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Saturday, August 30th, 2014 - 8:04pm
For Steve Knight, it turns out that a surprise assist from the nation’s foremost civil liberties organization was too good to be true.
My post last weekend took big exception with Knight’s vote against a bill (AB 2444) that would prohibit the State of California from displaying or selling the Confederate Battle flag. Knight stood with just two other members of the legislature in opposing the bill, and I discussed my distaste for the vote and my disbelief at the political blunder.
The next day, the Orange County Register ran an article that made it sound like the ACLU found the bill, as passed, to be unconstitutional:
“Whatever the sentiments may be behind the motivation, I think it’s pretty clear that it’s unconstitutional,” said Peter Eliasberg, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California. “I don’t know why they’re trying to do it.”
Eliasberg said that the state was within its right to ban its own sale of the item, “but to say any person who comes on state property can’t – I just don’t think it’ll survive judicial scrutiny.”
On the basis of this article, Knight wore the ACLU’s ostensible objection like a suit of armor when talking to the AV Press and  KHTS: “the American Civil Liberties Union said this bill definitely had constitutional issues. I understand that because (the bill) has to do with a Confederate flag image that people were very upset, but I felt that the bill had constitutional problems and voted that way.”
On Wednesday, the LA Times reported that Knight would be meeting with displeased Democratic leaders next week to discuss his vote. And yesterday, Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star quotes Tony Strickland pouncing on his suddenly rightward opponent: “This [vote] is a no-brainer. We’re not living in Birmingham, Alabama.” 
Steve Knight standing with the ACLU, Tony Strickland saying this isn’t Birmingham…don’t let anyone tell you that top-two isn’t interesting. 
Meanwhile, something didn’t add up about OC Register article. The reporter quotes Eliasberg talking about a restriction (banning sales by anyone on state property) that existed only in the bill’s original draft. The bill that was passed only restricted sales by the state itself, and there’s no constitutional issue there, right?
Strangely, the article has Eliasberg saying as much (emphasis mine): “Eliasberg said that the state was within its right to ban its own sale of the item.” 
Sensing a big misunderstanding, I reached out to Mr. Eliasberg and sent him text of the original and final bills. We spoke earlier today, and he clarified that his discussion with the reporter covered two types of restrictions: sales by individuals on state property (in the original bill, and unconstitutional) and sales by the state itself (in the final bill, and OK under the Constitution). 
He made it clear that he doesn’t see a constitutional problem with the bill that passed because, “the state is allowed to sell what it wants.” Had the original bill passed, it would be a very different matter, of course.

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   2 Comments »
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Friday, August 29th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Not-So-Happy Valley: Some residents of Newhall's Happy Valley neighborhood aren't exactly fans of a sober living home that's been operating there, and which is reportedly seeking licensing. KHTS
  • Charter Bill Moving Along: A bill that would slap restrictions on charter schools operating outside the boundaries of the district that approved their charter is heading to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. Proponents of the bill have pointed to Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District, which has chartered 21 schools in the past two years, nine of which are outside district boundaries. KHTS The Signal 
  • There's a Checkpoint, Charlie: The SCV Sheriff's Station is kicking off Labor Day weekend with a DUI checkpoint somewhere in the SCV tonight. The Signal
  • This Should Upset You: If I, a civilian, was texting while driving, drifted into a bike lane and hit and killed a cyclist, I would be in for a world of legal pain. But according to the county DA, if a sheriff's deputy is typing on their onboard computer while driving, drifts into a bike lane, and hits and kills a cyclist, there's no need to press charges. This is a clear example of changes to the law we should be pushing for. LA Observed Daily News
  • You Can Totally Trust TMZ, Right? So, a woman realizes her Simi Valley hotel neighbor is an MMA fighter wanted for allegedly severely beating his girlfriend. She reports him, and TMZ, that bastion of journalism, tells her there's a $20,000 reward, which she says "Give to the SCV Domestic Violence Center." No sign of the reward yet, however. The Signal
  • Are You Prepared?: The city is hosting several different emergency preparedness classes and seminars, perhaps a good thing here in earthquake country. KHTS
  • Are You Ready for Some Gridlock?: AAA is predicting some of the thickest Labor Day weekend traffic in several years, so you might want to just stay around town. Also, the CHP is bringing their friend Max Enforcement to town for the holiday weekend. The Signal
  • Speaking of Labor Day...: Not from 2014, but a few facts you may or may not have known about Labor Day. Time
  • In Case You Were Wondering: A quick list of what's closed on Labor Day. Daily News

Posted by Josh Premako   |   3 Comments »
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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - 8:40am
Colossus isn't dead after all. Instead it's transforming into a hybrid coaster – a steel rollercoaster on a wooden structure. They're calling it Twisted Colossus.
It keeps the essence of Magic Mountain's most iconic and beloved ride, but adds elements that were unthinkable 40 years ago, and impossible on a traditional wooden coaster. It also fufills the side-by-side "racing" element that was a promise that the old Colossus didn't quite deliver.
Here's the video:

And here's a nice segment from CBS This Morning on the past and future of Colossus.

Posted by Mike Devlin   |   Post a Reply »
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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Colossus is Dead...Or IS It?: "Magic Mountain and Rocky Mountain took what seemed like an insurmountable problem — what to do with an aging wooden coaster — and turned it into unbridled inspiration that resulted in a one-of-a-kind ride." Six Flags announced it's turning Colossus into a wood-and-steel hybrid, expected to debut as Twisted Colossus next year. LA Times
  • On the Lookout: Detectives are searching for an identity theft suspect they believe obtained personal info from an SCV woman, got a replacement credit card in her name and then zipped up to Bakersfield to buy a $23,000 Rolex. KHTS
  • Hoping There's Not a Third: Twice in the past month, a Canyon Country woman was assaulted while walking home, the last attack leaving her fractured ribs, a split lip and a fractured eye socket. Deputies don't believe this is an occurrence of the so-called "knockout game". The Signal
  • Trying to Stop the Runaways: "Too many families are separated by runaway film production. With this bill, help is on the way.” State lawmakers reached a deal on a five-year plan to provide $330 million in tax credits to keep film productions in California. The Signal
  • It Was an Inferno: "When the smoke cleared three days later, 17,200 acres had been scorched and 15 structures and numerous out-buildings were lost." Fifty years ago today a fire broke out that would sweep through Gene Autry's Melody Ranch studio in Placerita Canyon. SCV History 
  • Coach Cuffed for DUI: A "walk on" coach for the West Ranch boys soccer team (and formerly varsity boys head coach at Golden Valley and Hart) was arrested on suspicion of DUI. The Signal
  • McKeon Wants a Strategy: Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon is challenging the President to provide Congress with an actual strategy for defeating ISIS, currently terrorizing Iraq. The Hill
  • Looking for Details: In the wake f an investigation finding that 1 in 5 foster kids in California is prescribed psychiatric drugs, county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is calling for a full report from the county's Department of Mental Health. Daily News
  • A Rock Mystery Solved: For decades, the "sailing stones" of Death Valley's Racetrack Playa have mystified people, forever moving but never caught in the act. Now, scientists have a handle on what's going on. Gizmodo

Posted by Josh Premako   |   Post a Reply »
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Anaheim Man Cuffed After SCV Sting: A Sheriff's Station sting operation culminated with the arrest yesterday of a 44-year-old Anaheim man, on charges he carried on a sexual relationship with an underage girl. KHTS
  • A Bill With Issues: Sen. Steve Knight said he voted no on a bill that would ban the display or sale by the state of the Confederate flag because there were "constitutional issues" with the entire bill. Jessica Boyer's piece doesn't touch on what any of those issues are, but Knight pointed out the ACLU had problems with the bill, too. KHTS
  • Murder Case Going Back to Trial: Almost two years after being arrested, a Saugus man is heading back to court to face charges that he murdered his live-in girlfriend. KHTS The Signal
  • Unsafe at That Speed: The Nissan 300z that was driven by a COC student who remains in critical condition was traveling at speeds faster than freeway traffic when it crashed on San Fernando Road Friday night, investigators said. One of the two passengers killed was sitting in the two-seater's luggage space, that's in place of a back seat. The Signal
  • Council Vote Sure to Spark Discussion: The City Council voted last night to approve nearly $130,000 for holiday lights in downtown Newhall, with a holiday lighting event on schedule for mid-November. The Signal
  • Run for a Reason: The SCV Food Pantry is hosting its 21st annual "Run Against Hunger" 5K this fall. The pantry helps about 5,400 local clients every year. SCV News
  • A Charged Story: County officials approved free electric vehicle charging stations throughout the county, including three here in Santa Clarita Valley. KHTS

Posted by Josh Premako   |   8 Comments »
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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Looking for That Alamo Money: While Tony Alamo withers away in prison after being convicted of transporting young girls across state lines for sex, a Texarkana lawyer has his eye on Alamo's SCV "church" site as a way to collect compensation for the victims. KHTS
  • A Site for Senior Eyes: While it's likely several years from being a reality, a site is being eyed for a new senior center in the valley, likely where Golden Valley and Newhall Ranch roads meet. A new facility would be a huge improvement for the Committee on Aging, which operates out of an aging facility in Newhall, in the shadow of Hart Park's bison-dotted hills. KHTS
  • Santa Clarita Valley is #1!: For rabid bats found in L.A. County, that is. KHTS
  • More Getting on Board With Supe's Idea: After several years of suggesting it, county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is starting to see some more support for his idea to have the high-speed rail project avoid rattling SClarita, Acton and Agua Dulce residents by running through a whole bunch of tunnels in the Angeles National Forest. LA Times
  • Regulators Mount Up Against Vaping: The UN health agency is urging e-cigarettes to be regulated and banned indoors until it can be proven they're not harmful to bystanders. Daily News
  • Improvements are Central to Park: CIty officials cut the ribbon on improvements at Central Park, as well as discussed the next phase of park improvement, which will include tennis courts. KHTS
  • Get Quake-Ready: The weekend's Napa quake should be a reminder it's only a matter of time until we get shaken up again. City emergency preparedness guru Donna Nuzzi weighs in. The Signal

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 - 8:30am
  • Speed Was a Factor: Investigators pointed to speed as a factor in the Friday night crash that killed two COC football players and seriously injured one near the Newhall Pass. KHTS
  • Making the Grade for Castaic: Grading work is set to begin soon on the site of Castaic's future high school, planned to open in 2017. The Signal
  • Class is in Session: The Albert Einstein Academy, which you may have heard of, cut the ribbon at the former Pinecrest school site, pretty much right down the street from the Newhall School District Offices. KHTS
  • A Community Says Goodbye: Some 200 people reportedly turned out for the memorial service for Connie Worden-Roberts, who was buried at Eternal Valley on Saturday. The Signal KHTS
  • They Call Him the "Undercover Jew": “To be a guy that is not Jewish and to be a guy that’s not Caucasian, and I have been entrusted with the safety of the Jewish families, the Jewish kids and Jews around Los Angeles, that is a very special thing for me." Profile of Stevenson Ranch resident Louis Perry, founder of Kadima Security Services, which works to keep synagogues and Jewish organizations safe. Jewish Journal
  • Construction Firm is Cold as Ice: Local construction firm C.A. Rasmussen likely has topped everyone else in the SCV's ice bucket challenge videos, after a front-end loader dumped about 1,200 gallons of water on employees Friday. Employees raised $1,000, and my sources tell me the "sizable" donation KHTS refers to was just that. KHTS
  • Another Reason to Just Go Inside the Bank: Granted, this report comes out of Europe, but it's safe to assume someone is doing this here, too. An ATM card skimmer so slim, it's practically impossible to detect. Gizmodo 
  • Shooting for a New Trial: Facing several years in prison, the former sheriff's deputy and Santa Clarita resident who was convicted in a Los Angeles County jail corruption case is asking for a new trial. Daily News

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  Recent Comments:
Mike writes:
It turns out that the ACLU isn't opposed. Stay tuned....
posted: ~ 1 day, 11 hrs. ago.
MyEyesHurt writes:
My eyes hurt. Thanks....
posted: ~ 2 days, 10 hrs. ago.
Coastal Sage writes:
So Happy Valley residents, the Court of Appeal has told you what you have to prove factually, and...
posted: ~ 2 days, 17 hrs. ago.
Coastal Sage writes:
The residents of Happy Valley find themselves the victims of California's as-usual out of control...
posted: ~ 2 days, 17 hrs. ago.
Mike writes:
Phil, the ACLU's oppoisiton appears to be based on a comment to the OC Register based a...
posted: ~ 3 days, 20 hrs. ago.
Don Ricketts writes:
See prior post....
posted: ~ 3 days, 23 hrs. ago.
Phil Ellis writes:
I am crazy because I questioned why it was OK for the ACLU to be opposed to the bill but Steve you...
posted: ~ 3 days, 23 hrs. ago.
Don Ricketts writes:
Oh, Phil, you are so crazy (though I suspect that a lot of the time that the nutty things you say...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.
Phil Ellis writes:
I guess for Don it is Ok for the ACLU to have constitutional issues with the bill but not for...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.
Don Ricketts writes:
I understand what the confederate flag (and Knight) stands for and find it repugnant, but there...
posted: ~ 4 days ago.

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