the 25th District of California, the Fightin' 25th that includes the SCV. But that's only if McKeon retires according to Perry Smith at KHTS and Luke Money at the SIGNAL who got a quote from a McKeon spokesperson who says the Congressman won't think "about 2014 until 2014." McKeon's spokesperson also called it a "conspiracy theory" to think that McKeon is setting up Strickland to be his heir apparent. But as SCVTalk readers know, dynastic succession is always a sticky and difficult topic, all the more so if McKeon kin isn't in a position to take the reins. SCVTALK
- **Wow! A judge has invalidated Palmdale's City Council election held just about one month ago. "Saying they came to power through “unlawful elections,” a judge ordered the entire Palmdale City Council removed from office by July and called a special election to give minorities a fair chance to seat their choice of candidates." DAILY NEWS
- More details emerging about Walker crash: What may have been the last photograph of Paul Walker standing near the ill-fated Porsche Carrera GT was posted by media outlets yesterday afternoon. Also new video: what appears to be a surveillance camera from a nearby building in the Industrial Center shows thick brown smoke wafting into the sky after the crash followed by at least a half dozen people in vehicles racing up to the scene and running toward the wreckage. NY DAILY NEWS
- Locally, Perry Smith is on the story too, and quotes an SCV Deputy who says "We think speed is the cause, but we're not sure of anything else." Other reports have stated that there were no skid marks leading to the wreckage, indicating perhaps a mechanical fault was to blame. Safe to say that a proper investigation is in order and one hopes it will be completed soon. KHTS
- Ahh the inevitable Signal headline: "Speeding cars somewhat common in area of Paul Walker fatal crash." Excepting for a moment that speeding cars are present everywhere in the SCV -by design because our roadways are more like freeways- I find this SIGNAL piece interesting. Growing up here, I always heard rumors of weekend underground races going on in the Industrial Center. The IC offers broad boulevards, straights, and has the added bonus of being pretty damn empty on weekends. Also, the City officially blocked or closed part of the road where Walker died to allow for a memorial and because hundreds, perhaps thousands, are visiting the site, creating a sort of ad-hoc shrine to Walker.
- Meanwhile, nice piece on Valencia businessman, race car driver, and Merrill Lynch all-star finance guy Roger Rodas, the driver and owner of the Porsche. SIGNAL
- Another Board vacancy, another appointment process: We couldn't leave 2013 with just the Hart District finding and appointing replacement board members, now could we. CLWA has a vacancy on its board after one member moved away for a career opportunity. KHTS
- Stuff of legends: Hart will face Valencia in the CIF Northern Division II championship game Friday. It's the fourth time the two titans of SCV football have faced-off in a championship, with Hart pwning Valencia 2 times and Valencia winning once. But there's extra drama this time: during a semi-final game last week, a standout Valencia player named JayJay Wilson cheap-shotted a Saugus player, knocking him to the ground and earning himself an expulsion from that game and the CIF championship. The hit was so bad that the Saugus player was down for five minutes and it nearly started a cross-town bench-clearing brawl between the two teams. Valencia appealed the suspension but lost yesterday; JayJay Wilson will not play against Hart. And though I tease Saugus, what that boy did to that other boy (detailed in the great Signal pic at link below) was just not right so this Friday at least, Newhall & Saugus are one standing against the bullies from the Master Planned side of town. SIGNAL
- Wow: I've read it twice and still don't know what to make of John Boston's latest piece here on Santa Clarita.com, in which he pretty much mocks the idea that racism is still a 'thing' in America, heaps scorn on liberals who he thinks are deluded and hallucinating, and tells us about his own mother who sounds like she was a severely mentally ill person. Oh, also, Obama worst president times 100 he says. JOHN BOSTON
- OMG new pizza place in town and I missed Lady Ducayne's post about it. LADY DUCAYNE
- Man I missed Manzer: Darryl Manzer weaves in the tragic death of his father in a helicopter accident of the coast of California with stories about moving to Carpinteria out of Mentryville because his father wanted his mother to have the modern conveniences of a 1960s home and then ties it all together with the death of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas last weekend. SCVNEWS
- Glad I wasn't the first to think of it: From Manzer's piece above, a question: "Somehow we still remember James Dean, and I’m sure the same will be true of Paul Walker." Yes James Dean supposedly had his last meal in the SCV before dying in a car crash. And now Paul Walker died in the SCV too. Both handsome young-ish actors, both died in cars. But we don't know what Walker's last meal was. And it's a troubling distinction for the SCV; let's not let the international media in on the Dean/Walker parralels lest we become known as the place young promising actors go to die in fancy cars. The "Santa Clarita curse" or whatnot can't be good for us, even if it is consistent with ThinkSCV goals.
- Coaster Guy redoes his blog, includes more ads. COASTER GUY BLOG
- Bossert frets over just-discovered SCV Apathy epidemic: "I’ve come to the conclusion that there are more people in our local community who don’t really care about much except for themselves. That’s right; most people don’t give a hoot about anything that is going on in the community until it affects them directly. That’s sad and it also highlights the fact that there is apathy and a lack of interest and sense of community by the residents!" No, what it really highlights is that while Frank Ferry may be a loudmouth, life here is pretty good and people don't see a need to turn out at the polls, much to the consternation of us in the SCV chattering classes. This post from Bossert is just further evidence of my grand SCV Unified Theory: for many, if not most, the "SCV" as a place is not much more than a community in which they sleep in at night, and few, if any, actually live out their lives in the SCV and die here (or are born here for that matter); most of our neighbors are just passing through, planting a life here for a decade or two so their children can go to a good school. BEACON
Monday, December 2nd, 2013 - 12:23pm
Former State Senator Tony Strickland of Thousand Oaks has officially declared
his candidacy for the 25th Congressional District, a seat presently held by Strickland ally Buck McKeon. Roll Call has the story
. The 25th covers the Santa Clarita Valley as well as most of Strickland's former home of Simi Valley and most of the Antelope Valley. Strickland's people say this is a declaration made in the event of McKeon's retirement, but it seems that it's more a declaration made in advance of McKeon's retirement (McKeon has said he'd make a decision by January).
Strickland was on the losing end of the race for Ventura County's 26th Congressional District in 2012 and until last week, he was a candidate for that race in 2014. Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell will instead be running for that seat with Strickland's support.
Strickland has been raising a lot of money as a candidate for the 26th, with about $400,000 on hand as of September 30. While there are three declared Democratic candidates for the June primary, Strickland is the only Republican who has filed paperwork for the race, save for McKeon.
While it's long seemed the case that Strickland was raising big money for the 26th with the intention of choosing the easier path to the 25th, this move may have been hastened by very public discussion of this plan by other Republicans, most notably Assemblyman Scott Wilk,
who would rather see a candidate from the district run if McKeon's retires.
Wilk has said he won't run for Congress next year, but in his October piece he mentioned Steve Knight, Sharon Runner, Peter Foy, Glen Becerra, Bob Kellar, Elton Gallegly and George Runner as possible Republican candidates. Knight has since said he's not going to run. Of those, it would seem the most formidable for Strickland would be Elton Gallegly or George Runner.
Gallegly is a retired Congressman who opted out of challenging Buck McKeon after redistricting. He has campaign money in the bank and experience at winning elections. He would also curb Strickland's appeal in Simi Valley. Runner's strength is heavy name ID in the AV and SCV, representing both in Sacramento since the 90s. Together, the AV and SCV comprise about 80% of the district's Republican voters. Strickland has some limited name ID in SCV from repping a slice of the SCV as a State Senator, and he'd probably have a lot support from McKeonland, but he's all but unknown in the AV.
But so far, no one on the local GOP bench is making much noise. That might change soon.
Monday, December 2nd, 2013 - 11:36am
- Walker/Rodas friend says driver was not being reckless: Jim Torp, a friend of Roger Rodas, the businessman who was killed with Paul Walker in a car collision Saturday, told an outlet that he doesn't think his friend was driving recklessly in his Porsche Carrera GT. "Roger was definitely behind the wheel. Roger slowly drove it out - he didn't take off recklessly. There were children around, after all. They were only gone for five or ten minutes and never came back." He added: "It was clear the car had hit two trees then finally hit a street lamppost. Parts of the car were strewn everywhere on the street, as far as 150 feet. I didn't see any skid marks. Where the car had crashed was on a long straightaway. How fast they were going, I don't know." Deputies from our station have since said they think speed "may have" played a part in the crash, a subtle but important change from Sunday when they said "Speed played a factor." NEWS SITE
- Meanwhile, the news outlets are sweeping in on Paul Walker's 15 year old daughter, Meadow, who was apparently at the charity event her father was attending. IB TIMES
- Reading about Walker these past few days I have to say I didn't realize he was such a sweet guy. California native, LDS by birth, knew and traveled to the SCV quite often, and an all around nice guy. I loved the F&F franchise for afternoon diversions and always thought Walker was a decent actor. But apparently he could turn it up a notch; studio officials say they will release as planned a film starring Walker as a new father who is left to care for his infant child in Katrina New Orleans. SUN PAPER
- In other news, a man who held up a cell phone store in Valencia for five hours late last week, then shot himself dead, was from the SCV. Shawn Weissenborn had no criminal history save for a drunk driving conviction four years ago. THe 33 year old barged into a cell phone store in La Crescenta but killed himself five hours later. PASADENA STAR NEWS
- Mayor Kellar tells you what the City accomplished this year. SCVNEWS
- Joe Messina with another gem of a rant, this time complaining that atheists are ripping off Holiday spirit by holding a Winter Solstice holiday. Uhhh think you may have the cart before the horse there Joe. SCVNEWS
Saturday, November 30th, 2013 - 6:23pm
TMZ has confirmed
that actor Paul Walker from the Fast & Furious movies was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Valencia this afternoon. Walker and and an unidentified second person were riding in a Porsche on Hercules Drive and apparently crashed into a light pole and a tree and the car burst into flames. It's unknown at this point if Walker was driving (Update: Walker was a passenger in his friend's car).
Walker’s breakout role came in 1999’s Varsity Blues
, and he became a bonafide star two years later with The Fast and the Furious
. He would go on to appear in five of the six Fast & Furious films and, according to IMDB
, he was set to appear in Fast & Furious 7 next year.
Walker was also a professional race car driver and his racing team, Always Evolving, was based in Valencia, on Constellation Rd., around the corner from the site of the accident.
Always Evolving was hosting a heavily-publicized holiday toy drive this afternoon
. Soon before the crash, AE’s official Twitter account
posted pictures of several cars on display, including Porsches.
We'll have more information on this tragic crash as more news comes in.
Perry Smith is reporting
that the other victim was Roger Rodas, the CEO of Always Evolving.
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 - 8:50am
- Bureau of Land Managment Math: Testifying last week, a BLM official said that the value of Soledad Canyon in the form of aggregate gravel > Soledad Canyon in the from of pristine wildland canyon area. In fact, killing the CEMEX deal would mean Northern Los Angeles County could face a critical shortage of aggregate materials over the next 50 years, which is something I know a lot of people lose sleep over. As it has in the past, Soledad set to be pivotal for this region's future. This thanksgiving I'm thankful for P-Smith @ KHTS for excellent reports like THIS ONE
- VeCo columnist Timm Herdt says Tony Strickland -the goofy, lanky, very tall basketball player, one time CEO of a "green wave" energy company, and of course a defeated Assemblyman- is all but certain to run for CA-25 next year pending McKeon retirement. Wilk nailed it in his column last month. If it's true though, game on. I like the Dr's odds over a carpetbagger VECO STAR (Subscription sorry)
- October real estate numbers nothing to write home about, but man are you in a good position if you own a condo. 10th straight month median price increases SIGNAL, SCVNEWS
- That's it? They're just going to give up? CHP shrugs shoulders, huffs a bit and decides to leave some old junked car in a 200 feet ravine. I love this line: "We're going to mark it with an 'X' and leave it there." SIGNAL
- Blast from the past: Facebooker who helped TimBen Boydston get elected says Laurie Ender may run for Council in 2014. But it's kind of late I would think. FACEBOOK
- Giant novelty scissors make a Thanksgiving appearance to cut the ribbon from the new McBean Park and Ride parking lot. CITY BRIEFS
- Black Friday ads: I always post and re-post links to BFADS.NET , the best black Friday compiler of deals. Looks like this year if you want a deal you may be getting rained on.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you for continuing to read, comment and make Santa Clarita.com the vibrant local resource it is.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 - 9:26am
- Jeff Gorell to run for CA-26 Congressional Seat: The Assemblyman, who represents part of Castaic I believe, announces he will run against Ventura's Julia Brownley, incumbent Dem Representative. That's big news because Tony Strickland was considering a run against Brownley and now that he won't, the Times says "it's likely to add to speculation that Strickland will run for Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon's seat if the Santa Clarita Republican decides not to seek reelection." I'd say speculation is just a touch below boiling at the this point. TIMES
- "In northern Los Angeles County, 10 to 15 percent of the homeless men who come to the 54-bed winter shelter in Santa Clarita are veterans from the recent wars, said Tim Davis, executive director of Bridge to Home, which runs the facility. That shelter, which opened Monday, has 40 beds for single men and 14 beds for women. " Good report on homeless people in the County - and SCV - this winter in the DAILY NEWS
- Holy smokes: The man who, with an accomplice, robbed an AT&T Wireless store in Santa Clarita last year have received six life terms in prison + 182 years for that robbery and a number of other armed robberies in the SCV and SFV. The sentence was so steep because such robberies involve multiple felonies like kidnapping and false imprisonment, not to mention gun use and such. SIGNAL
- Meanwhile in Canyon Country, a 23 year old man is arrested after someone spots him tagging a church building KHTS
- A volunteer group that boxed up food, supplies and other items for soldiers and Marines overseas will stop their valuable service at the end of the year. Hands and Hearts has been doing this stuff for ten years and has sent 7,000 packages to troops, but thanks to the war in A-Stan winding down, they're winding up operations. What an incredible effort by some amazing folks. SIGNAL
- Thanksgiving Rush: Pity those of us who work below the great V that is the Highway 14/I-5 split because getting home Wednesday afternoon will probably be awful. And yet wonderful because it's the start of a long weekend. But terrible if it rains, which it looks like it's going to do on Thursday. But at least CalTrans is not going to close lanes on the I-5. Ugh so many first world problems here.
- Beacon writer Chris Sharp says you can't celebrate Thanksgiving without God and lays down this line, which sounds to me like a bet: "As with all holidays, the more this Thanksgiving resembles the first, the more we will experience a true Thanksgiving. " If we were starving Puritans in New England in the cold and still had Native Americans around, sure it might be more authentic I suppose. SCV BEACON
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Bill Reynolds writes:
By the way, every news source in Santa Clarita scooped the Tony Strickland story yesterday...... full comment »
posted: ~ 2 hrs., 47 mins. ago.
Ferry isn't a loudmouth, he is a bully. Aside from allegedly not even living or working in this... full comment »
posted: ~ 13 hrs. ago.
Bill Reynolds writes:
Knight Rocks!... full comment »
posted: ~ 19 hrs. ago.
Wilk/Smyth et al have bigfooted the Strickland candidacy with the candidacy of Steve... full comment »
posted: ~ 20 hrs. ago.
Jeff, there are a few problems with the numbers cited in the Palmdale situation. The breakdown... full comment »
posted: ~ 22 hrs. ago.
Lori Rivas writes:
Yesterday, I read Boston's column a couple of times, too. When people deny racisms, or -isms, in... full comment »
posted: ~ 22 hrs. ago.
This is a tough one for me because I am obviously a Valencia partisan but then also personally... full comment »
posted: ~ 23 hrs. ago.
Mike Naoum writes:
Link to video of the JJ Wilson hit. The video gives a bit more... full comment »
posted: ~ 24 hrs. ago.
Coastal Sage writes:
One more big story for today. The Daily News reports that the trial court judge in the Palmdale... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 0 hrs. ago.
Don't Ask writes:
Video is now showing an explosion upon impact. It wasn't the movies, but.......... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 3 hrs. ago.
Lori Rivas writes:
Back it up, reverse the plank and splinter. Silly me.... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 18 hrs. ago.
Along those lines, given reports are that there were no skid marks indicating no hard braking, and... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 20 hrs. ago.
A hypocritical rant from Joe? I'm SHOCKED! SHOCKED I SAY! #eyeroll … isn't his shtick getting... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 20 hrs. ago.
Can you say… carpetbagger?... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 20 hrs. ago.
Don't Ask writes:
You are such an expert in these things. Very impressed?
Let's say he was speeding, lost... full comment »
posted: ~ 1 day, 21 hrs. ago.